Richard Maunsel

Richard Maunsel was minister of Yarmouth, and severely persecuted, together with Mr. Thomas Lad, a merchant of that place. They were brought before the Chancellor of Norwich, for a supposed conventicle; because, on the Lord's day, after public worship, they joined with Mr. Jacklcr, their late minister, in repeating the heads of the sermons which had that day been preached in the church. Mr. Lad was compelled, upon his oath, to answer certain articles relating to the supposed conventicle, which he could not sec till after he had taken the oath. Having been twice convened before the chancellor, he was carried before the high commission at Lam

beth, and required to answer, upon a new oath, such inquiries as his ecclesiastical judges were pleased to propose. This, indeed, he refused without a sight of his former answers; and was, therefore, cast into prison, where he remained a long time, without being admitted to bail. Mr. Maunsel was further charged with signing a petition to the house of commons, and with refusing the oath ex officio; for which he was treated in the same manner. Having suffered a long and painful confinement, the prisoners, about the year 1G07, were brought to the bar upon a writ of habeas corpus; and having Nicholas Fuller, esq. a bencher of Gray's-uin, and a most learned man in his profession, for their counsel, he moved, that the prisoners ought to be released; because the high commissioners were not empowered by law to imprison, or to administer the oath ex officio, or to fine any of his majerty's subjects. These points he laboured to prove in a most learned, argumentative, and perspicuous manner, which was looked upon as an unpardonable crime;» and instead of serving his clients, brought the heavy indignation of the commissioners upon himself. Archbishop Bancroft, now at the head of the high commission, told the king, that Fuller was the champion of the nonconformists; and, therefore, ought to be made a public example, to terrify others from appearing hereafter in defence of the puritans.! Accordingly, he was shut up in close prison; from whence, neither by the intercession of friends, nor by his own most humble supplications, could he obtain release; but after close confinement about twelve years, he died in prison, February 23, 1619, aged seventy-six years.{ What became of Mr. Maunsel and Mr. Lad, his clients; whether after their trial they were released, or suffered some other punishment, we have not been able to learn.

* Fuller's Argument in the case of Thomas Lad and Richard Maunsel, edit. 1607.—This most learned, curious, and valuable Tract, consisting of 38 pages in quarto, was republished in 1641.

+ Fuller's Church Hist. b. x. p. 56.

J Nicholas Fuller was member of the parliament of 1603, when he brought in two bills: the one concerning Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, the other concerning Subscription | both with a view to ease the burdens of the persecuted puritans. He was a person of great learning and piety i and finding the nonconformists grievously oppressed in their liberties, their estates, and their consciences, contrary to law, be laboured both in the house of commons, and in the courts of judicature, to procure their deliverance from the cruel oppressions of their persecutors.—MS. Chronology, vol. ii. p. 667. (?.)

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