I Appoint Thomas Newcomb, and Henry Hills, to Print this Infor­mation, According to the Order of the HOUSE of COMMONS; And that no other Person presume to Print the same. Novemb. 10th. 1680.

Wi. WILLIAMS, Speaker.
[...]

THE INFORMATION OF Thomas Dangerfield, GENT.

Delivered at the BAR of the HOƲSE of COMMONS, Tuesday the Twentieth day of October, In the Year of our Lord 1680.

Perused and Signed to be Printed, Accord­ing to the Order of the House of Commons, BY ME William Williams, Speaker.

C2 R

HONI SOIT QVI MAL Y PENSE

DIEV ET MON DROIT

LONDON, Printed by the Assigns of John Bill, Thomas Newcomb, and Henry Hills, Printers to the Kings most Excellent Majesty, 1680.

THE INFORMATION OF THOMAS DANGERFIELD GENT.

About the Months of September or October 1679.

WHen Mrs. Cellier and my self waited on the Lord Peter­borough, to be Introduced to his Highness the Duke of York, his Lordship enquired of me, If the Lady Powis had given me any directions how to Discourse the Duke? I re­plyed, She had. Then he desired to know what they were. Upon which I shewed his Lordship a lit­tle Book; in which was contained a Scheme, and the pretended Discovery which I had made in the Presbyterian Plot. Which Book his Lord­ship carefully perused, and finding some omissi­on [Page 6] therein, he ordered me to Write, while his Lordship did Dictate to me these words, viz. That the Presbyterian Party intended to make an In­surrection in the North, and so to joyn with an Army of the Scots. Immediately after this his Lordship took us into the Dukes Closet (at White­hall) where we both kissed his hand: and me he took from the ground (for I was kneeling.) Then I gave his Highness the aforementioned little Book, which he after some short perusal thereof, thanked me for: and also for my diligence in the Catholick Cause: Did advise me to go on, and wished good success to all my Undertakings: Ad­ding in these very words, viz. That the Presbyte­rian Plot was a thing of most mighty consequence, and if well managed, would be very Conducible to the Safety of the Catholick Cause: and I do not question but the Effects of it will answer our Expectation, especially in the Northern parts: where I am well assured the Major Part of the Gentry are my Friends, and have given sufficient Demonstration of their affections to me, as also of their intentions to prosecute this Presbyterian Plot to the utmost; for they are no Strangers to the De­sign.

Immediately after this his Highness ordered that Mrs. Cellier and my self (in the hearing of the Lord Peterborough, who was privy to the whole Discourse) to be very careful of what we Com­municated to the persons who were to be the Wit­nesses in that new Plot, lest we should be caught in the Subornation, and so bring a [...]errible Odium upon the Catholicks, and make our selves uncapable of any further Service. After this the [Page 7] Duke informed us, That in a Month or two's time the Commissions would be ready: but or­dered us in the mean time to bring our part to bear with the Commissions: and particularly or­dered me to find out some persons (as there was enough such among the Catholicks, as well as else­where) which were fit to be Trusted, and that should accept of such Commissions, which should be delivered them by a person appointed for that purpose, but not to be known to them to be any other but a Presbyterian: So that when occasion should require, they might, together with those which we then had, be ready to swear in the Plot, and that the Presbyterians were raising Forces a­gainst the King and Government, and had given out Commissions to that purpose. And in order to this, I did in some short time after, procure one Bed­ford, Curtice, Grey, Hill, Hopkins, and others, to accept of such Commissions, when they should be ready: whose business in the mean time was, to spread reports in the Coffee-houses, That the Popish Plot was a Contrivance of the Presbyterians, &c.

Now for our encouragement in the prosecuti­on of that Sham-Plot, the Duke promised that he would take care that Money should not be want­ing: but ordered us to use all the expedition the thing would allow, to make a Discovery thereof to the King. After which the Duke said, The Catholick Party would be eased of the Charge, in regard he was sure it would be defrayed some other way.

