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there, it rebounded back again, with greater force, to that side next the church, and piercing through, right against the higher window of the church, took the greatest part thereof with it, and likewise some of the stones, and frame of the window, and so struck into the church, coming with a mighty power; it struck against the north-side wall of the church, as if it were with a great cannon-bullet, or somewhat like thereto, and not going through, but exceedingly shaking and battering the wall, it took its course directly up that isle, strait to the pulpit or seat where master Lyde sat; and in the way, thence going up, it took all the lime and sand of the wall, and much grated the stones thereof, and tore off the side desk of the pulpit; and, upon the pulpit, on the side thereof, it was left as black and moist as if it had been newly wiped with ink.
Then it goes strait up in the same isle, and struck off all the hinder part of the warrener's head (the brains fell backward, intire and whole, into the next seat behind him, and two pieces of his skull) and dashed his blood against the wall; the other piece of his skull fell into the seat where he sat, and some of the skin of his head, flesh, and hair was carried into the chancel, and some of his hair, to the quantity of a handful, stuck fast, as with lime and sand newly tempered, upon one of the bars of the timber-work partition between the church and chancel. And one man, who sat next to the warrener in the same seat, was scalded, and all burnt on that side next the warrener, from the very
head to the foot, and no hurt at all on the other side. And, in the second seat behind him, was another struck, in a most fearful manner; for he was so burnt and scalded all over his body, from his forehead downward below his knees, insomuch that he was all over like raw flesh round about; and, which is most wonderful, his clothes not once hurt, neither his head nor hair, who, notwithstanding, died not then, but lived in great misery above a week after.
But to go on in our relation. It is supposed, it having been since by divers judiciously viewed, that here the power or force divided itself two ways; one part whereof struck out of the window over their heads, which tore out, and carried away, some great stones out of the wall with the window, and further they could not trace it; but, with the force of the stroke, at going forth, it struck the lime and sand on the wall with many small stones, or grit, so forcibly, that the lime, sand, and grit returned back, like hail-shot, to the other side of the wall where men did sit, and struck into their faces, much disfiguring them, and smote into the wall, and into the timber of the partition, some of which stones could not be picked out till the next day following.
But the other part of the force descended to the bottom of the wall, just before the warrener's seat, and there pierced in, heaving up all the wall in that place, rending and tearing it from the very ground, as high almost as the height of a man; there it broke through into the chancel, and, about the number of eight boys sitting about the rails of the communion table, it took them up from the seats, and threw them all on heaps within the rails, and not one of them hurt; and, one of them having his bat lying upon the rail, it was cut and burnt half way.
Then it went directly over to the other side of the chancel, and struck master Hill mortally in his head, so that he died that night; but his son, sitting as close by him as one man can sit by another, for the seat would hold but two, had no harm at all, not so much as once sindged. But it struck against the wall so forcibly, that it beat in the wall behind him, as if it had been shot against with a cannon-bullet, as it is expressed in the former relation ; but there, not going through, it recoiled back again, coming about the chancel, as it is conceived, and tore out violently one of the great side-stones of the chancel door, against which it smote, cleaving it all to pieces, and there it is supposed it went forth; but some reasons there are to think it did not, for none of the pieces of the side-stone were carried out with it, but fell down within the chancel , besides, the consideration of the mighty strange and secret works thereof in the body of the church, for there it had rent and tore, and Aung about marvellously.
The seats, where men and women sat, were rent up, turned upside down, and they that sat in them had no harm; also, many of those pews and seats rent quite from the bottom, as if there had been no seats there, and those that sat in them, when they came to themselves, found that they were thrown out of their own into other seats, three or four seats higher, and yet had no harm. And, moreover, all the wood, timber, and stones were torn all to pieces, and violently thrown, every way, to the very walls of the church round about.
One man sitting upon the church-bier, at the lower end, the bier was struck and torn, and he that sat thereon was thown into one of the pews by the wall-side, a good distance off.
Many also, both men and women, being very much hurt and scalded in divers places of their bodies, and after divers manners, to the number of fifty or sixty, among whom, Mrs. Lyde, the minister's wife, was one, who suffered herein, as it is related in the former. And also Mrs. Ditford, her gown, two waistcoats, and linnen next her body, burnt clean off, and her back also very grievously down to her waist burnt and scalded, and so exceedingly afflicted thereby, she could neither stand nor go without help, being led out of the church. And one ancient woman was so terribly burnt, and her flesh torn, especially her hand, the flesh was so rotten and perished, that her hand is cut off that it might not endanger her arm; and many of those, that were then burnt and scalded, have since died thereof.
