Archaeologia/Volume 13/Account of Inscriptions discovered on the Walls of an Apartment in the Tower of London

Archaeologia Volume 13  (1800) 
Account of Inscriptions discovered on the Walls of an Apartment in the Tower of London by John Brand
VII.Account of Inscriptions discovered on the Walls of an Apartment in the Tower of London. By the Rev. John Brand, Secretary.

Read Nov. 17, 1796.

THERE is a room in Beauchamp's Tower, in the Tower of London, antiently the place of confinement for state prisoners, and which has lately been converted into a mess-room for the officers of the garrison there[1]. On this alteration being made a great number of inscriptions was discovered on the walls of the room, which probably have, for the most part, been made with nails, and are all of them, it should seem, the undoubted autographs, at different periods, of the several illustrious and unfortunate tenants of this once dreary mansion. For the discovery, as well as the preservation, of these most curious memorials, the Society stand indebted to the unremitted zeal and attention of their respectable member, Colonel Smith, F.R.S. major of the Tower of London.

Of the severity of the restrictions these state delinquents in old times were put under, and who, being generally denied the use of books to alleviate the horrors of imprisonment, seem to have substituted this singular species of amusement, in recording, in the best manner they were able, on their prison-walls, their names, arms, crests, devices, &c. with the dates of their confinements. We have a striking picture in the Anecdotes of Distinguished Persons, lately edited by another respectable member of this Society. At page 103,

Vol. XIII. Pl. II. p. 68.

Inside View of a Room in the Tower of London

Vol. XIII. Pl. III. p. 69.

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Vol. III. of that entertaining work, we are informed that "Thomas, duke of Norfolk, who probably escaped death by the death of Henry the VIIIth, in his petition to the lords from the Tower of London, requests to have some of the books which are now at Lambeth; for, says he, unless I have books to read, ere I fall asleep, and after I awake again, I cannot sleep, nor have done these dozen years;" farther requesting "that I may hear mass, and be bound upon my life not to speak to him who says mass, which he may do in the other chamber, whilst I remain within. That I may be allowed sheets to lie on; to have licence in the day time to walk in the chamber without, and in the night be locked in, as I am now." And he concludes, "I would gladly have licence to send to London to buy one book of St. Austin de Civitate Dei, and one of Josephus de Antiquitatibus."

Plate III. represents the curious device of the ambitious John Dudley, duke of Northumberland, son of that Edmund Dudley who had been put to death by command of Henry VIII. His son John became, however, an object of that fickle monarch's favour, was created by him lord viscount Lisle, and appointed one of his executors in his last will. Early in the subsequent reign he was created earl of Warwick, and made lord chamberlain. With talents equally adapted for the camp and cabinet, he distinguished himself as lieutenant-general under the duke of Somerset at Musleborough Fight in Scotland in 1547, and afterwards as chief commander against the Norfolk rebels under Kett. He was created, probably on these accounts, duke of Northumberland in 1551. Raised to a height favourable to his ambitious views, he now formed the dangerous design of aggrandizing his own family, by destroying the settlement of the crown made by Henry the VIIIth, whereby the princesses Mary and Elizabeth were to succeed upon a failure of issue in Edward the VIth, in favour of Jane Gray, of the house of Suffolk, and lately married to Guildford Dudley, his youngest son.

This lady Jane he and his adherents actually proclaimed queen on the death of Edward the VIth.

Overpowered, however, by the superior interest of the princess Mary, he was arrested at Cambridge, July 35, 1553, conducted to the Tower of London, and beheaded on the 22nd of August following; so that this curious piece of sculpture must have been done in less than a month's time. The inscription, it should seem, has been left unfinished. His name, in the spelling of the age, is under the crest of the lion and bear and ragged staff. It is difficult to ascertain what is meant, if no pun is couched under them, by the following lines:

"Yow that these Beasts do well behold and se
May deme withe ease wherfore here made they be
Withe Borders eke wherein - - - - - - - - - -
The Brothers names who lift to serche the ground"

taking it for granted that a pun is intended, the Roses easily separate themselves in the division of his brother Ambrose's christian name.

Plate IV. Fig. 1, 2, contains a repetition, taken from different sides of the room, of the royal title of the amiable and unfortunate lady Jane Gray.

She had, perhaps, a latent meaning in this repetition of her signature Jane, by which she at once styled herself a queen and intimated that not even the horrors of a prison could force her to relinquish that title.

The magnanimity of this illustrious claimant and victim of royalty, to the very last, is thus recorded in Howe's Chronicle, p. 622. "The 12th of February, (1554) being Monday, there was a scaffold made upon the greene for the lady Jane to die upon, who with her husband was appointed to have been put to death on the Friday

Vol. XIII. Pl. IV. p. 70.

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before, but was stayed till then. This lady, being nothing at all abashed, neither with feare of her owne death, which then approached, neither with the fight of the dead carcase of her husband, when he was brought into the chapell, came foorth, the lieutenant leading her, with countenance nothing abashed, neither her eyes any thing moistened with teares. (although her gentlewomen Elizabeth Tilney and mistresse Helen wonderfully wept) with a book in her hand, wherein she prayed untill she came to the sayd scaffold, whereon when she was mounted, she was beheaded: whose deaths were the more hastened for fear of further troubles and stirre for her title, like as her father had attempted."

It is farther stated in the Anecdotes of Distinguished Persons before cited, Vol. IV. p. 129, that "on the wall of the room in which she (lady Jane Gray) was imprisoned in the Tower, she wrote with a pin these lines:

"Non aliena putes homini quæ obtingere possunt,
Sors hodierna mihi cras erit illa tibi."

"To mortals' common fate thy mind resign,
My lot to-day, to-morrow may be thine."

no vestiges of the above inscription were lately discovered.

