Foxe's Book of Martyrs
Containing the Examination and Martyrdom of Mr. Thomas Haukes and Mr. Thomas Watts; With Some Other Incidents of the Period.
While Gardiner and Bonner thirsted for the blood of living reformers, cardinal Pole, possessed of somewhat less cruelty but even greater superstition, directed his attention to every means of degrading the remains of those who were dead. By his order, the bones of Martin Bucer and Paulus Phagius, who had been nearly two years in their graves, were taken up and burned to ashes at Cambridge. And because he would shew some token of his diligence in this degrading work in both universities, he caused the remains of the wife of Peter Martyr, who had been buried in St. Mary's church-yard, to be dug up and cast on a dunghill!
Nor was the cardinal contented with thus treating the relics of distinguished persons; where the least public profession of the reformed opinions had appeared, he was anxious to follow it up with this disgraceful treatment of what remained of those who made it. Thus, because one Tooly, who had robbed a Spaniard and was executed for the crime at Charing-cross, read from a reformed book under the gallows, and spoke against the papal church before he suffered, he became an object of the cardinal's vengeance, who instigated the authorities to disturb the slumber of this unhappy man in his ignominious grave, and to burn the corpse of him whom they had omitted to consume before. To be sure he had been a sinner against the Romish church of no small degree; for not only had he robbed a countryman of king Philip, as he was called; but at his execution for the crime had said that, as he and his fellows had stolen through covetousness, so the bishop of Rome sold his masses and trentals from the same motives.
Mention has already been made of six men brought before bishop Bonner upon the 8th day of February, of which number was Thomas Haukes, who was condemned likewise with the other five on the 9th day of the foresaid month, though his execution was prolonged till the 10th of June following. As touching his education and order of life, first he was of the country of Essex, born of an honest stock, in calling and profession a courtier, brought up daintily from his childhood, and like a gentleman. He was a man of great comeliness and stature, well endued with excellent qualities; but his gentle behaviour and stature, well endued with excellent qualities; but his gentle behaviour towards others, and his fervent study and singular love unto true religion and godliness, did surmount all the rest.
Haukes following the fashion of the court, as he grew in years, entered into service with the lord of Oxford, with whom he remained a good space, being esteemed and loved by all the household, so long as Edward VI. lived. But he dying, all things began to go backward, religion to decay, true piety not only to wax cold, but also to be in danger every where, and chiefly in the houses of the great. Haukes misliking the state of things, and forsaking the nobleman's house, departed thence to his own home, where he might more freely give himself to God, and use his own conscience. Meanwhile he had born unto him a son, whose baptism was deferred to the third week, because he would not suffer him to be baptized after the papal manner. This his adversaries would not suffer, but laid hands upon him, brought him to the earl of Oxford, there to be reasoned with as not sound in religion, but seeming to contemn the sacraments of the church.
The earl, either intending not to trouble himself in such matters, or else himself not able to contend with him in such points of religion, sent him up to London with a messenger and the following letter to the bishop of London--"Most reverend father in God, be it known unto you that I have sent you Thomas Haukes of the county of Essex, who hath a child that hath remained unchristened more than three weeks; who being upon the same examined hath denied to have it baptized, as it is now used in the church, whereupon I have sent him to your good lordship, to use as you think best by your good discretion." Thus willing to clear his own hands, he put him in the hands of Bonner, bishop of London, who began to communicate with Mr. Haukes, first asking, what should move him to leave his child unchristened so long? To this he answered--"Because we are bound to do nothing contrary to the word of God. His institution I do not deny; but I deny all things invented and devised by man: your oil, your cream, your salt, your spittle, your candle, and your conjuring of water." Then the dialogue thus went on.
Bonner. Will you deny that which the whole world and your forefathers have been contented withal?
Haukes. What my fathers and all the world have done, I have nothing to do with: but what God hath commanded me to do, to that stand I.
Bonner. The catholic church hath taught it.
Haukes. What is the catholic church?
Bonner. It is the faithful congregation, wheresoever it be dispersed throughout the whole world.
Haukes. Who is the head thereof?
Bonner. Christ is the head thereof.
Haukes. Are we taught in Christ, or in the church now?
Bonner. Have you not read in the fourteenth of St. John where he said, He would send his comforter which should teach you all things?
Haukes. I grant you it is so, that he would send his comforter, but to what end? Forsooth to this end, that he should lead you into all truth and verity, and that is not to teach a new doctrine.
Bonner. Ah, sir, you are a right scripture man; for you will have nothing but the scripture. There are a great number of your countrymen of your opinion.
Mr. Haukes himself informs us that at this point of the dialogue the bishop sent for a preacher of Essex of the name of Baget. He knew and respected Mr. Haukes, and yet the bishop hoped to have influence enough over him to induce him to impeach his friend. At first he could not succeed; but after a little private conversation with Baget the conversation was thus resumed--
Bonner. How say you now unto baptism? Say whether it be to be frequented and used in the church, as it is now, or not?
Baget. Forsooth, my lord, I say it is good.
Bonner. Befool your heart, could you not have said so before? You have wounded this man's conscience. How say you now, sir, this man is turned and converted?
Haukes. I build not my faith upon this man, neither upon you but upon Christ Jesus only, who, as St. Paul saith, is the founder and author of all men's faith.
Bonner. I perceive you are a stubborn fellow; I must, therefore, go to work another way with you, to win you.
Haukes. Whatsoever you do, I am ready to suffer it; for I am in your hands to abide it.
Bonner. Well, you are so; come on your ways, shall go in, and I will use you christian-like: you shall have meat and drink, such as I have in my house: but in any wise talk not.
Haukes. I purpose to talk nothing but the word of God and truth.
Bonner. I will have no heresy talked of in my house.
Haukes. Why, is the truth become heresy? God hath commanded that we should have none other talk in our houses, in our beds, at our meat, and by the way, but all truth.
