Next

 

The proclamation was made.

Sergeant at arms: Lieutenant of the Tower, withdraw your prisoners from the Bar.

They being removed, the Lords and Peers went together into a private place made of purpose behind the canopy and chair of Estate. Then the two Chief Judges and the Lord Chief Baron were sent for in to them to deliver their opinions in law. After half an hour, they came all out again, and each man took his place. Which being done, the Sergeant at Arms begun at the punie [lowest ranking] lord, and called Thomas, Lord Howard, who stood up bare headed. Then said the Lord High Steward:

Lo. Steward: My Lord Thomas Howard, [say] whether is Robert Earl of Essex guilty of this treason whereupon he hath been indicted, as you take it upon your honour, or no?

Whereupon the Lord Thomas Howard made answer, bending his body and laying his left hand upon his right side, said: Guilty, my Lord, of High treason.

After which manner all the Peers found him guilty one after another from the punie to the highest, and so delivered in like sort upon their honours. Being called over anew, they found Henry Earl of Southampton guilty of High Treason also.

Then the Sergeant at Arms commanded the Lieutenant of the Tower to bring his prisoners to the Bar again. Then the Clerk of the Crown speaking first to the Earl of Essex, said:

Clerk of the Crown: Robert Earl of Essex, you have been arraigned and indicted of High Treason. You have pleaded Not Guilty. And for your trial you have put yourself upon God and your peers. The peers here, who have heard the evidence and your answer in your defense, have found you guilty. Now what can you say for yourself why you should not have judgment of Death.

Essex: I only say this, that since I have committed that which hath brought me within the compass of the law, I may be counted the law’s traitor in offending the law, for which I am willing to die, and will as willingly go thereto as ever did any. But I beseech your Lordship and the rest of the Lords here to have consideration of what I have formerly spoken, and do me right as to think of me as a Christian, and that I have a soul to save, and that I know it is no time to jest.

Lying and counterfeiting my soul abhoreth, for I am not so desperate nor void of grace now to speak falsely. I do not speak to save my life, for I see that were in vain. I owe God a death, which shall be welcome, how soon ever it pleaseth her Majesty. And to satisfy the opinion of the world, that my conscience is free from Atheism and Popery, howsoever I have been in this action minded to transgress to points of the law in the course and defense of private matters, and whatsoever through the weakness of my with and dullness of memory, or through violent courses (if there be any violent that seek either life or death).

Or if I have omitted or may have uttered any thing otherwise, yet I will live and die in the faith and true religion which here I have professed.




Previous | Home | Top | Next


MaggiRos
1 May 1999 pkm