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rant from the justices of peace, by indictments at the assizes or sessions, or process sent down to the sheriff's office, that they procure and send up with their sufferings exact copies of all warrants for distress, and such like; which they may generally procure from the constables, tything-men, or headboroughs; and the copies of all mittimusses granted or made by justices of the peace ; which they may have from the goaler, and which the goaler is bound to deliver by law, on demand, to the prisoner, according to the late Habeas Corpus Act, 31 Car. II. entitled,
“ An Act for the better securing the Liberty of the Subject :*" and likewise to procure copies at large of all indictments at assizes or sessions ; which they may have from the clerks of the peace and clerks of the assize : and copies of all writs and process issuing out of any of the courts at Westminster, which are directed to the sheriffs; which they may have from the under-sheriff's office: which may not only demonstrate their sufferings more axactly, but be a better mean and proof here to endeavour for their redress.
It is also advised and agreed, That what was the last Yearly Meeting agreed on, relating to the account and testimonies of the first spreaders of truth who are deceased, be again recommended to the respective Quarterly Meetings to make inquiry into, and send them up to London. AT THE SAID MEETING, THE 6th OF THE FOURTH MONTH, 1689.
Upon consideration of the general suffering of Friends in many counties; it is the desire and advice of this meeting, That in such counties where there are severe and immediate fufferings, they, out of their respective Monthly Meetings, appoint some honest and knowing Friends to be as a Meeting for Sufferings for that county, who may take care, with all possible exactness, to state and draw up the cases of sufferings : that they lay the same before the respective justices (which is also as the statute plainly directst) and magistrates of their own counties, for redress; and before the judges of assize, and bishops, where concerned against Friends ; and that such accounts as they send up to the Meeting for Sufferings here, may be the same as they give to their own magistrates, duly stated, and well witnessed: and where necessity requires that accounts of sufferings be sent up with such speed thai they cannot stay to a Monthly or Quarterly Meeting, that such accounts be viewed and approved under the hands of three
* Also the sheriff, goaler, &c. shall permit and suffer the prisoners to send out for beer, victuals, and other necessaries, where they please ; as is required by a penal statute, 22 & 23 Car. II. cap. 20. §. 10. 13. “ For the Relief of distressed Prisoners," + 4 Hen. VII. cap. 12.
or four Friends at least, to prevent mistakes, and loose uncertain accounts of things complained of: and that before any accounts be entered in the Quarterly Meeting books, the same be plainly and orderly drawn up by some knowing Friends in such concerns.
And it is further agreed, That when accounts of sufferings are sent up to London by Friends, they also send up accounts that they have laid the case before the justices and magistrates, for redress, who have not relieved them : and that the Friends coming up from the several counties to the Yearly Meeting bring up the account of their sufferings from their respective Quarterly Meetings, not in loose papers, but fairly entered in a book, under distinct heads and causes. And further, that in their own Quarterly Meeting books they enter, and send up here also, true accounts of the release or relief of Friends by name, by justices, magistrates, or others; and by what means, and by whom, and the time when also, released or relieved.
And it is further agreed and advised by this meeting, That all judgments of God upon persecutors, informers, and others (not only what has of late years befallen them, but from the first breaking-forth of truth,) be drawn up in writing, and entered in every Monthly Meeting book where it came to pass, exactly in all circumstances of time and place, and attested under the hands of witnesses : that thence it be sent and entered in their Quarterly Meeting books, and thence transmitted yearly to this General Meeting, in order to be here recorded and published in print, or laid before authority, as a service may be seen to be therein.
Upon consideration of the general suffering of Friends for recusancy, by prosecution for twenty pounds a month, on the statute 23 Eliz. and seizure of two-thirds of estates, it is again the advice of this Meeting unto all Friends, in the respective counties of England and Wales,
First, That some Friend attend every assizes and sessions ; and inquire whether any Friends are presented by the constable, church-wardens, &c.
Secondly, If any, or who, are indicted thereon ? That if they have any acquaintance or interest with the grand jury or justices they improve the same, to prevent the grand jury's presentment.
Thirdly, That they have the printed sheet of the case of recusancy sent down, that was presented to the parliament, and all Monthly Meetings furnished therewith ; and to deliever them to the grand jury and moderate justices, at or before the assizes and sessions, to inform their judgments in that case, that these laws, by which we are prosecuted, were intentionally made against papists, and not against protestants.
Fourthly, That if any writs of seizures be issued out against
them, Friends attend the same. If they have any mortgage or incumbrance on their estates, that they plead the same to the jury of inquiry, to prevent such seizure.
Fifthly, But where such seizure cannot be prevented, then Friends to use their interest with the jury not to over-rate their lands.
Sixthly, That persons under such prosecution endeavour, before conviction and distresses taken, to clear their accounts ; and secure, or satisfy for, their debts which they owe to all persons : and suffer for their testimony with no other estate but their own.
Upon discourse of the case of Friends' sufferings on prosecution in the exchequer for tithes : and consideration as to appearance and not-appearance, and answering and not-answering, to process and bills exhibited against them, Friends are left to their liberty and freedom in the truth, in their respective cases. And also, that, as Friends have freedom, and will tender or give in their answers in person, without oath, to the barons of the exchequer, Friends have unity therewith ; believing it may be of good service and a testimony for the truth against swearing, and against the severity of the court's prosecution of Friends to contempts, rebellion, and sequestration, upon their not accepting their answer without oath. AT THE SAID MEETING, THE 7th OF THE FOURTH MONTH 1682.
