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AshfordGravesend
 
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Ashford
Ashford, Ashforde
NGR: TR 010 428

A parish in the hundred of Chart and Longbridge, lathe of Scray, county of Kent. 20 miles south-east by east from Maidstone. The living is a vicarage in the Archdeaconry and Diocese of Canterbury.

English information from Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England (S. Lewis & Co: London, 1831)

Scottish information from Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (S. Lewis & Co: London, 1846)

Welsh information taken from Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales(Lewis & Co: London, 1840)

The reason for the use of these works of reference is that they present the jurisdictional and ecclesiastical position as it was before the major Victorian changes. The descriptions therefore approximate to those applying in the sixteenth century, after the major changes of 1535-42. Except for the physical locations, which have not changed, the reader should not therefore take these references as being accurate in the twenty-first century.

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Gravesend
Grauesend
NGR: TQ 654 745

Not identified

English information from Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England (S. Lewis & Co: London, 1831)

Scottish information from Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (S. Lewis & Co: London, 1846)

Welsh information taken from Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales(Lewis & Co: London, 1840)

The reason for the use of these works of reference is that they present the jurisdictional and ecclesiastical position as it was before the major Victorian changes. The descriptions therefore approximate to those applying in the sixteenth century, after the major changes of 1535-42. Except for the physical locations, which have not changed, the reader should not therefore take these references as being accurate in the twenty-first century.

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829 [805]

K. Henry 8. The trouble and death of Iohn Browne martyr. Richard Hunne.

badges, during theyr lyues, or so long as it should please their Ordinary to appoynt, and not to leaue them off, vpō paine of relaps, vntill they were dispensed withall for the same. The breach of this iniunction was esteemed to be of no small weight, and yet the matter well & throughly considered, it seemeth by their cōfessions, they were both therunto by necessitie enforced. MarginaliaThe cruell rigor of the Catholike clergy against the professours of the Gospell.For the one, named Sweting, being for feare of the Bishops cruelty cōstrained to wander the countreys to get his poore liuing, came at length vnto Colchester, where by the parson of the parish of Mary Magdalen, he was prouoked to be þe holy water clarke, and in that consideration had that infamous badge first taken away from him. The other (which was Brewster) leaft off his, at the commandement of the Controller of the Earle of Oxfordes house: who hiring the poore man to labour in the Earles houshold busines, woulde not suffer him, working there, to weare that counterfait cognisaunce any longer: so that (as I said) necessity of liuing seemeth to compell both of them at the first to breake that iniunction: and therfore if charitie had borne as great sway in þe harts of the Popes Clergy, as did crueltie, this trifle would not haue bene so heinously taken, as to be brought against thē for an article and cause of condemnation to death. But where tirannie once taketh place, as well all godly loue, as also all humane reasons & duties are quite forgotten. Well, to be short, what for þe causes before recited, as also for that they had once already abiured, and yet (as they terme it) fel againe into relaps, they were both (as you haue hearde) in the ende burned together in Smithfielde: MarginaliaSubmission would not be taken of the charitable catholikes.althoughe the same parties (as the Register recordeth) did againe before their death, fearefully forsake their former reuiued cōstancie, and submitting themselues vnto the discipline of the Romish Church, craued absolution from their excommunication. Howbeit, because many of the Registers notes & records 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 trier of all truthes) and the external iudgemēt vnto the godly and discrete reader: Not forgetting yet by the way (if that the report shoulde be true) vpon so iust an occasion to charge that catholique clergy & their wicked lawes, with a more shameles tirannie & vncharitable cruelty thē before. MarginaliaNo mercy in the popes Church.For if they nothing stay theyr bloudy malice towards such as so willingly submit themselues vnto their mercies: what fauour may the faithfull and constant professours of Christ looke for at their hāds. 

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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 pitiful and louing admonitiō, (or rather precept) of our Sauiour Christ (whose true and only Church they so stoutly bragge to be) who in the 17. chapt. of S. Luke, sayth: 
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Luke 17:3-4.

Though thy brother sinne against thee seuen times in a day, and seuen times in a day turne to thee, saieng, It repenteth me: thou shalt forgiue him. But what go I about to allure them vnto the folowing of the rule and counsaile of him, vnto whose worde and Gospell they seeme most open and vtter enemies? Wherefore, not purposing to stay any longer thereupon, I will leaue thē vnto the righteous reuengemēt of the Lord, whereunto let vs now heere adioine the story of one Iohn Browne, a good Martir of the Lord burnt at Ashford, about this fourth yeare of King Henry the eight, whose story heereunder foloweth.

