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above two years before (whereof copies were lately dispersed by his followers), these short abrupt sentences: "No tempest is more furious than the indignation of an impotent prince; the Queen's heart is hardened. Cannot princes err? Can they not wrong their subjects? What I owe as a subject I know well, and what as earl marshal of England." From hence they argued, as if he esteemed the Queen for an impotent princess, and voyd of reason; compared her to Pharaoh, whose heart was hardened, that she cared no longer for truth and justice; and as if he besides his fidelity, ought neither obedience nor thankfulness. Some points also of lesser moment they objected unto him out of a book of the deposing of Richard the Second, dedicated unto him. He kneeling at the table, upon one knee, thanked Almighty God for all his benefits, and his most gracious princess, which would not have his cause to be heard publickly in the Star Chamber, but commanded that cup to pass (for these were his words), and him to be censured within a private house. He professed therefore that he would not contest with her, nor in the whole, or in part, excuse the errors of his young inconsiderate years, and of his weakness. He protested that he had most sincerely kept his allegiance, and had not had so much as a thought not to obey, and that he would ever be obedient. Briefly, that in all things his meaning was good, howsoever it fell out otherwise, and that now he would bid the world farewell. And withal he shed plenty of tears; the standers by also wept with him for joy, out of the great hope they had of him. Yet could he not contain himself, but begun to make excuse, that he had made Southampton general of the horse out of a credulous error that the Queen would admit the reasons which he yielded; but they being rejected, he presently displaced him. That he had bestowed the dignity of knighthood upon many, that he might retain the gentlemen volunteers about him. That he had undertaken the war in Munster, by the inconsiderate advice of the councel of Ireland. That Ormond, the principal of them, rued the same, by the loss of his sight, and Sir Warham St. Leger, by a cruel death. As he was going forward, the Lord Keeper stayed him, and put him in mind to go forward as he had first begun, and to fly to the Queen's mercy, who would not have him charged with perfidiousness, but with contempt and disobedience; and not to pretend obedience in words which in deeds he had little performed. For by extenuating his offences he might seem to extenuate the Queen's clemency. That it was absurd to shadow open disobedience with the will to obey. What every one said it is needless to repeat, seeing they were in a manner the same which were either before spoken, or after to be spoken, in the Star Chamber. In conclusion, the Lord Keeper pronounced that he should be removed from the place of a counsellor, suspended from his offices of earl marshal and master of the ordnance, and detained in custody during the Queen's pleasure. These censures the rest approved by their voices, and many conceived good hope that he should ere long be received again into favor; forasmuch as the Queen had expressly commanded that he should not be suspended from his mastership of the horse (as if she would use his service again), and that this censure should by no means remain upon record.
Morrison's Account of the Trial.
Give me leave to digresse a little, to one of the fatall periods of Robert, the noble Earle of Essex his tragedy (and the last but one, which was his death), whereof the following relation was sent into Ireland. The fifth of June there assembled at Yorke-house in London, about the hearing of my Lord of Essex his cause, eighteene commissioners, viz. my Lord of Canterburie, Lord Keeper, Lord Treasurer, Lord Admirall, Lords of Worcester, Shrewsbury, Cumberland, Huntington, Darby, and Zouch, Mast. Comptroller, Master Secretarie, Sir Thon Fortescu, Lord Popham, Chiefe Justice, Lord Anderson, Chiefe Justice of the Common Pleas, Lord Perian, Chiefe Baron of the Exchequer, Justices Gandy and Walmesley. They sate from eight of the clock in the morning, till very neere nine at night, all at a long table in chaires. At the earles comming in none of the commissioners stirred cap, or gave any signe of curtesie. He kneeled at the vpper end of the table, and a good while without a cushion. At length my Lord of Canterbury moved my Lord Treasurer, and they jointly my
Lord Keeper and Lord Admirall, that sat over against them, then was he permitted a cushion, yet still was suffered to kneele, till the Queen's serjeants speech was ended, when by the consent of the lords, he was permitted to stand vp, and after, vpon my lord of Canterburies motion, to have a stoole.
