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our own people. The value of statues in public places, in keep- 
ing us familiar with historical events in which the distin- 
guished personages they represent participated, will be readily 
admitted. Under our republican system this is of especial im- 
portance ; for upon these memories being kept fresh depends, 
in a measure, its preservation. It also behooves us to show due 
sensibility for public service by commemorative monuments, 
and Boston owes a debt unpaid to these great characters se- 
lected as representatives of Massachusetts in the past at the 
Capitol. Appropriate places can be assigned for both, and we 
trust in time room will also be found in our malls and squares 
for John Adams and James Otis, Hancock and Paul Revere ; 
for Pepperell and Wolfe ; for Dudley, Endicott, and Bradstreet ; 
for William Blackstone ; for Samoset, Hobomok, and Massa- 
soit, and many more not yet sufficiently honored. 

He made the suggestion of taking seasonable measures to 
procure duplicates for Boston of these statues for the National 
Gallery, on his own motion, and without consultation with 
the artist, committee, or representatives of the personages 
to be commemorated. Such a proposition could emanate 
only from the public ; and as one of the public, believing it 
eminently worthy of consideration, he ventured to bring it to 
the notice of the Society, which liad an especial interest in 
the increase and preservation of our State and National monu- 
ments. But this is with no view that the Society should 
take any formal action, but that its members who think well 
of the suggestion may, as individuals, further it, as they have 


A stated meeting was held on Thursday the 10th instant, at 
eleven o'clock, a.m. ; the President in the chair. 

The Recording Secretary read the records of the preceding 

The Librarian read the list of donors to the Library for the 
past month. 

The Corresponding Secretary read a letter of acceptance 
from Professor William Gammell, LL.D., of Providence, R.I., 
who was chosen a Corresponding Member at the last meeting. 

The President read a letter from the Rev. Thomas Hill, of 
Portland, Me., saying that he had been a citizen of that State 


since July last, and noticing the fact that thereby he had ceased 
to be a Resident Member of this Society. 

The following resolve was passed : — 

Whereas, The Rev. Thomas Hill, D.D., late a Resident Mem- 
ber of the Society, has already paid the commutation for his 
annual assessments during his life ; therefore 

Voted, That the future regular publications of the Society be 
sent to Dr. Hill, as they shall be issued. 

The President read the following letter from the Hon. C. J. 
Hoadly, of the Connecticut State Library : — 

Hartford, August 26th, 1873. 

Dear Sir, — I have sent, in a parcel addressed to the New England 
Historic Genealogical Society, a copy of vol. 7th of " Colonial Records 
of Connecticut," 1726-35 ; and of the " Journal of the Constitutional 
Convention of Connecticut," 1818, designed for the Massachusetts His- 
torical Society. 

In the volume of " Proceedings," 1860-62, pp. 64-80, 165-171, are 
printed the briefs in the case of Phillips v. Savage, relating to the 
Massachusetts law regulating the settlement of intestate estates. Has 
the Massachusetts Historical Society a copy of the Decree of the King 
in Council in that case? If not, I could supply one from a copy sent 
to Governor Talcott, probably by Mr. Jeremiah Allen, of Boston, which 
I found among some papers in the Connecticut Historical Society. It 
would make about four printed pages* 

Very respectfully yours, 

Charles J. Hoadly 
Hon. Bobert C. Winthrop, LL.D., Boston. 

The President said he had already acknowledged the letter, 
with the assurance that the paper would be most acceptable. 

The President read a letter from Mr. Frank M. Etting, of 
Philadelphia : — 

Philadelphia, August 27th, 1873. 
Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, President, &c, 
Massachusetts Historical Society. 

Dear Sir, — The above photograph represents the Old Liberty Bell 
restored to its original framework, and installed in the vestibule of In- 
dependence Hall. A sketch of its history is attempted in the enclosed. 
In order to give this interesting relic of Revolutionary days a conspicu- 
ous place, it became necessary to shorten by about two inches the beam 
from which the bell depended in 1776 ; and I would not that even this 
fragment be lost, but venture to hope it may be of sufficient interest, 
from its associations, to find a place in your invaluable museum. 
I am, sir, most truly and respectfully yours, 

Frank M. Etting. 


A slip from the " American Historical Record " of January, 
1873, and one from another publication, giving a history of 
the " Old Liberty Bell," accompanied the piece of wood ; and 
the thanks of the Society were ordered. 

The President noticed the decease of a Corresponding Mem- 
ber, the Hon. Henry Black, of Quebec, as follows : — 

The Honorable Henry Black, who was chosen a Correspond- 
ing Member of this Society in 1840, died on the 16th ult., at 
Cacouna, one hundred and twenty miles below Quebec, during 
a temporary visit for the benefit of his health. He was a son 
of James Black, of Jedburgh, Roxburghshire, Scotland, but was 
himself born in Quebec, on the 18th of December, 1798, and had 
thus nearly reached the seventy-fifth year of his age. A lawyer 
by profession, he was appointed, in 1836, Judge of the Vice- 
Admiralty Court for Lower Canada, and continued to discharge 
the duties of that office until his death, — an unbroken term of 
thirty-seven years. He was repeatedly solicited by the Gov- 
ernment of Canada to exchange this position for a seat on the 
Queen's Bench, and, so lately as 1866, he was offered the Chief- 
Justiceship of the Superior Court. The Attorney-Generalship 
and the Solicitor-Generalship of Canada were also tendered to 
him, at different periods of this long term. J>ut he adhered 
resolutely to the Admiralty Court, and he has left behind him 
a valuable volume of " Reports " of his decisions in that Court, 
edited by his relative, the Honorable George Okili Stuart, 
which are referred to as authority in English and American 
courts, on important questions of maritime law. He was well 
known, judicially and personally, by our own Mr. Justice Story, 
by Chancellor Kent, and by other eminent jurists ; and he was 
highly esteemed as a friend by not a few of our best citizens, who 
had made his acquaintance during his repeated visits to Bos- 
ton. Some of us had enjoyed his genial hospitality in Quebec. 
During a brief service, as the Representative of Quebec, in the 
Canadian Parliament, in 1841, he was eminently influential in 
carrying through the Codification of the Criminal Law, — now 
forming the criminal law of the whole Dominion. 