Bonner. If you will have my favour be ruled by my counsel.
Haukes. Then I trust you will grant me my request.
Bonner. What is that?
Haukes. That your doctors and servants give me no occasion: for if they do, I will surely utter my conscience.
Upon this the bishop commanded his men to take in Baget, that Haukes and he might not have an opportunity to talk together. And so thus they departed and went to dinner, dining at the servant's table. After dinner, the bishop's chaplains and his men began to talk with Mr. Haukes; and in the company there was one Darbyshire, principal of Broadgates, in Oxford, and the bishop's kinsman, who said that Haukes was too curious: "for ye will have," said he, "nothing but your little pretty God's book."
"And is not that sufficient for my salvation?" Haukes enquired. "Yes," said he, "it is sufficient for our salvation, but not for our instruction." At the time that they thus reasoned, Bonner came in; and after reproving Haukes for talking, they all went into his orchard again, when the bishop resumed the dialogue.
Bonner. Would not ye be contented that your child should be christened after the book that was set out by king Edward?
Haukes. Yes, with a good will: it is what I desire.
Bonner. I thought so: ye would have the same thing. The principal is in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and in the necessity it may serve. Will ye be content to tarry here, and your child shall be baptized, and you shall not know of it, so that you will agree to it?
Haukes. If I would so have done, I needed not to have come to you: for I had the same counsel given before.
Bonner. You seem to be a lusty young man; you will not give your head for the washing; you will stand in the defense of it for the honour of your country. Do ye think that the queen and I cannot command it to be done in spite of your teeth?
Haukes. What the queen and you can do I will not stand in it: but ye get my consent never the sooner.
Bonner. Well, you are a stubborn young man; I perceive I must work another way with you.
Haukes. Ye are in the hands of God, and so am I.
Bonner. Whatsoever you think, I will not have you speak such words unto me.
They departed until even-song time: and ere even-song was begun, my lord called Haukes unto the chapel, and said-"Haukes, thou art a proper young man, and God hath done his part unto thee; I would be glad to do thee good. Thou knowest that I am thy pastor, and one that should answer for thee. If I would not teach thee well I should answer for thy soul."
Haukes. That I have said, I will stand to it, God willing: there is no way to remove it.
Bonner. Nay, nay, Haukes, thou shalt not be so wilful. Remember Christ bade two go into his vineyard; the one said he would, and went not; the other said he would not, and went. Do thou likewise, and I will talk friendly with thee; how sayest thou? It is in the sixth of St. John--"I am the bread of life, and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. And whosoever eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life. My flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. And he that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him." Do ye believe this?
Haukes. Yea, I must needs believe the scriptures.
Bonner. Why, then I trust you be sound in the blessed sacrament.
Haukes. I beseech your lordship to feel my conscience no farther than in that which I was accused in unto you.
Bonner. Well, well, let us go unto even-song. Why will you not tarry even-song?
Haukes. Because I have no edifying thereby, for I understand no Latin. Bonner. Why, you may pray by yourself. What books have you?
Haukes. I have the New Testament, the book of Solomon, and Psalter.
Bonner. Then I pray you tarry here, and pray you on your Psalter.
Haukes. I will not pray in this place, nor in any such.
Then said one, "Let him go, my lord." So Bonner went to even-song; and within an hour after sent for Haukes into his chamber.
Bonner. You know of the talk that was between you and me, as concerning the sacrament. You would not have your conscience sought any farther, than in that you were accused of.
Haukes. I thought you would not be both mine accuser and judge.
Bonner. Well, you shall answer me to the sacrament of the altar, the sacrament of baptism, the sacrament of penance, and the sacrament of matrimony.
Haukes. There are none of these, but I dare speak my conscience in them.
Bonner. The sacrament of the altar you seem to be sound in.
Haukes. In the sacrament of the altar? Why, sir, I do not know it
Bonner. Well, we will make you to know it, and believe in it too before we have done with you.
Haukes. No, that shall ye never do. What God thinketh meet to be done, that shall ye do, and more ye shall not do. Bonner. Do you not believe that there remaineth in the blessed sacrament of the altar, after the words of consecration be spoken, no more bread, but the very body and blood of Christ? Why did not Christ say, "Take, eat, this is my body?"
Haukes. Christ said so: but therefore it followeth not that the sacrament of the altar is so as you teach, neither did Christ ever teach it so to be.
Bonner. Why, the catholic church taught it so, and they were of Christ's church.
Haukes. How prove you it? The apostles never taught it so. Neither St. Peter nor St. Paul ever taught it, nor instituted it so.
Bonner. Ah, sir, you will have no more than the scripture teacheth, but even as Christ hath left it bare.
Haukes. He that teacheth me any otherwise, I will not believe him.
Bonner. Why, then you must eat a lamb, if you will have but Christ's institution only.
Haukes. Nay, that is not so, for before Christ instituted the sacrament, that ceremony ceased, and then began the sacrament. Except you teach me by the word of God, I never will credit you, nor believe you.
And thus they concluded. The next day the bishop went to London, for Fecknam was made dean that day. Upon the Monday morning, very early, the bishop called for Haukes, having with him Harpsfield, archdeacon of London, to whom he said, "This is the man which I told you of, who would not have his child christened, nor will have any ceremonies."
Archdeacon. Christ used ceremonies. Did he not take clay from the ground, and took spittle, and made the blind man to see?
Haukes. That I well know; but Christ never used it in baptism. If ye will needs have it, put it to the use that Christ put it unto.
Archdeacon. Admit your child die unchristened, what a heavy case you stand in! Marry, then you are damned, and your child both. Do you not know that your child is born in original sin? and how is original sin washed away?
Haukes. By true faith and belief in Christ Jesus.
Archdeacon. How can your child, being an infant, believe?
