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of settling in county Cork, desired his son to go at once to Shangarry Castle, where the property required a master's eye. Sir William hoped that in the management of his estate the young man's worldly passions would revive; and six weeks after his son's discharge from the Tower the Admiral sent him down to Bristol, on his way to county Cork.
'If you are ordained to be another cross to me,' said the Admiral, 'God's will be done; and I shall arm myself the best I can against it.' He was very sore at heart
Arrived in Cork, Penn found the prison of that city full of Quakers; men of English race and faith, whose main offences were, as he conceived, that they were hard workers and cautious traders. Jealousy had much to do with this repression of the Light, 'which was at least as much from envy about trade as zeal for religion.' From an early day the Friends had learned to buy and sell, and prosper in the ways of trade. The hour of Penn's arrival saw him at the jail. Next day he held a meeting in the prison-yard, where he exhorted his brethren to be steadfast in their faith, and firm in their resistance to an unjust exercise of power. Without going on to Shangarry Castle, he set out for Dublin, where he called a meeting of Friends, and having put the case in form, he carried a memorial of their grievances to his friend the Duke of Ormonde. Arran, Lane, and others who remembered him at Carrickfergus in his plume and corslet, helped him to procure a hearing. A commissioner was directed to report on the Quaker prisoners who had been committed by local justices, and in the following summer an order was signed by Ormonde for the free discharge of every one who was in prison for opinion's sake.
Penn stayed at Shangarry Castle nearly ten months; until, in fact, his father's plans began to change. The Lowthers found a good estate, some twenty miles from Maske, which he was now disposed to purchase; and he told his son to try if he could sell the Irish lands. It not being easy to procure a customer for Shangarry Castle, the Admiral bade him ask if any of the tenants were disposed to buy their lots. These tenants were too poor. 'I wish you had well done all your business there, ' the Admiral wrote to his son, 'for I find myself to decline.' Penn took the hint, and gathering up his papers started for his father's house, where he was quickly reconciled to his father's heart.
A FRESH ARREST (1670).
Penn was soon disturbed by new persecutions. Liberty of Conscience—with its consequence, Free Worship—was the question of that day; a question of much practical difficulty even to those who could admit that it was right in principle. The Duke of York, presimiptive heir to the throne, was an avowed Catholic. Charles was suspected of a leaning towards the ritual followed by his wife, his brother, his brother's wife, and his own favourite mistress. Some of the courtiers were apostatising; others were supposed to be only waiting a more favourable moment to desert their Church. If Popery threatened from above, Puritanism was no less terrible below. The country swarmed with the disbanded hosts of Cromwell—men as hostile to the establishment as to the monarchy. Sects were daily multiplying in number. In the midst of all these causes of dismay, a power which Parliament had given the Church for her defence against the non-conforming bodies was renewed. The Conventicle Act declared it seditious and unlawful for more than five persons, exclusive of the family, to meet together for religious worship according to any other than the national rite; and every person above the age of sixteen years attending any such meeting, was liable, for the first offence, to be fined five pounds or imprisoned during three months; for the second offence, to be fined ten pounds, or imprisoned six months; for the third offence, to be fined a hundred pounds or transported beyond the seas for seven years; and for every additional offence to a hundred pounds of fine. This Act was renewed in April. 1670.
Penn soon became a victim of this enactment. Taking no notice of attempts to interfere with their modes of worship, some of the Quakers went on Sunday, the 14th of August to their meeting-house in Gracechurch Street. They found the house closed, the doors guarded by soldiers. Penn took off his hat and began to preach The constables came forward and arrested him. At the same time, but in another part of the crowd, they arrested Captain William Mead, an old soldier of the Commonwealth, now a draper in the city. Penn demanded their authority for his arrest; the officers produced a warrant, signed by Sir Samuel Starling, Lord Mayor. Penn and Mead were taken from the place of meeting to the City magistrates. When Penn refused to doff his hat, Sir Samuel threatened to send him to Bridewell and have him flogged, though he was the son of a Commonwealth admiral! On being reminded that the law would not allow him, he committed Penn and Mead to the Black Dog, a sponging-house in Newgate Market, to await their trial at the Old Bailey. From this place of durance Penn wrote to his father, glorying in his sufferings for a great principle, but expressing his deep regret at being dragged away from home at such a time.
On Thursday, September 1st, 16 70, the prisoners, William Penn the Younger, and Captain William Mead, were placed in the dock. Penn stood before his judges, less as a Quaker pleading for the rights of conscience, than an Englishman contending for the ancient liberties of his race. That he had violated the Conventicle Act he knew; that he meant to violate that Act he also knew. Penn held that the new Act was equally hostile to the Bible and the Great Charter. This was the point at issue—Does an edict possess the virtue and force of law, even when passed by Crown and Parliament, which abolishes any one of our fundamental rights? A most important point; and very dear to England were the issues to be tried. Penn raised the constitutional question, 'If we now plead guilty to the facts alleged against us—as in common cases we should do—this Act will acquire additional force: if we deny our guilt, as we may do, and throw the burden of proof on the court, we shall show to all the world the evil animus of our persecutors; we shall also be able to raise the question whether this new and oppressive law be in harmony with the Great Charter, and other fundamental laws.'
Both Penn and Mead resolved to plead not guilty to the charge, and throw the burden of proof on the other side. They thought it well to hire no counsel, and conduct the case themselves; the rather that