Judge Black received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws 
from Harvard University in 1846 ; and some years ago was 
made a Companion of the most honorable Order of the Bath, by 
the Queen. 

He was a man of great integrity, independence, and purity 
of character, and an earnest member of the Church of England. 
Having never been married, he owed the chief comforts of his 
domestic life to a devoted niece, who is the wife of a grandson 
of the late Governor John Brooks, of Massachusetts, whose 



name has been already given in connection with his Reports, 
a son of the late Archdeacon George Okill Stuart, who was a 
graduate of Harvard in the Class of 1801.* This connection, 
doubtless, led to those occasional visits to New England, which 
were always welcome to his friends, and which afforded them 
the opportunity of appreciating his sterling qualities of mind 
and heart. 

The President called attention to a copy of Mr. A. T. Per- 
kins's new book, entitled " Copley's Life and Paintings," which 
the author had presented to the Society. 

Edward A. Freeman, D.C.L., of England, was elected an 
Honorary Member. 

Mr. Appleton exhibited a French caricature, obtained in 
Paris, which has this inscription : " Vente des deserts du 
Scioto, par des Anglo-americains. Le Citoien Mignard signale 
aujourd'hui des Compagnies anglaises qui vendent des terres 
imaginaire dans les Etats-unis ; pour mieux leurrer les dupes, 
ils arrangent des Cartes geographiques, convertissent les ro- 
chers deserts en plaines fertiles, montrent des chemins fraies 
sur des roches inabordables, et proposent des actions pour des 
terreins qui n§ leur appartiennent pas ; Fouvrage du C e . n 
Mignard se vend 15 sols, et se trouve rue Taranne, No. 24." 
He read a short paper illustrative of the caricature, as follows : 
The Scioto Company was founded in 1787 or 1788, and Colonel 
William Duer and Rev. Dr. Manasseh Cutler seem to have 
been the principal originators. In 1788 Joel Barlow went to 
Europe as agent of the Company, with proposals and maps. A 
map is seen hanging on the wall in the caricature, and a small 
fac-simile may be seen engraved in Howe's " Historical Col- 
lections of Ohio." The proposals contained, at great length, 
statements similar to those alluded to on the caricature. They 
are partially quoted in Yolney's " View " ; and the author, who 
visited in 1796 Gallipolis, the principal town of the settlement, 
writes as follows : " In France, at Paris, . . . the picture was 
too brilliant, and the inconveniences too remote, for the bait not 
to take effect. The counsels, and even the example, of people pos- 
sessing wealth, and supposed to be intelligent, added to the per- 
suasion. Nothing was talked of in the Parisian circles but the 
free and rural life to be led on the banks of the Scioto. At length 
the publication of Mr. Brissot's travels, who just at this time 
returned from the United States, completely established the 
common opinion; and purchasers became numerous, chiefly 

* The Hon. George Okill Stuart has since been appointed by the Crown the 
successor of Mr. Black, as Judge of the Admiralty at Quebec. 

I <'///(' (/el //a/'// i {/// view /o, par t/cj (fa<//<>-<////r/v<(////,t 


among people of the middle class, and the better sort of this 
class, whose morals are always the best. Individuals and 
whole families disposed of their property; and thought they 
made excellent bargains in buying land at five shillings an 
acre. . . . About five hundred settlers, all of them mechan- 
ics, artists, or tradesmen in easy circumstances, and of good 
morals, arrived, in the course of 1791 and 1792, in the har- 
bors of New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore," and finally set- 
tled at Gallipolis, as before stated. In Howe's Collections, It 
is said that among the settlers "wer&not a few carvers and 
gilders to his Majesty, coach and peruke makers, friseurs, and 
other artistes, about equally well fitted for a backwoods life, 
with only ten or twelve farmers and labbrers." An account 
of their troubles and sufferings may be read in Volney's work, 
before quoted. (See the English translation, London, 1804, 
pp. 355-366.) 

On motion of Mr. Whitmore, it was 

Voted, That the Recording Secretary be instructed to report, 
at the next meeting of the Society, a list of all its committees 
now existing, with the date of their appointment, the names of 
the members, the duties assigned them, and the limit of their 

Dr. Hedge presented to the Society, with some remarks upon 
it, a printed broadside, being the order of exercises at the 
Commencement at Harvard College for 1767. He thought no 
copy of this was in the college library. 

The President then read portions of a copy of the speech of 
Sir Walter Raleigh on the scaffold, October 28, 1618, which 
he had found in the MS. Common-Place Book of his ancestor, 
Adam Winthrop, the father of the first Governor Winthrop, 
introducing them as follows : — 

It may be remembered that at our Stated Meeting in Novem- 
ber last, when we had the pleasure of welcoming Mr. Froude 
to Boston, I alluded to a contemporaneous account of the 
Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots, which I had found in the 
Common-Place Book of Adam Winthrop, the father of the 
Governor of Massachusetts in 1630. I did not suppose that it 
contained any thing new in regard to that event, and I had 
many misgivings about offering it for publication. But no one 
was able to point to the same precise version of that sad story 
in print ; and our Committee of Publication thought proper to 
include it in our last volume of Proceedings, where it has been 
read with interest, as I have reason to know, both at home and 


In the same old manuscript Note-book, I have found several 
other accounts of historical events of a somewhat similar char- 
acter, carefully copied out from seemingly authentic sources ; 
and> among them, " The Confession and Execution of Sir 
Walter Raleigh." Sir Walter was executed in October, 1618, 
when Adam Winthrop was living at Groton, England, at 
seventy years of age, — a magistrate of the old county of Suf- 
folk, who, a few years before, had resigned the Auditorship 
of Trinity College, Cambridge, which he had held for sixteen 
or seventeen years. His son, who twelve years afterwards 
came over to New England as Governor of Massachusetts, was 
then about thirty years old. Both of them were thus in the 
way of taking an intelligent interest in the public affairs of 
their country, and both might have personally witnessed the 
execution of Raleigh, had they chanced to have been in London 
at the time. I find no evidence that either of them was there. 
Meantime, no newspaper had as yet been published in England. 
The first regular English newspaper, entitled " The Weekly 
News," dates from 1622. It may thus not be without interest 
to inquire, from what original, in manuscript or in print, this 
account of what is called " The Confession and Execution of 
Sir Walter Raleigh " was copied, or from what source it was 

