Foxe's Book of Martyrs
Continuation of Faithful Martyrs for the Cause of Christ Who Suffered Between March and September 1556.
About the same time that archbishop Cranmer was burned at Oxford, suffered likewise in Ipswich, Agnes the wife of Robert Potten, and Joan wife of Michael Trunchfield, a shoemaker. Their opinion was that in the sacrament was the memorial only of Christ's death and passion. For this they were burned. In whose suffering their constancy worthily was to be wondered at, who, being so simple women, so manfully stood to the confession and testimony of God's word and verity; insomuch that when they had prepared themselves ready to the fire, with comfortable words of the Scripture they earnestly required the people to credit and to lay hold on the word of God, and not upon man's devices and inventions. Albeit both of them did so joyfully suffer, as it was marvelled at of those that knew them, and did behold their end. The Lord grant we may do the like. Amen.
After these two women of Ipswich succeeded three men, which were burnt the same month in one fire at Salisbury. Their names were John Spicer, freemason; William Coberley, tailor; John Maundrel, husbandman. These three on a certain Sunday agreed together to go to their parish church called Keevil, where the said Maundrel and the other two, seeing the parishioners in the procession to follow and worship the idol there carried, advertised them to leave the same, and return to the living God. After this the vicar came into the pulpit, who there being about to read his bead-roll, and to pray for the souls in purgatory, the said John Maundrel cried, "That was the pope's pinfold," the other two affirming the same. After which words, by commandment of the priest, they were had to the stocks, where they remained till their service was done. They were then brought before a justice; and so the next day carried to Salisbury, and presented before bishop Capon, W. Geffrey being chancellor of the diocese; by whom they were imprisoned, and oftentimes examined of their faith in their houses, but seldom openly.
At their last examination in the parish church of Fisherton Anger, the chancellor read their condemnation, and so delivered them to the sheriff; and the next day after, being the 24th of March 1556, they were carried out of the common gaol to a place betwixt Salisbury and Wilton, where were two posts set for them to be burnt at. Coming to the place, they kneeled down, and made their prayers secretly together; and then being disclothed to their shirts, John Maundrel spake with a loud voice, "Not for all Salisbury!" which words men judged to be an answer to the sheriff, which offered him the queen's pardon if he would recant. And after that, in like manner spake John Spicer, saying: "This is the joyfullest day that ever I saw." Thus they most constantly gave their bodies to the fire and their souls to the Lord, for the testimony of his truth.
About the 23rd day of April, 1556, were burned in Smithfield in one fire, these six constant martyrs of Christ, suffering for the profession of the gospel, namely, Robert Drakes, minister; William Tyms, curate; Richard Spurge, shearman; Thomas Spurge, fuller; John Cavel, weaver; and George Ambrose, fuller. These were all inhabitants of Essex, and so of the diocese of London, and were sent up, some by the lord Rich, and some by others, at different times, to Gardiner, bishop of Winchester, then lord chancellor of England, about the 22nd day of March, 1555; who, after a short examination, sent them, some unto the King's-bench, and others unto the Marshalsea; where they remained almost the whole year, until the death of the bishop, and had during that time nothing said unto them. Whereupon, after that Dr. Heath, archbishop of York, was chosen to the office of lord chancellor, four of these persecuted brethren, weary of their long imprisonment, made their supplication to Dr. Heath, requiring his aid for their deliverance. Accordingly they were examined, first by Sir Richard Reed, an officer in the court of chancery, and afterwards brought before Bonner.
Robert Drakes was parson of Thundersley, in Essex, and had there remained for three years. He was first made deacon by Dr. Taylor, of Hadley, at the command of Dr. Cranmer. And within one year after, he was, by the archbishop and Dr. Ridley, admitted minister of God's holy word and sacraments, and was presented to the benefice of Thundersley. On his coming to the bishop of Winchester, he was by him demanded whether he could conform himself like a subject to the laws of this realm then in force. To whom he said he would abide all laws that stood with the laws of God; thereupon he was committed to prison, where he and the rest above named did remain ever since.
