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William Evans.

The Friends' library: comprising journals, doctrinal treatieses, & other writings of members of the religious Society of Freinds online

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ing, and was at Malpas meeting the next day.
From thence I went to Chester, where i had
a meeting on a sixth-day; on the seventh-day
r came to Crude-hall. On the first-day fol-
lowing I had a meeting at Newton by the For-
rest, which was large and comfortable; the
third-day following I had another at Sutton,
and returned that night to Crude-hall, where
was a Friend who had a concern for a con-
siderable time to go a little northward to visit
Friends, and took the opportunity and went
with me. After visiting Frandley meetings
we went to Warrington in Lancashire, and
had a meeting at William Bams's in Sankey,
on the first-day ; whose house being too
straight for the meeting, I persuaded Friends
to get a meeting-house built, which they rea-
dily fell in with, and the next day met, and
made subscriptions in order thereto. And the
building was soon after got up, which did
much better accommodate the Friends of the
meeting.

From thence we went to Manchester, which
meeting was then small; we travelled from
thence to Rossendale, where we had a good
opportunity at the burial of a Friend ; and
after taking several meetings by the way, we
got to Lancaster, and in the way thither had
many heart-tendering opportunities, the Lord's
blessed presence and power greatly attending
us in our service. We had there a good meet-
ing. Then passing the Sands we came to
Swarthroore.

We had here a very solid opportunity, for
the Lord's living presence was amongst us,
and in a sense thereof we departed and came
to Hawkshead ; from thenoe we went to Ken-
dal, where we had a pretty large and good
meeting. After having had meetings at Crook,
and some other places in Westmoreland, we
came into Yorkshire, and visiting several
meetings in that county, came to Settle, where
my friend and I parted, after having had many
comfortable opportunities, and gr^at satis&c-
tion in our labonn and travels in the service
of Truth.

I went towards York, taking Skipton, and
several other meetings in my way thither.
Staying some meetings there, I went to Mal-
ton, and so to Scarborough, where I staid
some time. I had my health pretty well,
although much weakened as to my natural
strength ; a fresh visitation of the spring of
lifo overflowing my soul, supported me, and
thereby the hard labours and travels I passed
through, were made much more easy to me,
as well as comfortable to those I visited ; for
which I was truly thankful to the Lord; bles-
sed be his name for it.

Next I went to Burlington, and taking a



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meeting or two by the way I got to Hull. I
was much comforted hitherto ; and taking a
meetipg a few miles, from Hull, on the river
Humber, I went over in the passage-boat,
there being one appointed for me on the
other side, and found Friends met together,
and had a good meeting amongst them ; as I
also had in the preceding. The next was
at Brigg, where Friends were glad to see
me, and I had a comfortable meeting with
them.

1 pursued my way to Gredney, had a meet-
ing there, and went directly for Lynn in Nor
folk, and staying a few days there, I went
afterwards to Fakenham, and from thence to
Norwich, where Friends received me with joy.
I got thither about the beginning of the twel Ah
month. In this journey f was greatly favour-
ed, the Lord's presence attending me all along ;
blessed be his name.

Some time afler as I was going to a meeting
io the country, Ireland was presented to my
view, and there being a Friend with me that
had been there, I inquired of him, what kind
of a country Ireland was ? At the expressing
of which words a trembling seized me; which
he obeenring, said, I believe it will be thy
place to go thither. I took no notice of that,
nor did I mention my concern to any body
for a considerable time: but it grew upon me,
and I found I could not be clear without giv-
ing up to it; and mentioning it to some
Friends, the knowledge of it quickly got
abroad (o many.

The Yearly Meeting drawing on, I went
directly to Colchester, and from thence to
London, where I met Roger Haydock and his
wife, and my friend Mary Lowe. Here I im-
parted my mind to her, which, although we
had often met together before in our journeys,
I never so much as mfentioned to her; though
my spirit was closely united in a Divine fel-
lowship with her.

After the meeting was over, Roger Hay-
dock went for the west, Mary Lowe accom-
panying him, and his wife returned home* I
staid not long after in the city, but Colchester
Yearly Meeting drawing on, and Isabel Yea-
mans, daughter of Margaret Fox, having it in
her mind to go thither, and desiring my com-
pany, I went to it with her. After our ser-
vice was over there, we went to Ely, to visit
our friend Samuel Cater, who was then a pri«>
aoner there.

