Try out the new BibleStudyTools.com. Click here!

Henry Burton

Henry Burton, B.D.—This painful sufferer for nonconformity was born at Birdsall in Yorkshire, in the year 1579, and educated in St. John's college, Cambridge, where he took his degrees, and was afterwards incorporated at Oxford. His first public employment was that of a tutor to the sons of Lord Carey at Leppington, who, in 1625, was created Earl of Monmouth, and whose lady was governess to Prince Charles in his infancy. It was probably owing to the interest of this honourable person, that he was made clerk of the closet to Prince Henry, and, after his death, to Prince Charles. In the year 1623, he was appointed to attend the young prince to Spain; but, for reasons unknown, he was set aside, even after part of his goods were shipped.; On that prince's accession to the crown, he expected no less than to be continued in the clerk's office; but his majesty giving that place to Neile, Bishop of Durham, Mr. Burton is said to have been so highly disgusted, that he warmly expressed his resentment on all occasions, particularly by railing against the bishops. "The vapours of ambition fuming in his head," says Clarendon, " he would not think of less than still being clerk of the closet. Being thus disappointed, and, as he called it, despoiled of his right, he would not in the greatness of his heart, sit down with the affront, but committed two or three such weak and saucy indiscretions, as caused an inhibition to be sent him, that he should not presume to come any more to court." The principle of

these weak and saucy indiscretions, as they are called, was, that in April, 1623, lie presented a letter to King Charles, remonstrating against Dr. Neile and Dr. Laud, his majesty's constant attendants, as being much inclined to popery; which was certainly too true. "From that time," adds the noble historian, "he resolved to revenge himself upon the whole order of bishops; and so turned lecturer, and preached against them, being endowed with malice and boldness, instead of learning and any tolerable parts."*

The above slanderous accusation is founded in ignorance, or prejudice, or both, as will appear to all v\ ho will only read his works with impartiality. Indeed, Mr. Burton afterwards affirmed his right to the above office, and that Bishop Neile cast him out through envy; and added: "but this was ordered by the special providence of my God, who would not suffer me to rise high at court, lest I should have been corrupted with its preferments."+ From what he has published to the world, he appears to have been furnished with considerable parts, and to have been no mean scholar. He was courageous in the cause of truth, and a man of a warm spirit; which led him, on certain occasions, to discover some degree of heat and indiscretion. The oppressions and cruelties of the prelates were sufficient to make a wise man mad. But that he resolved to revenge himself upon them, and turned lecturer for that purpose, is easily asserted, but not easily proved. Indeed, the charge of his turning lecturer at all, is certainly incorrect; for "in the above year he was presented to the rectory of St. Matthew's, Friday-street, London.

Mr. Burton was a person of a most heroical spirit, and never feared the appearance of an enemy, as appears from the account he gave of himself. Speaking of his various citations before Laud, his courage was such, that he says, "I was not at any time before him, but methought I stood over hiin, as a schoolmaster over his scholars: so great was the goodness of God towards me. Being convened before the high commission for my book, entitled,' Babel no Bethel,' Harsnet Archbishop of York, having run himself out of breath with railing against me and my book; and saying, that I had dedicated my book to the parliament, to incense them against the higher powers, (meaning the king,) 1 answered, ' No, my lord, 1 am none of those who divide the king and parliament, but 1 pray God unite them together!'"

• Clarendon's Hilt. vol. i. p. 158.—Wood's Athtnae Oion. vol. i. p. 814. + Burtooi Narration of hit Life, p. 2. Edit. 1643.

He afterwards describes the prelatical innovations and usurpations, and how he set himself to oppose them, saying, "I more and more disliked the prelates' usurpations, and tyrannical government, with their attempts to set up popery. Therefore I purposely preached upon the second chapter to the Colossians, crying down all will-worship and human inventions in God's service. I began in my practice, as in my judgment, to fall off from the ceremonies. Only I watched for an occasion to try it out with them, either by dint of arguments, or force of law, or by the king and his council, resolving either to foil my adversaries, though I had no great hope of success; or, at least discover the mystery of iniquity and hypocrisy, which, like a white vail, they had cast over all their foul practices. This discovery I took to be of no small importance. I saw how every day they got ground in the hearts of the simple and credulous, as if all they did was to maintain the protestant religion; when under that specious colour, the withered whore of Babylon came in naked at the first, till at length she began to shew her painted face in her superstitions, altar-service, and other garbs. And as they laboured to undermine and overthrow the true protestant religion, and set up popery; so they did not seek less to overthrow the civil state, with its good laws, and just liberties of the subject, and to introduce arbitrary and tyrannical government."* What degree of truth is contained in these strictures on the character and proceedings of the ruling prelates, those who are conversant with the history of the times will easily determine; and this will in part appear in the course of the present narrative.