William Tyms, curate of Hockley in Essex, was brought into his troubles by justice Tyrrel, in whose woods he had preached twice, by whom he was sent to London to the bishop, and from him to the bishop of Winchester, and so from him to the King's Bench. On the 21st of March the said William Tyms and Thomas Drakes, with the other four, were brought before bishop Bonner, who inquired of them their faith upon the sacrament of the altar. To whom they answered, that the body of Christ was not in the sacrament of the altar really and corporally, after the words of consecration by the priest: of which opinion they had been long time. About the 28th of the same month they were again brought before Bonner; when, on adhering to the articles objected against them, they were condemned, committed to the custody of the sheriffs of London, and sealed their faith with the shedding of their blood the 14th day of April.
John Harpole, of Rochester, and Joan Beach, a widow of Tunbridge, suffered martyrdom at this time; having been condemned by Maurice, bishop of Rochester. John Hullier, a clergyman educated in Eton school, from whence he went to King's college, in Cambridge suffered also under doctor Thirleby, bishop of Ely, and his chancellor, for the sincere preaching of the gospel. By certain letters which he left behind, it appeareth that he was zealous in the doctrine of truth, which every true christian ought to embrace. His martyrdom was on the second day of April, 1556. Six faithful brethren also suffered for their confession at Colchester, on the 28th of the same month. Their names were, Christopher Lyster, of Dagenham, husbandman; John Mace, of Colchester, apothecary; John Spencer, of Colchester, weaver; Simon Joyne, sawyer; Richard Nichols, of Colchester, weaver; John Hammond, of Colchester, tanner. Hugh Laverock, a lame old man, of the parish of Barking, and John Apprice, a blind man, were burned at Stratford-le-Bow the 15th day of May. Being had before Bonner, in the consistory of Paul's, the 9th day of the same month, the bishop asked Apprice what he would say. To whom he answered, "Your doctrine that ye set forth and teach is so agreeable with the world, and embraced of the same, that it cannot be agreeable with the scripture of God. And ye are not of the catholic church; for ye make laws to kill men, and make the queen your hangman." At which words, the bishop being very loth to delay their condemnation, commanded that they should be brought after him to Fulham, whither he before dinner did go; and there in the afternoon, after his solemn manner, in the open church, he pronounced the definitive sentence against them. At their death, Hugh Laverock, after he was chained, cast away his crutch; and comforting John Apprice, his fellow-martyr, said to him, "Be of good comfort, 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." And so patiently these two saints of God together suffered.
The next day after were brought to the fire three women, with whom also was adjoined another. The names of these were: Katherine Hut of Bocking, widow; Joan Horns of Billericay, maid; Elizabeth Thackvel of Great Burstead, maid, Margaret Ellis of Billericay, maid; who, with divers others, were persecuted and sent up to Bonner by sir John Mordaunt and Edmund Tyrrel, esquire, justices of peace. Katherine Hut, being required of the sacrament to say her mind, openly protested, saying, "I deny it to be God; because it is a dumb God, and made with men's hands." They all persisting in the like constancy were condemned of Bonner to the fire; but as touching Margaret Ellis, before the time of her burning came, she was prevented by death in Newgate prison. The other three were had to Smithfield, and there gave their bodies to the tormentors and their spirits to God, for whose glory they were willing to suffer.
Ye heard a little before of two men, the one blind, and the other lame. And here is not to be forgotten another as godly a couple, which suffered for the same cause at Gloucester: of the which two, the one was a blind boy, named Thomas Drowry, and the other a bricklayer, named Thomas Croker. Concerning the blind boy, how long he was in prison, and in what year he suffered, I am not certain. Of this, credible intelligence I have received by the testimony of the registrar then of Gloucester, that the said blind boy at his last examination was brought by the officers before Dr. Williams, then chancellor, sitting judicially with the said registrar in the consistory in the church of Gloucester. The chancellor having ministered unto the boy such articles as were accustomed in such cases, asked him--"Dost thou not believe, that after the words of consecration spoken by the priest, there remaineth the very real body of Christ in the sacrament of the altar?" To whom the blind boy answered, "No, that I do not."