From thence we travelled to Norwich, where
my friend had several good opportunities; and
visiting some adjacent meetings, she returned
again to Norwich ; from whence we went to
Colne^ where some Friends from London met
her to accompany her thither, and there we
parted.



Taking some meetings from thence in my
way horne^ I came to Haverill in Suffolk ; and
Daniel Gridley's wife having it upon her mind
to visit some meetings in Norfolk, went along
with me to Norwich ; and being at the morn-
ing meeting, whilst concerned in prayer, one
of the informers with a constable came in, and
when she Jiad done, he carried her to the
mayor's house, who was not then come from
his worship; but so soon as he came in, being
told by the constable the reason of his being
there,- the mayor desired him to go to the next
justice of the peace, the earl of Yarmouth be-
ing to dine with him that day, which he ac*
cordingly did.

At our first appearance the justice was very
rough, and talked of making her mittimus to
send her to jail, because she was found speak-
ing in the Quakers' meeting-house. I told
hiai, she was brought before him through the
information of an informer ; and the Act they
proceeded upon was a. fining, but not an im-
prisoning act. Upon that he calle(| for the
statute book, and finding it to be so, he then
inquired her name, and from whence she
came, and told her, she had better have staid
at home, than come there to have her hus-
band fined twenty pounds for her preaching.
I desired him to consider, that as she was not
preaching but praying, her devotion was to
God in prayer, which the Act doth not forbid;
and it would be unreasonable to set a fine upon
her for that. Besides, said I, the Act requires
Iwo witnesses, and here is but one. Why,
says he, here is the constable, he can be a
witness^ I hope, said I, thou wilt not make
the constable an informer. No, said the con-
stable, I have done my ofRce, but I will not
turn informer. Upon this the justice said, I
think you study more to evade the law, than
you do your prayers to please God. I told
him, we were a suftering people, and it greatly
concerned us to consult the laws we were
prosecuted upon, and he not having had a
hand in that work before, that I knew of, he
might be unacquainted with the said laws ; to
which he answered. This is the first person
that has been brought before me upon this ac«
count. I thereupon told him, that if he pleased
to consider of it until the next morning, I be-
lieved my friend would promise, and I would
engage with her, to appear before him if he
required it. Well, said he, we will leave it
then, you promising to appear if I send for
you. She said. Yes, I will. If God permit :
upon which we withdrew.

In the afternoon the said Friend had a good
opportunity in the meeting, and it broke up
peaceably. The next morning, not hearing
any thing from the justice, two or three of our
Friends, besides myself, who were well known



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LIFE OP BENJAMIN BANGS.



to him, went to his house, and as soon as we
appeared before him> he looked upon me with
an angry countenance, saying, I am informed
you are a Jesuit; upon which the Friends
smiling, told the justice, that whosoever had
given him that information were greatly mis-
taken, for they knew me to be otherwise, and
that I was born in that county, and then lived
in that city.

AAer which he talked with us more freely,
and signified that it was no pleasure to him to
persecute his religious neighbours, and as this
was the first that came before him on that ac-
count, he hoped it would be the last. Then
we requesting to know his pleasure, whether
the Friend who had been with him should
come before him again: afler some little
more discourse he told us, she might go about
her business ; which we told him we took as
a favour from him, and so departed. And
ader she had visited several more meetings
in the county, she returned towards her hab-
itation, being well satisfied with her jour-
ney.

An account qf his visit to Friends in Ireland.

My Irish journey now falling pretty weight-
ily upon me, I found myself engaged to visit
Friends^ meetings in Norfolk and some parts
of Suffolk, and pretty thoroughly in Essex ;
and af\er I was clear of my service there, I
returned again to Norwich; and every thing
being prepared for my journey into Ireland, I
set out in the beginning of the seventh month,
after having taken a solemn farewell of Friends
at Norwich, and went through the Isle of Ely
into Huntingtonshire, and thence into North-
amptonshire, and to Warwick, where I once
more visited William Dewsbury; and from
thence into Stafibrdshire and Cheshire, visit-
ing meetings as I passed along.

I staid but little with my friend Mary Lowe,
and went to Frandley on a first-day; from
thence to Warrington and Liverpool, where
staying one night, I went next morning on
board, and in twenty-four hours the ship cast
anchor in the bay of Dublin, where I arrived
about the latter end of the seventh month, in
the year 1682.