And, furthermore, all the roof of the church is terribly torn, and a great part thereof broken into the church by some great stones, that were torn off the tower; and all the other part hangs fearfully, all ragged and torn in divers places, ready to drop down; it tore likewise all the windows, shook and rent the church walls in divers places, but the chancel roof had little or no hurt. Moreover, a beam was burst in sunder, which fell down between the minister and clerk, yet hurt neither. Nor was there, in all this time, any one hurt either with stick or stone, but only one man that had a little bruise on his back; and, as there was least hurt done where the timber and stone fell most, so, on the contrary, where no timber nor stone fell, there was most
hurt done. And all this while, after the terrible noise and lightning, not one in the church can remember they either heard or saw any thing, being all deadly astonished.
And, when the lightning was past, the people being still in a maze, not one could speak a word to another; but by and by master Rouse came a little to himself, standing up, and spake as in the former relation; and, speaking to Master Lyde, he also thereupon began to recover himself, and answered as well as he could, trembling, as is expressed before, not knowing of any hurt that was done, either to his wife or any else; but they, looking about them, saw a very thick mist, with smother, smoke, and smell, insomuch that they, nor any there, saw the danger over their heads. But, they two going forth together at the chancel door, they saw a dog whirled up some height from the ground, taken up and let down again three times together, and at last fell down stone dead, ail the lightning being past, neither could they see any thing at all near the dog.
Then presently the rest of the people scrabled forth the church as well as they could; the mist and smother went away by degrees, but was not quite gone in half an hour after: And, being come forth, they saw their danger, which before they knew not; for the tower and church were grievously cracked and shattered, and some of the stones on the church and tower torn off, and thrown every way round about, and huge weighty stones split all to picces, some ibrown distant from the church at least an hundred yards. And one great stone, like a massy rock, was carried off the pinnacle all over the east-end of the church, and over the church-yard, and into another close over the hedge; there it grazed, breaking up the ground deeply, and, as it is imagined, it was done by that massy stone, which was carried, at least, ten yards beyond, and there bruised the ground very deep, where it lay immoveable.
And, on the other side of the church, there is a bowling-green, torn up and spoiled with stones as before; amongst many others there fell therein one great broad stone, like a table, and in the fall was broken all to pieces, they bring struck edge-ways into the ground, also many great stones were sunk so deep on all sides the church, that some were struck in even with the ground, and some lower. Some stones were thrown over Master Rouse's house an hundred yards from the church, and sunk into the earth not to be seen, but only the hole, where the stone went down ; and Master Rouse's house, on that side next the church, was torn up, the covering carried off, and one of the rafters broke into the house.
Then a while after, before night, they adventured into the church to fetch out the dead bodies, some whereof being brought forth, and laid in the church-yard; there was then present a woman, being till that time much astonished, coming better to herself, upon sight of the dead bodies remembered, that she brought her child to church with her; they then, going in to seek for it, found her child going hand in hand with another little child, being met coming down one of the isles, and had no hurt, nor seemed to be any thing frighted by their countenances; neither were there any children in the church hurt at
all; but the other child's mother was gone home, never remembering she had a child, till it was brought to her.
But as strange a thing as any of these was that, concerning Robert Mend the warrener; he being not missed all this while, immediately, Master Rouse, his dear acquaintance, remembering him, and seeing him not, nor none knowing what was become of him, Master Rouse, stepping to the window, looked into the church where the warrener used to sit, and there saw him sitting in his seat, leaning upon his elbow, his elbow resting upon the desk, before him; he supposed him to be a-sleep, or astonished, not yet come to himself; he, calling to awake him, wondered he made no answer; then his love to him caused him to venture into the church, to jog hin awake, or to remember him, and then, to his much grief, he perceived his friend to be a dead man ; for all the hinder part of his head was clean cut off, and gone round about his neck, and the forepart not disfigured, as they supposed when they drew near him.
