204. PERSECUTION IN CALAIS.
The persecution in Calais. with the martyrdom of George Bucker, otherwise called Adam Damlip, and others.
At what time John Marbeck was in the Marshalsea, which was about the year of our Lord 1543, there was in the said prison with him one George Bucker, named otherwise Adam Damlip, who, having continued in the said prison three or four years, at the last, by the commandment of Winchester, was had to Calais by John Massy, the keeper of the Marshalsea, and there hanged, drawn, and quartered for treason pretended, which was a little before the condemnation of the Windsor menaforesaid, as is, by the letters of the said John Marbeck, to me signified.
Touching which story of Adam Damlip, forasmuch as it includeth matter of much trouble and persecution that happened in Calais, to digest therefore, and comprise the whole narration thereof in order, first I will enter (the Lord willing) the story of Damlip, and so proceed in order to such as, by the said occasion, were afflicted and persecuted in the town of Calais.
PERSONS PERSECUTED IN THE TOWN OF CALAIS:-- George Bucker, or else called Adam Damlip; a poor labouring man; W. Stevens; Thomas Lancaster; John Butler, commissary; William Smith, priest; Thomas Brook; Ralph Hare; Jacob, a surgeon; a Fleming; Clement Philpot, servant; Jeffery Loveday; Dodde; Sir Edmund, priest; William Touched, postmaster; Peter Becket; Anthony Pickering, gentleman; Henry Tourney, gentleman; George Darby, priest; .John Shepard; William Pellam; William Keverdal; John Whitwood: John Boole: Ho. Cloddet: Coppen de Hane, alias James Cocke: Matthew Hound; William Button, crossbow-maker.
PERSECUTORS:-- John Dove, prior of the Grey Friars in Calais: Sir Gregory Button, priest; Stephen Gardiner, bishop of Winchester; Dr. Sampson, bishop of Chichester; Dr. Clerke, bishop of Bath; Dr. Repse, bishop of Norwich; Harvey, commissary in Calais; Lady Honor, wife to Lord Lisle, deputy of Calais; Sir Thomas Palmer, knight; John Rookwood, esquire; Richard Long, soldier of Calais; Francis Hastings, a soldier; Edmund Payton, Robert Poole, and Thomas Boyse; Hugh Counsel, a servant; Sir Ralph Ellerker, knight; Sir John Gage.
In the year of our Lord 1539, the Lord Cromwell being yet alive, there came to Calais one George Bucker, alias Adam Damlip, who had been, in time past, a great papist and chaplain to Fisher, bishop of Rochester: and, after the death of the bishop his master, had travelled through France, Dutchland, and Italy; and, as he went, conferred with learned men concerning matters of controversy in religion, and so proceeding in his journey to Rome, where he thought to have found all godliness and sincere religion, in the end he found there (as he confessed) such blasphemy of God, contempt of Christ's true religion, looseness of life, and abundance of all abominations and filthiness, that it abhorred his heart and conscience any longer there to remain; although he was greatly requested by Cardinal Pole, there to continue, and to read three lectures in the week in his house, for the which he offered him great entertainment, which he refused; and so, returning homeward, having a piece of money given him of the cardinal at his departure, to the value of a French crown, towards his charges, came to Calais, as is aforesaid. Who, as he was there waiting, without the gate, for passage into England, and being there perceived by certain Calais men, namely, William Stevens and Thomas Lancaster, through conference of talk, to be a learned man, and also well affected; and moreover how that he, being of late a zealous papist, was now returned to a more perfect knowledge of true religion: was by them heartily entreated to stay at Calais a certain space, and to read and preach there a day or two, therewith to do the people to understand what he had found by his painful travelling to Rome; whereby they, who, through gross ignorance and vain superstition, had not altogether put out of their hearts that antichrist of Rome, that ancient enemy of God and all godly religion, the pope, might the rather detest and abhor his filthy false doctrine, whereof this godly and learned man was a seeing witness. To this request Adam gladly consented, so as he might be licensed by such as were in authority so to do.
Whereupon the said Stephens, at the opening of the gates, brought him unto the Lord Lisle, the king's deputy of the town and marches of Calais, unto whom he declared thoroughly what conference and talk had been between Adam Damlip and him. Which known, the said lord deputy instantly desired the said Damlip to stay there, and to preach three or four days or more at his pleasure, saying, that he should have both his licence and the commissary's also, which then was Sir John Butler, so to do. Where, after he had preached three or four times, he was so well liked, both for his learning, his utterance, and the truth of his doctrine, that not only the soldiers and commoners, but also the lord deputy, and a great part of the council, gave him marvellous great praise and thanks for it; and the said lord deputy offered unto him a chamber in his own house, to dine and sup every meal at his own mess, to have a man or two of his to wait upon him, and to have whatsoever it were that he lacked, if it were to be had for money, yea, and what he would in his purse to buy books or otherwise, so as he would tarry there among them, and preach only so long as it should seem good to himself. Who, refusing his Lordship's great offer, most heartily thanked him for the same, and besought him to be only so good unto him as to appoint him some quiet and honest place in the town, where he might not he disturbed or molested, but have opportunity to give himself to his book, and would daily, once in the forenoon, and again by one o'clock in the afternoon, by the grace of God, preach among them, according unto the talent that God had lent him. At which answer the lord deputy greatly rejoiced, and thereupon sent for the aforesaid William Stevens, whom he earnestly required to receive and lodge the said Damlip in his house, promising, whatsoever he should demand, to see it paid with the most: and, moreover, would send every meal, from his own mess, a dish of the best unto them; and indeed so did, albeit the said Damlip refused that offer, showing his Lordship that thin diet was most convenient for students. Yet could not that restrain him, but that every meal he sent it.
This godly man, by the space of twenty days or more, once every day, at seven of the clock, preached very godly, learnedly, and .plainly, the truth of the blessed sacrament of Christ's body and blood, mightily inveighing against all papistry, and confuting the same; but especially those two most pernicious errors or heresies, touching transubstantiation, and the pestilent propitiatory sacrifice of the Romish mass, by true conference of the Scriptures, and applying of the ancient doctors; earnestly therewith oftentimes exhorting the people to return from their popery; declaring how popish he himself had been, and how, by the detestable wickedness that he did see universally in Rome, he was returned so far homeward, and now became an enemy, through God's grace, to all papistry: showing therewith, that if gain or ambition could have moved him to the contrary, he might have been entertained of Cardinal Pole (as you have heard before); but, for very conscience' sake, joined with true knowledge, grounded on God's most holy word, he now utterly abhorred all papistry, and willed them most earnestly to do the same.
And thus he continued awhile reading in the chapter-house of the White Friars; but, the place being not big enough, he was desired to read in the pulpit: and so, proceeding in his lectures, (wherein he declared how the world was deceived by the Roman bishops, who had set forth the damnable doctrine of transubstantiation, and the real presence in the sacrament, as is aforesaid,) he came, at length, to speak against the pageant or picture set forth of the resurrection, which was in St. Nicholas's church, declaring the same to be but mere idolatry, and an illusion of the Frenchmen before Calais was English.
Upon which sermon or lecture, there came a commission from the king to the lord deputy, Master Greenfield, Sir John Butler, commissary, the king's mason, and Smith, with others, that they should search whether there were (as was put in writing, and under bull and pardon) three hosts lying upon a marble stone besprinkled with blood; and if they that ever he came into the prison of the Tower, where he first felt the sweetness of God's great mercy towards him, and the certainty of his salvation, through faith in Christ, promised in his holy word; the knowledge whereof he had attained unto by the reading of God's holy word, the English Bible, which, all his life before, he disdained to look upon: for whose godly end many men much rejoiced, and gave God hearty thanks for the same.
This Smith continued in the diligent bestowing of his talent there, till, shortly after, the devil got such hold in the hearts of a number of God's enemies, that he, with divers other godly men, was called over into England, and charred with erroneous opinions worthy of great punishment, as hereafter more at large shall appear.
And forasmuch as we have entered into the story of Calais. and matters which were done in that town, it cometh to remembrance of one Thomas Brook, an alderman of that town, and burgess of the parliament before mentioned, wherein was concluded, the next year after this, A. D. 1540, the Act of Six Articles, as is before said.
After this bill of the six articles had passed the higher house, and was brought to the burgesses of the lower house, the Lord Cromwell gave intelligence, not only that it was the king's Majesty's determinate pleasure to have the bill to pass in sort as it had come down from the Lords, but, also, that if any man should stand against it earnestly, the same should put himself in great danger of his life.
