NOTE by TFPL, May 2001: Copied from "TRYALS for HIGH-TREASON and OTHER CRIMES with PROCEEDINGS on BILLS of ATTAINDER and IMPEACHMENTS for Three Hundred Years Past.....Part IV......" LONDON: Printed for D.Brown G.Strahan etc etc...MDCCXX, pages 384 to 402. Regrettably some of the facets of the original cannot be copied: the long 's', the joined 'ct', etc. but I have endeavoured to preserve the spelling. Apologies for all other transcription errors...
The T R Y A L of Lady A L I C E L I S L E. An. 1685.
The Tryal of the Lady ALICE LISLE, for High Treason, before the Lord Chief Justice JEFFERIES, &c. upon a Special Commission of Oyer and Terminer, held at the City of Winchester, for the County of Southampton, the 27th August, I Jac. II, 1685.
"The Indictment sets forth, that the said Alice Lisle, of the Parish of Ellingham, in the County of Southampton, Widdow, not weighing the Duty of her Allegiance, &c. the 28th day of July, in the 1st Year of King James the IId, well knowing John Hicks, of Keinsham, in the County of Somerset, Clerk, to be a false Traitor, and to have Conspir'd the Death and Destruction of the said King, and to have levy'd War against him, within his Kingdom of England, Did, in her Dwelling House, at Ellingham aforesaid, Traiterously Entertain, Conceal, and Comfort, the said John Hicks, and cause Meate and Drink to be deliver'd to him, against the duty of her Allegiance, the King's peace, &c."
To which Indictment, she pleaded Not Guilty.
The Prisoner being Old and Infirm, and thick of Hearing, one Matthew Brown, at her Request, was permitted by the Court, to stand by her, to inform her what pass'd in Court, and to give her his Assistance. And it being a Cause of some Expectation, the Lord Chief Justice order'd the Sheriff to return a Jury of Good Quality. ----- Then the Jurors were call'd over, and the Prisoner Challeng'd several, and at length the following Gentlemen were sworn.
|Gabriel Whistler, Esq;||Dutton Gifford, Esq;|
|Henry Dawley, Esq;||Thomas Crop,|
|Francis Morley, Esq;||Richard Snatt,|
|Francis Pawlett, Esq;||John Cager,|
|Richard Godfrey, Esq;||Mathew Webber,|
|Thomas Dowse, Esq;||John Fielder.|
The Jury being Charg'd with the Prisoner, Mr Mundy open'd the Indictment, and Mr Polexfen open'd the Nature and Course of the Evidence ; and first the King's Council proceeded to prove that Hicks was in the Rebellion : To which purpose,
Mr Pope was call'd and Sworn.
Mr Polexfen. Pray tell the Court, What you know concerning Mr Hicks?
Pope. I had the misfortune to be taken Prisoner by Monmouth's Army, and was brought to Keinsham, and put in Sir Thomas Bridge's Stables and kept under a Guard there. And Mr Hicks (whom I saw Yesterday in Salisbury Goal) came and ask'd for the Prisoners, who were four or five in Number, and demanded, If we were kindly us'd? We said, No ; We had but a piece of Bread in two Days. Hicks reply'd, he was sorry for it, it was otherwise intended ; and, he said, he would speak to the King (meaning the Duke of Monmouth) for us : And there was a Gentleman with him, they call'd the King's Chaplain. Mr Hicks also told us, the King (meaning the Duke of Monmouth I suppose) was a good Protestant ; and he wonder'd what we could say for our selves, being protestants, in serving a Popish Prince, and not obeying a Protestant King ; and used several other Expressions reflecting on the King and Government.
Mr Rumsey. Did you see Hicks in the Army, about the time of the Fight?
Pope. I think I saw him about a Day or two before.
L.C.J. Had he any Weapon on?
Pope. I think not my Lord.
Mr Fitzherbert call'd.
He depos'd, that while he was Prisoner at Keinsham, with Mr Pope, he saw John Hicks hold a discourse with Mr Pope, almost an hour, wherein he disparag'd the Government and his Majesty, and extolled the Duke of Monmouth as a brave Prince, and a good Protestant.
L.C.J. Is that this same Man you saw in Monmouth's army?
