|Mr. Goodwin||A man from the Borough of Southwark in the county of Greater London, who was married at age 26 to a most goodly woman, Mrs. Eleanor Armstrong, with whom he had at least four children: three sons and a daughter. Mr. Wessell Goodwin is much given to music of all sorts, often choosing music above his family, even on his wife's deathbed. This is allegedly thought to be the faults of Mrs. Pigeon and Mrs. James. Upon his wife's death (when he is already aged), he is seduced and bewitched by Mrs. James, still a married woman, causing him to engage in publicly lewd acts, and to act strangely himself including dancing, and violence. Mr. Goodwin is convinced to grant Mrs. Jones his estate and to estrange his children. Through his relationship with Mrs. Jones, which becomes incestuous in the eyes of God upon the marriage of his youngest son to one of Mrs. Jones' daughters, his family and himself are ruined. (1 - 26)||MAster Wessell Goodwin, one of the principal subjects of this relation, was borne in the Borough of Southwark, where yet he liveth, bred up in the mystery of a Dier; of whose Descent and parentage I will not mention one word, that I may contract my discourse, keeping close to the subject I have undertaken. About the twenty sixth of his age, he married Mistris Ellenor Armestrong a Liecester shire Gentlewoman of an antient honorable Familie, a woman of the most excellent frame of spirit that I ever met with, judicious, sober, vertuous, and above all, religious, a Charitable heart, that would seldom send away the poore without a double Almes, relief for the body, and good counsel for the soul; that in some things seemed parsimonious, that on just occasions shee might be the more liberal; that could finely divert her Husband from his follies, and yet give him all due respect; by her he hath four children, three sonns, one daughter, all handsomely educated: for many years they continued in good correspondency of affection, till towards her latter daies, that his folly would admit of no restraint.
Amongst other extravagancies, he was ever strangely given to musick, to which he had a ravenous appetite; five pounds for pricking out two or three lessons, which when he had, he understood like Arabick; thirty pounds for a Lute, of which he had with other sorts of fiddles, a whole roome full; and which is the wonder, can ply of none, only admires them, ten pounds at a time to a musick Master for a months teaching (or rather playing to him.) And as at Virginia Tobacco, and at the Barbadoes Sugar is put in the place of money, so many hundred weight for a field or a Cow, so doth he 2 fondly thinks musick to be that which answers all things. I'le give but one instance from an hundred, coming one day to see his Daughter Vernon, he used these words to her Husband, Sonne, quoth he, I am sorry I cannot doe for you as I would, I see you have a great charge, and trading is bad, which I doe consider, and therefore will bestow upon my daughter a suite of Mr. Rogers his new lesons. I am sorry to spoile paper with such fooleries; but there is a necessity that the sequent truth may the better appeare. I might add his training up all his children to musick, and so farr as they gave way to his musickal distemper, so far they were dutiful and obedient; so far as they slighted musick, wicked and rebellious; for instance, his second son being intended (through his Mothers importunity for a Prentice) accordingly he was put to an able writer to perfect his hand; but still he plies him to have a great care of his Lute, and would needes have brought him a musick Master to the house where he boarded; and when by the youth and his son Vernon he was told he had musick enough, and could not now so unseasonably atend so much musick, he fell into a great rage against his said son Vernon, telling him he had Corrupted his son with his counsel, but should corrupt no more of his children.
About the 58 yeare of his age, his vertuous wife fell sick of a painfull disease contracted by melancholy, of which in a few moneths she died. I should not mention any of the private unkindnesses with which she long strugled, and at last sunke under, only this particular I may not omit.
When she drew neare her death, some few dayes before her departure, overhearing the musick which was daily in the next roome, she desired one of her sons to call in their father, to whom with a broken sad voice she said, Husband, you well know what a burthen this Excesse of musick hath been to me all my life; must that which hath been so much affliction to me in my life, be brought to my death bed? may I not dye out of the noise of it? pray forbeare, I have not many houres to live, and then you may have your fill of musick. To which he replied not one word, but went out in discontent and so fel to his musick againe.
