Monday, 4 January 2016

John Owen Anecdote

Near the end of Orme's biography of Owen he says of his subject
His infirmities rendering a fixed residence in the country necessary, he took a house at Kensington, where he lived for some time. During this period, an accident occurred which shows the state of the times, and the hardships to which Dissenters were then exposed. On going one day from Kensington to London, his carriage was seized by two informers. This must have been exceedingly painful to the Doctor at any time, but especially when in a state of health ill capable of bearing the violent excitement of such an interference, and its probable consequences. It providentially happened, however, that Sir Edmund Bury Godfrey, a justice of the peace, was passing at the time, who seeing a carriage stopped, and a mob collected, inquired into the matter. He ordered the informers and Dr. Owen to meet him at a justice's house in Bloomsbury square, on another day, when the cause should be tried. In the mean time the Doctor was discharged; and when the meeting took place, it was found that the informers had acted so illegally, that they were severely reprimanded, and the business dismissed.

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