Cecil Papers: February 1601, 16-20

Pages 57-75

Calendar of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House: Volume 11, 1601. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1906.

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February 1601, 16–20

William Rider, Lord Mayor of London, to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, Feb. 16. This lewd libel was put into my hands as I came this forenoon from the Sessions, by one that named himself servant to my lord Admiral, which I received thinking it had been a letter, and when I came home, finding it to be a libel and looking for the party that brought it, he was not to be found. All possible diligence shall be used for the discovery of it.—16 February 1600.
Signed. ½ p. (76. 77.)
Sir John Petre to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, Feb. 16. In my return homewards this afternoon I took the examination of one Henry Gravenor, a servant of the Earl of Rutland, who was apprehended at the town of Brentwood upon suspicion a sevennight since. And finding that he was amongst the rebellious crew on Sunday was sevennight, though he happened into it, as he allegeth, accidentally, I thought it fit to send him up unto you, together with his examination.—From Brentwood, the 16th of February 1600.
Holograph. ½ p. (76. 78.)
Sir Henry Lee to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, Feb. 16. On Wednesday I, travailing for my coming up above my strength, fell into a new passion of the gout, meaning the next day to have come towards her Majesty. It continued some 3 or 4 days without ease. On Saturday I took physic, and that day I sent this messenger my man with letters to you, one to that other (of all creatures most hated of me), another to Mr. Alexander. My man understanding how the world went with them, and fearing I had written somewhat, in his behalf, to you in so unseasonable a time, returned this day without delivering of my letters : that to you I have sent here enclosed, sealed as it was when I first sent it; the other two he hath likewise brought back for you to peruse, if it so please you I am much bound to you for seeing, reading, and sealing up again of my two letters, sent and returned by his footman. Since my physic I am somewhat better, and though not able to go yet will I try how I can endure to ride if I thus continue until Wednesday or Thursday. If there be any farther occasion, favour me with her Highness's pleasure and your direction. Sir, in the course of his life this wretch hath spent me much; I pay interest no small sum, and have since his coming over increased it. For these greater matters, I will not now speak, but for these matters of pleasure, a great part of which I have interest in, let me have your aid and warrant if it like you. He hath two cast of hawks, whereof an entermed hagard, garfalcon, is mine, and some 4 or 5 geldings, whereof a little Irish hobby is mine, and a white gelding, both which he gave me. I fear the sheriff or some other officer will seize upon them, so shall I be defeated of my own. If they come into my hands, they shall be safe, do her Majesty's service, and ever ready at your commandment when you please to have them. If it please you thus far to further it, then this bringer shall go presently about it, and meet me at London both with the one kind and other.—Woodstock Lodge, the 16th of February.
Holograph. 1 p. (76. 79.)
Sir Edward Wotton and Sir H. Brouncker to the Privy Council.
1600/1, Feb. 16. We think it our duties to give a true account of our proceedings sithens our employment here. At our first coming all things were confused and out of order, which forced us to enter into a present consultation of the number of soldiers and store of armour, which we found very short, and therefore resolved to borrow of the halls and established an order for it. Next we took care for the speedy levying of men for the guard of the gates, which we proportioned according to the importance of the places; 100 for Ludgate, 100 for Newgate, 100 for the Bridge gate, and to the rest 30 a piece, saving Moorgate, which we mured up for sparing of men to be otherwise employed. Then we put sufficient guards upon the prisons and upon all houses where there was any store or sale of armour. We farther commanded all the powder in Southwark and without Aldgate to be presently brought into the city and bestowed in a strong place well guarded; and for a more certain and speedy way to strengthen the guards and suppress any sudden uproar, we appointed two places of assembly, viz. the Exchange and Paul's Churchyard, for a continual stand of six hundred soldiers, which upon every occasion might make head to any sudden commotion, and command all parts of the city and supply the rounds. From the storehouse only every guard and stand was easily furnished with powder, and without danger. In the beginning we observed your lordships' direction for relieving the guards every 12 hours, but perceiving the slackness and unreadiness in furnishing the guards with the appointed numbers in time convenient, and apprehending the greatest danger to be in changing the guards in the night, we were bold to continue them for 24 hours, which is more easy for the soldiers, less troublesome for the aldermen of the wards, and more safe for the city, and agreeable with the common course and custom of the wars. Withal we made provision for store and 'provante' for the better encouragement of every guard and stand; so as we doubt not but a very little time, with the discretion and industry of Sir Thomas Wilford, will reduce all things into a ready course for the sure defence of the City if need require it.—From the Lord Mayor's house, this 16th of February 1600.
Signed. Seal. 1½ pp. (76. 87.)
Essex's Rebellion.
1600/1, Feb. 16. “A declaration of that which happened at the approach of the Earl of Essex to the chain and posts near the ends of the 2 lanes between Powles and Ludgate, upon Sunday the 8th of February 1600.”
I John Leveson, knight, coming from the house of Lord Cobham in the Blackfriars towards Ludgate the said day in the afternoon, met with the Earl of Cumberland, the Lord Bishop of London, and others to me unknown, all on horseback; and at my coming under the vault of the said gate, I was spoken to by the said Earl or Lord [Bishop] of London, that it should be well done of me, having heretofore served her Majesty in the wars, to put the company there in some order. To which I replied that I was a stranger to them and they to me, and had no command over them, and therefore desired the care thereof might be committed to some other.