With regard to Plate IV. Fig. 4, I should suppose that by "Doctor Cook, 1537," is meant the same person who is recorded in Howe's Chronicle, p. 581, under the name of "Laurence Cooke, prior of Dancaster," to have been with five others drawn to Tyburn, and hanged, and quartered. They had all been attainted by parliament for denial of the king's supremacy.

As to the inscription, "Adam Sedbar Abbas Jorevall 1537," Pl. IV. Fig. 3, we read in Howe's Chronicle, under that year, p. 574, that "in June, Adam Sodbury, abbot of Gervaux, was put to death;" and somewhat fuller, in Willis' History of Mitred Abbies, p. 275, cited in Burton's Monasticon Eboracense, p. 373, that "Adam Sedburgh, the eighteenth and last abbot of Joreval, Jervaux or Gervis abbey in Yorkshire, was hanged in June, A. D. 1537, for opposing the king (Henry the VIIIth's) measures."

Plate IV. Fig. 5, exhibits a true copy of the autograph of Philip Howard, earl of Arundel, and son of Thomas Howard, duke of Norfolk, who was beheaded, A. D. 1572. The sentence to which he has subcribed his name, "Quanto plus afflictionis pro Christo in hoc fæculo, tanto plus gloriæ cum Christo in futuro," is remarkably adapted to the character that has been left of him, according with the austerities which, Camden tells us, he used to practise, and the tenor of his behaviour, which other accounts have transmitted to us, as not unbecoming the primitive ages of the christian church.

We are informed by Dodd, in his Church History, that he was a zealous professor of the catholic faith, whereof he gave many remarkable proofs during his sufferings for the cause.

This inscription appears, by the date June 22, 1587, to have been made about two years after his commitment to the Tower.

The sentences underneath seem probably to have been added after his death by subsequent Roman catholic prisoners, &c. by way of eulogium on his memory.

"Gloria et honore eum coronasti domine."

In the last there has been an omission of the latter part, "the memory of the wicked shall rot," perhaps through fear of the party then uppermost, who are pretty strongly glanced at by the introduction of the first word "At."

In 1585 this prudent, as well as pious nobleman, foreseeing a storm gathering and threatening his party, on account of some attempts to set the queen of Scots at liberty, formed a resolution of quitting the kingdom; but as he was taking shipping, by the treachery of his own servants, he was discovered, apprehended, and committed to the Tower.

Here he lay above four years before he was brought to his trial, which came on April 18, 1589, and of which the particulars are preserved in the collection of State Trials. Though condemned to die, he never felt the edge of the axe, but was reprieved from time to time till his death in the Tower, October 19, Collins says November 19, 1595, and aged about forty years; thus compensating, as it were, by a close confinement for ten years, the fatal stroke that had been undergone by his father, grand-father, and great-grandfather.

Dod says, that as to his person he was very tall, of a swarthy complexion, with an agreeable mixture of sweetness and grandeur in his countenance, adding, that he had a soul superior to all human considerations. His son Thomas, whom he had by Anne, sister of George, lord Dacres of Gisland, a co-heir, by whom the Howard family had a considerable accession of property, inherited the honours of this illustrious house, and died at Padua in the year 1646.

With regard to the title of earl of Arundel, taken by this Philip, eldest son of Thomas, duke of Norfolk, the following passage from Collins's Peerage affords a very ample explanation: "The title of the duke of Norfolk being, by the attainder of this Thomas, thus taken away, Philip, his eldest son, was called earl of Arundel, as owner of Arundel Castle in Sussex, by descent from his mother; it having, in II Henry VI. been adjudged in parliament to be a local dignity, so that the possessors thereof should enjoy that title of honour. Whereupon he, the said Philip, by that appellation, had summons to the parliament, begun at Westminster in January 16, 1575-80."

Plate V.
"J. H. S. A passage perillus makethe a port pleasant.

A' 1568.
Arthur Poole
Æ' sue 37.
A.M.P. in a cypher.

(In-another place)
"Deo servire
Penitentiam inire
Fatoque obedire.
Regnare est.
A. Poole 1564. J.H.S.

About the year 1562 the commotions in France, during the minority of Charles the IXth, between the princes of the popish and the reformed religion, soon spread themselves by a kind of contagion to this island; and Arthur Poole, and his brother, great-grand- children to George, duke of Clarence, brother to king Edward the IVth, and Anthony Fortescue, who had married their sister, with others, were accused of conspiring to withdraw themselves into France, upon a design formed of landing an army from thence in Wales, there to proclaim the queen of Scots queen of England, and to declare this Arthur Poole duke of Clarence; all which they confessed at their trials, protesting, however, that they had no de- sign in it during the life of queen Elizabeth, but had been rashly induced to credit some who pretended to foretell that her majesty would not outlive that year. The words of Camden are, "Quæ singula pro Tribunali ingenue sunt confessi, protestati tamen non hæc suscepturos Elizabetha superstite, quam anno vertente moritu- ram illicitis ariolorum artibus feducti crediderant."

Arthur Poole's brother, whose name was Edmund, has left two inscriptions: "Æ. 21. E. Poole, 1562," and "Æ. 27. E. P. A°. 1568." Pl. VI. Fig. 1, 2.

In Strype's Annals of the Reformation, Vol. I. p. 373, we are told that "Arthur Pole, Edmonde Pole, Anthonye Fortescue,

Vol. XIII. Pl. V. p. 74.

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John Prestall, Humfrey Barwycke, Edwarde Cosyn, and others, to the number of seven in the whole, by commission of oyer and terminer, dated vicesimo secundo Die Februarii anno quinto Reginæ, were arrayned upon an indytemente of treason found in Surry, the force whereof hereafter followeth. Firste, it is conteyned, that the same Arthur Pole, and others named in the same indytemente, as false traytors and rebells agenste the queen's majesty, did compasse, imagyne, and goe aboute not onlye to depryve and depose the queen, but also her death and destruction; and to sette upp and make the Skottyshe queen queen of this realme.

And to bringe the same to passe, they conspired to raise and make insurrection and warre within this realme againste the queen.

