The Missing Cross to Purity

The Persecutions of Early Quakers in America


And others had trials of cruel mockings and scourgings,
yes, including chains and imprisonment.
They were stoned, were sawn in two,
were tempted, were slain with the sword.
They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins,
being destitute, afflicted, and tormented,
(of whom the world was not worthy).

Heb 11:36-38

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The persecution of Friends revived in Massachusetts—The travels and sufferings of Mary Tomkins, Alice Ambrose, and Ann Coleman— Elizabeth Hooton and Joane Brocksoppe visit New England and are expelled from Boston—Letter of J. Brocksoppe to Margaret Fell- Elizabeth Hooton again visits New England—her travels and sufferings there — Some account of the life of Elizabeth Hooton— Katherine Chattam visits New England—The travels and sufferings of Joseph Nicholson, John Liddal, Jane Millard and Ann Coleman —Letter of Ann Coleman to George Fox—The sufferings and services of Thomas Newhouse—Letter of Joseph Nicholson to George Fox— Further sufferings and travels of Mary Tomkins and Alice Ambrose— Ann Richardson's gospel labors in New England—Visit of John Tysoe to Boston—Brief biographical notices—The persecution and gospel services of Edward Wharton—The sufferings of Friends of Salem and Hampton—Further sufferings of Wenlock Christison— The sufferings of Friends hi New England begin to subside—Remarks on the constancy of Friends under persecution.

THE fear which had prompted the rulers at Boston to release Friends from prison on receiving the mandamus of their sovereign, and which also induced them to send Norton and Broadstreet to England, soon began to subside, when they saw that no further act followed, expressive of the king's displeasure towards them. The danger to which the colonial charter had been exposed by these zealots, and the critical situation of the lives of some of them, for abetting the executions on Boston Common, did not teach them a lasting lesson of wise forbearance, or convince them of the error of their cruel legislation. The narrow bigotry, that had already urged them to expatriate every sect that dared to dissent from their own religious opinions, was not corrected by these circumstances. It is true, that after the restoration of the monarchy, they no longer banished settlers on account of their faith, or executed persons for professing the doctrines of Friends. Prudence alone dictated the policy of discontinuing these excesses. But the authorities of Massachusetts adhered with extraordinary tenacity to their exclusive system, in their zealous support of which, as our narrative will show, they acted with great cruelty.

The first who suffered under the revival of persecution in New England in 1662, were Mary Tomkins, Alice Ambrose and Ann Coleman, three Friends from England who had come on a gospel mission to that country. We first meet with Mary Tomkins and Alice Ambrose on their way to Dover, a town on the river Piscataqua in the northern part of Massachusetts, in company with Edward Wharton and George Preston of Salem. At Dover none had yet been convinced of our principles, and the four ministers took up their quarters at an inn. Soon after their arrival they were visited by many persons, who desired to know on what foundation Friends rested their faith and hope of salvation. With these inquirers they "had a good opportunity," and "some of them confessed to the truth." The priest of Dover, being very disturbed by the preaching of the strangers among his people, accused them of "denying magistrates, ministers, the churches of Christ, and the three persons in the Trinity." These allegations were first replied to by Mary Tomkins, who after some dispute with the priest, said, "Take notice, people, this man falsely accuses us; for godly magistrates, and the ministers of Christ, we own, and the churches of Christ we own, and that there are three that bear record in heaven, which three are the Father, Word, and Spirit, that we own." The priest then entered on a dispute with George Preston; but failing to maintain his argument, he became much excited, and "in a rage" left the company. The doctrines of the gospel were then unfolded to the people "in demonstration of the Spirit and of power;" a great and good meeting was held, and many were convinced of the truth.

From Dover the four Friends traveled into the province of Maine, where Major Shapley, a magistrate, who is described as "an inquiring man after truth," invited them to his house. Desiring to promote the cause of religion, he had for some time employed a priest to officiate at meetings which were held under his own roof, and with the same desire, he suggested that the priest and Friends should have a discussion. The priest, however, who was not so inclined, precluded an opportunity for it by going to a distant location. A meeting was soon held with the inhabitants, to whom the truth was declared. Major Shapley and his wife were convinced, and not only ceased to employ the priest, but permitted the meetings of Friends to be held in their house. The four gospel messengers after laboring in the province of Maine, where it is said, "they had very good service for the truth," proceeded to the western parts of New England.

In the Tenth Month, 1662, Alice Ambrose and Mary Tomkins, visited in the love of the gospel, the individuals newly convinced on the Piscataqua, in which service they were joined by Ann Coleman. The success that attended the gospel labors of Friends on the former visit, had greatly disconcerted the priest of Dover; and on the occasion of the visit of these three ministers, he instigated the authorities to persecute them. They were accordingly apprehended and taken before a magistrate. This functionary, as a prelude to the sentence he was about to impose, told them of the law that had been passed for whipping Friends out of the Colony. Mary Tomkins replied, "So there was a law that Daniel should not pray to his God." "Yes," rejoined the magistrate, "and Daniel suffered, and so shall you." The following warrant, drawn up by the priest, who acted as the magistrate's clerk on the occasion, was then issued.

To the Constables of Dover, Hampton, Salisbury, Newbury, Rowley, Ipswich, Wenham, Lynn, Boston, Roxbury, Dedhara, and until these vagabond Quakers are carried out of this jurisdiction.

You and every of you are required, in the king's name, to take these vagabond Quakers, Ann Coleman, Mary Tomkins, and Alice Ambrose, and make them fast to the cart's tail, and driving the cart through your several towns, to whip them on their backs, not exceeding ten stripes each on each of them, in each town, and so convey them from constable to constable, until they come out of this jurisdiction, as you will answer it at your peril; and this shall be your warrant.

At Dover, dated Dec. 22nd, 1662


Cruel indeed was this order; because to whip these three tender women through eleven towns, with ten stripes apiece at each place, through a length of near eighty miles, in bitter cold weather, would have been enough to have beaten their bones bare, and their lives out of their bodies.

Now in a very cold day the deputy Waldron, at Dover, caused these women to be stripped naked from the middle upward, and tied to a cart, and then whipped them, while the priest looked on, and laughed at it; which some of their friends seeing, and taking notice of Waldron's cruelty, testified against him; for which Waldron put two of them in the stocks.

The women being thus whipped at Dover, were carried to Hampton, and there delivered to the constable, William Fifield, who having understood by the constable of Dover what work he had in bringing them through a deep road, thought to have daunted them, and said, 'I profess you must not think to make fools of men.' To which they answered, they should be able to deal with him as well-as the other. This constable the next morning would have whipped them before day, but they refused, saying that they were not ashamed of their sufferings. Then he would have whipped them on their clothes when he had them at the cart; but they said, ' Set us free, or do according to thy order;' which was to whip them on their naked backs. He then spoke to a woman to take off their clothes; but she said she would not do it for all the world. ' Why,' said he, ' I profess I will do it myself.' So he stripped them, and then stood trembling with the whip in his hand, and so he did the execution, though at first he professed himself so stout. Then he carried them to Salisbury, through dirt and snow, half the leg deep, and here they were whipped again. Among the rest of the spectators, Edward Wharton accidentally passing along that way, came to be one; and beholding this whipping, one Thomas Broadbury, clerk of the courts of Salisbury and Hampton, said to him, ' Edward Wharton, what are you doing here?' 'I am here,' he answered, 'to see your wickedness and cruelty, so that if you kill these women, I may be able to declare how you murdered them.'

