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George Wishart

(c. 1513 - 1546) [ODNB]

Evangelical preacher, martyr; educated Louvain; in Scotland by 1535; fled to Bristol in 1538, charged with heresy; went into exile (1539 - 42); lectured at Cambridge (1542 - 43); itinerant preacher in Scotland (1543 - 46); hanged and burnt at St Andrews

Cardinal David Beaton ordered John Winram to summon George Wishart, imprisoned in the castle at St Andrews, to appear before the bishops. Beaton sent an armed guard to escort him. 1563, p. 648; 1570, p. 1444; 1576, p. 1231; 1583, p. 1268.

After John Winram had preached a sermon before the bishops, Wishart was ordered into the pulpit to hear the accusations against him. 1563, p. 648; 1570, p. 1444; 1576, p. 1231; 1583, p. 1268.

Wishart replied to the accusations and asked to appeal to the governor, the earl of Arran. This was refused, and the articles against him were read a second time, to which he answered. He was then condemned for heresy. 1563, pp. 649-53; 1570, pp. 1444-47; 1576, pp. 1232-34; 1583, pp. 1268-71.

John Scot and another Franciscan went to Wishart in the castle prison after his condemnation and insisted he make his confession to them. He refused, asking to confess to John Winram instead. 1563, p. 653; 1570, p. 1447; 1576, p. 1234; 1583, p. 1271.

The guns of the castle were trained on the stake to prevent Wishart's escape. He was led to his execution bound, under armed guard, with a rope around his neck. 1563, pp. 653-54; 1570, pp. 1447-48; 1576, p. 1234; 1583, p. 1271.

 
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Henry

(d. 1545) [Fines]

Henry and his servant were burnt together at Colchester. 1570, p. 1410; 1576, p. 1202; 1583, p. 1231.

 
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John Athee

Bitmaker of Stroud, near Highbury, Middlesex; imprisoned in Westminster gatehouse [Fines]

John Athee was indicted for speaking against the sacrament of the altar. 1563, p. 627; 1570, p. 1410; 1576, p. 1202; 1583, p. 1231.

 
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John Heywood

(1496/7 - in or after 1578) [ODNB]

Playwright and epigrammatist; studied Oxford; musician at Henry VIII's court; stationer; Thomas More was his patron; worked at the Field of the Cloth of Gold; charged with treason for denying the king's supremacy in 1544; recanted, pardoned; fled to Brabant in 1564

John Heywood was charged with treason, but made a public recantation of his denial of the king's supremacy. 1563, pp. 627-28; 1570, p. 1410; 1576, p. 1202; 1583, p. 1231.

 
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John Kirby (Kerby)

(d. 1546) [Fines]

of Mendlesham, Suffolk; apprehended May 1546 with Roger Clarke; burnt at Ipswich in November

John Kirby and Roger Clarke were arrested at Ipswich and brought before Thomas Wentworth and other commissioners. There they declared their view that communion was a remembrance only and denied transubstantiation. They were subjected to persuasion and threats, but refused to recant. They were sentenced to be burnt. John Kirby was burnt at Ipswich. 1563, pp. 654-55; 1570, pp. 1410-11; 1576, pp. 1202-03; 1583, pp. 1232-33.

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Roger Clarke

(d. 1546) [Fines]

of Mendlesham, Suffolk; apprehended May 1546 with John Kirby; burnt at Bury St Edmunds in November

John Kirby and Roger Clarke were arrested at Ipswich and brought before Thomas Wentworth and other commissioners. There they declared their view that communion was a remembrance only and denied transubstantiation. They were subjected to persuasion and threats, but refused to recant. They were sentenced to be burnt. Roger Clarke was burnt at Bury. 1563, pp. 654-55; 1570, pp. 1410-11; 1576, pp. 1202-03; 1583, pp. 1232-33.

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Saxy

(d. 1540, 1543 or 1545) [Fines]

Priest found hanged, described in various locations in Winchester or the Clink

Saxy was hanged in the porter's lodge of Stephen Gardiner. 1570, p. 1410; 1576, p. 1202; 1583, p. 1231.

