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Rev Richard Yeoman








This devout aged person was curate to Dr. Taylor, at Hadley, and
eminently qualified for his sacred function. Dr. Taylor left him the
curacy at his departure, but no sooner had Mr. Newall gotten the
benefice, than he removed Mr. Yeoman, and substituted a Romish priest.
After this he wandered from place to place, exhorting all men to stand
faithfully to God's word, earnestly to give themselves unto prayer, with
patience to bear the cross now laid upon them for their trial, with
boldness to confess the truth before their adversaries, and with an
undoubted hope to wait for the crown and reward of eternal felicity. But
when he perceived his adversaries lay wait for him, he went into Kent,
and with a little packet of laces, pins, points, &c. he travelled from
village to village, selling such things, and in this manner subsisted
himself, his wife, and children.

At last Justice Moile, of Kent, took Mr. Yeoman, and set him in the
stocks a day and a night; but, having no evident matter to charge him
with, he let him go again. Coming secretly again to Hadley, he tarried
with his poor wife, who kept him privately, in a chamber of the
town-house, commonly called the Guildhall, more than a year. During this
time the good old father abode in a chamber locked up all the day,
spending his time in devout prayer, in reading the Scriptures, and in
carding the wool which his wife spun. His wife also begged bread for
herself and her children, by which precarious means they supported
themselves. Thus the saints of God sustained hunger and misery, while
the prophets of Baal lived in festivity, and were costily pampered at
Jezebel's table.

Information being at length given to Newall, that Yeoman was secreted by
his wife, he came, attended by the constables, and broke into the room
where the object of his search lay in bed with his wife. He reproached
the poor woman with being a whore, and would have indecently pulled the
clothes off, but Yeoman resisted both this act of violence and the
attack upon his wife's character, adding that he defied the pope and
popery. He was then taken out, and set in the stocks till day.

In the cage also with him was an old man, named John Dale, who had sat
there three or four days, for exhorting the people during the time
service was performing by Newall and his curate. His words were, "O
miserable and blind guides, will ye ever be blind leaders of the blind?
will ye never amend? will ye never see the truth of God's word? will
neither God's threats nor promises enter into your hearts? will the
blood of the martyrs nothing mollify your stony stomachs? O obdurate,
hard-hearted, perverse, and crooked generation! to whom nothing can do
good."

These words he spake in fervency of spirit against the superstitious
religion of Rome; wherefore parson Newall caused him forthwith to be
attached, and set in the stocks in a cage, where he was kept till Sir
Henry Doile, a justice, came to Hadley.

When Yeoman was taken, the parson called earnestly upon Sir Henry Doile
to send them both to prison. Sir Henry Doile as earnestly entreated the
parson to consider the age of the men, and their mean condition; they
were neither persons of note nor preachers; wherefore he proposed to let
them be punished a day or two and to dismiss them, at least John Dale,
who was no priest, and therefore, as he had so long sat in the cage, he
thought it punishment enough for this time. When the parson heard this,
he was exceedingly mad, and in a great rage called them pestilent
heretics, unfit to live in the commonwealth of Christians. Sir Henry,
fearing to appear too merciful, Yeoman and Dale were pinioned, bound
like thieves with their legs under the horses' bellies, and carried to
Bury jail, where they were laid in irons; and because they continually
rebuked popery, they were carried into the lowest dungeon, where John
Dale, through the jail-sickness and evil-keeping, died soon after: his
body was thrown out, and buried in the fields. He was a man of sixty-six
years of age, a weaver by occupation, well learned in the holy
Scriptures, steadfast in his confession of the true doctrines of Christ
as set forth in king Edward's time; for which he joyfully suffered
prison and chains, and from this worldly dungeon he departed in Christ
to eternal glory, and the blessed paradise of everlasting felicity.

After Dale's death, Yeoman was removed to Norwich prison, where, after
strait and evil keeping, he was examined upon his faith and religion,
and required to submit himself to his holy father the pope. "I defy him,
(quoth he,) and all his detestable abomination: I will in no wise have
to do with him." The chief articles objected to him, were his marriage
and the mass sacrifice. Finding he continued steadfast in the truth, he
was condemned, degraded, and not only burnt, but most cruelly tormented
in the fire. Thus he ended this poor and miserable life, and entered
into that blessed bosom of Abraham, enjoying with Lazarus that rest
which God has prepared for his elect.





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