Page images

278. The Trial* of Dr. Oliver PLUNKET,t Titular Primate of Ire

land, at the King's-Bench, for High Treason : 33 CHARLES II.

A. D. 1681. THE 3rd of May, 1681, in Easter, 33 Car. made in this kingdom, he might be tried in the Dr. Oliver Plunket was arraigned at the King's court of King's-Bench, or by Commission of Bench bar for high-treason, for endeavouring Oyer and Terminer in any part of England, for and compassing the king's death, and to levy facts arising in Ireland; and that this arraignwar in Ireland, and to alter the true religion ment there (he being never tried upon it) was there, and to introduce a foreign power : and not sufficient to exempt him from being tried at his arraignment, before his plea he urged here; because till a trial be passed, and there for himself, that he was indicted of the same be a conviction or acquittal thereupon, an arhigh-treason in Ireland and arraigned, and at raignment, barely, is no plea : for in such cases the day for his trial, the witnesses against him the party is put twice in danger of bis life, did not appear; and therefore he desired to which only is the thing the law in such cases know if he could be tried here for the same looks after to prevent. * He then desired time fact. The Court told him, that by a statute for his witnesses, which they told him he could

not do till after plea pleaded ; whereupon be * • I do appoint Francis Tyton and Thomas pleaded Not Guilty, and put hinself upon the • Basset to print the Trials of Edward Fitz- country for bis trial. And after some consi• Harris and Oliver Plunket, and that no others deration had about time to be allowed him to ' presume to print the same. F. PEMBENTON.' bring his witnesses from Ireland, the court ap

7“ Plunket, the Popish Primate of Armagh, pointed the day for his trial, to be the first was at this time brought to his trial. Some Wednesday in next term, which was full five. lewd Irish priests, and others of that nation, weeks time. hearing that England was at that time disposed And accordingly on Wednesday the 3th of to hearken to good swearers, thought them- June, in Trinity-Term, he was brought to his selves well qualified for the employment: so trial; and proclamation, as in such cases s they came over to swear, that there was a usual, being made, it proceeded thus : great plot in Ireland, to bring over a French Cl. of Čr. Oliver Plunket, hold up thy army, and to massacre all the English. The hand, those good men which thou shalt bear, witnesses were brutal and profligate men : yet called, and personally appear, are to pass bethe earl of Shaftsbury cherished them much : tween, &c. they were examined by the parliament at West- Plunket. May it please your lordship, I minster: and what they said was believed. have been kept close prisoner for a long time, Upon that encouragement it was reckoned that a year and an half in prison : when I came we should have witnesses come over in whole from Ireland hither, I was told by persons of companies. Lord Essex told me, that this good repute, and a counselor at law, that I Plunket was a wise and sober man, who was could not be tried here; and the reasons they always in a different interest from the two Tal- gave me were, that first the statute of Henry 8, bots; the one of these being the titular arch- and all other statutes made here were not rebishop of Dublin, and the other raised after- ceived in Ireland, unless they were an express wards to be duke of Tirconnell. These were mention made of Ireland in them: so that none meddling and factious men; whereas Plunket were received there but such as were before was for their living quietly, and in due sub- Poyning's act. So I came with that persuamission to the government, without engaging sion that I could not be tried here, till at my înto intrigues of state. Some of these priests arraignment your lordships told me it was not had been censured by him for their lewdness : so, and that I must be tried here, though there and they drew others to swear as they directed was no espress mention made of Ireland. Now, them. They had appeared the winter before my lord, upon that, whereas my witnesses upon a bill offered to the grand jury: but as were in Ireland, and I knew nothing of it, and the foreman of the jury, who was a zealous the Records upon which I very much rely Protestant, told me, they contradicted one ano- were in Ireland, your lordship was pleased to ther so evidently, that they would nat find the give me time from the 4th of the last month to bill. But now they laid their story better to this day; and in the mean time, as your lordgether; and. swore against Plunket, that he ship had the affidavit here yesterday, and as had got a great bank of money to be prepared, captain Richardson can testify, I have not disand that he had an army listed, and was in a patched only one, but two to Ireland, into the correspondence with France to bring over a counties of "Armagh, Dublin, &c. and where feet from thence. He had nothing to say in there were records very material to my dehis own defence, but to deny all : so he was fence; but the clerk of the crown would not condemned; and suffered very decently, ex- give me any copy of any record at all, unless pressing himself in many particulars as became a bishop. He died denying every thing that * See the Case of Whitebread and others in had been sworn against him.” Burnet, 502. this Collection, vol. 7, pp. 70, 311.

