The true Case of the state of Sir JOHN GELL, Prisoner in the Tower: Accused of High Treason, and mis­prision of Treason.
With a short Argument thereupon.

THat John Barnard, with one Pits (by the name of Smith) desired Mr. Andrews to joyn with them in a plot, to surprize the Isle of Ely.

That Andrews was thought to be somewhat inclina­ble thereunto: Barnard comes to the Lord President Bradshaw, and acquaints him with it.

The Lord President bids Bernard go forward with the plot, as Bernard declares in Court at the trial of Andrews.

That Bernard did go again with Pits, to Andrews, and told him, that if he would draw an Oath of Secresie, and signe and seal the same, then Bernard would help him to two hundred pounds, to bear his charges beyond Sea, to get Commissions to raise men for the effecting the said plot; and that both Bernard and Pits, did promise to sign and seal the Oath of secresie likewise.

That Andrews (being in necessity) upon Bernards mo­tion) did sign and seal the Oath aforesaid.

That Bernard and Smith did sign and seal the Oath also.

Then Bernard desired Andrews to write a Letter to some Persons of Note, to subscribe the Oath; Andrews thereupon writes a Letter directed to Sir John Baronet.

That as soon as this was done, Bernard had Officers ready, and seized on Andrews for high Treason, and then brings the Letter directed to Sir John Baronet, to the Lord President Bradshaw.

That the Lord President kept the Letter, and lets Bernard and Pits have a Copy of it.

That Bernard and Pits brings the Copy (as they say) to Sir John Gell.

That Bernard and Pits both say, Sir John Gell did refuse to Act in the same Plot, and so burnt the Letter.

That the Letter was brought to Sir John Gell (as Ber­nard and Pits saith) on a Saturday-night after ten of the Clock.

That Master Spittlehouse a Messenger had a Warrant the next morning early (being the Lords day) to appre­hend Sir John Gell.

That Sir John Gell hath for the space of above five moneths been Close Prisoner in the Tower, and now to be tried before the high Court of Justice for Treason, and misprision of Treason.

That it doth clearly appear, that the Lord President was privy to all these Proceedings.

The Argument.

Upon the whole matter, here must needs appear a a foul Conspiracy, and foul practise, against the Life and Estate of Sir John Gell, by Bernard and Pits, to the knowledge of the Lord President; as appears, thus:

  • 1 THe Letter was directed to Sir John Baronet, what was that to Sir John Gell?
  • 2 The Letter was delivered by Bernard to the Lord Presi­dent; why then a Copy sent to Sir John Gell, unless it were to ensnare him?
  • 3 The Warrant was made to apprehend Sir John Gell; why not to take Sir John Baronet, to whom the Letter was directed? Then had Sir John Gell been never questioned.
  • 4 It doth appear, that the Lord President knew that Ber­nard and Pits would deliver the Copy of the Letter to Sir John Gell, or else why should the Warrant be made to take Sir John Gell?
  • 5 The pretended Letter was delivered Saturday night, af­ter ten of the clock, and the Warrant to take Sir John Gell, was the next morning in the Messengers hands; so that it is more than probable, that the Warrant was made before the pre­tended Letter was delivered; for that the Councel of State seldom sits of a Saturday-night after ten a Clock, and on Sun­day morning to be sure they did not sit: now let all rational men judge, what a Snare here was laid, (and by whom) to catch Sir John Gell: Is this Justice to make a Warrant to take a man before any pretended Crime be committed!

Again, Sir John Gell doth deny that he received any such letter or Copy of letter: and for that the High Court of Justice, hath no colour of proof, but the othes of this Bernard and Pits who are no evidence in law; neither is their testimony valid by the Common nor Civil law, for that they are both perjured and scandalous: 1. Perjured, they are twice over in this copy. 1. For that they entred into an oath of secrefie, with an intent to break it, and did break it. 2. For that they have sworn they delivered Andrews his letter to Sir John Gell, and the Lord President saith it was but a copy, and it wil be proved, that the Lord President had the letter, and that it never came to Sir John Gell; now it is evidently seen, that they are both already perjured in this very case; what men in the world ought to be­lieve these witnesses? And then for forgery & subornation, Ber­nard hath been very frequent in; as in forging or countenan­cing the forgers, of severall Acts of Parliament, and other deeds and writings against Mr. Brown, formerly Clerk of the Parla­ment; and for his subornation, he the said Bernard did offer to John Benson, a large summe of mony, to swear to the articles he had against Mr. Speaker, although he knew well that Ben­son did not know any word in the articles to be true.

