« PoprzedniaDalej »
of HENRY PITMAN,
Chirurgeon to the late Duke of MONMOU T II,
containing an account 1. Of the Occasion of his being engaged in the Duke's service. 2. Of his trial, con.
demnation, and transportation to Barbadoes ; with the most severe and unchristian Act made against him and his fellow sufferers, by the Governor and General Assembly of that island. 3. How he made his escape in a small open boat with some of his fellow-captives, namely, John WHICKER, PETER Bagwell, William WOODCOCK, JOHN COOKE, JEREMIAH ATKINS, &c. And how miraculously they were preserved on the sea. 4. How they went ashore on an uninhabitable island, where they met with some Priva. teers, that burnt their boat, and left them on that desolate place to shift for themselves. 5. After what manner they lived there for about three months; until the said HENRY PITMAN was taken aboard a Privateer and at length arrived safe in England. 6. How his companions were received on board another Privateer, that was afterwards taken by the Spaniards, and they all made slaves : and how, after six months' captivity, they were delivered ; and returned to England also.
Licensed, June 13th, 1689. London. Printed by Andrew Sowle: and are to be sold by JOHN TAYLOR, at the sign of the Ship in
Paul's Churchyard, 168 9.
S A necessary introduction to the following Relation, it will be convenient that I give account of the Occasion of my being engaged with the rest that went in to the Duke of MONMOUTH; and how far I was concerned in that action.
Being, at that time, but newly returned
from a voyage to Italy, I went to see my relations at Sandford in Somersetshire : where I had not been long, before the Duke landed at Lyme; and making forwards, was advanced as far as Ilminster. Upon which, I was induced (partly out of my own curiosity, and partly by the importunity of some of my acquaintance) to go and see whether his strength and number were answerable to what the common rumour had spread abroad : and to that purpose, rode, accompanied by my brother and some other friends, to Taunton ; whither the Duke by this time was marching, with such forces as he had got together.
After some stay there, having fully satisfied my curiosity, by a full view both of his person and his army; I resolved to return home: and in order thereunto, I took the direct road back again, with a friend, who had the same intention as myself: but understanding, upon the road, that if we went forward, we should be certainly intercepted by the Lord of OXFORD's Troop, then in our way; we found ourselves, of necessity, obliged to retire back again to the Duke's forces, till we could meet with a more safe and convenient opportunity.
336 PrTMAN DOING Red Cross Society. WORK. [. Fue mag
But, after some time, losing my horse, and no opportunity presenting itself; I was prevailed with, by the importunate desires of my friends and aquaintance then in the army, to stay and take care of the sick and wounded men. To which I was the rather induced, in regard I thought myself liable to the same punishment, should the Duke be defeated, as those who still remained in the army: but more especially, for that I saw many sick and wounded men miserably lament. ing the want of chirurgeons to dress their wounds. So that pity and compassion on my fellow creatures, more especially being my brethren in Christianity, obliged me to stay and perform the duty of my calling among them, and to assist my brother chirurgeons towards the relief of those that, otherwise, must have languished in misery; though, indeed, there were many who did, notwithstanding our utmost care and diligence. Whose lives, perhaps, might have been preserved to this day, had we had a garrison wherein to have given them rest; and not have been constrained, through the cruelty and inhumanity of the King's soldiers, to expose their wounded and fractured limbs to the violent agitation and shogging of the carts, in our daily marches.
But as I was never in arms myself, so neither was I wanting in my care to dress the wounds of many of the King's soldiers, who were prisoners in the Duke's army: using the utmost of my care and skill for both. And thus I continued in full employment, dressing the wounded in the night-time and marching by day : till the fatal rout and overthrow of the whole army (at Sedgmoor on July 6, 1685).
In my flight homewards, I was taken prisoner, and commited to Ilchester Gaol by Colonel Hellier; in whose porch, I had my pockets rifled and my coat taken off my back, by my guard : and, in that manner, was hurried away to prison; where I remained, with many more under the same circumstances, until the Assizes at Wells; though, perhaps, there could not anything have been proved against most of us, to have done us much harm, had they not extorted confessions from us, by sending certain persons to the prisons where we were.
Who called us forth, one after another, and told us, that “the King was very gracious and merciful, and would cause none to be executed but such as had been Officers or
H. Pitman.7THE BLOODY ASSIZES OF THE WEST. 337 10 June 1689.
capital offenders : and therefore if we would render ourselves fit objects of the King's grace and favour, our only way was to give them an account where we went into the Duke's army, and in what capacity we served him, &c. Otherwise we must expect no mercy or favour from the King, who would certainly punish all such wilful and obstinate offenders.”
By which means, they drew us into the acknowledgement of our guilt, and our Examinations and Confessions were written and sent to the King, before the Lord Chief Justice JEFIRIES came to try us: so that he knew beforehand our particular crimes; and likewise received orders from the King, as it is supposed, who, and what number to execute.
But seeing our former Confessions were sufficient only to find the [True) Bill against us, by the Grand Jury; and not to prove us “Guilty”; the Petty Jury being obliged to give iheir verdict according to the evidence in Court: the Lord Chief Justice (fearing lest we should deny what we formerly confessed, and by that means, put them to the trouble of proving it against us) caused about twenty-eight persons at the Assizes at Dorchester, to be chosen from among the rest, against whom he knew he could procure evidence, and brought them first to their trial. Who pleaded “Not Guilty"; but evidence being produced, they were immediately condemned, and a warrant signed for their execution the same afternoon.
The sudden execution of these men so affrightened the rest, that we all, except three or four, pleaded “Guilty" in hopes to save our lives : but not without large promises of the King's grace and favour. For the Lord Chief Justice told us that“ if we would acknowledge our crimes, by pleading Guilty to our Indictment, the King, who was almost all mercy (!), would be as ready to forgive us as we were to rebel against him; yea, as ready to pardon us, as we would be to ask it of him.”
And now was that common saying verified,“ Confess, and be hanged !” For, notwithstanding his large promises of grace and favour, we were all condemned "to be hanged, drawn, and quartered.” And by his order, there were two hundred and thirty executed; besides a great number hanged imme. diately after the Fight.
The rest of us were ordered to be transported to the