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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1902 [1875]

Q. Mary. Persecution in Sussex. X. Martyrs. The story of Richard Woodman.

Marginalia1557. Iune.Arch. The Archdeacon asked me, whether Christ tooke not one thyng, and gaue an other?

Auns. I said, looke what he brake, he gaue vnto them, & bad them eate: and other answere I wyll make none, contrary to the word.

Arch. Then he said, he merueyled why I would not beleue them, seeing this learnyng had continued this fifteene hundred yeares: neyther yet dyd say, as other had before, how Christ dyd call it his body.

Auns. Then I sayd, when Cranmer which was here Bishop, was in authoritie, he sayd, that he dyd hold the truth, and commaunded vs to beleue hym, and he hath geuen his lyfe for his opinion, and would you haue me to beleue you, because you say, that you hold the truth? & that which makes me beleue chiefly, is the Scripture, which I am sure is the truth in deede.

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Bish. The Bishop said, he had spoken the truth, & that I would not beleue hym.

Auns. I sayd, if he dyd not now speake the truth, I was sure he had spoken the truth, for he had preached before, Doctrine cleane contrary vnto this.

Then were the rest of my articles read: which I answeared, and in euery article, we had vp this breaden God. And they sent for a candle light, and I thought they would haue condemned me, but God would not suffer their cruell hartes to haue their pleasure at that tyme: blessed be his name for euermore, Amen.

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Arch. Then the Archdeacon was angry, & began to chide with me, because I would not desire a day of the Bishop, and sayd: I was a noughty stubborne felow, and said, it had ben my duetie to haue desired hym to haue ben good to me, that I might haue a day.

Auns. Then I sayd: I haue spoken the truth, and therfore I would aske hym no day, except he would geue me a day of his owne mynd.

Commis. Then said the Commissary: Doest thou not thinke that thou mayest be deceyued, seeing he may be deceiued that hath gone to study all the dayes of his lyfe?

Auns. I sayd, Yes, I might be deceyued in that I was a man: but I was sure Gods word could not be deceyued.

Commiss. Then he prayed me to be content, and confesse that I might learne, and sayd, they would be glad to teache me.

Anns. And I said, I would be as glad to learne as any man. And thus they rose vp & went away, saying nothing.

What became of this Mathew Playse after, whether he dyed in prison, or was executed, or deliuered, I haue as yet no certayne knowledge.

¶ The historie of ten true godly Disciples, and Martyrs of Christe, burnt together in one fire at Lewes. ann. 1557. Iune 22. 
Commentary  *  Close
Richard Woodman

Almost all of Foxe's narrative of the seven martyrs burned on 22 June 1557 is devoted to Woodman and almost all of the account of Woodman is based on the martyr's own writings. In the 1563 edition, Foxe printed Woodman's accounts of his six exaninations (apparently written for the benefit of Woodman's fellow believers). He also printed Woodman's letter to Mrs Roberts. In the 1570 edition, Foxe rearranged the material he had printed in his first edition. He also added Woodman's account of his capture and second arrest on 15 March 1556. There were no changes made to this account in subsequent editions.

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Foxe's account of Woodman does not make sense unless one understands the legal context of Woodman's two imprisonments. At the beginning of 1554, Woodman publicly 'admonished' the rector of Warbleton for backsliding from the protestant teachings he had professed during Edward VI's reign. Woodman was then arrested for violating a statute (1 Mary 2 c. 3) forbidding the harassment ofclergy while they were performing their duties (see 1563, p. 1599; 1570, pp. 2189-90, 1576, p. 1875 and 1583, pp. 1948-49). Woodman was brought before two quarter sessions and, in June 1554, sent to Bishop Bonner. This was a move of dubious legality, as Bonner had no conceivable jurisdiction over Woodman; nevertheless Woodman was imprisoned in the King's Bench until November 1555. Woodman was then imprisoned in Bonner's palace while the Bishop interrogated him. Woodman had been studying the law and he pointed out that the rector of Warbleton had been married and thus, under Marian law, he was not a legitimate clergyman when Woodman had publicly denounced him.

