XIX. The Trials of Robert Winter, Thomas Winter, Guy Fawkes, John Grant, Ambrose Rookwood, Robert Keyes, Thomas Bates, and Sir Everard Digby, at Westminster for High-Treason, being Conspirators in the Gunpowder-Plot. 27 Jan. 1605. 3 Jac. l.
The Effect of the Indictment.
THAT whereas our Sovereign Lord the King had, by the Advice and Assent of his Council, for divers weighty and urgent Occasions concerning, his Majesty, the State, and Defence of the Church and Kingdom of England, appointed a Parliament to be holden at his City of Westminster; That Henry Garnet, Superior of the Jesuits within the Realm of England, (called also by the several names of Wally, Darcy, Roberts, Farmer, and Henry Philips) Oswald Tesmond Jesuit, otherwise called Oswald Greenwell, John Gerrard Jesuit, (called also by the several names of Lee and Brooke) Robert Winter, Thomas Winter, Gentlemen, Guy Fawkes Gent. otherwise called Guy Johnson, Robert Keyes Gent. and Thomas Bates Yeoman, late Servant to Robert Catesby Esquire; together with the said Robert Catesby and Thomas Percy Esquires, John Wright and Christopher Wright Gentlemen, in open Rebellion and Insurrection against his Majesty, lately slain, and Francis Tresham Esq; lately dead; as false Traitors against our said Sovereign Lord the King, did traitorously meet and assemble themselves together; and being so met, the said Henry Garnet, Oswald Tesmond, John Gerrard, and other Jesuits, did maliciously, falsly, and traitorously move and persuade as well the said Thomas Winter, Guy Fawkes, Robert Keyes, and Thomas Bates, as the said Robert Catesby, Thomas Percy, John Wright, Christopher Wright, and Francis Tresham, That our said Sovereign Lord the King, the Nobility, Clergy, and whole Commonalty of the Realm of England, (Papists excepted) were Hereticks; and that all Hereticks were accursed and excommunicate; and that none Heretick could be a King; but that it was lawful and meritorious to kill our said Sovereign Lord the King, and all other Hereticks within this Realm of England, for the Advancing and Enlargement of the pretended and usurped Authority and Jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome, and for the restoring of the superstitious Romish Religion within this Realm of England. To which traitorous Persuasions, the said Thomas Winter, Guy Fawkes, Robert Keyes, Thomas Bates, Robert Catesby, Thomas Percy, John Wright, Christopher Wright, and Francis Tresham, traitorously did yield their Assents: And that thereupon the said Henry Garnet, Oswald Tesmond, John Gerrard, and divers other Jesuits; Thomas Winter, Guy Fawkes, Robert Keyes, and Thomas Bates, as also the said Robert Catesby, Thomas Percy, John Wright, Christopher Wright and Francis Tresham, traitorously amongst themselves did conclude and agree, with Gunpowder, as it were with one Blast, suddenly, traitorously and barbarously to blow up and tear in pieces our said Sovereign Lord the King, the excellent, virtuous and gracious Queen Anne, his dearest Wife, the most noble Prince Henry, their eldest Son, and future Hope and Joy of England; and the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, the Reverend Judges of the Realm, the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses of Parliament, and divers other faithful Subjects and Servants of the King in the said Parliament, for the Causes aforesaid, to be assembled in the House of Parliament; and all them, without any respect of Majesty, Dignity, Degree, Sex, Age or Place, most barbarously, and more than beastly, traitorously and suddenly to destroy and swallow up. And further did most traitorously conspire and conclude among themselves, That not only the whole Royal Issue-Male of our said Sovereign Lord the King should be destroyed and rooted out; but that the Persons aforesaid, together with divers other false Traitors, traitorously with them to be assembled, should surprize the Persons of the most noble Ladies Elizabeth and Mary, Daughters of our said Sovereign Lord the King, and falsly and traitorously should proclaim the said Lady Elizabeth to be Queen of this Realm: And thereupon should publish a Proclamation in the name of the said Lady Elizabeth; wherein, as it was especially agreed by and between the said Conspirators, That no mention should be made at the first, of the alteration of Religion established within within this Realm of England; neither would the said false Traitors therein acknowledge themselves to be Authors, or Actors, or Devisers of the aforesaid most wicked and horrible Treasons, until they had got sufficient Power and Strength for the assured Execution and Accomplishment of their said Conspiracy and Treason; and that then they would avow and justify the said most wicked and horrible Treasons, as