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1231 [1230]

K. Hen. 8. The first examination of Anne Askew, Martyr.

MarginaliaBoners misreport of An. Askewes cōfession. remember this small portion of it:

Be it knowen (sayth he) of all men that I Anne Askew do confesse this to be my fayth and belief, notwithstandyng my reportes made afore to the contrary. I beleue that they whiche are houseled at the handes of a Priest whether his conuersation be good or not, do receiue the body & bloud of Christ in substaunce really. Also I do beleue, that after the consecration, whether it be receiued or reserued, it is no lesse then the very body and bloud of Christ in substaunce. Finally I do beleue in this and in all other Sacramentes of holy Church, in all pointes accordyng to the old Catholicke faith of the same. In witnes wherof I the sayd Anne haue subscribed my name.

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There was somewhat more in it, which because I had not the copy, I can not now remember. Then he read it to me and asked me if I did agree to it. And I sayd agayne, I beleue so much therof as the holy Scripture doth agree vnto: wherefore I desire you, that ye will adde that thereunto. MarginaliaThe tenor of D. Boners writing wherunto An. Askew subscribed. Then he aunswered that I should not teach him what hee should write. With that, he went forth into his great chamber, and read the same Bill afore the audience, which enueigled and willed me to set to my hand saying also, that I had fauour shewed me. Then sayd the Byshop I might thanke other and not my selfe, of the fauour that I found at his hād: for he considered (he sayd) that I had good frendes, and also that I was come of a worshipfull stocke.

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Then aūswered one Christopher, a seruaunt to maister Dēnie: Rather ought you (my Lord) to haue done it in such case, for Gods sake then for mās. Then my Lord sat down, and tooke me the writyng to set thereto my hand & I writte after this maner: I Anne Askew do beleue all maner thyngs conteined in the fayth of the Catholicke Church 

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This 'circumstance' (or confession of faith) appears in Bonner's Bishop's Register (Guildhall Library MS 9531/12, 109r) as Foxe reproduces it. Askew's addendum to her signature, as she describes it - 'I Anne Askew do beleve all maner of things conteined in the faith of the catholike church' - is intended to relieve her of any commitment to ideas contained within the confession that actually conflict with her own beliefs. Her use of the word 'catholike' implies 'universal' - or rather, Christ's true universal church, rather than the orthodox church associated with Roman or Henrician 'Catholic' orthodoxy.

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It is impossible to ascertain whether or not Askew did sign the confession prepared for her by Bonner in the manner she describes. However, if she wrote the First Examination as part of an exercise also including her authorship of the Lattre - in effect, after the publication of this confession of faith in June 1546 (following her condemnation) - it is likely that she had an interest in denying that she had been apostate in 1545. (See Megan L. Hickerson, '"Ways of Lying": Anne Askew and the Examinations', Gender & History 18 [April 2006], 50-65.)

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And for as much as mētion here is made of the writyng of Boner, which this godly woman sayd before she had not in memory, therefore I thought in this place to inferre the same, both with the whole circūstaunce of Boner, and with the title thereunto prefixed by the Register, & also with her owne subscription: to the intent the reader seyng the same subscription, neither to agree with the tyme of the title aboue prefixed, nor with the subscription after the writyng annexed, might the better vnderstand thereby what credit is to be geuen hereafter to such Byshops, and to such Registers. The tenour of Boners writyng proceedeth thus.

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MarginaliaThe wordes of the Registers. The true copy of the confession and beliefe of Anne Askew, otherwise called Anne Kyme made before the bishop of London the xx. day of March in the yeare of our Lord God after the computation of the Churche of England. 1545. and subscribed with her owne hand in the presence of the sayd Bishop and other whose names hereafter are recited, set forth & published at this presēt, to þe entent þe world may see what credence is nowe to be geuen vnto the same woman, who in so short a tyme hath most damnably altered and chaunged her opinion and beliefe, and therfore rightfully in open Courte arrayned and condemned MarginaliaEx Regist. Ex Regist.

