Foxe's Book of Martyrs -- 426. DR. SANDS

426. DR. SANDS


A brief discourse concerning the troubles and happy deliverance of the reverend father in God, Dr. Sands, first bishop of Worcester, next of London, and now archbishop of York.

            King Edward dead, the world being unworthy of him, the duke of Northumberland came down to Cambridge with an army of men, having commission to proclaim Lady Jane queen, and by power to suppress Lady Mary, who took upon her that dignity, and was proclaimed queen in Norfolk. The duke sent for Dr. Sands, being vice-chancellor, for Dr. Parker, for Dr. Bill, and Master Leaver, to sup with him. Amongst other speeches, he said, "Masters, pray for us, that we speed well: if not, you shall be made bishops, and we deacons." And even so it came to pass, Dr. Parker and Dr. Sands were made bishops, and he and Sir John Gates, who was then at the table, were made deacons, ere it was long after, on the Tower Hill. Dr. Sands, being vice-chancellor, was required to preach on the morrow. The warning was short for such an auditory, and to speak of such a matter; yet he refused not the thing, but went into his chamber, and so to bed. He rose at three of the clock in the morning, took his Bible in his hand, and, after that he had prayed a good space, he shut his eyes, and holding his Bible before him, earnestly prayed to God, that it might fall open where a most fit text should be, for him to entreat of. The Bible, as God would have it, fell open upon the first chapter of Joshua, where he found so convenient a piece of Scripture for that time, that the like he could not have chosen in all the Bible. His text was this: "Responderuntque Josuę atque dixerunt, Omnia quę pręcepisti nobis faciemus, et quocunque miseris ibimus: sicut ohedivimus in cunctis Mosi, ita obediemus et tibi, tantum sit Dominus Deus tuus tecum sicut fuit cum Mose: qui contradixerit ori tuo, et non obedierit cunctis sermonibus quos pręceperis ei, moriatur; tu tantum confortare et viriliter age." Who shall consider what was concluded by such as named themselves the state, and withal, the auditory, the time, and other circumstances, he shall easily see that this text most futly served for the purpose. And as God gave the text, so gave he him such order and utterance, as pulled many tears out of the eye of the biggest of them.

            In the time of his sermon one of the guard lifted up to him into the pulpit a mass-book and a grail, which Sir George Haward, with certain of the guard, had taken that night in Master Hurlestone's house, where Lady Mary had been a little before, and there had mass. The duke, with the rest of the nobility, required Dr. Sands to put his sermon in writing, and appointed Master Leaver to go to London with it, and to put it in print. Dr. Sands required one day and a half for writing of it. At the time appointed he had made it ready, and Master Leaver was ready booted to receive it at his hands, and carry it to London.. As he was delivering of it, one of the beadles, named Master Adams, came weeping to him, and prayed him to shift for himself, for the duke was retired, and Queen Mary proclaimed. Dr. Sands was not troubled herewithal, but gave the sermon written to Master Layfield. Master Leaver departed home, and he went to dinner to one Master Mores, a beadle, his great friend. At the dinner Mistress More, seeing him merry and pleasant, (for he had ever a man's courage, and could not be terrified,) drank unto him, saying: "Master Vice-chancellor, I drink unto you, for this is the last time that ever I shall see you." And so it was ; for she was dead before Dr. Sands returned out of Germany. The duke that night retired to Cambridge, and sent for Dr. Sands to go with him to the market-place, to proclaim Queen Mary. The duke cast up his cap with others, and so laughed, that the tears ran down his cheeks for grief. He told Dr. Sands, that Queen Mary was a merciful woman, and that he doubted not thereof ; declaring that he had sent unto her to know her pleasure, and looked for a general pardon. Dr. Sands answered, "My life is not dear unto me, neither have I done or said any thing that urgeth my conscience. For that which I spake of the state, hath instructions warranted by the subscription of sixteen councillors; neither can  speech be treason, neither yet have I spoken further than the word of God and the laws of the realm do warrant me, come of me what God will. But be you assured, you shall never escape death; for if she would save you, those that now shall rule, will kill you."

