Alice Lisle is to Burn

This is a true Account of the sentencing of Lady Alice Lisle by Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys on August 28 in Winchester.

My lord,

What I now give you, is an account from a witness to the sentencing of Lady Alice Lisle.

The next morning, being Friday, August 28, Lady Lisle was once more brought to the bar. She was to be sentenced for harbouring one Mr Hicks, who was declared a traitor although he had not been convicted as such, nor had he appeared on any lists of known enemies. Thus, making it impossible for anyone to know the punishment for giving him assistance was also treason. Therefore, making the trial of Lady Lisle a cruel indictment on Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys and the King himself.  For as you shall read, as is the way of all tyrants, his majesty clearly agreed the verdict before the case was heard before the Jury.

Calling Lady Lisle to the bar for the final time, Justice Jeffreys, gave a long and rambling rant on the ‘…canting, whining, Presbyterian, fanatical profession… of Mr Hick.’ After which pointing at Lady Lisle and beseeched the local populace to take heed and learn, ‘from that women, the sad and dismal effects of disloyalty a treason; and from all the rest the deplorable mischiefs that attend licentiousness and debauchery.’ It was only now that he pronounced the sentence, ‘there remains no more for me to do, I say but to pronounce the sentence of the law, which is this. The court does award, that you Mrs Lisle, will be conveyed from whence you came, and thence you are to be drawn upon a hurdle to the place of Execution, where your body is to be burnt alive till you be dead. And the Lord have mercy upon your Soul.’

At this some around her did cry ‘Lord have Mercy!’ yet, Lady Lisle did not flinch or sway, even a little. Then Justice Jeffreys continued, ‘Look you Mrs Lisle, when I left his majesty, he was pleased to remit the time of all executions to me, that where-ever I found any obstinacy or impenitence, I might order the executions with what speed I should think best. Therefore, Mr Sheriff, take notice, you are to prepare for the execution of this gentlewomen this afternoon. But withal, I give you the prisoner, this intimation. The judges shall stay in town an hour or two, you shall have pen, ink and paper, brought to you and if in the mean time you employ them in this hour, it maybe you hear further from us, in deferring the execution.’ With this the poor unfortunate Lady was taken away by the Sherrif

It was now clear to all those in that court, that the King himself had sanctioned this case. The King had set both the verdict and sentence with Justice Jeffreys before even the Jury was called. Their plan was to entrap the non-conformist Presbyterian community into treason and thereby purge the country of them. Only the fortitude of Lady Lisle saved so many more innocent lives from martyrdom. For she did employ the pen, ink or paper but only for her last words and testimony.

Only by chance, the Sheriff was not able to complete the sentence before the Assize left Winchester and announced that the execution could happen before Monday for want of good kindling. Furthermore, the cathedral and town dignitaries, in some shock as to the brutal and unusual project to burn a woman with hours, visited the court Judges. With this and nothing being forthcoming from Lady Lisle, the Lord Chief Justice agreed to adjourn the execution until Wednesday. The friends of the poor Lady are now in earnest looking to change the sentence by pleading directly with the King. For my part, I see little chance of this, for only the King can overturn the verdict and sentence, yet he is only thinking of blood, slaughter and vengeance.

In my next, I shall write to you of the final injustice given to Lady Lisle.

Your humble servant.

William Savage

More from the Bloody Assize 1685 Timeline:
Trial of Alice Lisle
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A true account of the trial of Alice Lisle in Winchester, given by a witness the justice offered by a tyrant. 

A true account of the trial of Alice Lisle in Winchester, given by a witness the justice offered by a tyrant. 

A true account of the trial of Alice Lisle in Winchester, given by a witness the justice offered by a tyrant. 

Alice Lisle is to Burn
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This is a true Account of the Sentencing of Lady Alice Lisle by Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys on August 28 in Winchester.

This is a true Account of the Sentencing of Lady Alice Lisle by Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys on August 28 in Winchester.

