LIVES OF THE PURITANS.
John Udal. — This celebrated puritan 'was educated in the university of Cambridge, and was a man of excellent parts, great learning, genuine piety, and untarnished loyalty to Queen Elizabeth, but a great sufferer on account of his nonconformity. He was preacher about seven years, at Kingston-upon-Thames; but afterwards deprived, imprisoned, and condemned; and, at last, he died quite heart-broken in prison. Some of his hearers at Kingston, taking offence at his faithful warnings and admonitions, brought complaints against him to those in pqwer, when he was put to silence by the official, Dr. Hone, and committed to prison. But by the unsolicited favour and influence of the Countess of Warwick, Sir Drue Drury, and other excellent persons, he was released, and restored to his ministry.
September 26, 1586, he was convened before the Bishop of Winchester, and the Dean of Windsor, when they entered upon the following conversation :
Bishop. Mr. Udal, you are beholden to my lady of Warwick. She hath been earnest for you, and telleth me, that you will submit yourself.
Udal. I thank God for her ladyship's care. I am contented, and always have been, to submit to any thing that is just and godly.
B. What you will do, I know not. Hitherto you have not done it; for you refused to swear according to law.
U. By your honour's favour, I never refused to swear, so far as the law doth bind me.
B. No! Wherefore then were you committed ?
U. You know best. I was contented to swear, if I might first see the articles.
B. That is a slender foundation to stand upon.
VoL. II. B
U. It is to me a matter of great importance. For with what conscience can I call the Lord to witness, and protest by his name, that I will answer I know not what ?
Dean. Mr. Udal, the things objected against you, I dare say, are against your doctrine, or your life, which are no secrets.
B. Nay, they charge nothing against his life, but his doctrine only.
U. The greater is the mercy of God towards me. For I have given the greater offence by my life; but it hath pleased him so to keep my sins from their sight, that I might suffer for his sake. Your restraining me from my ministry, makes the world believe, that the slanders raised against me are true; the ignorant call in question the gospel which I have preached; and thus a door is widely opened for every wicked man to contemn the doctrine of our Saviour.
Here the bishop laid all the blame on Mr. Udal, and discovered so hard a heart against the suffering church of God, that Mr. Udal burst into a flood of tears, and was constrained to turn aside, to weep for the space of half an hour. Upon his return, he was addressed as follows:
B. Will you answer the articles charged against you, that these things may be redressed .'
U. If I may first see them, I shall be satisfied.
B. Mr. Hartwell, write to the register to let him see them; then go with him to some of the commissioners to swear him.
U. This will be a long course. I pray you, that, in the mean time, I may continue my ministry, for the good of the poor people.
B. That you may not. Now that you are suspended, you must so abide, until you be cleared.
U. Then whatsoever becomes of me, I beseech you, let the poor people have a preacher.
B. That is a good motion, and 1 will look after it.
Mr. Udal then receiving the letter, departed; and the articles being shewn him, he was taken to Dr. Hammond to be sworn, who said, " You must swear to answer these articles, so far as the law bindeth you." " Do you mean," said Mr. Udal, " that I shall answer them, so far as it appearelh to me, that I am by law required?" And finding that he might, he took the oath, and delivered to the register his answers to all the articles in writing. These articles, with the answers, are now before me, and are thirty-six in number; but too long for insertion.* They contain the charges which certain ill-disposed persons, in the parish of Kingston, brought against him to the high commission. His answers, indeed, furnished the commissioners with sufficient matter for animadversion, when he underwent his next examination. October 17th he was convened before the high commission, at Lambeth; when Archbishop Whitgift, the Bishops of Winchester and Hereford, Dr. Aubery, Dr. Lewin, Dr. Cosin, Mr. Hartwell, and others, were present. Upon the reading of the articles and his answers, they made their remarks as follows:
Archbishop. You are not to judge,' Mr. Udal, who walk disorderly; nor account any so to do, till it be proved.
U. How shall I count him to do otherwise, who giveth himself up to notorious sins; and after being admonished, not only amendeth not, but goeth on more stubborn than before ?
B. You must do more than that.
U. You mean, we must present them; and so we have done several; but presentment is of no use.
A. You must expect what will follow, and not appoint your own time.
U. We may do this long enough before we sec any redress, so long as things are managed thus. I have seen malefactors presented two or three years ago, but of whose trials we have heard nothing.
A. You say, Christ is the only archbishop. Why do you not call him arch-pastor and arch-shepherd ?
U. As I am at liberty to call the ministers of Christ by those titles given them by the Holy Ghost, as pastors, shepherds, and watchmen ; so, I think, I may Jesus Christ.
A. No, no; the archbishop was in your way, and it troubled you to think of him. But there will be an archbishop when you shall be no preacher at Kingston.
B. The rest of that article is sophistical, or like Apollo the oracle.
U. Perhaps I have taken some advantage of the words, and not answered according to the meaning thereof, as the law requireth.
A. Those elders of which you speak, were bishops, and not any other.
U. In 1 Cor. xii. governors are mentioned as distinct • from teachers.
A. That is meant of civil governors, and not of a company of unlearned, simple men, as you would have it.
U. The apostle there speaketh of those who were ordained in the church. But it is of no use to dispute these matters in this place.'
