« PreviousContinue »
so well appriz'd of the Inconveniencies of that State, and have said never so many severe things against it, first or last we all venture ; but none with so ill a Grace as the old Batchelor, who has all his Life-time been railing at it.
The Execution of Thomas Duke of NORFOLK
N the ad of June 1572, about eight in the
Morning the Duke was brought to a Scaffold erected on Tower-hil, attended by Alexander Nowel; Dean of St. Paul's, who having desir'd the People to keep silence, the Duke said:
It is not rare, good People, to see a Man come to die ; although, Thanks be to God, since the beginning of the Queen's Majesty's Reign in this
Place hath not been any. But since it is my For• tune to be the first, I pray God I may be the last,
such hath been, and is the Mercifulness of her Majesty, whom God long preferve. You know I have been long looked for in this present Case of mine, divers times in this place; but by her Majesty's Clemency prolonged hitherto. It is not common to see a Man of my Vocation to be a Speaker; nevertheless I will be brief, and gladly shew you the Estate of those Offences which my Conscience doth burden' me for. I have been by my Peers found worthy of Death, whereof I do acquit them; for I come not hither to justify myself, neither yet to charge my Peers with Injustice, but rather submit myself to this which God hathi prepared for me. And thus considering the Weakness of my Flesh and Blood, that at such time à Man's Senses will partly fail, I do mind to divide 'my Speeches into three Parts, desiring you to take it full and whole, and not to tear it in Pieces.... .
And And first, in dealing in Matters temporal to wards the Queen of Scots, I dealt not as a good Subject, for that I made not the Queen's Majesty privy thereunto, which indeed I confefs I ought not so to have done ; for this Offence I was committed to this House [pointing to the Tower) and, upon my humble Submiffion, deliver'd; then making Promise to the Queen's Majelty (whom I pray God long to profper) never to deal in those Matters again ; But contrary to my Submission and Promise made to the Queen's Majesty, abufing her. Clemency towards me; which hath and doth grieve me more than any one thing hath done ; I dealt in this Matter again, perfe&ly for faving my Life, and other Causes which I could alledge.
: [Here Mr. Sheriff Branch, standing by the Duke, desir'd him very courteously to make an End as fhort as might be, for the time did spend. 7 .
Then the Duke beginning again, said, it hath been bruited, that I took my Oath, and receiv'd the Sacrament, that I should never deal in thofe Matters again; which is untrue, and yet the Oath too much. ... .'"
Now Mr. Christopher, one of the Officers, hearing these Words, desir'd the Duke to be short; we are come hither, faid he, to see you put to Execucion, and we must not delay while these Speeches pass from you, for in this we hazard our Lives.] : Then the Duke faid, I do not excuse myself, but I come to discharge my Conscience, and to acquit my Peers, and not to complain of any Injustice, for I have deserv'd this, and more a great deal, in that I have abus'd the Queen's Majesty's Mercy towards me; whom once again, with Hands lifted up, I pray God long to preserve and reign over you, and that my Death may be an
End of all Troubles ; and to augment my Fault, it is said I had Familiarity with evil Dealers : Indeed I will confess and tell you, that I never saw, nor never had Conference, but once with one Radolph, and yet never against the Queen's Majesty, God is my Judge; altho' many lewd Offers and Motions were made to me; for it is well known I had to do with him, by reason I was bound to him by Recognisance for a great Şum of Money; and as for the two Letters that came from the Pope, I confess I did see them, the one cypher'd, the other decypher’d, I never consented to them, neither was I consenting to the late Rebellion in the North, notwithstanding I come noç hither as unguilty.
To the second part, I know I have not only been thought to be a Papift; a Favourer of Papists, and a Maintainer of them. God is my Judge, before whom I stand (lifting up his Eyes) I thank God I was never a Papist since I knew what Religion meant, but I did always detest Papistry, and all the vain Toys thereof, embracing ever, from the Bottom of my Heart, the true Religion of Jesus Christ, trusting, by the Assurance of my Faith in his Blood, that is my only Redeemer and Saviour : Indeed I must confess that I had Servants and Friends that were Papists; but if thereby I have offended God's Church, or any Protestant, I desire God and them to forgive me. . , :
Well now to the third Point, wherein I am to thew how much I am bound to the Queen's Majesty for her Mercifulness towards me, in that her Majesty hath promised to be good and gracious to my poor Children. I remember good Father Latimer making a Sermon in a more honourable Place than this is, out of the Pulpit (neither do I compare myself to him) he said, That God did oftentimes take away a good and gracious Prince, for the Sins and Disobedience of his Subje&ts, which God grant not to be in these Days, but that ic will please God to continue and increase her Majesty's Years ; yea, until the World's End, if it be his blessed Will and Pleasure. You have a most gracious Queen, as I must reeds confess, and also Godly Religion ; therefore look that your Livings and Conversations be answerable to the Religion of Christ that proves you); that God may profe per the Prince, overthrow the Pope, and maintain your Wealth and Quietness. Let not my Person, good People, make my Speech worse; they that have Fa&ions (I speak not particularly buť generally) let them beware they be given over betimes; seek not to breviate God's Doingg; left God prevent yours.. . And then the Sheriff hastening him, he turned to the People, and embracing Sir Henry Lee, said, I have, and always have had as true a Heart to my Prince as ever any Subject hath' had. And so Sir Henry Lee staying him by the left Arm, he kneeld down and ask'd the Queen's Majesty Forgiveness; and rifing again, he embrac'd Mr. Dean
of Paul's with a chearful Countenance; and after::wards for the most part shaking those that were
on the Scaffold by the Hands, and desiring them to pray for him ; among the rest, the Executioner did on his Knees desire Forgiveness of his Death; who did very courteousy forgive him, and put into the Hand of the Executioner four Soveraigns of Gold, and eighteen Shillings and six Pence of Silver : This done, the Duke kneeling down, and the Dean of Pauls with him; he made his Prayers to God, and read the soft Psalm, saying on to the lalt Verse save one, viz. Build up the Walls of Jerusalem; he paused and said, The Walls of England, good Lord: That Psalm finish'd; he began to read another, and at the feventh
Verse of the Psalm ; he paysed and said, I had
of Paul's..! ucin i oji'i iris. His CHA R A Ć TÉRT"
Incredible it is how the People lov'd him (lays Cambden) which Love he got by his Bounty and singular Courtesy, not unbecoming so great a Prince. The wiser sort of Men were diversly affe&ted about him ; some were terrified by the Greatness of that Danger, which, while he liv'd,