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This technicality secured Woodman's release on 18 December 1555. Woodman then returned to his native Sussex where he became an itinerant lay preacher. Woodman's activities created a local uproar and warrants were issued for his arrest. Woodman went into hiding and then fled overseas. After his second arrest, described in Foxe, Woodman insisted that he be tried by his ordinary, the bishop of Chichester. Unfortunately for the authorities, the bishop-designate of Chichester, John Christopherson, had not been consecrated and thus could not preside over Woodman's trial. Finally, the authorities found a way around this by having the cardinal use his legatine authority to appoint Nicholas Harpsfield, the archdeacon of Canterbury, as Woodman's ordinary. Woodman was then duly tried and executed.

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MarginaliaIune. 22.IN the towne of Lewes were ten faythfull seruauntes of God put in one fire, the. xxij. day of Iune, whose names here followe. MarginaliaX. Godly Martyrs.

1.
2.
3.
4.
 
5.
 
Richard woodman.
George Steuens.
W. Maynard.
Alexāder Hosmā.
his seruaunt.
Tomasin a Wood
Maynards Mayd.
6.
7.
 
8.
9.
10.
 
Margery Morys.
Iames Morys, her
sonne.
Denys Burgis.
Ashdons wyfe.
Groues wyfe.
 

Of the which number Richard Woodman was the first. Concernyng whose apprehension first by his enimies, and of his deliuerance out of B. Boners hands, then of his second taking agayne by the procurement of his father, brother, kinsfolkes, and frends, also of his sundry examinatiōs and couragious answeres before the bishops, & lastly of his condemnation, and of his letters sent to his faithful frends, here foloweth to be declared by his owne words, and relation reported. MarginaliaThe lyfe and storye of Rich. Woodman.Which Rich. Woodman, by his occupatiō was an Ironmaker, dwelling in the Parish of Warbleton, in the Countie of Sussex, and Dioces of Chichester, of the age of thirty yeares, and somwhat more. The occasion of his first apprehension was this.

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There was one Fayrebanke, MarginaliaFayrebanke preaching contrary to hymselfe. who somtymes had ben a maryed Priest, and serued the Cure of Warbleton, where he had often perswaded the people not to credite any other doctrine but that which he thē preached, taught, & set forth in kyng Edwardes dayes. And afterward in the beginnyng of Queene Maryes raigne, the said Fayrebanke turnyng head to tayle, preached cleane contrary to that which he had before taught.

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Whereuppon Richard Woodman hearyng hym in the Church of Warbleton so to preache contrary to hym selfe, admonished hym of his inconstancie, howe before tyme

he had taught them one thyng and now an other, and desired hym to teache them the truth. For the which wordes he was apprehended, and brought before MarginaliaIustices of Sussex troublers of Richard Woodman, and what were there names.Maister Iohn Ashbornham, maister Toston, maister Culpeper, and maister Roberts, Iustices of peace in the Countie of Sussex: and by them committed to the Kynges Bench, where he continued from Iune, the space almost of a yeare and a halfe: and from thence was transferred by Doct. Story into Boners Colehouse, where he remayned the space of a moneth, before he came to examination.

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MarginaliaRichard Woodman deliuered out of his first trouble.At length, the same day, when Maister Philpot was burned, which was the. xviij. of December, he with foure other prisoners was deliuered, and set at libertie by Boner hym selfe. MarginaliaRichard Woodman agayne apprehended, and by whose meanes.Notwithstādyng shortly after he was sought for againe, and at last found out and taken by meanes of his father, brother, and certaine other his acquainted frendes, and so was sent vp againe to London to B. Boner, where he remayned in the Colehouse eight weekes. He was there sixe tymes examined, and. xxvj. tymes before, MarginaliaXXXij. examinations of Richard Woodman.so that his examinations in all were xxxij. from his first apprehension to his condemnation. 

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This is the total number of examinations for both of Woodman's imprisonments.

