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unmanly a thing it was in him to challenge a man to fight, whose principle, he knew, it was not to strike; but if he was stricken on one ear to turn the other. I told him, if he had a mind to fight, he should have challenged some of the soldiers, that could have answered him in his own way. But however, seeing he had challenged me, I was now come to answer him with my hands in my pockets; and (reaching my head towards him) "here,' said I, ‘here is my hair, here are my cheeks, here is my back.” With that he skipped away from me, and went into another room; at which the soldiers fell a laughing; and one of the officers said, “ you are a happy man, that can bear such things.” Thus he was conquered without a blow. After a while lie took the oath, gave bond, and got out of prison; and not long after the Lord cut him off.
There were great imprisoments in this, and the former year, while I was prisoner at Lancaster and Scarbro'. At London many Friends were crowded into Newgate, and other prisons, where the sickness was; and many died in prison.* Many also were banislied, and several sent on shipboard by the king's order. Some masters of ships would not carry them, but set them on shore again; yet some were sent to Barbadoes, to Jamaica, and to Nevis, and the Lord blessed them there. One master of a ship was very wicked and cruel to Friends that were put on board his vessel ; for le kept them down under decks, though the sickness was amongst them; so that many died of it. But the Lord visited him for his wickedness; for he lost most of his seamen by the plague, and lay several months crossed with contrary winds, though other ships went out and made their voyages.
* The sickness here alluded to was the “Plague,” which visited London in 1665. The state of the city during this dreadful visitation seems to have been most deplorable. The following striking description is from Ellis's Original Letters in the British Museum. The letter is one addressed to Dr. Sancroft from J. Tillison, dated Sept. 14, 1665 :
*The desolation of the city is very great. That heart is either of steel or stone, that will not lament this sad visitation, and will not bleed for those unutterable woes! What eye would not weep to see so many habitations uninhabited—the poor sick not visited--the hungry not fed-the grave not satisfied! Death stares us continually in the face in every infected person that passes by us, in every coffin which is daily and hourly carried along the streets. The custom was in the beginning to bury the dead in the night only; but now both night and day will hardly be time enough to do it. The Quakers (as we are informed) have buried, in their piece of ground, a thousand for some weeks together past." · George Whitehead relates the satisfaction and comfort many innocent Friends expressed on their deathbeds, both in Newgate and other noisome places during the plague. Death was truly gain to these; "it being through death,” says Whitehead, * that the Lord had appointed the final deliverance of many from the cruelties and rod of their oppressors, and from the miseries and evil to come.”-“Whilst the plague was raging in the city," he adds, “our persecutors took fifty-five of our Friends (men and women) out of Newgate, where the distemper also prevailed, and forced them on board a ship for banishment, which lay for some time in the river. They were so crowded on board, and the distemper breaking out amongst them, most of them were infected, and twenty-seven of them soon died. I visited them, and had a meeting with them on board, and the Lord my God preserved me, both from the distemper and also from banishment, wherein I did humbly confess his power and special provi. dence to his own praise and glory.”
At last he came before Plymouth, and there the governor and magistrates would not suffer him, or any of his men, to land, though he wanted many necessaries for his voyage ; but Thomas Lower, Arthur Cotton, John Light, and other Friends, went to the ship's side and carried necessaries for the Friends that were prisoners on board. The master being thus crossed and vexed, cursed them that put upon him this freight, and said, “ he hoped he should not go far before he was taken.” And the vessel was but just out of sight of Plymouth before she was taken by a Dutch man-ofwar, and carried into Holland. When they came there, the States sent the banished Friends back to England, with a passport, and a certificate, " that they had not made an escape, but were sent back by them.” In time the Lord's power wrought over this storm, and many of our persecutors were confounded and put to shame.*
After I had lain prisoner above a year in Scarbro' Castle, I sent a letter to the king, in which I gave him “an account of my imprisonment, and the bad usage I had received in prison; and also that I was informed, no man could deliver me but he.” After this, John Whitehead being at London, and being acquainted with Esquire Marsh, went to visit him, and spoke to him about me; and he undertook, if John Whitehead would get the state of my case drawn up, to deliver it to the master of requests, Sir John Birkenhead, and endeavour to get a release for me. So John Whitchead and Ellis Hookes f drew up a relation of my imprisonment and sufferings, and carried it to Marsh; and he went with it to the master of requests, who procured an order from the king for my release. The substance of the order was, “ that the king being certainly informed, that I was a man principled against plotting and fighting, and had been ready at all times to discover plots, rather than to make any, &c., therefore his royal pleasure was, that I should be discharged from my imprisonment,” &c. As soon as this order was obtained, John Whitehead came to Scarbro' with it, and delivered it to the governor; who, upon receipt thereof, gathered the. officers together, and without requiring bonds or sureties for my peaceable living, being satisfied that I was a man of a peaceable life, he discharged me freely, and gave me the following passport :
“Permit the bearer hereof, George Fox, late a prisoner here, and now * See extraordinary occurrences in an attempt to banish a number of Friends recorded in a note in Letters, Sc., of Early Friends, p. 142-145.
