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The Devil and Parson Church or, Birds of a feather

The Devil and Parson Church
or, Birds of a feather
Author: Anonymous
Title: The Devil and Parson Church or, Birds of a feather
Release Date: 2019-01-02
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
Count views: 37
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The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Devil and Parson Church, by AnonymousThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and mostother parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms ofthe Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org.  If you are not located in the United States, you'll haveto check the laws of the country where you are located before using this ebook.Title: The Devil and Parson Church       or, Birds of a featherAuthor: AnonymousRelease Date: January 2, 2019  [eBook #58599]Language: EnglishCharacter set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE DEVIL AND PARSON CHURCH***

Transcribed from the [1817] T. Kaygill edition by David Price,email [email protected]g.  Many thanks to the Bodleian forallowing their copy to be consulted in this transcription.

Public domain pamphlet cover



Illustrative of a
Lately brought to Light;
Principal Performer,


Woodcut of angel with horn

“We’ll have thee—
Painted upon a pole, and under written,
Here you may see the Monster.”

Altered fromShakspeare.


Printed by T. Kaygill, 36, Frith-Street,Soho;
And Published by Kaygill, 12, Benjamin-Street,
May be had of all Booksellers.

Price 2d.


p. 2THE heroof the subjoined poem, has for many years been suspected of beingguilty of the most abominable and atrocious practices; hisintimacy with the Vere Street nest of miscreants is too wellknown to be again repeated, as are also his detestable letters,sent to men, to entice them to participate in his guilt.  Atthe Middlesex Sessions, July 12, 1813, he was tried for anattempt on William Webster, but acquitted; from which time, hehas been considered innocent by his misledfollowers.  But on the 26th of September, 1816, he made anassault on Adam Foreman, (apprentice to Mr. Patrick, potter,Vauxhall,) with an intent to commit a vile act; for whichattempt, by the laudable exertions of the lad’s father, andMr. Patrick, he was indicted at the Surrey Assizes, Croydon, onSaturday, Aug. 16th, 1817, and found guilty; he will be broughtup the first day of next Term to receive judgement, in The Courtof King’s Bench.  Mr. Gurney undertook his cause withreluctance.

While the prosecution of Church was pending, one of the parishofficers of St. George’s, Southwark, was applied to by Mrs.Church for the relief of a man who was in distress at Mr.Church’s house.  The officer waited on the man, and oninterrogating him, in the presence of Mrs. Church, and a daughterof Church’s, by his first wife, (an interesting female,about seventeen years of age;) he confessed he had been confinedin Newgate one year and a day, for an assault of an abominablenature, and was partly supported there by Mr. Church; uponhearing which, Mrs. Church was so much affected, that she waswith difficulty prevented from throwing herself out of the windowof the room.  As soon, however as she had somewhat recoveredfrom this farther proof of the brutal propensity of her husband,she expressed a wish that the circumstance should not be madeknown; to which the officer acquiesced, on condition, that if averdict of guilty was found, he should then be at liberty to giveit full publicity.

The following confessional letter, from Church, was sent to the Rev. Mr. L—,two days after the offence had been committed.—

Dear Sir—I canscarcely write this note, my soul is too deeply pierced. About eight or nine years ago Dr. Draper left the church in theBorough, and God opened Chapel-court for me, many attended andhave been blest; now a singular providence, but a mostdistressing one, has occurred to take me shortly from my dear,dear family p.3and beloved congregation.  But God has sent Mr.L—to preach the truth to my poor dispersed flock, at leastso it appears to me, and I would do all the good to promote thesuccess of Mr. L— that my poor people might not bestarved till I return to them in peace, which may be manymonths.  My heart is broken, my enemies have ruined me atlast, and I shall never surmount it; an unpleasant affairhappening at Vauxhall, is added too, and I must take theconsequences: no arm can help, relieve, or deliver, but theLord’s, and I feel persuaded the Lord will not:judge my feelings if you can.  I shall secretly come andhear you, to get all the good I can to a heart deprest,disconsolate, and full of woe.  Oh, the joy of myenemies!  Oh, the distress of my friends!  Oh, my poorheart!  Let a sigh go up to God for me when you can.

Your’s, in the utmostdistress,

J. C.

The following character has been given of Church by Mr. and Mrs. Gee, of the New Cut,who keep a cake-shop, where he once lodged:—

“Mr. Church, theminister, lodged at our house a year and a half, and left lastyear at Lady-day.

“We were in hopes that we were about to have a godlypraying minister in our house; and to be sure the first night hehad somewhat like a prayer, and that once afterwards were theonly times he ever went to family prayer in our house.  Norcould they have any prayer, as he would be frequently out almostall hours of the night, and would lie in bed till ten in themorning.  Several times he and his wife would haveskirmishings and fightings between themselves, while the childrenwould be left to run about the streets out of school hours, andallowed to keep company with children that would swear in ourhearing most shockingly.  His children were always left tobe very dirty, and would be sent sometimes three or four times inthe morning for spirituous liquors of all sorts.  As forreading good books, or even the bible, he scarce ever thought ofit, but would spend a deal of his time in loose and vain talk, inwalking about, and fawning upon young men, that was his chiefdelight.

