In the parliament which began the 3d of November, 1640, Mr. Pym, one of the chief of the country or patriotic party in the House of Commons, moved on the 11th, That the doors might immediately be locked, as he had matters of importance to communicate to the House ; which being agreed to, he made a severe speech against the Earl of Strafford, declaring he was the greatest enemy to liberty, and the greatest promoter of tyranny and arbitrary power, that any age had iced ; and being seconded by some gentlemen of the same party, it was resolved to impeach the Earl of high treji-
â– the 25th of November, Mr. Pym carried up nine cles against the Earl ; and on the 30th of January, 1640, they sent up twenty-eight special articles against him, in which the former were comprehended.
1. They charge, That the Earl being President of the North, did on the 21st of March, 8 Car. produce a commission, with instructions, directed to himself and others, empowering them to determine all misdemeanors and offences in the North ; and particularly,
m ere appointed to proceed according to the course of the Star
- fences ; and to proceed according to the
e of the Court of Chancery concerning lands, and grant injunctions to the Common Law Courts : and that he exercised those
ra over the persons and estates -of several, depriving them of their estai- i ssions, and fined and imprisoned them, to their
utter ruin; and particularly Sir Conycrs Darcy and Sir John Bouchier : That he procured directions, that no prohibition should be
I ed ; and that none should be discharged on a Habeas Corpus, till they had performed their decrees; and that on the 13th of the
, he caused the commission to be renewed, with additional instructions.
THOMAS, EARL OF STRAFFORD,
2. That, soon after his procuring the first commission, he declared at the assizes at York, that since some of the justices of peace were all for Jaw, they should find the king's little finger heavier than the loins of the law, in order to terrify the said justices, that they should not execute the laws.
3. That, in a speech to the nobility of Ireland, and the corpora- tion of Dublin, the Earl declared Ireland was a conquered kingdom ; that the king might do what he pleased with them ; their charters were worth nothing, and bound the king no farther than he pleased.
4. That Richard Earl of Cork having commenced a suit for the recovery of his possessions, of which he was dispossessed by an order of Council, the Earl threatened to imprison him, if he did not drop his suit ; and said he would have neither the law nor lawyers dispute his orders ; adding, That he would make the Earl of Cork and all Ireland know, that as long as he had the government, an act of state should be as binding to that kingdom as an act of par- liament.
5. And that he did accordingly exercise his poweron the goods, inheritances, liberties, and lives of the subjects there, to the subver- sion of the laws of that kingdom ; particularly, that he did, in time of full peace, cause the Lord Mountnorris to be condemned to death by a council of war; and caused sentence of death to be pronounced against another person (whose name was unknown) at Dublin, and he was executed in pursuance of it.
6. That, on a paper petition, he caused the said Lord Mountnor- ris to be disseised of his manor of Tymore.
7. That he caused the case of tenures on defective titles to be drawn up, procuring the resolutions of the judges thereupon ; by colour of which he caused the Lord Thomas Dillon and divers others, to be dispossessed of their freeholds, to the ruin of many hundred families.
8. That on the petition of Sir John GifFord, he made an order against Adam Viscount Loftus, Lord Chancellor of Ireland, and, under pretence of disobedience to the said order, caused him to be imprisoned, and to surrender the great seal : That he imprisoned the Earl of Kildare, in order to make him submit his title to the manor of Castle-Leigh to his pleasure, and kept him in prison a year, refusing to enlarge him, though directed to do it by his Majesty's letters : That he caused an order of council to be entered against Dame Mary Hibbots, although a major part of the council was for the lady ; and forced her to relinquish her estate, which was soon after conveyed to Sir Robert Meredith, to the use of the Earl of Strafford ; and that he imprisoned several others, on pretence of dis- obedience to his orders, for pretended debts, -titles to lands, &c. in an arbitrary extra-judicial course, upon paper petitions.
9. That he granted a commission to. several bishops, their respec- tive chancellors and officers, to commit the meaner sort of people to prison, who should not obey their decrees.
10. That he farmed the customs of Ireland, and, to advance his gain, caused the native commodities to be over-rated ; and the cus- toms, which formerly were but a twentieth part of the value of the goods, were now a fourth, a fifth, and some of them a third part of the value.
FOB IIICU TREASON.
1 1. That he extorted great sums from the subject, for licences to export divers sorts of goods.
IB. That he issued a proclamation against the importation of to- bacco, and then caused great quantities to be imported for his own nil would not permit the merchants to vendjtheir tobacco, unless they would let him nave it at his own price : That he issued another proclamation, commanding all tobacco to be seized that was not sealed by his agents ; and those on whom unsealed tobacco was found, were fined, whipped, imprisoned, or pilloried; by which means he gained an hundred thousand pounds ; and though he raised the customs on other articles, he lessened them in this, from six- pence to three-pence a pound, for his own profit; and that, by the like undue means, he constituted divers others monopolies.
13. That he commanded the Irish, by proclamation, to work their flax and yarn into thread, in a manner they were unskilled in, and seized the flax that was otherwise wrought ; whereby he gained the sole sale of that native commodity.
14. That he imposed an unlawful oath on the owners and masters of ships, by proclamation requiring them to give an account of their lading, their owners, from whence they came, and whither bound.
1 5. That, contriving to bring the realm of Ireland under his ty- ranny, he imposed great sums on the town of Baltimore, and divers other places, which he levied by troops of soldiers : That particu- larly he impowered Robert Saville, serjeant at arms, and several cap- tains, to quarter soldiers on such of the inhabitants as would not act conformable to his orders : That he dispossessed Richard Butler, â€¢ad above an hundred families, of their estates by a military force, imprisoning the proprietors, till he compelled them to relinquish their respective interests, levying war against his Majesty, and his liege people of that kingdom.
16. That, to continue his oppressions on the subjects of Ireland, he prevailed on his Majesty, not to suffer any complaints to be received in England; and issued a proclamation, prohibiting all, who had any estates or offices in Ireland, to depart the kingdom without licence; and imprisoned several that came over to England to complain against him.
17. That he affirmed his Majesty was so well pleased with his army in Ireland, and the consequences it produced, that he would make it a pattern for all his three kingdoms.
18. That in order to make the papists of England and Ireland to depend on him he restored several religious houses to their pretended owners; particularly two in Dublin, which had been assigned to the university there, which were now employed in the exercise of the Popish religion. That he raised an army, of which seven thousand v> ere papists ; and that, to engage this new army to him, he paid them duly, and permitted them to exercise their religion ; whereas the old army were kept without their pay for a whole year : And, that being a commissioner for compounding forfeitures for recusancy, in the northern counties of England, he compounded with the recu-
there at very low rates, and discharged them from all pre in order to engage them to him.
