180. PERSONS ABJURED IN LONDON
Hitherto we have run over, good reader, the names and the acts and doings of them, which have sustained death, and the torment of burning, for Christ's cause, through the rigorous proclamation above specified, set out, as is said, in the name of King Henry, but indeed procured by the bishops. Which proclamation was so straitly looked upon, and executed so to the uttermost in every point, by the said popish prelates, that no good man that breathed, whereof Esdras speaketh, could peep out with his head ever so little, but he was caught by the back, and brought either to the fire, as were these above mentioned; or else compelled to abjure. Whereof there was a great multitude, as well men as women; whose names, if they were sought out through all registers in England, no doubt it would make too long a discourse. Nevertheless, omitting the rest, it shall content us at this present, briefly, as in a short table, to insinuate the names, with the special articles, of such as, in the diocese of London, under Bishop Stokesley, were molested and vexed, and, at the last, compelled to abjure, as here may appear.
A table of certain persons, abjured within the diocese of London, under Bishop Stokesley, with the articles alleged against them.
Jeffery Lome, A.D. 1528.
Imprimis, for having and dispersing sundry books of Martin Luther's, as also for translating into the English tongue certain chapters of the work of Luther, De Bonis Operibus: as also, certain chapters of a certain book called Piæ Predicationes, wherein divers works of Luther be comprehended.
Item, For affirming and believing that faith only, without good works, will bring a man to heaven.
Item, That men be not bound to observe the constitutions made by the church.
Item, That we should pray to God only, and to no saints.
Item, That Christian men ought to worship God only, and no saints.
Item, That pilgrimages be not profitable for man's soul, and should not be used.
Item, That we should not offer to images in the church, nor set any lights before them.
Item, That no man is bound to keep any manner of fasting days, instituted at the church.
Item, That pardons granted by the pope or the bishop do not profit a man.
For these articles Jeffery Lome was abjured before the bishops of London, Bath, and Lincoln; no mention being made of any penance enjoined him.
Sigar Nicholson, stationer, of Cambridge, A.D. 1528.
His articles were like; and moreover for having in his house certain books of Luther, and other prohibited, and not presenting them to the ordinary. The handling of this man was too, too cruel, if the report be true, that he should be hanged up in such a manner as well suffereth not to be named.
John Raimund, a Dutchman, A.D. 1528.
For causing fifteen hundred of Tyndale's New Testaments to be printed at Antwerp, and for bringing five hundred into England.
Paul Luther, Grey Friar, and warden of the house at Ware, A.D. 1529.
His articles were for preaching and saying that it is pity that there be so many images suffered in so many places, where indiscreet and unlearned people be; for they make their prayers and oblations so entirely and heartily before the image, that they believe it to be the very self saint in heaven.
Item, That if he knew his father and mother were in heaven, he would count them as good as St. Peter and Paul, but for the pain they suffered for Christ's sake.
Item, That there is no need to go on pilgrimage.
Item, That if a man were at the point of drowning, or any other danger, he should call only upon God, and no saint; for saints in heaven cannot help us, neither know any more what men do here in this world, than a man in the north country knoweth what is done in the south country.
Roger Whaplod, merchant tailor, sent, by one Thomas Norfolk, unto Dr. Goderidge, this bill following, to be read at his sermon in the Spital. A.D. 1529.
"If there be any well-disposed person willing to do any cost upon the reparation of the conduit in Fleet Street, let him or them resort unto the administrators of the goods and chattels of one Richard Hun, late merchant tailor of London, which died intestate, or else to me, and they shall have toward the same six pounds thirteen shillings and four-pence, and a better penny, of the goods of the said Richard Hun; upon whose soul, and all Christian souls, Jesus have mercy!"
For the which bill, both Whaplod and Norfolk were brought and troubled before the bishop; and also Dr. Goderidge, which took a groat for reading the said bill, was suspended for a time from saying mass, and also was forced to revoke the same at Paul's Cross; reading this bill as followeth.
The revocation of Dr. William, Goderidge, read at Paul's Cross.
"Masters! so it is, that where in my late sermon at St. Mary Spital, the Tuesday in Easter-week last past, I did pray specially for the soul of Richard Hun, late of London, merchant tailor, a heretic, by the laws of holy church justly condemned: by reason whereof I greatly offended God and his church, and the laws of the same, for which I have submitted me to my ordinary, and done penance there-for: forasmuch as, peradventure, the audience that was there offended by my said words, might take any occasion thereby to think that I did favour the said heretic, or any other, I desire you, at the instance of Almighty God, to forgive me, and not so to think of me, for I did it unadvisedly. Therefore, here before God and you, I declare myself that I have not favoured him or any other heretic, nor hereafter intend to do, but at all times shall defend the Catholic faith of holy church, according to my profession, to the best of my power.
Robert West, priest, A.D. 1529.
Abjured for books and opinions contrary to the proclamation.
Nicholas White of Rye, A.D. 1529.
His articles: -- For speaking against the priests' saying of matins; against praying for them that be dead; against praying to God for small trifles, as for the cow calving, the hen hatching, &c.: for speaking against the relic of St. Peter's finger; against oblations to images; against vowing of pilgrimage; against priesthood; against holy bread and holy water, &c.
Richard Kitchen, priest, A.D. 1529.
His articles: -- That pardons granted by the pope are naught, and that men should put no trust in them, but only in the passion of Christ: that he, being led by the words of the gospel, in Matt. vii., concerning the broad and narrow way, and also by the epistle of the mass, beginning, Vir fortissimus Judas, had erred in the way of the pope, and thought, that there were but two ways, and no purgatory: that men ought to worship no images, nor set up lights before them: that pilgrimage doth nothing avail: that the gospel was not truly preached for the space of three hundred years past, &c.
William Wegen, priest at St. Mary Hill, A.D. 1529.
His articles: -- That he was not bound to say his matins nor other service, but to sing with the choir till they came to prime; and then, saying no more service, thought he might well go to mass: that he had said mass oftentimes, and had not said his matins and his divine service before: that he had gone to mass without confession made to a priest: that it was sufficient for a man, being in deadly sin, to ask only God mercy for his sin, without further confession made to a priest: that he held against pilgrimages, and called images, stocks, stones, and witches.
Item, That he being sick, went to the Rood of St. Margaret Patens; and said before him twenty Pater-nosters; and when he saw himself never the better, then he said, "A foul evil take him, and all other images."
Item, That if a man keep a good tongue in his head, he fasteth well.
Item, For commending Luther to be a good man, for preaching twice a day, &c.
Item, For saying that the mass was but a ceremony, and made to the intent that men should pray only.
Item, For saying, that if a man had a pair of beads or a book in his hand at the church, and were not disposed to pray, it was naught, &c.
