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1129 [1128]

K. Henry. 8. Robert Packington. Collins with his dogge burned.

men nowe lawfully vse to eate of, for that it was not lawfull for that time then being prophetical, that is, in the time of the olde Testament: howe muche rather nowe ought a Christian to be more ready to suffer al thinges for the Baptisme of Christ, and for the Sacrament of thankes geuyng, and for the signe of Christe, seeing that those of the olde Testament were the promises of the thinges to be complet and fulfilled, and these sacramēts in the new Testament are the tokens of things cōplete and finished? In this do I note that according to þe expositiōs before shewed, he calleth the Sacrament of Baptisme and the Sacrament of Christes body and bloud, MarginaliaThe signe of Christ. otherwise properly named Eucharistia, signum Christi, and that in the singular number, for as much as they both do signifie welnigh one thing. In both them is testified the death of our Saueour. And moreouer he calleth thē, Iudicia rerum completarum: that is to wyt, The tokens or benefites that we shal receiue by the beliefe of Christ for vs crucified. And them dooth he cal vsually both the sacraments, signum Christi, in the singular number. As the same saint Augustine in his. 50. treatise vpon the Gospel of Saint Iohn teacheth, where he sayth thus: Si bonus es, si ad corpus Christi pertines, (quod significat Petrus) habes Christum & in præsenti, & in futuro. In præsenti per fidem. &c. MarginaliaAugust. in Ioan. tract. 50. If thou be good, if thou pertaine to the body of Christ (whiche this worde, Petrus, doth signifie) then hast thou Christ both here present, and in time to come: Here present through fayth: here present by the signe and figure of Christ: here present by the Sacrament of Baptisme: here present by the meate and drinke of the altar. &c.

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More there was that Iohn Lambert wrote to the king, but thus much onely came to our handes 

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It appears that from this comment that Foxe is working from a manuscript, but actually he is simply paraphrasing what Bale said in A treatyse by Johan Lambert…, ed. John Bale (Wesel, 1548?), fo. 32v.

.

The death of Robert Packington.

MarginaliaRobert Packinton
1538.
AMong other actes and matters 

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Murders and martyrdoms

The following accounts all have one common theme: they deal with the (alleged) murders or executions of evangelicals or evangelical sympathisers by senior Henrician clerics. Thus what appear to be random, isolated cases are really - as Foxe presents them - part of the violent persecution inflicted by the False Church on the members of the True Church. In assigning all of these incidents to the year 1538, Foxe blatantly disregarded the dates given by his sources and even by himself in his earlier editions (Packington was murdered on 13 November 1536. Foxe gives the correct year for Packington's death in the Rerum (p. 146), but misdates it to 1537 in his first edition and to 1538 in subsequent editions. Similarly, the evidence would point to Collins being burned in July 1540 but Foxe dates it differently). This, one may readily deduce, was not the result of careless chronology, but stemmed from Foxe's desire to group these stories together in order to maximise their emotional impact.

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Foxe rewrote these stories considerably in his first two editions. In the case of the story of Cowbridge, this was due to Nicholas Harpsfield's effective criticisms. In most cases, however, it was because Foxe started with very limited information and enhanced it through the contributions of individual informants. All of the stories appear in the Rerum. The killing of Robert Packington (Rerum, p. 146) was possibly inspired by John Bale's brief, but polemically laden, description of the crime in The image of both churches (Antwerp?, 1545), STC 1269.5, pp. 440-41; but its details are taken from Edward Hall, The unyon of the twoo noble andillustre families of Lancastre and York (London, 1550), STC 12723a, fo. 211v). William Collins (Rerum, pp. 180-81) was listed as a martyr by John Bale (The Epistle exhoratorye of an Englishe Christiane [Antwerp, 1544?], STC 1291, fo.13v), while More caustically dismissed him as a madman. Foxe probably obtained his gossipy and possibly inaccurate account of Collins from conversation with Bale. Foxe states (only in the Rerum (p. 139)) that he was an eye-witness to the execution of William Cowbridge; he is almost certainly his own source for the event, particularly since Bale and other evangelical writes never mentioned Cowbridge. Foxe's brief account account of Leyton closely follows that of Bale in the Epistle exhortatorye (fo. 13v). Bale didn't mention Puttedew but he still may have informed Foxe about him. Peke was merely listed as a martyr - 'peke of yppsewich' - in the Epistle exhortatorye (fo. 13r), but Bale may also have supplied Foxe with the only other fact that Foxe mentions about Peke in the Rerum: that Peke was executed for feeding communion wafers to a dog; see Rerum, pp. 117-118).

