Critical Apparatus for this Page
Commentary on the Text
Names and Places on this Page
Unavailable for this Edition
1339 [1338]

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

Marginalia1552. preparation of all parties was there throughout the whole Citie, as in such cases is accustomed, and all places were filled with myrth and gladnes. In this great assembly of the whole kingdome, William Gardinar, who, albeit he dyd not greatly esteeme such kynde of spectacles, yet beyng allured through the fame and report therof, was their also, cõmyng thether early in the mornyng, to the intent hee might haue the more oportunitie and better place to behold and see.

[Back to Top]

The houre beyng come, they flocked into the church with great solemnitie and pompe: the kyng first, and then euery estate in order. The greater persones, the more ceremonies were about them. After all thinges were set in order, they went forward to the celebratyng of their Masse: MarginaliaA Popishe celebration of a mariage for that alone serueth for all purposes. The Cardinall did execute, wt much singing and orgayne playing. 

Commentary  *  Close

These is a hint here that Foxe did not approve of organs and choral music during church services.

The people stoode with great deuotion and silence, praying, lookyng, knelyng, and knocking, theyr myndes beyng fully bent and set, as it is the maner) vpon the external sacrament, How greeuously these thynges dyd pricke and moue this younge mans mynde, it can not be expressed partlye to beholde the miserable absurditie of those thinges, and partly to see the folly of the cõmon people: and not onely of the common people, but specially to see the kyng him selfe and his Councell, with so many sage and wise men (as they seemed) to be seduced with lyke Idolatrie as the common people were: MarginaliaThe godly zeale of W. Gardiner in seing the Idolatrie of the people and the great disworship of God. In so much that it lacked very little, but that he woulde euen that present day haue done some notable thinge in the kynges sight and presence, but that the great prease and throng that was about hym, letted that he could not cõe vnto the altar. What neede many wordes? When the ceremonies were ended, he commeth home very sad and heauy in his minde: in so much that all his fellowes marueiled greatly at him: Who albeit vpon diuers coniectures they conceyued the cause of his sadnes, notwithstandyng they dyd not fully vnderstand that those matters so much troubled his godly mynde: neither yet did he declare it vnto any man, but seekyng solitarynes and secret places fallyng down prostrate before God, with manifolde teares bewayled the neglectyng of his dutye, deliberatyng with him selfe howe he might reuoke that people from theyr impietye and superstition.

[Back to Top]

In this deliberation and aduise his minde being fully setled, and thinkyng that the matter ought not to bee any longer differred, he renounced the worlde, MarginaliaWilliam Gardiner cleareth hys bookes of accomptes. making vp all his accomptes so exactly (as well of that whiche was due vnto him, as that which he ought vnto others) that no mã could iustly aske so much as one farthyng. MarginaliaWilliam Gardiner continuing in watchyng and prayer. Whiche thing done, he continued night and day in prayer callyng vpon God, and cõtinual meditatiõ of the Scriptures, that scarsely he would take any meate by day, or slepe by night, or that most, aboue an houre or two of rest in the night, as Pendigrace his felowe, companion both at bedde and bourde being yet alyue, can testifie. 

Commentary  *  Close

This acknowledgement that Pendigrace was Foxe's source first appears in Rerum, p. 206. For a possible identification of 'Pentigrace' as one Thomas Pendigrace, see Thomas S. Freeman and Marcello J. Borges, '"A grave and heinous incident against our holy Catholic Faith": Two Accounts of William Gardiner's Desecration of the Portuguese Roayl Chapel in 1552', Historical Research 69 (1966).

[Back to Top]

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaWilliã Gardiners aduised preparation to the accomplishment of his purpose. The Sonday came againe to be celebrate 

Commentary  *  Close

The wedding which putatively inspired Gardiner's act of sacrilege took place on 4 December 1552 (not September as Foxe states); the act of sacrilege itself took place on 11 December.

either with like pompe and solemnitie, or not much lesse, whereas the sayde William was present earely in the morning, very cleanly apparelled 
Commentary  *  Close

Interestingly, a witness testified before the tribunal investigating Gardiner that, at the time of his act of sacrilege, he was 'a man of respectable appearance' ['um homem bem disposito'] (Thomas S. Freeman and Marcello 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], p. 5).

