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the most touching and ennobling pages in their country's history is written. From a reference to a Newgate custom in the third act of the first part of Henry IV. it would seem that Shakspeare, in his researches into the aspects of social life, had not neglected such lessons as a great metropolitan prison is able to afford. In his time, and before his time, several of the most learned and religious men in the land were shut up in its dreary courts and cells. There lay, in the most wretched condition, John Bradford, of Manchester, the friend of Ridley, a prebendary of St. Paul's, and one of the purest of the reformers. He lost his preferments for his humanity : in the days of persecution, he saved the life of a Popish priest, Bourne, afterwards Bishop of Bath ; this lost him the countenance of his fiercer friends : when Bonner returned to power under Mary, he sent Bradford-a man too mild and good for such troublous times—to the stake. Here too was sent by Bonner, the intrepid John Rough. Rough's case was, in one respect, very much like Bradford's : while hating popery with all his soul, he never forgot that the papist was also a man and a brother, and at great personal risk, was ever ready to shelter those who fled from the stake or the gallows. He was brought before Bonner and Watson-Watson, now Bishop of Lincoln, was one of the men whose lives he had recently saved : when the latter saw him, he cried out, “This is a most pernicious heretic, who has done more hurt in the north than a hundred more of his opinion.” “Is this, Sir," said Rough, with indignant contempt, “ the reward I have for saving your life ?” He was condemned to die by fire and fagot.

His “ Letter to some Friends," written in Newgate the day of his condemnation, is one of the most beautiful bits of religious writing which that age has left to us. In the middle of the nineteenth century, it is with some difficulty that the mind can be got to embrace these facts as truth. But what shall we say to the liberty of the press,

in the so often vaunted reign of Queen Elizabeth—the best of the Tudors, with all her faults—in the case of John Stubbs? The Virgin Queen had turned her thoughts towards a matrimonial alliance with a French prince—a Catholic; but the nation, which had felt so deeply the consequences of Mary's marriage with Philip of Spain, protested vehemently against a project to bring into a position of high influence, a foreigner, an enemy, and a papist. Sir Philip Sidney wrote a spirited remonstrance against the contemplated union, which he privately delivered to her majesty. Stubbs addressed his sovereign through the public press. In social position, he was on a level with the literary men of this age-a man of learning, a member of Lincoln's Inn, brother-in-law to Cartwright, and the intimate friend of Spenser. Hallam describes his letter as written in a sensible manner, and in a spirit of unfeigned loyalty and affection towards the Queen ; yet, author, printer, and publisher, were all condemned to have their right hands cut off, and to be imprisoned during her majesty's pleasure for their

presumption! The printer was pardoned ; but the sentence was carried out on the other two. They were taken to the market-place in Westminster : Stubbs laid his hand on the block, and it was hacked off with a butcher's knife and mallet. But even this cruelty did not quench his loyal feeling, for with his left hand he waved his cap and cried out, “ Long live the Queen.” The bookseller, Page's, turn came next; he suffered the amputation in silence; and, when it was completed, said simply, “There lies the hand of a true Englishman." A noble protest !

In 1572, John Field and Thomas Wilcox were committed to Newgate for writing the celebrated Admonition to Parliament for the Reformation of Church Discipline”—the great organum of Puritan views and principles. These notable men were confined in the most rigorous manner, and suffered grievously in their bodily health ; they petitioned Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, who had himself tasted the bitterness of a prison-life, to obtain for them a less loathsome gaol ; but their request was not granted. Yet, in this miserable place, without books and without money, they had to maintain, in the famous Whitgift controversy, their opinions against all the assaults of wit, learning, power, and prestige. Parker and Whitgift entered the lists against them ; the latter published an

- Answer

to the “ Admonition,” acute and able, but not convincing. At the time of its publication, Parker sent one of his chaplains to hold a conference with the prisoners in presence of their keeper ; a report of which is

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printed in Brook's “Lives of the Puritans.”. Field and Wilcox answered from their prison Whitgift's “ Answer," as did also Cartwright. This controversy is one of the most note-worthy events of those days; for out of it came Puritanism, the fall of the Stuarts, the Commonwealth, and all the Dissenting Churches of England. Old Fuller was one of those who visited the writers in their prison.

Newgate and the Fleet continued to be the homes of the uncompromising Puritans until the close of the Stuart dynasty. In the time of Charles I., Dr. Leighton, father of the famous archbishop, was committed to Newgate for writing his “ Appeal to Parliament ;" he was arrested by Land, put in heavy irons, kept in a loathsome yard exposed to rain and snow for fifteen weeks, without being allowed a copy of his indictment, or to see his wife or any of his friends. At length he was brought before the Star Chamber ; Laud pressed for the heaviest sentence which this monstrous tribunal could pronounce. It consisted of these items :degraded from his order; fined 10,0001. ; his ears cut off ; his nose slit; his brow branded with hot irons ; his body scourged ; in the condition in which these penalties left him to be placed in the pillories in Palace-yard and Cheapside ; and, to conclude all, imprisonment for life! All these cruelties and indignities were done in England upon the body of the venerable doctor, for daring to propose a reform in the government of the Church. And yet we talk of the Inquisition !

After ten years' confineinent in prison, Leighton was set free by the Long Parliament.

Reference has been made to Shakspeare's acquaintance with Newgate, but other poets have become still better acquainted with it than Shakspeare could have been. At the Restoration, poor Wither, who was usually in the hot waters of political strife, was committed to Newgate by the Convention Parliament, for writing the pamphlet called Vox Vulgi. Here he wrote his “Prisoner's Plea,” which was presented to the Commons. He was afterwards sent to the Tower on the same charge. George Sackville, poet, rake, and earl of Dorset, occupied a cell in Newgate ; like Surrey, he was fond of getting up street rows, and boasted a very familiar acquaintance with the Round House. Six months of the year 1672, Penn, the founder of Philadelphia, spent in Newgate, whither he was committed for preaching in the public streets ! A few years later, two of the most infamous scoundrels who stain our annals—Titus Oates and Dangerfield —were sent to Newgate ; the story of their crimes and punishment is dramatically told by Macaulay. Dangerfield died in the prison. At the Revolution, many distinguished persons were confined in Newgate--two bishops among others, Ellis and Leyburn. The pope's nuncio would have shared their confinement, but he escaped in a footman's dress. Burnet visited these prelates in Newgate ; he found them in the most wretched plight, and at once, in the name of the Prince of Orange, ordered their keepers

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