† Ellis Hookes was employed in London as a recording clerk to the Society of Friends. It was he who commenced the Record of Sufferings (mentioned to George Fox in a letter bearing date 1660, inserted in Letters, &c., of Early Friends, p. 86, 87), which were written out into large folio volumes, still preserved among the Society's records in London. These are continued down to the present day in forty or more of these large volumes. The clear and excellent writing of Ellis Hookes extends over a large portion of the first of these bulky folios. To the narratives of sufferings and persecutions, were added accounts of what were regarded as judgments upon persecutors; which were, doubtless in that day, ordered to be recorded, under a sense of the fear of God, and in testimony unto his overruling power.
Ellis Hookes died in 1681. In the London Register of Burials, he is described “of Horslydown in Southwark, scrivenor ;” and “died the 12th of the 9th month, 1681, of a consumption (having been clerk to Friends in London about twenty-four years)-he was buried in Checker Alley,”
discharged by His Majesty's order, quietly to pass about his lawful occasions, without any molestation. Given under my hand at Scarbro' Castle, this first day of September, 1666.”
JORDAN CROSLANDS, Governor of Scarbro' Castle.
After I was released, I would have made the governor a present for the civility and kindness he had of late showed me; but he would not receive anything; saying, “whatever good he could do for me and my friends he would do it, and never do them any hurt." And afterwards, if at any time the mayor of the town sent to him for soldiers to break up Friends' meetings, if he sent any down he would privately give them a charge “not to meddle.” He continued loving to his dying day. The officers also and the soldiers were mightily changed, and became very respectful to me, and when they had occasion to speak of me, they would say, “he is as stiff as a tree, and as pure as a bell; for we could never bow him."
The very next day after my release, the fire broke out in London, and the report of it came quickly down into the country.* Then I saw the Lord God was true and just in his word, which he had showed me before in Lancaster jail, when I saw the angel of the Lord with a glittering sword drawn southward, as before expressed. The people of London were forewarded of this fire; yet few laid it to heart, or believed it; but rather grew more wicked, and higher in pride. For a Friend was moved to come out of Hunt. ingdonshire a little before the fire, to scatter his money, and turn his horse loose on the streets, to untie the knees of his trowsers, let his stockings fall down, and to unbutton his doublet, and tell the people, “so should they run up and down, scattering their money and their goods, half undressed, like mad people, as he was a sign to them ;' and so they did, when the city was burning. Thus hath the Lord exercised his prophets and servants by his power, showed them signs of his judgments, and sent
* The great fire of London occurred towards the latter end of 1660. The narratives given in the Diaries of Evelyn and Pepys, who were eye-witnesses of it, are sad indeed. Evelyn writes—"Sept. 3. The fire continued all this night (if I may call that night, which was light as day for ten miles about), after a dreadful manner-when conspiring with a fierce eastern wind, in a very dry season. I went on foot to the Bankside in Southwark, and saw the whole south part of the city burning from Cheapside to the Thames, and all along Cornbill, Tower Street, Gracious Street, and so along to Bainard's Castle, and was now taking hold of St. Paul's Church. The conflagration was so universal, and the people so astonished, that from the beginning (I know not by what despondency or fate) they hardly stirred to quench it; so that there was nothing heard or seen but crying out and lamentation, and running about like distracted creatures. O! the miserable and calamitous spectacle ! such as happily the world had not seen the like since the foundation of it, nor to be outdone till the universal conflagration. All the sky was of a fiery aspect, like the top of a burning oven, the light [being] seen above forty miles round about for many nights. The poor inhabitants were dispersed about St. George's Fields and Moorfields, as far as Highgate, and several miles in circle--some under tents, some under miserable huts and hovels, many without a rag or necessary utensils, bed or board; who, from delicateness, riches, or easy accommodations in stately and well-furnished houses, were now reduced to extremest misery and poverty,” &c., vol. i. p. 372–374.
