Historical Collections Relating to Gwynedd (Pennsylvania)
By Howard M. Jenkins
Chapter 11. Narrative of John Humphrey, of Merion
The following document refers entirely to occurrences in Wales, --chiefly hardships experienced by the Friends, at certain periods, on account of their religious views. Its relation to the history of Gwynedd [Pennsylvania], it must be admitted, is not direct. But many of the incidents and details which it embodies concern persons who make a part of this history, and it embodies concern persons who make a part of this history, and it throws light upon the character of the Welsh people who settled in Merion and Gwynedd, and upon their manner of life in the old country. The document, I believe, has never been printed; I obtained it from a copy preserved amongst the papers of the late Lewis Jones, of Gwynedd. [Lewis, I conclude, was the great-great-grandson of Rees John, repeatedly mentioned in John Humphrey's narrative.](In Besses's Sufferings of Friends some of the incidents here related at length will be found briefly mentioned, but most of the document is unique.)
John Humphrey, who left this account, was not the early Gwynedd settler of that name, as might reasonably be presumed, but another person altogether, and perhaps not even a kinsman. He was John Humphrey, "of Merion." He came to Pennsylvania in 1683, amongst the first of the Welsh immigrants, and had a considerable tract of land in what is now Lower Merion, directly adjoining the Haverford line. He was a personal friend of Thomas Lloyd, the associate of Penn, and Deputy Governor, and upon the occasion of Thomas's death in 1694, sent to his brother Charles Lloyd, of Dolobran, Wales, a well-expressed and impressive letter of condolence, a copy of which is also preserved in the Lewis Jones manuscript, but which I do not think necessary to reproduce. [The Lloyds were persons of education and wealth. Details concerning them, their family descent, etc., may conveniently be consulted in Keith's Provincial Councillors of Pennsylvania.]
John Humphrey was evidently a person of considerable intelligence, and of more than the average education of his time. His Narrative, though quaint, is always perspicuously, and often strongly composed; and his acquaintance with English was so unusually good, for a Welshman of his period, that he translated into English words and rhyme, Thomas Ellis's "Song of Rejoicing," a Welsh poem of three stanzas. [He came over in 1683, with his wife Joan, and appears to have been, then, of Llwundu, in Merionethshire. Their certificate from the Quarterly Meeting of Merionethshire attests that he had been a Friend for 23 years (i.e. since about 1660, as indicated in his Narrative), that he was faithful in times of great suffering, and that his house "was a free receptacle for Friends." It describes him, also, as, "a minister, of few words, according to his measure." He died in Merion [Pennsylvania], on the 28th of 7th month, 1699, aged 66 years. His will was dated in 1699 and probated in 1700. His wife had died in 1698. His will shows his interest in literature by a legacy for reprinting an old Welsh book or tract, and he proves his kindly disposition by numerous gifts of remembrance to children of friends and neighbors.][Thomas Ellis: It is given by Dr. Smith, in his "History of Delaware County". Thomas Ellis was an early settler in Haverford, and a prominent citizen, serving for some time as Register General of the Province. He died in 1688.]
John Humphrey left no children. But many persons of the same family name are descended from the sons of his brother Samuel.
