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1587 [1587]

K. Edvvard. 6. The troubles and death of the Duke of Somerset.

Marginalia1552.
9.
9 Also, you commaunded multiplicatiō and Alcumistry to be practised, to abuse the kinges coyne. 

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This is a reference to Somerset's debasing the coinage.

Marginalia10.10 Also, you caused a proclamation to be made concerning enclosures, wherby the common people haue made diuers insurrections and leuied open warre, and distreined and spoyled diuerse of the kinges subiectes, which proclamation went forth against the will of the whole Counsaill. 

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The aristocrats opposed to Somerset blamed his proclamation banning enclosures for triggering the 1549 rebellions. Ironically, the depiction of Somerset in these articles as a wild-eyed social reformer, was a keystone in the later image of him as a benevolent ruler.

Marginalia11.11 Also, you haue caused a commission, with certaine articles therunto annexed, to be made out concerning enclosures of commons, highwayes, decaying of Cotages, and diuerse other thinges, geuing the commissioners authoritye to heare and determine the same causes, to the subuersion of the lawes & statutes of this realme: wherby much sedicion, insurrection, and rebellion haue risen and growen among the kinges subiectes.

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Marginalia12.12 Also, you haue suffred the rebelles and traytors to assemble and to lye in campe and armour against the king, his nobles and gentlemē, without any speedy subduing or repressing of them.

Marginalia13.13 Also, you did comfort and encourage diuerse of the sayd rebelles by geuing of them diuerse summes of your own money, and by promising to diuerse of them, fees, rewardes, and seruices.

Marginalia14.14 Also, you in fauour of the sayd rebells did, against the lawes, cause a proclamation to be made that none of the sayd rebells and traytous should be sued or vexed by any person for any their offences in the sayd rebellion, to the cleare subuersion of the same lawes.

Marginalia15.15 Also, you haue sayd in the time of the rebellion, that you liked well the doings and procedings of the sayd rebells and traytours, and said that the couetousnes of the gentlemen gaue occasion to the common people to ryse: saying also that better it were for the commons to dye, then pearish for lacke of liuing.

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Marginalia16.16 Also, you sayd that the lordes of the parliament were loth to encline them selues to reformation of enclosures and other thinges: therfore the people had good cause to reforme the thinges themselues.

Marginalia17.17 Also you, after the reporte and declaration of the defaultes and lackes reported to you by such as did suruay Bulleine and the peeces there, would neuer amende the same defaultes.

Marginalia18.18 Also, you would not suffer the kinges peeces beyond the seas called New hauen, and Blacknest, to be furnished with men and vittaylles, although you were aduertised of the defaultes therin by the captaines of the same peeces and others, and were therto aduertised by the kinges Coūsail: wherby the french king being the kings open enemye was encouraged and comforted to inuade and winne the sayd peeces to the kinges great losse and dishonor of his realme.

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Marginalia19.19 Also, you declared and published vntruely, aswell to the kinges maiestie as other the younge lordes attendant vpon his graces person, that the lordes of the Coūsaill at London minded to destroy the king, and you required the king neuer to forgette it, but to reuenge it: and likewise you required the yonge lordes to put the king in remembraunce therof, to the entent to make sedition and discord betwene the king and his lordes.

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Marginalia20.20 Also, where the kinges maiesties priuy Counsaill of their loue and zeale that they dyd beare vnto the kinge and his realme, did consult at London to haue communed with you, to the entent to moue your charitably to amende your doyngs and misgouernement, you hearing of their sayd assembly, dyd cause to be declared by letters in diuers places, the sayd lordes to be high traytors to the King, to the great disturbance of the Realme.

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MarginaliaThe mercifull working of the Lorde for the Lord Protector.And thus much hetherto concernyng the first trouble of the Lord Protector Duke of Somerset, with the crimes and Articles obiected agaynst him, with his prisonment also in the Tower, and the terrible proclamation giuen out against him. All which purposes of man, though they seemed fully intended to no lesse, but to the spillyng of his lyfe: yet the Lord aboue, the onely disposer of all mens purposes, so ordered the matter by the meanes of the kyng laboryng for his Vncle, MarginaliaThe Lord Protector deliuered out of the Tower.that in short while after he was let out of the Tower, and the proclamation, which before had made hym a traytour, within iij. dayes was called in agayne (a Domino factū est istud) and commaundement giuen none of them to bee solde. And so the Duke of Somerset grati-ously escapyng this aduersitie, was agayne restored, though not to hys former office, yet vnto libertie: wherein he continued the space of ij. yeares and two dayes. 

