FOR THE KING And both HOUSES of PARLIAMENT. Being A SHORT RELATION OF THE Sad Estate and Sufferings OF THE Innocent People of GOD, CALLED QUAKERS; FOR Worshipping GOD, and Exercising a Good CONSCIENCE towards GOD and MAN.

LONDON, Printed in the Year, 1661.


FOR these many years some have been put to Death, and many have dyed in Prisons, some have been beat with Clubs, and shot at with Pistols and Guns, and cut with Swords, and knockt down into Pools, and not long after have dyed; and many have been kept in Prison several dayes, without Straw or Meat, and almost starved; And many have had their Goods spoyled and taken away from them, to the Ruining of Them, their Wives and Families; and above Three Thousand suffered Imprisonments, Stockings and Whippings in the dayes of the Commonwealth, and of Oliver Crom­wel; and above Five Thousand have suffered since the King came into England very great Afflictions and Imprisonments; and about Seventy lye in Prison, that were Committed in the dayes of Oliver, and the Commonwealth; and above Five Hundred are at present Prisoners, some in Dungeons, and some lye without Straw, and some are not suffered to have Meat brought to them; and also, divers are Committed every week. And besides, many other are their Cruel Sufferings, some of which are here presented to your Consideration, who have the Power to Remedy these things.

NOttinghamshire, Imprisoned Fifteen, six of whom were taken out of a Meeting at Ʋpton, by Souldiers, with drawn Swords, who much abused them, punching and beat­ing of them; And when they were brought to the Sessions, the Justices said they were not there that Committed them, and so slighted them; and some of them they put in a Pit with Thieves, who pickt their Pockets and took their Money from them, and violently pluckt off their Coats, and forced Drink upon them, and swore, if they would not drink they would throw it in their faces, and threatned to fire their Beds: and this was all tole­rated by the Goaler, who (as they said) bid them do it; and this they did night after night. And the other Five are Imprisoned for Conscience sake, and not paying Tythes; where they all remain Prisoners.

Warwickshire, Imprisoned Fourteen; five, because for Conscience sake they could not pay Tythes, who own Christ come in the flesh, the Everlasting Priesthood, who ends the first that takes Tythes: And Two are cast into Prison for meeting together, waiting upon the Lord to worship him; and others suffered for Conscience sake towards God: And one Friend being bound to appear at the Assizes, did appear, and then was bid go back; and he demanded his Bond, so the Judge bad him remember him to the rest of his Brethren, and said, The next Assizes he should have his Bond, with a Halter about his Neck. And thus the Innocent is made a Prey upon: and all is, because their minds and hearts are turned towards God, and for fearing, loving, and obeying him; and through the prejudice of the Magistrates they kept two Friends in Prison, though they were freed by the King's Proclamation. And Four Friends were at a Meeting at Stratford upon Avon, and being of another Town, the men (called Justices) caused them to be Whipt, both men and women, and sent away; and caused Two others that were at the same Meeting, that belonged to the Town, to be Im­prisoned.

Rent, Imprisoned Ten; some taken out of their peaceable Meetings, and some from their Imployments, and are cruelly used; And the Governour of Dover told Friends, they should be kept close, and none should come at them, and that they should take up their Provision at a Hole, and that was all the favour they should have: And one Friend is put in a Hole where there is no Light nor Air, but through three little holes in the Door; and hath nothing to lye on, but a little Straw, which hath lain there several moneths; some of which Friends are Tradesmen, on whom many Families depend to be set to work by.

Pembrookshire, Eighteen presented, for not going to the Steeple-house, and committed Close Prisoners into a close, narrow, nasty, stinking, cold Place, and the Goaler never once opened the Door for them since they were put in, to have Conveniencies, but what comes in through the hole of the Door. And the Judge gave a strict Charge to the Grand Jury to present all Friends in this County male and female, which accordingly was done, and gave Charge to all Magistrates and Officers to break up their Meetings; and so it's like the Prisons will be filled very soon in that County, with the Innocent and such as fear God: and some of these Friends are Husbandmen, and were taken away just in the time of their Harvest.

Carmarthen, One Committed on the same Account by the same Judge, and was much abused in the Shire Hall.

