312. ROBERT GLOVER, GENTLEMAN, AND JOHN AND WILLIAM GLOVER, HIS BROTHERS.
Illustration -- Manor-house, Mancetter, the Residence of Glovero this present time and month of September, pertaineth also the memorable martyrdom of Master Robert Glover, gentleman, in the diocese of Lichfield and Coventry; of whose apprehension and troubles because I cannot well entreat, but I must also intermix some mention of his brother John Glover, forasmuch as this privy commission was chiefly sent down for the said John, and not for Robert Glover, (albeit it pleased Almighty God, that John escaped, and Robert in his stead was apprehended,) I thought therefore in one story to comprehend them both, in describing some part of their virtuous institution and order of life. And first, to begin with John the eldest brother, who, being a gentleman born, and heir to his father, dwelling in the town of Mancetter, was endued with fair possessions of worldly goods, but yet much more plentifully enriched with God's heavenly grace and inward virtues, which grace of God so working in him, he, with his two other brethren, Robert and William, not only received and embraced the happy light of Christ's holy gospel, but also most zealously professed, and no less diligently in their living and conversation followed, the same; much unlike unto our table-gospellers now-a-days.
And as touching this foresaid John Glover, it pleased God so to lay his heavy hand of inward afflictions and grievous passions upon this man, that though he suffered not the pains of the outward fire, as his brother and other martyrs did, yet if we consider what inwardly in spirit and mind this man felt and suffered, and that of so long time, he may well be counted with his brother Robert for a martyr, being no less desirous with him of the same martyrdom; yea, and in comparison may seem to be chronicled for a double martyr.
For as the said Robert was speedily despatched with the sharp and extreme torments of the fire in a short time; so this no less blessed saint of God, what and how much more grievous pangs, what sorrowful torments, what boiling heats of the fire of hell in his spirit inwardly, he felt and sustained, no speech outwardly is able to express. Being young, I remember I was once or twice with him, whom partly by his talk I perceived, and partly by mine own eyes saw, to be so worn and consumed by the space of five years, that neither almost any brooking of meat, quietness of sleep, pleasure of life, yea, and almost no kind of senses was left in him. And doubtless I have greatly wondered oftentimes at the marvellous works and operation of Christ showed upon him, who, unless he had relieved betimes his poor wretched servant so far worn, with some opportune consolation now and then betwixt, it could not possible be, that he should have sustained so intolerable pains and torments. And yet the occasion thereof was not of so great moment and weight. But this we see common among holy and blessed men, how the more devout and godly they are, having the fear of God before their eyes, the more suspicion and mistrust they have of themselves; whereby it cometh to pass, that often they are so terrified and perplexed with small matters, as though they were huge mountains; whereas on the contrary, others there be whom most heinous and very sore crimes indeed do nothing touch or stir at all.
The occasion of this was, that he, being first called by the light of the Holy Spirit to the knowledge of the gospel, and having received a wondrous sweet feeling of Christ's heavenly kingdom, his mind, after that, falling a little to some cogitation of his former affairs belonging to his vocation, began by and by to misdoubt himself upon the occasion of these words written in Hebrews vii.; For it cannot be, that they which were once illumined, and have tasted the heavenly gift, &c.; upon the consideration of which words, he fully persuaded himself that he had sinned verily against the Holy Ghost; even so much, that if he had been in the deepest pit of hell, he could almost have despaired no more of his salvation. Here readily every good man may judge of himself, what terrors, boilings, and convulsions turmoiled in the mean time in his woeful breast: although it be hard for any man to judge the grievousness thereof, unless he which hath experience of the like.
In comparing now the torments of all martyrs with his pains, I pray you what pains, punishment, and flames, would not he willingly have suffered, to have had some refocillation and time of refreshing? who, in such intolerable griefs of mind, although he neither had nor could have any joy of his meat, yet was he compelled to eat against his appetite, to the end to defer the time of his damnation so long as he might, thinking with himself no less but that he must needs be thrown into hell, the breath being once out of the body. Albeit Christ, he thought, did pity his case, and was sorry for him; yet he could not (as he imagined) help, because of the verity of the word, which said, It cannot be, &c.
And this I rehearse of him, not so much to open his wounds and sorrows, as for that by his example all we with him may glorify the Son of God, who suffereth none to be tempted above his strength, but so tempereth and seasoneth the asperity of evils, that what seemeth to us intolerable, not only he doth alleviate the same, that we may bear it, but also turneth it to our further commodity than we can think: which well appeared in this good servant of God, (in no man more,) who, albeit, as we have said, be suffered many years so sharp temptations and strong buffetings of Satan; yet the Lord, who graciously preserved him all the while, not only at last did rid him out of all discomfort, but also framed him thereby to such mortification of life, as the like lightly hath not been seen, in such sort as he being like one placed in heaven already, and dead in this world, both in word and meditation led a life altogether celestial, abhorring in his mind all profane doings. Neither was his talk any thing discrepant from the fruits of his life, throwing out never any idle, vile, or vain language. The most part of his lands he distributed to the use of his brethren, and committed the rest to the guiding of his servants and officers, whereby the more quietly he might give himself to his godly study, as to a continual sabbath rest. This was about the latter end of King Henry's reign, and continued a great part of the time of King Edward the Sixth.
After this, in the persecuting days of Queen Mary, as soon as the bishop of Coventry heard the fame of this John aforesaid, being so ardent and zealous in the gospel of Christ, eftsoons he wrote his letter to the mayor and officers of Coventry to apprehend him as soon as might be. But it chanced otherwise by God's holy providence, disposing all things after his own secret pleasure, who, seeing his old and trusty servant so many years with so extreme and many torments broken and dried up, would in no wise heap too many sorrows upon one poor silly wretch: neither would commit him to the flames of fire, who had been already baked and scorched with the sharp fires of inward affliction, and had sustained so many burning darts and conflicts of Satan so many years. God therefore, of his Divine providence, thinking it too much that one man should be so much overcharged with so many plagues and torments, did graciously provide, that Robert his brother, being both stronger of body, and also better furnished with helps of learning to answer the adversaries, (being a Master of Arts in Cambridge,) should sustain that conflict; and even so it came to pass, as ye shall hear. For as soon as the mayor of Coventry had received the bishop's letters for the apprehending of Master John Glover, he sent forthwith a privy watch-word to the said John, to convey away himself; who with his brother William was not so soon departed out of his house, but that yet, in the sight of the sheriff and others, the searchers came and rushed in to take him, according to the bishop's commandment.
But when the said John could in no place be found, one of the officers, going into an upper chamber, found there Robert, the other brother, lying on his bed, and sick of a long disease, who was by him incontinent brought before the sheriff; which sheriff notwithstanding, favouring Robert and his cause, would indeed fain have dismissed him, and wrought what means he could, saying that he was not the man for whom they were sent: yet, nevertheless, being feared with the stout words of the officer, contending with him to have him stayed till the bishop's coming, he was constrained to carry him away against his will, and so laid him fast while the bishop came. And thus much by the way of preamble, first, concerning the worthy remembrance of Master John Glover.
Now to enter the matter which principally we have in hand, (that is, to consider the story and martyrdom of Master Robert Glover,) forasmuch as the whole narration of the same by his own record and testimony in writing was sent unto his wife, concerning the manner of his ordering and handling, it shall therefore seem best, for the more credit of the matter, to exhibit the said his own letter, the words and contents whereof here ensue as followeth.
