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The lords or
council of Ireland to the
and important affairs to digest at Dublin, will yet “We cannot deny but we did ground engage yourself personally into Ophalie, being our our counsels upon this foundation. the council to lieutenant, when you have there so many inferiors That there should have been a prose- the council able, might victual a fort, or seek revenge against cution of the capital rebels in the north, of Ireland,
10th August. those who have lately prospered against our forces. whereby the war might have been And when we call to mind how far the sun hath shortened ; which resolution, as it was advised by run his course, and what dependeth upon the timely yourself before your going, and assented to by most plantation of garrisons in the north, and how great part of the council of war that were called to the scandal it would be to our honour to leave that question, so must we confess to your lordship, that proud rebel unassayed, when we have with so great we have all this while concurred with her Majesty an expectation of our enemies engaged ourselves so in the same desire and expectation.” far in the action; so that, without that be done, all My lord of Essex, and the council of Ireland, in those former courses will prove like via navis in their letter of the 5th of May to the lords of the mari ; besides that our power, which hitherto hath council before the Munster journey, write in hæc been dreaded by potent enemies, will now even be verba. held contemptible amongst our rebels; we must “ Moreover in your lordships' great My lord or plainly charge you, according to the duty you owe wisdom, you will likewise judge what Essex and the to us, so to unite soundness of judgment to the zeal pride the rebels will grow to, what you have to do us service, as with all speed to pass advantage the foreign enemy may take, lords, 5th
May. thither in such sort, as the axe might be put to the and what loss her Majesty shall receive, root of that tree, which hath been the treasonable if this summer the arch-traitor be not assailed, stock from whom so many poisoned plants and grafts and garrisons planted upon him.” have been derived; by which proceedings of yours, My lord of Essex, in his particular letter of the we may neither have cause to repent of our employ- 11th of July, to the lords of the council, after ment of yourself for omitting those opportunities to Munster journey, writeth thus : shorten the wars, nor receive in the eye of the world
“ As fast as I can call these troops The earl to imputation of so much weakness in ourself, to together, I will go look upon yonder the lords,
11th July begin a work without better foresight what would proud rebel, and if I find him on hard be the end of our excessive charge, the adventure ground, and in an open country, though I should of our people's lives, and the holding up of our find him in horse and foot three for one, yet will I own greatness against a wretch, whom we have by God's grace dislodge him, or put the council to raised from the dust, and who could never prosper, the trouble of,” &c. if the charges we have been put to were orderly The earl of Essex, in his letter of the 14th of employed.”
August to the lords of the council, writeth out of Her Majesty in her particular letter great affection, as it seemeth, in these words : Her Majesty to my lord of written to my lord the 30th of July, “Yet must these rebels be assailed
bindeth still expressly upon the north in the height of their pride, and our the lords, July.
14th August ern prosecution, my lord ad principalia base clowns must be taught to fight rerum, in these words :
again; else will her Majesty's honour never be re“First, you know right well when we yielded to covered, nor our nation valued, nor this kingdom this excessive charge, it was upon no other found-reduced.” ation than to which yourself did ever advise us as Besides it was noted, that whereas my lord and much as any, which was, to assail the northern the council of Ireland had, by theirs of the 15th traitor, and to plant garrisons in his country ; it of July, desired an increase of 2000 Irish purposely being ever your firm opinion, amongst other our for the better setting on foot of the northern service; council, to conclude that all that was done in other her Majesty, notwithstanding her proportions, by kind in Ireland, was but waste and consumption." often gradations and risings, had been raised to the
Her Majesty in her letter of the 9th of August to highest elevation, yet was pleased to yield unto it. my lord of Essex and the council of Ireland, when, 1. The first part concerneth my lord's ingress after Munster journey, they began in a new time to into his charge, and that which passed here before dissuade the northern journey in her excellent ear, his going hence ; now followeth an order, both of quickly finding a discord of men from themselves, time and matter, what was done after my lord was chargeth them in these words.
