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To Henry Legat, one of the messengers of his majesty's chamber in ordinary.
Robert Young, Left in custody, the 30th
of December, 89, by James Young, Mr. Legat. By vertue of this warrant we find Mr. Legat, the messenger, brought Robert from the gaol at Litchfield, to the Gate-house in Westminster; whither, as soon as he came to lown, he procured his prisoner to be removed. For, being more cautions than some other messengers since, he would not charge himself with the safe keeping of so dangerous' a guest, as he soon perceived him to be.
By the way, Mr. Legat himself has told me of one passage, in their journey up, which, I believe, my reader will thank him for. It is, that Robert Young desired him to stop and call at a little alehouse upon the road, where they found a very old mean fellow, who (as Robert declared) was his father; and, which is yet more strange, the old fellow owned bim to be his son.
And, since that time, Mr. Legat, being in Ireland, met by chance the same old man in the streets of Limerick, after it was delivered up to the English. Whereupon, taking acquaintance again with him, by inquiry, he found that he went about in that country, getting a poor livelihood by professing bimself to be a fortune-teller and a conjurer. So that thus far we have a pretty account of Robert Young's genealogy, down from the Duke of Lenox to the Irish conjurer.
From the Gate-house (as I have already said) he was removed by the lord chief justice's order to Newgate : where, if my reader, and I'myself, were not quite tired with him, I have plenty of instances to prove that he was always the same.
One I will give : During his being prisoner there, whilst none questioned but he“ was in holy orders, he clandestinely married a fellow gaol-bird of his to a young heiress. For which vile fact, so esteemed even in Newgate, being more severely treated than before, he wrote captain Richardson a letter under his own hand, which I have seen; wherein he tries to excuse himself for so great a crime, by an argument that is somewhat singular, and may be reckoned as one of his most ingenious shifts.
It is to this sense, • Do not you (says he) noble captain, allow • any artificer and handicrafts-man, that you have here in prison, ' to work at his own trade, to keep himself from starving? And • why then should I be denied to get bread for me, and my wife, by ' making use of my function ?'
But, to return to that which is more pertinent to my purpose, in Newgate Robert and Mary were kept, till they were tried, and condemned, for the forgeries above-mentioned; as the records here ensuing will shew, though I produce but one a-piece for each of them, for brevity's sake.
London. ss. Deliber. Gaol. Domin. Regis & Regin. de Newgate tent
civitat. Lond. apud Justice Hall in le Old Bayly, London. die Mercur. (scilt.) 5o decimo die Januarii An. Regni Dom. nost. Will. & Mar, nunc Regis &
Regin. Angliæ. &c. Primo. RO
OBERT Young *, alias Smith, fin. Cent. & commititur, &c. & ponatur stare, in & sup. Pillor, uno die Cornbill prope
Excam. bium London. & al. die in Cheapside, London. ab hora undecima ante merid. usq; hor. prim. post merid. in utroq; eorund. separat. dier. cum Papir. script. supra caput șu. ostens. offens. ejus, & lunc reducatur ad Newgate in ea salv. Custod. quousq; fin. su. prædict. solverit. MAI
ARY Young t; fiu xx" & committitur, &c. & ponatur stare
sup. sedile ante & prope Pillor. uno die in Çornhill prope Excambium London. & al. die in Cheapside London. ab hor. undecima ante merid. usq; hor. prim. post merid. in utroq; eorund. separat. dier. cum Papir. script. supra Caput su. ostens, offens. ejus, & tunc reducatur ad Newgate in ea salv. Custod. quousq; fin. su, solverit,
Thus Robert Young and his wife again passed their well-known road of the pillory. But being brought back to Newgate for want of paying their fines ; to inable them thereunto, he fell at last upon this damnable contrivance of an association, as the consummation of all his villainies.
I have already told by what means he came to be so skilful in Archbishop Sancroft's hand, and mine; how he got a pattern whereby io forge my Lord Cornbury's, his lordship cannot remember. But my Lord Salisbury's, and my Lord Marlborough’s, he obtained partly by the same craft as he did mine; that is, by writing to my Lord Marlborough under his true name of Robert Young; to my Lord Salisbury under the name of Robert Yates, to inquire of the character of some servants they never had : to which false letters they also unawares returned true answers, under their own hands; which he thereupon falsified.
