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were read the commission and impeachment, were but a 'tedious entrance into matter of fact, at which I was but little present. But, on Thursday, I was commodiously seated amongst the Commons, when the witnesses were sworn and examined. The principal witnesses were Mr. Oates (who called himself Dr.) Mr. Dugdale, and Turberville. Oates swore that he delivered a commission to Viscount Stafford from the Pope, to be Paymaster-General to an army intended to be raised;—Dugdale, that being at Lord Aston's, the prisoner dealt with him plainly to murder his Majesty; and Turberville, that at Paris he also proposed the same to him.
3rd December. The depositions of my Lord's witnesses were taken, to invalidate the King's witnesses; they were very slight persons, but, being fifteen or sixteen, they took up all that day, and in truth they rather did my Lord injury than service.
4/A. Came other witnesses of the Commons to corroborate the King's, some being Peers, some Commons, with others of good quality, who took off all the former day's objections, and set the King's witnesses recti in Ourid.
6th. 8ir William Jones summoned up the evidence; to him succeeded all the rest of the managers,- and then Mr. Henry Poule made a vehement oration. After this my Lord, as on all occasions, and often during the trial, spoke in his own defence, denying the charge altogether, and that he had never seen Oates, or Turberville, at the time and manner affirmed: in truth, their testimony did little weigh with me; Dugdale's only seemed to press hardest, to which my Lord spake a great while, but confusedly, without any method.
One thing my Lord said as to Oates, which I confess did exceedingly affect me: That a person who during his depositions should so vauntingly brag that though he went over to the Church of Rome, yet he was never a Papist, nor of their religion, all the time that he seemed to apostatise from the Protestant, but only as a spy; though he confessed he took their sacrament, worshipped images, went through all their oaths, and discipline of their proselytes, swearing secrecy and to be faithful, but with intent to come over again and betray them ;—that such an hypocrite, that had so deeply prevaricated as even to turn idolater (for so we of the Church of England termed it), attesting God so solemnly that he was entirely theirs and devoted to their interest, and consequently (as he pretended) trusted;—I say, that the witness of such a profligate wretch should be admitted against the life of a peer,— dm my Lord looked upon as a monstrous thing, and such is must needs redound to the dishonour of our religion and nation. And verily I am of his Lordship's opinion: such a nan's testimony should not be taken against the life of a log. But the merit of something material which he discovered against Coleman, put him in such esteem with the Parliament, that now, I lancy, he stuck at nothing, and ;hought everybody was to take what he said for gospel. The consideration of this, and some other circumstances, began to stagger me; particularly how it was possible that one who went among the Papists on such a design, and pretended to be intrusted with so many letters and commissions from the Pope and the party, nay and delivered them to so many great persons, should not reserve one of them to show, nor so much as one copy of any commission, which he who had such dexterity in opening letters might certainly have done, to the undeniable conviction of those whom he accused; but, as I said, he gained credit on Coleman. But, as to others whom he so madly flew upon, I am little inclined to believe his testimony, he being so slight a person, so passionate, ill-bred, and of such impudent behaviour; nor is it likely that such piercing politicians as the Jesuits should trust him with so high and so dangerous secrets.
7th December. On Tuesday, I was again at the trial, when judgment was demanded; and, after my Lord had spoken what he could in denying the fact, the managers answering the objections, the Peers adjourned to their House, and within two hours returned again. There was, in the meantime, this question put to the judges, "whether there being but one witness to any single crime, or act, it could amount to convict a man of treason." They gave an unanimous opinion that in case of treason they all were overt acts, for though no man should be condemned by one witness for any one act, yet for several acts to the same intent, it was
VOL. II. 11
valid; -which was my Lord's case. This being past, and the Peers in their seats again, the Lord Chancellor Finch (this day the Lord High-Steward) removing to the woolsack next his Majesty's state, after summoning the Lieutenant of the Tower to bring forth his prisoner, and proclamation made for silence, demanded of every peer (who were in all eighty-six) whether William, Lord Viscount Stafford, were guilty of the treason laid to his charge, or not guilty.
