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1180 [1179]

K. Hen. 8. The storye and lyfe of the Lorde Cromwell.

Persecuters. Persecuted. The Causes.

D. Cockes.
Bishop Sto-
kesley.
Hollond his
Sumner.
M. Garter,
kyng of Ar-
mes.
mas Frebarne dwe
ling in Pater noster
row, being wt childe,
longed after a morsell
of a pygge, and tolde
her mynde vnto a
Mayde dwelling in
Abchurch lane, desi-
ring her, if it wer pos
sible, to helpe her vn-
to a peece. The maid
perceiuyng her ear-

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nest desire, shewed vnto her husbande what his wife had said vnto her, telling hym that it might chaunce to cost her her life and the childes too which shee went withal, if shee had it not. Vppon this Thomas Frebarne her husbande spake to a butter wife which he knew, that dwelled at Harnsey, named goodwife Fisher, to helpe hym vnto a pygge for his wife, for shee was with chyld, & longed sore to eate of a pigge. Vnto whom the saide good wyfe Fisher promised that she would bring hym one the Fryday folowing, and so shee dyd, being ready dressed and scalded before. MarginaliaA craftye part of a false Iudas. But when shee had deliuered hym the pygge, shee craftily conueyed one of the pigges feete, and caried it vnto doctour Cockes, at that time being Deane of Canterbury, dwellyng in Iuie lane, who at the time of his dynner, before certaine gestes which he had byddē, shewed this pigges foote, declaryng who had the body thereof: MarginaliaLet no man iudge you in meate and drinke, or in respect of an holy day. &c. Colloß. 2. and after þt they had talked their pleasure, and dinner was done, one of his gestes being landlord vnto Frebarne aforesayd, called M. Garter 

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I.e., the Garter King at Arms, not a man named Garter.

, & by his office king of Armes, sent his man vnto the sayd Frebarne demaundyng if there were no body sicke in his house. Vnto whom he answeared, that they were all in good health, he gaue God thankes. Then said he agayne, it was tolde his Maister that some bodye was sicke, or els they woulde not eate flesh in Lent. Vnto whom Frebarne made answeare, that his wyfe was with chylde and longed for a peece of a pygge, and if he coulde get some for her, he woulde. Then departed his Landlordes man home agayne.

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And shortly after his Landlord sent for hym. But before that he sent for hym, he had sent for MarginaliaHolland the Byshop of Londons Sumner. the bishop of Londons Sumner, whose name was Hollōd, & whē this Frebarne was come, he demaunded of hym if he had not a pyg in his house, whiche he denyed not. Then commaunded Maister Garter the sayde Sumner called Hollond, to take hym, and goe home to his house, and to take the Pygge, and carry both hym and the Pigge vnto Doctour Stokesley his Maister, beyng then Bishop of London, and so he dyd. MarginaliaTho. Frebarne examined before the Byshop. Then the Bishop beyng in his chamber, wt diuers other of þe Clergie, called this Frebarne before hym, and had hym in examination for this Pigge, laying also vnto his charge, that he had eatē in his house that Lent, poudred beefe and Calues heades. Vnto whom Frebarne answeared, my Lord, if the heades were eaten in my house, in whose houses were the bodyes eaten? Also if there be eyther man or woman that can proue, that either I, or any in my house hath done as your Lordshyp sayth, let me suffer death therfore. You speake (said he) against pilgrimages, and wyll not take holy bread nor holy water, nor yet go in Processiō on Palmes sōday: Thou art no Christian man. My Lord, said Frebarne, I trust I am a true Christen man, & haue done nothyng neyther against Gods lawe nor my princes.

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In the tyme of this his examination, which was duryng the space of two houres, diuers came vnto the bishop, some to haue their children confirmed, & some for other causes. Vnto whom as they came, hauing the pigge before him couered, MarginaliaPharisaicall iudgment. he woulde lyfte vp the cloth and shewe it them, saying: How think you of such a felowe as this is? is not this good meate? I pray you, to be eaten in this blessed tyme of Lent, yea and also poudred Beefe and Calnes heades too beside this?

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After this the Bishop called his Snmner vnto hym, and commaunded hym to go and carry this Thomas Frebarne and the pyg openly thorow the streates, into the old Bayly, vnto Syr Roger Chomley, for the Bishop sayd, he had nothyng to do to punish him, for that belonged vnto the ciuil magistrates, and so was Frebarne caryed wt the pyg before hym, to sir Roger Chomleys house in the old Bayly, & he being not at home at that tyme, Frebarn was brought likewise backe againe vnto the bishops place with the pyg, and there lay in the porters lodge tyll it was. ix. a clocke at night. MarginaliaThomas Frebarne brought to the Counter. Then the bishop sent hym vnto the Counter in the Poultry 

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The Compter in Poultry Street was a London municipal prison, under the jurisdiction of the Lord Mayor of London.

by the Sumner and other of his seruauntes.

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MarginaliaThomas Frebarne brought before the Lord Mayor. The next day beyng Saterday, he was brought before the Maior of Londō and his brethren, vnto Guild hall, but before his commyng, they had the pyg deliuered vnto them by the Bishops officer. Then the Maior and the Benche layde vnto his charge (as they were infourmed from the Bishoppe) that he had eaten poudred Beefe and Calues heades in his house that same Lent, but no man was able to come in that would iustifie it, neyther coulde any thyng be found, saue onely the Pigge, which (as is before sayde) was for the preseruation of his wyues life, and that shee went withall. Notwithstanding the Maior of London said, that the Monday next following, he should stand on the Pillary in Chepeside, with the one halfe of the Pig on the one shoulder, and the other halfe on the other.

