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CONTINUATION OF BOOK 11; f1 Wherein Is Discoursed The Bloody Murdering Of God’s Saints, With The Particular Processes And Names Of Such Good Martyrs, Both Men And Women, As In This Time Of Queen Mary. Were Put To Death THE HISTORY OF DR. ROBERT FERRAR, BISHOP OF ST. DAVID’S IN WALES, WHO MOST CONSTANTLY GAVE HIS LIFE FOR THE TESTIMONY OF THE TRUTH, MARCH 30TH, A.D. 1555.
David’s in Wales, called Robert Ferrar, who was the next bishop in this catalogue of christian martyrs, that suffered after master Hooper. This aforesaid Ferrar, by the favor and good will of the lord protector, was first called and promoted to that dignity. This man I may well call twice a martyr, not only for the cruel death of the fire, which he suffered most constantly in the days of queen Mary, unto the shedding of his blood, but also for divers other injuries and molestations in king Edward’s time, which he no less firmly than unworthily sustained at the hands of his enemies, after the fall of the duke of Somerset. Of these his vexations and troubles, with the wrangling articles and informations laid against him, to the number of fifty-six, and of the malice conceived against him by certain covetous canons of the church of Caermarthen, and what were the proceedings of both parts, as well a1 of the innocent, as of the crafty adversaries, and what were their names, in their articles against him in order here followeth.
THE PRINCIPAL ARTICLES AGAINST BISHOP FERRAR. f2 George Constantine; David Walter his servant; Thomas Young, chanter of the cathedral church, who was afterward archbishop of York; Rowland Meyrike doctor of law, who was afterward bishop of Bangor; Thomas Lee, and Hugh Rawlins, etc.
Through the procurement and instance of these his adversaries, joining and confederating together, one Hugh Rawlins priest, and Thomas Lee, brother-in-law to the said George Constantine, did exhibit to the king’s most honorable council certain articles and informations, conceived and devised by the persons before named, to the intent to blemish the bishop’s credit, and utterly (as they thought and made their boast) to pull him from his bishopric, and to bring him in a praemunire. The copy of which articles we thought here good to express, and so after them to set his answers to the same.
ARTICLES AND INFORMATIONS TO THE KING’S HONOURABLE COUNCIL, Put up and exhibited by Hugh Rawlins and Thomas Lee, against the blessed man of God, Master Ferrar, Bishop of St. David’s. Abuse of the Authority to him committed.
Imprimis , When the said bishop first came to his diocese, he appointed his chancellor by his letters of commission, omitting the king’s majesty’s style and authority, and grounding his said commission upon foreign usurped laws and authority; by force of which authority his said chancellor did visit certain deaneries of his said diocese, and monished the chanter and chapter of the cathedral church of St. David’s aforesaid, against a certain day and place, for like intent and purpose, contrary to the king’s highness’s laws and statutes, and in derogation of his highness’s supremacy. 2. Item, That the said chanter and chapter, perceiving the faults of the said commission, took the same from the registry into their custody, refusing to appear by virtue thereof, and, by secret and charitable ways and means, did admonish the said bishop of the unlawfulness and faults of the said commission, and of the danger that he had incurred for granting and executing the same; opening also unto him the effect of the statute made in the twenty-eighth year of our late sovereign lord Henry the Eighth. Which monitions notwithstanding, the said bishop neglecting the same, and continuing in his malicious doing or inexcusable ignorance, about the 20th day of August, in the fourth year of the reign of our sovereign lord that now is, did confer unto one John Evans the vicarage of Pen Brynn, instituting him by authority of the old foreign usurped law, making no mention of the king’s highness’s authority, in contempt and derogation of the same. 3. Item, Whereas the chancellor and vicar-general to the said bishop, did, upon a lawful title, and by the king’s highness’s supreme authority, admit and institute one John Gough into the rectory of Haysguard with the appurtenances, and gave out in the king’s name under his highness’s seal ecclesiastical appointed for that office, with the “teste” of the said bishop, and subscription of the said chancellor, a mandate to induct accordingly; by virtue whereof the said John Gough was inducted by the official there, into the real possession of the same rectory, with the rights and appurtenances to the same belonging; whereupon the registrar of the said diocese, at the request of the foresaid chancellor, did signify the premises, with all the circumstances, before divers persons to the forenamed Bishop: who, notwithstanding, did institute and cause to be inducted one Harry Goddard unto the same parsonage, making no mention of the king’s majesty’s authority or supremacy; in contempt and derogation of the same his highness’s crown and dignity, and in extolling the foreign usurped authority, contrary to the form of the statute, etc. 4. Item, The said bishop, immediately after the unlawful institution and induction of Goddard aforesaid, molested the said John Gough, lawfully instituted and inducted as before, citing him from place to place, objecting no matter unto him of long season, till at length he articled. Among which articles was contained, “Item, interrogatur quo titulo tenet rectoriam de Haysguard:” so taking upon him the cognition of the title of the whole fruits and patronage, in contempt of the king’s highness’s regal crown and dignity, and in derogation of the laws and statutes of this realm. 5. Item, He hath commonly made his collations and institutions, as he did his first commission, in his own name and authority, without expressing the king’s supremacy. 6. Item, He made under his seal one collation, two institutions, and three mandates to induct, in one vacation of one benefice, three several persons, without order of law, or revocation of any of them, giving to every one like authority, title, and right. Whereby, except good foresight, as well of justices of the peace as of the friends, had not been, there had ensued much inconvenience amongst the partakers of the intituled incumbents in that behalf. 7. Item, the said bishop, decreeing “caveats” to be made in benefices, thereby knowing the titles litigious, instituteth and causeth to be inducted without trial of any title or due order of law. 8. Item, He directeth his mandates of induction unto private men, and not to the archdeacons nor their officials; contrary to the law and custom used in that behalf: notwithstanding he hath been counseled to the contrary, of men that be learned. 9. Item, Having no manner of knowledge or practice in the law, he sitteth every day in harvest, and other times, upon causes, without assistance of learned in the law, having with him only an unlearned boy, which is no notary, to his scribe; neither observing the law, nor yet reasonable order. And therefore doth no good, but trifleth the time, as may appear by his acts, if he have them to be showed. 10. Item, He, and his officers by his knowledge, useth to dispense with marriages, to be solemnized without banns; contrary to the laws and ordinance in that behalf. 11. Item, Whereas one Thomas Prichard , a3 a chaplain of his, solemnized matrimony in a private house without banns, and that betwixt a priest, and a sister of her that was appointed to be married with the said priest that day (he also being a parson, and leaving his cure unserved that day, being Sunday) notwithstanding that one of the king’s council in the Marches of Wales informed the said bishop of the same misdemeanors, requiring due reformation thereof, he hath done nothing therein but put the same chaplain in office, and made him his commissary-general since that time, bearing a special favor to the rest of the offenders. 12. Item, Whereas one Meredith ap Thomas, his household servant, was accused of one Sage Hughes, to have been father of her child; the said bishop, without purgation of his servant, caused him to sue the parents of the said Sage of infamy, first in his principal consistory, and from thence before a commissary of his, being his household chaplain, and at the last took the matter before himself, so railing against all his officers, because they proceeded not after his partial affection, and against the law, that honest men of Caermar-then, where he then sat upon the cause, judged him to be, or at the least to have been, distract of his wit, and by this partial handling, the cause remaineth unfinished, and the child without father. 13. Item, Whereas one Jenkin Ph a4 * * * accused William Chambers, a servant of the bishop’s that found this William in adulterous manner with his wife, by reason whereof the bishop expelled the wife out of his house, the said infamy not purged, the parties have been both again in the bishop’s house and service since that time, to the evil example of others. 14. Item, By his unlawful sequestration of the fruits of the benefices of Llangattwg, and Llanfihangel, by the indiscreet handling of the same, there were raised the number of four hundred people or more, which bickered sundry times together, to the great danger of the inhabitants thereabout, had it not been pacified by the discreet means of sir Roger Vaughan, knight. 15. Item, By his like unlawful collation of the prebend of Llan Bister to one Stephen Greene, a chaplain of his, by covenant and promise to maintain the suit, by whose crafty and indiscreet handling of the same, there was raised in the county of Radnor, the 19th day of August last past, about three or four hundred men, to like danger, but that the matter was stayed by John Bradshaw, Rice ap Glin, and Stephen ap Rice, justices of the same county; who, with great danger to themselves and theirs, pacified the matter, committing a hundred of the offenders to ward. 16. Item, Such as he oweth displeasure unto, he citeth from place to place, and day to day, only for their vexation, laying no matter against them; and being divers times required the copy of his proceedings against them, to the intent they might answer accordingly, and be at their lawful defense; he denied to all such persons the copies of his proceedings. 17. Item, He and his officers wink at the manifest and open crimes of his fautors and adherents, to the evil example of the whole diocese, and abuse the censures of excommunication and suspension, making it an instrument of revenging, against such as they do not favor. 18. Item, Having received payment of the king’s majesty’s subsidy, due in October, the fourth year of his grace’s reign, of the aforesaid chanter of the cathedral church of St. David’s, and Rowland Meyrike, two of the residentiaries there, before Christmas last, he, unjustly, of a prepensed mind and purpose, afterward certified them for recusants; to their undoing, if they had not been admonished of his cruel purpose, and provided lawful defense for the same. 19. Item, The said bishop, celebrating matrimony in his own person, dispensed, contrary to the book of ordinance, with the parties married, for not receiving the holy communion; the parties both being young and lusty persons, having no reasonable cause wherefore they should abstain. At which celebration the bishop communicated not himself: and further, the communion was celebrated by a chaplain of his, with superstitious blowings, kneelings, and knockings, both of the chaplain that ministered, and of all the company, only one other priest communicating for the manner. Maintenance of Superstition contrary to the King’s Ordinance and Injunctions. 20. Item, Whereas the official of the archdeacon of Caermarthen, in his visitation within Caermarthen, found, contrary unto the said ordinance, an altar set up in the body of the church, for celebration of the communion, and caused the said altar to be taken away, and a table to be set in the middle of the church; the bishop, after the same, commanded the vicar of Caermarthen to set the table without the chancel again, for the ministration of the communion. 21. Item, He, being often in Caermarthen and other places, in the chancel, at the time of holy communion, not only tarried there himself, neither communicating nor ministering, bareheaded and uncoiffed, reverently kneeling; but also permitteth the people there to continue, the chancel and choir full, kneeling and knocking their breasts: which manner is yet used in all the diocese, without any reformation or gainsay of him or any of his officers. 22. Item, Whereas superstitious praying upon beads is not only ungodly, but reproved in the king’s majesty’s Injunctions; the said bishop, meeting many with beads in their hands, never rebuked any of them. 23. Item, The said bishop, being in the pulpit, and seeing corpses there within the church, with a great number of lights upon them, never spoke against any of them. 24. Item, Whereas the ordinance willeth, that no children be baptized but upon the Sunday or holy day (only cause of necessity excepted), he, having two children himself born without danger, caused one of them to be baptized on the work-day; and, by his example, without any contradiction or motion of reformation, it is used, as it hath been customed, in all the diocese commonly, contrary unto the book of ordinance in that behalf. Covetousness. 25. Item, From his first coming into the diocese, he hath had, and yet hath, his only study, labor, and practice, to survey land, and to look for mines, etc. neglecting his own bounden duty to apply his book and preaching. 26. Item, He keepeth no manner hospitality, but hath his servants’ table in one parlor with him, lest any stranger should approach his servants, being at their meat. 27. Item, He is commonly talking, not of any godliness, but of worldly matters; as baking, brewing, enclosing, ploughing, mining, of mill-stones, discharging of tenants, and such like, not only at his table, but also most commonly at other places. 28. Item, He hath warned divers tenants out of their lands, which they and their elders have enjoyed for their rents these hundred years and more, and occupied with tillage; which, he saith, he will enclose; and being sued to of poor men because of quietness, he answered, “The crows shall eat the corn, rather than ye shall have any profit thereof.” 29. Item, When the vicars choral of St. David’s, for relief of their hospitality, had an island of his called the Bishop’s Isle, for forty shillings rent; he hath set it to a chaplain of his for five pound by year.
And whereas, at the suit of the said vicars, it was granted by the bishop, in the whole chapter, that the vicars should have it for [certain] years at forty shillings rent, and pay twenty pounds entry; he now, covetously, and against his promise openly made, denieth the same, except the vicars would give fifty pounds. 30. Item, He caused the curate of St. David’s to warn their tenants out of their said lands, in the pulpit, to the great offense of the people, which were wont to have Godword preached there; and so they said to the curate at that time. 31. Item, To the ploughing of a pasture not above ten days’ work, in Lent,. anno1549, he had thirty-two ploughs in one day; and those ploughs the priest bade in the church, contrary to the statute of Gomortha a5 in that behalf provided, and to the evil example of gentlemen in that country. 32. Item, Whereat the king’s majesty of godly remembrance, Henry the Eighth, appointed at Brecknock a schoolmaster, usher, reader of divinity, a minister, and certain scholars, and for the maintenance thereof appointed sixty and twelve pounds a6 of the pensions and revenues of Brecknock; the bishop, finding it so furnished, hath. neither reader, nor minister there, covetously converting their stipends to his own use. 33. Item, The bishop was twice in one day presented in the great court, holden in the town of Caermarthen, for enclosing and covetous encroaching of the king’s highway. 34. Item, He covetously occupieth purchasing of lands, buying of cattle, merchandise, and other things; being indebted a notable sum to the king’s majesty, as may by his accounts in the court of Tenths and First Fruits appear. 35. Item, Whereas one Lewis John Thomas Boole, putting from him his lawful wedded wife, upon Christmas Even last past, without banns had marriage solemnized with a concubine of his, in a church within three miles of the bishop’s abode at that time; the bishop, since knowing the premises, hath not only, of a covetous mind, entered familiarity with the said Lewis, and bought a piece of land of him, but also ever since hath (to have his lands good cheap) left both the parties and priest unpunished; using him so familiarly, that whereas a sumner cited the parties to appear among other criminals for the same fact, the bishop commanded the said sumner to let him alone; and so they all remain unpunished. 36. Item, Whereas the whole chapter of St. David’s (as it was thought) was in assured amity with the bishop, they all being, his officers or chaplains, he procured them to be impleaded with a writ of “Quo warranto” in the King’s Bench, keeping the writ with him secretly, at the least three months; not delivering it, but only ten days before the day of their appearance, the parties being seven days’ journey distant from London. 37. Item, He is a willful wrong doer, and troubler of men in their rights, entering upon their lawful possessions; stirring thereby much contention, and so notably known, to the offense of the country. Willful Negligence. 38. Item, Whereas the bishop aforesaid was appointed in August, anno 1547, and consecrated in September following, he never came into the diocese himself, nor sent or appointed any officer there before the month of April, anno 1548; to the great disorder of the king’s majesty’s subjects, lack of reformation, and ministration of justice. 39. Item, During his visitation, the said bishop did not endeavor himself to see reformation, but rode surveying of lands, appointing vain inclosures, and such other things; which are no part of the office to him committed, nor yet convenient, namely at that time. 40. Item, The visitation finished, he neither appointed his officers to examine the clergy of the places of Scripture to them appointed to be studied in the same visitation, nor hath hitherto effectually gone about any godly reformation, according to the ordinances of this realm. 41. Item, The bishop, since his coming to the diocese, never ministered the communion, saving only at two times, that he ordered certain deacons; but in every thing (but that he otherwhiles preacheth excepted) ordereth himself like no minister, nor man of his vocation. 42. Item, He hath so alienated himself from study, that he preacheth indiscreetly, discrediting the office; not only untruly reporting the Scriptures, but also, preaching the ten commandments, in one place in declaration of the eighth of them, for lack of stuff, the pith of his matter was matrimony of priests. 43. Item, the 13th day of September last, he ordained certain deacons, and making his exhortation, he taught that a man was not bound to forgive, but him that asketh forgiveness; and being admonished friendly by a letter better to declare the same, because that divers were offended with that doctrine, he hath hitherto deferred so to do, to the maintenance of malicious hearts in these parts. 44. Item, Since the first day of August, anno 1549, unto the feast of Candlemas last, he hath preached but two or three sermons, of which one was preached at Abet Gwili, upon St. Stephen’s day last, to a great audience that understood no English, being but a mile from Caermarthen, an English town, and the chief of his diocese. 45. Item, Since his ordinary visitation, which was finished in July, anno 1548, he hath neither preached, nor caused to be preached in the towns of Tenby, Pembroke, nor Haverford, being English towns, not much distant from the place of his most continuance. 46. Item, The churches appropriate to the bishop have no Paraphrases in English, and few of them Bibles. 47. Item, The churches of the diocese for the most part, and the clergy almost every one, lack Paraphrases, notwithstanding there have been, these two years, and yet be, a great number of them to be sold in the diocese. Folly. 48. Item, To declare his folly in riding: he useth bridle with white studs and snaffle, white Scottish stirrups, white spurs, a Scottish pad with a little staff of three quarters long, which he hath not only used superstitiously these four or five years, but in communication oftentimes boasted, what countries he hath compassed and measured with the same staff. 49. Item, He hath made a vow, that he will never wear a cap; for he saith, it is comely, wearing of a hat, and so cometh in his long gown and hat, both into the cathedral church, and to the best town of his diocese, sitting in that sort in the king’s great sessions, and in his consistory; making himself a mock to the people. 50. Item, He said that he would go to the parliament on foot: and to his friends that dissuaded him, alleging that it is not meet for a man in his place, he answered, “I care not for that, it is no sin.” 51. Item, Having a son, he went before the midwife to the church, presenting the child to the priest, and giving his name Samuel, with a solemn interpretation of the name; appointing also two godfathers and two godmothers, contrary to the ordinance: making his son a monster, and himself a laughing-stock throughout all the country,52. Item, He daily useth whistling of his child; and saith that he understood his whistle, when he was but three days old. And being advertised of his friends, that men laughed at his folly, he answered, “They whistle their horses and dogs, and I am contented; they might also be contented that I whistle my child:” and so whistleth him daily, all friendly admonition neglected. 53. Item, In his ordinary visitation, among other his surveys he surveyed Milford Haven, where he espied a seal-fish tumbling. And he crept down the rocks to the water-side, and continued there whistling by the space of an hour persuading the company that laughed fast at him, that by his whistling he made the fish to tarry there. 54. Item, Speaking of scarcity of herrings, he laid the fault to the covetousness of fishers, who in time of plenty took so many, that they destroyed the breeders. 55. Item, Speaking of the alteration of the coin, he wished that what metal soever it were made of, the penny should be in weight worth a penny of the same metal. 56. For a conclusion, the said bishop in all his doings since he came to his diocese, hath behaved himself most unmeet for a man of his vocation, being for a minister of justice, an abuser of the authority to him committed; for a teacher of the truth, and reformer of superstition, a maintainer of superstition without any doctrine of reformation; for a liberal and hospitable, an unsatiable covetous man; for a diligent overseer, willful and negligent; for an example of godly wisdom, given wholly to folly; for merciful, a cruel revenger: and further, for a peacemaker, a sower of discord. And so, in all his behavior, a discrediter and slanderer of his vocation, and a deceiver of all men that had hope that he should do any reformation. For he yet hath neither brought into his diocese, nor hath belonging unto him, any learned preacher. But such learned preachers as he found in the diocese at his entry he so vexeth and disquieteth, that they cannot attend to apply their preaching, for the defense of their livings, against his quarrelous inventions and unjust certificates.
After these wrangling articles and informations were given up, then was the bishop called for to answer; the hearing whereof was committed unto Dr. Wotton and sir John Mason, knight, who likewise received the bishop’s answers to the foresaid articles, the copy and effect of which answers hereafter follow.
THE ANSWER OF ROBERT, BISHOP OF ST. DAVID’S, TO THE ARTICLES MINISTERED UNTO HIM.
To the first article he saith, that after lawful monition in the king’s majesty’s name and authority, from the said bishop (being then at London), given to the chanter and chapter of St. David’s, for visitation at a certain day there to be entered; the said bishop himself, for such purpose coming into the diocese, knowing also that the chanter, and one of the canons of that church, and, late before, commissaries in that diocese, had not only by their own evil example and winking at the faults of others, or neglecting to correct the same, left there, among priests and others, much detestable whoredom; but had also spoiled the cathedral-church of crosses, chalices, and censers, with other plate, jewels, and ornaments of the church, to the value of five hundred marks or more, for their own private lucre (the church remaining even yet very vile and in great decay); and had also made further under their chapter-seal many blanks, to the number of twelve or more, sede vacante, without the king’s license or knowledge: therefore he brought with him one Edmund Farlee, bachelor of law, by Dr. Tonge and Dr. Nevison to him commended, as a man sufficient in faithful truth and learning, to be his chancellor; to whom he granted and sealed a commission for that purpose, giving credit to him in his faculty, concerning the draft and form thereof: but the king’s majesty’s style of supremacy was fully set forth in the same commission. Whether there were any default of formal words in setting forth of the king’s authority therein, he is not certain; for he committed the doing thereof to his chancellor, who was commended to him for a learned man. And the bishop saith, that he did never ground the commission upon any foreign usurped laws or authority; neither did his said chancellor, by force of such authority, visit any deanery of the said diocese, nor give any monition to the chanter and chapter there, by force of that commission, for any like intent or purpose; but only offered, in the king’s majesty’s name and authority (to the said bishop committed), to enter visitation of the chanter and chapter of the cathedral-church, at another day to be executed by the bishop himself, for reformation of the chapter-church and ministers there, according to the king’s gracious ordinances and injunctions in that behalf. But the aforesaid chanter and canon of the church, before the sight of any commission, stubbornly answered the said chancellor, that they would not receive him, nor any other to visit them, except he were one of their chapter. And further, desiring to see his commission, he delivered the same into their hands, who would not deliver it him again. And so it may appear that he did nothing by force of that commission.
Nevertheless he, not knowing any default in the said commission, and certainly minding with all diligence the faithful execution of his office of preaching, and visiting the whole diocese in his own person, by the king’s majesty’s authority, for the conservation of God’s peace and the king’s, in that dangerous time of rebellion, then beginning to arise in other places, did neglect and lay apart the stubborn behavior and ungodly doings of the said chanter and canon, and agreed with them, omitting all contempts and reproaches toward him and his said chancellor, and all manner of contention by them done; fearing else that, through their unquietness, some tumult might have risen among the people there; and did also make the said chanter his chancellor, and canon his commissary, according to their ambitious desires, to appease their malice in that dangerous time. And further, he saith, that he made collation to sir John Evans of the vicarage of Pembrin (what day or time he remembereth not), not by any old foreign usurped authority, but by the king’s authority only, making full mention of the king’s style and authority in the same collation.
To the 3rd and 4th he saith, that whereas he had granted to George Constantine the office of a registrar, who brought unto him a commission for the chancellorship, to be sealed and delivered to the foresaid chanter of St. David’s, desiring the said bishop to seal it, he utterly refused so to do, because the said George had put therein a clause of admitting clerks into benefices: the which authority the said bishop would not in any wise grant, reserving the examination and admission of clerks only to himself, for the avoiding of wicked bribery and partiality. Whereupon the said George, and the chanter, promised the said bishop by their faith and truth, before three or four honest witnesses, not to execute that clause of institution into benefices, but only to those clerks whom the bishop did first examine and admit, and send unto them to be instituted and inducted; upon which promise the bishop sealed the said commission. And after that time, the parsonage of Haysguard being void, and, by the reason of lapse, devolving to the bishop’s gift for that time, he conferred it to one sir Henry Goddard, with a collation of institution by the king’s authority, not extolling any foreign usurped authority. In the which collation or institution is fully mentioned the renunciation of the bishop of Rome, and all foreign powers and authority, with the full style of his majesty’s supremacy. And this collation of the church of Haysguard he gave, before he understood or knew that his chancellor had given out the like; and he surely thinketh his collation was the first. That notwithstanding the said George Constantine, and the said chanter, having a vowson determined by reason of lapse, admitted and instituted one John Gough, to the said parsonage of Haysguard, by virtue of their expired vowson, and sealed his institution with a wrong seal (because they had not the right seal of office to that purpose), contrary to their former earnest promise and the bishop’s right, and without any manner of warning or foreknowledge thereof to him given; which thing by them untruly done, the said George Constantine nevertheless came to the said bishop’s house and there did write with his own hand the letters of induction for the said sir Henry Goddard priest, comprising in the same the whole sum of the institution or collation which the said bishop had made; and the same George did seal the said letters of induction with his own hand, finding no manner of fault therein, nor making any word or mention of his and the chanter’s former wrong doings, but so departed for that time. And afterward he came again, and showed the bishop what they had done before, concerning the parsonage aforesaid. And further, the said defendant saith, that he did not molest the said John Gough, but lawfully did call him in the king’s majesty’s name, not for any title of patronage, but to know whether he were parson of Haysguard, and how he was thereto admitted and instituted and inducted, and by what authority he presumed to preach there without the king’s majesty’s license; with other like lawful demands: whereunto he sturdily refused to give answer; and saith, that the article contained in his accusation, saying thus: “Item interrogetur quo titulo tenet rectoriam de Haysguard,” was not ministered unto the party in that sort, so far as he knoweth, but in these words or like, “Quomodo intravit in rectoriam,” etc.
To the 5th he saith, that albeit George Constantine the registrar, did willfully withdraw his bounden service due to the king’s highness and to the said defendant in the king’s name, refusing to attend either by himself, or his sufficient deputy, for writing of records and other instruments, yet the said defendant made his collations and institutions in his own name, not by his own authority, nor by any others, save only the king’s authority; according as he hath declared in his answer to the first article; expressing in them the king’s supremacy with the bishop’s own name and seal of office, as he ought to do, according to the provision of the king’s statute in such a case.
To the 6th he saith, that the vicarage of Pen Brynn being void, he, as right patron thereof to his knowledge, conferred it to John Evans clerk, with letters of institution and induction; and after, when the king’s presentation came to him for one David Jenkin, clerk, he desired fourteen days’ respite at that time, either to show ancient record for his right, and then the matter to stand to the determination of the law, or else if he showed not, both he and his clerk to give place to the king’s clerk; which condition was, by sir Thomas Jones knight, Dr. Meyrike, and the said David Jenkin, received, and an institution with an induction was made conditionally, to be put into the hands of sir Thomas Jones knight, for safe custody of the king’s clerk’s behoof, after the fourteen days to be executed at the hands of the said defendant, if he failed to show. Within which time the said defendant did show an old ancient record, declaring the full right of patronage on the said defendant’s behalf; and so that institution and induction was never by the said defendant put in execution. Nevertheless, the said David Jenkin (contrary to his promise and oath, giving thereupon his right hand to the said sir Thomas Jones knight) took advantage by the said writing, without knowledge of the said defendant. After which time the lord chancellor, by his letters written to the said defendant, advertised him to admit one John ap Powell clerk, presented by virtue of a vowson which the lord chancellor judged to be good; and so to be admitted, notwithstanding his former presentation, whereby he would not abar the other man’s right.
And so this defendant made one collation, two institutions, and three mandates, doing no wrong thereby, to his knowledge. And further he saith, that there was no business nor unquietness about the possession of the said vicarage; but this defendant, giving place, was content to lose his right for that time.
To the 7th he saith, that as he now remembereth, he never decreed any caveats to be made in benefices, neither did institute or cause to be inducted any into benefices, being known to him litigious.
To the 8th he saith, that because the archdeacons be absent from their offices, and have not had faithful diligent officials, he hath directed his mandates to them or their officials, or to other lawful persons in that behalf, so far as he knoweth.
The 9th and 10th articles he denieth as very untrue.
To the 11th he saith, that whereas sir Thomas Jones knight, advertised him, that Thomas Prichard had celebrated matrimony in a private house, betwixt a certain priest and a woman whose sister had refused the same, the said Prichard leaving his own cure unserved on that Sunday, this defendant did put the same Thomas Prichard to penance for so doing, marrying them without banns.
And the said defendant did never favor nor bear with any man wittingly in his wrong doings, lie confesseth that the matrimony was solemnized in a private church, and that the cure was that day unserved.
To the 12th he saith, that it is slanderous, and utterly untrue. And that one sir John Hughes, priest, made Sage Hughes (daughter to his stepmother) a harlot at eleven years a7 of age, and after married her openly to another man, being minister thereof himself.
After which doing he took her away from her husband again, and kept her, alleging a former contract. And when the said John Hughes was lawfully convicted before the said bishop, in open court at Caermarthen, of that his abominable adultery, claiming the king’s pardon thereof, yet the said Sage confessed, that he had to do with her the night before that day of appearance. Which latter crime he denied: nevertheless she proved with child, affirming, both before the birth and after, the child to be his; the midwife and others being witnesses thereof. Yet notwithstanding, George Constantine, as a wicked bolsterer of the said priest in his naughty doings, with the help of the aforesaid chanter, first uttered that Meredith Thomas was father of the said child: which matter was ordered in the ecclesiastical court according to justice, without any partial affection of the said bishop, or of any other, to his knowledge.
To the 13th he saith, it is utterly false so far as he knoweth.
To the 14th he saith, that by lawful sequestration in the king’s majesty’s name, he committed the custody of the fruits of Llangattwg and Lanfihangel to two honest men, for the behoof of the king’s first fruits and tenths, and of the next incumbent; and further, he did not meddle nor minister any cause of unquietness in that behalf.
To the 15th he saith, that he made a collation, lawful (as he supposeth) of the prebend of Llan Bister, to Stephen Green his chaplain, without any covin or color ; a8 and further he did not meddle in that behalf.
To the 16th he saith, all is untrue as far as he knoweth.
To the 17th he saith, it is untrue for his own part; and for his officers, as far as he knoweth.
To the 18th he saith, it is untrue as far as he knoweth, and that he did certify the recusants justly, as he thinketh, because they refused willfully to pay the king’s whole subsidy of their whole dividends, as it standeth in the king’s book, pertaining to the canons resident.
To the 19th he saith, that after travel of fourteen miles, being not able fasting to celebrate the communion, in a chapel within the house of sir Thomas Jones knight, one of the king’s majesty’s honorable council of the Marches of Wales, this defendant celebrated matrimony without receiving the communion for the causes abovesaid, betwixt master Griffith Rice, and the daughter of the said sir Thomas Jones, according to the king’s ordinances. And Thomas Prichard priest, administered the holy communion there without any superstition, to this defendant’s knowledge; and the married persons not disposed to receive the holy communion, he could not compel them against their consciences; and saith, that he did not dispense with them, as it is contained in the article. To the slanderous and untrue title of Maintenance of Superstition, etc., he saith, that he did not maintain any superstition, contrary to the king’s ordinances and injunctions; but, abhorring in his heart all superstition, hath travailed and doth travail to abolish the same by true doctrine and doing, as much as he can, with the king’s peace, among his people there.
To the 20th he saith, that George Constantine, in the third year of the king’s majesty’s reign, not regarding the dangerous time of rebellion in other places, rashly caused to be pulled down, without any authority known to this defendant, the communion altar in Caermarthen church, by his own presumptuous mind, appointing the use thereof in another pike of the church, not without grudge of the people. Wherefore the bishop, fearing tumult, commanded the vicar to set up the communion table (for the time) near to the place where it was before.
To the 21st he saith, that he hath been divers times in the choir of Caermarthen, and hath tarried there in the communion-time, not communicating himself; and that in every church where he cometh on the holy-day to preach, or to pray, he kneeleth in the choir, bareheaded, as well at matins before the communion, as at evensong after, without any superstition: he thinketh it not necessary for the communion’s sake to leave kneeling to Christ. But he hath diligently taught the people not to kneel nor knock to the visible show, or external show of the sacrament. And the choirs of Caermarthen and other there, are not close at the sides, so that the people may come in and forth at their pleasure. Moreover, the king’s ordinances do not authorize him to rebuke the people for knocking on their breasts, in token of repentance of their sins; nor for kneeling, in token of submission to God for mercy in Christ.
To the 22nd he saith, that in the time of rebellion in Devonshire and Cornwall, threatening to come into Wales, he, teaching the people the true form of prayer, according to God’s holy word, and declaring the prayer, upon beads to be vain and superstitious, yet durst not, for fear of tumult, forcibly take from any man his beads, without authority. And touching the not reproving of such as he should meet, wearing beads, he remembereth not that he hath so done, unless it were in the rebellion time: at which time he durst not rebuke such offenders.
To the 23rd he saith, that he — being in the pulpit, his face towards the people — did not see the lights, if any were set up about the corpse behind his back till after that he came down from the pulpit. But he, with George Constantine and the aforesaid chanter, sitting in the church in Caermarthen to hear causes, and seeing the vicar with other priests, with song and lights bringing a corpse up to the church, called forthwith the vicar and priests, and rebuked them in open court, as cormorants and ravens, flying about the dead carcass for lucre’s sake.
To the 24th he saith, that he caused the one child, being born with of death to the mother, and itself lying for dead a certain space after, to be christened on the working-day: the other child was christened on the working-day, because both father and mother, and all other people there, were in peril of death by reason of the sudden sweat, which all men feared at that time. And touching the rest of the accusation, which is, that by that example it is used after the old accustomed fashion, he knoweth no such thing. To the title of Covetousness, he saith, his doings prove the contrary; as his neighbors know.
And the 25th article he utterly denieth.
To the 26th he saith, that his hall at Aber Gwili being ruinous, he useth for his hall a great chamber adjoining, for himself and his servants and all manner of strangers; and besides twenty persons in house daily. What other hospitality he keepeth, honest neighbors can testify.
To the 27th he saith, that his talk is according to his hearers; that is to say, reverently and truly of faith, love, and honest life, according to the Scriptures, to like auditors; and to other unreverend and rash turmoilers of Scriptures and holy doctrine, he doth talk of honest worldly things with godly intent; and that he doth not most commonly talk of such things as are expressed in this article, but when he hath honest occasion so to do.
The 28th he saith is untrue, and that he hath warned no man out of their lands; but, whereas he is destitute of necessary provision, and would have part of his own domain from certain freeholds, having it only from year to year at pleasure, he cannot obtain it without brawling: wherefore he suffereth them to keep it even yet still, against right and reason. And touching the rest, that he had rather the crows should eat it, etc. he never spoke any such word.
To the 29th he saith, that whereas his predecessor, bishop Barlow, did let to farm the Isle of Ramsey to one William Brown, after whose hands this defendant received it into his own possession, the vicars of St. David’s being dispossessed of it long before; he did let it over to Stephen Green for forty shillings the ground, as it was before, and three pounds more for seals, conics, and fowls there; and he knoweth of no right the vicars choral had therein, who did refuse, when this defendant did diligently, upon reasonable conditions, offer the same unto them: and this defendant made no promise unto them, as is con tained in the article.
To the 30th he saith, He knoweth not but that he advertised his bailiff to warn the freeholders, and others having his domain to rent, during pleasure, to leave it at a lawful day to this defendant’s necessary use; and did not cause the curate to do as is contained in the article, to his remembrance.
To the 31st he saith, that he knoweth not what the priest bade in the church, nor how many ploughs there came, undesired of this defendant. But be knoweth certainly, that he desired no man’s labor but for his money.
To the 32nd he saith, that he knoweth not any such appointment of schools and revenues there; but he found there (after the departing of bishop Barlow) a schoolmaster, an usher being a priest, and twenty scholars, which he hath hitherto maintained better than he found it, to his knowledge. He did never convert any penny thereof to his own use, albeit he might lawfully have done the same.
The 33rd he saith, is all untrue, so far as he knoweth.
To the 34th article he saith, He never purchased more than three parcels, whereof one was two shillings and eight pence by the year; the second, three shillings and four pence; and the third, six-andtwenty shillings and eight pence, or thereabout, by year: the rest he denieth.
To the 35th he saith, that he never bought of Lewis John Thomas his land good cheap, but after forty years’ purchase; not knowing at that time any such thing as is contained in the Article against the said Lewis John. Neither bade he the sumner to let him alone; but, as soon as he heard any thing of it, commanded the sumner to cite him: and so he was cited in this defendant’s house, occasioning him to break his bargain. To the which Lewis this defendant said these words: “If you would give me your land with a house full of gold, I cannot, nor will not suffer you to keep a leman.” Then the said Lewis affirming the latter woman to be his wife, and the first unknown to this defendant, he caused the said Lewis to be called to the consistory for trial, where it hangeth yet; and also by lawful process excommunicated the first woman, for that she would not by any means appear in the court to claim or to confess marriage with the said Lewis; and so she standeth this day at the point of “significavit .” a9 To the 36th he saith, that whereas the chanter, and Rowland Meyrike, with other canons there, would not obey the king’s godly injunctions, concerning the finding of a school for poor men’s children, a lecture of divinity, sermons on the Sundays, repairing of their church and mansion-houses, decent order and ministration there; but stubbornly counted themselves (with the chanter) to be a body politic, without regard of the bishop and his lawful monitions, being himself named in their shire statutes, “decanus et quasi decanus;” having also their dean’s stall in the choir, with a prebend thereunto annexed, and the chief place in the chapterhouse, with a key of their chapter-seal; being also, by the king’s majesty’s commission appointed their ordinary: yet would they not in any wise deliver unto him a book of their statutes, for the better knowledge of his and their duties, nor show unto him their records and muniments, for declaration of the king’s right and his.
For which cause this defendant, by writ of “Quo warranto,” lawfully called them to answer; which yet lieth asleep, to the loss of the king’s majesty’s right. The time of delivery of the said writ, he remembereth not.
To the 38th he saith, that he, being attendant, according to his bounden duty, to serve the king’s highness during the time of the parliament, from the first unto the last day; then, immediately after, repaired into his diocese; and he might not trust Rowland Meyrike the chanter, and George Constantine, to execute faithfully the jurisdiction; because they had before (through their slanderous life, and not punishing misdoers) left the country in great enormity of filthy whoredom. And saith further, that one cause why he appointed not an officer, etc., was for that he lacked his letters of authority of jurisdiction.
The 39th and 40th he saith are untrue.
To the 41st he saith, that how often he did minister the communion he doth not remember; but in all other things, so far as he knoweth, he hath studied to order himself according to his vocation; as far as he believeth, he goeth like a minister.
To the 42nd he saith, that he hath not alienated himself from study, neither preached indiscreetly, nor reported the Scriptures untruly to his knowledge: but he hath been very much hindered both from study and preaching, by the malicious, crafty, and covetous behavior of the forenamed persons. And that he did set forth the doctrine of honest marriage, as well of all other men as of priests, even as the Scripture then rehearsed did minister occasion.
To the 43rd he saith, that, reciting the words of Luke, “If thy brother have offended against thee, blame him; and if he repent, forgive him; and if he have offended against thee seven times in one day, and seven times in the day be converted unto thee, saying, I am sorry; forgive him:” he said further these words in effect: “It appeareth by this place of Scripture, that we are not bound (except he repent) to forgive him; but we are bound to pray God to forgive him, and to give him grace to repent, that he may forgive him.
To the 44th he saith, that he hath preached right often at Caermarthen, as well as at other places; and, he saith, that a great number at Aber Gwili do understand English very well.
To the 45th he saith, that after he had preached first at Brecknook, Caermarthen, Swansea, Langharne, Tenby, Pembroke, Hereford, St.
David’s, Cardigan:, with other notable towns; he hath, since that time, preached to a great many other poor churches, but not in Tenby nor Pembroke: but for Hereford, he standeth in doubt. And whereas he brought with him at the first a learned preacher, of godly life, the ungodly stubborn behavior of the persons before named wearied him away. And whereas he had waged another learned man to come into his diocese to preach, George Constantine, by his discouragement, advertised him from this defendant.
To the 46th he saith, that in all his churches appropriated, there are both Bible and Paraphrases, so far as he knoweth: and if the priests there would not show him the lack thereof, yet should the officials declare it unto him, that it might be amended (by his will) without delay.
To the 47th he saith, that George Constantine covetously engrossed into his hands a great number of Paraphrases; and this defendant hath admonished the clergy to buy every one, for his discharge: and if the said George, being official of two archdeaconries, and other officials in their office, would declare unto him what churches do lack Bibles or Paraphrases, he would cause it to be amended as much as in him lieth. To the title of Folly, he saith, that his desire is in true simple manner of his words, deeds, and other honest behavior, through God’s grace to show godly wisdom.
To the 48th he saith, that he thinketh no folly in the decent color or fashion, with honest use of saddle, bridle, stirrups, staff, and other like necessary or convenient things; and saith, that he used a saddle made after the Scottish fashion, with stirrups of iron unvarnished, and like spurs; and black bridle without studs, the bit and snaffle white, as other men’s be.
To the 49th he saith, that when he goeth abroad in winter, he weareth a hat, to bear off rain and snow, and in summer to shadow him from the sun, without any vow of superstition or offense of the people.
To the 50th he saith, that all is one to him, to ride or go, as cause requireth; and whether he said as is contained in the article or not, he remembereth not. Howbeit he doth use to go afoot.
To the 51st he saith, that, after lawful prayer, it pleased God to give him a son begotten and born in honest marriage, whom he therefore caused to be named Samuel, presenting him to the minister to be received into Christ’s church, as a poor member of Christ. By the holy sacrament of baptism was this done openly in the cathedral church, with earnest gravity, and without offending any man; and also two wives, being before at variance, desired both to be godmothers, which were both received to make unity between them, not knowing any law to the contrary, nor any offense thereby conceived of the people.
To the 52nd he saith, that he doth use with gravity all honestloving entertainment of his child, to encourage him hereafter willingly, at his father’s mouth, to receive wholesome doctrine of the true fear and love of God; and saith, that he hath whistled to his child, but said not, that the child understood it; and that he answered to one that found fault with it, as is contained in the article.
To the 53rd he saith, that he was never surveyor, but went to see Milford Haven for honest purpose, and not to survey it; and for that he, at the sight of a seal, whistled in his fist, such as meant folly might turn it to their purpose. And it is not true, that he stood whistling an hour to the seal, nor that any fault was found with it, nor any such answer made by him, to his knowledge.
To the 54th he saith, that if he did say, “The destroying of the fry letteth plenty of fish,” he thinketh the same not against reason; but he remembereth not to have said, as is contained in the article.
To the 55th he saith, that he remembereth not that ever he said as they allege.
To the slanderous, untrue, and ungodly conclusion, he saith, that George Constantine, with other his adversaries before named, and their adherents — not regarding the fear of God, and their bounden duty of loving obedience towards God and the king, and his true ministers — have too much slanderously, with false tongues, contumelious words, and spiteful deeds, labored by all means to discredit and deface the king’s gracious authority to him committed; who, ever since he came to the diocese, hath endeavored himself to show his faithful ministry by his true honest doings, and to use his authority according to his vocation, to God’s glory and the king’s honor. And that he hath been diligent in teaching of truth, reforming of superstition, free of hospitality, diligent in overseeing with godly wisdom, peace, and mercifulness; as he trusteth in God, may be truly approved. And he is able justly to charge his adversaries with all the faults herein by them most unjustly and slanderously against him objected. And he doth marvel greatly, that George Constantine, with other his adherents, are not ashamed maliciously to object (for the intent to slander him) molesting of preachers found there. For truth it is that he hath molested none, but hath justly brought under Significavit one Morice, a preacher, living lewdly, for his stubborn behavior and malicious contempts; even yet continuing in his willful contempt and irregularity. And he hath, to his knowledge, justly certified Hugh Rawlins, parson of Tenby, for his willful recusany of two other parsonages, shamefully deceiving the king’s majesty by color of commission, as appeareth by the same. And as for the railing contemptuous preaching of Rowland Meyrike, and the unlearned arrogant preaching of the chanter, he referreth to discreet hearers, which were offended thereat, as they showed this defendant. And this deponent brought into his diocese both learned preachers, and learned men in the law, to his very great charges, which men George Constantine, with his adherents, hath wearied away.
After these answers thus exhibited by the virtuous and godly bishop against the quarrelling and frivolous articles of his foresaid adversaries, to wit, Hugh Rawlins and Thomas Lee: then came in for witness, upon the said articles and informations, George Constantine, and the chanter of St.
David’s: against whom the bishop laid first exceptions, then also exhibited matter justificatory, the tenor and process whereof here followeth in order to be seen — first, concerning the exceptions, and after, the matter justificatory.
EXCEPTIONS GENERAL, LAID AND PROPOSED ON THE BEHALF OF ROBERT, BISHOP OF ST. DAVID’S, AGAINST ALL AND SINGULAR THE PRETENSED Witnesses, produced on the behalf of Hugh Rawlins clerk, and Thomas Lee, upon their untrue surmised Articles, by them exhibited unto and before the King’s most honorable Council, by the device and procurement of the Chanter, and George Constantine, with Rowland Meyrike clerk, against the said Bishop.
First, the said bishop saith and allegeth, that by law there ought no faith or credence to be given unto the depositions and sayings of the said witnesses, or any part thereof, because they are infamous, false, perjured, and, in some part of their depositions, discording, partial, conducted, subornate, instructed, and, for favor of the informers and their bolsterers, have deposed of malice more than the articles whereupon they were producted do contain; and beside, and without the compass of the same articles, and in divers other parts of their depositions, they depose unum et eundem praemeditatum sermonem , as by their said depositions doth appear, unto the which the said bishop referreth himself as much as it shall be expedient for him, and none otherwise: and further, for other causes particularly and specially, as is declared in the Book of Exceptions.
EXCEPTIONS AGAINST THE UNLAWFUL PROCEEDINGS OF HUGH RAWLINS Clerk, and Thomas Lee, Promoters of the foresaid untrue Articles, in executing their Commission for Proof of the same. Item, The said Thomas Lee, for himself and the other promoter, did, contrary to justice, at the execution of their commission, examine certain of the witnesses himself, in the house of his brother-in law, George Constantine; and the said Lee, and David Waiter (the bishop’s mortal enemy, and servant to the said George Constantine), did write these depositions upon the articles at their own pleasures; and also, after the device of the said George Constantine, and the chanter, and Rowland Meyrike, the bishop’s mortal enemies, and the very devisers and procurers of the informations, and bolsterers and bearers of the promoters in the suit thereof. These are the names of the witnesses so examined, which are already known: David ap sir Richard, of Gettus, a perjured and an adulterous person, standing in the number for two witnesses, written in two places of the book. Item, ap Ruddz of Kennarthe, Griffith ap Howel, Guyne of Kennarthe, Lewis David clerk, David ap Harvey clerk, sir Gough, alias Morgan, etc. Item, One John Draper of Caermarthen, and an adherent of the foresaid adversaries and enemies to the said bishop, did also, contrary to the tenor of their commission, examine certain witnesses; and had to his clerk one William Davids, servant in livery unto the foresaid Griffith Donne, the bishop’s utter enemy: by which shameful partiality they have written more matter, more words, other terms and sentences, than some of the deponents have deposed or could depose. Humfrey Toy, the fifth deponent; Rice Gough, the fourteenth deponent; William ap Jenkins, the fiftieth deponent; John Benguy, the sixty-eighth deponent; Richard Parson, the thirty-ninth; which are already known what manner of men the promoters are. Item, The said Hugh Rawlins was not present at the bishop’s sermon, whereof his information maketh mention, neither yet at their cutting-off the commission for the proof thereof: for the foresaid adversaries did devise the same, and gave it unto the said Rawlins to promote, choosing him for the same purpose; knowing him to be a man willing (and setting his whole delight) to work mischief, both with word and deed, who abuseth his tongue most shamefully, with most unfitting words, ever railing upon the said bishop to every man that will hear him, without either respect or reverence of the king’s majesty’s authority to the said bishop committed. And the said Rawlins hath four or five benefices, above the value of two hundred marks a year, and is resident upon. none of them, but spendeth his living to the hinderance of other men, going about here and there, wandering to and fro, without either man or boy waiting on him; more like a light person than a man of such livelihood, and of his vocation, being a preacher. And indeed he is taken for a lewd fellow, of all that know his behavior, insomuch that when a certain man objected unto the adversaries, that it was ill done to put so lewd a fellow as Rawlins to promote their cause, they answered and reported his honesty with these words: “We know Rawlins to be a very knave, and so meet for no purpose as he is to set forward such a matter;” of which report there is sufficient witness. And it is thought that he hath done much ill with his spiteful tongue; for he speaketh as boldly in this surmised matter to all the council, as though it were true, and much for the king’s profit. Item, The other promoter, Thomas Lee, is a merchant, who hath sold his ware, and spent his money; and now, for want of other business, is become a promoter of the foresaid articles, having his costs and charges borne by the said principal adversaries, as it is alleged in the bishop’s exceptions, which shall be proved, if commission might be awarded for the purpose.
And thus much concerning the exceptions against his pretensed accusers: next followeth the matter justificatory exhibited by the said bishop, in defense of his own cause, as by the effect here appeareth.
CERTAIN ARTICLES MINISTERED BY ROBERT, BISHOP OF ST. DAVID’S.
Inprimis, viz. that there ought none advantage to be taken against the said bishop, of the contents of the said pretensed information, for the causes particularly following. And first, whereas it is objected against the said bishop, in the first, second, and fifth articles of the same information, that he (contrary to the king’s highness’s laws and statutes, and in the derogation of his highness’s supremacy) passed a certain commission, institutions, and collations to benefices, in his own name, making no mention of the king’s highness’s authority; whereas of truth the said bishop, if he had passed out the commission, institutions, and collations in his own name, and without the king’s majesty’s style, as is surmised (as he did not), yet had he offended neither the laws nor statutes of this realm therein, as doth and may appear evidently in the same statutes and laws, to the which he referreth himself. Item, Whereas it is deduced in the third article of the said pretensed information, that the chancellor of the said bishop did admit and institute John Gough into the rectory of Haysguard, and gave a mandate for the induction of the said John, under the king’s majesty’s seal ecclesiastical, for the diocese of St. David’s, with the test of the said bishop, and subscription of the said chancellor, which thing so deduced, if it be true, yet the said bishop cannot be worthily blamed thereof. But the chanter (then his chancellor unworthy) showed himself therein very ignorant of the king’s statutes of parliament, wherein it is expressly provided, that in such cases the ordinary ought to pass all such institutions and inductions in his own name, and under his own seal; and not in the king’s majesty’s name, nor under his seal. And further, of very truth, the said chancellor, in admitting and instituting the said clerk to the said benefice without the knowledge and consent of the said bishop, aid exceed his commission, for as much as the said bishop, at the granting of his commission of his chancellorship unto the said chanter, had restrained him expressly from the admitting and instituting of any clerk to any benefice within the said diocese, except the same clerk were first examined, found worthy, and admitted by the said bishop himself to the same benefice. Item, Whereas in the fourth article of the said information it is contained, that the said bishop, after the admitting and instituting of the said John Gough, as is aforesaid, objected articles against him, amongst the which it was contained in effect, “Item, interrogetur quo titulo tenet rectoriam de Haysguard;” true it is that the said bishop, without molestation of the said Gough otherwise than law did permit, and without taking upon him the cognition of the title of the said fruits and patronage of the said benefice, in contempt of the king’s majesty’s royal crown and dignity, and without any derogation of the king’s majesty’s laws and statutes of this realm, aid interrogate the said John Gough, how he held the said benefice, being admitted and instituted to the same without his knowledge or consent, as he might lawfully do, and as it is meet every ordinary should know how pastors are admitted to any cure within their diocese. Item, Touching the contents of the sixth article of the said information, the said bishop allegeth that the vicarage of Pen Brynn, in the diocese of St. David’s, being void, he, as patron thereof, to his knowledge, conferred it to John Evans, clerk, with letters of institution and induction; and afterwards, when the king’s presentation came to him for one David Jenkins, clerk, he desired fourteen days respite, at that day either to show ancient record for his right, and then the matter to stand to the determination of the law, or else, if he showed not, both he and his clerk to give place to the king’s clerk: which condition was by sir Thomas Jones, knight, Dr. Meyrike, and the said David Jenkins, received; and an institution with an induction was made conditionally, to be put into the hands of sir Thomas Jones, knight, for safe custody for the king’s clerk’s behoof, after the fourteen days to be executed at the hands of the said bishop, if he failed to show: within which time the bishop aid show an old ancient record, declaring the full right of patronage on the said bishop’s behalf; and so that institution and induction was never put in execution by the said bishop.
