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247. The Trial of ROBERT GREEN, Henry BERRY, and LAWRENCE
Hill,* at the King's-Bench, for the Murder of Sir Ednzund
bury Godfrey : 31 CHARLES II. A. D. 1679. On Wednesday the 5th of February, 1679, lice aforethought, were present, aiding, abetRobert Green, Henry Berry, and Lawrence ting, comforting and maintaining the aforesaid Hill, were brought from his majesty's gaol of Robert Green, the aforesaid sir Edmundbury Newgate, to the bar of the court of King's Godfrey in manner and form aforesaid, felobench, tó be arraigned for the murder of sir niously, voluntarily, and of his malice aforeEdmundbury Godfrey, upon an Indictment thought, to kill and murder; and so you the found by the grand jury for the county
of Mid- said Robert Green, Henry Berry, and Lawdlesex, on Monday the morrow of the Purifica- rence Hill, together with the said Gition of the Blessed Virgin Mary; and the rald, Dominick Kelly, and Phillibert Vernatt, court proceeded thus :
in inanner and form aforesaid, the aforesaid Mr. Justice Wild arraigned the prisoners. sir Edmundbury Godfrey, feloniously, wilfully,
Clerk of the Crown. Robert Green, hold up and of your malice aforethought, did kill and thy hand; Henry Berry, bold up thy hand; murder, against the peace of our sovereign lord Lawrence Hill, hold up thy hand. Which the king, his crown and dignity. they severally did.
How sayest thou, Robert Green, art thou You stand indicted by the names of Robert Guilty of this felony and murder whereof thou Green, late of the parish of St. Mary le Strand, standest indicted, and hast been now arraigned, in the county of Middlesex, labourer; Henry or Not Guilty? Berry, late of the same parish and county, la- Green. Not Guilty: bourer; and Lawrence Hill, late of the same Cl. of the Cr. Culprit, how wilt thou be tried? parish and county, labourer; for that you three, Green. By God and my country. together with Girald, late of the same Cl. of the Cr. God send thee a good deliverparish and county, clerk; Dominick Kelly, ance. How sayest thou, Henry Berry, art late of the same parish and county, clerk; and thou Guilty of the felony and murder whereof Phillibert Vernatt, late of the same parish and thou standest indicted, and hast been now arcounty, labourer, who are withdrawn : not raigned, or Not Guilty? having the fear of God before your eyes, but Berry. Not Guilty. being moved and seduced by the instigation of Cl. of the Cr. Culprit, how wilt thou be tried? the devil, the 12th day of October, in the Berry. By God and my country. thirtieth year of the reign of our sovereign Cl. of the Cr, God send thee a good deliverlord Charles the second, by the grace of God, ance. How sayest thou, Lawrence Hill, art of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, thou Guilty of the felony and murder whereof king, defender of the faith, &c. at the parish of thou standest indicted, and bast been arraigned, St. Mary le Strand aforesaid, in and upon sir or Not Guilty? Edmundbury Godfrey, knight, in the peace of
Hill. Not Guilty. God, and of our said sovereign lord the king, Cl. of the Cr. Culprit, bow wilt thou be tried? then and there being, feloniously, voluntarily
Hill. By God and my country. and of your malice aforethought, did make an Cl. of the Cr. God send thee a good deliassault; and that thou the aforesaid Robert verance. Green, a certain lioen handkerchief of the Capt. Richardson. I desire to know when value of six-pence, about the neck of the said they must be brought up to be tried ? sir E. Godfrey, then and there feloniously, wil- Mr. Just. Wild. Upon Friday next. ,fully, and of thy malice aforethought, didst fold Cl. of the Cr. You sball have a rule to bring and fasten ; and that thou the said Robert them up on Friday. Green, with the handkerchief aforesaid, by thee the said Robert Green in and about the Attorney-General moved the court that it might
But on Thursday, the 6th of February, Mr. neck of the said sir Edmundbury Godfrey, in be deferred till Monday, that the king's evimanner and form aforesaid, folded and fast- dence might be the more ready; wbich was coed, then and there him the said sir Edmund
granted accordingly. bury Godfrey didst choke and strangle, of which said choking and strangling of him the On Monday the 10th of February, 1679, the said sir Edmundbury Godfrey, in manner and said Robert Green, Henry Berry, and Lawform aforesaid, be the said sir Edmundbury God-rence Hill, were brought again to the bar for frey then and there instantly died : and that their trial, which proceeded as followeth. you the said Henry Berry and Lawrence Hill, Cl.of the Cr. Make Proclamation. together with the said Girald, Domi- Crier. O Yes ! pick Kelly, and Phillibert Vernatt, then and Cl. of the Cr. Again, again. there feloniously, voluntarily, and of your ma
Crier. O Yes, Ö Yes! our sovereign lord
the king doth straightly charge and command See the Introduction to the Trials for the all manner of persons to keep silence opga Popish Plot, vol. 6, p. 1424.
