Queen Elizabeth - Volume 279: March 1601

Pages 1-23

Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Elizabeth, 1601-3 With Addenda 1547-65. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1870.

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March 1601

March 1.
1. Thomas Payne, Mayor of Plymouth, and his Brethren to Secretary Cecil. Two ships have arrived, one from the coast of Spain, and the other from the Groyne, and we enclose their report. We would remind you of the weakness and wants of the fort here, and we hope care will be had as to whom the government of it is granted to. We are naked and unable, upon a sudden assault, to repulse such a resolute enemy as will attempt us. If it may not be granted to ourselves, as we desire, we pray that we may have a man whom we could love, and who could command us in case of necessity; and that he may be able to command 1,000 men to ride to our help on a sudden, or we should be lost if assailed. [1 page.]
March 2.
Trinity College,
2. Thos. Neville, Master, and eight Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge, to Secretary Cecil. The practices of covetous persons, daily intruding upon college possessions, under colour of concealments and pretended titles, have made us bold from time to time to choose some personage of honour to patronise our poor college (being of the Queen's father's most royal foundation). This office, as it pleased your father during his life to vouchsafe, so out of our firm opinions of your honourable disposition for maintenance of virtue and learning, we present you, under our common seal, the same more troublesome than worthy office, craving your acceptation thereof. [1 page.]
March 2. 3. Examination of Sir Gelly Merrick before Lords Egerton, Buckhurst, and Nottingham, and Secretary Cecil. Was in the court-yard at Essex House on Sunday, Feb. 8, when the Lords came from Her Majesty. Was commanded by the Earl of Essex to look to his house while he went into London, and let no man go in or out till his return. After the Earl's return, helped to defend the house until the Earl yielded. On Saturday, the 7th gave Bucke 40s., part of a former debt, for scouring and oiling muskets, and saw above 100 muskets in Essex House at that time. [1 page.]
March 2. 4. Like examination of Hen. Cuffe. When the Earl of Essex was in the Lord Keeper's house, between March and Christmas, it was resolved by the Earl of Southampton, Sir Christ. Blount, Sir Chas. Danvers, Sir Gelly Merrick, and others, that the Earl should escape, and either take sea at Portsmouth or make for Wales; but after they had so resolved, they broke it off again, thinking it was not fit to proceed in that manner.
While the Earl was there, Sir Hen. Bromley came to examinate at York House, and protested his affection to the Earl, and said that religion and the common good depended on him. Finding Sir Henry so forward, never moved him to assist the Earl. Sir Henry Neville, shortly after coming out of France, was desirous that the Earl should hold a good opinion of him, and understanding that divers came to visit him, came to Essex House, and conferred with the Earl in his study privately for an hour. The Earl brought him down to the back gate, where they parted. Had been sent before to Sir Henry by the Earl, to tell him that divers exceptions were taken at Court against his service in France. After Sir Henry had been at Court, he told examinate he had been generously used, and his services well accepted. Thinks the actions of the Earl traitorous, and cannot justify them. Said on hearing the Proclamation that he was a traitor. The declaration of Sir Hen. Neville, of 2 March, is in substance true. A week before the Earl's rising, Sir Hen. Bromley signified his great affection, and offered him service, saying that the danger of the Earl was the danger of them all, and wished that they had had him beyond Severn, as they would [have kept] him safe enough. [3 pages.]
March 2. 5. Like examination of Hen. Cuffe. The matter concerning the Earl of Essex's writing to Scotland was debated last Christmas, by the Earls of Essex and Southampton, Sir Chas. Danvers, and examinate, and the minute of the letter agreed on. John Littleton was acquainted with this council. Was employed to meet Sir Charles Danvers this last summer at Oxford; carried a letter to him from the Earl, when they two agreed that Sir Charles should go into Ireland and deal with Lord Montjoy to come over himself, or if he could not, to write a letter to the Earl of Essex, which he might show to the Queen, concurring in finding fault with the present Government; but with this condition, that it should not be showed her until the Earl of Essex had come to her presence. For this purpose he was to send over divers captains and men of quality, that by their being at the Court beforehand, my Lord and his company coming to Court might not be resisted. The Earl expected that when he came to Court, he should come in such peace as a dog should not wag his tongue against him. Essex made a project that Sir Wm. Russell should succeed Sir Walter Raleigh as captain of the guard, and Sir Hen. Neville, or Mr. Bodley Sir Robt. Cecil as secretary.
It was further agreed that Sir Charles should send John Littleton to London to the Earl of Essex, to be sent over into the Low Countries for the Earl of Southampton, who then was newly come out of Ireland. First heard from Sir Gelly Merrick, long before, that Lord Montjoy had sent to the King of Scots by Hen. Lea. This he told to show that Lord Montjoy had not dealt coldly with the Earl of Essex. Norton, the bookseller, carried the Earl's letter to the Scottish King, receiving it of Lord Willoughby at Berwick. One part of the letter persuaded the Earl of Marr to come to London by the 1st of February. Essex wrote with his own hand instructions to the Earl of Marr, which he burnt. Knew that the King of Scots returned his answer in disguised words, and that the Earl carried it about him in a black purse. Often heard that Anthony Bacon was an agent between the Earl and the King of Scots. [4 pages.]
March 2.
The Tower.
6. Examination of Capt. Gregory Rigges. On Sunday, 8 Feb., being at the sermon in the church in the middle of Fenchurch Street, there came one riding as fast as he could to the church doors, and sent one into the church to Mrs. Smythe, who spake with her in her pew; when the party came back to him, he alighted and went into the church, and into the pew of Mrs. Smythe, the sheriff's wife, she being there alone. After he had spoken with her, he came forth again, and rode up the street and came back ¼ of an hour after, galloping as before, but Mrs. Smythe remained in the church until the sermon was ended. Thinks the gentleman on horseback went first to the sheriff's house, near the church, where he understood that she was in church, and took one of the servants with him, whom he sent first to her. Thinks both by the time of the day, and the haste he made, that this party might be at Essex House before the Earl came forth of the house. [¾ page.]
March 2. 7. Deposition of Ric. Smart, sword bearer of the city of London. Sheriff Smythe departing from the Lord Mayor's house at his coming from Paul's, went home to take order for his house and ward, according to the direction delivered by Sir Thos. Gorges; but after the Lord Mayor understood of the Earl's coming into London, he sent again for the Sheriff, who then told the Lord Mayor that as he was going to dinner, he had word brought him that the Earl with all his troops were at his door, and that on going to them, he told the Earl that if it stood with his pleasure, he should be welcome with some of the better sort, but as his provision was only for his ordinary guests, he requested him to command the rest to forbear entering his house; whereupon the Earl entered with some 12 or 20, and commanded the rest not to do so, and that he, Smythe, had left them to come and wait upon him, the Lord Mayor. [1 page.]
March 2. 8. Deposition of Sir William Rider, Lord Mayor of London, before W. Waad. The Earl of Essex being in Gratious [Gracechurch] Street on Sunday, 8 Feb., and making a stand, Sheriff Smythe entreated leave to move the Earl to come to deponent; assented, and the Sheriff went and had private speech with him for ¼ of an hour; he excused himself for staying so long by saying that the Earl held his horse by the bridle. The Sheriff's going to the Earl was of his own motion, but he entreated Mr. Recorder, then present, to remember (as it was a ticklish time) that the Lord Mayor had sent him.