Notwithstanding, this Thomas Brook, with great danger and peril of his life, did repugn and refute the said bill, with divers reasons and good ground of Scripture: insomuch that a message came down, by Sir N. Pollard, from the Lord Cromwell to the said Brook, willing him, as he loved his life, not to speak against the said bill. Notwithstanding, Brook proceeding in his enterprise, the Lord Cromwell meeting him the next time after that, called him unto him, and said, that he never knew man play so desperate a part as to speak against that bill, unless he made a reckoning to be either hanged or burned: "but God," said he, "hath mightily preserved thee; whereof I am glad."
This fear caused men, much against their consciences, (such is man's frailty,) to establish that act: but yet not in such sort as the bill came down from the Lords. For whereas before, by that first bill sent down, it was only felony for a priest to have, or to take unto him, a wife of his own, (though St. Paul say that marriage is honourable among all men. and willeth that every man, for the avoiding of fornication, should have his own wife; and, rendering as it were a cause thereof, affirmeth,that it is better to marry than to burn,) but no punishment at all was appointed for such shameless whoremongers, incontinent priests, as, contemning holy matrimony, abused themselves both with women married and unmarried: now, upon the said Brook's urging that unless men had better opinion of whoredom than of holy matrimony, (called of St. Paul a bed undefiled,) it was of necessity to be granted, that at least the incontinent life of priests unmarried, should, by that act, have like pain and punishment as those priests, who, not having the gift of continency, therefore entered into the holy yoke of matrimony. Whereupon the greater part of the house so fully agreed to the equal punishment, that unless it had been made felony as well for the one as the other, that act had never passed the house; and, therefore, equal punishment was assigned for either of those deeds in that session, though in the next session or parliament after, there was mitigation or qualification of the punishment for the horrible whoredom of priests; the marriage of priests standing still under the danger and punishment limited in the statute afore.
The said Brook further spoke to this effect:
He required to be certified of them that were learned, how it might he proved by the Scriptures, that God at all commanded laymen to receive the sacrament of his blessed body and blood in one kind, (to wit, in material bread,) to do it in remembrance of him who shed his blood for the remission of their sins, and to show the Lord's death until his coming: if it be so, that in giving this commandment, Bibite ex hoc omnes, Drink ye all of this, no layman at all be included, but, contrariwise, this other kind of sacrament, to wit, the cup, or the material wine, he by God forbidden them: "For," said he, "if in that universal proposition, Drink ye all of this, be included every one of that number unto whom Christ, when he took bread in his hand, and gave thanks unto his heavenly Father, did give this commandment, saying, Take ye, eat ye; this is my body; do ye this in remembrance of me: then needs must our clergy grant unto us who be laymen, that either it is lawful for us also, with the priests, to receive the sacrament in both the kinds, (that is to wit, both in bread and the cup or wine,) or else, that we silly laymen are not commanded to receive the sacrament at all; and, consequently, neither thereby to remember him to be our merciful Saviour, who hath died for remission of our sins, nor to show his death until he come, whereby he declared his most tender love towards us." Wherefore, if it might not be granted that it was lawful to receive the blessed sacrament in both kinds, he required some authority of Scripture to be brought for the same; alleging further, that albeit, through gross ignorance, contempt of God's holy word, and the insatiable ambition and covetousness of such men as made merchandise of men's souls, (affirming in effect that Christ died in vain,) that gross and foolish error of transubstantiation hath within this four or five hundred year creeped in, and, as a festered canker, now spread itself abroad in all those places where the bishop of Rome hath established his usurped authority: "yet," said Brook, "even unto this day, in all the Greek church that blind error and foolish opinion of transubstantiation hath never been received, and St. Paul himself calleth it bread, after those words which they call the consecration, five times in one chapter: neither hath man," said he, "I think, ever heretofore presumed to affirm, that the bread, after the consecration, should be both the body and blood, and the wine both the blood and body, in such sort as either of those kinds divided unto many parts, should, in every of those parts, contain the whole natural body and blood of our Saviour Jesu Christ, as this present act affirmeth. Therefore, before this act do pass, such doubts are to be resolved, whereby many afterwards might incur danger of life, for lack of the plain explication of our meaning of them; as for example: Where this act affirmeth that the wine, after the consecration, is Christ's natural blood and body both, how would our clergy, that the silly unlearned layman should answer, if it were asked him, (as it is like enough to be,) what he believes to be in the chalice, when the priest holds it over his head. For they make an infusion, you know, of water, and that before the consecration; so that there is a mixture of the water and wine. Whether now shall we affirm the thing which before was water, is now by the commixion of the wine, turned with the wine into both the natural blood and body of Christ: or else, will it content them that it be answered thus, That the water remaineth water still?
"Divers such doubts might be put, but, to come to an end: If this bill must needs pass as an act, I most heartily wish that first such places of the Scripture, and allegations of holy fathers, as the bishops and others, the learned of this realm, do recite in confirmation of this doctrine, those they would vouchsafe to communicate unto this house, to the intent that men who be yet of contrary minds, being overcome by their true conference of the Scriptures, and by strength of arguments, might, without grudge of conscience, agree unto that, which, while they be otherwise minded, they cannot without sin grant unto. And finally, whereas by this act we greatly differ from many Christian realms and provinces, all which profess Christ's true religion, and, nevertheless, set not forth these laws at all, (much less with such pains of death,) I heartily beseech God, it may please the king's Majesty, that this whole act, with the conferences of Scriptures, allegation of doctors, and forms of arguments, which our clergy and others, the furtherers of this act, have brought in and affirmed for the establishing of it now for a law, may be truly translated into the Latin tongue; to this intent, that other nations likewise, professing Christ's religion, seeing by those authorities what hath moved this realm to pass this act, either being overcome with our truth, thus lately found out, may be procured to receive the like doctrine, for that they see it sufficiently proved to be sincere and true; or else, seeing us by ignorance to be in error, by refelling or refuting the same as erroneous, may not only reduce us to the truth again, but, also, have cause to judge of this realm, that this act passed not through trust in men's own wits only, without respect had to the Holy Scriptures of God, but, as men that had ignorantly fallen, and not obstinately contemned the Scriptures. So will it come to pass, that, if this act be good, the goodness thereof shall be the more common, and, if it be otherwise, it shall do the less hurt, yea, and continue the less while, when other men, not in thraldom, or fear of this law, shall freely, and out of good conscience, write and show, what opinion they have of it."
Unto these words of the said Brook, no man took upon him to make any direct answer, but yet, first, one Master Hall, a gentleman of Gray's Inn, in acknowledging that he was not able to refel the objections made against the bill, for that he lacked learning thereunto, said as followeth:
"That he would only speak his conscience touching the passing of that bill, which be grounded (he said) upon this: that he had read in chronicles, that some one prince of this realm had, by laws, commanded auricular confession to be used through all his provinces and dominions; another prince, the keeping of this holy day or that. And, to be short, in chronicles may be found," said he, "that the most part of ceremonies now used in the church of England, were by princes either first invented, or at leastwise established; and, as we see, the same do, till this day, continue. Whereas, if the subjects receiving the same ceremonies and rites of the church at their princes' order and commandment, had been against God's law, or the princes' commandment to the subjects had not been a sufficient discharge in their consciences before God, for the observing of them, I cannot think but the learned clergy in those days, (for in all ages some of the clergy were well learned,) would have stood therein, and proved to their princes, that it was not lawful to command such things.
"Wherefore, and forasmuch as far the greater part of us laymen are unlearned in the Scriptures and ancient doctors, methinketh it is the bounden duty of us that be subjects, to be obedient and ready to observe all such things touching our religion, according as our prince or sovereign for the time being, specially, with the consent of the bishops and the rest of the clergy, shall, at any time, please to set forth to be observed or believed; which his said commandment, with the clergy's consent, I verily believe shall be a sufficient discharge for us, his loving subjects, before the face of God," said he; "for it is written, Obey your king. Nevertheless, I like right well (so as it stood with the king's Majesty's pleasure) the request that the gentleman made that spake last before, for the quieting of many men's consciences that is, that the learned of this house might see the conferences of Scriptures, and the allegations of the ancient fathers, which the bishops, and the other learned of the clergy, bring in, for the passing of this act, or at leastwise, if that cannot be obtained, that yet this act, with all their allegations, might be printed in the Latin tongue, whereby other nations might see upon what ground we proceed. But, touching mine own conscience, I am sufficiently persuaded, whereupon I have showed such simple reasons as you have heard."
