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1331 [1331]

K. Henry. 8. Collyns, Cowbridge, Puttedew, Leyton, and Peke, Martyred.

was thus rauished of hys wittes, by chaunce he came into a Churche where a Priest was sayinge Masse, and was come to the place where they vse to holde vp and shew the Sacrament. Collins being beside his wittes, seyng the priest holding vp the host ouer his head, and shewing it to the people, he in like manner conterfayting the priest, tooke vp a litle dogge by the legges, and helde him ouer hys head, shewing him vnto the people. MarginaliaCollyns burned for holding vp a dogge at Masse.For this he was by and by brought vnto examination, and condemned to the fire, and was burned, and the dogge with hym, the same yeare of oure Lorde, in the which Iohn Lambert was burned. 1538.

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¶ The burnyng of Cowbrige at Oxford. an. 1538. 
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In the Rerum, Foxe gave the date of Cowbridge's burning as 1536 (Rerum, p. 129); in 1563, he gave it as 1539. Harpsfield criticised Foxe for giving the incorrect dates and accurately observed that Cowbridge was burned in 1538 (Dialogi sex, p. 855). It appears from a letter that Bishop John Longland wrote to Thomas Cromwell that William Cowbridge was burned at Oxford after - probably shortly after - 22 July 1538 (L&P 13 (1), pp. 529-30).

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MarginaliaCowbridge burnt at Oxford.WIth this forsayed Collins maye also be adioyned the burning of Cowbridge: who likewise beynge madde, and beside his ryght senses, 

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Foxe is emphasising Cowbridge's alleged insanity as a fallback position after having badly embarrassed himself. In the Rerum, Foxe stated that he witnessed the burning of Cowbridge at Oxford in 1536 (actually 1538). In this narrative, Foxe claimed that Cowbridge was arrested and imprisoned in the Bocardo (the town prison of Oxford) where his reason was undermined by hunger and lack of sleep. He thereupon said many foolish things and rumours spread that there was a heretic at Oxford who could not bear to hear the name of Christ and the common people were persuaded that he should die. He was burned at the stake, but died with great tranquillity (Rerum, p. 139). In 1563, Foxe added details to this account - including some rather accurate ones about Cowbridge's family and background (William Cowbridge's father had been twice elected bailiff of Colchester (this was the city's highest municipal office) and he died in 1510. Margaret Cowbridge, William's mother, was charged with heresy on 15 July 1528 and purged herself on 17 July (BL, Harley MS 421, fo. 30v. Purging oneself was a means of gaining acquittal by having people of good status and reputation swear on oath to one's innocence of the charges. The fact that Margaret Cowbridge could provide such witnesses so quickly is an indication of her own status). For this family information, Foxe clearly consulted well-informed sources in Colchester. Another sign of how well Foxe researched this matter is that Foxe prints articles charged against Cowbridge, which he claims he obtained from a copy sent to the Lord Chancellor (It was very unusual for the charges against a heretic to be listed when notification was sent to Chancery of the heretic's condemnation. The documents Foxe saw where probably sent to Audley as a result of Cromwell's intervention in the case). The first article Foxe presents matches the eighth article against Cowbridge as copied into Bishop John Longland's register. The second article Foxe presents appears to be a garbled version - probably distorted by Foxe - of the fourth article against Cowbridge, which stated that neither the apostles nor the doctors of the Church knew how a sinner could be saved (Lincolnshire Archives Office, Register 26, fo. 284v).