With note by Ric. Wilbraham. I remember the Sheriff rehearsing to the Lord Mayor the following night the cause of his staying so long, as also that the Earl would have had him to go with him, but he refused, and affirmed that he had a greater commander in company than the Earl himself was. [1 page.]
March 2.
9. Deposition of Sir Wm. Rider, Lord Mayor of London. After Sir Thos. Gorges had been with him at the sermon at Paul's Cross at 10¼ a.m., and delivered his message from Her Majesty, was repairing to his house through Cheapside, when a gentleman, very well mounted, galloped fast through Cheapside towards Gracechurch Street. Has since understood that he carried a letter from the Earl of Essex to Sheriff Smythe, which was delivered to his wife in the church. Signed also by Wm. Sebright, town clerk; Rich. Wilbraham, common serjeant; and Ric. Smart, sword bearer.
With note by Thos. Fettiplace and Lau. Marshall, servant to the Recorder, that they saw the aforesaid gentleman, who carried a dagger in his hand. [1 page.]
March 2. 10. Examination of Edw. Bromley, gent., before Lords Egerton, Buckhurst, and Nottingham, and Sec. Cecil. Went to Essex House Saturday night, 7 Feb., to see the Earl of Essex. Mr. Cuffe said the Earl had been sent for by Sec. Herbert to come to the Lord Treasurer's, on purpose, as the Earl feared, to send him to the Tower, or some other harm. Cuffe also said the Earl was not secure of his life. Went to his brother, Sir Hen. Bromley, whom he found in bed, it being past 10 o'clock, and related what Cuffe had said. His brother blamed him for disturbing the house so late, but Henry Pettingale coming afterwards with a message from Lady Rich, that she wished to speak to his brother, Sir Henry rose, and they went to Lady Rich at Walsingham House, and his brother had secret conference with her, and said that she had told him in effect as much as Cuffe had said.
On their return, he required examinate to go to the Earl next morning, and tell him that he and Sir John Scott would be ready to do him service, and that Sheriff Smythe would do the like. Went and delivered the said message at Essex House, and the Earl willed him to return to his brother and Sir John Scott, and entreat them to repair to Sheriff Smythe's house, and they should hear from him presently. Related the Earl's message to his brother, who acquainted Sir John Scott therewith, being then at church, and they two agreed to dine with Sheriff Smythe. Returning to Essex House, met the Earl at Essex Gate, coming out, and went in his company to Sheriff Smythe's house, where he related to the Earl the answer of his brother and Sir John Scott, when the Earl said it was well. Went with the Earl to Ludgate, and after the repulse, returned to Essex House; after the Earl had yielded, he and Capt. John Salisbury escaped.
P.S.—Being sickly and lame at his brother's house in Worcestershire, was unwilling to come to London, but his brother would have him up with him; was in London two days before last Candlemas. [2½ pages.]
March 2. 11. Sir Hen. Nevill to Lords Egerton, Buckhurst, Nottingham, and Sec. Cecil. I have, as required, set down all my transactions with the Earl of Essex and his accomplices, since my leaving France. On my arrival in London from Boulogne, 6 August last, I received a message from Mr. Cuffe that I had evil offices done me, as the Earl of Essex was informed by his friends in Court, and that great blame was like to be cast upon me, as if I had caused the breach at Boulogne. When I had been to Court and found the coutrary, I told Cuffe; he said things were turned now, but there was such an intention, and my Lord wished me to know it, as he esteemed me much, and was sorry to see me so wronged. I acknowledged myself much bound to my Lord for his favour, which I would deserve with any service I could.
Not long after, Cuffe brought me a kind letter from my Lord, desiring my love as a great treasure. I returned the best compliments I could, and such offers of service as are usual. Soon after, my Lord went into the country, and myself likewise. I remained within 10 miles of him, and rode twice in one week by the park pale where he lay, but I never saw nor sent to him, although I understood that most gentleman in those parts did both. Cuffe came once thence to my house, and proposed to stay two or three days with me, but the next day I had occasion to ride into the Vale, and so we parted at Nettlebed.
After my coming to London in October, Cuffe moved me to come and see my Lord, as he was at liberty, and all the world that would now come to him; I said I would ere long, and as I put it off for four or five days, he at length named a time, saying that having told my Lord I would come, he would marvel if I did not. Cuffe said he would desire my Lord to go to supper so much the sooner, and appoint one to meet me and bring me into my Lord's study. I went at 8 p.m., and was met by Glascock, my Lord's man, who conducted me as Mr. Cuffe had directed; after some half hour's stay, my Lord came up and received me very kindly, and entertained me with many questions of foreign matters, and some hopes of his own about the sweet wines, and otherwise to be restored to Her Majesty's presence ere long, and at length dismissed me kindly, and brought me down himself to the back gate. In all his talk I did not hear him use one undutiful speech of the Queen or the State.
After this I never spake with nor received any letter from him, nor he from me. Cuffe sometimes came, and when I asked how his Lord's matters stood in Court, he sometimes gave show of hope, sometimes of despair; when he seemed to despair, he would break out into words of heat and impatience, and upon one occasion repeated this verse: "Arma tenenti, omnia dat qui justa negat." I answered in French, "tout beau." He spake very big, and said it made no matter, it would give my Lord cause to think the sooner of other courses.
Last Christmas he told me there was a purpose to take some pretext to lay up my Lord of Southampton, and they took it as a preface to the laying up of my Lord of Essex himself, but he thought my Lord was resolved they should never coop him more. With these wild speeches he would sometimes entertain me, but never brake directly with me any particular till the Saturday after Candlemas term began; when, after a preface of my Lord's confidence in my affection towards the State and himself, he told me that his purpose was to make me privy to some designs he had for his own safety and the good of the State, wherein there should be nothing attempted against Her Majesty's person or estate; that my Lord did not desire that I should embark in it further than I was willing, but that when I should hear it proposed, I should give him what advice I thought fit, and for that purpose he desired that I would meet my Lord of Southampton and Sir Chas. Danvers, who should relate the particulars. I told him that with this limitation, that nothing should be attempted against the Queen's person or estate, I would hear what should be proposed, and would meet next day at Sir Chas. Danvers' lodging; but that day I was appointed to attend the Lords about French causes, where I stayed till it was late, and so disappointed the meeting. The Monday and Tuesday I attended Sec. Herbert at Doctors' Commons, about an answer to be made to the French Ambassador's complaints. The Wednesday we spent all the afternoon with the ambassador. From Thursday to Saturday I excused myself on private business; yet upon Friday or Saturday, having understood that Sir Chas. Danvers was not at his lodging, I went, and left word I had been there to see him; this I did because I had often been solicited by Cuffe about the meeting, and told that they began to make an evil judgment of my delay. I answered that my Lord might as well deliver his mind to me by him as them; he said that he had made choice of them to breed a confidence between them and me; indeed Mr. Cuffe had been two or three months persuading me to make acquaintance with my Lord of Southampton and Sir Chas. Danvers, who, he said, greatly desired it.
