Old Bailey, October 19. 1685

A true account of the trails of Mr Ring, Mr Fernley, Mr Cornish and Mrs Gaunt at the Old Bailey in front of Lord Chief Justice Jones

Old Bailey, October 19. 1685

My Lord,

I do apologise for not sending word earlier, in my last I promised to send more on the Assize in the west and to give names of the convicted. However, I did hear of a case of greater importance in London and for that purpose, I did travel in disguise to the Old Bailey. The news received told that an old friend was turning King’s evidence. As I could not believe it, I needed to witness the trial for myself. I shall not dwell on the transcript of the hearing as that will be well documented and published elsewhere. Therefore, I give an account of the court and the foul taste this trail leaves in the gut. For on this day four cases where heard; those of Mr Ring, Mr Fernley, Mr Cornish and Mrs Gaunt. Each was mixed with the other, each before four juries and each being treated as guilty by the Lord Chief Justice, although they all did rightly plead not guilty.

After the late Duke’s death, it is true that some of those that served him did go to London and that they remain concealed, looking to make good an escape to Holland. Knowing this, the tyrant has openly declared that “those who conceal Rebels are the worst sort of traitors, for he would sooner pardon the rebels than those who harboured them”. The gossip is that the King has a great mind to find out any among the rich merchants, who might pay to save their lives. For though there was much blood shed, there was little booty to reward those who had served.

After the tragic events that had befallen our cause on the morning of July 6, many brave men died or fled. Some have made good their escape to Holland, others still hide in homes, farms and ditches, yet some have turned on friends to survive. Here I name two such villains, of thay have killed liberty as much as the tyrant King himself, for they send braver souls to die, to save themselves. These being Captain Richard Goodenough of Monmouth’s Foot Guards, a man I once called friend, the other is Lieutenant James Burton of Jones Troop who was just an acquaintance of mine. These men did escape the bloody field, for Goodenough was captured in Devon with me, whilst Burton reached London to find friends in the cause, who looked to aid his escape to Flanders. Both stood witness for the tyrant King against others in the Old Bailey this very day.

The case against Mr Fernley and Mr Ring was that they did knowingly give safe lodgings to fugitives from the late Rebellion. The first to the bar was Mr Ring, he was accused of harbouring Mr Kellaway and Mr Lawrence. Both appeared at the Taunton Assize and where sentenced to be executed, the first at Somerton, the former at Keynsham. I believe Kellaway to have died yesterday, whilst Lawrence awaits a Pardon. It appears true that Mr Ring did lodge both men, for Kellaway was his kinsman, but what was unclear is that he did so knowing that both men were from Monmouth’s Army. For it was only after their taking that Mr Ring did confess so. After which, Lawrence and Kellaway where taken to Taunton.

Next to the bar was Mr Fernley for the crime of keeping Burton. Before the was heard Lord Chief Justice did make a great noise regarding Mr Burton being named on the Rye House proclamation and his part in the late Rebellion. To which Burton did openly confess his guilt and received pardon. This was so he could give witness against Mr Fernley, Mr Cornish and Mrs Gaunt. For this case several witnesses did claim how Mr Fernley knew nothing of Burton for it was his wife that agreed to his lodging. This being done with agreement from Mrs Burton, who had given her husband comfort for two days prior to staying in Mr Fernley’s chambers. As Mr Fernley was a barber who often stayed late in his shop on Saturdays to go early to church on the sabbath. Knowing this to be so, Mrs Burton asked Mrs Fernley to take in her husband. It was only on the Sunday that Mr Fernley discovered Burton over dinner. This was followed by Mr Gaunt visiting to help secure Burton’s safe passage to Holland. On this and the knowledge that Burton had £100 on his head, Mr Fernley, a constable of the parish, did contrive to take Burton into custody. To this point both Mr & Mrs Burton did give witness for the King’s prosecution. However, before Fernley could act, one Mr Reynolds arrived with the Lieutenant of the Tower and on finding Burton up a chimney, both Fernley and Burton where arrested.

