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1338 [1337]

K. Edw. 6. The storie of William Gardiner Martyr.

goodnes to preserue your worship. At London the third of Nouember.

¶ Here foloweth the history no lesse lamenable then notable of William Gardiner an English man, suffring most constantly in Portyngale for the testimony of Gods truth.
MarginaliaAn 1552.
The story of W. Gardiner most cruelly martired at Lishborne in Portugale.

COmmyng now to the yeare next folowyng. 1552 

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William Gardiner

This account of William Gardiner's spectacular act of sacrilege was first printed in the Rerum (pp. 203-8). A faithful translation of it was printed in the first edition of the A&M and reprinted, without significant change, in all subsequent editions. The most surprising thing about this account, however, is not Gardiner's extraordinary actions, but the accuracy of Foxe's account of them. A comparison of Foxe's narrative with the records of the Portuguese Inquisition records of the case, show that Foxe's narrative of Gardiner's crime and punishment, despite occasional errors, was accurate in even small details. [The records of the case are printed in I. da Rosa Pereira, 'O Descato na Capela Real em 1552 e o processo do calvinista inglês peranto Ordinário de Lisboa', Anais da Academia Portuguesa da Historia 29 (1984), pp. 597-623. English translations of some of these documents are available in Thomas S. Freeman and Marcelo J. Borges, '"A grave and heinous incident against our holy Catholic Faith": Two Accounts of William Gardiner's Desecration of the Portuguese Royal Chapel in 1552', Historical Research 69 (1996), pp. 2-17]. Needless to say, Foxe did not have access to these records. Rather, the accuracy of Foxe's account was clearly due to an informant who was not only present at the event, but knew Gardiner well. Foxe identifies this informant as one Pendigrace. The fact that Foxe was able to obtain this account from a person with whom he had no known association and whilst he was in exile, speaks volumes about the network of associates that supplied Foxe with information for his work, both during Mary's reign and afterwards. Yet it should also be remembered that, for all of its accuracy, Foxe's account of Gardiner provides one of the rare examples of his inventing a speech and claiming that it actually took place.

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Gardiner's case clearly caught Foxe's imagination, at least partly because of his constancy during excruciating torments. One of the rare woodcuts in the Acts and Monuments depicts Gardiner being raised and lowered into the fire (Rerum, p. 209). And Foxe wrote a poem - only printed in the Rerum - eulogizing Gardiner's fortitude and villifying his tormenters. In the A&M, Foxe made the reasons for his admiration clear. Gardiner's constancy and willingness to suffer for the Gospel made him a model for Christians to follow, if not in dying for Christ, than in living the Christian life.

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Thomas S. Freeman

. wee will somwhat steppe aside and borow a litle leaue, coastyng the Seas into Portingale amongest the Popish marchauntes there, whither a certayn countrymā of ours doth call me, named William Gardinar,a man verely in my iudgement, not onely to be compared with the most principall and chief Martyrs of these our dayes, 
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This is an astonishing claim and another indication of Foxe's admiration for Gardiner and his conviction that Gardiner was a model for all Christians.

but also such one, as the auncient Churches in the time of the first persecutions, can not shewe a more famous: whether wee doe beholde the force of his fayth, his firme and stedfast cōstantnes, the inuincible strength of his spirite, or the cruell and horrible tormentes: the report onely and hearyng whereof, were enough to put any man in horror or feare. Yet notwithstandyng so farre it was of that the same dyd discourage hym, that it may be doubted whether the paine of his body, or the courage of his mynde were the greater: when as in deede both appeared to be very great.