After which speech, bethinking myself that in times of such danger I could not take upon me any charge though never so base that might turn to my disgrace, so as I might thereby give an assurance of my loyalty to my Sovereign, and therefore resolving to do my endeavour, I spake to one whom I found there with a halberd in his hand, a man to me unknown, but by his personage a tall man, and, as it proved after, one Waight who died of hurt received there, that he would bring up such pikes as were there to me to the posts and chain above the said two lanes; which he did accordingly, and after this I prayed him to bring up the shot which stood under the gate. Then did I pray him to put the shot next to the chain and to place the pikes behind them. Which done, I placed 12 halberdiers, 6 at the end of the lane leading to Bergavenny house, and other 6 at the end of the other lane leading to Carter Lane. I also moved the Lord of London to cause the chain to be drawn cross the street and to be fixed to the posts. This done, my Lord Bishop of London gave order to free the street of idle gazers wherewith it was much pestered, and rode up and down encouraging the company which were there (being for the most his own servants and armed with his armour) to stand to it like men.
Within half an hour and less after we were thus assembled at the chain, my Lord of Essex came with his company from Powles churchyard towards us, and when he approached within 4 pikes' length of the chain he made a halt and asked who commanded there, to which answer was made that the Earl of Cumberland was there. Then his lordship commanded that one should go to him to pray him to suffer him to pass; to which answer was made that he had commanded that none should pass there. Then said the Earl, “Oh! I have wounded him”; and the Earl approaching nearer said, “I see Sir John Leveson, go to him, for I am assured that he will not deny me passage.”
Then came Sir Ferdinando Gorge to me and told me the Earl prayed me he might pass to his lodging, protesting he would pass peaceably without offering offence to any : to which I replied that I was commanded by the Earl of Cumberland and my Lord of London that none should pass that way, and that I had so undertaken and, God willing, would perform it; and with this answer Sir Ferdinando departed.
Then the Earl sent Capt. Bushell to me to require the like passage, saying that he had departed with the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs in good terms, and that they had given him free liberty to pass to his own house, and that he would offend none. To which I answered as before, and said that if either the Lord Mayor or Sheriffs would come thither and affirm what he said I would give place, but till one of them came, I prayed his lordship to refrain, for I was bound to make good the place and so would, God willing.
Then his lordship sent Sir Ferdinando Gorge the second time to me, praying I would suffer him with one gentleman to pass about a most grateful and acceptable message to the Queen and State. To which I answered as before, and told him that Ludgate was locked, and that I neither had the keys nor could tell who had them. And with this answer Sir Ferdinando departed.
After this his lordship sent one John Bargar to me upon the like message for passage, which I also denied.
Then came Capt. Bushell to me the second time praying passage as before; to which when I replied as before, he said that I would be the cause of the effusion of more blood of the nobility and gentry of England than any man born within mine age, for, said he, here be earls, barons, knights, and the flower of the nobility and gentry of England. To this I answered that I was sorry for their being there, and that if there should be that effusion of blood he spake of, the fault would prove theirs and not mine. Then said he, “I tell you that my lord saith that he will and must pass, and that he will pass by you as a true subject to her Majesty and a friend to the State, and that he only seeketh to suppress the tyranny of those who have sold and betrayed the State to the Spaniard.”
Whereto I answered that it was above my capacity to understand the designs of his lordship; and for his passage that way, I must and would deny it.
Presently upon this one of the Earl's side cried, “Shoot! shoot!” and then the pistols were discharged at us within a three quarters pike's length of us, and they were answered again by such shot as we had, and forthwith Sir Christopher Blunt charged with his sword and target and came close to the chain and cut off the head of sundry the pikes, and with him divers other of the Earl's company, of which some got between the post and the chain and let drive among our pikes and halberts : and in this encounter Sir Chr. Blunt was hurt, first by a thrust in the face, and then felled by a knock on the head. Upon the sight whereof and of the fall of young Mr. Tracy, the Earl's page, our company coming upon them put them back, which the Earl perceiving called them off and so departed from us.
This in substance is all that passed at the encounter at the chain aforesaid, which I have at the command of your Honour in discharge of my duty set down, subscribed with my hand the 16 of February 1600. John Leveson.
pp. (83. 64, 65.)
Herbert Croft to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1 [? Feb. 16]. I understood this evening late that one of the Queen's trumpeters hath gotten into his hands a gelding of Sir Gelly Meyrick's, which he doth offer to sale, a thing that I conceive he cannot do in respect that Sir Gelly is not yet convicted; and that maketh me think the trumpeter hath come by him by no due means. If therefore you would grant me your warrant to seize the gelding into my hands, and that I may buy him hereafter as he shall be priced, I will yield you thanks.—From my lodging in Strand, this Monday night, late.
Holograph. Endorsed :—“1600.” Seal, broken. ½ p. (83. 4.)
Ro. Brerewood, Mayor of Chester, to the Privy Council.
