Page images
PDF
EPUB

come to the crown.

ternoon, Fitzharris writ the substance of what | siderable person of his acqaaintance, whose he had declared under his own band, which name he mentioned, said to him, I prithee Fitzoccasioned my going to Windsor a second time, harris find me out men that will swear the to deliver that paper to the king ; in the close murder of Godfrey against the duke; and, said of that writing, Fitzharris begged mercy of he, to comply with his humour, I answered, the king, but withal said, while he was writing, there are men if there were money; the perthat he did not do it with hopes of having his son replied, find me the men, and the money petition granted, for he was sure, he said, the shall not be wanting. king would not forgive him, yet he would not And at another time, the same person deomit to ask pardon. His majesty rejected the clared to Fitzharris, in the presence of two petition; and so I returned June the 23d, and other persons, that he would not stay a day set Fitzharris know what I had done in this longer in England, than he could fire a pistol matter. When he understood the king's an- at the duke, if he were sure the duke were to swer to his petition, he said, he hoped God

This Fitzharris told me would forgive him ; God's will be done, he was the same day Jupe 24. not afraid to die.

He told me moreover, that a Paper of inThen we discoursed of things of another na- structions was put into his pocket in Westture, and such as concerned his soul, and we minster-hall, wherein he was-bid to speak went to prayers; and from day to day, I was boldiy and not to spare the greatest (meaning with bim twice or thrice in a day, sometimes the king) if he were present; and if he did not an hour and sometimes two at a time, and some speak against the queen, R. H. the lord Powis days, I scarce went from him, from morning and his lady, lord Arundel, lord Bellasis, lord until night. In his repentance he was free and Peters, lord Danby and the lord Peterborough, open hearted to tell me the sins of his consti- all his friends would forsake him : This paper, tution, and such as by his nature he was most he said, was under-writ by his wite, with these prone 10; he shed an abundance of tears daily; words: My dear, these instructions come from and in his devotions he was very earnest; he your solicitor: and, he said, he believed, they made often confessions of his sins to God, and are written with his hand. Upon Sunday, was continually turning the penitential Psalms June 26, in the evening, Mrs. Fitzbarris and into confessions. There was one thing undone, her maid came to see him, and I was with bim and which, I desired by all means, he would at the same time; when I asked Mrs. Fitzdo, and that was to receive the sacrament; I harris where that paper of instructions was? frequently minded him of it, and he would say, And she told me, she knew where the paper there was nothing he desired more, but he must was, and could produce it; I desired her to dispose of the business of his family first; and take care the paper were not lost, but might ever when I put him in mind of receiving, he be forthcoming when there might be occasion made me this answer; and his wife not coming for it. to him, but once (and then she staid not long, Upon Monday, June 27th, he told me, that and in company of the warders) until the night while his wife was with him overnight, she had before he was executed, he did not receive at whispered him, bow a certain person (whose all; on the morning of his execution, he said, name he gave me) had been with her, from a he hoped God would accept the will for the great lord (whose name also he mentioned) to deed, for bis desire all along was to receive. desire her, to persuade him, to say nothing

One day as we were sitting and talking to- when he came to die, and they did not value gether of the matters contained in his con- what he had said to me elsewhere; and if she fession (for he talked daily of them) he desired could persuade him not to declare any thing me to give him a piece of paper, on wbich he against them when he came to be executed

, writ this passage. That captain Cheek told they (the party) had promised to continue their him before Dr. Burnet, that he would appear allowance to ber of three guineas a week, and a witness against him, on the behalf of to make her the same present of three hunthat be told him in the boat, that he could say dred guineas (that was the sum he mentioned nothing against as to the ribel, but could to me) on the day of his execution, which sufficiently in other matters ; I cannot, says should have been made him on the day of his he, charge my memory, that I said such a trial, had he been acquitted. Mr. Fitzharris thing ; but suppose I did, I did not design to desired me to acquaint Mr. Secretary Jenkins impart my mind to laim, neither did I under- with this, which I did, and to move Mr. Secrestand the libel and the heads

gave me, to tary, that the place of execution might be apbe the same thing.

