A LETTER TO THE Right Honourable Sir JOHN HOLT, Kt. Lord Chief Justice of the Kings Bench; OCCASIONED By the Noise of a PLOT.

The Second Edition Corrected.

LONDON, Printed in the Year, MDCXCIV.

A LETTER to the Right Honourable My Lord Chief Justice HOLT, occasioned by the Noise of a PLOT.


THE Character which you bear, and the Office which you have several Years discharged with so much Cre­dit to the Government, Reputation to your Self, and Justice to the Nation, have render'd You both the Object of all Ho­nest Men's Esteem, and the Sanctuary to which they fly and retreat, when either through the P [...]que and Revenge, or the Jealousy and Cre­dulity of Ministers of State, and their Subor­dinate Officers, they find themselves assaulted [...]n their Lives, persued as to their Estates, or deprived of their Liberties, upon the Deposi­tions of a few Necessitous, Brib'd and Suborn'd Fellows. And seeing it is not possible that any can be illegally Prosecuted, unduly Convicted, or unjustly Condemned, without your coming to suffer both in your Honour, which you so sensibly value, and to forfeit that Integrity which is accounted natural unto You, Pray suffer one, who is your most real, though un­known Servant, to lay such Things with all Humility and Deference before you, as may serve to prevent your being surpriz'd and cir­cumvented to do any Thing unworthy of your Self, or injurious and destructive to Innocent Men.

With what Blushing and Grief do those im­bu'd with any degrees of Wisdom and Vertue, reflect [...]on the Ignominy and Guilt brought up­on the Nation by Oates and his Complices, who, [...]s they were the first Pack of Witnesses the Kingdom was ever acquainted with, that were establish'd under the Encouragement of Salaries & Pensions, to be Standing Evidence in Capital and Criminal Cases, so the dismal Effects of that method of administring Government, and ex­ecuting Laws were soon felt, not only by the Advantage which other Miscreants endea­vour'd to make of that mischievous Preceden [...], in setting up to imitate them, upon prospect and hope of the like Profit and Reward, but through their own growing emboldened to in­vade the Reputations, and attaque the Lives of High and Low, in order to merit the en­crease as well as the continuance of the Price of Blood, upon which they projected to sub­sist, and which one of them hath the Fortune still to enjoy: But whether it proceed from the Generosity of the Government, or be ow­ing to the Wisdom of it, as reckoning it to be serviceable to its Interest, I shall not pre­sume to determine. Nor will I deny but that those State-Witnesses of the first Muster and En­rollment may be allowed to have sworn truly in some Particulars, but it must withal be ac­knowledged that they perjur'd themselves in many others: So that my Lord Chief Justice Scr [...]ggs, who had raised them to the Reputa­tion of being held Credible Persons, by giving Faith Himself to their Testimony in some Tri­als, and thereby gaining and reconciling others to do the like, was, upon observing the im­possible as well as improbable Things they grew up into a Confidence of deposing, and how they could not only Perjure themselves without Shame or Remorse, but with an Air of Assurance and Sincerity, forced to detract from, and lessen their Credibility in future Trials as much as he had raised it in former. Though he could not be unsensible that the best Returns he would meet with from many for this After-Game of Candor, Probity and Justice, was to have his Discretion and Righ­teousness reflected upon for the Sentences he had pronounced before, upon no other or bet­ter Testimony than that of those whom he found it needful at last to render Infamous.

Nor can it escape your Lordship's Remem­brance what Convulsions the Kingdom was thrown into, by a Sett of Mercenary Rascab, Anno 1681, who wanted nothing but the ob­taining Belief to their Testimony against the Earl of Shas [...]b [...]ry, to the involving vast num­bers [Page 4] of Protestants, of all Qualities and De­grees, under the Guilt of a Horrid Conspiracy against His t [...]en M [...]jesty's Person and Govern­ment: For the Villains having been Trained up [...]o swear Men out of their Lives, wi [...]hout the least regard to their being Guilty or Guil [...] ­less, all that they minded was whom the influ­encing Ministers were ready to Start, being rea­dy to Halloo and persue them to Scaffolds and Gibbets, if they might be but plen [...]ifully paid and rewarded for it: And having Breakfasted on those of one Party, they wer [...] prepared to Sup on them of another. For being habitua­ted to Blood, it was indifferent to them whom they murderously destroyed; and all that ob­tained a Room in their Thoughts, was the be­ing assured before-hand in whose Slaughter they should make the better Meal: Yea it was but for any to out-bid those that train'd them up, and the Cannibals were ready to fly upon them that bred them to devour, upon the first Prospect they had of doing it with Impunity, and of finding their Interest in't; Which, upon observing what had befallen others, I wish some at this Time may take warning by. Only permit me to tell you, that the In­terposition and Influence which some of King Charles's Ministers had, both in forging and forming that pretended PLOT, (in 81) and in Suborning Miscreants to support the belief of it by Falshood and Perjury, was that which gave Provocation and Encouragement to the design'd Insurrection in 1682. For when Men can't find Safety in their Innocency, they will seek to obtain it by their Swords. And if the Laws be not sufficient to cover and pro­tect them, they will be tempted to try what Back and Breast can do. Nor is it unworthy of your Lordship's Reflection, that though se­veral Persons of Quality and Vertue had the Misfortune to suffer for what they had then contrived, and were ready to execute; yet the Justice of their Endeavours hath been a­bundantly vindicated [...]y the R [...]peal of their A [...]tainders since this Revolution: And the Combination in which they were embarqued, upon the Motive and Necessity o [...] being (through the Subornation of Wit [...]ess [...]s against them); deprived of all other mean [...] of Safe [...]y, ha [...]h had the Comm [...]ndation of this Govern­ment, in the many H [...]nours and [...] be­stowed not only upon the Friends and Relati­ [...] but on the Surviving Complices of those that perish'd. Nor is your Lordship's Memory so weak and unfaithful, but that it will furnish you with Memoirs of the Barbarous Infamy which a certain Zealous and Credulous Gen [...]le­man, endeavoured upon weak and trivial Sug­gestions to have fastned upon the late King Charles, the Duke of York, and diver [...] other Persons of the First Figure and Quality, by charging and accusing them of being conscious and accessory to the murder of the Earl of Essex: And 'tis not without Shame and Dete­station, that Men of Discretion and Probity reflect upon, and call over, the groundless and malicious Rumours upon which the whole Court, especially his then Royal Highness, were impudently slander'd, the Nation strangely alarm'd, and the Peace of the City and King­dom attempted to have been shaken and di­sturbed. Nor will it be easy for a certain Sort of People to wipe off the Blots and Aspersions they deservedly brought upon themselves, of wanting either Sense or Integrity, by their gi­ving belief to those weak and ill-invented Su [...] ­gestions, which nothing but Folly mix'd with Rancour could feign, nor any receive and give credit to but those of a strange Bigotry, and of parallel Disaffection and Disloyalty: For be­sides the wounding Princes, and several Noble Peers, in their Honour by them, which the Laws are framed to protect with an equal Tenderness, as they do the Crown, the Con­stitution, and the Lives of the most valuable, innocent and deserving Subjects, Who can conceive, or apprehend without Horrour, the many other mischievous Eff [...]cts which those malicious Accusations were adapted to have produced, had not they who administred Ju­stice in that Court, where your Lordship, to the Conten [...]ment and Joy of the whole Nation, now doth, unravell'd that whole Mystery of audacious Villainy, and with a Wisdom, Zeal and Fortitude becoming their Places, both de­tected the Conspiracy against the Honour of those that had been [...]raduced, and punished it in the credulo [...]s but feeble Supporter of it? Nor do [...]h the Righteousness of their Proce­dur [...] in that Matter need any other Justificati­on, nor [...]e Innocency of that Prince, who was d [...]amed with so much Insolency and Falshood, require a more convincing and satisfactory Vindication, than to observe with what Scorn, [Page 5] Contempt and Ridicule the House of Lords trea­ted and dismissed that Affair, when with a re­vived Malice it was staged before them, and inforced with an Art properer to mislead than to inform, since this Revolution, For it can­not be imagin'd, but that it would have been very grateful to those who had divested King James of his Royal Power and Dignity, to have found him sullied with a Crime that would have contributed more towards the sup­porting the Equity of their proceeding against him, than all he hath been loaded with besides, as the Motives to his Abdication. And forgive me, my Lord, if I presume to add, that as King James's Innocency, in reference to the Death of that unfortunate Peer, cannot receive a more Illustrious, as well as Publick a Vindi­cation, than by the House of Lords dismissing that Criminal Accusation with a Derision of the presumptuous and groundless Vanity of it, after they had for many Days inquired into it with all the penetration they could, and that by a Committee of their Members the most and longest alienated in their Affections from him of any of that House; so it cannot escape the Observation of thinking and indifferent Persons, how that barbarous Aspersion, which the Malice and Industry of some Persons had fastned and continued upon him, influenced as much to this Revolution, and all the Calamities which have attended him upon it, through having sunk him in the Love, Esteem and Confidence of his People, as any one Thing whatsoever whereof he hath been accused. Nor was it difficult to deprive him of his Crown, and drive him from his Throne, upon very little and weak Pretences, when by an Accusation so calumnious, as this appears now to have been, they had cast and kept him out of the Hearts and Veneration of his People so long before. And for Mr. Braddon to persevere after this to slain King James with the Murder of the Earl of Essex, or with any thing relative to his D [...]ath, doth serve only to discover his Vanity, accompanied with an implacable Ma­lice, and gives occasion to the most modest and reserved Censurers of Persons and Things, to judge that his cherishing himself, and study­ing to obtrude the Belief of it upon others at first, was not so much from a weakness in his Understanding, which is no disparagement to him to think him capable of, as from a Crime in his Will, which rendereth him a very bad and wicked Man; whereas the former would have only publish'd him credulous and silly: And it argueth a great deal of Impudence and Pride, as well as of inve [...]era [...]e Rancour and Spleen, for him to fancy that more credit ought to be given unto him, upon his daring and bare Aspersions, than either to the nearest Relations of that unfortunate Lord, or to the House of Peers, in disclaiming and stifling the slanderous Accusation in the manner they did. However the Miscarriage in this one Adven­ture, of blackning King James, makes it vio­len [...]ly suspected what unsuccessfulness they would have had in the Proof of other Imputa­tions, with which he hath been no less rudely than audaciously charged. It is true, his Dis­pensing with some Laws is too notorious to be denied; but at the same time it is very que­stionable, whether he had not a Right by his Prerogative to do it; and it is most certain that he had the Opinion of the Judges that he might, who were the only known Expositors of Laws, and the living Oracles of the bounds and limits of Sovereignty in the Intervals of Parliaments: And if there be any ground to blame him for giving us an Original, in this Matter, of Royal Authority and Power, I am sure it hath since been Copied over and over, by a bare-fac'd departure from the Laws, in things more out of reach of Majesty than any in which he pretended to supersede the Obli­gation of the Statutes of the Realm.

