THE Truest Relation of the Earle of Straffords Speech on the Scaffold on Tower-hill, before he was beheaded, May 12. 1641.

Together with his deportment be­fore and at the end of his Execution.

Printed in the yeare, 1641.


The truest relation of the Earle of Straffords Speech on the Scaffold on Tower-hill before he was beheaded, May 12. 1641.
Together with his deportment before and at the end of his execution.

MY Lord Primate of Ireland, and my Lords, and the rest of these noble Gentlemen, It is a great comfort to me to have your Lordships by me this day, because I have beene knowne to you a long time, and I now desire to be heard a few words:

I come here my Lords to pay my last debt to sinne, which is death; and through the mercies of God, to rise againe in eternall glory.

My Lords, if I may use a few words, I shall take it as a great courtesie from you: I am come here my Lords, to submit to the judgement that is passed a­gainst me, I doe it with a very quiet and contented mind; I do freely forgive all the world, a forgivenes not from the teeth outwards (as they say) but from my heart; I speak it in the presence of Almighty God, before whom I stand, that there is not a dis­pleasing [Page 2] thought that ariseth in me against any man; I thanke God, I say truely, my conscience bears me witnesse, that in all the honour I had to serve his Majesty, I had not any intention in my heart, but did aime at the joint and individuall prosperity of the King and his people, although it be my ill hap to be misconstrued: I am not the first man that hath suffered in this kinde, it is a common portion that befalls men in this life, righteous judgement shall be hereafter; here we are subject to errors and mis­judging one another.

One thing I desire that I might be heard, and do hope that for Christian charities sake I shall bee be­leeved: That I was so farre from being against Par­liaments, that I alwaies did thinke Parliaments in England to be the happy constitutions of the King­dome and Nation, and the best meanes under God, to make the King and his people happy: As for my death I doe heere acquit all the world, and beseech God to forgive them: In particular, I am very glad his Majesty conceives me not meriting so severe and heavy a punishment, as the utmost execution of this sentence, I doe infinitely rejoice in it, and in the mercy of his, and doe beseech God to returne to him the same, that he may finde mercy when hee hath most need of it. I wish this Kingdome all pros­perity and happinesse in the world, I did it living, and now dying it is my wish.

And I professe heartily, and do humbly recom­mend it to you, and w [...]sh that every man would [Page 3] lay his hand on his heart, and consider seriously, whether the beginning of the peoples happinesse should be written in letters of blood. I feare they are in a wrong way: I desire Almighty God, that no one drop of my blood rise up in judgement a­gainst them. I have but one word more, and that is for my Religion.

My Lo: I doe professe my selfe seriously, faith­fully, and truly, to bee an obedient sonne of the Church of England: in that Church I was borne and bred, in that Religion I have lived, and now in that I dye; prosperity and happinesse be ever to i [...].

It hath beene said I was inclined to Popery: if it be an objection worth the answering, let me say truly from my heart, that since the time that I was 21. yeares of age, unto this day, going on 49 years, I never had thought or doubt of the truth of this Religion, nor had ever any the boldnesse to sug­gest to me the contrary (to my best remembrance,) & so being reconciled to the mercies of Christ le­sus my Saviour, into whose bosome I hope shortly to be gathered to enjoy eternall happin [...]ss [...], which sh [...]ll never have end. I desire heartily to be for­given of every man, if any rash or unadvised word hath passed, and desire all your prayers; and so my Lo: farewell, and farewell all things in this world.

The Lord strengthen my faith, and give me con­fidence and assurance in the merits of Christ Jesus, I trust in God wee shall all meete to live eternal­ly in heaven, and receive the accomplishment of [Page 4] all happinesse, where every teare shall bee wiped from our eies, and sad thought from our hearts: And so God blesse this Kingdome, and Jesus have mercy on my soule.

Then turning himselfe about, hee saluted all the Noble men, and tooke a solemne leave of all consi­derable persons on the Scaffold, giving them his hand:

And after that hee said, Gentlemen, I would say my praiers, and I intreat you all to pray with mee, and for me; then his Chaplaine laid the booke of Common praier upon the chaire before him as hee kneeled downe, on which he praied almost a quar­ter of an houre, then hee praied as long or longer without a booke, and ended with the Lords praier; then standing up he spies his brother Sir George Wentworth, and calls him to him, and saith, brother we must part, remember me to my sister, and to my wife, and carry my blessing to my eldest sonne, and charge him from me, that hee feare God and con­tinue an obedient sonne of the Church of England, and that he should approve himselfe a faithfull sub­ject to the King, and tell him that he should not have any private grudge or revenge towards any concer­ning me, and bid him beware that he medle not with Church livings, for that will prove a moth & canker to him in his estate, and wish him to content himself to be a servant to his country, as a Justice of peace in his County, and not aiming at higher preferments; carry my blessing also to my daughters Anne and [Page 5] Arrabella, charge them to feare and serve God, and he will blesse them, not forgetting my little Infant that yet knowes neither good nor evill, and cannot speake for it selfe, God speake for it and blesse it; then said he, now I have nigh done, one stroke will make my wife husbandlesse, my deare chil­dren fatherlesse, and my poore servants masterlesse, and seperate me from my deare brother and all my friends, but let God be to you and them, all in all.

After that, going to take off his doublet, and to make himselfe unready, he said, I thanke God I am no more afraid of death, nor daunted with any discou­ragements rising from any feares, but doe as cheerfully put off my doublet at this time, as ever I did when I went to bed. Then he put off his doublet, and wound up his haire with his hands, and put on a white cap.

Then he called, Where is the man that should doe this last office? (meaning the Executioner) call him to me. When he came and askt him forgive­nesse, he told him he forgave him and al the world. Then kneeling downe by the block, hee went to prayer againe himselfe, the Bishop of Armach kneeling on the one side, and the Minister on the other; to the which Minister after prayer he tur­ned himselfe, and spoke some few words softly, having his hands lifted up: this Minister closed his hands with his; then bowing himselfe to the earth to lay his head on the block, he told the Exe­cutioner that he would first lay downe his head to try the fitnesse of the blocke, and take it up againe [Page 6] before hee would lay it downe for good and all, and so he did: and before he laid it downe againe, hee told the Executioner that he would give him warning when to strike, by stretching forth his hands; and then laid downe his neck on the block, stretching out his hands, the Executioner strucke off his head at one blow, then tooke the head up in his hands, and shewed it to all the people, and said, God save the King.


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