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annum, to do something for them * and he afterwards obtained a place in the Victualling Office, by means of Lord Halifax.! The method he took of procuring another witness, was by taking his brother into the company of Goodenough, and afterwards persuading him to go and tell what he had heard at Whitehall.
The substance of the information given by Josiah Keeling, in his first examination, was that a plot had been formed for enlisting forty men, to intercept the King and Duke, on their return from Newmarket, at a farm-house called Rye, belonging to one Rumbold, a maltster; that this plan being defeated by a fire at Newmarket, which caused the King's return sooner than was expected, the design of an insurrection was laid; and, as the means of carrying this project into effect, they said that Goodenough had spoken of 4000 men, and 20,0001. to be raised by the Duke of Monmouth and other great men. The fallowing day, the two brothers made oath that Goodenough had told them that Lord Russell had promised to engage in the design, and to use all his interest to accomplish the killing of the King and the Duke. When the* council found that the Duke of Monmouth and Lord
* Examinations before the Lords, 1689. f Ibid.
Russell were named, they wrote to the King to come to London-; for they would not venture to go further, without his presence and leave. * In the mean time, warrants were issued for the apprehension of several of the conspirators. Hearing -of this, and having had private information from the brother of Keeling, they had a meeting on the 18th June, at Captain Walcot's lodging. At this meeting were present Walcot, Wade, Rumsey, Norton, the two Goodenougbs, Nelthrop, West, and Ferguson. Finding they had >no means either of opposing the King, or flying into Holland, they agreed to separate, and shift each man for himself. t
A proclamation was now issued for seizing on some who could not be found; and amongst these, Rumsey and West were named. The next .day, West delivered himself, and Rumsey came in a day after him. Their confessions, especially concerning the^issassination at the Rye House, were very ample. Burnet says, they had concerted a story to be brought out on such an .emergency.
In this critical situation, Lord Russell, though perfectly sensible of his danger, acted -with the greatest composure. He had, long before, told Mr. Johnson, that " he was very sensible he
should fall a sacrifice: arbitrary government could not be set up in England without wading through his blood." * The day before the King arrived, a messenger of the council was sent to wait at his gate, to stop him if he had offered to go out: yet his back-gate was not watched, so that he might have gone away, if he had chosen it. He had heard that he was named by Rumsey; but forgetting the meeting at Sheppard's, he feared no danger from a man whom he had always disliked, and never trusted. Yet he thought proper to send his wife amongst his friends for advice. They were at first of different minds; but, as he said he apprehended nothing from Rumsey, they agreed that his flight would look too like a confession of guilt. This advice coiuciding with his own opinion, he determined to stay where he was. As soon as the King arrived, a messenger was sent to bring him before the council. When he appeared there, the King told him that nobody suspected him of any design against his person; but that he had good evidence of his being in designs against his government. He was examined, upon the information of Rumsey, concerning the meeting at Sheppard's, to which Rumsey pretended to have carried a message, requiring a speedy reso
* Lords' Examination, 1689.
lution, and to have received for answer, that Mr. Trenchard had failed them at Taunton. Lord Russell totally denied all knowledge of this message. When the examination was finished, Lord Russell was sent a close prisoner to the Tower. Upon his going in, he told his servant, Taunton, that he was sworn against, and they would have his life. Taunton said he hoped it would not be in the power of his enemies to take it. Lord Russell answered, " Yes; the devil is loose." *
From this moment he looked upon himself as a dying man, and turned his thoughts wholly to another world. He read much in the Scriptures, particularly in the Psalms; but whilst he behaved with the serenity of a man prepared for death, his friends exhibited an honourable anxiety to preserve his life. Lord Essex would not leave his house, lest his absconding might incline a jury to give more credit to the evidence against Lord Russell. The Duke of Monmouth sent to let him know he woidd come in, and run fortunes with him, if he thought it could do him any service. He answered, it would be of no advantage to him to have his friends die with him.
A committee of the Privy Council came to examine him. Their enquiries related to the meet
ings at Sheppard's, the rising at Taunton, the seizing of the guards, and a design for a rising in Scotland. In answer to the questions put to him, he acknowledged he had been at Sheppard's house divers times, and that he went there with the Duke of Monmouth; but he denied all knowledge of any consultation tending to an insurrection, or to surprize the guards. He remembered no discourse concerning any rising at Taunton, and knew of no design for a rising in Scotland. He answered his examiners in a civil manner, but declined making any defence till his trial, when he had no doubt of being able to prove his innocence. The charge of treating with the Scots, as a thing the Council were positively assured of, alarmed his friends, and Lady Russell desired Dr. Burnet to examine who it could be that had charged him; but, upon enquiry, it appeared to be only an artifice to draw a confession from him; and, notwithstanding the power which the Court possessed to obtain the condemnation of their enemies, by the perversion of law, the servility of judges, and the submission of juries, Lord Russell might still have contested his life, with some prospect of success, had not a new circumstance occurred to cloud his declining prospects. This was the .apprehension and confession of Lord Howard. At first, he had talked of the whole matter with scorn and contempt; and solemnly professed