William Hale, holy water clerk of Tolenham, A.D. 1529.
His articles: -- That offering of money and candles to images did not avail, since we are justified by the blood of Christ.
Item, For speaking against worshipping of saints, and against the pope's pardons. For saying, that since the sacraments that the priest doth minister be as good as they which the pope doth minister, he did not see but the priest hath as good authority as the pope.
Item, That a man should confess himself to God only, and not to a priest, &c.
William Blomfield, monk of Bury.
Abjured for the like causes.
John Tyndale, A.D. 1530.
For sending five marks to his brother William Tyndale beyond the sea, and for receiving and keeping with him certain letters from his brother.
William Worsley, priest and hermit, A.D. 1530.
His articles: -- Forpreaching at Halestede, having the curate's licence, but not the bishop's.
Item, For preaching these words, "No man riding on pilgrimage, having under him a soft saddle, and an easy horse, should have any merit thereby, but the horse and the saddle," &c.
Item, For saying that hearing of matins and mass is not the thing that shall save a man's soul, but only to hear the word of God.
John Stacy, tiler, A.D. 1530.
His articles were against purgatory, which, he said, to be but a device of the priests to get money: against fasting days by man's prescription, and choice of meats: against superfluous holy days: Item, against pilgrimage, &c.
Lawrence Maxwell, tailor, A.D. 1530.
His articles: -- That the sacrament of the altar was not the very body of Christ in flesh and blood; but that he received him by the word of God, and in remembrance of Christ's passion.
Item, That the order of priesthood is no sacrament: that there is no purgatory, &c.
Thomas Curson, monk of Eastacre, in Norfolk, A.D. 1530.
His articles were these: -- For going out of the monastery, and changing his weed, and letting his crown to grow; working abroad for his living, making copes and vestments. Also for having the New Testament of Tyndale's translation, and another book containing certain books of the Old Testament, translated into English, by certain whom the papists call Lutherans.
Thomas Cornewell or Austy, A.D. 1530.
His articles: -- It was objected, that he, being enjoined afore, by Richard Fitzjames, bishop of London, for his penance to wear a faggot embroidered upon his sleeve under pain of relapse, he kept not the same; and therefore he was condemned to perpetual custody in the house of St. Bartholomew, from whence afterwards he escaped and fled away.
Thomas Philip, A.D. 1530.
Thomas Philip was delivered by Sir Thomas More, to Bishop Stokesley by indenture. Besides other articles of purgatory, images, the sacrament of the altar, holy-days, keeping of books, and such like, it was objected unto him, that he, being searched in the Tower, had found about him Tracy's Testament; and in his chamber in the Tower was found cheese and butter in Lent-time. Also, that he had a letter delivered unto him going to the Tower. Which letter, with the Testament also of Tracy, because they are both worthy to be seen, we mind (God willing) to annex also unto the story of this Thomas Philip. As he was oftentimes examined before Master More and the bishop, he always stood to his denial, neither could there any thing be proved clearly against him, but only Tracy's Testament, and his butter in Lent. One Stacy first bare witness against him, but after, in the court, openly he protested that he did it for fear. The bishop then willing him to submit himself, and to swear never to hold any opinion contrary to the determination of holy church, he said "he would:" and when the form of his abjuration was given him to read, he read it: but the bishop, not content with that, would have him to read it openly. But that he would not; and said, He would appeal to the king as supreme head of the church, and so did. Still the bishop called upon him to abjure. He answered, That he would be obedient as a Christian man should, and that he would swear never to hold any heresy during his life, nor to favour any heretics.
But the bishop, not yet content, would have him to read the abjuration after the form of the church conceived, as it was given him. He answered again, that he would forswear all heresies, and that he would maintain no heresies, nor favour any heretics. The bishop with this would not be answered, but needs would drive him to the abjuration formed after the pope's church: to whom he said, If it were the same abjuration that he read, he would not read it, but stand to his appeal made to the king, the supreme head of the church under God. Again the bishop asked him, if he would abjure or not. "Except," said he, "you will show me the cause why I should abjure, I will not say yea nor nay to it, but will stand to my appeal;" and he required the bishop to obey the same. Then the bishop, reading openly the bill of excommunication against him, denounced him for contumax, and an excommunicated person, charging all men to have no company, and nothing to do with him. After this excommunication, what became of him, whether he was holpen by his appeal, or whether he was burned, or whether he died in the Tower, or whether he abjured, I find no mention made in the registers.
A letter directed to Thomas Philip in the name of the brethren, and given him by the way going to the Tower.
"The favour of him that is able to keep you that you fall not, and to confess your name in the kingdom of glory, and to give you strength by his Spirit to confess him before all his adversaries, be with you ever. Amen.
"Sir, the brethren think that there be divers false brethren craftily crept in among them, to seek out their freedom in the Lord, that they may accuse them to the Lord's adversaries, as they suppose they have done you. Wherefore, if so it be, that the Spirit of God move you thereunto, they, as counsellors, desire you above all things to be stedfast in the Lord's verity, without fear; for he shall and will be your help, according to his promise, so that they shall not minish the least hair of your head without his will; unto the which will, submit yourself and rejoice: for the Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and how to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment, to be punished: and therefore cast all your care on him, for he careth for you. And in that you suffer as a Christian man, be not ashamed, but rather glorify God on that behalf; Looking upon Christ the author and finisher of our faith, which, for the joy that was set before him, abode the cross and despised the shame. Notwithstanding, though we suffer the wrong after the example of our Master Christ, yet we be not bound to suffer the wrong cause, for Christ himself suffered it not, but reproved him that smote him wrongfully. And so likewise saith St. Paul also. So that we must not suffer the wrong, but boldly reprove them that sit as righteous judges, and do contrary to righteousness. Therefore, according both to God's law and man's, ye be not bound to make answer in any cause, till your accusers come before you; which if you require, and thereon do stick, the false brethren shall be known, to the great comfort of those that now stand in doubt whom they may trust; and also it shall be a mean that they shall not craftily, by questions, take you in snares. And that you may this do lawfully, in Acts xx. it is written, It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man that he should perish, before that he which is accused have his accusers before him, and have licence to answer for himself, as pertaining to the crime whereof he is accused. And also Christ willeth that in the mouth of two or three witnesses all things shall stand. And in 1 Tim. v. 19, it is written, Against a senior receive none accusation, but under two or three witnesses. A senior, in this place, is any man that hath a house to govern. And also their own law is agreeable to this. Wherefore, seeing it is agreeable to the word of God, that in accusations such witnesses should be, you may with good conscience require it. And thus the God of grace, which hath called you unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, shall his own self, after a little affliction, make you perfect; shall settle, strengthen, and stablish you, that to him may be glory and praise for ever. Amen."
