Southampton: Well, I beseech your Lordship, let me satisfy your Lordship and the rest thus much, that for my own part, I did never know the laws.
Now to show the causes that made me adventure so far as I did. The first occasion that made me adventure into these courses was the affinity betwixt my Lord of Essex and me—I being of his blood and marrying his kinswoman—so that for his sake I would have hazarded my life. But of what I have by my forwardness offended in act I am altogether ignorant, but in thought I am assured never. If through my ignorance in the Law I have offended, yet I humbly submit myself to her Majesty, and from the bottom of my heart do beg her gracious pardon if it please her.
And I hope that neither your Lordship nor any of the peers will hold any of the former resolutions spoken of by these orators. For any certainty depends no otherwise than one upon the other. For if any foolish speeches have passed, I protest as I shall be saved that they were never purposed by me, nor understood to be purposed by me, to the hurt of her Majesty’s person.
Essex: I beseech your Lordship to understand me and assure yourself that what I now speak is not with any desire, I protest, to spare one drop of my blood. And because some honorable persons are interested in the cause, I would (under favor) signify, because the point hath been so much urged by Mr. Attorney, that our being in London when we were past [St.] Paul’s, word was brought me that the chain was drawn at Ludgate, and that my lord of Cumberland was there. Which when I heard I was right glad to have put myself into so honorable a person’s hands as his. But it was a false report, for my lord was not then come thither.
After which I went to Sheriff’s Smith’s house, and after my coming thither, I sent the sheriff and Mr. Alderman Wats to my Lord Mayer, desiring him to come to us. [Or] if he would not, to send four of his aldermen to see if we demeaned ourselves loyally, with intent to put ourselves into their hands to use us as they would, or to put us into any prison. Yet, in regard of our private enemies, and the fear of their treachery, we desired them to shut their gates. And this was the end for which we went into the City.
Attorn.: My Lord, if you had no other purpose, why did you go into Gracious Street and Fenchurch Street, crying out all the way you went, "England is bought and sold to the Spaniard"?
Southampton: Mr. Attorney, I protest. As I hope to have mercy in Heaven, I never heard my Lord speak any such word. Neither did I hear of the proclamation you speak of, made by my Lord Burghley and the Herald at Arms. Neither did I see them, and I deny (my soul and conscience bearing me witness) that I ever knew of any intent and meaning, or did ever mean or intend any treason, rebellion, or other action against my Sovereign or the State. What I did was to assist my Lord of Essex in his private quarrel.
And therefore, Mr. Attorney, you have urged the matter very far and wrong me therein. My blood be upon your head.
As for my Lord of Rutland, whereas he inferreth against me to be a persuader and inviter of my Lord of Essex to these actions, he wrongeth me exceedingly, for he was never the man saw me once discontented, and therefor had small ground or reason so to say.
And you, Mr. Attorney, whereas you have charged me for a Papist, I protest most unfeignedly, I was never conversant with any of that sort. I only knew one White, a priest that went up and down the town, yet I never did converse with him in all my life.
1 May 1999 pkm