[From King Orry to Queen Victoria, 1899]
PERSECUTION OF THE MANX QUAKERS BY ILLIAM DHOAN AND THE BISHOP-BANISHMENT OF GOOD WILLIAM CALLOW-SUICIDE OF JAMES CHALLONER, GOVERNOR OF THE ISLAND.
THE following is from the first volume of 'An Abstract of the Sufferings of the People called Quakers, for the Testimony of a Good Conscience,' from the years 1650 to 1660. Published by the Assigns of J. Sowle, at the Bible, in George Yard, Lombard Street, 1733 A.D. (Section 5, Chapter IV., 'Isle of Man,' page 124 and following):
' In this Island Laws were early made against Quakers; one of which was for banishing all that came thither.
'In the 2nd month (February)1, 1657 A.D., William Callow of Ballafaille, was imprisoned and detained Eight weeks for publicly reproving a Priest whom he heard abusing the Quakers in his sermon to the People.
'The same William Callow and his wife were fined twenty shillings for keeping a meeting at their house and absenting from the public worship, and suffered One month's imprisonment.
'John Christian, of Lewaigue, for the like offence was fined ten shillings, and Evan Kerruish five shillings, and the rest of the Friends then met were put into the stocks four hours on the first day of the week at the market-place in Ramsey. Soon after, an order was issued for making distress for the fines, and they took from William Callow about five bushels of Oats; John Christian, five bushels of Oats; Evan Kerruish, a New Blanket, worth 7s. 6d.
'The Corn was laid in William Christian's*1 barn, and the Priest on the next first day gave public notice for the Poor of the Parish to go thither and take some Corn, which the Governor had ordered to be given them, but some poor people of his own hearers answered: " That it had been more charity to give his own goods to the poor than other men's, and that they would receive none of it."
' However, some of the poor went to the place with the priest and soldiers, and William Callow himself went also. The priest several times desired the poor to hold their bags; but none would. The priest then, looking angry on William Callow, who stood still and said nothing to the people:
"'Why don't you take the Corn ? Is there anyone here that has aught to do with the Corn, or saith it may not be given to the poor ?"
'This he spake with the intention to have drawn William Callow to say something, but could not.
'The poor stood looking about; and at length one by one went out, leaving the Priests and the soldiers with the Corn lying before them.
'On being threatened by the Parson on the next Sunday with the displeasure of the Governor if they did not take the Corn-
'Only one hardened man would take any, and he said vauntingly to the rest:
' " You are so proud you will not take it: I have got this, and there will be more of his goods taken before this be eaten; and I'll get more."
'This man's name was Cooler but so it was, that before he had eaten what he took, he was taken by Death. This the other Poor interpreted as a iudg ment upon him; and rejoiced that they had kept themselves clear. The rest of the Corn lay till it was spoiled, for nobody would take it: and then was said to be cast into the streets for the horses and swine.
'A variety of similar persecutions were ordered by William Christian, and a warrant issued by James Challoner, the Governor, for the imprisonment of these sturdy Quakers.
'This Governor Challoner had been one of the Old Long Parliament, and upon the King's return (Charles II.) was sent for to London, as it was thought, to be tried among the Regicides: the day he should have went he took something called Physic, which killed him within a day or two. He had been a violent persecutor, and was heard to say a little before his death that ere long he would rid the Island of Quakers.
'In the 7th month of the same year, 1659 A.D., the Priest procured from the said Challoner a warrant for imprisoning William Callow and Evan Christian for refusing to pay him tithes.
'One morning, as soon as they came on shore, having been all night in the wet and cold at sea (for they were fishermen as well as farmers), they were hurried to prison in their wet cloaths and detained several days, in the midst of their Herring Fishing, the most advantageous season for their business; though they lost not thereby, for the night next after they were released they caught as many fish as they were able to bring on shore, so that they could not but gratefully acknowledge a peculiar Hand of Providence attending them. The next morning the Priest's son came to their sacks, and without their consent took out what fish he pleased.