And whereas my Lord, among the many real or pretended Grievances, which upon this Revolution we hoped to be deliver'd from, there was none so mischievous in it self, and from which we with more assurance promised our selves the being redeem'd, than that of holding our Lives precariously, and being kept in daily Jeopardy of loosing them, by the Perjuries of Suborned and Hir'd Villains, not­withstanding our quiet and peaceable Deport­ment towards those seated in the Throne, which we thought that we might with the more Confidence expect, having been rescued from it during all the Reign of King James; it ha­ving, until now, been a Reproach and Dispa­ragement peculiar to the Government of his Brother King Charles; being unknown in all other Reigns▪ but unhappily introduced and too much practised to his Dishonour and his [Page 6] Subject's Danger and Vexation, while he sat on the Throne. But it seems, that upon this as well as many other Accounts, his Reign, which gave occasion to all the Mischiefs that have since ensued, is chosen to be the Pattern of Administration and Management under this. For among other Disappointments we have met with under the late Change, and our being frustrated in Things of the vastest Mo­ment, which we expected to have seen redres­sed, it is with extream Sor [...]ow that we find that Crime unknown to Turks and Heathens, as well as to all Natio [...] prosessing Christianity be­sides these, namely, not only of countenan­cing mercenary and infamous Rascals, to swear quiet and innocent Men out of their Lives, but of bribing, instructing and training them thereunto, still kept up with all the scan­dalous Openness that it heretofore was, yea better encouraged and rewarded, and there­upon more frequently and audaciously practi­sed, than ever it had been in the Reign o [...] King Charles, of which we have wi [...]h so much Rea­son complained. How scandalous doth it look, And what Dishonour and Infamy doth it de­rive upon this Government, to find the Emissa­ries of our Statesmen and Ministers hawking up and down for Indigent and Necessitous Jaco­bites, and accosting them with a Commisera­tion of their poor and starving Condition, and how willing they are not only to relieve, but to render them happy and opulent, provided they will only make themselves capable Sub­jects of Favour and Bounty, by detecting what they know against the Government, and discovering whether they be not conscious of the Criminal Designs of such and such, and pre­pared to depose and swear against th [...]m [...]! Which, considering their Poverty, together with that decay of Morality as well as Religion, and that strange growth not only of Practical but of Speculative Atheism in the Nation, much occasioned by late Practices and Transactions, is equivalent to the tempting those miserable Wretches to forswear themselves for Bread, and is the giving them aim in the murdering of whom they may do the most meritorious Act to the Government, and make the most advantageous Bargain to themselves: And if this doth not prevail upon those indigent Crea­tures, whom Poverty and Irreligion have dis­posed for the Impression of the weakest Tem­ptation, the next Assault upon them is, under the pretence of relieving their Want, to give them a Crown or an Angel, and then to call it Levying and Subsistence-Money; and there­upon to necessitate them either by Perjury to destroy others, or to fall and perish themselves, upon the Accusation of those that pretended charitably to supply them. Nor can it seem strange or astonishing to your Lordship to find such Courses and Methods persued towards the ruining particular Men, when you observe the ways that are notoriously taken to make Mem­bers of Parliament so treacherously and feloni­ously destroy the Kingdom: For besides the many Members of the House of Commons, with which the beginni [...]g and original Grants of all Money for the Support of the Governmen [...] is undisputably lodged, who have Places and Employments equivalent to Pensions, and by which, as the standing and meritorious Quali­fication that entitleth them unto, and giveth them an indefeasible Title in their Posts, they are byassed to give whatsoever is demanded, there are many others purchased by Gratuities, Gifts and Salaries, to concur in and promote all publick Aids, which they too readily do, without the least respect to the Welfare and Safety of the Kingdom, upon the meer foot of finding their own Interest wrapr up so emi­nently in what they give. And it is beyond all contradiction, that whosoever will hire and bribe Members of Parliament, to subvert a [...]d destroy the Constitution and murder the King­dom, which the Practice I have laid before you palpably and uncontroulably doth, such Persons will never scruple the ruining indivi­dual Persons, by the worst and most infamous Arts, if it be but subservient to their revenge­ful, haughty and covetous Ends. And while there is so general a failure in Vertue, as well as a departure from all Honour, save that of Parchment, it is a wonder that instead of a few little Miscreants, (who in the best and most in­nocent Ages would have been reckon'd a­mongst the Refuse of Mankind) they have not furnished themselves with a multitude of Wit­nesses adorned with Titles, and distinguished from the Vulgus, by Names and Characters which used in times of Morality and Religion to be of some Esteem and Veneration. I shall not descend to a particular mentioning of those that have withstood the Temptation, upon [Page 7] their being caress'd and menac'd, in order to their being gain'd and disciplin'd for Eviden­ces, as judging it will be more useful to re­serve the Declaration of them to a Parliament; and the rather because divers of them have been questioned about the Guiltiness of some Members of both Houses, which is in effect the telling them that they would have such and such destroyed, and that they shall be plenti­fully rewarded if they put on an Eff [...]ontry with a little speciousness to do it. I will not, my Lord, be so rude and uncivil as to ruffle you on [...]he account of those that have suff [...]red since this Revolution, for the Crimes of High-Treason against the Government, seeing that might not only be interpreted a want of Deference and Respect to your Lordship's Honour and Integrity, but accounted an impeaching and arraigning the Justice of the Nation: Yet suf­fer me, with the utmost Modesty of one that highly esteems you, and who would both pro­mote your Repentance towards God, for any hasty and indiscreet Excesses that are past, and prevent your falling into any thing that may savour of intemperate and unrighteous Zeal for the future, to call over▪ and bring to your remembrance, the Four Antecedent Trials and Condemnations of this kind, and to tell you with the Candour and Fidelity of your faithful Servant, how little the Credit of those that sat upon them is raised at present, or their Me­mory likely to be embalmed hereafter, by the Wisdom and Justice displayed in the manage and conduct of them. I acknowledge that your Lordship's Access to the obtaining the Conviction of Persons Arraigned useth to be less than that of some others joined in Commis­sion with you, and your Depor [...]ment during the Trials is more decent and becoming your Character than that of divers of your Assessors. Yet a little Reflection on the Trials I am now to mention will quicken your Remembrance, Whether th [...]re was that Scrutiny about, and Enquiry into the Credibility of the Witnesses, which so important a Case as the Lives of Men, and the forfeiting their Estates, to the impoverishing their Families and Posterity, do [...]h require: And whether all that Help and Assistance was given to the Arraigned which the Law doth allow, and makes incumbent upon the Judge to yield. For to begin with the First, which was the Convicting and Sen­tencing the Chair-Man to Death, For Levyi [...]g War to disturb the Tranquility of the Nation, and to Dethrone and Dispossess King William; which had it not been trans [...]ct [...]d in a Court of Justice, would have look'd rather like a Banter upon the Government than a Testimony of Loyalty and Zeal to support it. I do very well know, that all for w [...]ich he was found Guilty and Condemned was expr [...]s [...], swo [...]n against him; But can it obtain cr [...]dit with any, who allow themselves the liberty seriously to think, that one of his Meanness had either the Interest, Power o [...] Treasure to make the least Commo­tion in the Kingdom; or that a Person bred all his Days to so inferiour and servile an Em­ploy as he was, had either the Courage and Boldness to muster Forces or [...]he Sauciness and Vanity once to imagine [...] that he could over­turn Thrones, and wrest Scepter [...] out of the Hands of Princes? Had he been accused and convicted for designing to have Assassinated ei­ther of the Two vested with the Supream Au­thority, there might have been some probabi­lity in it, as being practicable, and of the like whereof the Records of former Times have furnished us with Instances and Examples: But for a poor Creature [...]o be thought capable of en­rolling Troops, and commencing War against a Prince encompassed with a large disciplin'd Army, and that in the Honey-Month of his Government, when the Nation generally was fond of him, may be reckoned among the last of Incredibles; and seems obtruded upon the Faith of the Kingdom meerly to expose our Credulity. And I have often observed, that your Subo [...]ned Fellows do, either out of too much Haughtiness, or too little Sense, make the same sport at the Majesty of Courts of Judicature, and at the Understandings of the [...]ell of Mankind, that they do with the Lives of those they are hired to murder. In a word, all that with the least shadow of Truth can be conceived of what the Man was accused of, is, that he had been charitable to those he appre­hended in greater Distres [...] than himself, which administred occasion to the ungrateful Wret­ches that received it, to gain a Reward from those at the Helm of Affairs, through their sti­ling and swearing it Levy and Subsistence Mo­ney, And as for cross the Kentish A [...]torney, who was Tried and Co [...]demned for going a­board the French Fleet, when they lay upon [Page 