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DRACONICA, OR, BlooDY LAws AND proceedings.
Were they good men, that on the coming of two innocent women, Ann Austin and Mary Fisher, the 11th of July, 1656,” and giving away of a few books,’ enacted, First, “That all “such corrupt books as shall be found, upon search, to be “brought in and spread by the aforesaid persons, be forthwith “burned and destroyed by the common executioner. Secondly, “That the said Ann and Mary be kept in close prison, and none “admitted communication with them, without leave from the “governor, deputy-governor, or any two magistrates, to prevent “the spreading of their corrupt opinions, until such time as they “be delivered by authority aboard some vessel, to be transported “out of the country. Thirdly, f Enjoining Simeon Kempthorne, “speedily to transport, or cause to be transported, the said per“sons unto Barbadoes, from whence they came, he defraying all “the charges of their imprisonment; and for the performance “thereof, to give security to the secretary in a bond of one hun“dred pounds, and, on his refusal, to be committed to prison till “he did it?”
In pursuance of which, Richard Bellingham sent to stop them from coming on shore, till their marshal had searched for what books they had; which being done, the executioner was appointed to destroy them, and they committed to close prison, none to come at them to confer with them, but whom they had a mind to suffer for the abusing or ensnaring of them; accusing them for witches, and appointing women to search them, who took men to help them in case they had refused; who stripped them stark naked, not missing head nor feet, searching betwixt their toes and amongst their hair, tewing and abusing their bodies in such a manner as modesty will not admit to mention. And on the arrival of eight more, the marshal and constable were sent aboard with a warrant, to search the boxes, chests, and trunks of the Quakers for erroneous books. They were then imprisoned, and an order given that none should visit them, not suffering them to speak or confer with any person, nor permitting them to have pen, ink, or paper; the governor bid them “take heed they broke none of their ecclesiastical laws; for, if they did, they were sure to stretch by a halter;” and then he banished them, distraining their goods for their fees, taking away their bedding, and sent them away without it, yea, and their very Bible. Were these good men P Were they good men that enacted,—“That what master or “commander of any ship, bark, &c.," that shall henceforth bring “into any harbour, &c., within this jurisdiction, any Quaker or “Quakers, shall pay or cause to be paid the sum of one hundred “pounds to the treasurer of the country. That what Quaker “soever shall arrive in this country from foreign parts, or parts “adjacent, shall be forthwith committed to the House of Cor“rection, and at their entrance to be severely whipped, and by “the master thereof to be kept constantly at work, and none “suffered to speak or converse with them. If any person shall “knowingly import any Quaker's books or writings concerning “their devilish opinions, he shall pay for every such book or writ“ing the sum of five pounds; and whosoever shall disperse or “conceal any such book or writing, and it be found with him or “her, shall forfeit and pay five pounds; and, that if any person “within this colony shall take upon them to defend the heretical “opinions of the said Quakers, or any of their books, &c., shall “be fined for the first time, forty shillings. If they shall per“sist in the same, and shall again defend it the second time, “four pounds. If they shall again so defend, they shall be com“mitted to the House of Correction, till there be convenient “passage to send them out of the land, being sentenced by the “Court of Assistants to banishment.” Which law being proclaimed with beat of drum, before Nicholas Upshall's door, he, being much troubled at it, did bear witness against it;* for which he was sent for the next morning to the General Court, where he told them, “That the prosecution of that law was a forerunner of a judgment upon the country, and therefore, in tenderness and love to the people and country, desired them to take heed what they did, lest they were found fighters against God.” Which they rejected, and committed him to prison, fined him twenty pounds, and ordered him “to be banished within the space of a month;” and that “if he returned, he should be kept close prisoner till he acknowledged his fault;” which showed their inhumanity, to banish an ancient man of about sixty years from his wife and family in the time of Winter. He going to Sandwich in Plymouth Patent, William Bradford, the governor thereof, would have expelled him from thence, which an Indian prince hearing of, called them wicked men, and invited him to live with him, and in the Spring he went to Rhode Island. And Christopher Holder and John Copeland, being at Martha's Vineyard, were sent away by an Indian; and they would have required them to pay the Indian for carrying them away, which they refusing, because they did not hire him, they searched them for money, and took away nine shillings. And coming to New Plymouth, Thomas Prince, the governor, required them to depart, for only being called Quakers, which they not being free to do, they kept them prisoners till they sent them away. And Mary Clark, being moved of the Lord to go to Boston, the Sixth month, 1677, was soon apprehended and delivered to the tormenters, who barbarously abused her body with about twenty merciless stripes, with a threefold cord; and, to add to her sufferings, kept her in prison above twelve weeks in a cold season. Again, Christopher Holder and John Copeland being moved to go to Salem, in Boston colony,t where one of them beginning to speak after their meeting was ended, a commissioner pulled him backward by the hair of the head, and thrust his hand and glove in his mouth to stop it, and sent them to Boston prison, with
* New England Ensign, page 6. f This Third is not verbatim, but somewhat contracted for brevity.