Haukes. The deliverance of it from sin standeth in the faith of his parents. "The unbelieving man is sanctified by the believing woman, and the unbelieving woman is sanctified by the believing man, or else were your children unclean, but now are they holy."
Bonner. Recant, recant: do you not know that Christ said, "Except ye be baptised, ye cannot be saved?"
Haukes. I say as St. Peter saith, "Not the washing of water purgeth the filthiness of the flesh, but a good conscience consenting unto God."
Bonner. Let us make an end here. How say you to the mass?
Haukes. I say it is detestable, abominable, and unprofitable.
Bonner. What, nothing profitable in it? What say you to the epistle and gospel?
Haukes. It is good if it be used as Christ left it to be used.
Bonner. How say you to the Confiteor?
Haukes. I say it is abominable and detestable, yea, and a blasphemy against God, and his son Jesus Christ, to call upon any, to trust to any, or to pray to any, save only Christ Jesus.
Archdeacon. What books have you?
Haukes. The New Testament, Solomon's books, and the psalter.
Archdeacon. Will you read any other books?
Haukes. Yes, Latimer's books, my lord of Canterbury's book, Bradford's sermons, and Ridley's books.
Bonner. Away, away, he will have no books but such as maintain his heresies!
The next day came an old bishop, who had a pearl in his eye, and he brought with him unto my lord a dish of apples, and a bottle of wine. For he lost his living because he had a wife. Then the bishop called Mr. Haukes again unto the orchard, and said to the old bishop, "This young man hath a child, and will not have it christened."
Haukes. I deny not baptism.
Bonner. Thou art a fool; thou canst not tell what thou wouldst have.
Haukes. A bishop must be blameless, sober, discreet, no brawler, nor given to anger.
Bonner. Thou judgest me to be angry: no, by my faith I am not.
With that he struck himself upon the breast. Then the old bishop said to Mr. Haukes, "Alas, good young man, you must be taught by the church, and by your elders, and do as your forefathers have done before you."
Bonner. No, no, he will have nothing but the scriptures, and God knows, he doth not understand them. He will have no ceremonies in the church, no not one: what say you to holy water? The scriptures allow it? We prove it in the book of Kings, where Elisha threw salt into the water.
Haukes. You say truth, that it is written in the Kings, the children of the prophets came to Elisha, saying--"The dwelling of the city is pleasant, but the waters to corrupted." This was the cause that Elisha threw salt into the water, and it became sweet and good: and so when our waters be corrupted, if you can, by putting in salt, make them sweet, clear, and wholesome, we will the better believe your ceremonies.
Bonner. How say you to holy bread? Have you not read where Christ fed five thousand men with five loaves and two small fishes.
Haukes. Will ye make that holy bread? There Christ dealt fish with his holy bread. He did not this miracle, or other, because we should do the miracle, but because we should believe and credit his doctrine thereby.
Thus closed the dialogue with the bishop for the present. Mr. Haukes now went to dinner, and, if a humble and holy consciousness of attachment to the word of God amidst personal danger could impart appetite for the food of this life, his meal must have been a source of real enjoyment. After dinner he was called into the hall again, when his lordship desired the old bishop to take him into his chamber, to see if he could convert him. So he took him, and sat himself down in a chair, and said--"I would to God I could do you some good: you are a young man, and I would not wish you to go too far, but learn of your elders to bear somewhat." To this Haukes answered--"I will bear nothing that is contrary to the word of God."
Next day, Fecknam came and said, "Are you he that will have a ceremonies? You will not have your child christened but in English, and you will have no ceremonies." To this Haukes replied--"Whatsoever the scripture commandeth to be done, I refuse not."
A short conversation then followed between Haukes and Fecknam concerning the real presence and the true interpretation of the words of Christ--"This is my body." The usual arguments on both sides were repeated. At length Fecknam said--"I perceive you hang and build on them that be at Oxford; I mean Latimer, Cranmer, and Ridley.
Haukes. I build my faith upon no man, and that shall ye well know: for if those men, and as many more as they be, should recant and deny that they have said and done, yet will I stand to it; and by this shall ye know that I build my faith upon no man.
Bonner. If any of those recant, what will ye say to it?
Haukes. When they recant, I will make you an answer.
Bonner. Then thou wilt say as thou dost now for all that?
Haukes. Yes indeed will I, and that, trust to it, by God's grace.
Bonner. I dare say Cranmer would recant, so that he might have his living.
And so the bishop and Fecknam departed from Haukes with great laughing, and he went again to the porter's lodge. The next day came Dr. Chedsey to the bishop; and then was Haukes called into the garden again. After some talk, Chedsey inquired, "What say ye to the church of Rome?"
Haukes. I say it is a church composed of vicious cardinals, priests, monks, and friars, which I will never credit nor believe.
Chedsey. What say you to the bishop of Rome?
Haukes. From him and all his detestable enormities, good Lord deliver us.
Bonner. He will by no means come within my chapel, nor hear mass: for neither the mass nor the sacrament of the altar can he abide, neither will he have any service but in English.
Chedsey. Christ never spake in English.
Haukes. Neither did he ever speak in Latin, but always in such a tongue as the people might be edified thereby. And St. Paul saith that tongues profit us nothing. He maketh a similitude between the pipe and the harp, and except it be understood what the trumpet meaneth, who can prepare himself to the battle? So if I hear a tongue that I do not understand, what profit have I thereby? no more than he hath by the trumpet, that knoweth not what it meaneth.
Chedsey. If you understand St. Paul's saying, he speaketh it under a prophecy--"If one prophesy to you in tongues."
Haukes. St. Paul maketh a distinction between prophesying and tongues, saying--"If any man speak with tongues, let it be two or three at the most, and let another interpret it. But if there be no interpreter, let them keep silence in the congregation, and let himself pray unto God: and then let the prophets speak two or three, and that by course, and let the others judge: and if any revelation be made to him that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace:" so that it seemeth that St. Paul maketh a distinction between tongues and prophesying.