Nevertheless the said David Jenkins (contrary to his promise and oath, giving thereupon his right hand to sir Thomas Jones, knight) took advantage by the said writing, without knowledge of the said bishop; after which time the lord chancellor, by his letters written to the said bishop, advertised him to admit one John ap Howel, clerk, presented by virtue of a vowson, which the lord chancellor adjudged to be good, and so to be admitted, notwithstanding his former presentation, whereby he would not abar the other man’s right. And so the said bishop made one collation, two institutions, and three mandates; doing no wrong thereby to his knowledge. And further, there was no business nor unquietness about the possession of the said vicarage; but the said bishop giving place, was content to lose his right for that time. Item, Whereas sir Thomas Jones advertised the said bishop, that Thomas Prichard, clerk, had celebrated matrimony in a private house, betwixt a certain priest and a woman whose sister had refused the same (as it is deduced in the eleventh article of the surmised articles laid in against the said bishop), the said Prichard, leaving his own cure unserved that Sunday, he did put the said Thomas Prichard to penance for such his misdoings, and the said Prichard did such penance as was enjoined him to do. And whereas the said bishop made the said Thomas Prichard (who is bachelor of law) his commissary, it was for the respect of his learning in the law, thereby faithfully to execute his office, according to justice, and none otherwise. Item, In the fourteenth article of the said surmised information, it is untruly declared, that through the unlawful sequestration of the fruits of the benefices of Llangattwg and Llanfihaugel Cum Du, and the indiscreet handling of the said bishop, there were raised a great number of people, to the great danger of the inhabitants thereabouts. Truth it is, that the said bishop, upon good and lawful considerations, and specially for that the king’s majesty should be truly answered of his first-fruits and tenths of the said benefices, did lawfully (and as he was bound to do) sequester the said fruits in the king’s majesty’s name, and by his authority; and committed the custody thereof for a time unto two honest men, to the effect aforesaid, and none otherwise; without any occasion of tumult or gathering the people through his default or folly. Item, Whereas it is alleged in the nineteeth article of the information, that the bishop did celebrate matrimony in his own person, without receiving or ministering the communion to the persons married, it is true, for that the said bishop had traveled fourteen long Welsh miles, and not able to celebrate the holy communion fasting; and, for other reasonable and lawful causes him moving, did, in a chapel within the house of sir Thomas Jones, knight (one of the king’s honorable council of the marches of Wales), solemnize matrimony betwixt master Griffith Rice, and the daughter of the said sir Thomas Jones, without either receiving the holy communion himself, or ministering the same to the persons married; being as then not disposed so to do it lawfully and godly, without any such superstitious knockings or blessings, or other uncomely gestures, as is deduced in that article. Item, Touching the contents of the residue of all the said articles contained in the said information, the said bishop, partly for the avoiding of tediousness, and partly for that some of them be untrue and mere false, some others general, obscure, frivolous, vain, and of none effect, but of malice and evil-will, contrary to truth conceived, leaveth them particularly unanswered unto. Item, The said bishop allegeth, that he hath not by all the time that he hath been bishop, used any superstitions or papistry, as it is untruly surmised against him; but hath and doth, to the uttermost of his power, wit, and cunning, set forth, maintain, teach, and preach, the true doctrine of the gospel, and such laudable doctrine as he ought to do by the king’s laws, injunctions, and proceedings; and for such a teacher he hath been and is commonly known, named, reputed, taken, and accepted notoriously.
And whereas the said chanter and George perceived their depositions to be insufficient, they required, and had, commission into the country to examine further witnesses, which they executed very partially and unlawfully, as is alleged in the bishop’s exceptions above-mentioned. And whereas to the said Rawlins and Lee were awarded two several commissions, they, by favor of the officers, and for sparing of costs, conjoined both in one, and had three months to make return, as appeareth by the copy of their commission, which hereunder may be seen. f5 During all this time of the examination of the witnesses, the said bishop was stayed at London, upon the allegation of the said adversaries; which was, that if the said bishop should depart into his diocese, he would let them of their proofs.
And at the return of their commission it was signified unto the council what a great number of witnesses they had examined, viz. sixscore and seven ; a10 which sounded very heinous in the council’s ears.
And about three weeks after, publication of their witnesses was granted; and after that, it was a fortnight ere the bishop could get a copy written of their depositions, because the book thereof is so huge and monstrous.
Then the bishop desired time, first, to inquire of what condition the persons were, that had witnessed against him, and to make exceptions and matters to justify direct contrary, and to have a commission for the proof thereof; which was then granted. And now it is objected, that the bishop was appointed so to travail with the expedition of his matter, that he should have sued out his commission, and have made return thereof at All- Hallowtide last past; but there was no such decree put in writing. And it was not possible for the bishop to do it in so short a time, these causes considered which he could not avoid, as followeth.
Secondly , He was by force of law constrained to answer at the bar daily, during all the time of the great sessions at Caermarthen, in defense of his just cause against the pretensed matter of praemunire. which his adversaries of mere malice have procured against him.
Thirdly , The said adversaries, to molest him further, did privily pack a quest of ignorant persons of no reputation, and indicted him upon the words of Rawlins’ information, as appeareth by a copy of the indictment; intending thereby to make the matter sound more heinous; notwithstanding that the same cause dependeth before the king’s high council undetermined.
Fourthly , He was appointed by the commissioners, before his departure from London, to pay two hundred pounds (which was arrearages) into the court of First Fruits and Tenths, at Bartholomew-day then next following; which payment he made accordingly, not withstanding that his adversaries wrought means to have made him break his day; namely, one Edward Harbert, gentleman, who hath a parsonage of his to farm, kept back his rent to the very last day, because that money should not help to serve his turn; and so, by crafty cavillation, detaineth it still in his hand with a year’s rent and an half more: for the said Edward Harbert is an adherent of the said bishop’s adversaries.
Fifthly , The book of their depositions is so great, that it asketh a long time to peruse; and also the greatest part of their witnesses were utterly unknown of the bishop and all his: and also dwelling in so many sundry places of the diocese among the mountains and elsewhere, scarcely within the circuit of two hundred miles. Item, Another great sessions was holden at Caermarthen in the month of October last, during which time he was attendant there, as is aforesaid. All which causes considered, being also in the time of his ordinary visitation, which he did execute himself, he could not make ready his exceptions in shorter time.
The said bishop dispatched his man towards London the 23d day of October, who ever since hath been and is attendant in the same suit, for the obtaining the commission for proof of this matter against his adversaries. f6 And thus you have heard the first trouble of this blessed martyr of the Lord in king Edward’s days, with the whole discourse thereof; which we thought the rather here to express, to give other good bishops warning to be more circumspect, whom they should trust and have about them.
Briefly, in few words to conclude this process, bishop Ferrar, partly upon the importunate suit of his adversaries, partly upon the sinister and unfortunate fall of the good duke of Somerset, by whom he had been before promoted and maintained, having but small favor showed, was detained in prison till the death of king Edward, and the coming in of queen Mary and popish religion, whereby a new trouble rose upon him, being now accused and examined for his faith and doctrine: the process of which his trouble here likewise followeth.
After that the foresaid master Ferrar bishop of St. David’s had been long detained in custody under sureties, in the reign of king Edward, not for any just cause for his part deserved, but by reason that he had been promoted by the duke of Somerset; and now after his fall he found fewer friends to support him against such as hunted after his bishopric, at length, after the decease of king Edward, by the coming in of queen Mary the state of religion began to be changed and altered; whereby a new trouble rose upon him, being now accused and examined, not for any matter of Praemunire, but for his faith and doctrine. Whereupon he was called before the bishop of Winchester, with master Hooper, master Rogers, master Bradford, master Saunders, and others aforesaid, the 4th of February . a11 On the which day he should also with them have been condemned; but, because leisure or list did not so well then serve the bishop, his condemnation was deferred, and he sent to prison again, where he continued till the 14th day of the said month of February. What his examinations and answers were, before the said bishop of Winchester, so much as remained and came to our hands I have here annexed in manner as followeth.
THE ANSWER OF ROBERT FERRAR, BISHOP OF ST. DAVID’S, BEFORE WINCHESTER AND OTHER COMMISSIONERS.
At his first coming and kneeling before my lord chancellor, the bishop of Durham, and the bishop of Worcester, who sat at the table; and master Rochester, master Southwell, master Bourne, and others, standing at the table’s end, the lord chancellor said unto him on this sort: Winchester: — “Now sir, have you heard how the world goeth here?” Ferrar: — “If it like your honor, I know not.” Winchester: — “What say you? Do you not know things abroad, notwithstanding you are a prisoner?” Ferrar: — “No, my lord, I know not.” Winchester: — “Lo, what a froward fellow is this?” Ferrar: — “If it please your lordship, how should I know any thing abroad, being a prisoner?” Winchester: — “Have you not heard of the coming in of the lord cardinal?” Ferrar: — “I know not my lord cardinal; but I heard that a cardinal was come in: but I did not believe it, and I believe it not yet.” Worcester: — “I pray your lordship tell him yourself, that he may know what is done.” Winchester: — “The queen’s majesty and the parliament have restored religion into the same state it was in at the beginning of the reign of king Henry the Eighth. Ye are in the queen’s debt; and her majesty will be good unto you, if you will return to the catholic church.” Ferrar: — “In what state I am concerning my debts to the queen’s majesty, in the court of exchequer, my lord treasurer knoweth: and the last time that I was before your honor, and the first time also, I showed you that I had made an oath never to consent or agree, that the bishop of Rome should have any power or jurisdiction within this realm: and further, I need not rehearse to your lordship; you know it well enough.” Bourne: — “You were once abjured for heresy in Oxford.” Ferrar: — “That was I not.” Bourne: — “You were.” Ferrar: — “I was never; it is not true.” Bourne: — “You went from St. David’s to Scotland.” Ferrar: — “That I did not.” Bourne: — “You did.” Ferrar: — “That did I never; but I went from York into Scotland.” Bourne: — “Ah! so said I: you went with Barlow.” Ferrar: — “That is true; but never from St. David’s.” Bourne: — “You carried books out of Oxford, to the archbishop of York, Edward Lee.” Ferrar: — “That did I not.” Bourne: — “You did.” Ferrar: — “I did not; but I carried old books from St. Oswald’s to the archbishop of York.” Bourne: — “You supplanted your master.” Ferrar: — “That did I never in my life.” Bourne: — “By my faith you did.” Ferrar: — “ Forsooth I did not, never in my life; but did shield and save my master from danger; and that I obtained of king Henry the Eighth, for my true service, I thank God therefor.” “My lord,” saith master Bourne to my lord chancellor, “he hath an ill name in Wales as ever had any.” Ferrar: — “That is not so: whosoever saith so, they shall never be able to prove it.” Bourne: — “He hath deceived the queen in divers sums of money.” Ferrar: — “That is utterly untrue: I never deceived king or queen of one penny in my life; and you shall never be able to prove that you say.” Winchester: — “Thou art a false knave.”
Then Ferrar stood up unbidden (for all that while he kneeled), and said, “No, my lord, I am a true man; I thank God for it! I was born under king Henry the Seventh; I served king Henry the Eighth, and king Edward the Sixth truly; and have served the queen’s majesty that now is, truly, with my poor heart and word: more I could not do; and I was never false, nor shall be, by the grace of God.” Winchester: — “How sayest thou? wilt thou be reformable? Ferrar: — “My lord, if it like your honor, I have made an oath to God, and to king Henry the Eighth, and also to king Edward, and in that, to the queen’s majesty, the which I can never break while I live, to die for it.” Durham: — “You had made another oath before.” Ferrar: — “No, my lord; I never made another oath before.” Durham: — “You made a vow.” Ferrar: — “That did I not.” Winchester: — “You made a profession to live without a wife.” Ferrar: — “No, my lord, if it like your honor; that did I never. I made a profession to live chaste — not without a wife.” Worcester: — “You were sworn to him that was master of your house.” Ferrar: — “That was I never.” Winchester: — “Well, you are a froward knave: we will have no more to do with you, seeing that you will not come; we will be short with you, and that you shall know within this seven-night.” Ferrar: — “I am as it pleaseth your honor to call me; but I cannot break my oath which your lordship yourself made before me, and gave in example, the which confirmed my conscience. Then I can never break that oath whilst I live, to die for it.” Durham: — “Well! he standeth upon his oath: call another.”
My lord chancellor then did ring a little bell, and master Ferrar said, “I pray God save the king and queen’s majesties long to continue in honor to God’s glory and their comforts, and the comfort of the whole realm; and I pray God save all your honors;” and so departed.
After these examinations thus ended, bishop Fortar so remained in prison uncondemned, till the lath day (as is aforesaid) of February; and then was sent down into Wales, there to receive sentence of condemnation. Who then, upon the 26th of February, in the church of Caermarthen, being brought by Griffith Leyson, esquire, sheriff of the county of Caermarthen, was there personally presented before Henry, bishop of St. David’s, and Constantine the public notary: which Henry there and then discharged the said sheriff, and received him into his own custody, further committing him to the keeping of Owen Jones; and thereupon declared unto the said master Ferrar the great mercy and clemency, that the king and queen’s highness’ pleasure was to be offered unto him, which he there did offer unto the said master Ferrar; that is to say, that if he would submit himself to the laws of this realm, and conform himself to the unity of the universal catholic church, he should be received and pardoned. After that, seeing the said master Ferrar to give no answer to the premises, the said bishop ministered unto him these articles following.
ARTICLES DEVISED AGAINST BISHOP FERRAR. a12 First, Whether he believeth the marriage of priests lawful by the laws of God and holy church, or no? Item, Whether he believeth, that in the blessed sacrament of the altar, after the words of consecration duly pronounced by the priest, the very body and blood of Christ is really and substantially contained, without the substance of bread and wine?
Unto the which articles the said bishop required the said master Fortar to answer upon his allegiance. To which he said, he would answer when he saw a lawful commission; and would make no further answer at that time.
Whereupon the said bishop, taking no advantage upon the same answer, committed him to the said keeper, to be kept in prison until a new monition, and in the mean time to deliberate with himself for his further answer to the premises.
ANOTHER EXAMINATION OF THE BISHOP OF ST. DAVID’S, BEFORE HENRY MORGAN THE PRETENSED BISHOP OF ST.
DAVID’S, GEORGE CONSTANTINE HIS REGISTRAR, AND OTHERS, THE LAST OF FEBRUARY, A.D. 1555.
This day and place, Morgan the pretensed bishop of St. David’s sitting as judge, ministered unto bishop Ferrar, there personally present before him, certain articles and interrogatories in writing: which being openly read and ministered unto him, the said bishop Ferrer refused to answer, till he might see his lawful commission and authority. Whereupon the aforesaid pretensed bishop of St. David’s did pronounce him as contumax, and for the punishment of this his contumacy to be counted pro confesso, and so did pronounce him in writing: which being done, he committed the said bishop to the custody of Owen Jones, until Monday next, being the 4th of March, then to be brought again into the same place, between one and two.
ANOTHER APPEARANCE OF THE SAID BISHOP FERRAR, BEFORE MORGAN THE PRETENSED BISHOP OF ST. DAVID’S. Item, The day and place appointed, the said bishop appearing again before the pretensed bishop, humbly submitting himself as ready to answer to the articles and positions abovementioned, gently required the copy of the articles, and a competent term to be assigned unto him, to answer for himself: which being granted unto him, and the Thursday next being assigned unto him between one and three to answer precisely and fully; so he was committed again to custody, as above.
ANOTHER APPEARANCE OF THE SAID BISHOP.
On Thursday, as was appointed, which was the 7th of March, the said bishop personally again appeared; where he exhibited a certain bill in writing, containing in it his answer unto certain articles objected and ministered unto him before. Then after, Henry, the pretensed bishop of St.
David’s, offered him again the said articles as before; the tenor whereof tendeth to this effect:
ARTICLES AGAIN MINISTERED AGAINST BISHOP FERRAR. a13 First, That he willed him, being a priest, to abrenounce matrimony.
Fourthly , That general councils lawfully congregated never did, nor can err.
Sixthly , That the catholic church, which only hath authority to expound Scriptures to define controversies of religion and to ordain things appertaining to public discipline, is visible, and like unto a city set upon a mountain for all men to understand.
To these articles thus objected to him, he refused to subscribe, affirming that they were invented and excogitated by man, and pertain nothing to the catholic faith. After this, the bishop above-named delivered unto him the copy of the articles, assigning him Monday next following, to answer and subscribe to the same, either affirmatively or negatively.
ANOTHER APPEARANCE OF BISHOP FERRAR.
Upon the which Monday, being the 11th of March, he, appearing again before the bishop, and the aforesaid notary George Constantine, exhibited in a written paper his mind and answer to the foresaid articles, which the bishop had twice now objected against him before, to the which articles and answers he did so subscribe — adding these words, as “tenens se de aequitate et justitia esse Episcopum Menevensem” - that the bishop assigned the next Wednesday, in the forenoon, to hear his final and definitive sentence.
THE LAST APPEARANCE OF BISHOP FERRAR.
The which day and place the said bishop and true servant of God, master Ferrar, personally there appearing, was demanded of Henry the pretensed bishop of St. David’s, whether he would renounce and recant his heresies, schisms, and errors (as he called them), which hitherto he had maintained, and if he would subscribe to the catholic articles, otherwise than he had done before.
After this the said godly bishop, master Ferrar, did exhibit a certain schedule written in English, and remaining in the Acts appealing withal by express word of mouth from the bishop, as from an incompetent judge, to Cardinal Pole, etc. All which notwithstanding, the said bishop, proceeding in his rage, pronounced the definitive sentence against him, contained in writing, and there left in the Acts: by the which sentence he pronounced him as a heretic excommunicate, and to be given up forthwith to the secular power; namely, to the sheriff of the town of Caermarthen, master Leyson. f7 Thus this godly bishop, being condemned and degraded, was committed to the secular power, who not long after was brought to the place of execution in the town of Caermarthen, where he, in the market place in the south side of the market-cross, the 30th day of March, being Saturday next before Passion-Sunday, most constantly sustained the torments and passion of the fire.
Touching the which constancy of this blessed martyr, this is moreover to be added and noted, that one named Richard Jones, a knight’s son, coming to master Ferrar a little before his death, seemed to lament the painfulness of the death he had to suffer: unto whom the bishop answered again to this effect, saying, that if he saw him once to stir in the pains of his burning, he should then give no credit to his doctrine. And as he said, so he right well performed the same; for so patiently he stood, that he never moved, but even as he stood (holding up his stumps), so still he continued, till one Richard Gravell with a staff dashed him upon the head, and so struck him down.
LETTERS OF DR. FERRAR, BISHOP OF ST. DAVID’S.
As touching the letters of master Ferrar, we do not find many that he did write. And peradventure in queen Mary’s time his imprison-merit was so strait, that at no time it was permitted him to write. Albeit in his other troubles, in king Edward’s time, certain letters he wrote to the archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, and to the earl of Warwick: which letters, although they might be well referred to the first edition of this story; yet because in the said letters is contained briefly and in few lines, the whole discourse of his unjust vexation at that time wrought by his adversaries, I thought good not to pass them over, but to communicate them unto the reader, for the better understanding both of the innocency of that blessed bishop, and of the crafty iniquity of his conspired enemies; as in the said letters here following to the indifferent reader may easily appear.
THE COPY OF A CERTAIN LETTER OF THE BISHOP OF ST.
DAVID’S, WRITTEN BELIKE TO THE LORD CHANCELLOR, DR.
GOODRICK, BISHOP OF ELY.
Most humbly showeth unto your honor, your poor orator Robert, bishop of St. David’s, that whereas one Thomas Lee (by the procurement of Thomas Young and Rowland Meyrike, being both canons of St. David’s, and George Constantine, registrar to the said bishop) hath exhibited unto your honor against him certain articles, in the which are mentioned many trifling things, unworthy to be declared in your honorable audience, and also their pretensed weighty articles (as they have alleged there) are utterly untrue: for proof whereof the said Thomas Lee hath had commissions into the country: therefore it may. please your honor, of your favorable goodness, to grant unto. your said orator a like commission for the examination of witnesses, in defense of his truth and honesty against the said Thomas Lee, George Constantine, and the aforenamed Rowland Meyrike, and all other persons, with their unjust articles, attestations, and sayings, which hath deposed against him. And in tender consideration that your said orator standeth-bounden, and sureties with him, in the sum of a thousand marks, to appear before the king’s justice, in the sessions at Caermarthen, in July next coming, to answer to a forged matter of Praemunire, by the procurement and counsel of his forenamed adversaries, maliciously surmised against him to his utter undoing: and furthermore that your orator, being in debt to the king’s majesty, by reason of the malicious vexation of the foresaid adversaries, cannot (if he remain here) satisfy the same: for whereas there be [ar]rearages to a great sum (as well of the king’s money as of his own rents), he can receive none thereof, his adversaries have made such ill report to his discredit, bearing the people in hand, that he shall come no more thither. By reason of which bruit, neither his own tenants will pay their rents and [ar]rearages, nor the priests their [ar]rearages due to the king’s majesty, as well for anno secundo and tertio, as for quarto and quinto. In consideration of all which things, it may please your honorable goodness to license your said orator to depart into the diocese, for these affairs and others. And he shall be ready at all times, at your honorable commandment and pleasure, to repair again, and ever to pray to the Lord Jesu for the perpetual conservation of your honor, to his glory.
Besides this letter he wrote another likewise to the same lord (who was, as seemeth, Dr. Goodrick, lord chancellor afore mentioned), wherein he declareth, the whole cause of his trouble, how it rose against him by his adversaries, as here followeth.
ANOTHER LETTER WRITTEN BY THE BISHOP OF ST. DAVID’S, TO THE CHANCELLOR AFORESAID.
Right honorable, and my very special good lord, with humble service and hearty thanks to God, and to you for your godly favor towards me at all times, as right plainly appeareth by your fatherly letters, most lovingly admonishing me to incline unto that which is very necessary, as charitable concord and unity: this is furtherly to beseech your lordship, for the Lord’s sake, not to be grieved, but benignly to hear and gravely to ponder that weighty matter, which, appearing to others but a light grief, to me is, in very deed, a right grievous offense to God, with no little hindrance of his holy word, and disturbance of the king’s godly proceedings; and may be a great occasion of much inobedience and disorder of good life. Wherefore I am straitly bounden, for the true zeal that I ought to bear unto God’s word of life, christian religion, the king’s majesty’s honor, and the godly quiet state of his people, not faintly to let fall the burden of diligent redress to be sought at his majesty’s hands by the godly wisdom of his most honorable and upright council, but with hearty affection (o bear it up against those high-minded, arrogant, stubborn, ambitious, covetous canons, trusting in their biting tongues, with crafty prevention and utterly untrue surmises, to stop the light, that their ungodly misdoings in darkness shall either not be seen, or at the least may have a colorable appearance of right, insomuch that I do not a little marvel at these qualities in master chanter, the canon, and the dean of Worcester, whose ungentle and untrue behavior I have not only known, but expertly proved, and sensibly felt, in two of the first, to my great losses, whereof I make no complaint.
But I wonder in my mind, and lament in my heart, the strange alteration and willful going backward of my old faithful brother George Constantine, the which (knowing them all three to have been in times past either obstinate enemies to the true bearers of the cross of Christ, or at least privy lurkers, under pretense of favor towards the gospel, to sting the poor followers thereof; seeking but their own lucre and pleasure in all their doings) would so earnestly cleave unto them in their wrong deeds, as to betray me with his tongue, become untrue of his promise, and a bearer of filthy sin for lucre’s sake, even yet stiffly persisting in the same, namely, in things manifestly known unto many, although he would deny it, and that I might not be credited.
And as for their Praemunire, both George and they, at my first coming, ungently detaining from master Farlee his commission for the chancellorship, would have faced me down with Praemunire, because it was written in my own name according to the statute: yet was I fain, for the zeal of unity, not to see their uncourteous deeds, departing with master Farlee for the avoiding of their malice and envy, and gave that office, for the amity of George, unto master chanter his son-in-law, and to master Meyrike, the office of Cardigan. But, seeing afterward their covetous respect to their own glory and lucre, not regarding the reformation of sin, and specially of shameless whoredom, I was compelled to remove them, sure against their wills: and whereas I desired many and sundry times charitable redress of their wrong doings in the vacation-time, I obtained many fair words, and nothing in deed.
Desiring to have a key of the chapter seal, as my lord of Bath had, they would not deliver it but upon conditions; yet was I content to be bridled, receiving it as pleased them to give it. And further, requiring the sight of necessary evidences, for the declaration of divers things in traverse of my right, they would in no wise grant it.
And thereupon, considering their ungentleness, I moved the Quo warranto, knowing right well, that if they should show any substantial grant under the king’s seal for their corporation, it must therein appear the bishop to be the head, and ever hath been under the king; for other they never have, nor had, except they would return to Rome again; as I trust they will not. And yet, perceiving afterward that they had no special grant to show, or else such as they would not show, I myself, for the respect of unity, wrote my letters to the king’s attorney, by reason whereof the Quo warranto was stayed, and so yet remaineth.
But touching the certificate, the king’s subsidy being due at Michaelmas last, and forborne till after Christmas, and lawfully demanded afore, they did utterly refuse to pay both to my vicecollector and to myself, except I would take it of them in portions, not knowing where to ask the rest, and it is committed to me in the king’s roll a whole sum in gross, to be received of the canons residentiary for their dividend: who, because they cannot agree in dividing, would have the king’s majesty to tarry for his money, till they can agree to make division; and I cannot demand it of any particular person, nor at any particular place.
Wherefore I most humbly beseech your fatherly goodness, for the Lord’s sake, to persist and continue my good lord and friend unto such time as ye find me either desiring to be defended in my wrong, or not willing to put the judgment of my right cause into your hands. And because that the residue of matters touching them and their ungentle, untrue, and ungodly doings is too long, and I have molested you too much with this my tedious letter, I shall now surcease; humbly beseeching your good lordship to accept in good part this my boldness, proceeding of necessity, and to pardon it for the love of our Lord Jesus, who save and keep you in health, comfort, and honor long to endure, for the advancement of his glory. - Written at Aber Gwili, this 9th of March.
Your lordship’s to command during life, Robert Ferrar.
THE HISTORY OF ONE RAWLINS WHITE BURNED AT CARDIFF IN WALES ABOUT THE MONTH OF MARCH, FOR THE TESTIMONY OF CHRIST’S GOSPEL, REPORTED BY JOHN DANE, BEING YET ALIVE, WHO WAS ALMOST CONTINUALLY WITH HIM DURING HIS TROUBLE, UNTO HIS DEATH.
Forsomuch as we have here passed the history of master Ferrar, burned at the town of Caermarthen in Wales, I thought to adjoin and accompany with the same the history also of one Rawlins White, a fisherman, who, both in the like cause, and in the same country of Wales, and also about the same month of March and year aforesaid, gave his life, like a valiant soldier of Jesus Christ, to martyrdom, and was burned at Cardiff; the process of whose story here followeth expressed more at large.
This Rawlins was by his calling or occupation a fisherman, living and continuing in the said trade by the space of twenty years at the least, in the town of Cardiff, being (as a man of his vocation might be) one of a very good name, and well accounted amongst his neighbors. As touching his religion at the first, it cannot otherwise be known, but that he was a great partaker of the superstition and idolatry that then was used; I mean in the reign of king Henry the Eighth. But after that God of his mercy had raised up the light of his gospel, through the blessed government of king Edward the Sixth, here in this realm of England, this Rawlins began partly to mislike that which before he had embraced, and to have some good opinion of that which before, by the iniquity of the time, had been concealed from him: and the rather to bring this good purpose and intent of his to pass, he began to be a diligent hearer, and a great searcher-out of the truth.
But because the good man was altogether unlearned, and withal very simple, he knew no ready way how he might satisfy his great desire. At length it came in his mind to take a special remedy to supply his necessity, which was this: he had a little boy which was his own son; which child he set to school to learn to read English.
Now after the little boy could read indifferently well, his father, every night after supper, summer and winter, would have the boy to read a piece of the holy Scripture, and now and then of some other good book; in which kind of virtuous exercise the old man had such a delight and pleasure, that, as it seemed, he rather practiced himself in the study of the Scripture, than in the trade or science which beforetime he had used: so that Rawlins, within few years, in the said time of king Edward, through the help of his little son (a special minister appointed by God, no doubt, for that purpose), and through much conference besides, profited and went forward in such sort, that he was able not only to resolve himself touching his own former blindness and ignorance, but was also able to admonish and instruct others: and therefore, when occasion served, he would go from one place to another, visiting such as he had best hope in.
By which his doing, he became, in that country, both a notable and open professor of the truth, being at all times and in all such places, not without the company of his little boy, whom (as I have said) he used as an assistance to this his good purpose. And to this his great industry and endeavor in the holy Scripture, God did also add in him a singular gift of memory; so that by the benefit thereof he would and could do that, in vouching and rehearsing of the text, which men of riper and more profound knowledge, by their notes and other helps of memory, could very hardly accomplish; insomuch that he, upon the alleging of Scripture, very often would cite the book, the leaf, yea and the very sentence: such was the wonderful working of God in this simple and unlearned father.
Now when he had thus continued in his profession the space of five years, king Edward died, upon whose decease queen Mary succeeded, and, with her, all kind of superstition and papistry crept in. Which thing being once perceived, Rawlins did not altogether use open instruction and admonition, as before he was wont; and therefore oftentimes, in some private place or other, he would call his trusty friends together, and with earnest prayer and great lamentation pass away the time, so that by his virtuous instructions, being without any blemish of error, he converted a great number; which number, no doubt, had greatly increased, had not the cruel storm of persecution been. The extremity and force whereof, at the last, so pursued this good father Raw]ins, that he looked every hour to go to prison: whereupon many of those which had received comfort by his instructions, did resort unto him, and by all means possible began to persuade him to shift for himself, and to dispose his goods by some reasonable order to the use of his wife and children; and by that means he should escape that danger which was imminent over his head.
But Rawlins, nothing abashed for his own part through the iniquity of the time, and nothing at all moved with these their fleshly persuasions, thanked them most heartily for their good will. and told them plainly, that he had learned one good lesson touching the confessing and denial of Christ; advertising them, that if he, upon their persuasions, should presume to deny his master Christ, Christ, in the last day, would deny and utterly condemn him: “and therefore,” quoth he, “I will, by his favorable grace, confess and bear witness of him before men, that I may find him in everlasting life.”
Notwithstanding which answer, his friends were very importunate with him. Howbeit father Rawlins continued still in his good purpose so long, till at the last he was taken by the officers of the town. as a man suspected of heresy; upon which apprehension he was converted before the bishop of Llandaff that then was, the said bishop lying then at his house beside Chepstow; by whom, after divers combats and conflicts with him and his chaplains, this good father Rawlins was committed to prison in Chepstow. But this his keeping, whether it were by the bishop’s means, because he would rid his hands of him, or through the favor of his keeper, was not so severe and extreme, but that, if he had so listed, he might have escaped oftentimes.
But that notwithstanding, he continued still, insomuch that at the last he, by the aforenamed bishop, was removed from Chepstow to the castle of Cardiff, where he continued by the space of one whole year; during which time, this reporter resorted to him very often, with money and other relief from this reporter’s mother (who was a great favorer of those that were in affliction in those days), and other of his friends; which he received not without great thanks and praises given to the name of God. And albeit that he was thus troubled and imprisoned, as ye have heard, to his own undoing in this world, and to the utter decay of his poor wife and children; yet was his heart so set to the instruction and furtherance of others in the way of salvation, that he was never in quiet, but when he was persuading or exhorting such of his familiar friends, as commonly came unto him: insomuch that on the Sundays and other times of leisure, when his friends came to visit him, he would pass away the time in prayer and exhortations, admonishing them always to beware of false prophets, which come in sheep’s clothing.
Whereupon the fore-named bishop of Llandaff caused him to be brought again from the castle of Cardiff unto his own house beside Chepstow; and whilst he continued there, the bishop assayed many ways how to reduce him to some conformity. But when all means, either by their threatening words, or flattering promises, were to no purpose, the bishop willed him to advise, and be at a full point with himself, either to recant his opinions, or else to abide the rigor of the law: and thereupon gave him a day of determination; which day being come, the bishop with his chaplains went into his chapel, not without a great number of other by-dwellers, that came to behold the manner of their doings.
When the bishop with his retinue were placed in order, poor Rawlins was brought before them. The bishop, after a great deliberation in addressing himself, as it seemed, and silence forewarned to the rest that were there present, used a long kind of talk to him, declaring the cause of his sending-for, which was for that he was a man well known to hold heretical opinions, and that through his instruction many were led into blind error. In the end he exhorted him to consider his own estate wherein he stood: “for,” said the bishop, “Rawlins, you have oftentimes since your first trouble, both here in my house, and elsewhere, been travailed withal touching your opinions; and, that notwithstanding, ye seem altogether obstinate and willful Now hereupon we thought good to send for you, to see if there were any conformity in you: so that the matter is come to this point, that if you will show yourself repentant for that which you have done against God and the prince’s law, we are ready to use favor towards you; but, if by no means we can persuade with you touching your reformation, we are minded at this time to minister the law unto you - and therefore advise yourself, what you will do.
When the bishop had made an end of his long tale, this good father Rawlins spoke boldly to him, and said, “My lord, I thank God I am a christian man; and I hold no opinions contrary to the word of God: and if I do, I desire to be reformed out of the word of God, as a christian man ought to be.” Many more words were in like sort between the bishop and Rawlins, which this reporter doth not well remember. But in the end, when Rawlins would in no wise recant his opinions, the bishop told him plainly, that he must proceed against him by the law, and condemn him as a heretic. “Proceed in your law a God’s name,” said Rawlins; “but for a heretic you shall never condemn me while the world standeth.” “But,” said the bishop to Ms company, “before we proceed any further with him, let us pray unto God that he would send some spark of grace upon him. [meaning Rawlins] and it may so chance that God, through our prayer, will here turn and convert his heart.” When Rawlins heard the bishop say so, “Ah, my lord,” quoth he, “now you deal well, and like a godly bishop; and I thank you most heartily for your great charity and gentleness. Christ saith, “Where two or three be gathered together in my name, I will be in the midst of them:” and there be more than two or three of you. Now, if it be so that your request be godly and lawful, and that ye pray as ye should pray, without doubt God will hear you.
By and by the bishop with his company fell to prayer; and Rawlins, turning himself to a pew that stood somewhat near him, fell down upon his knees, covering his face with his hands. And when they had prayed a while, the bishop with his company arose from prayer; and then also arose Rawlins, and came before the bishop.
Then said the bishop, “Now Rawlins, how is it with thee? Wilt thou revoke thy opinions, or no?” “Surely,” said Rawlins, “my lord, Rawlins you left me, and Rawlins you find me; and, by God’s grace, Rawlins I will continue. Certainly if your petitions had been just and lawful, God would have heard them: but you honor a false God, and pray not as ye should pray; and therefore hath not God granted your desire. But I am only one poor simple man; as you see, and God hath heard my complaint, and I trust he will strengthen me in his own cause.”
The bishop, when he perceived that this hypocrisy of theirs took none effect, then with hot words he reproved him, and forthwith was ready to read the sentence. Howbeit, upon some advice given to him by his chaplains that were there present, he thought best, first, to have a mass, thinking that indeed, by so doing, some wonderful work should be wrought in Rawlins; and thereupon a priest began a mass.
In the meantime poor Rawlins betook himself to prayer in a secret place there by, until such time as the priest came to the sacring, as they term it, which is a principal point of their idolatry. When Rawlins heard the sacring-bell ring (as the use was), he rose out of his place, and came to the choir-door, and, there standing a while, turned himself to the people, speaking these words: “Good people! if there be any brethren amongst you, or, at the least, if there be but one brother amongst you, the same one bear witness at the day of judgment, that I bow not to this idol” — meaning the host that the priest held over his head.
The mass being ended, Rawlins eftsoons was called for again; to whom the bishop used many persuasions; but the blessed man continued so steadfast in his former profession, that the bishop’s talk was altogether in vain, and to no purpose: whereupon the bishop caused the definitive sentence to be read. Which being ended, Rawlins was dismissed; and from thence he was, by the bishop’s commandment, carried again to Cardiff, there to be put into the prison of the town, called Cockmarel; a very dark, loathsome, and most vile prison. Rawlins in the meantime passed away the time in prayer, and chiefly singing of psalms: which kind of godly exercise he always used, both at Cardiff-castle, and in all other places.
Now, after he had thus continued a prisoner in Cockmarel prison at Cardiff (as is aforesaid) a good space, about three weeks before the day wherein he suffered, the head-officers of the town, that had the charge of his execution, were determined to burn him, because they would be sooner rid of him; having not indeed a writ of execution awarded, as by the law they should have. Whereupon one Henry Lewis, the recorder of the town that then was, seeing that they went about to burn him without any warrant by writ, came to them and told them, that if they did burn him before they had the writ, “De haereticis comburendis,” the wife of the said Rawlins would, upon just cause, by law, call their doings into question.
Immediately upon this advertisement, they sent to London for the writ above-named; upon the receipt whereof they made some speed to the execution of the said Rawlins. Now, when the day was come wherein the good father should perform and accomplish the last act of this his worthy conflict, he was the night before willed to prepare himself.
Now when he perceived his time was no less near than it was reported unto him, he sent forthwith to his wife, and willed her by the messenger, that in any wise she should make ready and send unto him his wedding-garment, meaning a shirt, which afterward he was burned in: which request, or rather commandment of his, his wife, with great sorrow and grief of heart, did perform, and early in the morning did send it to him, which he received most gladly and joyfully. Now when the hour of his execution was come, this good and constant father Rawlins was brought out of prison, having on his body the long shirt, which (as you heard before) he called his wedding-garment, and an old russet coat which he was wont to wear. Besides this, he had upon his legs an old pair of leatherbuskins, which he had used long afore. And thus being brought out of prison (as I have said), he was accompanied, or rather guarded, with a great company of bills and glaves, which sight when he beheld, “Alas!” quoth he, “what meaneth all this? All this needed not. By God’s grace I will not start away: but I, with all my heart and mind, give unto God most hearty thanks, that he hath made me worthy to abide all this, for his holy name’s sake.”
So he came to a place in his way, where his poor wife and children stood weeping and making great lamentation; the sudden sight of whom so pierced his heart that the very tears trickled down his face. But he soon after, as though he had misliked this infirmity of his flesh, began to be as it were altogether angry with himself; insomuch that in striking his breast with his hand he used these words: “Ah flesh! stayest thou me so? wouldest thou fain prevail?
Well, I tell thee, do what thou canst, thou shalt not, by God’s grace, have the victory.” By this time this poor innocent came to the very altar of his sacrifice (I mean the place appointed for his death), and there found a stake ready set up, with some wood toward the making of the fire; which when he beheld, he set forward himself very boldly; but, in going toward the stake, he fell down upon his knees, and kissed the ground: and in rising again, the earth a little sticking on his nose, he said these words, “Earth unto earth, and dust unto dust: thou art my mother, and unto thee I shall return.” Then went he cheerfully and very joyfully, and set his back close unto the stake; and when he had stood there awhile, he cast his eye upon this reporter, and called him unto him, and said, “I feel a great fighting between the flesh and the spirit, and the flesh would very fain have his swinge; and therefore I pray you, when you see me any thing tempted, hold your finger up to me, and I trust I shall remember myself.”
As he was thus standing with his back close unto the stake, a smith came with a great chain of iron; whom when he saw, he cast up his hand with a loud voice, and gave God great thanks. Then the smith cast a chain about him; and as he was making it fast on the other side, Rawlins said unto him. “I pray you, good friend, knock in the chain fast; for it may be that the flesh would strive mightily; but God of thy great mercy give me strength and patience to abide the extremity!”
Now when the smith had made him sure to the stake, the officers began to lay on more wood, with a little straw and reed: wherein the good old man was no less occupied than the best; for as far as he could reach his hands, he would pluck the straw and reed, and lay it about him in places most convenient for is speedy despatch: which thing he did with such a cheerful countenance and familiar gesture, that all men there present were in a manner astonished.
Thus, when all things were ready, so that there lacked nothing but the putting-to of the fire, directly over against the stake, in the face of Rawlins, there was a standing erected, whereon stepped up a priest, addressing himself to speak to the people, which were many in number, because it was market-day. When Rawlins perceived him, and considered the cause of his coming, he reached a little straw unto him, and made two little stays, and set them under his elbows. Then went the priest forward in his sermon, wherein he spoke of many things touching the authority of the church of Rome. In the meantime Rawlins gave such good ear and attention, that he seemed nothing at all moved or disquieted. At the last, the priest came to the sacrament of the altar, and there he began to inveigh against Rawlins’s opinions: in which his invection he cited the common place of Scripture, and thereupon made a clerkly interpretation.
Now when Rawlins perceived that he went about not only to teach and preach the people false doctrine, but also to confirm it by Scripture, he suddenly started up, and beckoned his hands to the people, saying twice, “Come hither, good people; and hear not a false prophet preaching:” and then said unto the preacher, “Ah, thou naughty hypocrite! dost thou presume to. prove thy false doctrine by Scripture? Look in the text what followeth: did not Christ say, ‘Do this in remembrance of me!’ After which words the priest, being rather amazed than interrupted, forthwith held his peace.
Then some that stood by cried out, “Put fire, set to fire;” which being set to, the straw and reed, by and by, cast up both a great and sudden flame. In the which flame this good and blessed man bathed his hands so long, until such time as the sinews shrunk, and the fat dropped away; saving that once he did, as it were, wipe his face with one of them. All this while, which was somewhat long, he cried with a loud voice, “O Lord, receive my soul! O Lord, receive my spirit!” until he could not open his mouth. At the last the extremity of the fire was so vehement against his legs, that they were consumed almost before the rest of his body was burned, which made the whole body fall over the chain into the fire sooner than it would have done. During which time of his burning, it cannot be said that he suffered or felt any great pain, considering that not without his perfect memory he abode both quietly and patiently, even unto the departing of his life. Thus died this godly and old man Rawlins, for the testimony of God’s truth, being now rewarded, no doubt, with the crown of everlasting life.
It is recorded, furthermore, of the said good father Rawlins, by, this reporter, that as he was going to his death, and standing at the stake, he seemed in a manner to be altered in nature. For as before he was wont to go stooping, or rather crooked, through the infirmity of age, having a sad countenance and a very feeble complexion, and withal very soft in speech and gesture, now he went and stretched up himself not only bolt upright, but also bore withal a most pleasant and comfortable countenance, not without great courage and audacity both in speech and behavior. He had — of which thing I should have spoken before — about his head a kerchief; the hairs of his head (somewhat appearing beneath his kerchief), and also of his beard, were more inclining to white than to grey, which gave such a show and countenance to his whole person, that he seemed to be altogether angelical.
It is also said by this reporter, that a little before the fire flashed up to his body (as ye have heard), many of his friends came to him, and took him by the hand; amongst whom the reporter of this story held him so long by the hand, till the flame of the fire rose and forced them to sunder.
In the mean time the priest, of whom I spoke afore, cried out and said, that it was not lawful for any man to take him by the hand, because he was a heretic, and condemned by the church. — The chief cause of his trouble, was his opinion touching the sacrament of the altar. He was, at the time of his death, of the age of threescore years, or thereabouts.
THE SUM OF THE WORDS SPOKEN BY QUEEN MARY TO CERTAIN OF HER COUNCILLORS, MARCH 28, A.D. 1555, TOUCHING THE RESTITUTION OF THE ABBEY LANDS.
Before I pass over this month of March, I cannot but leave a little memorandum of the words or consultation of queen Mary, used to certain of the council the 28th day of the said month of March, touching the restoring again of the abbey lands; who, after she had called unto her presence four of her privy council, the day and month aforesaid (the names of which councilors were these, namely, William, lord marquis of Winchester, high treasurer of England; sir Robert Rochester, knight, the queen’s comptroller; sir William Peter, knight, secretary; sir Francis Englefield, knight, master of the wards); the said queen Mary inferred these words, the principal effect and sum whereof here followeth: — “You are here of our council; and we have willed you to be called unto us, to the intent you might hear of me my conscience, and the resolution of my mind, concerning the lands and possessions as well of monasteries, as of other churches whatsoever, being now presently in my possession. “First, I do consider, that the said lands were taken away from the churches aforesaid in the time of schism, and that by unlawful means, such as are contrary both to the law of God and of the church; for the which cause my conscience doth not suffer me to detain them: and therefore I here expressly refuse either to claim or to retain the said lands for mine; but with all my heart, freely and willingly, without all paction or condition, here, and before God, I do surrender and relinquish the said lands and possessions, or inheritances whatsoever, and do renounce the same with this mind and purpose, that order and disposition thereof may be taken, as shall seem best liking to our most holy lord the pope, or else his legate the lord cardinal, to the honor of God, and wealth of this our realm. “And albeit you may object to me again, that, considering the state of my kingdom, and the dignity thereof, my crown imperial cannot be honorably maintained and furnished without the possessions aforesaid: yet notwithstanding, I set more by the salvation of my soul, than by ten kingdoms; and therefore the said possessions I utterly refuse here to hold after that sort and title, and give most hearty thanks to Almighty God, which hath given me a husband likewise minded, with no less good affection in this behalf, than I am myself. “Wherefore I charge and command, that my chancellor (with whom I have conferred my mind in this matter before), and you four, tomorrow together do resort to the most reverend lord legate, and do signify to him the premises in my name, and give your attendance upon him for the more full declaration of the state of my kingdom, and of the foresaid possessions accordingly, as you yourselves do understand the matter, and can inform him in the same.”
This intimation being given by the queen, first unto the councilors, and then coming to the cardinal’s hand, he, drawing out a copy thereof in Latin, sent the same to the pope; which copy drawn in Latin, and coming afterward to my hand, I have thus translated into English, as you have heard.
Furthermore, here by the way is to be understood, that in the month before, which was February, and on the 19th day of the said month, the bishop of Ely and the lord Montacute, with seven score horse, were sent as ambassadors from the king and queen unto Rome; for what cause, in story it is not expressed; but, by conjecture, it may be well supposed to be for the same cause of abbey lands, as by the sequel thereof may probably appear.
For it was not long after, but the pope did set forth in print a bull of excommunication for all manner of such persons, without exception, as kept any of the church or abbey lands; by virtue of which bull, the pope excommunicated as well all such as had any of the church or abbey lands, as also all such princes, bishops, and noblemen, justices of peace and others in office, who had not, or did not forthwith, put the same bull in execution. Albeit this execution (God be thanked) yet, to this day, was never put in practice. Wherein again is to be observed another catholic fetch, not unworthy, perchance, of marking. For whereas this kind of Catholics, by rigor and force, may overmaster, they spare for no cost, but lay on load enough. This well appeared, and still doth appear, in burning the poor patient Christians, whom because they see to be destitute of power and strength to resist them, and content with patience to receive whatsoever is put unto them, there they play the lions, and make no end of burning and persecuting. But where they spy themselves to be overmatched, or fear to receive a foil in presuming too far, there they keep in, and can stay the execution of their laws and bulls, be they never so apostolical, till they spy their time convenient for their purpose, as in this case is evident for all the world to see. For notwithstanding that the pope’s bull, coming down with full authority for restitution of abbey lands, did so thunder out most terrible excommunication, not only against them which detained any such lands, but also against all others that did not see the pope’s commandment to be executed; yet neither Winchester, nor any of all the pope’s clergy, would greatly stir in that matter, perceiving the nobility to be too strong for them to match withal; and therefore were contented to let the case fall, or at least to stay for a time, while time might better serve them.
Yea, and moreover, under a crafty pretense that the nobility and men of lands, at the first coming out of the bull, should not be exasperated too much against them, they subtiley abused the pulpits, and dissembled with the people; affirming that the said pope’s late bull set forth in print, for restitution of abbey lands, was not meant for England, but for other foreign countries: whereas, in very deed, the meaning of that bull was only for England, and no country else, as both by this intimation of queen Mary here mentioned, and by many Other conjectures, and also by master Feckenham’s ballet of “Caveat emptor,” may appear; whereby it is easy for all men to understand’ what the; purpose of those men was to do, if time, which they observed, might have served their devotion.
But to let this matter, pass of the pope’s bull, the time now serveth to entreat of pope Julius’s death, forsomuch as he made his end about the latter end of this foresaid month of March. Concerning the deeds and acts of which pope, to make a full declaration, it were not so much tedious to the reader, as horrible to all good ears. Under this Julius flourished the archbishop of Benevento, a Florentine, named John de la Casa, dean of the pope’s chamber, and chief legate to the Venetians; who, well declaring the fruit of that filthy see, so far forgot both honesty and nature, that he shamed not only to play the filthiest immorality himself, and to boast openly of the same; but. also took upon him most impudently in Italian a14 metre, to all men’s ears, to set forth the praise and commendation of a certain nameless iniquity, saying, that he himself never used other: and this book was printed at Venice by one Trajanus Naevus. And yet the pope could suffer this so great iniquity and shameless beastliness, even under his nose in his own chamber; who could not abide the true doctrine of Christ in christian books.
Amongst other pranks and deeds of this foresaid pope, in his Jubilee, and in the synod of Trent, and in confirming of the idol of Loretto, this is also reported of him in his life, that he delighted greatly in pork-flesh and peacocks. Upon a time when he was admonished of his physician to abstain from all swine’s flesh, for that it was noisome for his gout, and yet would not follow his counsel; the physician afterward gave warning to his steward or orderer of his diet, that he should set no more pork-flesh before him. Whereupon when the pope perceived the said pork-flesh to be lacking in his accustomed service: “Where,” said he, “is my pork?” And when his steward had answered, that his physician had forbidden any pork to be served; then the pope, bursting out into a great rage, saith these words; “Bring me,” said he, “my pork-flesh, al dispetto di Dio,” that is to say in English, “in the despight of God.”
At another time, he, sitting at dinner, pointing to a peacock upon his table, which he had not touched, “Keep,” said lie, “this cold peacock for me against supper, and let me sup in the garden; for I shall have guests. “So when supper came, and, amongst other hot peacocks, he saw not his cold peacock brought to his table, the pope, after his wonted manner, most horribly blaspheming God, fell into an extreme rage, etc.; whereupon one of his cardinals, sitting by, desired him, saying,” Let not your holiness, I pray you, be so moved with a matter of so small weight.” Then this Julius the pope, answering again, “What,” said he, “if God was so angry for an apple, that he cast our first parents out of paradise for the same, why may not I, being his vicar, be angry then for a peacock, since a peacock is a greater matter than an apple.” Behold here, good reader, by this pope, the., holiness of that blasphemous see: and yet thou shalt see here what affection was borne to this pope here in England, by the diriges, hearses, and funerals, commanded to be had and celebrated in all churches by the queen and her council, as may appear by the copy of their letters here following:
A LETTER FROM THE BISHOP OF WINCHESTER a15 (BEING LORD CHANCELLOR) UNTO BONNER, BISHOP OF LONDON, TOUCHING THE CELEBRATING OF THE POPE’S, FUNERAL.
After my hearty commendations to your good lordship: The king and queen’s majesties having certain knowledge of the death of the pope’s holiness, thought good there should be as well solemn obsequies said for him throughout the realm, as also these prayers (which I send you herein inclosed), used at mass times in all places at this time of vacation; and therefore willed me to signify their pleasures unto you in this behalf, that thereupon ye might proceed to the full accomplishment thereof, by putting the same in due execution within your own diocese, and sending word to the rest of the bishops, to do the like in theirs. Thus doubting not but that your lordship will use such diligence in this mattel: at this time, as shall be necessary, I bid your lordship heartily well to fare.
From my house at Esher, the 10th of April, 1555.
PRAYERS COMMANDED TO BE USED IN THE FUNERAL MASSES FOR THE POPE, “APOSTOLICA SEDE VACANTE.”
Supplicite, Domine, humilitate deposcimus, ut tua immensa pietas Sacrosanctae Romance Ecclesiae concedat pontificem illum, qui et pro in nos studio semper tibi gratus, et tuo populo pro salubri regimine sit assidue ad gloriam tui nominis venerandus, per Dominum nostrum.
Tuae nobis, Domine, pietatis abundantia indulgeat, ut gratum majestati tuae pontificem sanctae matris ecclesiae regimini praeesse gaudeamus, per Dominum nostrum.
Preciosi corporis et sanguinis tui, Domine, sacramento refectos mirifica tuae majestatis gratia de illius summi pontificis assumptione laetificet, qui et plebem tuam virtutibus instruat, et fidelium mentes spiritualium aromatum odore perfundat, per Dominum nostrum.
A WOMAN OF ST. MAGNUS’S IMPRISONED FOR NOT PRAYING FOR THE POPE.
