« VorigeDoorgaan »
consent to his execution. Warrants were repeatedly signed by her, and as often revoked. To all the remonstrances made by Cecil and her Council, she suggested his near relationship to herself, his former intimacy with her, and his numerous good qualities; and it was not until four months afterwards, when warmly urged by the Parliament, and at length, perhaps, convinced by the frequent and formidable designs made to rescue him from the Tower and to liberate the Scottish Queen, that his life was inconsistent with the security of her own government, that she suffered the execution of his sentence to proceed. The following account of what passed at his execution is taken from Camden, who was present on the occasion.
“On the 2nd of June , at eight o'clock in the morning, the Duke was brought to a scaffold erected upon Tower. Hill; whereon when he was mounted, Alexander Nowel, Dean of St. Paul's, who was there as his ghostly comforter, desired the multitude that stood round to keep silence; after which the Duke said, “T'is no new thing for men to suffer death in this place; though, since the beginning of our most gracious Queen's reign, I am the first, and God grant I may be the last. I acknowledge my Peers have justly sentenced me worthy of death ; nor have I any design to excuse myself. I freely confess that I treated with the Queen of Scots in things of great moment, without my sovereign's knowledge, which I ought not to have done; whereupon I was cast into the Tower. But I was afterwards set at liberty, having made an humble submission, and promised upon honour to have nothing more to do with her; yet I confess I acted contrary, and this in truth disturbs my conscience. But I neither promised nor sware it at the Lord's table, as is commonly reported. I once conferred with Rudolphi, but not
to the Queen's prejudice. For there are several which know I had to do with him about money-matters, upon bills and bonds. I found him to be one who envied the peace of England, and forward to contrive any villainy. Two letters from the Pope I saw, but by no means approved of them, nor of the rebellion in the North. I have never been Popishly inclined ever since I had any taste of religion ; but was always averse to the Popish doctrine, embracing the true religion of Jesus Christ, and putting my whole trust in the blood of Christ, my blessed Redeemer and Saviour. Yet I must own that some of my servants and acquaintance were addicted to the Romish religion. If in this I have offended either God, the Church, or the Protestants, I pray God and them to forgive me.'
Then, after the reading a psalm or two, he said with a loud voice, ‘Lord Jesus, into thy hands I commend my spirit.' After this, he embraced Sir Henry Leigh, and whispered something to him; and Dean Nowel, turning to the people, said, "The Duke desires you would all of you pray to God to have mercy on him, and withal keep silence, that his mind may not be disturbed.' The executioner asked him forgiveness, and had it granted. One offering him a handkerchief to cover his eyes, he refused it, saying, “I am not in the least afraid of death. Then falling on his knees, he lay prostrate with his mind fixed upon God, and Dean Nowel prayed with him. Presently after, he stretched his neck upon the block, and his head was immediately cut off at one blow, and showed by the executioner to the sorrowful and weeping multitude.
“ It is incredible how dearly the people loved him ; whose good-will he had gained by a munificence and extraordinary affability suitable to so great a prince. The wiser sort of men were variously affected: some
were terrified at the greatness of the danger, which, during his life, seemed to threaten the state from him and his faction. Others were moved with pity towards him, as one very nobly descended, of an extraordinary good-nature, comely personage, and manly presence; who might have been both a support and ornament to his country, had not the crafty wiles of the envious, and his own false hopes, led on with a show of doing the public service, diverted him from his first course of life. They called likewise to mind the untimely end of his father, a man of extraordinary learning, and famous in war, who was beheaded in the same place five and twenty years before."
The Trial* of Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, in the
Court of the Lord High Steward of England, for
High Treason.-Jan. 16th, A.D. 1571-2. The Duke was brought early in the morning to the Three Cranes by land, as the tide would not allow the passage on the water through the bridge; and he was
* The report of this trial, as published in the Collections of Hargrave and Howell, is extremely imperfect in many respects; in consequence of the omission of the most material examinations, and several letters and papers, many parts of it are wholly unintelligible. In the following account of the trial, most of these documents are supplied from various published collections of State Papers, and from manuscripts in the British Museum ; and the statement of the charges against the prisoner by the counsel for the prosecution has been compared with some manuscript notes preserved in the Harleian Collection, which appear to have been written previously to the trial by one of the counsel (probably Serjeant Barham), for the purpose of arranging his own thoughts, and enabling him to apply the evidence to the indictment so as to be clearly understood by the peers. We have also added from Camden, wbo was present, and from several authentic sources hitherto unpublished, such circumstances relating to the proceeding as appeared likely to add to its interest. The increased length of the trial will be compensated by exhibiting for the first time a
thence conveyed up the river by the Lieutenant of the Tower, and Sir Peter Carew. He was then conveyed to the Lord Treasurer's chamber, where he remained till he was brought to the bar.
