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the christian world. He hath maintained it, and the king himself meddle not, as hath been not only with sceptre and'sword, but likewise used in former times, with matters of meum by bis pen; wherein also he is potent. He and tuum, except they have apparent mixture hath awaked and re-authorized the whole with matters of estate, but leave them to the party of the reformed religion throughout Eu- king's courts of law or equity. And for mercy rope; which through the insolency and divers and grace, without which there is no standing artifices and inchantments of the adverse part, before justice, we see, the king now hath reignwas grown a little dull and dejected: he hath ed twelve years in his white robe, without summoned the fraternity of kings to enfranchise almost any aspersion of the crimson dye of themselves from the usurpation of the see of blood. There sits my lord Hobart, that served Rome: he hath made himself a mark of con- attorney seven years. I served with him. We tradiction for it. Neither can I omit, when I were so happy, as there passed not through our speak of religion, to remember that excellent hands any one arraignment for treason ; and act of his majesty, which though it were done but one for any capital offence, which was that in a foreign country, yet the church of God is of the lord Sapquhar; the noblest piece of one, and the contagion of these things will soon justice, one of them, that ever came forth ia pass seas and lands: I mean, in his constant any king's time. As for penal laws, which lie and holy proceeding against the heretic Vorstius, as spares upon the subjects, and wbich were whom, being ready to enter into the chair and as a nemo scit to king Henry 7; it yields a rethere to have authorized one of the most pesti venue that will scarce pay for the parchment lent and heathenish heresics that ever was of the king's records at Westminster. And begün, his majesty by his constant opposition lastly for peace, we see manifestly his majesty dismounted and pulled down. And I am per bears some resemblance of that great name, suaded there sits in this court one whom God a prince of peace : he bath preserved his subdoth the rather bless for being his majesty's jects during his reign in peace, both within and instrument in that service. I cannot remember without. For the peace with states abroad, religion and the church, but I must think of we have it usque ad satietatem : and for peace the seed-plots of the same, which are the univer- in the lawyers phrase, which count trespasses, sities. His majesty, as for learning amongst and forces, and riots, to be contra pacem ; let kings he is incomparable in his person; so me give your lordships this token or taste, that likewise haib he been in his government a this court, where they should appear, had never benign or benevolent planet towards learning : less to do. And certainly there is no better sigo by whose influence those nurseries and gardens of omnia bere, than when this court is in a still. of learning, the universities, were never more But, my lords, this is a sea of matter; and in flower nor fruit. For the maintaining of the therefore I must give it over, and conclude, laws, which is the hedge and fence about the that there was never king reigned in this nation liberty of the subject, I may truly affirm it was that did better kecp covenant in preserving the never' iu better repair. He doth concur with liberties and procuring the good of his people : the votes of the nobles, nolumus leges Angliæ so that I must needs say for the subjects of
mutare.' He is an enemy of innovation. | England, Neither doth the universality of his own know O fortunatos nimium sua si bona norint;' ledge carry hin to neglect or pass over the as no doubt they do both know and acknowvery forms of the laws of the land Neither / ledge it; whatsoever a few turbulent discourses was there ever king, I am persuaded, that did may, through the lepity of the time, take boldconsult so oft with his judges, as my lords that ness to speak. And as for this particular, touchsit here know well. The judges are a kind of ing the Benevolence, wherein Mr. I. S. doth council of the king's by oath and ancient insti- assign this breach of covenant, I leave it to tution; but he useth them so indeed; he con others to tell you what the king may do, or fers regularly with them upon their returns what other kings have done; but I have told from their visitations and circuits : he gives you what our king and my lords have done : them liberty both to inform him, and to debate which, I say and say again, is so far from intromatters with hiin; and in the fall and conclu- ducing a new precedent, as it doth rather corsion commonly relies on their opinions. As rect, and mollisy, and qualify former precedents. for the use of the prerogative, it runs within Now, Mr. I. S. let me tell you your fault in few the ancient channels and banks. Some things words: for that I am persuaded you see it althat were conceived to be in some proclama- ready, though I woo no man's repentance; but tions, commissions, and patents, as overflows, I shall, as much as in me is, cherish it where I have been by his wisdom and care reduced; find it. Your offence hath three parts knit towhereby, no doubt, the main channel of his gether : your slander, your menace, and your prerogative is so much the stronger. For ever-comparison. For your slander, it is no less more overflows do hurt the channel. As for than that the king is perjured in his coronation administration of justice between party and oath. No greater offence than perjury ; no party, I pray observe these points. There is greater oath than that of a coronation. I leave no news of great seal or signet that flies abroad it; it is too great to aggravate. Your menace, for countenance or delay of causes; protections that if there were a Bullingbroke, or I cannot rarely granted, and only upon great ground, tell what, there were matter for luim, is a very or by consent. My lords here of the council seditious passage. You know well, that hou.
