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thus so severely tried, and thus found so eminently pure, you still continue in your prejudices, and still continue to employ your pen in maledictions of us and our ancestors ?
One of these sufferers,—father Robert Southwell, of the society of Jesus,—will, I am sure, attract your attention : for, like yourself, he knew “ Himself to sing and build the lofty rhyme.
His poems were printed in 1585; a selection from this edition has been lately published in a small octavo volume. Sir Egerton Bridges observes, in his Censura Literaria, that “ a deep “ moral pathos, illumined by fervent piety, marked
every thing Southwell wrote, either in prose or verse;" and that “ there is something singularly
simple, chaste, eloquent and fluent in his diction “ on all occasions."
An eloquent and interesting account of his life, virtues, sufferings, trial and execution, is given by father Juvenci*. It appears by it, and by other accounts, that father Southwell was racked ten time; and sometimes, during seven hours, without intermission. He was executed on the 21st February 1595. The hangman tied the noose of the rope so unskilfully, that father Southwell, while he was hanging, made the sign of the cross several times. While he was yet alive, the hangman advanced
* Historia Societatis Jesu, lib. xiii. n. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. See Strype's Ann. vol. 4, n. lxxix; Holt's Lett, ib. 147; and Memoirs of Miss. Priests, vol. 1, p. 324.
to cut the rope, but the people withheld him three several times by their cries ; for the meekness : and constancy with which the good father comported himself, in his last moments, were so great, that even the protestants, who were present at the execution, were greatly affected by the sight.
A letter, written by him, gives an account of the sufferings of the catholic priests in prison, which, I am sure, must shock the feelings of every humane reader. “ A little while ago," says the reverend writer, " they apprehended two priests, who have “ suffered such cruel usages in the prison of Bride“well, as can scarce be believed. What was given “ them to eat was so little in quantity, and withal “ so filthy and nauseous, that the very sight of it “ was enough to turn their stomachs. The labours, “ to which they obliged them, were continual and “ immoderate, and no less in sickness than in “ health ; for, with hard blows and stripes, they “ urged them to accomplish their tasks, how weak “ soever they were.
they were. Some are there hung up “ whole days by the hands, in such a manner that
they can but just touch the ground with the tips (6 of their toes. In fine, they that are kept in
prison, truly live in lacu miseriæ, et in luto “ fæcis, psalm 39. This purgatory we are looking “ for every hour, in which Topcliffe and Young, " the two executioners of the catholics, exercise all “ kinds of torments. But come what please God,
we hope we shall be able to bear all in Him that “strengthens us.”
This letter is dated the i6th January 1590, seventeen months after the memorable display of catholic loyalty, while England was threatened by the invincible armada.
In 1592, a poor waterman, and a Mrs. Ward, a widow, then in the service of a catholic lady, were hanged, drawn and quartered, for assisting a catholic priest to escape from prison. Mrs. Ward had been hung up by her hands, and cruelly scourged. In 1601, Mrs. Lyne suffered the same punishment for harbouring a priest. In 1586, Mrs. Clitheroe, of the antient family of Middleton, in Yorkshire, was.tried by the order of the earl of Huntingdon, the lord president of the north, for relieving a priest. She refused to plead ; and, by the sentence of the court, was pressed to death. A note in doctor Lingard's history contains the following account of this severe sentence *.
“ The place of execution was the tolbooth, six or seven yards from the prison at York, on the 25th March 1586. An eye-witness gives the following account of this cruel and unparalleled
. After she had prayed, Fawcet, one of " the sheriffs, commanded them to put off her ap
parel; when she, with the four women, requested “ him on their knees, that, for the honour of woman“ hood, this might be dispensed with ; but they “ would not grant it. Then she requested that “ the women might unapparel her, and that they “ would turn their faces from her during that time.
• Vol. 5, n. (FF.), p. 667 ; Mem. of Miss. Priests, vol. 1,
" The women took off her cloaths, and put upon “ her the long linen habit. Then, very quietly, “ she laid her down upon the ground, her face “ covered with a handkerchief, and most part of “ her body with the habit. The door was laid
upon her ; her hands she joined towards her “ face. Then the sheriff said, Naie, ye must have “ your hands bound.' Then two sergeants parted “ her hands, and bound them to two posts, in the “same manner as the feet had previously been fixed. “ After this, they laid weight upon her, which, “ when she first felt, she said, “Jesu! Jesu! “ Jesu! have mercy upon mee!' which were the “ last words she was heard to speake. She was “ dying about one quarter of a hower. A sharp “ stone, as big as a man's fist, had been put under “ her back ; upon her, was laid to the quantity of “ seven or eight hundred weight, which, breaking “ her ribs, caused them to burst forth of the skin.”
Once more I take leave to ask you,—did not the duty of historic impartiality require of you to mention these sufferings, and this meritorious conduct of the roman-catholics ? Do not therefore justice, truth, and honour imperatively call on you for some retractations, for some avowals ?
Introduction of the Protestant Reformation into Ireland.
The reformation was completed by the Act of Uniformity, passed in the reign of queen Elizabeth. “ In her reign,” says lord Clare, "a new reverse took
place: The reformed liturgy was again enforced"; “the English Act of Uniformity was enacted by the “ colonial parliament; and, -what seems to be a “.solecism in legislation,-in the body of the act, by “which the use of the English liturgy, and a strict " conformity to it was enjoined, under severe penal“ ties, a clause is introduced, reciting that English " ministers could not be found to serve in Irish “ churches ; that the Irish people did not under“ stand the English language ; that the church
service could not be celebrated in Irish, as well “ from the difficulty of getting it printed, as that “ few in the whole realm could read : And what is “ the remedy? If the minister of the gospel cannot
speak English, he may celebrate the church ser« vice in Latin tongue,-a language certainly as
unintelligible to his congregation as the English * tongue, and probably not very familiar to the “ minister thus authorized to use it."
Under the sun, there is nothing new !-- When we read in doctor Robinson*, that the friar Valverde advanced to the Inca of Peru, required him to forsake the creed of his fathers, and worship the God of the christians; that reaching out his breviary, he told the Inca, that all, which he announced to him, was certainly in that book,--and that when the Inca rejected it a signal was given,—the Inca was seized,--and his subjects massacred,—we are justly filled with astonishment and horror. But, when we read of a handful, comparatively speaking, of English adventurers advancing to the Irish
* Histor y of America, book 6.