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Quaker Sufferings Book

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  • Kathryn Payne
    I went to all the trouble to transcribe this for the WEBB list, so I thought I would pass it on to the MONINGHAM list, since it refers to them to. I copied
    Message 1 of 1 , May 25, 2003
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      I went to all the trouble to transcribe this for the WEBB list, so I thought I would pass it on to the MONINGHAM list, since it refers to them to.  I copied  this from an original copy of the Besse book, published in 1703, which I found collecting dust on a shelf in the library at Columbia University.

      From:  A Collection of the Sufferings of the People called Quakers for the Testimony of a Good Conscience, from the Time of their being first distinguished by that Name in the Year 1650, to the Time of the Act, commonly called the Act of Toleration, granted to Protestant Dissenters in the First Year of the Reign of King William the Third and Queen Mary, in the Year 1689. Volume I

      By: Joseph Besse, 1703



      On the 13th of the Month called January, Soliders came to the Meeting at Glocester, and carried all the Men to the Marchalsea, where they were detained three Nights, after which they were had before the Mayor and Aldermen, who sent John Ready, Richard Webb, John Watkins, Nathanael Holloway, Henry Riddell, John Jeies, Hohn Edmunds, and Nicholas Wastfield, to the City Goal for refusing the Oaths, and a few Days after they sent John Wastfield, Richard Holland, and Giles Kendall, to the same Prison for the same Cause.


      ANNO 1667.  On the 8th of the Month called March, Solomon Eccles, Nicholas Wastfield, William Monington, and James Moreton, for refusing to Swear, were committed to Prison by the Mayor of Glocester.  While they lay there a remarkable Encounter happened between the said Solomon Eccles, and George Evans, the Bishop’s Secretary, who came to the Prison, and in a scoffing Manner, pulled off his Hat to Solomon, who thereupon advised him to be sober: This put the Man in a Chafe, and he struck Solomon a violent Blow on the Cheek, upon which Solomon turned to him the other Cheek, and he struck him again on that.  Solomon again turned to him the other, and he smote him a third Time.  All which Solomon bore patiently, thus literally performing the Precept of Christ, Mat. V. 39. and obtaining a Christian Conquest over his Opposer.



      At Glocester, on the 15th of the Month called May, the Friends who were at the Meeting were fined upon Information made by Thomas Langley, on of the Bishop’s Domesticks, and the Chancellor’s Son.  On the 22d the said Langley and one of the Bishop’s Grooms came into the Meeting, and on their Information Justices Scudamore and Hodges came personally to the Meeting, Pluckt out the Friends by Violence, and took their Names.  On the 5th of the Month called June, the same Justices, with the Mayor and Constables, proceeded in the same Manner.  On the 19th Soldiers were ordered to keep them out, but finding them met, pluckt them into the Street: Where there, Wagstaffe the Mayor, with William Lamb Clerk to the College, beat them with their Cames, till the Mayor’s Cane  was broken, and then he laid on them with another Staff: When tired withstriking he send for a Sledge, and caused several Doors to be broke open, took from Richard Webb Goods worth 10l, and from Godfrey Fownes Linen worth 17l.   This was done on the First-day of the Week.  Next Day he sent several Officers who made Distresses from House to House; they took again from Richard Webb Goods worth 2l, 12s.  The seized again at Godfrey Fownes’s Coals and other Goods worth 100l, which his Wife, not of his Persuasion, paid 16l to redeem: From Nicholas Perry they took Goods worth about 10l.  And from John Cox to the Value of 2l. 16s.   From Henry Rydal Goods woth 20l.  From John Watkins and Alice Roberts to the Value of 2l 6s.  From Jacob Gugly a poor Cardmaker, with a great Charge of Children, they took almost all his Goods, leaving not a Bed to lie on, nor scarce the Value of 1s in his House: From Daniel Bayly a poor Journeyman Taylor, they took the Bed on which his Wife at that Time lay sick:  From Thomas Miles a Weaver, they took his Loom:  And from Richard Holland a very poor Man, all his Goods:  From John Wastfield a Smith, they took his Bellows, Anvil, Vices, and other working Tools, for want of which he and his Brother lost their Employment:  Which Tools, with his Bed, Bedstead, and other Things also taken away, were worth above 10l.  From Henry Edly and his House, the Mayor and other Justices sent them both to Bridewell, the Woman being with Child.  In short, these Spoilers scarce left any of the Friends a Bed to lie on, and several were so cruelly beaten, that their Flesh was of many Colours.  In making these Distresses they had little Regard to Property: When they had taken Goods from John Edmunds worth 5l, and he had delivered the rest of his Goods to one William Blake in Part of a Debt he owed him, the Justices sent and took away those Goods from the Creditor to the Value of 10l. telling him, that he must not defraud the King.  Their Disregard of Right was yet more evident in the Case of William Day, who, upon the coming out of the Conventicle Act, foreseeing his Ruin, and that he should in all Probability be disabled to pay his Creditors, made over to two of them his Effects for their Security, before the Act took place;   Nevertheless the Officers seized those Goods for his going to Meetings, and obliged the Creditors to pay at one Time 30s. and at another Time 8l, 10s. which they did rather than contend at Law, though the Goods were really their own Property.  The Goods thus taken were usually put into the Steeple-house, and when designed for Market, a Bell-man was employed to cry aSale , but most People of Conscience were unwilling to buy them, wherefore they were sold to others much beneath their real Value.



