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and some were put into such stinking dungeons, that some great men said, they would not have put their hunting dogs there. Some prisons were crowded full both of men and women, so that there was not sufficient room for all to sit down at once; and in Cheshire sixty eight persons were in this manner locked up in a small room; an evident sign that they were a harmless people, that would not make any resistance, or use force. By such ill treatment many grew sick, and not a few died in such jails; for neither age nor sex was regarded, but even ancient people of sixty, seventy, and more years of age, were not spared: and most of these being tradesmen, shopkeepers, and husbandmen, were thus reduced to poverty; for their goods were also seized, for not going to church, (so called) or for not paying tithes. Many times they were fain to lie in prison on cold nasty ground, without being suffered to have any straw; and often they were kept several days without victuals no wonder therefore that many died by such hard imprisonments as these.
In London, and its suburbs, were about this time no less than five hundred of those called Quakers, imprisoned, and some in such narrow holes, that there was scarcely convenience for every person to lie down; and the felons were suffered to rob them of their clothes and money. Many that were not imprisoned, suffered hard
ships in their religious meetings, especially at that in London, known by the name of Bull and Mouth. Here the trained bands came frequently, armed generally with muskets, pikes, and halberts, and conducted by a military officer, by order of the city magistracy; and rushing in, in a very furious manner, fell to beating them, whereby many were grievously wounded, some fell down in a swoon, and some were beaten so violently, that they lived not long after it. Among these was one John Trowel, who was so bruised and crushed, that a few days after he died. His friends therefore thought it expedient to carry the corpse into the aforesaid meeting place, that it might lie there exposed for some hours, to be seen of every one. This being done, raised commiseration and pity among many of the inhabitants; for the corpse, beaten like a jelly, looked black, and was swollen in a direful manner. This gave occasion to send for the coroner; and he being come, empanneled a jury of the neighbours, and gave them in charge, according to his office, to make true inquiry upon their oaths, and to present what they found to be the cause of his death. They viewing the corpse, had a surgeon or two with them, to know their judgment concerning it; and then going together in private, at length they withdrew without giving in their verdict, only desiring
the friends to bury the corpse, which was done accordingly that evening. And though the cor oner and jury met divers times together upon that occasion, and had many consultations, yet they never would give in a verdict; but it appeared sufficiently, that the man was killed by violent beating. The reasons some gave for the suspense of a verdict were, that though it was testified that the same person, now dead, was seen beaten, and knocked down; yet it being done in such a confused crowd, no particular man could be fixed upon, so that any could say, that man did the deed. And if a verdict was given that the deceased person was killed, and yet no particular person charged with it, then the city was liable to a great fine, at the pleasure of the king, for conniving at such a murder in the city in the day time, not committed in a corner, but in a public place, and not apprehending the murderer, but suffering him to escape. In the meanwhile the friends of the deceased were not wanting to give public notice of the fact, and sent also a letter to the lord mayor, which afterwards they gave out in print, together with a relation of this bloody business. In this letter it was said "It may be supposed thou hast heard of this thing, for it was done not in the night, but at the midtime of the day; not suddenly, at unawares, or by mishap, but intendedly, and a long space of
time in doing; and not in a corner, but in the streets of the city of London; all which circumstances do highly aggravate this murder, to the very shame and infamy of this famous city, and its government."
A certain person who spread some of these printed relations, was imprisoned for his pains; nevertheless another brought one of them to the king, and told him how the thing had been done; at which the king said, "I assure you it was not by my advice that any of your friends should be slain; ye must tell the magistrates of the city of it, and prosecute the law against them." This saying of the king was not long after also published in print: but violence prevailed still; for the person that was apprehended for spreading the said books, was sent to prison by the special order of alderman Brown, of whom since mention may be made several times in this work, it gives me occasion to say something of what kind of man he
In the time of Cromwell he had been very fierce against the royalists, especially at Abingdon, not far from Oxford: for this error he endeavoured now to make compensation, by violently persecuting the harmless Quakers; otherwise he was a comely man, and could commit cruelty with a smiling countenance. But
more of his actions may be represented hereafter.
The Quakers, so called, seeing that they could not obtain justice, let the matter of the murdered person alone; for suffering was now their portion, and therefore they left their cause with God. Oftentimes they were kept out of their meeting houses by the soldiers; but then they did not use to go away, but stood before the place, and so their number soon increased; and then one or other of their ministers generally stepped upon a bench, or some high place, and so preached boldly. Thus he got sometimes more hearers than otherwise he might have had. But such an one sometimes was soon pulled down, which then gave occasion for another to stand up and preach, and thus often four or five one after another, were taken away as innocent sheep, and carried to prison with others of their friends, it may be forty or fifty at once. This puts me in mind of what I heard my mother Judith Zinspenning say, who in the year next following, having gone to England, with William Caton and his wife, (who lived at Amsterdam,) to visit her friends there, and arriving in London, went with others to the Bull and Mouth meeting; but entrance being denied, they staid in the street, where she saw one preacher after another pulled down, at the instant cry of some officer or other, "Consta