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803 [779]

K. Henry. 8. Persecution in Lond. Dioces. W. Sweting and I. Brewster martyrs.

MarginaliaAgainst transubstantiation and corporall presence in the sacrament. the new Scholemen, was counted as most heynous heresie. There were other thinges besides obiected against them: as the readyng of certaine forbydden bookes, and accompanying with such persons as were suspected of heresie. But one great and heynous offence counted amongest the rest, was their putting & leauyng of the painted fagots, whiche they were at their first abiuryng, enioyned to weare, as badges, duryng their lyues, or so long as it shoulde please their Ordinary to appoynt, and not to leaue them of, vpon paine of relaps, vntyll they were dispensed withall for the same. The breach of this iniunction was esteemed to be of no smal weight, and yet the matter wel and throughly considered, it seemeth by their confessions, they were both therunto by necessitie enforced. MarginaliaThe cruel rigour of the Catholike clergy agaynst the true professors of the gospel For the one, named Sweting, beyng for feare of the Bishops cruelly constrained to wander the countreys to get his poore lyuing, came at length vnto Colchester, wher by the parson of the Parishe of Mary Magdelene, he was prouoked to be þe holy water clark, and in that consideration had that infamous badge first taken away from him. The other (which was Brewster) leaft of his, at the commaundement of the Controller of the Earle of Oxfordes house: who hiryng the poore man to labour in the Earles houshold busines, woulde not suffer him, workyng there, to weare that counterfait cognisaunce any longer: so that (as I said) necessitie of lyuing seemeth to compel both of them at the first to breake that iniunction: and therfore if charitie had borne as great sway in the hartes of the Popes clergie, as dyd crueltie, this trifle woulde not haue bene so heynously taken, as to be brought agaynst them for an article and cause of condemnatiō to death. But where tyrannie once taketh place, aswel al godlye loue, as also al humane reason and duties are quite forgotten. Wel, to be short, what for the causes before recited: as also for that they had once already abiured, and yet (as they terme it) fell againe into relaps, they were both (as you haue hearde) in the ende burned together in Smythfielde: althoughe the same parties (as the Register recordeth) dyd againe before their death, fearfully forsake their former reuiued constancie, and submitting them selues vnto the discipline of the Romish church, craued absolution from their excommunication. MarginaliaSubmission would not be taken of the charitable catholikes. Howbeit, because many of the Registers notes and recordes in such cases may rightly be doubted of, and so called into questiō, I refer the certaine knowledge hereof vnto the Lord (who is the tryer of all truthes) and the external iudgement vnto the godly and discrete reader: Not forgettyng yet by the way (if that the report shoulde be true) vpon so iust an occasion to charge that catholique clergie & their wicked lawes, with a more shameles tyranny and vncharitable crueltie thē before. For if they nothing stay their bloudy malice towardes such as so willingly submit them selues vnto their mercyes: what fauour may the faithfull and constant professours of Christ loke for at their hands? 

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Note Foxe's strenuous (and inaccurate) efforts to deny that Sweetingand Brewster had recanted despite archival records showing that they had. Noticealso how Foxe's argument has it both ways: it was probably a lie that Sweeting and Brewster had recanted, but if they had they had recanted and were burned neverthe-less, it demonstrated how cruel the Catholic prelates were.

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I might here also aske of them how they folow the pitifull and louyng admonition, (or rather precept) of our Sauiour Christ (whose true and onely church they so stoutly bragge to be) who in the. 17. chap. of S. Luke saith: 
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Luke 17:3-4.

Though thy brother sinne against thee seuen tymes in a day, and seuen tymes in a day turne to thee, saying, It repenteth me: thou shalt forgeue hym. MarginaliaNo mercy in the popes church. But what go I about to allure them vnto the folowing of the rule & counsaile of him, vnto whose word and Gospel they seeme most open and vtter enemies? Wherefore not purposing to staye any longer thereupon, I wyl leaue them vnto the righteous reuēgement of the lord.

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As it is the propertie of Satan euer to malice the prosperous estate of the saintes of God, and true professours of Christ: so ceasseth he not continually to styrre vp his wicked members to the effectuall accomplishing of that whiche his enuious nature so greedily desireth: if not alwayes openly by colour of tirannicall lawes, yet (at the leastwise) by some subtyl practise of secret murther. Which thing doth most plainly appeare, not only in a great number of the blessed martyrs of Christes churche, mentioned in this booke, but also, and especially in the discourse of this lamentable historie that nowe I haue in hande, concernyng the secrete and cruel murdering of Richard Hunne, whose storie here consequently ensueth, decerped and collected partly out of the Registers of London, partly out of a byll exhibited and denounced in the Parliament house.

