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of Wenham, Suffolk

Bruesse accompanied Robert Wingfield when he visited John Kirby and Roger Clarke in prison to urge them to repent. 1570, p. 1410; 1576, p. 1202; 1583, p. 1232.

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Edmund Rougham (alias Maltnarde)

Benedictine monk; BTh Oxford by 1519; DTh Louvain by 1539; Bury St Edmunds Abbey by 1514; preached at Bury at the burning of Kirby in 1545 [Emden]

Robert Barnes often visited Bury Abbey to see his friend Edmund Rougham, who had been his fellow student at Louvain. Through Rougham, Barnes was able to secure the release from the abbey prison of Richard Bayfield. 1563, p. 484; 1570, p. 1161; 1576, p. 993; 1583, p. 1021.

Rougham preached at the burning of John Kirby in Ipswich. 1563, p. 655; 1570, p. 1411; 1576, p. 1202; 1583, p. 1232.

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John Bird

(d. 1558)

Bishop of Chester (1542 - 1554) [DNB]

Bird was discharged from parliament and convocation on 5 October 1553 1570, p. 1636; 1576, p. 1396; 1583, p. 1466. Foxe refers to 'Chester' as 'Westchester'.

He was present at a sharp exchange between Bishop Bonner and Thomas Hawkes. Bird was supposed to converse with Hawkes that evening but he fell asleep during the conversation. 1563, pp. 1152-53; 1570, pp. 1761-62; 1576, pp. 1504-05; 1583, p. 1588

[An account of a disastrous sermon Bird preached, in his capacity as vicar of Dunmow, Essex (a living he retained after he was deprived of his bishopric) is in Foxe's papers (BL, Harley MS 421, fo. 1r-v). Foxe never printed the sermon but it was printed by Strype (EM III, 1, pp. 218-20).]

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Robert Wingfield

(c. 1513 - c. 1561) [ODNB]

of Ipswich; historian; son and heir of Sir Humphrey Wingfield; prominent among those at Ipswich trying to persuade Roger Clarke to recant in 1546

Robert Wingfield visited John Kirby and Roger Clarke in prison to urge them to repent. 1570, p. 1410; 1576, p. 1202; 1583, p. 1232.

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Sir Humphrey Wingfield

(before 1481 - 1545) [ODNB]

Lawyer and speaker of the House of Commons; general attorney for Charles Brandon; served the corporations of Ipswich and Great Yarmouth, the earl of Oxford, the duke of Norfolk; JP Suffolk (1504 - 45); sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk 1520; MP Ipswich 1523; MP Great Yarmouth (1529, 1536, 1542); speaker 1533

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Sir Humphrey Wingfield was the father of Robert Wingfield. 1570, p. 1410; 1576, p. 1202; 1583, p. 1232.

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William Foster

Lawyer, minor magistrate, staunch Catholic and zealous persecutor

When John Kirby and Roger Clarke were examined by the commissioners, they were subjected to threats, especially from William Foster. 1570, p. 1410; 1576, p. 1202; 1583, p. 1232.

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Bury St Edmunds

[St Edmundsbury; Berry; Bery]

West Suffolk

OS grid ref: TL 855 645

Contains a ruined abbey, the shrine of St Edmund

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Great Wenham [Wennenham]


OS grid ref: TM 075 385

OR Little Wenham, Suffolk

OS grid ref: TM 085 395

1256 [1232]

K. Henr. 8. The condemnation of Kirbye and Roger Clarke. Kirby burned.

and causes. 

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Kirby and Clarke were tried before a commission, headed by Lord Wentworth, to enforce the Six Articles.

MarginaliaA bill brought to the Lord Wentworth at the areignment of Kerby and Roger.The night before they were areyned, a bil was set vp vpon the townehouse doore (by whom, it was vnknowne) and brought the next day vnto the Lord Wentworth: who aunswered, that it was good counsell. Whiche bill in the latter end shall appeare.

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In the meane time Kerby & Roger beyng in the Gailers house, named I. Bird, an honest and a good man 

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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.

