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1393 [1393]

K. Hen. 8. The storye and life of the Lorde Cromwell.
¶ Howe Cromwell holpe a poore woman with childe out of trouble, longyng for a peece of meate in tyme of Lent.

Persecuters.Persecuted.The Cause.

MarginaliaA story of one Frebarnes wife, longing for a peece of meate in Lent.Fishers
wife of
Harnsey.
D. Cockes
Byshop
Stokesley.
Hollond
his Sūner.
M. Garter,
Kyng of
Armes.

Tho. Fre-
barne and
his wife.

IN the yeare of our Lorde
God 1538. Syr William
Forman beyng Maior of
the Citye of London, three
weekes before Easter, the
wife of one Thomas Fre-
barne dwellyng in Pater no-
ster row, being with childe
longed after a morsell of a
pigge, and told her minde vn-
to a mayde dwellyng in Ab-
churche Lane, desiryng her,
if it were possible, to helpe her
vnto a peece. The mayde per-
ceyuyng her earnest desire,
shewed vnto her husbande
what hys wife had sayd vn-
to her, tellyng him that it
might chaunce to cost her her

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life and the childes too which she went withall, if she had it not. Vpon this, Thomas Frebarne her husband spake to a butter wife whiche he knew, that dwelled at Harnsey, named good wife Fisher, to helpe him vnto a pigge for his wife, for she was with childe and longed sore to eate of a pigge. Vnto whom the sayd good wife Fisher promised that shee would bryng him one the Fridaye folowyng, and so she did, beyng ready dressed and scalded before. MarginaliaA craftie part of a false Iudas.But when she had deliuered hym the pigge, shee craftely conueyed one of the pigges feete, and caryed it vnto Doctour Cockes, at that tyme beyng Deane of Canterbury, dwellyng in Iuilane, who at the tyme of his dynner, before certeine gestes whiche he had bydden, shewed this pigges foote, declaryng who had the body therof: MarginaliaLet no man iudge you in meate and drinke, or in respecte of an holy day. &c. Colloß. 2.and after that they had talked their pleasure, and dynner was done, one of his gestes beyng landlord vnto Frebarne aforesayd, called M. Garter, 

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I.e., the Garter King at Arms, not a man named Garter.

and by his office king of Armes, sent his man vnto the sayd Frebarne demaundyng if there were no body sicke in his house. Vnto whom hee aunswered that they were all in good health hee gaue God thankes. Then sayd he agayne, it was tolde hys master that some body was sicke or els they would not eate flesh in Lent. Vnto whō Frebarne made aūswere that his wife was with childe & longed for a peece of a pigge, and if he could get some for her, he would. Thē departed his landlordes man home agayne. And shortlye after, hys landlorde sent for hym. But before that hee sent for hym, hee had sent for MarginaliaHolland the Byshop of Londons Sumner.the Byshop of Londons Sumner, whose name was Hollond, and whē this Frebarne was come, he demaunded of him if he had not a pigge in his house, which he denyed not. Then cōmaunded M. Garter the sayd Sumner called Hollond, to take hym and go home to hys house, and to take the pigge and carye both him and the pigge vnto Doct. Stokesley his master, beyng then Byshop of London, and so he did. MarginaliaTho. Frebarne examined before the Byshop.Then þe Byshop beyng in his chamber, with diuers other of the Clergie, called this Frebarne before him, and had him in examination for this pigge, laying also vnto his charge, that he had eatē in his house that Lent, poudred beefe & calues heades. Vnto whō Frebarne aūswered, my Lord if the heades were eatē in my house, in whose houses were the bodies eaten? Also if there be either man or woman that can proue, that either I, or any in my house haue done as your Lordshyp saith, let me suffer death therefore. You speake (said he) against pilgrimages, and will not take holy bread nor holy water, nor yet go in procession on Palmes Sonday: thou art no Christian man. My Lord sayd Frebarne, I trust I am a true Christen man, and haue done nothyng neither agaynst Gods law nor my Princes.

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In the time of this his examination, which was duryng the space of ij. houres, diuers came vnto the Byshop, some to haue their children confirmed, and some for other causes. Vnto whom as they came, hauyng the pigge before him couered, MarginaliaPharisaicall iudgement.he would lifte vp the cloth and shewe it them, saying: How thincke you of such a fellowe as this is? is not this good meate I pray you, to bee eaten in this blessed time of Lent, yea and also poudred Beefe and Calues heades too beside this?