Then the Duke made divers Vows, and bitter Execrations, to stand by us in the thing: and en­gaged on his Honour to be our Rewarder. Ad­ding, [Page 8] That such Considerable Services were not to be slighted: and further promised, that to whose lot soever it should happen to be impriso­ned, according to their fidelity and stedfastness in the Cause, so much the more should their Re­ward be augmented: and that all care possible should be used to support and preserve them: but particularly desiring me to keep up to the cou­ragious and active Character which his Highness had heard of me. All which I promised to do. Whereupon we withdrew to the Lord Peterboroughs Lodging, where we continued till his Lordship had Introduced Sir Robert Peyton to the Duke. Which being done, his Lordship left them toge­ther, as he said, and came to us: where among other Discourse his Lordship told me, I had a great opportunity to make my Fortune what I would my self, if I would but follow the advice of his Master the Duke of York, who, as [...] Lordship said, would certainly be my King in a very short time. Adding, that I must be reso­lute in my undertakings: For, said he, the Duke much affects Resolution, but hates mortally the timorous man.

Then I answered his Lordship, That I valued not my Life, provided, to lose it would be service­able to the Duke's Interest. At which Expression he seemed fully satisfied; and from that time called me Captain Willoughby: and at our coming away, his Lordship gave particular order to his Servants, That at what time soever, day, or night, either Mrs. Cellier, or my self, should come to speak with his Lordship, we should be forthwith admitted. And then we parted.

[Page 9] Some short time after, I went to wait on his Lordship from the Lady Powis, at midnight, to de­sire him to move the Duke, to get me with all expedition to the King: for then I was ready.

About four days after this, his Lordship sent for me, and took me to the Duke again (who was in his Closet at Whitehall) and the Duke told me, I must prepare my self to wait on the King, to give His Majesty a more particular Account of the Presbyterian Plot than what the little Book made mention of, (which Book, the Duke said, he had given to the King) and that he had so ordered the matter, that I should be furnished with Money, to enable me in the Prosecution thereof. But his Highness charged me to consider well my Story, before I waited on the King.

Then the Duke told me, I had gained, by my Diligence, a good Reputation among the Catho­licks, and that I should highly merit by my Ser­vices to that Cause: adding, That I should in a short time see the Catholick Religion flourish in these Kingdoms; and Heresie torn up by the roots: And that he had heard of the Proposal which had been made me by the Lords, Powis, and Arundel, about Taking off the King, and of my refusal; as also of what I had accepted, touching my Lord Shaftsbury, and of all my Transactions in the Presbyterian Plot: saying in these very words, viz. If you value the Religion you profess, my Interest, (as you say you do) and your own future Happi­ness, take my Advice, and depend upon my Ho­nour and Interest for your Advancement: For, Sir, you look like a Man of Courage and Wit: [Page 10] therefore less Discourse may serve with you than another: So that if you will but move by the Measures which I will give you, you shall not only escape with safety, but be rewarded according to the greatness of your Actions.

To all this I replied, I would stand and fall in the Defence of the Roman Catholick Religion, and his Highness Service; and was not a little concerned for my refusing to kill the King, whom I was then well satisfied by my Ghostly Father, stood con­demned as an Heretick. But this I did offer, That if his Highness would Command me to the At­tempt, I would not fail either to accomplish it, or lose my Life.

Upon which the Duke gave me Twenty Gui­neys, and said, If I would be but vigorous in what I had undertaken already, he would so order it, that my Life should not be in the least danger: adding in these words, viz. We are not to have Men taken in such daring Actions, but to have them make an effectual Dispatch, and be gone. Upon which I took my leave.

Some short time after this, when I was ready to convey the Letters into Colonel Mansel's Chamber, I went to the Lord Peterborough, who brought me to the Duke, to whom I told, how I was ready to fix the Letters in the Colonel's Chamber. To which his Highness answered, I must make haste, that I might be Impowered to make a general Search of the like nature. For, said the Duke in these words, viz. Since I saw you last, the Lady Powis has informed me, That there are abundance of Letters and Witnesses ready: so that 'tis now high time to begin. By this time there was some great [Page 11] Man come to wait on the Duke, so I withdrew.

About four days after this, when I had been pressing earnestly with Mr. Secretary Coventry, for a Warrant, and could not prevail, I went to the Lord Peterborough's, and did desire his Lordship to make application to the Duke, to use some means for a Warrant. To which his Lordship answered; 'Twas my fault there was not a Warrant granted, and that the Duke was sensible of my neglec [...]ing to make an Affidavit. So that now he did b [...]in to doubt my Courage.

Thomas Dangerfield.