' In the third month, 1660 A.D., the Priest again procured the Governor's warrant, and sent William Callow and Evan Christian and others to Prison, some for Tithes of Corn; some for Twopence each for Bread and Wine; others for a day or two's Tithe of Fish, not worth a Penny, for which frivolous demands they were kept in prison sixteen days.'
Extract from the second volume of the same (from the year 1660 to the year 1670). Published by the same parties, 1738. (Section 5, No. 3, page 117):
'In the year 1662, William Callow and Evan Christian, for refusing to pay, the former sixteenpence and the latter twopence, demanded by the Priest for Bread and Wine for the Sacrament, were Committed to a Prison called St. German's in Castle Peel, and were kept there close locks up in a Dungeon (under a yard where dead Corps lay buried), without Fire, Candle or Bedding, having only some Straw to lie on, and a Stone for their Pillow. Here they lay sixteen days, till some of their neighbours, of mere pity, unknown to them, paid the money, otherwise they might have perished there, their rigid Persecutors, two Priests, of whom one was the Complainant, and the other being a Judge of the Bishop's Court, granted his warrant for their Commitment, appearing by their actions to value the Lives of two honest and innocent Men at less than Eighteenpence.
'In the 5th month of the Same Year, the said William Callow and Evan Christian, with some others, were Cast into Prison, and kept there ten Days for being absent from the Public Worship.
'And in the Tenth Month of the Same Year, those two named and six others were taken out of a Meeting and Carried to Castle Rushen, where they were imprisoned in an high Tower, without Fire or Candle, in the Cold Winter Season, fifteen Weeks. Only William Callow, after some Months' Imprisonment, appealed to the Earl of Derby, and was permitted to go to London and make an Application to him, from whom he procured a Warrant for the discharge of himself and the rest.
'In the year 1663, the said William Callow and Evan Christian, with the said Evan's Father, Eighty years of age, were Committed to Peel Castle, under pretence of absence from Church, but after sixteen days were set at Liberty by order of the Bishop, who came to the Island to be sworn.
' In the year 1664 they, with some others, were again imprisoned by means of an order from two Priests, Judges of the Bishop's Court, in Peel Castle, and kept there from the sand of the 3rd month, 1664, till the 7th of the 7th month, 1664.
'A few days after their Commitment, William Callow's Family was visited with Fever, particularly his Wife, on whom the weight and care of his Worldly Concerns lay in his absence, Continued very ill about four Months, insomuch that many thought she was at the Point of Death, at which time her Husband, a Prisoner fifteen miles off, was, not without much Importunity of the neighbourhood, permitted by the Bishop to go and visit her, for two Days only.
'She was not yet well recovered, when the Apparator or Sumner, on the 18th of the 8th Month, 1664, Came to her and the rest of the Women Called Quakers on the Island with an order from the Bishop to Carry them all to Prison, where the men had all been, they being, as he said, both Men and Women Excommunicated, of which they knew nothing, till he told them, having never been Cited to appear at any Court, nor made acquainted of any Legal Proceeding against them. As he was conveying the Women, six in number, towards the Prison William Callow's wife was found so weak, that she could neither set on a Horse, nor go on Foot, wherefore the Sumner having represented her case to the Bishop, was ordered to let her be Carried Home again. The other Five, namely, Jane Christian, aged 74 ; Jane Kennell, aged 66; Anne Christian, a poor serving-man's wife, having three Children, one of whom sucking at her breast she took to prison with her; Mary Callow, the wife of one not Called a Quaker, but having a large Family of many Children; and Mary Christian, a servant of William Callow's, whom they brought away from her sick mistress; were all Carried to Castle Peel to the Place called St. German's Prison and put into the aforesaid Dungeon under the Burying Ground, where the men also were. When the Sumner had brought them to the lowest or deepest part of that dismal Dungeon, he took off his Hat, and very formally pronounced what he called the Bishop's Curse, to this Effect, namely,: " I do here, before the standers by, deliver you up into St. German's Prison, by the Law of my Lord the Bishop, and his Clergy, you being Persons Cast out of the Church by Excommunication, and I do take witness that I do deliver you over from the Power of the Bishop and his Laws, to be and Continue the Earl of Derby's Prisoners."
