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575 [519]

at that tyme about xii. or xiii. weakes, so he taried not the commyng agayne of the messenger, but in a nyghte by a meane he conueyed hym selfe. MarginaliaPoyntz escapeth.And so by Gods helpe at the openyng of the towne gate in the mornyng gatt away. And whē it was perceuyed that he was gone, there was horse sent out after hym, but by the meanes that he knewe well the contrey escaped, and came into Englande. But what more trouble folowed to Poyntz of the same, it serueth not for this place to rehearse. Maister Tyndall styll remayning in pryson,was proffered an Aduocate and a Procurour, for in anye cryme there, it shall be permitted to counsell to make aunswere in the lawe, the whiche he refused to haue anye, but sayde, he would make aunswere for hym selfe, and did. But it is to be thought his aunswere wyl not be put forth, notwithstandyng he had so preached to them there who hadde hym in charge, and suche as was theyr conuersaunt with him in the Castle, that they reported of hym, that if he were not a good Christian man, they knew not whom they myght take to be one.

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¶ The description and manner of the burning of Maister Wylliam Tyndall.

The Martyrdome and burning of mayster William Tyndall, in Flaunders, by Filford Castle
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Commentary on the Woodcuts  *  Close
Tyndale occupies a pivotal position in Foxe's story and the picture of his martyrdom perhaps reflects this in aiming to represent the difference of a continental execution. The scene at Vilvorde shows the great castle wall rearing up behind the condemned man, and the crowd is composed mainly of officials and clergy (including friars) and armed guards, holding no potential sympathisers (or women) like those depicted at English burnings. The scaffold itself is a different feature, and appears in a comparable image, the woodcut representing the burning of John Hooper, in Foxe's 1559 Rerum in Ecclesia Gestarum, in which it and the martyr are being engulfed by flames. But though Tyndale (like Hooper) is shown chained to the stake standing on this platform, as if in preparation for burning alive, his death, by strangulation, was more merciful. His body was burned thereafter -- and the two bundles of faggots indicate its preparation -- but this followed on after an interval. It is the words in the bandarole that resonate for readers of the book: that famous prayer for England's salvation: 'Lord open the king of Englands eies'. Like other such celebrated last utterances, this sentence was reset, by changes in the drop-in typsettings in the different editions -- itself an act of faith ? a technical necessity? or perfectionism on the part of the printer? CUL copy: additional detail is provided in ink in this copy. WREN: this illustration is rather crudely coloured in the Wren copy.

And the same mornyng he was hadde to the fyer, he delyuered a letter to the chief keper of the Castel, whiche the keper hym self brought to Poyntz house in Andwarpe shortly after, who reported hym there as though he myght be compared to be feelowe with the Apostles beyng in pryson, conuertyng the people, bothe for his conuersation and otherwyse preaching to them. That Traytour worse then Iudas to mans iudgement, in the acte doyng (only not comparying to Christe, and that the scriptures hath already iudged Iudas) otherwyse not so good, for Iudas after he had betrayed his maister and frende, was sory, acknowled-ged and confessed his facte openly, declared his Maister to be the very trouth, despysyng the monye that he hadde receuyed for doynge the acte, brought it agayne and cast it before thē. This traytour Phylippes contrarywyse, not lamentyng but reioysing in that he had done, not declaring the honest goodnes & trouthe of his frende, but applyed in all that he could deuise, to declare him to be false and sedicious, not despysyng the money that he had receiued, not bryngyng it agayn, but procured & receiued more, wherewith to followe the suyte againste that innocent bloude to the deathe, the whiche endured about one whole yeare &

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a halfe
BB.ii.
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