A new and elaborate Life of Sir Walter, together with 
his Letters, " now first collected," has been published in Eng- 
land within the last five years, by Mr. Edward Edwards, the 
author of " Memoirs of Libraries," and other works, which 
gives a detailed report of Raleigh's speech on the scaffold, in 
regard to which the author says, in a note, as follows : " In 
this speech I have very much followed Archbishop Sancroft's 
transcript, preserved amongst the Tanner MSS., but have col- 
lated it with other reports. No known report can, I think, be 
trusted exclusively" This work was published in 1868. In 
the following year (1869), Mr. James Augustus St. John, who 
had previously published a Life of Raleigh, gave a new edition 
of it to the public, in the preface to which he says, with plain 
allusion to the Life by Mr- Edwards, as follows : " Since the 
first publication of this biography, another Life of Sir Walter 
Raleigh has been laid before the public. This performance 
must have been produced some years ago, since the author is 
unacquainted with the discoveries recently made at Simancas 
and Madrid, which have thrown an entirely new light on the 
latter portions of Raleigh's Life." Mr. St. John, accordingly, 
in the last chapter of his volume, in describing the death of 
Raleigh says: "He made a short speech, the meaning of which 


has scarcely been preserved. What we possess under that 
name it is impossible he should have uttered, unless we assume 
the letter to James of the 5th of October, together with his 
examinations, and those of La Chene, and all his communications 
with the French authorities, to be forgeries. Had he denied, 
as he is giaid to have done, that he ever saw any commission, 
letter, or seal, from the French King, his admission to the con- 
trary in his own handwriting would doubtless have been pro- 
duced on the scaffold, to confound and silence him. We must 
consequently believe, either that the documents referred to 
were mere fabrications, or that several gentlemen who were 
present at his death, and heard him deliver his farewell address 
to the world, either misunderstood his language, or purposely 
misrepresented it." Upon this ground, Mr. St. John omits 
any detailed report of the speech, consigning the received ver- 
sions of it to entire discredit. At the same time he candidly 
states that the original of Raleigh's letter to the King of Octo- 
ber 5th has not been discovered, and that it is only produced 
in the form of a " retranslation from the Spanish version, to be 
found in the General Archives of Simancas." From the same 
source have recently come the conflicting and contradictory 
replies of La Chene, the French Secretary, at his successive 
examinations before the English Council of State, in the first 
two of which he positively denies almost every thing which he 
confesses in the third. 

Now, as to the letter of October 5, nothing can perfectly 
convince one that Raleigh "wrote that letter within twenty-four 
days of his death, except the production of the original in his own 
handwriting, or certainly with his own unmistakable signature. 
Mr. St. John himself, in the paragraph with which he precedes 
it, gives us no small ground for suspecting the genuineness of 
all such copies. " Sir Thomas Wilson," he says, " it cannot be 
doubted, received both from the King and his Secretary [Sir 
Robert Naunton] orders to extract from Raleigh, by solemn 
promises of pardon, such admissions and confessions as, in the 
opinion of those who were to judge of them, would compromise 
his life. In doing this, he was to insinuate, though not posi- 
tively to assert, that he had high authority for the language he 
employed : if the bait took, his masters were to disavow his 
proceedings, and overwhelm him with censure, but to base never-, 
theless upon his artifices the destruction of their victim. 
Naunton acknowledges frankly that such was the practice ; 
and the number of heads which were thus brought under the axe 
was doubtless considerable." The admissions and confessions 
of this letter might thus seem to have been extracted or extorted 


from Raleigh by a base agent of the King and his Secretary, 
" by solemn promises of pardon," which were to be disavowed as 
soon as " the bait had taken," and the letter used to justify his 
execution. The men capable of contriving such a trap would 
be entirely capable of forging the letter. But it is not neces- 
sary to suppose forgery in its full meaning. What more 
natural than that a man, charged with the execution of such a 
villany, should have prepared a draft of the letter containing 
" such admissions and confessions as, in the opinion of those 
who were to judge of them, would compromise *his life," and to 
offer it to the destined victim for adoption ? How else could it 
be made sure that enough for the purpose would be admitted 
and confessed ? If such a draft were made, — even though it 
were indignantly rejected, — there might well be a " retransla- 
tion from the Spanish version, to be found in the General 
Archives of Simancas," and yet no original letter written and 
signed by Sir Walter Raleigh. The letter may indeed have 
been written and signed by Sir Walter ; but the style is quite 
unlike that of others of his letters to the King, and it has too 
much the character of a made-up letter, which Wilson, under 
the instigation of Naunton and his master, had arranged to 
meet the exact exigencies of the case. 

A most striking illustration of the manner in which Sir 
Thomas Wilson, well called " Raleigh's gaoler and the King's 
spy," arranged the examinations, and concocted the corre- 
spondence of his victim, may be seen in the second volume of 
Edwards's Life and Letters, at pages 364-5, and so to page 373. 
On page 370, there is given a letter from Raleigh to his wife, 
" from a copy in the hand of a clerk of Sir Thomas Wilson, 
made, as it seems, before the delivery of the letter to Lady 
Raleigh " ; and on the same page is found Lady Raleigh's 
reply, "from a copy, made as above, and upon the same 
sheet." On page 372, will be seen another letter of Raleigh to 
his wife, " from a copy made by Sir Thomas Wilson, before, 
as it seems, the original was delivered to Lady Raleigh." 
The Prefatory Note to this last, on the previous page (371), 
is most instructive. It is as follows : " The letter to which 
this is an answer appears to have been written by Lady 
Raleigh, at the instigation either of Secretary Naunton, or of 
some other person about the King. Neither the letter nor any 
copy of it is now to be found among the State Papers. But it 
is plain from the correspondence between Naunton and Wil- 
son that, whilst the writer must have fondly hoped that some 
benefit would result to her husband from his answering the 
questions she was instigated to put to him, the ingenious 


contrivers had a purpose directly the opposite of this." (See 
the whole note.) What faith is to be put in the accuracy of 
copies which have passed through such unclean hands ! Mr. 
St. John describes this course of proceeding as follows : "If 
he [Raleigh] requested permission to write a few lines to his 
wife, Naunton and James had to be consulted before so poor a 
favor could be granted, and when written — though this he did 
not know — his letters were subjected to the scrutiny of both 
Secretary and Monarch before they reached their destination. 
In fact, his seal was broken, and the letters having been read 
were resealed and returned to Wilson, who then sent them 
to Lady Raleigh, whose answers were subjected to the same 
examination " ! 