1600/1, Feb. 17. According to directions in your name from Sir Richard Lewkenor, I have caused a strong watch of substantial and well affected persons towards her Majesty and the state to be set within this city, for the preventing and suppressing of any tumults or unlawful assemblies in respect of the late traitorous attempts complotted against her Majesty's royal person and the realm. And this day, understanding by Captain Covert of the repair into this city of one William Harrison, late servant to Sir Charles Percy, knight, who is reported to be one of the complices, I have called him before me and examined him, and thereby did find him to have divers letters from the said Sir Charles, the Earl of Southampton, and others, to be carried unto some persons of the best account in the realm of Ireland; which letters I have sent to you, together with Harrison's examination. Moreover, understanding that at this time an extraordinary company of strangers are gone towards Holyhead, where the post barques now remain, I have presumed to write unto the masters thereof requiring them not to transport any manner of person or letter whatsoever but such as shall concern her Majesty's affairs; and have sent the like directions to all the masters of the barques remaining in this river. I am further advertised that the soldiers lately embarked from hence for Lough Foyle are already arrived there, except Captain Hart and one barque with 60 soldiers which in a great tempest lost the rest and was driven back hither again, where they remain expecting the first opportunity of wind and weather.—Chester, the 17th day of February 1600.
Signed. 1 p. (76. 80.)
John Wasshebourne, Sheriff of Worcestershire, to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, Feb. 17. Upon Saturday last the wife of John Lytleton did come to Franckley House where I then was. She was very important [sic. importunate] with me for the having some evidences which she said did concern herself, and did remain in a desk of hers in her closet. I answered that I would not deliver any evidences or writings whatsoever without warrant; at which answer she seemed discontented. After her departure, I did spend some time in perusing such writings as were in the said desk, and did find there a packet of letters fast sealed with hard wax directed in this sort, viz.: “This belongs to Sir Charles Davers and is to be delivered either to his own hands or to be burned :” and having intelligence that the said Sir Charles Davers was an actor in this notorious rebellion, have sent the packet of letters unto you.—From Franckley, 17th February 1600.
Holograph. 1 p. (76. 81.)
The Bishop of Winchester to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, Feb. 17. Report coming unto mine ears of some quantity of powder, bullets and muskets bought up in the city of Winchester about the ninth of this month of February, and more sought for than was there ready to be had, I wrote to the mayor and justices of the said city forthwith to examine the tradesmen there what armour and powder they sold about that time, and to whom. It falleth out by confession that Mr. Richard Gifford, of Somborne by Winchester, did that day not only cleanse and make ready his own armour at his house, but sent a man of his own, and another of his cousin Hamden Gifford's lying in the same house with him, to Winchester to buy what provision they could of musquets, powder, and bullets. And though the fact otherwise be not unlawful, yet because it jumped so near the time of that unchristian and unnatural rebellion and treason of the Earl, and the said Mr. Richard Gifford is a great follower of the Earl of Southampton's, and his two cousins Hamden and Philip now at home with him; as also some of his brethren served in Ireland under the said Earl of Southampton at his being there, and were very kindly used by him : these circumstances concurring made me think it my duty, as soon as I had thoroughly examined the witnesses (who in favour of the parties began to shrink from their first confessions) to acquaint you therewith and leave the consideration of their intent and meaning to your wisdom; as also the direction for farther proceeding to examine the servants and adherents of Mr. Richard Gifford, with which I thought not good to meddle before signification given unto you; as well for that the offence is of the highest nature and standeth rather in private meaning than in open act, as also for that his adherents and servants will rather excuse than accuse their master if some greater authority than mine be not added to their examination; beseeching God to strengthen and prosper you in the careful enquiring and revealing of this most heinous and horrible conspiracy.—From my house at Waltham, 17 February 1600.
Signed. Seal. 1½ pp. (76. 82.)
Examinations of John Grew, Thomas Beddam, Launcelot Vibert, Walter Powell and Thomas Ashton.
1600/1, Feb. 13 to 17. 1. John Grew of the City of Winchester, cutler, saith that upon Monday last the ninth of this present month of February, between five and six of the clock in the afternoon, Thomas Beddam of Winchester, butcher, at examinant's mother's house in Winchester, told examinant and his brother William that that afternoon at Mr. [Richard] Gifford's, of King's Somborne, he had seen that Mr. Gifford's folks were making clean and ready of their pieces and shot. The said Thomas Beddam said to examinant and his brother, “I marvel of it, do you not hear of any mustering?”
Taken before the mayor and justices of the City of Winchester the 13th of February 1600.
The said John Grew being examined the second time.
To the same effect. Beddam being in the kitchen at Mr. Richard Gifford's saw a musket and a caliver brought into the kitchen. He does not remember that Beddam said, “I marvel of it,” but is sure that he did say, “Do you hear of no mustering here? For, where I was to-day at Mr. Gifford's, the armourer was trimming and making ready their furniture.”—Taken before the Bishop of Winchester the 15th of February 1600.
2. Thomas Beddam is a butcher of Winchester aged 24. On Monday last the 9th of this month he was at Mr. Gifford's, of King's Somborne, and about one o'clock of the afternoon, being in the kitchen there, he saw a young man, servant to Mr. Philip Gifford, and son of one Cooke, of St. Cross near Winchester, as he thinketh, bring into the kitchen a musket or a caliver, whether of the twain he remembereth not, and there to try the cock whether it were quick and ready or no. While examinant stood there, one Salter, a servant of the house, came into the kitchen and was asked by some there, whether he had made an end of trimming the armour, or no. The answer examinant doth not remember. When he came to Winchester the same night, resorting to the house of John Grewe, he asked whether they heard of any mustering there, or no. The said Grewe answered “No,” and examinant replied, “Where I was to-day at Somborne, they were preparing and making ready their armour.”
