Cecil Papers: 1615

Pages 17-31

Calendar of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House: Volume 22, 1612-1668. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1971.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.



Thomas Davies to Thomas Brett.
1615, May 10. Protests that he has paid John Delahay one hundred nobles to discharge his rent and arrears, but has received no acquittance from him. On the contrary Delahay has distrained upon him and seized some of his cattle. "I beseech you to acquainte my Lord that the like usage was never seen in Wales."—Penbidelle, the xth daie of May, 1615.
Holograph. 1 p. (General 77/15.)
Edmund Drurye.
1615, May 22. Writ of prohibition to Robert Redmayne on the complaint of Edmund Drurye. It was decreed by statute in the year 45 Edward III that on great trees of 20 years' growth and upwards tithes should not be paid. Notwithstanding, one Ambrose Fiske, clerk, now deceased, late vicar of the parish church of Gayton, co. Norfolk, has sued the said Edmund in court Christian for non-payment of tithes on certain great trees within the parish. Stay of proceedings as above.—Dated at Westminster, 22nd May, in the thirteenth year of the King's reign.
1 m. (221. 6.)
Wingfield, co. Suffolk.
1615, June 26. Writ of prohibition to Robert Redmayne. The parish of Wingfield in the county of Suffolk has long had a custom of tithing as follows. Every owner or occupier of a field or plot within the said parish in any year, to wit, "headlandes", "sydlandes", "greenes", or "borders", untilled and fallow lands only excepted, has paid to the rector of the parish or his deputy for the time being on Lammas day the sum of two pence per acre on each field or holding in lieu of all tithes due from the same. Further each owner or occupier of any arable land or plot within the parish has at his own expense and labour tilled, sown and reaped the same, and collected the grain into shocks of equal size, and has rendered the tenth part thereof to the rector of the parish church or his deputy. Notwithstanding, one Francis Warner, farmer of the said rectory, has sued William — for nonpayment of tithes in court Christian. Stay of proceedings (as above).—Dated 26 June, in the thirteenth year of the King's reign.
1 m. imperfect. (221. 5.)
John Tradescant to John Glass, Christopher Keighley and Ralph Cox.
1615, July 23. Requests a favour of them, that they should receive £9:10:0 as rent for Woodfields which should have been paid some time previously. The belated payment of this rent is due to the failure of others to return him his money. "I apeall to you all three, Mr John Glase, Mr Christopher [Keighley] and my ould frend and fellowe Mr Ralfe Cox, I pray give this man [the bearer] a peece of paper of the reseipt of it."—Cantterbery, this 23 of July, 1615.
Holograph. ¾ p. (General 7/13.)
Thomas Shotbolt to Christopher Keighley.
1615, August 24. By command of the Earl of Salisbury he has written to Mr Salter about the rent of the Burse, which he requests Keighley to convey to him if Salter is in London, and to receive his answer. Salisbury wishes Keighley to come to Hat field the following day. "If yow have anye mony, I praye bringe it with yow, for heere is none."—Hatfeeld, this 24th of Awgust, 1615.
Holograph. Fragment of seal. Endorsed: "1613 (sic)" ¾ p. (General 77/11.)
[1615, August.] Disbursements at Cranborne during the visit of the King. The expenses amounted to £224:18:5. There are two lists of expenses, one being the duplicate of the other.
Endorsed: "A perticuler of his Lpps chardges att Cranborne keepinge a table vi meales at his Mats beinge there in August 1615." 8 pp. (Accounts 16/11. Cf. General 131/28.)
Thomas Falthrop to Robert Carter.
[Before September, 1615]. Discusses the matter of a bond. "For your sonne (fn. 1) I know the alteration of your intente standeth upon stronger motives then I am able to sway. Yet I wish that your first proceedings with my Lord and that first entrance in the colledge might be inviolable. Cambridge is a shipp and the motives to intice to badd husbandrie as many as the waves of the ocean."—Undated.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (Deeds 181/35.)
Sir Thomas Overbury.