His words ended, Sir William Kingston, knight, comptroller of the king's house, much offended with the said Brook's word stood up and said: "Gentlemen! you there, that spoke last save one, I know not your name, nor indeed am able to dispute with you: but, instead of an argument, I will say thus much unto you: Tell this tale the twelfth day of July next, and I will bring a faggot to help to burn you withal" (on which twelfth day of July, that bloody act should take place). This his eloquent oration ended, he sat him down again, not without that he offended in a manner the whole house, and caused them to say, "It was very unseemly, that a gentleman of the house should so ungodly be used, where it was equally lawful for every man reverently to speak plainly his mind: besides that nothing was spoken by him but the same was reverently uttered, rather to try learning and truth of doctrine, than any wise in contempt or displeasure against the bill." Whereupon the speaker, verifying as much, desired the said Sir William Kingston not to be offended, for that he, Sir William, had done contrary to the order of the House, rather than the other.
But leaving the parliament at Westminster, I will leap to Calais, where the Lord Lisle, the king's deputy there, whom we showed to be the maintainer of Damlip, (albeit he were himself of a most gentle nature, and of a right noble blood, the base son of that noble prince King Edward the Fourth,) being fiercely set on, and incessantly enticed, by the wicked Lady Honor his wife, who was an utter enemy to God's honour, and, in idolatry, hypocrisy, and pride, incomparably evil, she being daily and hourly thereunto incited and provoked by Sir Thomas Palmer, knight, and John Rookwood, esquire, two enemies to God's word, beginning now to flourish at Calais. These, I say, with certain other of the council of the said town of Calais, to the number of seven more besides themselves, seeking occasion, or rather a quarrel where no just cause was given, began to write very heinous letters and grievous complaints unto the lords of the privy council, against divers of the town of Calais, affirming that they were horribly infected with heresies and pernicious opinions; as first, the aforesaid Adam Damlip, who, though he were for a time escaped their hands, yet stuck still in their remembrance from time to time, until, at last, the innocent man was cruelly put to death as a traitor, as hereafter shall appear.
Also, besides this Damlip, they complained of Thomas Brook, and Ralph Hare; likewise of Sir John Butler, then commissary; of Sir W. Smith, James Cocke, alias Coppen de Hane, James Barber, and others; and the names of all them they sent over. Of the which persons, first the said Thomas Brook, and Ralph Hare, Coppen de Hane, and James Barber, were apprehended and sent over, and committed to prison in Westminster Gate, and then commanded to appear before the archbishop of Canterbury, the bishop of Winchester, the bishop of Chichester, and ten other appointed by the king's Majesty's commission for the examination of them. And their accusers were sent over with letters from the council there, unto his privy council here, in the furtherance of their malicious suits against those honest men, with certain special letters directed unto the Lord Fitzwilliam, then earl of Southampton, great admiral of England, and to the Lord Sands, lord chamberlain of the household; likewise also to Sir William Kingston, knight, comptroller of the household, and to Dr. Sampson, then bishop of Chichester and others; tending all to one effect, that is to say, the utter destruction of these godly men, if God, after his wonted manner, bad not mightily preserved them, and as it were overshadowed them with the wings of his mercy.
That the same may the better appear, you shall understand, that first Ralph Hare, a man rude, and so unlearned that he could scarce read, yet, through God's grace, was very zealous; and therewith led so godly and temperate a life, as not one of his enemies could accuse or blame the same his sober life and conversation. This Ralph Hare was charged to be one that had spoken against auricular confession, against holy bread and holy water: yea, and beside that, he was one which would not lightly swear an oath, nor use almost any manner of pastime, nor good fellowship, as they term it, but was always in a corner by himself, looking on his book. This poor simple man, being charged by the commissioners that he was a naughty man and erroneous, and that he could not be otherwise, (coming out of a town so infected with pernicious errors and sects, as that was,) was willed by them to take good heed to himself, lest, through obstinacy, he turned his erroneous opinions into plain heresy: for an error defended is heresy.
"My good Lords," said the poor man, "I take God to record, I would not willingly maintain any error or heresy. Wherefore, I beseech you, let my accusers come face to face before me: for, if they charge me with that which I have spoken, I will never deny it. Moreover, if it be truth, I will stand unto it: and otherwise, if it be an error, I will, with all my heart, utterly forsake it: I mean, if it be against Gods holy word. For the Lord is my witness, I seek and daily pray to God, that I may know the truth, and flee from all errors; and I trust the Lord will save me and preserve me from then."
"Aha!" quoth the bishop of Winchester, "do you not hear what he saith, my Lord? I perceive now thou art a naughty fellow." "Alas, my Lord!" said Ralph Hare "what evil said I?" "Marry, sir, you said, 'the Lord!' 'the Lord,' and that is a badge of heretics," said Winchester. "What is that, my Lord? for God's sake tell me," said Hare. "Thou art naught, thou art naught," said he. At which words the simple man began to tremble, and seemed much dismayed. Wherewith the above-named Brook, standing by next to the said Hare, said, "My Lord! I beseech your Honour not to conceive evil opinion of the poor man for using this word, 'the Lord.' For, by your Lordship's favour, no man who at any time hath translated the Bible, hath used to English these two Hebrew words. Jehovah and Adonai, and this Greek word Κυριος [Greek: Kyrios], but only thus, 'the Lord.' So that, under your Lordship's correction, it might rather be called the badge of Christians, or pious men, than of heretics. "I pray you, sir, then," said the bishop of Winchester, "why doth Christ teach us to say, Our Father which art in heaven, and not, the Father?" "My Lord, by your favour," said Brook, "he useth there the vocative case, teaching us to invocate God; and joineth thereto this pronoun noster; so that this article, the, were not there to be used, neither should it express the full meaning of Christ in those words. But if your Lordship would descend down a little from the Lord's Prayer unto the Ave Maria or Salutation, there it manifestly appeareth, that the angel (in no part falsifying God's message committed to him) saith, ο κυριος μετα σον[Greek: O Kyrios meta son]: which is, truly turned into English, no otherwise but thus: The Lord (and not our Lord, nor thy Lord, nor my Lord) is with thee. Wherefore the poor man is there taught plainly of God, and that by an angel, to say (as he said) the Lord; and, therefore, he is worthy of no blame." At these words the bishop began to be much moved and offended: whereupon Dr. Gwent, dean of the Arches, one of those commissioners, said, "Well, Master Brook! well; you abuse my Lord here very much: it were a matter rather to be disputed of in the schools, than thus to be reasoned of openly here." Whereat the said Brook answered that he was sorry that he had offended my Lord, or any others; but what he had spoken, he spake it of charity, and pity taken on the simple poor man: and therewith he held his peace. But the truth is, that, through the cavillation of Winchester, rose more contention than profit needful about the Lord and our Lord, the papists holding with Winchester, and the other part with the Lord. But now, to return to the said Ralph Hare's examination again, within half an hour after Dr. Gwent had blamed the said Brook, for that he spake in the behalf of Ralph Hare, whilst the said Brook was there present, and standing by, he heard among the names of those that were, by the letters of the council of Calais, charged with pernicious errors and heresies, himself named and called. Some of the commissioners answered, "Yea, yea; but it makes no matter, let him alone till hereafter." At the muttering forth of these words, the said Brook stood forth and said, "I know, and it like your Honours, no Thomas Brook of Calais but myself. Is it your Lordships' pleasures to have any thing with me?" "Nay, Master Brook," answered the commissioners, "we may not meddle with you, and that you know right well: or else, we suppose, you would not have been here now. You consider you are a burgess of the parliament." "Truth it is," said Brook, "that unworthily so I am; but if your Lordships and the rest of the commissioners have any thing wherewith to charge me, I here openly renounce the privilege of that high court, and submit myself to the laws of the realm, to answer to that which may be objected against me."
"Write, scribe!" said Winchester. And straightway the said Brook was commanded not to depart without licence. Furthermore, they commanded him to be had aside, lest he should give any instructions unto Ralph Hare. Then they called again for the said Ralph Hare, and there charged him with many heinous and detestable errors, especially that he was a great reader of the New Testament in English; that he was such a one that in deed neither used to take holy bread, holy water, holy ashes, nor holy palm, but spake against them, and against auricular confession also: wherefore, they threatened him, that if he would stand in the defence of these things, and of such others as would evidently be laid and proved against him, it would cost him his life.