Fitzherbert. Yes I saw him Yesterday at Salisbury; and he owns he is the same Man.
Mr. Taylor was call'd.
He depos'd, that he was Prisoner also, with Mr. Pope and Mr. Fitzherbert; and Hicks came to them, into Sir Thomas Bridge's Stables, and said, He wonder'd they would take Arms against so good a Prince as the Duke of Monmouth, who was a Protestant, and hold with Popery, for York was a Papist. And added, That he saw Hicks afterwards, up and down Monmouth's Army; and it was the same Man he saw at Salisbury.
Then James Dunne was Sworn.
Mr. Polexfen acquainted the Court, that he was an unwilling witness, and desir'd he might be examin'd strictly. Whereupon, the Chief Justice shew'd him the Danger of swearing falsly, as well in regard to his Temporal, as Spiritual Concerns; And insinnated, that his Lordship was already pretty well appriz'd of the Truth of the Fact; and assur'd him, that as none of his Saints could save his Soul, so neither should they save his Body, if he catch'd him prevaricating. He would punish every variation from Truth, he found him Guilty of. After which, he commanded Dunne to give him an Account of the Message he carried to the Prisoner.
Dunne depos'd, That he liv'd in Warminster Parish, in Wiltshire, and that a short black Man, of a swarthy Complection, came to his House on Friday Night, after the Battle of Weston, and desir'd him to go to the Lady Lisles, with a Message from one Mr. Hicks, to know, if my Lady Lisle would entertain Mr. Hicks? and said, he should be well rewarded for going. That accordingly, the Deponent went to the Lady Lisles, being about Twenty six Miles, on the Saturday; and he met with one Carpenter, who was the Lady's Bailiff, and the Deponent ask'd him, if his Lady would entertain Mr. Hicks? but Carpenter said, he would have nothing to do with it, and sent him to the Lady; and upon delivering his Message, she told the Deponent she would entertain him, and he might come on Tuesday in the Evening; and he return'd Home on the Sunday, and brought that Answer.
Mr. Pollexfen [sic]. Did not the lady ask you, if you knew Mr. Hicks?
Dunne. Not that I can remember.
Mr. Cariton. Do you believe that she knew him before?
Dunne. I cannot tell truly.
L. C. J. Would she entertain one she had no knowledge of, meerly upon they message?
Dunne. My Lord, I tell you the Truth: And on the Tuesday Morning, about Seven a Clock, they came to my House, three of them; one was the little black Man, who was there before, and another of them was a full black Man, and the other was a thin black Man, but I knew none of their Names. About Eleven a Clock we set out, and we went through Deverel, Chilmark, and Sutton, and so to the Plain; and then one Barter met us, to shew us the Way, for I knew the Way no farther.
L. C. J. How didst thou find the Way, when thou went'st on thy Message first?
Dunne. My Lord, when I came to Fovant, I got this Barter to shew me the Way to my Lady Lisle's at Moyle's Court, and appointed him to meet me on Tuesday.
L. C. J. Did you go the same Way on Tuesday, that you went on Saturday?
Dunne. No, my Lord: I would have went the same Way, but they would not. It was not above Fourteen Miles, from Fovant to my Lady Lisles, the Way I went on Saturday, but we made it about Twenty, the Way we went on Tuesday.
L. C. J. Who were the two men that went with you?
Dunne. The two Men were, Hicks and Nelthorp: The little black Man did not go with us, and Nelthorp gave Barter Five Shillings, and dischgarg'd him about Eight Miles before we came to the House.
L. C. J. How did you find the Way without him?
Dunne. They sent me down to Marton, to one Fane, and bid me tell him, that Mr. Hicks desir'd to speak with him. And when Fane came, Hicks ask'd Fane to shew him the Way to Mrs. Lisles; so he went with us part of the Way, and then left us.
L. C. J. What Entertainment had you at my Lady Lisles?
Dunne. We came there between Nine and Ten a Clock at Night, and Mr. Hicks and Mr. Nelthorp went in, and I never saw them again till they were taken: They left their Horses at the Gate but I put mine into the Stable. What became of their Horses I can't tell, for it was very dark.
L. C. J. Was the Stable Door lock'd or open?
Dunne. It was only latch'd, and I pulled up the Latch and put my Horse in; and Mr. Carpenter came afterwards with a Candle, and gave my Horse some hay.
