Sir Ferdinando Gorges his Confession

He deposeth that in January last the Earl of Essex wrote to him a letter, wherein he complained grievously of his misfortunes and the miserable estate he stood in, whereof he purposed shortly to free himself. And therefore prayed Sir Ferdinando Gorges to come up to London to him; who coming accordingly, the Earl told him how mightily he was crossed and discredited by his private enemies, which he could not endure. "For," saith he, "I have 120 Earls, Barons, and Gentlemen that participate in my discontented humour and will join with me; and I desire your help and counsel therein. One especial friend I have in the Court, whereby I have intelligence from time to time. And I hold ourselves indifferently affected by the citizens of London and hope to have a good party in Wales."

He confessed also that they had two several meetings at Drury House to consult of these matters and the projects were, whether it were better first to surprise the Court or to take the Tower of London, or to stir in the City. But most agreed first to surprise the Court and then and there Sir John Davies took pen, ink, and paper and set down that some should keep the Hall, some the Court Gates, some the Guard Chamber, and some the Presence chamber, saying many of the Guard had been the Earl of Essex’s servants and were preferred to the Queen by him, and will be more indifferent to deal with than others. And so my Lord shall have a way through his own guards to come to the Privy Chamber and the presence of the Queen.

And Sir Ferdinando Gorges said to the Earl of Essex, "Alas, My Lord! What is so small a number of men able to do in so worthy an action?" And so dissuaded the Earl from surprising the court, and rather bade him submit himself to the Queen’s mercy than proceed any further.

And the Earl of Southampton said at Essex House, "Is it not three months since this plot began, and shall we resolve on nothing?" Then upon a sudden they all agreed first to stir up London, where they assured themselves of great favour. And after the council was locked up, this deponent followed the troops into London, and after some advice the Earl of Essex sent him back again with a token to deliver to the Lord Chief Justice only, by colour of which token be set at liberty the Lord Keeper and the rest.

Lastly, he confirmed that he told Sir Walter Raleigh first upon the Thames of my Lord of Essex’s making his house into a Guard, and putting his friends into arms, as it is delivered by Sir Walter Raleigh.

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1 May 1999 pkm