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546 [490]

Actes and Monuments Of the Churche.

moneth December, the yeare aforesaide, in the house of the honorable Syr Thomas Moore, hyghe chauncelour of Englande, in the parish of Chelsey, there beynge present the foresayde Sir Thomas Moore, Rychard Foxfard, doctour of bothe lawes, Nicolas Wylson Batchler of Diuinitie, George Broune, batcheler of Diuinitie, Priour of the couent of the order of saint Augustine in the vniuersitie, Sãpson Michael doctour of decrees, Iohn Iude, Walter Marsh, and Sebastian Hyllarie, learned men, and maister Roper and Dauncie, gentlemen, and also Richarde Gresham and Edwarde Altam, shryues of the citie of London, and me Mathewe Grefton register of the acts, the shryues receiued the forsayde Tewkesbery into their custody, and caried hym away with them, and afterwardes burned hym in Smith fielde as is aforesayde, hauing no wrytte of the kynges for their warrant. 

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According to English law, a heretic could only be burned after Chancery sent a writ authorizing the execution. Foxe claims that this did not happen in this case and, as a matter of fact, there is no surviving copy of the signification of excommunication for Tewkesbury. This is hardly conclusive. If, however, the dates Foxe gives for Tewkesbury's trial and execution are correct, then the authorities were certainly in a hurry to execute Tewkesbury; he was burned four days after he was condemned.

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¶ Iohn Randall.

NOwe 

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Foxe printed this account of John Randall in the Rerum (p. 121). The account printed in 1563 is a direct translation of the account in the Rerum, except for two changes: in the earlier account Randall died in 1526, not 1531, and he attended Trinity College, not Christ's College. (Trinity was not founded until 1546). Nicholas Harpsfield incisively questioned the details of Foxe's story, asking how a murderer could have killed Randall, place him in a noose, and then leave the room, with the door bolted from the inside? (Dialogi sex, pp. 747-48). After these criticisms, Foxe dropped his account of Randall's 'murder' from all subsequent editions.

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also it commeth vnto my remēbrance, to speake of another, one Iohn Randall my kynsman 
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Foxe's wife was Agnes Randall; John Randall was presumably his relation through marriage. Agnes Randall was very probably Foxe's source for this story.

, which through the priuie malice of diuerse, had not a far vnlike tragedicall ende & death, as Rychard Hun, before mentioned, had. This Iohn Randall, beyng a yonge scholler, in Christs colleage in Cãbrige, about the yeare of our Lord, 1531. had one Wyer to his tutor, vnto whome for the loue of the scriptures and syncere religion, he began not only to be suspect, but also to be hated. And as this was vnknowen vnto anye man, so is it also vncertayne, whether he were afterward hãged vp by him or no. Because as yet it is not come to light. But the matter happened in this sorte, the yonge man beyng studious, and scarsly xxi. yeares olde, was longe lackyng amogest his companions, at the laste after iiii. daies through the stinche of the corps his study doore beynge broken open, he was founde hanged with his owne gyrdle within the study, in suche sorte and maner, that he had his face lokyng vpon the Byble, and his fynger pointing to a place of scripture, where as predestination was intreated of. Suerly thys matter lacked no synguler and exquisite pollicie and crafte of some olde naughtie & wycked man, what soeuer he was, that did the dede, that it should seme the poore younge man through feare of predestination, to be dryuen to dispayre, and that other younge men beyng feared through that example, shoulde be kepte backe from the study of the scriptures as a thyng moste perylous. And albeit this briefe historie doo not perteyne to these tymes, yet I thought it by no meanes to be omitted, bothe for the profytable memory of the thynge, as also for the symilitude of the story, that it semeth not to be so fytte in another place. Nowe to returne to the order of our hystorie, we will prosecute those thyngs orderly, which we haue determined.

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¶ The storie of a certaine olde man of Buckingham shyre 
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Foxe has a terse report in the Rerum of an old man of Buckingham- shire being executed in 1531 for eating pork during Lent (Rerum, p. 126). Foxe's source for this episode is unknown; Bale does not mention this old man in any of his works. Perhaps Laurence Humphrey, who was Foxe's friend, a native of Buckinghamshire, and who was with Foxe in Basel, was the source for this story. In any case, the Rerum account was translated word-for-word in the 1563 edition. The story was dropped from all subsequent editions, possibly because Foxe grew unsure of this individual's existence or at least of his ability to prove it.

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.

