Navigate the 1563 Edition
PrefaceBook 1Book 2Book 3Book 4Book 5
Thematic Divisions in Book 5
1. Preface to Rubric 2. The Rubric 3. Mary's First Moves 4. The Inhibition5. Bourne's Sermon 6. The True Report7. The Precept to Bonner 8. Anno 15549. From 'The Communication' to 'A Monition' 10. Bonner's Monition11. Mary's Articles for Bonner 12. The Articles 13. From Mary's Proclamation to the 'Stile'14. From the 'Stile' to the 'Communication' 15. The 'Communication' 16. How Thomas Cranmer ... 17. Cranmer18. Ridley 19. Latimer20. Harpsfield's Forme 21. 1563's Disputational Digest22. Political Events up to Suffolk's Death 23. Between Mantell and the Preacher's Declaration 24. The Declaration of Bradford et al 25. May 19 to August 1 26. August 1 - September 3 27. From Bonner's Mandate to Pole's Oration 28. Winchester's Sermon to Bonner's Visitation 29. Pole's Oration 30. From the Supplication to Gardiner's Sermon 31. From Gardiner's Sermon to 1555 32. From the Arrest of Rose to Hooper's Letter 33. Hooper's Answer and Letter 34. To the End of Book X 35. The Martyrdom of Rogers 36. The Martyrdom of Saunders 37. Saunders' Letters 38. Hooper's Martyrdom 39. Hooper's Letters 40. Rowland Taylor's Martyrdom 41. Becket's Image and other events 42. Miles Coverdale and the Denmark Letters 43. Bonner and Reconciliation 44. Robert Farrar's Martyrdom 45. The Martyrdom of Thomas Tomkins 46. The Martyrdom of Rawlins/Rowland White47. The Martyrdom of Higbed and Causton 48. The Martyrdom of William Hunter 49. The Martyrdom of Pigot, Knight and Laurence 50. Judge Hales 51. The Providential Death of the Parson of Arundel 52. The Martyrdom of John Awcocke 53. The Martyrdom of George Marsh 54. The Letters of George Marsh 55. The Martyrdom of William Flower 56. Mary's False Pregnancy57. The Martyrdom of Cardmaker and Warne 58. John Tooly 59. The Examination of Robert Bromley [nb This is part of the Tooly affair]60. Censorship Proclamation 61. The Martyrdom of Thomas Haukes 62. Letters of Haukes 63. The Martyrdom of Thomas Watts 64. Martyrdom of Osmund, Bamford, Osborne and Chamberlain65. The Martyrdom of Ardley and Simpson 66. The Martyrdom of John Bradford 67. Bradford's Letters 68. William Minge 69. The Martyrdom of John Bland 70. The Martyrdom of Frankesh, Middleton and Sheterden 71. Sheterden's Letters 72. Martyrdom of Carver and Launder 73. Martyrdom of Thomas Iveson 74. John Aleworth 75. Martyrdom of James Abbes 76. Martyrdom of Denley, Newman and Pacingham 77. Examinations of Hall, Wade and Polley 78. Richard Hooke 79. Martyrdom of William Coker, et al 80. Martyrdom of George Tankerfield, et al 81. Martyrdom and Letters of Robert Smith 82. Martyrdom of Harwood and Fust 83. Martyrdom of William Haile 84. Examination of John Newman 85. Martyrdom of Robert Samuel 86. George King, Thomas Leyes and John Wade 87. William Andrew 88. William Allen 89. Martyrdom of Thomas Cobb 90. Martyrdom of Roger Coo 91. Martyrdom of Catmer, Streater, Burwood, Brodbridge, Tutty 92. Martyrdom of Hayward and Goreway 93. Martyrdom and Letters of Robert Glover 94. John and William Glover 95. Cornelius Bungey 96. Martyrdom of Wolsey and Pigot 97. Life and Character of Nicholas Ridley 98. Ridley and Latimer's Conference 99. Ridley's Letters 100. Life of Hugh Latimer 101. Latimer's Letters 102. Ridley and Latimer Re-examined and Executed103. More Letters of Ridley 104. Life and Death of Stephen Gardiner 105. Martyrdom of Webb, Roper and Park 106. William Wiseman 107. Examinations and Martyrdom of John Philpot 108. John Went 109. Isobel Foster 110. Joan Lashford 111. Five Canterbury Martyrs 112. Life and Martyrdom of Cranmer 113. Letters of Cranmer 114. Martyrdom of Agnes Potten and Joan Trunchfield 115. Persecution in Salisbury Maundrell, Coberly and Spicer 116. William Tyms, et al 117. The Norfolk Supplication 118. Letters of Tyms 119. John Hullier's Execution120. John Hullier 121. Christopher Lister and five other martyrs 122. Hugh Lauerocke and John Apprice 123. Katherine Hut, Elizabeth Thacknell, et al 124. Martyrdom of John Harpole and Joan Beach 125. Thomas Drury and Thomas Croker 126. Thomas Spicer, John Deny and Edmund Poole 127. Thomas Rede128. Persecution of Winson and Mendlesam 129. William Slech 130. Avington Read, et al 131. Wood and Miles 132. Adherall and Clement 133. A Merchant's Servant Executed at Leicester 134. Thirteen Burnt at Stratford-le-Bow135. Persecution in Lichfield 136. Hunt, Norrice, Parret 137. Martyrdom of Bernard, Lawson and Foster 138. John Careless 139. Letters of John Careless 140. Martyrdom of Julius Palmer 141. Guernsey Martyrdoms 142. Dungate, Foreman and Tree 143. Martyrdom of Joan Waste 144. Three Men of Bristol145. Martyrdom of Edward Sharpe 146. Four Burnt at Mayfield at Sussex 147. John Horne and a woman 148. Northampton Shoemaker 149. Prisoners Starved at Canterbury 150. More Persecution at Lichfield 151. Exhumations of Bucer and Phagius along with Peter Martyr's Wife152. Pole's Visitation Articles for Kent153. Ten Martyrs Burnt at Canterbury154. The 'Bloody Commission'155. Twenty-two Prisoners from Colchester156. Five Burnt at Smithfield157. Stephen Gratwick and others158. Edmund Allen and other martyrs159. Edmund Allen160. Alice Benden and other martyrs161. Richard Woodman and nine other martyrs162. Ambrose163. The Martyrdom of Simon Miller and Elizabeth Cooper164. Rose Allin and nine other Colchester Martyrs165. John Thurston166. Thomas More167. George Eagles168. Richard Crashfield169. Fryer and George Eagles' sister170. John Kurde171. Cicelye Ormes172. Joyce Lewes173. Rafe Allerton and others174. Agnes Bongeor and Margaret Thurston175. Persecution at Lichfield176. Persecution at Chichester177. Thomas Spurdance178. Hallingdale, Sparrow and Gibson179. John Rough and Margaret Mearing180. Cuthbert Simson181. William Nicholl182. Seaman, Carman and Hudson183. Three at Colchester184. A Royal Proclamation185. Roger Holland and other Islington martyrs186. Richard Yeoman187. John Alcocke188. Alcocke's Epistles189. Thomas Benbridge190. Stephen Cotton and other martyrs191. Alexander Gouch and Alice Driver192. Three at Bury193. The Final Five Martyrs194. William Living195. The King's Brief196. William Browne197. Some Persecuted at Suffolk198. Elizabeth Lawson199. Edward Grew200. The Persecuted of Norfolk201. The Persecuted of Essex202. Thomas Bryce203. The Persecuted in Kent204. The Persecuted in Coventry and the Exiles205. Thomas Parkinson206. The Scourged: Introduction207. Richard Wilmot and Thomas Fairfax208. Thomas Greene209. Bartlett Greene and Cotton210. Steven Cotton's Letter211. Scourging of John Milles212. Scourging of Thomas Hinshaw213. Robert Williams214. Bonner's Beating of Boys215. A Beggar of Salisbury216. John Fetty217. James Harris218. Providences: Introduction219. The Miraculously Preserved220. Christenmas and Wattes221. Simon Grinaeus222. John Glover223. Dabney224. Alexander Wimshurst225. Bosom's wife226. The Delivery of Moyse227. Lady Knevet228. Crosman's wife229. Congregation at Stoke in Suffolk230. Congregation of London231. Robert Cole232. Englishmen at Calais233. John Hunt and Richard White234. Punishments of Persecutors235. Tome 6 Life and Preservation of the Lady Elizabeth236. The Westminster Conference237. Nicholas Burton238. Another Martyrdom in Spain239. Baker and Burgate240. Burges and Hoker241. Justice Nine-Holes242. Back to the Appendix notes243. A Poor Woman of Exeter244. Those Burnt at Bristol: extra material245. Priest's Wife of Exeter246. Gertrude Crockhey
Critical Apparatus for this Page
Commentary on the Text
Names and Places on this Page
Unavailable for this Edition
1085 []

