JOHN BASTWICK (1593-1654), English physician and religious zealot, was born at Writtle, in Essex, in 1593, and after a brief education at Cambridge, wandered on the continent and graduated in medicine at Padua. On his return he settled in Colchester. His celebrity rests on his strong opposition to the Roman Catholic ceremonial. About 163 3 he printed in Holland two Latin treatises, entitled Elenchus Religionis Papisticae, and Flagellum Pontificis et Episcoporum Latialium; and as Laud and other English prelates thought themselves aimed at, he was fined 1000 in the court of high commission, excommunicated and prohibited from practising physic, while his books were ordered to be burnt and the author himself consigned to prison. Instead of recanting, however, he wrote Apologeticus ad Praesules Anglicanos, and another hook called The Litany, in which he exclaimed vehemently against the proceedings of the court, and charged the bishops with being the enemies of God and "the tail of the beast." William Prynne and Henry Burton coming under the lash of the star-chamber court at the same time, they were all censured as turbulent and seditious persons, and condemned to pay a fine of 5000 each, to be set in the pillory, to lose their ears, and to undergo imprisonment for life in remote parts of the kingdom, Bastwick being sent to Scilly. The parliament in 1640 reversed these proceedings, and ordered Bastwick a reparation of £5000 out of the estates of the commissioners and lords who had sentenced him. He joined the parliamentary army, but in later years showed bitter opposition to the Independents. He died in the latter part of 1654.
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