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1461 [1461]

K. Henry. 8. Rogers, Martyr. Queene Katherine Parre.

MarginaliaThe faythfull and reuerend confession of Lacelles, touching the Lordes supper.did vse it, according to þe testimonies of the Prophetes, the Apostles and our blessed Sauiour Christ, whiche accordingly S. Paul to the Ephesians doth recite.

Now with quietnes I commit the whole world to their pastor and heardman Iesus Christ the onely Sauiour and true Messias, and I commēd my soueraigne Lord and maister the kyngs Maiestie, kyng Henry the viij. to God the father and to our Lord Iesus Christ: The Queene & my Lord the Prince, with this whole Realme, euer to the innocent and immaculate lambe, that his bloude may washe and purifie their hartes and soules from all iniquitie and sinne, to Gods glory and to the saluation of their soules. I do protest that the inward part of my hart doth grone for this, and I doubt not but to enter into the holy tabernacle, whiche is aboue: yea and there to be with God for euer. Farewell in Christ Iesu.

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Iohn Lacels seruaunt late to the kyng, and now
I trust to serue the euerlasting king, with the te-
stimonie of my bloud in Smithfield.

¶ Rogers Martyr, burned in Northfolke.

MarginaliaOne Rogers in Norfolke, Martyr.LYke as Winchester and other Byshops did set on kyng Henry agaynst Anne Askewe and her felow-Martyrs, so D. Repse Byshop of Norwiche did incite no lesse þe old Duke of Northfolke against one Rogers in the countrey of Northfolke: MarginaliaThe Martyrdome of Rogers.who much about the same yeare and tyme, was there condemned and suffred Martyrdome for the vj. Articles. After whiche tyme it was not long, but within halfe a yeare, both the kyng hym selfe, and the Dukes house decayed: albeit the Dukes house by Gods grace recouered agayne afterward, and he hym selfe conuerted to a more moderation in thys kinde of dealyng.

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¶ The story of Q. Katherine Parre late Queene, and wife to K. Henry 8. Wherin appeareth in what daunger she was for the Gospell, by the meanes of Steuen Gardiner and other of his cōspiracie: and how graciously she was preserued by her kinde & louing husband the king 
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Katherine Parr and George Blage

The story of the 'danger' Catherine Parr faced 'for the Gospell' comes to us only from John Foxe, and it is told for the first time in the second edition (1570) of the Acts and Monuments. The addition of the story to the narrative of Henry's latter reign serves the same purpose as Foxe's reframing of the Askew Examinations: Catherine's brush with mortal danger is another example of the ruthlessness of forces for conservatism (Stephen Gardiner, bishop of Winchester, and Thomas Wriothesley, Lord Chancellor), and while Henry VIII saves his wife from their bloodlust in this case, his failure to complete reform and his gullibility to manipulation by members of the conservative faction are further spotlighted in the story following Catherine's, of Gardiner's successful effort to thwart reform in England (when acting as ambassador to France).

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No other evidence exists for the conspiracy against Catherine Parr described by Foxe, nor for the king's ultimate intervention on his queen's behalf, although it does seem likely that the attack on Anne Askew, and particularly her torture, took place against a context of some attempt to compromise Catherine and/or her ladies in a climate of anti-evangelicalism. However, it is just as likely that the attempt to use Askew to implicate the queen's ladies was intended to create vulnerability among their husbands - prominent male courtiers - as it is that Catherine herself was the target.

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It is very likely that Foxe invented the story of Parr's danger and her exchanges with her husband, Henry VIII, contained within the narrative, and one reason for this, beyond simply providing another example of conservative evil and royal reformist failure, might have been in order to elaborate on the suggestion of a plot against the queen contextualizing the story of Anne Askew, itself centralized as a keystone moment in the 1570 edition of the Acts and Monuments. However, the narrative is also a remarkable commentary on both Henry VIII and his queen. Parr is shown 'counseling' her husband, influencing him in matters of both theology and state and showing a boldness emphasized by Foxe in both text and marginal note. Henry, on the other hand, is seen growing increasingly frustrated by his wife's erudition and assertiveness - wrongly frustrated in Foxe's opinion, which is just one indication of the king's weak character. Henry is easily manipulated both by Gardiner and then again by his wife, who exploits to her purpose the submissive posturing required of women, but with obvious insincerity. She does this, significantly, in order to convince her husband that she is guided by him in matters of religion, when in reality, as Foxe has pointed out, the opposite is the case: it is in fact Parr who guides Henry. This phenomenon - of Henry, and through him England, benefiting from the counsel of women - does not originate either in Foxe's 1570 Acts and Monuments or with Parr in his history. Anne Boleyn is also described as having enjoyed significant influence over her husband, influence comparable to that of his male counselors, and while her story, like Parr's, grows substantially from edition to edition of the Acts and Monuments, from the first 1563 edition she is she is credited with both the destruction of papal power in England, and with planting in Henry the desire for reform.