A. When you say, that pastors may do nothing by their own discretion, but only by the direction of the word of God, you say true; but in this, you strike at something else.
B. Many things are lawful, and may be done, that have no direct warrant from the word.
U. If that can be proved, it is sufficient, and agreeable to my answer.
B. What occasion had you to speak of such matters as officers, orders, canons, &c. ?
U. I have not chosen those subjects on purpose, and have spoken upon them only as they came in my way. ' This I must do, or I could not declare all the council of God.
Dr. Cosin. That you will never do while you live.
U. But I must deliver as much as I know.
A. It is because you would rail against authority.
B. Why do you wish that the public service were abridged? It may all be read in three quarters of an hour.
U. But I have known it, with other business to be done before sermon, to last about two hours.
A. They who are wearied with it, are your scholars, who can away with nothing but your sermons.
U. My scholars never keep out till the sermon begins; but if any of them be weary of the service, I never taught them so to be.
A. All the service might be read well enough; but you will stand in your vain repetitions, both in your prayers and your sermons, and make no account of so doing.
U. I pray you have a better opinion of me, unless you know that what you say is true.
A. Nay, I speak not of you alone, but all of your sort: this is your manner. Why should you preach, that some persons make but small account of sermons ?
U. Because I know it to be true.
B. Though persons may have been of that mind, they may be altered.
A. When you spoke of Christ's descent into hell, that which you said is most absurd.
B. The places in Peter and Acts, are monstrously abused by Calvin and others, who hold that opinion. For who em knew sepulchre mean hell ?
U. The original word there used, is often taken for grave, though it also means hell ?
U. That I can easily do; for as often as the Hebrew . word in the Old Testament, meaneth grave, so does also the Greek.
H. How can that be ? The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, and not in Greek.
U. Do you not know that the Septuagint is in Greek, in which you will find what I say is true ?
A. How can the soul go into the grave? What an absurd thing is that!
U. The Hebrew word usually signifieth the whole man: as Gen. xlvi. it is said, " There went seventy souls, that is, seventy persons, into Egypt."
A. Do you then believe that Christ, both soul and body, went into the grave ?
U. No. But it is, also, often taken for the body; and whenever it is thus taken, it is so translated in the Septuagint : as Lam. i. 19.
' H. I wish I had a book, that I might see it.
A. The human soul of Christ after his death, descended into the place of the damned; and whosoever believeth not this, but denieth it, is an heretic.
U. The church of England is taught, and also believeth, that which you account heresy.
A. No matter for that. We receive nothing for the doctrine of the church of England, but that which is authorized by act of parliament.
U. Then your doctrine is not the doctrine of the church. For one of her articles saith only, that Christ descended into hell, without expressing how.
A. You speak of unpreaching ministers being foisted in by satan, that you may disgrace authority.
B. If a minister be learned, yet hath no utterance, will you disallow him as unfit?
U. Yes,' that I will; because the word of God disalloweth him. > B. Where, I pray you, that I may know it ?
U. In 1 Tim. iii. 2., 2 Tim. ii. 24. He must be apt to teach, which implieth not only knowledge, but utterance,
ilace, if you can.
and mllingntss, by which he may be able to communicate his knowledge to others.
B. He may catechise.
U» That is not sufficient.
B. You say it was not made the office of a minister to bury the dead, till the time of popery. In this you lie, sir.
A. It appeareth that ministers did bury the dead in the time of Jerome, which was within four hundred -years of Christ.
U. Popery began before Jerome's time.
B. That is untrue; nor many years after. Herein you shew what knowledge you have.
U. I boast not of my knowledge; yet what I say is true. For doth not St. Paul say, that the mystery of iniquity began to work even in his time ? And all approved writers expound this of the kingdom of antichrist.
C. Mr. Hartwell, he is beholden to you; for your reason will help him to overthrow Mr. Jewel's challenge.
U. Not a whit. For Jewel's challenge concerns only certain points of popery, and this is none of them. Popery was long a patching together, and is still going forwards at this day.
A. Why may not many persons as well pray together aloud, as sing psalms.
U. Because the one hath better warrant from the word of God, than the other.
B. Ah, sirrah! You wish you had allured ten times more disciples to Christ than you have done.
Dr. Aubery. Had you then your license from me ? U. No; I had nothing from you, except the parchment and the wax.
C. He answereth you foolishly.
U. It is not so. I speak thus to shew the meaning of what I said the last time I was here, with which the idle bystanders made themselves sport.
A. What was that ?
U. I say, I took myself to be as lawfully licensed to preach as any man could be. For my sufficiency was approved by the archbishop, and I had no more from his officers than as I said.
Aub. I remember not that you had any thing of me.
U. I have it to shew; and it is no counterfeit .
A. In speaking upon confirmation, which is doubtless still profitable, did you teach the right use of that office?
U. I taught that which the text afforded me.
B. My lord, he hath, indeed, great injury done him, if the charges be not true. Let a commissioner be sent to examine witnesses.
A. You had best name some yourself, Mr. Udal. . U. I will name for one, Mr. Thomas Vincent. A. He is thought to be too partial to your side. U. Then I will name Mr. William Walter, the younger. A. He may be too partial also.
U. You may appoint two of my greatest foes, so that I may have my friends, who will deal uprightly; but if these may not be admitted, I will appoint none.