he had some express order from your lordship. that know them, and therefore my case is not So that whether it were that they were mis- the same with other cases. Though I caunot taken, or wilfully refused, I could not get the harbour, nor do not, nor will not, nor ought not, records, which were very material for me. For the least conceit of hard measure and injusin some of those records, some of those that tice; yet if I have not full time to bring my accuse me were convicted of high crimes, and records and witnesses all together, I cannot others were out-lawed and imprisoned, and make my defence. Some where there then, brake prison; and there were other records also some afår off, so that it was a miracle that in of excommunication against some of them, and six or seven counties they could do so much as I could not get the records, unless your lord they did : But they got in seven or eight of ship would instruct me in some way or other, them, yet there weretive or six wanting. Therehow I can get over them that are most mate-fore I beseech your lordship, that I may have rial for my defence. The servants that I sent time to bring my records and witnesses, and hence, and took shipping for Ireland, were two then I will defy all that is upon the earth, and days at sea, and cast back again, and from under the earth, to say any thing against me. thence were forced to go to Holy-Head, and L. C. J. Look you, Dir. Plunket, it is in from Holy-Head in going to Dublin they were vain for you to talk and make this discourse 13. or 14 days, the winds were so contrary; here now ; you must know that by the laws of and then my servant went about to go into the this kingdom, when a man is indicted and arcounty of Armagh and Derry, that were 100 raigned of treason and felony, it is not usual to miles from Dublin and Meath, and other places: give such time; it is rare that any man hath so that in so short a time, my lord, it was had such time as you have had, five weeks morally impossible for them to have brought time to provide your witnesses : if your

witthe witnesses over; and those that were ready nesses are so cautious, and are such persons to have come, would not stir at all, unless they that they dare not, or will not venture for fear had a pass from hence, because some of them of being apprehended, or will not come into were Roman Catholics, and they had heard Englaod without such and such cautions, we that here some were taken prisoners that were cannot tell how to help it; we can't fuinish Roman Catholics, and that none ought to come you with witnesses, you must look to get your without a pass; and they being witnesses witnesses yourself: If we should stay till your against the king, they might be clapped up witnesses will come, perhaps they will never here, and brought into very ill condition ; so come here, and so you will escape out of the they sent one over, that made affidavit. hands of justice. Do not be discouraged in

1. C. J. (sir Francis Pemberton). It was this, the jury are strangers to you peradven- . the affidavit that was read here yesterday. ture, but they are honest gentlemen, and you

Plunket. So that, my lord, I.conceive your shall have no other upon your jury; and lordship will think I did it not out of any in- ' you may be confident that if there be not tent to put off my trial ; for captain Richard : some fact proved against you, that may son is here, wbo knows that I writ by the post amount to treason, you shall be dischargand desired them to come with the pacquet-boat, ed; there are persons that understand so and they writ over to the captain after they mnch, and we will direct them so much. You were landed ; so that I depended upon the shall have as fair a trial as if you were in Irewiod and the weather for my witnesses, and land ; but for us to stay for your witnesses, or wanted your lordship's order for the records to send you back to Ireland, we cannot do it:, be brought over, and that their examination Therefore you must submit to your trial. We might be brought into court, and their own ori- heard your affidavit yesterday, and we did then: ginal examination here might be compared tell the gentleman that moved it, as much as. with it. So I humbly beg your lordship's fa- we tell you. You are here to be tried, look to vour, the case is rare, and scarcely happens in the jury as they are called, and except against five hundred years, that one should be in my then it


