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1206 [1205]

K. Hen. 8. Persecution in Windsore. Testwood, Filmer, Person, Marbecke.

heretofore vppon the zeale and remembraunce whiche we had to our bounden duetie towardes almightye God, perceiuyng sundry superstitions and abuses to be vsed and embraced by our people, whereby they greeuously offended hym and his woorde: we dyd not onely cause the Images and bones of suche as they Resorted and Offered vnto, with the ornamentes of the same, and all suche writinges and monumentes of fayned myracles, wherewith they were illuded, to be taken awaye in all places of our Realme, but also by our iniunctions commaunded that no offering or setting vp of lightes or candles shoulde be suffered in anyeChurche, but onely to the blessed Sacramente of the aultar: it is lately come to our knowledge, that this our good intent and purpose, notwithstāding the shrines, coueringes of shrines, and monumentes of those thinges doo yet remaine in sundrye places of this Realme, much to the sclaunder of our doinges, and to the greate displeasure of almightye God, the same being meanes to allure our subiectes to their former hypocrisie and superstition: and also that our Iniunctions be not kept as apperteyneth. MarginaliaShrines and monumentes of Idolatrye abolished by the king. For the due and speedie reformation whereof, we haue thought meete, by these our letters, expressely to wyll and commaūd you, that incontinent vpon the receite hereof, you shall not onely cause due searche to bee made in your Cathedral Churche for those thinges, and if any shrine, coueryng of shrine, table, monumente of myracles, or other pilgrimages, doo their continue, to cause it so to be taken awaye as there remaine no memorie of it, but also that you shall take order with all the Curates and other hauyng charge within your Dioces, to doo the semblable, and to see that our Iniunctions be duely kept, as apperteyneth, without faylyng, as we trust you, and as you wyll answeare for the contrary.

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Geuen vnder our Signet at our towne
of Hull the fourth day of October in
the.33. yeare of our raigne.

Furthermore, the next yeare after this ensuyng, which was. 1543. in the moneth of Februarye folowed an other Proclamation geuen out by the kinges authoritie, wherein the Popes Lawe forbiddyng white meates to be eaten in Lent, was repealed, and the eating of such meates set at libertie, for the behoofe of the kynges subiectes. The copie of which Proclamation I thought here good also to be remembred.

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A proclamation 
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This reproduces the proclamation printed by the King's Printer, Thomas Berthelet (STC 7800; cf. Paul L. Hughes and James F. Larkin (eds.), Tudor Royal Proclamations 1485-1553 (New Haven & London, 1964), no. 214, p. 309). Foxe apparently did not know that the Lenten fast had been relaxed in identical terms at least twice before, in 1538 and 1542: Hughes and Larkin, Tudor Royal Proclamations, nos. 177, 209, pp. 261, 309.

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concernyng eating of white meates, made the. 9. day of February, the. 34. yeare of the raigne of the kinges most Royal maiestie.

MarginaliaAn. 1543.
The eating of white meates in Lent set at lybertye.
FOr as muche as by diuers and sundrie occasions, as well Heringes, Linges, Saltfishe, Samond, Stockefishe, as other kindes of fishe bene this yeare scant, and also enhaunced in prices aboue the olde rate and common estimation of their valour, so that if the kinges louyng subiectes should be enforced onely to buye and prouide Hering and other salt store of fishe, for the necessarie and sufficient sustentation and maintenaunce of their housholdes and families al this holy time of Lent, according as they haue bene woont in tymes past to doo, and should not be by some other conuenient meanes relieued therin, the same might and should vndoubtedly redounde to their importable charge and detriment: and for so muche as his highnes considereth, howe this kinde and maner of fasting, (that is to say) to abstayne from mylke, butter, egges, cheese, and other white meates, is but a mere positiue Lawe of the Churche, and vsed by a custome within this Realme, and of none other force or necessitie, but the same may be vpon good considerations and grounds altered and dispensed with frō time to time by the publike authoritie of kinges & princes, whē soeuer they shal perceiue the same to tende to the hurt and damage of their people: The kings highnes therfore most graciously cōsidering & tendring the wealth and commoditie of his people, hath thought good for the cōsiderations aboue rehearsed, to release & dispense with the sayd law and custome of absteinyng frō white meate this holy time of Lent, & of his especial grace and mere motion geueth and graunteth vnto all and singular his subiectes within this his Realme of England, Wales, Callis, Guisnes, and Hāme, & in al other his graces dominiōs, free liberty facultie & licēce to eate al maner of white meates, as Mylke Egges, Butter, Cheese, and suche like, duryng the time of this Lent, without any scruple or grudge of conscience, any Lawe, Constitution, vse, or custome to the contrary notwithstanding.