The third day after, shee departed this life; a little before her death shee called to her her son in Law and daughter Vernon, desiring them amongst other requests to see to the Education of her two 3 younget sons, the Eldest being a little before married to a vertuous maid of an honest and Religious Neighbour familie, for which shee much rejoyced, hoping that her eldest son now taken into partnership with his Father, and matcht with a stay'd discreet wife, the Old man would the more delight himselfe in his children and condition and take himself off from his extravagant musick. To which purpose shee then also desired her children to labour by all fair wayes to take him off from that company, especially from the frequentation of Mr. Edward Jones; and that not so much out of dislike to him as to his wife, whom shee saw to be a subtil undermining woman, that would be ready to make her own advantage of old Mr. Goodwins weaknesse.
I told you before, that the eldest son, Andrew Goodwin, was upon his marriage taken into partnership with his father, into a Stock of Eighteen hundred pounds, of which two thirds are the fathers, and one third the sons, as by Indenture appears: which partnership is to continue eighteen years: a little before Mr. Goodwin had cast up his estate, and found his neat stock to be two and twenty hundred pounds, a fine competency; though nothing to what he might have honestly raised out of his Trade (which for the quantity, I verily believe to be one of the best Dyers trades in England.) In this partnership it was agreed that Andrew Goodwin, being the better accomptant, should keep the books, and cash, and looke after the street businesse, and old Mr. Goodwin to follow the trade within doors; and so they began very comfortably together. About three months after Mrs. Goodwins death, Mr. Goodwin going to see his son in Law and daughter Vernon, after some abrupt passages, he began to tel them that his house wanted aguide, and he had found a Godly woman that would be a fit wife for him; this he pretends to desire with much passion, when (as it now appeares) he was sent by Mrs. Jones and Mrs. Pigeon her sister to act this cheat to delude the world: which is plaine by what Mr. Pigeon hath affirmed under his hand and seal. Which attestation of Mr. Pigeons lyes deposited in the hands of Mr. Cooper Minister, and the Elders of the Parish of Olaves Southwarke; by which writing he affirms that long before, even in the life time of Mrs. Goodwin deceased, Mr. Goowdin had engaged to marry Mistris Jones.
4 But this pretended passion lasts not long, for within ten dayes after Mr. Goodwin returnes againe to the house of his said son in Law, tels them, that he saw now that God had not appoynted this match for him, but that God had provided for him a wife so eminent in Piety and wisdome, that his former wife deserved not to be named the same day. And when he was entreated by his said children to discover who this rare woman was, he utterly refused to reveale it; yet his daily converse and familiarity with Mrs Jones put them in strange thoughts; but still the businesse was to them but tanquam Nubibus, very dark, till time the Mother of truth hath made it more apparent and notorious, as by this ensuing discourse appeares.
Let the Reader note, that Mr. Goodwin is a member of Mr. Coopers Congregation, Mrs. Jones a member of Mr. Kiffins Church, and Mrs Pigeon of Mr. Hansard Knowles.
Now we must return to Mistris Jones, whose turn must now be served. Shee must be freed from her husband, that so shee may be free for old Mr. Goodwin, who is now so taken with her, that he can enjoy himselfe no where but in her company: scarce one day in the week but he is at her house, spending his time in dalliance with her. And Mr. Pigeon affirms, that about the year 1646. sojorning then in the house of his Brother Jones, he set himselfe to observe their carriage, and at one time he saw Mistris Jones take Mr. Goodwin about the neck and kiss him: at another time, being (as they thought) in private, he saw her take Mr. Goodwins hand, and putting it under her apron, holding it against the bottom of her belly, with many repeated mutual kisses, she saying, oh my deare Love! At which Mr. Pigeon being much scandalized to see his Sister Jones so behave her self to Mr. Goodwin, she being a married woman, and her husband in the house, went presently and told his wife what he had seen, and that he would tarry there no longer, for that he believed the house was a Bawdy house, and that her Sister Jones was Mr. Goodwins whore. Mistris Pigeon perceiving they were discovered to her husband, told him then that indeed Mr. Goodwin was a Suiter to her Sister Jones, and that she would make it a match. She then also told him that Mr. Jones was no longer her sisters husband before God, but had forfeited his right in her: she then affirmed to him also, that Mr. Goodwin of a long time had been a great friend to her sister, and had given her several sums of money, thirty pounds at a time: All which passages Mr. Pigeon in presence of good 7 witnesses hath offered to make oath of before any Magistrate.