This is a true Account of the Sentencing of Lady Alice Lisle by Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys on August 28 in Winchester.

Reprieve for Mrs Lisle
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An Account of the letter from the friends of Lady Lisle to the King delivered on August 30. 1685

An Account of the letter from the friends of Lady Lisle to the King delivered on August 30. 1685

An Account of the letter from the friends of Lady Lisle to the King delivered on August 30. 1685

Kings Justice for Lady Lisle
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An Account of the tyrant Kings response to the request for the reprieve of Alice Lisle on Monday, August 31, 1685

An Account of the tyrant Kings response to the request for the reprieve of Alice Lisle on Monday, August 31, 1685

An Account of the tyrant Kings response to the request for the reprieve of Alice Lisle on Monday, August 31, 1685

Salisbury, September 1. 1685
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An Account of the Western Assize court of Lord Chief Justice Jeffrey at Salisbury.

An Account of the Western Assize court of Lord Chief Justice Jeffrey at Salisbury.

An Account of the Western Assize court of Lord Chief Justice Jeffrey at Salisbury.

Beheading of Lady Lisle
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An Account of the last moments and words of Lady Lisle before she executed in Winchester, September 2, 1685

An Account of the last moments and words of Lady Lisle before she executed in Winchester, September 2, 1685

An Account of the last moments and words of Lady Lisle before she executed in Winchester, September 2, 1685

Whitehall, September 3. 1685
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The news in London is that Dame Alicia Lisle was beheaded yesterday in Winchester.

The news in London is that Dame Alicia Lisle was beheaded yesterday in Winchester.

The news in London is that Dame Alicia Lisle was beheaded yesterday in Winchester.

Dorchester, September 4. 1685
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This being a brief account of the opening of the Dorchester Assize where 337 souls are to be tried.

This being a brief account of the opening of the Dorchester Assize where 337 souls are to be tried.

This being a brief account of the opening of the Dorchester Assize where 337 souls are to be tried.

Dorchester, September 5. 1685
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An account of the first day at the Dorchester Assize where 29 men have been sentenced to death

An account of the first day at the Dorchester Assize where 29 men have been sentenced to death

An account of the first day at the Dorchester Assize where 29 men have been sentenced to death

Dorchester, September 6. 1685
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For some sentenced to die tomorrow there is a reprieve as Mr Ketch can only kill and quarter 13 in one day, even with the help of Pascha Rose

For some sentenced to die tomorrow there is a reprieve as Mr Ketch can only kill and quarter 13 in one day, even with the help of Pascha Rose

For some sentenced to die tomorrow there is a reprieve as Mr Ketch can only kill and quarter 13 in one day, even with the help of Pascha Rose

Dorchester, September 7. 1685
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An account of the thirteen Martyrs executed in Dorchester by Lord Jeffreys

An account of the thirteen Martyrs executed in Dorchester by Lord Jeffreys

An account of the thirteen Martyrs executed in Dorchester by Lord Jeffreys

Dorchester, September 10. 1685
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A list of the final sentences from the Dorchester Assize as given by Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys

A list of the final sentences from the Dorchester Assize as given by Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys

A list of the final sentences from the Dorchester Assize as given by Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys

Bridport, September 12. 1685
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An account of the nine Martyrs executed in Bridport by Lord Jeffreys

An account of the nine Martyrs executed in Bridport by Lord Jeffreys

An account of the nine Martyrs executed in Bridport by Lord Jeffreys

Lyme, September 12. 1685
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An account of the twelve Martyrs executed in Lyme Regis by Lord Jeffreys

An account of the twelve Martyrs executed in Lyme Regis by Lord Jeffreys

An account of the twelve Martyrs executed in Lyme Regis by Lord Jeffreys

Exeter, September 13. 1685
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An account of the last words of our friend, Sir John Kidd, martyred at Lyme on September 12, 1685.

