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they sent in before-hand, or brought along with them; allowing them to be as licentious, as they pleased, in all things that might gratify, or indulge their senses.
A friend of mine was, one Sunday, walking in the fields; and, meet. ing there an old acquaintance of his, who was lately turned Muggle. tonian, with a young baggage in his hand, which, he did more than sus. pect, was light, he could not forbear expressing his admiration, to this Muggletonian himself, in these or such like terms: 'I cannot but won.
der to see you, my old neighbour, who have, for these many years, 'busied yourself in the study of religion, and was, not long since, like to have gone mad, because you knew not which opinion to stick to. I say, I cannot but wonder to see you abroad, on the sabbath-day, in this brisk posture; you are altered both in countenance, apparel, and manners, so that I almost doubt, whom I speak to.' "Ah,' answered the Muggletonian, you know, friend, how I have heretofore troubled * myself about religion indeed; insomuch that it had almost cost me my • life, but all in vain, till about six weeks since; at which time I met ' with Lodowick Muggleton, who has put me into the easiest way to • heaven, that ever was invented; for he gives us liberty, provided we
do but believe in his commission, freely to launch inio all those • pleasures, which others, less knowing, call vices; and after all, will ' assure us of eternal salvation.' Behold, reader, what a sweet religion here is like to be.
But, as Muggleton was liberal in the freedom he gave his adherents, so he was always careful to avoid the prohibitions of the law; he generally appointed his bubbles to meet in the fields, where he also permilted them to humour their sensualities with any recreation, not excepting uncleanness itself; for which profaning the sabbath he was, in Oliver Cromwell's time, committed to Newgate, where he had like to have been so dealt withal then, that Tyburn had saved the pillory this trouble now : but that perfidious usurper, conscious to himself, that Muggleton could not be a greater impostor in the church, than he was in the state, upon the consideration of fratres in malis, restored him to his liberty.
Howbeit, a little before Oliver's death, Muggleton, by continual flatteries, had got into his books, and, amongst other prophecies con. cerning him, had declared, that Oliver should perform more wonderful actions, than any he had yet atchieved, before he died. But, he happening to depart this life, before he had done any thing else that was remarkable, Bluggleton was demanded, why his prophecy proved not true? He answered very wisely, and like himself, viz. that he was sure Oliver would have performed them, had he lived long enough.
But, since his gracious majesty's return, he has driven on a much more profitable theological cheat, having assumed the liberiy not only of infusing what doctrine he pleased into the minds of his ignorant deluded followers, but writ several profane books, which, to his great ad. vantage, he dispersed among them; poisoning their minds thereby with a hodge-podge of rotten tencts, whereby they are become uncapable of
Church of England.
I shall conclude with one story more concerning Muggleton, and so leave him to the censure of the ingenuous reader. A timish gentleman, accoutered with sword and peruke, hearing the noise this man caused in the town, had a great desire to discourse with him, whom he found alone in his study; and, taking advantage of that occasion, he urged Muggleton so far, that, knowing not what to say, he falls to a solemn cursing of the gentleman ; who was so inraged thereat, that he drew bis sword, and swore he would run him through immediately, unless he recanted the sentence of damnation, which he had presumptuously cast upon him. Muggleton, perceiving, by the gentleman's looks, that he really intended what he threatened, did not only recant his curse, but pitifully intreated him whom he had cursed before; by which we may understand the invalidity both of him and his commission.
Thus, whoever considers the contents of Muggleton's whole life, will find it, in toto, nothing but a continued cheat of above twenty-one years long; which, in the catastrophe, he may behold worthily rewarded with the modest punishment of a wooden ruff, or pillory; his grey hairs gilded with dirt and rotten eggs; and, in fine, himself brought, by reason of his own horrid and irreligious actions, into the greatest scorn and contempt imaginable, by all the lovers of piety, discretion, or good man.
