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1148 [1124]

K. Hen. 8. The Condemnation, burning, and Martyrdome of Iohn Lambert.

throughout the Realme, whereby the worshipping of the bread should be the more firmely fixed in the heartes of the people. And in this maner was the cōdemnation of Iohn Lambert. Wherein great pitie it was, and muche to be lamented, to see the Kinges highnesse that day so to oppose and set his power and strength so fiercely and vehemently in assisting so manye proude and furious aduersaries, against that one poore seely soule, to be deuoured. Whō hys Maiestie wyth more honour might rather haue aided and supported, being so on euery side oppressed and compassed about wythout helpe or refuge, amonge so many Wolues and vultures, especially in suche a cause tending to no derogation to him nor to his realme, but rather to the necessary reformation of syncere truth and doctrine decaied. MarginaliaThe part of a good Prince, what to doe.For therein especially consisteth the honour of Princes, to pity the miserable, to relieue the oppressed, to rescue the wrōgs of the poore, and to tender and respect the weaker parte, especially where righte and truth standeth with him: which if the King had done that day, it had ben, in my minde, not so much for the comforte of that poore persecuted creature, as it woulde haue redounded to the immortall renoume of his Princely estate to all posteritie.

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But thus was Iohn Lambert, in this bloudy Session, by the king iudged and condemned to death, whose iudgement now remaineth with the Lord against that day, whē as before the tribunall seate of that great iudge, both princes and subiects shall stande and appeare, not to iudge, but to be iudged, according as they haue done and deserued 

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Foxe notes here that he had obtained this account of Lambert's trial from a certain 'A.G.'. This note only appeared in 1570, although Foxe had already printed this account in the Rerum and in the 1563 edition. 'A. G.' is very probably Anthony Gilby, the celebrated Protestant preacher, with whom Foxe shared a house in Frankfurt in 1554-55.

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. Ex testimonio cuiusdam xxx. A. G.

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And thus muche hetherto of Lambertes articles, aunsweres, disputation, and his condemnation also. Nowe to proceede further to the storie of his death.

MarginaliaLambert going to his death.Vpon the day that was appoynted for this holy martyr of God to suffer, he was brought out of the prisone at 8. of the clocke in the morhing, vnto the house of the L. Cromwel, and so caried into his inward chamber, where as it is reported of many, MarginaliaL. Cromwell desired of Lambert forgeuenes.that Cromwell desired him of forgeuenes, for that he had done 

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It is highly unlikely that Cromwell would have had someone condemned by the king brought to his and that he would have sought the condemned man's forgiveness. This anecdote has to regarded as another attempt by Foxe to alleviate the embarrassment caused by Lambert's having been denounced by other evangelicals.

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. Ther, at the last, Lambert being admonished, that the houre of his death was at hande, hee was greatly comforted and cheared, and being broughte out of the chamber into the Hal, he saluted the gentlemen, and sate downe to breakfast wyth them, shewing no manner of sadnesse or feare. When as the breakfast was ended, he was caried straight way to the place of execution, wher as hee shoulde offer hymselfe vnto the Lorde a sacrifice of sweete sauour 
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See Ephesians 5:2; this is a common martyrological trope.

, who is blessed in his Saintes for euer and euer. Amen.

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As touching the terrible maner and fashion of the burning of this blessed Martyr 

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This account of Lambert's execution was only added in the 1570 edition. It was probably sent to Foxe by an eyewitness to the event.

, heere is to be noted, that of all other, which haue beene burned and offered vp at Smithfielde, there was yet none so cruelly and piteously handled, as he. For after that his legges were consumed and burned vp to the stumpes, and that the wretched tormentours and enemies of God had withdrawne the fire from him, so that but a small fire and coales were left vnder hym, then two that stoode on eche side of him, with their Hallebardes pitched him vpon their pikes, as farre as the chaine wolde reache, after the manner & forme as here in this picture is described. Then hee lifting vp such handes as hee had, and his fingers endes, flaming with fire, cried vnto the people in these wordes: MarginaliaThe wordes which he spake at his death.None but Christ, none but Christ, and so being let downe againe from their Hallebardes, fell into the fire, and there gaue vp his life.