In this nation I travelled up and down in
the work of the Gospel, and had good service,
many being convinced by means of my min-
istry. At Antrim, a place of great profession,
I had a meeting in the evening, to which
many came, and some with a design to oppose
me. The place was not large enough to con-
tain the people, which occasioned those with-
out to be very noisy and turbulent, some of
the ruder sort pelting them with biU of dirt
and turfy whilst I was preaching. I made a



full stop, which occasioned a general cilenoe;
and aAer a little time I said, *' I understand
this is a place of great profession of religion:
I am sorry to see so much irreligion as ap«
pears amongst you at this time, through your
rude behaviour. It is not long since I came
out of my native country, and I think it will
not be long ere I return again, and then what
shall I say of you to your poor sufiering bre-
thren in England ?" There was a dread upon
me when I spoke these words, which also af-
fected those present, for many of them trem-
bled, and their faces gathered paleness. Upon
which I advised them, if they had any regard
to the reputation of religion, to inquire after
those that were the occasion of these disor-
ders, for that such behaviour was base and
scandalous. And moreover I was moved to
say, that the time draws nigh, that you will
be blown away like the chaff before the sum-
mer threshing-floor, and the place of your
meeting will not be found. After this, some
cried out in a Scottish tone, We be all shamed,
and getting out of the house, inquired after
those that were the occasion of the disorders :
some lads they beat, of others who absconded
they took the names ; after which we had a
solemn good meeting, the lively sense of the
love of God reached to the hearts of many
present, and the meeting ended well.

At this meeting a young man a Papist, and
servant to William Wilkinson, was convinced,
as were many more elsewhere in the north
and other parts. I travelled through Ulster
and several parts of Munster and Leinster,
where I had many meetings. I departed from
Dublin on the 14th of the ninth noonth, and
returned thither again on the 25th of the first
month, 1683.

After the conclusion of the following Half-
year's meeting, I intended to return to Eog-
landj and in order to it I sold my horse and
prepared for the voyage, but the wiAd proving
contrary I could not get off. Besides this, I
found some stop in myself, a further service
being presented to my view ; to which I gave
up, though contrary to my inclinations, viz:
It fell with some weight upon me to have a
meeting at Tralee, in the county of Kerry,
where William Bingley had been. Accord-
ingly I set out from Dublin the 17th of the
third month, taking meetings in the way, and
went to Cork, and from thenoe to Tralee, a
journey of one hundred* and fifty-eight miles,
accompanied by John Hammond, Thomas
Wight and some others, and had a comfort-
able opportunity; many hearts were tendered,
the Lord's presence attending, and aAer the
meeting ended, the people withdrew in a so-
lemn and peaceable manner. P. White, a
man of note in the town, came and ofiered



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22d



them his house to meet in, which they kindly
accepted, as also of his invitation to dine with
him next day, and we parted in much friend-
ship. After this I visited several meetings
in Leinster province, and went to the north
again.

As I was going from Antrim to the Grange,
I saw ten or twelve men upon the road walk-
ing in a very solitary manner, and it arose in
my heart. These are sheep having no shep-
herd. When I came up to them, I slackened
my pace, and queried of them. What news?
The meii were startled at the question, and
answered, We know of none ; continuing to
go soAly, I said. Are ye going to a meeting?
They answered. Our minister is silenced ; for
orders are come down, commanding all Dis-
senters not to assemble ; so now we have no
teacher. This brought to my remembrance
what I had been concerned to deliver as above,
at the evening meeting I had at Antrim, where
I met with so much rudeness, viz : that the
time draws nigh, that you will be blown away
like chaff before the summer threshing-floor,
and the place of your meeting will not be
(band. At this time all Dissenters, except
Friends, had declined keeping up their meet-
ings.

