¶ The fearefull example of God showed on a periured Person, who at the Starre Chamber receiuing sentence in that case pro­uided: disperately stabbed himselfe on Friday being the 14. of May. 1591.

WHerunto should I liken this gene­ration? Why whereunto should I liken this generation, but vnto that generation in our Sauiours time vpon the earth, whome he (the onely wisdome) compareth vnto Children playing in the streets, to whom their fellowes crye, We haue piped vnto you, and you haue not daunced: we haue mounrned vnto you, and ye haue not wept: yea to this generation, we may againe say, as he to that: Woe be to thee hard harted people, woe be to thee obdurat na­tion, for if the wonders had been shown in Tire and Sidon which haue beene showen in thee, they would long since haue repented in Sacke­cloth and ashes. How many of our fellowes, or rather fathers whome we ought to follow, haue cheerefully sung foorth the eternall rest of [Page 2] their soules, by the witnes of their vpright con­sciences, hauing liu'd christianly and left ioyful­lye this Tabernacle: whose remouing from vs but few regarde, veryfying the wisemans woords. The righteous dyeth, and no man con­sidereth in his hart it is too lamentable to re­member. How many againe haue in their mi­serable examples mourned vnto vs? some pe­rishing (bewitcht through Poperie) by trea­sons, poison of their own preparations, hauing (through ye omnipotencie of him that shadowes his annointed) the edge of their own Swoords turned to their own throats: others for barba­rous murders and impious fellonies: other through subbornacions, forgeries, periuries, brought to infamous, yet deserued reproches: so that numberlesse is the number of these mi­serable mourners, whose example can nothing terrifie this peruerse age: The iudgements of God before time hath beene stretched largelye out against the rabble of the wicked, and a­gainst periurie, he hath in all ages, and at this day showen deserued vengeance.

For vpon Friday being the 14. of May, in this case he affoorded a manifest example at the Starre Chamber, on a desperate periured per­son, named Iohn Pitcher, who being with his consort found guilty of periurye, was adiudged to loose his eares vpon the Pillories at West­minster and London.

[Page 3] For the circumstance, that the worlde maye note their merite, it was thus: A prisoner are­sted for a lawfull debt, the action being two thousand markes, he was driuen to produce e­speciall bayle, that is, two men of good account: this Pitcher and his companion, attired the one Gentleman like, the other Merchant like: being hired to baile the prisoner, turned their names and places of their dwelling: this Pit­cher calling himselfe Maister Downes, depo­sed that he was ten pounds in the Q. Bookes, and of good woorship in his Country: the Gen­tleman indeed whose name he challenged, be­ing well knowne to be of no lesse estate: heere­by they baile the prisoner, defeate the Creditor, themselues beeing of no esteeme: and leauing a copper Chaine for one of golde, they embra­ced likewise the Diuell for God: yet he that pu­nisheth such dissemblers, brought foorth these two counterfeites, who appearing before the right honourable the Lord Chauncellor, the Lord Archbishop his grace of Caunterburye, the two Lord cheefe Iustices, and the rest of that Court, had sentence as is aforesaide: and commaundement was giuen to the warden of the Fleete, foorthwith to see the execution doone: but as they were carrying from the Starre Chamber, euen hard at the doore this desperate Pitcher drew out his knife, and giuing himself two wounds in the brest, fell downe: where­vpon [Page 4] the Lord Chauncellor and the rest graci­ously commaunded his wounds should be sear­ched, which he obstinatelye refused: therefore their honors appointed a diuine to be sent him for his soules comfort and that he should be for­cibly held while his wounds were searched for his bodies health. O defexiles charitie, O ho­nourable and christian pitie.

But beholde the iust iudgement of God vpon this party, the better to make his odious offēce seene manifest & to be apparent to many other, he made his owne consciente witnes against him, that he was woorthy of death, when with his own hands he attempted to strike the fatall strokes that might suddenly haue shortned his own life: and this he chose rather to perfourm by the perswasion of his owne conscience, then to sustaine the shame which the Law hath iust­ly awarded for so detestable an offēce. And yet contrarye to the expectation of himselfe or those that were eye witnesses of this fearfull exam­ple, his wounds being afterward searched and drest, were not found deadly but recouerable, so that he is now reasonably amended, and re­maineth close prisoner in the Fleete with his o­ther companion, vntil such time as it shal please her Maiesties most honourable Counsell to commaund execution according to their former iudgements. Which is appointed to be doone foorth with.

[Page 5] Now if this mournefull act might moue the rest of this generation, who sell the innocent for siluer, and the righteous for a reward: con­uerting iustice into woormewood, and iudge­ment into gall: happy were they that brought these euill ones to light, and happy this fearfull example, for all Petyfoggers, Suborners, Knights of the Posts, and all the vncleane ken­nell of vnchristened periurers, who by swea­ring and forswearing, bragging and out coun­tenancing, abuse the Iustices, oppresse their poore Clients, and for a little peece of Siluer like Iudas, sinne in betraying the innocent, sinne in betraying of their own soules, sinne in despairing of Gods grace, or presuming of his goodnes, or cōtemning his iudgements: whose hart (O Lord) conuert, or according to thy pro­mise, teare them as a hungrye Lyon dooth his praye: for they shame not to saye, thou art like them because of thy Long suffe­ring. Amen Lord Iesu come quickly.


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