And for the further bringing of the same to passe, they agreed amongst themselves to depart this realme into Flanders, and from thence into France.

And at their arrivall in Flanders they shoulde publish the seyd Arthur Pole to be duke of Clarence. And then should send their letters unto the queen mother, the king of Navarre, and the duke of Guyse, signifying the arrival of the duke of Clarence in Flanders, and to request ayd, acceptation, and adherence unto their sayd intents.

And to be better accepted in the said realm of Fraunce for the bringing of their sayd traterous intents to effecte, the seyd Arthur Pole and his sayd complyces devysed, that so soone as they came into the realme of Fraunce, they should treate with the sayd duke of Guyse, the open enemy unto the queen and her realme, for marryage betwene the seyd Skottyshe queen and Edmonde Pole, brother to the sayd Arthur. And to bring in an army of 5,000 men of the enemyes of our sayd queen, from the seyd duke of Guyse, and with the same armye in Maye next after to arrive in Wales, and there to proclaim the seyd Skottysh queen to be queen of England: and afterwards from the parte of Wales to come into this realm, and to move the subjects to ryse and rebell against the queene, and to make the said Skottyshe queen queen of this realme, and to depose our sovereign ladye.

Item, that the seyd Skottish queen, after she hadd been so preferred to the crowne of this realme, should create the sayd Arthur Pole duke of Clarence.

Item, yt is farther founde by the seyd indytements, that after the sayd conspyrators had arryved in Flanders, they wolde sende letters to one Goldewell, late bishopp of St. Asaphe, then being at Rome, to be meane to the pope, for his ayde in theis conspyracies, with promyse of restitusion of relygion within this realme of Inglandt, for such his ayde and helpe.

Item, yt is founde that Prestall and Cosyn, two of the sayd conspyrators, dyd invocate a wicked spryte, and demaunded of him the best waye to bring all their treasons to passe: and that Anthony Fortescue, one of the seyd conspyrators, dyd open unto the French embassador and unto the Spanish embassador, the seyd traterous devyces, by the consente of the sayd Arthur Pole, and the resydue of the seyd conspyrators; with request unto both the same embassadors to hand their letters unto the French king, and to the seyd duke of Guyse, for their ayde in performance of the sayd treasons; declaringe unto the same embassadors the just title which the seyd Arthur Pole hadde to the seyd dukedom of Clarence.

Item, yt is further founde, that the faid Prestall and Cosyn, to the intents aforeseyd, dyd goe into the seyd partes beyonde the seas; and that the seyd Anthonye Fortescue, by the consente of the seyd Arthur Pole, and the residue of the seyd conspyrators, dyd hyer a boate to be brought unto St. Olyve's stayres, nyghe unto London Brydge, to the intente to convey in the same the fayd Fortescue and other of the same conspirators, being left behind after the departure of the seyd Prestall and Cosyn, unto a Flemish hoye, beings uppon

Vol. XIII. Pl. VII. p. 77.

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the river Thames syx myles beyonde Gravesende, to the intente to transporte the same Anthonie Fortescue, Arthur Pole, and the resydue of the conspirators left behinde, into Flaunders, to the intente to performe the seyd trayterous conspiracyes.

Item, yt is further found, that the same Arthur Pole, and other the conspirators abovenamed, being lefte behinde in Englande, came into the sayd boate so provyded: and therein layd dyvers armures and certeyn munytyon for warre, and sommes of money, and other things necessarye for theyr sayd journey: and also remayned in a certen inne called the Dolphyn, for opportunyty of tyme, to be conveyed by the same boate into the seyd hoye, and therein to be transported into Flaunders to the entents aforeseyd. And hereuppon the same indytemente concludeth with this effecte uppon all theis matters aforeseyd, layd together, that the seyd conspirators dyd compasse and ymagyne the deposinge, death, and fynall destruction of our soveraigne ladye the queen."

The above is a copy from the Cecil MSS.

The parties indicted upon this matter, were, by the whole consent of the judges of the realm then in being, arraigned and adjudged traytors at Westminster: but the queen, of her clemency, and perhaps from the consideration of their being, at least the Poles, of the blood royal, spared their lives.

It should seem, however, that both Arthur and Edmund Poole were confined during their lives in the Tower: for in the register of the Tower chapel there remain between the years 1565 and 1578 the two following entries:

"Mr. Arthur Poole buried in the chappell."
"Mr. Arthur Poole's brother buried in the chappell."

Plate VII. Miscellaneous arms, ciphers, and inscriptions.

"En Dieu est mon Esperance."

I suppose this to have been done by Henry the VIIIth earl of Northumberland, who, as appeared by the coroner's inquest, shot himself in the Tower, June 21, 1585. "This earl, as Collins informs us, was suspected to have plotted secretly with Francis Throckmorton, Thomas lord Paget, and the Guises, for invading England, and setting the queen of Scots at liberty, whom he always highly favoured. Whereupon, being soon committed to the Tower, and there kept prisoner, he, on Monday, June 21, 1585, was found dead in his bed, shot with three bullets near his left pap, from a dagge or pistol, his chamber door being barred on the inside. The coroner's inquest having viewed the body, considered the place, found the pistol, with gunpowder in the chamber, and examined his man, who bought the pistol and him that sold it, gave their verdict that he had killed himself. The third day after there was a full meeting of the peers of the realm in the star chamber, where sir Thomas Bromley, lord chancellor, briefly declared, that the earl had been engaged in traiterous designs, and had laid violent hands upon himself, being terrified with the guilty conscience of his offence; and the attorney and solicitor general shewed the reasons why the earl had been kept in prison."

Notwithstanding this weight of evidence Camden has hinted, and that pretty broadly, at some suspicions of foul play on this occasion, in the fallowing words: "Certe boni quam plurimi tum quod natura nobilitati faveant, tum quod præclaram fortitudinis laudem re tulisset, tantum virum tam mifera et miferanda morte periisse indoluerunt. Quæ suspicaces profugi de ballivo quodam ex hattoni famulis, qui paullo ante comiti custos adhibitus, muffitârunt, ut parum compertum omitto, nec ex vanis auditionibus aliquid in- texere visum est."