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Although these accounts are full of corroborative detail (and the account of Peke's execution certainly looks accurate), the nature of Foxe's sources make them less than completely reliable. Foxe's allegations regarding the causes and people involved in Packington's murder are, to put it mildly, unsubstantiated (In the Rerum (p. 146), Foxe claimed that John Stokesley, the bishop of London, ordered the murder of Packington whilst in 1563, Foxe amended this to claim that John Incent, the dean of St. Paul's, ordered the murder. Foxe was almost certainly relating hot gossip about the murder yet the fact that there were rumours implicating Stokesley and Incent in Packington's murder does not, of course, make them true). Foxe provides one of several not completely compatible versions of the sufferings ofWilliam Collins. And his account of Cowbridge had to be abridged due to Nicholas Harpsfield's substantive criticisms.

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Thomas S. Freeman

passed and done this present yeare 
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Packington was murdered on 13 November 1536. Foxe gives the correct year for Packington's death in the Rerum (p. 146), but misdates it to 1537 in his first edition and to 1538 in subsequent editions.

, whiche is of the Lorde. 1538. here is not to be silenced the vnwoorthy and lamentable death of Robert Packington, Mercer of London, wrought and caused by the enemies of Gods woorde, and of all good proceedinges. The story is this: The said Robert Packington, beyng a man of substance 
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The details of Packington's murder was reported, mostly verbatim, from Hall's chronicle (Edward Hall, The unyon of twoo noble and illustre families of Lancastre and York [London, 1550], STC 12723a, fo. 231v). Foxe went further than Hall, however, in identifying the mastermind behind the murder. Where Hall simply blamed the clergy, Foxe accused first Bishop John Stokesley and subsequently Dean Incent of responsibility for the crime.

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, and dwelling in Chepeside, vsed euery day at fiue of the clocke, wynter and Sommer to goe to prayer at a Churche 
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Hall stated that Packington went daily to Mass (Edward Hall, The unyon of twoo noble and illustre families of Lancastre and York [London, 1550], STC 12723a, fo. 231v); Foxe here rewrites this inconvenient passage.

then called S. Thomas of Acres, but nowe named Mercers Chappel. And one morning amongest al other, being a great mystie mornyng, suche as hath seldō beene sene, euen as he was crossing the streate from his house to the Churche, he was sodenly murthered with a gunne, which of the neighbours was plainly heard: and by a great number of labourers standing at Soper lane ende, he was both seene goe foorth of his house, and the clap of the gunne was hearde, but the deede doer was a greate while vnespied and vnknowen. Although manye in the meane tyme were suspected, yet none coulde be founde fautie therein. The murther so couertly was conueyed, tyll at length, MarginaliaDoct. Incent Dean of Paules, murderer of Packinton. by the confession of Doctour Incent Deane of Paules in his death bed, it was knowen, and by hym confessed þt he him selfe was the authour thereof, by hyring an Italian for. lx. crownes or therabout,, to do the feate. 
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In the Rerum (p. 146), Foxe claimed that John Stokesley, the bishop of London, ordered the murder of Packington. In 1563, Foxe amended this to claim that John Incent, the dean of St. Paul's, ordered the murder, adding the detail that the killer was an Italian. In neither case, should it be assumed that Foxe was inventing these details; instead he was almost certainly relating hot gossip about the murder. (Note Foxe's claim that he could produce witnesses in support of his story; see next comment). Yet the fact that there were rumours implicating Stokesley and Incent in Packington's murder does not, of course, make them true. (For the background to the murder see Peter Marshall, 'The Shooting of Robert Packington' in Religious Identities in Henry VIII's England (Aldershot, 2006), pp. 61-79).

