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Perit of Abortion, which her Fears might have caus'd, the false Aspersions çast upon her Fame and Honour, by that Occasion, were such as the could never digest, and drew on all that Train of sad Accidents which afterwards ensu'd.
The Queen understanding Rizio was killid, wip'd her Eyes, and faid, Ño more Tears, I will think upon a Revenge. Accordingly she caus'd several Perfons concern'd in the Murder to be try'd, who were convicted and executed, and others were compelled to fly their Country: The King falling lick, the went to see him, and seem'd to be reconcil'd to him ; but while his Majesty lay fick at Edinburgh, Bothwell having conspir’d'his Murder, came upon him in the Night, as he lay alleep, and strangled him.
This very Bothwell the Queen soon after married : Indeed he was first brought to a Tryal and acquitțed of the Murder, no Prosecutor appearing against him : But supposing the Story of the lascivious Letters, which Buchanan says pass'd between the Queen and Bothwell in the King's Lifetime, was false, and admitting that he was not really the Author of the King's Murder, yet with what Decency could she marry the Man, who lay under such Imputation ? a Man who was suppos'd too to divorce his former Wife only to make way for this unhappy Match? But she found her Error in her Punishment, being driven out of her Kingdom by her own Subjects, and after a tedious Imprisonment brought to this tragical End : Indeed her heroick Behaviour, in this last Scene of A&ion, ought in some measure to obliterate the Memory of former Miscarriages, and must incline us to think she was not so criminal as her Enemies would suggest ; but on the other Side, it will hardly consist with the Integrity of an Historian, when he takes upon him to give a Character, to
conceal all Defects; and tho' this is too commonly the Case, a judicious Reader can never be pleas'd with such Practice, for he can't but know that all Mankind have Failings, and to represent any Person as without, does not only discover great Partiality, but is very unnatural.
Earl of ESSE'X's Execution.
N the 25th of February, 1601, which was
the Day appointed for his Execution, Thor mas Mountford and William Barlow, Doctors of Divinity, with Abton, the Minister of the Church in the Tower, were sent unto him carly in the Morning to administer Christian Consolation to his Soul. In presence of these Men he gave Thanks to Almighty God from the Bottom of his Heart, that his Designs, which were so dangerous to the State, succeeded not. He told them, he had now look'd thoroughly and seriously into his Sin, and was, heartily sorry he had so obstinarely defended an unjust Cause at the Bar. He thank'd the Queen Thé had granted he should not be publickly executed, left his Mind, which was now settled and compos’d, might be disturb’d by the Acclamiations of the People, protesting that he had now learned how vain a thing the Blast of popular Favour and Applause was. He acknowledg'd how worthy he was to be fpued out (these were his Words) by the Common-wealth, for the Wickedness of his Enterprize, which he liken’d to a Leprofy spread far and near, and that had infeaed many. i . ;' ;".
The Queen in the mean time waver'd in her Mind. One while relenting, the font her Commands by Sir Edward Cary that he should not be executed; but then remembring his perverse ObItinacy, that he scorn'd to ask her Pardon, and had
declar'd openly that his Life would be the Queen's Destruction, the foon after sent a fresh Command by Darcy that he should be put to Death,
Then he was brought forth between the Divines to a Scaffold erected within the Court-yard of the Tower : Near which sat the Earls of Cumberland and Hertford, Viscount Howard of Bindon, the Lord Howard of Walden, the Lord Darcy of Chiche, and the Lord Compton. There were present also some of the Aldermen of London, and Sir Walter Raleigh, who, if we may believe himself, came with an Intent to make Answer if any thing should be objected against him by the Earl at his Death ; but others thought he came to feed his Eyes with a Sight of the Earl's Sufferings, and to satiate his Hatred with his Blood. But being admonim'd not to press upon the Earl at his Death, which is the Part rather of ignoble Brutes, he withdrew himself further off, and beheld his Execution out of the Armory. .
