The plotter executed:


The plotter executed:


or, The examination, tryal, condemnation, and execution, of Edward Coleman Esquire. Who was convicted of high treason, the 27th. day of November, at the King-Bench-Barr at VVest-minster, for plotting against the life of his most sacred Majesty, and for endeavouring to subvert the government, and the true Protestant religion establisht: he received sentence the 28th. day of November 1678. to be drawne hang'd, and quartered, and was executed at Tyburn the 3d. Of December: with his last speech and confession, made by him at the place of execution. To the tune of, Captain Digby, or, Packington's pound.

Digital Object

Image / Audio Credit

British Library - Roxburghe, C.20.f.9.32; EBBA 30386

Set to tune of...


Death being forc'd to come before his hour,
Brings with him TIME, by his strong Might and Power,
To warn all Papists, ne'r more to conspire,
For if they do, Iack Katch will pay their Hire;
When as he Catcheth them by'th Neck with Rope,
He needs no Butter, as they say, nor Sope.

Forbear your vile Ploting, all yo that design
To escape Gods Vengeance, Repent you in time,
Remember! that Princes his Vicegerents are,
Inroaled in Heaven, the chief of his care:
No Whisper in secret, but what are reveal'd,
From God there is nothing that can be conceal'd:
In vain are your Plots, when his Mercy says nay,
'tis yourselves you Insnare, you your selves are the prey.

'Tis of Coleman I sing, who once was of fame,
And good reputation, but now to his shame,
Foul Treason has sullied his Nobler parts,
And brought him to ruine, tho' just his deserts:
Twas Popish Infection to Ruine the State,
That wrought his Confusion, and hastned his Fate:
Such Desperate mallice his Prince to Betray,
But in vain are mens plotings, if heaven Gain-say

Her Highnesses Servant he lived some Years,
Till Romes Tripple Tyrant had Buzd in his Ear,
To Ruine a Kingdom, or Murder his King,
For which hed be Sainted: no sooner, this Sting
Had Poysond his Loyalty, but he begins
To start from Allegiance, and scruples no sins:
But let all beware how their King they Betray,
For Vengeance on Traytors redoubld will pay

The second Part, to the same Tune:

BY Letters from Rome, from France, and from Spain,
He suckd in the Treason, and vents it again;
To give them Intelligence how Affairs stood,
And when he Expected to Write to um In Blood:
Thus Bent on Distruction, ner Questiond to ave spead,
But Heaven Fore-shewd what hung over our Heads:
In mercy preserved us, therefore we may say,
In vain is their mallice, if he but say nay.

By Secular Powr, in the Midst of His Pride,
Hes taken, and safely to Newgate conveyd,
From whence to his Tryal in Westminster-hall,
That Great Seat of Justice, who when they did call,
Most Proudly Replyd, but his Jury brought In,
Subversion and Murder intended, but stay,
In vain you Conspire, if Jehovah gain-say.

But time being spent, they the Sentance Deferr,
And He the Next morning was brought to the Barr,
Where the Judge did declare the Gracious Intent
Of a King made of Mercy, if he would Recant,
And make true Confession, a Pardon they tender,
Signed and Sealed by our Faiths Defender:
What monstrous Villain on mercy coud prey,
Or think to destroy it, when heaven said nay?

O wondrous goodness! sure Rome must confess
Her Elfs find more favour then she woud grant us:
But this grace made no impress ins obstinate breast,
He scornd at pure mercy, and tearmd it a jest:
But then the dread sentence pronouncd he should go
To the place whence he came, & from thence in full show
To all the Spectators, be Drawn on his way,
(A reward fit for Villains that Kingdoms betray.)

To the place of Destruction tencounter grim death,
And there by a Cord to resign half his breath:
His Bowels ripd out, in the flames to be cast,
His Members disseverd on Poles to be placd:
A sight full of horror, but yet its most just
That they shoud first bleed, that after blood thirst:
You merciless Jesuites who precepts convey,
To Kill, Burn and Ravish, beware the great day.

Short time after sentence strong guarded he came,
To receive the reward of his Treason and shame:
Where black guilt in his face no question did stare,
But with strong resolution he stiffled his fear:
But his conscience awakend, remorse did prevail,
And then to this purpose his sins did bewail:
Good people take warning, and do not delay,
When mercy is offerd, nor cast it away.

I might have had pardon, but now tis too late,
For then I was obstinate, scorning my fate:
But death nows too dreadful, my crimes to augment,
Whereof ive been guilty, of which I repent,
Intreating my Saviour in mercy to save,
And of those that ive wrongd, forgiveness I crave:
And for my good King I most heartily pray,
That God woud protect him the nations obey.

And let all Conspirers who seek to dethrone
A King from his right, and make Nations to groan:
With cruel destruction take warning by me,
And not seek their own ruines when they may live free,
Nor let the proud Prelate of Rome nor his Train,
Tlose Engines of mischief, whose Warrants are vain:
The fire-brands of hell, who draw Subjects away,
To plot against Princes when heaven says nay.

Method of Punishment

hanging, drawing and quartering





Execution Location


Printing Location

London, Printed for P. Brooksby, at the Golden Ball, near the Hospital-gate, in West-smith-field

Tune Data

Packington's Pound is often cited as Digby's Farewell,Packingtons Pound or Amintas' Farewell. The tune first appeared in 1671 and was popular for execution ballads (Simpson 1966, pp. 181-187, 564-570).


Wikipedia:  Edward Colman or Coleman (17 May 1636-1678) was an English Catholic courtier under Charles II of England. He was hanged, drawn and quartered on a treason charge, having been implicated by Titus Oates in his false accusations concerning a Popish Plot. He is a Catholic martyr, beatified by Pope Pius XI in 1929.

There was no proof of connivance with a plot for assassination or rebellion except the testimony of Oates and Bedloe. The jury found Coleman guilty. Scroggs replied to his solemn declarations of innocence,'Mr. Coleman, your own papers are enough to condemn you.' Next morning sentence of death and confiscation of property was pronounced, and on Tuesday, 3 December, he was executed, avowing his faith and declaring his innocence.


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“The plotter executed:,” Execution Ballads, accessed July 17, 2024,

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