So that, though we cannot apply the well known lines of Gray,

"Ye towers of Julius, London's lasting fhame,
With many a foul and midnight murther fed!"

they will but too obviously obtrude themselves on our remembrance, when we take a review of the several circumstances of the noble earl's most tragical end.

"Saro Fideli
Inggram Percy 1537."

The person who made the above inscription was third son of Henry the Vth earl of Northumberland. Collins, who seems to have known nothing of his ever having been a prisoner in the Tower of London, tells us that "Sir Ingelram, or Ingram Percy, knight, was receiver of the revenue of the earl his brother in the northern parts of the county of Northumberland. He never married, but died about the latter end of the year 1538, leaving only an illegitimate daughter, to whom in his will he "bequethes twenty pounds, the whiche twenty pounds he wills the lady his mother shall have the use thereof, with the childe, untill she be of lawful age. He also bequethes to the moder of the said childe twenty nobles. This will, which is dated June 7, 1538, and the probat March 21 following, and which, besides the above, only contains legacies to his servants, plainly shews that he was never married, and left no legitimate issue: although Percy, the trunk-maker, in Temp. Car. II. pretended to derive his descent and claim to the earldom of Northumberland from this sir Ingram Percy, knight. His natural daughter, above mentioned, who was named Isabel, became wife of Henry Tempest of Broughton in Com. Ebor."

It seems highly probable that the above sir Ingram Percy was some way or other involved in Uske's rebellion, for which his brother sir Thomas Percy, knight, was executed at Tyburn in June 1537.

"R. D."
Under the slip of an oak-tree with acorns,

I should think are the initials of Robert Dudley, "Sonne," says Howe, p. 618, "to the late duke of Northumberland, who in 1554 was arrayned at the Guild Hall of London of high treason: he confessed the inditement, and had judgement given by the earl of Sussex to be drawne, hanged, bowelled, and quartered." The same authority informs us that he had been committed to the Tower by the name of Lord Robert Dudley, July 26, 1553.

"F. Page."

Though the initial of the christian name is bent, as if for a P. Sed quære.

"Francis Page," on the authority of Dod, in his Church History, "having spent some time in the municipal laws in England, went abroad, and, being ordained priest, returned as a missionary into his own country. He resided for the most part with Mrs. Anne Line, a widow gentlewoman; and being at last seized, and condemned to die, for receiving orders, he was executed at Tyburn in the year 1601. He insisted, at his trial, that being a reputed alien, born at Antwerp, the law did not reach him. But not being able to produce his proofs immediately, his plea was overruled; though it was looked upon to be a great hardship that he had not time allowed him to make good his allegation. Mrs. Line was also prosecuted and suffered death for entertaining him. Alegambe gives Mr. Page a place in his catalogue, but," says Dod, "I do not find that he was ever admitted among the jesuits: neither, indeed, does Alegambe affirm it."

"Verbum Domini manet

This prisoner was most probably some priest of the Roman Catholic communion.

"Jhon Seymor"
No Date.

Hume, in his History of England, Vol. IV, p. 377, informs us, that in one night, October 16, 1551, the duke of Somerset, the lord Grey, David and John Seymour, Hammond and Neudigate, two of the duke's servants, sir Ralph Vane, and sir Thomas Palmer, were arrested, and committed to custody. The duke of Somerset is well known to have been brought to the scaffold on Friday January 22, 1552. What became of this John Seymour (if the same person is meant, which seems very probable) does not appear.

"C. C. How. 1553."
A Crucifix.

This prisoner, it should seem, has been a priest of the Roman catholic communion. I can find no account of him.

An inscription in old French, "Reprove the wise man, and he will love thee." C. J. 1538. (In another place) "Lerne to feare God." C. J.

"Joyn Waw"
Two Crucifixes.

This prisoner has most probably been a priest of the Roman catholic communion.

"Thomas Steven"

No account of him.

"James Rogers"

I can find nothing concerning him.

An inscription in old Italian. Sperando mi godero, 1537. A cipher—probably made by some prisoner who had been concerned in Aske's rebellion in the North.

"Francis Owdal. 1541."

No account of this prisoner.

"Lancaster Herald
Francis Eul."
Two Crosses.

I can form no conjecture on the intention of the above inscription, unless the mutilated name at the bottom may have been for that of some Roman catholic prisoner.

Plate VI. Fig. 3. A G on each side of the arms of Gifford, i. e. the same arms given by Edmondson to the Giffords of Worcestershire, Buckinghamshire, Ireland, and Wotton-under Edge in Gloucestershire, "Argent, ten torteauxes, four, three, two, and one." Date 1586. By way of crest to the shield, a hand grasping three flowers.

"Mala Conscientia facit ut tuta timeantur.
G. Gyford."

(In another place)
"Fidelis non Felix
Dolor patentiâ vincitur.
G. Gyfford, August 8, 1586."

Bishop Carleton, in his "Thankful Remembrance of God's Mercie," p. 106, tells us that "George Giffard, one of the queenes Gentleman Pencionaries, had sworne to kill the queene, and for that cause had wiped Guise of a great summe of money." Probably this was the prisoner that made the above inscriptions; and yet we are informed in Strype's Annals, Vol. III. p. 417, under the year 1586, of a "Gilbert Giffourd, a priest, who was concerned in a conspiracy against the queen," where it is added, that "upon the discovery of this dreadful plot, and the taking up of those rebels and bloody-minded traitors, the city of London made extraordinary rejoicings, by public bonfires, ringing of bells, feasting in the streets, singing of Psalms, and such like."

The subsequent inscriptions were discovered also at the same time.