Thus ye have heard the letter delivered to Thomas Philip. Now followeth the testament of William Tracy.
A little before this time, William Tracy, a worshipful esquire in Gloucestershire, and then dwelling at Toddington, made, in his will, that he would have no funeral pomp at his burying, neither passed he upon mass; and he further said, that he trusted in God only, and hoped by him to be saved, and not by any saint. This gentleman died, and his son, as executor, brought the will to the bishop of Canterbury to prove: which he showed to the convocation, and there most cruelly they judged that he should be taken out of the ground, and be burned as a heretic, A.D. 1532. This commission was sent to Dr. Parker, chancellor of the diocese of Worcester, to execute their wicked sentence; which accomplished the same. The king, hearing his subject to be taken out of the ground and burned, without his knowledge or order of his law, sent for the chancellor, and laid high offence to his charge; who excused himself by the archbishop of Canterbury which was lately dead; but in conclusion it cost him three hundred pounds to have his pardon.
The will and testament of this gentleman, thus condemned by the clergy, was as hereunder followeth:
"In the name of God, Amen. I, William Tracy of Toddington in the county of Gloucester, esquire, make my testament and last will as hereafter followeth: First, and before all other things, I commit myself to God and to his mercy, believing, without any doubt or mistrust, that by his grace, and the merits of Jesus Christ, and by the virtue of his passion and of his resurrection, I have and shall have remission of all my sins, and resurrection of body and soul, according as it is written, I believe that my Redeemer liveth, and that in the last day I shall rise out of the earth, and in my flesh shall see my Saviour: this my hope is laid up in my bosom.
And touching the wealth of my soul, the faith that I have taken and rehearsed is sufficient, (as I suppose,) without any other man's works or merits. My ground and belief is, that there is but one God and one Mediator between God and man, which is Jesus Christ; so that I accept none in heaven or in earth to be mediator between me and God, but only Jesus Christ: all others to be but as petitioners in receiving of grace, but none able to give influence of grace: and therefore will I bestow no part of my goods for that intent that any man should say or do to help my soul; for therein I trust only to the promises of Christ: He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned.
"As touching the burying of my body, it availeth me not whatsoever be done thereto; for St. Augustine saith, concerning the respect due to the dead, that the funeral pomps are rather the solace of them that live, than the wealth and comfort of them that are dead: and therefore I remit it only to the discretion of mine executors.
"As touching the distribution of my temporal goods, my purpose is, by the grace of God, to bestow them to be accepted as the fruits of faith; so that I do not suppose that my merit shall be by the good bestowing of them, but my merit is the faith of Jesus Christ only, by whom such works are good, according to the words of our Lord, I was hungry, and thou gavest me to eat, &c. And it followeth, That ye have done to the least of my brethren, ye have done it to me, &c. And ever we should consider that true saying, that a good work maketh not a good man, but a good man maketh a good work; for faith maketh a man both good and righteous: for a righteous man liveth by faith, and whatsoever springeth not of faith is sin, &c.
"And all my temporal goods that I have not given or delivered, or not given by writing of mine own hand, bearing the date of this present writing, I do leave and give to Margaret my wife, and Richard my son, whom I make mine executors. Witness hereof mine own hand the tenth of Octoher, in the twenty-second year of the reign of King Henry the Eighth."
This is the true copy of his will, for which, (as you heard before,) after he was almost two years dead, they took him up and burned him.
The table continued.
John Perlman, skinner, A.D. 1531.
His articles were much like unto the others before; adding, moreover, that all the preachers then at Paul's Cross preached nothing but lies and flatterings, and that there was never a true preacher but one; naming Edward Crome.
Robert Goldstone, glazier, A.D. 1.531.
His articles: -- That men should pray to God only, and to no saints: that pilgrimage is not profitable: that men should give no worship to images. Item, for saying, that if he had as much power as any cardinal had, he would destroy all the images that were in all the churches in England.
Lawrence Staple, serving-man, A.D. 1531.
His articles: -- For having the Testament in English, the five books of Moses, the Practice of Prelates, the Sum of Scripture, the A.B.C.
Item, About the burning of Bainham, for saying, "I would I were with Bainham, seeing that every man hath forsaken him, that I might drink with him, and he might pray for me."
Item, That he moved Henry Tomson to learn to read the New Testament, calling it The Blood of Christ.
Item, In Lent past, when he had no fish, he did eat eggs, butter, and cheese. Also, about six weeks before Master Bilney was attached, the said Bilney delivered to him at Greenwich four New Testaments of Tyndale's translation, which he had in his sleeve, and a budget besides of books, which budget he, shortly after riding to Cambridge, delivered unto Bilney, &c.
Item, On Fridays he used to eat eggs, and thought that it was no great offence before God, &c.
Henry Tomson, tailor, A.D. 1531.
His articles: -- That which the priest lifteth over his head at the sacring-time, is not the very body of Christ, nor is it God; but a thing that God hath ordained to be done.
This poor Tomson, although at the first he submitted himself to the bishop, yet they with sentence condemned him to perpetual prison.
Jasper Wetzell, of Cologne, A.D. 1531.
His articles: -- That he cared not for going to the church to hear mass, for he could say mass as well as the priest: That he would not pray to our Lady, for she could do us no good.
Item, Being asked if he would go hear mass, he said, he had as lieve go to the gallows, where the thieves were hanged.
Item, Being at St. Margaret Patens, and there holding his arms across, he said unto the people, that he could make as good a knave as he is, for he is made but of wood, &c.
Robert Man, serving-man, A.D. 1531.
His articles: -- There is no purgatory: That the pope hath no more power to grant pardon than another simple priest: That God gave no more authority to St. Peter than to another priest: That the pope was a knave, and his priests knaves all, for suffering his pardons to go abroad to deceive the people: That St. Thomas of Canterbury is no saint: That St. Peter was never pope of Rome.
Item, He used commonly to ask of priests where he came, whether a man were accursed, if he handled a chalice, or no? If the priest would say, Yea: then would he reply again thus; "If a man have a sheep-skin on his hands," meaning a pair of gloves, "he may handle it." The priests saying, Yea. "Well then," quoth he, "ye will make me believe, that God put more virtue in a sheep-skin, than he did in a Christian man's hand, for whom he died."
Henry Feldon, A.D. 1531.
His trouble was for having these books in English: A proper Dialogue between a Gentleman and a Husbandman, The Sum of Scripture, The Prologue of Mark, a written book containing the Pater Noster, Ave Maria, and the Creed, in English; The Ten Commandments, and The Sixteen Conditions of Charity.
