God's Punishments Upon Some Of The Persecutors Of His People In Mary's Reign
After that arch-persecutor, Gardiner, was dead, others followed, of whom
Dr. Morgan, bishop of St. David's, who succeeded bishop Farrar, is to be
noticed. Not long after he was installed in his bishopric, he was
stricken by the visitation of God; his food passed through the throat,
but rose again with great violence. In this manner, almost literally
starved to death, he terminated his existence.
Bishop Thornton, suffragan of Dover, was an indefatigable persecutor of
the true church. One day after he had exercised his cruel tyranny upon a
number of pious persons at Canterbury, he came from the chapter-house to
Borne, where as he stood on a Sunday looking at his men playing at
bowls, he fell down in a fit of the palsy, and did not long survive.
After the latter succeeded another bishop or suffragan, ordained by
Gardiner, who not long after he had been raised to the see of Dover,
fell down a pair of stairs in the cardinal's chamber at Greenwich, and
broke his neck. He had just received the cardinal's blessing--he could
receive nothing worse.
John Cooper, of Watsam, Suffolk, suffered by perjury; he was from
private pique persecuted by one Fenning, who suborned two others to
swear that they heard Cooper say, "If God did not take away queen Mary,
the devil would." Cooper denied all such words, but Cooper was a
protestant and a heretic, and therefore he was hung, drawn and
quartered, his property confiscated, and his wife and nine children
reduced to beggary. The following harvest, however, Grimwood of Hitcham,
one of the witnesses before mentioned, was visited for his villany:
while at work, stacking up corn, his bowels suddenly burst out, and
before relief could be obtained he died. Thus was deliberate perjury
rewarded by sudden death!
In the case of the martyr Mr. Bradford, the severity of Mr. Sheriff
Woodroffe has been noticed--he rejoiced at the death of the saints, and
at Mr. Rogers' execution, he broke the carman's head, because he stopped
the cart to let the martyr's children take a last farewell of him.
Scarcely had Mr. Woodroffe's sheriffalty expired a week, when he was
struck with a paralytic affection, and languished a few days in the most
pitiable and helpless condition, presenting a striking contrast to his
former activity in the cause of blood.
Ralph Lardyn, who betrayed the martyr George Eagles, is believed to have
been afterward arraigned and hanged in consequence of accusing himself.
At the bar, he denounced himself in these words, "This has most justly
fallen upon me, for betraying the innocent blood of that just and good
man George Eagles, who was here condemned in the time of Queen Mary by
my procurement, when I sold his blood for a little money."
As James Abbes was going to execution, and exhorting the pitying
bystanders to adhere steadfastly to the truth, and like him to seal the
cause of Christ with their blood, a servant of the sheriff's interrupted
him, and blasphemously called his religion heresy, and the good man a
lunatic. Scarcely however had the flames reached the martyr, before the
fearful stroke of God fell upon this hardened wretch, in the presence of
him he had so cruelly ridiculed. The man was suddenly seized with
lunacy, cast off his clothes and shoes before the people, (as Abbes had
done just before, to distribute among some poor persons,) at the same
time exclaiming, "Thus did James Abbes, the true servant of God, who is
saved but I am damned." Repeating this often, the sheriff had him
secured, and made him put his clothes on, but no sooner was he alone,
than he tore them off, and exclaimed as before. Being tied in a cart, he
was conveyed to his master's house, and in about half a year he died;
just before which a priest came to attend him, with the crucifix, &c.
but the wretched man bade him take away such trumpery, and said that he
and other priests had been the cause of his damnation, but that Abbes
One Clark, an avowed enemy of the protestants in king Edward's reign,
hung himself in the Tower of London.