1615, October 19. "The arraignment of Richard Weston, yeoman, at the Guildhall, London, the 19th of October, 1615, for poisoning of Sir Tho. Overbury, prisoner in the Tower."
Another copy, with many slight variations, of the report calendared in Cal. S.P. Dom., 1611–18, p. 317. Printed in Howell's State Trials, II, pp. 911–22, from an apparently different version, containing additional matter.
9 pp. (129. 119.)
Robert Redmayne.
1615, October 31. Writ of prohibition to Robert Redmayne on the complaint of George Tilney, of the parish of Trowse, co. Norfolk, yeoman. In the years 1612–14, the said complainant possessed a messuage and one rood of land called Hemplande in the parish of Trowse. From time immemorial the said property has lain within the said parish, notwithstanding which one Henry Townly, clerk, vicar of the parish church of Lakenham, has sued the said George Tilney in court Christian for nonpayment of tithes in respect of the said property. Stay of further proceedings (as above).—Dated at Westminster, 31st October, in the thirteenth year of the King's reign.
1 m. (221. 4.)
Anne Turner.
1615, November 9. "The Arraignement of Ann Turner, widdowe, the 9 of November, 1615 att Westminster Hall.
The Indictment proposed her to be guiltye as Accessarye before facte of the poysoninge to death of Sir Tho: Ov[erbury], knight, in the Tower of London. Then shee pleaded not guiltye and putt herself upon the Cuntrye.
There weare 24 Jurors called, all knights, esquires and gentlemen of greate worthe of Midd[lesex], whereof 12 were chosen & Sir Tho: Ffowler erat primus. The poysons weare Rosacre mingled in brothe, Arsnicke & sublimate in tarts & Jellyes, and Mercury sublimate in a glister whereof he died.
After was declared the horriblenes of poysoninge, howe in H: 8: tyme by an acte it was made treason, and that in those dayes there was one Roe executed as a Traytor for poysoninge.
One Doctor Fforeman, a notable Conjuror, was repeated, whoe joyned with the Countesse of Somerset & Mrs Turner by sorceryes & witchcraft, and hee practised by sorcery to drawe Sir Arthur Manweringe, knight, to satisfie the lust of Mrs Turner.
The Countesse, Fforeman & Turner practise to murder Sir Tho: Overbury and there execrable words by sorcerye there used and repeated.
The Countesse said shee should never be happie till Sir Tho: Overbury weare dead.
Rochesters practise to betraye Sir Tho: Overbury to prison by settinge one [on] to denye to goe Ambassador for Russia.
Sir Tho: Overbury called Rochester his preciouse Chief.
Weston a base Pander.
Sir Tho: Overbury hated to the death for his honestye.
Weston spake to the Leieutenant of the Tower, shall I give it him nowe, meanynge poysone to Sir Tho: Overbury, thereby implyinge the guilte of the Lieutenant.
Weston was promised a prsavants [pursuivant's] place by the Countesse to effecte it.
A letter perswadinge to murther from the Countesse to Weston openly read.
After Fforemans death (whome my Lo. Cheif Justice called the devell Fforeman), and whoe alsoe died 4 yeares since, Doctor Edward Gresham was imployed for sorcerye.
Sir Arthur Manweringe had 2 or 3 children by Turner.
Ann Turner examined:
Confessed shee knewe Doctor Fforeman and that after his death shee founde 2 leaden pictures in his house aboute halfe a foote in length, a man and woman, and certayne moulds of brasse by which hee conjured; and shee founde alsoe a certayne cloth of silke wherein weare certayne words tendinge to sorcery, as whicrosse, bycrosse, dicrosse, hycrosse and vecrosse, etc., and the names of spirits & divells & suche like; these pictures & cloth weare shewen in open corte. Att the verye instant of shewinge whereof, there was a cracke from the scaffold, and suche a feare, tumulte, confusion and crye amonge the spectators, and in the hall everye man fearynge hurt, as yf the divell had bene raysed among them indeed, which contynewed aboute a quarter of an houre. And then after the Cryor had by commandement proclaymed sylence, the rest of the conjuringe tricks weare shewed in Courte.
