Chapter 19 » 19.38

A guided people

The testimonies


Margaret Fell was imprisoned and was made liable to lose all her property for her refusal to take an oath of loyalty to the king.

The same justices sent for me to Ulverston, where they were sitting, and when I came there they asked me several questions, and seemed to be offended at me for keeping a meeting at my house, and said, They would tender me the oath of allegiance. I answered, They knew I could not swear, and why should they send for me from my own house, when I was about my lawful occasions, to ensnare me, what had I done? They said, If I would not keep meetings at my house, they would not tender me the oath. I told them I should not deny my faith and principles for any thing they could do against me, and while it pleaseth the Lord to let me have an house, I would endeavour to worship him in it. So they caused the oath to be read, and tendered it to me, and when I refused it, telling them, I could not swear for conscience-sake, Christ Jesus having forbid it, they made a mittimus, and committed me prisoner to Lancaster Castle, and there George Fox and I remained prisoners until next assizes, and they indicted us upon the statute for denying the oath of allegiance, for they tendered it to both of us again at the assizes, and the indictments were found against us.

So they passed sentence of Præmunire upon me which was that I should be out of the King’s protection and forfeit all my estate, real and personal, to the King and imprisonment during life. But the great God of heaven and earth supported my spirit under this severe sentence, that I was not terrified but gave this answer to Judge Turner, who gave the sentence, ‘Although I am out of the King’s protection, I am not out of the protection of the Almighty God’.


See also 20.4820.53 Oaths and affirmation

← 19.37 19.39 →