Imatges de pàgina
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Carefully collected from the Accounts of Eye-witnesses, cotemporary Authors, and

Manuscripts kept in the English Colleges & Convents abroad.

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Manchester,
Printed by Branch & Jackson, Queen-street St. Ann's,

FOR T. HAYDOCK, 16, TIB-LANE.
Also sold by E. Booker, No. 56, New Bond-street, London:

of whom may be bad all the other books published by T. Haydock.

1803.

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PREFACE.

;

THE

he following sheets are presented to the reader as a supplement to English history, which appeared to the publisher, by so much the more wanting, by how much the less, the trials and executions of catholics, on religious accounts, have been taken notice of by the generality of English historians : and which, he flattered himself, would not be disagreeable to the lovers of history, of what persuasion soever they might be in matters of religion : for if men of all persuasions read with pleasure the history of the lives and deaths, even of the most notorious malefactors; not that they are delighted with their crimes, but because they there meet with an agreeable scene of stories unknown before and often discover a surprizing boldness and bravery in their

enterprizes ; how much more may it be expected, that every generous English soul should be pleased to find in the following memoirs, so much fortitude and courage, joined with so much meekness, modesty and humility, in the lives and deaths of so many of his countrymen, who have died for no other crime but their conscience.

The first and most necessary quality, that ought to recommend history, is truth ; and this we can assure our reader, we have been careful to follow to a nicety: and therefore we have given nothing upon hearsays, or popular traditions, but upon the best authorities ; either of grave cotemporary writers, informed by such as were upon the spot, or themselves eye-witnesses of what they write ; or of records and manuscript memoirs, penned by such as were eye-witnesses, or otherwis perfectly instructed, in the things they deliver ; and withal, men, as we had reason to be convinced, of the strictest veracity. And we have always taken care in the beginning of every life, to acquaint the reader from whence we have had our informations, concerning the persons we are treating of.

We pretend not to make panegyrics of any of these brave men ; but merely to deliver short memoirs of what we found most remarkable in their lives, and particularly in their deaths; and, as we had so many to treat of, we have been sometimes forced to be shorter than could have been wished, and to pass many things over, that we might be able to bring the whole into compass; which has chiefly happened with relation to those whose lives have been published at large, and might singly suffice for a just volume; as those of Father Campion, Father Walpole, &c. For as for some others, we have been obliged to be much shorter than we would, for want of proper lights ; having been able to find little else of them, than that they died at such a time and place, and for the cause of their religion. We cannot but lament our being left so much in the dark, with regard to several: but shall not pretend to determine whether this has happened by the iniquity of the times, or the negligence of our fore-fathers, in not committing to writing the particulars of those gentlemen's lives and deaths ; or, perhaps, the memoirs then written, have since been lost; as we know some have, at least so far as not to have come as yet to our hands. Where we think it proper to advertize our reader, that if he knows of any such meinoirs, and will

be so good as to furnish us with them, or with any other materials, lelating to the sufferings of catholics, we shall thankfully acknowledge the favour, and insert them by way of a supplement in our second volume, which we are preparing for the press.

As to the odious imputation of treason, which was laid at these gentlemen's door ; though we pretend not to act the apologist, but only the historian ; yet we must acquaint our reader, that we have inserted no one's name in our list, without being first fully convinced that his religion and conscience was his only treason ; which was certainly the case of all who suffered upon the penal statutes of Elizabeth 27. viz. either for being made priests by Roman authority, and exercising their functions in England; or for harbouring and relieving such priests : and it no less certainly was the case of those who suffered for denying the spiritual supremacy, or for being reconciled to the catbolic church: a thing the more evident, because there was not a man of them all, but might have saved his life, if he would but have conformed in matters of religion.

As to father Campion, and his companions, "to whom their adversaries pretended to impute treasons of another kind, viz. I know not what conspiracies formed at Rhemes and Rome, we are fully persuaded that they were no more traitors than the rest; and that the true cause of their death was the hatred of their religion; and therefore we have given them a place with the rest in these memoirs.

And, indeed, it seems to have been the more common opinion of the nation, at that time, and even of the queen herself, if we believe Mr. Camden, in his Elizabeth, that these men were not guilty of those pretended conspiracies; which they, for their part, notwithstanding all their rackings and torturings, all, to a man, constantly denied, both in life and death, though they had their lives offered them, if they would own themselves guilty : which thing alone, to every thinking man, must be a full demonstration of their innocence. To pass over other considerations; as for instance, that several of them had never been in their lives at the places where they were pretended to have been plotting; or, if they had ever been there, were not there at least at the time of the pretended plot; several of them had never been seen in their lives, by the perjured witnesses that deposed against them; nor had ever seen one the other (though they were accused to have plotted together) till they all met at the bar to take their trials; which, with many other arguments too long to be here inserted, prove abundantly, that they were, indeed, no plotters; and that their only guilt was their religion.

Hence our English catholics have ever looked upon them, no less than the others, as martyrs of religion ; and so has the greatest part of christians abroad, French, Spaniards, Italians, Germans, as appears by the honours shewed to the relics of the one sort, no less than of the other, by people of all these nations ; which they have earnestly sought, diligently preserved, and highly esteemed; and have attributed many miraculous cures to them: insomuch that some of the most celebrated authors abroad, have employed their pens, in writing their history, as of great and glorious martyrs; as the truly learned and pious Diego de Yepez, bishop of Tarrasona, and father Ribadaneira, have done in Spanish ; Polinus in Italian, &c. They are also recorded amongst the

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