 
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Thomas Wentworth

(1501 - 1550/1) [ODNB; Bindoff]

1st Baron Wentworth; cousin of Edward Seymour

JP Suffolk (1523 - death); privy councillor 1549; chamberlain, the Household (1550 - death); MP Suffolk 1529; sympathetic to religious reformers

John Kirby and Roger Clarke were arrested at Ipswich in 1546 and brought before Thomas Wentworth and other commissioners. When Kirby was burnt at Ipswich, Wentworth wept. 1563, pp. 654; 1570, pp. 1410-11; 1576, pp. 1202-03; 1583, p. 1232.

After Edmund Bonner was sentenced to prison and deprived of his bishopric, the king appointed Lord Rich, Henry marquess of Dorset, Thomas Goodrich, Lord Wentworth, Sir Anthony Wingfield, Sir William Herbert, Nicholas Wotton, Edward Montague, Sir John Baker, Judge Hales, John Gosnold, John Oliver and Griffith Leyson to examine his documents. They confirmed the sentence against him. 1563, p. 725; 1570, p. 1519; 1576, pp. 1287-88; 1583, p. 1330.

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He was a signatory to a letter from the king and privy council to Nicholas Ridley, directing him to remove and destroy all altars within the churches of his diocese and install communion tables. 1563, p. 727; 1570, pp. 1519-20; 1576, p. 1288; 1583, p. 1331.

He was a signatory to a letter of commission against Stephen Gardiner. 1563, p. 777.

 
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Colchester
Colchester, Colchestre
NGR: TM 000 250

A borough, having separate jurisdiction, locally in the Colchester division of the hundred of Lexden, county of Essex. 22 miles north-east by east from Chelmsford. The town comprises the parishes of All Saints, St. James, St. Martin, St. Mary at the Walls, St. Nicholas, St. Peter, St. Rumwald and Holy Trinity within the walls; and St. Botolph, St. Giles, St. Leonard and St. Mary Magdalene without the walls; all in the archdeaconry of Colchester and Diocese of London

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English information from Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England (S. Lewis & Co: London, 1831)

Scottish information from Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (S. Lewis & Co: London, 1846)

Welsh information taken from Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales(Lewis & Co: London, 1840)

The reason for the use of these works of reference is that they present the jurisdictional and ecclesiastical position as it was before the major Victorian changes. The descriptions therefore approximate to those applying in the sixteenth century, after the major changes of 1535-42. Except for the physical locations, which have not changed, the reader should not therefore take these references as being accurate in the twenty-first century.

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Ipswich
Ipswich, Ipswiche
NGR: TM 170 440

A borough in the liberty of Ipswich, county of Suffolk. 25 miles south-east by east from Bury St. Edmunds, 69 miles north-east from London. The borough comprises the parishes of St. Clement, St. Helen, St. Lawrence, St. Margaret, St. Mary at Elms, St. Mary at the Quay, St. Mary Stoke, St. Mary at the Tower, St. Mathew, St. Nicholas, St. Peter, St. Stephen, Witham with Thurlstone, and part of Westerfield; all within the Archdeaconry of Suffolk and Diocese of Norwich. St. Clement with St. Helen is a rectory in charge; St. Mary Stoke is a rectory; St. Mathew and St. Stephen are discharged rectories; St. Lawrence, St. Margaret, St. Mary at Elms, St. Mary at Quay, St. Mary at the Tower, St. Nicholas and St. Peter are perpetual curacies

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English information from Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England (S. Lewis & Co: London, 1831)

Scottish information from Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (S. Lewis & Co: London, 1846)

Welsh information taken from Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales(Lewis & Co: London, 1840)

The reason for the use of these works of reference is that they present the jurisdictional and ecclesiastical position as it was before the major Victorian changes. The descriptions therefore approximate to those applying in the sixteenth century, after the major changes of 1535-42. Except for the physical locations, which have not changed, the reader should not therefore take these references as being accurate in the twenty-first century.

