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The Confession of Sir John Davis, taken the 18th The Confession of Sir Charles Davers, taken the 18th
of February, 1600, before the Earl of Notting of February, anno 1600, before Sir Thomas Egerham, Lord High Admiral ; Sir Robert Cecil, ton, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal; the Lord Principal Secretary; and John Herbert, Second Buckhurst, Lord High Treasurer ; the Earl of Secretary of State.
Nottingham, the Lord High Admiral; Lord
Hunsdon, Lord Chamberlain ; and Sir Robert Sir John Davis being demanded, how long be
Cecil, Principal Secretary. fore my lord Essex's tumult he knew of such his purpose ?
He confesseth that before Christmas the earl of He answers, that he knew not directly of any Essex had bethought himself, how he might secure meaning my lord had, until the Sunday seven-night his access unto the queen in such sort as he might before, or thereabout.
not be resisted: but no resolution determinately Being demanded, what he knew ? Then he an taken, until the coming up of this examinate a little swered, that my lord consulted to possess himself of after Christmas. the court, at such convenient time when he might And then he doth confess, that the resolution was find least opposition. For executing of which en taken to possess himself of the court; which resoterprises, and of other affairs, he appointed my lord | lution was taken agreeable to certain articles, which of Southampton, Sir Charles Davers, Sir Ferdinando the earl of Essex did send to the earl of SouthGorge, and himself, to meet at Drury-house, and ampton, this examinate, Sir Ferdinando Gorge, and there to consider of the same, and such other pro Sir John Davis, written with the earl's own hand. jects as his lordship delivered them: and principally, To which consultation, being held at Drury-house, for surprising of the court, and for the taking of the some four or five days before Sunday, that was the Tower of London. About which business they had eighth of February, Littleton came in towards two meetings, which were five or six days before the end. the insurrection.
The points which the earl of Essex projected He farther saith, that Sir Christopher Blunt was under his hand were these : not at this consultation, but that he stayed and ad First, whether it were fit to take the Tower of vised with my lord himself about other things to him London. The reason whereof was this; that after unknown: for that my lord trusted several men in the court was possessed, it was necessary to give several businesses, and not all together.
reputation to the action, by having such a place to Being demanded, what was resolved in the opi- bridle the city, if there should be any mislike of nions of these four before named ? He saith, that their possessing the court. Sir Charles Davers was appointed to the presence To the possessing of the court, these circumstances chamber, and himself to the hall: and that my lord were considered : was to determine himself, who should have guarded First, the earl of Essex should have assembled the court-gate and the water-gate. And that Sir all the noblemen and gentlemen of quality on his Charles Davers, upon a signal or a watch-word, party ; out of which ber he should have chosen should have come out of the presence into the so many as should have possessed all the places of guard-chamber; and then some out of the hall to the court, where there might have been any likelihave met him, and so have stept between the guard hood of resistance : which being done, the earl of and their halberds; of which guard they hoped Essex, with divers noblemen, should have presented to have found but a dozen, or some such small himself to the queen. number.
The manner how it should have been executed, Being asked whether he heard that such as my was in this sort : Sir Christopher Blunt should have lord misliked should have received any violence ? had charge of the outer gate as he thinketh. Sir He saith that my lord avowed the contrary, and that Charles Davers, this examinate, with his company, my lord said, he would call them to an honourable should have made good the presence, and should trial, and not use the sword.
have seized upon the halberds of the guard. Sir Being demanded, whether my lord thought his John Davis should have taken charge of the hall. enemies to be Spanish, bona fide, or no ? He saith, All this being set, upon a signal given, the earl that he never heard any such speech; and if my should have come into the court with his company. lord used any such, it came into his head on the
Being asked, what they would have done after ? sudden.
he saith, They would have sent to have satisfied the Being demanded, what party my lord had in Lon city, and have called a parliament. don ? He saith, that the sheriff Smith was his These were the resolutions set down by the earl hope, as he thinketh.
of Essex of his own hand, after divers consultations. Being demanded, whether my lord promised He saith, Cuffe was ever of opinion, that the earl liberty of catholic religion ? He saith, that Sir of Essex should come in this sort to the court. Christopher Blunt did give hope of it.