"T. Salmon. Crest Three Salmon—Date 1622.—Arms, as it should seem, of the name of Salmon—Motto, Nec temere nec ti- more." "J. H. S. Sic vive lit vivas."—Death's head—round it, "Et morire ne moriaris."—This has probably been done by some prisoner of the Roman catholic communion, but there is no account of any person of that name in Dod's Church History.

Anonymous—Inscription "Ano Dni 1568. Jaeny. 23.
J. H. S.

No hope is hard or vayne
That happ doth ous attayne"

This, too, was most probably done by some priest of the Roman catholic communion, who has studiously concealed his name.

Thomas Cobham 1556."

This Thomas Cobham was concerned in Wyat's rebellion, and committed with Wyat to the Tower of London, on the night of Shrove Tuesday 1554.

"Thomas Clarke 1576.

"I leve in hope and I gave credit to my Frinde in time

Did stand me most in hand
So would, I never do againe excepte I hade him suer in bande
And to al men wishe I so
Unles ye sussteine the like lose as I do.
Unhappie is that mane whose actes doth procuer
The miseri of this house in prison to induer.

1576. Thomas Clarke."

(In another place.)

"Hit is the poynt of a wyfe man to try and then truste
For hapy is he who fyndeth one that is just.

T. C."

Dod, in his Church History, (Vol II. p. 75) mentions a "Thomas Clarke (probably this prisoner) a priest of the Roman communion, but of what order he did not find," adding, that "He became a protestant and made his recantation sermon at St. Paul's Cross, July 1, 1593."

"Thomas Miagh 1581.
"Thomas Miagh which lieth hire alone
That fayne wold from hens begon
By torture straunge my troyth was tried
Yet of my libertie denied.

1581. Thomas Miagh."

I find no account of this prisoner, the sincerity of whose wishes to be set at liberty no one will be inclined to call in question.

"Edward Cuffyn 1562."

For whatever crime this person had been made a prisoner, he occurs afterwards as sent into exile, as one of an enterprising spirit, and fit to be deputed as a Romish emissary to England. Strype, in his Annals, Vol. III. p. 318, mentions a letter from Robert Turner, a native of Devonshire, public professor of Divinity at Ingolstade in Germany, A. D. 1585, to cardinal Allen at Rome, recommending an English man, one Edward Coffin, ready at his service, to be admitted into the English college at Rome, (where Allen was chief) being a young man, a catholic, and an exile;" whom (as he flattereth him) England loved, Rome adorned, banishment hath, as it were ratified (fanxit) the patron and father of Englishmen, catholics, and exiles." "That this man's request was that he might be chosen into the said college, having consecrated himself to God, to England, and Rome; and that he was a fit young man of no ill note, and prepared inire palestram: Juvenis feroculus; ready to enter upon action, a fierce youth: very good qualifications for a Romish emissary." Dod tells us that he was born in Exeter, educated in the English college in Rome from the year 1588; and, being ordained priest, was sent upon the mission; and, having laboured some years, became a Jesuit, as it appears, making his profession in England An. 1598. He was a great sufferer upon account of religion, being several years a prisoner, and at last banished An. 1603. He lived afterwards in Rome, and was near twenty years confessor in the English college. Though now advanced in years, he was desirous of seeing England once more; and, being permitted, remained there a little while, and then died at St. Omer's, in the year 1636. The works he left to posterity are, 1. A Preface to Robert Parson's Posthumous Work against William Barlow, bishop of Lincoln. St. Omer's, 1615. 2. A Treatise in Defence of the Celibacy of Priests against Joseph Hall, dean of Worcester. Ib. 8vo. 1619.

3. De Morte Roberti Bellarmini. Ibid. 8vo. 1623.

4. The Art of Dying Well, a translation from the Latin of Rob. Bellarmin. Ibid. 8vo. 1622.

5. M. Ant. de Dominis Archiepisc. Spalatensis Palinodia, quâ Reditûs fui ex Angliâ Rationcs explicat. Ib. 8vo.

"John Colleton Prist 1581. July 22."

In A. Munday's " Discoverie of Edmund Campion and his confederates, their most horrible and traiterous practises against her majesties most royall person and the realme, &c. imprinted at London Jan. 1582." 8vo. we are informed that on "the 21st of Nov. 1581, John Hart, Thomas Foord, William Filbie, Lawrence Richard, John Shert, Alexander Brian, and John Collington, were brought to their trials, and all found guilty of the treasons, "except John Collington, who was quit of the former high treason by the jewrie."

We gather from the same authority that Edmond Campion, jesuit, Raphe Sherwin and Alexander Brian, seminary priests, were drawn from the Tower on hurdles, and executed at Tyburne Dec. 1, 1581.

It appears farther that this John Colleton, or Collington, for his name is spelled both ways, was committed to the Tower on the very day on which he made the above inscription, viz. July 22, 1581, from "a very true report of the apprehension and taking of that arche-papist Edmund Campion, the pope his right hand, with three other lewd Jesuit priests, and divers other laie people, most seditious persons of like sort, by George Ellyott, one of the ordinary yeomen of her majestyes chamber. 1581." Signat. G. 3. 6.

In a part of Beauchamp's Tower, now converted into a kitchen, were discovered the following inscriptions:

"The man whom this howse can not mend
Hathe evill becoom and worse will end"
(Two acorns, with an oak leaf in the middle.)

"The following infcription in old Italian.

"Dispoi die vore La
Fortuna che ba mea
Speransa va al ven-
to pianger Ho volio
El Tempo Perduto
E Semper Stel me
Tristo e Discontèto.
Wilim Tyrrel 1541[2]"

No account of William Tyrrell can be found. The above melancholy inscription seems to imply that the person who made it had been condemned, and was impatient for the day of his execution.

It is one of those genuine effusions of anguish which may be stiled, in the pathetic language of the Book of Psalms,

"The sorrowful sighing of the prisoner."

The allusion to astrology marks very strongly the superstition of the age.