A. Stand aside. We will consult of this matter.
Upon their consultation, they concluded to appoint no fresh witnesses; but to have those who were present brought forwards. It was very remarkable, that the man who had lodged the information against Mr. Udal, and who meant to have appeared as a witness against him, was, at this very juncture, seized with a dreadful disease, of which he presently died. His case was, therefore, deferred for some time. The Countess of Warwick applied to the archbishop, who gave order for Mr. Udal to appear before him; but he had to wait upon his lordship four different times, before he could obtain any satisfactory answer. At length, he attended while the commissioners were sitting, when they proceeded as follows:
A. Mr. Beadle, is there any thing written down in proof of those articles ?
Beadle. If it please your grace, the man who should have followed this matter, is dead.
A. Is he of the guard, dead ?
U. Yes, he is dead; but I wish, if it had been the will of God, that he might have lived longer; both that it might have appeared what he could prove against me, and that he might have had time to repent of his sin. But God is just, and knoweth what he hath done.
A. My lord of Winchester, here is a copy of the articles. Deal you with him.
U. I pray you let it not be deferred, but an end made one way or other, that I may take some course with the living.
A. You may take what' course you please. Who hindereth you ?
U. Surely, I sought not after you, but being sent for, I came.
B. You must abide by the course of the law. U. I think I have cleared myself by my answers. B. Nay, by your leave, you have not. Your answers accuse you.
U. Then dispatch me accordingly. It is chargeable and burdensome to attend so often from day to day.
A. My lord of Winchester, appoint him to attend on Friday come sevennight.
B. I am content. Come in the afternoon.
Mr. Udal then departed, intending to appear according to appointment. In the mean time, the Countess of Warwick wrote a pressing letter to the bishop, in his behalf. Upon his appearance, after long attendance, he was called before the bishop, who thus addressed him:
B. The articles brought against you, are not to be proved; for the witnesses fear the displeasure of your numerous friends, which is a very hard case.
U. It is hard, if it be true. But there is no such fear, only they are unable to prove more than I have already confessed.
B. You have, indeed, confessed sufficient against yourself.
U. Let it then appear. For I must justify all that I have confessed, until it be refuted; and when it is refuted, I shall be willing to recant, in the same place in which it was spoken.
B. I will not deal with you in that way. But for the sake of your friends, and other causes, I am willing to restore you to your preaching, if you will assure me under your own hand, that you will speak no more against any thing by authority established.
U. I will promise you to preach nothing but the word of God.
B. The word of God, as you are pleased to call it!
U. If I be unable to understand what is, and what is not, the word of God, I am unfit to be a preacher, and so you may finally dismiss me. It were better for me to be a ploughman, than a preacher, under any other conditions.
B. Then I may not admit you. This would help to increase controversies.
U. I will promise you to promote the peace of the church, all that I can. More I cannot do.
B. Well, I will seek advice about it. In the, mean time you may depart.
Mr. Udal, having departed, communicated an account of these transactions to his friends, and the Countess pf Warwick sent a messenger to the bishop for a decisive answer. Therefore, by her godly and zealous importunity, his lordship sent for Mr. Udal, when he thus addressed him:
B. I am to restore you, Mr. Udal, to your former place of preaching; yet I must admonish you to refrain from speaking against things by law established. For, surely, if you give occasion to be again deprived, no subject in England shall obtain your restoration.
U. Surely, I have not at any time, purposely said any thing tending thereunto. But I .may never conceal the truth which my text oflereth me.
B. We had need walk warily. Things are out of square. There is much inquiry where is the cause. Some blame us bishops; but God knoweth where the blame is. I think it is in the controversy among ourselves.
U. So do I. But in whom is the cause of the controversy, I shall not now dispute. I came for another purpose.
B. Take heed you do not triumph over your enemies. This will create greater variance and dissent ion.
U. If I should be restored, I am determined to pass it over in silence, and leave my enemies to their maker and judge. I must sutler greater things than these for Christ's sake.
B. Well, this is all I have to say to you at this time.
Mr. Udal then departed, having obtained his liberty to continue preaching; for which he blessed and praised God, and prayed that these troubles might be over-ruled for the advancement of God's glory, and the further prosperity of his church.*
Thus, after much trouble and expense, with the loss of much time, this learned and excellent divine was restored to his ministry. About the same time, he united with his brethren in subscribing the " Book of Discipline."t His troubles, however, were not ended. In the year 1588, he was again suspended and deprived of his living. Having received the ecclesiastical censure a second time, the inhabitants of Newcastle-upon-Tyne prevailed upon the Earl of Huntingdon, lord president of the north, to send him to preach the word of life among them. Therefore, being driven from his living and his flock at Kingston, he went
• MS. Rrgiiter, p. 778—T81. + Neal't Puritans, vol. i. p. 423.
to Newcastle, where his ministerial labours, during his continuance, were greatly blessed to many souls. But Mr; Udal had not been there above a year, (the plague being in the town all the time, which carried off two thousand of its inhabitants,) when, by an order from the privy council, he was sent for to London. He immediately obeyed the summons, and appeared at Lord Cobham's house, January 13, 1589. The commissioners present were Lord Cobham, Lord Buckhurst, Lord Chief Justice Anderson, the Bishop of Rochester, Dr. Aubery, Dr. Lewin, Mr. Fortesque, and Egerton the solicitor. The lord chief justice then entered upon his examination in the following manner:
Anderson. How long have you been at Newcastle ?
