« ForrigeFortsæt »
Young. No, I never desired him to carry it thither, or to put it into a flower-pot.
Earl of Not. What say you, Blackhead?
Blackhead. Mr. Young did give me that paper, and directed me to leave it in the bishop's house; and, if I could, to put it in a flower-pot in some room; which I did, in the parlour.
Young. There is no such matter, I absolutely deny it.
Upon this, the Earl of Nottingham, the Lord Sydney, and some others of the counsellors, asked Young, Why then did you give us such express directions, to send, and search the flower-pots, among other places, in the bishop's house?
Young. I said nothing of flower-pots, I bid you take care that the bishop's person should be exactly searched ; because, when he went abroad, he carried the association about him ; when he was at home, he put it in some private place, for fear of surprise ; perhaps, I might say, in the chimney.
The lords replied, Nay, we all well remember, you particularly mentioned the flower-pots.
Earl of Not. Young, when you perceived that the persons sent to seize on the bishop had missed the association, did not you then desire Blackhead to go a third time to the bishop's house, and to take it out of the pot, where he had laid it?
Young. No, I know nothing of it,
Blackhead. At Mr, Young's request, I went to the bishop's house a third time; it was upon a Sunday ; I privately got into the parlour, and took out the association out of the same flowerpot where I had laid it, and returned it back to Mr. Young.
Young. This is a combination between the Bishop of Rochester and Blackhead, to baffle the whole discovery of the plot.
Which saying of Young's could not but raise a general smile among all the company, they lifting up their hands with great indignation at his unparalleled impudence.
Bishop of Roch. I thought, my lords, the last time I was here, Blackhead was the most brazen-faced fellow that ever I saw ; but now I find this same Young to be a much viler miscreant than he. This is so base a suggestion against me, and so impossible for me to be guilty of, and I know your lordships so little suspect it of me, that I need not make any answer to it in my defence,
Lord President. Young, thou art the strangest creature that ever I heard of : dost thou think we could imagine, that the Bishop of Rochester would combine with this thy confederate, to have an association written, with his own hand to it, and then laid in his own house, in a flower-pot there? which, if it bad been found, must have endangered his life : and we see it was the most remarkable good fortune to him that almost ever happened to any man, that it was not found there,
Bút Young still persisting, that he believed I had taken Blackhead off, they were both ordered to withdraw. And, I assure my reader, that, during this whole examination, though Young's forgery was so evidently convicted by the confession of his own companion, and instrument, yet he behaved himself with a daring unconcerned confidence, with a bold and erect countenance, though it had naturally very much of a villain in it. His whole carriage, indeed, was such, as became the discipline he has undergone for these divers years ; having so long been almost a constant inhabitant, together with his wife, of many of the common gaols in England and Ireland ; as you shall find before I leave them.
But to make haste to the conclusion of this narration ; the Lord president called for the letter which Young had sent to me under the name of Hookes. When his lordship had viewed it deliberately, he asked also for the association, and, having compared them for some considerable time, he broke forth in these words, Really, my lords, it is a very great providence, that this letter, sent by Young, under the name of Hookes, to the Bishop of Rochester, was preserved by his servant : For this very letter, and the association, were both, apparently, written by the same hand ; you may perceive there is no manner of difference in the writing, but only, that the letter is written in a less hand, as letters are wont to be, and the association in a greater, as a publick instrument.
At this, the whole board, one after another, had a perfect sight of both, and all applauded the happiness of the discovery: for it was as clear as light to all that were present, that the letters, and words, of both, were of the very same form and figure. ParticuJarly, my Lord Godolphin farther observed, and made it plain to them all, that the W in W. Cant. in the subscription, was the very same letter with the W in Whereas, which was the first word of the counterfeit association.
For my part, I could not forbear exclaiming, Great is truth, and it will prevail.
After all this, I asking the lords, Whether they had any farther service to command me? And they saying, No, I spoke these few words:
My lords, I must always acknowledge, that, next the signal providence of God, in so visibly protecting an innocent man, your hordships' fair and honourable way of proceeding with me, in not shutting me up close in the 'Tower immediately upon my first accusation; but, in openly confronting me with these variets, whilst the matter was fresh in my memory; and in so strictly and impartially examining them now, has been the principal occasion, that my innocency has met with a vindication as publick and unquestionable, as I myself could have wished and prayed for. But still, my good lords, I do again most humbly recommend to your lordships, the prosecution of this black contrivance to the bottom, for the sake of truth and justice, and for the safety of every other honest man, whose lot this might have been as well as mine. I am sure your lordships all believe, that there can be no greater service to the government, especially at this time, than to have such perjured informers, so plainly discovered, to be severely punished according to their demerits.
And so I took my leave of their lordships.
This is the substance of what I can remember, as far as my part goes in this surprising adventure. As to the account I promised of my wicked accusers, my reader shall have it as fast as my weak eyes will give me leave to write it. Aug. 1, 1692.
THO. ROFFEN. Bromley.
SECOND PART OF THE RELATION
THE LATE WICKED CONTRIVANCE
Against the Lives of several Persons, by Forging an Association under their Hands,
A farther Account of the said Forgery, and of the two Authors of it, STEPHEN BLACKHEAD AND ROBERT YOUNG, Alias Youngs, alias Brown, alias Hopkins, alias Hutt, alias Green'
alias Jones, alias Smith, alias, &c.
WRITTEN BY THE BISHOP OF ROCHESTER.
Quo teneam Vultus muiantem Protea Nodo ? Imprimatur November 25, 1692, Edmund Bohun.