Now the Lute and the Lute Master is quite laid aside, Mr. Goodwin speaks not one word more of musick; he hath found another manner of Lute that is easier to play on, which he had been long before a turning;
and in the meane time up comes old Mr. Goodwin with a fine white capon under his arme: as he enters the roome, Mrs. Jones flies to him, throwing her selfe into his armes, saying, Mr. Goodwin, Mr. Jones and I am now parted for ever, and you must keep me. The poore deluded old man being overjoyed, takes her in his armes, tells her, it was the best newes to him that ever came to towne, and that he would provide for her, with more to that purpose. Mr. Pigeon stands in admiration at these doings; at the last breaks out into these words; Now quoth he, I see the cause my brother Jones was put into the Counter: when Mrs. Pigeon, enraged at her husbands plaine dealing, tells him he is as bad as his brother Jones, and therefore takes his part; saying, you are, you are, many times over. Mrs. Jones, in imitation of her sister, and Mr. Goodwin in imitation 9 of his sweet-heart Mrs. Jones, joyne with her in the same expressions, with their fists bent against his face. Mr. Pigeon overcome with their uncivill revilings, after severall admonitions to no purpose, was faine with some blowes to correct their folly, and thrust them all down staires headlong. Mr. Goodwin coming home to his house, where he had now been a long time missing, and being by his neighbors demanded where he got his black face, tells them, it was onely a violent fit of the tooth ach; when as for some years before he had not one tooth in his head, at least visible. And as mischiefs seldome come alone, shortly after this combate, as Mr. Goodwin is coming from Mrs. Jones house to his owne, in the dead of the night, he is againe assaulted in Bartholmew lane, and grievously beaten: some say, it was Mr. Jones, some say Mr. Pigeon; but by whom is not perfectly knowne: assoone as he got quit of his enemy, in stead of going home to his owne family, he returnes back to Mrs. Jones, well knowing in whose quarrell he had received those sore buffetings: it was fit she should see what a martyr he was for her sake. There he lay about ten dayes in a sad condition, but the joy of Mrs. Jones company made him forget his paine, and speeded the cure, which else might have been dangerous. Amongst them, (to salve his reputation) they give out, that a horse had thrown him downe, and trampled upon him.
Mr. Jones being now released prison, it is first agreed between him and his late wife, that she shall depart the house and leave him with the children and goods; she departs for a fortnight into the country, at her returne (knowing his houres of absence) when he was abroad teaching his scholers, she comes privily in with her maid, a bold wench for her turn, and secretly carries away all the best linnen and goods of value, leaving the poore man with all his children in an empty house, and all this still she did to bring him to her owne conditions; which were, that he should depart the City, and so leave her free to the embraces of old Mr. Goodwin. She long before, with her sister Pigeon, often solicited him to goe beyond seas, alledging to him how bravely he might live there, and what money he might get by his faculty of playing on 10 the Lute; which he would not hearken to then, but is now compeld to depart the City, stript of wife, children, estate, carrying away nothing but the bare clothes on his back, and all to give place to an old mans lust, and a naughtie womans covetousnesse.
Before his departure, he in private expostulates the matter with Mr. Goodwin, askes him what wrong he had ever done him, that he should deale so perfidiously by him, to draw his wife out of his bosome? and with what conscience, and by what law he could contract himselfe to his wife, he being yet alive? at the first the seduced old man denies it, but having proved to him how he had sundry times found him kissing her, and at one time with his hand under her apron, and that he had also by Will given her all, or the greatest part of his estate, which he could prove by the party that drew the Will, the old man at last convinced, confesses the Will, and the contract, adding, he might lawfully doe so, Mr. Jones having (as he affirmed) forfeited his right as a husband to her.
but all in vaine, for Mrs. Jones her will is a Law, and now is Mr. Goodwin at her house night and day, at rack and manger; all the towne rings of their scandalous converse: but he is so bewitched with her, that as it is reported of leprous persons, into whose flesh you may thrust needles to the head, and they feele nothing; so though reproofe, admonitions, prayers, from children, neighbours, Justices, Ministers, assault him daily, yet he is insensible of all.
