Critical Apparatus for this Page
View an Image of this PageCommentary on the Woodcuts
Names and Places on this Page
686 [662]

K. Henry. 6. Persecution in Northfolke and Suffolke. The martyrdome of Will. White.

so ignoraunt of the gospell, that euer would or did affirme the same.

Moreouer, they thought or sayd peraduenture that in certayne cases, tithes might be withholden from wicked priestes sometime, and be conferred to better vses, to the behoofe of the poore: Therfore they are falsly slaundered, as saying and affirming that no tithes were to be geuē to the ministers and curates of the churches.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaThe papistes are but quarel pickers.And likewise for matrimony, wherin they are reported to hold and affirme as though it consisted onely in the mutuall consent betwixt the man & woman, neding no other solemnizing in the publicke church and all because (as it is like) they denyed it to be a Sacramēt. Other articles were obiected agaynst them as these which hereafter folow.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaArticles.That auricular confessiō is not to be made vnto a priest but vnto God onely, because no priest hath any power to absolue a sinner from his sinne.

Item, that no Priest hath power to make the body of Christ in the sacrament of the aultar, but that after the sacramentall words, there remayneth pure materiall breade as before.

Item that euery true christian man is a priest to God.

Item, that no man is bound vnder paine of damnatiō vnto Lent or any other dayes prohibited by the Church of Rome.

Item, that the Pope is Antichrist, and his Prelats the Disciples of Antichrist, and the Pope hath no power to binde and loose vpon earth.

* Marginalia* In case of necessitie, vrgent they meane. Item, that it is lawfull for euery Christian to doe any bodely worke (sinne onely except) vpon holy dayes.

Item that it is lawfull for priestes to haue wiues.

Item, that the excommunications and ecclesiastical cēsures geuen out by the Prelates are not to be regarded.

Item, it is not lawfull to sweare in priuate cases.

Item, that men ought not to go on pilgrimage.

Item that there is no honor to be geuē to the Images of the crucifixe, of our Lady, or any other saynt.

Item, that the holy water halowed in the church by the priest, is not holyer or of more vertue then other running or well water, because the Lord blessed all waters in theyr first creation.

Item, MarginaliaThe death of Thomas Becket.that the death of Thomas Becket, was neyther holy neither meritorious.

Item, that reliques as dead mens bones, ought not to be worshipped or digged out of theyr graues, or set vp in Shrynes.

Item, that prayers made in all places are acceptable vnto God.

Item, that men ought not to pray to any saynt but only to God.

Item that the bels and ringing in the church was ordeyned for no other purpose then to fill the pristes purses.

Item, that it is no sinne to withstand the ecclesiasticall preceptes.

Item that the catholick church is onely the congregation of the elect. MarginaliaIn this article is ment that the wicked be in the church but not of the Church.

These were the Articles, which were generally obiected agaynst them all, wherin they did so agree in one vniforme fayth, that whatsoeuer one did hold, all the other did mayntayne & hold the same. By the which theyr consent & doctrine it appeareth that they all receiued it of some one instructor, who was William White: which being a scholer and folower of I. Wickliffe, resorted afterward into thys country of Norfolke and there instructed these men in the light of the gospell. And now as we haue declared the names and Articles of these good men, so it remayneth somewhat to speake of theyr troubles how they were handled, beginning first with William White.

[Back to Top]
¶ William White Priest.


W. White, Martyre.

Anno. 1428.

Ex Waldeno.

THis William White being a folower of Iohn Wickliff and a priest not after the common sort of priests, but rather to be reputed amongst the number of them, of whom the wise man speaketh: * Marginalia* Eccle. 50. He was as the morning starre in the midst of a cloud. &c. This man was well learned, vpright & a well spoken priest. He gaue ouer his priesthood & benefice, & took vnto him a godly yong woman to his wife named Ioane: notwithstanding he did not therefore cease or leaue frō his former office & duty, but continually labored to the glory and prayse of his spouse Christ, by reading, writing & preaching. The principal points of his doctrine were these, which he was forced to recant at Canterbury.

[Back to Top]

That men should seeke for the forgeuenes of their sins oncly at the handes of God.

That the wicked liuing of the Pope and his holynesse, is nothing els but a deuilish estate and heauy yoke of Anti christ, and therfore he is an enemy vnto Christes trueth.

That men ought not to worship Images or other Idolatrous payntings.

