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Dr. Benjamin Calamy, rector of St. Lawrence Jewry, in one of his printed sermons entitled "A Scrupulous Conscience," invited the Nonconformists to examine what each party had to say for themselves with respect to the ceremonies imposed by the church, and enforced by the penal laws, calling upon them modestly to propose their doubts, and meekly to hearken to and receive instruction. In compliance with this invitation, Mr. Thomas Delaune, an Anabaptist schoolmaster, and a learned man*, printed a Plea for the Nonconformists, shewing the true state of their case, and justifying their separation. But before it was published, he was apprehended by a messenger from the press, and shut up close prisoner in Newgate, by warrant from the recorder Jenner, dated November 30, 1683. Mr. Delaune wrote to Dr. Calamy to endeavour his enlargement: "My confinement (says he) is for accepting your invitation; I look upon you obliged in honour to procure my sheets, yet unfinished, a public passport, and to me my liberty-there is nothing in them but a fair examination of those things your sermon invited to, and I cannot find that Christ and his disciples ever forced scrupulous consciences to conformity, by such methods as sending them to Newgate; I beseech you, therefore, in the fear of God, as you will answer it to our great Lord and Master Jesus Christ, that you would endeavour to convince a stranger by something more like reason and divinity, than a prison." The doctor at first said, he would do him all the kindness that became him ‡. But in answer to a second letter, he
* Mr. Delaune was born at Brini in Ireland, about three miles from Riggsdale. His parents were Papists and very poor, and rented part of the estate of Riggs, esq. This gentleman, observing the early and forward parts of the young Delaune, placed him in a friary at Kilcrash, seven miles from Cork, where he received his education; when he was about fifteen or sixteen years of age, he removed to Kinsale, and met with Mr. Bampfield, who, discovering his genius and learning, made him clerk of his pilchard fishery there, and was the means of giving his mind a pious and virtuous turn. After some years, during which he enjoyed the high esteem and friendship of major Riggs and Mr. Bampfield, persecution and troubles induced him to leave Ireland, and come over into England, where he married the daughter of Mr. Edward Hutchinson, who had been pastor of a congregation at Ormond, but was also come to England on account of the troubles of the times. After this Mr. Delaune went to London, kept a grammar-school there, and fell into an intimacy and strict friendship with Mr. Benjamin Keach, and translated the Philologia Sacra, prefixed to his celebrated work, entitled, “A Key to open Scripture Metaphors." The narrative published with the subsequent editions of his "Plea for the Nonconformists," fully represents the series of sufferings under which he sunk, and the process of the iniquitous prosecution to which he, his wife and children, became a sacrifice.-ED.
It is to observed, that notwithstanding all the attempts used to suppress Mr. Delaune's tract, to obstruct its reception, and to prevent its effect on the public mind, by severities against its author, and by committing the piece itself to the flames, there was a great demand for it, and before the year 1733, there had been seventeen impressions of it.-ED.
Mr. Neal's account of Dr. Calamy's conduct towards Mr. Delaune, is drawn from the injured sufferer's narrative; and it must be allowed, that it reflects on the doctor's character and memory. But though by not replying to his book, nor visiting him, he appeared to desert him; yet it appears that the behaviour which Mr. Delaune, in his afflicted situation, felt as a severe neglect, was tempered with more attention to his case and kindness than he seems to have known of. For Dr.
said, he looked upon himself as unconcerned, because he was not mentioned in that sheet he saw with the recorder. Mr. Delaune insisted that his honour was at stake for his deliverance, and prayed him at least to perform the office of a divine, in visiting him in prison, to argue him out of his doubts; but the doctor, like an ungenerous adversary, deserted him. Mr. Delaune therefore was to be convinced by an indictment at law; for that on November 30, he did by force of arms, &c. unlawfully, seditiously, and maliciously, write, print, and publish, a certain false, seditious, and scandalous libel, of and concerning our lord the king, aud the Book of Common Prayer, entitled, "A Plea for the Nonconformists." For which offence he was fined one hundred marks, and to be kept prisoner till he paid it; to find security for his good behaviour for one year, and his books to be burnt before the Royal Exchange. The court told him, that in respect of his being a scholar, he should not be pilloried, though he deserved it. Mr. Delaune, not being able to pay his fine, lay in prison fifteen months, and suffered great hardships by extreme poverty, having no subsistence but on charity. He had a wife and two small children with him, who all died in the jail, through the length and closeness of the confinement, and other inconveniences they endured*; and at length Mr. Delaune himself sunk under his sufferings, and died in Newgate, a martyr to the challenge of this high-church champion.
Mr. Francis Bampfield suffered the like, or greater hardships;
Edmund Calamy says, "that his uncle took pains with Jefferies to get him released, but could not prevail, which was no small trouble to him." Dr. Calamy was a man greatly respected; and, though a true son of the church, averse to persecution. He was a man of great humanity, courteous and affable in his deportment, and exemplary in his life. His sermons were reckoned to possess great merit. No books in his study appeared to have been as much used as Mr. Perkin's works, especially his "Cases of Conscience," which were full of marks and scores. He died when a little turned of forty years of age. The treatment which his neighbour and particular friend alderman Cornish received, greatly affected him, and is thought to have hastened his end. Dr. Calamy's own Life, MS. and Biographia Britannica, vol. 3. second edit.-ED.