At length he brought Sir Charles to my lodging, where there passed nothing but compliments and ordinary talk; it was the first time I had spoken with him. Upon Monday, being Caudlemas day, as I was coming out of Serjeants' Inn, there came by in a coach my Lords of Essex and Southampton, Sir Christ. Blount, and Sir Charles Danvers, and went towards the Strand. As I had told Cuffe that I would be there that day, and they had seen me so near, I went thence to Drury House, and there found my Lord of Southampton with Sir Chas. Danvers. I had never spoken with my Lord since he was a child, in my old Lord Treasurer's house. He began to break with me that my Lord of Essex, persuaded of my love to him and of my discretion, had given him commission to reveal to me a matter of great secrecy and importance; viz., that my Lord, finding his life sought by his enemies, despairing of justice because they were so potent about the Queen, and allowed nothing to come to her knowledge but what they listed, intended to repair to her presence, and declare his own and many other grievances; and because he knew he should not be suffered to do this in private sort, he was advised to go so well accompanied that he might not be kept from her. That for the effecting thereof, it was proposed to send 40 persons in several companies to the Mews, who, upon the discovery of my Lord's approach, (who should come in a coach well attended with my Lord of Southampton) should go before to the CourtGate and possess it. Some other of their company would be before in the hall of the Court, who upon the sight of their possessing the gate, should make up to the guard chamber, seize the guards' halberds, and so be masters of that chamber. In the presence, there should be some lords and others to welcome my Lord when he came, and to go in with him to the Queen, and to countenance his action.
Herein my Lord required my advice. I told him it was a matter of too great weight to be suddenly digested; that I would perform what I had promised; but that I never offered nor meant to draw my sword in the cause. Some objections I proposed, as that this was of the nature of those actions which, as Tacitus say, "non laudantur nisi peracta," and would be interpreted by the success. That it was full of difficulties; first, because it was almost impossible to prepare so many hands as should suffice without its being revealed; secondly, if any door were found shut upon them, they would be disappointed; lastly, the city of Westminster was at hand, which, though they should prevail so far as to possess the gate, might quickly bring in force enough to dispossess them.
To the first they answered that they would not make their purpose known till the morning they intended to execute it, and would draw their company together upon some other pretext. To the second that they hoped to come so unexpected, and those appointed to be before in Court would be so vigilant, as there should not be time to shut any doors. To the last, that being once in Court, and having the show of the State on their side, nobody would stir against them. Their end was to seize upon my Lord's enemies, and require justice against them, tendering others to supply the places. I cannot say that they spoke of any Parliament to be called, but Cuffe did afterwards. I do not remember that they spoke of above 120 hands; they named some noblemen that they would take with them, as my Lord of Rutland, but said they could not trust him with the matter above two hours before they attempted it. They spoke of seizing the Tower, as a matter which they could do when they would, by means of Sir John Davies, but had not resolved certainly of the time or circumstance of their attempt. They prayed me to think of it, and said that Sir Charles Danvers would come to me within four or five days, to have further conference. Since then I never saw nor even received any letter or message from them, nor they from me. Cuffe came to me a day or two after, to whom I related what had passed in that conference, and said I could not approve any such enterprise unless the undertakers swore not to attempt anything against the Queen's person or estate, as they had done in the enterprise of Amboise, a precedent whereof was to be seen in history.
Seeing it was directed, among others, against Mr. Secretary, I said I would have no hand in it, because I was near allied to him, and had been beholden to him, and I would not blot my reputation to be false to him. This I told Cuffe walking in my garden, and added that they must not embark me into any action against him. He answered, that for the first, I should be fully satisfied, and himself wished it; and for the second, they would not press me, only he wished I might be in the presence at the time when it should happen, because my Lord meant to name me, among others, to supply some place there, and would have me at hand. I replied that I should be gone into France, and that my despatches were signed. He told me to feign myself sick, if I were pressed to be gone. This I did not do, but solicited as much as I could possibly to receive my money out of the Exchequer, as Mr Skinner will testify, purposing to have been gone presently.
In some of his conferences with me, Cuffe moved me to sound a minister with whom I was familiar, how he stood affected to my Lord, and what he conceived of the affection of the city to him, in his former troubles; but I did not, and indeed that minister was out of town. He also told me that there was a rumour of some practice against my Lord's person, which caused many noblemen and others to come and offer themselves to my Lord, and that more came than they could tell what to do with; also that there had been warning given to the Mayor of London to look to the city, but that the affection of the city was sure to my Lord, and that of 24 aldermen, they held themselves assured of 20 or 21. The last time I spoke with him, he desired me from my Lord that, although I would not be an actor myself in the matter, I would command my men, if I were in Court when my Lord came thither, either to take part with him, or at least not to take part against him. I answered, "very well," but never meant it, and desire that my servants may be examined of it.
I knew nothing of their attempt that Sunday, but came that morning to the Court with Otwell Smith, to speak with Mr. Secretary about the merchants' causes at Rouen. When I understood what cause the Earl took, and saw the vizard taken from him, and his true intents laid open, I detested him and his actions, and remained in Court till 10 p.m., on purpose to have spent my life in Her Majesty's defence, if there had been cause. [7¾ pages.]
March 3. 12. Confession of D. Fletcher. On Thursday or Friday before the Earl of Essex's coming into London in that seditious manner, I met Mr. Temple, who told me that certain Jesuits and seminary priests lodging in divers places of the city had vowed to kill the Earl of Essex, and had devised and cast abroad libels to make him odious to the people. This I believed. It seemed not improbable that being so followed by military men, and making unusual profession of religion, they might suppose that the Earl stood in their way, and might hinder their designs if they intended any practice against Her Majesty and the State. I promised, if I lighted upon any of those libels, to get a copy and send it to him.
The Saturday following, at 10 p.m., when I and my family were in bed, Mr. Temple came and desired to speak with me. I thought in good manners I could not refuse, so he came up to my bedside, where, in the hearing of my wife, he said that my Lord of Essex that afternoon had been sent for to come before Council, but being in bed, and all in a sweat after tennis, he excused himself, as he could not come without danger of his health; that he was sent for a second time by Sec. Herbert, who alleged that he was to do the Queen some present service, and that the Spaniards were on the coast, but he made the same answer, being advertised from a friend at Court that he was waylaid by Sir Walter Raleigh and his company of ruffians, and that if he went, he should surely be martyred. That he (Temple) acquainted me and others of my Lord's friends with it, that they might know in what danger he stood, and how he was pursued by his enemies, meaning Sir Walter Raleigh and his company.
The next morning, Mr. Temple sent his man for me, and having occasion to go to church in Thames Street to hear a preacher whom I had commended to that parish, I went by his house; he said that Sir Walter Raleigh and his company had set upon the Earl of Essex in his own house, to murder him in bed. I answered that it was a marvel his Lordship could not make his part good with Sir Walter, and that it were good for him to complain; so promising to inquire more of these reports, I went to church, and on my return, heard that the Earl of Essex had passed along with a great company, and was gone out at Aldgate; so I went to my Lord Mayor's, and attended him all that day, to assist him.
Mr. Temple did not impart to me his coming into London in that seditious manner, nor any other of his wicked designs; neither did the Earl judge me a fit man to impart to me any such ungodly practices, knowing well that I would reveal them. I suspected from these reports, which I see now to be fables and devised, that some great quarrel was like to break out between the Earl and Sir Walter Raleigh. As to Mr. Temple, I think he was deceived by the Earl, that he might deceive others.