CHARLES DAVERS. JOHN DAVIS.
Exam. per THO. EGERTON, C. S. Exam. per NOTTINGHAM,
The second Confession of Sir Charles Davers, taken earl of Essex did not give him comfort, that if he the same day, and set down upon farther calling
came to authority, there should be a toleration for himself to remembrance, under his own hand, be- religion ? He confesseth, he should have been to
blame to have denied it. fore Sir Tho. Egerton, Lord Keeper of the
CHRISTOPHER BLUNT. Great Seal; Lord Buckhurst, Lord High Treasurer ; the Earl of Nottingham, Lord High Ad This was read unto Sir Christopher Blunt, and afterwards
signed by him in the presence of us who are under written : miral; Sir Robert Cecil, Principal Secretary.
SOME points of the articles which my lord of Essex sent unto Drury-house, as near as I can remember, were these ; whether both the court and the Tower should be both attempted at one time ? if both, what numbers should be thought requisite
The second Confession of Sir Christopher Blunt the for either ? if the court alone, what places should
same day, viz. the 18th of February; taken before be first possessed ? by what persons.
Mr. John Herbert, Second Secretary of Estate,
and subscribed by him in the presence of Nicholas And for those which were not to come into the court beforehand, where and in what sort they might
Kempe, Counsellor at Law; Thomas Thorney, assemble themselves, with least suspicion, to come
his Surgeon ; and William Martin, Robert Anin with my lord ?
drews, and Randolph Bull, citizens. Whether it were not fit for my lord, and some of Sir ChristOPHER Blunt, after the the principal persons, to be armed with privy coats ? signing of this confession, being told ness was in
CHARLES DAVERS. that he did not deal plainly, excused Jespectcostrena Knowledged in the presence of THO. EGERTON, C. 8.
himself by his former weakness, putting in charging us in mind that he said once before, forces at that when he was able to speak, he Ludgate. would tell all truth, doth now confess; That four or
five days before the earl of Essex did rise, he did The first Confession of Sir Christopher Blunt, ex
set down certain articles to be considered on, which amined the 18th of February, 1600; before Jo.
he saw not, until afterwards he was made acquainted Herbert, Second Secretary of Estate, and in the
with them, when they had amongst themselves dispresence of Nic. Kempe, Counsellor at Law; W'il
puted: which were these. liam Waimarke, William Martin, Robert Andrews,
One of them was, whether the Tower of London citizens ; John Trevor, Surveyor of the Navy, and
should be taken ? Thomas Thorney, his Surgeon.
Another, whether they should not possess the He confesseth that the earl of Essex sent Wise- court, and so secure my lord, and other men, to come man, about the 20th of January, to visit his wife, to the queen ? with letters of compliment, and to require him to For the first concerning the Tower, he did not come up unto him to London, to settle his estate like it; concluding, that he that had the power
of according as he had written unto him before some the queen, should have that. few days.
He confesseth that upon Saturday night, when Being demanded, to what end they went to the Mr. Secretary Herbert had been with the earl, and city, to join with such strength as they hoped for that he saw some suspicion was taken, he thought there? he confesseth it was to secure the earl of it in vain to attempt the court, and persuaded him Essex his life, against such forces as should be sent rather to save himself by flight, than to engage himagainst him. And being asked, What, against the self farther, and all his company. And so the resoqueen's forces ? he answered, That must have been lution of the earl grew to go into the city, in hope, judged afterwards.
as he said before, to find many friends there. But being farther asked, Whether he did advise to He doth also say, that the earl did usually speak come unto the court over night ? He saith, No; of his purpose to alter the government. for Sir Ferdinando Gorge did assure, that the alarm
CHRISTOPHER BLUNT. was taken of it at the court, and the guards doubled. Exam. per JO. HERBERT. Being asked, whether he thought any prince
Subscribed in the presence of could have endured to have any subject make the city his mediator? or to gather force to speak for him ? He saith, he is not read in stories of former times; but he doth not know but that in former times subjects have used force for their mediation.
