Page images
PDF
EPUB

for the present, and such account of another, that he did highly expostulate with me afterwards, because I had otherwise disposed of him.”

Shortly after this an ordinance of that tyranni- ' cal parliament was passed for sequestrating the property of the bishops and ciergy, on which the commissioners for Norwich immediatley set about their work, and they executed it with all the ri, gour of inquisitors. But let the bishop again give us his own account

The sequestrators,” says he, “sent certain men appointed by them, (whereof one had been burned in the hand) to appraise all the goods that were in my house; which they accordingly executed with all diligent severity, not leaving so much as a dozen trenchers, or my children's pictures out of their curious inventory: yea, they would have appraised our very wearing apparel, had not some of them declared their opinion to the contrary. These goods, both library and household stuff of all kinds, were appointed to be exposed to public sale; but in the mean time, Mrs. Goodwin, a religious good gentlewoman, whom yet we had never known or seen, being moved with compassion, very kindly offered to lay down to the sequestrators the whole sum at which the goods were valued : and was pleased to leave them in our hands, for our use, till we might be able to re-purchase them. As for the books, several stationers looked on them, but were not forward to buy: at last Mr. Cooke, a worthy

divine of this diocese, gave bond to the sequestrators, to pay them the whole sum whereat they were set; which was afterwards satisfied out of that poor pittance, which was allowed me for my maintenance.”

If it be asked, what offence could have incur. red such cruel treatment ? the answer is, that he was a bishop, and had been presumptuous enough to publish “An humble Remonstrance to the High Court of Parliament,” in which he defended Epis. copacy and the Church of England, with so much strength of argument, that five Presbyterians* clubbed their wits together to frame an answer, which the bishop completely refuted. · The account of the reformation of Norwich cathedral by the fanatics, is a curious picture of the men, and of the spirit by which they were actuated.

“ It is no other than tragical,” says the good bishop, s to relate the carnage of that furious sacrilege, whereof our eyes and ears were the sad witnesses, under the authority and presence

u,

* These were, Stephen Marshall, Edmund Calamy, Thomas Young, Matthew Newcomen, and William Spur. stow.––Their performance bore the barbarous title of “Smectymnuus, or, an Answer to an Humble Remonstrance, &c.” This strange word is made up of the initial letters of the names of the sapient authors, and the bishop in his reply makes himself merry with his “ Plural Adversary,"

of alderman Lindsey, Toftes, the sheriff, and Greenwood, the sequestrator ; Lord, what work was here, what clattering of glasses, what haling down of walls, what tearing up of monuments, what pulling down of seats, what wresting out of iron and brass from the windows and

graves ! What defacing of arms, what demolishing of curious stone work, that had not any representation in the world, but only the cost of the founder, and skill of the mason, what tooting and piping upon the destroyed organ-pipes, and what a hideous triumph on the market day before all the country, wben, in a kind of sacrilegious and profane procession, all the organ pipes, vestments, both copes and surplices, together with the leaden cross, which had been newly sawn down from over the green-yard pulpit, and the service-books, and singing books that could be had were carried to the fire in the market-place; a lewd wretch walking before the train in his cope trailing in the dirt, with a service book in his hand, imitating in an impious scoru the tune, and usurping the words of the Litany used formerly in the church; near the public cross, all these monuments of idolatry must be sacrificed to the fire, not without much ostentation of a zealous joy, in discharging ordnance to the cost of some who professed how much they had longed to see that day. Neither was it any news upon this guild day, to have the cathedral, now open on all sides, to be filled with

musqueteers

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

musqueteers waiting for the major's return, drinking and smoaking tobacco, as freely as if it were turned into an alehouse."*

The good bishop concludes his narrative with this account of the worse than savage treatment, which he and his family experienced from these pretended patriots and reformers.

“Still,” says he, “I yet remained in my palace, though with but a poor retinue and means; but the house was held too good for me; many messages were sent by Mr. Corbet, (the principal of the commissioners for sequestrations] to remove me thence; the first pretence was, that the committee, who now was at charge for an house to sit in, might make their daily session there, being

* St. Paul's cathedral was served in the same manner, and converted into barracks for men and horses.

These outrages, bowever, were not peculiar to that rebellious period. The republican zealots only innitated what the pinus John Knox, and his disciples had performed the preceding century, in Scotland, where the venerable remains of ancient piety and munificence still exist, to fill every sober mind with indignation and pity. There is only one cathedral left entire in that kingdom, and this is at Glasgow, which was saved in a remarkable manner,

“ When the fanatics, in the year 1567, came to pull down this cathedral, a gardener, who stood by, said, “My friends cannot you make it a house for serving God in your own way, for it would cost you a great deal of money to build such another? The fanatics desisted, and it is the only cathedral in Scotland that remains entire and fit for service.” Lord Buchan's Lives of Fletcher and Thomson.

a place

a place both more public, roomy, and chargeless. The committee, after many consultations, resolved it convenient to remove thither, though many overtures, and offers were made to the contrary: Mr. Corbet was impatient of my stay there, and procures and sends peremptory messages for my present dislodging: we desired to have some time allowed for providing some other mansion, if we must needs be cast out of this, which my wife was so wiiling to hold, that she offered (if the eharge of the present committee house were the thing stood upon) she would be intent to defray the sum of the rent of that house, out of what the coinmittce allowed her for a maintenance : but this was not granted : out we must, and that in three weeks warning, by Midsummer Day then approaching, so as we might have lain in the street for ought I know, had not the providence

of God so ordered it, that a neighbour in the close, one Mr. Gostlin, a widower, was content to quit his house for us.”

Such were the tender mercies of these bigots, compared with whom, the Huns and the Vandals were a civilized and religious race.

The committee for sequestrating the bishop's property in the country, had allowed him four hundred pounds a year out of his estates, for the support of himself and his family, but before the first quarter became due, the committee in London prohibited its payment. Thus reduced to poverty, this meek and exem3

plary

A

1

« PreviousContinue »