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¶ The storie of Richard Hunne. 
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Richard Hun

The case of Richard Hunne was notorious long before Foxe set pen to paper. It was a controversey that rocked both London and the English Church and an enormous amount of ink has been spilled over it, from the sixteenth century to the present. In the process, scholars have unearthed a great deal of information about the case and its background that was unknown to Foxe.

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In March 1511, Richard Hunne's five-week-old son Stephen died at the house of hisnurse in Whitechapel. The child was buried in St. Mary Matfelon, the local church.Afterwards, the rector, Thomas Dryffeld demanded, as was his customary right, thechristening gown in which the boy's body was wrapped, as the mortuary fee. (A mortuary fee was a clerical tax which entitled the clergy to claim the most valuableitem among the deceased's possessions in return for conducting his or her funeral. Usually a monetary fee, negotiated by both sides, was paid in lieu of the item). Although the the fee Dryffeld demanded was customary, and Hunne who was wealthy, could easily afford it, Hunne refused to pay it. We know now - but Foxe had only an inkling of this - that this was only one of a number of conflicts thatHunne had had with the London clergy (see Brigden, London, pp. 98-99 for details).

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Hunne's wife was born Anne Vincent and it is possible - although there is no proof ofthis - that she was a daughter or other relative of Thomas Vincent, a leading LondonLollard (Brigden, Lollard, p. 103). Whatever the truth of this, Hunne had, at a minimum, Lollard sympathies. One of the articles charged against him at his posthumous heresy trial was that he had declared that Joan Baker - who was forced todo public pennance for her outspokenly heretical beliefs in 1511 - held correct viewsand that the bishop of London was more worthy of punishment than Baker. Witnesses would later testify that Hunne owned forbidden Lollard works (John Fines,'The Post-Mortem Condemnation of Richard Hunne', JEH 78 [1963], pp. 528-31).

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Thomas Dryffeld took Hunne to the Archbishop of Canterbury's court for the mortuary fee and the court ruled in his favour on 12 May 1512. On 27 December1512, Hunne left his own parish of Bridge Street, and attended vespers at St MaryMatfelon. Henry Marshall, Dryffeld's chaplain, denounced Hunne as accursed andstopped the service. Hunne sued Marshall for slander on 25 January 1513. Then, in Hilary term 1513, Hunne (who had still not paid the mortuary fee) brought a praemunire action brought against Dryffeld, Archbishop Warham and other clergyinvolved his case (S.C. F. Milsom, 'Richard Hunne's Praemunire', EHR 76 [1961],pp. 80-82. The Statute of Praemunire, among other things, made it treasonable totry a case in a church court which should have been tried in a royal court). In October1514, while the slander and praemunire cases were pending in King's Bench, Hunne was charged with heresy and taken to Lollard's Tower. On 2 December Hunne was examined by Bishop Fitzjames on charges of heresy. On 4 December his body wasdiscovered hanging from a beam in his cell. The church maintained that Hunne committed suicide. Yet there was widespread suspicion that Hunne had been murder-ed, particularly because one of Hunne's gaolers, Charles Joseph, fled and went into hiding on 10 December. A day later - very possibly in reaction to Joseph's flight - a posthumous heresy trial of Hunne began. Hunne was found guilty on 16 December and his body was burned at Smithfield four days later.

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Meanwhile, in February 1515, the coroner's jury determined that Hunne had been murdered, and named William Horsey, Fitzjames's chancellor as well as Charles Joseph and Charles Spalding, Hunne's gaolers (and summoners for Bishop Fitzjames)as suspects. By early January, Joseph, who had taken sanctuary in Essex, was arrested and imprisoned in the Tower, along with Spalding. In April, Fitzjames ignited a political firestorm by writing a letter to the London civic authorities, accusing them of being maliciously determined to condemn his chancellor out of hand and defending Horsey's innocence. Fitzjames also pleaded with Wolsey to persuade the king to intervene and save Horsey. In November 1517, Henry VIII issued orderedthe Crown attorney to find Hunne not guilty (W. R. Cooper, 'Richard Hunne', Reformation 1 [1996], pp. 221-51). According to Thomas More, the indictments against Joseph and Spalding were also quashed by royal command (More, DialogueConcerning Heresies, CWTM, VI, 1, p. 326).

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As a suicide and a condemned heretic, Hunne's property was forfeit. Attempts weremade to remedy for this. In 1515, two bills were introduced in Parliament: one torestore the propert Hunne forfeited as a heretic to his children and the other to have his death declared a murder. Both bills were defeated by the Lords. In May, 1523,however, Parliament did pass a bill restoring Hunne's property to his children. HenryVIII commanded Horsey to pay for the compensation to Hunne's family. As Hunne'sestate had been substantial (Foxe estimates it at around £1500, not counting jewelery and plate), this imposed a crippling financial burden on Horsey;.