Mr. Burton was a great sufferer in the cause of nonconformity. He felt the shocking intolerance and cruelties of the ruling prelates, especially those of Bishop Laud. In the year 1626, he was convened before the high commission, when he would have received the censure of the ruling ecclesiastics, had not the judges interposed and granted a prohibition, which they might do according to law, by which he was at that time rescued from his cruel oppressor.t Mr. Burton having published a book entitled, " The Baiting of the Pope's Bull; or, an Unmasking of the Mystery of Iniquity, folded up in a most pernicious Breave or Bull, sent from the Pope lately into England, to cause a Rent therein, for his Re-entery," 1627; though the book was wholly against the pope and his dangerous bull, and was licensed by Dr. Goad, he was called before the council by the instigation of Laud, who spoke vehemently against the book, calling it a libel. Afterwards, he published another work against popery, entitled, "The Pouring out of the Seven Vials," 1628; for which he was prosecuted in the high commission by this prelate, and the book suppressed. And when he published his book, entitled," Babel no Bethel," wholly against the church of Rome, this prelate employed his pursuivant to apprehend him; committed him to the Fleet, refusing bail when offered, contrary to the petition of right; suspended him from his benefice; and suppressed the book.* About the same time, his "Trial of Private Devotions," 1628, against Dr. Cosins; and his "Plea to an Appeal, in refutation of divers Arminian and Popish Errors broached by Mountague in his Appello Ctesarem," were both called in and suppressed, by the severity of this intolerant ecclesiastic .t

* Burton's Narration, p. S, 9. j Heyliu's Life of Laud, p. 15t.

How long Mr. Burton remained under the above suspension, and a prisoner in the Fleet, we have not been able to learn. He was afterwards released. This, however, was to him only the beginning of sorrows. November 5, 1636, he preached two sermons at his own church in Friday-street, from Prov. xxiv. 21, 22, My son,fear thou the Lord and the king, and meddle not with them that are given to change, &c. in which he laid open the late innovations in doctrine, worship, and ceremonies, and warned his hearers against them. Dr. Laud, now archbishop of Canterbury, hearing of this, caused articles to be exhibited against him in the high commission, and summoned him to answer them, out of term, before Dr. Duck. On his appearance, he was charged with having "spoken against turning communion tables into altars, against bowing to them, against sotting up crucifixes, against saying the second service at the altar, and against putting down afternoon sermons on the Lord's day." Enormous crimes, indeed, were these! He was, moreover, charged with having said, " that ministers might not safely preach upon the doctrines of grace without being troubled for it; and that the ministers in Norfolk and Suffolk were suspended for nonconformity to the rites and ceremonies, imposed upon them contrary to the laws of the land." These charges amounting, it is said, to sedition, he wa« required to answer upon his oath, and so to become his own accuser: but he refused the oath; and, instead of answering, appealed to the king. Notwithstanding his appeal, within fifteen days he was summoned, by the direction of the archbishop, to appear before a special high commission at Doctors' Commons; when, in his absence, he was suspended from his office and benefice, and attachments were given out to apprehend him.*

* It is curious to observe, that while Mr. Burton was treated thus for writing against popery, one Chowney, a fierce papist, published a book in defence of popery, for which he was neither punished nor even questioned; but was permitted to dedicate bis work (o Laud, who favoured it with his loyal and episcopal patronage!!—Whillocke,'! Memorial*, p. 21.

+ Pryone't Cant. Doome, p. 185.

Under these oppressive proceedings, Mr. Burton kept himself close shut up in his own house; and, to give an impartial public a fair opportunity of deciding upon his case, he published his sermons, entitled, " For God and the King; the Summe of two Sermons preached on the fifth of November last, in St. Matthewes, Friday-Street, 1636;" with "An Apologie for an Appeale," addressed to the king, the lords of the council, and the learned judges.t The pursuivants of the high commission not daring to break open Mr. Burton's doors, the archbishop and the bishop of London, with several others, drew up a warrant to one Dendy, a sergeant at arms, to apprehend him.} By virtue of this warrant, Dendy, accompanied by the sheriff of London, and various other armed officers, went the same evening to Mr. Burton's house in Friday-street, and between ten and eleven o'clock at night, violently broke open his doors, took him into custody, and seized his books and papers, as many as they pleased. The next day, instead of being brought before the lords, as the warrant expressed, he was, by another warrant, and without anj cause assigned, committed close prisoner to the Fleet.*

• Burton's Apnlogie for an Appeal?, p. 4, 15.—Pryone's Discovery of the Prelates' Tyranny, p. 14. Edit. 1641.

+ Mrs. Burton his wife, venturing to present copies of these sermons to several of the lords in parliament, was committed to prison for her pains.— Ibid.

f The following is a copy of the warrant:—" To Edward Dendy, ** esquire, one of his majesty's sergeants at arms. These shall be to will "an.! require you to make jour immediate repair to any place where you "shall understand of the present being of Henry Burton, clerk, and "having found him, to take him into your custody, and to bring him forth"with and in your company (all delays and excuses set apart) before us, "to answer to such matters as shall be objected against him. And you are "further, by virtue hereof, to require and charge all mayors, sheriffs, "justices, bailiffs, constables, headboruughs, and all others, his majesty's "officers and loving subjects, to be aiding and assisting auto you in the *' full and due execution of this service, whereof neither they nor you "may fail at your perils. And this shall be unto yon and them a "sufficient warrant. Dated at the star-chamber, the first of lib. 1637. "YV. Cant. Henry Vaine, Arundall and Surry,

"Gnil. London. Tho. Coventry, J. Coke."

Ibid. p. 14, 15.