For indeed their bodies were so torn, that if Providence had not watched over them, they might have been in danger of their lives. But it fell out so that they were discharged. The condition of the prisoners as they passed through Salisbury, fastened with ropes to the cart's tail with their "torn bodies and weary steps," excited the sympathies of the spectators; and one of the inhabitants, after persuading the constable to pass the prisoners and the warrant into his hands as deputy, immediately gave them their liberty. The three Friends, being still impressed with the belief that it was required of them to return to Dover and its vicinity, on leaving Salisbury proceeded to the hospitable residence of their friend Major Shapley. Near his house they had a meeting, to which the minister of the place came. At the conclusion, hoping to confound the Friends before the people, he stood up and said, "Good women, you have spoken well, and prayed well; pray what is your rule?" "The Spirit of God," they replied, "is our rule, and it ought to be yours, and all men's to walk by." Except that he denied the Spirit to be his guide, the priest, it appears, was not inclined to proceed further in the discussion.

After they had visited Maine, the three gospel laborers returned to Dover. On the First-day of the week they assembled with their friends of this place for the solemn duty of worship, during which two constables entered; and while Alice Ambrose was engaged in prayer, two constables entered the meeting, and seizing her each by an arm, inhumanly forced her out of doors, and dragged her with her face downwards, over the snow, which was knee-deep, and over large stumps and logs, for nearly a mile. Mary Tomkins was also taken and subjected to the same barbarous treatment.

On the following morning, the constables, at the instigation of a "ruling Elder," informed the two Friends and Ann Coleman, that they should take them to the mouth of the harbor, where they should "put them in [the water] and so do with them that they should no more be troubled with them." Their lives being thus atrociously threatened, the Friends objected to go to the harbor; the constables, however, impetuous in their wicked work, immediately seized Mary Tomkins, and dragged her on her back with such violence over the snow and stumps of trees, bruising he so much that she frequently fainted. Alice Ambrose shared no better; having been brought to the river, they pulled her into the water, and kept her swimming by the canoe, in great danger of drowning or of being frozen to death. Ann Coleman was also unmercifully treated, so as greatly to endanger her life. The constables, while thus pursuing their abominable work, and encouraged, it would appear by the approving presence of the Puritan "Elder," were providentially stopped from persisting in their wicked objective, by the sudden rising of a "great storm," which drove them to seek refuge in the house where their victims had been placed on the previous night. At midnight they were thrust forth to find such shelter as the woods might afford during the rigors of a wintry season, having turned them out of doors in the frost and snow, although Alice's clothes were frozen as hard as boards. The barbarity exercised against these innocent women was such, that in all probability they must have perished, had not a merciful Providence interfered for their preservation.

The next year, Anne Coleman was again apprehended, and with several other Friends, cruelly whipped through Salem, Boston and Dedham; and the severity of the whipping was such — the thongs of the whip wrapping around her body and the knots tearing her breast — that it was thought her life must fall a sacrifice to the malice of her persecutors.

Continuing their gospel labors in the northern parts of Massachusetts, Mary Tomkins and Alice Ambrose felt called, on a First-day, to go to the public place of worship at Hampton; at the instance of the minister, however, they were not allowed to remain; but they, nevertheless, found an opportunity to "declare the truth among the people." The enunciation of views differing from those of the ruling church "greatly tormented," some of the strict and formal believers of this town, more particularly a persecuting magistrate, who caused Mary Tomkins to be beaten, and Alice Ambrose to be placed in the stocks. Feeling that they had accomplished the service required of them in New England, the two Friends left it, and proceeded on a visit to other parts of America.


It has been already noticed that in the summer of 1661, Elizabeth Hooton and Joane Brocksoppe, two ministers from England, were prisoners at Boston, and that on their liberation they were driven from the colony into the wilderness; through which, "amidst many dangers," they traveled until they arrived at Rhode Island. From this colony they went on a visit to the West Indies; but believing that it was required of them to revisit New England, and testify against the spirit of persecution, they soon after returned to Boston. The authorities, however, being bent on their expulsion, caused them to be arrested and conveyed back to the ship in which they came. In this they returned to Virginia, and soon after to their native land.

The following letter, written by Joane Brocksoppe to Margaret Fell, after her first banishment from Boston, is still preserved among the Swarthmore Original Manuscripts.

Barbados, this 9th of the Sixth Month, 1661.

Margaret Fell,

Dear in the unchangeable love and life of my heavenly Father, do I dearly salute you, who, in his everlasting love, has called me to bear his testimony for his Name's sake, in which love and life I embrace you, and have often been refreshed in the remembrance of you. Dear heart pray for me, that I may be kept in it for evermore; and as you have freedom and opportunity, remember my love to George Fox and R. W.; and my dear love is to all your children, of whom I am one of the least. "

Dear heart, I shall not make mention much of passages, because I expect other Friends have given large information; only this, by order of the Court at Boston, I and twenty-seven more Friends were set out of prison and driven out from constable to constable, till we were out of their jurisdiction. I am not yet clear [of the orders from God] of that country, but do expect to return there again in some short time. I came at land here on this island, about a week since, where I found dear Ann Cleaton with Josiah Cole, whose dear love is remembered to you. Several other Friends I found here also, by whom I was much refreshed, so fare you well. "

Your dear, friend

Joane Brocksoppe

P. S. Elizabeth Hooton my companion dearly salutes you.

Elizabeth Hooton had not been long; at home, before the duty of returning to New England, more particularly to Massachusetts, revived with increased weight and clearness. In making a third attempt to visit this persecuting colony, she deemed it advisable, in order to prevent banishment, to obtain if possible, a license from the king to settle in any of the colonies of Britain, and " to buy a house for herself to live in, Friends to meet in, and ground to bury their dead in." She was in very sufficient circumstances, and the king, on being informed of her repeated expulsions from Massachusetts, readily granted the license. Thus authorized, she set sail in a ship bound for Boston, accompanied by her daughter Elizabeth. The captain of the vessel was not ignorant that those who should land Friends in that colony were liable to a heavy fine; but since his passenger was authorized with a royal permission, he felt secure against such a penalty. On their arrival at Boston, the authorities attempted to enforce a fine of one hundred pounds upon the captain, and they were only deterred from seizing his goods for the amount by the license in question.

Desirous of speedily accomplishing the object for which she came, Elizabeth Hooton made efforts to obtain a dwelling for herself and for the entertainment of her friends. The rulers, who had previously expelled every English Quaker preacher that had ventured within their limits, resolved that Elizabeth Hooton should not settle among them; and, in contempt of the royal order, peremptorily refused to recognize her right to purchase land in the territory. After repeated but ineffectual solicitations to the authorities at Boston on this subject, she proceeded on her gospel mission to the northern parts of Massachusetts, in the course of which she was subjected to much cruel suffering. At Hampton she was imprisoned for testifying against the rapacity of a priest in seizing the goods of a Friend. At Dover, during very cold weather, she was placed in the stocks, and imprisoned for four days. Passing through Cambridge on her return, she felt called to exhort the inhabitants to repentance, an act of dedication for which she suffered still greater severities. At the instance of the magistracy, she was arrested, and for two days and two nights confined in a "noisome dungeon," without food, and without any thing to lie down or even to sit upon. It may be difficult to estimate the actual amount of physical hardship endured by one under such painful circumstances, but it will be readily imagined, that with the damp floor of a pestilential dungeon as the only resting-place of an aged female for forty-eight hours, in cold weather and without sustenance, her sufferings must have been exceedingly great. While in this distressed condition, a Friend, touched with sympathy for her, brought her a little milk; but for this act of Christian kindness, the authorities of Cambridge arbitrarily fined him five pounds, and committed him to prison. On the third day of her imprisonment, Elizabeth Hooton being brought before the Court, was sentenced to be whipped through three towns and expelled the colony. The sentence was executed with great rigor; at Cambridge she was tied to the whipping-post, and received ten lashes; at Watertown she was beaten with ten strokes from willow rods; and at Dedham ten lashes more " laid on with exceeding cruelty at a cart's tail."

Miserably torn and bruised by these severities, the aged sufferer was now placed on horseback and carried into the wilderness, where she was left towards night in a defenseless condition to the inclement of winter. According to all human probability, her life would be sacrificed under such aggravated circumstances, and this, it seems, her inhuman persecutors had in view; they hoped as they said, on leaving her in the forest wild, never to see her more. Their wicked design was, however, frustrated. She was remarkably cared for by her divine Master, and through "dismal deserts," and " deep waters," she was favored at length to reach the town of Rehoboth, from where she proceeded to her friends on Rhode Island, praising and magnifying Him who had so signally supported her under these grievous cruelties, and who had counted her worthy to suffer for his great Name.

