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Robert Samuel was brought forth to be burned,
certain there were that heard him declare what strange things had happened unto
him during the time of his imprisonment; to wit, that after he had famished or
pined with hunger two or three days together, he then fell into a sleep, as it
were one half in a slumber, at which time one clad all in white seemed to stand
before him, who ministered comfort unto him by these words:
"Samuel, Samuel, be of good cheer, and take a
good heart unto thee: for after this day shalt thou never be either hungry or
No less memorable it is, and worthy to be noted,
concerning the three ladders which he told to divers he saw in his sleep, set up
toward heaven; of the which there was one somewhat longer than the rest, but yet
at length they became one, joining (as it were) all three together.
As this godly martyr was going to the fire, there
came a certain maid to him, which took him about the neck, and kissed him, who,
being marked by them that were present, was sought for the next day after, to be
had to prison and burned, as the very party herself informed me: howbeit, as God
of His goodness would have it, she escaped their fiery hands, keeping herself
secret in the town a good while after.
But as this maid, called
Rose Nottingham, was
marvelously preserved by the providence of God, so there were other two honest
women who did fall into the rage and fury of that time. The one was a brewer's
wife, the other was a shoemaker's wife, but both together now espoused to a new
With these two was this maid aforesaid very
familiar and well acquainted, who, on a time giving counsel to the one of them,
that she should convey herself away while she had time and space, had this
answer at her hand again: "I know well," said she, "that it is
lawful enough to fly away; which remedy you may use, if you list. But my case
stands otherwise. I am tied to a husband, and have besides young children at
home; therefore I am minded, for the love of Christ and His truth, to stand to
the extremity of the matter."
And so the next day after Samuel suffered, these two godly wives, the one called Anne Potten, the other called Joan Trunchfield, the wife of Michael Trunchfield, shoemaker, of Ipswich, were apprehended, and had both into one prison together. As they were both by sex and nature somewhat tender, so were they at first less able to endure the strait of the prison; and especially the brewer's wife was cast into marvelous great agonies and troubles of mind thereby.
But Christ, beholding the weak infirmity of His
servant, did not fail to help her when she was in this necessity; so at the
length they both suffered after
Samuel, in 1556, February 19. And these, no
doubt, were those two ladders, which, being joined with the third,
stretched up into heaven. This blessed
Samuel, the servant of Christ, suffered
the thirty-first of August, 1555.
goes among some that were there
present, and saw him burn, that his body in burning did shine in the eyes of
them that stood by, as bright and white as new-tried silver.
Agnes Bongeor saw herself separated from her
prison-fellows, what piteous moan that good woman made, how bitterly she wept,
what strange thoughts came into her mind, how naked and desolate she esteemed
herself, and into what plunge of despair and care her poor soul was brought, it
was piteous and wonderful to see; which all came because she went not with them
to give her life in the defense of her Christ; for of all things in the world,
life was least looked for at her hands.
For that morning in which she was kept back from burning, had she put on a smock, that she had prepared only for that purpose. And also having a child, a little young infant sucking on her, whom she kept with her tenderly all the time that she was in prison, against that day likewise did she send away to another nurse, and prepared herself presently to give herself for the testimony of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ.
So little did
she look for life, and so greatly did God's gifts work in her above nature, that
death seemed a great deal better welcome than life. After which, she began a
little to stay herself, and gave her whole exercise to reading and prayer,
wherein she found no little comfort.
Here we perceive that neither the impotence of age nor the affliction of blindness, could turn aside the murdering fangs of these babylonish monsters. The first of these unfortunates was of the parish of Barking, aged sixty-eight, a painter and a cripple. The other was blind, dark indeed in his visual faculties, but intellectually illuminated with the radiance of the everlasting Gospel of truth. Inoffensive objects like these were informed against by some of the sons of bigotry, and dragged before the prelate shark of London, where they underwent examination, and replied to the articles propounded to them, as other Christian martyrs had done before.
On the ninth day of May, in the consistory of St. Paul's, they were entreated to recant, and upon refusal, were sent to Fulham, where Bonner, by way of a dessert after dinner, condemned them to the agonies of the fire. Being consigned to the secular officers, May 15, 1556, they were taken in a cart from Newgate to Stratford-le-Bow, where they were fastened to the stake.
Hugh Laverick was
secured by the chain, having no further occasion for his crutch, he threw it
away saying to his fellow-martyr, while consoling him, "Be of good cheer my
brother; for my lord of London is our good physician; he will heal us both
shortly-thee of thy blindness, and me of my lameness." They sank down in
the fire, to rise to immortality!
The day after the above martyrdoms,
of Bocking, widow; Joan Horns, spinster, of Billerica; Elizabeth Thackwel,
spinster, of Great Burstead, suffered death in Smithfield.
Dowry. We have again to record an act of
unpitying cruelty, exercised on this lad, whom Bishop Hooper, had confirmed in
the Lord and the knowledge of his Word.
By the testimony of one John Paylor, register of
Gloucester, we learn that when Dowry was brought before
dv. williams, then
chancellor of Gloucester, the usual articles were presented him for
subscription. From these he dissented; and, upon the doctor's demanding of whom
and where he had learned his heresies, the youth replied, "Indeed, Mr.
Chancellor, I learned from you in that very pulpit. on such a day (naming the
day) you said, in preaching upon the Sacrament, that it was to be exercised
spiritually by faith, and not carnally and really, as taught by the
dv. williams then bid him recant, as he had done; but
not so learned his duty. "Though you," said he, "can so easily
mock God, the world, and your own conscience, yet will I not do so."
This poor man, of Malden, May 26, 1556, put to sea, to lade in Lent with fuller's earth, but the boat, being driven on land, filled with water, and everything was washed out of her; Crow, however, saved his Testament, and coveted nothing else. With Crow was a man and a boy, whose awful situation became every minute more alarming, as the boat was useless, and they were ten miles from land, expecting the tide should in a few hours set in upon them.
After prayer to God, they got upon the mast, and hung there for the space
of ten hours, when the poor boy, overcome by cold and exhaustion, fell off, and
was drowned. The tide having abated, Crow proposed to take down the masts, and
float upon them, which they did; and at ten o'clock at night they were borne
away at the mercy of the waves. On Wednesday, in the night, Crow's companion
died through the fatigue and hunger, and he was left alone, calling upon God for
succor. At length he was picked up by a Captain Morse, bound to Antwerp, who had
nearly steered away, taking him for some fisherman's buoy floating in the sea.
As soon as Crow was got on board, he put his hand in his bosom, and drew out his
Testament, which indeed was wet, but not otherwise injured. At Antwerp he was
well received, and the money he had lost was more than made good to him.
At this sacrifice, which we are about to detail no
less than thirteen were doomed to the fire.
This gentleman's life presents a singular instance
of error and conversion. In the time of Edward, he was a rigid and obstinate
papist, so adverse to godly and sincere preaching, that he was even despised by
his own party; that this frame of mind should be changed, and he suffer
persecution and death in Queen Mary's reign, are among those events of
omnipotence at which we wonder and admire.
Mr. Palmer was born at Coventry, where his father
had been mayor. Being afterward removed to Oxford, he became, under Mr. Harley,
of Magdalen College, an elegant Latin and Greek scholar. He was fond of useful
disputation, possessed of a lively wit, and a strong memory. Indefatigable in
private study, he rose at four in the morning, and by this practice qualified
himself to become reader in logic in Magralen College. The times of Edward,
however, favoring the Reformation, Mr. Palmer became frequently punished for his
contempt of prayer and orderly behavior, and was at length expelled the house.
He afterwards embraced the doctrines of the
Reformation, which occasioned his arrest and final condemnation. A certain nobleman offered him his life if he would
Palmer thanked him very courteously, but very
modestly and reverently concluded that as he had already in two places renounced
his living for Christ's sake, so he would with God's grace be ready to surrender
and yield up his life also for the same, when God should send time.
Palmer," said he, "then I
perceive one of us twain shall be damned: for we be of two faiths, and certain I
am there is but one faith that leads to life and salvation."
"Right well, sir. For as it hath
pleased our merciful Savior, according to the Gospel's parable, to call me at
the third hour of the day, even in my flowers, at the age of four and twenty
years, even so I trust He hath called, and will call you, at the eleventh hour
of this your old age, and give you everlasting life for your portion."
Sir Richard: "Sayest thou so? Well,
well, I would I might have thee but one month in my house: I doubt not but I
would convert thee, or thou should convert me."
Then said Master Winchcomb, "Take pity on thy
golden years, and pleasant flowers of lusty youth, before it be too late."
He was tried on the fifteenth of July, 1556,
together with one
Thomas Askin, fellow prisoner.
Askin and one
John Guin had
been sentenced the day before, and
Mr. Palmer, on the fifteenth, was brought up
for final judgment. Execution was ordered to follow the sentence, and at five
o'clock in the same afternoon, at a place called the Sand-pits, these three
martyrs were fastened to a stake. After devoutly praying together, they sung the
When the fire was kindled, and it had seized their
bodies, without an appearance of enduring pain, they continued to cry,
"Lord Jesus, strengthen us! Lord Jesus receive our souls!" until
animation was suspended and human suffering was past. It is remarkable, that,
when their heads had fallen together in a mass as it were by the force of the
flames, and the spectators thought Palmer as lifeless, his tongue and lips again
moved, and were heard to pronounce the name of Jesus, to whom be glory and honor
This poor, honest woman, blind from her birth, and
unmarried, aged twenty-two, was of the parish of Allhallows, Derby. Her father
was a barber, and also made ropes for a living: in which she assisted him, and
also learned to knit several articles of apparel. Refusing to communicate with
those who maintained doctrines contrary to those she had learned in the days of
the pious Edward, she was called before
dr. draicot, the chancellor of Bishop
Blaine, and Peter Finch, official of Derby.
With sophistical arguments and threats they endeavored to confound the poor girl; but she proffered to yield to the bishop's doctrine, if he would answer for her at the day of judgment, (as pious Dr. Taylor had done in his sermons) that his belief of the real presence of the Sacrament was true. The bishop at first answered that he would; but dv. draicot reminding him that he might not in any way answer for a heretic, he withdrew his confirmation of his own tenets; and she replied that if their consciences would not permit them to answer at God's bar for that truth they wished her to subscribe to, she would answer no more questions.
Sentence was then adjudged,
dv. draicot appointed to preach her condemned sermon, which took place
August 1, 1556, the day of her martyrdom. His fulminating discourse being
finished, the poor, sightless object was taken to a place called Windmill Pit,
near the town, where she for a time held her brother by the hand, and then
prepared herself for the fire, calling upon the pitying multitude to pray with
her, and upon Christ to have mercy upon her, until the glorious light of the
everlasting Sun of righteousness beamed upon her departed spirit.
fifteen martyrs were imprisoned in
Canterbury castle, of whom all were either burnt or famished. Among the latter
were J. Clark, D. Chittenden, W. Foster of Stonc, Alice Potkins, and J. Archer,
of Cranbrooke, weaver. The two first of these had not received condemnation, but
the others were sentenced to the fire.
Foster, at his examination, observed upon
the utility of carrying lighted candles about on Candlemas-day, that he might as
well carry a pitchfork; and that a gibbet would have as good an effect as the
We have now brought to a close the sanguinary
proscriptions of the merciless
mary, in the year 1556, the number of which
amounted to above
The beginning of the year 1557, was remarkable for the visit of cardinal pole to the University of Cambridge, which seemed to stand in need of much cleansing from heretical preachers and reformed doctrines. One object was also to play the popish farce of trying Martin Bucer and Paulus Phagius, who had been buried about three or four years; for which purpose the churches of St. Mary and St. Michael, where they lay, were interdicted as vile and unholy places, unfit to worship God in, until they were perfumed and washed with the pope's holy water, etc., etc.
The trumpery act of citing these dead reformers to appear, not having had the least effect upon them, on January 26, sentence of condemnation was passed, part of which ran in this manner, and may serve as a specimen of proceedings of this nature: "We therefore pronounce the said Martin Bucer and Paulus Phagius excommunicated and anathematized, as well by the common law, as by letters of process; and that their memory be condemned, we also condemn their bodies and bones (which in that wicked time of schism, and other heresies flourishing in this kingdom, were rashly buried in holy ground) to be dug up, and cast far from the bodies and bones of the faithful, according to the holy canons, and we command that they and their writings, if any be there found, be publicly burnt; and we interdict all persons whatsoever of this university, town, or places adjacent, who shall read or conceal their heretical book, as well by the common law, as by our letters of process!"
sample (above) of how hell will freeze over before a papist will ever learn how
After the sentence thus read, the bishop commanded
their bodies to be dug out of their graves, and being degraded from holy orders,
delivered them into the hands of the secular power; for it was not lawful for
such innocent persons as they were, abhorring all bloodshed, and detesting all
desire of murder, to put any man to death.
February 6, the bodies, enclosed as they were in
chests, were carried into the midst of the market place at Cambrdige,
accompanied by a vast concourse of people. A great post was set fast in the
ground, to which the chests were affixed with a large iron chain, and bound
round their centers, in the same manner as if the dead bodies had been alive.