I proceeded to discourse with the men afore-
mentioned, and said. The hireling fleeth be-
cause he is an hireling, and careth not for the
sheep; as it is said, John x. 11, 12, 18; re-
ferring them to the text; further showing,
that it is happy for those who are come to the
knowledge of that Teacher who cannot be re-
moved into a corner. God said he would
teach his children himself; and the children
of the Lord are taught of the Lord. And
you may read in the 6rst Epistle of John,
chap. ii. 27, The anointing which ye have
received of Him abideth in you, and ye need
not that any man teach you, but as the same
anointing teacheth you of all things, ^. And
in Titus ii. 11, 12., The grace of God which
bringeth salvation, hath appeared unto all
men, teaching us, &c. Here I directed them
to the great heavenly School-master, who said,
** Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in
heart; follow me, and ye shall find rest unto
your souls.'* Thus I laboured to bring them
from their hireling teachers, to the teaching
of God and Christ in themselves, by which
they might come to the knowledge of God,
and walk in the way^ of his salvation ; " for
«i manifestation of the Spirit is given to every
man to profit withal." I advised them to turn
their minds inward, and mind the secret ope-
ration of it, which checks and reproves for
bad words and actions ; and as they turned to
it, they would find it would lead them into all
Truth ; with many more words to this efiect.



They were well pleased with this discourse,
declaring at parting, that they had never
heard things so opened to them in their lives.

The number of miles I travelled in Ireland
was one thousand seven hundred and forty-
six ; the number of meetings I had there, ex-
clusive of Dublin, was one hundred and eighty;
and in this service I spent one year, within a
few days.

Having cleared myself of what service lay
upon me in this kingdom, I took leave of
Friends in a very laree and solemn meeting
at Dublin, where the Lord's blessed presence
and power crowned the assembly, to our mu-
tual joy and satisfaction ; it was indeed a very
tendering opportunity, and in great unity we
parted. Soon after I took shipping in Dublin
bay, and in twenty-two hours we cast anchor
at Liverpool, and I got to my friend Mary
Lowe's, at Crude-hall, that day twelve-month
that I lefl it ; and found she was but newly
discharged from imprisonment, having been
confined about three months for the first of-
fence upon the Act of banishment, she refus-
ing to take the oaths*

I staid not long there before it came upon
me to visit meetings in Lancashire, and afler
I had cleared myself of what was before me
there, I came to Stockport in Cheshire, and
had a meeting ; from thence I went to Hugh
Burges's in Styall, where my friend Mary
Lowe, with several others, met me; I then
went to Joseph Endon's, in Bosley, where we
met with our friend John Gratton, it being the
first time I had seen him, and we had there a
very comfortable meeting, the hearts of many
being greatly tendered ; and it was also the
first time I had been on that side of the county.
Af\er having taken one or two more meetings,
we returned to Crude-hall.

In the beginning of the ninth month we de-
clared our intentions of marriage to Friends
of Frandley Monthly Meeting ; aAer which I
soon set out for Norwich, our Friend Jefiery
Alcock accompanying me, that being then
the place of my settlement. Their Monthly
Meeting being on the third fourth-day of the
same month, I took but a few meetings in my
way, and got thither time enough to lay my
intentions before the same; which being done,
I travelled into Suflblk, and had meetings at
Beccles and Aldborough, the place where I
formerly met with very rough entertainment
from a man, whose wife was some time before
convinced by me, and who had threatened to
kill me if I came there again. He hearing
that I was to be at the meeting, came in, great-
ly enraged, to revenge himself upon me. I
was speaking when he came in, and making
his way up to me, he pulled me down, and
gave me several very ill blows about my head



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LIFE OF BENJAMIN BANGS.



and face, which raised swellings. In execut
ing his fury upon me he fell down, but reco<
vering himself, and attempting to pursue his
revenge further upon me, a Friend whose
name was John Mason, who had accompanied
my honourable friend Giles Barnardiston and
me to the meeting, observing it, laid hold of
him to prevent his doing any more mischief,
and being a very strong man, held him so
fast that he could not disengage himself,
and desiring to be set at liberty, and promis*
ing to go away peaceably, the Friend let
him go.

In the mean time his wife went out of the
meeting undiscovered by him, and he not find-
ing her, came in again ; I was then concerned
in my testimony as before, but he seeing my
friend Mason standing up before me, did not
venture to conte up to me, but afler venting a
volley of revengeful oaths against me, he with-
drew ; aller which we had a peaceable good
meeting. The good woman lived not long
afleir, through the horrid abuses that he com-
mitted upon her ; she kept steady to her tes-
timony to the end, and was beloved by
Friends and others that were acquainted with
her.