Robert Cooper, priest, A: D. 1531.
His article was only this: -- For saying that the blessing with a shoe-sole, is as good as the bishop's blessing, &c.
Thomas Roe, A.D. 1531.
His articles were, for speaking against auricular confession and priestly penance, and against the preaching of the doctors.
William Wallam, A.D. 1531.
His opinion: That the sacrament of the altar is not the body of Christ in flesh and blood; and that there is a God, but not that God in flesh and blood, in the form of bread.
Grace Palmer, A.D. 1531.
Witness was brought against her by her neighbours, John Rouse, Agnes his wife, John Pole, of St. Osithe's, for saying, "Ye use to bear palms on Palm-Sunday: it skilleth not whether you bear any or not, it is but a thing used, and need not."
Also, " Ye use to go on pilgrimage to our Lady of Grace, of Walsingham and other places: ye were better tarry at home, and give money to succour me and my children, and other of my poor neighbours, than to go thither; for there you shall find but a piece of timber painted: there is neither God nor Lady.
Item, For repenting that she did ever light candles before images.
Item. That the sacrament of the altar is not the body of Christ; it is but bread, which the priest there showeth for a token or remembrance of Christ's body.
Philip Brasier, of Boxted, A.D. 1531.
His articles: -- That the sacrament holden up between the priest's hands is not the body of Christ, but bread, and is done for a signification: That confession to a priest needeth not: That images be but stocks and stones: That pilgrimage is vain: Also for saying, that when there is any miracle done, the priests do anoint the images, and make men believe that the images do sweat in labouring for them; and with the offerings the priests find their harlots.
John Fairestede, of Colchester, A.D. 1531.
His articles: -- For words spoken against pilgrimage and images. Also for saying these words, "That the day should come that men should say, Cursed be they that make these false gods" (meaning images).
George Bull, of Much Hadham, draper, A.D. 1531.
His articles: -- That there be three confessions; one principal to God; another to his neighbour whom he had offended; and the third to a priest; and that without the two first confessions, to God and to his neighbour, a man could not be saved. The third confession to a priest, is necessary for counsel to such as be ignorant and unlearned, to learn how to make their confession with a contrite heart unto God, and how to hope for forgiveness; and also in what manner they should ask forgiveness of their neighbour whom they have offended, &c. Item, For saying that Luther was a good man. Item, That he reported, through the credence and report of Master Patmore, parson of Hadham, that where Wickliff's bones were burnt, sprang up a well or well-spring.
John Haymond, millwright, A.D. 1531.
His articles: -- For speaking and holding against pilgrimage and images, and against prescribed fasting days.
That priests and religious men, notwithstanding their vows made, may lawfully forsake their vows and marry.
Item, For having books of Luther and Tyndale.
Robert Lambe, a harper, A.D. 1531.
His article: -- For that he, standing accursed two years together, and not fearing the censures of the pope's church, went about with a song in commendation of Martin Luther.
John Hewes, draper, A.D. 1531.
His articles: -- For speaking against purgatory, and Thomas Becket.
Item, At the town of Farnham, he, seeing Edward Frensham kneeling in the street to a cross carried before a corse, asked, To whom he kneeled? He said, To his Maker. "Thou art a fool," said he, " it is not thy Maker; it is but a piece of copper or wood," &c.
Item, For these words, "Masters! ye use to go on pilgrimage; it were better first that ye look upon your poor neighbours, who lack succour," &c.
Also for saying, that he heard the vicar of Croydon thus preach openly, That there was much immorality kept up by going on pilgrimage to Wilsdon or Mouswell, &c.
Thomas Patmore, draper, A.D. 1531.
This Patmore was brother to Master Patmore, parson of Hadham, who was imprisoned in the Lollards' Tower for marrying a priest, and in the same prison continued three years.
This Patmore was accused by divers witnesses, upon these articles:
That he had as lieve pray to yonder hunter (pointing to a man painted there in a stained cloth) for a piece of flesh, as pray to stocks that stand in walls (meaning images).
Item, That men should not pray to saints, but to God only: "For why should we pray to saints?" said he, "they are but blocks and stocks."
Item, That the truth of Scripture hath been kept from us a long time, and hath not appeared till now.
Item, Coming by a tree wherein stood an image, he took away the wax which hanged there offered.
Item, That he regarded not the place whether it was hallowed or no, where be should be buried after he was dead.
Also in talk with the curate of St. Peter's, he defended that priests might marry.
This Patmore had long hold with the bishop of London. First, he would not swear, Infamia non præcedente. Then he would appeal to the king: but all would not serve. He was so wrapt in the bishop's nets, that he could not get out: but at last he was forced to abjure, and was fined to the king a hundred pounds.
Note in the communication between this Patmore and the priest of St. Peter's, that whereas the priest objected against him (as is in the register) that priests have lived unmarried and without wives these fifteen hundred years in the church; he, and all other such priests, therein say falsely, and deceive the people, as by story is proved in these volumes, that priests here in England had wives by law within these five hundred years and less.
Simon Smith, master of arts, of Gunwell-hall, Cambridge, and Joan Bennore his wife, A.D. 1531.
This Simon Smith, and Bennore his wife, were the parties whom Master Patmore, parson of Hadham, above mentioned, did marry, and was condemned for the same to perpetual prison. For the which marriage, both the said Simon, and Bennore his wife, were called to examination before the bishop, and he caused to make the whole discourse of all his doings, how and where he married; then, after his marriage, how long he tarried; whether he went beyond sea; where he was, and with whom; after his return whither he resorted; how he lived; what mercery-ware he occupied; what fairs he frequented; where he left his wife; how he carried her over, and brought her home again, and how she was found, &c. All this they made him confess, and put it in their register. And though they could fasten no other crime of heresy upon him, but only his marriage, yet, calling both him and her (being great with child) to examination, they caused them both to abjure and suffer penance.
Thomas Patmore, parson of Hadham, A.D. 1530.
This Thomas Patmore, being learned and godly, was preferred to the parsonage of Hadham, in Hertfordshire, by Richard Fitz-James, bishop of London, and there continued instructing and teaching his flock during the time of the said Fitz-James, and also of Tonstal his successor, by the space of sixteen years or more; behaving himself in life and conversation without any public blame or reproach; until John Stokesley was preferred unto the said bishopric, who, not very long after his installing, either for malice not greatly liking of the said Patmore, or else desirous to prefer some other unto the benefice, (as it is supposed and alleged by his brethren in sundry supplications exhibited unto the king, as also unto Queen Anne, then marchioness of Pembroke,) caused him to be attached and brought before him; and then, keeping him prisoner in his own palace, a certain time afterwards committed him to Lollard's Tower, where he kept him most extremely above two years, without fire or candle, or any other relief, but such as his friends sent him; not suffering any of them, notwithstanding, to come unto him, no, not in his sickness. Howbeit sundry times in the mean while he called him judicially either before himself, or else his vicar-general Foxford, that great persecutor, charging him with these sundry articles, viz. first, whether he had been at Wittenberg; secondly, and had seen or talked with Luther; thirdly, or with any Englishman, abiding there; fourthly, who went with him or attended upon him thither; fifthly, also what books he bought there, either Latin or English; sixthly, and whether he had read or studied any works of Luther, Œcolampadius, Pomerane, or Melancthon.
