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appeared in the Tower. He did not, however, regain his liberty completely, but was still watched and imprisoned, first at his own house, in the custody of Sir H. Neville, and afterwards at various private houses, and was never again restored to the Queen's favour, or summoned either to the Privy Council or to Parliament. Before his delivery from the Tower he made a humble submission to the Queen, dated the 23rd of June, 1570, containing this solemn engagement* :-" I do by this my writing, signed with mine own hand, and sealed with my seal, freely, voluntarily, and absolutely grant, promise, and bind myself by the bond of my allegiance to your Majesty as my sovereign lady, never to offend your Highness in the same, but do utterly renounce and revoke all that which on my part anywise hath passed, with a full intention never to deal in that cause of marriage of the Queen of Scots, nor in any other cause belonging to her, but as your Majesty shall command me. It is quite impossible that he could have been sincere in this declaration, for his correspondence with the Scottish Queen and her agents was going on at the moment that he made it, and he admits on his trial that he sent a copy of his submission to the Bishop of Rosse for the purpose of its being shown to his mistress. Indeed the communication between them appears not to have been suspended for a moment from the time of the first proposal of the marriage till the Duke's second imprisonment in the Tower, upon the discovery of the Rudolphi conspiracy; and during that period Mary took no step in any matter of moment without his advice. This unworthy duplicity was the more inexcusable, as by it he deceived Cecil, who had been his friend and intercessor with Elizabeth from the commencement of his troubles,
* Haynes, p. 598.
and to whose good offices he was mainly indebted for his release from the Tower*.
In February, 1570-1, the plan of an embassy to the Duke of Alva, the Pope, and the King of Spain, was first suggested by the Queen of Scots in a lettert to the Bishop of Rosse, which was communicated by him to the Duke of Norfolk. The person named as proper for this employment was one Rudolphi, a Florentine merchant, resident at London, who acted privately as an agent for the Pope. If the statements of the Bishop of Rosse and Barker are to be credited, the Duke fully acquiesced in the scheme, which was certainly nothing less than a proposal to a foreign power to invade the realm in co-operation with the Catholics of England, and other friends and partisans of the Queen of Scots. In a legal point of view, this was by far the most serious part of the charge against the Duke of Norfolk, and was relied upon principally by the Queen's Counsel at his trial. His connexion with this plot was discovered in the following manner :-In April, 1571, one Charles Baily, a servant of the Scottish Queen, was detained at Dover on passing over from the Netherlands, in consequence of a packet of letters in cypher being found upon him. The Bishop of Rosse managed to
* Cecil was, however, accused of a contrary course of conduct respecting the Duke ; upon which occasion he makes the following characteristic declaration, preserved in the Cotton MSS.:“Whoso saith that I have in any wise, directly or indirectly, hindered or altered the Queen's Majesty's disposition or inclination in the delivery of the Duke of Norfolk out of the Tower, I do affirm, and can and will prove that the same is untrue : and he that so saith, or will say, doth speak an untruth. And if any man will avow and affirn the same to be true against this my assertion, the same doth therein maintain an untruth and a lye. " xii Julii, 1570."
