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1226 [1225]

K. Hen. 8. Kerby and Roger Clarke, Martyrs.

MarginaliaAn. 1545.
Iohn Athce recanted.
set & establish an order of ecclesiastical laws, such as should be thought by the kyng and them conuenient to be receiued and vsed within this realme. Whiche statute as it is moste needful for the gouernement of the Church of Englande: so would God it had ben brought to perfection.

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In this yeare touching matters of histories, we read no great thing woorthy of memorie, but onely of two persons, Ioh. Athee, & Io. Haywood. Of which two, we finde first Io. Athee to be indicted 

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Foxe drew all of his information on John Athee from Bishop Bonner’s register (Guildhall MS 9531/12, fo. 254v).

by þe kings writ, for certain words against the sacramēt, which words in the indictmēt are specified to be these: that he woulde not beleue in þt thing which þe knaue priest made, neither in that which Longs wife selleth: but only in God that is in heauē. And when it was told hym that God, through his wor, could make it flesh & bloud, he answered: so he might do if he would turne it into a Chickens leg, meanyng the sacrament of the altar.

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MarginaliaThe recantation of Iohn Heywoode. The same yere also folowed the recātation 

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John Heywood had been condemned to death along with Germain Gardiner and John Lark, but he recanted on the way to the scaffold and was reprieved (he was More’s brother-in-law). He did public penance in July. Foxe obtained his material, including Heywood’s public recantation from Bishop Bonner’s register (Guildhall MS 9531/12, fol. 61r).

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of Ioh. Heywood, who although he was tached for treason, for denying the kyngs supremacie, yet vsing þe clemēcie of the king, vpō his better reformatiō & amēdment, made an open & solemne recantation in the face of al the people, abandonyng & renoūcing the Popes vsurped supremacie, & confessing the kyng to be chiefe supreme head & gouernor of this church of England, al forein authoritiy & iurisdictiō being excluded. The tenor & effect of whose recantation, for asmuch as it is alredy expressed in our firste edition of Actes & Monuments pag. 627. I shall not neede here againe to repeat the same, but to referre the reader to the place and page aforesaid.

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In this yeare of our Lord. 1545. as there was no other thing done in England worthy to be noted, so now the order of storye here requireth by the course of yeares, next to infer the discourse of the troubles & persecutiōs which happened in Scotland, agaynst M. George Wysard, & diuers other good men of the same countrey, about the same yeare of our Lord. 1545. & somewhat before 

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George Wishary was, in fact, executed in 1546.

. But because we are now come to the latter end almost of K. Henryes raigne, we will make an end (the Lord willyng) with a few other English storyes perteynyng to that tyme: and that finished, so to set vpon those matters of Scotland, ioynyng thē whole together. The tractation wherof thou shalt see (good reader) in the latter end and closing vp of this kinges raigne.

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Kerby and Roger Clarke of Suffolk martyrs.

Marginalia1546.
Saxie a priest, hanged in St. Gardiners porters lodge.
COmming 

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Persecution in 1545

The Rerum contains a brief narrative that might be a garbled account of the burning of Roger Clarke. In a few sentences, Foxe related that a layman of Norfolk (not Suffolk) named Roger was burned for sacramentarian heresy (Rerum, p. 144). By the time the 1563 edition was printed, Foxe had learned a great deal more about the burnings of John Kerby and Roger Clarke; most of his detailed account of their trials and executions first appeared in this edition. This material was contributed by unnamed eyewitnesses. In the 1570 edition, Foxe added details to the account of the martyrdoms of Kerby and Clarke, which were also obtained from informants, probably including the Ipswich gaoler John Bird (Richard Bird, also an Ipswich gaoler, would be denounced by Catholics in Mary's reign for encouraging prisoners in their heresy (1576, p. 1981 and 1583, p. 2089). Were the Birds a family of evangelical gaolers? In any case, John Bird was probably the source the interview between Kerby and Robert Wingfield). In the 1570 edition, Foxe also added an account of Henry VIII's oration to Parliament on Christmas Eve 1545. Foxe printed this speech from Edward Hall, The union of the two noble and illuste famelies of Lancastre and Yorke (London, 1560), STC 12734a, fos.260r-262r. His purpose in including the speech was to criticize appeal for compromise for the sake of concord and religious unity. In 'notes' upon the speech, Foxe argued instead - in passages clearly intend to goad Elizabeth and her magistrates into further reformation of the Church - that correct doctrine and religious purity were more important than peace or unity.

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Thomas S. Freeman

now to the yeare of our Lord. 1546. first passing ouer the priest, 
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The chronicler Wriothesly reports that a priest in custody at the bishop of Winchester's house in Southwark, was found hung on 12 April 1540. Wriothesly also reports that the priest was of 'the new sect' and had been brought to the bishop's house for examination. (A Chronicle of England…by Charles Wriothesley, ed. William Douglas Hamiliton, 2 vols., Camden Society new series 11 and 20, [London, 1875-7), I, p. 115). Protestant polemicists rapidly turned what was probably a suicide into a murder carried out (of course) at Stephen Gardiner's orders: see Henry Brinklow, The Complaynt of Roderick Mors, ed. J. Meadows Cooper, EETS 22 (London, 1874}, p. 29 and John Bale, The epistle exhortatorye of an English Christiane (Antwerp, 1544?), STC 1291, fo. 13v.