[Back to Top]
euen of purpose, that he might stand neare the altar without repulse. Within a while after commeth the kynge with all his nobles. Then Gardinar setteth hym selfe as neare the alter as he might, hauyng a testament in his hande the whiche he diligently read vppon, and prayed vntill the time was come þt he had appointed to worke his feate. MarginaliaThe Cardinall at his Masse. The Masse began, whiche was then solemnised by a Cardinall. 
Commentary  *  Close

Foxe is in error on this point. The Cardinal-Infante Henrique was unquestionably present at the service, but testimony at Gardiner's trial reveals that a royal chaplain was celebrating Mass (Thomas S. Freeman and Marcello 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], p. 13).

[Back to Top]
Yet he satte still, He which said Masse, proceded, hee consecrated, sacrificed, lifted vp on hye, shewed his God vnto the people, all the people gaue great reuerence, and as yet he stirred nothyng. At the last they came vnto that place of þe masse where as they vse to take the ceremoniall Hoste and tosse it too and fro round about the Chalice, making certayne circles and semicircles. MarginaliaWilliam Gardiner plucketh the Cardinals Idolle out of his hãdes at Masse as he was leaping about the Chalice. Then the said W. Gardiner, not beyng able to suffer any longer, ranne speedily vnto the Cardinall: and (which is vncredible to be spoken) euen in the presence of the King and all his Nobles and Citizens, with the one hand he snatched away the cake from the Priest, and trode it vnder his feet, and with the other hand ouerthrew þe chalice. 
Commentary  *  Close

In a pastoral letter written after Gardiner's sacrilege, the Archbishop of Lisbon wrote that Gardiner had crushed the Host with one hand and overturned the chalice with the other (I. da Rosa Pereira, 'O Desacato na Capella Real em 1552 e o processo do calvinista inglês peranto Ordinário de Lisboa', Annais da Academia Portuguesa da Historia 29 (1984), pp. 618-19).

[Back to Top]
This matter at þe first made thē all abashed, but by & by there rose a great tumulte, and the people began to cry out. The nobles and the cõmon people ranne together, MarginaliaWilliam Gardiner wounded with a dagger. amongest whome, one drawyng out his Dagger, gaue him a great wounde in the shoulder, and as he was about to strike hym agayne to haue slayne him, the Kyng twyse commaunded to haue him saued. 
Commentary  *  Close

Witnesses testified at Gardiner's trial that the crowd attacked Gardiner and were only stopped from killing him by the personal intervention of João III (Thomas S. Freeman and Marcello 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. 14-15).

[Back to Top]
So by that meanes they absteyned from murther.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaWilliam Gardiner brought before the kyng. After the tumult was ceased, he was brought vnto the king: by whom he was demaunded what countrey man he was, and howe he durst be so bold to worke such a contumely agaynst his Maiestie, and the Sacramentes of the Church? He aunswered: 

Commentary  *  Close

To accept that this speech actually took place, one must accept that a person who seriously wounded by an enraged mob would have had the presence of mind to deliver this oration and that the king, anxious to forestall the mob, would have listened patiently while he delivered it. It is almost certain that Foxe wrote this little speech himself. His reason for doing so was clear. The martyrologist was anxious to clear Gardiner (and Protestants in general) of any taint of disrespect for monarchs or sedition.

[Back to Top]
most noble kyng, I am not ashamed of my countrey, which am an Englishe man both by MarginaliaThe oration of William Gardiner before the kyng. byrth and religion, and am come hether onely for trafficke of Marchaundise. And when I sawe in this famous assembly so great Idolatry cõmitted, my conscience neither ought neither could any longer suffer, but that I must needes do that which you haue seene me presently doe. Which thyng (most noble Prince) was not done nor thought of me for any contumely or reproche of your presence, but onely for this purpose (as before God I do clearely confesse) to seeke the onely saluation of this people.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaThe suspition of the Portugales vpon the facte of William Gardiner. When they heard that he was an Englishe man and called to remembraunce how the Religion was restored by K. Edward, they were by and by brought in suspition, that he had bene suborned by Englishmen thus to doe, to mocke and deride their religion. Wherfore they were the more earnest vpon hym to know who was the author and procurour that he should commit that act. MarginaliaThe aūswere of William Gardiner to the false suspition of the Portugalls. Vnto whom he aunswered, desiring them that they would cõceaue no such suspitiõ of hym, for somuch as he was not moued thereunto by any man, but onely by his owne conscience. For otherwise there was no man vnder þe heauē, for whose sake he would haue put himselfe into so manifest daūger: but that he ought this seruice first vnto God, and secondarily vnto their saluatiõ: wherfore if he had done any thyng which were displeasaunt vnto them, they ought to impute it vnto no man, but vnto themselues, which so vnreuerently vsed the holy Supper of the Lord vnto so great Idolatry, not without great ignominie vnto the Church, violation of the sacraments, and the perill of their owne soules, without they repented.

