MarginaliaAn. 1555. February.nor euer weare the cap, as in deede he neuer dyd.
To proceede now further in describing the doinges of this man, during the time while he remayned prisoner in Newgate, he was to the prisoners beneficiall & liberall: MarginaliaProuision by M. Rogers for the prisoners.for whom he had thus deuised, that hee wyth his fellowes should haue but one meale a day, they paying notwithstanding for the charges of the whole: the other meale should be geuen to them that lacked on the other side of the prison. But MarginaliaAlexander Andrewe Gailer of Newgate, compared to Alexander the Copersmyth.Alexander their Keeper, a strayte man, and a right Alexander, a Copersmith in deede, of whose doinges more shall be sayd (God wylling) hereafter, would in no case suffer that. The Sonday before he suffred, he dronke to M. Hooper (being then vnderneath him) & bad thē cōmend him vnto him, and tell hym, there was neuer litle fellow better would sticke to a man, then he would sticke to hym, presupposing they shoulde both bee burned together: although it happened otherwyse, for M. Rogers was burnt alone. And thus much briefly concernyng the lyfe and such actes of M. Rogers, as I thought worthy noting.[Back to Top]
The account of Rogers's execution which was printed in the 1563 edition was replaced by a more detailed account in the 1570 edition.
I.e., Psalm 51. This psalm was traditionally recited by the condemned at theirexecutions.
Simon Renard, the imperial ambassador, reported in a letter written the day after Rogers's execution, that some of the spectators wept, while others prayed to God on the martyr's behalf (C.S.P. Spanish, XIII, p. 138).
Foxe is concerned to emphasize the stoicism of one of his martyrs. On the polemical importance of the stoicism of the martyrs, see Collinson (1983) and Freeman (1997). Foxe will tell a very similar anecdote about the martyr Rawlins White.
Much of the material for the life and martyrdom of Saunders had already appeared in the Rerum, including the narratives of Saunders' early life and background (although the details of Saunders' apprenticeship to Sir William Chester were only added in the second edition of the Acts and Monuments), Saunders' preaching in Northampton, his journey to London, his encounter with Sir John Mordaunt, Saunders' arrest, interrogations by Bishop Bonner and then Bishop Gardiner and his imprisonment in Newgate (Rerum, pp. 404-08). Unusually, most of the letters which Foxe mingles in with his narrative of the martyr's life also first appeared in the Rerum. The account of Saunders' visit from his wife in Newgate and his impassioned defence of the validity of his marriage and the legitimacy of his son are also in the Rerum (pp. 412-13). Saunders' examination, the anecdotes of his journey to Coventry to be executed and the details of his execution are also related in the Rerum, pp. 413-18). Most, if not all, of this material was probably gathered by Edmund Grindal's team and was almost certainly drawn, in whole or in part, from Laurence's widow Joan and the martyr's friend Lucy Harrington, who were both in living in Frankfurt (Garrett, Marian Exiles, pp. 144-7).[Back to Top]
In 1563, Foxe added details to the Rerum narrative: his description of themartyrs's diligent study and prayer, the names of Sanders' benefices, his friends and family trying to protect him in Mary's reign and his refusal to flee the country. He also added more letters of Saunders and the comparison of Saunders to Henry Pendleton. All of this indicates that on his return to England, Foxe did some further research on Saunders.[Back to Top]
In the 1570 edition, Foxe added the details of Saunders' apprenticeship to Sir William Chester (this story, which was very favourable to Chester, was probably supplied to Foxe by Chester) and the letters of Edward Saunders to his brother. Some verses and letters of Saunders were also deleted from the account of Saunders in this edition. The account of Saunders remained unaltered in the third and fourth editions of the Acts and Monuments.[Back to Top]
Some of the glosses in this section lead the reader towards an appreciation of the other-worldliness and strength of faith inherent in the act of martyrdom ('M. Saunders in prison, till he was in prison'; 'Saunders godly bequest to his wife'; 'Experience of the comfortes of Christ in prison'). The effect of this can be paradoxical, with prison being a genuine comfort to the spiritually minded. This pious, Christ-like turning the world upside-down finds its parodic twin in the characterisation of the papists and popery. Thus Bonner, in line with previous conduct, is so perverse as to see preaching the truth as treason ('Preaching of Gods word, made treason with Bishop Boner'). A nearby gloss reinforces Foxe's characterisation of him as intemperate by describing him as seeking Saunders' blood. Elsewhere, and again building on an established typology, a gloss ('He meaneth peraduenture when the Sanctus is singing for then the Organs pipe merely and that may giue some Comfort') bemoans the sensuality of the mass.[Back to Top]