them to forewarn the people; but, instead of repenting, they have beaten and cruelly entreated some, and some they have imprisoned, both in the former power's days and since. But the Lord is just, and happy are they that obey his word. Some have been moved to go naked in their streets, in the other power's days, and since, as signs of their nakedness; and have declared amongst them “that God would strip them of their hypocritical professions, and make them as bare and naked as they were.” But instead of considering it, they have many times whipped, or otherwise abused them, and sometimes imprisoned them. Others have been moved to go in sackcloth, and to denounce the woes and vengeance of God against the pride and haughtiness of the people; but few regarded it. And in the other power's days, the wicked, envious, and professing priests, put up several petitions both to Oliver and Richard, called protectors, and to the parliaments, judges, and justices, against us, full of lies, vilifying words and slanders; but we got copies of them, and, through the Lord's assistance, answered them all, and cleared the Lord's truth and ourselves of them. But O! the body of darkness that rose against the truth in them that made lies their refuge. But the Lord swept them away; and in and with his power, truth, light, and life, hedged his lambs about, and preserved them as on eagles' wings. Therefore we all had, and have great encouragement to trust the Lord, who, we saw by his power and Spirit, overturned and brought to naught all the confederacies and counsels that were hatched in darkness against his truth and people; and by the same truth gave his people dominion, that therein they might serve him.
Indeed I could not but take notice, how the hand of the Lord turned against the persecutors, who had been the cause of my imprisonment, or had been abusive or cruel to me in it. The officer that fetched me to Holker-Hall wasted his estate, and soon after fled into Ireland. And most of the justices that were upon the bench at the sessions when I was sent to prison, died in a while after; as old Thomas Preston, Rawlinson, Porter, and Matthew West, of Borwick. And Justice Fleming's wife died, and left him thirteen or fourteen motherless children, who had imprisoned two Friends to death, and thereby made several children fatherless. Colonel Kirby never prospered after. The chief constable, Richard Dodgson, died soon after, and Mount, the petty constable, and the wife of the other petty constable John Ashburnham, who railed at me in her house, died soon after. William Knipe, the witness they brought against me, died soon after also. Hunter, the jailer of Lancaster, who was very wicked to me while I was his prisoner, was cut off in his young days: and the under-sheriff that carried me from Lancaster prison towards Scarbro', lived not long after. And Joblin, the jailer of Durham, who was prisoner with me in Scarbro' castle, and had often incensed the governor and soldiers against me, though he got out of prison, yet the Lord cut him off in his wickedness soon after. When I came into that country again, most of those that dwelt in Lancashire were dead, and others ruined in their estates; so that, though I did not seek revenge upon them, for their actings against me contrary to the law, yet the Lord had executed his judgments upon many of them.
1666-1669.-Gcorge Fox visits a man above one hundred years old, who had been
convinced-refutes a slander that Friends love none but themselves-has a meeting at Captain Taylor's Cat Brighonse), where a neighbouring knight threatens again to imprison him--comes to London, and finds the city in ruins as he had seen it in a vision some years before-is moved to recommend the setting up of monthly meetings to take care of God's glory, and to admonish and exhort such as walk disorderly-travels through the nation for this purpose-meets with op. position in Huntingdonshire and Bedfordshire—when at Shrewsbury it was rumoured that "the great Quaker of England was come to town”-the hypocrisy of the Presbyterians detected—they and the Independents persecute when in power, but flinch in time of persecution by other powers-George Fox recommends certain regulations to be observed relative to Friends' marriages-he also recommends the establishment of a school at Waltham for boys, and one at Shacklewell for girls—the mcetings for discipline are the means of a great reformation among the people—George Fox discovers a cheat, writes a prophetic warning to Friends :-monthly meetings settled throughout the nation--the order and good results thereof George Fox disputes with a Papist-confers with Esquire Marsh (Justice), and shows him how to distinguish between Friends and other dissenters who refused the oath-Justice Marsh is afterwards very serviceable to Friends in screening them from suffering, and recommends the king to grant liberty of consciencefourteen monthly meetings are settled in Yorkshire-Isaac Lindley to George Fox —when at Scarbro' the governor presses George Fox to accept his hospitalitylarge and precious meetings.
BEING now freed from my imprisonment in Scarbro' castle, I went about three miles to a large general meeting at a Friend's house, that had been a chief constable; and all was quiet and well. On the fourth day after, I returned to Scarbro', and had a meeting in the town at Peter Hodgson's house. To this came one called a lady, and several other great persons, also a young man, son to the bailiff of the town, who had been convinced, while I was there in prison. That lady (so called) came to me, and said, “I spoke against the ministers.” I told her, “such as the prophets and Christ declared against formerly, I declared against now."
From hence I went to WHITBY; and, having visited Friends there, passed to BURLINGTON, where I had another meeting. Thence to ORAM, where I had another meeting: and thence to Marmaduke Storr's, and had a large meeting at a constable's house, on whom the Lord had wrought a great miracle.
Next day, two Friends being to take each other in marriage, there was a very great meeting, which I attended. I was moved to open to the people the state of our marriages, declaring how the people of God took one another in the assemblies of the elders, and that it was God who joined man and woman together before the fall. And though men had taken upon them to join in the fall, yet in the restoration it was God's joining, that was the right and honourable marriage: but never any priest did marry any, that we read of in the Scriptures, from Genesis to the Revelations. Then