gone into Ireland, and had taken upon him the Her Majesty
“Observe well what we have already government by her Majesty's commission. to my lord written, and apply your counsels to 2. The second part then of the first That my and the council of
that which may shorten, and not pro- article was to show, that my lord did lord di wil. Ireland, 9th long the war; seeing never any of you wilfully and contemptuously, in this contemptu. August.
ously violate was of other opinion, than that all great point of estate, violate and in her Majesty's other courses were but consumptions, except we fringe her Majesty's direction before direction
touching went on with the northern prosecution."
the north The lords of her Majesty's council, in their letter In delivering of the evidence and prosecution. of the 10th of August to my lord of Essex and the proofs of this part, it was laid down for a foundation, council of Ireland, do in plain terms lay before them that there was a full performance on her Majesty's the first plot, in thesc words:
part of all the points agreed upon for this great
The earl to
prosecution, so as there was no impediment or cause the estate of the affairs themselves, against the proof interruption from hence.
secution upon Tyrone, but only culpable impediments This is proved by a letter from my lord of Essex raised by the journey of Munster. and the council of Ireland to the lords of the council This appeared by a letter from my here, dated 9th May, which was some three weeks lord and the council of Ireland to the The earl of after my lord had received the sword, by which time lords of the council here, dated the 28th the council he might well and thoroughly inform himself of April, whereby they advertise, that the lords of whether promise were kept in all things or no, and the prosecution of Ulster, in regard of the council, the words of the letter are these :
lack of grass and forage, and the poor“ As your lordships do very truly set ness of cattle at that time of year, and such like diffiThe earl of Essex and
forth, we do very humbly acknowledge culties of the season, and not of the matter, will in the council her Majesty's chargeable magnificence better time, and with better commodity for the army, of Ireland to the lords of and royal preparations and transport- be fully executed about the middle of June or beginthe council,
ations 9th May.
of men, munition, apparel, ning of July ; and signify, that the earl intended a
money, and victuals, for the recovery present prosecution should be set on foot in Lemof this distressed kingdom ;” where note, the trans ster ; to which letters the lords make answer by portations acknowledged as well as the preparations. theirs of the 8th of May, signifying her Majesty's
Next, it was set down for a second ground, that toleration of the delay. there was no natural nor accidental impediment in
PRACTICES AND TREASONS
ATTEMPTED AND COMMITTED BY
ROBERT LATE EARL OF ESSEX AND HIS COMPLICES,
AGAINST HER MAJESTY AND HER KINGDOMS;
AND OF THE PROCEEDINGS AS WELL AT THE ARRAIGNMENTS AND CONVICTIONS OF THE SAID LATE BARL, AND
EVIDENCES THEMSELVES, WORD FOR WORD, TAKEN OUT OF THE ORIGINALS.
IMPRINTED ANNO 1601.*
Though public justice passed upon capital offend- | lections and relations of the proceedings at the ers, according to the laws, and in course of an ho arraignment of the late earls of Essex and Southnourable and ordinary trial, where the case would ampton ; and, again, because it is requisite that the have borne and required the severity of martial law world do understand as well the precedent practices to have been speedily used, do in itself carry a suf- and inducements to the treasons, as the open and ficient satisfaction towards all men, specially in a actual treasons themselves, though in a case of life it merciful government, such as her Majesty's is ap- was not thought convenient to insist at the trial upon proved to be: yet because there do pass abroad in matter of inference or presumption, but chiefly upon the hands of many men divers false and corrupt col- matter of plain and direct proofs; therefore it bath
Our author has abundantly vouched this DECLARATION writing, according to their lordships better consideration; &c. to be penned by himself in the following passage of his wherein their lordships and myself both were as religious and Apology:
curious of truth, as desirous of satisfaction: and myself indeed It is very true also, about that time, her Majesty taking gave only words and form of style in pursuing their direction. a liking of my pen, upon that which I had formerly done And after it had passed their allowance, it was again exactly concerning the proceeding at York-House, and likewise upon perused by the queen herself
, and some alterations made again some other DECLARATIONS, which in former times by her by her appointment: nay, and after it was set to print, the appointment I put in writing, commanded me to pen that queen, who, as your lordship knoweth, as she was excellent in book, which was published for the better satisfaction of the great matters, so she was exquisite in small; and noted that world; which I did, but so, as never secretary had more par I could not forget my ancient respect to my lord of Essex, in ticular and express directions and instructions in every point terming him ever “my lord of Essex, my lord of Essen," how to guide my hand in it, and not only so, but after I had almost in every page of the book; which she thought not fit
, made a first draught thereof, and propounded it to certain but would have it made “Essex,” or “the late earl of Essex;" principal counsellors by her Majesty's appointment, it was whereupon, of force, it was printed de novo, and the first copies perused, weighed, censured, altered, and made almost a new suppressed by her peremptory commandment.”