svever Henry 4's act, by a secret providence of day drawetb on; and my lord chancellor's reGod, prevailed, yet it was but an usurpation; covery, the season, and his age, promising not and if it were possible for such a one to be this to be too hasty. I spake with him on Sunday day, wherewith it seems your dreams are trou at what time I found him in bed, but his spibled, I do not doubt, bis end would be upon rits strong, and not spent or wearied, and the block; and that he would sooner have the spake wholly of your business, leading me ravens sit his head at London-bridge, than from one matter to another; and wished and the crown at Westminster. And it is not your seemed to hope, that he might attend the day interlacing of your God forbid,' that will salve for 0. S. and it were, as he said, to be his last these sedítious speeches : neither could it be a work to conclude his services, and express bis forewarning, because the matter was past and affection towards your majesty. I presumed not revocable, but a very stirring up and in to say to him, that I knew your majesty would censing of the people. If I should say to you, be exceeding desirous of his being present that for example, if these tiines were like some for day, so as that it might be without prejudice to
mer times, of king. Henry 8, or some other his continuance; but that otherwise your inta• times which God forbid, Mr. I. S. it would jesty esteemed a servant more than a service, cost you your life;' I am sure you would not especially such a servant. Surely in mine opithink this to be a gentle warning, but rather nion your majesty were better put off the day that I incensed the court against you. And for than want his presence, considering the cause your comparison with Richard 2, I see, you of the putting off is so notorious; and then the follow the example of them that brought him capital and the criminal may come together the upon the stage, and into print, in queen Eliza- next term. Fr. Bacon. Jan. 31, 1614. 0. S. beth's time, a most prudent and admirable queen. But let me intreat you, that when you to the King, touching my Lord Chancellor's will speak of queen Elizabeth or king James,
amendment, &c. you would compare them to king Henry 7, or He [the Lord Chancellor) had sent also to my king Edward 1, or some otber parallels, to which lord treasurer, to desire him to come to him they are alike. And this I would wish both about that time. His lordship came; and, not you and all to take heed of, how you speak se to trouble your majesty with circumstances, ditious matter in parables, or by tropes or ex both their lordships concluded, myself present amples. There is a thing in an indictment and concurring, that it could be no prejudice to called an inuendo; you must beware bow you your inajesty's service to put off the day for beckon or make signs upon the king in a dan- Mr. St. Jolin till the next term : the rather, gerous sense. But I will contain myself and because there are seven of your privy-council, press this no fartier. I may bold you for tur- which are at least mumerus and part of the bulent or presumptuous; but I hope you are court, which are by infirmity like to be absent; not disloyal : you are graciously and mercifully that is, my lord chancellor, my lord admiral, dealt with. And therefore having now opened my lord of Shrewsbury, my lord of Exeter, my to my lords, and, as I think, to your own heart lord Zouch, my lord Stanhope, and Mr. chanand conscience, the principal part of your cellor of the dutchy; wherefore they agreed to offence, which concerns the king, I leave the hold a council to-morrow in the afiernoon for rest, which concerns the law, parliament, and that purpose. It is true, that I was always of
the subjects that have given, to Mr. Serjeant opinion that it was no time lost; and I do · and Mr. Solicitor.
think so the rather, because I could be content, The following passages relating to this case that the matter of Peacham were first settled are extracted from lord Bacon's works, Birch's and put to a point. For there be perchance edition.
that would make the example upon Mr. St. To the King, reporting the state of lord chan-John to stand for all. Fr. Bacon. Feh. 7, cellor Ellesmere's health.
