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1449 [1449]

K. Henry. 8. Kerby and Roger Clarke, Martyrs.

MarginaliaAn. 1545.
Ioh. Athee recanted.
In this yeare touchyng matters of hystories, we read no greate thyng worthy of memory, but onely of twoo persons, Iohn Athee and Iohn Haywod. Of whiche two, we finde first Iohn Athee to be indited 

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Foxe drew all of his information on John Athee from Bishop Bonner’s register (Guildhall MS 9531/12, fo. 254v).

by the kinges writte, for certaine wordes agaynst the Sacrament, whiche wordes in the inditement are specified to be these: That he would not beleue in that thyng whiche the knaue Priest made, neither in that whiche Longes wife selleth: but onely in God that is in heauen. And when it was told him that God, through his word, could make it fleshe and bloud: he aunswered: so he might do if he woulde turne it into a Chickens leg, meaning the sacrament of the altar.

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MarginaliaThe recantation of Ioh. Heywoode.The same yeare also followed the recantation 

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John Heywood had been condemned to death along with Germain Gardiner and John Lark, but he recanted on the way to the scaffold and was reprieved (he was More’s brother-in-law). He did public penance in July. Foxe obtained his material, including Heywood’s public recantation from Bishop Bonner’s register (Guildhall MS 9531/12, fol. 61r).

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of Iohn Heywood, who although he was tached for treason, for denying the kinges supremacie, yet vsing the clemencie of the king, vpon his better reformation and amendement, made an open and solemne recantation in þe face of all þe people, abandoning and renouncing the Popes vsurped supremacie, & confessing the king to bee chiefe supreame head and gouernour of this Church of England, all forrein authoritie & iurisdictiō being excluded. The tenor and effect of whose recantation, for as much as it is already expressed in our former edition of Actes and Monumentes, pag. 627. I shall not nede here agayne to repeate the same, but to referre the reader to the place and page aforesayd.

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In this yere of our Lord. 1545. as there was no other thing done in England worthy to be noted, so now þe order of story here requireth by the course of yeres, next to inferre the discourse of þe troubles & persecutions which happened in Scotland, against Maister George Wysard, and diuers other good men of the same countrey, about the same yeare of our Lord. 1545. and somewhat before 

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George Wishary was, in fact, executed in 1546.

. But because we are now come to the latter end almost of king Henries raygne, we wyll make an end (the Lorde wylling) with a fewe other Englishe stories pertaining to that time: and that finished, so to set vpon those matters of Scotland, ioyning them whole together. The tractation whereof thou shalt see (good Reader) in the latter end and closing vp of this kinges raigne.

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¶ Kerby, and Roger Clarke of Suffolke, Martyrs.

MarginaliaAn. 1546.
Saxie a priest, hanged in St. Gardiners porters lodge.
COmming 

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Persecution in 1545

The Rerum contains a brief narrative that might be a garbled account of the burning of Roger Clarke. In a few sentences, Foxe related that a layman of Norfolk (not Suffolk) named Roger was burned for sacramentarian heresy (Rerum, p. 144). By the time the 1563 edition was printed, Foxe had learned a great deal more about the burnings of John Kerby and Roger Clarke; most of his detailed account of their trials and executions first appeared in this edition. This material was contributed by unnamed eyewitnesses. In the 1570 edition, Foxe added details to the account of the martyrdoms of Kerby and Clarke, which were also obtained from informants, probably including the Ipswich gaoler John Bird (Richard Bird, also an Ipswich gaoler, would be denounced by Catholics in Mary's reign for encouraging prisoners in their heresy (1576, p. 1981 and 1583, p. 2089). Were the Birds a family of evangelical gaolers? In any case, John Bird was probably the source the interview between Kerby and Robert Wingfield). In the 1570 edition, Foxe also added an account of Henry VIII's oration to Parliament on Christmas Eve 1545. Foxe printed this speech from Edward Hall, The union of the two noble and illuste famelies of Lancastre and Yorke (London, 1560), STC 12734a, fos.260r-262r. His purpose in including the speech was to criticize appeal for compromise for the sake of concord and religious unity. In 'notes' upon the speech, Foxe argued instead - in passages clearly intend to goad Elizabeth and her magistrates into further reformation of the Church - that correct doctrine and religious purity were more important than peace or unity.

