January 14. 1679.
I being often in the company of William Strode, amongst other Dis∣courses, hapning to talk of the rise of some men, he the said William Strode did often say, that they were beholden to their own Industry, and that if he were out of Prison, he would not make any scruple for an hun∣dred Pounds to Sacrifice any Person, nay his Father for a considerable Re∣ward; and that he was kept here for a Spie, as he said himself; and hath shewed me Silver and Gold, which he said he received from one Mr. Johnson the Earl of Shaftsbury's man, and of one Mr. Bedloe, for such Service. Like∣wise the Marshal finding it fit to remove Strode out of his Chamber, and place Mr. Anderson in it, he was so transported with Rage, that he came in∣to the Gallery to me, and swore that he would be Revenged: Nay, that he would ruin Mr. Anderson with the first opportunity. And this I took the more notice of, because he hath swore to me, that nothing Sacred should tie him to Truth or Lie, farther than to gratifie his Gain or Revenge, and gloried in other Murthers he said he had Committed besides that he had his Pardon for, which is the averment of a Person of unspotted Re∣putation, that is not willing to be expos'd in Print, but is ready to make Oath of it when thereto required.
These Testimonies I hope may satisfie an indifferent person, that Dan∣gerfield once writ Truth.
After this, he frequently by Margaret and others, sent his humble Re∣quest to beg the Charity of his Inlargement, protesting that he never would attempt an ill thing again, but would get a Service, and take any pains for an honest Livelihood: and upon his reiterated Intreaties, I collected some monys for him, and did pay five Pounds to buy off the Debts he lay un∣der, and not a Penny more, as appears by the General Releases from his Creditors, which were taken among his Papers, and carried before the Council.
And the day he came out of Prison, I did give him, not five Pounds as he says, but 10 shillings, that he might not steal for want of bread, and at the Jesuits Tryal, did employ him as a Messenger to go up and down to Page 13 fetch Victuals and Drink for the Witnesses, to wait on them, and to help them into Court, call Coaches, and other such like Services, which he performed so well, that several persons asked me, whose diligent Footman he was, for indeed, being in an old Frize-Coat lin'd with Blew, Blew Stockings and Breeches, and a Grey Hat tuckt up, to prevent flapping about his Ears, he could not well be taken for any other than an ill clad Footman, though now he be Dubb'd Knight of the Post, and wear a Pearl in his Ear, to shew that the Executioners were kind to him, and did not Nail his Ears to the Pillory, neither at Salubury, Wilton, Winborne, nor any of the other places where he was Mounted upon the Wooden Engine, and peep'd through it like Don Quicksot through his Helmet, when he was mounted upon Rosinant, and going to encounter with the Windmil.
About that time I sent for him to Powis House, and there told him in the presence of Mr. Henry Nevil alias Paine, that now I would put it into his power to be an honest man, if he had a will to be so; and would get him either an Ensigns place under the Duke of Monmouth, who was then preparing to go to Scotland, or else an Imployment to go to Sea: he made choice of the later, which while they would enquire; for my Husband ha∣ving some Thousands of Pounds due to him, which was so desperate, that I could never make any thing of them; he told me he understood such business, and doubted not to get in many of them if he had but a Suit of Cloaths, a Hat, and some few necessaries, that he might be in a condition to follow them, which he promised to do very diligently. I considering he could not wrong me, for that no person would pay mony without my Husbands discharge: And that he having no other business but to persue the Deb∣tors, it was possible he might get in some of them; I agreed with him, that he should have six shillings in the Pound for what he received, and did give him a Stuff Suit, a Hat, Shooes and Stockings, and a little Linnen, all which cost about 3 l. 10 s. and accordingly he proceeded, and did get in some mony, and Bail'd out several Prisoners, and very often would bring me News of the great Designs of the Factious, and that they talked Treason publickly in the Coffee-houses. I encouraged him to keep them company, and learn what he could of their Practices, in order to discover them to His Majesty; and I having heard by some very Eminent among them, that heided with them, only to break their Measures, that they had drawn Forces into the City whilst His Majesty was sick at Windsor, with intention to subvert the Government; and that if His Majesty had died, which at that time was the fears of the Loyal, and hopes of the Fa∣ctious, they would have knock'd the Lord Mayor of th' head, with such Aldermen as would not Conform; and that by the help of their Partizans in those places, they doubted not but to have been Masters of the Tower, Portsmouth, Dover and Hull, and most places of strength within the Kingdom, and that the Scots would advance to their help, with much more to the same effect, which I gave in my Depositions before the Lords of His Majesties Privy Council▪
And having been inform'd by persons to whom they had been preffer'd, that Mansel and Waller, did both offer Commissions to disbanded Officers, with promises that they should enter into present Pay, and advised them, and all honest fellows, to linger about the Town, for there would soon Page 14 be hot service; and having also heard that Sir William Waller said Publick∣ly in Southwark, before persons of considerable quality, That there would be a Rebellion before Michaelmas.
These discourses being then almost General, made me the easier Credit him in particulars, as that in order to this design, many of the Old Rump Officers were new rigg'd, and had Pensions paid them by the Gentlemen of the Kings head Club, and that Commissions were given out by the Relicts of the Rump, under the names of the Keepers of the Liberties of England; and that he was promised one among them, and had seen seve∣ral, and that they were made of Parchment with thirteen Label Seals: I incouraged him to go on, and gave him money to defray his Charge, and bid him observe their Actions and Designs, and write down his observa∣tions, that they might be made known to His Majesty; and be sure to write nothing but the Truth, for one Lie would discredit all the Truths he told.
After that, he writ down at several times, that which was after∣wards found by Sir William Wallet in my Meal-tub, and as what I did was truly in Zeal for His Majesties Service, so that very night he came to Town from Windsor, I went to the Earl of Peterborough, and acquainted him with it, and he presently handed us to his Royal Highness, to whom Willoughby delivered the foresaid Paper, to be given to His Majesty, and His Majesty was pleased to give it to Mr. Secretary Coventry, and com∣manded Willoughby to attend upon Collonel Halsal with what further disco∣veries he could make, and ordered him forty Pounds, the better to enable him to proceed therein.