When the fire began to ascend, and caught the coffins, a number of condemned
books were also launched into the flames, and burnt. Justice, however, was done
to the memories of these pious and learned men in Queen Elizabeth's reign, when
Mr. Ackworth, orator of the university, and Mr. J. Pilkington, pronounced
orations in honor of their memory, and in reprobation of their
pole also inflicted his harmless rage upon
the dead body of Peter Martyr's wife, who, by his command, was dug out of her
grave, and buried on a distant dunghill, partly because her bones lay near fireside's
relics, held once in great esteem in that college, and partly
because he wished to purify Oxford of heretical remains as well as Cambridge. In
the succeeding reign, however, her remains were restored to their former
cemetery, and even intermingled with those of the
catholic saint, to the utter
astonishment and mortification of the disciples of his holiness the pope.
pole published a list of fifty-four
articles, containing instructions to the clergy of his diocese of Canterbury,
some of which are too ludicrous and puerile to excite any other sentiment than
laughter in these days.
In the month of February, the following persons
were committed to prison:
R. Coleman, of Waldon, laborer; Joan Winseley,
Horsley Magna, spinster; S. Glover,
of Rayley; R. Clerk, of Much Holland,
mariner; W. Munt, of Much Bentley, sawyer; Marg. Field,
of Ramsey, spinster; R.
Bongeor, currier; R. Jolley, mariner;
Allen Simpson, Helen Ewire, C. Pepper, widow; Alice
Walley (who recanted),
W. Bongeor, glazier, all of Colchester;
R. Atkin, of
R. Barcock, of Wilton, carpenter;
R. George, of Westbarhonlt,
R. Debnam of Debenham, weaver;
C. Warren, of Cocksall, spinster;
Whitlock, of Dover-court, spinster; Rose Allen, spinster; and
T. Feresannes, minor;
both of Colchester.
These persons were brought before bonner, who would have immediately sent them to execution, but cardinal pole was for more merciful measures, and bonner, in a letter of his to the cardinal, seems to be sensible that he had displeased him, for he has this expression: "I thought to have them all hither to Fulham, and to have given sentence against them; nevertheless, perceiving by my last doing that your grace was offended, I thought it my duty, before I proceeded further, to inform your grace."
circumstance verifies the account that the
cardinal was a humane man; and though
zealous catholic, we, as Protestants, are willing to render him that honor
which his merciful character deserves. Some of the bitter persecutors denounced
him to the
pope as a favorer of heretics, and he was summoned to Rome, but Queen
Mary, by particular entreaty, procured his stay. However, before his latter end,
and a little before his last journey from Rome to England, he was strongly
suspected of favoring the doctrine of Luther.
As in the last sacrifice four women did honor to
the truth, so in the following auto da fe we have the like number of females and
males, who suffered June 30, 1557, at Canterbury, and were
J. Fishcock, F.
White, N. Pardue, Barbary Final,
widow, Bardbridge's widow, Wilson's wife, and
Of this group we shall more particularly notice
Alice Benden, wife of Edward Bender, of Staplehurst, Kent. She had been taken up
in October, 1556, for non-attendance, and released upon a strong injunction to
mind her conduct. Her husband was a
bigoted catholic, and publicly speaking of
his wife's contumacy, she was conveyed to Canterbury Castle, where knowing, when
she should be removed to the bishop's prison, she should be almost starved upon
three farthings a day, she endeavored to prepare herself for this suffering by
living upon two-pence and a half-penny per day.
On January 22, 1557, her husband wrote to the
bishop that if his wife's brother, Roger Hall, were to be kept from consoling
and relieving her, she might turn; on this account, she was moved to a prison
monday's hole. Her brother sought diligently for her, and at the end of
five weeks providentially heard her voice in the dungeon, but could not
otherwise relieve her, than by putting some money in a loaf, and sticking it on a
long pole. Dreadful must have been the situation of this poor victim, lying on
straw, between stone walls, without a change of apparel, or the meanest
requisites of cleanliness, during a period of nine weeks!
On March 25 she was summoned before the bishop, who, with rewards, offered her liberty if she would go home and be comfortable; but Mrs. Benden had been inured to suffering, and, showing him her contracted limbs and emaciated appearance, refused to swerve from the truth. She was however removed from this black hole to the West Gate, whence, about the end of April, she was taken out to be condemned, and then committed to the castle prison until the nineteenth of June, the day of her burning.
At the stake, she
gave her handkerchief to one John Banks, as a memorial; and from her waist she
drew a white lace, desiring him to give it to her brother, and tell him that it
was the last band that had bound her, except the chain; and to her father she
returned a shilling he had sent her.
The whole of these seven martyrs undressed
themselves with alacrity, and, being prepared, knelt down, and prayed with an
earnestness and Christian spirit that even the enemies of the cross were
affected. After invocation made together, they were secured to the stake, and,
being encompassed with the unsparing flames, they yielded their souls into the
hands of the living Lord.
a weaver, and a sincere and shrewd
Christian, of Stone, Kent, was brought before
thomas, bishop of Dover, and other
inquisitors, whom he ingeniously teased by his indirect answers, of which the
following is a specimen.
Harpsfield. Christ called the bread His body;
what dost thou say it is?
Plaise. I do believe it was that which He gave
Dr. H. What as that?
P. That which He brake.
Dr. H. What did He brake?
P. That which He took.
Dr. H. What did He take?
P. I say, what He gave them, that did they eat
Dr. H. Well, then, thou
Say it was but bread
which the disciples did eat.
P. I say, what He gave them, that did they eat
A very long disputation followed, in which
was desired to humble himself to the bishop; but this he refused. Whether this
zealous person died in prison, was executed, or delivered, history does not
Rev. John Hullier was brought up at Eton College, and in process of time became curate of Babram, three miles from Cambridge, and went afterward to Lynn; where, opposing the superstition of the papists, he was carried before dr. thirlby, bishop of Ely, and sent to Cambridge castle: here he lay for a time, and was then sent to Tolbooth prison, where, after three months, he was brought to St. Mary's Church, and condemned by dr. fuller.
Thursday he was brought to the stake: while undressing, he told the people to
bear witness that he was about to suffer in a just cause, and exhorted them to
believe that there was no other rock than Jesus Christ to build upon. A priest
boyes, then desired the mayor to silence him. After praying, he went
meekly to the stake, and being bound with a chain, and placed in a pitch barrel,
fire was applied to the reeds and wood; but the wind drove the fire directly to
his back, which caused him under the severe agony to pray the more fervently.
His friends directed the executioner to fire the pile to windward of his face,
which was immediately done.
A quantity of books were now thrown into the fire,
one of which (the Communion Service) he caught, opened it, and joyfully
continued to read it, until the fire and smoke deprived him of sight; then even,
in earnest prayer, he pressed the book to his heart, thanking God for bestowing
on him in his last moments this precious gift.
The day being hot, the fire burnt fiercely; and at
a time when the spectators supposed he was no more, he suddenly exclaimed,
"Lord Jesus, receive my spirit," and meekly resigned his life. He was
burnt on Jesus Green, not far from Jesus College. He had gunpowder given him,
but he was dead before it became ignited. This pious sufferer afforded a
singular spectacle; for his flesh was so burnt from the bones, which continued
erect, that he presented the idea of a skeleton figure chained to the stake. His
remains were eagerly seized by the multitude, and venerated by all who admired
his piety or detested
In the following month of July,
Simon Miller and Elizabeth Cooper received the crown
of martyrdom. Miller dwelt at Lynn, and came to Norwich, where he planted himself
at the door of one of the churches, and as the people came out, he requested to know
of them where he could go to receive the Communion. For this a priest brought
dr. dunning, who committed him to ward; but he was suffered to go
home, and arrange his affairs; after which he returned to the bishop's house,
and to his prison, where he remained until the thirteenth of July, the day of
Elizabeth Coope, wife of a pewter, of St. Andrews, Norwich, had recanted; but tortured for what she had done by the worm which died not, she shortly after voluntarily entered her parish church during the time of the popish service, and standing up, audibly proclaimed that she revoked her former recantation, and cautioned the people to avoid her unworthy example.
She was taken from her own house by
mr. sutton the sheriff, who very
reluctantly complied with the letter of the law, as they had been servants and
in friendship together. At the stake, the poor sufferer, feeling the fire,
uttered the cry of "Oh!" upon which
Mr. Miller, putting his hand
behind him towards her, desired her to be of a good courage, "for (said he)
good sister, we shall have a joyful and a sweet supper." Encouraged by this
example and exhortation, she stood the fiery ordeal without flinching, and, with
him, proved the power of faith over the flesh.
It was before mentioned that twenty-two persons had been sent up from Colchester, who upon a slight submission, were afterward released. Of these, William Munt, of Much Bentley, husbandman, with Alice, his wife, and Rose Allin, her daughter, upon their return home, abstained from church, which induced the bigoted priest secretly to write to bonner. For a short time they absconded, but returning again, March 7, one Edmund tyrrel, (a relation of the tyrrel who murdered King Edward V and his brother) with the officers, entered the house while Munt and his wife were in bed, and informed them that they must go to Colchester Castle.
Mrs. Munt at that time being very ill, requested her daughter to get her some drink; leave being permitted, Rose took a candle and a mug; and in returning through the house was met by tyrrel, who cautioned her to advise her parents to become good catholics. Rose briefly informed him that they had the Holy Ghost for their adviser; and that she was ready to lay down her own life for the same cause. Turning to his company, he remarked that she was willing to burn; and one of them told him to prove her, and see what she would do by and by.
The unfeeling wretch immediately executed
this project; and, seizing the young woman by the wrist, he held the lighted
candle under her hand, burning it crosswise on the back, until the tendons
divided from the flesh, during which he loaded her with many opprobrious
epithets. She endured his rage unmoved, and then, when he had ceased the
torture, she asked him to begin at her feet or head, for he need not fear that
his employer would one day repay him. After this she took the drink to her
This cruel act of torture does not stand alone on
Eagles, tailor, was indicted for having
prayed that 'God would turn Queen Mary's heart, or take her away'; the
ostensible cause of his death was his religion, for treason could hardly be
imagined in praying for the reformation of such an execrable soul as that of
Mary. Being condemned for this crime, he was drawn to the place of execution
upon a sledge, with two robbers, who were executed with him. After Eagles had
mounted the ladder, and been turned off a short time, he was cut down before he
was at all insensible; a bailiff, named
william swallow, then dragged him to the
sledge, and with a common blunt cleaver, hacked off the head; in a manner
equally clumsy and cruel, he opened his body and tore out the heart.
In all this suffering the poor martyr repined not,
but to the last called upon his Savior. The fury of these bigots did not end
here; the intestines were burnt, and the body was quartered, the four parts
being sent to Colchester, Harwich, Chelmsford, and St. Rouse's. Chelmsford had
the honor of retaining his head, which was affixed to a long pole in the market
place. In time it was blown down, and lay several days in the street, until it
was buried at night in the churchyard.
God's judgment not long after fell upon
swallow, who in his old age became a beggar, and who was affected with a leprosy
that made him obnoxious even to the animal creation; nor did
richard potts, who
troubled Eagles in his dying moments, escape the visiting hand of God.
This lady was the wife of Mr. T. Lewes, of Manchester. She had received the romish religion as true, until the burning of that pious martyr, Mr. Saunders, at Coventry. Understanding that his death arose from a refusal to receive the mass, she began to inquire into the ground of his refusal, and her conscience, as it began to be enlightened, became restless and alarmed.
In this inquietude, she resorted to Mr. John Glover, who lived near, and requested that he would unfold those rich sources of Gospel knowledge he possessed, particularly upon the subject of transubstantiation. He easily succeeded in convincing her that the mummery of popery and the mass were at variance with God's most holy Word, and honestly reproved her for following too much the vanities of a wicked world.
It was to her indeed a word in season, for
she soon became weary of her former sinful life and resolved to abandon the
and diabolical worship. Though compelled by her husband's violence to go to
church, her contempt of the holy water and other ceremonies was so manifest,
that she was accused before the bishop for despising the sacraments.
A citation, addressed to her, immediately followed,
which was given to
mr. Lewes, who, in a fit of passion, held a dagger to the
throat of the officer, and made him eat it, after which he caused him to drink
it down, and then sent him away. But for this the bishop summoned Mr. Lewes
before him as well as
his wife; the former readily submitted, but the latter
resolutely affirmed, that, in refusing holy water, she neither offended God, nor
any part of his laws. She was sent home for a month, her husband being bound for
her appearance, during which time
Mr. Glover impressed upon her the necessity of
doing what she did, not from self-vanity, but for the honor and glory of God.
Mr. Glover and others earnestly exhorted
forfeit the money he was bound in, rather than subject his wife to certain
death; but he was deaf to the voice of humanity, and delivered her over to the
bishop, who soon found sufficient cause to consign her to a loathsome prison,
whence she was several times brought for examination. At the last time the
bishop reasoned with her upon the fitness of her coming to mass, and receiving
as sacred the Sacrament and sacramentals of the Holy Ghost.
things were in the Word of God," said Mrs. Lewes, "I would with all my
heart receive, believe, and esteem them."
the bishop, with the most
ignorant and impious effrontery, replied, "If thou wilt believe no more
than what is warranted by Scriptures, thou art in a state of damnation!"
Astonished at such a declaration, this worthy sufferer ably rejoined that his
as impure as they were profane.
After condemnation, she lay twelve months in prison, the sheriff not being willing to put her to death in his time, though he had been but just chosen. When her death warrant came from London, she sent for some friends, whom she consulted in what manner her death might be more glorious to the name of God, and injurious to the cause of God's enemies. Smilingly, she said: "As for death, I think but lightly of. When I know that I shall behold the amiable countenance of Christ my dear Savior, the ugly face of death does not much trouble me."
The evening before she suffered, two priests
were anxious to visit her, but she refused both their confession and absolution,
when she could hold a better communication with the High Priest of souls. About
three o'clock in the morning, Satan began to shoot his fiery darts, by putting
into her mind to doubt whether she was chosen to eternal life, and Christ died
for her. Her friends readily pointed out to her those consolatory passages of
Scripture which comfort the fainting heart, and treat of the Redeemer who takes
away the sins of the world.
