And then being severally asked, What they could say, wherefore Judgment of Death should not be pronounced against them; there was not one of these (except Rookwood) who would make any continued Speech, either in Defence or Extenuation of the Fact.
Thomas Winter only desired, that he might be hanged both for his Brother and himself.
Guy Fawkes being asked, Why he pleaded Not Guilty, having nothing to say for his Excuse : answered, That he had so done in respect of certain Conferences mention'd in the Indictment, which he said that he knew not of : Which were answered to have been set down according to Course of Law, as necessarily pre-supposed before the Resolution of such a Design.
Keys said, That his Estate and Fortunes were desperate, and as good now as at another time, and for this Cause rather than for another.
Bates craved Mercy.
Robert Winter, Mercy.
John Grant was a good while mute ; yet after, submissively said, He was guilty of a Conspiracy intended, but never effected.
But Ambrose Rookwood first excused his denial of the Indictment, for that he had rather lose his Life than give it. Then did he acknowledge his Offence to be so heinous, that he justly deserved the Indignation of the King, and of the Lords, and the Hatred of the whole Commonwealth ; yet could he not despair of Mercy at the Hands of a Prince, so abounding in Grace and Mercy : And the rather, because his Offence, tho' it were incapable of any Excuse, yet not altogether incapable of some Extenuation, in that he had been neither Author nor Actor, but only persuaded and drawn in by Catesby, whom he loved above any worldly Man : And that he had concealed it not for any Malice to the Person of the King, or to the State, or for any ambitious Respect of his own, but only drawn with the tender Respect, and the faithful and dear Affection he bare to Mr. Catesby his Friend, whom he esteem'd dearer than any thing else in the World. And this Mercy he desired not for any fear of the Image of Death, but for grief that so shameful a Death should leave so perpetual a blemish and blot unto all Ages, upon his Name and Blood. But howsoever that this was his first Offence, yet he humbly submitted himself to the Mercy of the King, and prayed that the King would herein imitate God, who sometimes doth punish corporaliter, non mortaliter, corporally, yet not mortally.
Then was related how that on the Friday immediately before this Arraignment, Robert Winter having found opportunity to have Conference with Fawkes in the Tower, in regard of the nearness of their Lodgings, should say to Fawkes, as Robert Winter and Fawkes confessed, That he and Catesby had Sons, and that Boys would be Men, and that he hoped they would Revenge the Cause ; nay, that God would raise up Children to Abraham out of Stones : Also that they were sorry, that nobody did set forth a Defence or Apology of their Action, but yet they would maintain the Cause at their Deaths.
Here also was reported Robert Winter's Dream, which he had before the blasting with Powder in Littleton's House, and which he himself confessed and first notified, viz. That he thought he saw Steeples stand awry, and within those Churches strange and unknown Faces. And after, when the foresaid Blast had the Day following scorched divers of the Confederates, and much disfigured the Faces and Countenances of Grant, Rookwood, and others ; then did Winter call to Mind his Dream, and to his Remembrance thought, that the Faces of his Associates so scorched, resembled those which he had seen in his Dream.
Then was Sir Everard Digby arraigned, and after his Indictment was read ; wherein he was charged, not only to have been acquainted with the Powder-Treason, and concealed it, and taken the double Oath of Secrecy and Constancy therein, but likewise to have been an Actor in this Conspiracy ; and lastly to have exposed, and openly shewed himself in the Rebellion in the Country amongst the rest of the Traitors. All which after he had attentively heard and marked, knowing that he had confessed it, and the strength and Evidence of the Proofs against him, and convicted with the Testimony of his own Conscience, shewed his Disposition to confess the principal Part of the said Indictment, and so began to enter into a Discourse. But being advertised that he must first plead to the Indictment directly, either Guilty, or not Guilty ; and that afterwards he should be licensed to speak his Pleasure ; he forthwith confessed the Treason contained in the Indictment, and so fell into a Speech, whereof there were two Parts, viz. Motives, and Petitions. The first Motive which drew him into this Action, was not Ambition or Discontentment of his Estate, neither Malice to any in Parliament, but the Friendship and Love he bare to Catesby, which prevailed so much, and was so powerful with him, as that for his sake he was ever contented and ready to hazard himself and his Estate. The next Motive, was the Cause of Religion, which alone, seeing (as he said) it lay at the stake, he entered into Resolution to neglect in that behalf, his Estate, his Life, his Name, his Memory, his Posterity, and all worldly and earthly Felicity whatsoever ; tho' he did utterly extirpate, and extinguish all other hopes for the restoring of the Catholick Religion in England. His third Motive was, that Promises were broken with the Catholicks. And lastly, That they generally feared harder Laws from this Parliament against Recusants, as that Recusants Wives, and Women should be liable to the Mulct as well as their Husbands and Men. And further, that it was supposed, that it should be made a Præmunire, only to be a Catholick.