pointed somewhere near the Tower, for be was Upon Friday, June 24, he was saying, how loth to be put into the hands of the sheriffs, and "the R. H. and the earl of Danby were said, he feared, they would endeavour to make the persons chiefly aimed at ; and, said he him unsay all that he had said to me; but he told ine, that prince Don Mario Pluti

, would never do it, yet he did not care, he said, 'a prisoner in the Fleet, would appear a witness to be tempted to it by them. against the duke. And Fitzharris said, that to Upon Wednesday, June 29, be desired me 'lus knowlerlge Heyns was tampered with to to let him write a letter to his wife, which he come in against the queen, the duke, and the would leave with me, seeing he did not expect part of Danby. And he told me, how a con- to see her any more ; so I furnished him with

queen,

Mr.

a sheet of paper, and he writ a long letter of suddenly answer it to God, that you tell me directions to his wife, how he would have her wbether the matters in your confession be true, dispose of herself and her children; the letter or whether you have invented them with a debegins thas: My dear, having no hopes to see sign to save your life; if they be things you, which you may be sure makes my con- which you have thought of merely to save dition distracted enough, I submit to God's your lite ; instead of calling in witnesses mil, he knows what is best, and so forth. to the truth of your confession, 1 desire they About the middle of the letter, he writes : I may be called in to hear you retract it, thought you might have obtained that my and do you declare before them, that what boily might not have been broken, bat now I you have said to me, and with which I have have no hopes thereof. And in a Postscript, acquainted the king, were things invented to he tells her, that the doctor, meaning myself, save your life ; but if they be true, then let and Walmesley, one of his warders, were to the witnesses hear you own the truth of them: go with him to execution ; and he desires her, He was a little concerned that I should question not to let his poor dear mother know that he the truth of what he had declared, and said, Sure came to such an infamous 'end ; and he begs you do not take me for so great a villain, that. his father's and his mother's blessing. This I would tell lies just as I am going out of the letter, I desired Mrs. Fitzharris, that I might world. I must confess, nature doth incline me keep it to compare hands with his confession, to wish I might have lived, yet whether I were if there should be occasion.

to live or die it is all one ; my confession is Upon the same day, Jane 29, and not before, true in the words of a dying man; and this 1 be writ his last confession, in the form and protest in the presence of Almighty God, fallwords in which it is published; and that is the ing upon bis knees. Then I called in the three true, whole, and only confession, written with witnesses, which attest his confession ; and he his own hand, that he left with me at his protested and declared before them, That be death. When he had writ it, I found he had had made his confession freely, without any omitted several things which he had before de- promise made, or hopes given him to save his clareil unto me; I would not prompt him, nor life; he also signed his confession and delivered would I ask him to alter, or put in a word into it to me as his act, in the presence of the said the whole confession ; he would often say to witnesses, as appears by their oath since made me, his confession would injure his poor wife before the lieutenant of the Tower. and children ; her allowance, he said, would Memorandum, that the 11th day of July, be withdrawn, and she would lose those who in the three and thirtieth year of the reign of were now her best friends.

our sovereign lord king Charles the 2nd, &c. The same day, in the evening, he sent for 1681. James Walmesley, and Edward Pattle me, almost as soon as I was gone from him, two of the yeoman warders of his majesty's and when I came to him, his business was to • Tower of London, and Mary the wife of the tell me, he heard there was a new prisoner, said James Walmesley, cane before me Thocome into the Tower, whose name was Rouse; mas Chreek, esq. Lieutenant of the said he said, he did not know the man, but his wife • Tower of London, and one of his majesty's had sometimes spoke of him, that she had re- justices of the peace of the county of Middleceived money of him, both for her own, and sex, and made voluntary oath, as followeth, for Heyna's use.