In the same manner he procured Sir Basil Firebrace's hand, by sending him a civil letter, under the feigned name of Robert Yarner, a justice of peace at Marlow in Buckinghamshire, and earnestly recommending to him a wild son of his for an apprentice; professing he would not stick at any money, if Sir Basil would také him under his care: withal desiring an answer from him under ' his hand by the bearer, his man;' which he had: and thereupon Sir Basil was entered into the association.
But, lest my reader should think that the single framing of one association was employment enough in matters of state, for so fertile a brain, and so artificial a hand as Robert Young's, during the whole two years and four months that he lay prisoner in Newgate;
For cheating Mr. Kendal of twenty pounds, by a counterfeit bill of exchange, by
him forged in the name of Mr. Clark. † For cheating Mr. Shipton of two hundred pounds, by a counterfeit bill of exchange,
in the name of Mr. Mathew.
I have one story more to tell of him, and then I shall have done ; as indeed I well may; for after this association, and this other story of the like nature I am going to relate, I think it may justly be concluded, that scarce ever any mortal man has reached to a deeper pitch of infernal wickedness.
The story is this ; shortly after my being cleared at Whitehall, I went to Lambeth, to visit my ancient most honoured friend, my Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, and to thank him for the very kind offices he had done me at court during my affliction. That being over, I told bim, I was going to my Lord Nottingham, to request, that my two false witnesses might be brought to trial, and undergo the justice of the government. His grace encouraged me to do so, and withal bid me tell my Lord Nottingham, as from bimself, this story, which I will set down, as near as I can remember, in his own words. Near six months ago, about Christmas last, says my lord archbishop, I received a letter from this Robert Young out of Newgate, to let me know there was a pernicious plot going on against their majesties, which was laid as deep as hell; and he had had the good luck to discover it; desiring me speedily to acquaint the king with it. At first, the information coming from such a place, I took little notice of it. But he shortly wrote me other letters to the same purpose; and at last sent me letters full of treason, pretended to be written by some of the greatest men in England. The bands I did not know ; but then I thought it concerned me, as a privy. counsellor, to acquaint his majesty with the whole matter. I did so. The king read over Young's letters to me, and those treasonable ones that he had sent me ; and then his majesty very generously said, really, my lord, these papers may resemble some of these per. sons hands, but I do not in the least distrust them; I am confident they are innocent, and this is a villainy; and therefore I will not have them disturbed upon this account. And so, said my lord archbishop, I carried home my bundle of intelligence again, and, sealing the papers, laid them up in my closet, where they still remain ; and I pray tell my Lord Nottingham, that, when their majesties shall command, I am ready to produce them, with the very inscription I put upon them at that same time, Letters and Papers from Robert Young, who is a very rogue.
And here indeed I bad resolved to give the rogue over. But, when I was just concluding, there happened a new discovery, relating still to my share in this business ; so very remarkable, that I cannot, without manifest injury to myself and my reader, deprive him of the knowledge of it: I mean Robert Young's fresh attempt to suborn one Holland, in order to revive the fallen credit of his forged association.
I should be very loth, by what I am going to say, to forestal or misreport the king's evidence against him. But the reality of this gross subornation having been sworn to at Hicks's hall, where I myself was an ear-witness, as well as many worthy gentlemen, and great numbers of other persons, I know not how it were possible for me to make a secret of it, if I would; and, the story so much
conducing to shew the extreme madness and implacable rage of the villain, when he was brought to his last shifts, I think I have great obligation upon me to make it publick.
Now the evidence, in this matter, consisting partly in the discourse Young himself had with Holland, to draw him in to be a perjured witness in this profligate cause; and partly in the instructions Young sent him in writing
to swear by. I will set down, as near as I can, a very brief, but faithful abstract of the substance of both; it being to both that Holland publickly took bis oath. And to the truth of the instructions, being written in Young's own hand, Mr. Aaron Smith also swore at the same time, and unquestionably proved it, by comparing that paper with a whole handful of letters he had received from Young himself out of Newgate.
It seems, then, that, during the long time of Young's being in Newgate, he became acquainted with one Holland, a prisoner likewise there ; Young for forgery, Holland for debt.