About this time the transactions concerning Sir Robert Peyton happened, and I believing then, as I still hope, that Sir Robert abhorring the disloyal Practices of those he called Friends, was willing to come into the Kings Interest, and help the Government against those that so subtilly sought to destroy it: I then made the meeting between the Earl of Peterborough and Sir Robert Peyton at Mr. Gadburies house, and did afterwards go with Sir Robert to the Duke, and his Royal Highness received him kindly, and Sir Robert made Protestations to serve His Majesty faithfully for the future, as I hope he will.
For my part it was no motive but my Loyalty and Duty to His Majesty, and Love to Truth and Justice, that ingaged me in this affair, believing I should do His Majesty good service, by bringing back as many as I could of the Incensed or Misled, to their Duty; and I cannot yet think I erred in so doing. About the later end of September, Dangerfield daily brought me Stories of the great preparations of the Factious, and that they publickly owned their Treasonable designs, and that the Parsons, Goodwin and Alsop, and the rest of that Gang, made great Collections amongst the Brethren, in order to the carrying on their Rebellions Designs; and that Sir William Waller had three hundred Horsemen privately▪ quartered in Town, that would be ready for Action in an hours warning; and was the Party that should lead up the Rabble of Westminster to seize White-Hall: That the City was ready to Rise, and expected only the word from the Confederate Lords. About this time Willoughby got drunk, and pick'd a quarrel at the Rainbow-Coffee-house with one Keyniston, about Sir Thomas Player, and Page 15 thereby made himself obnoxious to the Republicans; and having lost the hopes of obtaining a Commission for himself, he then sought to get one by means of other persons, and then swore, God Dam him, now the Papists will give him no money, he would go to the Presbyterians, and they would give him enough; but of this I then knew nothing, and he strictly charged those he treated with in this affair, not to tell me any thing of their Proceedings, as appears by the Oath of Thomas Curtis, taken before Justice Warcup, vide, the said Affidavit in Dangerfields first Narrative, Pag. 72, 73.
In the beginning of October, he pretended, that by Information from a Person that by his order haunted Sir William Wallers Club at Westminster Market-place, he understood that several Treasonable Papers importing the whole design of the Factious, were kept in a house at Westminster, and that if he could get a Warrant, and search that House, he doubted not but that he should lay open the whole Conspiracy, and in order to it, he went to his Majesty to pray a Warrant, and was by his Majesty referr'd to Mr. Secretary Coventry, but Mr. Secretaries great wisdom made him suspect him and his Shallow contrivance, insomuch that he would not give him a Warrant, but I, as I said before, being induc'd to Credit him in those things which related to the same ends, others not inconsiderable among them had dis∣cours'd with me, and being zealous to have the danger plainly Discover∣ed, that it might be prevented, did upon his complaining that he was de∣ny'd a Warrant, advise him to go by the Custom-house way, which he did, and the seiz'd the Papers, which I suppose were easie to be found, being in all likelihood put there by himself, in order to his being digni∣fy'd with the Magnificent Title of the Kings Evidence.
Upon Wednesday the 22 of October (79) Willoughby was taken Exami∣ned, and went upon Bail till October the 24, which day I having been a∣broad, and heard much talk of him and his Plot, came home and found him at my House, he came to me, and pray'd to speak with me, for that he was going before the Councel after Dinner; and did believe he should be Committed. I then going into the next Room, the following discourse pass'd between us.
In the Name of God, what is it you have done, that here is such a Busle in the Town about you?
Pray Madam do not ask me, for it is best for you to be Ig∣norant of it: I hope your Innocence will defend you, and your ignorance will be your best Plea, and therefore I will not do you so much wrong, as to tell you any thing of it: I have done something I should not have done, but I hope God will bring me off, and that I may be the better able to make my Defence, pray do me the favour to lay up this Paper safely for me; and by the help of this and Truth, I hope to defend my self.
Is it nothing that will bring me in danger?
If it were, I would not be such a Villain to give it you; it is the same Paper that lay before Mr. Secretary Coventry, and he return∣ed it to me the last week. I opened it, and finding it the same, gave it to my Maid Anne Blake, and she put it into the MEAL-TƲB, where Sir William Waller found it.
Page 16Munday October the 27. he was committed to Newgate with the fol∣lowing Commitment.
THese are in His Majesties Name, to re∣quire you to take into Custody the Per∣son of Thomas Willoughby herewith sent you, for forgeing of Letters Importing High Treason, and fixing the same privately at Mr. Mansels Chamber, to render him guilty thereof without Cause: And you are to keep him safe till he shall be delivered by due course of Law; for which, this shall be your Warrant.
Councel-Chamber, White-HallOctober the 27th (79)
- Francis North.
- Henry Coventry.
- Henry Capel.
- Henry Powel.
- John Nicholas.
That Night I was not at home, but the next Morning hearing Sir William Waller intended to be at my House, I made hast home to meet him, and about Noon he came and made a diligent search among my Papers, and told me, I must go along with him to the Earl of Shaftsbury, I replyed,
I have no business with the Earl of Shaftsbury, and if his Lord∣ship have any with me, he might have sent one of his Servants to tell me so, and I would have waited on him, as I am still ready to do, with∣out being had before a Justice of Peace. — But what Authority have you to carry me thither?
His Majesties Commission of the Peace.
Though that doth impower you to send me to Prison, if I be accused of any Crime, yet it doth not give you power to carry me any whither else.
You are a dangerous Woman, and keep corre∣spondence with Traytors, and harboured the St. Omers Youths—I took them out of your House.
What if I did? they came over at His Majesties command and therefore I presume it was no Crime to Lodge them.—And none can be properly call'd Traytors, but those that are Convict of Treason; And do you know any such I keep correspondence with? I am sure I know none.
Will you take the Oaths of Supremacy and Allegiance?
Have you any Authority to offer them to me? I suppose you have none except here were another Justice present; but if there were, I am a Forreign Merchants Wife, and my Husband, both by the General Law of Nations, and those of this Kingdom, ought to remain unmolested both in his Liberty and Property, till a breach happen between the two Crowns, and the King hath declared as much in his Royal Proclamation, and if you violate the Priviledges my Husband ought to have as a Mer∣chant-stranger, the King of France, whose Subject my Husband is, has an Ambassador here, by whom we will complain to His Majesty, and I hope we shall obtain Redress.
If your Husband and any other person will pass their word for your forth-coming, I'le leave you here till I come back from my Lord Shaftsbury.
