304. THE PERSECUTION OF TEN MARTYRS TOGETHER, SENT BY CERTAIN OF THE COUNCIL TO BONNER TO BE EXAMINED.
FTER the burning of these six above named, next followeth the persecution of ten other true servants and saints of the Lord; not such saints as the pope maketh, or which are mentioned in Legenda Sanctorum, or in Vitis Patrum, or in the fabulous book De Vita Sanctorum Wallensium, &c.; but such as are spoken of in the holy Apocalypse, of whom it is written, These be they that follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth, and which have washed their stoles in the blood of the Lamb, &c. Thus these saints be not of the pope's making, or rather, to say the truth, they are of the pope's making; of the pope's making (I say) in this respect, not that the saints of God are made by the pope, but that the saints of God are tried and declared by the pope: so, as by afflictions of Satan, Job's patience was proved; by Pharaoh, God's power declared; and by Salinator, Tarentum was won (as Tully writeth); for except he had lost it before, Quintus Fabius could not have recovered it: so, in like manner, unless by antichrist good men had been destroyed, otherwise they had not been true martyrs of Christ. The names of these ten martyrs, sent by the commissioners, were, Elizabeth Warne, George Tankerfield, Robert Smith, Stephen Harwood, Thomas Fust, William Hale, Thomas Leyes, George King, John Wade, and Joan Lashford.
The prisons of London beginning now to be replenished with God's saints, and still more and more coming in, the council and commissioners, thinking to make ready despatch with the poor prisoners, caused these ten above named to be sent with their letter directed to Bonner, bishop of London, by him to be examined, and rid out of the way. The copy of which their letter, with their names subscribed, here followeth to be read and noted.
"After our hearty commendations to your good Lordship, we send you here John Wade, William Hale, George King, Thomas Leyes of Thorpe in Essex; Thomas Fust, hosier; Robert Smith, painter; Stephen Harwood, brewer; George Tankerfield, cook; Elizabeth Warne; Joan Lashford of London, sacramentaries; all which we desire your Lordship to examine, and to order according to the ecclesiastical laws: praying your Lordship to appoint some of your officers to receive them at this bearer's hand. And thus most heartily fare your Lordship well.--
From London this second of July.
"Your Lordship's loving friends.