Chan. Then thou art a heretic, and shalt be burned. But who hath taught thee this heresy?
Drowry. You, master chancellor; even in yonder place, [pointing with his hand towards the pulpit, standing upon the north side of the church:] when you preached there [naming the day] a sermon to all men, as well as to me, upon the sacrament. You said, the sacrament was to be received spiritually by faith, and not carnally and really, as the papist have heretofore taught.
Chan. Then do as I have done, and thou shalt live as I do, and escape burning.
Drowry. Though you can so easily dispense with yourself, and mock with God, the world, and your own conscience, yet will I not so do. I will not recant.
Chan. Then the Lord have mercy upon thee, for I will read the condemnation sentence against thee.
Drowry. God's will be fulfilled. The registrar being herewith somewhat moved, stood up, and said to the chancellor: "Fie for shame, man! will you read the sentence against him, and condemn yourself? Away, away, and substitute some other to give sentence and judgment." To whom the chancellor replied, "No, registrar, I will obey the law, and give sentence myself, according to mine office." And so he read the sentence condemnatory against the boy, (with an unhappy tongue, and a more unhappy conscience,) delivering him over to the secular power; who on the 15th of May brought the blind boy to the place of execution, at Gloucester; together with Thomas Croker, condemned also for the like testimony of the truth, where both, in one fire, most constantly and joyfully yielded their souls to the hands of the Lord Jesus.
After the death of these above rehearsed, were three men burnt at Beccles in Suffolk, in one fire, about the 21st of May, anno 1556, whose names are here specified: Thomas Spicer of Winston, labourer; John Denny, and Edmund Poole. They were condemned by Dr. Dunning, committed to the secular power, and the next day after were burnt together. Whereupon it is thought, that the writ was not yet come down, nor could be, the lord chancellor bishop Heath being the same time at London.
By the procurement of sir John Tyrrel and others of his colleagues, many persons were driven from their homes in Suffolk. Among whom was Mrs. Twaites, a lady of upwards of 60 years of age. The following June, about the 6th of the month, four martyrs suffered together at Lewes; their names were Thomas Harland, John Oswald, Thomas Avington and Thomas Reed, who had all suffered a long imprisonment in the King's-Bench. Soon after, in the same town, were burned Thomas Whood, minister, and Thomas Milles, for resisting the erroneous doctrine of the church of Rome. And in a few days William Adderhall, minister, died in the prison of the King's-Bench, and was buried in the prison-yard: also John Clement, wheelwright, who was buried upon the dunghill. There was also about that time a young man, a merchant's servant, who for the like godliness suffered cruel persecution from the papist, and was burnt at Leicester. And not long after the death of this youth, there were burned in one fire at Stratford le Bow, by London, eleven men and two women! These were named, Henry Adlington, Laurence Parnam, Henry Wye, William Hallywel, Thomas Bowyer, George Searles, Edmund Hurst, Lyon Cawch, Ralph Jackson, John Derifall, John Routh, Elizabeth Pepper, Agnes George. Unto these Dr. Darbyshire, Bonner's chancellor, in form of law, ministered the same articles that were pronounced unto Thomas Whittle and his companions, mentioned before.
When these thirteen were condemned, and the day had arrived on which they should suffer, which was the 27th of June, 1556, they were carried from Newgate in London, to Stratford, and there divided into two classes and placed in two several chambers. Afterwards the sheriff, who there attended upon them, came to the one part, and told them that the other had recanted, that their lives would therefore be saved, exhorting them to do the like, and not to cast themselves away. Unto whom they answered, that their faith was not built upon man, but on Christ crucified. Then the sheriff perceiving no good to be done with them, went to the other part, and said the like to them, that they with whom they had been before, had recanted, and should therefore not suffer death, counselling them to the like, and not wilfully to kill themselves, but be wise. Unto whom they also answered as their brethren had done before, that their faith was not built on man, but on Christ and his word. He then led them to the place where they should suffer, and being there altogether, they most earnestly prayed unto the Lord, and then joyfully went to the stake and kissed it, and embraced it very heartily. The eleven men were tied to three stakes, and the two women loose in the middle without any stake, and thus they were all burnt in one fire.