L. C. J. Did you see no Body but Carpenter? Did you not Eat and Drink in the House?
Dunne. My Lord, I eat only some Cake and Cheese that I brought in my Pocket. And a Girl shew'd me the Way to my Chamber; I saw no body else.
L. C. J. Where did Carpenter first meet you? and, Who was with you then?
Dunne. Carpenter met us in the Court, after we came in at the Gate; and there was only Hicks and Nelthorp with me then, I am sure.
Mr. Polexfen. Pray, Mr. Dunne, at the Time you were desir'd to go on this Message, Was there not a Search made about the Country for Rebels that were fled from he Battle?
Dunne. I did not hear of any near me, but there were in other Places.
L. C. J. It being a suspitious Time, when the little Man with the black Beard came to you, did you not ask him, who this Mr. Hicks was? And when Hicks and Nelthorp came to your House, Did not you ask their Names?
Dunne. Hicks, the Fat Man, told me they were in Debt.
L. C. J. Now, upon your Oath, tell me truly, Who was it open'd the Stable Door? Was it Carpenter or you?
Dunne. It was Carpenter, my Lord.
L. C. J. Why you vile wretch! Didst thou not tell me, that thou pulledst up the latch? But, it seems the Saints have a Charter for Lying; they may Lie and Cant, and Deceive, and Rebel, and think God Almighty takes no Notice of it. A Turk has a better Title to an Eternity of Bliss than the Pretenders to Christianity; for he has more Morality and Honesty in him. Sirrah! I charge you in the presence of God, tell me one true, What other Persons did you see that Night?
Dunne. I did not see any Body, but what I have told you already.
L. C. J. Did not Carpenter light you into the House with his Lanthorne?
Dunne. I went into the House.
L. C. J. No body thinks they thrust thee in; did he light thee in, I ask thee?
Dunne. I went along in with Carpenter.
L. C. J. What Rooms did he carry you up into?
Dunne. He carried me into no Room, but a young Woman shewed me into a Chamber.
L. C. J. Wast thou not in the Hall or Kitchen? Did no body ask thee to drink one drop to thy Cake and Cheese?
Dunne. No, my Lord, I was neither in the Hall or Kitchen, or had one drop of Drink.
L. C. J. When was the first time you heard Nelthorp's name?
Dunne. Not until he was taken: And then I heard Mr. Hicks say, he had gone by the name of Crofts too.
L. C. J. Did not you hear him call'd by the Name of Crofts in the Journey?
Dunne. I cannot recollect that I did.
Mr. Jennings. You say Carpenter met you very Civilly, and took Care of your Horse; Did he make no Provision for Hicks and Nelthorp's Horses? Did you not tell him they were tied at the gate?
Dunne. They were not tied at all; I know not what became of them.
L. C. J. Thou are a strange prevaricating, shuffling snivling, lying Rascal. Will the Prisoner ask him any Questions?
Mrs Lisle. No.
L. C. J. Perhaps her questions might endanger the Truth coming out.
Barter was Sworn.
He depos'd, that Dunne came to his House on the Saturday, and desir'd him to ride along with him to Moyles Court, where the Lady Lisle saw Dunne produce a Letter, and offer it to Mr. Carpenter, my Lady's Bailiff, but he refused to meddle with it; but sent Dunne to my lady. And while the Deponent was in the Kitchen, the Lady came thither, and ask'd him, What Countryman he was, and some other ordinary Questions. Then she went to Dunne and talk'd with him; and they look'd upon the Deponent, and Laugh'd. And that as Dunne and the Deponent were returning home, the Deponent ask'd, What they laugh'd at? and Dunne asnwer'd, my Lady ask'd him, If the Deponent knew anything of the Concern? and upon his telling her he did not, she laugh'd.
He depos'd farther, That after this Journey, he was so troubled, that he could not rest, till he went and he told the Colonel were he had been on the Saturday, and where he was to meet them again, on Salisbury Plain, on the Tuesday. And the Colonel then agreed, to come and take them on the Plain, but something prevented him. However, the Deponent met them, and they rode together about Ten Miles. And they would have had the Deponent led them a private Way over the Fording Bridge, towards Moyles Court; but he told them, If they would have him for their Guide, they must go the Way that he knew. Then the Fat Man sent Dunne to Marton for one Fane, to show them the private Way. And the Deponent finding they had no farther occasion for him, rode away to Col. Penruddock, and let him know they were gone to the House; but that before he left them, Nelthorp gave him Five Shillings.