In and about the Months of June, July or August 1679,

THe Countess of Powis sent me with a Letter to the Lord Privy Seal, who was then at his Lordships house in Kensington: but the Contents of the Let­ter I remember not, more than that it was to pray some favour in the behalf of one Anderson alias Mun­son, a Priest, and then in the Kings Bench, and was reported to know something of the Plot. Which Papers contained matter of Fact, drawn up to ren­der Strouds Testimony invalid, in case he should make any Discovery. And by my Ladies order I was to pray his Lordship to take the Papers: so that if Stroud should be sent for on Examination before the Council, that his Lordship would produce them to stop his Evidence: Which his Lordship promised to do. But Stroud was not sent for, and so the Papers were of no use: but I suppose they may still remain with his Lordship.

At the same time I did, by Order from the Lady Powis, inform his Lordship, That the Presby­terian Plot would be ready for Discovery in a Months time. To which his Lordship answered, that I should tell the Lady Powis, He was of opini­on that a Month would be too soon, in regard things then moved with too much violence, for such an Affair to have any Success. So I took my leave.

[Page 13] Some short time after I went, by the Lord Powis's Order, with another Letter to his Lordship; the Contents of which I never knew: But was ordered to acquaint his Lordship, That the Presbyterian Plot still went on, and that we had divers Letters and Witnesses ready, to lay open the matter, when it should be thought fit. To which his Lordship answered, He feared the Lords in the Tower were too vigorous in that Design: but promised, when the rigorous Prosecution against the Catholicks were somewhat abated, he did intend to move it to the King and Council. Adding, That if things of that nature were but well timed, they could not fail of Success. So I took my leave.

Some time after, Mistress Cellier and my self went to wait on his Lordship at Kensington; where we both had admittance. Then 'twas Mistress Cellier, in my hearing, informed his Lordship, That she came in the name of her Great Master (the Duke of York) and at the most earnest request of the Lords in the Tower, to pray his Lordship to use some means, that the Proceedings against the Catholicks might be more easie, and that the Pres­byterian Plot might be discovered. Then his Lordship desired her to let the Lords in the Tower know, that he was not idle in the Considering their Safety: For, added his Lordship, in these words, I have my self discoursed lately with all the great Ministers of our party, and my Lord Peterborough has done the same, and we both find there is fa­vour intended: but we must wait the time: For things of that nature must be moved gently, or the whole Royal Party may be destroyed at once, for there are many eyes upon us.

[Page 14] Then Mistress Cellier informed his Lordship, That Sir George Wakemans Trial had broken the Ice, and of the great difficulty there was in prevailing with the Lord C. J. to come over: and also of the Meet­ing that was between the Lady Powis and the Lord C. J. To which his Lordship replied, That the Lord C. J. had taken more time to Consider of his part, than Five other far greater men had done (who they were I know not) and that his Lord­ship was forc'd to shew the Lord C. J. the Duke of Yorks Letter, before he would believe any thing. Nay, said his Lorship, notwithstanding this I was forc'd to get a particular Letter sent him from the Duke, before he would make any promise. Truly, Madam, said his Lordship, 'tis no small pains I take to serve the Duke, and their Lordships, and that you may assure them.

Then Mistress Cellier acquainted his Lordship, That Dugdale was come about, and intended to throw himself at the Dukes feet, with a Recantati­on of all that he had sworn in the Plot. And, said she, I am in the name of the Lords, to pray your Lordship he may be secured in your house, as be­ing a place more proper than any other. To this his Lordship answered, He was glad to hear of Mr. Dugdale's ingenuity in that Affair, and did as­sure Mrs. Cellier, that Dugdale should be enter­tained in his Housse, and that his Lordship's Priest should be his Companion: so that it should be impossible for him to do any more mischief. But his Lordship desired she would tell the Lords, They must use all the means ima­ginable to get him sent beyond Sea, left a too strict Enquiry should be made after him. [Page 15] To which Mrs. Cellier replied thus; My Lord, we do not intend he shall stay in your Lordship's House above Nine or Ten days: for though he must do us Service by a general Recantation, yet we can never think him safe, till we have got him into the Inquisition: for such persons are to be encou­raged, not trusted. So upon this his Lordship sent a Compliment to the Lords in the Tower, and so we came away.

Thomas Dangerfield.

Jurat vicesimo die Octobris, 1680. Coram nobis

  • Will. Roberts.
  • Will. Pulteney.
FINIS.

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