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David Beaton

(1494? - 1546) [ODNB]

Commendator of Arbroath (1517 - 46); cardinal (1544 - 46); archbishop of St Andrews (1539 - 46); assassinated

David Beaton was one of those who passed the sentence definitive on Patrick Hamilton in 1528. 1570, p. 1109; 1576, p. 948; 1583, p. 975.

In a message to King James V, Henry VIII said that he had heard that David Beaton had been created cardinal. He warned James against allowing any of his subjects to accept the office. 1570, p. 1219; 1576, p. 1044; 1583, p. 1071.

A summons was directed from David Beaton and George Crichton upon Thomas Forret, John Beveridge, John Kelowe, Duncan Sympson and Robert Foster, along with three or four others from Stirling. They were condemned for heresy without any opportunity to recant and burnt together on the castle hill in Edinburgh. 1570, p. 1442; 1576, p. 1230; 1583, p. 1266.

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David Beaton sat on the assize that condemned Sir John Borthwick for heresy. 1563, p. 575; 1583, p. 1259.

Beaton sat on the assize that judged heretics in Perth. 1570, p. 1443; 1576, p. 1230; 1583, p. 1267.

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

Soon after the execution of George Wishart, David Beaton was murdered by Norman Leslie and other lords. 1570, p. 1448; 1576, p. 1235; 1583, p. 1272.

 
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David Straiton (Stratoun)

(d. 1534) [Fines]

Gentleman of Dundee; close friend of Erskine of Dun; hanged and burnt for refusal of the tithe and reading scripture

James Hamilton, Katherine Hamilton, David Straiton, a woman of Leith, and Norman Gourlay were summoned to appear in the abbey church of Holyrood House, Edinburgh, by James Hay, commissioner to the archbishop of St Andrews, in the presence of King James V, who was dressed entirely in red. 1570, p. 1117; 1576, p. 955; 1583, p. 982.

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David Straiton was accused of denying purgatory and refusing to pay tithes. He refused to recant, was condemned and burnt. 1570, p. 1117; 1576, p. 956; 1583, p. 982.

 
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Duncan Sympson

(d. 1539/40) [Fines]

Priest of Stirling; martyr, burnt at Edinburgh

A summons was directed from David Beaton and George Crichton upon Thomas Forret, John Beveridge, John Kelowe, Duncan Sympson and Robert Foster, along with three or four others from Stirling. They were condemned for heresy without any opportunity to recant and burnt together on the castle hill in Edinburgh. 1570, p. 1442; 1576, p. 1230; 1583, p. 1266.

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George Crichton

Abbot of Holyrood; bishop of Dunkeld (1526 - 44) [Fasti ecclesiae scoticanae]

George Crichton was one of those who passed the sentence definitive on Patrick Hamilton in 1528. 1570, p. 1108; 1576, p. 948; 1583, p. 975.

Friars reported Thomas Forret as a heretic to George Crichton, who counselled him not to preach so often. Crichton proudly claimed not to know the Old or New Testament. 1570, p. 1442; 1576, p. 1230; 1583, p. 1266.

Soon afterward, a summons was directed from David Beaton and Crichton upon Thomas Forret, John Beveridge, John Kelowe, Duncan Sympson and Robert Foster, along with three or four others from Stirling. They were condemned for heresy without any opportunity to recant and burnt together on the castle hill in Edinburgh. 1570, p. 1442; 1576, p. 1230; 1583, p. 1266.

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Helen Stirke

(d. 1544)

Wife of James Ronaldson; Scottish martyr; executed by drowning at Perth

Helen Stirke was arrested and accused of failing to call upon the Virgin Mary when in labour. 1570, p. 1443; 1576, p. 1230; 1583, p. 1267.

Her husband James Ronaldson and four other men were arrested and charged with gathering in illegal assemblies to hear scripture. They were all executed, the men by hanging, she by drowning. 1570, pp. 1443-44; 1576, pp. 1230-31; 1583, p. 1267.

 
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James Hamilton

(c. 1519 - 1575) [ODNB]

2nd earl of Arran and duke of Chatelherault in French nobility; governor of Scotland

The earl of Arran sat on the assize that condemned Sir John Borthwick for heresy. 1563, p. 575; 1583, p. 1259.

