Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Coleman Anecdote 12 John Shuttlewood

There was also a Mr [John] Shuttlewood [d 1689], a friend and fellow-sufferer of Mr Clarke (see previous blog), who became the first pastor of the Independent Churches at Welford and Creaton, Northamptonshire. In the year 1668, when he was uniting with some others in singing a psalm, one Mr B, with thirty or forty horsemen, with swords drawn and pistols loaded, came and seized him with many that were worshipping with him. Several of both sexes were beaten and driven into the field and there dismissed upon promising to appear the next day before a justice of the peace. Mr Shuttlewood was conveyed to Leicester jail, where he was a prisoner for some months. After the "Conventicle Act" passed, he was again seized by one Charles Gibbons, a notorious persecutor and profane swearer, taken by him from one justice of the peace to another, and warrants were issued to distrain upon him for £20, upon the owner of the house where he preached for £20, and 5s a-piece on others. At another time his house was entered when he was conducting divine service; a warrant was obtained to distrain upon him for £40, when seven of his milch cows were taken and sold. He was obliged frequently to change his abode, sometimes in Leicestershire, sometimes in Northamptonshire, to escape from his foes. When he met his people at Welford, one of the number was appointed to watch, while the rest were engaged in worship, so that when the informers were seen to approach, notice might be given to Mr Shuttlewood and his hearers, who escaped by the window into the fields. Sometimes they met in the pastures that surrounded the house at Selby, amidst the darkness and the damps of night. These were days of trial, when the reality of religious principle was tested and its power appeared. The constitution of Mr. Shuttlewood was greatly injured by the sufferings he endured, and also by his preaching at unseasonable hours and in unsuitable places.
[This man appears to have opened an academy for training ministers - see Neale]

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