These words drew the man yet into a greater agony and fear; which thing Winchester well perceiving. said unto him. "Ralph Hare! Ralph Hare! by my troth I pity thee much. For, in good faith, I think thee to be a good simple man, and of thyself wouldest mean well enough, but that thou hast had shrewd and subtle school-masters, that have seduced thee, good poor simple soul; and therefore I pity thee. And it were indeed pity that thou shouldest be burned, for thou art a good fellow, a tall man, and hast served the king right well in his wars. I have heard thee well commended, and thou art yet able to do the king as good service as ever thou wast; and we all will be a mean to his Grace to be good gracious lord unto thee, if thou wilt take pity of thyself, and leave thy errors. For I dare say for us all that be commissioners, that we would be loth that thou shouldest be cast away: for, alas! poor simple man, we perceive thou hast been seduced, I say, by others. How sayest thou therefore? thou knowest my Lord of Canterbury's Grace here is a good gentle lord, and would be loth thou shouldest be east away. Tell me, canst thou be content to submit thyself unto him, and to stand unto such order as he and we shall take in this matter? how sayest thou, man.? Speak!" The poor man therewith falling upon his knees, and shedding tears, answered, speaking to my Lord's Grace, the archbishop of Canterbury, in this wise: "My good Lord! for Christ's sake be good unto me; and I refer myself unto your Grace's order, to do with me what you please."
Thu archbishop of Canterbury, considering what danger he was ready to fall in, and pitying the same, (though the simplicity of the man was so great that he perceived it not,) said, "Nay, Ralph Hare, stand up and advise thyself well, and commit not thyself to me, for I am but one man, and in commission but as the others are, so that it lieth in me to do nothing. But, if thou do commit thyself unto us all, then thou committest thyself unto the law, and the law is ordained to do every man right." "Go to, Ralph Hare," said Winchester, "submit thyself to my Lord and us: it is best for thee to do so." Whereupon he fell upon his knees again, and said, "My Lords and masters all! I submit myself wholly unto you." And therewith a book was holden him, and an oath given him to be obedient unto them, and to all ecclesiastical laws. And straightway he was enjoined to abjure, and to bear a faggot three several days; and, moreover, the poor man lost his whole living that he had at Calais.
This simple man, hearing his penance, piteously lamented, and earnestly at the first denied to stand thereunto, with piteous exclamation, saying, "O my Lord of Winchester! my Lord of Winchester! have you made me a log, ready to be laid upon the fire whensoever any wicked man falsely, of malice, by provocation of the devil, shall lay any small trifle to my charge? or shall I be thus handled, nothing proved to my face against me' Alas! I have always hated errors and heresies." "Content thyself, Hare, there is now no remedy: thou must either do thy penance, or be burned," said the commissioners. Thus have you heard how Ralph Hare did speed.
Then was Thomas Brook called for, against whom it was objected by some of the council's letters of Calais, that he was a seditious fellow. Among these accusers, besides the rest, was one Richard Long, another Francis Hastings, men at arms, who charged the aforenamed Thomas Brook, and one Jeffery Loveday, esquire, for staying and maintaining the aforesaid Adam Damlip at Calais, as who had promised unto him a stipend to preach such heresies and pernicious opinions as afterwards he taught there; and that these two daily gathered many several sums of money for the entertainment of the said Adam. Howbeit the aforesaid Hastings failed in the proof thereof: for Loveday proved that he was, eight days before Damlip's coming to Calais, and during fourteen days continually after he began to preach, abiding at Paris, there occupied about necessary affairs of Charles, duke of Suffolk. And Brook, during the said time, was at London, daily attendant in the parliament house, whereof he had enough to bear witness against that untrue surmise.
After that, came three at once against the said Brook, well armed, as they thought, who had not only consulted together before of the matter, and put it in writing at Calais, besides their conference and talk by the way keeping company from thence hither, but also had obtained from the lord deputy, and others of the council, special letters, as is aforesaid, and, among other, one letter unto the bishop of Chichester, for the earnest and speedy furtherance of the advancement of their accusations against Brook.
The first of these three was a young gentleman lately brought up under the said Brook in the office of customs, whose name was Edmund Payton. The other was one Robert Poole, a man (as it was commonly reported) both base born, and also such a one as, in his youth, for murdering a man with a club, in Bow Lane in London, was fain, by obtaining the king's pardon, to save his neck. The third was one Thomas Boyse, who, showing more honesty than the rest, affirmed not that he himself heard the said Brook speak any thing of that which was objected against him, but justified that which each of the other two had stedfastly affirmed to him, that Brook had spoken unto them those things which, here beneath, he said were objected against him.
The first young man objected against the said Brook, that he should say, that the thing which the priest useth to hold up over his head at mass, is not the natural body of Jesus Christ: for, if that were so, whoso would might have their stomach full of gods, their entrails full of gods; and the that had lately received the sacrament before he went to the sea, might haply cast god up again on shipboard.
And thus much he brought over in writing with him from Calais, and added thereto, as it should seem, to exasperate the commissioners and the rest of the clergy against him, certain other heinous words spoken against bishops and priests: as that the knaves, the bishops and priests, for their own gain and belly's sake, bare this layman so in hand, and would shamefully blear our eyes; which words he never spake; "for it did abhor both his heart and his ears, to hear either so shameful and unreverent words concerning the blessed sacrament, or so arrogant and disdainful words, spoken against the bishops, and other inferior ministers, unto whom God had given authority, though they, for the most part, were very unworthy thereof,)" confessing, nevertheless, that he had secret and private talk with the young man touching the truth of the sacrament, wherein he showed, as reverently as he could speak to the young man, the right use of the same: concluding that, albeit with our mouths we received very material bread and wine, yet, by faith, all Christian men do receive, eat, and drink, to their great comfort and benefit, the very natural body and blood of Christ, which was both born of the Virgin Mary, and suffered death on the cross for the remission of their sins: which most holy sacrament whoso cometh unworthily unto, the same was so far from eating of Christ's body and blood,that all such, without hearty repentance, do eat their own damnation. And, to conclude with him, in that private talk he told him, that if the gross and unlearned error of transubstantiation were indeed matter of truth and sincere doctrine, then not only this should follow of it, that every man who would, might have everlasting life, (for they might, when they would, receive the outward sacrament, seen with our eyes, which the priests call Christ's natural body, and whoso eateth Christ's natural body, and drinketh his blood, hath everlasting life, saith Christ,) but also there should great absurdities follow thereby, as when a man happeneth to go to sea, having lately received the sacrament, he should put it overboard, or upon the hatches; and, therefore, exhorted the said Payton to leave that gross error.
The second accuser was Poole, who objected against him, that, about two years past, he himself, dining with the said Brook with fifteen or sixteen other honest men, heard him to say thus at the table: that the thing which the priests use to hold up over their heads, was not the very body and blood of Christ, but a sacrament to put us in remembrance thereof. Unto whose objections the said Brook answered, that a man in mirth might well enough in charity beshrew such a guest as, when he had dined with a man, could, so long after, remember to say him such a grace: and required of Poole, from whence the rest of the guests were. He answered, they were of the town, all. Then inferred he, that he was sure Poole could as well remember some of their names which then were present, as freshly to keep in mind (for so by oath upon a book he had affirmed) every word of the whole matter which he objected; but for that the matter was utterly untrue. Whereupon the said Brook desired their Honours to consider the slenderness of his tale.
To be short, he, with the rest of his fellows, to wit, Ralph Hare, Coppen, and James the barber, were for that time dismissed.
During the time while these four were thus in examination at London, the other two, to wit, Sir William Smith, preacher, and John Butler, by commandment were apprehended in Calais, and bound by surety not to pass the gates of the town of Calais. In the which town, the said John Butler, commissary, was accused by Richard Thorpe and John Ford, soldiers of Calais, saying, that he should say, that if the sacrament of the altar be flesh, blood, and bone, then there is good aqua vitę at John Spicer's. Upon which accusation the said Thorpe and Ford brought for records before the council of Calais, Marraunt, Haynes, John Luckes, Harry Husson, and Harry Trost, all of the district of Oye, beside Calais. Whereupon, shortly after, the said John Butler and Sir William Smith were sent for, and, by one Swallow a pursuivant, which fetched up the others aforesaid, brought into England, unto the house of the said Swallow dwelling by St. James's, where the king's Majesty lay at that time. And the next day, being Thursday, after dinner, Butler and Smith were brought to the Star-chamber before the privy council, where both sedition and heresy were objected against them. And after much talk it was said unto them by the Lord Cromwell, that they should make their purgation by the law. And from thence, by the aforesaid Swallow, they were sent to the Fleet.