Elizabeth Hooton, on her banishment from Cambridge, had not been permitted to take away her clothes and some other articles; after staying, therefore, on Rhode Island, until she was "refreshed," she returned, in company with her daughter, to claim her property. Having retrieved these things, and going back with her daughter and Sarah Coleman, an ancient woman, she was taken up by the constable of Charlestown, and carried prisoner to Cambridge; where being asked by one of the magistrates, whose name was Daniel Goggin why she came there, seeing they had warned her not to come there any more. She answered that she came not there of her own accord, but was forced there, after she had been to fetch her clothes, which they would not let her take with her when she was whipped and sent away; but that now returning back, she was taken up by force out of the highway, and carried there. Then the other old woman was asked whether she owned Elizabeth and her religion; to which she answered, she owned the Truth.

And of Elizabeth's daughter he demanded, 'Do you own your mother's religion?' To which she was silent; and yet they were sent to the house of correction, with order to be whipped. Next morning the executioner came before it was light, and asked them whether they would be whipped there; which made Elizabeth ask whether he was come to take away their blood in the dark; and whether they were ashamed that their deeds should be seen. But not heeding what she said, he took her down stairs, and whipped her with a tree-stringed whip. Then he brought down the ancient woman, and did the like to her. And taking Elizabeth's daughter he gave the like to her also, who never was there before, nor had said or done anything. They not only received the usual number of ten stripes at Cambridge, but the same number in each of two other towns lying in the direction of Rhode Island.

Notwithstanding the cruelties to which Elizabeth Hooton had thus been repeatedly exposed, for entering Massachusetts, when she believed it was required of her by her Divine Master, she did not hesitate again to visit that colony. Before the close of the year in which she had been twice so cruelly expelled from its limits, she proceeded a third time to Boston, to preach, as it is expressed, "repentance to the people;" but her message was received with scorn, and her warnings were unheeded. Here, as at Cambridge, she was committed to prison, and received the usual sentence of "vagabond Quakers." Pursuant to the cruel order, she suffered at the whipping-post in Boston, and at the cart's tail in the towns of Roxbury and Dedham, and was afterwards during the night, in her lacerated state, carried into the wilderness; she was however, enabled, though with great difficulty, to reach Rhode Island on the following day. Soon again she was impressed with the belief that it was required of her to return to Boston, and without "conferring with flesh and blood" this persecuted minister of Christ was faithful to the divine call. This act of dedication, however, was again followed with severe suffering. She was whipped from the prison in Boston, "to the end of the town," and afterwards in other towns and out of the jurisdiction; the threat being added, that "if ever she came there again, they would either put her to death, or brand her on the shoulder."

It does not appear how long Elizabeth Hooton remained in New England on the occasion of this visit; the grievous sufferings, however, to which she had been subjected, did not cause her to shrink from again visiting that land, when religious duty called her. At the time of Endicott's death, in the First Month, 1665, we find her again at Boston; and as she was imprisoned for attending the funeral of this notorious bigot, the probability is that she attempted to exhort the company against persecution, and to call their attention to the judgment of the Most High upon the deceased, as evinced in the miserable condition in which he died.

Twice afterwards Hooton was imprisoned at Boston, once at Braintree, and once at Salem; at the latter place her horse was also taken away, which obliged her, in order to get to Rhode Island, to travel seventy miles on foot. Through all her trials and afflictions in this country, she was greatly comforted with the presence of her Saviour, in the precious enjoyment of which, she felt willing to endure much more for his sake, and for that of her fellow-creatures. " Yes," she observed, " the love that I bear to the souls of men, makes me willing to undergo whatsoever can be inflicted on me."

As we shall not have occasion, in this division of the work, to refer again to Elizabeth Hooton, and as some brief sketch of her life will be expected, it may be suitably given in this place. She was born, it appears, at Nottingham, about the year 1600. Respecting her early life, but very few particulars can be collected. She was married to Samuel Hooton, of Skegby, in Nottinghamshire, who occupied a respectable position in society. In 1647, she formed one of a company of serious persons, who occasionally met together; and at this date George Fox mentions her as being " a very tender woman." For three years subsequently, little is known of her life; " the meetings and discourses," however, that she had with George Fox, appear to have been the means of convincing her of the spiritual views of Friends.

Sewel says that in 1650, "from a true experience of the Lord's work in man, she felt herself moved publicly to preach the way of salvation to others." George Fox had previously been the only one who publicly preached the Quaker message; she was, therefore, not only the first of her sex, but the second individual who appeared in this character in the religious Society. The preaching of women at this period was not considered singular. Several were known to be thus engaged among the various religious sects then in England. Elizabeth Hooton had not long followed her Lord in this high vocation, before her sincerity and faithfulness were tested by persecution. In 1651, she was imprisoned at Derby for reproving a priest; in the following year, while traveling in Yorkshire, she was apprehended at Rotherham for addressing the congregation at the close of public worship, and taken to York Castle, where, with her friend Mary Fisher, she was confined for sixteen months. In 1654, whilst on a gospel mission in Lincolnshire, she was imprisoned for five months at Beckingham, " for declaring the truth in the place of public worship." In the following year, she suffered three months imprisonment in the same county, " for exhorting the people to repentance." In the course of her early travels in the work of the ministry, she was also subjected to other kinds of suffering. The extreme cruelties to which Friends in New England had been exposed, excited deep sympathy among their fellow-members at home. In this feeling, Elizabeth Hooton largely participated; and, though conscious that suffering was almost sure to await her, she left her home in 1661, under an apprehension of a religious call to this persecuting province. This transatlantic visit, and another which quickly followed it, occupied her for several years.

As a gospel minister, she appears to have stood high in the estimation of her friends; and although far advanced in age, when George Fox visited the West India islands and America in 1671, she was among those who accompanied him in this capacity. They proceeded first to Barbados; and after laboring there in word and doctrine, they sailed for Jamaica, where they arrived in the Eleventh Month. About a week after they landed on this island, Elizabeth Hooton was suddenly taken ill, and on the following day she died, being then about seventy years of age, having been a minister twenty-one years. In allusion to her death, George Fox makes this brief remark : — " She departed in peace, like a lamb, bearing testimony to truth at her departure." Her call from time to eternity was sudden; but, like the wise virgins in the parable, she was prepared, when the midnight cry was heard, to meet the Bridegroom at his coming, with her lamp trimmed and her light burning; and is now, without doubt, participating in the full fruition of everlasting joy.*

*{This last sentence shows that 19th Century Quaker, Bowden, the author, thought that Christ only showed up at the physical death of a person; he did not realize the above virgins parable he quoted referred to the personal return of Christ, when he is revealed to destroy the residual man of sin within us, by the brightness of his coming; after those who look for his appearance, and those who purify themselves as he is pure, see him appear a second time, to bring salvation without sin.}

Another of those who, in 1661, were driven from Boston into the wilds of New England, was Katherine Chattam, of London. Soon after her arrival at Boston, she submitted, under a deep sense of religious duty, to the humiliating exposure of going among the people clothed in sackcloth, as a sign of the indignation of the Lord against the highly professing and cruel oppressors of that place. An imprisonment in the city jail followed this act of dedication; and at the time of her banishment, referred to in a previous chapter, she was also cruelly whipped at Dedham. These sufferings, however, did not deter her from again visiting Massachusetts; and in the following year she proceeded a second time to Boston, to plead with its intolerant rulers. On this occasion, she was again arrested and imprisoned "for a long time; her life being greatly endangered by the hardships to which she was subjected during the winter season. She was afterwards married to John Chamberlain, a Friend of Boston, who has already been mentioned as a sufferer for the truth, and thus she became a settled inhabitant of that persecuting city.