They pass'd their words for me, and he went away and left me, presently after Willoughby sent for Susan Edwards my Servant to the Prison, and he Howled and Lamented to her, and sent me a long Epistle; I have forgot the words now, but the Effect was, that he had been Tortured that Night, yet would be Torn in pieces rather than bely me, or any other Innocent Person, and desired to know what I was accused of, or by whom, and what Waller said to me: Then I sent her to him again with the following Note.
I have said you were taken into my house to get in desperate Debts. They bring me to L. S. They will ask me who encouraged me to go to him, I will say it was you, it cannot worst you.
This I said, because it was Truth, which I always thought the best way to defend my Life and Fame. Upon the Receipt of this Note he made great Lamentations to her, expressing his fears of being Hang'd or Starv'd there, but told her, though he had been proffer'd great Advantages, yet he would Perish rather than do any ill thing; and pray'd her to speak to me, that he might have Victuals sent him from my House daily, And that I would send him a promise of it by her of my own writing.
By this I perceiv'd he was already a Rogue, and endeavouring to get something of my writing, to make ill use of, I then Considered, that if I refus'd to promise him Victuals, I gave him an occasion to commit Vil∣lany for want of Bread; and therefore bid her tell him, that I would take order at my house that he should have Victuals sent him every day, as he had when he was under the Messengers hands. And to assure him of it, sent him the following words under my hand. It being a Motto my Parents had used, and I my self also,
About nine a Clock at Night Sir William came again, and found me at Supper with some Friends, but was very Civil, and would not disturb us; and about Ten he sent me to the Gate-house, with a Note to Church to Page 18 Lodg me in his own house; the Cause exprest in my Commitment, being for Harbouring and Corresponding with Traytors; though he could not tell me who they were, nor when Convicted of Treason; and for refusing the Oaths of Supremacy and Allegiance, which were never tender'd me. All that night he and his Crue kept their Rendevouz in my house, tearing and pulling down the Goods, and filling his own and his Footmans Pockets and Bree∣ches with Papers of Private concern, which he never carry'd before the Councel, nor as yet restor'd, though some of them be of Considerable value.
Next morning his Worship sent to know how I did, and to tell me, if I thought he could do me any service, he would come and visit me. I re∣ply'd, if he could, I knew he would not, and therefore desired him to spare his pains and my trouble.
Friday the last of October, I brought my self to the Kings-bench Barr, in hope to be Bail'd; but then at the Barr, Church opposed it, saying, His Worship had sent in an accusation of high Treason against me, though I had as yet no Accuser; And by the Law, no person ought to be committed for Treason, till accused by two honest, sufficient, lawful, and credible Witnes∣ses, witnessing one and the same Individual Fact.
November the first, I was examin'd before His Majesty and the Lords of the Councel, where the Fable of the Husband-man, and the starved Snake, was proved a Truth; for Willoughby accused me of all the Forged Stories he tells in his Lying Narrative; and I unfeignedly told the Truth, and the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth. But the Lord Chancellor told me, no body would believe a word I said, and that I would Dye.— To which I replyed, I know that my Lord, for I never saw an Immortal wo∣man in my life: And then kneeling down, said,
I beseech your Majesty that I may not be Tortur'd.
The Law will not suffer it.
Such things are frequently done in Newgate; and I have more reason to fear it than any other person, because of what I have done a∣gainst the Keeper, and therefore I beseech your Majesty, If at any time I should say any thing contrary to what I have now said, that you will not believe me, for it will be nothing but lies forc'd from me by barbarous usage, what I have now told you, being the truth, and the whole truth, to the utmost of my knowledge.
Then I was sent away to Newgate, and the next day was brought again before the Councel, and then a Lord said, Turn up your hoods Mrs. Cellier, I did so; The Lord Chancellor ask'd me, if I had not been at the Tower to tell of Willoughby's Commitment, and bring instructions for him.
I protest I have not been at the Tower Since. — Then the Lord Chancellor Interrupted me, saying, She cannot speak three words of Truth.
Pray my Lord be pleased to hear me out, and do not Judge me till then, — I have not been at the Tower since Thursday was seven-night.
That was the Time, what did you there?
I Din'd there.
Had you no talk concerning Willoughby? tell us the Truth, for the Countess of Powis hath told us all.
My Lord, nothing of Truth can do me any harm, and I am Page 19 sure her Ladiship will tell nothing else: I told her that Justice Warcup and Mansel had been at my House to demand him, and my Husband had past his word for his forth-coming. Then I was commanded to withdraw.
And understanding, soon after, that I should be Close Confin'd, the dread of being lock'd up on the top of Newgate, and attended on by Fellons, as Mrs. Prescick had been, though big with Child, and so troubled with Fits, that they came upon her every hour, which caused Captain Richardson to Pitty her, and take her into his own House; but some had been Locked up there a full year, and kept in Irons above Six months of the time, the fear of this, or worse usage, did so oppress my spirits, that though I be not the most timorous of my Sex, and never had any kind of Fit before, I fell into such Convulsions, that I had like to have died at White-hall Gate. Then I was carried to the Keepers House, and laid upon a Couch, and being a little come to my strength and senses, I told Captain Richardson, that if I should die in that desolate place, as it was like I might that very Night, most persons would believe that he had caus'd me to be Murthered, in re∣venge of the Articles I put into Parliament against him; whereupon he bid me be of good Comfort, for I should not be carry'd to the top of the Goal, but lye in his own House, which promise so revived me, that within an hour, I was able to go up into the Garret, where I had a very Good Bed, and a Maid ordered to lye in the Room by me; she tended me very diligently, and seem'd very much to Commiserate my Condition, being, I suppose, set on to do so, that she might the more easily betray me: I had brought Pen, Ink, and Paper from the Gate-house, and easily prevail'd with her for money, to carry a Note home to my House, in a Bottom of Thred, she carried and re∣carried three or four, shewing them first to the Jaylors Wife and Sister, and they took Copies of them, and sent them to the Councel, perswading themselves they should make strange Discoveries, but I had Committed no Crime, and therefore nothing but Innocence could be found in my Letters.
When they saw this share would not take; then they laid another for my Life, and brought Willoughby to a Window over against mine, to talk with me, having (as I then thought, and now know) set another Rogue be∣hind me, to hear what I said.
Madam, Madam, Madam, Pray Madam speak to me, and tell me how you do.
