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So far Mary Dyer, and so far concerning her blood, which you sucked, and the other two servants of the Lord as aforesaid. I shall now proceed to a fresh account of your cruelty and blood exercised upon the servants of the Lord since the return of the king, under the pretence of his name and authority, as you had before done under the name of the Commonwealth. And I shall here take things in order, according to the best accounts I have from a place at the distance yours is from England; and as I left the former treatise in the blood of Mary Dyer aforesaid, whom you took from the tree after her face was covered and the halter about her neck, and she was given up to die, carried to your jail or murderous den at Boston, and afterwards put to death, but for barely coming into your jurisdiction and being such an one as is called a Quaker, as before, in the first part of the relation of your bloody cruelties, is more at large rehearsed. So I shall begin this with the blood of William Leddra, of Barbadoes, as it stands in order, and in the first place to be treated of or related.
The said William Leddra having been again and again cruelly whipped in your bloody den at Boston, and there sought to be both starved and smothered to death, with W. Brend, by Salter, your cruel jailer, and then sentenced to banishment upon pain of death, besides sore and long imprisonment in Plymouth Patent and in your jail, and being put out of another jurisdiction; I say, the said W. Leddra coming into your bloody jurisdiction of the Massachusetts again, and to your metropolis of blood, the bloody Boston, after all his aforesaid cruel sufferings, to visit such servants of the Lord as lay there in prison for the testimony of their conscience unto God, you soon laid hands on him; and, having thrust him into the prison, your jailer presently put his talons on him, and fastened him to a log of wood, and thus kept him night and day locked in chains during a miserable and very cold Winter, which is usually beyond the extremity in England, both lying down in them and rising up with them, as the best companions that he could outwardly have, which were miserable enough, cold and hard weather, and hard and cold irons,—in an open prison, enough to have murdered a man if the Lord had not upheld him, until the First month, which was the time of the sitting of your Court of Assistants, at which you brought him forth with the chain and log at his heels: as if all that had been done unto him was not sufficient, you put on your weight to sink him down, which shall sink you down also. Such are the mercies of New England, with which they exercise the servants of the Lord and entertain strangers, who themselves fled thither as strangers from the persecution of the bishops, yet are now become thus cruel. This cruel treatment was very hard for his fellow-prisoners to behold, those servants of the Lord whom he came in tenderness of love to visit, and for which he was dealt with as aforesaid. And Edward Wharton, of Salem, being no longer able to withhold, when he heard dear William asking the jailer, “When he intended to take the irons from his legs?” and the jailer answering, “When thou art going to be hung,” he said to your jailer, William Salter, “Who gave thee orders to do those things? thou actest as if thou wert some magistrate.” To which your jailer replied, “I am a magistrate in my place.” See to what heights of preferment bloodthirstiness and cruelty will lead men to exalt themselves:—jailers, magistrates; and magistrates, jailers | And to William Leddra he said, “I look upon thee as a capital of fender.” This was the easy and tender resentment of a man compassed about with the same infirmities as himself, whom he had cruelly used as aforesaid, both as executioner and magistrate, —a horrid schism both in law and government for the same man to be both executioner and judge. And Edward Wharton, so far from being terrified with what was done, said to your jailer, “Truly, William, if I come to be set at liberty, I shall return to my home,”—that is, he should come back again upon your law of death, as William Leddra had. Your jailer answered, “He should then be hung.” The mercies of the wicked are cruel, and he, Edward, was as good as his word; for the testimony of Truth carried him on to perform it after you had sentenced him, and had put William Leddra to death. For he came on you again, when you were upon the blood of Wenlock Christison,
hereafter to be mentioned; which is a further demonstration of the Power of God ruling in His servants, whom you sought to run over, but were not able, though you tried it with whippings and scourgings, loss of goods and imprisonment, cutting off ears and selling for bondslaves, and burnings, and banishments, and death. Now, your Court of Assistants being set, in the First month, 1661, you drew William Leddra, the servant of the Lord, to your judgment-seat, there to sentence him and put him to death, whom your cruelties had not destroyed, though they were to him in the nature of a lingering death, and so dispatch him by pretence of law, and with him Edward Wharton, as aforesaid, and John Chamberlain, a housekeeper in your town of Boston, whom you had oft-times before cruelly whipped, as in the former treatise hath been mentioned; and Robert Harper and his wife, who came above sixty miles from their home at Sandwich, to visit their brethren in bonds; for which