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970 [970]

K. Henry. 8. The history and death of Rich. Hunne.

taughte, and obstinatly did defende her, saying: the Bishop of London and his officers haue done open wronge to the said Ioanne Baker, in punishing her for heresie: for her sayinges and opinions be accordyng to the lawes of God: Wherefore the Bishop and his officers are more worthy to bee punished for heresie, then she is.

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Marginalia6Item, that the said Richard Hunne hath in his kepyng diuers Englishe bookes, prohibited and dampned by the law: as the Apocalips in Englishe, Epistles and Gospels in Englishe, Wickleffes dampnable workes, and other bookes conteyning infinite errours, in the whiche hee hath bene long tyme accustomed to read, teach, and study dayly. 

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Detailed evidence on this point was presented at Hunne's posthumous trial for heresy; see John Fines, 'The Post-Mortem Condemnation for Heresy of Richard Hunne', EHR 78 (1963), pp. 530-1.

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Particular aunswere vnto these seuerall obiections, in the Register I find none, sauyng that next vnder thē, there is written in hys name with a contrary hand, these woordes followyng: as touchyng these Articles, I haue not spoken them as they be here layd: How be it, vnaduisedly I haue spoken wordes somewhat soundyng to the same: for the whiche I am sorye, and aske God mercy, and submit me vnto my Lordes charitable and fauorable correction. MarginaliaThis answer smelleth of forging and crafty packing.Which they affirme to be written with Hunnes owne hand: but how lykely to truth that is, let the discret wisedome of the reader indifferētly iudge by the whole sequele of this proces. MarginaliaArgumēts & reasons prouing this answer not to be of Rich. Hunne.And further if it were his owne acte: what occasion then had they so cruelly to murther hym as they did? seyng he had already so willingly confessed his faulte, and submitted hym selfe vnto the charitable and fauorable correctiō of the Byshop (for the whiche euen by theyr owne law, in cases of most heynous heresie he ought to be agayne receaued, and pardoned) except perhaps they will accompt horrible murther, to be but the Byshops fauorable correction. Agayne it semeth they had very fewe credible wytnesses to proue certeinly that this was his aunswere and hād writyng: for the Register, or some other for hym (appoynted to recorde the same) hath certified it, as of heare say from others, and not of hys owne proper sight and knowledge: as the woordes noted in the margent of the booke, adioynyng to the foresayde aunswere playnlye do declare, whiche are these: Hoc fuit scriptum Manu propria Richardi Hune, vt dicitur.  

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Foxe's arguments against the authority of the note in the register - which unfortunately is no longer extant - do not stand up to scrutiny. The first argumentassumes that Hunne's death was deliberately planned by the clergy; if Hunne's deathwas a suicide, an accident or even murder carried out by overzealous underlings, Foxe's point is invalid. The phrase 'ut dicitur' was not sinister, it merely meant thatthe scribe who was recording Hunne's remark was writing down, not what he hadwitnessed, but what others related to him.

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Nowe if hee had had any sure grounde to stablishe this certificate, I doubt not, but he would (in steade of, vt dicitur) haue Registred the names of the assistauntes at the tyme of his examinacion, (whiche he confesseth to be many) as generally they do in all theyr actes, especially in cases of heresie, as they terme it. But howe scrupulous those good felowes that spared not so shameleslye to murther hym, would bee to make a lye of hym that was already dead, let (as I sayd) the indifferent iudgement of the godly wise discerne.

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MarginaliaRich. Hūne sent back againe to Lolardes tower.This examinacion ended, the Byshop sent hym backe agayne the same day, vnto the Lolardes tower: and then by the appoyntement of Doctour Horsey hys Chauncelour, he was coulerablye committed from the custodye of Charles Ioseph the Sumner, vnto Iohn Spaldyng the Belringer, a man, by whose simplenes in wytt (thoughe otherwise wicked) the subtile Chauncelour thought to bryng his deuilish pretended homicide the easier to passe: MarginaliaRich. Hūne priuely murdred in the Lolards tower.Whiche most cruelly he dyd by hys ministers suborned, within two nightes then next folowyng accomplish: as is plainly proued hereafter by the diligēt enquiry and finall verdict of the Crowner of Londō, and his enquest, made by order of the lawes in that behalfe limited. But when this vsuall practise of the Papistes was once accōplished, there wanted then no secrete shiftes, nor wordly wiles for the crafty colouryng of this mischief: and therfore þe next mornyng after they had in the night committed this murther, MarginaliaCrafty packing of the murderinge Papistes.Iohn Spaldyng (I doubt not but by the coūsaile of hys maister Chauncelour) gat hym selfe out of the way, into the Citie, and leauyng the keyes of the prison with one of hys felowes, willed hym to delyuer them vnto the Sumners boye, whiche accustomably did vse to carye Hunne his meate, and other necessaries that he neded: thinkyng that the boye, first findyng the prisoner deade,

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¶ A description of the Lolardes tower, where M. Rich. Hunne was first murthered, then by the sayd parties hanged, afterward condemned of heresie, And at last burned in Smithfield.
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This woodcut shows the body of Hunne hanging to the left of the cell, while his killers exit: one of them is depicted blowing out a candle, placed on the stocks, as he leaves. This scene illustrates the belief of many (including Foxe) that Hunne was murdered. The coroner's inquest into Hunne's death (reprinted by Foxe) reported that 'an ende of a wax candel ... we found sticking upon the stockes fayre put out, about seven or eight foote from the place where Hunne was hanged, which candle after our opinion was never put out by him.' (1563, p.391.) CUL copy: this image contains some detail added in ink. The man blowing out the candle wears a blue tunic with yellowy-orange hose. The next man is in black with pink sleeves; the other is in purple. Note that there is considerable bleed through on the right of this image. WREN copy: the outfits are more muted in this copy: Hunne is in blue, with purple hose, but the perpetrators are in dark, charcoal colours, almost blending into the background, making the image appear altogether much more sinister.

MarginaliaThe secret conueyance of the murdering of Richarde Hunne.and hanged in such sorte as they left hym, they might (by hys relation) be thought cleare from any suspition of this matter. Which thyng happened in the begynnyng almost as they wished. For the boye the same mornyng (beyng the fourth day of December) hauyng the keyes deliuered hym, accompanyed with twoo other of the Byshops Sumners, went about x. of the clocke into the prison, to serue the prisoner, as he was wont to do, and when they

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