Actions that were in the number of those, Quae non laudantur, nisi peracta, which be not to be commended before they be done: but by the said feign'd and traitorous Proclamation they would publish, That all and singular Abuses and Grievances within this Realm of England, should, for satisfying of the People, be reform'd. And that as well for the better concealing, as for the more effectual accomplishing of the said horrible Treasons, as well the said Thomas Winter, Guy Fawkes, Robert Keyes, and Thomas Bates, as the said Robert Catesby, Thomas Percy, John Wright, Christopher Wright, and Francis Tresham, by the traitorous Advice and Procurement of the said Henry Garnet, Oswald Tesmond, John Gerrard, and other Jesuits, traitorously did further conclude and agree, that as well the said Thomas Winter, Guy Fawkes, Robert Keyes, and Thomas Bates, as the said Robert Catesby, Thomas Percy, John Wright, Christopher Wright, and Francis Tresham, thereupon severally and traitorously should receive several corporal Oaths upon the holy Evangelists, and the Sacrament of the Eucharist, That they the Treasons aforesaid would traitorously conceal and keep secret, and would not reveal them, directly or indirectly, by Words or Circumstances, nor ever would desist from the Execution and final Accomplishment of the said Treasons, without the consent of some three of the aforesaid false Traitors first in that behalf traitorously had: And that thereupon as well the said Thomas Winter, Guy Fawkes, Robert Keyes, and Thomas Bates, as the said Robert Catesby, Thomas Percy, John Wright, Christ. Wright, and Francis Tresham, did traitorously take the said several corporal Oaths severally, and did receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist aforesaid, by the Hands of the said Henry Garnet, John Gerrard, Oswald Tesmond, and other Jesuits. And further, that the said Thomas Winter, Guy Fawkes,Robert Keyes, and Thomas Bates, together with the said Robert Catesby, Thomas Percy, John Wright,Christopher Wright, and Francis Tresham, by the like traitorous Advice and Counsel of the said Henry Garnet, John Gerrard, Oswald Tesmond, and other Jesuits, for the more effectual compassing and final execution of the said Treasons, did traitorously among themselves conclude and agree to dig a certain Mine under the said House of Parliament, and there secretly, under the said House, to bestow and place a great Quantity of Gunpowder ; and that according to the said traitorous Conclusion, the said Thomas Winter, Guy Fawkes, Robert Keyes, and Thomes Bates, together with the said Robert Catesby, Thomas Percy, John Wright, and Christopher Wright, afterwards secretly, not without great labour and difficulty, did dig and make the said Mine unto the midst of the Foundation of the Wall of the said House of Parliament, the said Foundation being of the thickness of three yards, with a traitorous Intent to bestow and place a great Quantity of Gunpowder in the Mine aforesaid, so as aforesaid traitorously to be made for the traitorous accomplishing of their traitorous Purposes aforesaid. And that the said Thomas Winter, Guy Fawkes, Robert Keyes, and Thomas Bates, together with the said Robert Catesby, Thomas Percy, John Wright, and Christopher Wright, finding and perceiving the said Work to be of great difficulty, by reason of the Hardness and thickness of the said Wall ; and understanding a certain Cellar under the said House of Parliament, and adjoining to a certain House of the said Thomas Percy, then to be letten to farm for a yearly Rent, the said Thomas Percy, by the traitorous Procurement, as well of the said Henry Garnet, Oswald Tesmond, John Gerrard, and other Jesuits, Thomas Winter, Guy Fawkes, Robert Keyes, and Thomas Bates, as of the said Robert Catesby, John Wright, and Christopher Wright, traitorously did hire the Cellar aforesaid for a certain yearly Rent and Term: and then those Traitors did remove twenty Barrels full of Gunpowder out of the said House of the said Thomas Percy, and secretly and traitorously did bestow and place them in the Cellar aforesaid, under the said House of Parliament, for the traitorous effecting of the Treason, and traitorous Purposes aforesaid. And that afterwards the said Henry Garnet, Oswald Tesmond, John Gerrard, and other Jesuits, Thomas Winter, Guy Fawkes, Robert Keyes and ThomasBates, together with the said Robert Catesby, Thomas Percy, John Wright, and Christopher Wright traitorously did meet with Robert Winter, John Grant, and Ambrose Rookwood, and Francis Tresham, Esquires; and traitorously did impart to the said Robert Winter, John Grant, Ambrose Rookwood, and Francis Tresham, the Treasons, traitorous Intentions and Purposes aforesaid ; and did require the said Robert