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After this the Byshop called his Snmner vnto him, and commaunded hym to go and carye this Thomas Frebarne and the pigge, openly thorow þe streetes into the old Bayly, vnto Syr Roger Chomley, for the Bishop sayd he had nothyng to do to punishe him, for that belonged vnto the Ciuil Magistrates, and so was Frebarne caryed with the pigge before him, to Syr Roger Chōleys house in þe old Bayly, & he beyng not at home at that tyme, Frebarne was brought likewise backe agayn vnto þe Byshops place with the pigge, & there lay in the porters lodge till it was ix. a clocke at night. MarginaliaThomas Frebarne brought to the Counter.Thē the Byshop sent hym vnto the Counter in the Poultry 

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The Compter in Poultry Street was a London municipal prison, under the jurisdiction of the Lord Mayor of London.

by the Sumner and other of his seruauntes.

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MarginaliaThomas Frebarne brought before the Lorde Mayor.The next day beyng Saterday, he was brought before the Maior of Londō and his brethren, vnto Guild hall, but before his commyng, they had the pigge deliuered vnto them by the Bishops officer. Then the Maior and the Bench layd vnto his charge (as they were informed from the Byshop) that he had eaten poudred beefe & calues heades in his house þt same Lent, but no man was able to come in that would iustifie it, neither could any thyng be found, saue onely the pigge, which (as is before sayd) was for þe preseruation of his wiues lyfe, and that she went withall. Notwithstandyng, the Maior of London sayd that the Mondaye next followyng, he should stād on the Pillary in Cheapeside, with the one halfe of the pigge on the one shoulder, and the other halfe on the other.

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Then spake the wife of the sayd Frebarne vnto the Maior and the Bench, desiryng that she might stand there and not he, for it was long of her and not of him. After this they tooke a Satten lyst & tyde it fast about the pigges necke and made Frebarne to carry it hangyng on hys shoulder vntill he came vnto the Counter of the Poultry, from whence he came.

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After this was done, the wife of this prisoner tooke with her an honest woman, the wife of one Michaell Lobley, whiche was well acquaynted with diuers in the Lord Cromwels house 

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Michael Lobley, a London bookbinder, was an active purveyor of heretical literature and a prominent London evangelical. (1570, p. 1372; 1576, p. 1162 and 1583, p.1191). He obviously used his professional contacts and activities to disseminate heretical literature. Thomas More claimed that Michael Lobley, after he was arrested, informed on those who purchased herteical books from him (Thomas More, The Confutation of Tyndale’s Answer, ed. Louis A. Schuster, Richard C. Marius, James P. Lusardi and Richard Schoeck, CWTM 8 [New Haven, CT, 1973], II, p. 813).

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, vnto whom the sayd woman resorted for some helpe for this prisoner, desiryng thē to speake vnto their Lord and Maister for his deliuerance out of trouble.

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MarginaliaD. Barnet and Barlow, sue to the Lorde Cromwell for Tho. Frebarne.It happened that the same time came in D. Barnes and M. Barlow, who vnderstanding the matter by Lobleys wife, went vp to the Lord Cromwell, & certified him therof: who vpon their request, sent for the Maior of the Citie of London: but what was sayd vnto the Lord Maior, is vnknowen, sauing that in þe after noone of the same day, the wife of þe person aforesayd resorted again vnto þe Lord Maior, suing to get her husband deliuered out of prison, declaring how that she had ij. smal children & had nothyng to helpe her and them but only her husband, who laboured for their liuynges. Vnto whom the Maior aūswered, MarginaliaThe Lord Mayors aunswere to the poore woman.what come ye to me? You are taken vp with the kynges coūsaile. I supposed that you had come to desire me that your husband should not stand vppon the Pillary in Cheapside on Monday next, with the one halfe of the pigge on his one shoulder, and the other halfe on þe other. Also the Maior sayd vnto her that he could not deliuer hym without the cōsent of the reste of hys brethren the Aldermen. Wherfore he bad her the next day folowyng, which was Son-

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