Besides these, he ministered also other articles unto him, touching the marriage of Master Simon Smith (before mentioned) with one Joan Bennore, charging him that he both knew of and also consented unto their marriage, the one being a priest and his curate, and the other his maid-servant; and that he had persuaded his maid-servant to marry with his said curate, alleging unto her, that though it were not lawful in England for priests to marry, yet it was, in other countries beyond seas. And that after their said marriage, he (knowing the same) did yet suffer the said Smith to minister in his cure all Easter-time, and fifteen days after; and that at their departure out of England, he supped with them at the Bell in New Fish Street; and again, at their return into England, did meet them at the said Bell, and there lent unto the said Smith a priest's gown.
He objected, moreover, against him in the said articles, that he had affirmed at Cambridge, first, that he did not set a bottle of hay by the pope's or bishop's curse; secondly, and that God bindeth us to impossible things, that he may save us only by his mercy; also thirdly, that though young children he baptized, yet they cannot be saved except they have faith; fourthly and lastly, that it was against God's law to burn heretics.
Unto these articles, after long imprisonment and great threats of the bishop and his vicar, he at last answered, making first his appeal unto the king, wherein he showed, that forasmuch as the bishop had most unjustly, and contrary to all due order of law, and the equity thereof, proceeded against him, as well in falsely defaming him with the crime of heresy, without having any just proof or public defamation thereof; as also, contrary to all justice, keeping him in most strait prison so long time (both to the great danger of his life, by grievous sickness taken thereby, as especially to his no small grief, that through his absence, his flock, whereof he had charge, were not fed with the word of God and his sacraments as he would); and then, to minister unto him such articles, mingled with interrogatories, as neither touched any heresy nor transgression of any law, but rather showing a mind to pick quarrels against him and other innocent people; he therefore, for the causes alleged, was compelled, and did, appeal from him and all his officers unto the king's Majesty, whom, under God, he had for his most just and lawful refuge, and defender against all injuries. From which appeal although he minded not at any time to depart, yet because he would not show himself obstinate against the bishop, being his ordinary, (although he had most just cause to suspect his unjust proceeding against him,) he was nevertheless content to exhibit unto him this his answer: First, that howsoever the bishop was privately informed, yet because he was not publicly defamed among good and grave men, according to law, he was not, by the law, bound to answer to any of those articles.
And as touching the first six articles, (as whether he was at Wittenberg, and spake with Luther, or any other, or bought or read any of their books, &c.,) because none of those things were forbidden him by any law, neither was he publicly accused of them, (for that it was permitted to many good men to have them,) he was not bound to answer, neither was he to be examined of them. But as touching the marriage of Master Simon Smith with Joan Bennore, he granted that he knew thereof by the declaration of Master Smith; but, that he gave his maid counsel thereunto, he utterly denied. And as concerning the contracting of the marriage between them, he thought it not at all against God's law, who at the first creation made marriage lawful for all men: neither thought he it unlawful for him, after their marriage, either to keep him as his curate, or else to lend or give him any thing needful (wherein he said he showed more charity than the bishop, who had taken all things from them); and therefore he desired to have it proved by the Scriptures, that priests' marriages were not lawful.
Against whom, Foxford, the bishop's vicar, often alleged general councils, and determinations of the church, but no Scriptures, still urging him to abjure his articles; which Patmore long time refused, and sticking a great while to his former answers, at last was threatened by Foxford, to have the definitive sentence read against him. Whereupon he answered, that he believed the holy church as a Christian man ought to do; and because it passed his capacity, he desired to be instructed, and if the Scriptures did teach it, he would believe it; for he knew not the contrary by the Scriptures, but that a priest might marry a wife; howbeit, by the laws of the church, he thought that a priest might not marry. But the chancellor still so urged him to show whether a priest might marry without offence to God, that at length he granted that priests might not marry without offence to God, because the church had forbidden it, and therefore a priest could not marry without deadly sin.
Now as touching the four last articles, he denied that he spake them as they were put against him; but he granted that he might perhaps jestingly say, That a bottle of hay were more profitable to him than the pope's curse, which he thought true. Also to the second, he affirmed that God had set before us, by his precepts and commandments, the way to righteousness, which way was not in man's power to go and keep; therefore Paul saith, Gal. iii. 19, that the law was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator; but yet, to fulfil it, it was in the hand, that is, power, of the Mediator. That none that shall be saved shall account their salvation unto their own deeds, or thank their own justice in observing the law; for it was in no man's power to observe it: but shall give all thanks to the mercies and goodness of God; according to the psalm, Praise the Lord, all ye nations; and according to the saying of Paul, that he that glorieth may glory in the Lord; who hath sent his Son to do for us that which it was not in our own power to do. For if it had been in our power to fulfil the law, Christ had been sent to us without cause, to do for us that thing which we ourselves could have done, that is to say, fulfil the law. As for the third, he spake not, for he did never know that any may be baptized without faith; which faith, inasmuch as it is the gift of God, why may it not be given to infants? To the last he said, that if he spake it, ho meant it not of those that St. Bernard called heretics, (with more adulterers, thieves, murderers, and other open sinners, who blaspheme God by their mouths, calling good evil, and evil good, making light darkness, and darkness light,) but he meant it of such as men call heretics, according to the testimony of St. Paul, Acts xxiv. 14, I live after the way, saith he, that men call heresy, whom Christ doth foretell that ye shall burn and persecute to death.
After these answers thus made, the bishop, with his persecuting Foxford, dealt so hardly with this good man, partly by strait imprisonment, and partly by threats to proceed against him, that in the end he was fain, through human infirmity, to submit himself, and was abjured and condemned to perpetual prison; with loss, both of his benefice, as also of all his goods. Howbeit one of his brethren afterwards made such suit unto the king, (by means of the queen,) that after three years' imprisonment, he was both released out of prison, and also obtained of the king a commission unto the Lord Audley, being then lord chancellor, and to Cranmer, archbishop of Canterbury, and to Cromwell, then secretary, with others, to inquire of the injurious and unjust dealings of the bishop and his chancellor against the said Patmore, notwithstanding his appeal unto the king; and to determine thereof according to true equity and justice, and to restore the said Patmore again unto his said benefice. But what was the end and issue of this commission, we find not as yet.
