Thematic Divisions in Book 12
1. Exhumations of Bucer and Phagius along with Peter Martyr's Wife2. Pole's Visitation Articles for Kent3. Ten Martyrs Burnt at Canterbury4. The 'Bloody Commission'5. Twenty-two Prisoners from Colchester6. Five Burnt at Smithfield7. Stephen Gratwick and others8. Edmund Allen and other martyrs9. Alice Benden and other martyrs10. Examinations of Matthew Plaise11. Richard Woodman and nine other martyrs12. Ambrose13. Richard Lush14. Edmund Allen15. The Martyrdom of Simon Miller and Elizabeth Cooper16. Rose Allin and nine other Colchester Martyrs17. John Thurston18. George Eagles19. Richard Crashfield20. Fryer and George Eagles' sister21. Joyce Lewes22. Rafe Allerton and others23. Agnes Bongeor and Margaret Thurston24. John Kurde25. John Noyes26. Cicelye Ormes27. Persecution at Lichfield28. Persecution at Chichester29. Thomas Spurdance30. Hallingdale, Sparrow and Gibson31. John Rough and Margaret Mearing32. Cuthbert Simson33. William Nicholl34. Seaman, Carman and Hudson35. Three at Colchester36. A Royal Proclamation37. Roger Holland and other Islington martyrs38. Stephen Cotton and other martyrs39. Scourging of Thomas Hinshaw40. Scourging of John Milles41. Richard Yeoman42. John Alcocke43. Thomas Benbridge44. Four at St Edmondsbury45. Alexander Gouch and Alice Driver46. Three at Bury47. A Poor Woman of Exeter48. Priest's Wife of Exeter49. The Final Five Martyrs50. John Hunt and Richard White51. John Fetty52. Nicholas Burton53. John Fronton54. Another Martyrdom in Spain55. Baker and Burgate56. Burges and Hoker57. The Scourged: Introduction58. Richard Wilmot and Thomas Fairfax59. Thomas Greene60. Bartlett Greene and Cotton61. Steven Cotton's Letter62. James Harris63. Robert Williams64. Bonner's Beating of Boys65. A Beggar of Salisbury66. Providences: Introduction67. The Miraculously Preserved68. William Living69. Edward Grew70. William Browne71. Elizabeth Young72. Elizabeth Lawson73. Christenmas and Wattes74. John Glover75. Dabney76. Alexander Wimshurst77. Bosom's wife78. Lady Knevet79. Mistress Roberts80. Anne Lacy81. Crosman's wife82. Congregation at Stoke in Suffolk83. Congregation of London84. Edward Benet85. Jeffrey Hurst86. William Wood87. Simon Grinaeus88. The Duchess of Suffolk89. Thomas Horton 90. Thomas Sprat91. John Cornet92. Thomas Bryce93. Gertrude Crockhey94. William Mauldon95. Robert Horneby96. Mistress Sandes97. John Kempe98. Thomas Rose99. Complaint against the Ipswich Gospellers100. Tome 6 Life and Preservation of the Lady Elizabeth101. The Unprosperous Queen Mary102. Punishments of Persecutors103. Foreign Examples104. A Letter to Henry II of France105. The Death of Henry II and others106. Justice Nine-Holes107. John Whiteman108. Admonition to the Reader109. Hales' Oration110. Cautions to the Reader111. Snel112. Laremouth113. William Hunter's Letter
Critical Apparatus for this Page
Commentary on the Text
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1904 [1877]

Q. Mary. Persecution in Sussex. The taking and examination of Richard Woodman.

Marginalia1557. Iune.that were abroad in the land: and kept them with them till theyr hour was appointed to come in, and then a little girle one of my children, saw them come together, and came runnyng in, and cryed: mother, mother, yonder commeth xx. men. I sittyng in my bed and makyng of shooe thonges, heard the wordes, and suspectyng straight way that I was betrayed, I stirred out of my bed and whipt on my hose, thinkyng to haue gone out of the doores or euer they had beene come. My wife beyng amased at the childes wordes, looked out at the doore, and they were hard by. Then she clapped to the doore and barred it fast, euen as I came out of my chāber into the Hall, and so barred the other: MarginaliaWoodmans house againe beset, and searched.So the house was beset rounde straightway, and they bad open the doores, or els they would breake them in peeces. Then I had no shift, but eyther I must shewe my selfe openly, or make some other remedie.