During Mr. Burton's close confinement, two anonymous publications came forth, the one entitled, " A Divine Tragedy, containing a Catalogue of God's late Judgments upon Sabbath-breakers;" the other," News from Ipswich,"discovering the innovations and severities of the prelates, especially Bishop Wren of Norwich. These were supposed to have been written by Mr. William Prynne, the lawyer. Dr. John Bastwick, a physician, having published a book, entitled, Apologeticus ad prasules Anglicanos, and a pamphlet, called, "The New Litany ;"t these three, Mr. Burton, Mr. Prynne, and Dr. Bastwick, now confined in prison, were prosecuted in the star-chamber, for "writing and publishing seditious, schismatical, and libellous books against the hierarchy, and to the scandal of the government." This was the substance of the indictment. They had warmly reflected upon the bishops, taxed them with inclinations to popery, and exclaimed against the severity and injustice of the proceedings of the high commission. The persons then in power were of too impatient and revengeful a temper to let such reflections and invectives go unpunished.;

When the three defendants had prepared their answers to the indictment, they could not obtain counsel to sign them, through fear of the prelates; upon which they petitioned the court to receive them from themselves, which was rejected. However, Mr. Prynne and Dr. Bastwick, having no other remedy, left their answers at the office, signed by their own hands, but were, nevertheless, proceeded against pro confesso. Mr. Burton prevailed upon Mr. Holt, a learned and an aged bencher of Gray's-inn, to sign his answer; but the court, instead of receiving it, even when signed, ordered the two chief justices to expunge what they deemed unfit to be brought into the court. Accordingly, they struck out the whole answer, consisting of forty sheets of paper, except a few lines at the beginning, and a few more at the end: and because Mr. Burton would not acknowledge it thus purged, he was, in like manner, proceeded against pro confesso.*

* The following is a copy of this second warrant:—" To the warden "of the Fleet or his deputy. These are to will and require you to receive "into your custody, the person of Henry Burton, clerk, sent herewith "unto you, and to keep him a close prisoner in the Fleet, not suffering "any one to speak with him until further order, whereof you may not fail "at your perils, and this shall be your warrant. Dated from Whitehall, "the second of Feb. 1637. "W. Cant. Arundall and Surry, T. Jerrayn and Jo. Cake,

"Guil. London, Pembroke and Mountgomery, Fra. Windebanke."

Prynne'i Discovery uf the Prelates' Tyranny, p. 16. Edit. 1641.

+ In the indictment against the three prisoners, it is said, that Dr. Bastwick bad signified in bis " Litany," in the name of his wife, who was great with child, that be was desirous of father William's holiness (meaning Laud1) and William London, the principal governor of the treasury, being godfathers to bis child, not doubting that he should procure the whore of Babylon, with whom they had so long committed fornication, to be godsoother.—Baker'i MS. Colkc. »ol. xxxiii. p. 389, 2S0.

t Biog. Britao. vol. i. p. 680. Edit. 1778.

The three prisoners were brought to the bar June 14, \QSt, when they offered to defend their several answers at the peril of their lives; but the court, finding them not filed on record, would not receive them. The prisoners at die bar cried aloud for justice, and that their answers might be read; but, however reasonable their request, it was peremptorily denied. During the trial, Prynne and Bastwick having been examined, the learned judges came next to the case of Mr. Burton, which was as follows:

Lord Keeper. Mr. Burton, what say you?

Burton. My good lords, your honours, it should seem, do determine to censure us, and take our cause pro confesso, although we have laboured to give your honours satisfaction in all things. My lords, what have you to say against my book? I confess, I did write it; yet did I not say any thing out of intent of commotion or sedition. I delivered nothing but what my text led ine to, being chosen to suit with the day, namely, the fifth of November.

L. Keeper. Mr. Burton, I pray stand not naming texts of scripture now: we do not send for you to preach, but to answer to those things which are objected against you.

Burton. My lord, I have drawn up my answer, to my great pains and charges; which answer was signed with my counsel's hand, and received into the court according to the rule and order thereof. And I did not think to have been called this day to a censure, but to have had a legal proceeding by way of bill and answer.

L. Keeper. Your answer was impertinent.

Burton. My answer, after it was entered in the court, was referred to the judges, but by what means I do not know; and what cause your lordships had to cast it out, I know not. But after it was approved of and received, it was cast out as an impertinent answer.

Lord Finch. The judges did you a good turn, to make it

♦ Prynne's Prelates' Tyranny, p. 14—18, 40—43.

impertinent; for it was as libellous as your book: so that your answer deserved a ceusurc alone.

L. Keeper. What say you, Mr. Burton, are you guilty or not?

Burton. My lord, I desire.you to peruse my book, not only here and there, but every passage of it.

L. Keeper. Mr. Burton, time is short. Are you guilty, or not guilty? What say you to that which was read r Doth it become a minister to deliver himself in such a railing and scandalous way?

Burton. In my judgment, and as I can prove it, it was neither railing nor scandalous. I conceive, that a minister hath a larger liberty than always to go in a mild strain. I being a pastor of my people, whom I had in charge, and was to instruct, I supposed it was my duty to inform them of those innovations that are crept into the church, as likewise of the danger and ill consequences of them. As for my answer, ye blotted out what ye would, and then the rest, which made best for your own ends, you would have to stand; and now for me to tender only what will serve for your own turns, and renounce the rest, were to desert my cause; which, before I will do, or desert my conscience, I will rather desert my body, and deliver it up to your lordships to do with it what you will.

