« ZurückWeiter »
do good. That the reader may judge of some of these, I shall lay before him the following extracts. “ Four persons were sent to prison only for attending a meeting at Long Claxton in Leicestershire, from whom goods of various kinds were seized to the amount of two hundred and thirty-six pounds (an enormous sum in those days), their very bed-clothes and working-tools being taken from them. In clearing the meeting-houseon this occasion, not only men but women were forcibly dragged out, some by the heels and others by the hair of their heads. Many were also purposely trod upon, and several bruised and wounded in different ways.--In Nottinghamshire, James Nevil, a justice of the peace, took from T. Samsun by warrant on account of his attending two meetings, nineteen head of beasts and goods to the value of sixty pounds and upwards. - In the county of Norfolk John Patteson had two hundred sheep taken from him, and William Barber cows, carts, a plough, a pair of harrows, and hay, for the same offence, to the amount of fifty pounds. · Barber's house had been rifled before ten times, and he was then a prisoner upon a writ de excommunicato capiendo. Williamı Brazier, shoemaker at Cambridge, was fined by John Hunt, mayor, and John Spencer, vicechancellor, twenty pounds for holding a peaceable religious meeting in his own house. The officers, who distrained for this sum, took his leather, last, the seat he worked upon, wearing clothes, bed, and bedding. In Somersetshire F. Pawlett, justice of the peace, fined thirty-two persons only for being at a burial, and seized for the fines cows, corn, and other goods to the amount of eighty-two pounds and upwards. No one appearing to buy the distrained cattle, the Justice employed a person to buy them for himself.- In Berkshire Thomas Curtis was fined three pounds fifteen shillings by Justice Craven, who ordered his mare to be seized, which was worth seven pounds. Curtis put in an appeal against this proceeding, according to the act; but it was thrown out. The officers also offered the fine to Craven; but he would not take it, but had the mare valued at four pounds, and then kept her for himself. In Cheshire Justice Daniel, of Daresbury, took from Briggs and others the value of one hundred and sixteen pounds fifteen
shillings shillings and tenpence in corn, kine, and horses. The latter he had the audacity to retain and to work for his own use. In the same county, near Nantwich, Justice Manwaring took by warrant, for fines which amounted to eighty-seven pounds, goods to the value of one hundred and one pounds in kine, bacon, bedding, brass, pewter, corn, cloth, shoes and cheese. Some of the suf. ferers appealing, the Jury acquitted them; but the Justices would not receive the verdict. The same Justices, on the other hand, at the next sessions gave judgement for the informers with treble costs. Such was the nature of “ The continued Cry of the oppressed for Justice ;" a work, though small, yet valuable, inasmuch as it shows us what man is capable of when under the dominion of bigotry and superstition ; furnishing us with facts, which but for the known truth of them, we, who live in this improved age, should have thought incredible under a Government calling itself Protestant, and crying out against the persecution of the Romish Church.
an advocate for his brethren at home, impelled him to become the champion of their interests abroad. A decree had come out this year at Embden, by which all Quakers were to be banished from that city. He wrote therefore a letter to the Senate of Emb. den, worded in Latin, and of considerable length, in their behalf.
We find that he was engaged in three works of a controversial nature during the present year. An anonymous person had published “ The Quaker's last Shift found out.” This he answered by “ Naked Truth needs no Shift.” He wrote, secondly, “. Jeremy Ives's sober Request proved in the Matter of it to be false, and impertinent, and impudent," and soon after this “ Libels no Proofs."
About this time he interested himself in procuring the release of George Fox. The latter after his return from America went to London, and after staying there some time left it, partly to visit his mother, who was then on her death-bed, and partly to return home with his wife into Lancashire. In passing, however, through Worcestershire, he happened to preach. This was just after
the the Act of Indulgence had been called in. The consequence was, that he was taken up and committed to Worcester gaol, where he had been then a prisoner for some months. In this situation William Penn exerted himself in his favour, as appears by the following letter:
“ DEAR GEORGE Fox! “ Thy dear and tender love in thy last letter I received, and for thy business thus: A great lord, a man of a noble mind, did as good as put himself in a loving way to get thy liberty. He prevailed with the King for a pardon, but that we rejected. Then he prest for a more noble release, that better answered hath. He prevailed, and got the King's hand to a release. It sticks with the Lord Keeper, and we have used and do use what interest we can. The King is angry with him (the Lord Keeper), and promiseth very largely and lovingly; so that, if we have been deceived, thou seest the grounds of it. But we have sought after a writ of error these ten days past, well nigh resolving to be as sure as we can; and an habeas corpus is gone or will go to-morrow night. My dear love salutes thee and thy dear wife,