Thematic Divisions in Book 11
1. The Martyrdom of Rogers 2. The Martyrdom of Saunders 3. Saunders' Letters 4. Hooper's Martyrdom 5. Hooper's Letters 6. Rowland Taylor's Martyrdom 7. Becket's Image and other events 8. Miles Coverdale and the Denmark Letters 9. Bonner and Reconciliation 10. Judge Hales 11. The Martyrdom of Thomas Tomkins 12. The Martyrdom of William Hunter 13. The Martyrdom of Higbed and Causton 14. The Martyrdom of Pigot, Knight and Laurence 15. Robert Farrar's Martyrdom 16. The Martyrdom of Rawlins/Rowland White17. The Restoration of Abbey Lands and other events in Spring 155518. The Providential Death of the Parson of Arundel 19. The Martyrdom of John Awcocke 20. The Martyrdom of George Marsh 21. The Letters of George Marsh 22. The Martyrdom of William Flower 23. The Martyrdom of Cardmaker and Warne 24. Letters of Warne and Cardmaker 25. The Martyrdom of Ardley and Simpson 26. John Tooly 27. The Examination of Robert Bromley [nb This is part of the Tooly affair]28. The Martyrdom of Thomas Haukes 29. Letters of Haukes 30. The Martyrdom of Thomas Watts 31. Mary's False Pregnancy32. Censorship Proclamation 33. Our Lady' Psalter 34. Martyrdom of Osmund, Bamford, Osborne and Chamberlain35. The Martyrdom of John Bradford 36. Bradford's Letters 37. William Minge 38. James Trevisam 39. The Martyrdom of John Bland 40. The Martyrdom of Frankesh, Middleton and Sheterden 41. Sheterden's Letters 42. Examinations of Hall, Wade and Polley 43. Martyrdom of Christopher Wade 44. Nicholas Hall45. Margery Polley46. Martyrdom of Carver and Launder 47. Martyrdom of Thomas Iveson 48. John Aleworth 49. Martyrdom of James Abbes 50. Martyrdom of Denley, Newman and Pacingham 51. Martyrdom of John Newman52. Richard Hooke 53. Martyrdom of William Coker, et al 54. Martyrdom of George Tankerfield, et al 55. Martyrdom and Letters of Robert Smith 56. Martyrdom of Harwood and Fust 57. Martyrdom of William Haile 58. George King, Thomas Leyes and John Wade 59. William Andrew 60. Martyrdom of Robert Samuel 61. Samuel's Letters 62. William Allen 63. Martyrdom of Thomas Cobb 64. Martyrdom of Catmer, Streater, Burwood, Brodbridge, Tutty 65. Martyrdom of Hayward and Goreway 66. Martyrdom and Letters of Robert Glover 67. Cornelius Bungey 68. John and William Glover 69. Martyrdom of Wolsey and Pigot 70. Life and Character of Nicholas Ridley 71. Ridley and Latimer's Conference 72. Ridley's Letters 73. Life of Hugh Latimer 74. Latimer's Letters 75. Ridley and Latimer Re-examined and Executed76. More Letters of Ridley 77. Life and Death of Stephen Gardiner 78. Martyrdom of Webb, Roper and Park 79. William Wiseman 80. James Gore 81. Examinations and Martyrdom of John Philpot 82. Philpot's Letters 83. Martyrdom of Thomas Whittle, Barlett Green, et al 84. Letters of Thomas Wittle 85. Life of Bartlett Green 86. Letters of Bartlett Green 87. Thomas Browne 88. John Tudson 89. John Went 90. Isobel Foster 91. Joan Lashford 92. Five Canterbury Martyrs 93. Life and Martyrdom of Cranmer 94. Letters of Cranmer 95. Martyrdom of Agnes Potten and Joan Trunchfield 96. Persecution in Salisbury Maundrell, Coberly and Spicer 97. William Tyms, et al 98. Letters of Tyms 99. The Norfolk Supplication 100. Martyrdom of John Harpole and Joan Beach 101. John Hullier 102. Hullier's Letters 103. Christopher Lister and five other martyrs 104. Hugh Lauerocke and John Apprice 105. Katherine Hut, Elizabeth Thacknell, et al 106. Thomas Drury and Thomas Croker 107. Thomas Spicer, John Deny and Edmund Poole 108. Persecution of Winson and Mendlesam 109. Gregory Crow 110. William Slech 111. Avington Read, et al 112. Wood and Miles 113. Adherall and Clement 114. A Merchant's Servant Executed at Leicester 115. Thirteen Burnt at Stratford-le-Bow116. Persecution in Lichfield 117. Hunt, Norrice, Parret 118. Martyrdom of Bernard, Lawson and Foster 119. Examinations of John Fortune120. John Careless 121. Letters of John Careless 122. Martyrdom of Julius Palmer 123. Agnes Wardall 124. Peter Moone and his wife 125. Guernsey Martyrdoms 126. Dungate, Foreman and Tree 127. Martyrdom of Thomas More128. Examination of John Jackson129. Examination of John Newman 130. Martyrdom of Joan Waste 131. Martyrdom of Edward Sharpe 132. Four Burnt at Mayfield at Sussex 133. John Horne and a woman 134. William Dangerfield 135. Northampton Shoemaker 136. Prisoners Starved at Canterbury 137. More Persecution at Lichfield
 
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Edward Stanley

(1508 - 1572)

3rd earl of Derby [DNB]

Edward Stanley accompanied Mary to Westminster Abbey for her coronation on 1 October 1553 (1570, p. 1635; 1576, p. 1395; 1583, p. 1466.)

