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days, after the afternoon sermon or service: we now find, that two sorts of people, wherewith that country is much infected (we mean papists and puritans) have maliciously traduced and calumniated those our just and honourable proceedings; and therefore, lest our reputation might, upon the one side (though innocently) have some aspersion laid upon it, and, upon the other part, our good people in that country be misled, by the mistaking and misinterpretation of our meaning, we have therefore thought good hereby to clear and make our pleasure to be manifested to all our good people in those parts.
It is true, that, at our first entry to this crown and kingdom, we were informed (and that too truly) that our county of Lancashire abounded more in popish recusants, than any county of England, and thus hath still continued since, to our great regret with little amendment ; save that now of late, in our last riding through our said county, we find, both by the report of the judges, and of the bishop of that diocese, that there is some amendment now daily beginning; which is no small contentment to us.
The report of this growing amendment amongst them made us the more sorry, when, with our own ears, we heard the general complaint of our people, that they were barred from all lawful recreation and fxcrcise upon the Sunday's afternoon, after the ending of all divine service; which cannot but produce two evils: the one, the hindering of the conversion of many, whom their priests will take occasion hereby to vex, persuading them, that no honest mirth or recreation is lawful, or tolerable, in our religion; which cannot but breed a great discontentment in our peoples's hearts, especially of such as are, peradventurc, upon the point of turning. The other inconvenience is, that this prohibition barreth the common and meaner sort of people from using such exercises, as may make their bodies more able for war, when we, or our successors, shall have occasion to use them; and in place thereof, sets up filthy tipplings and drunkenness, and breeds a number of idle and discontented speeches in their alehouses: for, when shall the common people have leave to exercise, if not upon the Sundays and holidays? Seeing they must apply their labour, and win their living in all working days.
Our express pleasure therefore is, that the laws of our kingdom, and canons of our church, be as well observed in that county, as in all other places of this our kingdom; and, on the other part, that no lawful recreation shall be barred to our good people, which shall not tend to the breach of our aforesaid laws, and canons of our church: which to express more particularly, our pleasure is, that the bishop, and all other inferior churchmens, and churchwarden, shall, for their parts, be careful and diligent, both to instruct the ignorant, and convince and reform them that are misled in religion; presenting them that will not conform themselves, but obstinately stand out, to our judges and justices ; whom we likewise command to put the law in due execution against them.
Our pleasure likewise is, that the bishop of that diocese take the like straight order with all the puritans and precisians within the same, eitherconstrainingthemtoconibnn themselves, or to leave the county, according to the laws of our kingdom, and canons of our church; ami so to strike equally, on both hands, against the contemners of our authority, and adversaries of our church. And, as for our good people's lawful recreation, our pleasure likewise is, That, after the end of divine service, our good people be not disturbed, letted, or discouraged from any lawful recreation, such as dancing, either men or women; archery for men, leaping, vaulting, or any other 6uch harmless recreation; nor from having of May-games, Whitsoa-ales, and morricc-dances; and the setting up of May-poles, and other sports therewith used, so as the same be had in due and convenient time, without impediment or neglect of divine service; and that women shall have leave to carry rushes to the church, for the decoring of it, according to their old custom. But, withal, we do here account still as prohibited all unlawful games to be used upon Sundays only, as bear and bull-baitings, interludes, and, at all times, in the meaner sort of people by law prohibited, bowling.
And likewise we bar, from this benefit and liberty, all such known recusants, cither men or women, as will abstain from coming to church or divine service, being therefore unworthy of any lawful recreation after the said service, that will not first come to the church and serve God: prohibiting, in like sort, the said recreations to any that, though conform in religion, are not present in the church, at the service of God, before their going to the said recreations. Our pleasure likewise is, that they, to whom it belongeth in office, shall present, and sharply punish all such as, in abuse of this our liberty, will use these exercises before the ends of all divine services, for that day. And we likewise straightly command, that every person shall resort to his own parish church to hear divine service, and each parish by itself to use the said recreation after divine service; prohibiting likewise any offensive weapons to be carried, or used in the said times of recreations. And our pleasure is, that this our declaration shall be published, by order from the bishop of the diocese, through all the parish churches; and that both our judges of our circuit, aud our justices of our peace, be informed thereof.
Given at our mannor of Greenwich, the four-and-twentieth day of May, in the sixteenth year of our reign of England, France, and Ireland, aud, of Scotland, the one-and-fifticth.
Now, out of a like pious care for the service of God, and for suppressing of any humours that oppose truth, and for the ease, comfort, and recreation of our well-deserving people, we do ratify and publish this our blessed father's declaration; the rather, because of late, in some counties of our kingdom, we find, that, under pretence of taking away abuses, there hath been a general forbidding, not only of ordinary meetings, but of the feasts of the dedication of the churches, commonly called Wakes. Now our express will and pleasure is, that these feasts, with others, shall be observed; and that our justices of the peace, in their several divisions, shall look to it, both that all disorders there may be prevented, or punished, and that all neighbourhood and freedom, with manlike and lawful exercises, be used. And sre farther command our justices of assize, in their several circuits, to see, that no man do trouble or molest any of our loyal and dutiful people, in or for their lawful recreations, having first done their duty to God, and continuing in obedience to us and our laws: and of this we command all our judges, justices of the peace, as well within liberties as without, mayors, bailitrs, constables, and other officers, to take notice of, and to see observed, as they tender our displeasure. And we farther will, that publication of this our command be made, by order from the bishops, through all the parish churches of their several dioceses respectively.