[Back to Top]

Whilest that he spake these wyth many other thinges more vnto this effect very grauely and stoutly, the bloud ran abundantly out of the wounde, so that he was ready to faint. Whereupon Surgeons were sent for, whereby he might be cured if it were possible, and be reserued for further examination, & more greuous torment. For they were fully perswaded that this deede had diuers abbettors and setters on: which was the cause that all the other Englishemen also in the same Citie came into suspition, and were commaunded to safe custody. MarginaliaPendigrace bedfellow to W. Gardiner imprisoned vpon suspition. Amõgest whom, Pendigrace, because he was his bedfelow, was greuously tormented & examined more then the residue, and scarcely was deliuered after two yeares imprisonment. The other were much sooner set at libertie at the intercession of a certayne Duke. 

Commentary  *  Close

It is worth noting that, despite Portuguese suspicions that Gardiner was not acting alone, the incident did not disturb either diplomatic or trade relations between England and Portugal.

MarginaliaWilliam Gardiners chamber searched. Notwithstanding their suspition could not yet be satisfied, but they came vnto his chamber to seeke if there were any letters, to vnderstand and finde out the author of thys enterprise. And when as they coulde finde nothyng there, they came agayne vnto him being greuously wounded, with tormentes to extorte of him the author of this facte, and to accuse him as gilty of most greuous heresie. Of both which pointes, with such dexteritie as he could, he cleared himselfe. Wherein, albeit he spake the Spanishe 
Commentary  *  Close

Actually Portuguese; Foxe seems to have believed that the language of Portugal was Spanish.

tounge well, yet he vsed the Latine tounge much more exactely. 
Commentary  *  Close

Gardiner's examinations were conducted in Latin but recorded in Portuguese.

[Back to Top]

But they not beyng therwith satisfied, added an other straunge kynde of torment, which (as I suppose) passeth the Bull of Phalaris. MarginaliaThe Bull of Phalaris a certaine tyranne, was a kind of torment made of brasse lyke Bull with fire vnder it to torment such as were put into it, and make them to roare like a Bull. Because there shoulde no kynde of extreme crueltie be left vnassayd, 

Commentary  *  Close

The Portuguese records state that torture was applied to Gardiner, but they do not describe the tortures. The tortures described by Foxe have a grim plausibility since conventional tortures could not be used on a severely wounded man.

they caused a linnen cloth to be sowed rounde like a ball, the which they with violence put downe hys throate vnto the bottome of his stomacke, tyed with a small string which they held in their handes, & when it was downe, they pulled it vp agayne with violēce, so plucking it to and fro through the meate pype, in such sort as with much lesse griefe they might haue ridde hym out of his life at once.

[Back to Top]

Thus at the last, when all tormentes & tormenters were weried, and that it did nothing at all preuaile to go this way to worke, they asked him whether he did not repent hys wicked and seditious deede. MarginaliaWilliam Gardiner not repēting hys fact. As touching the deede aunswered that it was so farre of that he did repent, that if it were to do agayne, he thought he should do the same. But as touching the maner of the deede, he was not a litle sory that it was done in the kyngs presence to the disquietnes of hys minde. Howbeit þt was not to be imputed vnto him, which neither enterprised or thought vpon any such matter, but rather to be ascribed vnto þe kyng, in that he hauing power, woulde not prohibite so great Idolatrye vsed amonge hys people. Thys he spake wyth great feruencie.

[Back to Top]

After they had vsed all kynde of torments, and saw that there could nothing more be gathered of him, and also that through his woundes & paines he could not long liue, they brought him three dayes after to execution: MarginaliaThe right hand of William Gardiner cut of in the vestry. And first of all, bringing him into the Vestry, cut of his right hand, which he taking vp with his left hãd kissed. MarginaliaThe left hand of William Gardiner cut of in the Market place. Thē he was brought into the market place, whereas his other hand also was cut of: which he kneling downe vpon the grounde, also kissed. These thinges thus done after the maner and fashion of Spaine, his armes being bounde behinde him, and his feete vnder the horse belly, he was caried to the place of executiõ.

[Back to Top]
Tho
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