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MarginaliaWoodman put to hys shiftes.So there was a place in my house that was neuer found which was at the least, I dare say, xx. tymes and sometimes almost of xx. men searched at once, both by night and by day. Into which place I went: MarginaliaThe part of a trusty wife to her husband.And as soone as I was in, my wife opened the doore: wherby incontinent they came, and asked for me: and she sayd I was not at home. Then they asked her wherfore shee shut þe doore if I were not at home. Shee said, because shee had ben made afraid diuers tymes, with such as came to search vs, & therfore shee shut þe doore. For it is reported (saith shee) that who soeuer can take my husband, shal hang hym or burne him straight way: and therfore I doubt they wyll serue me or my children so: for I thinke they may do so vnto vs as wel as to him, shee said. Wel, said they, we know he is in the house, and we must search it, for we be the Sheriffes men: let vs haue a candle. It is told vs, there be many secret places in your house. So shee lighted a candle, and they sought vp and downe in euery corner that they could finde, and had geuen ouer, and many of them were gone out of my house into the Churchyard, and were talking with my father, and with some that he had brought with hym.

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Nowe when they could not finde me, one of them went to hym that gaue thē word MarginaliaThis belike was his brother. that I was at home, and said, we can not finde hym. Then he asked them whether they had sought ouer a wyndowe that was in the Hall (as it was knowen afterward) for that same place I had tolde hym of my selfe. For many tymes when I came home, I would send for hym to beare me company: yet as it chaūced I had not told hym the way into it. Then they began to searche anewe. One looked vp ouer the wyndowe and spyed a litle loft, with three or foure Chestes, and the way went in betwixt two of the chestes, but there could no man perceiue it. Then he asked my wyfe which was the way into it. Here is a place that we haue not sought yet. Then shee thought they would see it by one meanes or other. She said, the way was into it out of a chamber they were in euē now. So shee sent them vp, & cryed, Away, away. Then I knew there was no remedie, but make the best shift for my selfe that I could. The place was boarded ouer and fast nayled, and if I had come out that way that I went in, I must needes come amongest them all in the Hall. MarginaliaWoodman at length after long seeking found out.Then I had no shyft, but set my shoulders to the bourdes that were nayled to the rafters to keepe out the rayne, and brake them in peeces, which made a great noyse, and they that were in the other Chamber, seeking for the way into it, hearde the noyse, and looked out of a wyndowe, and spyed me, and made an outcry. But yet I got out, and leaped downe, hauyng no shooes on.

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So I tooke downe a lane that was ful of sharpe Synders, and they came runnyng after, with a great cry, with their swords drawē, crying Strike hym, strike hym. Which words made me looke back, and there was neuer a one nigh me by an hundred foote: and that was but one, for all the rest were a great way behynd. And I turned about hastily to goe my way, and stepped vppon a sharpe Sinder with one foote, and sauyng of it, I stepped in a great miery hole, and fel downe withal, and ere euer I could arise and get away, he was come in with me. His name is MarginaliaParker in Sussex a bloudy persecutor of Woodman.Parker the wild, as he is counted in all Sussex. But if I had had on my shooes, they had ben like to haue gone away arrandles, if there had ben fiue hūdred more, if I had caught the plaine ground once, to the which I had not a stones cast: But it was not Gods wyll: for if it had, I should haue scaped frō them al, if there had ben ten thousand of them.

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MarginaliaWoodman taken of his enemyes.Then they tooke me and led me home againe to put on my shooes and such geere as I had neede of. Then sayde Iohn Fauconer: MarginaliaIohn Fauconer a blasphemous persecutor. Now your Maister hath deceyued you. You sayd, you were an angel, & if you had ben an angel, why dyd you not flee away from vs? Then saide I, what be they that euer heard me say that I was an angell? It is not the first lye by a thousande that they haue made of me. Angels were neuer begotten of men, nor borne of women:

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but if they had said, that they had heard me say, that I doo trust I am a Saint, they had not said amisse. What, do you thinke to be a Saint? MarginaliaEuery true Christian man is a Sainct in Gods sight.Yea that I do, & am alredy, in gods sight, I trust in God: for he that is not a saint in Gods sight already, is a deuyl. Therfore he that thinketh scorne to be a saint, let him be a deuyl. And with þt word they had brought me to myne owne doore: where met with me my father, and wylled me to remember my selfe.