Shropshire, One Committed for being at a Meeting, and though the Judge gave the Goaler a Charge that he might have the Liberty of the Prison, and to let his Friends Come to him, yet the Goaler hath Cruelly beat him and suffered the Prisoners to beat him, and stopt his Victualls that he hath been glad to pluck them up by a Cord at the Window; and there he remaines a Prisoner.

Hampshire, In Portsmouth three are in Prison; and there Friends were Pluckt out of there Peaceable Meetings, and thrust out of the Towne, and kickt and beat by Souldiers with the great end of their Muskers, and are not suffered to work in Prison, being Handy­crafts men; Whereby they are like to be ruined for want of outwards; and often their Wives are denyed to bring them food; and one went to visit one in Prison and they beat him, and cast him into Prison also. And when Friends laid these things before the Officers, one of them said he was resolved to ruine Friends.

Oxfordshire, Four in Prison, because for Conscience sake, they could not Pay Tythes; And at Banbury a peaceable Meeting was broken up by Souldiers under Col. Frettwel, who drew their swords and struck and beat Friends, and run one in the breast; and a Souldier with a legg of a Form beat and bruised severall Friends; and when they had pulled out Men Women and Children out of the Meeting, they beat them, and threatned to Kill some of them.

Wilishire, Eighteen: severall of them very poor Men, Ten of them were taken in a Friends back-side, after a Meeting, by Souldiers, of whom Friends asked to see their War­rant, but they drew their sword, and said, This is our Warrant, and haled them away to one Captain Sharp who sent them to Prison without a Mittimus; where they remain Prisoners this Instant.

Cambridgeshire, Two Imprisoned for not paying Tythes, and Eleven for not going to the Steeple-houses, where they remain.

Glamorganshire, Four Imprisoned, one of them haled out of a Meeting by Souldiers with Swords and Pistols, and three of them because they could not give Money to the Promooters; where they remain.

Merionethshire, Four imprisoned, and had Irons put on them for not Swearing, and the rude people set upon them (when they were apprehended) with drawn Swords, threatning to kill them; and one threatned to knock them on the head with an Ax; the Jaylor took their Meat from them, and beat them, and made them goe in a very tempestuous day 12 Miles with Irons upon them; and there being two Fidlers and a Piper Prisoners, in spight he set them a sidling and Piping between every two that were Chained together with Irons.

Mountgomeryshire, Eight Imprisoned; sometimes they keep Water from them, and often times keep their food from them, because they will not have it of the Jaylor, and they are in a Cold Room in the Common Goale, where they lay six nights on the bare boards without straw, and then had a wadd of straw allowed them; And sometimes are lockt up [Page 5]and not suffered to go to ease themselves, but are forced to do it where they lodge. Two of which were taken as they were travelling on the high way.

Herefordshire. Friends being peaceably met together in Hereford, to wait upon the Lord, the Mayor, Aldermen, and some Officers came into the Meeting-Room, and said he would rouse them up. Some of them said, they were peaceably met together in the Fear of the Lord. He said, he would have no more Meetings in the Fear of the Lord; and so sent both men and women to Prison.

One Friend was taken at Lemster and carried to Hereford, and committed to Prison by the Mayor of the City, where he had bars of Iron kept on his legs (which were about half an hundred weight) two dayes and one night, and was denyed to send to his Friends; and a Letter that he wrote to his Friends, being carried by a Friend to the Mayor, according to his Order; he kept the Letter, and committed the Friend to Prison that brough it.

Radnorshire. Imprisoned Eight, being taken (as they were parting from a Meeting) by men who came with Swords and Staves, and threatned to drag some Friends at their Horse tails; and because they were asked to shew their Orders, one Price drew out his Sword, and said, there was his Order; and struck one Friend upon his Head, and cut his Hat al­most thorow: and several others they beat very cruelly, without mercy; and being brought before a Justice, they were committed to Prison, until they should take the Oath of Alle­giance.

Suffolk. Twenty Imprisoned: many of them committed for not going to the Publick Worship.

Cornwel. Above Twenty Friends were taken (as they were going from a Meeting) by Souldiers; and they put the men (being Eighteen) into a Dungeon, which was so little that half of them could not sit at a time, and had no Straw nor any thing to lye on: and the women were put into a little Room in Pendennis Castle, and had not so much as Straw allowed them to lye on: And by a Warrant from two Justices, as much Goods was taken from them as was worth 25 l. 18 s. for driving them from Prison to Prison.


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