Winter, John Grant, Ambrose Rookwood, and Francis Tresham, to join themselves as well with the said Henry Garnet, Oswald Tesmond, John Gerrard, Thomas Winter, Guy Fawkes, Robert Keyes, and Thomas Bates, as with the said Robert Catesby, Thomas Percy, John Wright, and Christopher Wright, in the Treasons, traitorous Intentions and Purposes aforesaid; and traitorously to provide Horse, Armour, and other Necessaries, for the better Accomplishment and effecting of the said Treasons. To which traitorous Motion and Request, the said Robert Winter, John Grant, Ambrose Rookwood, and Francis Tresham, did traitorously yield their Assents, and as well with the said Henry Garnet, Oswald Tesmond, John Gerrard, Robert Winter, Thomas Winter, Guy Fawkes, Robert Keyes, and Thomas Bates, as with the said Robert Catesby, Thomas Percy, John Wright, Christopher Wright, and Francis Tresham, in the said Treasons, traitorous Intentions and Purposes aforesaid, traitorously did adhere and unite themselves: And thereupon several corporal Oaths, in form abovesaid, traitorously did take, and the Sacrament of the Eucharist, by the hands of the said Jesuits did receive, to such intent and Purpose, as is aforesaid; and Horses, Armour, and other Necessaries for the better effecting of the said Treasons, according to their traitorous Assents aforesaid, traitorously did provide. And that afterwards all the said false Traitors did traitorously provide, and bring into the Cellar aforesaid ten other Barrels full of Gunpowder, newly bought, fearing lest the former Gunpowder, so as aforesaid bestow'd and placed there, was become dankish; and the said several Quantities of: Gunpowder aforesaid, with Billets and Faggots, lest they should be spy'd, secretly and traitorously did cover. And that afterwards the said false Traitors traitorously provided, and brought into the Cellar aforesaid, four Hogsheads full of Gunpowder, and laid divers great Iron Bars and Stones upon the said four Hogsheads, and the aforesaid other Quantities of Gunpowder: And the said Quantities of Gunpowder, Bars, and Stones, with Billets and Faggots, lest they should be espy'd, secretly and traitorously did likewise cover. And that the said Guy Fawkes, afterwards, for a full and final Accomplishment of the said Treasons, traitorous Intentions and Purposes aforesaid, by the traitorous Procurement, as well of the said Henry Garnet, Oswald Tesmond, John Gerrard, and other Jesuits, Robert Winter, Thomas Winter, Robert Keyes, Thomas Bates, John Grant, and Ambrose Rookwood, as of the said Robert Catesby, Thomas Percy, John Wright, Christopher Wright, and Francis Tresham, traitorously had prepared, and had upon his Person Touchwood and Match, therewith traitorously to give fire to the several Barrels, Hogsheads, and Quantities of Gunpowder aforesaid, at the time appointed for the Execution of the said horrible Treasons. And further, that after the said horrible Treasons were, by the great Favour and Mercy of God, in a wonderful manner discover'd, not many hours before it should have been executed, as well the said Henry Garnet, Oswald Tesmond, John Gerrard, Robert Winter,Thomas Winter, Robert Keyes, Thomas Bates, John Grant, and Ambrose Rookwood, as the said Robert Catesby, Thomas Percy, John Wright, and Christopher Wright, traitorously did fly and withdraw themselves, to the intent traitorously to stir up and procure such Popish Persons, as they could, to join with them in actual, publick and open Rebellion against our said Sovereign Lord the King; and to that end did publish divers feigned and false Rumours, that the Papists Throats should have been cut; and that thereupon divers Papists were in Arms, and in open, publick, and actual Rebellion against our said Sovereign Lord the King, in divers Parts of this Realm of England.
To this Indictment they all pleaded, Not guilty; and put themselves upon God and the Country.
Then did Sir Edward Philips, Kt. his Majesty's Serjeant at Law; open the Indictment to this effect, as followeth.
The matter that is now to be offer'd to you my Lords the Commissioners, and to the Trial of you the Knights and Gentlemen of the Jury, is Matter of Treason; but of such Horror, and monstrous Nature, that before now,
The Tongue of Man never deliver'd,For, if it be abominable to murder the least;
If to touch God's Anointed be to oppose themselves against God;
If (by Blood) to subvert Princes, States and Kingdoms, be hateful to God and Man, as all true Christians must acknowledge:
Then, how much more than too too monstrous shall all Christian Hearts judge the Horror of this Treason; to murder and subvert
Such a King,
That God approves,
The Proceeding wherein, is properly to be divided into three general Heads.
First, Matter of Declaration.