It was before the unfortunate Mr Cornish came up that the Jury for Mr Ring did return. Their verdict was Guilty, the mark had been set for the other Juries, harbouring a rebel, with or without knowledge was treason. So, when Mr Cornish stood, he requested a delay for he was arrested the day before yesterday, and yet today faced open court for high treason. His crime was to be named as new actor in the Rye House Plot and his accusers being Goodenough and Burton. Both named on the proclamation, now proven in the case against Mr Fernley. For Goodenough was under sheriff to Mr Cornish at that time and no friendship existed between the two men. Indeed, those close to Goodenough knew that there was animosity between them, even hatred. Whilst Burton, claimed to be a witness to meetings between the plotters and Mr Cornish. So, with no time to prepare his own defence, Mr Cornish faced two newly pardoned men, looking to save their own lives at the cost of his. Yet, he did make some attempt, even calling our friend Mr Gosfright to give an account of his being in Holland at that time and to his good character. All to no avail, for before his Jury retired, that of Mr Fernley did return a guilty verdict.

Finally, the court turned on Mrs Gaunt, her only crime being an anabaptist, who spent a great part of her life in the acts of charity, visiting the jails, and looking after the poor of what persuasion so ever they were. Mr Burton stated that she harboured him in her house after the Plot and that she had helped him leave the Kingdom. There was no witness to prove that she knew that Burton was a fugitive and, on the proclamation, but he himself. Her maid witnessed only that he was entertained at her house. But though the crime was her harbouring a traitor and was proved only by this infamous witness, Burton. With yet the judge charged the jury to bring her in guilty, even though there was only one witness, and she not having the opportunity to defend herself or call her own witnesses. Her jury had been witnessed the cases against Mr Fernley, Mr Ring & Mr Cornish, all circumstantial, and then they were sent to consider her case. As if the tyrant King was in the court himself, shouting “he would sooner pardon the rebels than those who harboured them”, it is no surprise therefore that they all were found guilty of high treason.

The first sentence to be recorded was for Mrs Gaunt and it was read out thus, “that you are to be carried back to the place from whence you came, from thence you are to be drawn upon a hurdle to the place of execution, and there you are to be burnt to death; Lord have mercy upon your soul.”. Then the sentences for Mr Ring, Mr Fernley and Mr Cornish were pronounced together by the recorder, “you must, every one of you, be had back to the place from whence you came, from thence you must be drawn to the place of execution, and there you must severally be hanged by the necks, every one of you, by the neck till you are almost dead; and then you must be cut down, your entrails must be taken out and burnt before your faces, your several heads to be cut off, and your bodies divided into four parts, and those to be disposed of at the pleasure of the king; and the Lord have mercy upon your souls.”

If you have never experienced the turmoil of emotions that is with each man’s mind when faced with impending death, it is hard to imagine how you will react. For some, it is passive almost subdued, then accepting and brave. For my part, I looked for a route to survival that didn’t forsake my cause, yet in others it brings out the base animal instinct of survival. Survival at any cost, even this means sending someone that saved you or showed you kindness to die in your place. This may not be the intent when Goodenough or Burton accepted the hand that saved their own lives, but it is the outcome, for survival always comes at a high price. Lieutenant James Burton now lives, and in his place, Mrs Gaunt shall be burnt alive and Mr Fernley be hung, drawn and quartered. Whilst Captain Richard Goodenough shall send Mr Cornish in his place to seek Gods mercy.

These two rouges who once fought alongside us have sent innocents to die in their place, in this way they have murdered as coldly Col. Kirke after the battle or as the executioner, Mr Ketch himself. They, my lord, are the enemy within our souls. Today they became creatures of the tyrant King.

In my next I shall give an account of the men sent for Transportation as I have obtained a full list of those sentenced at Wells and Taunton. I shall dwell in White-chapel until after the 23rd of this month, the date set for the execution of Mr Cornish & Mrs Gaunt.

Yours in the cause of liberty and property,

William Savage

The Bloody Assize 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

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

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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