      Several others had their Goods taken by Distress for Meetings about this time, viz. Samuel Summers, William Pensely, Thomas Douding, Hezekiah Cole, John Curtis, John James, John Webb, and Nehemiah Champion.  Also the following Person in Dean Forest had their Goods taken by Warrant from Justice Morgan, viz. Henry Floyd, William Hibbs, Henry Stanton, John Millett, John Swinn, Jeffery Hopkins, John Hibbs, William Howell, Katharine Cox, Jane Cox, and Edward Cox. 



      The Justices at their Sessions in the Month called January this Year, sent for Roger Cook, John Beard, and Francis Boy, tendred them the Oath of Allegiance, and sent them to Prison for refusing it.  And for the same Cause, Henry Engley, Thomas Monington, Nicholas Wastfield, Thomas Freeman, John Edmunds, John Elliott, Joseph Blink, John Webb, Daniel Bayly, Richard Green, Henry Biddell, Jane Elliot, Alice Cox, Anne Washburne, Anne Holland, Hannah Monington, Emma Fry, Elizabeth Langly, Anne Calice, Anne Edmunds, Joane Wager, Mary Arnold, Anne Green, and Jane James, were committed to Prison…



      Taken for Meetings at…, by Officers and Informers without producing any Warrant,

      For Meetings at French-Hay,

      From John James, Robert Rich, Nehemiah Champion, Hezekiah Cole, Thomas Atkins,

               John King, Jane James, Jane Hathaway, and John Webb, Goods worth

                                                      39l   19s   0d



      On the 7th of October, Thomas Mason, Richard Philpot, Daniel Hayward, Thomas Allen, Richard Rogers, Margaret Skinner, Elinor Jefferies, and Elizabeth Shepherd, were taken from a Meeting and sent to Prison.  Also William Bale, William Moore, John Webb, William Butcher, and John James, were committed to Prison on the Indictment for a Month’s Absence from the National Worship: and for the same Cause Richard Bowley suffered Distress of his goods to the value of 20s.



      A list of Prisoners called Quakers, who were discharged out of Prison in this County, at the Quarter Sessions held in the Month called April this Year, by Virtue of King James the Second’s Proclamation, is as follows, viz.

      Out of the County Goal fifty six, namely,

      Theophila Townsend                 Richard Holland                        Hugh Wallington

      Thomas Hill                              Thomas Meekes                       John Meeks

      Thomas Upton                          John Beard                               Joseph Tomlins

      John Clifford                             Zachary Phillips                        Edward Dodge

      Anne Mawson                          Nathanael Deane                      Walter Geimer

      William Burton                          John Bolton                              Henry Pontin

      Robert Rich                              John Bett                                  John King

      William Ward                           Nathanael Haskins                    Thomas Mason

      Richard Philpot                         Daniel Hayward                        Richard Rogers

      Thomas Allen                           Margaret Skinner                      Elinor Jefferies

      Elizabeth Shepherd                   William Ball                              William Butcher

      William Moore                        John James                               John Webb

      John Cooksey                          John Thurston                           Edward Parker

      Thomas Mabbett                      Joseph Player                           John White

      John Mabbett                           John Merrick                            Thomas Daniel

      Thomas Always                        Robert White                            Elizabeth Baker

      Elizabeth Ford                          Jonathan Russel                        Matthew Andrews

      Robert Neale                            Nathanael Ogburne                   George White

      Henry Ashby                            Thomas Loveday Sen.


      And out of the City Prison fifteen, viz.

      John Edmunds                          Thomas Monington                Thomas Freeman

        And Anne his Wife                   And Hannah his Wife  Alice Cox

      Richard Green                          Jane James                               Emma Fry

      Henry Engley                            Daniel Bailey                            Elinor Calice

       And Elizabeth his Wife             Joane Wager                            Anne Holland



      John Webb of Gloucester was prosecuted in the Ecclesiastical Court , and Excommunicated for not paying a Church-Rate (so called.)


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