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Wherein neuerthelesse his highnesse exhorteth, and in the name of God requireth all suche his faythfull subiectes, as may, wyll, or shall enioy this his saide graunt or facultie, that they be in no wise scrupulous or doubtfull thereof, nor abuse or turne the same into a fleshly or carnall libertie, but rather endeuour them selues to their possible powers, with this libertie of eating of white meates, to obserue also that fast which God most specially requireth of them, that is to saye, to renounce the worlde and the deuyl, with all their pompes and woorkes, and also to subdue and represse their carnal affectiōs and the corrupt workes of their flesh, according to their vowe and profession made at the Font stone, for in these poyntes consisteth the very true and perfect abstinence or fasting of a Christian man: thus to endure and continue from yeare to yeare, tyl the kinges highnes pleasure shal by his maiesties proclamation be published to the contrary.

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The trouble and persecutiō of foure 
Commentary  *  Close

This is a careless error, only three people were burned at Windsor. Foxe was repeating the number four from the heading of this account in the Rerum (p. 182); however, both the Rerum and 1563 accounts make it clear that only three people were burned.

Windsore men, Robert Testwood, Henry Filmer, Anthonye Person, and Iohn Marbecke, persecuted for righteousnesse sake, and for the Gospel.

MarginaliaAnno. 1544. COmmyng now to the Storie 

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Testwood, Filmer, Marbeck and Person

In March 1543, William Simons, a Windsor lawyer and Dr. John London, the warden of New College, Oxford, and a prebendary of Windsor, accused five people of heresy: Anthony Pearson, a preacher and outspoken sacramentarian, Robert Bennet, a lawyer, Henry Filmer, a tailor, Robert Testwood, a chorister of St. George's Chapel and John Marbeck, the organist at the chapel. There were high stakes involved; these accusations were an attempt to eradicate heresy at the royal court (Philip (not William) Hoby and Sir Thomas Carden were gentlemen ushers of the Privy Chamber, with constant access to the king. Thomas Weldon was a master of the Royal Household and Snowball had the delicate and trusted position of yeoman chef for the king's mouth). As Foxe's account makes it clear, the five accused were pressured to reveal heretics at court. Simon Haynes, the dean of Windsor, and an evangelical sympathiser, was also arrested, as were other figures on the fringes of the court, notably Thomas Sternhold, the future co-author of the metrical psalms. At virtually the same time, a series of investigations into heresy in Kent were initiated, which targeted Archbishop Cranmer himself. (For the background to the troubles at Windsor, see Diarmaid MacCulloch, Thomas Cranmer [New Haven, 1996], pp. 297-322 and Glyn Redworth, In Defence of the Church Catholic: The Life of Stephen Gardiner [Oxford, 1990], pp. 184-207). In July, Pearson, Filmer, Testwood and Marbeck were brought to trial before a jury and justices at Windsor. (Bennet was too ill to be tried). All four sentenced to death under the Act of Six Articles. Marbeck, however, was pardoned and Bennet was released through the intervention of the Bishop of Salisbury on his behalf. Filmer, Pearson and Testwood were burned at Windsor on 28 July 1543.