Upon consideration of Friends' books, and the disposing thereof for the general service of truth, it is agreed and desired, That every Quarterly Meeting in each county take care weightily to consider and advise amongst themselves such way, method, place and places, as fit to sell, publish, and dispose of books given forth for the service of truth; and the numbers they would receive; and give advice thereof to their respective correspondents here for the Meeting for Sufferings in London, to whose care and ordering these concerns are referred. AT THE SAID MEETING, THE 8th or THE FOURTH MONTH, 1689,
Upon consideration of sufferings in general, it is the advice of this meeting, That in cases, of difficulty, and where Friends who are sufferers, stand in need of advice in any particular case, they send up their respective cases to the Meeting for Sufferings in London. And it is also left to the freedom of Friends of the Quarterly Meeting, for their better and more easy understanding when they are prosecuted, and suffer in person and estate, contrary to law, to buy or provide the “ Statute-Book at large;" to which on all occasions, they may bave recourse, and thereby may If prose
in many cases be made capable to know when and how they are injured, and to whom to apply for redress.
It being queried, “ Whether any person can be prosecuted in " the ecclesiastical court, and there censured : and indicted and “ prosecuted at common law, or the temporal court, for one and “ the same offence?" Upon consideration thereof, it is apprehended by several, that in case it be such offence against any statute, where the statute ascertaining the punishment makes provision that the offence, punished by virtue of that statute, shall not be otherwise punished (as in the statute of i Eliz. chap. 2. §. 24. and that against conventicles, 22 Car. II chap. 1. §. 14,) in such cases of offence they cannot for one and the same offence be censured in the ecclesiastical court, and prosecuted in the temporal court. But in case they be, the remedy may be thus ; viz.“ If prosecuted “ first in the ccclesiastical court, and after in the temporal court, “ he may plead the former prosecution to the latter. “cuted first in the temporal court, and after in the ecclesiastical, “ he may plead also the former procedure to the latter. If the ec“ clesiastical court accept not of such plea in bar, and stay not “ procedure thereon, the person may, in any of the courts at West“minster, suggest the whole matter, and have a prohibition there“ on to stay the procedure in the ecclesiastical court"; as it is the judgment of some knowing in those matters.
A case being here proposed about public meeting-houses, and what the sense of Frier.ds is shall be done by those in whose name or names such house is purchased; it is agreed, and is the sense of this meeting, that such as have given up their names, and undertaken the trust of any public meeting-place, do own and stand by the same in time of trial and persecution ; lest they give opportunity and occasion for our adversaries to seize our meeling-houses : as some have been done to, for want of one to own the houses. And further ; if any persons, having such trust at this day, have not strength to stand by their trust, and there. fore are willing and desirous to give it up, that they surrender the same. And that such as will take up these trusts be good and upright Friends, wlio take them up in faith, and will acknowþedge themselves to be owners of such houses in time of trial or necessity, or prosecution by the act against conventicles, or otherwise.
A proposition being made to this meeting on prosecution for 20 pounds a month, by informers on Qui tam writs at common law ;* it was queried, “ Whether it was adviseable to appear, or " not appear to such suit; but go to prison upon the first writ for not “ appearing ?” Upon consideration of some knowing in this case ; * 23 Eliz. cap. 1.
35 Eliz. cap. 1. §. 10.
]. That any Friend, appearing when first arrested, may, at small cost of the informer, be prosecuted to a judgment and execution :
2. That not appearing, the prosecutor cannot proceed upon his suit to any declaration, nor to judgment or execution, until the person arrested, at the informer's cost, be brought to the bar of one of the courts at Westminster;
3. This cost being five or ten pounds, or sometimes more, to bring the person from the country goal to Westminster-ball ; which an informer seldom can or will lay out;
4. Such appearance being in general not only to ease the prosecutor in his charge in prosecution, but also a forwarding him in his suit; it is plain (in the sense of divers,) that not appearing is the greatest disappointment to the informer.
Howbeit, it is the sense of this meeting, tbat Friends be left to the guidance of the power of God in themselves, and as they bave freedom therein.
It is desired and advised by this meeting, that it be recommended to the several Quarterly Meetings to send up one or two faithful Friends, who are knowing in the affairs of the church, and the state of Friends there, to attend the next General Yearly Meeting, if the Lord give liberty, and make way for the same. AT THE SAID MEETING, THE 9th or THE FOURTH MONTH, 1682.
These questions following were proposed to the Friends who appeared for the respective Quarterly Meetings, to give answers
First, What Friends in the ministry, in their respective counties departed this life since last Yearly Meeting ?
Secondly, What Friends imprisoned for their testimony have died in prison since the last Yearly Meeting?
Thirdly, How the truth has prospered amongst them since the Jast Yearly Meeting? And how Friends are in peace and unity.
To which the Friends of the counties gave their respective answers to the Meeting's satisfaction and comfort, in relation to the truth's prosperity, and peace and unity among Friends.
Finally, dear Friends, we have great cause to magnify the nanie of the Lord our God, for this blessed opportunity, and affording us his wonted presence, and peculiar providence in our preservation, beyond the expectations of niany: being greatly comforted and refreshed in the many good accounts and lively testimonies given by the Friends out of their respective counties of England and Wales, and also out of Ireland, Scotland, Holland, and Germany, of the general prosperity and spreading of truth, and of the love, peace, and unity among Friends; as also of a