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“Puckering.–We do not mean now to deal with you, only I must put you in mind, that you have made a petition, wherein you promise to submit yourself to such order as her majesty shall appoint. Consider of it, and see that you do it. For I can tell you, it is expected from you.
“ Udal.— I know not, my lord, what you mean. I made a petition to her majesty, and shall willingly perform what I therein promised.
"P.-Advise well with yourself, and see that you do it. I tell you beforehand. “U.-Unless you mean that, I know not your meaning.
“ Justice Fenner, who sat on the bench, said, Mr. Udal, I must needs say unto you, I have heard much good of you, and that you are learned. It were a pity you should do otherwise than well. I pray you take heed that those good things which are in you be not marred for want of humility. I tell you, humility is a special virtue in a man of your calling; the want whereof marreth all in them that want it. I pray you stand not too much in your own opinion. I have heard that you have done much good; let not humility be wanting.
"0.-I acknowledge, my lord, that humility is a virtue generally required in men of my calling, without which all other gifts are nothing : ‘for God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble;' and I desire that this virtue may be found in me. But I trust your meaning is not to persuade me to deny the truth; which I trust the Lord will keep me from, whatsoever may befall me.
"F.--I speak to you of good will. I would not have you to be stiff in your own conceit. "P.-Remember what I said unto you.”
Mr. Udal, standing at the bar, was asked what he had to say why sentence of death should not be passed upon him, when he presented a paper to the court, containing the reasons why judgment ought to be stayed. This important document may be seen in the “Lives of the Puritans,” vol. ii. pp. 19, 20. The prisoner having claimed audience, thus addressed the court :
“My lords, I acknowledge that I have been proceeded against by due course of law, and that a verdict was given against me at the last assizes, as guilty of felony. But I do not only, as heretofore, protest my innocence, but also think that I have sufficient to allege why, notwithstanding the verdict, judgment ought not to be given; and I entreat to be heard.
"P.-I pray you, stay. You seem to speak contraries. You acknowledge the course of law to have been due, and then maintain that you are innocent. How can a due course of law condemn the innocent ?
“ U.-Those things agree well enough, as I will show, if it shall please you to give me leave. It is by due course of law that I have been indicted and arraigned, have had a jury empanneled, have been accused, heard to speak for myself, and testimony produced against me. But the proof by witness was insufficient, and the jury, either by judgment or affection, was misled; therefore, it hath come to pass that, notwithstanding due course of law, guilt is brought upon a guiltless person. I pray you let me proceed to the reasons I have to allege in my defence. It is not material, my lords, in this case, what the judges think; for though all the judges in the world think so, our laws consider no man to be a felon, or capable of sentence as a felon, till he be convicted by the verdict of twelve men.
“Clarke.—You are so convicted, as the record will testify.
“U.-I acknowledge the record against me; but I appeal to your lordships' consciences, whether you delivered not unto the jury speeches to this effect : As for the
felony, you are not so much to inquire, but only whether be made the book, leaving the felony to us.'
“C.-You do me great wrong; I only told them the law.
“U.-I leave it to your lordship's favourable consideration. You perceive my reason.
“P.-All that you say tendeth to disgrace the court of justice holden heretofore against you. The jury were left to their own consciences, and did as they saw meet to do.
“U.-No, my lords, I speak not any thing to disgrace the court of justice ; for I acknowledge both this course and all others of the like nature to be God's holy ordinance, which I ought to reverence. Neither do I speak to defame the jury, but only to give your lordships occasion not to proceed to sentence; for if the jury did well, why should it grieve any of them? If they did ill, your lordships may not proceed to sentence.
"P_We cannot remember the particular, circumstances which then passed ; neither are we to call in question the verdict; but it is our office to give sentence according to it.
"U, I pray your lordships, tell me one thing , must the judges always give sentence according to the verdict, or may there not be cause to stay it?
“C.-Yes, there may be cause to stay the verdict, such may be the case.
“U.—I desire no other, but that my reasons may be well weighed, whether my case be or be not such.
"P.--I tell you, you are much deceived and abused in this case. You may be within the compass of felony, though you do not mean any such thing.
“U.-Your lordship knoweth that I pleaded these points at the last assizes, when I came from close imprisonment to the bar. I understand English, which is the language wherein the statute was written; and I profess myself to be a scholar; and, therefore, to have, through God's mercy, some understanding of what I said. It seemeth to me most direct, and to be takeu no otherwise than as I understand it.
“P.-You are deceived, in thinking the witnesses against you the less lawful, because the parties were not present. It is an ordinary thing to have witnesses examined in the chancery and other courts, which do remain of sufficient credit for cver, as they were when the parties took the oath.”
