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for him to receive, as I have said, wherewithal to nourish him; and to fine and banish him, as aforesaid, in such a season of the year as the beginning of Winter, from his aged wife and children; and upon his return, after three years or thereabouts, to charge him for denying of relations, in not coming unto his wife and children in all that space of time, when ye had banished him from them; and being come unto them, to take him from them, whom ye had so charged, even as soon as ye had charged him, and to keep him in prison; and all this for no other thing than bearing testimony against you, as aforesaid. What cruelty is this, and how scarcely to be paralleled in former ages ? But these things are found upon you, whom no mercy moves nor bowels melt, who are as hard as the adamant; who have sold yourselves to do wickedly.
Thus of the old man; but as for the four before mentioned, on the 12th of the Seventh month, two days before the expiration of the time limited by you, after which, if found in your jurisdiction, they should suffer death, what a hard measure is here, to allow a man but two days to remove for his life, and upon so slight an account, or, rather, none at all,—ye caused to be turned out of prison, to try your law upon them; two of whom, viz., Nicholas Davis and Mary Dyer, found freedom to depart your jurisdiction, the one to Plymouth Patent, and the other to Rhode Island; but the other two, viz., W. Robinson and M. Stevenson, were constrained, in the love and power of the Lord, not to depart, but to stay in your jurisdiction, and to try your bloody law unto death. So, on the 13th, they passed out of prison to Salem, and remained there and at Piscataway, and the parts thereabout, in the service of the Lord, till you took them up. Your cruelty and monstrous inhumanity toward them being such, when ye sentenced them to banishment, that a handkerchief was put into the mouth of William Robinson to keep him from speaking for him-. self, contrary to all law; and when he yet attempted to speak, ye caused him to be had down, in a great rage, and twenty cruel stripes to be given him, on his naked back, with a three-fold corded whip with knots, and then sent him to prison with his fel
low-sufferer, M. Stevenson, in order to death, if they were found again in your jurisdiction, after the limitation of the days set by you. Such inhumanities as these have hardly been heard of in any generation, where men have pretended to law or truth; but are found upon thee, O New England ! and the head of thy colonies, the Bay of Massachusetts !
Now the same day that the aforesaid four were put out, viz., the 13th of the Seventh month, 1659, Christopher Holder was cast into prison, whom ye kept there, for coming to seek a passage from Boston to England, -one while banishing men, upon pain of death, out of your jurisdiction, who came into it; and another while keeping some in prison who came to pass out, and banishing them afterwards. Such monstrous contradictions are hardly found among men who pretend to understanding, so greatly hath envy blinded your minds, and rage your judgments. Him, the said Christopher Holder, so coming into your jurisdiction, your deputy-governor committed and detained in prison till the middle of the Ninth month following, and then banished him upon pain of death if he should be found within your jurisdiction three days after the next ship's departure, from your harbour, for England; and this because he asked not your permission first to come in, who had no law to keep him out from passing to England,-a hard sentence for such a misprision.
Not long after, viz., the 8th of the Eighth month following, Mary Dyer, whom you had banished upon pain of death, and Hope Clifton, both of Rhode Island, came to Boston, on the First day of the week, to visit Christopher Holder, who was then in prison. On the next morning after they came in, they were espied, and carried by the constable to the House of Correction; who, after your worship was ended, came again, and charged the keeper, “body for body, life for life," with Mary Dyer, till further order. So Mary was continued without being sent for, but Hope Clifton was had before your deputy-governor the next morning, who re-committed her, and one Mary Scott, a daughter of R. and C. Scott, of Providence aforesaid, who came also to visit the said imprisoned Christopher Holder, whom the same constable apprehended while she was in the prison to visit her friend; and your governor also committed Robert Harper, of Sandwich, though he came about his outward occasions, the one to the prison, and the other to the House of Correction.
And now the time of the sitting of your Court drawing near, wherein you acted this bloody tragedy, W. Robinson and M. Stevenson came to Boston, viz., on the 13th day of the Eighth month, and with them Alice Cowland, who came to bring linen wherein to wrap the dead bodies of those who were to suffer, and Daniel Gould, from Salem, William King, Hannah Phelps, the wife of Nicholas Phelps aforesaid, and Mary Trask and Margaret Smith, of the same town,—all these, as one, came together, in the moving and power of the Lord, to look your bloody laws in the face, and to accompany those who should suffer by them; whom ye apprehended and sent to prison, as aforesaid, and Provided Southwick, daughter of Lawrence and Cassandra Southwick, coming to see her sister, then in prison, and being met in the street and known to your deputy-governor, was asked by him “Whether she was a Quaker?" and she replying, “That she was one that was so called,” he committed her also.
