Foxe's Book of Martyrs -- 370. PERSECUTION IN LICHFIELD AND CHICHESTER.

370. PERSECUTION IN LICHFIELD AND CHICHESTER.

 

The trouble and disturbance among good men and women at Lichfield.

            After the death and martyrdom of Mistress Joyce Lewes, a little above specified, divers good men and women in the same town of Lichfield were vexed and in trouble before the bishop and his chancellor, for kissing the said Joyce Lewes, and drinking with her about the time of her death; the names of which persons were these: Joan Love, Elizabeth Smith, Margaret Biddel, Helen Bowring, Margaret Cootesfote, Nicholas Bird, John Harlstone and his wife, Agnes Glyn, Agnes Glover, Agnes Penifather, &c. These with others were produced to their examination before the bishop and his chancellor for the cause above-named, and there-for adjudged for heretics, for that they did pray and drink with the said Mistress Lewes; but especially Agnes. Penifather sustained the most trouble, for that she accompanied the said Joyce Lewes going to her death; which Agnes, being examined further of the said bishop, what words she had spoken to two priests of the church of Lichfield, called John Ady and James Foxe, concerning the said Joyce Lewes after her burning, said as followeth: that she being asked by the said two priests, being at her father's honse in the city of Lichfield, at such time as she came from the burning of the said Joyce Lewes, wherefore, she (the said Agnes) did weep for such a heretic, meaning Joyce Lewes, whose soul they said was in hell; the said Agnes Penifather to their demand made this answer -- that she thought the said blessed martyr to be in better case than the said two priests were.

            With the which words being charged, and willed to submit herself, as the others had done above rehearsed, to such penance as they should enjoin unto her, she refused so to do, and therefore was commanded to close prison, the sheriffs being charged with her under pain of one hundred pounds, that none should have any access unto her. At length, at the persuasion of her friends, she was compelled to do as the others had done before. And thus much concerning things done at Lichfield.

 

The persecution and cruelty exercised by the papists in the diocese of Chichester.

            And now from Lichfield to come to Chichester, although we have but little to report thereof, for lack of certain relation and records of that country, yet it seemeth no little trouble and persecution there also to have raged, as in other countries. For what place was there almost in all the realm, where the pope's ministers did not bestir them, murdering some or other, as in the Acts of this Ecclesiastical History may sufficiently appear? Wherefore, as this plague of the pope's tyranny was general to all other people and countries of England, so likewise in the diocese of Chichester, divers and many there were condemned and martyred for the true testimony of righteousness, within the compass of Queen Mary's reign, in the number of whom were these:-- John Foreman of East Grinstead, John Warner of Bourne, Christian Grover of the archdeaconry of Lewes, Thomas Athoth, priest, Thomas Avington of Ardingley, Dennis Burgis of Buxted, Thomas Ravensdale of Rye, John Milles of Hellingley, Nicholas Holden of Withyham, John Hart of Withy-ham, Margery Morice of Heathfield, Anne Try of East Grinstead, John Oseward of Woodmancott, Thomas Harland of Woodmancott, James Morice of Heathfield, Thomas Dougate of East Grinstead, John Ashedon of Cattesfield: martyrs.

            The greatest doers against these godly and true faithful martyrs, and setters-upon their condemna-tion, were these: Christopherson (the bishop after Day); Richard Briesly, doctor of law, and chancellor of Chichester; Robert Tailor, bachelor of the law, his deputy; Thomas Paccard, civilian; Anthony Clarke, Albane Langdale, bachelor of divinity, &c.

 

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