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¶ Iohn Browne father to Richard Browne, which Richard was in prison in Canterbury, and should haue bene burned with two more besides himselfe, the next day after the death of Queene Mary, but by the proclaiming of Queene Elizabeth, they escaped.

MarginaliaIoh. Brown burned in Asheforde about the 4. yeare of king Henry 8.THe occasion of the first trouble 

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This section on John Browne first appeared in the 1583 edition.It is an abridged version of an account that had first appeared in 1570 (p. 1480). Thelonger account was reprinted in the 1583 edition (1583, pp. 1292-3), along with thisshorter account. Thus the 1583 edition had longer and shorter versions of this narrative printed almost 500 pages apart. The reason for this confusion is compli-cated. In the 1570 edition, Foxe had first printed a description of the proceedings against John Browne, drawn from Archbishop Warham's register (1570, pp. 1453-1455). Further on in the same edition, Foxe also printed the longer account of thisnarrative (1570, p. 1480). This narrative was derived not from official records, butas Foxe notes, was related to him by Browne's daughter Alice. Both of theseaccounts, the one from the register and the one from Alice Browne, were inserted into Foxe's book as it was being printed, consequently neither account appears in1511, when Browne's trial and execution actually took place. They were reprinted,in the same chronologically inaccurate locations in Foxe's text, in the next two editions (1576, pp. 1239-41 and 1255; 1583, pp. 1276-7 and 1292-3). However, Foxe then added this shorter version of Alice Browne's narrative, without, however, removing the longer version. This probably happened because Foxe decided to move the account of John Browne to its proper chronological place and decided to shorten it in the process. But for some reason, he neglected to remove the long version and also, more understanably, overlooked the account derived from Warham's register. As a result, there are three separate accounts of John Browne scattered across the pages of the 1583 edition (1583, pp. 805, 1276-77 and 1292-3) and all subsequentunabridged editions.

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of this Iohn Browne, was by a priest sitting in Grauesend barge. I. Brown being þe same time in the barge, came & sate hard by hym, wherupon after certain cōmunicatiō, the Priest asked him, doest thou know (said he) who I am, thou sitst too neere me, thou sitst on my clothes. No sir (said he) I know not what you are. I tell thee I am a Priest. What sir, are yee a Person or Vicar, or a Ladies Chaplen. No (quoth he) againe, I am a soule priest, I sing for a soule, saith he. Do ye so sir quoth the other, that is well done. I pray you sir, (quoth he) where find you þe soule when you go to Masse. I can not tel thee, said the Priest. I pray you where do you leaue it sir whē the Masse is done. I can not tell thee sayde the Priest. Neither can you tell where you finde it when you go to Masse, nor where you leaue it when the Masse is done, how can you then haue the soule said he. Go thy waies said þe Priest, thou art an heretike, and I will be euen with thee. So at the landing, the Priest taking wt hym Water More, and William More, two Gentlemen breethren, rode straightwaies to the Archb. Warham, wherup-pon the said Iohn Browne within three daies after, his wife being churched the same day, & he bringing in a messe of pottage to the boord to his guests, was sent for, and hys feete bound vnder his own horse, MarginaliaChilten of wey, a Baily arrant, and one Beare of Wilselborough with 2. of the Byshops seruantes set him vpon the horse, and so carried him away. & so brought vp to Cant. neither his wife, nor he, nor any of his, knowing whether he went, nor whether he should. And there continuing frō Lowsonday 
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Low Sunday is the first Sunday following Easter. In 1511, this was 27 April.

to þe friday before Whitsonday, not knowing to his wife all this while where he was. He was set in the stockes ouer night, and on the morrow went to death, and was burned at Ashford, an. 1517. 
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Browne was burned in 1511; this is probably a simple typographicalerror.