            That night the guard apprehended the duke, and certain grooms of the stable were as busy with Dr. Sands, as if they would take a prisoner. But Sir John Gates, who lay then in Dr. Sands' house, sharply rebuked them, and drave them away. Dr. Sands, by the advice of Sir John Gates, walked in the fields. In the mean time the university, contrary to all order, had met together in consultation, and ordered that Dr. Mouse and Dr. Hatcher should repair to Dr. Sands' lodging, and fetch away the statute-book of the university, the keys, and such other things that were in his keeping, and so they did: for Dr. Mouse, being an earnest protestant the day before, and one whom Dr. Sands had done much for, was now become a papist, and his great enemy. Certain of the university had appointed a congregation at afternoon. As the bell rang to it, Dr. Sands cometh out of the fields, and sending for the beadles, asketh what the matter meaneth, and requireth them to wait upon him to the schools, according to their duty. So they did. And so soon as Dr. Sands, the beadles going before him, came into the regent-house, and took his chair, one Master Mitch, with a rabble of unlearned papists, went into a by-school, and conspired together to pull him out of his chair, and to use violence unto him. Dr. Sands began his oration, expostulating with the university, charging them with great ingratitude, declaring, that he had said nothing in his sermon, but that he was ready to justify, and their case was all one with his; for they had not only concealed, but consented to that which he had spoken.

Illustration -- Dr. Sands Speaking at Cambridge

            And thus, while he remembered unto them how beneficial he had been to the university, and their unthankfulness to him again, in cometh Master Mitch with his conspirators, about twenty in number. One layeth hand upon the chair, to pull it from him, another told him that that was not his place, and another called him "traitor." Whereat he, perceiving how they used violence, and being of great courage, groped to his dagger, and had despatched some of them as God's enemies, if Dr. Bill and Dr. Blith had not fallen upon him, and prayed him for God's sake to hold his hands, and be quiet, and patiently to bear that great offered wrong. He was persuaded by them; and after that tumult was ceased, he ended his oration, and having some money of the university's in his hand, he there delivered the same, every farthing. He gave up the books, reckonings, and keys pertaining to the university; and withal yielded up his office, praying God to give the university a better officer, and to give them better and more thankful hearts; and so repaired home to his own college.

            On the morrow after, there came unto him one Master Jerningham, and one Master Thomas Mildmay. Jerningham told him that it was the queen's pleasure that two of the guard should attend upon him, and that he must be carried prisoner to the Tower of London, with the duke. Master Mildmay said, he marvelled that a learned man would speak so unadvisedly against so good a prince, and wilfully run into such danger. Dr. Sands answered, "I shall not be ashamed of bonds, but if I could do as Master Mildmay can, I needed not to fear bonds. For he came down in payment against Queen Mary, and armed in the field, and now he returneth in payment for Queen Mary; before a traitor, and now a great friend. I cannot, with one mouth, blow hot and cold after this sort."

            Upon this, his stable was robbed of four notable good geldings; the best of them Master Huddlestone took for his own saddle, and rode on him to London in his sight. An inventory was taken of all his goods, by Master More, beadle, for the university. He was set upon a lame horse that halted to the ground; which thing a friend of his perceiving, prayed that he might lend him a nag. The yeomen of the guard were contented. As he departed forth at the town's end, some papists resorted thither to jeer at him; some of his friends to mourn for him. He came in the rank to London, the people being full of outcries. And as he came in at Bishopsgate, one like a milkwife hurled a stone at him, and hit him on the breast, with such a blow, that be was like to fall off his horse. To whom he mildly said, "Woman, God forgive it thee!" Truth is, that journey and evil entreating so mortified him, that he was more ready to die, than to live.