As to the Earl's own confession that Mr. Temple told him I reported that Mr. Smythe was in as great danger as himself, I protest that I never spoke any such words to Mr. Temple, neither did I know that Mr. Smythe or my Lord himself was in any danger; only I remember that Mr. Temple talking with me about erecting the cross in Cheap, I told him that my Lord of Canterbury's Grace was offended with Mr. Smythe and me for writing to Oxford for the opinion of some learned men touching the cross with the crucifix, &c.
As for the Aldermen's disposition towards the Earl, though I knew that many of them were well affected towards him, like myself and many others, while he behaved dutifully towards Her Majesty, yet being faithful subjects, and careful of their private estates, I could and would have told him (if he had asked my opinion of them that it had been mad presumption to suppose that they could allow, and much more join him in so desperate an attempt. I never spoke with any of them about this matter, and therefore could not say he was sure of them.
Touching the city's suit to the Lord Admiral, to move Her Majesty for her warrant to train a certain number of honest citizens to make them more fit for service, it was a suit, as is well known, committed to me one and a half years since, by my Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, by whom I have been called upon continually, and by the merchants of this city, to follow that suit. I have been often blamed for negligence in it; therefore I have been often with his Lordship about that suit.
His late practice, no less mad and foolish than ungodly and seditious, I utterly detest, and defy both him and all other, and my own heart, if it should conceive the least disloyal or undutiful thought against Her Majesty or their Honours, whom I reverence for conscience sake. [2 pages.]
March 3. 13. Deposition of Wm. Killigrew of the Privy Chamber. Being sent from Her Majesty with a message to Mr. Comptroller, whom Her Majesty had sent with my Lord Keeper to Essex House, Sir Christopher Blount came and asked me whether I would speak with my Lord; I said, No, I was only sent to my uncle, and not finding him there, I meant to go back again; whereupon Sir Christopher laid hold of my arm and said, You must bear with me, though I deal discorteously with you; for seeing you are here, you must speak with my Lord before you go, and therefore I pray go up to him. I told him I had nothing to say to his Lordship, and therefore would not go; thereupon he called Sir John Davies, and willed him to let my Lord know of my being there.
Whilst Sir John Davies was going and coming, Sir Christ. Blount smiling said I was not sent from Her Majesty, but from some others; I replied he was not so ignorant of the place I served in, but that I might be very well sent by Her Majesty. Then Sir Christopher told me very loudly that my Lord should have been murdered that night, and that he and divers more had vowed their lives for him, and would spend them for him, and that he had spent his blood in Her Majesty's service. I told him I was sorry to hear him use such words; they would do my Lord no good nor himself, and with that my Lord came down, and a great company with him. This is all the speech I had with Sir Christopher Blount. [Partly in Cecils's hand. 1¼ pages.]
March 3. 14. Copy of the above. [¾ page.]
March 3. 15. Examination of Thos. Warburton, before Walter Cope and Jno. Grange. Came to London last term, about some law cases and payment of some money. Has served the Earl of Essex 15 years, and often had access to Essex House, and was there all the Saturday. Went to his lodging near Temple Bar, and returned to Essex House the next morning. Knew nothing of the Earl's inten tions until his return, and then only heard a flying speech that the Earl should have been murdered. On Sunday morning, sent his man to desire Mr. Thos. Fleming and Mr. Hugh Cocker to come and speak with him, intending that afternoon to go out of town, but they did not come. Was at Essex House when the Lords of the Council came, but did not hear what they said, neither knew what became of them. Accompanied the Earl into London, to Sheriff Smythe's house, but had no other weapon than a rapier and dagger, which he denies to have drawn. The Earls of Rutland and Southampton are his landlords. Left the Lords in Cheapside, hearing an apprentice say that the Earl of Essex was proclaimed a traitor, and went down to Watling Street to buy a cloak, his man having lost his; coming to the cloakmaker's house about 1 p.m., stayed until 4, and was not at Ludgate when the Earls were repulsed. Lay in London until Tuesday morning, and then rode home, and there had intelligence that his kinsman, Richd. Warberton, went about to beg his goods; returned with all speed and offered himself to Sec. Cecil, who committed him to the Gatehouse. Being in the dining chamber in Essex House, on Saturday night, 8 p.m., the Earl of Essex asked if he knew where Lord Sandys lay; told him about Charing Cross, and was then sent to tell him that the Earl would speak with him; more than that the Earl never spoke with him, either then or before. [1 page.]
[March 4.] 16. Note that Thos. Jonson, a tailor and householder, has a window in his house which looks into Essex House, and that he often saw Sir Gelly Merrick, in his doublet and rapier, passing to and fro in the court, with sundry musketeers following him.
That Urbin Wylkes, at the time that Lord Burghley was at the street gate, saw Sir Gelly with a musket and caliver, who held it ready to shoot at the gate, but Mr. Trewe, that keeps Chartley House, pulled him back, and prevented him from shooting at that time.
Geo. Goodman saw Sir Gelly upon the leads over the hall porch, going into Mr. Cuffe's chamber, when he had a musket and laid it over the wall, ready to shoot towards the street gate, but did not see him shoot when Lord Burghley was at the gate.
John Cowles also saw Sir Gelly often walking from one gate to another, with Wever, his servant, following with a musket. These three persons will be at Westminster Hall to-morrow, to give this in evidence. [¾ page. Merrick's trial was on March 5.]
March 4. 17. Declaration of Fras. Merrick before W. Waad, Jno. Grange, and Wm. Crutchlow. A letter was written by my brother Sir Gelly, to my brother John Merrick, to pay money to Sir Geo. Devereux, due to him at Lady Day, and willing me to come up to follow my business about the lease of Manerbyre, and Capt. Cuney and his business; and if Capt. Dansey came also, my Lord would take it kindly. The letter was seen by Mr. Morgan Powell, Mr. Nicholas Adams, Thos. Adams, and Capt. Cuney. It remains with my brother John. Affirmed on oath before Lord Chief Justice Popham. [¾ page.]
March 5. 18. Notes of two commissions to the Lord Steward; one for the trial of Lord Sandys and Lord Cromwell, and another for Lord Sandys alone; of warrants from the Commissioners for the execution of Sir Gelly Merrick and Cuffe at Tyburn, and of warrants for [be]heading Sir Christ. Blount and Sir Charles Danvers, at Tower Hill, and for the execution of Littleton.
[March 5.] 19. Notes relative to the treasonable conduct of Sir Christ. Blount in Ireland. [2½ pages. Prepared by Att. Gen. Coke, against his trial, 4 March 1601. See Howell's State Trials, Vol. I. pp. 1431–2].
March 6. 20. Anne, Lady Nevill, to Mr. Windebank, at Court. Pray remind Mr. Secretary in what extreme affliction I, his poor kinswoman, am, and beg some word of comfort by my uncle Killigrew. I have been here six days, and never heard from my uncle, but I hear the office of Custos rotulorum is taken from Mr. Neville, and Sir Edw. Norris has his place in the commission of peace. My hope is only in Mr. Secretary, for if he fail, "perii quoad hoc mundum." He sent me word his place must endure no partiality, and I reverence his sincerity; but love (a thing approved by God himself) covers a multitude of infirmities, and I hope Mr. Neville has not so offended but that his honour may vouchsafe him this cover. To move him to favour me in respect of kindred, or because I received my happiness from his house will be needless, for he has mentioned these things kindly in my behalf to my uncle, so that it puts me in good hope he will not see the ruin of what his parents founded. He may seem to have lost his former favours bestowed on me, because I have no means to show sufficient thankfulness, yet my heart has always been most faithful towards him, and I have not ceased to beseech the Lord to heap upon him all the blessings of this life and of that to come; my very soul has rejoiced when I heard of any advancement to him, and I will desire his favours to be no more large to me, in this my misery, than my heart has been enlarged toward God for his exceeding great prosperity. Pray polish my rough-hewn speech, proceeding from a mind that never knew how to dissemble, and I beseech you I may hear as soon as you may, for the comfort of my poor sad father. [1 page.]