19. That he imposed an oath on the subjects of Ireland, requiring
4t THOMAS, EARL OF STRAFFORD,
them to swear, that they would not protest against any of his Ma- jesty's commands, but submit obediently to them, fining, imprisoning, and banishing the refusers ; and particularly, that he fined Henry Steward and his wife 50001. a-piece, and imprisoned them for non- payment : that he declared the said oath did not only oblige them in point of allegiance, but to the ceremonies and government of the church established, or to be established by his Majesty ; and gave out that those who refused to take it, he would prosecute to blood.
20. That he endeavoured to create in his Majesty an ill opinion of the Scots, and excited him to an ofFensive war against them, since the pacification : that he was the chief incendiary, declaring that the Scots' demands in parliament were a sufficient cause to make war upon them ; that they were rebels and traitors ; and, if his Majesty pleased, he would root them out of Ireland, except they took the oath in the preceding article ; and that he caused several Scottish ships to be seized, to engage the kingdoms in war.
21. That, having incited his Majesty to carr y on an ofFensive war against Scotland, he advised him to call a parliament, but that if they did not concur in the Earl's mischievous projects, they should be dissolved, and money raised on the subjects by force; declaring in Council, that he would serve his Majesty any other way, in case the parliament did not supply him.
22. That he procured the parliament of Ireland to declare they would assist the king against the Scots ; and conspired with Sir George Ratcliffe to employ the army of Irish Papists he had raised, to the subversion of the government of England; declaring that, it" the parliament would not supply his Majesty, he was at liberty to use his prerogative for what he needed ; and that he would be acquitted both by God and man for so doing.
23. That, the last parliament taking the grievances of the king- dom into consideration, the Earl and Archbishop Laud advised his Majesty, by several speeches and messages, to urge the Commons to grant a supply for the war against Scotland, before they entered on their grievances : and that a demand being made by his Majesty of twelve subsidies, in lieu of ship-money ; while the Commons were debating on the supply, the said Earl and the Archbishop moved his Majesty to dissolve that parliament, and the Earl then incensed his Majesty against the members, telling him, " they had refused to sup- ply him, and that his Majesty having tried the affections of his people, and been refused, he was absolved from all rules of govern- ment, and that he had an army in Ireland, which he might employ to reduce this kingdom."
24. That he falsely declared to others of the privy-council, that the parliament having forsaken the king, and denied him a supply, they had given him an advantage to supply himself by such other ways as he saw fit ; and that he was not to suffer himself to be mas- tered by the frowardness of his people. And that the Earl, the Archbishop, and the Lord-Keeper Finch, published a scandalous book in his Majesty's name, entitled, " The causes that moved his Majesty to dissolve the last parliament," full of bitter invectives against the Commons.
- 25. That he advised the levying of ship-money, and procured the
FOR IIU'.H TIM' A SOX. 5
Sheriff! to be proiecuted for not levying it, and several to be impri- I for not paying it ; and advised, that the Lord Mayor of Lon- don, the Aldermen, &c. should be summoned before the council, to give an account of their proceeding! in levying ship-money, and con- ing the loan of an hundred thousand pounds demanded of them by tl. ad on their refusing to certify who were fit to lend,
the earl said, they deserved to be fined; there was no good to be done with them till they were laid by the heels, and some of the Aldermen hanged up.
. That he caused 1.50,0001. belonging to his Majesty's subjects and foreigners, to be seized in the Mint; and when it was represented what a pre -i-ulice this would be to the kingdom, said, that the city had dealt undutifully, and were readier to help the rebels than his od that it was the practice of other princes to use such money' to serve their occasions; that the French King used to send commissaries of horse to take account of men's estates, and levy money on them by force; and, directing his discourse to the Lord Cottington, said, this was a course worthy to be considered by his Lordship.
27. That, being Lieutenant-General in the north, he imposed a a tax of eight pence a day for every soldier of the militia in that county, and levied it by force, declaring, that those who refused it, were guilty of little less than high-treason.
28. That, receiving advice of the Scottish army's bending its march towards England, he did not provide for the defence of New- castle; but suffered it to fall into their hands^to incense the English
t the Scots; and in order to engage the two nations in a bloody war, he ordered the Lord Conway to fight the Scots at the passage of the Tine ; though he had represented, he had not force sufficient to encounter them; whereby he betrayed his Majesty's army to apparent danger and loss; all which the Earl had done, with an intent to create a division between his Majesty and his people, and to destroy him and his kingdoms; and for which they impeached him of high treason.
The place appointed for the trial, was the great hall in . where there was a throne erected for the king, on each side thereof a cabinet enclosed about with ind before with a terrace. Before that, were the - of the Lords of the Upper House, and sacks of wool for the Judges; before them, ten stages of seats, I farther than the midst of the hall, for the gen- tlemen of the House of Commons; at the end of all closed about, and set apart for the Lord Lieutenant and his counsel.
â€¢inlay morning, about seven of the clock, he came
i the Tower, accompanied by six barges, wherein
one hundred soldiers of the Tower, all with parti-
for his guard, and fifty pair of oars. At his land-
6 THOMAS, EARL OF STRAFFORD,
ing at Westminster, he was attended by two hundred of the trained bands, and went in guarded by them into the hall. The entries at Whitehall, King-street, and Westminster, were guarded by the constable and watch- men, from four of the clock in the morning, to keep away all low and idle persons.
The king, queen, and prince, came to the House about nine of the clock, but kept themselves private within their closets, only the prince came out once or twice to the cloth of state ; so that the king saw and heard all that passed, but was seen by none. Some gave the rea- son of this from the received practice of England in such cases : others say, that the Lords did intreat the king either to be absent, or to be there privately, lest it might be pretended hereafter, that his being there was for no other purpose than to interrupt the course of justice: others assert, that the king was not willing to be accessary to the process till it came to his part, but rather chose to be present, that he might note and understand what violence, rigour, or injustice hap- pened.
When the Lieutenant entered the Hall, the porter of the Hall (whose office it is) asked Mr. Maxwell, whether the axe should be carried before him or no ? who an- swered, that the king had expressly forbidden it ; nor was it the custom of England to use that ceremony, but only when the party accused was to be put upon his jury. Those of the Upper House did sit with their heads co- vered, those of the Lower House uncovered. The bishops upon the Saturday before voluntarily declined the giving of their suffrages in matters criminal, and of that nature, according to the provision of the canon law, and practice of the kingdom to this day, and therefore would not be present ; yet withal they gave in a protes- tation, that their absence should not prejudice them in that or any other of their privileges, as Lords Spiritual in Parliament, which was accepted.
The Earl of Arundel, as Lord High Steward of Eng- land, sat apart by himself, and at the Lieutenant's entry commanded the House to proceed. Mr. Pym, being speaker of the committee for his accusation, gave in the same articles which were presented at his last hearing before the Upper House, which being read, his supplies
FOR HI i. II TUKASON.
subjoined and read also; the very same which wen nteo before in the Upper House. Some give the i of this, because the Lower House had not heard those accusations in public before; others, that the for- mality of the process required no less; however, that dav was spent in that exercise.