will. circumstances. I am come here where no Plunket. My lord, I desire only to have jury knows me, nor the quality of my adversa- the favour of some time, some time this term. ries : If I had been in Ireland, I would have L. C. J. We can't do it. put myself upon my trial to-morrow, with- Cl. of Cr. Swear sir John Roberts. out any witnesses, before any Protestant jury Plunket. I humbly present this to your lordthat knew them and me. And when the orders ship, I am then in imminent danger of my went over that I should be tried in Ireland, and life, 'if I cannot get ten days to have my witthat go Roman catholic should be upon the nesses over : I desire I may have but to the jury, and so it was in both the grand and other 21st of this month, and then if they do not jury ; yet then when I came to my trial, after come, you may go on. I was arraignel, not one appeared. This is L. C. J. We cannot do it, you bare had five manifest upon the record and can be proved. weeks time already.

L.C.J. There was no prosecution of you Plunket. I desire but a few days. there.

Clerk. Sir John Roberts, take the book, Plunket. But, my lord, here is no jury that look upon the prisoner : You shall well and knows me, or the quality of my adversaries ; truly try, &c. for they are not a jury of the neighbourhood Plunket. My lord, I desire to know, whe

2 G


ther they have been of the juries of Lang- the said Oliver Plunket, the said first day of horn, or the five Jesuits, or any that were con- December, in the abovesaid two and thirtieth demned.

year of the reign of our said sovereign lord the L. C. J. What if they have ? That is no king, that now is, with force and arms, &c. at exception.

Dublin, in the kingdom of Ireland, then being Then the jury was sworn, whose names fol- the dominion of our said sovereign lord the king low. Sir John Roberts, Thomas Harriot, Henry in parts beyond the seas, maliciously, devilishAshhurst, Ralph Bucknall, Richard Gowre, ly, and traiterously did assemble and gather toRichard Pagett, Thomas Earshy, Johu Hayne, gether himself, with divers other traitors unThomas Hodgkins, James Partherich, Samuel known, and then and there devilishly, advisedly, Baker, William Hardy.

maliciously, subtlely, and traiterously did conCl. of Cr. Oliver Plunket, hold up your that now is, to death and final destruction to

sult and agree our said sovereign lord the king, hand. "You of the jury look upon the pri- bring, and from his crown and government soner, and hearken to his charge.

aforesaid to depose and deprive, and the reli" He stands indicted by the name of Oliver gion of the Romish church into the kingdom Plunket, late of Westminster, in the county of of Ireland aforesaid, to introduce and establish. Middlesex, doctor in divinity, for that he is a And the sooner to fulfil and perfect bis said false traitor against the most illustrious and most wicked treasons, and traiterous imaginamost excellent prince oursovereign lord Charles tions and purposes, he the said Oliver Plunket, 2, by the grace of God, of England, Scotland, with divers other false traitors unknown, then France, and Ireland, king, and his natural lord, and there advisedly, maliciously, and traitere the fear of God in his heart not baving, nor ously, did further consult and agree to contriweighing the duty of his allegiance, but being bute, pay, and expend divers great sums of moved and seduced by the instigation of the money to divers subjects of our said sovereign devil, the cordial love, and true and due natural lord the king, and other persons unknown, to obedience, wbich true and faithful subjects of procure them the said persons unknown, our our said sovereign lord the king, towards him said sovereign lord the king, that now is trai. our said sovereign lord the king do and of right terously to kill, and the Romish religion into ought to bear, utterly withdrawing, and con- the said kingdom of Ireland, to introduce and triving, and with all his might intending the establish. And that he the said Oliver Plunket, peace and common tranquillity within the king- and other traitors unknown, afterwards, to wit