8] the Coast; it is known that he was as passionate and violent a Williamite as was in the Kingdom, and that he went thither meerly out of Curi­osity, conceiving it no Crime, nor apprehen­ding any danger by it, and not upon a disloyal and treacherous account: For what better Testimony could be given of the poor Man's Zeal and Affection for the Government, than praying with that Heartiness that he did, for the Preservation and prosperous Reign of William and Mary, at the time and place of his Execution, when and where none, without being highly uncharitable, can imagine that he would dissemble. And were the Jacobites capable of taking tha [...] Pleasure in the Ruin of innocent Men, which your scandalous W [...]igs and too many of your bigotted Phanaticks seem to do, his Execution was a thing wherein they would have thought themselve [...] extream­ly gratified: And they will at all times reckon your Severities of that kind, if not Favours they take Pleasure in, at least Actions which will neither provoke their Resentment nor In­dignation: Nor is it unworthy of your Obser­va [...]ion, that the unhappy Man was halloo'd and persued to Death, by Persons who valu'd themselves heretofore for being in a Faction, of which few are Loyal to Monarchs out of Principle, but solely for Interest; and of whom there are t [...]o many, who out of Devo­tion to their Idol of a Republick, will be ready to sacrifice, and give up to Scaffolds and Gib­bets, all that are addicted to Kingship, who­soever be the King. As for Mr. Ashton's Ca [...]e, the Severity he met with hath been already re­presented in Print, without any Reply hither­to given, in Vindication of the Justice of the Nation, to what is there declared and laid o­pen. And it is sufficiently known by all of any Conversation at White-Hall and about the Town, that he was not so much condemned for what was produced against him at the Bar, as for what was concealed, being unfi [...] [...]o be disco­vered: For the Papers concerning the Legi­timacy of the Prince of Wales, which he was carrying over to King James, first for his P [...]rusal, and then for his Approbation, in or­der to have presented them to the Parliament ▪ was that which influenced more to his Destru­ction, than all besides whereof he was accu [...]ed, which in the Opinion of very wise and impar­tial Men were but trifling and insignificant Things, and which as they did not deserve so hard a Fate, so they would never have prevail­ed upon an unprejudic'd Jury to have found him guilty, without a very strange and labour­ed Misleading. And pardon me▪ my Lord, if I bewail the Suppression of the foremention­ed Papers, and take the liberty to tell you, that the refusing the Nation the favour of seeing, them, renders it very much suspected, That the last Invasion was not, in all things alledged as the Motives to it, founded in that Justice and Ho­nour which we were made to believe. But to wave that, I shall only presume to subjoin, that though the Providences and Judgments of God are inscrutable, yet it ought not to be let pass without Observation, That the only Judge at that time on the Bench, who treated him with uncivil as well as uncomely Malice, and who by his whole Behaviour seemed to have an unquenchable Thirst after his Blood, died soon after wallowing in his own. Nor is it to be imagined what recommended that Person to the Bench, after his having promoted and hastened the Execution of so many in the West, Anno 1685, unless it was, that having given so signal a Testimony of his inhuman and implacable Cruelty to those of the same Party and Interest of which he pretended to be, he was thereupon taken and held for a Person that would be no less barb [...]rous to all such of another Faction, as should have the Misfortune to fall within the Circle of his Pow­er and Rage: For it is most certain, that though Jefferies underwent the Clamour, and bore the blame of those Executions, yet most of the Guilt lay upon Pollex [...]en, of whom I have been speaking. And for Anderton, who is the last that since the Revolution hath been Executed for High-Treason of this kind, there needeth no more to shew both the Perjury of the Witnesses that swore against him, and the Severity and hastiness of his Conviction and Cond [...]mnation, than that a Person arraigned and condemned since at the same place, hath openly confessed and avowed, that he Print­ed and Published the Book, for which poor Anderton was Cast and Executed. Nor is it for the Credit of those that sa [...]e as Judges, or were upon the Jury, that so infamous a Fel­low as Stephens was the principal Witness at the Trial, and the Person upon whose Testimony especially the arraigned was cast: For besides [Page 9] his being universally known for a Rascal that will be purchased to perpe [...]rate any Villainy, provided he may find Impunity in doing it, his whole Behaviour at that time when he gave his Evidence was so e [...]cessively Rude and [...]ancorous towards the Prisoner, as might give any indifferent M [...]n a just c [...]use to believe, that he was provoked by Malice, or swayed by Command and encouraged by Reward to what he did. My Lord, I do not design by this brief Recollection of these Trials▪ to de­tract from your Prudence and Moderation, and much less [...]o charge you with Injustice, as to the Portion and Share you had in them; but the whole I propose, is humbly to repre­sent, that there seems to have been a Bl [...]m [...]a­bleness somewhere; and particularly, that as Juries are generally too credulous in such Ca­ses, and many times prepossessed and prejudi­ced upon the Motive of Party and Faction, so the Witnesses are oftentimes too Mercenary and Revengeful to be easily believed. And among other Examples of the Corruption of Witnesses, and of the [...]asiness of Juries to be im­posed upon, and the rigorous Excesses which (through their being of a different and oppo­site Party to the Prisoner before them) they are liable to be hurried into, the Conviction of Mrs. Merrywether is one that has sensibly af­fected you, and has furnished you with an Oc­casion of testifying your Goodness, Compas­sion and Forti [...]ude, as well as declaring your love and regard to Justice, in your co-opera­ting with others at first for her Reprieve, and recommending her since as a Person whom it is for the Reputation and Honour of the Go­vernment to pardon: And your stiling her Conviction Summum Jus (as you frequently have done) is equivalent to your pronoun­cing, that there was Summu Injuria in it. My Lord, In what I have been calling over to you, I have written with the Temper and Defe­rence, which a regard to the Honour and Ju­stice of the Nation, after Persons have been convicted and sentenced, exacteth from me: But I cannot forbear being a little more Pi [...] ­quant, in laying before you the Dangers which many of all Ranks, since the Revolution, have (notwithstanding their Peaceableness) been subject unto, by means of Suborned, Bribed and Infamous Miscreants, through whose Per­juries great Numbers were to have been de­stroyed, had not the villainous Conspiracies against high and low been seasonably detected. Nor is it needful I should be large in telling you, to how many, and of what Quality, the murderous Design of Fuller extended; and of what Esteem he was with divers of the Mini­sters, as well as with many other People, up­on the hope and prospect of the Slaughters they should have been enabled to make by his Discoveries: And for his Encouragement to enlarge his Accusations, and maintain them with Assurance, he was the Darling both of di­vers Members of Parliament, and of several Officers of State: Your A. and C. vouchsafed him frequently their Company to raise hi [...] Cre­dit; and their Eloquence was employed wheresoever they came. In proclaiming his Praise, and in extolling his Ingenuity and Pre­sence of Mind; yea, whilst the Government was running daily into Debt to those [...]hat in­dustriously and substantially served it, Money was plentifully lavished out to embolden and reward him: Nor did their being conscious how prodigally he wasted it on his Lusts, dis­courage them from esteeming him a very cre­dible Witness; for to gain b [...] Falshood and Perjury, and to consume in Luxury and Whoredom, are equally overlook'd by some People, when they have proposed an End and formed a Design wherein they want to be serv­ed. And though there is too much Reason to believe, that they who gave Countenance to the Rogue, as well as they who managed him, knew from the beginning that whatsoe­ver he told them was Sham and Fiction, yet they not only filled the City and Kingdom with the Noise of the mighty Discovery of a horrid Plot, but hoping to have imposed up­on the Parliament (as had been done in a par­rallel Case) they took the Confidence to bring it into the House of Commons; where the Ras­cal telling his Story with the utmost degree of Boldness and Assurance, and giving an ama­zing Coherence to those Things he had impudence to say, the belief of a PLOT was greatly strengthned and encreased▪ But the Villain having told the House of con­curring Witnesses whom he had, but whom (after all the Sums he bubbled some People of) he could never produce; and having slandered and accused several Persons of Condition, whom he no ways knew, or had at any time [Page 10] obtained an Access unto, his Credit at first dwindled by degrees, and at last, his having forged whatsoever he had said, became notori­ous: Upon which the House, for the vindica­tion of its own Honour, but to the Grief of many without Doors, and of some within, not only voted him an Infamous Person, but ordered that he should be prosecuted, which after a long Delay, (the reasons whereof they are best able to assign who were guilty of it) he was before your Lordship, and, upon being convi­cted, was adjudged to the Punishment which the Law appointeth and allows, but not what the Crime deserves, through a fatal defect in the Rule [...] of our Government: For whereas by the Laws of Nature and Revelation, as well as by the establish'd Sanction of all other Nations, a Villainy of this high and horrid Nature is made not only punishable with Death, but a Death accompanied with all the cruel and in­famous Circumstances which the calumnious