The Countesse had many pictures of brasse 5 yeares since, and used sorcerye by Fforemans meanes, and Fforeman used muche in her company.
Doctor Savery used in succession & practised many sorceryes one [on] Essex his person.
Edward Payne deposed:
That hee sawe many papers of sorcery wherein Sir Arthur Manweringe, Mrs Turner and the Countesse names weare crosse written.
John Wright sworne:
Deposeth that he sawe 4 yeares since in Mrs Turners house Rochester and the Countesse together, and sawe many trikes of conjuration by Fforemans meanes. Sawe alsoe halfe a sheete of paper wherein was written by Fforeman the names of Sir Arthur Manweringe & Mrs Turner and the Countesse, and the names of divells, etc. And this was to bringe Sir Arthurs body to Mrs Turners lust, with divers aperances of witchcraft with crosses & divells.
Baker deposed:
Concerninge the seeinge of signes of witchcraft, pictures, moulds and divells, etc.
Doctor Fforemans wife deposed:
She sawe a puppet of wax in a box in her owne howse.
Robert Ffreman, Fforemans servant examined:
Sayth hee was hyred by the Countesse to burne diverse papers in his masters studye for 10l after that Fforeman was dead.
Richard Weston confessed that Fforeman had 100l for his sorceryes.
That the Countesse putt her trust rather in hell than heaven.
Letters of intreaty to Fforeman from the Countesse openly read, intendinge death to the Earle of Essex. Shee feared Essex would survive all her good fortunes and desired his end.
Sir David Wood sworne:
Sayth that hee was dealte withall by the Countesse to kill Sir Tho: Overbury, but albeit hee had a quarrell of his owne with Overbury (which he said would not reache soe farr as to his death) yet hee refused to doe it; hee was offered 1000l to effecte it by the Countesse.
Suncotts sworne sayth:
That Somerset said that yf ever Overbury came out of the Tower one of them must die for it.
Sayth that Somerset was the chiefe cause of Sir Tho: Overburies overthrowe & imprisonement: and dealt indirectly with him. Overburies good advise unto Somerset was the cause of his death.
Sayth that he attended Sir Tho: Overbury in the Tower & before, and that words of good advise from Overbury to Somersett in the Gallery att Whitehall, which Somerset did distast, caused Somerset to worke meanes for Sir Tho: Overbury his fall. And further he sayth that Sir Tho: Overbury was of a sounde bodye, active & worthy wellgiven gent.
An other servant of Overburies:
Sayth that he served about 8 or 9 yeares this said Sir Tho: and that by all the said time he was of a verye good constitution, and used ffoyles, leapinge & suche like.
Somerset sent Overbury a poyson to the Tower, bearinge him in hand that it was phisicke & would make him but a litle sicke, as hee said, and that suche sicknes would move the Kinges compassion for his enlargement.
Overburye in the extreamytie of his sicknes in the Tower said yf hee dyed there his blood should be required att Somersetts hands.
Heare my Lo. Cheife Justice told the Jury of the severall natures of poysone, some killinge speedylie & some act a longer time by degrees, and pittyed Overburies speeche whoe said, will yee see me (his verye words) murthered in soe cruell a manner.
A shorte but excellent speeche of my Lo. Cheif Justice concerninge the miserablenes of Overburies case, and of the love the Kinge bare unto him, albeit his imprisonement, sayinge he was a noble man, a knight, a gent., a ffreman, a good subjecte, a learned & an honest man.
Westons examination:
Concerninge the meetings of the Countesse & Rochester 3 yeares since.
Turners examination:
Concerninge the meetings of the Countesse & Rochester diverse times in the Earl of Essex time.
Sir Tho: Munston examined:
Confessed that hee had never acquaintance with Weston, yet by the meanes of the Countesse hee recommended him to the Lieutenant to thende to attend one Overbury in the Tower.
Lieutenant examined:
Confessed hee received Weston by Sir Tho: Munstons letter to the ende to attend one Overbury.
Robert Williams:
Often sent by Ffranklyn unto Weston, and one time hee came from the Tower to Whitehall in company of Weston whoe brought a viall to the Countesse.
