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Edward Whitton


[hand] Upon ye 24th day off ye 4th moth att night Came John Hinson preist off ye parish of Gulvell about midnight or after unto ye backe doore off Edward Wÿttons house In ye parish aforesd: & hee Crÿed out sayinge Wÿtton open ye doore quickly or elsce upon my soule I will breake ye doore & fire ye house: wch words hee uttered severall times wch did awake Ed: Wÿtton out of his sleepe: & not knoweinge what voice Itt was did Judge yt house was besett with thieves: whereupon hee fledd unto ye Lorde for helpe whoe Immediately strengthned his spiritt though hee was alone haveinge then neither man woman nor childe In ye house with him: soe beinge strengthned in his spiritt & all feare taken ƒfrom him hee hastned to putt on his Cloaths ; & as hee was Comeinge downe staÿres hee asked whoe was there : & hee saÿde hee was John Hinson : & withall Crÿed out saÿinge Mathew make good ye gate or fore doore ƒfor in his Comeinge alonge to Ed: Wÿtton his house hee Caled with Mathew Rowe whoe was his Clarke & raised him out of his bed with this Incouragement yt Iff hee woulde goe alonge with him Itt should bee worth him forty pounds: & then Ed: Wÿtton desired ye preist to goe to ye foredoore but hee replÿed hee woulde not: but threatned Iff hee did not open ye back doore presently871 hee would breake it open & fire ye house : whereupon Ed: Wÿtton chose rather to open ye doore then to try what hee woulde doe: as knoweinge him to be a dangerous & mischeivous man

The doore beinge opend & ye preist Come in hee saÿde unto Ed: Wÿtton you are all rogues : & Ed: Wÿttons Doublett beinge unbuttoned ye preist fastned his hande in ye foreparte of his dublett & saÿde hee had a payre off pistolls In his pockett: whereupon Ed: Wÿtton looked boldely on him & saÿed hee feared nott him nor his pistolls wch words soe daunted ye preist as hee begann In deceite to speake more freindely unto Ed: Wÿtton & desired ƒfor a Cuppe off his beere wch Ed: Wÿtton brought unto him: & after a while hee & his Clarke went away like a wolfe without his prey:


Now Itt was to be suspected yt this wicked preist had Intended to have murderd Edwarde Wÿtton & then to have robbed his house hee beinge a moneyed man & then to have fired his house thereby to have hid ye murder: but ye Lorde tooke his Courage ƒfrom him & soe Imboldened Ed: Wÿtton yt ye preists & people & some magistrates haveing a law to act by made such spoile & did such mischeife as is before in parte related :


John Wallis


John Wallis of ye parish Caled St Just was prosecuted ƒfor non paÿment of Tyth att ye suite off John Buller Caled Esq : & was cast Into prison ye 17th day of ye 9th mo 1673

[hand] Hee ƒfinished his testimony by death in ye 11th moth 1677 :


Nicholas Jose


Nicholas Jose off ye parish of Sunnen neere ye lands ende off this County ƒfor ye tyth of about an acre & halfe off barley & a few sheepe & lambes was prosecuted by Hugh Jones In ye hundred Courte : hee beinge ƒfarmer or Impropriator43 off ye Tyth & havinge gott execution agst Nich : Jose out off ye sayde hundred Courte hee sent one George Treweege ye hundred bayliffe whoe not gettinge his purpose upon Nicholas Hugh Jones sent his owne servants whoe tooke goods from Nicholas worth 1li. 4s 6d att one time & att another time tooke goods to ye value off 14li. 8s & afterwards Hugh Jones sent his Clarke & his hinde servant & a baÿliffe whoe forct Into ye shoppe of Nicholas & tooke & Carrÿed away goods worth 10li. & upwards : All wch goods ƒfor ye tyth of ye one acre & halfe : of Corne & ye few sheepe & lambe as aforsd : hee got execution but In 3li. 10s treble value & yett tooke & Carrÿed away att severall times. In this yeere & ye yeere followeinge goods to ye value of 13li.

