404. THE LADY KNEVET, OF WYMONDHAM, IN NORFOLK.
Among the number of the godly, that were kept under the providence of the Lord in those perilous days, I may not forget an ancient good lady of much worship, called Lady Anne Knevet, who, till her death, dwelt in Norfolk, in a town named Wymondham, six miles from Norwich; which said good lady, in Queen Mary's days, being judged by the common people to be more than a hundred years of age, and by her own estimation well toward a hundred, kept herself from their popish church, or having any papistical trash ministered in her house, but only the service that was used in the latter days of King Edward the Sixth, which daily she had said before her, either by one Master Tollin, who was then by God's providence preserved in her house, or else by one of her gentlewomen or household servants, that could serve the place in the said Master Tollin's absence.
Now this worshipful lady continuing in this manner of true serving of God, she and her family were many times threatened by messengers, that the bishop would visit her there-for. Unto which messengers she would always answer, that if his Lordship sent word before what day he would come, he should thereafter be entertained at her hand. But God, whose providence ruleth the raging seas, never suffered them all that toiling time to molest her: although oftentimes, when she had service before her, there were very great enemies to the truth, and of much authority, that came in, and kneeled to prayer among them, and yet had no power to trouble her there-for.
This good lady, gentle reader, kept good hospitality, as any in that country, of her living. She also succoured many persecuted, that came to her house in the said Queen Mary's days. Were they never so simple, they were esteemed of her as the friends of the gospel, and departed not from her without money and meat. Born she was long before King Edward the Fourth died, and ended her life in the Lord Jesus's peace, about the beginning of the second year of our most sovereign lady Queen Elizabeth's reign, as one in blessed peace, falling into a most sweet sleep. Unto whom not unworthily may be compared the Lady Elizabeth Vane, who likewise, being a great harbourer and supporter of the afflicted martyrs and confessors of Christ, was in great hazards and dangers of the enemies, and yet notwithstanding, through the merciful providence of the Lord, remained still unfouched. But of this Lady Vane thou hast read before.