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1425 [1425]

K. Henry. 8. Testwood, Filmer, Person, and Marbecke, persecuted.

graūteth vnto all and singular his subiectes within this hys Realme of England, Wales, Callis, Guysnes, and Hammes, and in all other hys graces dominions, free libertie, facultye, and licence to eate all maner of whyte meates, as milke egges, butter, cheese, and such like, duryng the tyme of this Lent, without any scruple or grudge of conscience, any lawe, constitution, vse, or custome to the contrary notwithstandyng. Wherin neuertheles hys highnes exhorteth and in the name of God requireth all such his faythfull subiectes, as may, will, or shal enioy this his sayd graunt or faculty, that they be in no wise scrupulous or doubtful therof, nor abuse or turne the same into a fleshly or carnall liberty, but rather endeuour them selues, to their possible powers, with this liberty of eatyng of white meates, to obserue also that fast which God most specially requireth of thē, that is to say, to renounce the world & the deuil, withall theyr pompes and workes, and also to subdue and represse their carnall affections and the corrupt workes of theyr flesh, accordyng to their vowe and profession made at the fonte stone, for in these poyntes specially consisteth the very true and perfect abstinence or fastyng of a Christen man: thus to endure and continue from yeare to yeare, till the kynges hyghnes pleasure shal by his Maiesties proclamation be published to the contrarye.

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¶ The trouble and persecution of foure 
Commentary  *  Close

This is a careless error, only three people were burned at Windsor. Foxe was repeating the number four from the heading of this account in the Rerum (p. 182); however, both the Rerum and 1563 accounts make it clear that only three people were burned.

Wyndsore men, Robert Testwode, Henry Filmer, Anthony Person, and Iohn Marbecke, persecuted for righteousnes sake, and for the Gospell.

MarginaliaAn. 1544.COmmyng now 

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Testwood, Filmer, Marbeck and Person

In March 1543, William Simons, a Windsor lawyer and Dr. John London, the warden of New College, Oxford, and a prebendary of Windsor, accused five people of heresy: Anthony Pearson, a preacher and outspoken sacramentarian, Robert Bennet, a lawyer, Henry Filmer, a tailor, Robert Testwood, a chorister of St. George's Chapel and John Marbeck, the organist at the chapel. There were high stakes involved; these accusations were an attempt to eradicate heresy at the royal court (Philip (not William) Hoby and Sir Thomas Carden were gentlemen ushers of the Privy Chamber, with constant access to the king. Thomas Weldon was a master of the Royal Household and Snowball had the delicate and trusted position of yeoman chef for the king's mouth). As Foxe's account makes it clear, the five accused were pressured to reveal heretics at court. Simon Haynes, the dean of Windsor, and an evangelical sympathiser, was also arrested, as were other figures on the fringes of the court, notably Thomas Sternhold, the future co-author of the metrical psalms. At virtually the same time, a series of investigations into heresy in Kent were initiated, which targeted Archbishop Cranmer himself. (For the background to the troubles at Windsor, see Diarmaid MacCulloch, Thomas Cranmer [New Haven, 1996], pp. 297-322 and Glyn Redworth, In Defence of the Church Catholic: The Life of Stephen Gardiner [Oxford, 1990], pp. 184-207). In July, Pearson, Filmer, Testwood and Marbeck were brought to trial before a jury and justices at Windsor. (Bennet was too ill to be tried). All four sentenced to death under the Act of Six Articles. Marbeck, however, was pardoned and Bennet was released through the intervention of the Bishop of Salisbury on his behalf. Filmer, Pearson and Testwood were burned at Windsor on 28 July 1543.

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The evolution of Foxe's account of this episode was complicated and at times his narrative was confused. In the Rerum, Foxe had an account of five men who were burned at Windsor in 1544 (Rerum, pp. 182-3). Foxe drew much of the material for this episode from Hall's chronicle. (See Edward Hall, The union of the two noble and illustre famelies of Lancastre and York [London, 1560?], STC 12723a, fo. 256r-v). But Foxe had information that Hall did not: some of the articles alleged against Marbeck and the charges against Bennet. (In fact, Hall does not mention Bennet). Moreover, as Foxe, in his second edition, made it clear that he also consulted original documents from the case; including the writ authorizing the execution of the martyrs (Foxe probably based his account of the Windsor martyrs partly on documents that must have been sent to him during his exile). But in doing so, he got confused on an essential point: he stated that Marbeck, Testwood and Pearson were burned and that Filmer was pardoned.

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Foxe translated the account in the Rerum, word-for-word, in the 1563 edition (pp. 626-7). However, as the printing of this edition progressed, Foxe learned of his mastake. On p. 1742 of the edition, Foxe included a list of errata, and this included a mention - in the middle of a column of errors listed in small type - that he had confused Marbeck with Filmer and that he had failed to mention that Bennet was never tried or condemned.