[hand] Besÿdes ye saÿde Hugh Jones sent his Clarke Jo: Thomas most yeeres In ye time off harvest & forceably tooke away ƒfrom Nicholas what Corne In ye sheafe as pleased ym


Nicholas Jose


Nicholas Jose off Sunninge nigh ye lands ende off this County was sent ƒfor by a warrant ƒfrom Wil̄l̄ Kagwÿn Caled a Justice : & ƒfor refuseinge to take ye oath off Allegians was sent to Launceston goale: & was afterwards præmunired1072 & remaines a prisoner to ye yeere 1685 :


Nicholas Jose


Upon ye 30th of ye 2nd moth 1682 Came Hugh Jones Caled a Justice & John weekes ye preist of Sunnen & a great rabble off ye steeplehouse worshipers unto ye house where ƒfreinds were peaceably waitinge upon ye Lorde : whoe broake uppe ƒfreinds meetinge & required ym to appeare att his house ye next morneinge : who therupon Committed Nicholas Jose & sent him to goale : & ƒfined all ye rest 5s a peice : a copy of whose mittimus is as followeth :

“Cornewall : to ye keeper of his majestÿes goale att ye Castle of Launceston or to his deputy or deputÿes these :

“Whereas nich : Jose of ye parish of Sennen was this day brought before mee for beinge founde amongst divers others in an unlawfull assembly in a private house in ye sayde parish & there seene to my viewe : & beinge thereupon required to find suretÿes for ye good behaviour hee beinge to my knowledge formerly & I think still remaines a teacher & leader off diverse dissenters ƒfrom ye Church : & one whoe denÿes ye takeinge of an oath in any Case whatsoever to be lawfull & refuseinge to give suretÿes for his good behaviour: These are therfore in his majestÿes name to Charge & Commande you & every of you to receive ye sayde Nicholas heerewith sent Into yr Custodÿ & him safely to keepe & dataine In yr sayde goale untill hee shall be thence delivered by due Course & order of his majestyes laws & thereof faile you not att yr utmost perills

“given under my hande & seale att penrose this 1st day of May Anno Regn Dom̃ nostri Carolÿ Secund: fiđ defens : Regis Angliæ &c


“Tricessimo quarto annoq Dom̃ : 1682”1111


Isaac Chapple and others


Alsoe sent ƒfrom ye lands ende of Cornewall by Hugh Jones Caled a Justice ye ƒfreinds whose names are in ye Margint [margin] Isaac Chappell Jo : Tonckyn : Rich : Richards Jo : Mathew Jone Olivÿ Wilmott Richards ƒfor beinge att a meetinge to waite upon God ye 13th of ye 11th moth 1683 off wch meetinge ye preist of ye parish was ye Informer : A Copy of wch mittimus Is as followeth :

“To ye keeper of his majestÿes goale att ye Castle of Launceston &c these

“Whereas these persons whose names are underwritten absenters ƒfrom ye Church these severall yeeres last past & beinge severall times ƒfounde & proved to be in unlawfull assemblÿes within ye parish of Sunnen : ƒfor wch offences I have severall times ƒfined ym accordinge to ye act of parlament in yt Case provided : but litle or none off ye ƒfines Could off late be levÿed upon ym as returne hath beene made mee by oath off ye officers : wherefore ye persons undernamed being founde and taken in an unlawfull assembly in ye parish of Sunnen on ye 13th Instant : in a wilfull Contempt off his majestÿes laws : & noe ƒfines are possibely to be levÿed one ym as aforesd : they alsoe refuseinge to give suretyes ƒfor there good behaviour or personall appearans att ye next assises or sessions for this County : or Conforme to any thinge ye law requires of ym ƒfor Conformity : or leaveinge there unlawfull assemblÿes or meetinges :