Some of the travels and sufferings of Ann Coleman in New England, during the year 1662, have already been noticed. Early in the following year, she was engaged in the work of her divine Master, on Rhode Island, together with Joseph Nicholson, John Liddal, and Jane Millard, all of whom had recently come from England. In the summer of 1663, they believed it required of them to go on a gospel mission to the northern and eastern parts of New England. Passing northward, they visited Salem, where, at the instance of Hathorn, a persecuting magistrate, they were arrested; and, together with Thomas Newhouse, another gospel messenger to those parts, sentenced to be whipped as vagabonds in three towns, and expelled from the jurisdiction. The sentence was executed with such severity, and the thongs of the whip so lacerated the body of Ann Coleman, that for some time it was feared she would not survive the barbarous treatment.

A short time previous to her leaving Rhode Island on this visit, Ann Coleman addressed the following letter to George Fox:—



Dear friend, the love of the Lord constrains me to write to you; Oh, the love of the Lord, who has kept his handmaid that put her trust in Him. Dear George, if I should write all the cruelty that has been acted to me, it would be much; five times I have been a prisoner; in their towns I have been whipped, beside stonings, and kickings, and stockings; but oh the power of the Lord which has supported me.

Dear George, good is the Lord, whose presence is with me; for this I can truly say, my life is over the enemies who rise up against the lambs of my Father's fold, who takes them in His arms. Oh what shall I say unto you of the love of my Father. And now I have seen the travail of my soul, and dwell in peace, and none can make me afraid; glory, glory unto the Lord says my soul. There has been much service for the Lord in this land, and it has not been in vain, and so my dear friend, let your prayers be unto the Lord for me. Dear Jane Millard is in New England; Friends are much refreshed in her, and we both are bound in spirit to the East of New England, where there is a people newly raised; much service for the Lord I have had among them; it is in my heart to visit them. Jane Millard's dear love is to you. Joseph Nicholson and John Liddal are at Rhode Island, where we have had some meetings which have much refreshed us. Elizabeth Hooton is here, and their dear love is to you. It is pretty well with Friends here. Dear friend, in that life and love that is unchangeable are you near me. I cannot but say again, pray for me. I should be much refreshed to hear from you, and so I rest your dear friend and sister in the truth.

Ann Coleman

Rhode Island, this 6th day of the Fifth Month, 1663

Subsequently these Friends proceeded to Dover. Here Joseph Nicholson was exposed to some cruel abuse, while his four companions were imprisoned for two weeks. They next journeyed to Hampton, where they were violently assaulted. While at a meeting with their friends, "the constables with a rude company," actually destroyed a part of the building in which they were meeting, and then took them to prison.

Thomas Newhouse, on leaving this part of Massachusetts, went southward. At Boston, he attended the public place of worship, and on attempting to address the assembly, he was immediately taken before the magistrates, who sentenced him to be whipped there, at Roxbury and at Dedham, and then to be carried into the wilderness. Not feeling at liberty to leave this colony, after the infliction of this severity, he proceeded to Medfield, which at that time was one of the most inland towns of the province. He entered this place on a First-day, and finding it difficult to obtain a meeting with the inhabitants, he endeavored to address them on their coming out of their meeting-house. In this attempt he received from some of the company "several sore blows;" he was also placed in the stocks at Medfield, and on the following day was whipped both there and at Dedham, and again driven into the wilds of the interior. While confined in the stocks, the interest excited caused the people to visit him, and he had, he observes, "good service for the Lord."

The four other Friends, soon after their visit to Massachusetts, left New England for Barbados, from which place Joseph Nicholson addressed the following letter to George Fox, " The young man," who he says, "came with him from England," was doubtless John Liddal, and the "little maid that came out of Kent," was Ann Coleman : —


Barbados, the 10th day of the last Month, 1663.

G. F.,

Dearly and well-beloved in the Lord, my love is to you. I should be glad to hear from you if it might be. I received a letter from you in New England, written to Christopher Holder and me, wherein I was refreshed. I wrote to you from Virginia about the last First Month, and since then I have been in New England about eight months. I passed through most parts of the English inhabitants, and also the Dutch. I sounded the mighty day of the Lord which is coming upon them, through most towns, and also was at many of their public worship houses. I was prisoner one night among the Dutch, at New Amsterdam. I have been prisoner several times at Boston, but it was not long, but [I was] whipped away. I have received eighty stripes at Boston, and some other of the towns; their cruelty was very great towards me, and others; but over all we were carried with courage and boldness; thanks be to God! We gave our backs to the striker, and walked after the cart with boldness, and were glad in our hearts in their greatest rage. A young man that came with me from England is here also; he has been with me for the most part; since which we have had several meetings where never any were before, and many people were made to confess to the truth; but the wicked rulers still keep the people much under by their cruelty. We had good service up and down among them while we stayed. I came to this island about twenty days ago from Rhode Island, and the young man with me; and Jane Millard, and a little maid that came out of Kent, came with us; they also suffered in New England, and did very good service indeed. The little maid has thoughts to go to Nevis; their dear love is to you, and the young man's also. The power of God has accompanied us all along; to His name be the praise for evermore, who has kept us faithful in all our trials. We hope you will not forget us, and so I rest your friend.

Joseph Nicholson

It has been stated that Mary Tomkins and Alice Ambrose on leaving New England in 1662, proceeded on a visit to Maryland and Virginia. Early in 1664, they both returned to Boston, when Mary Tomkins was taken so dangerously ill, that it was doubtful whether she would survive the attack. Her illness having become known to Friends of Salem, Edward Wharton and Wenlock Christison went to see her. While the sick stranger was lying in this critical state, two constables, who had watched the Salem Friends to her lodgings, entered the house, and in a most brutal manner took her and her companions before Endicott. The shock was so great to the invalid, that on her way to the house of the governor, she fell down in an apparently lifeless condition; but so hardened had the constables become in pursuing the reckless work of persecution, that instead of conveying Mary Tomkins to her lodgings, they waited until she had a little revived, and then hurried her before the Court. On this occasion Endicott showed that his malice towards Friends had in no degree abated; and he actually sentenced the almost dying Friend and her companions, to be whipped in three towns and banished. The sentence, however, was regarded as such an outrage on humanity, and so great a fear was entertained that the sick woman would not survive its infliction, that at the intercession of Colonel Temple, it was not enforced, except on Edward Wharton.

Another gospel laborer who visited New England about this period was Ann Richardson, formerly Ann Burden, who had been banished from Boston with Mary Dyer in 1657. In the Tenth Month, 1663, we find her addressing George Fox from "Kittery Eastward in New England." Subsequently she appears to have labored in Maine and the northern parts of Massachusetts for several months, and for a time, to have been joined in her religious service by Elizabeth Hooton and Jane Nicholson. Early in 1665, she was engaged on Rhode Island. John Tysoe, a tradesman of London, prepared soon after to leave his home on a gospel errand to Massachusetts. He arrived in Boston harbor early in 1667. Bellingham, who had succeeded Endicott as governor, hearing that a Quaker preacher had arrived from England, forthwith dispatched a constable to arrest him, and before John Tysoe had an opportunity of landing, he was seized and brought before the authorities. The governor, after venting his displeasure, questioned him as to his object in coming, and the intended duration of his visit. John Tysoe replied, that he "did not know how long he should stay, or where he should go;" but that he "stood in the will of the Lord." After some conversation, introduced by Bellingham, on the subject of freedom from sin, which was disputed by Mather, a priest of Boston, but sustained by John Tysoe, they committed him to prison, and also fined the captain of the ship in which he came £100, unless he removed his passenger from their jurisdiction on "the first opportunity." In the Fourth Month, 1667, while in Boston prison, he wrote a remonstrance to the governor on their persecuting conduct. The address was couched in language of much Christian boldness. "Oh you wretched men," he says, "God will plead with you! Was ever the flock of Christ Jesus found in your practices? Did ever the lambs kill wolves?" Alluding to their restrictive laws, he says, "and it seems in prison I must lie, till by your law I am forced to another land; but unto your cruel laws herein I dare not bow; for I may come again to this town, and honest men, who fear the Lord, may live here when your laws are vanished as smoke. In vain do you strive, you mortal men, the fruit of your doings will fall on your own heads, a weight too heavy for you to bear." How long John Tysoe's imprisonment lasted does not appear. At this period he was in the 42nd year of his age. He died in 1700, aged 74, having been a minister for more than forty years. He suffered many imprisonments for his religion, one of these lasted nearly three years, and he was one of the Friends who, under sentence of banishment, were placed on board the vessel at Gravesend, in 1665, for transportation to Jamaica.

