Foxe's Book of Martyrs -- 396. EDWARD GREW AND WILLIAM BROWNE

396. EDWARD GREW AND WILLIAM BROWNE

 

Edward Grew, a priest.

            Moreover, there was one Edward Grew, priest, and Appline, his wife, compelled to fly from their dwelling at a town called Broke; and the man, being very aged, travelled abroad to keep a good conscience.

            At the last, he was taken and laid in Colchester castle, where he remained till Queen Elizabeth came to her regal seat, and by the alteration of religion he was delivered. His wife (good woman) was in great care for him, and to her power did what she could to succour him.

 

William Browne, parson of Little Stonham.

            William Browne, parson of Little Stonham, in the county of Suffolk, made a sermon in the said town, incontinently after the burial of our good King Edward, and in his sermon he said, "There goeth a report that our good king is buried with a mass by the bishop of Winchester, he having a mitre upon his head. But if it were so," saith he, "they are all traitors that so do; because it is both against the truth, and the laws of this realm; and it is great idolatry and blasphemy, and against the glory of God; and they are no friends either to God, the king, or yet unto the realm, that so do." For this his preaching, one Robert Blomefield, an adversary to the truth, being then constable of the said town, and bailiff unto Sir John Jerningham, knight, (the chief lord of the town,) immediately rode forth, and brought home with him one Edward Golding, which was then under-sheriff, Sir Thomas Cornwallis being then high-sheriff.

            So the said Golding and Blomefield sent for certain men of the said town, and examined them for the sermon; whereunto they made but a small answer. Then the sheriff made a bill, and so feared the men, that two or three of them set to their hands, and one of them never joyed after, but it was a grief to him till he died.

            Then did they take men with them unto the parson's house, and in the night they took him, and with watchmen kept him until it was day. Then should he have been carried the next day to the council; but the said Robert Blomefield was taken so sick, that he was like to die, so that he could not carry him for his life. Then the said sheriff sent him to Ipswich again, and there he was for a time. Then he was sent to Bury prison, and from thence to the council, and then into the Fleet: and so he lay in prison from the beginning of harvest till it was nigh Christmas, and said, God gave him such answers to make when he was examined, that he was delivered with quietness of conscience. And having his liberty, he came again unto the aforesaid town; and because he would not go to mass, his living was taken away, and he and his wife were constrained to fly here and there for life and conscience. In the last year of Queen Mary's reign God did take him out of this life in peace.

            Where moreover is to be noted, that this Robert Blomefield above-named, immediately after he had apprehended the said Browne, fell very sick; and although at that time he was a wealthy man and of great substance, (beside his land, which was better than twenty pounds a year,) after this time, God so plagued his household, that his eldest son died, and his wife had a pining sickness till she departed this life also.

            Then married he another, a rich widow; but all would not help, and nothing would prosper: for he had a sore pining sickness, being full of botches and sores, whereby he wasted away both in body and goods,. till he died.

            So when he died he was above ninescore pounds in debt, and it was never heard of any repentance he had. But a little before his death he bragged, and threatened a good man, one Simon Harlston, to put him forth to the officers, because he did wear no surplice when he said service: wherefore it is pity such baits of popery are left to the enemies, to take Christians in. God take them away, or ease us from them! for God knoweth they be the cause of much blindness and strife amongst men.

            Furthermore, out of the said town were constrained to fly Robert Boela and John Trapne, because they would not go to mass and receive their sacrament of the altar.

 

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