About eight o'clock the sheriff announced to her that she had but an hour to live; she was at first cast down, but this soon passed away, and she thanked God that her life was about to be devoted to His service. The sheriff granted permission for two friends to accompany her to the stake-an indulgence for which he was afterward severely handled.
Mr. Reniger and
Mr. Bernher led her to the place of execution some distance away, and for her weakness, and the pressure of the people, she had nearly
fainted. Three times she prayed fervently that God would deliver the land from
popery and the idolatrous mass; and the people for the most part, as well as the
sheriff, said Amen.
When she had prayed, she took the cup, (which had
been filled with water to refresh her,) and said, "I drink to all them that
un-feignedly love the Gospel of Christ, and wish for the abolition of
popery." Her friends, and a great many women of the place, drank with her,
for which most of them afterward were enjoined penance.
When chained to the stake, her countenance was
cheerful, and the roses of her cheeks were not abated. Her hands were extended
towards heaven until the fire rendered them powerless, when her soul was
received into the arms of the Creator. The duration of her agony was but short,
as the under-sheriff, at the request of her friends, had prepared such excellent
fuel that she was in a few minutes overwhelmed with smoke and flame. The case of
this lady drew a tear of pity from everyone who had a heart not callous to
About the seventeenth of September,
the following four professors of Christ: Ralph Allerton, James Austoo,
Margery Austoo, and Richard Roth suffered at
James Austoo and his wife, of St. Allhallows,
Barking, London, were sentenced for not believing in the presence. Richard Roth
rejected the seven Sacraments, and was accused of comforting the heretics by the
following letter written in his own blood, and intended to have been sent to his
friends at Colchester:
"O dear Brethren and Sisters,
"How much reason have you to rejoice in
God, that He hath given you such faith to overcome this bloodthirsty tyrant thus
far! And no doubt He that hath begun that good work in you, will fulfill it unto
the end. O dear hearts in Christ, what a crown of glory shall ye receive with
Christ in the kingdom of God! O that it had been the good will of God that I had
been ready to have gone with you; for I lie in my lord's Little-ease by day, and
in the night I lie in the Coalhouse, apart from Ralph Allerton, or any other;
and we look every day when we shall be condemned; for he said that I should be
burned within ten days before Easter; but I lie still at the pool's brink, and
every man goes in before me; but we abide patiently the Lord's leisure, with
many bonds, in fetters and stocks, by which we have received great joy of God.
And now fare you well, dear brethren and sisters, in this world, but I trust to
see you in the heavens face to face.
"O brother Munt, with your wife and my
sister Rose, how blessed are you in the Lord, that God hath found you worthy to
suffer for His sake! with all the rest of my dear brethren and sisters known and
unknown. O be joyful even unto death. Fear it not, saith Christ, for I have
overcome death. O dear heart, seeing that Jesus Christ will be our help, O tarry
you the Lord's leisure. Be strong, let your hearts be of good comfort, and wait
you still for the Lord. He is at hand. Yea, the angel of the Lord pitches his
tent round about them that fear him, and delivers them which way he sees
best. For our lives are in the Lord's hands; and they can do nothing unto us
before God suffer them. Therefore give all thanks to God.
"O dear hearts, you shall be clothed in
long white garments upon the mount of Sion, with the multitude of saints, and
with Jesus Christ our Savior, who will never forsake us. O blessed virgins, ye
have played the wise virgins' part, in that ye have taken oil in your lamps that
ye may go in with the Bridegroom, when he cometh, into the everlasting joy with
Him. But as for the foolish, they shall be shut out, because they made not
themselves ready to suffer with Christ, neither go about to take up His cross. O
dear hearts, how precious shall your death be in the sight of the Lord! for dear
is the death of His saints. O fare you well, and pray. The grace of our Lord
Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen, Amen. Pray, pray, pray!
"Written by me, with my own blood,
This letter, so justly denominating
"bloodthirsty tyrant," was not likely to excite his compassion.
accused him of bringing them to secret examination by night, because he was
afraid of the people by day. Resisting every temptation to recant, he was
condemned, and on September 17, 1557, these four martyrs perished at Islington,
for the testimony of the Lamb, who was slain that they might be of the redeemed
Noyes, a shoemaker, of Laxfield, Suffolk, was
taken to Eye, and at midnight, September 21, 1557, he was brought from Eye to
Laxfield to be burned. On the following morning he was led to the stake,
prepared for the horrid sacrifice.
Mr. Noyes, on coming to the fatal spot, knelt
down, prayed, and rehearsed the Fiftieth Psalm. When the chain enveloped him, he
said, "Fear not them that kill the body, but fear him that can kill both
body and soul, and cast it into everlasting fire!" As one cadman placed a
fagot against him, he blessed the hour in which he was born to die for the
truth; and while trusting only upon the all-sufficient merits of the Redeemer,
fire was set to the pile, and the blazing fagots in a short time stifled his
last words, "Lord, have mercy on me! Christ, have mercy upon me!" The
ashes of the body were buried in a pit, and with them one of his feet, whole to
the ankle, with the stocking on.
This young martyr, aged twenty-two, was the
Mr. Edmund Ormes, weaver of St. Lawrence, Norwich. At the death of
Miller and Elizabeth Cooper, before mentioned, she had said that she would
pledge them of the same cup they drank of. For these words she was brought to
the chancellor, who would have discharged her upon promising to go to church, and
to keep her belief to herself. As she would not consent to this, the chancellor
urged that he had shown more lenity to her than any other person, and was
unwilling to condemn her, because she was an ignorant foolish woman; to this she
replied, (perhaps with more shrewdness than he expected,) that however great his
desire might be to spare her sinful flesh, it could not equal her inclination to
surrender it up in so great a quarrel. The chancellor then pronounced the fiery
sentence, and September 23, 1557, she was brought to the stake, at eight o'clock
in the morning.
After declaring her faith to the people, she laid
her hand on the stake, and said,
"Welcome, thou cross of Christ." Her
hand was soothed in doing this, (for it was the same stake at which Miller and
Cooper were burnt,) and she at first wiped it; but directly after again welcomed
and embraced it as the "sweet cross of Christ." After the tormentors
had kindled the fire, she said, "My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my
spirit doth rejoice in God my Savior." Then crossing her hands upon her
breast, and looking upwards with the utmost serenity, she stood the fiery
furnace. Her hands continued gradually to rise until the sinews were dried, and
then they fell. She uttered no sigh of pain,
but yielded her life, an emblem of
that celestial paradise in which is the presence of God, blessed forever.
It might be contended that this martyr voluntarily
sought her own death, as the chancellor scarcely exacted any other penance of
her than to keep her belief to herself; yet it should seem in this instance as
if God had chosen her to be a shining light, for a twelve-month before she was
taken, she had recanted; but she was wretched until the chancellor was informed,
by letter, that she repented of her recantation from the bottom of her heart. As
if to compensate for her former apostasy, and to convince
the catholics that she
meant to more to compromise for her personal security, she boldly refused his
friendly offer of permitting her to temporize. Her courage in such a cause
deserves commendation-the cause of Him who has said,
"Whoever is ashamed of
me on earth, of such will I be ashamed in heaven."
This pious martyr was a Scotchman. At the age of seventeen, he entered himself as one of the order of Black Friars, at Sterling, in Scotland. He had been kept out of an inheritance by his friends, and he took this step in revenge for their conduct to him. After being there sixteen years, Lord Hamilton, earl of Arran, taking a liking to him, the archbishop of St. Andrew's induced the provincial of the house to dispense with his habit and order; and he thus became the earl's chaplain.
He remained in this spiritual
employment a year, and in that time God wrought in him a saving knowledge of the
truth; for which reason the earl sent him to preach in the freedom of Ayr, where
he remained four years; but finding danger there from the religious complexion
of the times, and learning that there was much Gospel freedom in England, he
traveled up to the duke of Somerset, then Lord Protector of England, who gave
him a yearly salary of twenty pounds, and authorized him, to preach at Carlisle,
Berwick, and Newcastle, where he married. He was afterward removed to a benefice
at Hull, in which he remained until the death of Edward VI.
In consequence of the tide of persecution then
setting in, he fled with his wife to Friesland, and at Nordon they followed the
occupation of knitting hose, caps, etc., for subsistence. Impeded in his
business by the want of yarn, he came over to England to procure a quantity, and
on November 10, arrived in London, where he soon heard of a secret society of
the faithful, to whom he joined himself, and was in a short time elected their
minister, in which occupation he strengthened them in every good resolution.
On December 12, through the information of one
Taylor, a member of the society,
Mr. Rough, with Cuthbert Symson and others, was
taken up in the Saracen's Head, Islington, where, under the pretext of coming to
see a play, their religious exercises were held. The queen's vice-chamberlain
conducted Rough and Symson before the Council, in whose presence they were
charged with meeting to celebrate the Communion. The Council wrote to
he lost no time in this affair of blood. In three days he had him up, and on the
next (the twentieth) resolved to condemn him. The charges laid against him were,
that he, being a priest, was married, and that he had rejected the service in
the Latin tongue.
Rough wanted not arguments to reply to these flimsy tenets. In
short, he was degraded and condemned.
Mr. Rough, it should be noticed, when in the north, in Edward VI's reign, had saved dv. watson's life, who afterward sat with bishop bonner on the bench. This ungrateful prelate, in return for the kind act he had received, boldly accused Mr. Rough of being the most pernicious heretic in the country. The godly minister reproved him for his malicious spirit; he affirmed that, during the thirty years he had lived, he had never bowed the knee to baal; and that twice at rome he had seen the pope born about on men's shoulders with the false-named Sacrament carried before him, presenting a true picture of the very Antichrist; yet was more reverence shown to him than to the wafer, which they accounted to be their God.
bonner, rising, and making
towards him, as if he would have torn his garment, "Hast thou been at
and seen our
holy father the pope, and dost thou blaspheme him after this
sort?" This said, he fell upon him, tore off a piece of his beard, and that
the day might begin to his own satisfaction, he ordered the object of his rage
to be burnt by half-past five the following morning.
Few professors of Christ possessed more activity
and zeal than this excellent person. He not only labored to preserve his friends
from the contagion of
popery, but he labored to guard them against the terrors
of persecution. He was deacon of the little congregation over which
presided as minister.
has written an account of his own
sufferings, which he cannot detail better than in his own words:
"On the thirteenth of December, 1557, I was
committed by the Council to the Tower of London. On the following Thursday, I
was called into the ward-room, before the constable of the Tower, and the
recorder of London, Mr. Cholmly, who commanded me to inform them of the names of
those who came to the English service. I answered that I would declare nothing;
in consequence of my refusal, I was set upon a rack of iron, as I judge for the
space of three hours!
After being unbound, I was carried back to my
lodging. The Sunday after I was brought to the same place again, before the
lieutenant and recorder of London, and they examined me. As I had answered
before, so I answered now. Then the lieutenant swore by God I should tell; after
which my two forefingers were bound together, and a small arrow placed between
them, they drew it through so fast that the blood followed, and the arrow brake.
"After enduring the rack twice again, I was
retaken to my lodging, and ten days after the lieutenant asked me if I would not
now confess that which they had before asked of me. I answered, that I had
already said as much as I would. Three weeks after I was sent to the priest,
where I was greatly assaulted, and at whose hand I received the pope's curse,
for bearing witness of the resurrection of Christ. And thus I commend you to
God, and to the Word of His grace, with all those who unfeigned call upon the
name of Jesus; desiring God of His endless mercy, through the merits of His dear
Son Jesus Christ, to bring us all to His everlasting Kingdom, Amen. I praise God
for His great mercy shown upon us. Sing Hosanna to the Highest with me, Cuthbert
Symson. God forgive my sins! I ask forgiveness of all the world, and I forgive
all the world, and thus I leave the world, in the hope of a joyful
If this account be duly considered, what a picture
of repeated tortures does it present! But even the cruelty of the narration is
exceeded by the patient meekness with which it was endured. Here are no
expressions of malice, no invocations even of God's retributive justice, not a
complaint of suffering wrongfully! On the contrary, praise to God, forgiveness
of sin, and a forgiving all the world, concludes this unaffected interesting
bonner's admiration was excited by the steadfast
coolness of this martyr. Speaking of
Mr. Symson in the consistory, he said,
"You see what a personable man he is, and then of his patience, I affirm,
that, if he were not a heretic, he is a man of the greatest patience that ever
came before me. Thrice in one day has he been racked in the Tower; in my house
also he has felt sorrow, and yet never have I seen his patience broken."
The day before this pious deacon was to be
condemned, while in the stocks in the bishop's coal-house, he had the vision of
a glorified form, which much encouraged him. This he certainly attested to his
wife, to Mr. Austen, and others, before his death.
With this ornament of the Christian Reformation
Mr. Hugh Foxe and John Devinish; the three were brought before
bonner, March 19, 1558, and the
papistical articles tendered. They rejected
them, and were all condemned. As they worshipped together in the same society,
at Islington, so they suffered together in Smithfield, March 28; in whose death
the God of Grace was glorified, and true believers confirmed!
Were condemned by a bigoted vicar of
To the great surprise of the spectators, Hudson slipped from under his chains, and came forward. A great opinion prevailed that he was about to recant; others thought that he wanted further time. In the meantime, his companions at the stake urged every promise and exhortation to support him. The hopes of the enemies of the cross, however, were disappointed: the good man, far from fearing the smallest personal terror at the approaching pangs of death, was only alarmed that his Savior's face seemed to be hidden from him.