Respecting the lives of several of the gospel ministers mentioned in this chapter, but little information has been obtained. MARY TOMKINS and ALICE AMBUOSE, before they crossed the Atlantic, appear to have been companions in the work of the ministry. It is recorded that in 1660 they were both at Lancaster for reproving a priest, JOHN LIDDAL, it is believed, was of Cumberland. While traveling in Lancashire, in 1665, he was much abused on account of his religious profession. JOANE BROCKSOPPE, was the wife of Thomas Brocksoppe, of Little Normanton, in Derbyshire; she died in 1680. Airs COLEMAN, soon after her visit to New England, went on a visit to Bermuda, where, writes George Fox, " she died in the truth." Of JANE MILLARD, KATHERINE CHATTAM, and JOHN BURSTOW, we have no particulars further than what have been related in the previous pages. PETER PEARSON was of Greysouthen, in Cumberland; his death is recorded to have taken place in 1713.

MARY MALLINS was of Bandon Bridge, in Ireland, and in 1656, she was imprisoned for preaching in the steeple house at that place. GEORGE PRESTON appears to have been a resident of York, where in 1659 he was much abused by the soldiery while attempting to enter a meeting of Friends, and in the following year he was committed to Ousebridge prison in that city for refusing to swear. His decease took place in 1666, and he was interred in Friends' burial-ground at York. JOSEPH NICHOLSON was of Cumberland. He professed with Friends as early as 1653, in which year George Fox, while on a visit to that county, was entertained at his house. From this period, to the time of his first visit to New England in 1659, no incidents of his religious course have been met with. -In 1660 he returned to England, but in 1663 he proceeded on a second gospel mission to America, which occupied him for several years. After his return from this visit, he removed to Settle, in Yorkshire, and as late as 1704 we find him a member of that meeting. No record of his death has been found; he must, however, at this period have been considerably advanced in years. JANE NICHOLSON, his wife, died at Settle, in 1712.

Having thus far noticed the travels and sufferings of Friends from Great Britain, we now proceed to relate some further hardships, which were endured by those who were residents in New England. Edward Wharton, after receiving the sentence of banishment at Boston, in 1661, returned quietly to his home at Salem, from where he addressed the rulers at Boston, informing them of his continuance in the colony, and remonstrating with them for their wickedness in attempting his exile. In the following year he traveled on a gospel mission with George Preston, Mary Tomkins, and Alice Ambrose, to Dover and the province of Maine, some particulars of which have been given in the early part of this chapter. From this locality Edward Wharton proceeded to Rhode Island. How long he remained within the limits of this colony does not appear, but on leaving it he went to the adjacent town of Taunton. No Friends resided in this place, and he took up his quarters at an inn. The puritan minister having heard of his arrival, and fearing that his hearers should accept the "Quaker heresy," showed no little anxiety for the departure of Edward Wharton, and a deacon was immediately sent to him to request it. "Friend," said Edward Wharton, "what have you to lay to my charge ? Whose ox have I stolen? or whose ass have I taken away? Or whom have I wronged? And as for my being in town, I purpose to stay here until I have accomplished my business for which I came." The message being unheeded, a constable was next sent, with the threat that unless it was attended to, he should be whipped out of the colony in conformity with their law. " As for your law," replied Edward Wharton, " you may execute it if you will, but you had best take heed what you do; for the king has lately sent over to the rulers in New England a charge that they inflict no more sufferings upon such as I am." When the constable came to Edward Wharton he was "engaged" with the people, but his answer having quieted the official, he was left to proceed without interruption.

Leaving Taunton, Edward Wharton felt a religious call to visit the settlers in the most northern parts of New England, whom some self-righteous professors regarded as "outcasts" from church and state. Having passed through several towns and "escaped the danger of being apprehended," he reached Saco in the district of Maine. The people received him kindly, and he proceeded on the coast as far north as Casco Bay. The "outcasts" of this region were not insensible to the touches of Divine love, and they heard the ministry of the exiled Friend "with gladness." There were "tender people" among them, who wept at parting when they understood that, at the risk of his life, Edward Wharton intended to return to Boston. Turning southward, he visited the settlers at Black Point, and on Cape Porpoise, and at Wells; from thence proceeding by way of the river Piscataqua, Greenland, and Hampton, to his home at Salem.

In 1663 or soon after, he was engaged in gospel service with some English Friends in the vicinity of Newbury. In the Fifth Month he again visited Piscataqua, and on hearing of the cruel treatment which some of his friends had received from the magistrates at Dover, he was "pressed in spirit " to go and remonstrate with them. His language to these authorities was that of warning; it was however not only unheeded but even resented. They immediately had him placed in the stocks, and issued a warrant to scourge him in the three towns of Dover, Hampton, and Newbury.

As usual, the sentence was executed with much severity; but under it, Edward Wharton was preserved in patience and resignation, and rejoiced " that he was counted worthy to suffer for righteousness sake." Soon after being thus forcibly brought to Salem, he was again subjected to the cruelties of the lash, for "testifying" against the barbarous usage which some Friends of that town had received. Early in 1664 he went to Rhode Island on secular business, and, while there, met with George Preston, and with Wenlock Christison his fellow-townsman, who had just returned from a gospel visit to Virginia. These Friends believed it required of them to proceed to Boston, a service in which Edward Wharton felt it right to join. On reaching this place, they held a meeting with their brethren, " wherein," says G. Bishop, "their hearts were made glad by the living power and presence of God,—and their souls rejoiced in His salvation." The intolerant Rawson, on hearing of their arrival and of the meeting referred to, proceeded there. At the time he entered, Edward Wharton was preaching, and many of the citizens, anxious to hear him, had collected about the house. Rawson was much disturbed on witnessing the assemblage, and was not sparing in his threats and epithets of anger to those who composed it. With a view to suppress these meetings, he immediately issued the following order:—


You are hereby required, in his Majesty's name, forthwith to repair to Edward Wharton's house, where a stranger, and a Quaker, with several others there, the said stranger publicly among many, endeavoring to seduce his Majesty's good subjects and people to his cursed opinions, by his preaching among them. You are to carry the said strangers before the honored Governor, to be proceeded with as the law directs, and return the names of such as are their hearers.