His Petitions were, That sithence his Offence was confined and contained within himself, that the Punishment also of the same might extend only to himself, and not to be transferred either to his Wife, Children, Sisters, or others : And therefore for his Wife he humbly craved, that she might enjoy her Jointure ; his Son the benefit of an Entail made long before any thought of this Action ; his Sisters, their just and due Portions, which were in his Hands ; his Creditors their rightful Debts, which that he might more justly set down under his Hand, he requested that before his Death, his Man (who was better acquainted both with the Men, and the Particulars than himself) might be licensed to come unto him. Then prayed he Pardon of the King and Lords for his Guilt. And lastly he entreated to be beheaded ; desiring all Men to forgive him, and that his Death might satisfy them for his Trespass.
To this Speech forthwith answered Sir Edward Coke Attorney-General, but in respect of the time (for it grew now dark) very briefly :
Here did Sir Everard Digby interrupt Mr. Attorney, and said that he did not justify the Fact, but confessed that he deserved the vilest Death, and most severe Punishment that might be: But he was an humble Petitioner for Mercy, and some Moderation of Justice. Whereupon Mr. Attorney replied, that he should not look by the King to be honoured in the manner of his Death, having so far abondoned all Religion and Humanity in his Action : But that he was rather to admire the great Moderation and Mercy of the King, in that for so exorbitant a Crime, no new Torture answerable thereunto was devised to be inflicted upon him. And for his Wife and Children, whereas he said that for the Catholick Cause he was content to neglect the Ruin of himself, his Wife, his Estate, and all; he should have his desire as it is in the Psalm , Let his Wife be a Widow, and his Children Vagabonds, let his Posterity be destroyed, and in the next Generation let his Name be quite put out. For the paying of your Creditors, it is equal and just; but yet fit the King be first satisfied and paid, to whom you owe so much, as that all you have is too little : yet these things must be left to the Pleasure of his Majesty, and the Course of Justice and Law.
Earl of Northamp. You must not hold it strange, Sir Everard Digby, though at this time being pressed in Duty, Conscience and Truth, I do not suffer you to wander in the Labyrinth of your own idle Conceits, without opposition, to seduce others, as yourself have been seduced, by false Principles, or to convey yourself by Charms of Imputation, by Clouds of Error, and by Shifts of lately devised Equivocation, out of that straight wherein your late secure and happy Fortune hath been unluckily entangled, but yet justly surprized by the Rage and Revenge of your own rash Humours. If in this Crime (more horrible than any Man is able to express) I could lament the Estate of any Person upon Earth, I could pity you ; but thank yourself and your bad Counsellors for leading you into a Crime of such a kind, as no less benumbeth in all faithful, true and honest Men, the Tenderness of Affection, than did in you the Sense of all Humanity.
That you were once well thought of and esteemed by the late Queen, I can witness, having heard her speak of you with that Grace, which might have encouraged a true Gentlemen to have run a better Course. Nay, I will add further, that there was a time wherein you were as well affected to the King our Master's Expectation, though perhaps upon false Rumours and Reports, that he would have yielded Satisfaction to your unprobable and vast Desires ; but the Seed that wanted moisture (as our Saviour himself reporteth ) took no deep Root : that Zeal which hath no other End or Object than the pleasing of itself, is quickly spent ; and Trajan, that worthy and wise Emperor, had reason to hold himself discharged of all Debts to those that had offended more by Prevarication, than they could ever deserve by Industry.
