Critical Apparatus for this Page
Commentary on the Text
Names and Places on this Page
Unavailable for this Edition
1589 [1589]

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

Marginalia1552.and wauering: and through your quietnes I shall be much more quieter. MarginaliaThe Duke of Somerset keepeth in the faith of Iesu Christ.Moreouer, I desire you all to beare me wytnesse, that I dye here in the fayth of Iesus Christ: desiring you to help me with your praiers, that I may perseuer cōstant in the same vnto my liues end.

[Back to Top]

After this, he turning him selfe againe about like a meeke Lambe, kneeled downe vpon hys knees. Then Doctour Cox, MarginaliaD. Coxe hys ghostly father.which was there present to counsell and aduertise him, deliuered a certayne scrole in to hys hand, wherein was contayned a briefe confession vnto God. Which being read, he stoode vp againe vpon his feete, without any trouble of mynde (as it appeared) and first bad the Sheriffes farewell, then the Lieftenant of the Tower and other, taking them al by the hands which were vpon the Scaffold with hym. Then he gaue the Hangman certayne money. Which done, he put of his gowne, and kneeling downe againe in the straw, vntied hys shiert strings. After that þe Hangman comming vnto hym, turned downe his coller round about his necke, and all other thinges which did let or hinder him. Then lifting vp his eyes to heauen, where his onely hope remained, and couering hys face wyth his own handkercher, hee layd him selfe downe along, shewing no maner of token of trouble or feare, neither dyd hys countenance chaunge, but that before his eyes were couered there began to appeare a red colour in the middest of his cheekes.

[Back to Top]

Thus this most meeke and gentle Duke lying alonge and looking for the stroke, because hys doublet couered hys necke, he was commaunded to ryse & put it of: MarginaliaThe godly end of the Duke of Somerset.and then laying him self down again vpon the blocke, and calling thrise vpon the name of Iesus, saying: Lorde Iesu saue me, as he was the thyrd tyme repeating þe same, euen as the name of Iesu was in vttering, in a moment he was bereft both of head and life, and slept in the Lorde Iesus, being taken away from all the daungers and euills of thys lyfe, and restyng now in the peace of God: in the preferment of whose truth and Gospell hee alwaies shewed him selfe an excellent instrument and member, and therefore hath receiued the reward of hys labours. Thus gentle Reader, thou hast the true history of this worthy and noble Duke, and if any man report it otherwyse, let it be counted as a lye.

[Back to Top]

As touching the maners, disposition, lyfe, & conuersation of the sayd Duke & the kinges Vncle, what shal we neede to speake, when as he can not bee sufficiently commended, according to the dignitie of his vertues? MarginaliaThe vertues of the Duke of Somerset declared.There was alwayes in him great humanitie, and such meekenes and gentlenes, as is rare to be founde in so high estate. He was prone and ready to geue eare vnto the complaintes and supplications of the poore, and no lesse attentiue vnto the affayres of the common wealth. Which if he had liued together with king Edward, was lyke to doe much good in refourming many misorders within this realme. He was vtterly ignorant of all craft and deceit, and as farre voyde of all pryde and ambicion, as he was from doing of iniurye, being in deede vtterlie voyd of both. He was of a gentle disposition: not conueting to be reuenged: more apt and ready to be deceiued, then to deceiue. His auncīt loue and zeale of the Gospell and of religiō he brought with him to the state of this his dignitie. MarginaliaThe zealous standyng of the Duke of Somerset in defēce of the truth agaynst the Bishops at Windsore.The proufe wherof sufficiently was seene in his constant standing to Gods truth and zealous defence therof, against the Bishops of Chichester, Norwich, Lincolne, London, and other moe, in the consultation had at Wyndsore the first yeare of the kinges raygne.

[Back to Top]

Briefly consideryng the nature and vertues of this Duke, I may (as semeth) not vnaptly compare and resemble hym vnto Duke Humfrey the good Duke of Glocester. Who lykewise beyng Vncle vnto K. Henry the sixt, and Protectour of the Realme (as this was also to Kyng Edward the sixt) yet he wanted not his MarginaliaA comparison betwen Duke Humfrey Vncle to K. Henry. 6. and the Duke of Somerset Vncle to king Edward. 6.enemies and priuye enuyers, especially Henry Beauford Cardinall, Bishop of Winchester and Lorde Chauncellour of England: 

Commentary  *  Close

The account of the rivalry between Cardinal Beaufort and Humphrey , duke of Gloucester, is taken from Edward Hall, The union of the two noble and illustre families of Lancastre and York [London, 1550], STC 12723a, fo. 94r.