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To whom I answeared: I prayse God, I am wel remembred wherabout I goe. This way was appoynted of God for me to be deliuered into the hands of myne enimies, but woe vnto hym by whom I am betrayed. It had bene good for that man, þt he had neuer ben borne, if he repent not with speede. The Scriptures are now fulfilled on me: For the father shalbe against the sonne, and the brother shall deliuer the brother to death, as it is this day come to passe. MarginaliaWoodman betrayed eyther by hys owne father, or by his owne brother. Then said one: He doth accuse his Father: a good childe in deede. I accuse hym not, but say my mynd: for there was no man knewe me at home, but my father, my brother, and one more, the which I dare say, would not hurt me for all the good in this towne.

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There was one George Bechyng MarginaliaGeorge Beching brother in lawe to Woodman. that maried one of my sisters, and he thought that I had ment hym, that he had betrayed me: & he said: Brother, I would you should not think that I was the cause of your taking. To whom I answered, that I meant him not: I meant one that was nearer of my bloud then he was. Then said one of Lause, that had bene a Gospeller, & stood from them, when I was brought to a Sessions to Lause, and he said, I thought you would haue ben an honest man when you were at Lause, and I offered Hussey the Sheriffe to be bound for you, that you should goe home to your wyfe and come to hym againe. Then I remembred what he was, and said: Be you the Peauterer? MarginaliaA Pewterer of Lawse, a turnecoate. And he said, Yea. Then said I: It is happened to you according to the true Prouerbe, as saith s. Peter: The dogge is turned to his vomit againe, and the Sowe that is washed, to wallow in the myre, and the end of al such wyll be worse then the beginnyng. Then his mouth was stopped so, that he had nothing to say.

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All this while I stood at my doore without: for they would not let me go in. So I put on my shooes & my clothes, and then they put on an harnes about myne armes made of a dogges slippe: which reioyced my hart that I was counted worthy to be bound for the name of God. MarginaliaWoodmā reioyseth to be bounde for the name of Christ. So I tooke my leaue of my wife and children, MarginaliaWoodman taketh his leaue of his wyfe and Children. my father & other of my frends, neuer thinking to see thē more in this world. For it was so thought of al the countrey, that I should not lyue sixe dayes after my taking: for they had so reported. But yet I knewe it was not as they would, vnlesse God would graunt it. I know what God can doo: but what he wyl do, I know not: but I am sure he wil worke al things for the best, for them that loue & feare hym. So we dranke and went our waye, and came to Firle MarginaliaThe name of this place, so farre as we could gather by the copy was Firle. about three of the clocke. And thus much touching the causes and effect of the troubles of Rich. Woodman. Now let vs see his examinations, which folow in this order.

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¶ The first examination of Rich. Woodman, before Doctor Christopherson Bishop of Chichester, Doctor Story, Doctor Cooke, and other.

MarginaliaRichard Woodman brought before the B. of Chichester, D. Story, and D. Cooke.FIrst you shal vnderstand, that I was sent frō the Sheriffes to London, the. xij. day of Aprill, in the yeare of our Lord. 1557. and afterward vpon the. xiiij. day of the same moneth I was brought before the Bishop of Chichester, 

Commentary  *  Close

At this point, Christopherson had been appointed bishop of Chichester but his appointment had not been confirmed by the pope and he had not been consecrated. This created legal problems for the prosecution of Woodman.

& Doctor Story, and Doctor Cooke. So the Sheriffes man deliuered my warrant and me to the bishop. Then the bishop asked me what my name was. My name (quoth I) is Richard Woodman.

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Chichester. I am sory for you, and so are all the worshipfull men of your Countrey. For it hath bene reported to me, that you haue bene a man of good estimation in all the Countrey, amongest the poore and riche, tyll nowe of late. Wherefore looke well vpon your selfe, your wyfe, and chyldren, your Father, and other of your frendes, and be ruled. Thinke not your selfe wiser then all the Realme. Be enfourmed, and you shall haue their fauours al, as much as euer you had.

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Wood. You haue charged me with many thyngs, wherin I haue neuer offended, and if you wyl geue me leaue, I wil shew you.

Chichest. Yes, I pray you, say your mynd.

Wood. If it please you, you haue charged me as though I made my selfe wiser then al the Realme: GOD doth knowe, I stande to learne of euery man that wyll or can teache me the truth. And where as you say, I haue bene well esteemed both of the poore and rich, God doth know, I I know not that I haue geuē any iust offence, either to rich

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