Richard Westons examination:
Concerninge the practises and compacts of the Countesse. Diverse tarts & jellyes sent by Somersett to Weston whose ffee was respited untill Sir Tho: Overbury was dead. Weston received 1801 of Mrs Turner.
Weston was forbidd by the Countesse to eate of the tarts, and yett hee confessed it would doe Overbury noe harme.
All was hoped to be well upon Sir Tho: Munstons commyng.
The Leiuetenant said, give it him tonight, and I hope all wilbe well.
The Countesses displeasure against Sir Tho: Overbury was (as shee said) for that he loved none of the Howards.
Tarts poysoned weare sent by Somersett and the Countesse.
Weston carrynge upp Sir Tho: Overburies supper asked the Lieutenant yf hee should give it him nowe or noe, meanynge the poyson to Sir Tho: Overbury.
Mrs Turner willed to speake by my Lo. and promised all patience and hearinge att large, denyed all absolutely and intreated favour.
Whereunto my lo: answeared, denyall is noe good excuse for then everye delinquent would escape.
My lords speeche to the Jurye concerninge the heynousnes of the offence.
The Jurye goe together and retorne her guiltie. Judge Crookes speeche to her concerninge her facte and perswadinge unto repentance, etc., and soe pronounced her judgment to be hanged.
My lord Cookes last speeche concerninge her repent[ance], shewinge her howe her sinne was seaven fould, viz, a whore, a Baude, a Sorceresse, a witche, a Papist, a felon and a murderesse: and wished her by repentance with Mary Magdalen to beseeche Jesus Christ to cast out these 7 devills, etc.
And soe she was comitted over unto the Sheriff."
5 pp. (214. 70.)
James Franklin.
1615, November 27. "The Arraignement of James Franklin, gent., at the King's Bench, the 27th of November, 1615.
The Indictment was the same as Mrs Turners and the Leutenants of the Tower. His first answere was that he knewe of noe poisoning, but being required to answere directly he answered not guilty, and put himselfe upon triall of the Cuntry. The Jury seemed to be the ordinary jury of Middlesex: 1, Dalby; 2, Bowes; 3, Darts, etc. Sir John Brett was returned but made defaickt [default].
Sir Lawrence Hide gave evidence, which seemed to be but a recapitulation of the cheif point, of the prisoners owne confessions upon his examinations. And therefore seeming to marevell, seinge every parte of the accusation was soe cleare out of his owne mouth, that he did not now confesse it but would stand upon a denial.
Lo. Cooke tould the jury he must first informe them of the lawe, for the lawe, said he, you must understand from the judges; your owne parte is to judge of the fact, and two things he would have them to note.
That it was not now to be made a question whether Weston did poison Overbury, for an other jury had affirmed that, and all men must be concluded to say with them that Overbury was poisoned and by Weston.
That these must not regard (for it was not materiall) though these poisons named in the inditement be not the right poisons by which he died. The point is whether he were poisoned with any poison at all, not with what poison he was poisoned.
And the issue that they were to try was whether Franklin were accessary to Westons poisoninge of Overbury before the fact was done.
Sir Lawrence Hide proceeded with the information that the prisoner:
(1), First for his former life, was suspected to have poisoned his owne wief.
(2), A noted blasphemer. What talke you (said he) to me of God. Let them talke of God that have any thing to doe with him. He had great persons to beare him out.
(3), He bought all the poisons, brought them to Mrs Turner and the Countesse, and by the Countesse was sent to Weston to knowe how Overbury did. Heard her often say, it was not done soone enough, when will it be done.
(4), He had accesse to her bedchamber, early at 6 in the morninge before she was up; late 10, 12 at night; knewe the malice borne to Overbury by the Countesse. A stronge poison must be provided. A feate must be done.
Seaven poisons. The seaven deadly sins came from you. You had the rewarde, 201 at one time, 1001 at another, 26 shillings a weeke, 2s 6d a day botehire, 2001 a yeare promised. Out of all which he concluded him guilty, and desired to goe to the proof.