who at that tyme disdainyng and enuying the rule and authoritie of this Duke, procured much trouble agaynst hym and great diuision in the whole Realme, in somuch that all the shoppes within the Citie of Londō were shutte in for feare of the fauourers of these two great personages: For ech parte had assembled no small number of people. For pacifying wherof the Archbyshop of Caunterbury and the Duke of Quimber, called the Prince of Portugale, rode viij. tymes in one day betwene the two aduersaries. MarginaliaTouching this trouble of the Duke of Glocester, read before pag. 834.Such were then the troubles of this tumultuous diuision within the Realme betwen these two: as is before expresed, pag. 834. not much vnlyke to the troublesome discord betwixt parties in this Protectours dayes. And as in their afflictiōs and troubles, these two Dukes semed not much vnlike, so in matters of Religiō and in discernyng truth from falshode, their zeale semed not much discrepant. Although the lyght of the Gospell did not so fully then shyne out, as in the tyme of this latter Duke (þe Lord be praysed therfore) yet the wisedome and towardnes of the other Duke also touchyng the same, was not vtterly vnworthy of his cōmendation. For the more manifest declaratiō wherof, amongest many other his godly doynges, MarginaliaA false miracle detected by Duke Hūfrey of Glocester.we may take for example the prudent and and famous Acte of that noble Duke in discerning and trying out the false lying miracle and Popishe hypocrisie of the blynd begger at S. Albons mentioned in his story before, pag. 834. 
Commentary  *  Close

See 1563, p. 883, 1570, p. 834, 1576, pp. 679-80 and 1583, p. 704.

For the which cause, and for his diligent study in reformyng that and such other blynd abuses of feyned Religion, he was the more hated of the spiritualitie, and such as Winchester then was.

[Back to Top]

Finally, as this Lord Protector, Duke of Somerset the kynges Vncle, by certeyne of the Counsell was then accused, arreigned and cōdemned for the trespasse (as it was geuen foorth) of felonie (although I neuer heard he murdered or robbed any) so þe other Vncle of K. Henry the vj. was made away. Of whose disceasse thus writeth Maister Williā Tyndall in his practise of Prelates: MarginaliaThe testimonye of Maister W. Tyndall, of good Duke Humfrey.At the last they found the meanes to cōtriue a drift to bryng their matters to passe, and made a Parliament farre frō the Citizens of London, where was slayne the sayd good Duke and the onely wealth of the Realme, and the mighty shielde which so longe had kept it from sorow, which shortly after his death fell vpō them by heapes. But the Chronicles (sayth he) can not tel wherfore he dyed, nor by what meanes. Neuertheles this they testifie, that hee was a vertuous man, godly and good to the common wealth. 

Commentary  *  Close

Tyndale, Expositions and Notes…with the Practice of Prelates, ed. Henry Walter. Parker Society (Cambridge, 1849), p. 297.

[Back to Top]

But to leaue Duke Humfrey, and to returne to the maners and vertues of the Duke of Somerset, which before wee were about to describe: MarginaliaThe happye successe of the Duke of Somerset in hys victoryes.as hee was a gentle and courteous Duke at home, so was he no lesse fortunate a Captaine in warfare abroade. Vnder whose gouernment and guidyng, not onely diuers rebellious commotions were happely suppressed here at home, but also abroad in the expedition of Scotland such a victorye was giuen him of God, that with the losse scarse of 600. of his own men, there were of the enemyes as good or litle lesse, then x. thousand slaine and put to flight, and euē the very same day and tyme in the which all the Idolatrous Images were here burnt at Lōdon. 

Commentary  *  Close

Foxe is repeating his earlier account of the battle of Musselborough (1570, p. 1499; 1576, p. 1271; 1583, p. 1406). Foxe claimed that the victory occurred at exactly the same time as Ridley began purging the images from the London churches.

And yet all these warres notwithstandyng, whereunto he was agaynst his will compelled, hee was a man of nature singularly giuen to peace, as may bee seene by the sweete and peaceable exhortation by hym set foorth in Print before, and sent to the Realme of Scotland.

[Back to Top]

But as there is nothyng in this world so perfect in all respectes, which is not blotted or darkened with some spotte of vyce adioyned withall: so amongest the manifolde commendations of thys Duke, one thyng there was or two, which both desteined hys honour

and
Go To Modern Page No:  
Click on this link to switch between the Modern pagination for this edition and Foxe's original pagination when searching for a page number. Note that the pagination displayed in the transcription is the modern pagination with Foxe's original pagination in square brackets.
Find:
Type a keyword and then restrict it to a particular edition using the dropdown menu. You can search for single words or phrases. When searching for single words, the search engine automatically imposes a wildcard at the end of the keyword in order to retrieve both whole and part words. For example, a search for "queen" will retrieve "queen", "queene" and "queenes" etc.
in:  
Humanities Research Institute  *  HRI Online  *  Feedback
Version 2.0 © 2011 The University of Sheffield