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934 [934]

Actes and Monumentes of the churche

straunge kind of torment, which (as I suppose) passeth Phalaris Bulles. Bicause ther should no kinde of extreme crueltye be left vnassayde, 

Commentary  *  Close

The Portuguese records state that torture was applied to Gardiner, but they do not describe the tortures. The tortures described by Foxe have a grim plausibility since conventional tortures could not be used on a severely wounded man.

they caused a linnen clothe to be sowed round like a ball, the whiche they with violence put downe his throte vnto the bottome of his stomake, tyed with a small strynge, whiche they helde in theyre handes. And when it was downe, they pulled it vppe agayne, and so plucked it too and fro, throughe the priuye meate pypes, thus vexing hys lyfe, that wyth lesse torment the guttes myght haue bene broken.

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Thus at the laste, all tormentes and tormentours beyng weryed, and that it dyd nothynge at all preuayle to goe thys waye to woorke, they asked hym whether hee dyd not repente his wicked and seditious dede. As touchinge the deede, he aunswered, that it was so farre of, that he dyd not repente, that if it were to doe againe, he thoughte he should doe the same. But as touchinge the maner of the deede, he was not a little sorye that it was doone in the kynges presence, to the disquietnesse of his mynde. Howbeit that was not to bee imputed vnto him, whiche neyther enterprised or thoughte vppon any such matter, but rather to be ascribed vnto the kyng, in that he hauing power, would not prohibite so great Idolatrye vsed amonge his people. Thys hee spake with great feruencye. After they hadde vsed all kinde of tormentes, and saw that there coulde nothing more be gathered of hym, and also that throughe his woundes and paynes he could not long liue, they brought hym three dayes after to execution. And fyrste of all, bringinge him into the Vestrye, cutte of hys righte hande, whiche he taking vp with his left hande, kissed. Then he was brought into the market place, whereas his other hande also was cutte of, whiche he kneling downe vppon the grounde, also kissed. These thinges thus doone, after the maner and fashion of Spaine, his armes being bounde behinde him, and his feete vnder the horse belly, he was caryed to the place of execution.

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There was in that place a certaine engyne, whereuppon a greate rope comminge downe throughe a whele, was fastened aboute the myddle of this Christian Martyr, which first pulled him vppe: then was there a great pile of woode sette on fire vnderneath hym, into the which he was by little and lyttle let down, not with the whole body, but so that hys feete onelye felte the fyre. Then he was pulled vppe againe, and so lette downe again into the fire, and thus oftentimes pulled vp and downe: in whiche great torment, for all that he continued with a constante spirite: and the more vehemently that he burned, the more vehementlyehe praied.

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At the laste when his feete were consumed, the tormentours asked hym, whether he dyd not yet repente him of his deede, and exhorted hym to call vppon oure Lady and the sainctes: whereunto hee aunswered, that as he hadde doone nothynge, whereof he dyd repente him, so he hadde the lesse neede of the helpe of oure Ladye, or anye other Sayncte: and lette theym vse what externall tormentes so euer they woulde, the truthe (he sayde) remayneth alwaies one, and lyke vnto it selfe, the whiche as he had before confessed in his lyfe, so would hee not nowe denye it in his deathe, desyring theym to leaue of suche vanityes and follye. for when as Christe dyd ceasse anye more to be oure aduocate, then he woulde praye to oure Ladye to bee oure aduocate, and sayde: O eternall GOD, father of all mercies, I beseche thee looke downe vppon thy seruaunt &c. And when as they soughte by all meanes possible to lette hym, prayinge and praysing GOD in this sorte, he cryed oute with a loude voyce, reheasinge the. xliii. Psalme. Iudica me deus & discerne causam meam, de gente non sancta. &c

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He was not come vnto the latter endynge of the Psalme, when as they pullinge hym vppe and downe in the fyre, for the more torment, the rope beinge burnte in sonder, he fel downe in the myddest thereof, whereas geuinge his bodye for a Sacrifice, hee chaunged hys temporall paynes for perpetuall rest and quyetnesse.

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Thus it seamed good in the sighte of God, by this messenger, to styrre vp the Portugales to the sincere knowledge of hym, wherby they mighte the better acknowledge the great loue and kindnesse of GOD, offred vnto them, and also bee mindefull of their owne duetye and thankefulnesse. And if it be so greate an offense to vyolate the ordinaunces of mannes lawe, and to contemne the Ambassadours of kinges and Princes, lette the Portingales looke wel vnto it, what it is, so cruellye to handle the heauenlye messenger of the highe GOD. 

Commentary  *  Close

Once again, Foxe is anxious to describe providential punishments befalling persecutors and here the reason why is obvious: the actions of Providence 'prove' that Gardiner was indeed a martyr of God.

Neither dooe I doubte, but that ere this daye, manye of them haue repented (although to late) of theyr cruell facte, whome euen these oure daies might sufficiently instruct vnto a better mind, althoughe they were not touched wyth anye punishmente of the diuine vengeaunce. But nowe it is euidente that this theyre crueltye was not altogether vnreuenged, when as not onelye the verye same nighte, amonges diuers of the kinges shippes, whiche were in the next hauen, readye to sayle, one was burned, beyng sette on fire by a sparckle of Gardiners fire, driuen thether with the wynde, but also the kinge himselfe, within three or foure monethes after the martirdome of the saide Gardiner, died. 
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In the Rerum (p. 208) and 1563 (p. 878), Foxe stated that João III died three or four months after Gardiner's execution. In later editions, Foxe modified that statement to the one year given here. In actual fact, the Infante died in January 1554 and João III in June 1557.

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Thus
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