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The evolution of Foxe's account of this episode was complicated and at times his narrative was confused. In the Rerum, Foxe had an account of five men who were burned at Windsor in 1544 (Rerum, pp. 182-3). Foxe drew much of the material for this episode from Hall's chronicle. (See Edward Hall, The union of the two noble and illustre famelies of Lancastre and York [London, 1560?], STC 12723a, fo. 256r-v). But Foxe had information that Hall did not: some of the articles alleged against Marbeck and the charges against Bennet. (In fact, Hall does not mention Bennet). Moreover, as Foxe, in his second edition, made it clear that he also consulted original documents from the case; including the writ authorizing the execution of the martyrs (Foxe probably based his account of the Windsor martyrs partly on documents that must have been sent to him during his exile). But in doing so, he got confused on an essential point: he stated that Marbeck, Testwood and Pearson were burned and that Filmer was pardoned.

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Foxe translated the account in the Rerum, word-for-word, in the 1563 edition (pp. 626-7). However, as the printing of this edition progressed, Foxe learned of his mastake. On p. 1742 of the edition, Foxe included a list of errata, and this included a mention - in the middle of a column of errors listed in small type - that he had confused Marbeck with Filmer and that he had failed to mention that Bennet was never tried or condemned.

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Nicholas Harpsfield noticed Foxe's mistake and either failed to notice, or disregarded, his correction. In a few caustic passages Harpsfield used Foxe's error as the platform for a pointed attack on the overall credibility of the Acts and Monuments. After quoting Foxe's assertion that Marbeck was burned, Harpsfield sarcastically observed that Marbeck 'still lives, singing and playing the organ most beautifully at Windsor, as he had been accustomed to do' (DS, pp. 962-3). Harpsfield's criticisms of Foxe's mistake were taken up by other Catholic writers and repeated as a 'proof' of Foxe's inaccuracy for centuries.

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Harpsfield's criticisms also goaded into a massive response. The two pages devoted to the Windsor martyrs in the 1563 edition expanded to thirteen pages in the 1570 edition. Moreover, the account was completely rewritten as the material in the 1563 edition was discarded and replaced with a detailed narrative obtained from John Marbeck himself (This is an important indication that Marbeck himself was the source of this narrative). A manuscript copy of Marbeck's narrative, partially annotated by Foxe in preperation for printing, survives as BL, Lansdowne MS 389, fos. 240r-276r). After the Marbeck narrative, Foxe appended a heated riposte to Harpsfield (this was Foxe's response to the charge made by Nicholas Harpsfield that Foxe had erroneously identified Marbeck as a martyr, and to the implication, rapidly taken up by other Catholic writers, that this demonstrated Foxe's inaccuracy). Foxe's treatment of this incident provides an excellent example of the impact of Harpsfield's criticisms and the ways in which they forced Foxe to expand his text and improve his research.

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Thomas S. Freeman

and time of the foure Windsore men troubled and persecuted for the true testimonie of Gods woorde, whereof three were martyred and sacrificed in fire, the fourth (whiche was Marbecke) had his pardon 
Commentary  *  Close

Foxe is still omitting Bennet, an interesting residue of the confused manner in which Foxe first learned of this episode.

: first I haue to shew the original of their troubles in seuerall partes: secondly the manner and order of their death as they suffered together, which was an. 1544. 
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Actually 1543, not 1544.

thirdly to answeare partly in purgation of my selfe, against certaine clatterers, which haue hytherto taken their pleasure in railing against my former edition of Actes and monumentes, for mistaking the name of Marbecke, whom in one place I reported to haue ben burned, albeit in the end of the storie, correcting my selfe againe, I declare hym not to haue bene burned. 
Commentary  *  Close

Foxe translated the account in the Rerum, word-for-word, in the 1563 edition (pp. 626-7). However, as the printing of this edition progressed, Foxe learned of his mastake. On p. 1742 of the edition, Foxe included a list of errata, and this included a mention -in the middle of a column of errors listed in small type - that he had confused Marbeck with Filmer and that he had failed to mention that Bennet was never tried or condemned. Nicholas Harpsfield noticed Foxe's mistake and either failed to notice, or disregarded, his correction. In a few caustic passages Harpsfield used Foxe's error as the platform for a pointed attack on the overall credibility of the Acts and Monuments. After quoting Foxe's assertion that Marbeck was burned, Harpsfield sarcastically observed that Marbeck 'still lives, singing and playing the organ most beautifully at Windsor, as he had been accustomed to do' (DS, pp. 962-3). Harpsfield's criticisms of Foxe's mistake were taken up by other Catholic writers and repeated as a 'proof' of Foxe's inaccuracy for centuries.