pain of imprisonment.
Cl. of the Cr. Make au 0 Yes.
that are not of the jury, to withdraw forthwith, Crier. Yes! if any one can inform our upon pain of 1001. a man. sovereign Jord the king, the king's serjeant at Gl. of the Cr. Robert Green, hold up thy law, the king's attorney-general, or this inquest hand; Henry Berry, hold up thy hand; LawDow to be taken of the felony and murder rence Hill, hold up thy hand. Which they wbereof Robert Green, Henry Berry, and Law- severally did. rence Hill, the prisoners at ibe bar, stand in- Gentlemen, you that are sworn, look upon dicted, let them come forth and they shall be the prisoners, and hearken to their charge : heard, for now the prisoners stand at the bar You shall understand, that they stand indicted upon ibeir delivery.' And all others that are by the names of Robert Green, late of the bound by recognizance to give evidence against parish of St. Mary le Strand in the county of the prisoners at the bar, let them come forth Middlesex, labourer; Henry Berry late of the and give their evidence, or else they forfeit same parish and county, labourer'; and Lawtheir recognizance.
rence Hill, late of the same parish and county, Ch of the Cr. Robert Green, bold up thy labourer; for that they, together with, &c. (as hand; Henry Berry, hold up thy hand: Law- before) against the peace of our sovereign lord rence Hill, hold up thy hand. Which they the king, bis crown and dignity. Upon this severally did.
indictment they bave been arraigned, they Tbose good men that you shall bear called, have thereupto severally pleaded Not Guilty, and personally appear, are to pass between our and for their trials have severally put thenisovereign lord the king and you, upon trial of selves upon God and their country, which your several lives and deaths: if therefore you, country you are. Your charge is to enquire, or any of you, will challenge thein, or any of whether the prisoners at the bar, Robert them, your time is to speak unto them when Green, Henry Berry, and Lawrence Hill, or they come to the book to be sworn, and before any of them, are guilty of the felony and murthey are sworn. Crier, make an O Yes. der whereof they stand indicted, or not guilty i
Crier. Yes; you good men that are im- and for them which you shall find guilty, you pangelled to enquire between our sovereign lord shall enquire what goods or chattels, lands or the king and Robert Green, Henry Berry, and tenements, they had at the time of the felony Lawrence Hill,the prisoners at the bar, answer committed, or at any time since. If you find to your names, and save your issues.
them, or any of them, not guilty, you shall enCl. of the Cr. Sir William Roberts.
quire, whether they, or any of them, that you Crier. Vous avez, Sir Williain Roberts. find so not guilty, fled for the same; if you find
Cl. of the Cr. Sir William Roberts to the that they or any of them fed for the same, you book.
