|American Minute with Bill FedererThe King arrested Pastors whose sermons were against his ordinances… ears cut off…
Britain’s William Laud had spies listen to pastors’ sermon to see if they said anything against the King’s ordinances.If they did, the pastors were arrested.
Decisions to punish political enemies of the King were made in the secret “Star Chamber”. No witnesses were allowed in these arbitrary and oppressive inquisitions.
Though started with the intention to cut through the red tape of bureaucracy, Britain’s Court of Star Chamber usurped power to be a political weapon for intimidating and punishing opponents to the King’s policies.
Subject to hostile questioning, if individuals gave unsatisfactory answers they were charged with perjury and it they did not answer for fear of self-incrimination they were held in contempt of court.
The abuses of England’s Star Chamber led America’s founders to include the Fifth Amendment in the U.S. Constitution.
Notoriously favorable to the King, the Star Chamber was used in 1637 by William Laud to punish the religious dissenter William Prynne who objected to the State’s control over religious matters.
William Prynne was tied to a pillory -a public pillar- where he had his ears cut off and was branded on the cheeks with the letters “S.L.” for seditious libel, which Prynne called the “Sign of Laud.”
Laud approved of the Star Chamber’s sentence of dissenting Pastor Henry Burton for his ‘seditious’ sermons, resulting in his ears cut off and imprisonment.
When John Bastwick published religious opinions which opposed government ordinances, he was brought before the Star Chamber and had his ears cut off then thrown in prison.
American biographer Edgar Lee Masters (1868-1950) wrote:
“In the Star Chamber the council could inflict any punishment short of death, and frequently sentenced objects of its wrath to the pillory, to whipping and to the cutting off of ears…
With each embarrassment to arbitrary power the Star Chamber became emboldened to undertake further usurpation…
The Star Chamber finally summoned juries before it for verdicts disagreeable to the government, and fined and imprisoned them.
One of those thrown in prison by William Laud during this time was Edward Winslow, one of the Pilgrim settlers.
Edward Winslow, born OCTOBER 18, 1595, was the only Pilgrim to have his portrait painted.
A printer, Edward Winslow had joined a group of Christian Separatists who had fled to Leiden, Holland, to escape religious persecution.
The King had actually sent spies and police to Holland where they raided and confiscated the printing press used by Edward Winslow and William Brewster.
If the chief had not recovered, the Indians would have killed Winslow.
He kept the finances and often sailed back to England for business with the Colony’s adventurers (investors), brining back the colony’s first cattle.
On one trip to England in 1625, as described in Governor William Bradford’s History of the Plymouth Settlement, Edward Winslow encountered Turkish Muslim Pirates expanding the Islamic State on the sea:
“The adventurers…sent over two fishing ships…The pinnace was ordered to load with corfish…to bring home to England…and besides she had some 800 lbs. of beaver, as well as other furs, to a good value from the plantation.
Thus all their hopes were dashed and the joyful news they meant to carry home was turned to heavy tidings…”
William Bradford added:
“In the big ship Captain Myles Standish…arrived…in London…
The friendly adventurers were so reduced by their losses…and now by the ship taken by the Turks…that all trade was dead.”
He published pamphlets defending the New England colonies, such as:
Edward Winslow served in briefly in Oliver Cromwell’s army.
On the way, Edward Winslow contracted the deadly disease of yellow fever and died.
“Drought and the like…moved not only every good man privately to enter into examination with his own estate between God…but also to humble ourselves together before the Lord by fasting.”
For God’s Glory Alone Ministries thanks Bill Federer and www.AmericanMinute.com