A TRUE AND PERFECT ACCOUNT OF The examination, confession, trial, condemnation, and execution of JOAN PERRY, & HER TWO SONS, JOHN AND RICHARD PERRY,
FOR THE SUPPOSED MURDER OF WILLIAM HARRISON, Gent. Being one of the most remarkable occurrences which hat happened in the memory of man, sent in a letter (by Sir T. O. of Burton, in the county of Gloucester, knight, and one of his majesty's justices of the peace) to T.S. Doctor of Physick in London,
How he was conveyed into Turkey, and there made a slave for above two years;
and then, his master, which bought him there, dying, how he made his escape, and what hardship he endured; who, at last, through the providence of God, returned to England, while he was supposed to be murdered; here having been his manservant arraigned, who falsly impeached his own mother and brother as guilty of the murder of his master; they were all three arraigned, convicted, and executed
on Broadway-hills in Gloucestershire. London : printed for Rowland Reynolds, next Arundel-gate, over-against St. Clement's
Church in the Strand, 1676. Quarto, containing twenty-three pages.
ITPON Thursday, the sixteenth day of August, 1660, William
Harrison, steward to the Lady Viscountess Campden, at Campden in Gloucestershire, being about seventy years of age, walked from Campden aforesaid, to Charringworth, about two miles from thence, to receive his lady's rent; and, not returning so early as formerly, his wife, Mrs. Harrison, between eight and nine of the clock that evening, sent ber servant, John Perry, to meet his master on the way from Charringworth ; but, neither Mr. Harrison, nor his servant John Perry, returning that night, the next morning early, Edward Harrison, Wila liam's son, went towards Charringworth to enquire after his father ; when, on the way, meeting Perry coming thence, and being informed by him he was not there, they went together to Ebrington, a village between Charringworth and Campden, where they were told, by one Daniel, that Mr. Harrison called at his house the evening before, in bis return from Charringworth, but staid not; they then went to Pax. ford, about half a mile thence, where, hearing nothing of Mr. Harri. son, they returned towards Campden; and on the way, hearing of a hat, band, and comb, taken up in the highway, between Ebrington and Campden, by a poor woman then leesing in the field ; they sought her out, with whom they found the hat, band, and comb, which they knew to be Mr. Harrison's; and being brought by the woman to the place where she found the same in the highway, between Ebrington and Campden, near unto a great furz-brake, they there searched for Mr. Harrison, supposing he had been murthered, the hat and comb being hacked and cut, and the band bloody; but nothing more could be there found. The news hereof, coming to Campden, 50 alarmed the town, that men, women, and children hasted thence in multitudes, to search for Mr. Harrison's supposed dead body, but all in vain.
Mrs. Harrison's fears for her husband, being great, were now much increased ; and having sent her servant Perry, the evening before, to meet his master, and he not returning that night, caused a suspicion that he had robbed and murthered him; and thereupon the said Perry was, the next day, brought before a justice of peace, by whom being examined concerning his master's absence, and his own staying out the night he went to meet him, he gave this account of himself: that, his mistress sending him to meet his master, between eight and nine of the clock in the evening, he went down Campden-field, towards Charringworth; about a land's length, where meeting one William Reed of Campden, he acquainted him with his errand; and further told him that, it growing dark, he was afraid to go forwards, and would therefore return and fetch his young master's horse, and return with him; he did to Mr. Harrison's court-gate, where they parted, and he staid still ; one Pierce coming by, he went again with him about a bow's shot into the fields, and returned with him likewise to his master's gate, where they also parted ; and then he, the said John Perry, saith, he went into his master's hen-roost, where he lay about an hour, but slept not; and, when the clock struck twelve, rose and went towards Charringworth, till, a great mist arising, he lost his way, and so lay the rest of the night under a hedge; and, at day-break, on Friday morning went to Charringworth, where he enquired for his master of one Edward Plaisterer, who told him, he had been with him the afternoon before, and received three and twenty pounds of him, but staid not long with him : he then went to William Curtis of the same town, who likewise told him, he heard his master was at his house the day before, but, being not at home, did not see him : after which he saith, he returned homewards, it being about five of the clock in the morn. ing, when, on the way, he met his master's son, with whom he went to Ebrington and Paxford, &c. as hath been related.
Read, Pearce, Plaisterer, and Curtis, being examined, affirmed what Perry had said, concerning them, to be true.
Perry being asked by the justice of peace, how he, who was afraid • to go to Charringworth at nine of the clock, became so bold as to go t'hither at twelve ? answered, that at nine of the clock it was dark, but át twelve the moon shone.
Being further asked, why, returning twice home, after his mistress had sent him to meet his master, and staying till twelve of the clock, he went not into the house to know whether his master were come Home, before he went a third time, at that time of night, to look after him ? answered, that he knew his master was not come home, because he saw light in his chainber-window, which never used to be there so late when he was at home.