The Declaration of the Lord Keeper, the Earl of Being asked what should have been done by any
Worcester, and the Lord Chief Justice of of the persons that should have been removed from
England. the queen? He answered, that he never found my Upon Sunday, being the 8th of February last lord disposed to shed blood; but that any that past, about ten of the clock in the forenoon, the lord should have been found, should have had indifferent keeper of the great seal, the earl of Worcester, Sir trial.
William Knowles, comptroller of her Majesty's Being asked upon his conscience, whether the household, and the lord chief justice of England,
being commanded by direction from the queen's company did put on their hats, and so the earl of Majesty, did repair to the late earl of Essex his Essex went into the house, and the lord keeper, house, and finding the gate shut against them, after &c. followed him, thinking that his purpose had a little stay they were let in at the wicket: and as been to speak with them privately as they had soon as they were within the gate, the wicket was required. And as they were going, some of that shut upon them, and all their servants kept out. disordered company cried, “ Kill them.” And as
At their coming thither they found the court full they were going into the great chamber, some cried, of men assembled together in a very tumultuous “ Cast the great seal out at the window.” Some sort; the earls of Essex, Rutland, and Southampton, other cried there, “ Kill them ;" and some other and the lord Sandys, Mr. Parker, commonly called lord said, “ Nay, let us shop them up." Montegle, Sir Christopher Blunt, Sir Charles Davers, The lord keeper did often call to the earl of and many other knights and gentlemen, and other Essex to speak with them privately, thinking still persons unknown, which flocked together about the that his meaning had been so, until the earl brought lord keeper, &c. And thereupon the lord keeper them into his back chamber, and there gave order told the earl of Essex, that they were sent from her to have the farther door of that chamber shut fast. Majesty to understand the cause of this their as And at his going forth out of that chamber, the lord sembly, and to let them know, that if they had any keeper pressing again to have spoken with the earl particular cause of grief against any persons what of Essex, the earl said, “ My lords, be patient a soever, it should be heard, and they should have while, and stay here, and I will go into London, and justice.
take order with the mayor and sheriffs for the city, Hereupon the earl of Essex with a very loud and will be here again within this half hour ;” and voice declared, That his life was sought, and that he so departed from the lord keeper, &c. leaving the should have been murdered in his bed; that he had lord keeper, &c. and divers of the gentlemen penbeen perfidiously dealt with; that his hand had sioners in that chamber, guarded by Sir John Davis, been counterfeited, and letters written in his name; Francis Tresham, and Owen Salisbury, with musquetand that therefore they were assembled there toge shot, where they continued until Sir Ferdinando ther to defend their lives ; with much other speech Gorge came and delivered them about four of the to like effect. Hereupon the lord chief justice said clock in the afternoon. unto the earl, That if they had any such matter of In the mean time, we did often require Sir John grief, or if any such matter were attempted or pur Davis, and Francis Tresham, to suffer us to depart, posed against him, he willed the earl to declare it, or at least to suffer some one of us to go to the assuring him that it should be truly related to her queen's majesty, to inform her where and in what Majesty, and that it should be indifferently heard, sort we were kept. But they answered, That my and justice should be done whomsoever it concerned. lord, meaning the earl of Essex, had commanded
To this the earl of Southampton objected the that we should not depart before his return, which, assault made upon him by the lord Gray. Where they said, would be very shortly. unto the lord chief justice said, That in his case
THOMAS EGERTON, C. S. justice had been done, and the party imprisoned for
EDWARD WORCESTER. it. And hereupon the lord keeper did eftsoons will
JOHN POPHAM. the earl of Essex, that whatsoever private matter or offence he had against any person whatsoever, if he would deliver it unto them, they would faithfully The Examination of Roger Earl of Rutland, the 12th and honestly deliver it to the queen's Majesty, and of February, 1600, taken before Sir Thomas doubted not to procure him honourable and equal just
Egerton, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal; the Lord ice, whomsoever it concerned; requiring him, that if Buckhurst, Lord High Treasurer ; the Earl of he would not declare it openly, that he would impart Nottingham, Lord High Admiral ; Sir Robert it unto them privately, and doubted not but they Cecil, Principal Secretary; and Sir Jo. Popham, would satisfy him in it.