The same night as he was in the stocks at Ashford, where he & his wife dwelt, his wife then hearing of him, came & sate by him al þe night before he should be burned, to whom he declaring þe whole story how he was handled, shewed & told how þt he coulde not set his feete to the ground, for they were burned to the bones, 
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If Browne was indeed totured in this manner, it was grossly illegal.But it should be remembered that this story passed from Browne's wife to theirdaughter to Foxe and none of these parties had any interest in minimizing Browne'ssufferings.

and told her how by the two Bishops, Warham, & Fisher, his feet were heat vpon the whote coales, & burnt to the bones, to make me said he to deny my Lord, which I will neuer do, for if I should deny my Lord in this world, he would hereafter denie me. I pray thee, said he, therefore good Elizabeth, continue as thou hast begon, and bring vp thy childrē vertuously & in the feare of God, & so þe next day on Whitsonday euē, this godly Martir was burned. Stāding at þe stake this praier he made holding vp his hands,

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O Lord I yeeld me to thy grace,

Graunt me mercy for my trespasse,

Let neuer the feend my soule chase,

Lord I will bow, and thou shalt beate,

Let neuer my soule come in hell heate.

Into thy hands I commend my spirit, thou hast redeemed

me O lord of truth, and so he ended.

Ex testimonio Aliciæ Browne eius filiæ, cuius mariti nomen dicebatur strat. in parochia S. Pulchri.

At the fire, the said Chilten the Bayly Arrant, bade cast in his children also, for they would spring (sayd he) of hys ashes.

This blessed Martyr Iohn Browne had borne a fagot seauen yeares before in the daies of King Henry the 7. 

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If correct, this would mean Browne had abjured in 1504. But it iscertainly incorrect. At his trial, Browne stated that 'he was abjured bifore my lordMorton, cardinal and archebisshop of Canterbury…xii teares past' (Kent HeresyProceedings, 1511-12, ed. Norman Tanner, Kent Records 26 [Maidstone, 1997],p. 48). This would place his abjuration around 1499. Archbishop Morton died in1500.

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As it is the propertie of Sathā euer to malice the prosperous estate of the Saintes of God, & true professours of Christ: so ceasseth he not continually to styrre vp his wicked mēbers to the effectuall accomplishyng of that which his enuious nature so greedily desireth: if not alwayes openly by colour of tyrannicall lawes, yet (at the leastwise) by some subtill practise of secret murther. Which thing doth most playnly appeare not onely in a great number of the blessed Martyrs of Christes Churche, mentioned in this booke, but also, and especially in the discourse of this lamētable history that now I haue in hand, concernyng the secrete & cruell murderyng of Richard Hunne, whose story here consequently ensueth, decerped and collected partly out of the Registers of London, partly out of a Bill exhibited and denounced in the Parliament house.

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¶ The story 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

MarginaliaRichard Hunne martir.THere was in the yeare of our Lord. 1514. MarginaliaAnno. 1514. one Richard Hunne marchaūt Taylour, dwelling within the Citie of London, & freeman of the same, who was esteemed during his lyfe, & worthely reputed and taken, not onely for a man of true dealyng, and good substaunce, but also for a good Catholicke mā. This Richard Hunne had a child at nourse in Middlesex in the Parish of S. Mary Matsilon, which dyed: by the occasion wherof one Thomas Drifield Clerke, beyng Parson of the sayd Parish, sued þe sayd Richard Hunne in the spirituall Court for a bearyng sheete, which the sayd Thom. Drifield claymed vniustly to haue of the sayd Hunne for a mortuary for Steuē Hunne, sonne of the sayd Richard Hunne: which Steuē beyng at nourse in the sayd Parish, dyed 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 aūswered him agayne, that for asmuch as the child had no proprietie in the sheete, he therfore neither would pay it, nor the other ought to haue it. Whereuponnū 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 pretēded right, ascited him to appeare in the spirituall Court, there to aūswere the matter. Whereupon the sayd Rich. Hunne beyng troubled in the spirituall Court, was forced to seeke coūsell of the learned in the law of this lād, & pursued a writ of Premunire agaynst the sayd Thomas Drifield, and other his ayders, counsellers, proctors, and adherents, as by the proces therof is yet to be sene. Which whē the rest of the Priestly order heard of, greatly disdaynyng that any lay man should so boldly enterprise such a matter against any of thē, & fearing also, that if they should now suffer this Priest to be cōdēned at the sute of Hunne, there would be therby euer after, a libertie opened vnto all others of the laity to do the like with the rest of the Clergy in such like cases: they straightwayes, both to stop this matter, and also to be reuenged of him, for that he had already done, sought all meanes they possibly could, how to

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entrap
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