His owne Minister Mr. Cooper, a judicious, learned, tender-hearted Christian, labours much with him, sets the scandall notably before him; and at last thinking thereby to awaken him (all other meanes having proved uneffectuall) with the consent of the Eldership suspends him from the Sacrament, which he values so little, that to this day he so continues, without so much as once desiring to be restored, professing his conscience is cleare, and that he values the reproofs of Ministers no more then the dirt under his feet: Thus he goes on from bad to worse, and when he wants mony to supplie Mrs. Jones and his owne irregular expences, he goes to the merchants, takes up severall summes of mony, 100l. at a time, never acquaints his son, whose businesse it was to receive the debts, and so brings him into confusion in his accompts: at other times takes up stuffes upon credit, wherewith he cloaths Mrs. Jones and all her children, carries them in coach out of the towne, there they revell for whole weeks together, Mr. Goodwin payes all. Now these good sisters possesse him at their pleasure, and plye him daily to beware of his children, tell him what a shame it were for so wise a man as he is to take counsell of his cradle, these are their very words; and that his children would governe him as if he were a very childe, when as they affirme to him, that there hath not lived a wiser man then he since King Solomon.
Thus they cajole and inveagle a most pittifull weak man, who is so taken with these dissembling women, that he accounts it his greatest preferment to waite upon them up and downe the towne like a halfe-penny serving man, and when he comes neare them, can scarce speake for joy, and seldome comes to them without some present for back or belly.
13 A discreet friend of mine affirmed to me that he saw one evening Mr. Goodwin going into Pauls ally; and that as soone as he was entred, he saw the transported old man fall a dancing, and capering, that he protested he thought he had been distraught: The neighbours that have daily seene him come into the ally, observe, that as soone as he is entred, he falls a smiling; nor have they been wanting to reprove them to their faces, telling Mrs. Jones, that it was a shame they should converse so scandalously; but that the truth was, he loved her for her smooth flesh, and she him for his full purse: the very children have taken notice of their behaviour. A little girle of about foure yeares of age, daughter to one Mr. Cherry, is sent by her mother to Mrs. Jones of an errand; at her returne she tells her mother, old Mr. Goodwin is there, and that she saw him put up his hand under her smock sleeve up to her shoulders, playing and tickling her, when as modest Mrs. Jones cryes, Away Mr. Goodwin, take away your hand, or I will make you no more pye-ale: a maid servant to Mr. Wright told me, that there was a voyce heard in their house, saying, Mary Mason, my sister and I intend to lie abed to morrow all the forenoone, if any body come, let in no body into my chamber unlesse it be honest Mr. Goodwin.
Now Mrs. Jones, that licks her lips at profit, not at the withered old-mans kisses, casts about how she may make all yet surer; now she accounts all the old mans estate hers, and therefore plots how she may improve it, and prevent any disappointment from his children; she causes Mr. Goodwin to send frequently to her his chiefe journyman, one Anthony Rawlins, that all along had been Pimpe major to this villany; he gives her account of the trade and custome, how it is, and how it might be managed: for these services the old man lets him filch what vailes he will: This knave seconds the old mans report, that his son is an ill husband, that will bring all to ruine: this allarmes Mrs. Jones, who hath now no visible subsistance but Mr. Goodwins estate; she was, for some yeares before her husbands departure a schoolemistris, teaching needle workes, but he once gone, all that was presently laid aside.
Here observe, that Mrs. Jones and her sister have by this 14 time made all Mr. Goodwins family of their confederacy excepting the young man, and his wife, and one Roger Crey, the eldest prentise, an honest, religious, sober fellow, that had often spoken freely and heartily against their practises, professing that these women would ruine the family.
