« PreviousContinue »
into the guard-chamber; and then some out of the hall to have met him, and so have stepped between the guard and their halberds; of which guard they hoped to have found but a dozen, or some such small number.
with those numbers, was not to be thought on, watchword, should have come out of the because that was not sufficient; and therefore advised them to think of something else. Then they would needs resolve to attempt the court, and withal desired mine opinion. But I prayed them first to set down the manner how it might be done. Then Sir John Davis took ink and paper, and assigned to divers principal men their several places; some to keep the gate, some to be in the hall, some to be in the presence, some in the lobby, some in the guard-chamber, others to come in with my lord himself, who should have had the passage given him to the privy-enemies to be Spanish, "bona fide," or no? He chamber, where he was to have presented him- saith, that he never heard any such speech; and self to her majesty. if my lord used any such, it came into his head on the sudden.
Knowledged in the presence of
The confession of Sir JOHN DAVIS, taken the 18th of February, 1600, before the Earl of NOTTINGHAM, Lord High Admiral; Sir ROBERT CECIL, principal Secretary; and JOHN HERBERT, second Secretary of State.
Sir John Davis being demanded, how long before my Lord Essex's tumult he knew of such his purpose?
He answers, that he knew not directly of any meaning my lord had, until the Sunday sevennight before, or thereabout.
Being demanded, what he knew? Then he answered, that my lord consulted to possess himself of the court, at such convenient time when he might find least opposition. For executing of which enterprises, and of other affairs, he appointed my Lord of Southampton, Sir Charles Davers, Sir Ferdinando Gorge, and himself, to meet at Drury House, and there to consider of the same, and such other projects as his lordship delivered them: and, principally, for surprising of the court, and for the taking of the Tower of London. About which business they had two meetings, which were five or six days before the insurrection.
He farther saith, that Sir Christopher Blunt was not at this consultation, but that he stayed and advised with my lord himself about other things to him unknown: for that my lord trusted several men in several businesses, and not all together.
Being demanded, what was resolved in the opinions of these four before named? He saith, that Sir Charles Davers was appointed to the presence-chamber, and himself to the hall: and that my lord was to determine himself, who should have guarded the court-gate and the water-gate. And that Sir Charles Davers, upon a signal or a
Being asked, whether he heard that such as my lord misliked should have received any violence? He saith, that my lord avowed the contrary, and that my lord said, he would call them to an honourable trial, and not use the sword.
Being demanded, whether my lord thought his
Being demanded, what party my lord had in London? He saith, that the sheriff Smith was his hope, as he thinketh.
Being demanded, whether my lord promised
Exam. per NOTTINGHAM,
The first confession of Sir CHARLES Davers, taken the 18th of February, anno 1600, before Sir THOMAS EGERTON, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal; the Lord BUCKHURST, Lord High Treasurer; the Earl of NOTTINGHAM, the Lord High Admiral; Lord HUNSDON, Lord Chamberlain; and Sir ROBERT CECIL, principal Secretary.
He confesseth, that before Christmas the Earl of Essex had bethought himself, how he might secure his access unto the queen in such sort as he might not be resisted; but no resolution determinately taken, until the coming up of this examinate a little after Christmas.
And then he doth confess, that the resolution was taken to possess himself of the court; which resolution was taken agreeable to certain articles, which the Earl of Essex did send to the Earl of Southampton, this examinate, Sir Ferdinando Gorge, and Sir John Davis, written with the earl's own hand. To which consultation, being held at Drury House, some four or five days before Sunday, that was the eighth of February, Littleton came in towards the end.
The points which the Earl of Essex projected under his hand were these:
First, whether it were fit to take the Tower of London. The reason whereof was this: that after the court was possessed, it was necessary to give reputation to the action, by having such a place to bridle the city, if there should be any mislike of their possessing the court.
To the possessing of the court, these circumstances were considered:
First, the Earl of Essex should have assembled
all the noblemen and gentlemen of quality on his party; out of which number he should have chosen so many as should have possessed all the places of the court, where there might have been any likelihood of resistance: which being done, the Earl of Essex, with divers noblemen, should have presented himself to the queen.