March 10. 21. Intelligence received at Bordeaux from an Irish priest coming from Spain. That he had been well entertained at Valladolid College, and that at a great feast there, on St. Thomas of Canterbury's day, there were 80 scholars there, besides Jesuits. That Cresswell was in great favour in the King of Spain's Court. That Capt. Hugh Mostyn, who formerly served in Ireland, had become pensioner of the King of Spain. That Lord Burke, a pensioner of Spain, and three other Irishmen, solicited aid to go to Ireland, as without aid Ireland would be lost. That 30,000 soldiers were ready at the Groyne, and 20,000 in other parts of Spain, either for Ireland or Flanders. That Capt. Blake and his mariners are well entertained to serve the King of Spain. That Lister, a bankrupt Englishman at St. Sebastian's, vowed to fight against all English while he lived, on account of his failure. That many gallant Englishmen are in Spain. That if the Queen do not grant liberty of conscience, she will surely lose Ireland; but if she do, all the Irish will fight with her against the world. That the King of Spain, for relieving so many as he did, was the bravest king in the world. That three Benedictine friars have lately gone to England, with plenty of money. That two Irish spies for the Queen of England have been taken, and are in danger of their lives. That the King of Spain allowed the English college at Valladolid 3,000 crowns yearly, and that the scholars brought great sums on their admittance, and have monies sent yearly. That it was supposed the young Earl of Desmond was poisoned at the Court of England. That the Queen had wronged Lord Burke in taking away his lands without cause. That the Protestants will one day pay for their persecution of the Catholics. [1 page.]
March 11. 22. Anne, Lady Nevill, to Mr. Windebank, at Court. Will you speak to Mr. Secretary to give me leave to go to Mr. Nevill to know his mind,—seeing his employment into France has had so unfortunate an end,—as to how he will dispose of his company, and likewise for the settling of household affairs? I desire nothing but in the presence of Mr. Lock, and you know I am so deaf that he must speak loud enough. Speak for me, for he is at great charge in the country, and you know what little need he has of it. [¾ page.]
March 13. 23. Examination of [Capt.] John Salisbury, of Rugen, co. Merioneth, before Attorney General Coke, Solicitor General Fleming, Julius Cæsar, He Bowes, and Fr. Bacon. Has served the Earl of Essex nine years. Was in London three weeks before the Earl rose, and lodged with Capt. Peter Wynne, near Essex House. Was in the court-yard on Sunday, 8 Feb., when the other Lords came from Her Majesty to the Earl. Was commanded by the Earl to look to the gate. Went with the Earl and his company, with rapier and dagger, to Sheriff Smythe's house, and thence to Ludgate, where he drew his weapon, and was one of them that gave the charge; being repulsed, retired with the Earl to Essex House, and defended the house until it was yielded. Escaped in the confusion. [1 page.]
March 13. 24. Like examination of Sir Edw. Michelbourne, of Clayton, co. Suffolk. Went to Essex House on Sunday, 8 Feb., and as he was going up towards the chamber where the sermons used to be made, the Earl and his company came down another way; followed them, and about Temple Bar gave his footman his cloak, and accompanied the Earl to Sheriff Smythe's house. A little before he came thither, was told that some of the Council were at Essex House; then went into Sir Hen. Lindley's house, as others did, while the Earl and others were in Sheriff Smythe's. It was hinted that Lord Burghley was come to town with forces; thereupon came out, and saw the Earl of Essex near his (examinate's) house. There met with Walter Pierce, a musician, who said, "There is trouble at the Court, and Her Majesty hath sent to apprehend the Earl." Asked for his cloak and departed to his chamber, and was at his lodging between 1 and 2 o'clock. [1 page.]
[March 13.] 25. Speech of Mr. Cuffe at his execution for treason in joining with the Earl of Essex. "I am here come to make satisfaction to God, my Prince, and country for my offences, wherein as by the greatness of my sins, I perceive the infiniteness of God's justice, so by the greatness of his punishment laid upon me, I persuade myself of the infiniteness of his mercy. My Lords, you are assembled here to see us presented for a gazing stock of death and misery. It is fearful to the flesh and ignominous towards the world. Howbeit the testimony of former times proves that the condition of reproach, infamy, death itself is common to the best sort of men, nay, to the saints of God themselves, whom as I shall follow in shame and death, so my soul doth assure me that I shall arise together with them in glory and life eternal.
"Let no man misconstrue this my confidence. As for my own merits, I utterly disclaim them, depending only upon the precious blood of Christ, my Saviour. This I hold for a principle in divinity, that whosoever is temporally punished and yet feels spiritual comfort inwardly, him doth God chastise as a child, and not punish as a judge.
"To come to the matter itself for which we must suffer, I protest I never entertained any disloyal thought against the Queen. I was neither a party privy nor consenting to that tumultuous illadvised assembly under that great nobleman. I bore but the part of a child, the part of mourning and weeping. I was kept within doors and shut up all day long."
Here he was interrupted by one saying, "As you went from the bar, did you not yourself confess that you were justly condemned ?" 'I did," said he "but not for anything done the 8th of Feb."
"The plot itself, which never came into execution, but was long in projection, consisted of two parts, the intention and the means how to accomplish it."
Here he was interrupted by one saying, "O! how dare you decline from the good example of the penitent death your Lord made, that now go about to justify yourself? You must confess your sin, and make satisfaction to the world that you are justly condemned, that you may the better deserve forgiveness for this your foul and traitorous fact, both of God and the Queen." My Lord Grey said, "This is no time for logic. I am sorry that those good parts which God hath bestowed upon you, and by your own industry you have attained unto, should be thus abused in justifying yourself." Then Mr. Cuffe offering, nay pressing to speak, another said, "All the judges have resolved that the very intent was treason, and that you, though not party to the fact, yet because privy to the intent, were a traitor; and the Earl of Essex in his confession said that you were a principal instigator of him to that action, and therefore your words are but fig leaves to cover your shame; and you must know this much, that whosoever goes about to levy war within the realm, his head cannot stand upon his shoulders, and the Queen's crown upon her head." "I confess," said he "that it was wicked and ungodly, and no way warranted, for a subject being in disgrace, and debarred from her presence, to make access for himself by force without her licence." "Nay," replied another, "all the judges resolved it was high treason." "Give me leave, I pray you," said Mr. Cuffe, "I speak of the Scriptures, what it was by God's law, and I consent in soul with the judges that in our law it is treason; and I confess I deserved death, and therefore ask forgiveness of the Queen and of all the world; but for anything that I intended against the person of the Queen, or to the hurt of my country, I protest that I never entertained any disloyal thought thereof."
