Foxe's Book of Martyrs -- 471. DR. STORY, PERSECUTOR

471. DR. STORY, PERSECUTOR

 

The cursed life, and bloody end, of Dr. Story, a cruel persecutor of Christ in his members.

            I had thought, Christian reader, here to have made an end, and to have concluded the volume of this book, had not the remembrance of Dr. Story, an arch-enemy to Christ's gospel, and bloody persecutor of God's people, come into my mind. The discourse of whose life and doings, I thought good here briefly to lay open to the view of the world, as followeth. This Dr. Story, being an Englishman by birth, and from his infancy not only nursled in papistry, but also even as it were by nature earnestly affected to the same, and growing somewhat to riper years, in the days of Queen Mary became a bloody tyrant, and cruel persecutor of Christ in his members; as all the stories in this book almost do declare. Thus he raging all the reign of the foresaid Queen Mary against the infallible truth of Christ's gospel, and the true professors thereof, never ceased till he had consumed to ashes two or three hundred blessed martyrs, who willingly gave their lives for the testimony of his truth. And thinking their punishment in the fire not cruel enough, he went about to invent new torments for the holy martyrs of Christ, such was his hatred to the truth of Christ's gospel. But, in the end, the Lord God, looking upon the affliction and cruel bloodshedding of his servants, took away Queen Mary, the great pillar of papistry. After whom succeeded Lady Elizabeth, now queen of England, who staying the bloody sword of persecution from raging any further, caused the same Dr. Story to be apprehended, and committed to ward, with many other his complices, sworn enemies to Christ's glorious gospel. The said Story, having been a while detained in prison, at the last, by what means I know not, brake forth of hold, and conveyed himself over the seas, where he continued a most bloody persecutor, still raging against God's saints with fire and sword. Insomuch as he, growing to be familiar and right dear to the duke of Alva in Antwerp, received special commission from him to search the ships for goods forfeited, and for English books, and such like.

            And in this favour and authority he continued there for a space, by the which means he did much hurt, and brought many a good man and woman to trouble and extreme peril of life through his bloodthirsty cruelty: but at the last the Lord (when the measure of his iniquity was full) proceeded in judgment against him, and cut him off from the face of the earth, according to the prayers of many a good man; which came to pass in order as followeth. It being certainly known (for the bruit thereof was gone forth into all lands) that he not only intended the subversion and overthrow of his native country of England, by bringing in foreign hostility, if by any means he might compass it, but also daily and hourly murdered God's people, there was this platform laid, (by God's providence no doubt,) that one Master Parker, a merchant, should sail unto Antwerp, and by some means convey Story into England.

            This Parker arriving at Antwerp, suborned certain to repair to Dr. Story, and to signify unto him that there was an English ship, fraught with merchandise, and that if he would make search thereof himself, he should find store of English books, and other things for his purpose. Story, hearing this, and suspecting nothing, made haste towards the ship, thinking to make the same his prey; and coming aboard, searched for English heretical books (as he called them); and going down under the hatches, because he would be sure to have their blood if he could, they clapped down the hatches, hoisted up their sails, having (as God would) a good gale, and sailed away into England; where they arriving, presented this bloody butcher, and traitorous rebel Story, to the no little rejoicing of many an English heart. He, being now committed to prison, continued there a good space: during all which time he was laboured and solicited daily by wise and learned fathers, to recant his devilish and erroneous opinions, to conform himself to the truth, and to acknowledge the queen's supremacy. All which he utterly denied to the death, saying, that he was sworn subject to the king of Spain, and was no subject to the Queen of England, nor she his sovereign queen; and therefore (as he well deserved) he was condemned as a traitor to God, the queen's Majesty, and the realm, to be drawn, hanged, and quartered; which was performed accordingly, he being laid upon a hurdle, and drawn from the Tower along the streets to Tyburn, where he, being hanged till he was half dead, was cut down and stripped; and (which is not to be forgotten) when the executioner had performed his last office, he, rushing up upon a sudden, gave him a blow upon the ear, to the great wonder of all that stood by. And thus ended this bloody Nimrod his wretched life, whose judgment I leave to the Lord.

 

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