shall enquire of their goods and chatiels, as if Crier. Sir William Roberts, look upon the you had found them guilly: but if you find Prisoners: you prisoners look upon the jury. then, nor any of them, not guilty, nor that You shall well and truly try, and true deliver they did fly for it, say so, and no more, and asite make, between our sovereign lord the hear your evidence. Crier, make proclamaking and the prisoners at the bar, whom you tion. shall bave in charge, and a true verdict give Crier. O Yes! Isany one will give evidence according to your evidence. So help you God. on behalf
of our sovereign lord the king, against And the same oath was administered to the Robert Green, Henry Berry, and Lawrence rest, and their names were as follow : Sir Wil- Hill, the prisoners at the bar, let them come liam Roberts, bart. Sir Richard Fisher, bart. forth, and they shall be heard. Sir Michael Heneage, kt. Sir Thomas Bridges, Mr. Serjeant Stringer. May it please your kt. William Averry, Charles Humphrevile, John lordship, and you gentlemen of this jury, the Batharsi, Richard Gowre, Thomas Henslowe, prisoners at the bar, Robert Green, Henry John Sharpe, John Haynes, and Walter Moyle, Berry, and Lawrence Hill, stand indicted, for esquires.
that they, with one Girald a priest, one Kelly, CL of the Cr. Crier, count these. Sir Wil. and one Vernatt, did the twelfth of October Lian Roberts.
last, at the parish of St. Mary le Strand in this Crier. One, &c.
county, seloniously, wilfully, and of their maCl. of the Cr. Walter Moyle.
lice aforethought, assault the person of sir Crier. Twelve good men and true, stand Edmundbury Godfrey, kt. and that the prie together, and hear your evidence. Gentle soner, Robert Green, did put about the neck meo, are you all sworn ? and you that are not of the said Sir Edmundbury a twisted handS#orn, pray withdraw.
kerchief, and did with that twisted handkerThe standing-place for the jury being so mundbury, that he immediately died; and that
chief so choke and strangle the said Sir Ed. thronged, that those who were sworn had not the other’ prisoners, Henry Berry and Law room to stand together, the Clerk of tlie Crown was ordered to make proclamation rence Hill
, with the other persons, Girald, Kelly, and Vernatt, were aiding and assisting
the said Robert Green to murder the said Sir Ch. of the Cr. Crier, make Proclamation. Edmandbury; and so the prisoners at the bar,
Crier. O Yes! my lords the king's justices with the said other personis, the said Sir Ed do straidy charge and command all persons mundbury Godfrey did kill and murder, VOL. Vil.
against the king's peace, his crown and 'dig. consult how to take away the life of sir E. nity. To this they have pleaded Not Guilty, Godfrey. And they made several attempts to and for their trial bave put themselves upon do it: one while they dogged him into the their co'ıntry, which country you are. If we fields, another while they sent people to spy prove them or any of them guilty, you are to when he came abroad, that they might follow find it so.
him into some dark alley, or other obscure or Attorney General (Sir William Jones). unfrequented place, and there dispatch him; May it please your lordship, and you gentle and at last, After many attempts, they sucmen of ihis jury, the prisoners who stand now ceeded in that wicked one, when the murder at the bar are indicted for murder. Murder, was committed. as it is the first, so it is the greatest crime that My lord, there are contained in this indictis prohibited in the Second Table. It is a meni six offenders, all principals; three of criine of so deep a stain, that nothing can them, I think, are priests, or at least two of wash it away but the blood of the offender, them are so ; that is, Father Girald an Irishand unless that be done, the land in which it man, Father Kelly likewise of the same nais shed will contivue polluted. My lord, as tion, and one Verpatt, whether a priest or laymurder is always a very great crime, so the man I know not. These priests (as they are murder which is now to be tried before your always the first that contrive mischief, so they lordship is, it inay be, the most heinous and are always the first that ay punishment) have most barbarous that ever was committed. taken care for themselves, and run away, and The murder was committed upon a gentleman, left their blind followers, the prisoners at the and upon a magistrate, and I wish he had not bar, whom they had drawn into this bloody act, therefore been inurdered, because he was a alone to answer for it. Protestant magistrate. My lord, I will not The day when this murder was committed spend much of your time in making my obser- was Saturday the 12th of October last; and I vations before hand, because I must in this inust desire your lordship to take notice of the case crave leave to do it in the conclusion of day, for upon that much of the evidence will the evidence. For I, that bave made a strict depend. And we shall prove, that as they did examination into this matter, do find, that I before send several times to sir E. Godfrey's shall better spend my tiine in inaking obser house to get intelligence of his going abroad, vations, and shewing how the witnesses do so this very day in the morning, Hill, one of agree, after the evidence given, than before. the prisoners at the bar, came to his house Therefore, inylurd, I shall at present only upon pretence of business with him; and, as we make a short narrative of the fact, to shew guess, and have reason to believe, to learn you the course of our evidence, that it may be whither be went that day : Green (another of the better understood and remembered by the the prisoners) had been there before on the jury: My lord, upon the discovery of the late same errand. And so much we shall prove horrid plot
