Newgate Gaol, July 19. 1683

This is a copy of the Letter, written by William, Lord Russell to his Majesty, King Charles II

Newgate, July 19. ’83

May it please Your Majesty,

Since this is not to be delivered till after my death, I hope Your Majesty will forgive the presumption of an attainted man’s writing to you. My chief business is to humbly ask your pardon, for any thing that I have either said, or done, that might look like want of respect to your Majesty, or duty to your government. In which, though I do to the last moment acquit myself of all designs against your person, or of altering of the government, and protest I know of no design, now on foot, against either. Yet I do not deny but I have heard many things, and said some things contrary to my duty, for which, as I have asked God’s pardon, so I humbly beg Your Majesty’s. And I take the liberty to add, that though I have met with hard measure, yet I forgive all concerned in it, from the highest to the lowest; and I pray God to bless both your person and government, and that the public peace, and the true Protestant religion, may be preserved under you. And I crave leave to end my days with this sincere protestation, that my heart was ever devoted to that which I thought was your true interest; in which, if I was mistaken, I hope your displeasure against me will end with my life, and that no part of it shall fall on my wife and children; which is the last petition will ever be offered you from, May it please Your Majesty.

Your Majesty’s most faithful, most dutiful, and most obedient subject,