'What he meant thereby the Prisoners knew not, for there was no Body present but himself and them, however having so said, he left them and they lay there many Months after, enduring the Hardships of a Close and unhealthy Confinement, the Cruel Mercies of the Bishop and his Clergy.
'On the 15th of the 4th Month, 1665, Henry Nowell, Deputy Governor, came to the Castle and read to the Prisoners an order from the Earl of Derby, that they must be forthwith transported into some other Land.
'On the 28th of the same Month, Thomas Harrison and John Woods, two Priests, came to the Prisoners and told them they were come by the Deputy-Governor's order, to admonish them to conform to the Church, otherwise they must be banished forthwith.
' On the 5th of the Month Called September. 1665, an order came to the Commander of the Castle to send all his Quaker Prisoners to Dowglass, which on the 7th was done, where they were kept guarded by soldiers till the 13th, and then put on Board Ship, where one Thomas Brittain was Master; as the Prisoners Came on Board, the Seamen all went out on the other side the Ship into the Cock Boat and told the Master - "They were not hired to Carry People out of their Native Country against their Wills, neither would they go with him if he Carried them," and so rowed away to the Shore, leaving him only a Boy or two. The Master finding his men resolute, and that he could not perform his voyage without them, conferred with the Soldiers, and sent the Prisoners on Shore again, which being done, the Seamen returned to the Ship and set Sail.
'About three Days after Several other Ships came into the Road, but all refused to Carry the Prisoners.
The Soldiers would have forced them on board one Anthony Nicholson, a Whitehaven Man, but he stoutly opposed it, saying he would Carry no Prisoners, Except they would send a Guard of Soldiers and Money to maintain both the Prisoners and them, and also signify in writing the Crime laid to their Charge; adding, That if they were such Dangerous Persons as were unworthy to live in their own Country, he would not trust them on board, lest they should Over Power him and take his Vessel away.
' However, on the 18th of the 7th Month about Midnight, four of the Prisoners, namely, William Callow, Evan Christian, Jane Christian, and Mary Callow, were hurried out of their Beds (not having time allowed them to put on their Clothes, but some of them were left behind) and by Force two of them were put on board Nicholson's Ship and the other two on Board William Crossthwaite's, another Man of Whitehaven, against the Will of the Masters, from one of whom the officer detained his Sails, and would not let them go off without the Prisoners. So they sailed to the Haven of Dublin in Ireland, where neither Prisoners nor Seamen were suffered to land, till one of the Masters, William Crossthwaite, was examined by the Mayor, who demanded his Order or Warrant for bringing Prisoners without their Consent, to which he said That he had no warrant, but was Compelled to take them on Board by one Quayle, an Officer who took away his sails, and would not let him put off without them, and that his Vessel was in danger of breaking - so the Mayor issued an order for his Carrying them back again in his own ship; and accordingly he did so, but either being or pretending to be put by the Island by Contrary Winds, he Carried them to Whitehaven in Cumberland, as appears by a certificate signed by his own hand and attested by his Seamen.
'The Prisoners having informed a Justice of the Peace of their Condition, he gave out an order for the said William Crossthwaite to Carry them back to the Island.
'He took them on board his Ship again on the 12th of the 10th Month, but instead of landing them in the Island, Carried them again to Dublin; but was not suffered to land there, till he had given Security to convey them to the Island on his return. After which Security given, they landed, and on the 5th of the Same Month, Came on Board again. But he contrary to his engagement returned with them to Whitehaven. Thus were these poor People harassed and tossed up and down in the Cold Winter Season. Being landed again in England, the two men went to the Earl of Derby, and while they were employed in fruitless solicitations to him and the Bishop, Crossthwaite Carried the two Women back to the Island. A few Days after, his Vessel was driven on shore by a Violent Storm and some Passengers with almost all his goods were lost.
'Being Come to the end of the Period of Time Proposed we must leave our afflicted friends in the Midst of Trouble, the men addressing the Earl and Bishop and the Women returned again to the Dungeon.