, dom of Ireland, as also of this kingdom of Eng. the said first day of December, in the two and land, to disturb, and war and rebellion against thirtieth year of the reign of our said sovereign our said sovereign lord the king in the kingdom lord the king abovesaid, at Dublin aforesaid, in of Ireland, then being the dominion of our said the kingdom of Ireland aforesaid, within the sovereign lord the king, in parts beyond the dominion of our said sovereign lord the king, seas, to stir up and move, and the government with force and arms, &c. unlawfully, maliciousof our said sovereign lord the king there to sub- ly, devilishly, and traiterously did receive, colvert; and our said sovereign lord the king from lect, pay, and expend divers great sums of mohis regal power and government there to depose ney to divers persons unknown, to persuade and and deprive; and our said sovereign lord the induce divers other persons also unknown, the king, that now is, to death and final destruction said false traitors in their said treasons to help to bring and pat; and the true worship of God and maintain, against the duty of his allegiance

, within the said kingdom of Ireland, by law es- and against the peace of our said sovereign lord tablished and used, to alter to the superstition the king, that now is, his crown and dignity, of the Romish church: The first day of De- and against the form of the statutes in that case cember, in the year of the reign of our sove- made and provided.”' reign lord Charles the Second now king of Engar &c. the two and thirtieth, and divers other

To this Indictment he hath pleaded, Not days and times, as well before as after, at Dub

Guilty lin in the kingdom of Ireland, in parts beyond Mr. Heath. May it please your lordship, ue seas, with divers other false traitors un- and you gentlemen of the jury, this is an inknown, traiterously did compass, imagine, and dictment of high treason against Dr. Oliver intend the killing, death, and final destruction Plunket, the prisoner at the bar; and it sets of our said sovereign lord the king, and the an- forth, That the two and thirtieth year of the cient government of his said kingdom of Ire- king, at Dublin in the kingdom of Ireland, he land aforesaid to change, alter, and wholly to did compass and imagine the death of the king, anbvert; and him our said sovereign lord the and to deprive the king of his kingdom of Ireking, that now is, from the crown and govern- land, and to raise war to extirpate the Protestment of his kingdom of Ireland aforesaid to de- ant religion in the kingdom of Ireland, and to pose and deprive, and the true Protestant re-establish the Romish"religion there. And it higion to extirpate, and war and rebellion against sets forth further; that for the accomplishment the said sovereign lord the king there to move of these treasons, the defendant, with several and lexy. And to fulfil and accomplish bis said others, did meet together at several places at most wicked treasons, and traiterous compass Dublin in the kingdom of Ireland, and else

aginations, and purposes aforesaid, he where, and at these several meetings did con

sult and agree to put the king to death, to raise , them, that he might accordingly take a meawar, to extirpate the Protestant religion, and sure what men to pick out for the service. The set up the Romish religion. And the indict- next thing was money, my lord; and your ment further sets forth, that to accomplish these lordship takes notice, that when the mind is entreasons, the defendant did raise great sums of slaved, the purse, nay all the body bows to it. money in the kingdom of Ireland, and did get He issues out: his warrants to his clergy, to several persons to contribute several sums for make a collection of money ; in all parts great these treasons, and that the defendant with suns were levied, and when they were leviedl, others did disburse several sums of money to se- we shall give you an account by our proofs, veral persons, to persuade them and entice them that several suons were issued uut, and sent to be aiding and assisting in these treasons, and into Franee to further the business. There to recompence them for them. To this indict, was also provision made of great ammunition ment the defendant hath pleaded, Not Guilty. | and arms; and we shall prove in particular, If we prove these things, you are to find him several delivered out by this gentleman's order, Guilty