Mr Warre added that Franklin had brought Mercury water to Mrs Turner, that he knewe it was given to a catt, and the dumbe beast was soe tormented with it that Mrs Turner tould him it was to stronge and must be tempered.
Here my Lo. Cooke tooke occasion to commend the manner of the prisoners confession, how he was soe troubled all night, could take noe rest, sent to my Lo: Cooke when he sent not for him, petitioned to be heard, and the day after said he was much eased in hys mynd now he had confessed.
The proof:
Geffrey Questor sworne openly in Court testified that about the latter end of sommer was 2 yeares hee mett Francklin and went to drincke a peinte of wine with him, and fallinge into speeches with him said he was sorie that his Masters sonne should have such a disgrace put upon him to be divorced as a man not able to give his wief contentment. Thou art a foole, said Francklin, these hands had actions in all those businesses. But, said Questor, how dost thou thinck that God will blesse you then. Let them talke of God (said Francklin) that have any thinge to doe with him. I am favoured by great persons, and they will beare me out in all. If thou hast any suite let me but have a share, and see whether I cannot effect it for thee at Court.
Walgrave deposed that the 29th of June, 1613, Francklin came to him (brought by one Walter). But here being interrupted to tell how he could remember the tyme soe precisely, he said he was a phisition and did alwaies note dow[n]e in a booke the day that any patient came to him. And then this man (said he) came to mee as full of the pox as ever I sawe, leaninge on a staffe, his face all broken out and the marrowe of his bones corrupted, that put him to great torment. I tould him I heard he was a phisition, and asked why he could not cure himselfe. He said he was come to take phisicke of me, but he must have such phisicke as might not hinder him to goe abroad, for he must goe to a great person. I tould him he was not fitt to goe into any company, there was but 4 parts in a man and 3 of them were gone in him; therefore he must have rest and ease. Soe I gave him phisicke, and comeinge to him a weeke after he was prettely recovered. And then after other talke he asked me what was the greatest poison in the worlde. I marvelled what he would doe with it, and asked him if he ment to poison himself. He said noe, but desired to knowe it. I tould him I knewe none for I never medled with any. Soe I contynued him phisicke a weeke longer, and he went abroad and was well, but paid me not for my paines a good while after. I found where he was in company, and called him to the doore and asked him for money. What, said he, ar you come to quarrel with me. Noe, said I, but I would have myne owne. Said he, if you will I will meete you in Moore fields, and will bring 40l in my purse and a geldinge worth 201. Nay, said I, I have not soe much. But have you soe much and will not paie me. With that I gave him 3 or 4 good blowes over the face and left him.
Afterwards (Walgrave said) he mett with Walter and tould him what a customer he had brought him. Like anough, said Walter, for he serveth me soe too, and hee asked mee the same question what was the strongest poison. He oweth me mony and wil not pay it, and once he tould me he had noe mony but hee would lett me have a Divell. Hath he a Divell, said Walgrave. Divell or noe Divel I am sure I have knocked him well once. Soe he ended and in my opinion deserved the second place to Francklin of al that I sawe this day.
Walter, an Appothecary. He mett Francklin in Bush Lane, who went then with a staffe. They went into a house to drincke, and there he enquired of Walter what was the strongest poison in the worlde; and talked of supernatural things which he did worke by, and offered to let him have one, but named not the Divell; and when he was sicke wished some of his freinds had it. And then said he must goe to his La. for mony, from whom he had a weekely exhibition.
Fraunces Hooke. That Francklin married his Ms who was a healthfull woman, but after fell sicke 17 weeks, and it was thought she died poisoned. 3 dayes before my Lo. Mayors day Francklin sent him with 2 letters to Awdeleyend, one to Mrs Turner, the other to the La. [Countess of Essex] who sent backe by an other messenger 201 in gould which he sawe paid to Francklin. And that he went often with him to Whitehall to my La. her chamber, and that she gave Francklin a weekely allowance.
Jane Wood, sister to Francklin his wife. Saieth that her sister tould her that Francklin her husband had given her poison, and would doe the like to any of them.