He was a signatory to a letter from the privy council to Bonner, dated 27 November 1554, informing him that Mary was pregnant and ordering him to have prayers and Te Deums said throughout his diocese (1563, pp. 1014-15; 1570, p. 1647; 1576, p. 1405; 1583, pp. 1475-76.)

Stanley summoned George Marsh to Lathom House, his residence, and examined him there. 1570, p. 1732; 1576, p. 1479; 1583, p. 1562.

He detained Marsh at Lathom House, in harsh conditions, but after examining Marsh a second time he believed that Marsh would recant and ordered that he be well treated. 1570, p. 1734; 1576, p. 1479; 1583, p. 1562.

Stanley interrogated Marsh formally in Lancaster Castle. During the session, the earl told Marsh that he had never consented to the laws of Edward VI concerning religion. 1570, p. 1734; 1576, p. 1481; 1583, p. 1564.

Bishop Bourne declared that Bradford had caused much trouble with his letters, as had been reported by the earl of Derby. 1563, p. 1186, 1570, p. 1783, 1576, p. 1523, 1583, p. 1606.

Gardiner, on the subject of Bradford's allegedly seditious letters, referred to a report given by the earl of Derby. Bradford claimed that he had been denied paper, pen and ink. 1563, p. 1190, 1570, p. 1786, 1576, p. 1525, 1583, p. 1609.

It was intended that Bradford be handed to the earl of Derby and burned in Manchester, but these original plans were altered and he was burned in London. 1563, p. 1199, 1570, pp. 1789-90, 1576, p. 1528,1583, p. 1611.

 
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George Cotes

Bishop of Chester (1554 - 1555) (DNB)

George Cotes was presented to the bishopric, January 1554 (1570, p. 1636; 1576, p 1396; and 1583, p. 1467).

He re-established catholic services and ceremonies. 1570, pp. 1735-36; 1576, p. 1470 [recte 1482]; 1583, p. 1565.

He imprisoned George Marsh in the episcopal palace. 1563, p. 1119; 1570, pp. 1731 and 1735-36; 1576, pp. 1478 and 1470 [recte 1482]; 1583, pp. 1561 and 1565.

He examined Marsh several times and worked earnestly, through both coercion and persuasion, to force him to recant. 1563, pp. 1119-20; 1570, pp. 1736-37; 1576, pp. 1470 [recte 1482]-77 [recte 1483]; 1583, pp. 1565-66.

Cotes condemned Marsh but he delayed reading the sentence in order to give him a last chance to recant. When Marsh refused, Cotes read the sentence and said that he would no longer pray for him. 1563, pp. 1120-21; 1570, pp. 1737-38; 1576, p. 1477 [recte 1483], 1583, p. 1566.

After Marsh's execution, Cotes preached a sermon denouncing Marsh as a heretic. He was subsequently stricken with a fatal venereal disease as divine retribution. 1563, p. 1122; 1570, p. 1738; 1576, p. 1484; 1583, p. 1567.

George Cotes died before Queen Mary. 1563, p. 1707, 1570, p. 2301, 1576, p. 1992, 1583, p. 2101.

[Foxe calls him 'Coates' and calls the diocese of Chester, 'Westchester'.]

 
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George Marsh

(1515? - 1555)

Farmer, curate and martyr [DNB]

Foxe recounts his early life. 1563, pp. 1118-19; 1570, p. 1731; 1576, p. 1478; 1583, p. 1561.

George Marsh refused to flee and surrendered to the authorities. 1570, pp. 1731-32; 1576, pp. 1478-79; 1583, pp. 1561-62.

He was examined and questioned by the earl of Derby. 1570, pp. 1732-35; 1576, pp. 1479-81; 1583, pp. 1562-64.

He was imprisoned at Latham House, the earl of Derby's residence. 1570, p. 1735; 1576, pp. 1481-1470 [recte 1482]; 1583, p. 1565.

He was imprisoned at Lancaster. 1563, p. 1119; 1570, pp. 1735-36; 1576, p. 1470; 1583, p. 1565. Marsh was supplied with meat and drink during his imprisonment by the mayor of Lancaster. 1570, p. 1646; 1576, p. 1440 [recte 1404]; 1583, p. 1475.

Marsh was examined by Bishop Cotes of Chester. 1563, pp. 1120-21; 1570, pp. 1736-37; 1576, pp. 1470 [recte 1482]- 1477 [recte 1483]; 1583, pp. 1565-66.

His final appearance before Bishop Cotes and condemnation: 1563, pp. 1120-21; 1570, pp. 1737-38; 1576, pp. 1477 [recte 1483]-1484; 1583, p. 1566.

Foxe recounts his martyrdom and posthumous denunciation as an heretic by Bishop Cotes. 1563, pp. 1121-22; 1570, p. 1738; 1576, p. 1484; 1583, pp. 1566-67.

His letters: 1563, pp. 1128-35; 1570, pp. 1735-48; 1576, pp. 1484-91; 1583, pp. 1567-74.

 
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John Alcock

(d. 1555)

Shearman. Of Hadleigh, Suffolk [although not a native]. [See John Craig, Reformation, Politics and Polemics, The Growth of Protestantism in East Anglian Market Towns 1500-1610 (Aldershot, 2001), p. 173.]

After Richard Yeoman was driven away from Hadleigh, Alcock used to read a chapter and say the litany in Hadleigh church. Arrested, he was taken to London and died in Newgate prison. 1563, p. 1067; 1570, p. 1694; 1576, p. 1445; 1583, p. 1520.

John Alcock did not remove his cap during the procession, for which action Newall called for the constable to arrest Alcock. 1563, p. 1563, 1570, p. 2245, 1576, p. 1939, 1583, p. 2046.