The next day, being Friday, after dinner, Butler and Smith were sent for to come to Bath Place, where they were brought into the chapel, there sitting Dr. Clerke, bishop of Bath, and Dr. Sampson, then bishop of Chichester: Dr. Repse, the bishop of Norwich, who was a monk, being fast asleep. Then was objected unto Butler, with great reverence, the opprobrious words spoken against the blessed sacrament, rehearsing (as is aforesaid) the articles. Butler required to have them in writing, and so he would make answer in writing; the which they would not grant him: and upon that answer he stood. Then choler gathered in the bishop of Chichester. The story were too long to write, yet part ye shall understand.
Chichester found great fault that Butler made not low courtesy, being stubborn and arrogant, as he said, and, in fine, found fault with his shirt. Then, turning him about, he called to his brother Banester, being present, (that time dwelling in Paternoster Row,) to make answer for the shirt. He said, "I can make answer for the shirt." "No good answer," said Chichester. "Forsooth," said he, "the shirt is mine; I lent it him, because he brought none with him, for he was not permitted to have any servant." "A good answer," said the bishop of Bath. Then Butler made low courtesy, and said, "The shirt is answered" Then Chichester said, "Thou mockest us;" but he said "No." And thus much concerning that time.
Then, after Butler, was Sir William Smith, curate of our Lady's parish in Calais, called before them, and charged in a manner with the same heinous errors and pernicious opinions that were objected against the said Ralph Hare; and thereto was added, that the had spoken and preached against our blessed Lady, against praying to saints, against doing of good works, and many other such-like things: and therewithal one Richard Long, a man-at-arms at Calais, proved against the said Sir Wiliam Smith, and the aforesaid Brook, by an oath taken upon a book, that the said Smith and Brook did eat flesh together in Lent, in the said Brook's house. "For a miller's boy," said he, "came into Brook's kitchen, and saw half a lamb lie a roasting at the fire." Whereas the truth is, that the said Sir William Smith, during all the Lent, came never once within the said Brook's house. And it is as true also, that the said Richard Long, upon a displeasure taken with his wife, went shortly after out of his own house, to the jutty end of the haven at Calais, where desperately he drowned himself; not one boy, but many men, women, girls, and boys seeing him miserably taken up again stark dead, all which lamented his pitiful ruin. A terrible example unto all such as are ready to forswear themselves on a book upon malice, or whatsoever other cause it be; a thing in these days over-rife every where, and almost no where regarded as it ought to be. But to return to Sir William Smith; for the heinousness of his errors, equal every whit to Ralph Hare's, and worse, (though there was no matter sufficient in the law to burden him, that could be proved,) yet he must needs (no remedy was there) recant at Calais, openly in the pulpit, and so depart the town and marches. Which recantation he did in such sort, as he in effect denied nothing at all that he had before preached or taught, but yet it satisfied somewhat his adversaries' malicious hearts, in that it bore the name of a recantation, and, therewith, was done according to the commissioners' order, whilst the other heretic, Ralph Hare, stood before him with a faggot on his shoulder: and, also, it seemed unto such of the council of Calais, as had by their letters complained so grievously of the pernicious sects and heresies of that town, that, now, what with the aforesaid Brooks inveighing against the six articles in the parliament-house, and the punishment of these two heretics, they had won their spurs by making such complaints: insomuch as the matters fell out as you hear.
There was also called before them Sir John Butler, then commissary of Calais, whom they would have burned with the maintenance, or, at the least wise, sufferance of the aforesaid Adam Damlip, which preached so long time there, and was not by him punished. Butler, for his defence, answered, that the lord deputy, and the whole council there, so highly entertained, and so friendly used, the said Damlip, and with their own presence and high commendations outwardly so allowed and commended his doctrine, that it lay not in him to do otherwise than he did; and therefore, humbly besought their Lordships and other the commissioners to be good unto him: at whose hands, after long attendance given, he was discharged, and so returned home again; being also dismissed of his commissaryship.
Now, to declare what order was taken with these aforesaid Calais men, it was appointed that Sir William Smith, priest, Ralph Hare, James Cocke, and James Barber, should be sent to Calais, there to abjure and to do penance; where Sir William Smith was enjoined to make the sermon, Ralph Hare, James Cooke, and James Barber standing with faggots upon their shoulders. The sermon was made in the market of Calais. Which being done, they went with their faggots about the marketplace, the drum and fife going before them; and then, returning to the commissioners with the testimonial of the same, they departed. Albeit, in this recantation, the said William Smith, curate of our Lady's church, handled his sermon after that sort, that, in effect, he denied nothing at all that he had before preached or taught, but yet it satisfied somewhat his adversaries' malicious hearts, in that it bore the name of a recantation, according to the commissioners' order; appointing him thus openly to preach, and so to depart the town and marches.
As touching James Barber aforesaid, forasmuch as his dwelling was not at Calais, but four miles off from the town, it was therefore enjoined him to bear his faggot, not at Calais, but on the Saturday next following to stand in the market there where he dwelt, with his faggot upon his shoulder; and the said Sir William Smith likewise there preached as before.
And thus much concerning the first commission sent over to Calais, to inquire upon the heretics there.
A new commission appointed and sent over to Calais.FTER all these things done and past, the grudging minds of the adversaries were not yet satisfied, but still suggested new complaints to the king's ears against the town of Calais, making the king believe that, through new opinions, the town was so divided, that it was in great danger to be overcome of the adversary.
Whereupon, shortly after the week before Easter next following, other new commissioners were sent over by the king to Calais: to wit, the earl of Sussex, lord great chamberlain; the Lord St. John; Sir John Gage, knight; Sir John Baker, knight;
Master Layton, clerk of the closet; and Dr. Currin; with special instructions besides, signed by the king's Majesty's own hand. For his Highness had been incensed once again from the council of Calais, that the town was in peril, through dissension and diversity of opinions. Upon their arrival, Dr. Currin preached a notable sermon, exhorting all men to charity, having nothing in his mouth but "charity," "charity." But, as it seemed afterwards, such a burning charity was in him and the rest of the commissioners, that had not God pitied the innocency of men's causes, there had a hundred been burned or hanged shortly after.
But it happened far otherwise, for, of the number of those accusers, four were, by those commissioners, sent over into England, to wit, Clement Philpot, servant to the Lord Lisle; Sir Edmund, curate of our Lady's church; W. Touched, a post-master; Peter Bequet. Of the which four, Touched and Bequet were sent to their places again; the other two were drawn, hanged, and quartered at London. But contrary, of all them that were accused, there was not one that lost one hair of his head.
After the sermon was done, on the morrow, to wit, on Share-Thursday, all the commissioners solemnly received the sacrament. And, at afternoon, the council were with the commissioners; and after their consultation, tipstaves warned above the number of fourscore, such perverse persons as the like were not in the town or marches, to appear on the morrow at eight of the clock before the council at the Staple inn; who, at their appearance, were commanded upon their allegiance to present all such heretics, schismatics, and seditious persons, as they did know; and in no wise to doubt or dread so to do, for they should have great advantage thereby; yea, they should either have their livings or their goods: and, besides that, they should have great thanks at the king's Majesty's hand, and his honourable council, and what friendship they of the king's council there could show them.
All that Good Friday, even till ten of the clock at night, those wicked and malicious persons occupied their time in answering to sundry and divers questions. These things were not so secretly done, but they were bewrayed and came to honest men's knowledge. Whereupon such fear and distrust assaulted all men, that neighbour distrusted neighbour, the master the servant, the servant the master, the husband the wife, the wife the husband, and almost every one the other, that lamentable it was to see how mourningly men and women went in the streets, hanging down their heads, showing evident tokens of the anguish of their hearts.
Upon Easter Monday, one Hugh Councell, an honest mat., servant to the said Brook, was convent-ed before them, and by the space of fourteen days not suffered to return to his master's house, but was kept in custody; and was many times examined upon articles and interrogatories, in hope to have found worthy matter, either of heresy or treason, against the said Brook; and the same day that Brook was committed to ward, the said Hugh Councell was discharged.
