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1219 [1219]

K. Hen. 8. The Martyrdome of Iohn Fryth, & Andr. Hewet. Tho. Benet, Martyr.

to sell all that he had in Essex, MarginaliaTibaulde inioyned, not to come within vij. myle of hys house.for the tenour of his Iniunctiō was, that he should not come within. vij. miles of his owne house, and the foresayde Chapman, after v. wekes imprisonment (wherof three wekes hee satte in the stockes) by muche sute made vnto the Lorde Chauncellour, which at that tyme was Lord Audley, after many threatninges, was deliuered: 

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Chapman was eventually freed through the intervention of Sir Thomas Audley, More's successor as Lord Chancellor. Why he would put pressure on London's ecclesiastical machine is unknown, although Susan Brigden supplies a hint that Chapman and others had found favour with the new queen, Anne Boleyn (see, S. Brigden, London and the Reformation (Oxford, 1989), p.197). Huet had found no such favour, which suggests that he was a disciple of Frith and considered a sacramentarian (which condemned him in the eyes of the king).

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but the sayde Andrew Hewet, after longe and cruell imprisonment, was condempned to death and burned with Ihon Fryth: whose examination here followeth.

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MarginaliaAndrewe Hewet brought and examined before the Byshop.The. xx. daye of the moneth of Aprill, Andrewe Hewet was brought before the Chauncelour of London 

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Huet's examination before Stokesley, Longland and Gardiner is very similar to Frith's, and his beliefs on the eucharist seem to feature heavily.

, where was obiected againste hym, that he beleued the Sacrament of the Altar after the consecration, to be but a signification of the bodye of Christe, and that the host consecrated was not the verye bodye of Christ. Now, for somuch as this article seemed hainous vnto them, they would do nothing in it without the consent of learned counsaill. Whereupon the Bishop of London, associate with the Bishops of Lincolne and Winchester, called him again before them. Where he being demaunded what he thought as touchinge the Sacrament of the last supper, aunswered: euen as Ihon Fryth doth. Then sayd one of the Byshops vnto him: doost thou not beleue that it is really þe body of Christ, borne of þe Virgin Mary? 
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Foxe provides here some details of the Huet examination. It seems that he was being manoeuvred into admitting more than sacramentarian beliefs. There were many ancient heresies, like monophysitism, which denied one or the other aspect of Christ's dual nature and these accusations were often thrown around in controversial writings. It seems Huet fell into this trap, much to the bishops' amusement.

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So (saith he) do not I beleue. Why not sayd the Bishop? MarginaliaChrist not to be beleued to be really in the Sacrament.Because (sayth he) Christ cōmaunded me, not to geue credit rashly vnto all men, which sayth: beholde here is Christ, and there is Christ, for manye false Prophets shall ryse vp sayeth the Lorde.

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Then certaine of the Byshops smiled at hym, and Stokesley the Bishop of London said: why, Frith is an hereticke, and alreadye iudged to bee burned, and excepte thou doe reuoke thyne opinion, thou shalt bee burned also with hym. Truely (sayd hee) I am contended therwithall. Then the Bishop asked him if he would forsake his opinions. MarginaliaHewet heldeth with Iohn Frith.Wherunto he aunswered, that he would do as Fryth dyd. Wherupō he was sent vnto the prison to Frith, and afterward they were caried together to þe fire. The Bishops vsed manye perswasions to allure this good man from the truth, to follow them: MarginaliaHewet constant in the fayth.but he manfully persysting in the truth, would not recant. Wherfore, the. iiij. day of Iuly at after none, he was caried into Smithfeld wt Frith, and there burned. MarginaliaHewet burned with Iohn Fryth.When they were at the stake, one Doctor Cooke a person in Londō, openly admonished all the people, that they shoulde in no wyse praye for them, no more thē they would do for a dogge. 

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Foxe mentioned Dr John Coke here, the rector of All Hallow's Honey Lane, who had been imprisoned with Frith for a time. Coke was not a heretic, however, but a reactionary Catholic who opposed the royal supremacy and the divorce. He was probably well aware of Frith and Huet's opinions and considered them dangerous subversives.