The Grace and Goodness of his Majesty in giving Honour at his first coming unto many Men of your own Affection, and (as I think) unto yourself ; his Facility in admitting all without distinction of Trojan or of Tyrian, to his Royal Presence, upon just occasions of Access; his Integrity in setting open the Gate of civil Justice unto all his Subjects equally and indifferently, with many other Favours that succeeded by the Progression of Peace ; are so palpable and evident to all Men, that have either Eyes of Understanding, or Understanding of Capacity, as yourself and many others have been driven of late to excuse and countenance your execrable Ingratitude with a false and scandalous Report of some further Hope and Comfort yielded to the Catholicks for Toleration and Connivance, before his coming to the Crown, than since hath been performed, made good or satisfied.
I am not ignorant, that this seditious and false Alarm hath awaked and incited many working Spirits to the prejudice of the present State, that might otherwise have slept as before with silence and sufferance ; it hath served for a Shield of Wax against a Sword of Power : it hath been used as an Instrument of Art to shadow false Approaches, till the Trojan Horse might be brought within the Walls of the Parliament, with a Belly stuffed, not as in old time with armed Greeks, but with hellish Gunpowder. But howsoever God had blinded you and others in this Action, as he did the King of Egypt and his Instruments, for the brighter Evidence of his own powerful Glory ; yet every Man of Understanding could discern, that a Prince whose Judgment had been fixed by Experience of so many Years upon the Poles of the North and the South, could not shrink upon the sudden : no nor since with fear of that Combustion which Catesby that Arch-Traitor, like a second Phaeton, would have caused in an instant in all the Elements. His Majesty did never value Fortunes of the World, in lesser Matter than Religion, with the Freedom of his Thoughts : he thought it no safe Policy (professing as he did, and ever will) to call up more Spirits into the Circle than he could put down again ; he knew, that omne regnum in se divisum desolabitar, Philosophy doth teach, that whatsoever any Man may think in secret thought, that where one doth hold of Ciphas, another of Apollo, openly Dissension ensues, Quod insitum alieno solo est, in id que alitur natura vertente degenerat ; and the World will ever apprehend, that Quorum est commune symbolum, facillimus est transitus.
Touching the Point itself of promising a kind of Toleration to Catholicks, as it was divulged by these two Limbs of Lucifer, Watson and Percy, to raise a ground of Practice and Conspiracy against the state and Person of our dear Sovereign, let the Kingdom of Scotland witness for the space of so many Years before his coming hither, whether either Flattery or Fear (no, not upon that Enterprize of the 17th of November, which would have put the patience of any Prince in Europe to his proof) could draw from the King the least Inclination to this dispensative Indifference, that was only believed, because it was eagerly desired.
Every Man doth known how great Art was used, what strong Wits sublimed, and how many Ministers suborned and corrupted many Years both in Scotland and in foreign Parts, to set the King's Teeth an edge with fair Promises of future Helps and Supplies, to that happy End of attaining his due Right in England, when the Sun should set, to rise more gloriously in the same Hemisphere, to the wonder both of this Island and of the World. But all in vain ; for jacta erat alea, the King's Compass had been set before, and by a more certain Rule, and they were commonly cast off as forlorn Hopes in the King's Favour, that ran a Course of ranking themsleves in the foremost Front of foreign Correspondency.
Upon notice given to his Majesty from hence some Years before the Death of the late Queen, that many Men were grown suspicious of his Religion, by Rumours spread abroad, that some of those in foreign Parts, that seemed to be well-affected to his future Expectation, had used his Name more audaciously, and spoken of his Favour to the Catholicks more forwardly than the King's own Conscience and unchangeable Decree could acknowledge or admit (either with a purpose to prepare the Minds of foreign Princes, or for a practice to estrange and alienate Affections at home) not only utterly renounced and condemned these Encroachments of blind Zeal, and rash Proceedings, by the Voices of his own Ministers, but was careful also for a Caution to succeeding Hopes, so far as lay in him, that by the Disgrace of the Delinquents in this kind, the Minds of all English Subjects chiefly might be secured, and the World satisfied.
No man can speak in this Case more confidently than myself, that received in the Queen's time, for the space of many Years, Directions and Warnings to take heed, that neither any further Comfort might be given to Catholicks, concerning future Favours, than he did intend, which was to bind all Subjects in one Kingdom to one Law, concerning the Religion established, howsoever in Civil Matters he might extend his Favour as he found just cause : nor any Seeds of Jealousy and Diffidence sown in the Minds of Protestants by Semcis and Achitophels, to make them doubtful of his Constancy, to whom he would confirm with his dearest Blood, that Faith which he had sucked from the Breast of his Nurse, apprehended from the Cradle of his Infancy, and maintained with his uttermost Endeavour, Affection and Strength : since he was more able out of reading and disputing, to give a reason of those Principles which he had now digested and turned to Nutriment.
