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Foxe's Book of Martyrs -- 340. THOMAS DROWRY AND THOMAS CROKER.


Illustration -- Croker and Drowry at the Stake


E heard a little before of two men, the one blind, the other lame, which suffered about the fifteenth of May. And here is not to be forgotten another as godly a couple, which suffered the like passion and martyrdom for the same cause of religion at Gloucester: of the which two, the one was a blind boy, named Thomas Drowry, mentioned before in the history of Bishop Hooper, whom the said virtuous bishop confirmed then in the Lord, and in the doctrine of his word. With him also was burned another in the same place, and at the same fire in Gloucester, about the fifteenth of May, whose name was Thomas Croker, bricklayer.

            Concerning the which blind boy, how long he was in prison, and in what year he suffered, I am not certain. Of this, credible intelligence I have received by the testimony of the registrar then of Gloucester, named John Taylor, alias Barker, that the said blind boy, at his last examination and final condemnation, was brought, by the officers under whose custody he had remained, before Dr. Wil-liams, then chancellor of Gloucester, sitting ju-dicially with the said registrar in the consistory, near unto the south door, in the nether end of the church of Gloucester; where the said chancellor then ministered unto the boy such usual articles as are accustomed in such cases, and are sundry times mentioned in this book. Amongst which he chiefly urged the article of transubstantiation, saying in effect as followeth: --

            Chancellor.--"Dost thou not believe, that after the words of consecration spoken by the priest, there remaineth the very real body of Christ in the sacrament of the altar?"

            To whom the blind boy answered, "No, that I do not."

            Chancellor.--"Then thou art a heretic, and shalt be burned. But who hath taught thee this heresy?"

            Thomas.--"You, Master Chancellor."

            Chancellor.--"Where, I pray thee?"

            Thomas.--"Even in yonder place;" pointing with his hand, and turning towards the pulpit, standing upon the north side of the church.

            Chancellor.--"When did I teach thee so?"

            Thomas.--"When you preached there [naming the day] a sermon to all men, as well as to me, upon the sacrament. You said, the sacrament was to be received spiritually by faith, and not carnally and really, as the papists have heretofore taught."

            Chancellor.--"Then do as I have done, and thou shalt live as I do, and escape burning."

            Thomas.--"Though you can so easily dispense with yourself, and mock with God, the world, and your conscience, yet will I not so do."

            Chancellor.--"Then God have mercy upon thee; for I will read the condemnation sentence against thee."

            Thomas.--"God's will be fulfilled."

            The registrar being herewith somewhat moved, stood up, and said to the chancellor:

            Registrar.--"Fie for shame, man! will you read the sentence against him, and condemn yourself? Away, away, and substitute some other to give sentence and judgment."

            Chancellor.--"No, registrar, I will obey the law, and give sentence myself, according to mine office."

            And so he read the sentence condemnatory against the boy, (with an unhappy tongue, and a more unhappy conscience,) delivering him over unto the secular power; who the said fifteenth day of May, brought the said blind boy to the place of execution at Gloucester; together with one Thomas Croker a bricklayer, condemned also for the like testimony of the truth, where both together, in one fire, most constantly and joyfully yielded their souls into the hands of the Lord Jesus.


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