'Their Sufferings Continued Several Years after, of which the Reader may expect a further Account at the Publication of our Fourth Volume.'*
As will be seen by the copy of his own entries in his Bible, on page 70, William Callow resided in Hozier Lane, where he supported himself by working at a coachbuilder's. He afterwards obtained permission from the Earl of Derby to return to his native land, and died there on August 11, 1676, aged only forty-seven. He and most of his fellow-suffering Quakers were buried on the rugged top of a hill in Maughold parish, without any inscription on the flat stones that cover their graves, cut out of the solid rock. They were either too good or too bad to be allowed Christian burial in the consecrated ground of Kirk Maughold Churchyard.
He has ever since been known as ' Good William Callow,' and his memory is still revered by many a Manx miner and fisherman.
Ann Callow survived her husband till February 3, 1708, when she died at the ripe old age of seventy-five.
*1 Illiam Dhoan, the Receiver-General. *2 There have been but three volumes of these accounts of persecutions of Quakers published. Volume iii. contains nothing about the Manx Quakers; and volume iv., although promised, has evidently never been issued. I have searched the British Museum without finding more than three, and they were only abridged ones; inquired at Mr. Quaritch's, who has only three, and also at the headquarters of the Friends' Society, at Devonshire House, Bishopsgate Street, London, without success. In 1756 an abridged edition of the three volumes, and no more, edited by Joseph Besse, was published.
To Mr. John Christian Faragher, late of Athol Street, Douglas, and now residing in the South African Republic of the Transvaal, for many years proprietor of the Mona's Herald, now the possessor of the Bible of Good William Callow, and also of the very interesting and scarce ' History of the Quakers,' I am indebted for the foregoing particulars, he having kindly lent me the three books, in 1873 A.D., when I copied all relating to the Manx Quakers in extenso. They are now with him some ninety miles on the other side of Johannesburg, in the Transvaal.
The Ruillick-ny-Quackeryn, or old Quaker burying-ground, is often visited with great interest by such 'Friends' as go to the island; one of whom was that sturdy and truly consistent man John Bright.
The following is copied from the blank page at the back of the title-page of the New Testament in the Bible of William Callow, imprinted in London by Robert Barker and John Bell, 1630 A.D., now in the possession of John Christian Faragher, Esq., who, like myself, is a descendant of Good William Callow the Quaker:
'I, Will Callow, of Ballafaill, Manxman, who have been banished out off ye Isle off Man, by ye Bishop and Priests for Conscience towards God above two years and 3 months from my deare Wife and tender Children and have bought this Book ye rate 8/6 in London, where I am now in Robert Bridge's house, in Hozier Lane, Coache Maker, near Smithfield, I say this day being ye first of ye 11th month in ye yeare 1667. As witness my owne handwriting ye day and yeare above said.'
Hazier Lane is the next turning to Cock Lane, the corner of which was called Pye Corner, and was the place where the great Fire of London, 1666 A.D., stopped, having commenced at a baker's shop in Pudding Lane, Eastcheap, in the City of London, on Friday, September 2 of that year.
* * * * *
Since the above was written and in type, I have been favoured by Mr. W. Crewdson, of St. Leonard's on-Sea, a member of an old Quaker family, with the loan of a copy of the books I have hitherto searched for elsewhere in vain - a reprint of the edition of 1733 A.D., that I have quoted, and published in 1753 A.D. by Luke Hinde, at the Bible, in George Yard, Lombard Street.
One volume gives many further particulars of further persecutions very similar to those I have mentioned; and recounting the fact that after his return from London to the island William Callow was again arrested and shipped off, by Henry Nowell, the Governor, to Virginia, without his wife and family, on board a vessel called the Tangier Merchant; but after leaving the Isle of Man the sailors refused to proceed to sea with him'an innocent man' and compelled the captain to put him on shore near Dublin, from whence he afterwards returned to his home and family.
1: although Callow quotes February as month 2 I am unclear if he has remembered that the start of a year was moved from Mar 25 to Jan 1st only in 1753 - adding two months to the given dates would appear to fit better with the seasons - at this time Quakers who had always refused to utter the names of months 'dedicated to false gods' (eg January, February ... August ) now refused to use Septembers (= 7th month) as they were no longer the seventh thus referred to all months by their number - hence care must be taken in looking at the date of the publication.
see catalogue under Quakers