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Then spake the wyfe of the sayde Frebarne vnto the Maior and the Benche, desiryng that shee might stande there, and not he, for it was long of her and not of him. After this they tooke a Sattē list, & tide it fast about þe pigges necke, and made Frebarne to carry it hangyng on his shoulder vntyl he came vnto the Counter of the Poultry, from whence he came.

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After this was done, the wyfe of this prisoner tooke with her an honest woman, the wyfe of one Michaell Lobley, whiche was well acquainted with diuers in the Lorde Cromwels house 

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Michael Lobley, a London bookbinder, was an active purveyor of heretical literature and a prominent London evangelical. (1570, p. 1372; 1576, p. 1162 and 1583, p.1191). He obviously used his professional contacts and activities to disseminate heretical literature. Thomas More claimed that Michael Lobley, after he was arrested, informed on those who purchased herteical books from him (Thomas More, The Confutation of Tyndale’s Answer, ed. Louis A. Schuster, Richard C. Marius, James P. Lusardi and Richard Schoeck, CWTM 8 [New Haven, CT, 1973], II, p. 813).

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, vnto whom the sayde woman resorted for some helpe for this prisoner, desiryng them to speake vnto their Lorde and Maister for his deliueraunce out of trouble.

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MarginaliaD. Barnet and Barlow sue to the L. Cromwell for Tho. Frebarne. It happened that the same tyme came in Doctour Barnes and Maister Barlowe, who vnderstandyng the matter by Lobleys wyfe, went vp to the Lord Cromwell, and certified hym thereof: who vpon their request, sent for the Maior of the citie of London: but what was said vnto the Lorde Maior, is vnknowen, sauing that in the after noone of the same day, the wyfe of the person aforesayde resorted agayne vnto the Lord Maior, suing to get her husbād deliuered out of prison, declaryng how that she had two small chyldren and had nothyng to helpe her and them, but onely her husband, who laboured for their liuynges. Vnto whom the Maior answeared, MarginaliaThe Lord Mayors aunswere to the poore woman. what come ye to me? You are taken vp with the kyngs Counsayle. I supposed that you had come to desire me that your husbande shoulde not stande vppon the Pillary in Chepeside on Mondaye next, with the one halfe of the pygge on his one shoulder, and the other halfe on the other. Also the Maior said vnto her, that he coulde not deliuer hym without the consent of the rest of his brethren the Aldermen. Wherefore he bade her the next daye folowing, which was Sonday, to resort vnto Paules to Saint Dunstones Chapell, and when he had spoken with his brethren, he woulde then tell her more. Other answeare coulde shee get none at that tyme. Wherfore shee went vnto M. Wilkenson, then beyng Sheriffe of London, desiring him to be good vnto her, and that shee might haue her poore husbande out of prison. Vnto whom M. Wilkenson answeared: MarginaliaThe gentle wordes of M. Wylkinson Shriefe of London to the poore woman. O woman, Christ hath layd a peece of his crosse vpon thy necke, to proue whether thou wylt helpe hym to beare it or no, saying moreouer to her that if þe Lord maior had sent hym to his Coūter 

Commentary  *  Close

The Compter in Poultry Street was a London municipal prison, under the jurisdiction of the Lord Mayor of London.

, as he sent hym to his brothers, he shoulde not haue taryed there an houre, & so cōmaunded her to come the next day vnto hym to dynner, & he would do þe best for her he could. So the next day came, & this womā resorted againe to M. Wilkensons, according as he bad her, who also had bidden diuers gestes: vnto whō he spake in her behalfe. But as they were set at dynner, and shee also sittyng at the table, when she sawe the hote fishe come in, shee fell downe in a swounde, so that for the space of two houres they could keepe no lyfe in her. Wherefore they sent her home to her house in Pater noster rowe, & then they sent for the Midwife, supposing that shee would haue bene deliuered incontinent of her child that shee went with, but after that she came somewhat againe vnto her selfe, where she lay sicke & kept her bed the space of xv. weekes after, beyng not able to helpe her selfe, but as shee was helped of others, duryng that tyme of xv. weekes.

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MarginaliaThat God ordeyneth to be eaten superstition buryeth. Nowe to shewe further what became of this Pigge, whereof we haue spoken so muche, it was carryed into Finsburye fielde by the Bishop of Londons Summer, at his Maisters commaundement, and there buryed. The Monday folowing, being the fourth day after that this prisoner aforesayde was apprehended, the Maior of London, with the residue of his brethren beyng at Guild hall, sente for the prisoner aforenamed, and demaunded sureties of hym for his foorth commyng, what so euer hereafter shoulde or might be layde vnto his charge, MarginaliaThomas Frebarne deliuered out of prison. but for lacke of suche sureties as they required, vpon his owne bande, which was a Recognisaunce of twentie pound, he was deliuered out of their handes. But shortly after þt he was deliuered out of this his trouble, MarginaliaTho. Frebarne discharged out of his house by M. Garter his Landlorde. maister Garter, of whom we haue spoken before, beyng his Landlord, warned him out of his house, so that in foure yeres after, he could not get an other, but was constrayned to be within other good folkes, to his greate hynderaunce and vndoyng.

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