THE SPEECH OF THE Lord High Steward, IN WESTMINSTER HALL, At the time of his Pronouncing the JUDGMENT OF THE House of Peers, Against The Lord Viscount Stafford, The Seventh of December, 1680.

Reprinted at DƲBLIN, by Benjamin Took and John Crook, Printers to the Kings most Excellent Majesty; and are to be sold by Mary Crook at His Majesties Printing-House in Skinner-row. 1680.

The SPEECH of the Lord High STEWARD, in Westminster-Hall, at the time of his Pronouncing the Judgment of the House of Peers against the Lord Viscount Staf­ford, the Seventh of December, 1680.

My Lord Viscount Stafford.

THat which your Lordship hath said in Arrest of Judgment, hath been found by my Lords, upon due consideration had of it, to be of no moment at all. It is no Essential part of any Trial, that the Prisoner should hold up his Hand at the Bar; there is no Record ever made of it when it is done; the onely use of it is to shew the Court who the Prisoner is, and when that is ap­parent, the Court do's often proceed against him, though he refuse to hold up his Hand at the Bar, therefore the omission of that ceremony in this case is no legal Exception, as all the Judges have declared.

And as to the Proviso's in the Statute of the 13th Year of this King, their Lordships do find that they are in no sort applicable to this case, forasmuch as the Proceedings against your Lordship are not grounded upon that Statute, but upon the Statute of the 25 E. 3. And yet if the Proceedings had been upon the lat­ [...] [...] therein could have done your Lordship no service at all.

My part therefore which remains is a very sad one, for I never yet gave Sen­tence of Death upon any man, and am extreamly sorry that I must begin with your Lordship.

Who would have thought that a Person of your Quality, of so Noble an Extraction, of so considerable Estate and Fortune, so eminent a Sufferer in the late ill Times, so Interested in the Preservation of the Government, so much obliged to the Moderation of it, and so personally obliged to the King and His Royal Father for their particular Favours to you, should ever have entred into so Infernal a conspiracy, as to contrive the Murder of the King, the Ruine of the State, the Subversion of Religion, and as much as in you lay, the Destruction of all the Souls and Bodies in three Christian Nations.

And yet the Impeachment of the House of Commons amounts to no less a Charge, and of this Charge their Lordships have found you Guilty.

That there hath been a General and Desperate Conspiracy of the Papists, and that the Death of the King hath been all along one chief part of the Con­spirators Design, is now apparent beyond all possibility of Doubting.

What was the meaning of all those Treatises which were Publisht about two years since against the Oath of Allegiance, in a time when no man dreamt of such a Controversie? What was the meaning of Father Conyers's Sermon upon the same Subject, but onely because there was a Demonstration of Zeal, as they call it, intended against the Person of the King? which the scruples arising from that Oath did somewhat hinder.

To what purpose were all the correspondencies with Foreign Nations? The Collections of Money among the Fathers abroad and at home? What was the meaning of their Governing themselves here by such Advices as came fre­quently from Paris, and Saint Omers? And how shall we expound that Letter which came from Ireland, to assure the Fathers here, that all things were in a readiness there too, as soon as the Blow should be given?

Does any man now begin to doubt how London came to be Burnt? Or by what ways and means poor Justice Godfrey fell? And is it not apparent by these instances, that such is the frantick Zeal of some Biggotted Papists, that they resolve, No means to Advance the Catholick Cause shall be left unattemp­ted, though it be by Fire and Sword?

My Lord, As the Plot in General is most manifest, so your Lordships part in it hath been too too plain. What you did at Paris, and continued to do at Tixall in Staffordshire shews a setled purpose of mind against the King; and what you said at London touching Honest Will, shews you were acquainted with that Conspiracy against the Kings Life which was carrying on here too, And in all this there was a great Degree of Malice; for your Lordship at one time called the King Heretick and Traitor to God; and at another time you Revil'd him for misplacing his Bounty, and rewarding none but Traitors and Rebels.

And thus you see that which the Wise man forewarn'd you of is come upon you, Curse not the King, no not in thy heart, for the Birds of the Air shall reveal and that which hath Wings will declare the matter.

Three things I shall presume to recommend [...] In the first place, Your Lordship now sees how it hath pleased God to leave you so far to your self, that you are fallen into the Snare, and into the Pit, into that very Pit which you were digging for others. Consider therefore, that God Almighty never yet left any man, who did not first leave Him.

In the next place, Think a little better of it than hitherto you have done, what kind of Religion that is in which the Blind Guides have been able to lead you on into so much ruine and destruction as is now like to befall you.

In the last place, I pray your Lordship to consider, That true Repentance is never to late. A Devout Penitential Sorrow, joyn'd with an humble and hear­ty Confession, is of Mighty power and efficacy both with God and Man,

There have been some of late, who have refus'd to give God the Glory of his Justice by acknowledging the Crimes for which they were Condemn'd, Nay who have been taught to believe, that 'tis a mortal sin to Confess that Crime in Publick, for which they have been Absolv'd in Private; and so have not dar'd to give God that Glory which otherwise they would have done.

God forbid your Lordship should rest upon Forms, God forbid your Lord­ship should be found among the number of those poor mistaken Souls whom the first thing that undeceives, is Death it self.

Perhaps your Lordship may not much Esteem the Prayers of those whom you have long been taught to miscall Hereticks; But whether you do or no I am to assure your Lordship, That all my Lords here, even they that have Con­demn'd [Page 4] you, will never cease to pray for you that the End of your life may be Christian and Pious, how Tragical soever the Means are that must bring you thither.

And now my Lord, this is the last time that I can call you My Lord; for the next words I am to speak will Attaint you.

The Judgment of the Law is And the Court doth Award, That

YOu go to the Place from whence you came; from thence you must be drawn up­on a Hurdle to the Place of Execution, When you come there, you must be Hang'd up by the Neck, but not till you are dead; for you must be cut down alive; your Privy Members must be cut off, and your Bowels ript up before your face, and thrown into the Fire; Then your Headmust be severed from your Body, and your Body divided into four Quarters; and these must be at the disposal of the King.

And God Almighty be mercifull to your Soul

After the Sentence pronounced, the Lord High-Steward told the Prisoner, That the House of Lords, in consideration of his Quality, do intend to move the King to Pardon all the rest of the Execution of this Sentence, except onely the taking off his Head.


This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. Searching, reading, printing, or downloading EEBO-TCP texts is reserved for the authorized users of these project partner institutions. Permission must be granted for subsequent distribution, in print or electronically, of this EEBO-TCP Phase II text, in whole or in part.