Thematic Divisions in Book 12
1. Exhumations of Bucer and Phagius along with Peter Martyr's Wife2. Pole's Visitation Articles for Kent3. Ten Martyrs Burnt at Canterbury4. The 'Bloody Commission'5. Twenty-two Prisoners from Colchester6. Five Burnt at Smithfield7. Stephen Gratwick and others8. Edmund Allen and other martyrs9. Alice Benden and other martyrs10. Examinations of Matthew Plaise11. Richard Woodman and nine other martyrs12. Ambrose13. Richard Lush14. Edmund Allen15. The Martyrdom of Simon Miller and Elizabeth Cooper16. Rose Allin and nine other Colchester Martyrs17. John Thurston18. George Eagles19. Richard Crashfield20. Fryer and George Eagles' sister21. Joyce Lewes22. Rafe Allerton and others23. Agnes Bongeor and Margaret Thurston24. John Kurde25. John Noyes26. Cicelye Ormes27. Persecution at Lichfield28. Persecution at Chichester29. Thomas Spurdance30. Hallingdale, Sparrow and Gibson31. John Rough and Margaret Mearing32. Cuthbert Simson33. William Nicholl34. Seaman, Carman and Hudson35. Three at Colchester36. A Royal Proclamation37. Roger Holland and other Islington martyrs38. Stephen Cotton and other martyrs39. Scourging of Thomas Hinshaw40. Scourging of John Milles41. Richard Yeoman42. John Alcocke43. Thomas Benbridge44. Four at St Edmondsbury45. Alexander Gouch and Alice Driver46. Three at Bury47. A Poor Woman of Exeter48. Priest's Wife of Exeter49. The Final Five Martyrs50. John Hunt and Richard White51. John Fetty52. Nicholas Burton53. John Fronton54. Another Martyrdom in Spain55. Baker and Burgate56. Burges and Hoker57. The Scourged: Introduction58. Richard Wilmot and Thomas Fairfax59. Thomas Greene60. Bartlett Greene and Cotton61. Steven Cotton's Letter62. James Harris63. Robert Williams64. Bonner's Beating of Boys65. A Beggar of Salisbury66. Providences: Introduction67. The Miraculously Preserved68. William Living69. Edward Grew70. William Browne71. Elizabeth Young72. Elizabeth Lawson73. Christenmas and Wattes74. John Glover75. Dabney76. Alexander Wimshurst77. Bosom's wife78. Lady Knevet79. Mistress Roberts80. Anne Lacy81. Crosman's wife82. Congregation at Stoke in Suffolk83. Congregation of London84. Edward Benet85. Jeffrey Hurst86. William Wood87. Simon Grinaeus88. The Duchess of Suffolk89. Thomas Horton 90. Thomas Sprat91. John Cornet92. Thomas Bryce93. Gertrude Crockhey94. William Mauldon95. Robert Horneby96. Mistress Sandes97. John Kempe98. Thomas Rose99. Complaint against the Ipswich Gospellers100. Tome 6 Life and Preservation of the Lady Elizabeth101. The Unprosperous Queen Mary102. Punishments of Persecutors103. Foreign Examples104. A Letter to Henry II of France105. The Death of Henry II and others106. Justice Nine-Holes107. John Whiteman108. Admonition to the Reader109. Hales' Oration110. Cautions to the Reader111. Snel112. Laremouth113. William Hunter's Letter
Critical Apparatus for this Page
Commentary on the Text
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1899 [1872]

Q. Mary. 3. Men, and 4. Women burned at Canterbury. Alice Benden Martyr.

MarginaliaIune. 19. MarginaliaThe story of vij. Martyrs. MarginaliaAn. 1557. Iune.AMong such infinite seas of troubles in these most daungerous dayes, who can withhold himselfe from bitter teares, to see the maddyng rage of these pretensed Catholickes, 

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In the 1563 edition, this phrase is 'cruel papists'. This is another example of Foxe moderating his language in the second edition of the Acts and Monuments.

who beyng neuer satisfied with bloud to mainteyne their carnall kyngdome, presume so hyghly to violate the precise lawe of Gods commaundementes in slaying the simple poore Lambes of the glorious Congregation of Iesus Christ, and that for the true testimonie of a good conscience, in confessing the immaculate Gospell of their saluation. MarginaliaVnmercifull crueltie of the Catholickes against poore women.What hart will not lament the murderyng mischiefe of these mē, who for want of woorke, do so wrecke their tine on sely poore women, whose weake inbecillitie the more strength it lacketh by naturall imperfection, the more it ought to be helped, or at least pitied, and not oppressed of men that be stronger, and especially of Priestes that should be charitable.