Conspirators would have brought upon inno­cent Men; it is the Disgrace and Reproach of this Kingdom, which with a ridiculous Vanity so much boasteth of the Excellency of its Con­stitution and Laws, that it is made only ob­noxious to the Chastisement which [...]he pet [...]iest Transgression subjecteth Offenders unto. And whereas we hoped upon the Revolution to have been relieved against this, as well as many o­ther Gri [...]vances, yet to our Disappointment and continued Calamity, and to the Dishonour of those who are become possessed of the Throne, we have not (by rea [...]on of the Influ­ence of the Government upon some bigotted and revengeful, and other Pensionary Mem­bers of Parliament) been so much as able to procure the passing of a Bill for giving us the common Favours, Help and Assistances in Trials of High Treason, which we are allowed in Pecuniary Matters, and in all other Cases: And who, with Industry, Vigour and Spleen, opposed and hindred our obtaining of it, but your Rich's, [...]oung's, Clark's, Arnold's, &c. that both so much needed and bewailed the want of it heretofore, which, in the Righteous­ness of God, they or their Posterity may do a sin, and by a just Retaliation be refu [...]ed? Now this that I have laid before your Lordship, of the audacious Conspiracies of Fuller for the destruct [...]on of innocent Persons, [...]ully sheweth [...]hat necessitous Miscrean [...] are capable of at­tempting, and what countenance the worst Barbarities may meet with from some, who, by their Places, as well as by their Characters and Quality, should not only discourage, but endeavour by all means to have them punish­ed. And it do [...]h withal serve to instruct you not to be too credulous, nor to believe every one guilty, whom indigent and immoral Fel­lows have the impudence to swear against. And that you may be further informed, as well as forewarned, how little Men's Innocen­cy signifieth to the [...]kreening and covering them from Danger, I crave liberty to remind you, what Young the Parson, in conjunction with Blackhead, had contrived, in order to the murdering several of the First Quality in the Kingdom, besides divers Gentlemen of lower Degree: For these Fellows judging it too little and mean, for Persons of their transcendency in Villainy▪ meerly to swear that such and such had conspired and combined to Restore and Re-establish King James, they had the audaci­ous and unpresidented Impudence, to forge an Association, and to counterfeit and affix the Hands and Names of Honourable Peers and Worthy Persons unto it, importing their ha­ving mutually and jointly undertook to dis­possess K William, and to bring back and re­advance K. James. And though it was morally impossible as well as altogether incredible, tha [...], had there been such a Design, and so concerted and stipulated, Wretches of the meanness of Young and Blackhead should have b [...]en admitted upon a Secret of such Import­ance in it self, and whereof the Discovery would have rendred those concern'd liable to the loss of Life, Honour and Estates: Yet not only with what Easiness, but Leachery, was the belief of it entertain'd by divers of our Supream, and reputed wise Ministers; and notwithstanding its being, in the whole mat­er of it▪ more Ludicrous than Farce, or Bartho­lomew-Fair-Shew, and fitter to amuse Gaping MOB, than to be staged before, and to be en­tertained by States-men; yet with what Seri­ou [...]ness and Gravity was it brought to the Council-Board, and received there as a Subject worthy of weighty and solemn Debate; Whilst in the mean while, the very har [...] [...]specting that the Per [...]ons, whose Hands were forged to that inven [...]ed and supposititious Paper, were capa­ble of being guilty of so weak and silly a Thing, [Page 11] could not miss deriving upon the Govern­ment the Stain and Reproach of Simplicity and Folly, as well as of Ingratitude and Injustice: For as the two Reverend and Learned Bishops were secured by their Vertue, Modesty and Prudence from all just Suspicion of having been in the least accessary to that whereof they were accused: So my Lord Marlborough's ha­having contributed so eminently and effectu­ally to the Revolution, was enough to render his Loyalty to this Government unquestionable because necessary; and his return to K. James's Interest incredible, by reason his Reception into the Grace and Favour of that Prince is impr [...]cticable. Nor could the Ministers be so great Strangers to the infamous Characters of the Wi [...]nesses (whose many and notorious Crimes had sufficiently published them before, thro' the whole Nation, as Rascals who had for­feited all Right to be believed and credited) as to hope to have their Integrity and Righte­ousness just [...]fied in seizing and prosecuting any upon their Testimony: And yet had it not been for the missing of the forged Paper, when it was at first so narrowly searched for at the Bp. of Rochester's, where one of the Rogues traiter­ously and feloniously lodged it, it is scarce to be conceived, how some of our States-men were prepared to have pushed on that Affair to the Impriso [...]ment of sever [...]l. But that Mis­adventure together with the Defences which the aforesaid Eloquent Bishop, after his Ap­prehension, made at his being examined be­fore the Council, rendred them more slow and wary in their Proceeding: And thereupon through the gaining the Respit of a little time, there was an Opportuni [...]y ob [...]ained, no [...] only of discovering and laying open the many infa­m [...]us and horrid Crimes whereof the Rogues sad at other times been guilty, but of fully de [...]ecting the Forgery of the Association, and where they had secretly laid it in the Bishop's House, in order to have destroyed him and o­thers, in case it had been found by the Clerk of the Council and the Messengers, when it was so industriously sought for. And truly, My Lord, had not Young laboured under a strange defect of Morals, he was incomparably qualified in all o [...]her respects to have been a select, singu­lar and standing Witness for the State: For as he has a sufficiency of Wit and Presence of M [...]nd, to be able to give things the best Gloss and rea­diest Turn of Thought; so he is furnished with a larger Stock of Impudence and Assurance than most Men in the World are: Of which your Lordship was an astonished Witness when you had him before you at the Bar, to be tried for the Forgery which I have mentioned, and to be condemned to the too gentle and feeble Punishment which the Law hath ordained for it: For with what Confidence did he stand, not only under the Load of a Thousand infa­mous Actions, of which all the Court (by the Perusal of the Bp. of Rochester's two Books) knew him to have been guilty, but under the fullest and clearest Proof of the malicious For­gery for which he was then Arraigned: Yea, with what Effrontry and air of Impudence, to the Amazement of all there, did he continue to assert his own Innocence, and persevere in his crimination of others? But that which filleth Men most with Sorrow in reference to that Transaction, and which keeps them under disquieting Fears ever since, is, that though Young and Blackhead were Instruments in it yet people of another Figure must have been the first Contrivers and Authors of it: And the handing Money to Blackhead, while kept i [...] Custody by Allen the Messenger, and conni­ving at his Escape from thence, gives us more than a Suspicion of it, and little less than a moral Certainty: For that Rogue having been the Tool employed too with Young by the supe­rior Managers, and having threatn'd to squeak in case given up & abandoned to a publick Punish­ment, it was so ordered, that he might not only be permitted to get away, but be sheltered and maintained in Ireland, whither he withdrew; and from whence the Government might have easily brought him back, were there not a Mi­stery in that Affair which it is not for some Peoples Honor to have unrav [...]ll'd. Nor was the Messenger, out of whose House and Custo­dy he made his Escape, ever punished for his Carelesness and Neglect; but after a little me­nacing and Reprimand, which was meer Gri­mace, he hath been treated all along since with more d [...]stinguishing Favours than fell to the Share of his Fellow-Officers. Neither durst so mean and creeping Wretches a [...] [...]oung and Blackhead (how impudent and malicious soever they are) have attacked Persons of the Earl of Marlborough and the Bishop of Roche­ster's Rank and Quality, and who had merited [Page 12] so well of the Government, and were believed at that time to stand in all terms of fairness with it, had they not been prompted, guid­ed and encouraged to it by Persons of Author­ity, Grandeur and Eminency. And had the Villains acted meerly under their own Con­duct, and by the Influence of Personal Ma­lice and Avarice, they would have singled out such to be accused, as are held indiscreet, tal­kative and rash, and with whom it might have been likely for them to have had some Con­versation; and not Per [...]ons of the grea [...]est Prudence, Circumspection and Reservedness of any in the Kingdom, and into whose Soci­ety it was morally impossible that any should judge them to have been admit [...]ed, nor so much as into their Presence, unless as Beg­gars and indigent Supplicants: So that this Conspirac [...] by suborning two infamous Rascals and of obtaining thereby Credit to a Plot, up­on the Belief of which several Noble, Reve­rend and Worthy Persons were to have been involved under Guilt of Ruin, m [...]y serve to instruct your Lordship not to be hasty and for­ward in giving Credit to the present impor­tunate and noisy Clamours, and to make you extreamly wary how you proceed to the Con­viction and Condemnation of those that are ac­cused and threatned to be arraigned. Nor will it be enough, either for your Absolution when you appear before the Tribunal of God, which you must shortly do, or for the Vindi­cation of your Justice and the Support of your Honour before Men while you are here, to leave Things to a Jury ▪ unless you enqui [...]e with the utmost Care and Penetration into the Credibility of those that depose and swear, and upon what Motives & by what Means they are prevailed upon and are brought to do it.