L. Keeper. This is a place where you should crave mercy and favour, Mr. Burton, and not stand on such terms as you do.

Burton. Wherein I have offended through human frailty, I crave pardon of God and man. And I pray God, that, iu your sentence, you may so censure us that you may not sin against the Lord.*

Thus, while Mr. Burton and his fellow-prisoners desired to say more for themselves, they were interrupted, and commanded silence; when the following dreadful sentence was passed upon them: "That Burton shall be deprived of his ecclesiastical benefice, degraded from his ministerial function and degrees in the university, as Prynne and Bastwick have been from their professions of law and physic ;t they shall be fined each Ate thousand pounds; they shall stand in the pillory at Westminster, and have their ears cut off; and because Prynne hath already lost his ears, by sentence of the court in 1633, the remainder of the stumps shall be cut off, and he shall be stigmatized on both his cheeks with the letters S. L. for a seditious libeller; and they shall suffer perpetual imprisonment, in three of the remotest prisons of the kingdom, namely, in Carnarvon, Cornwall, and Lancaster castles." Previous to the execution of this terrible sentence, Mr. Burton's parishioners sent a petition to the king, signed by a great number of hands, humbly entreating his pardon and liberty. It was presented by two of them, who were immediately committed to prison for their pains.* And, June 30th, the sentence was executed upon the three prisoners, the hangman sawing off the remainder of Prynne's ears, rather than cutting them.i

* Harleian Miscellany, vol. It. p. 17. Edit. 1745.

+ Mr. Prynne having published his " Histrio-Mastir," a book against plays, masquerades, &c. it gave great offence to Archbishop Laud, who, in the year 1633, procured a sentence against him in the star-chamber. "That lie should be disabled from the practice of the law, be degraded from his degree in the university, be set in the pillory, have both his ears cut off, his book burnt by the common hangman, to pay a fine of Jive thousand pounds, and to be imprisoned daring life;" which sentence was rigorously

These three men were of the three most credible professions, and not of the meanest character in their several faculties. Nevertheless, they are called by many bigotted historians, theseye/Zoaw, these pillory-men, these stigmatized scoundrels: when, in fact, the truly stigmatized, as our author observes, were their persecutors, who really deserved the punishment which these injured gentlemen suffered. Their crime, if any they were guilty of, was not against any law of the land, but the tyrannical oppressions of the prelates.t

On passing the above sentence, Archbishop Laud made a long and laboured speech, to clear himself from the charge of innovations, with which he was branded by the puritans. Though Laud was the chief prosecutor of these unfortunate sufferers, and his hand was first put to their numerous warrants, he made, in this speech, the following declarations: "I can say it clearly and truly, as in the presence of' God, "I have done nothing, as a prelate, to the uttermost of what "I am conscious, but with a single heart, and with a sincere "intention for the good government and honour of the

♦xecuted. At the same time, Dr. Bastwick having published hii EUnchut Puphmi tt Flagellum Epitcoporum Latialium, against the papists, declaring he intended nothing against our bishops, but only those of Rome, he was, nevertheless, sentenced in the high commission," to fine a (Aouianel pounds, to be excommunicated, debarred the practice of physic, his book to be burnt, and to he imprisoned till he made his recantation."—Whitlocke'i Memorials, p. 18, 21.

• Strafibrde's Letters, vol. ii. p. 57. Edit. 1739.

+ Rushnorth's Collec. vol. Ii. p. 382.—Pry one's Prelates' Tyranny, p, 61.

X Clarendon and YYhitlocke Compared, p. 53.

"church,* and the maintenance of the orthodox truth and "religion of Christ, professed, established, and maintained "in this church of England." Was the conscience then of this reverend prelate become so callous, that, by continued acts of cruelty and oppression, he had lost all feeling for his fellow-creatures.' In the conclusion of the above speech, still addressing the lords who constituted the court, he even adds:—" I humbly give you all liearty thanks for your just "and honourable censure upon these men, and your unanimous "dislike of them!"t No one will for a moment dispute their unanimous dislike of them; but whether this, as well as the just and honourable censure put upon them, was deserving the hearty thanks of a learned and pious archbishop, will certainly be questioned. An impartial writer very justly observes, that as the punishment of these men was exorbitant, and disproportionate to the offence, it was then, and hath been ever since, looked upon by all merciful and unprejudiced persons with horror and detestation.)

The morning when the prisoners were to suffer their heavy sentence, Mr. Burton being brought to the Palaceyard, Westminster, and beholding the pillory, he said, "Never was my wedding-day so welcome and joyful to ma as this day is; and so much the more, seeing I have so noble a captain, who hath gone before me with so undaunted a spirit, that he saith of himself, ' I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off die hair.' The Lord God will help me; therefore, I shall not be confounded. Shall I be ashamed of a pillory for Christ, who was not ashamed of a cross for me i" Then being put in the pillory, he addressed the immense crowd of spectators, saying, " Good people, I am brought hither to be a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. And though I stand here to undergo the punishment of a rogue; yet, unless it be the property of a rogue to be a faithful servant of Christ, and a loyal subject to the king, I am clear from any such charge. But if to be Christ's faithful servant, and the king's loyal subject, deserve such kind of punishment as this, I glory in it, and bless God my conscience is clear. I bless God, who hath accounted me worthy of these sufferings. I bless God, I am. full of comfort." With a grave and cheerful countenance he added: " I was never m such a pulpit before. Little do you know what fruit God is able to produce from this dry tree. Through these holes (meaning the pillory) God can bring light to his church. My conscience, in the discharge of my ministerial duty, in admonishing my people to beware of the creeping in of popery, and in exhorting them unto a dutiful obedience to God and linking, was that which first occasioned my sufferings. The truth which I have preached, I am ready to seal with my own blood, and this is my crown both here and hereafter." When he was delivered out of the pillory, and again brought upon the scaffold, the executioner cut off his ears in a most barbarous manner ;* during which, and while the blood was streaming in every direction, he manifested the greatest constancy and composure of mind, saying, " Be content; blessed be God, it is well;" and much more to the same purpose.f Mr. Prynne and Dr. Bastwick had this part of their sentence executed at the same time and place.

