A year after his first failed attempt to escape from Gateshead Asylum, he escaped again, in June 1821, this time successfully. Eventually, on a dark night, Jonathan reached Codlaw Hall, an isolated house eighteen miles from the asylum, near Hexham, which was the home of one Edward Kell, a distant relation on his mother’s side. Taking a hammer and chisel, Kell released Jonathan from “the degrading emblem of slavery”…
Again the devil thought to shut me in,
But with a sandy stone, I cut my iron chain;
With locks and bolts and bars of every kind
Fain would the devil had me all my life confined.
But by the help of God, by faith and prayer,
The devil loosed his hold, and I did break his snare.
Through the lofty garret I thrust and tore my way,
Through dust and laths and tiles into the open day.
But yet more dangers still beset me round,
Till, by God’s help, I landed on the ground.
Then, with a thankful heart, I praised the God I’d found,
And cried, “Sleep on, ye sleepers, sleep both safe and sound,
Till I escape from your enchanted ground.
These three long years now almost gone and past,
My God has saved me from your hands at last;
Therefore to Him will I give all the praise,
And thank and bless His Holy Name always.
“Having got safely away, I took into the cornfields; the voice of the nightingale seeming to reprove me. I was rejoicing that the God in whom I trusted, had brought me out of the house of bondage, and set both soul and body at liberty. I cannot describe my sensations, on again finding myself at large in the world, and in hopes of seeing my dear friends again and finding my dream fulfilled, to convince myself and others, that it was indeed the Lord’s work; and that I would be no more left in the power of mine enemies, who hunted my soul like a partridge on the mountains.”
(Lyrics & Words: Jonathan Martin / Music: Gary Miller)
from Mad Martins,
releases March 31, 2017
Gary Miller - Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Iain Petrie - Acoustic Guitar, Harpsichord, Organ, Bass Guitar, Percussion, Backing Vocals
Mick Tyas - Backing Vocals
The Lick Spittals - Horns
'Mad Martins' is a unique project by poet Keith Armstrong and songwriter Gary Miller featuring original songs, poetry and
spoken word narration depicting the extraordinary life and times of the notorious Martin brothers, William, Jonathan and John, who were born in the late Eighteenth Century in the South Tyne area of Northumberland....more