• viz. That Edward Fitzharris, esq. late priUpon Thursday, June 30, I was with him soner in the said Tower, on Friday the first of most part of the day, which we spent in pray

July instant, between the hours of seven and ers, and discourse concerning another and an eight in the morning, did in the presence of eternal state ; in the evening his wife and bis these deponents make this protestation followmaid came tó him from Hampton Court, and ing. I Edward Fitzharris do declare and told him how unsuccessful they had been in all protest unto James Walmesley, Edward Pattle, their endeavours to save his life ; the ill news · and Mrs. Mary, that I have made this my maade him weep at the first heariog, but he * confession (holding it in his hand) unto Dr. soon cleared up again, and said, God's will be · Hawkins freely and of my own voluntary done,

' accord, without any promise made or hopes July 1. The day of his execution, I was given me by him from the king, of saving my with him early, and we went to prayers, and • life by this confession. And then he signed he prayed earoestly, and wept extremely, and his confession, and delivered it to the said Dr. earnestly desired me to give him the absolution Hawkins, as his own act. And more say nots of the Church of England, which I did ; and

• Tно. CHEEK.? ' afterwards we talked together, of the manner • Memorandum, That the day and year of bis death; I encouraged him to go to his · first above written, the said James execution, both like a man, and a good Chris- Walmesley, Edward Pattle, and

. Mary Walmesley took the aforeBetween the hours of seven and eight in the said oath, in the presence of us, morning, I proposed to him the signing bis

« T. Hawley, O. REYNOLDS." Confession, and said, Mr. Fitzharris, we are When he had made this Declaration and about to call in witnesses to your confession; signed bis Confession before these witnesses, he before we do it, I do charge you, as you must called for a glass of wine, and drank one glass

tian.

to me and to the witnesses, and said, I thank | had in the close of his speech, referred the peoyou for all your kindness ; I have nothing ple to something more which he had left with more to do, but to die.

me; the sheriffs were earnest to know what it About half an hour after came his wife and his was and where ? I told them, they were papers maid, and he told them he had signed his con- which probably were not in my power to profession, and that I would give them a copy of duce. I had them not about 'me, but they it, if they desired it. His wife answered, " My should be delivered to whom they did properly dear, what shouldest thou trouble thyself about belong ; and for that Fitzharris had mentioned confessions, thou art basely betrayed; thy life his Confession left with me ; and I having dois taken away ; I have done all that I could to tice before of the design to stifle his confession save thy life, but to no purpose.'.

by his not owning it at his death, desired him Something after nine o'clock, he was guarded to declare whether all that be bad left with me out of the Tower, and delivered to the sheriffs were true ? The sheriffs seemed to be much of London and Middlesex at the bars on Tower- concerned, that I should put this question to bill. I accompanied him thither, and offered Fitzharris, and said, I had nothing to do to put to go with him on the sledge; he said, it was questions there, nor should I. I urged again, enough that I would meet him at the place of shall I not bid the dying speak the truth? execution, which I did ; and when he called for Mr. Fitzharris turned to me and said, Yes, it is me, I stepped on the sledge to him, and said true. Then I took him by the hand and recoma prayer for him ; then we went up into the mended bis soul to God, and so took my leave cart together, where he kneeled down, and de- of him ; I went down from the cart and stood sired me to give bim the absolution of the close by it: When Mr. Bethel said, Mr. Fitzchurch of England.

