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HEN were repeated the proofes for every of the particular accusations aforesaid, by the expresse and voluntarie confessions of Garnet and of his complices themselves, and of two credible witnesses sworne at the barre, and openly heard viva voce, and acknowledged by Garnet himselfe to bee men without exception
Then Master Garnet having licence of the court to answere what he could for himselfe, spake, and divided all which had bene objected, to his rememberance, into 4 partes, viz., contayning matters of 1. Doctrine; 2. Recusants; 3. Jesuits in Generall; 4. Himselfe in particular.
In doctrine he remembered 2 points. 1. Concerning Aequivocation, whereunto he answered that their Church condemned all lying, but especially if it be in cause of religion and faith, that being the most pernicious lye of all others, and by S. Augustine condemned in the Priscillianists. Nay, to lye in any cause is held a sinne and evil. Howsoever of 8 degrees which S. Augustine maketh, the lowest indeed is to lye for to procure the good of some without hurting of any. So then our Aequivocation is not to maintaine lying, but to defend the use of certaine propositions. For a man may bee asked of one who hath no authoritie to interrogate, or examined concerning something which belongeth not to his cognisance who asketh, as what a man thinketh etc. So then no man may aequivocate when he ought to tell the trueth. Otherwise he may. And so S. Augustine upon John saith, that Christ denied he knew the day of Judgement, viz. with purpose to tel it to his disciples, and so S. Thomas and others who handle this matter, chiefly under the title of Confession. 2. For the second point, which was the power of the Pope in deposing of princes, his answere was threefold. 1. That therein he onely propounded and followed the generall doctrine of the Church. 2. That this doctrine of the power of the Pope was by all other Catholique princes tolerated without grievance. 3. That yet for his owne part, he alwayes made a difference in the matter of excommunicating and deposing of princes, betwixt the condition and state of our King and of others, who having sometimes bene Catholiques, did or shall afterwards fall backe. As for Simanca and other writers, whatsoever they set downe of the deposing of heretiques, it is to be understood of those princes who, having sometimes professed the faith of the Church of Rome, doe afterwards make a defection from the same.
2. For Recusants, 1. I desire them not to impute any offence or crime of mine to the prejudice of the cause of religion. 2. Concerning their not going to Church, whereas it was urged by Master Attorney that the ground of their not going to Church was the excommunication and Bull of Pius Quintus, and that now they may go, for that His Majestie is not denounced excommunicate, I answere that it foloweth not. For the Arrians and Catholiques had the same service in their churches, yet came they not together. And I know divers my selfe, who before that Bull refused to goe to Church all the time of Queene Elizabeth, though perhaps most Catholiques did indeed go to church before it was about the end of the Councell of Trent, where this matter was discussed by 12 learned men, and concluded not lawfull. And this was occasioned for that Calvin himselfe held it not lawfull for any Protestant to bee present, not onely at our Masse, wherein perhaps they may say there is idolatry, but not at our Evensong, being the same with theirs.
3. Concerning the Jesuits, he said that if any were privie to such horrible treasons, it was impious, especially in men of their profession. But sayd that he talked with some of them about it, and that they denied it.
4. Touching my selfe, the negotiation into Spaine was indeed propounded unto me. And I was also acquainted with the negotiation for money, but ever intending it should bee bestowed for the reliefe of poore Catholiques. But when they were there, they moved for an army, which when they afterwards acquainted me withall, I misliked it, and sayd it would be much disliked at Rome. Onely I must needs confesse I did conceale it after the example of Christ, who commands us when our brother offends to reprove him, for if he do amend we have gained him. Yet I must needs confesse that the lawes made against such concealing are very good and just, for it is not fit the safety of a prince should depend upon any other mans conscience. So that I am verily perswaded if they yeelded to mee, it had been good. But what their intent and meaning was in desiring an army I knew not, and I was charged not to meddle therein, no not with the money which was to be sent for pensions, though it was to maintaine the title of the King.
The Earle of Salisbury then damaunded, to maine whose title?
Garnet answered, the title of the King of Spaine.
The Earle of Northampton asked him why he did not oppose himselfe against it and forbid it, as he might have done? For qui cum possit non prohibet, iubet [He who who does not prohibit when he has the power, commands].
Whereupon Garnet answered that he might not doe it. And for sending of letters, and commending some persons thereby, he confessed he did it often, as they were commended to him, without knowing either their purposes, or some of their persons. For he never knew Master Wright for whom he writ.
The Earle of Salisbury then replyed to Garnet, I must now remember you how little any of your answeres can make for your purpose, when you would seeke to colour your dealing with Baynham by professing to write to Rome to procure a countermand of conspiracies, and yet you know when he tooke his journey towards Rome, the blow must needs have been passed before the time he could have arrived to the Popes presence (such being your zeale and his hast for any such prevention), as it was about the 20. of our October when he passed by Florence towards Rome.
To which Garnet made no great answere, but let it passe. And then went on with his defence of sending letters in commendation of many of those with which he had bene formerly charged, and so confessed that he had written in commendation of Fawkes, thinking that he went to serve as a souldier, not knowing then of any purpose hee had in hand. And as for Sir Edmund Baynham, what hee or Master Catesby intended he knew not in particular. Onely Master Catesby asked him in generall the question of the lawfulnesse to destroy innocents with nocents, as had bene before objected against him. Which at first, I thought, said Garnet, had bene an idle question, though afterwards I did verily thinke hee intended something that was not good. Whereupon having shortly after this received letters from Rome to prohibite all insurrections intended by Catholiques which might perturbe this State, Garnet informed Catesby thereof, and told him that if he proceeded against the Popes will, he could not prevaile. But Catesby refused and said he would not take notice of the Popes pleasure by him. Notwithstanding hee shewed to Catesby the general letter which he had received from Rome, and said hee would informe the Pope and tell Garnet also in particular what attempt hee had in hand, if hee would heare it. Which afterwards hee offered to doe, but Garnet refused to heare him, and at two severall times requested him to certifie the Pope what he intended to doe.
And when Sir Edmond Baynham (as hee pretended) was to goe over into Flanders for a souldier, Garnet thought good to send him to the Pope’s Nuncio, and to commend him to other friendes of this, that they should send him to informe the Pope of the distressed estate of the Catholiques in England, the rather that the Pope having a lay-man there might be acquainted with all their proceedings. And that Baynham might then learne of the Pope what course hee would advise the Catholiques in England to take for their owne good, but wished Baynham in no case to use Garnets name to the Nuncio in that behalfe.