The manner how it should have been executed, was in this sort: Sir Christopher Blunt should have had charge of the outer gate, as he thinketh. Sir Charles Davers, this examinate, with his company, should have made good the presence, and should have seized upon the halberds of the guard. Sir John Davis should have taken charge of the hall. All this being set, upon a signal given, the earl should have come into the court with his company.
Being asked, what they would have done after? he saith, They would have sent to have satisfied the city, and have called a parliament.
These were the resolutions set down by the Earl of Essex of his own hand, after divers consultations.
He saith, Cuffe was ever of opinion, that the Earl of Essex should come in this sort to the CHARLES DAVERS.
Exam. per THо. EGERTON, C. S.
The second confession of Sir CHARLES DAVERS, taken the same day, and set down upon farther calling himself to remembrance, under his own hand, before Sir THO. EGERTON, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal; Lord BUCKHURST, Lord High Treasurer; the Earl of NOTTINGHAM, Lord High Admiral; Sir ROBERT CECIL, principal Secretary.
Some points of the articles which my Lord of Essex sent unto Drury House, as near as I can remember, were these; whether both the court and the Tower should be both attempted at one time? if both, what numbers should be thought requisite for either? if the court alone, what places should be first possessed? by what persons?
And for those which were not to come into the court beforehand, where and in what sort they might assemble themselves, with least suspicion, to come in with my lord?
Whether it were not fit for my lord, and some of the principal persons, to be armed with privy coats? CHARLES DAvers.
Knowledged in the presence of
THO. EGERTON, C. S.
THO. BUCKHURST, ROBERT CECIL.
The first confession of Sir CHRISTOPHER BLUNT, examined the 18th of February, 1600, before Jo. HERBERT, second Secretary of Estate, and in the VOL. II.-47
presence of Nic. KEMPE, counsellor at law, WILLIAM WAIMARKE, WILLIAM MARTIN, ROBERT ANDREWS, citizens, JOHN TREVOR, surveyor of the and THOMAS THORNEY, his surgeon. navy,
He confesseth that the Earl of Essex sent. Wiseman, about the 20th of January, to visit his wife, with letters of compliment, and to require him to come up unto him to London, to settle his estate according as he had written unto him before some few days.
Being demanded, to what end they went to the city, to join with such strength as they hoped for there? he confesseth it was to secure the Earl of Essex his life, against such forces as should be sent against him. And being asked, What, against the queen's forces? he answered, That must have been judged afterwards.
But being farther asked, Whether he did advise to come unto the court over night? He saith, No; for Sir Ferdinando Gorge did assure, that the alarm was taken of it at the court, and the guards doubled.
Being asked, whether he thought any prince could have endured to have any subject make the city his mediator? or gather force to speak for him? He saith, he is not read in stories of former times; but he doth not know but that in former times subjects have used force for their mediation.
Being asked, what should have been done by any of the persons that should have been removed from the queen? He answered, that he never found my lord disposed to shed blood; but that any that should have been found, should have had
putting us in mind that he said once before, that when he was able to speak, he would tell all truth, doth now confess; That four or five days before the Earl of Essex did rise, he did set down certain articles to be considered on, which he saw not, until afterwards he was made acquainted with them, when they had among themselves disputed which were these.
any particular cause of grief against any person whatsoever, it should be heard, and they should have justice.
Hereupon the Earl of Essex with a very loud voice declared, That his life was sought, and that he should have been murdered in his bed; that he had been perfidiously dealt with; that his hand has been counterfeited, and letters written in his
One of them was, whether the Tower of Lon- name; and that, therefore, they were assembled don should be taken?
Another, whether they should not possess the court, and so secure my lord, and other men, to come to the queen?
For the first concerning the Tower, he did not like it; concluding, that he that had the power of the queen, should have that.
He confesseth that upon Saturday night, when Mr. Secretary Herbert had been with the earl, and that he saw some suspicion was taken, he thought it in vain to attempt the court, and persuaded him rather to save himself by flight, than to engage himself farther, and all his company. And so the resolution of the earl grew to go into the city, in hope, as he said before, to find many friends there.