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whose name was Saxie, which was hāged in þe porters lodge of Ste. Gardiner B. of Winchest. and that (as it is supposed) not wtout þe cōsēt of the said bish. & þe secret cōspiracy of that bloudy generation: to passe ouer also one Henry, wt his seruāt burned at Colchester 
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Nothing futher is known of Henry or his servant.

: I wyl now procede to þe story of Kerby & Rog. Clarke of Mēdelshā who were apprehēded at Ipswich. an. 1546. þe saterday before Gang Mōday, 
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This is the Monday of the Minor Rogations, i.e., the Monday before Ascension Day.

& brought before þe lord Wentworth, wt other cōmissioners appoynted there to sit vpō their examinations, iudgmēts, & causes. 
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Kirby and Clarke were tried before a commission, headed by Lord Wentworth, to enforce the Six Articles.

MarginaliaA bill brought to the Lord Wentworth at the areignment of Kerby and Roger. The night before they wer areygned, a byl was set vp vpō the townhouse doore (by whō, it was vnknowen) and brought the next day vnto the Lord Wentworth: who answeared, that it was good counsell. Which byll in the latter end shal appeare.

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In the meane tyme. Kerby & Roger beyng in the Gaylers house, named Io. Byrd, an honest & a good man 

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Richard Bird, also an Ipswich gaoler, would be denounced by Catholics in Mary's reign for encouraging prisoners in their heresy (1576, p. 1981 and 1583, p. 2089). Were the Birds a family of evangelical gaolers? In any case, John Bird was probably the source the interview between Kerby and Robert Wingfield.

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(who had checkes diuers times at þe bar, that he was more meet to be kept, then to be a keeper) came in Maister Robert Wingfielde 
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This is the same Robert Wingfield who, as a staunch supporter of Mary Tudor, would write an invaluable narrative of Mary's seizure of power in 1553.

, sonne and heyre of Humfreye Wingfielde knight) wt M. Bruesse of Wennenhā: who thē hauing conference with Kerby (beyng thē in a seueral chāber separate frō the other) master Wingfield said to Kerby: MarginaliaThe wordes of M. Wingfield to Kerby and Roger, in prison. Remēber þe fire is hot, take heede of thyne enterprise, that thou take no more vpō thee thē thou shalt be able to performe. The terrour is great, the payne wyl be extreme, & lyfe is sweet. Better it were betime to sticke to mercy, while there is hope of life, thē rashly to begyn, & thē to shrink: with such like words of perswasion. To whō he answered againe: MarginaliaThe aunswere of Kerby, to M. Wingfield. Ah M. Winkfield, be at my burnyng, & you shal saye, there standeth a christen souldier in the fire. For I knowe that fire and water, sword, and all other thinges, are in the handes of God, & he wyl suffer no more to be layd vpon vs, then he wyl geue vs strength to beare. Ah Kerby, said master Winkfield, if thou be at that poynt, I wyl byd thee farewell: For I promise thee I am not so strong, that I am able to burne. And so both the Gentlemen saying that they would pray for them, tooke handes with them, and so departed.

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MarginaliaThe behauiour of Kerby and Roger when they were brought before the Iudges. Now (first touching the behaueour of Kerby & Roger) whē they came to the iudgemēt seat, the Lord Wentworth, with all the rest of the Iustices there ready, the Cōmissary also by vertue ex officio, sittyng next to the L. Wentworth, but one betwen 

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Foxe is explaining the elevated status of the bishop's commissary, of near equality to Lord Wingfield, the head of the commission, in what was essentially a lay tribunal.

Kerby & Roger lifted vp their eyes & hāds to heauē, with great deuotion in all mens eyes, making their prayers secretely to God for a space of tyme, whilest they might say the Lordes prayer fiue or sixe tymes.

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MarginaliaQuestions propounded to Kerby and Roger. That done, their articles were declared vnto them, with al circūstances of the lawe: and then it was demaunded and enquired of thē, whether they beleued, that after the words spoken by a priest (as Christ spake them to his Apostles) there were not the very body & bloud of Christ, flesh, bloud, & bone, as he was borne of the virgin Mary, and no bread after.