Then were the two witnesses called for, both of them persons of good estimation, that overheard the interlocution betwixt Garnet and Hall the Jesuite, viz. Master Fauset, a man learned and a Justice of the Peace, and Master Lockerson. But Master Fauset being not present was sent for to appeare, and in the meane time Master Lockerson, who being deposed before Garnet, delivered upon his oath that they heard Garnet say to Hall, They will charge mee with my prayer for the good successe of the great action in the beginning of the Parliament, and with the verses which I added in the ende of my prayer,
Gentem auferte perfidam
Credentium de finibus,
Ut Christo laudes debitas
It is true indeede (said Garnet) that I prayed for the good successe of that great action, but I will tell them that I meant it in respect of some sharper lawes which I feared they would then make against Catholiques, and that answer shall serve well enough.
Here Garnet replied that for the two gentlemen that heard the interlocution, he would not charge them with perjurie because hee knewe them to bee honest men. Yet hee thought they did mistake some things, though in the substantiall parts, he confessed, hee could not denie their relation. And for the maine Plot, he confessed that he was there withall acquainted by Greenewell particularly, and that Greenewel came perplexed unto him to open some thing which Master Catesby with divers others intended. To whom he said hee was contented to heare by him what it was, so as he would not bee knowen to Master Catesby or to any other that he was made privie to it. Whereupon Father Greenewel told him the whole Plot, and all the particulars thereof, with which he protested that hee was very much distempered and could never sleepe quietly afterwards, but sometimes prayed to God that it should not take effect.
To that the Earle of Salisbury replied that hee should doe well to speake clearely of his devotion in that point, for otherwise he must put him in remembrance that he had confessed to the Lords that he had offered sacrifice to God to stay of that Plot unlesse it were for the good of the Catholike cause, and in no other fashion (said his Lordship) was this State beholding to you for your Masses and oblations, adding thus much further, that hee wondred why he would not write to his Superiour Aquaviva, as well of this particular Powder Treason as to procure prohibition for other smaller matters.
Garnet faintly answered he might not disclose it to any, because it was matter of secret Confession and would endanger the life of divers men.
Whereupon the Earle of Northampton replied that that matter of Confession, which before he refused to confesse because he would save lives, he confessed now to endanger his owne life, and therefore his former answere was idle and frivolous.
Then Garnet told the Lords that he commanded Greenewel to dissuade Catesby, which hee thought hee did. And if Catesby had come to him upon Alhallowday, hee thought he could so farre have ruled him as hee would have beene perswaded to desist.
Then said the Earle of Salisbury, Why did you refuse to heare Catesby tel you all the particulars when he would have told you, if you had beene desirous to prevent it?
Garnet replied that after Greenwel had told him what it was which Catesby intended, and that he called to minde what Catesby said to him at his first breaking with him in generall tearmes, his soule was so troubled with mislike of that particular, as he was loath to heare any more of it.
Well then (said the Earle of Salisbury) you see his heart. And then turning to the Lords Commissioners, hee desired leave of them that hee might use some speech concerning the proceeding of the State in this great cause from the first beginning untill that houre, and so began to this effect. That although the evidence had bene so well distributed and opened by Master Atturney, as hee had never heard such a masse of matter better contracted, nor made more intelligible to the jury, to whome it was not his part to speake, nor his purpose to meddle with Master Garnet in divinitie or in the doctrine of Aequivocation, in which latter he saw how he had played his master-prise, yet because he had bene particularly used in this service with others of the Lords Commissioners, by whom nothing was more desired next the glory of God the to demonstrate to the world with what sinceritie and moderation His Majesties justice was caried in all points, he would be so bolde to say somewhat in the maner of this arraignment, and of the place where it was appointed. For the first, hee said that seeing there was nothing to which this State might more attribute the infinite goodnesse and blessings of God, then to the protection of the true religion which had groaned so long under the bitter persecutions of men of his profession, hee confessed that hee helde himselfe greatly honoured to be an assistant amongst so many great Lords at the seate of justice, where Gods cause should receive so much honour by discrediting the person of Garnet, on whome the common adversarie had thought to conferre the usurpation of such an eminent jurisdiction. For otherwise who did not know that the qualitie of poore Henry Garnet might have undergone a more ordinarie forme of triall, and happily in some other place of lesse note and observation. And so his Lordship tooke an occasion to declare that the City of London was so deare to the King, and His Majesty so desirous to give it all honour and comfort, as when this opportunitie was put into his hands whereby there might be made so visible an anatomie of Popish doctrine, from whence these treasons have their source and support, hee thought hee could not choose a fitter stage then the City of London, which was not onely rightly tearmed the chamber of his empire, but was by His Majesty as his greatest and safest treasurie, who accounteth no riches comparable to his subjects hearts, and acknowledgeth that such a circuit did never containe so many faithful subjects within the walls. A matter well appearing to his owne eyes, among others, upon the the decease of the late Queene of precious memory, when hee attending most of the Peeres and Privie Counsellers of this kingdome, who were accompanied with no small number of noble and faithfull gentlemen, had seene them all stayed from entry within the gates of this city untill they had publiquely declared with one voice that they would live and die with the King our sovereigne lord. To you therefore, Master Garnet, (sayd the Earle of Salisbury) must I addresse my selfe, as the man in whome it appeareth best what horrible Treasons have been covered under the mantle of religion, which heretofore had been petty treason for a Protestant to have affirmed. Such have been the iniquitie of false tongues, who have alwayes sought to proove the trueth a liar. Of which impudent calumnies the State is so tender, as you doe best know (Master Garnet) that since your apprehension even till this day you have been as Christianly, as courteously and as carefully used as ever man could be of any qualitie or any profession. Yea it may truely be said that you have beene as well attended for health and otherwise as a nurse child. Is it true, or no? said the Earle.
It is most true (my Lord), said Garnet. I confesse it.
