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
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Richard Atkins
 
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Richard Atkins

(1559? - 1581)

Weaver. Of Halsted, Essex. Martyr. Born in Hertfordshire. Catholic until the age of 19, when imprisoned by the inquisition and eventually condemned, tortured and burned for denying the sacrament. (DNB)

Atkins was one of 18 men and 4 women indicted for heresy in Colchester.1563, p. 1566 [recte 1578].

Atkins was charged with heresy and delivered to John Kingston and then to Bonner. 1570, p. 2159, 1576, p. 1865, 1583, p. 1974.

On 29 August 1557 an indenture was made between several lords and justices and John Kingston concerning the delivery of 22 prisoners from Colchester. Atkins was one of the prisoners named in the indenture. 1563, p. 1565, 1570, p. 2157, 1576, p. 1864, 1583, p. 1975 [incorrectly marked as 1971].

He wrote a confession of faith and signed a submission agreeing to catholic teaching on the eucharist. 1570, p. 2159, 1576, p. 1865, 1583, p. 1974.

Atkins fled abroad but was arrested for heresy there and condemned. He was martyred in Rome. 1583, p. 2153.

John Young witnessed the death of Richard Atkins. 1583, p. 2153.

[See Report of the Christian Suffering of Richard Atkins by A[nthony] M[unday] (London, 1582). Also BL, Lansdowne Ms.982, fo.13.]

2174 [2151]

The Oration of the Lord Keeper. The story and martyrdome of Atkins at Rome.

chosen to represse these disorders. If it be aunswered me that they cannot see such opē boldnes & factious, disorders: I must say that they haue no eyes to see, & if they heare not of suche contemptuous talke and speche, I may say that they haue no eares. I would haue those men iudge what will come of these vnbridled speeches in the end, if reformatiōs be not had therof. What cōmeth of factions & seditions we haue bene taught of late yeares what the fruites be, which I beseech God long to defend vs from. If such disorders be hot redressed by law, then must force & violence reforme. Which when they take place may fortune fall assoone on thē that seeme to haue least consideration in this matter. If force and violence preuayle, then ye know that law is put to silence, and cannot be executed, which should onely maynteine good order. If it be replyed agaynst me, that to the suppressing of these open talkes there is no law, which by speciall letter can charge any man offender, I must say, that whatsoeuer the letter of the law be, the meaning of the law was and is cleane contrary to the liberty of these doinges. If it be sayd, that no man can be charged by the law except it can be proued agaynst him, that his speeche and deedes be done maliciously: what ye call malice I can not tel. But if the bringing in of these sedicious bookes make mēs mindes to be at variance one with one another, destruction of mindes maketh sedicions, seditions bring in tumults, tumults worke insurrections and rebellion, Insurrections make depopulations and desolations,and bringeth in vtter ruine & destruction of mens bodies, goodes & landes: And if any sow the roote wherof these men come, & yet can be sayd that he hath no mallice, or that he doth not maliciously labour to destroye both publicke & priuate wealth, I can not tell what act may be thought to be done maliciously. And further if it be sayd to me that the man which should be charged with offēce must be proued to haue done his acte aduisedly: To that I answere: If any bring in those bookes, distribute them to others, commend & defend them, & yet can not be charged to haue done aduisedly, I haue no skill of their aduisednesse. If it be sayde that the law intreateth of such actes as be directly derogatory and of none other, what is direct ouerthwarting the Law, when the contrary thereof is playnely treated, holden and defended, and the truth by argumentes condemned. It maye be sayd agayne that the worlde doth not now like extremitye in lawes penal and calleth them bloudy lawes. As for extreme and bloudy lawes I haue neuer liked of them. But where the execution of such lawes touching halfe a dosen offenders, and the not execution may bring in daunger halfe a hundred. I thinke this law nor the execution therof may iustly be called extreme and bloudy. In such like comparison I may vtter my meaning as to make a difference betwene whipping & hanging. In deed though whipping may be thought extreme, yet if by whipping a man may escape hanging, in this respect, not whipping bringeth in this bloudinesse and extremity and not the execution of the law: And better it were, a man to bee twise whipped, then once hanged: The paynes do differre, but wise men will soone consider the diuersity. The truth is to suffer disobedient subiectes to take boldnes agaynst the lawes of God & their prince, to wincke at the obstinate minds of such as be vnbridled in theyr affections: to mainteine a forraigne power of the Byshop of Rome, directly agaynst the Princes prerogatiue stablished by lawes, is not this to hatch dissentiō, to chearish sedition? To extoll the writinges of such, who by all their wittes deuise to supplant the princes lawfull authority: If these doinges be not meanes to the disturbance & vtter ruine of the Realme, I know not what is good gouernance. If these be not the sparkes of Rebellion: What be they. Thus much hauing spoken to your wisedomes, I doubt not of your assenting with me, the rather also because I vtter them vnto you as from the Queenes Maiesty by commaundement, who doth require of vs all a more dilligēce in execution of lawes, then is spyed commonly abroad: Whereby we shall do our duties to almighty God the better, declare our allegiance to our Souereigne, regard the maiesty of the lawes, loue the quiet of our country, and procure the safety of our selues.