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Thomas S. Freeman

now to the yeare of our Lord. 1546. first passing ouer þe priest 
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The chronicler Wriothesly reports that a priest in custody at the bishop of Winchester's house in Southwark, was found hung on 12 April 1540. Wriothesly also reports that the priest was of 'the new sect' and had been brought to the bishop's house for examination. (A Chronicle of England…by Charles Wriothesley, ed. William Douglas Hamiliton, 2 vols., Camden Society new series 11 and 20, [London, 1875-7), I, p. 115). Protestant polemicists rapidly turned what was probably a suicide into a murder carried out (of course) at Stephen Gardiner's orders: see Henry Brinklow, The Complaynt of Roderick Mors, ed. J. Meadows Cooper, EETS 22 (London, 1874}, p. 29 and John Bale, The epistle exhortatorye of an English Christiane (Antwerp, 1544?), STC 1291, fo. 13v.

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whose name was Saxie, which was hanged in þe porters lodge of Ste. Gardiner B. of Winchester, & that (as it is supposed) not wtout þe cōsent of the said bishop, & the secrete conspiracie of that bloudy generation: to passe ouer also one Henry, with his seruant burned at Colchester 
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Nothing futher is known of Henry or his servant.

: I will nowe proceede to the storie of Kerby and Roger Clarke of Mendelshā, who were apprehended at Ipswych, an. 1546. the Saterday before Gang Monday, 
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This is the Monday of the Minor Rogations, i.e., the Monday before Ascension Day.

and brought before the Lord Wentworth, with other Cōmissioners appointed there to sitte vppon their examinations, iudgementes, and causes.  
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Kirby and Clarke were tried before a commission, headed by Lord Wentworth, to enforce the Six Articles.

MarginaliaA bill brought to the Lorde Wentworth at the areignment of Kerby & Roger.The night before they were areigned, a bill was set vp vpon the towne house doore (by whom, it was vnknowen) and brought the next daye vnto the Lord Wentworth: who aunswered that it was good counsell. Which bill in the latter end shall appeare.

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In the meane time, Kerby and Roger being in the Gaylers house named Iohn Byrd, an honest & a good man 

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Richard Bird, also an Ipswich gaoler, would be denounced by Catholics in Mary's reign for encouraging prisoners in their heresy (1576, p. 1981 and 1583, p. 2089). Were the Birds a family of evangelical gaolers? In any case, John Bird was probably the source the interview between Kerby and Robert Wingfield.

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(who had checkes diuers times at the barre, that he was more meete to be kept, then to be a keper) came in Maister Rob. Winkfield 
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This is the same Robert Wingfield who, as a staunch supporter of Mary Tudor, would write an invaluable narrative of Mary's seizure of power in 1553.

(sonne & heyre of Syr Humfrey Winkfield knight) with M. Bruesse of Wennenham: who then hauing conference with Kerby (beyng then in a seuerall chamber seperate frō the other) Maister Winkfield said to Kerby: MarginaliaThe wordes of M. Wingfield to Kerby and Roger, in prison.Remember the fire is hoate, take heede of thine enterprise, that thou take no more vpō thee then thou shalt be able to performe. The terrour is great, the payne wyll be extreme, and life is sweete. Better it were betime to sticke to mercye, while there is hope of lyfe, then rashlye to begynne, and then to shrincke: with such like woordes of perswasion. To whom he aunswered againe: MarginaliaThe aunswere of Kerby, to M. Wingfield.Ah Maister Winkfield, bee at my burning, and you shall saye, there stādeth a Christen souldiour in þe fire. For I know that fire and water, sworde, and all other thinges, are in the handes of God, and he will suffer no more to be layd vpon vs, then he will geue vs strēgth to beare. Ah Kerby, sayd Maister Winkfield, if thou be at that point, I wyll byd thee fare well: For I promise thee I am not so strōg, that I am able to burne. And so both the gentlemen, saying that they woulde praye for them, tooke handes with them, and so departed.