I am Sick, very Sick of the Bloody Barbarous Villain.
Pray Madam speak low, and do not discompose your self.
Nothing you do, can discompose me: I despise you so much, I am not Angry.
I am very glad of it, for then I hope you will have patience to hear me speak. Pray how do they use you.
Well, much better than I expected.
Is any body suffered to come to you.
I am very sorry for your Confinement, but I could not possibly help what I have done.
Bloody Villain, I am not confin'd, for Stone Walls and Iron Bars, do not make a Prison, but a Guilty Conscience: I am Innocent, and Page 20 gaine that here, which my Enemies did not intend me for; I have now nothing to do but to serve God, but you are Confin'd, and one of the Devils Slaves. Ah Villain; for which of my Good deeds do you seek my Life?
Crying,—you shall not dye, nor receive any other hurt.
Wicked Wretch! I do not fear, but desire to dye.
still Crying,—but you shall not; look here how I have been used, and then shewed his Arms, and Howl'd, saying, he had been so miserably Tormented, that he was not able to bear it, but was forced to accuse me and others, to save his own life.
Ah Villain, will you bely the Innocent, to save an Infamous Life?
I have told the King more than I could make out, and was forc'd to joyn with the Confederates to get my Pardon, for I have liv'd so ill, I am not fit to dye yet.
Do you think to wipe off your other sins, by committing Per∣juries and Murthers?
No, but God is merciful, and if I live, I may repent; I was disserted by every Body, and if I had not been Hang'd, I should have been Starv'd—It is a sad thing to depend upon an ungrateful and disunited Peo∣ple— If any care had been taken of me, to remove me to the Bench, they could only have Pillored Me, and I would never done this, nor any other Villany; But since no body took any care of me, I had reason to take some of my self, which I will do. Those I belong to now are very kind to me, and send me great Incouragements, I shall have a Pardon within two or three days, and be set at Liberty, but before I go, I should be very glad you would con∣sider your own Condition, and not ruin your Family, your Maid Susan will Swear against you, and there are two Persons found, that will lay worser things to your Charge, than I have done.
Villain, you know it is all Lyes, Did I ever do any of those things?
Though you did not, they will be Sworn against you, there∣fore come in now whilst it is time, and joyn with the most powerful, you may make your own Conditions; then he shewed me Gold, and told me what great Advantages were to be made by becoming the Kings Evidence. That the King was Bought and Sold, and here would be a Republick, and the Duke would be destroyed in Scotland: And that if I would say His Royal Highness gave me the Original of those Papers that were found in my Meal Tub, and bid me cause him to put them into Mansels Chamber, and Kill the Earl of Shaftsbury, then I should have a Pardon, and more Mony than all the Wit∣nesses had had together, for the Earl of Shaftsbury and the rest of the Confe∣derate Lords would raise Ten Thousand Pounds among them, which I should pass over by Bills of Exchange whither I would, as soon as I had Signed and Sworn the Depositions; And I should have Twenty Pounds per Week setled on me by Act of Parliament as long as I liv'd: And if I would do it, some Persons of Honour should come and treat with me; for though I were confin'd, there was Lords that were Privy to all, that would come on pretence to Examine me, and settle things to my satisfaction.
But I laugh'd at all this, and receiv'd his proffers as they deserv'd, and said, Cowardly Wretch, you are worse than your Elder Brother Judas, for he having betray done Innocent, left those that hired him, to seek false Wit∣nesses Page 21 for themselves, and repented, and brought again the Thirty pieces of Silver, and had Courage enough to hang himself: But you have betray'd and belyed many Innocents, and yet are such a Coward to waite for the Hang∣man, for hang'd you will be. He that digs a Pit for another, shall fall therein himself: Therefore Repent you Rogue, and tell the King who set you on, for you will certainly be Damn'd if you do not. And then by the fit Ap∣plication of other places of Scripture, I shook him so, that he Howl'd like a Dog that had the Tooth-Ach. And again shewed his Arms, where the Irons or Cords had worn off the Skin, telling me, he had been Rackt, and otherwise cruelly used to force him to accuse me.
Ah Cowardly wretch! would you shed the blood of so many Innocents, to save your life? I had rather dye ten thousand deaths, than belye my self or others: And can there be any Rogues besides your self so wicked, as to endeavor to suborn Witnesses to belye the best of Men? Look there, do you see the Devil stand at your Elbow, assure your self he'l tear you to pieces alive; Then he howl'd again, and wrung his hands, pretending Re∣pentance, and told me, that against to morrow he would write down all the Intrigue, with the Names of those Lords and others, that set him on, and give it me, if I would give him any hopes of a Pardon for my self and others he had wrong'd.
It is not possible for you, nor any other Devil Incarnate, to wrong me more than I can forgive, if you Repent and leave your Villany; but do not dissemble, for dissembled Piety is double Iniquity.
Do you think other Persons I have accused will forgive me?
Yes, if you truly Repent, I doubt not but their Charity and Prudence will oblige them to that.
Then he told me a long Story, how kind the Earl of Shaftsbury and some greater men were to him, and what great things they had promised to do for him; yet he said he would Repent, and tell the Truth, and hop'd God would have Mercy on him. Then I went from the Window—
Next Morning he was waiting at his Window by Day-break, and throw∣ing little Coals at mine—About Nine or Ten a Clock I went to the Win∣dow, hoping to perswade him to tell the Truth, But like the Dog, was returned to his Vomit, and proposed to me, if I would not belye the Duke, to say the Earl of Peterborough gave me those Papers, and that I had re∣ceived a Thousand pounds in Gold of Sir Allen Apsley to pay him for the Murthering the Earl of Shaftsbury, and to raise Souldiers against the King: But I received this Proposition like the former, and Answered:
No▪ I plainly see you are possest with the Devil, he speaks through your Mouth—You worst of Rogues, how dare you talk thus to me?
Pray Madam speak low, and do not discompose your self, whatsoever happens, there shall no harm come to you.
