Ex-Classics Home Page

Foxe's Book of Martyrs -- THE TWELFTH BOOK.



Illustration -- Portrait of Queen Mary



{Ornamental Chapter Heading £396}

The order and manner of the cardinal's visitation in Cambridge, with the condemning, taking up, and burning of the bones and books of Martin Bucer and Paulus Phagius anno 1557, January the ninth.

            CARDINAL POLE, three years after his return into England, having somewhat withdrawn his mind from other affairs of the realm, and having in all points established the Romish religion, began to have an eye to the university of Cambridge, which place among others specially seemed to have need of reformation out of hand. To perform this charge were chosen Cuthbert Scot, not long before consecrated bishop of Chester, Nicholas Ormanet an Italian, arch-priest of the people of Bozolo, in the diocese of Verona, professed in both the laws, and bearing the name of the pope's datary, Thomas Watson, elected bishop of Lincoln, John Christopherson, elected bishop of Chichester, and Henry Cole, provost of the college of Eton. There was good cause why the matter was especially committed to these persons; for as touching Ormanet, it is well known that he was a man of much estimation with Julius the Third, at that time bishop of Rome, and was appointed to come into England with Cardinal Pole, because, without his knowledge, (as in whom he put his chief trust and confidence,) the bishop would have nothing done that was of any importance or weight.

            The residue were sent thither either for experience in matters of the university, or else they seemed of all others most meet to be put in trust with the handling of that case, because they were taken for most stout champions and earnest defenders of the Romish religion, and of things appertaining to the establishment of the same. Some were of opinion that Scot, Watson, and Christopherson busily procured this journey of their own hands, because there was a grudge between them and divers of the university, at whose hands they thought themselves, lately before, to have received displeasure, and that now time and occasion served to be revenged upon them, as they listed themselves.

            These persons thus appointed (in the mean while as the visitors were addressing themselves to their journey) sent their letters with the cardinal's citation before to Dr. Andrew Perne, vice-chancellor then of Cambridge, with the other commissioners associate, commanding him to warn all the graduates of the university, in their name, to be in a readiness against the eleventh day of January, betwixt eight and ten of the clock, in the church of St. Mary the Virgin: willing him especially to be there himself in presence, and also to set forward all the residue, to whose charge it belonged, that they should search out all statutes, books, privileges, and monuments appertaining to the university, or to any of the colleges, or finally to any of themselves; and these to present the same before them at the day appointed, and every man to appear there personally: for they would not fail but be there at the same time, to lay before them such things as should seem necessary to this charge of reforming the university; and further to give charge of all such things as should seem most for the profit and behoof of the same, together with such things as were to be done on their part, according as should seem most agreeable to the decrees of the canon law.

            This citation of the cardinal, being brought to Cambridge by Master Bullock, was first exhibited in the convocation house of regents, and there openly read by the orator of the university the eleventh of December.

            These letters the vice-chancellor caused to be set up in places convenient. This reformation was looked for certain months before, but now, when it was once certainly known that it should be indeed, every man's mind was marvellously moved. Some greatly rejoiced that the time was come, wherein they thought that they might not only freely speak, but also do what they listed against their adversaries, who, beforetimes, had rejected the baubles of the Romish bishop. Other some, perceiving in what peril they stood, looked narrowly about them how to wind themselves out of the briers. Many sought the good will and friendship of such as were known to be in favour with the terrible commissioners. Other certain made themselves guilty, and desired forgiveness of them at whose hands they themselves had taken wrong before.

            There were also divers to be found, who, in time past, counterfeited to be very earnest embracers of the true doctrine, but, in their living and conversation, had greatly defaced it; applying to their own fleshly lusts, the liberty that appertained of right to the spirit, so that they thought it lawful to do what they listed. These men supposed there was no way but one to purge themselves of their misbehaviour, namely, if they became accusers of those whose friendship they had ere whiles embraced: and to the intent to make men believe that they professed the Romish religion from the bottom of their hearts, and to curry favour with the commissioners, they promised to take upon them the order of priesthood without delay; for they knew the commissioners would like them very well, who already were in such wise minded, that as they would withhold no man from that order, that would offer himself thereunto, so would they by all means endeavour to bring every man thereto that was any thing witty or learned.

            After this, upon the twenty-fourth of December, which was Christmas-even, the vice-chancellor with the heads of the houses, meeting together in the schools, it was there concluded, that the visitors' charges should be borne by the university and colleges, (which then cost the university a hundred pounds thick,) and also that no master of any college should suffer any of the fellows, scholars, or ministers to go forth of the town, but to return before the visitation.

            On Friday, the eighth of January, the queen's commissioners, namely, Dr. Perne, vice-chancellor, Dr. Segewick, Dr. Harvy, Master Frank, Rust, and another who is here nameless, also with Sir James Dyer the recorder, Master Chapman and Evered sitting together in the hall, certain were there called by the appointment of L. Hawes, and charge given what should be done. And first the commission was read. Then were all the high-constables called to bring in their precepts, and sworn. Also two of every parish of ten or twelve hundreds, were sworn to inquire of heresy, Lollardy, conspiracy, seditious words, tales, and rumours against the king and queen, Item, For heretical and seditious books, for negligences and misdemeanour in the church, for observation of ceremonies, for ornaments, and stock of the church.

            We said at the first, that the cardinal thought the university to have need of reformation. The reason why he should think so, was this; either because the same of long continuance, since any man could remember, had cast off the yoke of the bishop of Rome, and cleaved to the wholesome doctrine of the gospel; or else by reason that both for the late schism, not yet worn out of memory, and for the doctrine of Martin Bucer, who not long before openly in the said university interpreted Holy Scripture, they saw many so sore corrupted and spotted with this infection, that (even as when fire is spread in a town) unless a speedy remedy were adhibited out of hand, it were not possible, to their thinking, to quench it many years after; who also feared (if it were not looked to in time) lest this mischief should take root, and by little and little infect all the members next unto it, which yet were whole and sound.

            This was the year of our Lord 1556. To the intent therefore to make a salve for this sore, the inquisitors, of whom we spake before, came unto Cambridge the ninth day of January. And as they were yet in their journey, and not far from the town, divers of the masters and presidents of the colleges met them, and brought them courteously, first into the town, and after to their lodgings. They were entertained in Trinity College by Master John Christopherson, master of the same house, and lately before elected bishop of Chichester. Notwithstanding they were desired, some to one place, and some to another, as occasion served, either to do their duties, or to show their good wills; Cole to the King's College, and Dr. Watson to St. John's. But whether it were for the acquaintance of Christopherson, or for the largeness of the house, which, forasmuch as it was able to receive them all, seemed therefore most meet and convenient to take their conference in, and stood well for all comers to have access unto them, they all took up their lodgings in the said college with Master Christopherson.

            At their coming thither an oration was made by a fellow of the house, who in the name of all the rest, with long protestation declared that they were most heartily welcome thither; and that he and his fellows gave them great thanks, that it had pleased their Lordships to have so good opinion of them, as to choose their house especially to lodge in, whereby they had both encouraged them to stand in hope of some further benevolence towards them, and also done great worship to their college by their being there: wherefore they should look at their hands again for as much duty and reverence, as lay in their power to perform.

            To this oration Watson made answer, that this forward and earnest good will and mind of theirs in doing such courtesy, was right thankfully taken, both of him and his, exhorting them to continue stedfastly in the same, and to proceed also when need should require: for it was so far from any of their thoughts, to stop them in this their race, that they would rather haste them forward to run through more speedily, being not without good cause persuaded to conceive good hope of their benevolence towards them, inasmuch as they would do for them whatsoever might turn to their profit and commodity.

            This day, forasmuch as it was toward evening ere they came, and the sun was going down, was nothing else done. The next day, being the tenth of January, they bestowed in recreating themselves after their journey, and in setting other things at a stay. Nevertheless, to the intent the same should not escape altogether without doing somewhat, they interdicted the two churches, namely, St. Mary's, where Master Bucer, and St. Michael's, where Paulus Phagius, lay buried.

            These men were dead a good while before. Paulus Phagius had scarce yet showed the proof of his wit and learning, when he departed to God, 1549. Bucer lived but a little after. During which time somewhat by writing, but chiefly by reading and preaching openly, (wherein the old man, being painful in the word of God, never spared himself, nor regarded his health,) he brought all men into such admiration of him, that neither his friends could sufficiently praise him, neither his enemies in any point find fault with his singular life and sincere doctrine. A most certain token whereof may be his sumptuous burial, solemnized with so great assistance and gladness of all the degrees of the university, that it was not possible to devise more to the setting out and amplifying of the same. The whole manner and order of the doing whereof being written by Master Nicholas Carre, a learned man, in a little treatise to Sir John Cheke, knight, with an epistle full of consolation as concerning his departure added thereunto, was sent afterward unto Peter Martyr, then abiding at Oxford.

            From the burial of Bucer and Phagius, unto the coming of these visitors, were passed about three or four years, more or less. And from the time that that blessed King Edward the Sixth deceased, unto that day, the priests never ceased to celebrate their masses and other kind of ceremonies in those places, and that without scruple of conscience, as far as men could perceive. But, after the time that these commissioners came thither, those things that before were accounted for sacred and holy, began to be denounced for profane and unholy. For they commanded that all those assemblies that should hereafter be made for the executing of holy ceremonies, should be removed to the King's chapel, which is a place far more stately than all the others.

            Now was come the eleventh day, in which the vice-chancellor of the university, with the masters and presidents of colleges, and all the other graduates of every house, were commanded to appear before the said commissioners in their habits. It was commanded that the scholars also should come in their surplices; but that was not done. They assembled in great number to Trinity College, having the university cross borne before them, and in the Gatehouse a form was set and covered, with cushions and carpet on the ground, for the visitors; where the vice-chancellor, having on a tissue cope, sprinkled holy water on them, and purposed to cense them, but they refused it there; which notwithstanding afterward, in the Queen's College and elsewhere, they refused not.

            There Master John Stokes, common orator of the university, one of the popish superstition, (for none other but such, in those days, might be promoted to any worship,) made an oration in the name of all the rest.


The answer of Master Scot, bishop of Chester, to the oration of John Stokes.

            When Master Stokes had made an end of speaking, the bishop of Chester answered thereunto as follows:

            "That they took in right good part, that the[ir] mother the university had made so open a declaration of her good will toward them; for the which he gave most hearty thanks, desiring her to perform, in deed and in her works, the things that she had so largely promised of herself in words and communication. As concerning their good wills, there was no cause to mistrust: for their coming thither was not to deal any thing roughly with such as fell to the amendment; but both the cardinal himself, and they also, were fully minded to show favour, devising how to bring all things to peace and tranquillity, desiring nothing more earnestly, than that they which have erred and gone astray, should return into the right path again. The right reverend father, the lord cardinal, whom he wished to have been present, wished the selfsame thing also, desiring nothing so much as with his own hands to sustain and hold up, now ready to fall, or rather to raise up already fallen to the ground, the university, his ward -- for he gladly taketh upon him the name and duty of her guardian -- whom it greatly grieved that the infections of the times past had spread abroad so grievous diseases, that even the university itself was touched with the contagious air thereof. For he would gladlier have come thither to visit and salute it, than to correct it, if the weightier affairs of the realm would have permitted it. But now, seeing he could not do so, he had appointed this commission, in the which he had assigned them to be his deputies, which, because they knew him to set so much store by the university, should extend the more favour to it; and (because they themselves had been there brought up) would the more earnestly embrace it. The chief matter that they came for tended to this end, that such as had erred should confess their faults, and return into the right way again: for they were in good forwardness of healing, that acknowledged themselves to have offended. And therefore it was wisely propounded on his part, that he would not altogether excuse the faults of the university, nor of other men, but [that they must] confess and acknowledge their crime, for that there were many things had need to be corrected and amended.

