Foxe's Book of Martyrs -- 291. THOMAS OSMOND, WILLIAM BAMFORD, THOMAS OSBORNE, AND OTHERS.

291. THOMAS OSMOND, WILLIAM BAMFORD, THOMAS OSBORNE, AND OTHERS.

ention was made before, in the story of Thomas Haukes, of six prisoners besides, which were sent down with him to Essex, the same time as he went to execution; of which six prisoners, three were sent to be burned, the other three to recant, and to do penance: of whom it followeth next in the story now to entreat. The names of which six were these, Thomas Osmond, fuller; William Bamford, alias Butler, weaver; Thomas Osborne, fuller; Nicholas Chamberlain, weaver; Thomas Brodehill, weaver; Richard Web, weaver; being all of the town of Coggeshall. All which six Coggeshall men, next after the examination of Thomas Haukes, and Thomas Wats, were sent up to Bonner to be examined, by the earl of Oxford 'and Sir Philip Paris, knight, with a letter also with them sent, the copy whereof here followeth.

            "After our hearty commendations unto your good Lordship, this shall be to advertise the same, that the constables of Coggeshall within your diocese, have brought before us this day six persons dwelling in the town of Coggeshall aforesaid, whose names hereafter do follow, videlicet, Nicholas Chamberlain, weaver; John Wallet, fuller; Thomas Brodehill, weaver;. Richard Web, weaver; William Bamford, alias Butler, weaver; and Thomas Osborne, fuller; for that they, at the feast of Easter now last, have not obeyed to the order of the holy catholic church in receiving of the sacraments, but obstinately refusing the same, besides the holding of divers other opinions, contrary to the faith of the said church. Wherefore we have thought it good to send the same persons unto your good Lordship further to be ordered, as in such case shall appertain. Thus we commit your good Lordship to the keeping of Almighty God.-- From Heddingham the first of May, Anno 1555.
            "Your Lordship's assuredly, OXFORD.
            PHILIP PARIS."

            Thus the said prisoners being sent up the first day of May, were brought before the said bishop the seventeenth of the said month, to be examined upon divers and sundry articles ministered and objected against them; whereunto they were compelled to answer, and to put their hands to the same.

            These articles in the same form and manner of words are commonly objected to all others that follow after, with the same answers also thereunto annexed. In which articles thou mayest note, reader, the crafty and subtle handling of these lawyers and registrars, who so deceitfully frame their articles and positions, that unless a man do advisedly consider them, it is hard for a simple man to answer to them, but he shall be snared and entangled. So they paint their church with such a visage of universal, whole, holy, catholic -- as who should say, he that denieth Rome, denieth the holy church of Christ here in earth. Likewise in examining them, and specially the simple sort in the matter of the sacrament, to the material bread in the sacrament they put this word "only" very captiously and fraudulently, to take them at the worst advantage, making the people believe that they take the holy sacrament to be no better than only common bread: when they do not so, but make a difference between the same, both in the use, honour, and name thereof.

            Again, when the examinates hold but only against the erroneous points of Romish religion, these bishops in their interrogatories give out the matter so generally, as though the said examinates in general spake against all the articles of faith taught in Rome, Spain, England, France, Scotland, &c.

            Moreover, concerning Latin service, in such crafty form of words they propound their article, that it might appear to the people, these men do deny any service to be lawful in any place, country, or language, but only in English.

            And as these articles are craftily, captiously, and deceitfully in form of words devised by these bishops and their notaries: so the answers again to the same, be no less subtlely framed, and after the most odious manner put down in the name of the examinates; which being read unto them, thus without further advice they were constrained, upon a sudden, to subscribe the same with their hands. Whereby, if any word escaped their hand, peradventure not considerately subscribed, there the papists take their advantage against them, to defame them, and to bring them into hatred with the people.

            These articles thus propounded and answered, they were until the afternoon dismissed; at what time they did again appear, and there were examined, and travailed with by fair and flattering speeches, as well of the bishop as of others his assistants, to recant and revoke their opinions, who notwithstanding remained constant and firm, and therefore, after the common usage of their ecclesiastical laws, were sent away again until the next day, being Saturday, and the eighteenth day of May. Then in the forenoon the bishop, using his accustomed manner of proceeding, which he had used before as well with them as with others, did likewise dismiss them; and at last, in the afternoon, condemned them as heretics, and so delivered them to the sheriffs, in whose custody they remained until they were delivered to the sheriff of Essex, and by him were executed; Chamberlain at Colchester, the fourteenth of June; Thomas Osmond at Manningtree, the fifteenth of June; and William Bamford, alias Butler, at Harwich, the same fifteenth day in the month of June.

 

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