1614. 0. S.
To the King. I found him (the lord Chancellor) in bed, but
It his spirits fresh and good, speaking stoutly, and may please your excellent majesty ; Mr. without being spent or weary; and both will St. John his day is past, and well past." I hold ing and beginning of himself to speak, but it to be Junus bifrons ; it hath a good aspect wholly of your majesty's business : wherein I to that which is past, and to the future, and cannot forget to relate this particular ; that he doth both satisfy and prepare. All did well : wished that his sentencing of O. S. at the day my lord chief justice delivered the law for the appointed might be bis last work, to conclude Benevolence strongly; I would he had done it his services, and express his affection towards timely. Mr. Chancellor of the exchequer your majesty. I told bim, I knew your ma spake finely, somewhat after the manner of my. jesty would be very desirous of his presence
late lord privy seal; not all out so sharply, but that day, so it might be without prejudice: but
as elegantly. Sir Thomas Lake, who is also otherwise your majesty esteemed a servant
new in that court, did very well, familiarly and more than a service, especially such a servant.
counsellor-like. My lord of Pembroke, who is Jan. 29, 1614. Old Style.
likewise a stranger there, did extraordinary
well, and became bimself well, and had an eviTo the King touching Peacham's business, &c. dent applause. I meant well also ; and be
For Mr. St. John, your majesty knoweth, the cause my information was the ground; having
spoken out of a few heads which I had ga- | ray, sealed: if your majesty have so much idle thered, for I seldom do inore, I set down as time to look upon it, it may give some light of soon as I came home, cursorily, a frame of that the day's work: but I most humbly pray your I had said ; though I persuade myself I spake majesty to pardon the errors. God preserve it will suure life. I have sent it to Mr. Nur- you ever. Fr. Bacon. April 29th, 1615.
103. The Trial of Richard WESTON,* at the Guild-hall of London,
for the Murder of Sir Thomas Overbury,† 19 Oct. 13 James I.
A. D. 1615.
and cowardliness of poisoners, who attempt The Court being set, and the king's special that secretly, against which there is no means commission rear, the Lord Chief Justice gave of preservation or defence for a man's life ; and the Charge ; tbe effect whereof was,
how rare it was to hear of poisoning in EngFirse, To express the king's pious inclina- land, so detestable it was to our nation : But cions and command unto just proceedings that since the devil had taught divers to be against all such as should be any way proved cunning in it, so that they can poison in what to be guilty of the murdering and poisoning I of sir distance of space they please, by consuming T. Overbury, bis majesty's prisoner in the Tower. the nativum culidum or' humidum radicale in
Secondly, To aggravate the manner and one month, two, or three or more, as they list; quality of the murdering, in shewing the base - which they four manner of ways do execute, ness of poisoning above all other kinds of mur- 1. guslu, 2. haustu, 3. odore, 4. contactu. der, declaring the vengeance of God, and his lle finished his charge with serious exhortajustness in punishing oftenders: Ile alledged tions to the jury to do justice in presenting the 9 Gen. 6. Quicunque effuderit humanum truth, notwithstanding the greatness of any that
sanguinem, effundetur sanguis illius; ad ima- upon their evidence should appear to be guilty • ginem Dei
quippe factus est homo.' He also of the same olence : comforting both judges took the example of Uriah by David; he there and jury with the scripture, Psal. 5, v. ultimo, in observed how adultery is most often the be · For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with getter of that sin.
