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risms” was printed by Dr. S. Salter, in 1753. See the second preface to which, p. 16-27.] Ed.
This year the king, by the assistance of the tories and Roman catholics, completed the ruin of the constitution, and assumed the whole government into his own hands.The whigs and non-conformists were struck with terror, by the severe prosecutions of the heads of their party.* Mr. Hampden was fined forty thousand pounds, Sir Samuel Barnadiston ten thousand pounds, for defaming the evidenee in the Rye-house plot. Mr. Speke two thousand, and Mr. Braddon one thousand pounds, for reporting that the earl of Essex had been murdered in the Tower. Mr. Jobn Duttoncolt one hundred thousand pounds, for scandalum magnatum against the duke of York, who now ruled all at court. Oates was fined for the same crime one hundred thousand pounds, and never released till after the Revolution. Tbirty-two others were fined or pilloried for libelling the king or the duke of York.
In sbort, the greatest part of the history of this year consists of prosecutions, penalties and punishments, (says Mr. Eachard.) At the same time the earl of Danby and the popish lords were released out of the Tower on bail, the garrison of Tangier was brought over into England, and augmented to a standing army of four or five thousand resolute men, fit for any service the court should employ them in. And the corporations throughout England, having been prevailed with, by promises or threatenings, to surrender their charters,t after the example of London, the whole kingdom was divested of its
* Rapin, p. 733, and note. Eachard, p. 1043, 1044. 4 Among others, the charter of the city of Chester was surrendered, and a new one joyfully accepted, by which a power was reserved to the crown to put out magistrates and put in at pleasure. This is mentioned to introduce an instance of the conduct of the dissenters of that day which reflects honor on their integrity, and shews how far they were from the affectation of power; as it was also a proof of a disinterested and inviolable attachment to the rights and liberties of their country. About Anglist 1689, one Mr. Trinder was sent to Chester to new-model the corporation according to the power above-mentioned. He applied to Mr. Henry, in the king's name, and told him that “his majesty thought the government of the city needed reformation, and if he would say who should be put out, it should be done.” Mr. Henry said, “ he begged his pardon, but it was none of his business, nor would he in the least intermeddle in a thing of that natnre." Trinder, however,
privileges, and reduced to an absolute monarchy.* Whole peals of anathemas were rang out against those patriots, who stood in the gap against this inundation of power. -The scriptures were tortured to prove the divine right of tyrants. The absolute government of the jewish kings was preached up as a pattern for ours.t And heaven itself was ranked on that side, by some who pretended to expound its will. Instead of dropping a tear over our expiring laws, liberties, and parliaments, fulsome panegyrics were made upon their murderers, and curses denounced on those who would have saved them from destruction.
In this melancholy situation of public affairs, the prosecution of the non-conformists was continued, and edged on with an infatuation hardly to be paralleled in any protestant nation. Dr. Barlow, bishop of Lincoln, published a letter for spiriting up the magistrates against the dissenters, in concurrence with another drawn up by the justices of peace of Bedford, bearing date Jan. 14, 1686. Many were cited into the spiritual courts, excommunicated, and rained. Two hundred warrants of distress were issued out upon private persons and families, in the town and neighborhood of Uxbridge, for frequenting conventicles, or not resorting to church.† An order was made by the justices of Exeter, promising a reward of forty shillings to any one who should apprehend a non-conformist minister, which the bishop of the diocese, Dr. Lamplugh, comgot instructions from others. The charter was cancelled, and another of the same import was made out and sent down, nominating to the government all the dissenters of note in the city, the seniors to be al. dermen, and the juniors cominon-council men.
When the persons named in it were called together to have notice of it, and to have the time fixed for their being sworn, like true Englishmen, they refused it, and desired that the ancient charter might be re-established, though they knew that none of them would come into power by that, but many of those who were their bitter enemies would be restored. Accordingly the old charter was renewed in the same state wherein it was when the tories surrendered it. Mr. Thompson's MSS. Collections, under the word Chester Ed.
* Welwood's Memoirs, p. 130. † Mr. Waldron, of Exeter, has written here in his copy of Mr. Neal's work the following note: “ The public orator of Cambridge in a speech to the king at Newmarket, told him that they hoped to see the king of England as absolute as the kings of Israel: as Thomas Quicke, Esq. told
| Howe's Life, p. 80. Vol. V.
manded to be published in all the churches, by his clergy on the following Sunday. The reverend Dr. Bates, Dr. Annesley, and many of their brethren in the ministry, had their goods seized and confiscated. Mr. Robert Mayot of Oxford, a moderate conformist, having left Mr. Baxter six hundred pounds to distribute among sixty poor ejected ministers; the lord keeper North took it from him, as given to a superstitious use ; but it lying unappropriated in the court of Chancery till after the Revolution, it was restored by the commissioners of the great seal under king William. Soon after the justices sent warrants to apprehen: Mr. Baxter, as being one in a list of a thousand names, who were to be bound to their good behavior upon latent convictions, that is, without seeing their accusers, or being made acquainted with their charge. * Mr. Baxter refusing to open his doors, the officers forced into bis house, and finding him locked up in his study, they resolved to starve him from thence, by setting six men at the door, to whom he was obliged next day to surrender. They then carried him to the Sessions-house two or three times, and bound him in a bond of four hundred pounds, so that if his friends bad not been sureties for him, contrary to bis desire, he must have died in prison, as many excellent persons did about this time.
