Several imprisonments, including that of George Fox at Derby in 1650-1651, were brought about under the Blasphemy Act of 1650, which inflicted penalties on any one who asserted himself to be very God or equal with God, a charge to which the Friends were peculiarly liable owing to their doctrine of perfection.
If he has no goods which may be seized, he may be summarily imprisoned for a term not exceeding 91 days: two imprisonments for the same debt are not permitted.
It would be here out of place to follow with any minuteness the details of his subsequent imprisonments, such as that at Carlisle in 1653; London 1654; Launceston 1656; Lancaster 1660, and again in 1663, whence he was taken to Scarborough in 1665; and Worcester 1673.
Calling himself now Captain Williams, now Lord Gerard or Lord Newport or Lord Cornwallis, he travelled from one part of Europe to another; he underwent imprisonments for crime, and became an expert in all kinds of duplicity.
The attempts to suppress these, the harsh measures taken against those who attended them or connived at them, or refused to give information against them, the military violence and the judicial severities, the confiscations, imprisonments, tortures, expatriations, all make up a dreadful narrative..