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1211 [1211]

K. Hen. 8. Iames Baynham, Iohn Bent, Trapnell, Martyrs. The Roode of Douercourt.

left vnto the secular power, that is to say, to one of the Shriffes beyng there present. After the pronouncyng of whiche sentence, Maister Nicolas Wilson counselled and admonished the sayd Iames, that he would conforme hym self vnto the Church. To whom he aunswered, þt he trusteth that he is the very childe of God, which ye blind Asses (said he) do not perceyue. And last of all, departyng from his iudgement, hee spake these wordes: MarginaliaThe words of Iames Baynham to M. Wilson.M. Wilson nor you my Lord Chauncellour, shall not proue by Scripture, that there is any Purgatorie. Then the sentence of condēnation was geuen agaynst hym, the which here to repeate word for worde, is not necessary, for so much as the tenour therof is all one with that which passed before in the story of Bayfeld, aliâs Somersam. Here also should ensue the letter of the Byshop of London, directed vnto the Maior and Shriffes of the same Citie, for the receyuyng of hym into their power, and the puttyng of him to death, the tenour whereof is also of lyke effecte to that before written in the story of Bayfelde. After this sentence geuen, Iames Baynham was deliuered into the handes of Syr Richard Gresham Shriffe, then beyng present, who caused hym by hys Officers to be caryed vnto Newgate, and the sayd Iames Baynham was MarginaliaThe death and Martyrdome of M. Iames Baynham.
Iames Baynham.
An. 1532.

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James Bainham, a Middle Temple lawyer, whose misbeliefs included denial of the sainthood of St Thomas Becket, was visited in prison before his death by Latimer and others, who did not think this a cause worth dying for. Bainham, however, having gone back on his earlier recantation, also held other beliefs (denying purgatory and auricular confession) and remained steadfast. He was burned at Smithfield on 30 April 1532. This small woodcut in the series introduced in 1570 had previously been used in a work published by John Day in 1569: Gonsalvius Reginaldus Montanus, De heylighe Spaensche inquisitie.

burned in Smithfield the last day of Aprill, in the yeare aforesayd, at three a clocke at after noone.

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MarginaliaThe cruell handling of Baynham.This Maister Baynham during 

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This account of Bainham's further mistreatment probably came from his wife Joan (the account of More's treatment of Bainham ends with a description of her imprisonment. For Joan Bainham as a source for other accounts in Foxe see Thomas S. Freeman, 'The importance of dying earnestly: the metamorphosis of the account of James Bainham in "Foxe's Book of Martyrs" in The Church Retrospective, ed. R. N. Swanson, Studies in Church History 33 (Woodbridge, 1997), pp. 272-3.) Whether Bainham was physically tortured is doubtful, but the account of his movements is interesting. The trip to Chelsea and then Fulham indicates that both More and Stokesley made further efforts to induce Bainham not to relapse.

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his imprisonment, was very cruelly handled. For almost by the space of a fortnyght hee laye in the Byshoppes Colehouse in the stockes, with yrons vppon hys legges. Then hee was caryed to the Lord Chauncellours, and there chayned to a poast two nyghtes. Then he was caryed to Fulham, where he was cruelly handled by the space of a seuennyght. Then to the tower, where hee lay a fortnyght scourged with whyppes, to make hym reuoke hys opinions. From thence hee was caryed to Barkyng, then to Chelsey and there condempned, and so to Newgate to bee burned.

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MarginaliaA miracle and a wondrous worke of God to behold.At whose burnyng here is notoriously to bee obserued 

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This account of Bainham's execution and last words was added to an appendix in the 1563 edition, which means that it reached Foxe after the account of Bainham was printed. It also means that the account did not come from Joan Banham. For a discussion of the reasons why this version of Bainham's death is fictitious see Thomas S. Freeman, 'The importance of dying earnestly: the metamorphosis of the account of James Bainham in "Foxe's Book of Martyrs"' in The Church Retrospective, ed. R. N. Swanson, Sudies in Church History 33 (Woodbridge, 1997), pp. 278-81.

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, that as he was at the stake in the myddest of the flamyng fire, whiche fire had halfe consumed hys armes and legges, hee spake these wordes: O ye Papistes, beholde, ye looke for miracles, and here now ye may see a miracle, for in this fire I feele no more payne then if I were in a bed of downe: but it is to me as swete as a bed of roses. These woordes spake he in the midest of the flamyng fire, when hys legges & armes (as I sayd) were halfe consumed.