been thought fit to publish to the world a brief de man took notice and note of, as his affable gestures, claration of the practices and treasons attempted and open doors, making his table and his bed so popularcommitted by Robert late earl of Essex and his com- ly places of audience to suitors, denying nothing plices against her Majesty and her kingdoms, and of when he did nothing, feeding many men in their the proceedings at the convictions of the said late earl discontentments against the queen and the state, and his adherents upon the same treasons : and not and the like; as they were ever since Absalom's so only, but therewithal for the better warranting time the forerunners of treasons following, so in him and verifying of the narration, to set down in the were they either the qualities of a nature disposed end the very confessions and testimonies themselves to disloyalty, or the beginnings and conceptions of word for word, taken out of the originals, whereby that which afterwards grew to shape and form. it will be most manifest that nothing is obscured or But as it were a vain thing to think to search the disguised, though it do appear by divers most wicked roots and first motions of treasons, which are known and seditious libels thrown abroad, that the dregs of to none but God that discerns the heart, and the these treasons which the late earl of Essex himself, a devil that gives the instigation; so it is more than little before his death, did term a leprosy, that had to be presumed, being made apparent by the eviinfected far and near, do yet remain in the hearts dence of all the events following, that he carried and tongues of some misaffected persons.
into Ireland a heart corrupted in his allegiance, and The most partial will not deny, but that Robert pregnant of those or the like treasons which afterlate earl of Essex was, by her Majesty's manifold wards came to light. benefits and graces, besides oath and allegiance, as For being a man by nature of a high imaginamuch tied to her Majesty, as the subject could be to tion, and a great promiser to himself as well as to the sovereign; her Majesty having heaped upon him others, he was confident that if he were once the first both dignities, offices, and gifts, in such measure, as person in a kingdom, and a sea between the queen's within the circle of twelve years or more, there was seat and his, and Wales the nearest land from Irescarcely a year of rest, in which he did not obtain land, and that he had got the flower of the English at her Majesty's hands some notable addition either forces into his hands, which he thought so to interof honour or profit.
mix with his own followers, as the whole body But he on the other side making these her Ma- should move by his spirit, and if he might have also jesty's favours nothing else but wings for his ambi- absolutely into his own hands,“ potestatem vitæ et tion, and looking upon them not as her benefits, but necis, et arbitrium belli et pacis,” over the rebels of as his advantages, supposing that to be his own Ireland, whereby he might entice and make them metal which was but her mark and impression, was his own, first by pardons and conditions, and after so given over by God, who often punisheth ingrati- by hopes to bring them in place where they should tude by ambition, and ambition by treason, and serve for hope of better booties than cows, he should treason by final ruin, as he had long ago plotted it be able to make that place of lieutenancy of Ireland in his heart to become a dangerous supplanter of that as a rise or step to ascend to his desired greatness seat whereof he ought to have been a principal sup- in England. porter; in such sort as now every man of common And although many of these conceits were windy, sense may discern not only his last actual and open yet neither were they the less like to his; neither treasons, but also his former more secret practices are they now only probable conjectures or comments and preparations towards those his treasons, and upon these his last treasons, but the very preludes that without any gloss or interpreter, but himself of actions almost immediately subsequent, as shall and his own doings.
