Essex: My Lord, and you that be our peers, I beseech you give me hearing thus farónot that I will speak it for the safeguard of my life, but with this desire I charge the souls of all them that be our censurers or triars, because out of a form and custom of speaking, these orators would make them more odious that come to the Barr, that I may not have thought to have done this upon revenge. For within these few days I purposed to have received the Communion, to be a testimony that I was far from bearing of malice to any, not so much as to my private enemies.
But the falling out between the Earl of Southampton and the Lord Gray happening on a Sunday hindered my intent, for so soon as I knew of it, I found my affections to stir on it exceedingly. Yet I have since that time labored, and by my prayers to God, earnestly desired that I might be armed with patience to endure all afflictions. And here I protest before the ever-living God as he may have mercy on me, that my conscience is clear from any disloyalty, thought, or harm to her Majesty. My desire hath ever been to be free from bloodshed, as Mr. Dove can witness.
But if in all my thoughts and purposes I did not ever desire the good estate of my sovereign and country, as to my own soul, I beseech the Lord them show some mark upon me and my soul in this place, for a just vengeance of my untruths to all the world. And God, which knoweth the secrets of all hearts, knoweth that I never sought the Crown of England, nor ever wished to be a higher degree than a subject. I greatly endeavored to have brought my conscience to peace, only by seeking to secure my access to the presence of the Queen, that I might speedily have unfolded my griefs unto her Majesty against my private enemies, but not to have shed one drop of blood.
And this, my Lord, I speak to the end [that] I might put off all imputation of being an hypocrite or an atheist. For I was never a Papist, neither did I ever favor any secretary (as my lord of Canterbury knoweth and can testify) for my religion it is sound, and as I live I mean to die in it.
Bacon: Well, my Lord, may it please your Grace, you may see how weakly he hath shadowed his purpose, and how slenderly he hath answered the objections against him. But my Lord, doubting that too much variety of matter may minister occasion of forgetfulness, I will only trouble your Lordshipís remembrance with this only one point, rightly comparing this rebellion of my Lord of Essex to the Duke of Guise, that came upon the barricadoes at Paris in his doublet and hose, attended upon with 8 men; his confidence in the city was even as my Lordís was.
But when he had delivered himself so far, and the shallowness of his own conceit could not accomplish what he expected (the King for his defense taking arms against him) he was glad to yield himself, thinking to color his intents, turned his practices and alleged the occasion thereof to be a private quarrel.
Essex: My lord, I must confess it was my error to stand out and to maintain my house with defense and resisting. But I will not deny but that my Lord of Southampton and Sir Charles Danvers did persuade me to parley with my Lord General, which, I hope your Lordship will remember, I did yield upon some indifferent terms and conditions. Which were first: that I might have an honourable trial.
Secondly, that I might deliver my griefs myself to the Queen. Thirdly, that I might go in safety. Fourthly, that I might have my minister with me.
And lastly (which I chiefly beg of her Majesty) that she should be pleased to redeem some that were with me in the house, and guiltless for knowing, intent, or action of what was by me purposed. All which I thought good to remember and so humbly submit the same to her Majestyís gracious pleasure.
1 May 1999 pkm