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968 [968]

K. Henry. 8. Persecution in Lond. dioces. W. Swetyng and J. Brewster martyrs.

that nomber, as appeareth euidently by the viij. article obiected by Thomas Benet Doctour of law, Chaūcelour and vicare generall vnto Richarde Fitziames then Byshop of London, agaynst the sayd Richard Butler. The very wordes of whiche Article (for a more declaration of truth) I haue thought good here to inserte: whiche are these. MarginaliaReading of Englysh bookes.Also we obiect to you, that diuers times, and especially vpon a certeine night, about the space of three yeares last past, in Robert Durdantes house of Tuer court nere vnto Stanes, you erroneously and damnably read in a great booke of heresie of the sayd Robert Durdantes, all that same night, certeine Chapters of the Euangelistes in English, conteining in them diuers erroneous and damnable opinions and conclusions of heresie, in the presence of the said Robert Durdant, Iohn Butler, Robert Carder, Ienkin Butler, William Kyng, and diuers other suspect persons of heresie then beyng present, and hearing your said erreneous lectours & opinions. MarginaliaOf these men see more herafter in the table folowyng. To the same effect and purpose tēded the tenure of some of the Articles propounded agaynst the other iiij. Whereby (as also by others lyke before specified) we may easly iudge what reuerence they whiche yet wilbe counted the true and onely Churche of Christ, did beare to the worde and Gospell of Christe: who shamed not to blaspheme the same with most horrible titles of erroneous & damnable opinions, and conclusions of heresie. But why should we maruell therat, seyng the holy Ghost in sōdry places of the Scripture doth declare, that in the latter dayes, there should come such proude & cursed speakers, whiche shal speake lies through hypocrisie, & haue their consciences marked with an hoate yron? Let vs therfore now thanke our heauenly father for reuelyng them vnto vs, and let vs also pray him, that of his free mercyes in his sonne Christ Iesus, he would (if it be to his glory) either turne & mollifie all such hartes, or els (for the peace and quietnes of his Churche) he would in hys righteous iudgement take them from vs.

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MarginaliaThe death of Richard Fitziames byshop of London.About this time Richard Fitziames ended his lyfe. 

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Bishop Fitzjames died on 15 January 1522 and was succeeded by Cuthbert Tunstall. Foxe's smooth transition here from one episcopate to anotheris yet another indication that he was using a court book and not an episcopalregister, which would have ended with the death of a bishop.

MarginaliaCutbart Tunstall B. of London.After whose death Cutbert Tunstal (afterwardes Bishop of Dureham) succeded in the sea and Byshopricke of Loōdon: who soone vppon his first entrye into the rowme, mindyng to folowe rightly the footesteppes of his predecessour, caused Edmund Spilman priest, Henry Chambers, Iohn Hyggins and Thomas Eglestone, to bee apprehended, and so to be examined vpon sondry lyke Articles, as before are expressed, & in the end, either for feare of his cruelty, and þe rigour of death, or els through hope of his flatteryng promises (such was their weakenes) MarginaliaThe reall presence denied.he compelled them to abiure and renounce their true professed fayth touchyng the holy Sacrament of Christes body and bloud: whiche was, that Christes corporall body was not in the Sacrament, but in heauen, and that the Sacrament was a figure of hys body, and not the body it selfe.

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MOreouer, about the same tyme, there were certeine Articles obiected agaynst Iohn Hygg, 

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John Hig would be dispensed for pennance imposed for a laterreligious offence in 1527 (TNA SP 1/47, fo. 80r).

aliâs Noke, aliâs Iohnsonne, by the sayd Byshops vicare generall. Amongest whiche, were these: MarginaliaAgaynst a priest to haue two benefices.First, that he had affirmed, that it was as lawfull for a temporall man to haue two wyues at once, as for a Priest to haue two benefices. Also that hee had in hys custody a booke of the iiij. Euangelistes in Englishe, and did often read therin: MarginaliaTestimony touching M. Lutherand that he fauored the doctrines and opinions of Martine Luther, openly pronouncing that Luther had more learnyng in hys litle finger then all the doctours in England in their whole bodyes: and that all the Priestes in the Churche were blynd, and had led the people the wronge way. Lykewise it was alleaged against him, that he had denyed purgatory, and had sayd, that whyle he were alyue, he would do asmuch for hym selfe as he could, for after hys death he thought that prayer & almes dedes could litle helpe hym.

