The year they tried to ban Christmas at Bury St Edmunds
Horrible Plot, and bloudy Conspiracie
The Malignant party at Edmondsbury in
Suffolk, for the Murdering of Mr. Lanceter, and
divers other eminent and well-affected Persons, for
opening their Shops upon Christmas-day.
The number of the Conspirators, and the
manner how they were appeased, with the losse on both
sides. Together with a Proclamation thereupon, and
the apprehending of the chiefe Ring-leaders,
and how they are to be tryed the next
SESSIONS January, 4. 1647
Printed and Published and to be presented
to the Wel-affected Party, through-
out each respective County within the
Kingdome of England. LONDON,
Printed for I. Johnson, 1647.
The opportunity which I have embrased, and the good Tydings which I have to accompany it, hath moved me to set Pen to Paper, and to acquaint you with the horrid conspiracy and malicious Design of the Malignant Party at Edmondsby in Suffolk, against the People of God and the Members of Jesus Christ, who for their faithfuhiesse and zeale to the Gospel of Christ, by endeavouring to maintain the purity of Religion, with the loss and hazard of both lives and fortunes, the inveterate malice and mischivous intentions of those ravening and devouring Spirits began to grow to some maturity, and to appear in a most vild and bloudy shape; for these wicked Members of Sathan, and enemies to God and Religion, had so conspired together, against the people of God, that they were resolved to prosecute their Designe, in case that any of them should presume to open their shops on Christmas day, and to that end had prepared divers weapons for the executing of the same, the particulars, together with the manner of this Conspiracy, I shall here present to the view of all good Christians, as shall manifestly appear by these ensuing lines, Viz.
In Edmondsbury in Suffolk God hath delivered his people from a great and evill Designe, complotted by the Malignant Party in the Town, the manner this:
The Prentices, and divers rude deboyst Fellows of the number of a hundred and fifty, or thereabouts had listed themselves together and had gotten three Captains,
And this was their design, to get together at the Crosse (being the place appointed for to meet) on the 25 of this instant Moneth of December (commonly called Christmas Day.) And :heir resolutions and determinations were, that whosoever should set open their Shops on the said day, they were resolved to pluck out the owners, and fire their houses, and kill them if they resisted, and pull out their goods, and lay waste and desolate taose stately Buildings and Dwelling Houses which are the grace and ornament of the Town.
And the better to accomplish their Design, the Conspirators had provided great Clubs with great nailes crosse the end of each Club, every Naile weighing a pound.
But their mischievous Designs were discovered beforehand, by some Prentices, to whom the Mutineers came for their hands. And on the Wednesday some stirred about it and went to the Magistrates, and informed them thereof. Whereupon to prevent the great danger that might thereby arise Divers of them having skil in the Law found it would bee upon themselves if they suffered such a thing to be therefore the day following they sent for divers of the conspirators, and laid the Law to them, and bound them over to the Sessions.
And on Christmas Day most of the chief Magistrates, and many Constables, and other Officers assembled together.
Afterwards there were about thirty or forty about Mr. Lanseters dore (in the place called Cook-row)1 his shop being open.
And there proclamation was made, and in severall places more, that those which were not in their own houses within half an houre, should be imprisoned; and some were laid hold on, and frighted; so that there was only a little hurt done, two men being wounded beyond the horse-market towards the end of the Towne; for when the wel-affected Party began to assemble themselves together, for the appeasing of these tumultuous Villians, some of them made at them with their Clubs, and wounded these two, but it is hoped not mortal, though indeed (as yet) they seeme very dangerous, by reason of the deepness of the wounds, and the festering of them.
But after a short time, these viperous Rascals were appeased, and the streets cleansed of these Vermin; so that their bloudy Designes were frustrated and mischievous and machavilian Plot discovered:
For the Great God of Heaven would not suffer his People to bee left as a prey unto the mercilesse Malignants teeth.
And it is to be minded, that above all, they aymed at Mr. Lanceter, who was not possessed with fear of them, but quietly waited upon the Lord, with the expectation of Deliverance from the hands of God, which he had, and was preserved; though he used no outward means to attain it himself. But this the Lord did to give his People more experience of his goodness; and hee is able to do much more, for his hand is never shortened.
And therefore let all the Godly Saints, and praying People, according to the Direction of the Spirit of Christ, from the consideration and experience of Gods former loving kindnesse, and preservations, rest upon him for future times.
Thus having given you a brief and exact Relation of the great and bloudie conspiracie complotted by the Malignant Party at Edmonby in Suffolke, I shall humbly take my leave, and remaine
Your affectionate Servant,
Edmondsbury, Jan. i. 1647.
This relation in confirmed by very good Hands, and at the request of many eminent, and well-affected Persons printed, and presented to the pubHcke view of all the Free-bom Subjects of England.