The story of Mr. Delaune is very affecting, and cannot but, at this distance of time, move pity and resentment. "The fate of himself and family, perishing in Newgate for want of 701. (observes the candid editor of the Biographia Britannica, 2d edit.) is not only a disgrace to the general spirit of the times, but casts peculiar dishonour on the Nonconformists of that period. Though there was probably something in his disposition which occasioned his having but few friends, a man of his knowledge, learning, and integrity, ought not to have been so fatally neglected. Perhaps the only apology which can be made for the dissenters of king Charles II.'s reign is, that whilst so many of their ministers were in a persecuted state, it was impossible for every case of distress to be duly regarded." To this may be added the great number of cases of distress, arising from the prosecution and sufferings of the lay-dissenters. Mr. Jeremy White told Mr. John Waldron of Exeter, that the computation of those who suffered for nonconformity, between the Restoration and the Revolution, amounted to seventy thousand families ruined, and eight thousand persons destroyed; and the computation was not finished, when this number was ascertained, The sources of beneficence were also diminished by the effect of the measures pursued on trade, For the customs paid in Bristol only arose, in Charles's persecution, not to 30,000l. per annum ; but in king William's reign they advanced to near 100,000l. Waldron's copy of Neal, penes me,—Ep,
he had been educated in Wadham-college, Oxford, and was ninister of Sherborne in Dorsetshire*. After the act of uniformity, he continued preaching as he had opportunity in private, till he was imprisoned for five days and nights, with twenty-five of his hearers in one room, with only one bed, where they spent their time in religious exercises; but after some time. he was released. Soon after he was apprehended again, and lay nine years in Dorchester jail, though he was a person of unshaken loyalty to the king, and against the parliament war; but this availed nothing to his being a Nonconformist. He afterward retired to London, where, being again apprehended, he was shut up in Newgate, and there died February 16, 1683
4. He was for the seventh day sabbath, but a person of unquestionable seriousness and piety.
With him might be mentioned Mr. Ralphson, a learned man, and a fellow-sufferer with Mr. Delaune in Newgate. On the 10th of December, a bill was found against him by the grand jury of London; on the 13th of the same month he pleaded Not guilty at the Old Bailey. On the 16th of January he was called to the sessions-house, but other trials proving tedious, his did not come on. The next day he was brought to the outer bar; and after an attendance of divers hours in a place not very agreeable, and in the sharpest winter that had been known, he contracted a violent cold, which issued in a fever, that carried him as well as Mr. Bampfield beyond the reach of tyrants, or the restraint of bail-docks and press-yards, to the mansions of everlasting rest. Mr. Philips, partner with Mr. Bampfield, suffered eleven months' imprisonment in Ilchester jail, in a nasty stinking hole, to the great hazard of his life. Mr. French, of TownMaulin, was confined six months in Maidstone common jail, in a hard winter, without fire or candle, or any private apart
Mr. Salkeld, the ejected minister of Worlington in Suffolk, was fined 1007. and committed to the common jail of St. Ed
Mr. Bampfield was descended from an ancient and honourable family in Devonshire. The first living he held was more valuable than that of Sherborne, being about 1007. per annum; and having an annuity of 807. per annum settled on him for life, he spent all the income of his place in acts of charity, by employing the poor that could work, relieving the necessities of those who were incapable of any labour, and distributing Bibles and practical books. Soon after his ejectment he was imprisoned for worshipping God in his own family; and it is remarkable, that notwithstanding he was prosecuted with severity, he had been zealous against the parliament's army and Oliver's usurpation, and always a strenuous advocate for the royal cause. When he resided in London he formed a church on the principles of the Sabbatarian Baptists at Pinners'-hall, of which principles he was a zealous asserter. He was a celebrated preacher, and a man of serious piety. He bore his long imprisonment with great courage and patience, and gathered a church even in the place of confinement. His fellow-prisoners lamented him, as well as his acquaintance and friends. Palmer's Noncon. Mem. vol. 1. p. 468–472. Crosby's History of the Baptists, vol. 1. p. 363–368; vol. 2. p. 355–361.-Ed. Calamy's Abridg. vol. 2. p. 259-377.
Calamy, vol. 2. p. 260.
mundsbury*, for saying, Popery was coming into the nation apace, and no care taken to prevent it. He lay in prison three years, and was not discharged till the year 1686.