* The character given of his grace by Lord Clarendon, very much accords with the good opinion he had of himself. "No man," observes the noble historian, " was ever more plentifully replenished with a good conscience, and most sincere and worthy intentions, and a man of immense virtue."—Clarendon's Hist. vol. i. p. 51,

+ Laud's Speech annexed to Troubles, vol. ii. p. 67—84.

t Biog. Britan. vol. i. p. 682.

The day preceding the execution of the above sentence, it was decreed in the star-chamber, " That Henry Burton shall be sent to Lancaster castle, William Prynne to Carnarvon castle, and John Bastwick to Launceston castle, and there suffer perpetual imprisonment, and not be allowed any use of pen, ink, or paper, or any other book than the Bible, the Book of Common Prayer, and certain books of devotion; and no person to have access to them." Accordingly, July 26th, Dr. Bastwick was taken from the Gatehouse; the day following, Mr. Prynne was taken from the Tower; and, July 28th, Mr. Burton was taken from the Fleet; and, their sores not being cured, were conveyed to their respective places of confinement. As they passed out of the city, vast multitudes of people came forth to witness their departure, taking thenfinal and sorrowful farewell. As Mr. Burton passed from Smithfield to Brown's-well, a little beyond Highgate, it is said that no less than one hundred thousand persons were collected to witness his departure, and that his wife, going along in a coach, had great sums of money thrown to her as she passed along.* But the liberty given to Mr. Burton and his fellow-sufferers to speak in the pillory; and the affection

• HU ean were pared so close, that the temporal artery being cot, tho blood gushed out in torrents upon the scaffold. The sight of this awakened the compassion and cries of an immense concourse of people.—Fuller's Church HUt. b. xi. p. 155.—Strafforde'i Letttrt, vol, ii. p. 85.

+ Prycoe's Prelates' Tyranny, p. 40—80.

X Straflbrde's Letters, vol. ii.' p. 114.

and compassion of the populace, were highly offensive to Laud's proud spirit; as appears from his letter to Wentworth, dated August 28, 1637 :"• " What say you to it," observes the intolerant prelate, " that Prynne and his fellows should be "suffered to talk what they pleased while they stood in the "pillory, and win acclamations from the,people, and have "notes taken of what they spake, and those spread in written "copies about the city; and that when they went out of "town to their several imprisonments, there were thousands "suffered to be upon the way to take their leave, and God "knows what else ?—And I hear Prvnue was very much' "welcomed, both in Coventry and West-Chester, as he "passed towards Carnarvon."* A writer of some eminence observes, that nature seemed to have designed Laud for the office of an inquisitor. He was fierce and unrelenting in his

* Strafforde'a Letters, vol. ii. p. 99.

+ Mr. Prynne, on his way from London to Carnarvon, spent the Lord'* day at Coventry; where he twice attended divine service at church, and Kveral persons, bis friends, visited him at the inn, his conductors having received no orders to the contrary. Archbishop Laud hearing of this, immediately sent a messenger to Coventry, to bring the mayor and six others up to London, and convened them before the council-table. Though most of them never spoke to Mr. Prynne, they were obliged to a continued attendance for some time, and put to two or three hundred pounds expense, when they were reprimanded and dismissed. On Mr. Prynne't arrival at Chester, Mr. Calvin Brewen and some others visited him at the inn, assisted him in the purchase of some necessary furniture for hit chamber at Carnarvon, and manifested certain other acts of kindliest towards him. But by the direction of Laud, pursuivants were sent with warrants to apprehend them, and bring them before the high commission at York; when some were fined three, and some five hundred pounds, and forced to enter into bonds of three hundred pounds each, not only to abide by the further appointment of that court, but to make such public acknowledgment in the cathedral of Chester, and before the mayor, aldermen, and citizens, in the town-hall, as the commissioners should prescribe. Also, these pious high commissioners hearing that there were five paintings of Mr. Prynne, in the possession of his friends in Chester, they not only prosecuted the poor painter, but sent lorth two warrants, first to deface the paintings, then to burn them. Accordingly, the inoffensive paintings were apprehended and defaced, and then publicly burnt at the high-cross in Chester, in the presence of the mayor, aldermen, and citizens. It is curious further to observe, that the Bishop of Chester, who took an active part in these barbarous proceedings, out of enmity to Mr. Prynne, called his crop-eared horse by the name of Prynne. Thus the angry and revengeful prelates, not glutted by the severe sentence obtained against Mr. Prynne, pursued and grievously oppressed those who, as he was conveyed to prison, shewed him any acts of civility. Mr. Prynne's servant was also severely prosecuted in the high commission, and sent from prison to prison, only for refusing to accuse his master. The archbishop, who was leader in all these barbarous proceedings, and whom Granger considers eminent for sincere and ardent piety, seemed destitute of the feelings of humanity. — Prynne's Prelatet' Tyranny, p. 98—108.—Veoi's Puritans, vol. ii. p. 280.—Grangtr's Bi»g. Uist. vol. ii. p. 153.

disposition, void of mercy and compassion, and grudged those whom his rage and despotic power had reduced to very great extremities, even the pity and relief of friends. What worse character can exist? Who can be more justly odious to every man, than a vain mortal armed with power, and using it to wreak his vengeance on his foes? Ought not the memory of such wretches to be treated with a proper indignation ?• These are certainly strong expressions ; but how much truth they contain is left with the candid reader to judge.