In Westminster Hall a large scaffold was prepared, about a foot distant from the Chancery Court; and to the same scaffold a long passage, about six feet broad, and high built all the way as far as to the Common Pleas bar. In the middle, on the south side of the scaffold, was erected a chair, somewhat higher than the rest, with a cloth of state; whereupon was seated the Lord High Steward of England, who, for that day, was George Earl of Shrewsbury. On both sides of the Lord High Steward sat the Lords who were appointed to be his triers, namely: Reginald Grey, Earl of Kent; Thomas Ratcliff, Earl of Sussex; Henry Hastings, Earl of Huntingdon; Francis Russel, Earl of Bedford ; Henry Herbert, Earl of Pembroke ; Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford; Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick; Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester; Walter D'Evereux, Viscount Hereford ; Edward Lord Clinton, Lord-Admiral; William Lord Howard, of Effingham, Lord-Chamberlain; William Cecil, Lord Burleigh *; Arthur Lord Grey of Wilton; James Blount, Lord Mountjoy; William Lord Sands ; Thomas Lord Wentworth; William Lord Burroughs; Lewis Lord Mordant;
John Powlett Lord Saint John of Basing ; Robert Lord Rich; Roger Lord North; Edmund Bruges Lord Chandois ; Oliver Lord Saint John of Bletsho; Thomas Sackville Lord Buckhurst; William West Lord de la Ware.
On a lower form, at the Lords' feet, sat the Judges, viz. : on the right hand Sir Robert Catlinet, Lord Chief Justice of England; Sir James Dyer, Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas; and Sir Edward Saunders, Lord complete and accurate picture of by far the most important state trial in the reign of Elizabeth, originated by the greatest statesmen, and conducted by the most eminent lawyers of those days with unusual care and deliberation.
In one of the manuscript reports of this trial, Lord Burleigh is said io have taken bis rank at the head of the Peers of his own degree of nobility, by virtue of his office of principal Secretary.
+ Sir Robert Catline, who succeeded Sir Edward Saunders as Lord Chief Justice, when the latter was removed to the Exchequer
Chief Baron of the Exchequer. On the left hand of the Lord High Steward, the rest of the Judges sat according to their order of seniority.
At the feet of the Lord High Steward, directly before him, in a hollow place cut in the scaffold for that purpose, sat the Clerk of the Crown, with his secondary. Next beneath the Judges, in the same row, sat at the right hand; viz.: on the east side, Sir Francis Knowles, with three of the Queen's household; and Sir Walter Mildmay, Chancellor of the Exchequer; with several others of the Queen's Privy Council. On the left side, on the west part of the scaffold, in the same degree, sat next the Judges, Dr. Wilson, Master of the Requests, :. and several other persons of note.
On the north part of the scaffold, directly before the bar, where the Prisoner came, sat Mr. Nicholas Barham*, in 1559, belonged to a family of consequence in the county of Norfolk. His only child was a daughter, who married Sir John Spencer, from whom have descended the noble families of Spencer, Sunderland, and Marl ugh. Sir James Dyer and Sir Edward Saunders have already been mentioned in Throckmorton's trial,-ante p. 66.
* A short account of some of these legal characters may not be unacceptable to the reader ; and it is curious to observe how many of the lawyers of those times were the ancestors of the nobility of the present day. Serjeant Barham was a native of Wadhurst in Kent, and was a very eminent lawyer. He died of the extraordinary gaol fever at the assizes at Oxford, in 1577, particularly described by Camden, and mentioned by most historians.-Gerard, the AttorneyGeneral, was afterwards Master of the Rolls; his son was created by James I. Lord Gerard of Gerard's Bromley:-The SolicitorGeneral, Bromley, had been Recorder of London, and in 1578 was appointed Lord-Chancellor; he belonged to the same family as Chief-Justice Bromley, one of the Judges on Throckmorton's Trial, and was the ancestor of the Lords Montfort.-Wilbraham was a lawyer of great talents ; he had been Recorder of London, and died in 1573. His brother, Richard Wilbraham, of Nantwich in Cheshire, was a lineal ancestor of the present Lord Skelmers. dale.--Fleetwood was the natural son of a member of a very ancient family of that name, who came from Lancashire, and settled in the county of Stafford early in the sixteenth century. He was made Recorder of London in 1570, and continued to hold that office till his death in 1594. He was educated at Oxford, and is mentioned in Wood's Athenæ Oxonienses as “a learned man, and a 'good antiquary, but of a marvellous merry and pleasant conceit.”