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MarginaliaW. Gardiner comparable with the martirs in the primitiue Church. Wherfore, if any prayse or dignitie amongest men, (as reason is) be due vnto the Martyrs of Christ for their valiaūt actes, this one man amonges many, seemeth worthy to bee numbred and also to be celebrate in the Church with Ignatius, Laurentius, Ciriatius, Grescentius, 

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I.e., Cyriac and Crescentius. These along with Ignatius, Laurence and Gordian, were martyrs of the early Church. Foxe is developing his belief that Gardiner was fully the equal of the martyrs of the early Church.

and Gordianus. And if the Church of Christ do receiue so great and manifold benifits by these martyrs, with whose bloud it is watred, by whose ashes it is enlarged, by whose constancie it is confirmed by whose testimonie it is witnessed, & finally through whose agonies and victories the truth of the Gospell doth gloriously tryumph: let not vs then thynk it any great matter, to requite them with our duety agayne, MarginaliaWhat duetie is to be geuen of Christians to the blessed Martyrs past. by committing them vnto memory, as a perpetuall tooken of our good will towardes them. Albeit, they them selues receyue no glory at our handes, and much lesse challenge the same: but referre it wholy vnto the Lord Christ, from whom it came whatsoeuer great or notable thyng there was in them. 
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Foxe is careful here to remind his readers that the saints were not intercessors between God and man.

MarginaliaThe memory of Christes Martyrs not to be forgotten. Notwithstandyng, for so much as Christ him selfe is glorified in hys Saintes, we cannot shewe our selues thankefull vnto him except we also shew our selues duetifull vnto those, by whō his glory doth increase.

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MarginaliaHow it came to passe that the primitiue church had yearely commemorations of Martyrs. Hereupon I thinke it came to passe, þt the auncient Christians in the tyme of the first persecutions, thought good to celebrate yearely commemorations of the Martyrdome of those holy men: MarginaliaSuperstition in honouring martyrs. not so much to honour them, as to glorifie God in his souldiours, vnto whom al glory and prayse doth worthely belong: MarginaliaWhat profite cōmeth by memory of Martyrs to vs. and moreouer, that wee beyng instructed by their examples, might bee the more prompt and ready in the policies of those warres, to stand more stoutly in battaile agaynst our aduersaries, and learne the more easiely to contemne and despise this worlde. For in considering the end and death of these men, who wil greatly long or luste after this life, which is so many wayes miserable, through so many afflictions dolorous, through so many casualties ruinous, wherein consisteth so litle constancie and lesse safety beyng neuer free from some hard calamitie one or other? 

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This is the beginning of a long discourse by Foxe on how William Gardiner's constancy provided a model for Christians to follow in their daily lives, not in seeking martyrdom, but in resisting temptation and renouncing the pleasures of the flesh.

What good man would haue this world in reputatiō, wherin he seeth so many good men so cruelly oppressed, MarginaliaThe world geueth quietnes to the wicked especially. and wherin no man can liue in quietnes, except he be wicked? Wherfore I do not a litle merueile, that in this great slaughter of good mē with so many spectacles and examples of cruel torment, Christians do yet lyue as it were drowned in the foolishe desires of this worlde, MarginaliaGood men most afflicted in thys world. seyng dayly before their eyes so many holye and innocent men yeld vp their spirites vnder the handes of such tormentors, to lye in filthy prisons, in bondes, darkenes, and teares, and in the end to be consumed with fire. Wee see so many Prophetes of God, euen Christ him selfe the sonne of god, to be so cruelly and many waies afflicted in this world, tormoiled, scourged and crucified: & yet wee laugh, drynke, and giue our selues vnto all losenes of lyfe and all lasciuiousnes. For honour and great possessions we contend: we build: we study & labour by all meanes to make our selues rich. Vnto whō it doth not suffice that we with safety and freedome from their afflictions, rackes, wheeles, scourges, yrons read hoate, gredirōs, fleshe hookes mallettes, and othe kyndes of tormentes, may serue our Christ in peace and quyet: but beyng herewith not content, will giue ouer our selues to all kynde of wickednes, to bee lead away at the will and pleasure of Sathan?