While the three prisoners were on their way to their distant places of confinement, the tyrannical archbishop, not content with the order sent along with them, procured a fresh one, dated July 30, 1637, which was sent after them, and by which he obtained a more severe imprisonment. In this order there appeared, however, one clause in favour of the prisoners, that, during their close imprisonment, his majesty would give them allowance of their food. The whole order was as follows: "Whereas Henry Burton is, by the late "sentence of the high court of star-chamber, to be committed "to the goal, in the castle of Lancaster, and there to be kept "close prisoner. Their lordship's conceiving that the said "Burton cannot be in a common goal kept so close a "prisoner as by the said sentence is intended; upon con"sideration thereof, do hereby will and require the constable "or other chief officers of the said castle of Lancaster, and his "deputy or either of them, to suffer the sheriff of the county "of Lancaster, or the keeper of the said goal, still to use "such room or chamber without the said goal, and within the "said castle, as shall be most fit and convenient to keep the "said Burton a close prisoner there: and that none of the "other prisoners, or any other person or persons, be permitted "to come into the said castle to confer or in any way to "converse with the said Burton, such only excepted as are "to take care of his safety, or to attend the said Burton to "give him daily sustenance and relief. And the said Burton "is not to be permitted to have the use of any pen, ink, or "paper, or any book or books save only the Bible, the Book "of Common Prayer, and such other canonical books, as he "shall desire for his comfort and devotion, and which are "consonant to the religion professed in the church of "England. In regard of which close imprisonment, his *' majesty will give allowance for his diet, for all which this "order shall be a sufficient warrant unto the said constable,

• Harri6's Life of Charles I. p. 831,832.

"or other chief officer of the said castle of Lancaster, and to "his deputy, and the goaler aforesaid."* Though this order might seem to make some atonement for the numerous severities inflicted upon them, and be intended to blind the eyes of the people; instead of receiving his majesty's favour, not one of them, through the influence of the reverend prelates, received one penny of the royal bounty; and if their friends and keepers had not been more charitable than their lordships, they would soon have perished in their prisons.

Great numbers of persons, who pitied these unhappy sufferers, having resorted to the places where they were confined, the relentless archbishop, to add afflictions to the afflicted, and to deprive them of all possibility of receiving comfort or relief from their wives, relations, or friends, procured an order for their perpetual banishment and close imprisonment, in the islands of Guernsey, Jersey, and Scilly. This order, now before me, is much the same as that which followed them to their other places of confinement, only it contains this additional severity: "That no letters or writings "be permitted to be brought to the said prisoners, nor from "them, to any person or place whatsoever. And that the "wives of the said Burton and Bastwick (Prynne not being "married) shall not be permitted to laud on any of the said "islands; and if they or either of them shall be found so "offending, such offender or offenders shall forthwith be "committed to prison. And that in conveying the said "prisoners to the said islands, no person whatsoever, besides "those who have the care and charge of them, shall be per"mitted to speak with them." What greater cruelty ever appeared in the Spanish Inquisition, or among the barbarities of the Algiereans: According to the above order, Mr. Burton, contrary to his sentence in the star-chamber, and without any cause shewn, was removed from the castle of Lancaster to Castle-cornet in the island of Guernsey; where he arrived December 15, 1637, and was shut up in a low, narrow, dark room, almost suffocated for want of air, and no one allowed to see or speak to him. Dr. Bastwick was also removed from the castle of Launceston to the castle on the island of Scilly; and Mr. Prynne from Carnarvon to the castle of Montorguiel in Jersey, where they were shut up close prisoners.t

These oppressive and illegal proceedings, however gratify* ing they might be to the spirit of Archbishop Laud, will rouse the pity and indignation of every generous and pious mind. The learned Mosheim, in allusion to these shocking severities, observes, " That a violent spirit of animosity and persecution discovered itself through the whole of Laud's ecclesiastical administration. This haughty prelate executed the plans of his royal master, and fulfilled the views of his own ambition, without using those mild and moderate methods, that prudence employs to make unpopular schemes go down. He carried things with a high hand. When he found the laws opposing his views, he treated them with contempt, and violated them without hesitation. He loaded the puritans with injuries and vexations, and aimed at nothing less than their total extinction."*

* Pry one's Prelates' Tyranny, p, 84. + Ibid. u. 61—98.

