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like to hatch dangerous secrets and practices. I mean to shew likewise what jargons there were and cyphers between them, which are great badges of secrets of estate, and used either by princes and their ministers of state, or by such as practise against princes. That your majesty was called Julius in respect of your empire; the queen Agrippina, though Somerset now saith it was Livia, and that my lady of Suffolk was Agrippina; the bishop of Canterbury Unctius; Northampton, Dominic; Suffolk, first Lerma, after Wolsey; and many others; so as it appears they made a play both of your court and kingdom; and that their imaginations wrought upon the greatest men and matters.
Neither will I omit Somerset's breach of trust to your majesty, in trusting Overbury with all the dispatches, things wherewith your council of estate itself was not many times privy or acquainted: and yet this man must be admitted to them, not cursorily, or by glimpses, but to have them by him, to copy them, to register them, to table them, &c.
Apostyle of the
This evidence cannot be given in without making me his accuser, and that upon a very slight ground. As for all the subsequent evidences, they are all so little evident, as una litura may serve thaime all.
I shall also give in evidence, in this place, the slight account ofthat letter, which was brought to Somerset by Ashton, being found in the fields soon after the late prince's death, and was directed to Antwerp, containing these words, "that the first "branch was cut from the tree, " and that he should, ere long, "send happier and joyfuller
Which is a matter I would not use, but that my lord Coke, who hath filled this part with many frivolous things, would think all lost, except he hear somewhat of this kind. But this it is to come to the leavings of a business.
Nothing to Somerset, and declared by Franklin after condemnation.
Nothing to Somertet, and a loose conjecture.
No better than a gazette, or passage of Gallo Belgicus.
Nothing yet proved
Nothing to Somer
Declared by Franklin after condemna
Nothing to Somer
Nothing to Somer
And for the rest of that kind, as to speak of that particular, that Mrs. Turner did at Whitehall shew to Franklin the man, who, as she said, poisoned the prince, which, he says, was a physician with a red beard.
That there was a little picture of a young man in white wax, left by Mrs. Turner with Forman the conjurer, which my lord Coke doubted was the prince.
That the viceroy of the Indies at Goa reported to an English factor, that prince Henry came to an untimely death by a mistress of his.
That Somerset, with others, would have preferred Lowbell the apothecary to prince Charles.
That the countess laboured Forman and Gresham, the conjurers, to inforce the queen by witchcraft to favour the countess.
That the countess told Franklin, that when the queen died, Somerset should have Somerset-house.
That Northampton said, the prince, if ever he came to reign, would prove a tyrant.
That Franklin was moved by the countess to go to the Palsgrave, and should be furnished with money.
The particular reasons, why I omit them, I have set in the margin; but the general is partly to do a kind of right to justice, and such a solemn trial, in
not giving that in evidence, which touches not the delinquent, or is not of weight; and partly to observe your majesty's direction, to give Somerset no just occasion of despair or flushes.
But I pray your majesty to pardon me, that I have troubled your majesty with repeating them, lest you should hear hereafter, that Mr. Attorney hath omitted divers material parts of the evidence.
Somerset's business and charge, with his majesty's postiles.
TO SIR GEORGE VILLIERS.
YOUR man made good haste; for he was with me yesterday about ten of the clock in the forenoon. Since I held him.
The reason, why I set so small a distance of time between the use of the little charm, or, as his majesty better terms it, the evangile, (a) and the day of his trial (b) notwithstanding his majesty's being so far off, as advertisement of success and order thereupon could not go and come between, was chiefly, for that his majesty, from whom the overture of that first moved, did write but of a few hours, that this should be done, which I turned into days. Secondly, because the hope I had of effect by that mean, was rather of attempting him at his arraignment, than of confession before his arraignment. But I submit it to his majesty's better judgment.
The person, by your first description, which was without name, I thought had been meant of Packer: (c) but now I perceive it is another, to me un
(a) Cicero, Epist. ad Atticum, Lib. XIII. Ep. 40. uses this word, Evayyeλia; which signifies both good news, and the reward given to him who brings good news. See Lib. II. Epist. 3.
(b) The earl of Somerset's.
(c) John, of whom there are several letters in Winwood's Memorials, Vol. II.
known, but, as it seemeth, very fit. I doubt not but he came with sufficient warrant to Mr. Lieutenant to have access. In this I have no more to do, but to expect to hear from his majesty how this worketh.
The letter from his majesty to myself and the serjeants I have received, such as I wished; and I will speak with the commissioners, that he may, by the lieutenant, understand his majesty's care of him, and the tokens herein of his majesty's compassion towards him.
I ever had a purpose to make use of that circumstance, that Overbury, the person murdered, was his majesty's prisoner in the Tower; which indeed is a strong pressure of his majesty's justice. For Overbury is the first prisoner murdered in the Tower, since the murder of the young princes by Richard, the third, the tyrant.
I would not trouble his majesty with any points of preamble, nor of the evidence itself, more than that part nakedly, wherein was the tenderness, in which am glad his majesty, by his postils, which he returned to me, approveth my judgment.
Now I am warranted, I will not stick to say openly, I am commanded, not to exasperate, nor to aggravate the matter in question of the impoisonment with any other collateral charge of disloyalty, or otherwise; wherein, besides his majesty's principal intention, there will be some use to save the former bruits of Spanish matters.
There is a direction given to Mr. Lieutenant by my lord chancellor and myself, that as yesterday Mr. Whiting (d) the preacher, a discreet man, and one that was used to Helwisse, should preach before the lady, (e) and teach her, and move her generally to a
(d) John Whiting, D.D. rector of St. Martin Vintry, in Londou, and vicar of East-Ham in Essex, prebendary of Ealdstreet in the church of St. Paul's, and chaplain to king James I. He attended Sir Gervase Helwisse, who had been lieutenant of the Tower, at his execution upon Tower-hill, on Monday the 20th of November, 1615, for the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury,
(e) Frances, countess of Somerset.
clear confession. That after the same preacher should speak as much to him at his going away in private: and so proof to be made, whether this good mean, and the last night's thoughts, will produce any thing. And that this day the lieutenant should declare to her the time of her trial, and likewise of his trial, and persuade her, not only upon Christian duty, but as good for them both, that she deal clearly touching him, whereof no use can be made, nor need to be made, for evidence, but much use may be made for their comfort.
It is thought, at the day of her trial the lady will confess the indictment; which if she do, no evidence ought to be given. But because it shall not be a dumb show, and for his majesty's honour in so solemn an assembly, I purpose to make a declaration of the
proceedings of this great work of justice, from the beginning to the end, wherein, nevertheless, I will be careful no ways to prevent or discover the evidence of the next day.
In this my lord chancellor and I have likewise used a point of providence: for I did forecast, that if in that narrative, by the connection of things, any thing should be spoken, that should shew him guilty, she might break forth into passionate protestations for his clearing; which, though it may be justly made light of, yet it is better avoided. Therefore my lord chancellor and I have devised, that upon the entrance into that declaration she shall, in respect of her weakness, and not to add farther affliction, be withdrawn.
It is impossible, neither is it needful, for me, to express all the particulars of my care in this business. But I divide myself into all cogitations as far as I can foresee; being very glad to find, that his majesty doth not only accept well of my care and advices, but that he applieth his directions so fitly, as guideth me from time to time.
I have received the commissions signed.
I am not forgetful of the goods and estate of Somerset, as far as is seasonable to inquire at this time. My lord Coke taketh upon him to answer for the jewels,