Nor can it, my Lord, be now any matter of Wonder, if (after two such repeated Ex­periences as I have mentioned, of some mens having designed to destroy a quiet, innocent and peaceable People, upon invented and forged Conspiracies against the Government, supported by the Oaths & Testimonies of Mer­c [...]nary and Brib'd Fellows) the greatest Zealo [...]s for K. William and Q Mary, as well as they who are not [...] f [...]nd of [...]heir Sovereign­ty▪ a [...]e become [...]ug [...]ly suspic [...]ous, That the A­larm now given [...]o the N [...]tion by the [...] of a fresh PLOT, hath no other Foundation than some Sha [...]-contrivance of some little Ministers, who would make themselves valu'd and necessary, and raise Fortunes out of the Ru [...]n [...]s of those, with whom, upon D [...]stincti­on of Factions and Contrariety of Principles, they are displeased: For it is not enough to involve Men in the Crime, of designi [...]g to de­stroy the Government, that they connot ob­tain Leave of their Consciences vigorously to support it. How many are there who cannot nicely distinguish themselves from under the Obligations that they owe to King James, that are nevertheless willing to remain quiet under the Power that is over them, and to sleep in whole Skins! And I am inclinable to bel [...]eve, that had not those stiled Jacobites been made all of them uneasy in their For­tunes, and many of them impoverished, by double Tax [...]s, because they cannot renounce all the Religious, as well as Political Princi­p [...]es, with which your Tillotsons, Burnets, Sher: locks, &c. imbu'd them, but that they would sit as silent and quiet under this Administra­tion as any others whatsoever, though they cannot equally approve and commend it. And were it not for the Respect that we are obliged to pay to the Wisdom and Authority of Parliaments, most Persons of Prudence and Temperance of Mind, would acknowledg this to have been as foolish a Project, as it is peevish and ill-natur'd; seeing all it amounts unto, is only the revenging themselves on their Neighbours upon the naked account of Opinion, and must have this eff [...]ct, that they who are thus distinguishingly oppressed would be glad of a Change, how little soever they co-operate to i [...], Nor was it ever found a successful Method, to render any sort of Peo­ple either affectionate to a State or quiet under it, to single them out from the rest of a Com­munity, to be the Objects of Severity and ill-Usage. The most that wise Governments have used to do, has be [...]n only to preclude those from Places of Honour and Profit under them that have not been zealously affection­ate to them: And though they have some­times found Incapacitating Laws necessary; yet they have always held such as are oppres­sive to b [...] no [...] only unwise bu [...] unrighteous: And as this of ours is a President of the first Impression; so it is possible that, sooner or later, it may come to be copied and imitated [Page 13] upon some of them that have set the Pattern. But to dismiss this, I shall proceed [...]o tell you, that the Jacobites do not only decline Plotting, because of the Hazard and Danger that attend it, but because they judge it need­less and unnecessary: For this Government is hastning to Ruine, through the Folly, La­vishness and Kn [...]very of those that serve it; so that it were superfluous for any to expose their Lives in attempting to subvert it: Thro' ill Conduct and Mismanagement, it is come al­most to an Impossibility of supporting it much longer, and at the same time of preserving the Kingdom; and under that Dilemma, few will hesitate which of the Two i [...] to be drop'd and abandoned: For notwithstanding all that huf­fing & [...]utting of the Ministers about the Stead­ness, Streng [...] and Greatness of the Government, it m [...]st nevertheless be owned, that whilst it re­mains engaged in the [...] ▪ it is but in a Go-Cart, it walks and stands by the help of Leading-Strings, and can no longer subsist than as it is shoared and underpropt; and when the Ex­pence of sustaining it grows insupportable, [...]t sinks without any Man's running the Haz­ard of giving it a Push, by the meer with­drawing and witholding the Means by which it was sustained; which Poverty will reduce its greatest Partizans to do, notwithstanding all their Bigottry and Zeal: For it is now uncon­troulably evident, that after the greatest Fund and Expence which was ever granted by Par­liament, towards the raising and maintain­ing a more numerous and brave Land-Army than we have at any time had▪ and supported: And after all the united Strength of these three Kingdoms, in Conjunction with all the utmost Power which our good Allies the Dutch and our other Confederates are able to afford and furnish, that yet all we are in a Condition to do in the Spanish Netherlands, is by securing our selves in Trenches to make a defen­sive War, and to come Home crowned with the Honour of doing nothing. And that while we are priding our selves upon our infesting the French Coast and the burning a Fisher-Town, at an Expence, Charge and Loss vastly above the worth of it. We have not only abandoned our Merchant-Ships to the Mercy of the Priva­teers, but while we thus employ our Fleet, have suffered the French to possess [...]hemselves of Ja­maica, which (as it was the most profitable of all our Plantations, so the loss of it, added to the Interruption and Destruction of our Trade from all other Places) will necessitate the whole Kingdom to grow weary of the Govern­ment, and to think of subverting it, to pre­serve the Little that remains, rather than to lose all, by studying longer to support it: And for that Devastation we have in the mean time been making on the French, it seems meerly designed to provoke them to Revenge, seeing it is certain that they can make Reprizals on any parts of our Coast when they please. I confess, my Lord, that for the Jacobites to argue at this Rate doth not savour of too much Decency, but I am sure it is a way of reason­ing, though possibly weak, as well as rude, is admirably adapted, and extreamly proper, to restrain them from Plotting, and to keep them quiet: And the Folly and Unmannerliness of it may be better dispensed with, seeing it speaketh them upon these Hopes and fanciful Prospects, wholly alienated and at a distance, from promoting Disturbances: For however Enthusiastick and Chymerick this Reasoning may be in it self, as it will not escape being accounted so by o [...]hers, yet it has the same Influence upon them to continue peaceable as if it were Apodictical and Oracular. But suffer me, my Lord, to descend to some Particular [...] relative to this PLOT, which after all the mighty Noise concerning it, and the Imprison­ment of so many, and the looking after more, upon Pretences and Allegation [...] of having been embarqu'd in it, do wholly destroy the C [...]edit of it with me, and I doubt not when represen­ted to your Lordship, will very much enfeeble and detract from the belief of it with you. And to begin wi [...]h Hugh Speak and Harry Baker, to whom is intrusted the mustering and levying of Witnesses, as well as the conduct, instruction and Management of them; the One is such a Compound of Folly and Knavery ▪ and the Other an Abridgment of Falshood, Treachery and all sort of Villainy, that it i [...] impossible, where they are known, to conciliate Faith either to any thing they say or any Discovery they are concerned in: And whosoever they are of the Ministers; that have either advanced them un­to, or do give them Countenance in this Post and Emp [...]oy, they are more guil [...]y of a PLOT against the Honour of K. William and Q Mary, the Reputation of the Privy-Council, and the [Page 14] Credit of the Justice of the Nation, than any Jacobites whatsoever (yea even Colonel Parker himself) can be, in a Conspiracy against the Safety of the Government and the Tranquility of the Kingdom: And in truth it is a Lamooo [...] upon the State, to have it reported that any thing is conveyed by their Means, or through their Hands, either to the Secretary, or to the Officers of Justice. As for Mr. Speak, he hath never been otherwise look'd upon, by reason of his Folly, accompanied with Vanity, than as the Sport of Society, and the Buffoon of the Town; having [...]nly this to value himself upon, that answerable to the measure which God hath denied him of Understanding and good Sense, he is proportionably furnishe [...] with Conceit, which doth as well to his satisfaction. The Prank he play'd upon the Earl of Essex's having Assassinated him [...]elf, and the Trou [...]le and Distress which by his Imp [...]dence and Folly he was then brought under, doth sufficien [...]ly serve both to call him to your Rem [...]mbrance, and to give your Lordship the Character of the Man. Nor needs there more to expose as well as decipher him, than that he, who was ready a while ago to h [...]ve sworn h [...]mself off upon the Statute, for Nine Pounds he owed to a poor Woman near Grays. Inn, for Bread, Cheese, and Pots of Ale, is of lat [...], since he turn'd Witnessmonger, no [...] only become Rival to the greatest Peers of the Realm [...]n Grandeur of Liv­ing, but out-doeth them in Expence and Mag­nificence. And if he receives the Money, need­ful to support and defray so vast a Charge, out of the Treasury, as is believed he doth, having been heard ordering his Servant to go tell Harry Guy that he expected his Money should be ready for him by Four of the Clock such an Afternoon, then either the Treasure of the Nation is not so well disposed and expended as it should, or else there must be some