be touched in due place. For first of all, the world can now expound why But first, it was strange with what appetite and it was that he did aspire, and had almost attained thirst he did affect and compass the government of unto a greatness, like unto the ancient greatness of Ireland, which he did obtain. For although he the præfectus prætorio under the emperors of Rome, made some formal shows to put it from him; yet in to have all men of war to make their sole and par- this, as in most things else, his desires being too ticular dependence upon him; that with such jealousy strong for his dissimulations, he did so far pass the and watchfulness he sought to discountenance any bounds of decorum, as he did in effect name himself one that might be a competitor to him in any part to the queen by such description and such particuof that greatness, that with great violence and bitter- larities as could not be applied to any other but himness he sought to suppress and keep down all the self; neither did he so only, but farther, he was still worthiest martial men, which did not appropriate at hand to offer and urge vehemently and peremptheir respects and acknowledgments only towards torily exceptions to any other that was named. himself. All which did manifestly detect and dis Then after he once found that there was no man tinguish, that it was not the reputation of a famous but himself, who had other matters in his head, so leader in the wars which he sought, as it was con
far in love with that charge, as to make any compestrued a great while, but only power and greatness tition or opposition to his pursuit, whereby he saw to serve his own ends, considering he never loved it would fall upon him, and especially after himself virtue nor valour in another, but where he thought was resolved upon ; he began to make propositions he should be proprietary and commander of it, as to her Majesty by way of taxation of the former referred to himself.
course held in managing the actions of Ireland, So likewise those points of popularity which every especially upon three points; the first, that the pro
portions of forces which had been there maintained his own ambition,) all treasons of rebellion did tend and continued by supplies, were not sufficient to bring to the destruction of the king's person, it might the prosecutions there to period. The second, that breed a buzz in the rebels' heads, and so discourage the axe had not been put to the root of the tree, in them from coming in: whereas he knew well that regard there had not been made a main prosecution in all experience passed, there was never rebel upon the arch-traitor Tyrone in his own strength, made any doubt or scruple upon that point to accept within the province of Ulster. The third, that the of pardon from all former governors, who had their prosecutions before time had been intermixed and commissions penned with that limitation, their cominterrupted with too many temporizing treaties, missions being things not kept secretly in a box, but whereby the rebel did ever gather strength and re published and recorded : so as it appeared mani. putation to renew the war with advantage. All festly that it was a mere device of his own out of which goodly and well-sounding discourses, together the secret reaches of his heart then not revealed; with the great vaunts, that he would make the earth but it may be shrewdly expounded since, what his tremble before him, tended but to this, that the drift was, by those pardons which he granted to queen should increase the list of her army, and all Blunt the marshal, and Thomas Lee, and others, proportions of treasure and other furniture, to the that his care was no less to secure his own instruend his commandment might be the greater. For ments than the rebels of Ireland. that he never intended any such prosecution, may Yet was there another point for which he did appear by this, that even at the time before his contend and contest, which was, that he might not going into Ireland, he did open himself so far in be tied to any opinion of the council of Ireland, as
speech to Blunt, his inwardest coun- all others in certain points, as pardoning traitors, The confession of Blunt 3. sellor, “ That he did assure himself concluding war and peace, and some other principal
that many of the rebels in Ireland articles, had been before him ; to the end he might would be advised by him :" so far was he from in- be absolute of himself, and be fully master of optending any prosecution towards those in whom he portunities and occasions for the performing and took himself to have interest. But his ends were executing of his own treasonable ends. two; the one, to get great forces into his hands ; But after he had once, by her Majesty's singular the other, to oblige the heads of the rebellion unto trust and favour toward him, obtained his patent of him, and to make them of his party. These two commission as large, and his list of forces as full as ends had in themselves a repugnancy; for the one he desired, there was an end in his course of the imported prosecution, and the other treaty: but he prosecution in the north. For being arrived into that meant to be too strong to be called to account Ireland, the whole carriage of his actions there for any thing, and meant besides, when he was once was nothing else but a cunning defeating of that in Ireland, to engage himself in other journeys that journey, with an intent, as appeared, in the end of should hinder the prosecution in the north, took the year, to pleasure and gratify the rebel with a things in order as they made for him : and so first dishonourable peace, and to contract with him for did nothing, as was said, but trumpet a final and his own greatness. utter prosecution against Tyrone in the north, to Therefore not long after he had received the the end to have his forces augmented.