Again, Barnard hath been a Cavalier in arms against the parliament, he is a known Papist, and a reputed Jesuite; a contriver of plots to set the nation at variance, and to make the Parliament and Councel of State odious in the eyes of the peo­ple, as will appear by this practice, and by the articles hereafter resited; which articles were long since delivered to some of the Members of Parliament, under the hand of Mr. Stephen Sprat; which being well considered, you may see who is the traytor.

To the supream Authority; the Parliament of the Common-Wealth of England.
Articles humbly exhibited against John Bernard, Gent. now called by the name of Captain Bernard, for safety of the Par­liament, and on behalf of this Common-Wealth, by Stephen Spratt.

1 THat the said John Bernard did speak to Col. Wil­liam Eyres, to joyn with him the said John, to raise five hundred men to cut the throats of the Parliament; or words to that effect.

2 That he the said Bernard, did say to William Learner, that it would never be well for England, till thirty of the Gran­dees sitting in this Parliament, were cut off; and that the onely way for freedome, was to raise the people to destroy the Parlia­ment; or words to that effect.

3 That the said John Bernard did say to Richard Par­ham, that he did prosecute Mr. Speaker, for no other end, but to throw a bone amongst the Members of Parliament, to set them at variance, to destroy them, or words to that effect.

4 That it hath been the daily practice of the said Bernard, to foment and create disturbances and distractions in Parlia­ment, and between the Parliament and people, since England was a fr [...]ee Common-Wealth; and to that purpose, did speak to William Lazinby, to assist him the said John, to raise four­score men, to seiz upon Mr. Speaker, and to cut his throat.

5. That the said Bernard is reported to be a Papist, and one of a Jesuitical practice, and hath been in Arms for the late King against the Parlament, and the better to bring about his traiterous Design, he did not onely foment and raise Articles against the Speaker of this Parlament, but against many other Members of the same, and did go to and fro shewing the said Articles to several People, to raise the Spirits of the People a­gainst the Parlament.

By these Articles the World may judge whether Ber­nard be not as great a Traitor as ever yet was heard of in these Times; and therefore consider of how dangerous a Consequence it will be to take his Testimony for Evi­dence against any who hath been for the Parlament; if this man be believed for a Witness, and let pass with these wicked practises, the Parlaments best Friends will be in danger; he may as well conntrive Plots to insnare the Members of Parlament one after another, as he hath already done! or he may put the same Trick upon any Member of the high Court of Justice, or any other Per­son; where such foul practices go unpunished no man can be safe; for instance, when he had the pretended Copy of the Letter, directed to Sir John Baronet, he might have made whom he please Sir John Baronet, he might as well have delivered the Letter to any Sir John who had been or is now a Member of Parlament, as well as to Sir John Gell, and so he might have brought into trouble whom he pleased.

And then for Treason, there could be no Treason un­less there had been some real Design against the Com­mon-wealth, but in this pretended Plot there doth not appear any, because the Contriver never intended (as may be supposed by his Discover,) that it should ever come to pass! so it doth appear, that this was a meer [Page 7] feigned Fiction or Resemblance of a Plot; not to hurt the Common-wealth, but to betray and insnare parti­cular Persons for Bernard's Gain.

And the Act was not made to prevent and punish Fantasies, Fictions, or Plays, but real and wicked practi­ces, and pernicious designes to stir up a new and bloudy War, and therefore it can be thought no less than a piece of pure Justice for the Parlament, to refer this business to a Committee to examine, and report, that they may see what Cause there is to try Sir John Gell, before they give way for his Triall.

And for misprision and Concealment of Treason, there can be none, where there is no Treason (for with­out a Principal there can be no Accessary) and misprisi­on or concealment of Treason is onely to know of Trea­son, and not to reveal it to the State, which was not in­tended Sir John Gell should do, for that there was not time enough for him to reveal it, between the time of the pretended Delivery of the pretended Letter, and the granting of the Warrant to take him.

Again, further it could be no misprision or Conceal­ment of Treason in Sir John Gell, because it was known to the State before it was known to him; as it appears by Bernard's testimony in Court, the Lord President knew of it: Now, if it should be misprision of Trea­son not to reveal Treason after the State knows of it, then it is misprision in all men that hears of this (pre­tended Treason) and do not go and reveal it to the State; but it is no misprision nor concealment of Trea­son for any not to reveal Treason to the State, when the State knows of it before; and they did know of it; for Andrews was seized at Gravesend, before the pretended Letter was brought to Sir John Gell.

