Tower of LONDON. Stealing the Crown. 95

Tower of LONDON. Stealing the Crown.

self had 500l. per Ann. conferred upon him in Ireland, and admitted into all the Privacy and Intimacy of Court. Mr. Edwards had the Grant of 200l. and his Son 100l.

I have, since the Writing of what is abovesaid, met with a Continuation of Blood's stealing the Crown, in Mr. Edwards's MSS. writ, as it seems, by Sir Gilbert Talbot. Which is as follows.

A Continuation of this Narrative.

J. S.

What his Operation had been among the Quakers (who are his most beloved Sect above all others, and in whose Synagogue he hath his eminent Seat) the World is yet to learn; except it be, that he had multiplied their Congregations, and increased their Swarms in all Counties. But where lies his Majesty's Service in all this? Oh! they are kept quiet, and do not molest the Government. Indeed the Quakers have ever been reputed an innocent, harmless kind of Madmen: But he must be as mad as they, that can think them so, while Blood is of their Congregation.

Sir Gilbert Talbot.

Quakers.

Since this Villain's Crimes then are visible to all Mankind, and his Merits altogether incomprehensible, every Man will take the Liberty to conjecture, what Consideration could possibly beget his Pardon. His Crimes were without Controversy the highest Breaches of Human Laws: Murther acted upon a poor old Gentleman for defending his Trust; and Murther intended to be acted upon a Great Peer, with all the Circumstances of Contempt: A Design laid to surpize the King's Castle; a violent Seizure of his Crown and Sceptre; and a confessed lying in wait to destroy his Person.

Some Censures thereupon.

It requires a great Measure of Mercy in a Prince (for it is not decent to attribute it to any thing else) to forgive such Injuries, done to himself. But it is above his Mercy to pardon the Offence committed against another, because Heaven, which is all merciful, forgiveth not the Trespasses which we commit against our Neighbours, without Restitution. Yet the Lord Arlington came in his Majesty's Name to the Duke of Ormond to tell him, that he would not have Blood prosecuted, for Reasons which he was commanded to give him. The Duke replied, That his Majesty's Command was the only Reason that could be given, and that therefore he might spare the rest. It was a gallant Answer of his Grace, and such as well became the Loyalty of his Family. But it is great Pity in the mean time, that the World should want the Knowledge of his Lordship's Reasons, which had Weight enough in them to smother a Matter of that high Concernment, to the Dishonour of Justice, and the Dignity of Peerage.

How great a Misery soever it is to the World Blood and his Associates were not only pardoned and set free, but the Arch Villain himself had the forementioned Land conferred upon him in Ireland; and that the meritorious Person admitted into all the Privacy and Intimacy of the Court. No Man more assiduous than himself in both Secretaries Offices. If any one had a Business in Court that stuck, he made his Applications to Blood, as the most industrious and successful Sollicitor. Nay, many Gentlemen courted his Acquaintance, as the Indians pray to the Devils, that they may not hurt them.

Blood had no body but his own black Deeds to advocate for him. Yet thus was he rewarded. And although many sollicited for old Mr. Edwards; and had raised their Arguments from his Fidelity, Courage and Wounds received; yet all that could be obtained for him was a Grant of 200l. out of the Exchequer, and 100l. to his Son, as beforesaid. The Payment whereof was so long delayed, and his Chirurgeons calling upon him daily for Satisfaction for their Drugs and Pains, he was forced to sell his Order for 100l. Ready Money, and the Son his for 50l. and lived not long to enjoy the Remainder. For he died within a Year and a Month after the Wounds received.

But now to reflect a little, as I promised, not only upon the mysterious Redemption of this Rogue from the Gallows; but upon the (never to be enough wondred) Recompence for his Villanies, of 500l. per Ann. a Reward which the most meritorious Vertue hath seldom met with. Let us therefore consider him first, as taken in so flagrant a Crime, that no Plea could possibly lie in favour of his Life, nor no Hopes could be so impudent as to expect it. Observe then what he doth. He maketh a voluntary Confession of three other rapping Crimes. One his Attempt upon the Duke of Ormond. And his alledged Provocation to that, was by Consequence a Confession of his Conspiracy upon the Castle of Dublin. Thus much he thought necessary to acknowledge, to shew his Power and Audacity; that in case he were brought to Execution, he should stand recorded in Story to have died like a daring Sinner, and not as a petty Malefactor. Then he declareth freely and of his own Accord, his Intention to assassinate his Majesty in the River. I ask any Man of Reason, What other Consideration could move him to that Confession? But to bring in this other Part of his Story, he was to tell his Majesty, that his Heart relented, being surpriz'd with Awe and Reverence of his Person, (he had none of his Crown) and that he [not] only forbore the Execution himself, but dissuaded his Associates likewise from it.

Reflexions.

There is so great a Probability, that this professed tender Forbearance of his, tended only to dispose his Majesty (who of all Mankind is captivated with good Nature) to return the like Mercy towards him, that with the good Favour of Mr. Blood's Check of Conscience, which diverted him from the Execution, it is easy to be conjectured, that there was never any such Design really laid; but that the Story was feigned, to work upon his Majesty's Tenderness towards him.

But lest that should not prevail, Blood seemed not to be at all troubled with the Apprehension of his own Death, for which he stood prepared; but it grieved him, forsooth, to consider the sad Consequence of it: Which would be an Attempt of Revenge upon the Person of the King and his Ministers, by the surviving Conspirators, bound by Oath, &c. So that (if Mercy were defective) he could try what Fear could operate; and lest both these should fail, he hath another Fetch in store; which is to persuade them to pardon him upon the Score of good Politicks; by shewing how useful an Instrument he can be to quiet the Minds of all the disaffected Party, and secure the Government from popular Insurrections, if his Life may be spared.

I cannot easily be persuaded to believe that this Proffer of Service in Blood could much prevail upon his Majesty's Judgment; because it was natural to conclude, that he who is able to quiet a Party, is likewise able to irritate it; and that he who is bribed by 500l. per Ann. to do the one, may be gained with 1000l. per Ann. to do the contrary. And what Security can there be, that he will not, but the bare Word of a Villain.

In the mean time, nothing can more betray the Weakness of a Government, than that it should have Recourse to such Instruments to support it. Nor can any thing make the Authority more despisable, than that it should be terrified from the Execution of Justice upon the greatest Malefactor that History, from the Creation hither, recordeth, for fear that Blood's Ghost should rise, or his surviving Confederates meditate Revenge.

Besides,