“These are therefore in his majestÿes name to will & require you & every & either off you to take & receive ye saÿde persons heerewith sent on sight heerof Into yr Custody & them there to safely to keepe untill they be thence delivered by due course of law & heerof faile not att yr perills

“given under my hande & seale att penrose ye 21st day of January anno Dom : 1683


These names are as in ye margent

And att ye Assises helde att Launceston ye 13th off ye 1st moth 168¾ before Judge Jeffrÿes the suffering case off the ƒfreinds of this County beinge presented unto him : hee saÿde such as were already præmunired hee Coulde not releive but ye rest he woulde redresse what hee Coulde by law & accordingely ye abovesd ƒfreindes beinge Caled in Courte & noe body beinge there to prosecute agst ym hee Caused ym to be discharged by proclamation: and soe In ye Calendar they were returned as discharged to ye great greife & vexation off Justice Jones : but upon ye particular Instigation off some Jo : ƒflemminge was Indicted & Dorothy Rogers & Mary Clemens were putt Into ye same Indictment : & præmunired as may be farther scene :


John Flemming and others


Att ye assises helde att launceston ye 13th off ye 1st moth 168¾ was ye aforesd Jo : ƒflemminge brought foorth before ye Cheife Justice George Jeffrÿes : & beinge there tendred ye oaths off Allegians & Supremacy & ƒfor refuseinge to take ym was Indicted togeather with two ƒfeme Coverts1271 Dorothy Rogers & Mary Clemens whoe were Committed ye Assises before by Job Charleton till they did take ye aforesd oathes : & now were Indicted with Jo : ƒflemminge : & for refuseinge to take ye oaths aforesd were all three præmunired & soe returned to ye goale there to remaine duringe life: although by ye Statute noe ƒfeme Coverts coulde be præmunired :

A paper off ƒfreinds sufferinges was presented In ye beginninge off ye Assises unto ye Cheife Justice & Judge Withers a copy whereof is as followeth :

“Whereas Itt hath beene evidently knowne & manifest yt notwithstandinge ye many great & greivous sufferinges yt wee have undergonne for more then 20 yeeres past &c : as in ye former paper1291 with this addition & our perseverans in our Xtian practices & performans off our duty unto God were most of us whose names are hereunto subscribed sent into this County goale & ye last assises præmunired : though we publickly declared & testifÿed our allegians to ye king & subjection to his government : & yt ƒfor consciens sake onely wee Coulde not sweare yett was our Innocent plea Caled Cantinge : & our desireinge a copy off ye Indictment & our craveinge ye priviledge to enter our traverse & time & liberty to pleade unto it as ye law did allowe was termed saucÿnesse ; & one of us ƒfor moveinge of it Counted & Caled a Jesuite : though well knowne In Courte to ye Contrary : yett were wee overuled & proceeded agst to a præmunire though ye oath was never reade unto us onely wee were bid to hearken to it when it was reade unto others yt tooke it : yett were wee sentenced & have beene Continnued prisoners three of us neere two yeeres ; whereof one hath finished his testimony by death1292 & ye rest have beene since ye last assises to ye great hazarde off ye lives off some poore & aged persons through ye severity of ye winter & Coldnesse off ye prison ; & to ye Impoverishinge of others in hindringe ym ƒfrom followeinge there lawfull vocations & emploÿents whereby they maintained ymselves & ƒfamilÿes & to ye Impayreinge off ye health of us all : whoe have nothinge in our heartes but good will to ye Kinge & all his magistrates & subjects as Is well knowne unto ye Lorde & ye Kinge & unto all ye Nation alsoe yt wee have always beene a peaceable people :

“All wch sufferinges & greivances wee desire you to take Into yr serious & Xtian Consideration & to extend yr mercy help & releife as farr as by Commission or permission you can unto us yt are already præmunired & not to extende ye rigor of ye law upon others of our ƒfreinds lately sent to this goale whoe are equally Concerned with us to keepe ye commands of Xt Jesus :