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Mendlesham
Mendlesham
NGR: TM 105 655

A parish in the hundred of Hartismere, county of Suffolk. 15.5 miles north-north-west from Ipswich. The living is a vicarage in the Archdeaconry of Sudbury, Diocese of Norwich

English information from Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England (S. Lewis & Co: London, 1831)

Scottish information from Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (S. Lewis & Co: London, 1846)

Welsh information taken from Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales(Lewis & Co: London, 1840)

The reason for the use of these works of reference is that they present the jurisdictional and ecclesiastical position as it was before the major Victorian changes. The descriptions therefore approximate to those applying in the sixteenth century, after the major changes of 1535-42. Except for the physical locations, which have not changed, the reader should not therefore take these references as being accurate in the twenty-first century.

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1255 [1231]

K. Henry. 8. Qualification of the 6. articles. The recantation of John Haywood.
Other qualifications of the acte of the sixe Articles.

AFter this Parliament moreouer folowed an other parliament. an. 1545. wherein other qualifications more speciall of the sixe articles were prouided: That where as before the cruell statute of the sixe articles was so strayt, þt if any of the kinges subiectes had bene cōplayned of by any maner of person, as wel being his enemy, as otherwise, he should be indicted presently vpon the same, without anye further examination or knowledge geuē to the party so accused, & so thereupon to be attached, committed, and in fine to be condemned: it was therfore by this parliamēt prouided, that all such presentmentes and indictmentes shoulde not be brought before the Commissioners, otherwise then by the othes of xij. men or moe, of honesty and credit, with out corruption or malice accordingly.

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Item, that no such indictmentes or presentmentes should be taken, but within one yeare of the offences committed, eyther els the sayd indictmentes to stand voyd in the law.

Item, that no person accused vpon any such offence agaynst the sixe articles, should be attached, or committed to ward, before he were therof indicted, vnlesse by speciall warrant from the king &c.

Item, by the authority of the sayd Parliament it was considered and enacted, that if any preacher or reader, for any word spoken, supposed to be agaynst the sixe articles, shoulde be accused, not within the space of 40. dayes of the sayd his reading or preaching, then the partie accused to be acquited.

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Item, that the Iustices or inquirers of suche presentmentes should haue full power to alter and reforme all panelles of inquirie, returned before them, in like maner as the Iustices of peace may do in theyr Sessions, vpon any other inquiries-

Item, that the party so accused or indicted, vppon his tryall, may haue all manner of chalenges (peremptory onely excepted) as other persons arraigned for felony may haue, by the lawes of this realme. MarginaliaStat. anno. 1545. R. Hen. 8.

By these qualifications & moderatiōs of the 6. articles, it may appere that the king begā somwhat to grow out of fauor with Ste. Gardiner, & to discredit his doings, wher by he was þe more forward to incline somewhat in furthering the desolate cause of religiō, as may appeare both by these premisses, & also by other prouisions & determinations of the foresayd parliament. an. 1545. MarginaliaA Statute for examination of tha Canon law.wherein it was decreed by act of parliamēt, þt the king should haue full power & authority to appoynt 32. persons, to wit 16. of þe clergy, & 16. of the tēporalty, to peruse, ouersee, & examine the Canōs, cōstitutions & ordinaūces of þe canon law, as well Prouinciall, as Synodall, & so, according to their discretions, to set & establish an order of ecclesiasticall lawes suche as should be thought by the king and them cōuenient to be receiued and vsed within this realm. Which statute as it is most needfull for the gouernement of the Church of England: so would God it had bene brought to perfection.

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MarginaliaAnno. 1545. Iohn Athe recanted.In this yere touching matters of histories, we read no great thing worthy of memory, but onely of two persons, Ioh, Athee, & I. Haywood. Of which two, we find first I. Athee to be indicted 

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John Heywood had been condemned to death along with Germain Gardiner and John Lark, but he recanted on the way to the scaffold and was reprieved (he was More’s brother-in-law). He did public penance in July. Foxe obtained his material, including Heywood’s public recantation from Bishop Bonner’s register (Guildhall MS 9531/12, fol. 61r).