Mr. Richard Stretton suffered six months' imprisonment this year, for refusing the Oxford oath, in company with ten ministers more, who were also his fellow-prisoners. Most of the dissenting ministers were forced to shift their places of abode to avoid discovery, and travel in long nights and cold weather, from one village to another, to preach to their people. If at any time they ventured to visit their families in a dark night, they durst not stir abroad, but went away before morning. Some spent their time in woods and solitary places; others, being excommunicated, removed with their effects into other diocesses-great numbers of the common people, taken at private meetings, were convicted as rioters, and fined 107. a piece; and not being able to pay, were obliged to remove into other counties, by which they lost their business, and their families were reduced to want. I forbear to mention the rudeness offered to young women, some of whom were sent to Bridewell, to beat hemp among rogues and thieves others, that were married and with child, received irreparable damages; even children were terrified with constables and halberdeers breaking open houses, of whom I myself, says Mr. Peirce, being very young, was one example; and the writer of this history could mention others.
In the midst of these violent proceedings, the divines of the church of England published the London Cases against the Nonconformists, as if the danger of religion arose from that quarter; they were twenty-three in number, and have since been abridged by Dr. Bennet. These champions of the church were very secure from being answered, after Mr. Delaune had so lately lost his life for accepting such a challenge. They must therefore have the field to themselves, for if their adversaries wrote, they were sure to be rewarded with fines, and a prison; but since the return of liberty, they have been answered separately by Mr. Nathaniel Taylor, Mr. James Peirce, and others.
This year  died Dr. John Owen, one of the most learned of the Independent divines; he was educated in Queen's college, Oxford, but left the university in 1637, being dissatisfied with Laud's innovations §. He was a strict Calvinist, and
*It aggravated the iniquity as well as severity of this sentence, that many hundreds of Dr. Salkeld's hearers could testify that what he said was not said as his own language, but that of the parliament. During his confinement he was helpful to his fellow-prisoners, both as a minister and a cheerful Christian. His table was furnished by his friends at Bury, and his fine afterward remitted by king William. But his estate was much weakened, and his health almost ruined by his imprisonment. After his liberation he continued his ministry at Walsham in the Willows, and died December 20, 1699, aged seventy-seven. Palmer's Non. Mem. vol. 2. p. 442, 443.-ED.
+Calamy, vol. 2. p. 676. Calamy, vol. 2. p. 58.
Peirce, p. 259
published his Display of Arminianism in 1642, for which the committee of religion presented him to the living of Fordham in Essex. In 1643 he removed to Coggeshall in the same county, where he first declared himself an Independent, and gathered a church according to the discipline of that people. He often preached before the long-parliament, even about the time the king was beheaded, but always kept his sentiments in reserve upon such a subject. Soon after, lieutenant-general Cromwell took him into his service as a chaplain in his expedition to Ireland; and when the general marched to Scotland, he obtained an order of parliament for the doctor to attend him thither. Upon his return, he was preferred to the deanery of Christchurch, and next year to the vice-chancellorship of Oxford, where he presided with great reputation and prudence for five years. He always behaved like a gentleman and scholar, and maintained the dignity of his character. The writer of his life says, that though he was an Independent himself, he gave most of the vacant livings in his disposal among the Presbyterians, and obliged the episcopal party, by conniving at an assembly of about three hundred of them, almost over against his own doors. The Oxford historian*, after having treated his memory with the most opprobrious language, confesses, that he was well skilled in the tongues, in rabbinical learning, and in the Jewish rites and customs, and that he was one of the most genteel and fairest writers that appeared against the church of England. The doctor had a great reputation among foreign Protestants: and when he was ejected by the act of uniformity, was invited to a professorship in the United Provinces. He was once also determined to settle in NewEngland, but was stopped by express order from the council. He
* Mr. Wood represents Dr. Owen as a perjured person, a time-server, a hypocrite, whose godliness was gain, and a blasphemer; and, as if this were not sufficient, he has also made him a fop. "All which (observes Mr. Granger, with equal judgment and candour) means no more than this; that when Dr. Owen entered himself a member of the university of Oxford, he was of the established church, and took the usual oaths; that he turned Independent, preached and acted as Independents did, took the oath called the engagement, and accepted of preferment from Cromwell; that he was a man of good person and behaviour, and liked to go well dressed."--" We must be extremely cautious (adds this author), how we form our judgments of characters at this period; the difference of a few modes or ceremonies in religious worship, has been the source of infinite prejudice and misrepresentation. The practice of some of the splenetic writers of this period, reminds me of the painter, well known by the appellation of Hellish Brueghell, who so accustomed himself to painting of witches, imps, and devils, that he sometimes made but little difference between his human and infernal figures." To Mr. Neal's delineation of Dr. Owen's character may be added, that he was hospitable in his house, generous in his favours, and charitable to the poor, especially to poor scholars, some of whom he took into his own family, maintained at his own charge, and educated in an academical learning. When he was at Tunbridge, the duke of York, several times, sent for him, and conversed with him concerning the dissenters. On his return to London king Charles himself sent for him, and discoursed with him two hours; assuring him of his favour and respect, expressing himself a friend to liberty of conscience, and his sense of the wrong done to the dissenters. At the same time he gave him a thousand guineas to distribute among those who had suffered most. Granger's History of England, vol. 3. p. 301, 302, note; and Palmer's Noncon. Mem. vol. 1. p. 154, 155.-ED.