Udal. About a year, if it please your lordship.
A. Why went you from Kingston-upon-Thames ?
U. Because I was silenced there, and was called to Newcastle.
Bishop. What calling had you thither ?
U. The people made means to my lord of Huntingdon, who sent me thither.
B. Had you the allowance of the bishop of the diocese? U. At that time, there was none.
A. You arc called hither to answer concerning certain books, which are thought to be of your making.
U. If it Ik; for any of Martin s books, I have already answered, and am ready so to do again.
A. Where have you answered, and in what manner ?
U. At Lambeth, a year and a half ago, I cleared myself not to be the author, nor to know who he was.
A. Is this true, Mr. Beadle ?
Beadle. I have heard that there was such a thing, but I was not there, if it please your lordship.
Aubery and Lewin. There was such a thing, my lord's grace told us.
U. I am the hardlicr dealt with, to be fetched up so far, at this time of the year. I have had a journey, I would not wish unto my enemy.
B. You may thank your own dealing for it.
A. But you are to answer concerning other books.
U. I hope your lordship will not urge me to any others, seeing I was sent for about those.
A. You must answer to others also: What say you of " A Demonstration" and " A Dialogue 2" did you not make them ? . i
U. I cannot answer.
A. Why would you clear yourself of Martin, and not
of these, but that you are guilty ?
U. Not so, my lord. I have reason to answer in the one, but not in the other.
A. I pray let us hear your reason; for I cannot conceive of it, seeing they are all written concerning one matter.
U. This is the matter, my lord. I hold the matter pro
Eosed in them to be all one; but I would not be thought to andle it in that manner, which the former books do; and because I think otherwise of the latter, I care not though they should be fathered upon me.
Buckhurst. But, I pray you tell me, know you not Penry ?
U. Yes, my lord, that I do.
Buck. And do you not know him to be Martin ?
U. No, surely, nor do I think him to be Martin.
Buck. What is your reason ?
U. This, my lord: when it first came out, he, understanding that some gave him out to be the author, wrote a letter to a friend in London, wherein he denied it, in such terms as declare him to be ignorant and clear in it.
Buck. Where is that letter ?
U. Indeed I cannot tell you. For I have forgotten to whom it was written.
Buck. You will not tell where it is.
U. Why, my lord, it tendeth to the clearing of one, and the accusation of none.
Buck. Can you tell where Penry is ?
U. No, surely, my lord.
Buck. When did you see him ?
U. About a quarter of a year ago.
Buck. Where did you see him ?
U. He called at my door and saluted me.
Buck. Nay, he remained belike with you.
U. No, indeed; he neither came into my house, nor did he so much as drink with me.
Buck. How came you acquainted with him ?
U. I think at Cambridge; but I have often been in his company.
Buck. Where f
U. At various places.
A. What say you ? did you make these books t or know you who made them ? U. I cannot answer to that question, my lord.
A. You had as good say you were the author.
U. That will not follow.
Cobham. Mr. Udal, if you be not the author, say so; and if you be, confess it: Vou may find favour.
U. My lord, I think the author, for any tiling I know, did well; and I know he is inquired after to be punished; therefore, I think it my duty to hinder the finding of him out, which I cannot do better than thus.
A. And why so, I pray you ?
U. Because, if every one that is suspected do deny it, the author at length must needs be found out.
A. Why dare you not confess it, if you be the author i Dare you not stand to your own doings ?
U. I professed before, that I liked of the books, and the matter handled in them: but whether I made them or no, I will not answer. Besides, if I were the author, I think that by law I need not answer.
A. That is true, if it concerned the loss of your life.*
Forlcsquc. I pray you by what law did you preach at Newcastle, being forbidden at Kingston ?
U. I know no law against it, seeing it was the official, Dr. Hone, who silenced me; whose authority rcachcth not out of his own archdeaconry.
F. What was the cause for which you were silenced ?
U. Surely I cannot tell, nor yet imagine.
A. Well, what say you of those books? who made them ? and where were they printed ?
U. Though I could tell your lordship, yet dare I not 5 for the reasons before alleged.
B. I pray you let me ask you a question or two concem
U. It is not yet proved to be mine. But I will answer to any thing concerning the mailer of the book, so far as I know.
B. You call it a Demonstration. I pray you what is a Demonstration ? I believe you know what it is.
U. If you had asked me that question when I was a boy in Cambridge of a year's standing, it had been a note of ignorance in me, to have been unable to answer you.
Fgerton. Mr. Udal, I am sorry that you will not answer, nor take an oath. You are like the seminary priests; who say, there is no law to compel them to accuse themselves.
* His judges actually tried him for his life, and condemned him.
U. Sir, if it be a liberty by law, there is no reason wby they should not challenge it.
Buck. My lord, it is no standing with him. What sayest thou, wilt thou take the oath ?
U. 1 hare said as much thereunto as I can, my lord.
Aubrey and Lewin. You have taken it heretofore; and wby will you not take it now ?
U. I was called to answer certain articles upon mine oath, when I freely confessed that against myself, which could never have been proved; and when my friends laboured to have me restored, the archbishop answered, that there was sufficient matter against me, by my own confession, why I should not l>e restored: whereupon I covenanted with mine own heart, never to be mine own accuser in that sort again.