Well then (said the Earle) if your strange doctrine of Equivocation bee observed, and your hardines of heart to denie all things, let it not be forgotten that this interlocution of yours with Hall, overheard by others, appears to be digitus Dei [the finger of God]. For thereby had the Lords some light and proofe of matter against you, which must have bin discovered otherwise by violence and coertion, a matter ordinary in other kingdomes, though now forborne here. But it is better as it is for the honour of the State, for so were your owne wordes, that you thought it best to tell the trueth at last, when you saw you were confounded tanta nube testium [by such a cloud of witnesses]. In which I protest that I doe confidently assure my selfe that you would as easily have confessed your self to be author of al the action as the concealer, but that His Majestie and my Lordes were well contented to draw all from you without racking or any such bitter torments. Then, speaking to Garnet, he said, I pray you, Master Garnet, what encouraged Catesby that hee might proceed, but your resolving him in the first proposition? What warranted Fawkes, but Catesbies explication of Garnets arguments? As appears infallibly by Winters confession, and by Fawkes, that they knew the point had bin resolved to Master Catesby by the best authoritie.
Then Garnet answered that Master Catesby was to blame to make such application.
To that the Earle replied that hee must needs be bold with him, to drive him from the trust hee had to satisfie the world by his denials, by putting him in minde how after the interlocution betwixt him and Hall, when hee was called before all the Lords and was asked, not what hee said, but whether Hall and hee had conference together, desiring him not to equivocate, how stiffely hee denyed it upon his soule, reiterating it with so many detestable execrations, as the Earle said it wounded their hearts to heare him, and yet assoone as Hall had confessed it, hee grew ashamed, cryed the Lords mercie, and said hee had offended, if Equivocation did not helpe him.
To this Garnet answred that when one is asked a question before a magistrate, hee was not bound to answere before some witnesses bee produced against him, quia nemo tenetur prodere seipsum [because nobody is bound to betray himself]. Then Garnet falling into some professions of his welwishing to His Majestie, and being put in minde of the answere hee made concerning the excommunication of kings, wherein he referred himselfe to the Canon of Nos Sanctorum, hee answered that His Majestie was not yet excommunicated.
Then the Earle of Salisbury bad him deale plainely, for now was the time, whether in case the Pope per sententiam orthodoxam [by orthodox sentence] should excommunicate the Kings Majestie of Great Britaine, his subjects were bound to continue their obedience?
To this hee denyed to answere, by which the hearers might see his mind.
From that matter hee began to make request that where he had confessed the receiving of two Brieves or Bulls from the Pope in the Queenes time, by which all Catholikes were forbidden to adhere to any successor that was not obedient to the Church of Rome, His Majestie would bee pleased to make a favourable interpretation, because he had shewed them to very few Catholiques in England in the Queenes time, and when he undertsood that the Pope had changed his minde, then he burnt the Buls.
To that it was saide that belike the Pope changed his mind when the King was so safely possessed of his estate, and Garnet with his complices began to feele their owne impietie, and so as Catesby said to Percy, did resolve roundly of that treason which would speed all at once.
Then Garnet beganne to use some speeches that hee was not consenting to the Powder-treason.
Whereupon the Earle of Salisburie sayd, Master Garnet, give mee but one argument that you were not consenting to it, that can hold in any indifferent mans eare or sense, besides your bare negative. But Garnet replyed not.
Then Master Atturney Generall spake in answere of Garnet more particularly, to this effect. 1. For Equivocation, it is true indeed that they doe outwardly to the world condemne lying and perjury, because the contrary were too palpable, and would make them odious to all men. But it is open and broade lying and forswearing, not secret and close lying and perjurie, or swearing a falshoode which is most abominable, and without defence or example. And if they allow it not generally in others, yet a least in themselves, their confederates and associates in treasonable practises, they will both warrant and defend it, especially when it may serve their turne for such proposes and endes as they looke after. 2. Concerning the usurped power of the Pope in deposing of princes, neither is it the generall doctrine of the Church, as he falsly said, neither allowed or tollerated by all princes who are otherwise of their religion, as may appeare out of the French discourse written to the French King against the re-admitting of the Jesuiticall faction. And whereas he would picke a thanke in seeming to spare and exempt King James our sovereign, it is not possible to avoyd their distinction of being excommunicated de jure, if not de facto, howsoever if it be true also that the Pope doeth de facto every yeere once curse all heretickes. For Recusants not going to church the example of the Catholicks not joyning in service and prayer with the Arrians, who denied a maine article of the Christian creed, doeth no wayes hold, neither can it agree to us, of whom no such impious blasphemy can be shewed or imagined. That Garnet said hee knew some who, before the Bull came, went not to church, it may be true perhaps in some one or two perverted and perverse men like himselfe. But whereas he produced the Councell of Trent, as if there the matter had bene determined, and thereupon inferreth that after that all Romish Catholicks refused to meete with us at church in time of prayer, it is a grosse error, for the last session of that Councell was in the yeere of our Lord 1563, whereas I shewed, and am able to justifie and prove, that their Romish English Catholicks came to our service in our churches until the xix. yeere of Her Majesty, which was many yeres after that Councell was ended.
Concerning Garnet himselfe, first, for that answere of his, that he knew of the Powder Treason by Confession, it is true which before was spoken, that such actes as this is non laudantur nisi peracta, are then onely commended, when they are performed. But otherwise, first, Greenwels was no sacramentall Confession, for that the confitent was not penitent, nay himselfe hath clearely delivered under his hand that the Powder Treason was told him not as a fault, but by way of consultation and advise. 2. It was a future thing to be done, and not already then executed. 3. Greenwell told it not of himselfe that he should doe it, but of Fawkes, Percy, Catesby, Winter and others, and therefore he ought to have discovered them, for that they were no confitents. 4. He might and ought to have discovered the mischiefe, for preservation of the State, though he had concealed the persons. 5. Catesby told it unto him extra confessionem, out of Confession, saying they might as well turne him out, as have helpt him out. Lastly, by the Common Law, howsoever it it were (it being crimen laesae maiestatis) he ought to have disclosed it. Now for that Garnet denyed that he was a principall author and procurer of this treason, but only that hee had received knowledge thereof, the contrary is cleare and manifest, both out of his own confessions, by himselfe acknowledged, and apparantly prooved in that hee resolved Catesby concerning the lawfulnesse and merit thereof, and that he prayed for the good successe of the Powder-treason, which is more then either consultation or consent. Besides he must remember him of the old versicle, qui non prohibet quod prohibere potest, consentire videtur [he who does not prevent what he can prevent appears to consent]. Garnet might have commanded Greenwell , that told him of the Powder-treason, to have desisted, but did not. But Greenwell went full on with the treason, and when it was disclosed went into the countrey to moove rebellion, which doubtlesse hee would never have done if Garnet had forbidden him. Therefore, he said, hee might say with the orator Tully, cui adsunt testimonia rerum, quid opus verbis? [What need words for he who is supported by factual evidence?] Moreover Master Atturney added how Garnet writ first for Thomas Winter, then for Kit Wright, after that for Guy Fawkes, then for Sir Edward Bainham, and afterwards for Catesby for a regiment of horse, and that Garnet was for the Infanta, and by his Breves intended to keepe out the King, except he should tollerate and sweare to maintaine the Romish Religion. Then Master Atturney spake of the interlocution betwixt Garnet and Hall, and said that in all their speeches they never named God, nor confessed their innocencie. But assoone as they spake together, Hall spake first, and then Garnet said hee suspected one, whose name they that were set to overheare them could not heare, to have disclosed something against them. But it may be otherwise, for he said hee was much subject to that frailty of suspition. Hee said hee received a note from Roo , that Greenwell was gone over seas, and another, that Gerard was gone to Father Parsons, and that Mistresse Anne was in towne (meaning Mistresse Anne Vaux), and many other things were by them uttered in that conference.