An interesting account of Raleigh's death may be found in a 
late " Chapter of English History," entitled " Prince Charles 
and the Spanish Marriage," by Samuel Rawson Gardiner, 
Esq., who speaks thus of the letter to the King, which Mr. St. 
John regards as discrediting the reports of the speech on the 
scaffold: "And so the wretched game of falsehood on both 
sides went on ; till at last, on the 25th of September,* Raleigh, 
weary of the struggle, wrote to the King, acknowledging that he 
had sailed with a commission from the Admiral of France, and 
that La Chesne'e had, by Le Clerc's directions, offered to assist 
him in his escape." But, while thus admitting the letter, Mr. 
Gardiner admits also the genuineness of the speech. " As 
soon [says he] as he had mounted the scaffold, he asked leave 
to address the people. His speech had been carefully pre- 
pared. Every word he spoke was, as far as we can judge, 
literally true ; but it was not the whole truth, and it was calcu- 
lated in many points to produce a false impression on his 
hearers." " On the commission which he had received from 
the French Admiral he was altogether silent, but he was em- 
phatic in repudiating the notion that he had ever received a 
commission from the French King." He adds, in a foot note, 
" The part which relates to the French commission is a marvel 
of ingenuity. Not a word of it is untrue, but the general 
impression is completely false." 

We have thus three accomplished English writers, within 
a few years past, adopting widely variant views of the same 
facts : one, accepting and indorsing the speech ; the second, 
discrediting it altogether ; and the third, accepting it in its 
literal sense, but pronouncing its general impression, on one 

* We presume that the letter here styled of September 25th is the same 
with that of October 5th, the difference of ten days being that between old and 
new style. 


point at least, " completely false." The speech itself by no 
means loses its interest in the face of such conflicting judg- 
ments, and every contemporaneous version of it may haply aid 
in solving the problem of its authenticity and of its truth. 

Let us turn then to the speech and the contemporary accounts 
of it. The earliest notice of it which we have been able to find 
is in a Letter of Rev. Thomas Lorkin to Sir Thomas Puckering, 
Bart., printed in Birch's " Court and Times of James the First" 
(vol. ii. p. 99). It is dated November 3, 1618, just a week 
after the execution of Raleigh, in which the scene and the 
speech are described minutely, and in substantial conformity 
to the detailed report given by Mr. Edwards. Next, in order 
of date, is a letter, found at page 104 of the same volume, 
from John Chamberlain, Esq., to Sir Dudley Carleton, then 
Minister at the Hague, which, after acknowledging some papers 
he had received from Sir Dudley, proceeds as follows : " For 
some part of amends, I return you two papers in exchange ; 
the one a letter from Sir Walter Raleigh to the King, before 
he came to Salisbury ; and withal half a dozen verses he made 
the night before his death, to take farewell of poetry, wherein 
he had been a pidler even from his youth. The other is a re- 
membrancer left with his lady, written likewise that night, to 
acquaint the world withal, if perhaps he should not have been 
suffered to speak at his death, as he was cut off from speaking 
somewhat he would have said at the King's Bench ; and they 
had no thanks that suffered him to talk so long on the scaffold ; * 
but the fault was laid on the sheriff, and there it rests. His 
lady had been to visit him that night, and told him she had 
obtained the disposing of his body. To which he answered 
smiling, c It is well, Besse, that thou mayest dispose of that 
dead, that had'st not always the disposing of it when it was 
alive ' ; and so dismissed her anon, after midnight, when he 
settled himself to sleep for three or four hours. " A third 
notice of the scene and speech is in a letter from Dr. Robert 
TounsomDean of Westminster, afterward Bishop of Sarum,who 
attended Sir Walter Raleigh on the scaffold, and wrote a letter 
to Sir John Isham, dated November 9, 1618, only a fortnight 
after the event of which he had been an eye-witness, in which 
he says : " I hope you had the relation of Sir Walter Raleigh's 
death ; for so I gave order, that it should be brought unto you. 
I was commaunded by the lords of the counsayle to be with 
him, both in prison and att his death as nere as I could : there 
be other reports of itt, but that which you have from me is 

* It is thus clear that the speech was not a short one. 


treu: one Craford, who was sometimes Mr. Rodeknight's 
pupil, hath penned it pretily, and meaneth to putt itt to the 
presse, and came to me about it, but I heare not that it is come 
forth. The summe of that which he spake att his death, you 
have, I suppose, already." (See p. 780 of " Sir W. Raleigh's 
Works," vol. viii. Oxford, 1829.) 

Lastly, in Walter Scott's Edition of " The Somers Tracts " 
(vol. ii. p. 438), there is a detailed report of the scene and 
speech, which is ascribed to " Crawford, or Craford." 

We might allude to other reports or descriptions of the speech 
and the scene. But that which is thus traced to " Crawford, or 
Craford," — who, it seems, had consulted with the Dean of 
Westminster, who was with Raleigh on the scaffold " as nere as 
he could," and who must have heard every word he said, — 
would seem to be the most authentic. The Dean's expression 
that " Craford hath penned it pretily, and meaneth to putt itt to 
the presse," may, perhaps, be construed to imply that the ac- 
count was skilfully arranged, or even adorned, but it certainly 
casts no discredit upon its accuracy. 

We are not in the way of ascertaining exactly where Arch- 
bishop SancrofVs account in the Tanner MSS. came from. The 
Archbishop himself was born in Suffolk County, England, in 
January, 1617, which, according to old style, would be less 
than one year before Raleigh's death. Of course, he could 
have had no personal knowledge on the subject. 

