Foxe's Book of Martyrs -- 353. PERSECUTION IN CANTERBURY.

353. PERSECUTION IN CANTERBURY.

            And thus much touching the noble acts and strangeness of this worthy cardinal in both the universities; whereunto it shall not be impertinent, here also consequently to adjoin and set forth to the eyes of the world, the blind and bloody articles set out by Cardinal Pole, to be inquired upon, within his diocese of Canterbury; whereby it may the better appear what yokes and snares of fond and fruitless traditions were laid upon the poor flock of Christ, to entangle and oppress them with loss of life and liberty; by the which, wise men have to see what godly fruits proceeded from that catholic church and see of Rome. In which, albeit thou seest, good reader, some good articles interspersed withal, let that nothing move thee; for else how could such poison be ministered, but it must have some honey to relish the reader's taste.

            Here follow the articles set forth by Cardinal Pole, to be inquired in his ordinary visitation, within his diocese of Canterbury.

 

Cardinal Pole's articles touching the clergy.

            "First,. Whether the divine service in the church at times, days, hours, be observed and kept duly, or no.
            "2. Item, Whether the parsons, vicars, and curates do comely and decently in their manners and doings behave themselves, or no.
            "3. Item, Whether they do reverently and duly minister the sacraments or sacramentals, or no.
            "4. Item, Whether any of their parishioners do die without ministration of the sacraments, through the negligence of their curates, or no.
            "5. Item, Whether the said parsons, vicars, or curates, do haunt taverns or alehouses, increasing thereby infamy and slander, or no.
            "6. Item, Whether they be diligent in teaching the midwives how to christen children in time of necessity, according to the canons of the church, or no.
            "7. Item, Whether they see that the font be comely kept, and have holy water always ready for children to be christened.
            "8. Item, If they do keep a book of all the names of them that be reconciled to the duty of the church.
            "9. Item, Whether there be any priests, that late unlawfully had women under pretended marriage, and hitherto are not reconciled; and to declare their names and dwelling-places.
            "10. Item, Whether they do diligently teach their parishioners the articles of the faith, and the ten commandments.
            "11. Item, Whether they do decently observe those things that do concern the service of the church, and all those things that tend to a good and Christian life, according to the canons of the church.
            "12. Item, Whether they do devoutly in their prayers pray for the prosperous estate of the king and queen's Majesties.
            "13. Item, Whether the said parsons and vicars do sufficiently repair their chancels, rectories, and vicarages, and do keep and maintain them sufficiently repaired and amended.
            "14. Item, Whether any of them do preach or teach any erroneous doctrine, contrary to the catholic faith and unity of the church.
            "15. Item, Whether any of them do say the divine service, or do minister the sacraments in the English tongue, contrary to the usual order of the church.
            "16. Item, Whether any of them do suspiciously keep any women in their houses, or do keep company with men suspected of heresies, or of evil opinion.
            "17. Item, Whether any of them that were under pretence of lawful matrimony married, and now reconciled, do privily resort to their pretended wives, or that the said women do privily resort unto them.
            18. Item, Whether they do go decently apparelled, as it becometh sad, sober, and discreet ministers; and whether they have their crowns and beards shaven.
            "19. Item, Whether any of them do use any unlawful games, as dice, cards, and other like, whereby they grow to slander and evil report.
            "20. Item, Whether they do keep residence and hospitality upon their benefices, and do make charitable contributions, according to all the laws ecclesiastical.
            "21. Item, Whether they do keep the book of registers of christenings, buryings, and marriages, with the names of the godfathers and godmothers."

His articles touching the lay people.