Begin Humphrey's Narrative:
Title: "A Brief Narrative of the Sufferings of the Christian People called Quakers at Llwyn Grwill in Merioneth Shire, North Wales, Great Britain, by John Humphrey"
In the year 1661 our sufferings in Llwyn Grwill was very Cruel, our Persecutors driving us out of our Religious Meetings, and putting us in a Pennfold by the Highway side, while they were drinking and making Merry over us, and over the witness of God in themselves, and in a Scoffing way asking if a little Dog that followed us was the Spirit that led us. After they had filled themselves for their work they drove us two Miles by the Sea Shore, Abusing us with their Swords, forcing us to trot before their Horses, it being late & Intending to Oblige the Ferryman to put us on a little Island or bank of Sand in the Sea, where they thought to secure us for that Night, that they might find us safe the next Morning, to drive us 24 miles farther where some of our Friends were in Prison; they having no Warrant or Officer among them; but some of our kind Neighbors overtook us before they had us into the boat, and treated with them between Jest and Earnest, so that they released us out of their hands that Night; but Soon after, the same came in the night time and broke open the House of John William, the Father of Evan John and Rees John [note 1], who laid down their Bodies in Pennsylvania [note 2], they Violently haled the Family out of their Beds Except their Mother, who was a cripple and could not stir but as she was helped in Bed, they drove them a Mile before Day, slapping them with their Swords (leaving none in the House but the Impotent Woman), and they put them in a Ale-House, while they were Seeking After others. The chief of them went to the house (shere my Wife liv'd with her Brother before She was Married), and Knocked at the door; She, supposing who it was, kept the door shut while she dressed herself, knowing he had no good design. When he came in he took her and sent her to the rest of the Company, and went up and down taking all Sorts that did not go to the Steeple-House, even the Milkmaids from Cottages in their Shifts and Petticoats, barefooted, driving them 20 miles before their Horses, not Suffering them to go out of the very Channel of the Road. They met an old Woman coming from the Mill with a small bag of Meal on her Head (her Son and Daughter used to come to our Meetings some times), they flung down the bag into the Channel, & made the Old woman trot six Miles before their Horses, untill She was quite tired, there they left her in the Road, and sent the rest to Prison, to a town Called Balla [note 3], & there they remained a Considerable time before they were released. I have seen some of these persecutors afterwards come to our Doors & would gladly accept a Crust of Bread at our hands. Soon after they were Released they were taken by a Warrant & brought before a Justice who tendered the Oath unto them & upon their Refusal they were committed to Prison, & also all sorts of Professors that were under the least Convincement were sent to prison Untill the Prison was filled. There they all Remained till the Assize, where they paid two shillings & sixpence a Week for their Diet besides Duties & Custom which would Amount to a Great Sum of Money in a Year, from every one, which was no small gain to the Gaoler. Then they began to Count the cost & thought what Estate they had would soon be consumed at that Rate, and that it was better for them to Yield soon than late, & Such that were not willing to part with all went away with the flood at the assize.
But I may not Omit to Record for a Memorial to Posterity, the faithfull Sufferings & sore afflictions in particular of four Friends, to wit, my Brother Samuel Humphrey (who Ran his race and finished his Course in the land of his Nativity, but his Wife and seven Children [note 4] in the Year 1683 Transported themselves to Pennsylvania); [and] the two Brothers Evan John & Reese John aforementioned, & one John William a poor Husband-man who went through great Conflicts & Suffered the Buffeting of Saten both within and without. These refused to swear at all and produced a Special Command for it, & by good Authority from the only Law giver who hath Power to kill & to save. This Doctrine indeed was not Preached at large Amongst us in those Days [note 5].
It may be said, as before was said of Peter & John, the Innocent Boldness of these Illiterate Men that could not Read nor write save in their own Language, the Court were astonished & mad with fury because they could not make them bow to their Wills, when so many had obeyed their commands & bowed to the Image they had set up and taken the Oath upon their knees. Their anger was kindled against these faithful sufferers and [they] Commanded them to be Chain'd in Irons, which was Immediately done by the gaoler in Presence of the Court, linking them two and two, & Binding their hands on their backs, then Conveyed them from thence to the gaoler's House, where they remained all Night in that Posture. The County gaol was long 12 Miles distant from that town & [there] happen'd to be exceeding Stormy weather & great floods in their way. When the gaol was Removed they were forced to travel all Coupled in Chains, only their hands were loosed & when they were brought to the gaol the Gaoler provided Meat & Drinks & Beds at the same rate as he Charg'd them and others before Sessions. He put his Victuals on a table and Called some of his Associates to see him tendering his meat to them, Asking them if that was not sufficient for such Men to Eat, & some said it was sufficient Enough. Then he Vowed with Curses & Oaths, that if they would not take that, he would famish them to Death, & their Blood should be upon their own Heads, & some affirmed that he Might do so, and so he did Endeavor to do for a long while, but some means was found in his Absence to Convey a little Victuals through a little hole in the wall on the Point of a Pike to keep them alive. They were kept Close Prisoners until the next Assize, then the Judge came that Circuit & they were Released, but the Gaoler being sorely Vexed by the Disappointment he had from the Quakers, after he had Promised himself all they had, he Could get nothing from them, then he devised some Mischief against Samuel Humphrey, Supposing him to be the Author of his Overthrow. He advanc'd some Action Against him in the County Court & got a Writ to the Sheriff, and attacked him on a fair Day when he was about his Business, So that he was Clapt in Prison in depth of winter, having neither fire nor Cloaths for nine Days & Nights, save what he had on when he was taken and those very wet. Neither would he let him have any Repast but what was Conveyed to him in the Gaoler's absence, and so Kept him close confined for several Months, until a Friend took the cause in Hand, & the Gaoler was cast in the Suit, still wanting advantage.