The Earl, as soon as he was come upon the Scaffold, uncover'd his Head, and lifting up his Eyes to Heaven, acknowledg’d that many and great had been the Sins of his Youth, for which, with most fervent Prayer, he beg'd Pardon of the Eternal Majesty of God, thro' Chrift, his Mediator ; especially for this lalt Sin, which he term'd a bloody, crying, and contagious Sin, wherewith so many had been seduc'd to sin against God, their Prince, and Country. He befought the Queen and her Ministers to forgive him, praying for her long Life and prosperous Eftate, protesting withal that he never intended to lay violent Hands upon her Person. He gave God Thanks that he had never been Atheist, or Papist; but had plac'd all his Hope and Confidence in the Merits of Christ, He pray'd God to strengthen his, Mind against the Terrors of Death; defiring the Standers-by to join with him in a short Prayer, which with broken Sighs, and fervent Affection of inward De votion, he presently utter'd. Afterwards the Executioner asking Forgiveness, he forgave him : He recited the Apostle's Creed, and then laying himself down, placed his Neck upon the Block : And having repeated the first Verses of the sist Pfalm; he said, In Humility and Obedience I prostrate my self to my deserved Punishment: Thou, O God! have, Mero cy on thy proftrate Servant : Into thy Hands, O Lord ! I commend my Spirit. His Head was taken off at the third Stroke, but the first took away all Sense and Motion. Camb. Eliz. 621. , . "" "*
- His CHARACTER and FAMILY. ..
- He was accomplish'd with all those Virtues
which compleat and become a Nobleman : His Genealogy was ancient and very noble. The Sirname of his Family came from Eureux, a City in Normandy. His Revenue and Estate, toger ther with his Dignity of Baron, came by a Mars riage in former time with Cicily, the Daughter of William Bourchier, whose Grandmother was Daugh, ter to Edward the IVth King of England; her great Grandmother was Daughter to 7 homas of Wood, stock, Son of King Edward III. born of one of the Daughters of Humphry Bohun, Earl of Hereford and Elex : Whereupon the Title of Viscount Hereford was confer'd upon his great Grandfather Walter by King Edward VI. and the Honour of Earl of Elex upon his Father by Queen Elizabeth. ; This Robert was educated at Cambridge in the Study of Learning and true Religion, and being recommended to the Queen by his Father-in-law, the Earl of Leicester, and made Master of the Horse, he had much ado to get into her Favour, because the did not well affed his Mother. But
no sooner had he by his dutiful Demeanor obtain'd her Favour, but she discharg'd him of a Debt which his Father had contracted in the Exchequer, chose him into the Order of St. George, and made him of her Privy-Council when he was scarce twenty-three Years of Age. She made him, several times General of her Armies, thoʻFortune often fail'd him. She continually heap'd Honours and Favours upon him, and highly esteem'd him because he bent his Mind wholly to noble Studies, and inur'd his Body to Perils and hazardous Attempts. When he had now not only an Appearance and his but a real Interest in the Queen's Favour, her the 1 made it his Business (as the wiser Sort of the vio his complain'd) to go beyond both his Equals and Superiors, to disparage and dispraise all that were not at his Devotion, and frown upon those who had any Power of Grace with the Queen ; by his courteous Behaviour and Liberality he hunted after popular Fayour and Applause, which is always of short Continuance and unjust ; and acquir'd Reputation with the Soldiery, which is perpetually dangerous. He began also out of the Greatness of his Spirit, rather than real Pride, to use some contumacious Carriage towards the Queen, especially after she had more than once, out of her Bounty and Goodness, restor'd him to her lost Favour, and thereby open'd a Way for conferring new Kindnesses upon him. But his Contumacy, together with an obstinate kind of extorting (as it were) Favours from her, his proud Neglect of Dutifulness and Respect towards her, with the fubtil Contrivances of his envious Adversaries, by little and little chang’d, and at length alienated the Queen's Affections from him.