The account contained in Adam Winthrop's Common-Place 
Book was undoubtedly written soon after the event,* and it is 
substantially Craford's account. Now and then there is some- 
thing transposed or omitted ; and now and then there is a 
difference of phraseology. But after a careful comparison it 
can hardly be doubted that it was taken from the " pretily 
penned " report which the Dean of Westminster described, and 
of which he said that Craford " meaneth to putt itt to the 
presse." It may have been printed on a broadside at the time, 
but we believe that not even the countless treasures of the Brit- 
ish Museum, as thus far searched, contain a contemporaneous 
printed copy. The earliest printed report of " the Speech on 
the Scaffold," to which any allusion has been found, bears date 
1648 ; f but of that no copy is at command for comparison. We 
should hardly know where to look for one on this side of the 
ocean. The earliest within reach is that appended to the Life 
of Sir Walter, printed in 1677, of which our Recording Secretary 

* Adam Winthrop died in April, 1623. The latest date in his MS. book is Nov. 
24, 1621. 

t See Watt's Bib. Brit., II. 788°. 



(Mr. Deane) has a copy in his valuable library, which he has 
kindly placed at our disposal, with other rare volumes on the 
subject. That version of the Speech conforms, also, to the one 
ascribed to " Crawford or Craford " in the Somers Tracts, but 
with some omissions and variations of phraseology. Under 
such circumstances Adam Winthrop's copy may have an interest 
and even a value. It may, at least, contribute something to 
" the various readings " out of which the true version is to be 
made up, if it has not been made up already. 

Few greater men have ever lived in England, or anywhere else, 
than Raleigh. No man contributed more, if so much, towards 
the earliest American Colonization. " It was Raleigh," says 
Mr. Edwards, " who, in the teeth of Spain, when at her prime, 
laid the first foundations of the British Colonies in North Amer- 
ica. . . . The future destinies of America, as well as the profits 
of a new trade, were with him themes of thought, of conversa- 
tion, and of active effort, from the age of thirty-two (when he 
first joined in the enterprise of his half-brother (Sir Humphrey 
Gilbert) to his latest hour of life." No man has left grander 
monuments of enterprise, courage, and genius. That after a 
long and dreary imprisonment in the Tower, he should at last 
have been beheaded, at a day's notice, under a sentence passed 
fourteen or fifteen years before, which Bacon himself has 
been stated to have said was virtually superseded by his 
commission for Guiana, was an unspeakable atrocity. Well 
does John Forster, in his admirable Life of Sir John Eliot, 
pronounce it " the climax and consummation of the baseness 
of James's reign ; — a shameless sacrifice of one of the greatest 
men of the English race to the rage and mortification of 
the power most hated by Englishmen." Sir John Eliot, an 
eye-witness, as is believed, of the tragedy, — himself after- 
wards a martyr to Free Speech, — has included a description 
of Raleigh's bearing on the occasion, among his illustrations of 
the "Monarchy of Man." " Matchless, indeed," says he, "was 
his fortitude ! All preparations that were terrible were pre- 
sented to his eye. Guards and officers were about him, the 
scaffold and the executioner, the axe, and the more cruel 
expectation of his enemies. And what did all this work on 
the resolution of our Raleigh ? Made it an impression of weak 
fear, or a distraction of his reason ? Nothing so little did that 
great soul suffer. He gathered only the more strength and 
advantage ; his mind became the clearer, as if already it had 
been freed from the cloud and oppression of the body ; and 
such was his unmoved courage and placid temper, that, while it 
changed the affection of the enemies who had come to witness 


it and turned their joy to sorrow, it filled all men else with 
admiration and emotion, leaving with them only this doubt, 
whether death were more acceptable to him or he more wel- 
come unto death." 

All this does not look like the bearing of a man who had a 
lie, or even a prevarication, in his mouth. It is true, how- 
ever, that the standard of morality, public and private, was 
any thing but exalted at that day. Bacon, who meanly con- 
sented to Raleigh's death, and vindicated his master for the 
act, was himself, at last, deposed for corruption. We would 
not suppress or extenuate any faults or follies of Raleigh, of 
which there is historical evidence. Faults, infirmities, and 
follies he certainly exhibited. The editor of Birch's Papers, 
in relation to Raleigh's feigned sickness, says in a foot-note : 
" The mind of the gallant Raleigh had given way beneath an 
accumulation of troubles. He had lost his son in a contest with 
the Spaniards, one of his captains had committed suicide, and 
the object of his voyage had been defeated by the treachery 
of the King, — proof of which exists in a letter of Buckingham 
to Secretary Winwood, to be found in Hardwicke's State Papers, 
vol. i. p. 398/' * 

Indeed, if the account of Manourie, the French apothecary, 
as given by Lord Bacon, is to be taken for true, Raleigh must 
have been goaded to absolute madness during these last few 
weeks, and a jury in our time would have justly returned a 
verdict of insanity. But Manourie, the principal accuser of 
Sir Walter, (according to a letter of Rev. Thomas Lorkin to 
Sir Thomas Puckering, of 16 February, 1618-19,) was not 
only convicted soon afterwards as a clipper of gold, but " con- 
fessed that his accusation against Raleigh was false, and that 
he was moved thereto by the practice and importunity of 
Stukely, and now acknowledged this, his present miserable 
condition, to be a judgment of God upon him for that " ! 

Was there ever such " confusion worse confounded " ? No 
wonder that Gibbon himself, even before Simancas unfolded 
her treasures, shrunk in despair from disentangling the truth 
from the falsehood of Raleigh's life. But make the worst of 
him, and still his execution, under such circumstances, will 
stand out forever, as one of the most abhorrent and abomi- 
nable acts in English History. Occurring, as it did, a year 
or two only before the Pilgrims came over to Plymouth, and 
little more than ten years before the settlement of Massachu- 
setts, it must have been one of the events by which the minds 

* Court and Times of James I., p. 85. 


of the New England Colonists were impressed and agitated 
while they were meditating a departure from their native land. 
And the mere fact that the account now submitted comes 
from an ancient manuscript which was undoubtedly brought 
over by Governor Winthrop in 1630, and which has but 
recently been discovered among the old papers of his father, 
greatly enhances its interest. Even should it not add a single 
new reading, or one better phrase, for Sir Walter's last words, 
(as we think it does) , it may serve to revive the remembrance of 
his marvellous career and of his heroic death on our side of 
the Atlantic, where it would most have gratified him to know 
that he should not be forgotten. 