That mē ought not to worship the holy men which are dead.

That the MarginaliaThe Romish church aptly resembled to the cursed fig tree.Romish church is the fig tree which the Lord Christ hath accursed, because it hath brought forth no fruit of the true beliefe.

That such as weare coules, or be annointed or shorne are the lanceknightes and souldiors of Lucifer: & that they all, because theyr lamps are not burning, shall be shut out, when as the Lord Christ shall come.

Vpon which articles he being attached at Cant. vnder the Archb. Henry Chichesley in the yeare of our Lord 1424. there for a certayne space stoutly and many witnessed the truth whiche he had preached: but like as there he lost hys courage and strength, so afterward he became again much more stouter and stronger in Iesu Christ and confessed his own error & offence. For after this he going into Norfolk with his said wife Ioane, & there occupying himself busily in teaching & conuerting the people vnto the true doctrine of Christ, at the last by meanes of þe kings letters sēt down for that intent and purpose, he was apprehended & taken & brought before Wil. bishop of Norwich, by whom he was conuict & condemned of 30. articles & there was burned in Norwich, in the moneth of September. an. 1424.

[Back to Top]

¶ The burning of William White.
woodcut [View a larger version]
Commentary on the Woodcuts  *  Close
William White was a Wycliffite priest whose influence has largely to be deduced from the evidence of his followers, chiefly those whose trials in the diocese of Norwich are recorded for 1428-31. He is known to have been active also in Kent, and both he and his 'wife' Joan seem to have been effective proselytisers, and to have left groups of supporters in the Tenterden area of Kent as well as East Anglia. The surviving record of White's trial in provides evidence of the views he taught and for which he was condemned in 1428 and burned at Norwich. At least one of his disciples, Margery Baxter, was present at his burning and reported his final attempt to preach being stopped by a blow on his lips. It appears from Foxe's account that he had access not only to the Norwich heresy trial records, which we still have, but also to evidence that no longer survives, which somewhat fleshes out the account of White and his companion preacher, Hugh Pye. Foxe stated that White's wife had 'suffred much trouble & punishment' that year for sharing her husband's beliefs. Her fate remains unrecorded. The woodcut used to illustrate White in the first edition was a repetition of that used for Sir Roger Acton, with the text in the bandarole changed to 'O Lord receive my soul'. This was one of the misfitting set of blocks that were replaced in 1570, when White was represented by one of the new set of small single-column cuts.

This William White and his wife had his most abode with one Tho. Moone of Ludney. This mā was of so deuout and holy life, that all þe people had him in great reuerence, and desired him to pray for them: in so much that one Margaret Wright confessed, that if any sayntes were to be prayd to, she would rather pray to him then to any other. When he was come vnto the stake thinking to open hys mouth to speak vnto the people, to exhort & confirme them in the verity, MarginaliaThe bishops man smiteth him on the mouth, exhorting the of the bishops seruants stroke hym on þe mouth, therby to force him to keepe silence. And thus thys good man receiuing the crowne of martyrdome, ended this mortall life to the great dolor & griefe of all the good men of Norfolke. Whose sayd wife Ioane, folowing her husbāds footsteps according to her power, teaching and sowing abroad the same doctrine, confirmed many men in Gods truth: wherefore she suffered much trouble and punishmēt the same yeare at the handes of othe sayd bishop.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaFather Abraham, Iohn Waddon priest, martyrs and burned.About the same time also was burned father Abraham of Colchester, and Ioh. Waddō priest, for the like articles.

Concerning them, which abiured, how & by whom they were examined, what depositions came in agaynst them, and what was the order & maner of the penance inioyned them, here it might be set out at large: but for auoyding of prolixity, it shall be sufficient briefly to touch certaine of the principals, wherby the better vnderstanding may be geuē

[Back to Top]
Go To Modern Page No:  
Click on this link to switch between the Modern pagination for this edition and Foxe's original pagination when searching for a page number. Note that the pagination displayed in the transcription is the modern pagination with Foxe's original pagination in square brackets.
Type a keyword and then restrict it to a particular edition using the dropdown menu. You can search for single words or phrases. When searching for single words, the search engine automatically imposes a wildcard at the end of the keyword in order to retrieve both whole and part words. For example, a search for "queen" will retrieve "queen", "queene" and "queenes" etc.
Humanities Research Institute  *  HRI Online  *  Feedback
Version 2.0 © 2011 The University of Sheffield