About the same time were burned in one fire, at Bury in Suffolk, Roger Bernard, Adam Foster, and Robert Lawson. In an early part of July died in the King's Bench, where he had suffered a long imprisonment, Mr. John Careless, of Coventry, a weaver. He was a young man, had a wife and a young family. He left behind him several letters, which discovered a considerable knowledge of scripture and great firmness and piety.
About July 16 suffered Julius Palmer, John Gwin, and Thomas Askin. Palmer was a young man of respectable family, his father having been mayor of Coventry, at which town Julius was born. He had been placed at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he had made unusual progress in his studies, and was remarked for the sharpness of his wit and for his powers of disputation. During the reign of Edward, he was a zealous advocate for the Romish church, and for the contumacy he shewed to the protestant teachers, and his hostile disposition towards them, he was expelled the college. Soon after the accession of Mary, however, he was restored to his living, when, happening to read with attention Calvin's Institutes, he was convinced of the truth, renounced the errors of popery, openly avowed the protestant doctrines, and consequently became a subject of persecution. In his distress he applied to his mother for aid; but he got nothing but curses from her for his heresy, as she termed it, telling him, that she would give him nothing but fagots to burn him with. In return for this, the follower of Christ blessed her and departed. He was seized at Reading in his bed, having been betrayed by a confidant in whom he had related his story. He was soon brought to trial before Dr. Jeffrey, who acted for the bishop of Suram, and the sheriff of the county. After two examinations, the said Dr. Jeffrey proceeded to read the popish sentence of his cruel condemnation; and so was he delivered to the charge of the secular power, and was burnt the same day in the afternoon, together with the other two.
Within an hour before they went to the place of execution, Palmer, in the presence of many people, comforted his fellows with these words: "Brethren," saith he, "be of good cheer in the Lord, and faint not. Remember the words of our Saviour Christ, where he saith, 'happy are you when men revile you and persecute you for righteousness' sake. Rejoice and be glad, for great is your reward in heaven. Fear not them that kill the body, and be not able to touch the soul. God is faithful, and will not suffer us to be tempted further than we shall be able to bear it.' We shall not end our lives in the fire, but make a change for the better life. Yea, for coals, we shall receive pearls: for God's Holy Spirit certifieth our spirit, that he hath even now prepared for us a sweet supper in heaven, for his sake who suffered for us."
When they were come to the place appointed for their suffering, they all three fell to the ground, and Palmer, with an audible voice, pronounced the 31st psalm, while the other two made their prayers secretly to Almighty God. And as Palmer began to rise, there came behind him two popish priests, exhorting him to recant and save his soul. Palmer answered and said--"Away, away, tempt me no longer! Away, I say, from me all you that work iniquity; for the Lord hath heard the voice of my tears!" And so forthwith they put off their raiment, and went to the stake and kissed it. And when they were bound to the post, Palmer said, "Good people, pray for us, that we may persevere to the end. And for Christ's sake beware of popish teachers, for they deceive you." As he spake this, a servant of one of the bailiffs threw a fagot at his face, that the blood gushed out in divers places: for the which fact the sheriff reviled him, calling him cruel tormentor, and with his walking-staff break his head, that the blood likewise ran about his ears. When the fire was kindled, and began to take hold upon their bodies, they lifted up their hands towards heaven, and quietly and cheerily, as though they had felt no smart, they cried--"Lord Jesus, strengthen us; Lord Jesus, assist us; Lord Jesus, receive our souls!" And so they continued without any struggling, holding up their hands, and knocking their hearts, and calling upon Jesus until they had ended their mortal lives.