I Haue founde in a certaine place mentiõ to be made of a certaine olde man, which for eatyng of Bacon in the Lent (dwelling in the countie of Buckingham) was condempned to the fyre and burned, in this yeare of our Lorde 1531. As touchinge his name & other circumstances whiche perteine vnto the true setting fourth of the histories, we cannot fynde or vnderstande any more. Notwithstandyng I haue thought good, not to passe ouer this matter with silence, for the memoriall of the mã hymselfe, albeit I know not his name.

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¶ The apprehension of one Edwarde Frese a Paynter. 
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It appears that Foxe's account of Edward Freeze and 'father' Bate is based on material sent to Foxe by an informant; very probably an informant in Colchester (this account contains quite a bit of detail on people from Essex and Colchester). But there is quite a bit of corroboration for Foxe's account. First of all, A. G. Dickens uncovered information on Edward Freese's family. Edward's father Frederick was a Dutch immigrant (the family name was probably Vries or de Vries), who settled in York and made a living as a bookbinder and stationer (A. G. Dickens, Lollards and Protestants in the diocese of York 1509-1558 [Oxford, 1959], p. 30). This Dutch background may explain the pronounced evangelical convictions of Valentine and Edward Freese. Another major piece of corroboration is a letter, almost certainly sent to Thomas Cromwell, which is now in the TNA. Although the signature has been cut off of the letter, the biographical details related in it fit Edward Freese so closely that is virtually certain that he wrote it. The author of the letter, detained in London for religious offences, admits that he had been a monk since the age of 13, but claims that he was 'sold' by his master to the abbot of Jervaulx (see next comment). The author of the letter declared that he attempted to flee the abbey several times but was recaptured. Finally he fled to Colchester and he got married (TNA SP 1/73, fos. 175r-176r).

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THe same Edward was borne in Yorke and was prentyse with a Paynter in Yorke, and by the reason of workynge for his maister in Bersie Abbay 

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A. G. Dickens guessed that 'Bearsie Abbey' was Bermondsey (A.G. Dickens, Lollards and Protestants in the diocese of York 1509-1558 [Oxford, 1959], p, 30). But a letter, almost certainly by Edward Freese, refers to himself as having been 'sold' to Jervaulx Abbey by his master, when he was an apprentice. And on 30 July 1532, the abbot of Jervaulx wrote to Cromwell, regarding an 'Edw. Payntter' (remember that Freese was a painter) who had been arrested for heresy and was in the custody of London. In this letter, the abbot said that 'Edw. Payntter' had fled the abbey of Jervaulx but that Jervaulx did not him returned (L&P V, p. 527).

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, or by some suche occasion was knowen vnto the Abbot of the same house, for he was a boye of a pregnãt wytte, and the Abbot fauoured hym so muche that he bought his yeares of his maister, and would haue made hym a monke. And the ladd not lyking that kynde of lyuing, and not knowyng howe to gette out, because he was a nouys. He ranne awaye after a longe space, and came to Colchester in Essex, and remayninge there according to his former vocation, was maried and lyued lyke an honest man. 
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It appears that Foxe's account of Edward Freeze and 'father' Bate is based on material sent to Foxe by an informant; very probably an informant in Colchester (this account contains quite a bit of detail on people from Essex and Colchester). But there is quite a bit of corroboration for Foxe's account.

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And after he hadd bene there a good tyme, he was hyred to paynte certayne clothes for the newe Inne in Colchester, whiche is in the middel of the market place, and in the vpper border of þe clothes he wrote certayne sentences of the scripture, and by that he was playnly knowen to be one of them whiche they call heretykes. 
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Unsurprisingly, there was probably more behind Freese's arrest than this. In a letter that he sent to Cromwell, he admitted having previously arrested for heresy, but released upon receipt of a royal pardon. Freese also denied the charge the he had led conventicles that met secretly at night (TNA SP 1/73, fo. 175r-v).

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And on a tyme he beyng at his woorke in the same Inne, they of the towne when they hadd sene his worke, went about to take hym, & the man hauing some inkling therof, thought to shift for himself, but yet he was takē forceably in the yearde of the same inne. And after this he was brought to London, and so to Fullam to the Byshoppes house, where he was cruely imprysoned, with certaine others of Essexe. This is to wytte, one Iohnson and his wyfe, & then one Wylye, his wyfe and his sonne, & one father Bate of rowshedge. And they were fed with fyne manchet, 
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Manchet was the finest kind of wheat bread [OED].

made of sawe dust or at the least a great part thereof, and as for theyr wyues or their friendes, they coulde not come at theim, and after the painter had bene there a long space, by muche sute he was remoued

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