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them accordingly.* Nothing remained for those who had the ability but to fly their country, at the peril of being branded as traitors, and of the confiscation of their estates.
Philip Howard, earl of Arundel, son of the last executed duke of Norfolk had become a catholic, and found himself so harassed by examinations and imprisonments, upon the secret information of spies and informers, that he resolved to abandon his country. He intimated his design to the queen by a letter, in which “ lamenting the unhappy fate of his father and grandfather, either beheaded for small matters, or circumvented by the arts of their enemies, he declared to her that, to prevent his inheriting their misfortunes, and for the good of his soul, he had quitted his country, but not his allegiance.” His own servants, and the master of the vessel, in the pay of Walsingham, denounced his departure; and he was brought back from a small creek in the coast of Sussex, where he had embarked, to be consigned to the Tower, in which, after many years' captivity, he died of the wretchedness of his condition, and austerity of his devotions. At the time when Arundel began, the earlof Northumberland, brother of the last earl who was executed for the northern rebellion, terminated his captivity in the Tower. He was imprisoned on suspicion of conspiring to liberate Mary queen of Scots; and shot himself, from impatience of temper, or, as he was said to have declared, to balk queen Elizabeth of the forfeiture of his lands.” † An enquiry took place in the star-chamber touching his death and the crime with which he was charged. His death, by three pistol bullets discharged into his left breast, was clearly proved his own act; but the proof and sentence of treason against him on his posthumous trial are at least doubtful.
Emissaries were scattered through the country, in order to catch and report what they heard ; and these reports, however false or idle, were well received, and acted upon.
See Somers' Tracts, i. 212. “Emissarii ubique ad calligendos rumores et verba captanda dispersi, vana deferentes admissi, plures in suspicionem vocati.” - Camd. Ann.
* Camd. Ann.
Throgmorton's plot, so called, was detected or invented in 1584. Francis Throgmorton, a gentleman of Cheshire, was taken up on the evidence of an alleged intercepted letter. He retracted confessions which he had made on the rack, repeated them on an assurance that he should be pardoned by the queen, was disappointed, and again denied on the scaffold the truth of declarations which had been extorted from him, in the first instance, by torture; in the next, by a treacherous promise of the royal mercy. The truth of the conspiracy, then, may
, very well be doubted. The common pretence of taking up suspected or obnoxious persons, was that of carrying on a correspondence with the queen of Scots: it was the charge made against Throgmorton. One presumption against him was, the flight of lord Paget and Charles Arundel, upon his arrest. They, however, put forth a declaration in France, where they had sought refuge, that they fled, not because they were guilty, but because they feared the enmity of Leicester and Walsingham, and knew that innocence could not protect their lives against forged or forsworn evidence, the enmity of the queen's ministers, and her own prejudice.* The relations of Throgmorton with the Spanish ambassador, Mendoza, were more suspicious and important. He is said † to have sent off a packet of secret papers before his arrest to the ambassador; and lists of the ports best suited for an invasion, with the names of the principal Roman catholics of England, were, on searching his house, found in his cabinet. These papers were exhibited to him while he was stretched on the rack. He declared that he had never before seen them ; that they were forgeries, and introduced into his house for the purpose of destroying him. Upon their being again presented to him, in presence of the executioner and the engine, he confessed that he had made the list some years before, when consulting, at Spa, with Jeney and Englefield on
* Camd. Ann,
+ Camd. Ann. The only evidence of his having done so is his alleged confession,
the best mode of invading England, and changing the government. He further stated, that Morgan, a known adherent of the queen of Scots, had written to him from France a letter, stating the design of the Roman catholic princes of Europe to invade England, for the purpose of liberating her ; that the expedition would be commanded by the duke of Guise ; that nothing was wanted - but money and men ; that Charles Paget was sent over to Sussex, where he passed under the name of Mope, to obtain money and raise troops; and that he had concerted the means of carrying this design into effect with the Spanish ambassador. Brought to trial after these confessions had been made by him, and finding himself arraigned under the 25 Edw. III., he retracted them, and declared that they were pure inventions of his own to avoid being again tortured, under the supposition that he saved himself, by having fixed the time so as to bring his case within the exemptions of the 13 Eliz., by which he expected to be tried. Upon the strength of confessions thus extorted, and retracted, the jury found him guilty ; but his execution was postponed. The delay appears to have been adopted for an inhuman purpose.