By this time came in Master Forset, who being deposed affirmed likewise, that their examination and the matter therein contained were true, saying further that both of them tooke notes of that which they heard from Garnet and Hall, as neere as possibly they could, and set downe nothing in their examinations but those things wherein both their notes and perfect memories agreed and assented, and that many things that were very materiall and of great moment were left out of their examinations, because their notes and memories did not perfectly agree therein.
And now one of the letters, which were written with sacke, was shewed to the court, by which appeared that Hall and Garnet had interlocution together. Master Atturney here inferred that the necessary end of justice was ut poena ad paucos, metus ad omnes perveniat [that few be punished, but all be put in fear], and urged the examination of Garnet wherein hee confessed that, when Tesmond alias Greenwell made relation to him of the great blow by the Powder Treason, who should have the protection, Greenwel said, the Lords that should be left alive should choose a Protector. And further Master Atturney urged the writing of another letter written with sacke to Sayer alias Rockwood, a priest in the Gatehouse. But of this point much is formerly mentioned.
Here Master Atturney ending, my Lord of Northampton spake to the prisoner this speech following.
HOUGH no man alive can be lesse apt or willing then my selfe to adde the least graine or scruple of improvements to the weight of any mans calamitie that groanes under the heavy burthen of a distressed state, vel gravatis addere gravimina, whereof I have as many witnesses as the world hath eyes, yet as the case stands now in this triall, Master Garnet, betweene my deare soveraigne, ex cuius spiritu, as one of Alexander said, nos omnes spiritum ducimus [from whose breath we all draw breath], and you that were so well content to let the course of conspiracie runne forward to the stopping of this breath before time which God by nature doeth prescribe betweene his honour and your errour, his just proceedings and your painted shewes, his sinceritie and your hypocrisie, I could wish it possible that in a person of some other qualitie you might heare the echoes of your unperfect and weake answeres, and thereupon judge more indifferently and evenly of the true state of your cause then you have done hitherto, being distracted with feare or forestalled by prejudice, or, to borrow your own phrase, which is more proper to the point then any I can use, oppressed tanta nube testium, with so thicke a cloud of witnesses as concurre with one voice, heart, and spirit, for the conviction of your audacitie.
I confesse that never any man in your state gave lesse hold or advantage to examiners, then you have done in the whole course of proceeding to us that were in commission, sometime by forswearing, as upon the confession of Hall your fellow, sometime by dissembling, as about the places of your rendez-vous, which was the lapwings neast, sometimes by earnest expostulation, sometime by artificiall Equivocation, sometime by sophisticating true substances, sometime by adding false qualities. Yet sat superest [there is plenty remaining], as may appeare, to the defeat of your inventions and the defence of the Kings Majestie, quia magna est veritas et praevalet [because truth is great and prevails].
Your parts by nature simply considered, and in another person , would rather moove compassion then exasperate humanitie. For whom would not the ruine of such a person touch, as is in appearance temperate, and in understanding ripe? But our end at this time is the same with Decius in Livie, ut quem vos obrutum reliquisti ignem, etc., that we may quench that fire by prevention which you have onely raked up in ashes ut novum daret incendium, that it might cause a new combustion so soone as it might hit upon matter that were fit and sutable. Wherefore I must rather draw your answeres to the true touch for discharge of rumors then verberare aerem, beate the aire. For the substance of all your evasions and slye shifts is, as the inne-keeper of Chalcis confessed of his dishes to his guests, admiring them tantam ferculorum diversitatem [for the variety of the dishes], that they were onely compounded of porke, howsoever your fine cookery may vary them.
These two Bulls that in the late Queenes time entred the land (with a purpose by their lowde lowing to call all their calves together for the making of a strong party at the shutting up of the evening against our dread soveraigne) were grased in your pastures, Master Garnet, or to speake more properly (because they durst neither endure the light, nor admit the aire) they were staull-fed at your crib, as your selfe confesse, and therefore serve nequam, ex ore tuo te iudico [worthless servant, I judge you out of your own mouth]. And what answer make you to this? Mary that the purpose was imparted to very few. So much the worse. For out of publication growes discovery, and yet experience has justified that those very few were the very soules and spirits of that packe of conspirators, and such as for want of patience and temperance to tary the time, when the game had bene brought to bearing, should have played the chiefest parts in the late smoaking tragedy. You say the Bulls were after sacrificed in the fire by your selfe. But not before the Kings good angel had cut their throats, and the best part of their proofe were past, and your hopes dead of that good which in likelyhood they should have brought with them. For to what use could these dumbe beasts serve in seeking to prevent that lawfull and undoubted right, which heaven had now proclaimed and earth acknowledged? But let the proofe be what it will. I looke into the roote. I wonder, Master Garnet, what Apostle warrants you in undertaking wicked plots in hope that good may follow, neglecting what all lawes (and the lawes of England above all), what all States and nations conclude of men that slily practise and combine for anticipation of the future rights of lawfull successors.
In excuse of letters written with your owne hand by Thomas Winter to Father Creswell when hee was employed about the procurement of an army to invade with supplies of treasure proportionable for the quicker execution of so desperate an enterprise, you answer that the persons were commended in your letters, not the Plot.