Falling upon his knees, his
spirit wrestled with God, and God verified the words of His Son, "Ask, and
it shall be given." The martyr rose in an ecstasy of joy, and exclaimed,
"Now, I thank God, I am strong! and care not what man can do to me!"
With an unruffled countenance he replaced himself under the chain, joined his
fellow-sufferers, and with them suffered death, to the comfort of the godly, and
the confusion of antichrist.
berry, not satisfied with this demonical act, summoned up two hundred persons in the town of Aylesham, whom he compelled to kneel to the cross at Pentecost, and inflicted other punishments. He struck a poor man for a trifling word, with a flail, which proved fatal to the unoffending object. He also gave a woman named Alice Oxes, so heavy a blow with his fist, as she met him entering the hall when he was in an ill-humor, that she died with the violence.
(berry) was rich, and possessed great authority; he
was a reprobate, and, like the priesthood, he abstained from marriage, to enjoy
the more a debauched and licentious life. The Sunday after the death of Queen
Mary, he was reveling with one of his concubines, before vespers; he then went
to church, administered baptism, and in his return to his lascivious pastime, he
was smitten by the hand of God. Without a moment given for repentance, he fell
to the ground, and a groan was the only articulation permitted him. In him we
may behold the difference between the end of a martyr and a persecutor.
field near Islington, a
company of decent persons had assembled, to the number of forty. While they were
religiously engaged in praying and expounding the Scripture, twenty-seven of
them were carried before dv roger
cholmly. Some of the women made their escape,
twenty-two were committed to Newgate, who continued in prison seven weeks.
Previous to their examination, they were informed by the keeper, Alexander, that
nothing more was requisite to procure their discharge, than to hear mass. Easy
as this condition may seem, these martyrs valued their purity of conscience more
than loss of life or property; hence, thirteen were burnt, seven in Smithfield,
and six at Brentford; two died in prison, and the other
providentially preserved. The names of the seven who suffered were, H. Pond, R.
Estland, R. Southain, M. Ricarby, J. Floyd, J. Holiday, and Roger Holland. They
were sent to Newgate, June 16, 1558, and executed on the twenty-seventh.
Roger Holland, a merchant-tailor of London,
was first an apprentice with one Master Kemption, at the Black Boy in Watling
Street, giving himself to dancing, fencing, gaming, banqueting, and wanton
company. He had received for his master certain money, to the sum of thirty
pounds; and lost every groat at dice. Therefore he purposed to convey himself
away beyond the seas, either into France or into Flanders.
With this resolution, he called early in the
morning on a discreet servant in the house, named Elizabeth, who professed the
Gospel, and lived a life that did honor to her profession. To her he revealed
the loss his folly had occasioned, regretted that he had not followed her
advice, and begged her to give his master a note of hand from him acknowledging
the debt, which he would repay if ever it were in his power; he also entreated
his disgraceful conduct might be kept secret, lest it would bring the gray hairs
to his father with sorrow to a premature grave.
The maid, with a generosity and Christian principle rarely surpassed, conscious that his imprudence might be his ruin, brought him the thirty pounds, which was part of a sum of money recently left her by legacy. "Here," said she, "is the sum requisite: you shall take the money, and I will keep the note; but expressly on this condition, that you abandon all lewd and vicious company; that you neither swear nor talk immodestly, and game no more; for, should I learn that you do, I will immediately show this note to your master.
I also require, that you shall promise me to attend the daily lecture at Allhallows, and the sermon at St. Paul's every Sunday; that you cast away all your books of popery, and in their place substitute the Testament and the Book of Service, and that you read the Scriptures with reverence and fear, calling upon God for his grace to direct you in his truth. Pray also fervently to God, to pardon your former offences, and not to remember the sins of your youth, and would you obtain his favor ever dread to break his laws or offend his majesty. So shall God have you in His keeping, and grant you your heart's desire." We must honor the memory of this excellent domestic, whose pious endeavors were equally directed to benefit the thoughtless youth in this life and that which is to come.
God did not suffer
the wish of this excellent domestic to be thrown upon a barren soil; within half
a year after the licentious
Holland became a zealous professor of the Gospel,
and was an instrument of conversion to his father and others whom he visited in
Lancashire, to their spiritual comfort and reformation from
His father, pleased with his change of conduct,
gave him forty pounds to commence business with in London.
After this he remained in the congregations of the
faithful, until, the last year of Queen Mary, he, with the six others aforesaid,
When this catholic hyena found that neither persuasions, threats, nor imprisonment, could produce any alteration in the mind of a youth named Thomas Hinshaw, he sent him to Fulham, and during the first night set him in the stocks, with no other allowance than bread and water. The following morning he came to see if this punishment had worked any change in his mind, and finding none, he sent dv. harpsfield, his archdeacon, to converse with him.
The doctor was soon out
of humor at his replies, calling him peevish boy, and
asked him if he thought he went about to damn his soul?
persuaded," said Thomas, "that you labor to promote the dark kingdom
of the devil, not for the love of the truth." These words the doctor
conveyed to the bishop, who, in a passion that almost prevented articulation,
Thomas, and said, "Dost thou answer my archdeacon thus, thou
naughty boy? But I'll soon handle thee well enough for it, be assured!" Two
willow twigs were then brought him, and causing the unresisting youth to kneel
against a long bench, in an arbor in his garden, he scourged him until he was
compelled to cease for want of breath and fatigue. One of the rods was worn
Many other conflicts did
Hinshaw undergo from the
bishop; who, at length, to remove him effectually, procured false witnesses to
lay articles against him, all of which the young man denied, and, in short,
refused to answer any interrogatories administered to him. A fortnight after
this, the young man was attacked by a burning ague, and at the request of his
master. Mr. Pugson, of St. Paul's church-yard, he was removed, the bishop not
doubting that he had given him his death in the natural way; he however remained
ill above a year, and in the mean time Queen Mary died, by which act of
providence he escaped
John Willes was another faithful person, on whom the scourging hand of bonner fell. He was the brother of Richard Willes, before mentioned, burnt at Brentford. Hinshaw and Willes were confined in bonner's coal house together, and afterward removed to Fulham, where he and Hinshaw remained during eight or ten days, in the stocks. bonner's persecuting spirit betrayed itself in his treatment of Willes during his examinations, often striking him on the head with a stick, seizing him by the ears, and filliping him under the chin, saying he held down his head like a thief.
This producing no signs of
recantation, he took him into his orchard, and in a small arbor there he flogged
him first with a willow rod, and then with birch, until he was exhausted. This
cruel ferocity arose from the answer of the poor sufferer, who, upon being asked
how long it was since he had crept to the cross, replied,
'Not since he had come
to years of discretion, nor would he, though he should be torn to pieces by wild
devil bonner then bade him make the sign of the cross on his forehead, which
he refused to do, and thus was led to the orchard.
One day, when in the stocks, bonner asked him how he liked his lodging and fare. "Well enough," said Willes, "might I have a little straw to sit or lie upon." Just at this time came in Willes' wife, then largely pregnant, and entreated the bishop for her husband, boldly declaring that she would be delivered in the house, if he were not suffered to go with her.
To get rid of the good wife's importunity, and the
trouble of a lying-in woman in his palace, he bade
Willes make the sign of the
cross, and say, In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti, Amen. Willes
omitted the sign, and repeated the words, "in the name of the Father, and
of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen."
bonner would have the words
repeated in Latin, to which
Willes made no objection, knowing the meaning of the
words. He was then permitted to go home with his wife, his kinsman Robert Rouze
being charged to bring him to St. Paul's the next day, whither he himself went,
and subscribing to a Latin instrument of little importance, was liberated. This
is the last of the twenty-two taken at Islington.
This devout aged person was curate to Dr. Taylor, at Hadley, and eminently qualified for his sacred function. Dr. Taylor left him the curacy at his departure, but no sooner had Mr. Newall gotten the benefice, than he removed Mr. Yeoman, and substituted a romish priest. After this he wandered from place to place, exhorting all men to stand faithfully to God's Word, earnestly to give themselves unto prayer, with patience to bear the cross now laid upon them for their trial, with boldness to confess the truth before their adversaries, and with an undoubted hope to wait for the crown and reward of eternal felicity.
But when he perceived his adversaries lay wait for him, he
went into Kent, and with a little packet of laces, pins, points, etc., he
traveled from village to village, selling such things, and in this manner
subsisted himself, his wife, and children.
At last Justice Moile, of Kent, took
and set him in the stocks a day and a night; but, having no evident matter to
charge him with, he let him go again. Coming secretly again to Hadley, he
tarried with his poor wife, who kept him privately, in a chamber of the town
house, commonly called the Guildhall, more than a year. During this time the
good old father abode in a chamber locked up all the day, spending his time in
devout prayer, in reading the Scriptures, and in carding the wool which his wife
spun. His wife also begged bread for herself and her children, by which
precarious means they supported themselves. Thus the saints of God sustained
hunger and misery, while the prophets of Baal lived in festivity, and were
costly pampered at Jezebel's table.
Information being at length given to Newall, that
Yeoman was secreted by his wife, he came, attended by the constables, and broke
into the room where the object of his search lay in bed with his wife. He
reproached the poor woman with being a whore, and would have indecently pulled
the clothes off, but
Yeoman resisted both this act of violence and the attack
upon his wife's character, adding that he defied the
pope and popery. He was
then taken out, and set in stocks until day.
In the cage also with him was an old man, named
John Dale, who had sat there three or four days, for exhorting the people during
the time service was performing by Newall and his curate. His words were,
"O miserable and blind guides, will ye ever be blind leaders of the blind?
Will ye never amend? Will ye never see the truth of God's Word? Will neither
God's threats nor promises enter into your hearts? Will the blood of the martyrs
nothing mollify your stony stomachs? O obdurate, hard-hearted, perverse, and
crooked generation! to whom nothing can do good."
These words he spake in fervency of spirit against
the superstitious religion of rome; wherefore Newall caused him forthwith to be
attached, and set in the stocks in a cage, where he was kept until Sir Henry
Doile, a justice, came to Hadley.
Yeoman was taken, the parson called earnestly
upon Sir Henry Doile to send them both to prison. Sir Henry Doile as earnestly
entreated the parson to consider the age of the men, and their mean condition;
they were neither persons of note nor preachers; wherefore he proposed to let
them be punished a day or two and to dismiss them, at least
John Dale, who was
no priest, and therefore, as he had so long sat in the cage, he thought it
punishment enough for this time. When the parson heard this, he was exceedingly
mad, and in a great rage called them pestilent heretics, unfit to live in the
commonwealth of Christians.
Sir Henry, fearing to appear too merciful, Yeoman and Dale were pinioned, bound like thieves with their legs under the horses' bellies, and carried to Bury jail, where they were laid in irons; and because they continually rebuked popery, they were carried into the lowest dungeon, where John Dale, through the jail-sickness and evil-keeping, died soon after: his body was thrown out, and buried in the fields.
He was a man of sixty-six
years of age, a weaver by occupation, well learned in the holy Scriptures,
steadfast in his confession of the true doctrines of Christ as set forth in King
Edward's time; for which he joyfully suffered prison and chains, and from this
worldly dungeon he departed in Christ to eternal glory, and the blessed paradise
of everlasting felicity.
Yeoman was removed to Norwich
prison, where, after strait and evil keeping, he was examined upon his faith and
religion, and required to submit himself to his
holy father the pope.
defy him, (said he), and all his detestable abomination: I will in no wise have
anything to do with him." Yeoman
continued steadfast in the truth, he was
condemned, degraded, and not only burnt, but most cruelly tormented in the fire.
Thus he ended this poor and miserable life, and entered into that blessed bosom
of Abraham, enjoying with Lazarus that rest which God has prepared for His
was a single gentleman, in the
diocese of Winchester. He might have lived a gentleman's life, in the wealthy
possessions of this world; but he chose rather to enter through the strait gate
of persecution to the heavenly possession of life in the Lord's Kingdom, than to
enjoy present pleasure with guilt of conscience. Manfully standing against
papists for the defense of the sincere doctrine of Christ's Gospel, he was
apprehended as an adversary to the
romish religion, and led for examination
bishop of Winchester, where he underwent several conflicts for the
truth against the bishop and his colleague; for which he was condemned, and some
time after brought to the place of martyrdom by Sir Richard Pecksal, sheriff.
When standing at the stake he began to untie his
points, and to prepare himself; then he gave his gown to the keeper, by way of
fee. His jerkin was trimmed with gold lace, which he gave to Sir Richard
Pecksal, the high sheriff. His cap of velvet he took from his head, and threw
away. Then lifting his mind to the Lord, he engaged in prayer.
When fastened to the stake,
dv. seaton begged him
to recant, and he should have his pardon; but when he saw that nothing availed,
he told the people not to pray for him unless he would recant, no more than they
would pray for a dog.
standing at the stake with his hands
together in such a manner as the priest holds his hands in his Memento,
dv. seaton came to him again, and exhorted him to recant, to whom he said,
"Away, Babylon, away!" One that stood by said, "Sir, cut his
another, a temporal man, railed at him worse than
When they saw he would not yield, they bade the tormentors to light the pile, before he was in any way covered with fagots. The fire first took away a piece of his beard, at which he did not shrink. Then it came on the other side and took his legs, and the nether stockings of his hose being leather, they made the fire pierce the sharper, so that the intolerable heat made him exclaim, "I recant!" and suddenly he trust the fire from him. Two or three of his friends being by, wished to save him; they stepped to the fire to help remove it, for which kindness they were sent to jail.
sheriff also of his own authority took him from the stake, and remitted him to
prison, for which he was sent to the Fleet, and lay there sometime. Before,
however, he was taken from the stake,
dv. Sseaton wrote articles for him to
subscribe to. To these
Mr. Benbridge made so many objections that
ordered them to set fire again to the pile. Then with much pain and grief of
heart he subscribed to them upon a man's back.
