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SP14/216/211 - Deathbed Declaration of Francis Tresame 24 March 1605/6

* Although this document has the ascribed date of 24 March 1606, it was dictated to William Vavasour by Francis Tresham prior to the latter's death on 22 December 1605. Vavasour has himself penned the date 24 December, 2 days after Tresham's apparent death in the Tower. The letter eventually came into the governments hands late March 1606 by way of Tresham's widow Anne.

A. I being sent for before your Lordships in the Tower, you told me it was confessed by Master Wintour, that he went upon some employments in the Queen’s time into Spain; and that your Lordships did nominate me out of his confession all the parties names that were acquainted therewith, namely: four besides himself; and yet said there were some left for me to name. I desired your Lordships that I might not answer thereunto, because it was a matter done in the Queen’s time, and since I had my pardon.

B. Your Lordships would not accept that answer, but said that I should be made to speak thereunto. And I might thank myself if I had been worse used than I had been since my coming to the House.

C. I told your Lordships (to avoid ill usage) that I thought Master Walley was procured to write his letter for the furthering of this journey.

D. Now, my Lords, having bethought myself of this business (being too weak to use my own hand in writing this), which I do deliver here upon my salvation to be true as near as I can call to mind, desiring that my former confession may be called in, and that this may stand for truth. It was more than I knew that Master Walley was used herein. And to give your Lordships proof besides my oath, I had not seen him in sixteen years before, nor ever had message or letter from him, and to this purpose I desired Master Lieutenant to let me see my confession, who told me I should not unless I would enlarge it, which he did percieve I had no meaning to do.

[Signed] Francis Tresham

24 December 1605

[Annotation] This noat was of my owne hand writing
By: me William Vavasore
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