to you by the people of the house. Sir E. Lori Chief Justice (Sir William Scroggs.) | Godfrey happened about noor, or some time And present Plot too, Mr. Attorney: but in the afternoon of the same day (as we bave pray go on,
it by the confession of one of the parties,) to Att. Gen. If your lordship please, you may be at an house near St. Clement's church, call it so, for it is to be feared they have not where these murderers bad notice he was, and yet given it over: but upon the discovery of had prepared a trap for him as he came back. that Plot (call it late or present) sir Edmund. They had appointed men to watch him, and bury Godfrey (whom I suppose the jury all give them notice when he did come back; knew, and every man that lived thereabouts and whatever his business was at the house must needs remember to have been a very use- that he was in (for it cannot yet be known) ful and active justice of the peace) had taken he staid there till about seven or eight o'clock several examinations about this matter, and at pight: and your lordship knows that at that perhaps some more than bow are extant; (but time of the year it is then dark. He coming we have proof he had some) and was very in- from about St. Clement's church towards his dustrious in finding out the principal actors in own house near Charing Cross, notice was this plot, among whom, some priests and Je- given to the murderers of his approach near to suits foreseeing their own danger, and likewise Somerset-house. And thus they had laid the overthrow of a design which they had been their bloody contrivance : some of them were so long in contriving, they had several con appointed to meet him at the back-gate of sultations how to prevent the discovery. And Somerset-house, and to inforın. bim that there as they are men who never stick at blood, but was a quarrel in the yard, and he being a man rather account it meritorious to shed it, though always careful to keep the peace and punish never so unjustly; when their interest may be them that broke it, they thought it a very apt profited by it, they did resolve to secure them- means to train him into the yard. And when selves and their design by taking away the life he came near the back-gate they did accordof this gentleman. In order chereunto they ingly acquaint him that two of the queen's had several meetings, and the place of their servants were fighting in the yard, and that meeting, you will find, by the evidence, to they needed his presence to part and quiet be at the Plow-alebouse, and there they did them.. He, at first, thought it might be but some ordinary idle scuffle, and was not willing dead, and that he saw him by the help of a dark to go down ; but being very much importuned laothorn, of which, and other circunistances, I by them, down he went, through the back- shall have occasion to make use hereafter. : gate into the yard, where were indeed two My lord, after he had lain in Somersetmen scuffling together, but counterfeitly; the house some days, they thought it was high time one was Berry, the prisoner bere; the other to remove him, or rather to expose him : for was Kelly, the priest that is run away. And having now killed bin, they did endeavour to when sir E. Godfrey was come, and within kill his reputation, and lay the blame of this their reach, they, as it was belore contrived, fuul murder upon this innocent gentleman, as the fray of itself ended, and Berry goes to the if he had killed himself: and on Wedoesday lower water-gate, and Mr. Praunce (who was night, which by computation was the 16th of ie that foul fact, but hath since repented, and | October, they carried him out of Somersethath made this discovery) to the upper-gate, bouse in this manner : Ilill having late in the to keep back any casual passengers for a little niglit procured a sedan, they made a shift, by while, till such time as the murder was over. tending the body to a fit posture, to crowd
My lord, things being thus prepared, whilst him into it; and Berry, one of the inurderers, sir E. Godfrey stood suill, or was returning, and porter of Somerset-house, was of all men having no more to do there, afier the scuffle most proper to belp thein out with privacy; was thus appeased, Green, one of the pri- and therefore it was agreed between them, soners, coming behind him, puts a cravat, or a that whenever a man should come before and twisted linen cloth (which he had ready for make an hem, it should be a sign to Berry to the purpose) about his neck. And he, Hill, open the gate. And, my lord, having put and those holy fathers Girald and Kelly (with him into the sedau, Mr. Pravice and Girald great veneration be it spoken, for men of their first carried him out iu it to Covent Garden, order to stain their hands with the blood of an and there they rested (being something weainnocent gentleman, and that in so treacherous ried with their burden) and two more supplied a manner, all set upon him, and very man- their rooms, and carried him to Long-acre. fally, being four upon one, and he altogether Then Girald and Praunce took his up again, surprized, threw him down aud strangled him. and carried him to the Grecian church near And this was done (as it is easy to imagine) Soho: and when they had him there, they got without much poise; so that I doubt not but an horse ready and mounted him upon it, and many that were near the place might be igno- Hill was set behind him to hold him up; by rant of it, and did not hear it.