“Soe hopinge yt mercy as well as Judgement may runn downe yr Streete or Courte of Judicature yt thereby wee may be Incouraged to persevere in our Xtian duty of prayinge ƒfor ye Kinge & all in authority yt wee may live a godly & peaceable life under ym wch is ye desire of us whoe are prisoners ƒfor ye testimony of a good Conscience & for Keepinge ye Commands of Xt Jesus :”

Signed as ye former paper with our names :

Launceston goale this 13th of ye 1st 168¾

Wch paper after itt was reade unto ye Cheife Justice hee saÿde hee was sorry for us butt such as were already præmunired hee Coulde not releive & yt hee woulde present our paper to ye Kinge & doe what hee Coulde ƒfor our discharge ; & did sett att liberty such as were sent to goale by Hugh Jones : & as Itt was reported did speake to ye Kinge & did Indeavor a generall release ƒfor all our ƒfreinds before ye olde Kinges death whose death putt a stoppe there unto :

[hand] Memorandum yt most off ye aforesd præmunired ƒfreinds were presented & Indicted att ye Assises held att Launceston ye 10th off ye 1st moth 1683 as popish recusants1061 & ye bill founde by ye grande Jurÿ though they had beene under Confinement ƒfor more than halfe a yeere before ye assises upon a præmunire as aforesd


Richard Richards and others


Richard Richardes Jo : Mathew Jenkyn Vingow [Jo :] Tonckyn Sampson Olivey &c beinge sent unto Launceston goale by Hugh Jones upon two mittimusses a Copy of one of wch is as followeth :

“ƒforasmuch as on Sunday ye 7th day of this Instant 7ber there was an unlawfull assembly to my veiwe & knowledge in a Certaine house neere ye parish Church of Sunnen : att wch Conventicle ye persons herewith sent were present : to witt Jo : Mathew Junr Jenckÿn Vingow Rich : Richards &c : & severall times heeretofore have beene assembled in other manner than accordinge to ye liturgÿ & practice of ye Church of Englande alleaginge yt ye Cause of such there meetinges is to waite upon & seeke ye Lorde : now whereas by ye laws & statutes off this realme, such Conventicles are prohibited : & beinge by mee required to ƒfinde suretÿes ƒfor there good behaviour & personall appearans att ye next Assises to be holden ƒfor this County have refused soe to doe & to yeilde obediens & Conformity to his majestÿes laws

“These are therfore in ye Kinges majestÿes name strictly to charge & Commande you & either of you to take ye sayde persons Into yr Custodye & them there safely to keepe & detaine untill ƒfrom thence they shall bee delivered by due Course of his majestÿes laws & heereof faile you not as you will answer ƒfor yr Contempt att yr perills

“given under my hande & seale att penrose ye 8th day of 7ber in ye 36 yeere of ye raigne of Kinge Charles ye 2d annoq dom̃ : 1684132x


By ye like mittimus were Jo : Tonckyn & Sampson Olivy sent : & att ye Assises helde att Launceston ye midle of ye 1st moth all ye aforesd ƒfreinds were sett att liberty by Judge Mountague :


Christopher Soper


Cristopher Soaper beinge one off ye persons aforesd yt was sent to goale by Justice Sawle & others as aforesd & for refuseinge to sweare præmunired : finished his testimony in peace by death : & Is delivered from ye wrath & rage off his persecutors :

43 An impropriator was a lay owner of tithes.

871 That is, at once

1061 Popish Recusants for non-attendance at church.

1072 “Out of the King’s protection, lands and goods forfeited to the King and a prisoner at the King’s pleasure.”—F.P.T. pp 354, 355. i.e. “The First Publishers of Truth” being early records (not previously printed) of the Introduction of Quakerism into the Counties of England and Wales. London, 1907.

1111 Printed in Besse’s Suff., i. 124.

1271 feme covert=married woman.

1291 See page 125 [not transcribed].

1292 See page 133.

132x [Note that the years of the reign of Charles II were back dated to the death of his father.]

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