Trial and Execution of Broadway and Fitz-Patrick


XXXII. The Trial of LAWRENCE FITZ-PATRICK and GILES BRODWAY, two Servants of the before-mentioned Lord Audley, Earl of Castlehaven, at the King's-Bench, for a Rape and Sodomy, the 17th of June, 1631. Trin. 7 Car. I.

ON Monday the 27th of June 1631, the Marshal of the King's-Bench brought Fitz-Patrick and Brodway to the Bar, where was a Jury of sufficient and able Wiltshire Men, impannell'd to go upon and try them.

The Countess of Castslehaven herself was in Court, to give Evidence against Brodway/ and she came in upon the Instant, when the Lord Chief Justice demanded of her, Whther the Evidence she had formerly given at her Lord's Arraignment was true, and the full Matter of Charge she had then to deliver against the Prisoner?

Whereunto she answered, it was.

My Lord said; Madam, you have sworn that Brodway Prisoner at the Bar, hath lain with you by Force, which may be, and yet no Act committed: Did he enter your Body?

She said, That in her former Oath taken, when she testified he lay with her by Force, her meaning was, that he had known her carnally, and that he did enter her Body.

Then was she wished to look on the Prisoner; unto which Motion and Commandment she made a short Reply; That altho' she could not look on him, but with a kind of Indignation, and with Shame, in regard of that which had been offer'd unto her, and she suffer'd by him, yet she had so much Charity in her, and such Respect to God and his Truth, that she had deliver'd nothing for Malice; and therefore hoped that her Oath and Evidence thereupon should be credited: and so desired to be believed and dismiss'd. Which being granted, she departed with as much Privacy as might be into her Coach.

Fitz-Patrick being asked concerning his Guiltness or Innocency, demanded, who were his Accusers? The Lord Chief Justice answered, You have accused yourself sufficiently. Fitz-Patrick replied, That he thought neither the Laws of the Kingdom required, nor was he bound to be the Destruction of himself; what Evidence he had formerly given, was for the King against the Earl, and no further.

The Lord Chief Justice replied, It was true, the Law did not oblige any Man to be his own Accuser; yet where his Testimony serv'd to take away any one's Life, and made himself guilty of the same Crime, therein it should serve to cut him off also. [col.395]

Then the Jury demanded of the Court Satisfaction concerning the Words of the Statute, which run, To charge him alone to be, and accused a Felon in Law, that committed a Buggery with Man or Beast. (Of which Fact the late Earl was found guilty, and had suffered.)

The Lord Chief Justice replied, That forasmuch as every Accessary to a Felon is a Felon in Law; so he being a voluntary Prostitute, when he was not only of Understanding and Years to know the Heinousness of the Sin, but also of Strength to have withstood his Lord, he therefore was so far forth guilty.

Whereupon the Jury found the Bill, and the Sentence of Death was pass'd on them both; and they were deliver'd and committed to the Sheriff of Middlesex, who, after he had suffer'd them to have some Repast at Mr. Hill's in the Palace-Yard, and Conference with their Friends, carried them to Newgate, where they behav'd themselves civilly and religiously.

As soon as they were found Guilty, the Judges of the Court wrote this Letter to the Lord Keeper to prepare him for the King.

Right Honourable,
"MAY it please your Lordships to be inform'd, That this Day Giles Brodway and Lawrence Fitz-Patrick were tried efore us in the King's-Bench, for the several Offences of Rape and Buggery, of which they were indicted, and they have received Judgment of Death: but we forbear awarding the Execution, upon a Message sent from your Lordship by Sir Thomas Fenshaw, of his Majesty's Pleasure for the Stay of Execution, until further Direction from his Majesty: but conceiving there is great Cause to put the Malefactors to Execution, we thought it our Duty to acquaint your Lordship with the Passages of the Trial, that his Majesty by your Lordship's Means being made acquainted therewith, may signify his further Pleasure.