            "The cause why they were sent thither was to raise up them that were fallen, and to receive into favour such as were sorry and would amend, wherein, if (contrary to their expectation) they should not be able to do so much with some men as they would; yet notwithstanding, according to their duty, they would show themselves so diligent for their part, as that no lack might be found in them. For it was more openly known, than that it could be denied, that many men did divers things of a froward wilfulness, and took stoutly upon them: wherewith as they were greatly moved and aggrieved, (as reason was,) so they coveted to remedy the mischief. Against whom, if any thing should seem hereafter to be straitly determined, it was to be imputed to their own deserts, and not to the wills of them. Neither ought such as are whole and sound to be moved at the chastisement of others, forasmuch as it pertained not only to the wiping out of the foul blot which now sticked on the university, but also to the health of many others which had taken much hurt by the infection of them. For their own parts, they more inclined unto mercy than rigour. Howbeit, considering that so great diseases could not by gentle medicines be healed, they were driven of necessity to use stronger. And yet if they would be contented to be brought again to their right minds, which thing they chiefly coveted, (for they wished that all should amend and be led by wholesome counsel,) and would yet at length wax weary of their errors, and instead of them frequent again the ancient customs of themselves and of their forefathers, they might boldly look for all kind of humanity and gentleness at their hands, in all this their business of reformation, which they had now entered and begun, requesting no more of the university, but to do as became them; which being performed, he promised that their benevolence, neither in any public nor in any private person's case, should in any wise be behind-hand."

            These things being finished, they were brought processionaliter to King's College, by all the graduates of the university, where was sung a mass of the Holy Ghost with great solemnity, nothing wanting in that behalf that might make to the setting-forth of the same. In this place it was marked that Nicholas Ormanet, commonly surnamed Datary, (who albeit he were inferior in estate unto Chester, being a bishop, yet was superior to them all in authority,) while the mass was celebrating, eft standing, eft sitting, and sometimes kneeling on his knees, observed certain ceremonies, which afterward were required of all others to be observed, as in process hereof was to be seen.

            From thence they attended all upon the legates to St. Mary's church, which we declared before to have been interdicted; in the which place, forasmuch as it was suspended, although no mass might be sung, yet there was a sermon made in open audience by Master Peacock in the Latin tongue, preaching against heresies and heretics, as Bilney, Cranmer, Latimer, Ridley, &c. The which being ended, they proceeded eftsoons to the visitation, where first Dr. Harvy did, in the cardinal's name, exhibit the commission to the bishop of Chester with a few words in Latin. Which being accepted, and by Master Clerk openly read to the end, then the vice-chancellor with an oration did exhibit the certificate under his seal of office with the cardinal's citation annexed, containing every man's name in the university and colleges, with the officers and all the masters of houses. Among whom was also Robert Brassey, master of King's College, a worthy old man, both for his wisdom and his hoar hairs; who, hearing his own name recited next after the vice-chancellor's, said, he was there present, as all the others were: nevertheless, forasmuch as the reformation of his house was wholly reserved to the discretion of the bishop of Lincoln, not only by the king's letters patent, but also by grant of confirmation from the bishop of Rome himself, under a penalty, if he should suffer any strangers to intermeddle, he openly protested in discharge of his duty, that unless their commission gave them authority and jurisdiction upon that college, either by express words or manifest sense, he utterly exempted himself from being present. This his exception they took all in great displeasure; alleging that they were fully authorized for the order of the matter by the cardinal, out of whose jurisdiction no place nor person was exempted: wherefore he had done evil to call into question their authority, so well known to all men. Chester seemed to be more moved with the matter than all the others; and that was because Brassey had a little before obtained the worship of that room, even utterly against his will, and maugre his head; he doing the worst he could against him.

            After the formal solemnity of these things thus accomplished, the commission being read, and the citation exhibited, all the masters of houses being only cited, every man for a while departed home to his own house, with commandment to be at the common schools of the said university at one of the clock the same day. When the degrees of the university, commonly called regents and non-regents, were assembled thither, they spent the rest of the day in reading over of charters, granted to the university by kings and princes, in searching out of bulls and pardons from the pope, and in perusing of other monuments pertaining to the university.

            The next day following, being the twelfth of January, they resorted to the King's College to make inquisition, either because the same for the worthiness thereof was chief and sovereign of all the residue, or else because that that house specially before all others had been counted, time out of mind, never to be without aa heretic (as they termed them) or twain. And at that present time, albeit that many now of late had withdrawn themselves from thence, yet they judged there were some remaining still.

            The order and manner how they would be entertained of every college, when they should come to make inquisition, they themselves appointed, which was in this sort. They commanded the master of every house, together with the residue, as well fellows as scholars, apparelled in priest-like garments, (which they call habits,) to meet them at the uttermost gate of their house towards the town: the master himself to be dressed in like apparel as the priest when he harnesseth himself to mass; saving that he should put on uppermost his habit, as the rest did. The order of their going they appointed to be in this wise: the master of the house to go foremost; next unto him, every man in his order as he was of degree, seniority, or of years. Before the master should be carried a cross and holy water to sprinkle the commissioners withal; and then, after that, the said commissioners to be censed. And so after this meeting, and mumbling of a few devotions, they determined with this pomp and solemnity to be brought to the chapel.

            Many thought they took more honour upon them than belonged to the state of man. Others (forasmuch as at that time they not only pretended the jurisdiction of the cardinal, but also represented the power and authority of the bishop of Rome himself, who was accounted to be more than a mortal man) said, it was far less than of duty appertained to his Holiness, in that the honour that was done to his legates, was not done to them but to his Holiness. Now was the hour come, at which they appointed to meet; and being entered the King's College gate, where they looked for the master and fellows of the house, seeing no man came to meet them, they proceeded forth to the church-door, where they stayed. There, perceiving how the master and the rest of the house were dressing themselves as fast as they could, in such order as was appointed before, they came in suddenly upon them, before they had set out any foot out of their places.

            Then the master first excused himself that he was ready no sooner, acknowledging that it had been his duty to have been in a readiness. Secondly, he said he was very glad of their coming, promising. first in his own name, and after in the name of all the rest, as much reverence as might be, in all matters concerning their common utility, the which he doubted not but should be performed at their hands, according to his expectation. But like as he had done the other day in St. Mary's church, the same exception he made to them now also; the which his doing he besought them not to be offended withal; for, seeing he did it only for the discharge of his duty, he had juster cause to be held excused.

            He had scarcely yet finished his tale, but the bishop of Chester, with a frowning look and an angry countenance, interrupting him of his talk, said, he needed not to repeat the things he had protested before, nor they to make answer any more to those things wherein they had sufficiently informed him before. He rather feared that their quarrel was not good, that they made such ado about it, and sought such starting-holes: for so were diseased persons oftentimes wont to do, when, for the pain and grief, they are not able to abide a strong medicine. As though that any man were able to grant so strong a privilege, as to withstand the pope's authority. As for the pope's letters, he said, they must needs make on his side, and with such as were with him, and could not in any wise be alleged against him. Therefore he admonished him to desist from his unprofitable altercation, and to conform himself and his to such things as then were in doing.

            After this they went to mass: which finished, with great solemnity, first they went to the high altar of the church, and having there saluted their god, and searching whether all were well about him or no, they walked through all the inner chapels of the church. The church-goods, the crosses, the chalices, the mass-books, the vestments, and whatsoever ornaments were besides, were commanded to be brought out unto them. When they had sufficiently viewed all things, and had called forth by name every fellow and scholar of the house, they went to the master's lodging, where first and foremost swearing them upon a book to answer all such interrogatories as should be propounded unto them, (as far as they knew,) they examined first the master himself, and afterward all the residue, every man in his turn. But there were some that refused to. take this oath, because they had given their faith to the college before, and also because they thought it against all right and reason to swear against themselves: for it was contrary to all law, that a man should be compelled to bewray himself, and not to be suffered to keep his conscience free, when there is no manifest proof to be laid to his charge; but much more unjust it is, that a man should be constrained perforce to accuse himself. Nevertheless these persons also, after much altercation, at length (conditionally, that their faith given before to the college were not impeached thereby) were contented to be sworn.

            Three days long lasted the inquisition there. This was now the third day of their coming, and it was thought that the case of Bucer and Phagius was delayed longer than needed: for they looked to have had much altercation and business about the matter. Now, forasmuch as the present state of the case required good deliberation and advisement, the vice-chancellor and masters of the colleges assembled at the common schools, where every man gave his verdict what he thought meet to be done in this matter of Bucer. After much debating, they agreed altogether in this determination: that forasmuch as Martin Bucer, while he lived, had not only sowed pernicious and erroneous doctrine among them, but also had himself been a sectary and famous heretic, erring from the catholic church, and giving others occasion to fall from the same likewise, a supplication should be made to the lords commissioners, in the name of the whole university, that his dead carcass might forthwith be digged up, (for so it was needful to be done,) to the intent that inquisition might be made as touching his doctrine, the which being brought in examination, if it were not found to be good and wholesome, the law might proceed against him: for it was against the rule of the holy canons, that his body should be buried in Christian burial. Yea, and besides that, it was to the open derogation of God's honour, and the violating of his holy laws, with the great peril of many men's souls, and the offence of the faithful, especially in so difficult and contagious a time as that was. Wherefore it was not to be suffered, that they which utterly dissented from all other men in the trade of their living, laws, and customs, should have any part with them in the honour of burial. And therefore the glory of God, first and before all things, ought to be defended; the infamy, (which through this thing riseth on them,) with all speed put away; no room at all left unto those persons to rest in, who even in the same places where they lay, were injurious and noisome to the very elements, but the place ought to be purged, and all things so ordered as might be to the satisfying of the consciences of the weak. In executing whereof so notable an example ought to be given to all men, that no man hereafter should be so bold to attempt the like.

            They gave the same verdict by common assent upon Phagius also. Unto this writing they annexed another, by the which they lawfully authorized Andrew Perne, the vice-chancellor, to be the common factor for the university. He was a man meetest for the purpose, both for the office that he bare, and also because that by the testimony of Christopherson he was deemed to be the most catholic of all others. This supplication, confirmed by the consent of all the degrees of the university and signed with their common seal, the next day, which was the thirteenth of January, the vice-chancellor put up to the commissioners. Note here, good reader, what a feat of conveyance this was, to suborn the university under a colourable pretence to desire this thing of them by way of petition: as who should say, if they had not done so, the other would never have gone about it of themselves. commissioners was soon found out; for the commissioners had given the vice-chancellor instructions in writing before. But now peradventure they thought by this means to remove the envy of this act from themselves.

            Thus the vice-chancellor came unto the commissioners, according to the appointment made the day before, about seven of the clock in the morning. He had scarce declared the cause of his coming, but that he had not only obtained his suit, but also even at the very same time received the sentence of condemnation, for taking up Bucer and Phagius, fair copied out by Ormanet the datary himself. This was to be confirmed by the consent of the degrees of the university. Whereupon a solemn convocation, called, Congregatio regentium et non regentium, for the same purpose was appointed to be at nine of the clock; where the graduates being assembled together, the demand was propounded concerning the condemnation of Bucer and Phagius, and the grace asked, which was this: "Pleaseth it you that Martin Bucer, for the heresies now recited, and many others by him written, preached, and taught, wherein he died without repentance, and was buried in Christian burial, may be exhumate and taken up again? "

            After this grace eftsoons being granted, then the sentence of condemnation, drawn by the datary, openly read, and immediately another grace asked, that the same might be signed with the common seal; the which request was very lightly and easily obtained. And it was no marvel; for now after the death of King Edward, since the time that the government of the realm came to the hand of Queen Mary, all such persons being driven away as had rejected the Romish religion, (in whom well nigh alone rested whatsoever wit and learning were in the whole university besides,) such a sort of rascals were put in their room, that all places now swarmed with unlearned and unnurtured chaplains; to whom nothing was greater pleasure, than to cause all men to speak slander and reproach of Bucer. There were divers yet left among them to speak against their demands. But they (because, as it commonly cometh to pass, that might overcometh right) could nothing avail. For this is a common custom in all such matters and ordinances, that look what the greater number decreeth, is published in the name of all; and that which the better part disallowed, seemeth as though no man at all disallowed it.