"William Rame 22, die Aprilis Ano 1559.

Better it is to be in the howse of mornyng then in the houze of banketing.

The harte of the wyse is in the mornyng howze. It is better to have some chastening then to have over moche liberte.

There is a tyme for all things, a tyme to be borne and a tyme to dye, and the daye of deathe is better than the daye of birthe.

There is an ende of all things, ande the ende of a thinge is beter then the begenyng.

Be wyse and pacyente in troble, for wysedome defendith us as well as monie.

Use weil the tyme of prosperite, and remember the tyme of mysfortune"

It is not known who this William Rame was, unless he be in- cluded among the "parsons and vicars" mentioned by Howe in his Chronicle, p. 639-40, as having been "deprived this year from their benefices, and some committed to prison in the Tower" and other places.

"Thomas Rooper 1570.
Per passage penible passons a port plaisant"

This person was most probably banished, as I find no account of his execution. In Strype's Annals of the Reformation, Vol II. p. 648-9, under the year 1580, the "Ropers" are mentioned among the queen's enemies remaining abroad, and a letter of Dr. Parry to the lord treasurer from Paris, is there cited, wherein he intercedes "for some papists, fugitives, Mr. John Roper and Mr. Thomas Roper by name, as well worthy of his lordship's good opinion and countenance."

These were probably descendants of the Roper who was sonin-law to sir Thomas More.

In the account of sir Thomas More and Mr. William Roper, in Wood's Athenæ Oxonienses, (Vol. I. col. 33) it is stated that William Roper, who married Margaret More, was born in Kent, and educated for a time in one of the universities. Afterwards he succeeded his father, John Roper, in the office of first notary of the King's Bench, which, after he had faithfully performed fifty-four years, he resigned to his son, Thomas Roper, who held the same twenty-four years, and died ætatis 65, January 21, 1597." In his epitaph in St. Dunstan's church, in the suburbs of Canterbury, his name is spelled, as here, with two oo's. "Thomas Rooper, Armiger."

"1585. Thomas Bawdewin. Juli.———
"As vertue maketh life
So sin cawseth death"

(A pair of scales.)

Vol. XIII. Pl. VIII. p. 89.

Archaeologia Volume 13 D122.png

Neither the State Papers, Rymer's Fædera, Strype, Dod, nor Howe, mention this Thomas Bawdewin. I suspect he has been imprisoned here for counterfeiting the queen's coin.

"Thomas Peverel."

Two inscriptions, both undated; round one a mutilated sentence —"adoramus te—Benedict" Plate VIII.—on the other, a bleeding heart on a crucifix part of the figure of a skeleton with words not to be made out beneath the first is plainly "pars." Arms of Peverel, three wheat-sheaves—a pomegranate. Edmondson informs us that the arms of Peverell of Devonshire, are, "Az. three Garbs. ar. two and one." Plate VI. Fig. 4.

I find no account whatever of this prisoner.

"Thomas Willymear, gold-smythe.

My hart is yours tel dethe" A bleeding heart, oak flip, with acorns growing out of it. On one side his own initials, T. W. on the other P. A. probably those of his mistress. A figure of death, holding a dart in one hand, and an hour-glass in the other. From the circumstance of his styling himself "Goldsmith" I should suspect this person to have been imprisoned for counterfeiting the current coin of the kingdom. There is no date.

"1570. Jhon Store, Doctor"

The curious information that has been transmitted concerning this prisoner must atone for the very scanty notices or silence of our annalists concerning the preceding ones.

Dod tells us (Vol. II. p. 164) that this John Story was "educated in the university of Oxford, chiefly in Henxey Hall, a most noted house for civilians. He was admitted bachelor of the civil law, anno 1531, and appointed professor of a new lecture, anno 1535, founded by king Henry VIII.

In the year 1537 he was chosen principal of Broadgate's Hall; and the year following created doctor of laws. Having afterwards performed remarkable services in administering justice at the siege of Boulogne, under the Marshal, in consideration thereof his lecture at Oxford was confirmed to him by patent for life.

In the beginning of Edward VIth's reign, being a justice of the peace, and a zealous maintainer of the old religion, he appeared very forward in opposing all innovations, and hindering the people in his neighbourhood from plundering and making a prey of the goods of the church; to which purpose he made a very warm harangue at one of the quarterly meetings. This behaviour being carried to court, he was severely threatened, and soon after obliged to withdraw into Flanders, where he remained the rest of king Edward VIth's reign. Queen Mary's accession favouring his return, he came back into England, and was considered suitably to his capacity and merits. The patent of professor in Oxford was restored to him; but this he quickly gave up for places of greater advantage. He was frequently employed in what regarded the canon law in the courts held in London; and being made chancellor of the diocese of Oxford, it engaged him to be very active in prosecuting the protestants of queen Mary's reign. When queen Elizabeth came to the crown Dr. Story was a member of the house of commons, and spoke so warmly against the reformation that he was committed. But finding means to make his escape, he retired once more into Flanders, where he was put into an advantageous post in the custom house at Antwerp. It is thought his behaviour in that place gave great offence to several English merchants that frequented that port, which, together with the remembrance of his having acted with an high hand against the reformers in the late reign, put some persons upon thoughts of revenge; and it was not long before they drew him into a snare. Being on a certain day called upon to visit an English ship in the harbour, belonging to one Parker, who, as it appeared, had contrived his matters beforehand, he no sooner had gone on board but Parker immediately ordered the hatches to be nailed down upon him; and hoisting up sail, brought him over prisoner to England about the beginning of 1570. Afterwards, being committed prisoner to the Tower, he was frequently examined, and pressed to take the oath of supremacy, which he refused with great courage and constancy, being animated thereunto by abbot Feckenham, prisoner in the Tower at the fame time. When his trial came on, several things were alledged against him, viz. his cruel treatment of the protestants in queen Mary's reign; several treasonable speeches against the queen and government while he resided in Antwerp. But the chief article of his indictment was his denying the queen's supremacy. In his defence he insisted very much upon his being the king of Spain's sworn servant; and, upon that account, no longer subject to the laws of England. But his plea was not allowed. So, steadfastly refusing to take the oath of supremacy, as he had done several times before within the Tower, he was drawn from thence on a hurdle to Tyburn, June 1, 1571. He made a bold speech at the place of execution, and died, as he lived, a zealous assertor of the faith of his ancestors. He was cut down before he was deprived of the use of his senses; and, as it was reported, struggled with the executioner while he was rifling among his bowels. His head was placed upon London Bridge, and his quarters upon the gates of the city. People were variously affected by his death. Some pitied him upon account of his age, being above seventy. Others looked upon his death as a piece of revenge, and unbecoming a court of judicature. While those at the helm judged it a piece of policy to take off a person whose parts and experience might be prejudicial to the government, in case he were permitted to live in a kingdom with which they had daily contest, and with which a war was then threatened."