Wretched Villain! Innocence fears nothing; I have done no Evil, nor I fear none.—And shut to the Window, and would speak no more to him. All that day at times he hancred about the Window, shed∣ding Crokadils tears, holding up his hands, and making beseeching signs to me to come to my Window. About four in the Afternoon I went, saying, Blood-thirsty ingrateful Villain, what have you to say to me? Then he wrung his hands and Lamented, saying,
Then the Window shutters were nail'd up on that side of the Chamber, and the Casement on the other side, and from that time I had not a breath of Air: I did but take out a Pain of Glass, and they put in another, and unfolded and search'd all my Linnen, and cut my very Bread in pieces; and search'd every thing with all imaginable strictness; yet Captain Richardson let me go when I would into a Room that look'd towards the Doctors Garden, where the Window was open, but there was such a noy∣som smell in the Room, that I rather chose to be lock'd up in my own alone, than in that with a great deal of bold Company; for the Rats and Weezles plaid at Barly-break, and boldly Robb'd me before my face, and did not Dance without Musick, squeeking as they ran up and down: And the worthy Gentleman Sir William Waller, came likewise to visit me and ask'd if he could do me any Service, and fawning on me, with many flattering Expressions, which I valued much like the Musick of my other Visitants: He pretended a great deal of pity that such a Woman as I should be engaged among such a wicked and ungrateful people that Rail∣ed at me, saying, I was the worst of Women, but if I would confess, as he would have me, and come to them, I should be received according to my Merits.
I know nothing to confess,—At which he shook his head.
You know enough to save the whole Kingdom, if you would tell it.
So I do, and would be glad to tell it, if Truth could be believed, but I have been already told in Presence of His Majesty and His Councel, that nothing I said should be believ'd: And therefore I am resolv'd to tell nothing.
Mrs. Cellier, if you will make any discovery to me, I'le in∣gage you shall be believ'd.—Then he began to ask me Questions.
Sir, Spair your pains in Pumping, for I am neither Slave nor Cow∣ard, and, will not be Examined in Confinement, inlarge me, and two days after I will tell you what I know.
That I cannot do.
Then let me speak with my Husband before a Keeper twice or thrice.
I cannot do that.
What do you come hither for then, troubling me with your proffer'd Service, if you be able to do nothing that I ask you?
If you will make any Discoveries, then I will help you.
Sir William, When I make Discoveries, I am sure you will not like them, Yet it is very like I may make some in time, and new ones too, for my Heart is too high to be zany to a fellow that went on my Er∣rands.
Much such like dark discourse we had, he still flattering me, and tel∣ling me what high esteem he had for my Wit and Courage. I told him I took his Ironical Speech as it was meant, and did as much admire him for another cause; and then pluckt Englands Bloody Tribunal out of my Pocket, and shewed him the Murtherers of his Majesties Royal Father, and many of his Loyal Peers and Gentlemen; and told him, that was the Game he would fain be at; he denyed it after such a manner, as made it visible even to the meanest capacity, That he did not think it a Crime, and then went away.
We had only such reflecting Speeches all the time of his stay, for Mr. Copper, the Deputy Goaler came up with him, and I would not let him go away, for indeed I durst not trust my self with such a Doughty Knight as Sir William was, lest he should make Romances of me, as he had done of others; But I prayed him at parting to speak to his Majesty, I might be Tryed, for I was resolv'd I would not lie there idle, but bring my self up∣on my Tryal as fast as I could.
The Friday after this, I was brought before the Council.
Turn up your Hoods Mrs. Cellier,— I obeyed.
Come Mrs. Cellier have you writ home; since you were sent to Newgate?
Pray my Lord, what Crime is it to write home?
It is none.
My Lord, self-Preservation is natural to all Creatures.
How often have you written home since your Confine∣ment?
Truly my Lord I know not whether it was 3 or 4 times.
How did you send it?
Once in a little Box, and other times in Bottoms of Thread.
What made you so earnest to have your Husband go into the Country?
Because he is a man in Trouble, and I thought That the best place for him.
Was Margaret in trouble too, that you sent to her to go out of Town?
I did not, nor had any cause so to do.
I did not.
You did, we have it under your hand.
If I did, I desire to see my hand,— Then a Letter was pro∣duced, being a Copy of one of mine.— Sir Tho. Doleman read it, (and by Head and Shoulders thrust in these Words, Send Margaret into the Country) I desired to see the Letter, but they refus'd it. Then I own'd I Page 24 did write such a Letter as that was without those words—but that I had neither seen, sent to, nor heard from Margaret since Midsummer.
This is very strange you can remember every word of a Letter, but what you should remember.
My Lord, my Lord, I can remember any thing I did, but not what I never did,
You writ it when you were asleep.
No, my Lord, I am no Noct-ambler.
Did you write to no body else?
Yes, to my Son and Daughter.
To no body else?
Yes, to Mr. Gadbury.
What did you write to him?
Am I obliged to remember every Word I write?
No, but the sense of it.
I called him friend, and told him his last Visit would make me always esteem him so. I know I am the talk of the Town; but what do the Judicious say of me, for it is that I value, and not the prate of the Rab∣ble? Are all my Summer friends flown? Is my Knight against me too? When will Jupiter come into Gemini?
What do you expect from Jupiters coming into Gemini? do you think that Catholick Religion shall be restored!
No, my Lord, I have no reason to think so, But the Planets are now in Bestial reptal Signs, and produce semblable effects, but when that benign Star comes into Gemini, which is a Humane Sign, I hope the Na∣tion will return to their Wits, for I think they are all mad now.
Mrs. Cellier, how long has Mr. Gadbury been a Catholick?
He is not one I think, I'm sure I never took him for one, nor ever heard he was.
What Religion is he of, can you tell?
My Lord, I always thought him to be a Church of England man.
Come Mr. Gadbury, you said you did not speak in Astro∣logical terms to Women, But Mrs. Celier has told you all.
My Lord, She can say no harm of me, if she tell Truth.
Mr. Gadbury, I neither said, nor know any evil of you, I only said you feared the Kingdom would never be quiet till Jupiter came into Gemini.
Then he was commanded to withdraw.
Gadbury kneeling down said, I beseech you let my close Confine∣ment be taken off.
No, you deny'd the Truth to us.
I hope your Lordship will not call such a thing as this is the denyal of the Truth.
Withdraw, withdraw Mr. Gadbury.
Are you with Child Mrs. Cellier?
Truly, my Lord, I know not certainly.
You say so in your Letter, and that it will keep you from any stricter examination.
No my Lord, I have no reason to think so, this is a time in which no Compassion is shewn to Sex, Age, nor Condition.