            The next day, being the fourteenth of January, all the visitors (only Christopherson, elect of Chichester, excepted) came to the King's College; where, first going into the church, and there making their prayers at the greetings, they so proceeded into the stalls, there sitting all the mass time, the company standing in their copes, and singing a solemn  in honour of the visitors. After the  done, the provost in the best cope made to them his protestation, unto whom the bishop of Chester made answer also in Latin, declaring that he could not perceive to what purpose his protestation was, notwithstanding they would accept it and bear with him. Then went they to mass, which ended, the catholic visitors approached up to the altar, and took down the sacrament, and searched the pix, but first the two bishops tensed the sacrament.

            Then they went unto the revestry, and opened the chalices, corporas cases, and chrismatory, and viewed all those things. And so returning into the provost's chamber, divided themselves in examination of the provost, vice-provost, and the rest of the company. The same day Dr. Bacon, master of Gonville-hall, bade the vice-chancellor, Dr. Young, Dr. Harvy, Swinborne, Maptide, with others, home to dinner. These men, immediately after dinner, caused the common seal of the university to be put to the aforesaid instrument of condemnation, according as was determined the day before by the general consent of the graduates of the university. And by and by after, they carried the same to the commissioners to their lodging; the which when they had received, forasmuch as (after more diligent perusing thereof) it liked them not in all points, some things they rased out, some they interlined, other some they changed; so that in fine, they were fain to take the pain to engross it new again.

            About this time almost, one of the King's College, (of the number of them that chanced to be there at such time as the commissioners took a view of the ornaments of the church, and of other things that the priests occupy at their ceremonies,) hearing Ormanet call for the oil, wherewith sick folks were wont to be annealed, (which, as it should seem, he had never seen before,) after his departure, being desirous to see what gear it was, came to the place; but it was kept under lock and key. Then he inquired where it stood; and when he saw where, he demanded to have a sight of the thick milk and a little oil, wherewithal men were wont to be annealed. When it was brought before him, and that he had well considered it, it was rank of savour, so that he was fain to turn away his nose, bidding them make that milk into cheese betimes, or else it would stink so that no man would be able to abide it. But ere it was long after, he bought that word dearly; for there never yet wanted some Doeg of Edom or other, to bear word of such things to Saul: for they had their spies in every corner, who ever crept in among company.

            St. Mary's church was not yet reconciled, nor the place purged from the dead bones and withered carcass of Martin Bucer; by means whereof, the trentals, obits, and anniversaries that were customably wont to be done for Sir R. Read, knight, were appointed to be done at the King's College, the commissioners being present at the same. The bishop of Chester, or ever service was fully done, going out, called to him one of them that were there, whom he began to undermine with such kind of talk.

            "It is not unknown to thee that the time draweth nigh, when Bucer's carcass, according to the decrees of the canon law, must be digged up, and that which remaineth of him (to the intent that all men may take ensample thereby) be put to the fire, (for so the holy canons have enacted,) and the memorial of him be utterly condemned to oblivion for ever. Now, forasmuch as he was buried with great pomp and solemnity, we think it necessary that his burning be executed with no less solemnity and furniture. This assuredly is our meaning, and this toucheth all the degrees of the university; for it is a foul shame and not to be borne with, that so great reverence should be done unto heretics. Wherefore it behoveth every man by all means, to show evident tokens of the alteration of his mind: and it ought not to be thought a strange matter that this inquisition is extended upon a dead man; for if so be that in cases of high treason it be lawful to attaint a person that is dead, it standeth with reason that these persons, being more pestiferous and hurtful than those that are guilty of treason, should abide like judgment. When they were buried, orations were made before the degrees of the university, and sermons preached to the people; the like thing now also, when they shall be burned, do we purpose to have. Now because I understand that thou art an expert orator, and canst handle thyself well in that feat, I would choose thee before all others to do the thing, which, forasmuch as it shall be greatly to thy praise and commendation, I know thou wilt not refuse to take upon thee: and, for my part, I assure thee, I have the gladlier called thee hereunto, because I court thy preferment. There is but one in all the university, that, when he was a young man, was my pupil, Nicholas Carre by name, whom, for the good will I bear him in that respect, I will join fellow with thee in this matter; to the intent thou mayest well perceive thereby, that I commit this charge unto thee to do thee honour."

            The man, having this oration in mistrust, answered in this wise:

            "He wished, with all his heart, that the judgment as concerning this case should be reserved to his betters, saying that he was not desirous of that honour; for men would not give credit to his words, neither was he able to devise what to say against so worthy a person, especially that might seem to have any likelihood in that behalf. For he knew not the man's living and conversation; but, as far as he could gather by other men's talk, he was a man of such integrity and pureness of living, that not even his enemies could find any thing blameworthy in hitn. As for his doctrine, it passed his power to judge of it, howsoever he were deemed to be of a corrupt religion; whereof he was not able to deter-mine, considering it was a doubtful question among so great learned clerks. But this was manifestly apparent, that Bucer undoubtedly was a man of' singular knowledge and dexterity of wit, which for him to abuse, he thought it an intolerable unshamefacedness.

            "Finally, for the estimation of so weighty a matter, it was requisite to put some meeter persons to the defence of it; for, neither in years was he grave and ancient enough, neither in wit prompt nor ready enough, neither in eloquence sufficiently furnished to take that matter upon him: and, if so be that he were able to do any good, he might serve their turn in another matter."

            The bishop was still more earnest upon him: and when he saw that it availed not to use this kind of persuasion with him, he fell into a rage, and, at length, bewrayed himself in all his pretence. For all this earnest entreatance was not to have had him say somewhat against Bucer, (albeit it was part of his desire as occasion should serve,) but to the intent that such as he suspected for religion should speak against themselves. And therefore he added moreover, saying:

            "Thou, at his burial, didst blaze and set him out marvellously with epitaphs and sententious metres, wherefore now also thou shalt neither will nor choose but speak in the contrary part; and this to do, I straitly charge thee in mine own name, and in the name of my fellow commissioners."

            After many words the other answered, that no man was able to show any thing of his doing; and, if any could be brought before him, he would condescend to satisfy their pleasure, otherwise he would not by any means be induced to speak against him. At length, when none of his writings could be showed, the bishop desisted from his purpose.

            By this time, the sentence of condemnation was engrossed again; to the signing whereof, a congregation was eftsoons called of all the graduates of the university against the next day, which there being read over, a new grace again was asked and granted for setting the seal. Then were the graduates dismissed, with commandment to resort forthwith to St. Mary's church, whither the commissioners also repaired. When they had taken their places, Dr. Harvy presented to them before all the company, a new commission, to make inquest upon heresy, then newly sent from the lord cardinal, which was read immediately by Vincent of Noally, Ormanet's clerk, with a loud voice, that all men might hear it. This done, Dr. Perne, who, as ye heard, was factor for the university, exhibited to the commissioners in the name of the university the sentence of the foresaid condemnation; the copy and tenor whereof, hereafter (God willing) shall follow. This condemnation being openly read, then Dr. Perne aforesaid desired to send out process to cite Bucer and Phagius to appear, or any others that would take upon them to plead their cause, and to stand to the order of the court against the next Monday; to the intent that when they had exhibited themselves, the court might the better determine what ought to be done to them by order of law.

            The commissioners condescended to his request, and the next day process went out to cite the offenders. This citation Vincent of Noally, their common notary, having first read it over before certain witnesses appointed for the same purpose, caused to be fixed up in places convenient, to wit, upon St. Mary's church door, the door of the common schools, and the cross in the market-stead of the same town. In this was specified, that whosoever would maintain Bucer and Phagius, or stand in defence of their doctrine, should at the eighteenth day of the same month, stand forth before the lord commissioners in St. Mary's church, which was appointed the place of judgment, and there every man should be sufficiently heard what he could say. This commandment was set out with many words.

            Shortly after, the matter drew toward judgment. Therefore the day next before the day limited, which was the seventeenth of January, the vice-chancellor called to him to Peterhouse, (whereof he was master,) Dr. Young, Dr. Segewick; and with them Bullock, Taylor, Parker, and Redman, Whitlock, Mitch, and certain others. These men cast their heads together how they might bear witness against Bucer and Phagius to convince them of heresy. For seeing the matter was brought in face of open court, and because it might so come to pass, that some patrons of their cause would come out, they thought it needful to have witnesses to depose of their doctrine: what came of this their consultation, it is not perfectly known.

            The commissioners, for they were marvellously conscionable men in all their doings, had great regard, in their expenses, of every college where they should make inquisition. Wherefore, to the intent that none of them should stretch their liberality beyond measure, or above their power, they gave charge, at the beginning, that there should not in any place be prepared for their repast above three kinds of meat at the most; the like order the cardinal himself, in a certain provincial synod, appointed in his diets a little before, to all his priests and chaplains.

            Therefore when they came to the King's College, the eighteenth day, to sit upon inquiry, and that one capon chanced to be served to the table, more than was prescribed by the order taken, they thrust it away in great displeasure. These thriving men that were so sore moved for the preparing of one capon, within little more than one month, beside their private refections, wasted, in their daily diet, well nigh a hundred pounds of the common charges of the colleges; so that the university may worthily allege against them this saying of our Saviour, Woe unto you that strain out a gnat, and swallow up a camel!

            The eighteenth day, the vice-chancellor, going to the inquisitors sitting at the King's College, did put them in remembrance, that the same was the day in which, by their process sent forth the sixteenth day before, they had commanded to appear in St. Mary's church, such as would take upon them to defend Bucer and Phagius by the law. He desired therefore that they would vouchsafe to sit there, if perchance any man would try the adventure of the law. They lightly condescended thereunto. When the vice-chancellor had brought them thither, he exhibited unto them the process of the citation which he had received of them to publish a little before, saying, that he had diligently executed whatsoever the contents of the same required. After that they had taken their places, and that no man put forth himself to answer for the offenders, the judges called aside Dr. Young, Dr. Segewick, Bullock, Taylor, Maptide, Hunter, Parker, Redman, above mentioned. Also Brown, Gogman, Rud, Johnson, Mitch, Raven, and Carre, who had before written out the burial of Bucer, with a singular commendation of him, and sent it to Sir John Cheke, knight. These men, taking first their oath upon a book, were commanded to bear witness against the heresies and doctrine of Bucer and Phagius. The twenty-second day of the same month was limited to this jury to bring in their verdict.

            In the mean while, Ormanet and Dr. Watson abode at home in their lodging to take the deposition of them whom we showed you before to have been called to Peter-house, and to have communicated with the vice-chancellor as concerning that matter, whose depositions (as I told you) never came to light. The bishop of Chester and Dr. Cole this day visited them of Katharine-hall, where, as far as could be learned, nothing was done worthy of rehearsal.

            As Ormanet the pope's datary was sitting at Trinity College, John Dale, one of the Queen's College, came to him, whom he had commanded before to bring with him the pix, wherein the bishop of Rome's god of bread is wont to be enclosed. For Ormanet told them he had a precious jewel; the same was a linen clout that the pope had consecrated with his own hands, which he promised to bestow upon them for a gift. But Dale, misunderstanding Ormanet, instead of the pix brought a chalice and a singing cake called the host, the which he had wrapped up and put in his bosom. When he was come, Ormanet demanded if he had brought him the thing he sent him for: to whom he answered, he had brought it. "Then give it me," quoth he. Dale pulled out the chalice and the singing cake. When Ormanet saw that, he stepped somewhat back as it had been in a wonder, calling him blockhead, and little better than a mad-man, demanding what he meant by those things, saying; he willed him to bring none of that gear, and that he was unworthy to enjoy so high a benefit: yet notwithstanding, forasmuch as he had promised before to give it them, he would perform his promise. Whereupon, with great reverence and ceremony, he pulled out the linen cloth, and laid it in the chalice, and the bread with it, commanding them, both for the holiness of the thing, and also for the author of it, to keep it among them with such due reverence as belonged to so holy a relic.

