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they to forfeit to the king's majesty, for every time so setting, six shillings and eight pence.

33. If there be any weirs upon the rivers, not having grates be. fore them, whereby the swans and cygnets may be defended from drowning, the owner of such weir shall forfeit to the king thirteen shillings and four pence.

34. All fishermen are to assist the master of the game, or his deputy, in the execution of their office, on the upping-days, with their boats at the upper end of their several waters, upon pain of twenty shillings for every default; for which service the master of the game shall cause the accustomed fees to be paid to the said fisherm'cn.

35. Lastly, if there be any other misdemeanor or offence com. mitted, or done by any owner of any game, swan-herd, or other person whatsoever, contrary to any law, ancient custom, or usage heretofore used and allowed, and not before herein particularly mentioned or expressed, you shall present the same offence, that reformation may be had, and the offenders punished, according to the quantity and quality of the several offences.

These orders, according to Master D'oyly's directions, I have examined, and compared with some other orders, which are now in print, and have been observed and used in some parts of this king. dom; but I find anciently used these laws, customs, and orders, in most parts of this kingdom, and not much differing from those orders now. printed, in matter of substance, but only in form. As also I find a commission, used for the preservation of the royal game of swans and cygnets, directed to noblemen, knights, and gentlemen, for the inquiring of abuses committed contrary to these laudable orders and customs, and the offences to punish, according to their several qualities; and have caused these orders to be printed, that thereby better knowledge may be taken of them by every deputy-master of the game. .

John Witherings.



(At the several Assizes held at Lancaster, the fourteenth and sixteenth Days of the first Month, 1663-4; and the twenty

ninth of the sixth Month 1664) For their obedience to Christ's Command, who saith, 'Swear not at all :'

Also something in answer to Bishop Lancelot Andrew's Sermon

concerning Sweuring.

Thus have you made the Commandment of God of none Effect by your Tradition,

Matt. xv. 6.

Printed in the Year 1664.

Quarto, containing thirty-four Pages.


HE was called to the bar, and when she was at the bar, order

was given to the gaoler, by the judge, to set a stool and a cushion for her to sit upon; and she had four of her daughters with her at the bar, and the judge said, “Let not Mrs.Fell's daughters stand at the bar, but let them come up hither, they shall not stand at the bar;' so they plucked them up, and set them near where the judge sat. Then, after a while, the mittimus was read, and the judge spoke to her, and she stood up to the bar, and he began to speak to her as followeth:

Judge. He said, Mrs. Fell, you are committed by the justices of peace for refusing to take the oath of obedience; and I am commanded, or sent by the king, to tender it to any that shall refuse it.

Margaret Fell. I was sent for from my own house and family, but for what cause or transgression I do not know.

Judge. I am informed by the justices of peace in this county, that you keep multitudes of people at your house, in a pretence of worshiping god; and, it may be, you worship him in part, but we are not to dispute that.

Marg. Fell. I have the king's word from his own mouth, That he would not hinder me of my religion. 'God forbid,' said he, (that I should hinder you of your religion, you may keep it in your own house.' And I appeal to all the country, Whether those peo. ple that met at my house be not a peaceable, a quiet, and a godly honest people? And whether there hath been any just occasion of offence given by the meeting that was kept in my house?

Judge. If you will give security that you will have no more meetings, I will not tender the oath to you: You think if there be no fighting nor quarrelling amongst you, that you keep the peace,

* This is the 489th Article in the Catalogue of Pamphlets in the Harleian Library.

and break no law; but I tell you, That you are a breaker of the law, by keeping of unlawful meetings; and again, you break the law, in that you will not take the oath of allegiance.

Marg. Fell. I desire that I may have the liberty to answer to those two things that are charged against me: And, first, for that which is looked upon to be matter of fact, which is concerning our meetings; there are several of my neighbours that are of the same faith, principle, and spirit, and judgment that I am of; and these are they that meet at my house, and I cannot shut my door against them.

Judge. Mistress, you begin at the wrong end, for the first is the oath.

Marg. Fell. I suppose, that the first occasion of tendering to me the oath, was, because of meeting; but, as for that, if I have begun at the wrong end, I shall begin at the other: And, First, then, as to the oath, the substance of which is allegiance to the king; and this I shall say, as for my allegiance, I love, own, and honour the king, and desire his peace and welfare, and that we may live a peaceable, a quiet, and godly life under his government according to the scriptures, and this is my allegiance to the king; and as for the oath itself, Christ Jesus, the king of kings, hath commanded me not to swear at all, neither by heaven, nor by earth, nor by any other oath.

Judge.' He called for the statute-book, and the grand jury to be present: Then one of the justices, that committed her, said, Mrs. Fell, You know, that, before the oath was tendered to you; we offered, that, if you would put in security to have no more meetings at your house, we would not tender the oath to you.

Marg. Fell. I shall not deny that.

Judge. If you will yet put in security that you will have no more meetings, I will not tender it to you.

Marg. Fell. Spoke to the judge, and the court, and the rest of the people: You all profess here to be christians, and likewise you profess the scriptures; so, in answer to those things that are laid against me:

First (John iv.) Christ Jesus hath left upon record in the scriptures, that God is a spirit, and that his worship is in the spirit and truth; and that he is seeking of such worshipers to worship him, in which spirit, I and those that meet, in my house, meet and worship God, in obedience to his doctrine and command.