W. CECIL." + See post p. 189.
procure the real packet by an adroit maneuvre from the Constable of Dover Castle, before the Privy Council had seen it, substituting some fictitious letters in its place. Baily was sent to the Tower, and on the torture being applied to him, confessed that the letters were written by himself, at the request and dictation of Rudolphi, whom he had met at Brussels ; that one letter was directed to 40, and another to 30, but that he did not know what persons these numbers denoted; and that there was in the packet a letter for the Bishop of Rosse, desiring him to deliver the other letters to the proper parties. He stated that the letters contained an assurance of the Duke of Alva's approbation of the plan of invading England, and his readiness, if authorized by the King of Spain his Master, to co-operate with the parties denoted by 40 and 30 for that purpose. Every exertion was made ·by the Council to ascertain who these parties were, but without success, though enough was discovered to show that a dangerous treason was in progress. In the following August, one Brown, of Shrewsbury, brought a bag to the Privy Council which he said he had received from Hickford, the Duke of Norfolk's secretary, with directions to forward it to Bannister, the Duke's steward. In this bag was found a letter from Hickford in cypher. The Duke, Hickford, the Bishop of Ross, Bannister, and Barker, the Duke's confidential servant, were immediately arrested *. Hickford, without hesitation, confessed all he knew,
* Bannister, Barker, and Hickford, are spoken of on the trial as the Duke's servants. It must not, however, be supposed that they were menial servants, or persons in a low station. Bannister was a barrister; and Barker and Hickford were gentlemen both by birth and education. It was considered in those times to be a great advantage for young men, even of the best families, to be placed in the service of noblemen, especially of such as were em. ployed in offices of state.
and decyphered the letter* to Bannister found in the bag, which contained directions to deliver the money with all secrecy to one Lowther, who was to forward it to Lord Herries in Scotland for the service of Mary's partisans there. Bannister and Barker, after the former had been placed on the rack, and the latter threatened with it, discovered the whole conspiracy with the Duke of Alva, as well as the scheme of sending money into Scotland, declaring that the numbers 40 and 30, mentioned in Rudolphi's letters, denoted the Duke of Norfolk and the Lord Lumley. The Bishop of Rosse, after ineffectually pleading that he was privileged as an ambassador of the Queen of Scots from answering questions, perceiving that all was already known, made a full declaration, and his depositions agreed in substance with those of the other prisoners. The Duke, on his first examination, denied every thing “ with such confidence and detestations,” said Sir Thomas Smith and Dr. Wilson t, who examined him, " that he did astonish us all, and we knew not how we should judge of him.” On the 7th of September he was again committed to the Tower, and shortly afterwards the Council showed him the Confession of Barker, and the letters of the Queen of Scots and the Bishop of Rosse; upon seeing which he exclaimed, “ I am betrayed and undone by my confidence in others; I now see that distrust is the soul of wisdom.” On the same day he was examined upon long list of upwards of fifty interrogatories, but the purport of the disclosures then made by him is unknown, as the Examination cannot be found.
From the discoveries which had been made, abundant matter for a charge of high treason against the Duke was collected, and on the 16th of January fol
* See the letter itself, post p. 225.
+ Murdin, p. 69.
lowing he was tried and found guilty by his Peers. The mode of conducting the proceeding, and the nature and value of the evidence produced against the Duke, we shall notice particularly in our remarks at the close of the trial. He appears to have always admitted the justice of his condemnation, though he steadily denied all intention of using force against the Government, or violence to the Queen's person. In a letter* to his children, written after his trial, he says, with reference to the evidence against him, " Surely Bannister dealt no way but honestly and truly; Hickford did not hurt me, in my conscience, willingly; nor did not charge me in any great matter that was of weight otherwise than truly; but the Bishop of Rosse, and especially Barker, did falsely accuse me, and laid their own treasons upon my back.” Shortly after his condemnation, being pressed by the Queen to declare his accomplices in this treason, he assures her that he “knew no more than that he had been charged with, nor much of that; but that although of his own knowledge he knew no more than he had particularly confessed, if he had been before his conviction, when he would have been believed, brought face to face with the shameless Scot and Italianified Englishman (alluding to Rosse and Barker), something might have bolted out which remained undiscovered, and which would have shown that he was not such a traitor as he had been suspected to be.
God knows (he said) whether this snare was laid for me upon further
practice than yet appears, and God knows whether, when they found I was not fit for their traitorous intents, they thought me an obstacle to some new-forged practices f."
Immediately after the trial he was formally degraded from the order of the Garter hy the Queen's command ; but Elizabeth showed great reluctance to * Harl. MSS., No. 787,
+ Murdin, p. 170.