As though the minister had any other errand or instruction then the maine Plot it selfe. As though you, Master Garnet, being then magister in Israel and rector chori [master of the choir], could or would be ignorant of their prefixed ende. As though so grave a person as your selfe were likely to set his hand to blancks like a baby, and to leave the rest to the disposition of a man wholly transported with fiery humors, or as though in this very point other mens confessions in particular beside your owne in generalitie had not left us markes and traces evident and plane ynough to descry doublenesse with diversitie. You confesse privitie to a practise, but not for an army, foreknowledge of a course for getting treasure, but with a purpose, as you conceived, to employ it wholly for the reliefe of Catholikes. So as the reason of the reservednesse of Catesby, Winter, and the rest toward you must bee undoubtedly their suspition of your over great affection and duety to the Queene. For otherwise it is certaine they would have trusted you as well with their intentions as with their meanes; with their hopes as with their instruments, especially considering how hard it was for them to compasse their owne vast desires without helpe both of your credite, and of your industry.
Wright was in like maner, and with expedition commended by you afterward for the quickening of Winters project, if any life were in it upon the slacking of the passions of Spaine with the propositions of peace, that no time might be lost, no stone left unremoved that might give a knocke to the peace of our policie, your head wrought upon all offers, your hand walked in all regions, your spirit steered all attempts and undertakings, and yet if protestations, qualified and protected by Equivocations, may cary weight, al this while your minde was as good pastors ought to be, patient, your thoughts were obedient, and your counsels innocent. But now to search your cunning somewhat neerer to the quicke, wee must observe that when your hopes of invasion began to coole by likelyhood of peace, your desires of supplies by the cold answeres that came from Spaine, your expectation of new mischiefe to bee wrought at home without complots abroad, when malice it selfe was cast into so desperate a swoune, as neither rosa solis when Spaine relented, nor iscobah when Tyrone submitted, nor dissension within the kingdome when discontentments ended, could put it by any fresh adventure into life, when you for your owne part, Master Garnet, having bin once washed and regenerated in the fountaine of the Kings free pardon from the leprous spots of former treasons, were determined to begin upon another stocke, and returne as a dog to the vomit (though washing can availe no man, (as the Preacher warnes) that iterum tangit mortuum, toucheth the dead the second or third time after he hath bene made cleane), for secretly Catesby resorts to you, as Mahomet might to Sergius (for now I speake according to the matter, and not the men) to enquire whether it were lawfull, considering the necessitie of the time, to undertake an enterprise for the advancement of the Catholike religion, though it were likely that among many that were nocent, some should perish that were innocent. A man that is religious in any kinde, or but morally honest in his owne kinde, would expect that a priest, a Jesuite (which title doeth imply salvation and not destruction), nay, the Superiour of English Jesuites, upon this rash damaund, should have resorted for a safe resolution to Gods owne Booke, where he should have found that God was pleased to withdraw His wrathfull hand from Sodome, so as there had bene onely decem iusti, ten just men, within that towne, and for their sakes; that the wise householder in S. Matthew, marking how hard it would be when the corne was ripe to make separation, gave order to his servants to abstaine from plucking up the tares ne simul eradicarent triticum, least withall they plucked up the wheat by the rootes. Yee should have found in the stories of the Church that the godly bishops in the first spring of religion suspended processe against the Priscilian heretickes ne Catholici cum illis perirent, least the Catholicks might also perish with them. And the Church of Milain taxed Theodosius the Emperour quod insontes una cum sontibus trucidasset, that hee had proceeded both against the guilty and the guiltlesse with one stroke, and in one measure of severitie. But farre beside the warrant either of holy writ or holy presidents, your answere, Master Garnet, was such as I both abhorre to thinke and quake to utter, that if any great advantage were to grow to the Church this way, they might destroy them all.
O Master Garnet, be not offended though I aske of you, as a worthy Emperour once did of a traitor in a case by many degrees inferior to this, quid facit in pectore humano lupi feritas, canis rabies, serpentis venenum? [What works in the human breast the savagery of the wolf, the rabidness of the dog, the venom of the serpent?] But that which ought most to torture and afflict the spirit (if you be the childe of Hum whose name and badge you beare) is that your doctrine was confidently delivered, and so speedily digested, and converted to nutriment from such a mouth of yours, considering that (according to the Prophet) knowledge should depend upon the lips of the priest, as Rookewood, Bates and others, that did shrinke at the horror of the project when it was first layd downe, received satisfaction upon the very sound of your assent, though masked with the title of a man as grave and learned as any in the land. And Catesby, doubting of the ficklenesse of mens affections in cases that concerne the soule, used your admittance as a charme or spell to keepe quicke spirits within the circle of combined faith, which otherwise perhaps when Hell brake loose would have sought libertie. Your charter onely (whereupon I beseech you for your owne soules health to meditate for the time you tarie in this world) was the base whereon some grounded their bad conscience in proceeding with this Plot, not onely to the destruction of their bodies, but to the perill of their soules without sound and true repentance, which by the merit of Christes passion will serve in quacunque hora peccator ingemuerit [in whatever hour the sinner groans.]. For though Christ were joyfull that Hee had not lost one of those whom His Father gave him in charge, and came to save and not to destroy, yet your advise was to destroy them all. Such was your burning charitie.
Some man surprised with a question upon the sudden might answere sharply and shrewdly at some time, I confesse, without thinking or intending ill. But this man, Master Garnet, cannot bee you, that have confessed clearely under your owne hand your suspition and feare of some mischiefe purposed and intended in their hearts by this quicke question of nocents and innocents, and therefore quod dubitas ne feceris [you should not do that of which you have doubt]. It seems the heart of Catesby was a fertile soile for sprowting of stincking weeds hastily, into which the seed of your securing confidence was cast. For the Powder-Plot which in January was barely embryo became formatus foetus [a formed fetus] in the March next following, it quickened the next December, when the pioners began to dig in the thicke wall. Catesby not long after imparted his conceipt secretly to you of the great likelyhood hee foresaw of a luckie time of birth, and thereupon was Guy Fawkes sent over by your knowledge and encouragement to deale with Sir William Stanley about the drawing downe of forces somewhat neerer to the sea side for speedy transport, which if need were, might cary torches at the solemnitie. But what is your answere to this employment of Guy Fawkes? Forsooth that your purpose was onely to commend him as a souldiour, but not as a conspirator. O unlucky treason, that comes to be excused by so poore an advocate! When Fawks himself meant nothing lesse then to bee a souldier, having so strange a part to play soone after in the powder traine, but used this retreat as a colour to disguise the secret purpose that did onely tary time, and to eschew those watchfull eyes, that nearer hand would have observed both his inlets and his outlets in that place more narrowly. The point is cleare, the confessions are direct, the purpose is palpable. All the lines of your leavell are drawne to the centre of the powder mine. All letters are either drawen or enterlined manu scorpionis [with the hand of a scorpion], to use the words of Hierome, and yet under paine of censure we must beleeve that all this while you were in charitie, because all this while (which it grieves me to remember) you were not afraid to communicate.