Being asked upon the amending of the name of Philip Gifford for Hamden, whether he knew the said Philip and Hamden, and whether he saw any of them at Somborne, he says he met Mr. Hamden Gifford, whom he well knoweth, in the green before Somborne House next to the garden, in the company of one Mr. Thynne whose Christian name he knoweth not.—Taken before the Bishop of Winchester the 15th day of February 1600.
3. Launcelot Vibert, of Winchester, mercer, saith that on Monday last in the afternoon between 4 and 5 of the clock, Alexander Ewens, butler to Mr. Gifford of King's Somborne, and another man, servant to Mr. Hamden Gifford, came to Winchester to Mr. John Paice and there bought about eight pounds of match. Then upon acquaintance, they came to this examinant, and told him they would have bought four muskets of John Paice, and of this examinant they asked to buy sixteen pounds of powder. He had not so much powder, so of him they bought only one pound and a half of fowling powder, but of Richard Adderley of Winchester they bought twelve pounds of powder.
They had of this examinant his musket, flask, touch-box, mould and 40 bullets for 24 shillings, if Mr. Gifford did like thereof. They asked this examinant if he could tell where they might buy four muskets. He went to John Grew and enquired there to buy a musket, and also went to Edward White's and Robert Paice's, but had not any of any of them. He asked why so much powder was wanted and was told it was for fowling.—Taken before the Mayor and Justices of the City of Winchester the 13th of February 1600.
4. Walter Powell, of Winchester, cutler, saith he hath not sold any musket this half year past. On Monday last one Alexander Ewens came to his shop and enquired to buy three or four muskets, but examinant had not then any musket to sell. With Ewens a gentleman came to the shop, whom examinant thought to be one Mr. Thyn.—Taken before the Mayor and Justices of Winchester the 13th of February 1600.
5. Thomas Ashton, of Winchester, gentleman, aged about nine and twenty, being asked when and of whom he first heard that the Earl of Essex was committed, saith that on Monday, the ninth of this month, being at supper in Winchester with one Mr. Hamden Gifford and one Haswell, he heard Mr. Hamden Gifford say that the Earl of Essex was committed.
Taken before the Bishop of Winchester the 17th day of February 1600.
Signed by the bishop. 3 pp. (180. 25, 26.)
The Attorney General (Coke) to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, Feb. 17. How yesterday hath been spent auspice Christo, both at Newgate and the Tower, your Honour hath heard, and I cannot, being overwhelmed with business, discourse; only this I say, that all fell out as well as I could desire. I pray you send us word who shall be Lord Steward; and if there be any examination taken of Sir Ferdinando Gorges or any other, let them be sent unto me.—This 17th of February 1600.
Holograph. Seal. ½ p. (76. 83.)
Examination of William Harrison.
1600/1, Feb. 17. William Harrison, late servant to Sir Charles Percy, knight, and late clerk of his company in Ireland, being examined touching the bringing of certain letters from his said master and others, saith that he came from London to go to Ireland the 29th of January last past. He received from his said late master 8 letters, of which one was from the Earl of Southampton to Lord Mountjoy. From one Squire, servant to Sir George Cary, knight, a packet directed to Mr. Thomas Short in Ireland. From Thomas Browne, servant to Mr. Christopher Kennell, a packet directed to Mr. Robert Dixon, servant to the Lord Mountjoy. Of one that is servant to Sir Gilly Merrick, a letter directed to Sir Arthur Chichester, knight. At the hands of Mr. Earth, servant to the Lord Mountjoy, a letter to the said Lord Mountjoy. At the hands of one, two letters from Captain Ellis Johnes, the one directed to Captain John Jepson at Carrickfergus, the other to Sir Richard Morrison, knight, at Dublin. From one William Ball, servant to Captain Montague, the examinant received two letters, the one to Dono Macdonell, the other to Mrs. Allen. With these letters examinant came to Chester on Feb. 3, and lodged with Peter Wignall, where Captain Covert lies, intending to go into Ireland. But having intelligence of the tumult made by the Earl of Essex, and understanding that the said Sir Charles Percy and his brother were doers in the said practices, examinant told Captain Covert of the said letters, and brought them to the Mayor of the said city. He had no message or token to deliver other than the said letters.
Taken before Robert Brerewood, Mayor, and Thomas Greene, Richard Bavand, Valentine Broughton, Edmund Ganvill, John Fitton and Fulke Aldersey, aldermen of the said city, the 17th day of February 1600.
Signed by the Mayor. 1¼ pp. (180. 22.)
The Enclosures :
1. William Ball to Mrs. Allen of Kilrodre.
1600/1, Jan. 26.—My commendations to yourself, your husband and your son Edward. I know you think long of the coming of my captain, but I can assure you he will not come. Two things stay him here, one is there is a bargain in hand between Sir Harry and him. If that come to pass he will make haste. Sir Harry would have him deal with all his land and his “ofes his charge” in that land. The other stay that he hath I will not disclose. Hereafter you shall know.
Your daughter is very well and a very fine maid. She is very much made of, a goes well, and speaks good English and goes well dressed. Her maid Alison is in good health. Commend me to May, John and Amy, for Antony, I hear, is dead, also to those at Newcastle, William Nicholls, Ralph, Margaret Wylche, Adam Swell, Mary Wilson and the rest.—London, the 26 of Jan. 1600.
Holograph. 1 p. (180. 23.)
