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 TextCommentary on the Woodcuts
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1939 [1912]

Q. Mary. 4. Martirs burned at Islyngtō. Marg. Thurstō, Agn.Bngeor.

MarginaliaAnno. 1557. September.ligion, he thought he should dye a true Martyr. And moreouer finding himselfe agreued with the Byshops priuy and secret condemninges of Gods people, hee sayd vnto him in this sort: My Lord, because the people should not see and behold your doinges, ye cause me and others to bee brought to our examinations by night, beyng afrayd (belike) to doe it by day.

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The Bishop not greatly caring for this talke, proceded to examine him of other matters, amōgest which this high and waighty thing was one, videlicet, how he did like the order and rites of the Church then vsed here in England.

To whom he said, that he euer had and yet then did abhorre the same with all his hart.

Then diuers of the Byshops complices entreated and perswaded hym to recant, and aske mercy of the Byshop.

No (quod Roth) I will not aske mercy of him that can not geue it. MarginaliaThe condemnation of Richard Roth.Whereupon he was (as the rest before mencioned) condemned, and deliuered vnto the

MarginaliaThe Martyrdome of Rafe Allertō, Iames Austoo, Margerie Austoo, Richard Roth, at Islyngton. Anno. 1557. September. 17.¶ Foure Martyrs burned at Islington.
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This woodcut (Type 1), with its correct representation of three men and one woman praying and signalling with raised hands, was for martyrs who ended their lives 'most joyfully'. Its single subsequent reuse was inappropriately for four men burned two years later at 'S. Edmunds Bury' (Bury St Edmunds).

Shriffe. And the xvij. day of September they all most ioyfully ended their lyues in one fire at Islington, for the testimonie of Christ, as before is declared.

¶ Agnes Bongeor, and Margaret Thurston, 
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Agnes Bongeor and Margaret Thurston

Margaret Thurston was the wife of John Thurston, who died in prison (see 1563, p. 1611; 1570, p. 2202; 1576, p. 1900 and 1583, p. 2009.

two godly Christian women, burnt at Colchester for the sincere professing of Christes Gospell.  
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In 1563, Foxe printed an account of the martyrdoms of Bongeor and Thurston which was based on a letter to Bonner from the baliffs of Colchester and on testimony from individuals about Bongeor's readiness to die and about Thurston's temporary backsliding. In the 1570 edition, Foxe added Joan Cook's testimony about the postponement of Thurston's martyrdom. But in the same edition, Foxe deleted the letter to Bonner, which explained why Bongeor's execution was postponed; instead Foxe merely replaced it with a short explanation of Bongeor's temporary reprieve. The account remained unchanged in subsequent editions.

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MarginaliaSeptember. 17. MarginaliaMargaret Thurston, Agnes Bongeor, Martyrs.A Little before (gentle reader) was mention made of tenne that suffred Martyrdome at Colchester pag. 1897. at which tyme there were twoo other women also, one called Margaret Thurstō, and the other Agnes Bongeor, that should haue suffred with them, and were likewise condemned at the same time and place that the other aboue named tenne were, for the like cause, and aunswered also in their examinations the like in effect as the other did. But the one, namely Margaret Thurston, that morning she should suffer with those that went from the Castle, was for that time deferred. What þe cause was, the testimonie of Ioane Cooke shall declare vnto vs. Which Ioane Cooke, the wife now of Iohn Sparke beyng then in the Castell of Colchester for religion, did demaund of this widow Thurston, MarginaliaA note of Margaret Thurstō. whose husband dyed in the prison being imprisoned for religion, wherfore the sayd Margaret beyng a condemned woman,

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should be reserued, whē the other suffered in the Castel Baily. She aunswered, that it was not for any feare of death, but beyng prepared as the rest were that suffered the same day, she felte in her self a great shiuering and trembling of the fleshe. Wherupon forsaking the company she went aside to pray. And whilest she was a praying, she thought that she was lifted vp with a mighty winde that came roūd about her. Euen at that instant came in the Iayler and company with him, and whilest she turned her selfe to fetch her Psalter, they tooke the other prisoners and left her alone. MarginaliaThe Martyrdome of Margaret Turstō, and Agn. Bōgeor deferred, for what causes.Shortly after she was remoued out of the Castell and put into the towne prison: where she continued vntill Fridaye seuennight after her company were burnt. That day, not twoo howers before her death, she was brought to the Castell agayne, where she declared thus much to the aforesayd Ioane Cooke.