"To my entirely beloved wife, Mary Glover,
"The peace of conscience which passeth all understanding, the sweet consolation, comfort, strength, and boldness of the Holy Ghost, be continually increased in your heart, through a fervent, earnest, and stedfast faith in our most dear and only Saviour Jesus Christ, Amen.
"I thank you heartily, most loving wife, for your letters sent unto me in my imprisonment. I read them with tears more than once or twice, (with tears, I say,) for joy and gladness, that God had wrought in you so merciful a work; first, an unfeigned repentance; secondly, a humble and hearty reconciliation; thirdly, a willing submission and obedience to the will of God in all things; which when I read in your letters, and judged them to proceed from the bottom of your heart, I could not but be thankful to God, rejoicing with tears for you, and these his great mercies poured upon you.
"These your letters, and the bearing of your most godly proceedings and constant doings from time to time, much relieved and comforted me at all times, and shall be a goodly testimony with you at the great day, against many worldly and dainty dames, which set more by their own pleasure and pelf in this world, than by God's glory, little regarding (as it appeareth) the everlasting health of their own souls or others'. My prayer shall be, whilst I am in this world, that God, which of his great mercy hath begun his good work in you, will finish it to the glory of his name; and, by the mighty power and inspiration of his Holy Spirit, so strengthen, stablish, and confirm you in all his ways to the end, that we may together show forth his praises in the world to come, to our unspeakable consolation everlastingly. Amen.
"So long as God shall lend you continuance in this miserable world, above all things give yourself continually to prayer, lifting up, as St. Paul saith, clean or pure hands without anger, wrath, or doubting; forgiving (as he saith also) if you have any thing against any man, as Christ forgiveth us. And that we may be the better willing to forgive, it is good often to call to remembrance the multitude and greatness of our sins, which Christ daily and hourly pardoneth and forgiveth us; and then we shall, as St. Peter affirmeth, be ready to cover and hide the offences of our brethren, be they never so many. And because God's word teacheth us, not only the true manner of praying, but also what we ought to do or not to do in the whole discourse and practice of this life, what pleaseth or displeaseth God; and that, as Christ saith, The word of God that he hath spoken shall judge in the last day: let your prayer he to this end specially, that God of his great mercy would open and reveal more and more daily to your heart the true sense, knowledge, and understanding of his most holy word, and give you grace in your living, to express the fruits thereof.
"And forasmuch as it is, as the Holy Ghost calleth it, the word of affliction, that is, it is seldom without hatred, persecution, peril, danger of loss of life and goods, and whatsoever seemeth pleasant in this world, as experience teacheth you in this time; call upon God continually for his assistance always, as Christ teacheth, casting your accounts what it is like to cost you; endeavouring yourself, through the help of the Holy Ghost, by continuance of prayer to lay your foundation so sure, that no storm or tempest shall be able to overthrow or cast it down; remembering always (as Christ saith) Lot's wife; that is, to beware of looking back to that thing that displeaseth God. And because nothing displeaseth God so much as idolatry, (that is, false worshipping of God, otherwise than his word commandeth,) look not back (I say) nor turn your face to their idolatrous and blasphemous massing, manifestly against the word, practice, and example of Christ; as it is most manifest to all that have any taste of the true understanding of God's word, that there remaineth nothing in the Church of England at this present, profitable or edifying to the church and congregation of the Lord, all things being done in an unknown tongue, contrary to the express commandment of the Holy Ghost.
"They object that they be the church, and therefore they must be believed. My answer was, the church of God knoweth and acknowledgeth no other head but Jesus Christ, the Son of God, whom ye have refused, and chosen the man of sin, the son of perdition, enemy to Christ, the devil's deputy and lieutenant, the pope.
"Christ's church heareth, teacheth, and is ruled by his word, as he saith, My sheep hear my voice. If you abide in me, and my word in you, you be my disciples. Their church repelleth God's word, and forceth all men to follow their traditions.
"Christ's church dare not add or diminish, alter or change, his blessed Testament; but they be not afraid to take away all that Christ instituted, and go a whoring (as the Scripture saith) with their own inventions, to glory and rejoice in the works of their own hands.
"The church of Christ is, hath been, and shall be in all ages, under the cross, persecuted, molested, and afflicted; the world ever hating them, because they be not of the world. But these persecute, murder, slay, and kill, such as profess the true doctrine of Christ, be they in learning, living, conversation, and other virtues never so excellent.
"Christ and his church reserved the trial of their doctrine to the word of God, and gave the people leave to judge thereof by the same word, Search the Scriptures. But this church taketh away the word from the people, and suffereth neither learned nor unlearned to examine or prove their doctrine by the word of God.
"The true church of God laboureth by all means to resist and withstand the lusts, desires, and motions of the world, the flesh, and the devil: these for the most part give themselves to all voluptuousness, and secretly commit such things, which (as St. Paul saith) it is shame to speak of.
"By these, and such-like manifest probations, they do declare themselves to be none of the church of Christ, but rather of the synagogue of Satan. It shall be good for you oftentimes to confer and compare their proceedings and doings with the practice of those whom the word of God doth teach to have been true members of the church of God, and it shall work in you both knowledge, erudition, and boldness, to withstand with suffering their doings. I likened them therefore to Nimrod, whom the Scripture calleth a mighty hunter, or a stout champion, telling them that that which they could not have by the word, they would have by the sword, and be the church, whether men will or no; and called them with good conscience, as Christ called their forefathers, the children of the devil; and as their father the devil is a liar and a murderer, so their kingdom and church (as they call it) standeth by lying and murdering.
"Have no fellowship with them therefore, my dear wife, nor with their doctrine and traditions, lest you be partaker of their sins, for whom is reserved a heavy damnation, without speedy repentance. Beware of such as shall advertise you something to bear with the world, as they do, for a season. There is no dallying with God's matters. It is a fearful thing, as St. Paul saith, to fall into the hands of God. Remember the prophet Elias, 'Why halt ye on both sides? Remember what Christ saith, He that putteth his hands to the plough, and looketh back, is not worthy of me. And seeing God hath hitherto allowed you as a good soldier in the foreward, play not the coward, neither draw back to the rearward. St. John numbereth among them that shall dwell in the fiery lake, such as be fearful in God's cause. Set before your eyes always the examples of such as have behaved themselves boldly in God's cause, as Stephen, Peter, Paul, Daniel, the three children, the widow's sons, and in your days, Anne Askew, Laurence Saunders, John Bradford, with many other faithful witnesses of Christ. Be afraid in nothing, saith St. Paul, of the adversaries of Christ's doctrine, the which is to them the sign of perdition, but to you of everlasting salvation. Christ commandeth the same, saying, Fear them not. Let us not follow the example of him which asked time first, to take leave of his friends. If we so do, we shall find few of them that will encourage us to go forward in our business, please it God never so much. We read not that James and John, Andrew and Simon, when they were called, put off the time till they had known their fathers' and friends' pleasure. But the Scripture saith, They forsook all, and by and by followed Christ. Christ likened the kingdom of God to a precious pearl, the which whosoever findeth, selleth all that he hath to buy it. Yea, whosoever hath but a little taste or glimmering how precious a treasure the kingdom of heaven is, will gladly forego both life and goods for the obtaining of it. But the most part nowadays be like to Ęsop's cock, which when he had found a precious stone, wished rather to have found a barley-corn. So ignorant be they how precious a jewel the word of God is, that they choose rather the things of this world, which, being compared to it, be less in value than a barley-corn.