And if it shall be objected, that Andrews was the prin­cipal in the pretended Treason, and Sir John Gell the ac­cessary, and Concealer of it, then the Answer will be thus:

That nothing brings Sir John Gell in question, but the Letter which Bernard sayes he delivered (from Andrews directed to Sir John, Baronet) to Sir John Gell; which Let­ter was brought to the Lord President, and a Copy pre­tended to be afterwards delivered to Sir John Gell; so that he received nothing from Andrews: if he received any thing it must, be from Bernard, and known to the Lord President: which makes him not to be accessary, to Andrews his Treason; if Sir John should be guilty of misprision or Concealment of treason, then Bernard must be the principal; but Bernard is not charged with trea­son; therefore Sir John not guilty of misprision, or con­cealment of treason.

If it should be objected, that Andrews delivered the Letter to Bernard, directed to Sir John, Baronet, with pri­vate Instructions, to be delivered to Sir John Gell, as Ber­nard swears he did; then answer, What man of common Reason will believe Bernard, who is so foul a perjured Traitor, and a party to the pretended Plot.

Again, (if that should be admitted) Could Sir John Gell prevent Andrews from sending him a Letter, or Ber­nard of bringing it, Sir John Gell not knowing of the Letter, and therefore he could be no party in the plot; What if Bernard should bring a Letter from a Traitor to any Membr of Parlament, or high Court of Justice, (as it is like he will do many, if he be let alone) and have a Serjeant at Arms ready to attach them upon Receit of the Letter, before they can reveal it; are they therefore ever the more guilty of treason, or misprision, or con­cealment [Page 9] of treason; no, nor Sir John Gell is not guilty of treason, nor misprision, or concealment of treason, nei­ther did he ever receive any Letter or Copy of a Letter from Andrews, by Bernard or any other person, as will ap­pear by these following Lines, written and subscribed by the hand of a dying Man.

I Colonel Eusebius Andrews, being this day to die, by God's good providence, finding by the testimony given by Jo. Bernard (which God forgive) against me upon my Triall, that the matter of his Averment concerning the delivery of a Letter by me written unto Sir John Gell, as disposed to the hand of him the said Sir John Gell, in Case the Court upon Triall of Sir John Gell, shall give credit thereunto, may tend to the Destruction of the said Sir John; do in my tender and Christian desire, as much as in me lies, to prevent the hurt intended to the Innocent, protest before God, that I my self was examined to the Original Letter, by me to him written from Gravesend, which was at the time of my being confronted with Sir John Gell, in the hands of the Lord President Bradshaw; and that the Lord Bradshaw demanding of him, where the Letter was, I then said, he did never receive it, and Sir Henry Mildmay had nere discovered the said Letter, if the Lord President had not given him a hint, and that the Letter Original was not directed to Sir Iohn Gell by me, but to Sir Iohn Baronet, but not to Sir Iohn Gell,

Witness the dying hand of Eusebius Andrews.
[Page 10]

And whereas it is reported, that Sir Iohn Gell hath got­ten a great Estate by the Wars; this let the World know that a great part of the County of Derby-shire, hath, been examined against him; many of them by the Com­mittee of Accounts formerly sitting in Cornwall, (London) and others by the Committee of the County, & no man­ner of misdemeanour could be found against him, which he ever did act against the State, and therefore he doth refer his Friends and Enemies (if any Conscience be left in them) to his late Vindication published in print, which here follows, in haec verba;

The Vindication of John Gell Barronet, set forth by way of protestation; against several Scandals and Calumnies, cast upon him, by some malitious Enemies.

WHereas several Scandals and Calumnies are cast upon me, by some unworthy, malitious spirits, who seeks my ruine; That in the time of war, when I had command in Derby-shire, I did get to my self, a great estate, by taxing the Coun­ty, as also by plundering, and getting into my hands the Estates of several delinquents, and other great sums of money, which I should receive in the said County, and thereabouts;

These are therefore, in the presence of the Al­mighty [Page 11] God, by Protestation, without any equi­vocation, mental Reservation, or secret Evasion, That neither directly, nor indirectly, I got to my self, or to any other Person, for my use, by way of tax, receipt, plundering, or otherwise, one penny, or pennies worth of the money, or goods of any person, or persons whatsoever; nor for above five years service, and some thousands of pounds out of purse, never did receive the value of one hun­dred pound, But all taxes, receipts, and other pub­lick money were paid to, and received by Mr. Na­thaniel Hallowes, Mr. Jervis Bennet, and Henry Buchston, who were Treasurers of the County, one after another; and without all question they being men of honest and known integrity, will justifie me in this my Protestation; to the truth whereof, I do call the great God of Heaven and Earth to witness; and upon this issue, I will cast my self upon the Parliament, avowing, that if any thing be proved, contrary to what I have here published, I will be willing to forfeit and loose all that is near and dear unto me.

JOHN GELL.
FINIS.

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