He sat on the assize that judged heretics in Perth. When five men and one woman were condemned to death, the earl was inclined to accept the petition of townsmen to pardon them, but the clergy of the town prevented him. 1570, p. 1443; 1576, p. 1230; 1583, p. 1267.

The earl of Arran sat on the assize that deprived and exiled John Kerr. 1570, p. 1448; 1576, p. 1235; 1583, p. 1272.

He sat on the assize that tried and condemned Adam Wallace. 1570, pp. 1448-50; 1576, pp. 1235-36; 1583, pp. 1272-73.

 
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James Hunter

(d. 1544) [Fines]

Butcher of Perth; Scottish martyr; hanged at Perth

James Hunter was arrested and charged with keeping the company of Robert Lambe, William Anderson, James Raveleson, James Ronaldson and Helen Stirke. He and the others were executed. 1570, pp. 1443-44; 1576, pp. 1230-31; 1583, p. 1267.

 
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James Raveleson (Ranoldstone)

(d. 1544) [Fines]

Skinner of Perth; helped Robert Lambe hang horns and a tail on the image of St Francis; Scottish martyr; executed at Perth

James Raveleson and others were arrested and charged with gathering in illegal assemblies to hear scripture. He, Robert Lambe and William Anderson were also charged with hanging horns and a tail on the image of St Francis and of eating a goose on All Hallows' Eve. Raveleson was further charged with having had carved on his stairway the triple crown, which David Beaton considered to be mocking. He and the others were executed. 1570, pp. 1443-44; 1576, pp. 1230-31; 1583, p. 1267.

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James Ronaldson (Finlason, Founleson)

(d. 1544) [T. S. Freeman, 'The Reik of Maister Patrick Hammyltoun', Sixteenth Century Journal, vol. 27, no. 1 (Spring 1996) p. 54]

Husband of Helen Stirke; Scottish martyr; executed at Perth

[Either Foxe or his informant misread the name in the original documents]

James Ronaldson, his wife Helen Stirke and others were arrested and charged with gathering in illegal assemblies to hear scripture. They were all executed. 1570, pp. 1443-44; 1576, pp. 1230-31; 1583, p. 1267.

 
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John Beveridge

(d. 1539) [T. S. Freeman, "The Reik of Maister Patrick Hammyltoun": John Foxe, John Winram and the Martyrs of the Scottish Reformation', Sixteenth Century Journal, vol. 27, no. 1 (Spring 1996) p. 47]

Scottish friar; martyr, burnt at Edinburgh for heresy

A summons was directed from David Beaton and George Crichton upon Thomas Forret, John Beveridge, John Kelowe, Duncan Sympson and Robert Foster, along with three or four others from Stirling. They were condemned for heresy without any opportunity to recant and burnt together on the castle hill in Edinburgh. 1570, p. 1442; 1576, p. 1230; 1583, p. 1266.

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John Kelowe (Kyllour)

(d. 1539) [Fines]

Scottish friar; martyr, burnt at Edinburgh for attending a priest's wedding where Lent was broken

A summons was directed from David Beaton and George Crichton upon Thomas Forret, John Beveridge, John Kelowe, Duncan Sympson and Robert Foster, along with three or four others from Stirling. They were condemned for heresy without any opportunity to recant and burnt together on the castle hill in Edinburgh. 1570, p. 1442; 1576, p. 1230; 1583, p. 1266.

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Norman Gourlay

(d. 1534) [Fines]

Scottish priest; MA St Andrews 1515; burnt at Edinburgh

James Hamilton, Katherine Hamilton, David Straiton, a woman of Leith, and Norman Gourlay were summoned to appear in the abbey church of Holyrood House, Edinburgh, by James Hay, commissioner to the archbishop of St Andrews, in the presence of King James V, who was dressed entirely in red. 1570, p. 1117; 1576, p. 955; 1583, p. 982.

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Norman Gourlay was accused of denying purgatory and calling the pope antichrist. He refused to recant, was condemned and burnt. 1570, p. 1117; 1576, p. 956; 1583, p. 982.

 
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Robert Foster

(d. 1539/40) [Fines]

Gentleman of Stirling; martyr, burnt at Edinburgh

A summons was directed from David Beaton and George Crichton upon Thomas Forret, John Beveridge, John Kelowe, Duncan Sympson and Robert Foster, along with three or four others from Stirling. They were condemned for heresy without any opportunity to recant and burnt together on the castle hill in Edinburgh. 1570, p. 1442; 1576, p. 1230; 1583, p. 1266.