EDWARD RAWSON, Commissioner

Dated at Boston, the 4th of May, 1664

The " stranger" referred to in the warrant was Edward Wharton, who was soon apprehended and sentenced to the degrading severity of the lash, as a vagabond, through Boston and Lynn, and then to be taken to his home at Salem. The authorities of Boston were evidently very anxious to prevent Edward Wharton from visiting their city, and hoping to effect their object by a show of leniency, they told him that, "if he would promise the governor to come no more to the Quaker's meeting at Boston," they would forego the execution of the sentence and liberate him. But these persecuting zealots had mistaken the character of their prisoner. "Not for all the world," was his unflinching reply; "I have a back to lend to the striker, and I have felt your cruel whippings, and the Lord has made me able to bear them, and as I abide in his fear, I need not fear what you shall be allowed to do unto me." "But surely," he continued, "the Lord will visit you for the blood of the innocent, and your day is coming, as it is coming upon many, who but as yesterday were higher in power than ever you were, or are likely to be, but now are made the lowest of many, and truly my soul laments for you." In pursuance of the cruel order, on the day following he was whipped through Boston for nearly a mile, and passed on to Lynn. At this place, the constable, who knew that the prisoner was an inhabitant of Salem, and that the order was, therefore, an illegal one, refused to recognize it, and set him at liberty. At the conclusion of his punishment at Boston, his persecutors told him, that every time he entered their city, he should be subjected to a similar treatment. The threat, however, was unavailing; Edward Wharton with his consistent courage replied, "I think I shall be here again tomorrow;" an intimation which was realized. He knew that the rulers, in treating him as a vagabond, had acted illegally; and with Christian boldness he determined to assert his rights. His undaunted conduct proved more than a match for the intention of his persecutors; and when, on this occasion, he appeared openly before them, they hesitated to commit him. Observing this, Edward Wharton asked them, "How it could be that he should be a vagrant yesterday and not today." His Christian firmness had been blessed with success, and in peace he returned to his home at Salem. In the course of the following year he again visited Boston, where he met with several English Friends. An order for their arrest was quickly issued, and Edward Wharton, for the alleged offence of standing in the Court with his hat on, while Bellingham was at prayer, was sentenced to receive fifteen lashes, and to be imprisoned for one month. He was, by order of Governor Endicott, led to the market place, bound to the wheels of a great gun, and barbarously whipped with thirty stripes to such a degree, that it was testified that peas might lie in the holes made in his flesh by the knots of the whip. His body was much swollen and black from his waist upwards. In this sad condition they led him about the country, as if to expose him to the people as a spectacle, and terrify them with the notion of their unlimited power.

Among the sufferings of Friends of New England, the case of Eliakim and Lydia Wrardel, of Hampton, deserves particular notice. On one occasion, Eliakim Wardel had a horse worth fourteen pounds taken from him, for merely receiving the banished Wenlock Christison into his house. He was also frequently fined for absenting himself from the Puritan worship; and to satisfy these unjust demands, nearly the whole of his property was carried off. The case of Lydia, his wife, was a very peculiar one. Having become convinced of the principles of Friends, and consequently ceasing to attend the Puritan worship, she was several times requested to attend the congregation, and give a reason for the change of her opinion and practice. She at last went, but under circumstances which were extraordinary and humiliating. She had been deeply impressed with the lack of true religion among many of the high professors and rulers of New England, and with their unblushing violation of the plainest doctrines of Christ in the persecution of Friends; but more especially with the immodest and revolting manner in which females had been publicly stripped and scourged. Although stated to have been a "chaste and tender woman," and of "exemplary modesty," she believed it required of her to appear similarly unclothed in the congregation at Newbury,* as a token of the miserable state of their spiritual condition, and as a testimony against the frequent practice of publicly whipping females in the manner referred to. It was to be expected that the appearance of Lydia Wardel under such circumstances, would be resented by those for whom the sign was intended. She was immediately arrested, and hurried before the authorities of the neighboring town of Ipswich, where she was barbarously scourged; her husband was also severely whipped for countenancing this apprehended act of duty on the part of his wife. The transaction appears to have taken place in the year 1665. About the same time, Deborah Wilson, who is described as "a young woman of a very modest and retired life, and sober conversation," under an impression of religious duty, went in a similar state through the streets of Salem, as a sign against the "cruelty and immodesty" of the authorities, "in stripping and whipping" females. The punishment to which Lydia Wardel had been exposed was soon inflicted on Deborah Wilson. The sufferings of Friends of Hampton and Salem, for absenting themselves from the Puritan worship, were very severe about this time. John Ilussey and his wife, of Hampton, were grievously plundered of their property for fines on this account.

*{This nakedness display, to shockingly portray the spiritual nakedness of the population, had been ordered by the Lord in the past, as illustrated by the example of the Lord's great prophet Isaiah, who went naked among the people for a long time (Isa. 20:2).}

John Small, of Salem, had his best yoke of oxen taken from him during the ploughing season, when he most required them. Samuel Shattock was fined five pounds. John Kitching had his horse taken from him under circumstances which were peculiarly aggravating. Philip Verrin, for expressing his abhorrence of the martyrdom of his friends at Boston, underwent a cruel scourging. Several other Friends in the colony of Massachusetts, also received great severity from the hands of its persecuting zealots. Wenlock Christison, of Salem, before spoken of, was still a sufferer for the cause of truth about this period. On visiting Boston in the early part of 1664, he was apprehended, with some other Friends, and brought before the Court. Bellingham, who then presided, told him that he should be whipped under their law against vagabonds. After proving to the Court that he was not a vagabond, he said to them—"At this bar, time was, that sentence of death was passed upon me; yet, by the help of God, I continue unto this day, standing over the heads of you all, bearing a faithful witness for the truth of the living God. Some of your associates are gone, and the Lord has laid their glory in the dust, and yours is a fading flower." He was soon committed to prison, and on the following day was sentenced to be whipped with ten stripes in each of the towns of Boston, Roxbury, and Dedham, and then to be expelled from the colony. Conscious that they were violating the laws of the realm, he appealed against their decision; but his request was unheeded. "If you had been hung," said one of the magistrates, "it had been well." "You had not power," he rejoined, "to take away my life, but my blood is upon you, for you murdered me in your hearts." Pursuant to the order, he was whipped in the towns named, and with some others, driven into the wilderness of the interior; "but," writes a contemporary, "the Lord was with them, and the Angel of his presence saved them, who had none in Heaven beside God, nor in the earth in comparison of Him."

(From Sewel's History.)

When Edward Wharton was told once by Governor Endicott, that every soul ought to be subject to the higher power, he thereupon asked whether that which set up the golden image, and required all to fall down and worship it, was the higher power; he answered, ' Yes.' Then Edward queried whether the power that required Daniel to be cast into the lions' den, for praying to any besides the king for thirty days, was the higher power. The governor said, ' Yes.' The next question Edward asked, was, whether the three children that were cast into the fiery furnace for not falling down to, and worshipping the golden image, did well; and whether Daniel for praying to his God contrary to what the said higher power did command, did well. The governor replied, ' Yes,' also. But secretary Rawson seeing how the governor had talked himself into a noose, to help him out said, they did obey the higher power by suffering. To which Edward returned, ' So do we also.'

Another of these magistrates whose name was Brian Pembleton, was asked by George Walton and his wife Alice, who was reputed one of the most godly women thereabout, what the anointing was which the apostle John exhorted the saints unto in that day;but what a wicked man this Pembleton was, may appear by the abominable answer he gave: that John was either a fool or a mad-man, or else he did not know what he said. And blasphemous in a very high degree was what he said to the question, 'What was that light which shone about Paul?' For his answer was, 'It was the light of the devil for all he knew.'

Joshua Scotaway, also one of the magistrates, asked Mary Tomkins in the court at Boston, where she dwelled; to which she answered in the words of the apostle, 'In God; for in him we live and move, and have our being.' To which Scotaway did not stick to say,' So does every dog and cat.' No wonder truly, that men thus darkened in their minds, grew also quite hardened in persecuting, so as to glory in it; as did Thomas Daufort, a magistrate of Cambridge, who in the governor's house at Boston, laying his hand on Wenlock Chrislison's shoulder, said to him, ' Wenlock, I am a mortal man, and die I must, and that before long; and I must appear at the tribunal seat of Christ, and must give an account for my deeds done in the body and I believe it will be my greatest glory in that day, that I have given my vote for you to be soundly whipped at this time.' This made Wenlock say. 'O wicked man, if you have nothing to glory in that day, but in drawing the blood of the innocent, and in laying stripes upon the servants of the living God, your glory will be turned into shame, and misery will be your portion.'

But no exhortation, however extraordinary, seemed to take any hold on these persecutors. For once a girl of thirteen or fourteen years of age, called Hannah Wright, whose sister had been banished for religion, was stirred with such zeal, that coming from Long Island, some hundreds of miles from Boston, into that bloody town, she appeared in the court there, and warned the magistrates to spill no more innocent blood. This saying so struck them at first, that they all sat silent; till Rawson the secretary said,' What, shall we be baffled by such a one as this? Come, let us drink a dram.' [a drink of liquor] .