He that wrote the Book of Titles before the late Queen's Death, declares abundantly by seeking to possess some Foreign Prince of the King's Hereditary Crowns, when the Cause should come to the proof, and may witness instead of many ; what hope there was of the King's Favour or Affection to Catholicks in the case of Toleration or Dispensation, with Exercise of Conscience. For every Man may guess that it was no slight or ordinary degree of Despair, that made him and other of his Suit renounce their Portion in the Son and Heir of that renowned and rare Lady, Mary Queen of Scotland, a Member of the Roman Church ; as some did in David, Nulla nobis pars in David, nec hæreditas in filio Isai : For hereof by Letters intercepted in their Passage into Scotland, the Records and Proofs are evident. His Majesty, so long as he was in expectation of that which by the Work and Grace of God he doth now possess, did ever seek to settle his Establishment upon the Faith of Protestants in generality, as the most assured Sheet-Anchor. For tho' he found a number on the other side, as faithful and as well-affected to his Person, Claim and Interest, as any Men alive, as well in respect of their dependency upon the Queen his Mother, as for the taste which they had of the sweetness of himself ; yet finding with what strength of Blood many have been over-carried out of a Fervency in Zeal in former Times, observing to what Censures they were subject, both in Points of Faith, and Limitation of Loyalty : And last of all, forcasting to what end their former Protestation would come, when present Satisfaction should shrink ; he was ever fearful to embark himself for any further Voyage and Adventure in this Strait, than his own Compass might steer him, and his Judgment level him.
If any one green Leaf for Catholicks could have been visibly discerned by the eye of Catesby, Winter, Garnet, Fawkes, &c. they would neither have entred into Practice with foreign Princes during the Queen's time for prevention of the King's Lawful and Hereditary Right, nor have renewed the same both abroad and at home by Missions and Combinations, after his Majesty was both applauded and entred.
It is true, that by Confessions we find, that false Priest Watson, and Arch-Traitor Percy, to have been the first Devisers and Divulgers of this scandalous Report, as an accursed Ground, whereon they might with some Advantage, as it was conceived, build the Castles of their Conspiracy.
Touching the first, no Man can speak more soundly to the point than myself : for being sent into the Prison by the King to charge him with this false Alarm, only two days before his Death, and upon his Soul to press him in the presence of God, and as he would answer it at another Bar, to confess directly whether at either of both these times he had access unto his Majesty at Edinborough, his Majesty did give him any Promise, Hope or Comfort or Encouragement to Catholicks concerning Toleration ; he did there protest upon his Soul that he could never win one Inch of Ground, or draw the smallest Comfort from the King in those degrees, nor further than that he would have them apprehend, that as he was a Stranger to this State, so till he understood in all Points how those matters stood, he would not promise Favour any way ; but did protest that all the Crowns and Kingdoms in this World, should not induce him to change any jot of his Profession, which was the Pasture of his Soul, and Earnest of his eternal Inheritance. He did confess that in very deed, to keep up the Hearts of Catholicks in Love and Duty to the King, he had imparted the King's words to many, in a better Tune, and a higher kind of Descant, than his Book of plain Song did direct; because he knew that others like sly Bargemen looked that way, when their stroke was bent another way. For this he craved Pardon of the King in humble Manner, and for his main Treasons of a higher Nature than these Figures of Hypocrisy ; and seemed penitent, as well for the Horror of his Crime, as for the Falshood of his Whisperings.
It hindered not the Satisfaction which may be given to Percy's Shadow (the most desperate Boutefeu in the Pack), that as he died impenitent, for any thing we know ; so likewise he died silent in the Particulars. For first, it is not strange that such a Traitor should devise so scandalous a Slander out of the Malice of his Heart, intending to destroy the King by any Means, and to advance all Means that might remove Obstructions and Impediments to the Plot of Gunpowder. The more odious that he could make him to the Party Malecontent, and the more sharply that he could set the Party Malecontent upon the Point and Humour of Revenge ; the stronger was his Hope at the giving of the last Blow, to be glorified and justified. But touching the Truth of the Matters, it will be witnessed by many, that this Traitor Percy after both the first and second return from the King, brought to the Catholicks no spark of Comfort, of Encouragement, of Hope ; whereof no stronger Proof of Argument doth need, than that Fawkes and others were employed both into Spain and other Parts, for the reviving of a Practice suspended and covered, after Percy's coming back ; as in likelihood they should not have been, in case he had returned with a Branch of Olive in his Mouth, or yielded any Ground of Comfort to resolve upon.