I Being all this time sick in Bed, several times threatened to be taken out of Bed to Prison, having a Distemper in my Limbs whereby I lost the use of my Right leg and thigh for a time, [when] I Recovered a little & strove to the Bath. In about a Week after I went there, one Day I was bathing myself and After went to (as their Manner was) Procure Sweat, I Slumbered a little, & Dreamed that the same Gaoler Invited the said four Friends to his House and laid Meat on the Table before them, telling them whether they would Eat or not he would Make them pay. Supposing there was Something in it I took m Pen and Pocket-book and Entered the Day & hour I saw it. In a little while after I received an account that Upon the very same Day & Hour they were taken by the same Gaoler with a writ of Quo-Minus from London Upon the Old Action. (I perceived this was the Lord's doings; therefore I Record It amongst my Memorials.) And so they were kept a long while in prison Untill the Gaoler was weary of them but got nothing. After they were come home from Prison and I from the Bath, Our Meetings were pretty fresh and we did Count the cost & Resolved to keep them up, come what would; so on the first Day of the week those that first Molested us came with Swords and Staves into our Meeting, and took Old & Young, Male and Female, as many as was able to go and haled us before a Justice of the Peace who was a Tender Man and loth to Meddle if he could have his choice. But such was the time that if the least tenderness appeared in any of the Magistrates, the Priests and others would soon charge them with not being faithful to Caesar; and that would cause them to pass Sentence against their Judgement. The act of Banishment was then in force (note 6). The first & Second offence was fines which was to be Divided between the King and the Informers; and in the Case the Parties would not pay the fine they [were] Committed to Prison, & there Remain untill Payment. The third offence was Banishment. So when we came before the Justice he shewed us the Danger we were likely to run Ourselves into; but if we would pay the fine and Promise to keep no more Meetings we Should be released; other wise he could do no less than Commit us to Prison. We then in short put them all out of Doubt that we would neither pay nor Promise any such thing on that Account. Then our names were taken, and a Commitment in one Altogether, to send us all to Prison; I perceived it then, & do remember that the Justice might be Called a Quaker, [for] his hand did shake till he was Ashamed. When the Commitment was Ready, Old John Williams (the Father of Reese & Evan John) Spoke unto Them on this Wise: "Oh Justice, as thou art to expect mercy when thou Appearest before the Tribunal Seat of God, for his Sake shew Mercy now, & let this Girl go home to her Mother, who is a Cripple in Bed, and now alone. If the House was on fire she could not move herself."
One that was Present did Chide the old Man for Speaking after that Manner. The [justice, however] was then walking up & Down in the Hall, and could not Refrain sheding tears. He said, "Let him alone. He speaks in the Anguish of his Soul," and left the Room, being he Could no longer forbear Weeping. We saw him no more that Night. It was late by that time, & we had long Eight miles to the County gaol. The Constable was loth to send us there, without leaving us go first to our Houses, so he Dismissed [us] upon conditions that he Could find us the next Day at our Houses. Against Saml. Humphrey went to his Home his Wife was in Labour & was Delivered of two Sons before Morning. He called them Joesph & Benjamin [note 7]. The Justice had tidings thereof; he sent for the Constable, and took up the Commitment, and wished some of us would Appear before him. The Constable came to stop his Man who was going with some of us to the County gaol, & when he came in Sight he Cry'd with a loud Voice, Saying: "Trowch yn ol!, Trowch yn ol! Fe roes Duy ei law argalon y gwr," -- that is to say, "Turn back; turn back; God has laid his hand upon the Man's Heart." So my Brother Owen and Samuel Humphreys went to him the Day following, and as they were going to Hall, they met his [the Justice's] Mother in the Court. She gave them an Account that her Son had been in a sad Condidtion since they had been there. When they went to him he raised his Spirits & told that his Hand should not be upon them, but he would Bind them over to the Next Quarter sessions, and would venture to Release our Brother Saml., tho' he did know what Danger he Should incur. If he Should be put to it, he knew the Law would not bear him out.
