There being sometimes occasion to appeal to the government in behalf of Friends and truth, I with others was willing and ready to answer that service, and the Lord blessed our endeavors and gave us favor with those in authority. Truth prospered and meetings increased, yet the priests were still covetous for tithes which Friends for conscience sake could not give them, whereupon they suffered greatly. The afore-mentioned George Clapham, priest, who had been so cruel against us, the Lord made an example of by depriving him of his natural senses. Yet he kept the parish and one James Lloyd as he called himself, though others said that he changed his name for misdemeanors which he had committed, was hired as his curate. He was a shameless wicked man on several accounts and very fierce to get tithes from us. And being somewhat disappointed by Robert Jackson and me, he put us in the bishop's court, had us excommunicated, taken with a writ, and committed to prison in the year 1682, he himself guarding us thither. When we came to the dungeon where thieves and murderers were kept, he in a scornful manner told me that there was my lodging.

We were confined prisoners for about twenty weeks and had many precious, good meetings, having the benefit of Friends' company who came to see us from most parts of the nation. Few days passed but we had the company of honest-hearted Friends from one place or other. When the Lord's time was come, he made way for our liberty in the following manner. The lord of Ely, being then our landlord, was concerned for us because of our sufferings and endeavored with the bishop for our liberty, who ordered us to come to the court at Kildare. Accordingly, we came and there were the bishop and about ten or twelve priests, the lord of Ely and his steward, with several other persons of account in the world, and a great concourse of people. One Dean Sing was chancellor of the court.

John Burnyeat and Anthony Sharp accompanied me to the court, yet went not in, but stood at the door where they could both see and hear us. The bishop began to discourse with me concerning tithes which I was unwilling to enter upon, being sensible of my own weakness. But he urged. Then the Lord by his divine Spirit gave me wisdom and understanding and brought Scriptures into my memory fluently so that I proved tithes to be ended and that it was antichristian either to pay or receive them in Gospel times, which was opened so clear to the understandings of the people that there seemed to be great satisfaction in the court. Then Dean Sing stood up before them all and said that if he had known me as well before as he did now I should not have suffered, with several other expressions of kindness.

We went through many other things relating to Gospel ministers, Christian religion, faith, and the true worship of God. And my understanding was clear, ripe, and ready through the assistance of the Lord's blessed Spirit to answer to matters so that they could not resist what I said. The bishop himself was silent. Then I told him I thought my suffering was illegal, for that the clause in the statute of Henry VIII by which they had proceeded against me did not take hold of me and that if a moderate unbiased judge had the ministering of the law, he might have found that I was not the man it took hold of. For the words in that statute are that if any man out of a perverse will and ungodly mind shall detain his tithes, he shall be so proceeded against. But as for me, I did not detain tithes out of an ungodly will or perverse mind but out of a tender conscience towards God and I could not believe that the king and parliament of England intended that Act against tender, conscientious men, but against ungodly, wilful, and perverse men, according to the clause in the Act.

They had not considered that point and were all silent, only the bishop, who enjoined me to give him in writing the exact words of the aforesaid Act and also to give him in writing the reasons why I dissented from the church of England, saying that they must not lose such a man as I. They ordered us to appear there at the next court and wrote to the sheriff to let us have our liberty until then and broke up the court. Our discourse held full three hours in a quiet manner without any other business. When we came out to Friends who stood at the court door, John Burnyeat said he was never better satisfied with a day's work in all his life, the testimony of truth being so over them.

We appeared as ordered at the next court and the bishop then would absolve us. But I told him I could not come under any of their ceremonies, and we had much discourse about it. At last he bid God make us good Christians and wrote to the sheriff to discharge us from prison, which was readily done. This suffering and conference through the Lord's blessing had a good effect. For since that time both the bishop and officers of that court have been kind to Friends, and particularly to me.