Upon this commandment, on Wednesday in Easter week there were hearses set up, and diriges sung for the said Julius in divers places; at which time it chanced a woman to come into St. Magnus’s church, at the bridge-foot in London, and there, seeing a hearse and other preparation, asked what it meant: and another that stood by said, that it was for the pope, and that she must pray for him. “Nay,” quoth she, “that will I not, for he needeth not my prayers: and seeing he could forgive us all our sins, I am sure he is clean himself; therefore I need not to pray for him.” She was heard speak these words of certain that stood by, who, by and by, carried her unto the cage at London-bridge, and bade her cool herself there.
A SPECTACLE FOR ALL CHRISTIANS TO BEHOLD, AND TO TAKE HEED OF THE POPE’S BLASPHEMOUS DOCTRINE.
By many and sundry ways Almighty God hath admonished men of all nations in these our latter years, to embrace, and not violently to repugn against, the light of his gospel: as first, by preaching of his word; secondly, by the blood of the martyrs; and thirdly, by terrible examples showed from time to time upon his adversaries. In the number of whom cometh here to be remembered the notable working of God’s hand upon a certain priest in Kent, named Nightingal, parson of Crundal beside Canterbury; who, upon Shrove-Sunday, which was about the third day of the said month of March, and year of our Lord aforesaid (rejoicing belike not a little at this alteration of religion), began to make a sermon to his parishioners, taking his theme out of the words of St. John: “He that saith that he hath no sin, is a liar, and the truth is not in him,” etc. And so upon the same very impertinently declared to them all such articles as were set forth by the pope’s authority, and by the commandment of the bishops of this realm; saying, moreover, unto the people in this wise: “Now masters and neighbors, rejoice and be merry; for the prodigal son is come home. For I know that the most part of you be as I am, for I know your hearts well enough. And I shall tell you what hath happened in this week past: I was before my lord cardinal Pole’s grace, and he hath made me as free from sin, as I was at the font-stone: and on Thursday last being before him, he hath appointed me to notify (I thank him for it) the same unto you, and I will tell you what it is.” — And so reading the pope’s bull of pardon that was sent into England, he said, he thanked God that ever he had lived to see that day; adding, moreover, that he believed, that by the virtue of that bull he was as clean from sin, as that night that he was born: — and immediately upon the same fell suddenly down out of the pulpit, and never stirred hand nor foot, and so lay he. This was testified by Robert Austen of Cartham, who both heard and saw the same, and it is witnessed also by the whole country round about.
JOHN AWCOCK, MARTYR.
In the beginning of April,-and the second day of the said month, died in prison John Awcock, who after was buried in the fields; as the manner of the papists was to deny their christian burial to such as died out of their popish antichristian church.
Now, forasmuch as having passed the month of March, we are entered into the month of April, to set down in order, out of public records, what happened in the said month, here followeth to be noted: that the 1st day of April, A.D. 1555, a letter was sent to the sheriff of Kent to apprehend Thomas Wodgat and William Maynard, for preaching secretly, and to send them up to the council. The 7th day of the said month, another letter was sent to the said sheriff for the apprehension of one Harwich, who went about, with a boy with him, preaching from place to place.
The 15th of April a letter was directed to sir Nicholas Hare, and sir Thomas Cornwallis, willing them to examine master Flower (alias Branch) what he meant, by wearing about his neck written, “Deum time, idolum fuge;” and whom else he knew to wear the like: praying them also to speak to Bonner bishop of London, speedily to proceed against him for his religion, according to the laws, and that the justices of peace of Middlesex should likewise proceed against him for shedding of blood in the church, according to the statute; so as if he continue his opinion, he might be executed at the furthest by the latter end of this week, and that his right hand be, the day before his execution, or the same day, stricken off.
The 29th of April, master Robert Hornebey, servant then to the lady Elizabeth, was convented before the council for his religion; and standing constantly to the truth, notwithstanding their threats and other persuasions, was therefore committed to the Marshalsea.
A DECLARATION OF THE LIFE, EXAMINATION, AND BURNING OF GEORGE MARSH, WHO SUFFERED MOST CONSTANT MARTYRDOM FOR THE PROFESSION OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST AT CHESTER, THE 24TH DAY OF APRIL, 1555.
The said George Marsh was born in the parish of Dean, in the county of Lancaster, and was well brought up in learning and honest trade of living by his parents; who afterwards, about the 25th year of his age, tool to wife an honest maiden of the country, with whom he continued, earning their living upon a farm, having children between them lawfully begotten: and then, God taking his wife out of this world, he being most desirous of godly studies (leaving his household and children in good order), went unto the university of Cambridge, where he studied, and much increased in learning and godly virtues, and was a minister of God’s holy word and sacraments, and for a while was curate to Laurence Saunders; as he himself reporteth. In which condition of life he continued for a space, earnestly setting forth God’s true religion, to the defacing of Antichrist’s false doctrine, by his godly readings and sermons, as well there and in the parish of Dean, as elsewhere in Lancashire.
Whereupon at length, by detection of certain adversaries, he was apprehended, and kept in close prison by George Cotes, then bishop of Chester, in strait prison in Chester, within the precinct of the bishop’s house, about the space of four months, being not permitted to have relief and comfort of his friends; but charge being given unto the porter, to mark who they were, that asked for him, and to signify their names unto the bishop; as by the particular description of his story, testified and recorded with his own pen, more evidently may appear in the process hereunder following.
THE HANDLING, ENTREATING, AND EXAMINATION OF GEORGE MARSH, BEING SENT FIRST BY THE EARL OF DERBY TO DR. COTES, BISHOP OF CHESTER.
On the Monday before Palm Sunday, which was the 12th day of March, it was told me at my mother’s house, that Roger Wrinstone, with other of master Barton’s servants, did make diligent search for me in Bolton; and when they perceived that I was not there, they gave strait charge to Roger Ward and Robert Marsh, to find and bring me to master Barton the day next following, with others, to be brought before the honorable earl of Derby, to be examined in matters of religion, etc.
I, knowing this, by relation of divers of my friends, was diversely affected; my mother, and other my friends advertising me to fly, and to avoid the peril, which thing I had intended afore after a week then next ensuing, if this in the meanwhile had not chanced; seeing that if I were taken, and would not recant in matters of religion (as they thought I would not, and as, God strengthening and assisting me with his holy Spirit, I never will) it would not only have put them to great sorrow, heaviness, and losses, with costs and charges, to their shame and rebuke in this world, but also mine own self, after troublous and painful imprisonment, unto shameful death.
This considered, they advised me and counseled me to depart and fly the country, as I had intended to have done, if this had not happened: to whose counsel my weak flesh would gladly have consented, but my spirit did not fully agree; thinking and saying thus to myself, that if I fled so away, it would be thought, reported, and said, that I did not only fly the country, and my nearest and dearest friends, but much rather from Christ’s holy word, according as these years past I had with my heart, or at least with mine outward living, professed, and with my mouth and word taught, according to the small talent given me of the Lord. I, being thus with their advice and counsel, and the cogitations and counsels of mine own mind, drawn as it were divers ways, went from my mother’s house, saying I would come again at evening.
In the mean time I ceased not, by earnest prayer, to ask and seek counsel of God (who is the giver of all good gifts), and of other my friends, whose godly judgments and knowledge I much trusted unto. After this, I met with one of my said friends on Dean Moor, about sun going-down: and after we had consulted together of my business, not without hearty prayer, kneeling on our knees, we departed. I not fully determining what to do, but taking my leave with my friend, said, I doubted not but God (according as our prayer and trust was) would give me such wisdom and counsel as should be most to his honor and glory, the profit of my neighbors and brethren in the world, and obtaining of mine eternal salvation by Christ in heaven.
This done, I returned to my mother’s house again, where had been divers of master Barton’s servants seeking after me; who, when they’ could not find me, straitly charged my brother and William Marsh to seek me that night, and to bring me to Smirhill the next day; who, being so charged, were gone to seek me in Adderton, or elsewhere I know not. Thus, intending afore to have been all night with my mother, but then considering that my tarrying there would disquiet her with her household, I departed from thence, and went beyond Dean Church, and there tarried all night with an old friend of mine, taking ill rest, and consulting much with myself of my trouble.
So at my first awaking, one came to me from a faithful friend of mine with letters, which I never read nor yet looked on, who said this: my friend’s advice was, that I should in no wise fly; but abide and boldly confess the faith of Jesus Christ. At whose words I was so confirmed and established in my conscience, that from thenceforth I consulted no more, whether was better, to fly or to tarry; but was at a point with in self, that I would not fl, but go to master Barton, who did seek for me, and there present myself, and patiently bear such cross as it should please God to lay upon my shoulders. Whereupon my mind and conscience, afore being much unquieted and troubled, was now merry and in quiet estate.
So betimes in the morning I arose, and after I had said the English Litany (as my custom was), with other prayers, kneeling on my knees by my friend’s bed-side, I prepared myself to go toward Smirhill: and as I was going thitherward, I went into the houses of Harry Widdowes, of my mother-in-law, of Rafe Yeton, and of the wife of Thomas Richardson; desiring them to pray for me, and have me commended to all my friends, and to comfort my mother, and be good to my little children: for (as I supposed) they should not see my face any more before the last day; and so took my leave of them, not without tears shed on both parties, and came to Smithill about nine of the clock, and presented myself afore master Barton; who showed me a letter from the earl of Derby, wherein he was commanded to send me with others to Latham.
Whereupon he charged my brother and William Marsh, to bring and deliver me the next day by ten of the clock, before the said earl or his council. I made earnest suit with other special friends which I had there at the same time, to master Barton, that he would take some one of them, or them all, bound by recognizance or otherwise, for mine appearing before the said earl or his said council, that my brother and William Marsh might be at home, because it was the chiefest time of seeding, and their ploughs could not go if they were not at home: but nothing could be obtained.
So we went to my mother’s, and there I dined and shifted part of my clothes, and so, praying, took my leave of my mother, the wife of Richard Marsh, and both their households, they and I both weeping; and so departed from them, and went toward Latham, and were all night a mile and a half on this side Latham. So the next day, which was Wednesday, we arose, prayed, and came to Latham betimes, and tarried there till four of the clock at afternoon.
Then was I called by Roger Mekinson to come to my lord and his council, and so I was brought into the chamber of presence, where was present sir William Norris, sir Pierce Leigh, master Sherburn the parson of Grappenhall, master More, with others; where when I had tarried a little while, my lord turned him toward me, and asked what was my name: I answered, “Marsh.”
Then he asked, whether I was one of those that sowed evil seed and dissension amongst the people: which thing I denied, desiring to know mine accusers, and what could be laid against me. But that I could not know.
Then, said he, he would with his council examine me themselves, and asked me whether I was a priest; I said, “No.” Then he asked me what had been my living. I answered I was a minister, served a cure, and taught a school. Then said my lord to his council, “This is a wonderful thing. Afore he said he was no priest, and now he confesseth himself to be one.” I answered, “By the laws now used in this realm (as far as I do know) I am none.”
Then they asked me who gave me orders, or whether I had taken any at all. I answered I received orders of the bishops of London and Lincoln.
Then said they one to another, “Those be of these new heretics;” and asked me what acquaintance I had with them. I answered, I never saw them but at the time when I received orders.
They asked me how long I had been curate, and whether I had ministered with a good conscience. I answered, I had been curate but one year, and had ministered with a good conscience, [thanked God; and if the laws of the realm would have suffered me, I would have ministered still; and if the laws at any time hereafter would suffer me to minister after that sort, I would minister again.
Then they asked me what my belief was. I answered, I believed in God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, according as the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments do teach, and according as the four symbols or creeds, that is to wit, the creed commonly called “Apostolorum,” the creed of Nice council, of Athanasius, and of Augustine and Ambrose do teach. And after a few words, the parson of Grappenhall said, “But what is. thy belief in the sacrament of the altar?” I answered, I believed that whosoever, according to Christ’s institution, did receive the holy sacrament of Christ’s body and blood, did’ eat and drink Christ’s body and blood, with all the benefits of his death and resurrection, to their eternal salvation; for Christ (said I) is ever present with his sacrament.
Then asked they me, whether the bread and wine, by the virtue of the words pronounced of the priest, were changed into the flesh and blood of Christ, and that the sacrament, whether it were received or reserved, was the very body of Christ: whereunto I made answer, I knew no further than I had showed already; “for my knowledge is unperfect,” said I: desiring them not to ask me such hard and unprofitable questions, whereby to bring my body into danger of death, and to suck my blood. Whereat they were not a little offended, saying they were no blood-suckers, and intended nothing to me but to make me a good christian man.
So, after many other questions, which I avoided as well as I could, remembering the saying of Paul, “Foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing they do but engender strife;” my lord commanded me to come to the board, and gave me pen and ink in my hand, and commanded me to write mine answers to the questions of the sacrament above named; and I wrote as I had answered before: whereat he, being much offended, commanded me to write a more direct answer, saying I should not choose but do it.
Then I took the pen and wrote, that further I knew not: whereat he, being sore grieved, after many threatenings, said, I should be put to shameful death like a traitor, with such other like words; and sometimes giving me fair words, if I would turn and be conformable as others were, how glad he would be.
In conclusion, after much ado, he commanded me to ward, in a cold, windy, stone house, where was little room; where I lay two nights without any bed, saving a few great canvass tent-clothes; and, that done, I had a pair of sheets, but no woollen clothes; and so continued till Palm Sunday, occupying myself’ as well as I could in meditation, prayer, and study: for no man could be suffered to come to me but my keeper twice a day, when he brought me meat and drink.
ANOTHER EXAMINATION OF GEORGE MARSH BEFORE THE EARL OF DERBY.
On Palm Sunday, after dinner, I was sent for to my lord and his council (saving sir William Norris and sir Pierce Leigh were not then present in place), amongst whom was sir John Biron, and the vicar of Prescot. So they examined me yet once again of the sacrament. And after I had communed apart with the vicar of Prescot a good space concerning that matter, he returned to my lord and his council with me, saying: that answer which I had made before, and then did make (as it is above written) was sufficient for a beginner, and as one which did not profess a perfect knowledge in that matter, until such time as I had learned further. Wherewith the earl was very well pleased, saying, he doubted not but by the means and help of the vicar of Prescot, I would be conformable in other things. So, after many fair words, he commanded I should have a bed, with fire, and liberty to go amongst his servants, so that I would do no harm with my communication amongst them.
And so, after much other communication, I departed, much more troubled in my spirit than afore, because I had not with more boldness confessed Christ, but in such sort as mine adversaries thereby thought they should prevail against me; whereat I was much grieved: for hitherto I went about as much as in me lay, to rid myself out of their hands, if by any means, without open denying of Christ and his word, that could be done.
This considered, I cried more earnestly unto God by prayer, desiring him to strengthen me with his Holy Spirit, with boldness to confess him: and to deliver me from their enticing words, and that I were not spoiled through their philosophy and deceitful vanity after the traditions of men and ordinances of the world, and not after Christ.
And so, after a day or two, I was sent for to the vicar of Prescot, and the parson of Grappenhall; where our most communication was concerning the mass: and he asked what offended me in the mass. I answered, the whole mass did offend me; first, because it was in a strange language, whereby the people were not edified, contrary to St. Paul’s doctrine, 1 Corinthians 14, and because of the manifold and intolerable abuses and errors contained therein, contrary to Christ’s priesthood and sacrifice.
Then they asked me in what place thereof: and I named certain places; which places they went about with gentle and far-sought interpretations to mitigate, saying, those places were understood far otherwise than the words did purport, or than I did take them.
I answered, I did understand them as they did purport, and as their own books do comment and gloss upon them.
They said, “sacrificium” or “oblatio” did not in the mass signify any thing else, than either a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, or else a memorial of a sacrifice or oblation. So they caused a massbook to be sent for, and showed me where, in some places of the mass, was written, “sacrificium laudis.” Whereto I answered, that it followed not therefore that in all places it signified a sacrifice or oblation of praise or thanksgiving; and although it did, yet was not a sacrifice of praise or thanksgiving to be offered for the sins of the people; for that did Christ, by his own passion, once offer on the cross: whereas the words of the mass were, that the priest did offer an oblation and sacrifice for the sins and offenses both of himself, and of the people; for them that were dead, and for the salvation of the living: and that the commixion of the body and blood of Christ, was health both of body and soul. The vicar answered, that was to be understood of the commixion of Christ’s body and blood with his church or people. So, after much exhortation unto me that I should be conformable to the true catholic church (which, as they meant, was the Romish church), I departed, not consenting unto them.
So within a day or twain came to me master More, bringing with him certain articles, whereunto Dr. Crome had consented and subscribed in the presence of certain witnesses in the days of king Henry the Eighth, and willed me to read them over, and asked me whether I would consent and subscribe unto those articles: and after communication had of one or two of the said articles, I confessed plainly I would in no wise consent and subscribe to those articles: for then I did against mine own conscience: and so he departed.
So within a short space after, which was on Shere-Thursday, the said parson and vicar sent for me again, saying, my lord would be at a short point with me: for if I would not consent and subscribe unto four articles drawn out of the articles aforesaid, I must go to prison straightways.
The second , whether the Almighty, by the words pronounced by the priest, did change the bread and wine, after the words of consecration, into the body and blood of Christ, whether it were received or reserved?
Fourthly , whether confession to the priest now used in England were godly and necessary?
These four questions or articles they delivered me in writing, and bade me go to my chamber and subscribe my answers with mine own hand, and come again. So within one half hour I came to them again, and delivered them the questions with mine answers. The first I denied. The second I answered, as did to my lord afore, and as is above written. To the third I answered, that the lay people, by Christ’s institution, ought to receive under both kinds, and that it sufficeth not them to receive under the one kind only. Fourthly, that though confession auricular were a commodious mean to instruct the rude people, yet it was not necessary nor commanded of God.
They much exhorted me then to leave mine opinions, saying, I was much deceived, understanding the Scriptures amiss; and much counseled me to follow the catholic church of Christ, and to do as others did. I answered, my faith in Christ conceived by his holy word I neither could nor would deny, alter, or change, for any living creature, whatsoever he were; desiring them to speak to my lord, that during my life and imprisonment my poor. friends might be suffered to relieve me with necessary things according to their powers. And so, after much exhortation of them, to do and believe as the catholic church did, we departed; I from thenceforth, continuing in the porter’s ward, not coming forth of my chamber, saving at noon and night while I dined and supped.
Upon one of the Easter holydays master Sherburu and master More sent for me, persuading me much. to leave mine. opinions; saying, all the bringers up and favorers, of that religion had evil luck, and were either put to. death or in prison, and in danger of life. Again, the favorers of the religion now used had wondrous good luck and prosperity in all things: with many other worldly reasons of man’s wisdom; for as for the Scriptures, master Sherburn confessed himself ignorant. I answered, that I believed and leaned only to the Scriptures, not judging things by prosperity or adversity: but they earnestly advised me to refuse mine opinions, and not to let for any worldly shame. I answered, that that which I did, I did not for the avoiding of any worldly shame, saying, My soul and life were dearer to me than the avoiding of any worldly shame: neither yet did I it for any vain praise of the world, but in the reverent fear of God.
Then master More questioned with me of receiving the sacrament under the one kind. I said, Christ’s institution was plain, that all men should drink of the cup. Then he told me of Luke 24 and Acts 20, where was but mention of breaking of bread only: whereof he gathered, that they received the sacrament but under one kind. That I denied, saying, those places either did not speak of the celebration of the Lord’s supper, or else under the name of breaking bread was signified and meant the receiving of the sacrament, both of the body and blood of Christ, according to his institution.
So, after much communication of that matter, master Sherburn said, it was great pity that I, being a well-favored young man, and one that might have good living and do good, would so foolishly cast myself away, sticking so hard to such foolish opinions. I answered as afore I had done to my lord and to his council, that my life, mother, children, brethren, sisters, and friends, with other delights of life, were as dear and sweet unto me as unto any other man, and that I would be as loth to lose them as another would, if I might hold them with good conscience, and without the ignominy of Christ; and seeing I could not do that, my trust was, that God would strengthen me with his Holy Spirit to lose them all for his sake: for I take myself (said I) for a sheep appointed to be slain, patiently to suffer what cross soever it shall please my merciful Father to lay on me. And so, after I had desired them that if I were committed to prison my friends might be suffered to relieve me, they departed.
Master More, after this, brought unto me a book of one Alphonsus a16 a Spanish friar, of all heresies wherewith the church of Rome, which he called Christ’s true church, had been troubled since Christ’s time; willing me to read and take counsel of that book: and appointed me a place, where this author did write against them that say, the lay-people ought to receive under both kinds.
This author I perceived did vehemently write against Luther, Melancthon, Pellican, and other Germans of this our time, in all points defending the blasphemous abuses and enormities of the Romish church, condemning as detestable heresies whatsoever was written, taught, or believed, contrary to the same; using for his strongest and surest arguments, the consent, agreement, and determination of the Romish church. So, within a few days, master More came to me again, asking me how I liked the book. I said the author of the book did in all points, being a papist, allow the rites and abuses of the Romish church: and showed him further, that this author, without authority, and contrary both to the Scriptures and old doctors, did condemn for heresy the lay people receiving of this sacrament under both kinds, whereas this author witnesseth his own self, that Christ’s church, nine hundred years after Christ, used the contrary.
So in conclusion he rebuked me, saying I was unlearned, and erred from the catholic faith; stubborn, and stood altogether in mine own conceit. I answered, for my learning, I knowledge myself to know nothing but Jesus Christ, even him that was crucified, and that my faith was grounded upon God’s holy word only, and such as, I doubted not, pleased God, and as I would stand in until the last day, God assisting me; and that I did not say or do any thing either of stubbornness, self-willfulness, vain-glory, or any other worldly purpose, but with good conscience, and in the fear of God: and desired him to speak to my lord and his council, that I might find some gentleness and mercy at their hands. He made me but short answer. Then I said, I commit my cause unto God, who hath numbered the hairs of my head, and appointed the days of my life; saying, I am sure God, which is a righteous judge, would make inquisition for my blood, according as he hath promised. Then he took his book from me, and departed.
I continued still in ward until Low Sunday, and after dinner my keeper, Richard Scot, came to me into my chamber, and told me that two young men were come to carry me to Lancaster; and so delivered me unto them, a great company, both of my lord’s servants and others, accompanying and bringing me on the way, unto Richard Adderton’s, and somewhat further; counseling and persuading like as is aforesaid. To whom I made plain answer, that in matters of faith! would give place to no earthly creature. So they comforted me, and said that they were sorry for me, saying; If I knew mine own opinion to be good, I did well: and so they departed, willing my bringers to entreat me honestly.
My bringers by the way showed me they were willed and advised to bind me, and that they desired first to see me: and after they had looked on me sitting at dinner, they answered they would take charge of me being loose, for they said I seemed to be an honest man.
The first night we were all night at Broughton, and the second day we came to Lancaster betimes at afternoon, and so they kept me all night with them of their gentleness, and on the morrow delivered me to the jailor, who brought me into the highest prison, where I do remain.
After that, the said George came to Lancaster castle, and there being brought with other prisoners: auto the sessions, was made to hold up his hands with the malefactors. The. earl of Derby had this communication with him as here followeth:
COMMUNICATION BETWEEN GEORGE MARSH AND THE EARL OF DERBY.
I said unto my lord, I had not dwelled in the country these three or four years past, and came home but lately to visit my mother, children, and other my friends, and to have departed out of the country before Easter then next, and to have gone out of the realm.
Wherefore I trusted, seeing nothing could be laid against me, wherein I had offended against the laws of this realm, his lordship would not with captious questions examine me, to bring my body into danger of death, to the great discomfort of my mother; but suffer me to avoid peaceably, seeing I might have fled out of the country, and yet of mine own will came to his lordship.
He said to his council, he had heard tell of me above at London; and intended to make search for me, and take me either in Lancashire or above at London; and asked me into what land I would have gone.
I answered, I would have gone either into Almain, or else into Denmark. He said to his council — in Denmark they used such heresy as they have done in England; but as for Almain, he said, the emperor had destroyed them.
So, after such like words I said unto him, my trust was, that his lordship, being of the honorable council of the late king Edward, consenting and agreeing to acts concerning faith toward God and religion, under great pain, would not so soon after consent to put poor men to shameful death, as he had threatened me, for embracing the same with so good a conscience.
He answered, that he, with the lord Windsor and lord Dacres, with one more, whose name I have forgotten, did not consent to those acts; and that the nay of them four would be to be seen, as long as the parliament-house stood. Then my lord did rehearse the evil luck of the dukes of Northumberland and Suffolk, with others, because they favored not the true religion; and again the good hap and prosperity of the queen’s highness, because she favored the true religion: thereby gathering the one to be good, and of God, and the other to be wicked, and of the devil; and said, that the duke of Northumberland confessed so plainly.
GEORGE MARSH TO THE READER.
Forsomuch as not only when I was at Latham, but also since I departed thence, I hear that there be divers and sundry reports and opinions of the cause of mine imprisonment, as well at Latham as at Lancaster (as by credible persons. I am informed), some saying it was only because I would not do open penance; and some, because I could not agree with my lord and his council concerning the sacrament of Christ’s body and blood, and the manner of Christ’s presence there; some because I would not grant it sufficient, and according to Christ’s institution, the lay-people to receive the said sacrament under the one kind only: I thought it good, dearly beloved in Christ, and my bounden duty, to certify you by mine own hand-writing, of mine examination and handling at Latham, and to tell you the truth as near as I could, to quiet your mind in this behalf; and therefore I have here written with mine own hand the certainty of those things, as near as I could, here above expressed, not omitting any thing at all concerning religion, whereof they did examine me: howbeit I perceive in some things I keep not the same order in writing that thing which was asked by them, and answered by me afore and after, as it was in very deed in all points, saving this: telling the truth as near as I can, desiring you to accept in good worth this my good will, and to pray for me and all them that be in bonds, that God will assist us with his Holy Spirit; and that we may with boldness confess his holy name; and that Christ may be magnified in our bodies, that we may stand full and perfect in all the will of God; to whom be all honor and glory, world without end, Amen.
While I was (saith he) in ward at Latham, divers at sundry times came unto me. Some said unto me that all my fellows had recanted, and were gone home, whereas indeed that was not so; for I saw divers of them divers times after. Others said, that it was reported amongst my lord’s household, that I had consented and agreed in all things with my lord and his council.
Furthermore, while I was at Lancaster, at this session, many came to me to talk with me: some of good will towards me, but without knowledge gave me such like counsel as Peter gave Christ as he went up to Jerusalem, when he took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, ‘Master, favor thyself; this thing shall not be unto thee.’ But I answered with Christ’s sharp answer unto Peter again; who turned about, and said unto Peter, ‘Come after me, Satan;’ and, perceiving that they were a hindrance unto me, and that they savored not the things which are of God, but the things that are of men, I made them plain answer; that I neither could, nor would, follow their counsel, but that by God’s grace I would both live and die with a pure conscience, and according as hitherto I had believed and professed. For we ought in no wise to flatter and bear with them, though they love us never so well, which go about to pluck us away from the obedience that we owe unto God and to his word; but after Christ’s example sharply to rebuke them for their counsel.
Some others, yea even strangers also, came to me far unlike to these, who, after sober communication had, consented with me in all things, lamenting much my troublous estate, giving me comfortable words and some money too; and resorted to me oftentimes, for the space of two, three, or four days. There came also many priests to me, by two, three, four, five, or six at once, whose mouths it was a thing easy enough to stop; for the priests (which is much to be lamented) be not always the greatest clerks, and best learned in the law of God. At their departing they either consented with me, or else had nothing to say against me, saying, they could find no fault with my words. My communication with them was about the sacrament. There came also into the prison to me master Westby, master Ashton of Hill, master Ashton of Chatterton, and many more, both gentlemen and others, to my great comfort; unto whom I had good occasion to utter a great part of my conscience; for God so strengthened me with his spirit of boldness, according to my humble request and prayer before, (everlasting thanks be given him there-for!) that I was nothing afraid to speak to. any that. came to me, no not even to judges themselves, before whom I was thrice arraigned at the bar, amongst the thieves, with irons on my feet, and put up my hand as others did; but yet with boldness I spoke unto them, so long as they would suffer me.
They also sent for me the fourth time into their chamber, where, amongst other things, they laid it straitly to my charge, that I had reported, that I knew a whole mess of good gentlemen in Lancashire of mine opinion; and straitly charged me, upon pain of allegiance to the queen’s grace, to show who they were. But I denied that I had spoken any such thing (as it was, indeed, a false forged lie of some wicked wretches). After that, they threatened and rebuked me, for my preaching to the people out of the prison, as they called it, and for my praying, and reading, so loud that the people in the streets might hear. The truth is, I and my prisonfellow Warbarton, every day kneeling on our knees, did read morning and evening prayer, with the English Litany every day twice, both before noon and after, with other prayers more, and also read every day certain chapters of the Bible, commonly towards night: and we read all these things with so high and loud a voice, that the people without in the streets might hear us, and would oftentimes, namely in the evenings, come and sit down in our sights under the windows, and hear us read; wherewith others being offended, complained.
All this while George Marsh was not yet brought before the bishop, whose name was Dr. Cotes , a17 placed the same time in the bishopric of Chester. Of whose coming then into Lancaster, the said George Marsh reporteth himself as followeth:
HOW THE BISHOP CAME TO LANCASTER, AND OF HIS DOINGS THERE, IN SETTING UP IDOLATRY.
The bishop, being at Lancaster, there set up and confirmed all blasphemous idolatry, as holy-water-casting procession, gadding, mattins-mumbling, children-confirming, mass-hearing, idolsupsetting, with such. heathenish rites forbidden by God; but no gospel-preaching, which Christ, God’s Son, so earnestly commanded. He was informed of me, and willed to send for me and examine me; which thing he refused to do, saying he would have nothing to do with heretics so hastily: so hasty in judgment, and calling men heretics, are our bishops in their lordly dignities, afore they hear or see what is to be amended or condemned; contrary to the express commandment of God’s word, which saith, “Condemn no man, before thou hast tried out the truth of the matter; and when thou hast made inquisition, then reform righteously. Give no sentence before thou hast heard the cause, but first let men tell out their tale: and he that giveth sentence in a matter before he hear it, is a fool, and worthy to be confounded.”
And instead of his liberality towards me, poor prisoner, he sent for the jailor, and rebuked him because he suffered one to fare so well; willing to have me more strictly kept and dieted: but if his lordship were tabled but one week with me, I do think he would judge our fare but slender enough.
Also he, and his chaplains and chancellor, did find fault with the schoolmaster and others, for speaking to me, as to a most heinous heretic, and also with the jailor for suffering them. Such is the mercy that those religious fathers show to the friendless and comfortless in their adversities. If we may know the tree by the fruits (as Christ saith), no man can judge such for any other, but for very enemies to Christ and his true religion. God lay it never to their charges; but forgive them, and turn their hard hearts, if it be his will!
But it is no new thing for the bishops to persecute the truth, and the prophets of the Lord for their constancy in preaching of the true faith; for so did their Pharisaical forefathers, if ye mark well the histories of the holy Bible. Pashur (Jeremiah 20:1.) was the head bishop of the temple, the ring-leader of false prophets, the chief heretic-taker; that is as much as to say, the out-thruster of true godliness, After that the dignity of priesthood was given unto him, he abused it; for he, taught not, neither reproved by the word, but feared the godly with cruelty He not only struck, but also imprisoned, the holy prophet Jeremy; though he withstood him not, but presently looked for the help of God, steadfastly preaching the truth of God.
What mischief the ungracious bishop Jason wrought among the Jews, destroying all godliness, and setting up abominable idolatrous laws, ye may read in 2 Mac. 4. How the execrable and blind bishops, Annas and Caiaphas, which never spoke the truth of God themselves, unless it were against their wills, unwittingly, to their utter destruction — how (I say) they pressed the truth in Christ and his apostles, is so well known that I need not to rehearse it.
And thus much hitherto concerning the prisonment of George Marsh, and his examinations before the earl of Derby and his deputies above named.
Now proceeding further in the troublesome persecution of this blessed man, let us likewise consider the latter part of his troubles and examinations which followed under the bishop of the same diocese, which was Dr. Cotes; the effect whereof, being drawn out of his own writing, here briefly is to be seen, as followeth.
THE TROUBLES AND EXAMINATION OF GEORGE MARSH, UNDER DOCTOR COTES, BISHOP OF CHESTER.
Ye heard before, how George Marsh, being first imprisoned at Latham, and afterward translated unto Lancaster, was troubled by the earl. Again, within few days after, the said Marsh was removed from Lancaster; and coming to Chester, was sent for by Dr. Cotes, then bishop, to appear before him in his hall, nobody being present but they twain; and then he asked him certain questions concerning the sacrament: who made such answers as the bishop seemed therewith to be content, saving that he utterly denied transubstantiation, and allowed not the abuse of the mass, nor that the lay-people should receive under one kind only, contrary to Christ’s institution; in which points the bishop went about to persuade him: howbeit (God be thanked) all in vain. Much other talk he had with him, to move him to submit himself to the universal church of Rome; and when he saw he could not prevail, he sent him to prison again. And after, being there, came to him divers times one Massie, a fatherly old man, one Wrench the schoolmaster, one Hensham the bishop’s chaplain, and the archdeacon, with. many more; who, with all probability of words and philosophy, or worldly wisdom and deceitful vanity, after the tradition of men, and the beggarly ordinances and laws of the world, but not after Christ (as it were all singing one song), went about to persuade him to submit himself to the church of Rome, and to acknowledge the pope to be head thereof, and to interpret the Scriptures none otherwise than that church did; with many such like arguments and persuasions of fleshly wisdom.
To whom the said George Marsh answered, that he did acknowledge and believe (though much evil be withal annexed) one holy catholic and apostolic church, without which there is no salvation, and that this church is but one; because it ever hath, doth, and shall, confess and believe one only God, and him only worship; and one only Messiah, and in him only trust for salvation: which church also is ruled and led by one Spirit, one word, and one faith; and that this church is universal and catholic, because it ever hath been since the world’s beginning, is, and shall endure to the world’s end, and comprehending within it all nations, kindreds, languages, degrees, states, and conditions of men; and that this church is built only upon the foundation of the prophets and apostles, Jesus Christ himself being the head corner-stone; and not upon the Romish laws and decrees, the bishop of Rome being the supreme head.
And whereas they said, the church did stand in ordinary succession of bishops, being ruled by general councils, holy fathers, and the laws of holy church, and so had continued by the space of fifteen hundred years and more; he made answer, that the holy church, which is the body of Christ, and therefore most worthy to be called holy, was before any succession of bishops, general councils, or Romish decrees neither yet was bound to any time or place, ordinary succession, general councils, or traditions of fathers, neither had any supremacy over empires and kingdoms: but that it was a little poor silly flock, dispersed and scattered abroad, as sheep without a shepherd in the midst of wolves, or as a flock of orphans and fatherless children; and that this church was led and ruled by the only laws, counsels, and word of Christ, he being the Supreme Head of this church, and assisting, succoring, and defending her from a]l assaults, errors, troubles, and persecutions, wherewith she is ever compassed about.
He showed and proved unto them also, by the flood of Noah, the destruction of Sodom, the Israelites departing out of Egypt; by the parables of the sower, of the king’s son’s marriage, of the great supper, and by other plain sentences of Scripture, that this church was of none estimation, and little in comparison of the church of hypocrites and wicked worldlings.
He was thrust at with all violence of craft and subtlety, but yet the Lord upheld him and delivered him. Everlasting thanks be to that merciful and faithful Lord, which suffereth us not to be tempted above our might, but in the midst of our troubles strengtheneth us with his most Holy Spirit of comfort and patience, giveth us a mouth and wisdom how and what to speak, where-against all his adversaries were not able to resist.
ANOTHER APPEARANCE OF GEORGE MARSH BEFORE DR.
COTES, BISHOP OF CHESTER.
Now, after that the said bishop had taken his pleasure in punishing this his prisoner, and often reviling him, giving taunts and odious names of heretic, etc., he caused him to be brought forth into a chapel, in the cathedral church of Chester, called Our Lady Chapel, before him the said bishop, at two o’clock in the afternoon, who was there placed in a chair for that purpose, and Fulk Dutton, mayor of the said city, Dr. Wall, and other priests assisting him, placed not far from the said bishop, but somewhat lower; George Wensloe, chancellor, and one John Chetham, registrar, sat directly over against the said bishop.
Then they caused the said George Marsh to take an oath upon a book, to answer truly unto such articles as should be objected against him. Upon which oath taken, the chancellor laid unto his charge, that he had preached and openly published most heretically and blasphemously within the parish of Dean, Eccles, Bolton, Bury, and many other parishes within the bishop’s diocese, in the months of January, February, or some other time of the year last preceding, directly against the pope’s authority and catholic church of Rome, the blessed mass, the sacrament of the altar, and many other articles. Unto all which in sum he answered, that he neither heretically nor blasphemously preached or spoke against any of the said articles; but simply and truly, as occasion served, and (as it were thereunto forced in conscience) maintained the truth touching the same articles, “as,” he said, “all you now present did acknowledge the same in the time of the late king Edward the Sixth.”
Then he answered them unto every article very modestly, according to the doctrine by public authority received and taught in this realm at the death of the said king Edward: whose answers were every one noted and written by the registrar, to the uttermost that could make against him, which cannot at this present be gotten. After this, the company for that time brake up, and he was returned to his prison again.
THE LAST AND FINAL APPEARANCE OF GEORGE MARSH BEFORE THE SAME.
Within three weeks after this, or thereabouts, in the said chapel, and in like sort as before, the said bishop and others before named there being assembled, the said George Marsh was brought by his keeper and others with bills and divers weapons before them; where, first, the said chancellor, by way of an oration, declared unto the people present the said bishop’s charge and burning charity, who, even like as a good shepherd doth see to his flock, that none of his sheep have the scab or other disease for infecting other clean sheep, but will save and cure the said scabbed sheep; so his lordship had sent for the said George Marsh there present, as a scabbed sheep, and had weeded him out for corrupting others, and had done what he could in showing his charitable disposition toward the said Marsh, to reduce him from his naughty heresies; but all that he could do would not help; so that he was now determined, if the said Marsh would not relent and abjure, to pronounce and give sentence definitive against him. Wherefore he bade the said George Marsh to be now well advised what he would do, for it stood upon his life: and if he would not at that present forsake his heretical opinions, it would be (after the sentence given) too late, though he would never so gladly desire it.
Then the said chancellor first asked him, whether he were not one of the bishop’s diocese? To the which he answered, that he knew not how large his diocese was, for his continuance was at Cambridge. But then they replied and asked, whether he had not lately been at Dean parish in Lancashire, and there abode? And he answered, “Yea.” Then the chancellor read all his former answers that he made in that place at his former examination; and at every one he asked him, whether he would stick to the same, or no? To the which he answered again, “Yea, yea.” “How say ye then to this?” quoth the chancellor. - “In your last examination, amongst many other damnable and schismatical heresies you said, that the church and doctrine taught and set forth in king Edward’s time, was the true church, and the doctrine, the doctrine of the true church; and that the church of Rome is not the true and catholic church.” “I so said indeed,” quoth Marsh, “and I believe it to be true.” Here also others took occasion to ask him (for that he denied the bishop of Rome’s authority in England) whether Linus, Anacletus, and Clement, that were bishops of Rome, were not good men, and he answered, “Yes, and divers others; but,” said he, “they claimed no more authority in England than the bishop of Canterbury doth at Rome; and I strive not,” quoth he, “with the place, neither speak I against the person of the bishop, but against his doctrine; which in most points is repugnant to the doctrine of Christ.” “Thou art an arrogant fellow indeed then,” said the bishop. “In what article is the doctrine of the church of Rome repugnant to the doctrine of Christ?”
To whom George Marsh answered and said, “O my Lord, I pray you judge not so of me: I stand now upon the point of my life and death; and a man in my case hath no cause to be arrogant, neither am I, God is my record. And as concerning the disagreement of the doctrine, among many other things the church of Rome erreth in the sacrament. For whereas Christ, in the institution thereof, did as well deliver the cup, as the bread, saying, ‘Drink ye all of this;’ and Mark reporteth, that they did drink of it: in like manner St. Paul delivered it unto the Corinthians. And in the same sort also was it used in the primitive church by the space of many hundred years. Now the church of Rome doth take away one part of the sacrament from the laity. Wherefore, if I could be persuaded in my conscience by God’s word that it were well done, I could gladly yield in this point.”
Then said the bishop, “Non disputandum est cum haeretico,” that is, “There is no disputing with a heretic.” And therefore when all his answers were read, he asked him whether he would stand to the same; “being as they were,” said he, “full of heresy, or else forsake them, and come unto the catholic church.”
To whom he made this full answer, and said, that he held no heretical opinion, but utterly abhorred all kind of heresy, although they most untruly so did slander him. And he desired all the people present to bear him witness (if hereafter any would slander him, and say that he held any grievous heresy), that in all articles of religion he held none other opinion than was by law most godly established and publicly taught in England at the death of king Edward the Sixth; and in the same pure religion and doctrine he would, by God’s grace, stand, live, and die. — And here the chancellor spoke to one Leach, which stood near unto Marsh, and bade him stand farther from him; for his presence did him no good.
This being done, the bishop took a writing out of his bosom and began to read the sentence Of condemnation: but when the bishop had read almost half thereof, the chancellor called him, and said, “Good my lord, stay, stay; for if ye proceed any farther, it will be too late to call it again: and so the bishop stayed. Then his popish priests, and many other of the ignorant people, called upon! Marsh, with many earnest words, to recant; and, amongst others, one Pulleyn a shoe-maker, said to him, “For shame, man, remember thyself, and recant.” They bade him kneel down and pray, and they would pray for him: so they kneeled down, and he desired them to pray for him, and he would pray for them.
The bishop then asked him again, whether he would not have the queen’s mercy in time; and he answered, he did gladly desire the same, and did love her grace as faithfully as any of them; but yet he durst not deny his Savior Christ, for losing his mercy everlasting, and so win everlasting death.
Then the bishop put his spectacles again upon his nose, and read forward his sentence about five or six lines, and there again the chancellor with a glavering and smiling countenance called to the bishop, and said, “Yet, good, my lord, once again stay; for if that word be spoken, all is past, no relenting will then serve.” And the bishop, pulling off his’ spectacles, sad,’ “I would stay; and if, it would be!” “How sayest thou,” quoth he, “wilt thou recant.? Many of the priests and ignorant people bade him do so, and call to God for grace; and pulled him by the sleeve, and bade him recant and save his life. To whom he answered, “I would as fain live as you, if in so doing I should not deny my master Christ; and so again he should deny me, before his Father in heaven.”
So the bishop read out his sentence unto the end, and strait after said unto him, “Now will I no more pray for thee, than I will for a dog.” And Marsh answered, that notwithstanding he would pray for his lordship: and after this the bishop delivered him unto the sheriffs of the city. Then his late keeper bade him, “Farewell, good George,” with weeding tears, which caused the officers to carry him to a prison at the North-gate, where he was very straitly kept until the time he went to his death, during which time he had small comfort or relief of any worldly creature.
For being in the dungeon or dark prison, none that would him good could speak with him, or at least durst enterprise so to do for fear of accusation: and some of the citizens who loved him in God, for the gospel’s sake (whereof there were but a few), although, they were never acquainted with him, would sometimes in the evening, at a hole upon the wall of the city (that went into the said dark prison), call to him, and ask him how he did.
He would answer them most cheerfully, that he did well; and thanked God most highly, that he would vouchsafe of his mercy to appoint him to be a witness of his truth, and to suffer for the same, wherein he did most rejoice; beseeching him that he would give him grace not to faint under the cross, but patiently bear the same to his glory, and comfort of his church: with many other like godly sayings at sundry times, as one that most desired to be with Christ. Once or twice he had money cast him in at the same hole, about ten pence at one time, and two shillings at another time; for which he gave God thanks, and used the same to his necessity.
When the time and day appointed came that he should suffer, the sheriffs of the city, whose names were Amry and Cooper, with their officers and a great number of poor simple barbers with rusty bills and pole-axes, went to the North-gate, and there took out the said George Marsh, who came with them most humbly and meekly, with a lock upon his feet. And as he came upon the way towards the place of execution, some folks proffered him money, and looked that he should have gone with a little purse in his hand (as the manner of felons was accustomed in that city in times past, at their going to execution), to the end to gather money to give unto a priest to say trentals or masses for them after their death, whereby they might, as they thought, be saved: but Marsh said, he would not as then be troubled with meddling with money; but willed some good man to take the money, if the people were disposed to give any, and to give it unto the prisoners or poor people. So he went all the way unto his death with his book in his hand, looking upon the same; and many of the people said, “This man goeth not unto his death as a thief’, or as one that deserveth to die.”
Now when he came to the place of execution without the city, near unto Spittle-Boughton, one Vawdrey, being then deputy chamberlain of Chester, showed Marsh a writing under a great seal, saying, that it was a pardon for him if he would recant. Whereat Marsh answered, that he would gladly accept the same (and said further that he loved the queen); but, forasmuch as it tended to pluck him from God, he could not receive it upon that condition.
After that, he began to speak to the people, showing the cause of his death, and would have exhorted them to stick unto Christ. Whereupon one of the sheriffs said, “George Marsh, we must have no sermoning now.” To whom he said, Master, I cry you mercy: and so kneeling down made his prayers, and then put off his clothes unto his shirt, and then was he chained to the post, having a number of faggots under him, and a thing made like a firkin, with pitch and tar in the same over his head; and by reason the fire was unskillfully made, and that the wind did drive the same to and fro, he suffered peat extremity in his death, which notwithstanding he abode very patiently.
Wherein this in him is to be noted, that when he had been a long time tormented in the fire without moving, having his flesh so broiled and puffed up, that they which stood before him underneath could see the chain wherewith he was fastened, and therefore supposed no less but he had been dead; notwithstanding suddenly he spread abroad his arms, saying, “Father of heaven, have mercy upon me!” and so yielded his spirit into the hands of the Lord.
Upon this, many of the people said, that he was a martyr, and died marvelous patiently and godly: which thing caused the bishop shortly after to make a sermon in the cathedral church, and therein affirmed, that the said Marsh was a heretic, burnt like a heretic, and was a fire-brand in hell.
In recompense of this his good and charitable sermon, within short time after, the just judgment of God appeared upon the said bishop, recompensing him in such wise, that not long after he turned up his heels and died. Upon what cause his death was gendered, I have not here precisely to pronounce, because the rum our and voice of the people is not always to be followed. Notwithstanding, such a report went in all men’s mouths, that he died of a disgraceful disease. Whereupon, whether he died so or no, I am not certain, neither dare lean too much upon public speech: albeit this is certain, that when he was afterward searched, being dead, by some of his secret friends and certain aldermen for stopping the rumor of the people, this maidenly priest and bishop was found not to be free from certain appearance which declared but small virginity in him, and that the rumor was not raised up altogether upon nought amongst the people. But of this I will stay, and proceed no further; not because more cannot be said, but because I will not be so uncharitable in defacing these men, as they are cruel in condemning God’s servants to death. f23 This good man, George Marsh, wrote divers and sundry letters out of prison, besides his examinations, as before ye have heard: touching the which his examinations, this letter first he sendeth to his friends, the copy whereof here followeth.
A LETTER OF GEORGE MARSH TO THE READER, TOUCHING THE MATTER OF HIS EXAMINATION.
Here have you, dearly beloved friends in Christ, the chief and principal articles of christian doctrine briefly touched, which heretofore I have both believed, professed, and taught; and as yet do believe, profess, and teach; and am surely purposed, by God’s grace, to continue in the same until the last day. I do want both time and opportunity to write out at large the probations, causes, parts, effects, and contraries or errors of these articles, which whoso desireth to know, let them read over the common places of the godly learned men, Philip Melancthon and Erasmus Sarcerius, whose judgment in these matters of religion, I do chiefly follow and lean unto. The Lord give us understanding in all things, and deliver us from this present evil world, according to his will and pleasure, and bring us again out of this hell of affliction, into which it hath pleased the merciful Lord to throw us down; and deliver us out of the mouth of the lion, and from all evil doing, and keep us unto his everlasting and heavenly kingdom. Amen.
Though Satan be suffered as wheat to sift us for a time, yet faileth not our faith through Christ’s aid, but that we are at all times able and ready to confirm the faith of our weak brethren, and always ready to give an answer to every man that asketh us a reason of the hope that is in us; and that with meekness and reverence, having a good conscience; that whereas they backbite us as evil doers, they may be ashamed, forasmuch as they have falsely accused our good conversation in Christ. (1 Peter 3.) I thought myself now of late years, for the cares of this life, well settled with my loving and faithful wife and children, and also well quieted in the peaceable possession of that pleasant Euphrates, I do confess it: but the Lord, who worketh all things for the best to them that love him, would not there leave me, but did take my dear and beloved wife from me; whose death was a painful cross to my flesh.
Also I thought myself now of late well placed under my most loving and most gentle master Laurence Saunders, in the cure of Langton. But the Lord of his great mercy would not suffer me long there to continue (although for the small time I was in his vineyard, I was not all an idle workman): but he hath provided me, I perceive it, to taste of a far other cup; for by violence hath he yet once again driven me out of that glorious Babylon, that I should not taste too much of her wanton pleasures, but with his most dearly beloved disciples to have my inward rejoicing in the cross of his Son Jesus Christ; the glory of whose church, I see it well, standeth not in the harmonious sound of bells and organs, nor yet in the glistering of mitres and copes, neither in the shining of gilt images and lights (as the blind papists do judge it), but in continual labors and daily afflictions for his namesake.
God, at this present here in England, hath his fan in his hand; and after his great harvest, whereunto these years past he hath sent his laborers, is now sifting the corn from the chaff, and purging his floor, and ready to gather the wheat into his garner, and burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
Peter doth teach us, there shall be false teachers amongst us, which privily shall bring in damnable sects: and saith, that many shall follow their damnable ways, by whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of, and that through covetousness they shall with reigned words make merchandize of us. And Christ earnestly warneth us, to beware of false. prophets, which come to us in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits you shall know them. The fruits of the prophets are their doctrine. In this place are all we Christians taught, that we should try the preachers, and others that come under color to set forth true religion unto us, according, to the saying of St. Paul, “Try all things, and choose that which is good.” Also the evangelist St. John saith, “Believe not every sprat; but prove, the spirits, whether they be of God or not: for many false prophets,” saith he, “are gone out into the world.” Therefore if thou wilt know the true prophets from the false, try their doctrine by the true touch-stone, which is the word of God: and as the godly Bereans did, search ye the Scriptures, whether those things which be preached unto you, be even so or not; for else, by the outward conversation of them, ye may easily be deceived: “Desunt fortassis aliqua.” *This George Marsh was also curate of Laughton in Leicestershire, of which master Saunders was the parson. He was learned, godly, and diligent in his office. He played not the hireling, as many hired parish priests did in those days, but, like the faithful servant of a full faithful Shepherd, kept his sheep from the poisonous infection of the popish wolves, by sound and diligent teaching. And when tyranny, with force, prevailed, then, by patient suffering, he vanquished their fury, and, by suffering death, as ye have heard, he confirmed his sheep and people in the truth taught.* A LETTER EXHORTATORY OF GEORGE MARSH, TO THE FAITHFUL PROFESSORS OF LAUGHTON.
I thought it my duty to write unto you, my beloved in the Lord at Laughton, to stir up your minas, and to call to your remembrance the words which have been told you before, and to exhort you (as that good man, and full of the Holy Ghost, Barnabas, did the Antiochians). that with purpose of heart ye continually cleave unto the Lord; (Acts 11.) and that ye stand fast, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, whereof, God be thanked, ye have had plenteous preaching unto you by your late pastor master Saunders, and other faithful ministers of Jesus Christ, which now, when persecution ariseth because of the word, (Luke 8.) do not fall away like shrinking children and forsake the truth, being ashamed of the gospel whereof they have been preachers; but are prest and ready, for your sakes, which are Christ’s mystical body, (Romans 1) to forsake not only the chief and principal delights of this life (I do mean, their native countries, friends, livings, etc.): but also to fulfill their ministry to the utmost, that is to wit, with their painful imprisonments and blood-sheddings, if need shall require, to confirm and seal Christ’s gospel, whereof they have been ministers; and, as St. Paul saith, they are ready not only to be cast into prison, but also to be killed for the name of the Lord Jesus. (Acts 21.)
Whether of these — being that good salt of the earth, (Matthew 5.) that is, true ministers of God’s word, by whose doctrine, being received through faith, men are made savory unto God, and which themselves lose not their saltness, now when they be proved with the boisterous storms of adversity and persecution; — or others, being that unsavory salt which hath lost his saltness; that is to wit, those ungodly ministers, which do fall from the word of God unto the dreams and traditions of Antichrist: whether of these, I say, be more to be credited and believed, let all men judge.