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Harpsfield raised a number of cogent objections to Foxe's account of the proceedings against Cowbridge, observing (in particular) that Cowbridge was tried in an ecclesiastical court and not by the theologians at Oxford, as Foxe claimed. Drawing 'on certain narratives of grave and pious men, who were not only eye-witnesses to the burning, like Foxe, but some of them also to what happened to Cowbridge at Oxford, men moreover, who were not boys at the time, as was your Foxe, but mature in age and judgement'. Harpsfield then described Cowbridge's examinations, trial and condemnation in detail (Dialogi sex, pp. 853-857). Harpsfield related that after Cowbridge was condemned, Bishop Longland had him sent to Oxford, in the hopes that the theologians there could save his soul before he was burned (Dialogi sex, p. 857). Most strikingly, Harpsfield produced a list of heretical beliefs which Cowbridge admitted holding. These are shortened and simplified, but basically accurate, versions of articles confessed to by Cowbridge and recorded in Bishop Longland's register; it is clear that Harpsfield drew directly or indirectly on the register (cf. Dialogi sex, pp. 859-60 with Lincolnshire Archives Office, Register 26, fos. 284v-285r). Among other things, Harpsfield accurately observed that Cowbridge declared Christ the deceiver, not the redeemer, of the world, that everyone who believed in the name of Christ was damned to hell, but that Jesus was good and that Christ's words at the Last Supper should be translated as 'This is my body by which the people shall be cheated and deceived' (Dialogi sex, pp. 859-60).

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Faced with Harpsfield's well-documented criticisms, Foxe beat a hasty retreat in his second edition. He dropped his claim that Cowbridge was driven insane through mistreatment. He also deleted a sympathetic account of Cowbridge's background and life. Instead of defending Cowbridge, Foxe rather lamely declared that Cowbridge was insane and that burning a madman only demonstrated the Antichristian cruelty of the Catholic (Here Foxe is trying to turn Harpsfield's demonstration of the unorthodox nature of Cowbridge's beliefs to his polemical advantage. Since Cowbridge held outrageous religious beliefs, he therefore must have been insane. And the burning of a madman simply confirmed the cruelty of the Catholic prelates).

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Thomas S. Freeman.

was eyther þe same, or next yeare folowyng, condemned by Longland, Bishop of Lincolne, and committed to the fier by hym, to be burned at Oxford. What hys opinions and articles were, wherewith he was charged, it needeth not here to reherse. For as he was then a man madde, and destitute of sense and reason, so hys woordes and sayinges could not be sound. Yea, rather what wise man would euer collecte articles agaynst hym, which sayd, he could not tell what? And if hys Articles were so horrible and madde, MarginaliaCope in hys Dialogues.as Cope in his Dialogues doth declare them: then was he in my iudgement, a man more fitte to be sent to Bethlehem, then to be had to the fier in Smythfield to bee burned. 
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Here Foxe is trying to turn Harpsfield's demonstration of the unorthodox nature of Cowbridge's beliefs to his polemical advantage. Since Cowbridge held outrageous religious beliefs, he therefore must have been insane. And the burning of a madman simply confirmed the cruelty of the Catholic prelates.

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For what reason is it to requyre reason of a creature madde or vnreasonable, or to make heresie, of the wordes of a senseles mã not knowyng what he affirmeth? But this is the manner & propertie of this holy mother Church of Rome, that what soeuer commeth in their handes & Inquisition, to the fire it must. There is no other way: neither pitie that will moue, nor excuse that will serue, nor age that they will spare, nor any respect almost þt they cõsider: as by these ij. miserable examples both of Collins, and Cowbridge, it may appeare. Who rather should haue bene pitied, & al wayes cõuenient sought, how to reduce the seely wretches into their right mindes again, according as the true pastors of Israell be commaūded by the spirite of God, to seeke agayne the thynges that bee lost, to bynd vp the things that be broken. &c. and not so extremely to brust the thynges that be brused before. But to ende with this matter of Cowbridge, what soeuer his madnes was before, or how soeuer erroneous his articles were (which for the fonde fantasies of thē, I do not expresse) yet as touchyng hys ende, MarginaliaThe right confession of Cowbridge, at hys departing.this is certeine, that in the myddest of the flame, hee liftyng vp his head to heauen, soberly and discretly called vpõ the name of the Lord Iesus Christ, and so departed.

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¶ William Leyton, and Puttedew, Martyrs.