you locked them up in prison all Winter from their home and little ones; so far were you from . visiting the prisoners, though you know who said, “I was sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. . . . And these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal.” All these ye drew to your judgment seat, where, being brought to the bar, you spoke of your law, and told William Leddra, “That he was found guilty, and that he was to die.” William said, “What evil have I done?” Ye said, “His own confession was as good as a thousand witnesses.” William demanded, “What was that?” You answered, “That he owned those that were put to death.” A sore crime, indeed l—a man to be put to death for owning the innocent martyrs of Jesus, whom you had murdered, who were innocent of that for which they died; that he would not put off his hat in Court, and that he would say thee and thou. Oh, that ever a generation of men should be so besotted in blood as to bring innocent blood upon their heads for such innocent things as these ! Then William said to you, “You will put me to death for speaking English, and for not putting off part of my clothing?” To this your
sometime Major-general Dennison replied, “A man may speak treason in English; let us come to the thing in hand.” Then answered William, “Is it treason to say thee and thou to a single person?” To which none of you replied, but Simon Bradstreet, a man hardened in blood and a cruel persecutor, demanded of William Leddra, “Whether he would go to England?” William answered, “I have no business there.” Said Simon, pointing to the gallows, “Then you shall be hung, or, you shall go that way,”—so little esteem have you for men's lives or blood. But blood will be given you, for you are worthy of it, * who have showed no mercy. And yet this Simon Bradstreet, when he was here in England afterwards with John Norton, your high-priest, as your agent, when charged with sitting on the blood of the innocent, could shrink therefrom, fearing that he should be questioned for the blood of the innocent; which, had he received his due, had been executed upon him. But another Hand will meet with him, who will render unto him and you according to your deeds. William Leddra replied, “What I will you put me to death for breathing the air in your jurisdiction ? And for what you have against me, I appeal to the law of England,” said he, “for my trial, and, if by that I am guilty, I refuse not to die.” See the valour of the man, and his confidence and trust, and your wickedness, that, for breathing the air—for in effect ye could charge him with nothing else—and coming within your jurisdiction, and being one who was called a Quaker, yet doing nothing therein worthy of death or of bonds. And what is this for, except for breathing the air within your jurisdiction ? Neither broaching opinion or principle, nor doing any other thing, but coming in contrary to your law, who will have none to breathe therein but whom you please; and his breath ye will take away, and cut him off from the land of the living. To this you would not agree nor yield, but instead thereof, you sought to persuade him to recant of, those errors, and conform to your wills, and to submit to you, so hard it is for you to submit to England. Oh, what a stupid generation ye are, to demand of a man for his life to recant for not putting off his hat, a portion of his clothes, for speaking properly thou and thee to a single person; for owning those, who come into your jurisdiction and are known to be such persons as themselves; for such innocent and proper things as these, you put people to death; and because he cannot do it, to murder him also; it is hard to find words by which to express you! To which William answered, according to the magnanimity of the Spirit of Truth which was in him, “What, to join with such murderers as you are? Then let every man that meets me say, Lo! this is the man that hath forsaken the God of his salvation.” You said to him the last General Court, “He had liberty given him to go to England, or go out of your jurisdiction; and promising to do so, and come there no more, he might save his life.” He answered, “I stand not in my own will, but in the will of the Lord; if I may have my freedom, I shall go; but to make you a promise I cannot.” Whereupon those aforesaid, who were at the bar with him, being grieved at their hearts to see your wicked proceedings against an innocent man for his life, after all your aforesaid cruelty exercised toward and upon him, only because he came into your jurisdiction, and began to testify against your exceeding wickedness; and among the rest Edward Wharton, whom to stop from speaking, that your wrong dealings with the innocent might not be made manifest, James Oliver and Peter Oliver cried out, “Knock him on the pate.” One of you cried out to have Edward Wharton gagged; and others cried, “Have them away to jail; jailer, take them away.” So all of them were had away, except William Leddra, whom they reserved for sentence of death; who, as they were hurried away, cried for liberty to stay, and hear, and see the trial of their friend, whom, they said, “they perceived you had an intent to murder;” but you denied them, and him you reserved for your will, which is your law, as Rawson said to Edward Wharton, that “The will of the Court was a law,” and locked up the others for some hours in prison.
* This they had in a large measure in the wars, as before mentioned.