401. ONE DABNEY, A PAINTER.
There was at London a certain honest godly person, a painter, named Dabney, whom John Avales, in the time of Queen Mary, had brought before Bonner, to be examined for his faith. It happened the same time, as the said Dabney was there, that the bishop was occupied with the examination of others, so that he was bid to stand by, and to wait the bishop's leisure. Upon the same, or not long after, suddenly cometh word to the bishop to prepare him in all speed; the general procession tarried for him. The bishop hearing that, setting all business apart, bustleth himself with all speed possible to the church, there to furnish the procession; by reason whereof Dabney, who newly came to the house, was there left alone, while every man else was busied in preparing and setting themselves forward, according as the case required.
To be short, as the time called on, Bonner with his household maketh haste so fast as they can, out of the doors to the procession. Dabney, being left alone, cometh down to the outward court next the gate, there walking with himself all heavy, looking for nothing less than to escape that danger. The porter, who was only left at home, seeing the man to walk alone, supposing he had been some citizen there left behind and waiting for opening the gate, went and opened the wicket, asking if he would go out. "Yea," said he, "with a good will, if ye will let me out." "With all my heart," quoth the porter, "and I pray you so do."
And thus the said Dabney, taking the occasion offered of God, being let out by the porter, escaped out of the wolf's mouth. The procession being done, when the bishop returned home, Dabney was gone, and could not be fonnd: whereupon search was made. But especially John Avales laid much privy wait for him; who, after long searching, when he could not get him, at length received fifteen crowns of his wife, to let him alone when he should see him; and so that good man escaped.