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But blessed be the Lord omnipotent, who, supernaturally, hath indued from aboue such weake creatures with such manly stomacke and fortitude, so constantly to withstand the vttermost extremitie of these pityles persecutours: as he did before strengthen the mother of the vij. sonnes in the Machabees, & as he hath done since with diuers & sondry other godly women in these our latter dayes, partly before mentioned & partly to be mentioned hereafter, and here presently may appeare by the Martyrdome of these vij. here vnder followyng, of the which were 4. women and 3. men, burnt together at Cāterbury þe xxxj. day of the sayd moneth of Iune, in the yeare aforesayd, whose names are these.

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Iohn Fishcocke. 
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John Fishcock's examinations survive among Foxe's papers (BL, Harley MS 421, fos 101r-103v. Foxe never revealed that Fishcock confessed that he was uncertain what he believed about the eucharist and that he was ready to accept what Pole believed as the truth.


Nicolas White.
Nicolas Pardue.
Barbara Final, 
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Among Foxe's papers is the confession of one Adriana Vynall of Tenterden (BL, Harley MS 421, fo. 100r). Very likely this is the same person as 'Barbara Final'.

Widow.
* Marginalia* This Bradbridges wyfe was thought to be with childe.
Bradbreges Widow. 
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Joan Bradbridge was burned at Maidstone the day before widow Bradbridge was burned at Canterbury. Presumably they were relatives.


Wilsons Wife.
Bendens Wife.
 

As it were to tedious exactly and particularly to prosecute the seuerall story of euery one of these godly Martyrs: so I can not passe ouer vntouched the cruell and vnchristian handlyng of Alyce Benden during her imprisonment, accordyng as I haue receaued by the faythfull relation of them whiche best were acquainted with her, and partly also some doers in the matter, beyng her owne naturall brethren. 

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These were Alice Benden's brothers John and Roger Hall; see Thomas S. Freeman, 'Notes on a Source for John Foxe's Account of the Marian Persecution in Kent and Sussex' Historical Research 67 (1994), pp. 203-11.

MarginaliaRoger and Tho. Hall two godly brethren of Alice Benden. The story is thus.

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¶ The order of the imprisonment and tragicall hādlyng of Alyce Benden, wife of Edward Benden of the Parish of Stapleherst in the County of Kent, for the testimony of Christes Gospell.

MarginaliaThe imprisonment of Alice Benden, and maner of her handling.FIrst Alyce Benden was brought before one Maister Robertes of Crābroke MarginaliaM. Robertes of Crambroke persecutor. in the said county, the xiiij. day of October, in the yeare of our Lord 1556. of whō she was demaunded, why she would not go to the Church.

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And she aunswered, that she could not so do with a good and cleare conscience, because there was much Idolatry committed agaynst the glory of God. MarginaliaAlice Benden imprisoned for not comming to the Church.For the whiche, with many mockes and tauntes she was sent to prison, where she lay xiiij. dayes. For on the 20. day of October her husband required his neighbours the wealthy men of Stapleherst to write to the Byshop of Douer, who had the chief gouernement of the tyrānical sword in Kent for those dayes, which they did, MarginaliaAlice Benden deliuered by sute of her neighbours. desiryng him to send her home.

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Wherefore the Byshop called her before him and asked her if she would go home and go to the Church.

Wherunto she aunswered: If I would haue so done I neede not to haue come hether.

Then wilt thou go home and be shriuen of the Parrish Priest? And she sayd, no, that would she not.

Well, sayd he, go thy wayes home, and go to the Church when thou wilt. Wherunto she aunswered nothyng. But a Priest that stode by, said: she sayth, she will, my Lord. Wherfore he let her go, and she came forthwith home.

MarginaliaThe husband procureth the trouble and imprisonment of his wyfe.On the Saterday followyng, her husband willed her to go to the Churche: whiche she both then and elles when refused to do. Wherefore on the Sonday, xiiij. dayes after, he goyng to the Churche, came into the company of diuers inhabitauntes of the same Parish, among whom thorough his fond talke and behauiour, he procured her to be sent to MarginaliaSyr Iohn Gilford commaundeth Alice Benden to the Castle of Canterbury.Syr Iohn Gilford, who commaunded her to prison agayne, yea and the more to vtter his owne shame, the sayd her husband tooke money of the Counstable to carry her to prison, the price of his wiues bloud, meanyng in deede to carry her to prison hym selfe. But she hauyng much more care of his honest and good report, then he had regarde (as it is easie to see) of his owne infamy, and no lesse ashamed of his so rude and vnnaturall doynges, chose rather to committe her selfe willyngly into the handes of her enemyes, then that the world should witnes agaynst her husband, of so facinorous a fact. Wherefore she went to the Constable, desiring him to go with her. But he aūswered that he could

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not so doe, but graunted her his boy to goe with her: with whom she went to prison, namely, the Castle of Canterbury, accordyng to the commaundement geuen.