An account of the last words of our friend, Sir John Kidd, martyred at Lyme on September 12, 1685.

An account of the last words of our friend, Sir John Kidd, martyred at Lyme on September 12, 1685.

Exeter, September 14. 1685
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The list of three Martyrs executed in the West after sentencing by Lord Jeffreys

The list of three Martyrs executed in the West after sentencing by Lord Jeffreys

The list of three Martyrs executed in the West after sentencing by Lord Jeffreys

Sherborne, September 15. 1685
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An account of the executions and a list of the martyrs at Sherborne on the orders of Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys

An account of the executions and a list of the martyrs at Sherborne on the orders of Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys

An account of the executions and a list of the martyrs at Sherborne on the orders of Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys

Weymouth, September 15. 1685
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Of the twelve Martyrs executed in Weymouth on orders of Lord Jeffreys

Of the twelve Martyrs executed in Weymouth on orders of Lord Jeffreys

Of the twelve Martyrs executed in Weymouth on orders of Lord Jeffreys

Taunton, September 18. 1685
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An account of the first day of the Taunton Assize court presided over by Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys

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An account of the first day of the Taunton Assize court presided over by Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys

Taunton, September 19. 1685
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A letter from Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys to King James II detailing the value of each rebel.

A letter from Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys to King James II detailing the value of each rebel.

A letter from Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys to King James II detailing the value of each rebel.

Taunton, September 21. 1685
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The four martyrs that died at Taunton and the final list of verdicts from the Assize court.

The four martyrs that died at Taunton and the final list of verdicts from the Assize court.

The four martyrs that died at Taunton and the final list of verdicts from the Assize court.

Poole, September 21. 1685
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Of the eleven Martyrs executed in Poole on the orders of Judge Jeffreys

Of the eleven Martyrs executed in Poole on the orders of Judge Jeffreys

Of the eleven Martyrs executed in Poole on the orders of Judge Jeffreys

Wareham, September 22. 1685
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Of the Six Martyrs executed in Wareham and Wells on the orders of Judge Jeffreys

Of the Six Martyrs executed in Wareham and Wells on the orders of Judge Jeffreys

Of the Six Martyrs executed in Wareham and Wells on the orders of Judge Jeffreys

Wells, September 22. 1685
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Of the 543 men at Wells awaiting this bloody Assize Court of Judge Jeffreys

Of the 543 men at Wells awaiting this bloody Assize Court of Judge Jeffreys

Of the 543 men at Wells awaiting this bloody Assize Court of Judge Jeffreys

Weymouth, September 25. 1685
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Of the 93 men transported to Barbados on the Happy Return from Weymouth

Of the 93 men transported to Barbados on the Happy Return from Weymouth

Of the 93 men transported to Barbados on the Happy Return from Weymouth

Taunton, September 30. 1685
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Of the 18 Martyrs executed in Taunton on the orders of King James II

Of the 18 Martyrs executed in Taunton on the orders of King James II

Of the 18 Martyrs executed in Taunton on the orders of King James II

Wellington, October 1. 1685
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Of the 3 Martyrs executed in Wellington on the orders of King James II

Of the 3 Martyrs executed in Wellington on the orders of King James II

Of the 3 Martyrs executed in Wellington on the orders of King James II

Glastonbury, October 6. 1685
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Of the Seven Martyrs executed in the West on the orders of Judge Jeffreys

Of the Seven Martyrs executed in the West on the orders of Judge Jeffreys

Of the Seven Martyrs executed in the West on the orders of Judge Jeffreys

Bristol, October 9. 1685
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Of the Martyrs executed in Bristol on the orders of Judge Jeffreys

Of the Martyrs executed in Bristol on the orders of Judge Jeffreys

Of the Martyrs executed in Bristol on the orders of Judge Jeffreys

Happy Return, September 25. 1685
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The 93 men transported on the Happy Return from Weymouth to Barbados by Sir William Booth

