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. Edmund Allen10. Alice Benden and other martyrs11. Examinations of Matthew Plaise12. Richard Woodman and nine other martyrs13. Ambrose14. Richard Lush15. 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. The Final Five Martyrs49. John Hunt and Richard White50. John Fetty51. Nicholas Burton52. John Fronton53. Another Martyrdom in Spain54. Baker and Burgate55. Burges and Hoker56. The Scourged: Introduction57. Richard Wilmot and Thomas Fairfax58. Thomas Greene59. Bartlett Greene and Cotton60. Steven Cotton's Letter61. James Harris62. Robert Williams63. Bonner's Beating of Boys64. A Beggar of Salisbury65. Providences: Introduction66. The Miraculously Preserved67. William Living68. Edward Grew69. William Browne70. Elizabeth Young71. Elizabeth Lawson72. Christenmas and Wattes73. John Glover74. Dabney75. Alexander Wimshurst76. Bosom's wife77. Lady Knevet78. John Davis79. Mistress Roberts80. Anne Lacy81. Crosman's wife82. Congregation at Stoke in Suffolk83. Congregation of London84. Englishmen at Calais85. Edward Benet86. Jeffrey Hurst87. William Wood88. Simon Grinaeus89. The Duchess of Suffolk90. Thomas Horton 91. Thomas Sprat92. John Cornet93. Thomas Bryce94. Gertrude Crockhey95. William Mauldon96. Robert Horneby97. Mistress Sandes98. Thomas Rose99. Troubles of Sandes100. Complaint against the Ipswich Gospellers101. Tome 6 Life and Preservation of the Lady Elizabeth102. The Unprosperous Queen Mary103. Punishments of Persecutors104. Foreign Examples105. A Letter to Henry II of France106. The Death of Henry II and others107. Justice Nine-Holes108. John Whiteman109. Admonition to the Reader110. Hales' Oration111. The Westminster Conference112. Appendix notes113. Ridley's Treatise114. Back to the Appendix notes115. Thomas Hitton116. John Melvyn's Letter117. Alcocke's Epistles118. Cautions to the Reader119. Those Burnt at Bristol: extra material120. Priest's Wife of Exeter121. Snel122. Laremouth123. William Hunter's Letter124. Doctor Story125. The French Massacre
Critical Apparatus for this Page
View an Image of this PageCattley Pratt ReferencesCommentary on the Text
 
Person and Place Index  *  Close
George Eagles

(d. 1557)

Martyr. Tailor. Itinerant preacher. From the Colchester area.

When charged with reading to the people in the woods, John Allerton said that he had not, save once, when he was in the company of George Eagles and Richard Roth, when Roth desired him to read something he had upon him. 1570, p. 2212, 1576, p. 1909, 1583, p. 2016.

Eagles preached during Edward VI's reign and then became itinerant during Mary's reign, which coined him the nickname of 'Trudgeover'. 1563, p. 1614, 1570, p. 2202, 1576, p. 1900, 1583, p. 2009.

John Johnson testified that he learned his heretical beliefs - denial of the eucharist and the power of a priest to absolve sin - from 'Trudgon'. He said that 'Trudgon' was a true prophet. 1563, p. 1614, 1570, p. 2202, 1576, p. 1900, 1583, p. 2009.

Eagles preached in and around Colchester during Mary's reign. 1570, p. 2202, 1576, p. 1901, 1583, p. 2009.

Spies were sent out to track down Eagles and bring him to the authorities either dead or alive. 1570, p. 2202, 1576, p. 1901, 1583, p. 2009.

Eagles' brethren hid him on several occasions, evading the authorities. 1570, p. 2203, 1576, p. 1901, 1583, p. 2009.

An edict was declared across Essex, Suffolk, Kent and Norwich, promising £20 to anyone who captured Eagles. 1570, p. 2203, 1576, p. 1901, 1583, p. 2009.

Eagles was captured in Colchester on Mary Magdalen's day 1557. 1570, p. 2203, 1576, p. 1901, 1583, p. 2009.