When the Quarter-Sessions came the Constable Brought [them] there, according to his orders. There was six Justices on the Bench, & the Sheriff. Some of them were Men of a Thousand Pounds a Year, & the least two hundred, -- most of them in the Prime of their time. When we came before them, they began to deride, mock & Scoff, and in a Scoffing Manner asking if we did know the Ffyold Gatholig &c., -- that is, Catholic faith, &c. Others in a Rage said if we were not Quakers they would make us Quake, -- make us their Laughing Stocks, -- flinging our hats about. Our friend Evan Ellis said to them that they took more Delight to sit on the Seat of Scorners than on the seat of Justice and Judgement. Then they tendered the Oath to us, which we Refused, then they fined us and upon Default of Payment they Committed us to the gaol. It being late and a long way to the County Prison, we were shut up that Night in a Close Room. When it was Night, by the Light of the Moon the whole Bench, with one Accord, Both Sheriff and Justices, save one, came before the door, where we were put in, to make Merry over us & over the witness of God in themselves. Drinking the King's Health, they Commanded the Gaoler to open upon us, & sent in their Parasite to force us to drink the King's health. We, lying upon the Ground like Dead bodies, did not mind what they said. They had Liquor which they called Aqua Vita. They offered us some of it, & in Mocking Manner called it the water of Life; [saying] it would flow out of our Bellies if we would drink of it. We Still lay Quiet, answering not a Word. Then they sent the fiddler to Play and sing over us and so Continued Tormenting us almost all night, pouring drink in our faces and committed an Indecency hardly fit to be mentioned. We never moved all this while, for all they could do. When it was Day light all was Quiet in Town. I took my Pen & half a Sheet of Paper & wrote what the Lord put in my mind, who I am Satisfied directed my pen to give them a Citation to appear before the Tribunal Seat of God Almighty to Answer not only for their Injury done to us but for Crucifying to themselves the Son of God afresh, and putting of him to open shame. [I] further said that I wished that which they sent to us in a Scoffing Manner calling it aqua Vita might not Prove to be Aqua Mortis to them, &c. This Paper was sent among them that Day & we were sent to the County Gaol.
It may be observed that some of them were never seen on the Bench again, & it was not two Years & a Half before the six were in their graves, to Wit, five Justices and the high-Sheriff.
When we came to the Gaol the gaoler after his usual manner Provided Meat & Drink, & laid it upon the Table And told us he would use us as gentlemen if we would pay, and if not he would use us Otherwise. We Answered we could not Live at that Rate long & would make no bargain with him, he swearing as he used to do that he would Famish us then, and [he] Endeavored to do so as much as he could. However we strove with [it] and lay on the floor until the Assize. Then the Gaol wa to be removed to Bala. I, being lame, was Obliged to travel a-foot for 12 miles. (If I had brought a Horse he would have Arrested him for the fees.) When the Assize came, we Presented our Petition to the Judge, and the Second day of the Assize, at Night, as we were going to bed we had it deliver'd to him & he read it and Delivered it again to the Messenger and Directed that it should be presented to him the Next day, as soon as he sat on the Bench, which he did Accordingly, at his first Entrance. Then he Read it very serious and Solidly to himself, and handed it to the Pathonator to be read Publicly; so he began to read, until [when] he came to our Terms of Thee & thou, he Smiled and Stuttered. The Judge bade him Read on, as he did, after which we were Commanded to be brought to Court. Twelve of the Sheriff's Men came with their holberts to Guard us to the Court. Way was made for us to Stand at the Barr. The Judge asked us why we did not go to Church to worship God and Divine Service. We Replyed that the time was come that they that worshiped God according to His will must worship Him in Spirit & Truth, and wheresoever two or three are met together in His Name, He Promiseth to be in the midst of them. Several Questions were asked by several in Court, some in Earnest & some in Jest, but we answered them not. Then the Sheriff's Men guard'd us to the gaol again, after they tendered us the Oath, and we Refused. There was a little Paper of George Fox's --Sent by Shropshire Friends ot us, [upon] hearing that we suffered on the Account of Swearing. The contents thereof was this: "The Cry of the World is 'Swear and kiss the book,' and the Book saith, 'Kiss the Son, ' & the Son saith, 'Swear not at all.'" We