which means they carried him to the place My lord, though the thing was done with a where he was found; and there, to accongreat zeal, and a very good will to dispatch plish the last part of their design, which was to hir, yet it so happened, that when Mr. murder his reputation, after they had killed Praunce came back from keeping sentinel at his body, they took his own sword and run him the gate, there was some life left in sir E. God through, and left him in such a manner, as frey; he did stir his feet, and thereby they that (according to the weakness of their unperceived hat he was not quite dead. But to derstanding) the world should conclude he make thorough work with him, Green (who had killed himself. In that condition was the begon, and was to give an accomplishinent to gentleman found. I bave but little more at this bloody fact) tahes hold of his head and present to trouble you with, and that shall be twists his neck round, and stamps upon his to sbew you what the murderers did after they breast, the marks of which outrageous cruelty had committed this fact. They gave an acdid plainly appear in his body after it was count of it the next morning to Mr. l'raunce, found.
who went oo further than the sedan went, My lord, after they had thus killed him, which was to the Grecian church : and the Girald the priest thought he was not yet dead priests were so far from any remorse, and had enough, and was very willing to
so little humanity, (I believe there is none can through with sir Edmundbury's own sword; think they had much of divinity) that they did but that was not liked by the rest, lest it in a paper, set down a narrative of this heroic might be discovered by a great effusion of act: and I doubt not, but by this time it is blood in that place; and so they forbore it for sent to Rome, where it finds as great approbathat time. Having thus dispatched him, they tion, snd causes as great joy, as their other tenored him to the chamber of Hill, where acts of a like nature have heretofore done. they kept bin some time, and after 'that to Some days after the fact was done, and, to another chamber. I will not be particular their everlasting honour, thus by themselves herein, because the witness will give the best recorded, some of these priests had a meeting account of it. But after some time, (I de- at the Queen's-head at Bów, and there was the sire it may be observed, it was on Monday paper produced and read; at which they were might, two nights after the fact was committed) very merry, and were so loud, that some of the they brought him into another room and laid house overheard them; and do yet remember him there, with a cloke thrown over him. And that they read, and were merry at, a paper I mention this last so particularly, because he which concerned sir E. Godfrey. theo happened to be seen by another witness My lord, this will be the course of our evibere present, who concurs as to his lying there dence; and though your lordship and the jury
will easily believe that most of these particu- | bim, and asked him what he had to do with it. lars must arise from one who was party to the My Lord, I shall name their names when time fact, yet, my lord, I will undertake, before I shall come. My Lord, this is all I can say : have done, so to fortify almost every particular he was in a great fright, and told me, he went he delivers, with a concurrent proof of other in fear of his life by the popish party, and that testimony, and the things will so depend upon he had been dogged several days. one another, and bave such a connection, that Ait. Gen. Did he tell you that he was little doubt will remain in any man's mind, dogged ? that is come hither without prepossession, but Oates. Yes, he did; and I did then ask him, that sir E. Godfrey was murdered at Somerset- why he did not take his man with him; he said house, and that the persons who stand now he was a poor weak fellow : I then asked him indicted for it were the murderers.