The queen went from the House about eleven of the clock, the king and prince staid till the meeting was dis- solved, winch was after two. The Lieutenant was sent to the Tower by his guard, and appointed to return upon Tuesday, at nine of the clock in the morning The crowd of people was neither great nor troublesome; all of them saluted him. and he them with great humility and courtesy, both at his entrance and at his return ; how ridiculous then was the following rumour about the malice and discontent of the multitude : " That if he pass the stroke of justice, they will tear him in pieces ;* yet we see there is more in rumour than in sight and ap- pearance, and in this report, as in all others of this nature, more is thrust upon the vulgar (who seem as fearful of punishment as exposed to it, in spite of their great number) than they justly deserve.
On Tuesday in the morning he came accompanied as before to Westminster; and having staid in the Ex- chequer-Chamber till nine of the clock, the king, queen, and prince came, as before upon the first day.
Then Mr. Pym being called for, aggravated the charge, which was given the day before, by a very am- ple speech. The main points were, that it was treason far beyond the reach of words, that he the Lieutenant, stive subject, and a peer of England, the prime rnor of Ireland, the commander of his Majesty's torces, and a protestant in religion, should have in such m impious and gross manner recompensed his Majesty's ur>, abused his goodness, and drawn all his domi- nions into hazard and peril of their religion, lives, goods, snd privileges; that one of these faults alone had been igh, and too much, for the fulfilling of the exor- bitancy and wickedness of any one man ; and that no punishment could be thought of, sufficient to expiate crimes of such a transcendent nature.
The Lieutenant spoke in his own defence, and that
with such eloquence, that his enemies \wiv affected.
ecountea his services done to the King and crown
8 THOMAS, EARL OF STRAFFORD,
of England, his endeavours for the advancement, as Well of the honour as interest of both kingdoms in general, but in particular that of Ireland ; how he had advanced the King's revenues there, restored the church's mainte- nance, suppressed the outlaws, established obedience to royal authority, and overawed the tyranny and usurpa- tion of greater ones over the Commons. And for the effecting of all these actions, he mentioned himself the most weak and meanest instrument.
Mr. Pym, after the close of his speech, told him that there were three new articles adjoined (by an after search) to his charge ; and desired that he might presently reply to the same.
Whereunto the Lieutenant answered, it was very strange, that after the close of the process, and when matters were come to be scanned, and examined by proof, that any new charge should be given in ; yet lest he should seem to decline the maintainance of his own innocency, and the just defence of his honour, he was most willing to hear them and have them alledged, pro- vided that a convenient time might be assigned him to jmake his replies against them, as he had done to the others given in before.
But Mr. Pym excepted against this, and told him that the House did conceive it to be dangerous to grant any farther prorogation.
Upon this, the Lords of the Upper House (who did not think it fit as yet to voice any particular in the audience of the House of Commons) retired, and after some stay, they returned and declared, that they had found the Lieutenant's suit to be equitable, in desiring further time for answering ; yet, seeing that the articles themselves, neither for number or weight, seemed to be of sufficient importance to prevent his giving a present answer, they thought it fitting to grant no delay.
The names of his accusers were â€” Pym, Glyn, May- nard, Whitlock, Lord Digby, St. John, Palmers, Sir Walter, Earles, Stroud, Selden, Hampden, &câ€” One of these began, and the rest, after their colleague had done, followed in their turn ; so that he had all of them to contend against; though his spirits were much ex- hausted.
On Thursday he was charged with the second expres- sion, " That he said Ireland was a conquered kingdom,
FOR HIGH TREASON. 9
and thai the king might prescribe them what law he
On Friday the two other expressions were followed ;
. M He would not suffer his ordinances to be
disputed by lawyers, before inferior judicatories, and
that he would make an act of state equivalent to an act
of parliament. 1 ' 1
Lord Cork, declared upon his oath, that the Lieutenant had caused to be interlined an ordi- nance against himself, and had caused some words to be scraped out ; which words were notwithstand- ing still found to be in the sentence, by an authentic copy under the hand of Sir Paul Davison, Clerk to the council-board of Ireland ; that he had advanced room of his to be a preacher; who by a testimony from the University of Dublin he verified to have been a master of arts ten or twelve years before his advancement.
On Tuesday they passed by the 7th article, and the two first parts of the 8th, about the Lady Hibbofs land ; that he had violently thrust her from her possession by this summary way of justice, and afterwaids purchased the land to his own house, by borrowing the name of Sir Robert Meredith. The testimony of the gentlewo- man's son was adduced, of Lord Cork, and Lord Mount- norris.
After the 9th article was passed, against the com- mission issued in favour of the Bishop of Downe and Connor; upon Wednesday Mr. Glyn proceeded to the 10th article. For proof, they produced the lease of the Duke of Buckingham, which was read and compared with that lease to the Duchess of Bucking- ham, and some differences shewn, arising to the sum of two thousand pounds in the Duke's lease ; only the moiety of concealed and forfeited goods were due to him, but the whole goods to the Duchess in her lease.
Witnesses were examined.
First, Sir James Hay, who deposed, that the Earl of Carlisle had an advantage of one thousand six hundred pounds per annum by his lease of wines.
Secondly, the Lord Ranelaugh, who deposed, that by the inspection of the books of accompts, he had found the custom to be anno 1636 thirty-six thousand pounds,
10 THOMAS, EARL OF STRAFFORD,
anno 1 637 thirty-nine thousand pounds, anno 1638 fifty- four thousand pounds, anno 1639 fifty-nine thousand pounds.
The same day Mr. Palmer charged, that the Lord Strafford, having by a tyrannical power inverted the or- dinary course of justice, and given immediate sentence upon the lands and goods of the king's subjects, under pretence of disobedience, had used a military way for re- dressing of the contempt, and laid soldiers upon the lands and goods of the king's subjects, to their utter ruin.
The Lord Lieutenant's reply was, that in all the course of his life he had intended nothing more than the preservation of the lives, goods, and welfare of the king's subjects ; and that he dared profess, that under no other deputy had there been a more free and uninter- rupted course of justice.
To this the Lord Dillon, Sir Adam Loftus, and Sir Arthur Teringham, deposed ; the last of whom told, that in Falkland's time he knew twenty soldiers quar- tered upon a man for refusing to pay sixteen shillings sterling.
The same day, Mr. Whitlock rested on the 19th article, about the oath administered to the Scots in Ireland, and for proof of this, Sir James Mountgomery was produced; who declared at large how that oath was contrived. â€” Sir Robert Maxwell of Orchiardon, who spake to the same purpose. â€” Sir John Clotworthy, who declared that a great number had fled the kingdom for fear of that oath. â€” And Mr. Samuel, who deposed, that upon the tenth of October, 1638, he heard the deputy say these words, â€¢" That if he returned, he would root them out stock and branch,"
The proofs for the Scots charges, were these :
Lord Traquair, who was very favourable to the Lord Lieutenant, and spake nothing to his disadvantage but what was extorted from him, he admitted, that when he gave in the demands, he heard Strafford say, " that it was high time for the king to put himself into a pos- ture of war;" but that first all the council of England said the same as well as he. Secondly, That it was a double supposition: 1. That the demands were truly given in. %. That there was no other remedy left but arms, to reduce them.
