ePub 版

Pretended Reformation.


WHIT- chamber, another surprising business broke out. I shall there-
. Cant. fore now proceed to finish the story of the three impostors

above-mentioned. These men were by this time, as they pre-
tended, thoroughly convinced of the lawfulness of their mis-
sion: and that it was now time to hang out the signal, to
make a blaze, and set up Hacket. Things being thus far
believed, or concerted, Coppingher and Arthington came to
Hacket's lodgings, and here after some preparatory prayers
for the direction of the Holy Spirit, Arthington charged Cop-
pingher in the name of the Lord Jesus to break off his devo-
tions, and anoint the king (meaning Hacket) with the Holy
Ghost. Upon this, Coppingher rose from his knees; and after
three profound reverences to Hacket, then in bed, approached
to perform the ceremony. Hacket, taking him by the hand,
told him, there was no occasion for his anointing him, for he

had been anointed already in heaven by the Holy Ghost. Then Cosins' Con- Coppingher desiring they might receive his commands, he gave spiracy for

them their instructions in these words :

“Go your way both,” says he, “and tell them in the city, 631.

that Christ Jesus is come with his fan in his hand, to judge
the earth. And if


where he is, tell them he lies at Walker's house by Broken-wharf: and if they will not believe it, let them come and kill me, if they can; for as truly as Christ Jesus is in heaven, so truly is he come to judge the world.”

Coppingher and Arthington obeyed the orders immediately.
stance of
what they

The first pretended to be the prophet of mercy, and the other
the prophet of judgment. Coppingher published his message
below stairs; and then, both of them running into the streets,

went on in the discharge of their commission, adding over and
Coppingher above, from themselves, “ Repent, England ! repent." When
and Arthing-
ton proclaim

they came towards the cross in Cheapside, the crowd grew so
Hacket king big that they could pass no farther.
of Europe in
Cheapside. Upon this, they mounted an empty cart, and harangued the

people. And here they began to dilate farther upon Hacket's
character, to blazon his authority, and proclaim his business
and their own.

And to prevent mistakes in the delivery, they
had set down their speech in a paper, which they read in the
cart. The substance of it was, that Hacket represented
Christ by a communication of his glorified body, by his
principal spirit, as their cant goes on ; by the office of

any man ask


The sub




book 4,

parting the good from the bad, with his fan in his hand; ELIZAand by establishing the Reformation, and the holy cause, throughout all Europe. This division, it seems, they took for the whole world ; that these glorious things were immediately to be accomplished; and that themselves were two prophets sent to proclaim his dignity, and preach submission; for that Hacket was king of Europe, and ought to be obeyed as such ; and all princes were to hold of him as lord paramount; that the queen had forfeited her crown, and deserved to be deposed. In the close, they charged two lords, and another member of the privy council, with treason, and prayed God to confound them. That these men designed violence against the government,

Their design

against the appears by their letters and examination. For instance, Cop- queen, priry

council, dr. pingher, speaking of the lords of the council, uses this expression : “ The Lord pardon their souls, for in their outward man they must be punished, though they repent.” And the time Coppingler's for executing their plot drawing nigh, Coppingher advises that Bancroft's all her majesty's privy council should be commanded to keep positions, their houses and apartments, for fear of stirs and danger.

chap. 11. Farther, Arthington confessed, that he verily believed Ibid. Hacket intended to set aside her majesty, to have murdered those noblemen which opposed his enterprise, and to have done something more, which he had not courage to express. As to the queen, they said she deserved to be deposed for giving credit and countenance to the bishops, and such other wicked persons, and for maltreating her good subjects. What was farther confessed by Hacket shall be related by and by.

The entertainment the missionaries met with in the city, was short of their expectation and desert. For as, on the one hand, the people admired their resolution, and heard their blasphemy and treason, without showing any signs of dislike: so, on the other hand, they did not receive them with acclamations : they did not declare for Hacket, salute him with his royal titles, nor offer themselves as a guard. Coppingher and Arthington being thus disappointed, as it is most likely, and balked of an insurrection, returned to Hacket's lodging, When this surprising scene was opened, the court was at Greenwich: when the news came, the queen dispatched two of the privy council to examine the matter. About one in the afternoon, Coppingher, Arthington, and Hacket were

examined and im


his trial.

WHIT- brought before some of the privy council and the lord mayor. Abp. Cant. When they appeared, they kept on their hats, and refused to They are

pay any respect; and being demanded the reason of this rude

ness, their answer was, they were persons of much greater prisoned. quality than those that pretended to examine them. Thus

they supported the character they had taken with a great deal of insolent assurance. Hacket, at his first examination, held up his pretensions, owned that he had moved Coppingher and Arthington to deliver the message God had charged them with, declared the queen had forfeited her crown by suffering her ministers to apply to extraordinary methods for establishing religion. But being afterwards set upon the rack, he acknowledged her majesty his lawful sovereign, and declared himself sorry

for his misbehaviour : adding, withal, that if Coppingher and Wiggington were closely examined, they would make a considerable discovery of treason. And now the two prophetic heralds, and their principal, were committed. And

upon the 26th of July, Hacket was tried at the Old Bailey, brought to

and two indictments found against him. The indictments set forth, that Hacket had published that queen Elizabeth was not queen of England ; that he had defaced her majesty's arms, and struck a dagger through the heart of her picture, with some other treasonable practices already mentioned.