terri­ble Prospect and Design on foot against the Jacobites, which they are forced to be at all this Expence to cherish and ma [...]urate. How­ever it is very surprizing, and possibly will not be very gra [...]eful to a Parliament when laid be­fore them, that all our Troops in Flanders should two Posts ago, have wanted a Fortnigh [...]s Subsistence-Money, save what they received out of the private Purses of their Officers, and we in the mean time be so prodigiously squan­dering and lavishing it away here upon Rake-Hells, who have not Vertue and Fortitude to make them capable of deserving a Shilling for a brave and generous Action. But some may think that the liberal paying of one Company of Witnesses at Home, may give us the Credit of a more glorious Campaign, against a few naked and disarmed Jacobites at the Old-Baily and Westminster-Hall, than all our vast and charge­able Forces are in a condition of obtaining a­gainst the starv'd and cowardly French in [...]ra­bant. But to wave Pleasantry, the Subject being too tender and grave well to admit it, and which I should not have used, but that being obliged to re-encounter Hugh Speak ▪ I cannot forbear falling into some of that Jocoseness, which all Persons are accustomed unto, when he is cast into their Company; for God hath made some Creatures to excite and humour our R [...]ibility, as he has made others to gratify and exercise nor Reasoning and Intel­l [...]ctual [...]aculties: But how contemptible so­ever Hugh Speak is in himself, and how much he appears ridiculous to all Wise Men, yet the more dangerous he is if countenanced and supported, and the more hurt he [...]ay do, if any be so weak and wicked as to believe either him, or those under his Conduct. And upon the Encouragement, together with the large Sums of Money which have been al­ready vouchsafed him, he is swelling to that excess of Vanity, as not only to equal himself to the wisest Ministers about the Court, in the knowledge of the Art of Government, but to prefer himself infinitely before them, calling them in his common Discourse Punies in Poli­ticks in comparison of himself: And is also arrived to that menacing and dangerous Ar­rogance, as to declare in open Companies that he had several of the Privy Counsellors at his Mercy and under his Power; which as it overthroweth the Credit of all he either says himself, or instructeth and suborneth others to say; so it renders it the less inc [...]n­gruous for him to boast what he can do a­gainst meaner People, who are not so well skreened from his extravagant mad Rage, as the Noble Persons may hope to be; th [...]ugh in justice he ought to be no more believed in re­ference to the latter, than he is to be account­ed worthy to be in relation to the former. It is not credible how far the frantick Man's Am­bition stretcheth since he has been entertain­ed [Page 15] an Enroller and Trainer up of Witnesses: For he fixeth no narrower Bounds to what he is immediatly to grow up unto, than the get­ting himself possessed of Four Thousand Pounds per Annum, besides a small Additional of ready Money about forty Thousand pounds. Now how many Confiscations, Forfeitures, At­tainders and Murthers must this Man have pro­jected and designed, in order to compass so much to himself, besides what the Crown is to have, and the several Shares that are to go to others? Surely the poor Creature needs Hellebore and dark Lodging, and is fitter to have a Chamber assigned him in the Palace at Moor-Fields, under the rare Guidance of those that have the Oversight and Ruling of the Lu­natick, than at an exorbitant Expence to be riotously maintained by the Court, in order to lay Gins and Snares for the Lives of innocent Men, by decoying and disciplining of Wit­nesses [...] And as for Harry Baker, who is not only the other Conductor, but the Suborner of the Evidence-Tribe, and who values himself up­on their encompassing him at his Levees and Couchees with their Caps in their Hands, and in the being attended and guarded by them in his Journeys to Cheshire and Lancashire, where he lately went vested with a more than Despotical Authority, not only over his [...]anditi and mur­dering Slaves, but over the Messengers of the Council, who were ordered to act with an im­plicit Obedience to his Directions and Com­mands: This Fellow is too notoriously known to your Lordship for his Cheating, Defrauding, Suborning & ignominious Course of Life about the Town for many Years, that you should need his infamous Character conveyed unto you by me. And the Memoirs of his Life, un­der the Title of the English Gusman, being preparing for the Press, in order to the Instru­ction as well as Diversion of Mankind, it were but to anticipate what is so well and am­ply said there, to interrupt your Lordship in your weighty Affairs, by giving you any long Detale of his fraudulent, enormous and infa­mous Practices: Only let me recommend your Lordship to the Right Honourable my Lord M [...]untague, who no doubt will vouchsafe to give you such an Account of him in reference to his Carriage towards, and Transactions in the Affairs of his Lordships Sister, my Lady Harvey, as will not only fill you with Astonish­ment at his enormous Roguery, but sufficient­ly antidote you from being imposed upon and misled by any Persons whom he hath the Con­duct of, and influenceth and governs in their Informations, Nor is it improper to lay be­fore you, what Disquiet and Trouble this bra­zen-fac'd Fellow gave to most of the Vintners in and about the Town, a few Years ago, for drawing Wine in Bottles instead of drawing it in Pots; and how after he had compassed a great deal of Money to himself, by secret and clandestine Compositions, he eluded the Sta­tute which had been made in that case, de­frauded the Government▪ and became obnox­ious to the Penalty and Punishment appointed in the Act: For it is known to Thousands in City and Suburbs, that whosoever were the little Scoundrels that appeared above-board in those Informations and Prosecutions, yet that it was he that [...] and hounded out the Rascally Fry, of whom several, upon his Ad­vice and Persuasion, perjured themselves, as well as made themselves guilty of all sorts of sharking, dishonest and opprobrious Tricks. And who, my Lord, but this Harry Baker has for divers Years been giving Vexation to seve­ral Roman Catholicks in many parts of the King­dom, in order to rob, and get them divested of very large Parts, Shares and Proportions of their Estates, under Pretence of their having been bequeathed unto and settled upon Popish Fraternities and Religious Houses, or their being some way made over and conveyed to Supersti­tious Uses. And this Barretor and Harpie grow­ing sensible, that the infamous Witnesses whom he had lev [...]ed and suborned to attest and swear to those Disposals, would, by the indisputable Evidence of Persons of Rank, Quality and unsuspected Credit, he proved guilty of Perjury the next Term, he has ther­upon changed the Scene, and to prevent that Infamy from falling upon his Witnesses, he has directed, swayed and influenced them to swear High-Treason against the Gentlemen [...] That so upon Loss of their Lives, their E­states becoming forfeited, he and his Miscre­ants may obtain a Share of them that way, af­ter their despairing of getting it the other: And it is upon the prospect of this, that [...] boasteth to his Friends, and feeds himself with the criminal hopes of commencing sud­denly a Man of Quality, and of living to the [Page 16] heighth of his lascivious and riotous Appetites. But in the interim, until he can attain to those Possessions, which through [...]uborning of Wit­nesses he is about purchasing by Murthers, how disgracefully doth it reflect upon the Go­vernment, and what indelible Reproach doth it fasten upon some in the Ministry, that not only a Person of his infamous Character, but against whom there are so many Actions for Debt, and Executions in the hands of Attor­nies (it being his Principle, though never so well stock'd with Money, to pay no Man if he can avoid it) should be so plentifully fur­nished by those who are trusted with the dis­p [...]nsing and issuing out of the Treasure of the Nation as to be ab [...]e not only to live at the splen­did and riotous rate he doth, but be in a Con­dition to feed and supply so many notorious Cormorants and Beasts of Prey, as a [...]tend him upon the Drudgery of Hallooing and For­swearing Men to Death! But, my Lord, it would be to paus [...]ate and offend you, as well as to stain and pollute my self to rake longer in this Sink and Kennel: And I dare refer any for obtaining a further Account of him to most of the Whiggish Zealots for the Govern­ment about the Town; to all whom he is suffi­ciently known for Frauds and Treacheries, and to none for his Truth, Probity and Justice: Yea, I can venture your Lordships being better infor­med of him to the Testimony of Mr. A. Smith, who (however zealous he be in Prosecutions for High-Treason, and affectionate, warm and steady a Partizan for those on the Throne) hath more regard for his own Credit, and more Concernment [...]or the honour o [...] the Justice of the Nation, as well as more Comp [...]ssion and Tenderness for the Lives of guil [...]le [...]s, inno­cent People, than to represent him as a Cre­dible Person; or not to tell you (if you will do your self, Mankind and the Na [...]ion that Right as to require it of h [...]m) that Trick and Falshood are to be suspected and feared in all that Harry Baker doth dip or intermeddle with. Nor would I be hopeless, but that Mr. Secre­tary Trenchard would concur with the rest of his old Acquaintance in