The Earl of Morton's testimony (being sick himself)
was produced, aw) it was one and (he same with tin articie.
Sir Henry Vane was examined, who declared, that lie had beard the Lieutenant to advise the king to an offensive war, when his own judgment was for a de- fen si I
The testimony of the Earl of Northumberland was produced, which was the very same with Sir Henry Vane's.
The Treasurer of England deposed the same with Traquair.
One Beane, from Ireland, said, that he had known shipfl teased there; but by whose procurement or warrant he knew not.
To the articles about England :
Sir Robert King and the Lord Ranelagh deposed, that Sir Robert King and the Lord Ranelagh had heard Sir George Ratcliff speak those words in the article.
The Primate's testimony (who was sick) was the same with the article.
The Lord Conway deposed the same with the article.
Sir Henry Vane deposed, he had heard those words spoken at the council-board.
For the words spoken after the parliament.
To the first, Sir Thomas Jermyne, Lord Newburg, Earl of Bristol and Earl of Holland, were examined. Bristol spoke plainly, but Holland's testimony was re- served.
Here some of the Lieutenant's friends shewed them- selves.
1. Lord Satil, who desired of Sir Henry Vane to know whether he said their, or this, or that kingdom ; and withal said, It was very hard to condemn a man for treason upon such circumstances.
2. The Earl of Southampton desired to know, whe- ther Sir Henry Vane would swear those words positively or not. Sir Henry Vane said, positively either them or the like. The Earl replied, that under favour " t
he like" could not be positive.
3. The Earl of Clare desired to know what could l>e meant by this kingdom ; for his part (he said) hi thought it meant of the kingdom of Scotland, to which the word this might very well be relative, that kingdom being only mentioned in the preceding discourse.
12 THOMAS, EARL OF STRAFFORD,
Upon Wednesday, Whitlock charged thus :
' First, That he had advised the king to a rigorous and unlawful exaction of ship money.
Secondly, That he had given counsel, that if the sheriffs should refuse their best endeavours and assistance to that effect, they should be sent for, and fined by the Star-Chamber, and imprisoned.
Thirdly, That when the Aldermen of London had in all humility represented the causes why the ship-money could not be collected amongst them, and had given in the reasons why they refused to give in a list of their names, within their city, who were able to afford the loan-money ; he in a contemptuous and tyrannical manner, in the face of the council-board, had said to the king : " Sir, these men, because of their obstinacy and frowardness, deserved very well to be fined, ransomed, and laid by the heels ; and it will never go well with your service, until some of them be hanged up for examples to others."
The Evidence was as follows :
The Bishop of London, Lord Treasurer, who de- clared, that he remembered the words very well, that the Lord Lieutenant had advised the King to cause the ship-money to be gathered in; but he remembered withal, that both himself and all the council had done the like ; and that it was upon a present necessity, and defect of money for entertaining the army, which (the condition of the times considered) they all conceived, was by any means to be kept on foot.
Alderman Wiseman declared, that upon an humble remonstrance made to the council-board, the city would take it ill, if a tax-roll should be delivered of their estates, who were thought able for the loan-money ; the Lord Strafford said, they ought to be fined, ransomed^ and laid by the heels : but as to hanging them up, he heard not a word about it.
The Earl of Berkshire declared that the Lord Straf- ford had said, that upon the refusal of such a service enjoined by the King's peremptory command, it was his opinion they might be fined.
Alderman Garway attested the preceding words ; and withal added, that the Lord Lieutenant, to his best re- membrance, had said, " it were well for the King's ser- vice if some of them were hanged up."
Then they went to the 26th article, and the proofs were :
Sir Thomas Edwards, who declared, that in discourse with the Lord Strafford, having remonstrated unto him that their goods were seized on beyond seas, because of
FOR HIGH TREASON. 18
the money taken out at the mint, he told him, " thai if
pa Buffered it, it was deservedly, beo they had refuted the king a small Joan of money upon niiv; and that he thought them more ready to help the rebels than the King.
Mr; Palmer declared that he spake something about the King of France ; but whether witli relation to Eng- land, or not, he did not remember.
Sir William Parkise attested in the same words; and withal, that the Lord Cottington was then present, and could declare the whole business.
Sir Ralph Freeman declared, that in a discourse with the Lord Strafford, he had said that the servants in the ?Jint-House would refuse to work the copper-money; and he replied, " that then it were well to send th servants to the house of correction. 11
Upon Friday morning, about eight of the clock, the Lieutenant of the Tower, and my Lord's chamber- .11 came to the hall, and gave information to the house upon oath, that the Lord Strafford was taken with an exceeding great pain, and fit of the stone, and could not upon any conditions stir out of his bed.
Mr. Glyn replied, that it was a token of his wilful- ness, not his weakness, that he had not sent a doctor to
- y the same.
The Lord Steward made answer, that a doctor could not be had so soon in a morning, nor was it possible for any physician to give a certain judgment concerning a mans disability by the stone, because there are no out- ward symptoms that appear.
Mr. Glyn excepted, that if he did not appear upon Saturday morning, he should lose the privilege to speak in his own defence afterwards, and they permitted to proceed.
The Lord Steward replied, that the Lords had ap- pointed four of their number to go to the Tower, and learn the just cause of his stay; and if by any means he were able, he should be obliged to come then : if not, humanity and common equity would excuse him.
I'poii Saturday morning he presented himself at the bar, where he expected nothing but repetitions of charges and defences; but mean-while Mr, Glyn preferred some new proofs concerning the two-and-twentieth article,
14 THOMAS, EARL OF STRAFFORD.
which the noble Lord refused, alledging the process was closed. Mr. Glyn answered, the process is not closed, as long as the business stands unrepealed ; and that it did not become a prisoner at the bar to prescribe a me- thod of proceeding to the House of Commons.
It was answered by the Lord-Lieutenant, that he thought it stood him in hand as nearly to maintain his life, as it did any to pursue him for it; yet he was willing they should bring in new proofs, provided that he might have time to make new replies, and withal use some new witnesses in some articles that concern his justification.
The Lord Newark, upon these motions, desired the house might be adjourned ; after two hours delay, and a hot conflict with the Lords, they returned, and the Lord Steward commanded the order to be read, which consisted of two articles ;
First, That as it was granted unto them to bring in proofs concerning the two-and-twentieth article; so it was to the Lord Strafford to make his replies, and use his witnesses concerning the same.
Secondly, That if they went to no more articles no more should the Lord Strafford ; but if they did, that he might pitch upon any one article as he pleased.