did not know how to get it Published, it being so pertinent to the time & purpose, [but] we offered one six-pence to nail it on the Court-House door. He concluded he would do it, But his Heart failed him, and he returned it again saying he did not know but they would count it Treason to Publish anything that was against the law. I put it in my Pocket to wait another Opportunity. The Day following the Sheriff and his Train Came to the Gaol and took from among us Old John Williams, the Father of Reese John, a short man with grey hairs and long Beard about Seventy Years of Age. He alone was taken to the Court. The Judge asked if he would Pay the fines. He answer'd in his own language that he wronged no Man, he wa a poor husbandman, Endeavoring to keep his conscience void of offence towards God & Man, earning his Bread with the seat of his brow, paying Duties and Customs to whom it was due. Then he was Commanded to be put in a loft at the other End of the Hall, where he was a straight object before the Judge's face, which, as many supposed, Affected his Heart with Pitty to the poor, Innocent, Old Man, for the Judge could not turn his Eyes from him all the while. Then his son, Reese John, was fetched from us to Court; and as they were leading him along they told him that his father had taken the Oath, and promis'd to pay the fine. Howbeit he was so steadfast in his Mind that they Could not move him, altho' he knew not what was become of his Father. The Court Demanded the fine from him, & tendered the oath & he Refused; then he was turned to his Father. The Next was Hugh Price, whom they endeavored to persuade to do as they said the others had done, but to no effect. And when they saw that nothing would prevail they came in great Rage and fury for us all & brought us to the Barr. The deputy Sheriff's son had [had] some Quarrel, & my brother [had] taken [part in it] some former time. He was Pricking us with Pins in the Court. We made our Complaint thereof to the Bench; then one of the Lawyers said whosoever abuseth a prisoner at the Barr, the Law was to cut off his Right arm. When to Excuse himself he said he was searching for Treacherous Papers; and with that he thrust his hand in my pocket, and found that little paper which we could not get any way to Divulge. When he had got it he Proclaimed it to the Court thinking he had got something that would take me by the throat. One of the Lawyers read it and gave it to his Companion, saying "Let it go, my Lord; it will harm no body." So it went to the Judge's hand & he read it & said nothing to it.
I perceived this to be the Lord's doings, to Cause this Angry fellow to do that service for us, Which we could not have any to do for money, and we were then released from our fines and Imprisonments.
The Gaoler cry'd our Could he keep men in his custody and nothing for our meat & drink & lodging. The cryer cried out, "Free Men." One of the Justices that Committed us said he would have us here again, ere long, but the Judge siad, "Let them go now." The Judge sent to us to know [how] it was between us and the Gaoler. We made it appear that we did not partake of anything that might Be called his, but his cruelty, and that we did pay, to the utmost --only to the floor which we lay and Trod upon.
End of Narrative
[A Short Relation Omitted in its proper place is here inserted]
About the year 1663 the Magistrates of Montgomery Recommended to the Magistrates of Merioneth some vain Sorry fellow that had spent his Estate, urging them to Employ him to suppress the Fanaticks, as they called them, and Issued forth warrants to bring in all that did not go to the Steeple House; & many was taken in this Net, which they spread, but other Dissenting Professors that had but little Possession in the Truth, [and] Could not stand the Stock -- Agreed with the Man to give him some Money, & were Dismissed. None remained faithful to their Testimony but Friends, and on us he was Resolved to vent his Rage and Cruelty, and locked us up in a Room a Top of the shire hall, and would not as much as allow us a little straw to lay upon. There was a Bundle of Straw in a Window, to stop the wind & rain coming in, which he took away. A Friend said to him, "Thou Canst take out, but thou canst not cause the wind to blow in there." Then we Resolved to suffer, and lie upon the Boards, and the whole Company agreed that one should lay for a Boulster and three lay with their heads upon him, and so all take their turns. Thus we spent several weeks, and He like a severe Master over us, coming to see us Every Day, but after he had spent all he had got from the Dissenting Professors, and could not get any thing from us, he was weary of Friends, and said he would not Trouble himself any farther with us, and so we were Released.