Chedsey. Hath any man preached other than Christ's doctrine unto you?
Haukes. Yea; I have been taught, since I came here, praying to saints and to our Lady, trusting in the mass, holy bread, holy water, and idols.
Chedsey. He that teaches you so, teacheth not amiss.
Haukes. Cursed be he that teacheth me so! for I will not trust him, nor believe him.
The next day Dr. Chedsey preached in the bishop's chapel, and did not begin his sermon until the service was done: and then came the porter for Haukes, and said--"My lord would have you come to the sermon;" and so he went to the chapel and stood without the door, and when Bonner commanded him in, Haukes refused and answered, "I will come no nearer," and so stood at the door.
Then Dr. Chedsey put the stole about his neck, and carried the holy water unto the bishop, who blessed him, and sprinkled him with holy water, and so he went to his sermon. His text was the sixteenth of St. Matthew--"Whom do men say that I the Son of Man am? Peter said, Some say that thou art Elias, some that thou art John the Baptist, some say thou art one of the prophets. But whom say ye that I am? Then said Peter, Thou art Christ the Son of the living God." Then he left the text there, and said, " 'Whose sins soever ye bind, are bound:' which authority is left to the heads of the church, as my lord here is one, and so unto all the rest that be underneath him. But the church hath been much kicked at since the beginning: yet kick the heretics, spurn the heretics ever so much, the church doth stand and flourish." Then he went straightway to the sacrament, and said his mind on it, exalting it above heaven, as most of them do, and so returned to this place again, saying, "Whose sins ye so remit, are remitted and forgiven:" and so he applied it to the bishops and priest to forgive sins, and said, "All that be of the church will come and receive the same." And this he attempted to prove by St. John saying, that Christ came to raise Lazarus, who, when he was risen, was bound in bands: then said Christ to them that were in authority, "Go ye and loose him, let him go." And this was the effect of his sermon, applying all to the bishops, that they have the same authority that Christ spake of to his apostles.
The several parties separated after this sermon for dinner. After dinner Mr. Haukes was called into the chapel, where were several of the queen's servants, and other strangers whom he did not know. The conversation was thus resumed--
Bonner. Haukes, how like you the sermon? What, are you not edified thereby? It was made only because of you.
Haukes. Why, then I am sorry that you had no more heretics here, as you call them: I am sorry that you have bestowed so much labour on one, and that the labour was so little regarded by him.
Bonner. Well, I will leave you here, for I have business; I pray my friends to talk with him, for if you could do him good, I would be glad.
This the bishop spake to the queen's men, who said unto Haukes "Alas! what mean you to trouble yourself about such matters against the queen's proceedings?"
Haukes. This matter have I answered before them in authority: and unless I see you have a further commission, I will answer you nothing at all.
The bishop had borne with answers equally firm and decisive as this; but the servants were more haughty than their lord, and instantly resented what they affected to consider an insult. They loudly exclaimed as with one heart and voice, "Fagots! burn him! hang him! to prison with him! it is pity he liveth! lay irons upon him!" and with a great noise they spake these words. In the midst of all their rage he departed from them to the porter's lodge again. The next day the bishop called him unto his chamber, and said, "You have been with me a great while, and you are never the better, but worse and worse: and therefore I will delay the time no longer, but send you to Newgate. Come on your ways, you shall see what I have written." Then did he shew certain articles, and this is the substance of them--whether the catholic church doth teach and believe, that Christ's real presence doth remain in the sacrament or no, after the words of consecration, according to these words of St. Paul; "Is not the bread which we break the partaking of the body of Christ, and the cup which we bless, the partaking of the blood of Christ?" which, if it were not so, St. Paul would never have said it.
Haukes. What your church doth understand I cannot tell: but I am sure that the holy catholic church doth never so take it, nor believe it.
Bonner. Whether doth the catholic church teach and believe the baptism that now is used in the church, or no? Haukes. I answered to it as I did to the other question before.
Again the opponents separated for the night. The next morning, which was the first of July, the bishop called Haukes from the porter's lodge, commanding him to make himself ready to go to prison, and to take such things with him as he had of his own. Then he wrote his warrant to the keeper of the Gate-house at Westminster, and delivered it to Harpsfield, who, with his own man and one of the bishop's, brought him to prison, and delivered the warrant to the keeper, which ran as follows--"I will and command you, that you receive him who cometh named in this warrant, and that he be kept as a safe prisoner, and that no man speak with him, and that you deliver him to no man, except it be to the council, or to a justice; for he is a sacramentary, and one that speaketh against baptism, a seditious man, a perilous man to be abroad in these perilous days."
There he remained thirteen days, when the bishop sent two of his men unto him, saying, "My lord would be glad to know how you do." He answered them, "I do like a poor prisoner." They said, "My lord would know whether you be the same man that you were when you departed." He said, "I am no changeling." They said, "My lord would be glad that you should do well." He said, "If my lord will do me any good, I pray you desire him to suffer my friends to come to me." They said they would speak for him, but he heard no more of them. In fact he remained in close confinement, neglected by his enemies, insulted by those who had the charge of him, and denied the society and advice of his friends, for nearly two months, during which it afterwards appeared that Bonner was devising every crafty method to prepare him, either for a public recantation or a dreadful death; or perhaps for both, and for the one as the immediate precursor of the other.
His second examination took place on the 3rd of September, immediately after a sermon by Gardiner at St. Paul's Cross. In answer to a question from Bonner whether he would attend and hear the discourse, Mr. Haukes said--"Yes, my lord, I pray you let me go; and that which is good I will receive, and the rest I will leave behind me."