After prolonged Debates and Discussion, Lord Strafford replied, as follows : My Lords, This day I stand before you charged with high treason, the burden is heavy, yet far the more, in that it hath borrowed the patrociny of the House of Commons ; if they were not interested, I might ex- press a no less easy, than I do a safe issue and good success to the business : but let neither my weakness plead my innocenee, nor their power my guilt. If your Lordships will conceive of my defences, as they are in themselves, without reference to either, (and I shall endeavour so to present them) I hope to go away from hence as clearly justified, as I am now in the testimony of a good conscience by myself. My Lords, I have all along my charge watched to see that poisoned arrow of treason, that some men would fain have to be feathered in my heart, and that deadly cup of wine, that hath so intoxicated some petty mis-alledged errors, as to put them in the elevation of high treason ; but in truth it hath not been my quick- ness to discern any such monster yet within my breast, though now perhaps, by a sinistrous information, sticking to my clothes. They tell me of a twofold treason, one against the statute, another by the common law ; this direct, that consecutive ; this individual, that ac- cumulative ; this in itself, that by way of construction.
i iih.ii 1 1 . . 16
For the first, I must and do acknowledge, that if I had the ;â–
icion of my own guilt, I would spare your Lordships the pains,
the first stone at myself, and pass sentence of condemnation
it myself: and whether it be so or not, |I refer myself
OUT Lordship's judgment and declaration. You, and only
you, (under the favour and* protection of my gracious master) are
my judges; under favour, none of the Commons are my Peers, nor
can they be my judges. I shall ever celebrate the providence and
wisdom of your noble ancestors, who have put the keys of life and
death (so far as concerns you and your posterity) into your own
hands, not into the hands of your inferiors; none but your own
selves know the rate of your noble blood, none but yourselves must
hold the balance in dispensing the same.
I shall proceed in repeating my defences, as they are reducible to these two main points of treason: and for treason against the sta- tute, (which is the only treason in effect) nothing is alledged for that, but the fifteenth, two-and-twentieth, and twenty-seventh articles. [Here he brought the sum of all his replies made to these three arti- cles before, and almost in the same words as before; only that testi- mony of Sir Henry Vane's because it seemed pressing, he stood upon it, and alledged five reasons for the nullifying thereof.]
First, That it was but a single testimony, and would not make faith in a matter of debt, much less in a matter of life and death ; yea, that it was expressly against the statute to impeach (much less to condemn) him upon high treason, unless under the testimony of two famous witnesses.
Secondly, That he was dubious in it, and expressed it with an " as I do remember, and such or such like words."
Thirdly, That all the council of eight, except himself, disclaim the words ; as if by a singular providence they had taken hold of his ears only.
Fourthly, That at that time the king had levied no forces in Ire- land, and therefore he could not be possibly so impudent as to say to the king, " That he had an army there, which he might employ for the reducing this kingdom."
Fifthly, 1 hat he had proved by witnesses beyond all exceptions (Marquis Hamilton, the Lord Treasurer, the Earl of Northumber- land, Lord Cottington, Sir William Pennyman, and Sir Arthur Ter- ringham) that there was never the least intention to land those forces in England.
[He went on :]
So much for the articles that concern individual treason.
To make up the constructive treason, or treason by w ay of accu- mulation, many articles are brought against me, as if in a heap ot felonies or misdemeanors (for in their conceit they reach no higher) some prolific seed, apt to produce what is treasonable, could lurk. Here I am charged to have designed the ruin and overthrow both of religion and state. The first seemeth rather to have been used to make me odious than guilty, for there is not the least proof alledged concerning my confederacy with the popish faction, nor could there be any indeed ; never a servant in authority beneath the king my master was ever more hated and maligned by those men than
10* THOMAS, EARL OP STRAFFORD,
myself, and that for an impartial and strict execution of the laws against them.
Here your Lordships may observe, that the greater number of the witnesses used against me, either from Ireland or from Yorkshire, were men of that religion : but for my resolution (I thank God) I am ready every hour of the day to seal my disaffection to the church of Rome, with my dearest blood.
But, my Lords, give me leave here to pour forth the grief of my soul before you : these proceedings against me seem to be exceeding rigorous, and to have more of prejudice than equity, that upon a supposed charge of my hypocrisy or errors in religion, I should be made so monstrously odious to three kingdoms ; a great many thou- sand eyes have seen my accusations, whose ears shall never hear, that when it came to the upshot I was never accused of them. Is this fair dealing among Christians ? But I have lost nothing by that : popular applause was ever nothing in my conceit; the uprightness and integrity of a good conscience was, and ever shall be, my conti- nual feast ; and if I can be justified in your Lordships' judgments from this grand imputation, (as I hope I now am, seeing these gen- tlemen have thrown down the bucklers) I shall account myself jus- tified by the whole kingdom, because by you, who are the (epitome, the better part, yea the very soul and life of the kingdom.
As for my design against the state, I dare plead as much inno- cency here, as in matter of my religion : I have ever admired the wisdom of our ancestors, who have so fixed the pillars of this mo- narchy, that each of them keep a due proportion and measure with the other, and have so handsomely tied up the nerves and sinews of the state, that the straining of any one may bring danger and sorrow to the whole ceconomy. The prerogative of the crown, and the propriety of the subject, have such mutual relations, this takes pro- tection from that, that foundation and nourishment from this : and as on the lute, if any one string be too high or too lowly wound up, you have lost the harmony ; so here the excess of a prerogative is oppression ; of pretended liberty in the subjeet, disorder and anarchy. The prerogative must be used as God does his omnipo- tency, upon extraordinary occasions ; the laws (answerable to that Potentia ligata in Creatuns) must have place at \)ther times. And yet there must be a prerogative, if there must be extraordinary oc- casions ; the propriety of the subject is ever to be maintained, if it go in equal pace with this: they are fellows and companions, that are and ever must be inseparable in a well governed kingdom ; and no way so fitting, so natural to nourish and entertain both, as the frequent use of parliaments : by those a commerce and acquaintance is kept betwixt the king and subject. These thoughts have gone along with me these fourteen years of my public employments, and shall God willing, to my grave : God, his Majesty, and my own conscience, yea, and all those who have been most accessory to my inward thoughts and opinions, can bear me witness that I ever did inculcate this, that the happiness of a kingdom consists in a just poize of the king's prerogative and the subjects' liberty; and that things would never go well, till they went hand in hand together.
I thank God for it, by my master's favour, and the providence of
FOR HIGH TllKASON. 17
my ancestors, I have an estate, which so interestcth me in the com- monwealth, that I have no great mind to he a slave, but a subject; Dtlld I wish the cards to he shuffled over again, upon hopes to fall upon a better set: nor did I ever nourish sueh base mercenary ,h:s as to become a pander to the tyranny and ambition of the tn Living. No, I have, and ever shall aim at a fair, but a bounded liberty; remembering always that 1 am a freeman, yet a ct ; that 1 have a right, but under a monarch. But it hath been my misfortune now, when I am grey-headed to be charged by the mi -takers of the times, who are now so highly bent, that all appears to them to be in the extreme for monarchy, which is not for them- selves. Hence it is, that designs, words, yea intentions, are brought out for real demonstrations for my misdemeanors : such a multiply- ing-glass is I prejudicate opinion !