            About the same time the commissioners had given commandment to the masters of the colleges, that every man should put in writing what books he had, with the authors' names; and to the intent that every man should execute it without deceit, they took a corporal oath of them. For they said, it was not lawful for any man to have, read, or copy out of those ungodly books of wicked heretics, written against the reverend sect of the catholics and the decrees of the most holy canons; therefore they should diligently search them out, to the intent they might be openly burned. They said, they gave them warning of these things which they ought not to look for; for these things ought rather to have been done of their own free will, than extorted by force. Which thing not only the canons commanded, but also the most noble and worthy emperors Theodosius and Valentinian made in certain places decrees, as concerning the writings of heretics, and especially against the books of Nestorius. This commandment some executed exactly and diligently; other some, forasmuch as they deemed it wrongful, executed it slack enough.

            We declared before that the eighteenth day was limited for the day of judgment. When the day came, and that neither Bucer nor Phagius would appear at their call in the court, nor that any put forth himself to defend them; yet the courteous commissioners would not proceed to judgment; which nevertheless, for their contumacy in absenting themselves, they might have done, considering how that day was peremptory. But these men, being bent altogether to equity and mercy, had rather show some favour, than to do the uttermost they might by the law. Whereupon Vincent published the second process, and set it up in the same places, as in manner before. The meaning thereof varied not much from the first, but that it put off the judgment day unto the twenty-sixth of the same month; upon the which day the vice-chancellor was sent for to their lodging, with whom they agreed concerning the order of publishing the sentence. And because there should want no solemnity in the matter, they commanded him further to warn the mayor of the town to be there at the day appointed with all his burgesses, which the vice-chancellor did speed with all readiness.

            While these things were a working against Bucer and Phagius, in the mean while they foreslowed not to make inquisition in some places as the matter required. Therefore, at almost the same time they came into Clare-hall, and entered into the chapel, which was their ordinary custom to do first of all, wheresoever they came, they perceived there was no sacrament, as they call it, hanging over the altar. The which thing being taken in great displeasure, Ormanet, calling to him the master of the house, told him what a great wickedness he had, by so doing, brought upon himself and all his house: for, although he were so unwise as to think it no shame at all, yet unto them it seemed an inexpiable offence. The old man being amazed and looking about him how he might answer the matter, while he went about to purge himself thereof, made the fault double: he said it was a profane place never as yet hallowed, nor consecrated with any ceremonies. At that word the commissioners were yet more astonied, demanding whether he himself, or any other, had used to sing mass there or no. When he had confessed that both he himself and others also had oftentimes said mass there: "O thou wretched old man," quoth Ormanet, "thou hast cast both thyself and them in danger of the grievous sentence of excommunication." Ormanet, being sore amazed at the beginning, searched the man narrowly: how many benefices he had? where they lay? by whose favour or licence he held so many at once? what excuse he had to be so far and so long from them? for, as it should seem, he spent the most part of the whole year in the university, far from the charge that he had taken upon him. Swinborne was so sore astonied at this so sudden disquietness of Ormanet, that, being more disquieted himself, he was not able to answer one word, neither to these things, nor to any other things, appertaining to the state of his house. Wherefore one of the fellows, who was the senior of all the rest, was fain to take upon him the master's turn in that business. This was now the twenty-second day, which I told you was limited to the jury, Young, Segewick, &c., to give up their verdict; who nevertheless, during the time that the inquisitors, sat in St. Mary's church, neither appeared that day, nor put up any thing openly against them that were accused: whether they objected any thing secretly against them or no, I am not able to say, for, by like oath they were exhibited to publish their depositions, as they were bound to bear witness.

            In this session nothing was done, saving that the vice-chancellor restored again the process for appearance, that he had received of them two days ago, the tenor whereof he said he had published, upon the contumacy of them that were cited, according as they had commanded him; whereupon he requested them to appoint the fourth day next following to pronounce the sentence of condemnation, which, without any difficulty, he obtained. For I showed you before that so it was agreed among themselves; and yet these bloody butchers would, for all that, seem meek and merciful men; insomuch that they would seem to determine nothing of their own heads, before that this most filthy executioner of other men's wicked lusts had earnestly sued to them for the same: as though no man had been able to espy out their colourable conveyance, or as if we had cast from us both our minds and eyes, that we should neither understand nor see their crafty packing. Even so they, setting a fair gloss upon all their doings, sought to bring themselves in credit with men, to the intent that,when opportunity should serve, they might, to their own most advantage, deceive men unawares. Surely they might not in any wise seem to do those things which they were most chiefly bent upon, and therefore they sought all means possible to blear men's eyes, that they should not see them; but they could not so escape unspied. About this time they sent out a commandment that the master of every college, by the advice of his house, should cause to be put in writing how much every house had of ready money, how much of yearly revenue, how much thereof had been bestowed about necessary uses of the college, how much went to the stipends of the fellows and the daily diet of the house, how much was allowed for other extraordinary expenses, how much remained from year to year, what was done with the overplus; with a due account of all things belonging to that purpose: which thing (because that, for the strangeness and novelty thereof, it should not make men to muse and break their brains about it) they said that, before them, the colleges of Eton and Winchester had done the like. The cause why they coveted to be certified therein, was for none other purpose but to the intent that they themselves might see whether that they, to whose charge the custody and administration of those goods were committed, had behaved themselves so truly and faithfully, as, by their oath, they were bound to do: this pretence made these diligent and curious stewards of other men's goods. But it was known well enough that this was rather a feigned allegation than a true tale; for it was their mind to search what power the clergy were of, of which, forasmuch as they made an assured account, [they were] willing to take their parts; who were the chief heads in this business they coveted to know beforehand, and to put them in a readiness against all hazards and adventures of fortune. And no man ought to surmise that this conjecture is vain, or that it dependeth upon a light ground, considering what a deal of armour, what a deal of artillery and furniture for the wars, the whole body of the clergy, but especially the prelates, (who at that time bare all the sway,) had laid up in store at home in their own houses, or else put in custody of their confederates; which, forasmuch as they could be construed to tend to none other purpose than to open force, (especially in so cankered a time as that was,) is it not a good likelihood, that to the same intent and purpose, inquisition should be made of the strength of the university, which itself, to the uttermost of her power, was ready to sustain any danger or burden for the maintenance of that filthy superstition? But God hath looked mercifully upon us, and pulled their swords from our necks. But let us return to Bucer and Phagius.

            Now was come the day of judgment: which day, as I said, was the twenty-sixth of January, which being now come, first all degrees of the mother university were assembled. And to fill up this pageant, thither came also the mayor and his townsmen; and all met together in St. Mary's church, to behold what there should be determined upon these men. After long attendance, at length the commissioners came forth, and went up to a scaffold that was somewhat higher than the residue, prepared for the same purpose. When they had taken their places, Dr. Perne, the vice-chancellor, the player of this interlude, fashioning his countenance with great gravity, reached to them the process that was lately published, to cite them, saying these words: "I bring forth again," quoth he, "to you, right reverend fathers, and commissioners of the most reverend my Lord Cardinal Pole," painting out the rest of his style, "this citation executed according to the purport and effect of the same:"-- omitting nothing for his part that might make to the commendation of this matter. When he had thus finished his tale, by and by the bishop of Chester, after he had a little viewed the people, began in manner as followeth.

            "Ye see "(quoth he) "how sore the university presseth upon us, how earnest intercession it maketh unto us, not only to denounce Bucer and Phagius, which these certain years past have spread most pernicious doctrine among you, to be heretics, (as they be indeed,) but also that we will command their dead carcasses, which unto this day have obtained honourable burial among you, to be digged up, and as it is excellently ordained by the canon law, to be cast into fire, or whatsoever is more grievous than fire, if any can be. For the degrees of the university deal not slightly nor slackly with us in this case, but do so press upon us, and follow the suit so earnestly, that they scarce give us any respite of delay. And I assure you, albeit this case of itself be such, as that even the unworthiness of those persons (though there were no further cause) ought to induce us to the doing thereof; much the rather moved with these so wholesome petitions, it is meet and convenient we should grant it. For howsoever we of ourselves are inclined to mercy in our hearts, (than the which we protest there is nothing under the sun to us more dear and acceptable,) yet, notwithstanding, the very law riseth up to revengement; so that the common salvation of you all, which the law provideth for, must be preferred before the private charity of our minds. Neither ought any such negligence to overtake us for our parts, that we, being scarce yet escaped out of the shipwreck of our former calamity, should now suffer this unexpiable mischief to disquiet any longer the consciences of the weak.

            "Moreover, it is but reason that we should do somewhat at so earnest entreatance and suit of the university. I need not to speak much of ourselves; for if we had been desirous to enterprise this matter, it had been lawful after the first citation to have proceeded to judgment: but because we were willing that their defenders should be heard, and that the matter should be denounced and tried by law, we sent out the second process.

            "If we had desired revengement, we might have showed cruelty upon them that are alive: of the which (alas! the more pity) there are too many that embrace this doctrine. If we thirsted for blood, it was not so to be sought in withered carcasses and dry bones. Therefore ye may well perceive, it was no part of our wills that we now came hither; but partly induced at the entreaty of the university; partly moved with the unworthiness of the case itself; but especially for the care and regard we have of your health and salvation, which we covet by all means to preserve. For you yourselves are the cause of this business; you gave occasion of this confession, among whom this day ought to be a notable example, to remain, as a memorial to them that shall come after, as in that which ye may learn not only to shake off the filth which ye have taken of these persons; but also to beware hereafter that ye fall no more so shamefully as ye have done. But I trust God will defend you, and give you minds to keep yourselves from it.

            "As concerning the parties themselves, whose case now hangeth in law, they bare about the name of the gospel, whereas indeed they wrought nothing else than thievery and deceit. And so much the wickeder were they, in that they sought to cover so shameful acts with the cloak of so fair and holy a name. Wherefore it is not to be doubted but that God will punish this despite, of itself wicked, to you pernicious; but the authors thereof shameful and abominable.

            "But if God, as he is slow to wrath and vengeance, will wink at it for a time, yet notwithstanding if we, upon whom the charge of the Lord's flock leaneth, should permit so execrable crimes to escape unpunished, we should not live in quiet one hour."

            When he had thus spoken, he recited the sentence out of a scroll, and condemned Bucer and Phagins of heresy.

            After the sentence read, the bishop commanded their bodies to be digged out of their graves, and being degraded from holy orders, delivered them into the hands of the secular power: for it was not lawful for such innocent persons as they were, abhorring from all bloodshed, and detesting all desire of murder, to put any man to death! Oh unworthy and abominable act! for which the university shall never be able to make satisfaction. How unworthy a thing was it, to do all the spite that might be to him being dead, to whom, being alive, she exhibited all the honour and reverence she could devise! How intolerable a thing was it, to detest and abhor him as a wicked deceiver and leader out of the right way, being dead, whom, in his lifetime, she had followed and reverenced with all humility and obeisance, as her master and chief guide of her life! What a monstrous thing is it not to spare him when he was dead, who, during his life, being aged and always sickly, yet never spared himself, to the intent he might profit them! Nothing grieved him more, all the time he lay sick and bedridden, than that he was unprofitable both to them and to the church of God; and yet when he was deceased, he neither found obedience among his disciples nor burial among Christian men. If manhood and reason could not have obtained so much at our hands, as to spare his memorial or reverence his ashes, yet nature and the common law of all nations, (by which, upon promise made by the body of the realm, he came thither,) ought to have withheld this so great cruelty and extreme barbarousness, or savageness, from his bones. Notwithstanding this infamy of the university so openly gotten, Andrew Perne, with his slanderous talk, more increased for, over and besides this oration and sentence of Dr. Scot, came in also Perne, vice-chancellor, with his sermon which he made before the people, tending to the same effect, to the depraving of Master Bucer, taking for his theme, the place of Psalm cxxxiii., Behold how good and pleasant a thing it is, &c.


The effect of Dr. Perne's sermon against Martin Bucer.

            "Where, beginning first with the commendation of concord, and of the mutual knitting together of the minds, he alleged, that it was not possible to hold together, unless the concord were derived out of the head, the which he made to be the bishop of Rome, and that it also rested in the same.

