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1181 [1180]

K. Henry. 8. The story and life of the L. Tho. Cromwell, Earle of Essex.

Hard it were, and almost out of number to rehearse the names and stories of all them, whiche felt the gentle helpe of this good man in some case or other. MarginaliaGray a Smyth accused of heresie and deliuered by the L. Cromwel. Where myght be remembred the notable deliuerance of one Gray, a Smyth of Byshops Starford, who beyng accused for denying the Sacrament of the alter to be our Sauiour, was sent vp for the same to London and there should haue bene condemned to be burnt, but that by the meanes of the L. Cromwel, he was sent home agayne and deliuered. One other example, though it bee somewhat long with the circumstaunces and all, I will declare, howe he helped the Secretary that then was to Doctor Cranmer Archbishop of Caunterbury, whiche Secretarye is yet alyue, and can beare present recorde of the same.

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How the Lord Cromwell helped Cranmers Secretary.

MarginaliaThe Archb. Cranmer disputed iij. dayes in the Parlament against the vj. Articles. MEntion was made before howe Kyng Henry in þe yeare of hys reigne 21, caused the vj. Articles to passe, much agaynst the mynd and contrary to the consent of the Archbyshop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer, who had disputed three dayes agaynst the same in the Parlament house, with great reasons and authorities. Whiche Articles after they were graunted and past by the Parlament, the kyng for the singular fauour which he euer bare to Cranmer, and reuerence to his learnyng, beyng desirous to knowe what hee had sayd and obiected in the Parlament agaynst these Articles, or what coulde bee alleaged by learnyng agaynst the same required a note of þe Archbyshop of his doyngs, what he had sayd and opposed in the Parliament touchyng that matter. And this worde was sent to hym from the kyng by Cromwell, and other Lordes of the Parlament whom the kyng then sent to dyne with him at Lambeth, somewhat to comforte agayne his greued mynde, and troubled spirites as hath ben aboue recited, pag. 1110.

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Wherupon when this dinner was finished, the next day after the Archbyshop collectyng both his argumentes, authorities of scriptures, and Doctors together, caused hys Secretary  

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This was Ralph Morice, who provided Foxe with considerable information, largely relating to Cranmer and Henry VIII, and who is Foxe's source for this story.

to write a fayre booke 
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I.e., a copy of the book in a highly legible secretary hand.

thereof for the kynge, after this order. First the Scriptures were alledged, then the Doctours, thirdlye folowed the Argumentes deducted frō those authorities. This booke was written in his Secretaries chamber. Where in a by chamber lay þe Archbyshops Almosiner, When this boke was fayre written, and whiles the Secretarie MarginaliaThe name of this Secretary was M. Rafe Morice, being yet aliue. was gone to deliuer the same vnto the Archbyshop his maister, who was (as it then chaunced) ridde to Croydon: returnyng backe to hys chamber, found hys doore shut, and the key caryed away to London by the Almosiner.

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At this season also chaunced the father of the sayd Secretarye to come to the Citie, by whose occasion it so fell out, that he must nedes go to London. The booke hee could not lay into his chamber, neither durst he committe it to any other person to keepe, beyng straitly charged in any conditiō of the Archbyshop hys master, to be circumspect therof, so that he determined to go to his father and to kepe the booke about hym. And so thrustyng the booke vnder his girdill, he went ouer vnto Westminster bridg with a sculler 

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A small boat steered and propelled by a single oar in the stern.

, where he entered into a Whirry 
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A light rowed boat suitable for navigation on rivers.

that went to London, wherein were iiij. of the garde, who ment to land at Paules wharfe, and to passe by the kynges highnes, who then was in hys Barge with a great number of Barges and boates about hym, then baiting of Beares in the water ouer agaynst the bancke.

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These foresayd yomen of the garde, when they came agaynst the kynges Barge, they durst not passe by towardes Paules wharfe, lest they should be espyed, and therfore entreated the Secretary to goe with them to the Bearebaytyng, and they woulde finde the meanes, beyng of the garde to make rowme and to see all the pastyme. the Secretary perceiuyng no other remedy, assented therto. When the whirry came nye the multitude of the boates, they with pollaxes got in the whirry so farre, that beyng compassed with many other whirryes and boates there was no refuge if the Beare should breake loose and come vppon them, as in very deede within one pater noster 

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I.e., within the space of time it took to recite the Lord's Prayer.

while, the Beare brake lose and came into the boate where the yomen of the garde were and the sayd Secretary. MarginaliaTalle yomen but ill keepers. The garde forsooke þe whirry and went into an other Barge, one or two of them leapyng short, and so fell into the water. The Beare and the dogs so shaked the whirry wherin the Secretary was, that the boate being ful of water, soncke to the ground, and being also as it chaunced an ebbing tide, he there sate in the end of the whirry vp to the middle in water. MarginaliaA Bearebayting vpon Thamys before the kyng. To whom came þe Beare and all the dogges. The Beare sekyng as it were, aide and succour of him, came backe with his hinder partes vpō him MarginaliaThe booke of D. Cranmer agaynst the vj. articles lost in the Thamys. and so rushing vppon him, the booke was losed from his girdle and fell into the Thames out of his reach.