Mr. Polexfen. What Discourse had you with Dunne, the first time you went with him?
Barter. He said that they had half a Score Thousand Pounds a year a-piece, and that they were to come such a Way to my Lady Lisle's on Tuesday in the Evening. And that it would be very fine Booty, he should never want Money again. And that he gave the Deponent half a Crown then, and told him he should be very well paid.
L. C. J. Then let Honest Mr. Dunne stand forth a little. You talk'd of carrying a Message from Hicks to my Lady Lisle, Did you not carry a Letter?
Dunne. No, my Lord, I did not.
L. C. J. What say you, Barter, to that?
Barter. My Lord, I saw him produce the Letter to the Bailiff.
L. C. J. Did you not tell Barter, you should be at Salisbury Plain with two People, on the Tuesday?
Dunne. No, my Lord, I said between Compton and Fovant.
L. C. J. Did you not tell him they were brave Fellows, and had several Thousands a Year?
Dunne. No my Lord, I did not.
L. C. J. But did not you tell Barter, that you told my lady (when she ask'd, Whether he was acquainted with the Concern) That he knew nothing of the Business.
Dunne. My Lord, I did tell him so.
L. C. J. Then tell us what that Business was?
[He stood musing a great while]
Dunne. I cannot mind it, my Lord, what it was.
L. C. J. How hard the Truth is to come out of a Lying Presbyterian Knave! Prithee, Friend, consider the Oath thou hast taken; that thou art in the presence of a God that cannot endure a Lie, and thou hast call'd him to Witness that thou dost testify the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth. I charge thee therefore, as thou will answer it to the God of Truth, What was the Business, you, and the lady spoke of?
[Having paus'd half a quarter of an Hour] he said, I cannot give an Account of it.
Then the Chief Justice conjur'd him several times, in the most solemn manner, to tell the Truth, but could not get an answer from him.
L. C. J. O blessed Jeus! What an Age do we live in? What a Generation of Vipers do we live among? Sirs, Is this that you call a Protestant Religion? Shall so Glorious a Name be applied to such Villany and Hypocrisy? Thou wicked Wretch, I charge you once more, as you will answer it at the Bar of the Great Judge, tell me, What that Business was, you and the Prisoner talk'd about?
Still he would make no Answer.
L. C. J. Prithee, dost thou think thou dost the Prisoner any Kindness by this behaviour? Sure it were enough to Convert her, if it were nothing else.
Dunne. I do not think to do her any Kindness at all: pray, my Lord, ask me the Question over again, once more, and I will tell you?
L. C. J. I will so, and will do it with all the Calmness and Seriousness I can. I would have thee have some Regard to the Precious and Immortal Soul, which is more Valuable than the whole World. Therefore I ask you, with a great Desire that thou may'st free they self from so great a Load of Falseness and Perjury, What was the Business you told the Prisoner, the other man, Barker, did not know?
Dunne. My lord, I told her he knew nothing of our coming there.
L. C. J. He must needs know of your coming there; but, What was the Business thou told'st her he did not know?
Dunne. She ask'd me, If I did not know that Hicks was a Nonconformist? and I told her, I did not.
L. C. J. But, what was that Business that he did not know?
Dunne. It was the same Thing. Whether Mr Hicks was a Nonconformist?
L. C. J. Dost thou think, after all the Pains that I have been at to get an Answer to my Question, that thou canst banter me with such sham Stuff as this is? Hold the candle to his Face, that we may see his brazen face.
Dunne. I am so baulk'd, I know not what I say myself: Tell me what you would have me to say, for I am clutter'd out of my Senses?
L. C. J. Prithee, Man, here is no body baulks thee; it is thy own deprav'd heart that baulks both they Honesty and Understanding: It is thy studying how to prevaricate, that puzzles and confounds thy Intellect.
Mr. Polexfen. Because he pretends Ignorance, what Hicks was, I desire Barter may tell, what his Carriage was towards those people?