2. William Ball to Dono MacDonnell, at Kilrodre.
[1600/1,] Jan. 26.—To the same purport as the letter to Mrs. Allen, with directions as to the care of the writer's personal effects.—London, the 26 January.
Postscript.—Commend me to James Aspall and his father.
Holograph. 1 p. (180. 24.)
Sir Robert Crosse to Mr. William Waad.
1600/1, Feb. 18. According to your writing I went to Sir Gillam Meyrick, but with some difficulty of the keeper of Newgate because I had not the Council's warrant, and I have sent you his answer here enclosed, and so I wish all business at an end that I might be called from this place.—This 18 of February 1600.
Holograph. Seal, broken. ⅓ p. (76. 84.)
Sir Edward Wotton, Sir Henry Brouncker, and Mr. Recorder Croke to the Council.
1600/1, Feb. 18. Two letters :
1. Your letters of the 17th of this present touching the seditious and provoking speeches uttered by the Earl [of Essex] to stir the people to adhere unto him in his rebellious actions, we received in the evening about eight o'clock; and according to the straitness of the time, we have examined divers that did hear the Earl publish and intimate to the people those seditious and provoking speeches that the crown of England was sold or betrayed to the Infanta of Spain, and to that effect : whose examinations we have taken in writing, upon their oaths, and do send them to you inclosed herein.—18 February 1600.
Signed. Seal. ½ p. (76. 86.)
2. We have examined five witnesses, more which we send you here enclosed; the publishing the seditious words is fully proved. We examined as well these as the former witnesses touching his calling out the citizens to take arms and calling for arms; but yet not finding any that speak anything material to those points more than appeareth now in the declaration of an armourer at whose house he called for arms, we held it not fit to put any their unmaterial sayings in writing.—18th February 1600.
Signed. 2/3 p. (76. 85.)
The Enclosures :
1600/1, Feb. 18.—Examinations on oath taken before William Rider, Lord Mayor, Sir Edward Wotton, Sir J. Brouncker, and Mr. Recorder Croke :—
i. Examination of Gabriel Tomlinson, aged 21 or thereabouts, servant to Richard Edwards, draper. Upon Sunday the eighth of February, being then in a window in his master's house in Gracious Street about 12 o'clock of the day, did there see the Earl of Essex with a great company of men about him, and did hear the Earl with a very loud voice say that the crown of England was sold to Spain. More he declareth not, saving that he affirmeth that his fellow servant Richard Walkett, being in the same house, declared to him that he heard the Earl utter the same or like words. Signed. ½ p. (76. 91.)
ii. Examination of Richard Edwards, draper. Could not certainly hear every word that the Earl of Essex did speak, but he saw him and heard him speak with a 'gast' countenance and like a man forlorn, and said, with a loud voice, “You should not be cosined so or conicatched so;” and then spake of Sir Walter Raleigh, he could not certainly understand what, the confusion of the noise was so great; but heard him say that the crown of England was sold to the Infanta or King of Spain, or words to that effect, and that they should believe honest and religious men and not be “conicatched,” and used much speech to that effect. Signed. ½ p.
iii. Examination of Richard Walkett, aged 23, servant to Richard Edwards. To the same effect as above. Did see the Earl and his company about him in great numbers with their weapons drawn. Signed. ½ p.
iv. Examination of William Pickering, armourer. On Sunday the 8th of February, the Earl of Essex and his company came by examinate's house in Fanchurch Street, and the Earl of Essex himself did call to him for arms, requiring first one hundred pikes or arms, and after fifty, and this examinate answering he had not any for him, he asked “Not for me, Pickering?” to which this examinate amazed did reply that all he had should be ready to serve her Majesty, and heard the followers of the Earl say he should be murdered; and in the end his followers desired that he might have armour to arm himself, or a headpiece, but this examinate would deliver none, and the rather did refuse it because a little before this examinate did see a tall black man, whom they said to be Sir Christopher Blount, to take forth of this examinate's house six or seven old halberds or weapons and to deliver them to any that stood next him, which made this examinate the more careful to shut up his doors and to call the constable to help to guard his house, which he did presently; the constable's name being Samuel Goodricke. Signed. ½ p.
v. Examination of Sir Richard Martin, knight, citizen and alderman of London. He told the Earl of Essex of the proclamation meeting him in Cheapside, and told him it was fitter for him to come to the Lord Mayor and yield himself than for the Lord Mayor to come to him; and he seemed as if he would come to the Lord Mayor, but turned another way; and for the proclamation, he said, “Pish! the Queen knoweth not of it, that is Secretary Cecil,” or words to that effect. Signed. ½ p. (76. 91.)
Each of the above examinations is countersigned by the Lord Mayor and the others.
Isr[ael] Amyce to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, Feb. 18. Vouchsafe to favour me so much as my brother Sir H. Carewe may taste of your commiseration, and to vouchsafe to hear what the bearer, being his elder brother, can declare in his behalf : hoping you shall find the cause not so grievous as hath been reported.—18 February 1600.
Holograph. Seal. ½ p. (76. 88.)
Trial of the Earl of Essex.
1600/1, [Feb. 18]. A list of noblemen.
Some of the names are in Cecil's hand, and certain marks appear against a number of them.
1 p. (76. 89, 90.)
Subjoined :
i. List of noblemen who formed the Court at the arraignment of Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, 14 Eliz.
ii. The like at the arraignment of Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel, 31 Eliz.: shewing those who sat on the right and left hand respectively.