Eagles was committed to prison in Colchester and then, four days later, was conveyed to Chelmsford where, during his first night, he refused food and drink and kept continual prayer. 1570, p. 2203, 1576, p. 1901, 1583, p. 2009.

Eagles was indicted. 1570, p. 2203, 1576, p. 1901, 1583, p. 2009.

After his indictment, Eagles was taken to the new inn, called the Crown, in Chelmsford, by William Swallow. 1570, p. 2203, 1576, p. 1901, 1583, p. 2009.

Richard Potto, the innkeeper of the Cock Inn, tried to persuade George Eagles to ask the queen's forgiveness. 1570, p. 2203, 1576, p. 1901, 1583, p. 2009.

Eagles was drawn on a sledge to his execution. He carried with him a psalm book, from which he read aloud on the journey. 1570, p. 2203, 1576, p. 1901, 1583, p. 2010.

When Eagles was on the ladder, Potto again troubled him, begging him to ask forgiveness, but the sheriff pushed him away. 1563, 1615, 1570, p. 2003, 1576, p. 1901, 1583, p. 2010.

Eagles was executed with two thieves, one of whom asked Christ for mercy, the other rebuking such actions. These two men were hanged before Eagles suffered, the repentant man saying his prayers and passing quietly, the scoffer being unable to speak or pray prior to his death. 1563, 1615, 1570, p. 2003, 1576, p. 1901, 1583, p. 2010.

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Eagles was hanged for a time but then cut down before he was dead. 1563, 1615, 1570, p. 2003, 1576, p. 1901, 1583, p. 2010.

William Swallow, a bailiff of Chelmsford, then put Eagles on the sled, laid his neck across it, and proceeded to hack at Eagles with a blunt cleaver, hitting him many times on the shoulders, chin, mangling him, and then cut out his heart. Eagles' body was then quartered, his bowels burned, and the body parts put on fish-stalls before Swallow's door, until horses were ready to take the quarters away - one each to Colchester, Harwich, Chelmsford, and St Osyth's. His head was placed on a pole in Chelmsford market until the wind blew it down, and eventually somebody buried it in the churchyard at night. 1563, p. 1615, 1570, p. 2204, 1576, p. 1902, 1583, p. 2010.

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Person and Place Index  *  Close
John Thurston

(d. 1557)

Of Great Bentley, Essex. Of unknown occupation.

Edmund Tyrrel found John Thurston and Margaret, his wife, at William Mount's house and so sent them to prison at Colchester castle, along with the Mounts and their daughter. 1570, p. 2200, 1576, p. 1898, 1583, p. 2007.

Thurston died in Colchester Castle around May 1557. 1563, p. 1611, 1570, p. 2202, 1576, p. 1900, 1583, p. 2009.

 
Person and Place Index  *  Close
Richard [or Rafe] Larden [or Lardyn or Lurdane]

(d. 1562)

Of Colchester.

Richard Larden betrayed George Eagles to the authorities. 1563, p. 1615, 1570, p. 2204, 1576, p. 1902, 1583, p. 2010.

He was arrested on a felony in 1561 and brought before the sessions at Colchester. He was condemned to be hanged. 1563, p. 1615, 1570, p. 2204, 1576, p. 1902, 1583, p. 2010.

At the bar he said his condemnation was just, as he now knew Eagles to have been an honest man. 1563, p. 1615, 1570, p. 2204, 1576, p. 1902, 1583, p. 2010.

Lardyn was attached, arraigned and hanged for felony. 1570, p. 2299, 1576, p. 1990. 1583, p. 2100.

[Nephew of Benjamin Clere. See Thomas S. Freeman, 'Fate, Faction and Fiction in Foxe's Book of Martyrs', Historical Journal, 43.3 (2000), pp. 610-11.]

 
Person and Place Index  *  Close
William Mount

Martyr. Husbandman. Of Great Bentley.

William Mount was imprisoned for his beliefs and sent from Colchester to London by the earl of Oxford, Lord Darcy of Chiche, Edmund Tyrrel of St Osyth's and others. He was later released. 1563, p. 1604, 1570, p. 2199, 1576, p. 1897, 1583, p. 2005.

