Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

Londoner before him. I remember that I have heard my father say, that when he was a young merchant, and used to go beyond sea, queen Anne Boleyn, that was mother to our late queen Elizabeth, caused him to get her the Gospels and Epistles, written on parchment, in French, together with the Psalms.

Of my mother. My mother, in the days of king Henry vill., came to some light of the Gospel by means of some English books, sent privately to her by my father's factors from beyond sea; whereupon she used to call me, with my two sisters, into her chamber, to read to us out of the same good books very privately, for fear of trouble, because those good books were then accounted heretical; and a merchant, named Paginters, who used to bring Bibles from beyond sea, was slain with a gun as he went in the street (see Foxe); therefore, my mother charged us to say nothing of her reading to us, for fear of trouble. Then there was a plague in London, and my father and mother removed seven miles off, into the country, where she was delivered of a child, fell sick, and died. In time of her sickness she fell asleep, and being awakened she smiled, saying, that she saw God the Father, and Christ, at his right hand, stretching forth his hands to receive her; and so died comfortably in the faith. How my husband and I spent our time in the reign of Queen

Mary As in token of my most bounden duty and thankfulness to the Almighty I do rise often in the day-time, but especially in the night, as I lie waking in my bed, to meditate on his most merciful deliverances which he hath given to my good husband, Mr. Anthony Hickman, and me, in the days of queen Mary, when the cruel Papists persecuted the people of God. So I, now being above eighty-four years old, and looking continually when the Lord will call me forth of this life, have thought good to set down the same in writing, and to leave it to my children, to move them to continue that thankfulness to Almighty God which I, their old mother, cannot acknowledge too much nor too often to his glory and praise; and to stand fast in that faith and service of God unto which their father and mother did stand so firmly, and manifest such zeal and affection as in this little treatise appeareth.

My husband, before he did marry me, was found to be worth 1,0001. by his books of accompt, that were examined by my father's appointment; and he being a great dealer in the trade of a merchant venturer, was in the same joint partner with my eldest brother, and they together had some ships of their own, and did make divers voyages into far When queen

countries, some of which voyages were of such note and fame as they are specially recorded by Mr. Richard Hackluit, in his second printed volume of English Voyages to the South and South-east parts of the World; and I do well remember one goodly ship they builded at their own charges, which they named the Mary Rose, being the names of us, their wives; for my brother's wife's name was Mary, and mine Rose. This ship queen Elizabeth afterwards had, and it went in Cales (Cadiz) voyage, 1596. It pleased God to bless and prosper well their adventures: and though, thereby, their riches did increase, yet they did not set their hearts upon them; they had learned not to trust in uncertain riches, but in the living Lord, who giveth abundantly all things to be enjoyed; for they were not unmindful to use and employ their substance to the glory of God and good of his church, as they daily manifested, by giving entertainment to bishop Hooper, Mr. Fox, Mr. Knox, and divers other godly preachers, of which some did afterward suffer martyrdom in queen Mary's days, who, if they were living on earth, as undoubtedly they are in heaven, would not forget to declare what kind usage and bounty they have found at the hands of my good husband, for the gospel of Christ's sake. Mary came to the crown, the idolatrous mass was set up, with public profession of Popery throughout the realm, and cruel persecution of those good Christians that, in good conscience, refused to yield themselves to that idolatry; at which time, we did receive into our house, in the city of London, divers godly and well-disposed Christians, that were desirous to shelter themselves from the cruel persecution of those times. And we and they did table together in a chamber, keeping the doors close shut, for fear of the promoters, as we read in the gospel the disciples of Christ did for fear of the Jews; and thus we kept our house in London in the beginning of queen Mary's days. But then there came forth a very strict proclamation, enjoining all to come to church, and receive the sacrament after the Popish fashion ; after which proclamation we durst no longer keep our house, but my husband used means to convey away the preachers and other good Christians, that were in our house, beyond sea, giving them money to supply their wants. And one of those men was named Ronniger, being then a proper young gentleman, that went to Louvaine to study divinity, and afterwards became doctor of divinity, and died sorne few years since, being one of the mayors of the close of Lincoln. This inan had 51. in gold of my husband at his going away, which, at his return, he thankfully repaid; and whilst he lived he was ready to

means.

acknowledge the kindness that he received from my husband.

Then my good husband was accused to the high commissioners for the conveying away and relieving those good Christians, whom the high cominissioners called the queen's enemies, and for not conforming himself to Popery, according to the queen's injunctions; and, for the same, my husband and my brother (who was also accused with him), were committed to close prison in the Fleet; and during the time of their imprisonment, they could not be suffered to have any private conference together, neither could any other be suffered to have conference with either of them, but they were kept in several rooms in the prison, and were often severally examined. And when either of them was examined, the commissioners would endeavour to make him believe, that the other had confessed as much as they would have drawn from him; and, thereupon, they would advise him to confess, as his brother had done before him; but, nevertheless, there was not much gotten forth of their own confession by that