her conteined, amy ioyfully come from her in to this worlde, and receyue the blessed Sacramentes of Baptisme and Confirmation, enioying therwith dayly encrease of all princely and gratious giftes, bothe of body and soule, but that also she (the mother) through thy speciall grace and mercy, may in tyme of her trauayll auoyde all excessiue dolour and payne, & abide perfite and sure from al perill and daunger of death, with longe and prosperous lyfe, through Christ our Lorde. Amen.

[Back to Top]
A lamentable example of crueltie shewed vpon Iohn Bolton, a mā of Reading, imprysoned for the true testimonie of a Christian conscience. 
Commentary  *  Close

In the 1563 edition (only), Foxe printed the account of the ordeals of John Bolton. Clearly, Foxe"s source for the story, as Foxe himself states, was Bolton, although Bolton's account was apparently supported by 'sufficient and credible testimonies, as well of the inhabitours of the sayd towne of Reading, whose letters at this present, for the certification therof we have to shewe' (1563, p. 1018). This is a good example of Foxe's efforts to secure testimony for an episode he knew might be controversial. However, for neither the first nor the last time, the ground of apparently solid testimony gave way beneath Foxe's feet. Bolton's story became intertwined with a heated dispute between Thackham, a resident of Reading who claimed to have aided Julins Palmer and Elizabeth Fane, and his critics who denounced him as a self-serving liar (see J. G. Nichols (ed.), Narratives of the Days of the Reformation, Original Series 77 (London, 1859), pp. 85-98). In the ensuing controversy, several different accounts of Bolton's ordeal were told, some of which suggested that Bolton had recanted to save his skin (Strype, EM III, 2, pp. 427-30). If this were not enough, Bolton also emerged in 1567 as a prominent member of the separatist group meeting in Plumber's Hall in London (Patrick Collinson, The Elizabethan Puritan Movement (London, 1967), p. 90). For these reasons, all mention of Bolton was eradicated from future editions of Foxe's book.