Robert Rolfe was an honest constable, and asked Newall why he was so enraged by Alcock. 1563, p. 1563, 1570, p. 2245, 1576, p. 1939, 1583, p. 2046.

Newall insisted that Rolfe place Alcock in the stocks. Rolfe said that he would bail him and not to put him in the stocks. 1563, p. 1563, 1570, p. 2245, 1576, p. 1939, 1583, p. 2046.

Rolfe later met with Alcock and told him that he was sorry for him. 1563, p. 1563, 1570, p. 2245, 1576, p. 1939, 1583, p. 2046.

Rolfe feared that Newall would be cruel to Alcock because of Newall's dislike of Rolfe. 1563, p. 1563, 1570, p. 2245, 1576, p. 1939, 1583, p. 2046.

Rolfe took Alcock to appear before Newall who committed him to prison. 1563, p. 1563, 1570, p. 2245, 1576, p. 1939, 1583, p. 2046.

Alcock was imprisoned in squalid conditions and died there. 1563, p. 1564, 1570, p. 2245, 1576, p. 1939, 1583, p. 2046.

His body was cast out and buried in a dunghill. 1563, p. 1564, 1570, p. 2245, 1576, p. 1939, 1583, p. 2046.

His first epistle. 1563, p. 1664, 1583, p. 2146.His second epistle. 1563, pp. 1664-66, 1583, p. 2147.

[Although he was not burned, note that Foxe none the less refers to him as a 'martyr'.]

[NB: Foxe states that a John Awcocke died in prison on 2 April 1555 and was buried in the fields. 1563, p. 1117; 1570, p. 1731; 1576, p. 1478; 1583, p. 1561].

[Also referred to as John Awcocke]

 
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Laurence Saunders

(d. 1555) [DNB]

Martyr.

Saunders' life and career are described. 1563; pp. 1037-38; 1570, pp. 1664-65; 1576, p. 1420; 1583, pp. 1493-94.

Laurence Saunders preached in Northampton, soon after Mary's accession, denouncing 'Antichrist's errors'. He was arrested and released. He came to London, despite warnings to the contrary. 1563, pp. 1038-39; 1570, p. 1665; 1576, pp. 1420-21; 1583, p. 1494.

On 15 October 1553, Saunders preached at Allhallows, Bread Street, denouncing the mass as an abomination. On the same day he was summoned by Bonner, interrogated, and committed to the Marshalsea. 1570, p. 1636; 1576, p. 1396; 1583, p. 1466; also 1563, p. 1039; 1570, p.1665; 1576, p. 1421; 1583, pp. 1494-95.

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He was interrogated by Gardiner and imprisoned. 1563, pp. 1041-42; 1570, pp. 1665-66; 1576, p. 1421; 1583; p. 1495.

It was rumoured in May 1554 that he, along with Bradford and John Rogers, would participate in a disputation to be held at Cambridge (1570, p. 1639; 1576, p. 1399; 1583, p. 1469).

Saunders was one of the signatories to a letter of 8 May 1554 protesting against the proposed disputation. The letter is printed in 1563, pp. 1001-3; 1570, pp. 1639-41; 1576, pp. 1399-1400; 1583, pp. 1469-71).

Saunders was one of the authors of a petition to Philip and Mary asking them for a chance to defend, in public debate, the Edwardian religious reforms (1570, p. 1656; 1576, p. 1413; 1583, p. 1483).

His letters and examinations: 1563, pp. 1040-47; 1570, pp. 1666-70; 1576, pp. 1421-25; 1583, pp. 1495-98.

Saunders was excommunicated at 6am on 23 January 1555. 1563, p. 1191, 1570, p. 1787, 1576, p. 1526, 1583, p. 1609.

Saunders was examined and condemned by Stephen Gardiner on 30 January 1555. 1570, p. 1655; 1576, p. 1412; 1583, p. 1483; also see 1570, p. 1699; 1576, p. 1450; 1583, pp. 1523-24.

He was degraded, conveyed to Coventry and executed there. 1563, pp. 1047-48; 1570, pp. 1665-66; 1576, p. 1421; 1583, p. 1495.

Saunders is contrasted with Henry Pendleton. 1563, p. 1049; 1570, p. 1671; 1576, p. 1426; 1583, pp. 1499-1500.

Additional letters: 1570, pp. 1671-74; 1576, pp. 1426-29; 1583, pp. 1500-2.

Lawrence Saunders was imprisoned in the Marshalsea at the same time as Bradford was imprisoned [in the King's Bench] and often met with Bradford at the back of the prison. 1563, p. 1174, 1570, p. 1780, 1576, p. 1521, 1583, p. 1604.

His martyrdom was referred to in Bradford's letter to the university town of Cambridge. 1563, pp. 1178-80, 1570, pp. 1808-09., 1576, p. 1545, 1583, p. 1627.

He received a letter from Bradford. 1563, p. 1194, 1570, p. 1815, 1576, pp. 1550-51, 1583, p. 1633.

He received another letter from Bradford. 1576, p. 1551, 1583, p. 1634.

Saunders was described as a faithful witness of Christ by Robert Glover in a letter to his wife. 1563, pp. 1273-80, 1570, pp. 1886-89, 1576, pp. 1615-19, 1583, pp. 1710-12.

Grindal wrote to Ridley from his exile in Frankfort, to which letter Ridley replied. Ridley mentioned that he knew that Ferrar, Hooper, Rogers, Taylor of Hadleigh, Saunders and Tomkins had all been martyred, as had Cardmaker the day before he wrote the letter. 1570, pp. 1901-02, 1576, pp. 1628-30, 1583, pp. 1729-30.