to carry on this things and to go through Serj. Maynard. My lord, we will quickly stitch with this business, he takes a view of all come to the evidence: But in short, you have the several ports and places in Ireland, where heard his charge is as high as can be against it would be convenient to land ; -for they were the king, and against the nation, and against all to lave from France an auxiliary force, and that is good. The design and endeavour of this upon his view he pitched upon Carlingford as gentleman was the death of the king, and the the place. We shall prove the several corresdestruction of the Protestant religion in Ireland, pondencies between Rome and bim, and France and the raising of war: and to accomplish this, and him, and several messengers employed, we charge him, that there was a confederacy and monies issued ont from time to time for made, assemblies and consultations had to these their maintenance. This will be the course of ends, and raising money to accomplish it. Gen- our evidence; and we will begin first with tlemen, Dr. Plunket was made, aš we shall some that do not speak so particularly to this prove to you, as they there call him, primate Doctor, but prove there was a general design in of Ireland; and he got that dignity from the all parts of the kingdons of Ireland, io bring pope upon this very design. He did by virtue in the king of France, and extirpate the Protesof that power, which he thought he had got- tant religion. And then we shall call the parten, make out warrants, significations, I know ticular persons to the particular facts, against not what they call them, to know how many him. First, we call Florence Wyer, (Who men in Ireland could bear arms from sixteen to was sworn.) forty; he raises taxes upon the people and the Sol. Gen. Are you sworn, Sir ? clergy there. But, my lord, the particulars Wyer. Yes, Sir. will best fall from the witnesses that we sball Sol. Gen. Pray give the Court and the jury call and prove it by, and we need not make any an account of what you know of any Plot in aggravation ; for such a thing as this cannot Ireland, to introduce the Romish religion, or to be more aggravated than it is.

bring in the French king, Aftorney General. . (Sir Robert Sawyer.) Wyer. Yes, I know there was a Plot, both May it please your lordship, and you gentlemen before Plunket's time, and in his time.; for it of the jury, the character this gentleman bears,' was working in the years 1665 and 1666, but it as primate under a foreign and usurped juris- was brought to full maturity in the year 1667. diction, will be a great inducement to you to For ihen col. Miles Rely and col. Bourne were give credit to that evidence we shall produce sent to Ireland from the king of France, with before you. We shall prove that this very pre- a commission to muster as many men as he ferment was conferred apon him upon a con- could, promising to send an army of 40,000 tract, that he should raise 60,000, men in Ire- men with a commission, upon St. Lewis's day Jand, for the pope's service, to settle popery in August next following to land at Callingford, there, and to subvert the government. The to destroy all the true subjects, to destroy the evidence that we shall give you, will prove how religion as it was established there, and to set it leads to destroy the king; and I take it ac- up the French king's authority and the Roman cording to the resolutions that have been, to Catholic Religion. And one Edmund Angle, raise war in the kingdom, and to introduce a that was a justice of peace, and clerk of the foreign power, will be certainly evidence of an crown, sent for all the rebels abroad in the attempt and machination to destroy the king. North to come up into the county of Longford, As soon as he was in possession of his primacy, and they marched into the bead-town of the he goes about his work. There are two great county, and fired the town; the inhabitants necessaries to be provided, men and money : fed into the castle : then they came up to the for foen, having this great spiritual jurisdiction, gaol, thinking to break it open, and by setting whereby, indeed, all that are under it are be- the prisoners free, to join them with them; come slaves, he issues qut his warrants to all but then Angle was shot, received a deartly the clergy of Ireland, to give an account, and wound, and droptoff of his horse, and they tied. make return from the several parishes, and so then when they were without the town, one all the men in them above fourteen, and under Charles Mac-Canal alighted, and took away all sixty. And returns were accordingly made by the papers out of his pocket ; which if ihey