Lord Chief Justice of England. Upon this there was a great clamour raised amongst the multitude, crying, “ Away, my lord, He saith, that at his coming to Essex-house on they abuse you, they betray you, they undo you, you Sunday morning last, he found there with the earl lose time.” Whereupon the lord keeper put on his of Essex, the lord Sandys, and the lord Chandos, hat, and said with a loud voice, “ My lord, let us and divers knights and gentlemen. And the earl of speak with you privately, and understand your Essex told this examinate, that his life was practised griefs; and I command you all upon your allegi- to be taken away by the lord Cobham, and Sir Walance, to lay down your weapons, and to depart, ter Raleigh, when he was sent for to the council; which you ought all to do, being thus commanded, and the earl said, that now he meant by the help of if you be good subjects, and owe that duty to the his friends to defend himself: and saith, that the dequeen's Majesty which you profess.” Whereupon taining of the lord keeper and other lords sent to the they all brake out into an exceeding loud shout and earl from the queen, was a stratagem of war; and ery, crying, “ All, all, all.”
saith, That the earl of Essex told him that London And whilst the lord keeper was speaking, and stood for him, and that sheriff Smith had given him commanding them upon their allegiance, as is before intelligence, that he would make as many men to declared, the earl of Essex and the most part of that assist him as he could ; and farther the earl of Essex
said, that he meant to possess himself of the city, the morning, being the 8th of this instant February : the better to enable himself to revenge him on his and saith, That in the morning of that day this exenemies, the lord Cobham, Sir Robert Cecil, and aminate was sent for by the earl of Essex about six Sir Walter Raleigh. And this examinate confess or seven of the clock : and the earl sent for him by eth, That he resolved to live and die with the earl his servant Warburton, who was married to a widow of Essex; and that the earl of Essex did intend to in Hampshire. And at his coming to the earl, make his forces so strong, that her Majesty should there were six or seven gentlemen with him, but not be able to resist him in the revenge of his ene remembereth not what they were; and next after, mies. And saith, That the earl of Essex was of a nobleman, came my lord Chandos, and after him most inward with the earl of Southampton, Sir came the earl of Southampton, and presently after Christopher Blunt, and others; who have of the earl of Rutland, and after him Mr. Parker, comlong time showed themselves discontented, and have monly called the lord Montegle: and saith, That at advised the earl of Essex to take other courses, his coming to the earl of Essex, he complained that and to stand upon his guard: and saith, That when it was practised by Sir Walter Raleigh to have the earl of Essex was talking with the lord keeper, murdered him as he should have gone to the lord and other the lords sent from her Majesty, divers treasurer's house with Mr. Secretary Herbert. And said, My lord, they mean to abuse you, and you saith, that he was present in the court yard of Essexlose time.” And when the earl came to sheriff house, when the lord keeper, the earl of Worcester, Smith's, he desired him to send for the lord mayor Sir William Knolles, and the lord chief justice, that he might speak with him; and as the earl came from the queen's Majesty to the earl of Essex: went in the streets of London, this examinate said and the lord chief justice required the earl of Essex to divers of the citizens, that if they would needs to have some private conference with him; and come, that it was better for their safety to come that if any private wrongs were offered unto him, with weapons in their hands: and saith, That the that they would make true report thereof to her earl of Essex, at the end of the street where sheriff Majesty, who, no doubt, would reform the same: Smith dwelt, cried out to the citizens, that they did and saith, That this examinate went with the earl, him harm, for that they came naked ; and willed and the rest of his company, to London to sheriff them to get them weapons; and the earl of