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1694 [1656]

Quene Mary. A Supplication of the Preachers in prison. M. Iohn Rogers, Martyr.

MarginaliaAn. 1555. February.handling of these blessed Martyrs and Witnesses of Iesus Christ, of all the bloudy persecution of this time, now followeth (the Lorde so graunting) seuerally and more particularly in thys next booke, in order to be declared: after that I shall fyrst recite a general Supplication, geuē vp in the name of þe Preachers aforesayd lying in prison, vnto the Kyng and Queene, duryng the tyme of the Parlament, as followeth. 

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Foxe printed a petition by imprisoned protestant ministers to Philip and Mary. The initials of the suppliants, given in the document - H., F., T., B., P., R., S. - seem to indicate that the authors of this document were Hooper, Ferrar, Taylor, Bradford, Philpot, Rogers and Saunders. The suppliants denounced the persecution of religious dissenters, requested a disputation or debate (but one conducted on their terms) and proclaimed that if such a disputation were held, they would prove that their doctrine was doctrine of the true catholic church.

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¶ Vnto the K. and Queenes most excellent Maieiestes, and to their most honorable and high court of Parlament.

MarginaliaA Supplicatiō of the persecuted preachers to the kyng and Queene.IN most humble and lamentable wyse complaine vnto your Maiesties, and to your high court of Parlament, your poore desolate and obedient subiectes, H. F. T. B. P. R. S. &c. That where as your sayd Subiectes lyuing vnder the lawes of God andof this Realme in the dayes of the late most noble King Edward. VI. dyd in all thinges shew them selues true, faithful and diligent subiectes, according to their vocation, aswell in the syncere ministring of Gods holy word, as in due obedience to the higher powers, and in the dayly practise of such vertues and good demeanour, as the lawes of God at all times, and the statutes of the Realme did then allowe: your sayd Subiectes neuertheles, contrary to all lawes of iustice, equitie and ryght, are in very extreme maner, not onely cast into prison (where they haue remayned now these. xv. or. xvj. monethes MarginaliaThe long imprisonment of the Christian preachers.) but their liuinges also, their houses and possessions, their goodes and bookes takē from them, and they sclaūdered to be most haynous heretickes, MarginaliaVnorderly proceding of the aduersaries agaynst Gods people.their enemies them selues being both witnesses, accusers, and Iudges, belying, sclaundering, and misreporting your said subiectes at their pleasure: wheras your sayd Subiectes beyng straitly kept in prison, can not yet be suffered to come forth and make aunswere accordingly.

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In consideration whereof, it may please your most excellent Maiesties, and this your high court of Parlamēt, graciously to tender þe present calamity of your said poore Subiectes, and to call them before your presence, graūting them liberty, either by mouth or writing in the plaine English toung, to aunswere before you, or before indifferent Arbiters to be appoynted by your Maiesties, MarginaliaRequest of the preachers to stand to the triall of their doctrine before indifferent Iudges. vnto such Articles of controuersie in Religion as their said aduersaries haue already condemned thē of, as of haynous heresies: Prouided, that all thinges may be done wyth suche moderation and quiet behauiour, as becommeth Subiectes and children of peace, and that your sayd subiectes may haue the free vse of all theyr own bookes and conferēce together among them selues.

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Which thing beyng graunted, your sayd Subiectes doubt not, but it shall plainly appeare, þt your sayd Subiectes are true & faithfull Christians, & neyther heretikes neither teachers of heresie, nor cut of from the true catholicke vniuersall church of Christ: Yea, that rather theyr aduersaries thē selues be vnto your Maiesties, as were the Charmers of ægypt vnto Pharao, Sedechias & his adherentes, vnto the king of Israel: MarginaliaActes. 13.and Bariesu to the Proconsull Sergius Paulus. And if your said Subiectes be not able by the testimony of Christ, his Prophets, Apostles, and godly Fathers of hys church to proue, that the docrine of the church, Homelies, and seruice, taught and set forth in the time of our late most godly Prince and kyng Edward. VI. is the true docrine of Christes catholicke Church, and most agreable to the articles of the Christiā faith: your said Subiectes offer them selues then to the most heauy punishment, that it shall please your Maiesties to appoint.

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Wherefore for the tender mercy of God in Christ (which you looke for at the day of iudgement) your sayd poore Subiectes in bondes, most humbly besech your most excellent Maiesties, & this your hihg court of Parlament, beningly and graciously to heare and graūt this their peticion, tending so greatly to the glory of God, to the edifying of his church, to the honor of your maiesties, to the commendation and maintenance of Iustice, right, and equitie, both before God and man. And your sayd Subiectes according to their bounden dutye, shall not cease to pray vnto almighty God, for the gracous preseruation of your most excellent Maiesties long to endure.

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(⁂)

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