"If I would have given place to worldly reasons, these might have moved me: first, the foregoing of you and my children; the consideration of the state of my children, being yet tender of age, and young, apt and inclinable to virtue and learning, and so having the more need of my assistance, being not altogether destitute of gifts to help them withal; possessions above the common sort of men; because I was never called to be a preacher or minister; and (because of my sickness) fear of death in imprisonment, before I should come to my answer, and so my death to be unprofitable.
"But these and such-like, I thank my heavenly Father, (which of his infinite mercy inspired me with his Holy Ghost, for his Son's sake my only Saviour and Redeemer,) prevailed not in me: but when I had, by the wonderful permission of God, fallen into their hands, at the first sight of the sheriff, nature a little abashed; yet ere ever I came to the prison, by the working of God, and through his goodness, fear departed. I said to the sheriff at his coming unto me, 'What matter have you, Master Sheriff; to charge me withal?' He answered, 'You shall know when you come before the masters;' and so taking me with him, I looked to have been brought before the masters, and to have heard what they could have burdened me withal: but, contrary to my expectation, I was committed forthwith to the gaol, not being called to my answer, little justice being showed therein. But the less justice a man findeth at their bands, the more consolation in conscience shall he find from God; for whosoever is of the world, the world will love him.
"After I came into prison, and had reposed myself there awhile, I wept for joy and gladness my belly full, musing much of the great mercies of God, and (as it were) saying to myself after this sort: O Lord, who am I, on whom thou shouldest bestow this thy great mercy, to be numbered among the saints that suffer for thy gospel's sake?' And so, beholding and considering on the one side my imperfection, unableness, sinful misery, and unworthiness, and on the other side the greatness of God's mercy, to be called to so high promotion, I was, as it were, amazed and overcome for a while with joy and gladness, concluding thus with myself in my heart; O Lord, thou showest power in weakness, wisdom in foolishness, mercy in sinfulness; who shall let thee to choose where and whom thou wilt? As I have zealously loved the confession of thy word, so ever thought I myself to be most unworthy to be partaker of the affliction for the same.
"Not long after came unto me Master W. Brasbridge, Master C. Phineas, Master N. Hopkins, travailing with me to be dismissed upon bonds. To whom my answer was (to my remembrance) after this sort: 'Forasmuch as the masters have imprisoned me, having nothing to burden me withal, if I should enter into bonds, I should in so doing accuse myself; and seeing they have no matter to lay to my charge, they may as well let me pass without bonds, as with bonds.'
"Secondarily, if I shall enter bonds, covenant, and promise to appear, I shall do nothing but excuse, colour, and cloak their wickedness, and endanger myself nevertheless, being bound by my promise to appear. They alleged many worldly persuasions to me to avoid the present peril, and also how to avoid the forfeiture, if I brake promise: I said unto them, I had cast up my pennyworth by God's help. They undertook also to make the bond easy.
"And when they were somewhat importunate, I said to Master Hopkins, that liberty of conscience was a precious thing; and took as it were a pause, lifting up my heart to God earnestly for his aid and help, that I might do the thing that might please him. And so, when they had let their suit fall, my heart (methought) was wonderfully comforted. Master Dudley communed with me in like manner; whom I answered in effect as I did before.
"Afterward debating the matter with myself, these considerations came into my head; I have from time to time with good conscience (God I take to record) moved all such as I had conference withal to be no dalliers in God's matters, but to show themselves, after so great a light and knowledge, hearty, earnest, constant, and stable in so manifest a truth, and not to give place one jot contrary to the same. Now thought I, if I shall withdraw myself, and make any shifts to pull my own neck out of the collar, I shall give great offence to my weak brethren in Christ, and advantage to the enemies to slander God's word. It will be said, He hath been a great boldener of others to be earnest and fervent, to fear no worldly perils or dangers, but he himself will give no such example.
"Wherefore I thought it my bounden duty, both to God and man, being (as it were) by the great goodness of God marvellously called and appointed hereunto, to set aside all fear, perils, and dangers, all worldly respects and considerations, and like as I had heretofore, according to the measure of my small gift within the compass of my vocation and calling, from the bottom of my heart unfeignedly moved, exhorted, and persuaded all that professed God's word, manfully to persist in the defence of the same, not with sword and violence, but with suffering and loss of life, rather than to defile themselves again with the whorish abomination of the Romish antichrist; so, the hour being come, with my fact and example to ratify, confirm, and protest the same to the hearts of all true believers: and to this end, by the mighty assistance of God's Holy Spirit, I resolved myself, with much peace of conscience, willingly to sustain whatsoever the Romish antichrist should do against me, and the rather because I understood the bishop's coming to be at hand, and considered that poor men's consciences should be then sharply assaulted. So remained I prisoner in Coventry by the space of ten or eleven days, being never called to my answer of the masters, contrary to the laws of the realm, they having neither statute, law, proclamation, letter, warrant, nor commandment for my apprehension. They would have laid all the matter upon the sumner: who being examined, denied it before their faces, (as one of my friends told me,) saying, that he had no commandment concerning me, but for my elder brother. God lay not their extreme doings against me to their charge at the great day!"
But now, because mention hath been made of the elder brother, I thought good to speak something of him; as well for that the order of this tragedy so requireth, as because his virtues and qualities were such as I could in no ways commit them to silence. This man's name was John Glover, something elder than Robert; a gentleman born, and heir to his father; a man of fair lands, but not so abounding in worldly goods and possessions, as nourished with heavenly cogitations and virtuous doings; the which, many years, had professed and acknowledged the blissful and gracious knowledge of the gospel, showing no less by his life and example the same: much unlike our gospellers, nowadays, which suppose the profession of the gospel to consist in words. But this man used another kind of professing of it far different, converting all his care that he might appear a gospeller, as well within as without; not so much that he should so seem before men, as that he might first frame his life correspondent and worthy his profession before God. He saw and perceived, as indeed it was, the sum of Christianity not to consist in stout disputations, contentions, reasonings, loud clamours, strong definitions, and ambitious pertinacity of mind, but rather in ordering and subduing affections in the quiet and silent mind, in good conscience and devout prayer; and laboured ever to this end, not so much to brag and talk of the gospel, as to show the same by example of his life: and therefore he gave not daily diligence to the reading of the gospel only, to collect thereof, as many do, common-places, but as well to be instructed, thereby, with good mind and conscience. He was a great student of divinity; the occasion whereof was not the desire of novelties, arguing and talking, or that he might seem the more learned to others, but that he himself might be the better for it; and also not so much to be the more instructed to the conflicts of idle contention, as to be the readier and meeter for the kingdom of Christ. To be short, he read the gospel of Christ, not so much to collect thereof any common-places, as to gather necessary matter of edifying, whereof he daily sucked those things which no less made for the confirmation of his faith and godly life, than for the knowledge of Christ and his salvation. And doubtless, by this his assiduous labour, he profited marvellously, as by the singular fruits and example of his life sufficiently is declared, whose mind was always upon our Saviour Jesus Christ, and his works; even so much, that he, contemning the world, and being all wholly possessed with the earnest zeal of godliness, was, in every place, as well abroad as at home, a lantern of godly living to all the rest; and also, being as one placed in heaven, and dead in this world, he both meditated and led a life altogether celestial; [it] being a world to see how that he abhorred the profane doings. No, nor yet his talk in any wise differed from his life, throwing out never any idle, vile, or vain language. The most part of his lands he distributed among his brethren, and committed the guide of the rest to his servants and officers, that the more quietly he might give himself to his godly study, as to a continual Sabbath rest.