[Back to Top]

THe Lent followyng the coronation of Quene Mary, whiche Lent was in An. 1554. there was a wryting sette, vpon the church dore at Reading in Barkeshere, conteining matter against the Masse: but thautor therof then and a long tyme after was vnknowen, although now certaynly knowen to be in dede one Iohn Moyer, who afterward confessed the fact, recanted, and is nowe made minister. Great inquisitiō was in euery place thereaboutes: but nothyng as I sayde, could be founde certainly: Amongest many others, one Iohn Bolton was suspected, and beyng asked his mynde of the Masse, answered that he toke it to be against the worde of God, and contumelious to Christe. Vpon the which wordes, he was by the Mayer (whose name was Boyer, and by science a Tanner) with other officers, cōmitted to the Gaole about. iii. weakes before Easter, where beynge kepte by the space of a weke or fortnighte, in the vnder pryson or dungeon, afterwardes was had vp to a chāber of the Gaolors (whose name was Welche) hauinge his bed & other necessaries, to helpe him selfe withal, and so continued vntill Gardiner the Bishop of Winchester, came through the towne, with kyng Phylippe and Quene Mary, streight vpon their mariage at Wynchester.

[Back to Top]

Then the sayde Byshop, hearing of the said Iohn Bolton, sent for him, to talke with him, perswading him what he could, to relent from the truthe. But he stode stedfast, and most boldly reproued the sayde byshop to his face, and replied moste earnestly against his perswasiōs, wherby the byshop being greatly moued, commaunded he should be had to pryson againe, & there to be kept with bread and water, and no thing els. Charging further, that whosoeuer came to him, should in anywyse immediatly be set by him. Well Iohn Bolton therevpon was caried again to the Gaole, and put into þe Dungeon, or vnderpryson, where he was before, whiche is vnder the grounde about xii.

[Back to Top]

foote depe, compassed about with moste thicke walles, without any lyght, sauing that onely whiche cometh downe at the entrie. But (whiche is the best) bothe aboue the head, and vnder foote, it is bourded. And (alas) to no purpose, poore Iohn Bolton might saye: for he was not once suffered to walk any part therin but moste cruelly stocked, and cheyned, as hereafter followeth.

[Back to Top]

In the sayd Dungeon is a maruelouse euill sent, or odour, and the whole proportion most terrible to see. In the midst thereof be a huge payer of stockes, of a great height, wherein they did put both his handes and his feete. On the other side of the Stockes, were his legges tied with a great chayne of Iron, being surely fastned to a great mighty block vnmoueable. And hanging on this sorte, by the handes and feete, some times a daie and a night together, his body not touching any part of the groūde, the Gaolour often woulde ease hym, and lese his handes sometimes at night, but his feete he would kepe in the stockes styll, whole three or foure daies together.

[Back to Top]

And being in this woful, and moste miserable case, the Gaolour and his familie, woulde wyckedly in the night season oftentymes (to trouble the good poore man) cast squibbes of fier into the Dungeon, whereby his emptye and careful head might be troubled with vayn and fond phantasies, whiche came to passe as hereafter shalbe shewed.

[Back to Top]

Nowe his honest good neighbours hearyng of his perplexitie, were not a litle carefull for hym, and sent their beneuolence liberally to hym: as wholsome meates and drinkes to comfort his weake body, whiche alwayes was eyther eaten vp, by the Gaolour & his housholde, or els brought to the grate of the pryson, and there geuen to dogges before his face: so cruell and vnmercifull was this wicked Gaolour, whereby the sayde poore Iohn Boulton was inforced (alas the pitie) to eate his owne excrementes for very hunger, some thinketh for the space of sixe dayes, some thynketh more, some lesse: but although howe long, the time is vncertaine, yet that he did it, is moste true.

[Back to Top]

Thus was he in the lower pryson iust xii. monethes and x. wekes, hauing sometymes his hand and feete in the stockes, somtimes his feete onely, sometimes neither, sometimes hauing checkes, tauntes, skorninges, threateninges, and mockinges, otherwhyles hauing meate, otherwhiles his owne ordure, vntil at the last, with terrible tormentes, solytarie sighinges, lacke of lybertie, meate, drynke, with suche lyke, and also eating that whiche nature moste abhorreth, and that neuer was heard of before in any Tyrauntes daies, beganne, I saye at the last, to be ful of rauinges & straūge phantasies, in suche sorte, that men toke hym,

[Back to Top]
as one