            "First, Whether any manner of person, of what estate, degree, or condition soever he be, do hold, maintain, or affirm any heresies, errors, or erroneous opinions, contrary to the laws ecclesiastical, and the unity of the catholic church.
            "2. Item, Whether any person do hold, affirm, or say that in the blessed sacrament of the altar there is not contained the real and substantial presence of Christ; or that by any manner of means do contemn and despise the said blessed sacrament, or do refuse to do reverence or worship thereunto.
            "3. Item, Whether they do contemn or despise by any manner of means any other the sacraments, rites, or ceremonies of the church, or do refuse or deny auricular confession.
            "4. Item, Whether any do absent or refrain, without urgent and lawful impediment, to come to the church, and reverently to hear the divine service upon Sundays and holy days.
            "5. Item, Whether, being in the church, they do not apply themselves to hear the divine service, and to be contemplative in holy prayer; and not to walk, jangle, or talk, in the time of the divine service.
            "6. Item, Whether any be fornicators, adulterers, or do commit incest, or be bawds, and receivers of evil persons, or be vehemently suspected of any of them.
            "7. Item, Whether any do blaspheme and take the name of God in vain, or be common swearers.
            "8. Item, Whether any be perjured, or have committed simony or usury, or do still remain in the same.
            "9. Item, Whether the churches and churchyards be well and honestly repaired and enclosed.
            "10. Item, Whether the churches be sufficiently garnished and adorned with all ornaments and books necessary, and whether they have a rood in their church of a decent stature, with Mary and John, and an image of the patron of the same church.
            "11. Item, Whether any do withhold, or do draw from the church, any manner of money or goods, or that do withhold their due and accustomed tithes from their parsons and vicars.
            "12. Item, Whether any be common drunkards, ribalds, or men of evil living, or do exercise any lewd pastimes, especially in the time of divine service.
            "13. Item, If there be any that do, practise, or exercise, any arts of magic or necromancy, or do use or practise any incantations, sorceries, or witchcraft, or be vehemently suspected thereof.
            "14. Item, Whether any be married within the degrees of affinity or consanguinity prohibited by the laws of holy church, or that do marry, the bans not asked, or do make any privy contracts.
            "15. Item, Whether in the time of Easter last any were not confessed, or did not receive the blessed sacrament of the altar, or did irreverently behave themselves in the receiving thereof.
            "16. Item, Whether any do keep any secret conventicles, preachings, lectures, or readings, in matter of religion, contrary to the laws.
            "17. Item, Whether any do now not duly keep the fasting and embering days.
            "18. Item, Whether the altars in the churches be consecrated, or no.
            "19. Item, Whether the sacrament be carried devoutly to them that fall sick, with light, and with a little sacring bell.
            "20. Item, Whether the common schools be well kept; and that the schoolmasters be diligent in teaching, and be also catholic, and men of good and upright judgment, and that they be examined and approved by the ordinary.
            "21. Item, Whether any do take upon them to administer the goods of those that be dead, without authority from the ordinary.
            "22. Item, Whether the poor people in every parish be charitably provided for.
            "23. Item, Whether there do burn a lamp or a candle before the sacrament. And if there do not, that then it be provided for with expedition.
            "24. Item, Whether infants and children be brought to be confirmed in convenient time.
            "25. Item, Whether any do keep, or have in their custody, any erroneous or unlawful books.
            "26. Item, Whether any do withhold any money or goods bequeathed to the amending of the highways, or any other charitable deed.
            "27. Item, Whether any have put away their wives, or any wives do withdraw themselves from their husbands, being not lawfully divorced.
            "28. Item, Whether any do violate or break the Sundays and holy-days, doing their daily labours and exercises upon the same.
            "29. Item, Whether the [keepers of] taverns or alehouses, upon the Sundays and holy-days, in the time of mass, matins, and evensong, do keep open their doors, and do receive people into their houses to drink and eat, and thereby neglect their duties in coming to the church.
            "30. Item, Whether any have or do deprave or contemn the authority or jurisdiction of the pope's Holiness, or the see of Rome.
            "31. Item, Whether any minstrels, or any other persons, do use to sing any songs against the holy sacraments, or any other rites and ceremonies of the church.
            "32. Item, Whether there be any hospitals within your parishes, and whether the foundations of them be duly and truly observed and kept; and whether the charitable contributions of the same be done accordingly.
            "33. Item, Whether any goods, plate, jewels, or possessions be taken away, or withholden, from the said hospitals, and by whom."

 

A history of ten martyrs condemned and burned within the diocese of Canterbury, for the testimony of Jesus Christ, and truth of his gospel.

            Mention was made a little before of the persecution in Kent; wherefore we declared, that fifteen were in the castle of Canterbury imprisoned and condemned for God's word. Of the which fifteen, moreover, we showed and declared five to be famished unto death within the said castle, and buried by the highway, about the beginning of November. The other ten, in the first month of the next year following, which was the year of our Lord 1557, were committed unto the fire, and there consumed to ashes, by Thornton, called bishop or suffragan of Dover, otherwise called Dick of Dover, and by Nicholas Harpsfield, the archdeacon of the said province.

            The names of these ten godly and Christian martyrs be these: John Philpot of Tenterden, William Waterer of Biddenden, Stephen Kempe of Norgate, William Hay of Hythe, Thomas Hudson of Selling, Matthew Bradbridge of Tenterden, Thomas Stephens of Biddenden, Nicholas Final of Tenter-den, William Lowick of Cranbrooke, William Prowting of Thornham.

            Of these ten godly martyrs of Christ, six were burned at Canterbury, about the fifteenth of January, that is, Kempe, Waterer, Prowting, Lowick, Hudson, and Hay. Other two, that is, Stephens and Philpot, at Wye, about the same month. Other two, which were Final and Bradbridge, were burned both together at Ashford, the sixteenth of the same.

            What the ordinary articles were, commonly objected to them of Canterbury diocese, is before rehearsed, save only that to some of these, as to them that follow after, as the time of their persecution did grow, so their articles withal did increase to the number of two and twenty, containing such-like matter as served to the maintenance of the Romish see.

            To these articles what their answers were likewise, needeth here no great rehearsal, seeing they all agreed together, though not in the same form of words, yet in much-like effect of purposes; first, granting the church of Christ, and denying the Church of Rome; denying the seven sacraments; refusing the mass, and the hearing of Latin service, praying to saints, justification of works, &c. And though they did all answer uniformly in some smaller things, as their learning served them, yet in the most principal and chiefest matters they did not greatly discord, &c.

 

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