Endorsed by Cecil, “Noblemen”: and in another hand, “Preparations for th'arraignment.”
1 p. (76. 90.)
Essex's Rebellion.
1600/1, Feb. 18. Second Examination of Sir Christopher Blount.—18 February 1600.
Copy. 1 p. (83. 81.)
[Printed. See S. P. Dom. Elizabeth, Vol. 278, No. 87; p. 579 of Calendar.]
Sir John Peyton, Lieutenant of the Tower, to the Earl of Nottingham, the Lord Chamberlain, and Sir R. Cecil.
1600/1, Feb. 18. Relative to the search made for the black bag thought to be worn by the Earl of Essex about his person, and enclosing a recital of the particular speeches the Earl used at the time of the search.—Tower, this 18 of February 1600.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (83. 86.)
The Enclosure.
Endorsed in a later hand : “About the bag which L. Essex wore always about his neck with a letter of King James the 1st out of Scotland, and a key of his cabinet.”
Holograph by Sir John Peyton. ¾ p. (83. 85.)
[Both printed in the Camden Society Publications. O. S. LXVIII. App., p. 80.]
Examination of Sir Ferdinando Gorges, Knight taken the 8th of February 1600.
1600/1, Feb. 18. He confesseth that the Earl of Essex sent him upon the Tuesday, as he taketh it, before the day of the open rebellion, unto Drury House to a conference which was appointed between the Earl of Southampton and other gentlemen whose opinion and resolution the Earl desired to have upon certain articles which he would send to be proposed unto them. He repaired thither accordingly, and found at Drury House the Earl of Southampton, Sir Charles Danvers, Sir John Davies and John Littleton, Esq. Sir John Davies brought the propositions, all of the handwriting of the Earl of Essex, and withal a catalogue of the names of divers earls, barons and gentlemen that he made account of would adhere unto him, to the number in all of six score or thereabouts. The articles and propositions of which they were to advise and set down their opinions were three : 1. the first was, to seize upon the Court; 2. to seize upon the Tower; 3. to seize upon the City.
That of the Tower was propounded also doublewise, whether it were better to seize upon the Court and the Tower both at one time, or first of the one and after on the other.
These propositions were debated, and every man did deliver and set down his opinion, which was collected in writing. And after the Earl did himself resolve upon them and set down his resolution in writing.
The manner how he should seize upon the Court was in this sort. There should be sent thither before, dispersedly, of his confederates to the number of —, besides their followers, who should repair some to the Hall, others to the Great Chamber, another number to the Presence Chamber, some should be placed in the lobby and some at the gates. To the Presence Chamber Sir Charles Danvers was appointed, Sir John Davies to the Hall, and Sir Christopher Blunt, as he taketh it, to the gate; himself to the gate by the preaching place.
These confederates being thus disposed, then a watchword should be given or signal, and at that instant every of the forenamed knights should seize on the place to which he was appointed, where they had hope to find divers others besides themselves indifferently affected; by which time the Earl of Essex would be ready to enter into the Court, and accompanied with the earls and barons in his company would present himself unto the Queen. That done, some should be sent unto the city of London to give them satisfaction of his doings. It was also agreed that the Captain of the Guard should be seized on at the same time in such place where he should be, and the like done of some other councillors.
This being executed, then they had projected to call a Parliament, in which those they counted adverse against them should have their trial.
pp. (83. 87.)
[A portion of the above is printed, from the holograph declaration of Sir Ferdinando Gorges, in the Calendar of S. P. Dom. Eliz.
Sir Ferdinando Gorges to the Earl of Nottingham and Sir Robert Cecil.
[1600/1, c. Feb. 18]. To the fourth [interrogatory?] for my more assurance to prevail in dissuading the enterprise of the Court, I proved an impossibility to accomplish it with any means that they had at that time, specially for that it was not to be doubted but that the alarum was so taken as that the guards were strengthened; so as being disappointed of the first, they should be left without hope. To this there was no contradiction.—“By me, Fard Gorges.”
Holograph. ⅓ p. (83. 78.)
W. Cope to [Sir Robert Cecil].
1600/1, [before Feb. 19]. There was one Christopher Doddington examined before Mr. Serjeant Yealverton, Mr. Fowler and myself, who this morning confessed that the Earl, on Sunday before he went out of the gate, openly in the court said, that he owed her Majesty all duty and love; that Cobham, the Secretary and Raleigh had sought his life diversly; that they had set on a scrivener in Paternoster Row or the Old Bailey to counterfeit his name in some capital matters which he had in his pocket to show; that they had suborned priests to accuse him of treasonable matters and laid his own servants spies to entrap him. This I thought fit to send before they bring it, which they intend this night or to-morrow.—Your Honour's much bounden.
Holograph. Endorsed :—“1600. Mr. Dorrington his speeches.” ½ p. (84. 7.)
Elizabeth, Countess of Southampton to Sir Robert Cecil.
[1600/1, c. Feb. 19]. Fear to have my doings misconstrued hath hitherto made forbear to show the duty of a wife in this miserable distress of my unfortunate husband. Longer I could not, and live, suffer the sorrow I sustained in the place where I was, in not showing some effects of my infinite and faithful love unto him; therefore have I adventured hither, having no other meaning but prayers to God and humble petitions to His holy anointed, prostrate at her feet if it might be, to beg some favour, and by unfolding this my simple intention to obtain your good opinion and allowance, that my doing be not mistaken, but may move you to pity me the most miserable woman of the world by my Lord's miserable state. And in that through the heavy disfavour of her sacred Majesty unto myself, I am utterly barred from all means to perform those duties and good to him I ought to do, this being of all others my cross the most heavy, easily in your wisdom can you look into my woeful condition, which if you be pleased to do, I doubt not but you will pity me, and allow of this I do.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (84. 12.)