He doth also say, that the earl did usually speak of his purpose to alter the government. CHRISTOPHER BLUNT.
Upon Sunday, being the 8th of February last past, about ten of the clock in the forenoon, the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, the Earl of Worcester, Sir William Knolles, comptroller of her majesty's household, and the Lord Chief Justice of England, being commanded by direction from the queen's majesty, did repair to the late Earl of Essex his house, and finding the gate shut against them, after a little stay they were let in at the wicket and as soon as they were within the gate, the wicket was shut upon them, and all their servants kept out.
At their coming thither they found the court full of men assembled together in very tumultuous sort; the Earls of Essex, Rutland, and Southampton, and the Lord Sandys, Mr. Parker, commonly called Lord Montegle, Sir Christopher Blunt, Sir Charles Davers, and many other knights and gentlemen, and other persons unknown, which flocked together about the lord keeper, &c. And thereupon the lord keeper told the Earl of Essex, that they were sent from her majesty to understand the cause of this their assembly, and to let them know, that if they had
there together to defend their lives; with much other speech to like effect. Hereupon the lord chief justice said unto the earl, That if they had any such matter of grief, or if any such matter were attempted or purposed against him, he willed the earl to declare it, assuring him that it should be truly related to her majesty, and that it should be indifferently heard, and justice should be done whomsoever it concerned.
To this the Earl of Southampton objected the assault made upon him by the Lord Gray. Whereunto the lord chief justice said, That in his case justice had been done, and the party imprisoned for it. And hereupon the lord keeper did eftsoons will the Earl of Essex, that whatsoever private matter or offence he had against any person whatsoever, if he would deliver it unto them, they would faithfully and honestly deliver it to the queen's majesty, and doubted not to procure him honourable and equal justice, whomsoever it concerned; requiring him, that if he would not declare it openly, that he would impart it unto them privately, and doubted not but they would satisfy him in it.
Upon this there was a great clamour raised amongst the multitude, crying, "Away, my lord, they abuse you, they betray you, they undo you, you lose time." Whereupon the lord keeper put on his hat, and said with a loud voice, "My lord, let us speak with you privately, and understand your griefs; and I command you all upon your allegiance, to lay down your weapons, and to depart, which you ought all to do, being thus commanded, if you be good subjects, and owe that duty to the queen's majesty which you profess." Whereupon they all brake out into an exceeding loud shout and cry, crying, "All! all! all!"
And whilst the lord keeper was speaking, and commanding them upon their allegiance, as is before declared, the Earl of Essex, and the most part of that company did put on their hats, and so the Earl of Essex went into the house, and the lord keeper, &c., followed him, thinking that his purpose had been to speak with them privately, as they had required. And, as they were going, some of that disordered company cried, "Kill them." And as they were going into the great chamber, some cried, "Cast the great seal out at the window." Some other cried there, "Kill them ;" and some other said, "Nay, let us shop them up."
The lord keeper did often call to the Earl of Essex to speak with them privately, thinking still that his meaning had been so, until the earl brought them into his back chamber, and there gave order to have the farther door of that chamber shut fast. And at his going forth out of that chamber, the lord keeper pressing again to have spoken with the Earl of Essex, the earl said, "My lords, be patient a while, and stay here, and I will go into London, and take order with the mayor and sheriffs for the city, and will be here again within this half-hour;" and so departed from the lord keeper, &c., leaving the lord keeper, &c., and divers of the gentlemen pensioners in that chamber, guarded by Sir John Davis, Francis Tresham, and Owen Salisbury, with musket shot, where they continued until Sir Ferdinando Gorge | came and delivered them about four of the clock in the afternoon.
In the mean time, we did often require Sir John Davis, and Francis Tresham, to suffer us to depart, or at the least to suffer some one of us to go to the queen's majesty, to inform her where and in what sort we were kept. But they answered, That my lord, meaning the Earl of Essex, had commanded that we should not depart before his return, which, they said, would be very shortly.