Some Account of the Sufferings of our Ancient friend John Humphreys in Wales in Old England, taken from an old Manuscript
After I was Married I went to Llanwyddun in Montgomery-shire. There was no Friends' Meetings there before I came; only two Cousins of mine frequented Meetings abroad; but we set up a Meeting, & in a little time a great Concourse of People from the parish about began to come, & our Meetings came to be pretty large. I was several times Apprehended by Warrant and brought to the Assizes in Montgomery but never put to prison but during the Sessions.
There was a Man that lived very near to the place where we kept our Meetings. He was building a house & had many hands from many Parts. Upon our Meeting Day they agreed to come to Disturb our Meetings. So they came to the House after the Meeting was over, & rushed in amongst us, & asked upon what Account so many of us came together. Some of us Asked upon what Account they came amongst us in such a Posture. Upon that one of them steped [up] and took me by the Hair of my Head with the Broad ax in the other hand and Lug'd me towards the door. Some women throng's about me and said: "Thou villain, what doest thou mean!" By that he Answered: "I mean to take off his head."
The women wrestled and took the ax from him. He still held me by the hair. They strove with him until they got his Hands from my head and then cast him out of the door.
As I was going home by the place where they were working, I turned in, thinking to speak with their Master to know whether was it by his Permission they Came, but he not being there the Men came down from the Scaffold and one with a Clift of Wood struck me upon my head untill I was quite dead, Rowling in my Blood. The Woman of the House was an English Woman from London. She cried out with a loud voice and put my head in her apron, & called out for her husband to send away the Wicked Bloody rogue from her House. They abused the friend that was with me also. The rumor was spread abroad; they fled and left the work. The fellow that abused me was never seen again in the country.
In the year 1679 the Act was in force, and many turned to be Informers (note 8). Justice Morris came to be an Informer, himself, and Issued out writ & gave them to the Sheriff, who Distrained upon Charles Loyd, Thos. Loyd, Thos. March, and others, & took what they could find of their Cattle. The sale Friends sought a Replevin, intending to traverse the case to get home the Cattle till the Assize. Charles and Thos. Lloyd sent two Men upon two good Horses to Replevin the Cattle. They went to this Morris & shewed their power. He took them to the cattle which was on the other side of the River by his house in a Meadow. When he had them there he took both Horses from them & sent them away, he being Justice of the peace in both Counties, the other side of the River was in Denbighshire. The two Horses were well worth 20 pounds Sterling.
In a few Days after, as the said Justice was going from one place to another on one of these Horses he Stumbled in the river. He fell off & was Drownded before his own door. His warrant was [then] with the Deputy Sheriff to distrain upon us in Lanwyddun. We expected their coming Every Day, and some [that] were faithless and fearfull did contrive some shift to sell some, & put the rest under the mark of the Landlord. The Sheriff's wife was very Earnest with her husband to make hay while the Sun shined, for it was thought that if more Writs were Issued forth, [these] if not soon serv'd, would be void, -- the term would Expire. Which made her so Eager, together with the Profit She made of so many Cows that her Husband brought her. But on the Day he intended to come to distrain our Goods he was Taken with a sore fit in the Morning, & his Man with all speed sent to Thomas Lloyd which was about three miles off, to get something for him, but Doctor Loyd was not at home to go with the Man, nor to give him anything. In a little while after the Man returned, the Sheriff Died in his Chair. Had Thos. Loyd been at home & had given him something, Perhaps Some might have Conjectured some ill thoughts of him. However he had the Warrant in his Pocket when he Died Intending that morning before the fitt took him to Execute it upon us. The Night before my Wife was Milking the Cows, Saying to us: "I do not know whether I may ever have tem to milk again, or no." The first news that I heard was of his Burial. I did Suppose the hand of God was in it working our Deliverance, Therefore I set it down amongst my Memorials.
There was a young man in the Neighborhood about Twenty years of Age living with his Father & Mother. As I was agoing before him in the lane, & he a-coming after me with somebody with him, as he came he did go hobbling on one side Crying repeatedly after me: "Quaker! Quaker! Quaker!" I took little notice of him then. But a Few Days after he was Grievously taken with a sore Distemper in his Limbs, so that he Cry'd out with pain and grief. I had never spoken a word to him nor any Body Else, to the best of my Remembrance, of his mocking me, Until his Mother came to my house, with tears, desiring me to forgive him & to pray to God on his behalf. I was seriously Concerned on his Account, and made many a Journey to Visit him in his Sickness. His lower parts was quite benumbed a long time before his Death. He died Sensible, & I believe in peace with God.