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MarginaliaTheir aunsweres. Vnto the which wordes they answeared and sayd, No, they dyd not so beleue: but that they dyd beleue the Sacrament which Christe Iesus did institute at his last supper, on Maundy Thursday at night to his disciples, was only to put al men in remembrance of the precious death & bloud sheddyng for the remission of sinnes, & that there was neither flesh nor bloud to be eatē wt the teeth, but bread & wine: MarginaliaThe Sacrament more then bare bread and wyne. & yet more thē bread & wyne, for that it is cōsecrated to an holy vse. Thē wt much perswasions, both wt fayre meanes & threates besides (if it would haue serued) were these two poore men hardly laid to: MarginaliaFoster a sore enemie to Gods people. but most at the handes of Foster 

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William Foster was a lawyer, minor magistrate, staunch Catholic and zealous persecutor who appears several times in the pages of Foxe. His name is first mentioned in the narrative of the Kerby and Clarke martyrdoms, in the 1570 edition.

an inferior Iustice, not being learned in suche knowledge. But these two cōtinued both faythfull & constant, chusing rather to dye then to liue, and so continued vnto the end.

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MarginaliaSentence geuen agaynst Kerby and Roger. Then sentence was geuen vpon them both, Kerby to be burned in the sayd towne þe next Saterday, and Roger to be burned at Burye the Gang Monday after. Kerby when his iudgement was geuen by the Lorde Wentworth, with most humble reuerence holdyng vp his hands, and bowing him selfe deuoutly, said: Praised be almighty God, and so stood styl without any moe wordes.

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Then dyd the Lorde Wentworth talke secretely, puttyng his heade behynde an other Iustice that sate betweene them. The saide Roger perceiuyng that, saide with a loude voyce: MarginaliaRogers wordes to the Lorde Wentworth. Speake out my Lorde, and if ye haue done any thing contrary to your conscience, aske God mercye, and we for our partes doo forgeue you: and speake not in secrete, for ye shall come before a Iudge, and then make answeare openly, euen he that shal iudge al men: with other like wordes.

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The Lord Wentworth somewhat blushing, and chaungyng his countenance through remorse (as it was thought) 

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Thomas Wentworth, first baron Wentworth, had been a prominent and enthusiastic Sufflok evangelical; John bale credited Wentworth with having converted him. (See the biography of Wentworth in the ODNB). Clearly, from Foxe's account, Wentworth was acting with considerable reluctance in prosecuting Kerby and Rogers.

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saide, I dyd speake nothing of you, nor I haue done nothing vnto you, but as þe Law is. Thē was Kerby and Roger sent forth: Kerby to prison there, MarginaliaRoger sent to Bury to be burned. and Roger to saint Edmundes Bury. The one of the two brusting out with a loude voyce (Roger as it is supposed) thus spake with a vehemencie: MarginaliaA Prophesye. Fight (saide he) for your God. For he hath not long to continue.

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The next day, which was Satarday, about ten of the clocke, Kerby was brought to the market place, where MarginaliaKerby brought to the stake at Ipswych. as a stake was ready, wood, broome, & straw, & dyd of his clothes vnto his shyrt, hauyng a night cap vpon his head, & so was fastned to the stake with yrons, there beyng in the galery, the lord Wentworth, with the most part of al the Iustices of those quarters, where they might see his executiē, howe euery thing should be done, & also might heare what Kerby dyd say: & a great nūber of people, about two thousand by estimation. MarginaliaD. Rugham Monke of Bury preached at the burning of Kerby. There was also standyng in the galery by the L. Wentworth, D. Rugham, which was before a monke of Bury & sexten of the house, hauing on a Surplis and a stoole about his necke. 

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Edward Rougham had formerly been an evangelical sympathiser and a friend of Richard Bayfield and Robert Barnes (In 1545, now apparently more theologically conservative, Edmund Rougham would preach at the burning of John Kirby in Bury St. Edmunds).

Then silence was proclaimed, and the said doctor began to disable hym selfe, as not meete to declare the holy Scriptures (being vnprouided because the tyme was so short) but that he hoped in Gods assistāce it should come wel to passe.

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MarginaliaThe chearful countenance and courage of Kerby. All this whyle Kerby was trymming with yrons & fagots, broome, & strawe, as one that should be marryed with new garmentes, nothyng changyng cheare nor countenāce, but with moste mecke spirite glorified God: whiche was wonderful to behold. Then master doctor at last entred into the sixt Chap. of S. Iohn. Who in handling that matter, so oft as he alleged the scriptures, and applyed them rightly, Kerby told the people, that he sayd true, and bade the people beleue hym. But when he dyd otherwise, he tolde hym agayne: You say not true: beleue hym not good people.

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Wherupon, as the voyce of the people was, they iudged doctor Rugham a false prophet. So when M. doctor had ended his collation, he said vnto Kerby: Thou good man, doest not thou beleue that the blessed sacrament of the altar is the very fleshe and bloud of Christ, and no bread, euen as he was borne of the virgin Mary? Kerby answering boldly, sayd: I do not so beleue. How doest thou beleue, said the doctor? Kerby sayde, MarginaliaKerbyes confession of the Sacrament. I doo beleue that in the Sacrament that Iesus Christ instituted at his last supper on Maundy Thursday to his Disciples (which ought of vs likewise to be done) is the death and passion, and his bloud shedding for the redemption of the world, to be remembred: and (as I said before) yet bread, and more then bread, for that it is consecrated to a holy vse.

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Then
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