Wherefore, my dearly beloved, receive the word of God with meekness, that is grafted in you, which is able to save your souls: and see that ye be not forgetful hearers, deceiving yourselves with sophistry, but doers of the word; (James 2.) whom Christ doth liken to a wise man, which buildeth his house on a rock; that when the great rain descended, and the floods came and beat upon the house, it fell not, because it was grounded upon a rock (Matthew 7.) this is to wit, that when Satan, with all his legion of devils, with all their subtle suggestions, and the world with all the mighty princes thereof, (Psalm 2.) with their crafty counsels, do furiously rage against us, we faint not, but abide constant in the truth; being grounded upon a most sure rock, which is Christ, and the doctrine of the gospel, against which the gates of hell (that is, the power of Satan) cannot prevail. (Matthew 16.)
And be ye followers of Christ and his apostles, and receive the word in much affliction, as the godly Thessalonians did (1 Thessalonians 2.) for the true followers of Christ and the apostles, be they which receive the word of God. They only receive the word of God, which both believe it, and also frame their lives after it, and be ready to suffer all manner of adversity for the name of the Lord; as Christ and all the apostles did, and as all that will live godly in Christ Jesu must do (2 Timothy 3.) for there is none other way into the kingdom of heaven, but through much tribulation. (Acts 14.) And if we suffer any thing for the kingdom of heaven’s sake, and for righteousness’ sake, we have the prophets, Christ, the apostles, and martyrs, for an ensample to comfort us (Matthew 5,7. Mark 8.) for they did all enter into the kingdom of heaven at the strait gate and narrow way that leadeth unto life, which few do find. And unless we will be content to deny our own selves, and take up the cross of Christ and follow him, we cannot be his disciples; for if we deny to suffer with Christ and his saints, it is an evident argument, that we shall never reign with him.
And again, if we can find in our hearts patiently to suffer persecutions and tribulations, it is a sure token of the righteous judgment of God, that we are counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which we also suffer. “It is verily,” saith the apostle, (2 Thessalonians 1.) “a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble us, and rest to us that be troubled:” for after this life, the godly, being delivered from their tribulations and pains, shall have a most quiet and joyful rest; whereas the wicked and ungodly, contrariwise, shall by the parable of the rich glutton and wretched Lazarus, doth plainly declare and teach. (Luke 16.) These ought we to have before our eyes always; that in the time of adversity and persecution (whereof all that will be the children of God shall be partakers, and wherewith it hath pleased God to put some of us in ure already), we may stand steadfast in the Lord, and endeavor even unto the end, that we may be saved. (Hebrews 12.) For unless we, like good warriors of Jesus Christ, will endeavor ourselves to please him who hath chosen us to be soldiers, and fight the good fight of faith even unto the end, we shall not obtain that crown of righteousness, which the Lord that is a righteous judge, shall give to all them that love his coming. (1 Timothy 2.)
Let us therefore receive with meekness the word that is graffed in us, which is able to save our souls, (James 1.) and ground ourselves on the sure rock Christ. For, as the apostle saith, “other foundation can no man lay, besides that which is laid already, which is Jesus Christ. If any man build on this foundation, gold, silver, precious stones, timber, hay, stubble, every man’s work shall appear, for the day shall declare it, and it shall be showed in the fire. And the fire shall try every man’s work what it is. If any man’s work that he hath built upon, abide, he shall receive a reward: if any man’s work burn, he shall suffer loss; but he shall be safe himself, nevertheless yet as it were through fire.” (1 Corinthians 3.)
By fire here doth the apostle understand persecution and trouble; for they which do truly preach and profess the word of God, which is called the word of the cross, shall be railed upon and abhorred, hated, thrust out of company, persecuted and tried in the furnace of adversity, as gold and silver are tried in the fire. By gold, silver, and precious stones, he understandeth them that in the midst of persecution abide steadfast in the word. By timber, hay, and stubble, are meant such, as in time of persecution do fall away from the truth. And when Christ doth purge his floor with the wind of adversity, these scatter away from the face of the earth like light chaff, which shall be burned with unquenchable fire. If they then which do believe, do in time of persecution stand steadfastly in the truth, the builder (I do mean the preacher of the word) shall receive a reward, and the work shall be preserved and saved: but if so be that they go back and swerve when persecution ariseth, the builder shall suffer loss, that is to say, shall lose his labor and cost; but yet he shall be saved, if he, being tried in the fire of persecution, do abide fast in the faith. (1 Corinthians 3. Matthew 5. Luke 6.
Wherefore, my beloved, give diligent heed, that ye as living stones be built upon this sure rock, and be made a spiritual house and a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable unto God by Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2. 2 Cotinthians 3.) For we are the true temple of God, and the Spirit of God dwelleth in us, if so be that we continue in the doctrine of the gospel. (1 Peter 2.) We are also a holy and royal priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices and oblations; for the sacrifices of the New Testament are spiritual, and of three manners. The first is the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving; which St. Paul doth call the fruits of those lips which confess the name of God. (Hebrews 13.) The second is mercy towards our neighbors, as the prophet Hosea saith, “I will have mercy and not sacrifice;” (Hosea 6.) read also Matthew 25. The third is, when we make our body a quick sacrifice, holy, and acceptable unto God; that is, when we mortify and kill our fleshly concupiscences and carnal lusts, and so bring our flesh, through the help of the Spirit, under the obedience of God’s holy law. This is a sacrifice to God most acceptable, which the apostle calleth “Our reasonable serving of God.” (Romans 12.) And let us be sure, that unless we do now at this present take better heed to ourselves, and use thankfully the grace of God offered to us by the gospel preached these years past, whereby we are induced and brought to the knowledge of the truth; unless, I say, we keep Christ and his holy word (Ephesians 3.) dwelling by faith in the house and temple of our hearts, the same thing that Christ threateneth unto the Jews (Matthew 14.) shall happen unto us; that is to wit, the unclean spirit of ignorance, superstition, idolatry, and infidelity or unbelief, the mother and head of all vices, which, by the grace of God, was cast out of us, bringing with him seven other spirits worse than himself, shall, to our utter destruction, return again unto us; and so shall we be in worse case than ever we were before. For if we, after we have escaped from the filthiness of the world, through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, be yet tangled therein again, and overcome, then is the latter end worse than the beginning; and it had been better for us not to have known the way of righteousness, than after we have known it, to turn from the holy commandment given to us. (2 Peter 2.) For it is then happened unto us according to the true proverb, “The dog is turned to his vomit again, and the sow that was washed, to wallowing in the mire.” (Proverbs 26.) And thus to continue and per. severe in infidelity, and to kick against the manifest and known truth, and so to die without repentance, and with a despair of the mercy of God in Jesus Christ, is to sin against the Holy Ghost, which shall not be forgiven, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. (Matthew 13.) “For it is not possible,” saith St. Paul, “that they which were once lighted, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and have tasted of the good word of God, and of the power of the world to come; if they fall away, should be renewed again by repentance; forasmuch as they have, as concerning themselves, crucified the Son of God again, making a mocking of him.” (Hebrews 6.) St. Paul’s meaning in this place is, that they that believe truly and unfeignedly God’s word, do continue and abide steadfast in the known truth.
If any therefore fall away from Christ and his word, it is a plain token that they were but dissembling hypocrites, for all their fair faces outwardly, and never believed truly; (Matthew 26.) as Judas, Simon Magus, Demas, Hymeneus, Philetus, and others were, which all fell away from the known verity, and made a mock of Christ: which St. Paul doth call here, to crucify Christ anew, because that they, turning to their old vomit again, did most blasphemously tread the benefits of Christ’s death and passion under their feet. They that are such, can in no wise be renewed by repentance, for their repentance is fleshly, as the repentance of Cain, Said, and Judas was; which, being without godly comfort, breedeth desperation unto death. These are not of the number of the elect: and, as St. John doth say, “They went out from us, but they-were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us unto the end.” (1 John 2.) Also the apostle saith in another place. “If we sin willingly, after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sin, but a fearful looking for judgment and violent fire, which shall devour the adversaries.” (Hebrews 10.)
They sin willingly, (Romans 1.) which of a set malice and purpose do withhold the truth in unrighteousness and lying, kicking against the manifest and open known truth, which although they do perfectly know that in all the world there is none other sacrifice for sin, but only that omni-sufficient sacrifice of Christ’s death; yet, notwithstanding, they will not commit themselves wholly unto it, but rather despise it, allowing other sacrifices for sin, invented by the imagination of man (as we see by daily experience), unto whom, if they abide still in their wickedness and sin, remaineth a most horrible and dreadful judgment. This is that sin unto death, for which St. John would not that a man should pray. (1 John 5.)
Wherefore, my beloved in Christ, let us, on whom the ends of the world are come, (1 Corinthians 10.) take diligent heed unto ourselves, that now, in these last and perilous times, in the which the devil is come down, and hath great wrath because he knoweth his time is but short, and whereof the prophets, Christ, and the apostles have so much spoken, (Apocalypse 22. Matthew 24.) and given us so earnest forewarning, we withhold not the truth in unrighteousness, (Romans 1.) believing, doing, or speaking any thing against our knowledge and conscience, or without faith. For if we so do, for whatsoever cause it be, it is a willful and obstinate infidelity, and a sin unto death: and as our Savior Christ saith, “If ye believe not, ye shall die in your own sins.” (John 8.) For unless we hold fast the word of life (Philippians 2.) both believing it, and also bringing forth fruit worthy of repentance, we shall, with the unprofitable fig-tree, which did but cumber the ground, be cut down, (Matthew 3.) and our talent taken from us, and given unto another that shall put it to a better use: (Luke 13.) and we, through our own unthankfulness put from the mercy of God, shall never be able to pay our debts; that is to say, we shall altogether be lost and undone. (Matthew 18.) For the earth that drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them that dress it, receiveth blessing of God; but that ground that beareth thorns and briers, is reproved and is nigh unto cursing, whose end is to be burned. (Hebrews 16.)
Nevertheless, dear friends, we trust to see better of you, and things which accompany salvation, and that ye, being the good ground, watered with the moistness of God’s word, plenteously preached among you, will with a good heart hear the word of God and keep it, bringing forth fruit with patience. (Luke 8. James 1.) And be none of those forgetful and hypocritish hearers, which, although they hear the word, yet the devil cometh, (Matthew 13.) and catcheth away that which was sown in their heart; either having no root in themselves, endure but a season, and as soon as tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by they are offended; or, with the cares of this world and deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and so are unfruitful. Read the parable of the sower, and among other things, note and mark, that the most part of the hearers of God’s word are but hypocrites, and hear the word without any fruit or profit, yea, only to their greater condemnation; for only the fourth part of the seed doth bring forth fruit. Therefore let not us, that be ministers, or professors, and followers of God’s word, be discouraged, though that very few do give credit, and follow the doctrine of the gospel, and be saved.
Whosoever therefore hath ears to hear, let him hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have abundance; but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath: that is to say, they that have a desire of righteousness, and of the truth, shall be more and more illuminated of God: on the contrary part, they that do not covet after righteousness and truth, are more hardened and blinded, though they seem unto themselves most wise. For God doth here follow an example of a loving father, which when he seeth that fatherly love and correction doth not help towards his children, useth another way. He ceaseth to be beneficial unto them, and to minister unto them fatherly correction: he giveth them over unto themselves, suffering them to live as they list themselves.
Matthew 6.) and that ye, like very Gaderenites, for fear to lose your worldly substance or other delights of this life, will not banish away Christ and his gospel from among you; but that ye, with all diligence of mind, will receive the word of God, taught you by such ministers as now, when persecution ariseth because of the word, are not ashamed of the, testimony of our Lord Jesus, but are content to suffer adversity with the gospel, and therein to suffer trouble as evil doers, even unto bonds. (Acts 14. 2 Timothy 1. Timothy 2.) And if ye refuse thus to do, your own blood will be upon your own heads. (Acts 18.) And as ye have had plenteous preaching of the gospel, more than others have had, — so ye shall be sure, if ye repent not and bring forth fruits worthy of repentance, to be sorer plagued, and to receive greater vengeance at God’s hand, than others; and the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and be given to another nation, which will bring forth the fruits thereof.
Wherefore, my dearly beloved in Christ, take good heed to yourselves, and ponder well in your minds, how fearful and horrible a thing it is to fall into the hands of the living God. And see that ye receive not the word of God in vain, (James 2. Galatians 5.
Titus 2.) but continually labor in faith, and declare your faith by your good works, which are infallible witnesses of the true justifying faith, which is never idle. but worketh by charity. And see that ye continually give yourselves unto all manner of good works; amongst the which the chiefest are, to be obedient to the magistrates (since they are the ordinance of God, whether they be good or evil) unless they command idolatry and ungodliness; that is to say, things contrary unto true religion: for, then ought we to say with Peter, “We ought more to obey God than man.” But in any wise we must beware of tumult, insurrection, rebellion, or resistance. The weapon of a Christian in this matter, ought to be the sword of the Spirit, (Romans 13.)which is God’s word and prayer, coupled with humility and due submission, and with heart ready, rather to die than to do any ungodliness. Christ also doth teach us, that all power is of God, yea even the power of the wicked, which God causeth oftentimes to reign for our sins and disobedience towards him and his word. Whosoever then doth resist any power, doth resist the ordinance of God, and so purchase to himself utter destruction and undoing. (Acts 5.
We must-also, by all means, be promoters of unity, peace, and concord. We must honor and reverence princes, and all that be in authority; and pray for them, and be diligent to set-forth their profit and commodity. (1 Peter 2.) Secondly, We must obey our parents, or them that be in their rooms; and be careful for our households, that they be provided for and fed, not only with bodily food, but much rather with spiritual food, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6. 1 Timothy 5.) Thirdly, We must serve our neighbors by all means we can, remembering well the saying of Christ, “Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye likewise unto them; for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Mathhew 7.) Fourthly, We must diligently exercise the necessary work of prayer for all estates; knowing that God therefore hath so much commanded it, and hath made so great promises unto it, and doth so well accept it. After these works, we must learn to know the cross, and what affection and mind we must bear towards our adversaries and enemies, whatsoever they be, to suffer all adversities and evils patiently, to pray for them that hurt, persecute, and trouble us: and by thus using ourselves, we shall obtain a hope and certainty of our vocation, that we be the elect children of God. (2 Peter 2. Acts 20.)
And thus I commend you, brethren, unto God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build further, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified; (Romans 15.) beseeching you to help master Saunders and me your late pastors, and all them that be in bonds for the gospel’s sake, (Colossians 4.) with your prayers to God for us, that we may be delivered from all them that believe not, and from unreasonable and froward men; and that this our imprisonment and affliction may be to the glory and profit of our christian brethren in the world; and that Christ may be magnified in our bodies, whether it be by death or by life. (Philippians 1.) Amen.
ANOTHER LETTER OF THE SAID GEORGE MARSH, TO CERTAIN OF HIS DEARLY BELOVED FRIENDS AT MANCHESTER IN LANCASHIRE.
After salutations in Christ to you, with thanks for your friendly remembrances of me, desiring and wishing unto you, not only in my letters, but also in my daily prayers, such consolation in spirit, and taste of heavenly treasures, that ye may thereby continually work in faith, labor in love, persevere in hope, and be patient in all your tribulations and persecutions, even unto the end and glorious coming of Christ: these shall be earnestly to exhort and beseech you in Christ, as ye have received the Lord Jesus, even so to walk, rooted in him, and not to be afraid of any terror of your adversaries, be they never so many and mighty, and you on the other side never so few and weak: for the battle is the Lord’s. (Colossians 2. Philippians 2. 1 Peter 3. Matthew 10. Luke 11.)
And as, in times past, God was with Abraham, Moses, Isaac, David, the Maccabees, and others, and fought for them, and delivered all their enemies into their hands, even so hath he promised to be with us also unto the world’s end, and so to assist, strengthen, and help us, that no man shall be able to withstand us. “For as I was with Moses, so will I be with thee,” saith God, “and will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” “Be strong and bold; neither fear nor dread: for the Lord thy God is with thee, whithersoever thou goest.” “Now if God be on our side, who can be against us?” (Joshua 2. Romans 8.)
In this our spiritual warfare is no man overcome, unless he traitorously leave and forsake his Captain, either cowardly cast away his weapons, or willingly yield himself to his enemies, either fearfully turn his back and fly. Be strong therefore in the Lord, dear brethren, and in the power of his might, and put on all the armor of God, that ye may be able to stand steadfast against the crafty assaults of the devil. (Ephesians 6. 2 Corinthians 11:12. Acts 21.)
Now what weapons ye must fight withal, learn of St. Paul; a champion both much exercised, and also most valiant and invincible. For we must think none other, but that the life of man is a perpetual warfare upon earth, as the examples of all godly men throughout all ages do declare. The valiant warrior St. Paul, being delivered from the hands of the ungodly, and that so many times, and also from so many extreme perils and dangers of death, as he his own self doth witness, is fain to commit himself in the end to the rough waters of the sea, where he was in great peril and jeopardy of his own life: yet was God always (to the great comfort of all that hear of it) most ready to comfort and succor him, and gloriously delivered him out of all his troubles, so that no man that invaded him, could do him any harm; and in the end he was compelled to say, “I have finished my course; the time of my departing is at hand; I long to be loosed, and to be with Christ, which is best of all, most heartily desiring death.” (Acts 28. Timothy 4. Philippians 1. Romans 15.)
These things be written for our learning and comfort, and be to us a sure obligation, that if we submit ourselves to God and his holy word, no man shall be able to hurt us; and that he will deliver us from all troubles, yea from death also, until such time as we covet and desire to die. Let us therefore run with patience unto the battle that is set before us, and look unto Jesus the Captain and Finisher of our faith; (Hebrews 12.) and after his example, for the reward’s sake that is set out unto us, patiently bear the cross and despise the shame. For all that will live godly in Christ Jesu, shall suffer persecution. (2 Timothy 3.)
Christ was no sooner baptized, and declared to the world to be the Son of God, (Matthew 3:4.) but Satan was, by and by, ready to tempt him; which thing we must look for also: yea, the more we shall increase in faith and virtuous living, the more strongly will Satan assault us: whom we must learn, after the example of Christ, to fight against, and overcome with the holy and sacred Scriptures, the word of God (which is our heavenly armor), and sword of the Spirit. (Ephesians 6.) And let the fasting of Christ, while he was tempted in the wilderness, be unto us an example of sober living; not for the space of forty days (Matthew 1.) (as the papists do fondly fancy of their own brains), but as long as we are in the wilderness of this wretched life, assaulted of Satan, who, like a roaring lion, walketh about, and ceaseth not, seeking our utter destruction. (1 Peter 5.) Neither can the servants of God at any time come and stand before God; that is, lead a godly life, and walk innocently before God, but Satan cometh also among them; (Job 1:2.) that is, he daily accuseth, findeth fault, vexeth, persecuteth, and troubleth the godly: for it is the nature and property of the devil always to hurt and do mischief, (Matthew 8.) unless he be forbidden of God: for unless God doth permit him, he can do nothing at all, not so much as enter into a filthy hog: but we are more of price than many hogs before God, if we cleave unto his Son by faith. Let us therefore, knowing Satan’s deceits and rancor, walk the more warily, and take unto us the shield of faith, wherewith we may be able to quench and overcome all the fiery and deadly darts of the wicked. (Ephesians 6.) Let us take to us the helmet of salvation, and sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, and learn to use the same according to the example of our grand captain Christ. Let us fast and pray continually. (Matthew 4:17.) For this frantic kind of devils goeth not out otherwise, as Christ doth teach us, but by faithful prayer and fasting, which is true abstinence and soberness of living, if we use the same according to the doctrine of the gospel and word of God. Fasting is acceptable to God, if it be done without hypocrisy; that is to say, if we use it to this intent, that thereby this mortal body and disobedient carcass may be tamed and brought under the subjection of the Spirit; and again, if we fast to this intent, that we may spare wherewith to help and succor our poor needy brethren.
This fast do the true Christians use all the days of their life, although among the common sort of people remaineth yet still that superstitious kind of fasting, which God so earnestly-reproveth by his prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 58.) For as for true chastening of the body, and abstaining from vice, with showing mercy towards our needy neighbors, we will neither understand nor hear of it, but still think, with the Jews, that we do God a great pleasure when we fast; and that we then fast, when we abstain from one thing, and fill our bellies with another. And verily in this point doth our superstition much exceed the superstition of the Jews; for we never read that they ever took it for a fast, to abstain from flesh, and to eat either fish or white-meat, as they call it.
To fasting and prayer must be joined alms, and mercy towards the poor and needy: and that our alms may be acceptable unto God, three things are chiefly required. First, that we give with a cheerful and joyful heart; for the Lord loveth a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9.) Secondly, that we give liberally, putting aside all niggardship, knowing that he that soweth little, shall reap little, and he that soweth plenteously, shall reap plenteously. Let every man therefore do according as he is able. The poorest caitiff in the world may give as great and acceptable an alms in the sight of God, as the richest man in the world can do. The poor widow that did offer but two mites, which make a farthing, did highly please Christ; (Mark 17.) insomuch that he affirmed with an oath, that she, of her penury, had added more to the offerings of God, than all the rich men, which of their superfluity had cast in very much. For if there be first a willing mind, as St. Paul saith, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that a man hath not. (2 Corinthians 8.) Thirdly, we must give without hypocrisy and ostentation; not seeking the praise of men, or our own glory or profit. And although the Scriptures in some places make mention of a reward to our alms and other good works, yet ought we not to think that we do merit or deserve any thing; but rather we ought to acknowledge, that God in his mere mercy rewardeth us in his own gifts. For what hath he that giveth alms, that he hath not received?
If thou hast received it, why rejoicest, thou, as though thou hadst not received it?” (1 Corinthians 4.)
This sentence ought to be had in remembrance of all men. For if we have nothing, but that which we have received, what can we deserve, or what need we to dispute and reason of our own merits?
It cometh of the free gift of God, that we live, that we love God, that we walk in his fear: where is our deserving then? We must also in this our spiritual warfare arm ourselves with continual prayer, a very necessary, strong, and invincible weapon, and, after the example of Christ and all other godly men, cry heartily unto God in faith, in all our distresses and anguishes. Let us go boldly to the seat of grace, where we shall be sure to receive mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (Matthew 26. Hebrews 4. Maccabees 4.) for now is pride and persecution increased; now is the time of destruction and wrathful displeasure.
Wherefore, my dear brethren, be ye fervent in the law of God, and jeopard ye your lives, if need shall so require, for the testament of the fathers, and so shall ye receive great honor, and an everlasting name. Remember Abraham. Was not he found faithful in temptation, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness?
Joseph, in time of his trouble, kept the commandment, and was made a lord of Egypt. (Genesis 22,41. Numbers 25.) Phineas was so fervent for the honor of God, that he obtained the covenant of an everlasting priesthood. Joshua, for the fulfilling of the word of God, was made the captain of Israel. (Joshua 1.) Caleb bare record before the congregation, and received a heritage. (Numbers 14.)
David also, in his merciful kindness, obtained the throne of an everlasting kingdom. (1 Samuel 24. 2 Kings 2.) Elias being zealous and fervent in the law, was taken up into heaven. Ananias, Azarias, and Misael remained steadfast in the faith, and were delivered out of the fire. (Daniel 3,6.) In like manner Daniel, being unguilty, was saved from the mouth of the lions.
And thus ye may consider throughout all ages, since the world began, that whosoever put their trust in God were not overcome. (Psalm 38.) Fear not ye then the words of ungodly men; for their glory is but dung and worms: today are they set up, and to-morrow they are gone; for they are turned into earth, and their memorial cometh to nought. Wherefore let us take good hearts unto us, and quit ourselves like men in the law: for if we do the things that are commanded us in the law of the Lord our God, we shall obtain great honor therein. (Acts 14.)
Beloved in Christ, let us not faint because of affliction, wherewith God trieth all them that are sealed unto life everlasting; for the only way into the kingdom of God is through much tribulation. For the kingdom of heaven (as God teacheth by his prophet Esdras (4 Esdras 6.)) is like a city built and set upon a broad field, and full of all good things; but the entrance is narrow and sudden (full of sorrow and travail, perils and labors): like as if there were a fire at the right hand, and a deep water at the left; and as it were one straight path between them both, so small, that there could but one man go there. If this city now were given to an heir, and he never went through the perilous way, how could he receive his inheritance? Wherefore, seeing we are in this narrow and straight way, which leadeth unto the most joyful and pleasant city of everlasting life, let us not stagger, neither turn back, being afraid of the dangerous and perilous way, but follow our captain Jesus Christ in the narrow and straight way; and be afraid of nothing, no not even of death itself: for it is he that must lead us to our journey’s end, and open us the door unto everlasting life.
Consider also the course of this world, how many there be, which, for their master’s sake, or for a little promotion’s sake, would adventure their lives in worldly affairs, as, commonly, in wars; and yet is their reward but light and transitory, and ours is unspeakable, great, and everlasting. They suffer pains to be made lords on earth for a short season: how much more ought we to endure like pains, yea, peradventure, much less, to be made kings in heaven for evermore! Consider also the wicked of this world, which, for a little pleasure’s sake, or to be avenged on their enemies, will fight with sword and weapons, and put themselves in danger of imprisonment and hanging. So much as virtue is better than vice, and God mightier than the devil, so much ought we to excel them in this our spiritual battle. And seeing, brethren, it hath pleased God to set me, and that most worthy minister of Christ, John Bradford, your countryman, in the fore-front of this battle, where, for the time, is most danger, I beseech you all, in the bowels of Christ, to help us, and all other our fellow-soldiers standing in like perilous place, with your prayers to God for us, that we may quit ourselves like men in the Lord, and give some example of boldness and constancy mingled with patience in the fear of God; that we and others our brethren, through our example, may be so encouraged and strengthened to follow us, that ye also may leave example to your weak brethren in the world to follow you. Amen.
Consider what I say; the Lord give us understanding in all things!
See that ye love not the world, neither the things that are in the world, but set your affection on heavenly things, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Be meek and long-suffering; serve and edify one another with the gift that God hath given you.
Beware of strange doctrine; lay aside the old conversation of greedy lusts, and walk in a new life. (2 Timothy 2. 1 Corinthians 7. 1 John 2. Colossians 3.) Beware of all uncleanness, covetousness, foolish talking, false doctrine, and drunkenness: rejoice and be thankful towards God, and submit yourselves one to another. Cease from sin; spend no more time in vice; be sober and apt to pray; be patient in trouble; love each other; and let the glory of God and profit of your neighbor be the only mark ye shoot at in all your doings. Repent ye of the life that is past, and take better heed to your doings hereafter. And, above all things, cleave ye fast to him, who was delivered to death for our sins, and rose again for our justification: to whom, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, be all honor and rule for evermore. Amen. Salute from me in Christ all others which love us in the faith, and at your discretion make them partakers of these letters: and pray ye all for me and others in bonds for the gospel, that the same God, which, by his grace hath called us from wicked papistry unto true Christianity, and now of love proveth our patience by persecution, will, of his mercy and favor, in the end gloriously deliver us, either by death, or by life, to his glory. Amen. At Lancaster, the 30th of August, 1554: by me an unprofitable servant of Christ, George Marsh.
A LETTER OF GEORGE MARSH TO JENKIN CRAMPTON AND OTHERS.
To his well-beloved in Christ, Jenkin Crampton, James Leiver, Elice Fogge, Ralph Bradshaw, the wife of Richard Bradshaw, Elite Crampton, and to every one of them, be these delivered from Lancaster, George Marsh. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. (1 Corinthians 13.)
After salutations in Christ, and hearty thanks for your friendly tokens, and your other remembrances towards me, beseeching God that ye may increase in faith, fear, and love, and all good gifts, and grow up into a perfect man in Christ: these be earnestly to exhort you, yea and to beseech you in the tender mercy of Christ, that with purpose of heart ye continually cleave unto the Lord, and that ye worship and serve him in spirit, in the gospel of his Son. For God will not be worshipped after the commandments and traditions of men, neither yet by any other means appointed, prescribed, and taught us, but by his holy word. And though all men, for the most part, defile themselves with the wicked traditions of men, and ordinances after the world, and not after Christ; (Ephesians 4. Acts 11. Romans 1. Colossians 2.) yet do ye, after the ensample of Toby, Daniel and his three companions, Mattathias and his five sons, be at a point with yourselves, that ye will not be defiled with the unclean meats of the heathen; (Tobit 1.
Daniel 1. Maccabees 1.) I do mean the filthiness of idolatry, and the very heathenish ceremonies of the papists: but. as the true worshippers, serve ye God in spirit and verity, (John 4.) according to his sacred Scriptures, which I would wish and will you above all things continually and reverently (as both St. Paul and Christ command you), (John 5. 1 Timothy 5.) to search and read, with the wholesome monitions of the same; to teach, exhort, comfort, and edify one another, and your brethren and neighbors, now in the time of this our miserable captivity, and great famishment of souls, for want of the food of God’s word (Matthew 28.) And doubt not but that the merciful Lord (who hath promised to be with us even unto the world’s end, and that whensoever two or three be gathered together in his name he will be in the midst of them, (Matthew 18.)) will assist you, and teach you the right meanings of the sacred Scriptures, will keep you from all errors, and lead you into all truth, as he hath faithfully promised.
And though ye think yourselves unable to teach, yet, at the commandment of Christ, now in time of famine (the hungry people, being in the wilderness far from any towns, who if they be sent away fasting, are sure to faint and perish by the way), employ and bestow those five loaves and two fishes that ye have, upon that hungry multitude, although ye think it nothing among so many. (John 12. Matthew 14.) And he that increased the five loaves and two fishes to feed five thousand men, besides women and children, shall also augment his gifts in you, not only to the edifying and winning of others in Christ, but also to an exceeding great increase of your knowledge in God and his holy word. And fear not your adversaries, for either according to his accustomed manner God shall blind their eyes that they shall not spy you, either get you favor in their sight, or else graciously deliver you out of their hands by one means or other. (Philippians 1.)
Obey with reverence all your superiors, unless they command idolatry or ungodliness. Make provision for your households; chiefly that they be instructed and taught in the law of God. Love your wives even as your own selves, and as Christ loved the congregation. Love your children; but rate them not, lest they be of a desperate mind: and bring them up in the nurture and information of the Lord, and teach them even as the godly parents of Toby the younger (Tobit 2.) and Susanna did teach their children, even from their infancy, to reverence God according to his law, and to abstain from sin; providing that in no wise they be brought up in idleness and wantonness, seeing that ye reckon yourselves to be the children of God, and look for the life which God shall give to them that never turn their belief from him. (Tobit 3.) See that ye ever fear God, and keep his commandments: and though the plague of God chance unto you, yet remain ye steadfast in the faith and fear of God, and thank him, and serve him in such holiness and righteousness as are acceptable before him, all the days of your life.
Comfort yourselves in all your adversities, and stay yourselves in him, who hath promised not to leave you as fatherless and motherless children without any comfort, but that he will come to you like a most gentle and merciful Lord. He will continually stand by you in all your troubles, assisting, helping, and succoring you at all times. “I will be with you,” saith he, “unto the end of the world.” And cleave you fast unto him which was incarnate, lived, wrought, taught, and died for your sins, yea, rose again from death, and ascended into heaven for your justification. Repent ye of the life that is past, and cease from sin, and from henceforward live as much time as remaineth in the flesh, not after the lusts of men, but after the will of God. To do good and distribute, forget not. Fast and pray busily; and as every man hath received the gift, minister the same one to another as good ministers of the manifold graces of God, that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ; to whom be praise and dominion for ever, and while the world standeth. Amen.
Yours, George Marsh.
ANOTHER LETTER OF GEORGE MARSH TO CERTAIN FAITHFUL BRETHREN IN THE CONGREGATION.
The same grace and peace, dearly beloved in Christ, do I entirely desire and wish unto you, which the apostle St. Paul wisheth to all them, unto whom he did write and send his epistles; than which two things no better can be wished and desired of God. Grace is, throughout all the epistles of Paul, taken for the free mercy and favor of God, whereby he saveth us freely without any deservings or works of the law. In like manner peace is taken for the quietness and tranquillity of the conscience, being thoroughly persuaded that through the only merits of Christ’s death and blood-shedding, there is an atonement and peace made between God and us, so that God will no more impute our sins unto us, nor yet condemn us.
Dearly beloved, I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of things, though that you know them yourselves, and be also established in the present truth; notwithstanding, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance. Wherefore I beseech you, brethren, and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that ye increase more and more, even as ye have received how ye ought to walk and to please God.
And as Barnabas, that good man, and full of the Holy Ghost, exhorted the Antiochians, with purpose of heart cleave ye continually unto the Lord. And stand fast, and be not moved from the hope of the gospel, whereof (God be thanked) ye have had plenteous preaching unto you these years past, by The faithful ministers of Jesus Christ, Leiver, Pilkington, Bradford, Saunders, and others like, which now, when persecution ariseth, because of the word, do not fall away like shrinking children, and forsake the truth, but are prest and ready for your sakes, which are his mystical body, to forsake the chief and principal delights of this life; and some of them, in giving place to the outrageous tyranny of the world, to forsake their livings, friends, native land, and other chief pleasures of this life, and to commit themselves to painful exile, that if it please God, Christ may come again out of Egypt.
And others are ready to fulfill their ministry unto the uttermost: that is to wit, with their painful imprisonments and bloodshedding, if need shall so require, to confirm and seal Christ’s gospel, whereof they have been ministers; and, as St. Paul saith, not only to be cast into prison, but also to die, for the name of the Lord Jesus.
Be ye not therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord Jesus, neither be ye ashamed of us which are his prisoners, but suffer ye adversity with the gospel, for which word we suffer as evil-doers, even unto bonds: but the word of God is not bound with us.
Wherefore stand ye fast in the faith, and be not moved from the hope of the gospel, and so shall ye make us, even with joy, to suffer for your sakes, and, as the apostle saith, “to fulfill that which is behind of the passion of Christ in our flesh, for his body’s sake, which is the congregation.” St. Paul doth not here mean, that there wanteth any thing in the passion of Christ, which may be: supplied by man: for the passion of Christ, as touching his own person, is that! most perfect and omni-sufficient sacrifice, whereby we are all made perfect, as many as are sanctified in his blood; but these his words ought to be understood of the elect and chosen, in whom Christ is, and shall be persecuted, unto the world’s end. The passion of Christ then, as touching his mystical body, which is the Church, shall not be perfected till they have all suffered, whom God hath appointed to suffer for his Son’s sake. Wherefore stablish yourselves, and be of good comfort; and be not moved in these afflictions, knowing that we are appointed thereunto. For, on our parts, nothing can be greater consolation and inward joy unto us in our adversity, than to hear of your faith and love, and that ye have a good remembrance of us always, praying for us as we do for you, as the apostle writeth of the Thessalonians, saying, “Now are we alive, if ye stand steadfast in the Lord.” For good shepherds do always count the welfare and prosperous estate of Christ’s flock to be their own; for, while it goeth well with the congregation, it goeth well with them also, in whatsoever affliction or adversity they be: but when they see the church in any peril or weakness, then be they weary of their own lives; then can they have no rest nor joy. “Who is weak,” saith St. Paul, “and I am not weak? who is offended, and I do not burn?” But this affection is not in them that seek their own lucre and glory.
And, forasmuch as the life of man is a perpetual warfare upon earth, let us run with joy unto the battle that is set before us, and, like good warriors of Jesus Christ, please him who hath chosen us to be soldiers; and not, like shrinking children, faint and fall away from the truth now, in time of adversity and tribulation, wherewith all that will live godly in Christ Jesus must be tried, even as gold and silver is proved in the fire, and whereof all the Scriptures have given us so much forewarning. For God is wont, for the most part, to warn his elect and chosen, what affliction and trouble shall happen unto them for his sake; not to the intent to fray them thereby, but rather to prepare their minds against the boisterous storms of persecution — as we have a notable example in the apostle St. Paul, unto whom God sent Agabus, who prophesied unto him of the imprisonment and bands that he should suffer at Jerusalem: in whom we have also a good example of constancy and steadfastness, who, regarding nothing the tears of his familiar friends, nor yet the peril of his own life, did through fire and water go on still to set forth the glory of God; and he, being delivered from the hands of his ungodly and blood-thirsty enemies, and that so many times, is in conclusion fain to commit himself to the rough waters of the sea, where he was a long season in great peril and jeopardy of his own life. But God was always (to the great comfort of all that shall’ hear of it) most ready to help and succor him.
First, he did send him a most friendly and sweet company, I mean Aristarchus and Lucas, (Acts 17.) so ruling the heart of the undercaptain Julius, that he courteously entreated him, and gave him liberty to go to his friends, and to refresh himself; and he was beneficial unto him at all times. In like manner was God with Joseph, and delivered him from all his adversities, and gave him favor and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt, insomuch that he made him governor over all Egypt, and over all his household. In like manner was he with Jeremy and Daniel, in their great troubles, and appointed men for them in their most troubles, to relieve, succor, and help them; to their singular comfort. Also when Peter was in Herod’s prison, sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and the keepers before the door keeping the prison, the same night that Herod had intended to have brought him out unto the people the day following, and to have put him unto death to please the Jews withal, as a little before he had killed James the brother of John with the sword; God sent his angel, and the chains fell off from Peter’s hands, and the iron gate opened unto him by its own accord; and so was Peter wonderfully delivered by God. For it is the true living God that looseth all bands, and delivereth out of prison, and not that reigned God, St.
These things are written for our learning, that we, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, might have hope. The God of patience and comfort, grant that we be like-minded one towards another, after the ensample of Christ Jesus; that we, all agreeing together, may with one mouth glorify God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
ANOTHER LETTER OF GEORGE MARSH TO ROBERT LANGLEY AND OTHERS.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with you, good brother in Christ, Robert Langley, and with all them that love the Lord Jesus unfeignedly; Amen.
After hearty commendations to you, with thanks for that ye did visit me a prisoner in Christ, and unacquainted with you to your costs; this shall be to let you know, that ye shall receive from me mine examination and handling at Latham, and the cause of mine imprisonment, according as I did promise you: and this ye shall receive by my brother, or some one of the Bradshaws of Bolton, within this sevennight; willing you to show the same to such faithful men about Manchester or elsewhere, as you do take to be favorers of true religion and Christ’s holy word, and then to deliver it again. And whereas you did put me in comfort, that if I did want any thing necessary unto this life, you with some others would be bearers with me in this my costly and painful affliction; I give you most hearty thanks, and rejoice greatly in the Lord, who stirs up the hearts of others to be careful for me in this my great necessity.
I thank God, as yet I do want nothing, and intend to be as little chargeable to others (saving my mother) as I can. If I do want, I will be bold with you and others. to send for your relief and help in my necessity; desiring you in the meanwhile to pray for me, and all others in the bonds of Christ, that God would perform the thing which he hath begun in us, that we may with boldness confess Jesus Christ, and fight the good fight of faith.
Yours, George Marsh .
A LETTER OF GEORGE MARSH TO A CERTAIN GODLY FRIEND.
After hearty commendations and thanks to you, not only for your large token, but much more for your loving letters, full of consolation to me as touching my person to you unknown; these shall be to certify you, that I rejoice greatly in the Lord, when I do perceive how my sweet Savior Christ doth stir up the minds, not only of my familiar friends in times past, but also of sundry and divers heretofore unto me unknown and unacquainted, to bear part with me in this roy painful and costly imprisonment, sending me things not only necessary. for this present life, but also comfortable letters; encouraging and exhorting me to continue grounded and stablished in the faith, and not to be moved away from the hope of the gospel, whereof, according to my small talent.
I have been a minister: and daily I call and cry unto the Lord in whom is all my trust, and without whom I can do nothing, that he which hath begun a good work in me, would vouchsafe to go forth with it until the day of Jesus Christ; being surely certified in my conscience of this, that he will so do, forasmuch as he hath given me, that not only I should believe on him, but also suffer for his sake. The Lord strengthen me with his Holy Spirit, that I may be one of the number of those blessed, which, enduring to the end, shall be saved! And whereas you say, that my suffering of persecution with Christ is a thing to you most comfortable, I make answer, that in all mine adversity and necessity nothing on your behalf is greater consolation unto me, than to hear of the faith and love of others, and how they have good remembrance of us always, even as the apostle reporteth by the Thessalonians, saying, “Now are we alive, if ye stand steadfast in the Lord.” For my trust in the Lord is, that this my business shall happen to the furtherance of the gospel, and that you will be none of those forgetful and hypocritish hearers, whereof some being but wayside hearers, the devil cometh and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved (but let prayer be made without ceasing by the congregation unto God for them), and, no doubt, God will to your consolation gloriously deliver, by one means or other, his oppressed. Only tarry ye the Lord’s leisure; be strong; let your heart be of good comfort; and wait ye still for the Lord. He tarrieth not that will come: look for him therefore, and faint not, and he will never fail you.
Yours, George Marsh .
A LETTER OF A GODLY BROTHER, ONE JAMES BRADSHAW, SENT TO GEORGE MARSH IN PRISON.
We had a letter from you, which is a great comfort unto us, to see you take the cross so thankfully. Trouble and affliction do prove, try, instruct, confirm, and strengthen the faith, provoke and stir up prayer, drive and force us to amendment of life, to the fear of God, to meekness, to patience, to constancy, to gentleness, to soberness, temperancy, and to all manner of virtues; and are the occasion of exceeding much good, as well transitory as eternal, in this world as in the world to come. There is neither good nor bad, godly nor ungodly, but he hath one cross or other. And although some there be, that can shift for a while, and make provision for themselves for a time, by craft and subtlety and dissimulation, or by some falsehood in fellowship (as they call it); yet they bring themselves at length into the highest danger, confusion, and shame, both in this world, and in the world to come. And seeing that all the troubles and adversity in this world are a thousand times more light and easy, yea nothing in comparison of the eternal fire, which is prepared and already kindled for the unfaithful wicked enemies of God; all faithful and godly persons ought to bear and suffer their transitory affliction and adversity the more patiently, willingly, and thankfully; considering and remembering all the dearly beloved friends of God, which were wonderfully vexed and plagued of their: enemies, Abraham of the Chaldees, Lot of the Sodomites, Isaac of Ishmael, Jacob of Esau, Moses of his people, David of Saul, and of his own son. As for he had not a drop of blood in his body. John Baptist, the holiest that ever was born of a woman, was, without any law, right, or reason, beheaded in prison, as though God had known nothing at all of him. We have many thousand fellow martyrs and companions of our misery and adversity, in respect of whose imprisonment, racking, chains, fire, wild beasts, and other means wherewith they were tormented, all that we suffer is but a blast of wind. Therefore now, whosoever is ashamed of the cross of Christ, and aggrieved therewith, the same is ashamed to have Christ for his fellow and companion, and therefore shall the Lord Jesus Christ be ashamed of him again at the latter day. Thus I leave for this time, beseeching you to let me have your advice, because I do not outwardly speak that with my tongue, that I do not think in my heart. Pray for me, as I for you. I beseech the Holy Ghost have you in his keeping alway. Amen.
By your friend, James Bradshaw .
A PRAYER OF GEORGE MARSH, WHICH HE USED DAILY TO SAY.
O Lord Jesus Christ, which art the only physician of wounded consciences, we miserable sinners, trusting in thy gracious goodness, do briefly open unto thee the evil tree of our heart, with all the roots, boughs, leaves and fruits, and with all the crooks, knots, and knoures, all which thou knowest: for thou thoroughly perceivest as well the inward lusts, doubtings, and denying thy providence, as those gross outward sins which we commit inwardly and deadly. Wherefore we beseech thee, according to the little measure of our infirmity, although we be far unable and unapt to pray, that thou wouldest mercifully circumcise our stony hearts; and for these old hearts create new within us, and replenish us with a new spirit, and water us, and moisten us with the juice of heavenly grace, and wells of spiritual waters, whereby the inward venom and noisome juice of the flesh may be dried up, and custom of the old man changed; and our heart, always bringing forth thorns and briers to be burned with fire, from henceforth may bear spiritual fruits in righteousness and holiness, unto life everlasting:
Beloved, among other exercises, I do daily on my knees use this confession of sins, willing and exhorting you to do the same, and daily to acknowledge unfeignedly to God your unbelief, unthankfulness, and disobedience against him. This shall ye do, if ye will diligently consider and look yourselves, first, in the pure glass of God’s commandments, and there see your outward filthiness and uncleanness, and so learn to vanquish the same; that is to wit, fall in hearty displeasure against sin, and thereby be provoked to long after Christ; for we truly are sinners, but he is just, and the justifier of all them that believe on him. We are poor, but he is rich in mercy toward all them that call upon him. If we hunger and thirst for righteousness, let us resort unto his table, (1 Corinthians 10. Matthew 26.) for he is a most liberal feast-maker.
He will set before us his own holy body, which is given to us to be our meat, and his precious blood, which was shed for us and for many, for the remission of sins, to be our drink. He biddeth, willeth, and calleth for guests, which hunger and thirst. “Come,” saith he, “all ye that labor and are laden, and I will refresh you, cool and ease you, and you shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matthew 21.)
THE LIFE AND STORY OF WILLIAM FLOWER, WHO FOR STRIKING OF A PRIEST, WAS APPREHENDED, FIRST HAVING HIS HAND CUT OFF, AND AFTER MARTYRED FOR HIS CONSTANT STANDING TO THE TRUTH.
William Flower, otherwise named Branch — first, concerning his trade of life and bringing up — he was born at Snailwell, in the county of Cambridge, where he went to school certain years, and then came to the abbey of Ely; where, after he had remained a while, he was a professed monk according to the order and rule of the same house wherein he remained, using and bearing the habit of a monk, and observing the rules and order of the same house, until he came to twenty-one years of age, or thereabout: and before he came to that age, and being a professed monk, he was made a priest also in the same house; and there did celebrate and sing mass a good space together. After that, by reason of a visitation, and certain injunctions given in the same time by the authority of king Henry the Eighth, he forsook the same house, and casting from. him the said monk’s habit and religion aforesaid, took upon him and used the habit of a secular priest, and returned to Snailwell, where he was born; and there he did celebrate and sing mass, and taught children their primer and accidence about half a year together.
Then he went from thence to Lidgate in Suffolk, and there served as a secular priest about a quarter of a year; and from thence he then went to Stonyland, a19 where he tarried and served as a secular priest also, until the coining out of the Six Articles; and then he departed from thence, and went into Gloucestershire, where, after he had made his abode in the country awhile, at length in Tewkesbury, according to God’s holy ordinance, he married a wife, with whom he ever after faithfully and honestly continued; and after his marriage, he tarried in Tewkesbury about, two years together, and then from thence he went unto Bursley, a19 where he tarried three quarters of a year, and practiced physic and chirurgery; and from thence he removed to Northamptonshire, where, under a gentleman, he taught children their primers, and to write and read, a good space. And so, departing from those parts, he came to London; and there remained for a certain space. After that, being desirous to see his country, he returned to Snailwell where he was born: from thence to Braintree in Essex, then to Coggeshall, where he taught children a space, and so came to Lambeth beside London, where he hired a house, and placed, his wife; where he and his wife did ever since dwell together till this time: howbeit, for the most part, he was always abroad; and very seldom at home, except once or twice in a month, to visit and see his wife; where he, being at home upon Easter day about ten or eleven o’clock in the forenoon of the same day, came over the water from Lambeth into St. Margaret’s church at Westminster; where he, finding and seeing a priest called John Cheltham ministering and giving the sacrament of the altar to the people, and therewith, being greatly offended in his conscience with the priest for the same his doing (for that he judged him not to be a catholic minister, neither his act to be catholic and laudable according to God’s word), did strike and wound him upon the head, and also upon the arm and hand, with his woodknife; the priest having the same time in his hand a chalice, with certain consecrated hosts therein, which were sprinkled with the blood of the said priest. In the which so doing as indeed he did not well nor evangelically, so afterward, being examined before bishop Bonner, did he no less confess his not well, doing in the same; submitting therefore himself willingly to punishment, when it should come. Howbeit touching his belief in the sacrament, and the popish ministration, he neither would nor did submit himself.
Whereupon the foresaid William Flower, being first apprehended and laid in the Gatehouse at Westminster (where he had given two groats the same day a little before to the prisoners, saying, he would shortly after come to them) with as many irons as he could bear; afterward was convented before Bonner his ordinary, April 19, A.D. 1555, where the bishop, after he had sworn him upon a book (according to his ordinary manner), ministered articles and interrogatories to him. But before I speak of the articles, first we have here to set forth what, communication passed betwixt him and Robert Smith (being then also there prisoner with him in Newgate) concerning his fact done at Westminster; the tenor and effect of which communication here followeth.
A COMMUNICATION OR DEBATING BETWEEN ROBERT SMITH, PRISONER IN NEWGATE, AND WILLIAM FLOWER, CONCERNING HIS STRIKING OF THE PRIEST AT WESTMINSTER. Robert Smith: “Friend, forasmuch as I do understand that you do profess the gospel and also have so done a long season, I am bold to come unto you, and in the way of communication to demand and learn a truth at your own mouth, of certain things by you committed, to the astonishing not only of me, but of divers others, that also profess the verity.” Flower: — “I praise God for his great goodness, in showing me the light of his holy word; and I give you hearty thanks for your visitation, intending, by God’s grace, to declare all the truth that ye shall demand lawfully of me, in all things.” Smith: — “Then I desire you to show me the truth of your deed, committed on John Cheltam, priest in the church, as near as you can, that I may hear from your own mouth how it was.” Flower: — “I came from my house at Lambeth over the water, and entering into St. Margaret’s church (so called), and there, seeing the people falling down before a most shameful and detestable idol, being moved with extreme zeal for my God, whom I saw before my face dishonored, I drew forth my hanger, and strake the priest which ministered the same unto them: whereupon I was immediately apprehended. And this is most true, as the act is manifest.” Smith: — “Did ye not know the parson that ye strake, or were ye not zealous upon him for any evil will. or hatred between you at any time?” Flower: — “No, verily; I never to my knowledge saw the parson before that present, neither owed him, or any man alive, evil will or malice; for if he had not had it, another should, if I had any time come where the like occasion had been ministered, if God had permitted me to do it.” Smith: — “Do ye think that thing to be well done, and after the rule of the gospel?” Flower: — “I do confess all flesh to be subject to the power of Almighty God, whom he maketh his ministers, to do his will and pleasure; as in example, Moses, Aaron, Phinehas, Joshua, Zimri, Jehu, Judith, Mattathias, with many others, not only changing degrees, but also planting zeals to his honor, against all order and respect of flesh and blood. For, as saith St. Paul, ‘His works are past finding out:’ by whose Spirit I have also given my flesh at this present unto such order as it shall please the good will of God to appoint in death, which, before the act committed I looked for.” Smith: — “Think you it convenient for me, or any other, to do the like by your example?” Flower: — “No, verily; neither do I know, if it were to do again, whether I could do it again, or no: for I was up very early at Paul’s church (so called) upon Christ’s day in the morning, to have clone it in my jealousy: but when I came in place, I was no more able to do it, than now to undo that is done; and yet now, being compelled by the Spirit, not only to come over the water, and to enter the church, but being in mind fully content to die for the Lord, gave over my flesh willingly, without all fear, I praise God. Wherefore I cannot learn you to do the like: first, because I know not what is in you; secondly, because the rules of the gospel command us to suffer with patience all wrongs and injuries. Yet, nevertheless if he make you worthy, that hath made me zealous, ye shall not be letted, judged, nor condemned: for he doth in his people his unspeakable works in all ages, which no man can comprehend. I humbly beseech you to judge the best of the Spirit, and condemn not God’s doings: for I cannot express with my mouth the great mercies that God hath showed on me in this tiling, which I repent not.” Smith: — Are ye not assured to have death ministered unto you for the same act committed, and even with extremity?” Flower: — “I did, before the deed committed, adjudge my body to die for the same: whereupon I carried about me in writing, mine opinion of God and the holy Scriptures; that if it had pleased God to have given them leave to have killed my body in the church, they might in the said writing have seen my hope, which (I praise God). is laid up safe within my breast, notwithstanding any death that may be ministered unto my body in this world; being ascertained of everlasting life through Jesus Christ our Lord, and being most heartily sorry for all mine offenses committed in this flesh, and trusting shortly, through his mercy, to cease from the same.” Smith. — “It is no need to examine or commune with you of the hope that ye have any further; for I perceive (God be praised) ye are in good estate, and therefore I beseech God for his mercies spread his wings over you; that as, for his love, you have been zealous, even to the loss of this life, so he may give you his Holy Spirit to conduct you out of this death into a better life, which I think will be shortly.” Flower: — “I hunger for the same, dear friend, being fully ascertained that they can kill but the body, which I am assured shall receive life again everlasting, and see no more death; entirely desiring you and all that fear the Lord, to pray with me to Almighty God, to perform the same in me shortly,” And thus Robert Smith departed, leaving him in the dungeon, and went again to his ward. And this, gentle reader, is the truth, as near as the said Smith could report it. And thus much concerning the talk between him and Robert Smith in Newgate, concerning his fact in striking the priest. Now to return again to the matter of his examination, where we left: we showed before how this William Flower, after his striking the priest, first was laid in the Gatehouse; then, being examined before Bonner, had articles ministered against him, the copy whereof here followeth.