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At which wordes Fryth smiling, desired the Lorde to forgeue hym. These hys woordes dyd not a little moue the people vnto anger, and not without good cause. Thus these two blessed Martyrs committed theyr soules into the handes of God.

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¶ The Historie of the persecution and death of Thomas Benet burned in Exeter, collected and testified by Iohn Vowell, alias Hoker. 
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Thomas Benet

This account of Thomas Dusgate provides a striking example of the important contribution individual informants made to Foxe's book. Dusgate (or Benet) had not been previously mentioned by any Protestant writer, including Bale. And, in fact, Foxe did not mention Dusgate in the Rerum or in the 1563 edition. Yet sometime between 1563 and 1570, two informants sent accounts to Foxe of this Henrician martyr. One of these informants was John Vowell (or Hooker), a celebrated antiquary and local historian. This account forms the basis for Foxe's entire account of Dusgate; it was never changed by the martyrologist. The other account of Dusgate was sent to Foxe by Ralph Morice, who had been Thomas Cromwell's principal secretary and became an important source for Foxe. (Morice's account of Dusgate survives among Foxe's papers as BL, Harley MS 419, fo.125r-v). Although Foxe did not make use of Morice's account, it contains important information about the martyr. Most notably, it was Morice who established that the Thomas Dusgate who attended Cambridge was the same person as Thomas Benet the martyr. (Upon resigning his fellowship at Corpus Christi College, Dusgate changed his name to Benet. This was a reference to his former college, which was also known as Benet's College, because its fellows were attached to the neighbouring church of St Benet. Hooker knew of Dusgate's Cambridge background, but he did not know that Benet's real name was Dusgate). Morice also relates that Dusgate, while still a fellow at Corpus, visited Martin Luther and that Dusgate resigned his fellowship because he was unwilling to take holy orders and remain celibate.

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Thomas S. Freeman

MarginaliaTho. Benet of Exeter, Martyr.THis Tho. Benet 

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Thomas Dusgate changed his name to Thomas Benet upon leaving Cambridge (see the ODNB article on Thomas Dusgate).

was borne in Cābridge, & by order of degree of þe Vniuersitie, there made master of Art & (as some thinke) was also a Priest 
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Dusgate certainly did not become a priest; Morice makes it clear that he left Cambridge to avoid taking holy orders (stating that Dusgate was 'very moche combered with the concupissence of the fleshe' and refused to enter holy orders, then obligatory for all fellows (BL, Harley MS 419, fo. 125r)). A Dusgate (no first name given) proceded MA at Cambridge in 1524 (Grace Book B. ii. 94).

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, a mā doubtles very wel learned and of a godly dispositiō, beyng of the acquaintaunce and familiaritie of Thomas Bilney the famous and glorious Martyr of Christ. 
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Bilney was active in Cambridge at this time and Dusgate's visit to Luther certainly indicates his evangelical sympathies.

This man, the more hee did grow and encrease in the knowledge of God and his holy word, the more he did mislike and abhorre the corrupte state of Religion then vsed, 
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Ralph Morice states that Dusgate left Cambridge because he was 'very moche combered with the concupissence of the fleshe' and refused to enter holy orders, then obligatory for all fellows (BL, Harley MS 419, fo. 125r).

and therfore thinkyng his owne coūtrey 
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'Country' in the sixteenth century could mean county or region, as it does here.