On 7 March 1557 at two o'clock in the morning, Edmund Tyrrel took William Simuel, the bailiff of Colchester, and two constables of Great Bentley, John Baker and William Harris, to the house of William Mount and his family in order to arrest them. 1563, p. 1606, 1570, p. 2199, 1576, p. 1897, 1583, p. 2006.

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He was condemned. 1563, p. 1610, 1570, p. 2202, 1576, p. 1900, 1583, p. 2008.

He was burned in the castle yard in Colchester on 2 August 1557. 1563, p. 1610, 1570, p. 2202, 1576, p. 1900, 1583, p. 2008.

John Roth's letter to certain brethren condemned in Colchester mentions the Mounts. 1563, p. 1631, 1570, p. 2215, 1576, p. 1912, 1583, p. 2020.

 
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Chelmsford
Chelmesford, Chelmisford, Chelmsford, Chelmsforde, Chemlford, Chemsford
NGR: TL 710 070

A parish in the hundred of Chelmsford, county of Essex. 29 miles north-east by east from London. The living is a rectory in the jurisdiction of the Commissary of Essex and Hertfordshire

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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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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2033 [2009]

Queene Mary. The story apprehension, and examination of George Eagles Martyr.

MarginaliaAnno 1557. August.smilingly, and gaue her selfe to exhortyng the people agayne.

When all sixe were also nayled likewise at their stakes and the fire about them, they clapped their handes for ioy in the fire, that the standers by (which were by estimation thousandes) cryed generally all almost: The Lord strengthē them, the Lord comfort them, the Lord poure his mercies vpon them, with such like wordes, as was wonderfull to heare.

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Thus yealded they vp theyr soules and bodyes into þe Lordes handes, for the true testimony of his trueth. The Lord graunt we may imitate the same in the like quarrell (if hee so vouche vs worthye) for hys mercies sake. Amen.

In like manner, the sayde day in the afternoone, was brought forth into the Castle yard, to a place appoynted for the same, MarginaliaW. Munt, Alice his wyfe, Rose Allin their daughter, Iohn Iohnson, burnt the same day at afternoone.W. Munt. Iohn Iohnson, Alice Munt, and Rose Allyn aforesayd, which godly constant persons, after they had made theyr praiers, and were ioyfully tyed to the stakes, calling vpon the name of God, and exhorting the people earnestly to flee from Idolatry, suffered their martyrdome with such triumphe and ioye, that the people did no lesse showte therat to see it, then at the other that were burnt the same day in the morning.

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Thus ended all these glorious x. soules that day, their happy liues vnto the Lord, MarginaliaThe age of these Tenne made the summe of 406.whose ages all did growe to þe summe of 406. yeares or thereaboutes. The Lord graunt we may well spend our yeares and dayes likewise to his glory. Amen.

¶ Iohn Thurston dyed in Colchester Castle. 
Commentary  *  Close
John Thurston

John Thurston is the husband of Margaret Thurston who was burned in Colchester in September 1557 (see 1563, pp. 1631-33; 1570, pp. 2215-16; 1576, p. 1912, and 1583, pp. 2020-21). This account was printed in the 1563 edition and unchanged in subsequent editions.

MarginaliaIohn Thurston a confessor of Christ. MarginaliaAugust. 3.BEfore you haue heard of þe taking of one I. Thurston at Muchbentley, in the house of one William Munt of the same towne: which sayd Iohn Thurston afterwarde, about the moneth of Maye,  

Cattley Pratt  *  Close
Cattley/Pratt, VIII, Appendix: ref page 393, line 6

From a reference to this martyr in the Privy Council Book it would appear, that Thurston was alive over this month:-
"At St. James the xiith of Decembre 1557.
"A lre to Anthony Browne, Esq., oone of the Queenes Maties sergeaunts at Lawe, signifieng unto him in aunswere of his, that towching suche as he writeth of to remayne hitherto in Colchester gaole ever syns the execution of Trudge and before, as personnes thenne suspected to have byn his ayders and comforters, he maye onles he hath the more vehementer suspitions against them, bayle them upon substanciall suerties to be fourthe comyng and abide such ordre as the Lawe will at the next assizes. And as for Thurston remayning also in the said gaole as a personne very evill in matters of Religion, notwthstanding he was taken to be reconciled, he is willed to remitt him unto the Ordinary wth such matter as he hath wherewth to charge him."

