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1035 [1034]

K. Hen. 8. The examination of Thomas Benet, Martyr.

l th downe, so might they, except they repent and shew thē selues: and one first taking away the Crosse, the staffe fell downe. But Lorde what a shoute and noyse was there, what terrible feare, what holding vp of handes to heauen, that curse was so terrible.

Nowe this fond foolishe phantasie and mockerie beyng done & plaied, which was to a Christian hart a thing ridiculous, MarginaliaTho. Benet laugheth at their cursing. Benet could no longer forbeare, but fell to great laughter, but within hym self, & for a great space could not cease: by þe which thing þe poore man was espied. 

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This was one of several conflicting accounts of how Dusgate was discovered.

For those that were next to him, wondring at that great curse, & beleuing that it coulde not but light on one or other, asked good Benet for what cause he should so laugh. My frends (said he) who can forbeare, seyng such mery conceites and enterludes plaid of the priestes? Straytway a noyse was made, Here is the heretike, here is the heretike, holde hym fast, hold hym fast. With that was there a great confusion of voyces, & much clapping of hands, and yet they wer vncertain whether he were þe hereticke or no. Some say, that vpō the same he was taken & apprehended. Other report, that his enemies beyng vncertaine of him, departed, & so he went home to his house. MarginaliaTho Benet setteth vp newe billes. Where he being not able to digest the lyes there preached, renued his former byls and caused his boy early in the morning folowing to set the said bylles vpō the gates of the churchyarde. 
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Morice would seem to corroborate this version; he states that Dusgate was spotted fixing his messages on the door of the cathedral and that his house was searched, whereupon incriminating documents were found (BL, Harley NS 419, fo. 125r-v).

And as the boy was setting one of the said byls vpon a gate called the litle stile, it chanced that one W. S. going to the Cathedral church to heare a masse called Bartons Masse, which was thē daily sayd about fiue of the clocke in the mornyng, found þe boy at the gate, and asking him whose boy he was, did charge him to be the heretike, which had set vp the byls vpon the gates, MarginaliaTho Benet taken by meanes of his boy setting vp hys billes. wherefore pulling downe the byl, he brought the same together with the boy before the maior of the citie, and therupon Benet being knowen and taken, was violently committed to warde.

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On the morow began both the Canons and heades of the citie ioyned with thē, to fall to examination. MarginaliaTho. Benet willingly confesseth. With whō for that day he had not much cōmunication, but confessed & said to thē, it was euen I that put vp those byls, and if it were to do, I would yet doo it againe, for in them haue I written nothing but that is very truth. Couldst not thou (said they) as wel haue declared thy mynd by mouth, as by putting vp byls of blasphemie? MarginaliaThe cause why Benet set vp hys billes. No (said he) I put vp the bylles that many should reade and heare what abominable blasphemers ye are, & that they might þe better know your Antichrist the Pope to be that Bore out of the wood, which destroyeth & throweth downe the hedges of Gods church: for if I had bene heard to speake but one word, I shoulde haue bene clapped fast in prison, and the matter of God hidden. But nowe I trust more of your blasphemous doings wyll thereby be opened and come to light, for God wyll so haue it, and no longer wyl suffer you.

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MarginaliaTho Benet sent to the Byshops prison. The next day after, he was sent vnto the bish. who first cōmitted hym vnto prison called the bishops prison, where he was kept in stockes & strong yron, with as much fauor as a dogshould find. Then þe bish. associating vnto hym one doct. Brewer his chancelor 

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This is an error; John Gibbons was chancellor of Exeter diocese from 1522-1537.

, & other of his leud clergie and fryers, began to examine him & burden him, MarginaliaArticles layd against Benet. that cōtrary to the catholike faith, he denied praying to the saints, and also denied the supremacie of the Pope. Wherunto he answered in such sober maner, and so learnedly proued & defended his assertions, that he did not only confound and put to silence his aduersaries, but also brought thē in great admiratiō of hym, the most part hauing pitie & compassion on him. The fryers tooke great paines with him, to perswade him from his erronious opinions, to recāt and acknowledge his fault touching the byls, but they dyd but dig after day, for God had appointed him to be a blessed witnes of his holy name, and to be at defiance with all their false perswasions.

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To declare here with what crueltie þe officers searched his house for byls and bookes, how cruelly and shamefully they hādled his wife, charging her with diuers enormities, it were too long to write. But shee like a good womā toke all thinges paciently that they dyd to her: like as in other things shee was cōtented to beare the crosse with hym, as to fare hardly with hym at home, & to liue wt course meate and drinke, that they might be the more able somewhat to helpe the poore, as they did to the vttermost of their power. Amongest al other priestes & fryers, Gregory Basset was most busie with him. This Gregory Basset, as is partly touched before, was learned, & had a pleasant tongue, & not long before, MarginaliaGreg Basset prisoned at Bristowe. was fallen frō the truth, for the which he was prisoned in Bristow long time, at whose examination was ordeined a great pan of fire, MarginaliaGreg. Basset compelled by the Fryers to recant. where his holy brethrē (as report went abroade) manaced him to burne his handes of, wherupō he there before thē recāted, & became afterwarde a mortal enemie to the truth al his life. This Gregory (as it is saide) was feruent with the poore man, to please the MarginaliaGreg. Basset busie agaynst Tho Benet.Canons of that Church, and marueilously tormented his braines how to turne hym frō his opiniōs, yea and he was so diligent and feruent with him, that he would not depart the prison, but laye there night and day, who notwithstanding lost hs labor: for good Benet was at a poynt not to deny Christ before men. So Gregory, as wel as the other holy fathers, lost his spurres, in so much that he said in opē audience, that there was neuer so obstinate an heretike.