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For the testimonie whereof, and also of the repentaunt wordes of the said Incent, the names both of them whiche heare him confesse it, and of them which hearde the witnesses reporte it, remayne yet in memorie, to be produced, if neede required. 
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The cause why he was so litle fauored with the clergie, was this, for that he was knowē to be a man of great courage, and one that could both speake, & also would be heard: for at the same time he was one of the burgesses of the parlamēt for the citie of Londō, and had talked somwhat against the couetousnes & crueltie of the clergie, wherefore he was had in contempt with them: and was thought also to haue some talke with the king, for the whiche he was the more had in disdaine with them, & murdered by the said Doctour Incent, for his labour, as hath bene aboue declared.

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And thus much of Rob. Packington, whiche was the brother of Austen Packington aboue mentioned, MarginaliaRead before pag. 991. who deceiued bishop Tonstal, in bying the newe translated Testament of Tyndal. Whose pitious murder, although it was priuie and soden, yet hath it so pleased the Lord, not to kepe it in darkenes, but to bring it at length to light.

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The burnyng of one Collins at London.

MarginaliaCollyns with hys dogge burned. NEyther is here to be omitted the burnyng of one Collins, sometyme a Lawyer and a Gētleman, which suffered the fyer this yeare also in Smithfielde, ann. 1538 

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The evidence would point to Collins being burned in July 1540 (A chronicle of England during the reigns of the Tudors, ed. W. D. Hamilton. Camden Society, new series 11 and 20 [2 vols., London, 1875 and 1877], I, p. 119).

. Whom although I doo not here recite, as in the number of Gods professed martyrs, yet neither do I thinke hym to be cleane sequestred from the companye of the Lordes saued flocke and familie, notwithstanding that the bishop of Romes church dyd condēne and burne hym for an heretike: but rather doo recount him therefore, as one belongyng to the holy companye of Saintes. At leastwise this case of hym and of his end may be thought to be suche, as maye well reproue and condemne their crueltie and madnesse, in burnyng so without al discretion, this man being madde and distract of his perfect wittes, as he then was, by this occasion as here foloweth: 
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The preceding passages were added to the account of Collins. Rather surprisingly, Harpsfield did not criticise Foxe for including Collins among the martyrs. Nevertheless, Foxe's remarks indicate his defensiveness on this subject after Harpsfield's attack on his account of Cowbridge.

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This Gentleman 

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There are several conflicting accounts of why William Collins was executed. Writing in 1529, Thomas More claimed that 'mad Collins…lasheth out Scripture in bedlam' (Dialogue Concerning Heresies, ed. Thomas Lawler, Germain Marc'hadour and Richard Marius, CWTM, 6 [2 vols., New Haven, CT, 1981], I, p. 433). This suggests at the very least that Collins's mental instability and engagement with evangelicalism were of longer duration than Foxe implies. Collins, however, was almost certainly in prison when More wrote. Later William Collins wrote to Sir Nicholas Hare and declared that he had been in prison for thirteen years, although he had never been convicted or charged with a crime. He denied that he was insane, thanked Hare for trying to free him and begged him to show the letter to the king (TNA SP 1/242, fo. 229r). Probably around the same time, Collins wrote to Cromwell, begging that he be released from the Marshalsea (TNA SP 1/144, fos. 154r-155r). These petitions must have been successful, because William Collins was a free man in 1536, when he was hauled before the Common Council and charged with shooting an arrow at the rood in St Margaret Pattens and for despising and railing against the sacraments (Corporation of London Record Office, Journal 13, fo. 476r). Richard Hilles, a London merchant and evangelical, reported to Heinrich Bullinger that sometime after 16 May (Whitsuntide) 1540 a 'crazed man' named Collins was burned and that his offence was purportedly shooting an arrow at a crucifix, declaring that the cross should be able to defend itself. (Hilles did not doubt that Collins committed this action, but his suspicion was that Hilles's real crime was denouncing certain nobles for exploiting their dependents). Hilles also reported that Collins seemed perfectly rational when he was imprisoned with the sacramentarian John Lambert and that he supplied Lambert with texts to use in his defence (Original Letters Relative to the English Reformation, ed. Hastings Robinson, Parker Society [2 vols., Cambridge, 1846-7], I, pp. 200-201). Finally Charles Wriothesley noted Collins, a 'sacramentary', was burned at Southwark on 7 July 1540 (A chronicle of England during the reigns of the Tudors, ed. W. D. Hamilton. Camden Society, new series 11 and 20 [2 vols., London, 1875 and 1877], I, p. 119).