THOMAS EGERTON, C. S.
EDWARD WORCESTER, JOHN POPHAM.
The examination of ROGER, Earl of RUTLAND, the 12th of February, 1600, taken before Sir THOMAS EGERTON, Lord Keeper of the Great seal; the Lord BUCKHURST, Lord High Treasurer; the Earl of NOTTINGHAM, Lord High Admiral; Sir ROBERT CECIL, principal Secretary; and Sir Jo. POPHAM, Lord Chief Justice of England
the Earl of Essex did intend to make his forces so strong, that her majesty should not be able to resist him in the revenge of his enemies. And saith, That the Earl of Essex was most inward with the Earl of Southampton, Sir Christopher Blunt, and others; who have of long time showed themselves discontented, and have advised the Earl of Essex to take other courses, and to stand upon his guard: and saith, That when the Earl of Essex was talking with the lord keeper, and other the lords sent from her majesty, divers said, "My lord, they mean to abuse you, and you lose time." And when the earl came to sheriff Smith's, he desired him to send for the lord mayor that he might speak with him; and as the earl went in the streets of London, this examinate said to divers of the citizens, that if they would needs come, that it was better for their safety to come with weapons in their hands: and saith, That the Earl of Essex, at the end of the street where sheriff Smith dwelt, cried out to the citizens, that they did him harm, for that they came naked; and willed them to get them weapons; and the Earl of Essex also cried out to the citizens, that the crown of England was offered to be sold to the Infanta: and saith, That the earl burned divers papers that were in a little casket, whereof one was, as the earl said, a history of his troubles: and saith, That when they were assaulted in Essex House, after their return, they first resolved to have made a sally out; and the earl said, that he was determined to die; and yet in the end they changed their opinion, and yielded: and saith, That the Earl of Southampton, Sir Christopher Blunt, and Sir John Davis, advised the Earl of Essex, that the lord keeper and his company should be detained: and this examinate saith, That he heard divers there present cry out, “ Kill them, kill them :" and saith, That he thinketh the Earl of Essex intended, that after he had possessed himself of the city, he would entreat the lord keeper and his company to accompany him to the court. He saith, he heard Sir Christopher Blunt say openly, in the presence of the Earl of Essex and others, how fearful, and in what several humours they should find them at the court, when they came thither.
He saith, that at his coming to Essex House on Sunday morning last, he found there with the Earl of Essex, the Lord Sandys, and the Lord Chandos, and divers knights and gentlemen. And the Earl of Essex told this examinate, that his life was practised to be taken away by the Lord Cobham, and Sir Walter Raleigh, when he was sent for to the council; and the earl said, that now he meant by the help of his friends to defend himself: and saith, that the detaining of Exam. per TH. EGERTON, C. S. RO. CECIL, the lord keeper and the other lords sent to the earl from the queen, was a stratagem of war; and saith, That the Earl of Essex told him that London stood for him, and that sheriff Smith had given him intelligence, that he would make as many men to assist him as he could; and farther the Earl of Essex said, that he meant to possess himself of the city, the better to enable himself to revenge him on his enemies, the Lord Cobham, Sir Robert Cecil, and Sir Walter Raleigh. And this examinate confesseth, That he resolved to
The confession of WILLIAM, Lord SANDYS, of the parish of Sherborne-Cowdry, in the county of Southampton, taken this 16th of February, 1600, before Sir JOHN POPHAM, Lord Chief Justice; ROGER WILBRAHAM, Master of the Requests; and EDWARD COKE, her majesty's Attorney General.