Here we see the religion of these men, who were once so precise that they would not join with the worship of the church of England. But it seems not improbable that they fell away to this hardness of heart, because being convinced in their understandings of some superstitious ceremonies that were yet remaining in the church of England, they were not faithful to testify against those things, and to set their light on the candlestick; but that to shun the cross and avoid sufferings, they chose to go into a strange country. And yet they were so presumptuous as to say they were the purest church on earth, and their magistrates and preachers were very godly men, and it may be some of their cruel executioners seeing how their magistrates, (as has been said of Thomas Daufort,) did glory in cruelty, have been foolish enough to persuade themselves that their excessive whipping was some kind of meritorious work. But whatever these English people thought, they were worse than others, for in some places of America lived also Swedes, who in regard of their worship were no less despised by the English, than of old the Samaritans by the Jews; and yet these Swedes entertained the Quakers when they came amongst them, far better than the English did; and thus they made it appear that they surpassed them in life, if not in profession. But the precise New England-men seemed to place great virtue in a sturdy severity, of which the following is an instance.

A Dutchman, an Ostender, whose name was John Lawrence, was committed for adultery, and brought before the court at Boston, where the governor John Endicott, asked him whether he was guilty or not guilty; to which the prisoner, who it seems spoke but bad English, said ' No guilt.' On which Endicott said in a scoffing manner,' No gelt, there's no money;' for gheld signifies money in Dutch. Thus the Dutchman's words and meaning were scoffingly perverted; and though there was no clear evidence against him, yet he was condemned to be hung; but he denying the fact, the execution was deferred. Meanwhile the priests, John Wilson and James Mayo, came to him in prison to see what they could get out of him; and Mayo told him his time was near at an end, and that he must shortly die; and therefore he would have him now to confess. To which the prisoner returned, ' What! will you have me to confess that which I never did ?' But Mayo did not desist, but said, 'Confess, my son, and give glory to God.' Yet the prisoner continued in denying the charge, and affirmed he was clear. But the priest said, "You cannot be clear; for our Lord and Savior said: 'Whoever looks upon a fair woman, and lusts after her, he has committed adultery with her already in his heart."'* Truly a very perverse use of the Scripture for compassing a false end. But the Dutchman seeing how they came to betray him, was cautious, and at length, after a long and tedious imprisonment, found means to break prison, and thus escaped from those who grew accustomed to be merciless; so that sometimes others as well as Quakers, felt the weight of their severity.

*{The priest, Mayo, is obviously unregenerated; so he knows he, himself, if guilty of lust in his heart. His question shows malicious intent: to condemn another to be executed, for the same offence that he knows himself to be guilty.}

As it happened about the time that William Leddra was put to death, one Elizabeth Nicholson and her two sons, Christopher and Joseph, were charged with the death of her husband and their father Edmund Nicholson, who was found dead in the sea; and information being given that these people did sometimes show love to those they called cursed Quakers, they were all three fetched from their habitation at Salem and carried to Boston, and were tried for their lives merely on suspicion; but nothing of murder was proved against them; yet the mother was fined a great sum, and her two sons were sentenced to stand under the gallows certain hours, with ropes about their necks, and to be whipped in the market place, which was performed accordingly. And because these young men were not daunted, priest Wilson standing by, said, 'Ah, cursed generation.' And at Salem they were whipped also, which was done so mercilessly that one of the young men sunk down, or died away under the torture, though he was raised up and came to life again. By this we may see how these New England persecutors were become inured to excessive severity.

Cain, who was of the wicked one, murdered his brother.
And why did he murder he him?
Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.
Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you.

1 John 3:11-12

This cruelty of the English also stirred up the Dutch to persecution; for without inquiring what kind of people the Quakers were, they seemed ready to conclude them to be men of pernicious opinions, since those of their own nation, who pretended to more purity than other Protestants, so severely persecuted them.

It happened that one Robert Hodshone, being in the Dutch plantation at Hamstead, had a meeting with some of his friends that were English, and lived there; but as be was walking in an orchard, an officer came and took hold of him, and brought him before one Gildersleave, an Englishman, and a magistrate there, who committed him to prison, and rode to the Dutch governor to acquaint him therewith. Coming back with a guard of soldiers, the official searched the prisoner and took away his knife, papers, and Bible, and pinioned him, and kept him so all night, and the next day. And making inquiry about those that entertained him, he took into custody two women on that occasion, one of whom had two small children, one yet sucking at her breast. Then they got a cart and carried the women away in it, and Robert was tied to the rear part of the cart, pinioned, and so drawn through the woods in the night season, whereby he was much torn and abused. Arriving at New Amsterdam, (now New York,) he was loosed, and led by the rope, with which he had been fastened to the cart, to the dungeon, being a filthy place, full of vermin; and the two women were carried to another place. Some time after he was examined, there being one captain Willet of Plymouth, who had much incensed the governor against him, who before had been moderate. The conclusion was, that a sentence was read in Dutch, to Robert, to this effect: that he was to work two years at the wheelbarrow with a negro, or pay, or cause to be paid, six hundred guilders. To this he attempted to make his defense in a sober way, but was not allowed to speak, and sent to the dungeon again; where no English were allowed to come to him. After some days he was taken out, and pinioned, and being set with his face towards the court chamber, his hat was taken off, and-another sentence read to him in Dutch, which he did not understand; which displeased many of that nation, signified by the shaking of their heads. Then he was cast again into the dungeon, where he was kept some days.

At length, early in the morning, he was haled out, and chained to a wheelbarrow, and commanded to work; to which be answered, he was never brought up, nor used to such a work. Upon which they made a negro to take a pitched rope, nearly four inches in circumference, and to beat him; who did so, till Robert fell down. Then they took him up again, and caused the negro to beat him with the rope until he fell down the second time, and it was believed that he received about one hundred blows. Then he was kept all that day in the heat of the sun, chained to the wheelbarrow; and his body being much bruised and swelled with the blows, and he kept without food, grew very faint, and sat upon the ground, with his mind retired to the Lord, and resigned to his will, whereby he felt himself supported. At night he was locked up again in the dungeon, and the next morning he was chained again to the wheelbarrow, and a sentinel set over him, that none might come so much as to speak with him.

On the third day he was had forth, and chained in like manner; and no wonder that he still refused to work, for besides the unreasonableness of requiring such a servile work of him who had committed no evil, he was not in a condition to perform it, being made altogether unable by the cruel blows given him. In this weak state he was brought before the governor, who demanded him to work, otherwise he said, he should be whipped every day. Robert asked him what law he had broken? And called for his accuser, that he might know his transgression. But instead of an answer he was chained to the wheelbarrow again, and threatened, that if be spoke to anyone, he would be punished worse. Yet he did not cease to speak to some that came to him, so as he saw fit, and thought convenient. Then seeing they could not keep him silent, they put him into the dungeon again, and kept him close there several days, and two nights; one day and a half of it, without bread or water.

After this, he was brought very early in the morning, into a private room, and stripped to the waist, and hung up by his hands, and a great log of wood tied to his feet, so that he could not turn his body; and then a strong negro was set to whip him with rods, who laid many stripes upon him, which cut his flesh very much. Then he was let down again, and put into the dungeon as before, and none allowed to come to him.

Two days after he was brought out again, and hung up as before, and many more stripes were laid upon him by another negro. He almost fainting, and not knowing but his life might be taken away, asked that some English might be allowed to come to him; which was granted, and an English woman came and washed his stripes, finding him brought so low that she thought he would not live till the next morning. As she told this to her husband, it made such an impression upon him, that he went to the official and offered him a fat ox, to allow Robert to be at his house until he was well again. But the official would not permit this, unless the whole fine was paid. Though there were some that would willingly have paid the fine for him, yet he could not consent to it; but within three days after he had thus been whipped, he was whole, and as strong as before, and was free to labor, that he might not be burdensome to any.