Barter. He told me he had concealed them in his House ten days before.
Dunne. That I never did in my Life.
Barter. I don't know whether you did so or no, but you told me so; and when I wonder'd how you were able to keep them without being discover'd, you answer'd, You kept them in a Chamber all Day, and they walk'd out at Night; for the Houses were usually search'd at Night.
L. C. J. Didst not thou tell Barter, that is was the best Job thou ever hadst in thy Life, or to that purpose?
Dunne. No, my Lord, I did not.
L. C. J. What say you, Barter, Did not he tell you so?
Barter. Yes my Lord, he did; and said he should never lack Money again.
L. C. J. I expect it from all you, Gentlemen, of the King's Council, that you Notice what has pass'd, that an Information of Perjury may be prefer'd against this Fellow.
Col. Penruddock was Sworn.
He depos'd, that Barter came to his House on a Monday morning, and told him he had been with one Dunne, at my Lady Lisle's, to get Entertainment for some people; and that he was to meet Dunne again, between Nine and Eleven on Tuesday, upon Salisbury Plain, where the Deponent might take them. Whereupon the Deponent directed Barter to meet them according to his Appointment and sent a Servant to watch when they came by; but they taking another Way, his Servant miss'd them. That Barter having told the Deponent that Dunne said the men were Rebels, and if he did not find them on the Plain, he might conclude they were gone to my Lady Lisle's House. The Deponent took some Soldiers early next Morning and beset the House. That it was a pretty while before any body would hear; but at length Carpenter came, whom the Deponent desir'd to tell him ingenuously, who were in the House? And Carpenter confess'd there were Strangers, and pointed to that part of the House where they lay, but desir'd the Deponent would not let his Lady know he had told him. That thereupon the Deponent, and those that were with him, went in, and found Hicks and Dunne in the Malthouse, Dunne having cover'd himself with some Stuff?
That afterwards the lady appearing, the Deponent told her she had done ill in harbouring Rebels; she answer'd she knew nothing of it, she was a Stranger to it. Then the Deponent said, he was sure there was somebody else; and desir'd her to deliver him up, and she should come to no further Trouble. But she deny'd it, and said she knew nothing of it; and thereupon they search'd further, and found Nelthorp hid in a hole by the Chimney.
L. C. J. How came you, Dunne, to hide your self in the Malthouse? For you say, you neither knew Hicks or Nelthorp; and that my lady only ask'd you, If Hicks were a Nonconformist Parson? Surely you were Innocent! you had no occasion to be afraid.
Dunne. My Lord, I heard a great Noise in the House, and I did not know what it meant, and I went and hid myself.
L. C. J. Did not you say to Barter, that you took them to be Rebels?
Dunne. I take them to be Rebels! I tell Barter so!
L. C. J. Ay you Blockhead, Is not that a plain Question?
Dunne. I am quite clutter'd out of my Senses! I don't know what I say.
[A candle being held near his nose.]
L. C. J. To tell the Truth would rob thee of none of thy Senses: But one would think, that neither you nor your Mistress, the Prisoner, ever had any; for she knew nothing of it either, tho' she had sent for them thither.
Mrs Lisle. I hope I shall not be Condemn'd without being heard.
L. C. J. No, God forbid; that was the practice in your Husband's time, but, God be thanked, it is not so now; the King's Courts of Law never Condemn without hearing.
Mr. Dowding was Sworn.
He depos'd, that he was with Col. Penruddock, when he beset my Lady Lisle's House; that it was half an Hour before they got in, and that my Lady said she knew nothing of any Body being in the House.
Mrs Lisle. This fellow broke open my Trunk, and stole great part of my best Linnen: And sure, a Person who robs me, is not a fit Evidence against me; because he prevents his being Indicted for Felony, by Convicting me.
L. C. J. Did you find any Body in the House?
Dowding. I found this same Dunne, in a little hole in the malthouse; he had taken some Stuff to cover him: And we found one, who said his name was Hicks, whom I saw Yesterday at Salisbury, when he had that Discourse with the other Witnesses. Hicks acknowledg'd, before me, that he was at Keinsham, in the Duke of Monmouth's Army.
Mrs. Carpenter Sworn.
