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560 [54]

Actes and Monuments of the Church.

Iune, ministred certein interrogatories vpon the sacramēt of the supper and purgatory vnto the said Frithe, as is aboue declared, to the which when he had answered and shewed hys minde in forme and effect, as by hys own wordes aboue doth appeare. He afterward subscribed to his aunswers with his owne hande in these wordes.

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Ego Frithus ita sentio et quēadmodum sentio ita dixi scripsi asserui & affirmani.

¶ That is to say.

¶ I Frith do thus thinke, and as I thinke, so haue I said, wrytten, taught, and affirmed.

But when as by no meanes he could be perswaded to recant these articles aforesaid, neyther be brought to beleue that the Sacrament is an Article of faith, but said, fiat Iudicium, et Iustitia, he was condempned by the Bishop of London to be burned. And sentence geuen agaynste him, the tenor wherof here ensueth. 

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Foxe's description of Frith's trial where he refused to recant his opinions on the two articles charged against him.

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¶ The sentence geuen against Ihon Frythe.

IN the name of God Amen. We Ihon by the permissyon of God bishop of London, lawfully and rightly proceading withal godly fauor, by authoritye and vertue of our offyce, against thee Ihon Frithe, of our iurisdiction, before vs personally here present, being accused & detected, and notoriouslye slaūdered, of heresy, hauing hard, sene, and vnderstand, and with diligent deliberation wayed, discussed, and considered, the merites of the cause, all thinges being obserued which by vs in this behalf by order of law ought to be obserued, sitting in our iudgemēt seat, the name of Christ being first called vpon, and hauynge God onlye before oure eyes. Because by the actes enacted, propoūded, and exhibited in this matter, and by thine owne confession iudicially made before vs, we do finde that thou haste taught, holden and affirmed, and obstinatelye defended diuers erroures and heresies, and dampnable opinions contrary to the doctrine and determination of the holy church, and specially against the reuerente Sacrament. And allbeit that we following thexample of Christ which would not the death of a synner, but rather that he shoulde conuert and liue, haue oftentimes gone about to correct thee, and by al lawful meanes that we could, and most wholsome admonitions that we did knowe to reduce thee again vnto the true faith, and the vnity of the vniuersall catholike churche. Notwithstanding we haue found thee so obstinate and stifnecked, willinglye continuinge in thy dampnable opiniōs and heresies, and wyl not returne againe vnto the true faith and vnitye of the holy mother church, but as the child ofwickednesse and darknes, hast so hardened thy hart, that thou wilt not vnderstand the voyce of thy shepheard, which with a fatherly affection doth seke after thee, nor wylt not be allured with his godly and fatherly admonitiōs. we therfore not willing that thou which arte wicked, shouldest become more wicked, and infect the Lordes flocke with thy heresy, whyche we are greatly a fraid of, we therfore Ihon the bishop aforsaid, doo iudge thee, and definitiuely condempne thee, the said Ihon Frythe, thy demerits and faults being aggreuate through thy dampnable obstinacy, as gilty of moste detestable heresies, and as an obstinate vnpenitent sinner, refusing penitently to returne to the lap and vnity of the holye mother church. Also that thou hast bene and art by law excommunicate, and pronounce and declare thee as an excommunicate person, also we pronounce and declare thee being an hereticke to be caste out from the churche, and lefte vnto the iudgement of the seculer power, and now presently so to leaue thee vnto the seculer power, and their iudgement.

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MarginaliaCharity pretended: but cruelty intended.Moost earnestly requiring them in the bowels of our Lord Iesus Christe, that this execution and punishment worthely to be done vpon thee, may so be moderate, that the rigoure therof be not to extreme, nor yet the gētlenes to much mittigated, but that it may be to the saluation of thy soule, to the extirpation, terror and conuersyon of heretikes, to the vnity of the catholicke faithe, by this oure sentence definitiue or finall decree, which we here promulgate in thys forme aforesaid. 

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This is the judgement of Bishop Stokesley made against Frith, prior to turning him over to the temporal authorities for execution. Stokesley was a rather doctrinaire conservative and Foxe probably rightly suspected that where the bishop speaks of charity he was rather quite pleased to see another 'heretic' removed.

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Thys sentence thus read, the bishop of London directed his letters, to syr Steuen Pecock mayor of London, and the shryues of the same City, for the receiuinge of the foresayde Ihon Frith into their charge. Who being so deliuered ouer vnto them the iiii. day of Iuly in the yere aforesaid, was by them caried into Smithfeld to be burned,  

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This is Foxe's description of Frith's burning.

and when he was tied vnto the stake, there it suffyciently appeared wyth what constancy and courage he suffred death, for when as the faggottes and fyre were caste into him, he willinglye embraced the same, thereby declaringe wyth what vpryghtnesse of minde, he suffered hys deathe for Christes sake and the true doctrine, where of that daye he confirmed with his bloude a perfecte and firme Testament. The winde made hys death somewhat the more longer, whych bare away the flame from him vnto hys felowe that was tied to his backe, but he had so establyshed hys minde with such pacience, God geuynge hym strength, that euen as thoughe he had felte no paine in that long torment, he seemed rather to reioyse for hys felow, then to be careful for hys selfe.

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This truely is the power and strengthe of

Christ,
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