My self am limited to deal only with the Matter of Declaration, and
that is contain'd within the Compass of the Indictment only.
First, In the Persons and Qualities of the Conspirators.
As concerning the first, being the Persons ; they were, Garnet, Gerrard,
Tesmond, Jesuits not then taken. Thomas Winter, Guy Fawkes, Robert
Keyes, Thomas Bates, Everard Digby, Ambrose Rookwood, John Grant, Robert
Winter, at the Bar. Robert Catesby, Thomas Percy, John Wright, Christopher
Wright, slain in Rebellion. Francis Tresham, lately dead. All
grounded Romanists and corrupted Scholars of so irreligious and traitorous
As concerning the third, which is the Mean and Manner how to compass and execute the same; they did all conclude,
The Mean to effect it, they concluded to be, that,
First, Because this Offence is Primæ impressionis, and therefore sine Nomine, without any name which might be adæquatum, sufficient to express it, given by any Legist, that ever made or writ of any Laws. For the highest Treason that all they could imagine, they called it only Crimen læsæ Majestatis, the violating of the Majesty of the Prince. But this Treason doth want an apt name, as tending not only to the Hurt, but to the Death of the King; and not the Death of the King only, but of his whole Kingdom, Non Regis sed Regni, that is, to the Destruction and Dissolution of the Frame and Fabrick of this antient, famous, and ever-flourishing Monarchy; even the Deletion of our whole Name and Nation: And therefore hold not thy tongue, O God, keep not still silence, refrain not thy self, O God; for lo thine Enemies make a murmuring, and they that hate thee have lift up their Heads: They have said, Come, and let us root them out, that they be no more a People, and that the Name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. Psal. 83. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Secondly, It is, Sine exemplo, beyond all Examples, whether in Fact or Fiction, even of the tragick Poets, who did beat their Wits to represent the most fearful and horrible Murders.
Thirdly, It is, Sine modo, without all measure or stint of Iniquity; like a Mathematical Line, which is, divisibilis in semper divisibilia, infinitely divisible.
It is Treason to imagine or intend the Death of the King, Queen, or Prince.
For Treason is like a Tree whose Root is full of Poison, and lieth secret and hid within the Earth, resembling the Imagination of the Heart of Man, which is so secret as God only knoweth it.
Now the Wisdom of the Law provideth for the blasting and nipping, both of the Leaves, Blossoms, and Buds which proceed from this Root of Treason; either by Words, which are like to Leaves, or by some overt Act, which may be resembled to Buds or Blossoms, before it cometh to such Fruit and Ripeness, as would bring utter Destruction and Desolation upon the whole State.
It is likewise Treason to kill the Lord Chancellor, Lord Treasurer, or any Justice of the one Bench or other; Justices of Assize, or any other Judge mentioned in the Statute of 25 Edw. III. sitting in their Judicial Places, and exercising their Offices. And the Reason is, for that every Judge so fitting by the King's Authority, representeth the Majesty and Person of the King; and therefore it is Crimen læsæ Majestatis, to kill him, the King being always in Judgment of Law present in Court. But in the high Court of Parliament, every Man by virtue of the King's Authority, by Writ under the Great Seal, hath a judicial Place; and so consequently the killing of every of them had been a several Treason, and Crimen læsæ Majestatis. Besides that to their treasons were added Rebellion, Burglary, Robbery, Horse-stealing, &c. So that this Offence is such, as no Man can express it, No Example pattern it, no Measure contain it.
Concerning foreign Princes; there was here a Protestation made for the clearing of them from all Imputation and Aspersion whatsoever.
First, For that whilst Kingdoms stood in Hostility, hostile Actions are holden honourable and just.
Secondly, It is not the King's Serjeant, Attorney, or Sollicitor, that in any sort touch or mention them: For we know that great Princes and Personages are reverently and respectfully to be spoken of; and that there is Lex in sermone tenenda. But it is Fawkes, Winter, and the rest of the Offenders, that have confessed so much as hath been said: And therefore the King's Counsel Learned doth but repeat the Offender's Confession, and charge or touch no other Person. They have also slander'd unjustly our great Master King James, which we only repeat, to shew the Wickedness and Malice of the Offenders.
Thirdly, So much as is said concerning foreign Princes, is so woven into the matter of the Charge of these Offenders, as it cannot be sever'd, or singled from the rest of the matter; so as it is inevitable, and cannot be pretermitted.