This done, his gown was given him again, and he was
led to prison. While there, he wrote a letter to
dv. seaton, recanting those
words he had spoken at the stake, and the articles which he had subscribed, for
he was grieved that he had ever signed them. The same day he was again
brought to the stake, where the vile tormentors rather broiled than burnt him.
The Lord give his enemies repentance!
From the number condemned in this fanatical reign, it is almost impossible to obtain the name of every martyr, or to embellish the history of all with anecdotes and exemplifications of Christian conduct. Thanks be to Providence, our cruel task begins to draw towards a conclusion, with the end of the reign of papal terror and bloodshed. Monarchs, who sit upon thrones possessed by hereditary right, should, of all others, consider that the laws of nature are the laws of God, and hence that the first law of nature is the preservation of their subjects.
Maxims of persecutions, of torture, and of death, should be left to those who have effected sovereignty by law or by sword; but where, except among a few miscreant emperors of rome, and the roman pontiffs, shall we find one whose memory is so "damned to everlasting fame" as that of queen mary? Nations bewail the hour which separates them forever from a beloved governor, but, with respect to that of mary, it was the most blessed time of her whole reign.
Heaven has ordained three great scourges
for national sins-plague, pestilence, and famine. It was the will of God in
mary's reign to bring a fourth upon this kingdom, under the form of
persecution. It was sharp, but glorious; the fire which consumed the martyrs
popedom; and the
Catholic states, at present the most bigoted and
unenlightened, are those which are sunk lowest in the scale of moral dignity and
political consequence. May they remain so, until the pure light of the Gospel
shall dissipate the darkness of fanaticism and superstition! But to return.
Mrs. Prest for some time lived about Cornwall, where she had a husband and children, whose bigotry compelled her to frequent the abominations of the church of rome. Resolving to act as her conscience dictated, she quitted them, and made a living by spinning. After some time, returning home, she was accused by her neighbors, and brought to Exeter, to be examined before dv. troubleville, and his chancellor blackston. As this martyr was accounted of inferior intellect, we shall put her in competition with the bishop, and let the reader judge which had the most of that knowledge conducive to everlasting life.
The bishop bringing the question to issue, respecting the
bread and wine being flesh and blood,
Mrs. Prest said,
"I will demand of
you whether you can deny your creed, which says, that Christ doth perpetually
sit at the right hand of His Father, both body and soul, until He comes again; or
whether He be there in heaven our Advocate, and to make prayer for us unto God
His Father? If He be so, He is not here on earth in a piece of bread.
And if He be
not here, and if He do not dwell in temples made with hands, but in heaven, (in)
what shall we seek Him here? If He did not offer His body once for all, why
make you a new offering? If with one offering He made all perfect, why do you
with a false offering make all imperfect? If He is to be worshipped in spirit
and in truth, why do you worship a piece of bread? If He be eaten and drank in
faith and truth, if His flesh be not profitable to be among us, why do you say
you make His flesh and blood, and say it is profitable for body and soul? Alas!
I am a poor woman, but rather than to do as you do, I would live no longer.
So I speak Sir."
Bishop. I promise you, you are a jolly Protestant.
I pray you in what school have you been brought up?
Prest. I have upon the Sundays visited the
sermons, and there have I learned such things as are so fixed in my breast, that
death shall not separate them.
B. O foolish woman, who will waste his breath upon
thee, or such as thou art? But how come that thou went away from thy
husband? If thou were an honest woman, thou wouldst not have left thy husband
and children, and run about the country like a fugitive.
Mrs. P. Sir, I labored for my
living; and as my
Master Christ counsels me, when I was persecuted in one city, I fled into
B. Who persecuted thee?
Mrs. P. My husband and my children. For when I
would have them to leave idolatry, and to worship God in heaven, he would not
hear me, but with his children he rebuked me, and troubled me. I fled not for
whoredom, nor for theft, but because I would be a partaker with him and of
that foul idol of his, the mass; and wherever I was, as often as I could, upon Sundays
and holydays. I made excuses not to go to the popish
You then are a good housewife, to fly
from your husband to the Church.
Mrs. P. My housewifery is but small; but God gave
me grace to go to the true Church.
B. The true Church, what dost thou mean?
Mrs. P. Not your
popish church, full of idols and abominations, but where two or three are gathered together in the name of God,
to that Church will I go as long as I live.
You then have a church of your own. Well,
let this mad woman be put down to prison until we send for her husband.
Mrs. P. No, I have but one husband, who is here
already in this city, and in prison with me, from whom I will never depart.
Some persons that were present endeavored to convince the bishop that she was not in her right senses, thus she was permitted to depart. The keeper of the bishop's prisons took her into his house, where she either worked as a servant, or walked about the city, discoursing upon the Sacrament of the altar. Her husband was sent for to take her home, but this she refused while the cause of religion could be served.
She was too active to be idle, and her
conversation, simple as they affected to think her, excited the attention of
catholic priests and friars. They teased her with questions, until she
answered them angrily, and this excited a laugh at her warmth.
"Nay," said she, "you have more need
to weep than to laugh, and to be sorry that you were ever born, to be the
chaplains of that whore of babylon. I defy him and all his falsehood; and get
you away from me, you do but trouble my conscience. You would have me follow
your doings; I will first lose my life. I pray you depart."
"Why, thou foolish woman," said they,
"we come to thee for thy profit and soul's health." To which she
replied, "What profit can arises with you, to teach nothing but lies for
truth? How will you save your souls, when you preach nothing but lies, and destroy
do you prove that?" They said .
"Do you not destroy your souls, when you teach the people to worship idols, sticks, and stones, the works of men's hands? and to worship a false God of your own making of a piece of bread, and teach that the pope is God's vicar, and hath power to forgive sins? And that there is a purgatory, when God's Son hath by His passion purged all? And how will you make God a sacrifice, when Christ's body was a sacrifice once for all?
Do you not teach the people to number their sins in your ears, and say to them that they will be damned if they do not confess all; when God's Word saith, Who can number his sins? And do you not promise them trental's and dirges and masses for souls, and sell your prayers for money, and make them buy pardons, and to trust such foolish inventions of your imaginations?
Do you not altogether act against God? Do you not teach us to
pray upon beads, and to pray unto saints, and say they can pray for us? Do you
not make holy water and holy bread to fray devils? Do you not do a thousand more
abominations? And yet you say, that you have come for my profit, to save my
no, one hath saved me. Farewell to you together with your salvation."
During the liberty granted her by the bishop, before-mentioned, she went into St. Peter's Church, and there found a skilful Dutchman, who was affixing new noses to certain fine images which had been disfigured in King Edward's time; to whom she said, "What a madman you are, to make them new noses, when within a few days they shall all lose their heads?"
The Dutchman accused her and laid it hard to her charge. And she
said unto him, "You are accursed, and so are
your images." He then called
her a whore. "Nay," said she, "your images are whores, and you
are a whore-hunter; for does not God say, 'You go a whoring after strange gods,
figures of your own making? and thou are one of them.'" After this she was
ordered to be confined, and had no more liberty.
During the time of her imprisonment, many visited
her, some sent by the bishop, and some of their own will, among these was one
Daniel, a great preacher of the Gospel, in the days of King Edward, about
Cornwall and Devonshire, but who, through the grievous persecution he had
sustained, had fallen off. Earnestly did she exhort him to repent with Peter,
and to be more constant in his profession.
Mrs. Walter Rauley and Mr. William and John Kede,
persons of great respectability, bore ample testimony of her godly conversation,
declaring, that unless God were with her, it were impossible she could have so
ably defended the cause of Christ. Indeed, to sum up the character of this poor
woman, she united the serpent and the dove, abounding in the highest wisdom
joined to the greatest simplicity. She endured imprisonment, threatening,
taunts, and the vilest epithets, but nothing could induce her to swerve; her
heart was fixed; she had cast anchor; nor could all the wounds of persecution
remove her from the rock on which her hopes of felicity were built.
Such was her memory, that, without learning, she
could tell in what chapter any text of Scripture was contained: on account of
this singular property, one Gregory Basset, a rank papist, said she was
deranged, and talked as a parrot, wild without meaning. At length, having tried
every manner without effect to make her a nominal
catholic, they condemned
her. After this, one exhorted her to leave her opinions, and go home to her
family, as she was poor and illiterate. "True, (said she) though I am not
learned, I am content to be a witness of Christ's death, and I pray you make no
longer delay with me; for my heart is fixed, and I will never say otherwise, nor
turn to your superstitious doing."
To the disgrace of Mr. Blackston, treasurer of the
church, he would often send for this poor martyr from prison, to make sport for
him and a woman whom he kept; putting religious questions to her, and turning
her answers into ridicule. This done, he sent her back to her wretched dungeon,
while he battened upon the good things of this world.
There was perhaps something simply ludicrous in the
Mrs. Prest, as she was of a very short stature, thick set, and about
fifty-four years of age; but her countenance was cheerful and lively, as if
prepared for the day of her marriage with the Lamb. To mock at her form was an
indirect accusation of her Creator, who framed her after the fashion He liked
best, and gave her a mind that far excelled the transient endowments of
perishable flesh. When she was offered money, she rejected it, "because
(said she) I am going to a city where money bears no mastery, and while I am
here God has promised to feed me."
When sentence was read, condemning her to the
flames, she lifted up her voice and praised God, adding,
"This day have I
found that which I have long sought." When they tempted her to recant,
"That will I not, (said she) God forbid that I should lose the life
eternal, for this carnal and short life. I will never turn from my heavenly
husband to my earthly husband; from the fellowship of angels to mortal children;
and if my husband and children be faithful, then am I theirs. God is my father,
God is my mother, God is my sister, my brother, my kinsman; God is my friend,
Being delivered to the sheriff, she was led by the
officer to the place of execution, without the walls of Exeter, called
Sothenhey, where again the superstitious priests assaulted her. While they were
tying her to the stake, she continued earnestly to exclaim "God be merciful
to me, a sinner!" Patiently enduring the devouring conflagration, she was
consumed to ashes, and thus ended a life which in unshaken fidelity to the cause
of Christ, was not surpassed by that of any preceding martyr.
Mr. Sharpe, weaver of Bristol, was brought the ninth day of March, 1556, before dv. dalby, chancellor of the city of Bristol, and after examination concerning the Sacrament of the altar, was persuaded to recant; and on the twenty-ninth, he was enjoined to make his recantation in the parish church. But, scarcely had he publicly avowed his backsliding, before he felt in his conscience such a tormenting fiend, that he was unable to work at his occupation; hence, shortly after, one Sunday, he came into the parish church, called Temple, and after high Mass, stood up in the choir door, and said with a loud voice,
"Neighbors, bear me record that yonder idol (pointing to
the altar) is the greatest and most abominable that ever was; and I am sorry
that ever I denied my Lord God!" Notwithstanding the constables were
ordered to apprehend him, he was suffered to go out of the church; but at night
he was apprehended and carried to Newgate. Shortly after, before the chancellor,
denying the Sacrament of the altar to be the body and blood of Christ, he was
condemned to be burned by
dv. dalby. He was burnt the seventh of May, 1558, and
died godly, patiently, and constantly, confessing the Protestant articles of
faith. With him suffered
Thomas Hale, shoemaker, of Bristol, who was condemned by
dv dalby. These martyrs were bound back to back.
Banion, a weaver, was burnt on August 27, of
the same year, and died for the sake of the evangelical cause of his Savior.
of Ashford; Alice Snoth, and Catharine Knight, an Aged Woman
With pleasure we have to record that these five
martyrs were the last who suffered in the reign of
mary for the sake of the
Protestant cause; but the malice of the
papists was conspicuous in hastening
their martyrdom, which might have been delayed until the event of the queen's
illness was decided. It is reported that the archdeacon of Canterbury, judging
that the sudden death of the queen would suspend the execution, traveled quickly
from London, to have the satisfaction of adding another page to the black list
of papistical sacrifices.
The articles against them were, as usual, the Sacramental elements and the idolatry of bending to images. They quoted St. John's words, "Beware of images!" and respecting the real presence, they urged according to St. Paul, "the things which are seen are temporal." When sentence was about to be read against them, and excommunication to take place in the regular form, John Corneford, illuminated by the Holy Spirit, awfully turned the latter proceeding against themselves, and in a solemn impressive manner, recriminated their excommunication in the following words:
"In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the most
mighty God, and by the power of His Holy Spirit, and the authority of His holy
Catholic and apostolic Church, we do here give into the hands of Satan to be
destroyed, the bodies of all those blasphemers and heretics that maintain any
error against His most holy Word, or do condemn His most holy truth for heresy,
to the maintenance of any false church or foreign religion, so that by this Thy
just judgment, O most mighty God, against Thy adversaries, Thy true religion may
be known to Thy great glory and our comfort and to the edifying of all our
nation. Good Lord, so be it. Amen."
This sentence was openly pronounced and registered,
and, as if Providence had awarded that it should not be delivered in vain, for within six days after, Queen Mary died,
chancellor, the bishop, and the queen,) detested by all good men and accursed of
Though acquainted with these circumstances, the archdeacon's implacability exceeded that of his great exemplary, bonner, who, though he had several persons at that time under his fiery grasp, did not urge their deaths hastily, by which delay he certainly afforded them an opportunity of escape.