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MarginaliaThe behauiour of Kerby & Roger, when they were broughte before the iudges.Now (first touching the behauiour of Kerby and Roger) when they came to the iudgement seate, the Lord Wentworth, with all the rest of the Iustices there ready, the Commissarye also by vertue ex officio, sitting next to the Lord Wentworth, but one betwene, 

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Foxe is explaining the elevated status of the bishop's commissary, of near equality to Lord Wingfield, the head of the commission, in what was essentially a lay tribunal.

Kerby and Roger lifted vp their eyes and hands to heauen with great deuotiō in all mens eyes, making their praiers secretelye to God for a space of time, whilest they might say the Lordes prayer. v. or. vj. tymes.

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MarginaliaQuestions propoūded to Kerby & Roger.That done, their articles were declared vnto them, with all circumstances of the law: and then it was demaunded & enquired of them, whether they beleued, that after the woordes spoken by a Priest (as Christ spake them to hys Apostles) there were not the very body and bloud of Christ, fleshe, bloud, and bone, as he was borne of the Virgin Mary, and no breade after.

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MarginaliaTheir aūsweres.Vnto the whiche woordes they aunswered and sayd no, they did not so beleue: but that they did beleue the Sacrament which Christ Iesus did institute at his last supper on Maūdye Thursday at night to his Disciples, was onely to put all men in remembraunce of the precious death and bloud sheedyng for the remission of sinnes, and that there was neither flesh nor bloud to be eaten with þe teeth, but bread & wine: MarginaliaThe Sacrament more then bare bread and wyne.and yet more then bread and wine, for that it is cōsecrated to an holy vse. Thē with much persuasions, both with faire meanes & threates besides (if it woulde haue serued) were these ij. poore men hardly layd too: MarginaliaFoster a sore enemy to Gods people.but most at the handes of Foster 

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William Foster was a lawyer, minor magistrate, staunch Catholic and zealous persecutor who appears several times in the pages of Foxe. His name is first mentioned in the narrative of the Kerby and Clarke martyrdoms, in the 1570 edition.

an inferiour Iustice, not beyng learned in such knowledge. But these ij. cōtinued both faythfull & constant, chusing rather to dye then to lyue, and so continued vnto the end.

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MarginaliaSentence geuen agaynst Kerby & Roger.Then sentence was geuen vpon them both, Kerby to bee burned in the sayd towne the nexte Saterdaye, and Roger to bee burned at Bury the Gang Monday after. Kerby when his iudgement was geuen by the Lord Wentworth, with most humble reuerence holdyng vp his handes and bowing him self deuoutlye, sayd: Praysed be almightie God, and so stode still without any moe wordes.

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Then did the Lord Wentworth talke secretly, puttyng his head behynde an other Iustice that satte betwene them. The sayd Roger perceiuyng that, sayd with a loude voyce: MarginaliaRogers wordes to the Lorde Wentworth.Speake out my Lorde, and if ye haue done any thyng contrary to your conscience, aske God mercy, and we for our partes do forgiue you: and speake not in secret, for ye shall come before a iudge and then make aunswere openly, euen hee that shall iudge all mē: with other such like words. The L. Wentworth somewhat blushyng & chaungyng his countenance through remorse (as it was thought) 

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Thomas Wentworth, first baron Wentworth, had been a prominent and enthusiastic Sufflok evangelical; John bale credited Wentworth with having converted him. (See the biography of Wentworth in the ODNB). Clearly, from Foxe's account, Wentworth was acting with considerable reluctance in prosecuting Kerby and Rogers.

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sayd I did speake nothyng of you, nor I haue done nothing vnto you, but as þe law is. Then was Kerby & Roger sent foorth: Kerby to prison there, MarginaliaRoger sent to Bury to be burned.and Roger to S. Edmundes Bury. The one of the two brustyng out with a loude voyce (Roger as it is supposed) thus spake with a vehemencie: MarginaliaA Prophesie.Fight (sayd he) for your God. For he hath not long to continue.

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The next day whiche was Saterday about x. of the clocke, Kerby was brought to the market place, where

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