The articles contain expressions and actions: my expressions either in Ireland or England, my actions either before or after these late stirs.
In this order he went through the whole charge, from the first article to the last, in an excellent method, and repeated all the sums and heads of what was spoken by him before ; only added in the twenty-eighth article, if that one article had been proved against him, it contained more weighty matter than all the charge besides ; and it had not only been treason in him, but also villany, to have betrayed the trust of his Majesty's army. Yet because the gentle- men had been sparing (by reason of the times) to insist upon that article, though it might concern him much, he resolved to keep the same method, and not utter the least expression that might seem to disturb the happy agreement intended, though he wished the same might deceive his expectation : only thus much he admired, how him-elf, being an incendiary against the Scots in the twenty-third article, is now become their confederate in the twenty-eighth arti- cle ; or how he could be charged for betraying Newcastle, and for fighting with the Scots at Xewborne too, seeing with them was no possible means for betraying the town, but to hinder their passage thither.
That he never advised war farther, than (in his poor judgment) concerned the very life of the king's authority, and the safety and ho- nour of his kingdoms : nor saw he what advantage could be made by a war in Scotland, where nothing could be gained but many hard blows. For his part, he honoured the nation, but he wished they might be ever under their own climate, and had no desire they should be too well acquainted with the better soil of England: but he thought that article had been added in just, or as a supernumerary ; and he very little suspected to be reckoned a confederate with the Scots, and wished (as he hoped it was) that every Englishman were as free from that imputation as himself; closing his defence with this speech.
My Lords, â€” You see what maybe alledged for this constructive, rather destructive treason. For my part, I have not the judgment to conceive that such a treason is agreeable either with the funda- mental grounds of reason or law ; not of reason, for how can that be treason in the lump or mass, which is not so in any of the parts? Or how can that make a thing treasonable, which in itself is not so?
18 THOMAS, EARL OF STRAFFORD.
Not of law, since neither statute, common law, nor practice, hath from the beginning of this government ever mentioned such a thing : and where, my Lords, hath this fire, without the least appearance of any smoke, lain hid so many hundred years, and now breaks forth into a violent flame to destroy me and my posterity from the earth? My Lords, do we not live bylaws, and must we be punished by laws before they be made? Far better were it to live by no laws at all, but to be governed by those characters of discretion and virtue, that nature hath stamped in us, than to put this necessity of divination upon a man, and to accuse him of the breach of law, before it be a law at all. If a waterman upon the Thames split his boat by grating upon an anchor, and the same have a buoy appending to it, he is to charge his own inobservance: but if it hath none, the owner of the anchor is to pay the loss.
My Lords, If this crime, which they call arbitrary treason, had been marked by any discerner of the law, the ignorance thereof should be no excuse for me ; but if there be no law at all, how can it in rigour or strictness itself condemn me ? Beware you do not awake these sleeping lions, by the searching out some neglected moth-eaten records, they may one day tear you and your posterity in pieces : it was your ancestors' care to chain them up within the bar- ricadoes of statutes; be not you ambitious to be more skilful and curious than your forefathers in the art of killing.
My Lords, it is my present misfortune, for ever yours ; and it is not the smallest part of my grief, that not the crime of treason, but my other sins, (which are exceeding many) have been presented to me before this bar ; and except your Lordships' wisdoms provide for it, it may be, the shedding of my blood may make way for the tracing of yours. You, your estates, your posterities lie at the stake. If such learned gentlemen as these, whose tongues are well acquainted with such proceedings, shall be started out against you ; if your friends, your counsel denied access unto you ; if your professed enemies ad- mitted to witness against you ; if every word, intention, or circum- stance of yours, be sifted and all edged as treasonable, not because of a statute, but because of a consequence, or construction of lawyers pieced up in a high rhetorical strain, and a number of supposed pro- babilities; I leave it to your Lordships' consideration, to foresee what may be the issue of such dangerous and recent precedents.
These gentlemen tell me they speak in defence of the common- wealth, against my arbitrary laws; give me leave to say it, I speak in defence of the commonwealth, against their arbitrary treason: for if this latitude be admitted, what prejudice shall follow to king and country, if you and your posterity be by the same disenabled from the greatest affairs of the kingdom? For my poor self, were it not for your Lordships' interest, and the interest of a saint in heaven, who hath left me here two pledges upon earth, [at this his breath stopt, and he shed tears abundantly in mentioning his wife, which moved his very enemies to compassion] I should never take the pains to keep up this ruinous cottage of mine; it is loaded with such infirmities, that in truth, I have no great pleasure to carry it about me any longer; nor could I ever leave it in a better time than this, when I hope the better part of the world would perhaps think, that
IIU.II TK! ASON. 19
l>\ this my misfortune I had given a testimony of my integrity to God, my king, and country. I thank God, I count not the afflictions of tbifl present life comparable to that glory, which is to be revealed in the time to come.
My Lords ! my Lords ! my Lords ! Something more I had to say, but my voice and spirits fail me : only I do in all humility and submission cast myself down before your Lordships' feet, and desire that I might be a pharos to keep you from shipwreck; do not put such rocks in your own way, which no prudence, no circumspection, can eschew or satisfy, but by your utter ruin. And whether your judgments in my case (I wish it were not the case of you all) be either for life or death, it shall be righteous in my eyes, and received with a Te Deum laudamus: (and he then lifted up his eyes and said,)/n tc Dornine confido, ne confandar in celernum.
The reply of the Commons did not occupy much time; they proceeded article by article, in the same words and tenor as before ; only some remarkable flashes of eloquence passed from Mr. Glyn. â€” He told them, that he should represent the Lord Strafford as cunning in his replies, as he had been crafty in his actions ; that he waved all that was material, and insisted only upon the secondary proofs; that it was more than evident throughout all his charge, how he had endeavoured to bring in an arbitrary and tyrannical form of government over the lives, lands and liberties of the King's subjects; yea, had exercised a tyranny over their consciences too, by the oath administered in Ireland : and though his malicious designs had taken no effect, yet no thanks to him, but to the goodness of the King, and the vigilancy of the peers, had they pleased, it had been too late to have punished him ; for no rule of law had been left whereby to censure him, after the death and expiration of the laws. And if the intention of Guido Faux might be thought treason, though the house was not blown up, then this intention of his may admit the same censure. â€” That throughout all his defences he had pretended either warrants from the King, or else the King's prerogative ; and what was this else but to draw up a cloud, and ex- hale the vapour for the eclipsing of the bright sun, by the jealousies or repinings of his subjects, if the strength of his piety and justice should not dispel all these mists, and send them down to their original? That the very ding and falling of these three kingdoms stood upon this proeess; all of which do conceive their safety so far interested in his just punishment, that no settling of
&0 THOMAS, EARL OF STRAFFORD,
their peace or quiet could be expected without this : that they hoped the law should never protect him, who had gone about to subvert all law ; nor the nobility (who had the same blood moving in their veins) by sub- mitting themselves to his base tyranny, lose that pri- vilege and liberty, which their ancestors had brought with their dearest lives. Though there was no statute for this treason, was it the less monstrous? for there was none for so many hundreds of years that durst ever venture upon such insolencies, to occasion such a statute; and were not the fundamental grounds, rules and go- vernment sufficient to rise up in judgment against him, without the making a particular statute ? This he said he left to the dispute of the law ; and concluded, that seeing they had found oilt the Jonah, who these many years had tossed and hazarded the ship of the common- wealth with continual storms and tempests, there could be no calms expected, but by casting him out into the seas; which, in all justice, they must, and do expect from their hands, who are intrusted by the body of the kingdom to do the same.