The attacks on Gardiner focus on the contrast between his conduct under Mary and under her father ('A priuy nippe to Winchester'; 'Winchesters booke de vera obedientia'). This is behaviour implicitly contrasted with Saunders' constancy, which the marginal glosses emphasise ('The constant minde of a christian souldiour'; 'M, Saunders would haue no suite made for him'). There are examples of the cruelty and use of force by the catholic authorities ('Note how Winchester confuteth M. Saunders'; 'M. Saunders wife not suffered to speake with him in prison'). Saunders' constancy and his indifference to worldly pain or pleasure are ascribed to his humility and thus to his reliance on divine grace ('A notable example of the Lord comforting his seruauntes in their troubles'; 'Strength to stād in Christ, commeth not of our selues, but it is the gift of God'). The gloss 'M. Saunders put in the common gayle in Couentrye' gives a hint of a Christ-like or apostolic bearing on Saunders' part. There are also references emphasising conscience as a source of resolution and (religious) resistance ('Argument. Conscience ought neuer to stand vpon things vncertaine. Tyme and authoritye be thinges of themselues alwayes vncertayne: Ergo, conscience ought neuer to stand vpon tyme and authoritye'; 'To liue as the Scripture leadeth vs, is not to liue as we list').[Back to Top]
The shift from the previous book towards narrative and the reproduction of epistles led Foxe to increase the number of glosses referring to scriptural passages; many of these are erroneous either in terms of their variation across editions or their accuracy as scriptural references. Errors of positioning of notes also occur in this section, with the 1570 edition as usual being the most accurate.[Back to Top]
knowledge and learning very much for that time. Shortly after that, he dyd forsake the Vniuersitye, and went to hys Parentes: vpō whose aduise he mynded to become a Marchant, for that hys mother was a Gētlewoman of good estimation, being left a wyddow, and hauing a good portion for him among hys other brethren, she thought to set hym vp wealthely, & so he comming vp to London, MarginaliaMaister Saunders first bound Prentise with M. Chester.was bound Prentise with a Marchant named Syr William Chester (who afterward chaunced to bee Shieriffe of London the same yeare that Saunders was burned at Couentry). Thus by the mynde of hys friendes Laurence should nedes haue bene a Marchant, but almighty God which hath his secrete working in all things, saw better for his seruant, as it fell out in the ende. For although that Saunders was bound by fast indenture to play the Marchant, yet the Lord so wrought inwardly in his hart, that he could finde no likyng in that vocation: so that when his other fellowes were busily occupyed about that kynde of trade, he would secretly wythdraw hymselfe into some priuy corner, & there fal into his solitary lamentations as one not liking wyth that kynde and trade of lyfe.[Back to Top]
It happened that his Maister, being a good mā, & hearing hys Prentise thus in his secret prayers inwardly to mourne by hym selfe, called vnto hym, to know what þe cause was of that his solitarines & lamentatiō: who thē perceauing his mind, nothing to fantasie that kynde of lyfe (for so Saunders declared vnto him) and perceauing also hys whole purpose to be bent to þe study of hys booke and spirituall contemplation, like a good mā directed his letters incontinently vnto his frends, and geuing hym hys Indenture, so set hym free. MarginaliaMaister Saunders appointed to the trade of Marchandise, could not away with that kind of life.And thus Laurence Saūders, being rauished with the loue of learning, and especiallye wyth the reading of Gods word, taryed not long time in the trafficke of marchandise, but shortly returned to Cambridge agayne to hys study. MarginaliaMaister Saunders from marchandise returneth to his study. Where he began to couple to the knowledge of the Latin, the study of the Greeke toung, wherein hee profited in small tyme very much: Therewith also he ioyned the study of the Hebrue. Then gaue he him self wholy to the study of the holy scripture, to furnish him selfe to the office of a Preacher.[Back to Top]
In study he was diligent and paynfull: in godly lyfe he declared the fruites of a wel exercised conscience. He prayed oftē and with great feruour, and in his praiers as also at other times, he had hys part of spiritual exercises, which hys hartye sighing to God declared. In which when any speciall assault dyd come, by praier he felt present reliefe: then was hys companye marueylous comfortable. For as hys exercises were speciall teachinges, so in the ende they proued singular consolations: wherin he became so experte, that within short space hee was able to comfort other which were in any affliction, by the consolation wherewith the Lord dyd comfort hym. Thus continued he in the Vniuersitye, tyll he proceeded Maister of Arte, & a long a space after.[Back to Top]
In the begynnyng of kyng Edwardes raigne, when Gods true Religion was begon to be restored, after licence obteined, he began to preach, and was so well lyked of them which thē had authoritie, that MarginaliaMaister Saunders reader in the Colledge of Fothringa.they appointed him to read a Diuinitie lecture in the Colledge at Fothringa. Where, by doctrine and life he edified the the godly, drew many ignoraunt to Gods true knowledge, and stopped the mouth of þe aduersaries. He maried about that tyme, and in the maried estate led a lyfe vnblameable before all men. The Colledge of Fothringa beyng dissolued, MarginaliaSaunders after reader at Lichfield.he was placed to be reader in the Minster at Lichefield: where he so behaued hym selfe in teachyng and liuyng, that the very aduersaryes did geue him a ful report as wel of learning as of much godlynes. After a certaine space he departed frō Lichefield to a benefice in Leycester shyre, called Churchlangton, wherupon he keepyng residence, taught diligently, and kept a liberall house. From thence he was orderly called to take a benefice in the Citie of London,[Back to Top]