« ZurückWeiter »
FAVOURABLE DEALING OF
HER MAIESTIES COMMISSIONERS,
APPOINTED FOR THE
And of Tortures vniustly reported to be done vpon them for matters of Religion,
1583. In black Letter, Quarto, containing six pages.
TO THE READER.
'GOOD Reader, although her Maiesties most milde and gracious Goueniement
bee sutficient to defende it selfe against those most slaunderous reportes of heathenish and vonaturall Tyrannie, and cruell tortures, pretended to haue bene executed vpon certaine traitours, who lately sufired for their treason, and others; aswell spread abroad by Ruunagate Jesuites and Seminary men, in their seditious Bookes, Letters, and Libels, in forreine Countries and Princes Courtes, as also insinuated into the Heartes of some of our own Countrie Mev and ber Majesties Subiectes: Yet, for thy better satisfaction, I haue conferred with a very honest Gentleman, whom I know to haue good and sufficient meanes to deliuer the Trueth against such forgers of Lyes and shameles Slaunden in that behalfe, which be, and other, that do know, and have affirmed the saine, will at all times justifie : And, for thy further Assurance and Satisfaction herein, he hath set downe, to the Vewe of all Men, these Notes following.
TOUCHING the racke and torments, vsed to such traitours, as
I pretended them selues to bee catholiques, vpon whom the same haue bene exercised, it is affirmed for trucıh, and is offered, vpon due examination, so to be proged, to bee as followeth : First, That the formes of torture, in their seacritic, or rigour of execution, hade not bene such, and in such maner perfourmed, as the sclaunderers and seditious libellers haue scaunderously and malitiously published; and that euen the principall offender, Campion him selfe, who was sent and came from Rome, and continued here in sundrie corners of the realme, hauing secretly wandered in the greatest part of the shieres ' of Englande in a disguised sort, to the intent to make speciall preparation of treasons; and to that ende, and for the furtherance of those his labors, sent ouer for more helpe and assistance, and cunningly and traiterously at Rome, before he came from thence,
• See No. 44. in the Catalogue of the Harleian Pamphlets.
procured tolleration for such prepared rebels to keepe them selues couert, vnder pretence of temporarie and permissiue obedience to her Maiestie, the state standing as it doth; but, so soone as there were sufficient force, whereby the bull of her maiesties depriuation might bee publikely executed, they shoulde then ioyne altogether with that force, vpon peine of curse and damnation : that very Campion, I say, before the conference had with him by learned men in the Tower, wherein he was charitably vsed, was neuer so racked, but that he was presently able to walke, and to write, and did presently write and subscribe all his confessions, as by the originals thereof may appeare. A horrible matter is also made of the staruing of one Alexander Briant ; how he should eat clay out of the walles, gathered water to drinke from the droppings of houses, with such other false ostentations of immanitie: where the trueth is this : that, whatsoeuer Briant suffered, in want of foode, he suffered the same wilfully, and of extreme impudent obstinacie, against the minde and liking of those that dealt with him. For, certaine traiterous writings being founde about him. it was thought conuenient, by conference of hands, to vnderstand whose writing they were; and thereupon, he being, in her Maiesties name, commaunded to write, which he coulde very well doe, and being permitted to him to write what he woulde him selfe, in these termes : that, if he liked not tu write one thing, he might write an other, or what he lysted (which to doe, being charged in her Maiesties name, was his duetie, and to refuse was disloyall and vndutifull) yet the man woulde by no meancs be induced to write any thing at all. Then was it commaunded to his keeper to giue vnto him such mcate, drinke, and other conuenient necessaries, as he woulde write for; and to forbeare to giue him any thing, for which he woulde not write. But Briant, being thereof aduertised, and oft moued to write. persisting so in his curst heart, by almost two dayes and two nightes, made choise rather to lack foode, then to write for the sustenance, which he might readely haue had for writing, and which he had. indede, readely and plentifully, so soone as he wrote. And, as it is sayde of these two, so is it to be truely sayde of other, with this. that there was a perpetuall care had, and the Queenes seruantes the wardens, whose office and act it is to handle the racke, were euer. by those that attended the examinations, specially charged to vse it in as charitable maner, as such a thing might be.
Secondly. It is sayde, and likewise offered to be iustified*, that neuer any of these seminarics, or such other pretended catholiques, which at any time, in her Maiisties raigne, haue bene put to the racke: were, vpon the racke, or in other torture, demaunded any question of their supposed conscience; as, what they beleeued, in any point of doctrine, or faith, as, the masse, transubstantiation, or such like: but onely, with what persons at home, or abroad, and touching what plots, practises, and conferences they had dealt, about attempts against her Maiesties estale or person? Or to alter the lawes of the
• See the Execution of Justice, last preceding,
realme, for matters of religion, by treason or by force? And howe they were perswaded them selues, and did perswade other, touching the popes bul, and pretense of authoritie to depose kinges and princes; and namely, for depriuation of her Maiestie, and to discharge subiectes from their allegeance? expressing herein alway the kingly powers and estates, and the subiectes allegeance ciuily, without mentioning, or meaning therein any right, that the Queene, as in right of the crowne, hath over persons ecclesiasticall, being her subiectes. In all which cases, Campion and the rest neuer answered plainely, but sophistically, deceitfully, and traiterously; restraining their confession of allegeance onely to the permissiue forme of the Popes tolleration : as, for example, if they were asked, whether they did acknowledge them selues the Queenes subiectes, and woulde obey her? They woulde say, yea; for so they had leaue for a time to doe. But, adding more to the question, and they being asked, if they woulde so acknowledge and obey her, any longer then the Pope woulde so permit them, or not withstanding such commaundement, as the Pope would, or might giue to the contrary? Then they eyther refused so to obey, or denyed to answere, or said, that they coulde not answere to those questions without daunger: which very answere, without more saying, was a plaine answere, to all reasonable vnderstanding, that they woulde no longer be subiectes, nor perswade other to be subiectes, than the Pope gaue liceuce. And, at their very arraignement, when they laboured to leaue in the minds of the people, and standers by, an opinion that they were to dye, not for treason, but for matter of faith and conscience in doctrine, touching the seruice of God, without any attempt or purpose against her Maiestie, they cryed out, that they were true subiectes, and did, and woulde obey and serue her Maiestie. Immediately, to proue whether that hypocriticall and sophistical speach extended to a perpetuitie of their obedience, or to so long time as the Pope so permitted, or no, they were openly, in place of iudgement, asked by the Queenes learned counsell, whether they woulde so obey, and be true subiectes, if the Pope cuminaunded the contrary? They plainely disclosed them selues in answere, saying by the mouth of Campion, this place (meaning the court of her Maiesties bench) hath no power to enquire, or judge of the holy fathers authoritic; and other answere they would not make.