ARTICLES OBJECTED AND MINISTERED BY BONNER, AGAINST WILLIAM BRANCH, ALIAS FLOWER, LATE OF LAMBETH IN THE COUNTY OF SURREY.
First, that thou, being of a lawful age and discretion, at the least of seventeen years of old, was professed a monk in the late abbey of Ely, wherein, after thy profession, thou remainedst until the age of twenty-one years, using, all the mean time, the habit and religion of the same house, and wast reputed and taken notoriously for such a person. Item, that after the premises, thou wast ordered and made priest, according to the laudable custom of the catholic church; and afterward thou didst execute and minister as a priest; and wast commonly reputed, named, and taken for a priest. Item, that after the premises thou, forgetting God, thy conscience, honesty, and the laudable order of the catholic church, didst, contrary to thy profession and vow, take as unto thy wife, one woman, commonly called Alice Pulton, in the parish church of Tewkesbury, in the diocese of Gloucester, with whom thou hadst mutual cohabitation as man and wife, and begattest of her two children. Item, that thou, being a religious man and a priest, didst, contrary to the order of the ecclesiastical laws, take upon thee to practice in divers places within the diocese of London, physic and chirurgery, when thou wast not admitted, expert, nor learned. Item, that upon Easter day last past, that is to wit, the 14th day of this present month of April, within the parish church of St.
Margaret’s at Westminster, within the county of Middlesex and diocese of London, thou didst maliciously outrageously, and violently pull out thy weapon; that is to wit, thy woodknife or hanger. And whereas the priest and minister there, called Sir John Cheltham, was executing his cure and charge, especially in doing his service, and ministering the sacrament of the altar to communicants, then didst thou wickedly and abominably smite with thy said weapon the said priest, first upon the head very sore; and afterwards, upon his hands or other parts of his body, drawing blood abundantly upon him: the said priest then holding the said sacrament in his hand, and, giving no occasion why thou shouldest so hurt him; the people being grievously offended therewith, and the said church polluted thereby, so that the inhabitants were compelled to repair to another church to communicate, and to receive the said sacrament. Item, that by reason of the premises, thou wast and art, by the ecclesiastical laws of the church, amongst other penalties, excommunicate and accursed, ipso facto; and not to be companied withal, neither in the church, nor otherwhere, but in special cases. Item, that thou, concerning the verity of Christ’s natural body and blood in the sacrament of the altar, hast been by the space of these twenty, nineteen, eighteen, Seventeen, sixteen, fifteen, fourteen, thirteen, twelve, eleven, ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, and one years, or any one of them, and yet art at this present, of this opinion; that is to say, that in the said sacrament of the altar, after the words of consecration, there is not really, truly, and in very deed contained (under the forms of bread) the very true and natural body of our Savior Jesus Christ. Item, that thou, for the hatred and disdain that thou hadst and didst bear against the said sacrament, and the virtue thereof, and against the said priest ministering the same (as before), didst smite, wound, and hurt him in manner and form as before is declared. Item, that thou, over and besides the pains due unto thee for the doing of the cruel fact, art also, by the order of the ecclesiastical laws of the church, and the laudable custom and ordinance of the same, to be reputed, taken, and adjudged (as thou art indeed) a very heretic, and to be punished by and with the pains due for heresy, by reason of thy said heresy and damnable opinion. Item, that all the premises be true and manifest, notorious and famous; and that upon the same, and every part thereof, there was and is, within the said parish of St. Margaret’s and other places thereabout, a public voice and fame.
THE ANSWER OF WILLIAM FLOWER, MADE TO THE ARTICLES AFORESAID.
To the first article he answereth and confesseth the same to be true in every part thereof; except that he saith and confesseth, that he never consented and agreed in his heart to be a monk.
To the second article he answereth and confesseth the same to be true in every part thereof: howbeit, he saith, that he never did, nor yet doth, esteem the said order of priesthood, according to the said order of the catholic church; because he was offended therewith in his conscience.
To the third article he answereth and confesseth, that he, intending to live in godly matrimony, and not forgetting God, did marry with the said Alice Pulton named in this article; wherein he believed that he did well, and according to God’s laws. Further, confessing and believing, that all the time when he was professed monk, and made priest; he did thereby utterly forget God: but when he did so marry the said Alice Pulton, and in continuing with her did beget three children, he did remember God, as he saith, and believeth that he did then lawfully.
To the fourth article he answereth, and believeth the same to be true in every part thereof.
To the fifth article he answereth and confesseth, that his conscience being greatly offended with the said sir John Cheltham, priest, for. ministering of the sacrament of the altar to the people at the place and time specified in this article, he did smite and strike the same priest with his hanger or woodknife, as well upon his head, as upon other parts and places of his body which he remembereth not, whereby the blood ran out, and was shed in the said church, as he believeth; having, as he saith, none other cause or matter so to do, but only that his conscience was offended and grieved; in that the same priest did so give and minister the said sacrament to the people: which people he believeth were greatly abashed and offended with his said fact and doing; and were enforced and compelled to go out of the church, and to repair to another to receive the said sacrament. And further, being then demanded and examined, whether he did then mind and intend to have killed the said priest, or not; he said he would not answer thereunto.
To the sixth he answereth and saith, that whether he be so excommunicate or accursed, as is contained in this article, he referreth himself herein to the ecclesiastical laws.
To the seventh he answereth and saith, that by the space of six and twenty years now past, he hath always been, and yet is, of this opinion touching the said sacrament of the altar, as followeth: videlicet, that in the sacrament of the altar, after the words of consecration, there is not really, truly, and in very deed, contained under the form of bread, the very true and natural body of our Savior Jesus Christ.
To the eighth he answereth, and believeth the same to be true in every part thereof.
To the last he answereth and believeth, that those things before by him confessed, be true, and those which he hath denied, be untrue; and that the said common voice and fame hath and doth only labor and go upon those things by him before confessed.
After this examination done, the bishop began after the best sort of his fine divinity to instruct him, and to exhort him to return again to the unity of his mother the catholic church, with such reasons as he is commonly wont to use to others, promising many fair things if he would so do, besides the remitting of what was past. To this William Flower, answering again, thanked him for his offer; and whereas it was in his power to kill or not to kill his body, he stood therewith contented, let him do therein what he thought; yet over his soul he had no such power, which being once separated from the body, is in the hands of no man, but only of God, either to save or spill. As concerning his opinion of the sacrament, he said he would never go from what he had spoken, do he with him what he would.
Then the bishop assigned him again to appear in the same place at afternoon, betwixt three and four; in the mean time, to advise himself’ of his former answers, whether he would stand to the same his opinions or no: which if he so did, he would further proceed against him, etc.
At afternoon the said William Flower appeared again before the said bishop, the hour and place appointed; to whom the bishop, sitting in his consistory, spoke these words: Branch, ye were this forenoon here before me, and made answer to certain articles; and thereupon I respited you till now, to the intent you should consider and weigh with yourself your state; and to remember while you have time, both your abominable act, and also that evil opinion which ye have conceived, touching the verity of Christ’s true natural body in the sacrament of the altar:” to whom the said Branch answered again, and said as followeth: “That which I have said, I will stand to; and therefore I require that the law may proceed against me.”
Whereupon the bishop commanded his notary (Hayward by name) to read to him again his articles, as before: which being read, the said William Flower, persisting in his godly sentence, answered to all parts of the articles, as in the forenoon before; save only that he requested the bishop, concerning the fifth article, he might alter something his answer therein, after this tenor and manner of words; to wit, — And moreover confesseth and saith — that whereas he strake the priest on Easter day last past, in St. Margaret’s church in Westminster, he hath since that time and yet doth mislike himself in that doing; and doth now judge and believe that the same his act was evil and naught. Howbeit he saith and believeth that as for the matter and cause wherefore he so struck the said priest (which was for ministering of the sacrament of the altar, which he taketh and judgeth abominable), he did not nor doth mislike himself at all therein. Moreover, he desireth of the said bishop license to be granted him, to alter and take out somewhat of the ninth article; and in place thereof, these words to be placed; to wit, “Herein he referreth himself to the laws, custom, and ordinance specified in this article,” etc.
At this request, Bonner granted to the altering of both the articles according as he desired, and so put in the acts.
After this, the bishop turning again to his old manner of exhorting, went about with words (and words only) to persuade him to submit himself to the catholic church, and to the faith thereof. All which his persuasions notwithstanding, William still remained in the constancy of his sentence; saying that he would not be removed from that he had spoken, to die there-for. Whereupon the bishop assigned him the next day (being the 20th clay of April) to appear in the same day and place, between the hours of eight and nine before noon; there and then to hear the sentence pronounced, in case he would not relent, etc.
THE LAST APPEARANCE OF WILLIAM FLOWER BEFORE BISHOP BONNER.
In the which day, hour, and place, the said William Flower, as he was appointed, was brought by his keeper belonging to the warden of the Fleet, before Bonner, who, after his wonted manner of persuasion going about to reduce him to his catholic church and the unity thereof; that is, from Christ to Antichrist; sometimes with fair promises alluring, sometimes with menaces and terrors, fearing him, etc.; to this William answering, said on this wise: “Do what ye will, I am at a point; for the heavens shall as soon fall, as I will forsake mine opinion,” etc. Whereupon the bishop, after he had commanded these words to be registered, called for the depositions of certain witnesses, produced for the better information of this matter, the names of which witnesses were these: William Jennings, John Bray, Robert Graunt, Richard Dod, William Pampion, Robert Smalwood the parish priest of St. Margaret’s at Westminster. The sum and effect of whose depositions here ensueth.
THE DEPOSITIONS OR ATTESTATIONS PRODUCED UPON THE ANSWERS OF WILLIAM FLOWER.
Robert Graunt of Westminster, examined upon the said answers of William Flower, saith and deposeth, that he did hear and see the said Flower acknowledge and recognize the said answers, and subscribe to the same with his own hand; and also was present in the church of St. Margaret’s in Westminster, when the said William Flower did smite and wound the priest, when (as he saith) he was ministering the sacrament; and how this examinate among others pressed towards him to take him, and was hurt thereby upon his chin; and after he was taken, this examinate help to conduct him to the Gatehouse at Westminster.
Richard Dod of Westminster, examined upon the said answers, saith and deposeth, that he did hear and see the said Flower acknowledge and recognize the said answers, and subscribe to the same with his own hand; and also did see and was present, when the said Flower upon Easter day last past, drew his wood-knife, and strake the priest upon the head, hand, and arm; who, being wounded therewith, and having a chalice with consecrated hosts therein, in his hand, sprinkled with the said priest’s blood, was holpen and rescued by this examinate, and the said Flower carried to the Gatehouse at Westminster, and his wood-knife taken away by this examinate.
William Pampion, one of the churchwardens of the said parish church of St. Margaret’s in Westminster, examined upon the said answers of the said Flower, saith and deposeth, that the same answers be true, and in his sight were subscribed with the hand of the said Flower. And that upon Easter-day last past, about eleven of the clock in the forenoon, in the parish church of St. Margaret’s in Westminster, among a great number of the people ready to be houseled, the priest’s back being turned toward the said Flower, he (the said Flower) suddenly drew forth his wood-knife, and strake sir John Cheltham the priest both upon his head, hand, and arm, whereby he was wounded, and bled abundantly; and the chalice with consecrated hosts being in his hand, were sprinkled with his blood, and the people in great fear cried out lamentably, and thought they should presently have been killed. Robert Smalwood of Westminster, examined upon the said answers, saith and deposeth that he did hear and see the said Flower acknowledge and recognize the said answers, and subscribe the same with his own hand; and saith further, touching the striking and wounding the priest in St. Margaret’s church in Westminster upon Easter-day last, this examinate saith, he was not there when the fact was done, but, immediately after, he came to church, and found sir John hurt, and wounded in the head, hand, and arm, by the said Flower, and the people in great heaviness by reason thereof. Also the people did report (as this examinate saith) that Flower did the deed as the priest had the chalice in his hand, ministering the sacrament to the people. William Jennings of Westminster, being examined upon the answers of the said William Flower, saith and deposeth, by virtue of his oath, that he did hear and see the said Flower acknowledge and recognize the said answers, and subscribe to the same with his own hand in the consistory place: and further deposeth, that he (upon Easter day last past) was present in the church of St.
Also this jurate deposed, that the said sir John Cheltham had a chalice with certain consecrated hosts therein (in his hand), which were sprinkled with the blood of the said priest; and after the said Flower was apprehended by this examinate and others, they carried him immediately to the Gatehouse in Westminster.
John Bray, one of the churchwardens of the parish church of St.
Margaret’s in Westminster, sworn and examined upon the said answers, saith and deposeth, that he did hear and see the said Flower acknowledge and recognize the said answers, and also subscribe unto the same. And further deposeth of Flower’s striking the priest, in effect, as the rest of the examinates do, and that this said jurate was present there at the deed-doing.
After the depositions of these foresaid witnesses being taken, published, and denounced, the said bishop, speaking to William Flower, asked him if he knew any matter or cause why his sentence should not be read, and he to be pronounced as a heretic. Whereunto the martyr of God answered again as followeth: “I have nothing at all to say, for I have already said unto you all that I have to say; and that I have said, I will not go from; and therefore do what you will,” etc. Which when he had spoken, the bishop proceeded to the sentence, condemning and excommunicating him for a heretic, and after pronounced him also to be degraded; and so committed him to the secular power. Upon the 24th day of the aforesaid month of April, which was St. Mark’s Even, he was brought to the place of martyrdom, which was in St. Margaret’s churchyard at Westminster, where the fact was committed: and there, coming to the stake where he should be burned, first he maketh his prayer to Almighty God, with a confession of his christian faith, in manner as followeth:
A PRAYER AND CONFESSION OF WILLIAM FLOWER.
O eternal God, most mighty and merciful Father, who hast sent down thy Son upon the earth, to save me and all mankind, who ascended up into heaven again, and left his blood upon the earth behind him, for the redemption of our sins, have mercy upon me, have mercy upon me, for thy dear Son our Savior Jesus Christ’s sake, in whom I confess only to be all salvation and justification, and that there is none other mean, nor way, nor holiness, in which or by which any man can be saved in this world. — This is my faith, which I beseech all men here to bear witness of.
Then he said the Lord’s prayer, and so made an end.
Flower answered as followeth: “Sir, I beseech you, for God’s sake, be contented; for that I have said, I have said: and I have been of this faith from the beginning; and I trust to the living God he will give me his Holy Spirit, to continue to’ the end.” Then he desired all the world to forgive him whom he had offended, as he forgave all the world. This done, first his right hand, being held up against the stake, was stricken off, his left hand being stayed behind him. At the which striking off his hand, certain that were present beholders of the matter, and purposely observing the same, credibly informed us, that he in no part of his body did once shrink at the striking thereof, but once a little he stirred his shoulders.
And thus fire was set unto him, who burning therein, cried with a loud voice, “O the Son of God, have mercy upon me! O the Son of God, receive my soul!” three times; and so his speech being taken from him, he spoke no more, lifting up, notwithstanding, his stump with his other arm, as long as he could. And thus endured this constant witness and faithful servant of God the extremity of the fire, being therein cruelly handled, by reason that to his burning little wood was brought; so that for lack of faggots, there being not sufficient to burn him, they were fain to strike him down into the fire; where he lying along (which was doleful to behold) upon the ground, his nether part was consumed in the fire, whilst his upper part was clean without the fire, his tongue in all men’s sight still moving in his mouth. May a20 . — the 3d of May a letter was sent to George Colt and Thomas Daniel, to make search for, and apprehend John Bernard and John Walsh, who used to repair to Sudbury, and carrying about with them the bones of Pygot that was burned, to show them to the people, persuading them to be constant in his religion: and upon examination to commit them to further ordering, according to the laws.
The 12th day, master Thomas Ross, preacher, was by the councils’ letters delivered from the Tower to the sheriff of Norfolk, to be conveyed and delivered to the bishop of Norwich; and he, either to reduce him to recant, or else proceed against him according to the law.
The 16th, a letter was sent to the lord treasurer, signifying what the lord L. had done for Ross ; a21 and that order should be given, according to his lordship’s request, for letters to the bishops: and for Appes, whom the lieutenant of the Tower reporteth to be mad, his lordship, perceiving the same to be true, should commit him to Bethlem, there to remain until their further order.
The 26th, a letter was sent to the lord treasurer, to confer with the bishop of London, and the justices of the peace of that county, wherein they were to be executed, that were already condemned for religion; and, upon agreement of places, to give order for their execution accordingly.
The 28th, a letter was sent to the lord treasurer, to cause speedy preparation to be made of such money as was appointed for such persons as should carry the joyful tidings of queen Mary’s good delivery of child, to divers princes, so as they be not compelled to stay a22 when time shall come. The ambassadors were, to the emperor, the lord admiral; to the French king, the lord Fitzwaters; to the king of Romans, sir Henry Sidney; to the king of Portugal, Richard Shelley; whose free passage through France master doctor Wotton was willed to procure by letters, the 24th of June.
The 29th , a23 was a letter directed to sir Francis Englefield, to make search for one John D. , a24 at London, and to apprehend him, and send him to the council; and to make search for such papers and books as he thinketh may touch the same D., or one Benget.
THE BURNING AND MARTYRDOM OF JOHN CARDMAKER AND JOHN WARNE, UPHOLSTERER WHO SUFFERED BOTH TOGETHER IN SMITHFIELD, A.D. 1555.
On the 30th day of May suffered together in Smithfield John Cardmaker, otherwise called Taylor, prebendary of the church of Wells; and John Warne, upholsterer, of the parish of St. John in Walbrook: of whom it remaineth now particularly to entreat, beginning first with master Cardmaker, who, first, was an observant friar before the dissolution of the abbeys; then, after, was a married minister; and, in king Edward’s time, appointed to be a reader in Paul’s, where the papists were so much aggrieved with him for his doctrine’s sake, that in his reading they cut and mangled his gown with their knives. This Cardmaker, being apprehended in the beginning of queen Marx’s reign, with master Barlow, bishop of Bath, was brought to London, and laid in prison in the Fleet, king Edward’s laws yet being in force. But after the parliament was ended, in which the pope was again admitted as supreme head of the church, and the bishops had also gotten power and authority, ex officio, to exercise their tyranny, these two were both brought before Winchester, chancellor, and others appointed by commission (as before is mentioned), to examine the faith of such as were then prisoners; and, as unto others before, so now unto them, the chancellor offered the queen’s mercy, if they would agree, and be conformable, etc.
To this they both made such an answer, as the chancellor with his fellow commissioners allowed them for catholic. Whether they of weakness so answered, or he of subtlety would so understand their answer, that he might have some forged example of a shrinking brother to lay in the dish of the rest, which were to be examined, it may easily be perceived by this, that to all them which followed in examination, he objected the example of Barlow and Cardmaker, commending their soberness, discretion, and learning. But whatsoever their answer was, yet, notwithstanding, Barlow was led again to the Fleet, from whence he afterward, being delivered, did by exile constantly bear witness to the truth of Christ’s gospel. Cardmaker was conveyed to the Compter in Bread-street, the bishop of London procuring it to be published, that he should shortly be delivered, after that he had subscribed to transubstantiation and certain other articles. To the same prison where Cardmaker was, Laurence Saunders was brought (after the sentence of excommunication and condemnation was pronounced against him); where these two prisoners had such christian conference, that whatsoever the breath of the bishops blustered, and the tickle ears of the people too lightly believed, in the end they both showed themselves constant confessors and worthy martyrs of Christ: as of Laurence Saunders it is already written. After whose departure Cardmaker remained there prisoner, to be baited of the papists, who would needs seem to have a certain hope that Cardmaker was become theirs. Continual and great conference divers of them had with him, with reasonings, persuadings, threatenings, and all to none effect. To the end that their doings might appear, he required them to put their reasons in writing, and promised by writing to answer them.
Dr. Martin, who bare also a part in those pageants, took upon him to be the chief doer by writing, whose long unsavory letters and simple reasons for transubstantiation, and such papistical trash, this Cardmaker answered largely, learnedly, and substantially; confuting the same, opening the falsehood of his arguments, and delivering the sentences of the fathers (which Martin abused for his purpose) to their true understanding; which his answers I would had come into our hands. Thus constantly abode this man of God all the enemies’ doings, as he did also the death which he suffered in Smithfield in London; whereof ye shall hear more anon. But first we will survey the matter and manner of his articles objected against him by bishop Bonner, with his answers annexed to the same; as consequently hereunder followeth.
ARTICLES OBJECTED BY BONNER AGAINST JOHN TAYLOR, ALIAS CARDMAKER; WITH HIS ANSWERS UNTO THE SAME.
First, I Edmund, bishop of London, object against thee, sir John Taylor, alias Cardmaker, that thou wast and art of the city and diocese of London, and so of the jurisdiction of me, Edmund, bishop of London. Item, that thou, in times past, didst profess the rule of St. Francis, and didst by vow promise to keep poverty, chastity, and obedience, according to the rule of St. Francis. Item, that thou, in times past, didst receive all the orders of the church then used; to wit, “tam majores quam minores.” Item, that thou, after thy said entry into religion and profession and orders aforesaid, didst take to wife a widow, and with her hast lived in wedlock, and didst get of her a woman child; breaking thereby thy vow and order, and also the ordinance of the church. Item, that thou hast believed and taught, and so dost believe, that in the sacrament of the altar under the visible signs there; that is to say, under the forms of bread and wine, there is really and truly the true and very natural body and blood of our Savior Jesus Christ. Item, that the belief of the catholic church is, that in having the body and blood of Christ really and truly contained in the sacrament of the altar, is to have (by the omnipotent power of Almighty God) the body and blood of Christ there invisibly and really present under the said sacrament; and not to make thereby a new God, or a new Christ, or a new body of Christ. Item, that it may stand well together, and so is the faith of the catholic church; that the body of Christ is visibly and truly ascended into heaven, and there is, in the visible form of his humanity; and yet the same body in substance is invisibly and truly contained in the said sacrament of the altar. f29 Item, that Christ, at his last supper, taking bread into his hands, blessing it, breaking it giving it to his apostles, and saying, “Take, eat, this is my body,” did institute a sacrament there; willing that his body really and truly should be contained in the said sacrament - no substance of bread and wine there remaining, but only the accidents thereof.
ANSWERS OF CARDMAKER TO THE ARTICLES AFORESAID.
To the first article he answereth, and confesseth the same to be true in every, part thereof.
To the second article he answereth and confesseth, that he, being under age, did profess the said order and religion; and afterward, by the authority of king Henry the Eighth, he was dispensed with for the same religion.
To the third he answereth, and confesseth the same to be true in every part thereof.
To the fourth he answereth and confesseth, the first part thereof to be true: and to the second part of the same article he answereth and saith, that in marriage he brake no vow, because he was set at liberty to marry, both by the laws of this realm, and also by the laws and ordinances of the church of the same.
To the fifth he answereth and confesseth, that he hath believed and taught as it is contained in this article, but he doth not now so believe nor teach.
To the sixth he answereth, that he doth not believe the same to be true in any part thereof.
To the seventh he answereth, that he doth not believe the same to be true in any part thereof.
To the eighth he answereth and doth believe, videlicet, that it is true; that is to say, that Christ, taking bread at his last supper into his hands, blessing it, breaking it, giving it to his disciples, and saying, “Take, eat: this is my body,” did institute a sacrament there. And to the other part of this article, videlicet — willing that his body really and truly should be contained in the said sacrament, no substance of bread and wine there remaining, but only the accidents thereof — he answereth, that he doth not believe the same to be true.
By me, John Cardmaker .
Master Cardmaker, calling to mind afterwards the ready cavillings of the papists, and thinking himself not to have fully, and according to his true meaning, answered the latter part of the last eighth article, did, the next day after the foresaid answers, exhibit unto the bishop in a schedule, this hereafter following.
But yet further, because this word is oftentimes taken of the holy fathers, not only for the bread and wine, but also for the whole administration and receiving of the same, according to Christ’s institution: so I say that Christ is present spiritually too, and in all them which worthily receive the sacrament, so that my denial is still of the real carnal, and corporal presence in the sacrament, and not of the sacramental, nor spiritual presence. - This have I thought good to add to my former answer, because no man should misunderstand it By me, John Cardmaker .
Next to these articles of master Cardmaker, I thought best to infer the articles and answers likewise of John Warne, his martyr-fellow, in manner as followeth.
ARTICLES MINISTERED AGAINST JOHN WARNE, UPHOLSTERER, OF THE PARISH OF ST. JOHN IN WALBROOK, WITH HIS ANSWERS TO THE SAME.
First, that thou John Warne, being of the age of twenty-nine years, and of the parish of St. John of Walbrook in London, hast believed, and dost believe, firmly and steadfastly, that in the sacrament, commonly called the sacrament of the altar, there is not the very true and natural body of our Savior Christ in substance, under the forms of bread and wine. Item, that thou hast believed, and dost believe, that after the words of consecration spoken by the priest, there is not (as the church of England doth believe and teach) the body of Christ; but that there doth only remain the substance of material bread, as it is before the consecration, or speaking of the words of consecration; and that the said bread is in no wise altered or changed. Item, that thou hast said and dost believe, that if the catholic church do believe and teach, that there is in the mass, now used in England, and in other places of Christendom, a sacrifice wherein there is a sacrament containing the body and blood of Christ really and truly; then that belief and faith of the church is naught, and against God’s truth and the Scripture. Item, that thou hast said, that whereas about a twelvemonth ago, and more, a great rough water-spaniel of thine was shorn in the head, and had a crown like a priest’s made in the same, thou didst laugh at it and like it, though thou didst it not thyself, nor knewest who did it. Item, That thou, neither this Lent last past, nor at any time since the queen’s majesty’s reign, hast come into the church, or heard mass, or been confessed, or received the sacrament of the altar; and hast said, that thou art not sorry that thou hast so done, but thou art glad; because thou hast not therewith defiled thy conscience, which otherwise thou shouldst so have done.
Upon all which articles John Warne being examined by the said Bonner in presence of divers witnesses, the 23d of May, A.D. 1555, did confess and believe the same, and subscribe hereunto his name with his own hand.
By me, John Warne .
Also it was objected against the said John Warne, by the bishop aforesaid, as followeth:
ADDITION TO ARTICLES. Item, That thou, John Warne, wast in time past here, in the city of London, convented in the Guildhall for heresy against the sacrament of the altar, according to the order of the laws of this realm of England in the time of king Henry the Eighth, and when alderman Barnes was sheriff, and the Thursday after that Anne Askew was burnt in Smithfield; and thereupon thou wast sent a prisoner to Newgate, to whom Edmund bishop of London did repair with his chaplains, to instruct thee in the true faith of Christ, touching the said sacrament of the altar, and to bring thee from thy error, which was, that in the sacrament of the altar there is not the body of Christ, nor any corporal presence of Christ’s body and blood, under the forms of bread and wine; but that in the said sacrament there is only material bread and wine, without any substance of Christ’s body and blood at all: and because thou wouldst not leave and forsake thy said heresy therein, but persist and abide obstinately and willfully therein, thou wert, according to the said laws, condemned to death and to be burnt; and thereupon labor being made for thee to the king and others in the court, thou hadst a pardon of king Henry the Eighth, and so thereby didst save thy life.
Nevertheless, in thy heart, conscience, and mind, thou didst both then, and also afore, believe no otherwise than at this present thou dost believe; that is to say, that in the sacrament of the altar there is neither the very true body or blood of Christ, nor any other substance but the substance of material bread and wine; and to receive the said material bread and wine, and to break it, and to distribute it among the people, only is the true receiving of Christ’s body, and no otherwise: so that thy faith and belief is, that in the said sacrament there is no substance of Christ’s material body and blood: but all the tiling that is there, is material bread, and the receiving thereof as afore; and that the substance of the natural and true body of Christ, born of the Virgin Mary, is only in heaven, and not in the sacrament of the altar. In which thine opinion thou hast ever hitherto since continued, and so dost continue at this present, thou confessing all this to be true, and in witness thereof subscribing thy name thereunto, as followeth.
By me, John Warne .
John Warne, being examined upon the foresaid articles by the bishop before certain witnesses, whose names were John Boswell, John Heywood, Robert Ravens, the 23d of May, did answer to the same, confessing and granting the articles and contents thereof to be true, according as they were objected in every part; subscribing also the same with his hand. Such strength and fortitude God’s holy Spirit wrought in him, to stand stoutly and confidently to the defense of the sincere doctrine of his Son. Whereupon the bishop, exhorting him with many words to leave his heresies (as he called them), and to return to the bosom of his mother the holy church, commanded him to appear again the next day, being the 24th of the same month: who, so doing and answering as he did before, was willed to come thither again at afternoon, and so he did: where and at what time, he was earnestly exhorted by the said bishop to recant his opinions. To whom he answered, that he would not depart from his received profession, unless he were thereunto thoroughly persuaded by the holy Scriptures.
Upon this answer he was willed to come again the next day, being the 25th of the same month, at one o’clock in the afternoon. At which day and hour the bishop examined him again upon all his former articles before objected, to the which he most constantly did stick, with this further answer thereunto added: “I am persuaded,” quoth he, “that I am in the right opinion, and I see no cause to repent; for all filthiness and idolatry is in the church of Rome.”
The bishop then, seeing that notwithstanding all his fair promises, and terrible threatenings (whereof he used store), he could not any thing prevail; finished this examination with the definitive sentence of condemnation pronounced against the said John Warne, and so charged the sheriffs of London with him, under whose custody he remained in the prison of Newgate, until the 30th day of the same month of May. Upon the which day, being the day appointed for their execution, John Cardmaker, with the said John Warne, were brought by the sheriffs to the place where they should suffer: who, being come to the stake, first the sheriffs called Cardmaker aside, and talked with him secretly, so long, that in the mean time Warne had made his prayers, was chained to the stake, and had wood and reed set about him, so that nothing wanted but the firing; but still abode Cardmaker talking with the sheriffs.
The people which before had heard that Cardmaker would recant, on beholding this manner of doing, were in a marvelous dump and sadness, thinking indeed that Cardmaker should now recant at the burning of Warne.
At length Cardmaker departed from the sheriffs, and came towards the stake, and, in his garments as he was, kneeled down and made a long prayer in silence to himself: yet the people confirmed themselves in their fantasy of his recanting, seeing him in his garments, praying secretly, and no semblance of any burning.
His prayers being ended, he rose up, put off his clothes unto his shirt, went with bold courage to the stake, and kissed it sweetly: he took Warne by the hand, and comforted him heartily; and so gave himself to be also bound to the stake most gladly. The people seeing this so suddenly done, contrary to their fearful expectation, as men delivered out of a great doubt, cried out for joy (with so great a shout as hath not lightly been heard a greater), saying,” God be praised; the Lord strengthen thee, Cardmaker; the Lord Jesus receive thy spirit!” And this continued while the executioner put fire to them, and they both passed through the fire to the blessed rest and peace among God’s holy saints and martyrs, to enjoy the crown of triumph and victory prepared for the elect soldiers and warriors of Christ Jesus in his blessed kingdom. To whom be glory and majesty for ever.
Amen. f31 THE CONFESSION OF THE FAITH OF JOHN WARNE, CITIZEN OF LONDON, WHICH HE WROTE THE DAY BEFORE HE WAS BURNED, THE 30TH DAY OF MAY, A.D. 1555. “I believe in God the Father Almighty, and Maker of heaven and earth.” A Father, because he is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the everlasting Word, whom before all worlds he hath begotten of himself, which Word was made flesh, and therein also manifested to be his Son; in whom he hath adopted us to be his children, the inheritors of his kingdom — and therefore he is our Father: an Almighty God, because he hath of nothing created all things visible and invisible, both in heaven and in earth, even all creatures contained therein, and governeth them. “And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord.” The eternal Word, perfect God with his Father, of equal power in all things, of the same substance, of like glory, by whom all things were made, and have life, and without whom nothing liveth: he was made also perfect man; and so, being very God and very man in one person, is the only Savior, Redeemer, and Ransomer of them which were lost in Adam our forefather. He is the only mean of our deliverance, the hope of our health, the surety of our salvation. “Which was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary.” According to the Father’s most merciful promise, this eternal Son of God, forsaking the heavenly glory, humbled himself to take flesh of a virgin, according to the Scriptures, uniting the substance of the Godhead to the substance of the manhood, which he took of the substance of that blessed Virgin Mary in one person, to become therein the very Messiah, the anointed King and Priest, for ever appointed to pacify the Father’s wrath, which was justly gone out against us all for our sin. “Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried, and descended into hell.” He was arraigned before Pontius Pilate the ruler of Jewry; and so unjustly accused of many crimes, that the ruler judged him innocent, and sought means to deliver him; but, contrary to known justice, he did let go Barabbas which had deserved death, and delivered Christ to be crucified, who deserved no death: which doth declare unto us manifestly, that he suffered for our sins, and was buffeted for our offenses, as the prophets do witness; thereby to have it manifested to all men, that he is that Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world. Therefore, suffering for our sins, he received and did bear our deserved condemnation, the pains of death, the taste of abjection, the very terror of hell; yielding his spirit to his Father, his body to be buried in earth. “The third day he rose again from death to life.” To make full and perfect the whole work of our redemption and justification, the same crucified body which was laid in the grave, was raised up again the third day from death, by the power of his Father, and glory of his Godhead: he became the firstfruits of the resurrection, and got the victory of death, that all by him might be raised up from death. Through whom all true penitent sinners may now boldly come unto the Father, and have remission of their sins. “He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty.” After that in his death and resurrection he had conquered sin, death, and the devil, and had been conversant forty days in the earth, being seen of the apostles and more than five hundred brethren at once, in the same body in which: he wrought the work of our salvation, he ascended into heaven with eternal, triumph, for the victory over death, sin, hell; leaving the passage open, by which all true believers may and shall enter into his kingdom, where he now sitteth at his Father’s right hand; that is to say, in power and glory equal, in majesty co-eternal. “From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.” He shall appear again in great glory to receive his elect unto himself, and to put his enemies under his feet; changing all living men in a moment, and raising up all that be dead, that all may be brought to his judgment. In this shall he give each man according to his deeds. They which have followed him in regeneration, which have their sins washed away in his blood, and are clothed with his righteousness, shall receive the everlasting kingdom, and reign with him for ever; and they which, after the race of the corrupt generation of Adam, have followed flesh and blood, shall receive everlasting damnation with the devil and his angels. “I believe in the Holy Ghost.” I do believe that the Holy Ghost is God, the third person in Trinity, in unity of the Godhead equal with the Father and the Son, given through Christ to inhabit our spirits, by which we are made to feel and understand the great power, virtue, and loving kindness of Christ our Lord. For he illuminateth, quickeneth, and certifieth our spirit, that by him we are sealed up unto the day of redemption; by Whom we are regenerate and made new creatures, so that by him and through him we do receive all the abundant goodness promised us in Jesus Christ “The holy catholic church.” This is a holy number of Adam’s posterity, elected, gathered, washed, and purified by the blood of the Lamb from the beginning of the world; and is dispersed through the same by the tyranny of Gog and Magog; that is to say, the Turk and his tyranny, and Antichrist otherwise named the bishop of Rome, and his angels, as this day also doth teach. “The communion of saints.” Which most holy congregation (being, as Paul teacheth, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ being the head corner stone), though it be by the tyranny of Satan and his ministers persecuted, some by imprisonment, some by death, and some by other afflictions and painful torments; yet doth it remain in one perfect unity, both in faith and fellowship: which unity is knit in an unspeakable knot, as well of them which are departed from this mortal life, as of them which now be living, and hereafter shall be in the same, and so shall continue until they all do meet in the kingdom, where the head Jesus Christ, with all these his holy members (of which number through Christ I assuredly believe that I am one), shall be fully complete, knit, and united together for evermore. “The forgiveness of sins.” I do believe that my sins, and all their sins which do rightly believe the holy Scripture, are forgiven only through Jesus Christ, of whom only I do profess that I have my whole and full salvation and redemption; which, St. Paul saith, cometh not through our works and deservings, but freely by grace, lest any should boast himself. Through the blood of his cross all things in heaven and earth are reconciled, and set at peace with the Father; without him no heavenly life is given, nor sin forgiven. “The resurrection of the body.” I do believe, that by the same my Savior Christ, I and all men shall rise again from death; for he, as St. Paul saith, is risen again from the dead, and is become the firstfruits of them which sleep. For by a man came death, and by a man cometh the resurrection from death. This man is Christ, through the power of whose resurrection I believe that we all shall rise again in these our bodies; the elect clothed with immortality, to live with Christ for ever: the reprobate also shall rise immortal, to live with the devil and his angels in death everlasting. “And the life everlasting.” Through the same Jesus, and by none other, I am sure to have life everlasting. He only is the way and entrance into the kingdom of heaven: “For so God loved the world, that he did give his only Son Jesus Christ, to the end that so many as do believe in him, might have everlasting life.” (John 3:16.) The. which I am sure to possess, so soon as I am dissolved, and departed out of this tabernacle; and in the last day shall both body and soul possess the same for ever: to the which God grant all men to come.
I believe that the sacraments, that is to say, of baptism and of the Lord’s Supper, are seals of God’s most merciful promises towards mankind. In baptism, as by the outward creature of water I am washed from the filthiness which hangeth on my flesh; so do I assuredly believe, that I am, by Christ’s blood, washed clean from my sins, through which I have sure confidence of my certain salvation. In the partaking of the Lord’s Supper, as I receive the substance of bread and wine (the nature of which is to strengthen the body), so do I, by faith, receive the redemption wrought in Christ’s body broken on the cross, life by his death, resurrection by his resurrection; and in sum, all that ever Christ in his body suffered for my salvation, to the strengthening of my faith in the same. And I believe, that God hath appointed the eating and drinking of the creatures of bread and wine in his holy supper, according to his word, to move and to stir up my mind to believe these articles above written.
By me, John Warne .
A LETTER OF JOHN CARDMAKER TO A CERTAIN FRIEND OF HIS.
The peace of God be with you: — You shall right well perceive that I am not gone back, as some men do report me, but am as ready to give my life, as any of my brethren that are gone before me; although by a policy I have a little prolonged it, and that for the best, as already it appeareth unto me, and shall shortly appear unto all. That day that I recant any point of doctrine, I shall suffer twenty kinds of death, the Lord being mine assistance; as I doubt not but he will. Commend me to my friend, and tell him no less.
This the Lord strengthen you, me, and all his elect. My riches and poverty is as it was wont to be, and I have learned to rejoice in poverty as well as in riches, for that count I now to be very riches.
A NOTE CONCERNING MASTER CARDMAKER, AND ONE BEARD, A PROMOTER.
Master Cardmaker being condemned, and in Newgate, one Beard, a promoter, came to him two or three days before he was burned, and said thus unto him: Beard: — “Sir, I am sent unto you by the council, to know whether ye will recant or no?” Cardmaker: — “From which council are ye come? I think ye are not come, nor yet sent from the queen’s council, but rather from the commissioners, unto whom (as I suppose) ye belong. And whereas ye would know, whether I will recant or no, thus I pray you report of me to those who ye said sent you. I know you are a tailor by your occupation, and have endeavored yourself to be a cunning workman, and thereby to get your living: so! have been a preacher these twenty years, and ever since that God, by his great mercy, hath opened mine eyes to see his eternal truth, I have, by his grace, endeavored myself to call upon him, to give me the true understanding of his holy word; and I thank him for his great mercy. I hope I have discharged my conscience in the setting forth of the same, to that little talent that I have received.” Beard: - “Yea, sir; but what say you to the blessed sacrament of the altar?” Cardmaker: — “I say (and mark it well), that Christ, the night before his bitter passion, ordained the holy and blessed communion, and hath given commandment, that his death should be preached before the receiving thereof; in remembrance of his body broken, and his precious blood shed, for the forgiveness of our sins, to as many as faithfully believe and trust in him.”
And furthermore, to conclude the matter briefly with him, he asked of him,. Whether the sacrament he spoke of, had a beginning or no?
Whereunto when he had granted and affirmed the same so to be, then master Cardmaker again thus inferred thereupon: “If the sacrament,” said he, “as you confess, have a beginning and an ending, then it cannot be God; for God hath no beginning nor ending;” and so willing him well to note the same, he departed from him.
The 5th day of June, [there were letters sent to] master secretary Bourne, the master of the Rolls, sir Francis Englefield, sir Richard Read, and Dr.
Hughes, authorizing them, or two or three of them at the least, to proceed to examination of Benger, Cary, D a25 * * *, and Field, upon such further points a26 as they shall gather out of their former confessions, touching their lewd and vain practices of calculating or conjuring, presently sent unto them with the said letters.
The 7th day of June there was another letter to sir John Tregonwell; willing him to join in commission with the said lord North, and others above named, about the examination of the said parties and others, for conjuring and witchcraft. And the 29th of August, Cary and D * * * were set at liberty upon bonds for their good appearing a27 until Christmas after.
The 12th day of June a letter was sent to the lord treasurer , a28 to cause writs to be made to the sheriff of Sussex, for the burning and executing of Derike a brewer, at Lewes, and other two, the one at Stenning , a29 the other at Chichester.
The 23d of June a letter was sent to Bonner, to examine a report given to the council of four parishes within the soke of Essex, that should still use the English service; and to punish, the offenders, if any such be . a30 THE STORY OF JOHN ARDELEY AND JOHN SIMSON, MARTYRS, OF THE PARISH OF WIGBOROUGH THE GREAT, IN ESSEX.
With master Cardmaker and John Warne, upon the same day, and in the same company, and for the same cause, were also condemned John Ardeley and John Simson; which was the 25th day of May. But before we come to the story of them, first here is to be noted the copy of the king and queen’s letter, directed from the court the same day, and sent by a post early in the morning to the bishop, in tenor and form as followeth.
A LETTER OF THE KING AND QUEEN TO BONNER.
Right reverend father in God, right trusty and well-beloved, we greet you well. And whereas of late we addressed our letters to the justices of peace within every of the counties of this our realm, whereby, amongst other instructions given them for the good order and quiet government of the country round about them, they are willed to have a special regard unto such disordered persons as (forgetting their duties towards God and us) do lean to any erroneous and heretical opinions, refusing to show themselves conformable to the catholic religion of Christ’s church; wherein if they cannot by good admonitions and fair means reform them, they are willed to deliver them to the ordinary, to be by him charitably travailed withal, and removed (if it may be) from their naughty opinions; or else, if they continue obstinate, to be ordered according to the laws provided in that behalf: understanding now, to our no little marvel, that divers of the said disordered persons, being by the justices of peace, for their contempt and obstinacy, brought to the ordinaries to be used as is aforesaid, are either refused to he received at their hands, or, if they be received, are neither so travailed with as christian charity requireth, nor yet proceeded withal according to the order of justice, but are suffered to continue in their errors, to the dishonor of Almighty God, and dangerous example of others; like as we find this matter very strange, so we have thought convenient both to signify this our knowledge, and therewith also to admonish you to have in this behalf such regard henceforth to the office of a good pastor and bishop, as when any such offenders shall be by the said officers or justices of peace brought unto you, you to use your good wisdom and discretion in procuring to remove them from their errors, if it may be; or else in proceeding against them (if they shall continue obstinate) according to the order of the laws; so as through your good furtherance, both God’s glory may be better advanced, and the commonwealth more quietly governed.
This letter thus coming from the court to the bishop, made him the more earnest and hasty to the condemnation, as well of others, as of these men, of whom now we have presently to entreat, of John Simson, I mean, and John Ardeley; who being both of one country, and of one town together, and of one trade, that is, being both husbandmen in the town of Wigborough in Essex, and also almost both of one age, save that Simson was of the age of thirty-four, the other of thirty, were brought up both together by the under-sheriff of Essex, to Bonner bishop of London, upon the accusation (as in that time it was called) of heresy.
As touching the order and manner of their examinations before the bishop; as the articles ministered against them were much like, so their answers again unto the same were not much discrepant in manner and form; as out of the bishop’s own registers here followeth expressed.
ARTICLES OBJECTED AGAINST JOHN SIMSON AND JOHN ARDELEY, Of the Parish of Wigborough the Great, in Essex, Husbandmen, by Bonner bishop of London, at Fulham, May 22, A.D. 1555. 1. First, that thou John Simson [or John Ardeley] husbandman, of the age of thirty-four years or thereabout, wast and art of the parish of Great Wig-borough, within the diocese of London; and thou hast not believed, nor dost believe, that there is here in earth one catholic and universal whole church, which doth hold and believe all the faith and religion of Christ, and all the necessary articles and sacraments of the same. 2. Item, That thou hast not believed, nor dost believe, that thou art necessarily bounden, under the pain of damnation of thy soul, to give full faith and credence unto the said catholic and universal church, and to the religion of the same, in all necessary points of the said faith and religion, without wavering or doubting in the said faith or religion, or in any part thereof. 3. Item, That thou hast not believed, nor dost believe, that that faith and religion, which both the church of Rome, Italy, Spain, England, France, Ire land, Scotland, and all other churches in Europe, being true members and parts Of the said catholic and universal church, do believe and teach, is both agreeing with the said catholic and universal church, and the faith and religion of Christ, and also is the very true faith and religion which all christian people ought to believe, observe, follow, and keep; but, contrariwise, thou hast believed, and dost believe, that that faith and religion, which the said church of Rome, and all the other churches aforesaid have heretofore believed, and do now believe, is false, erroneous, and naught, and in no wise ought to be believed, observed, kept, and followed of any christian man. 4. Item, That albeit it be true, that in the sacrament of the altar there is in substance the very body and blood of Christ under the forms of bread and wine, and albeit that it be so believed, taught, and preached undoubtedly in the said church of Rome, and all other the churches aforesaid, yet thou hast not so believed, nor dost so believe; but, contrariwise, thou hast and dost believe firmly and steadfastly, that there is not in the said sacrament of the altar, under the said forms of bread and wine, the very substance of Christ’s body and blood, but that there is only the substance of material and common bread and wine, with the forms thereof; and that the said material and common bread and wine are only the signs and tokens of Christ’s body and blood, and by faith to be received, only for a remembrance of Christ’s passion and death, without any such substance of Christ’s body and blood at all. 5. Item, That thou hast believed and taught, and thou hast openly spoken, and to thy power maintained and defended, and so dost believe, think, maintain, and defend, that the very true receiving and eating of Christ’s body and blood, is only to take material and common bread, and to break it, and to distribute it amongst the people; remembering thereby the passion and death of Christ only. 6. Item, That thou hast likewise believed, taught, and spoken, that the mass now used in this realm of England, and other the churches aforesaid, is abominable and naught, and full of idolatry, and is of the ordinance of the pope, and not of the institution of Christ, and hath no goodness in it, saving the “Gloria in excelsis,” and the Epistle and the Gospel; and that therefore thou hast not, nor wilt not come to be present at the mass, nor receive the sacrament of the altar, or any other sacrament of the church, as they are now used in this realm of England, and other the churches aforesaid. 7. Item, That thou hast in times past believed precisely, and obstinately affirmed and said, and so dost now believe and think, that auricular confession is not needful to be made unto the priest, but it is a thing superfluous and vain, and ought only to be made to God, and to none other person: and likewise thou hast condemned as superfluous, vain, and unprofitable, all the ceremonies of the church, and the service of the same, and hast said, that no service in the church ought to be said but in the English tongue; and if it be otherwise said, it is unlawful and naught.
THE ANSWERS OF JOHN SIMSON, AND ALSO OF JOHN ARDELEY, TO THE FORESAID ARTICLES.
To the first , they believe, that here in earth there is one catholic and universal holy church, which doth hold and believe as is contained in the first article; and that this church is dispersed and scattered abroad throughout the whole world.
To the second , they believe, that they be bound to give faith and credence unto it, as is contained in the second article.
To the third , as concerning the faith and religion of the church of Rome, of Italy, Spain, France, Ireland, Scotland, and other churches in Europe, they say, they have nothing to do with that faith and religion: but as concerning the faith and religion of England, that if the said Church of England be ruled and governed by the Word of Life, then the Church of England hath the faith and religion of the catholic church, and not otherwise; and do say also, that if the Church of England were ruled by the Word of Life, it would not go about to condemn them and others of this heresy.
To the fourth they answer, that in the sacrament, commonly called the sacrament of the altar, there is very bread and very wine, not altered or changed in substance in any wise; and that he that receiveth the said bread and wine, doth spiritually and by faith only receive the body and blood of Christ; but not the very natural body and blood of Christ in substance under the forms of bread and wine.
To the fifth they say, they have answered, answering to the said fourth article, and yet nevertheless they say, that they have believed, and do believe, that in the sacrament of the altar there, is not the very substance of Christ’s body and blood, but only the substance of the natural bread and wine.
To the sixth they say, that they believe, that the mass is of the pope, and not of Christ; and therefore it is not good, nor having in it any goodness, saving the “Gloria in excelsis,” the Epistle and Gospel, the Creed, and the Pater-noster; and for this cause they say they have not, nor will not, come and hear mass.
To the seventh , John Ardeley answereth and saith, that he believeth the contents of the same to be true; but John Simson doth answer, that he is not as yet fully resolved with himself, what answer to make thereunto; and further, that as touching the common and daily service said and used in the church, he saith, that he never said, that service in the church ought to be said but in the English tongue, nor yet he never said, that if it be otherwise said and used than in English, it is unlawful and naught. John Ardeley and John Simson.
Thus these articles being to them objected, and their answers made unto the same, as before, the bishop, according to the old trade of his consistory court, respited them to the afternoon, bidding them to make their appearance the said day and place, between the hours of two and three. At what time the said bishop, repeating again the said articles unto them, and beginning with John Ardeley, did urge and solicitate him, according to his manner of words, to recant.
To whom Joan Ardeley again, constantly standing to his professed religion, gave answer in words as followeth: “My lord,” quoth he, “neither you, nor any other of your religion, is of the catholic church; for you be of a false faith: and I doubt not but you shall be deceived at length, bear as good a face as ye can. Ye will shed the innocent blood, and you have killed many, and yet go about to kill more,” etc.
And added further, saying, “If every hair of my head were a man, I would suffer death in the opinion and faith that I am now in.” These with many other words he spoke. Then the bishop yet demanded if he would relinquish his erroneous opinions (as he called them), and be reduced again to the unity of the church. He answered as followeth, “No! God foreshield that I should so do, for then I should lose my soul.”
After this, the said bishop, asking John Ardeley (after his formal manner) if he knew any cause why he should not have sentence condemnatory against him; so read the condemnation, as he also did against John Simson, standing likewise in the same cause and constancy with John Ardeley: which was done the 25th day of May. And so were they both committed to the secular power (that is, to the hands of the sheriffs), to be conveyed to the place where they should be executed. But before I come to their execution, here is not to be passed a thing not unworthy the looking upon, which happened in the closing up the examination of these two innocent martyrs of God, which is this:
At the time of the examination of this Simson and John Ardeley aforesaid, there was assembled such a great multitude of people, that because the consistory was not able to hold them, they were fain to stand in the church, near about the said consistory, waiting to see the prisoners when they should depart. It happened in the mean time, that the bishop, being set in a heat with the stout and bold answers of the said two prisoners (especially of John Simson), burst out in his loud and angry voice, and said, “Have him away! have him away!”
Now the people in the church, hearing these words, and thinking (because the day was far spent) that the prisoners had their judgment, they, being desirous to see the prisoners had to Newgate, severed themselves, one running one way, another way, which caused such a noise in the church, that they in the consistory were all amazed, and marveled what it should mean: wherefore the bishop also, being somewhat afraid of this sudden stir, asked what there was to do. The standers-by answering said, that there was like to be some tumult; for they were together by the ears.