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These and such lyke matters were they, wherewith these poore and simple men and women were chiefly charged, and as heynous heretikes excommunicated, emprysoned, and at last compelled to recant: and some of them in vtter shame and reproch (besides the ordinary bearyng MarginaliaThe maner of popyshe penaunce.of fagottes before the Crosse in procession, or els at a Sermon) were enioyned for penaunce, (as they terme it) aswell to appeare once euery yeare before theyr ordynarye, as also to weare the signe of a fagot paynted vpon theyr sleues or other part of theyr outward garment, and that duryng theyr lyues, or so often and long as it pleased their ordinarye to appoynte. By whiche long rigorous and open punyshyng of them, they ment (as it should seme) vtterly to terrifie and keepe backe all others from the true knowledge of Iesus Christe and hys Gospell. But the Lorde be euermore praysed, what effect their wicked purposes therin haue taken, these our most lyghtsome dayes of Gods glorious Gospell do most ioyfully declare.

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MarginaliaThe troubles of Elene Heyer and Robart Barkeway.THere were also troubled besides these, certein others more simple and ignoraunt: who hauyng but a very small smacke or tast of the truth, did yet at the first (as it may seme) gladly cōsent vnto the same: but beyng apprehended, they quickely agayn yelded, and therfore had onely assigned them for theyr penaunce, the bearyng of a litle candell before the Crosse, without any further open abiuryng or recantyng. Amongest whiche I finde ij. especially: the one, a woman called Elene Heyer, to whome it was obiected that shee had neither confessed her selfe vnto the Priest, nor yet receaued the Sacrament of the altare, by the space of foure yeares, & notwithstandyng had yearely eaten fleshe at Easter, and after, aswell as others that had receaued the same, contrary to the vsuall maner and conuersation of all other Christen people.

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The other was a man named Robert Berkewaye, who (besides most wicked blasphemyes agaynste God, whiche he vtterly denyed) was charged to haue spoken heynous wordes agaynst the Popes holy and blessed martyr Thomas Becket, callyng hym mycher and thief, for that he wrought by craftes and imaginations.

Thus haue I (as briefly as I could) sommarely collected the principall Articles, obiected agaynst these weake, infirme, and earthye vessels. Not myndynge herebye to excuse or condempne them in these their fearefull falles and daungerous defections: 

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Once again, Foxe is justifying both the occasional theologicallapses of these Lollards and also the fact that they abjured these beliefs.

but leuyng them vnto the vnmeasurable riche mercyes of the Lord, I thought onely to make manifest the vnsaciable bloudy crueltye of the Popes kyngdome, agaynste the Gospell and true Churche of Christe, nothyng mitigatyng their enuyous rage, no not agaynst the very simple idiotes, and that sometyme in most friuolous and irreligious cases. But nowe leauyng to saye any farther herein, I wil (by Gods grace) go foorthwarde with other somewhat more seryous matters.

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¶ The death and martyrdome of William Swetyng and Iohn Brewster.

MarginaliaWillyam Sweting, Iohn Brewster Martyrs.IN searchyng and perusiyng of the register, for the collection of the names and Articles before recited, I finde that within the compasse of the same yeares, there were also some others, who after they had once shewed them selues as frayle and vnconstant as the rest (beyng eyther therewith pricked in conscience, or otherwise zealously ouercomme with the manifeste truth of Gods most sacred worde) became yet agayn as ernest professours of Christ, as euer they were before, and for the same professiō were the second tyme apprehēded, examined, condempned, and in the ende were moste cruellye burned. Of the whiche nomber were. William Swetyng, and Iohn Brewster, who were both burned together in Smithfielde, the xviij. day of October in the yeare of our Lord. 1511. 

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Foxe gives fuller accounts of Sweeting and Brewster later in histext and more will be said about their interesting careers then. For now,suffice it to say that Foxe's knowledge of their ends came from a court book ofBishop Fitzjames, which is now lost. Thankfully, Archbishop James Ussher tookfairly full notes from this book of their case (Trinity College, Dublin, Dublin MS775, fos. 122v-124v). Sweeting and Brewster had already abjured before theirfinal arrests in 1511 and they burned as relapsed heretics on 18 October 1511.

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MarginaliaAgainst trāsubstantiation and corporal presence in the sacrament.The chiefest case of Religiō alleaged agaynst them in their Articles, was their fayth concernyng the Sacrament of Christes body and bloud. Which, because it differed from the absurde, grosse, and caparniticall opinion of the newe scholemen, was counted as most heynous heresie. There were other things besides obiected against thē: as the readyng of certeine forbidden bookes, and accōpanyeng with such persons as were suspected of heresie. But one great and heynous offence counted amōgest the rest, was their puttyng and leauyng of the paynted fagottes, whiche they were at theyr firste abiuryng, enioyned to weare, as

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AAa.iiij.
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