Froling, a priest of much celebrity, fell down in the street and died on
Dale, an indefatigable informer, was consumed by vermin, and died a
Alexander, the severe keeper of Newgate, died miserably, swelling to a
prodigious size, and became so inwardly putrid, that none could come
near him. This cruel minister of the law would go to Bonner, Story, and
others, requesting them to rid his prison, he was so much pestered with
heretics! The son of this keeper, in three years after his father's
death, dissipated his great property, and died suddenly in Newgate
market. "The sins of the father," says the decalogue, "shall be visited
on the children." John Peter, son-in-law of Alexander, a horrid
blasphemer and persecutor, died wretchedly. When he affirmed any thing,
he would say, "If it be not true, I pray I may rot ere I die." This
awful state visited him in all its loathsomeness.
Sir Ralph Ellerker was eagerly desirous to see the heart taken out of
Adam Damlip, who was wrongfully put to death. Shortly after Sir Ralph
was slain by the French, who mangled him dreadfully, cut off his limbs,
and tore his heart out.
When Gardiner heard of the miserable end of Judge Hales, he called the
profession of the gospel a doctrine of desperation; but he forgot that
the judge's despondency arose after he had consented to the papistry.
But with more reason may this be said of the catholic tenets, if we
consider the miserable end of Dr. Pendleton, Gardiner, and most of the
leading persecutors. Gardiner, upon his death bed, was reminded by a
bishop of Peter denying his master. "Ah," said Gardiner, "I have denied
with Peter, but never repented with Peter."
After the accession of Elizabeth, most of the Catholic prelates were
imprisoned in the Tower or the fleet; Bonner was put into the
Of the revilers of God's word, we detail, among many others, the
following occurrence. One William Maldon, living at Greenwich in
servitude, was instructing himself profitably in reading an English
primer one winter's evening. A serving man, named John Powell, sat by,
and ridiculed all that Maldon said, who cautioned him not to make a jest
of the word of God. Powell nevertheless continued, till Maldon came to
certain English Prayers, and read aloud, Lord, have mercy upon us,
Christ have mercy upon us, &c. Suddenly the reviler started, and
exclaimed, Lord, have mercy upon us! He was struck with the utmost
terror of mind, said the evil spirit could not abide that Christ should
have any mercy upon him, and sunk into madness. He was remitted to
Bedlam, and became an awful warning that God will not always be insulted
Henry Smith, a student in the law, had a pious protestant father, of
Camden, in Gloucestershire, by whom he was virtuously educated. While
studying law in the middle temple, he was induced to profess
catholicism, and, going to Louvain, in France, he returned with pardons,
crucifixes, and a great freight of popish toys. Not content with these
things, he openly reviled the gospel religion he had been brought up in;
but conscience one night reproached him so dreadfully, that in a fit of
despair he hung himself in his garters. He was buried in a lane, without
the Christian service being read over him.
Dr. Story, whose name has been so often mentioned in the preceding
pages, was reserved to be cut off by public execution, a practice in
which he had taken great delight when in power. He is supposed to have
had a hand in most of the conflagrations in Mary's time, and was even
ingenious in his invention of new modes of inflicting torture. When
Elizabeth came to the throne, he was committed to prison, but
unaccountably effected his escape to the continent, to carry fire and
sword there among the protestant brethren. From the duke of Alva, at
Antwerp, he received a special commission to search all ships for
contraband goods, and particularly for English heretical books.
Dr. Story gloried in a commission that was ordered by Providence to be
his ruin, and to preserve the faithful from his sanguinary cruelty. It
was contrived that one Parker, a merchant, should sail to Antwerp and
information should be given to Dr. Story that he had a quantity of
heretical books on board. The latter no sooner heard this, than he
hastened to the vessel, sought every where above, and then went under
the hatches, which were fastened down upon him. A prosperous gale
brought the ship to England, and this traitorous, persecuting rebel was
committed to prison, where he remained a considerable time, obstinately
objecting to recant his anti-christian spirit, or admit of queen
Elizabeth's supremacy. He alleged, though by birth and education an
Englishman, that he was a sworn subject of the king of Spain, in whose
service the famous duke of Alva was. The doctor being condemned, was
laid upon a hurdle, and drawn from the Tower to Tyburn, where after
being suspended about half an hour, he was cut down, stripped, and the
executioner displayed the heart of a traitor. Thus ended the existence
of this Nimrod of England.
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