At the queen's decease, many were in bonds: some just taken, some
examined, and others condemned. The writs indeed were issued for several
burnings, but by the death of the three instigators of Protestant murder-the
chancellor, the bishop, and the queen, who fell nearly together, the condemned
sheep were liberated, and lived many years to praise God for their happy
These five martyrs, when at the stake, earnestly
prayed that their blood might be the last shed, nor did they pray in vain. They
died gloriously, and perfected the number God had selected to bear witness of
the truth in this dreadful reign, whose names are recorded in the Book of Life;
though last, not least among the saints made meet for immortality through the
redeeming blood of the Lamb!
Finlay, alias Knight, was first converted
by her son's expounding the Scriptures to her, which wrought in her a perfect
work that terminated in martyrdom.
Alice Snoth at the stake sent for her
grandmother and godfather, and rehearsed to them the articles of her faith, and
the Commandments of God, thereby convincing the world that she knew her duty.
She died calling upon the spectators to bear witness that she was a Christian
woman, and suffered joyfully for the testimony of Christ's Gospel.
Among the numberless enormities committed by the merciless and unfeeling bonner, the murder of this innocent and unoffending child may be ranged as the most horrid. His father, John Fetty, of the parish of Clerkenwell, by trade a tailor, and only twenty-four years of age, had made blessed election; he was fixed secure in eternal hope, and depended on Him who so builds His Church that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
But alas! the very wife of his bosom, whose heart was hardened against the truth, and whose mind was influenced by the teachers of false doctrine, became his accuser. brokenbery, a creature of the pope, and parson of the parish, received the information of this wedded Delilah, in consequence of which the poor man was apprehended.
But here the awful judgment of an ever-righteous God, who is "of purer eyes than to behold evil," fell upon this stone-hearted and perfidious woman; for no sooner was the injured husband captured by her wicked contriving, than she also was suddenly seized with madness, and exhibited an awful and awakening instance of God's power to punish the evil-doer.
dreadful circumstance had some effect upon the hearts of the ungodly hunters who
had eagerly grasped their prey; but, in a relenting moment, they suffered him to
remain with his unworthy wife, to return her good for evil, and to comfort two
children, who, on his being sent to prison, would have been left without a
protector, or have become a burden to the parish. As bad men act from little
motives, we may place the indulgence shown him to the latter account.
We have noticed in the former part of our
narratives of the martyrs, some whose affection would have led them even to
sacrifice their own lives, to preserve their husbands; but here, agreeable to
Scripture language, a mother proves, indeed, a monster in nature! Neither
conjugal nor maternal affection could impress the heart of this
Although our afflicted Christian had experienced so much cruelty and falsehood from the woman who was bound to him by every tie both human and divine, yet, with a mild and forbearing spirit, he overlooked her misdeeds, during her calamity endeavoring all he could to procure relief for her malady, and soothed her by every possible expression of tenderness: thus she became in a few weeks nearly restored to her senses.
But, alas! she returned again to her sin, "as a dog returns to his vomit." Malice against the saints of the Most High was seated in her heart too firmly to be removed; and as her strength returned, her inclination to work wickedness returned with it. Her heart was hardened by the prince of darkness; and to her may be applied these afflicting and soul-harrowing words, "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil."
Weighing this text duly with another, "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy," how shall we presume to refine away the sovereignty of God by arraigning Jehovah at the bar of human reason, which, in religious matters, is too often opposed by infinite wisdom? "Broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat. Narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it."
ways of heaven are indeed inscrutable, and it is our bound duty to walk ever
dependent on God, looking up to Him with humble confidence, and hope in His
goodness, and ever confess His justice; and where we "cannot unravel, there
learn to trust." This wretched woman, pursuing the horrid dictates of a
heart hardened and depraved, was scarcely confirmed in her recovery, when,
stifling the dictates of honor, gratitude, and every natural affection, she
again accused her husband, who was once more apprehended, and taken before Sir
John Mordant, knight, and one of Queen Mary's commissioners.
Upon examination, his judge finding him fixed in
opinions which militated against those nursed by superstition and maintained by
cruelty, he was sentenced to confinement and torture in Lollard's Tower. Here he
was put into the painful stocks, and had a dish of water set by him, with a
stone put into it, to what purpose God knows except it were to show that he
should look for little other subsistence: which is credible enough, if we
consider their like practices upon divers before mentioned in this history; as,
among others, upon
Richard Smith, who died through their cruel imprisonment
touching whom, when a godly woman came to
dv. story to have leave she might bury
him, he asked her if he had any straw or blood in his mouth; but what he means
thereby, I leave to the judgment of the wise.
On the first day of the third week of our martyr's sufferings, an object (his son) presented itself to his view, which made him indeed feel his tortures with all their force, and to execrate, with bitterness only short of cursing, the author of his misery. For it remains with the Most High to mark and punish the proceedings of the tormentors, in whose sacred Word it is written, "Vengeance is mine; I will repay."
This object was his own son, a child of the tender age of eight years. because for fifteen days this hapless father had been suspended by his tormentor by the right arm and left leg, and sometimes by both, shifting his positions for the purpose of giving him strength to bear the sufferings, and to lengthen the time thereof . When the unoffending son applied to Bonner for permission to see and speak to his parent, the child was asked by the bishop's chaplain to the purpose of his errand, to which he replied that he wished to see his father.
said Who is thy father? John Fetty,
so the boy answered, at the same time pointing to the place where he
was confined. The interrogating miscreant
on this said, "Why, thy father is
a heretic!" The little champion then, with sufficient energy to
raise anyone's admiration, except that of the unfeeling miscreant, eager to execute the behests of a
remorseless queen, replied; "My father is no heretic: for you have Balaam's mark."
the reproach so aptly applied,
indignant and mortified priest (devils vermin) concealed his resentment for a moment, and took
the undaunted boy into the house, where having him secure, he presented him to
others, whose baseness and cruelty being equal to his own,
stripped him to
the skin, and applied their scourges to such a violent degree, that, fainting
beneath the stripes inflicted on his tender frame, and covered with the blood
that flowed from them, the victim of their ungodly wrath was ready to expire
under his heavy and unmerited punishment.
In this bleeding and helpless state, the suffering infant, covered only with his shirt, was taken to his father by one of the actors in the horrid tragedy, who, while he exhibited this heart-rending spectacle, made use of the vilest taunts, and exulted in what he had done.
The dutiful child, as if recovering strength at the sight of his father, on his knees implored his blessing. "Alas! Will," said the afflicted parent, in trembling amazement, "who hath done this to thee!" the artless innocent related the circumstances that led to the merciless correction which had been so basely inflicted on him; but when he repeated the reproof bestowed on the chaplain, and which was prompted by an undaunted spirit, he was torn from his weeping parent, and conveyed again to the house, where he remained a close prisoner.
bonner, somewhat fearful that what had been done could not be justified even among the bloodhounds of his own voracious pack, concluded in his dark and wicked mind, to release John Fetty, for a time at least, from the severities he was enduring in the glorious cause of everlasting truth! whose bright rewards are fixed beyond the boundaries of time, within the confines of eternity; where the arrow of the wicked cannot wound, even "where there shall be no more sorrowing for the blessed, who, in the mansion of eternal bliss shall glorify the Lamb forever and ever."
Accordingly by order of
(devil) bonner, (how disgraceful to all dignity, to say bishop!)
liberated from the painful bonds, and led from Lollard's Tower, to the chamber
of that ungodly and infamous butcher, where he found the
devils-bishop bathing himself
before a great fire; and at his first entering the chamber, Fetty said,
"God be here and peace!" "God be here and peace, (said bonner,)
that is neither God speed nor good morrow!" "If ye kick against this
peace, (said Fetty), then this is not the place that I seek for."
A chaplain of the bishop, standing by, turned the poor man about, and thinking to abase him, said mockingly, "What have we here-a player!" While Fetty was thus standing in the bishop's chamber, he saw hanging about the bishop's bed, a pair of great black beads, whereupon he said, "My Lord, I think the hangman is not far off: for the halter (pointing to the beads) is here already!" At which words the bishop was in a marvelous rage.
Then beholding a little crucifix in the window of the bishop's chamber, he asked the bishop what it was, and he answered, that it was Christ. "Was He handled as He is there pictured!" said Fetty. "Yea, that He was," said the bishop. "And even so cruelly will you handle such as come before you; for you are unto God's people as Caiaphas was unto Christ!"
bishop (devil), being in a great fury, said, "Thou art a vile heretic, and I will
burn thee, or else I will spend all I have, unto my gown." "Nay, my
Lord, (said Fetty) you do better to give it to some poor one, that he may
pray for you." bonner, notwithstanding his passion, which was raised to the
utmost by the calm and pointed remarks of this observing Christian, thought it
most prudent to dismiss the father, on account of the nearly murdered child.
coward soul trembled for the consequences which might ensue; fear is inseparable
from little minds; and this bastardly pampered priest experienced its effects so
far as to induce him to assume the appearance of that he was an utter stranger
to, namely, MERCY.
The father, on being dismissed, by the
tyrant bonner, went home with a heavy heart, with his dying child, who did not survive
many days after the cruelties which had been inflicted on him.
How contrary to the will of our great King and
Prophet, who mildly taught His followers, was the conduct of this sanguinary and
false teacher, this vile apostate from his God to Satan! But the archfiend had
taken entire possession of his heart, and guided every action of the sinner he
had hardened; who, given up to terrible destruction, was running the race of the
wicked, marking his footsteps with the blood of the saints, as if eager to
arrive at the goal of eternal death.
This eminent prelate, vice-chancellor of Cambridge,
at the request of the duke of Northumberland, when he came down to Cambridge in
support of Lady Jane Grey's claim to the throne, undertook at a few hours'
notice, to preach before the duke and the university. The text he took was such
as presented itself in opening the Bible, and a more appropriate one he could
not have chosen, namely, the three last verses of Joshua. As God gave him the
text, so He gave him also such order and utterance that it excited the most
lively emotions in his numerous auditors. The sermon was about to be sent to
London to be printed, when news arrived that the duke had returned and Queen
Mary was proclaimed.
The duke was immediately arrested, and Dr. Sands was compelled by the university to give up his office. He was arrested by the queen's order, and when Mr. Mildmay wondered that so learned a man could willfully incur danger, and speak against so good a princess as Mary, the doctor replied, "If I would do as Mr. Mildmay has done, I need not fear bonds. He came down armed against Queen Mary; before a traitor-now a great friend. I cannot with one mouth blow hot and cold in this manner."
A general plunder of
Sands' property ensued, and he was brought to London upon a wretched horse.
Various insults he met on the way from the
bigoted catholics, and as he passed
through Bishopsgate-street, a stone struck him to the ground. He was the first
prisoner that entered the Tower, in that day, on a religious account; his man
was admitted with his Bible, but his shirts and other articles were taken from
On Mary's coronation day the doors of the dungeon
were so laxly guarded that it was easy to escape. A Mr. Mitchell, like a true
friend, came to him, afforded him his own clothes as a disguise, and was willing
to abide the consequence of being found in his place. This was a rare
friendship: but he refused the offer; saying, "I know no cause why I should
be in prison. To do thus were to make myself guilty. I will expect God's good
will, yet do I think myself much obliged to you"; and so Mr. Mitchell
Doctor Sands was imprisoned
Mr. Bradford; they
were kept close in prison twenty-nine weeks. John Fowler, their keeper, was a
perverse papist, yet, by often persuading him, at length he began to favor the
Gospel, and was so persuaded in the true religion, that on a Sunday, when they
had Mass in the chapel,
Dr. Sands administered the Communion to Bradford and to
Fowler. Thus Fowler was their son begotten in bonds. To make room for Wyat and
his accomplices, Dr. Sands and nine other preachers were sent to the Marshalsea.
The keeper of the Marshalsea appointed to every preacher a man to lead him in the street; he caused them to go on before, and he and Dr. Sands followed conversing together. By this time popery began to be unsavory. After they had passed the bridge, the keeper said to Dr. Sands: "I perceive the vain people would set you forward to the fire. You are as vain as they, if you, being a young man, will stand in your own conceit, and prefer your own judgment before that of so many worthy prelates, ancient, learned, and grave men as be in this realm. If you do so, you shall find me a severe keeper, and one that utterly dislikes your religion."
answered, "I know my years to be young, and my learning but small; it is
enough to know Christ crucified, and he hath learned nothing who sees not the
great blasphemy that is in
popery. I will yield unto God, and not unto man; I
have read in the Scriptures of many godly and courteous keepers: may God make
you one! if not, I trust He will give me strength and patience to bear your hard
usage." Then said the keeper, "Are you resolved to stand to your
religion?" "Yes," said the doctor, "by God's grace!"
"Truly," said the keeper, "I love you the better for it; I did
but tempt you: what favor I can show you, you shall be assured of; and I shall
think myself happy if I might die at the stake with you."
He was as good as his word, for he trusted the
doctor to walk in the fields alone, where he met with Mr. Bradford, who was also
a prisoner in the King's Bench, and had found the same favor from his keeper. At
his request, he put Mr. Saunders in along with him, to be his bedfellow, and the
Communion was administered to a great number of communicants.
When Wyat with his army came to Southwark, he
offered to liberate all the imprisoned Protestants, but
Dr. Sands and the rest
of the preachers refused to accept freedom on such terms.
Dr. Sands had been nine weeks prisoner in the
Marshalsea, by the mediation of Sir Thomas Holcroft, knight marshal, he was set
at liberty. Though Mr. Holcroft had the queen's warrant, the bishop commanded
him not to set Dr. Sands at liberty, until he had taken sureties of two
gentlemen with him, each one bound by 500, that Dr. Sands should not depart
out of the realm without license. Mr. Holcroft immediately met with two
gentlemen of the north, friends and cousins to Dr. Sands, who offered to put up
the surety for him.