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Letter to evangelicals in Lichfield [BL, Harley 416, fos.13v-16r. Printed in LM, pp. 182-88.]

 
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Robert Austen

Of Cartham, Kent

Austen testified to the accuracy of the story of Thomas Nightingale's sudden death. 1570, p. 1731; 1576, p. 1478; 1583, p. 1561.

 
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Robert Barton

(1525-80)

Gentleman of Smithhills Hall, Deane, Lancashire

Barton ordered his servants to apprehend George Marsh. Marsh surrendered to Barton, and Barton ordered him to surrender himself to the Earl of Derby the next day. 1570, pp. 1731-32; 1576, pp. 1478-79; 1583, pp. 1561-62.

[NB: Robert Barton was regarded, in 1564, as being hostile to the Elizabethan settlement; see Bindoff, Commons sub 'Barton, Andrew' and 'Barton, Ralph'].

 
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Robert Horneby

Gentleman. Servant and groom to Elizabeth during Mary's reign.

Robert Horneby was examined by the privy council about his religion in April 1555, and was then imprisoned in the Marshalsea. 1583, p. 1561.

Horneby was committed to the Marshalsea for refusing to attend mass. 1570, p. 2288, 1576, p. 1975, 1583, p. 2082.

He was delivered from condemnation by Dr Martin. 1570, p. 2288, 1576, p. 1975, 1583, p. 2082.

[Horneby fled into exile, appearing in Frankfurt by 1577 (Garrett, Marian Exiles).]

[See C. S. Knighton, Calendar of State Papers Domestic, Mary I, no.816 and Acts of the Privy Council 5, p. 119.]

 
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Robert Marsh

Robert Marsh was ordered to bring George Marsh to Robert Barton. 1570, p. 1711; 1576, p. 1478; 1583, p. 1561.

 
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Roger Wrinstone

A servant to Robert Barton

Roger Wrinstone led a search to apprehend George Marsh. 1570, p. 1731; 1576, p. 1478; 1583, p. 1561.

 
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Sir Nicholas Hare

(1495 - 1557)

Judge. Eldest son of John Hare of Homersfield, Suffolk, by Elizabeth Fotescue, his wife. [DNB] Master of the Rolls (1553 - 1557) MP for Downton, Wiltshire (1529), Norfolk (1539 - 1540), Lancaster (1544 - 1545). Speaker of the House (1539 - 1540) (DNB; Bindoff)

Sir Nicholas Hare was one of the recipients of the proclamation from Philip and Mary authorising the persecution of protestants. 1563, p. 1561, 1570, p. 2155, 1576, p. 1862, 1583, p. 1974[incorrectly numbered 1970].

On 15 April 1555, Hare was ordered by the privy council to interrogate William Flower and also to have Bishop Bonner and the Middlesex JPs initiate proceedings against Flower. 1583, p. 1561.

Sir Nicholas Hare wrote a letter to Edmond Tyrrell in June 1555. 1563, p. 1245, 1570, p. 1864, 1576, p. 1596, 1583, p. 1683.

Edmond Tyrrel wrote to one of the queen's commissioners stating that he had received a letter from that [unnamed] commissioner and Sir Nicholas Hare via John Failes on 12 June 1555. 1563, p. 1245, 1570, p. 1864, 1576, p. 1596, 1583, p. 1683.

A letter was sent by the commissioners to Bonner requesting examination of the accused members of the London sacramentaries. The letter was dated 2 July 1555 and signed by Nicholas Hare, William Roper, Richard Rede, and William Cooke. 1563, p. 1250, 1570, p. 1868, 1576, p. 1599, 1583, p. 1689. [Hare sent ten Newgate prisoners to be examined by Bonner: Elizabeth Warne, George Tankerfield, Robert Smith, Steven Harwood, Thomas Fust, William Haile, George King, John Wade, Joan Lashford.] 1570, p. 1878, 1576, p. 1608, 1583, p. 1702.

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Thomas Leyes was sent to Newgate by Sir Nicholas Hare. 1570, p. 1878, 1576, p. 1608, 1583, p. 1702.

[Hare was not a knight, but both Foxe and the Privy Council Register mistakenly call him 'Sir' (cf. APC V, p. 115). The overseers to Hare's will were the outspoken conservatives Sir Edward Waldegrave and Sir John Baker; his three sons were all Elizabethan recusants (Bindoff, Commons).]

 
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Sir Thomas Cornwallis

(1518/19 - 1604)

MP [1547, 1553, 1554, 1558], Sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk (1552 - 1530, Comptroller of the Royal Household (1557 - 1558). (DNB; Bindoff

On 15 April 1555, Cornwallis was ordered by the Privy Council to interrogate William Flower and also to have Bishop Bonner and the Middlesex JPs initiate both religious and secular proceedings against William Flower. 1583, p. 1561.

Sentence against six martyred at Brentford was read by Darbyshire in the presence of Sir Edward Hastings and Sir Thomas Cornwallis. 1563, p. 1669, 1570, p. 2241, 1576, p. 1935, 1583, p. 2039.

The sheriff, Sir Thomas Cornwallis, made a bill against William Brown. 1570, p. 2268, 1576, p. 1958, 1583, p. 2065.

After Wyatt's rebellion, he went to see Elizabeth at Ashridge and found her to be unwell. 1563, p. 1711, 1570, p. 2288, 1576, p. 1982, 1583, p. 2091.

Foxe refers to his repair to London out of Essex with Clinton and others. 1563, p. 1707, 1570, p. 2301, 1576, p. 1992, 1583, p. 2101.

[A recusant in Elizabeth's reign (Bindoff).]