Mr Polexfen. Did you know when these men came to your lady's House?
Mrs Carpenter. Yes, they came at Night, and I dress'd a Supper for them, by my Lady's Order, and they eat in the Chamber where they lay. I carried it within the Room, and my Husband set it upon the table. My Lady was there present.
L. C. J. Did your Lady use to Sup above!
Mrs. Carpenter She us'd to Sup below.
Mr. Carpenter call'd.
Mr. Polexfen. Did you meet with Dunne, when he came to your Lady's House?
Carpenter. Yes, I saw him there on Saturday and he ask'd me, If my Lady would give Entertainment to one Hicks, and another Person? but he could not tell me who that other Person was.
L. C. J. Did he not offer you a letter to be deliver'd to your Lady?
Carpenter. No, my Lord.
Barter. I saw Dunne produce a Letter to Mr Carpenter, but he refused to meddle with it.
L. C. J. Did you bring the men into your Lady's House, on Tuesday Night?
Carpenter. No, my Lord, I saw them first in the Room where they supp'd and lay.
L. C. J. Was not my Lady there?
Carpenter. She was in the Room, but I did not see her eat any thing.
L. C. J. Did you hear Nelthorp Named there? What sort of Man is he?
Carpenter. I did not here [sic] him Named till he was taken: he is a tall thin black man.
L. C. J. Did you carry any beer up? Did not you make Dunne drink?
Carpenter. I did not see him drink, my Lady order'd the provisions.
Mr Rumsey. My Lord, Dunne says he will tell all now, whether it make for him or against him.
L. C. J. Let him but tell the Truth, and I am satisfied.
Dunne. Sure, my Lord, I never entertained these Men a Night in my House, in my Life; but 'tis true, Hicks did send that man to me, to go to my Lady Lisle's, to know if she would entertain him? And my Lady aske'd me, If he had been in the Army? and I said, I could not tell: And she ask'd me, If he had any Body with him? and I said, I believ'd he had. So when we came to my Lady's on Tuesday Night, some body took both their Horses and they went in: And after I had set up my Horse I went in with Carpenter, up to the Chamber, to my Lady, where Hicks and Nelthorp were; and I heard my Lady bid them Welcome to her House. And Mr. Carpenter, or the Maid, brought in the Supper, and set it on the Table; and I confess, I did both Eat and Drink there in the Room.
L. C. J. Was there nothing mention'd of a Person's coming from beyond the Sea? Did you not hear Nelthorp's Name mentioned in Discourse.
Dunne. He was either call'd Nelthorp or Crofts; and there was some Discourse about him.
L. C. J. I will afford you, Nelthorp told me all about the Story before I came our of Town; and that made me press upon you the Danger of forswearing your Self. I do not mention this, as Evidence to influence the Case; but I could not but tremble to think, after what I knew, that one should dare to to [sic] prevaricate so with God and Man, in the Face of the Court.
Dunne. My lady ask'd Hicks, Who that Gentleman was? and he said it was Nelthorp, as I remember.
L. C. J. Was there no Discourse there about the Battle? Or there being the Army?
Dunne. My Lord they did talk of Fighting; but I can't tell exactly what the Discourse was.
L. C. J. And why didst thou tell so many Lies? Is not this a Reproach to the Protestant Religion, so much boasted of? We have had much Clamour against Popery and Dispensations: But what Dispensations, pray, does the protestant religion give for such Practices as these?
Mr Jennings. My Lord, We have done with our Witnesses.
L. C. J. Then you that are for the Prisoner, this is the Time to make your Defence.
Mrs Lisle. My Lord, I knew of no Body's coming to my House, but Mr Hicks; I heard there were Warrants out against him, for Preaching in private meetings, but I never heard that he was in the Army, or that Nelthorp was to come with him: Nor did I hear Nelthorp named, till they came to my House. And, my Lord, I abhorred both the Principles and practices of the late rebellion: Besides, my Lord, I should have been the most ungrateful Person living, if I had any Thing against the King, to whom I was so much obliged for my Estate.
