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passion, and personal reflections, than of reason, or a sober inquisition of truth.” Mr. D'Anvers was descended from honourable parents, his father being a gentleman who had an estate of 4001, a year; he himself was governor of Stafford and a justice of peace, some time before Oliver's usurpation, and well beloved by the people. He was noted for one who would take no bribes. At Stafford he first embraced the opinions of the Baptists.*
In 1687, May 14th, died Mr. Thomas Wilcox, minister of a congregation, which met previous to the plague at his own house in Cannon-street; but afterward at the Three Cranes in the Borough, Southwark; and author of a popular little piece, which has been frequently reprinted, entitled, “ A Drop of Honey from the Rock Christ.” born at Linden, in the county of Rutland, August 1622; was several times confined in Newgate for nonconformity, and suffered very much. He was a moderate man, and of catholic principles, well beloved by all denominations, and frequently preached among the Presbyterians and Independents.
October 3, 1687, died, aged fifty-three, Mr. John Gosnold, who had been a scholar at the Charterhouse, and a student at Pembroke-hall, Cambridge, a man of great learning and piety: a pious practical preacher, of singular modesty and moderation; intimately acquainted with Tillotson, whose weekly lecture he used to attend, and was much esteemed and valued by other men of note and dignity in the established church, who kept up a correspondence with him. He was educated for the pulpit in the establishment, but by the act of uniformity made incapable of any settlement in it. He was chaplain to lord Grey. Having joined the Baptists, he was chosen pastor of a congregation at Barbican, in London; and was one of the ministers who subscribed the apology presented to Charles II. on occasion of Venner's conspiracy. Though he was always peaceably minded, he was often forced to conceal himself. His flock held him in great respect, and his preaching was so popular as to draw after him people of all denominations. His audience was usually computed to be near three thousand ; and among them very often six or seven clergymen in their gowns, who sat in a convenient place, under a large gallery,
* Crosby, vol. 3. p. 90. VOL, V.
where they were seen by few. The number of his auditors, and the figure which some of them made, occasioned, after the fire of London, an application from the officers of the parish of Cripplegate to request a collection for the poor, who abounded in that parish. The request was omplied with, upwards of 501. was raised, and the church voluntarily continued the collection for above twenty years. His publications were, a small treatise entitled, “The Doctrine of Baptism;" and another concerning “the laying on of hands.” He was buried in Bunhill-fields, with this simple inscription :
“Here lieth the body of Mr. John Gosnold, a faithful minister of the gospel, who departed this life October the 3d, 1678, and in the fifty-third year of his age.”
FROM THE PROTECTORSHIP OF CROMWELL TO THE
DECLARATION OF INDULGENCES, 1674.
Mr. Neal has allowed a few pages only to the History of the Quakers : and they are chiefly spent on the wild extravagances and sufferings of James Naylor. But the lot of this people, while other sectarists breathed a freer air under the protectorship of Cromwell, was peculiarly hard and afflictive. The change of government, on his taking the reins, produced no revolution in their favour; but their sufferings continued to increase with the increase of their numbers. The subordinate magistrates were continued in office; and the ecclesiastics, their former persecutors, retained power to be troublesome to them. The protector has been represented as the friend of religious liberty; and so, in some instances, he certainly shewed himself; but the Quakers derived little benefit from his liberal views and regard to the rights of conscience. For, though he himself did not openly disturb them on account of their religious opinions and practices; yet those who acted under his authority grievously persecuted them, and he gave little or no check to their intolerance, although he had the power, and was repeatedly and earnestly solicited to do it. The dominant parties had imbibed a spirit of hatred and animosity against this people: and the protector, it is supposed, might be fearful of disobliging them, by animadverting on their oppressive measures : or he might consider the Quakers as too contemptible or too pacific a body to fear any danger from, even under the greatest provocations.*
To give some colour of law to the severities practised against them, pretexts were drawn from supposed violations
's History of the Quakers, vol. 1. p. 132. 198.