The three prisoners remained in the above remote islands, under most severe usage, till the year 1640. During this period, Mrs. Burton and Mrs. Bastwick, as widows forcibly divorced from their husbands, often petitioned his majesty, and the lords of the council, for liberty to visit them, or that they might reside on those islands where they were imprisoned, or that they might be shut up in close prison with them. But, by the sovereign power and influence of Laud, their petitions were all rejected. Though the archbishop could never be prevailed on to forgive d)e three sufferers, he said, "He humbly beseeched God to forgive them." One of the prisoners, however, obtained some mitigation of his afflictions. For, upon the petition of Sir Thomas Jermin, governor of Jersey, being presented to the king, in behalf of Mr. Prynne, he was allowed to attend divine service, and receive the sacrament in the castle, and to walk with his keeper in the gardens. But as soon as the unmerciful archbishop heard of the royal indulgence, he fell into a violent rage, and sent a messenger for one Mr. Hungerford, who had been employed in procuring it, and convened him before the council.+

In the above year, the prisoners were called home by order of the parliament. For, November 7th, Mrs. Burton and Mrs. Bastwick having presented petitions to the house of commons, in behalf of their husbands, complaining of their heavy sentence in the star-chamber, the house immediately ordered, " That their said husbands shall be forthwith sent for, in safe custody, by a warrant of the house, directed to the goveriiors of the islands where they are pri

• Movheim's Eccl. Hist. vol. v. p. 393. + Prynne's Prelates' Tyranny, p. 110.

goners, ami to the captains of the castles there; that the cause of their being detained may be here certified."' This warrant is dated November 7, 1640. A petition was also presented in behalf of Mr. Prynne, when the house gave a similar order for his return.

Mr. Burton and Mr. Prynne coming in the same vessel, arrived at Dartmouth on the 22nd of November, where they were received and entertained with extraordinary demonstrations of affection and joy. In the whole of their {"ourney to the metropolis, they were attended with a marvelous conflax of people, and not only their charges borne with great magnificence, but liberal presents given them. This kind of treatment they met with all the way, great numbers of people meeting them at their entrance into all the towns through which they passed, and waiting upon them some distance out, with wonderful acclamations of joy. As they approached the metropolis, the road betwixt Brentford and London was so full of coaches, horsemen, and persons on foot, come to meet thein, and congratulate them on their safe arrival, that it was with difficulty they could ride one mile an hour. As they entered London, there was so immense a concourse of people, that they were nearly three hours in passing from Charing-cross to their lodgings in the city. The numerous crowds who escorted them into the city, in token of their great joy, carried lighted torches before them, strewed the road with herbs and flowers, put rosemary and bays in their hats, and, as they went along, with loud acclamations for their deliverance, shouted, Welcome home, welcome home! God bless you, God bless you: God be thanked for your return.*

On November 30th, being two days after his arrival in London, Mr. Burton appeared before the house of commons, and, December 5th, presented his petition to the house, entitled," The humble Petition of Henry Burton, late Exile, and close Prisoner in Castle-cornet, in the Isle of Guernsey." In this petition he gives a sketch of his numerous and painful sufferings, and concludes by recommending his case to their impartial consideration; but the whole is too long for our insertion.^ On the presentation of the petition, with many others of a similar kind, the house appointed a committee for their examination; and on the 12th of March following, Mr. Rigby delivered their report to the house, when the house passed the following resolutions:

• Prynne'a Prelates' Tyranny, p. 118.—Rushworth's Collec. vol. T. p. 80. —Nalaon'i Collec. vol. I. p. 499.

+ Prynne's Prelates' Tyranny, p. 113, 114.

t Ibid. p. 187—130.—Rmbworth'i Collie, vol. T. p, 78,79.

1. "That the four commissioners, Dr. Duck, Dr. Worral, Dr. Sams, and Dr. Wood, proceeded unjustly and illegally in suspending Mr. Burton from his office and benefice, for not appearing upon the summons of the first process.

2. " That the breaking up Mr. Burton's house, and arresting his person without any cause shewed, and before any suit depended against him in the star-chamber, and his close imprisonment thereupon, are against the law and the liberty of the subject.

3. "That John Wragg hath offended in searching and seizing the books and papers of Mr. Bui ton, by colour of a general warrant dormant from the high commissioners; and that the said warrant is against law and the liberty of the subject; and that sergeant Dendy and alderman Abel have offended in breaking open the house of Mr. Burton, and ought respectively to make him reparation for the same.

4. "That Mr. Burton ought to have reparation and recompence for the damages sustained by the aforesaid proceedings of Dr. Duck and others, who suspended him from his office and benefice.

5. "That the warrant from the council-board, dated at Whitehall, February 2, 1637, for committing Mr. Burton close prisoner,'and the commitment thereupon, is illegal, and contrary to the liberty of the subject.

6. "That the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishop of London, the Earl of Arundal and Surrey, the Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery, Sir H. Vane, Sir J. Coke, and Sir Francis Windebank, do make reparations to Mr. Button for his damages sustained by this imprisonment."

• The 24th of the same month, Mr. Burton's case being again brought before the house, it was further resolved:

1. "That the sentence in the star-chamber against Mr. Burton is illegal, and without any just ground, and ought to be reversed, and he ought to be freed from the fine of J€oooo, and the imprisonment imposed upon him by the said sentence, and to be restored to his degrees in the university, orders in the ministry, and to his ecclesiastical benefice in Friday-street, London.

2. "That the order of the council-board for transferring Mr. Burton from the castle of Lancaster to the isle of Guernsey, and his imprisonment there, are against law and the liberty of the subject.