The Wednesday in the Easter week, sundry quests were charged, by their oaths, to make inquisition for all manner of heresies, erroneous opinions, and seditious: as a quest of aldermen, another of men-at-arms. and another of constables and vintners, another of common soldiers, and another of commoners.
And shortly after their presentments, on Good Friday, there were convented before the commissioners, and straight were sent to close prison, Anthony Pickering, gentleman; Harry Tourney, gentleman; Sir George Darby, priest; John Shepherd, William Pellam, William Keverdale, John Whitwood, John Boote, Robert Clodder, Copen de Hane, and Matthew de Hound: upon whom ran sundry bruits. Some said they should be hanged; some said burned; some said hanged, drawn, and quartered; some said nailed to the pillory: so that pitiful it was to see the lamentation that their wives, their children, servants, and friends, made secretly where they durst; for that they found every where words of discomfort, and no where of comfort, but still inquisition was made.
The aforesaid William Stevens, after his return from London above-mentioned, besides many other articles laid to him for religion, to the number of forty or well nigh, was, by the lord deputy, charged that he had stayed the aforesaid Adam Damlip, hired him to preach, and given him meat, drink, and lodging, coming from the arrant traitor Cardinal Pole, and suborned by him; and that he had received money of him, to the intent he should preach in Calais false and erroneous doctrine, whereby the town, being divided and at contention within itself, might easily be overcome and won by the Frenchmen. Whereunto the said Stevens answered, that whatsoever he had done unto the said Adam Damlip, he had done it at the earnest request and commandment of the said lord deputy. Whereupon, if it had been treason indeed, he must have been more faulty.
Then the said William Stevens was again, the second time, by the said commissioners sent over into England. and clapped in the Tower, and afterwards, to wit, immediately after the said commissioners' repair unto the king's Highness, the said lord deputy was sent for over, and likewise put into the Tower, where he continued a long time. And when the king's Majesty minded to have been gracious unto him, and to have let him come forth, God took him out of this world, whose body resteth in the Tower, and his soul with God, I trust, in heaven: for he died very repentant. But the wicked lady, his wife, immediately upon his apprehension, fell distraught of mind, and so continued many years after. God, for his mercy, if she yet live, give her his grace to repent.
The second Monday after Easter, the aforesaid Brook was convented before the commissioners, and committed to close prison in the mayor's jail, whither no man of his calling was ever committed, unless sentence of death had first been pronounced against him; for otherwise the ordinance of the town was, that his prison should be only another alderman's house, with licence at night to lie at his own house. Then the council of Calais, doubting lest there should not be any sedition or heresy proved against him, did call one George Bradway before them, who occupied the comptroller's office in the Custom-house. This man was kept in close prison, so that neither his wife, then great with child, nor any other of his friends, might repair unto him. Where, after that he had oftentimes been borne in hand, that there were divers concealments come to light that were made by Brook in the office of the Customs, and that the said Bradway should he grievously punished, if he would acknowledge none of them, nor burden the said Brook with some kind of concealment; the poor simple man, hoping thereby to get release of his imprisonment, accused the said Brook, that he had, for a long time, concealed four groats every day for his clerk's wages; and to that accusation they caused the simple man to set his own hand before witnesses.
Hereupon, after a day or two, the said Bradway, grieved in his conscience for the same his most untrue accusation, did, with a knife, enterprise to cut his own throat: but God, of his mercy, so directed his wicked purpose, that the back of his knife was towards his weasand; whereby, though the wound were broad, yet he escaped with life. And as he gave a groan with the sudden pain that he felt, the jailor came up, and bereft him of the knife. But, through the guiltiness of the false accusation, and shame of the world, the man lost his wits, who then, staring and dismayed, was dismissed out of prison, and a long time after went, in piteous case, so dismayed about the street, to the great impoverishing of him, his poor wife, and family.
This kind of handling of the said Brook made all his friends, but especially his wife, to be greatly afraid of the malice of his enemies: the rather, also, for that all his goods and lands were seized, and his wife thrust into the meanest place of all his house, with her children and family; the keys of all the doors and chests also taken from her. Who, for that she was rigorously treated at Sir Edward Kinglet s hand, comptroller of the town, (an office of no small charge, though he knew not a "B" from a battledore, nor ever a letter of the book,) saying unto her, that if she liked not the room, he would thrust her quite out of the doors: "Well, .sir," said she, "well; the king's slaughterhouse had wrong, when you were made a gentleman." And with all speed she wrote a letter to the Lord Cromwell, therein discoursing how hardly and sore those poor men were handled, that were committed to ward and close prison; and that all men feared, (what through the malice of their papistical enemies, and the great rigour and ignorant zeal of those that were in authority,) they should shortly, for their faith and consciences, being true men, and such as reverently feared God, be put to death; but, chiefly, her husband, who was yet more extremely handled than any other: so that unless his Honour vouchsafed to be a means to the king's Majesty, that they, with their causes, might be sent over into England, they were but dead men. Sundry other letter she wrote to divers friends, to solicit the cause. But when, at noon time, a servant of hers was seen to receive again the same packet of letters, of one to whom before he had taken them to carry them into England, and now, because the passage served not till the afternoon, to carry them back to his mistress, he that so saw them declared so much to the commissioners, at dinner time. Whereupon they gave very strait commandment that the thing should be kept close, and strait wait laid for him, to whom any servant of his should deliver any letter: and that, attaching the same, they should be brought to them. Whereupon one Francis Hall, esquire, a man of great wisdom, godliness, and temperance, hearing what was said, and nothing distrusted of the commissioners, pretended a sudden qualm to come over his stomach, and rising from the table speedily told Mistress Brook what had happened; whereupon, with all speed, she writ as many other letters with like directions, but with far unlike contents. For unto the Lord Cromwell she highly advanced the honours, wisdom, and justice which she knew to abound in the honourable commissioners, doubting only, nevertheless. she said, the maliciousness of her husband's enemies and their untrue accusations, and, therewith, the weakness of her husband's body, greatly subject to sickness when it was best cherished: wherefore, though she assuredly knew her husband should have, at their Honours, true justice and equity, so as she would not wish any other in all England to be commissioners in their places, yet she most humbly besought his Lordship to write his favourable letters unto them, to this end, that in respect of his weakness and infirmity, he might have justice with as much expedition as conveniently might be; and, in the mean time, to let him have somewhat more liberty, and open air: and in the other letters to her friends she wrote like honour of the said commissioners, and also desired them to crave his Lordship's letters to like effect. These letters, closed and delivered as the first were, were straightway seized upon and brought to the commissioners, who immediately sent for her, and, the while opening the letters, and understanding the effect, they were, in their minds, well pleased with her; and, therefore, when she fell on her knees before them, and besought their Honours to be good unto her husband, and to forgive her, in that she had presumed to write in his behalf, which, she said, was but her bounden duty; they, thinking thereby to have comforted her well, bade her never take thought for him, (he was a naughty fellow,) saying, they would themselves bestow her much better, and, the rather, for her father's sake, whom they knew right well to be a man of good service, whom the king favoured well. So she departed from them, and the next day also, at three of the clock at afternoon, she sent one William Manton unto a house without the gates, where he kept himself close, till a mariner, appointed for that purpose, called him up at midnight, and, taking him alone into the ship, through God's goodness, set him on land in the morning before day; who, with speed repairing to the Lord Cromwell, made discourse of the whole state of his master and the other honest men.