branding Harry Baker for a Fellow unworthy of the least Credit in any thing wher in he expects to find his Ad­vantage and Interest; but that Mr. Secretary may be apprehensive, that what, upon the Calculation of his Nativity, was told him long ago, may be true, namely, That his Prosperity and Honour should commence at the time they did; and that after he had been easy and flourished Six Years, be should about the Period and Expi­ration of them, fall into Trouble and Disgrace, if he escaped other Distresses. And if it be in or­der to obviate and prevent his threatned [...]: Fortune, which according to that Prediction must be approaching and near, that he is so busy in finding PLOTS where there are none, and in trading with a Company of Villains, whom he encourageth to reveal what he is sen­sible they never knew, nor could, he may by that means both accelerate his Mortification and augment his Sufferings: However, this I am sure of, that such a Method in the Admini­stration of his Office will render the worst that shall overtake him the more just, and him the less pitied under it. And were he as much a Christian as he pretends to be a States-man, he would know, that it is Equity and Justice which fix the Nail in the Wheel, to hinder it's rolling, and not Artifice, Tricks and Politicks calculated to destroy such whom Laws are enacted to preserve. And it would not misbecome him to imitate the Pattern of Moderation and▪ Good-nature, which the ve­ry honourable Person in the same Post with himself doth daily set and yield unto him, and not to out-run and exceed it with so much fiery and undiscreet Heat: For as that truly Great Man contributed more to the Re­volution, and the Establishment of this Go­vernment, than he had either In [...]erest or Cou­rage to do; so that Noble Peer wants not In­tegrity, Z [...]al and Fortitude to support it by all honourable, righteous and proper Means, though he cannot meanly and indecently stoop to the unrighteous Methods or doings (which God will certainly blast) which others seem so fond of, and to practise wi [...]h so much Va­luation of themselves upon them.

My Lord, that which remaineth to be laid before you, e're I put an end to the Trouble that I have assumed the liberty to give you, is to aff [...]rd some little account of those Wit­nesses whose Names I have been able to attain, af [...]er the best and most diligent enquiry I can make: But this may seem altogether super­fluous, after the Representation given of those that have procured, and continue to ma­nage them; seeing none but the most [Page 17] despicable, and most infamous of Men, as well as the most indigent and necessitous, can put themselves under the Power and Conduct of the Blades I have taken the pains to unmask. No [...] indeed is it easy to learn who all the Wit­nesses are, there being so much Art and Indu­stry used to hide and conceal them, which I am sure casts no very honourable Aspect upon the Government, though it looks extream un­favourably upon those that are accused: For the making it so great a Secret, who they are that inform, intimateth that they are sensible they are of no good Reputation, and there­fore dare not venture the having their Credi­bility [...]i [...]ted and inquired into: Nor was it ever found, but that labour'd Concealments of this kind argued the weakness of Legal Proof, not the strength of the Nature of the Government against those that were to be prosecuted. Some talk as if many of them were Scotchmen, and as if those of that Nation, in the Administration of Affairs about this Court, were desirous that their Kingdom should have a share in the Glory of yielding a Pack of standing Evidence for the State as well as England and Ireland have done: And if the Character of Cunning, which is too justly as well as commonly given to the Scotch holds true, in those that are to be hired at this time to be Witnesses for the Government ▪ it looks a [...] if there were a formed Design of doing a great deal of Mischief, and that they have chosen their Tools accordingly: But then if we add to this the Character of False, which the En­glish too commonly fasten upon many of that Kingdom, there is the less danger, because it is hoped none will believe them. And there­fore, as to all the present Evidences of the Scotch Nation, I will leave it upon that issue: For not knowing who they are, but upon un­certainty and at random, I will detract from the Honesty and Faith of none, though it were easy to overthrow the Credibility of all that are suspected But let this or that Man's Repu­tation be never so bad, yet I will not expose them unless there be a very great necessity for it; and then there is, when the leaving them in the possession of a Credit, which they have justly forfeited, gives them the encouragement as well as opportunity of murdering innocent People, by coming in falsly as Evidence a­gainst them. But that your Lordship may have some knowledge of the whole Herd of Briars, by giving you a view and survey of some that are stiled the best of them; I shall both at­tempt and speedily dispatch it, without im­portuning your Patience much longer. And to begin with your Dandys, your Omballs, and your Lunts, &c. which swore first against the Lan­cashire Gentlemen to deprive them of their E­states, and have done the like since to destroy their Lives; it is but your being acquainted with their Quality and Course of Living, and you will not only think it a Weakness, but cri­minal to believe their Testimonies: For Dand [...] he is a Converted Priest, or if you consider the Motives upon which he abandoned the Popish Religion to embrace the Protestant, which were to have [...]ope for his Lusts of all kind, as the whole Series of his Life ever since hath abun­dantly testified, you will rather call him an Apostate one: And it would have been for the Credit of our Church (for, my Lord, I am a Protestant, and will never sacrifice my Religion and Countrey to any Man) if he had never en­tred into the Communion of i [...], and more for the In [...]amy of Theirs ▪ if with allowance he had continued where he was: For since he became a Member of the Church of England, he hath wallowed in all the most scandalous Immorali­ties, and to defray the Expence of his Debau­cheries, hath pil [...]ered and stole where he could, till he fell upon the more safe and easy, as well as more gainful Trade of Informing And I can better compare him to no Man than to the ancient Evidence Smith, alias Barry, who ha­ving by Perjury fleshed himself upon the Pa­pists, turned at last a perjur'd and false Wit­ness against Protestants; which undoubtedly this Fellow will be ready to do (when he finds his Profit and Interest in it) against all Willi­amit [...]s, Whiggs and Phanaticks, who now cocker and cherish him, as he doth at present against the Jacobites of all Religions, that he is hound­ed at, and [...]ed with Bread for. As to Omball, he is a broken Carrier, who by Sloth, Riot and Neglect, having brought himself to Pover­ty, hath set up to repair his Fortune out of Gentlemen's Estates, by forged and forsworn Depositions against them. And as for Lunt, he was first Coach-man to my Lord Carington, where he either Married or Contracted him­self, and then becoming a Granadier in the Guards, he married another Woman, or [...] her as his Who [...]e, but [...] the [Page 18] Life of this Second, he went and demanded his First Wife: And this profligate Wretch going afterwards into Ireland, while K. James was there, he would have imposed upon that Prince, that he had been a Trooper in the Guards; but a Gentleman that knew him in­forming the King what he had been, he was thereupon refused the being admitted into the Troop, which K. James was then re-establish­ing: And most surely, he who has the Impudence, and dare be so criminal, as to lye to his Prince, will never scruple doing the like to your Lordship, and to a Court of Justice. At last the Rake-Hell came from Ireland into Lancashire, where being so necessitous as to be ready to starve, he received Relief from several charitable Families, whom he so un­gratefully requires, as perjuriously to swear them out of their Lives and Estates. Pray now, my Lord, do but vouchsafe to reflect upon the Civil and Moral Conditions of these Fellows, and judge whether it be possible, and much less likely, that they should be made acquainted with the Disposal and Con­veyances of Gentlemens Estates, and least of all, that they should be admitted upon so im­portant and dangerous a Secret, as Men of Quality's Plotting and Conspiring against the Government; which if any Gentl [...]man shall be so weak and foolish as to allow, I will say, that instead of being put into the Tower and Chester-Castle, &c. they should be confined unto, and shut up in Bedlam, and be treated as Mad-men, not as Traytors. But the many Persons of Este [...]m, Vertue and unsuspected Reputation, who are ready to prove the Wretches perjured in reference to their De­positions about the Gentlemens Bequeath­ments of their Estates, will thereby, if they would say no more, meerly through having made them appear forsworn in that Case, over­throw their Credit, and render them infa­mous in every Thing else which they have the Impudence to depose. And suffer me upon this Occasion to tell you, how barbarous and unpresidented (save during the Reign and Ra­pine of Sir William Waller) as well as illeg [...]l and in [...]olent, the manner of apprehending Gen­tlemen, and of searching their Houses, ha [...]h been in Lancashire: For not to insist upon the going about and performing it, guarded and assisted with Dutch Horse, whom we have no