Here Mr. Udal would have answered, that the cases were not parallel, seeing the high commission was not a court of record ; but he was interrupted, and not suffered to proceed.
“C.-Where do you find, that there must needs, by the word of God, be two witnesses face to face ?
“U. It is so clear, that the witnesses were also to have the first hand in executing the punishment upon the party offending.
"P.--That was according to the law of Moses, which we are not tied to observe.
“U.-It is the word of God; and it hath a perpetual equity in it; for the life of man is so precious in the sight of God, that he would not have it taken away, without most evident and manifest proof, such as is set down in his law.
“C.-We are not to call in question the proofs, seeing the jury did think them sufficient. This speech of yours tendeth to prove the jury perjured.
“U.—Not so, my lord. I think of them that they acted according to their col• sciences; but, being men unlearned, the case being also strange unto them, they may have done their best ; and yet you, being men of more knowledge and judgment, are to look further into the matter.
* P.-Whereas you say that none of the witnesses did directly prove you to be the author of the fact, which was not necessary; for, if all be laid together, and the circumstances considered do prove it, it is as good proof as if the witnesses were direct.
“U.-But the law of God, from which I trust our laws disagree not, would have every proof to be direct.
"P. And do you think, indeed, that the laws of the land are agreeable to the word of God?
“U.-I profess to know them; but I have as reverent an opinion of them that I trust the grounds of them are according to the word of God; however, in some parti. culars, the proceedings may miss thereof. "
*P.-The government by archbishops and lord-bishops is according to the word of God, seeing the laws of the land do allow them.
“U.- pray you, my lord, take me not so general ; for that will not follow upon my speeches.
"P.--You may not now disgrace the witnesses. You should have done this at your arraignment.
“U.-I neither meant that, nor do I purpose to disgrace the witnesses, but to show the insufficiency of their testimony; that your lordships may see some reason to stay the sentence. The first testimony that was alleged was that of Mr. Chatfield, who affirmeth that it was not given against me upon his oath, but only in his anger he set his hand to it, and is now sorry for it.
"P.-You should have alleged this before: it is now too late.
“U.-It is too late to prevent the verdict; but, if there be any force in it, it ought to be considered to stay the sentence. I could allege it no sooner, because I knew it not till after the verdict.
"P.-We may not suffer you to proceed so to disgrace that which is past already. If you have any other thing to say, speak on, otherwise we must do our office.
“U.-It is not my meaning, however you take it, to disgrace any thing past; only I pray you further to consider, that Tomkins, whose testimony only carried some show, protested before my commitment, that he would not for all the world affirm me to be the author of the book.
"P-Why did you not plead these things to the jury?
“U.—I did so, and offered to produce sufficient proof for it, but your lordships answered, that no witnesses would be heard in my behalf, seeing it was against the queen ; which seemed unto me strange; for methinks it should be for the queen to hear all things on both sides, especially when the life of any of her subjects is in question.
"P.-The witnesses were thought by the jury sufficient to prove the matter, which we may not now call in doubt; therefore, say on, if you have any more.
“C.-You are not called in question for the cause, as you call it, nor for the body of the book, but only for the slanderous things in the preface against her majesty's government; and, therefore, you may let the cause alone.
"U,But it is for the hatred borne to the cause, that I am thus treated : had not the cause been handled in the book, such matter as is now made of the preface had never been objected against me or any other.
"P.-It is best for you to leave all other pleas, and submit yourself to the queen's mercy.
“U.-I will do so with all my heart.
“P.--I mean convicted by the jury. Then you acknowledged, that you had offended her majesty ; that you were sorry for it; and promised that you would never do the like again.
“U.-It is not for me to oppose my words and credit against yours; yet I refer it to them who heard it; only I pray you give me leave to speak of it. I did avox, and so I do now, and will do while I live, that the cause handled in that book is an undoubted truth.
“C.—How often shall we bid you leave the cause, and tell you that you are not troubled for it?
“U.—But it is the cause that is sought to be defaced in my person ; therefore, I must and will still profess it, and justify it, whatsoever disgrace may fall upon myself. I pray you let me proceed. I did protest that I never had any purpose to deface, but ever to seek the honour of her majesty and her government. I professed that the course of law against me was due; whereby what I meant you have heard. I said that I never had any purpose to do any thing for the advancement of this cause, but keeping myself, to the uttermost of my power, within the compass of the law. I never confessed myself to be the author of the book. Then my submission was this, that if I had done any thing for the advancement of so holy a cause, which had brought me within the compass of the law, or might justly offend her majesty, I was heartily sorry for it. If this was not my submission, let me have another drawn, wherein the former points are justified, and I will set my hand unto it.
