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mastiff-dog, instead of falling upon them, would take the staff out of his hand. Now when first-day came after we came in I spoke to one of my fellow-prisoners to carry down a stool, and set it in the yard, and give notice to the debtors and felons that there would be a meeting in the yard, and they that would hear the word of the Lord declared might come thither. So the prisoners gathered in the yard, and we went down and had a very precious meeting, the gaoler not meddling. Thus every first-day we had a meeting as long as we staid in prison, and several came out of the town and country. Many were convinced, and some received the Lord's truth there, who stood faithful witnesses for it ever since. When the sessions came, we were had up before the justices, with more Friends, that were sent to prison whilst we were there, to the number of about twenty. Being brought into the court the gaoler put us into the place where the thieves were, and then some of the justices began to tender the oaths of allegiance and supremacy to us. I told them, I never took any oath in my life; and they knew we could not swear, because Christ and his apostle forbade it: therefore, they put it but as a snare to us. We told them, if they could prove, that after Christ and the apostle had forbid swearing, they did ever command christians to swear, we would take these oaths; otherwise we were resolved to obey Christ's command and the apostle's exhortation. They said, “We must take the oath, that we might manifest our allegiance to the king.' I told them, I had been formerly sent prisoner by colonel Hacker from that town to London, under pretence that I held meetings to plot to bring in king Charles. I also desired them to read our mittimus, which set forth the cause of our commitment to be, that “we were to have a meeting;' and I said, he that was called lord Beaumont could not by that act send us to gaol, unless we had been taken at a meeting, and found to be such persons as the act speaks of; therefore, we desired they would read the mittimus, and see how wrongfully we were imprisoned. They would not take notice of the mittimus; but called a jury, and indicted us ‘for refusing to take the oaths of allegiance and supremacy.’ When the jury was sworn and instructed, as they were going out, one who had been an alderman of the city bid them, ‘have a good conscience;’ and one of the jury, being a peevish man, told the justices there was one affronted the jury; whereupon they called him up, and tendered him the oath also, which he took. While we were standing where the thieves used to stand, a cut-purse had his hand in several Friends' pockets. Friends declared it to the justices and showed them the man. They called him up before them, and upon examination he could not deny it; yet they set him at liberty. It was not long before the jury returned, and brought us in guilty;
and after some words, the justices whispered together, and bid the gaoler take us to prison again; but the Lord's power was over them, and his everlasting truth, which we declared boldly amongst them. There being a great concourse of people, most of them followed us; so that the crier and bailiffs were sain to call the people back again to the court. We declared the truth as we went along the streets, till we came to the gaol, the streets being full of people. When we were in our chamber again, after some time the gaoler came to us, and desired all to go forth that were not prisoners. When they were gone, he said, “Gentlemen, it is the court's pleasure that ye should all be set at liberty, except those that are in for tithes: and you know there are fees due to me; but I shall leave it to you to give me what you will.' Thus we were all set at liberty on a sudden, and passed every one into our services. Leonard Fell being come thither, went with me again to Swanington. I had a letter from him they called the lord Hastings, who hearing of my imprisonment had written from London to the justices at the sessions to set me at liberty. I had not delivered this letter to the justices; but whether they had any knowledge of his mind from any other hand, which made them discharge us so suddenly, I know not. But this letter I carried to him called the lord Beaumont, who sent us to prison; and when he had broken it open and read it, he seemed much troubled; but at last came a little lower; yet threatened us, if we had any more meetings at Swanington, he would break them up and send us to prison again. But notwithstanding his threats we went to Swanington, and had a meeting with Friends there, and he neither came nor sent to break it up. \ From Swanington we came to Twy-cross, where that great man formerly mentioned, whom the Lord God raised up from his sickness in the year 1649, (whose servant-man came at me with a drawn sword to have done me a mischief) and his wife came to see me. From thence we travelled through Warwickshire; where we had brave meetings; and into Northamptonshire, and Bedfordshire, visiting Friends till we came to London. . I staid not long in London, but went into Essex, and so to Norfolk, having great meetings. At Norwich, when I came to captain Lawrence's, there was a great threatening of disturbance; but the meeting was quiet. Passing from thence to Sutton, and so into Cambridgeshire, there I heard of Edward Burrough's decease. And being sensible how great a grief and exercise it would be to Friends to part with him, I wrote the following lines for the staying and settling of their minds.
‘FRIENDs-Be still and quiet in your own conditions, and settled in the seed of God, that doth not change; that in that ye may feel dear E. B. among you in the seed, in which and by which he begat you to God, with whom he is ; and that in the seed ye may all see and feel him, in which is the unity with him in the life; and so enjoy him in the life that doth not change, which is invisible. G. F."
From thence I passed to Little-port and the Isle of Ely; where one that had been the mayor, with his wife, and the wife of the then present mayor of Cambridge, came to the meeting Travelling into Lincolnshire and Huntingdonshire, I came to Thomas Parnel's, where the mayor of Huntingdon came to see me, and was very loving. From thence I came into the Fen-country, where we had large and quiet meetings. While I was in that country, there came so great a flood, that it was dangerous to go out; yet we did get out, and went to Lynn, where we had a blessed meeting. Next morning I went to visit some prisoners there; then back to the inn, and took horse. As I was riding out of the yard, the officers, it seems, came to search the inn for me. I knew nothing of it then, only I felt a great burden come upon me as I rode out of the town, till I was got without the gates. When some Friends that came after overtook me, they told me the officers had been searching for me in the inn, as soon as I was gone out of the yard. So by the good hand of the Lord I escaped their cruel hands. After this we passed through the countries, visiting Friends in their meetings. The Lord's power carried us over the persecuting spirits, and through many dangers; and his truth spread and grew, and Friends were established therein: praises and glory to his name forever!