These were all sworne openly in Court and made these depositions Viva Voce, after which were read the examinations of:
Grace Lacy. She kept Francklin when he was sicke, sawe him receive a letter with 2 seales; at the readinge his coullor changed, and he said in a rage that he would not be hanged for never a whore of them all.
Brereton heard Mrs Turner aske Francklin when will it bee, and heard Francklin say, that he made the marriage.
Francklin himself examined 3° October, confesseth he was sent often to the Tower to Weston to knowe how Overbury did, and brought him gould from Mrs Turner.
William Weston was sent for to come to the Countesse and to bringe her a fan or a fall, and received a glasse of 2 inches longe from some of the Countesses servants at Whitehall to carry to his father to the Tower which he delivered.
Sir Ger[vase] Elwish. That Weston tould him that he had the glasse from Mrs Turner which was 2 inches longe, and he tould him likewise that an Apothecaries boy had 201 to give the glister.
Williams went with Francklin 5 or 6 tymes to Weston who sent for him out of the Tower to the White Lion, that they two had many conferences together which he heard not, for they alwaies left him aloane, who stayed in an other roome till they came againe to him, went with him to Whitehall whether he said he went to a great Lady, and once sawe him have a glasse of 2 inches lapt in a paper which he carried to Whitehall.
Richard Weston. The Countesse desired him to give Overbury a water, but drincke not thou of it, yet it will doe him no harme, and promised he should be well rewarded.
Francklin himself. That he went 5 or 6 tymes to Weston, mett him at the White Lion nere the Tower, whether he sent for him, asked him, how doth he whom you keepe, who answered, not wel, he hath many stooles and vomitts. To whom Francklin said that an Appothecaries boy should have 201 to give him a glister.
Marg. Ewen, servant to Mrs Turner, served her ever since the great plage, had the charge of the plate. Sawe her Mrs put a water into a white catt that kept a meweinge, and was pitifully tormented after it. She was sent to Francklin one night who rose out of his bed and came to Whitehall to the Cocke pit, and the Earle of Somersitt was there that night.
She bought salt and suger and white Arsenick for her Mrs who kept them in her crossett, but sawe them noe more after Francklin had bin there.
Stephen Clapham, a groome of the Countesses Bedchamber, was sent to bring Francklin to Hatfield and came with him backe to London to the White Lion nere the Tower, who sent for Weston by a boy of the taverne; and when he came Francklin asked whether he had done that he promised.
That he did often let Francklin into the Countesses bedchamber before she was up. That Mrs Turner received all his Ladies money and paid all.
Francklin's petition to my Lo: Cooke 16° Nov: at 6 in the morning desearinge to be heard to speake, and he would utter such things as should give great light on this bussinesse.
After that was read the confession he made to my Lo: Cooke the 16th of this No: which was read at the Lieutenant's arraignment.
Then an other examination of his made the 17th of this No: to my Lo: Cooke, wherein he saieth that all their poisons were written in a paper by the Countesse her self in a Roman hande, describeth the cullors of them all. The spiders in powder he bought not, but they and the Cantharides were blacke like pepper.
Sir Tho: Munson never spake with any of them but in secrett. Whensoever he came in, if Francklin were talkinge with the La., then he was left a loane or put into a by roome till the Countesse and Munson had conferred. When he was gone, the Countesse would tel Francklin how Overbury did, for Munson alwaies brought newes from the Tower; once she said she thought Weston plaid the knave.
Another examination the 20th of No:. A fortnight before Michellmas last the Earle came to the Cockepit, and at 10 of the clocke at night the Countesse sent for Francklin to Broadstreat, and when he was come she came out to him and said, How now Francklin, we shall all be hanged, for Weston is sent for by a parsevant, and hath confessed all, therfore take you heede what you say, for if you confesse any thing you will be hanged. And by God you shall be hanged for me if you confesse, for I will not be hanged. Noe, said Mrs Turner, I will be hanged for you both; and there they made him sweare againe (but not on a booke as before) that he would never discover any thing. He perceived she went to an other roome to speake with somebody, which he tooke to be the Earle, and coming out againe she tould him that the Lords would promisse him a pardon to confesse; but take heede you trust not to it, said she, for if you doe you will be deceived; and gave him other instructions what to answere.
