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Title: The Devil and Parson Church - or, Birds of a feather
Author: Anonymous
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Devil and Parson Church - or, Birds of a feather" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

Transcribed from the [1817] T. Kaygill edition by David Price, email
ccx074@pglaf.org.  Many thanks to the Bodleian for allowing their copy to
be consulted in this transcription.

                 [Picture: Public domain pamphlet cover]

                             _PARSON CHURCH_;

                           BIRDS OF A FEATHER.

                           _Illustrative of a_
                            DARK TRANSACTION,
                        _Lately brought to Light_;
                          IN WHICH, A WELL KNOWN
                             POPULAR PREACHER
                                  WAS A
                          _Principal Performer_,
                        WITH INTRODUCTORY REMARKS.

                                * * * * *

                  [Picture: Woodcut of angel with horn]

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

                                                  Altered from Shakspeare.

                                * * * * *

              Printed by T. Kaygill, 36, Frith-Street, Soho;
            _And Published by Kaygill_, 12, _Benjamin-Street_,
                      May be had of all Booksellers.

                               _Price 2d._

                                * * * * *

THE hero of the subjoined poem, has for many years been suspected of
being guilty of the most abominable and atrocious practices; his intimacy
with the Vere Street nest of miscreants is too well known to be again
repeated, as are also his detestable letters, sent to men, to entice them
to participate in his guilt.  At the Middlesex Sessions, July 12, 1813,
he was tried for an attempt on William Webster, but acquitted; from which
time, he has been considered _innocent_ by his misled followers.  But on
the 26th of September, 1816, he made an assault on Adam Foreman,
(apprentice to Mr. Patrick, potter, Vauxhall,) with an intent to commit a
vile act; for which attempt, by the laudable exertions of the lad’s
father, and Mr. Patrick, he was indicted at the Surrey Assizes, Croydon,
on Saturday, Aug. 16th, 1817, and found guilty; he will be brought up the
first day of next Term to receive judgement, in The Court of King’s
Bench.  Mr. Gurney undertook his cause with reluctance.

While the prosecution of Church was pending, one of the parish officers
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 on interrogating him, in the presence of Mrs. Church, and
a daughter of Church’s, by his first wife, (an interesting female, about
seventeen years of age;) he confessed he had been confined in Newgate one
year and a day, for an assault of an abominable nature, and was partly
supported there by Mr. Church; upon hearing which, Mrs. Church was so
much affected, that she was with difficulty prevented from throwing
herself out of the window of the room.  As soon, however as she had
somewhat recovered from this farther proof of the brutal propensity of
her husband, she expressed a wish that the circumstance should not be
made known; to which the officer acquiesced, on condition, that if a
verdict of guilty was found, he should then be at liberty to give it full

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

    DEAR SIR—I can scarcely write this note, my soul is too deeply
    pierced.  About eight or nine years ago Dr. Draper left the church in
    the Borough, and God opened Chapel-court for me, many attended and
    have been blest; now a singular providence, but a most distressing
    one, has occurred to take me shortly from my dear, dear family and
    beloved congregation.  But God has sent Mr. L—to preach the truth to
    my poor dispersed flock, at least so it appears to me, and I would do
    all the good to promote the success of Mr. L— that my poor people
    might _not_ be starved till I return to them in peace, which may be
    many months.  My heart is broken, my enemies have ruined me at last,
    and I shall never surmount it; an unpleasant affair happening at
    Vauxhall, is _added_ too, and I must take the consequences: no arm
    can help, relieve, or deliver, but the Lord’s, and I feel persuaded
    the Lord will _not_: judge my feelings if you can.  I shall secretly
    come and hear you, to get all the good I can to a heart deprest,
    disconsolate, and full of woe.  Oh, the joy of my enemies!  Oh, the
    distress of my friends!  Oh, my poor heart!  Let a sigh go up to God
    for me when you can.

                       Your’s, in the utmost distress,

                                                                     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, the minister, lodged at our house a year and a half, and
    left last year at Lady-day.