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Robert Lambe

(d. 1544) [Fines]

Merchant of Perth; hung horns and a tail on the image of St Francis; Scottish martyr; hanged at Perth

Spense, a friar in Perth, preached the necessity of prayer to saints and was publicly challenged by Robert Lambe. Lambe was attacked by the people, especially the women, but managed to escape. 1570, p. 1443; 1576, p. 1230; 1583, pp. 1266-67.

Lambe and others were arrested and charged with gathering in illegal assemblies to hear scripture. He, William Anderson and James Raveleson were also charged with hanging horns and a tail on the image of St Francis and of eating a goose on All Hallows' Eve. He and the others were executed. 1570, pp. 1443-44; 1576, pp. 1230-31; 1583, p. 1267.

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Thomas Forret

(d. 1539/40) [Fines]

Priest of Dollar, Clackmananshire; canon regular of Inch-comb; called Dean; martyr, burnt at Edinburgh

Thomas Forret preached the gospel every Sunday in the church at Dollar at a time when only friars normally preached in Scotland. Friars then reported him as a heretic to George Crichton, bishop of Dunkeld. Crichton counselled him not to preach so often. 1570, p. 1442; 1576, p. 1230; 1583, p. 1266.

Soon afterward, a summons was directed from David Beaton and Crichton upon Thomas Forret, John Beveridge, John Kelowe, Duncan Sympson and Robert Foster, along with three or four others from Stirling. They were condemned for heresy without any opportunity to recant and burnt together on the castle hill in Edinburgh. 1570, p. 1442; 1576, p. 1230; 1583, p. 1266.

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William Anderson

(d. 1544) [Fines]

Maltster of Perth; Scottish martyr; hanged at Perth

William Anderson and others were arrested and charged with gathering in illegal assemblies to hear scripture. He, Robert Lambe and James Raveleson were also charged with hanging horns and a tail on the image of St Francis and of eating a goose on All Hallows' Eve. He and the others were executed. 1570, pp. 1443-44; 1576, pp. 1230-31; 1583, p. 1267.

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Edinburgh

[Edenborough; Edenburgh]

Scotland

OS grid ref: NT 275 735

Cathedral city; capital of Scotland since 1437

 
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Inchcolm

[S. Colmes Inche]

island in the Firth of Forth, Scotland

Location of former Augustinian abbey, St Colm's Abbey

OS grid ref: NT 185 825

 
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Stirling [Striuelyng]

Scotland

OS grid ref: NS 795 935

 
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Tullibody [Twybodye]

near Stirling, Scotland

OS grid ref: NS 865 955

1290 [1266]