MarginaliaThe spare dyet of Alice Benden and Potkins wife in Canterbury Castle.Where this one thing is worthy to be noted, that while she was in this prison, she practised with a prison fellow of hers, the wife of one Potkin, to liue both of them with two pence halfepeny a day, 

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This is Alice Potkin who died of starvation in Canterbury castle.

to try thereby howe well they coulde susteyne penurie and hunger, before they were put to it. For they had heard that when they shoulde bee remoued from thence to the Byshops prison, their liuynges shoulde be but three farthinges a peece a day, and dyd in deede both so liue for xiiij. dayes ere she were from thence remoued.

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The 22. day of Ianuary followyng, her husband went agayne to the Byshop, desiryng hym to deliuer his wife out of prison: but he sayd shee was an obstinate hereticke and would not be reformed, and therefore sayd that he coulde not deliuer her.

MarginaliaThe husband complayneth of his wyues brother Rog. Hall.Then sayd he: my Lord, she hath a brother whose name is Roger Hall, that resorteth vnto her. If your Lordshyp could keepe hym from her, she woulde turne: for he comforteth her, geueth her money, and perswadeth her not to returne or relent.

This occasion was not so soone geuen, but it was as quickly taken, and as cruelly put in execution. MarginaliaAlice Benden remoued to the Byshops prisō.For the Byshop commaundyng her vpon the same to a prisō called Mōdayes hole, there also hee gaue straite charge that if at any tyme her brother came, he should be taken and apprehended.

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MarginaliaThe Byshops prison described.This prison was within a Court where the Prebends chambers were, beyng a valt beneath the ground, and being before the window inclosed with a pale of height, by estimation 4. foote and a halfe, and distant from the same. 3. foote, so that she looking from beneath might only see such as stoode at the pale. After this her Brother sought often for her, wt no lesse daunger of life, then diligence. But for the vnknowē situation of the place, it beyng also, but rarely vsed for a prison, and the matter as closely kept as it was secretly done he could neuer come to vnderstand of her beyng there, vntill through Gods mercifull will and vnsearchable prouidence, he commyng thether very rath in a mornyng, her keper being then gone to the Church to ring (for he was a bell ringer) MarginaliaExample of Gods mercyfull prouidence in relieuing hys Sayntes.chaunced to heare her voyce, as she powred out vnto God her sorowful complaintes, saying the Psalmes of Dauid: & there could he none otherwise reliue her, but by puttyng money in a loafe of bread and sticking the same on a pole, and so reached it vnto her: for neyther with meate nor drinke he could susteyne her. And this was fiue weekes after her commyng thether. All the whiche tyme no creature was knowen to come at her, more then her keeper.

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Their lying in that prison was onely vpon a litle short straw, betwene a pair of stockes & a stone wall: being allowed three farthinges a day, that is, a halfe peny bread, & a farthing drinke: neither coulde shee get any more for her monye. Wherefore shee desired to haue her whole alowance in bread, and vsed water for her drinke. MarginaliaAlice Benden kept in the Byshops prison lx. weekes with bread and water.Thus did she lye ix. weekes. During all which tyme she neuer changed her apparell: whereby she be came at the last a most pitious and lothsome creature to beholde.

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MarginaliaThe affliction of Alice Benden at her first comming to prison.At her first comming into this place, she did greuously bewayle with great sorrow and lamentation, and resoned with her selfe: why her Lord God did with his so heauy Iustice suffer her to be sequestred from her louyng fellowes into so extreame misery.

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In these dolorous mornynges dyd she continue till on a night as she was in her sorowfull suppications in rehearsing this verse of the Psalme: why art thou so heauy O my soule? and agayne: The right hand of the most highest can change all: MarginaliaAlice Bendē receaueth comfort of the Lord in the middest of her myseryes.she receaued comfort in the middest of her miseries: and after that continued very ioyfull vntill her deliuery from the same.

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MarginaliaAlice Bendē called before the Byshop.About the xxv. day of March, in the yeare of our Lord. 1557. she was called before the Byshop: who demaunded of her, whether she would now go home, and go to þe church or no, promising her great fauour if she would be reformed and do as they dyd.

To whome she aunswered: MarginaliaThe answere of Alice Benden to the Byshop.I am throughly perswaded by the great extremitie that you haue already shewed me, that you are not of God, neyther can your doynges be godly and I see (sayth she) that you seke my vtter destruction, shewing how lame she then was, of cold taken, and for lacke of foode, while she lay in that paynfull prison: whereby shee was not able to moue her selfe without great payne.

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MarginaliaAlice Benden from the Byshops prison, sent to Westgate.Then dyd the Byshop deliuer her from that filthy hole, and sent her to Westgate, wheras after she had ben changed, & for a while bene cleane kept, her skinne did wholy so pille & scale of, as if she had bene with some mortall venome poysoned. Here she cōtinued til the latter end of April. At which tyme they called her before them, and with others condemned her, committyng her then to the prison called the Castle.

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