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1580 [1580]

K. Edward. 6. The story of William Gardiner, Martyr.

MarginaliaAn. 1552.led, scourged & crucified: and yet we laugh, drinke, and giue our selues vnto all losenes of lyfe and all lasciuiousnes. For honour and great possessions wee contend: we build: we study and labour by all meanes to make our selues rich. Vnto whom it doth not suffice, that we with safety and fredome from their afflictions, rackes, wheeles, scourges, yrons read hoate, gredirons, flesh hookes, mallettes, and othe kyndes of tormentes, may serue our Christ in peace and quyet: but beyng herewith not content, will gyue ouer our selues to all kynde of wickednes, to bee lead away at the will and pleasure of Sathan?

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But what doe we thynke in so doyng? Either we must recken those mē to be most miserable in this life, or els our selues to be most vnhappy. But if their blessednes be most certayne and sure, then let vs direct the course of our lyfe to þe same felicity. These mē haue forsakē thys lyfe, which they myght haue enioyed. MarginaliaThe sufferings of Martyrs be lessons to vs, to pluck vs from thys world.But if we can not willingly put of this lyfe, yet let vs not bee slow to amend & correct þe same: and though we can not dye with thē in lyke martyrdome, yet let vs mortifye þe worldly & prophane affections of þe flesh which striue against þe spirit, & at the least let vs not thus rūne headlong into the licencious desires of the world, as we do. As the life of Christen men is now, I pray thee, what do these bondes, prisons, these woūdes & scarres, these great fires, and other horrible tormentes of Martyrs, then vpbrayde vnto vs our slouthfull sluggishnes, and worthely make vs ashamed therof? Which Martyrs if in theyr liues they lyued so innocently, & in their death continued so constant, what then is to be deemed of vs which suffer nothing for Christ, and will not take vpon vs the small conflict against vices and our own affections? MarginaliaThe great difference betwen Christes Martyrs that haue bene, and the lyfe of Christians which now is.Howe woulde we suffer the cruell lookes of Tyrannes, the fearefull kindes of torments, or the violent assaultes of the tormentors in any quarell of godlines, if in peace and quietnes we are so faynt harted, that with euery smal breath or winde of temptation we are blowen away from God, and without any resistaunce are caryed headlong into all kinde of wyckednes and mischiefe? One singeth songes of loue: an other watcheth all the night at dice: some spend theyr lyfe & time day by day in hawking and hunting: some typple so at tauernes, that they come home reeling. Others, whatsoeuer desire of reuēge doth put into their heads, that by and by they seeke to put in practise. Some gape after riches: some swell with ambition: some thynke that they are borne for no other purpose, but for pleasure and pastime. All the world is full of iniurye and periurye: nay rather it is so rare a thing patiently to suffer iniuries done vnto vs, that except we haue the sleight to do iniury to other, we think our selues scarse men. There is no loue almost nor charitie amongest men: neyther is there any man that regardeth the good name or fame of hys neighbour.

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But amongest all the rest, vnsatiable couetousnes and auarice so raigneth, that no mā almost is now contented with any tolerable estate of lyfe, eyther that wyll prescribe him selfe any measure in hauing that he possesseth, or in proling for that which he lacketh: neuer quiet, but alwayes toyling, neuer satisfied, but alwaies vnsatiable. Wherby it so commeth, that the myndes of Christen men, being occupied in such worldly carckes and cares, can scarselye finde any vacante leysure to thinke vppon heauenly thinges: and yet notwithstanding with these myndes we wyll needes seme Christians. But now setting apart these complaintes spent in vayne, we wyll prosecute our purposed storye touching good William Gardiner.

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MarginaliaThe first bringing vp and trade of W. Gardiner.And first as concerning his kynred, he was of an honest stocke, borne at Bristow, a towne of Marchandise on the Sea coast of England, honestly brought vp, and by nature geuen vnto grauitie, of a meane stature of body, of a comely and pleasant countenance, but in no part so excellēt as in the inward qualities of the minde,which he alwayes from hys childhoode preserued without spot of reprehension. 

