466. THE MARTYRDOM OF ONE SNEL, BURNT ABOUT RICHMOND IN QUEEN MARY'S TIME, OMITTED IN THIS HISTORY.
At Bedale, a market town in Yorkshire, were two men in the latter days of Queen Mary, the one named John Snel and the other Richard Snel; who, being suspected for religion, were sent unto Richmond, where Dr. Dakins had commission from the bishop of Chester, to have the examination of them.
This Dr. Dakins many times conferred with them, sometimes threatening fire and faggot if they would not recant, and sometimes flattering them with fair fables if they would return into the holy catholic church. But they stood constantly to the sure rock Jesus Christ, in whom they put their whole trust and confidence, whilst at last, being so sore imprisoned that their toes rotted off, and the one of them could not go without crutches, they brought them to the church by compulsion, where the one of them heard their abominable mass, having a certain sum of money given him by the benevolence of the people, and so departed thence: but the first news that was heard of him within three or four days, was, that he had drowned himself in a river running by Richmond, called Swaile.
Immediately; after, Dr. Dakins giving sentence that the other should be burnt, came home to his house and never joyed after, but died. The commissary of Richmond, named Hillings, preached at his burning, exhorting him to return to the church; but his labour was in vain, the constant martyr standing strongly to the faith which he professed.
Then, being brought to the stake, whereunto he was tied by a girdle of iron, there was given unto him gunpowder, and a little straw was laid under his feet and set round about with small wood and tar-barrels; the fire was put in the straw, which by and by flaming about his head, he cried thrice together, "Christ help me:" insomuch that one Robert Atkinson, being present, said, "Hold fast there, and we will all pray for thee!" Thus this blessed martyr ended his life.