B. Will you take an oath ?
U. I dare not take it.
B. Then you must go to prison, and it will go hard with you. For you must remain there until you be glad to take it.
U. God's will be done. I had rather go to prison with a good conscience, than be at liberty with an ill one.
B. Your sentence for this time is, to go close prisoner to the Gatehouse, and you are beholden to my lords here, that they have heard you so long.
U. I acknowledge it, and do humbly thank their honours for it.*
In the conclusion, Mr. Udal was sent to the Gatehouse. Take the account in his own words. " I was carried to the Gatehouse by a messenger, who delivered me with a warrant to be kept close prisoner; and not to be suffered to have pen, ink, or paper, or any person to speak to me. Thus I remained half a year, in all which time, my wife could not get leave to come to me, saving only that in the hearing of the keeper, she might speak to me, and I to her, of such things as she should think meet: although she made suit to the commissioners, and also to the council, for more liberty. Al l this time, my chamber-fellows were seminary priests, traitors, and professed papists. At the end of half a year, I was removed to the White-lion in Southwark; and then carried to the assizes at Croydon."t
July 24th, Mr. Udal, with fetters on his legs, was taken to Croydon, and indicted upon the statute of S3 Eliz. cap. 3.
• Stale Trjrab, vol. i. p. 144—146. Edit. 1719. t Pelrce's Vindication, part i. p. 132.
before Baron Clarke and Serjeant Puckering, for writing a wicked, scandalous, and seditious libel, entitled " A Demonstration of the Truth of that Discipline which Christ hath prescribed in his Word for the Government of his Church, in all Times and Places, until the end of the World." It was dedicated " To the supposed governors of the church of England, the archbishops, lord-bishops, archdeacons, and the rest of that order." In the dedication of the book, are these words, as inserted in the indictment, and upon which the charge against him was founded: " Who " can, without blushing, deny you (the bishops) to be " the cause of all ungodliness: seeing your government is " that which giveth leave to a man to be any thing, saving " a sound christian ? For certainly it is more free in these u days, to be a papist, anabaptist, of the family of love; " yea, any most wicked one whatsoever, than that which we " should be. And I could live these twenty years, any " such in England; (yea in a bishop's house, it may be) " and never be much molested for it. So true is that which u you are charged with, in a 4 Dialogue' lately come forth " against you, and since burned by you, that you care for " nothing but the maintenance of your dignities, be it to " the damnation of your own souls, and infinite millions " more."* His indictment said, " That he not having the fear of God before his eyes, but being stirred up by the instigation of the devil, did maliciously publish a scandalous and infamous libel against the queen's majesty, her crown and dignity."t
Mr. Udal being brought to the bar, and his indictment read, humbly requested their " lordships to grant him to answer by counsel;" which the judge peremptorily refused, saying, " You cannot have it. Therefore answer your indictment." He then pleaded not guilty, and put himself upon the trial of his country.} In opening the case, Mr. Daulton, the queen's counsel, made a long invective against the new discipline, as he was pleased to call it, which, he affirmed, was not to be found in the word of God. When he had done, Mr. Udal observed, that, as this was a controversy among learned divines, he thought Mr. Daulton might have suspended his judgment, especially as he himself had formerly shewed some liking to the same cause. Upon which the judge said, " Sirrah! sirrah! answer to the
• Fuller's Church Hist. b. ix. p. 221,222.—Strype's Wbitgifl, p. 343. t Slate Tryah, vol. i. p. 147. J Ibid.
matter." " Mr. Daulton," said he, " go on to prove the points in the indictment;" which were the following:
1. That Mr. Udal was the author of the book.
2. That he had a malicious intent in making it.
3. That the matters in the indictment were felony by the statute of 23 Eliz. cap. 2.
The first point to be proved, was, that Mr. Udal was the author of the book; and here it is observable, that his judges did not stand upon the formality of bringing him and his accusers face to face, and cause them to appear as witnesses against him in open court; but only their examinations were produced, to which the register swore. And, first, Stephen Chatfield's articles were brought forwards, containing a report of certain papers he had seen in Mr. Udal's study. Upon seeing them, and asking whose they were, Mr. Udal answered, " a friend's." Chatfield then desired him to get rid of them; for he feared they concerned the slate. He added, that Mr. Udal told him at another time, that if the bishops put him to silence, he would give them such a blow as they never had. Chatfield was then called to witness these things, but he did not appear. Daulton said, he went out of the way on purpose. And when the judge said, " Mr. Udal, you are glad of that;" the prisoner replied, " My lord, I heartily wish he were here. For, as I am sure he could never say any thing to prove this point; so I am able to prove, that he is very sorry that he ever made any complaint against me, confessing he did it in anger when Martin first came out, and by their suggestions whom he has since proved to be very bad men." Mr. Udal added, " That the book was published before he had this conversation with Chatfield." And as he proceeded, the judge interrupted him, saying, the case was sufficiently clear.