Broadway, who was arraigned for the Rape, very impudently denied his own Confession, taken before the Lords the Peers in the Trial of my Lord Audley: He pretended he was amazed, and knew not what he subscribed; and professed himself guiltless, with great Execrations. He would not be satisfied, unless the Lady was produced Face to Face; which she was; who by her Oath, viva voce, satisfy'd the Auditors, both concerning the Truth of the Fact and his own Impudence. [col.396]

"Fitz-Patrick, who was arraigned for the Buggery, confessed his Examination to be true; but like one very ignorant, or rather senseless, would have them true against the Lord Audley, and not against himself, which was impossible: He pretended he was promised Security from Danger, if he would testify against the Lord Audley/ and so sought to raise a Suspicion, as if he had been wrought upon, to be a Witness to bring the Lord Audley to his End. They were both found guilty, to the full Satisfaction of all that were present; and we for our parts thought it to stand with the Honour of common Justice, that seeing their Testimony had been taken to bring a Peer of the Real to his Death, for an Offence as much theirs as his, that they should as well suffer for it as he did, lest any Jealousy should arise about the Truth of the Fact, and the Justness of the Proceedings. But uupon Receipt of your Lordship's Message, we have stop the Execution till his Majesty's further Pleasure be known; to which we shall humbly submit ourselves, and rest
            At your Lordship's Command,
                        N. Hude, W. Jones,
                        J. Whitlock, G. Creke.

The King by this means being truly informed how things stood, signified his Pleasure, that they should be executed, but to have a Week's time for Repentance.

ON Wednesday the 6th of July 1631, they were brought to Tyburn; where, when the Executioner had ty'd the Halter about Fitz-Patrick's Neck, he said:

"Foreasmuch as I am here, and, as it were, upon the Instant to suffer Death, I desire all loving Subjects and Members of the Church of Rome to pray for me." Then he proceded to pray to our Saviour, his Mother, and the Saints; in which he was interrupted by some Gentleman, who told him, that the Beginning of his Prayer was good, for that he offer'd it to Christ Jesus, in whom only Salvation is to be found; as for the Virgin Mary, and the Saints, they could do himi no good. But notwithstanding he persisted, saying, "O yes, the blessed Virgin never forsook or fail'd any that trusted in, or called upon her; and therefore he would depend upon her, and the rest of the Saints; and so proceeded to an Exhortation to Mr. Brodway, to cleave to the same Opinion, and die in the Romish Faith; for which to have him do, he said, if he had it, he would give the whole World." Unto which Motion Broadway gave no Answer, or seemed not to regard it. "Then he proceeded to shew how he had been examin'd by my Lord Chief Justice touching the Corruptness of my Lord of Castlehaven's Life, wherein he said, he confess'd nothing to prejudice the said Earl.

"That being within three Days after sent for before the Lords of the Council, my Lord Dorset had entrapp'd and ensnar'd him to his Destruction; for saying upon his Honour, and speaking it in the plural Number (as the Mouth o the whole Board) that whatsoever he deliver'd should no wayis prejudice himself, he thereby got him to declare the Earl guilty of the Sin of Buggery; wherein himself being a Party, was the only Cause he came now to suffer Death: for which his Lordship's Skill and Policy in sifting him, together with a Dispensation of his Promise and Oath, he freely forgatve him; saying farther, the said Lord had done him no wrong, because he therein was but an Instrument to send him out of this World into a better. Then he demanded of the Company, if the Earl deny';d the Sin at his Death; and wish'd my Lord had, (if he did) for it was too true; his Loredeship had both bugger'd him, and he his Lordship. That it was true (for some privateDiscontentment) he bore a little Malice to the Earl and Skipwith, for which he ask'd God Forgiveness. That for Broadway he he had done anything to the Countess, he did it not out of his own ill, corrupt Nature, but was provok'd and persuaded to it by the Earl.

"He clear'd the young Lord [i.e. Castlehaven's son], as never being any Occasion or Means of his Father's Death, in hiring, or persuading him to give Evidence, as he had done. He confess'd he had liv'd an ill Life, in that he had delighted in Drinking, Whoring, and all manner of Uncleanness; but now, as he was heartily sorry, so he doubted not of Mercy of Almighty God, to pardon and forgive him all his Sins, thro' and for the Merits and Mediation-sake of Christ Jesus, the blessed Virgin, and the Saints in Heaven.

"That he had fallen or run into these Sins, (and especially that which he came to die for) by reason he had neglected, and not so duly as he should have done, repair'd to his ghostly [i.e. spiritual] Father, to make Confession, and take Instructions from him. That after he did make Confession, and his Sins known to the Priest, he was not only sorry for them, but also resolv'd never to come into my Lord's House again; but it was thro' Frailty, and becaue he was not furnish'd of another Place."

