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But away packed the priest; whereupon she said unto the people, “Is not this the hireling, that fleeth and leaves the flock?” So Truth came over them all, there was great service for the Lord, and many were convinced of the Truth that day; and, notwithstanding the terror of your wicked laws, many waxed bold and invited them to their houses, and they had at that time a great and good meeting among them, and George Preston, Mary Tomkins, and Alice Ambrose preached the Truth unto them, and the Power of the Lord reached many of them that day.
Having had this good service at this time for the Lord at Dover, they passed away into the province of Maine, being invited to Major Slapleigh's, who was the magistrate for this part of the country, and kept a priest, one T. Millet, in his house, allowing him and the people a room therein to do their worship; and he, being an inquiring man after Truth, desired of the priest that he and the Quakers might have some discourse together, unto which the priest seemed willing. But soon after that he got away, by which his deceit was manifest; and the said Major Slapleigh and his wife were convinced of the Truth, and in a good measure of obedience gave up to it, and turned the priest and his worship away. And whereas Major Slapleigh's house had formerly served the priest, now both he and his house served for the Lord to be worshipped in, and great dominion got the Truth in this day, in the hearts of the people thereaway, which tormented many of the priests and rulers. So, after they had staid in those parts for some time, where they had very good service for the Truth, they departed westward; and toward the Winter it came into the hearts of Alice Ambrose, Mary Tomkins, and Ann Coleman to go and visit the Seed of God amongst them that had received the Truth at Piscataqua river; where they were not long before a flood of persecution arose by the instigation of the priest, who caused them to be apprehended by virtue of your cart-law, and an Order was made to whip and pass them away, as followeth:—
“To the Constables of Dover, Hampton, Salisbury, Newbury, “Rowley, Ipswich, Wenham, Lynn, Boston, Roxbury, Ded“ham, and until these vagabond Quakers are carried out of “this jurisdiction. “You, and every of you, are required, in the king's majesty's “name, * to take these vagabond Quakers, Ann Coleman, Mary “Tomkins, Alice Ambrose, and make them fast to the cart's tail, “and driving the cart through your several towns, to whip them “upon their backs, not exceeding ten stripes apiece on each of “them, in each town, and so to convey them from constable to “constable till they come out of this jurisdiction, as you will “answer it at your peril, and this shall be your warrant.
“Per me, RICHARD WALDEN. “At Dover, dated “Decemb. 22, 1662.”
A cruel warrant, to whip three tender women, one of them little and crooked, with ten stripes apiece at each place, through eleven townships by name, and whatsoever else were in that jurisdiction, in the bitter cold weather, and through such a length of ground, near eighty miles, enough to have beaten their flesh raw and their bones bare Oh, the mercies of the wicked how cruel they are 1 The devil certainly bore through this warrant—and, as men used to say, top and top-gallant—with no interruption. Your wont was, ten stripes apiece through three towns,—enough to sink down any man who was not upheld by the Lord. But this outruns the law, or the constable, as the proverb is: here are eleven towns named, which, according to the rate of ten stripes sin a place, is one hundred and ten stripes apiece, laid on so that, if it were possible, the knots might kiss the bones every stroke. And yet this is not enough, -if any more towns, through them they must go. From whom sprang this unreasonable warrant? who influenced all this? and through whose instigation were they
* And yet the king's authority you will not obey, but make his name to serve your pleasure, and cover your cruelty.