            As he came through Tower-hill Street, one woman standing in her door cried, "Fie on thee, thou knave! thou knave, thou traitor, thou heretic!" whereat he smiled. "Look, the desperate heretic," said she, "laughed at this jeer." A woman on the other side of the street answered, saying; "Fie on thee, neighbour, thou art not worthy to be called a woman; railing upon this gentleman whom thou knowest not, neither yet the cause why he is thus entreated." Then she said: "Good gentleman, God be thy comfort, and give thee strength to stand in God's cause, even to the end." And thus he passed through fire and water into the Tower, the first prisoner that entered in that day, which was St. James's day. The yeomen of the guard took from him his borrowed nag, and what else soever he had. His man, one Quinting Swainton, brought after him a Bible, and some shirts, and such-like things. The Bible was sent in to him; but the shirts, and such like, served the yeomen of the guard.

            After he had been in the Tower three weeks in a bad prison, he was lifted up into Nun's-bower, a better prison, where was put to him Master John Bradford.

            At the day of Queen Mary's coronation, their prison door was set open, ever shut before. One Master Mitchell, his old acquaintance, which had been prisoner before in the same place, came in to him, and said, "Master Sands, there is such a stir in the Tower, that neither gates, doors, nor prisoners are looked to this day. Take my cloak, my hat, and my rapier, and get you gone; you may go out of the gates without questioning; save yourself, and let me do as I may." A rare friendship; but he refused the offer, saying, "I know no just cause why I should be in prison; and thus to do, were to make myself guilty. I will expect God's good will, yet must I think myself most bounden unto you:" and so Master Mitchell departed.

            While Dr. Sands and Master Bradford were thus in close prison together twenty-nine weeks, one John Bowler was their keeper, a very perverse papist; yet by often persuading of him, for be would give ear, and by gentle using of him, at the length he began to mislike popery, and to favour the gospel, and was so persuaded in true religion, that on a Sunday, when they had mass in the chapel, he bringeth up a service-book, a manchet, and a glass of wine, and there Dr. Sands ministered the communion to Bradford and to Bowler. Thus Bowler was their son begotten in bonds. When Wyatt was in arms, and the old duke of Norfolk sent forth with a power of men to apprehend him; that room might be made in the Tower for him, and other his complices, Dr. Cranmer, Dr. Ridley, and Master Bradford were cast into one prison, and Dr. Sands, with nine other preachers, were sent unto the Marshalsea.

            The keeper of the Marshalsea appointed to every preacher a man to lead him in the street; he caused them to go far before, and he and Dr. Sands came behind, whom he would not lead, but walked familiarly with him. Yet Dr. Sands was known, and the people every where prayed to God to comfort him, and to strengthen him in the truth. By that time the people's minds were altered; popery began to be unsavoury. After they passed the bridge, the keeper, Thomas Way, said to Dr. Sands, "I perceive the vain people would set you forward to the fire. Ye are as vain as they, if you, being a young man, will stand in your own conceit, and prefer your own knowledge before the judgment of so many worthy prelates, ancient, learned, and grave men, as be in this realm. If you so do, you shall find me as strait a keeper, as one that utterly misliketh your religion." Dr. Sands answered, "I know my years young, and my learning small; it is enough to know Christ crucified, and he hath learned nothing, that seeth not the great blasphemy that is in popery. I will yield unto God, and not unto man. I have read in the Scriptures of many godly and courteous keepers: God may make you one. If not, I trust he will give me strength and patience to bear your hard dealing with me." Saith Thomas Way, "Do ye then mind to stand to your religion?" "Yea," saith Dr. Sands, "by God's grace." "Truly," saith the keeper, "I love you the better; I did but tempt you. What favour I can show you, ye shall be sure of; and I shall think myself happy, if I may die at the stake with you." The said keeper showed Dr. Sands ever after all friendship; he trusted him to go into the fields alone, and there met with Master Bradford, who then was removed into the Bench, and there found the like favour of his keeper: he laid him in the best chamber in the house; he would not suffer the knight-marshal's man to lay fetters on him, as others had; and at his request he put Master Saunders in to him, to be his bed-fellow, and sundry times suffered his wife, who was Master Sands' daughter of Essex, a gentlewoman beautiful both in body and soul, to resort to him. There was great resort to Dr. Sands and Master Saunders; they had much money offered them, but they would receive none. They had the communion there three or four times, and a great sort of communicants. Dr. Sands gave such exhortation to the people, (for at that time, being young, he was thought very eloquent,) that he moved many tears, and made the people abhor the mass, and defy all popery.