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God saue the Queene.

And here I trust, we are now come to an end of al our English Martyrs which hetherto haue bene burnt, for the veritie of the gospell, if we adde besides to the same, a godly countryman more of ours, one named Richard Atkins an Hartfordshyre man, who of late about two yeares past in the reigne of this our gracious Queene, an. 1581. most miserably was tormented at Babilon, that is in þe citie of Rome. The cause and maner of whose suffering and martirdome here ensueth, taken out of a certayne late printed story, and testified by such as were present witnes and beholders of the same most tragicall execution. The purport of whiche story in wordes, as is put downe by the said reporter, here vnder followeth.

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A true report of the horrible, and merciles martyrdome of one Richard Atkins, an Englishe man, with extreeme tormentes, and most cruell rage of furious tyrantes persecutors, put to death at Rome. 
Commentary  *  Close

A casual reading of the account of Atkins would suggest that Foxe obtained this account from John Young. Actually the entire account, including the citation of Young as a source, was reprinted from Anthony Munday, The English Romayne Life (London, 1582), STC 18272, pp. 72-75.

 
Cattley Pratt  *  Close
Cattley/Pratt, VIII, 742, fn 1

See Strype's Annals, III. i. 54-56. - ED.

ABout the month of Iuly, an. 1581. one Richard Atkins borne in Hartfordshire an english man came to Rome and hauing found the englishe Colledge, knocked at the dore. To whome diuers of the studentes there came out, to welcome him, vnderstanding that he was an Englishe man. Among other talke had with him, they willed him to goe to the hospitall, and there to receiue his meat and lodging, according as the order was appoynted, whereunto he aunswered, I come not (my countrimen) to any suche intent, as you iudge, but I come louingly to rebuke the great misorder of your liues, whiche I greeue to heare, and pity to beholde, I come likewise to let youre proude Antichrist vnderstand, that hee doth offend the heauenly maiestie, robbe God of his honour, and poysoneth the whole world with his abhominable blasphemies: making them homage stockes, and stones, and that filthy sacramēt which is nothing els but a foolish Idol. When they heard these wordes one Hugh Griffin, a Welche man, and a student in the Colledge caused him to be put in the Inquisition, where how they examined him, and howe he aunswered them, I know not, but after certayn dayes he was set at libertie agayne. And one day going in the streete, he met a priest carying the sacrament, whiche offending hys conscience, to see the people so crouche and bow downe to it: he caught at it to haue throwne it downe, but missing of his purpose, and being iudged by the people, that hee dyd catch at the holinesse, that (they say) commeth from the sacrament, vppon mere deuotion, hee was let passe, and nothing sayd to him: few dayes after, hee came to S. Peters Churche, where diuers gentlemen, and other were hearing Masse, and the Priest at the eleuation: he vsing no reuerence, stepped among the people to the aultar, & threw downe the Chalice with the wine, striuing likewise to haue pulled the cake out of the priestes handes, for whiche diuers rose vp, and beate hym with theyr fistes, and one drewe his rapier, and woulde haue slayne him: so that in briefe he was caryed to prison where hee was examined, wherfore he had committed such a hainous offence: wherunto he aunswered, that he came purposely for that intent to rebuke the popes wickednes, and theyr Idolatry. Vpon this he was condemned to be burned: which sentence, he sayd, hee was right willing to suffer, and the rather because the summe of his offence, pertayned to the glorye of God. During the time he remayned in prison sundry English men, came vnto him, willing him to be sory, for that he hadde done, and to recant from his damnable opinion, but all the meanes they vsed were in vayne, hee confuted theyr dealinges by diuers places of scripture, and willed them to be sory for theyr wickednesse, while God did permit thē tyme, els they were in danger of euerlasting damnation: these wordes made the English men departe, for they could not abide to heare them. Within a while after, he was set vpō an Asse, without any saddle, he being from the middle vpward naked, hauing some englishe priestes with him to talke with him, but he regarded them not, but spake to the people in so good a language as he could, and told them they were in a wrong way, and therfore willed them for Christes sake, to haue regard to þe sauing of theyr soules. All the way as he went, there were foure did nothing els but thrust at his body with burning Torches, whereat he neuer moued, nor shronke one iote, but with a cherefull countenaunce, laboured to perswade the people often bending his body to meet the torches, as they were thrust at him, and woulde take them in hys owne hand, and hold them burning still vppon his body, whereat the people not a little wondered. Thus he continued almost þe space of halfe a mile, till he came before S. Peters, where the place of execution was. When he was come to þe place of execution, there they had made a deuise, not to make the

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