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addressing Lord Russell, stated the evidence of the witnesses against him, and that it was time‘ fbr him to give his answer. Lord Russell, after some remarks on Colonel Rumsey’s ingratitude to the King, which made him totally unworthy to‘ be believed, asked upon what statute he was tried: for by the 13th of Charles II., which makes it high treason to conspire to levy war, the prosecution must be brought on within six months. And by the 25th of Edward. III. a ’ design to levy war is not treason. The Attor- 2 ney-General answered, that he was prosecuted on the 25th of Edward 111., and that it had been often determined, that to prepare forces to fight a . ‘: against the King, is a design, within that statute, to kill the King.
Lord Russell said this was a matter of law. He also argued, that there was but one witness to the business of Sheppard’s house, whereas by the law two were required; and he desired that counsel might be heard to argue these points for him. The Attorney-General and Chief Justice told him, that unless he would admit the fact, he could not have counsel to speak on the law. Lord Russell refused to admit the fact as proved; declared he was ready to swear he never heard , Rumsey bring any message; that Rumsey had been in the room some time before he came; ‘
and could not say before the King, some days‘
before, that he had heard the message.
the Act 25th Edward III. read. After the Act
was read, Lord Russell again urged, that there should be two witnesses to one thing at the same time. He was answered, that in Lord Stafi'ord’s case there had been but one witness to one act in England, and another to one in France.
He then said, addressing himself to Rumsey, with respect to the meeting at Sheppard’s : “ The Duke of Monmouth and I came together, and you were standing at the chimney when I came in; you were there before me. My Lord Howard hath made a long narrative here of what he knew. I do not know when he made it, or when he did recollect any thing : it is but very lately that he did declare and protest to several people, that he knew nothing against me, nor of any plot I could in the least be questioned for.”
Lord Chic/‘Justice. “ Ifyou will have any witnesses called to that, you shall, my lord.” ’ Lord Russell then called Lord Anglesey, who swore, that, being on avisit of condolence to the Earl of Bedford, Lord Howard came in for the same purpose, and'said to Lord Bedford, “ My
Lord, you are happy in having a wise son, and a worthy person, one that can never sure be in such a plot as this, or suspected for it ; and that may give your lordship reason to expect a very good issue concerning him. I know nothing against him, or any body else, of such a barbarous design, and therefore your lordship may be comforted in it.”
Mr. ‘Howard, a relation of' Lord Howard, and Dr. Burnet, gave evidence of Lord Howard’s solemn denial of his knowledge of' the plot. Lord Cavendish, and Dr. Cox, proved that Lord Russell had expressed an ill opinion of Colonel Rumsey, long before his own arrest. The Duke of Somerset, Lord Clifford, Mr. Gore, Dr. Tillotson, Dr. Burnet, and Dr. Fitzwilliams, spoke to the general excellence of Lord Russell’s character. Dr. Tillotson said, “ I have been many years last past acquainted with my Lord Russell. I always judged him a person of great virtue and integrity; and by all the conversation and discourse I ever had with him, I always took him to be a person very far from any such wicked design he
‘stands charged with.” This testimony is valua
ble, from the high reputation of the witness. The following is remarkable, from the emphatic energy of the expressions : — Mr. Gore said, “ I have been acquainted with my lord several years, and conversed much with him. I took him to
be one of the best sons, one of the best fathers, and one of the best masters,—one of the best husbands, one of the best friends, and one of the best Christians we had. my
, Lord Howard tried to excuse what he had said to Lord Anglesey on the pretext that it was his object at that time to outface the King, both for himself and his party.
Lord Russell then addressed the Court.
“ .My Lord: I cannot but think myself very unfortunate in appearing at this place, charged with a crime of the blackest and wickedest nature, and that intermixed and intricated with the treasonable and horrid practices and speeches of other men: and the King's learned counsel taking all advantages, improving and heightening every circumstance against me; and I myself no lawyer, a very unready speaker, and altogether a stranger to proceedings of this kind; besides, naked, without counsel, and one against many; so that I cannot but be very sensible of my inability to make my just defence.
“ But you, my lords the judges, I hope, will be equal and of counsel for me; and I hope, likewise, that you, gentlemen of the jury, (though strangers to me,) are men of conscience, that value innocent‘blood, and do believe that with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again, either in this, or in another world. Nor
can I doubt, but you will consider the witnesses as persons that hope to save their own lives, by their swearing to take away mine.
\ “ But to answer, in short, what is laid to my charge, I do, in the first place declare, that I have ever had a heart sincerely loyal and affec. tionate to the King and government, (which I look upon as the best of governments,) and have
always as fervently wished and prayed for His .
Majesty’s long life, as any man living.
“ And now to have it intimated, as if I were agreeing or abetting’ to his murder, (1 must needs say,) is very hard; for I have ever looked upon the assassination of any private person as an abominable, barbarous, and inhuman thing, tending to the destruction of all society; how much more the assassination of a prince! which cannot enter into my thoughts without horror and detestation: especially considering him as my natural prince, and one upon whose death such dismal consequences are but too likely to ensue. An action so abominably wicked, rash, and inconsiderate, that none but desperate wretches, or mad men, could contrive. And can it be believed that, my circumstances, and the past actions of my life considered, I should be capable of being guilty of so horrid a design ? Certainly it cannot.