He saith, That he never understood that the live and die with the Earl of Essex; and that earl did mean to stand upon his strength till Sun
day in the morning, being the 8th of this instant February and saith, that in the morning of that day this examinate was sent for by the Earl of Essex about six or seven of the clock: and the earl sent for him by his servant Warburton, who was married to a widow in Hampshire. And at his coming to the earl, there were six or seven gentlemen with him, but remembereth not what they were; and next after, of a nobleman, came my Lord Chandos, and after him came the Earl of Southampton, and presently after the Earl of Rutland, and after him Mr. Parker, commonly called the Lord Montegle: and saith, That at his coming to the Earl of Essex, he complained that it was practised by Sir Walter Raleigh to have murdered him as he should have gone to the lord treasurer's house with Mr. Secretary Herbert. And saith, that he was present in the court-yard of Essex House, when the lord keeper, the Earl of Worcester, Sir William Knolles, and the lord chief justice, came from the queen's majesty to the Earl of Essex; and the lord chief justice required the Earl of Essex to have some private conference with him; and that if any private wrongs were offered unto him, that they would make true report thereof to her majesty, who, no doubt, would reform the same: and saith, That this examinate went with the earl, and the rest of his company, to London, to Sheriff Smith's, but went not into the house with him, but stayed in the street a while; and being sent for by the Earl of Essex, went into the house, and from thence came with him till he came to Ludgate; which place being guarded, and resistance being made, and perceived by the Earl of Essex, he said unto his company, 66 Charge;" and thereupon Sir Christopher Blunt, and others of his company gave the charge, and being repulsed, and this examinate hurt in the leg, the earl retired with this examinate and others to his house called Essex House. And on his retire, the earl said to this examinate, That if sheriff Smith did not his part, that his part was as far forth as the earl's own; which moved him to think that he trusted to the city. And when the earl was, after his retire, in Essex House, he took an iron casket, and broke it open, and burned divers papers in it, whereof there was a book, as he taketh it, and said, as he was burning of them, that they should tell no tales to hurt his friends and saith, That the earl said, that he had a black bag about his neck that should tell no tales. WILLIAM SANDYS.
Exam. per Jo. POPHAM,
The examination of the Lord CROMWELL, taken the 7th of March, 1600, by Sir J. POPHAM, Lord Chief Justice; CHRIST. YELVERTON, her ma
jesty's serjeant; and FR. BACON, of her majesty's learned counsel.
* At the sheriff's house this examinate pressed in with the rest, and found the earls shifting themselves in an inner chamber, where he heard my Lord of Essex certify the company, that he had been advertised out of Ireland, which he would not now hide from them, that the realm should be delivered over to the hands of the Infanta of Spain, and that he was wished to look to it; farther, that he was to seek redress for injuries; and that he had left at his house for pledges, the lord keeper, the Earl of Worcester, Sir William Knolles, and the lord chief justice. EDW. CROMWELL. per Jo. POPHAM, CHR. YELVERTON,
Sir CHRISTOPHER BLUNT, knight, at the time of his arraignment, did openly at the bar desire to speak with the lord admiral and Mr. Secretary: before whom he made this confession following; which the Earl of SOUTHAMPTON confirmed after. wards, and he himself likewise at his death.
He confesseth, that at the castle of Dublin, in that lodging which was once the Earl of Southampton's, the Earl of Essex purposing his return into England, advised with the Earl of Southampton and himself, of his best manner of going into England for his security, seeing to go he was resolved.
At that time he propounded his going with a competent number of soldiers, to the number of two or three thousand, to have made good his first landing with that force, until he could have drawn unto himself a sufficient strength to have proceeded farther.
From this purpose this examinate did use all forcible persuasions, alleging not only his own ruin, which should follow thereof, and all those which should adhere to him in that action; but urging it to him as a matter most foul, because he was not only held a patron of his country, which by this means he should have destroyed; but also should have laid upon himself an irrevocable blot, having been so deeply bound to her majesty. To which dissuasion the Earl of Southampton also inclined.
This design being thus dissuaded by them, then they fell to a second consideration: and therein this examinate confesseth, That he rather advised him, if needs he would go, to take with him some competent number of choice men.
He did not name unto him any particular power that would have come to him at his landing, but * This examination, as appeareth by the date, was taken after Essex's arraignment, but is inserted, to show how the
speech, of the realm to be sold to the Infanta, which at his Smith's house he said he was advertised out of Ireland: and arraignment he derived from Mr. Secretary, at sheriff with this latter concur many other examinations.