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The best accounts of the Hunne affair are Brigden, London, pp. 98-103, Cooper, 'Richard Hunne', pp. 221-51 and Peter Gwyn, The King's Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of Thomas Wolsey (London, 2002), pp. 34-41. Cooper believes that Hunne was murdered and Gwyn argues that he was a suicide. Richard Marius has also forcefullyargued that Hunne was murdered, although his discussion contains some significant factual errors (Richard Marius, Thomas More [London, 1984], pp. 123-41).

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Foxe's first account of the Hunne affair is in the Rerum. This is drawn from Hall's chronicle, although Foxe paraphrased and summarized it (cf. Rerum, pp. 119-21 withEdward Hall, The unyon of the twoo noble and illustre families of Lancastre and York[London, 1550], STC 12723a, fos. Lr-LVv). On the other hand, the account of Hunne in 1563 is a virtually word-for-word reprinting from Hall. (Hall's account, in turn, was a reprinting of a pro-evangelical tract, The enquirie and verdite of the quest paneld at at the death of R. Hune [Antwerp?, 1539?], STC 13970 There is no evidence, however, that Foxe even knew of this tract. Significantly, when pressed by Harpsfield on a factual detail, Foxe responded by citing Hall as his source [1570, p. 939]).

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In 1566, Nicholas Harpsfield attacked Foxe's account of Hunne (Dialogi sex, pp. 847-849). Harpsfield's attacks and Foxe's defence will be discussed below but,for now, suffice it to say that Harpsfield's criticisms drove Foxe to investigate theaffair in more detail. In 1570, Foxe added more information, notably background onHunne's praemunire suit, Hunne's examination for heresy and his post-humous trial for heresy as well as mention of parliamentary and royalsecure compensation for Hunne's family. It is very likely that all of thisinformation came from Dunstan Whaplod, Hunne's grandson. Foxe declared thatthe material on the efforts to secure restitution for the Hunne family and 'all the braunches and particular evidences' of the Hunne case were 'taken out as well of thepublique actes, as of the Byshopes registers and speciall recordes, remainyng in thecustody of Dunstan Whapplot the sonne of the daughter of the sayd Richard Hunne'(1570, p. 936). From what Foxe declares, Whaplod had secured not only the materialregarding the compensation to his family, he also acquired some of the episcopalrecords regarding the Hunne case. These do not survive in Bishop Fitzjames's register and they were probably kept in a separate courtbook. Since Foxe states thatthey remained in Whaplod's hands, the martyrologist probably did not keep them. And in this edition Foxe also added a rebuttal to Harpsfield's attacks on his accountof Hunne.

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But Foxe not only added to his original account of Hunne, he also subtracted from it.All of the depositions from the coroner's inquest, except that of Julian Littell, wasomitted from the 1570 edition, almost undoubtedly as part of the ongoing effort tosave on paper. Two of the depositions, those of Allen Cresswell and RichardHorsenail, were, however, restored in the 1583 edition.

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Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield

MarginaliaRich. Hun martyr.
1514.
THere was in the yeare of our Lorde. 1514. one Richard Hunne marchaunt Taylor, dwellyng within the citie of London, and freeman of the same, who was estemed during his life, and worthily reputed and taken, not onely for a man of true dealyng, and good substaunce, but also for a good catholicque man. This Richard Hunne had a childe at nourse in Middlsex in the Parish of S. Mary Matsilon, which dyed: by the occasion wherof one Thomas Drifield clerke, beyng parson of the said Parishe, sued the saide Richard Hunne in the Spiritual courte for a bearing sheete, which the said Thomas Drifield claymed vniustly to haue of the said Hunne for a mortuarie for Steuen Hune, sonne of the said Richard Hunne: which Steuen being at nourse in the said parish, died being of the age of. v. weekes and not aboue. 

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The details and background to Hunne's praemunire suit were unknown to other sixteenth-century writers, yet they have been corroborated in the twentieth century by the discovery of the record of Hunne's suit (S. C. F. Milsom, 'Richard Hunne's Praemunire', EHR 86 [1961], pp. 80-2). Foxe probably learned the background to the praemunire suit from Dunstan Whaplod, Hunne's grandson.

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Hunne answeared him againe, that for asmuch as the childe had no proprietie in the sheete, he therefore neither would paye it, nor the other ought to haue it. Whereupon the priest moued with a couetous desire, 
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It is far more likely that Dryffeld was forced, as a matter of principle, not to overlook Hunne's challenge to the custom of collecting mortuary fees.

