It would be a grave injustice -- especially in connection to what has been said of Western missionaries -- not to mention non-Orthodox Christians, both Chinese and Europeans, who suffered martyrdom in those days. About 30,000 Roman Catholics and 2,000 Protestants were killed; 134 of 2,500 Protestant missionaries lost their lives. As a tribute to their memory we are presenting here the eyewitness testimony of the events of July 9, 1900 at the Shansi Governor's Palace in Taiyuan, before a huge crowd of bystanders:
"The first to be led forth was Mr. Farthing (an English Baptist missionary). His wife clung to him, but he gently put her aside, and going in front of the soldiers knelt down without saying a word, and his head was struck off with one blow of the executioner's knife. He was quickly followed by Mr. Hoddle and Mr. Beynon, Drs. Lovitt and Wilson, each of whom was beheaded by one blow of the executioner's knife. Then the Governor, Yu Hsien, grew impatient and told his bodyguard, all of whom carried heavy swords with long handless, to help kill the others. Mr. Stokes, Mr. Simpson, and Mr. Whitehouse were next killed, the last by one blow, the other two by several.
"When the men were finished the ladies were taken. Mrs. Farthing had hold of the hands of her children who clung to her, but the soldiers parted them, and with one blow beheaded their mother. The executioner beheaded all the children and did it skillfully, needing only one blow, but the soldiers were clumsy, and some of the ladies suffered several cuts before death. Mrs. Lovitt was wearing her spectacles and held the hand of her little boy, even when she was killed. She spoke to the people, saying, We all came to China to bring you the good news of the salvation by Jesus Christ; we have done you no harm, only good. Why do you treat us so? A soldier took off her spectacles before beheading her.
"When the Protestants had been killed, the Roman Catholics were led forward. The Bishop, an old man with a long white beard, asked the Governor why he was doing this wicked deed. I did not hear the Governor give him any answer, but he drew his sword and cut the Bishop across the face with one heavy stroke; blood poured down his white beard and he was beheaded.
"The priests and nuns quickly followed him in death. Then Mr. Pigott and his party were led from the district jail which is close by. He was still handcuffed, and so was Mr. Robinson. He preached to the people to the very last, when he was beheaded with one blow. Mr. Robinson suffered death very calmly. Mrs. Pigott held the hand of her son, even when she was beheaded, and he was killed immediately after her. The ladies and two girls were also killed.
"On that day forty five foreigners were beheaded in all, thirty three Protestants and twelve Roman Catholics. A number of the native Christians were also quickly killed. The bodies of all were left where they fell till the next morning, as it was evening before the work was finished. During the night they were stripped of their clothing, rings and watches. The next day they were removed to a place inside the great South Gate, except some of the heads which were placed in cages on the city wall. All were surprised at the firmness and quietness of the foreigners, none of whom, except two or three of the children cried or made any noise."