Puttedew Martyred.ABout the same time, and yeare, or not much before, when Iohn Lambert suffered at Londõ, there was one Puttedew 

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This account essentially related about Puttedew in the Rerum (p. 165). Foxe apparently never learned anything more about this obscure figure.

also condēned to the fire, about þe partes of Suffolke, who cõmyng into the Churche, and merely tellyng the Priest, that after he had drunke vp all the wyne alone, he afterward blessed the hongry people with the empty chalyce, was for the same immediatly apprehended, and shortly after burned, leauyng to vs an experiment, MarginaliaProuer. Non est bonum subere cum impijs.quàm parum sit tutum ludere cū sanctis, as the old saying was then: but rather as we may see now, quàm male tutum sit luderè cum impijs. 
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MarginaliaW. Leyton, Martyr.The other, William Leyton, was a monke 

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This account simply repeats what Foxe said about Leiton in the Rerum (p. 165). Foxe apparently learned nothing new about this obscure individual.

of Aye, in the coūtie of Suffolk, and was burned at Norwych, for speakyng agaynst a certein Idole, which was accustomed to be caryed about the processions at Aye: and also for holdyng that the Sacramentall supper oughte to be administred in both kynds, about the yeare and tyme aforsayd.

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¶ The burnyng of one Peke, at Ipswich.

MarginaliaN. Peke burned at Ipswich, Martyr.IN the burnyng of an other Suffolke man, called N. Peke dwellyng sometyme at Erlestonham and burnt at Ipswich somwhat before the burning of these aforesayd 

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Thanks to a local informant, in the 1570 edition, Foxe was able to replace his meagre account of Peke, with this detailed, and probably accurate of Peke's execution. This is a reminder of the importance of local informants to Foxe's work.

, thus I finde it recorded and testified: that when as hee beyng fast bound to a stake and firse set on fire roūd about him, was so skorched, that he was as blacke as soote, one Doct. Redyng there standyng before him, with Doctor Heire and Doctor Spryngwell, hauyng a longe white wande in his hande did knocke hym vppon the right shoulder and sayd, Peke recante and beleue that the Sacrament of the aultar is the very body of Christ, fleshe, bloud, & bone, after that the Priest hath spoken the wordes of consecration ouer it, and here haue I in my hãd to absolue thee for thy misbeliefe that hath be in thee, hauing a scrole of paper in his hand. When he had spoken these wordes, Peke aunswered and sayd, I defie it and thee also, and with a great violence he spit from him very bloud, which came by reason that hys vaynes brake in hys body for extreme anguishe. MarginaliaFortye dayes of pardõ proclaimed for casting styckes into Pekes fyer.And whē the sayd Peke had so spokē, then D. Redyng sayd: to as many as shall cast a sticke to the burning of this herticke, is graunted xl. daies of pardon by my Lord Bishop of Norwich 
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I.e., forty days indulgence from the punishments of Purgatory.

. Then Barne Curson, Syr Iohn Audely knight, with many others of estimation, beyng there present, did rise from their seates, and with their swoordes did cut downe

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¶ The burnyng of one Peke, at Ipswich.
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bowes and throwe them into the fire, and so did all the multitude of the people.


Witnes Iohn Ramsy and others, who did
see this acte. 

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Foxe is supplying these names to counter any criticisms that he that he had invented this account.

In the yeare last before this, whiche was of the Lord. 1537. it was declared, how Pope Paule þe 3. indicted a generall Coūcel to be holdē at Mantua. MarginaliaOf this Councell of Mantua, reade before pag. 1234.Wherunto the kyng of Englãd among other Princes beyng called, refused either to come or to send at þe Popes cal, and for defēse of hym selfe, directed out a publicke Apologie or Protestation, renderyng iust and sufficiēt matter, why neither he would, nor was bound to obey the Popes commaundement. Whiche Protestation is before to be read, pag. 1234. This Councell appointed to begyn the. 23. day of May, the yeare abouesayd, was then stopped by the Duke of Mantua, pretendyng that hee would suffer no Councell there, vnlesse the Pope would fortifie the Citie with a sufficient armie. &c. For whiche cause the Pope proroged the sayd Councell, to

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