When the bishop heard this, by and by his heart was in his heels, and leaving his seat, he with the rest of the court betook them to. their legs, hastening with all speed possible to recover the door that went into the bishop’s house: but the rest, being somewhat lighter of foot than my lord, did sooner recover the door, and thronging hastily to get in, kept the bishop still out, and cried, “Save my lord! save my lord!” but meaning yet first to save themselves, if any danger should come; whereby they gave the standers-by good matter to laugh at; resembling in some part a spectacle not much unlike to the old stagers at Oxford, worse feared than hurt, when the church there was noised to be set on fire, whereof ye may read before.
But of this matter enough.
Now John Simson and John Ardeley, being delivered (as is afore said) to the sheriffs, were shortly after sent down from London to Essex, where both they, in one day, which was about the 10th of June a31 ) were put to death, albeit in several places; for John Simson suffered at Rochford:
A NOTE OF JOHN ARDELEY.
For the better consideration of the rigorous cruelty of these catholic days, this is furthermore not unworthy of all men to be noted and known to all posterity, concerning the examinations of this Ardeley and his company, how that they, being brought before the commissioners, were by them greatly charged of stubbornness and vain-glory. Unto whom they answered in defense of their own simplicity, that they were content willingly to yield to the queen all their goods and lands, so that they might be suffered to live under her, in keeping their conscience free from all idolatry and papistical religion. Yet this would not be granted, although they had offered all to their heart-blood; so greedy and so thirsty be these persecutors, of christian blood. The Lord give them repentance if it be his will, and keep from them the just reward of such cruel dealing! Amen.
THE RIDICULOUS HANDLING AND PROCEEDING OF BISHOP BANNER AND HIS MATES AGAINST JOHN TOOLEY FIRST SUSPECTED AND CONDEMNED AFTER HIS DEATH, AND THEN DIGGED OUT OF HIS GRAVE, AND GIVEN TO THE SECULAR POWER, AND SO BURNED FOR A HERETIC.
About the same time of the burning of these two aforesaid, in the beginning of the said month of June, fell out a solemn process, and much ado was made about the pope’s spirituality against John Tooley, in a case of heresy. The story is this: There was about the time that the Spaniards began first to keep a stir in England, one John Tooley, a citizen and poulterer in London, who conspired with certain other of his society, to rob a Spaniard at St. James’s: and although the deed were heinous and wicked of itself, yet was it aggravated and made greater than it was by others, being committed against such a person, and against such a country., which both the queen and her whole court did highly favor. The robbery being known, and brought into judgment, this Tooley was found guilty, and judged to be hanged, whereas notwithstanding in this realm there are many more thefts committed, than thieves executed.
The foresaid Tooley being led to the gallows (which stood fast by Charing Cross) a little before he died, standing upon the cart, read a certain prayer in a printed book, and two other prayers written in two several papers: who then, having the halter about his neck, desired the people there present to pray for him, and to bear him witness that he died a true christian man, and that he trusted to be saved only by the merits of Christ’s passion, and shedding of his precious blood; and not by any masses or trentals, images or saints, which were (as he said) mere idolatry and superstition, and devised by the bishop of Rome: and as the same Tooley, and two other his fellows which were there hanged with him, did stem and rob for covetousness, so the bishop of Rome did sell his masses and trentals, with such other paltry, for covetousness; and there being in a great anger (as appeared) against the bishop of Rome, spoke with loud voice these words following: “ From the tyranny a32 of the bishop of Rome, and all his detestable enormities; from false doctrine and heresy, and from the contempt of thy word and commandment, good Lord deliver us!”
And then adding further to the same, he spoke unto the people, - “All you that be true christian men, say with me, Amen.” And immediately thereupon three hundred persons and more, to the judgment and estimation of those that were there present, answered and said, “Amen,” three times together at the least. f33 After this it happened, that when Tooley had read the bill the first time, it fell from him, and a certain young man (who was thought to be a prentice) stooped down and took up the bill, and climbed up by the cart, and delivered it unto Tooley again, which he again did read to the people. That done, he delivered unto one of the marshal’s officers the book aforesaid, and willed him to deliver it unto one Haukes, saying, that it was his book.
Furthermore, he delivered one of the prayers, written in a paper, to one Robert Bromley sergeant, who desired to have it of him. Upon the top of which bill was written a line, containing these words, “Beware of Antichrist;” and subscribed underneath, “Per me Thomam Harold, prisoner in the Marshalsea, enemy to Antichrist.” For the bill aforesaid, Robert Bromley was brought afterward “coram nobis;” and was fain to ask pardon of the bishop, and to detest all the words of Tooley, and glad so to escape.
Thus while Tooley had made his prayers, as is above said, to be delivered from the pope’s tyranny, by the same prayers he fell into great tyranny.
For so soon as the bruit of this fact came unto the ears of the priests and mitred prelates, they were not a little mad thereat, thinking it not tolerable that so great a reproach should be done against the holy father. Calling therefore for a council together, as though it had been a matter of great importance, Tooley’s talk at his death was debated among themselves.
At last, after much pro and contra, they all consented to those men’s judgments, who thought it meet that the violating of the pope’s holiness should be revenged with fire and faggot. And I do easily believe that cardinal Pole was no small doer in this sentence; for as Winchester and Bonner did always thirst after the blood of the living, so Pole’s lightning was for the most part kindled against the dead; and he reserved this charge only to himself, I know not for what purpose, except peradventure, being loth to be so cruel as the other, he thought nevertheless by thin means to discharge his duty towards the pope. By the same cardinal’s like lightning and fiery fist the bones of Martin Bucer and Paulus Phagius, which had lain almost two years in their graves, were taken up and burned at Cambridge, as Tooley’s carcass was here at London. And besides this, because he would show some token of his diligence in both universities, he caused Peter Martyr’s wife, a woman of worthy memory, to be digged out of the church-yard, and to be buffed on the dunghill. Of these two prodigious acts ye shall hear more hereafter. But now to our purpose of Tooley, who, having ended his prayer, was hanged and put into his grave, out of which he was digged again, by the commandment of the bishops; and because he was so bold to derogate the authority of the bishop of Rome, at the time of his death, it pleased them to judge and condemn him as a heretic, upon the commandment of the council’s letter, as here appeareth.
A LETTER SENT UNTO BONNER, BISHOP OF LONDON, FROM THE COUNCIL, CONCERNING TOOLEY.
After our very hearty commendations to your lordship, understanding that of late amongst others that have suffered about London for their offenses, one lewd person that was condemned for felony died very obstinately, professing at the time of his death sundry heretical and erroneous opinions; like as we think it not convenient that such a matter should be overpassed without some example to the world, so have we thought good to pray your lordship to cause further inquiry to be made thereof, and thereupon to proceed to the making out of such process as by the ecclesiastical laws is provided in that behalf. And so we bid your lordship heartily well to fare.
From Hampton Court, the 28th of April, 1555.
THE WRIT OR MANDATE OF BONNER, BISHOP OF LONDON, SET UP AT CHAFING CROSS, ON PAUL’S CHURCH DOOR, AND AT ST. MARTIN’S IN THE FIELD, FOR THE CITING AND FURTHER INQUIRING OUT OF THE CASE OF JOHN TOOLEY. a33 Edmund, by the sufferance of God bishop of London, to all and singular parsons, vicars, curates, and others, clerks and learned men, being within our diocese of London; and specially unto Richard Clunie, our sworn sumnor, greeting, salutation, and benediction. Forsomuch as it is come to our hearing by common fame, and the declaration of sundry credible persons, that one John Tooley, late citizen and poulterer of London, the son of perdition and iniquity, coming to the profundity of malice in the selfsame time in the which he should go to hanging, according to the laws of the realm, for the great theft lately by him committed, at which time chiefly he should have cared for the wealth of his soul, and to have died in the unity of the catholic church, did utter divers and sundry damnable, blasphemous, and heretical opinions and errors, utterly contrary and repugnant to the verity of the catholic faith and unity of the same; and did exhort, stir up, and encourage the people, there standing in great multitude, to hold and defend the same errors and opinions: and moreover, certain of the people there standing (as it did appear), infected with errors and heresies, as fautors and defenders of the said John, did confirm and give express consent to the foresaid words, propositions, and affirmations; which thug we do utter with sorrow and bitterness of heart:
We therefore, the foresaid Edmund and bishop abovesaid, not being able, nor daring to pass over in silence, nor wink at the foresaid heinous act, lest by our negligence and slackness the blood of them might be required at our hands at the most terrible day of judgment, desiring to be certified and informed whether the premises declared unto us, be of the truth, and lest that any scabbed sheep, lurking amongst the simple flock of our Lord, do infect them with pestiferous heresy: to you therefore we straitly charge and command, that you cite, or cause to be cited, all and singular, having or knowing the truth of the premises, by setting up this citation upon the church door of St. Martin’s in the Field, being within our diocese of London, and also upon the cathedral church door of St. Paul’s in London; leaving there the copy hereof, or by other means or ways, the best you can, that this citation and monition may come to their knowledge.
All which and singular, by the tenor of these presents, we cite and admonish that they appear, and every one of them do appear before us, our vicar general, or commissary, whatsoever he be in that behalf, in our cathedral church of St. Paul in London, in the consistory place, upon Thursday the 2d day of May now next ensuing, betwixt the hours of nine and ten of the clock in the forenoon the same day, to bear witness of the truth in this behalf, and to depose and declare faithfully the truth that they know or have heard of the premises; and moreover to do and receive what law and reason doth require.
Further we commit unto you as before, and straitly enjoining you do command, that ye will generally cite the wife of the said Tooley that is dead, and his children, and his kindred by father and mother, his friends and his familiars in especial, and all other and every of them (if there be any perhaps that desire to defend and purge the remembrance of the person in the premises), that ye admonish them after the manner and form aforesaid; whom we likewise, by the tenor of these presents, do in such sort cite and monish that they appear all, and that every one of them do appear (under pain to be compelled to keep silence for ever hereafter in this behalf) before us, or our vicar-general in spiritual matters, or such our commissary, at the day, hour, and place aforesaid, to defend the good name and remembrance of him that is dead, and to say, allege, and propose, in due form of law a cause reasonable, if they have or can tell of any, why the said John Tooley that is dead ought not to be determined and declared for such a heretic and excommunicate person, and his remembrance condemned, in the detesting and condemning of so heinous a deed and crime, and his body or carcass to lack church burial, as a rotten member cut off from the church, and the same to be committed to the arm and power secular, and they compelled hereafter for ever to hold their peace.
And furthermore, to do, receive, and to suffer as law and reason will, and as the quality of such matter, and the nature of themselves do constrain and require, and moreover that you cite and monish, after the manner aforesaid, all and every of the receivers, fautors, and creditors of the said John Tooley that is dead, especially if any of them do incline and give consent to those wicked and detestable affirmations, propositions, and rehearsals aforesaid, that on this side the said Thursday they return and submit themselves unto us, and to the lap of the mother holy church: which thing if they do, we, trusting upon the mercy of Almighty God, do promise that we will receive them being penitent for such their errors and faults, with thanks, benignity, mercy, and favor, to the comfort and health of their own souls, and in that behalf save their honesties to the uttermost of our power: otherwise, if they will not provide thus to come of their own accord, but to abide the ordinary process of the law, let those men know, that we will punish more severely this offense, according to the uttermost of the law, and as far as the law will bear it; and what ye shall do in the premises, let him among you, which shall execute this our present mandate, certify us, or our vicar-general in spiritual matters, either by his own person, or by his letters patent, together with these authentically sealed.
Dated at London under our seal, the last day of April, 1555, and of our translation the 16th.
When the time of this citation was expired, and this Tooley being cited did not appear, next in order of law came the suspension (whereas one suspension had been enough for him); and after that cometh the excommunication, that is, that no man should eat and drink with him; or if any met him by the way, he should not bid him good morrow; and besides that, he should be excluded from the communion of the church. *And f35 why not, I pray you? For the lightning of excommunication, that these popish bishops use, is of itself so subtle and sharp, that it doth not only strike men that be living, but doth also pierce through the graves and ghosts of men that be dead.* These things being prepared in such manner, as in such cases full wisely they use to do, at length one stood out for the nonce, that made answer to certain articles, rehearsed in judgment openly, and that in the behalf of the dead man. But when the poor dead man could neither speak for himself, nor did (as they said) sufficiently answer them by the other — to avoid the name of a heretic — first witnesses were provided against him, whose names were Henry Clark esquire, Thomas Way keeper of the Marshalsea, Philip Andrew under-marshal, William Holingworth fishmonger, William Gellard, William Walton chandler, Richard Longman merchant-tailor, Philip Britten, John Burton brewer, Thomas Smith sergeant. Then he was for a heretic condemned, and so committed to the secular power, namely to the sheriffs of London, who, with the like diligence, went about to execute their charge. Therefore receiving the man (being suspended, excommunicated, condemned as a heretic, and besides that, dead), they laid him on the fire to be burned, namely “ad perperuam rei memoriam,” for a continual remembrance thereof: this was done the fourth day of June. *THE DEPOSITIONS OR ATTESTATIONS, PRODUCTED THE 29TH DAY OF APRIL, 1555, Before Harps field, archdeacon-general, concerning the Words of John Tooley, at the time of his Death at Charing Cross.
Henry Clark , esquire, of the age of thirty-one years, or thereabouts, being sworn and examined, saith and deposeth by virtue of his oath: that, upon Friday last past , a34 being the 26th day of April, this deponent was present at Chafing Cross, in the suburbs of London, and the county of Middlesex, at the execution of the said John Tooley and others. At which time the said Tooley, after that he had read a certain prayer in a printed book, and his other prayers, written in two several papers, then, having the halter about his neck, desired the people there present to pray for him, and to bear him witness that he died a true christian man; and that he trusted to be saved, only by the merits of Christ’s passion, and shedding of his precious blood; and not by any masses or trentals, images or saints, which were (as he said) mere idolatry and superstition, and devised by the bishop of Rome, And as he, the same Tooley, and two others, his fellows who were there hanged with him, did stem and rob for covetousness, so the bishop of Rome aid sell his masses and trentels, with such other peltry, for covetousness. And there, being in a great rage and anger, as appeared, spoke, with a loud voice, these words following, namely: “From the tyranny of the bishop of Rome, and all his detestable enormities; from false doctrine and heresy, and from contempt of thy word and commandment, good Lord deliver us.” And then, adding further to the same, he spoke unto the people: “All you that be true christian men, say with me, ‘Amen;’” and immediately thereupon, three hundred persons and more, to the judgment and estimation of this examinate being there present, answered and said “Amen” three times together at the least. And the same Tooley began to repeat, and to recite his former words against the pope: and, being stayed, as well by this examinate, as by this undermarshal and others, ceased from further rehearsal, and so suffered forthwith execution, without any manner revocation of his aforesaid words.
Thomas Way , keeper of the Marshalsea, of the age of thirty years, being sworn and examined, saith and deposeth in effect as the first jurate, saving he addeth, that the said Tooley had a paper written, which he read to the people, and then tare in pieces, and so threw it away: which paper this examinate -gathered up and delivered to my lord chancellor. As for any particular person that said “Amen” to Tooley’s words, he knew none.
Philip Andrew , under-marshal of the Marshalsea, of the age of fifty-four years, sworn and examined, saith and deposeth: that the like words in effect as the first jutate deposeth, were told him, standing by; but he heard them not. But when he understood the matter, he went to the said Tooley, and rebuked him in this sort, namely: “Thou whoreson, seditious traitor! thou wert worthy to be hanged seven years ago;” and immediately commanded the cart (being under the gallows), to be driven away, and so he and his two fellows were hanged.
William Hollingworth , fishmonger, of the parish of St. Mary Magdalene in Old Fish-street, of the age of forty-eight years, sworn and examined, saith and deposeth in effect as the first jurate deposeth: saving he addeth, that the other two prisoners being with the said Tooley in the cart under the gallows, did speak the like words which Tooley did (as is in the first jurate’s depositions), and that by Tooley’s desire.
William Gellard , fishmonger, of the parish of St. Nicholas Cole- Abbey, of the age of thirty-six years, sworn and examined, saith and deposeth in effect as the first jurate deposeth, saving he addeth, that the paper fell out of Tooley’s hand; and one (whom this jurate knew not) gave it to him up again; which the said Tooley did read the second time with, a loud. voice, and one prisoner with him; and the people answered Amen again, but not so many added at the first. And so he was hanged with his fellows, not revoking his words.
William Walton , chandler, of the parish of St. Mary Magdalene, in Old Fish-street, of the age of forty-nine years, sworn and examined, saith and deposeth in effect as the first jurate deposeth: saving he addeth that he (the said Tooley) did bid one of his fellows, called Whight (being in the cart), to stand by, and pray with him. And after the words spoken of Tooley against the pope, this examinate said to him these words, namely, “Good fellow! remember thyself, for thou art not in the unity of the true faith; for thou oughtest to pray for the pope;” unto which words Tooley replied and said, “I trust I am in the true faith.” Then a pursuivant, an elderly man, being by this jurate, desired him to let the said Tooley alone, for he had not long to live: in the end the said Tooley and his followers said the Pater-noster and Creed in English, and so were hanged.
Richard Longman , merchant tailor, of the parish of St. John’s in Walbrook, of the age of seventy years, sworn and examined, saith and deposeth in effect as the first jurate deposeth: saving he addeth, that he that took up the bill, when it fell from Tooley, was in a blue coat; and in giving the bill to the said Tooley again, he desired him to read it again; and so he read it, and, without revoking the same, he was hanged.
Philip Britten , dwelling with John Britten, porter of the Marshalsea, of the age of nineteen years, sworn and examined, saith and deposeth in effect as the first jurate deposeth: saving he addeth that Tooley said, “Those trental masses, images, and bulls of lead, it is not them that I believe in. And I desire you all, good christian people! not to believe in such things; for they be naught, superstitious, and plain idolatry,” etc. Also this examinate deposeth that he who took Tooley the paper, being fallen, was, as he thought, an apprentice, in a bright violet jacket, a black fustian doublet, a black cap, and white hose, with ruffed plates of the same cloth. And, after Tooley tare the paper, and threw it down, then this examinate took it up, and gave the same to Thomas Way, the keeper of the Marshalsea.
John Burton , brewer, of St. Giles without Cripplegate, of the city of London, of the age of forty-four years, being sworn and examined, saith and deposeth in virtue Of his oath: that upon Friday last past, before this his examination, and about ten o clock in the forenoon of the same day, one Robert Bromley, a yeoman sergeant, came to this examinate, then sitting in the Compter-gate in Bread-street, in company with one Humphery Hord, porter of the said Compter, and one Smith a sergeant, and others whose names he remembereth not; and then and there declared unto them certain words and communication, which the said John Tooley uttered and spoke the same morning at the time of his execution: which were, amongst others, that he desired the people to hear witness that he died a true christian man; and that then he prayed after this sort, namely, “From the tyranny of the bishop of Rome and all his detestable enormities , a35 good Lord deliver us.” And, after he had so prayed, he desired the people to say “Amen.” And then, after the said Bromley had thus declared unto them, he showed forth to them a certain prayer, written in paper, which he said he received of the said Tooley, which prayer was there then read by the said Bromley or by the said porter (but by which he cannot certainly tell), and before the said paper, in the top of the paper was written, “Beware of Antichrist;” and under the same was written “Per me, Thomam Harolde, prisoner in the Marshalsea, and enemy to Antichrist,” which words, as he remembereth, were read also at the same time; but the contents of the said prayer he doth not now remember. And then the said Bromley, at this examinate’s request, did give unto him the said prayer, which he kept with him until Sunday then next following; upon which Sunday, after the sermon, master Chester the sheriff’s butler called Arnold, having understand before this jurate to have the said prayer, desired this jurate that he might see it: and so this examinate delivered it to the said butler, which butler delivered it again to the sheriffs steward, who did openly read it then in the sheriffs kitchen. And the said butler hearing the said words read in the beginning and end of the said prayer, willed the steward to put them out with a pen and ink; and thereupon this steward so did: which seeing this examinate, he did cut it off in the presence and before the said butler, the steward, and also the said Bromley, and the said sheriff’s youngest son, and others whose names he remembereth not. And, after this was done, this examinate received the said prayer again, and put it into his purse, and kept it with him until yesterday; at which time the said Bromley came to this examinate, and received of him the said prayer again, saying that he must have it to deliver it to the knightmarshal.
Thomas Smith , sergeant, of the parish of the Trinity in the city of London, of the age of forty years, being producted and examined, saith and deposeth, in effect, as John Burton doth say before in his depositions, agreeing with him therein, till he come to the place in the said depositions where it is said, that Bromley took John Burton the said prayer, and how he heard that Bromley had fetched his paper of John Burton again. Thus this jurate endeth his depositions, saving he addeth in the midst of the same, that one Hord should say (being at the Compter gate with this examinate, when the paper was read, and the manner of Tooley’s death showed), this which followeth: “I cannot see but that this man (meaning the said Tooley) died well, and like a christian man;” at which words this jurate rose, and went his way.
THE EXAMINATION OF ROBERT BROMLEY, Sergeant, before sir Roger Cholmley, knight, and Nicholas Harpsfield, archdeacon of Canterbury, and chancellor to the bishop of London, (he last of April, 1555.
Robert Bromley, of London, grocer, and one of the sheriff’s officers, of the age of twenty-eight years or thereabouts, being sworn and examined, saith and deposeth: that the 26th day of April last past, he, being in the Compter gate, did see many people run by, and, marveling whereat they ran, he went up into Cheapside; and, seeing John Tooley in a cart going to execution, whom he hath known these sixteen years, followed him to Chafing-cross; and there, being at the place of execution, he heard the said Tooley say in effect as in the first jurate’s depositions, till that the said first examinate came to the place where he deposeth the people to answer “Amen;” of which number this examinate confesseth himself to be one. And this jurate further saith, that wheat Tooley had read the bill the first time, it fell from him; and a certain young man to the examinate unknown, who went in a sleeveless coat, and a pair of white hose, as he remembereth, stooped down, and took up the bill, and climbed up by the cart, and delivered it unto Tooley again; which he again did read to the people. And further this jurate, being examined whether he did not offer himself to receive the said book of prayers, he answered no, for the said Tooley delivered unto one of the marshal’s officers the same book, and willed him to deliver it to one Haux, saying that it was his book. Notwithstanding the said Tooley delivered unto this examinate one of the prayers written in paper, which he desired to have of him, and which he kept in Ms hand a whole day; and saith, that he received of him no other papers nor books. Howbeit he saith, that there was a book or a paper delivered by Tooley (as he supposeth) unto one of the marshal’s officers, to be delivered to Alexander, the keeper of. Newgate; which book was delivered unto the said Alexander, and a copy desired thereof, which Alexander would not suffer, but delivered it unto sir Richard Read. And further, this examinate saith, that there was written one line above the said bill containing these words, “Beware of Antichrist,” and subscribed underneath, “Per me Thomam Harold, prisoner in the Marshalsea and enemy to Antichrist;” which bill, he saith, he did deliver unto Burton upon Saturday; and the said Burton had delivered it again upon Monday to this examinate, and had cut off the said words both above and beneath. And further, being examined of the circumstances of Burton’s depositions, affirmeth the same in effect; saving he added, that Arnold the sheriff’s butler required of him to see the bill which, this examinate said, he had delivered to Burton; and at that time he had it not to show him.
Also this jurate further addeth, that in the sheriff’s kitchen, those words above and beneath the bill were blotted out, and delivered to Burton again, who, at the time, did not cut off the said fore and hinder part of the said prayer. R. Bromley. Upon the 3d day of the month of May, in the year of our Lord 1555, in the house of master Nicholas Harpsfield, vicar-general, etc., before him, in the presence of me Harward, notary, etc., the deposition of the foresaid examinate was acknowledged by the said Robert Bromley, by which acknowledging made, the said Bromley said and confesseth, that he is very penitent and sorry for his evil and lewd behavior by him above declared. And saith, that he will not stand to any error, uttered by the said Tooley; but from the bottom of his heart he doth detest and abhor the same. By me, Robert Bromley.* THE HISTORY AND MARTYRDOM OF THE WORTHY SERVANT OF CHRIST, THOMAS HAULKES, GENTLEMAN WITH HIS EXAMINATIONS AND ANSWERS HAD WITH BISHOP BONNER, RECORDED AND PENNED WITH HIS OWN HAND.
Immediately after the story of doctor Taylor, mention before was made of six men brought and convented before bishop Bonner upon the 8th day of February; the names of which martyrs were Stephen Knight, William Pygot, Thomas Tomkins, John Laurence, William Hunter. In which number was also Thomas Haukes, and condemned likewise with them the 9th day of the foresaid month of February. But because his execution did not so shortly follow with theirs, but was prolonged to this present 10th day of the month of June, wherewith we are now in hand, it followeth therefore now consequently to enter tractation thereof; first, beginning briefly with his godly conversation and institution of life, then showing of his troubles, also of his examinations and conflicts with the bishop and other adversaries, according as the order of his story doth require.
As touching therefore his education and order of life, first he was of the country of Essex, born of an honest stock, in calling and profession a courtier, brought up daintily from his childhood, and like a gentleman.
Besides that, he was of such comeliness and stature, so well endued with excellent qualities, that he might seem on every side a man (as it were) made for the purpose. But his gentle behavior toward others, and especially his fervent study and singular love unto true religion and godliness, did surmount all the rest. Wherein as God did singularly adorn him, even so he, being such a valiant martyr of God, may seem to nobilitate the whole company of other holy martyrs, and as a bright star to make the church of God and his truth, of themselves bright and clear, more gloriously to shine by his example.
For if the conquests of martyrs are the triumphs of Christ (as St. Ambrose doth notably and truly write), undoubtedly Christ in few men hath either conquered more notably, or triumphed more gloriously, than in this young man: he stood so wisely in his cause, so godly in his life, and so constantly in his death.
But to the declaration of the matter: first this Haukes, following the guise of the court, as he grew in years, entered service with the lord of Oxford, where he remained a good space, being there right well esteemed and loved of all the household, so long as Edward the Sixth lived. But he dying, all things began to go backward, religion to decay, godliness not only to wax cold, but also to be in danger everywhere, and chiefly in the houses of great men. Haukes, misliking the state of things, and especially in such men’s houses, rather than he would change the profession of true godliness which he had tasted, thought to change the place; and so, forsaking the nobleman’s house, departed thence to his own home, where more freely he might give himself to God, and use his own conscience.
But what paradise in this world shall a man find so secret for himself, whither that old wicked serpent cannot creep, whereby he may have some matter to overthrow the quietness of the godly? Now in the mean season (as it happened) Haukes, keeping his house at home, had born unto him a young son, whose baptism was deferred to the third week, for that he would not suffer him to be baptized after the papistical manner; which thing the adversaries not able to suffer, laying hands upon him, did bring him to the earl of Oxford, there to be reasoned with, as not sound in religion, in that he seemed to contemn the sacraments of the church.
The earl, either a36 intending not to trouble himself in such matters, or else seeing himself not able to weigh with him in such eases of religion, sent him up to London with a messenger, and letters; and so, willing to clear his own hands, put him in the hands of Bonner, bishop of London; the contents of which his letter sent to Bonner, be these.
A LETTER OF THE EARL OF OXFORD TO BONNER.
Most reverend father in God, be it known unto you, that I have sent you one Thomas Haukes, dwelling in the county of Essex, who hath a child that hath remained unchristened more than three weeks ; a37 who, being upon the same examined, hath denied to have it baptized as it is now used in the church; whereupon I have sent him to your good lordship, to use as ye think best, by your good discretion.
When the bishop had perused this letter, and afterward read it to master Haukes, he, hearing the same, thought with himself that he should not be very well used, seeing he was put to his discretion. Then wrote the bishop a letter again to him that sent the prisoner, with many great thanks for his diligence in setting forth the queen’s proceedings. Then began the bishop to enter communication with master Haukes, first asking, what should move him to leave his child unchristened so long? To whom master Haukes answered thus again as followeth:
PRIVATE TALK OR CONFERENCE BETWEEN HAUKES AND BONNER. Haukes: — “Because we be bound to do nothing contrary to the word of God.” Bonner: — “Why! baptism is commanded by the word of God.” Haukes: — “His institution thereto I do not deny. Bonner: — “What deny ye then?” Haukes: — “I deny all things invented and devised by man.” Bonner: — “What things be those that be devised by man, that ye be so offended withal?” Haukes: — “Your oil, cream, salt, spittle, candle, and conjuring of water, etc.” Bonner: — “Will ye deny that, which all the whole world, and your father hath been contented withal?” Haukes: — “What my father and all the whole world have done, I have nothing to do withal: but what God hath commanded me to do, to that stand I.” Bonner: — “The catholic church hath taught it.” Haukes: — “What is the catholic church?” Bonner: — “It is the faithful congregation, wheresoever it be dispersed throughout the whole world.” Haukes: — “Who is the head thereof?” Bonner: — “Christ is the head thereof.” Haukes: — “Are we taught in Christ, or in the church now?” Bonner: — “Have ye not read in John 8 where he said, he would send his Comforter, which should teach you all things?” Haukes: — “I grant you it is so, that he would send his Comforter — but to what end? Forsooth to this end, that he should lead you into all truth and verity; and that is not to teach a new doctrine.” Bonner: — “Ah, sir! ye are a right scripture-man; for ye will have nothing but the Scripture. There is a great number of your countrymen of your opinion. Do you know one Knight and Pygot?” Haukes: — “Knight I know, but Pygot I do not know.” Bonner: — “I thought ye were acquainted with him: it seemeth so by your judgment. What preachers do ye know in Essex?” Haukes: — “I know none.” Bonner: — “Do ye not know one Baget there?” Haukes: — “Yes forsooth, I know him.” Bonner: — “What manner of man is he?” Haukes: — “An honest man, so far as I know.” Bonner: — “Do you know him if ye see him?” Haukes: — “Yea, that I do.”
Then said he to one of his servants, “Go call me Baget hither. And then he said to me, “Ye seem to be a38 a very proud man, and a stubborn.” — He that brought me up stood all this while by. Haukes: — “What should move your lordship So to say?” Bonner: — “Because I see in a man that came with you, much humility and lowliness.” Haukes: — “It seemeth your lordship speaketh that to me, because I make no courtesy to you:” — and with that came Baget. Then the bishop said to Baget: “How say ye, sir? know ye this man?” Baget: — “Yea. forsooth, my lord:” — with. that Baget and I shook hands. Then said the bishop to Baget, Sir, this man hath a child which hath lain three weeks unchristened a39 (as I have letters to show); who refuseth to have it baptized, as it is now used in the church: — how say you thereto?” Baget: — “Forsooth, my lord, I say nothing thereto,” [with low courtesy to the hard ground.] Bonner: — “Say you nothing thereto? I will make you tell me whether it be laudable, and to be frequented and used in the church or not.” Baget: — “I beseech your lordship to pardon me: he is old enough; let him answer for himself.” Bonner: — “Ah, sir knave! are ye at that point with me?” “Go call me the porter, said he, to one of his men: “Thou shalt sit in the stocks, and have nothing but bread and water. 1 perceive I have kept you too well. Have I made thus much of you, and have I you at this point?”
Then came the bishop’s man, and said, “The porter is gone to London: then said the bishop to Baget, “Come with me;” and he went away with him, and commanded me away , a40 and bade one of his gentlemen to talk with me (who was one of his own teaching), who desired, amongst other things, to know of me, with whom I was acquainted in Essex, and what men they were, that were my teachers. Haukes: — “When I see your commission I will make you answer.” — And then immediately came the bishop again: but ere he came, his man a41 and I had much talk. Then the bishop sat down under a vine in his orchard, and called Baget to him, whom he carried away’, and brought again; and called me also, and said to Baget: “How say ye now, sir, unto baptism? Say whether it be to be frequented and used in the church, as it is now, or no?” Baget: — “Forsooth, my lord, I say it is good.” Bonner: — “ I! befool your heart ; a42 could ye not have said so before? Ye have wounded this man’s conscience.” Then the bishop turned to me and said, “How say ye now, sir? This man is turned and converted.” Haukes: — “I build my faith neither upon this man, neither upon you, but only upon Christ Jesus; who (as Paul saith) is the founder and author of all men’s faith.” Bonner: — “I perceive ye are a stubborn fellow. I must be glad to work another way with you, to win you.” Haukes: — “Whatsoever ye do, I am ready to suffer it: for I am in your hands to abide it.” Bonner: — “Well, ye are so; come on your ways; ye shall go in, and I will use you christian-like: you shall have meat and drink, such as I have in my house: but in any wise talk not.” Haukes: — “I purpose to talk nothing but the word of God and truth.” Bonner: — “I will have no heresy talked on in my house.” Haukes: — “Why, is the truth become heresy? God hath commanded that we should have none other talk in our houses, in our beds, at our meat, and by the way, but all truth.” Bonner: — “If ye will have my favor, be ruled by my counsel.” Haukes: — “Then I trust you will grant me my request.” Bonner: — “What is that?” Haukes: — “That your doctors and servants give me none occasion: for if they do, I will surely utter my conscience.”
Then commanded he his men to take in Baget, and let not Haukes and him talk together. And so thus we departed, and went to dinner; and I dined at the steward’s table. After dinner, his chaplains and his men began to talk with me. But amongst all others, there was one Darbishire, principal of Broadgates in Oxford, and the bishop’s kinsman, who said to me, that I was too curious; “for ye will have,” said he, “nothing but your little pretty God’s hook.” Haukes: — “and is it not sufficient for my salvation?” “Yes,” said Darbishire, “it is sufficient for our salvation, but not for our instruction.” Haukes: — “God send me the salvation, and you the instruction.”
And as we thus reasoned, came the bishop, who said unto me, “I gave you a commandment, that you should not talk.” Haukes: — “And I desired you, that your doctors and servants should give me none occasion.” — Then went we into his orchard again, he and his doctors and I. Bonner: — “Would not ye he contented to have, that your child should he christened after the book that was set out by king Edward?” Haukes: — “Yes, with a good will: it is a thing that I desire.” Bonner: — “I thought so: ye would have the same thing. The principal is in the name of the Father, the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and, in necessity, it may serve.” Haukes: — “Christ did use it without any such necessity: and yet we lack the chiefest point.” Bonner: — “What is that?” Haukes: — “Go teach all nations, baptizing them,” etc. Bonner: — “Thou speakest that, because I am no preacher.” Haukes: — “I speak the text: I do not mean you.” Then spoke all the doctors and his men that were with him: “He speaketh it of you, my lord” [with a great noise that they made]. Bonner: — “Will ye be content to tarry here, and your child shall be baptized, and you shall not know of it, so that you will agree to it?” Haukes. — “If I would so have done, I needed no! to have come to you: for I had the same counsel given before.” Bonner: — “You seem to be a lusty young man; you will not give your head for the washing; you will stand in the defense of it for the honor of your country. Do ye think that the queen and I cannot command it to be done, in spite of your teeth?” Haukes: — “What the queen and you can do, I will not stand in it: but ye get my consent never the sooner.” Bonner: — “Well, you are a stubborn young man: I perceive I must work another way with you.” Haukes: “Ye are in the hands of God; and so am I.” Bonner: — “Whatsoever you think, I will not have you speak such words unto me.” — And so we departed until evensong time; and ere evensong was begun, my lord called for me to come to him into the chapel, and said; “Haukes! thou art a proper young man, and God hath done his part unto thee; I would be glad to do thee good. Thou knowest that I am thy pastor, and one that should answer for thee. If I would not teach thee well, I should answer for thy soul.” Haukes: — “That I have said, I will stand to it, God willing: there is no way to remove it.” Bonner: — “Nay, nay Haukes, thou shalt not be so willful.
Remember Christ bade two go into his vineyard: the one said he would, and went not; the other said he would not, and went.” Haukes: — “The last went.” Bonner: — “Do thou likewise, and I will talk friendly with thee; how sayest thou? It is in the sixth of St. John, ‘I am the bread of life; and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world: and whosoever eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life. My flesh is very meat indeed, and my blood is very drink indeed. And he that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.’ Do ye believe this?” Haukes: — “Yea, I must needs believe the Scriptures.” Bonner: — “Why! then I trust that you be sound in the blessed sacrament.” Haukes: — “I beseech your lordship to feel my conscience no further than in that, that 1 was accused in unto you.” Bonner: — “Well, well! let us go unto evensong.” — With that I turned my back to go out of the chapel. Bonner: — “Why, will you not tarry evensong?” Haukes: — “No, forsooth.” Bonner: — “And why?” Haukes: — “For I will not.” Bonner . — “And why will ye not?” Haukes: — “For because I have no edifying thereby, for I understand no Latin.” Bonner: — “Why? you may pray by yourself. What books have ye?” Haukes: — “I have the New Testament, the books of Solomon, and the Psalter.” Bonner: — “Why, I pray you, tarry here, and pray you on your Psalter.” Haukes: — “I will not pray in this place, nor in any such.”
Then said one of his chaplains, “Let him go, my lord; and he shall be no partaker with us in our prayers.” Haukes: — “I think myself best at ease when I am furthest from you.” — And so the bishop went to evensong, and I came down and walked between the hall and the chapel in the court, and tarried there till evensong was done. And within an hour after that evensong was done, the bishop sent for me into his chamber where he lay himself; and when I came, there was he, and three of his chaplains. Bonner: — “Ye know of the talk that was between you and me, as concerning the sacrament. You would not have your conscience sought any further, than in that ye were accused of.” Haukes: — “I thought you would not be both mine accuser and judge.” Bonner: — “Well, ye shall answer me to the sacrament of baptism, the sacrament of penance, and the sacrament of matrimony.” Haukes: — “There are none of these, but I dare speak my conscience in them.” Bonner: — “The sacrament of the altar ye seem to be sound in.” Haukes: — “In the sacrament of the altar? — why sir, I do not know it.” Bonner: — “Well, we will make you to know it, and believe in it too, ere ever we have done with you.” Haukes: — “No, that shall ye never do.” Bonner: — “Yes, a faggot will make you do it.” Haukes: — “No, no, a point for your faggot! What God thinketh meet to be done, that shall ye do; and more ye shall not do.” Bonner: — “Do ye not believe that there remaineth in the blessed sacrament of the altar, after the words of consecration be spoken, no more bread, but the very body and blood of Christ?” — and at that word he put off his cap. Haukes: — “I do believe as Christ hath taught me. Bonner: — “Why? did not Christ say, ‘Take, eat, this is my body?’” Haukes: — “Christ said so: but therefore it followeth not, that the sacrament of the altar is so as you teach; neither did Christ ever teach it so to be.” Bonner: — “Why? the catholic church taught it so; and they were of Christ’s church.” Haukes: — “How prove you it? The apostles never taught it so.
Read Acts 2 and 20. Neither Peter nor Paul ever taught it, neither instituted it so.” Bonner: — “Ah sir! ye will have no more than the Scripture teacheth, but even as Christ hath left it bare.” Haukes: — “He that teacheth me any otherwise, I will not believe him.” Bonner: - “Why? then ye must eat a lamb, if ye will have but Christ’s institution only.” Haukes: — “Nay, that is not so; before that Christ did institute the sacrament, that ceremony ceased, and then began the sacrament.” Bonner: — “Alas, you know not how it began, neither of the institution thereof.” f37 Haukes: — “Then I would be glad to learn.” Bonner: — “Marry, we will teach you: but you are so stubborn that ye will not learn.” Haukes: — “Except ye learn me by the word of God, I will never credit you, nor believe you:” — and thus we concluded. Then the bishop and his chaplains laughed and said: “Jesu, Jesu! what a stubbornness and arrogantness is this!” And this was in his chamber where he lay. Then said the bishop to me, “Go ye down, and drink; for it is fasting day: it is Midsummer Even. but I think ye love neither fasting nor praying.” f38 Haukes: — “I will never deny fasting, neither praying; so that it be done as it ought to be done, and without hypocrisy or vain glory.” Bonner: — “I like you the better for that:” and so we left for that night.
The next day the bishop went to London: for Fecknam was made dean that day, and I tarried still at Fulham. Then did the bishop’s men desire me to come to mass, but I did utterly refuse it, answering them as I did their master. That night the bishop came home to Fulham again.
TALK BETWEEN HARPSFIELD AND THOMAS HAUKES.
Then upon the Monday morning, very early, the bishop did call for me.
There was with him Harpsfield archdeacon of London, to whom the bishop said, “This is the man which I told you of, who would not have his child christened, nor will have any ceremonies.” f39 Harpsfield: — “Christ used ceremonies. Did he not take clay from the ground, and took spittle, and made the blind man to see?” Haukes: — “I wet well that; but Christ did never use it in baptism.
If ye will needs have it, put it to the use that Christ put it unto.” Harpsfield: — “Admit your child die unchristened: what a heavy case stand you in ]” Haukes: — “I admit that, if it do: what then?” Harpsfield: — “Marry, then are ye damned, and your child both.” Haukes: — “Judge you no further than ye may by the Scriptures.” Harpsfield: — “Do ye not know that your child is born in original sin?” Haukes: — “Yes, that I do.” Harpsfield: — “How is original sin washed away?” Haukes: — “By true faith and belief of Christ Jesus.” Harpsfield: — “How can your child, being an infant, believe?” Haukes: — “The deliverance of it from sin, standeth in the faith of his parents.” Harpsfield: — “How prove you that?” Haukes: — “By St. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 7: ‘The unbelieving man is sanctified by the believing woman; and the unbelieving woman is sanctified by the believing man; or else were your children unclean.” Harpsfield: — “I will prove that they whom thou puttest thy trust in, will be against thee in this opinion.” Haukes: - “Who be those?” Harpsfield: — “Your great learned men in Oxford.” Haukes: — “If they do it by the Scriptures, I will believe them.” Bonner: — “Recant, recant. Do ye not know that Christ said, ‘Except ye be baptized, ye cannot be saved?’” Haukes: — “Doth Christianity stand in outward ceremonies, or no?” Bonner: — “Partly it doth: what say you to that?” Haukes: — “I say as St. Peter saith, ‘Not the washing of water purgeth the filthiness of the flesh, but a good conscience consenting unto God.’” Harpsfield: — “Beware of pride, brother, beware of pride!” Haukes: — “It is written, ‘Pride serveth not for men, nor yet for the sons of men.’” (Ecclesiasticus 18.) Bonner: — “Let us make an end here. — How say you to the mass, sirra?” Haukes: — “I say, it is detestable, abominable, and profitable for nothing.” Bonner: — “What! nothing profitable in it? What say you to the epistle and gospel?” Haukes: — “It is good, if it be used as Christ left it to be used.” Bonner: — “Well, I am glad that ye somewhat recant: recant all, recant all.” Haukes: — “I have recanted nothing; nor will do” Bonner: — “How say you to ‘Confiteor.’ Haukes: — “I say it is abominable and detestable, yea, and a blasphemy, against God and his Son Christ, to call upon any, to trust to any, or to pray to any, save only to Christ Jesus.” Bonner: — “To trust to any, we bid you not: but to call upon them, and to pray to them, we bid you. Do ye not know, when ye come into the court, ye cannot speak with the king and the queen, unless ye call to some of the privy-chamber that are next to the king and queen?” Haukes: — “They that list, receive your doctrine. You teach me that I should not believe nor trust in any, but to call on them: and St.
Paul saith, ‘How should I call upon him, on whom I believe not?’” Bonner: — “Will you have nobody to pray for you, when you be dead?” Haukes: — “No, surely; except you can prove it by the Scriptures.”
Then the bishop pointed unto Harpsfield, and said unto me, “Is it not well done to desire this man to pray for me?” Haukes: — “Yes, surely; so long as we live, prayer is available of the righteous man: but this man’s prayer, you being dead, profiteth nothing at all. Bonner: — “Will ye grant the prayer of the righteous man to prevail?” Haukes: — “I grant it doth for the living, but not for the dead.” Bonner: — “Not for the dead!” Haukes: — “No, forsooth; for David saith, ‘No man can deliver his brother from death, nor make agreement unto God for him: for it cost more to redeem their souls, so that ye must let that alone for ever.’ (Psalm 49.)
Then the bishop said to Harpsfield, “Sir, ye see this man hath no need of our Lady, neither of any of the blessed saints. Well! I will trouble you no longer. I did call you, hoping that you should do some good. on him; but it will not be.” — And he said to me, “Sir, it is time to begin with you. We will rid you away, and then we shall have one heretic less.” f41 Harpsfield: — “What books have you?” Haukes: — “The New Testament, Solomon’s Books, and the Psalter.” Harpsfield: — “Will you read any other books?” Haukes: — “Yea, if you will give me such books as I will require.” Harpsfield: — “What books will you require?” Haukes: — “Latimer’s books, my lord of Canterbury’s book, Bradford’s sermons, Ridley’s books.” Bonner: — “Away, away! He will have no books but such as maintain his heretics:” — and so they departed, for Harpsfield was booted to ride unto Oxford; and I went to the porter’s lodge again.
THE NEXT DAY’S TALK.
The next day came thither an old bishop , a43 who had a pearl in his eye; and he brought with him to my lord a dish of apples, and a bottle of wine. For he had lost his living, because he had a wife. Then the bishop called me again into the orchard, and said to the old Bishop: “this young man hath a child, and will not have it christened.” Haukes: — “I deny not baptism.” Bonner: — “Thou art a fool; thou canst not tell what thou wouldest have;” - and that he spoke with much anger. Haukes: — “A bishop must be blameless or faultless, sober, discreet, no chider, nor given to anger.” Bonner: — “Thou judgest me to be angry: no, by my faith, am I not:” - and stroke himself upon the breast.
Then said the old bishop, “Alas, good young man! you must be taught by the church, and by your ancients; and do as your forefathers have done before you.” Bonner: — “No, no! he will have nothing but the Scriptures, and God wot, he doth not understand them. He will have no ceremonies in the church, no not one. What say you to holy water?” Haukes: — “I say to it, as to the rest, and to all that be of his making that made them.” Bonner: — “Why, the Scriptures do allow it.” Haukes: — “Where prove you that?” Bonner: — “In the Book of Kings, where Elizeus threw salt into the water.” f43 Haukes: — “Ye say truth; that it is written 2 Kings ‘The children of the prophets came to Elizeus, saying, The dwelling of the city is pleasant, but the waters be corrupted.’
This was the cause that Elizeus threw salt into the water, and it became sweet and good: and so when our waters be corrupted, if ye can by putting in of salt make them sweet, clear, and wholesome, we will the better believe your ceremonies.” Bonner: — “How say you to holy bread?” Haukes: — “Even as I said to the other. What Scripture have you to defend it?” Bonner: — “Have ye not read where Christ fed five thousand men with five loaves and three fishes?” Haukes: — “Will ye make that holy bread? There Christ dealt fish with his holy bread.” Bonner: - “Look, I pray you, how captious this man is?” Haukes: — “Christ did not this miracle, or other, because we should do the like miracle; but because we should believe and credit his doctrine thereby.” Bonner: — “Ye believe no doctrine, but that which is wrought by miracles.” Haukes: — “No, forsooth; for Christ saith, ‘These tokens shall follow them that believe in me: they shall speak with new tongues, they shall cast out devils, and if they drink any deadly poison, it shall not hurt them.’” (Mark 16.) Bonner: — “With what new tongues do ye speak?” Haukes: — “Forsooth. whereas, before that I came to the knowledge of God’s word, I was a foul blasphemer and filthy talker, since I came to the knowledge thereof, I have lauded God, praised God, and given thanks unto God, even with the same tongue: and is not this a new tongue?” Bonner: — “How do you cast out devils?” Haukes: — “Christ did cast them out by his word; and he hath left the same word, that whosoever doth credit and believe it, shall cast out devils.” Bonner: — “Did you ever drink any deadly poison?” Haukes: — “Yea, forsooth, that I have; for I have drunken of the pestilent traditions and ceremonies of the bishop of Rome.” Bonner: — “Now you show yourself to be a right heretic.” Haukes: — “I pray you, what is heresy?” Bonner: — “All things that are contrary to God’s word.” Haukes: — “If I stand in any thing contrary thereto, then am I worthy to be so called.” Bonner: — “Thou art one; and thou shalt be burned, if thou stand and continue in this opinion. Ye think we are afraid to put one of you to death: yes, yes, there is a brotherhood of you, but I will break it, I warrant you.” Haukes: — “Where prove you that Christ or his apostles did kill any man for his faith?” f45 Bonner: — “Did not Paul excommunicate?” Haukes: — “Yes, my lord; but there is a great difference between excommunicating and burning.” Bonner: — “Have ye not read of the man and the woman in the Acts of the Apostles, whom Peter destroyed?” Haukes: — “Yes, forsooth; I have read of one Ananias, and Sapphira his wife, which were destroyed for lying against the Holy Ghost, which serveth nothing to your purpose.” Bonner: — “Well, you will grant one yet.” Haukes: — “Well, if you will have us to grant you be of God, then show mercy; for that God requireth.” Bonner: — “We will show such mercy unto you, as ye showed unto us: for my benefice or bishopric was taken away from me, so that I had not one penny to live upon.” f46 Haukes: — “I pray ye, my lord, what do you give him now that was in the bishopric or benefice before that ye came again to it?” — Whereunto he answered me never a word; for he turned his back unto me, and talked with other men, saying, that he was very sorry for me, but he trusted that I would turn with St. Paul, because I was so earnest: and so he departed, and went to dinner, and I to the porter’s lodge again. After dinner I was called into the hall again, and the bishop desired the old bishop to take me into his chamber: “for I would be glad,” said he, “if ye could convert him.” So he took me into his chamber, and sat him down in a chair, and said to me, “I would to God I could do you some good. Ye are a young man, and I would not wish you to go too far, but learn of your elders to bear somewhat.” Haukes: — “I will bear with nothing that is contrary to the word of God.” And I looked that the old bishop should have made me an answer, and he was fast asleep. — Then I departed out of the chamber alone, and went to the porter’s lodge again, and there saw I the old bishop last: I suppose he is not yet awake.
TALK BETWEEN FECKNAM AND HAUKES.
The next day came Fecknam unto me and said, “Are ye he, that will have no ceremonies?” Haukes: — “What mean you by that?” Fecknam: — “Ye will not have your child christened but in English; and you will have no ceremonies.” Haukes: — “Whatsoever the Scripture commandeth to be done, I refuse not.” Fecknam: — “Ceremonies are to be used by the Scriptures.” Haukes: — “Which be those?” Fecknam: — “How say you by Paul’s breeches?” f47 Haukes: — “I have read no such thing.” Fecknam: — “Have ye not read in the Acts of the Apostles how things went from Paul’s body, and they received health thereby?” Haukes: — “I have read in Acts 19:how there went partlets and napkins from Paul’s body: is it that you mean?” Fecknam: — “Yea the same is it: what say you to those ceremonies?” f48 Haukes: — “I say nothing to the ceremonies; for the text saith, that God did so work by the hands of Paul, that there went partlets and napkins from him, etc. So that it seemed by the text, that it was God that wrought, and not the ceremonies.” Fecknam: - “How say ye to the woman that came behind Christ, and touched the hem of his vesture? (Mark 5. Luke 8.) — Did not her disease depart from her by that ceremony?” Haukes: — “No, forsooth; for Christ turned back, and said to Peter, ‘Who is it that toucheth me?’ And Peter said, ‘Thou seest the people thrust thee, and askest thou, Who touched me? Somebody hath touched me,’ saith Christ; ‘for virtue hath gone out of me.’ — I pray you, whether was it the virtue that healed this woman, or his vesture?” Fecknam: — “Both.” Haukes: — “Then is not Christ true; for he said, ‘Go thy way, thy faith hath made thee whole.’” Bonner: — “Away, away to the sacrament; for these are but mere trifles to that.” Fecknam: — “How say ye, sirrah? Christ took bread? and brake it, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body.’ f50 Haukes: — “I grant Christ said so.” Fecknam: — “And is it not so?” Haukes: — “No, forsooth; I do not understand it so.” Fecknam: — “Why, then is Christ a liar?” Haukes: — “I think ye will so prove him.” Fecknam: — “Will I? — why I have spoken the words that Christ spoke.” Haukes: — “Is every word to be understood as Christ spoke it?