Hacket pleaded guilty to one indictment, and stood mute to the other. And thus there was no occasion, either for the queen's counsel to open the charge, or to bring any evidence against him. However, for public satisfaction, the attorney

and solicitor-general set forth the treason carried on by Hacket Popham. and the other two. The attorney-general observed, that these

plots and conspiracies had their rise and encouragement from the sectaries. That Coppingher, in a letter to Udall, bid him and the rest in prison not be dispirited: for that himself and some others had taken a course for their speedy deliverance; that letters menacing the government were dispersed in the street five or six days after Hacket was proclaimed ; that printed pamphlets were found in Wiggington's chamber, to be sent to a great number of women.

But who these women were, the attorney was not willing to name. Egerton. The queen's solicitor discoursed, that no treason was more

dangerous than that which was wrapped up in mystery, and went under disguise. And that those who covered their re




bellion with pretences of zeal for religion, did commonly most ELIZAmischief.

This remark he made good by instancing the Anabaptists at Munster, and the ravages committed by the boors in Germany. After this, he recited some of Hacket's treasonable and blasphemous expressions already mentioned. Then the He blasrecorder gave judgment upon him. In the interval between his death. the sentence and the execution, he was visited by several July 28, divines, and brought to sobriety and repentance. But when Cosins

' Conhe came to suffer, he relapsed into raving and blasphemy, and Pretended died in that desperate condition.

Coppingher refused to eat for eight days, and died starved in Bridewell. Arthington, upon Hacket's execution, wrote to the privy council, desired their lordships to intercede for his pardon to the queen, confessed his being seduced, and made a farther discovery.

Now what the principles were that worked these men to this surprising pitch, what were the main springs of the enterprise, and what motions hurried them to such desperate declarations and designs, is not easy to account for. Whether heat of temper, strains of hypocrisy, or diabolical illusion, carried them thus far, is somewhat uncertain. It is possible they might think it necessary to flash in the face of the crowd, and give their confidence a lustre; and that the people were not to be gained without bold pushing, and extraordinary pretensions. But let this be as it will, it is pretty plain the men were short These enthuof distraction; for though art or enthusiasm might make their conduct very odd, and carry them to flights of singularity; granting this, yet that they were unseized by madness appears by the consistency of their letters, by the reserves of their management, and by the dexterity of their answers when examined. This the learned Cosins proves at large in vindica- Ibid. p. 130 tion of the queen's justice, and draws a parallel betwixt them and John à Leiden, Rotman, and Kniperdoling, at Munster'.

Now whether the nonconforming ministers may be cleared Whether the from approving the designs of these impostors is somewhat

formist questionable; that something of a correspondence was held, ministers may be conjectured from Coppingher's letter to Udall, already themselves


ably in this 1 Our recent juries would probably have given a verdict of insanity against these men. juncture. Be this as it will, madness has many more modifications and varieties than Collier seems to allow, and to which his reasoning does not apply.

siasts not under distraction.

to 134.




her's Letter

May 21,

book 4,



WHIT- mentioned ; that Cartwright had condescended some lengths Abp. Cant. to satisfy Coppingher's conscience, appears by another letter

of this gentleman ; in which he desires his friend to give

great thanks to good Mr. Cartwright for satisfying him in

some questions, which, at the first, he thought little use to Copping- be made of." In this letter Coppingher takes notice that to a Friend, Hockenhull, who brought him the renouncing message from 1591.

Cartwright, and the other preachers above-mentioned; CopBancroft's pingher, I say, takes notice that Hockenhull misreported Dangerous Positions,

these nonconforming ministers, exceeded his commission, and

delivered their dislike in harsher terms than they had given chap. 8.


Farther, it was expected that, at the end of Trinity term, this year, Cartwright, and the other ministers in prison, would have been brought to their trial in the Star-chamber. And now something of rigour being apprehended from the process,

Coppingher writes these menacing expressions to Lancaster, Bancroft, the schoolmaster. “If our preachers in prison,” says he, “ do Ibid. chap.9. June 24,

appear to-morrow in the Star-chamber, and our great men deal with them so as it is thought they will; if God does not throw some fearful judgment amongst them, so as some of the chief

go not alive out of the place, then never give credit to me in anything whilst you live.” But Cartwright and the rest not being called for by the court, this desperate resolve came to nothing.

The reader may observe, farther, that Coppingher, Arthington, and Hacket, the same morning they made their seditious proclamation in Cheapside, came to Wiggington, and told him that Cartwright had done more against Antichrist than any person living since the Apostles ; that Wiggington himself was a man of equal merit ; and that Lancaster exceeded them both. They likewise assured Wigging

ton, that Reformation and the Lord's discipline should be Ibid. immediately established. chap. 10.

Farther, Arthington confessed, in his examination, that one Penry, a Puritan minister, wrote to him from Scotland, to acquaint him “ that Reformation must shortly be erected in England, and that he took him for a true prophet.” This Penry was in London when Hacket was proclaimed; and it is probable, if the train had taken fire, and the mob kindled, he might have made his advantage of the juncture; that he waited


« 上一頁繼續 »