So turning again to Brodway, and persuading him to embrace the Romish Faith, wherein, as he perceiv'd, his Labour was in vain, so the Sheriff and other Pewrsons of Quality willed him to forbear, and shut up his Discourse, unless he had any thing more to say to the Purpose. Whereupon, praying for the King, Queen and State, he betook himself to private Prayer, and therein for the most part continued to his Death.

Brodway came, (and as it was thought by the Company, a true Penitent) and after fetching a deep Sign at the Sight of the Tree [i.e. the gallows], he lifted up his Eyes and Hands towareds heaven, making and saying to himself two short Prayers; so attending Fitz-Patrick's Discourse, he sat in private Meditation, often making it manifest he was in Prayer most of the time, and also rejoicing at the Assembly's well-wishing of him, for which he return'd Smiles and Thanks. His Tiome being come to stand up, and have the Halter put about his Neck, and so declare himself, he willingly suffer'd the one and proceeded to the other. First asking Fitz-Patrick if he had done, he pull'd a Sheet of Paper out of his Pocket; which being writ broadways, he could not spread it to read, therefore desir'd to have his Hands unty'd;'which was done, and he read it distinctly to the Assembly; the Effect whereof was, to declare himself guilty in the Sioght of Almighty God, of Death and Damnation; for that he had broke all the Commandments, in Tought, Word, and Deed, and sinn'd in Pride of Life, Lust of the eye, Conceit of his own Beauty, matchless Strength, and other [col.397] natural Gifts, in Desire of Revenge, not pitying the Poor, unlawful Riches, not repairing to Sermons, not observing the Sabbath, &c. For all which and other his Sins whatsoever, he both desir'd of, and trusted in God for Pardon, and that thro' and for the only Merits of our Saviour Christ Jesus, his bitter Death and Passion. He express'd a strong Assurance, which his very Soul had of Forgiveness, in that, thro' the assistance of the Holy-Ghost, he had laid such hold on Christ as he had done. This Paper-writing contain'd his Confession and Prayer; also (as I remember) something of his slender Guiltness and Desert of Death, but not so much. Then delivering that to the Sheriff, he open'd a little Book, intitled, Learn to die, and desir'd the Company to join with him; so reading over three short Prayers, the last whereof was composed only of Confession, and for Pardon, which Prayer he pronounced with great Comfort, at every Amen clapping himself on the Breast, he closed it up, and gave it to his ghostly Father, a Minister and Kinsman of his, who came along with him on horseback close by the Cart. Then he pull'd out a little Paper, which contain'd a Prayer of his own making; and when he had read it, and every one joined with him in the Amen, he commended it also to the Sheriff; and then throwing away his Posy of Flowers, he roused himself, and said to this Effect:

"Gentleman, tho' true it is, what I have formerly deliver'd touching my Guiltiness and Desert of Death, my Meaning was, and is, only in respect of my Sins towards God, and no further for Breach of the Laws of the Kingdom, than only lying once with the Lady Castlehaven, thro' Persuasion of the Earl, who was then in Bed with him; and using some small Force for the Purpose, I did emit, but not penetrate her Body. I came not to my Lord with a Desire or Intent any ways to serve him, but was rather inclin'd for the Sea; only Mr. Skipwith had drawn me thither for Society-sake: and not hearing from my Friends concerning my intended Voyage; and beaing more kindly respected by the Earl than I look'd for, I staid from Week to Week, and Month to Month, contrary to my Intention. Then my Lord making me his Bed-fellow, did one Day, when Skipwith was with him in the Garden, (but walking somewhat apart) break out in Speeches to me to this Purpose: 'Brodway, thou are young, lusty, and well-favoured, and therefore canst not but prevail with any Woman thou attemptest; wherefore, for that I am old and cannot live long, my Wife wholly delighting in lust, which I am neither able nor willing to satisfy, thou may'st do well to lie with her; and so pleasing her, after my Death marry her, and thereby raise thy Fortune.' Fitz-Patrick knows my Lord had sollicited me again and again, hearing him use this Language when we have been in Bed together, and he lying at the Bed's Feet." Which to clear, he charg'd Fitz-Patrick to speak his Knowledge; who reply'd, 'Twas true. Then he was ask'd by one of the Lords, Whether when my Lord sollicited him, my Lady desired to have him know her carnally? "To whom he said, No, he would not wrong her, tho' she hated him infinitely. But, said he, I know well, if I were minded, and able to proffer, she not say nay; for Mr. Skipwith and Amptil lay with her commonly."

