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1264 [1264]

K. Henry. 8. The storye and life of William Tyndall, Martyr.

dall sittyng at the same table, did vse many tymes to enter communication and talke of learned men, as of Luther and of Erasmus: Also of diuers other controuersies and questions vpon the Scripture.

MarginaliaTyndall disputyng with the Doctors.Then M. Tyndall, as he was learned and well practised in Gods matters, so he spared not to shewe vnto them simply and playnly his iudgement in matters, as he thought: and when as they at any tyme did varye frō Tyndall in opinions & iudgement, he would shewe thē in the booke, & lay playnly before thē the open & manifest places of þe Scriptures, to confute their erours, & to confirme his sayinges. And thus cōtinued they for a certain seasō, reasonyng & cōtending together diuers & sundry tymes, till at length they waxed wery, & bare a secret grudge in their hartes agaynst hym.

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Not long after this, it happened that certaine of these great Doctors had inuited M. Welche and hys wife to a banket: where they had talke at will and pleasure, vttering their blyndes and ignoraunce without any resistance or gaynsaying. Then M. Welche and hys wife comming home and calling for M. Tyndall, began to reason with him about those matters, wherof þe priestes had talked before at theyr banket. MarginaliaTyndall instructeth M. Welch and his wife in the truth.M. Tyndall aunswering by scriptures, mayntayned the truth, and reproued theyr false opiniōs. Thē sayd the Lady Welch, a stout and a wyse woman (as Tyndall reported) Well (sayd she) there was such a Doctor which may dispend a C. l. and an other. ij. C. l. and an other. iij. C. l. and what? were it reason, thinke you, that we should beleue you before them? M. Tyndall gaue her no aunswere at that time, nor also after that (because he sawe it would not auayle) he talked but litle in those matters. MarginaliaEnchiridion, a booke of Erasmus translated by Tyndall.At that tyme he was about the translation of a booke called Enchiridion militis Christiani, which beynge translated 

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This is, of course, Erasmus's celebrated Enchiridion. It is unlikely that Tyndale was the translator of the edition of this work printed by Wynkyn de Worde in 1533 and if Tyndale did translate Erasmus's spiritual handbook, then his translation is now lost.

he delyuered to hys Maister and Lady. Who after they had read and well perused the same, the Doctorly Prelates were no more so often called to the house, neither had they the cheare and countenaunce whē they came, as before they had. Which thyng they markyng and well perceiuing, & supposing no lesse but it came by the meanes of M. Tyndall, refrayned them selues, and at last vtterly withdrew thēselues, & came no more there.

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MarginaliaThe Priestes storme agaynst Tyndall.As this grewe on, the Priestes of the countrey clustring together, began to grudge & storme against Tyndall, rayling agaynst hym in alehouses and other places. Of whō Tyndall him self in his prologue before þe first booke of Moses 

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The quotation is actually from Tyndale's preface to the Penteteuch, not his prologue to Genesis. See William Tyndale, Doctrinal Treatises and Introductions to Different Portions of the Holy Scriptures, ed. Henry Walter, Parker Society (Cambridge 1848), p. 394.

, this testifieth in hys own wordes, MarginaliaThe rudenes of the countrey priests.& reporteth that he suffered much in that countrey by a sort of vnlearned Priestes, beyng full rude and ignoraunt (sayth he) God knoweth: whiche haue sene no more Latine then that onely whiche they read in theyr Portesses and Missalles: (whiche yet many of them can scarsely read) excepte it bee Albertus de secretis mulierum 
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This was a popular medieval manual on gynecology and obstetrics attributed (incorrectly) to Albertus Magnus.

,
in which yet though they be neuer so sorily learned, they pore day and night, and make notes therin, and all to teach the midwyues, as they saye: and also an other called Lynwod, 
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The reference is to William Linwood's collection of the constitutions of the Archbishop's of Canterbury from Stephen Langton to Lindwood's contemporary Henry Chichele.

a booke of constitutions to gather tythes, mortuaries, offrynges, customes, and other pillage, which they call not theirs, but Gods parte, the duetie of holy Churche, to discharge their consciences withall. For they are bound that they shall not diminishe but encrease all thynges vnto the vttermost of theyr powers, whiche perteyne to holy Church. MarginaliaTyndall troubled by the priests of the countrey.Thus these blynd and rude Priestes flockyng together to the Alehouse (for that was their preachyng place) raged and railed agaynst hym, affirming that his sayinges were heresie: addyng moreouer vnto hys sayinges of their own heades, more then euer he spake, & so accused hym secretly to the Chauncellour and other of the Byshops Officers.