Essex Smith's, but went not into the house with him, but also cried out to the citizens, that the crown of stayed in the street a while: and being sent for by England was offered to be sold to the infanta : and the earl of Essex, went into the house, and from saith, That the earl burned divers papers that were thence came with him till he came to Ludgate; in a little casket, whereof one was, as the earl said, which place being guarded, and resistance being a history of his troubles: and saith, That when made, and perceived by the earl of Essex, he said they were assaulted in Essex-house, after their re unto his company, “Charge;" and thereupon Sir turn, they first resolved to have made a sally out; Christopher Blunt and others of his company gave and the earl said, that he was determined to die ; the charge, and being repulsed, and this examinate and yet in the end they changed their opinion, and hurt in the leg, the earl retired with this examinate yielded : and saith, That the earl of Southampton, and others to his house called Essex-house. And Sir Christopher Blunt, and Sir John Davis advised on his retire, the earl said to this examinate, That the earl of Essex, that the lord keeper and his if sheriff Smith did not his part, that his part was company should be detained: and this examinate as far forth as the earl's own; which moved him to saith, That he heard divers there present cry out, think that he trusted to the city. And when the “Kill them, kill them :” and saith, That he thinketh earl was, after his retire, in Essex-house, he took an the earl of Essex intended, that after he had pos- iron casket, and broke it open, and burnt divers sessed himself of the city, he would entreat the lord papers in it; whereof there was a book, as he taketh keeper and his company to accompany him to the it, and said, as he was burning of them, that they court. He saith, he heard Sir Christopher Blunt should tell no tales to hurt his friends: and saith, say openly, in the presence of the earl of Essex and that the earl said, that he had a black bag about others, how fearful, and in what several humours his neck that should tell no tales. they should find them at the court, when they came
WILLIAM SANDYS. thither.
Exam. per JO. POPHAM,
RUTLAND. Exam. per. Th. EGERTON, C. S.
The Examination of the Lord Cromwell, taken the 7th
of March, 1600, by Sir J. Popham, Lord Chief The Confession of William Lord Sandys, of the parish
Justice ; Christ. Yelverton, her Majesty's Ser
. of Sherborne-Cowdry in the county of Southamp
jeant; and Fr. Bacon, of her Majesty's learned
counsel. ton, taken this 16th of February, 1600, before Sir John Popham, Lord Chief Justice ; Roger
* At the sheriff's house this examinate pressed in Wilbraham, Master of the Requests, and Edward
* This examination, as appeareth by the date, was taken
after Essex's arraignment, but is inserted, to show how the Coke, her Majesty's Attorney-general.
speech, of the realm to be sold to the infanta, which at his He saith, That he never understood that the earl arraignment he derived from Mr. Secretary, at sheriff Smith's
house he said was advertised out of Ireland : and with this did mean to stand upon his strength till Sunday ip | latter concur many other examinations.
with the rest, and found the earls shifting them- | been mine, the earl of Essex one day took me thither selves in an inner chamber, where he heard my lord with him, where being none but we three, he told of Essex certify the company, that he had been ad us, He found it necessary for him to go into Engvertised out of Ireland, which he would not now land, and thought it fit to carry with him as much hide from them, that the realm should be delivered of the army as he could conveniently transport, to over to the hands of the infanta of Spain, and that go on shore with him to Wales, and there to make he was wished to look to it; farther, that he was to good his landing with those, till he could send for seek redress for injuries; and that he had left at his more; not doubting but his army would so increase house for pledges, the lord keeper, the earl of Wor- in a small time, that he should be able to march to cester, Sir William Knolles, and the lord chief London, and make his conditions as he desired. justice.