And besides these his great number of virtues, he was well learned, although his brother Robert was better seen in the literature which doth polish and bring a man to eloquence. But in those things which appertained to heavenliness and good conscience, he was far more exercised: like disposition and mind were in both; having wit and memory most happily grafted in them. And as concerning good zeal and love towards religion, whereunto they seemed by nature indifferently to be born, they were so matched and so like one to another, that a man could not tell who excelled the other; unless because Robert, as he was the bigger of stature, so he was a more earnest and mightier champion against the adversaries of truth: but yet John less feared peril, although this Robert suffered as a martyr; and was as much desirous of martyrdom as he, and more so. And, verily I cannot tell whether, in the case of felicity, John gave place to his brother Robert or no, who also might be counted a martyr, yea, and chronicled for a double martyr; for the said Robert was quickly, and out of hand, despatched with the sharp and extreme torments of the fire. But this, the most blessed martyr of all, what more grievous passions, boiling heats of the fire of hell, so many years both in body and in soul he suffered and sustained, no tongue can express.
Being a young man I myself was once or twice with him; whom, as part by his talk I perceived, and part by mine own eyes saw, to be so worn and consumed by the space of five years, that almost any brooking of meat, quietness of sleep, pleasure of life, yea, and almost no kind of senses, was left in him. And, doubtless, I have greatly wondered at the marvellous works and operation of Christ showed upon him; who, unless he had relieved betimes his poor wretched sheep, so many times in distress, with continual consolation, it could not be possible that he should have sustained so intolerable pains and torments; and yet the occasion thereof was not of so great moment and weight.
But this we see commonly among holy and blessed men, that the more devout and godly they are, having the fear of God before their eyes, the more suspect and mistrust they have of themselves; whereby it cometh to pass, that often they are pinched and vexed with very small sins as most grievous, when that (contrary) you may see very many whom the greatest crimes of the world do not once move or trouble. The occasion of this was, that he, being first called by the light of the Holy Spirit to the knowledge of the gospel, and then falling thence, as we commonly see, to his former trade of life, began to mistrust himself, as one that rashly and suddenly had forsaken his vocation, and thereupon was in belief that he had sinned against the Holy Ghost.
But, thanks be to Christ our Lord, his continual Keeper, who suffereth not any man to be tempted above his strength, but so tempereth and seasoneth the asperity of evils, that not only they do not injure them, but oftentimes fall out to a further commodity than is looked for; which thing did appear as much in this John, as ever did in any one, who albeit, as we have said, suffered so many years sharp temptations, yet more happy were they to him than tongue can tell, which heaped so many and great virtues in him, with reconciliation of his tranquillity, and so vanquished him from all worldly affections of the same; insomuch that nothing could be more blessed and pure than his life, nothing more quiet or more fervent to Christ and his ways. Nor truly was it any marvel if this his ardent and vehement zeal toward the gospel of Christ, in this turbulent time of persecution, (as indeed it did not,) either could, or did, lie hid in him.
What needeth many words? As soon as the bishop of Coventry heard the fame of this John so to be spread out of hand, he wrote to the mayor and officers to apprehend him as soon as might be: but it chanced otherwise by God's holy providence, who disposeth all things according to his secret pleasure, and contrary to the expectation of man. And although this John took it more inwardly than any tongue can express, when he, being ever desirous of death, saw, in his stead, his brother to be carried to his death, yet doubtless it was provided by the singular grace and just providence of God; for he, seeing his old and trusty servant so many years, with so extreme and many torments, broken and dried up, would in no wise heap so many sorrows upon one poor silly wretch, neither would commit him to the flames of fire, who had been scorched and so consumed with the sharp sorrows of his mind, and had sustained so many darts and conflicts of Satan so many years. God of his divine providence thought this too much, whose custom was never so to deal with his servants; and therefore he provided that Robert, either for his learning-sake or soundness of his strength, should stoutly suffer and sustain this conflict; and although there lacked no stomach in the other to suffer martyrdom, yet our Lord thought rather to use this man's stomach and knowledge in refuting the adversaries' arguments, and so to be more expedient to the cause of his salvation. But, howsoever the matter stood, Robert was taken in the stead of John, and that not without the singular will and love of God to either of them; for as soon as the mayor of Coventry had received the bishop's letters, he sent forthwith a private watchword to John, to convey away himself, who, with his brother William, was not so soon departed out of his house, but that yet, in spite of the sheriff and others, the searchers came and rushed in to take him, according to the bishop's commandment; who when he could in no place be found, one of the officers, going up into an upper chamber, found there Robert, the other brother, lying on his bed, and sick of a long disease, who was by him brought before the sheriff. And although the sheriff, favouring Robert and his cause, would fain have dismissed him, saying that "he was not the man for whom they were sent," yet was he feared with the stout words of the officer, contending with him about his staying till the bishop's coming, carried him away against his will, and laid him fast till the bishop came. And this so much concerning John: now will I return to Robert's letters, from whence I have made some digression.
Robert Glover's letter continued.
"The second day after the bishop's coming to Coventry, Master Warren came to the Guildhall, and willed the chief jailer to carry me to the bishop. I laid to Master Warren's charge the cruel seeking of my death; and when he would have excused himself, I told him he could not wipe his hands so; he was as guilty of my blood before God, as though he had murdered me with his own hands.
"And so he parted from me, saying, I needed not to fear, if I would be of his belief. God open his eyes, if it be his will, and give him grace to believe this, which he and all of his inclination shall find (I fear) too true for their parts: that is, that all they which cruelly, maliciously, and spitefully persecute, molest, and afflict the members of Christ for their conscience' sake, and for the true testimony of Christ's word, and cause them most unjustly to be slain and murdered; without speedy repentance, shall dwell with the devil and his angels in the fierce lake everlastingly, where they shall wish and desire, cry and call, but in vain, (as their right companion Epulo did,) to be refreshed of them, whom in this world they contemned, despised, disdained, as slaves, misers, and wretches.
"When I came before the bishop in one Denton's house, he began with this protestation, that he was my bishop for lack of a better, and willed me to submit myself. I said to him, 'I am not come to accuse myself; what have you to lay to my charge?' He asked me whether I was learned? I answered, 'Smally learned.' Master Chancellor, standing by, said, I was a Master of Arts. Then my Lord laid to my charge my not coming to the church. Here I might have dallied with him, and put him to his proofs, forasmuch as I had not been for a long season in his diocese, neither were any of the citizens able to prove any such matter against me. Notwithstanding I answered him, through God's merciful help, that I neither had nor would come at their church as long as their mass was used there, to save (if I had them) five hundred lives. I willed him to show me one jot or tittle in the Scriptures for the proof and defence of the mass. He answered, he came to teach, and not to be taught. I was content (I told him) to learn of him, so far as he was able to teach me by the word of God."