Then they charged Mr. Cuffe with seducing Sir H. Neville, and requested him to speak the truth of that matter, and also of his slandering the city, in giving out that of the 24 aldermen, 21 were assured to the Earl. To these he answered that for Sir Hen. Neville, he must confess he drew him into that unfortunate action, for which he desired Sir Henry's forgiveness, but for the city, he meant that of the 24 aldermen 21 were assured to the Earl in love, but not that they were assured to take arms for him, or to stand in his defence. Here he protested again that neither himself moved any nor knew anyone that intended to take arms against the Queen, and he was sorry that so many gentlemen were ignorantly drawn into that unfortunate action, hoping notwithstanding that the Queen would rather pardon 20 that were guilty than condemn one innocent. Here he was interrupted again by one saying he must no more of these matters, he would but prevent himself of other things more necessary, and shorten his own time.
Thus being stopped, he fell to prayers, then to confession of his faith, then to his belief concerning the Scriptures, then to ask pardon of God, of the Queen, and of all those who were interested in that matter, but principally of Sir H. Nevill, who was drawn into trouble by him, and so committed his soul to God. [Fuller than the report in Howell's State Trials, Vol. I., p. 1414.]
[March 13.] 26. "The last words of Mr. Cuffe, secretary to the Earl of Essex. I am here adjudged to die for plotting a plot never acted, for acting an act never plotted. Justice will have her course. Accusers must be heard. Greatness will have the victory. Scholars and martialists (though learning and valour should have the preminence yet) in England must die like dogs and be hanged. To mislike this were but folly; to dispute of it but time lost; to alter it impossible, but to endure it manly and to scorn it magnanimity. The Queen is displeased, the lawyers injurious, and death terrible; but I crave pardon of the Queen, forgive the lawyers and the world, and desire to be forgiven, and welcome death." [½ page. This speech differs entirely from that printed in Camden' Elizabeth, and in Howell's State Trials.]
March 16 ? 27. Secretary Cecil to Attorney General Coke. Send me the last confessions of Sir Christopher Blount and Lord Southampton, concerning the late Earl of Essex's purpose to bring over an army from Ireland, as I have occasion to use them. [½ page.]
March 16 ? 28. Memorandum [by Att. Gen. Coke] that he gave 25 papers concerning the Earl of Essex's treasons to Mr. Solicitor, to be delivered to Fras. Bacon. [On a folding sheet, directed on one side to the Attorney General, and on the other to Dr. Andrewes.]
March 17. 29. Examination of Rich. Atkinson before Attorney General Coke. Took the paper written by the Earl of Essex out of the cupboard in his mistress's chamber, and made a copy of it on 8 Feb., in the afternoon. His master, Mr. Smythe, on the Tuesday following, told him to make a copy, which he did, and gave it to him at his house in Fenchurch Street, with that he had previously made. Made no other copy for any one else, nor showed them to any other person. Udall delivered the original unsealed to his mistress, openly in the church. Knows not what became of the copies. [¾ page. In Coke's hand.]
March 17. 30. Examination of Sarah wife of Thomas Smythe, late sheriff of London, before Attorney General Coke and W. Waad. On Sunday morning, 8 Feb., towards the end of the sermon, Mr. Udall came to her in Fenchurch, and told her he should have delivered a writing from the Earl of Essex to Mr. Smythe, but not finding him at home, wished her to do so; the writing was all in the Earl's hand, beginning thus: "I do with all humility present," &c. Offered it to her husband as soon as she came from church, but as he was receiving it, the Earl came in, so kept it until Monday, when she gave it to her husband on his return from the Court. On the Sunday aforesaid, her servant, Rich. Atkins [or Atkinson], had the letter a quarter of an hour; had it again before her husband came home. [¾ page.]
March 20. 31. Examination of Capt. Edw. Bromley. Came to Essex House about 7 a.m., Feb. 8, and, after he had delivered the message and received the answer mentioned in his former examination, returned to Essex (House) with the Earl. Sir Christopher and Sir John Heydon came to Ludgate, and were there repulsed, and after shifted for themselves; being at Sheriff Smythe's house, Sir John Heydon advised the Earl to keep the house, as there was no going out, as Lord Burghley was coming with great force, and had made proclamation. [½ page.]
March 21. 32. [Sec. Cecil] to Mr. Winwood. I send you the Queen's letter of credit. Though the Queen has not touched particularly on this offence, wherein the world may perceive how much labour and how many benefits she has cast away upon that ungrateful Earl, you may summarily represent to the [French] King the facts and circumstances; that he may see that these treasons spring from ambition, not oppression or practise of his enemies; for he confesses that his accusations of his enemies were only to colour his pretence. By other conspirators' confessions it seems that the taking of the Tower, seizing the city, placing new officers, and surprising the Court, had more than private ends. The enclosed will show that he stayed not here, and what he had resolved in Ireland before coming over. The last that died were Sir Chris. Blount and Sir Charles Danvers; I hope, seeing Her Majesty has so satisfied justice in execution of the principal conspirators, the Earl of Southampton shall be spared. I take care of Sir Hen. Nevill's fortune, being tied by friendship and nature. [1 page.]
March 23. 33. Thos. Phelippes to Lord Cobham, This great business is ended, and I have heard there is speech of returning to treating for peace, intermitted by the late accident. Therefore I put you in mind of the matter of the jewels, whereof—besides that there will come money to the Queen, and some benefit to ourselves,—it may be made a means to do other service, which may turn to your honour. That which is now required is an inventory of them, and their value being known both in particular and in gross, what the Queen will take for them. If the party that brought the letter, who is a dweller in town, a stranger, and has skill, saw them it would not be amiss, that he may send some relation of their worth. My friends here should be able to send word certainly what they may be had for. When I understand what the Queen looks for, I will augment it so as to serve your Lordship's turn and my own. Upon some certainty touching this point, course will be taken for the town's bonds for the residue of the money, for so said the last letter that came. My friend has not heard these five weeks, or I had sent to you sooner. Let me advise you to know what the Queen will take for the bonds and all. Levinus once told me the Queen would be glad of the principal debt, and content with small interest; if so I would make it a good match for you and myself. I see good mean to do the Queen service and myself good, or I would not solicit it as I do. If between this and Saturday we might be able to take the inventory, and the Queen's price of the jewels, it would come very fit. Endorsed, "About jewels of the Queen." [1 page.]
March 24. 34. Sir Rob. Cecil, Secretary of State, master of Wards and liveries, and Chancellor of Cambridge University, to Dr. John Jegon, vice-chancellor of Cambridge. We make known to you that the governance of Clare Hall being now vacant, and pertaining to us by right of our chancellorship, we have appointed thereto Dr. Wm. Smith, whom we require you to admit. [Latin, draft, ¾ page.]
March 25.
35. Geo. Carleton to his brother Dudley Carleton at the Hague. It is my hap to be here at this barren time, when all your friends else be abroad that were wont to acquaint you with the news. I am neither a newsmaker nor reporter, nevertheless to satisfy you will strain myself.
You must needs hear of the mischievous action of the Earl of Essex and his adherents, dangerous to the Queen and State, and mischievous to him and all his partakers, especially those that were of his secret council, whereof divers have already suffered death, though not with but after him. The Earl was beheaded in the Tower first; Sir Guillam [Gelly] Merrick and Cuffe, his secretary, were afterwards hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn; and lastly Sir Charles Danvers and Sir Christopher Blount were beheaded on Tower Hill, openly on Wednesday last; it is hoped that they will be the last, for though there be numbers caught who were engaged, Her Majesty is much inclined to mercy, and listens to the great suit made by themselves and their friends for their lives.