Therefore I thought it thus far needful to proceed, for the clearing of those Scandals that were cast abroad, by these forlorn Hopes and graceless Intruments. It only remains that I Pray for your Repentance in this world for the Satisfaction of many, and Forgiveness in the next World, for the saving of yourself ; having had by the King's Favour so long a Time to cast up your Account, before your Appearance at the Seat of the great Auditor.
Then spake the Earl of Salisbury, especially to that Point, of his Majesty's breaking of Promise with Recusants, which was used and urged by Sir Everard Digby, as a Motive to draw him to participate in this so hideous a Treason. Wherein his Lordship, after Acknowledgement that Sir Everard Digby was his Ally, and having made a zealous and religious Protestation concerning the Sincerity and Truth of that which he would deliver ; shortly and clearly defended the Honour of the King herein ; and freed his Majesty from all Imputation and Scandal of Irresolution in Religion, and in the constant and perpetual maintaining thereof ; as also from having at any time given the least Hope, much less Promise of Toleration. To which purpose he declared how his Majesty, as well before his coming to this Crown, as at that very Time, and always since, was so far from making of Promise, or giving Hope of Toleration, that he ever professed he should not endure the very Motion thereof from any.
And here his Lordship shewed what was done at Hampton-Court at the time of Watson's Treason, where some of the greater Recusants were convented : And being found then not to have their Fingers in Treason, were sent away again with Encouragement to persist in their dutiful Carriage, and with Promise only of thus much Favour, That those mean Profits which had accrued since the King's time to his Majesty for their Recusancy, should be forgiven to the principal Gentlemen, who had both at his Entry shewed so much Loyalty, and had kept themselves so free since from all Conspiracies.
Then did his Lordship also (the rather to shew how little Truth Sir Everard Digby's Words did carry in any thing which he had spoken) plainly prove, that all his Protestations wherein he denied so constantly to be privy to the Plot of Powder, were utterly False, by the Testimony of Fawkes (there present at the Bar) who had confessed, that certain Months before that Session, the said Fawkes being with Digby at his House in the Country, about what time there had fallen much wet; Digby taking Fawkes aside after Supper, told him that he was much afraid that the Powder in the Cellar was grown dank, and that some new must be provided, lest that should not take Fire.
Next, the said Earl did justly and greatly commend the Lord Mounteagle for his Loyal and honourable Care of his Prince and Country, in the speedy bringing forth of the Letter sent unto him; wherein he said, that he had shewed both his Discretion and Fidelity. Which Speech being ended, Digby then acknowledged, that he spake not that of the Breach of Promise out of his own Knowledge, but from their Relation whom he trusted; and namely from Sir Tho. Tresham.
Now were the Jury returned, who having delivered their Verdict, whereby they jointly found those seven Prisoners, arraigned upon the former Indictment, Guilty; Serjeant Philips craved Judgment against those seven upon their Conviction, and against Sir Everard Digby upon his own Confession.
Then the Lord Chief Justice of England, after a grave and prudent Relation and Defence of the Laws made by Queen Elizabeth against Recusants, Priests, and Receivers of Priests, together with the several Occasions, Progresses and Reasons of the same; and having plainly demonstrated and proved that they were all necessary, mild, equal, moderate, and to be justified to all the World; pronounced Judgment.
Upon the rising of the Court, Sir Everard Digby bowing himself towards the Lords, said, If I may but hear any of your Lordships say, you forgive me, I shall go more chearfully to the Gallows. Whereunto the Lords said, God forgive you, and we do.
And so according to the Sentence, on Thursday following being the 30th of January, Execution was done upon Sir Everard Digby, Robert Winter, John Grant, and Thomas Bates, at the West End of Paul's Church; and on Friday following, upon Thomas Winter, Ambrose Rookwood, Robert Keyes, and Guy Fawkes, within the old Palace-Yard, at Westminster, not far from the Parliament-House.