THURTON AND ROBY'S ADVENTURE
The cause of this fracas wsa, that Roby had just made out a warrant to commit Leavitt to prison, for seditious language, and, on Gilman's interfering, had made another warrant and handed it to the marshal, for committing him likewise. Both men resisted, till a little son of Sherburne entered and whispered a few words to them, when they said they would go.
Accordingly, in custody of three men, they went quietly, till, arrived at Sherburne's house, they declared that they would go in there, and would not go to prison. At the same time, three or four persons, Sherburne himself among them, rushed out and rescued the prisoners. The same night, Gilman, accompanied by four men armed with clubs, returned to Henry Roby's house, and made several violent attempts to break down the door; but on Roby's threatening to shoot them, they went away.
The provost-marshal, after losing his first prisoner, Sherburne, at Roby's house, went in search of him; and finding him at his own house, in company with twenty or thirty men, armed with clubs, attempted to re-arrest him, when he was attacked by Sherburne's companions, and roughly treated. According to his deposition afterwards, these persons, masked with handkerchiefs, beat and attempted to strangle him, tied his hands and legs, took away his sword and dragged him a quarter of a mile from the house by the rope that tied his hands. There the crowd seem to have left him; but two men then untied his legs and drove him forward another mile and a half, beating him with a cudgel. Then being worn out, he sank in the snow and cried "Murder!" in the hearing of several horsemen, inhabitants of Hampton; but none came to his rescue. This was about nine o'clock in the evening. Then, a stranger, coming from Hampton on horseback, was waylaid by two ruffians, who seized his horse, flung Thurton, bound hand and foot, across him, and so carried him about a quarter of a mile further. The poor victim, "being in extreme pain and near death," as he testified, prayed that he might ride the horse, and then be carried whither they would. This small boon was granted, and they carried him out of the province, to Salisbury.
The foregoing account of the disturbances in Exeter and Hampton, is gathered chiefly from the depositions of Thurton and Roby them-selves, and is probably altogether exaggerated.
In 1685, Cranfield, disappointed in his purposes, under censure of the home government, distracted by the attitude of the people, was, at his own request, relieved, and privately quitted the province; and Walter Barefoote, the deputy governor, assumed his office.