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DR. ROBERT TOUNSON, DEAN OF WESTMINSTER, TO
SIR JOHN ISHAM, BART.
From the Original, as communicated to THOMAS HEARNE, in 1731, by its
then possessor, Sir JUSTINIAN ISHAM, Bart.; and by HEARNE printed in the Appendix to his Preface to WALTERI HEMINGFORDE Historia (vol. i. pp. clxxxi. seqq.). Holograph.
THE last weeke was a busy weeke with me; and the APPENDIX weeke afore that, was more. I would gladly have with Ralegh's
Execution. yow, but could find no time: yet I hope yow had the relation of Sir WALTER RAWLEIGH's death; for so I 1618. gave order, that it should be brought unto yow. I was
Dr. Robert commanded by the Lords of the Counsayle to be with Tounson
(afterwards him, both in prison and att his death, and so sett downe Bishop of the manner of his death as nere as I could. There be Salisbury)
to Sir John other reports of itt, but that which yow have from me is Isham. trew; one CRAFORD, who was sometimes Mr. RODE- Narrative
of the KNIGHT's pupil, hath penned it prettily, and meaneth to
manner of putt it to the presse; and came to me about it, but I Ralegh's
death, heare not that it is come forth. The summe of that which he spake att his death, yow have, I suppose, already : when he never made mention of his offence for which he dyed, namely his former treason; but only desired to cleare himself of new imputations, there mentioned. Privately, he told me in prison, that he was charged to have broken the peace of Spaine, but he put that, he sayd, out of the count of his offences; saving that he heard the King was displeased att it; for how could he breake peace with him, who within these 4 years, as he
APPENDIX sayd, tooke diverse of his men, and bound them backe Ralegh's
to backe and drowned them? And for burning the Execution.
towne, he sayd it stood upon the King's owne ground, 1618.
and therefore he did no wrong in that. He was the most fearlesse of death that ever was knowen ; and the most resolute and confident, yet with reverence and conscience.
When I begann to incourage him against the feare of death, he seemed to make so light of itt that I wondred att him; and when I told him, that the deare servants of God, in better causes than his, had shrunke backe and trembled a little, he denyed not, but yet gave God thanks, he never feared death; and much lesse then, for it was but an opinion and imagination ; and the manner of death though to others might seeme greevous, yet he had rather dye so then of a burning fever : with much more to that purpose, with such confidence and cheerefulnesse, that I was fain to divert my speach another way, and wished him not to flatter himselfe; for this extraordinary boldnesse, I was afrayd, came from some false ground. If it sprong from the assurance he had of the love and favour of God, of the hope of his Salvation by Christ, and his own innocency, as he pleaded, I sayd he was an happy man; but if it were out of an humour of vain glory or carelessnesse or contempt of death, or senselessnesse of his own estate, he were much to be lamented, &c. For I told him, that Heathen Men had sett as little by their lives as he could doe, and seemed to dye as bravely. He answered that he was perswaded, that no man, that knew God and feared Him, could dye with cheerfullness and courage, except he were assured of the love and favour of God unto him ; that other men might make shewes outwardly, but they felt no joy within ; with much more
to that effect, very Christianly, so that he satisfyed me then, as I thinke he did all his spectators at his death.
After he had received the Communion in the morning, he was very cheerfull and merry, and hoped to perswade the world, that he dyed an innocent man, as he sayd. Thereat I told him, that he should do well to advise what he sayd; men in these dayes did not dye in that sort innocent, and his pleading innocency was an oblique taxing of the Justice of the Realm upon him. He confessed Justice had been done, and by course of Law he must dye; but yet, I should give him leave, he sayd, to stand upon his innocency in the fact; and he thought, both the King, and all that heard his aunswers, thought verily he was innocent for that matter. I then pressed him, to call to mind what he had done formerly, and though perhaps in that particular, for which he was condemned, he was cleare, yet for some other matter, it might be, he was guilty; and now the hand of God had found him out, and therefore he should acknowledge the Justice of God in itt; though at the hands of men he had but hard measure. And here I putt him in mind of the death of my Lord of Essex: how it was generally reported that he was a great instrument of his death, which if his hert did charge him with, he should heartily repent, and ask God forgivenesse. To which he made aunswere, as is in the former relation, and sayd moreover, that my Lord of Essex was fetcht off by a trick, which he privately told me of.
He was very cheerfull that morning he dyed; eate his breakfast hertily, and tooke tobacco; and made no more of his death, than if had bene to take a journey ; and left a great impression in the minds of those that beheld him ; inasmuch that Sir LEWIS STUKELY and the Frenchman grow very odious. This was the news a
VII. Ralegh's Execution.
weeke since ; but now it is blowen over, and he allmost forgotten.
The newes which I hear is, that the promoter of Kowel hath gotten his charges of Sir THOMAS BROOKES, and Sir THOMAS much cheeted, and hath entered into a bond of a £100. to the promoter, never to molest or trouble him againe, and the promoter is as cranke, and triumpheth in his victory very much; and Sir THOMAS glad he hath escaped so. I once saw HENRY TREMILL, and that is all. What is become of ROBIN DALLISON, I cannot tell; but he was here in great expectation of a place, which I thinke now he has fallen from ; for all officers here are much younger than himselfe. The business of the Treasurer sleepeth; and that of my
Lord of EXETER and Sir THOMAS LAKE will not be called upon this terme. There be, as I heare, 17,000 sheets of paper in that Book, which, upon ordinary account, cometh to eight hundred and fifty pounds, the very writing. The King and Prince, thanks be to God, are very well. The Queen is still at Hampton Court, and crazy, they say. Yow will remember me kindly to my Lady and your mother; and if yow have any imploiment for me here, yow shall find me allwayes
att your service,
Westminster College, Nov. 9, 1618.
Howse in Langport in Northamptonshire; This.
RALEGH'S FIRST TESTAMENTARY NOTE.
From Sir THOMAS WILSON's transcript. Domestic Correspondence : James I.
vol. ciii. $ 37 (Rolls House).
THERE is a lease of certaine parcells of land, claymed APPENDIX by one JOHN MEERE, near Sherborne Castle. MEERE
Ralegh's clayming it by a grant of myne to one Captain THOMAS Execution. CAUFEILDE, I do protest before God I never made any 1618. lease or grant to CAUFEILDE of that land.
TestaThere is a lease in controversy betweene the Lord Note, deBOYLE and one HENRY PINE, of the Castle and lands livered to
Sir of Mogile, in the county of Corck in Ireland; and Thomas
Wilson. although I did write something at my going from Ireland towards Guiana to the prejudice of PINE's lease, yet since that time better bethinking myself, I desire that the opinion which I gave of PINE's lease may be no evidence in law against PINE, but that it may be left to other prooffs on both sydes.
I desire that my wife, if shee enjoy her goods, may have consideration of CHRISTOPHER HAMON'S wyfe. That my wife do in any case, according to her ability, releive Mr. JOHN TALBOT's wife, who, I feare me,,her sonn being deade,—will otherwise perish.
i So in MS.
2 John Talbot was one of his faithful servants, who had attended him throughout the long imprisonment in the Tower and had followed him to Guiana, where he died.