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in the yeare aforesayde, dyed in Colchester Castle, a constaunt confessour of Iesus Christ.

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¶ The story and death of George Eagles, otherwise termed Trudgeouer, a most paynefull trauayler in Christes Gospell, who for the same Gospell most cruelly was martyred by the cruell papistes. 
Commentary  *  Close
George Eagles

Foxe's first account of George Eagles appeared in the Rerum on pp. 726-28. (This was the last narrative of a Marian martyr which would appear in the Rerum. Because of Foxe's having to complete the Latin martyrology in haste, the work concluded with a list of those executed from March 1556 until the end of Mary's reign).

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The Rerum account of Eagles was faithfully translated in the 1563 edition. This account was based entirely on information from individual informants. More material from individual informants was added in the 1570 edition. These accounts were on two themes: more detailed and graphic accounts of the physical torments which Eagles had to endure (which demonstrated his constancy and stoicism) and equally detailed and graphic accounts of the divine punishments inflicted on those responsible for Eagles' death (demonstrating that he died a martyr and not a traitor). The account of Eagles was unchanged after the 1570 edition.

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MarginaliaGeorge Eagles Martyred.AMong other Martirs of singular vertue and constancie, one George Eagles deserueth not the least admyration, but is so much the more to be commended, for that he hauing little learning or none, most manfully serued & fought vnder the banner of Christes Churche. For oftentimes the will and pleasure of God is to beautifie & adorn his kingdome wt the weake & simple instruments of this world: such as in the old Testament Amos was, who wt many other of obscure and vnknowne names, were called from the heardes and foldes to the honour of Prophetes: as likewise we read of the Apostles that were called from fishermens craft, and put into churches. Wherefore thys George Eagles is not to be neglected for his base occupation, whome Christ called thence to set foorth and declare abroad his Gospell. Rather we ought to glorifie GOD the more thereby in his holinesse, whiche in so blinde a time inspired him with the gift of preaching, and constancie of suffering: who after a certayne time hee had vsed the occupation of a Taylor, being eloquent and of good vtteraunce, gaue and applyed himselfe to the profite of christes Church.

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Which man, as before in those moste bright and cleare dayes of king Edw. the 6. he had not vnfruitfully shewed and preached the power & force of þe Lorde: so afterward in the tempestious time and fall of the churche (at what tyme the confessours of Christ and hys Gospell were turmoyled, diuers of thē murthered, parte banished, & other some constrained for feare not to shew their heades) he expressed and vttered his manly stomacke. MarginaliaThe paynefull trauell of George Eagles.For he wandring abroad into diuers and farre Countryes, where he could finde any of his brethren, he did there moste earnestly encourage & comfort them, not tarying in this town, and sometyme abidyng in that certayne mōthes together, as occasion serued, lodgyng sometyme in the Countrey & sometime for feare liuing in fieldes & woods, who for his immoderate & vnreasonable goyng abroad, was called Trudgeouer. Oftentimes he did lye abroad in the night without couert spending the most part thereof in deuout and earnest prayer.

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His dyet was so aboue measure spare and sclender, that for the space of three yeares, he vsed for the moste parte, to drinke nothing but very water, whereunto he was com-

pelled through necessitie of the time of persecution: & after whē he perceaued that his body by Gods prouidence proued well enough with this dyet, he thought best to inure himselfe therwithall agaynst all necessities.

Now when he had profited Christes Churche in thys sort, by going about and preaching the Gospell a yeare or two, and especially in Colchester and the quarters therabout, that priuie enemy which enuieth alwayes the saluation and blessed estate of the good, lurketh & layeth wait by all meanes possible for hym, so that there were diuers espies sent out, who had in commaundement, where soeuer they found him, to bring him eyther quicke or dead. 