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MarginaliaThe copie of the Bishops reporte vpon the confessiō of An Askew as it stādeth in the Register. BE it knowne to all faythfull people, that as touchyng the blessed Sacrament of the aultar, I do firmely & vndoubtedly beleue, that after the wordes of consecration bee spoken by the Priest, accordyng to the common vsage of this Church of England, there is present really the body and bloud of our Sauiour Iesu Christ, whether the minister which doth consecrat, be a good man, or a bad man, and that also whensoeuer the sayd Sacrament is receiued, whether the receiuer be a good man or a bad man, hee doth receiue it really and corporally. And moreouer, I do beleue, that whether the sayd Sacrament then receiued of the Minister, or els reserued to be put into the Pixe, or to be brought to any person that is impotent or sicke, yet there is the very bodye and bloud of our sayd Sauiour: so that whether the Minister or the receiuer be good or bad, yea, whether the Sacrament be receiued or reserued, alwayes there is the blessed body of Christ really.

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And this thing with all other thinges touching the Sacrament and other Sacramentes of the Churche, and all things els touching the Christē beleief, which are taught & declared in the kynges Maiesties booke lately set forth for the erudition of the Christen people, I Anne Askew, otherwise called Anne Kyme, do truly & perfectly beleue, and so here presently confesse and knowledge. And here I do promise that hence forth I shall neuer saye or doe any thyng agaynst the premises, or agaynst anye of them. In witnesse whereof, I the sayd Anne haue subscribed my name vnto these presentes. Written the. xx. day of March in the yere of our Lord God. 1545, Ex Regist. MarginaliaEx Regist. Lond.

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By me Anne Askew otherwyse
called Anne Kime.

MarginaliaWitnesses.


Edmund Bishop of London.
Iohn Bishop of Bathe.
Owen Ogelthorpe doctor of diuinitie.
Richard Smith doctor of diuinitie.
Iohn Rudde bacheler of diuinitie.
William Pie bacheler of diuinitie.
Iohn Wymesley Archdeacon of London.

Iohn Cooke.
Rob. Iohn.
Fraunces Spilman.

Edward Hall.
Alexander Bret.
Edmund Buts.
With diuers other mo beyng then present.

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MarginaliaBoner and hys Register reproued with an vntruth. Here mayest thou note, gentle reader, in this confession, both in the Byshop & his Register: a double sleight of false conueiance. For although the cōfessiō porporteth the words of the Byshops writyng, whereunto she dyd set her hande yet by the title prefixed before, mayest thou see that both she was araigned and condemned before this was registred, & also that she is falsly reported to haue put to her hand which in deede by this her owne booke appeareth not so to bee, but after this maner and condition: I Anne Askew do beleue all maner thinges conteyned in the fayth of the Catholicke Churche, and not otherwise. It foloweth more in þe storye 

Commentary  *  Close

Foxe's insertion of Askew's confession as reproduced in Bonner's register (Guildhall Library MS 9531/12, 109r) is intended to serve as proof that Askew did not betray her evangelical faith in 1545. According to Foxe, the preamble to the confession as it appears in the register proves it to be a forgery: it states both that the confession was made in March 1544 (new-style 1545), and that Askew had been arraigned and condemned in open court, which she had not until July 1546. Thus, Foxe argues, the confession was a fraud (see Thomas F. Freeman and Sarah E. Wall, 'Racking the Body, Shaping the Text: The Account of Anne Askew in Foxe's Book of Martyrs', Renaissance Quarterly 54 [2001], 1181-82).

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However, this is unlikely. Not only does Askew herself (according to the Examinations) twice admit to signing the confession, it is likely that the confession was only copied into Bonner's register a year after it was signed because that is when Askew was condemned to die: in other words, until that point the confession remained a largely private affair, as Bonner had promised Askew, in 1545, that their interaction would remain, but now it was useful to make it public as evidence of Askew's obduracy. The fact of its being publicized in 1546 very likely contributed to Askew's decision to write her self-consciously exculpatory account. (See Megan L. Hickerson, '"Ways of Lying': Anne Askew and the Examinations', Gender & History 18 [April 2006], 50-65.)