But now to weigh your answeres that concerne the Powder Plot it selfe, which is paramount in respect to the longitude and latitude to all that have bene or shal ever be, your selfe cannot deny, Master Garnet, that Greenwells overture, as you say in confession, comming after the notice which you tooke of Catesbyes question about innocents, was but a fruit of your owne doctrine, and effect of your owne instruction, and a conclusion drawen wholly out of your owne propositions and principles. Now when we presse to know what reason drew you to the concealement of a project so pernicious both to Prince and State, without revealing it either to the King himself tanquam praecellenti [as the chief man], to use S. Peters terme, or to his ministers subordinate, you start to the shift of Confession for a formall helpe, which comes too short in respect of Catesbyes first discovery, which your own words averre plainely to have wrought with you. I will not argue in this place what course a confessor should take, or how far he ought to straine for the securing of a Princes life, that otherwise is sure to perish by the rage and ignorance invincible of a base villaine (whose life answers not in value the least haire of a Princes head), because time suffers not. But I am sure that for a matter of lesse weight then this, and a crime of lesse importance then the life both of Prince and State, Confession received a deepe wound for a long time, more then a thousand yeeres past, in the Church of Constantinople. For God forbid that matters of such weight should hang by feeble threeds. But to this excuse of tendernes in the point of Confession, I would answere by making a great doubt whether this course of conference were a Confession or not. For against your bare words which Equivocation supports, I object some likelyhood that since you kneeled sometimes, and sometimes walked up and downe, since matter of conspiracie were enterlaced with matter of Confession, not for ease of conscience as should appeare, but for advice in execution, since Greenwell was absolved instantly, which excludes the shift of reference, and Greenwel should be found to lie to the Holy Ghost in case this were a true Confession in promising (Master Garnet), as you say, to diswade the project which he prosecuted even to the last point, as is evident. And after the powder campe brake up, I conclude, that though this discovery were by Confession, yet it was no supersedeas to your former knowledge from Catesby your trusty friend, and if it were none, then it can be no protection for faith putrified. What need we seeke light through cobweb-lawnes, when the drift of your whole device in seeking to conclude from one what you learned of another, and from all what you affected and abetted in your heart, doeth evidently proove your counsels to have bene caried along with such a temper of reservednesse, as whensoever mischiefe should be brought to light, the world might rather wonder at your caution then commend your fidelitie?
By shaping such weake answeres to demonstrations so manifest, you must either worke by the ring of Giges in making your audacitie and presumption invisible, or hold a very weake conceipt of our capacities in supposing that they can be either daselled or deluded by such poore sophistry. For though you pretend to have received a deepe wound in conscience at the first revealing of the Plot, to have lost your sleepe with vexation of spirit, to have offered and prayed to God for His preventing grace, to have required Greenwels helpe and furtherance in crossing and diverting the designe, yet all this while you suffered the project to proceed, you helped and assisted their endevors that were laborers, you wrote earneste letters both to Baldwin and to Creswell for their furtherance of ordinary meanes, you gave order for a prayer to be said by Catholickes for their prosperous successe, you kept measure with the two first dimensions of Frier Bacons brasen head, Time Is, Time Was, till (thanks be to God) the third Time was past, you ever had an eare open to listen for the cracke, and were in the same agonie for the Powder Plot that Charles the Fift was for the Popes duresse, giving order in all his dominions that praiers should be made for his release, when in the meane time he kept and held him in his owne hand prisoner. The least word of your mouth or labour of your pen might have secured both Prince and State, while you pretend to have broken both your sleepes and your braines, and that with a greater advantage to the cause which you would advance then can ever grow by combustion and conspiracie. But your tendernesse herein was sutable with another dutifull desire of yours to disswade Catesby from the Plot, at his comming into Warwickshire, who never meant to come thither but as to the rendezvous when the Parliament had beene blowen up, and the storme had beene blowen over. It may be that your minde was perplexed and disquieted upon the meditation of strange events, for so was the minde of Caine, Achitophel, and Judas that betrayed his Master. The reason is very pregnant in the word of God it selfe. That cum sit timida nequita, dat testimonium condemnationis, since wickednesse is cowardly and timorous, it gives evidence of condemnation against it selfe, et semper praesumit saeva perturbata conscientia [and a disturbed conscience always presumes savage deeds], but Sathan prevailing his angels execute.