Remembreth that at the first Mrs Turner did aske him for the greatest poison, and named to him aqua fortis and Mercury water, and bad him provide some, and then he received 4 angels which now he thincks were 4 Divels to drawe him into his mischief. After he had brought some he understod that parte was given to a catt, and they found it to violent and sent it backe. Another tyme the Countesse conferred with him of the nature of poisons, and asked whether he knewe the powder of Diamonds. He said noe, and she said he was a foole, and bad him git some of it from the cutters of Diamonds, and al he could whatsoever it cost. She enquired likewise of the nature of white Arsenick, of Cantharides, Lapis lostices, and bad him gett them and bringe them, which he did, but wisheth now that he had had more grace, but thincketh that those 2 weomen (what with their guifts, what with their faire speeches) were able to seduce any man.
He saieth that Weston after he had the place provided him in the Tower grewe very proude, would scarce looke upon him or speake to him, but upon necessity when he was sent to him.
An other examination the 22th of Nov:. About Easter last Weston came to him to Broadstreat and tould him they should both be poisoned, for now they had served the others' turnes they would be glad to be ridd of them. Soe Marie Parsely toulde them likewise, and she used to goe to cunninge man and cunninge weamen, and promised she would tell them more before Michellmas, about which tyme they were comitted.
He remembreth that one morninge before 6 of the clocke he was sent for to the Countesse, who had newly received a letter from the Earle, which she gave him to read, and he remembreth one parte of it was: he did wonder why things were not dispatched before nowe, wherat she stormed and sent for Weston, called him cnave, and bad him dispatch what he had promised. Weston answered that he knewe not what to say to it, he had given him enough to dispatch twenty men.
And when Monnson or any other brought messadges from the Tower, she wrote to the Earle, and he dare sweare the Earle was as privy to all as the Countesse.
Ever when Sir Tho: Monnson came Francklin was locked in a clossett till he was gone.
And he knewe alwaies when my Lo: of Rochester lay there, for then when he came in the morninge hee was not admitted into the La: bedchamber, but Mrs Turner was sent to talke with him; and once she complayned that the Countesse had not made her privy to the Earles lyinge there, but Mr Horne, and said she had not deserved to be made such a stranger, and thought that for that cause Mrs Turner and Mr Horne did hate one another.
Then was Francklin bade to speake what he could in his defence, whose answere only was he bought the poisons and brought them to the La. and Mrs Turner, but knewe not the use of them, which he repeated twice or thrise.
Acknowledged all his examinations and confessions to be true, but he knewe not the use of the poisons; nor that Overbury was dead till a quarter of a yeare after.
My Lo: Cooke tould him he was not indited as a principall, and he would excuse him from any origenall malice against Overbury or that he did desire his death, but he was a malitious instrument of it and he was indited only as an accessarie. Willed him to followe the example of Mrs Turner and the Lieutenant in their repentance, shewed what comfort she had in her self, and what good counsel she gave to others, how she tore her yellowe band and threwe it in the fire, sayinge that that and her pride in such like thinghs was her overthrowe, and would be the overthrowe of all that should use them. Wherat his Lop tooke occasion to dilate a litle, which made some of the ladies present to smyle.
He shewed alsoe how God had brought this offence to light by the justice of his Majestei (the renownest kinge in the wordle [world] for his justice) and by the faithful labor of those whom his Matie had imploied in it; an offence shadowed by greatnes, by tyme, by oath, yet nothinge could cover that which God will lay open.
But al this wrought nothinge, the prisoner would make noe other answere then before. But added that all the mony he had received was about the marriage. The jury withdrewe, but staid not longe before they returned and found him guiltie.
Soe judgment was given by Justice Crooke, who made a religious exhortatory speech unto him to repent and confesse.
