A TRUE DISCOVERIE OF THE GROVND OF THE IMPRISONMENT OF Francis Ellington, Thomas Cocket, and Edward Ferman, whose outward dwellings is in Northamptonshire, who are cast into the Common Goale in Northampton, by the men that are now in Commission to do Ju­stice, who never read us any Law, or any evi­dence came against us, shewing our transgression as the following lines make manifest. ‘He that hath an eye to see let him see, and he that hath an ear to hear let him hear.’

And Judgment is turned away backward, and Justice standeth a far off, for Truth is fallen in the streets, and equity cannot enter; yea Truth faileth, and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey. Isaiah 59. 14, 15. verses.

LONDON, Printed for Giles Calvert at the Black-Spread-Eagle, at the West end of Pauls, 1655.

[Page 1] A true Discovery of the ground of the Imprisonment of Francis Ellington, Thomas Cocket, and Edward Ferman, &c.

I Francis Ellington, living in Wellingborough in the County of Northampton, about the 9. day of October 1654. being in my Calling and employment at a Faire at Harborough in Lecestershire, and hearing that there was one Willing Dewsbury a Yorkeshire man at a friends house there; and he was that day to declare the word of the Lord to the Consciences of the people; and being free in my spirit to go to hear him, I went to the friends house, and heard him declare the word of life to my Conscience, which raised the witness of God in me, that did own what he spake to be the Word of the Lord; which my understanding did enlighten to see the way to eternal life, which I had long sought in my imaginati­on of the Saints condition. Then was I moved of the Lord to desire his servant, who to me declared His word, when he was free in his spirit, to come to my house, which he did upon the 27. day of the 10. Month called Decem­ber, and a friend with him whose name is Joseph Storre, who stayed at my house that day and night; and on the morrow Richard Denit Constable of the Town, came to my house with a warrant from Thomas Pentlow called Ju­stice, and said, that he came to apprehend one of those two that were at my house; I asked him if he had a war­rant, he said he had: I desired him that he would let me read his warrant: which he did, and I reading it, and find­ing no name, in the warrant, of him he should apprehend, but for one he called Quaker; I replyed, that I could not see how he could apprehend any of those two in my house [Page 2] by vertue of that Warrant, seeing there was not any name in the Warrant, but the Constable laid hands on Willi­am Dewsbury, and said, that he was the man, and that he should go with him before the Justice, which he did the same day, and Joseph Stor was moved to go with him to Thomas Pentlow's house in Wilby; then I being free in my spirit, did with other friends go along with them to Thomas Pentlows house, and there hearing the examination of William Dewsbury and Joseph Stor, and after that Thomas Pentlow had made their Mittimus, and gave the Constable charge of them, the said Thomas Pentlow came forth of the room into another room whete I and other friends were, and asked me, and one Richard Smith what we did in his house, and who gave us leave to come into his house? and threatned us to make us answer onr affronting him in his house at the next Sessions. Then I, and Richard Smith told him▪ that we came not to affront him in his house, nei­ther could he prove it by our carriage since we came into his house; but the occasion of our coming thither at that time was to require of him to do us Justice. He asked for whom would you have justice against? We replyed for one Bridget Makernes of Findon, which was at that instant in his house. He asked us, what she did to us? We answer­ed, that about two weeks before, the said Richard Smith and my self, and another friend with us, went to Findon, and the said Briget Makernes (as we were peaceably pas­sing through the street in Findon) did abuse us in throwing water at us, and stones, and dirt, and calling us rogues, witches and Divels; yet we gave her no cause, not spoke not to her, but left her; and for this abuse and affront done to us, we come to thy house, to desire justice of thee against the said Bridget. Thomas Pentlow answered, that she had served us right for ought he knew, and further said, that hewould not do any thing for us against her; but charged us, to be forth-coming▪ and he would send a Warrant to the Con­stable before the Sessions to bring us to answer for the coming into his house. We replyed and said, that he might do his pleasure, and so departed.

[Page 3] About three days after, I was moved of the Lord to write these following lines, and sent them privatly sealed up, to the hands of Thomas Pentlow.

The Letter.

