361. AMBROSE (FIRST NAME UNKNOWN), RICHARD LUSH, THOMAS READ, SIMON MILLER AND ELIZABETH COOPER
One Ambrose, a confessor, who died in Maidstone prison.
After these ten above-named, burnt at Lewes, about the same time and month one Ambrose died in Maidstone prison, who else should have been burnt in the like cause and quarrel as the others were.
The condemnation and martyrdom of Richard Lush.
In the registers of Gilbert, bishop of Bath and Wells, I find a certificate made to King Philip and Queen Mary, of one Richard Lush, there condemned and given to the secular power to be burnt for the cause of heresy, whose affirmations in the said certificate be expressed in tenor and effect as followeth:--
"First, For denying the verity of the body and blood of Christ in the sacrament of the altar.
"2. Item, For denying auricular confession to be made to the priest.
"3. Item, For affirming only to be three sacraments; to wit, of baptism, of the supper, and of matrimony.
"4. Item, For refusing to call the Lord's supper by the name of the sacrament of the altar.
"5. Item, For denying purgatory; and that prayer and alms profit not the dead.
"6. Item, That images are not to be suffered in the church; and that all that kneel to images at the church be idolaters.
"7. Item, That they which were burnt of late for religion, died God's servants and good martyrs.
"8. Item, For condemning the single life of priests, and other votaries.
"9. Item, For denying the universal and catholic church; meaning belike the church of Rome."
For these assertions, as there are expressed, he was condemned and connnitted to the sheriffs, and also a certificate directed by the bishop aforesaid, to the king and queen: whereby we have apparently to understand, that the said Richard Lush, thus condemned by Bishop Bourn, was there burnt and executed, unless peradventure in the mean season he died, or was made away in the prison; whereof I have no certainty to express.
A note of Thomas Read.
Thomas Read, (who was burnt at Lewes, as it appeareth above,) before he was in prison, determined with himself to go to church. The night following he saw a vision, a company of tall young men in white, very pleasant to behold; to whom he would have joined himself, but it would not be. Then he looked on himself, and he was full of spots: and therewith waked, and took hold, and stood to the truth; God be thanked there-for! And so constantly was burned with his fellows, as is above specified.
The burning of Simon Miller and Elizabeth Cooper, at Norwich.
In the month of July, next ensued the martyrdom of Simon Miller and Elizabeth Cooper. This Simon dwelling in the town of Lynn, a godly and zealous man in the knowledge of the Lord and of his truth, detesting and abhorring the contrary enforced religion then set forth, came from Lynn to Norwich, where he, standing in the press, and hearing of the people, coming out the same time from their popish service ended in the church, began to ask them coming out of the church, where he might go to have the communion. At which words, divers much marvelling to hear and see his boldness, one that was an evil-disposed papist bearing the same, said, that if he would needs go to a communion, he would go bring him thither where he should be sped of his purpose. Whereupon, shortly after, he was brought to the chancellor of Norwich, whose name was Dunning, who, after a few words, and small talk passed with this examinate, committed him to ward.
In the mean while as he was in examination, he had in his shoe his confession, written in a certain paper, whereof a piece appearing above his shoe, was spied and taken out. The chancellor asking if he would stand to the confession of the same faith therein contained, he constantly affirmed the same; whereupon, as is said, he was committed. Thus the said Simon being in the bishop's house, under custody of the keeper there, called Master Felow, how it happened it is not certain, whether by gentleness of the keeper, (who was somewhat gentle that ways,) or by leave given of the bishop, or else whether he had condescended of a purpose to their articles, he was dismissed, and went home to his house at Lynn; where he continued a certain space, while he had disposed and set there all things in order.
That done, he returned again to the bishop's house to his prison and keeper, till the time. At length he, constantly abiding in his professed purpose, and defence of God's truth, was, by the said bishop and his chancellor, condemned and committed to the fire about the thirteenth day of July.
With this Simon Miller also was burnt one Elizabeth Cooper, (as is aforesaid,) a pewterer's wife, dwelling in St. Andrew's parish, in Norwich, where she had before recanted; and being unquiet for the same, and greatly troubled inwardly, at the last she came into the said St. Andrew's church, the people being at their popish service; and there standing in the same, said she revoked her recantation before made in that place, and was heartily sorry that ever she did it, willing the people not to be deceived, neither to take her doings before for an example, &c. These, or such-like words, she spake in the church.
Then cried one Bacon of the said parish, laying his arms abroad, saying, "Master Sheriff! will you suffer this?" and repeating the same, urged him to go from the church to her house, at whose knocking she came down, and was taken and sent to prison.
The sheriff (named Master Thomas Sutton) and she had been servants together before in one house, and for the friendship he bare unto her, and the more for the gospel's sake, he was very loth to do it, but that he was enforced by those other persons before specified, much against his own conscience, which he now earnestly repenteth.
This good woman being condemned, and at the stake with Simon Miller, to be burnt, when the fire came unto her, she a little shrank thereat, with a voice crying, "Hah!" When the said Simon Miller heard the same, he put his hand behind him toward her, and willed her to be strong and of good cheer: "for, good sister," said he, "we shall have a joyful and a sweet supper: "whereat she, being as it seemed thereby strengthened, stood as still and as quiet as one most glad to finish that good work which before most happily she had begun. So, in fine, she ended her life with her companion joyfully, committing her soul into the hands of Almighty God.