And my Lo: Cooke another to perswade him to make so much satisfaction as to discover all that he knewe and all the evill instruments that he knewe of all sorts, for it was apparant he had been conversant with a great number of witchis, sorcerers, conninge men, poisoners, and now might doe much good by discovering them, and therby an occasion of preventinge the hurte they may doe hereafter. For alas (said he), what Courte, what Citty, Cuntry or private famely is safe if theis things passe unpunished. Here his Lop stucke soe longe (especially upon the Court) that teares came out of his eies, which yet he made them drincke up againe but they passed not unseene. His Lop tould him he should have tyme to prepare himself, soe was his Majesties pleasure that they all should have convenient tyme to save their better parte, which he wished him to make good use of, and he should have those that were able to prepare him better and give him better counsel than he could.
At the prisoners goinge away from the barre he said there were bigger persons than he (that was his word) that were in this bussinesse, which maketh all that heard him thincke that he will confesse more before his execution."
9 pp. (129. 124.)
A very brief account of this trial is printed in Howell's State Trials, Vol. 11, p. 947; and a short abstract of a portion will be found in Cal. S.P. Dom., 1611–18.
Ralph Cox to Christopher Keighley.
1615, December 9. Has undertaken the busines of dispatching pepper to Keighley's mother as requested. Regarding the other matter concerning Mrs Rogers, "I went with her to the Prorogative Courte but we wanted Mr Powell, and so I intreted of the Juge that wee might have respite for tow or 3 dayes, and he did give us time till Mundaye com sinenight. Then they sit at St Clementt Churche and then it will be dispached. Misteres Rogers did speak to me as though she woulde continew it 6 monthes longer, but I did tell her that when this 6 monthes were ended she should knowe, for I durste tell her no otherwise but that she should be well talte (? taught) with all. And I did hope she woulde dow so by you. I would have you to write to Powell to take bonde of her for fere of the worste." Salisburey House, this 9 of December, 1615.
PS. "The pepper iis viiid the pownde, viiis when you cum to London."
Holograph. 1 p. (General 77/18.)
Sir John Leveson (fn. 2) to Captain Brett.
[1615 or before]. "When God shall make me able to com to London, you shall have sutch mony as I have, which I take to be sum 4001. Tyll I com my self non can com to yt because yt lies with som other things which are not to be seen by servants." His too early venturing into the open air has laid him up with another bout of ague. "I am sorry to heare of so many duells among our great ones, and thank you for your newes which to this barren and solitary place are welcome."—Undated.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (General 74/18.)
George Sandys.
1615. MS. Travels of George Sandys in the East, published 1615. Inscribed "Presented to the Marquis of Salisbury, 1814." 265.
Christopher Keighley's Correspondence.
[1615 or after]. "I have received your letter of attorney sent by this messenger and do understand of your dispatch of my Lords business wherein I must acknowledge my selfe beholden unto yowe for your care therein. I would have nowe come over to have dispatched it but that my Lord is not yet returned from Theoballs, neither doe I (in regard his Mat is not well) expecte him before Satterday night, and then (God willing) I will either come or send to paye in the fine and dispatche it."—Undated.
Draft in Keighley's hand
Attached: A fair copy of the same letter in another hand, but slight variation in content, and written underneath.—"To my verie loveinge frend Mr William Mendham" and "To the right worshipfull my assured good frend Mr Doctor Collins, (fn. 3) provost of Kings Colledge in Cambridge." Also a second fair copy, unaddressed, and with slight variation in content.
1 p. (General 102/2.)
Mary Rogers.
1615–16, February 2. Conveyance of a lease from Christopher Keighley to Mary Rogers.—2 February, 1615.
½ p. (P. 2315.)
John Dilworth.
1615–16, March 12. Presentation of John Dilworth to the vicarage of Brigstock, co. Northampton, by William, Earl of Salisbury.—12 March, 1615.
1 p. (P. 2310.)


  • 1. Francis Carter, of Hatfield, co. Herts, was admitted pensioner at King's College, Cambridge, on 2 September, 1615.
  • 2. Died in 1615.
  • 3. Dr Samuel Collins, Provost of King's College, 1615–44.