K. Henry 8. Persecution in Scotland. Thomas Forret with seuen other martyrs.

that our iudgement myght proceede from the face of God, and our eyes might behold and looke vpon equitie and iustice, hauing only God, the veritie and truth of the Catholike faith before our eyes, his holye name being first of all called vpon, hauing as is beforesayde hereuppon holden a counsel of wise men, as well deuines as lawyers, wee pronounce, declare, decree, determine, and geue sentence, that the said Sir Iohn Borthwike called captaine Borthwike, beinge suspected, infamed, and accused of the errours and heresies before said, and wicked doctrines manifoldly condēpned, as is aforesayd, & by lawfull prooues against hym, in euery of the premisses had, being conuicte and lawfully cited and called, not appearing but as a fugitiue, runne away, and absent, euen as though hee were present, to be an heretike, and is, and hath bene conuict as an heretike. And as a conuicte heretike and heresiarche to be punished and chastened with due punishment, and afterward to be deliuered and left vnto the secular power. Moreouer, we confiscate and make forfette, and by these presents declare and decree to be confiscated and made forfette, all and singular his goodes, mooueables and vnmooueables, howe so euer, and by what so euer title they be gotten, and in what place or partie so euer they be, and all his offices what so euer he hath hetherto had, reseruing notwithstanding the dowrye and such part and portion of his goodes, as by the law, custome and right of this Realme vnto parsones confiscate, ought to appertaine. MarginaliaThomas Forret Priest. Also we decree that MarginaliaThe picture of Borthwick cursed and condemned.the picture of the said Iohn Borthwike being formed, made, and painted to his likenesse, be caried thorow this our citie to our Cathedral church, and afterward to the market crosse of the same citie, and there in token of maledictiō and cursse, and to the terror and example of others, and for a perpetual remembraunce of his obstinacie, and condemnation to be burned. Likewise we declare and Decree, that notwithstanding, if the sayd I. Borthwike be here after apprehended or takē, þt hee shall suffer suche like punishment due by order of lawe vnto heretikes, without any hope of grace or mercye to be obtained in that behalfe. Also we plainly admonishe and warne by the tenour of these presentes, all & singular faithfull Christians, both menne and women of what dignitie, state, degree, order, condition, or preheminence so euer they be, or with what so euer dignitie, or honour ecclesiasticall or temporall they be honoured with all, that from thys day forwarde they doe not receiue or harbour the said sir Iohn Borthwike, commonly called captaine Borthwike, being accused, conuict, and declared an hereticke, and Archeheretike into their houses, hospitals, castels, Cities, Townes, villages or other cottages what so euer they be, or by anye manner of meanes admit him thereunto, either by helping him wyth meate, drinke or victualles, or any other thynge what so euer it be, they do shewe vnto him any manner of humanitie, helpe, comforte, or solace, vnder the paine and penaltie of greater and further excommunication, confiscation and forfeitures, and if it happen that they be founde culpable or fautie in the premisses, that they shalbe accused therefore as the fauourers, receiuers, defenders, maintainers and abetters of heretikes, and shall be punished therfore according to the order of law, and with such paine and punishment as shalbe due vnto men in such behalfe.

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And nowe to prosecute such other as followed, beginning first in order wyth Thom. Forret and his fellowes. Their storie is this.

Persecuters.Martyrs.Their Causes.
Tho. Forret,NOt longe after the
Dauid Be-priest.burning of Dauid
ton, BishopFrier IohnStratton, and maister
and Cardi-Kelowe.Burlay aboue mentio-
nall of S.Fryer Bena-ned in the daies of Da-
Andrewes.rage.uid Beaton, bishop and
DuncaneCardinall of S. Andre-
Sympson,wes, & George Treich-
priest.ton B. of Dunkelden, a
Rob. Foster,canon of Saint Colmes
Georgea gentlemā,Inche, and vicar of Do-
Treichtonwith threelone, called Dean Tho-
Bishop ofor foure o-mas Forret, preached e-
Dunkelden.ther men ofuery sonday to hys pa-
Striuelyng,rishners, the Epistle or
Martyrs.Gospell, as it fell for the
time: which then was a great nouelty in Scotlande,
to see any man preach, except a blacke frier, or a gray
frier: and therefore the friers enuied him and accused
him to the Bishop of Dunkelden (in whose diocesse
he remained) as an heretike, and one that shewed the
mysteries of the Scriptures to the vulgare people in
English, to make the Clergie detestable in the sighte

of the people. The bishop of Dunkelden MarginaliaGeorge Treichton B. of Dunkelden and persecuter. mooued by the friers instigation, called the said Deane Thomas, and said to him: my ioy Deane Thomas, I loue you wel, and therfore I must geue you my counsel, how you shal rule and guide your selfe. To whom Thom. said, I thank your Lordship hartily. Then the B. began his counsaile on this maner.

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My ioy Deane Thomas, MarginaliaTho. Forret preacheth and will take no mortuary nor Chrisome of hys parishioners. Ergo, he is an hereticke against the Popes Catholicke church. I am enfourmed that you preache the Epistle or Gospell euery Sonday to your Parishners, and that you take not the kowe, nor the vpmoste cloth from your Parishners, which thing is very preiudiciall to the church men: and therefore my ioy Deane Thomas, I would you tooke your kow and your vpmost cloth as other church men do, or els it is too much to preach euery sonday, for in so doing you may make the people thinke that wee shoulde preache likewise. But it is enoughe for you, when you finde any good Epistle, or any good gospell, that setteth foorth the libertie of the holy churche, to preache that, and let the rest be.

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Thomas answeared: My Lorde, I thinke that none of parishners wil complaine that I take not the kowe nor the vppermost cloth, but will gladly geue me the same together with any other thinge that they haue, and I will geue and communicate with them anye thing that I haue, and so my Lord we agree right wel, and there is no discord among vs.

