No part is left but to tolerate or de-
Extermination could alone produce conformity.
In a few years, it was said in parliament, that there were in England
twenty thousand of those who frequented conventicles.1
It was proposed to banish them, as the Moors had been banished from Spain
, and as the Huguenots were afterwards driven from France
This measure was not adopted; but a law of savage ferocity, ordering those, who, for a month, should be absent from the English
service, to be interrogated as to their belief, menaced the obstinate non-conformists with exile or with death.2
offered an asylum against the bitter severity of this statute.
A religious society, founded by the Independents at Amsterdam
, continued to exist for a century, and served as a point of hope for the exiles; while, through the influence of Whitgift
, in England
, men of un-impeached loyalty,
were selected as examples, and hanged at Tyburn for their opinions.3
The queen repented that she had sanctioned the execution.
Her age and the prospect of favor to Puritanism from her successor, conspired to check the spirit of persecution.
The leaders of the church became more prudent; and by degrees bitterness subsided.
The Independents had, it is true, been nearly exterminated; but the number of the non-conforming clergy, after forty years of molestation, had increased, their popularity was more deeply rooted, and their enmity to the established order was irreconcilable.