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It folowed not long after this, that there was a sittyng of the bishops Chauncellour appointed 

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The account of Tyndale's encounter with the bishop's chancellor (Matthew Parker, who gained notoriety for ordering the exhumation of William Tracy - Parker burned Tracy's body in addition to exhuming it, which was illegal without receipt of a writ from Chancery and without the burning being managed by secular officials. Richard Tracy, William's son, petitioned the king, asking that Parker be punished for this violation of the law. Ultimately Parker was fined £100. (See John T. Day, 'William Tracy's Posthumous Legal Problems' in William Tyndale and the Law, ed. John A. R. Dick and Anne Richardson [Kirksville, MO, 1994], pp. 110-11)) is based on Tyndale's preface to the Penteteuch; see William Tyndale, Doctrinal Treatises and Introductions to Different Portions of Holy Scriptures, ed. Henry Walter, Parker Society (Cambridge, 1848), pp. 394-5. However, it is probably derived from Foxe's Gloucestershire informant , as Foxe does not seem to have consulted Tyndale's introduction before compiling the 1563 edition where this account first appears.

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, and warnyng was giuen to the Priestes to appeare: amongest whom M. Tyndall was also warned to bee there. And whether he had any misdoubt by their threatnynges, or MarginaliaTyndall called before the bishops chancellor- knowledge giuē him that they would lay some thinges to his charge, it is vncerteine: but certein this is (as he hym self declared) that he doubted their priuye accusations: so that he by the way in goyng thether wardes, cryed in hys mynde hartly to God, to gyue him strēgth fast to stand in the truth of hys worde.

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Then whē the tyme came of hys apperaunce before the Chauncellour, he threatned hym greuously, reuilyng and ratyng hym as though hee had bene a dogge, and layd to his charge many thynges, MarginaliaTyndall could not haue his accusers brought out.wherof no accuser yet could be brought forth (as commonly their maner is, not to bryng foorth the accuser) notwithstandyng that the Priestes of the countrey the same tyme were there present. And thus M. Tyndall after those examinations escapyng out of their handes, departed home and returned to his master agayne.

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MarginaliaOne good olde doctor amongst many nought.There dwelt not farre of a certaine Doctour that had ben an old Chauncellour before to a Byshop, who had ben of old familiar acquayntance with M. Tyndall and also fauored hym well. Vnto whom Maister Tyndall went and opened hys mynde vppon diuers questions of the Scripture: for to hym hee durst bee bold to disclose his hart. MarginaliaThe Pope Antichrist.Vnto whom the Doctour sayd: do you not know that the Pope is very Antichrist, whom the Scripture speaketh of? But beware what you say: for if you shalbe perceiued to be of that opinion, it will cost you your lyfe: and sayd moreouer, I haue bene an officer of hys, but I haue gyuen it vp and defie hym and all hys workes.

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It was not long after, but M. Tyndall happened to be in the companye of a certayne Diuine recounted for a learned man, and in commoning and disputing with hym, hee droue hym to that issue, MarginaliaThe blasphemy of a blind Doctor.that the sayd great Doctour burst out into these blasphemous wordes, and sayd: MarginaliaThe Popes law preferred before Gods law.we were better to be without Gods law then the Popes. M. Tyndall hearyng this, full of godly zeale and not bearyng that blasphemous saying, replyed agayne and sayd: I defie the Pope and all hys lawes: and further added that if God spared hym life, ere many yeares he would cause a boy that driueth the plough to know more of the Scripture, then he did.

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After this the grudge of the Priestes increasing still more and more against Tindall, they neuer ceased barkyng and ratyng at hym, and layd many sore thynges to his charge, saying þt he was an hereticke in Sophistry, an hereticke in Logicke, and an hereticke in Diuinitie: and sayd moreouer to hym that he bare hym selfe bold of the Gentlemen there in that countrey: but notwithstandyng, shortly hee should bee otherwise talked withall. To whom M. Tyndall aunsweryng agayne thus sayd: that he was contēted they should bryng him into any countrey in all Englād, giuyng him x. l. a yere to lyue with, and byndyng hym to no more but to teach children and to preache.

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To bee short, M. Tyndall beyng so molested and vexed in the countrey by the Priestes, was constrayned to leaue that countrey and to seke an other place: MarginaliaTyndall departeth from M. Welche.and so commyng to M. Welche he desired hym of hys good will, that hee might departe from hym, saying on this wise to hym: Syr I perceaue I shall not bee suffered to tarye long here in this countrey, neither shal you be hable though you would, to kepe me out of the handes of the spiritualtie, and also what displeasure might grow thereby to you by kepyng me, God knoweth: for the whiche I should be right sory. So that in fine, M. Tyndall with the good will of his master, departed and MarginaliaTyndall commeth to London.eftsoones came vp to Londō, and there preached a while, accordyng as hee had done in the countrey before, and specially about the towne of Bristowe, and also in the sayd towne, in the common place called Saint Austins Greene 

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The chronology is a bit confused here; if Tyndale preached in Bristol, it was almost certainly before he left for London.

. At length he bethinkyng hym selfe of Cutbert Tonstall then Byshop of Londō, and especially for the great commendation of Erasmus, who in his annotations so extolleth hym for his learnyng, thus cast with selfe, that if he might attayne vnto his seruice, he were

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a happy
DDD.ij.
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