Yet, notwithstanding this, that Perry had said for his staying forth that night, it was not thought fit to discharge him till further inquiry were made after Mr. Harrison, and accordingly he continued in custody at Campden, sometimes in an inn there, and sometimes in the common prison, from Saturday, August the eighteenth, unto the Fri. day following ; during which time, he was again examined at Camp. den, by the aforesaid justice of peace, but confessed nothing more than before ; nor, at that time, could any further discovery be made what was become of Mr. Harrison. But it hath been said, that, during his restraint at Campden, he told come, who pressed him to confess what he knew concerning his master, that a tinker had killed him; and to others, he said, a gentleman's servant of the neighbourhood had robbed and murdered him; and others, again, he told, that he was murdered, and hid in a bean-rick in Campden, where search was in vain made for him : at length he gave out, that, were he again carried before the justice, he would discover that to him he would discover to no body else: and thereupon he was, Friday, August the twenty-fourth, again brought before the justice of peace, who first examined him, and asking him whether he would yet confess what was become of his master ; he answered, he was murdered, but not by him : the justice of peace then telling him, that, if he knew him to be murdered, he knew likewise by whom he was ; so he acknowledged he did; and, being urged to confess what he knew concerning it, affirmed, that it was his mother and his brother that had murdered his master. The justice of peace then advised him to consider what he said, telling isim, that he feared he might be guilty of his master's death, and that he should not draw more innocent blood upon his head; for what he now charged his mother and his brother with might cost them their lives; but he affirming he spoke nothing but the truth, and that if he were immediately to die he would justify it; the justice desired him to declare how and when they did it.
He then told him, that his mother and his brother had lain at him, ever since he came into his master's service, to help them to money, telling him, how poor they were, and that it was in his power to re. fieve them, by giving them notice when his niaster went to receive his lady's rents; for they would then way-lay and rob, him; and further said, that, upon the Thursday morning his master went to Charring. worth, going of an errand into the town, he met his brother in the street, whom he then told whither his master was going, and, if he way. laid him, he might have his money: and further said, that, in the evening his mistress sent him to meet his master, he met his brother in the street, before his master's gate, going, as he said, to meet his master, and so they went together to the church-yard about a stone's throw from Mr. Harrison's gate, where they parted, he going the foot-way, cross the church-yard, and his brother keeping the great road, round the church; but in the highway, beyond the church, met again, and so went together, the way leading to Charringworth, till they came to a gate about a bow's shot from Campden church, that goes into a ground of the Lady Campden's, called the conygree (which to those, who have a key to go through the garden, is the next way from that place to Mr. Harrison's house) when they came near unto that gate, he, the said John Perry, saith, he told his brother, he did believe his master was just gone into the conygree (for it was then so dark they could not dis. cern any man, so as to know him) but perceiving one to go into that ground, and knowing there was no way, but for those who had a key, through the gardens, concluded it was his master; and so told his bro. ther, if he followed him, he might have his money, and he, in the mean time, would walk a turn in the fields, which accordingly he did; and then, following his brother about the middle of the conygree, found his master on the ground, his brother upon him, and his muther standing by; and being asked, whether his master was then dead? answered, no, for that, after he came to them, his master cried, ' Ah rogues, will you kill me?' at which he told his brother he hoped he would not kill his master; who replied, 'Peace, peace, you're a fool,' and so strangled him; which having done, he took a bag of money out of his pocket, and threw it into his mother's lap, and then he and his brother carried bis master's dead body into the garden, adjoining to the conygree, where they consulted wbat to do with it; and, at length, agreed to throw it into the great-sink by Wallington's mill, behind the garden; but said, his mother and brother bade him go up to the court, next the house, to hearken wbether any one were stirring, and they would throw the body into the sink : and being asked whether it were there, he said he knew not, for that he left it in the garden; but his mother and brother said they would throw it there, and, if it were not there, he knew not where it was, for that he returned no more to them, but went into the courtgate, which goes into the town, where he met with John Pearce, with whom he went into the field, and again returned with him to his master's gate; after which, he went into the hen-roost, where he lay till twelve of the clock that night, but slept not; and having, when he came from bis mother and brother, brought with him his master's hat, band, and comb, which he laid in the hen-roost, he carried the said hat, band, and comb, and threw them, after he had given them three or four cuts with his knife, in the highway, where they were after found : and