The examination of Nicholas Tomkins was next produced. This Tomkins was now beyond sea, but the paper said, that Mr. Udal had told him, he was the author. But Tomkins himself afterwards said, " That he'would not for a thousand worlds affirm any more, than that he heard Mr. Udal say, that he would not doubt, but set his name to the book, if he had indifferent judges." When Mr. Udal offered to produce his witnesses to prove this, the judge said, " That because the witnesses were against the queen's majesty, they could not be heard."
The confession of Henry Sharp of Northampton, was next read, who, upon his oath before the lord chamberlain, had declared, " That he heard Mr. Penry say, that Mr. Udal was the author of the Demonstration. '•
This was all the evidence of the fact, upon which he was convicted, not a single living witness being produced in court. The poor man had, therefore, no opportunity to ask any questions, or refute the evidence. Ami what methods were used to extort these confessions, may be easily imagined from their non-appearance in court, and having testified their sorrow for what they had done. What man of common understanding, would hang his dog on such evidence as this ?
To prove Mr. Udal guilty of sedition, and bring him within the statute, the counsel insisted, that his threatening the bishops, who were the queen's officers, was, by construction, threatening the queen herself. The prisoner desired liberty to explain the passage; when he insisted, that offence against the bishops was not sedition against the queen. But all that could be s'lid, was set aside, and the judge gave it for law, even without allowing the two remaining points of the indictment to be examined, " That they who spake against the queen's government in causes ecclesiastical, or her ecclesiastical laws, proceedings, and officers, defamed the queen herself." Upon this the jury were directed to find him guilty of the fact, and the judges taking upon themselves the point of law, condemned him as a felon. Fuller even confesses, that the proof against him was not pregnant; for it was generally believed, that he wrote not the book, but only the preface.t His enemies might as well have condemned him without the formality of a trial. The statute was undoubtedly strained beyond its meaning, and evidently with a design to reach his life. The good man behaved himself with great modesty and discretion at the bar; and having said as much for himself as must have satisfied any equitable persons, he submitted to the judgment of the court.
u The case of Mr. Udal seems singular," says Hume, ** even in the arbitrary times in which he lived. He was thrown into prison on suspicion of having published a book against the bishops, and brought to his trial for this offence. It was pretended that the bishops were part of the queen's political body; and to speak against them, was to attack ner, and was, therefore, felony by the statute. This was not
• Strjpe's Annali, Voi. Hi. Appen. p. 268.—State Trjali, vol. 1. p. 147—152. t Fuller'* Church Hlat. b. iz. p. 822.
the only iniquity to which Udal was exposed. The judges would not allow the jury to determine any thing but the fad, of his being the author of the book, without examining bis intention, or the import of his words. In order to prove the fact, they did not produce a single witness to the court: they only read the testimony of two or three persons absent. They would not allow Udal to produce any exculpatory evidence, saying, it was not permitted against the crown. . His refusing to swear that he was not the author of the book, was employed against him as the strongest proof of his guilt. Notwithstanding these multiplied iniquities, the verdict of the jury was brought against him. For, as the queen was extremely bent upon his prosecution, it was impossible he could escape."*
Mr. Udal was convicted at the summer assizes, 1590, but did not receive sentence till the Lent following. In the mean time, pardon was offered him, if he would sign the following recantation, dated February, 1591:
" I, John Udal, have been heretofore, by due course of u law, convicted of felony, for penning or setting forth a " certain book, called 4 The Demonstration of Discipline ;* " wherein false, slanderous, and seditious matters are " contained against her majesty's prerogative royal, her " crown and dignity, and against her laws and government, " ecclesiastical and temporal, by law established under her " highness, and tending to the erecting a new form of " government, contrary to her laws. All which points, I u do now, by the grace of God, perceive to be very " dangerous to the peace of this realm and church, seditious " in the commonwealth, and infinitely offensive to the " queen's most excellent majesty. So as thereby, now seeing " the grievousness of my offence, I do most humbly, on " my knees, before and in this presence, submit myself to " the mercy of her highness, being most sorry that I have " so deeply and worthily incurred her majesty s indignation " against me; promising, if it shall please God to move her " royal heart to have compassion on me, a most sorrowful, " convicted person, that I will, for ever hereafter, forsake all " undutiful and dangerous courses, and demean myself " dutifully and peaceably; for I acknowledge her laws to be " both lawful and godly, and to beobcyed by every subject."t
No arguments or threatenings of the judges could prevail upon Mr. Udal to sign the above recantation. He could
• Hume's Hist, of Eng. Vol. y. p. 345,346.
+ Strype's Annals, rol. It. p. 26, S7.—Baker's MS. Collee. vol. xv, p. 45. VOL. II. 0.