THus saith the Lord God▪ Be wise ye Kings, be learned ye that are Judges (or Justices) in the earth; serve the Lord in fear, stand not in your own will when you judg between man and man; but stand in the will of God, and execute true judgment; for you must all give an account to him of your deeds done in the flesh, whether good or evill; and now the Lord begins to roar out of Sion, and to utter his voice from Jerusalem, and wo to all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the Lord God; and now the time is come that we shall no more say, the Lord liveth that brought the children of Israel out of the Land of Egypt; but the Lord liveth that hath brought up, and led the seed of Israel out of the North Country, and from all Countrys where I have scat­tered them, and they shall dwell in their own Land, Jer. 23. 7, 8. and now the Lord hath made the tidings out of the North to trouble the inhabitants of Babel, and it will more trouble them yet: it will make them gnaw their tongues for sorrow, and blaspheme the God of Heaven; for their plagues shall be exceeding great. Now to the light in thy conscience which Christ Jesus hath enlightned thee withal, am I com­manded to speak these words, that with it thou mayest exa­mine, and see how thou executest Justice; and how thou didst execute Justice upon those two faithful servants of the living God that thou hast committed to prison; the Law of God in thy Conscience saith, that he that preacheth the Gospel hath a lawful Calling, and is no vagabond though he have no out­ward habitation, and the Spirit of truth made it manifest in the person of Christ; and he that saith he abideth in Christ, ought so to walk as he himself walked: and he that is com­manded of the Lord to preach the Gospel, though he be a Judg▪ Justice, or whoever, must when God Calls him, leave Father and Mother, Wife and Children, and all, and must go [Page 4] preach; for whoever he be that sets himself down in a Parish, and there to stay during his life to preach (as he calls it) to a people, I affirm that Person was never sent of God to preach, but is a false Prophet; for there is not one such example in all the Scripture, and Christs Commission is contrary to it; but blessed be the God of Heaven, the Lord hath now raised both Justices, Colonels, Captains, and many hundreds of o­thers in the North, that go hundreds of miles preaching the Gospel, as those thou hast sent to prison did: Now I do tell thee, the light of Christ in thy conscience would not have had thee to have been offended at me, and others that did not put off our hats, and bow to thee; but it was thy will, and the will of man is the Beast spoken of in Revelation▪ that ascended out of the bottomless pit. Thou shouldest have put a yoak upon thy beast, for it belongs to him, and not have desired honor, for that belongs to God: thy will is the Beast, the Beast is the Serpent, and dust shall be the Serpents meat; therefore look for no other meat for him of the servants of the living God, and the light of Christ in thy Conscience tells thee, thou shouldst not have been offended at me, and others for speaking to thee, in the language of Thee and Thou; but here thy will, thy Beast, thy Serpent having not his yoke on, began to be unruly, and would have had flattering speeches, as yes for­sooth, and I pray you Sir, and I thank your worship, Sir; but the language of the Spirit of truth, and of God himself, was that I & others spake, to thee which was Thee and Thou, and if thou beest offended, thou maiest, I will ask thee, did'st thou ever put up any petition, or request to the God of Hea­ven in all thy life time? and di'dst thou not desire it in the language of Thee and Thou? speak, and blush for shame, and cover thy lips that thou shouldest be so prond to desire more of thy fellow-creature than thou wilt give to the God of Heaven thy self. Besides, thou art in a begging condition, when thou speaks Thee and Thou to God; but I and others came not a begging to thee when we spoke Thee and Thou to thee; therefore look to the light Christ hath given thee, it will learn thee to put a yoak upon this unruly beast thy will, and to give thy Serpent dust to eat, for childrens bread must [Page 6] not be given to dogs. I know I speak a mystery to thy dark mind, and the whore that sits upon the scarlet coloured Beast thy will, which is thy imagination, and carnal wisdom, shall never understand me; but to the light of Christ in thy con­science I speak, and that bears me witness, I speak truth, and it understands me; the light of Christ in thy consci­ence tells thee, that there was never any persecution of the truth, but a Priest had a hand in it, and he gets the wicked powers of the earth, to carry him to do his mischief; for as the carnal wisdom, and imagination cannot do any thing without the will: (which is the Beast that carries them) no more could never the wicked Priest (which is the whore) do any thing in persecuting the righteous seed, but by the help of such Magistrates as are evil, and corrupt in all ages, (which is the beast to carry them) and these in all ages joyned toge­ther; But the Beast was taken, and with him that false Prophet, and cast into a Lake. Now I am commanded of the Lord to speak a word to thee concerning thy family; for I see unfruitful works of darkness acted by them; and there­fore I give them a word or two of reproof, I see divers of them when I was at thy house laughing at the servants of the Lord; and Solomon saith of laughing, that it is madness and folly, and they gave out in my hearing jeering words, and scornful words, and those that sit in the seat of the scorn­ful, read what will become of them: and I see them given to pleasures, and he that lives in pleasure is dead while he lives, and bodily pleasure profiteth little, but godliness is pro­fitable unto all: their tongues are all unbridled, and when the tongue is unbridled, it is an unruly member, and it is set on fire of hell. I charge thee and them to repent, and Fear the living God; for the Lord is now arisen in England, and you must be purged; for the haughtiness of man He will bring down, and lay low: and though you prison the servants of the living God, yet God will bring up others amongst us that will be faithful in doing his message, in crying out a­gainst the sins of high and low, Priest and people, in City and Village, Markets, and Steeple-houses: and they cry, repent and fear the living God, and return to the light of Christ in [Page 6] your own Consciences, which convinceth you of sin, and of evil deeds: and for this the wicked world persecutes them, to ful­fil the Scriptures; but a body God hath prepared them, and they can suffer more then the wicked world can inflict upon them; and when the wicked have punished what they can, they will forgive them and pitty them and when they are bea­ten they resist not, when they are cursed they bless; and thus the seed that the Lord hath brought out of the North Coun­try is grown to a thousand, and ten thousand in all parts of En­gland: and the high Cedars begins to fall apace in England, to this mighty power of God; for the Lord is very terriblè be­fore the Northern Army, that the scornful world call Qua­kers; yet not one of these Souldiers hath so much as a stick in their hands; but they have a sword in their mouths, and with it they slay the Nations; therèfore you that are called Justices, you may put them in prison, but you cannot take a­way their Swords; for they can slay as well in prison as with­out: and one of them through the power of God, dare encoun­ter with a thousandi, and overcome them; him whom thou hast cast into prison, with his sword slew two mighty men, and their familiès in Bedfordshire this last week; and he hath slain me, and hundreds more in these parts: and now thou hast sent him to slay some in North­hampton with this sword in his mouth; and I am sure the slain of the Lord will be many thereabouts: and happy had thou been if he had slain thee when he wàs at thy house; for thou must be slain with the sword, or else thou shalt nèver see thy Saviour; therefore look to the light of Christ in thy Conscience, and with that light bring all thy evil deeds to light, and to the sword of the Lord, and wait in this: light for the power of Christ, to cross thy will and imagination, and that power will lead thee up to Christ, and then thou wilt take up thy cross to thy will, and untill thou doest it thou art no Disciple of Christ, profess what thou wilt; for if thou doest profess more than thou doest possess, thou art an hipo­crite. Thus in love to thy poor soul, I àm moved of the Lord to write this to thee; and if thou hast an ear to hear thou wilt hear it: so I remain a friend to that which is pure of [Page 7] God in thy conscience, called and known to the world by the name of