• favour wilt thou compass them as with a shield.' Then he declared, That of all felonies, mur The charge being ended, the jury, consisting der is the inost horrible; of all murders, poi- of 14 persons, did for the space of an hour, desoning the most detestable; and of all poison- part the court into a private room, where they ing, the lingering poisoning.
received their evidence from Mr. Fenshaw, bis He shewed how that by an act of parlia- majesty's Coroner, and his highness's counsel ment, 22 II. 8, cap. 9, it was made treason, prepared and instructed for that purpose, with and that wiltui poisoners should be boiled to the examinations and coniessions as well of the
prisoner himself, as of divers other witnesses, * He had been an apothecary's man, but before that time taken by the lord chief justice was now made under-keeper to the new lieu of England, and others the lords of his majestenant of the Tower, sir Jervis Elwes,
ty's council. † He was son to sir Nicholas Overbury of In the mean time, Mr. William Goare, sheBurton-upon-the-bill in Gloucestershire, edu- riff of London, was commanded to fetci, his cated at Queen's-College in Oxford, and at the prisoner, remaining at bis house, to be ready in Middle-Temple, of which his father was court for his arraigainent. beucher. See a full relation of the manner of So a certain space atter, the Grand Jury rehis death, Bacon's Works, vol. 1. p. 77, 79, turned to the bar, and delivered in their bill of and its discovery, ibid. p. 80.
indictment, signed Billa Vera, Whereupon the I" Franklyn and Weston came into Over-pri her was set up to the bar, and the Indictbury's chamber, and found him in intimite tor. ment read by Mr. Fenshaw, which contained in ment, with contention between the strength of effect as followeth : nature, and the working of the poison, and it That Richard Weston, being about the age being very like nature had gotten the better in of sixty years, not having the fear of God be that contention, by the thrusting out of boils, fore his eyes, but instigated and seduced by the blotches, and blains: they fearing it inight come devil, devised and contrived not only to bring to light upon the judginent of physicians that upon the body of sir Thomas Overbury, knight, foul play bad been oifered him, consented to great sickness and diseases, but also to deprive stide him with the bed-cloaths, which accord- him of his life: and to bring the same to pass, ingly was performers, and so ended his miserable lite, with the assurance of the conspirators but these two murtherers." Weldon's Cours that he died by poison, none thinking otherwise aud Character of king James, 76.
9 Maii 1613, 11 Jacobi, &c. at the Tower of the author of his own death, even as if he should London, in the parish of Alhallows Barking, with a knife or dagger kill or stab himself, exdid obtain and get into his hand certain poisou horting him very earnestly cither with repentof green and yellow colour, called Rosalyar, ance to confess his fault, or else with humility (knowing the same to be deadly poison) and the and duty to submit himself to his ordinary same did maliciously and feloniously mingle and trial. Whercupon be stubbornly answered, compound in a kind of broth poured out into Welcome by the grace of God; and be refera certain dish; and the same broth so infected red himself iv God. And so when no persuaand poisoned, did give and deliver to the said sions could prevail, the lord chief justice plainly sir Thomas Overbury as wholesome and good delivered bis opinion*, That lie was persuaded broth, to the intent therewith to kill and poi that Weston had been dealt withal by some son the said sir Thomas, which broth he took great ones, guilty of the same fact, as accessary, and did eat.
lo stand mute, whereby they might escape their Also the said Weston upon the first of July, punishment: and therefore he commanded (for 11 Jacobi, as aforesaid, did in like manner get satisfaction of the world) that the queen's ale another poison or poisons compounded, called torney there present should declare, and set White Arsenick, and (knowing the same to be forth the whole evidence, without any fear or deadly poison) did give unto the said sir Tho- partiality: and yet notwithstanding, he once mas Overbury, as good and wholesome to eat, inore used much persuasion to the prisoner to who took and did eat.