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Once again, Foxe's chronology is inaccurate. Somerset was released from the Tower on 6 February 1550; he was rearrested on 16 October 1551.

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MarginaliaThe second trouble of the Duke of Somerset.After the which tyme of respite being expired, the sayd Duke of Somerset was apprehended and MarginaliaThe Duke of Somerset agayne brought to the Tower.committed againe to the Tower, and with hym also Syr Michael Stanop, Syr Raufe Vane, Syr Miles Partrige & other, &c. At length the tyme beyng come of hys arrainement, the foresayd good Duke beyng conueyed from the Tower was brought through Londō with the Axe of the Tower before him, and with great preparaunce of billes, halbardes, pykes, and pollaxes, in most forcible wise: a watch also set and appoynted before euery mans doore through the hye street of London, and so was hee brought into Westmynster Halle, where the Lordes of the Counsell sittyng as his Iudges in the middle of the Hall vpon a new Scaffold, hee was there before thē arrained and charged both with treason and felony. 

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It appears as though Foxe was drawing this information from an eyewitness.

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MarginaliaThe vile taūtes of certeine Iustices and others sitting in iudgement agaynst the good Duke of Somerset.In the whiche Iudgement, I passe ouer the vnseemelye speach, the vyle tauntes and despytefull rebukes, without all modesty or honesty, vsed by certeine of the Sergeātes and Iustices, and some other sittyng there. MarginaliaThe great patience of the Duke of Somerset in taking rebukes.All which notwithstandyng hee patiently and quyetly did suffer, neither stormyng inwardly in stomacke, nor reuylyng them with woordes agayne: but lyke a Lambe folowyng the true Lambe and example of all mekenes, 

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Foxe is describing Somerset's trial in a manner that compares it to the Passion of Christ.

was contented to take all thynges at their handes, and with no lesse patience to beare now their vngentle and cruell raylynges, then he did before their glaueryng woordes and flatterynges in tyme of his hygh estate and prosperitie. MarginaliaThe discrete behauiour of the Duke in aunswering for him selfe.And as the patience of this good Duke was maruelous in forbearyng his enemyes, so also was his discretion and temperaunce no lesse seene in aūswering for him self to þe Articles to him obiected: wherunto he wisely and substancially replied, puttyng hym selfe in the end to be tryed by his Peeres. Who then at length after cōsultation had, did frame & temper their verdict thus, that as concernyng the case of treason, wherwith he was charged, they discharged him, but they accounted him gilty of felonye. 
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Somerset was acquitted of treason but found guilty of felony under a statute forbidding the assembly of men for purposes of riot. (Allegedly, Somerset had been gathering his retainers together to assassinate Northumberland). Ironically, the law was a response to the 1549 rebellions.

MarginaliaThe hartie affection of the people toward the Duke of Somerset.When the people (which were there present to a great number) heard the Lordes say, not giltye (meaning by the case of treason) supposing no lesse, but that he had bene clearely acquited by these wordes, and especially seing the Axe of the Tower to bee caryed away, for great ioy and gladnes made an outcrye, well declaring their louing affection and harty fauour vnto the Duke, whose lyfe they greatly desired. MarginaliaThe Duke of Somerset cōdemned of felonie.But this opinion of the people was deceaued, & the innocent Duke condemned to dye for fellonye. Which acte of fellonye MarginaliaStatut. an. Reg. Edw. 6.had ben made a lytle before against the Rebels, and vnlawfull assembles, such as should seeke or procure the death of any Counsailour, so that euery such attempte and procurement, according to the Act, shoulde be iudged fellonye. 
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3 & 4 Edward VI c.5

By the vertue of which Act, MarginaliaThe Duke of Somerset accused for seeking the death of the Duke of Northumberland.the Duke beyng accused wyth certaine other his complices, to intende and purpose the death of the Duke of Northumberland, and of certayne beside, was therefore cast and condemned of fellony, and so was returned toward the Tower agayne. At whose passage through the Citie, great exclamations and outcryes were made agayne of the people, some reioysing that he was acquited, some bewayling that he was condemned.

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Thys the good Duke passing through a great part of the Citie, landing at the Crane of the vyntrye, 

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This was a quay in London. Somerset was conveyed through London by boat.

was conueyed vnto the Tower, where he endured tyll the 22. day of Ianuary. Vpon which day at the comming downe of the letter of execution from the king and the Counsayle, the foresayd Duke and Vncle to the kyng, being found no traytour, onely being cast by the Act of fellony, was delyuered vnto the Shriues, & so brought to the place of execution. Touching which execution a few woordes here would bee bestowed in describyng

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