Samuel Shattock, where John Endicott ordered them to be severely whipped, with thirty stripes a-piece; which was so cruelly done with a threefold cord, that one woman seeing it fell down as dead, and they were kept so close, that none could come at them, so much as to bring them food or water, for three days, and kept in cruel bonds nine weeks, without fire all the cold season. Also Richard Dowdney,” an innocent man, being moved to go to Boston, was apprehended in the way and had before the rulers, who had nought against him, but that he was a Quaker, yet sentenced him to be severely whipped with thirty stripes; which was unmercifully done with the threefold cord of their
covenant, with charge to keep him constantly at work, and
caused him to be searched for books and papers, and took what he had. And this was their entertainment of this harmless stranger. Yea, John Endicott, governor, and Richard Bellingham, deputy,f wrote an order of cruelty to the jailer, “That all the Quakers then in prison (ten in number) should be severely whipped twice a week, beginning with fifteen lashes, and every time to exceed three.” Which barbarous cruelty they put in execution with a cruel whip, which might have whipped them to death. Were these good men P Now about this time it was observed, on the cruelty that was practised i (noway becoming Christians), that the drift of their preachers was to encourage and drive on their design, which filled up most of their sermons, and the time that should have been better spent; so that many, when they went to look for bread, had a stone given, and a serpent instead of a fish; whereupon, finding it so unprofitable, they had no rest to sit under it, but withdrew, and met on the First-day of the week. Then the constable was sent to take their names, and had them before Captain Hathorne, who read the law for conviction, to pay five shillings a week, for not coming to their meeting; and sent some to Boston prison, and whipped them in the dead time of Winter, and the jailer took away their clothes for their fees. And made an additional law to the former, against “such as “should bring any Quaker, &c.,” into that jurisdiction, on for“feiture of a hundred pounds, &c. That if any person or pre“sons within this jurisdiction shall henceforth entertain or con“ceal any Quaker or Quakers, knowing them so to be, every “such person shall forfeit to the country forty shillings, for every “hour's concealment and entertainment, &c., and shall be com“mitted to prison as aforesaid, till the forfeitures be fully satisfied “and paid; and that, if any Quaker or Quakers shall presume, “after thay have once suffered what the law requireth, to come “into this jurisdiction, every such male Quaker shall, for the first “offence, have one of his ears cut off, and be kept at work in “the House of Correction, till he can be sent away at his own “charge; and for the second offence, shall have his other ear cut “off, and be kept at the House of Correction as aforesaid. And “every woman Quaker that hath suffered the law here, that “shall presume to come into this jurisdiction, shall be whipped “severely, and kept at the House of Correction at work till she “be sent away at her own charge; and so for her coming again, “she shall be alike used as aforesaid. And for every Quaker, he “or she, that shall a third time again offend, they shall have “their tongues bored through with a hot iron, and kept at the “House of Correction close to work, till they be sent away at “their own charge. And that all and every Quaker, arising “from amongst ourselves, shall be dealt with and suffer the like “punishment as the law provides against foreign Quakers.” Were these good men? Or, that on H. Norton'st going toward the Dutch government, they took him up at Southold, and sent him to New Haven, where he was cast into prison, and a great weight of irons laid upon him day and night, linked to a great lump of wood, twenty days, in a cold open prison, not suffering him to have either fire or candle, or any to come at him, but
* New England Ensign, page 62. f Popish Inquisition, page 37. † September, 1657.