had been found, would have discovered all. | Friers, being their acquaintance ; one Quine, This occasioned col. Bourne to be suspected ; one of the Friers, told himand being so suspected, he was taken prisoner, L. C. J. Told whom ? and turned to Newgate in Dublin. Then col. Wyer. The prisoner, that he did expect Rely fled away again to France, and the Plot Duffy should have been primate ; but the prilay under a cloud during the life of primate soner made answer, it is better as it is ; for Raley the prisoner's predecessor. This primate Duffy had not the wit to manage the things Raley died beyond sea. Then many of the that I have undertaken for the general good of popish religion would have had the primacy our religion. conferred upon one Duffy; but the prisoner at L. C. J. Now tell me this: what things the bar put in for it ; which might have been were those he had undertaken? Did he ex. opposed, if the prisoner had not engaged and plain himself? promised that he would so manage affairs, Wyer. No farther than those words : but I that before the present government were aware, did conceive this was his meaning ; because he would surprise the kingdom ; provided the I knew partly of it myself, knowing of the pope and king of France would send a com- former Plot. petent army to join with theirs for the effecting L. C. J. I ask you only what words came of it. So the first year of his coming over i from him; and you say they were that Duffy was in the friery at Armagh; I was an acquaint- had not the wit to manage what he had underance of the Friers, and they invited me; and taken for the general good of their religion. one Quine told the prisoner, that they thought Wyer. Yes, and then again in bis assembly, Duffy would have been primate. Said he, it is kept by him, he charged his inferiors to collect better as it is ; for Dutty bath not the wit to such several sums of money, as he thought fit, do those things that I have undertaken to do ; according to the several parishes and digoities, meaning that he did undertake to supplant the to assist and supply the French forces when Protestant religion, to bring in popery, and put they came over. the kingdom under subjection to the king of L. C. J. How know you that ? France.

Wyer. I have seen the money collected: Sol. Gen. How do you know that?

and I have seen his warrant, siab pæna susWyer. Those were the words, and the pensionis,' to bring it in, to redeem their relimeaning I knew before, because I had heard it gion from the power of the English Governtalked of

ment. Again, there were those rebels that L. C. J. Who was the first of these priznates went to Longford you speak of?

L. C. J. What time were those collections i Wyer. Edmund Raley ; he set this business Wyer. From time to time since he came on foot first.

into Ireland L, C. J. About what ?

L. C. J. About what time? Wyer. About calling the rebels together out Wyer. Nine years, eight years, seven year of the North when they came to Longford. ago, and the last year of all. L. C. J. What year was that ?

L. C. J. Then it was several times, you say Wyer. It was in 1667.

Wyer. Yes, and he procured the Maododels L. C. J. When died he ?

a piece of money out of the Excheques, preWyer. He died a little while afterwards. tending to do good service to his majesty ; bua

L. C. J. Then Duffy would have it con- be sent them for France, meaning they should ferred upon him?

improve themselves, and bring themselves into Wyer. Yes, after Raley's decease he would favour with the king of France, and come over have had it conferred upon him; and there with the French king to surprise Ireland was a contention between him and the prisoner, This one of the rebels told me. So I have seen who did engage he would bring things to that the prisoner's letter directed to the grand Tory full maturity, that before the present govern- Flemming, desiring that they should go to ment were aware he would do the work. France, and he would see them, in spite of all L. C. J. How do you know this ?

their enemies in Ireland, safe ashore : and Wyer. I know this

, because I had an ac- Flemming should return again a colosiel to his count of it from certain school-fellows that own glory, and the good of his country. were with me in Ireland, then studying in Att. Gen. Do you know his band? Rome; they wrote this to me, desiring me I Wyer. Yes, I do, as well as my own. I have would take a good heart with the rest of my seen capt. O'Neal, son of general O'Neal

, • countrymen, and assuredly in a short time the coming every year into Ireland, and carrying

kingdom would be relieved, and the Irish re- three "regiments to the French king into stored to their former patrimonies.

France, and he used to come over to Ireland L. C. J. This you speak of their information. every year to get a recruit ; and he did get my What do you know of your own knowledge ? brother to go with him, and so much impor

Wyer. "All that I know is, he coming into portuned me, that I could hardly withstand the friery of Armagh

him ; but I did not yield to bis desire. He L. C. I. About what time?

told me, it was to improve me for my good, to Wyer. It is either 10 or 11 years ago, and improve myself in military discipline; and there was a fast there, and I was invited by the then I should return for Ireland a captain

« PreviousContinue »