John Row, book-binder, a Frenchman, A.D. 1531.
This man, for binding, buying, and dispersing of books inhibited, was enjoined, besides other penance, to go to Smithfield with his books tied about him, and to cast them into the fire, and there to abide till they were all burned to ashes.
Christopher, a Dutchman of Antwerp, A.D. 1531.
This man, for selling certain New Testaments in English, to John Row aforesaid, was put in prison at Westminster, and there died.
W. Nelson, priest, A.D. 1531.
His crime was, for having and buying of Periman certain books of Luther, Tyndale, Thorp, &c., and for reading and perusing the same, contrary to the king's proclamation, for which he was abjured. He was priest at Leith.
Thomas Eve, weaver, A.D. 1531.
His articles: -- That the sacrament of the altar is but a memory of Christ's passion. That men were fools to go on pilgrimage, or to set any candle before images. Item, It is as good to set up staves before the sepulchre, as to set up tapers of wax. That priests might have wives.
Robert Hudson of St. Sepulchre's, A.D. 1531.
His article: -- On Childermas-day (saith the register) he offered in Paul's church at offering-time, to the child bishop (called St. Nicholas) a dog for devotion, (as he said,) and meant no hurt; for he thought to have offered a halfpenny, or else the dog, and thought the dog to be better than a halfpenny, and the dog should raise some profit to the child; and said moreover, that it was the tenth dog, &c.
Edward Hewet, serving-man, A.D. 1531.
His crime: -- That after the king's proclamation, he had and read the New Testament in English; also the book of John Frith against purgatory, &c.
Walter Kiry, servant, A.D. 1531.
His article: -- That he, after the king's proclamation, had and used these books; The Testament in English, The Sum of Scripture, a Primer and Psalter in English, hidden in his bed-straw at Worcester.
Michael Lobley, A.D. 1531.
His articles: -- That he, being at Antwerp, bought certain books inhibited, as The Revelation of Antichrist, The Obedience of a Christian Man, The Wicked Mammon, Frith against Purgatory. Item, For speaking against images and purgatory. Item, For saying, that Bilney was a good man, and died a good man, because of a bill that one did send from Norwich, that specified that he took his death so patiently, and did not forsake to die with a good will.
A boy of Colchester, A.D. 1531.
A boy of Colchester, or Norfolk, brought to Richard Bayfield a budget of books, about four days before the said Bayfield was taken; for which the lad was taken, and laid in the Compter by Master More, chancellor, and there died.
William Smith, tailor, A.D. 1531.
His articles: -- That he lodged oftentimes in his house Richard Bayfield, and other good men: that he received his books into his house, and used much reading in the New Testament: he had also the Testament of William Tracy: he believed that there was no purgatory.
William Lincoln, prentice, A.D. 1532.
His articles: -- For having and receiving books from beyond the sea, of Tyndale, Frith, Thorp, and others. Item, He doubted, whether there were any purgatory; whether it were well done to set up candles to saints, to go on pilgrimage, &c.
John Mel, of Boxted, A.D. 1532.
His heresy was this: -- For having and reading the New Testament in English, the Psalter in English, and the book called A B C.
John Medwel, servant to Master Carket, scrivener.
This Medwel lay in prison twenty-four weeks, till he was almost lame. His heresies was these: -- That he doubted whether there was any purgatory. He would not trust in pardons, but rather in the promises of Christ. He doubted whether the merits of any but only of Christ did help him. He doubted whether pilgrimages, and setting up of candles to images, were meritorious or not. He thought he should not put his trust in any saint. Item, he had in his custody, the New Testament in English, the Examination of Thorp, The Wicked Mammon, a book of Matrimony.
Christopher Fulman, servant to a goldsmith, A.D. 1532.
This young man was attached, for receiving certain books at Antwerp of George Constantine, and transporting them over into England, and selling them to sundry persons, being books prohibited by the proclamation. Item, He thought then those books to have been good, and that he had been in error in times past.
Margaret Bowgas, A.D. 1532.
Her heresies were these: -- Being asked if she would go on pilgrimage. she said, " I believe in God, and he can do me more good than our Lady, or any other saint; and as for them, they shall come to me, if they will," &c. Then Richard Sharpies, parson of Milend, by Colchester, asked her if she said her Ave Maria. "I say," said she, "Hail Mary, but I will say no further." Then said he, if she left not those opinions, she would bear a faggot. "If I do, better, then, I shall," said she; adding moreover, "that she would not go from that, to die there-for:" to whom the priest answered and said, She would be burned. Hereunto Margaret, again replying, asked the priest, "Who made martyrs?" "Tyrants," quoth the priest, "make martyrs, for they put martyrs to death." "So they shall, or mar, me," quoth Margaret. At length. with much ado, and great persuasion, she gave over to Foxford, the chancellor, and submitted herself.
John Tyrel, an Irishman, of Billerica, tailor.
His articles were these: -- That the sacrament of the altar was not the body of Christ, but only a cake of bread. Furthermore, the occasion being asked, how he fell into that heresy, he answered and said, that about three weeks before Midsummer last past, he heard Master Hugh Latimer preach at St. Mary, Abchurch, that men should leave going on pilgrimage abroad, and do their pilgrimage to their poor neighbours. Also the said Master Latimer in his sermon did set at little the sacrament of the altar.
William Lancaster, tailor, A.D. 1532.
The case laid to this man was, that he had in his keeping the book of Wickliff's Wicket. Item, That he believed the sacrament of the altar, after the words of consecration, not to be the body of Christ really, &c. Item, Upon the day of Assumption, he said, that if it were not for the speech of the people, he would not receive the sacrament of the altar.
Robert Topley, friar, A.D. 1532.
His articles: -- He being a Friar Augustine of Clare, forsook his habit, and going in a secular man's weed ten years, married a wife, called Margaret Nixon, having by her a child; and afterwards, being brought before the bishop, he was by him abjured, and condemned to be imprisoned in his former monastery; but at last he escaped out, and returned to his wife again.
Thomas Topley, Augustine Friar, at Stoke-clare.