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Nevertheless, Queen Catherine was sympathetic to evangelicalism as queen and was both patron and 'friend' to a number of important evangelicals including Matthew Parker (who will become Queen Elizabeth's first Archbishop of Canterbury) and Thomas Smith, who secured an important position as tutor to the young prince, Edward (Alec Ryrie, The Gospel and Henry VIII: Evangelicals in the Early English Reformation [Cambridge, 2003], pp. 166-67). It is uncertain when she became a supporter of evangelical ideas, but it was possibly a process both begun and completed following rather than preceding her marriage to Henry VIII, and Diarmaid MacCulloch has suggested that it might have been during 1544, when she served as regent in the king's absence (when Henry went to war in France) and was, in that role, in daily contact with Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury (Diarmaid MacCulloch, Thomas Cranmer [Yale, 1996], pp. 326-27). Catherine's own book of 'evangelical devotions', Lamentacion of a Sinner, published in 1547 after Henry VIII's death, marks her as a reformer by the end of the reign, and there is little doubt that she was, by then, considered a significant threat to conservatives, particularly as the king's health declined. This was the case not least because of her influence over the heir to the throne (the future Edward VI), as well as over his education, and so it is not improbable that a plot against her could have taken place, as it had against Cranmer in 1543.

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One problem plaguing the plot described by Foxe when it comes to its veracity, however, is its actual similarity to the 'Prebendaries Plot' against Cranmer, especially its dénouement, which includes the humiliation of the same villains, Gardiner and Wriothesley. It is perhaps no coincidence that both stories (the plot against Catherine and the Prebendaries Plot against Cranmer) appear for the first time in the second edition (1570) of the Acts and Monuments, although had it actually occurred it is likely that Foxe would have heard about it well before the publication of his first English edition, as he lived with John Parkhurst, bishop of Norwich, from autumn 1560 to summer 1562, the two years preceding its publication in 1563. He had been chaplain to Catherine Parr when she was queen of England. Nevertheless, the strongest evidence against the veracity of the story is the complete lack of contemporary record of something this dramatic occurring among and between people as notable as the king, his queen, his Lord Chancellor, and the bishop of Winchester. It is very likely that Foxe invented the story of Parr's danger and her exchanges with her husband, Henry VIII, contained within the narrative. One reason for this, beyond simply providing another example of conservative evil and royal reformist failure, might have been in order to elaborate on the suggestion of a plot against the queen contextualizing the story of Anne Askew, itself centralised as a keystone moment in the 1570 edition of the Acts and Monuments. However, the narrative is also a remarkable commentary on both Henry VIII and his queen. Parr is shown 'counseling' her husband, influencing him in matters of both theology and state. Her boldness is emphasised by Foxe in both text and marginal note. Henry, on the other hand, is seen growing increasingly frustrated by his wife's erudition and assertiveness - wrongly frustrated in Foxe's opinion, which is just one indication of the king's weak character. Henry is easily manipulated both by Gardiner and then again by his wife, who exploits to her purpose the submissive posturing required of women, but with obvious insincerity. She does this, significantly, in order to convince her husband that she is guided by him in matters of religion, when in reality, as Foxe has pointed out, the opposite is the case: it is in fact Parr who guides Henry. This phenomenon - of Henry, and through him England, benefiting from the counsel of women - does not originate either in Foxe's 1570 Acts and Monuments or with Parr in his history. Anne Boleyn is also described as having enjoyed significant influence over her husband, influence comparable to that of his male counselors, and while her story, like Parr's, grows substantially from edition to edition of the Acts and Monuments, from the first 1563 edition she is she is credited with both the destruction of papal power in England, and with planting in Henry the desire for reform.

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Megan HickersonHenderson State University

.

MarginaliaAn. 1546.AFter these stormie stories aboue recited, the course & order, as well of þe tyme, as þe matter of story doth require now somewhat to intreate likewise touchyng the troubles & afflictions of the vertuous & excellent Ladye Queene Katherine Parre, the last wife to king Henry. The story wherof is this.