After dinner, the same day, Sir Thomas Holcroft
sent for Dr. Sands to his lodgings at Westminster, to
communicate to him all he had done.
Sands to his lodgings at Westminster, to communicate to him all he had done.Dr. Sands answered: "I give God thanks, who hath moved your heart to mind me so well, that I think myself most bound unto you. God shall requite you, nor shall I ever be found unthankful. But as you have dealt friendly with me, I will also deal plainly with you. I came a freeman into prison; I will not go forth a bondman. As I cannot benefit my friends, so will I not hurt them. And if I be set at liberty, I will not tarry six days in this realm, if I can get out. If therefore I may not go freely forth, send me to the Marshalsea again, and there you shall be sure of me."
Mr. Holcroft much disapproved
of this answer; but
like a true friend he replied: "Seeing you cannot be altered, I will change
my purpose, and yield unto you. Come what will of it , I will set you at liberty;
and seeing you have a mind to go over seas, go as quickly as you can. One
thing I require of you, that, while you are there, you write nothing to me here, for this may undo me."
Dr. Sands having taken an affectionate farewell of
him and his other friends in bonds then departed. He went by Winchester house, and
there took boat, and came to a friend's house in London, called William Banks,
and tarried there one night. The next night he went to another friend's house,
and there he heard that a strict search was out for him, by Gardiner's express
Dr. Sands now conveyed himself by night to one Mr.
Berty's house, a stranger who was in the Marshalsea prison with him a while; he
was a good Protestant and dwelt in Mark-lane. There he was six days, and then
removed to one of his acquaintances in Cornhill; he caused his man Quinton to
provide two geldings for him, resolved on the morrow to ride into Essex, to Mr.
Sands, father-in-law, where his wife was, which, after a narrow escape, he
effected. He had not been there two hours before Mr. Sands was told that two of
the guards would that night apprehend Dr. Sands.
That night Dr. Sands was guided to an honest
farmer's near the sea, where he tarried two days and two nights in a chamber
without company. After that he removed to one James Mower's, a shipmaster, who
dwelt at Milton-Shore, where he waited for a wind to Flanders. While he was
there, James Mower brought to him forty or fifty mariners, to whom he gave an
exhortation; they liked him so well that they promised to die rather than he
should be apprehended.
The sixth of May, Sunday, the wind served. In
taking leave of his hostess, who had been married eight years without having a
child, he gave her a fine handkerchief and an old royal of gold, and said,
"Be of good comfort; before one whole year be past, God shall give you
a child, a boy." This came to pass, for, that day twelve-month short of one
day, God gave her a son.
Scarcely had he arrived at Antwerp, when he learned
that King Philip had sent to apprehend him. He next flew to Augsburg, in
Cleveland, where Dr. Sands tarried fourteen days, and then traveled towards
Strassburg, where, after he had lived one year, his wife came to him. He was
sick of a flu nine months, and had a child which died of the plague. His
amiable wife at length fell into a consumption, and died in his arms. When his
wife was dead, he went to Zurich, and there was in Peter Martyr's house for the
space of five weeks.
As they sat at dinner one day, word was suddenly
brought that Queen Mary was dead, and Dr. Sands was sent for by his friends at
Strassburg, where he preached. Mr. Grindal and he came over to England, and
arrived in London the same day that Queen Elizabeth was crowned. This faithful
servant of Christ, under Queen Elizabeth, rose to the highest distinction in the
Church, being successively bishop of Worcester, bishop of London, and archbishop
The preservation of Princess Elizabeth may be reckoned a remarkable instance of the watchful eye which Christ had over His Church. The bigotry of Mary regarded not the ties of consanguinity, of natural affection, of national succession. Her mind, physically morose, was under the dominion of men who possessed not the milk of human kindness, and whose principles were sanctioned and enjoined by the idolatrous tenets of the romish pontiff. Could they have foreseen the short date of Mary's reign, they would have imbrued their hands in the Protestant blood of Elizabeth, and, as a sine qua non of the queen's salvation, have compelled her to bequeath the kingdom to some catholic prince.
The contest might have been attended with the horrors
incidental to a religious civil war, and calamities might have been felt in
England similar to those under Henry the Great in France, whom Queen Elizabeth
assisted in opposing his priest-ridden catholic subjects. As if Providence had
the perpetual establishment of the Protestant faith in view, the difference of
the duration of the two reigns is worthy of notice. Mary might have reigned many
years in the course of nature, but the course of grace willed it otherwise. Five
years and four months was the time of persecution allotted to this weak,
disgraceful reign, while that of Elizabeth reckoned a number of years among the
highest of those who have sat on the English throne, almost nine times that of
her merciless sister!
Before Mary attained the crown, she treated
Elizabeth with a sisterly kindness, but from that period her conduct was
altered, and the most imperious distance substituted. Though Elizabeth had no
concern in the rebellion of Sir Thomas Wyat, yet she was apprehended, and
treated as a culprit in that commotion. The manner too of her arrest was similar
to the mind that dictated it: the three cabinet members, whom she deputed to see
the arrest executed, rudely entered the chamber at ten o'clock at night, and,
though she was extremely ill, they could scarcely be induced to let her remain
until the following morning. Her enfeebled state permitted her to be moved only
by short stages in a journey of such length to London; but the princess, though
afflicted in person, had a consolation in mind which her sister never could
purchase: the people, through whom she passed on her way pitied her, and put up
their prayers for her preservation.
Arriving at court, she was made a close prisoner for
a fortnight, without knowing who was her accuser, or seeing anyone who could
console or advise her. The charge, however, was at length unmasked by Gardiner,
who, with nineteen of the Council, accused her of abetting Wyatt's conspiracy,
which she religiously affirmed to be false. Failing in this, they placed against
her the transactions of Sir Peter Carew in the west, in which they were as
unsuccessful as in the former. The queen now signified that it was her pleasure
she should be committed to the Tower, a step which overwhelmed the princess with
the greatest alarm and uneasiness. In vain she hoped the queen's majesty would
not commit her to such a place; but there was no lenity to be expected; her
attendants were limited, and a hundred northern soldiers appointed to guard her
day and night.
On Palm Sunday she was conducted to the Tower. When
she came to the palace garden, she cast her eyes towards the windows, eagerly
anxious to meet those of the queen, but she was disappointed. A strict order was
given in London that every one should go to church, and carry palms, that she
might be conveyed without clamor or commiseration to her prison.
At the time of passing under London Bridge the fall
of the tide made it very dangerous, and the barge some time stuck fast against
the starlings. To mortify her the more, she was landed at Traitors' Stairs. As
it rained hard, and she was obliged to step in the water to land, she hesitated;
but this excited no complaisance in the lord in waiting. When she set her foot
on the steps, she exclaimed, "Here lands as true a subject, being prisoner,
as ever landed at these stairs; and before Thee, O God, I speak it, having no
friend but Thee alone!"
A large number of the wardens and servants of the
Tower were arranged in order between whom the princess had to pass. Upon
inquiring the use of this parade, she was informed it was customary to do so.
"If," said she, "it is on account of me, I beseech you that they
may be dismissed." On this the poor men knelt down, and prayed that God
would preserve her grace, for which they were the next day turned out of their
employments. The tragic scene must have been deeply interesting, to see an
amiable and irreproachable princess sent like a lamb to languish in expectation
of cruelty and death; against whom there was no other charge than her
superiority in Christian virtues and acquired endowments. Her attendants openly
wept as she proceeded with a dignified step to the frowning battlements of her
destination. "Alas!" said Elizabeth, "what do you mean? I took
you to comfort, not to dismay me; for my truth is such that no one shall have
cause to weep for me."
The next step of her enemies was to procure
evidence by means which, in the present day, are accounted detestable. Many poor
prisoners were racked, to extract, if possible, any matters of accusation which
might affect her life, and thereby gratify Gardiner's sanguinary disposition. He
himself came to examine her, respecting her removal from her house at Ashbridge
to Dunnington castle a long while before. The princess had quite forgotten this
trivial circumstance, and Lord Arundel, after the investigation, kneeling down,
apologized for having troubled her in such a frivolous matter. "You sift me
narrowly," replied the princess, "but of this I am assured, that God
has appointed a limit to your proceedings; and so God forgive you all."
Her own gentlemen, who ought to have been her
purveyors, and served her provision, were compelled to give place to the common
soldiers, at the command of the constable of the Tower, who was in every respect
a servile tool of Gardiner; her grace's friends, however, procured an order of
Council which regulated this petty tyranny more to her satisfaction.
After having been a whole month in close
confinement, she sent for the lord chamberlain and Lord Chandois, to whom she
represented the ill state of her health from a want of proper air and exercise.
Application being made to the Council, Elizabeth was with some difficulty
admitted to walk in the queen's lodgings, and afterwards in the garden, at which
time the prisoners on that side were attended by their keepers, and not suffered
to look down upon her. Their jealousy was excited by a child of four years, who
daily brought flowers to the princess. The child was threatened with a whipping,
and the father ordered to keep him from the princess's chambers.
On the fifth of May the constable was discharged
from his office, and Sir Henry Benifield appointed in his room, accompanied by a
hundred ruffian-looking soldiers in blue. This measure created considerable
alarm in the mind of the princess, who imagined it was preparatory to her
undergoing the same fate as Lady Jane Grey, upon the same block. Assured that
this project was not in agitation, she entertained an idea that the new keeper
of the Tower was commissioned to make away with her privately, as his equivocal
character was in conformity with the ferocious inclination of those by whom he
A report now obtained that her Grace was to be
taken away by the new constable and his soldiers, which in the sequel proved to
be true. An order of Council was made for her removal to the manor Woodstock,
which took place on Trinity Sunday, May 13, under the authority of Sir Henry
Benifield and Lord Tame. The ostensible cause of her removal was to make room
for other prisoners. Richmond was the first place they stopped at, and here the
princess slept, not however without much alarm at first, as her own servants
were superseded by the soldiers, who were placed as guards at her chamber door.
Upon representation, Lord Tame overruled this indecent stretch of power, and
granted her perfect safety while under his custody.
In passing through Windsor, she saw several of her
poor dejected servants waiting to see her. "Go to them," said she, to
one of her attendants, "and say these words from me, tanquim ovis, that is,
like a sheep to the slaughter."
The next night her Grace lodged at the house of a
Mr. Dormer, in her way to which the people manifested such tokens of loyal
affection that Sir Henry was indignant, and bestowed on them very liberally the
names of rebels and traitors. In some villages they rang the bells for joy,
imagining the princess's arrival among them was from a very different cause; but
this harmless demonstration of gladness was sufficient with the persecuting
Benifield to order his soldiers to seize and set these humble persons in the
The day following, her Grace arrived at Lord Tame's
house, where she stayed all night, and was most nobly entertained. This excited
Sir Henry's indignation, and made him caution Lord Tame to look well to his
proceedings; but the humanity of Lord Tame was not to be frightened, and he
returned a suitable reply. At another time, this official prodigal, to show his
consequence and disregard of good manners, went up into a chamber, where was
appointed for her Grace a chair, two cushions, and a foot carpet, wherein he
presumptuously sat and called his man to pull off his boots. As soon as it was
known to the ladies and gentlemen they laughed him to scorn. When supper was
done, he called to his lordship, and directed that all gentlemen and ladies
should withdraw home, marveling much that he would permit such a large company,
considering the great charge he had committed to him. "Sir Henry,"
said his lordship, "content yourself; all shall be avoided, your men and
all." "Nay, but my soldiers," replied Sir Henry, "shall
watch all night." Lord Tame answered, "There is no need."
"Well," said he, "need or need not, they shall so do."
The next day her Grace took her journey from thence
to Woodstock, where she was enclosed, as before in the Tower of London, the
soldiers keeping guard within and without the walls, every day, to the number of
sixty; and in the night, without the walls were forty during all the time of her
At length she was permitted to walk in the gardens,
but under the most severe restrictions, Sir Henry keeping the keys himself, and
placing her always under many bolts and locks, whence she was induced to call
him her jailer, at which he felt offended, and begged her to substitute the word
officer. After much earnest entreaty to the Council, she obtained permission to
write to the queen; but the jailer who brought her pen, ink, and paper stood by
her while she wrote, and, when she left off, he carried the things away until
they were wanted again. He also insisted upon carrying it himself to the queen,
but Elizabeth would not suffer him to be the bearer, and it was presented by one
of her gentlemen.
After the letter, Doctors Owen and Wendy went to
the princess, as the state of her health rendered medical assistance necessary.
They stayed with her five or six days, in which time she grew much better; they
then returned to the queen, and spoke flatteringly of the princess' submission
and humility, at which the queen seemed moved; but the bishops wanted a
concession that she had offended her majesty. Elizabeth spurned this indirect
mode of acknowledging herself guilty. "If I have offended," said she,
"and am guilty, I crave no mercy but the law, which I am certain I should
have had ere this, if anything could have been proved against me. I wish I were
as clear from the peril of my enemies; then should I not be thus bolted and
locked up within walls and doors."