sword, he did voluntarily engage himself in an But yet he forgat not his other purpose of making unseasonable and fruitless journey into Munster, a himself strong by a party amongst the rebels, when journey never propounded in the council there, it came to the scanning of the clauses of his com never advertised over hither while it was past: by mission. For then he did insist, and that with a which journey her Majesty's forces, which were to kind of contestation, that the pardoning, no not of be preserved entire both in vigour and number for Tyrone himself, the capital rebel, should be excepted the great prosecution, were harassed and tired with and reserved to her Majesty's immediate grace : long marches together, and the northern prosecubeing infinitely desirous that Tyrone should not tion was indeed quite dashed and made impossible. look beyond him for his life or pardon, but should But yet still doubting he might receive from her hold his fortune as of him, and account for it to Majesty some quick and express commandment to him only.
proceed ; to be sure he pursued his former device of So again, whereas in the commission of the earl wrapping himself in other actions, and so set himof Sussex, and of all other lieutenants or deputies, self on work anew in the county of Ophaley, being there was ever in that clause, which giveth unto the resolved, as is manifest, to dally out the season, and lieutenant or deputy that high or regal point of au never to have gone that journey at all: that setting thority to pardon treasons and traitors, an excep- forward which he made in the very end of August tion contained of such cases of treason as are com- being but a mere play and a mockery, and for the mitted against the person of the king ; it was purposes which now shall be declared. strange, and suspiciously strange even at that time, After he perceived that four months of the sumwith what importunity and instance he did labour, and mer, and three parts of the army were wasted, he in the end prevailed to have that exception also omit- thought now was a time to set on foot such a peace ted, glossing then, that because he had heard that as might be for the rebels' advantage, and so to work by strict exposition of law, (a point in law that he a mutual obligation between Tyrone and himself; would needs forget at his arraignment, but could for which purpose he did but seek a commodity. take knowledge of it before, when it was to serve He had there with him in his army one Thomas
Lee, a man of a seditious and working spirit, and knowing how unfit it was for him to communicate one that had been privately familiar and entirely with any English, even of those whom he trusted beloved of Tyrone, and one that afterwards, imme. most, and meant to use in other treasons, that he diately upon Essex's open rebellion, was apprehended had an intention to grow to an agreement with Ty. for a desperate attempt of violence against her Ma rone, to have succours from him for the usurping jesty's person; which he plainly confessed, and for upon the state here; (not because it was more danwhich he suffered. Wherefore judging him to be a gerous than the rest of his treasons, but because it fit instrument, he made some signification to Lee of was more odious, and in a kind monstrous, that he such an employment, which was no sooner signified should conspire with such a rebel, against whom than apprehended by Lee. He gave order also to he was sent; and therefore might adventure to alienSir Christopher Blunt, marshal of his army, to li- ate men's affections from him ;) he drave it to this, cense Lee to go to Tyrone, when he should require that there might be, and so there was, under colour of it. But Lee thought good to let slip first unto Ty- treaty, an interview and private conference between rone, which was nevertheless by the marshal's war-Tyrone and himself only, no third person admitted. rant, one James Knowd, a person of wit and suffi- | A strange course, considering with whom he dealt, ciency, to sound in what terms and humours Tyrone and especially considering what message Knowd
then was. The confes
This Knowd returned a had brought, which should have made him rather sion of Tho message from Tyrone to Lee, which call witnesses to him than avoid witnesses. But
was, “ That if the earl of Essex would he being only true to his own ends, easily dispensed follow Tyrone's plot, he would make the earl of Es- with all such considerations. Nay, there was such sex the greatest man that ever was in England : and careful order taken, that no person should overhear farther, that if the earl would have conference with one word that passed between them two, as, because him, Tyrone would deliver his eldest son in pledge the place appointed and used for the parley was for his assurance.” This message was delivered by such, as there was the depth of a brook between them, Knowd to Lee, and by Lee was imparted to the which made them speak with some loudness, there earl of Essex, who after this message employed were certain horsemen appointed by order from EsLee himself to Tyrone, and by his negotiating, sex, to keep all men off a great distance from the whatsoever passed else, prepared and disposed Ty-place. rone to the parley.
