|Tower of LONDON. Stealing the Crown. ||95
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.