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(who had checkes diuers times at the barre, that he was more meet to be kept, then to be a keeper) came in Mayster Robert Wingfielde, 
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This is the same Robert Wingfield who, as a staunch supporter of Mary Tudor, would write an invaluable narrative of Mary's seizure of power in 1553.

sonne and heyre of Humfrey Wingfielde knight) with M. Bruesse of Wennenham: who then hauing conference with Kerby (being then in a seuerall chāber separate frō the other) mayster Wingfeld sayd to Kerby: MarginaliaThe wordes of W. Wingfield to Kerby and Roger, in prisō.Remember the fire is hot, take heed of thine enterprise that þu take no more vpō thee thē thou shalt be able to performe. The terror is great, the payne will be extreme, and life is sweet. Better it were betime to stick to mercy, while there is hope of life, then rashly to begin, & then to shrink: with such like words of perswasion. To whom he answered agayne: MarginaliaThe aunswere of Kerby, to M. Wingfield.Ah M. Wingfield, be at my burning, and you shall say, there standeth a christen souldier in the fire. For I know that fire and water, sword, and all other thinges, are in the handes of God, and he will suffer no more to be layd vpon vs, then he will geue vs strength to beare. Ah Kerby, sayd mayster Wingfield, if thou be at that poynt, I will bidde thee farewell? For I promise thee I am not so strong, that I am able to burne. And so both the Gentlemen saying that they woulde pray for them, tooke handes with them, and so departed.

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MarginaliaThe behauiour of Kerby and Roger, when they wer brought before the Iudges.Now (first touching the behauiour of Kerby & Roger) when they came to the iudgement seate, the Lorde Wentworth, with all the rest of the Iustices there readye, the Commissary also by vertue ex officio. sitting next to the L. Wentworth, but one betwene 

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Foxe is explaining the elevated status of the bishop's commissary, of near equality to Lord Wingfield, the head of the commission, in what was essentially a lay tribunal.

Kerby and Roger lifted vp theyr eyes and handes to heauen, with great deuotion in all mens eyes, making theyr prayers secretly to God for a space of time, whilest they might say the Lordes praier fiue or sixe times.

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That done, theyr articles were declared vnto thē, with all circumstances of the law: MarginaliaQuestions propounded to Kerby & Roger.and then it was demaunded and enquired of them, whether they beleued, that after the wordes spoken by a priest (as Christ spake them to his Apostles) there were not the very body and bloud of Christ, flesh, bloud, and bone, as he was borne of the virgin Mary, and no bread after.

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Vnto the which wordes they answered and sayd, MarginaliaTheir aunsweres.No, they did not so beleue: but that they did beleue the Sacrament which Christ Iesus did institute at his last supper, on Maundy thursday at night to his disciples was onely to put all men in remembraunce of the precious death and bloudshedding for the remission of sinnes, and that there was neither flesh nor bloud to be eaten with the teeth, but bread and wine: and yet more then bread and wine, MarginaliaThe Sacrament more then bare bread and wine. for that it is consecrated to an holy vse. Then with much perswasions, both with fayre meanes and threates besides (if it would haue serued) were these two poore men hardly layd to: but most at the handes of Foster 

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William Foster was a lawyer, minor magistrate, staunch Catholic and zealous persecutor who appears several times in the pages of Foxe. His name is first mentioned in the narrative of the Kerby and Clarke martyrdoms, in the 1570 edition.

MarginaliaFoster a sore enemye to Gods people. an inferior Iustice, not being learned in such knowledge. But these two continued both faythful and content, chusing rather to dye then to liue, and so continued vnto the end.

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MarginaliaSentence geuē against Kerby and Roger.Then sentence was geuen vpon them both, Kerby to be burned in the sayd towne the next Saterday, and Roger to be burned at Bury the Gang Monday after. Kerby when his iudgement was geuen by the Lord Wentworth, with most humble reuerēce holding vp his hands, and bowing himselfe deuoutly, sayd: Praysed be almighty God, and so stood still without any moe wordes.

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Then did the Lord Wentworth talke secretly, putting his head behinde an other iustice that sate betweene them. MarginaliaRogers wordes to the Lord Wētworth.The sayd Roger perceiuing that, sayd with a loud voyce: Speake out my Lord, and if you haue done any thing contrary to your conscience, aske God mercy, and we for onr partes do forgeue you: and speake not in secret, for ye shall come before a Iudge, and then make answere openly, euē he that shall iudge all men: with other like wordes.

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The Lord Wentworth somewhat blushing, and chaūginge his countenaunce through remorse (as it was thought) 

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Thomas Wentworth, first baron Wentworth, had been a prominent and enthusiastic Sufflok evangelical; John bale credited Wentworth with having converted him. (See the biography of Wentworth in the ODNB). Clearly, from Foxe's account, Wentworth was acting with considerable reluctance in prosecuting Kerby and Rogers.