Secondly, Mat. v. The same Christ Jesus hath commanded, in plain words, That I should not swear at all; and, for obedi. ence to Christ's doctrine and command, am I here arraigned this day; and so, you, being christians, and professing the same things in words, judge of those things according to that of God in your consciences, and I appeal to all the country, Whether ever any prejudice, or hurt, those meetings did ?

So, after she had spoken of the worship of God in spirit, and obedience to Christ's doctrine and command, &c.

Judge. You are not here for obedience to Christ's commands,

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but for keeping of unlawful meetings, and you think, that if you do not fight, or quarrel, or break the peace,


break no law, but there is a law against unlawful meetings.

Marg. Fell. What law have I broken for worshiping God in my own house?

Judge. What law?

Marg. Fell. Aye, What law have I broken for worshiping God in my own house?

Judge. The common law.

Marg. Fell. I thought you had proceeded by a statute. Then the sheriff whispered to him, and mentioned the statute of the 35th of Eliz,

Judge. I could tell you of a law, but it is too penal for you, for it might cost you your life.

Marg. Fell. I must offer and tender my life and all for my testimony, if it be required of me. Then the latter part of the statute was read to the jury for the oath of obedience; and the judge informed the jury and the prisoner, concerning the penalty of the statute upon refusal, for it would be to the forfeiture of all her estate, real and personal, and imprisonment during life.

Marg. Fell. I am a widow, and my estate is a dowry, and I have five children unpreferred; and, if the king's pleasure be to take my estate from me, upon the account of my conscience, and not for any evil or wrong done; let him do as he pleases; and further, I desire that I may speak to the jury of the occasion of my being here. Judge. The jury is to hear nothing, but me to tender you

the oath, and you to refuse it or take it.

Marg. Fell. You will let me have the liberty that other prisoners have, and then she turned to the jury, and said Friends, I am here this day upon the account of my conscience, and not for any evil or wrong done to any man, but for obeying Christ's doctrine and command, who hath said in the scripture, That God is a spirit, and that his worship is in the spirit and truth, and for keeping meetings in the unity of his spirit, and for obeying Christ's command and doctrine, who hath said, Swear not at all; am I here arraigned this day. Now you profess yourselves to be christians, and you own the scriptures to be true, and, for the obedience of the plain words of scripture, and for the testimony of my conscience, am I here; so I now appeal to the witness of God in all your consciences to judge of me aceording to that.

Secondly, You are to consider this statute what it was made for, and for whom it was made, for papists; and the oath was, allegi. ance to the king. Now, let your consciences judge, Whether we be the people it was made for, who cannot swear any oath at all, only for conscience sake, because Christ commands not to swear at all.

Judge. Then the judge seemed to be angry, and said, She was Bot there upon the account of her conscience; and said, She had an everlasting tongue, you draw the whole court after you, and she continued speaking on, and he still crying, Will you take the oath or no?

Marg. Fell. It is upon the account of my conscience, for, if I could have sworn, I had not been here.

Secondly, If I would not have meetings in my house, I need not to have the oath tendered to me, and so I desire the jury to take potice, is only for those two things that I am here arraigned; which are only upon the account of my conscience, and not for any evil done against any man.

Then the judge was angry again, and bid them tender her the oath, and hold her the book.

Judge. Will you take the oath of allegiance?

Marg. Fell. I have said already, that I own allegiance and obedience to the king at his just and lawful commands; and I do also owe allegiance and obedience to the King of Kings, Christ Jesus, who hath commanded me not to swear at all.

Judge. That is no answer: Will you take the oath, or will you not take it?

Marg. Fell. I say, I owe allegiance and obedience unto Christ Jesus, who commands me not to swear. Judge. I


unto you, that is no answer : Will you take it, or will you not take it?

Murg. Fell. If you should ask me never so often, I must an. swer to you : The reason, why I cannot take it, is, because Christ Jesus hath commanded me not to swear at all ; I owe my allegi. ance and obedience unto him.

Then one of the justices, that committed her, said : Mrs. Fell, you may, with a good conscience, if you cannot take the oath, put in security, that you may not have any more meetings at your house.

Marg. Fell. Wilt thou make that good, that I may, with a safe conscience, ' make an engagement to forbear meetings, for fear of losing my liberty and estate? Wilt not thou, and you

all here, judge of me, that it was for saving my estate and liberty that I did it? And do I not in this deny my testimony? And would not this defile my conscience? Judge. This

no answer: Will you take the oath? We must not spend time.

Marg. Fell. I never took an oath in my life; I have spent my days thus far, and I never took an oath ; I own allegiance to the king, as he is king of England, but Christ Jesus is king of my conscience. Then the clerk held out the book, and bid her pull off her glove, and lay her hand on the book.

Marg. Fell. I never laid my hand on the book to swear, in all my life, and I never was at this assize before; I was bred and born in this county, and have led my life in it, and I was never at an assize before this time, and I bless the Lord, that I am here this day upon this account, to bear testimony to the truth.Then they asked her if she would have the oath read. She ana

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