Note 1: Evan John and Rees John were early settlers in Merion. The former (as I have already said in Chapter VIII) may have been the father of Robert John, one of the first company in Gwynedd. Rees John, --often called Rees John William, i.e. Rees, the son of John Williams, --came from Wales in 1684, arriving in Philadelphia on the 17th of 7th month (September), in the ship Vine, from Liverpool, William Preeson, master. With him were his wife Hannah and their two sons, Richard and Evan, and daughter Lowry. They had, after their arrival, several other children, one of whom, John, b. 1688, removed about 1710 to Montgomery (township, Pennsylvania), and was there well known as John Jones, carpenter. Details concerning him are elsewhere given in this volume, and he will be found often alluded to. His (John's) brother Richard married for his first wife, Jane Evans; their sister Lowry was the second wife of Hugh Evans (son of Thomas), of Gwynedd; and their mother (widow of Rees John) became the second wife of Thomas Evans. So that the connection in different ways between the two Johns named above and the settlers of Gwynedd was very intimate.
Note 2: Rees John died 11th month 26th, 1697. John Humphrey's Narrative was therefore written between that time and his own death, in 1699.
Note 3: Bala is an important market town in Merionethshire, on the Dee. It is note, however, the shire-town, Dolgelly having that distinction.
Note 4: The wife (Elizabeth) came, as here stated, in 1683. But her son Daniel had preceded her, having come the previous year. Elizabeth's certificate is from the Quarterly Meeting of Merionethshire, dated 5th mo. 27th, 1683, and signed by thirteen persons, among whom are Owen Humphrey (brother of her deceased husband, and of John, the author of the narrative above), Rowland Ellis, and two Robert Owens. It refers also to her children, of whom five are named. From a family list furnished me by Philip B. Sharples, West Chester, the names of her seven children were Lydia, Daniel, Benjamin, Joseph, Rebecca, Ann, and Gobitha. Daniel Humphrey took up land in Haverford, and m. 1695, Hannah, daughter of Dr. Thomas Wynne, of Wynnewood, Lower Merion. Rebecca Humphrey (d. 1733) married Edward Reese, who d. 1728, and was buried at Merion m. h. Daniel and Hannah (Wynne) Humphrey had 10 children, of whom six were sons, and from this couple descended (son) Charles, who was a member of the Continental Congress, 1774-76; (grandson) Joshua, a great ship-builder of Philadelphia, and designer of several ships of the early American navy; (great-grandson) Samuel, who was the Chief Constructor in the American Navy, from 1815 to 1846; and General A. A. Humphrey, of the U.S. Army, who served with distinction in the War against the Rebellion. Elizabeth Humphrey's son Benjamin, named in the certificate, settled in Haverford, but removed to Mrerion, where his uncle John, (the Narrative author), dying childless, had left him his own farm. He m., 1694, Mary Llewellyn, of Haverford, and died in 1738, aged 76. The daughters named in the certificate, Lydia and Ann, m. respectively Ellis Ellis and Edward Robert; Gobith d. 1697, unmarried.
Note 5. I take this to imply that up to this time it had not been urged by Quaker preachers, in that part of Wales, that it was wrong to take a judicial oath.
Note 6. [Act of Banishment:] This was the Act of Parliament of 1661, strongly pleaded against by the Friends, Edward Burrough and Richard Hubberthorn appearing at the bar of the House of Commons, and there presenting their arguments. It passed, however, and the King (Charles II) signed it in May, 1662. It is notable that among the few in the House of Commons who opposed it, and argued for liberty of conscience, was Edmund Waller, the poet. Two other members, Michael Mallett and Sir John Vaughan, took the same side, and were subsequently "convinced" of the Friends' doctrines, the latter being imprisoned with them, and continued Friendly even when he became Earl of Carberry. The act of 1661 forbade the assembling of five or more Quakers, over 16 years old, under pretence of religious worship, and inflicted fines or imprisonment for the first and second offences, and transportation for the third. A still more severe law was passed in 1664, and while great numbers were imprisoned under them, some were actually banished.
Note 7. This was the nephew to whom John Humphrey left his own estate in Merion. He d. 1738, aged 76 years.
Note 8. This was the revival of the old acts, whose operation had for some time been suspended by the King.
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