By the occasion of this Robert Topley aforesaid, place is offered to speak something likewise of Thomas Topley, his brother belike, and also a friar of the same order and house of Stoke-clare. This Thomas Topley had been converted before by one Richard Foxe, priest of Bumstead, and Miles Coverdale, insomuch that he, being induced, partly by them, partly by reading certain books, cast off both his order and habit, and went like a secular priest. Whereupon he was espied, and brought to Cuthbert, bishop of London, A.D. 1528, before whom he made this confession as followeth:
"All Christian men, beware of consenting to Erasmus's Fables, for by consenting to them, they have caused me to shrink in my faith, that I promised to God at my christening by my witnesses. First, as touching these Fables, I read in Colloquium, by the instruction of Sir Richard Foxe, of certain pilgrims, which, as the book doth say, made a vow to go to St. James, and as they went, one of them died, and he desired his fellows to salute St. James in his name; and another died homeward, and he desired that they would salute his wife and his children; and the third died at Florence, and his fellow said, he supposed that he was in heaven, and yet he said that he was a great liar. Thus I mused of these opinions so greatly, that my mind was almost withdrawn from devotion to saints. Notwithstanding, I consented that the divine service of them was very good, and is; though I have not had such sweetness in it as I should have had, because of such fables, and also because of other foolish pastimes; as dancing, tennis, and such other, which I think have been great occasions that the goodness of God hath been void in me, and vice in strength.
Moreover, it fortuned thus, about half a year ago, that the said Sir Richard went forth, and desired me to serve his cure for him; and as I was in his chamber, I found a certain book called Wickliff's Wicket, whereby I felt in my conscience a great wavering for the time that I did read upon it, and afterwards, also, when I remembered it, it wounded my conscience very sore. Nevertheless, I consented not to it, until I had heard him preach, and that was upon St. Anthony's day. Yet my mind was still much troubled with the said book, (which did make the sacrament of Christ's body, in form of bread, but a remembrance of Christ's passion,) till I heard Sir Miles Coverdale preach, and then my mind was sore withdrawn from that blessed sacrament, insomuch that I took it then but for the remembrance of Christ's body. Thus I have wretchedly wrapped my soul with sin, for because I have not been stedfast in that holy order that God hath called me unto by baptism, neither in the holy order that God and St. Augustine have called me to by my religion," &c.
Furthermore, he said and confessed, that in the Lent last past, as he was walking in the field at Bumstead, with Sir Miles Coverdale, late friar of the same order, going in the habit of a secular priest, which had preached the fourth Sunday in Lent at Bumstead, they did commune together of Erasmus's works, and also upon confession. The which Sir Miles said, and did hold, that it was sufficient for a man to be contrite for his sins betwixt God and his conscience, without confession made to a priest; which opinion this respondent thought to be true, and did affirm and hold the same at that time. Also he saith, that at the said sermon, made by the said Sir Miles Coverdale at Bumstead, he heard him preach against worshipping of images in the church, saying and preaching, that men in no wise should honour or worship them; which likewise he thought to be true, because he had no learning to defend it.
William Gardiner, Augustine Friar, of Clare.
With this Topley I may also join William Gardiner, one of the same order and house of Clare, who likewise, by the motion of the said Richard Foxe, curate of Bumstead, and by showing him certain books to read, was brought likewise to the like learning and judgment, and was for the same abjured by Cuthbert, bishop, the same year, 1528.
Richard Johnson, of Boxted, and Alice his wife.
This Richard and his wife were favourers of God's word, and had been troubled for the same of long time. They came from Salisbury to Boxted by reason of persecution, where they continued a good space. At length, by resort of good men, they began to be suspected, and especially for a book of Wickliff's Wicket, which was in their house, theywere convented before Stokesley, bishop of London, and there abjured.
So great was the trouble of those times, that it would overcharge any story to recite the names of all them which during those bitter days, before the coming in of Queen Anne, either were driven out of the realm, or were cast out from their goods and houses, or brought to open shame by abjuration. Such decrees and injunctions then were set forth by the bishops, such laws and proclamations were provided, such watch and narrow search was used, such ways were taken by force of oath to make one detect another so subtilly, that scarcely any good man could or did escape their hands, but either his name was known, or else his person was taken. Yet, nevertheless, so mightily the power of God's gospel did work in the hearts of good men, that the number of them did nothing lessen for all this violence or policy of the adversaries, but rather increased, in such sort as our story also almost suffereth not to recite the particular names of all and singular such as then groaned under the same cross of affliction and persecution of those days; of which number were these:
Arthur and Gefferey Lome.
John Tibauld, his mother, his wife, his two sons, and his two daughters.
Edmund Tibauld, and his wife.
Henry Butcher, and his wife.
William Butcher, and his wife.
George Preston, and his wife.
Joan Smith, widow; also her sons Robert and Richard, and her daughters Margaret and Elizabeth.
Robert Hempsteed, and his wife.
Thomas Hempsteed, and his wife.
John Hempsteed, their son.
Joan Smith, widow, otherwise called Agnes, widow; also her sons John, Thomas, and Christopher, and her daughters Joan and Alice. John Wiggen.
Nicholas Holden's wife.
All these were of the town of Bumstead, who being detected by Sir Richard Foxe, their curate, and partly by Tibauld, were brought up to the bishop of London, and all put together in one house, to the number of thirty-five, to be examined and abjured by the said bishop.
Moreover, in other towns about Suffolk and Essex, others also were detected, as in the town of Byrbrook, these following:
Isabel Choote, widow; also her sons John, William, Christopher, and Robert; her daughter Margaret, and Katharine her maid.
Thomas Choote, and his wife.
Harvie, and his wife.
Thomas, his son.
Agnes, his daughter.
Bateman, and his wife.
John Smith, and his wife.
Thomas Butcher, and his wife.
Robert Catlin, a spoon-maker.
Christmas, and his wife.
William Bechwith, his wife and his two sons. John Pickas, and his wife.
William Pickas, his brother.
Girling, his wife and his daughter.
Johnson, his wife and his son.
Christopher Raven, and his wife.
John Chapman, his servant.
Richard Chapman, his servant, and brother to John Chapman.
Christopher remaineth yet alive, and hath been of a long time a great harbourer of many good men and women that were in trouble and distress, and received them to his house, as Thomas Bate, Simon Smith, the priest's wife, Roger Tanner, with a number more, which ye may see and read in our first edition.
Touching this Richard Chapman, this, by the way, is to be noted, that as he was in his coat and shirt enjoined, bare-head, bare-foot, and bare-leg, to go before the procession, and to kneel upon the cold steps in the church all the sermon time, a little lad, seeing him kneel upon the cold stone with his bare knees, and having pity on him, came to him, and having nothing else to give him, brought him his cap to kneel upon; for which the boy was immediately taken into the vestry, and there unmercifully beaten, for his mercy showed to the poor penitent.
Beside these, divers others were about London, Colchester, and other places also, partakers of the same cross and affliction for the like cause of the gospel, in which number come in these which hereafter follow.
Peter Fenne, priest. Robert Best.