Bishop.--"Who shall judge the word?"
Glover.--"Christ was content that the people should judge his doctrine by searching the Scriptures, and so was Paul: methinketh ye should claim no further privilege nor pre-eminence than they had."
Thus spake Robert Glover, offering him further, that he was content the primitive church, next to the apostles' time, should judge betwixt the bishop and him: but he refused also to be judged by that. Then he said, he was his bishop, and therefore he must believe him.
"If you say black is white, my Lord," quoth Glover, "must I also say as you say, and believe the same because you say it is so?" Master Chancellor here noted me to be arrogant, because I would not give place to my bishop.
Glover.--"If you will be believed because you be a bishop, why find you fault with the people that believed Master Latimer, Master Ridley, Master Hooper, and the residue of them that were bishops."
Bishop.--"Because they were heretics."
"And may not you err," quoth I, "as well as they?" I looked for learning at my Lord's hand to persuade me, and he oppressed me only with his authority. He said, I dissented from the church, and asked me where my church was before King Edward's time?
"I desired him to show me where their church was in Elias's time, and what outward show it had in Christ's time."
Bishop.--"Elias's complaint was only of the ten tribes that fell from David's house, whom he called heretics."
Glover.--"You be not able to show any prophets that the other two tribes had at that same time." "My Lord making no answer to that, Master Rogers, one of the masters of the city, cometh in the mean season, taking upon him as though he would answer to the text. But my Lord forthwith commanded me to be committed to some tower, if they had any besides the common gaol, saying, he would at the end of his visitation of his diocese, weed out such wolves. Master Rogers willed him to content himself for that night, till they had taken further order for me. 'Even where it pleaseth you,' said I to my Lord, 'I am content;' and so I was returned at that time to the common gaol again, from whence I came.
"On the Friday morning, being the next day after, I had warning by one of the prisoners to prepare myself to ride with my fellow prisoners the same day to Lichfield, there to be bestowed at the bishop's pleasure; which tidings at the first something discouraged me, fearing lest I should, by the means of my great sickness, through extreme handling, (which I looked for,) have died in the prison before I should come to my answer. But I rebuked immediately with God's word this infidelity in myself, and by the same corrected mine own mistrust and fantasy after this manner: 'What make I of God? Is not his power as great in Lichfield as in Coventry? Doth not his promise extend as well to Lichfield as to Coventry? Was he not with Habakkuk, Daniel, Meshech, and Jeremy, in their most dangerous imprisonments? He knoweth what things we have need of. He hath numbered all the hairs of our head. The sparrow falleth not on the ground, without our heavenly Father's will; much more will he care for us if we be not faithless, whom he hath made worthy to be witnesses of his truth. So long as we put our trust in him, we shall never be destitute of his help, neither in prison, neither in sickness nor in health, neither in life nor in death; neither before kings, nor before bishops, nor the devil himself: much less one of his ministers shall be able to prevail against us.' With such-like meditations I waxed cheerful, of good consolation and comfort; so that, hearing one say that they could not provide horses enow for us, I said, 'Let them carry us in a dung-cart for lack of horses, if they list; I am well content, for my part.'
"Notwithstanding, at the request of my friends, I wrote to Master Mayor, and his brethren, briefly requiring them that I might make answer here to such things as should be laid to my charge: the contents of which letter were these.
"'I beseech you to understand, that it is not unknown, as well to the keeper of the gaol, as to the inhabitants about me where I dwell, that I am a man subject to very great sickness, and have been by the space of seven years and more; so that it is not like that I shall be removed without peril and danger of my life. And because I was here committed to ward by your appointment, I would gladly here answer to such things as should be laid to my charge.
If I may obtain this of you, I have cause thankfully to acknowledge your indifferency; if otherwise, I pray God it be not laid to your charge at the great day, where every man shall have just judgment without respect of person.
"'Your prisoner in the Lord.
always mindful of you in my poor prayer.
"But I received no answers of my letters to nor fro. I conjectured that when the bishop and the chancellor had seen them, it moved them the rather to have me away, being more desirous (as I suppose) to have had me despatched privily in prison, than to come openly to my answer. The manner of entreating and using me at my first coming to prison, did partly declare the same.
"Certain sergeants and constables of Coventry, being appointed to have the conveying of us to Lichfield, to be delivered there to one Jephcot the chancellor's man, sent from Coventry with us for the same purpose, we were commanded to horseback about eleven or twelve of the clock on Friday, being market-day, that we might be the more gazed and wondered at: and to kindle the people's hearts more against us, they did proclaim a letter concerning a proclamation made for calling in, and disannulling of, all such books as truly expound and interpret the Scriptures. We came to Lichfield about four of the clock at night, and had leave to repose ourselves for our supper-time. We inned at the sign of the Swan, where we were entertained friendly and gently.
"After supper Jephcot repaired to us, whom we entreated that upon sureties we might rest ourselves that night, being unprovided of any thing to help ourselves withal in the prison at that present. He was content at the first, as he seemed; but afterwards, Whether it was by persuasion, or rather (as it seemed to me) he did but of policy put off the time till he had gathered a multitude to stare and wonder upon us, and also that we should provide nothing to ease ourselves withal, he revoked his promise; and so by consent we were had to the prison, the multitude wondering at us. I willed Jephcot before to execute his office with mercy, telling him that they should have judgment without mercy that showed no mercy. And this mercy I found at his hand:-
"He put me into a prison that same night, where I continued till I was condemned, in a place next to the dungeon, narrow of rooms, strong of building, and very cold, with small light; and there allowed he me a bundle of straw, instead of my bed, without chair, form, or any other thing else to ease myself withal. God of his mercy gave me great patience through prayer that night, so that, if it had been his pleasure, I could have been contented to have ended my life; but Jephcot, and one Persey the bishop's man, which afterwards was my continual keeper for the most part, came to me in the morning, to whom I said, 'This is a great extremity; God send us patience, and no more.'
"Then they were content that I should have a bed of mine own procurement. But I was allowed no help, neither night nor day, nor company of any man, notwithstanding my great sickness; nor yet paper, pen, nor ink, nor books, saving my New Testament in Latin, and a Prayer-book which I privily stole in.
"Within two days after, Master Chancellor, and one Temsey, a prebendary there, came to me into my prison. Master Chancellor exhorted me to conform myself to my Lord, and to the church. He wished to my soul no more hurt than to his own; belike because I had laid to his charge at Coventry the seeking of my blood unjustly and wrongfully.
"Now thus the second time I answered Master Chancellor to his exhortation, that I refused not to be ruled by that church that was content to be ordered and governed by the word of God.
"He asked me how I knew the word of God, but by the church."
Glover.--"The church showeth which is the word of God, therefore the church is above the word of God. This is no good reason in learning," said I to Master Chancellor, "for it is like unto this: John showed the people who was Christ; ergo, John was above Christ. Or else, I have a man that knoweth not the king, and I tell him who was the king: Am I therefore above the king?"