Now as this Powder-Treason is in itself prodigious and unnatural, so it is in the Conception and Birth most monstrous, as arising out of the dead Ashes of former Treasons. For it had three Roots, all planted and watered by Jesuits, and English Romish Catholicks: The first Root in England, in December and March; the second in F1anders, in June; the third in Spain, in July. In England it had two Branches, one in December was twelve Months before the death of the late Queen of blessed Memory; another in March wherein she died.
First in December, Anno Dom. 1601. do Henry
Garnet Superior of the Jesuits in England, Robert
Tesmond Jesuit, Robert Catesby (who was bono
And because that in all Attempts upon England, the greatest Difficulty was ever to be found to be the Transportation of Horses; the Catholicks in England would assure the King of Spain to have always in readiness for his Use and Service, 1500 or 2000 Horses, against any occasion or enterprize. Now Thomas Winter undertaking this Negotiation, and with Tesmond the Jesuit coming into Spain, by means of Father Creswell the Legier Jesuit there, as hath been said, had readily Speech with Don Pedro Francesa second Secretary of State, to whom he imparted his Message, as also to the Duke of Lerma; who assured him, that it would be an Office very grateful to his Master, and that it should not want his best Furtherance.
Concerning the Place for landing of the King of Spain's Army, which from the English Romish Catholicks he desired might be sent to invade the Land; it was resolved, That if the Army were great, then Essex and Kent were judged fittest, (where note by the way, Who was then Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports :) If the Army were small, and trusted upon Succour in England, then Milford-haven was thought more convenient.
Now there being at that time Hostility betwixt both Kingdoms, the King of Spain willingly embraced the Motion, saying, that he took the Message from the Catholicks very kindly, and that in all things he would respect them with as great Care as his proper Castilians. But for his further answer, and full dispatch, Thomas Winter was appointed to attend the Progress. In the end whereof, being in Summer time, Count Miranda gave him this answer in the behalf of his Master, That the King would bestow 100000 Crowns to that use, half to be paid that Year, and the rest the next Spring following; and withal required that we should be as good as our Promise, for the next Spring he meant to be with us, and set foot in England. And lastly, he desired on the King's behalf, of Winter, that he might have certain Advertisement and Intelligence, if so it should in the mean time happen that the Queen did die. Tho. Winter laden with these Hopes, returns into England about a Month before Christmas, and delivered answer of all that had passed, to Henry Garnet, Robert Catesby, and Francis Tresham. But soon after set that glorious Light, her Majesty died: Mira cano; Sol occubuit, Nox nulla secuta est.
Presently after whose Death was Christopher Wright, another Messenger sent over into Spain by Garnet, (who likewise did write by him to Creswell, for the furtherance of the Negotiation) Catesby and Tresham, in the name and behalf of all the Romish Catholicks in England; as well to carry News of her Majesty's Death, as also to continue the aforesaid Negotiation for an Invasion and Pensions, which by Tho. Winter had before been dealt in. And in the Spanish Court, about two Months after his arrival there, doth Christopher Wright meet with Guy Fawkes; who upon the 22d of June was employed out of Flanders from Brussels by Sir William Stanley, Hugh Owen, (whose Finger hath been in every Treason which hath been of late Years detected) and Baldwyn the Legier Jesuit in Flanders; from whom likewise the said Fawkes carried Letters to Creswell in Spain, for the countenancing and furtherance of his Affairs.
Now the End of Fawkes's imployment was, to give Advertisement to the King of Spain, how the King of England was like to proceed rigorously with the Catholicks, and to run the same course which the late Queen did; and withal to intreat that it would please him to send an Army into England to Milford-haven, where the Romish Catholicks would be ready to assist him; and then the Forces that should be transported in Spinola's Gallies, should be landed where they could most conveniently. And these their several Messages did Christopher Wright and Guy Fawkes in the end intimate and propound to the King of Spain. But the King as then very honourably answered them both, that he would not in any wise further listen to any such Motion, as having before dispatched an Embassy into England, to treat concerning Peace. Therefore this Course by foreign Forces failing, they fell to the Powder-Plot, Catesby and Tresham being in at all; in the Treason of the Earl of Essex, in the Treason of Watson and Clarke Seminary Priests, and also in this of the Jesuits; such a greedy Appetite had they to practise against the State.
The rest of that which Mr. Attorney then spake continuedly, was by himself divided into three general Parts. The first containing certain Considerations concerning this Treason. The second Observations about the same. The third a Comparison of this treason of the Jesuits, with that of the Seminary Priests, and that of Raleigh and others.
For the Considerations concerning the Powder-Treason, they were in Number eight: That is to say,
1. The Persons by whom.Observations
Pleas in mitigation