haris
you

declared when you were in Newgate, Then the sheriffs spoke to him to declare his that you knew more of the Popish-Plot than mind before he died ; He answered, that what any man, you ought to say what you know behe had to say, he had left with me : They pres- fore you die. He referred the sheriff to what sed him again to speak there at his death, for he had left with me. Then Mr. Cornish spoke they knew not, they said, what he had left with to him and said, Mr. Fitzbarris, if you know me. Then he began to say how he had been any thing that may save innocent blood, you employed to find out libels against the king, ought to declare it. He referred Mr. Cornisle and was at a stand, and referred the sheriffs for likewise to what he had left with me. Then the rest, to what he had left with me. This Dr. Martin asked him if he died a Protestant, moved the sheriffs a third time to desire him to and bid him declare his religion. He referred speak; Mr. Fitzharris asked me whether I the doctor also to what he had left with me. He had his short speech about me? I produced the asked whether his body were to be broken. speech and he read it, and gave it to me again ; Mr. Cornish read the warrant. Mr. FitzThe sheritfs said the speech was theirs, it be- barris desired me to take care of bis body ; longed to them ; I answered, Mr. Fitzharrris 1 answered the employment was very unbecom. had given it to me; and he seconded me, and ing me, there were others appointed to do it. said, he had given his speech to me, and they He prayed to continue their kindness to might have a copy of it ; which they had be his poor wife and children; his last words were, fore I canie away. And because Fitzharris 1 desire your prayers for an happy passage,

TRUTH VINDICATED: or a Detection of the Aspersions and Scandals

cast upon Sir Robert Clayton and Sir George Treby, Justices: and Slingsby Bethell and Henry Cornish, esqrs. Sheriffs of the City of London, in a Paper published in the Name of Dr. Francis Hawkins, Minister of the Tower, intituled · The Con'fession of Edward Fitzharris, esq.' &c. The Copy of which Paper is herewith printed for the Reader's clearer Judgment in

the Case. London: Printed for Rich. Baldwin, 1681. OUT of a just care that the Protestant Reli- We could not indeed suddenly resolve wbegion and interest may not suffer, nor our own ther it were needful to open the villany of that reputations be blasted by the most odious scan- paper, in regard it carries in its own forehead so dals causelessly cast upon us in the execution of many evident marks of malice and falsehood to our several offices, we are constrained to make every observing man that knows what hapknown unto the world the abominable false-pened about Fitzharris. hoods and fictions of that pretended Confession But having heard that some have been deof Fitzharris

, published by Dr. Francis Ilaw- ceived by that paper, and induced to believe kins, minister of the Tower.

that it was writien by Fitzharris, bona fide, from some compunction of conscience or sense cover the Popish treasons, without an impudent of obligation to reveal the truth at his death, direct forswearing the particulars that have we hold it our duty to discover the Popish been evidently proved, and a design by equivopractice and contrivance in the forming and cations and sly insinuations mixed with downpoblishing that pretended Confession.

right falshoods and fictions, to persuade the The poor deluded, timorous wretch con- world that there are amongst the Protestants senting perhaps to the wickedness, whilst he abominable practices of subormation of perjurios was persuaded it should save him from the against the Papists, wicked conspiracies against gallows, though he was conscious to himself, the king, queen and duke of York, and vile that the matters pretended to be confessed were designs against the Lords of the council. We a parcel of falsehoods invented to serve base doubt not but time will discover how, and by designs; the whole paper having no face or whom this pretended Confession was modelled appearance of a dying criminal's open-hearted and put together, and how long it was upon the confession of his sins, nor any expressions of anvil to fashion it, and how the miserable man remorse of conscience for them.

