Monday, 21 June 2010

Ejected!

Not at all medieval, but on the wall of the chancel at Molland is this fabulous baroque monument commemorating an interesting man. 

Molland, Devon

It commemorates Daniel Berry one time vicar of Molland.  I will let the inscription tell his story:
'Under this monument lyeth the Body of Daniel Berry Batchelor of Divinity sometime minister of this church & that of the parish of Knowstone, wherein he was born, Who for his zeale in the support of the Church of England & Loyalty to that martyred King King Charles the first, was first sequestred by the then Rebels, & ever after persecuted till he dyed being the 18 day of March in the year of our lord 1653/4 and of his age 45'
Daniel Berry became vicar of Molland and Knowstone in 1626.  In 1646 he was one of many clergy who were ejected from their livings by parliament for supporting the king and continuing to use the Book of Common Prayer against the Puritan consensus.  He moved to a small estate he owned in Molland.  Not content with his ejection from his living, for the next eight years the local Puritan thugs continued to treat this gentle man abominably. They threatened to hang him, threatened his family and servants and they confiscated all his private property.  He was a learned man and though begging to keep just one book, his large library was taken and given to a Puritan preacher.  He died a broken man, his health shattered.  The monument was erected by his son after the Restoration of Charles II. 

Molland, Devon

4 comments:

Canon Tallis said...

Another Anglican martyr to the viciousness of the Commonwealth and its followers. Why is it that we don't have the equivalent of Foxes' Book of Martyrs for those who suffered and died under the jackboot of the first truly totalitarian and absolutist government of the modern age.

Perhaps it is because no one wants to document the terrorist past of those who now pretend to such high rectitude but have no repentence for the sins of their fathers.

May God have mercy on their souls.

stjudeschurch said...

There is such a book:

John Walker’s 'Sufferings of the Clergy of the Church of England during the Great Rebellion' (1714)

stjudeschurch said...

Indeed Berry's own story is told by Walker in his Sufferings

Allan Barton said...

See here. His treatment was particularly despicable.

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=mA1MAAAAYAAJ&ots=ysp_kIUjR_&dq='Sufferings%20of%20the%20Clergy%20of%20the%20Church%20of%20England%20during%20the%20Great%20Rebellion'&pg=PA137#v=onepage&q=Berry&f=false