To a Society like ours, devoted to historical pursuits, his 
career has a peculiar interest, in view of the well-remembered 
fact that so large a part of his long imprisonment in the Tower 
was employed in writing that " History of the World," which 
is one of the most remarkable works in English literature, and 
of which the closing passage is doubly impressive in connection 
with the fate which was so soon to befall him : " It is therefore 
Death alone," he says, " that can suddenly make man to know 
himself. He tells the proud and insolent that they are but 
abjects, and humbles them at the instant, makes them complain 
and repent, yea, even to hate their forepast happiness. He takes 
the account of the rich and proves him a beggar, a naked beggar, 
which hath interest in nothing but the gravel that fills his 
mouth. He holds a glass before the eyes of the beautiful, and 
makes them see therein their deformity and rottenness, and ' 
they acknowledge it. Oh, eloquent, just, and mighty Death ! 
Whom none could advise, thou hast persuaded ; what none 
hath dared, thou hast done ; and whom all the world hath 
flattered, thou only hast cast out of the world and despised ; 
thou hast drawn together all the far-stretched greatness, all the 
pride, cruelty, and ambition of man, and covered it all over 
with these two narrow words, — Hie jacet " I 

In conclusion, we can hardly doubt that the speech was made 
substantially as it has been reported. A strong reason for 
questioning the authenticity of the Simancas copy of the alleged 
letter of October 5, or, as Mr. Gardiner gives the date, of Sep- 
tember 25th, is found in the fact that it is not mentioned, or 
in any way referred to, in Lord Bacon's Vindication of his 
Master, printed within a few months of the execution. If the. 
King had such an answer to Raleigh's dying words, as they 
were reported, how could it have failed to be used by Bacon to 
mitigate the popular indignation at the time ? How could it 
have been unheard of for two centuries and a half, if it had 


been received by the King and known to all his counsellors ? 
But the letter, if written, confessed only a commission from 
the Duke de Montmorenci, as Mr. Gardiner says, while the 
speech denies only a commission from the King of Prance ; 
and if Raleigh had already confessed the former, it may ex- 
plain his confining his denials to the latter. That he did 
persistently and unequivocally deny the latter, is proved not 
only by the speech, but by the little " Answer to some things 
at his death," which, we presume, is the " remembrancer 
left with his lady, written likewise that night [the night 
before his death], to acquaint the world withal, if perhaps he 
should not have been suffered to speak at his death," as 
described in the letter of Chamberlain to Sir Dudley Carleton, 
heretofore quoted.* We are not aware that this brief " Answer" 
has ever been called in question, and it seems to be entirely 
consistent with the speech. It declares as explicitly as the 
reported speech, — "I never had commission from the French 
King ; I never saw the French King's hand or seale in my 
life." Sir Lewis Stukely wrote a long letter to the King in his 
own defence, and in reply to this dying declaration of Raleigh ; 
but, though it refers distinctly to what it calls Raleigh's " per- 
jury in swearing he had no design for Fraunce," it contains no 
allusion to the alleged letter of October 5th.* Once more, it 
may be urged, if the King had possessed a letter which might 
have counteracted the impression produced both by the brief 
" Answer " and the long speech, or which could have been used 
in any way to Raleigh's discredit, could Bacon and Stukely both 
have failed to use it in their labored vindications of themselves 
and their master ? Ah, what a glory it would have been for 
Bacon's fame, if he had saved the life of Raleigh, instead of con- 
senting to his death, and apologizing for the act after it was per- 
petrated ! Some discrepancy of dates, as given by different 
writers, might leave room for a doubt whether Bacon was not 
rewarded for this Apology by a promotion from the office of 
Lord Keeper to that of Lord Chancellor. A more careful 
inquiry, however, clears away any such imputation. But it is 
enough to have exhibited some of the intricate problems in this 
great Tragedy of English, — we had almost said, of American, 
— History ; and so to leave them for the solution of others. 
The manuscript account of the Execution is as follows : — 

* This brief " Answer " will be found appended to The Essays of Raleigh, 
printed " by T. W.," for Humphrey Moseley, London, 1660. 
t See " Somers Tracts " (Scott's ed.), vol. ii. p. 444. 


The Confession and Execution of Sir Walter Raleighe, 

Uppon Wedensdaie beinge the 28 t . h of October, 1618, the Lieu- 
tenant of the Tower, accordinge to a warrant to him directed, brought 
Sf Wa : Raleigh from the tower to the Kinges benche barre at West- 
minster, where the records of his arraignment at Winchester were 
opened, and he was demanded why execution shoulde not be done 
uppon him ; accordinge to Judgement therein pronounced against him : 
To w^ he began by waie of answere to iustifie himselfe in his proceed- 
inges in the last voiage. But the L. chiefe justice silenced him, sainge 
there was no other matter in question, but concerninge the Judgement 
of Death w* had formallye beene given against him. And it was 
the Kinges pleasure (uppon some occasion beste knowen to himselfe) 
nowe to have the same executed, unles he coulde shewe good cause to 
the contrary. Unto w? S* Wa : R. saide, that he was tolde by his 
Counsell, that in regarde his Ma 11 . 6 , since the saide Judgement, had bin 
pleased to imploie him in his service (as by Commission he had done) 
it made voide the saide Judgem?, and was vivification unto him. But 
the Lorde chiefe Justice toulde him, he was therin deceived ; and 
that the opinion of the Courte was to the contrary. Wherew*? he 
rested satisfied, and desired that some reasonable time might be allowed 
him, to prepare himselfe for deathe. But it was answered him, that 
the time of deathe appointed to him was to-morrowe : and that it was 
not to be doubted, but y* he had prepared himselfe for deathe longe 
since. And I am glad, saide the L. chiefe Justice, that [you have] 
given the worlde so good satisfaction of your Religion : as by some 
bookes published by you, you have done. And so M? Attorneye 
generall required in the Kinges behalfe, that execution might be done 
uppon the prisoner, accordinge to the saide Judgement. Then the 
Shrifes of Middlesex were commanded to take him into their custodie, 
who p'sently caried [him] to the gate house in Westmf, from whence 
the next morninge he shoulde goe betweene the saide Shrives to the 
olde pallace of Westminster ; where a large scaffolde was erected for 
his execution. Whereuppon when he came w*? a cheerefull counte- 
nance he saluted the Lordes, knightes and gentlemen there present. 
After w! 1 a proclamation beinge made for silence, he addressed himselfe 
to speake in this maner : I desire to be borne w* all, for this is the thirde 
daye of my fevere, and if I shall shewe my weakenes, I beseeche you 
to attribute it to my maladie, for this is the houre it was wonte to come. 
Then pausinge awhile, he sett and directed .himselfe to a windowe, 
where satt the Earles of Arundel, Northampton and Doncaster, w^ 1 
some other Lordes and knightes, and spake as followeth: I thanke 
God of his infinite goodnes that he hathe sent mee to die in the light, 
and not in the darkenes ; but because the place where the Lordes satte 
was farre distant from the scaffolde, that he perceived they coulde not 
heare him well, therfore he saide, I will straine my voice, for I woulde 
willinglie have yo* honors heare mee. But the L. of Arundel said 
nay, but wee will rather come downe to the scaffolde to heare thee, w- h 


he and some other did. Wither beinge come, he saluted theme gen- 
erallie, and so began to speake as followeth : As I said before, so nowe 