Page 25Then the Lord Chancellor wav'd the Discourse.
Do you know one Mr. Phillips, Mrs Cellier, that you writ of, and desir'd to go out of Town?
I know one Mrs. Phillips an Upholsterer, but I know no reason I have to desire her to go out of Town.
But you did write to her to go out of Town.
Did I not write for every one to go out of Town, I refer my self to the Letter, and desire it may be read?
No, no. And so put off the Discourse.
Do you know my Lord Shaftsbury, Mrs. Cellier? Or have you seen him lately?
My Lord, I have been with him lately; and (if you please) I will tell you the occasion. In April last Sir W. Waller was very busie about my House, insomuch as I was forc'd to leave it, and I (having a de∣sire to be quiet at home) writ the state of my Case to my Lord Shaftsbury, and prayed his Favour; He bid the person that carried the Letter, send Sir W. Waller to him; and from that time I had no further trouble, till about ten or twelve days before Dangerfield was taken. He told me that my Name was enter'd into Sir W. Waller's Black Bill, and he would search my House that Week, and therefore he advis'd me to write again to the Earl of Shaftsbury, I told him I durst not presume to do that, but I would go to his Lordship, and thank him for the former favour, and pray a continuance of it, and desired him to go with me, because being known in the House, as he said, and might the easier bring me to speak with his Lordship.
Madam, I cannot at all advantage your Cause, but injure it, for I have told my Lord Lies, and have been catch'd in them; but if you please to let the Coach drive close to the Gate, and ask for Mr. Shepard, and desire him to bring you to the Figure of one, he will bring you to his Lordship.
I did so that very night, and after I had thank'd his Lordship for his former Favour, and intreated him that I might not be troubled with Sir W. Waller, he answered me,
Madam, I am for the propagation of the Protestant Faith; yet, because I think you an excellent Woman, though of another Religi∣on, I promise you I will do you all the good I can.
I thanked his Lordship, and took my leave.
Upon this I was commanded to withdraw.
Three or four days after I was brought before their Lordships a∣gain.
Turn up your Hoods Mrs. Cellier.
Come Mrs. Cellier, we have found Margaret, and she has told us all, the Truth comes out for all your cunning.
She can say no Evil of me, unless she bely me: Besides, she is no lawful Witness, for she was my Servant, and turned away in Disgrace, and if she accuse me of any thing, it is the effect of her Malice.
Page 26Then Margaret was call'd in.
Come Margaret, this is strange, that whilst you liv'd with Mrs. Cellier you could see nothing but Vertue and Goodness by her, and she can tell so much Thieving, and other ill things of you.
She may say what she pleases of me, but I will not wrong her.
Margaret you know we did lose a Spoon, and some other things.
Yes, but then you thought another had them.
Yes, and I think so still, but being told you accuse me, I must defend my self as well as I can.
Nay Margaret, we like you never the worse for her speaking against you, and if you will tell us any thing of her, we will believe you.
I know nothing but what I have told you.
Go Margaret, consider of it, and remember what you can against you come again.
Margaret have a care what you do, lest you foul your hands with innocent Blood.
Hark, She tutors her before us.
Truth may be spoken at all times and places.
Soon after this, Sir W. Waller came to the Prison again, wheedling, and proffered his Service to help me to make a Discovery; I answered him after the former rate.
I wonder how you, that have such a fine curious House to Live in, can endure to stay here, and may so easily go out, and be re∣paired all your Losses with advantage.
Sir Wil. I value not my Losses nor my Life, I'll stay here this twenty Years, rather than Lie my self to Liberty. I am Prisoner for Truth sake, and that Cause, and the joy I have to suffer for it, makes this Dirty, Smoaky Hole to me a Pallace, adorned with all the Orna∣ments Imagination can think upon; and I assure you, This is the most pleasant Time of my whole Life, for I have thrown off all care of Ear∣thly things, and have nothing to do but to serve God.
But for all your obstinance, you will be weary of staying here e'er long, and perhaps put into a more rigorous Confinement.
Have you ever a place to put me in, where God is not?
No, he is every where.
Is he so, then do your worst, I defie you all, and him that sets you on.
Why are you so angry Mrs. Cellier? I came hither to serve you.
I desire none of your Service, and I cannot be angry with such a Man as you are.
I protest I have as much respect for you, as if you were my Sister, and had rather take your counsel, than any Woman's I know.
I'll assure you Sir William I will never take yours. Pray speak to His Majesty I may be tryed.
You had better stay, for if you be tryed, you'll certainly be put to death.
Thanks be to God, you must neither be Judge nor Jury-man, but I'll venture that, and bring my self to the Bar the first day of the next Term.
You must not be tryed there, you must be tryed at the Old Bayly.
If his Majesty bring me upon my Tryal, He may try me where He pleases; but if I bring my self to it, it must be at the Kings-Bench Bar.
You are deceived, you cannot.
But I can, and will to.
I'll tell his Majesty what you say.
Pray do, for I desire it.
Well, I see you are an obstinate woman, and do not un∣derstand your own good, I'll come no more to you.
I care not for your Company, therefore pray stay away; and tell Truth Once in your life.
As he was upon the Stairs going down, I call'd to the Maid to bring me some Beer, and he was willing to believe I called him, and ran up in great haste, asking through the Door if I had bethought my self of any thing he could do to serve me.
No Sir Will. I am not such a Distressed Damosel to use your Service. For as the Devil can do harm, but not good; so, though you have put me in, yet it is not in your power to fetch me out of this inchanted Ca∣stle, but I shall come out e'er long to a Glorious Death, or an Honourable Life, both which are indifferent to me, blessed be God.
After this I was no more troubled with him.
That night the Duke of Monmouth came to Town from Holland I was fetched before the Council in great haste, having now learn'd to turn up my Hoods without bidding.
Come Mrs. Cellier, we hear of your zeal.
It is a Virtue to be zealous My Lord.
The Truth comes out by little and little, we shall know all.
My Lord I wish all the truth were known, and then I should go home to my own House.
When were you in Flanders?
I never was out of England.
Do you know one Mr. Adams?
What Mr. Adams does your Lordship mean?
Mr. Adams, a Commissioner of the Statute of Bankrupt.
Yes, I know him well, he sent John-a-Nokes to Prison, and there∣upon was put out of Commission.
Has he done you any personal injury?