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MarginaliaThe sufferings of Martyrs be lessons to vs, to plucke vs from his world.But what do we thinke in so doyng? Either we must recken those men to be most miserable in this lyfe, or els our selues to be most vnhappy. But if their blessednes bee most certayne and sure, then let vs direct the course of our lyfe to the same felicitie. These men haue forsaken this life, which they might haue enioyed. But if we can not willingly put of this lyfe, yet let vs not be slow to amende and correct the same: and though wee cannot dye with them in like martirdome, yet let vs mortefie the worldly and prophane affections of the flesh which striue against the spirite, and at the least let vs not thus runne headlong into the licentious desires of the world, as we doe. As the life of Christen men is now, I pray thee, what doe these bondes, prisons, these woundes and scarres, these great fiers, and other horrible tormentes of martirs, then vpbrayd vnto vs our slouthfull slogishnes, and worthely make vs ashamed therof? Which Martirs if in their liues they liued 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 betwene Christes martirs that haue bene, and the life of Christians which now is. How would we suffer the cruel lookes of tirānes? the fearful kinds of tormēts, or the violent assaultes of þe tormētors in any quarell of godlines, if in peace and quietnes we are,and that with euery small breath or winde of temptation we are blowne away from God, so faint harted without any resistaunce are caryed hedlong into all kinde of wickednes & mischiefe? One singeth songes of loue, an other watcheth all the night at dice: some spēd their lyfe and tyme day by day in hawking and hunting: some tipple so at tauernes, that they come home reeling. Others whatsoeuer desire of reuenge doth put into their heads, that by and by they seeke to put in practise. Some gape after riches: some swell with ambition: some thinke that they are borne for no other purpose but for pleasure and pastime. All the world is full of iniury and periury, nay rather it is so rare a thing patiently to suffer iniuries done vnto vs, that except we haue the sleight to doe iniurye to other, wee thinke our selues scarce men. There is no loue almost nor Charitie amongest men: neither is ther any man that regardeth the good name or fame of his neighbour.

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But amongest all the rest, vnsatiable couetousnes and auarice so raigneth that no man almoste is now contented wt any tolerable estate of life, either þt will prescribe himself any measure in hauing þt he possesseth, or in proling for þt which he lacketh: neuer quiet, but alwayes toiling, neuer satisfied, but alwayes vnsatiable. Whereby it so commeth, that the myndes of Christen men, being occupied in suche worldelye carks & cares can scarcely find any vacant leisure to thinke vpon heauenly thinges: and yet notwithstanding with these mindes wee will needes seeme Christians. But now settinge aparte these complayntes spente in vaine, wee will prosecute our purposed story touching good W. Gardiner.

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MarginaliaThe first bringing vp and trade of W. Gardiner. And first as concerning his kinred, he was of an honest stock, borne at Bristow, a towne of marchandise on the seacoast of England, honestly brought vp and by nature geuen vnto grauitie, of a mean stature of body, of a comely and plesant countenaunce, but in no part so excellent as in þe inward qualities of the minde, which hee alwayes from his childheode 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 indifferēt learning did not a litle commend & beautifie his other ornaments. Whē he grew vnto those yeres at which younge men are accustomed to settle their myndes to some kinde of lyfe, MarginaliaW Gardiner followed the trade of marchaundise. it happened þt he gaue himself to the trade of Marchandise, vnder the conduct & guiding of a certayne Marchant of Bristow, called Maister Paget, by whom he 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) hee taryed there about his Marchandise, where at the laste hee hauing gotten vnderstanding of the language and being accustomed vnto their māners, became a profitable seruant both vnto his master and others, in such things as pertayned vnto the trade of that vocation. Whereunto hee did so applye himselfe that neuerthelesse he in that popish countrey reseruing still the religion of his 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 W. Gardiner. Neither dyd he lacke good bookes or the conference of good and honest mē, vnto whom he would oftentimes bewayle his imbecilitye and weakenesse, that he was nether sufficiently touched wt the hatred of his sinnes, nether yet enflamed with the loue of godlines.

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MarginaliaA solemne mariage betwene the k. of Portugales sonne, and & Spanishe kinges daughter in Portugale. Whilest hee was there abidinge, it happened that there should be a solemne mariage, celebrate the first day of September in the yeare aboue sayd, betwene two Princes: to say, the sonne of the king of Portugale, & the Spanish king his 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 resorte of the Nobilitye and Estates. There lacked no Byshops with Miters. nor Cardinals with their hats, to set out this royall wedding. To be short, they went forward to the Weddinge wyth great Pompe, where a greate concourse of people resorted, some of good will, some for seruice sake, and some (as the maner is) to gaze and looke. Great

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