Among other things this is also to be noted, that after their three heads, by force of the raging and devouring flames of fire, were fallen together in a lump or cluster, which was marvellous to behold, and that they all were judged already to have given up the ghost, suddenly Palmer, as a man waked out of sleep, moved his tongue and jaws, and was heard to pronounce this word "Jesus!" So, being resolved into ashes, he yielded to God as joyful a soul (confirmed with the sweet promises of Christ) as any one that ever was called beside to suffer for his blessed name. God grant us all to be moved with the like spirit, working in our hearts constantly to stand in confession of Christ's holy gospel, to the end. Amen.
Amongst all and singular histories touched in this book before, as there be many pitiful, divers lamentable, some horrible and tragical; so is there none almost either in cruelty to be compared, or so far off from all compassion and sense of humanity, as this merciless fact of the papist, done in the Isle of Guernsey upon three women and an infant, whose names were Katherine Cawches, the mother; Guillemine Gilbert, the daughter; Perotine Massey, the other daughter; and an infant, the son of Perotine. The circumstances whereupon did rise this tragical cruelty were these? In a town in Guernsey, called St. Peter's Port, was a naughty woman named Vincent Gosset, who on the 17th of May, anno 1556, went at night to the house of one Nicholas le Conronney; and there taking the key of the house (lying under the door) entered into a chamber toward the street, and took away a silver cup out of a cupboard. Immediately after, (whether by counsel or what occasion else I have not to say,) she brought the said cup to Perotine Massey, who, suspecting the same to be stolen, answered that she would not take it: yet nevertheless having knowledge of the owner thereof, to the end she should not carry it to another, gave her sixpence, minding herself to restore the cup to whom it did appertain. The said Perotine giving knowledge to Conronney of the trespass, he attached the said Vincent Gosset; who, being apprehended and examined, immediately confessed the fact, desiring to have one sent with her with sixpence to fetch again the goblet, where it was; and so she did.
The next day the king's officers assembled the justices there to inquire further, as well upon that fact of Vincent Gosset, as upon other griefs and things there. So that after the declaration made by the officers and constable before the justices, for that the said constable did report to have found a certain vessel of pewter in the house of the foresaid Perotine Massey (who then dwelt with her mother and sister) which did bear no mark, and especially a pewter dish whereof the name was scraped out; their bodies upon the same were attached and put in prison, and their movable goods taken by inventory. The cause being debated on the 5th of June following, they were found not guilty of that they were charged with, but to have lived always as honest women among their neighbours; saving only that to the commandments of holy church they had not been obedient, etc. Upon this trial and verdict it was in fine adjudged, first, that the said Vincent Gosset, being attainted of felony and condemned for the same, should be whipped, and after, her ear being nailed to the pillory, should so be banished out of the isle without further punishment. And as touching the other three women, the mother with her two daughters, for their not coming to the church they were returned prisoners again into the castle the 1st of July.
The bailiff, the lieutenants, and the jurats, thinking the matter not to pertain to them but to the clergy, forthwith wrote to the dean and to the curates of the said isle; whereupon, a few days after, the said women were examined apart severally by the foresaid dean and curates, and returned again into prison. On the 14th day of the said month of July was delivered before the justice, under the seal of the dean and under the signs of the curates, a certain act and sentence, the sum whereof was, that Katherine Cawches and her two daughters were found heretics, and such they reputed them, and have delivered them to justice, to do execution according to the sentence. When this was done, commandment was given to fetch the said women from the castle, to hear the sentence against them. After this was pronounced, the said women did appeal unto the king and queen, and their honourable council, saying, that against reason and right they were condemned, and for that cause they made their appeal; notwithstanding they could not be heard, but were delivered by the bailiffs to the officers, to see the execution done on them according to the sentence.