Then the Peer spoken to, standing up, and laying his right hand upon his breast, said Guilty, or Not guilty, upon my honour, and then sat down, the Lord Stewarc noting their suffrages as they answered upon a paper: when all had done, the number of Not guilty being but 31, the Guilty 55: and then, after proclamation for silence again, the Lord Steward directing his speech to the prisoner, against whom the axe was turned edgeways and not before, in aggravation of his crime, he being ennobled by the King's father, and since received many favours from his present Majesty: after enlarging on his offence, deploring first his own unhappiness that he who had never condemned any man before should now be necessitated to begin with him, he then pronounced sentence of death by hanging, drawing, and quartering, according to form, with great solemnity and dreadful gravity; and, alter a short pause, told the prisoner that he believed the Lords would intercede for the omission of some circumstances of his sentence, beheading only excepted; and then breaking his white staff, the Court was dissolved. My Lord Stafford during all this latter part spake but little, and only gave their Lordships thanks after the sentence was pronounced; and indeed behaved himself modestly, and as became him.
It was observed that all his own relations of his name and family condemned him, except his nephew, the Earl of Arundel, son to the Duke of Norfolk. And it must be acknowledged that the whole trial was carried on with exceeding gravity: so stately and august an appearance I had never seen "before; for, besides the innumerable spectators of gentlemen and foreign ministers, who saw and heard all the proceedings, the prisoner had the consciences of all the Commons of England for his accusers, and all the Peers to be his Judges and Jury. He had likewise the assistance of what counsel he would, to direct him in his plea, who stood by him. And yet I can hardly think that a person of his age and experience should engage men whom he never saw before (and one of them that came to visit him as a stranger at Paris) point blank to murder the King: God only who searches hearts, can discover the truth. Lord Stafford was not a man beloved, especially of his own family.
12th December. This evening, looking out of my chamberwindow towards the west, I saw a meteor of an obscure bright colour, very much in shape like the blade of a sword, the rest of the sky very serene and clear. What this may portend, God only knows; but such another phenomenon I remember to have seen in 1640, about the trial of the great Earl of Strafford, preceding our bloody Eebellion. I pray God avert his judgments! We have had of late several comets, which though I believe appear from natural causes, and of themselves operate not, yet I cannot despise them. They may be warnings from God, as they commonly are forerunners of his animadversions. After many days and nights of snow, cloudy and dark weather, the comet was very much wasted.
17 th. My daughter-in-law was brought to bed of a son, christened Kichard.
22nd. A solemn public Past that God would prevent all Popish plots, avert his judgments, and give a blessing to the proceedings of parliament now assembled, and which struck at the succession of the Duke of York.
29th. The Viscount Stafford was beheaded on Towerhill.
1680-1. 10th February. I was at the wedding of my nephew, John Evelyn of Wotton, married by the Bishop of Rochester at Westminster, in Henry VII.'s chapel, to the daughter and heir of Mr. Eversfield, of Sussex, her portion £8000. The solemnity was kept with a few friends only at Lady Beckford's, the lady's mother.
8th March. Visited and dined at the Earl of Essex's, with whom I spent most of the afternoon alone. Thence to my (yet living) godmother and kinswoman, Mrs. Keightley. sister to Sir Thomas Evelyn, and niece to my father, being now eighty-six years of age, sprightly, and in perfect health, her eyes serving her as 'well as ever, and of a comely countenance, that one would not suppose her above fifty.
27th March. The Parliament now convened at Oxford. Great expectation of his Royal Highness's case as to the succession, against which the House was set.
An extraordinary sharp cold spring, not yet a leaf on the trees, frost and snow lying: whilst the whole nation was in the greatest ferment.
Wth April. I took my leave of Dr. Lloyd (Bishop of St. Asaph) at his house in Leicester Fields, now going to reside in his diocese.
12th. I dined at Mr. Brisbane's, Secretary to the Admiralty, a learned and industrious person, whither came Dr. Burnet, to thank me for some papers I had contributed towards his excellent History of the Reformation.
26th. I dined at Don Pietro Ronquillo's, the Spanish Ambassador, at Wild House,1 who used me with extraordinary civility. The dinner was plentiful, half after the Spanish, half after the English way. After dinner, he led me into his bedchamber, where we fell into a long discourse concerning religion. Though he was a learned man in politics, and an advocate, he was very ignorant in religion, and unable to defend any point of controversy; he was, however, far from being fierce. At parting, he earnestly wished me to apply humbly to the Blessed Virgin to direct me, assuring me that he had known divers who had been averse from the Roman Catholic religion, wonderfully enlightened and convinced by her intercession. He importuned me to come and visit him often.
29th. But one shower of rain all this month.
5th May. Came to dine with me Sir William Fermor, of Northamptonshire, and Sir Christopher Wren, his Majesty's Architect and Surveyor, now building the Cathedral of St. Paul, and the Column in memory of the City's conflagration, and was in hand with the building of fifty parish churches. A wonderful genius had this incomparable person.
I6th. Came my Lady Sunderland, to desire that I would
1 Near Drury Lane.