 
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Thomas Woodgate

Of Chedington, Kent [APC V, p. 110]

The privy council ordered Thomas Woodgate's arrest for clandestine preaching on 1 April 1555. 1583, p. 1561.

[Foxe calls him 'Thomas Wodgate' or 'Wodgat']

 
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William Flower

(d. 1555)

Monk, priest, schoolteacher and martyr

Foxe recounts William Flower's life and career. 1563, p. 1135 [recte 1134]; 1570, p. 1746; 1576, p. 1491; 1583, pp. 1573-74.

Flower attacked, with a knife, a priest celebrating mass at St Margaret's, Westminster, on Easter Sunday 1555. 1563, p. 1135 [recte 1134]; 1570, p. 1746; 1576, p. 1491; 1583, p. 1574.

He was interrogated by Robert Smith, a fellow prisoner in Newgate, about his actions. 1563, pp. 1135 [recte 1134]-44 [recte 1135]; 1570, pp. 1746-47; 1576, pp. 1491-92; 1583, p. 1574.

On 15 April 1555, the privy council ordered that Flower be interrogated about a sign he wore. They also ordered that Bishop Bonner proceed against him for heresy and the Middlesex JPs proceed against him for shedding blood in a church. On 22 April, the council issued a writ for Flower's execution, together with an order that his hand be cut off first. 1583, p. 1561.

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Flower was interrogated by Bishop Bonner on 19 April 1555; Foxe prints articles presented to him and his answers. 1563, pp. 1135 [recte 1134] and 1144 [recte 1135]-37; 1570, pp. 1746 and 1747-48; 1576, pp. 1491 and 1492-93; 1583, pp. 1574 and 1575-76.

Bonner urged Flower to recant; when Flower refused, his answers to his articles were read back to him. Flower amended the record to express his contrition at having stabbed the priest, but refused to change his denial of transubstantiation. 1563, p. 1137; 1570, p. 1748; 1576, p. 1493; 1583, pp. 1575-76.

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On 20 April 1555, Flower was again brought before Bonner. Depositions of witnesses to Flower's assault were taken. Bonner condemned Flower and degraded him from the priesthood. 1563, pp. 1137-38; 1570, pp. 1748-49; 1576, p. 1493; 1583, pp. 1576-77. [The depositions of the witnesses are printed in 1563 and 1583, but not in 1570 and 1576.]

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Flower was burned at Westminster on 24 April 1555. 1563, pp. 1139 and 1733; 1570, p. 1749; 1576, pp. 1493-94; 1583, pp. 1576-77.

 
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William Marsh

Farmer of Bolton, Lancs.

William Marsh was ordered to bring George Marsh to Robert Barton at Smithhills Hall. 1570, pp. 1731 and 1732; 1576, p. 1479; 1583, pp. 1561-62.

George Marsh tried unsuccessfully to get William excused from escorting him to the earl of Derby. 1570, p. 1732; 1576, p. 1479; 1583, p. 1562.

 
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William Maynard

(d. 1557)

Of Ashridge [APC V, p. 110]

The privy council ordered William Maynard's arrest for clandestine preaching on 1 April 1555. 1583, p. 1561.

 
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William Roper

(1495/96 - 1578)

Of Lynsted. JP, MP (1529, 1545, 1547, 1553, 1554, 1555, 1558). Sheriff of Kent (1554 - 1555). Son-in-law to Sir Thomas More and author of a celebrated biographical sketch of More (DNB; Bindoff).

William Roper was one of the recipients of the proclamation from Philip and Mary authorising the persecution of protestants. 1563, p. 1561, 1570, p. 2155, 1576, p. 1862, 1583, p. 1974[incorrectly numbered 1970].

Roper was originally included in the Commission of the Peace for Middlesex in 1555, but his name was deleted. [SP11/5, no. 6]

On 1 April 1555, the Privy Council ordered Roper to arrest Thomas Woodgate and William Maynarde for clandestine preaching. 1583, p. 1561.

On 7 April Roper was ordered to arrest a man from Harwich, who went about with a boy, preaching from place to place. 1583, p. 1561. [NB: Foxe is mistaken in saying that the order was to arrest one Harwich; see APC V, p. 110].

After Master Roper of Lynsted talked with the judges, it was decided that John Bland should be returned to Maidstone until the Greenwich sessions of 18-19 February. 1563, p. 1223, 1570, p. 1847, 1576, p. 1581, 1583, p. 1668.

A letter was sent by the commissioners to Bonner requesting examination of the accused members of the London sacramentaries. It was dated 2 July 1555 and signed by Nicholas Hare, William Roper, Richard Rede, and William Cooke. 1563, p. 1250, 1570, p. 1868, 1576, p. 1599, 1583, p. 1689.

Roper escorted John Wade to his burning in July 1555. 1576, p. 1600, 1583, pp. 1679-80.

Philpot's first examination was before Cholmley, Roper, Story, and one of the scribes of the Arches at Newgate Hall, 2 October 1555. 1563, pp. 1388-90, 1570, pp. 1961-62, 1576, pp. 1688-89, 1583, pp. 1795-96.

Philpot's second examination was before Cholmley, Roper, Story and Cook and the scribe on 24 October 1555. 1563, pp. 1390-92, 1570, pp. 1962-64, 1576, pp. 1689-91, 1583, pp. 1797-98.

[In a letter that was never delivered] Green told Philpot of his presentment on 17 November before Bonner and two bishops, Master Dean, Roper, Welch, John Harpsfield, and two or three others. Dr Dale, Master George Mordant and Master Dee [not listed here as Dr] were also there. 1563, p. 1460, 1570, p. 2023, 1576, p. 1744, 1583, p. 1852.