Having passed through Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, and Hertfordshire, we came to London again; where Istaid awhile, visiting Friends in their meetings, which were very large, and the Lord's power was over all. After some time I left the city again, and travelled into Kent, having Thomas Briggs with me. We went to Ashford, where we had a quiet and a very blessed meeting. On first-day we had a very good and peaceable meeting at Cranbrook. Then we went to Tenterden, and had a meeting there, to which Friends came from several parts; and many other people came in and were reached by the truth. When the meeting was done, I walked with Thomas Briggs into a close, while our horses were getting ready; and turning my head, I espied a captain coming, and a great company of soldiers with lighted matches and muskets. Some of the soldiers came to Thomas and me, and said, “We must go to their captain.’ When they had brought us before him, he asked, ‘Where was George Fox' which was he?' I said, ‘I am the man.” Then he came to me, and was somewhat struck, and said, ‘I will secure you among the soldiers.’ So he called for the soldiers to take me. Then he took Thomas Briggs and the man of the house, with many more; but the power of the Lord was mightily over them all. Then he came to me again, and said, ‘I must go along with him to the town;' and he carried himself pretty civilly, bidding the soldiers bring the rest aster. As we walked, I asked him, ‘Why they did thus? for I had not seen so much ado a great while;' and I bid him be civil to his peaceable neighbours. When we were come to the town, they had us to an inn that was the gaoler's house. After awhile the mayor of the town, this captain, and the lieutenant, who were justices, came together and examined me, ‘Why I came thither to make a disturbance " I told them, I did not come to make a disturbance, neither had I made any disturbance since I came. They said, “There was a law against the Quakers' meetings, made only against them.’ I told them, I knew no such law. Then they brought the act made against Quakers and others. I told them, that was against such as were a “terror to the king's subjects, who were enemies, and held principles dangerous to the government;' and therefore, it was not against us, for we held the truth; our principles were not dangerous to the government, and our meetings were peaceable, as they knew, who knew their neighbours were a peaceable people. They told me “I was an enemy to the king.” I answered, we loved all people, were enemies to none, and that I for my own part had been cast into Derby dungeon about the time of Worcester fight, because I would not take up arms against him; and that I was afterwards brought by colonel Hacker to London, as a plotter to bring in king Charles, and was kept prisoner at London.till I was set at liberty by Oliver. They asked me, • Whether I was imprisoned in the time of the insurrection?' I said, yes; I had been imprisoned then and since, and had been set at liberty by the king's own command. I opened the act to them, showed them the king's late declaration, gave them the examples of other justices, and told them also what the house of lords had said of it. I spoke also to them concerning their own conditions, exhorting them to live in the fear of God, to be tender towards their neighbours that feared God, and to mind God's wisdom by which all things were made and created, that they might come to receive it, be ordered by it, and by it order all things to God's glory. They demanded bond of us for our appearance at the sessions; but we pleading our innocency, refused to give bond. Then they would have us promise to come no more there; but we kept clear of that also. When they saw they could not bring us to their terms, they told us, “We should see they were civil to us, for it was the mayor's pleasure we should all be set at liberty.' I told them, their civility was noble! and so we parted. Leaving Tenterden, we went to Newick, in Sussex, where we visited some Friends. From thence we passed through the country, visiting Friends, and having great meetings; all quiet and free from disturbance
(except by some jangling Baptists,) till we came into Hampshire; where, after a good meeting at Southampton, we went to Pulner, in the parish of Ringwood, where was to be a monthly meeting next day, to which many Friends resorted from Southampton, Pool, and other places; and the weather being very hot, some came pretty early in the morning. I took a Friend, and walked out with him into the orchard, enquiring of him how the affairs of truth stood amongst them 2 (for many of them had been convinced by me before I was prisoner in Cornwall.) While we were discoursing, a young man came and told us the trained bands were raising, and he heard they would come and break up the meeting. It was not yet meeting-time by about three hours, and there being other Friends walking in the orchard, the Friend I was discoursing with before desired me to walk into a corn-field adjoining to it, which we did. After awhile the young man that spoke of the trained bands left us, and when he was gone a pretty way, he stood and waved his hat. Whereupon, I spoke to the other young man that was with me, to go see what he meant. He went, but came not to me again, for the soldiers were come into the orchard. As I kept walking, I could see the soldiers, and some of them, as I heard afterwards, did see me, but had no mind to meddle. So the soldiers coming so long before meeting-time, did not tarry; but took what Friends they found at the house, and some they met in the lane, and had them away. After they were gone, it drew towards the eleventh hour, Friends began to come in apace, and a large and glorious meeting we had; for the everlasting seed of God was set over all, and the people were settled in the new covenant of life, upon the foundation Christ Jesus. Towards the latter end of the meeting there came a man in gay apparel, and looked in while I was declaring, and went away again presently. This man came with an evil intent; for he went forthwith to Ringwood, and told the magistrates, ‘that they had taken two or three men at Pulner, and had left George Fox there preaching to two or three hundred.” Upon this the magistrates sent the officers and soldiers again; but the meeting being near ended when the man looked in, and he having about a mile and a half to go with his information to fetch the soldiers, and they as far to come after they had received their orders, before they came our meeting was over; ending about the third hour, peaceably and orderly. After the meeting, I spoke to the Friends of the house where this meeting was held, (the woman of the house then lying dead in the house,) and then some Friends led me to another Friend's at a little distance; where, after we had refreshed ourselves, I took horse, having about twenty miles to ride that asternoon to one Frye's, in Wiltshire, where a meeting was appointed to be held the next day. After we were gone, the officers and soldiers came in a great heat,