Strype has preserved a memorial that the famous John Fox, the martyrologist, gave in against him at his trial, as to his cruel persecuting spirit, copied from a paper in Fox's own hand-writing:

"Story, by his confession, the chiefest cause and doer, in putting most of the martyrs to death.

Story caused a faggot to be cast at the face of Mrs. Denley, singing a psalm in the fire, saying, he had marred the fashion of an ld song.

Story scourged Thomas Green.

Story, coming from the burning of two, at the lord mayor, Mr. Curtys his table, said, that as he had dispatched them, so he trusted within a month he should also dispatch all the rest; saying, moreover, that if he were of the queen's council, he would devise to torment them after another sort. And there shewed the way most cruel, which he would use.

Story, at another time coming from the burning of Richard Gibson, and being demanded of the Lord Mayor what he would do if the world should alter, said, If he were so sick in his bed that he could not stir without hands, yet would he fit up to give sentence against an heretick; and though he knew the world would turn the next day after.

Story was sorry (as he said in the Parliament House) that they struck not at the root.

In summa, Story worse than Boner.

Yet, notwithstanding, Story is made a saint at Rome, and his martyrdom printed and set up in the English college there."

Such were the sentiments of our old martyrologist, exaggerated, no doubt, by party spirit, concerning this extraordinary character, who seems far to have outdone, in acts of cruelty, even that prelate to whose name the horrid and most inconsistent epithet of "bloody" has been annexed by posterity, who was, however, not only an amateur of such barbarous spectacles, but, as far as whipping went, even fouled his consecrated hands with the base offices of the executioner, and of whom a most remarkable saying has been handed down. When wondering at the courage of the poor protestant martyrs even in the fire, and at effects so very different from those it was intended and expected to produce, he exclaimed, in the coarse language of that age:

"Plague on them! I think they take delight in burning."

Dr. Story, in his last will, charged his wife Joan not to set foot on the land of England, or carry his daughter thither (according to a promise she had made to God and him) until it were restored to the unity of the church, "except it be for the only intent to procure her mother to come thence; and in such case not to tarry there above the space of three months, unless she by compulsion be forced thereunto."

There was discovered under the word "Thomas" a great A upon a bell, a punning rebus, plainly intended for the name of Dr. Thomas Abel, who was executed for treason in the year 1540.

It is very observable that a similar rebus for the name of the famous alderman Abel, the monopolizer of wines in the reign of Charles I. is given in the very fine and scarce portrait of him engraved by Hollar, and barely mentioned by Granger, who, from this circumstance, must have been an entire stranger to his history and character.

Dod, in his Church History, tells us, that Thomas Abel or Able, was educated in Oxford, where he completed his degrees in arts 1516, and, proceeding in divinity, became doctor of that faculty. He was not only a man of learning, but also very well qualified in many other respects. He was a great master of instrumental music, and well skilled in the modern languages. These qualifications introduced him at court. He became domestic chaplain to queen Catharine, wife of king Henry VIII. having at the same time the honour to serve her majesty in the several capacities above mentioned. The affection he bore towards his mistress engaged him in the dangerous controversies of the times. He opposed the divorce both by words and writings, and had the misfortune to incur a misprision, by giving too much into the delusions of Elizabeth Barton, called the Holy Maid of Kent. He was afterwards condemned to die, and executed in Smithfield, July 30, 1540, together with Dr. Edward Powel, and Dr. Richard Fetherstone, for denying the king's supremacy, and affirming his marriage with queen Catharine to be good. Three Lutheran divines suffered at the same time and place. Robert Barnes, D. D. Thomas Gerard, B. D. and parson of Honey Lane; William Jerome, B. D. and vicar of Stepenhith. Dr. Abel was author of a book intitled, "Tractatus de non diffolvendo Henrici et Catharinæ Matrimonio, 1534."

There was discovered also the name of "Walter Paslew, 1569." Who he was I have not been able to ascertain. It is observable in the motto or sentence he annexes, "Extrema anchora Christus, 1570," he has substituted, according to the fashion of the times, a picturesque representation of an anchor for the word "anchora." Also that of "Eagremond Radclyff 1576, pour parvenir" the undoubted autograph cut in stone, of a person, noble by birth, the son of Henry earl of Suffex, half brother to Thomas, then earl of Suffex, lord high chamberlain of the queen's household. But being young, says Strype, and of a haughty spirit, and a papist, he was engaged in the rebellion in the north in 1569, and made a shift afterwards to fly into Spain and Flanders. He ventured to Calais in 1575, and we soon afterwards find him committed to the Tower of London. Strype has preserved extracts from two letters from him in this confinement; one dated April 30, 1577, "most humbly imploring of her majesty, for God's sake, to command him rather to be executed than to let him live in the torment of body and mind he was in."

By the other, dated May 6, 1577, to the lord treasurer, it appears that the queen had pardoned him on condition that he should immediately leave the kingdom.