Bonner soon perceived that the sermon, though prepared and preached by one who was bishop of Winchester and lord chancellor at the same time, produced no effect in the mind of his steadfast prisoner, except rendering him more steadfast in the true faith. He therefore retired to prepare a paper that Haukes would be required to sign; meanwhile he left the latter to be reviled and taunted by some of his menials. Among these was one Smith, who was an apostate from the reformed church, and appears to have been retained by Bonner as a fit instrument of his evil designs against the reformers. Mr. Haukes observes of him in his journal--"As I stood there, Dr. Smith came unto me, who once recanted, as it appeared in print, saying, he would be glad to talk brotherly with me. I asked him what he was? Then said they that stood by, he is Dr. Smith. Then said I, Are you he that did recant? And he said, It was no recantation, but a declaration." To this Mr. Haukes answered with a smile, "You were best to term it well for your own honestly: but to be short with you, I will know whether you will recant any more or not before I talk with you, credit you, or believe you! and so I departed from him to the other side of the chamber."
It would be trifling with the reader's patience to record the conversations which Mr. Haukes was compelled to hold with other individuals even of a meaner stamp: it may be remarked, however, that he perfectly confounded every one of them--being constrained to exercise his talent for satire, and to answer the fools according to their folly. At length the bishop, having finished his paper, came to Mr. Haukes and laid it before him to sign--first reading the following portion of it--"I Thomas Haukes do hereby confess and declare before my said ordinary, Edmund, bishop of London, that the mass is abominable and detestable, and full of all superstition, and also as concerning the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, commonly called the sacrament of the altar, that Christ is in no part thereof, but only in heaven: this I have believed, and this I do believe." At this point Mr. Haukes said, "Stop there, my lord: what I have believed, what have you to do withal? but what I do believe, to that stand I and will." Altering the paper accordingly, the bishop went farther with his writing, and said, "I Thomas Haukes have talked with my said ordinary, and with certain good, godly, and learned men; notwithstanding I stand still in mine opinion."
Here Mr. Haukes was constrained to protest--"Shall I grant you to be good, godly, and learned men, and yet allow myself to stand in a contrary opinion? No, I will not grant you to good, godly, and learned men."
Bonner. Ye will grant that ye have talked with us: the other I will put out for your pleasure.
Then said all his doctors, "If your lordship be ruled by him, he will cause you to put out all together." And then he read more: "Here unto this bill have I set my hand," and then he offered Haukes the bill and his pen, and bade him set his hand to it.
Haukes. Ye get not my hand to anything of your making or devising.
Bonner. Wilt not thou set to thy hand? It shall be to thy shame for the denying of it. And then he called all his doctors, and said he would have every man's hand to it that was in the chamber. And so he had all their hands to it, and said, "He that will not set his hand to it, I would he were hanged;" and so said all his chaplains and doctors with a great noise. Then the bishop thrust Haukes on the breast with great anger, saying he would be even with him, and with all such proud knaves in Essex.
Haukes. Ye shall do no more than God shall give you leave.
Bonner. This gear shall not go unpunished--trust to it.
Haukes. As for you cursings, railings, and blasphemings, I care not for them: for I know the moths and worms shall eat you, as they eat cloth, etc.
Bonner. I will be even with you when time shall come.
Haukes. You may in your malice destroy a man; but, when you have done, ye cannot do so much as make a finger; and ye are meetly even with some of us already.
Then Bonner took the bill, and read it again; and when he saw that he could not have his hand to it, then he would have had him to take it into his hand, and to give it to him again.
Haukes. What needeth that ceremony? Neither shall it come into my hand, heart, or mind.--Then the bishop wrapt it up, put it in his bosom, and in great anger went his way, and called for his horse; for the same day he rode in visitation into Essex.
After all these private conferences, persuasions, and long debatings had with Thomas Haukes in the bishop's house, the bishop, seeing no hope to win him to his wicked ways, was fully set to proceed openly against him after the ordinary course of his popish law. Whereupon Thomas Haukes, shortly after, was cited with the rest of his other fellows above specified, to wit, Thomas Tomkins, Stephen Knight, William Pygot, John Lawrence, and William Hunter, to appear in the bishop's consistory, the 8th day of February, 1555. Upon which appearance was laid against him, in like order as to the others, first the bill of his confession, written with Bonner's hand, to the which bill ye heard before how this blessed servant of God denied to subscribe. After which bill of confession being read, and he constantly standing to the said confession, the bishop then assigned him, with the other five, the day following to appear before him again, to give a resolute answer what they would stick unto.
Being exhorted the next day by the bishop to return again to the bosom of the mother-church, he answered, "No, my lord, that will I not; for if I had a hundred bodies, I would suffer them all to be torn in pieces, rather than I will abjure and recant." Whereupon Bonner, at the last, read the sentence of death upon him; and so was he condemned the same day with the residue of his fellows, which was the 9th of February. Nevertheless his execution was prolonged, and he remained in prison till the 10th day of June. Then was he committed to the hands and charge of the lord Rich, who, being assisted with power sufficient of the worshipful of the shire, had the foresaid Thomas Haukes down into Essex, with six other fellow-prisoners, whose stories hereafter follow, there to suffer martyrdom; Haukes at Coggleshall, the others severally in other several places.
By the way, Thomas Haukes used great exhortation to his friends; and whensoever opportunity served to talk with them, he would familiarly admonish them. When the day and hour of his execution arrived, being led to the place appointed for the slaughter, he there mildly and patiently prepared himself for the fire, having a strait chain cast about his middle, with a multitude of people on every side, unto whom he spare many things. At length, after his fervent prayers first made and poured out unto God, the fire was set unto him; in the which when he had continued long, and when his speech was taken away by violence of the flame, his skin also drawn together, and his fingers consumed, so that now all men thought that he had certainly been gone, suddenly this blessed servant of God (being mindful of a promise secretly made unto his friends) reached up his hands burning on a light fire over his head to the living God, and with great rejoicing, as it seemed, struck or clapped them three times together: and so the blessed Martyr of Christ, straightway sinking down into the fire, gave up his spirit, June 10, 1555.