"Master Chancellor said, he came not to reason with me, and so departed. So remained I without any further conference of any man by the space of eight days, and till the bishop's coming: in the which time I gave myself continually to prayer, and meditation of the merciful promises of God, made unto all, without exception of person, that call upon the name of his dear Son Jesus Christ. I found in myself daily amendment of health of body, increase of peace in conscience, and many consolations from God, by the help of his Holy Spirit, and sometimes as it were a taste and glimmering of the life to come; all for his only Son Jesus Christ's sake: to him be all praise for ever and ever. Amen.
"The enemy ceased not many times sundry ways to assault me, often objecting to my conscience mine own unworthiness, through the greatness of the benefit to be counted among the number of them that should suffer for Christ, or his gospel's sake. Against him I replied with the word of God on this sort, What were all those whom God had chosen from the beginning, to be his witnesses, and to carry his name before the world? Were they not men, as Paul and Barnabas said, similiter obnoxii peccato, as well subject to wickedness, sin, and imperfections, as other men be? Even such were Noah, Abraham, David, and all the rest; as Paul saith, Who gave first unto him? And also speaking to every man, What hast thou, that thou receivedst not? Likewise John, All have received of his fulness; they were no bringers of any goodness to God, but altogether receivers. They chose not God first, but he chose them. They loved not God first, but he loved them first. Yea, he both loved and chose them when they were his enemies, full of sin and corruption, and void of all goodness. Est Dominus omnium, dives in omnes et super omnes invocantes eum. He is and will be still the same God, as rich in mercy, as mighty, as able, as ready, as willing to forgive sins without respect of person, to the world's end, of all them that call upon him. Prope est Dominus omnibus invocantibus eum: God is near, he is at hand, he is with all; with all, (I say,) and refuseth none, excepteth none that faithfully, in true repentance, call upon him; in what hour, what place, or what time soever it be. It is no arrogancy nor presumption in any man, to burden God (as it were) with his promise, and of duty to claim and challenge his aid, help, and assistance in all our perils, dangers, and distress, calling upon him, not in the confidence of our own godliness, but in the trust of his promises made in Christ, in whom, and by whom, and for whose sake, whosoever boldly approacheth to the mercy-seat of the Father, is sure to receive whatsoever is expedient or necessary, either for body or soul, in more ample wise and large manner, than he can well wish or dare desire. His word cannot lie: Call upon me in the day of trouble, and I will hear thee; and thou shalt praise me.
"I answered the enemy also on this manner: I am a sinner, and therefore unworthy to be a witness of his truth. What then? Must I deny his word, because I am not worthy to profess it? What bring I to pass in so doing, but add sin to sin? What is greater sin than to deny the truth of Christ's gospel? as Christ himself beareth witness, He that is ashamed of me or of my words, of him I also will be ashamed before my Father and all his angels. I might also, by like reason, forbear to do any of God's commandments.
"When I am provoked to pray, the enemy may say to me, I am not worthy to pray, therefore I shall not pray: and so in like manner of all the commandments, I shall not forbear swearing, stealing, murdering, because I am not worthy to do any commandment of God. These be the delusions of the devil, and Satan's suggestions, which must be overcome by continuance of prayer, and with the word of God applied, according to the measure of every man's gift, against all assaults of the devil.
"At the bishop's first coming to Lichfield, after mine imprisonment, I was called into a by-chamber next to my prison, to my Lord. Before whom when I came, and saw none but his officers, chaplains, and servants, except it were an old priest, I was partly amazed, and lifted up my heart to God for his merciful help and assistance.
"My Lord asked me how I liked my imprisonment: I gave him no answer touching that question. He proceeded to persuade me to be a member of his church, which had continued so many years. As for our church, (as he called it,) it was not known, he said, but lately in King Edward's time.
"I profess myself to be a member of that church (said I) that is builded upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ being the head corner-stone; and so alleged the place of St. Paul to the Ephesians. And this church hath been from the beginning, (said I,) though it bear no glorious show before the world, being ever, for the most part, under the cross and affliction, contemned, despised, and persecuted. My Lord, on the other side, contended that they were the church."
Glover.--"So cried all the clergy against the prophets at Jerusalem, saying, 'The church, the church.'"
"And always when I was about to speak any thing, my Lord cried, 'Hold thy peace; I command thee by the virtue of obedience to hold thy peace:' calling me a proud, arrogant heretic.
"I willed my Lord to burden me with some specialties, and then to convince me with some Scriptures and good learning.
"Then my Lord began to move certain questions. I refused to answer him in corners, requiring that I might make my answer openly. He said I should answer him there. I stood with him upon that point until he said, I should to prison again, and there have neither meat nor drink till I had answered him.
"Then I lifted up my heart to God, that I might stand and agree with the doctrine of his most holy word.
"The first question was this, How many sacraments Christ instituted to be used in the church? "The sacrament of baptism," said I, "and the sacrament that he instituted at his last supper."
"No more?" said he.
Glover.--"To all those that declare a true and unfeigned repentance, a sure hope, trust, and confidence in the death of Christ -- to such, ministers (I grant) have authority to pronounce, by the power of God's word, the remission of sins."
"Here, interrupting me, he would needs bear me in hand that I called this a sacrament. I would not greatly contend with him in that point, because that matter was of no great weight or importance; although he in so doing did me wrong, for I called it not a sacrament.
"He asked me further, Whether I allowed their confession? I answered, No.
"Then he would know my mind what I thought of the presence of Christ's body in the sacrament. "I answered, that their mass was neither sacrifice nor sacrament, 'because,' said I, 'you have taken away the true institution, which when you restore again, I will tell you my judgment concerning Christ's body in the sacrament.'"
And thus much did this worthy martyr of God leave behind him by his own hand in writing concerning the manner of his using and entreating in prison, and also of his conflicts had with the bishop and his chancellor. More examinations he had, no doubt, with the bishop in the public consistory, when he was brought forth to be condemned, which also he would have left unto us, if either length of life, or leisure of time, or haste of execution, had permitted him to finish that he intended; but by reason of the writ of his burning being come down from London, lack of time neither did serve him so to do, neither yet could I get the records of his last examinations, wheresoever they are become.
Only this, which I could learn by relation of one Austen Bernher, a minister, and a familiar friend of his, concerning the going to his death, I can report, that the said blessed servant of the Lord, Master Robert Glover, after he was condemned by the bishop, and was now at a point to he delivered out of this world, it so happened, that two or three days before, his heart being lumpish, and desolate of all spiritual consolation, felt in himself no aptness nor willingness, but rather a heaviness and dulness of spirit, full of much discomfort to bear the bitter cross of martyrdom ready to be laid upon him.
Whereupon, fearing in himself lest the Lord had utterly withdrawn his wonted favour from him, he made his moan to this Austen, his friend above remembered, signifying unto him how earnestly he had prayed day and night unto the Lord, and yet could receive no motion nor sense of any comfort from him. Unto whom the said Austen, answering again, willed and desired him patiently to wait the Lord's pleasure, and howsoever his present feeling was, yet, seeing his cause was just and true, he exhorted him constantly to stick to the same, and to play the man, nothing misdoubting but the Lord in his good time would visit him, and satisfy his desire with plenty of consolation, whereof (he said) he was right certain and sure; and therefore desired him, whensoever any such feeling of God's heavenly mercies should begin to touch his heart, that then he should show some signification thereof, whereby he might witness with him the same; and so departed from him.