Christ said, I am a door, a vine; I am a king, a way, etc.” Fecknam: — “Christ spoke these word in parables.” Haukes: — “And why speaketh he this in parables, when he said, ‘I am a door, a vine, a king, a way,’ etc. more than this, when he said, ‘This is my body?’ — for after the same phrase of speech, as he saith, ‘This is my body:’ so saith he, ‘I am a door, a vine, a king, a way;’ he saith not, ‘I am like a door, like a vine,’ etc.” Then Fecknam stood up, and said, “I had such a one before me this other day. Alas! these places serve nothing for your purposes. But I perceive ye hang and build on them that be at Oxford.” Haukes: — “What mean you by that?” Fecknam: — “I mean Latimer, Cranmer, and Ridley.” Haukes: — “ I know nothing else by them , a44 but that they be both godly? and learned.” Fecknam: — “Wilt thou trust to such dolts? One of them hath written a book, wherein he affirmeth a real presence in the sacrament.” Haukes: — “What he hath done, I know not; but what he doth, I know.” Fecknam: — “Ridley hath preached at Paul’s Cross openly, that the devil believeth better than you: for he believeth that Christ is able of stones to make bread; and ye will not believe Christ’s body in the sacrament, and yet thou buildest thy faith upon them.” Haukes: — “I build my faith upon no man, and that shall ye well know: for if those men, and as many more as they be, should recant, and deny that they have said or done, yet will I stand to it; and by this shall ye know that I build my faith upon no man.” Bonner: — “If any of those recant, what will ye say to it?” Haukes: — “When they recant, I will make you an answer.” Bonner: — “Then thou wilt say as thou dost now, for all that.” Haukes: — “Yea, indeed, will I, and that, trust to it, by God’s grace.” Bonner: — “I dare say Cranmer would recant, so that he might have his living.” And so the bishop and Fecknam departed from me with great laughing, and I went again to the porterlodge.
TALK BETWEEN HAUKES AND CHEDSEY.
The next day came Dr. Chedsey to the bishop; *and then was I called into the garden to the bishop* and him. The bishop declared unto him, that I had stood stubbornly in the defense against the christening of my child, and against the ceremonies of the church, and that I would not have it christened but in English.
Then said Dr. Chedsey, “Then he denieth the order of the catholic church.” Bonner: — “Yea, he thinketh that there is no church but in England and in Germany.” Haukes: — “And ye think that there is no church, but the church of Rome.” Chedsey: — “What say ye to the church of Rome?” Haukes: — “I say it is a church of a sort of vicious cardinals, priests, monks, and friars, which I will never credit nor believe.” Chedsey: — “How say ye to the bishop of Rome?” Haukes: — “From him and all his detestable enormities, good Lord deliver us.” Chedsey: — “Marry, so may we say, from king Henry the Eighth, and all his detestable enormities, good Lord deliver us.” Haukes: — “Where were ye whiles that he lived, that ye would not say so?” Chedsey: — “I was not far.” Haukes: — “Where were ye in his son’s days?” Chedsey: — “In prison.” Haukes: — “It was not for your well-doing.” Bonner: — “He will by no means come within my chapel, nor hear mass: for neither the mass, neither the sacrament of the altar, can he abide, neither will he have any service but in English.” Chedsey: — “Christ never spoke in English.” f54 Haukes: — “Neither spoke he ever any Latin; but always in such a tongue as the people might be edified thereby. And Paul saith, ‘That tongues profit us nothing. He maketh a similitude between the pipe and the harp, and except it be understood what the trumpet meaneth, who can prepare himself to the battle: so if I hear the tongue which I do not understand, what profit have I thereby? no more than he hath by the trumpet, that knoweth not what it meaneth?’ Chedsey: — “If he understand Paul’s saying, he speaketh it under a prophecy, ‘ If one prophecy to you in tongues,’ etc.” Haukes: — “Forsooth Paul speaketh plainly of tongues; for tongues serve not for them that believe.” Chedsey: — “I tell you Paul speaketh altogether upon prophecy.” Haukes: -”Patti maketh a distinction between prophesying and tongues, saying, ‘That if any man speak with tongues, let it be by two or three at the most, and let another interpret it. But if there be no interpreter, let them keep silence in the congregation, and let himself pray unto God: and then let the prophets speak two or three, and that by course; and let the other judge. And if any revelation be made to him that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace:’ so that it seemeth that Paul maketh a distinction between tongues and prophesying.” Bonner: — “The order was taken in the catholic church that the Latin: tongue should serve through the whole world, because that they should pray all generally together in one tongue; and that to avoid all contention and strife, and to have one universal order through the whole world.” Haukes: — “This did your councils of Rome conclude.” Bonner: — “Understand ye what the general councils of Rome meant?” Haukes: — “Indeed all your general councils of Rome be in Latin, and I am an Englishman: therefore I have nothing to do with them.” Chedsey: — “Ye are to blame, being an unlearned man, to reprove all the councils throughout all the whole world.” Haukes: — “I reprove them not, but Paul rebuketh them, saying, ‘If any man preach any other doctrine than that which I have taught, do you hold him accursed.’” Chedsey: — “Hath any man preached any other doctrine unto you?” Haukes: — “Yea, I have been taught another gospel since I came into this house.” f55 Chedsey: — “What gospel have ye been taught?” Haukes: — “Praying to saints and to our Lady, and trust in the mass, holy bread, holy water, and in idols.” Chedsey: — “He that teaches you so, teacheth not amiss.” Haukes: — “Cursed be he that teacheth me so; for I will not trust him nor believe him!” Bonner: — “You speak of idols, and you know not what they mean.” Haukes: — “God hath taught us what they be: for whatsoever is made, graven, or devised by man’s hand, contrary to God’s word, the same is an idol. What say you to that?” Chedsey: — “What be those that ye are so offended withal?” Haukes: — “The cross of wood, silver, copper, or gold, etc.” Bonner: — “What say ye to that?” Haukes: — “I say it is an idol. What say you to it?” Bonner: — “I say every idol is an image, but every image is not an idol.” Haukes: — “I say, what difference is there between an idol and image?” Bonner: — “If it be a false god, and an image made of him, that is an idol: but if an image be made of God himself, it is no idol, but an image, because he is a true God.” Haukes: — “Lay your image of your true God, and of your false god together, and ye shall see the difference. Have not your images feet and go not, eyes and see not, ears and hear not, hands and feel not, mouths and speak not? — and even so have your idols.” Chedsey: — “’God forbid,’ saith St. Paul, ‘that I should rejoice in any thing else, but in the cross of Christ Jesus.’” f56 Haukes: — “Do ye understand Paul so? Do ye understand Paul?” — unto the which he answered me never a word. Bonner: — “Where can we have a godlier remembrance when we ride by the way, than to see the cross?” Haukes: — “If the cross were such a profit unto us, why did not Christ’s disciples take it up, and set it on a pole, and carry it in procession, with ‘ Salve, festa dies?’” Chedsey: — “It was taken up.” Haukes: — “Who took it up? Helene, as ye say; for she sent a piece of it to a place of religion, where I was with the visitors when that house was suppressed, and the piece of the holy cross (which the religious had in such estimation, and had robbed many a soul, committing idolatry to it) was called for; and when it was proved, and all came to all, it was but a piece of a lath, covered over with copper, double gilded as it had been clean gold!” Bonner: — “Fie, fie! I dare say thou slanderest it.” Haukes: — “I know it to be true, and do not believe the contrary.” — And thus did the bishop and the doctor depart in a great fume: and Chedsey said unto me, as he was about to depart, “It is pity that thou shouldest live, or any such as thou art.” I answered, In this case I desire not to live, but rather to die.” Chedsey: — “Ye die boldly, because ye would glory in your death as Joan Butcher did.” Haukes: — “What Joan Butcher did, I have nothing to do withal: but 1 would my part might be to-morrow.” — “God make you in a better mind,” said they both; and so they departed, and I went to the porter’s lodge with my keeper.
The next day Dr. Chedsey preached in the bishop’s chapel, and did not begin his sermon until all the service was done: and then came the porter for me, and said, “My lord would have you come to the sermon.” — And so I went to the chapel-door, and stood without the door. Bonner: — “Is not this fellow come?” Haukes: — “Yes, I am here.” Bonner: — “Come in, man.” Haukes: — “No, that I will not.” He called again, and I answered, “I will come no nearer;” and so I stood at the door. Then said the bishop, “Go to your sermon.”
The text that he treated on was in Matthew “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? Peter said, Some say that thou art Elias, some say that thou art John Baptist, some say thou art one of the prophets. But whom say ye that I am? Then said Peter, Thou art Christ the Son of the ever-living God.”
Then left he the text there, and said, “Whose sins soever ye bind, are bound:” “which authority,” said he, “is left to the heads of the church, as my lord here is one, and so unto all the rest that be underneath him. But the church hath been much kicked at sith the beginning: yet kick the heretics, spurn the heretics never so much, the church doth stand and flourish.” — And then he went straightway to the sacrament, and said his mind on it, exalting it above the heaven (as the most of them do); and so returned to his place again, saying, “Whose sins ye do remit, are remitted and forgiven:” and so he applied it to the bishops and the priests to forgive sins, and said, “All that be of the church will come and receive the same.” And this he proved by St. John (chap. 11.), saying, that Christ came to raise Lazarus, who when he was risen, was bound in bands: “then said Christ to them that were in authority (who were his disciples), go ye and loose him; loose him you.” And this was the effect of his sermon, applying all to them, that they have the same authority that Christ spoke of to his apostles: and so ended his sermon, and they went to dinner.
ANOTHER COMMUNICATION BETWEEN THOMAS HAUKES AND THE BISHOP.
And, after dinner, I was called into the chapel, where were certain of the queen’s servants, and other strangers whom I did not know. Bonner: — “Haukes! how like you the sermon?” Haukes: — “As I like all the rest of his doctrine.” Bonner: — “What! are ye not edified thereby?” Haukes: — “No, surely.” Bonner: — “It was made only because of you.” Haukes: — “Why? then am I sorry that ye had no more heretics here, as ye call them: I am sorry that ye have bestowed so much labor on one, and so little regarded.” Bonner: — “Well, I will leave you here, for I have business: I pray you talk with him, for if ye could do him good,” said he, “I would be glad.”
This the bishop spoke to the queen’s men, who said, unto me, “Alas! what mean you to trouble yourself about such matters against the queen’s proceedings?” Haukes: — “Those matters have I answered before them that be in authority: and unless I see you have a further commission, I will answer you nothing at all.” Then said the bishop’s men (which were many), “My lord hath commanded you to talk with them.” Haukes: — “If my lord will talk with me himself, I will answer him.” They cried, “Faggots! Burn him, hang him, to prison with him: it is pity that he liveth! Lay irons upon him!” and with a great noise they spoke these words. Then in the midst of all their rage I departed from them, and went to the porter’s lodge again.
THE NEXT DAY’S TALK.
The next day the bishop called me into his chamber, and said, “Ye have been with me a great while, and ye are never the better, but worse and worse: and therefore I will delay the time no longer, but send you to Newgate.” Haukes: — “My lord, you can do me no better pleasure.” Bonner: - Why, would you so fain go to prison?” Haukes: — “Truly I did look for none other, when I came to your hands.” Bonner: — “Come on your ways; ye shall see what I have written.” — Then did he show me certain articles, and these are the contents of them: “Whether the catholic church do teach and believe, that Christ’s real presence doth remain in the sacrament or no, after the words of consecration, according to the words of St. Paul, which are these: ‘Is not the bread which we break the partaking of the body of Christ, and the cup which we bless, the partaking of the blood of Christ? which if it were not so, Paul would never have said it.’ Haukes: — “What your church doth, I cannot tell: but I am sure that the holy catholic church doth neither so take it, nor believe it.” Bonner: — “Whether doth the catholic church teach and believe the baptism that now is used in the church, or no?” Haukes: — “I answered to it, as I did to the other question before.”
Then did the bishop with much flattery counsel me to be persuaded, and to keep me out of prison, which I utterly refused, and so we departed. And I supposed that the next day I should have gone to prison; and so I had, save for the archdeacon of Canterbury, whose name is Harps field, whom the bishop had desired to talk with me, and [who] began to persuade me. concerning the sacrament, and the ceremonies: and after much talk he said, “that the sacrament of the altar was the same body that was born of the Virgin Mary, which did hang upon the cross.” Haukes: — “He was upon the cross both alive and dead: which of them was the sacrament?” The archdeacon answered, “alive.” Haukes: — “How prove you that?” Harpsfield: — “You must believe. Doth not St. John say, ‘He is already condemned that believeth not?’” Haukes: — “St. John saith, ‘He that believeth not in the Son of God is already condemned,’ but he saith not ‘He that believeth not in the sacrament is already condemned.’” Harpsfield: - “There is no talk with you; for ye are both without faith and learning; and therefore I will talk no more with you in Scripture.”
Then two that stood by bade me [Haukes] enter further in talk with him; and then said I unto him, “Why is the roodloft set betwixt the body of the church and the chancel?” Harpsfield: — “I cannot tell; for ye have asked a question which you cannot assoil yourself.” Haukes: — “Yes, that I can: for this saith one of your own doctors: ‘that the body of the church doth represent the church militant, and the chancel the church triumphant: and so, because we cannot go from the church militant to the church triumphant, but that we must bear the cross of Christ; this is the cause of the roodloft being between the body of the church and the chancel.” Harpsfield: — “This is well and clerkly concluded.” Haukes: — “As all the rest of your doctrine is:” — and so, with many persuasions on his part, we ended, and so departed: and I, to the porter’s lodge again.
ANOTHER DAY’S TALK.
The next day in the morning, which was the 1st day of July, the bishop did call me himself from the porter’s lodge, commanding me to make me ready to go to prison, and to take such things with me, as I had of mine own. And I said, “I do neither intend to bribe, neither to steal, God willing.” Then he did write my warrant to the keeper of the Gatehouse at Westminster, and delivered it to Harpsfield, who, with his own man and one of the bishop’s men, brought me to prison, and delivered the warrant and me both to the keeper: and this was contained in the warrant. “I will and command you, that you receive him who cometh named in this warrant, and that he be kept as a safe prisoner, and that no man speak with him, and that ye deliver him to no man, except it be the council, or to a justice: for he is a sacramentary, and one that speaketh against baptism; a seditious man, a perilous man to be abroad in these perilous days.”
And thus was I received, and they departed. And there I remained thirteen days, and then the bishop sent two of his men unto me, saying, “My lord would be glad to know how ye do.” I answered them, “I do, like a poor prisoner.” They said, “My lord would know, whether ye be the same man that ye were when ye departed.” I said, “I am no changeling.” They said, “My lord would be glad that ye should do well.” I said, “If my lord will me any good, I pray you desire him to suffer my friends to come to me.”
So they said they would speak for me, but I heard no more of them.
This is the first examination of me Thomas Haukes, being examined by Edmund Bonner, then bishop of London, and by his chaplains and doctors at Fulham, four miles from London, where I lay, till I came to prison to Westminster: and after his two men had been with me, I heard no more of him till the 3d day of September.
HERE FOLLOWETH THE SECOND TIME OF MINE EXAMINATION, THE WHICH WAS THE 3D DAY OF SEPTEMBER:
The bishop of Winchester, then being chancellor, preached that day at Paul’s Cross, and the bishop of London said to my keeper, “I think your man will not go to the sermon today.” Haukes: — “Yes my lord, I pray you let me go: and that which is good I will receive, and the rest I will leave behind me;” and so I went.
And when the sermon was done, I and my keeper came to the bishop’s house, and there we remained till dinner was done: and after dinner the bishop called for me, and asked me, if I were the same man that I was before.” Haukes: — “I am no changeling, nor none will be.” Bonner: — “Ye shall find me no changeling neither.” — And so he returned into his chamber, and there he did write the side of a sheet of paper, and all that while I stood in the great chamber, and as many with me as might well stand in the chamber. And as I stood there, Dr.
Then said I, “Are you he that did recant?” And he said, “it was no recantation, but a declaration.” a46 Haukes: — “You were best to term it well, for your own honesty.” Dr. Smith: — “Shall I term it as it pleaseth you?” Haukes: — “To be short with you, I will know whether ye will recant any more or no, before that I talk with you, credit you, or believe you:” — and so I departed from him to the other side of the chamber. Then said the bishop’s men and his chaplains, that my lord commanded me to talk with him. Then they that stood by cried with a great noise, “Hang him, burn him! it is pity that he liveth, that disobeyeth my lord’s commandment.”
Then said one Miles Huggard , a47 “Where prove you that infants were baptized?” Haukes: — “Go teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.’ Sir, here is none excepted.” Master Huggard: — “What, shall we go to teach children? “ Haukes: — “That word doth trouble you; it might he left out full well: it is too much for you to teach. Is not your name Miles Huggard?” Huggard: — “So am I called.” Haukes: — “Be you not a hosier, and dwell in Pudding-lane?” Huggard: — “Yes, that I am, and there I do dwell.” Haukes: — “It would seem so, for ye can better skill to eat a pudding, and make a hose, than in Scripture either to answer or t’appose.” With that he was in great rage, and did chafe up and down.
Then I desired that some man would take the pain to walk the gentleman, he did fret so for anger. Then one that stood by me (who was parson of Hornchurch and Reinford in Essex) said, “Alas, what do you mean: a young man to be so stubborn? There seemeth too much pride in you.” Haukes: — “Are not ye the parson of Hornchurch?” Parson: — “Yes, that I am.” Haukes: — “Did you not set such a priest in your benefice?” Parson: — “Yes, for a shift.” Haukes: — “Like will to like; such master, such man; for I know that priest to be a very vile man, as any could be.”
I asked the parson, what kin he was to the weather-cock of Paul’s? and he fell in a great laughter with the rest of his companions. He said, that I did rail. Then said another that stood by unto me; what book have you here? answered, “The New Testament.” “May I look in it?” said he. “Yea, that ye may,” said I. And so he looked in my book, and said it was corrupt.! answered him, If the things contained in it be true, then are ye all false prophets.” He said that he would oppose me in the first word of the Testament, saying, “Here is a generation Of Christ:” and Esay saith, “No man can tell his generation.” (Isaiah 53.) Haukes: — “What meaneth Esay by that?” “I would learn of you,” said he. Haukes: — “Ye would be angry, if the scholar should teach the master: but if ye will have me to teach you, I will tell you Esay’s meaning.”
Then said he, “Why is he called a Messias?” Haukes: — “Because he was so prophesied by the prophets.”
Then said he, “Why is your book called a book?” Haukes: — “These words do breed more strife than godly edifying.” “Beware,” said he, “that ye do not decline from the church; for if you do, you will prove yourself a heretic.” Haukes: — “Even as ye do call us heretics, that do incline to Christ’s church from your church; so are ye all false prophets that do decline from Christ’s church to your own church. And by this shall all men know you to be false prophets, if ye say, ‘This saith the church:’ and will not say, ‘This saith our Lord.’” — And so he went his way, as though he had a flea in his ear.
Then came another and said unto me, he would talk with me; for he perceived (as he said), that I was angry, and out of patience. Haukes: — “I will see your commission, or ever I talk with you, or with any man more.” — For I wist not how to be rid of them, they came so thick about me; for I said, that I came to talk with my lord, and not with any of them.
With that came the bishop, bringing a letter in his hand, the which he had written in my name, and read it unto me after this manner. I, Thomas. Haukes, do here confess and declare before my said ordinary Edmund, bishop of London, that the mass is abominable and detestable, and full of all superstition; and also as concerning the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ (commonly called the sacrament of the altar) that Christ is in no part thereof, but only in heaven: this I have believed, and this I do believe,” etc. Haukes: — “Stop there, my lord: what I have believed, what have you to do withal? But what I do believe, to that stand I, and will.” — Then he took his pen, and said that he would scrape it out for my pleasure, and so he did to my thinking. Then he went further with his writing, and said, “I, Thomas Haukes, have talked with my said ordinary, and with certain good, godly, and learned men.
Notwithstanding I stand still in mine opinion.” Haukes: — “Shall I grant you to be good, godly, and learned men, and yet grant myself to stand in a contrary opinion? No, I will not grant you to be good, godly, and learned men.” Bonner: — “Ye will grant that ye have talked with us: the other I will put out for your pleasure.” Then said all his doctors, “If your lordship be ruled by him, he will cause you to put out all together.”
And then he read more to me: “Here unto this bill have I set my hand;” and then he offered me the bill and his pen, and bade me set my hand to it. Haukes: — “Ye get not my hand to any thing of your mating or devising.” Bonner: — “Wilt not thou set to thy hand? It shall be to thy shame for the denying of it.”
And then he called all his doctors, and said, he would have every man’s hand to it that was ‘in the chamber; and so he had all their hands to it and said, “He that will not set his hand to it, I would he were hanged;” and so said all his chaplains and doctors with a great noise.
Then the bishop thrust me on the breast with great anger; and said he would be even with me, and with all such proud knaves in Essex. Haukes: — “Ye shall do no more than God shall give you leave.” Bonner: — “This gear shall not be unpunished — trust to it.” Haukes: — “As for your cursings, railings, and blasphemings, I care not for them: for I know the moths and worms shall eat you, as they eat cloth or wool.” Bonner: — “I will be even with you when time shall come.” Haukes: — “You may in your malice destroy a man: but, when ye have done, ye cannot do so much as make a finger; and ye be meetly even with some of us already.” Bonner: — “If I do thee any wrong, take the law of me.” Haukes: — “Solomon saith, ‘Go not to law with a judge; for he will judge according to his own honor.’” Bonner: — “Solomon saith, ‘Give not a fool an answer.’” Haukes. — “What! do you count me a fool?” Bonner: — “Yea, by my troth do I; and so dost thou me too: but God forgive thee, and so do I.” Haukes: — “Thought is free, my lord.” Then took Bonner the bill, and read it again; and when he saw that he could not have my hand to it, then he would have had me to take it into my hand, and to give it to him again. Haukes: — “What needeth that ceremony? Neither shall it come into my hand, heart, or mind.” Then he wrapt it up, and put it in his bosom, and in a great anger went his way, and called for his horse and went to horse-back; for the same day he rode in visitation into Essex.
THE PUBLIC EXAMINATION OF THOMAS HAUKES, AT THE BISHOP’S CONSISTORY. f61 After all these private conferences, persuasions, and long debatings, had with Thomas Haukes in the bishop’s house, as hitherto hath been declared, the bishop, seeing no hope to win him to his wicked ways, was fully set to proceed openly against him after the ordinary course of his popish law.
Whereupon Thomas Haukes, shortly after, was cited with the rest of his other fellows above specified, to wit, Thomas Tomkins, Stephen Knight, William Pygot, John Laurence, and William Hunter, to appear in the bishop’s Consistory, the 8th day of February, this present year, viz. 1555. Upon which appearance, was laid against him in like order as to the other, first the bill of his confession, written with Bonner’s hand, to the which bill ye heard before how this blessed servant of God denied to subscribe.
After which bill of confession being read, and he constantly standing to the said confession, the bishop then assigned him with the other five the next day following, which was the 9th of February, to appear before him again, to give a resolute answer what they would stick unto. Which day being come, and these foresaid six prisoners being severally called before the bishop, at the coming of Thomas Haukes, the bishop willed him to remember what was said to him yesterday, and now, while he had time and space, to advise with himself what he would answer, for he stood upon life and death. “Well,” quoth master Haukes again, “I will willingly receive whatsoever shall be put upon me.” Then were certain other interrogatories or articles commenced against him by the said bishop (in like manner as to the other) to the number of four, with another bill also, which Bonner brought out of his bosom, containing private matters against the said Thomas Haukes, which the bishop called heresies and errors, but we may better call them christian verities. To the which matter being read, the said Haukes answered openly again, saying that it was true, and that he was glad it was so true as it was; with more words to the like effect. And this was in the forenoon, the 9th day of February. In the afternoon again the said Haukes appearing and hearing the foresaid bill of his confession, with the articles and interrogatories read unto him, with like constancy in answering again to the bishop, “My lord,” said he, “as you, being my great friend, have caused these my sayings to be written; so do you cause them to be read: and vet I will never go from them.” And then, being exhorted by the bishop, with many fair words, to return again to the bosom of the mother church: “No, my lord,” said he, “that will I not: for if I had a hundred bodies, I would suffer them all to be torn in pieces, rather than I will abjure or recant.” And so continuing still in the same song, notwithstanding that the doctors and lawyers were ever calling upon him to come again to the unity of the church, he ever kept them off with this answer, that he would never go from the belief he was in, so long as he believed. Whereupon Bonner, at the last, read the sentence of death upon him; and so was he condemned the same day with the residue of his fellows, which was the 9th of February. Nevertheless his execution was prolonged, and he remained in prison till the 10th day of June. Then was he committed to the hands and charge of the Lord Riche, who, being assisted with power sufficient of the worshipful of the shire, had the foresaid Thomas Haukes down into Essex, with six other fellow-prisoners whose stories hereafter follow, there to suffer martyrdom, Haukes at Coggeshall, the others severally in other several places.
A little before his death, certain there were of his familiar acquaintance and friends, who frequented his company more familiarly, who seemed not a little to be confirmed both by the example of his constancy, and by his talk; yet notwithstanding, the same again, being feared with the sharpness of the punishment which he was going to, privily desired that in the midst of the flame he would show them some token, if he could, whereby they might be the more certain, whether the pain of such burning were so great that a man might not therein keep his mind quiet and patient. Which thing he promised a48 them to do; and so, secretly between them, it was agreed, that if the rage of the pain were tolerable and might be suffered, then he should lift up his hands above his head towards heaven, before he gave up the ghost. Not long after, when the hour was come, Thomas Haukes was led away to the place appointed for the slaughter, by the lord Riche and his assistants, who, being now come unto the stake, there mildly and patiently addressed himself to the fire, having a strait chain cast about his middle, with no small multitude of people on every side compassing him about: unto whom after he had spoken many things, especially unto the lord Riche, reasoning with him of the innocent blood of the saints; at length after his fervent prayers first made and poured out unto God, the fire was set unto him. In the which when he continued long, and when his speech was taken away by violence of the flame, his skin also drawn together, and his fingers consumed with the fire, so that now all men thought certainly he had been gone, suddenly, and contrary to all expectation, the blessed servant of God, being mindful of his promise afore made, reached up his hands burning on a light fire, which was marvelous to behold, over his head to the living God, and with great rejoicing, as it seemed, struck or clapped them three times together. At the sight whereof there followed such applause and outcry of the people, and especially of them which understood the matter, that the like hath not commonly been heard, *and you would have thought heaven and earth to have come together.* And so the blessed martyr of Christ, straightway sinking down into the fire, gave up his spirit, A.D. 1555, June 10. And thus have you plainly and expressly described unto you the whole story, as well of the life, as of the death of Thomas Haukes, a most constant and faithful witness of Christ’s holy gospel.
AN EPISTLE TO THE CONGREGATION, BY THOMAS HAUKES.
Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, be alway with you all (my dear brethren and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ for ever); and his Holy Spirit conduct and lead you all, in all your doings, that you may always direct your deeds according to his holy word; that when he shall appear to reward every man according to their works, ye may, as obedient children, be found watching, ready to enter into his everlasting kingdom, with your lamps burning; and, when the bridegroom shall show himself, ye need not to be ashamed of this life which God hath lent you, which is but transitory, vain, and like unto a vapor that for a season appeareth and vanisheth away: so soon passeth away all our terrestrial honor, glory, and felicity. “For all flesh,” saith the prophet, “is grass, and all his glory as the flower of the field, which for a season showeth her beauty, and as soon as the Lord bloweth upon it, it withereth away, and departeth.” For in this transitory and dangerous wilderness, we are as pilgrims and strangers following the footsteps of Moses, among many unspeakable dangers, beholding nothing with our outward man, but all vain vanities and vexation of mind; subject to hunger, cold, nakedness, bonds, sickness, loss, labors, banishment; in danger of that dreadful dragon, and his sinful seed, to be devoured, tempted and tormented, who ceaseth not behind every bush to lay a bait, when we walk awry to have his pleasure upon us; casting abroad his apples in all places, times, and seasons, to see if Adam will be allured and enticed to leave the living God and his most holy commandments, whereby he is assured of everlasting life; promising the world at will, to all that will fall down in all ages, and for a mess of pottage sell and set at naught the everlasting kingdom of heaven. So frail is flesh and blood; and, in especial, Israel is most ready to walk awry, when he is filled with all manner of riches, as saith the prophet.
Therefore I am bold in bonds (as entirely desiring your everlasting health and felicity) to warn you, and most heartily desire you, to watch and pray; for our estate is dangerous, and requireth continual prayer. For on the high mountains, doth not grow most plenty of grass, neither are the highest trees farthest from danger, but seldom sure, and always shaken of every wind that bloweth. Such a deceitful thing (saith our Savior) is honor and riches, that without grace it choketh up the good seed sown on his creatures, and blindeth so their seeing, that they go groping at noonday in darkness: it maketh a man think himself somewhat, that is nothing at all. For though for our honor we esteem ourselves and stand in our own light, yet when we shall stand before the living God, there shall be no respect of persons: for “riches help not in the day of vengeance; neither can we make the Lord partial, for money.” (Proverbs 11.)
But as ye have ministered unto the saints, so shall ye receive the reward, which I am fully persuaded and assured shall be plenteously poured upon you all, for the great goodness showed unto the servants of the living God. And I most heartily beseech Almighty God to pour forth a plenteous reward upon you for the same, and that he will assist you with his Holy Spirit in all your doings, that ye may grow, as ye have begun, unto such a perfection as may be to God’s honor, your own salvation, and the strengthening of the weak members of Christ. For though the world rage, and blaspheme the elect of God, ye know that it did so unto Christ, his apostles, and to all that were in the primitive church, and shall be, unto the world’s end.
Therefore believe in the light while ye have it, lest it be taken away from you; if you shall seem to neglect the great mercy of God that hath been opened unto you (and your hearts consented unto it), that it is the very and only truth pronounced by God’s only Son Jesus Christ, by the good will of our heavenly Father: therefore I say, in the bowels of my Lord Jesus Christ, stick fast unto it; let it never depart out of your hearts and conversation, that you with us and we with you at the great day, being one flock as we have one shepherd, may rise to the life immortal, through Jesus Christ our only Savior. Amen.
Yours in him that liveth for ever, Thomas Haukes.
THE COPY OF A LETTER OF THOMAS HAUKES TO HIS WIFE.
Grace be with you, and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, which gave himself for our sins, to deliver us from this present evil world, through the good win of God our Father, to whom be praise for ever and ever, Amen.
My dear yoke-fellow in the Lord, forasmuch as the Lord hath not only called me to work in his vineyard, but hath also fulfilled his good work in me (I trust to his glory, and to the comfort of all those that look for his coming), I thought it my duty, dear yokefellow, to write unto you some lessons out of God’s book; wherefore if you will direct yourself thereafter, doubt not of it but God, who refuseth none that will come to him with their whole heart, will assist you with his Holy Spirit, and direct you in all his ways, to his honor and glory, who grant it for his mercy sake.
First, I exhort you to fear God; to serve and honor his holy name; to love him with all your heart, soul, and mind; to believe faithfully all his promises; to lay sure hold upon them, that in all your troubles, whatsoever they are, ye may run straight to the great mercy of God, and he will bring you forth of them. Keep you within his wings; then shall ye be sure that neither devil, flesh, nor hell, shall be able to hurt you.
But take heed; if you will not keep his holy precepts and laws, and to the uttermost of your power call for the help of God to walk in the same, but will leave them, and run to all abominations with the wicked world, and do as they do; then be sure to have your part with the wicked world in the burning lake that never shall be quenched. Therefore beware of idolatry, which doth most of all stink before the face of Almighty God, and was of all good men most detested from the beginning of the world. For the which, what kingdoms, nations, and realms, God hath punished with most terrible plagues, with fire, brimstone, hunger, sword, and pestilence, etc., to the utter subversion of them, it is manifestly to be seen through the whole Bible. Yea, his own peculiar people, whom he had done so much for, when they fell from him and went and served other gods, contrary to his commandment, he utterly destroyed and rooted them out from off the earth: and as many as died in that damnable state, not repenting their abominable evil, he threw them into the pit of hell. Again, how he hath preserved those that abhor superstition and idolatry, and that have only taken hold upon God with their whole heart, to serve him, and to love him, to fear him, etc.: — it is most manifestly to be seen even from the beginning, out of what great dangers he hath ever delivered them: yea, when all hope of deliverance was past as touching their expectation, even then, in the sight of all his enemies, would he work his godly will and purpose, to the utter amazing and destruction of all those that were his manifest enemies.
Further, I exhort you, in the bowels of Christ, that you will exercise and be steadfast in prayer; for prayer is the only mean to pierce the heavens, to obtain at the hand of God whatsover we desire; so that it be asked in faith. Oh what notable things do we read in Scriptures that have been obtained through fervent prayer!
We are commanded to call upon him for help, aid, and succor, in necessities and troubles, and he hath promised to help us. Again, they that will not call upon him with their whole heart, but upon other dead creatures, in whom there is no help (for there was none found worthy to open the book, but only the Lamb Christ which was killed for our sins), I say, who that will refuse his help, must even by the terrible judgments of God come utterly to confusion: as it hath, and is daily manifest to be seen. And whatsoever you desire of God in your prayer, ask it for Jesus Christ’s sake, for whom and in whom God hath promised to give us all things necessary. And though that which we ask come not by and by at the first and second calling, yet continue still knocking, and he will at the length open his treasures of mercy, so that ye shall be sure to obtain; for he hath so promised, if we continue in faith, hoping surely in him. These former lessons, with all such instructions as I have told you by mouth, I do wish that you would most earnestly learn; and then I doubt not, but God who is the giver of all grace, will assist you in all your doings, that ye may be found worthy of his kingdom, which is prepared through Christ.
And this is to certify you, that ye deliver in any wise my eldest son unto master Throgmorton, who, upon his good will, hath promised me to bring him up according to my desire; and, I trust, as God hath put into his heart. See therefore that ye deliver him in any wise without delay: and as for the other, if ye shall seem to be burdened with him (which I think nature will not suffer), my desire is, that it be brought up in the fear of God to the uttermost of your endeavor, with some honest man that hath the fear of God before his eyes; and let us give thanks unto God who hath given them us, beseeching him that they may be counted worthy to be of that flock that shall stand on the right hand of the majesty of God, when he shall judge the world, Amen.
Yet once again I warn you, that ye continue in fervent prayer, as I said before; then shall ye be sure, that God, even of his own mercy, according as he hath promised, will be a husband unto you, and provide better for you than ever I was able to do; yea, he will cause all men that fear him to pity you, to help you, to succor you in all your necessities, so that if any will do you wrong, he will be avenged on him. Moreover I wish you to keep company with those of whom ye may learn to come to a more perfect knowledge in God, and I doubt not but God will provide that such will be glad to receive you, if you shall profess and go forward in his truth.
Finally, and make an end, I desire you that ye take heed with whom ye couple yourself. See that he be a man that feareth God, loveth his laws, and will walk in the same to the uttermost of his power: such a one as can be content to love you, and to care for you. Take heed he be no brawler, no drunkard, no wicked person, not given to filthiness, no worldling, no dicer, nor carder: in fine, no filthy person, but choose you such a one as God may be glorified in both your lives. And again, on your part, love him, serve him, obey him in all godliness, as long as God shall give you life in this world. Then shall ye both be sure to obtain that kingdom which God the Father hath prepared, and Jesus Christ obtained for you, that never shall have end, where I trust to abide your coming, Amen.
Now what he writeth himself to the said master Throgmorton touching the same matter, by this his letter to the said party hereunder ensuing, may appear.
A LETTER OF THOMAS HAUKES TO MASTER CLEMENT THROGMORTON.
Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father, and. from our Lord Jesus Christ, be with you, and assist you in all your thoughts, words, and works, that he in all things, as most worthy, may be glorified, and that the blessing of Abraham may be poured plenteously on you and all your posterity.
Whereas the love of God hath moved you to require my son to be brought up before your eyes, and the selfsame love hath also moved me in like case to leave him in your hands, as unto a father in mine absence, I shall require you in God’s behalf according to your promise, that ye will see him brought up in the fear of the Lord, and instructed in the knowledge of his holy word, that he may thereby learn to leave the evil, and know the good, and always be pricked forward with fatherly instructions to follow my footsteps, that as Almighty God hath made me worthy, through his special grace, to work his will in obedience, he may learn to follow me his Father in the like, to God’s honor and praise: and this I require you in God’s behalf to fulfill, or cause to be fulfilled, as ye, before the living God, will make answer for the same. I have left for the child certain books which shall be delivered unto you, wherein his instruction and salvation lieth, if he learn and practice the same. And thus most humbly beseeching you, once again, to be as good to him, as your promise was unto me, that is, to be a father, and a wall of defense unto him in all troubles, I leave him in your hand through the Lord Jesus, and desire him to bless both him and you according to his good promise: and all that good which ye shall do unto him, I shall most heartily desire the everlasting God to recompense unto you in his kingdom, where I hope to meet both him and you among all God’s elect. To which God be all praise, honor, and glory. Amen.
THE HISTORY OF THOMAS WATS, EXAMINED, TRIED, AND BURNT FOR THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL.
Thomas Wats of Billericay, within the county of Essex, of the diocese of London, was by his occupation a linen draper; who, before he was apprehended, had sold and made away his cloth in his shop, and disposed his things, being set in order, to his wife and children, and gave away much of his cloth unto the poor. For he looked always to be taken by God’s adversaries and his, as shortly aider came indeed to pass; so that, upon the 26th day of April, he was apprehended and brought before the lord Riche, and other commissioners at Chelmsford, and there, being accused for not coming to the church, was upon the same examined before the lord Riche, Henry Tyrrel, sir Anthony Brown, Edmund Tyrrel, Thomas Mild-man, John Wiseman, Roger Appleton, Richard Weston, justice Gaudy, etc.: the sum and principal effect of which examination, hereunder followeth briefly expressed.
THE EXAMINATION OF THOMAS WATS BEFORE THE LORD RICHE, AND OTHER COMMISSIONERS.
When this Thomas Wats came before the lord Riche and other the justices, whose names are specified in the letter following (which they sent unto the bishop of London against him), at the sessions at Chelmsford, the lord Riche said these words or the like in effect unto him. “Wats, ye be brought hither, as I understand, because of disobedience to the king and the queen’s laws. Ye will not come to the church, ye will not hear mass, etc., but have your conventicles a sort of you in corners, contrary to the king’s and queen’s proceedings.” Unto which his words Wats answered and said: “My lord, if I have offended a law, I am subject here to the law.” Then Anthony Brown, justice, said unto him, “Wats, I pray thee tell me who hath been thy schoolmaster to teach thee this gear, or where didst thou first learn this religion?” “Forsooth,” quoth Wats, “even of you, sir: you taught it me, and none more than you. For in king Edward’s days in open sessions you spoke against this religion now used; no preacher more. You then said the mass was abominable, and all their trumpery besides, wishing and earnestly exhorting that none should believe therein, and that our belief should be only in Christ: and you said then, whosoever should bring in any strange nation to rule here, it were treason, and not to be suffered.”
Then said Brown to my lord Riche, “He belies me my lord. What a knave is this! he will soon belie me behind my back, when he doth it before my face:” — and my lord Riche said again, “I dare say he doth so.”
After these words, Wats took occasion to speak somewhat of king Philip and of his coming in; but what it was, I could not justly learn. But thus much was heard, that after those words spoken, the bench among themselves stood up, and said one to another, “Treason!” saving one good man called justice Gaudy, who a little before was about to speak: but, when he heard them cry “treason,” he held down his head as one grieved and troubled at their doings.
In conclusion, the commissioners being weary of him, or else not willing to meddle further in such high matters, sent him up to the bishop of London, with their letter withal, importing the cause of his sending up, as the contents thereof hereunder follow to be seen.
A LETTER SENT BY CERTAIN JUSTICES IN ESSEX TO BONNER BISHOP OF LONDON.
After our most hearty commendations to your good lordship, these shall be to advertise you, that at our sessions of Oyer and Terminet holden at Chelmsford the 26th day of April last past, there came before us in open court one Thomas Wats of Billericay within your diocese, by ordinary process; and then and there being examined why he refused to come to. his. parish, church, and there to receive the sacrament of the altar, and hear divine service, according to the institution of holy church, he openly there answered generally, that like as the service of the church set out in the days of the late king Edward VI. was said by us now to be abominable, heretical, schismatical, and all naught: so he said, that all that is now used and done in that church, is abominable, heretical, schismatical, and all naught, with divers other erroneous, and arrogant words: and therefore we have thought good to send him to your lordship, to: be further examined by you of his particular opinions, as, to your pastoral office, shall seem convenient; certifying you further, that in our opinion he is one of the most arrogant heretics that hath been heard speak, or ever came before you, and not meet to be kept here in any gaol, as well for fear of corrupting others, as for divers and sundry other special causes hereafter to be more declared. Thus leaving to molest your good lordship, we commit you to the Holy Ghost. — Given at Chelmsford the 27th of April, Anno 1555.
Your good Lordship’s most assured, R. Riche.
Now when the bishop had received him, how he used him it is easy (by his common practices with others) to judge. What his private conferences were, I know not, but what was publicly done in the Consistory at Paul’s (the common stage for these tragedies), you shall here see.
THE FIRST APPEARANCE OF THOMAS WATS IN THE BISHOP’S CONSISTORY.
First upon Thursday, being the 2d day of May, Thomas Wats was brought thither before the bishop of London; and there, being examined upon his words had before the lord Riche and others (as is contained in their letters), he did earnestly affirm the same to be true. Whereupon the bishop objected, and examined him upon these articles following, to the which he answered, as under may appear.
ARTICLES OBJECTED AGAINST THOMAS WATS a49 OF BILLERICAY IN THE COUNTY OF ESSEX, WITHIN THE DIOCESE OF LONDON, BY BONNER BISHOP THERE, AS ENSUETH. 1. First, that the said Thomas Wats was of Billericay, and so of the jurisdiction of the bishop of London. 2. Item, that he believed not in the sacraments of the holy and catholic church, as the catholic church of Rome, and all other churches, members of the same, ever hitherto have believed, and is taught of all good and faithful people; nor hath allowed the sacraments, rites, usages, or ceremonies of the said church, but hath despised the same. 3. Item, that he believeth, and also hath taught others, that the substance of material bread and wine doth remain in the sacrament of the altar after the consecration: and that the said material bread and wine are the signs and tokens of Christ’s body hanged upon the cross, and of his blood there shed: and that in the said sacrament there is only a memory or remembrance of Christ’s body and blood, and nothing else. 4. Item, that he believeth, and doth precisely affirm, that the very true presence of Christ’s body and blood in substance, is not in the sacrament of the altar, but only in heaven, and no where else. 5. Item, that he believeth, affirmeth, and saith, that the mass now used in the church of Rome, here in England, and other places, is full of idolatry, abomination, and wickedness; and that Christ did never institute it, nor ordain it, nor yet allow it as a good and laudable thing to be used in his church. 6. Item, that he believeth and affirmeth, that auricular confession to be made unto the priest is not necessary, but superfluous: and that it is enough for a man to believe only, and to confess himself unto God, without any priest or minister at any time, though he may have the priest to confess him unto. 7. Item, that he believeth that Luther, Wicklift, Dr. Barnes, and all others that have holden against the sacrament of the altar, and suffered death by fire, or otherwise, for the maintenance of the said opinion, were good men and faithful servants and martyrs of Christ in so believing and dying, 8. Item, that he hath and doth believe, that to fast, pray, or to do almsdeeds, is a thing utterly unprofitable: for if a man shall be saved, he shall be saved without doing of them; and if he shall be damned, they shall not help him, or do him any good at all. 9. That the said Wats of late coming into open court at the sessions before the lord Riche, sir Henry Tyrrel knight, Anthony Brown esquire, and others, and being then and there examined, did openly confess, that he had refused to come to the church, and to hear there the divine service, and to receive the sacrament of the altar, according to the order of the church: because that like as the service of the church, set out in the days of the late king Edward the sixth, was said and alleged to be abominable, heretical, schismatical, and all naught; so he (the said Thomas Wats) then and there said openly before the said commissioners, that all that is now used and done in the church, is abominable, heretical, schismatical, and altogether naught: and that he did also then utter before the said commissioners other erroneous and arrogant words, to the hurt of his soul, and to the evil example of the people there present. 10. Item, that he the said Thomas, by reason of the premises, was and is to be taken, had, reputed, and judged as a manifest and open heretic; and for the same, by the order of ecclesiastical laws, is to be declared accursed; and being obstinate and incorrigible, is to be delivered to the secular power, there to be punished as a heretic. 11. Item, that he, over and besides all these offenses and trespasses aforesaid, had also added this trespass; that is to wit, that he had believed and deliberately spoken that the church of Rome in her rites, ceremonies, sacraments, constitutions, and traditions, is the synagogue of Satan; and therefore that he had consented and agreed in opinion and belief with one John Tooley, of late hanged at Charing-cross, who, at the time of his executing, desired the people to pray to be delivered from the tyranny of the bishop of Rome, with all his enormities; as who should say, that his authority and doings were tyranny, and had all enormities and iniquities in them. 12. Item, that the premises and every part thereof be true, notorious, manifest, and openly spoken and talked of amongst the honest and credible persons in great multitude; and that of all and singular the same within Billericay aforesaid, and other, places thereabout, being of the diocese of London, there is a common voice and fame thereof.
THE ANSWER OF THE SAID THOMAS WATS TO THE AFORESAID ARTICLES.
To the 1st he said and confessed the same to be true in every part thereof.
To the 2d article he answered, that he believeth in all the sacraments according to Christ’s institution, and the catholic church; but not according to the bishop of Rome’s church: and further said, that he doth not believe now, as he had done in times past — for in time past he believed as the church then believed, but now he doth not so believe; for the church of Rome had deceived us — and therefore, he said, he did not believe as the church of Rome believeth, but as Christ hath taught him. And further said, that he was so taught to believe by preaching of one master Alvey, and others whose names he remembered not; which Alvey, he said, did preach the word of God truly and sincerely.
To the 3d he answered, that he hath and doth believe, that Christ’s body is in heaven, and nowhere else; and further, that he will never believe that Christ’s body is in the sacrament.
To the 4th he answered, confessing and firmly believing the same to be true.
To the 5th, that he did believe that the mass is abominable, and that he will not go one jot from that his belief.
To the 7th he said, that he knew not what the opinions of the said persons named in the said article were; and in case the said persons did believe, that the body and blood of Christ were really, and in very deed, in the sacrament of the altar, then that they were not good men. But in case they did believe that the body and blood of Christ was not in the sacrament of the altar really and truly, then he believed that they were good christian men.
To the 11th he said, that he believed that the bishop of Rome is a mortal enemy to Christ and his church. And as for Tooley he said, he did never see nor know him; but in case the said Tooley did wish and pray as is contained in the article, then he did likewise wish and consent with him therein.
To the 12th he answered, that all which before he confessed to be true, is also true; and all that he hath denied to be true, he denieth again to be true, and believeth the same to be according to such things as he hath confessed. By me, Thomas Wats.
THREE OTHER APPEARANCES OF THOMAS WATS IN THE CONSISTORY.
These articles thus propounded and answered, the bishop commanded him to appear again in the same place at three of the clock in the afternoon, upon the same day; at which hour, being brought thither by his keeper, the bishop began with him in this wise: “Wats! you know what I said unto you today, and what I appointed unto you at this time. The time is now come: weigh and consider with yourself, that you are but a man, and albeit that ye will willfully cast away your body, yet cast not so away your soul; but while ye have time, return and confess the truth.” Whereunto Thomas Wats answered and said, “I am weary to live in such idolatry as ye would have me to live in;” upon which answer the bishop caused his articles again to be read. He thereto answered as before, and further, subscribed the same with his own hand.
The bishop, after many persuasions to cause him to recant, willed him to depart as then, and to come again on Saturday at eight of the clock in the morning; where, the bishop being absent, Dr. Nicholas Harpsfield, as then being his deputy, did sit, and earnestly exhorted him to deny his opinions.
To whom in the end he answered: “Well, ye have a law to condemn me, and I submit myself to the law; but not to the laws of the church, as you call it: and further I do affirm, and will stand to mine answers that I have made.”
Whereupon Dr. Harpsfield willed him to appear there again upon Friday, being the 10th day of the same month of May. Upon which day the bishop privately sent the said Thomas Wats into his chamber, and there, with many fair promises tempted and tried him, whether he would revoke his errors, as he then termed them. But Wats answered him in this sort: “I will not believe your church, neither the Romish church; and therefore you do but labor in vain thus to travail with me.” He was hereupon again dismissed for that time until Friday the 17th day of-May, and then commanded to appear in the consistory; which commandment he obeyed, and having the accustomed former articles ministered unto him, made then such answers as before.
Thus being tossed to and fro from day to day, and hour to hour, he was at the last, the 18th day of the month of May, brought into the consistory, where first was made a brief recital of all the former process: and there the said Wats, being, by the bishop and others, willed to deny his profession, made this final answer: “God keep me from the doctrine that ye would have me to come unto, which ye have now declared. And I beseech God that I may persevere in that that I have done; for I will stand to mine answers.”
The bishop, perceiving his fair flattering promises nothing to prevail, and having no great store of other reasons to persuade with, put forth his last and strongest argument of condemnation; which being ended, he was delivered to the sheriffs of London, and by them was sent to Newgate, where he remained until the 9th day of June , a50 or (as some record) to the 22d of May: at which time he was carried unto Chelmsford, and there was brought to Scot’s house, keeping then an inn in Chelmsford, where, as they were eating meat with Haukes and the rest that came down to their burning, they prayed together both before and after their meat.
Then Wats went and prayed privately to himself, and afterward came to his wife and his six children being there, and said these words in effect: “Wife, and my good children! I must now depart from you. Therefore henceforth know I you no more; but, as the Lord hath given you unto me, so I give you again unto the Lord, whom, I charge you, see you do obey, and fear him: and beware ye turn not to this abominable papistry, against the which I shall, anon, by God’s grace, give my blood. Let not the murdering of God’s saints cause you to relent, but take occasion thereby to be the stronger in the Lord’s quarrel, and I doubt not but he will be a merciful Father unto you.” All these and such like words spoke he unto them, and they unto him; of whom two, as it is said, offered to be burnt with him. In the end he bade them farewell, and kissed them all, and was carried to the fire.
At the stake, after he had kissed it, he spoke to my Lord Riche these or the like words: “My lord,” saith he, “beware, beware! for you do against your own conscience herein; and without you repent, the Lord will revenge it: for you are the cause of this my death.”
CONCERNING THE CHILDBED OF QUEEN MARY, AS IT WAS RUMOURED AMONG THE PEOPLE.
Long persuasion had been in England with great expectation, for the space of half a year or more, that the queen was conceived with child. This report was made by the queen’s physicians, and others nigh about the court; so that divers were punished for saying the contrary: and commandment was given, that in all churches, supplication and prayer should be made for the queen’s good delivery; the certificate whereof ye may read before in the letter of the council sent to Bonner, and also the same, moreover, may appear by provision made before in act of parliament for the child. *And forsomuch as prayer is here mentioned for queen Mary , a51 here followeth to be seen the Pater-Noster then set forth in English metre, compiled, or rather corrupted, by one W. Forest; which, when thou shalt see, good reader, I refer the matter to thy discretion to judge of these catholics, what men they are, and how contrary to themselves: who find fault with the Pater-Noster sung in metre in our churches, and yet they themselves have done the same before much more worthy of rebuke; who, not only have intermixed their own senses with the words of the Lord, but, also, have so wrasted and depraved the same, that the thing which the Lord hath set forth for public and general petition, they have turned to a private request.
And now, O Lord! our sins remit, Which we have thee transgrest; As we do let our neighbor flit Out of our inward breast. And let us not be overcome By foul temptation; Our queen thou grant, of thy wisdom, To honor Thee alone.
Finis. per W. F.
Holy art thou, O Son!
Holy art thou, O heavenly Spirite!
Three in one union.
Professing with all constancy Thy honorable Son; Of thee to be gotten truly Ere oughtes were here begun. the Holy Ghost as to proceed From these high persons twain; Who with his grace doth all men feed, That meekness doth contain.
No more do now withdraw thy grace, We humbly thee require; Our queen inhabit in like case With grace her to inspire. [come, The sting of death by thee was over- To true believers all Thou didst set open thy kingdom, The realm celestial.
And govern them that here be thine:
Thither to come grant all and some, There ever to endure.
Finis. per W. Forest.
Thus much as touching their devout prayer for queen Mary.* And now, forasmuch as in the beginning of this month of June, about Whitsuntide, the time was thought to be nigh that this young master should come into the world, and that midwives, rockers, nurses, with the cradle and all, were prepared, and in a readiness; suddenly, upon what cause or occasion it is uncertain, a certain vain rumor was blown in London of the prosperous deliverance of the queen, and the birth of the child; insomuch that the bells were rung, bonfires and processions made, not on]y in the city of London, and in most other parts of the realm, but also in the town of Antwerp guns were shot off upon the river by the English ships, and the mariners thereof rewarded with a hundred pistolets, or Italian crowns, by. the lady regent, who was the queen of Hungary. Such great rejoicing, and triumph was for the queen’s delivery, and that there was a prince born. Yea, divers preachers, namely, one the parson of St.