It is true, that the secrecy of that parley, as it And this employment of Lee was a matter of that gave to him the more liberty of treason, so it may guiltiness in my lord, as, being charged with it at give any man the more liberty of surmise, what was my lord keeper's only in this nature, for the mes then handled between them, inasmuch as nothing In the con
sage of Knowd was not then known, can be known, but by report from one of them two, fession of that when he pretended to assail Tyrone, either Essex or Tyrone. Blunt at the
he had before underhand agreed upon bar, he did
But although there were no proceedings against a parley, my lord utterly denied it that Essex upon these treasons, and that it were a needEssex his he ever employed Lee to Tyrone at all, less thing to load more treasons upon him then, particular
and turned it upon Blunt, whom he af- whose burden was so great after; yet, for truth's send Lee, terwards required to take it upon him, sake, it is fit the world know what is testified touch
having before sufficiently provided for ing the speeches, letters, and reports of Tyrone, imdesired by the security of all parts, for he had mediately following this conference, and observe Essex to take it upon granted both to Blunt and Lee pardons also what ensued likewise in the designs of Essex himself, and that they
of all treasons under the great seal of himself. both had Ireland, and so, himself disclaiming it, On Tyrone's part it fell out, that the very day pardons,
and they being pardoned, all was safe. after that Essex came to the court of England, TyBut when that Tyrone was by these means, be rone having conference with Sir William Warren sides what others, God knows, prepared to demand at Armagh, by way of discourse told him, and bound a parley, now was the time for Essex to acquit him- it with an oath, and iterated it two or three several self of all the queen's commandments, and his own times ; That within two or three The relation promises and undertakings for the northern journey ; months he should see the greatest alter- of Sir William and not so alone, but to have the glory at the disadations and strangest that ever he saw in fied under his vantage of the year, being but 2500 strong of foot, his life, or could imagine: and that he bandciroor the and 300 of horse, after the fresh disaster of Sir Con- the said Tyrone hoped ere long to have and to the yers Clifford, in the height of the rebels' pride, to a good share in England. With this con- council here. set forth to assail, and then that the very terror and curred fully the report of Richard Brem- The report of reputation of my lord of Essex's person was such as ingham, a gentleman of the pale, hav- Bremingham, did daunt him and make him stoop to seek a par- ing made his repair about the same of estate in ley; and this w the end he shot at in that Sep time to Tyrone, to right him in a cause Ireland. tember journey, being a mere abuse and bravery, of land ; saving that Bremingham delivers the like and but inducements only to the treaty, which was speech of Tyrone to himself; but not what Tyrone the only matter he intended. For Essex drawing hoped, but what Tyrone had promised, in these now towards the catastrophe, or last part of that words, That he had promised, it may be thought to tragedy, for which he came upon the stage in Ire- whom, ere long to show his face in England, little land, his treasons grew to a farther ripeness. For to the good of England.
there declare that he had
and afterwards was