The next day, when the time came of his martyrdom, as he was going to the place, and was now come to the sight of the stake, although all the night before praying for strength and courage he could feel none, suddenly he was so mightily replenished with God's holy comfort and heavenly joys, that he cried out, clapping his hands to Austen, and saying in these words, "Austen, he is come, he is come," &c., and that with such joy and alacrity, as one seeming rather to be risen from some deadly danger to liberty of life, than as one passing out of the world by any pains of death. Such was the change of the marvellous working of the Lord's hand upon that good man.
Here followeth the story how John Glover and William Glover were excommunicate and cast out after their death, and buried in the fields.
Now that we have discoursed the story of Master Robert Glover, something also would be touched of his other two brethren, John and William Glover; who, albeit they were not called to finish their course by like kind of martyrdom in the fire, as the others did, yet, because for their constant profession of God's gospel unto the latter end, they were exempted after their death, and cast out of the same church, as the other was, I thought them not unworthy therefore in the story to be joined together, who, in one cause and the same profession, were not sundered one from the other.
And first concerning Master John Glover, the eldest brother, what inward storms and agonies he sustained by the ghostly enemy, partly ye heard before described: now what his bodily enemies wrought against him, remaineth to be declared; whose rage and malice, although God so restrained that they could little prevail against him so long ashis life endured, yet, after his decease, having power upon him, what they did ye shall now understand. After the martyrdom of Master Robert Glover, although John Glover, seeing his brother to be apprehended for him, had small joy of his life for the great sorrow of his heart wherewith he was sore oppressed, and would gladly have put himself in his brother's stead, if friends had not otherwise persuaded him, showing that in so doing he might entangle himself, but should do his brother no good: he thus in great care and vexation endured, yet, notwithstanding, rubbing out as well as he could, till at length, about the latter end of Queen Mary, there was a new search made for the said John Glover.
Whereupon the sheriffs, with their under-officers and servants, being sent to seek him, came into his house where he and his wife were. It chanced as he was in his chamber by himself, the officers, bursting into the house and searching other rooms, came to the chamber-door were this John Glover was, who, being within, and holding the latch softly with his hand, perceived and heard the officers bustling about the door, amongst whom one of the said officers having the string in his hand, was ready to draw and pluck at the same.
In the mean time another coming by, (whose voice he heard and knew,) bade them come away, saying they had been there before. Whereupon they, departing thence, went to search other corners of the house, where they found Agnes Glover his wife, who being had to Lichfield, and there examined before the bishop, at length, after much ado, was constrained to give place to their tyranny. John Glover, in the mean time, partly for care of his wife, partly through cold taken in the woods where he did lie, took an ague, whereupon, not long after, he left his life, which the cruel papists so long had sought for. Thus, by the mighty protection of the Almighty Lord, how John Glover was delivered and defended from the hands of the persecuting enemies during all the time of his life, ye have heard. Now what befell after his death, both to him and William his brother, it is not unworthy to be remembered; who, after that he was dead and buried in the churchyard without priest or clerk, Dr. Dracot, then chancellor, six weeks after, sent for the parson of the town, and demanded how it chanced that he was there buried. The parson answered that he was then sick, and knew not of it. Then the chancellor commanded the parson to go home, and to cause the body of the said John Glover to be taken up, and to be cast over the wall into the highway: the parson again answered that he had been six weeks in the earth, and so smelled, that none was able to abide the savour of him. "Well," quoth Dr. Dracot, "then take this bill, and pronounce him in the pulpit a damned soul, and a twelvemonth after take up his bones, (for then the flesh will be consumed,) and cast them over the wall, that carts and horses may tread upon them; and then will I come and hallow again that place in the churchyard where he was buried." This was recorded by the parson of the town, who told the same to Hugh Burrows, dwelling at Findern in Derbyshire, and to Mr. Robert Glover's wife, by whose credible information we received the same.
Not much unlike usage was practised also by these catholic children of the mother church, upon the body of William, the third brother; whom after it had pleased Almighty God about the same season to call out of this vale of misery, the good disposed people of the town of Wem, in Shropshire, where he died, brought the body unto the parish church, intending there to have it buried. But one Bernard, being then curate of the said church, (and yet is, as I hear say, to this day,) to stop the burial thereof, rode to the bishop, named Radulph Banes, to certify him of the matter, and to have his advice therein. In the mean time the body lying there a whole day, in the night time one Richard Morice, a tailor, would have interred him. But then came John Thorlyne, of Wem, with others more, and would not suffer the body to be buried; expressing to us the contrary example of good Tobit, for as he was religious in burying the dead, so this man putteth religion in not burying the dead: so that after he had lain there two days and one night, cometh the foresaid Bernard the curate with the bishop's letter,the contents of which letter, being copied out word for word, here follow.
"Understanding that one Glover, a heretic, is dead in the parish of Wem, which Glover hath for all the time of my being in this country been known for a rebel against our holy faith and religion, a contemner of the holy sacraments and ceremonies used in the holy church, and hath separated himself from the holy communion of all good Christian men, and never required to be reconciled to our mother holy church, nor in his last days did call for his ghostly father, but died without all rites belonging to a Christian man; I thought it good not only to command the curate of Wem, that he should not be buried in Christian man's burial, but also will and command all the parish of Wem, that no man procure, help, nor speak, to have him buried in holy ground: but I do charge and command the churchwardens of Wem, in special, and all the parish of the same, that they assist the said curate in defending, and letting, and procuring, that he be not buried either in the church, or within the wainables of the churchyard: and likewise I charge those that brought the body to the place, to carry it away again, and that at their charge, as they will answer at their peril.
"At Eccleshall, this 6th of September, anno 1558.
"By your ordinary.
RADULPH, Coventry and Lichfield."
Illustration -- William Glover's Body Dragged by Horses
By the virtue of this foresaid letter, so it fell out, that they which brought the corpse thither, were fain at their own charges to carry it back again. But for so much as the body was corrupted, and smelt so strongly that scarcely any man might come near it, they were forced to draw it with horses into a broom-field, and there was he buried.
The witnesses of the godly end of the said William Glover, dying in the true faith and confession of Christ, were Master Nowell, dean of Lichfield, George Wilestone and his wife, Thomas Constantine, Roger Wydhouse, John Prynne, George Torpelley, &c.
The like example of charitable affection in these catholic churchmen, is also to be seen and noted in the burying of one Master Edward Burton, esq., who in the same diocese of Chester, departing out of this world the very day before Queen Elizabeth was crowned, required of his friends, as they would answer for it, that his body should be buried in his parish church, (which was St. Chad's in Shrewsbury,) so that no mass-monger should be present thereat; which thing being declared to the curate of that parish, named Sir John Marshall, and the body being withal brought to the burial, upon the same day when the queen was crowned, the curate, being therewith offended, said plainly, that he should not be buried in the church there. Whereunto one of his friends, named George Torpelley, answering again, said, that God would judge him in the last day, &c. Then the priest "Judge God," saith he, "or devil; the body shall not come there." And so they buried him in his own garden, where he is no doubt as near the kingdom of heaven, as if he had been buried in the midst of the church.
Note 1: The following interesting extracts are from the preface to a Narrative of Glover, Mrs. Lewes, and Augustine Bernher, by the able vicar of Mancetter, the Rev. B. Richings.