In the midst of this great ado, there was a simple man (this I speak but upon information) dwelling within four miles of Berwick, that never had been before half way to London, who said concerning the bonfires made for queen Mary’s child, “Here is a joyful triumph; but at length all will not prove worth a mess of pottage:” as indeed it came to pass; for in the end all proved clean contrary, and the joy and expectations of men were much deceived. For the people were certified, that the queen neither was as then delivered, nor after was in hope to have any child.
At this time many talked diversely. Some said this rumor of the queen’s conception was spread for a policy; some others affirmed that she was deceived by a tympany, or some other like disease, to think herself with child, and was not; some thought she was with child, and that it did by some chance miscarry, or else that she was bewitched; but what was the truth thereof the Lord knoweth, to whom nothing is secret.
One thing of mine own hearing and seeing, I cannot pass over unwitnessed:
There came to me, whom I did both hear and see, one Isabel Malt, a woman dwelling in Aldersgate-street in Horn-alley, not far from the house where this present book was printed, who, before witness made this declaration unto us: that she, being delivered of a man-child upon Whit Sunday in the morning, which was the 11th day of June, anno 1555, there came to her the lord North, and another lord to her unknown, dwelling then about Old Fish-street, demanding of her if she would part with her child, and would swear that she never knew nor had any such child; which if she would, her son (they said) should be well provided for, she should take no care for it; with many fair offers, if she would part with the child (after that, came other women also, of whom, one they said should have been the rocker); but she in no wise would let go her son, who at the writing hereof being alive, and called Timothy Malt, was of the age of thirteen years and upward. f67 Thus much, I say, I heard of the woman herself. What credit is to be given to her relation, I deal not withal, but leave it to the liberty of the readers to believe it they that list: to them that list not, I have no further warrant to assure them.
Among many other great preparations made for the queen’s deliverance of child, there was a cradle very sumptuously and gorgeously trimmed, upon the which cradle for the child appointed, these verses were written, both in Latin and English. Quam Marira sobolem, Deus optime, summe, dedisti, Anglis incolumem redde, mere, rege.
CARMINIS INVERSIO. *Quam Mariae sobolem, Deus optime, summe, negasti, Hanc ferat auspiciis Elisabetha tuis.* About this time there came over into England a certain English book, giving warning to Englishmen of the Spaniards, and disclosing certain close practices for recovery of abbey-lands, which book was called “A Warning for England;” whereof ye shall understand more, God willing, when we come to the Spanish inquisition: so that by the occasion of this book, upon the 13th day of this month came out a certain proclamation, set forth in the name of the king and queen, repealing and disannulling all manner of books written or printed, whatsoever should touch any thing the impairing of the pope’s dignity; whereby not only much godly edification was hindered, but also great peril grew among the people. The copy of which proclamation here followeth.
A PROCLAMATION SET OUT BY THE KING AND QUEEN, FOR THE RESTRAINING OF ALL BOOKS AND WRITINGS TENDING AGAINST THE DOCTRINE OF THE POPE AND HIS CHURCH.
Whereas by the statute made in the second year of king Henry the Fourth concerning the repressing of heresies, there is ordained, and provided a great punishment, not only for the authors, makers, and writers of books containing wicked doctrine, and erroneous and heretical opinions, contrary to the catholic faith and determination of the holy church, and likewise for their fautors and supporters; but also for such as shall have or keep any such books or writings, and not make delivery of them to the ordinary of the diocese or his ministers, within a certain time limited in the said statute, which act or statute being by authority of parliament of late revived, was also openly proclaimed, to the intent the subjects of the realm upon such proclamation should the rather eschew the danger and penalty of the said statute; and as yet nevertheless, in most parts of the realm, the same is neglected, and little regarded: the king and queen our sovereign lord and lady, a53 therefore, etc., straitly charge and command: that no person or persons, of what estate, degree, or condition soever he or they be, from henceforth presume to bring or convey, or cause to be brought or conveyed into this realm, any books, writings, or works hereafter mentioned; that is to say, any book or books, writings or works made or set forth, by, or in the name of Martin Luther, or any book or books, writings or works made or set forth, by or in the name of Ecolampadius, Zuinglius, John Calvin , a54 Pomerane, John Alasco, Bullinger, Bucer, Melancthon, Bernardine Ochinus, Erasmus Sarcerius, Peter Martyr, Hugh Latimer, Robert Barnes, otherwise called Friar Barnes, John Bale, otherwise called Friar Bale, Justus Jonas, John Hooper, Miles Coverdale, William Tyndale, Thomas Cranmer, late archbishop of Canterbury, William Turner, Theodore Basil, otherwise called Thomas Beacon, John Frith, Roy, and the book commonly called “Hall’s Chronicle,” or any of them in the Latin tongue, Dutch tongue, English tongue, Italian tongue, or French, tongue, or any other like book, paper, writing or work, made, printed, or set forth, by any other person or persons, containing false doctrine contrary and against the catholic faith, and the doctrine of the catholic church. And also that no person or persons presume to write, print, utter, sell, read, or keep any, or cause to be written, printed, uttered, or kept, any of the said books, papers, works, or writings, or any book or books, written or printed in the Latin or English tongue, concerning the common service and administration set forth in English to be used in the churches of this realm in the time of king Edward the Sixth, commonly called “The Communion Book, or Book of Common Service and Ordering of Ministers, otherwise called, The Book set forth by authority of parliament, for Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments,” or to be used in the mother tongue within the Church of England; but shall, within the space of fifteen days next after the publication of this proclamation, bring or deliver, or cause the said books, writings, and works, and every of them remaining in their custodies and keeping, to be brought and delivered to the ordinary of the diocese, where such books, works, or writings be or remain, or to his chancellor or commissaries, without fraud, color, or deceit, at the said ordinary’s will and disposition to be burnt, or otherwise to be used or ordered by the said ordinaries, as by the canons or spiritual laws it is in that case limited and appointed, upon pain that every offender contrary to this proclamation, shall incur the danger and penalties contained in the said statute, and as they will avoid their majesties’ high indignation and displeasure, and further answer at their uttermost perils.
And their majesties, by this proclamation, give full power and authority to all bishops and ordinaries, and all justices of the peace, mayors, sheriffs, bailiffs of cities and towns corporate, and other head officers within this realm and the dominions thereof, and expressly command and will the same and every of them, that they and every of them, within their several limits and jurisdictions, shall in the default and negligence of the said subjects, after the said fifteen days expired, inquire and search out the said books, writings, and works; and for this purpose enter into the house or houses, closets, and secret places of every person, of whatsoever degree, being negligent in this behalf, and suspected to keep any such book, writing, or works, contrary to this proclamation: and that the said justices, mayors, sheriffs, bailiffs, and other head officers above specified, and every of them within their said limits and jurisdictions, finding any of the said subjects negligent and faulty in this behalf, shall commit every such offender to ward, there to remain without bail or mainprize, till the same offender or offenders have received such punishment as the said statute doth limit and appoint in this behalf.
Imprinted by John Cawood, anno 1555.
ARTICLES TO BE INQUIRED UPON BY THE WARDENS OF EVERY COMPANY, Touching Seditious Books, especially touching the Book called, “A Warning for England.” f72 1. Whether they have seen any of the aforesaid books? 2. Whether they have heard of any of the said books? 3. Where they were, and in what place they have seen them? 4. Whom they know to have lately come from beyond the sea; especially from Zurich, Strasburg, Frankfort, Wezel, Emden, and Delsburg? 5. Whom they know, or vehemently suspect, to be common carriers of letters, or money, thither from hence? 6. That they bring to my lord mayor all such seditious books as they have, or shall have found hereafter.
In this proclamation thou hast heard, christian reader the profound and learned censure of the catholic church of England, what books they mislike and reject as heretical, schismatical, and pernicious. Against the which catholic censure of these learned fathers, I have not at this time to infer: neither doth my leisure now serve to write apologies in defense of these authors here condemned. Only so much leave it may please the reader to grant me to set before him here a pair of balances, wherein to weigh the books on the one side condemned, with the books on the other side allowed, to the end that we, weighing the one with the other, may discern the better between them, which part weigheth best with God’s holy truth and true catholic church, against manifest idolatry and palpable abomination. And now therefore, as they have in this present proclamation given their condemnation upon these books above recited; so I desire thee to give thy censure upon their books, by them allowed, and upon the matter in them contained, and mark well what good stuff it is.
PARTS OF THE PRIMER AFTER THE USE OF SALISBURY, CALLED “OUR LADY’S MATINS,” PRINTED IN QUEEN MARY’S TIME.
And first to begin with the Primer in English for children, after the use of Salisbury, imprinted with privilege according to letters-patent of the king and queen’s majesties in the reign of queen Mary. Let us repeat and survey some part of the said primer (for to express all, it were too long) beginning with the first lesson of our Lady, in these words: “Holy Mary, mother most pure of virgins all, Mother and daughter of the King Celestial, So comfort us in our desolation, That by thy prayer and special mediation, We enjoy the reward of thy heavenly reign,” etc.
Confer this with the Scriptures, good reader, and judge uprightly whether this doctrine be tolerable in the church or not. It followeth more in the second lesson. “Holy Mary, of all godly the godliest, Pray for us, of all holy the holiest; That he our prayers accept may in good wise, Which of thee was born, and reigneth above the skies,” etc.
IN THE THIRD LESSON. “Thy Son beseech, with humble intercession, To purge us clean of our transgression; That so being redeemed we may the place ascend, Where thou dwellest with him world without end.” THE VERSICLE. “Pray for the people, entreat for the clergy, make intercession for the devout woman-kind; let all feel thy help, that worthily solemnize thy memorial,” etc.
ANOTHER VERSICLE. “Holy Mother of God, make thy petition, That we may deserve Christ’s promission,” etc.
And in the anthem after Benedictus, thus it followeth: — “We beseech thee of thy pity to have us in remembrance, and to make False means for us unto Christ, that we, being supported by thy help, may deserve to merit, attain the kingdom of heaven.”
Furthermore in the collect after it followeth: — “And grant, that through the gracious intercession of the Virgin thy Mother, we may be delivered from this present heaviness, and have the fruition of eternal gladness.”
It followeth moreover in the said Primer thus, concerning the material cross. “O God, which hast ascended thy most holy cross, and hast given light to the darkness of the world, vouchsafe by the virtue of thy cross to illumine, visit, and comfort both our hearts and bodies,” etc.
Moreover, in the name of St. John Baptist thus it prayeth: — “O Lord, defend us alway through the continual succors of St. John Baptist. For the more frail we be, the more need we have to be relieved with necessary prayers,” etc.
In which words note, good reader, not only the absurdity of doctrine, but also the stolidity of the reason. For whereas their doctrine pretendeth that St. John Baptist should pray for us, here we pray to God for St. John Baptist, that he will hear his prayer praying for us. It followeth furthermore in the name of Peter and Paul: — “Hear us mercifully; and grant that through the merits of them both, we may obtain the glory everlasting,” etc.
OF ST. ANDREW. “So let him, O Lord, be a continual petitioner for us to thee,” etc.
OF THOMAS BECKET ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY. “By the blood of Thomas , a55 which he for thee did spend, Make us, Christ, to climb, whither Thomas did ascend.” f77 OF ST. NICHOLAS. “O God, which hast glorified blessed Nicholas, thy holy bishop, with innumerable miracles, grant we beseech thee, that by his merits and prayers we may be delivered from the fire of hell.” OF MARY MAGDALEN, “Grant we beseech thee, through thy mercy, to let her purchase for us the bliss everlasting,” etc.
Show thyself to he a Mother, So that he accept our petition.
Deliver us from bondage of sin.” ITEM. “Holy Mother, succor the miserable, comfort the weak-spirited, give courage to the desperate, pray for the people, make intercession for the clergy, and be a mean for the devout womankind,” etc.
And from the pestilence of death eternal, Keep us by voiding the fiend infernal, And join us with them which rewarded be a56 With eternal life, seeing the Deity.” ANOTHER BLASPHEMY IN THE SAID PRIMER. “Hail Queen, mother of. mercy, our. life, our sweetness, our hope.
Unto thee do we cry and sigh, weeping and wading. Come off, therefore, our patroness; cast upon us thy pitiful eyes; and after this our banishment, show to us the blessed fruit of thy womb. O Gate of glory! be for us a reconciliation unto the Father and the Son. From the wretched their faults expel: wipe the spots of sins unclean,” etc.
And thus much hitherto of this Catholic Primer, called our Lady’s Matins: whereunto, if it were not tedious for the reader, we would also adjoin our Lady’s Psalter, to the intent that all indifferent readers, as they have seen what books these catholic fathers have condemned and do condemn for heretical; so the same also may see and judge, what books on the other side they approve as lawful and catholic. And forasmuch as it is not known peradventure to all men, what our Lady’s Psalter is, or what it meaneth; yea, and some peradventure will deny any such book of our Lady’s Psalter to be written or approved, here therefore we will first produce the name of the author, who was Bonaventure, a seraphical doctor, bishop also and cardinal, canonized moreover by pope Sixtus the Fourth, Anno 1482, for a saint in the calendar, who, in his book thus entitled in Latin, “Incipit Psalterium beatae Virginis, compilatum per Seraphicum Doctorem Sanctum Bonaventuram Episcopum Albanensem, necnon sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae Presbyterum Cardinalem, in honorem genetricis,” etc. (fol. 84, in the second part of his whole works, which were imprinted at Strasburgh, Anno 1495), to show himself a devout servant to his Lady, hath taken every psalm of David’s Psalter (which be peculiarly made and referred to Almighty God), and hath in divers of the said psalms and verses put out the name of the Lord, and hath placed in the name of our Lady. This being done through the whole psalms and every one of them, it is now called our Lady’s Psalter, used to be sung and said in the praise and service of our Lady. A brief taste whereof, for example’s sake (for, to show all, it were too long), we thought here to exhibit unto the reader in order, as followeth: - THE TITLE IN ENGLISH, OF THE BOOK CALLED THE LADY’S PSALTER. “ Here beginneth the Psalter of a57 the blessed Virgin, made by the seraphical doctor St. Bonaventure, the bishop of Albano, and cardinal of the holy church of Rome.” 1. Blessed is the man which understandeth thy name, O Virgin Mary; thy grace shall comfort his soul. Thou shalt bring forth in him the most plentiful fruit of justice, being watered as it were with fountains of water. All women thou passest in the beauty of thy body; all angels and archangels in the excellency of thy holiness. Thy mercy and thy grace is magnified everywhere, etc. — Glory be to the Father, etc. f81 2. Why do our enemies fret and imagine vain things against us? Let thy right hand defend us, O Mother of God, terribly confounding and destroying them as a sword. Come unto her, all ye that labor and are troubled, and she will give rest unto your souls. Come unto her in your temptations, and her loving countenance shall stablish and comfort you. Bless her with all your heart; for the earth is full of her mercy.
Glory be to the Father, etc. f82 3. Why are they so many, O Lady, that trouble me? In thy fury thou shalt persecute and destroy them. Loose the bonds of our impiety, and take away the burden of our sins. Have mercy upon me, O Lady, and heal my infirmity. Take away my sorrow and the anguish of my heart.
Deliver me not into the hands of mine enemies, and in the day of my death comfort my soul. Bring me unto the haven of salvation, and restore my spirit unto my Maker and Creator. Glory be to the Father, etc. f83 4. When I called to thee, thou heardest me, O my Lady, and out of thy high throne thou didst vouchsafe to think upon me. From the roaring of them that prepare themselves to devour me, and out of the hands of such as seek after my life, thy grace shall deliver me: because thy mercy and thy pity, are great towards all them that call upon thy holy name. Blessed be thou, O Lady for ever, and thy majesty for ever and ever. Glorify her all nations of the earth, etc. f84 5. Hear my words, O Lady, etc. Turn our mourning into gladness, and our trouble into rejoicing. Let our enemies fall before our feet, and with thy power dash their heads in pieces. f85 6. O Lady, suffer me not to be rebuked in God’s anger, nor to be chastened in his heavy displeasure, etc. From the gate and deep pit of hell, with thy holy prayers deliver us. Let the everlasting gates be opened, that we may show forth thy marvelous works for ever.
Because neither the dead, nor they that be in hell, shall praise thee, O Lady, but they which shall obtain by thy grace life everlasting. f86 7. O my Lady, in thee will I put my trust; deliver me from mine enemies, O Lady. Stop the mouth of the lion, and bind the lips of the persecutors, Make no tarrying for thy name’s sake, to show thy mercy upon me. Let the brightness of thy countenance shine upon us, that our conscience may be saved before the most highest. If the enemy do persecute my soul, O Lady, help me that he destroy me not. f87 9. I will give thanks to thee, O Lady, with my whole heart, and will show forth among the nations thy praise and glory, etc. They shall find grace through thee, the finder out of grace and salvation. The humble and penitent groan for pardon and forgiveness; heal thou the sores of their heart, etc. f89 10. In thee, O Lady, do I put my trust, etc. Seek her even from your youth, and she shall glorify you, etc. Her mercy take from us the multitude of our sins, and give unto us plenteousness of merits, etc. f90 12. Save me, O Mother of love, and fountain of mercy, etc. Thou thyself alone hast gone about the compass of the earth, to help them that call upon thee. f91 13. How long dost thou forget me, O Lady, and dost not deliver me in the day of my trouble? How long shall mine enemy triumph over me?
With thy mighty power destroy him, etc. We magnify thee the finder and the author of grace, by whom the world is repaired, etc. f92 16. Preserve me, O Lady, for in thee have I put my trust, etc. Blessed be thy breasts, [from] which, with thy deifying milk, didst [thou] nourish the Savior, etc. f94 18. I will love thee, O Lady of heaven and earth; I will call upon thy name among the nations. Confess yourselves unto her, ye that are troubled in heart, and she shall strengthen you against your enemies, etc. All ye cloisterers honor her, for she is your helper and special advocate. Be thou our refreshing and rest, for thou art the marvelous foundation of all religion. f95 20. Hear us, O Lady, in the day of trouble, etc. Cast us not away in the time of our death, but succor our soul when it forsaketh the body. Send an angel to meet it, that it may be defended from the enemies, etc. In torments and pain let it feel thy comfort, and grant to it a place among the elect of God. f96 25. To thee, O Lady, do I lift up my soul, etc. Let not the snares of death prevail against me, etc. Be thou my guide to the heavenly rest, and to the company of angels associate me. f97 26. Judge thou me, O Lady, for I am fallen from mine innocency: but because I put my trust in thee, therefore I shall not fall, etc. f99 27. O Lady, let the brightness of thy face be my light, and let the clearness of thy grace shine unto my mind, etc. f100 28. To thee, O Lady, etc. Have mercy upon me in the day of my trouble, and in the light of thy truth deliver me, etc. f101 31. In thee, O Lady, do I put my trust; let me not be confounded for ever: in thy glory receive me. Thou art my strength and my refuge, my consolation and protection, etc. Deliver me from the snare that they have laid for me, because thou art my helper. Into thy hands I commend my spirit, etc. f103 34. I will always praise our Lady, etc. In perils, in adversity, call upon her, and in time of need ye shall find succor. Let her conversation be an example unto you, and follow the virtue of her humility. Because therefore, O Lady, thou wast humble and lowly, thou didst compel the Word increate to take flesh of thee. f104 36. The wicked man said, etc. Let him depart from his evil purpose. O Mother of God, turn the countenance of God towards us: compel him to be merciful unto sinners. Blessed be thy empery and dominion in heaven, and blessed be thy magnificence upon the earth. f105 45. My heart is inditing a good matter, O Lady, etc. By thy holiness let my sins be purged; by thy integrity let me obtain incorruption, etc. f107 47. Clap your hands, all ye people, etc. For she is the gate of life, the door of salvation, the reconciler of our life; the hope of the penitent, the comfort of the sorrowful, the blessed peace of hearts, and salvation. Have mercy upon me, O Lady; have mercy upon me; for thou art the light and hope of all that put their trust in thee. f108 51. Have mercy upon me, O Lady, which art called the mother of mercy, and in the bowels of thy great compassion cleanse me from mine iniquities. f109 54. O Lady, in thy name save me, and from mine unrighteousness deliver Hie, etc. f110 70. Make haste, O Lady, to help me, etc. Have mercy on thy servants, upon whom thy name is invocated, etc f111 71. In thee, Lady, have I put my trust: let me not be confounded for ever; in thy mercy deliver me, etc. f112 79. O Lady, the Gentiles are come into the inheritance of God, whom thou didst join unto Christ by thy merits, etc. f113 89. Thou that rulest Israel, etc. The favor of life cometh from her, and all health floweth out of her heart, etc. f114 91. Whoso dwelleth in the help of the mother of God, shall dwell in the shadow of her protection, etc. Cry unto her in your dangers, and the scourge shall not come near your tabernacle. The fruit of grace shall be to him whoso trusteth in her, and the gate of paradise shall be open unto him. f115 95. Come let us rejoice to our Lady, etc. Receive our souls at our last end, and bring them into everlasting rest, etc. f116 105. Praise our Lady, and call upon her name, etc. Everlasting salvation is in thy hand, O Lady, etc. f117 110. The Lord said unto our Lady, Sit here, my mother, on my right hand, etc. f119 114. In the passing of my soul out of this world, come and meet it, O Lady, and receive it, etc. Be to it a ladder to the kingdom of heaven, and a right way to the paradise of God, etc. f120 119. The whole earth is full of thy mercies, and therefore I will search out the way of thy justifications, etc. I will covet for ever to praise thee, O Lady, when thou shalt teach me thy justifications, etc. f121 125. They that put their trust in thee, O mother of God, shall not be afraid of the face of their enemy, etc. f122 127. Except our Lady shall build the house of our heart, the building thereof shall not continue. f123 128. Blessed is every one that feareth our Lady, and blessed be all they which know to do her will, etc. f124 130. Out of the deep I have called unto thee, O Lady, O Lady hear my voice, etc. f125 132. O Lady, remember David, and all them that call upon thy name, etc. f126 134. Behold and bless now our Lady, all ye that put your trust in her holy name. f127 136. At the floods of Babylon, etc. There is no propitiation to be found without her, etc. f128 140. Deliver me, O Lady, from all evil, and from the infernal enemy defend me, etc. f130 145. Our eyes look up and trust in thee. Do thou send us meat and food convenient, etc. My tongue shall speak thy praise, and shall bless thee for ever. f131 148 . Praise thou our Lady, O Jerusalem, and glorify her also, O thou Sion: for she buildeth up thy walls, and blesseth thy children. Her grace maketh thee fat, and giveth peace unto thy coasts, etc. f132 I could recite also other things more of like blasphemy, following immediately after this Psalter of our Lady, in the seraphical doctor aforesaid, as these: f133 Behold, my Lady, my savior; I will be bold in thee, and will not fear, etc. Because thou art my strength, and art become my salvation, etc. f134 Rejoice, O all mankind, because the Lord thy God hath given unto thee such a mediatrix, etc. f135 I will confess to thee, O Lady, because thou hast hid these things from the wise, and hast revealed them to the little ones. f136 O thou wicked and peevish generation, acknowledge our Lady thy savior. Is not she the mother that hath possessed thee, and in faith hath begotten thee? O thou blessed, in thy hands is laid up our salvation, etc. f138 In thy name let every knee bend, in heaven and earth, and in hell. f139 Like as an infant cannot live without the nurse, so neither canst thou have salvation without our Lady. f140 Whoso will be saved, before all things he must needs hold his belief of our Lady: which belief, unless every one shall hold perfect and sound, he shall perish, without doubt, for ever. f141 Moreover, after these so horrible things and intolerable to be heard, consequently in the next tractation followeth the Rosary or Garland of our Lady , a58 compiled by the said St. Bonaventure; wherein these words are to be read as followeth: “O mediatrix between God and man, the Lord hath worthily magnified thee, that thou only shouldest conceive his Son.
Wherefore, O good Mary our mediatrix, mother of grace, and mother of mercy,” etc. f143 And moreover, within few lines it followeth in these words: “Therefore, O our empress and Lady most bountiful, by the authority of a mother command, command (I say) thy well-beloved Son, that he will stir up our minds from the love of worldly things, to heavenly desires,” etc. f144 Item, “O the advocate of the miserable, the eyes of thy servants be directed to thee,” etc. f145 To these premises I might also adjoin the horrible and most blasphemous words of the said Bonaventure in the said book, fol. 100, p. 2, col. 1, which I beseech thee to read and note, “Quae major bonitas quam quod Christus,” etc.: “What greater goodness can be, than that Christ is content to be captive upon the altar?”
Whereupon he speaketh in the person of Jeremy, saying: “Behold, I am in your hands; do with me as you see good;” etc. “Where note,” saith he, “that when any duke or prince is taken prisoner for his subjects, he is not let go, before he pay some great sum of money for his ransom. Even so neither we ought to let Christ go out of our hands, being our prisoner and captive, except he grant unto us remission of our sins and his heavenly kingdom.
The priest therefore lifteth up the body of Christ upon the altar, as though he said thus, Behold him whom the whole world is not able to comprehend; he is holden here our captive; wherefore let us hold him fast, and not let him go before we obtain of him our requests,” etc.
NOTES: THE CHURCH OF ROME EXAMINED.
Is not here good catholic stuff, christian reader, trow you? Confer, I beseech you, this doctrine with the doctrine of the apostles, who teach us that we are fully complete in Christ, and I will refer me to no better judge than to your own conscience. And now therefore, if any man have been in doubt in times past of the doctrine and proceedings of the church of Rome, whether it be rightly charged with blind errors, with blasphemy intolerable, and idolatry abominable, or not, here now may he be fully certified and resolved. For where was ever idolatry or blasphemy to be found, if it be not here in this Matins and Psalter of our Lady? If idolatry be to make an idol to be worshipped as God, which is no god, what do we here but make an idol of our Lady (as we call her), to be worshipped with no less dignity, glory, authority, reverence, and service, than is the Lord God himself? And as he is called our Lord, so she is called our Lady. And if he be King, yet she is the queen of heaven. And though he have the name of God, yet she beareth so the title of the mother of God; that as mothers have authority over their children, so she is willed to show herself to be his mother, to cause him to grant our petitions. Finally, if he be our patron, yet is she our patroness. The commandment saith, “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” And what worship or service can we give to God, more than we do ascribe unto her? or what benefit is to be asked at the hands of Christ our Savior, which is not equally asked of her?
To save our souls, to give us peace, to grant grace, to comfort the desperate, to loose our captivity, to release our sins, to deliver from the fiend, to bring to heaven, etc. To her we pray, we cry, we creep, we sigh, we groan, we knock and kneel, to her we trust; and if we believe not also in our Lady, we be heretics ipso facto.
Furthermore, as Christ our only Lord and Savior hath his church and congregation, which professeth his name, of whom we are called Christians; so neither is she likewise without her chapels, her cloisters, her chapters, fraternities, and brotherhoods, which professing, her name in like sort, are called our Lady’s Brethren, or White Friars, besides an innumerable sort of other patrons of churches, of whom every one hath his peculiar church and religion by himself, yet all these together be included under the general devotion of our Lady, their supreme patroness and governess.
Now to proceed further to the other part of the commandment, which saith, “Him only shalt thou serve.” What service hath the Lord in all the church, but our Lady also jointly with him hath the like? Her mass, her matins, her even-song, her hours and compline, her rosaries, her anthems, her collects, her primer, her psalter; her holy-days likewise, yea five to one. Finally, as the Lord hath his prayer called the Lord’s Prayer, so hath she her Ave Marias, yea ten Aves to one Pater-noster; yea, and read further in the said Bonaventure, and ye shall see her also to have her Te Deum, her Benedictus, her Magnificat; and also her Quicunque vult.” f146 If the Lord our God had not expressed unto us his own will by plain words, limiting unto us by express injunction what to believe, what to follow, and how to worship and serve him, and how to receive from him our salvation; but had left us to the imagination of our own inventions, every man to shift for himself after his own policy; then, peradventure, this way taken by the pope’s church, to make friends and mediators between God and us, for reconciliation, remission, and salvation, might have some rhyme or reason; but now God’s word doth bind us, doth prescribe and limit us precisely, in every point touching salvation, what to believe, and what to do, showing us plainly that we cannot be saved, but by the blood of his Son only, neither can be justified but by faith only in the same Christ his Son wherefore, not to believe that which he hath promised, is infidelity, and to follow any other belief than he hath set us, is plain idolatry. The which two special errors most commonly do follow the doctrine of the Romish church, as not only in this Primer and Psalter of our Lady aforesaid, but also in all their proceedings, teachings, and preachings besides, may well appear. For whereas the Scripture doth perfectly promise and pronounce us to be justified through our faith in Christ, and willeth us to seek our salvation nowhere else, but only in the merits of Jesus: the institution of the church of Rome neither will receive that God hath freely given (wherein standeth infidelity), neither yet will seek the same there where they should, but in the merits and prayers of our Lady, of St. John Baptist, St. Peter and Paul, St. Andrew, St. Nicholas, St. Thomas of Canterbury; and by the worthiness of the material cross, and such other unlawful means, wherein standeth plain idolatry. And yet such books as these can be suffered among the catholics to be current, as good, wholesome, and lawful books; whereas the other, which lead us the true way from infidelity and blind idolatry to true christianity, in no wise can be sufferable. But of this to complain it is vain. Wherefore to pass from this proclamation, let us proceed (God willing) in the course of our history.
THE STORY OF THOMAS OSMOND, WILLIAM SAMFORD, THOMAS OSBORNE, AND OTHERS, MARTYRS.
PICTURE: PRISONERS IN BONDS CONFERRING TOGETHER Mention was made before, in the story of Thomas Haukes, of six prisoners besides, which were sent down with him to Essex, the same time as he went to execution; of which six prisoners, three were sent to be burned, the other three to recant, and to do penance: of whom it followeth next in the story now to entreat. The names of which six were these, Thomas Osmond, fuller; William Bamford, alias Butler, weaver; Thomas Osborne, fuller; Nicholas Chamberlain, weaver; Thomas Brodehill, weaver; Richard Web, weaver; being all of the town of Coggeshall. All which six Coggeshall men, next after the examination of Thomas Haukes, and Thomas Wats, were sent up to Bonner to be examined, by the earl of Oxford and sir Philip Paris knight, with a letter also with them sent, the copy whereof here followeth.
A LETTER SENT FROM THE EARL OF OXFORD TO BONNER, BISHOP OF LONDON.
After our hearty commendations unto your good lordship, this shall be to advertise the same, that the constables of Coggeshall within your diocese, have brought before us this day six persons dwelling in the town of Coggeshall aforesaid, whose names hereafter do follow, videlicet, Nicholas Chamberlain, weaver; John Wallet, fuller; Thomas Brodehill, weaver; Richard Web, weaver; William Bamford, alias Buffer, weaver; and Thomas Osborne, fuller; for that they, at the feast of Easter now last, have not obeyed to the order of the holy catholic church in receiving of the sacraments; but obstinately refusing the same, besides the holding of divers other opinions, contrary to the faith of the said church.
Wherefore we have thought it good to send the stone persons unto your good lordship further to be ordered, as in such case shall appertain. Thus we commit your good lordship to the keeping of Almighty God. — From Heal dingham the first of May, Anno 1555.
Your lordship’s assuredly, Oxford, Philip Paris.
Thus the said prisoners being sent up the first day of May, were brought before the said bishop the 17th of the said month, to be examined upon divers and sundry articles ministered and objected against them; whereunto they were compelled to answer, and to put their hands to the same: the copy of which their articles and answers, being all one in form and effect (if the registrar say true), here followeth.
THE COPY OF THE ARTICLES OBJECTED AGAINST THOMAS OSMOND, WILLIAM BAMFORD, AND NICHOLAS CHAMBERLAIN, OF COGGESHALL. 1. First, that thou, Thomas Osmond, fuller, wast and art of the parish of Coggeshall, within the diocese of London, and thou hast not believed nor dost believe, that there is here in the earth one catholic and universal whole church, which doth hold and believe all the faith and religion of Christ, and all the necessary articles and sacraments of the same. 2. Item, that thou hast not believed nor dost believe, that thou art necessarily bounden, under the pain of the damnation of thy soul, to give full faith and credence unto the said catholic and universal church, and to the faith and religion of the same in all necessary points of the said faith and religion, without doubting or wavering in the said faith and religion, or in any part thereof. 3. Item, that thou hast not believed that the faith and religion, which both the church of Rome, Italy, Spain, England, France, Ireland, Scotland, and all other churches in Europe, being true members and parts of the said catholic and universal church, do believe and teach, is both agreeing with the faith and h religion of Christ, and also is the very true faith and religion which all christian people ought to believe, observe, follow and keep; but contrariwise, thou hast believed and dost believe, that that faith and religion, which the said church of Rome, and all the other churches aforesaid, have heretofore believed, and do believe, is false, erroneous, and naught, and in no wise ought to be believed, observed, kept, and followed of any christian person. 4. Item, that albeit it be true, that in the sacrament of the altar there is in substance the very body and blood of our Savior Christ under the forms of bread and wine; and albeit that it be so believed, taught, and preached undoubtedly in the said church of Rome, and all other churches aforesaid, yet thou hast not so believed, nor dost so believe; but, contrariwise, thou hast believed, and dost believe firmly and steadfastly that there is not in the said sacrament of the altar, under the said forms of bread and wine, the very substance of Christ’s body and blood, but that there is only the substance of material and common bread and wine, with the forms thereof; and that the said material and common bread and wine are only the signs and tokens of Christ’s body and blood, and are by faith to be received only for a remembrance of Christ’s passion and death, without any such substance of Christ’s body and blood at all. 5. Item, that thou hast believed and taught, and hast openly spoke and defended, and so dost believe, think, maintain, and defend, that the very true receiving and eating of Christ’s body and blood, is only to take material and common bread, and to break it and distribute it among the people, remembering thereby the passion and death of Christ only. 6. Item, that thou hast likewise believed, thought, and spoken, that the mass, now used in the realm of England, and other the churches aforesaid, is abominable and naught, and full of idolatry; and is of the ordinance of the pope, and not of the institution of Christ; and hath no goodness in it, saving the Gloria in excelsis, the epistle, and gospel; and therefore thou hast not, nor will not come and be present at mass, nor receive the sacrament of the altar, nor any other sacrament of the church, as they are now used in the realm of England, etc. 7. Item, that thou hast in times past believed, and yet dost now believe, that auricular confession is not necessary to be made unto the priest, but is a thing superfluous, void, and naught, only to be made to God and to none other person. And likewise thou hast condemned as superfluous, vain, and unprofitable, all the ceremonies of the church, and the service of the same, and hast said that no service in the church ought to be said but in the English tongue, and if it be otherwise, it is unlawful and naught. 8. Item, that thou, being notoriously and openly suspected for a heretic, and a person culpable in the premises, wast of late called and convented before the earl of Oxford, and master Philip Paris, and there wast charged with the said heresies; especially against the sacrament of the altar. And because thou didst maintain and stand to thy said heresies, and wouldst not come to the church and be confessed, and receive the said sacrament as other christian people did, but utterly didst refuse to do the same, thou wast, by the said earl of Oxford, and master Philip Paris, sent up by a constable unto me bishop of London, and wast by them denounced, detected, and put unto me as a heretic and misbelieving person. 9. Item, that thou hast known and believed, thou dost know and believe, or at least thou hast credibly heard reported, spoken, and said, that all and all manner of persons, which do teach, preach, or hold anything concerning the sacraments of the church, or any of the articles of the faith, otherwise than is found already discussed and determined by our mother the holy church; or do call into doubt or question that thing which is already decided or determined by the church; or that willingly and wittingly do utter, openly or privily, any slanderous or blasphemous words concerning the said sacraments or any of them, or that do preach, teach or keep any sect or kind of heresy against the wholesome doctrine of the church, and do wittingly, willingly, or obstinately defend the sect or kind of heresy, are, by the canons of the whole and universal catholic church, and also by the ecclesiastical laws of this church of England, by their, so doing, accursed with that curse, which doth separate them from the entry into the church, from the receiving of the sacraments, and from the company of faithful people; and are (in continuing in this said sect and heresy) to be pronounced, declared, and taken for heretics, and to be delivered to the secular power; and by the laws temporal of this realm of England, and the custom of the same, to be by the said secular power put to death and burnt for this said sect and heresy. 10. Item, that thou by reason of the premises wast and art to be pronounced,. taken, had, reputed, and judged for a manifest and open, willful and obstinate heretic, for a wicked and cursed person, and to be punished accordingly for the same, according to the said canon laws, usages and customs.
THE ANSWERS WHICH THE SAID THOMAS OSMOND, WILLIAM BAMFORD, AND NICHOLAS CHAMBERLAIN, SEVERALLY MADE UNTO THESE ARTICLES.
To the first they answered and confessed the same to be true, except that they do believe that there is here in the earth one catholic and whole church, and that the same church doth hold and believe, as is contained in this article.
To the second they answer, and believe the said article not to be true; for they say that they have and do believe that they are necessarily bounden, under pain of damnation of their soul, to give full faith and credence unto the said catholic church, and to the faith and religion of the same, in all necessary points of the same faith and religion, without wavering or doubting in any part hereof.
To the third they answer, that the church of Rome, and other churches mentioned in this article, be not true members and parts (as they be used in faith and religion) of the catholic church of Christ, and that the faith and religion used in the said churches are not agreeable with the church of Christ, but are false and erroneous.
To the fourth they answer and say, that howsoever the said churches of Rome and others of Christendom have and do believe touching the sacrament of the altar, yet they do believe that in the sacrament, under the forms of bread and wine, there is not the very substance of Christ’s body and blood, but that there is only the substance of material bread and wine; and that the same material bread and wine be only the signs and tokens of Christ’s body and blood, and are to be received only for a remembrance of Christ’s passion and death, without any substance of Christ’s body and blood at all.
To the fifth article they answer that the true receiving and eating of Christ’s body, according to Christ’s institution, is to take, distribute, and eat material bread, and thereby to remember the passion and death of Christ, and so receive by faith (as they believe) Christ’s body and blood; and not otherwise.
To the sixth they answer the same to be true in every part thereof, except that over and besides the Gloria in excelsis, the Epistle and Gospel, which they believe to be good, they believe the Paternoster and Creed, used in the mass, be also good.
To the seventh they answer and confess, that auricular confession is not necessary to be made to the priest; nevertheless they think that it is necessary to go to such a priest as is able to give good counsel: and that for counsel only, and not otherwise. And as concerning the ceremonies of the church, they answer the same to be vain and unprofitable. No service in the church ought to be said, but only in the English tongue.
To the tenth, the said Osmond and Bamford answered and said, that by reason of their belief before by them confessed, they are not to be reputed, taken, or adjudged for willful and obstinate heretics, nor to be punished there-for, as is declared in that article.
The other answered nothing.
These articles in the same form and manner of words are commonly objected to all others that follow after, with the same answers also thereunto annexed. In which articles thou mayest note, reader, the crafty and subtle handling of these lawyers and registrars, who so deceitfully frame their articles and positions, that unless a man do advisedly consider them, it is hard for a simple man to answer to them, but he shall be snared and entangled. So they paint their church with such a visage of universal, whole, holy, catholic — as who should say, he that denieth Rome, denieth the holy church of Christ here in earth. Likewise in examining them, and specially the simple sort in the matter of the sacrament, to the material bread in the sacrament they put this word “only” very captiously and fraudulently, to take them at the worst advantage, making the people believe that they take the holy sacrament to be no better than only common bread: when they do not so, but make a difference between the same, both in the use, honor, and name thereof.
Again, when the examinates hold but only against the erroneous points of Romish religion, these bishops in their interrogatories give out the matter so generally, as though the said examinates in general spoke against all the articles of faith taught in Rome, Spain, England, France, Scotland, etc.
Moreover, concerning Latin service, in such crafty form of words they propound their article, that it might appear to the people, these men do deny any service to be lawful in any place, country, or language, but only in English.
And as these articles are craftily, captiously, and deceitfully in form of words devised by these bishops and their notaries: so the answers again to the same, be no less subtlely framed, and after the most odious manner put down in the name of the examinates; which being read unto them, thus without further advice they were constrained, upon a sudden, to subscribe the same with their hands. Whereby, if any word escaped their hand, peradventure not considerately subscribed, there the papists take their advantage against them, to defame them, and to bring them into hatred with the people.
These articles thus propounded and answered, they were until the afternoon dismissed; at what time they did again appear, and there were examined and travailed with by fair and flattering speeches, as well of the bishop as of others his assistants, to recant and revoke their opinions, who notwithstanding remained constant and firm, and therefore, after the common usage of their ecclesiastical laws, were sent away again until the next day, being Saturday, and the 18th day of May. Then in the forenoon the bishop, using his accustomed manner of proceeding, which he had used before as well with them as with others, did likewise dismiss them; and at last, in the afternoon, condemned them as heretics, and so delivered them to the sheriffs, in whose custody they remained until they were delivered to the sheriff of Essex, and by him were executed; Chamberlain at Colchester, the 14th of June; Thomas Osmond at Manningtree, the 15th of June; and William Bamford, alias Butler, at Harwich; the same 15th day in the month of June.
THE HISTORY OF THE WORTHY MARTYR a59 AND SERVANT OF GOD, MASTER JOHN BRADFORD.
PICTURE: THE BURNING OF MASTER BRADFORD AND JOHN LEAF WITH HIS LIFE, ACTS, AND SUNDRY CONFLICTS WITH HIS ADVERSARIES, AND MARTYRDOM AT LENGTH MOST CONSTANTLY SUFFERED FOR THE TESTIMONY OF CHRIST AND HIS TRUTH.
As touching the first country and education of John Bradford, he was born at Manchester in Lancashire. His parents did bring him up in learning from his infancy, until he attained such knowledge in the Latin tongue, and skill in writing, that he was able to gain his own living in some honest condition.
Then he became servant to sir John Harrington, knight, who, in the great affairs of king Henry the Eighth, and king Edward the Sixth, which he had in hand when he was treasurer of the king’s camps and buildings, at divers times, in Boulogne, had such experience of Bradford’s activity in writing, his expertness in the art of auditors, as also of his faithful trustiness, that not only in those affairs, but in many other of his private business he trusted Bradford in such sort, that above all others he used his faithful service.
Thus continued Bradford certain years in a right honest and good trade of life, after the course of this world, like to come forward (as they say), if his mind could have so liked, or had been given to the world as many other be. But the Lord, who had elected him unto a better function, and preordained him to preach the gospel of Christ in that hour of grace which, in his secret counsel he had appointed, called this his chosen child to the understanding and partaking of the same gospel of life: in which call he was so truly taught, that forthwith this effectual call was perceived by the fruits. For then Bradford did forsake his worldly affairs and forwardness in worldly wealth, and, after the just account given to his master of all his doings, he departed from him; and with marvelous favor to further the kingdom of God by the ministry of his holy word, he gave himself wholly to the study of the holy Scriptures. The which his purpose to accomplish the better, he departed from the Temple at London, where the temporal law is studied, and went to the university of Cambridge, to learn by God’s law how to further the building of the Lord’s temple. In Cambridge his diligence in study, his profiting in knowledge and godly conversation so pleased all men, that within one whole year after that he had been there, the university did give him the degree of a master of arts.
Immediately after, the master and fellows of Pembroke Hall did give him a fellowship in their college with them: yea that man of God, Martin Bucer, so liked him, that he had him not only most dear unto him, but also oftentimes exhorted him to bestow his talent in preaching. Unto which Bradford answered always, that he was unable to serve in that office through want of learning. To the which Bucer was wont to reply, saying, “If thou have not fine manchet bread, yet give the poor people barley bread, or whatsoever else the Lord hath committed unto thee.” And while Bradford was thus persuaded to enter into the ministry, Dr. Ridley, that worthy bishop a60 of London, and glorious martyr of Christ, according to the order that then was in the church of England, called him to take the degree of a deacon, which order, because it was not without some such abuse, as to the which Bradford would not consent, the bishop yet, perceiving that Bradford was willing to enter into the ministry, was content to order him deacon without any abuse, even as he desired. This being done, he obtained for him a license to preach, and did give him a prebend in his cathedral church of St. Paul’s. a62 In this preaching office by the space of three years, how faithfully Bradford walked, how diligently he labored, many parts of England can testify. Sharply he opened and reproved sin, sweetly he preached Christ crucified, pithily he impugned heresies and errors, earnestly he persuaded to godly life. After the death of blessed young king Edward the Sixth, when queen Mary had gotten the crown, still continued Bradford diligent in preaching, until he was unjustly deprived both of his office and liberty by the queen and her council. To the doing whereof (because they had no just cause) they took occasion to do this injury, for such an act as among Turks and infidels would have been with thankfulness rewarded, and with great favor accepted, as indeed it did no less deserve. The fact was this: the 18th of August, in the first year of the reign of queen Mary, master Bourn, then a61 bishop of Bath, made a seditious sermon at Paul’s Cross in London, as partly is declared before, to set popery abroad, in such sort that it moved the people to no small indignation, being almost ready to pull him out of the pulpit. Neither could the reverence of the place, nor the presence of bishop Bonner, who then was his master, nor yet the commandment of the mayor of London, whom the people ought to have obeyed, stay their rage; but the more they spoke, the more the people were incensed. At length Bourn, seeing the people in such a mood, and himself in such peril (whereof he was sufficiently warned by the hurling of a drawn dagger at him, as he stood in the pulpit), and that he was put from ending his sermon, fearing lest (against his will) he should there end his wretched life, desired Bradford, who stood in the pulpit behind him, to come forth, and to stand in his place and speak to the people. Good Bradford, at his request, was content, and there spoke to the people of godly and quiet obedience: whom as soon as the people saw to begin to speak unto them, so glad they were to hear him, that they cried with a great shout, — “Bradford, Bradford; God save thy life, Bradford!” — well declaring not only what affection they bare unto him, but also what regard they gave unto his words. For after that he had entered a little to preach unto them, and to exhort them to quiet and patience, eftsoons all the raging ceased, and in the end quietly departed each man to his house. Yet in the mean season (for it was a long time before that so great a multitude could all depart) Bourn thought (and truly) himself not yet full sure of his life till he were safely housed, notwithstanding that the mayor and sheriffs of London were there at hand to help them. Wherefore he desired Bradford not to depart from him till he were in safety: which Bradford, according to his promise, performed. For while the mayor and sheriffs did Icad Bourn to the schoolmaster’s house, which is next to the pulpit, Bradford went at his back, shadowing him from the people with his gown, and so to set him safe.
Let the reader now consider the peril of Bourn, the charity of Bradford, and the readiness of the multitude, and also the grudging minds of certain, which yet still there remained behind; grieved not a little in their minds, to see that so good a man should save the life of such a popish priest, so impudently and openly railing against king Edward; among whom one gentleman said these words: “Ah Bradford, Bradford, thou savest him that will help to bum thee. I give thee his life. If it were not for thee, I would (I assure thee) run him through with my sword.” Thus Bourne for that time, through Bradford’s means, escaped bodily death: but God hath his judgment to be showed in the time appointed.
The same Sunday in the afternoon, Bradford preached at the Bow church in Cheapside, and reproved the people sharply for their seditious misdemeanor. After this he did abide still in London, with an innocent conscience, to try what should become of his just doing. Within three days after, he was sent for to the Tower of London, where the queen then was, to appear there before the council. There was he charged with this act of saving of Bourne, which act they there called seditious, and also objected against him for preaching, and so by them he was committed first to the Tower, then unto other prisons, out of which neither his innocency, godliness, nor charitable dealing could purchase to him liberty of body, till by death (which he suffered for Christ’s cause) he obtained the heavenly liberty, of which neither pope nor papist shall ever deprive him.
From the Tower he came to the King’s Bench in Southwark: and after his condemnation, he was sent to the Compter in the Poultry in London: in which two places, for the time he did remain prisoner, he preached twice a day continually, unless sickness hindered him: where also the sacrament was often ministered, and through his means (the keepers so well did bear with him) such resort of good folks was daily to his lecture, and to the ministration of the sacrament, that commonly his chamber was well nigh filled therewith. Preaching, reading, and praying was all his whole life. He did not eat above one meal a day; which was but very little when he took it; and his continual study was upon his knees. In the midst of dinner he used often to muse with himself, having his hat over his eyes, from whence came commonly plenty of tears dropping on his trencher. Very gentle he was to man and child, and in so good credit with his keeper , a63 that at his desire in an evening (being prisoner in the King’s Bench in Southwark), he had license upon his promise to return again that night, to go into London without any keeper to visit one that was sick, lying by the Still-yard. Neither did he fail his promise, but returned to his prison again, rather preventing his hour, than breaking his fidelity: so constant was he in word and in deed.
Of personage he was somewhat tall and slender, spare of body, of, a faint sanguine color, with an auburn beard. He slept not commonly above four hours in the night; and in his bed, till sleep came, his book went not out of his hand. His chief recreation was in no gaming or other pastime, but only in honest company, and comely talk, wherein he would spend a little time after dinner at the board; and so to prayer and his book again. He counted that hour not well spent, wherein he did not some good, either with his pen, study, or in exhorting of others, etc. He was no niggard of his purse, but would liberally participate that he had, to his fellow-prisoners. And commonly once a week he visited the thieves, pick-purses, and such others that were with him in prison, where he lay on the other side, unto whom he would give godly exhortation, to learn the amendment of their lives by their troubles; and, after that so done, distribute among them some portion of money to their comfort.
By the way, this I thought not to conceal. While he was in the King’s Bench, and master Saunders in the Marshalsea, both prisoners, on the backside of those two prisons they met many times, and conferred together when they would: so mercifully did the Lord work for them, even in the midst of their troubles: and the said Bradford was so trusted with his keeper, and had such liberty in the backside, that there was no day, but that he might have easily escaped away, if he would; but that the Lord had another work to do for him. In the summer-time, while he was in the said King’s Bench, he had liberty of his keeper to ride into Oxfordshire, to a merchant’s house of his acquaintance, and horse and all things prepared for him for that journey, and the party in readiness that should ride with him: but God prevented him by sickness that he went not at all.
One of his old friends and acquaintance came unto him while he was prisoner, and asked him, if he sued to get him out, what then he would do, or whither he would go? Unto whom he made answer, as not caring whether he went out or no: but if he did, he said he would marry, and abide still in England secretly, teaching the people as the time would suffer him, and occupy himself that way. He was had in so great reverence and admiration with all good men, that a multitude, which never knew him but by fame, greatly lamented his death: yea, and a number also of the papists themselves wished heartily his life. There were few days in which he was thought not to spend some tears before he went to bed, neither was there ever any prisoner with him but by his company he greatly profited; as all they will yet witness, and have confessed of him no less, to the glory of God, whose society he frequented; as among many, one special thing I thought to note, which is this:
Bishop Ferrar, being in the King’s Bench prisoner , a64 as before you have heard, was travailed withal of the papists in the end of Lent, to receive the sacrament at Easter in one kind, who, after much persuading yielded to them, and promised so to do. Then (so it happened by God’s providence) the Easter-even, the day before he should have done it, was Bradford brought to the King’s Bench, prisoner; where the Lord making him his instrument, Bradford only was the mean that the said bishop Ferrar revoked his promise and word, and would never after yield to be spotted with that papistical pitch; so effectually the Lord wrought by this worthy servant of his. Such an instrument was he in God’s church, that few or none there were that knew him, but esteemed him as a precious jewel and God’s true messenger.
The night before Bradford was had to Newgate, which was the Saturday night, he was sore troubled divers times in his sleep by dreams, how the chain for his burning was brought to the Compter-gate, and how the next day, being Sunday, he should be had to Newgate, and on the Monday after burned in Smithfield; as indeed it came to pass accordingly, which hereafter shall be showed. Now he, being vexed so oftentimes in this sort with these dreams, about three of the clock in the morning he waked him that lay with him, and told him his unquiet sleep, and what he was troubled withal.
Then, after a little talk, master Bradford rose out of the bed, and gave himself to his old exercise of reading and prayer, as always he had used before; and at dinner, according to his accustomed manner, he did eat his meat, and was very merry, nobody being with him from morning to night, but he that lay with him, with whom he had many times on that day communication of death, of the kingdom of heaven, and of the ripeness of sin in that time.
In the afternoon they two walking together in the keeper’s chamber, suddenly the keeper’s