Whereupon the said Lord Cromwell wrote speedily his letters unto the commissioners, declaring, that the king's Majesty's pleasure and commandment was, that the arrant traitor and heretic Brook, with a dozen or twenty complices, should, with their accusers, be immediately sent over, that here in England they might receive their judgment, and there, at Calais, to the great terror of like offenders hereafter, suffer according to their demerits. Now, by the time that the said commissioners had received these letters, they had made out precepts for eight or nine score honest men more to be cast in prison: but these letters so appalled them, that they stayed, and afterwards sent no more to ward. But, making then as diligent inquisition as was possible, to have found some worthy matter against those before named, whereby there might have been some colour both of the council's grievous complaints, and of the commissioners' rigorous dealing; when no such thing could fall out, because they would be assured that they should not go unpunished, they first banished them the town and marches of Calais with a trumpet blown, under pain of death, for a hundred years and a day, (if that one day had been left out, all had been marred,) and then sent them back to prison: staying them there upon hope that the Lord Cromwell should come into captivity sooner than he did. But, at last, to wit, on May-day, they sent the thirteen prisoners through the market, the said Brook going before with irons on his legs, as the chief captain, the rest following him, two and two, without irons, unto shipboard, and then were they all coupled in irons, two and two together. Where, because they were loth to go under the hatches, Sir John Gage, with a staff, smote some of them cruelly. Whereupon Anthony Pickering said unto him, "Sir, I beseech you yet be as good to us, as ye would be to your horses or dogs; let us have a little air that we be not smothered." Yet that request could not be obtained, but the hatches were put down close, and they guarded and kept with a great company of men; and so, sailing forward, by God's merciful providence, were within four-and-twenty hours at anchor before the Tower of London. But by the way thitherward, upon what occasion it was not known, whilst the hatch stood open for the convenience of one of the prisoners, his fellow-prisoner the while for weariness, lying upon his hack and casting his arm over his face, the kettle, with the hot scalding beef-broth, fell down upon the prisoners, namely, upon the gown-sleeve of Brook and the boots of Tourney, whereby both the fur of the sleeve and the leather of the boot were scorched and crackled, yet neither the face nor the leg, through God's goodness, were hurt; which sight caused their keepers to be amazed, and to say, that surely they were men that God loved, and were wrongfully punished. And when the Lord Cromwell understood they were come, be commanded their irons to be smit off at the Tower wharf, and the prisoners to be brought unto him.
When he saw them, he smiled upon them, stedfastly beholding each of them, and then said, "Sirs! you must take pain for a time; go your way to the Fleet, and submit yourselves prisoners there, and shortly you shall know more." So indeed they did; and that evening he sent them word they should be of good cheer, for, if God sent him life, they should shortly go home with as much honesty as they came with shame.
Whilst these thirteen persecuted men lay in the Fleet, and William Stevens in the Tower, to wit, the twenty-eighth day of July, A. D. 1541, the aforesaid Lord Cromwell, for treason laid against him, was at Tower-hill beheaded, as is before specified in his story, who made there a very Christian end. Then had the poor Calais men great cause to fear, if they had not altogether depended on the merciful providence of their heavenly Father, whose blessed will they knew directed all things. But He, in the midst of their deep troubles and miseries, so comforted them, that even as their dangers and troubles increased, so likewise did their consolation and joy in him; so far forth that Matthew de Hound, one of these thirteen, who was in trouble only for that he heard Copen de Hane read a chapter of the New Testament, and was as deep in punishment, and in banishment from his wife, children, and country, as the rest, got, in short time, such instruction, that having therewith a soul and conscience fraught full of godly zeal unto God's glory', and the true doctrine of Christ, within a few months after his deliverance out of the Fleet, for inveighing constantly against the wicked honouring of images, and praying to saints departed, he was cruelly, in a most constant faith and patience, burned in Flanders.
Now, therefore, when all hope in man was past, the right honourable Lord Audeley, lord chancellor of England, without further examination, discharged first the said thirteen that were in the Fleet, and at length, two years after, he delivered William Stevens also, by the king's own motion, out of the Tower; saying, at the discharging of those thirteen, "Sirs! pray for the king's Majesty; his pleasure is, that you shall all he presently discharged. And though your livings he taken from you, yet despair not, God will not see you lack. But, for God's sake, sirs, beware how you deal with popish priests; for, so God save my soul! some of them be knaves all. Sirs," said he, "I am commanded by the council to tell you, that you are discharged by virtue of the king's general pardon; but that pardon excepteth and forbiddeth all sacramentaries, and the most part, or all of you, are called sacramentaries: therefore I cannot see how that pardon doth you any pleasure. But pray for the king's Highness, for his Grace's pleasure is, that I should dismiss you; and so I do, and pity you all. Farewell, sirs!"
So, giving God most hearty thanks for his mighty and merciful delivering of them, they departed dismissed as you have heard, being indeed in very poor estate; but not in so miserable estate as all those eight councillors of Calais were, within one year and a half after. For, whereas the other three councillors who seemed more favourable unto them, (to wit, the Lord Gray, Sir George Carew, and Sir Richard Grenville,) who purged the town of those slanders that untruly were raised upon it, were there-for, for a time, in their prince's high displeasure; within that year they were all three in greater favour with his Majesty than ever they were before, and that not without the reward of twenty pounds by year to him and to his heirs, who had least. The other eight councillors, unjustly charging them and the town with sedition and heresy, (that is to say, the Lord Lisle, the Lord Sands, Sir John Wallop, Sir Edward Kingsly, Robert Fowler, esquire, vice-treasurer; Sir Thomas Palmer, knight, called Long Palmer; William Simpson, esquire, under-marshal; and John Rockwood,) were either greatly out of their prince's favour, and in the Tower, or else were prisoners, or else by very desperate deaths, in outward appearance, taken out of this world.
For tediousness, I will rehearse but only the horrible end of the said Rockwood, the chief stirrer-up of all the afflictions afore spoken of; who, even to his last breath, staring and raging, cried, he was utterly damned. And being willed to ask God mercy, who was ready to forgive all that asked mercy of him, he brayed and cried out, "All too late, for I have sought maliciously the deaths of a number of the most honest men in the town; and though I so thought them in my heart, yet I did what lay in me to bring them to an evil death: all too late therefore, all too late!" Which same words he answered to one, who, at the departure of the thirteen in irons towards England, said, "Sir! I never saw men of such honesty so sharply corrected, and taking it so patiently and joyfully." Rockwood then, fetching a frisk or two, scoffingly answered, "All too late:" The under-marshal suddenly fell down in the council-chamber, and never spake a word after, nor showed any token of remembrance. The plagues of the others also, as I am credibly informed, were little better.
The second apprehension of Adam Damlip; with his martyrdom.
Concerning Adam Damlip, otherwise called George Bucker, ye heard before declared, how he, being convented before the bishops at Lambeth, and afterwards secretly admonished, and having money given him by his friends to avoid, and not to appear again before the bishops; after he had sent his allegations in writing unto them, departed into the west country, and there continued teaching a school a certain space. about a year or two. After that, the good man was again apprehended by the miserable inquisition of the six articles, and brought up to London, where he was, by Stephen Gardiner, commanded into the Marshalsea, and there lay the space of other two years or thereabouts.
During the imprisonment of this Damlip in the Marshalsea, John Marbeck (as partly ye heard before) was committed also unto the same prison, which was the morrow after Palm Sunday. The manner of that time so required, that at Easter every person must needs come to confession. Whereupon Marbeck, with the rest of the prisoners there, was enforced to come upon Easter-day to Sir George Bucker aforesaid, to be confessed, who was then confessor to the whole house. By this occasion John Marbeck, which had never seen him before, entering into conference with him, perceived what he was, what he had been, what troubles he sustained, how long he had lain there in prison, by whom and wherefore; who declared, moreover, his mind to Marbeck, to the effect as followeth: "And now, because," said he, "I think they have forgotten me, I am fully minded to make my humble suit to the bishop of Winchester, in an epistle, declaring therein mine obedience, humble submission, and earnest desire to come to examination. I know the west: I can but lose my life present, which I had rather do, than here to remain, and not to be suffered to use my talent to God's glory. Wherefore, God willing, I will surely put it in proof."
This Damlip, for his honest and godly behaviour, was beloved of all the whole house, but especially of the keeper himself, whose name was Massy, whom he always called master; and being suffered to go at liberty within the house whither he would, he did much good among the common and rascal sort of prisoners, in rebuking vice and sin, and kept them in such good order and awe, that the keeper thought himself to have a great treasure in him. And no less also Marbeck himself confesseth to have found great comfort by him; for, notwithstanding the strait precept given by the bishop of Winchester, that no man should come to him, nor he to speak with any man, yet the said Adam many times would find the means to come and comfort him.
Now, when he had made and drawn out his epistle, he delivered the same to his master the keeper, upon Saturday in the morning, which was about the second week before Whitsunday following, desiring him to deliver it at the court, to the bishop of Winchester. The keeper said, he would; and so did. The bishop, what quick speed he made for his despatch I know not, but thus it fell out, as ye shall hear.