need to keep and maintain in the Kingdom, being furnished with so large an Army o [...] British Subjects, and of whom (according to the P. of Orange's Declaration dated at the Hague, in the Year 88) we should have been rid and de­livered long ago: But it is the Policy of this Government to observe and perform no part of that Declaration, in order to prevent and hin­der our believing the Declaration of any other Prince after it, and thereby make the Resto­ration of King James impracticable; there be­ing no other way, at least in their Opinions, to render it feasible but the recovering and re­conciling the Subjects again to their Subjecti­on and Duties, by the Concessions and Promi­ses which he makes in a Declaration. Nor is it improbable, but that our Ministers having read, or at least heard (for all of them are not much conversant with Books) how one of the Monarchs of France, coming from a Dukedom to a Sovereignty, said, that being King▪ he was not to revenge the Injuries he received as Duke; they may thereupon imagine, that King William is not obliged to perform the Prince of Orange's most Sol [...]mn Promises. But that which I call barbarous as well as ille­gal, is, that in many places whither they went, they plundered and violently took a­way whatsoever they were able to lay their Hands upon: For not being contented to apprehend Persons and seize Arms of War, they carried away Walking-Swords, Hunting▪ Saddles, S [...]affle-Bits, Servants Cloaths and Oats out of the Barns and Granaries; and which is more prejudicial to the Gentlemen than all the rest, under pretence of searching for Pa­pers they robbed them of, and carried away with them the Writings of their Estates; which if the Gentlemen do not receive Re­lief in, and others be covered from the like in time to come, it is easy to imagine that besides the Dishonour▪ redounding to the Go­vernment it will come to produce worse ef­fects, and be followed with those fatal Conse­quences which I need not to foretel. For a Rumour diffused thro' the Kingdom, for the en­tertainment whereof it is pretty well disposed, that the Dutch are every where robbing and plundering, may occasion as general a flying to Arms, and with more Mischief attending it, as the false and groundless Repor [...] [...] in 88. when it was spread through the whole Nation [Page 19] in one Nighf, how a few broken, scattered and disarmed Irish were burning Houses, and cutting Throats in all places! And suffer me to tell you, that for the Ministers to pretend to disallow these Things, but not to punish them, is both to encour [...]ge the Souldiers again to do [...]he like, and to tempt others to think that it is very well approved of, though it be not yet convenient to commend and justify it. However, it gives occasion for the old Tories to say, that all the Complaints of the Whigs of the rigorous Oppressions of the former Reigns, was only because they had not the priviledge to practise them; and that it is not the doing ill things that di [...]pleaseth them, but that they have not the applying of the Royal Authority to do all the Mischiefs they would. And it gives a very odd Id [...] of a certain Gentleman at Court, that when Hopkins the Messenger was complained of t'other day, for having kept Sir Thomas Stanley, whom he had in Cu­stody, without Meat eight and forty Hours, all the Punishment the murderous and bloudy Villian received, was only a gentle Repri­mand, But as this doth not satisfy the King­dom, much less will it give Contentment to a Parliament, before whom it will be brought In company of many other Oppressions and Grievances the next Sessions; when possibly our national Dishonours and Losses, both at Home and abroad, may dispose them to hear­ken better than they have done to private and personal Complaints. And I may assure you, that [...]f either the Messenger be not turned out, or Mr. Secretary Trenchard for continuing him in, which in the modestest Language is a conni­ving at his Crime, all men will believe, that whosoever is taken up and lodged in a Messen­ger's hands, is in a fair way to be destroyed without the Formality of a Trial or the Pri­viledge of being judicially convicted and con­demned▪ My Lord, there remains one Wit­ness more, whose Name I have learned, and who is said to be of the best Reputation of any they have, and that it i [...] upon his Testi­mony they depend more than upon any other, for the Proof of this horrid PLOT; and ther­fore knowing his Character so well as I do, I shall convey him to you in his natural Colours, that by his Hue, you may judge of the Comple­xion of all the rest. The [...]llow is one King­ston, who stiles himself a Parson of the Church of England, who being emulous of the Glory of the Dignified Clergy, who are labouring to prevent the Restoration of King James, and to support this Government by all their Wisdom and Eloquence, and whatsoever other Means they can, save the opening their pur [...]es [...] to the measure they have stretched those of the Jacobites, is desirous also to contribute his ut­most Endeavours towards it, and being un­capable of doing it otherwise, offers to per­jure himself in favour of so blessed Ends. It is somewhat surprising, and detracteth very much from the Character of the Ecclesiastical Order, and has lessened that Esteem and Ve­neration the World used to have for them, that there can scarce be the Discovery of a PLOT, or a Trial for High-Treason, but a Par­son must be the Informer, and put in for a Place among the Witnesses; for though it may be sometimes honourable as well as necessary to be in a PLOT, otherwise so many of our Reli­gious Clergy would not have so early and deep­ly concurred unto, and been concerned in the Descent of the P. of O. yet it hath been gene­rally accounted disreputable to be a Di [...]co­verer, and to assume the Title of an Evidence [...] And it is not only so, but likewise infamous, when all that is pretended to be discovered is forged, and whatsoever is deposed is perjuri­ous Falshood, as it is in the Case of this Scan­dalous Fellow's Information; who having be­gun with forging his own Priestly Orders, con­ceiveth he may as well forge Treason against harmless and peaceable Men: And as the do­ing the former renders him suspected of doing the latter; so it makes him infamous to all In­tents and Purposes, and precludes him from obtaining belief in any Judicial Court, how much soever it be prepossessed in prejud [...]ce of those he has the Impudence to accuse: And that this celebrated Witne [...]s did so, your Lordship will not only receive full Proof of it, both by an authentick Copy of his Convicti­on, duly attested out of the Episcopal Regi­ster o [...] Bristol, where he was convicted of the Crime of doing it, but by the Deposition of the present Bishop of Bristol to be given J [...]di­cially before you; That R [...]ght Reverend Pre­late, having been Dioces [...]n o [...] Bristol wher [...] [...]t was done. So tha [...] having represented this unto [...]ou, it were to weary your Patience a [...]d not to inform your Judgm [...]nt, to give yo [...]r [Page 20] Lo [...]dship an account of his Polygamy, as we [...]l as o [...] his other most prodig [...]ous and criminal Offences, whereof you will have a large ac­count both from Citizens and Countreymen, whensoever they whose Office i [...] is to prosecute Transgressors, shall have the Confidence and Indiscretion to bring him before you as a Wit­ness Only let me recommend your Lordship to Sir Samuel Astry for further Information con­cerning him, who has reason to know him, thro' having been defrauded by him of several hun­dred Pounds. So that I hope by this time the groundless and empty Noise about a PLOT I, made sufficiently appear, and that it is not for the honour of the Government to continue making so great a bu [...]le about it, or to perse­vere in the apprehending so many Persons up­on that account. Nor can my Lord Keeper, who hath hitherto enjoyed among all Men so fair an Esteem, expect long to preserve it, if he go on to give that coun [...]enance, which he is said to do [...]o such infamous Wretches as come before him to make Discovery. Neither will he be thought fit to keep the King's Con­ [...]ence, who is not more tender of his own than to believe them: Nor doth it very well b [...]come his Place and Character, to have dipt and entangled himself so much in this Busi­nes [...], [...] some represent him to have done. For we [...]e there some Irregularity, or undecent Excess in here and there a Jacobite, yet it is not for him, who by his Office is to moderate the Rigour of the Law, to have the principal Hand in stiling little Faults Treasonable Crimes: And instead of that Equity which should only slow from him, to put on (upon the meet Score of Faction and Party) an immoderate and unrelenting Severity. And all Mankind would believe, that he should reckon the Province belonging to his Title large enough, without launching into that of the Secr [...]tary's, and A [...]torney General: But I hope all that is said of him is nor Truth, and that his Palace where he should decide Chance­ry Causes, is not dwindled into an Office of In­telligence; and that being satisfied with his own Place, he will not break in upon Mr. Aa­ron Smith also. My Lord, I have been [...]oo tedious and prolix to leave Room for a Com­plement at last; and therefore I will conclude without one, and only tell you, That by In­clination and choice, as well as upon the Mo­tive of your own Merit, I am

My Lord,
Your Lordship's Most Humble an [...] Obedient Servant, T. N.
Aug 2. 1694.

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