Elizabeth, Countess of Southampton to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1 [Feb. 19]. The woeful news to me of my Lord's condemnation passed this day makes me in this my most amazed distress, address myself unto you and your virtues as being the only likely means to yield me comfort. Therefore I do beseech you and conjure you by whatsoever is dearest unto you that you will vouchsafe so much commiseration unto a most afflicted woman as to be my means unto her sacred Majesty that I may by her divine self be permitted to come to prostrate myself at her feet, to beg for mercy for my Lord. Oh! let me, I beseech you, in this my great distress move you to have this compassion of me I sue for, and in doing so you shall oblige me to acknowledge myself most bound unto you and to pray for your honour and prosperity. So kept alive only with hope to obtain mercy, I restlessly remain the most unhappy and miserable Elizabeth Southampton.
Holograph. 1 p. (84. 13.)
The Countess Dowager of Southampton to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, [c. Feb. 19]. God of heaven knows I can scarce hold my hand steady to write, and less hold steady in my heart how to write, only for what I know, which is to pray mercy to my miserable son. Good Mr. Secretary, let the bitter passion of a perplexed mother move you to plead for her only son, for whom, if he had led the dance of this disloyalty, I protest to God I would never sue, but being first surprised by an alliance, seduced and circumvented with that wicked acquaintance and conversation, good Sir, give me leave and believe that with duty nature may speak and my continual tears may plead for mercy.
It appeared to me many times his earnest desire to recover her Majesty's favour, his doleful discontented behaviour when he could not obtain it, how apt despair made him at length to receive evil counsel and follow such company, I rather fear it than know certainly what bewitched him that he should not know of practice and conspiracy before the execution of it, this induceth much upon my duty. I have examined and do believe will be found true, he had not xls. about him nor in his store, yet, upon sale of land lately before, he might have received a far greater sum, which he refused, and willed it should be paid to his creditors, a thing I think no man would have done that had such a business in hand and at hand. O good Mr. Secretary! as God hath placed you near a prince, so help to move her Majesty to do like a God whose mercy is infinite, which I hope may be with her safety when the head of this confusion is taken away. Nothing is fitter than her safety, nor any virtue can better become her place and power than mercy, which let my prayer move you to beg for me, and God move her Majesty to grant the most sorrowful and afflicted mother.
Holograph, Signed : “M.S.” Seal. 1 p. (84. 11.)
Henry, Earl of Southampton.
[1600/1, after Feb. 19]. Four documents emanating from the Earl of Southampton, viz.:—
1. Letter to the Council, beginning, “I beseech your lordships be pleased to receive the petition of a poor condemned man”; ending, “of all men most unhappy, H. Wriothesley.”
Holograph. Undatedpp. (84. 16.)
2. Letter to Sir R. Cecil, beginning, “Sir, because I received a charge from you”; ending, “pardon the bad writing of this, for I write in haste.”
Holograph. Unsigned. 2 pp. (84. 18.)
3. Confession, beginning, “At my first coming out of Ireland”; ending, “drawn into them by my best friends.”
Holograph. Unsigned. Endorsed :—“Earl of Southampton, 1601.” 6 pp. (84. 19).
[All three printed, Camden Soc. Publications. O. S. LXXVIII. Appendix, pp. 93–100.]
4. Statement. (fn. 1) —According to your Ho : commandment, I have briefly set down what I know concerning any treasons intended by the Earl of Essex whilst he was in Ireland. A while before he went his last journey, Sir Chr. B. being hurt and lying in the Castle of D. in a chamber which had been mine, the Earl one day took me thither with him, where being none but we three, he told us he found it necessary for him to go into England, but, doubting there the power of his enemies, he thought it fit to carry with him for his security as much of the army as he could conveniently transport, to go ashore with them in Wales, and there to make good his landing with those, till he could send for more, not doubting but that his army would so increase within a small time that he should be able to march to Lond. and make his conditions as he desired. To which project I answered, that I held it altogether unfit, as well in respect of his conscience to God, his love to his country and his duty to his sovereign, of which he of all men ought to have greatest regard, seeing her Majesty's favour to him had been so extraordinary; wherefore I could never give my consent unto it. Sir Chr. B. joined with me in this opinion, so he was dissuaded from it, but being earnest in his resolution of coming over, we both, to satisfy him, told him that, if he would needs, it were better for him to go well accompanied whereby to secure himself from his private enemies, and so to present himself to her Majesty in whose favour he had no cause to be diffident; and in any other things, if his life were in danger, he knew there was none of us but would adventure ours to save him. For his conference with Tyrone, I saw it with many more, but heard it not, he having commanded me, whom I was then to obey, to stay myself and hinder all others from approaching him. Afterwards he told me that the rebel in his discourse did blame him for following the war in her Majesty's service, inciting him to stand for himself and he would join with him. Which offer, he told me, he utterly rejected and did confirm it to me afterwards; otherwise, I protest before God, I determined presently to quit him, my heart did so abhor to think of such villainy; and for Tom Lea's going to T. which was before this time, he both at the time and ever after sware unto me that it was without his direction, and seemed much offended at it, so that I was satisfied. Of some part of this Sir Chr. B. was a witness, who though the world knows never loved me, yet do I beseech your Honour and Mr. H. (?) that he may be asked of it, and I doubt not but for the truth's sake he will confirm and make you see how much I did detest it. For the rest, I can produce no testimony; only God that knows my heart, knows I lie not. But I must crave pardon for not having delivered this much when I last saw your Honor, which was but the fault of my memory and the grief for my present misery; otherwise I assure you I was resolved that both this and whatsoever else that concerned her Majesty's service I would have revealed, and he had only the start of me by reason he spake first with you, and so I beseech you believe, and be a mean to her Majesty to be merciful to him upon whom in his own conceit the sun never shined since he was banished her presence; for if it had been permitted unto me to have lived so as I might but sometimes have seen the light of her eyes, I know this misfortune could never have befallen me. And now I protest before the Almighty, if I did find my heart cankered or defiled with any unreverent thoughts towards her Majesty I should despair in her favour and ask no pardon, but God that knows my heart is my witness that it is loyal and faithful towards her, and therefore I cannot but be confident in her mercy, which if it shall please her Majesty to extend towards me, I vow to God that never man deserved a life better than I will endeavour to do, nor no man upon the earth shall with more joy venture or lose his life in her service than I who will, while I breathe, pray to God to bless her.