not, for the world, subscribe to that as true, which he knew to be false. He, therefore, resolved to suffer on the gallows, rather than be guilty of such prevarication and hypocrisy. But the day before sentence was to be passed upon him, he offered the following submission, drawn up by himselfj dated February 19, 1591:
" Concerning the book whereof I was by due course of " law convicted, by referring myself to the trial of the law, " and that by the verdict of twelve men, I am found to be " the author of it, for which cause an humble submission is " worthily required and offered of me. Although I cannot " disavow the cause and substance of the doctrine debated " in it, which I must needs acknowledge to be holy, and (so " far as I can conceive of it) agreeable to the word of God; " yet I confess, the manner of writing it is such, in some u parts, as may worthily be blamed, and might provoke her " majesty's indignation. Wherefore the trial of the law " imputing to me all such defaults as arc in that book, and " laying the punishment of the same in most grievous " manner upon mc; as my most humble suit to Her most " excellent majesty is, that her mercy and gracious pardon " may free me from the guilt and offence, which the said " trial of the law hath cast upon mc, and further, of her ,c great clemency, to restore me to the comfort of my life " and liberty ; so do I promise, in all humble submission to " God and her majesty, to carry myself in the whole " course of my life, in such humble and dutiful obedience, " as shall befit a minister of the gospel and a dutiful " subject, fervently and continually praying for the good " preservation of her highness's precious life and happy " government, to the honour of God, and comfort of her " loyal and dutiful subjects."*
Previous to this, Mr. Udal had often, and with great earnestness, petitioned his judges for their mediation with the queen.t In his letter to Puckering, dated November 11, 1590, he thus expressed himself:—" I resolved to call to your remembrance my hard estate, which I pray you to accept as proceeding from him who wisheth as well to you as to his own soul. I need not offer to your lordship's consideration of the miserable state I am in, being deprived of that living by which myself, my wife and children, should . be supported; and spending the little substance which God has given me, in this tedious state of imprisonment;
• Strjpe's Annah, vol. iv. p. 27.—State Tryals, vol. i. p. 152—155.
+ Baker's MS. Collec. Vo1, Xv. p. 50—52.
and thus exposing both me and them to beggary and misery. I pray you call to mind, by what course this misery was brought upon me; and if you find, by due consideration, that I am worthy to receive the punishment from the sentence of upright justice, I pray you hasten the execution of the same: for it were better, in this case, for me to die than to live. But if it appear to your consciences, as I hope it will, that no malice against her majesty can possibly be in me, seeing I pray daily for her majesty's prosperity and happiness, both in soul and body, then I do humbly and heartily desire you to be a means that I may be released. In doing this, I shall not only forget that hard opinion conceived of your courses against me, but also pray heartily unto God to bury the same, with the rest of your sins, in the grave of his son, Jesus Christ." Mr. Udal wrote several other letters, expressed in most humble and dutiful language.* But all these applications were to no purpose. The court would do nothing till he signed their submission; which, being directly contrary to the convictions of his conscience, he utterly refused.
At the close of the Lent assizes, Mr. Udal, being called to the bar, with the rest of the felons, and asked what he had to say, why judgment should not be given against him, according to the verdict, delivered a paper to the court, consisting of certain reasons; the principal of which were the following:
1. " Because the jury were directed only to find the fact, whether I was the author of the book; and were expressly freed by your lordship from inquiring into the intent, without which there is no felony.
2. " The men on the jury were not left to their own consciences, but were wrought upon, partly by promises, assuring them it should be no further danger to me, but tend to my good ; and partly by fear, as appears from the grief some of them have manifested ever since.
3. " The statute, in the true meaning of it, is thought not to reach my case, there being nothing spoken in the book concerning her majesty's person, but in duly and honour; I beseech you, therefore, to consider, whether drawing it from her royal person to the bishops, as being part of her body politic, be not a violent depraving and wresting of the statute.
4. " But if the statute be taken as it is urged, the felony must consist in the malicious intent; wherein I appeal first
to God, and then to all men who have known the course
of my life, and to your lordships' own consciences, whether you can find me guilty of any act, in all my life, that savoured of any malice or malicious intent against her majesty. And if your consciences clear me before God, I hope you will not proceed to judgment.
5. " By the laws of God, and, I trust also, by the laws of the land, the witnesses ought to have been produced in open court before me; but they were not, nor any thing else, only certain papers and reports of depositions. This kind of evidence is not allowed in the case of lands, and, therefore, it ought much less to be allowed in the case of life.
6. " None of the depositions directly prove me to be the author of the book in question; and the principal witness is so grieved for what he has done, that he is ashamed to come where he is known.
7. " Supposing I were the author of the book, let it be remembered that the said book, for substance, contains nothing but what is taught and believed by the best reformed churches in Europe; so that in condemning me, you condemn all such nations and churches as hold the came doctrine. If the punishment be for the manner of writing, this may be thought by some worthy of an admonition, or fine, or some short imprisonment; but death for an error of such a kind, cannot but be extreme cruelty, against one who has endeavoured to shew himself a dutiful subject, and a faithful minister of the gospel.