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MarginaliaBoner Bishop of London, in a chafe against Anne Askew. Then because I dyd adde vnto it the Catholicke Church he floonge into his chamber in a great furye. With that my cosen Brittaine followed hym, desiryng hym for Gods sake to be good Lord vnto me. He aunswered that I was a woman, & that he was nothyng deceiued in me. Thē my cosyn Brittayne desired hym to take me as a woman, and not to set my weake womans wit, to his lordships great wisdō.

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MarginaliaD. Weston Then went in vnto him D. Westen, and sayd, þt the cause why I dyd write there the Catholicke Church, was, that I vnderstoode not the Church written afore. So wt much adoe, they perswaded my Lord to come out agayne, & to take my name with the names of my suerties, whiche were my cosyn Brittaine, and maister Spylman of Grayes Inne.

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This beyng done, we thought that I shoulde haue bene put to bayle immediatlye according to the order of the lawe, Howbeit he would not suffer it, but committed me frō thēce to prison agayne, vntill the next morrow, MarginaliaAnne Askewe brought to the Guilde Hall. and then he willed me to appeare in the Guild Hall, and so I dyd 

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This was illegal.

. Notwithstandyng they would not put me to bayle there neither, but read the Byshops writyng vnto me, as before, and so commaunded me agayne to prison.

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Then were my suerties appointed to come before them on the next morrowe in Paules Churche: whiche dyd so in deede. Notwithstandyng they woulde once agayne haue broken of with them because they woulde not be bound also for an other woman at their pleasure, whom they knew not nor yet what matter was layde vnto her charge. MarginaliaA. Askew bailed at last vnder suerties with muche adoe. Notwithstandyng at the last, after much adoe and reasoning to & fro, they tooke a bonde of them of recognisance for my forth cōming. And thus I was at the last deliuered 

Commentary  *  Close

This is the end of the text comprising Askew's First Examination in Foxe's base text (Bale's 1550 edition of the Examinations).

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Written by me Anne Askew.

¶ The latter apprehension and examination of the worthy Martyr of God, Mistres. A. Askew. An. 1546.

MarginaliaAnne Askew martir.
An. 1546.
A declaration of A. Askew of these wordes of our Sauyour, this is my body.
I Do perceiue (deare freind in þe Lord) that thou art not yet perswaded throughly in the truth concerning the Lordes supper, because Christ said vnto his Apostles: Take, eate, thys is my bodye, which is geuen for you.

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In geuing forth the bread as an outward signe or token to be receiued with the mouth, hee minded them in perfecte beleue to receiue that body of his, whiche shoulde die for the people, and to thinke the death therof to bee the onelye health and saluation of their soules. The bread and the wine were left vs for a sacramentall communion, or a mutuall participation of þe inestimable benefites of his most precious death and bloudsheeding, and that we shoulde in the end therof be thankfull together for that most necessarie grace of our redemptiō. For in the closing vp therof, he said thus: This do ye in remembraunce of me. Yea, so oft as ye shal eate it, or drink it. MarginaliaLuk. 11.
1. Cor. 11.
Luke. xi. and i. Corin. xi.
Els should wee haue bene forgetfull of that we ought to haue in dayly remembraunce, & also ben altogether vnthankfull for it, Therfore it is meete that in our prayers we call vnto God to graft in our foreheades, the true meanyng of þe holye Ghost concernyng this Communion. For Saint Paule sayth: the letter slayeth: the spirite is it onely that geueth lyfe. Marginalia2 Cor 3. ij. Corinth. iij. Marke well the sixt chapter of Iohn, where all is applied vnto fayth, note also the4. chapt, of S. Paules first Epistle to þe Corinth, and in the ende therof ye shall finde that þe thinges which are sene, are temporall, but they that are not sene, are euerlastyng. Marginalia1. Cor. 4. Yea, looke in the third chapter to the Hebrues and ye shall finde that Christ as a sonne (and no seruaunt) ruleth ouer his house, whose house are we (and not þe dead tēple) MarginaliaHeb. 3.if we hold fast the cōfidence & reioysing of that hope to

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the
PPP.ij.
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