Only helpt to cheat me of five Hundred Pounds.
No my Lord, but I'll assure you he did that.
You were at the Devil-Tavern with him and Dangerfield the 24th of September, and said there was no Plot but a Presbyterian Page 28 Plot and that it would appear so in a Month, you tim'd it well, for just then your Intrigue was found out.
My Lord I was at the Devil-Tavern, but not within three weeks of the time you mention.
You were there at that time, and said you were just come from Flanders and drank the Duke of York's Health in a Beer-glass of Claret, and would not let Mr. Adams drink, unless he nam'd the Health.
Indeed my Lord that was ill done, for there was not a drop of Claret.
But you drank the Duke's Health.
Pray my Lord what crime is it?
It is none.
Then I hope there's no Punishment.
Here is nothing to be done with her, call Mr. Adams.
He was called in, and his Wise Depositions read.
My Lord, of all this fine Story there is nothing true, but that I was at the Tavern, but it was three weeks before the time he mentioned, and I did Pledge the D's Health, and, say, I believed there was a Plot among the Presbyterians, to play their old Game over again, but I hoped God would bless the King and his Royal Brother, and that their Affairs would go well, and God would destroy their Enemies, and send quiet Times.
She did say she had been beyond Sea, and Mr. Petly will swear she said she had been in Flanders.
If I did say so, I lyed.
If you Lyed then, how shall we know you tell Truth now?
My Lord, there is a great deal of difference between what I say at a Tavern, to a Man of his Understanding, and what I say here, where every Word ought to be equal to an Oath.
Your bawdy Story I left out of the Depositions, I was a∣sham'd to speak it.
What, can she speak Bawdy too?
Yes, indeed she did.
I, she's fit for any thing.
My Lord, I never spoke an immodest word in my Life. Mr. Adams though you strive to take away my Life, do not take away my Honour; What did I say?
What did she say? come tell us the Story.
She said — She said — that — She said — That if she did not lose her Hands, she could get Mony as long as—
As long as what? out with it.
Adams made as if he were asham'd, and could not speak such a word.
I said, if I did not lose my Hands, I should get Mony as long as, Men kissed their Wives.
By the Oath I have taken she said their Mistresses too.
Did I so, pray what else do they keep them for?
That was but witty.
'Twas but natural to her Practice.
Mr. Adams I am sorry for your Ignorance, — I beseech your Ma∣jesty let me be inlarged.
You are an obstinate Woman, and will tell us nothing we ask you.
My Lord, I tell Truth to all you ask.
Here's no body believes you, you will trifle away your Life.
My Lord, I will not belye my self nor others to save it, but I will assure your Lordships, never man that came before you, feared Death, nor valued Life less than I do.
I, she's fit for them, Withdraw, Withdraw.
After that I was fetcht up once or twice again, but do not remember for what; — Then they let me alone till the 9th of January, and then Cap∣tain Richardson went up with me, and by the way told me, That if now I would make an ingenious Confession I might be inlarged, and the Truth found out: I answered, I knew nothing of all they asked me, nor ever an∣swered any thing but the Truth, they do not look for Treason in the right place, but when they do, they may find enough.
But if you know any thing you are bound to tell it.
I am only obliged to answer Truth to such questions as I am asked, and the Lord Chancellor told me he would not believe a word I said, and I do not believe a word of the whole Plot further than that the Presbyterians are playing over their old Game again.
Well I see it is impossible to perswade you to Reason.
I never yet could see a Reason for lying.
When I came before the Council they spoke not a word of the old matter, but questioned me concerning Sir Robert Peyton then present; I told the Truth, as I would have done long before if they asked it; and desired Pen, Ink and Paper to recollect my Memory, and to see my Husband be∣fore a Keeper, which the King said was but reasonable, and bid make an Order for it, which was done, yet the Keeper would never let me see him in 11 or 12 weeks that I was confined after that, but one quarter of an hour; Yet to give him his due, he was as civil (to me, as the strictness of my con∣finement would admit of,) and his Wife also, all the time I was in their own House.
January 11th. I sent in my Depositions, being all I then could remem∣ber, but they would not let me have Paper to take a Copy of them, but Truth can never be forgotten.
January 15, 16, or 17th. I was brought before a Committee of Lords, and they asked me many Trepanning Questions to insnare me.
Then Mr. Gadbury was called in, and his Depositions read, to which I only answered.
Mr. Gadbury I remember nothing of all this, but I confess I am the unfortunate cause of your Trouble, and if by ruining me you can ease your self, I give you free leave.
Then a Lord told me there was Treason sworn against me, but I might yet save my self if I would, for they did not Thirst for my Blood.
I am glad to hear your Lordship say so, for I am so simple I judge by appearances, which are quite otherwise.
Then Dangerfield was called in, and asked if I did not set him on to make a Mutiny at the Rainbow Coffee-House.
My Lord, I cannot say she set me on.
Was not I angry with you for it, and bid you be gone out of my House? and caused you to be removed up into the Garret.
No, that was afterwards.
But it was for that Cause.
Do you know any thing of a walk that was upon Tower-Wharf? tell us the Truth for you are upon your Oath.
I have often walked upon it, for I lived there by,
We mean a walk with the Lord Chief Justice, and offer∣ing Ten Thousand Pounds concerning Sir George Wakeman, tell us the Truth, for the Countess of Powis has told us all.
Yes, my Lord, I read it in a Pamphlet.
I do believe it was in a Pamphlet.
There was two, and you brought them both to me.
Do you remember any more concerning Sir Robert Peyton?
Nothing that is fit to tell at this time.
She will not tell the Kings Privy Council what she knows.
Not at this time,—at which Answer they were very angry, and asked me some snaring Questions concerning my self, but I have forgot what it was; yet remember that I answered thus.
My Lord, I am not obliged to Answer that Question; your Lord∣ships are none of my Judges, I appeal to my equal Judges, Twelve Commons of England in a Court of Judicature, let them that desire my life, assault it there, and though I cannot defend it like a man, yet I will not part with it in complement to your Lordships, and I desire to be tryed as soon as may be.
Your Tryal will come soon enough, you will be put to death.
Blessed be God, then I hope the Play is near an end, for Trage∣dies whether real or fictious, seldom end before the Women die.
What do you make a Play of it?
If there be no more Truth in the whole Story, than there is in what relates to me, every Play that is Acted has more Truth in it.