Commentary  *  Close

Another protestant fugitive, Thomas Mountain, described the intense search made for Eagles in Essex as early as the summer of 1555 (Narratives of Days of the Reformation, ed., J. G. Nichols, Camden Society, original series 77 [1849], pp.210-11).

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But when this their attempt could not preuayle, but al was in vayne (the sayd Eagles with his brethren keping in close, and hiding themselues in out and darke places, as in barnes, thickets, holes, and priuy closets) hys aduersaries wēt about an other way to compasse this theyr enterprise of taking him. For in the Queenes name a greeous Edicte was proclaymed throughout the foure Shyres Essex, Suffolke, Kent, and Northfolke, 

Commentary  *  Close

See APC V, pp. 310 and 312 for orders to arrest Eagles issued in July 1556.

promising þe party that tooke him, twenty pound for his paynes: doubtles a worthy hyre to entice any Iew to treachery. For being inflamed with greedy desire of the mony, deuised and inuēted al waies and reasons they could possible to be enriched with the hurt and destruction of this sely man.

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At length it came to passe, that this George being seene by chaunce at Colchester vpō Mary Magdalens day, 

Commentary  *  Close

I.e., 22 July 1557.

at which tyme they kept a Fayre in the Towne, should haue foorthwt ben deliuered to hys aduersaries, if he perceiuing the same (as God would haue it) had not conueyed hymselfe away as fast as he could, a great multitude pursuing after, and seeking dilligently for him. Who first hid hymselfe in a Groue, and then from thence he stole into a corne field there by, and so laye secretly couched from the vyolence of his enemies, in so muche as they were all, sauyng one, past hope of taking him, and therefore readye to depart their way.

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This one hauing more subtilly and wicked craft in his head then the rest, woulde not depart thence with his fellowes, but climed vp into a high tree, there to view & espy if he might see Eagles any where stir or moue. The poore man thinking al sure enough, by reason that hee heard no noyse abroad, rose vp vpon his knees, and lifting vpp his hands, prayed vnto God. And whether it were for þt hys head was aboue the corne, or because his voice was heard the lurker perceiuing hys desired pray that hee hunted after, MarginaliaQuo non mortalia pectora cogis, auri sacra fames. Virg. æneid. 1.forthwith came downe, and sodaynly laying hands on him, brought him as prisoner to Colchester. Notwithstanding the greedy and Iudas knaue which had so much promised him, was faine to be contented with a very smal reward, and glad to take that too, least he shoulde haue had nothing at all.

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This George, not without great lamentation of dyuers good men: and great lacke vnto the Church of God (of whiche to his power he was a worthye instrument) was committed to prison three, and from thence wythin 4. dayes after conueyed to Chelmsford, where he abode all that night in deuout prayer, and would not sleepe, neither would eat or drinke, but bread and water. The next day he was caryed to London to the Bishop or the Counsayle, and there remayned a certayne time, & then was brought downe to Chelmsford to the Sessions, and there was indited and accused of treason, because hee had assembled cōpanyes together, contrary to the lawes and statutes of the Realme in that case prouided. For so it was ordayned a litle before, to auoyd sedition, that if men shoulde flocke secretly together, aboue the number of six, they shoulde be attached of treason: which strayte lawe was the casting away of the good Duke of Somerset before mentioned.

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And albeit it was well known that poore Eagles did neuer any thing seditiously against þe Queene, yet to cloke an honest matter withall, and to cause hym to be the more hated of the people, they turned religion into a ciuill offence and crime, and though he defended his cause stoutly and boldly, making a full declaration of his religion or fayth before the Iudges: yet could he not bryng to passe by any meanes, but that hee must neeedes be indicted (as is sayd) of treason, whose inditement did runne muche after this fashion.

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MarginaliaGeorge Eagles inditement.George Eagles, thou art indicted by þe name of George Eagles, otherwise Trudgeouer the worlde, for that thou didst such a day make thy prayer, that God shoulde turne Queene Maryes hart, or els take her away.

He denyed that he prayed that God should take her away, but he confessed that he prayed that God would turn her hart in his prayer. Well, notwithstanding he was condemned for a traytor, although the meaning thereof was for Religion.

Thys
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