305. ELIZABETH WARNE.
The history of Elizabeth Warne, widow; burnt at Stratford Bow.
Now severally to prosecute the stories of these ten martyrs aforenamed, first we will begin with the history of Elizabeth Warne, who in this month of August was burnt at Stratford Bow, nigh unto London, widow, late the wife of John Warne, upholsterer, and martyr, who also was burned in the end of the month of May last past, as before in his story is recorded. This Elizabeth had been apprehended amongst others, the first day of January, in a house in Bow Churchyard in London, as they were gathered together in prayer, and at that present was carried to the Compter, (as is also above specified,) where she lay as prisoner until the eleventh day of June; at which time she was brought into Newgate, and remained there in the like case unto the second day of July. Then she was sent by the king and queen's commissioners unto Bonner, bishop of London, who, the sixth day of the same month, caused her with divers others (as Robert Smith, George Tankerfield, &c.) to be brought before him into his palace; and there examined her upon sundry articles, such as of common order be ministered unto the poor saints and martyrs of God, as you may more plainly perceive by other more large and ample processes, as well before, as hereafter mentioned.
The chiefest objection that he used either towards her, or the most of those, was touching the real and corporal presence of the body and blood of Christ in the sacrament of the altar, as the chiefest ground and profitablest foundation for their catholic dignity. Many other matters he objected against them, as for not coming to the church, for speaking against the mass, for despising their ceremonies and new-found sacraments, with divers other fond and trifling toys, not worthy any mentioning.
In the end, when she had been divers times brought before him and other his adherents, and there earnestly exhorted to recant, she said, "Do what ye will; for if Christ were in an error, then am I in an error." Upon which answer, she was, the twelfth day of the same month of July, adjudged and condemned as a heretic, and so delivered unto the secular power, as they term it, to be by them (yet at the clergy's appointment) put to death, which thing was accomplished in her the same month above mentioned.
The chief procurer of this her death was Dr. Story, being (as it is thought) of some alliance either to her, (the said Elizabeth,) or else to her late husband: who, though he was, at the first apprehension of his said kinswoman, a very earnest suitor for her deliverance to Dr. Martin, then one of the king and queen's commissioners in matters of religion, (himself being as yet not made commissioner,) and had by his suit obtained her deliverance for that present, as Dr. Martin himself (the author hereof) hath reported; yet afterwards, upon what occasion God only knoweth, except upon some burning charity, the said Dr. Story, obtaining now the room of one of the commissioners, caused not only the said John Warne, but also his wife, and afterwards his daughter, to he again apprehended, never leaving them until he had brought them all to ashes. Such was the rage of that devout catholic and white child of the mother church, that neither kindred, nor any other consideration, could prevail with him, although it did (at his request) with others, who in respect of him were but strangers unto them. The Lord, if it be his will, turn his heart, or else rid his poor church from such a hydra, as, thanked be the Lord, now he hath.