It pleased God that this fellow fell sick, when presently the two sisters are sent for, they physick him, he growes worse; young Mr. Goodwin intereats his father that some able Physician might be advised withall; the old man refuses to give his consent, boasting highly of the great skill of those two she. Doctors: in Conclusion, the young man doubting some false play, privately carries his water to an able Physician, Doctor Burnet; at the first sight of the water he tells him, the party was a dead man, past all recovery; and that if good help had been sought in time, in all probability he might have done well. Mr. Clarke a skilfull Apothecary on the Bridge is also consulted, and he affirmes the same. Still these women plye him with their druggs, telling his Mr. there was no danger; though he lies raging in the violence of a burning feaver, in all probability caused by the contrary medicines they had administred to him. The evening before his death, the two sisters come in their hackney coach and make new applications to the poore departing man, who so long as he had his senses, had earnestly beg'd of his Mr. that he might take nothing that came from them, well knowing how they hated him; yet never could obtaine any succour but what came from their hands: which what it was I leave to God and their owne consciences. In the best construction that can be made, they did very wickedly, to trifle away a mans life, being ignorant of his disease; and in that consideration, if no other, are guilty of his bloud, which God will one day make inquisition for, and avenge. That night they sate up in the hall with a good fire and ale, to see what would become of him, and about three of the clock he departed: when, whether terrified with the guilt of what they had done, or what other consideration, but presently they tooke coach and departed, though in the dead of the night. Some moneth after young Mrs. Goodwin dyed, a vertuous young woman, whose sicknesse occasioned 15 more visits from these good Ladies, and might have done more physick; but they were now out of credit, and her parents watc'ht diligently that she should take nothing that came from them. It is generally believed that she dyed of griefe, having her heart broke by the occasion of the practises of these women. In my hearing she hath often made bitter complaints, saying, these women had disgraced the family, and would be the ruine both of her husband and father in law.
Now the project thrives apace, two of their great opposers are by death removed out of the way, there remaines onely the young man to be dispossess'd, and then all is their own: in order to which, they first order the old man to tell his son, that his family wants a guide, and that he is resolved to bring Mrs. Jones to take charge of his family. The young man in a great deal of distraction acquaints his friends with this newes, and according to their advice, endeavours to perswade his father by faire meanes not to disgrace the family by bringing in a woman that was reported to be his whore; and seeing his father persist, that he would bring her in, tells him plainly that he hath an interest both in the stock and trade, aswell as his father, and that seeing her coming in tends to the ruine of both, he is resolved to oppose it, and if she comes, to thrust her out by head and shoulders. This the old man reports back againe, and they are for the present at a losse.
Now is Mistris Pigeons work done, and she at leisure to act in her sister Jones business, who (as I told you) was at a plunge, by reason of the short-answer young Mr. Goodwin had given his Father. But Mrs. Pigeon, (to whom no villany is difficult) relieves her: they presently conclude upon this plot, Mr. Goodwin hath a younger Son, James Goodwin, a weak headed child, about seventeen years of age; him they get into their Circle; and first they be labour the simple boy with their sophisticated arguments, and gain him a proselite to their tennents: now he is maillable. In brief, they presently clap up a Match between this boy, that a little before was intended for a prentice, and Mistris Jones her daughter, a girle 19 of about fifteen years old, but so small, that she looked more like one of eight or nine at the most. After short wooing, they are married together. This was a strong subtil device, worth Mistris Pigeons Invention. By this match Mr. Goodwin and his concubine are become brothers and sisters, and who can find fault at decent familiaritie between such? By this the women have got an interest in the estate and family, that they dare own to the world, which they durst not before: This brings them boldly into the house to reside; Mrs. Jones pretending that because her daughter is such a childe, she hath the more need of a guide. In a word, this device drawes a faire skin over a great many scabby places at once; and so they without any more Ceremony all enter the house, bringing all their children and retinue with them.
