William Penn… saw her lay the straw about her for a speedy burning
October 23, 1685 – Elizabeth Gaunt was executed at Tyburn, near London. She was associated in English history with what was called the Rye-house Plot. Many were executed for participating in a non-existent “plot” to assassinate King Charles II. However, there was never any evidence presented against them in court. Elizabeth Gaunt, a godly Baptist woman who lived in London, spent a great part of her life doing acts of charity, visiting jails, and looking after the poor, etc. But her compassion became her undoing. An accused rebel was looking for refuge from his pursuers. Elizabeth thinking that he was escaping from religious persecution took him in while she looked for a way to get him out of the kingdom. In order to save his own life, he turned Elizabeth in to the authorities, because though it’s hard to believe, the king would rather prosecute dissenters than traitors. Elizabeth was tried and condemned for harboring a criminal. Even though she thought she was harboring a nonconformist and in the eye of the law innocent the judge refused to allow her witnesses to testify and instructed the jury to find her guilty. Elizabeth was condemned and burned, as the law directed in the case of women guilty of treason. She died with a steadfastness and cheerfulness that amazed all who saw it. William Penn, the Quaker, saw her lay the straw about her for a speedy burning, and saw the spectators moved with tears. She left a short note, in part it said: “Neither do I find in my heart the least regret at anything I have done in the service of my Lord and Master…”
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 439-41.