1 saie againe, I thancke God, &c, but not in the darke prison of the 
Tower, where T have suffered a great deale of adversitie and cruell 
sickenes. And I thancke God that the fevere hathe not taken me at 
this time, and I pray God it may not. There are so many pointes of 
suspition that his Ma ! e hath conceived against mee, and wherein he 
cannot be satisfied, w* I desire to cleere and to resolve yof L p . 8 of. One 
is that his Ma*! 6 hathe bin informed that I have ofte had plotts w 1 ) 1 
France, and his Ma ri . e had good reason to induce him thereunto : The 
first was, that when I came backe from Guyana, beinge come to Plym- 
mouth, I indevored to have gone in a Barke to Rochel, w h . was be- 
cause I woulde have made my peace before I came to Englande. The 

2 was that uppon my flight, I did intende to flye into France for the 
savinge of my life, that had some terro r from above. 

A thirde was that the French agent came to mee ; besides it was 
reported, that I had a Comission from the Frenche Kinge at my 
goinge forthe. These are the reasons that caused the Kinge to sus- 
pecte mee. Nowe for man to call God to witnesse a falsehoode, were a 
grevous synne : for what comfort can we then hope for at the daie of 
Judgement, before God's tribunal seate : But to call Godde to witnesse 
a false thinge at the houre of deathe, is a facte more grevous and 
fearefull, seeinge suche a one havinge no tyme of repentance, cannot 
hope to be saved at all. Then what can I expecte, that at this instant 
am goinge to render my accompte. .1 doe therfore call the Lorde to 
witnes (as I hope to bee saved, and to see him in his kingdome, 
w c . h I trust I shall, w tb in this quarter of an houre) that I never had any 
Comission from the Frenche Kinge : neither did I ever see the Frenche 
Kinges handewritinge, nor his seale, in all my life. Nor yet did I 
knowe that there was an Agent heere, nor what he was, till 1 mette 
him in the galery in my lodginge, unlooked for. If I speake not true, 
then O Lorde let me not come into thy kingedome. The 2 suspicion 
was that his Ma* 1 . 8 had bin informed, that I shoulde speake dishonorably, 
and disloiallie of him my sovereigne : But my accuser was a base 
frenchman, a runnagate, and one that had no dwellinge, and a kinde of 
chimicall fellowe. One that I knewe to bee pfidious. For beinge drawne 
in the accion of scarringe [myself] at Winchester, (into w c . h I confesse 
[my shame that] my hande was at all) beinge sworne to secrecie 
one night, he revealed it the next morninge. But (let me speake) * 
what have I nowe to doe w th rogues ? I have nothinge to doe w*? 1 
them, neither doe I feare them ; for I have onlie to doe w 1 ? my God, 
in whose presence I stande : therfore for me to tell a lie, therby to 
gaine the Kinges favoure, were in vaine. But as I hope in the Lorde 
to be saved at the last daie, I denye that I ever spake dishonourably, 
disloiallie or dishonestlie of the Kinge, neither to that frencheman, 
nor to any other. No I protest I never had a thought of ill, of his 
Ma* 1 . 6 , in all my life. And therfore I cannot but thincke it strange, 
that the slaunderf beinge so base and meane a fellowe, shoulde bee 
so farre credited as he hathe beene. And so muche of my double 


resolution to the Kinges double suspicion. I confesse I did attempte 
to escape ; yea I cannot excuse that, but it was onlie to save my life. 
And I likewise confesse, I did faine myselfe to bee ill disposed at Salis- 
bury ; but I hope it was no syn ; for the prophet David did make 
himselfe a foole, and suffer spittle to fall on his bearde, to escape yf 
hands of his enymies, and it was not imputed to him. So in what I 
did, I intended no ill, but to gaine and prolonge time till his Ma ti . e came, 
hopinge of some comiseration from him. But I fo-give this frenche- 
man and S r Lewes Stukeley also w*. h all my harte. I have received 
the Sacrament this morninge of Mr. Deane, and I have forgiven all the 
worlde. But that they are pfidious, I am bounde in charitie to speake, 
that all men may take heede of them. Sf Lewes Stukeley my keeper 
and kinsman hathe affirmed, that I shoulde tell him, that my L. 
Carewe and my lorde of Doncaster there, did advize me to escape ; 
but I protest before God I never tolde him any suche thinge, neither 
did the Lordes advise me any suche thinge, neither is it likelie that 
I shoulde tell him any suche matter of the two privie counsellers. 
Neither 1 had any reason to tell him ; for tis well knowne, that hee 
lefte me IX or X times alone to goe whether I woulde, whilst he ridde 
aboute the country. He farther accuseth mee, that I shoulde tell 
him that these two lordes woulde meete me in France, w c . h I never 
spake nor thought. Thirdlie, that I shoulde proferre him a letter, 
wherby I did signifie unto him, that I woulde give him a thousand 
pound for my escape. But Lord cast my soule into everlastinge fire, if 
I ever made any suche proferre of a lOOOli or a 100^. But indeed I 
shewed him a letter, that if he woulde goe w*? 1 me, there shoulde bee 
order taken for the payem* of his detts, when he was gone : neither 
had I lOOOli, and if I had, I coulde have made my peace w* h it other 
wise. Lastlie, when I came to S* Edw. Pelhams, who had bin a fol- 
lower of myne, and given me good intertainement, he gave out speaches 
that I had received some Drame [of poison], when I assured him that 
I feared no suche thinge, for I was well assured 'of them in the house ; 
and therfore wished him to have no suche thought. Nowe God for- 
give him, for I doe. And I desire God to forgive him, even as I desire 
to bee forgiven. Then lookinge on his note of remembrance, well, 
saide hee, thus farre I am gone no we ; a little more, and I* shall have 
done. It was toulde the Kinge, that I was brought into Englande p 
force; and that I did not intende to come againe; but S5 Charles 
Parks, Mf Tatsham, and Mf Leete knowe howe I was delte w^all by 
the coinon soldiours, w c . h were 150 in number; who sent for mee to 
come into the guard roome unto them, for they woulde not come to mee ; 
and there was I inforced to take an oathe, that I woulde not goe into 
Englande till they woulde have mee. I heare likewise that there 
was a reporte, that I went not purposelye to goe into Guiana at all, 
and that I knewe not of any myne, nor intended any suche matter ; but 
only to gett my libertie (w c . h I had not the witte to keepe), but I pro- 
test it was my full intent, to seeke the mine of goulde for the benifite 
of myselfe and his Ma t! . e and those that adventured w*? mee and the rest 
of my countrymen that went w'. h mee. But he that knewe the head 