Thomas Watts, of Billericay in Essex, and of the diocese of London, was by his occupation a linen draper. Before he was apprehended he disposed of his stock in trade, giving much of his cloth to the poor; and being in daily expectation of his enemies' virulence, he set his affairs in order, for the sake of his wife, and children. On the 26th of April he was apprehended and brought before the Lord Rich and other commissioners at Chelmsford, and there being accused for not coming to the church, was upon the same examined before the lord Rich, Sir Anthony Brown, Edmund Tyrel, and several other magistrates of the county. When Mr. Watts first came before the justices at the sessions at Chelmsford, lord Rich thus addressed him, "Watts, you be brought hither, as I understand, because of disobedience to the king and queen's laws. You will not come to the church, you will not hear mass; but have your conventicles a sort of you in corners, contrary to the king and queen's proceedings."
To this Mr. Watts answered, "My lord, if I have offended a law, I am subject to the law." Then justice Brown said to him, "Watts, I pray thee tell me who has been thy schoolmaster to teach thee this religion, or where didst thou first learn it?" "Forsooth," said Watts, "even of you, sir, you taught it me, and none more than you. For in king Edward's days in open sessions you spake against the religion now used, no preacher more. You then said the mass was abominable, and all their trumpery besides, wishing and earnestly exhorting that none should believe therein, and that our belief should be only in Christ: and you then said, that whosoever should bring in any strange nation to rule here, it were treason, and not to be suffered."
Then said Brown to my lord Rich, "He belies me, my lord. What a knave is this! he will soon belie me behind my back, when he doth it before my face." And my lord Rich said again, "I dare say he doth so." In conclusion, the commissioners being weary of him, or else not willing to meddle further in such high matters, sent him up to the bishop of London, with their letter withal, importing the cause of his sending up.
On Thursday, the 2nd of May, Thomas Watts was accordingly brought before the bishop of London; and there being examined, upon his words had before the lord Rich and others, as is contained in their letters, he did earnestly affirm the same to be true. Whereupon the bishop objected, and examined him upon these articles following. (1) That he was of Billericay, and so of the jurisdiction of the bishop of London. (2) That he believed not in the sacraments of the church of Rome. (3) That he believeth, and also hath taught others, that the substance of material bread and wine doth remain in the sacrament after the consecration. (4) That he believeth that the very true presence of Christ's body and blood, in substance, is not in the sacrament, but only in heaven, and nowhere else. (5) That he believeth that the mass now used in the church of Rome is full of idolatry, abomination, and wickedness, and that Christ did never institute it. (6) That he believeth auricular confession to be not necessary, but superfluous. (7) That he believeth that Luther, Wickliffe, Dr. Barnes, and all others that have holden against the sacrament, and suffered death by fire for the maintenance of the said opinion, were good men, and faithful servants and martyrs of Christ in so believing and dying. (8) That he hath and doth believe that to fast, pray, or to do alms-deeds, is a thing utterly unprofitable. (9) That coming unto the open court at the sessions, he there said openly, that all that is now used and done in the church is abominable, heretical, schismatical, and altogether naught. (10) That he the said Thomas, by reason of the premises, was and is a manifest and open heretic; and for the same is to be declared accursed; and being obstinate and incorrigible, is to be delivered to the secular power, there to be punished as a heretic. (11) That he, besides all these offences, had believed and deliberately spoken, that the church of Rome, in her rites, ceremonies, sacraments, constitutions, and traditions, is the synagogue of Satan. (12) That the premises and every part thereof be true, notorious, and manifest, and openly spoken and talked of.--To these articles the said Thomas Watts answered: The first he confessed to be true. To the second, that he believed in all the sacraments according to Christ's institution, but not according to the bishop of Rome's church. To the third, that he hath and doth believe that Christ's body is in heaven, and nowhere else; and further, that he will never believe that Christ's body is on the sacrament. To the fourth, that he will never believe that Christ's body is in the sacrament. To the fourth, that he believed the same to be true. To the fifth, that he believed that the mass is abominable, and would not go from that belief. To the sixth, that the priest could not absolve him of his sins, though he allowed it to be good to ask counsel at the priest's mouth. To the seventh, that he knew not what the opinions of the said persons were. To the eighth, he denied having thus spoken; but said that fasting, prayers, and alms deeds, be works of a lively faith. To the ninth, that he did thus speak, and desired God that he might die in that faith and belief, wherein he now is. To the tenth, that he will submit himself to the order of the law; and further said, that he trusteth that with God he shall be blessed although with men he be accursed. To the eleventh, that he believed the bishop of Rome to be a mortal enemy to Christ and his church. To the twelfth, that all which before he confessed to be true, is true: all that he hath denied to be true, he denieth again to be true, and believeth the same to be according to such things as he hath confessed.
Thus having answered the articles, the bishop commanded Mr. Watts to appear again in the same place at three o'clock in the afternoon; when, after many persuasions to cause him to recant, he ordered him to depart, and come again on Saturday at eight o'clock in the morning. The bishop being then absent, Harpsfield, the archdeacon, represented him, and earnestly exhorted Watts to deny his opinions. But he being still resolute, as one whose house was built upon a rock, Harpsfield ordered him to appear there again upon Friday, the 10th day of the same month. Upon which day the bishop sent for him privately into his chamber; but finding all persuasion in vain, he was again dismissed until the 17th day of May, and then commanded to appear in the consistory; when being condemned he was delivered to the sheriffs of London, by whom he was sent to Newgate, where he remained until the 9th of June when he was carried to Chelmsford to an inn, where, as he and his fellow sufferers were eating, they prayed together both before and after their meal. When this was over, Mr. Watts retired, and prayed privately and afterwards came to him his wife and six children, when having exhorted them to remain stedfast i the faith, he bade them farewell.