The manner of proceeding was this. My Lord Keeper first delivered the cause of the assembly, and then willed the Queenes counsaile at law, viz. Sergeant, Attorney, Solicitor, and Master Bacon, to informe against him. The Sergeant began, and his speech was not long, onely a preface as it were to the accusations. The summe of it was, to declare the Queene's princely care and provision for the warres of Ireland, and also her gratious dealing with the earle before he went, in discharging ten thousand pound of his debts, and giving him almost so much more, to buy him horses, and provide himself, and especially in her proceedings in this cause, when, as after so great occasion of offence as the consumption of a royall army, fruitlesse wasting thirty hundred thousand li. treasure, contempt, and disobedience to her expresse commandement, she notwithstanding was content to be so mercifull towards him, as not to proceede against him in any of her courts of justice, but only in this priuate sort, by way of mercy and favour. After him the Attorney began, whose speech contained the body and substance of the accusation, it was very sharp and stinging; for besides the many faults of contempt and disobedience wherewith hee charged him, he did also shrewdly inferre a dangerous disposition and purpose, which was by many rhetoricall amplifications, aggravated to the full; he divided his speech into three parts, Quomodo ingressus, quomodo progressus, quomodo regressus; in the ingresse, hee observed how large a commission he stood upon, such a one as never any man had the like before, namely, that he might haue authoritie to pardon all traytors of himselfe, yea, to pardon treason committed against her maiesties owne person, and that he might mannage the warres by himself, without being tied to the advice of the counsell of Ireland, which clause hee said was granted, that he might at first proceede in the northerne iourney, which the counsell of Ireland (whose lands and livings lay in the south), might perhaps hinder, and labor to divert him, to the safeguard of themselves. In the other two parts of his speech were contained five speciall crimes, wherewith the earle was charged, viz. His making the Earle of Southampton generall of the horse. 2. His going to Leinster and Mounster, when he should have gone to Vister. 3. His making so many knights. 4. His conference with Tyrone. 5. His returne out of Ireland, contrary to her majesties command. These all saving the fourth, were recited by the lords in their censures, as the crimes for which he was censured by them. The first was amplified, for that he did it contrary to her majesties mind, plainely signified unto him in England, that hee increased that offence, by continuing him in that office stil, when her majesty by letters had expressely commanded him to displace him; and thirdly, for that he wrote a very bold presumptuous letter to her majesty, in excuse of that offence, which letter was afterwards read. The second point of his southerne journy was agravated, in that it was made contrary to her majesties advised resolution, agreed upon by her counsel, and approved by her martial men, as the only means to reduce Ireland, and contrary to the earles own project, yea, and that without the advice of the counsel of Ireland also, as appeared by a letter of theirs under their hands, though now the earle pretended their advice for his own excuse, whereupon followed the harrowing out, and the weakning of the royallest army that ever went out of England, the wasting of that huge expence, and the overthrow of the whole action. The third point, viz. the making of knights, was urged to have beene contrary to her maiesties expresse commandement, a question being once made whether he should have that authoritie or no, because he had abused it before; yet the same being at the last granted, with this limitation given him in charge, that he should make but few, and those men of good ability, whereas he made to the number of threscore, and those some of his meniall servants, yea, and that in a most unseasonable time, when things were at the worst, which should have been done upon victorie and triumph onely. The fourth point, namely, his conference with the rebell, was agravated, in that it was an equall and secret conference,
dishonourable to her majestie, for him that sustained her royall person, to conferre in equall sort with the basest and vilest traytor that ever lived, a bush kerne, and base sonne of a blacksmith; suspicious also, in that it was private and secret, no man suffered to approach, but especially no Englishman; the end of the conference most shamefull, that the wretched traytor should prescribe conditions to his soveraigne: abominable and odious conditions, a publike tolleration of idolatrous religion, pardon for himselfe, and all the traytors in Ireland, and full restitution of lands and possessions to all the sort of them. It was added, that before this parley, a messenger went secretly from the earles campe to the traytor, viz. Captaine Thomas Leigh, if not sent by the earle, at least by his connivency, at least by the connivencie of the marshall, whom the earle did not punish. Lastly, the fifth point was urged to be intollerably presumptuous, contrary to her maiesties expresse commandement in writing, under the seale of her privy signet, charging him upon his dutie not to return until he heard further from her; that this his returne was also exceeding dangerous, in that he left the army divided unto two divers men, the Earle of Ormond and the Lord Chancellor, men whom himselfe had excepted against, as unfit for such a trust, and that he so left this army, as that if God his providence had not been the greater, the ruine and losse of the whole kingdome had ensued thereupon. This was the summe of the accusation, every part interlaced with most sharpe and bitter rhetoricall amplifications, which I touch not, nor am fit to write, but the conclusion was (whereby a taste of the same may be had) that the ingresse was proud and ambitious, the progresse disobedient and contemptuous, the regresse notorious and dangerous. Among other things, the Lady Rich her letter to the Queene was pressed with very bitter and hard termes: my Lady Rich her letter he termed an insolent, saucy, malipert action. He proposed also in the end a president for the earles punishment (saying, he was faine to seeke farre for one gentle enough): one William of Britten, Earle of Richmond, who refusing to come home out of France upon the king's letter, was adjudged to loose all his goods, lands, and chattels, and to indure perpetuall imprisonment. Master Attorney particularly said the following words, whereas the earle in his letter exclameth O tempora, O mores! (for so I thinke he construed these words of his, O hard destiny of mine, that I cannot serve the Queene and please her too.) Let me also say with the orator concerning him; Hæc regina intelligit, hæc senatus videt, hic tamen vivit. In the end of his speech, Now (saith he) nothing remaineth but that wee inquire quo animo; all this was done. Before my lord went into Ireland, he vaunted and boasted that hee would fight with none but the traytor himselfe, he would pull him by the eares out of his den, hee would make the earle tremble under him, &c. But when he came thither, then no such matter, hee goes another way; it appeareth plainely he meant nothing lesse than to fight with Tyrone. This was the effect of Master Attorney's part. Master Solliciter his speech followed, which contained the unhappy successe, which ensued in Ireland after the earles departure, whereby appeared how little good the earle had done, in that the traitor was growne much more confident, more insolent, and stronger than ever he was before, as appeared principally by his declaration, which he hath given out since the earles departure, vaunting that he is the upholder of the Catholike faith and religion; that whereas it was given out by some that he would follow the Earle of Essex into England, hee would perhaps shortly appeare in England, little to Englands good many things he added to that purpose.