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sayd, I did speake nothing of you, nor I haue done nothing vnto you, but as the Lawe is. Then was Kerby and Roger sent forth: Kerby to prison there, MarginaliaRoger sent to Bury to be burned.& Roger to saynt Edmundes Bury. The one of the two brusting out with a loud voyce (Roger as it is supposed) thus spake with a vehemency: MarginaliaA Prophesie.Fight (sayd he) for your God For he hath not long to continue.

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MarginaliaKerby brought to the stake at Ipswich.The next day, which was Saterday, about ten of the clocke, Kerby was brought to the market place, wheras a stake was ready, wood, broome, and straw, and did of hys clothes vnto his shyrt, hauing a night cap vpon his dead,and so was fastened to the stake with yrons, there beyng in the galery, the Lord Wentworth, with the most part of all the Iustices of those quarters, where they migbt see his execution, how euery thing should be done, aud also might heare what Kerby did say: and a great number of people, about two thousand by estimation. There was also standing in the galery by the Lord Wentworth, D. Rugham, MarginaliaD. Rugham Monke of Bury preached at the burning of Kerby. whiche was before a Monke of Burye and sexten of the house, hauing on a Surplis and a stoole about his necke. 

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Edward Rougham had formerly been an evangelical sympathiser and a friend of Richard Bayfield and Robert Barnes (In 1545, now apparently more theologically conservative, Edmund Rougham would preach at the burning of John Kirby in Bury St. Edmunds).

Then silence was proclaymed, and the sayd Doctour beganne to disable himselfe, as not meet to declare the holye Scriptures (being vnprouided because the time was so short) but that he hoped in Gods assistance it should come well to passe.

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MarginaliaThe chearfull countenance & courage of Kerby.All this while Kerby was trimming with yrons and fagottes, broome, and straw, as one that should be maryed with new garmentes, nothing chaunging cheare nor coūtenaunce, but with most meeke spirite gloryfied GOD: which was wonderfull to behold. Then Mayster Doctor at last entred into þe sixt Chapter of S. Ioh. Who in handling that matter so oft as he alledged the Scriptures, and applyed them rightly. Kerby tolde the people, that he sayd true, and bade the people beleue him. But when he did otherwise, he tolde him agayne: You say not true: beleue him not good people.

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Whereupon, as the voyce of the people was, they iudged Doctour Rugham a false Prophet. So when mayster Doctour had ended his collation, he sayde vnto Kerby: Thou good man, doest not thou beleue that the blessed sacrament of the aultar is the very flesh and bloud of Christ, and no bread euen as he was borne of the virgine Mary? Kerby aunswering boldly, sayd: MarginaliaKerbyes confessiō of the Sacrament.I do not so beleue. How doest thou beleue, sayd the Doctour? Kerby sayd, I do beleue that in the Sacrament that Iesus Christ instituted at his last supper on Maundye Thursdaye to his Disciples (which ought of vs likewise to be done) is the death and passion, and his bloud shedding for the redemption of the world, to be remembred: and (as I sayde before) yet bread, and more then bread, for that it is cōsecrated to a holy vse.

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Then was mayster Doctor in his dumpes, and spake not one word more to Kerby after.

Then sayd the vnder Shiriffe to Kerby, hast thou any thing more to say? Yea syr sayde he, if you wyll geue me leaue. Say on, sayd the Shiriffe.

Then Kerby taking his night cappe from hys head, put it vnder his arme, as though it should haue done him seruice agayne: but remembring him selfe, he cast it from him, and lifting vp his handes, he sayd the Hymne, Te Deum, and the beliefe, with other prayers in the English tongue. MarginaliaThe Lord Wētworth wept at Kerbyes burningThe Lord Wentworth, whilest Kerby was thus doing, did shroude him selfe behinde one of the postes of the Gallery, and wept, and so did many other. Then said Kerby, I haue done: you may execute your office good Maister Shiriffe.

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Then fire was set to the wood, and with loud voyce he called vnto God, knocking on his brest, and holding vppe

MarginaliaThe constant Martyrdome of Kerby.¶ The burning and Martyrdome of Kerby.
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CUL copy: in this copy Kerby is depicted as having greying beard and brown hair. WREN copy: the same details are provided.

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