The Lord of the Manor of Wydecombe, hearing of this sad accident, sent his man, David Barry, that night thither, to hear what news, and to see what hurt was done; but, it being dark, he could see nothing that night, but only hear their relations. But on Monday, the day following, they came to take notice, and view the ruins of the church, and what accidents had fallen out; then all this relation was made apparent to him, and, I may safely say, to thousands more of witnesses, that are ready to give testimony to all this relation.
But having seen, and observed, as much as they could about. the church, the tower being locked up, what hurt was done there, was as yet unknown: There being then a motion made to open the door to see what hurt, no man was found willing to adventure, much less ascend up therein, all the people being as yet in a terrible fear; the remembrance of their great hurts and dangers being so fresh in their minds; for, some being to be buried in the church that afternoon, as namely, Master Hill and Robert Mead, their graves being close by one another, the minister read the burial to both at once, and when he came to those words, Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust, the fall thereof, making a sudden noise upon the coffins, made them all in a great fear run out of the church, tumbling over one another, supposing that the church was falling on their heads.
But the said David resolved to venture himself to discover what he could, and, calling for the key to open the door, it was brought by the sexton, yet they all persuaded him not to venture, for the tower was so crazy, torn, and shattered, that they were all of opinion, it might fall, as they might well judge by the outside ; but, he putting in the key to open the door, it would not unlock it, but run quite through : then the sexton, he trying also, could find no lock, and yet the duor still fast; then, an iron bar being used to force it off the binges, it could not be done thereby, till at last he, espying the bolt of the lock shot into the staple, desired them to hold the door up
with the bar, that he might put in his arm to put back the lock, and found there all the wood and wards of the lock gone ; then, the door being with much ado forced open, the said David was to go up first, and the sexton to follow him, where he found so mueh rubbish and stone tumbled down, that he could hardly creep up; he having his sword by his side, it troubled him, he put it off, wishing the clark to hold it, while he made way; but, as they ascended, there came down the stairs a inost loathsome smell beyond expression, as it were of brimstone, pitch, and sulphur; he notwithstanding adventured higher, but, the sexton's stomach and courage being overcome, partly by his fear, and also by the smell, he returned back in a great fright, complaining he was poisoned.
A multitude of people being there to observe the discovery, come from divers places thereabouts, to see and hear of this spreading ill news, as daily multitudes do resort there for that purpose, they all stood at a distance, waiting what could be found, but they not knowing what was become of him, because the sexion was so frighted, none daring to come near to look after him. But he getting (with great difficulty, and danger of his life at every step) up to the first story, there he viewed it, and found no hurt done; but, getting with greater difficulty up to the bell-room, he tolled all the bells, to see if they were sound or no, then the people much rejoiced, supposing he was well.
Then looking over head he saw all the joyces and timber under the lcads carried away, all rent and torn fearfully, except one beam under the middle, which was bowed down, and a great number of stones lying on the leads in a very strange and dangerous manner; but, his heart encouraging him to venture yet higher, he attempted the leads, and, getting up to the door, he saw a great danger, over his head, at the sight whereof his heart began to fail him, for the stones were carried clean away, under the inside next the church, and, on the outside, so shaken that very little upheld them; then espying yet more danger than before, he saw a great stone over his head, as he supposed, ready to drop down upon uim, that he knew not whether to stay or go down, for fear of the falling thereof; then, attempting to throw it down, cried as loud as he possibly could, being at the top, to stand clear, for fear of danger; he catching hold on somewhat over his head, hung by his hands, and with his feet touched the weighty stone, which tumbled down the stairs, never resting till it came to the bottom; then all the people, at the fall thereof, thought he was killed, but he, presently coming down into the bell-room, tolled the bells, again, and thereby removed their fear,
Then coming down lower, in one place in the stairs, close by the place, where the tower was most rent and shaken, there he espied a thing very strange to him, as if it had been a cannon discharged full of powder, and as if a bullet withal struck and shook it, and, finding no way out, recoiled back to another side, and there rent out a great part of the tower, with mighty stones; and, but a little above it, there was a round patch as broad as a bushel, which looked thick, slimy, and black, and black round about it, to which he put his hand, and felt it soft, and, bringing some thereof in his hand from the wall, came down the stairs to the people, and shewed them that strange compound; all much wondered thereat, and were affrighted, not knowing what it