Francis Ellington.

The Superscription was, This to be delivered to Thomas Pentlow called Justice of the Peace, in Wilby.

I Beeing free in my spirit to go to the general Sessions holden at Northampton, the 10. day of the 11. Month called Ianuary 1644. to hear the tryal of the two friends William Dewsbury, and Ioseph Stor, which were commit­ted by Thomas Pentlow; the men called Justices, which sat to have done Justice, hearing I were there, cal­led me into the Court, and read this foresaid Letter, that I were moved to write to Thomas Pentlow, as a charge a­gainst me; and asked me, if I would find sureties for my good behaviour; but I replyed, and desired them to read me a Law, wherein any thing writ in that letter were a transgression of; but they denyed to read me any, and forthwith commanded the Jaylor to put me in Prison, which was accordingly done. It were Ordered after­wards that I went forth of Prison upon Bail for appea­rance at the next Sessions; and according to my engage­ment I did appear upon the 24. day of the second Month called April 1655. at the Castle in Northampton, where the Sessions were then holden; And at that time there sat upon the Bench, Iohn Clark Serjeant at Law, George Ben­son, Henry Bartlet, Iohn Brown, Iohn Thornton and Iohn Mansfield, who sat there to have done Justice; and when I were called in, not any accuser appeared to my face, nor any Charge was read; but the men that were in Commission required of me, to find sureties for my good behaviour till the next Assises. I desired them to read me a Law which I had transgressed, before they required Bond, and here I am present to answer what the Law re­quired. But they no Law would read me; but comman­ded the Joaler to put me in prison, where I am in the low Goal amongst those arraigned for fellony and mur­ther, [Page 8] waiting on the Lord, until he Judg my Cause, and establish righteousness in the Land.

Francis Ellington.

To that of God in all Consciences, I lay this before which is formerly written, to Judg between me & those that proceed against me, who hath twice cast me into pri­son, and never read me any Law I had transgressed; but hath separated me from my Wife and five Children, and my outward calling, and employment I had in the world. Here, by their fruit they are made manifest whose chil­dren they are; for to satisfie their wills, they acts contrary to the righteous Law of God, and the Law of the Nati­on in what they have done; but to the Lord God of Hea­ven and Earth, who pleads the Cause of the innocent, and will arise in his mighty power, and deliver his people forth of the hands of all that oppress them, on whom I wait, and will me deliver out of the hands of these unrea­sonable men, that in their dark minds do, they know not what.