Signed :—“H. Wriothesley.” Endorsed :—“Southampton. E. of S.” 2½ pp. (84. 10.)
Sir Henry Neville to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, Feb. 19. The bearer Mr. Tiery, a Scottish gentleman, whom I knew the last year attending upon my lord Hume in Paris, and who is since become an exempt of the French King's guard, being desirous to return into Scotland, brought me letters of commendation from Mr. Winwood and met me here with them. His desire is only to have a passport for his quiet passage, wherein I entreat your favour towards him.—From Rochester, 19 February 1600.
Holograph. Seal ½ p. (76. 92.)
Devereux Barrett, Sheriff of Pembrokeshire, Sir John Wogan, and Richard Grafton, Justices of Pembrokeshire, to the Privy Council.
1600/1, Feb. 19. We having knowledge of the arrival of one Morris Grono, of Tenby, merchant, lately come out of Rochelle into these parts, and perceiving that he had some intelligence of a fleet prepared in Spain, thought it our duty thereupon to examine him; and have here inclosed sent his said examination.—19 February 1600.
Signed. Seal. ½ p. (76. 93.)
The Enclosure :
Examination of Morris Grono above referred to, taken at Pembroke, 19 February 1600.
The 11th of this month, he was in the road of St. Marten's near Rochelle, and the same day coming to the sea, he met with a Frenchman who informed him and his company that he had been six months at Lisborne, and that there was three score small ships of war prepared to pass from thence to the Groyne, and by weather they were put into the Islands of Bayonne; and that there was a report in Spain they were bound for the Low Countries, but the certainty he could not tell. And he saith that the same day, about 6 hours after, he met with another Frenchman of Ouldern, who being demanded what news, told this examinate and his company in like manner in all things as the former Frenchman had done. And he further saith that either of the said Frenchmen affirmed that the common report in Spain was that there was also three score ships of greater burden remaining at the Groyne, to be employed, with the other three score small ships, either for Ireland or the Low Countries, but what number of men were in them they could not tell.
Signed. 1 p. (76. 94.)
John Dorington to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, Feb. 20. The honourable favours you do daily to her Majesty's servants embolden me to entreat that I may be recommended to her Majesty for some one of those places returned to her disposing by the fall of the traitorous rebels. The names of some of them I send you here a note of. The reasons that move me to trouble you is the “menis” of mine own estate, which was never great, yet such as it was, I have continually spent in her Majesty's service, to whom I have vowed my life and fortune.—The Tower, 20 February 1600.
Underwritten :
The Surveyor of the Ordnance : Corry Castle : Downoles place of the stud : Nottingham Castle : the parsonage of Ware, Sir Gilbard Merick's.
Holograph. ½ p. (76. 95.)
The Bishop of Salisbury and Others to the Privy Council.
1600/1, Feb. 20. This present day, in the open market place of the city of Sarum, was found a seditious and, as we think, a traitorous writing, being written (as it seemeth) in a counterfeit and ragged hand, which we detain upon farther examination of hands; the true copy whereof we have enclosed. And although the author of it cannot yet be found, the writing being brought unto our hands but at this instant, yet we have caused search to be made, and have set watch and ward through the whole city, with purpose to continue the same with our utmost diligence.—Sarum, this 20th of February 1600.
Signed, “Henry Sarum; Mathew Bee, Mayor; Jo. Bridges, Edw. Penruddok, Ri. Godfrey.” ½ p. (76. 98.)
Enclosed :
“Copy of a seditious libel found in the market place at Sarum.”
“Ye noble Earls, it is a grief to our hearts coming from sea to hear this news, that thou noble Essex shouldest be so rewarded for the voyage into Cales and Ireland. Fear not; England and Scotland will revenge shortly thy quarrel, for in every city I have company. Spain.”
5 lines. (76. 96.)


  • 1. A small part of this document has been printed by Spedding, who states that he had been unable to trace the original. See Bacon's Life and Letters, vol. 2, p. 315.