It is strange to compare the beginning of this action with the end; for these noble and resolute men, assured of one another by their undoubted valour, and combined by firm oaths, being all taken, severed, examined, and the principals arraigned and condemned, they in the end, before their deaths, made such plain confessions and accusations one of another, that they seemed to strive who should draw one another in deepest, seeking to remove the blame of being the first movers of these treasonable plots one from another. In this the Earl himself exceeded all other, to all men's wonder, for he accused Cuffe and Sir Christopher Blount as his movers, but they excused themselves, and Sir Christopher accused him of consulting when in Ireland to bring over 4,000 soldiers then under his command, to right himself by force of such wrongs as he complained he had received in his absence, to which none were made privy but the Earl of Southampton and himself. This course, Sir Christopher avouched at his death, had been put in execution had he and the Earl of Southampton not dissuaded.
Further, the Earl of Essex accused Sir Hen. Nevill, ambassador for France, as privy and a party to this confederacy, as they term it, of Drury House (where the secret conventicles were kept for three months together, before the action). Thereupon he was presently sent for back, being at Dover on his journey towards France, examined, and committed. His confessions served to accuse others, and the like with most of the rest. Sir Jno. Davies is thought to have saved his life with telling first who was in with the deepest. The Earl of Southampton remains unexecuted, and his friends are in hope of his life, and yet their fear is greater.
This French ambassador being thus disgraced, there is no small labour to find out a new one; the last that stands is Mr. Bodley, though he makes infinite excuses. If he goes, he is likely to use your services if you offer them. I went to him about it, by advice of Mr. Edmondes, one of your best friends, and he promised anything in his power. My cousin Lytton had provided you as much favour if another had gone, viz., Mr. Wm. Cecil, Lord Burghley's son and heir, who was in all men's mouths before Mr. Bodley came to be spoken of. You should show yourself thankful to Mr. Bodley by letter. I like your going to France much better than if you had gone into Italy, which some here wished, for the journey is long and chargeable, and your travels must be not for pleasure but for use. Remember that you cannot always have those means you now have, therefore, in your travels, fit your mind to your estate.
Sir Edw. Norris by no means liked your going into Italy, though I (by Mr. Chamberlain's advice) maintained awhile that opinion against my conscience; no long time will serve your turn in France, for getting the language in perfection, whereas in Italy a great deal of time would not be sufficient.
Your place at Christchurch is continued one year longer, when you must get new leave, or else you will be expelled; this time it was Sir Edward's suit, next year it shall be mine. Sir Edw. Norris of his own accord had sent to the Dean and obtained it, before I came.
Our friends are all in health, but my sister Bridget has fallen out with me for a letter I sent her to move her to marriage. Mr. Edmondes, Mr. Evers, and Mr. Devike send their commendations. There were some looking for the Earl of Southampton this morning on Tower Hill, but it is otherwise, and so hoped. [3 pages.]
March 25.
Gray's Inn.
36. Tobie Matthew to Dudley Carleton. I have not performed my promise to you, yet I have not broken it, for I could not, since your departure, meet with any means of sending to you.
For news this letter is written in the worst time that may be, for much is past whereof you have been advertised, and for what is to come I am no prophet, only Sir John Davies shall not die of this sickness, and the Earl of Southampton is almost safe; for my own opinion, I think the old sheriff is out of danger.
The Earl of Marr is here, as ambassador out of Scotland, to congratulate the Queen's deliverance; to desire that his master may be the declared successor; and to act, as is conjectured, some greater business, which is likely enough, for he is a man of extraordinary courage and place. We say here the Pope is dead; who is his successor? The Earl of Pembroke is committed to the Fleet; his cause is delivered of a boy who is dead. As for Nickins, it is faith in me and not knowledge, if I think that there is any such man. [1 page.]
March 26.
37. Capt. W. Smith to Sec. Cecil. I offer to do you any service you command. I would resolutely die at your feet, if required, on account of my favours from your father. I have received three letters from Jas. Lock, but having been six months in France without any resolution, I presume to send my man to know your pleasure. I have things of importance to say, profitable for Her Majesty to know, that I dare not commit to paper, so please send Mr. Lock, or order me to come over. [1 page.]
March 29. 38. Sir Hen. Nevill to Sec. Cecil. I have decyphered Mr. Winwood's letter and sent the cypher. Concerning Colville, I recommend him to you as a serviceable instrument. I know not what you have found by his late letters to me, but I presume it is of some importance. He went to Rome at my charge, in company of these negociators, and as he had insinuated himself far into their favour, I presume he had means to do good service. I dare somewhat answer for him, whatsoever you may have heard to the contrary, as he did nothing with which he did not make me acquainted, but he made me promise not to acknowledge that he held intelligence with me, or I would be his utter ruin. If you continue it, I will give my best service, only beseech that his name may not be revealed, because I have given him my faith. [1 page.]
March 30. 39. Peregrine Lord Willoughby to Sec. Cecil. My true heart breaks out into thankfulness where I find myself so bound. I ever doubted that the unfortunate Earl's hasty climbing into favour would carry him with the same violence to his downfall. I assure myself that your offers of friendship were unfeigned, but his ambi tious genius (that would not let him contain himself within his proper sphere) thrust him on to his own ruin. What his practices were I have published by proclamation, and by discourses of our ministers in their churches, and will maintain your integrity in these proceedings. Her Majesty's gracious speeches uphold my decaying spirits, and I know they were procured by yourself in love to me. Pray join in my humble suit to Her Majesty to allow me to quit myself of that calumnious accusation made by Mr. Musgrave, according to the laws of this realm. I have enclosed my letter to Her Majesty open, that you may peruse and present it. I crave no more than what the meanest may without offence desire, right; that in the assurance of her gracious favour, I may go to any grave in peace, and leave my honour unspotted to my children. [1 page.]
March 30.
Prid. Kal. April.
Clare Hall,
40. Wm. Boys and seven other fellows of Clare Hall to Sec. Cecil. We thank you, after our long deprivation, for appointing us so learned and praiseworthy a master. Under civilian chancellors, the pupils of the Muses are most happy. Posterity and this academy will be eternally indebted to you. She will return to her former gladness and flourishing age. May God reward you. [2 pages, Latin.]
March ? 41. Declaration by Rich. Smith, Deputy Commissioner, of his admission of Thos. Pearson, fellow of Queen's College, as principal of St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, 21 Sept. 1540, on his election thereto by the fellows of Queen's on bond with two sureties to pay 26s. 9d. to the said college, as rent of the said hall. [¼ page, Latin.] Also,
Composition between the academy and the college about the election of a principal of Edmund Hall, being a declaration whereby the Chancellor, masters, and scholars of the university concede to the Provost and fellows of Queen's the right of nominating the principal of Edmund Hall which they purchased at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries, presenting him for confirmation to the Chancellor, who shall also have the right of visiting the said hall, and of expelling the principal for misconduct, if needful. 1 March 1559. [¾ page, Latin.] Also,
Notes of the registrations of the following admissions on election made by the Provost and fellows of Queen's.
1569, May 22. Nich. Cook, M.A., by Dr. Cooper, commissary.
1570, March 7. Nich. Pullen, M.A., on Cook's resignation, by Dr. Dr. Belly, deputy of Dr. Cooper.
