Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

66

(z turning into court, brought him in guilty of the "several articles of the indictment, viz. of being present at mass, of recusancy, of entertaining one that maintained the pope's supremacy, of "receiving and dispersing agnus deis, &c. How"ever, judgment was not given at these assizes. It "was thought convenient, first to advise with those "above, concerning the penalty: the case being new as to some particulars. Between the two *assizes, Mr. Tregian sent up a servant towards London, to pay off some bills; as also with letters "to his friends to give them an account of his trial, ❝ and desire their interest for the mitigating of his "sentence the next assizes. But either casually, or designedly, his servant was stopped at Hunning"ton; and, being examined, had his letters, bills, " and money taken from him: and the poor man " himself was thrown into prison. By this means, "Mr. Tregian's friends at London became incapable of doing him any service; nor was any thing said, or done, in his behalf.

66

"The time of the assizes at Launceston being "at hand, judge Manwood, a violent enemy to "Mr. Tregian, was upon the circuit, instructed "with the particulars for his sentence: which was, "that he had incurred a præmunire, that is, for"feiture of goods, chattels, &c. with imprison"ment for life, or during the queen's pleasure. At "the court's sitting, Mr. Tregian's counsel alleged "several things, why judgment should not pass; viz. "That the proofs against him were only presump"tions; no fact being made out, excepting recu

[ocr errors]

66

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

66

sancy, which the prisoner owned, and submitted "himself to the penalty. That it did not appear, that "Mr. Tregian was privy to Mr. Mayne's bringing "over the agnus deis, or pope's jubilee; much less, "that he had abetted or countenanced him in denying the queen's supremacy. But all this, and much more they said to the same purpose, could not "hinder the sentence; which was no sooner pro"nounced, but Mr. Tregian was hurried from the "bar, to a loathsome prison; being a dungeon, "where he had neither bed to rest upon, nor stool "to sit on, nor the least glimpse of light, to discover "what kind of apartment he was thrust into. Here "he remained all that night. The next day, he "was removed to his old habitation in Launceston castle, where he had better conveniences, though very bad ones. About midnight, the day following, certain officers arrived post from London at "Golden, with a commission to break open the "doors, in case of resistance, and seize upon all the "unfortunate gentleman's goods. Mrs. Tregian "had three children, Francis, Adrian, and Mary; "they were at the same time ordered immediately "to quit the house. She was then big with child; "and so near her time, that a journey to London "was very dangerous. However, her presence "there was absolutely necessary, to solicit for a ❝ maintenance for her husband and family. Where"fore, without farther deliberation, she undertook " that tedious journey of two hundred miles, with "her three children, a man and a maid servant. "She stowed her children in a pair of panniers,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

6.6

66

[ocr errors]

" and so proceeded on her journey: which she had “ scarce half completed, before she fell in labour; " and was delivered of a female child: which was ” of some service, in helping to poise the panniers, “.and keep them to a better balance. And thus, “ having rested herself for some time upon the “ road, she arrived at London; where she followed “ the court, a whole year, with very little success.

Mean-time, all Mr. Tregian's goods were disposed “ of at the queen's pleasure ; and, in a little time, “ all his real estate ; insomuch, that his mother “ Mrs. Catherine Tregian, was also deprived of her "jointure. By this means the whole family was so

reduced, as to live upon the charity of friends " and relations. But Mr. Tregian was himself the

greatest sufferer ; who was almost starving in “ Launceston castle: what he had to support him,

passing through several hands, and often those, “ that were not well affected towards him, made his " allowance very scanty. But worse things threat“ened him. Some, that were enriched by part of “ his substance, apprehending, that he might find

friends, to recover his real estate, had engaged as “ 'twas believed, a villain to assassinate him : but providently the design was detected. "Mr. Tregian, having now lost all hopes of recovering his freedam, began to enter upon a " method of life suitable to a person fully possessed “ with the best notions of religion. He spent a great deal of time in praying, and meditating upon the blessings attending those that carry the cross, and follow the steps of their Redeemer.

66

[ocr errors]

(G

" To his religious practices he joined such studies, “ as the inconveniences of the place would allow “of; and having some taste for poetry, he now " and then composed on the miseries of human “ life ; and other subjects, which were suitable to “ his present condition. But, as he tells us in one “ of his poems, he was very ill provided with tools “ for the business ; being sometimes obliged to .“ make use of a pin, and a liquid substance of

water and the snuff of a candle, instead of pen “and ink. By this means, he became entirely re

signed to the conduct of Divine Providence. But as the late attempt upon his life had given him some perplexity ; so it continually ran in his thoughts, that his enemies would contrive some way to take him off privately; and, by spreading

a report that he laid violent hands upon himself, “ cast an aspersion both upon his cause and cha“ racter. These reflections put him upon a project “ of making his escape ; wherein being detected, “ he was thrown into a dungeon, loaded with irons “ of thirty pounds weight. In this apartment he “had twenty malefactors for his companions, who “commonly eased themselves upon the floor, which “ was but once cleansed in the thirty days he re“mained amongst them! Besides the loathsome“ ness of the place, he was frequently insulted by

one of the malefactors, a man of a barbarous and “ inhuman temper, who treated him with base .“ language, reviled him for his pretended crimes " against the queen and government; but mostly “ for his praying and religious discourse, which is

a sufficient matter of ridicule for such abandoned

a

[ocr errors]

66

66

“ wretches. When he had remained about a month “ in this company, the jailor was pleased to re“ conduct him above stairs, to his former apartment, where he was better accommodated.

“ His lady, in the mean time, had obtained an “ order for his removal to the King's Bench prison: “ which being executed, the officer, who was charged “ with him on the road, brought him in a bill of

expenses of fifty pounds. The demand appearing “ very extravagant, Mr. Tregian was dilatory in " the payment; upon which the officer threatens “ to carry him back into Cornwall. Mr. Tregian “petitions, and lays his case before the council, “ where he found no relief: the officer being left to

use his own discretion, in case his expenses were “not repaid. This obliged Mrs. Tregian to use all " the means she could, to raise the sum. She sold “ her best clothes, and some other things of value; “ which falling short, was made out by a collec

among friends. Mr. Tregian was afterwards “ removed to the Fleet prison ; where, July 20th

1593, he had been thirteen years. His lady lived constantly with him in prison. He had by her eighteen children ; whereof eleven were born

during their confinement, and most of them were “ alive in 1593, which is the date of the manuscript " from whence I have collected all these particu“ lans. Mr. Tregian was a person of invincible

courage under affliction, and of a constitution as “ to his body, which he enjoyed without any re“markable indisposition the first seven years of his « confinement. But, as he advanced in years, he " began to feel the effects of the hardships he had

6 tion

« ForrigeFortsæt »