The time arriving when these three innocents should suffer, in the place where they should consummate their martyrdom were three stakes set up. At the middle post was the mother, the eldest daughter on the right hand, the youngest on the other. They were first strangled, but the rope brake before they were dead, and so the poor women fell into the fire. Perotine, who was then great with child, did fall on her side, where happened a rueful sight, not only to the eyes of all that there stood, but also to the ears of all true-hearted Christians that shall read this history. For as the belly of the woman burst asunder by the vehemency of the flame, the infant, being a fair man-child, fell into the fire, and eftsoons being taken out of the fire by one W. House, was laid upon the grass. Then was the child had to the provost, and from him to the bailiff, who gave censure, that it should be carried back again, and cast into the fire, where it was burnt with the silly mother, grandmother, and aunt, very pitiful to behold. And so the infant baptised in his own blood, to fill up the number of God's innocent saints, was both born and died a martyr, leaving behind to the world, which it never saw, a spectacle wherein the whole world may see the Herodian cruelty of this graceless generation of popish tormentors, ad perpetuam rei infamiam.
Now forsomuch as this story percase, for the horrible strangeness of the fact, will be hardly believed by some, but rather be thought to be forged, or else more amplified than truth sill bear out, therefore, to discharge my credit herein, I have not only foretold a little before, how I received this story by the faithful relation both of the French and English, of them which were there present witnesses and lookers on, but also have hereto annexed the true supplication of the inhabitants of Guernsey, and of the brother of Katherine Cawches, complaining to Queen Elizabeth and her commissioners, concerning the horribleness of the act. The petition, after stating the cruelty of the case, solicits the restoration of the property of the martyrs, which had been confiscated, to him, as the rightful heir. This being presented to the queen's commissioners, in the year 1562, such order therein was taken, that the matter being returned again down to the said country, further to be examined, the dean, who had been instrumental in the tragical event, was committed to prison, and dispossessed of all his livings. So that, in conclusion, both he and all other partakers of that bloody murder, whether of conscience, or for fear of the law, were driven to acknowledge their trespass, and to submit themselves to the queen's mercy.
As the rage of this persecution spared neither man, woman, nor child, wife nor maid, lame, blind, nor cripple; so neither was there any condition or quality respected of any person; but whosoever he were that held not as they did on the pope, and sacrament of the altar, were he learned or unlearned, wise or simple, all went to the fire. Thomas Moor, a simple poor creature and innocent soul, was apprehended for saying that his Maker was in heaven, and not in the pix. Coming before his ordinary, he was first asked, whether he did not believe his Maker there to be, (pointing to the high altar:) which he denied. Then asked the bishop, "How dost thou believe?" The young man answered again, As his creed did teach him. To whom the bishop said, "And what is yonder that thou seest above the altar?" He answering said, "Forsooth I cannot tell what you would have me to see. I see there fine clothes, with golden tassels, and other gay gear hanging about the pix: what is within I cannot see." "Why, dost thou not believe," said the bishop, "Christ to be there, flesh, blood, and bone?" "No, that I do not," said he. Whereupon the bishop read the sentence in St. Margaret's church in Leicester; in which town he suffered a joyful and glorious martyrdom about the 26th of June 1556.
Thomas Dungate, John Foreman, and Mother Tree, suffered at Grinstead in Sussex, patiently abiding what the furious rage of man could work against them, on the 18th of July, in the year aforesaid.
On the 1st day of August suffered likewise at Derby a certain poor honest godly woman, being blind from her birth, and unmarried, about the age of twenty-two, named Joan Waste, of the parish of All-hallows. This poor woman had by her labour gotten and saved so much money as bought her a New Testament; and though she was unlearned, and by reason of her blindness unable to read, yet for the great desire she had to understand the holy Scriptures, she acquainted herself chiefly with one John Hurt, a sober grave man of the age of three score and ten years, who did for his exercise daily read unto her some one chapter of the New Testament.
Not long after, through the fatal death of blessed king Edward, followed the woeful ruin of religion; and this poor blind woman, continuing in a constant conscience, was soon called before Ralph Banes, bishop of the diocese, and others, when sentence was pronounced against her. On the day that she should suffer, she was first led into the parish church of All-Saints, where Dr. Draicot declared unto the people that she was condemned for denying the blessed sacrament of the altar; and said that as her body should be presently consumed with material fire, so her soul should be burnt in hell with everlasting fire, saying it was not lawful to pray for her. Afterwards, this poor blind creature was carried to a place called Windmill-pit, where she cried upon Christ to have mercy upon her while life served.