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Nicholas Harpsfield noticed Foxe's mistake and either failed to notice, or disregarded, his correction. In a few caustic passages Harpsfield used Foxe's error as the platform for a pointed attack on the overall credibility of the Acts and Monuments. After quoting Foxe's assertion that Marbeck was burned, Harpsfield sarcastically observed that Marbeck 'still lives, singing and playing the organ most beautifully at Windsor, as he had been accustomed to do' (DS, pp. 962-3). Harpsfield's criticisms of Foxe's mistake were taken up by other Catholic writers and repeated as a 'proof' of Foxe's inaccuracy for centuries.

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Harpsfield's criticisms also goaded into a massive response. The two pages devoted to the Windsor martyrs in the 1563 edition expanded to thirteen pages in the 1570 edition. Moreover, the account was completely rewritten as the material in the 1563 edition was discarded and replaced with a detailed narrative obtained from John Marbeck himself (This is an important indication that Marbeck himself was the source of this narrative). A manuscript copy of Marbeck's narrative, partially annotated by Foxe in preperation for printing, survives as BL, Lansdowne MS 389, fos. 240r-276r). After the Marbeck narrative, Foxe appended a heated riposte to Harpsfield (this was Foxe's response to the charge made by Nicholas Harpsfield that Foxe had erroneously identified Marbeck as a martyr, and to the implication, rapidly taken up by other Catholic writers, that this demonstrated Foxe's inaccuracy). Foxe's treatment of this incident provides an excellent example of the impact of Harpsfield's criticisms and the ways in which they forced Foxe to expand his text and improve his research.

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Thomas S. Freeman

to the story and tyme of the foure Windsore mē troubled and persecuted for the true testimonie of Gods worde, wherof iij. were martyred and sacrificed in fire, the iiij. (whiche was Marbecke) had his pardon 
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Foxe is still omitting Bennet, an interesting residue of the confused manner in which Foxe first learned of this episode.

: first I haue to shewe the originall of their troubles in seueral partes: secondly þe maner & order of their death as they suffered together, which was an. 1544. 
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Actually 1543, not 1544.

thyrdly to aunswere partly in purgation of my selfe, agaynst certeine clatterers, whiche haue hetherto takē their pleasure in railing against my former edition of Actes and Monumentes, for mistakyng the name of Marbecke,whom in one place I reported to haue ben burned, albeit in þe end of the story, correcting my selfe agayne, I declare hym not to haue bene burned. 
Commentary  *  Close

Foxe translated the account in the Rerum, word-for-word, in the 1563 edition (pp. 626-7). However, as the printing of this edition progressed, Foxe learned of his mastake. On p. 1742 of the edition, Foxe included a list of errata, and this included a mention -in the middle of a column of errors listed in small type - that he had confused Marbeck with Filmer and that he had failed to mention that Bennet was never tried or condemned. Nicholas Harpsfield noticed Foxe's mistake and either failed to notice, or disregarded, his correction. In a few caustic passages Harpsfield used Foxe's error as the platform for a pointed attack on the overall credibility of the Acts and Monuments. After quoting Foxe's assertion that Marbeck was burned, Harpsfield sarcastically observed that Marbeck 'still lives, singing and playing the organ most beautifully at Windsor, as he had been accustomed to do' (DS, pp. 962-3). Harpsfield's criticisms of Foxe's mistake were taken up by other Catholic writers and repeated as a 'proof' of Foxe's inaccuracy for centuries.

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Harpsfield's criticisms also goaded into a massive response. The two pages devoted to the Windsor martyrs in the 1563 edition expanded to thirteen pages in the 1570 edition. Moreover, the account was completely rewritten as the material in the 1563 edition was discarded and replaced with a detailed narrative obtained from John Marbeck himself (This is an important indication that Marbeck himself was the source of this narrative). A manuscript copy of Marbeck's narrative, partially annotated by Foxe in preperation for printing, survives as BL, Lansdowne MS 389, fos. 240r-276r). After the Marbeck narrative, Foxe appended a heated riposte to Harpsfield (this was Foxe's response to the charge made by Nicholas Harpsfield that Foxe had erroneously identified Marbeck as a martyr, and to the implication, rapidly taken up by other Catholic writers, that this demonstrated Foxe's inaccuracy). Foxe's treatment of this incident provides an excellent example of the impact of Harpsfield's criticisms and the ways in which they forced Foxe to expand his text and improve his research.

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Wherfore to stoppe the brauling mouthes of such quarrellers, I thought here to set forth the full narration, both of the said Marbecke, and of his felowes, in truth as I trust none of them shall haue iuste cause to quarrell therat.

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¶ The originall of Testwoods trouble.

MarginaliaThe first beginnyng of Testwoods trouble.

Persecuters.Persecuted.The Causes.

M. Ely.
Symons, a

Lavvyer.

D. Lōdon.

Ste. Gardi-

ner B. of

VVinchest.

Wrisley.

Southarne

Treasurer

of Exeter.

D. Bruer-

woode,

Chaunce-

lour of Exeter.

M. Knight

VVinche-

sters Gētle

man.

D. Okyng.

D. Capon

B of Sarū.

Syr W. Es-

sex, knight.

Rob. Test-

wood.

Henry Fil-

mer.

Anthony

Person.

Iohn Mar-

becke.

Rob. Bēnet.

Syr Philip

Hobby,

his vvife.

