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A Hind Let Loose by Alexander Shields

And offending the prelates by the same fault


these exorbitant fines, by

plundering, quartering, beating, wounding, binding men like beasts, chasing away from houses, and harassing whole country-sides in a hideous manner. And yet after all these insolencies, some of the common sort were compelled to subscribe an acknowledgment, that the captain had used them civilly and discreetly; though the account of others of that place manifests the violence to have been so monstrous, that it justified the great barbarity; shewing their exactions to have been intolerable, both for the quantity, without all proportion or pity, and for the manner of it, consuming and wasting poor people's provision by their very dogs, and sparing no more these who conformed, than others who did not conform at all, and punishing husbands for their wives, yea, doubling and tripling the same exactions after payment. Next, though at first they did not imprison any for simple absenting themselves from the curates, yet they began to fill prisons with such as at any time shewed more than ordinary zeal against the curates intrusion, and testified their dissatisfaction to his face; for which, some were imprisoned, scourged, stigmatized, and thereafter carried to Barbadoes. Others, because they would not give the prelates their title of lords, when conveened before them, were also scourged: and one minister seized for preaching, and offending the prelates by the same fault, was carried first to the thieves hole, laid in irons in company with a madman, and then banished to Shetland, the coldest
and wildest of all the Scots islands.

III. But when fining would not do, and still the people were more averse from the curates, by getting sometimes occasions of hearing their own ministers in private; hence were houses forced and searched, many hawled to prisons, and several necessitate to escape at windows with the hazard of their lives, spies sent unto and set in suspected places, to seize and fall upon such as they found at such meetings, or but suspected to have been there. Whence it came to pass, that many, both men and women, young and old, have been dragged to prisons, and there close kept as malefactors, besides several other outrageous and illegal acts of violence and oppression committed against them, contrary to all law, equity and conscience.

IV. After Pentland defeat, they ruled by rage more than either law or reason. There 40 prisoners, who were taken upon quarter, and solemn parole to have their life spared, yet treacherously and bloodily were all hanged (except five that were reprieved) who had much of the Lord's presence at their deaths, and assurance of his love, strengthening them to seal a noble testimony. One of them, a much honoured young minister, only for having a sword about him, though not present at the fight, did first most patiently endure the cruel torture of the boots (a cruel engine of iron, whereby with wedges the leg is tortured, until the marrow come out of the bone) and afterwards death, with great courage and constancy. Upon the scaffold, at their execution, they then began


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