& loth to lose his pretended right, ascited hym to appeare in the spirituall court, there to answeare the matter. Whereupon the sayd Richard Hunne beyng troubled in the spiritual court, was forced to seke counsel of the learned of the law of this land, and pursued a writ of Premunire against the said Thomas Drifield, and other his ayders, counsellours, proctours, and adherentes, as by the proces theref is yet to be seene. Which when the rest of the priestly order heard of, greatly disdaynyng that any lay man shoulde so boldly enterprise suche a matter against any of them, & fearing also, that if they shold now suffer this priest to be condemned at the sute of Hūne, there would be thereby euer after, a libertie opened vnto all others of the laitie to do the like with the rest of the Clergie in such like cases: MarginaliaThe despitefull demeanor of the popes holy catholikes to be noted they straightwayes, both to stop this matter, and also to be reuenged of hym, for that he had already done, sought all meanes they possibly could, howe to entrap and bring hym within the daūger of their own cruell lawes: and therupon making secret and diligent inquisition, & seeking al corners they could against him, at length they found a meanes how to accuse him of heresie vnto Richard Fitziames then Bishop of London and so dyd: 
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This statement assumes that the clergy only charged Hunne with heresy because of the praemunire suit. The opposite could also be true: that Hunne initiated the suit, as pre-emptive strike, because he suspected that heresy charges might be brought against him.

MarginaliaRich Hunne cōmitted to Lollardes tower. Who (desirous to satisfie the reuengyng and bloudy affection of his chaplaynes) caused therupon hym to be apprehended and committed vnto prison within the Lolards Tower at Paules, so that none of his freendes might be suffered to come to hym. Thus Richard Hunne beyng clapt in the Lolardes Tower, shortly after, at the earnest instigation of one Doctour Horsey the Bishops Chauncelour, (a man more redy to preferre the Clergies cruel tyrannie, then the truth of Christes Gospel) was brought before the Bishop at his manour of Fulham, the second day of December, in the yeare before mencioned: where within his Chappel he examined hym vpon these Articles folowing, collected against hym by the sayd Horsey and his complices.

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MarginaliaThe Articles obiected agaynst Rich. Hunne. First, that he had read, taught, preached, published, and obstinately defended, agaynst the lawes of almighty God: that tythes, or paying of tythes was neuer ordeyned to be due, sauyng onely by the couetousnesse of priestes.

2 Item, that he had read, taught, preached, published, and obstinatly defended: that Bishoppes and Priestes be the Scribes and Pharisees that dyd crucifie Christ, and damned hym to death.

3 Item, that he had read, taught, preached, &c: that Bishops and Priestes be teachers and preachers, but no doers, neyther fulfillers of the lawe of God. But catching, rauenyng, and al thinges taking, and nothing ministring neither geuyng.

4 Item, where and when one Ioanne Baker was detected and abiured of many great heresies (as it appeareth by her abiuration) the said Richard Hunne said, published, taught, preached, and obstinately tooke vpon hym, saying that he would defend her and her opinions, if it cost hym fyue hundred markes.

5 Item, afterwardes (where and when the said Ioanne Baker after her abiuratiō, was enioyned open penaunce according to her demerites) the sayd Richard Hun sayd, published, taught, and obstinately dyd defend her, saying: the Bishop of London and his officers haue done open wrong to the sayd Ioanne Baker, in punishing her for heresie: for her sayinges and opinions be according to the lawes of God: Wherfore the Bishop and his officers are more worthy to be punished for heresie, then shee is.

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6 Item, that the said Richard Hunne hath in his keping diuers English bookes, prohibited and damned by the law: as the Apocalyps in English, Epistles and Gospels in English, Wickleffes damnable workes, and other bookes conteyning infinite errours, in the whiche he hath bene long tyme accustomed to reade, teach, and study dayly. 

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Detailed evidence on this point was presented at Hunne's posthumous trial for heresy; see John Fines, 'The Post-Mortem Condemnation for Heresy of Richard Hunne', EHR 78 (1963), pp. 530-1.

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Particular answeare vnto these seueral obiections. in the Register I finde none, sauyng that next vnder them, there is written in his name with a contrarye hande, these wordes folowyng: As touching these Articles, I haue not spoken them as they be here layd: Howbeit, vnaduisedly I haue spoken wordes somewhat soundyng to the same: for the whiche I am sory, and aske God mercy, and submit me vnto my Lordes charitable & fauorable correction. MarginaliaThis aunswer smelleth of forging and crafty packing. Which they affirme to be written with Hunnes owne hande: but

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