of the mine woulde not discover it, when he sawe my sonne was slaine, 
but made himselfe awaie. And then turninge to the Earle of Arun- 
dell, he saide as followeth : Beinge in the gallerie of my shippe at my 
departure, I remember yof honor tooke me by the hande, and said you 
woulde request one thinge of mee, that whether I made a good voi- 
age or a bad, I would not faile to returne againe into Englande : w c . b 
I promised you, and gave you my faith that I woulde, and so I did. 
To w c ? my Lorde then present answered, it is true, I well remem- 
ber it, they were the last woordes I spake then unto you. Another 
opinion was helde of mee, that I carried to sea 1600 peeces, and that 
I was desirous (for all the voiage y* I intended) only to get mony into 
my handes, and that I had made my voiage before ; whereas I protest 
at my goinge to sea, I had but a C peeces in all, whereof I gave 25 
to my wife, and the rest I tooke w 1 ? mee, and the remaindf I brought 
backe w l . h me into Englande. . Another scandall was charged on me 
that I woulde have gone awaie from my companie, and lefte them at 
Guiana ; but there are a great many woorthy men, w c ? accompanied 
me alwaies and knowe my intent was nothinge so. All these are the 
material pointes w c . h I thought good to speake of. 

I am at this instant, (beinge the subiecte of deathe), to render 
accounte to God, and I proteste (as I shall appeare before him) this 
that I have here delivered and spoken is true : yet I will speake a 
woorde or two more, and but a word or two, because I will not bee 
over troublesome to Mf Shr. There was a reporte spred, that I should 
reioice at the death of my L. of Essex : and that I shoulde, at that 
instant, take Tobacco in his presence; when (I proteste) I shed 
teares at his deathe, thoughe I was (I confesse) one of the faction. At 
the very time of his deathe, and all the while of his preparation, I 
was in the Armorie, and at the further ende, where I coulde but see 
him. He sente for mee, but I did not goe to him : for I hearde he 
desired to see mee. # Therefore I lamented his deathe, as I had good 
cause, for it was the woorse for mee, as it proved : for after he was 
gone, I was little beloved. Nowe I intreate you all to ioigne w th me in 
prayer, that the great God of heaven, whom I have grevously offended, 
woulde forgive mee. For I have beene a man full of all vanities, and 
have lived a synfull and wicked life in a synfull callinge ; havinge bin a 
Soldiof, a Captaine bothe by lande and sea, and also a Courtier, w c . h 
are only helpes and waies to make a man wicked in all these places. 
Wherfore I desire you all to praye w*? mee that God woulde pardon 
and forgive me my synnes, and cast them all out of his sight and 
remembrance ; and that for his Sonne, my only Savior Jesus Christ 
his sake, he woulde receive me into his everlastinge kingdome, where 
is life eternal. And so I take my leave of you all, and will nowe make 
my peace w*? 1 God. 

And after a proclamation made, that all shoulde departe from of the 
scafFolde, he prepared himselfe to die, givinge awaie his bever hatte, and 

* There is some confusion here, probably arising from the omission of a line 
or two in copying. 



wrought night cap, w* some mony to some of his acquaintance that 
stoode neere him : and then tooke his leave of the Lordes, Isnightes, 
and gentlemen. Hee desired the Erie of Arundell, y* he woulde in- 
forme his Ma* 6 of that w c . h he spoke ; and to intreat him, that there 
might bee no scandalous pamphletts or wrightings published to defame 
him after his deathe. And so puttinge of his gowne and dublet, he made 
a longe prayer upon his knees, the Deane of Westmf knelinge by him, 
and prayinge w*? him all the while ; w c . h beinge ended, he called to the 
Executioner to fetche the fatall instrument (as he called it) w c . h beinge 
denied him, he saide, I pray you let mee see it ; thincke you, I am 
afraide of it ? Whereupon it was shewed him ; and he felte the edge 
w* his thumbe, and w*. h a smilinge countenance he saide [to] the 
Shr. — This is a sharpe medicine, but a phisitian that will cure all 
diseases. Then goinge to eche side of the scaffolde, he intreated the 
people to praye for him, that God woulde assist him, and give him 
strengthe. Then being asked w c . h waie he woulde lie, towardes the 
windowe, where the Lordes stoode, or no, he went aboute the blocke, 
and laide his hed from the Lordes, and said, So bee it the harte bee 
stronge, it is no matter where the hed lieth ; and then prayinge, hav- 
inge forgiven the Executioner, and givinge him a signe when he 
shoulde doe his office (as he laye prayinge and callinge upon God) at 
twoe strookes he tooke of his head. 

The President observed, in conclusion, that the same MS. 
volume contained also a copy of the familiar lines said to have 
been found in Sir Walter's Bible after his death, with some 
variations from the commonly received version, as follows : — 

Even so dooth tyme take up withe truste, 
Our youthe, and ioies and al wee have ; 
And paies us but w*! 1 age and duste, 
In darkenes, scilence and the grave. 
So havinge wandred all our waies, 
Shuttes up the story of our daies. — 
From darkenes, silence, age and duste, 
The Lorde shal raise me up I truste. 

Q T . H Wa : Raleyoh.