Touchyng the whole discourse wherof, for so muche as the matter is somthyng straunge, and wyll peraduenture scarse finde credite vpon my narration, with them which deny al thynges, that like them not to beleue, ye shal heare hym selfe speake, and testifie both of the maner of his troubles, and also his owne examinations by hym selfe recorded, in order as foloweth.

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¶ A true certificat written by Richard Woodmā of his taking, and how he was brought to the Sheriffes the 15. day of March. 1556. and how long he was in prison, and how he was there vsed, tyll he was brought before the Bishop of Chichester at blacke Fryers in London, with the order of his examinations folowing after the same.

MarginaliaThe certificate of Richard Woodman concerning the truth of his owne story and troubles.GEntle reader, here you shall perceiue how the scriptures be partly fulfilled on me, being one of the least of his poore Lambes. First you shall vnderstand, that since I was deliuered out of the Bishop of Londons handes, which was in the yeare of our Lord. 1555. and the same day that M. Philpot was burned (which was the. xviij. of December) I lay in his Colehouse 

Commentary  *  Close

I.e., in the coalhouse of Bonner's palace, which was used as an ad hoc prison for those being examined by Bonner.

eight weekes lacking but one day. And before that, I was a yere & almost a halfe in the kings Bench, after my first apprehensiō, MarginaliaThe first apprehension of Rich. Woodman. for reprouyng of a preacher in the pulpit in the parish of Warbletō, where I dwelt. Wherfore I was at two sessions before I was sent to prison, and caryed to two more Sessions while I was in prison, twice before the Bishop of Chichester, and fiue tymes before the Commissioners: and thē sent to Londons Colehouse, and many tymes called before hym, as it appereth by my examinatiens, which I wrote, the which examinations the Bishop of Chichester now hath, for they were found in my house when I was taken: wherin is conteyned al the talke which I had before thē aforenamed. Also there be in London, that had copies of the same of me, when I was in the Colehouse.

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MarginaliaRichard Woodman deliuered out of Boners handes, wyth 4. moe.And it pleased God to deliuer me with foure or more out of the butchers handes, MarginaliaWhat the Byshop required at their deliuerance.requiring nothing els of vs but that we should be honest men, & members of the true catholike Church, that was builded vpon the Prophets & Apostles, Christ being þe head of þe true church: þe which all we affirmed, that we wer mēbers of the true church, & purposed by Gods helpe therin to dye. 

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Woodman is concerned here to emphasize that he was released on a technicality and that he did not recant.

And hereupō we were deliuered: but he wylled vs many tymes to speake good of hym. And no doubt he was worthy to be praysed, because he had ben so faithful an ayd in his maister þe deuils busines. For he had burnt good M. Philpot that same mornyng, in whose bloud his hart was so drunken (as I supposed) that he could not tel what he dyd: as it appered to vs, both before & after. For but two dayes before, he promised vs that we should be cōdemned that same day that we wer deliuered: yea & the morow after that he had deliuered vs, he sought for some of vs againe, yea & that earnestly. MarginaliaB. Boner bloud thirstye.He waxed dry after his great dronkennes, wherfore he is like to haue bloud to drinke in hell, as he is worthy, if he repent it not with speede. The Lord turne al their harts, if it be his wyl.

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MarginaliaWoodman purgeth hym selfe of false sclaunder.This haue I written, chiefly to certifie al people howe we were deliuered, because many carnall Gospellers and and Papistes haue sayde, that it was prescribed that we should be so deliuered, because they thinke that God is subiect to man, & not man to God. 

Commentary  *  Close

Woodman is concerned here to emphasize that he was released on a technicality and that he did not recant.

For if they dyd, they would not blaspheme hym as they dooe, or if they thought they should geue account for it. Haue not many of them read, how God deliuered Israel out of Egypt? Daniell out of the Lyons den? Sydrach, Misaak, and Abednago out of the burnyng ouen? with diuers other such like examples?

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yea
HHHHh.iiij.
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