            "After he had made a long protestation hereof, he passed forth to Bucer, upon whom he made such a shameful railing, that it is not possible to defame a man more than he did, saying, that his doctrine gave occasion of division in the commonwealth; and that there was not so grievous a mischief, which by his means had not been brought into the realm.

            "Although all men might perceive by the books he had compiled, what manner of doctrine it was; yet, notwithstanding, (he said,) he knew it more perfectly himself, than any did, and that he had learned it apart at the author's hand himself. For at such time as they had communication secretly among themselves, Bucer (said he) would oftentimes wish he might be called by some other name, than by the name he had; for this purpose, as though knowing himself guilty of so grievous a crime, he might by this means escape unknown to the world, and avoid the talk that went among men of him.

            "Moreover, among other things he told how Bucer held opinion, (which thing he should confess to him his own self,) that God was the author and wellspring, not only of good, but also of evil; and that whatsoever was of that sort, flowed from him, as from the head-spring and maker thereof. The which doctrine he upheld to be sincere; howbeit, for offending divers men's consciences, he durst not put it into men's heads."

            Many other things he patched together of like purport and effect, as of the supremacy of the bishop of Rome, of the marriage of priests, of divorcements; and of shameful usury also, as though he had deemed the same lawful to be used among Christian people; with divers other of the like sort. In all which his allegations, considering how lewdly, without all shame, he lied upon Bucer, (as his writings evidently declare,) he did not so much hinder his name with railing upon him, as win unto himself an inexpiable infamy, by forging so shameful leasings upon so worthy a man.

            But what needeth witness to prove him a liar? his own conscience shall make as much against him, as a number of men. It was reported for a truth, and that by his own familiar friends testified, that the said Dr. Perne himself, either immediately after his sermon, or else somewhat before he went to it, striking himself on the breast, and in manner weeping, wished (at home at his house) with all his heart, that God would grant his soul might even then presently depart and remain with Bucer's. For he knew well enough that his life was such, that if any man's soul were worthy of heaven, be thought his in especial to be most worthy.

            Whiles he was thus talking to the people, in the mean time the leaves of the church doors were covered over with verses, in the which the young men, to show their folly, which scarce knew him by sight, blazed Bucer's name with most reproachful poetry.

            Divers also that were somewhat more grown in years, and yet more fools than the young men, like eager curs, (who had been well served if their legs had been broken for their labour,) barked all that they could against him. And to the intent it might seem to be done by a great number, wherein the papists greatly vaunt themselves, they enticed unto the same business many that by all means favoured Bucer, and that reverenced his name, as it became them; who, notwithstanding, to the intent that under this pretext they might escape their cruelty, full sore against their wills, faintly and slenderly pricked at him.

            These things being despatched, Perne (as though he had sped his matter marvellously well) was, for his labour, of courtesy bidden to dinner to Trinity College by the commissioners; where, after the table was taken up, they caused the sentence of condemnation to be copied out with all speed: which, being signed with the bishop of Chester's seal, the next day following was for a triumph sent to London, with divers of those verses and slanderous libels. Besides this, they sent also their own letters, wherein they both advertised the cardinal how far they had proceeded in that matter, and also desired his Grace, that he would cause to be sent out of hand to Smith, the mayor of the town, the commandment commonly called a writ, for the burning of heretics. For unless he had the queen's warrant to save him harmless, he would not have to do in the matter; and that which remained to be done in that case, could not be despatched till that warrant came.

            While this pursuivant went on his journey, they willed to be brought unto them the books that they commanded before to be searched out: for they determined to throw them into the fire with Bucer and Phagius.

            About the same time Dr. Watson, taking occasion upon the day, because it was a high feast, in the which was wont to be celebrated the memorial of the purification of the blessed Virgin, made a sermon to the people upon that psalm, We have received thy mercy, O Lord, in the midst of thy temple, &c.; in the which sermon he spake much reproach of Bucer and Phagius, and of their doctrine.


The effect of Watson's sermon upon Candlemas day.

            "He said that these men, and all the heretics of our time that were of the same opinion, (the which for the most part, he said, we budded out of Germany,) among other things which they had perniciously put into men's heads, taught to cast away all ceremonies. Whereas, notwithstanding, the apostle himself commanded all things to be done in due order. And upon that deed of the blessed Virgin and Joseph, which was done by them as upon that day, it was manifestly apparent, that they with our Saviour, being then a little babe, observed these rites and ceremonies for catholic men to teach. For he said that they came to the temple the same time with wax candles in their hands, after the manner of procession, (as they term it,) in good order, with much reverence and devotion; and yet we were not ashamed to laugh and mock at these things with the heretics and schismatics."

            As he was telling his tale of Christ, Mary, and Joseph, one of them that heard him, a pleasant and merry-conceited fellow, turning himself to him that stood next him; "And if it be true," quoth he "that this man preacheth, which of them I pray you (if a man might spur him a question) bare the cross before them? for that might not be missing in such solemn ceremonies." Not only this man jested at the preacher's folly, but divers others also laughed at his manifest unshamefacedness, in preaching these so vain and foolish superstitions.

            While he was thus talking to his audience, John Christopherson, elected bishop of Chichester, being stricken with a sudden sickness, fell down in a swoon among the press; and with much ado, being scarce able a good while to come to himself again, in the mean time babbled many things unadvisedly, and as though he had been out of his wits. Some thought it came upon this occasion, because he had been greatly accused before the commissioners for mispending and misordering the goods of the college, and therefore was grieved with the matter, knowing that they had been offended with him by this, that Ormanet had cancelled before his face a lease of his, by the which he had let to farm to his brother-in-law a certain manor of that college, because the covenants seemed unreasonable.

            By this time was returned again the pursuivant, who (as we before told) was sent to London with the commissioners' letters, and brought with him a warrant for the burning of these men. Upon the receipt whereof, they appointed the sixth day of February for the accomplishment of the matter; for it had hanged already a great while in hand.

            Therefore when the said day was come, the commissioners sent for the vice-chancellor, demanding of him in what case things stood; whether all things were in a readiness for the accomplishment of this business, or no. Understanding by him that all things were ready, they commanded the matter to be broached out of hand.

Illustration -- Phagius's Body Exhumed in St. Michael's Churchyard

            The vice-chancellor therefore, taking with him Marshal the common notary, went first to St. Michael's church, where Phagius was buried. There he called forth Andrew Smith, Henry Sawyer, and Henry Adams, men of the same parish, and bound them with an oath, to dig up Phagius's bones, and to bring them to the place of execution. Marshal took their oaths, receiving the like of Roger Smith and William Hasell, the town-sergeants, and of John Capper, warden of the same church, for doing the like with Bucer. Smith, the mayor of the town, which should be their executioner, (for it was not lawful for them to intermeddle in cases of blood,) commanded certain of his townsmen to wait upon him in harness, by whom the dead bodies were guarded; and being bound with ropes, and laid upon men's shoulders, (for they were enclosed in chests, Bucer in the same that he was buried, and Phagius in a new,) they were borne into the midst of the market-stead, with a great train of people following them. This place was prepared before, and a great post was set fast in the ground to bind the carcasses to, and a great heap of wood was laid ready to burn them withal. When they came thither, the chests were set up on end with the dead bodies in them, and fastened on both sides with stakes, and bound to the post with a long iron chain, as if they had been alive. Fire being forthwith put to, as soon as it began to.flame round about, a great sort of books that were condemned with them, were cast into the same.

            There was that day gathered into the town a great multitude of country folk, (for it was market day,) who, seeing men borne to execution, and learning by inquiry that they were dead before, partly detested and abhorred the extreme cruelty of the commissioners toward the rotten carcasses, and partly laughed at their folly in making such preparature: "for what needeth any weapon," said they, "as though they were afraid that the dead bodies, which felt them not, would do them some harm? or to what purpose serveth that chain wherewith they are tied, since they might be burnt loose without peril? For it was not to be feared that they would run away."

            Thus, every body that stood by found fault with the cruelness of the deed, either sharply or else lightly, as every man's mind gave him. There were very few (and those not of sound and wholesome religion) that liked their doing therein.

            In the mean time that they were a roasting in the fire, Watson went into the pulpit in St. Mary's church, and there, before his audience, railed upon their doctrine, as wicked and erroneous, saying, that it was the ground of all mischief that had happened of a long time in the commonweal.


The purpose of Dr. Watson's sermon against Bucer and Phagius.

            "For behold," said he, "as well the prosperity, as the adversity, of these years that have ensued, and ye shall find that all things have chanced unluckily to them that have followed this new-found faith; as contrarily all things have happened fortunately to them that have eschewed it. What robbing and polling (quoth he) have we seen in this realm, as long as religion was defaced with sects; the common treasure (gathered for the maintenance of the whole public weal) and the goods of the realm shamefully spent in waste for the maintenance of a few folks' lusts; all good order broken, all discipline cast aside; holidays appointed to the solemnizing of ceremonies neglected; and that more is, the places themselves beaten down; flesh and other kind of prohibited sustenance eaten every where upon days forbidden, without remorse of conscience; the priests had in derision; the mass railed upon; no honour done to the sacraments of the church; all estates and degrees given to such a licentious liberty without check, that all things may seem to draw to their utter ruin and decay.

            "And yet in the mean time, the name of the gospel was pretended outwardly, as though that for it men ought of duty to give credit to their erroneous opinions; whereas indeed there is nothing more discrepant, or more to the slander of God's word, than the same. For what other thing taught they to remain in that most blessed and mystical sacrament of the body of our Lord, than bare unleavened bread? And what else do the remnant of them teach unto this day? whereas Christ by express words doth assure it to be his very body. How perilous a doctrine is that which concerneth the fatal and absolute necessity of predestination? and yet they set it out in such wise, that they have left no choice at all in things. As who should say, it skilled not what a man purposed of any matter, since he had not the power to determine otherwise than the matter should come to pass. The which was the peculiar opinion of them that made God the author of evil, bringing men, through this persuasion, into such a careless security of the everlasting eternity, that in the mean season it made no matter either toward salvation, or damnation, what a man did in this life. These errors (which were not even among the heathen men) were defended by them with great stoutness."

            These and many other such things he slanderously and falsely alleged against Bucer, whose doctrine (in such sort as he himself taught it) either he would not understand, or else he was minded to slander. And yet he was not ignorant, that Bucer taught none other things than the very same whereunto both he and Scot, in the reign of King Edward the Sixth, had willingly assented, by subscribing thereto with their own hands. While he talked in this wise before the people, many of them that had written verses before, did set up others new, in the which, like a sort of water-frogs, they spewed out their venomous malice against Bucer and Phagius. This was the last act of this interlude, and yet there remained a few things to be done, among the which was the reconciling of two churches, of our Lady and of St. Michael, which we declared to have been interdicted before.

            This was done the next day following, by the aforesaid bishop of Chester, with as much ceremonial solemnity as the law required. But that impanate god, whom Bucer's carcass had chased from thence, was not yet returned thither again; neither was it lawful for him to, come there any more, unless he were brought thither with great solemnity. As I suppose, during all the time of his absence, he was entertained by the commissioners at Trinity College, and there continued as a sojourner. For thither came all the graduates of the university, the eighth of February, of gentleness and courtesy, to bring him home again. Amongst the which number, the bishop of Chester (worthy for his estate to come nearest to him, because he was a bishop) took and carried him clad in a long rochet, and a large tippet of sarcenet about his neck, wherein he wrapped his idol also. Ormanet the datary had given the same a little before to the university, for that and such-like purposes.

            When this idol should return home, he went not the straightest and nearest way, as other folks are wont to go; but he fetched a compass about the most part of the town, and roamed through so many of the streets, that it was a large hour and more ere he could find the way into this church again. (I believe the ancient Romans observed a custom not much unlike this in their procession, when they made supplications at the shrines of all their gods.) The order of which procession was this; the masters regents went before, singing with a loud voice, Salva festa dies, &c. Next them followed the bishop of Chester; about him went Ormanet and his fellow commissioners, with the masters of the colleges, bearing every man a long taper-light in his hand. After whom, a little space off, followed other degrees of the university. Last, behind came the mayor and his townsmen. Before them all went the beadles, crying to such as they met, that they should bow themselves humbly before the host. If any refused so to do, they threatened to send them forthwith to the toll-booth. Their god being led with this pomp, and pacified with great sacrificed hosts of Bucer and Phagius, at length settled himself again in his accustomed room.