Much question arose at this time respecting the
propriety of uniting the princess to some foreigner, that she might quit the
realm with a suitable portion. One of the Council had the brutality to urge the
necessity of beheading her, if the king (Philip) meant to keep the realm in
peace; but the Spaniards, detesting such a base thought, replied, "God
forbid that our king and master should consent to such an infamous
proceeding!" Stimulated by a noble principle, the Spaniards from this time
repeatedly urged to the king that it would do him the highest honor to liberate
the Lady Elizabeth, nor was the king impervious to their solicitation. He took
her out of prison, and shortly after she was sent for to Hampton court. It may
be remarked in this place, that the fallacy of human reasoning is shown in every
moment. The barbarian who suggested the policy of beheading Elizabeth little
contemplated the change of condition which his speech would bring about. In her
journey from Woodstock, Benifield treated her with the same severity as before;
removing her on a stormy day, and not suffering her old servant, who had come to
Colnbrook, where she slept, to speak to her.
She remained a fortnight strictly guarded and watched, before anyone dared to speak with her; at length the vile Gardiner with three more of the Council, came with great submission. Elizabeth saluted them, remarked that she had been for a long time kept in solitary confinement, and begged they would intercede with the king and queen to deliver her from prison. Gardiner's visit was to draw from the princess a confession of her guilt; but she was guarded against his subtlety, adding, that, rather than admit she had done wrong, she would lie in prison all the rest of her life.
The next day
Gardiner came again, and kneeling down, declared that the queen was astonished
she would persist in affirming that she was blameless-whence it would be
inferred that the queen had unjustly imprisoned her grace. Gardiner further
informed her that the queen had declared that she must tell another tale, before
she could be set at liberty. "Then," replied the high-minded
Elizabeth, "I had rather be in prison with honesty and truth, than have my
liberty, and be suspected by her majesty. What I have said, I will stand to; nor
will I ever speak falsehood!" The bishop and his friends then departed,
leaving her locked up as before.
Seven days after the queen sent for Elizabeth at
ten o'clock at night; two years had elapsed since they had seen each other. It
created terror in the mind of the princess, who, at setting out, desired her
gentlemen and ladies to pray for her, as her return to them again was uncertain.
Being conducted to the queen's bedchamber, upon
entering it the princess knelt down, and having begged of God to preserve her
majesty, she humbly assured her that her majesty had not a more loyal subject in
the realm, whatever reports might be circulated to the contrary. With a haughty
ungraciousness, the imperious queen replied: "You will not confess your
offence, but stand stoutly to your truth. I pray God it may so fall out."
"If it do not," said Elizabeth, "I
request neither favor nor pardon at your majesty's hands."
"Well," said the queen, "you stiffly still persevere in your
truth. Besides, you will not confess that you have not been wrongfully
"I must not say so, if it please your majesty,
"Why, then," said the queen, "be
you will to others."
"No, if it please your majesty: I have borne
the burden, and must bear it. I humbly beseech your majesty to have a good
opinion of me and to think me to be your subject, not only from the beginning
hitherto, but for ever, as long as life lasted." They departed without any
heartfelt satisfaction on either side; nor can we think the conduct of Elizabeth
displayed that independence and fortitude which accompanies perfect innocence.
Elizabeth's admitting that she would not say, neither to the queen nor to
others, that she had been unjustly punished, was in direct contradiction to what
she had told Gardiner, and must have arisen from some motive at this time
inexplicable. King Philip is supposed to have been secretly concealed during the
interview, and to have been friendly to the princess.
In seven days from the time of her return to
imprisonment, her severe jailer and his men were discharged, and she was set at
liberty, under the constraint of being always attended and watched by some of
the queen's Council. Four of her gentlemen were sent to the Tower without any
other charge against them than being zealous servants of their mistress. This
event was soon after followed by the
happy news of Gardiner's death, for which
all good and merciful men glorified God, inasmuch as it had taken the chief
tiger from the den, and rendered the life of the Protestant successor of Mary
This miscreant, while the princess was in the
Tower, sent a secret writ, signed by a few of the Council, for her private
execution, and, had Mr. Bridges, lieutenant of the Tower, been as little
scrupulous of dark assassination as this pious prelate was, she must have
perished. The warrant not having the queen's signature, Mr. Bridges hastened to
her majesty to give her information of it, and to know her mind. This was a plot
of Winchester's, who, to convict her of treasonable practices, caused several
prisoners to be racked; particularly Mr. Edmund Tremaine and Smithwicke were
offered considerable bribes to accuse the guiltless princess.
Her life was several times in danger. While at
Woodstock, fire was apparently put between the boards and ceiling under which
she lay. It was also reported strongly that one Paul Penny, the keeper of
Woodstock, a notorious ruffian, was appointed to assassinate her, but, however
this might be, God counteracted in this point the nefarious designs of the
enemies of the Reformation. James Basset was another appointed to perform the
same deed: he was a peculiar favorite of Gardiner, and had come within a mile of
Woodstock, intending to speak with Benifield on the subject. The goodness of God
however so ordered it that while Basset was traveling to Woodstock, Benifield,
by an order of Council, was going to London: in consequence of which, he left a
positive order with his brother, that no man should be admitted to the princess
during his absence, not even with a note from the queen; his brother met the
murderer, but the latter's intention was frustrated, as no admission could be
When Elizabeth quitted Woodstock, she left the
following lines written with her diamond on the window:
Much suspected by me,
Nothing proved can be. Quoth Elizabeth,
With the life of Winchester ceased the extreme
danger of the princess, as many of her other secret enemies soon after followed
him, and, last of all, her cruel sister, who outlived Gardiner but three years.
The death of Mary was ascribed to several causes.
The Council endeavored to console her in her last moments, imagining it was the
absence of her husband that lay heavy at her heart, but though his treatment had
some weight, the loss of Calais, the last fortress possessed by the English in
France, was the true source of her sorrow. "Open my heart," said Mary,
"when I am dead, and you shall find Calas written there." Religion
caused her no alarm; the priests had lulled to rest every misgiving of
conscience, which might have obstructed, on account of the accusing spirits of the
murdered martyrs. Not the blood she had spilled, but the loss of a town excited
her emotions in dying, and this last stroke seemed to be awarded, that her
fanatical persecution might be paralleled by her political imbecility.
We earnestly pray that the annals of no country,
catholic or pagan, may ever be stained with such a repetition of human
papal power, and that the detestation in which the
Mary is held, may be a beacon to succeeding monarchs to avoid the rocks of
arch-persecutor, gardiner, was dead,
others followed, of whom
dv. morgan, bishop of St. David's, who succeeded Bishop
Farrar, is to be noticed. Not long after he was installed in his bishop, he
was stricken by the visitation of God; his food passed through the throat, but
rose again with great violence. In this manner, almost literally starved to
death, he terminated his existence.
thornton, suffrage of Dover, was an
indefatigable persecutor of the true Church. One day after he had exercised his
cruel tyranny upon a number of pious persons at Canterbury, he came from the
chapter-house to Borne, where as he stood on a Sunday looking at his men playing
at bowls, he fell down in a fit of the palsy, and did not long survive.
After the latter, succeeded another bishop or
suffrage, ordained by
gardiner, who not long after he had been raised to the
see of Dover, fell down a pair of stairs in the cardinal's chamber at Greenwich,
and broke his neck. He had just received the cardinal's blessing-he could
receive nothing worse.
cooper, of Watsam, Suffolk, suffered by
perjury; he was from private pique persecuted by one Fenning, who suborned two
others to swear that they heard Cooper say, 'If God did not take away Queen
Mary, the devil would.' Cooper denied all such words, but Cooper was a Protestant
and a heretic, and therefore he was hung, drawn and quartered, his property
confiscated, and his wife and nine children reduced to beggary. The following
Hitcham, one of the witnesses before mentioned,
was visited for his villainy: while at work, stacking up corn, his bowels
suddenly burst out, and before relief could be obtained, her died. Thus was
deliberate perjury rewarded by sudden death!
In the case of the martyr Mr. Bradford, the
severity of mr. sheriff woodroffe
sheriff woodroffehas been noticed-he rejoiced at the death of the saints, and at Mr. Rogers' execution, he broke the man's head, because he stopped the cart to let the martyr's children take a last farewell of him. Scarcely had mr. woodroffe's sheriff expired a week, when he was struck with a paralytic affection, and languished a few days in the most pitiable and helpless condition, presenting a striking contrast to his former activity in the cause of blood.
lardyn, who betrayed the martyr
Eagles, is believed to have been afterward arraigned and hanged in consequence
of accusing himself. At the bar, he denounced himself in these words: "This
has most justly fallen upon me, for betraying the innocent blood of that just
and good man
George Eagles, who was here condemned in the time of Queen Mary by
my procurement, when I sold his blood for a little money."
As James Abbes was going to execution, and exhorting the pitying bystanders to adhere steadfastly to the truth, and like him to seal the cause of Christ with their blood, a servant of the sheriff's interrupted him, and blasphemously called his religion heresy, and the good man a lunatic. Scarcely however had the flames reached the martyr, before the fearful stroke of God fell on the hardened wretch, in the presence of him he had so cruelly ridiculed.
The man was suddenly seized with lunacy, cast off his
clothes and shoes before the people, (as Abbes had done just before, to
distribute among some poor persons,) at the same time exclaiming, "Thus did
James Abbes, the true servant of God, who is saved
but I am damned."
Repeating this often, the sheriff had him secured, and made him put his clothes
on, but no sooner was he alone, than he tore them off, and exclaimed as before.
Being tied in a cart, he was conveyed to his master's house, and in about half a
year he died; just before which a priest came to attend him, with the crucifix,
etc., but the wretched man bade him take away such trumpery, and said that he
and other priests had been the cause of his damnation, but that
Abbes was saved.
clark, an avowed enemy of the Protestants in
King Edward's reign, hung himself in the Tower of London.
alexander, the severe keeper of Newgate, died
miserably, swelling to a prodigious size, and became so inwardly putrid, that
none could come near him. This cruel minister of the law would go to
bonner, story, and others, requesting them to rid his prison,
for he was so much pestered
with heretics! The son of this keeper, in three years after his father's death,
dissipated his great property, and died suddenly in Newgate market. "The
sins of the father," says the Decalogue, "shall be visited on the
john peter, son-in-law of alexander, a horrid blasphemer and
persecutor, died wretchedly. When he affirmed anything, he would say, "If
it be not true, I pray I may rot ere I die." This awful state visited him
in all its loathsomeness.
ralph ellerker was eagerly desirous to see the
heart taken out of
Adam Damlip, who was wrongfully put to death. Shortly after
dv ralph was slain by the French, who mangled him dreadfully, cut off his
limbs, and tore his heart out.
gardiner heard of the miserable end of
judge hales, he called the profession of the Gospel a doctrine of desperation; but he
forgot that the judge's despondency arose after he had consented to the
papist. But with more reason may this be said of the Catholic tenets, if we
consider the miserable end of
dv. pendleton, gardiner, and most of the leading
persecutors. Gardiner, upon his death bed, was reminded by a bishop of Peter
denying his master, "Ah," said
gardiner, "I have denied with
Peter, but never repented with Peter."
After the accession of Elizabeth, most of the
catholic prelates were imprisoned in the Tower or the Fleet; bonner was put into
Of the revilers of God's Word, we detail, among
many others, the following occurrence. One
william maldon, living at Greenwich
in servitude, was instructing himself profitably in reading an English primer
one winter's evening. A serving man, named John Powell, sat by, and ridiculed
all that Maldon said, who cautioned him not to make a jest of the Word of God.
Powell nevertheless continued, until Maldon came to certain English Prayers, and
read aloud, "Lord, have mercy upon us, Christ have mercy upon us,"
etc. Suddenly the reviler started, and exclaimed, "Lord, have mercy upon
us!" He was struck with the utmost terror of mind, said the evil spirit
could not abide that Christ should have any mercy upon him, and sunk into
madness. He was remitted to Bedlam, and became an awful warning that God will
not always be insulted with impunity.
smith, a student in the law, had a pious
Protestant father, of Camben, in Gloucestershire, by whom he was virtuously
educated. While studying law in the middle temple, he was induced to profess
Catholicism, and, going to Louvain, in France, he returned with pardons,
crucifixes, and a great freight of popish toys. Not content with these things,
he openly reviled the Gospel religion he had been brought up in; but conscience
one night reproached him so dreadfully, that in a fit of despair he hung himself
in his garters. He was buried in a lane, without the Christian service being
read over him.
story, whose name has been so often
the preceding pages, was reserved to be cut off by public execution, a practice
in which he had taken great delight when in power. He is supposed to have had a
hand in most of the conflagrations in Mary's time, and was even ingenious in his
invention of new modes of inflicting torture. When Elizabeth came to the throne,
he was committed to prison, but unaccountably effected his escape to the
continent, to carry fire and sword there among the Protestant brethren. From the
duke of Alva, at Antwerp, he received a special commission to search all ships
for contraband goods, and particularly for English heretical books.
dv. story gloried in a commission that was ordered by Providence to be his ruin, and to preserve the faithful from his sanguinary cruelty. It was contrived that one Parker, a merchant, should sail to Antwerp and information should be given to dv. story that he had a quantity of heretical books on board. The latter no sooner heard this, than he hastened to the vessel, sought everywhere above, and then went under the hatches, which were fastened down upon him.
A prosperous gale brought the ship to England, and this
traitorous, persecuting rebel was committed to prison, where he remained a
considerable time, obstinately objecting to recant his Anti-Christian spirit, or
admit of Queen Elizabeth's supremacy. He alleged, though by birth and education
an Englishman, that he was a sworn subject of the king of Spain, in whose
service the famous duke of Alva was. The doctor being condemned, was laid upon a
hurdle, and drawn from the Tower to Tyburn, where after being suspended about
half an hour, he was cut down, stripped, and the executioner displayed the heart
of a traitor.
Thus ended the existence of this Nimrod of England.