The keeper came home at night very late, and when the prisoners (who had tarried supper for his coming) saw him so sad and heavy, they deemed something to be amiss. At last the keeper, casting up his eyes upon Sir George, said, "O George! I can tell thee tidings." "What is that, master?" quoth he. "Upon Monday next thou and I must go to Calais." "To Calais, master? What to do?" "I know not," quoth the keeper: and pulled out of his purse a piece of wax with a little label of parchment hanging out thereat, which seemed to be a precept. And when Sir George saw it, he said, "Well, well, master, now I know what the matter is." "What?" quoth the keeper. "Truly, master, I shall die in Calais" "Nay," quoth the keeper, "I trust it to be not so." "Yes, yes, master; it is most true, and I praise God for his goodness therein." And so the keeper and they went together to supper, with heavy cheer for Sir George, as they there called him; who, notwithstanding, was merry himself. and did eat his meat as well as ever he did in all his life: insomuch that some at the board said unto him, that they marvelled how he could eat his meat so well, knowing he was so near his death. "Ah, masters!" quoth he, "do you think that I have been God's prisoner so long in the Marshalsea, and have not yet learned to die? Yes, yes, and I doubt not but God will strengthen me therein."
At length it came to pass, that by the bishop of Winchester's diligent pursuing of the aforesaid Adam Damlip, (for he was always excellent good at the sucking of innocent blood.) this godly man was gotten again into their hands, that first laid heresy to his charge: for on Monday, early in the morning before day, the keeper with three other of the knight-marshal's servants setting out of London, conveyed the said Adam Damlip to Calais upon the Ascension even, and there committed him to the mayor's prison. Upon which day John Butler, the commissary aforesaid, and Sir Daniel, his curate of St. Peter's, were also committed to the same prison, and commandment given for no man to speak with Butler.
Upon Saturday next was the day of execution for Damlip. The cause which first they laid to Ins charge, was for heresy. But, because by an act of parliament all such offences, done before a certain day, were pardoned, (through which act he could not be burdened with any thing that he had preached or taught before,) yet, for the receiving of the aforesaid French crown of Cardinal Pole, (as you heard before.; tie was condemned of treason, and in Calais cruelly put to death; being drawn, hanged, and quartered.
The day before his execution, came unto him one Master Mote, then parson of our Lady's church in Calais, saying, "Your four quarters shall be hanged at four parts of the town." "And where shall my head be?" said Damlip. "Upon the Lantern gate," said Mote. Then Damlip answered, "Then shall I not need to provide for my burial." At his death, Sir Ralph Ellerker, knight, then knight-marshal there, would not suffer the innocent and godly man to declare either his faith, or the cause he died for, but said to the executioner, "Despatch the knave; have done!" For Sir William Mote, appointed there to preach, declared to the people, how he had been a sower of seditious doctrine; and albeit he was for that pardoned by the general pardon, yet he was condemned for being a traitor against the king. To the which when Adam Damlip would have replied and purged himself, the aforesaid Sir Ralph Ellerker would not suffer him to speak a word, but commanded him to be had away. And so, most meekly, patiently, and joyfully, the blessed and innocent martyr took his death, Sir Ralph Ellerker saying, that he would not away before he saw the traitor's heart out. But, shortly after, the said Sir Ralph Ellerker, in a skirmish or rout between the Frenchmen and us at Boulogne, was, among others, slain; whose only death sufficed not his enemies, but after they had stripped him stark naked, they shamefully mutilated him, and cut the heart out of his body; and so left him a terrible example to all bloody and merciless men. For no cause was known why they showed such indignation against the said Sir Ralph Ellerker, more than against the rest.
As touching John Butler, and Sir Daniel his curate, imprisoned (as ye heard) the same day with Damlip, upon Sunday next following they were committed to John Massy aforesaid, keeper of the Marshalsea, and his company, and brought to the Marshalsea, where he and his curate continued nine months and more. At last, being sore laid unto by Sir George Gage, Sir John Baker, and Sir Thomas Arundel, knights, but especially by Stephen Gardiner, bishop of Winchester, for the retaining of Adam Damlip, yet, by friends soliciting the king's Highness for him, (namely Sir Leonard Musgrave, and his brother Baunster, who were bound for his appearance in a thousand pounds,) he, at length, by great labour and long time, was discharged, and, at last, by licence permitted to return to Calais again.
Furthermore, as touching William Stevens above mentioned, who remained all this while prisoner in the Tower, the same also was condemned with Adam Damlip of treason; which was, for note and crime of popery, in lodging Adam Damlip the traitor, who came from Cardinal Pole, in his house, at the lord deputy's commandment. Notwithstanding, the king afterward, understanding more of the said William Stevens, how innocent he was from that crime, being known to all men to be an earnest and zealous protestant, gave him his pardon, and sent him borne again to Calais; and so, likewise, all the other thirteen above mentioned.
The story of a poor labouring man, and also of one Dodd, a Scotchman, burned in Calais.
By the credible information and writing of the said Calais men, which were then in trouble, it is reported of a certain poor labouring man of Calais, that after the preaching of Adam Damlip, being in a certain company, he said that he would never he-here that a priest could make the Lord's body at his pleasure. Whereupon he was then accused, and also condemned by one Harvey, commissary there; which Harvey, in time of his judgment inveighing against him with opprobrious words, said, that he was a heretic, and should die a vile death. The poor man, (whose name yet I have not certainly learned,) answering for himself again, said that he was no heretic, but was in the faith of Christ: "And whereas thou sagest," said he, "that I shall die a vile death, thou thyself shalt die a viler death, and that shortly." And so it came to pass; for, within half a year after, the said Harvey was hanged, drawn, and quartered, for treason, in the said town of Calais.
After the burning of this poor man, there was also another certain scholar, counted to be a Scotchman, named Dodd, who, coming out of Germany, was there taken with certain German books about him; and, being examined thereupon, and standing constantly to the truth that he had learned, was therefore condemned to death, and there burned in the said town of Calais, within the space of a year, or thereabouts, after the other godly martyr above mentioned.
The story of William Crossbowmaker, bearing a billet in Calais.
And, forasmuch as I am presently in hand with matters of Calais, I cannot pass from thence without the memory of another certain honest man of the same township, named William Button, alias Crossbowmaker; although the time of this story is a little more ancient in years: which story is this.
William Crossbowmaker, a soldier of Calais, and the king's servant, being a man (as some natures be) somewhat pleasantly disposed, used, when he met with priests, to demand of them certain merry questions of pastime; as these: Whether, if a man were suddenly taken, and wanted another thing, he might not without offence occupy one of the pope's pardons instead of a broken paper?
Another question was, Whether in the world might better be wanting, dogs or priests? And if it were answered that dogs might rather be spared; to that he would reply again and infer, that if there were no dogs, we could make no more; but if there lacked ignorant priests, we might soon, and too soon, make too many of them.
It happened that in the time of Dr. Darly, parson of our Lady's church in Calais, being commissary there for Archbishop Warham, there came a Black Friar to Calais with the pope's pardons, who, for four pence, would deliver a soul out of purgatory. The friar was full of Romish virtues, for what money came for pardons by day, he bought no land with it at night. This aforesaid William Button, alias Crossbowmaker, coming to the pardoner, and pretending that he would deliver his father and friends' souls, asked, if the holy father the pope could deliver souls out of purgatory? The friar said, "There is no doubt of that." "Why then," quoth Button, "doth not he, of charity, deliver all the souls thereout?" Of which words he was accused to the commissary; who, at his appearing before the said commissary, confessed to have asked such questions. The commissary, being angry thereat, said, "Doubtest thou thereof, thou heretic?" There was standing by a Black Friar named Capel, an Englishman, who said to the commissary, "There be ten thousand of these heretics between Gravelines and Triers." Button answered, "Master friar! of all men you may keep silence; for your coat hath been twice cut off from the faith. The first time your order was enjoined to have your black coat shorter than your white; and, for the second time, your order must go to the furthest part of their church, and there sing an anthem of our Lady." The commissary chafed at these words, calling Button "heretic," with many other opprobrious words. Then said Button to the commissary, "If your holy father the pope may deliver souls out of purgatory, and will not of charity deliver them, then, I would to God the king would make me pope, and I would surely deliver all out without money." At these words the commissary raged, and reviled Button exceedingly, causing him to bear a billet, and procured his wages (which were sixpence a day) to be taken from him. Then went Button to the king's Majesty, declaring all the whole matter to his Grace, who sent him to Calais again, and gave him after that eight-pence a day.