    “We were in hopes that we were about to have a godly praying minister
    in our house; and to be sure the first night he had somewhat like a
    prayer, and that once afterwards were the only times he ever went to
    family prayer in our house.  Nor could they have any prayer, as he
    would be frequently out almost all hours of the night, and would lie
    in bed till ten in the morning.  Several times he and his wife would
    have skirmishings and fightings between themselves, while the
    children would be left to run about the streets out of school hours,
    and allowed to keep company with children that would swear in our
    hearing most shockingly.  His children were always left to be very
    dirty, and would be sent sometimes three or four times in the morning
    for spirituous liquors of all sorts.  As for reading good books, or
    even the bible, he scarce ever thought of it, but would spend a deal
    of his time in loose and vain talk, in walking about, and fawning
    upon young men, that was his chief delight.

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

    “The house would be more frequently like a play-house (I might say a
    brothel) than a minister’s house, where a set of young people would
    come and behave more indecently than ought to be mentioned.  Even one
    Sunday morning they made such an uproar as that they broke one of the
    windows, then they would go with him to his chapel, and, after that,
    he would give the sacrament to such disorderly people, let there
    characters be ever so loose.

    “He was always ready to go fast enough out to dinner or supper where
    he could get good eating and drinking, but poor people might send to
    him from their sick bed times and times before he would come to them.
    Seeing so many inconsistences, and shocking filthiness in their
    rooms, (though they always paid their rent) we were determined to
    give them warning to quit our house, and we do not think that a worse
    man or woman ever came into any house before, especially as Mr.
    Church pretended to preach the gospel; such hypocrites are much worse
    than others, and, besides this, we never heard a man tell lies so
    fast in all our lives.  It is a great grief to us that we ever went
    to hear him preach, or suffered him to stop so long in our house.”

                                                   GEORGE AND FRANCES GEE.

It appears from the testimony of George Tarrier, and James Russell, of
Redcross-st.; and William Williams, of the Mint; that the _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 14th November, 1809.  This _pious_ minister and
his partizans returned to the Hat and Feathers, Gravel-lane, kept by a
Mr. Richardson, where the funeral set out from, to partake of a jovial
dinner.  His conduct here, it seems, was beyond description.

It is averred, that his wife, upon hearing the infamy of his conduct took
to drinking, to avoid reflection, which soon occasioned her death.  But,
within the last three months, since he has been charged with the above
detestable offence, in order (we presume under the mask of hypocrisy,) to
rescue, in some degree, his character from the public odium with which it
had been marked, he has been induced to marry a respectable woman, who
kept a seminary for young ladies at Hammersmith.  The verdict of ‘Guilty’
had been scarcely pronounced, when the relatives of the children, with
the greatest promptitude possible, took them all away from the said

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

From his own account, the profits arising from the Surrey Tabernacle was
from 1000_l._ to 1200_l._ annually.

The reader will perceive by the following whimsical poem, that his _old
friend_ and _colleague_, when he had safely ensnared him, left him to
extricate himself in the best manner he could.

Birds of a Feather.

   OLD LUCIFER came on earth 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.

   He 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 wits y’clep’d
      FIELDS, though no grass was 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.

   And there he beheld, with strait comb’d locks,
      And eyes with ardour filling,
   A KNAVE, who rock’d like one in 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 VILLAIN he 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’er meant
      Such place for _thee_ to chirp in!”

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

   “I’ll plumb his depth:” the devil 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 FIEND suggested, the sermon done,
      They should to a rendezvous,
   Where they might each have a taste of fun,
      With an Adonis or two.

   Now CHURCH who us’d from his infancy,
      In such things to be dabbling,
   Squeez’d the fiend’s fist, and wink’d his eye,
      And then cut short his gabbling.

   Away they went, as the DEV’L had said,
      Both arm in arm together,
   And up to the place of meeting sped,
      Like horses to their tether.

   And then the frolic and fun began,
      And heav’n look’d on with sorrow,
   And sigh’d that man should make beast of man
      As ’erst in vile Gomorrah!

   Now the DEV’L had set his net so well
      To catch the PIOUS GUDGEON,
   That into the MESH he promptly fell,
      Flound’ring in doleful DUDGEON.

   And then the DEVIL relax’d his claw,
      And left him melancholy,
   Within the clutches of Mister Law,
      To trounce him for his folly.

   Off flew the DEV’L to hell to prepare
   To fry the FLAT when he got him there,
      Whom he had just caught tripping.

   And now good people with one accord,
      Who us’d to hear him praying,
   Go get a new priest, and ask the Lord
      To keep the knave from straying.


                                * * * * *

                Kaygill, Printer, 36, Frith-Street, Soho.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Devil and Parson Church - or, Birds of a feather" ***

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