consider what destruction he brought upon hiinAlso that Weston, upon the said 19th of July self by his contempt; and declaring unto him following, did get another poison called Mer- how his offence of contempt was, in refusing his cury Sublimate, (knowing the same to be mor- trial, and how the laws of the land had provided tal poison) and put and mingled the same in a sharper and more severe punishment to such tarts and jellies, and gave the same unto sir offenders than unto those that were guilty of Thomas Overbury, as good and wholesome to high treason : and so he repeated the form of eat, which he in like manner took and did eat. judgmentt given against such, the extremity and
Also the said Weston, and another man be- rigour whereof was expressed in these words, ing an apothecary, afterwards, upon the 14th of onere, frigore et fume. For the first, he was tó. September, feloniously did get a poison, called receive his punishment by the law, to be erMercury Sublimate, (knowing the same to be tended, and then to have weights laid upon bim, deadly poison) and put the same into a clyster no more than he was able to bear, which were mingle with the said poison : and the said by little and little to be increased. clyster the said apothecary, for the reward of For the second, that he was to be exposed 201. promised unto him, did put and minister in an open place, near to the prison, in the open (as good and wholesome) into the guts of said air, being naked. sir T.; and that Weston was present and aid And lastly, that he was to be preserved with ing to the said apothecary in ministering and the coarsest bread that could be got, and water intising the said clyster; and that immediately out of the next sink or puddle to the place of after, as well the iaking of the said poisoned execution, and that day he had water he should meats, and ministering the said clyster, the said have no bread, and that day he had bread he sir T. did languish, and fell into diseases and should have no water; and in this torment le distempers; and from the aforesaid times of was to linger as long as nature could linger out, taking and eating the said poisoned meats, and so that oftentimes men lived in that extremity ministering the said clyster, he died : and so eight or nine days : adding further, that as life the jury gave their verdict, That Weston in this left him, so judgment should find him. And manner had killed, poisoned, and murdered the therefore he required him, upon consideration said sir T. against the king's peace and dignity. of these reasons, to advise bimself to plead to
Which Indictment being read, he was de- the country, who notwitbstanding absolutely manded if he were guilty of the felony, murder- refused. ing, and poisoning, as aforesaid, yen or no. To which he answered, doubling his speech, 'Lord * The chief justice had intelligence under.
have mercy upon me! Lord have mercy upon hand, that Yelverton, an obliged servant to the - me!' But being again demanded, be answered, house of the Howards, had advised this counsel Not Guilty. And being tben demanded how for Weston, in order to prevent the prosecution he would be tried, he answered, he referred from reaching any farther: Yelverton was at himself to God, and would be tried by God; this time Solicitor-general, but does not appear refusing to put himself and his cause upon the to have had any share in any of the trials for jury or country, according to the law or custom. the murder of sir Thomas Overbury, though the
Hereupon the lord clief justice, and all other Attorney and other counsel of the king had in their order, spent the space of an hour in their parts in them. persuading bim to put himself upon the trial of † Concerning standing mute and the punishthe law; declaring untu hin the danger and ment of penance or peine fort et dure, See 2 mischief be ran into hy resisting his ordinary Hale's P. C. c. 43, but now by st. 12 G. 3, c. 30, course of trial, being the means ordained by standing mute sball have the same judgment God for his deliverance, if he were innocent; and all other, consequences as a conviction by and how by this means he would make himself verdict or confession. VOL. 11.
Ilereupon the lord chief justice willed sir appoint sir T. Overbury embassador for Russia. Lawrence Hyde, the queen's attorney, and The king, willing to prefer sir T. Overbury, as there of counsel for the king, 10 manifest unto one whose worth and valour was not unknown the audience the guiltiness of the said Weston to liis majesty, accordingly adjoined him that by his own contession, signed with his own service; the which sir T. was most willing to hand; and if in the declaration thereof they accept of, as a gracious aspect of the king tomay meet with any great persons whatsoever, warns him; which willingness of his was proved as certainly there were great-ones confederate by the deposition of two or three several wit'in that fact, he should boldly and faithfully open nesses read in court, and by the oath of sir whatsoever was necessary, and he could prove Dudley Diggs, who voluntarily, at the arraigoagainst them. Whereupon Jr. Atorney began ment in open court, upou liis oath, witnessed his accusation :
how sir Thomas had imparted to him his readiFirst, he charged the countess of Somerset ness to be imployed on an embassage. and the earl to be principal movers unto this The earl as well abusing the king's favours, unhappy conclusion, Mrs. Turner to be of the in moving to shew favour where be meant the confecieracy, and the pay-mistress of the pri- party should take no benefit, as bearing soner's reward; in which the Attorney's böld- honest trievdship, in conference with sir Thoness was very observable, in terming the coun mas concerning that imployınent, persuaded tess a dead and rotten branch, which being lopt him to refuse to serve embassador, wberr off, the noble tree, meaning that noble fainily, (quoth he) I shall not be able to perform such would prosper the better.