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And where your Lordshippe sayeth, MarginaliaIt is to much in the popes Church to preache euery sonday.it is too muche to preache euery Sonday: in deede I thinke it is too little, and also woulde wishe that your Lordship did the like. Naye, nay, Deane Thomas (sayeth my Lorde) let that be, for we are not ordained to preache. MarginaliaThe Bishop of Dunkelden was not ordayned to preache. Then sayde Thomas, when your Lordship biddeth me preache, when I finde any good Epistle, or a good Gospell, truely my Lorde, I haue reade the newe Testament and the olde, and all the Epistles and the Gospels, and among them all I could neuer finde any euil Epistle, or any euil Gospell: but if your Lordship will shewe me the good Epistle and the good Gospell, and the euill Epistle and the euill Gospell, then I shall preache the good, and omit the euill.

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Then spake my Lord stoutly, and saide, I thanke God that I neuer knewe what the olde and newe Testamente was, (and of these wordes rose a Prouerbe which is common in Scotland: MarginaliaA prouerbe in Scotland.Yee are like the Bishop of Dunkeldene that knewe neither newe nor olde lawe:) therefore Deane Thomas, I will knowe nothing but my Portous and my Pontifical. Go your way, and let be all these fantasies: for if you perseuer in these erroneous opinions, ye wil repent it when you may not mende it.

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Thomas saide, I trust my cause be iust in the presence of God, and therefore I passe not muche what doe followe thereupon, and so my Lorde and he departed at that tyme. And soone after 

Commentary  *  Close

According to different witnesses, the executions took place on 28 February or 1 March 1539.

a Summons was directed from the Cardinall of S. Andrewes, and the sayde Bishop of Dunkelden vpon the saide Deane Thomas Forret, MarginaliaThomas Forret, Fryer. vpon 2. blacke Friers, called frier Iohn Kelowe, MarginaliaIohn Kelow fryer. and an other called Benarage, and vpon one priest of Striueling called Duncane Sympson, and one Gentlemen called Robert Foster in Striuelyng, with other three or foure 
Commentary  *  Close

No other witness records the execution of anyone other than the five persons Foxe names. Cf. John Knox, The Works of John Knox, ed. David Laing, 6 vols (Edinburgh, 1846-64), vol. I pp. 62-3; David Calderwood, The History of the Kirk of Scotland, ed. Thomas Thomson (Edinburgh, 1842), vol. I p. 124.

, wyth them of the towne of Striuelyng: MarginaliaBenerage, Dunkane Simpson Priest, Rob. Foster gentleman with 3. or 4. other of Striueling Martyrs. who at the day of their appearaunce after their summoning, were cōdemned to the death without any place of recantation, because (as was alleged) they were heresiarkes or chiefe heretikes and teachers of heresies, and especially because manye of then were at the bridall and marriage of a Priest, who was vicar of Twybodye beside Striuelynge, and did eate fleshe in Lent at the said bridal, and so they were altogether burnt vpon the castle hill of Edenbrough, where they that were first bounde to the stake, godly and marueilously did comfort them that came behinde.

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Heere foloweth the manner of persecution vsed by the Cardinall of Scotland, against certaine persons in Perth. 
Commentary  *  Close

On this episode see Mary Verschuur, Politics or Religion? The Reformation in Perth 1540-1570 (Edinburgh, 2006), pp. 74-9.

MarginaliaAnno. 1543.Persecuters.Martyrs.Theyr Causes.
FIrst there was a cer-
Roberttaine Acte 
Commentary  *  Close

March 1543. The Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, vol. II: 1424-1567 (1814), p. 415.

of Parla-
Lambe.mente made in the go-
Williamuernement of the Lorde
Anderson.Hamleton Earle of Ar-
Dauid Be-Iames Hun-ran, and Gouernour of
ton, Byshopter.Scotlande, geuinge pri-
and Cardi-Iames Ra-uiledge to all men of the
nall of S.ueleson.Realme of Scotlande,
Andrewes.Iames Foū-to reade the Scriptures
leson.in their mother tongue,
Hellenand language, secluding
Stirke hysneuerthelesse all reaso-
wife.ning, conference, conuo-
cation
SSS.i.
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