"It appears that the manor-house, with a considerable estate, was purchased by Mr. John Glover, and was the property and residence of the Glovers, from about the year 1550 to 1677. The house, though somewhat modernized, is the same building which stood in the reign of Edward the Sixth. It is constructed of a frame-work of wood, which has not undergone the slightest alteration. If the plaster were removed, its massive timber would now be seen, and would exhibit the simple architecture of the times in which it was built. The interior, also, it may be observed, has not been so much altered as might be supposed, considering the lapse of time. The old oak staircase, so often trod by the Glovers, and down the very steps of which Robert Glover descended, for the last time, in the custody of the officers, still remains; and, most happily for the lovers of antiquity, it has escaped the painter's brush. Not so, unfortunately, the oak pannels with which the passages and the rooms were wainscotted, or those massy carved beams, which bisect each other, and attract the eye of every stranger.
"On removing to Mancetter, Mr. John Glover left a relative of his, in Baxterley Hall, which he had built, and which afterwards, for a century at least, was also a residence of the Glovers, who possessed large estates in that parish and neighbourhood. The names of "Hugo," who died in "1615," and "Hugo Glover, gentleman," who died in "1648," are recorded in Baxterley church; and from the same name, which may be seen on the tower of that church, with a shield, from which time has effaced the arms, we may conclude it to have been rebuilt by that family.
"Our martyr, Robert Glover, married a niece of Bishop Latimer, and had three sons and one daughter at the time of his apprehension. His eldest son, named Hugh, inherited the Mancetter property, as heir-at-law to his uncle, John Glover, who died at Mancetter, 1558.
"In the reign of Edward the Sixth, Baxterley Hall was built by Mr. John Glover, who, from the arms and badges carved upon the timber, was at that time a retainer to Lord Ferrers. He formerly held some official situation in Merevale Abbey [Founded by Robert, earl of Ferrers, A. D. 1148.]; to which house that famous assertor of the protestant religion, Bishop Latimer, resorted. As the journeys of this venerable old man were generally performed on foot, with few attendants, and in a plain dress -- his New Testament fastened to his girdle, and his uncased spectacles suspended by a string of leather from his neck--we may imagine we see him entering the Abbey, ready prepared to open his Testament; that, from that sacred source, holding forth the word of life, he might make known that Saviour whose all-sufficiency was denied, and whose glory was obscured, by the idolatrous worship, the pagan ceremonies, and the antichristian tenets of popery. Bishop Latimer has been styled 'the apostle of England;' and his spiritual instructions so grounded Robert Glover in the truth of the gospel, that, rather than be moved away from it, he chose to lay down his life, and to suffer all the troubles and pains of a cruel martyrdom.
"It may be inferred, that not Robert only, but his brothers John and William also, were instructed by Bishop Latimer; and if but few sons could point to such a spiritual father, few fathers could boast of three such sons in the faith, or of three brothers more closely allied to each other, in their stedfast profession of the gospel.
"Robert Glover was burnt at Coventry on the fourteenth of September, 1555; and the venerable Bishop Latimer, in the eighty-fifth year of his age, at Oxford, [with Ridley, bishop of London] on the sixteenth of October following; so that they nearly finished their course together; being called to endure the same sufferings, and to receive the same reward -- ven 'a crown of glory which fadeth not away.'
"But how soon are they forgotten on earth, whose 'names are written in heaven!' Though this pious family of the Glovers endured so much persecution for their profession of the gospel, yet in the History of Mancetter no mention is made of them, in their distinguishing character, as suffering Protestants during the cruel and calamitous reign of Queen Mary. The martyrdom of Robert Glover is not recorded in that work;-- an omission only to be accounted for on the supposition that the author did not know that such an event had ever occurred. Whilst we bestow the grateful suffrage of our praise and admiration on those who have signalized themselves by their courage in the field, or by their mental superiority in the cabinet; whilst the cherished names of our senators and patriots are held in perpetual veneration, and pointed out as the proudest ornaments of our national monuments; the martyrs of our religion are too frequently consigned to forgetfulness and neglect. Their names are excluded from the circles of modern taste; or, if breathed in 'ears polite,' they are pronounced with distrust, or heard with fashionable indifference. Nevertheless, they were men who stood surety for our faith in the day of her battles; and in that cause, which they advocated and adorned, have transmitted to us a glowing record of their Christian fervour and heroic fortitude.-- Whilst the prowess of the warrior has wrested the spear from political tyranny, the firmness of the Christian martyr has freed us from the still more oppressive grasp of spiritual despotism. It was his moral courage that first struck off the fetters of that blind superstition, which had so long shackled the minds and degraded the altars of our country; and it was his sufferings and death which paved the way for that blessed period from which we date the triumph of national freedom, and the ascendancy of the protestant faith.'"
Note 2: In Seeley's most valuable reprint, Manchester is made to have the credit of giving birth to Glover, but the Rev. J. Richings, the vicar of Mancetter, has satisfactorily proved that the scene of his own pastoral labours is the birth- place of the martyr.
Note 3: The following is a copy of each of the monuments erected recently in Mancetter church, to the memory of Glover, and of Mrs. Lewes.
TO THE SACRED MEMORY
A Gentleman whose Family, for more than a CENTURY, resided in the manor-house of MANCETTER, and possessed extensive property in this Parish. But, above all, this pious Family were rich in Grace, and in the Knowledge and Love of CHRIST; and were well known for their devotedness to the PROTESTANT FAITH, when nothing awaited the profession of it but bonds, imprisonment, and death. What Persecutions befell his Brothers John and William, cannot be here recorded, ROBERT alone was called to endure the Sufferings and to receive the Crown of MARTYRDOM; and was burnt at COVENTRY A. D. 1555. For some days before his execution, this faithful witness for CHRIST was in great heaviness, fearing that the LORD had forsaken him; but the Promise, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee," was so fulfilled to him, that, as he drew near to the stake, he was on a sudden so mightily replenished with holy comfort and heavenly joy, that, clapping his hands, he exclaimed to a Christian Friend, "HE IS COME -- HE IS COME," whose coming gave him "the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness."
"THE NOBLE ARMY OF MARTYRS PRAISE THEE.
THOU ART THE KING OF GLORY, O CHRIST."
TO THE SACRED MEMORY
A Lady who, having witnessed in the presence of her Persecutors a GOOD CONFESSION, sealed the truth with her Blood, and was burnt at LICHFIELD A. D.1557. First led by the cruel Persecutions of the CHURCH OF ROME, to doubt whether it could be the CHURCH OF CHRIST, she was afterwards indebted to the pious Family of the Glovers for that more perfect knowledge of the Truth, which became dearer unto her than LIFE itself. Her love to CHRIST enabled her to bear with patience a very long and severe imprisonment; yea, she was not only willing to be bound, but also to die for the NAME of the LORD JESUS; meekly desiring that all the circumstances of her death might be so ordered, that her Friends might be comforted, her SAVIOUR glorified, and HIS enemies confounded. When chained to the stake, she manifested a cheerful serenity, and a countenance so unchanged as to astonish all who beheld her; and when the flames burst around her, standing unmoved, she only lifted up her hands towards Heaven, whither her triumphant spirit speedily ascended, entering into the presence and joy of her LORD.
"BE THOU FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH, AND I WILL
GIVE THEE A CROWN OF LIFE."