Upon Wednesday, the House of Commons perceiving a great defection of their party, and a great increase of the Lord Strafford's friends in both Houses, occasioned by his insinuating, honest, and witty defence, resolved immediately to hear nothing more in public : therefore it was determined upon by his accusers to draw up a bill of attainder, and present the same to the Lords ; where- by, first, the matter of fact should be declared to have been sufficiently proved ; and then in the matter of law, that he had incurred the censure of treason, for intend- ing to subvert the fundamental laws of the kingdom : for though (said they) he cannot be charged by letter of statute of the twenty-fifth of Edward III. yet he is within the compass of the salvo, whereby it is pro- vided, that the King and Parliament hath power to de- termine what is treasonable, and what not; and that they were confident the Lords would ratify and approve of this bill of theirs, and give judgment accordingly.
The Lords told the house of Commons in their con- ference on Thursday, that they would go on the same way they did already; and, according to the order of the house, give full audience to the Lord Strafford's
FOR HIGH TREASON. 21
counsel in matter of law, and that they themselves, as competent judges, would by themselves only give sen- tence in the cause; nor was there any other course suit- able to the practice and statutes of the kingdom, the
ly of the nobility, or to equity or common justice. It was replied by the lower house, that they were re-
ed to go on with their bill, and if the same should be rejected by the Lords, they feared a rupture and division ought follow, to the utter ruin and desolation of the whole kingdom, that no content would be given to the subject, unless the man, who had so much intruded upon their right, and discontented the people, was punish< d as a traitor for an example to the kingdom, that no man had ever found such a favourable hearing ; and that the process against Essex, Norfolk, Somerset, all of them closed m one day. Thursday, April 29th, was fixed upon for the agita- tion of the business : â€” The Lords met at the great hall, at Westminster about nine o'clock, not in their robes, nor did the Lord Steward sit upon his sack, but with the rest promiscuously; nor did the committee for the house of Commons stand at the bar, but sat with the body ; and the Earl of Strafford sat behind the place where lie
1 to sit before ; the reason of these changes was, be- cause the object was appointed not for a meeting, but for a conference; The king, queen, and prince were there, according to their custom ; not a man spake a word in the house all the time, but only Mr. St. John, the King's Solicitor, one of the committee, whose drift and purpose was to furnish the Lords with reasons, why the House of Commons had proceeded with a bill of at- tainder ; and likewise, to reply to what the Lord Straf- ford had spoken, either by himself, or his council, in matter of law. The speech was in print.
Upon Friday he petitioned the Lords to be heard again, had not fully spoken at their last meeting; but this was denied him, because the Common- were to 1 â€¢}).
Upon this information, the king fearing the incon-
icv of the Lords, came to the House on Saturday, at â€¢clock, and having sent for the House of Commons,
ke much to this effect.
22 THOMAS, EARL OF STRAFFORD,
The King's Speech to the House of Commons.
" That he had sincerely, without affection or partiality, endea- voured to inform himself concerning the Lieutenant's charge ; and had, at length, seriously pondered with himself, both concerning the matter of fact and the matter of law; and now it stood him in hand to clear their judgments, then to exonerate his own conscience. For them, he had two things to declare :
" First, That there never was such a project, nor had the Lord Strafford ever offered such advice, for the transporting of the Irish army into England; so that in nothing the Lieutenant had been more misunderstood than in that : which imputation did in no small measure reflect on himself (the king) as if he had intended to make war upon his own good subjects ; which thought (he said) was far enough from his breast, nor could any man in probability think so unworthily of him, who had perceived how graciously he had dealt with his subjects elsewhere, that had deserved a great deal worse.
" Secondly, That the Lieutenant had never advised him to esta- blish an arbitrary government; nor if he had, should he have escaped condign punishment; nor would any of his good subjects ever think otherwise, unless they conceived him either to be a fool or a tyrant; that he either could not or would not discern such wickedness. He was well content (he said) with that authority and power which God had putinto his hands ; nor should he ever think it his prerogative to intrude upon the propriety of the subject.
" For himself and his own conscience, (he said) he was now to declare, that in his own judgment, there was nothing in the process against the Lieutenant, that deserved the censure of treason. Over- sights and misdemeanors there were, in such a measure, that he con- fessed the Lord Strafford was never worthy hereafter to bear any office in his kingdoms, no, not so much as of a constable ; but was to be answerable for all his errors, when they were to be charged upon him ; and to this none of them should concur with greater alacrity than himself. That he hoped none of them would deny to give him the privilege of the first voice, which was, That he would never in heart nor hand, concur with them to punish this man as a traitor; and desired therefore, that they would think of some other way how the business might be composed; nor should it ever be less dear to him (though with the loss of his dearest blood) to protect the innocent, than to punish the guilty."
Upon Saturday, May 8, the bill against the Lord Strafford passed the Lords ; there were forty-five pre- sent, of which nineteen voted for him, and twenty-six against him. The greater part of his friends absented themselves under pretence (whether true or suppositious) that they feared the multitude. On Sunday the king was resolute never to sanction the bill, telling them, That it
FOR RICH IBXAft
u(l strange to him that the man could not die, unlest he, and he only, by giving a sentence ho disapproved of, should condemn him.
But at last victus dedil man us ; being overcome with such incessant importunities, he yielded. And about nine o'clock at night the king promised to sign both the bills the next morning ; which was accordingly done, and a commission drawn up for his execution.
The Commons were overjoyed at the passing these two bills, and returned his Majesty their thanks for his extra- ordinary condescension, assuring him, They would make him a glorious king, and richer than any of his pre- decessors : but whatever they then designed to make him, certain it is, he became from that hour dependent on the Parliament, and by giving the royal assent to those two acts, resigned his authority and influence over his people.