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Thus yee haue heard by what crafte and subtiltie thys

The order and maner of the burning of the constante Martyr in Christ, Iohn Lambert.
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The trial and death of John Lambert alias Nicholson was extraordinary in many respects, and filled many pages of Foxe's book. Coming as it did at a critical phase of Henry VIII's remoulding of the English church, when eucharisitic doctrine threatened to upset applecarts in England itself, as well as its continental relations, and when the king's leading aides (both Cranmer and Cromwell) were covertly heading in directions quite other than those congenial to the king, Lambert's case was threatening. He was initially examined by Archbishop Warham on 45 articles, but it was his sacramentarian heresy that proved critical, and accounts for the space allotted to him in the 'Book of Martyrs' as well as the royal presence presiding at his final trial. He was burned at Smithfield on 22 November 1538. Another unusual feature of Lambert's case is the close relationship between Foxe's text and image. Author and designer here worked together, integrating word and image. Foxe described the peculiar horror of this burning, and the block-maker faithfully portrayed his words, that described how after Lambert's legs had been consumed 'up to the stumps', his 'tormentors' pulled back the fire and attacked him with their pikes 'after the manner and form that is described in the picture adjoined'. After which Lambert, 'lifting up such hands as he had, and his fingers' ends flaming with fire', cried out 'none but Christ, none but Christ', before he collapsed and fell into the fire. As it happened, the illustrator responsible for this block was peculiarly fitted to the task. For we can reasonably assign to him a group of woodcuts that share recognizable characteristics: a pyre with gatherings of straight logs; writhing flames that have partings (like those in hair); flames that lick around the martyr's arms (and sometimes dart from the hair); outstetched armsand splayed fingers (specially suiting this case). (He almost specialised in 'fingers flaming with fire'). Blocks that shared these features included several used in the first edition that proved awkward in size, and were abandoned or (unsatisfactorily) trimmed. (Examples are the burnings of William Sawtry, Alexander Gouch and Driver's wife, and Bishop Ferrar. If the maker of these cuts was also given assigments in the larger woodcuts, we might assign this one to him). CUL copy: the tips of the flames in this copy are depicted in red. Additional detail is provided in ink in this copy.

good man was intrapped, and wyth what crueltie he was oppressed, so that nowe remaineth nothing , but onely his punishment and death, which the drunken rage of the byshops thought not to be long protracted.

During the time that hee was in the Archbyshoppes Warde at Lambeth, which was a little before his disputation before the king, he wrote an excellent confession or defence of his cause vnto king Henrie 

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This is A treatyse made by Johan Lambert…, ed. John Bale (Wesel, 1548?), STC 15180. This work was published posthumously, from an incomplete manuscript, somehow obtained by John Bale.


Wherein he first mollifying the kings minde and eares, wt a modest & sober preface, declaring how he had a double hope of solace laid vp, the one in the most high and mighty Prince of Princes, God: the other nexte vnto God, in hys Maiestie, which shoulde represent the office and ministerie of that most high Prince in gouerning here vppon earth:after that proceeding in gentle wordes, he declared þe cause which mooued him to that which he had done.

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MarginaliaThe Apology of Iohn Lambert vnto the king.And albeit he was not ignorant howe odious this doctrine woulde be vnto the people, yet notwithstanding, because he was not also ignoraunt how desirous the kynges mind was to search out the trueth, he thought no time vnmeete to performe his duetie, especially for so muche as hee woulde not vtter those thyngs vnto the ignoraunt multitude, for auoiding of offence, but only vnto the Prince him selfe, vnto whom he might safely declare his minde. MarginaliaThe preface of his Apologie.

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After thys Preface made, hee entring into the Booke 

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In the next two sentences Foxe summarizes A treatyse made by Johan Lambert…, ed. John Bale (Wesel, 1548?), STC 15180, fos. 5v-9r.

, confirmed his doctrine touchinge the Sacramente, by diuers testimonies of the Scriptures, by the whiche Scriptures, hee prooued the bodye of Christe, whether it riseth,

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