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The other, named Agnes Bongeor, who should haue suffered in like maner with the vi. that went out of Motehall, was also kept backe at that time, but not in like sort, because her name was wrong writtē within the writ, 

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Foxe is referring to the writ from chancery authorizing the execution of a particular heretic. In Agnes Bongeor's case the writ was defective and her execution had to be postponed until the mistake in the writ was corrected. The privy council fined the sheriff of Essex £10 for this error (APC VI, p. 144).

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Word of this reprieve may have reached Foxe in exile. In the Rerum, Foxementioned an unnamed Essex woman who was providentially saved from burning because a court official was unable to pronounce her last name (Rerum, p. 636). If this is a garbled account of Agnes Bongeor, then, in 1559, Foxe does not seem to have realized that her reprieve was temporary.

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as in the Bayliffes letters of Colchester, sent to Boner about the same, more plainly doth appeare in the booke of our former edition. pag. 1632.

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The same morning, the second of August, that the sayd sixe in Motehall were called out to goe to theyr Martyrdome, was Agnes Bongeor also called wyth them, by the name of Agnes Bowyer. MarginaliaThe name of Agnes Bōgeor mistaken. Wherefore the Bayliffes vnderstanding her (as I sayd) to be wrong named within the writ, commaunded the sayd Agnes Bongeor to prison againe, as ye haue heard in the letter before named, and so from Mote Hall that day sent her to the Castel, where she remayned vntill her death. But when she saw her selfe so separated from her sayd prison fellowes in that sort, Oh good Lord what pitious mone that good woman made, how bitterly she wept, what straunge thoughtes came into her mynde, how naked and desolate she estemed her selfe, and into what plunge of dispayre and care her poore soule was brought, it was pitious and wonderfull to see: which all came because she wēt not with them to geue her life in the defence of her Christ: For of all thinges in the world, life was least looked for at her hādes. For that morning in whiche she was kept backe from burning, had she put on a smocke that she had prepared only for that purpose: And also hauing a childe, a litle young infant sucking on her, whom she kept with her tenderly all the tyme she was in prison, agaynst that day likewise did she send it away to an other nurse, and prepared her selfe presently to geue her self for the testimony of þe glorious Gospel of Iesus Christ. MarginaliaAgnes Bōgeor troubled for not sufferyng with her companie. So litle did she looke for life, and so greatly did gods giftes worke in her aboue nature, that death seemed a great deale better welcome then life. But this tooke not effect at that time as she thought it would, and therfore (as I sayd) was she not a litle troubled.

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Beyng in thys great perplexitie of mynde, a frend of hers came to her, and required to know whether Abrahams obediēce was accepted before God for that he did sacrifice his sonne Isaac, or in that hee would haue offered him. Vnto which she aunswered thus: I know (quod she) that Abrahams will before God was allowed for the deede, in that he would haue done it, if the Angell of the Lord had not stayed him: but I (sayd she) am vnhappy, the Lord thinketh me not wothy of this dignitie, and therefore Abrahams case and myne is not alike.

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Why (quod her frend) would ye not willingly haue gone with your companie, if God should so haue suffered it?

Yes (sayd she) with all my hart, and because I did not, it is now my chiefe and greatest griefe.

Then said her frend: my deare sister, I pray thee cōsider Abraham and thy self well, & thou shalt see thou doost nothing differ with him in will at all.

Alas (quod she) there is a farre greater matter in Abraham then in me: For Abraham was tried with the offering of his owne child, but so am not I, and therfore our cases are not like.

Good sister (quod her frend) way the matter but indifferently. Abraham I graunt (sayd he) would haue offered his sonne: & haue not you done the like in your litle sucking babe? But consider further then this, my good sister (sayd he) where Abraham was commaunded but to offer his sonne, you are heauy & greued because you offer not your selfe: which goeth somewhat

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