Therefore be warned ye Rulers of the earth, and take heed of abusing the power put into your hands to satisfy your wills in oppressing the innocent, as the late King and his adherents did, whom the Lord hath cast out in his wrath, and consumed in his displeasure; and if you who hath acted in your wills contrary to the Law of God, do not speedily Repent, and turn to the light of Christ in your Conscience, to guide you in obedience to the will of God, to do as you would be done unto; The Lord God of Heaven and Earth will cut you off, as he hath done, and will do the evil doers: and Peace shall be upon the Israel of God.

F. E.

A true Declaration of the Ground of the imprisonment of Ed­ward Ferman, in the County of Northampton.

I Being moved of the Lord the 15. day of the second Month called April to go to Farndon Steeple-house; and Samuel Glover, who the people calls their Teacher, being there speaking to the people, I went to the place, and there stood peaceably, and the Priest seeing of me called [Page 9] to the Officers three several times, to take me out of the house, which they did: and forced me forth out of the door; and there I stood until the Priest had done, and was come down out of his high place, and the people were some of them departed; then I was moved to go in again, and spoke some word unto the people: and the Priest seeing me went up again into his High place, and named a text of Scripture, and called to the people to keep their places, but they would not; and then he came down, and commanded the Constable ro keep me in his custody, which he did; and the next day Samuel Glover procured a Warrant from John Mansel of Thorp, wherein it were expressed, that I were a wanderer, and an idle person; yet I lived within four miles of that place, wrought hard for my living with one Thomas Cocket of Dingley in Northamptonshire, Shoomaker. The Constable the next day had me before John Mansel, and John Brown, who then was at Thorp aforesaid; and when I came be­fore them, they told me I were there accused for disturb­ing Mr. Glover; Answer to them was made, that before I spake Samuel Glover had done, and came down, and he was the disturber in going up again, and named a text: which it was declared to him before the men that there sat to have don Justice that what he did it was for a snare, and he answered that he would do so to all that came thither; then John Mansel, and John Brown a Mittimus made, and sent me to the Common Goale in Northamp­ton, where they say I must lye for three months, where by the power of the Lord I in patience wait, until the Lord plead my Cause in his righteousness.

Edward Ferman.

A true Declaration of the Cause of the imprisonment of Thomas Cocket in the County of Northampton, that no lye might rest upon the truth: for the simple sake I am moved to give it forth.

I Meeting with a friend that walked honestly, and so­berly in the truth; about two weeks after, I hearing this friend were in bonds, I went to visit him at one Willi­am Steel's in Kettering, and desired to speak with him; [Page] Answer were made, that he had an order from Justice Brown that none might speak with him; I went away, and afterwards could find no rest in my spirit, until I writ the following lines, which was sent to John Brown.

The Letter is as followeth.

JOhn Brown, I went to William Steel's house, where there were a friend prisoner, and desired to speak with him; he told me he had order from thee, that none might speak with him. Is this to do as thou wouldst be done unto? thou hast a light of Christ in thy Conscience, which bears witness with the Law of God, and tells the thou shouldst do as thou wouldst be done unto: In persecuting one of Christs little ones thou hast done it unto Him; and wo is thy portion. A lover of that which is pure of God in thy Conscience,

Thomas Cocket.

This is the substance of what was writ, which was about the 4. day of the first month called March.

ANd on the 16. day of the second Month called April, I heard that Edward Ferman my servant, were apprehended with a Warrant for a wanderer, and idle person, and carried before John Mansel, and John Brown, who is in Commission to do Justice: I went to John Mansels house to justifie that he was no wanderer nor idle person; but with me wrought painfully with his hands. Iohn Mansel seeing me there, required Bonds for my behaviour, for writing the afore­said lines to Iohn Brown: and Iohn Brown being there, I desired of them to shew that Letter I writ, and a Law which that Letter had transgressed: but they refused both, and told me if I would not find men to be bound, I should go to prison: so no Law they would me read, but a Mittimus made, and sent me to the Common Goale in Northampton, and a copy of the Mittimus I am denyed by Iohn Snart Keeper of the Goale. And at the General Sessions holden at North­hampton the 24. of the 2. month called April, I was brought before Iohn Manssil, Henry Bartlet, and Iohn Thornton, who was in Commissi­on to do Justice, and the Mittimus was read as a charge against me, & the substance in it was, for writing the foresaid lines to John Brown, I desired them to read me the Letter, and a Law that any thing writ in the Letter was the transgression of; but they denyed to read any Law, and they required bond for my behaviour, before they pro­ved me a transgressor of the Law: so sent me back to prison, where I had been, and am in the dungeon amongst those arraigned for fello­ny and murther, so am separated from my wife, children, and fami­ly; yet through the power of God, I am kept in measure, to stand as a witness against the unrighteous practices of men, and am made to wait patiently, until the Lord Judge the Cause of the innocent.

Thomas Cocket.

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