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Roper took part in the examination of several prisoners in Colchester on 19 October 1557. 1563, p. 1610, 1570, p. 2202, 1576, p. 1900, 1583, p. 2008.

The sixth and last examination of Richard Woodman took place before Chichester, William Roper, Nicholas Harpsfield, the fat priest, Winchester and others. 1563, 1599-1601, 1570, p. 2192-94, 1576, p. 1892-93, 1583, pp. 2000-02.

Elizabeth Young's fourth examination was before Bonner, Roger Cholmley, Cooke, Dr Roper of Kent, and Dr Martin. 1570, pp. 2270-71, 1576, pp. 1959-60, 1583, pp. 2066-67.

 
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Bolton
NGR: SD 712 088

Parish in the hundred of Salford, county Palatine of Lancaster, comprising the market town of Bolton, five chapelries, nine townships and one hamlet. 43 miles south-south-east from Lancaster. The living is a discharged vicarage in the Archdeaconry and diocese of Chester, in the patronage of the Bishop of Chester.

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

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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Cartham [Chartham]
NGR: TR 111 551

A parish in the hundred of Felborough, Lathe of Scray, county of Kent, 3.5 miles south-west by west from Canterbury. The living is a rectory in the Archdeaconry and diocese of Canterbury, in the patronage of the Archbishop.

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

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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Chester
NGR: SJ 404 665

A city and county of itself, locally in the hundred of Broxton in the County Palatine of Chester, of which it is the capital. 17 miles south from Liverpool. The city comprises the parishes of St Bridget, St John Baptist, Little St John, St Martin, St Peter, St Michael and St Olave; all in the Archdeaconry and Diocese of Chester, of which it is the seat.

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

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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Deane [Dean]
NGR: SD 852 256

 
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Smethehilles [not found, possibly Smethwick]
NGR: SJ 805 635

Smethwick is a township in the parish of Brereton, hundred of Northwich, county Palatine of Chester. 4 miles north-east by east from Sandbach.

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

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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1585 [1561]

Queene Mary. The examination and persecution of George Marsh Martyr.
The Description of a Popish Priest, who when he had taken away the glory and office of Christ, fell downe sodenly, and dyed.

MarginaliaAnno 1555. Aprill.

woodcut [View a larger version]

Commentary on the Woodcuts  *  Close
Like the burning of John Lawrence (1583, p. 1543) this image belongs to the small group of single-column cuts that were narrative and specific. The exemplary image of the popish priest of 'Crondall' (i.e. Crundale, Kent, in the diocese of Canterbury) illustrates the punishment that was visited on the preacher for applying words of St John to his papal bull of pardon. The depiction implies passive inertia on the part of the congregation who heard this message, rosaries in hand. But the church in which they sit has the features of a reformed building. Here and elsewhere (compare the burning of Tomkins' hand) the illustrators depict white glass with distinctive oval quarries, and in this case the plain windows, together with the pulpit, represent a properly reformed church. In fact St Mary's, Crundale, still has some fragments of its medieval stained glass.

MarginaliaThe sodayne death of one Nightingall Parson of Crondall in Kent, who was made by the Cardinalls authoritye chiefe Penitentiary of that Deanry.vpon the same fel sodenly down out of the Pulpit, and neuer stirred hand nor foote, and so lay he. Testified by Rob. Austen of Cartham, 

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Nightingale was not named in the 1563 edition; instead he was identified, or misidentified, as the parson of 'Arundall in Canterbury'. Nor was the sermon quoted in the 1563 edition nor was Robert Austen mentioned in this edition. Clearly, Austen read the account in the 1563 edition and sent Foxe further details, clarifying and correcting the original account.

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which both heard and saw the same, & is witnessed also by the whole country round about.

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¶ Iohn Awcocke.  
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The Martyrdom of John Alcock

There was a brief note in the Rerum stating that John Alcock died on 2 April 1555 in Newgate prison and was buried in the fields (p. 431). This note was reprinted in all editions of the Acts and Monuments, without change, except that Newgate was only mentioned in the Rerum.

This John Alcock, or Awcock, is very probably the Hadleigh shearman whose arrest and imprisonment is described elsewhere by Foxe. There is a manuscript copy of Alcock's answer to the privy council's interogation of him in Foxe's papers (BL, Lansdowne 389, fo. 212v).

MarginaliaAprill. 2. Iohn Awcocke, Martyr.IN the Moneth of Aprill, and the second day of the same Moneth, dyed in prison Iohn Awcocke, who after was buried in the fieldes, as the maner of the Papistes was to deny theyr christian buriall to such as dyed out of their popish Antichristian Church.

Now forasmuch as hauing passed the month of March, we are entred into the month of Aprill, so set downe in order out of publicke Recordes, 

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Events of April 1555

These incidents only appear in the 1583 edition of Foxe and were copied from the privy council records. The incidents of 15, 22 and 29 April are recorded, exactly as printed in 1583, in Foxe's papers (BL, Harley 419, fo. 133r).

what happened in the sayde moneth, here followeth to be noted: That the 1. day of Aprill Ann. 1555.  
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See APC V, p. 110.

A Letter was sent to the Shiriffe of kent to apprehend Thomas Wodgat and William Maynard, for preaching secretly, and to send them vp to the Counsel.

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The 7. day of the sayde Moneth an other Letter to the sayd Shiriffe for the apprehension of one Harwiche  

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There was an error of transcription here: the record reveals that the order was to apprehend 'one of Harwich', not a person named Harwich (APC V, p. 110).

who went about with a boy with him preaching from place to place.