The king, too late sensible of his error, wrote to the House of Peers, by the prince his son, to entreat that mercy might be shewn the Earl : that they would be con- tent with his perpetual imprisonment ; and endeavour to obtain a conference with the House of Commons, and endeavour to bring them into the same sentiments, adding by way of postscript, " That if he must die it were cha- rity to reprieve him till Saturday ." But so little influence had these prayers and entreaties, that the Lords let his Majesty know that neither of his intentions could be com- plied with : Wednesday, the 12th of May, therefore, being appointed for the execution of the Earl, he desired the Lieutenant of the Tower, the evening before, to let him speak with the Archbishop of Canterbury, his fellow- prisoBer; but the Lieutenant answered, he durst not permit him, without an order of Parliament ; whereupon the Earl related to Archbishop Usher, who was then at his Lordship's lodgings in the Tower, what he intended to have said, if he had been permitted to see Archbishop id, namely, That he would have desired his Grace to
- him with his prayers that night, and give him bifl
when he went to the scaffold the next day; he iie would be at his window, that he might thank him for ad his favours; and A rchbi shop Usher de- li vering the message to Archbishop Laud that evening, his Grace of Canterbury appeared at his window next
24< THOMAS, EARL OF STRAFFORD,
morning, as the Earl passed by, when the Earl looking up and demanding his prayers and his blessing, his Grace lifted up his hands, and gave him both ; then the Earl making a submissive bow, said, " God protect your in- nocency, ,, and moved on towards the scaffold, which was erected on Tower-hill. The Lieutenant was desired to take coach, for fear the mob should rush on him as he walked, and pull him to pieces ; but the Earl answered, no ; he was not afraid to look death in the face, and the people too. Have you a care, says the Earl, that I don't escape;- and whether I die by the hands of the execu- tioner or the fury of the people, is to me perfectly indif- ferent.
Having mounted. the scaffold, he saluted the gentlemen he found there, and began to take his last leave of his friends, who appeared much more concerned than himself, and observing his brother, Sir George Wentworth, weep :
" Brother," said he, cheerfully, " what do you see in me to deserve these tears ? Does any indecent fear betray in me any guilt, or my innocent assurance any atheism ? Think now that you are accom- panying me the third time to my marriage bed. Never did I throw off my clothes with greater. freedom and content, than in this prepa- ration to my grave. That stock," pointing to the block, " must be my pillow : here shall I rest from all my labours : no envious thoughts, no dreams of treason, jealousies, or cares for the king, the state, or myself, shall interrupt this easy sleep; therefore, brother, pity with me those men, who contrary to their intention, have made me happy. Rejoice in my happiness, rejoice in my innocence." Then kneeling down, he made this protestation : " I hope, gentlemen, you think that neither the fear of loss, or love of reputation, will suffer me to belie God and my own conscience at this time. I am now in the very door going out, and my next step must be from time to eternity, either of peace or pain. To clear myself before you all, I do here solemnly call God to witness, I am not guilty, so far as I can under- stand, of the great crime laid to my charge ; nor have ever had the least inclination or intention to damnify or prejudice the king, the state, the laws, or the religion of this kingdom ; but with my best en- deavours to serve all, and to support all, so may God be merciful to my soul."
Then rising up, he said, " My Lord Primate of Ireland, and my Lords, and the rest of these noble gentlemen, it is a great comfort to me to have your Lordships by me this day, because I have been known to you a long time. I come here, by the good will and plea- sure of God, to pay that last debt I owe to sin, which is death ; and by the blessing of that God, I trust to rise again, through the merits of Jesus Christ, to righteousness and life eternal.
" I submit to the judgment that has passed on me, with a quiet and contented mind. I thank God I freely forgive all the world from my
FOR HIGH TREASON. 25
very heart; there is not an angry thought arising in me towards any in. in living; and my conscience bears me witness, that in all my em- ployments, since I had the honour to serve his Majesty, I never had any thing in the purpose of my heart, but what tended to the joint and individual prosperity of king arid people, although it hath been my ill-fortune to be misunderstood.
" I am not the first who hath suffered in this kind ; it is the com- mon portion of us all while we are in this life, to err ; righteous judgment we must wait for in another place ; for here we are very subject to be misjudged one of another. There is one thing I de- sire to free myself of, and I am very confident I shall obtain your christian charity in the belief of it, I was so far from being against Parliaments, that I always thought the Parliaments of England, were the most happy constitutions that any kingdom or nation ever lived under, and tne best means under God, to make both king and people happy.
" My Lord Primate, it is a great comfort to me, that his Majesty conceives me not meriting so severe and heavy a punishment. I do infinitely rejoice in this mercy of his, and I beseech God to return it into his own bosom, that he may find mercy when he stands most in need of it.
I wish this kingdom all the prosperity and happiness in the world. I did it living, and now dying it is my wish. I do most humbly re- commend this to every man who hears me; but desire they would lay their hands upon their hearts, and seriously consider, whether the beginning of the happiness and reformation of a kingdom should be written in letters of blood; and may I never be so unhappy as that the least drop of my blood should rise up in judgment against any one of you ; but I fear you are in a wrong way.
" My Lords, I have but one word more : I profess I die a true and obedient son to the * Church of England,' wherein I was born, and in which I was bred; * Peace and prosperity be ever to it.' It has been objected, but it is an objection scarce worth answering, that I have been inclined to popery ; though I can truly say, that from the time I was one-and-twenty years of age, to this present, going now upon forty-nine, I never had it in my heart to doubt of the religion of the Church of England, nor ever had any man the boldness to st any such thing to me. And now, being reconciled by the merits of Jesus Christ my Saviour, into whose bosom I hope I shall shortly be gathered, to those happinesses which shall never have an end, I desire heartily the forgiveness of every man for any rash or unadvised words, or any thing done amiss. And so, my Lords and I lemcn, farewell ! farewell all things of this world !
" I doire you will now join with me in prayer, and I trust in God
we shall all meet, and live eternally in heaven, there to receive the
accomplishment of all happiness, where every tear shall be wiped
from our eyes, and every sad thought from our hearts: and
now God bless this kingdom, and Jesus have mercy on my soul.'*
Then he saluted the noblemen, and other persons of distinction ujxm the scaffold ; after which he said again, â– -' Gentlemen, I entreat you all to pray with me, and for
laid the book of Common
26 ARCHBISHOP LAUD,
Prayer before him, he kneeled down, and prayed out of it a quarter of an hour, and as long without book, conclud- ing with the Lord's Prayer.
Then standing up, he said to Sir George Wentworth â€”
" Brother, we must part. Remember me to my sister, and to my wife, and carry my blessing to my son : charge him always to fear God, and continue an obedient son to the Church of England ; warn him that he bear no private grudge, or revenge towards any man con- cerning me. And bid him never to meddle with church livings ; for that will prove a moth and canker to him in his estate ; I wish him to be a servant to his country, without aiming at high prefer- ment.
Carry my blessing also to my daughters Anne and Arabella : charge them to serve and fear God, and he will bless them ; not for- getting my little infant, which yet knows neither good nor evil.
While he was undressing, he said, I as cheerfully put off my clothes at this time, as ever I did when I went to bed ; and putting on a white cap, he tucked up his hair under it ; then having prayed again, and submitted to the block, his head was severed from his body at one blow.