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1213 [1213]

K. Henry. 8. The storye of John Fryth. Clarke, Sumner, Bayly, Goodmā, Martyrs.

ledge & acquaintaunce with William Tyndall, through whose instructions, he first receyued into his hart the seede of the gospell and syncere godlines.

MarginaliaThe College in Oxforde of Frydeswyde, now called Christes College.At þt tyme, Tho. Wolsey Cardinall of Yorke, prepared to build a Colledge in Oxforde, maruailous sūptuous, which had þe name and title of Frydeswyde, 

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This refers to the Abbey of St Frideswide which, along with Wallingford Priory, was suppressed in 1525 to provide the necessary building funds. It is interesting to note that the college was subsequently suppressed in 1531 following the fall from grace of Wolsey and re-founded in 1532 as King Henry VIII's College and re-founded again in 1546 as Christ Church (the seat of the new diocese of Oxford).

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but now named Christes church, not so much (as it is thought) for the loue and zeale that he bare vnto learning, as for an ambitious desire of glorye & renoume, and to leaue a perpetual name vnto þe posteritie. But that building, he being cut of by the stroke of death (for he was sent for vnto the kyng, accused vppon certaine crimes, and in the way by immoderate purgations killed himselfe) left partly begonne, partly halfe ended and vnperfecte, and nothyng ells saue onely the kitchyn was fullye finished. Whereupon Rodulphus Gualterus a learned man 
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No mention of this man appears in the 1563 edition. He was Rodulphus Gualterus of Zürich, who published (among other things) the first translation of the Koran into German.

being thē in Oxford, & beholdyng þe Colledge, sayd these wordes in Latine: MarginaliaThe saying of Rodulphus Gualterus, touching the Cardinals colledge.egregiū opus. Cardinalis iste instituit collegiū, & absoluit popinā. Howe large & ample those buildinges should haue bene, what sumptuous cost should haue ben bestowed vpō þe same, may easely be perceyued by that which is already builded, as the kitchen, the hall, and certeine chambers, where as there is such curious grauyng and workemanshyp of stonecutters, that all thynges on euery side did glytter for the excellencie of the workemanship, for the finenes of the matter, with the gilte antikes, and embossynges, in so much that if all the rest had bene finished to that determinate ende as it was begon, it might well haue excelled not onely all Colledges of studentes, but also Palaces of Princes. This ambitious Cardinall gathered together into that Colledge, what soeuer excellent thyng there was in the whole realme, either vestimentes, vessels or other ornaments, beside prouision of all kynde of precious thynges. Besides that, he also appointed vnto that company all such men as were founde to excell in any kynde of learnyng and knowledge. Whose names to recite all in order, would be to long. 
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The text is similar to the 1563 edition, except here (below) Foxe lists more names.

The chief of them whiche were called from Cambridge were these.

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M. Clarke, Mast. of Art, of xxxiiij. yeares of age.
M. Frier, afterward Doct. of Phisicke, after that a
strong Papiste.
M. Sumner, Master of Art.
M. Harman, Master of Art, & after felow of Eaton
Colledge, after that a Papist.
M. Bettes, Master of Art, a good man and zelous,
and so remayned.
M. Coxe, Master of Art, who conueyd hym selfe a-
way toward the North, and after was Scholema-
ster of Eaton, and then Chapplen to D. Goodrich
Bishop of Eley, and by him preferred to K. Henry,
and now Byshop of Eley.
Iohn Frith, Baccheler of Art.
Bayly, Bacheler of Art.
Goodman, who beyng sicke in the prison with the
other, was had out and dyed in the towne.
Drumme, who afterwardes fell away, and forsoke
the truth.
Thomas Lawney, Chapplein of the house, prisoner
with Iohn Frith.

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To these ioyne also Tauerner of Boston the good Musician, 

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The identifiable names are John Clerke (senior canon), Henry Sumner, Godfrey Harman, William Bettes, Richard Cox, John Fryer, William Baily, John Frith, Michael Drumm, John Radley, Thomas Lawney and John Taverner. See Brian Raynor, John Frith: Scholar and Martyr (Peterborough, 2000), p.60].

MarginaliaThis Tauerner repented hym very much that he had made songes to popishe ditties in the tyme of his blindnes.besides many other called also out of other places, most piked yong men of graue Iudgement and sharpe wittes, who conferryng together vpon the abuses of Religion being at that time crept into þe Church 
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This refers to the scandal of 1528, in which a number of indexed books were found to be in circulation at the college. See Eric Ives, The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn (Oxford, 2004), p.267.