No more

was prevailed upon to give a seeming consent notice is taken of any of those (too well known) to it, against the dictates of his conscience, debaucheries and wickedness of his life, than if with hopes to save his life by serving such dehe had lived like a saint or angel, no acknow- signs, though he was seemingly to renounce ledgment or mention is made of those odious those hopes, to make himself the better to be repeated perjuries to the secretaries of state, to believed. ar Robert Clayton, &c. and to the judges of For the present, let it suffice that we anatothe King's-Bench, of which he must have mize this Mock Confession, and shew its shame known himself to be guilty, if he had thoughtful falshood out of its own matter and form. this pretended Confession to be true. There is It is to be observed, how he begins his Connothing in it that looks plain, clear and natural, fession; not like a man that had before con29 seriously intended to discharge his consci- fessed upon his oath many Popish treasons and ence, and satisfy the world about the matters designs against the Protestants, their religiou formerly sworn by him, and published by au- and lives; and from whom (being now atthority. If any such purpose had been really tainted of treason) was to be expected a clear in his heart, like a true penitent sinner, he account of all the Popish intrigues he knew : must naturally have descended to the particu- but without apology or preamble, he tells the lars of what he had sworn, and have declared to world, believe it who can, “ That the treason the world, whether his ghostly father, Gough, of the libel whereof he was convicted, came did really tell him in the year 1672 (as he had from a Protestant, viz. the lord Howard; and deposed) “ vf the Papists designs to bring the that he was no further concerned in it, than as duke of York to be king, to restore popery, he was employed to give the king notice of and of killing the king to make way for it." such libels, which he was wont to do by Mrs. He could not but have confirmed or denied the Wall, the lady Portsmouth's woman." truth of his oath, That his other ghostly father But the conscience of this poor wretch could Parry, (the Portuguese embassador's confessor) not but witness within him, that he had often told him in 1678, “ That a council of Roman protested before God, that the lord Howard Catholics had resolved, that seeing the king knew nothing of the libel, and that he had bitfailed in the expectations they had from him, terly complained sometime to sheriff Cornish, he should be destroyed, and that the business and sometime to sheriff Bethel in Newgate, was near, and he should soon see it done.” If that he was pressed with the powerful argubis conscience had been to be unburdened in ment of saving his life, to accuse my lord this confession, he could not have forborn to Howard and my lord of Shaftesbury of the say clearly, that be deposed truly or falsly, libel; and that he was so importuned thereunto, " That the marquis Montecuculi in 1679, swere that he was forced to down of his knees, and him first to secrecy, and then offered bim beg that he might not be further pressed 10,0001. to kill the king either in his own therein, the lord Howard being innocent of it, person, or by any other."

and the lord Shaftesbury being such a stranger And if this pretended Confession were con- to bim, as he had scarce ever spoke to him : scientiously taken by Dr. Hawkins, as from a adding with great asseverations, that if it were penitent sinner whom he absoļyed from his to save his life, he could not be guilty of so sins (as he says) he could not be so negligent base a villany; but would rather die than acor ignorant in his priestly office, or so false to cuse the innocent. What large offers were the king and the religion he professes, as not to also made to some of his friends, to persuade exhort the sinner when he seemed to retract him to accuse the lord Howard, may hereafter what he had sworn before, to confess the truth be proved. He also knew (as many thousands in matters of such concern to the life of the do) that the evidence given at the King'sking, and the being of the Protestant religion, bench, upon his trial, was full and clear, That and the public justice of the kingdom, knowing he provided and furnished all the matter of the that bis Confession about those things had been libel, and dictated other parts of it, and that it published to the wbole world.

was drawn into form at his request, and for But this Paper shews itself, when duly exa.

him. And himself confessed be shewed the mined, to be a studied artificial contriyance to papers of the libel to the lord Arran. But per. haps the miserable man was deluded to think the birth of the mountains; and for that his life might be saved, by accusing the Pro- reason, we thiuk it needless to relate the fretestants, and excusing himself as a spy upon quent protestations made by Fitzharris, that he them. Therefore he next proceeds (in his knew nothing of any design of the lord Howard sham Confession) to a Protestant Plot, viz. against the king or government; this very “ That the lord Howard told him of a design Confession itself, when examined, being the to seize upon the king's person, to carry him clearest evidence of its own wickedness and into the city, and there detain him till he had folly. condescended to their desires ; and that him, Now this Mock Confession having told this self and Heyns were privy to the design.” vain story of a design agaivst the king by the