L. C. J. Ingratitude adds to the Load, and is the basest Crime one can be Guilty of.
Mrs Lisle. My Lord, had I been Try'd in London, I could have had my Lady Abergavenny, and several other persons of Quality, who could have spoken of the late rebellion; for I was all that Time at London, and staid there till the Duke of Monmouth was Beheaded. And had I certainly known the Time of my Tryal in the Country, I could have had their Testimony here. But, my Lord, I am told, That I ought not to be Try'd for Harbouring a Traytor, till that Traytor is Convicted. Besides I will take my Death upon it, I never knew of Nelthorp's coming, till he came. Had I heard his Name, I should have remembered his being in the proclamation. As to what they say, of my denying Nelthorpe to be in my House; I was in great Consternation and Dread of the Soldiers, who were very rude, and could not be restrained by their officers from plundering my House. And I beg your Lordship would not harbour an ill Opinion of me, from those false Reports that go about me, concerning my consenting to the Death of King Charles the 1st; for I was not out of my Chamber that Day he was beheaded; and believe, I shed more Tears for him, that any Woman, then Living, did: As the Countess of Monmouth, my Lady Marlborough, my Ld Chancellor Hyde, and Twenty other persons of Quality could have witnessed. And as I hope to attain Salvation, I never did know Nelthorp before in my Life. -- I was, indeed, willing to shelter Hicks, knowing him to be a Dissenting Preacher, and that there were Warrants out against him upon that Account. And I came into the Country, but that Week the man came to me from Hicks, to know if he might be entertained in my House? And I beseech your Lordship, to believe I had no Design to Harbour him, but as a Nonconformist? which I knew was no Treason. Nor can it be suppos'd, I would venture the Ruin of my Self and Children, to harbour Nelthorp, whom I never knew, but had heard he was in the Proclamation.
Then she call'd George Creed as a Witness
He depos'd, That he heard Nelthorp say, that my lady Lisle knew nothing of this coming, nor knew his name, till he told it to Collonel [sic] Penruddock when he was taken.
L. C. J. That's nothing, She is not Indicted for harbouring Nelthorp, but Hicks.
Mrs. Lisle. My Lord, I know the King is my Sovereign, and if I would have ventur'd my Life for any Thing, it should have been to serve him; I woe all that I have in the World to him; and though I could not fight for him my self, my Son did; he was actually in Arms on the King's Side in this Business; I instructed him always in Loyalty, and sent him thither: It was I that bred him up to fight for the King.
Then the Lord Chief Justice directed the Jury.
"He told them their Oath sufficiently directed them in their Duty, viz. That they should find according to their Evidence, etc. And that as on one Side they were not to be mov'd by Compassion to the prisoner, or any Allegations or protestations of her Innocence; so neither on the other Hand were they to be influenced by any thing that came from the Court, of that was insinuated by the King's Council. Then he shews them what Destruction would have been brought upon the Nation if the late rebellion had succeeded; how we were deliver'd from infinite Confusion and Misery by the happy Restauration, and the Blessings the Nation enjoyed under the Government of the late and present King; and thought it strange that some people, instead of making Returns of respect and Duty to their Sovereign, should be so blinded and bewitch'd by Faction and Sedition, that a Rebellion should begin this reign, and all the Poisonous Arts of Disobedience be us'd to incite the King's Subjects against him, especially when we had so lately felt the Miseries of a Civil War: And stranger still he thought it was, that those Miscreants who were concern'd in the Rebellion, when they came to die, should invocate the Great god to testify they died for the Sake of Religion, and call themselves Martyrs for the Cause of God, when they suffer'd for Treason. He observ'd, That the Arch-Rebel Monmouth was arriv'd to the Heighth of Impudence and Villainy, as to bless God, that he could with Satisfaction reflect, that the two last Years of his Life had been regularly spent, when they had been spent in manifest Adultery, and in Rebellion against his Lawful Sovereign- Then he proceeded to sum up the Evidence, and takes Notice of the Ingratitude of the Prisoner, who confess'd she ow'd all she had to the late and present King, and yet entertain'd and harbour'd Rebels; he remembred also, what Share her Husband had in the Death of King Charles I. but said 'twas enough to answer for her own guilt, and confess'd that ought not to be of any Weight now, any more than the Reports of her Rejoycing at the Death of King Charles: But he laid the greatest Stress upon that Part of the Evidence which says, she deny'd their being in the House when Collonel Penruddock came to search for them. This he look'd upon as strong Circumstance that she was Conscious to their having been in the Rebellion."