You talk very peremptorily.
My Lord, I thank God Death is no terror to me, and she that fears not to die, cannot fear to speak Truth.
Withdraw, withdraw, Mrs. Cellier.
Before I go, I will tell you something of Sir Robert Peyton; he told me, that though the Earl of Shaftsbury was out of the Council, yet his power was as great as ever, for he had a strong Party there, and he knew all Transactions as soon as the Council rose, for he had a Nephew there, and there was a person always ready at his House, to run away with Intelligence of what passed at Council to the Earl of Shaftsbury.
A Lord said that was very like, how else should the Examinati∣ons taken there come to the Press so soon? some of Mr. Gadburies that were taken but a day or two before, lying there in Print upon the Table.
Then one of the Lords seeming to wonder his Lordships Nephew was not there, commanded me to withdraw.
Both in January and February, I sent in the following Petition, but could not possibly get it read, though I sent 5 or 6, and in the whole time of my Confinement, my Husband carried near 20, but they were still sup∣prest.
The Humble Petition of Elizabeth Cellier close Prisoner in Newgate,
THAT Your Petitioner hath been thirteen Weeks close confin'd, and she having had the management of her Husband's Estate, with that of two Fatherless Children; The most considerable Estate of which depends upon Process at Law, and is to be try'd this next Term, and they are wholly Ig∣norant of their Affairs.
Wherefore your Petitioner doth most humbly Pray and Beseech your Majesty and the Honourable the Lords of the Counsel, that she may be Inlarged, or permitted to speak to her Husband and Children before a Keeper, to advise them how to proceed in their Suit, and thereby prevent their ruine.
And your Petitioner shall pray.
My Husband put in several Petitions to the same effect, but could get no Answer, insomuch that he was forc'd to release Seven Hundred and odd Pounds for Sixty one; A good Part of which Mony lay in Court of Chancery, and the Master of the Rolls had made A decretal Order for us, but the Defendant petitioning for another hearing, my Husband and Children not being per∣mitted to speak with me, knew not which way to defend themselves.
There I lay close confin'd, till the first of April, though my Husband daily sollicited for my enlargement. But about that time, (being dangerously sick) I was allow'd the Liberty of the Press-Yard.
Sometime in February, I was brought again before a Committee of Councel.
Mrs. Cellier, do you know one Mr. Pen, a Quaker?
I never see him but once.
Did you not write to him, and give him thanks for making so good use of the Paper you sent him?
Yes, My Lord, I did so.
Do you use to write to Men you know not?
If your Lordships please to have Patience, I will tell you the occasion of it.
About the beginning of May last, 6 Copies of a Paper call'd the Danby Reflecti∣ons were left at my House, by an unknown Person, with a Note, desiring me to put them into understanding mens hands.
I went to Fox Hall, and made a strict Inquisition into the matter, and found by the affirmation of many Persons, that that part of the Story was very true, and I thought I had no other reason to doubt the Truth of the rest, and having heard Mr. Pen plead in the Cause of New Jersey, at Sir John Churchil's chamber, before the Duke's Commissioners, and observ'd that he was a man of a great deal of Reason, I thought I could not better comply with the desire of the Author, than to send him one.
What made you so earnest to speak with him?
I heard it abroad by the name of Pen's Paper, and found it spread much.
What had you to say to him?
Something relating to the same matter, I suppose, but I have forgot what, for it is 9 or 10 months ago.
What did you with the rest?
I gave one to my Lady Powis, another to Mr. Henry Nevil. I sent one Page 32 into France, another into Flanders, and got the other coppied, and sent as many as I could get to my Friends and Acquaintance.
You have been very zealous for the Cause.
My Lord, It is good to be diligent in all that one undertakes.
Which answer was the last I had opportunity to make to any in Authority until my Arraignment, which (in confidence of my own Innocence) I conti∣nually prest for.
Not but that I knew the danger, as to this Life, of encountring the Devil in the worst of his Instruments, which are PERJƲRERS INCOƲRAGED to that degree as that profligated Wretch was, and has been since his being exposed to the World in his true colours both at mine, and at anothers Tryal.
But the Sence that all I had done, or endeavoured to do, was prompted by a Disinterested Loyalty to the King, and Charity to Innocence opprest, without the least mixture of Mallice to any Creature breathing, Made me with hopes expect the worst those Devils incarnate could do unto me.
And if any thing in the World could give a probable Light where the true Plot is manag'd, mine, and my accusers Cases would do it.
For Singly and Alene, without the Advice or Assistance of any Catholick breathing, Man or Woman, I was left to study, manage, and to support my self in all my troubles to my Expence and Loss much above a thousand Pounds, never receiving one penny towards it, directly or indirectly, but ten pounds given me by the hands of a condemn'd Priest, five days before my Tryal; nor have I since received any thing towards my Losses, or the least civility from any of them.
Whilst Dangerfield (when made a Prisoner for apparent Recorded Rogueries) was visited by and from Persons of considerable Quality, with great Sums of Gold and Silver, to encourage him in the new Villanies he had undertaken, not against Me alone, but Persons in whose Safety all good Men (as well Pro∣testants as others) in the three Kingdoms are concern'd.
For I hope no reasonable man can believe me so vain, as to think my Life or Fame worth the consideration of an Industrious Faction.
Thus have I laid open the Truth of my Case, to be believed or not belie∣ved, as Reason, Sence, and Probability shall guide Men.
And as to my own Sex, I hope they will pardon the Errors of my Story, as well as those bold Attempts of mine that occasion'd it, since in what I med∣dled with, as to Sir Robert Peyton and others (that are yet among them undiscovered like Hushai, and I hope will have as good success to confound the crafty Contrivances of all the old Achitophels, and the Headstrong Am∣bitious Practices of young Absalom) though it may be thought too Masculine, yet was it the effects of my Loyal (more than Religious) Zeal to gain Pro∣selites to his Service.
And in all my defence, none can truly say but that I preserv'd the Mode∣sty, though not the Timorousness common to my Sex. And I believe there is none, but had they been in my Station, would, to their power, have acted like me; for it is more our business than mens to fear, and consequently to prevent the Tumults and Troubles Factions tend to, since we by nature are hindered from sharing any part but the Frights and Disturbances of them. Which that God will long preserve these three Kingdoms from, is the daily Prayers of