of the regulations of civil policy. “A Christian exhortation to an assembly, after the priest had done and the worship was over, was denominated interrupting public worship, and disturbing the priest in his office: an honest testimony against sin in the streets or markets, was styled a breach of the peace: and their appearing before the magistrates covered, a contempt of authority: hence proceeded fines, imprisonments, and spoiling of goods. Nay, so hot for persecution were some magistrates, that by an unparalleled misconstruction of the law against vagrants, they tortured with cruel whippings the bodies of both men and women of good estate and reputation, merely because they went under the denomination of Quakers."*
In 1656, Henry Clifton, only riding through Upwell in Cambridgeshire, after having been carried before two justices, was sent to prison, where he lay a considerable time in the dungeon among condemned felons. Richard Hubberthorn and Richard Weaver, travelling from home to pay a friendly visit to Ann Blakely, who was, for her open testimony against the sins of the times, imprisoned at Cambridge, were also committed to prison. Thomas Curtis, a woollen-draper of Reading, going to Plymouth on business, and from thence to West-Alvington, accompanied by John Martindale, were both cast, as vagrants, into Exeter jail; and at the ensuing assizes brought before the judge, where nothing was laid to their charge. But, for not taking off their hats, they were fined. 401. each for contempt, and for nonpayment detained above a year in prison. During this term, Martindale, having obtained leave of the jailer to visit a friend at Ilchester, went to a meeting at Colyton; where he, Humphrey Sprague, and Thomas Dyer, lodging at a friend's house, were apprehended by a warrant, and carried before the justices at the quarter-sessions at Honiton; and, though one of them was but two, and another but five miles from home, were sentenced, as vagrants, to be whipped in the market-place, and sent with a pass from tithing to tithing; which was accordingly done. George Whitehead, a virtuous and learned young man of a reputable family in Westmoreland, preaching at Nayland in Suffolk April 1657, was sentenced by two justices to be openly whipped, as a vagrant, till his body were bloody. The constable, to whom the warrant was given, employed a foolish fellow, void of discretion and feeling, to execute it; who laid on his stripes with unmerciful violence; whereby Whitehead's back and breasts were grievously cut, his skin torn, and his blood shed in abundance. But the insensible fool went on, unrestrained by the constable, till his hand was stayed by the cry of the spectators, who, affected with the cruelty, called out to him to stop. Humphrey Smith and Samuel Curtis, riding together near Axminster, George Bewley, John Ellis, and Humphrey Sprague, after a meeting in Bridport, were whipped as vagabonds, and sent away with passes. Joan Edmunds, wife of Edward Edmunds, of Totness, about ten miles from home being stopped by a drunken fellow, who took away her horse, on complaining to a justice, was sent to Exeter jail, because she had no pass : her horse was ordered to be sold, and part of the money applied to defray the charge of carrying her to prison. Her habitation lying in the direct road, she was taken six miles about, to prevent this injustice being exposed amongst her neighbours, who well knew she was no vagrant.*
* Gough's History, vol. 1. p. 139, 140.
Another pretext, on which many of these people suffered, under the form of law, very illegal severities, was that of breaking the sabbath. Their religious zeal, in frequenting their assemblies for public worship, obliged them to travel to the places, where they were held, sometimes at a considerable distance from their habitations. This was called a breach of the sabbath ; and it was punished by impounding their horses, by distress of goods, by fines, by imprisonment, by whipping, and by sitting in the stocks.t
If magistrates could be guilty of such unrighteous sererities, it is not surprising, that the licentious rabble should attack this people with violence and abuse. In numerous instances and in various places, the houses in which they held their assemblies for religious worship were riotously assaulted. Their services were interrupted by ballooing, singing, and railing: the windows were broken by stones and bullets : their persons were buffeted and stoned, their faces and clothes daubed with filth and excrements; some were knocked down, and others had their teeth beaten out; Gough's History, vol. 1. p. 225-282.
+ Ibid. p. 271, 272, note.