Henry Craik, ed. English Prose. 1916. Vol. III. Seventeenth Century
A Youthful Martyr
By George Fox (16241691)
From the Journal
WHILST I was in the dungeon at Carlisle, one James Parnel, a little lad of about sixteen years of age came to see me, and was convinced; and the Lord quickly made him a powerful minister of the word of life, and many were turned to Christ by him; though he lived not long; for travelling into Essex, in the work of the ministry, in the year 1655, he was committed to Colchester castle, where he endured very great hardships and sufferings, being put by the cruel jailor into a hole in the castle wall, called the oven, so high from the ground, that he went up to it by a ladder; which being six feet too short, he was fain to climb from the ladder to the hole by a rope that was fastened above. And when friends would have given him a cord and a basket, to have drawn up his victuals in, the inhuman jailor would not suffer them, but forced him to go down and up by that short ladder and rope, to fetch his victuals (which for a long time he did) or else he might have famished in the hole. At length, his limbs being much benumbed with lying in that place, yet being constrained to go down to take up some victuals, as he came up the ladder again with his victuals in one hand, and catched at the rope with the other, he missed the rope, and fell down from a very great height upon the stones; by which fall he was exceedingly wounded in his head and arms, and his body much bruised; and he died in a short time after. And when he was dead, the wicked professors, to cover their own cruelty, writ a book of him, and said he fasted himself to death; which was an abominable falsehood, and was manifested so to be by another book, which was written in answer to that, and was called The Lambs Defence against Lies.