Given at our palace of Westminscr, the eighteenth day of
GOD SAVE THE KING.
OLD, OLD, VERY OLD MAN*:
The Son of John Parr, of Wilmington, in the Parish of Alberbury, in the County of Salop, (or Shropshire),
Who was born in the Keign of King Edward the Fourth, ia the Year 1483.
He lived one hundred and fifty-two years, nine months, and odd days, and departed this life, at Westminster, the fifteenth of November, 1635, and is now buried in the Abbey at Westminster. His manner of life and conversation in so long a pilgrimage; his marriages, and his bringing up to London, about the end of September last, 1635. Whcreunto is added a Postscript, shewing the many remarkable accidents that happened in the life of this Old Man.
■WRITTEN BT JOHN TAYLOR.
London: printed fur Henry Gosson, at his Shop on London-bridge, near to the Gate, 1635. Quarto, containing tbirty-two pages.
To the High and Mighty Prince Charles, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, 6}-c,
OF subjects, my dread liege, 'tis manifest,
I ThU u the C36th article in the Catalogue of Pamphlets ia the Hirleian library.
That, for an old, a great, and little man,
The occasion of this Old Man's being brought out of Shropshire to
AS it is impossible for the sun to be without light, or fire to have no heat; so is it undeniable that true honour is as inseparably addicted to virtue, as the steel to the loadstone; and, without great violence, neither the one or the other can be sundered. Which manifestly appears in the conveying out of the country of this poor ancient man; a monument, I may say, and almost miracle of nature.
For the Right Honourable Thomas Earl of Arundel and Surrey, Earl Marshal of England, &c. being lately in Shropshire to visit some lands and manors which his Lordship holds in that country, or for some other occasions of importance, which caused his Lordship to be there: the report of this aged man was certified to his honour; who hearing of so remarkable a piece of antiquity, his lordship was pleased to see him, and, in his innate noble and Christian piety, he took him into his charitable tuition and protection: commanding that a litter and two horses (for the more easy carriage of a man so enfeebled and worn with age) be provided for him; also, that a daughter-in-law of his, named Lucy, should likewise attend him, and have a horse for her own riding with him; and, to chear up the old man, and make him merry, there was an antick-faced fellow, called Jack, or John the Fool, with a high and mighty no beard, that had also a horse for his carriage. These all were to be brought out of the country to London by easy journics, the charges being allowed by his lordship, and likewise one of his honours own servants, named Brian Kelley, to ride on horseback with them, and to attend and defray all manner of reckonings and expences; all which was done accordingly, as followcth:
Winnington is a hamlet in the parish of Alberbury, near a place called the Welch Pool, eight miles from Shrewsbury, from whence he was carried to VVim, a town of the carl's aforesaid; and the next day to Shefnall, a manor-bouse of his lordship's, where tbey likewise staid one night; from Shefnall they came to Woolverhampton, and the next day to Brimingham, and from thence to Coventry; and, although Master Kelley had much to do to keep the people off that pressed upon him in all places where he came, yet at Coventry he was most oppressed; for they came in such multitudes to sec the old man, that those that defended him were almost quite tired and spent, and the aged man in danger to have been stilled; and, in a word, the rabble were so unruly, that Brian was in doubt he should bring his charge no further, so greedy are the vulgar to hearken to, or gaze after novelties. The trouble being over, the next day they passed to Daventry, to Stoney Stratford, to Rcdburn, and so to London, where he is well entertained and accommodated with all things, having all the aforesaid attendants, at the sole charge and cost of his lordship.
One remarkable passage of the old man's policy must not be omitted or forgotten, which is thus:
His three leases of sixty-three years being expired, he took his last lease of his landlord, one Master John Porter, for his life, with which lease he did live more than fifty years, as is further hereafter declared; but this old man would, for his wife's sake, renew his lease for years, which his landlord would not consent unto; wherefore old Parr, having been long blind, sitting in his chair by the fire, his wife looked out of the window, and perceived master Edward Porter, the son of "his landlord, to come towards their house, which she told her husband, saying, Husband, our young landlord is coming hither: is he so, said old Parr; I prithee, wife, lay a pin on the ground near my foot, or at my right toe; which she did; and when young Master Porter, yet forty years old, was come into the house, after salutations between them, the old man said, Wife, is not that a pin which lies at my foot? Truly, husband, quoth she, it is a pin indeed; so she took up the pin, and Master Porter was half in amaze that the old man had recovered his sight again ; but it was quickly found to be a witty conceit, thereby to have them to suppose him to be more lively than he was, because be hoped to have his lease renewed for his wife's sake, as aforesaid.
He hath bad two children by his first wife, a son and a daughter; the boy's name was John, and lived but ten weeks; the girl was named Joan, and she lived but three weeks. So that it appears he did outlive the most part of the people that are living near there, three times over.