to be no safe place for hym to remaine in, and beyng desirous to lyue in more fredome of conscience, MarginaliaTho. Benet, comming from Cambridge to Deuonshyre.he did forsake þe Vniuersitie & went into Deuonshyre, in the yeare of our Lord. 1524. and first dwelled in a market towne named Torriton, both towne & countrey beyng to hym altogether vnknowen, as he also was vnknowē to all men there. Where for the better maintenaūce of him self and hys wife, he did practise to teache young children and kept a schole for the same purpose. MarginaliaBenet came to Exeter.But that towne not seruyng his expectation, after hys abode one yeare there, he came to the Citie of Excester, and there hyryng an house in a streete called the Bocherow, did exercise the teachyng of children, and by that meanes susteyned his wife & familie. He was of a quiet behauiour, of a godly conuersation, and a very courteous nature, humble to all men & offensiue to no body. His greatest delite was to be at all Sermons and preachynges, wherof he was a diligent and an attentiue hearer. The tyme which hee had to spare from teachyng, he gaue holy to his priuate study in the Scriptures, hauyng no dealynges nor conferences with any body, sauyng with such as he could learne and vnderstand to be fauorers of the Gospell & zelous of Gods true Religion: of such he would be inquisitiue & most desirous to ioyne hym selfe vnto them. MarginaliaWilliam Strowde prisoned in Exeter for Gods worde.And therfore vnderstandyng that one Williāā Strowde of Newnham in the Countie of Deuonshyre Esquyre, was committed to the Byshops prison in Exeter vpon suspicion of heresie, although he were neuer before acquainted with hym, yet dyd he send hys letters of comforte and consolation vnto hym. Wherein, to auoyde all suspicion whiche might be conceiued of hym, he dyd disclose him self, and vttered what he was, and the causes of hys beyng in the countrey, writing among other thynges these wordes: MarginaliaBenet why he maryed.Vt ne scortator aut immundus essem, vxorem duxi, cum qua hisce sex annis, ab istorum Antichristianorum manibus in deuonia latitaui. That is to say, because I would not be a whoremonger or an vncleane person, therfore I maryed a wife, with whom I haue hydden my selfe in Deuonshyre from the tyrannye of the Antichristians, MarginaliaAntichristians are those which are against Christ.these sixe yeares.

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But as euery tree & herbe hath his due time to bring forth his frute, so did it apeare by this mā. For he dayly seing the glory of God to be so blasphemed, idolatrous religion so embraced and mainteyned, & that most false vsurped power of þe Byshop of Rome so extolled, was so greued in conscience and troubled in his spirite, that he could not be quiet vntil he did vtter his mind therin. Wherfore dealyng priuatly with certeine of his frēds, he did playnly opē and disclose how blasphemously and abominablye God was dishonored, his worde contempned, and hys people whom hee so dearely bought, were by blynd guides, caryed hedlong to euerlastyng dampnation, and therefore he could no longer endure, but must nedes and would vtter their abhominations, MarginaliaThe godly zele of Thomas Benet.& for his own part, for the testimony of his conscience, and for the defence of Gods true Religion, would yeld hym selfe most patiently (as nere as God would geue him grace) to dye & to shede hys bloud therin, alleaging that his death should be more profitable to the Church of God and for the edifiyng of hys people, then hys lyfe should be. To whose persuasiōs when his frendes had yelded, they promised to pray to God for hym, that hee might bee strong in the cause, and continue a faythfull souldiour to the ende. Whiche done, hee gaue order for the bestowyng of such bookes as he had, and very shortly after, in the moneth of October, he wrote his mynde in certeine scroles of paper, whiche in secret maner hee set vp vppon the doores of the Cathedrall Churche of the Citie: in whiche was written: MarginaliaThe Pope is Antichrist.The Pope is Antichrist, and we ought to worshyp God onely, and no Saintes.

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MarginaliaBenet setteth by billes against the pope.These Billes being found, there was no smal adoe, and no litle searche made for the inquirye of the hereticke that should set vp these Bils: and the Maior and and hys Officers were not so busie to make searches to finde this hereticke, but the Byshop and all his Doctours were as hoate as coales, & enkindled as though they had ben stonge with a sorte of waspes. Wherfore to kepe the people in theyr former blindnes, order was taken that the Doctours should in hast, vp to the pulpit euery holyday, and confute this heresie. Neuerthelesse this Thomas Benet kepyng hys owne doynges in secrete, went the Sonday folowyng to the Cathedrall Churche to the Sermon, and by chaunce sat downe by

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