Now they are setled with their families, and Mr. Goodwin is so ravished, that he hath got his brace of Mandlins so neare him, that no ground can hold him. The only thing that yet hinders, is, that Mr. Goodwins eldest son and partner is still in the house, and hath a clear interest in the Estate and Tarde, and they have resolved that nothing lesse then all shall satisfie their wicked appetites; in order to whose casting out, they had therefore some months before appointed the old man to set an Accomptant of their own at work, to make up all accompts between father and son, who by the instructions given him, had brought in the ballance or net stock, all debts paid, to be 1516l. of which, as they order it, there is coming to Andrew Goodwin for his third part, only 150l. They give out that by his ill husbandry he hath brought the estate to this; and that there was more assigned 20 him by the accompt then his due. Whereas it is constantly beleeved by all the friends and neighbours, that for one shilling the son hath wasted, the father hath wasted three; who could not be accused of any other vice or unthriftinesse, but that when he saw his father would not be reclaimed from converse with these wicked women, on whom he visibly spent his own and his sons estate; when he saw that his father by taking up money and wares in a disorderly way had brought him into confusion in his accounts, and that his father in all places where he came was so evill spoken of for his shamefull scandalous frequentation of these wicked women, unable to beare up under such a burden, he gave up himselfe to melancholly and carelesse stupidity, that he let his bookes run into some disorder; of which (as you shall see) they make notable advantage.
And therefore now Mrs. Pigeon assisted with Mr. Goodwin, drawes up a note; which before witnesse she delivers to young Mr. Goodwin, therewith charging him within fourteen dayes to depart the house: which when he had perused, he demanded of her, by what authority she could warre him out of his house? She replied, it would be his best way to depart without dispute, for as she then told him, she had never yet undertaken any designe but she brought it to perfection.
Presently (in the young mans absence) she causes the old man (who did nothing but by her order) to bring in a Smith; him she in old Mr. Goodwins name commands to break open the young mans counting house, takes away all his papers and monies: from thence they ascend to his chamber, break open his trunke, take away what they please, and while the young man amazed, is considering what to doe, the fourteene dayes expire. They presently in the old mans name enter an action against him, and at one of the clock after midnight they send forth their property James Goodwin to fetch two bayliffes of the Borough, and two Sergeants which they had prepared, and bring them over the ditch as theeves into the house, where they finde the unnaturall old man with these women waiting, who presently set them to work: The 21 poore young man not dreaming of such barbarous villany was fast asleep in his bed. Having furnished them with an iron crow, they all ascend, and presently fall to forcing open his chamber doore: the young man awakened with the noyse, thinks no other but that it was theeves breaking in to murder him, flyes to the window, cries out murder, and then presently sets agreat chest against the door: which when they could not force, the bayliffs being at a stand, Mrs. Pigeon, (that gives all directions) Cryes, Mr. Goodwin, it is your own house, you may bid them break down the wall: which the simple old wretch bid them doe. The young man in amazement, perceiving they had made a breach in the wall, and having no weapon to defend himselfe, and now seeing they were Officers, suffers them to enter, and so they seize him, violently haling him away in the dead of the night. Which was those subtil womens policie, fearing in the day time, had they done this Divelish action, they might have been by the neighbours throwne into the ditch headlong.
Away goes the old man with Mrs. Pigeon to the Bridg foot, where with the City Sergeants they waite the bayliffs, who had promised to deliver him at the Bridg foot: But the bayliffs, sensible that they had done that already which they could not Justifie, would gratifie them no further, but carry him prisoner to St. Margarets Hill.
Young Mr. Goodwin in this distress, seeing all tending to ruine, and that these women were resolved to cozen father, children, and creditors of all, bethinks himself of one Mr. Henry Crosse, to whom he owed 500l; to him he confesses a Judgement, which Mr. Crosse presently executes, enters the house, seizes the goods, and carries away to the value of about 1000l. to St. Margarets Hill.