To which project I answered, That I held it altoEDW. CROMWELL.
gether unfit, as well in respect of his conscience to Exam. per JO. POPHAM,
God, and his love to his country, as his duty to his sovereign, of which he, of all men, ought to have greatest regard, seeing her Majesty's favours to him
had been so extraordinary: wherefore I could never Sir Christopher Blunt, Knight, at the time of his give any consent unto it
. Sir Christopher Blunt Arraignment, did openly at the bar desire to speak joined with me in this opinion. with the Lord Admiral and Mr. Secretary; before whom he made this Confession following: which
Exam. per NOTTINGHAM, the Earl of Southampton confirmed afterwards, and he himself likewise at his death.
He confesseth, That at the castle of Dublin, in that lodging which was once the earl of Southamp
The Speech of Sir Christopher Blunt, at the time of ton's, the earl of Essex purposing his return into
his death, as near as it could be remembered, England, advised with the earl of Southampton and
March 18, 1600. himself, of his best manner of going into England My lords, and you that be present, although I for his security, seeing to go he was resolved. must confess, that it were better fitting the little time
At that time he propounded his going with a com I have to breathe, to bestow the same in asking God petent number of soldiers, to the number of two or forgiveness for my manifold and abominable sins, three thousand, to have made good his first landing than to use any other discourse, especially having with that force, until he could have drawn unto him both an imperfection of speech, and, God knows, a self a sufficient strength to have proceeded farther. weak memory, by reason of my late grievous wound:
From this purpose this examinate did use all for- yet to satisfy all those that are present what course cible persuasions, alleging not only his own ruin, hath been held by me in this late enterprise, bewhich should follow thereof, and all those which cause I was said to be an instigator and setter-on of should adhere to him in that action; but urging it the late earl, I will truly, and upon the peril of my to him as a matter most foul, because he was not soul, speak the truth. only held a patron of his country, which by this It is true, that the first time that ever I understood means he should have destroyed; but also should of any dangerous discontentment in my lord of have laid upon himself an irrevocable blot, having Essex, was about three years ago, at Wanstead, upon been so deeply bound to her Majesty. To which his coming one day from Greenwich. At that time dissuasion the earl of Southampton also inclined. he spake many things unto me, but descended into
This design being thus dissuaded by them, then no particulars, but in general terms. they fell to a second consideration : and therein this After which time he never brake with me in any examinate confesseth, That he rather advised him, matter tending to the alteration of the state, I proif needs he would go, to take with him some com test before God, until he came into Ireland, other petent number of choice men.
than I might conceive, that he was of an ambitious He did not name unto him any particular power and discontented mind. But when I lay at the that would have come to him at his landing, but castle of Thomas Lee, called Reban, in Ireland, assured himself that his army would have been grievously hurt, and doubted of my life, he came to quickly increased by all sorts of discontented people. visit me, and then began to acquaint me with his He did confess before his going, That he was as
intent. sured that many of the rebels would be advised by [As he thus spake, the sheriff began to interrupt him, but named none in particular.
him, and told him the hour was past. But my lord Gray, and Sir Walter Raleigh captain of the guard,
called to the sheriff, and required him not to interThe Examination of the Earl of Southampton after
ru him, but to suffer him quietly to finish his his Arraignment ; taken before the Earl of Nottingham, Lord High Admiral ; Sir Robert Cecil, said, Is Sir Walter Raleigh there ? Those on the
Sir Christopher Blunt
prayers and confessions. Principal Secretary; and Mr. John Herbert, scaffold answered, Yea. To whom Sir Christopher Second Secretary of Estate.
Blunt spake on this manner :) Sir ChristOPHER Blunt being hurt, and lying Sir Walter Raleigh, I thank God that you are in the castle of Dublin, in a chamber which had present: I had an infinite desire to speak with you,