“Sundays and working days were all alike to them, forthey would send out to buy liquors, and whatever else theywanted, on Sundays as well as other days.

p.4“The house would be more frequently like aplay-house (I might say a brothel) than a minister’s house,where a set of young people would come and behave more indecentlythan ought to be mentioned.  Even one Sunday morning theymade such an uproar as that they broke one of the windows, thenthey would go with him to his chapel, and, after that, he wouldgive the sacrament to such disorderly people, let therecharacters be ever so loose.

“He was always ready to go fast enough out to dinner orsupper where he could get good eating and drinking, but poorpeople might send to him from their sick bed times and timesbefore he would come to them.  Seeing so manyinconsistences, and shocking filthiness in their rooms, (thoughthey always paid their rent) we were determined to give themwarning to quit our house, and we do not think that a worse manor woman ever came into any house before, especially as Mr.Church pretended to preach the gospel; such hypocrites are muchworse than others, and, besides this, we never heard a man telllies so fast in all our lives.  It is a great grief to usthat we ever went to hear him preach, or suffered him to stop solong in our house.”

George andFrances Gee.

It appears from the testimony of George Tarrier, and JamesRussell, of Redcross-st.; and William Williams, of the Mint; thatthe Rev. John Church, on the 16th of November, 1809,attended at the funeral of Richard Oakden, a clerk in the Bank,who was hung before Newgate, for an abominable offence, on 14thNovember, 1809.  This pious minister and hispartizans returned to the Hat and Feathers, Gravel-lane, kept bya Mr. Richardson, where the funeral set out from, to partake of ajovial dinner.  His conduct here, it seems, was beyonddescription.

It is averred, that his wife, upon hearing the infamy of hisconduct took to drinking, to avoid reflection, which soonoccasioned her death.  But, within the last three months,since he has been charged with the above detestable offence, inorder (we presume under the mask of hypocrisy,) to rescue, insome degree, his character from the public odium with which ithad been marked, he has been induced to marry a respectablewoman, who kept a seminary for young ladies at Hammersmith. The verdict p.5of ‘Guilty’ had been scarcely pronounced,when the relatives of the children, with the greatest promptitudepossible, took them all away from the said school.

Since his conviction, Church has resided at the house of A FRIEND, where HIS FOLLOWERS are admitted to see him onproducing a card signed by himself, on which are inscribedcertain texts of scripture.  Will this wretch never ceaseblaspheming the holy scriptures by his appropriation of them?

From his own account, the profits arising from the SurreyTabernacle was from 1000l. to 1200l. annually.

The reader will perceive by the following whimsical poem, thathis old friend and colleague, when he had safelyensnared him, left him to extricate himself in the best manner hecould.

Birds of a Feather.

Old Lucifer came onearth one day,
   When he was in merry plight,
To look for a meal of dainty prey,
   To pamper his appetite!

He stalk’d thro’ the courts of law,but grinn’d
   To find stale picking was there;
For his maw both BENCH and BAR had thinn’d,
   And all look’d devilish bare.

p.6He walk’d up the Park, and down the MELL,
   To catch some rare rich sinner,
Whom he might drag on his horns to hell,
   And pick his bones for dinner.

But nought was there but a bawd or two,
   Scatter’d along the benches.
Whose visages look’d most BLEACH’D and BLUE,
   For none would buy their wenches.

He went to the mansions round about,
   And just by way of frolic,
He pinch’d this courtier’s toe with the gout,
   And gave to that the cholic.

Yet thro’ the circle he found not one,
   But still his chops kept licking;
No morsel of meat—no tempting bone
   That could deserve his picking.

Then over Westminster bridge he trudged,
   Clad in his murky jacket,
And swore that before he homeward budg’d,
   He’d still kick up a racket

He came to a place by witsy’clep’d
   Fields, though no grasswas growing,
Where flocks of Cyprians alone are kept,
   Seeds of disaster sowing.

And into a chapel here he popp’d
   That head of his so prying,
And anxious to hear what pass’d there, stopp’d
   Attracted by the sighing.

p.7And there he beheld, with strait comb’d locks,
   And eyes with ardour filling,
A KNAVE, who rock’d like onein the stocks,
   And spoke in strains most killing.

As soon as the DE’EL the wight discern’d,
   And saw what he was after,
Altho’ to mince the VILLAINhe burn’d,
   Had well nigh burst with laughter.

Up to the pulpit he straightway went
   With face as bold as Turpin;
Quoth he to himself—“Sure heav’n ne’ermeant
   Such place for thee to chirp in!”

He ask’d of the Clerk the Parson’sname,
   “Church!”quoth the amen-grinder;
“A saint he is of unequall’d fame,
   A staunch game gospel-finder!”

“I’ll plumb his depth:” thedevil then quoth,
   And up the steps he mounted,
And as he march’d up, the Clerk most loth,
   Shook, as his steps he counted.

He mounted the steps, the Parson’s eye
   Soon glanc’d the Demon coming,
But he felt not frighten’d, coy nor shy,
   But still kept on his strumming.

The FIENDsuggested, the sermon done,
   They should to a rendezvous,
Where they might each have a taste of fun,
   With an Adonis or two.

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