, were therfore accused of heresie vnto the Cardinall, & cast into a prison, within a deepe caue vnder þe ground, of the same Colledge, where their saltfishe was layde, so that through the filthy stinch therof, they were all infected, and certayne of them takyng theyr death in the same prison, shortlye vpon the same being taken out of the prison into theyr chambers, there deceassed.

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MarginaliaPersecuters.The troublers and examiners of these good mē were these: Doct. London, Doct. Higdon, Deane of the same Colledge, and Doct. Cottesford Commissary. 

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These men are Dr John London, warden of New College (c.1526), Dr John Higden, president of Magdalen College (1516-25) and dean of Cardinal College, and Dr Thomas Cottesford, Commissary.

MarginaliaM. Clarke, M. Sūner, Syr Baily, killed through imprisonment.Master Clarke, M. Sumner, and Syr Bayly eatyng nothing but saltfishe frō Februarye to the middest of August, dyed all three together within the compasse of one weeke. 

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Clarke died in the custody of Bishop Longland of Lincoln.

Master Bettes a wittye man, hauyng no bookes founde in hys chamber, through entreatye and suretie gote out of prison, and so remainyng a space in the Colledge, at last slypt away to Cambridge, and after was Chaplen to Queene Anne & in great fauour with her. 

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William Betts was chaplain to Anne Boleyn - see Eric Ives, The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn (Oxford, 2004), p.266.

Tauerner, although hee was accused and suspected for hyding of Clarkes bookes vnder the boardes in his schole, yet the Cardinall for hys Musicke excused hym saying, that he was but a Musician and so he escaped. 

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As noted in the 1563 edition commentary, Taverner was recruited (as early as 1524 but declined the offer until 1526) and became the 'Informator Choristarum' (or director of music and instructor of the choristers) - a prestigious position. He is now recognized as one of the most influential musicians of the period and, although later arrested for holding heretical views, his talent, ignorance of theological matters, and Wolsey's opinion that Lutheranism was exclusively a clerical issue saved him from death. See TNA, State Papers 1/47, fol.111A. For more details on his music, see the biography at http://www.classical.net/music/comp.lst/ taverner.html or the listing in David M Greene, Greene's Biographical Encyclopedia of Composers (London, 1985), pp.30-1. Also see, Roger Bowers, 'Taverner, John (c.1490-1545)', in ODNB (Oxford, 2004), 53, pp.836-40.

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After the death of these mē, Iohn Frith with other, by the Cardinalles letter, whiche sent worde that hee would not haue them so straitly handled, were dismissed out of prison vpon condition, not to passe aboue ten myles out of Oxford. Whiche Frith after hearyng of the examination of Dalaber MarginaliaOf this Dalaber, reade more in the story of Tho. Garret. and Garret, whiche bare then Fagottes 

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This refers to the abjurations of Anthony Dalaber - a bookseller - and Thomas Garrett in 1528.

, went ouer the sea, and after ij. yeares 
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Frith was released from imprisonment in 1528 and spent the next four years travelling Europe, sometimes in the company of William Tyndale. He was, for instance, with Tyndale at Marburg and Antwerp, but Frith also travelled around the centres of Reformed Protestantism (e.g., Basel and Zurich). The influence of Oecolampadius is obvious in his later doctrine.

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, hee came ouer for exhibition of the Prior of Readyng, (as is thought) & had the Prior ouer with hym. Being at Readyng it happened that he was there taken for a vacabound, and brought to examination: MarginaliaIoh. Frith set in the stockes at Readingwhere the symple man, whiche coulde not craftely enoughe colour hym self, was set in the stockes. Where after he had sytten a long tyme, and was almoste pyned with hunger, and wold not for all that declare what he was, MarginaliaLeonard Coxe, Scholemaister of Readyng.at þe last he desired that the Scholemaister of the town myght be brought to hym, which at that tyme was one Leonard Coxe, a man very wel learned 
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There may be more to the story here than Foxe relates. Although not mentioned in S F Ryle's biography of Cox in the ODNB (but according to Frederic Carpenter), Cox (Coxes or Cockes) was a friend of both Erasmus and Melanchthon. In 1524, he was the schoolmaster of Reading Grammar School and was much noted for his The Arte or Crafte of Rhethoryck which was the first such book published in England in the vernacular. Much of it is a translation of Melanchthon's Institutiones Rhetoricae (1521). While Ryle notes its publication in 1530, Carpenter notes that this was a second edition. See Frederic Ives Carpenter, 'Leonard Cox and the First English Rhetoric', in Modern Language Notes 13:5 (May 1898), pp.146-7 and S F Ryle, 'Cox, Leonard', in ODNB, 13, pp.854-6].