            When Wyat with his army came into Southwark, he sent two gentlemen into the Marshalsea to Dr. Sands, saying, that Master Wyat would be glad of his company and advice, and that the gates should be set open for all the prisoners. He answered, "Tell Master Wyat, if this his rising be of God, it will take place; if not, it will fall. For my part, I was committed hither by order: I will be discharged by like order, or I will never depart hence." So answered Master Saunders, and the rest of the preachers, being there prisoners.

            After that Dr. Sands had been nine weeks prisoner in the Marshalsea, by the mediation of Sir Thomas Holcroft, then knight-marshal, he was set at liberty. Sir Thomas sued earnestly to the bishop of Winchester, Dr. Gardiner, for his deliverance, after many repulses: but he could not prevail, except Dr. Sands would be one of their sect; and then he could want nothing. He wrung out of him at last, that if the queen could like of his deliverance, he would not be against it; for that was Sir Thomas's last request. In the mean time he had procured two ladies of the privy-chamber to move the queen in it, who was contented if the bishop of Winchester would like of it. The next time that the bishop went into the privy chamber to speak with the queen, Master Holcroft followed, and had his warrant for Dr. Sands' remission ready; and prayed the two ladies, when the bishop should take his leave, to put the queen in mind of Dr. Sands. So they did, and the queen said, "Winchester, what think you by Dr. Sands, is he not sufficiently punished?" "As it please your Majesty," saith Winchester. That he spake, remembering his former promise to Master Holcroft, that he would not be against Dr. Sands, if the queen should like to discharge him. Saith the queen, "Then, truly, we would that he were set at liberty." Immediately Master Holcroft offered the queen the warrant; who subscribed the same, and called Winchester to put to his hand, and so he did. The warrant was given to the knight-marshal again, Sir Thomas Holcroft. As the bishop went forth of the privy-chamber door, he called Master Holcroft to him, commanding him not to set Dr. Sands at liberty, until he had taken sureties of two gentlemen of his county with him, each one bound in five hundred pounds, that Dr. Sands should not depart out of the realm without licence. Master Holcroft, immediately after, met with two gentlemen of the north, friends and cousins to Dr. Sands, who offered to be bound in body, goods, and lands for him. After dinner, the same day, Master Holcroft sent for Dr. Sands to his lodging at Westminster, requiring the keeper to company with him. He came accordingly, finding Master Holcroft alone, walking in his garden. Master Holcroft imparted his long suit, with the whole proceeding, and what effect it had taken, to Dr. Sands, much rejoicing that it was his good hap to do him good, and to procure his liberty; and that nothing remained but that he would enter into bonds with his two sureties, for not departing out of the realm. Dr. Sands answered, "I give God thanks, who hath moved your heart to mind me so well, and I think myself most bound unto you. God will requite, and I shall never be found unthankful. But as you have dealt friendly with me, I will also deal plainly with you. I came a freeman into prison; I will not go forth a bondman. As I cannot benefit my friends, so will I not hurt them. And if I be set at liberty, I will not tarry six days in this realm, if I may get out. If therefore I may not get free forth, send me to the Marshalsea again, and there ye shall be sure of me."