Here is a wonderful tale of a Protestant Protestants, he applies himself in the next page, Plot between two Irish papists and a Protestant by false insinuations, to persuade the world, Jurid; one English sheep in conjunction with in effect, that there was no Popish Plot, and two Irish wolves, to hunt and pursue the same that the Protestant officers and magistrates prey, and this is told, to be believed and swal- have wickedly endeavoureul to suborn him, to lowed like the articles of the Popish faith, with make a Confession that might confirm a Popish out chewing or asking question about the parti. Plot. culars, or the probability or possibility of the He declares, that in Newgate, the sheriffs thing:

Bethell and Cornish, came to him with a token Doubtless, if those words have any sense in from the lord Howard, which he knew to be them, viz. “ by detaissing the king until he true, and told him nothing would save his life, hath condescended to their desires," it must be but discovering the Popish Plot, and gave him meant, until he hath passed acts of parlia. great encouragements from the lord Howard, ment, or laws suitable to the Protestant desires. that if he would declare that he believed só

Surely the inventer of this, never considered much of the Plot as amounted to the introducthat such a design was of a thing impossible, ing the Roman Catholics, or if he would find unless the parliament did concur and act in out any that would criminate the queen, royal such a treason, and prepare and frame their lugliness, or make so much as a plausible desires into bills for that purpose ; and unless story to confirm the Plot, that the parliament the government, and also the force of the city would restore him to his father's estate, with did join with the parliament to detain the king the profits thereof since bis majesty's restorain custody for the same ends; and doubtless it tion. was an absolute impossibility to know the mind We have no way left us in nature to evince and sense of a parliament before it had a being ; the falshood of this whole story, but hy circumand another, to understand the resolutions of stances, or the testimony of such as were prethe vast body of the city in a matter never pro- sent when the sheritis were severally with pounded to any of their assemblies. Yet this him, or their own averments upon oath, which sham Confession hath the confidence to say, they are ready to give, tliat all those particu. that Heynes and Fitzbarris were privy to this lars are false and groundless inventions. design, and had several meetings with the lord It is so far from the least appearance of Howard, and particularizeth the revocation of truth, that the sheriffs went to him with a token the act for the settlement of Ireland, as one of from the lord Howard, that they will severally the acts that was to be passed in the execution depose, that they never saw or heard from the of this design.

lord Howard in any kind, whilst Fitzbarris was Yet there is nothing of circumstance, or in Newgate ; and capt. Richardson and the particular, pretendedly discovered to induce the keepers can witness that they never came toweakest of men to believe it. If this counter- gether to Fitzbarris, or discoursed him togefeit confessor were privy to such a design, and ther, or were in Newgate at the same time met to consult it, he must certainly have known whilst he was there, save only that sheriff what forces were thought of to master the Bethell on the 10th of March was coming out King's Guards, and who was to command from Fitzharris, when sir Robert Clayton and them, and out of what ground they were to sir George Treby, with sheriff Cornish were spring up in a night, like mushrooms, and coming in to examine him ; but sheriff Bethell which of those newborn regiments were to made then no stay, but left them forthwith ; carry the king prisoner to London; he must nor did he ever see Fitzharris in his life, untá have also heard who were to prepare and pre- Wednesday the 9th of March jast, which was vail with the members of parliament to pursue tour days after he had made his first confession this design. Fitzbarris and Heynes, two Irish of the Popish treasons to the secretaries of papists, and neither of quality, parts, estates, or state, the same in substance with that, printed interests, were doubtless well chosen instru- by order of the Commons in parliament; and ments, to apply to the members of parliament, sheriff Bethell had not then come to Fitzto revoke the settlement of Ireland, and were harris, if he had not sent to him the day before likely to be admitted into secrecy with them to desire to speak with him. about this design and treason.

Sheriff Cornish likewise never saw FitzWe ask pardon that we cannot speak more barris, until Sunday the 6th of March, which gravely of this matter, this feigned discovery was after the Secretaries of State's tirst examiof a Protestant Plot being more ridiculous than nation of him, and he then discoursed him

« PreviousContinue »