3. "That the said Mr. Burton ought to have reparation

and recompence for the damages sustained by the said imprisonment, loss of his ears, and other evils sustained by the said unjust and illegal proceedings."*

On the 20th of April, the house of commons voted Mr. Burton to receive six thousand pounds for his damages sustained, but the confusions of the times prevented the payment of the money. And by an order of the house, dated June 8, 1641, he was restored to his former ministry and benefice in Friday-street.t Mr. Prynne and Dr. Bastwick also presented their petitions to the house, when their cases were taken into consideration, and the house passed similar resolutions in their favour.}

On Mr. Burton's restoration, he formed a church after the model of the independents; and he appears to have greatly prospered in his public ministry. Wood represents him as Severe in the exercise of church discipline; that he would admit none to the Lord's supper besides members of his own church, or any to baptism besides the children of such; that he challenged a power of examination into the lives and conversation of members, casting out whom he pleased, and not admitting them till they gave satisfaction'to the church; and that he would not administer the Lord's supper at Easter.% But this author further observes, that towards the close of his life, he became more moderate; and he lived till after the beheading of his old master, King Charles I. Herein, however, he is mistaken; for Mr. Burton was buried January 7, 1647, aged sixty-eight years.*

* Proline's Prelates'Tyranny, p. 139—141.—Rusbworth's Collect, vol. T. p. 207,'2I3.—Nalson's Collec. vol. i. p. 781, 794.

+ Prynne's Prelates' Tyranny, p. 145.

{ Mr. Prynne was afterwards chosen member of the Ion*; parliament Tie was a man of a courageous spirit, and boldly stepped forwards to correct every enormity in church and state. He was, perhaps, one of the hardest students that ever existed. He was called one of the greatest paper-worms that ever crept into a library. Wood supposes that he wrote a sheet for every day of bis life, computing from the time of his arrival to man's estate to the day of his death. He says, "his custom was, when "he studied, to put on a long quilted cap, which came an inch over his "eyes, serving as an umbrella to defend them from too much light; and "seldom eating a dinner, would every three hours, or more, be mnunrhing "a roll of bread, and now and then refresh his exhausted spirits with ale." This voluminous writer was author of about ttvo hundred books, which be gave, in forty volumes folio and quarto, to the public library of Lincoln'sinn. On the restoration of Charles II., some one asked the king what must be done with Prynne, to make him quiet. "Why," said his majesty, " let him amuse himself with writing against the catholics, and in *' poring over the records of the Tower." To enable him to do the latter, Charles made him keeper of the records of the Tower, with a salary of five hundred pounds a year. He died October 24, 1669,—Wood's Athena Oxon. vol. ii, p. 311—327.

t Ibid. p. 460.

The memory of this zealous and faithful servant of Christ has suffered the reproach and contempt of most of our bigotted historians; but, from the foregoiug narrative, his manifold and painful sufferings stand as a monument of disgrace to the government under which he lived, and especially as a lasting reproach to Archbishop Laud.i Some, indeed, have not been ashamed to assert, that his heavy sentence, with that of his fellow-sufferers, was just and necessary.i But, says Granger, " The punishment of these men, who were of the three great professions, was ignominious and severe. The indignity and severity of their punishment gave general offence; and they were no longer regarded as criminals, but confessors."$

His Works, in addition to those already mentioned. — 1. A Censure of Simony, 1624.—2. Israel's Fast, or Meditations on the seventh Chap, of Joshua, 1628.—3. Truth's Triumph over Trent, or the great Gnlph between Sion and Babylon; that is, the irreconcileablo Opposition between the Apostolic Church of Christ and the Apostate Synagogue of Antichrist, in the main and fundamental Doctrine of Justification, 1629.—4. The Law and the Gospel reconciled against the Antinoiuians, 1631.—5. The Christian's Bulwark, or the Doctrine of Justification, 1G32.—6. Exceptions against Dr. Jackson's Treatise of the Divine Essence and Attributes, 163..— 7. Jesu Worship Confuted: or, certain Arguments agaiust Bowing at the Name of Jesus, proving it to be Idolatrous and Superstitious, and so utterly unlawful: With Objections to the contrary fully Answered, 1641.—8. The Sounding of the two last Trumpets: or. Meditations on the ninth, tenth, and eleventh Chapters of Revelation, 1641. — 9. The Protestation Protested; or, a short Remonstrance shewing what is principally required of all those who take the last Parliamentary Protestation, 1641.—10. England's Bondage and Hopes of Deliverance, a Sermon preached before the Parliament, 1641.—11. A Narration of bis own Life, 1643.—12. A Vindication of Independent Churches, in Answer to Mr. Prynne, 1644.—13. Parliament's Power for Laws in Religion, 1646.—14. Truth Vindicated against Calumny, in a brief Answer to Dr. BastwickV two books, entitled, 'Independency not God's Ordinance,' 1645.— 15. Truth shut out of Doors; or, a brief Narrative of the Occasion and Manner of Proceeding of Aldcrmanbury parish in shutting their Church-door against him, 1645.—16. Truth still Truth, though shut out of Doors, 1646.—17. Conformity's Deformity, in a Dialogue between Conformity and Conscience, 1646.—18. Relation of Mr. Chilling worth.

* Peck's Desiderata Curiosa, vol. ii. b. xiv. p. 8?.

+ The portraits of Archbishop Laud and Mr. Burton, both whole lengths, were published in one print. The prelate is represented as vomiting up his own works, and Mr. Burton holding his bead. The print is extremely scarce nod curious.—Granger's Biog. Hint. vol. ii. p. 142.

J Vernon's Life of Heylin, p. 91. Edit 1682.

(, Granger's Biog. Hist. vol. ii. p. 192, 193.