Jefferies, now lord chief justice of England, who was scandalously vicious, and drunk every day, besides a drunkenness of fury in his temper that looked like madness, was prepared for any dirty work the court should put bim upon.t Sept. 23, 1681, Mr. Thomas Rosewell, the dissenting minister at Rotherbithe, was imprisoned in the Gatehouse Westminster, for high treason; and a bill was found against him at the quarter-sessions, upon which he was tried Nov. 8, at the King's-beach bar, by a Surry jury, before lord chief justice Jefferies, and his brethren, (viz.) Withins, Holloway, and Walcot. He was indicted for the following expressions in his sermon, Sept. 14.That the king could not cure the king's evil, but that priests and prophets by their prayers could heal the griefs of the people, That we had had two wicked kings, (meaning the present king and his father) whom we can resem
• Baxter, part iii. p. 198. † Burnet, vol. ii. p. 444, 5,
ble to no other person but to the most wicked Jeroboam ; and that if they (meaning his bearers) would stand to their principles, he did not doubt but they should overcome their enemies, (meaning the king) as in former times, with ram's. horns, broken platters, and a stone in a sling. The witnesses were three infamous women, who swore to the words without the inuendoes ; they were laden with the guilt of many perjuries already, and such of them as could be found afterwards were convicted, and the chief of them pilloryed before the Exchange. The trial lasted seven hours, and Mr. Rosewell behaved with all the decency and respect to the court that could be expected, and made a defence that was applauded by most of the bearers. He said it was impossible the witnesses should remember, and be able to pronounce so long a period, when they could not so much as tell the text, nor any thing else in the sermon, besides the words they had sworn : several who heard the sermon, and wrote it in short hand, declared they heard no such words. dir. Rosewell offered his own notes to prove it, but no regard was had to them. The women could not prove, (says Burnet) by any one circumstance, that they were at the meeting; or that any person saw them there on that day; the words they swore were so gross, that it was not to be imagined that any man in his wits would express himself so, before a mixed assembly; yet Jefferies urged the matter with his usual vehemence. He laid it for a foundation, that all preaching at conventicles was treasonable, and that this ought to dispose the jury to believe any evidence upon that head, so the jury brought him in guil. ty;* upon which (says the bishop) there was a shameful
As soon as Mr. Rosewell was convicted, Sir John Talbot, who was present at the trial, went to the king, and urged it on his majesty, that if such evidence as had appeared against Mr. Rosewell were admitted, do one of his subjects would be safe. Upon this, when Jefferies soon after came into the royal presence, with an air of exultation and tritimph to congratulate his majesty on the conviction of a traitor, the king gave bin a cold reception, which damped his ardor in the business. When the court met to hear Mr. Rosewell's counsel, this corrupt judge, who on the trial had intermingled with the examination of the witnesses virulent invectives against him, and with his usual vehemence had endeavored to prejudice and inflame the jury, now assumed a tone of moderation, and strongly recommended to the king's counsel caution and deliberatina, where the life of a man was de pending. See the trial.* Ed.
• X. B. This Trial has been lately repriuted in the Protestant Dissenter's Magazine.
rejoicing; and it was now thought, all conventicles must be suppressed, when such evidence could be received against such a defence. But when the words came to be examined by men learned in the law, they were found not to be treason by any statute.
So Mr. Rosewell moved an arrest of judgment till council should be beard; and though it was doubtful, whether the motion was proper on this foundation after the verdict, yet the king was so out of countenance at the accounts he heard of the witnesses, that he gave orders to yield to it; and in the end he was pardoned.t The court lost a great deal of reputation by this trial, for besides that Rosewell made a strong defence, he proved that he had always been a loyal man even in Cromwell's days, that he prayed constantly for the king in bis family, and that in his sermons he often insisted upon the obligations to loyalty.
Among other sufferers for non-conformity, we must not forget the reverend Mr. William Jenkyn, M. A. the ejected minister of Christ-church, who died this year in Newgate ; he was educated in St. John's college, Cambridge ; and about the year 1641 was chosen minister of this place, avd lecturer of Black-friars, both which pulpits be filled with great acceptance till the destruction of monarchy, after which he was sequestered, for refusing to comply with the orders of parliament.[ He was sent to the Tower for Love's Plot, but upon bis humble petition, and promise of
+ Calamy, vol. ii. p. 756. Palmer's Non. Mem. vol. ii. p. 512.
Mr. Jenkyn was, by his mother, the grandson of Mr John Rogers, the proto-martyr in the reign of Queen Mary. The order of parliament, to which he refused obedience, was one that enjoined a public thanksgiving. The brethren, with whom he was keeping a fast, when he was apprehended in 1681, were Mr. Reynolds, Mr. Keeling, and Mr. Flavel, who made their escape, which Mr. Jenkyn might have done. had it not been for a piece of vanity in a lady, whose long train hindered his going down stairs ; Mr. Jenkyn, and his great civility, having let her pass before him. At his funeral, which was attended by many eminent persons, and some scores of mourning coaches, his son gave rings with this motio, - William Jenkyn murdered in Newgate.” Upon his death, a nobleman said to the king, “ May it please your majesty, Jenkyn has got his liberty.” On which he asked with eagerness, " Aye, who gave it him?" The nobleman replied, " a greater than your majesty, the King of kings;" with which the king seemed greatly struck, and remained silent. Granger, vol. iii. p. 317. Palmer, vol. i. p. 98-100, and History of the Town of Taunton, p. 157. Ed.