The 15. of Aprill,  

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See APC V, p. 115.

a letter was directed to Syr Nicholas Hare, and Syr Thomas Cornewallis, willing them to examine M. Flower alias Braunche what he meant to weare about his neck written, Deum time, Idolum fuge, and whō els he knew to weare the like praying also to speake to Boner Byshop of London speedely to proceed agaynst him for his Religion according to the lawes: and that the Iustices of Peace of Middlesex should likewise proceed agaynst him for shedding of bloud in the Church according to the statute, so as if he continue his opinion he might be executed at the farthest by the latter end of this weeke, and that his right hand be the day before his execution, or the same day striken off.

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The 22. of Aprill  

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See APC V, p. 118.

there was a like letter sent to the Iustices of peace of Middlesex, with a writ for the executiō of the sayd Flower, commaunding them to see his hand striken of before his burning.

The 29. of Aprill  

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See APC V, p. 119.

M. Robert Hornebey seruant then to the Lady Elizabeth was conuented before the Counsell for his religion: and standing constantly to the trueth, notwithstanding theyr threates and other perswasions, was therfore committed to the Marshalsea.

¶ A declaration of the life, examination, and burning of George Marsh, who suffered most constant Martyrdome for the profession of the Gospell of Christ, at Winchester, the 24. day of Aprill. Ann. 1555.  
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The Martyrdom of George Marsh

The information, and lack of information, on George Marsh in the Rerum is revealing. Foxe stated that Marsh was the curate of [Church] Langton and that he received the living from Laurence Saunders, the martyr, who was the rector of Church Langton. Foxe added that Marsh was burned on 24 April 1555 (Rerum, p. 432). He then stated that nothing else had reached him about Marsh apart from two letters, which are printed in Rerum, pp. 432-41. Once again, the Rerum was strong on documents but weak on oral sources and eyewitness accounts.

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In the 1563 edition, Foxe added the background on Marsh's early life, Marsh's own account of examinations by Bishop Cotes of Chester and an eyewitness account of Marsh's death and Cotes's sermon denouncing the martyr. In the second edition, Foxe added Marsh's account of his treatment and examinations by the earl of Derby and members of his household. (It is quite interesting that Marsh's accounts of his imprisonment and examinations by Derby first, and then by Bishop Cotes, came to Foxe at separate times and, presumably, from separate sources. The source for the information used in 1563 appears to have been in Chester. This is an important reminder of Foxe's dependence on informants, particularly informants who were able to send eyewitness accounts or material written by the martyrs themselves). Marsh's letter summarizing his examinations was also added to 1570, while Foxe shortened and modified his earlier account of Bishop Cotes's sermon against Marsh and its aftermath.

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The account of Marsh's martyrdom was unchanged in the third and fourth editions of the Acts and Monuments.

 

Commentary on the Glosses  *  Close
George Marsh

As is usual, many of the glosses in this section describe the various stages of apprehension, interrogation and execution. Some of the glosses suggest Marsh's approximation to / imitation of Christ ('G. Marsh of his owne voluntary minde offereth himself to his enemies'; 'Peters counsell to Christ, to saue himselfe'; 'G. Marsh followeth Christes aunswere to Peter'). Opposed to him are the forces of Antichrist, characterised in the usual ways: Marsh is cruelly treated during his imprisonment (the favoured term is 'straitness') and is forced to do things asked of common criminals ('G. Marsh caused to hold vp his handes at Lancaster amongest other malefactours'; 'The vnmercifull straitenes of the Byshop toward G. Marsh in prison'; 'The strayt keeping of Marsh in prison'). Bishop Cotes is particularly disliked by Foxe. One gloss accuses Cotes of prejudice ('The B. iudgeth Marsh to be an hereticke, before he heareth him'), followed soon after with a series of glosses accompanying an account of bad bishops of the ancient church ('No new thing for Byshops to be persecutors', 'Examples of persecuting Bishops in the old tyme', 'Byshop Iasan', 'B. Annas and Cayphas'). There is a reference to the lustful demise of the bishop ('Gods iust reuenging hand vpō a persecuting Bishop'); the text reveals Foxe's source to have been rumour.

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Further attacks on the ungodly include a gloss pointing to the disloyalty of catholic nobles to Edward I ('The Earle of Darby, L. Windsor, and Lord Dacars in K. Edwards time agreed not to the Actes of Religion') and an attack on the blasphemous utterance of one of Marsh's detractors ('This blasphemous mouth of the parson of Grapnal'). There are also glosses objecting to the manner in which discussions with Marsh were conducted ('The Byshops clergy more able to examine than to dispute'; 'So sayth the Turke in his Alcaron that no man must dispute of his lawe'). These objections may have been motivated by Marsh's less than authoritative performance in the face of his interrogators. The glosses point to his reluctance to answer on the crucial question of the sacrament, and his later sense that this was due to a lack of boldness ('G. Marsh loth to aunswere to the question of transubstantiation'; 'Marsh troubled in his consciēce for being no more bolde touching the Sacrament'), a quality he eventually obtains ('G. Marsh strengthened in prison with the boldnes of Gods spirite').

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There is an interesting contrast between the glosses 'Neither the place nor person of the Pope spoken agaynst but onely his doctrine' and 'Gods mercy preferred before the Queenes mercy': the first reproduces Marsh's relatively sophisticated point that his dislike of the papacy is not to be taken as hatred for particular popes. The latter gloss emphasises his stark choice between the queen's authority and his faith. Unlike the earlier gloss, it omits his qualifications (in this case his loyalty to the queen in all but this), presenting the reader with the bare terms of his choice; the precedence of faith over political allegiance was too crucial a point to be obscured. Foxe occasionally sharpens or adds logical matters to Marsh's words ('Christes breaking of bread. Luke 24 proueth not the receiuing vnder one kinde'; 'Argument. Linus and Anacletus were good men. Ergo the Pope is the supreame head of all Churches'). Some glosses are out of position in the 1583 edition.

