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727 [671]

into his galery, with maister Spilman, and willed him in any wise, that he should exhorte me to vtter all that I thought. In the meane while he commaunded his archdeacon to common with me, who sayde vnto me: maistres wherefore are ye accused and thus troubled heare before the Byshoppe? To whome I aunswered agayne and sayde. Syr, aske I praye you my accusers, for I knowe not as yet. Then tooke he my boke out of my hande, and saide. Suche bookes as this, hathe broughte you to the trouble ye are in. Beware (saith he) beware, for he that made thys boke and was the authour therof, was an heretike I warrant you, and burnte in Smithfielde. Then I asked him if he were certain and sure, that it was true that hee hadde spoken. And he sayed he knewe well the booke was of Iohn frethes makinge. Than I asked him, if he were not ashamed for to iudg of the boke before he saw it within, or yet knew the truth therof. I said also that such vnaduised & hastye iudgment is a token apparent of a very slender witte. MarginaliaRashe iudgement reproued. Then I opened the booke and shewed it him. He sayd he thought it had bene an other for he could find no fault therin. Then I desyred him, no more to be so vnaduisedlye, rashe and swift in iudgement, till he throughlye knewe the truthe, and so hee departed from me 

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John Frith (1503-33) was a Cambridge fellow who went into exile in 1528 but unwisely returned to England in 1533 and was burnt for heresy. He was notorious for his reformed polemic, and famously engaged in printed disputation with Thomas More over purgatory and the nature of the Sacrament. The book referred to in this passage is most likely Frith's book against Thomas More, written from prison, A Boke Made by J. Frith (1533). Nevertheless, Askew clearly did not have Frith's book with her.

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Immediatlye after came my cosen Bryttaine in with diuers other as Maister Haule of Grayes Inne and such other like. Thē my lord of London perswaded my cosen Brittain as he had done ofte before, which was that I should vtter the bottome of my harte in any wise. My Lord said after that vnto me that he would I should creadite the counsell of suche as were my frendes and well wyllers in this behalfe, whiche was, that I shoulde vtter all thinges that burdened my conscience for he ensured me that I shoulde not nede to stande in doubt to say any thing. For like as he promysed them (he said) he promised me and woulde performe it. Which was, that neither he nor any man for him, should take me at aduantag of any word I should speake. And therfore he had me say my minde without feare. I answered him, that I had nought to say. For my cōscience (I thanked God) was burdned with nothing.

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Then brought he fourth this vnsauery similitude. That if a man had a woūd, no wise surgion would minister help vnto it before he had seene it vncouered. In like case (sayeth he) can I geue you no good counsell, vnlesse I know where with your conscience is burdened. I answered, that my conscience was clere in all thinges. And for to lay a plaster vnto þe whole skinne, it might appere much folye. Then yedriue me (saith he) to lay to your charge, your owne report which is this. Ye did say he that doth receaue the sacrament by the handes of an ill priest or a sinner, he receiueth the deuil and not God. To that I aunswered, that I neuer spake such wordes.

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But as a said afore both to the qeust and to my Lord mayer, so say I now againe that the wickednes of the priest shoulde not hurte me, but in spirit and faith I receiued no les, thē the body and bloud of Christ. Then saied the bishop vnto me, what saienge is this in Spirit? I will not take you at that aduantage.

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Then I aunswered my lord without fayth and spirite, I cannot receyue him worthelye 

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As Bonner makes clear, Askew's use of the term 'in spirit and faith' to describe her receipt of the body and blood of Christ is provocative in implying an absence of Christ's corporeal presence in the bread and wine.

. Then he layed vnto me, that I shuld say, that the sacrament remayning in the pixe, was but bread. I aunswered that I neuer sayde so, but in dede the quest asked me such a questiō, wher vnto I would not aunswere (I sayde) till such time as they had assoyld me this question of mine, wherfore Steuen was stoned to death? They said they knew not. Then saide I again no more would I tell them what it was. Thē layde my lord vnto me, that I had alleaged a certaine text of the scripture, I aunswered þt I alleged none other but Saint Paules owne saying to the Athenianes in the. xvii. chapter in the Apostles actes that god dwelleth not in temples made with hands. Then asked me me what my fayth and beliefe was in that mater? I aunswered him I beleue as the scriptur doth teach me. Then inquired he of me, what if, te scripture so say that it is the body of Christ? I beleue, said I, as the scripture doth teache me. Then asked he againe what if the scripture do say that it is not the body of Christ? My āswer was stil, I beleue as þe scripture infourmeth me, And vpon this argument he taried a great while to haue driuen me to make him an aunswer to his mind. Howbeit I would not, but concluded this with him that I beleue therein and in all other thinges as christ and his holy Apostles did leaue them. Then he asked me, why I had so few wordes, And I aunswered, God hath geuen me the gift of knowledge, but not of vtterance. And Salomon sayeth that a women of few wordes is a gift of God. Pro. xix. 
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Proverbs 19 (19: 14) does not read as Askew renders it, that a woman of 'few wordes is a gift of God," but rather, that "a discrete woman is the gyfte of the Lord' (The Byble in Englyshe [London, 1539], xxxiii[r]). This is so in both the 1537 Thomas Matthew's Bible, and the 1539 'Great' Bible, placed in every parish church by order of Parliament. In a popular contemporary edition of Proverbs, the text reads 'House & goodes come from the fathers by heritage: but a wyse wife is given of the lorde' (The p[ro]uerbes of Solomon newly translated into Englyshe [London,1534], n.p.).

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Thirdlye my Lorde layed vnto my charge that I should say that the masse was superstitious, wicked, and no better then Idolatry.

I aunswered him no, I sayde not so. Howbeit I say the quest did aske me whether priuate masse did releue soules departed or no? Vnto whome then I answered.

O Lorde what Idolatry is this? That we should rather beleue in priuate masses, than in the healthsome death of the dere son of god. Then said my Lord againe:

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