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had a wife of exceeding beautie and comelynes, but notwithstanding of so light behauiour and vnchast conditions (nothing correspondent to the grace of her beautie) that shee forsaking her husband, whiche loued her entirely, betoke her selfe vnto an other paramour. Which thing when he vnderstood, he tooke it very greuously and heauely, more then reason woulde. At the last being ouer

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The image was made to commemorate a man whose reported offences included shooting an arrow into a crucifix as well -- according to Foxe's account -- as parodying the elevation of the host by holding up his dog . If the stories about this gentleman included doubts of his sanity, they cohere in demonstrating an opposition to idolatry conspicuous enough to cause his death. Foxe, while ready to make the most of this event (the date of which seems unsure) including the burning of the hapless hound, was not prepared to grant Collins a crown of martyrdom. CUL copy: additional orange-toned spots are added freehand to the dog in this copy. WREN copy: the spots on the dog (freehand embellishment) are in an orange-purple colour.

come with exceedyng dolour and heauines, he fel madde, being at that time a studient of the lawe in London. When he was thus rauished of his wyttes, by chaunce he came into a church where a priest was saying Masse, and was come to the place where they vse to holde vp and shewe the Sacrament.

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Collins beyng beside his wyttes, seeyng the priest holding vp the host ouer his head, and shewing it to the people, he in like manner conterfeityng the Priest, tooke vp a litle dogge by the legges, and helde him ouer his head, shewyng hym vnto the people. MarginaliaCollyns burned for holding vp a dogge at Masse. For this he was by and by brought vnto examination, and condemned to the fire, and was burned, and the dogge with hym, the same yeare of oure Lorde in the which Iohn Lambert was burned. 1538.

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¶ The burnyng of Cowbrige at Oxforde. ann. 1538. 
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In the Rerum, Foxe gave the date of Cowbridge's burning as 1536 (Rerum, p. 129); in 1563, he gave it as 1539. Harpsfield criticised Foxe for giving the incorrect dates and accurately observed that Cowbridge was burned in 1538 (Dialogi sex, p. 855). It appears from a letter that Bishop John Longland wrote to Thomas Cromwell that William Cowbridge was burned at Oxford after - probably shortly after - 22 July 1538 (L&P 13 (1), pp. 529-30).

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MarginaliaCowbridge burnt at Oxford. WIth this forsaide Collins, maye also be adioyned the burnyng of Cowbridge, who likewise being madde, and beside his right senses 