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MarginaliaAprill. 24. George Marsh Martyr.THe sayd George Marshe was borne in the Parishe of Deane, in the Countye of Lancaster, and was well

brought vp in learning and honest trade of liuing by hys Parentes, who afterwardes about the xxv. yeare of hys age, tooke to wife an honest mayden of the countrey, wyth whom he continued, earning theyr liuing vpon a MarginaliaG. Marsh first a farmer.Farme, hauing children betweene them lawefully begotten: and then God takinge his wyfe out of thys Worlde, he beyng most desirous of godly studyes, (leauing his houshold and children in good order) went vnto the vniuersity of Cambridge, where he studyed, and much encreased in learning and godly vertues, & was a MarginaliaGeorge Marsh made Minister.minister of Gods holy worde and Sacramentes, and for a while was Curate to Laurence Saunders, as he himselfe reporteth.  

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Marsh was also the curate of Laurence Saunders' other living at All Hallow's Bread Street, London. Clearer evidence that Marsh's career was being fostered by powerful Edwardian protestants could not be desired.

In whiche condition of life, he continued for a space, earnestly setting forth Gods true Religion, to the defacing of Antechristes false doctrine, by his Godly Readinges and Sermons, as well there and in the Parishe of Deane, or els where in Lanckeshyre.

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Whereupon at length, by detection of certayne aduersaries he was apprehēded, & kept in close prison by MarginaliaD. Cotes Bishop of Chester, a persecuter. George Marsh detected.George Cotes then Byshoppe of Chester, in strayght Prison in Chester, within the precincte of the Byshoppes house, about the space of foure Monethes, being not permitted to haue reliefe and comfort of his frendes: but charge beyng geuen vnto the Porter, to marke who they were that asked for him, and to signify theyr names vnto the Byshop, as by the particular descriptiō of his story, testified and recorded with his own pen, more euidently may appeare in the processe hereunder folowing.

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¶ The handling, entreating, and examination of George Marsh, being sent first by the Earle of Derby to Doctor Cotes Byshop of Chester. 
Cattley Pratt  *  Close
Cattley/Pratt, VII, Appendix: ref page 39, bottom

This was in A. D. 1554, in which year, according to Nicolas's Tables, Palm Sunday fell on March 18th.

MarginaliaThe examination of George Marsh, written with his owne hand. M. Barton Gentlemā, and persecutour.ON the Monday before Palme Sonday, which was the xij. day of March, it was told me at my mothers house that Rog. Wrinstone, with other of M. Bartōs seruants did make diligent search for me in Bolton,  

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It becomes clear, later in this account, that the earl of Derby ordered that a determined search be made for Marsh. This suggests that Marsh had been quite active preaching in the area of Bolton, Lancashire, where he clearly had friends, family and a network of supporters.

and when they perceiued that I was not there, they gaue strait charge to Roger Ward and Rob. Marsh, to finde & bring me to M. Barton the day next folowing, with others, to be brought before the honourable Earle of Darby, to be examined in matters of Religion. &c.

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MarginaliaGeorge Marsh aduertised by his frendes to flye.I knowing by this relatiō of diuers of my frends, was diuersly affected, my mother, and other my frendes aduertising me to flee and to auoid the perill, which thing I had intended afore after a weeke then nexte ensuing, if thys in the meane while had not chaunced, seeing, that if I were takē, and would not recant in matters of religion (as they thought I would not, and as God strengthening and assisting me with his holy spirit I neuer wyll) it woulde not onely haue put thē to great sorow, heauines, & losses, with costes and charges, to theyr shame & rebuke in this world, but also mine owne selfe after troubles and paynfull prisonment, vnto shamefull death.

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This considered, they aduised me & coūselled me to depart & flie þe coūtry, as I had entended to haue done, if this had not happened. MarginaliaG. Marsh in a perplexitye whether to flye or to tarry. To whose coūsel my weak flesh would gladly haue cōsented, but my spirit did not fully agree: thinking and saying thus to my selfe, that if I fled so away, it would be thought, reported, and sayd, that I did not onely flie the countrey and my nearest and dearest frendes: but much rather from Christes holy worde, according as these yeares past I had with my hart, or at least with mine outward liuing professed, and with my mouth & word taught, according to the small talent geuen me of the Lord. I being thus with theyr aduise & coūsell, and the cogitations & counselles of mine owne minde drawne, as it were diuers wayes, went from my mothers house, saying, I woulde come agayne at euening.

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In the meane time I ceased not by earnest prayer to aske and seeke counsell of God (who is the geuer of al good gyftes) and of other my frendes, whose godly iudgmētes and knowledge I much trusted vnto. After this, I mette with one of my sayd frends on Deane Moore, about sunne goying downe: and after we had consulted together of my busines, not without harty prayer kneeling on our knees, we departed, I not fully determinyng what to doe, but taking my leaue with my frende sayde I doubted not but God (according as our prayer and trust was) would geue me such wisedome and counsell, as should be most to hys honor and glory, the profite of my neighbors and brethren in the worlde, and obteining of mine eternall saluation by Christ in heauen. MarginaliaG. Marsh consulteth with God.

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This done, I returned to my mothers house agayne, where had bene diuers of M. Bartons seruantes seekyng after me: who when they could not finde me, straitly charged my brother and William Marsh to seek me that night, and to bring me to Smethehilles the next day: who beyng

so