Some others of those called Quakers, (who came there from the plantations in New England to enjoy liberty of conscience, and whose names and sufferings I pass by for brevity's sake), met also with hard measure from the governor, by the instigation of the before said Captain Willet. Robert now though guiltless, being kept like a slave to hard work, it raised compassion in many, and the governor's sister, who was much affected with his sufferings, became instrumental in obtaining his liberty; for she so plied her brother, that he at length set him free without paying one penny, or anybody for him; by which the governor showed, that though he had been too easily wrought upon to commit evil, yet he was not come near to that height of malice as the New England persecutors; who increased in their hard-heartedness, and became inured to cruelty, insomuch that if any one among them would not give his vote for persecution, he was counted unworthy to be a magistrate; as appears by a letter of one James Cudworth, written some time before to one of his friends in Old England, wherein I meet with these words :

As for the state and condition of things among us, it is sad. The antichristian persecuting spirit is very active, and that in the powers of this world. He that will not whip and lash, persecute, and punish men that differ in matters of religion, must not sit on the bench, nor sustain any office in the commonwealth. Last election Mr. Hatherly and myself left the bench, and I was discharged of my captainship, because I had entertained some of the Quakers at my house, that thereby I might be the better acquainted with their principles. I thought it better to do so, than with the blind world to censure, condemn, rail at, and revile them, when they neither saw their persons, nor knew any thing of their principles. But the Quakers and myself cannot close in several things; and so I signified to the court I was no Quaker, but must give my testimony against sundry things that they held, as I had occasion and opportunity. But withal, I told them, just as I was no Quaker, so I would not be a persecutor.'

James Cudworth

{The fires of persecution gradually banked to coals, only to have the wind of hatred fan to flame again. About twenty Quakers were arrested in a meeting, and sentenced to be publicly whipped. The general population's conscience was so troubled at this reminder of their past brutal witnessing, that 150 non-Quakers deliberately attended the next Quaker meeting - forcing the authorities to abandon their cruel whippings, or else whip the entire population. Thus, the blood of the lambs of Christ finally extinguished the fires of barbarous Puritan persecutions.

Certainly, we are all repulsed at the atrocities chronicled in these pages. We all shrink in horror at the extent these men's hatreds swept them into barbaric depravity. But, let us not forget: murder is in all our hearts, for as John says, Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.1 John 3:15; and so let us go to the Great Physician to have anger (which is murder in our heart), and lust, (which is adultery in our hearts), removed by the power of his grace - as we silently wait, listen, watch, hear, see, and obey the Light and Word within you- which leads to our purity of heart, union with Christ and God, and salvation with entrance into his glorious Kingdom - then and forever to be in the presence of God, beholding his glory and power in the joy of the Lord.

(Back to Bowden:)

It was now about ten years since Friends first landed in Massachusetts, and during nearly the whole of that period they had been exposed to a cruel and relentless persecution. The authors and abettors were urged on in their ungodly career by feelings of extreme sectarian bigotry, by the powerful influence of which sect after sect had been suppressed. Not only the Episcopalians, but Roger Williams and his party, as well as the Antinomians and the Baptists, had severally suffered themselves to be driven as exiles from the country. The anti-christian legislation of the ruling sect had triumphed over all opposition, and it was not until it joined issue with Quakerism, that it had to contend with principles more potent than its own. On the Society of Friends devolved the noble work of contending successfully against the exclusive principle of sectarian legislation in New England, and of ecclesiastical tyranny in North America. The struggle truly was a severe one—more severe doubtless than we in this day can rightly estimate. We may point to the memorial which is furnished by the scenes exhibited on Boston Common, and talk of the sufferings of William Brend and his companions; — of the revolting barbarities practiced towards unoffending females;—of whippings, of banishments, and of ruinous distraints; but the aggregate sufferings of Friends in New England, in their faithful and unflinching support of the truth, is known only to Him who sees and knows all things. With ancient Israel, they could feelingly say, "If it had not been the Lord, who was on our side, when men rose up against us, then had they swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us: then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul.—Blessed be the Lord, who has not given us a prey to their teeth."

For this faithful stand no praise is due to man; it belongs alone to Him, whose work we reverently believe it was; and who, in the wise economy of his divine purposes, qualifies and strengthens his devoted servants for every emergency and every trial. Those of the early Quakers who were foremost in this fearful conflict were, under the divine anointing, given clearly to see, that on the passing of the law for exiling on pain of death, nothing short of the sacrifice of some of their lives would be called for, to break down the barrier which the self-righteous professors of New England, in their determination to enforce their own sectarian views on the community, had raised against the progress of true religion. William Robinson, before ever he entered Massachusetts, was impressed with this belief. "The word of the Lord," he says, "came expressly unto me and commanded me to pass to the town of Boston my life to lay down." "To which heavenly voice," he continues, "I presently yielded obedience, not questioning the Lord, who filled me with living strength and power from his heavenly presence, which at that time did mightily overshadow me; and my life said Amen to what the Lord required of me."

The feeling under which William Robinson went to Boston, also pervaded the minds of his fellow-martyrs. When the reprieve came for Mary Dyer, just in time to save her life, she told the authorities, that "unless they would annul their wicked law, she was there willing to suffer as her brethren had.” They were strengthened with might in the inner man, thus willingly to surrender their lives, and He who called them to the sacrifice also upheld their brethren under other suffering. Thus, Wenlock Christison and Edward Wharton, were enabled to display a degree of christian courage and firmness that was altogether extraordinary. Conscious of the truthfulness and righteousness of their cause, and upheld by the Spirit of their God, they wearied out injustice and cruelty. The religious constancy of Friends confounded and subdued the priests and rulers of Massachusetts, and not only led to the spread of those spiritual views which distinguished them from others of the christian name, but also materially assisted in the emancipation of North America from the miseries of priestly tyranny and oppression. The relation of acts of intolerance and oppression exercised by one section of the christian name towards another, must ever be felt a humiliating task to the right-minded historian and could he consistently do so, he would gladly consign to merited oblivion, transactions so much at variance with true religion. But, when, in pursuance of his work, he has to detail instances of cruelty and injustice by a people so enlightened, and in many respects too, a people so much in advance of most of their day, as were the Puritans of New England, the task is rendered additionally painful. In recording the persecution of Friends in New England, we wish to impress on the mind of the reader, a circumstance which, in perusing the foregoing pages, has probably attracted his notice; that to the rulers and ecclesiastics, and not to the people at large, belongs the disgrace of these anti-christian proceedings. In support of this view it may be further remarked, that throughout the sufferings of Friends in New England, there is scarcely a single instance on record, in which the public evinced a spirit of persecution. Had this disposition been manifested by the people, and had the truths which Friends proclaimed been rejected by them with indignation and contempt, the ministers of Massachusetts would have nothing to fear from the presence of Quakers. But it was because in New England, as in Old England, many who were piously disposed, were willing to hearken to their gospel declarations, and because they labored to turn the attention of the people from outward teachers, and a dependence upon man in the things of God, to Christ their inward teacher, and to the efficacy of his free grace, that the priests and ministers of that day resorted to persecution to maintain their unholy dominion among men.

*{The priests also feared the loss of their tithe paying hearers, who listened to them speak from the divination of their own brains and from words stolen from the saints. It was well known that hundreds of so-called churches in England had been emptied. (Follow the money).}

The ultimate prevalence of religious toleration in the western world, through the constancy and faithfulness of Friends, is a subject calculated to furnish much profitable reflection. Had they given way to fear, and shrunk from suffering, it is impossible to say to what extent religious freedom might have been checked in its emancipation from the trammels of ecclesiastical rule. The doctrines and practice of the early Quakers were, however, such only as the New Testament recognizes; and these, it may be fearlessly asserted, when made the rule of our conduct, will ever lead us to condemn all interference with the inalienable rights of conscience.

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