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MarginaliaQueene Katherin Parre.About the same tyme aboue noted, whiche was about the yeare after the kyng returned from Bulleyne, hee was informed that Queene Katherine Parre, at that tyme his wife, was very much giuen to the readyng and study of the holy Scriptures: and that she for that purpose had retained diuers well learned and godly persons, to instruct her thoroughly in the same, with whom as at all tymes conuenient she vsed to haue priuate conference touching spirituall matters: MarginaliaThe religious zeale of Quene Katherine towarde Gods worde.so also of ordinarie, but especially in Lent euery day in the after noone, for the space of one houre, one of her said Chaplaines in her priuie chāber made some collation to her & to her Ladyes & Gentlewomē of her priuy chamber, or other that were disposed to heare: in whiche Sermons, they oftymes touched such abuses, as in the Churche, then were rife. Which thynges as they were not secretly done, so neither were their preachinges vnknowen vnto the king. Wherof at the first, and for a great time, he semed very well to like. Which made her þe more bold (beyng in dede become very zelous towarde the Gospell, and the professours therof) franckly to debate with the kyng, touchyng Religion, and therein flatlye to discouer her selfe: oftymes wishyng, exhortyng and persuadyng the kyng, MarginaliaThe exhortation of Quene Katherine to the kyng.that as he had to the glory of God, and his eternall fame, begon a good and a godly worke in banishing that monstrous Idoll of Rome, so he would thoroughly perfite and finishe the same, clensing and purgyng his Churche of England, cleane from the dregges therof, wherein as yet remayned great superstition.

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MarginaliaThe kyng toward his latter ende waxed more impacient.And albeit the kyng grew towardes his latter ende, very sterne & opinionate, so that of few he could be cōtent to be taught, but worst of all to be cōtended withall by argument: notwithstandyng towardes her he refrayned his accustomed maner (vnto others in lyke case vsed) as appeared by great respectes, either for the reuerence of the cause, whereunto of hym selfe he semed well inclined, if some others could haue ceased from sekyng to peruerte him, or els for the singular affection whiche vntill a very small tyme before his death, he alwayes bare vnto her. MarginaliaThe vertuous inclination of Queene Katherine toward the kyng.For neuer handmayd sought with more carefull diligence to please her mistres, thē she did with all paynfull endeuour apply her selfe by all vertuous meanes, in all thynges to please his humour.

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Moreouer, besides the vertues of the mynd, she was endued with very rare giftes of nature, as singular beautie, fauour, and comely personage, beyng thinges wherin the king was greatly delighted: and so enioyed she þe kynges fauour, to þe great likelyhode of þe settyng at large of þe Gospell within this Realme at that tyme, had not þe malicious practise of certein enemyes professed agaynst þe truth (which at that tyme also were very great) preuented the same, to the vtter alienatyng of the kynges mynde from Religion, and almost to the extreme ruine of the Queene and certeine others with her, if God had not meruelously succoured her in that distresse. MarginaliaEnemyes and conspirers agaynste the Gospell.The conspirers, and practisers of her death, were Gardiner B. of Winchester, Wrysley then Lord Chauncelour, and others more aswel of the kynges pryuie chamber, as of his pryuie Counsell. These seekyng (for the furtheraunce of their vngodlye purpose) to reuiue, stirre vppe and kindle euill and pernicious humours in their Prince and soueraigne Lord, to the intent to depriue her of this her great fauour, whiche then she stoode in with the kyng, (whiche they not a litle feared woulde turne to the vtter ruine of their Antichristian secte, if it shoulde continue) and thereby to stoppe the passage of the Gospell: and consequentlye, hauing taken awaye her, MarginaliaQueene Katherine a patronesse of Goddes truth.who was the onely Patronesse of the professours of the truth, openlye without feare of checke or controlement, with fyre and swoorde, after their accustomed maner, to inuade the small remainder (as they hoped) of that poore flocke, made their wicked entrye vnto this their mischeuous enterprise, after thys manner following.

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The Kinges Maiestie (as you haue heard) myslyked to be contended withall in any kinde of argument. This humour of his, although not in smaller matters, MarginaliaThe Queene sometyme contrary to the kyng in argument.yet in causes of Religiō, as occasion serued, the Quene woulde not sticke in reuerent termes & humble talke, entring with him into discourse with sound reasons of Scripture, now and then to contrary. The which the King was so well accustomed vnto in those matters, that at her handes he toke all in good part, or at the least did neuer shew countenance of offence thereat: which did not a lytle appalle her aduersaries, to heare and see. During which time, perceauing her so throughly groūded in the Kinges fauour, they durst not for their liues once open their lyps vnto the King in anye respect to touch her, eyther in her presence, or behinde her backe: And so long shee continued this her accustomed vsage, not onely of hearing priuate sermons (as is sayde) but also of her free conference with the King in matters of Religion, without all perill, MarginaliaThe kyng waxeth sickely and difficulte to please.vntill at þe last, by reason of his sore legge (þe anguish wherof began more & more to encrease) he waxed sickly, & therwithal froward, & difficult to be pleased. In the time of this his sicknes, he had left his accustomed maner of cōming and visiting the Quene, & therfore she, according as she vnderstood hym by such assured intelligence as she had about him, to be disposed to haue her companye, sometimes being sent for, other sometimes of her selfe would come to visite him, eyther at after dynner, or after supper, as was

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