In the year 1683, I was moved of the Lord to visit Friends in the Caribbean Islands and Jamaica. So after acquainting several Friends and they having unity with me in my concern, also my wife being willing to give me up in the service of truth as at other times, I heard of a ship at Cork bound for Barbados, of which Robert Scotten, a Friend from London, was master and was glad of my company. When I received account that the ship was nearly ready to sail, I took leave of my wife and children, committing all to God, and took my journey accompanied by several Friends to Cork where I took passage in the said ship. Friends who accompanied me thither stayed some days, and then we parted in the tender love of God and in the sweet unity and comfort of his Spirit. In a few days we went to sea. The wind was fair, but soon after a great storm arose which continued with us two weeks. The tackling of our rudder was broken and could not be mended for many weeks. We were hard put to it to sail without a rudder, but the Lord favored us with a wind and we got well to Barbados in about two months.

As soon as we came to anchor, several Friends came aboard and were glad of my coming. I went on shore with them and labored in the service of truth, having meetings in every quarter of the island, both for the worship of God and for discipline, to settle things that were unsettled and rectify things which were amiss, as much as in me lay. Friends were generally subject to Gospel order and truth's government.

After I had been laboring there some months, it was with me to go to the Leeward Islands. Ralph Fretwell and some other Friends then going to Pennsylvania took me on board their vessel and put me on shore in Antigua and proceeded on their voyage. I stayed there some time and had many meetings both for doctrine and discipline where there was great need of laborers. When clear, I took passage from thence to Nevis where were honest, tender Friends, and we were well refreshed in the Lord and in one another. I had many sweet, comfortable meetings with them, to which also many people came, among whom were several justices of the peace who were tendered and confessed to truth.

The chief judge of the island, one Simmons, and his wife were both convinced and came to several meetings, the report of which went abroad and the General Stapleton seemed to be offended and threatened to banish me out of the island. But Judge Simmons told him that they had reason to bless God for my coming there which had brought a blessing to their island. For before I came, they had not had a plentiful season of rain for three years past and since my coming they had been plentifully replenished with rain, the effect whereof was like to bring them much increase. So I stayed until I was clear of that service and left Friends tender and loving.

I took passage back for Antigua, but by contrary winds was put into Montserrat and stayed there some days. Then I came to Antigua and stayed to some meetings. And taking leave of Friends, I sailed for Barbados and in four or five days landed there. I was kindly received by Friends who were glad of my coming back to give them another visit. When I had stayed several meetings and was often refreshed together with Friends, I went for Jamaica, accompanied by Henry Currier. Many Friends from several parts of the island came to Bridgetown where we took shipping and there parted from us in the tender love of God and unity of his blessed spirit.

In about two weeks we landed at Port Royal in Jamaica and came to John Willmot's house to lodge. After having a meeting there we traveled to other parts of the island and had many meetings for the worship of God and also men's and women's meetings about church affairs for the settling of Friends in Gospel order. There were some things hard to get through so that my spirit was bowed down in suffering with the Seed of God. And under this trouble of mind, the strength of my body failed for some time. But the Lord by his Spirit and power strengthened and raised me up again. We traveled much and had many meetings in divers places of the island and went through several hardships and exercises of various kinds.

After some months service in those parts, Henry Currier went from thence to Bermuda and so to Barbados, but I stayed, being not yet clear, and had meetings both for the worship of God and men's and women's meetings for settling the affairs of the church in Gospel order, in which service the Lord stood by me and helped me to go on in his work through strong oppositions. The word of his testimony was over opposers, whereby honest-hearted Friends who loved the truth and government thereof were greatly strengthened and comforted. I had good service there for the Lord several ways for about seven months.

Being clear of that service, I took passage for Ireland in a vessel bound for Cork, whereof John Benford was master. When we were ready to sail, several honest Friends went aboard and took their leave of me in tender love. In about seven weeks we landed well at Cork, and the Province Meeting being at hand, which was then appointed at Limerick, I went there accompanied by many Friends from Cork and those parts. Here my wife and several Friends from Leinster met me. We were joyful in the Lord and glad to see one another.