Now these cunning women are againe at a plunge, but Mr. Colborne their sure friend rescues them: by his advice they procure two Appraisers, who are instructed, and appraise these goods but at 403l. which money Mr. Colborne layes down, being indeed Mrs. Pigeons money, having the managing of all her estate. This money paid into the bayliffes hands, the goods are released, and returned to Mr. Goodwins 22 possession. And now being attentive to all advantages, finding they had been surprized by this Judgement, to stop all gaps for the future, they fall upon a new designe to make all sure for ever. The old man must confess a Judgement for all that he hath in the world; but to whom? This monster could not be brought forth by women; Mr. Colborne must be the man midwife; in short, Mr. Goodwin confesses a judgement, and Mrs. Pigeon having first turned the old man and all his servants out of doors, she before witness seized of all for the use of Mr. Henry Colborne formally, and for her selfe and Sister Jones virtually.
And now all is secure, and the plot they had been seven years hatching is now perfected: as for the 403l deposited in the bayliffes hands, they find meanes by Mr. Colbornes help to procure that: in regard young Mr. Goodwin hath but a third share in the stock, therefore Mr. Crosse the Creditor shall receive but the third of the 403l. seised, and so by order of Court Mr. Crosse receives his third, 134l, and the two thirds return to Mr. Colborne.
Thus are Mr. Goodwin, Father and Son, brought to a morsel of bread, neither having one penny left. But Mr. Goodwin the father is taken into his late house, as a poor jorneyman to Mr. Colborne; and which is to amazement, so far from being sensible of what he hath done, that he proclaims to all comers that he had rather be Mrs. Pigeons Journyman, then to be Master of all without his two women.
The young mans children being in the house, are turned out of doors, and old Mr. Goodwin (by order of Mrs. Pigeon) forbids all his children (the young traitor James Goodwin excepted) to come upon the ground: His daughter Vernon coming one day to see him, by Mrs. Pigeons command, he takes her by the arme, and thrusts her out of doors: and now they insult and vaunt beyond measure. Old Mr. Goodwins children seeing all ruined, and that their father is now captivated more then ever to these women, they joyntly present a petition to the Justices of the County and Borough of South-wark, representing therein their sad condition; from whom they obtain a warrant to bring these women before 23 them to St Margarets Hill; where the business being debated, Mr. Goodwin was seriously reproved and admonished to forsake the scandalous company of these women: but the debate growing long, and it being late, the Justices adjourned the meeting, and hearing of this business to the next week after. When being againe met, and some new Justices that had not heard the former debate, amongst the rest, Mr. Gold of Clapham appeares, and is very eager in the vindication of these women, especially of Mrs. Pigeon, whom he saies was a most Angelical woman, and that she could discourse to admiration: and he said that this prosecution of Mr. Goodwins children was but a rage of jealousie for matter of estate, and that the whole army of England should maintaine the reputation of these Gentlewomen: these were his words. Some other of the Justices insisted to have Mr. Goodwins children produce their proofs of what they had alledged in their petition: to which they replyed, their witnesses were ready, but would not appeare, unless they were summoned by order of Law, left they should incurr trouble from these Litigious women; the Justices upon debate finding the witnesses living for the most part in Red Cross Street, out of their Jurisdiction to summon them, they dismissed the business with only an admonition to old Mr. Goodwin, to forsake the company of these women so prejudicial to his reputation.
Thus in all they prospered: onely the severall Churches to which they are related, that knew their shifts, which were now become very scandalous to their Congregations, after severall admonitions to them to forsake this scandalous societie, and all in vaine, they cast them out of their Churches and all communion with them. Since which time I cannot learne that they owne any Church at all, but for the most part spend the Sabbath at the Dye house.
A POSTSCRIPT to old Mr. GOODVVIN.