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by the kings writ, for certayne words agaynst þe sacramēt, which words in the indictmēt are specified to be these: that he would not beleue in þe thing whiche þe knaue priest made, neither in that which Longs wife selleth: but onely in God þt is in heauen. And when it was told him that God through his word could make it flesh & bloud, he answered: so he might do if he would turne it into a chickins leg, meaning the sacrament of the aulter.

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MarginaliaThe recantation of Iohn Heywood.The same yere also folowed þe recantation of Io. Heywood, who although he was tached for treasō, for denying the kings supremacy, yet vsing þe clemency of þe king, vpon his better reformatiō & amēdment, made an open & solēne recantation in þe face of all the people, abandoning & renoūcing the Popes vsurped supremacy, & cōfessing of the king to be chiefe supreme head & gouernor of this church of England, al forein authority & iurisdictiō being excluded. The tenor & effect of whose recantation here foloweth.

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The recantation of Iohn Haywood.

MarginaliaAnno. 1544.I Am come hyther at this time, (good people) willing and of mine own disirous sute, to shew and declare vnto you briefely. First of all the great and inestimable clemency, and mercifulnesse of our moste soueraigne and redoubted Prince, the kinges Maiesty, the which his highnesse hath most graciously vsed towardes me a wretch moste iustlye and worthely condempned to dye, for my manifolde and outragious offences, haynously and trayterously committed agaynst his maiestye and his lawes. For wheras your maiestyes supremacy hath so often bene opened vnto me both by writing and speaking (if I had grace, either to o-pen mine eies to see it, or mine eares to heare it) to be surely and certaynely grounded, and established vpon the very true worde of God. Yet for lacke of grace I haue moste wilfully and obstinately suffered my selfe to fall to suche blindnes, þt I haue not onely thought þt the bysh. of Rome hath bene and ought to be taken the chiefe and supreame head of the vniuersall Church of Christ heare in earth, but also like no true subiect conceiled and fauored such as I haue knowne or thought to be of the opinion. For the which moste detestable treasons and vntruthes. I heare most humbly and with all my hart, first of all aske the kinges maiesty forgeuenesse, and secondarily of the world, beseeching all these that either now doe, or hereafter shall heare of these my great transgressions, to take this mine example for an instruction for them to call for grace, that they therby be stayd from falling at any time in such miserable blindnesse and folly.

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Moreouer, here afore God and you (good Christian people) I do vtterly & withall my hart, recāt & reuoke all mine aforesayd erronious and trayterous opinions. And (as my conscience now doth force) I protest that euē wyth my hart I firmely thinke and vndoubtedly beleue, that the Byshop of Rome neyther now hath, nor at any time hath had, or can haue by any law of God or man, any more authoritye without the precincte of his owne countrye about him, then any other Bishop hath within his owne dioces. Wherby I assuredly take the abolishing of the pretensed and vsurped power or authority of the Byshop of Rome out of this Realme to be done iustly and truely by the law of God. And also I take our soueraigne Lord, the kinges highnesse to be supreme head immediatly next vnder Christ of the Church of England and Ireland, and all other his graces dominions, both of the spiritualty & temporalty. And I confesse not onely that his maiesty so is by the law of God, but also his progenitours kinges of thys Realme so hath bene, and his highnesse heyres and sucessors kinges of this Realme so shall be.

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Thus haue I shewed you my minde as well as I can but neither so well as I would, nor so full as I should, namely cōcerning the multitude of mercy which my most gracious prince hath shewed toward me, not onely for sauing my body after worthy cōdēnatiō to death as is aforesayd but also for sauing my soule frō perishing, if my body had perished before the receiuing of such wholesome councell as I had at his highnes most charitable assignement. And of this confession declared vnto you (I say as farre forth as I can.) I hartely pray you all to beare me record, and most entyrely to pray almighty God, for the long and most prosperous estate of our soueraigne Lord the kinges Maiesty in all his affayres and procedings.

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By me Iohn Heywood

Memorandū quod supra scripta assertio siue recātatio fuit facta & publice emissa per prenominatum Iohannem Heiwood die dominica Sexto viz. die Iulij. An. Millessimo Quingentessimo Quadragesimo quarto, apud crucem paulinam tempore Concionis ibidem.