Thirdly, That none of them hauc been put to the racke or torture, no not for the matters of treason, or partnership of treason, or such like, but where it was first knowen, and euidently probable by former detections, confessions, and otherwise, that the partie so racked, or tortured, was guylty, and did knowe, and coulde deliuer trueth of the thinges, whcrewith he was charged; so as it was first assured, that no innocent was at any time tormented; and the racke was never vsed to wring out confessions at aduenture vpon vncertainties, in wbich doing, it might bee possible, that an innocent, in that case, might haue bene racked.
Fourthly, That none of them hath bene racked, or tortured, vnlesse he had first sayde expressely, or amounting to asmuch, that he wil not tell the trueth, though the Queene commaund him. And, if any of them, being examined, did say, he could not tell, or did not remember, if he woulde so affirme, in such maner as christians among christians are beleeued, such his answere was accepted, if there were pot apparent euidence to proue that he wilfully sayde vntruely. But, if he sayde, that his answere, in deliuering trueth, shoulde hurt a catholique, and so be an offence against charitie, which they sayde to be sinne, and that the Queene coulde not commaund them to sinne, and therefore, howsoeuer the Queene commaunded, they woulde not tell the trueth, which they were knowen to know, or to such effect, they were then put to the torture, or els not.
Fifthly, That the proceeding to torture was alway so slowly, so vnwillingly, and with so many preparations of perswasions to spare them selues, and so many meanes to let them know, that the trueth was by them to be vttered, both in duetie to her Maiestie, and in wisedome for themselues, as whosoeuer was present at those actions must needes acknowledge, in her Maiesties ministers, a ful purpose to follow the example of her owne most gratious disposition : whome God long preserue.
Thus it appeareth, that, albeit, by the more generall lawes of nations, torture hath bene, and is lawfully iudged to be vsed in lesser cases, and in sharper maner, for inquisition of trueth in crimes not so ncere extending to publike danger, as these vngratious persons baue committed, whose conspiracies, and the particularities thereof, it did so much import and behoue to haue disclosed; yet, euen in that necessarie vse of such proceeding, enforced by the offenders notorious obstinacie, is neverthelesse to be acknowledged the sweete temperature of her Maiesties milde and gratious clemencie; and their slaunderous lewdenes to be the more condemned, that haue, in fauour of haynous malefactours, and stubborne traytours, spred vntrue rumors and slaunders, to make her mercifull gouernment disliked, vnder false pretense; and rumors of sharpenesse and crueltie to those, against whome nothing can be cruel, and yet vpon whome nothing bath bene done, but gentle and mercifull.
THE TRUE REPORT
WILLIAM OF NASSAWE, PRINCE OF ORANGE,
Who was trayterouslie slayne with a Dagge, in bis owne Courte,
BY BALTHAZAR SERACK, A BURGUNIAN,
The First of Iuly, 1584.
Herein is expressed the Murtherers Confession, and in what manner he was
executed, vpon the Tenth of the same Month: Whose Death was not of sufficient sharpnes for such a Caytife, and yet too sowre for any Christian. Printed at Middleborowgh, by Derick van Respeawe, Anno. 1564. In octavo, containing eight Pages
G. P. His Proheme to the Inhabitaunts of Flaunders.
ypon earth, beeing anoynted of God, hauing theyr authoritye from God, and sitting in Gods seate, to rule the sword with the law) may perceaue that they live in more care, and greater daunger, than the simplest subiect. Lamentable therefore is their late example of the Prince of Orange, slayne (by a treacherous villain) in his owne courte: His death, and the manner thereof, may forewarne other princes to be carefull, whome they retaine into the presence of theyr person. Great is thy losse, and greater wil be thy misery, Q Flaunders, for the want of thy prince, who did guide thee, and gouerned thy people, with wisedome, loue, policie, and continuall care for thy quictnes: He was thy comfort, and the stay of thy state in all extremities.
The cheefest states of thy countrey shall misse him; the widdowe, the sucking babe, and the fatherlesse childc shall haue cause to bewayle bis death. Yea rich and poore altogether may lament his mishap, and cry, Woc vpon that man that bereaued him of life, whose noblenesse deserued fame, and whose woorthy acts and enterprises, beeing honourable, are meete to be registred among the most lawdable reportes of learned historiographers. If the Romaines did bemone the death of Cæsar, the Troyans the losse of Hector, and the Lacedemonians the want of Alexander, then hast thou, O Flaunders, more cause to lament the loss of thy good prince, who with wisedome, force, and great care, ayded by the power and prouidence of God himselfe, did keepe thy countrey, from the handes of him that woulde make a monarchie of realmes in his owne handes, to the viter spoile of thee and thine, and to draw other realmes vnder his subiection. O most accursed wretch that he was, so