            Scot of Chester prayed with many words, that that day might be lucky and fortunate to himself, and to all that were present, and that from that day forward (now that God's wrath was appeased, and all other things set in good order) all men should make themselves conformable to peace and quietness, namely, in matters appertaining to religion. After this, they bestowed a few days in punishing and amercing such as they thought had deserved it. Some they suspended from giving voices either to their own preferment, or to the preferment of any other. Some they forbade to have the charge of pupils, lest they should infect the tender youth (being pliable, to take what print soever should be laid upon them) with corrupt doctrine and heresy. Others they chastised wrongfully without any desert; and many a one they punished, contrary to all right and reason.

            Last of all they set forth certain statutes, by the which they would have the university hereafter ordered. Wherein they enacted many things as concerning the election of their offices of the university, of keeping and administering the goods of the university, and of many other things. But especially they handled the matter very circumspectly for religion, in the which they were so scrupulous, that they replenished all things either with open blasphemy, or with ridiculous superstition. For they prescribed at how many masses every man should be day by day, and how many Pater-nosters and Aves every man should say when he should enter into the church; and in his entrance, after what sort he should bow himself to the altar, and how to the master of the house; what he should do there, and how long he should tarry; how many, and what prayers he should say; what, and how he should sing; what meditations others should use while the priest is in his memento, mumbling secretly to himself; what time of the mass a man should stand, and when he should sit down; when he should make courtesy, when exclusively, when inclusively; and many other superstitious toys they decreed, that it was a sport then to behold their superstitions, and were tedious now to recite them.

            Moreover these masters of good order, for fashion's sake, ordained that every man should put on a surplice, not torn nor worn, but clean, forbidding them in any wise to wipe their noses thereon; and these are the things which we told you before, that some noted Ormanet, how devoutly he observed them in the king's chapel.

            These things thus set at a stay, when the commissioners were now ready to go their ways, the university, for so great benefits, (which she should not suffer to fall out of remembrance many years after,) coveting to show some token of courtesy towards them again, dignified Ormanet and Cole with the degree of doctorship; for all the residue (saving Christopherson, who now, by reason he was elected bishop, prevented that degree) had received that order before. Thus at length were sent away these peace-makers, that came to pacify strifes and quarrels, who, through provoking every man to accuse one another, left such gaps and breaches in men's hearts at their departure, that to this day they could never be closed nor joined together again.

            These commissioners, before they departed out of the university, gave commandment, that the masters of every house should copy out their statutes, the which, besides common ordinances, contained in them certain rules of private order for every house particularly. Swinborne (who, as I said, was master of Clare-hall) being demanded whether he would have those things engrossed in parchment or in paper, answered, that it made no matter wherein they were written; for the paper, or slighter thing that were of less continuance than paper, would serve the turn well enough: for, he said, a slenderer thing than that would last a great deal longer than those decrees should stand in force. Neither was the man deceived in his conjecture; for within two years after, God, beholding us with mercy, called Queen Mary (which princess the cardinal, and the rest of the bishops of England, miserably abused to the utter destruction of Christ's church) out of this life the seventeenth of November, anno 1558; after whom her sister Elizabeth succeeded in the kingdom; raised to life again the true religion, being not only sore appalled and commanded to seek her a new dwelling-place, but in a manner burnt up and consumed to ashes; which, after the time she once began to recover strength again, and by little and little to lift up her head, the filthy dregs of the Romish juggling-casts began forthwith to melt away. Whereupon the church of God began to be edified again in England, the building whereof the Sanballats and Tobiases did not only as then hinder and waste, but, even in this day also, (as Satan is a most subtle slanderer,) work all the policies they can devise, that the truth (which is not dark unless men be blinded wilfully) should not come abroad and be seen in the light. While the broken and decayed places in this work were in repairing, it came to remembrance how the right reverend father, sometime our schoolmaster, Martin Bucer, with Paulus Phagius, being taken with the violent tempest of the former times, were thrown down out of their standing which they had in the wall of this building; whom the most reverend fathers in Christ, Matthew Parker, now archbishop of Canterbury and primate of all England, (who before, at his burial, preached honourably of him,) and Edmund Grindall, bishop of London, (who among the rest did him that service, that he did help to bear him in his coffin to burial on his shoulders,) and other both honourable and worshipful persons -- among whom was Walter Haddon, master of the Requests to the queen's Highness, who made a funeral oration of the death of Bucer, being himself half dead -- these having received commission of the queen's Majesty to make a reformation of religion in the university of Cambridge and other parts of the realm, decreed that they should be set in their places again. For the performance hereof, the aforesaid right reverend fathers addressed their letters to the vice-chancellor and the graduates of the university. Andrew Perne bare still that office; who, by his good will, could not abide to hear one word spoken as touching the full restitution of Bucer and Phagius. When he had perused these letters, he propounded the matter to the degrees of the university, whether it pleased them that the degrees and titles of honour, taken away from Martin Bucer and Paulus Phagius by the verdict of the whole university, should, by the same, be fully restored again; and that all acts done against them and their doctrine should be repealed and disannulled: which demands were openly consented unto by all the graduates of the university. This was about the twenty-second day of July, in the year of our Lord, 1560.

            Albeit that this had been sufficient to restore them lawfully again, nevertheless, forasmuch as it seemed not enough in consideration of the dignity of so worthy men, and in satisfaction of the duty of the university, they that were the chief doers in this matter called a congregation in St. Mary's church, at the last day of the same month saving one: in which place consultation was had concerning Bucer and Phagius, not with so great furniture and gloriousness, (which things the truth seeketh not greedily for,) but with honest comeliness, to the intent to reconcile men's hearts again. An oration was made by Acworth, the common orator of the university, whose words I will rehearse in order as he spake them.

            "I am in doubt whether I may entreat of the praise and commendation of so great a clerk for the celebrating whereof, this assembly and concourse of yours is made this day); or of vices and calamities, out of the which we be newly delivered; or of them both, considering the one cannot be mentioned without the other. In the which times ye felt so much anguish and sorrow, my right dear brethren, that if I should repeat them, and bring them to remembrance again, I fear me, I should not so much work a just hatred in us towards them, for the injuries received in them, as renew our old sorrow and heaviness. Again, men must needs account me unadvised and foolish in my doing, if I should think myself able to make him which hath lived before our eyes in praise and estimation, more famous and notable by my oration, which he, by his living and conversation, hath oftentimes polished. But the wickedness of the times, which endeavoured to wipe clean out of remembrance of men the name that was so famous and renowned in every man's mouth, did much profit him: insomuch, that both in his lifetime all things redounded to his continual renown, and especially after his decease, nothing could be devised more honourable, than with so solemn furniture and ceremonies, to have gone about to hurt the memorial of such a worthy man, and yet could not bring to pass the thing that was so sore coveted; but rather brought that thing to pass, which was chiefly sought to be avoided. For the desire that men have of the dead, hath purchased to many men everlasting fame, and hath not taken away immortality, but rather amplified and increased the same. By means whereof it cometh to pass, that he that will entreat of those things that pertain to the praise of Bucer after his death, cannot choose but speak of the crabbedness of the times past, upon the which riseth a great increase and augmentation of his praise. But his life so excellently set forth, not only by the writings of the clerks, Cheke and Carre, and by the lively voice of the right famous Dr. Haddon, uttered in this place to the great admiration of all the hearers, when his body should be laid into his grave to be buried; and after his burial, by the godly and most holy preachings of the right reverend father in Christ the archbishop of Canterbury that now is, and of Dr. Redman, the which, for the worthiness and excellency of them, ought to stick longer in our minds unwritten, than many things that are penned and put in print; but also by the great assembly of all the degrees of the university the same day, in bringing him to his grave, and, the next day after, by the industry of every man that was indued with any knowledge in the Greek or Latin tongues; of the which, there was no man but set up some verses, as witness of his just and unfeigned sorrow upon the walls of the church: that neither at that time any reverence or duty which is due to the dead departing out of this life, was then overslipped, or now remaineoverwhelmedhat may seem to pertain either to the celebrating of the memorial of so holy or famous a person, or to the consecrating of him to everlasting memory.

            "We, at that time, saw with our eyes this university flourishing by his institutions, the love of sincere religion not only engendered, but also confirmed and strengthened through his continual and daily preaching. Insomuch, that at such time as he was suddenly taken from us, there was scarce any man that for sorrow could find in his heart to bear with the present state of this life, but that either he wished with all his heart to depart out of this life with Bucer into another, and by dying to follow him into immortality, or else endeavoured himself with weeping and sighing to call him again, being despatched of all troubles, into the prison of this body, out of the which he is escaped, lest he should leave us, as it were, standing in battle-array without a captain, and he himself, as one cashed, depart with his wages; or, as one discharged out of the camp, withdraw himself to the everlasting quietness and tranquillity of the soul. Therefore all men evidently declared at that time, both how sore they took his death to heart, and also how hardly they could away with the misture of such a man.

            "As long as the ardent love of his religion (wherewith we were inflamed) flourished, it wrought in our hearts an incredible desire of his presence among us. But after the time that the godly man ceased to be any more in our sight and in our eyes, that ardent and burning love of religion by little and little waxed cold in our minds, and according to the times that came after, (which were both miserable, and to our utter undoing,) it began little and little to be darkened, but it altogether vanished away, and turned into nothing. For we fell again into the troublesomeness of the popish doctrine; the old rites and customs of the Romish church were restored again, not to the garnishment and beautifying of the Christian religion (as they surmised); but to the utter defacing, violating, and defiling of the same. Death was set before the eyes of such as persevered in the Christian doctrine that they had learned before. They were banished the realm that would not apply themselves to the time, and do as other men did. Such as remained, were enforced either to dissemble, or to hide themselves, and creep into corners; or else, as it were by drinking of the charmed cup of Circe, to be turned and altered, not only from the nature of man into the nature of brute beasts, but (that far worse and much more monstrous is) from the likeness of God and his angels, into the likeness of devils; and all England was infected with this malady. But I would to God the corruption of those times, which overwhelmed all the whole realm, had not at leastwise yet pierced every heart and member thereof; of the which there confirmede but that (besides the grief that it felt, with the residue of the body, by reason of the sickness and contagion spread into the whole) had some sorrow and calamity peculiarly by itself.

            "And to omit the rest, (of the which to entreat this place is not appointed, nor the time requireth aught to be spoken,) this dwelling-place of the Muses (which we call the university) may be a sufficient witness what we may judge of all the rest of the body; for certainly, my brethren, the thing is not to be dissembled, that cannot be hidden. We, applying ourselves to those most filthy times, have most shamefully yielded, like faint-hearted cowards which had not the stomachs to sustain the adversities of poverty, banishment, and death, which in our living and conversation kept neither the constancy taught us by philosophy, nor yet the patience taught us by Holy Scripture, which have done all things at the commandment of others. And therefore that which the poet (although in another sense) hath trimly spoken, may well be thought to have been truly prophesied upon us:


'The times and seasons changed be,
And changed in the same are we.'