William Raylond of Colchester.
Henry Raylond, his son.
Marion Matthew, or Westden.
M. Forman, bachelor of divinity, parson of Honey Lane.
Mark Cowbridge of Colchester.
Robert Hedil of Colchester.
Robert Wigge, William Bull, and George Cooper, of London.
John Toy, of St. Faith's, London.
Richard Foster of London.
Sebastian Harris, curate of Kensington.
Alice Gardener, John Tomson, and John Bradley and his wife, of Colchester.
John Hubert, of Esdonland, and his wife.
William Butcher, whose father's grandfather was burned for the same religion.
Abraham Water of Colchester.
All these in this table contained, were troubled and abjured, A.D. 1527, and A.D. 1528.
John Wily the elder.
Katharine Wily, his wife.
John Wily, son of John Wily the elder. Christian Wily, his wife.
William Wily, another son.
Margaret Wily, his wife.
Lucy Wily, and Agnes Wily, two young girls.
These eight persons were accused A.D. 1532, for eating pottage and flesh-meat, five years before, upon St. James's even.
Also another time, upon St. Peter's even, as Katharine Wily did lie in childbed, the other wives, with the two girls, were found eating all together of a broth made with the fore-part of a rack of mutton.
Item, The aforesaid John Wily the elder had a primer in English in his house, and other books.
Also he had a young daughter of ten years old, which could render by heart the most part of the twenty-fourth chapter of St. Matthew. Also could rehearse without book, The Disputation between the Clerk and the Friar.
Item, The said John Wily had in his house a treatise of William Thorp, and Sir John Oldcastle.
A note of Richard Bayfield above mentioned.
Mention was made before of Richard Bayfield, monk of Bury, who in these perilous days, amongst other good saints of God, suffered death, as ye have heard; but how, and by whom he was detected, hath not been showed; which now, as in searching out of registers we have found, so we thought good here to adjoin the same, with the words and confession of the same Edmund Peerson, which detected him in manner as followeth:
The accusation of Edmund Peerson against Richard Bayfield.
"The thirteenth day of September, at four o'clock in the afternoon, A.D. 1527, Sir Richard Bayfield said, that my lord of London's commissary was a plain Pharisee; wherefore he would speak with him, and by his wholesome doctrine, he trusted in God, he should make him a perfect Christian man, and me also, for I was a Pharisee as yet, he said.
"Also he said that he cared not even if the commissary and the chancellor both heard him; for the chancellor, he said, was also a Pharisee, and he trusted to make him a Christian man.
"Also he said he was entreated by his friends, and, in a manner, constrained to abide in the city against his will, to make the chancellor, and many more, perfect Christian men; for as yet many were Pharisees, and knew not the perfect declaration of the Scripture.
"Also he said that Master Arthur and Bilney were, and be, more pure and more perfect in their living to God, than was, or is, the commissary, the chancellor, my lord of London, or my lord cardinal.
"Also he said that if Arthur and Bilney suffer death in the quarrels and opinions that they be in or hold, they shall be martyrs before God in heaven.
"Also he said, After Arthur and Bilney were put cruelly to death, yet should there be hundreds of men that should preach the same that they have preached.
"Also he said that he would favour Arthur and Bilney, he knew their living to be so good; for they did wear no shirts of linen cloth, but shirts of hair, and ever were fasting, praying, or doing some other good deeds. And as for one of them, whatsoever he have of money in his purse, he will distribute it, for the love of God, to poor people.
"Also he said that no man should give laud or praise, in any manner of wise, to any creature, or to any saint in heaven, but only to God; To God alone be all honour and glory.
"Also he said, 'Ah, good Sir Edmund! ye be far from the knowledge and understanding of the Scripture, for as yet ye be a Pharisee, with many others of your company: but I trust in God, I shall make you, and many other more, good and perfect Christian men, ere I depart from the city; for I purpose to read a common lecture every day at St. Foster's church, which lecture shall be to the edifying of your souls that be false Pharisees.'
"Also he said that Bilney preached nothing at Wilsdon, but what was true.
"Also he said that Bilney preached true at Wilsdon, if he said that our Lady's crown of Wilsdon, her rings and beads that were offered to her, were bestowed amongst harlots, by the ministers of Christ's church; 'for that I have seen myself,' he said, 'here in London, and that will I abide by.'
"Also he said, He did not fear to commune and argue in Arthur's and Bilney's opinions and articles, even if it were with my lord cardinal.
"Also he said that he would hold Arthur's and Bilney's opinions and articles, and abide by them, that they were true opinions, to suffer death therefor; 'I know them,' said he, 'for such noble and excellent men in learning.'
"Also he said, If he were before my lord cardinal, he would not let to speak to him, and to tell him, that he hath done naughtily in imprisoning Arthur and Bilney, who were better disposed in their livings to God, than my lord cardinal, or my lord of London, as holy as they make themselves.
"Also he said, My lord cardinal is no perfect nor good man to God, for he keepeth not the commandments of God; for Christ (he said) never taught him to follow riches, nor to seek for promotions or dignities of this world, nor did Christ ever teach him to wear shoes of silver and gilt, set with pearl and precious stones; nor bad Christ ever two crosses of silver, two axes, or a pillar of silver and gilt.
"Also he said that every priest might preach the gospel without licence of the pope, my lord cardinal, my lord of London, or any other man; and that he would abide by: and thus he verified it, as it is written, Mark xvi., Christ commanded every priest to go forth throughout all the world, and preach the word of God by the authority of this gospel; and not to run to the pope, nor to any other man, for licence: and that he would abide by, he said.
"Also he said, 'Well, Sir Edmund! say you what you will, and every man, and my lord cardinal also, and yet will I say, and abide by it, my lord cardinal doth punish Arthur and Bilney unjustly, for there be no truer Christian men in all the world living, than they two be; and that punishment that my lord cardinal doth to them, he doth it by might and power, as one who would say, This may I do, and this will I do: who shall say nay? but he doth it of no justice.'
"Also about the fourteenth day of October last past, at three o'clock at afternoon, Sir Richard Bayfield came to St. Edmund's in Lombard Street, where he found me, Sir Edmund Peerson, Sir James Smith, and Sir Miles Garnet, standing at the uttermost gate of the parsonage; and Sir Edmund said to Sir Richard Bayfield, 'How many Christian men have ye made, since ye came to the city?' Quoth Sir Richard Bayfield, 'I came even now to make thee a Christian man, and these two other gentlemen with thee; for well I know ye be all three Pharisees as yet.'
"Also he said to Sir Edmund, that Arthur and Bilney were better Christian men than he was, or any of them that did punish Arthur and Bilney.
"By me, EDMUND PEERSON."