TO THE READER. It is
T is well known to divers persons of worth and honour, that this second part was finished, and has lain by me some considerable time: excepting the addition of some very few original papers lately come to my hands, which serve only to explain and confirm
passages I had written before. The cause of my not printing it sooner, was an expectation of Robert Young's speedy trial. But that being now deferred till the next term, upon occasion of Mr. Aaron Smith's sickness, I have been prevailed with no longer to delay the publication of it.
If any shall still surmise, that I might have done better to let him alone yet a little while, till the justice of the nation had passed upon him : I answer, That well-nigh all, that I say of him, relates to such of his crimes, which the justice of this, or a neighbouring nation, has already passed upon.
And though I can prove, this villainous contrivance of his plot has been at least of a year and a half standing ; and do know
many steps of it more than are hitherto commonly known; and have seen many letters to this effect, all written by Robert Young's hand, some in his own name, some forged for me, and divers other persons far more considerable ; yet my reader will find, I pass all, or the greatest part of that by, and leave still enough to be produced against him at his trial.
I do indeed briefly touch upon his late endeavours to suborn one Holland, to support his perjuries by perjuring himself. But his discourse with Holland to that purpose, and the instructions he sent him to swear by, having been both averred already upon oath, in an open court of justice, before a great assembly at Hicks's-Hall, I know no pretence, why I should
be bound to conceal what was then, in so solemn a manner, made publick.
The truth is, the chief reason that urges me, at this time, to make known to the world the certain discoveries I have made of Robert Young's detestable villainies of all kinds, is, that I am assured, this infamous man does still persist in his causeless and wild malice against me, and other innocent persons ; and attempts, at this time of day, to justify his forged association, by the false testimonies of others like himself.
Wherefore, since he will not give me over, it is high time I should begin with him : and whilst he goes on in such a barbarous manner, to strike at my life, surely none can blame me if I debase myself so much as to write his.
But if any one shall still suggest, that I have troubled myself too much, and spent too many words on so inconsiderable a rascal : I have this yet to say, that since he could think himself so consider. able, as to hope to be an evidence against mine, and several other's lives; I should be wanting to myself, to them, and indeed to the publick, should I not prove him to be a dangerous rascal, now has come so unexpectedly into my power to do it.
It seems also the more seasonable for me at this very time to shew him to the world ; since Blackhead has made a second escape out of the messenger's hands ; and since there goes about a letter (forged, one would think, by Young himself, among his infinite other forgeries) wherein it is declared in Blackhead's name, but in Young's English, that Blackhead has done no wrong to no man upon earth but Young.
Whether this can possibly be true, I leave to any man upon earth, that has read my first part. to judge. And whoever shall peruse this my second part, I doubt not but he will be convinced, that whatever Blackhead has done, I have done Young no wrong. In the former part, I promised to give some account and character of those wicked wretches, that brought me into the troubles there described.
I come now to make good my promise. Only I fear, let me do what I can, the account of them, which I at first designed, should be very short, will be much longer, and rise to a far greater bulk than I intended; especially, in what I have to say of Robert Young. But for that, I hope, my reader will reckon it to be his fault, and only my penance: since his life has been so highly criminal, and this is so clearly attested, that I must be somewhat large, or else I cannot do him all the right he deserves, and fully satisfy the world, concerning him.
I must confess, I could never have been brought to foul my fingers with so base a subject, had I not been provoked, and almost challenged to it, by this same Young's intolerable insolence, even after he found himself detected of manifest forgery.
For, the last time I was discharged by the lords at Whitehall, on June the 13th, whereof I have already given a full relation ; whilst I was passing through the outer room, in my way home, there being a crowd of people ; I stopped, and said, I pray gentlemen, Is Mr. Young here? I would fain have another sight of the man, who has put himself upon me as my old acquaintance, and intimate friend: though I never saw him in my life, till this very day.
Divers of the company presently shewing me, where he was, sitting by himself; I said to him, Robert Young, your conscience cannot but condemn you, for having thus mortally injured me, and other innocent persons. I cannot call to mind, that ever I gave you the least provocation; I am sorry now for your own sake, that you are still so obstinate in defending your forgeries, after they have been so undeniably detected. For you know, there is one of your own confederates within, who has plainly confessed them.
At this he briskly, and most audaciously replied to me, without the least concernment, that I could observe, Confessed! No; you shall find to your sorrow, all is not confessed yet : A parliament will come, and then you shall hear more from me. I left him, praying God to give him grace to repent; and only adding, that else he was more in danger of his own damnation, than I of his accusation in parliament.
Now therefore, because of this impudent defiance, I have taken some pains to inquire into the man, and his former course of life.
And notwithstanding the time of my inquiry has been so short (for he was never personally known to me, till I saw him at Whitehall, on the 13th of June last) nay, though the scene of his impious actions has been so large, that I have been forced to collect my intelligence, from far and near; yet I have been so fortunate in my discoveries of him, and his meet-help, that now I look upon the loathsome heap of scandalous materials, I have got together against him, I am almost ashamed to make it publick.
But, perhaps, it may be no unacceptable, I am sure it will be no unseasonable service to my country, to present it with a faithful picture of one of the most graceless wretches, that ever yet entered upon the stage of evidencing ; which I think is as bad as can be said of him, in so few words.
As to a discovery of the whole plot and contrivance against myself and others, I have been able to penetrate no farther yet, than to find that it was hatched and ripened in Newgate, wherever it was first laid, or designed.