Being brought to the stake, he kissed it, after which he thus addressed lord Rich: "My lord, beware, beware, for you do against your own conscience herein, and without you repent, the Lord will avenge it; for you are the cause of my death."
Mention was made before in the story of Thomas Haukes, of six prisoners which were sent down with him to Essex; of which six, three were sent to be burned, and three to recant and do penance. Their names were, Thomas Osmond, fuller; William Bamford, weaver, Nicholas Chamberlain, weaver, Thomas Osborne, fuller, Thomas Brodehill, weaver, Richard Web, weaver; being all of the town of Coggleshall. The articles objected against Osmond, Bamford, and Chamberlain were similar to those of Watts and others, and their answers equally firm and decided. After these had been propounded and answered, they were dismissed till the afternoon; at which time the bishop and his assistants, by fair and flattering speeches, tried to make them recant and revoke their opinions., They, notwithstanding, remained firm, and therefore were sent away again until the next day; in the afternoon of which the bishop condemned them as heretics, and so delivered them to the sheriffs, in whose custody they remained until they were delivered to the sheriff of Essex, and by him executed: Chamberlain at Colchester, on the 14th day of June; Thomas Osmond at Manningtree, and William Bamford at Harwich on the day following.
Long persuasion had been in England with great expectation, for the space of half a year or more, that the queen was conceived with child. This report was made by the queen's physicians, and others nigh about the court, so that divers were punished for saying the contrary. Commandment was given, that in all churches supplication and prayer should be made for the queen's sage delivery; as may appear by provision made before in act of parliament for the child. Such was the public excitement that about Whitsuntide, the time that this young prince should come into the world, a rumour was blown in London of the prosperous deliverance of the queen, and the birth of a son! Then the bells were rung, bonfires and processions made, not only in London, and in most other parts of the realm, but also in Antwerp guns were shot off upon the river by the English ships, and the mariners thereof rewarded with a hundred pistolets, or Italian crowns, by the lady regent, who was the queen of Hungary. Yea, divers preachers, after procession and Te Deum, took upon them to describe the proportion of the child, how fair, how beautiful, and great a prince it was, as the like had not been seen!
It is said that a simple man, dwelling within four miles of Berwick, who never had been before half way to London, cried out concerning the bonfires made for the supposed child--"Here is a joyful triumph, but at length all will not prove worth a mess of pottage;" as indeed it came to pass: for in the end it proved quite contrary, and the joy and expectations of men were much deceived. One thing of mine own hearing and seeing I cannot pass over unwitnessed: There came to me, whom I did both hear and see, one Isabel Malt, a woman dwelling in Aldersgatestreet, in Horn-alley, who before witness made this declaration: that she being delivered of a man-child upon the 11th of June, 1555, there came to her the lord North, and another lord to her unknown, dwelling then about Old Fish-street, demanding of her if she would part with her child, and would swear that she never knew nor had any such child; which, if she would, her son (they said) should be well provided for, she should take no care for it; with many fair offers if she would part with her child: but she in no wise would let go her son, who at the writing hereof being alive, and called Timothy Malt, was of the age of thirteen years and upward.
Among many other great preparations made for the queen's deliverance of child, there was a cradle very sumptuously and gorgeously trimmed, upon which these lines were written both in Latin and English:
To England's joy, in health preserve!--keep, and defend!
About this time there came over a certain English book, warning Englishmen of the Spaniards, and disclosing certain close practices for recovery of abbey-lands, which book was called, "A Warning for England." By the occasion of this book, upon the 13th day of this month came out a certain proclamation, in the name of the king and queen, repealing and disannulling all manner of books written or printed, whatsoever should touch any thing to the impairing of the pope's dignity; whereby not only much godly edification was hindered, but also great peril grew among the people.
Now as these papists have in this present proclamation condemned these books above recited; so I desire thee to give thy censure upon their books, by them allowed, and upon the matter in them contained, and mark well what good stuff it is. And to begin with the Primer in English for children, after the use of Salisbury, called "Our Lady's Matins;" let us repeat and survey some part thereof, beginning with the first lesson of our Lady in these words:--
Mother and daughter of the King Celestial,
So comfort us in our desolation,
That by thy prayer and special mediation
We enjoy the reward of thy heavenly reign," etc.
Confer this with the Scriptures, good reader, and judge uprightly, whether this doctrine be tolerable in the church or not. It followeth more in the second lesson:--
Pray for us, of all holy the holiest;
That He our prayers accept may in good wise
Which of thee was born, and reigneth above the skies," etc.
The Versicle.--"Pray for the people, entreat for the clergy, make intercession the devout woman-kind; let all feel thy help, that worthily solemnize thy memorial," etc. "Holy Mother of God, make thy petition,
That we may deserve Christ's promission," etc.
And in the anthem after Benedictus, thus it followeth:--"We beseech thee of thy pity to have us in remembrance, and to make means for us unto Christ, that we, being supported by thy help, may deserve to attain the kingdom of heaven!"
Item.--"Holy Mother, succour the miserable, comfort the weak-spirited, give courage to the desperate, pray for the people, make intercession for the clergy, and be a means for the devout woman-kind," etc.
Another blasphemy in the said Primer:--"Hail Queen! mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, our hope! Unto thee do we cry and sigh, weeping and wailing. Come off, therefore, our patroness; cast upon us thy pitiful eyes; and after this our banishment, shew to us the blessed fruit of thy womb. O Gate of glory, be for us a reconciliation unto the Father and the Son. From the wretched their faults expel: remove the spots of sins unclean," etc.