I wil now conclude this addresse to you, Master Garnet, by observing some speciall points how strangely and preposterously the Devill in this last project of powder hath altered his olde properties. For the curse that God laid upon the serpent after the first transgression was ut gradiretur super pectus suum, to creepe upon his breast. But nowe wee find him mounted upon the wings of an espraie [a falcon] to the highest region of the aire, and among the fire-workes. The other part of his curse was that he should eat pulverem, that is, dust or powder. But now since Sodome was destroyed by sulphure, and the wife of Lot transmuted into salt, the proper materials of that meane by which Sathan wrought in this hotte fire, it appeares that the serpent from eating powder (which was a plaine devise) fell for a worse purpose to snuffe gunpowder. Then the serpent did insidiari calcaneo [assault the heel], now capiti [the head], from which the bodie draweth both sense and influence. Then he began to Eve with a modest question, cur praecepit Deus, why hath God commanded? Now with a resolution, praecepit Deus, God hath commanded. His words in those caried a flourish of comfort, nequaquam moriemini [you shall never die], but now terror, moriemini [you shall die], for a great advantage destroy them all. The Devill at that time did only nibble about the text of holy writ, tanquam mus ponticus [like a dormouse], as Tertullian termes Martian, but now he drawes the grounds of Equivocation concerning princes lives out of the very Scripture, and by scholasticall authority Sathan tempted Christ with a faire offer dandi omnia, of giving all, upon the top of the pinacle. But now he sets upon the great lieutenant of Gods authority and dignitie with an auferam tibi omnia, both life and crowne, ex penetralibus ubi Christus non est, [I will take everything away from you, from the recesses where Christ does not exist], as wee are taught by his Evangelist. The dragons ambition extended no further then the sweeping away with his taile of the third part of the starres in the firmament, but now that plot of him and his disciples was to sweepe away the sunne, the moone, and the starres, both out of Starre-Camber and Parliament, that no light be given in this kingdom to the best labourers. In the time of Saul, the Devill was so modest as to suspend his illusions and oracles till the visions of the Prophets began to cease. Though now wee have both Moyses and the Prophets, et firmiorem prophetico sermonem [and a sounder discourse than that of the Prophets], yet he ruffles among the robes, et inaudita fundit oracula [and pours forth unheard-of oracles]. In the beginning of the Christian Church, the very name of Christ was sufficient to make Sathan packe, and to quit the possession of tormented men, but hee hath learned a more cunning tricke of late, under the banner of Christ to fight against the lieutenants of His imperiall majestie. In one point I find no change: that is, in labouring and working by all meanes to draw men from their trust in Gods direction, to a tickle kind of confidence in themselves and their owne weake knowledge of good and ill. And as that error was the cause of Adams exile from Paradise, which was hortus conclusus [a walled garden], s o had such another almost divided us and our heires from our lives and States, et penitus toto divisos orbe Britannos [and the Britons, wholly cut off from the world].
I have stood the longer on this point to let you know how idely, and yet how wilfully you strive both against the providence of God and the justice of the land, quae tuo te iugulavit gladio [which has cut your throat with your own sword]. The more you labour to get out of the wood, having once lost the right way, the further you creepe in. For the wisedome of the world is folly before God, and unpossible it is that those counsels or proceedings should either have good proofe in this world or reward in the next, that are embrued with blood and pursued with tyranny. If then there be no other way to heaven then by the destruction of Gods anoynted and their heires, I will conclude with you, Master Garnet, as Constantius did with Ascesius, erigito tibi scalam, et in coelum solus ascendito, set up a ladder for yourselfe and climbe up to heaven alone, for loyall mindes will not sute themselves with such bad company. The worst I wish your person standing now to be convicted at the barre is remorse and repentance for the safegard of your soul. And as for the rest, fiat iustitia, currat lex, et vinctat veritas [let justice be, let the law run its course, and let the truth prevail].
EREUNTO Garnet said that he had done more then hee could excuse, and hee had dealt plainely with them, but he was bound to keepe the secrets of Confession and to disclose nothing that he heard in sacramentall Confession.
Whereupon the Earle of Notthingham asked him, if one confessed this day to him that to morrow morning he meant to kill the King with a dagger, if he must conceale it?
Whereunto Garnet answered that he must conceale it.
Then the Earle of Salisbury desired libertie of him to aske him some questions of the nature of Confessions.
Garnet said his Lordship might, and hee would answere him as well as he could.
Why then (said he), must there not be Confession and contrition before absolution?
Yes (said Garnet).
Then he demaunded whether Greenwell were absolved by him or no.
Garnet said he was.
The Earle then asked him what Greenwell had done to shew that he was sory for it, and whether he did promise to desist.
Garnet answered that Greenwell said he would do his best.
To that the Earle replied that it could not be so. For as soone as Catesby and Percy were in armes, Greenwel came to them from Garnet, and so went from them to Hall at Master Abington’s house, inviting them most earnestly to come and assist those gentlemen in that action. Hereby, saith he, it appeares that either Greenwell told you out of Confession, and then there needs no secrecie, or if it were in Confession, hee professed no penitencie, and therefore you could not absolve him. To which the Earle added that This one circumstance must still bee remembred, and cannot bee cleared, that when Greenwell told you what Catesby meant in particular, and you then called to minde also what Catesby had spoken to you in the generall before, if you had not bene so desirous to have the Plot take effect, you might have disclosed it out of your generall knowledge from Catesby. But when Catesby offered to deliver you the particulars himselfe, as he had done to Greenwel, you refused to heare him, least your tongue should have betrayed your heart.
To this Garnet weakely replied that hee did what hee could to diswade it, and went into Warwickshire with a purpose to diswade Master Catesby when hee should have come downe. And for Master Greenwels going to Father Hall to perswade him to joyne, Garnet said he did very ill in so doing.
To that the Earle of Salisbury replied that his first answere was most absurd, seeing hee knew Catesby would not come downe til the sixt of November, which was the day after the blow should have bene given, and Garnet went into the countrey ten dayes before. And for the second, hee said that hee was only glad that the world might now see that Jesuits were contemned by Jesuits, and treason and traitors layd naked by the traitors themselves. Yea Jesuits by that Jesuit that governes all Jesuits here, and without whom no Jesuit in England can do any thing.
Garnet (as it should seeme) being here mightily touched with remorse of his offence, prayed God and the King that other Catholickes might not fare the worse for his sake.
Then the Earle of Salisbury said, Master Garnet, is it not a lamentable thing that if the Pope, or Claudius Aquaviva, or your selfe, command poore Catholickes any thing, that they must obey you, though it bee to endanger both body and soule? And if you maintaine such doctrine amongst you, how can the King be safe. Is it not time, therefore, the King and the State should looke to you that spend your time thus in his kingdome?
Garnet said very passionately, My Lord, I would to God I had never knowne of the Powder-treason.
Hereupon the Lord Chiefe Justice of England said, Garnet, you are Superiour of the Jesuites, and if you forbid, must not the rest obey? Was not Greenwell with you halfe an houre at Sir Everard Digbyes house when you heard of the discovery of the treason? And did you not there conferre and debate the matter together? Did you not send him to Hall to Master Abingtons house to stirre him up to goe to the rebels and encourage them? Yet you seeke to colour all this. But that’s but a meere shift in you, and notwithstanding all this you said, no man living but one did know that you were privy to it. Then belike some that are dead did know it. Catesby was never from you (as the gentlewoman that kept your house with you confessed), and by many apparent proofs and evident presumptions you were in every particular of this action, and directed and commanded the actors, nay I think verily you were the chiefe that mooved it.
Garnet said, No, my Lord, I did not.