why he did not get a good brisk fellow to atRecorder. (Sir George Jefferies.) My lord, tend him ? Bụt be made no great matter of it ; if your lordship pleases, according as Mr. At he said, he did not fear them, if they came torney hath opened it, we desire we may call fairly to work; but yet he was often threatened, our wituesses; and first we will call Mr. Oates. and came sometimes to me to give him some
Crier. Mr. Oates, lay your hand on the encouragement; and I did give him what enbook. The evidence you shall give for our couragement I could that he would suffer in a sovereign lord the king, agaicst Robert Green, just cause, and the like; but he would often Henry Berry, and Lawrence Hill, the pri- tell me he was in continual danger of being soners at the bar, shall be the truth, the whole hurt by them. truth,and nothing but the truth. So help you God. Att. Gen. We desire Mr. Robinson may be
Solicitor General. (Sir Francis Winnington.) sworn. Which was done accordingly. Pray, Mr. Oates, will you give my lord and Recordler. Pray sir, will you tell the court the jury an account what transactions there and the jury, what discourse you had with sir were between you and sir E. Godfrey; and E. Godfrey, and what apprehensions be had that, my lord, is all we call him for.
concerning this business. Att. Gen. My lord, I call this gentleman Tho. Robinson, esq. (Chief Prothonotary of to prove what examinations sir E. Godfrey had the court of Common pleas.) 'My lord, sir E. Caken, and what was his own opinion of him-Godfrey and I were of a very ancient acself about them.
quaintance for above forty years ; we were L. C. J. Mr. Attorney, I suppose the use bred up together at Westminster-school, and you make of it is this, to shew, that that might continued in that acquaintance all along, exbe one of the motives to these persons to do cept in the times of the war, and were for many this act, because he was forward in the dis- years together in commission for the peace, both covery of their Plot.
for this county and this city. We met at the Atl. Gen. It is so, my lord; and that it quarter sessions for Westminster, the 7th of was his opinion himself that he should have October, which was Monday, as I take it, and some mischief from them for it.
meeting there, we went, after the court was op, L. C. J. Come, Mr. Oates, pray tell your and dined with the head bailiff, as the custom knowledge.
is; where sir E. Godfrey and I did discourse Oates. My Lord, upon the 6th of September several things about this Plot ; I said to sir E. last I did go before sir E. Godfrey, and there Godfrey, I understand you have taken several upon oath gave in several depositions, and after examinations about this plot, that is now made that I had made oath of those depositions, we public: truly, said he, I have; but I think I took the record along with us home again. shall have little thanks for my pains, or some And on the 28th of September, after we had such words : saith he, I did it very unwillingly, taken two or three copies of this record, we and would fain have bad it done by others. went before sir E. Godfrey again, and swore all Why said I, you did but what was your duty to the copies we had taken, and so made them do, and it was a very good act : pray, sir, have records. My lord, after that, the business was you the examinations about you, will you please made known to the council by myself, and upon to let me see them? No, I have them not, said Moriday Mr. Godfrey came to me, which was, he; I delivered them to a person of quality ; I think, the 30th of September, and did tell me, but as soon as I have them, you shall see them. what affronts he had received from some great But, said I, I shouldbe very glad to understand, persons, (whose names. I name not now) for sir Edmundbury, that the depth of the matter being so zealous in this business. And, my were found out. I am afraid, said he, of that lord, he told me, that others, who were well in that it is not; but discoursing further, he said clined to have the discovery made, did think to me, I'pon my conscience, I believe I shall that be trad not been quick enough in the be the first Martyr.' Why so said I, are you prosecution, but had been too remiss, and did afraid ? No, said be, I do not fear them, if they threaten him, that they would complain to the come fairly, and I shall not part with my life parliament, which was to sit the 21st of Octo- tamely. Why do not you go with
man, said ber following. My Lord, that week before sir I, if you have that fear upon you ? Why, said E. Godfrey was missing, he came to me, and be, I do not love it, it is a clog to a man. told me, that several popish lords, some of said I, you should do well to keep a man; whom are now in the Tuwer, bad threatened observe you never go with one.