After him Sir Francis Bacon concluded the accusation with a very eloquent speech. First, by way of preface, signifying, that he hoped both the earle himselfe, and all that heard him, would consider that the particular bond of duty, which he then did and ever would acknowledge to owe unto the earle, was now to be sequestred, and laied aside. Then did he notably extoll her maiesties singular grace and mercy, whereof he said the earle was a singular work, in that upon his humble sute, shee was content not to prosecute him in her court of justice, the Starre-chamber, but according to his owne earnest desire, to remove that cup from him (those, he said, were the earles own words in his letter), and now to suffer his cause to be heard, Inter privatos parietes, by way of mercy and
favour onely, where no manner of disloyalty was laide to his charge, for (quoth he) if that had beene the question, this had not beene the place. Afterwards passing along most eloquently through the earles iourney into Ireland, hee came to charge him with two points not spoken of before. The first was a letter written by the earle unto my Lord Keeper, very boldly and presumptuously, in derogation to her maiesty, which letter he also said was published by the earles own friends. The points of the letter which he stood upon were these; No tempest to the passionate indignation of a prince; as if her maiesty were devoid of reason, carried away with passion (the onely thing that ioineth man and beast together): her maiesties heart is obdurate, he would not say that the earle meant to compare her absolutely to Pharaoh, but in this particular onely, which must needs be very odious. Cannot princes erre ? cannot subjects suffer wrong? as if her maiesty had lost her vertues of judgement, justice, &c. Farre be it from me (quoth he) to attribute divine properties to mortal princes, yet this I must truly say, that by the common law of England, a prince can doe no wrong. The last point of that letter was a distinction of the duty a subject oweth to his prince, that the duty of allegiance is the onely indissolueble duty, what then (quoth he) is the duty of gratitude? what the duty of obedience, &c. The second point of Master Bacon's accusation was, that a certaine dangerous seditious pamphlet was of late put forth into print, concerning the first yeeres of the raigne of Henry the Fourth, but indeed the end of Richard the Second, and who thought fit to be patron of that booke, but my lord of Essex, who after the booke had beene out a weeke, wrote a cold formall letter to my lord of Canterbury, to call it in againe, knowing belike that forbidden things are most sought after this was the effect of his speech. The speciall points of the whole accusation were afterwards proved by the earles owne letters, by some of her maiesties letters, and the counsels, and by the letter of the Earle of Ormond and others of the counsell of Ireland, openly red by the clerke of the counsell.