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. As sone as he came vnto hym, Fryth by and by beganne in the Latin tongue to bewayle his captiuitie.

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The Scholmaister by and by being ouercome with his eloquence, did not onlye take pitie and compassion vpon him, but also began to loue and embrace such an excellent wytte and disposition vnloked for, especiallye in suche a state and myserie. Afterward, they conferryng more together vpon many thynges as touchyng the Vniuersities, scholes, and tongues, fell from the Latin tongue into the Greke, wherin Fryth dyd so inflame the loue of that Scholmaister towardes hym, that hee brought him into a maruelous admiration, especially whē as þe Scholmaister heard him so promptlye by hart, rehearse Homers verses out of hys first booke of Iliades. 

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The earliest translation of Homer's Iliad into English was in 1598 by the dramatist George Chapman.

Wherupon the Scholemaister went with all spede, vnto the magistrates, greuously cōplainnyng of the iniury whiche they did shewe vnto so excellent and innocent a young man. MarginaliaIoh. Fryth through the helpe of the Scholmaister, was deliuered out of the stockes.Thus Frith, through the helpe of the Scholemaister, was freely dimitted out of the stockes, and set at libertie without punishement. MarginaliaSyr Tho. More a deadly persecuter of Iohn Frith.Albeit this his sauetie continued not long, through the great hatred and deadly pursute of Syr Tho. More, who at that tyme beyng Chauncellour of England, persecuted hym both by lande and sea, besittyng all the wayes and hauēs, yea and promising great rewardes, if any man could bryng hym any newes or tydynges of hym. Thus Frith beyng on euery part beset with troubles, not knowyng whiche way to turne hym, seeketh for some place to hyde hym in. Thus flying from one place to an other, and often chaungyng both hys garmentes & place, yet coulde he be in safetie in no place, no not long amongest hys frendes: so that at the last, being traiterously taken 
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This would be October 1532. Frith appears to have been preaching at Bow Lane.

(as ye shal after heare) he was sent vnto the tower of London, whereas he had many conflictes with the Byshops, but specially in writyng with Syr Thomas More. 
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Foxe does not go into the chain of events very deeply at this point which is unfortunate as the events are quite interesting. Simon Fish, in exile in Antwerp in 1529, had written a vehemently anti-clerical short pamphlet entitled Supplication of the Beggars in which he disputed the existence of purgatory (from a 'sola scriptura' perspective) and, consequently, the validity of papal indulgences as he construes them to be. He also made the argument that the clergy had usurped certain temporal powers. Such an argument as this was, of course, calculated to appeal to a king who was, at the time, vying with papal obstructionism over his effort to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. In October 1529, Thomas More responded to the pamphlet with his The Supplycatyon of Soulys (in two books) defending the doctrine of purgatory with all the wit and logic at his command. It was on this point of purgatorial doctrine that Frith comes into the picture, determined to undertake an answer to More's book on Fish's behalf and in defence of his anti-purgatorial theology.

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MarginaliaThe occasion of Frithes writing agaynst More.The first occasion of hys writyng was this: 
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Frith had published two books in 1529. One of these was entitled Patrick's Places - the translation of a short treatise of the Scottish reformer, Patrick Hamilton, covering such issues as law, gospel, charity and good works. The other work of that year was the much more important The Revelation of Antichrist written under the pseudonym Richard Brightwell. This treatise consists of an introductory letter and three sections dedicated to doctrine, of which only the first section - 'An Epistle unto the Christian Reader' - is original. The other two sections - 'The Revelation of Antichrist' and 'Antithesis between Christ and the Pope' - are respectively translations of Luther's Concerning Antichrist (1521) and Melanchthon's Suffering of Christ and Antichrist (1521). Frith, in this way, presented the doctrine of 'sola fide' to the English reading public. In 1531, while still in exile, Frith wrote two considerable more original treatises. The lesser of the two is a commentary on the last will of the executed heretic William Tracy, entitled Tracy's Testament. The greater work - entitled A disputation of Purgatory - is an attack on the traditional Catholic orthodoxy as presented in three other recent English works. These are John Rastell's rationalist account New Book of Purgatory (1530), Thomas More's scriptural account The Supplycatyon of Soulys (1529) and Bishop John Fisher's patristic account Confutation of Lutheran Assertions (1523). These are discussed in Carl R Trueman, Luther's Legacy: Salvation and English Reformers, 1525-1556 (Oxford, 1994), pp.121-56.

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Vppon a tyme he had communication with a certeine olde familiar frende of hys, touchyng the Sacrament of the body and bloud of Christ. The whole effect of which disputation, consisted specially in these foure pointes.

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