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Full text of "The Diary Of John Evelyn Vol-2"

I56

DIARY OF                             LONDON

his prisoner, and proclamation made for silence, de-
manded of every Peer (who were in all eighty-six)
whether William, Lord Viscount Stafford, were guilty of
the treason laid to his charge, or not guilty.

Then the Peer spoken to, standing up, and laying his
right hand upon his breast, said guilty, or not guilty,
upon my honor, and then sat down} the Lord Steward
noting their suffrages as they answered upon a paper:
when all had done, the number of not guilty being but
31, the guilty 55; and then, after proclamation for silence
again, the Lord Steward directing his speech to the
prisoner, against whom the ax was turned edgeways
and not "before, in aggravation of his crime, he being
ennobled by the King's father, and since received many
favors from his present Majesty: after enlarging on his
offense, deploring first his own unhappiness that he who
had never condemned any man before should now be
necessitated to begin with him, he then pronounced sen-
tence of death by hanging, drawing, and quartering",
according to form, with great solemnity and dreadful
gravity; and, after a short pause, told the prisoner that
he believed the Lords  would intercede for the omission
of some circumstances of his sentence, beheading only
excepted; and then- breaking his white staff, the Court
was dissolved. My Lord Stafford during all this latter"
part spoke but little, and only gave their Lordships
thanks after the sentence was pronounced; and indeed
behaved himself modestly, and as became him.

It was observed that all his own relations of his name
and family condemned him, except his nephew, the Earl
of Anindel, son to the Duke of Norfolk. And it must
be acknowledged that the whole trial was carried on
with exceeding gravity: so stately and august an appear-
ance I had never seen before; for, besides the innumerable
spectators of gentlemen and foreign ministers, who saw
and heard all the proceedings, the prisoner had the con-
sciences of all the Commons of England for his accusers,
and all the Peers to be his judges and jury. He had
likewise the assistance of what counsel he would, to direct
him in his plea, who stood by him. And yet I can hardly
think that a person of his age and experience should en-
gage men whom he never saw before (and one of them
that came to visit him as a stranger at Paris) POINTant of the Tower to bring forthy, I was commodiouslyh expectation