Then it was exceedingly well urged by my Lord Chiefe Justice how he writ his letters for Winter, Wright, Fawkes, Baynham, and Catesby, principall actors in this matchlesse treason. Besides, His Lordship told him of his keeping the two Bulls to prejudice the King, and to doe other mischiefe in the realme, which when he saw the King peaceably to come in, then being out of hope to doe any good, he burnt them.
Here Master Atturney caused to bee read the confession of Hall alias Oldcorne the Jesuit under his owne hand (which he said was omni exceptione maius [greater than any exception]) against him, wherein hee confessed that Humfrey Littleton told him that Catesby and others were sore hurt with powder, and said that hee was exceeding sorry that things tooke no better effect. Whereat Hall wished him not to bee discouraged, nor to measure the cause by the event. For though the xi tribes of Israel went twice by the speciall commaundement of God against the tribe of Benjamin, yet they both times received the overthrow. So Lewis the French King in his voyage into the Holy Land against the infidels was overthrowen, and his whole army discomfited, though his cause were good. And so likewise the Christians when they defended Rhodes against the Turkes lost the citie, and the Turkes had the upper hand. And this hee confessed and applied to the fact of Catesby and others for the Powder Treason, and saide it would have bene commendable when it had bin one, though not before.
After this Master Atturney opened how Francis Tresham, a delinquent Romanist, even in articulo mortis (a fearefull thing) tooke it upon his salvation that he had not seene Garnet in sixteen yeres before, when Garnet himselfe had confessed he had seene him often within that time, and likewise that Garnet knewe not of the Spanish Inquisition, which Garnet himselfe confessed also, and which two things Tresham himselfe had formerly confessed to the Lords. Yet for a recantation of these two things upon his death bed, hee commanded Vavasor his man (whom I thinke, said Master Atturney, deepely guilty in this treason) to write a letter to the Earle of Salisbury, and to shew this his desperate recantation, Master Treshams letter was offered to be read.
But before the reading thereof, my Lord of Salisbury said, because there was matter incident to him, and to that which would be read, he thought fit to say something. To which purpose he said his desire was truely to lay open what cause there was for any faith to be given to these mens protestations, when they to colour their owne impieties, and to slander the Kings justice, would goe about to excuse all Jesuites, how foule soever, out of an opinion that it is meritorious so to do, at such time as they had no hope of themselves. Such it is to be doubted that Sir Everard Digbies protestations might be at the barre, who sought to cleare all Jesuites of those practises which they themselves have now confessed ex ore proprio [out of their own mouths]. That such was also Treshams labour, who being visited with sicknesse, and his wife in charitie suffered to come to him, this letter was hatched by them, and signed by himselfe some few houres before his death, wherein hee taketh that upon his salvation which shall now by Garnet be disprooved.
Then the letter was read, being to this effect, that whereas since the Kings time hee had had his pardon, and that to satisfie the Lords who heretofore examined him, he had accused Garnet, that now, hee being weake, desired that his former examinations might bee called in because they were not true, and set downe upon his salvation, that he had not seene Garnet in sixteene yeeres before.
Then my Lord of Salisbury shewed and said it was a lamentable thing, for within three houres after he had done this he died, and asked Garnet what interpretation hee made of this testamentall protestation.
Garnet answered, It may bee, my Lord, hee meant to equivocate. Here was the examination and confession of Mistris Anne Vaux offered to be read also to confirme Treshams perjury, who confessed that shee had seene Master Tresham with Garnet at her house three or foure times since the Kings comming in, and divers times before, and that hee had dined with him, and that Garnet alwayes gave him good counsel, and would say sometimes to him and others, Good gentlemen, be quiet. For wee must obtaine that which you desire by prayer. She confessed also that they were at Erith together last sommer.
After all this, Garnet being demanded if these examinations were true, he affirmed they were. And then were his owne examinations likewise read to the same effect, wherein he both confessed the seeing of Master Tresham and his sending into Spaine about an invasion.
Here my Lord of Salisbury concluded that that which was said of Master Tresham and others was not done against charitie to the dead, but upon inevitable necessity, to avoid all their slanderous reports and practises. For he said that even now there was currant throughout the towne a report of a retraction under Bates his hand, of his accusation of Greenwel, which are strange and grievous practises to thinke upon. But this day shall witnesse to the world that all is false, and your selfe condemned not by any but by your selfe, your owne confessions and actions. Alas, Master Garnet, why should we be troubled all this day with you, poore man, were it not to make the cause appeare as it deserveth? Wherein God send you may be such an example as you may be the last actor in this kind.
Hereupon my Lord Admirall said to Garnet that he had done more good this day in that pulpit which he stood in (for it was made like unto a pulpit wherein he stood) then hee had done all the dayes of his life in any other pulpit.
Then was read an other examination of Mistris Anne Vaux read, wherein she confessed that Master Garnet and shee were not long since with Master Tresham at his house in Northamptonshire, and stayed there.
After this, my Lord of Salisbury said, Master Garnet, if you have not yet done, I would have you to understand that the King hath commanded that whatsoever made for you, or against you, all should be read, and so it is, and we take of you what you will. This gentlewoman that seemes to speake for you in her confessions, I thinke would sacrifice her selfe for you to doe you good, and you likewise for her. Therefore, good Master Garnet, whatsoever you have to say, say on Gods name, and you shalbe heard.
Then Garnet desired the jury that they would allow of and beleeve those things he had denied and affirmed, and not to give credit unto those things whereof there was no direct proofe against him, not to condemne him by circumstance or presumptions.
The Earle of Salisbury demanded of him, saying, Master Garnet, is this all you have to say? If it it be not, take your time, no man shall interrupt you.
To whom Garnet answered Yea, my Lord.
Master Atturney humbly desired all the Lords Commissioners, that if hee had forgotten to speake of any thing material, that their Lordships would be pleased to put him in mind of it. Who as assured by my Lord of Salisbury that he had done very well, painefully, and learnedly.
Then Master Atturney desired the jury might goe together, who upon his motion going together forth of the court, within lesse then a quarter of an houre returned and found Henry Garnet guilty.
Whereupon Master Sergeant Crooke prayed judgement.
Then Master Waterhouse the Clerke of the Crowne demaunding what he could say for himself, why judgement should not bee given against him.
Garnet made answere that hee could say nothing, but referred himselfe to the mercy of the King and God Almighty.
Go to Part V