Although, indeed, there was a collection of forty marks a week duly collected and exhibited by my husband and brother, with some other well-disposed merchants, to the relief of the distressed ministry, about which my husband and brother were sore charged in their examination. And, at the same time, there was also in the Fleet, the jury that acquitted Sir Nicholas Throckmorton, upon his arraignment for high treason, who, because they chose rather to discharge their consciences by finding him not guilty, than to please the commissioners and judges that sat upon his trial by finding him guilty, contrary to their consciences, were committed to the Fleet, but so as they had the liberty of the prison. And these jurymen, being all merchants of London, had compassion upon the distress of my husband and brother; for these jurymen having the liberty that was wanting to husband and brother, in the prison, would come under the chamber window where my brother was, and under the chamber window where my husband was, and talk aloud one to another, to the end that my husband and brother might hear them, what they heard touching any of the matters for which my husband and brother were questioned; and so, by that means, gave them light of many things before their examination. Afterwards, by great means that was made for them, they were removed from the Fleet to the house of the marquis of Winchester, who was then lord treasurer, but were also there kept in several rooms, as close prisoners, not being suffered to come together but by stealih: when the

my

marquis was at dinner, or gone abroad, then they procured to themselves liberty to come together, by giving gratuities to the gentlemen that attended about the house. And whilst they were thus detained prisoners, there came to the court the lord of Barrowe, in the low countries, who became a great suitor for their enlargement, in regard of the want that his country had of their trading and merchandize; and partly by his means, and partly by the lord treasurer's favour, (which we purchased with chests of sugar, and pieces of velvet, to the value of 2001., or thereabout,) they were, after long imprisonment, set at liberty. Afterwards, my husband, to drive away the wicked days, went to Antwerp, where he had a fair house, which he rented for 701. a-year; and I, being with child, went into Oxfordshire, to a gentleman's house that was a lodge, and stood far off from any church or town, the name whereof was Chilswell, and there I was delivered; and from thence I sent to Oxford, to the bishops, (who were then and there in prison, and did afterwards suffer martyrdom there,) to be advised by them, whether I might suffer my child to be baptized after the Popish manner; who answered me, That the sacrament of baptism, as it was used by the Papists, was the least corrupted, and therefore I might; but therewithal they said, that I might have gone out of England before that time if I had done well,

And so my child was there baptized by a Popish priest; but because I would avoid the popish stuff as much as I could, I did not put salt into the handkerchief that was to be delivered to the priest at the baptism, but put sugar in it instead of salt. Afterwards, I prepared to go to Antwerp, to my husband's house there; and, although my husband had two fair houses in England, the one in London, the other in Essex, at Romford, both of them well furnished with household stuff, yet I accounted all nothing in comparison to liberty of conscience for the profession of Christ; so I conveyed my household stuff into certain friends' houses, carrying none with me but a large feather bed, which I laid in the bottom of the old hulk wherein we went to Antwerp. I may well call it an old hulk, for the master of it said, that if it pleased God to speed us well in the voyage, it should never go to sea again. We were five days and nights upon the seas, in stormy and tempestuous weather. I might here tell, that my brother, Thomas Lock, who was partner with my husband, would have gone with us, but that he could not get his wife's goodwill to go out of England, whereupon I would say to her, “Sister, you stay here for covetousness, and love of your husband's land and goods; but I fear the Lord's hands will be upon you for it.” And, indeed, so it came to pass, for he being constrained, for fear of further trouble, to fashion himself outwardly to the popish religion in some sort, was so grieved in mind thereat, that he died shortly after, with seven of his children.

The reason why we did think ourselves safer in Antwerp than in England, was not for any more liberty of the gospel given there, but because there were not parish churches, but only a cathedral; wherein, though the popish service was used, yet it could not be easily known who came to church, and who not. But there was a chapel for the English merchants, and thereunto all of them were compellable to go upon solemn feast days to wait upon their governor; and the night before that day my husband'would be mourning in his bed, and could not sleep for grief, to think that he was on the morrow to go with the governor to that idolatrous service. But the governor, though he was a Papist, yet he was no persecutor nor cruel Papist, for he was contented to bear with my husband, so far as he might, without being seen to do it, and would say to him, that though he did bark yet he did not bite. Whilst I was in Antwerp I had another child, and had great care to keep it from the baptism of the Papists; for in hatred that the inhabitants there do bear to the Anabaptists, the magistrate used to enter at midnight into houses where any children were suspected to be kept unbaptized, and if he found any.such, he used to put them in a sack, and cast them into the water, and so drown them; from which cruelty, to save my child, I did as followeth, namely:Whereas, it is the custom there to hang at the street door, where a woman lieth in, a little piece of lawn: it was so, that our house opened into two streets; therefore, I hanged forth a piece of lawn upon either side or door, to the end that the neighbours on either side might suppose that it went out at the other door to be baptized. And so it pleased God that there was a secret congregation of Protestants, unto which congregation, by the help of some godly women there, I procured my child to be secretly carried, and there to be baptized by a Protestant minister, I not knowing godfather nor godmother.

And thus I continued in Antwerp till the death of queen Mary, which was not a little joyful to me to hear of; for during the time of her tyrannous reign, I had often prayed earnestly to God to take either her or me forth of the world. In all which time I never was present at any of the Popish masses, or any other of their idolatrous service, for all which blessings and deliverances, sent to me from my good God, I most humbly beseech his Majesty that I, and mine, may never forget to be thankful, not seeking our own vain glory

« PoprzedniaDalej »