In this yeare of our Lord. 1545. as there was no other thing done in England worthy to be noted, so now the order of story here requireth by the course of yeares, next to infer the discourse of the troubles and persecutions which happened in Scotland, agaynst M. George Wysard, and diuers other good men of the same country, about the same yeare of our Lord. 1545. and somewhat before 

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George Wishary was, in fact, executed in 1546.

. But because now we are come to the latter ende almost of K. Henryes raygne, we will make an ende (the Lord willing) with a few other English storyes perteyning to that time: & that finished, so to set vpon those matters of Scotland, ioyning them whole together. The tractation whereof thou shalt see (good reader) in the latter end and closing vppe of this kinges raigne.

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Kerby and Roger Clarke of Suffolke Martyrs.
MarginaliaAnn. 1546.

COmming 

Commentary  *  Close
Persecution in 1545

The Rerum contains a brief narrative that might be a garbled account of the burning of Roger Clarke. In a few sentences, Foxe related that a layman of Norfolk (not Suffolk) named Roger was burned for sacramentarian heresy (Rerum, p. 144). By the time the 1563 edition was printed, Foxe had learned a great deal more about the burnings of John Kerby and Roger Clarke; most of his detailed account of their trials and executions first appeared in this edition. This material was contributed by unnamed eyewitnesses. In the 1570 edition, Foxe added details to the account of the martyrdoms of Kerby and Clarke, which were also obtained from informants, probably including the Ipswich gaoler John Bird (Richard Bird, also an Ipswich gaoler, would be denounced by Catholics in Mary's reign for encouraging prisoners in their heresy (1576, p. 1981 and 1583, p. 2089). Were the Birds a family of evangelical gaolers? In any case, John Bird was probably the source the interview between Kerby and Robert Wingfield). In the 1570 edition, Foxe also added an account of Henry VIII's oration to Parliament on Christmas Eve 1545. Foxe printed this speech from Edward Hall, The union of the two noble and illuste famelies of Lancastre and Yorke (London, 1560), STC 12734a, fos.260r-262r. His purpose in including the speech was to criticize appeal for compromise for the sake of concord and religious unity. In 'notes' upon the speech, Foxe argued instead - in passages clearly intend to goad Elizabeth and her magistrates into further reformation of the Church - that correct doctrine and religious purity were more important than peace or unity.

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Thomas S. Freeman

now to the yeare of our Lord. 1546. first passing ouer the Priest, 
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The chronicler Wriothesly reports that a priest in custody at the bishop of Winchester's house in Southwark, was found hung on 12 April 1540. Wriothesly also reports that the priest was of 'the new sect' and had been brought to the bishop's house for examination. (A Chronicle of England…by Charles Wriothesley, ed. William Douglas Hamiliton, 2 vols., Camden Society new series 11 and 20, [London, 1875-7), I, p. 115). Protestant polemicists rapidly turned what was probably a suicide into a murder carried out (of course) at Stephen Gardiner's orders: see Henry Brinklow, The Complaynt of Roderick Mors, ed. J. Meadows Cooper, EETS 22 (London, 1874}, p. 29 and John Bale, The epistle exhortatorye of an English Christiane (Antwerp, 1544?), STC 1291, fo. 13v.

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whose name was Saxye, which was hanged in the Porters lodge of Stephen Gardiner Bishoppe of Winchester, MarginaliaSaxie a priest hanged in Ste. Gardiners porters lodge. and that (as it is supposed) not without the consent of the sayd Bishop, and the secret conspiracy of that bloudy generation: to passe ouer also one Henry, with his seruaunt burned at Colchester 
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Nothing futher is known of Henry or his servant.

: I will now proceede to the story of Kerby and Roger Clarke of Mendessham, who were apprehended at Ipswiche. ann. 1546. the saterday before Gang monday, 
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This is the Monday of the Minor Rogations, i.e., the Monday before Ascension Day.

and brought before the Lord Wentworth, with other Commissioners appointed there to sit vpon theyr examinations, iudgemēts,

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and
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