He said "It was worth considering that Collonel Penruddock, whose Father died for his Fidelity to King Charles, should be made an Instrument in this matter: Who was his Judge every body knew, " [Lisle, the Prisoner's late Husband, sat upon him].
Upon the whole he told the Jury, "That the Proof that had been given of the Fact she was charg'd with, was as plain as the Sun at Noon-Day, and laid it to their Consciences, telling them the Preservation of the Government, the Life of the King, the Safety and Honour of their Religion, were at Sake; and they were not to be mov'd by the Prisoner's Age or Sex, but to go according to their Evidence, as they wold answer it at God's Tribunal.
Juryman. My Lord, We desire to know, Whether it be equally Treason to receive a Rebel before he is convicted of Treason, as it is after.
L. C. J. It is all the same: If he had been wounded and died of his Wounds, so as he could never have been Convicted, it had been all one.
Then the Jury withdrew, and in about Half an Hour return'd.
Foreman. My Lord, we have some Doubt whether she knew Hicks had been in the Army.
L. C. J. Did she not enquire of Dunne, If Hicks was in the Army? And when he told her he did not know, she did not say she would refuse him, but order'd him to come by Night; by which 'tis evident she suspected it: And did not he and Nelthorp discourse of the Battle and the Army, when they were at Supper? Come, Come, Gentlemen, 'tis a plain Proof. But if there were no such proof, the Circumstances and Management of the Thing is as full Proof as can be; I wonder what it is you doubt of.
The Jury having Laid their Heads together about a Quarter of an Hour, found the Prisoner Guilty.
The Lord Chief Justice told them, he thought in his Conscience the Evidence was as full and plain as could be; and if he had been one of them, If she had been his own Mother, he should have found her Guilty.
The 28th of August, 1685. the Lady Lisle, with some other Common Malefactors, were brought to the Bar to receive Sentence.
The Chief Justice, in his Speech before he pass'd Sentence, reminds the Lady of those solemn Protestations and Asseverations she had made of her Innocence; and tells her, that since the last Night they had received other Proof of her being Conscious of the Guilt of those she harbour'd, and advises her to be Penitent, and that she wold make some Recompence to the Justice of the Nation, by discovering the whole Truth of this matter; for he told her, that with making Satisfaction for publick and private Injuries, she could never hope for the Mercy of God.
Then he pronounced Sentence upon the Lady Lisle, That she should be Burnt. etc. as usual where a Woman is Convicted of Treason; and having pass'd Sentence to see the Lady Lisle Executed that Afternoon; but intimated to the Lady, If she would confess the whole matter, her Execution might be Respited.
However, upon the Intercession of some Divines of the Church of Winchester, she was Reprieved till Wednesday the 2d of September.
In the mean Time a Letter was dispatch'd to the Lord Clarendon by some persons of Honour, to intercede with the King for a Reprieve, and my Lord Clarendon read the letter to his Majesty, who answer'd he would do nothing in it, having left all to the Lord Chief Justice.
A petition was also preferr'd by the Lady Lisle to his Majesty, to alter the Manner of the Execution from Burning to Beheading. And several Precedents were produc'd to his Majesty, where the Execution had vary'd from the Judgement: As in the Case of the Duke of Somerset, condemn'd for Felony in the Reign on Edw. VI. The Lord Audley, 7 Car I. Queen Catherine Howard for Treason, in the Reign of Hen. VIII. Jane Grey 1 Mary: And the Countess of Salisbury who was Attainted of Treason Anno 1641. [TFPL: 1541 in fact] was Beheaded.
Whereupon the King sign'd a Warrant for her being Beheaded, and directed therein, that the Head and Body should be deliver'd to her Relatives, to be Interr'd as they saw fit.
And accordingly Execution was done on Wednesday 2d of September, in the Afternoon, in the Market-Place of the City of Winchester.
In her Dying Speech she intimates, That she apprehended the Jury found her Guilty without sufficient Evidence; indeed she says since her Tryal, some Discourse he had with Nelthorp had appear'd under her hand; but this being after Conviction, could be no Evidence to them.
In the First of William and Mary her Attainder was Revers'd.