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¶ Iohn Bent, Martyr.

MarginaliaIoh. Bent, Martyr.AT the writyng 

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Wiltshire martyrs

Information about Benet and Trapnel must have been sent to Foxe by an informant between 1563 and 1570. There is no other existing record of these two martyrs.

hereof, came to our handes a certeyne notice of one Iohn Bent, who about this present tyme or not long before, beyng a Taylor and dwellyng in a Village called Vrcheuaunt, was burnt MarginaliaIoh. Bent, burnt at Deuise.

¶ Iohn Bent, Martyr.
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in the towne of the Deuises within the couutie of Wilkeshyre, for denying of the Sacrament of the Altare, as they terme it.

¶ One Trapnell Martyr.

MarginaliaTrapnell Martyr, burnt at Brodford.ALso much about the same tyme, was one Trapnell burned in a Towne called Brodford within the same Countie.

The history of. iii. men 
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Dovercourt rood

In the Rerum, Foxe briefly notes that three 'iuvenes', Robert King, Nicholas Marsh and John 'Debnammus' were hung in 1532 for destroying an 'idolum' at Dovercourt Essex. Foxe also mentioned that a 'Robertus Gayrnerus' was burned for the same offence (Rerum, p. 126). Foxe's source for this was undoubtedly John Bale who had written that Robert King, Nicholas Marsh and John 'Debynsham' were executed for 'destroying the fowle ydoll of Dovercourt' (John Bale, The epistle exhortatorye of an English Christiane [Antwerp, 1544?], STC 1291.5, fo. 13r). Bale didn't mention Robert Gardner, though, and Foxe must have learned of him from Bale or another exile.

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But while Foxe's early information about Gardner was garbled - Gardner was clearly not burned - it seems to have provided an important lead for future research into what happened at Dovercourt. The account of the destruction of the Dovercourt rood comes - as Foxe states - from a letter Robert Gardner wrote a Londoner, describing the incident. Foxe cites Gardner as his source for other acts of iconoclasm in Essex and Sussex in 1532 (It is clear from Foxe's note that his source for the following incidents was Robert Gardner. But it is not apparent whether these details came from the original letter Gardner sent to Chapman or from subsequent communications between Foxe and Gardner). It seems clear that Foxe's recovering this evidence is the product of directed research and not serendipity.

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hanged for the burning of the Roode of Douercourt, collected out of a letter of Robert Gardner, which was one of the doers of the same.

MarginaliaOut of a letter of Robert Gardner, written to Chapman Londoner, and yet aliue.IN the same yeare of our Lord. 1532. MarginaliaThe Roode of Douercourt.there was an Idoll named the Roode of Douercourt, wherunto was much and great resort of people. For at that tyme there was a great rumor blowen abrode amonges the ignoraunte sort, that the power of the Idoll of Douercourt was so great, that no man had power to shut the Church dore where he stode, and therfore they lett the Church doore both nyght & day continually stand open, for þe more credit vnto their blinde rumor. Which once beyng conceaued in the heades of þe vulgar sort, seemed a great meruel vnto manye men, but to manye agayne whom God had blessed with his spirit, was gretly suspected, especially vnto these whose names here folowe, MarginaliaRobart King, Rob. Debnam, Nicolas Marsh, Martyrs.as Robert Kyng of Dedhā, Robert Debnam of Estbergholt, Nicolas March of Dedham, and Robert Gardner of Dedham, whose cōsciences were sore burdened to see the honor & power of the almighty lyuyng God so to be blasphemed by suche an Idoll. Wherfore they were moued by the spirite of God to trauaile out of Dedham in a wondrous goodly nyght, both hard frost and faire mone shyne, although the nyght before, and the nyght after were exceading foule and rainye. It was frō the towne of Dedham, to the place where the filthye Rode stode. x. miles. Notwithstanding they were so willing in that their enterprise, that they went these. x. miles without payne, MarginaliaThe blind opinion of the people.and founde the Churche dore open, according to the blinde talke of the ignorant people: for there durst no vnfaithfull bodye shutte it.

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