" If all this prevail not," says Mr. Udal, " yet my Redeemer liveth, to whom I commend myself, and say, as Jeremiah once said, in a case not much unlike mine, 4 Behold, I am in your hands to do with me whatsoever seemeth good unto you; but know you this, that if you put me to death, you shall bring innocent blood upon your own heads, and upon the land.' As the blood of Abel, so the blood of Udal, will cry to God with a loud voice, and the righteous Judge of the land will require it at the hands of all who shall be found guilty of it."*
All that he could say proved unavailable. His reasons were rejected; and his judges remained inflexible, unless he would sign the recantation drawn up for him; which his conscience not suffering him to do, sentence of death was passed upon him February 20th, and execution openly awarded. When he received the unjust and cruel sentence,
he was not in the least dismayed, but with great seriousness, said, " God's will be done."* The next morning, the judges, by direction from court, gave private orders to put off his execution, until her majesty's pleasure was further known. All this was done by the particular appointment of Whitgift. " For Dr. Bancroft, by his order, wrote to Puckering, signifying, that, if TJdal's submission did not satisfy him, it was the archbishop's pleasure that he should proceed to judgment, and command his execution; but afterwards defer the same, till her majesty's pleasure be consulted."t In the mean time, the Dean of St. Paul's and Dr. Andrews were sent to persuade him to sign the recantation ; which he still peremptorily refused. And, because the queen had been misinformed of his opinions, Mr. Udal, by the motion of Sir Walter Rawleigh, who highly esteemed him, sent her majesty a short confession of his faith, as follows:
" I believe, and have often preached," says he, " that the church of England is a part of the true visible church, the word and sacraments being truly dispensed; for which reason, I have communicated with it several years at Kingston, and a year at Newcastle-upon-Tyne; and do still desire to be a preacher in the same church. Therefore, I utterly renounce the schism and separation of the JBrownists—I do allow the articles of religion, as far as they contain the doctrine of faith and sacraments, according to law.—I believe the queen's majesty hath, and ought to have, supreme authority over all persons, in all causes ecclesiastical and civil. And if the prince command any thing contrary to the'word of God, it is not lawful for subjects to rebel or resist, but, with patience and humility, to bear the punishment laid upon them.—I believe the church, rightly reformed, ought to be governed by ministers, assisted by elders, as in the foreign reformed churches.—I believe the censures of the church ought merely to concern the soul, and may not impeach any subject, much less any prince, in liberty of body, goods, dominion, or any earthly privilege: nor do I believe that a christian prince ought otherwise to be subject to church censures, than our gracious queen professes herself to be by the preaching of
• Slate Tryals, vol. i. p. 157.
+ Baker't MS. Collec. vol. xv. p. 105.—Notwithstanding these barbarous proceedings, Whitgift is styled a pious and a prudent prelate, and a nan not given to boisterous things, but one just and fair in all his ways.— Wharton't TroubUt of Laud, vol. i. p. 80.
the word and the administration of the sacraments. My desire is, that her majesty may be truly informed of every thing I hold, that I may obtain her gracious favour; without which, I do not wish to live."*
This declaration of his faith, Mr. Udal sent to Sir Walter Rnwleigh, requesting him to present it to her majesty. In the letter enclosing this declaration, dated February 22, 1591, he earnestly solicits this honourable person to be a means with the queen in procuring his pard<?n, or changing his sentence into banishment, that the land might not be charged with his blood. In this letter he says, " I beseech you to be a means of appeasing her majesty's indignation, conceived against me from false accusation. For God is my witness, that no earthly thing was ever so dear to me, as to honour her majesty, and to draw her subjects to do the same: and of the truth of this, I trust, my very adversaries will be witnesses when I am dead."t
King James of Scotland wrote, also, to the queen, in behalf of Mr. Udal, most earnestly requesting, that, for the sake of Aw intercession, the good man might be spared, promising the same favour to her majesty in any matter she might recommend to his attention. This letter, dated June 12, 1591, is still preserved.t The Turkey merchants, about the same time, offered to send him as chaplain to one of their factories abroad, if he might have his life and liberty; to which Mr. Udal consented, as appears from his letter to the lord treasurer. He says," My case is lamentable, having now been above three years in durance, which makes me humbly desire your lordship's favour, that I may be released from my imprisonment, the Turkey merchants having my consent to go into Syria or Guinea, there to remain two years with their factories, if my liberty can be obtained." The archbishop, it is said, yielded to this petition; the keeper promised to further it; and the Earl of Essex had a draught of his pardon ready prepared, with this condition, that he should never return without the queen's license. But her majesty never signed it; and the Turkey ships departing without him,poor unhappy Udal died a few months after, in the Marshalsea, quite heart-broken with sorrow and grief, towards the close of the year 1592.^
Fuller denominates Mr. Udal a learned man, blameless in
• Strype's Whilgift, p. 375, 378.—Baker's MS. Collec. vol. Xt. p. 54.
+ Strype's Whitgift, p. 376.
t Fuller's Church Hist. b. iz. p. 203,204.
S Strype's Whilgift, p. 377.
his life, powerful in prayer, and no less profitable than painful in preaching.* This is certainly a very high character from a zealous conformist; and what a pity it was, that so excellent a minister of Christ should meet with such cruel treatment! His remains were decently interred in the church-yard of St. George's in Southwark, near to the grave of the famous Bishop Bonner. His funeral was attended by great numbers of the London ministers, who, having visited him in prison, now wept over the mortal remains of that man, whose faith and patience were long and severely tried, and who died for the testimony of a good conscience, and stands as a monument of the oppression and cruelty of the government uuder which he suffered.
Upon King James's accession to the crown of England, it is said, the first person he inquired after when he came into this country, was Mr. Udal; and when he found that he was dead, he replied, " By my soul then the greatest scholar in Europe is dead."t
His Works.—1. The Key of the Holy Tongue, with a short Dictionary, and a Praxis on certain Psalms, 1593.—2. A Commentary on the Lamentations of Jeremiah.—3. Various Sermons.—4. The State of the Church of England laid open in a Conference between Diotrephes a Bishop, Tertullus a Papist, Demetrius an Usurer, Pandochus an Inn-keeper, and Pari a Preacher of the Word of God.