The 93 men transported on the Happy Return from Weymouth to Barbados by Sir William Booth

The 93 men transported on the Happy Return from Weymouth to Barbados by Sir William Booth

Axminster, October 14. 1685
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Of those Martyred in Axminster and Ottery St Mary on orders of Judge Jeffreys

Of those Martyred in Axminster and Ottery St Mary on orders of Judge Jeffreys

Of those Martyred in Axminster and Ottery St Mary on orders of Judge Jeffreys

Somerton, October 1685
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Of the seven Martyrs executed in Somerton on the orders of Judge Jeffreys

Of the seven Martyrs executed in Somerton on the orders of Judge Jeffreys

Of the seven Martyrs executed in Somerton on the orders of Judge Jeffreys

Old Bailey, October 19. 1685
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A true account of the trails of Mr Ring, Mr Fernley, Mr Cornish and Mrs Gaunt at the Old Bailey

A true account of the trails of Mr Ring, Mr Fernley, Mr Cornish and Mrs Gaunt at the Old Bailey

A true account of the trails of Mr Ring, Mr Fernley, Mr Cornish and Mrs Gaunt at the Old Bailey

Indeavour, October 20. 1685
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97 men are transported on the Indeavour from Bristol to St Kitts & Nevis by Sir William Stapleton

97 men are transported on the Indeavour from Bristol to St Kitts & Nevis by Sir William Stapleton

97 men are transported on the Indeavour from Bristol to St Kitts & Nevis by Sir William Stapleton

Rebecca, October 21. 1685
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The 14 men transported on the Rebecca from Bristol to Barbados by Mr Jerome Nipho.

The 14 men transported on the Rebecca from Bristol to Barbados by Mr Jerome Nipho.

The 14 men transported on the Rebecca from Bristol to Barbados by Mr Jerome Nipho.

London, October 23. 1685
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The Martyrdoms of Mrs Elisabeth Gaunt at Tyburn and Mr Henry Cornish at Cheapside

The Martyrdoms of Mrs Elisabeth Gaunt at Tyburn and Mr Henry Cornish at Cheapside

The Martyrdoms of Mrs Elisabeth Gaunt at Tyburn and Mr Henry Cornish at Cheapside

John Friggat, October 24. 1685
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The 90 men transported on the John Friggat from Bristol to Barbados by Sir William Booth.

The 90 men transported on the John Friggat from Bristol to Barbados by Sir William Booth.

The 90 men transported on the John Friggat from Bristol to Barbados by Sir William Booth.

Port Royal Merchant, October 25. 1685
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The 172 men transported on the Port Royal Merchant from Weymouth to Jamaica and 26 that escaped.

The 172 men transported on the Port Royal Merchant from Weymouth to Jamaica and 26 that escaped.

The 172 men transported on the Port Royal Merchant from Weymouth to Jamaica and 26 that escaped.

Westminster, October 27. 1685
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A brief account of the trial of Captain Richard Nelthorp and Colonel John Ayloff for High Treason 

A brief account of the trial of Captain Richard Nelthorp and Colonel John Ayloff for High Treason 

A brief account of the trial of Captain Richard Nelthorp and Colonel John Ayloff for High Treason 

London, October 30. 1685
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This day Captain Richard Nelthorp is martyred before Grays Inns and Colonel John Ayloff martyred at Temple Gate

This day Captain Richard Nelthorp is martyred before Grays Inns and Colonel John Ayloff martyred at Temple Gate

This day Captain Richard Nelthorp is martyred before Grays Inns and Colonel John Ayloff martyred at Temple Gate

Constant Richard, October 31. 1685
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84 men are transported on the Constant Richard to Jamaica by White & Heywood

84 men are transported on the Constant Richard to Jamaica by White & Heywood

84 men are transported on the Constant Richard to Jamaica by White & Heywood

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