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

n, 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.