About the beginning of September, a certain godly, devout person, and zealous of the Lord's glory, born in Wiltshire, named Edward Sharpe, of the age of forty or thereabouts, was condemned at Bristol to the like martyrdom; in whose death, as in the death of all his other saints, the Lord be glorified and thanked for his great grace of constancy.
Next after Edward Sharpe, followed four which suffered at Mayfield in Sussex, the 24th of September; namely, John Hart, Thomas Ravensdale, a shoemaker, and a currier; which said four, being at the place where they should suffer, after they had made their prayer, and were at the stake ready to abide the force of the fire, they constantly and joyfully yielded their lives for the testimony of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ.
The day after the martyrdom of these foresaid at Mayfield, a young man, a carpenter, whose name we have not, was put to death for the like testimony at Bristol. And not long after the death of this young man, were two more godly martyrs consumed by fire at Wootton-under-Edge in Gloucestershire; namely, one John Horn and a woman. They died in a constant faith: so gloriously did the Lord work in them, that death unto them was life, and life with a blotted conscience was death.
When I had finished the story of the Guernsey martyrs, and also had passed the burning of the poor blind woman at Derby, I well hoped I should have found no more such stories of unmerciful cruelty; but now I find another showed against a woman in child-bed, as far from all charity and humanity as hath been any other story rehearsed. At Wootton-under-Edge, near Bristol, was dwelling one William Dangerfield, who by Joan Dangerfield his wife had nine children, and she now lying in child-bed of the tenth. This William, after he had been abroad a certain space for fear of persecution, hearing that his wife was brought to bed, repaired home to visit her, as natural duty required, and to see his children, she being now delivered four days. His return was no sooner known to some of his unkind and uncharitable neighbours, but they, incensed with the spirit of papistry, eftsoons beset the house, and there took the said William Dangerfield and carried him to prison; and so at length he was brought to the bishop, being then Brooks, in whose cruel handling he remained so long that his legs almost were fretted off with the irons.
After the apprehension of the husband, the wife likewise was taken, with her young-born child, being but fourteen days old, and carried into the common jail; where both she and her poor innocent found so small charity amongst the catholic men, that she never could come to any fire, but was driven to warm the clothes she should put about the child in her bosom. While they lay thus enclosed in several prisons, the bishop began with the husband, falsely persuading him that his wife had recanted, and asking him wherefore he should more stand in his own conceit than she; and so subtilely drew out a form of recantation, wherewith he deceived the simple soul: whereunto after that he had once granted that he would consent, they suffered him to go to his wife. Then they with melting hearts opening their minds one to another, when he saw his wife not released, he declared unto her the whole matter, how falsely he was circumvented by the subtle flatterings of the bishop, bearing him in hand that certainly she had recanted: "And thus deceiving me," said he, "brought this unto me;" and so plucked out of his bosom the copy of the recantation, whereunto he had granted his promise. At sight whereof the wife's heart clave asunder, saying, "Alack! thus long have we continued one, and hath Satan so prevailed to cause you to break your first vow made to Christ in baptism?" And so they parted, with what hearts the Lord knoweth. Then began the said William to bewail his promise, and to make his prayer to Almighty God, desiring that he might not live; and so departed toward his house, where by the way (as it is affirmed) he took his death, and shortly after departed, according to his prayer. Joan his wife still continued in prison, with her tender babe so long as her milk served; till at length the child, starved for cold and famine, was sent away when past all remedy, and so shortly after died; and not long after the mother also followed. Besides, the old woman, mother of the husband, upwards of eighty years of age, being left in the house after their apprehension, for lack of comfort perished also.
John Kurde, a shoemaker, late of Syresham, in Northamptonshire, was imprisoned in Northampton castle for denying transubstantiation. The sentence was pronounced against him by the archdeacon of Northampton, in the church of All Saints; and in September he was led without the north gate, and in the stone-pits was burnt. In October died three godly confessors in the castle of Chinchester. In November were fifteen innocent martyrs together in Canterbury castle, of which number five were famished in strait prison, and the other then afterwards burnt.