Some time after Blackhead had confessed before the lords of the council, Young sent for this Holland to the messenger's house, where he lay confined; and knowing him to be very poor, and thence judging, by himself, that he was the more likely to embrace any wicked design, broke the business to him in this manner :
Mr. Holland, says he, it is most certain there is a hellish plot against the government, the story you may have heard, of the association, is- true to a tittle : I should have clearly made it out, had not the cowardly rogue Blackhead forsaken me, being bribed by the Bishop of Rochester, and frighted by some great men at court, who are also themselves as deeply engaged in the design. Now, if you will come in to assist me in the proof of it, we shall be made for ever; I shall have a thousand pounds (so the lying knave boasted) and you shall have half of it. And I think. Mr. Holland, 500l. wil do no hurt to a man in your circumstances.
By my faith you saye true, Mr. Young, replied Holland, such a sum would come very seasonably to me at this time. But what work am I to do for it?
It shall be only your part, answered Young, to swear, that you saw the Earl of Salisbury, the Earl of Marlborough, and the Bishop of Rochester, sign the association,
But, said Holland, how can I make a probable story of it? Seeing I never saw the association, I know none of the three lords you speak of, nor can I imagine where to fix the place or time of signing it, or any of the other necessary circumstances.
As for all that, said Young, I will send you instructions by my wife, of the particulars you are to swear to. For, Mr. Holland, I would not bave you come hither yourself often to me. I have here divers spies upon me : and besides, this damued Blackhead, who has deserted me, lies just over head, in this same messenger's house.
But, as for the association itself, I will now describe you the exact shape of it. Then, calling for a sheet of paper, he folded it into the same fashion : only, says he, you must remember that the association is written in great thick paper.
Next, he repeated to him the heads and principal matter of it: then shewed him in what order the names were subscribed. Here, says he, is the late Archbishop of Canterbury's hand uppermost, towards the right side : next under that, the Bishop of Rochester's : under bis the Lord Cornbury's: over against the Bishop of Rochester's to the left, is first the Earl Salisbury's, then still to the left the Earl of Marlborough's, and so of the rest; pointing to the place of every particular name very expertly.
I also well remember, that, in the instructions, there was a list of several other names, that were not in the original forged association; which, no doubt, were put in, towards the framing of more new false associations; as, before I intimated, most certainly was his intention, if this had gained credit: But, for the persons, added Young, you must get a view of them
as you can. And (as far as I can recollect, all that fol. lows was in his paper of written instructions) The Earl of Salisbury, when in town, is at his house in the Strand; when in the country, at Hatfield in Hartfordshire beyond Barnet. The Earl of Marlborough is so well known about Whitehall and St. James's, that you will easily find where he dwells. The Bishop of Rochester is to be seen either at his house at Bromley in Kent, or at Westminster, wbere he is dean.
And as for the place, and time, and company; you must swear, that you saw these three lords, on such a day (mentioning a particular day, which I have forgot) come to the Lobster ale-house in Southwark : that they came in white camblet clokes, with cravats about their necks: that the sign was, their inquiring for the Number THREE: that then they were conducted up stairs into a back room; and there, in the presence of you, and me, and Captain Lawe (I think also he named one or two more) they signed the association: then, delivering it to Captain Lawe, they said, Captain, we pray, make haste about to get this paper speedily subscribed by the rest, who, you know, are concerned; and that then these three lords threw down their twelve-pence a piece, and so went
I know my reader, upon sight of all this strange stuff, cannot forbear smiling: which, perhaps, it is not so decent for me to make him do, so near the end of this tragedy.
But it is none of my fault : 1 only, as near as I am able, relate ihe simple truth. Most certain it was sworn, that Holland communicated all this to the secretary of state : and, being examined by some lords of the council, affirmed it all upon oath : and I am sure, that, upon oath also, he repeated it all, before the justices of the sessions, and the grand jury of Middlesex, on the day that the bill of forgery and subornation of perjury was found against Blackhead and Young.
And besides, that, which to me confirms the truth of Holland's testimony beyond contradiction, is, that every word of the instructions was undeniably written by Young's own hand; which, by this time, I hope my reader will take me to be a competent judge of.