            This answer much misliked Master Holcroft. He told Dr. Sands that the time would not long continue, a change would shortly come; the state was but a cloud, and would soon shake away; and that his cousin, Sir Edward Bray, would gladly receive him and his wife into his house, where he should never need to come at church; and how the Lady Bray was a zealous gentlewoman, who hated popery. Adding, that he would not so deal with him, to lose all his labour. When Dr. Sands could not be removed from his former saying, Master Holcroft said, "Seeing you cannot be altered, I will change my purpose, and yield unto you. Come of it what will, I will set you at liberty; and seeing you mind to go over sea, get you gone so quickly as you can. One thing I require of you, that while you are there you write nothing to come hither, for so you may undo me." He friendly kissed Dr. Sands, bade him farewell, and commanded the keeper to take no fees of him, saying, "Let me answer Winchester as I may." Dr. Sands, returning with the keeper to the Marshalsea, tarried all night there. On the morrow, he gave a dinner to all the prisoners, bade his bedfellow and sworn stakefellow, (if it had so pleased God,) Master Saunders, farewell, with many tears and kissings, the one falling on the other's neck; and so departed, clearly delivered without examination or bond. From thence he went to the Bench, and there talked with Master Bradford and Master Ferrar, bishop of St. David's, then prisoners. Then he comforted them, and they praised God for his happy deliverance. He went by Winchester's house, and there took boat, and came to a friend's house in London, called William Banks, and tarried there one night. On the morrow at night he shifted to another friend's house, and there he learned that search was made for him.

            Dr. Watson and Master Christopherson, coming to the bishop of Winchester, told him that he had set at liberty the greatest heretic in England, and one that had of all others most corrupted the university of Cambridge, Dr. Sands. Whereupon the bishop of Winchester, being chancellor of England, sent for all the constables of London, commanding them to watch for Dr. Sands, who was then within the city, and to apprehend him; and whosoever of them should take him and bring him to him, he should have five pounds for his labour. Dr. Sands, suspecting the matter, conveyed himself by night to one Master Bartly's house, a stranger, who was in the Marshalsea prisoner with him a while; he was a good protestant, and dwelt in Mark Lane. There he was six days, and had one or two of his friends that repaired unto him. Then he repaired to an acquaintance of his, one Hurlestone, a skinner, dwelling in Corn Hill; he caused his man Quinting to provide two geldings for him, minding on the morrow to ride into Essex, to Master Sands his father-in-law, where his wife was.

            At his going to bed in Hurlestone's house, he had a pair of hose newly made that were too long for him: for while he was in the Tower, a tailor was admitted him to make him a pair of hose. One came unto him, whose name was Benjamin, a good Protestant, dwelling in Birchin Lane: he might not speak to him, or come unto him to take measure of him, but only look upon his leg: he made the hose, and they were two inches too long. These hose he prayed the good wife of the house to send to some tailor to cut them two inches shorter. The wife required the boy of the house to carry them to the next tailor to cut. The boy chanced (or rather God so provided) to go to the next tailor, which was Benjamin that made them, which also was a constable, and acquainted with the lord chancellor's commandment. The boy required him to cut the hose. He said, "I am not thy master's tailor." Saith the boy, "Because you are our next neighbour, and my master's tailor dwelleth far off, I came to you; for it is far night, and he must occupy them timely in the morning." Benjamin took the hose, and looking upon them, he knew his handy-work, and said, "These are not thy master's hose, but Dr. Sands'; them I made in the Tower." The boy yielded and said, "It was so." Saith he, "Go to thy mistress: pray her to sit up till twelve of the clock, and then I will bring the hose, and speak with Dr. Sands to his good."

