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Flagellations By Bonner

When this catholic hyena found that neither persuasions, threats, nor
imprisonment, could produce any alteration in the mind of a youth named
Thomas Hinshaw, he sent him to Fulham, and during the first night set
him in the stocks, with no other allowance than bread and water. The
following morning he came to see if this punishment had worked any
change in his mind, and finding none, he sent Dr. Harpsfield, his
archdeacon, to converse with him. The Doctor was soon out of humour at
his replies, called him peevish boy, and asked him if he thought he went
about to damn his soul? "I am persuaded," said Thomas, "that you labour
to promote the dark kingdom of the devil, not for the love of the
truth." These words the doctor conveyed to the bishop, who, in a passion
that almost prevented articulation, came to Thomas, and said, "Dost thou
answer my archdeacon thus, thou naughty boy? But I'll soon handle thee
well enough for it, be assured!" Two willow twigs were then brought him,
and causing the unresisting youth to kneel against a long bench, in an
arbour in his garden, he scourged him till he was compelled to cease for
want of breath and fatigue, being of a punchy and full-bellied make. One
of the rods was worn quite away.

Many other conflicts did Hinshaw undergo from the bishop; who, at
length, to remove him effectually, procured false witnesses to lay
articles against him, all of which the young man denied, and, in short,
refused to answer to any interrogatories administered to him. A
fortnight after this, the young man was attacked by a burning ague, and
at the request of his master, Mr. Pugson, of St. Paul's church-yard, he
was removed, the bishop not doubting that he had given him his death in
the natural way; he however remained ill above a year, and in the mean
time queen Mary died, by which act of providence he escaped Bonner's

John Willes was another faithful person, on whom the scourging hand of
Bonner fell. He was the brother of Richard Willes, before mentioned,
burnt at Brentford. Hinshaw and Willes were confined in Bonner's coal
house together, and afterward removed to Fulham, where he and Hinshaw
remained during eight or ten days, in the stocks. Bonner's persecuting
spirit betrayed itself in his treatment of Willes during his
examinations, often striking him on the head with a stick, seizing him
by the ears, and filipping him under the chin, saying he held down his
head like a thief. This producing no signs of recantation, he took him
into his orchard, and in a small arbour there he flogged him first with
a willow rod, and then with birch, till he was exhausted. This cruel
ferocity arose from the answer of the poor sufferer, who, upon being
asked how long it was since he had crept to the cross, replied, "Not
since he had come to years of discretion, nor would he, though he
should be torn to pieces by wild horses." Bonner then bade him make the
sign of the cross on his forehead, which he refused to do, and thus was
led to the orchard.

The communications that took place between Bonner and Willes are too
tedious to give in detail. The reader would smile to read the infatuated
simple reasons with which the bishop endeavoured to delude the ignorant.
He strongly urged the impropriety of his meddling with matters of
scripture; adding, "If thou wilt believe Luther, Zuinglius, and other
protestant authors, thou canst not go right; but in believing me, there
can be no error!--and, if there be, thy blood will be required at our
hands. In following Luther, and the heretics of latter days, now wilt
thou come to the place thou askest for?--They will lead thee to
destruction, and burn thy body and soul in hell, like all those who have
been burnt in Smithfield."

The bishop continued to afflict him in his examinations, in which, among
other things, he said, "They call me bloody Bonner!--A vengeance on you
all! I would fain be rid of you, but you have a delight in burning.
Could I have my will, I would sew up your mouths, put you in sacks, and
drown you!"

What a sanguinary speech was this, to proceed from the mouth of one who
professed to be a minister of the gospel of peace, and a servant of the
Lamb of God!--Can we have an assurance that the same spirit does not
reign now, which reigned in this mitred catholic?

One day, when in the stocks, Bonner asked him how he liked his lodging
and fare. "Well enough," said Willes, "might I have a little straw to
sit or lie upon." Just at this time came in Willes' wife, then largely
pregnant, and entreated the bishop for her husband, boldly declaring
that she would be delivered in the house, if he were not suffered to go
with her. To get rid of the good wife's importunity, and the trouble of
a lying-in woman in his palace, he bade Willes make the sign of the
cross, and say, In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti, Amen.
Willes omitted the sign, and repeated the words, "in the name of the
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen." Bonner would have
the words repeated in Latin, to which Willes made no objection, knowing
the meaning of the words. He was then permitted to go home with his
wife, his kinsman Robert Rouze being charged to bring him to St. Paul's
the next day, whither he himself went, and, subscribing to a Latin
instrument of little importance, was liberated. This is the last of the
twenty-two taken at Islington.

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