kiodness to your advantage, as having you with Secondly, he proceeded to the cause, which me: and (quotli he) if you be blamed or comhe affirmed to be the malice of the countess : mitted for it, care not, I will quickly free you and the ground of this malice he alledged, from all harm. Sir Thomas, thus betrayed by and by many inducements he evidently attirmed, a friend, refused to serve in that nature; that sir Thomas Overbury had dissuaded the whereupon he was comınitted to the Tower. viscount Rochester from that adulterate marri Being thus committed, he was presently conage with the countess of Somerset, then coun-mitted close prisoner, and a keeper be must tess of Essex. And for this he alledyed us fol- bave; and who must that be but this Weston, Joweth :
who was commended by the countess of Essex Sir T. Overbury having divers times dissuaded to sir T. Monson, to be by him recommended the earl, then viscount Rochester, from seeking over unto the lieutenant of the Tower, to be by any ineans to procure inarriage with the keeper to sir T. Oserbury. Sir T. Monson, countess of Exsex, to which he saw the earl according to the countess's request, commended too much inclined; and haviug very earnest the said Weston to sir Jervis Elwes; whereconference with the earl one night in private in upon the said lieutenant entertained the said the gallery at White-hall concerning liis in- Weston, and appointed him to keep sir T. tendment, perceiving the earl too much at that Orerbury. The said Weston, upon his own time to desire that unlawful communication; confessjön read in court, signed with his mark, in the ardency of his fervent ailecrion unto the bad during the time that she was countess of earl, and great prescience of the future misery Essex, been a procurer and pandar to the said it would inevitably bring unto him, (liis wel carl, then viscount Rochester, and the countess beloved lord and friend) used speeches to this of Essex, for the conveying and eilecting of effect :
their adulterate desires, which they did divers • Well, my Lord, if you do marry that filthy times consummate, ineeting in Mrs. Turner's base woman, you will utterly ruin your honour house once between the hours of eleven and and yourself ; you shall never do it by my twelve, and at Hammersmith, and at divers advice or consent; and if you do, you liad best times elsen bere, for that purpose; that now, look to stand fast.'
by the procurement of the countess, (who My lord replied, bewitched with the love of hated sir T. Overbury, for being a good means the said countess, moved with sir T. Overbury to keep them from contaminating themselves for so slighting lier, answered, • my own leys with such lustiul embracements, and froin the are straight and strong enough to bear me up; purposed inarriage they mutually laboured to but, in faith, I will be even with you for this .' compass) her pandar was become his keeper, a and so parted from him in a great rage. fit agent for lust and murder.
This conference was over-beard by some in Weston now being becoine sir T. Overbury's an adjoining room, and their depositions for the keeper, kept him so close, that be scarce had truth thereof were read in court.
the comfort of the day's brightless; neither Although this conserence moved the earl to suffered he any one to visit lim, father, brosuch a sudden choler, yet it seemed sir T. Over ther, his best friends, his nearest kindred were bury conceited it no otherwise than a sudden strangers to him from the beginning of his ime extreme distemperature or passion, and not a prisonment unto the end. final conclusion of their bosom-friend as before, Mrs. Turner, upon the first day's keeping, in which the earl seemed reciprocal : howso- | promised to give him a contenting reward, 18 ever, in his double-dealing it seemed to be he should administer such things to sir T. Overclearly otherwise.
bury as should be sent unto him, thinking him For upon this the earl moved the king to a fii instrument to compass black murder, that