            At midnight the goodwife of the house, and Benjamin the tailor, cometh into Dr. Sands' chamber: the wife prayeth him not to be afraid of their coming. He answered, "Nothing can be amiss: what God will, that shall be done." Then Benjamin telleth him that he made his hose, and by what good chance they now came to his hands. God used the means, that he might admonish him of his peril, and advise him how to escape it, telling him that all the constables of London, whereof he was one, watched for him, and some were so greedily set, that they prayed him, if he took him, to let them have the carriage of him to the bishop of Winchester, and he should have the five pounds. Saith Benjamin, "It is known that your man hath provided two geldings, and that you mind to ride out at Aldgate to-morrow, and there then you are sure to be taken. Follow mine advice, and by God's grace ye shall escape their hands. Let your man walk all the day to-morrow in the street where your horses stand, booted and ready to ride. The goodman's servant of the house shall take the horses, and carry them to Bethnal Green. The goodman shall be booted, and follow after as if he would ride. I will be here with you to-morrow about eight of clock: it is both term and parliament time. Here we will break our fast; and when the street is full, we will go forth. Look wildly, and if you meet your brother in the street, shun him not, but outface him, and know him not." Accordingly Dr Sands' did, clothed like a gentleman in all respects; and looked wildly, as one that had been long kept in prison out of the light. Benjamin carried him through Birchin Lane, and from one lane to another, till he came to Moorgate. There they went forth until they came to Bethnal Green, where the horses were ready, and Master Hurlestone, to ride with him as his man. Dr. Sands pulled on his boots, and taking leave of his friend Benjamin, with tears they kissed each other. He put his hand in his purse, and would have given Benjamin a great part of that little he had, but Benjamin would take none; yet, since, Dr. Sands hath remembered him thankfully. He rode that night to his father-in-law, Master Sands, where his wife was: he had not been there two hours, but it was told Master Sands, that there were two of the guard, which would that night apprehend Dr. Sands; and so they were appointed.

            That night Dr. Sands was guided to an honest farmer near the sea, where he tarried two days and two nights in a chamber without all company. After that he shifted to one James Mower, a shipmaster, who dwelt at Milton Shore, where he expected wind for the English fleet ready into Flanders. While he was there, James Mower brought to him forty or fifty mariners, to whom he gave an exhortation they liked him so well, that they promised to die for it, ere that he should be apprehended.

            The sixth of May, being Sunday, the wind served. He took his leave of his host and hostess, and went towards the ship. In taking his leave of his hostess, who was barren, and had been married eight years, he gave her a fine handkerchief and an old royal of gold in it, thanking her much, and said, "Be of good comfort; ere that one whole year be past, God shall give you a child, a boy." And it came to pass, for that day twelve-month, lacking one day, God gave her a fair son.

            At the shore Dr. Sands met with Master Isaac of Kent, who had his eldest son there, who, upon the liking he had to Dr. Sands, sent his son with him, who afterward died in his father's house in Frankfort. Dr. Sands and Dr. Coxe were both in one ship, being one Cockrel's ship. They were within the kenning, when two of the guard came thither to apprehend Dr. Sands. They arrived at Antwerp, being bid to dinner to Master Locke. And at dinner time one George Gilpin, being secretary to the English house, and kinsman to Dr. Sands, came to him, and rounded him in his ear, and said, "King Philip hath sent to make search for you, and to apprehend you." Hereupon they rose from their dinner in a marvellous great shower, and went out at the gate toward the land of Cleves. They found a waggon, and hasted away, and came safe to Augsburg in Cleveland, where Dr. Sands tarried fourteen days, and then journeyed towards Strasburg, where, after he had lived one year, his wife came unto him. He fell sore sick of a flux, which kept him nine months, and brought him to death's door. He had a child which fell sick of the plague, and died. His wife at length fell sick of a consumption, and died in his arms; no man had a more godly woman to his wife.

            After this, Master Sampson went away to Emanuel, a man skilful in Hebrew; Master Grindall went into the country to learn the Dutch tongue. Dr. Sands still remained in Strasburg, whose sustentation then was chiefly from one Master Isaac, who loved him most dearly, and was ever more ready to give than he to take. He gave him in that space above a hundred marks, which sum the said Dr. Sands paid him again, and by his other gifts and friendliness showed himself to be a thankful man. When his wife was dead, he went to Zurich, and there was in Peter Martyr's house for the space of five weeks. Being there, as they sat at dinner, word suddenly came that Queen Mary was dead, and Dr. Sands was sent for by his friends at Strasburg. That news made Master Martyr, and Master Jarret, then there, very joyful; but Dr. Sands could not rejoice, it smote into his heart, that he should be called to misery.

            Master Bullinger and the ministers feasted him, and he took his leave and returned to Strasburg, where he preached; and so Master Grindall and he came towards England, and came to London the same day that Queen Elizabeth was crowned.


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