BEfore I conclude, I would lay a few considerations before you; though I have very little encouragement, you have with so much scorne rejected the admonitions of godly Ministers and others, that it will be no wonder if all I can say make no impression. Yet who knowes not that the Instrument as well as the season is in Gods hand? And therefore I will now speake my whole heart to you, and I pray God set it home to your thoughts. You are now arrived at old age, about sixtie three, as I guesse; the holy Ghost saith, Gray haires are a Crowne, if they be found in the wayes of righteousnesse: and on the contrary, that a sinner of an hundred yeares old shall not escape unpunished; consider then first, what God hath done for you, what a wife did he blesse you withall, a woman for piety, wisdome, fidelity, frugality (I am confident) hardly to be matcht, though your Dalilahs have sought to asperse her; but they doe but heave stones in the ayre, which will fall on their owne heads: for while her body lies rotting in the ground, her name yeelds a sweet savour in the hearts of all Gods people that knew her, while these stinke above ground. And she came not to you emptie handed, but brought you a good estate, when you had little or nothing to take to; by her God hath given you foure dutifull children, and so they appeare to all that know them, though you most unworthily call them wicked Chams and rebels:
25 For your daughter Vernon, name the time that ever she disobeyed your lawfull commands; how many times hath she upon her knees beg'd of you to forsake the company of these women, whose evill fame hath blasted your former good name? how many houres hath she spent on her knees in begging of God to open your eyes?
For your son Andrew, how many men would have bin proud of such a son; though there were no more then his outward shape? and never could be taxed for any miscarriage till you gave up your selfe wholly to company with these women, who with all their art and malice have daily exasperated you against him: which behooved them to doe, well knowing that he being your partner in Trade, there would be the less hopes for them, while there remained any good Correspondence between him and you: and when you were thus whetted, you would come home and revile him with most unmanly terms before all the boyes, enough to break a stronger tempered spirit then his; and when you had so far dull'd and sotted him with this usage, that you thought your project ripe, then on the sudden you take him by the throat like a fellon or murderer: oh Mr. Goodwin, are these things true or no? I appeale to your own conscience; where were the bowels of a father, when you let in the Marshals men at midnight, furnished them with iron bars, and accompanied with your women, broke in upon him in his chamber, and scarce allowing him time to put on his cloathes, dragd him to the jaile in the dead of a cold winters night?
For your second son Thomas, an honest plain hearted man, beloved of all that know him; and yet because he will not justifie you in your sin against his own conscience, but hath in a dutifull manner beg'd of you to forsake these women, you refuse to owne him, and tell him you will never leave him one penny.
And for your third son James, you have done him the greatest wrong of all: for, that he might as a propertie be instrumentall to your sin, you have caused, or suffered your women to poyson his principles with their corrupt tenents; you have betraid him yet a childe, and most shamefully unfit 26 for such a relation, to marriage with the daughter of her, that hath ruined your name and estate.
Thus in particular have you wronged all your children, and in general by making over all your estate, which by the Law of God and nature ought to have descended after your decease to them, to Mr. Colborne.
Solomon saith, that the good man is merciful to his beast: and Mr. Goodwin (whom his women affirm is as wise as Solomon) is unmerciful to his owne children. The Apostle saith, No man hates his own flesh are you (Mr. Goodwin) no man? or will you make the holy Ghost a liar? And what hath been the incentive to all this unnatural dealing? your love, or your lust to Mrs. Jones; you can name no other; that you might enjoy her, another mans wife, her husband alive. You have stifled your conscience, scandalized the Gospel, reviled Gods Ministers, suffered your selfe to be cut off from the Sacrament and Communion with the Church of God, ruined all your children, and basely requited your vertuous wife deceased: and all this to gratifie two sinful women, that now they have obteined their ends, begin to slight you, and no doubt when through the infirmities of old age you shall be able to doe them no more druggery, will cast you off and expose you to want and misery. This all the world foresees; for women of their profession doe alwayes so. Did not Mrs. Pigeon, when she had stript her husband of all he had, cast him off, though formerly her dear husband? Be yet perswaded, your children would yet rejoyce in you, and care for you, though stript of all your estate by these women. Doe you not perceive how they have ensnared you, and wound you about with their nets, as the spider doth the silly fly? first, they entangled you with musick, and many yeares held you under that pleasing note; then they cast over you the net of pretended piety, and fained extraordinary holyness; and then they snare you in the net of love to Mrs. Jones, which they work you to believe is lawful; and lastly, lest you should break from all these, they throw over you the strong iron net of the Law, and that doubtless will hold your estate fast, which is the thing they seeke for, whatever becomes of you.