The accusation ended, the earle kneeling, beganne to speake for himselfe, in effect thus much: That ever since it pleased her gracious maiestie to remove that cup from him (which he acknowledged to have been at his humble sute), and to change the course of proceeding against him, which was intended in the Starre-chamber; he laied aside all thought of justifying himselfe in any of his actions, and that therefore he had now resolved with himselfe neɣer to make any contestation with his soveraigne: that he had made a divorce betwixt himselfe and the world, if God and his soveraigne would give him leave to hold it; that the inward sorrow and afflictions which he had laied upon his soule privately, betwixt God and his conscience, for the great offence against her majesty, was more then any outward crosse or affliction that could possibly befall him. That he would never excuse himselfe, neither a toto nor a tanto, from whatsoever crimes of errour, negligence, or inconsiderate rashnes, which his youth, folly, or manifold infirmities might leade him into, onely he must ever professe a loyall faithfull unspotted heart, unfained affection and desire, ever to doe her majesty the best service he could, which rather than he would lose, he would, if christianity and charity did permit, first teare his heart out of his breast with his owne hands. But this alwaies preserved untouched, he was most willing to confesse and acknowledge whatsoever errours and faults it pleased her maiesty to impute vnto him. The first part of his speech drew plenty of teares from the eyes of many of the hearers; for it was uttered with great passion, and the words excellently ordered, and it might plainely appeare that he had intended to speake no more for himselfe. But being touched (as it seemed) with the oversharpe speeches of his accusers, he humbly craved of their lordships, that whereas he had perceived many rhetoricall inferences and insinuations given out by his accusers, which might argue a disloyall, malicious, wicked, and corrupt affection in him, they would give him leave, not in any sort to excuse himself, but only by way of explanation, to lay downe unto them those false guides which had deceived him, and led him into all his errours, and so he entered into a kind of answering Master Atturnies speech, from point to point in order, alleaging, for the point of his large commission for pardoning treason against her maiesties person, that it was a thing he had learned of Master
Attourney himselfe, onely to meete with the rebels curiosity, which had ar opinion, that all treason in Ireland might be interpreted treason against he maiesties person, and therefore would trust no pardon without that clause That in making the Earle of Southampton generall of the horse, the deceive able guide which misled him, was an opinion that her majesty might have been satisfied with those reasons which moved him, as also with those reasons which he had alleaged in his letters, for continuance of him in the place, but that after he perceived her maiesties mind plainely in her second letter, he displaced him the next day. For his journey into Mounster, hee alleaged divers things, principally that the time of the yeere would not serve for an Vlster journey, and then the advice of the counsel there, which he protested to alleage not to excuse himselfe, but rather to accuse his owne errours, and the errours of the counsellors in Ireland: and whereas some of them to excuse themselves, and charge him the deeper, had now written the contrary to the counsell he protested deepely that therein they had dealt most falsely, and it seemeth (saith he) that God his just revenge hath overtaken two of them already, the Earle of Ormond by blindnesse, and Sir William St. Leger, by violent death. For his making of knights, he alleaged the necessity and straights he was driven unto, that being the onely way he had to retaine the voluntaries, the strength and pride of the army; that he made but two of his servants, and those men of speciall desert and good ability that he thought his service ought not to be any barre against them, for the receiving the reward of their deserts. But before he had thus waded through halfe his answer, my Lord Keeper interrupted him, and told him, that this was not the course that was like to doe him good; that be beganne very well in submitting himselfe unto her maiesties mercy and pardon, which he, with the rest of the lords, were glad to heare; and no doubt but her princely and gracious nature was by that way most like to be inclined to him: that all extenuating of his offence was but the extenuating of her maiesties mercy in pardoning: that he, with all the rest of the lords, would cleere him of all suspition of disloyalty; and therefore he might doe well to spare the rest of his speech, and save time, and commit himselfe to her maiesties mercy. And when the earle replied, that it might appeare by that hedge which he diligently put to all his answers, that he spake nothing but only to cleere himselfe from a malicious corrupt affection. My Lord Keeper told him againe, that if thereby he meant the crime of disloyalty, it was that which he needed not to feare; he was not charged with it, as the place and course taken against him might warrant; all that was now laied unto him was contempt and disobedience. And if he intended to persuade them, that he had disobeyed indeed, but not with a purpose of disobeying, that were frivolous and absurd. Then my Lord Treasurer beganne to speake, and cleering the earle from suspition of disloyalty, did very soundly controll diuers of his other excuses. After him Master Secretary, making a preface why he spake before his turne, by reason of his place, tooke the matter in hand, and first notably cleering the earle from all suspition of disloyalty, which he protested he did from his conscience, and afterwards often iterated the same, and preserved it unto him entire, he spake singularly for the justifying of her majesty's special care and wisdom for the warres in Ireland, in providing whatsoever could be demanded by the earle for that service before his going out; with supplying him afterwards with whatsoever hee could aske, so it were possible to bee given him : in prescribing that course, which had it beene followed, was the onely way to have reduced that realme, and which being forsaken, was the onely ruine and losse of that royall army. And as for all those excuses which the earle alleaged for himselfe, hee cleerely cut them off, shewing that his excuse of following the counsell of Irelands advice, was nothing, his commission being so large, that he was not bound to follow them; and if he had beene, yet were they a counsell at his command; he might force them to say what he list: his own letters which he alleaged, might be provisionary, written of purpose then to excuse him now. To be short, he greatly justified her maiesties wisdome, in managing that whole action, as much as lay in her, and laid the whole fault of the bad successe in Ireland upon the earles ominous iourney (so he called it) into Mounster. And thus, in the be