He accordingly went abroad, and entered into the service of don John of Austria. He made an unhappy end, for, upon some accusation, as though he and some other English had entered into a plot to murder that governor of Flanders, he was executed the year following, though to the last he persevered in attesting his innocence. Strype concludes his account of him with laying, "But this is enough to have remembered of this unfortunate gentleman, and penitent rebel, but of a turbulent spirit. Egremond RadclifF."

There were found two inscriptions with the name of Charles Bailly, in the service of the queen of Scots. The first of these is much mutilated the date April 10, 1571.—It was, however, made out nearly as follows: "Wise men ought circumspectly to see what they do: to examine before they speak: to prove what they take in hande: to canvass whose company they use: and above all, to whom they trust."

The second inscription is pretty perfect: The initials plainly shew the abbreviations of the name of Christ in Greek. "Principium sapientie timor Domini."

"Be friend to one, be enemy to none. Hoping, have patience. A. D. 1571, 10 Sept. The most unhappy man in the world is he that is not patient in adversities; for men are not killed with the adversities they have, but with the impatience which they suffer."

"Tout vient a poient quy peult attendre"

"Gli sosbiri ne son testemoni veri dell angoscia mia"

"Æt. 29. Charles Bailly."

It appears from Camden's Annals of Queen Elizabeth and other authorities, that this Charles Bailly, or Bailif, as Camden spells his name, was a person engaged in the service and practices of the queen of Scots, who, coming over to England early in the year 1571, was the moment he landed at Dover seized and imprisoned. By the first inscription he appears to have been in the Tower on the 10th of April that year.

In Murdin's Collection of State Papers relating to Affairs in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, there is preserved a great deal of information concerning him. In a letter dated from his prison in the Tower, "this month of October, the 7th of my imprisonment, 1571," to lord Burghley, he most humbly beseeches his lordship "for God's sake, and for the passion that he suffered for us, to take pitie of me, and to bend your mercyfull eyes toward me, Charles Bailly, a poor prisoner and stranger."

Camden says he was a Dutchman by birth, but his name is plainly Scottish.

Having discovered, as he says, all he knew, he concludes with saying, there "restith no more for me, but after my prayer to God, all the quenes majesties and your lordships enemys knowen, to the end they may be overthrowen and destroyed, and all their purposes and enterprises broken, most humbly to beseech your lordship to take companion of me, in putting me to liberty; assuring your lordship that I will make an othe never to serve any Scottishman agayn, or stranger, whilest I lyve, but the queenes' majesty and your lordship, to whose service I have been addicted all the tyme of my being in this realme, and have been carefull to shew it in deede; and that your lordship will consyder that I am a stranger, who have no frend at all to help me with a penny, and that I am allready all naked and torne; and that all those that be touched by that I have already opened to your lordship, do laughe me to scorne for this my punishment and handlyng, who desyre no other thing but my definition."

Of the following miscellaneous inscriptions I can give no account.

"Raulff Bulmer 1537."

This prisoner was most probably of the northern, ancient, and very respectable family of that name. By the date he had most likely been concerned in Aske's rebellion.

"John Marten"

No Date—some fragments of an inscription in old Italian.

"George Ardern 1558."

"Roy Baynbrige 1586."

"Henrye Sckun 157***."

A foreigner, probably, by the name, a Dutchman.

"Edwarde Smalley." Another "Edward Smalle."

"Robert Makri 1518."

The subsequent memorials of sir Geoffrey Foole are more interesting.

"G Poole." Another "Geffrye Poole 15**."

Howe, in his Chronicle, p. 576, informs us, under the year 1538, that on "the 5th of November, Henry Courtney, marquisse of. Excester, and earle of Devonshire, and sir Henry Poole, knight, L. Montacute, and sir Edw. Nevil, brother to the L. of Burgaveny, were sent to the Tower, being accused. by sir Geffrey Poole, brother to the L. Montacute, of high treason, who were indighted for devising to maintain, promote, and advance one Reginald Poole, late dean of Excester, enemy to the king beyond the sea, and to deprive the king" ———— "The marquesse of Excester, earle of Devonshire, and Henry lord Montacute, were arraigned on the last of December at Westminfter before the L. Audley, that was lord chancellor, and for the present high steward of England, where they were found guilty. The third day after were arraigned sir Edward Nevill, sir Geffrey Poole, two priests called Crofts and Colens, and one Holland, a marriner, all attainted. And the 9th of January were Henry, marques of Exrester, earl of Devonshire, Henry L. Montacute, and sir Edw. Nevill, beheaded on the Tower Hill. The two priests Crofts and Colens, and Holland the marriner, were hanged and quartered at Tyborne, and Geffrey Poole was pardoned."

"Thomas Fitzgerald"

Plate IX.

"Hew Draper of Brystow made thys spher the 30 Daye of Maye anno 1561"

The subsequent curious particulars relating to this prisoner, and our ancient popular superstitions, are preferred in the Miscellany of Records concerning the Tower of London, communicated by Col. Matthew Smith, F.R.S.

"Hugh Draper comitted the 21st of March 1560.

This man was brought in by the accusation of one John Man an astronomer, as a suspect of a conjurer or sorcerer, and thereby to practise matter againste Sr William St Lowe and my ladie. And in his confession it aperithe that before time he hathe ben busie and

Vol. XIII. Pl. IX. p. 98.

Archaeologia Volume 13 D134.png

doinge with suche matters. But he denieth any matter of weight touchinge Sr William Sentlo or my ladie, and also affirmethe yt long since he so misliked his science that he burned all his bookes. He is presently verie sicke, he semithe to be a man of goode wealthe, and kepithe a taverne in Bristowe, and is of his neighbours well reported."

  1. See an inside View of this Room, Pl. II.
  2. The following translation of this inscription was given by a learned member of this society.

    "Since fortune hath chosen that my hope
    Should go to the wind to complain: I wish
    The time were destroyed: my planet being ever
    Sorrowful and discontented.