1572. Sept. 24. Phil. Johnson, on Pullen's resignation, by Dr. Humphrey, commissary.
1576, May 9. Hen. Robinson, on Pullen's death, by Dr. Withington, deputy of Dr. Humphrey.
1581, July 22. Thos. Bousfield, on Robinson's resignation, by Dr. Bickley, deputy of Dr. James. [Latin, ½ page.] Also,
Account of the resignation of Thos. Bousfield, in the house and presence of Dr. George Abbott, vice-chancellor of Oxford, 26 Feb. 1601, in presence of Roderic Lloyd, public notary, where upon the Chancellor wrote to the Vice-Chancellor, questioning the right of Queen's College to elect the principal, and proposing to refer the case to skilful lawyers. [½ page, Latin.] Also,
Lord Chief Justice Walmsley to Lord [Buckhurst]. I send a copy of a writing whereby the Oxford University grants to the Provost and fellows of Queen's the election of the principal of Edmund Hall. I think this grant void, as by law the election of the principals of halls belongs to the Chancellor, just as the Master of the Rolls and chief justices have the appointments to offices void in their time, but cannot bind their successors. Thus the interest in the election that was in the scholars cannot be taken away by that grant to which they were not a party. The Vice-Principal reports that the new principal, Mr. Bousfield, was chosen by the company of the Hall, because the scholars would be more ready to obey a principal of their own choosing. Therefore as this order wrongs both you and the scholars, and may be an example of wrong, I entreat you to write to the Vice-Chancellor to proceed to the election of the principal according to your former letters, 18 Feb. 1601. [½ page.] Also,
Judgement of the counsel learned in the above-named subject. The reasons brought to prove that the composition between the University and Queen's College is void, are,—
1. Because the allowance of all elections of university principals belongs by statute and custom to the Chancellor.
Ans. The composition does not interfere with this. Queen's College elects and the Chancellor allows; but in no college has the chancellor the right of putting in any man who has not been elected.
2. The Chancellor, like the Master of the Rolls and Chief Justice, can give offices in his time, but not bind his successor to such gift.
Ans. This does not prejudice the Chancellor, because the same right is reserved to him as he had before. The Master of the Rolls and chief justices are single persons, whereas the Chancellor and university are a corporation, and may do acts to their prejudice, so that even if prejudicial, it is binding.
3. The interest of the scholars is prejudiced, as they were not parties to the grant.
Ans. The scholars had then no right in the hall. It was a parcel of Osney Abbey, which was dissolved, and would have been turned to other uses but the University, on promise of the Governor and fellows of Queen's that it should be converted to the use of scholars, allowed them to elect a principal, without which composition it would not have been a hall at all. Thus the scholars had no right to choose a principal; but if they had, the university which gave it could take it away, and give it to those that had the inheritance of the hall from the King, and that are as able to choose a sufficient man as the young men in the hall can be.
4. The principal, Bousfield, was chosen by the hall.
Ans. He might be chosen by the hall, but he was also chosen by the fellows of Queen's and admitted thereupon.
5. The scholars will be more ready to obey a principal of their own choice.
Ans. In that case the students of Christchurch, and other places to which the Queen nominates should choose their heads, but this does not give them a right of election. [1½ pages. Imperfect copy.]
March ?
42. The Queen to [the Dean and Chapter of Peterborough]. We recommend you to elect to your vacant see, Thos. Dove, B.D., now Dean of Norwich. [Copy, ¼ page.]
March ? 43. Note that Wm. March confesses that he followed the Earl of Essex as far as the Royal Exchange, and that he was servant to him, and carried office under him in the field. Since this action, he has taken in other men's names any debts that were due to him on bond, which gives great suspicion of his guilt. At his being in the country upon bond, he sent for musicians, and, in his jollity, said he should be punished for being with the Earl. He is of a turbulent spirit, and evil thought of in the county where he lives, and meeting with Mr. Gee the day of the rebellion, he reprehended him for not following his lord and master.
Matthew Roote offers to depose that March affirmed he was with the Earl, and that he never parted from him in his action in London until he took boat, and this is confirmed by Reynold Allyn and Stephen Wilson. Mr. Bassforde, a justice of peace in Cambridgeshire, and Mr. Gee, his son-in-law, have confessed the same upon their examinations taken by the Attorney General. There is a footman of Mr. Erkingstall's conveyed out of the way, who can truly report how March behaved that day. [¾ page.]
March ? 44. The case between the Queen and Thos. and Anne Cornwall, touching lands in question between them and John Littleton, lately attainted of high treason. The lands were left by Gilbert Littleton to Anne Cornwall, his only daughter, but [Thos.] Lant, Windsor herald-at-arms, who held the conveyance and will, delivered them to John Littleton, who then received the profits. Cornwall and his wife exhibited their bill in Chancery, but pending the suit, Littleton was attainted; questions and answers as to whether they will easily recover the lands. [1 page.] Annexing,
44. i. Particulars of the lands in question in cos. Salop and Worcester. [1¼ pages.]
[March.] 45. Account of the Countess of Leicester's estate when she married Sir Chris. Blount, July 1589; her jointures from her two previous husbands, the Earls of Essex and Leicester, total 3,000l. a year, and 6,000l. in plate and household stuff; whereas he had only 160l. a year from a lease, for conveyance of which she paid 700l. Of how he induced her to sell lands worth 5,700l. and to part with others to the Earl of Essex, whose favour he courted, so that she has little but what came from her first husband, the Earl of Leicester. These lands were extended for debts to the Queen, but Sir Christopher got a fresh lease and conveyed it away, and got others of her lands into his own hands. On 1st February 1601, his estate might be worth 8,000l. He made a deed of gift of all his plate, jewels, and chattels, eight or nine years ago, but it may be avoided on payment of a small sum. [6 pages.]
March ? Grant to William Killigrew, groom of the Privy Chamber, of the money and goods forfeited by the attainder of Henry Cuffe. [Warrant Book, No. I., pp. 53–4.]
March ? 46. Details of a plan for intercepting the Spanish fleet from the West Indies, viz., as the fleet of seven or nine vessels is expected to be earlier than usual this year, and generally reaches the islands before July or August, our ships should go at once to the islands, and steer for 39 degrees, 20 or 30 leagues west of Florida, to intercept them there, because they give three per cent. on their goods to the King of Spain to send a fleet to the islands to convey them homewards. Endorsed, "Earl of Cumberland about intercepting of carracks." [1½ pages.]
March ? 47. [Earl of Cumberland to Sec. Cecil?] As the Queen cannot be drawn to so great an expense as 20,000l. for half the charge of a fleet of 25 ships and 4,000 men to annoy the King of Spain, she would perhaps consent to a smaller sum. The three modes of annoying the King would be to intercept his fleet for terra firma; to meet the fleet going for New Spain, or to take his carracks. I have laid down a plan for the first, and it could be done for 15,000l. Details of the mode of executing the other two projects: The carracks might be intercepted at St. Helena, where they usually come, if the Queen set forth four vessels with 750 men, victualled for eight months, and the States as many, to depart by Jan. 10, and the whole cost to both would only be 16,000l.; but if the Queen will not undertake the 15,000l. for the former enterprise, nor the 8,000l. for the latter, my labour is in vain, and such an opportunity of intercepting the terra firma fleet will not occur again for two years. Endorsed [by Cecil], "Projects for the Indias." [Copy, 1¾ pages.]