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MarginaliaThe matter betwene Basset & Tho. Benet The principal poynt betwene Basset and him was touching the supremacie of the bish. of Rome, whō in his byls he named Antichrist, the thiefe, the mercenary, and þe murtherer of Christes flocke: and these disputatiōs lasted about eight dayes, where at sundry tymes repayred to hym both the blacke and gray fryers, with priestes and monkes of that citie. They that had some learning perswaded him to beleue the Churche, and shewed by what tokens shee is knowen. MarginaliaRayling against Benet. The other vnlearned rayled & said that the deuyl tempted him, and spit vpon him, calling him heretike: who prayed God to geue thē a better minde, and to forgeue thē: For (said he) I wyll rather die, then worship such a beast, the very whoore of Babylon, and a false vsurper as manifestly it doth appeare by his doinges. They asked what he did, that he had not power and authoritie to do, being gods vicar? MarginaliaThe abuses of the Pope, noted He doth (quoth he) sel the sacraments of þe Church for money, he selleth remission of sinnes dayly for money & so doo you likewise: MarginaliaSelling of soules for there is no daye but ye say diuers Masses for soules in fained Purgatorie, yea and ye spare not to make lying sermons to þe people, to maintayne your false traditions and foule gaines. The whole worlde doth begin now to note your doinges, to your vtter cõfusion and shame. The shame (said they) shalbe to thee and to such as thou art, thou foule heretike. Wylt thou allowe nothyng done in holy Church? What a peruerse heretike art thou? I am (said he) no heretike, but a Christian man. I thanke Christ, and with all my hart wyl allow al thinges done and vsed in the Church to the glory of God, and edifiyng of my soule: MarginaliaThe popes Church painted in her coulors. but I see nothing in your church, but that mainteyneth the deuil. What is our Church, said they? It is not my church (quoth Benet) God geue me grace to be of a better church, for verily your church is the plaine church of Antichrist, the malignant church, the second church, a denne of theeues, an awmry of poyson, and as farre wide from the true vniuersal and Apostolike church, as heauen is distant from the earth.

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Dost not thou thinke (said they) that we pertain to the vniuersal church? Yes (quoth he) but as dead mēbers, vnto whō þe churche is not beneficial, for your workes are the deuises of man, & your church a weake foūdatiō, for ye say & preach, that the popes word is equal wt Gods word in euery degree. Why, (said they) did not Christ say to Peter,To thee I wyl geue the keyes of the kingdome of heauen? MarginaliaThe keyes geuen not onely to Peter but to all the Apostles. He said that (quoth he) to al, as wel as to Peter, & Peter had no more authoritie geuen hym then they, or els þe churches planted in euery kingdome by their preaching, are no churches. Doth not S. Paul say, Vpon the foūdatiōs of the apostles & prophets? MarginaliaThe church builded vpon man is the deuils church. Therfore I say plainly, that the church that is built vpon a man, is the deuils church or cõgregatiō, & not gods. And as euery church this day is appointed to be ruled by a bishop or pastor, ordeined by þe word of God in preaching & ministration of sacramentes vnder the prince the supreme gouernor, vnder God. so to say that al the churches with their princes & gouernors be subiect to one bishop, is detestable heresie, & the pope your God chalenging this power to him selfe, is the greatest scismatike that euer was in the Church, MarginaliaThe Whore of Babilon and most foule whore, of whom Iohn in the Reuelation speaketh.

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MarginaliaConsent of the world O thou blind & vnlearned foole (said they) is not the cōfession & cōsent of all the world as we confesse & cõsent, that the Popes holynes is the supreme head & vicar of Christ? That is (said Benet) because they are blinded & know not the scriptures, but if God would of his mercy open þe eyes of princes to know their office, his false supremacie would sone decay. We thinke (said they) thou art so malicious that thou wylt cōfesse no church. MarginaliaWhere the true churche is. Loke (said he) where they are that confesse the true name of Iesu Christ, & where onely Christ is þe head, þe vnder him the prince of þe realme, to order al bishops, ministers & preachers, & to see thē doo their dueties in setting forth the onely glory of God by preaching the wordeof God, & where it is preached that Christ is our only aduocate, mediator, & patrone before God his father, making intercession for vs, & where the true fayth & confidence in Christes death and passion, and his onely merites and deseruings are extolled, and our owne depressed, where the sacramēt is duely without superstition or idolatrie administred in remembraunce of his blessed passion and onely sacrifice vpon the crosse once for all, and where no superstition raigneth of that churche wyl I be.

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Doth not þe Pope (said they) confesse the true Gospel? do

not
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