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Harpsfield's criticisms also goaded into a massive response. The two pages devoted to the Windsor martyrs in the 1563 edition expanded to thirteen pages in the 1570 edition. Moreover, the account was completely rewritten as the material in the 1563 edition was discarded and replaced with a detailed narrative obtained from John Marbeck himself (This is an important indication that Marbeck himself was the source of this narrative). A manuscript copy of Marbeck's narrative, partially annotated by Foxe in preperation for printing, survives as BL, Lansdowne MS 389, fos. 240r-276r). After the Marbeck narrative, Foxe appended a heated riposte to Harpsfield (this was Foxe's response to the charge made by Nicholas Harpsfield that Foxe had erroneously identified Marbeck as a martyr, and to the implication, rapidly taken up by other Catholic writers, that this demonstrated Foxe's inaccuracy). Foxe's treatment of this incident provides an excellent example of the impact of Harpsfield's criticisms and the ways in which they forced Foxe to expand his text and improve his research.

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Wherefore to stoppe the brawlyng mouthes of such quarrellers, I thought here to set foorth the ful narration, both of the said Marbecke, and of his felowes, in truth as I trust none of them shal haue iuste cause to quarrel thereat.

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¶ The originall of Testwoods trouble.

MarginaliaThe first beginnyng of Testwoods trouble.

Persecuters Persecuted. The Causes.

Master Ely.
Symons, a
Lawyer.
D. London.
Steuē Gar-
diner B. of
Winchester
Wrisley.
Southarne
Treasurer of
Exeter.
D. Bruer-
woode,
Chaunce-
lour of Ex-
eter.
M. Knight,
Winche-
sters Gen-
tleman.
D. Oking.
D. Capon,
B of Sarum
Syr Wil. Es-
sex, knyght.
Syr Thomas
Briges,
knight.
Svr Hūfrey
Fostar,
knight.
M. Franklen
Deane of
Windsore.
M. Fachel of
of Reding

Rob. Test-
wood.
Henry Fil-
mer.
Anthony
Person.
Iohn Mar-
becke.
Rob. Benet.
Sir Philip
Hobby, his
wyfe.
Syr Thom.
Cardine his
wyfe.
M. Edmund
Harman.
M. Thom.
Weldone.
Snowbal, his
wife, of the
kings cham-
ber.

IN the yeare of our
Lorde. 1544. 
Commentary  *  Close

As Testwood died in 1543, this date is an error. It is very probably a mistake for 1534 as the narrative, a little further down, refers to debates in Parliament over the Act of Supremacy (C 240.15). The Act of Supremacy was passed in November 1534.

there
was one Roberte
Testwood dwellyng
in the city of Londō
who for his know-
ledge in musicke had
so great a name, that
the Musitions in
Windsore Colledge, 
Commentary  *  Close

I.e., St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.


thought hym a wor-
thy man to haue a
roume among them.
Whereupon they en-
fourmed Doctoure
Samson (being thē
their Deane) of him.
But for so muche
as some of the Canons
at that tyme hadde
hearde of Testwood,
howe that he smelled
of the newe learnyng
(as they called it) it
woulde not be con-
sented vnto at
the first. Notwithstan-
dyng, with often sute
of the foresayd Mu-
sitions made to one
doctour Tate (who
beyng halfe a Musi-
tion hym selfe, bare a
great stroke in suche
matters) a roume be
yng voyd, Testwood
was sente for ito be
hearde. And beyng
there foure or fyue
dayes amonge the
queere men, he was
so wel liked, both for
hys voyce and cun-
nyng, that he was

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