He was induced to assert once more the truth of his confession; and having done so, was ordered to be executed at Tyburn, two months after his trial and conviction. On the scaffold he declared again that the confession was a mere fiction, to which he resorted for the purpose of escaping a second application of the rack. The Spanish ambassador being summoned before the privy council, repelled the charge against him with indignation, and was ordered out of the kingdom. Wade, clerk of the council, was sent at the same time to offer explanations to Philip, and returned without being admitted to the presence of the haughty Spaniard.
The conviction of Throgmorton, upon confessions obtained from him by deceitful promises and the fear of torture, shows that in England, at this period, life was as insecure as under the most implicit and barbarous
despotism of the east or west. The process, indeed, of applying conjointly bodily torture and perfidious hope, was exactly similar to that of the tribunal, which, in England, is a by-word for judicial iniquity. But, whatever his guilt or innocence, the queen of Scots does not appear to have had communication with him, and the intercepted letter must have been fabricated as a pretext for seizing his person and his papers.
In 1584, Shrewsbury was relieved from a charge under which, not only his health but, ultimately, his reason broke down; and Mary was transferred to the custody of sir Ralph Sadler. She was removed from Sheffield to Wingfield, under an escort, and in the immediate care of Somer, the secretary of her new gaoler. Somer made a minute report to Elizabeth of his conversation with Mary on the way.* He evidently had his instructions to draw from her some avowal which could be turned to her prejudice. She appears to have been so closely kept as to be ignorant of the affair of Throgmor. ton, and spoke of the duke of Guise in such a manner as to show that she knew nothing of any design, real or pretended, of invading England, entertained by him. There is in the reported conversation a characteristic tone of sadness, playfulness, fascination, and finesse. “Do you think,” said she, I would
from hence if I might?” The secretary answered, that he thought she would, for it was natural to seek liberty. “No, by my troth !” said she, “ I would rather die with honour than fly with shame." -“ I would be sorry to see the trial," was the secretary's frank reply. She next asked him, whither he thought she would go, if she were at liberty. He replied, he thought she would go to “ her own” in Scotland. “ It is true," said she, “I would go to Scot land, but only to see, and give give good counsel to my
But unless her majesty (Elizabeth) would give me her countenance and some maintenance in England, I would go into France, and live there among my friends, with the little portion I have there, and never
* Sadler's State Papers, ii. 289.
trouble myself with government again, or dispose myself to marry any more. Whether the allusion to marriage was made from a feeling of the miseries which her marriages, including even that with Francis II., had brought upon her, or with the intention to disarm the jealous fears of Elizabeth, is doubtful.
Leicester now originated the association for the personal safety of Elizabeth “ against popish conspirators.” Those who subscribed it bound themselves to prosecute to death, as far as they were able, all who should attempt any thing against the queen.* The queen of Scots saw in it her death-warrant. By way of proving her innocence of all design against the life of Elzabeth, she requested to be allowed to subscribe it;
a vain proceeding on her part, which proved nothing in her favour, and did not tend to mitigate her enemies. “ Her majesty,” says Walsingham, in a letter to sir Ralph Sadler, “ could like well that this association were showed unto the queen, your charge, upon some apt occasion, and that there were some good regard had both unto her countenance and speech after the perusing thereof.”+ It is not easy to determine which was the more revolting, the sovereign who commanded, or the minister who became the vehicle of this base experiment. The queen of Scots, who saw the axe suspended over her head, made new efforts to obtain her freedom from Elizabeth. She sent her secretary, Naue, with terms of submission so implicit, that Elizabeth gave her hopes. But that princess, who knew well how to throw the responsibility of odious measures from herself upon her instruments, excited, underhand, a. clamour among her partisans in Scotland, against both the liberty and life of the queen of Scots.
The bond in which the associators obliged themselves was immediately converted into an act of parliament, summoned for the purpose. The act provided, that any person by, or for, whom rebellion should be excited, or the queen's life attacked, might be tried by commission
+ Sir R. Sadler's State Papers, ii. 430.
* Har. Mis, ii, 5.