"P.-But all this is nothing to your book. What say you to it?
“U.-I say this, that though I hold the matter in it to be a most manifest truth; yet I confess the manner of handling some part of it, to be such as might justly provoke her majesty's indignation.
“P.-Because you stand so much upon the cause, as you call it, you provoke me to say something of it, lest the audience should think that there is something in it, which there is not.
“U.—My lord, you understand my judgment. I beseech you speak not against it, unless you will give me leave to reply.
“P.-I may not do so; you provoke me to it. Your discipline, which you stand upon, on what is it grounded? Forsooth, on the saying of Christ, . Tell the church ;' which was never expounded these fifteen hundred years, as you do within these few years.
“U.—My lord, he did abuse you who told you so. Chrysostom expounded it thus : • Tell the church,' that is, the governors of the church.
“P.—He meant the governors of the Jewish synagogue. “U.-How could that be, when he lived above four hundred years after Christ? “P.-Were there never any who could find it out till now, if it were a truth? “U.-Yes, it hath testimony sufficient, if it might be received.
“P.-Lest men should think your matter as good as you pretend, I will tell you what I know. It is written in one of your books, that without an eldership there is no salvation.
“U.—I am persuaded that cannot be shown.
“P.-Yes, it is in Theses Martinianæ ;'. It is time to number our hot brethren.' Mr. Snape, of Northampton, wrote, that the bishops should be put down all in one day. Here Puckering delivered a most bitter invective ; and attempted to persuade the people, that the Puritans meant to rebel, and to pull down the bishops, and set up their discipline by compulsory force, to the subversion of her majesty's patrimony and prerogative.
“U.—My lord, I protest in the presence of God, and the hearing of these people, that neither I, nor any of my brethren that I was ever acquainted with, did ever so much as purpose, or speak of any such means as your lordship stateth, to bring in the
discipline; but only by prayer to God, supplication to her majesty, and such other peaceable means; which is my answer to your large invective. And whereas, my lord, you seem to be so hardly carried against the cause, I would not doubt, if I might privately confer with you, by the blessing of God, to persuade you to be a friend unto it.
"P.Nay, I tell you there are as foul things in your own book. Do you not say that the church is committed to the mistress of the stews, and ruled by the canons of a brothel ?
“U.—That is spoken of the popish canon law, which is as unfit to rule the church of Christ, as the laws of a brothel to govern an honest woman.
"P.-Those laws are established by her majesty's laws.
“P.-We shall make short work with you. Will you here acknowledge all the laws, ecclesiastical and temporal, of this land, to be agreeable to the word of God?
“U.-I have disgrace enough upon me already. You may easily perceive what is my opinion of the present ecclesiastical government. I pray you press me not with these things. I can yield no further than you have heard. "P.-Then we must do our office, and pronounce sentence upon you. “U.-God's will be done."
The sentence of death was then pronounced upon him; on which he said, “ The Lord turn this to his glory, the good of his church, and the shame of his foes, and then welcome life or death."* At this awful crisis, Bishop Bancroft, who had incensed the queen against Mr. Udal, wrote to Puckering, by direction of the court, signifying, that if Udal's submission did not satisfy him, he should proceed to judgment, and command his execution ; but defer it till her majesty's pleasure should be further consulted!+ Hume, who hated the Puritans, says, that Mr. Udal's case was singular, even in the arbitrary times of Elizabeth. He was thrown into prison on suspicion of having published a book against the bishops, and brought to trial for this offence. It was pretended that the bishops were part of the queen's political body; and to speak against them was to attack her, and was, therefore, felony by the statute ! This was not the only iniquity to which Udal was exposed. The judges, our author adds, would not allow the jury to determine any thing but the fact, of his being the author of the book, without examining his intention, or the import of the words. In order to prove the fact, they did not produce a single witness in the court ; they only read the testimony of two or three persons absent. Nor would the judges allow Mr. Udal to produce any exculpatory evidence, saying, it was not permitted against the crown ! His refusing to swear that he was not the author of the book, was employed against him as the strongest proof of his guilt. It is added, notwithstanding these iniquities, the verdict of the jury was brought against him ; and, since the queen was bent on his prosecution, it was impossible to escape. I Mr. Udal's trial, observes another writer, was a disgrace to English justice. That it mainly con
* New Discovery of Old Pontifical Practices. + Har. MSS. vol. 6995, No. 48.
Hume's History, vol. v. p. 346. N.S. VOL. v.