From hence we went to Woodbridge, and
80 to Ipswich, and aAer having visited some
other meetings, I accompanied my good friend
Giles Barnardiston to his habitation at Clare
in Suffolk. AAer passing through some meet-
ings I made my way to Norwich ; where, ac-
cording to the good order used amongst us, I
presented my intentions of marriage a second
time, and all things being found clear, I set
out for Cheshire, and taking a few meetings
by the way, I reached Derbyshire Quarterly
Meeting, which was held the 25th of the tenth
month. The next day I went home with John
Gratton, staid one night, and then came to
Stockport, and the day following to Crowton,
where I met with my friend Mary Lowe. On
the 1st of the eleventh month we again pre-
sented our intentions of marriage to Frandley
Monthly Meeting, where being lefl to our lib-
erty, we accomplished the same on the fiAh-
day following at Frandley, being the 3d of
the same month.

A general meeting at Newton coming on
soon aAer, we went to it, and it being a suf-
fering time for Friends in that county,^ Sir
Philip Egerton and Captain Needham, two
justices of the peace, came to break up the
meeting. I was at prayer when they came
in, and they stood awhile silent; then Captain
Needham stepped up to me and commanded
silence, which I not observing, he first took
my hat and threw it away, then got hold of
my cravat and pulled it in pieces. I still
continuing my address to Almighty God, ibr



his Divine presence was amongst us, he then
struck me over my head with bis cane, with
such violence as to raise several great swell-
ings on my head, and aAer that he kicked me
down with his foot from oflT my knees.

AAer this. Friends rising from their knees
and putting on their hats, he broke several of
their heads, so that the blood ran down. Then
Sir Philip cried, Brother, brother, let us prose-
cute the law upon them, and not abuse them ;
and my wife stood up and said with a raised
voice, Turks, Heathens and Infidels, would
scorn such practice.

Their intention was to tender us the oaths,
and send us to prison, but having no Bible
with them, they took down names to prose-
cute us on the Conventicle Act, and I was
fined twenty pounds, and others proportion-
ably to their stations, which was levied with
great rigour. Their rigorous proceedings
were so noised about in that end neighbour-
ing counties, that they were ashamed of their
conduct, and came no more to break up our
meetings.

Not many days aAer, my wife was taken
with a warrant and committed to Chester cas-
tle for the second oAence upon the Act of ban-
ishment, where she continued with many others
until the spring Quarter Sessions at Chester,
and was then discharged.

In the year 1684, 1 went up to the Annual
Meeting at London, and Friends there being
kept out of their meeting-houses, held their
meetings in the streets.

In the spring of 1685, 1 found it upon my
mind to visit Friends in Lancashire, West-
moreland and Cumberland ; and coming to
Penrith, I heard that our friend Thomas Wil-
son lay dangerously ill, so I leA my horse at
Penrith, and walked to pay him a visit, and
found him in a very weak condition. After a
short stay I was moved in spirit to supplicate
the Lord on his behalf, and I received a gra-
cious answer, that he should be restored again
to health ; upon which I desired him not to be
discouraged, for he should do well; and I told
him, I believed in a short time I should see
him again in Cheshire ; and it was not long
before it came to pass.

The next day I came from Penrith to Car-
lisle, and got to the Border Meeting on first-
day, where the Lord was pleased to give us a
comfortable opportunity together. Several of
our Friends were priscmers at that time at
Carlisle. From thence, passing through most
of the meetings in Cumberland, I came to
Pardsay-cragg meeting, which was very large;
and as in the other meetings I had passed
through, so in that, the Lord greatly favoured
us with his life-giving presence, by which the
hearts of nuny were tendered.



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UFE OF BENJAMIN BANGS.



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From thence I crossed the water into Lan-
cashire, and came to the house of Dr. Lower^
where I staid one night, and went to Swarth-
more, the seat of Margaret Fox, and paying
a visit to the family, I went next to Lancas-
ter, and staid a meeting there ; and taking a
few more meetings in that oounty I came to
Warrington, and staid one night at Roger
Haydock's, and the next day home, where I
found all well to my great satisfaction^

In the year 1686, our ancient Friend Isaac
Ashton and I went to see how our brethren
fared northwards, and taking some meetings
in the eastern parts of Lancashire, we came
to Sedburg in Yorkshire, where we had a
blessed meeting ; and taking meetings in the
Dales of Yorkshire, we came to Grayrig, and
had there, as in other meetings we passed
through, a very seasonable opportunity.

From thence, taking meetings by the way,



Online LibraryWilliam EvansThe Friends' library: comprising journals, doctrinal treatieses, & other writings of members of the religious Society of Freinds → online text (page 50 of 104)