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The flying of the people, after that the Beare was loose, from one boate vnto an other, was so comberous, that diuers persons were throwne into the Thamys, the kyng commaunding certeine men that could swimme, to strippe themselues naked and to helpe to saue them that were in daunger. Thys pastime so displeased the kyng that he bad away away, with the Beare, and let vs all goe hence.

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The Secretary perceiuing his booke to fleete away in the Thamys, called to the Beareward 

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A bearwarden, the keeper of the bear's used in the bear-baiting.

MarginaliaThis Bearewarde was Princesse Elizabethes seruaunt. to take vp þe booke. When the Beareward had the booke in his custodie, beinge an errant Papist, farre from the Religion of his Mistres (for he was the Lady Elizabethes Beareward, now the Queenes maiestie) ere that the MarginaliaD. Cranmers booke agaynst the vj. Articles deliuered to a Popishe Priest. Secretary coulde come to land, he had deliuered the booke to a Priest of his owne affinitie in Religion standing on the bancke, who readyng in the booke and perceiuing that it was a manifest refutation of the. vj. Articles, made much a doe and tolde the Beareward that whosoeuer claymed the booke, should surely be hanged. Anone the Secretary came to the Beareward for his booke. What quoth the Beareward, dare you chalenge this booke? Whose seruaunt be you? I am seruaunt to one of the Counsaile, sayd the Secretary, and my Lord of Cāterbury is my maister. Yea mary, quoth the Beareward, I thought so much. You be like I trust, quoth the Beareward, to be both hanged for this booke. Well (sayd he) it is not so euill as you take it, and I warrant you my L. wyll auouch the booke to the kinges maiestie. But I pray you let me haue my booke, and I will geue you a Crowne to drinke. If you would geue me v.C. crownes, you shall not haue it, quoth the Beareward. With that þe Secretary departed from him, & vnderstanding the malicious frowardnes of the Beareward, he learned that Blage the Grocer 
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John Blagg, a wealthy grocer who was Cranmer's business agent in London. Not to be confused with the courtier George Blage.

in Cheapeside might doe much with the Beareward, to whom the Secretary brake this matter, requiring hym to send for the Beareward to supper, and he would pay for the whole charge therof, and besides that, rather thē he would forgoe his booke after this sort, the Beareward should haue xx. shillinges to drincke. The supper was prepared. The Beareward was sent for, and came. After supper the matter was entreated of and xx. shillinges offered for the boke. But do what coulde be done, neither frendship, acquaintaunce, nor yet reward of money could obteine the booke out of his handes, but that the same shoulde be deliuered vnto some of the Counsaile that would not so sleightly looke on so waightie a matter, as to haue it redeemed for a supper or a peece of monie. The honest man M. Blage with many good reasons would haue perswaded him not to be stiffe in his owne conceite, declaring that in the ende he shoulde nothing at all preuaile of his purpose, but be laught to scorne, getting neither peny nor praise for his trauaile. He hearing that, rushed sodenly out of the doores from his frende M. Blage without any maner of thankes geuing for his supper, more like a Beareward then like an honest man. When the Secretary saw & matter so extremely to be vsed against him, he then thought it expedient to fall from any farther practising of entreatie with the Beareward, as with hym that semed rather to be a Beare himselfe then the master of the beast, determinyng the next morning to make the L. Cromwell priuie of the chaunce that happened.

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So on the next day, as the Lord Cromwel went to the Court, the Secretary declared the whole matter vnto him, & how he had offered him xx. s. for the finding thereof. Where is the felow, quoth the Lord Cromwell? I suppose, sayde the Secretary, that he is now in the Court attending to deliuer the booke vnto some of the Counsaile. Well saide the Lord Cromwell, it maketh no matter: go with me thether and I shal get you your booke againe. MarginaliaThe Bereward waytyng to geue Cranmers booke to the Counsell. When the Lorde Cromwell came into the halle of the Court, there stoode the Beareward with the booke in his hand, wayting to haue deliuered the same vnto Syr Anthony Browne, or vnto the Byshop of Winchester, as it was reported. To whom the Lorde Cromwell sayd, come hether fellow. What booke hast thou there in thy hand? MarginaliaThe L. Cromwell getteth the booke from the Bereward. and with that snatched the booke out of his hand, and looking in the booke, he sayd, I know this hand well enough. This is your hand, sayd he to the Secretary. But where haddest thou this booke, quoth the Lord Cromwell to the Beareward? This Gentleman loste it two dayes agoe in the Thamys sayd the Beareward. Doest thou know whose seruaunt he is, sayd the Lord Cromwell? He sayth, quoth the Beareward, that he is my Lord of Canterburies seruaunt. Why then diddest not thou deliuer to him the booke, when he required it, sayd the L. Cromwell. Who made thee so bold as to deteine and withhold any booke or writing from a Coūselers seruaunt, specially being his Secretary? It is more meter for thee to medle with thy Beares thē with such writing, & it

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were
LLL.j.
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