            "Divers of them that were of a pure and sincere judgment as concerning religion, being driven from hence and distroubled, the rest that remained tasted and felt of the inhumanity of them in whose hands the authority of doing things here consisted; although, to say the truth, I have used a gentler term than behoved. For it is not to be accounted inhumanity, but rather immanity and beastly cruelty; the which when they had spent all kinds of torments and punishments upon the quick, when they had cruelly taken from such as constantly persevered, life, from others, riches, honours, and all hope of promotion, yet they could not be so satisfied, but that, incensed and stirred with a great fury, it began to outrage even against the dead. Therefore, whereas in every singular place was executed a singular kind of cruelty, insomuch that there was no kind of cruelness that could be devised, but it was put in use in one place or other, this was proper or peculiar to Cambridge, to exercise the cruelty upon the dead, which in other places was extended but to the quick. Oxford burnt up the right reverend fathers, Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer, the noble witnesses of the clear light of the gospel. Moreover at London perished these two lanterns of light, Rogers and Bradford; in whom it is hard to say, whether there were more force of eloquence and utterance in preaching, or more holiness of life and conversation. Many others without number, both here and in other places, were consumed to ashes for bearing record to the truth. For what city is there that hath not flamed, I say not with burning of houses and buildings, but with burning of holy bodies? But Cambridge, after there were no more left alive upon whom they might spew out their bitter poison, played the mad bedlam against the dead! The dead men, whose living no man was able to find fault with, whose doctrine no man was able to reprove, were by false slanderous accusers indicted; contrary to the laws of God and man, sued in the law; condemned; their sepulchres violated and broken up; their carcasses pulled out and burnt with fire! A thing surely incredible, if we had not seen it with our eyes; and a thing that hath not lightly been heard of. But the heinousness of this wicked act was spread abroad as a common talk in every man's mouth, and was blown and dispersed through all Christendom.

            "Bucer, by the excellency of his wit and doctrine known to all men, of our countrymen in manner craved, of many others entreated and sent for, to the intent he might instruct our Cambridge men in the sincere doctrine of the Christian religion, being spent with age, and his strength utterly decayed, forsook his own country; refused not the tediousness of that long journey; was not afraid to adventure himself upon the sea, but had more regard of the dilating and amplifying of the church of Christ, than of all other things. So in conclusion he came: every man received and welcomed him. Afterward he lived in such wise, as it might appear he came not hither for his own sake, but for ours: for he sought not to drive away the sickness that he had taken by troublesome travail of his long journey; and albeit his strength were weakened and appalled, yet he regarded not the recovery of his health, but put himself to immoderate labour and intolerable pain, only to teach and instruct us. And yet toward this so notable and worthy a person, while he lived, were showed all the tokens of humanity and gentleness, reverence and courtesy, that could be; and when he was dead, the most horrible cruelty and spite that might be imagined. For what can be so commendable, as to grant unto the living, house and abiding place, and to the dead, burial? or what is he that will find in his heart to give entainment, and to cherish that person in his house with all kind of gentleness that he can devise, upon whom he could not vouchsafe to bestow burial when he is dead?

            "Again, what an inconstancy is it, with great solemnity, and with much advancement and commendation of his virtues, to bury a man honourably; and anon after to break up his tomb, and pull him out spitefully, and wrongfully to slander him being dead, who, during his lifetime, alway deserved praise! All these things have happened unto Bucer, who, whilst he lived, had free access into the most gorgeous buildings and stately palaces of the greatest princes, and when he was dead, could not be suffered to enjoy so much as his poor grave: who being laid in the ground nobly, to his eternal fame, was afterward, to his utter defacing, spitefully taken up and burned. The which things, albeit they did no harm to the dead, (for the dead carcasses feel not pain, neither doth the fame of godly persons depend upon the report of vulgar people, and the light rumours of men, but upon the rightful censure and just judgment of God,) yet it reproveth an extreme cruelness and unsatiable desire of revengement in them which offer such utter wrong to the dead. These persons, therefore, whom they have pulled out of their graves and burned, I believe (if they had been alive) they would have cast out of house and home; they would have driven out of all men's company, and in the end with most cruel torments have torn them in pieces, being nevertheless aliens, being strangers, and being also fetched hither by us out of such a country, where they not only needed not to fear any punishment, but contrariwise were always had in much reputation, as well among the noble and honourable, as also among the vulgar and common people.

            "But yet how much more gentle than these men was Bishop Gardiner, otherwise an earnest defender of the popish doctrine! who, against his own countrymen, let pass no cruelty whereby he might extinguish with fire and sword the light of the gospel; and yet he spared foreigners, because the right of them is so holy, that there was never nation so barbarous that would violate the same. For when he had in his power the renowned clerk, Peter Martyr, then teaching at Oxford, he would not keep him to punish him, but (as I have heard reported) when he should go his way, he gave him wherewith to bear his charges. So that the thing which he thought he might of right do to his countrymen, he judged unlawful to do to strangers. And whom the law of God could not withhold from the wicked murdering of his own countrymen, him did the law of man bridle from killing of strangers, the which hath ever appeased all barbarous beastliness, and mitigated all cruelty. For it is a point of humanity for man and man to meet together, and one to come to another, though they be never so far separated and set asunder, both by sea and by land, without the which access there can be no intercourse of merchandise, there can be no conference of wits, which first of all engendered learning, nor any commodity of society long to continue. To repulse them that come to us, and to prohibit them our countries, is a point of inhumanity. Now to entreat them evil that by our sufferance dwell among us, and have increase of household and household-stuff, it is a point of wickedness. Wherefore this cruelty hath far surmounted the cruelty of all others, the which, to satisfy the unsatiable greediness thereof, drew to execution not only strangers, brought hither at our entreatance and sending for, but even the withered and rotten carcasses digged out of their graves; to the intent that the immeasurable thirst which could not be quenched with shedding the blood of them that were alive, might at the least be satisfied in burning of dead men's bones. These, my brethren, these, I say, are the just causes which have so sore provoked the wrath of God against us, because that in doing extreme injury to the dead, we have been prone and ready; but in putting the same away, we have been slow and slack. For verily I believe, if I may have liberty to say freely what I think, (ye shall bear with me, if I chance to cast forth any thing unadvisedly in the heat and hasty discourse of my oration,) that even this place, in the which we have so oftentimes assembled, being defiled with that new kind of wickedness, such as man never heard of before, is a let and hinderance unto us when we call for the help of God, by means whereof our prayers are not accepted, which we make to appease the Godhead, and to win him to be favourable unto us again.

            "The blood of Abel shed by Cain, calleth and crieth from the earth that sucked it up: likewise the undeserved burning of these bodies calleth upon Almighty God to punish us; and crieth, that not only the authors of so great a wickedness, but also the ministers thereof, are impure, the places defiled in which these things were perpetrated, the air infected which we take into our bodies, to the intent that by sundry diseases and sicknesses we may receive punishment for so execrable wickedness. Look well about ye, my dear brethren, and consider with yourselves the evils that are past; and ye shall see how they took their beginning at Bucer's death, following one in another's neck even unto this day. First and foremost, when we were even in the chiefest of our mourning, and scarcely yet comforted of our sorrow for his death, the sweating sickness lighted upon us, the which passed swiftly through all England, and as it were in haste despatched an innumerable company of men. Secondly, the untimely death of our most noble King Edward the Sixth, (whose life in virtue surmounted the opinion of all men, and seemed worthy of immortality,) happened contrary to men's expectation in that age in which, unless violence be used, few do die. The conversion of religion, or rather the eversion and turning thereof into papacy: the incursion and domination of strangers, under whose yoke our necks were almost subdued: the importunate cruelty of the bishops against the Christians, which executed that wickedness, for making satisfaction whereof we are gathered together this day: these are the things that ensued after his death. But after his burning ensued yet grievouser things, namely, new kinds of plagues, and contagious diseases unknown to the very physicians, whereby either every man's health was impaired, or else they were brought to their graves, or else very hardly recovered. Bloody battles without victory, whereof the profit redounded to the enemy, and to us the slaughter with great loss. The which things do evidently declare, that God is turned from us, and angry with us, and that he giveth no ear to our prayers, and that he is not moved with our cries and sighs, but that he looketh that this our meeting and assembly should be to this end, that forasmuch as we have violated their corpses, we should do them right again; so that the memorial of these most holy men may be commended unto posterity unhurt and undefamed.

            "Wherefore amend yet at length, my brethren, which hitherto, by reason of the variableness and inconstancy of the times, have been wavering and unstedfast in your hearts; show yourselves cheerful and forward in making satisfaction for the injury you have done to the dead, whom with so great wickedness of late ye endamaged and defiled; not censing them with the perfumes of those odours and spices now worn out of use and put to flight; but with a true and unfeigned repentance of the heart, and with prayer, to the intent that the heavenly Godhead, provoked by our doings to be our enemy, may by our humble submission be entreated to be favourable and agreeable to all our other requests."

            When Acworth had made an end of his oration, Master James Pilkington, the queen's reader of the divinity lecture, going up into the pulpit, made a sermon upon Psalm cxii., the beginning whereof is, Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord. Where, intending to prove that the remembrance of the just man shall not perish, and that Bucer is blessed, and that the ungodly shall fret at the sight thereof, but yet that all their attempts shall be to no purpose, to the intent this saying may be verified, I will curse your blessings, and bless your cursings, he took his beginning of his own person:


The effect of Dr. James Pilkington's sermon.

            "That albeit he were both ready and willing to take that matter in hand, partly for the worthiness of the. matter itself, and especially for certain singular virtues of those persons for whom that congregation was called, yet notwithstanding, he said, he was nothing meet to take that charge upon him. For it were more reason that he, which before had done Bucer wrong, should now make him amends for the displeasure. As for his own part, he was so far from working any evil against Bucer, either in word or deed, that for their singular knowledge almost in all kind of learning, he embraced both him and Phagius with all his heart. But yet he somewhat more favoured Bucer, as with whom he had more familiarity and acquaintance. In consideration whereof, although that it was scarce convenient that he at that time should speak, yet notwithstanding he was contented, for friendship and courtesy' sake, not to fail them in their business.

            "Having made this preface, he entered into the pith of the matter, wherein he blamed greatly the barbarous cruelty of the court of Rome, so fiercely extended against the dead. He said it was a more heinous matter than was to be borne with, to have showed such extreme cruelness to them that were alive; but for any man to misbehave himself in such wise toward the dead, was such a thing as had not lightly been heard of: saving that he affirmed this custom of excommunicating and cursing of dead folk to have come first from Rome. For Evagrius reporteth in his writings, that Eutychius was of the same opinion, induced by the example of Josias, who slew the priests of Baal, and burnt up the bones of them that were dead, even upon the altars: whereas, before the time of Eutychius this kind of punishment was well near unknown, neither afterward usurped of any man (that ever he heard of) until nine hundred years after Christ. In the latter times, (the which how much the further they were from the golden age of the apostles, so much the more they were corrupted,) this kind of cruelness began to creep further: for it is manifestly known, that Stephen, the sixth pope of Rome, digged up Formosus, his last predecessor in that see, and, spoiling him of his pope's apparel, buried him again in a layman's apparel, (as they call it,) having first cut off and thrown into the Tiber his two fingers, with which, according to their accustomed manner, he was wont to bless and consecrate. The which his unspeakable tyranny used against Formosus, within six years after, Sergius the Third increased also against the same Formosus. For taking up his dead body, and setting it in a pope's chair, he caused his head to be smitten off, and his other three fingers to be cut from his hand, and his body to be cast into the river of Tiber, abrogating and disannulling all his decrees; which thing was never done by any man before that day. The cause why so great cruelty was exercised (by the report of Nauclerus) was this: because that Formosus had been an adversary to Stephen and Sergius when they sued to be made bishops.

            "This kind of cruelty (unheard of before) the popes awhile exercised one against another. But now, ere ever they had sufficiently felt the smart thereof themselves, they had turned the same upon our necks. Wherefore it was to be wished, that seeing it began among them, it might have remained still with the authors thereof, and not have been spread over thence unto us. But such is the nature of all evil, that it quickly passeth into example, for others to do the like. For about the year of the Lord 1400, John Wickliff was in like manner digged up, and burnt into ashes, and thrown into a brook that runneth by the town where he was buried. Of the which selfsame sauce tasted also William Tracy of Gloucester, a man of a worshipful house, because he had written in his last will, that he should be saved only by faith in Jesus Christ; and that there needed not the help of any man thereto, whether he were in heaven or in earth; and therefore bequeathed no legacy to that purpose, as all other men were accustomed to do. This deed was done since, we may remember, about the twenty-second year of the reign of King Henry the Eighth, in the year of our Lord 1530.