apprehended ? And who drew the warrant? Omne malum incipit a sacerdose, saith the proverb; that is, All evil begins from the priest, or, From the priest all evil hath its beginning. Priest Rayner aforesaid, who could not evince his own position, but, as hath been said, instead of proving Three Persons in the Trinity by the Scriptures, said that “they were three somethings,”* and so fled away, being not able to stand before the power and force of Truth in these servants of the Lord, and set on the Deputymagistrate Walden, f and, rather than fail, made him serve his purpose and turn his clerk also, and draw the warrant, as indeed it carries with it the face of a priest. By reason of which they were brought before Walden, who began to tell them of your law against Quakers. Mary Tomkins replied, “So there was a law that Daniel should not pray to his God.” “Yes,” said Walden, “and Daniel suffered, and so shall you,” (see how he appears influenced with this priest's spirit, right mad and blind,) and so demands of Alice Ambrose her name, though he had it in the warrant. “My name,” said she, “is written in the Lamb's book of life.” He answered, “Nobody here knows this book, and for this you shall suffer.” So on a very cold day, Walden, your deputy, caused these woment to be stripped naked, from the middle upward, and tied to a cart, and after a while cruelly whipped them, whilst the priest stood and looked on, and laughed at it, which some of their friends seeing, they testified against it, for which Walden put two of them, Eliakim Wardel, of Hampton, and William Fourbish, of Dover, in the stocks. Having dispatched them in this town, you made way to carry them over the waters and through the woods to another town. The women refused to go unless they had a copy of the warrant, so your executioner sought to set them on horseback, but they slid off; then they endeavoured to tie each to a man on horseback, but that would not do either, nor any course they took, until the copy was given them, insomuch that the constable * professed that he was almost wearied with them. But the copy being given them, they went with the executioner to Hampton, and through dirt and snow to Salisbury, half-way the leg deep, the constable forcing them after the cart's tail, at which he whipped them. Under which cruelty and sore usage, the tender women travelling their way through all, was a hard spectacle to those who had in them anything of tenderness; but the presence of the Lord was so with them, that they sung in the midst of the extremity of their sufferings, to the astonishment of their enemies. At Hampton, the constable, William Fifield, having received the women, there to whip them, said, “I profess you must not think to make fools of men,”—meaning thereby, upon the relation of the constable of Dover as to the work he had with them, as if he would not be outdone. The women answered, “They should be able to deal with him as well as the other.” So the Constable Fifield, who professed himself so stout, would have whipped them the next morning before daylight, but they refused, saying, “That they were not ashamed of their sufferings.” Then he would have whipped them with their clothes on, when he had them at the cart, contrary to the warrant; but they said, “Set us free, or do according to thy order,” which was, to whip them on their naked backs. Then he spake to a woman to take off their clothes; the woman said, “She would not do it for all the world,” and other women also refused to do it. Then he said, “I profess I will do it myself.” So he stripped them, and then stood, with the whip in his hand, trembling as a condemned man, and did the execution as a man in that condition; but one Anthony Stanyel hastened up for the work, having a great desire himself to do the execution on the women, but he was disappointed, for it was done ere he came, a monstrous fellow, who desired such dishonourable service, to do such execution on three women; but this is like his tenets, which saith, “That none could be a true child of God without sin.” Now amongst the rest of the spectators was Edward Wharton, who, passing along the way, not knowing aught of what they were about, and meeting with them, came to be one; whose eye beholding their torn bodies and weary steps, and yet no remorse in their persecutors, it affected his heart, and he could not withhold testifying against them, on seeing this bloody engagement. Whereupon Thomas Broadbury, one of your officers, and Clerk of your Court at Salisbury and Hampton, said, “Edward Wharton, what do you here?” “I am here,” answered Edward, “to see your wickedness and cruelty, that so, if you kill them, I may be able to declare how you murdered them.” But the Lord unexpectedly wrought a way * at that time to deliver them out of the tyrant's...hands; so through three towns only were they cruelly whipped, and then they were discharged. Being set at liberty, the women returned to Major Slapleigh's house, near unto Dover, and from thence they went to a place called Newquechawanack, where they had a meeting, and Shubal Drummer, the priest of the place, was at the meeting, and sat quiet. The meeting being ended, he stood up and said, “Good women, you have spoken well, and prayed well,—pray, what is your rule?” The women replied, “The Spirit of the Lord is our rule, and it ought to be thine and all men to walk by.” To which the priest answered, “It is not my rule, nor, I hope, ever shall be.” See the sad condition of your priests and magistrates, and those who are led by them —one saith, “The Three Persons in the Trinity are three somethings,” and so flies away; another
* Which “three somethings” became a proverb in the country, when they would express something that they could not prove or make out.
f This Walden keeps a sawmill, and is a log-sawyer; but the day he sentenced these women, his wife caused him to have hand-cuffs put on them.
f These tender women they tied with ropes to a cart at Dover, to be whipped, which being very cruel, James Heard asked, “Whether those were the cords of their covenant?”
* The Constable of Dover's name was Thomas Roberts, who to bring the servants of the Lord thither to be whipped, as they had been at Dover, and looking pitifully the same night through his extreme toil, they were so far above his cruelty, that they made him some good thing for his refreshment, which he took.