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Gardiner's examinations by the Portuguese confirm that he came from Bristol but also contain a detail that is not in Foxe; Gardiner claimed that he had studied at Oxford (Thomas S. Freeman and Marcello J. Borges, '"A grave and heinous offence against our holy Catholic faith": Two Accounts of William Gardiner's Desecration of the Portuguese Royal Chapel in 1552', HistoricalResearch 69 (1996), pp. 3 and 16).

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Also his hansome and indifferent learning did not a litle commende and beautifie hys other ornamentes. When hee grewe vnto those yeares at which younge men are accustomed to settle theyr myndes to some kinde of lyfe, MarginaliaWilliam Gardiner followed the trade of marchandise.it happened that he gaue him self to the trade of marchandise vnder the conducte and guiding of a certayne Marchaunt of Bristow called Maister Paget, by whom hee was at the last (being of the age of. xxvj. yeares, or there about,) sent into Spayne, and by chaunce the ship arriuing at Lishborne (which is the chiefe Citie of Portugale) he taried there about his marchandise. Where, at the last he hauing gotten vnderstanding of the language & being accustomed vnto their maners, became a profitable seruant both vnto his maister and others, in such thinges as pertayned vnto the trade of that vocation. Wherunto he did so apply himselfe, that neuerthelesse he in that popish countrey reseruing still the religion of hys own countrey of England, euer kept him selfe sound and vndefiled from the Portugales superstition. There were also besides him diuers other good men in the same Citie. MarginaliaThe godly disposed minde of William Gardiner.Neither did he lacke good bokes or the conference of good and honest men: vnto whom he would often times bewayle his imbecillity & weakenes, that he was neyther sufficiently touched with the hatred of hys sinnes, neyther yet enflamed wyth the loue of godlines.

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MarginaliaA solemne mariage betwen the king of Portugales sōne and the Spanishe kinges daughter, in Portugale.Whilest he was there abiding, it happened that there should bee a solemne mariage celebrate the fyrst day of September in the yeare aboue sayd, betwene two Princes: to say, the sonne of the kyng of Portugale, and the Spanishe kinges daughter 

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This was the marriage of the Portuguese Infante João, son of João III, to Juana, a daughter of Charles V, on 1 September 1552.

. The mariage day being come, there was great resort of þe Nobilitie and Estates. There lacked no bishops with Myters, nor Cardinals with their hats to set out this royall wedding. To bee shorte, they went forward to the wedding with great pompe: where a great concourse of people resorted, some of good will, some for seruice sake, & some (as the maner is) to gaze & looke. Great preparation of all parties was there throughout the whole Citie, as in such cases is accustomed, and al places were filled wyth myrth and gladnes. In this great assembly of the whole kingdome, William Gardiner, who, albeit he did not greatly esteeme such kinde of spectacles, yet being allured through the fame and reporte thereof, was there also, comming thether early in the morning, to the intent he might haue the more oportunitie and better place to behold and see.

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The houre beyng come, they flocked into the church with great solemnitie and pompe: the king first, & then euery Estate in order. The greater persons, the more ceremonies were about them. After all thinges were set in order, they went forward to the celebrating of theyr Masse: MarginaliaA Popishe celebration of a mariage.for that alone serueth for all purposes. The Cardinall did execute, wyth much singing and organe playing. 

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These is a hint here that Foxe did not approve of organs and choral music during church services.

The people stoode wyth great deuotion and silence, praying, looking, kneeling, and knockyng, theyr myndes being fully bent and set (as it is the maner) vppon the externall sacrament. Howe greeuously these thinges dyd pricke and moue this young mans mynde, it can not be expressed, partly to beholde the myserable absurditie of those thinges, and partly to see the folly of the common people: and not onely of the common people, but specially to see the king him selfe and hys Counsail, with so many sage and wise men (as they seemed) to be seduced with like Idolatrie as the common people were: MarginaliaThe godly zeale of William Gardiner inIn so much that it lacked very litle, but that he would euē that present day haue done some notable thing in the kings sight and presence, but that the great preasse and throng that was about hym, letted that he could not come vnto þe altar. What neede many wordes? When the ceremonies were ended, he commeth home very sad and heauy in his mynde: in so much that all hys fellowes marueiled greatly at hym:

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