            "Now seeing they extended such cruelty to the dead, (he said,) it was an easy matter to conjecture what they would do to the living; whereof we have had sufficient trial by the examples of our own men, these few years past: and if we would take the pains to peruse things done somewhat longer ago, we might find notable matters out of their own chronicles. Howbeit, it was sufficient for the manifest demonstration of that matter, to declare the beastly butchery of the French king, executed upon the Waldenses at Cabriers, and the places near thereabout, by his captain Minerius, about the year of our Lord 1545, than the which there was never thing read of more cruelty done, no, not even of the barbarous pagans. And yet for all that, when divers had showed their uttermost cruelty both against these and many others, they were so far from their purpose, in extinguishing the light of the gospel, which they endeavoured to suppress, that it increased daily more and more. The which thing Charles the Fifth (than whom all Christendom had not a more prudent prince, nor the church of Christ almost a sorer enemy) easily perceived; and therefore, when he had in his hand Luther dead, and Melancthon and Pomerane with certain other preachers of the gospel alive, he not only determined not any thing extremely against them, nor violated their graves, but also entreating them gently, sent them away, not so much as once forbidding them to publish openly the doctrine that they professed. For it is the nature of Christ's church, that the more that tyrants spurn against it, the more it increaseth and flourisheth.

            "A notable proof assuredly of the providence and pleasure of God in sowing the gospel, was that coming of the Bohemians unto us, to the intent to hear Wickliff, of whom we spake before, who at that time read openly at Oxford; and also the going of our men to the said Bohemians, when persecution was raised against us. But much more notable was it, that we have seen come to pass in these our days; that the Spaniards, sent for into this realm of purpose to suppress the gospel, as soon as they were returned home replenished many parts of their country with the same truths of religion, to the which before they were utter enemies. By the which examples it might evidently be perceived, that the princes of this world labour in vain to overthrow it, considering how the mercy of God hath sown it abroad, not only in those countries that we spake of, but also in France, Poland, Scotland, and almost all the rest of Europe. For it is said that some parts of Italy, although it be under the pope's nose, yet do they of late incline to the knowledge of the heavenly truth. Wherefore sufficient argument and proof might be taken by the success and increasement thereof, to make us believe that this doctrine is sent us from heaven, unless we will wilfully be blinded.

            "And if there were any that desired to be persuaded more at large in the matter, he might advisedly consider the voyage that the emperor and the pope, with both their powers together, made jointly against the Bohemians; in the which the emperor took such an unworthy repulse of so small a handful of his enemies, that he never almost in all his life took the like dishonour in any place. Hereof also might be an especial example of the death of Henry, king of France, who, the same day that he had purposed to persecute the church of Christ, and to have burned certain of his guard whom he had imprisoned for religion, at whose execution he had promised to have been himself in proper person, in the midst of his triumph at a tourney, was wounded so sore in the head with a spear by one of his own subjects, that ere it was long after he died. In the which behalf, the dreadful judgments of God were no less approved in our own countrymen; for one that was a notable slaughter-man of Christ's saints, rotted alive, and ere ever he died, such a rank savour steamed from all his body, that none of his friends were able to come at him, but they were ready to vomit. Another, being in utter despair well nigh of all health, howled out miserably. The third ran out of his wits; and divers other that were enemies to the church perished miserably in the end. All the which things were most certain tokens of the favour and defence of the divine Majesty towards his church, and of his wrath and vengeance towards the tyrants.

            "And forasmuch as he had made mention of the Bohemians, he said it was a most apt example that was reported of their captain, Zisca; who, when he should die, willed his body to be flayed, and of his skin to make a parchment to cover the head of a drum. For it should come to pass, that when his enemies heard the sound of it, they should not be able to stand against them. The like counsel (he said) he himself now gave them as concerning Bucer; that like as the Bohemians did with the skin of Zisca, the same should they do with the arguments and doctrine of Bucer. For as soon as the papists should hear the noise of him, their gewgaws would forthwith decay. For saving that they used violence to such as withstood them, their doctrine contained nothing that might seem to any man (having but mean understanding in Holy Scripture) to be grounded upon any reason.

            "As for those things that were done by them against such as could not play the mad-men as well as they, some of them savoured of open force, and some of ridiculous foolishness. For what was this, first of all? Was it not frivolous, that by the space of three years together, mass should be sung in those places where Bucer and Phagius rested in the Lord, without any offence at all? and as soon as they took it to be an offence, straightway to be an offence, if any were heard there? or that it should not be as good then as it was before? as if that then upon the sudden it had been a heinous matter to celebrate it in that place, and that the fault that was past should be counted the grievouser, because it was done of longer time before. Moreover, this was a matter of none effect, that Bucer and Phagius only should be digged up, as who should say, that they only had embraced the religion which they called heresy. It was well known how one of the burgesses of the town had been minded toward the popish religion; who, when he should die, willed neither ringing of bells, diriges, nor any other such kind of trifles to be done for him in his anniversary, as they term it, but rather that they should go with instruments of music before the mayor and council of the city, to celebrate his memorial, and also that yearly a sermon should be made to the people, bequeathing a piece of money to the preacher for his labour. Neither might he omit in that place to speak of Ward the painter, who albeit he were a man of no reputation, yet was he not to be despised for the religion's sake which he diligently followed. Neither were divers other more to be passed over with silence, who were known of a certainty to have continued in the same sect, and to rest in other church-yards in Cambridge, and rather through the whole realm, and yet defiled not their masses at all. All the which persons (forasmuch as they were all of one opinion) ought all to have been taken up, or else all to have been let lie with the same religion: unless a man would grant that it lieth in their power to make what they list lawful and unlawful, at their own pleasure.

            "In the condemnation of Bucer and Phagius, to say the truth, they used too much cruelty, and too much violence. For howsoever it went with the doctrine of Bucer, certainly they could find nothing whereof to accuse Phagius, inasmuch as he wrote nothing that came abroad, saving a few things that he had translated out of the Hebrew and Chaldee tongues into Latin. After his coming into the realm he never read, he never disputed, he never preached, he never taught; for he deceased soon after, so that he could in that time give no occasion for his adversaries to take hold on, whereby to accuse him whom they never heard speak. In that they hated Bucer so deadly, for the allowable marriage of the clergy, it was their own malice conceived against him, and a very slander raised by themselves: for he had for his defence in that matter (over and besides other helps) the testimony of Pope Pius the Second, who in a certain place saith, that upon weighty considerations priests' wives were taken from them, but for more weighty causes were to be restored again. And also the statute of the emperor, they call it the Interim, by the which it is enacted, that such of the clergy as were married, should not be divorced from their wives.

            "Then, turning his style from this matter to the university, he reproved in few words their unfaithfulness towards these men. For if the Lord suffered not the bones of the king of Edom, being a wicked man, to be taken up and burnt without revengement, (as saith Amos,) let us assure ourselves he will not suffer so notable a wrong done to his godly preachers, unrevenged.

            "Afterward, when he came to the condemnation, (which we told you in the former action was pronounced by Perne, the vice-chancellor, in the name of them all,) being somewhat more moved at the matter, he admonished them how much it stood them in hand, to use great circumspectness, what they decreed upon any man by their voices, in admitting or rejecting any man to the promotions and degrees of the university. For that he which should take his authority from them, should be a great prejudice to all the other multitude, which (for the opinion that he had of their doctrine, judgment, allowance, and knowledge) did think nothing but well of them. For it would come to pass, that if they would bestow their promotions upon none but meet persons, and let the unmeet go as they come, both the commonwealth should receive much commodity and profit by them, and besides that, they should highly please God. But, if they persisted to be negligent in doing thereof, they should grievously endamage the commonweal, and worthily work their own shame and reproach. Over and besides that, they should greatly offend the majesty of God, whose commandment, not to bear false witness, they should in so doing break and violate."

            In the mean while that he was speaking these and many other things before his audience, many of the university, to set out and defend Bucer withal, beset the walls of the church and church-porch on both sides with verses; some in Latin, some in Greek, and some in English; in the which they made a manifest declaration how they were minded both toward Bucer and Phagius. Finally, when his sermon was ended, they made common supplication and prayers. After thanks rendered to God for many other things, but in especial for restoring of the true and sincere religion, every man departed his way.


The despiteful handling and madness of the papists toward Peter Martyr's wife at Oxford, taken up from her grave at the commandment of Cardinal Pole, and after buried in a dunghill.

Illustration -- Peter martyr's Wife Exhumed


ND because the one university should not mock the other, like cruelty was also declared upon the dead body of Peter Martyr's wife at Ox-r• ford, an honest, grave, and sober matron, while she lived, and of poor people always a great helper, as many that be dwelling there can right well testify. In the year of our Lord 1552 she departed this life, with great sorrow of all those needy persons, whose necessities many times and often she had liberally eased and relieved. Now when Brooks, bishop of Gloucester, Nicholas Ormanet, datary, Robert Morewen, president of Corpus-Christi College, Cole and Wright, doctors of the civil law, came thither as the cardinal's visitors, they, among other things, had in commission to take up this good woman again out of her grave, and to consume her carcass with fire, not doubting but that she was of the same religion that her husband had professed before, when he read the king's lecture there. And to make a show that they would do nothing disorderly, they called all those before them, that had any acquaintance with her or her husband. They ministered an oath unto them, that they should not conceal whatsoever was demanded. In fine, their answer was, that they knew not what religion she was of, by reason they understood not her language:

            To be short, after these visitors had sped the business they came for, they gat them to the cardinal again, certifying him that, upon due inquisition made, they could learn nothing upon which by the law they might burn her. Notwithstanding the cardinal did not leave the matter so, but wrote down his letters a good while after to Marshal, then dean of Frideswide's, that he should dig her up, and lay her out of Christian burial, because she was interred nigh unto St. Frideswide's relics, sometime had in great reverence in that college. Dr. Marshal, like a pretty man, calling his spades and mattocks together in the evening, when he was well whittled, caused her to be taken up and buried in a dunghill.

            Howbeit, when it pleased God under good Queen Elizabeth to give quietness to his church, long time persecuted with prison and death, then Dr. Parker, archbishop of Canterbury, Edmund Grindall, bishop of London, Richard Goodrick, with divers others her Majesty's high commissioners in matters of religion, (nothing ignorant how far the adversaries of the truth had transgressed the bounds of all humanity, in violating the sepulchre or grave of that good and virtuous woman,) willed certain of that college in the which this uncourteous touch was attempted or done, to take her out of that unclean and dishonest place where she lay, and solemnly, in the face of the whole town, to bury her again in a more decent and honest monument. For though the body being once dead, no great estimation were to be had, how or where the bones were laid; yet was some reverence to be used towards her for sex and womanhood sake. Besides, to say the truth, it was great shame, that he which had travelled so far, at King Edward's request, from the place wherein he dwelt quietly, and had taken so earnest pains (being an old man) in reading and setting forth the truth all he could, with learning to teach and instruct, and so well deserved of that university, should, with so ungentle a recompence of ingratitude, be rewarded again, as to have his wife, that was a godly woman, a stranger, good to many, especially to the poor, and hurtful to none, either in word or deed, without just deserving, and beside their own law, not proceeding against her according to the order thereof, spitefully to be laid in a stinking dunghill.

            To all good natures the fact seemed odious, and of such as be endued with humanity, utterly to be abhorred. Wherefore Master James Calfield, then sub-dean of the college, diligently provided, that from Marshal's dunghill she was restored and translated to her proper place again, yea, and withal coupled her with Frideswide's bones, that in case any cardinal will be so mad hereafter to remove this woman's bones again, it shall be hard for them to discern the bones of her from the other. And to the intent the same might be notified to the minds of men the better, the next day after, which was Sunday, Master Rogerson preached unto the people, in which sermon by the way he declared the rough dealing of the adversaries, which were not contented to practise their cruelty against the living, but that they must also rage against one that was dead, and had lain two years in her grave. God grant them once to see their own wickedness. Amen.


Previous Next