He added, "That Skipwith confessed to him, he had often known her, and gotten a Child uon her, which she, like a wicked Woman, had made away; which was the only and sole Occasion he the said Skipwith now hated her, and therefore had turned to the young Lady Audley: all which he presum'd skipwith would confess upon his Oath. That the Countess was the wickedest Woman in the World, and had more to answer for than any Woman that liv'd, as he thought." At which Words, that Lord which ask'd him the former Question, said, Crow not into a Passion, Mr. Brodway, and speak nothing for Malice. He answer'd, "God forbid I should, I am in Charity with all living People, and do as freely forgive my Lady Castlehaven, as I do desire God to forgive me; but what I speak is tue, as I shall presently answer before him that redeem'd me, and the Holy Ghost who sanctify'd me: To whom be all Honour and Glory, now and for evermore. Amen."

Then he proceeded farther, and said, "That my Lord would have had him done it long before: for one Night coming to him to his Bedside, he caught him, and bid him come to Bed to him and his Wife: that thereupon he made to him as if would; but being got from him, departed the Chamber, never intended to do so foul a Deed; and that for the Reasons aforesaid he hated her of all Women living. Howbeit, that one time, satisfying my Lord's Desire, he came to Bed to them, where (being gratify'd) Nature provok'd him to a Kind of Desire, and he emitted, but did not enter her Body, as he hoped for Salvation; that he never knew any Woman carnally whilst he lived in my Lord's House.

"That it was not his Intentions to bring to light either my Lord's or my Lady's Shame; but that when he was upon his Oath he could not but speak the Truth, his Nature being never prone to Lying; or if it were in his Youth, the good Correction of his Parents had weaned him from it, saying, that his Mother had too often told him the old Proverb, A Lyer is worse than a Thief, and he thought he had more STripes for that than all Faults else whatsoever: that he had, as he hoped, spoke nothing of Moment against my Lord at his Arraignment; he would not now remember every thing; if he had, he desired Pardon." And so concluding his Speece, prepared himself for Death; pulling out a laced Handkerchief, he desired the Executioner to tie it about his Head. Then pulling off his Garters, and unbuttoning his Doublet, Mr. Goodcoale, the Minister, asked him, if he would not have a Psalm. He said, Yes, with all my Heart. Then he read the 143d Psalm; which Mr. Brodway, pulling up the Handkerchief, sung very chearfully, never changing Colour at all. The Minister desir'd him to make Confession of his Faith; so he pronounc'd aloud the Belief.

Mr. Goodcoale said, These are the Articles of the Christian Faith according to the Church of England, into which Faith you was baptiz'd; pray signify whether in that Faith you intend to die? He said, Yes; for there "is no other Faith (as I suppose) in and by which a Man can be saved. Then he made Request to the Sheriffs, and those of his Kindred there, that he might be bury'd in his own Country." It was then told him, that it was granted, and Order taken to have it so, wherefore he should now mind his Prayers When his Hinsman ask'd him, if he had never another Prayer in his Pocket? he said, No. Then ask'd Mr. Goodcoale, if he would say after him? And he said, Yes, with all my Heart; but first he desired the Executioner [col.398] to tie his Hands again. Which being done, Mr. Goodcoale said a short Prayer to recommend his Soul and Body to Almighty God, in and for the Merits of Christ's Death and Passion: To which Brodway and the People said Amen. Then lifting up his Hands to [col.399] Heaven, he said, Lord Jesus receive my Spirit, and the Cart was drawn away.

Fitz-Patrick lifting up his Hands, and commending himself to God, was executed in like manner. [col.400]

(See also the Castlehaven trial, and my analysis of the trials.)

SOURCE: A Complete Collection of State-Trials, and Proceedings for High-Treason, and other Crimes and Misdemeanours; The Fourth Edition; Volume the First, London, 1776.

CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "Trial and Execution of Broadway and Fitz-Patrick, 1631," Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook. 14 September 2009 <>.

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