So your prisons began to fill, as aforesaid, and on the 19th of the same month, W. Robinson, M. Stevenson, and Mary Dyer were had before your Court, and demanded of by you, “Why they came again into your jurisdiction, being banished upon pain of death ?" To which having severally answered, and declared that the ground or cause of their coming was of the Lord, and in obedience to Him, your governor said, “That he desired not their death," and "that they had liberty to speak for themselves, why they should not be proceeded with, as to the giving of sentence against them;" yet he bid the jailer take them away.
The next day-after your worship was ended, being heated by your priest and prepared to shed the blood of the innocent-you sent for them again, and your governor, speaking faintly, as a man whose life was departing from him, for the hand of the Lord was upon him, said to this effect, “We have made many laws, and endeavoured by several ways to keep you from us; and neither
Court hear it was handed to your s. Robinson, y
whipping, nor imprisonment, nor cutting off ears, nor banishment upon pain of death, will keep you from among us.” And he said, “I desire not your death;" yet presently he said, "Give ear, and hearken to your sentence of death,” and then made a stop. Whereupon W. Robinson desired that he might be suffered to read a paper amongst them, which was a declaration of his call to Boston, and the reason why they staid within that jurisdiction after your sentence of banishment; which your governor denied, and said in a great rage, “You shall not read it, nor will the Court hear it read.” Then William laid it on the table among them, and it was handed to your governor, who read it to himself and, after he had done, said, “W. Robinson, you need not keep such an ado to have it read, for you spoke yesterday more than is here written;" which was not so, and, if it had been, yet a man may be permitted to speak the same words over again; and the law allows it, viz., for a man to speak for himself ere sentence is given, and the Clerks of the Court usually proclaim that liberty, but you would not grant it. W. Robinson said, “Nay," and desired again it might be read, that all the people might hear the cause of their coming and of their stay there, and wherefore they were put to death, which was but what the law allowed. But you would not suffer it,-a very hard case; you would not be so dealt with, yet so ye have dealt with the innocent,-and your governor said to him, “Hearken to your sentence of death. You shall be had back to the place from whence you came, and from thence to the place of execution, to be hanged on the gallows till you are dead."
Then M. Stevenson was called, and your governor said to him, “If you have anything to say, you may speak;" and he standing still and giving no answer, for the Lord had shut him up, your governor pronounced the sentence of death against him, saying, “You shall be had to the place from whence you came, and from thence to the gallows, and then be hanged till you are dead." Which being pronounced, M. Stevenson's mouth was opened by the Lord, and he said, “Give ear, ye magistrates, and all who are guilty; for this the Lord hath said concerning you, who will perform His word upon you, that the same day ye put His servants to death, shall the day of your visitation pass over your heads, and you shall be accursed for evermore,—the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it. Therefore, in love to you all, I exhort you to take. warning before it be too late, that so the curse may be removed; for, assuredly, if you put us to death, you will bring innocent blood upon your own heads, and swift destruction upon you.” After he had spoken which, he was had to prison.
Then Mary Dyer was called, and your governor said to her to this effect:-"Mary Dyer, you shall go to the place whence you came, and from thence to the place of execution, and be hanged there until you are dead." To which she replied, “The will of the Lord be done." Then your governor said, “Take her away, Marshal.” She answered, “Yea, joyfully shall I go." So she was brought to the House of Correction again, and there continued, with her other two friends, in prison, till the 27th of the same month; during which time many people resorted to the prison-windows, these things affecting them,—which struck such a fear in you, that ye set a guard about the prison by night, lest they should be taken away, and on W. Robinson and M. Stevenson you put chains of iron. And, on the 27th of the Eighth month aforesaid, ye caused the drums to beat, to gather your soldiers together for the execution; and after your worship was ended, your drums beat again, and your captain, James Oliver, came with his band of men, and the Marshal and some others, to the prison, and the doors were opened. And your Marshal and jailer called for W. Robinson and M. Stevenson, and had them out of the prison, and Mary Dyer out of the House of Correction; who parted from their friends in prison full of the joy of the Lord, who had counted them worthy to suffer for His name, and had kept them faithful unto death. And having embraced each other, with fervency of love and gladness of heart, and peace with God and praises to the Lord, they went out of your prisons, like innocent lambs out of the butcher's cart, to the slaughter; and your captain, with his band of men, led them out