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Foxe is emphasising Cowbridge's alleged insanity as a fallback position after having badly embarrassed himself. In the Rerum, Foxe stated that he witnessed the burning of Cowbridge at Oxford in 1536 (actually 1538). In this narrative, Foxe claimed that Cowbridge was arrested and imprisoned in the Bocardo (the town prison of Oxford) where his reason was undermined by hunger and lack of sleep. He thereupon said many foolish things and rumours spread that there was a heretic at Oxford who could not bear to hear the name of Christ and the common people were persuaded that he should die. He was burned at the stake, but died with great tranquillity (Rerum, p. 139). In 1563, Foxe added details to this account - including some rather accurate ones about Cowbridge's family and background (William Cowbridge's father had been twice elected bailiff of Colchester (this was the city's highest municipal office) and he died in 1510. Margaret Cowbridge, William's mother, was charged with heresy on 15 July 1528 and purged herself on 17 July (BL, Harley MS 421, fo. 30v. Purging oneself was a means of gaining acquittal by having people of good status and reputation swear on oath to one's innocence of the charges. The fact that Margaret Cowbridge could provide such witnesses so quickly is an indication of her own status). For this family information, Foxe clearly consulted well-informed sources in Colchester. Another sign of how well Foxe researched this matter is that Foxe prints articles charged against Cowbridge, which he claims he obtained from a copy sent to the Lord Chancellor (It was very unusual for the charges against a heretic to be listed when notification was sent to Chancery of the heretic's condemnation. The documents Foxe saw where probably sent to Audley as a result of Cromwell's intervention in the case). The first article Foxe presents matches the eighth article against Cowbridge as copied into Bishop John Longland's register. The second article Foxe presents appears to be a garbled version - probably distorted by Foxe - of the fourth article against Cowbridge, which stated that neither the apostles nor the doctors of the Church knew how a sinner could be saved (Lincolnshire Archives Office, Register 26, fo. 284v).

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Harpsfield raised a number of cogent objections to Foxe's account of the proceedings against Cowbridge, observing (in particular) that Cowbridge was tried in an ecclesiastical court and not by the theologians at Oxford, as Foxe claimed. Drawing 'on certain narratives of grave and pious men, who were not only eye-witnesses to the burning, like Foxe, but some of them also to what happened to Cowbridge at Oxford, men moreover, who were not boys at the time, as was your Foxe, but mature in age and judgement'. Harpsfield then described Cowbridge's examinations, trial and condemnation in detail (Dialogi sex, pp. 853-857). Harpsfield related that after Cowbridge was condemned, Bishop Longland had him sent to Oxford, in the hopes that the theologians there could save his soul before he was burned (Dialogi sex, p. 857). Most strikingly, Harpsfield produced a list of heretical beliefs which Cowbridge admitted holding. These are shortened and simplified, but basically accurate, versions of articles confessed to by Cowbridge and recorded in Bishop Longland's register; it is clear that Harpsfield drew directly or indirectly on the register (cf. Dialogi sex, pp. 859-60 with Lincolnshire Archives Office, Register 26, fos. 284v-285r). Among other things, Harpsfield accurately observed that Cowbridge declared Christ the deceiver, not the redeemer, of the world, that everyone who believed in the name of Christ was damned to hell, but that Jesus was good and that Christ's words at the Last Supper should be translated as 'This is my body by which the people shall be cheated and deceived' (Dialogi sex, pp. 859-60).

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Faced with Harpsfield's well-documented criticisms, Foxe beat a hasty retreat in his second edition. He dropped his claim that Cowbridge was driven insane through mistreatment. He also deleted a sympathetic account of Cowbridge's background and life. Instead of defending Cowbridge, Foxe rather lamely declared that Cowbridge was insane and that burning a madman only demonstrated the Antichristian cruelty of the Catholic (Here Foxe is trying to turn Harpsfield's demonstration of the unorthodox nature of Cowbridge's beliefs to his polemical advantage. Since Cowbridge held outrageous religious beliefs, he therefore must have been insane. And the burning of a madman simply confirmed the cruelty of the Catholic prelates).

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Thomas S. Freeman.

, was either the same, or next yere folowing, condemned by Longland, bishop of Lincolne, and committed to the fire by hym, to be burned at Oxford. What his opinions and articles were, wherewith he was charged, it needeth not here to rehearse. For as he was thē a mā madde, and destitute of sense and reason, so his wordes and sayinges could not be sounde. Yea rather, what wise man would euer collect articles againste him, whiche sayde, he coulde not tell what? And if his articles were so horrible and madde, MarginaliaCope in his Dialogues. as Cope in his Dialogues doth declare them: then was he in my iudgement, a man more fitte to be sente to Bethlehem, then to be had to the fire in Smithfielde to

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