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John Felton 'Statement on the assassination of the Duke of Buckingham (23 August 1628)'

British Library, Additional MS 35331, f. 24r


23:th Auguste 1628. Left margin: Duke slayne It is reported that the duke of Buckingham beinge att Portismouth was stabd by a leiftenante: the occasion is saide to bee thus. This leiftenants captayne beinge deade {slayd sayd {gap: illegible} in the Ile of Rez } , hee was a suter vnto the duke to have his place, as hee conceived of righte yt belonged to him: the duke not respectinge him, bestowed the place vpon some other, wherat the leiftenante beinge discontente p[re]tendinge to offer the duke a letter or petition, hee Left margin: see the ende of the table./ stabbed him./ yt is reported to bee done the 23:th of August 1628. beinge ffrydaye. saterdaye.

Others reporte that one Penington( some saye Felton) a leiftenante beinge cashired of his company made suite to the duke to bee restored, to w[hi]ch because the duke woulde not assente, hee w[i]th his ky knyfe stabdt him in the belly./

Gods Iudgm[en]t shewen in this, that hee bei{n}ge a meanes to contynewe souldiers to the hurte and impoverishm[en]t of the Country was slayne by a souldier himself/ as Adombezeckes iudgm[en]t./

The saide Felton beinge p[re]sently app[re]hended there was founde aboute him a note written in paper the tenor wherof ensuethe./

That man in my opinion is cowardly, base, and deserveth not the name of a gentleman souldier, that is not willinge to sacrifice his life for the honor of his God, and the good of his kinge and Country./

Let noe man com[m]ende me for {duinge} of yt, but rather discom[m]ende themselves as the cause of yt for yf God had not taken awaye our heartes for our sinnes, hee coulde not have gone soe longe vnpunished/

John Felton/

Some saye he had p[re]pared an instrument w[i]th 4 edges some thinge like unto a dagger, & as hee himselfe saide hee prayed God, that yf it were his will hee shoulde destroye the duke that hee woulde directe his hande, yf not that hee woulde soe misguide yt that yt mighte {lighte} upon soame {bend}./ The former paper hee wrote {doubtinge} lest hee himselfe shoulde have bynn p[re]sently slayne upo[n] the com[m]ittinge of the facte./ The wounde w[hi]ch hee gave the duke was soe deadly, that hee stroke him home to the hearte: and the wounde was soe mortall that the duke fell downe p[re]sently and never spake./

others say that the duke himselfe plucked out the knife w[i]th his owne hands, and swore a greate oathe, and as hee was drawinge his sworde, hee fell back and dyed./

It is given out that this Felton is a greate puritan, for beinge a longe tyme a souldier in the lowe Countryes as ever since, hee was observed never to converse w[i]th any debaysed people, woulde never sweare, curse, drincke, but woulde alwayes shun and avoyde such company as much as he coulde./


No introduction.


British Library, Additional MS 35331, f. 24r, Diary of Walter Yonge

Languages: English

Creation date: 23 August 1628


Keywords (Text Type)

  • speech
  • statement
  • note

Keywords (Text Topics)

  • John Felton
  • assassination
  • Duke of Buckingham

Transcribed by:

Richard Bell (Research Associate)