And thus much of this catholic primer, called our Lady's Matins, Whereunto, if it were not tedious for the reader, we would also adjoin our Lady's Psalter, to the intent that all indifferent readers, as they have seen what books these catholic fathers have condemned and do condemn for heretical; so they may also see and judge what books on the other side they approve as lawful and catholic. And forasmuch as it is not known peradventure to all men what our Lady's Psalter is, or what it meaneth, here therefore we will first produce the name of the author, who was Bonaventure, a seraphical doctor, bishop also and cardinal, canonized moreover by pope Sixtus IV., anno 1482, for a saint in the calendar, who, to show himself a devout servant to his Lady, hath taken every Psalm of David, (which peculiarly refer to Almighty God,) and hath in divers of the said psalms and verses put out the name of the Lord, and hath placed in the name of our Lady. This being done, it is now called our Lady's Psalter, used to be sung and said in the praise and service of our Lady. A brief taste whereof, for example's sake, (for, to show all, it were too long,) here followeth: "Blessed is the man which understandeth thy name, O Virgin Mary; thy grace shall comfort his soul. Thou shalt bring forth in him the most plentiful fruit of justice, being refreshed as it were with fountains of water. All women thou passest in the beauty of thy body, all angels and archangels in the excellency of thy holiness. Thy mercy and thy grace are magnified every where.
"Why do our enemies fret and imagine vain things against us? Let thy right hand defend us, O mother of god, terribly confounding and destroying them as with a sword. Come unto her, all ye that labour and are troubled, and she will give rest unto your souls. Come unto her in your temptations, and her loving countenance shall stablish and comfort you. Bless her with all your heart; for the earth is full of her mercy.
"Why are they so many, O Lady, that trouble me? In thy fury thou shalt persecute and destroy them. Loose the bonds of our impiety, and take away the burden of our sins. Have mercy upon me, O Lady, and heal my infirmity. Take away my sorrow and the anguish of my heart. Deliver me not into the hands of mine enemies, and in the day of my death comfort my soul. Bring me unto the haven of salvation, and restore my spirit unto my Maker and Creator.
"When I called to thee, thou heardest me, O my Lady, and out of thy high throne thou didst vouchsafe to think upon me. From the roaring of them that prepare themselves to devour me, and out of the hands of such as seek after my life, thy grace shall deliver me: because thy mercy and thy pity are great towards all them that call upon thy holy name. Blessed be thou, O Lady, for ever, and thy majesty for ever and ever. Glorify her, all nations of the earth.
"Hear my words, O Lady, turn our mourning into gladness, and our trouble into rejoicing. Let our enemies fall before our feet, and with thy power dash their heads in pieces. O Lady, suffer me not to be rebuked in God's anger, nor to be chastened in his heavy displeasure. From the gate and deep pit of hell, with thy holy prayers deliver us. Let the everlasting gates be opened, that we may shew forth thy marvellous works for ever. Because the dead, nor they that be in hell, shall not praise thee, O Lady, but they which shall obtain by thy grace life everlasting.
"O my Lady, in thee will I put my trust; deliver me from mine enemies. Stop the mouth of the lion, and bind the lips of the persecutors. Make no tarrying, for thy name's sake, to show thy mercy upon me. Let the brightness of thy countenance shine upon us, that our conscience may be saved before the Most Highest. If the enemy do persecute my soul, O Lady; help me that he destroy me not. I will give thanks to thee, O Lady, with my whole heat, and will shew forth among the nations thy praise and glory. They shall find grace through thee, the finder out of grace and salvation. The humble and penitent groan for pardon and forgiveness; heal thou the sores of their heart.
"In thee, O Lady, do I put my trust. Seek her even from your youth, and she shall glorify you. Her mercy take from us the multitude of our sins, and give unto us plenteousness of merits. Save me, O mother of love, and fountain of mercy. Thou thyself alone hast gone about the compass of the earth, to help them that call upon thee. How long dost thou forget me, O Lady, and dost not deliver me in the day of my trouble? How long shall mine enemy triumph over me? With thy mighty power destroy him. We magnify thee the finder and the author of grace, by whom the world is repaired.
"Preserve me, O Lady, for in thee have I put my trust. Blessed be thy breasts, which with thy deifying milk did nourish the Saviour. I will love thee, O Lady of heaven and earth; I will call upon thy name among the nations. Confess yourselves unto her, ye that are troubled in heart, and she shall strengthen you against your enemies. O all ye cloisterers honour her, for she is your helper and special advocate. Be thou our refreshing and rest, for thou art the marvellous foundation of all religion.'
"Hear us, O Lady, in the day of trouble. Cast us not away in the time of our death, but succour our soul when it forsaketh the body. Send an angel to meet it, that it may be defended from the enemies. In torments and pain let it feel thy comfort, and grant to it a place among the elect of God."
Moreover, in the Rosary or Garland of our Lady, compiled by the said St. Bonaventure, these words are to be read as followeth:--
"O Mediatrix between God and man, the Lord hath worthily magnified thee, that thou only shouldst conceive his Son. Wherefore, O good Mary our mediatrix, mother of grace, and mother mercy," etc.--"Therefore, O our Empress and Lady most bountiful, by the authority of a mother command, command (I say) thy well-beloved Son."--"O the Advocate of the miserable, the eyes of thy servants be directed to thee," etc. To these I might also adjoin the horrible and most blasphemous words of the said Bonaventure, "What greater goodness can be, than that Christ is content to be captive upon the altar?"
Is not here good catholic stuff, Christian reader, trow you? Confer this doctrine with the doctrine of the Apostles, who teach us that we are complete in Christ, and I will refer ye to no better judge than to your own conscience. And now, therefore, if any man be in doubt in times past of the doctrines and proceedings of the church of Rome, whether it be rightly charged with blind errors, with blasphemy to be found, if it be not here in this Matins and Psalter of our Lady?"