« EelmineJätka »
on the pillory in cold frost and snow, and suffered the rest, viz. cutting off the ear, firing the face and slitting of the nose ; so that he was made a theatre of misery to men and angels. (Here the compassion of the house of commons was so great that they were generally in tears, and or, dered the clerk to stop reading twice, till they had recovered themselves. And being so broken with his sufferings that he was not able to go, the warden of the Fleet would not suffer him to be carried in a coach; but he was forced to go by water, to the further endangering of his life; returning to the juil after much harsh and cruel usage, for the space of eight years, paying more for a chamber than the worth of it, having not a bit of bread nor a drop of water allowed. The clerk of the Fleet to top your petitioner's sufferings, sent for him to his office, and without warrant, or cause given him by your petitioner, set eight strong fellows upon him, who tore his clothes, bruised his body, so that he was never well, and carried him by head and heels to that loathsome and common jail ; where besides the filthiness of the place and vileness of the company, divers contrivances were laid for the taking away of the life of your petitioner, as shall manifestly appear, if your honours will be pleased to receive and peruse a schedule on that subject.
Now the cause of all this harsh, cruel and continued ill usage, unparalelled yet upon any one since Britain was blessed with christianity, was nothing but a book written by your petitioner, called Sion's Plea against the Prelacy; and that by the call of diverse and many good christians in the parliament time, after dicers refusals given by your petitioner, who would not publish it till it had the view and approbation of the best in the city, country and university, and some of the parliament itself : in witness whereof he had about 500 hands; for revealing of whose names he was promised more favours by Sir Robert Heath than he will speak of. But denying to turn accuser of his brethren, he was threatened with a storm, which he felt to the full : wherein through God's mercy he hath lived, though but lived : chusing rather to lay his neck to the yoke for others, than to release himself by their sufferings.
Your petitioner therefore humbly and heartily intreateth that you would graciously be pleased to tuke this his petition into your serious thoughts, and command deliverance, that he may plead his own cause ; and afford such cost and damages as he has suffered in body, estate and family; having been prisoner in the most nasty prisons eleven years, not suffered to breathe in the open air : and will regard also your petitioner's wearing age, going now in seventy-treo years, together with the sicknesses and weakness of his long distressed wift, fic.
" When this merciless sentence on Leighton was pronouncing, Laud stood up in public court, and pulled off his cap, and gave God thanks for it. And in his diary he makes this remark on the execution, without one word discovering that his bowels yearned or bis heart relented. Friday, November 16, Leighton was severely whipped ; and being set in the pillory, he had one of his ears cut off, one side of his nose slit, and branded on one cheek with a red-hot iron : and on that day se'nmght, HIS SORES UPON HIS BACK, EAR, NOSE, AND FACE NOT BEING CURED, he was whipped again at the pillory in Cheapside, and there had the remainder of his sentence executed upon him by cutting off the other ear, slitting the other
side of the nose, and branding the other cheek.”— Chandler's Hist. Persec. p. 372.
“ The doctor was well known for his learning and other abilities; but his long and close confinement had so impaired his health, that when he was released he could hardly walk, see or hear. The sufferings of this learned inan moved the people's compassion; and I believe the records of the inquisition can hardly furnish an example of equal severity.—The parliament therefore very justly and loudly complained of the extravagant censures of the star-chamber, as Lord Clarendon informs us, whereby the subject had been oppressed, by fines, inprisonments, stigmatizing, mutilations, whippings, pillories, gags, confinements, banishments; the severe and illegal proceedings of the council-table and other erected judicatories; and the suspensions, excommunications, and deprivations of learned and pious ministers, by the high commission-court; which grew to that excess of sharpness and severity, that they said it was not much less than the Romish inquisition.”-Neal, Vol. 11. p. 218.—Clarend. Vol. i1. p. 316.
The King's oppressive and injurious treatment of
“AN ill-timed and mistaken zeal for the church of England had so great an ascendant over this unhappy prince, (says a celebrated historian) as to engage him with more eagerness than his father, to overturn the constitution and endeavour a conquest of Scotland; which was one of the fatal causes of all his misfortunes." -Tind. Cont. Vol. III. p. 735. The king endeavoured to change the whole constitution of that church and kingdom, Bishop Burnet acknowledges; but those who conducted matters at that time had as little of the prudence of the serpent, as of the innocence of the dove : the whole conduct of affairs being neither wise, legal nor just."--Burnet's Hist. Tim. Vol. I.
Though the Scots liad never acknowledged the king as supreme head of the church, yet by bis sole authority,' without consent of parliament or general assembly, and contrary to the known and most violent bent of the nation, not one in a thousand (as Rapin observes) being for it, he resolves to introduce and establish amongst them the English liturgy and ceremonies.
“ Whilst the revisal of the liturgy was in hand, the king sent into Scotland a book of canons for the government of the kirk: and these canons” (besides a great many things absolutely disagreeable to the religious principles and worship of the whole Scottish nation) " injoined a conformity to the liturgy, though it was not yet made public, nor so much as known to the people. This was so gross a blunder, that one must needs be surprised that the king and his ministers could be guilty of it.”— Rapin, Vol. x. p. 329, 343.
“ The liturgy and canons, Bishop Burnet observes, were never examined in any public assembly of the clergy: all was managed by three or four aspiring bishops.- The bishops obtained commissions (and set up courts) subaltern to the high commission court in their several dioceses, which were thought little different from the courts of inquisition.-They were so lifted up with the king's zeal, and so encouraged by Archbishop Laud, that they lost all temper: but the unaccountable part of the king's procedure was, that when he was going to change the whole constitution of that church and kingdom, he raised no force to maintain what he was about to do. All that came down from court complainer of the king's inexorable stiffness, and of the progress popery was making, of the queen's power with the king, of the favour shewed the pope's nuncios, and of the many proselytes who were daily falling off to the church of Rome. -The violence with which that kingdom (Scotland) did almost unanimously engage against the administration may easily convince one, that the provocation must have been very great to draw on such an entire and vehement concurrence against it.”-Burnet's Hist. Tim. Vol. I. p. 25.
“ It was a fatal inadvertency, says Lord Clarendon, that these canons, neither before nor after they were sent to the king, had been ever seen by the assembly, or any convocation of the clergy, who were so strictly obliged to the observation of them; nor so much as cominunicated to the lords of the council of that kingdom : it being alınost impossible that any new discipline could be introduced into the church, which would not much concern the government of the state, and even trench upon or refer to the municipal laws of the kingdom.-It was the unlrappy craft of the bishops to get it believed by the king, whose authority was then without doubt in great veneration in that kinga dom, that the work would be grateful to the inost considerable of the nobility, clergy and people.” -Clarend, Vol. 1. p. 104.
“ It was in the next place as strange that canons should be published, before the liturgy was prepared, which was not ready till about a year after, when three or four of the canons were principally for the observation of, and punctual compliance with the liturgy, which all the clergy were to be sworn to submit to, and to pay all obedience to