This is getting silly!
Having failed to secure a hearing with a Judge in Wednesbury, the crowd decide to march Wesley to a Justice of the Peace in nearby Walsal.
It’s not clear exactly what they thought they would accomplish; possibly to have Wesley censured for disturbing the peace.
(Read the first part of the story here and follow the links)
As news was being delivered to them that the second judge was already in bed and not willing to see them, it happened!
Two Mobs attack each other!
Wesley writes, ‘About fifty of them undertook to convoy me. But we had not gone a hundred yards when the mob of Walsal came, pouring in like a flood, and bore down all before them.
‘The Darleston mob made what defence they could; but they were weary, as well as out-numbered, so that in a short time, many being knocked down, the rest ran away, and left me in their hands.
‘To attempt speaking was in vain, for the noise on every side was like the roaring of the sea.
Yanked by the hair
‘So they dragged me along till we came to the town where, seeing the door of a large house open, I attempted to go in; but a man catching me by the hair, pulled me back into the middle of the mob.
‘They made no more stop till they had carried me through the main street, from one end of the town to the other.
‘I continued speaking all the time to those within hearing, feeling no pain or weariness.
‘At the west end of the town, seeing a door half open, I made towards it and would have gone in, but a gentleman in the shop would not suffer me, saying they would pull the house down to the ground.
‘However, I stood at the door and asked, “Are you willing to hear me speak?” Many cried out, “No! No! Knock his brains out! Down with him! Kill him at once!”‘
(From John Wesley Journal, Vol 1, p.437-438, Baker Edition)
We’ll pick up the final installment in the story next time…
© 2010 Lex Loizides