Syr Thom.
Cardyne,
his vvife.
M. Edmūd
Harman.
M. Thom.
Weldone.

IN the yeare of our Lord.
1544. 
Commentary  *  Close

As Testwood died in 1543, this date is an error. It is very probably a mistake for 1534 as the narrative, a little further down, refers to debates in Parliament over the Act of Supremacy (C 240.15). The Act of Supremacy was passed in November 1534.

there was one Ro-
bert Testwood dwelling in
the Citie of Lōdon, who for
hys knowledge in Musicke
had so great a name, that
the Musiciōs in Wyndesore
Colledge 
Commentary  *  Close

I.e., St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.

, thought hym a
worthy mā to haue a roume
among them. Whereupon
they enformed Doctor Sam-
son (being thē their Deane)
of him. But forasmuch as
some of the Canons at that
tyme, had hearde of Test-
wood, how that hee smelled
of the new learning (as they
called it) it would not be cō-
sented vnto at the first. Not-
withstāding, with often sute
of the foresayde Musicions
made to one D. Tate (who
beyng halfe a Musicion hym
selfe, bare a great stroke in
such matters) a rowme be-

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Persecuters.Persecuted.The Causes.

Syr Thom.
Bryges
knight.
Syr Hūfrey
Fostar
knight.
M. Franke-
len deane
of VVinds.
M. Fachel
of Rea-
dyng.
Bucler the
kings At-
turney.
Filmers
brother.
Hyde a Iu-
rate dvvel
lyng be-
side Abin-
gton.
Rob. Oc-
kam, a
Lavvyer.

Snowball,
his vvife,
of the
kinges
chamber.
D. Heynes
Deane of
Exeter.
At VVind-
sore.
An. 1544.

yng voyde, Testwood was
sent for io be heard. And be-
yng their a iiij. or v. dayes a-
mōg the queere men, he was
so well lyked both for hys
voyce and cunnyng, that hee MarginaliaTestwood receaued into Windsore.
was admitted, and after set-
teled in Wyndsore with hys
housholde, & had in good esti-
mation with the Deane and
Canons a great while. But
when they had perceyued
hym by hys often talke at
their tables (for hee coulde
not well dissemble his Reli-
gion) þt he leaned to Luthers
secte, they began to myslike
hym. And so passyng foorth among thē, it
was his chaunce one day to be at dinner
with one of the Canons named Doctor
Rawson. At the whiche diner, amongest
other, was one of K. Edwarde 4. chaū-
MarginaliaM. Ely persecuter.trie Priestes named maister Ely, and olde
Bacheler of Diuinitie. Whiche Ely in
his talke at þe boord, began to raile against

lay men, which toke vpō them to mell with the scriptures, & to be better learned (knowyng no more but the English toung) then they which had bene Students in the Vniuersities at Oxford & Cambridge all þe dayes of their liues. Then Testwod perceiuing he ment that by him, could forbeare his rayling no longer, but sayd: Maister Ely, by your pacience, I thinke it be no hurt for lay men, as I am, to reade and to know the scriptures. Which of you (quoth Ely) that be vnlearned, knoweth them, or vnderstandeth them? Saint Paule sayth: If thine enemy hunger, feede him: if he thirst, geue him drinke, and in so doyng, thou shalt heape coales of fire vpon his head. MarginaliaRom. 12.Now sir (quoth Ely) what meaneth S. Paul by these coales of fyre? Mary syr (quod Testwod) he meaneth nothing els by them (as I haue learned) but burning charitie, MarginaliaThe Papistes make the Scriptures more hard for lay men, then needeth.that with doinge good to our enemies, we should therby winne thē. A Sirah (quoth he) you are an old scholer in deede.

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After this, they fell into further communication of the Pope, whose supremacie was muche spoken of at that time, but not knowen to be so farre in question in the Parliament house 

Commentary  *  Close

I.e., a reference to debates in Parliament over the Act of Supremacy.

, as it was. And in their talke Ely demaunded of Testwod, whether the Pope ought to be the head of the church, or no. Against the which, Testwod durst not saye hys full minde, but reasoned within his boundes a great whyle. But when they were both wel strickē in an heate, Testwod forgetting himselfe, chaunced to say, MarginaliaEuery kyng in his own realme & church, is head vnder Christ.that euery king in hys owne Realme and dominion, ought to bee the heade of the church vnder Christ. At the which wordes Ely was so chafed, that he rose vp from the table in a great fume, calling hym hereticke, and all that naught was, and so went brauling and chiding away, to the great disquieting of all the companye that were there. Then was Testwod very sory to see the old mā take it so greuously. Wherupon after diner he went and sought maister Ely, and found him walking in the body of the church, thinking to haue talked with him charitably, and so to haue bene at one againe: but euer as Testwood preassed towardes him, the other shunned him, and would not come nye him, but spyt at hym, saying to other that walked by: beware of this fellowe, for he is the greatest hereticke and schismaticke that euer came in Wyndesore.

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Now began the matter to brew. For after that Ely had made hys complaynt to the Deanes Deputie, and other of the Canons, they were all against Testwood, purposing surely at the Deanes commyng home (if all

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