A declaration of the Queenes Maiesties most gratious dealing with William Marsden and Robert Anderton, Seminarie Priests, sithence the time of their iust condemnation, being conuicted according to the Lawes, and of their obstinacie in re­fusing to acknowledge their duetie and allegeance to her Maiestie. 1586.

Whereas at the last Session of Parliament among other good and necessary Lawes and or­dinances established for the maintenance, continuence & preseruation of her Maiesties most happy and quiet gouernment, and for the preuenting and auoyding of Treasons and practi­ses traiterously attempted by certaine of her Maiesties euill effected Subiectes, being Ie­suites, and Seminarie Priestes, made and created at Rome and Rhemes, and other places beyonde the Seas, who at the instigation of the Pope and others, fauouring his pretended tyrannous autoritie ouer the Crowne of England, and enuying the happie and blessed estate of her Maiesties sayd gouernment, came dayly into the Realme, to peruert and seduce her Maiesties good Subiects vnder colour of Religion, to drawe them from their due and na­turall obedience to wardes her Maiestie and her Crowne, and to prepare their mindes and bodies to assist such forraine inuasion, as was certainely discouered to be intended by the said Pope and his adherents, as by sundry effects and proofes hath manifestly appeared, namely by the late Rebellion in the North, the Inuasion attempted in Ireland, and by the discouerie of sundry late plottes and purposes of treason, aswell against her Maiesties sacred person, as against the common quiet of the Realme: There was for these considerations an Act made against the sayde Iesuites and Seminarie Priestes, by the which their accesse into the Realme for the like seditions and traiterous purposes was prohibited and ordered to be punished as in ca­ses of Treason. Contrary to which Act of Parliament, one William Marsden, and Robert Anderton, Seminarie Priestes, being reconciled at Doüay in Artois, by a Iesuite called Father Columbine, and made Priestes by the Cardinal of Guyse at Rhemes, ar­riving secretly out of Fraunce lately at the Isle of Wight, where they were apprehended, haue confessed their purpose of com­ming into the Realme, to haue bene to winne soules, (as they terme it) being in effect (as is before mentioned) to perswade her Maiesties Subiectes vnder colour of maintenance of Popery, to Rebellion. For the which, they having bene by the due and orderly course of her Maiesties Lawes, tried & convicted at the last Assises holden at Winchester in the Countie of Southamp­ton, upon the Statute aforesayde, were neuertheles by the Iudges of that Circuitc (knowing the mercifull minde and gra­cious disposition of the Queenes Maiestie to wardes all her Subiects:) conferred withall concerning their meaning to wards her Maiesties person and the Realme, at which time they pretended in wordes and exterior shew to acknowledge her Maiestie to be rightfull Queene of this Realme, and to dowe and protest that they would at all times aduenture their lives in defence of her Maiestie and her Realmes, against the Pope or any forraine power whatsocuer that should attempt to inuade the Realme with force, and that they would not meddly or perswade with any in matter of Religion, but onely keepe their owne consciences to themsclues: Whereupon they were stayed from their execution, her Maiesties minding nothing lesse, then that any of her Subiects, though disagreeing from her in Religion, should dye for the same, as by them and their companions hath bene most falsely and standerously published and affirmed. Upon report whereof made by the sayd Iudges to the Lords and others of her Maiesties most honorable Priuie Counsell, they folowing the milde and temperate course of her Maiesties government, caused the sayd Marsden and Anderton to be stayed from exceution, and to be remooucd from Winchester to London, where they were furder conferred withall, and examined concerning their obedience and duetie towards her Maiestie for Civill causes, onely to prooue whether they would remaine constant in their protestations in that behalfe made to the Iudges at their arraignement and conviction, that her Maiestie might thereupon haue bene moved to extend her mercy towardes them. The sayd Marsden and Anderton being accordingly examined by two principall persons thereunto appoynted by her Maiesties sayd priuie Coun­sell, and put in remembrance of their former shewe of dutie made before the Iustices of Assise, and advised to confirme the hope conceaved of their reformation in matters of their alleageance to her Maiestie, to the ende they might thereby mooue her Ma­iestie to shew mercy unto them: Whereupon first the sayd Anderton being required to explane his true meaning in his protesta­tion of her Maiesties right to the Crowne, and of his alleageance, and particularly whether he did acknowledge her Maiestie to be lawfull Queene, notwithstanding any sentence which the Pope either had giuen, or could giue against her: and whether he meant that it was his duetie, and the dueties of all her Maiesties Subjects, to withstand the Pope, not onely if his inuasion were for temporall respects, as to make conquest of the Realme, but also if he would attempt such an inuasion by force to re­duce the Realme to his obedience by colour of Religion: he answered, that they be questions wherewith he doeth not deale, and required to be respited for his answere, vntil such cases should happen, adding by way of abusion, that in the meane time he may possibly be a Protestant, and so then become of other opinion then he is now of.

William Marsden to the same questions before propounded to Anderton, auswered, That he acknowledged her Maiestie to bee lawfull Queene of this Realme, and of other her Dominions: and that he tooke himselfe bounde to obey her Maiestie, so farre as his obe­dience impeached no this duetie to God and to the Church, (meaning the Church of Rome) requiring that he might not be asked his opinion any furder, untill such case of sentence given by the Pope should happen: and furder sayth, that in case the Pope would send any forces into the Realme, to reduce the same to the Catholique Religion, (meaning Poperie) he would then do the duetie of a Priest, that is, he would pray, that right might take place.

And whereas they had both promised before the Iusties of Assise, that they woulde not meddle in perswading of any person in matter of Religion, but only keepe their owne couscience to themsclues: they now in this examination denie that euer they promised not to deale with her Maiesties Subiectes, to perswade them in matter of Religion: Anderton saying, That he taketh such as be out of the vnitie of the Church of Rome, to stand in state of damnation, and that therefore he is bounde in conscience to doe what he can to reclaime them. And Marsden sayth, He may not promise not to deale with any of her Maiesties Subiectes in matters of Religion: for that he comming into the Realme to perswade the Catholique Religion, (meaning Poperie) he can not binde himselfe not to doe that duetie.

Hereby may appeare to all her Maiesties loving and true hearted Subiects, the traiterous purpose of these two Seminary Priestes, being borne Subiects of the Realme, who though in generall termes and speaches they seemed and made shew to the Iustices of Assise, of true and dutifull alleageance to the Queenes Maiestie their naturall Soueraigne: yet when endeuour is vsed to vncover their masked and sayned protestations, they can not hide their malice and treasonable intentions, even to their owne confusions: which appearing thus manifestly to the Queenes most excellent Maiestie, hauing subscribed these former answeres with their owne handes, whereas she was much inclined vpon the report of the sayd Iustices to afford them grace and pardon, if they would haue persisted in their former protestations, finding them nowe vnworthy thereof, hath left them to the punishment appoynted by the Law to be inflicted vpon them for their iust offence.

God saue the Queene.

❧ Imprinted at London by Christopher Baker, Printer to the Queenes most excellent Maiestie.

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