uaile, as shall more playnly appeare in the discourse of these seuerall matters hereafter followynge, wherein also shall some time appeare that the churche of God (as in all times heretofore: so nowe) was not voyde of dissemblyng and false brethren, by whose meanes (as most fit instrumentes) Satan brought his purpose the better to passe. All whiche notwithstāding the children of God, hauing the lawful oportunitie of seruing of God, takē by this crueltie from them, yet in sundrie times and places secretly assembled them selues, to the comforte of their cōsciences, & instructiō of their soules. And therfore, as at other tymes, so vpon newe yeares daye, An. 1555. at euening,
In the 1570 edition Foxe continues with an account of the arrest of the Bow Church congregation on 1 January 1555 (1570, p. 1652; 1576, p. 1409; 1583, p. 1480). This account also probably came from Foxe's lost chronicle source(s) and it replaced an account of the same event in the 1563 edition, on p. 1020. The reason for this replacement probably was that it was simpler for Foxe, in 1570, to print the new version along with other material, which preceded and followed it, from the same source.[Back to Top]
In any case, the 1570 narrative, based on these chronicle source(s), continued through parliament passing a new act of supremacy and a tumult between the English and the Spanish at Westminster (1570, p. 1652; 1576, p. 1409; 1583, p. 1480.
Foxe reprinted the letters to and from John Hooper about the arrest of Thomas Rose's congregation on 1 January 1555. All of these letters were first printed by Henry Bull in An apology made by the reverende father and constante martyr of Christe Iohn Hooper (London, 1562), STC 13742, sigs. C6r-D3v. (ECL MS 261, fols. 1r-14r form the manuscript of the book sent to Grindal for his imprimatur; ECL 261, fols. 11r-14r are the letters concerning Rose's congregation). In the 1563 edition (only), Foxe printed an anonymous letter sent to Hooper, informing him of the arrest of Rose's congregation (1563, p. 1020). This letter is in Apology, sigs. C6r-C7r and ECL MS 261, fol. 11r-v; it is not printed in other editions of the Acts and Monuments nor is it printed in the LM.[Back to Top]
This was followed by Hooper's brief reply to this letter (1563, p. 1020; 1570, p. 1654; 1576, p. 1411; 1583, p. 1482; cf. Apology, sigs. C7v-C8r; ECL 261, fol. 12r and LM, p. 120).
MY duty humbly remembred, you heare (I know) of a godly company imprysoned whiche were taken vppon newe yeares nyght: yet notwithstanding, for asmuch (perhaps) as you know not perfectly howe nor wherfore, you shall vnderstande that
The glosses serve to encourage the image of a small, true church suffering under age-old papal tyranny and taking refuge in mutual comfort. Two glosses containing the term 'persecution' link the ancient sufferings with the inauguration of the most recent set in Bow churchyard: Hooper's encouragement to his flock that the church is often suffering becomes a warning to Foxe's readers. The pastoral focus of Hooper's letter is made clear. It is perhaps significant that part of a gloss referring to the addressees of the letter is dropped after 1570, as this may reflect a recognition by Foxe that the potential of the letter as a source of comfort in times of trouble went beyond its immediate, historical context.[Back to Top]
tyng worme of a troubled conscience, being accused by Gods lawe, for the wylfull transgressing of the same: as by experience we know by Iudge Hales: who contrary to the knowledge of Gods worde, consented to the wicked traditions of the Papists. Which although in name they would be of the holye churche, and preachers of the Gospell of Christ: yet in facte and deede do dissent from the same, and most detest that Godly societie: as by the cruell handlyng of the christians by the Prelates at this present it doth euidētly appeare. Therfore (I say) that they myght without the offence of God, quietlye praye together, as they be taughte by his woorde, there assembled a godly company together, to the number of xxx. diuided and sent to both the Counters, where at commaundement they yet remaine. And with maister Chābers, maister Monger, and the rest in the Coūter at Breadstreat, I was yesterday: who (God be thanked) be strong and doe reioyce, that for well doyng they are imprisoned: Not doubting but that, as God hath vouchesaued to accepte them worthy to sustaine imprysonment for his sake, so he wyll strengthen them, rather to suffer death, then to deny his truthe. As the Lord knoweth, who assist you with his holye spirite that vnto the ende you maye perseuer in his truth: vnto whose tuition in my poore prayer I humbly commend you. 3. of Ianuary. 1555. Maister Chamber, maister Monger, maister Sh. and the rest in the Coūter do pray for you, and in Christ salute you most hartely.[Back to Top]
Foxe includes Hooper's letter to the imprisoned congregation, urging them to be constant unto death (1563, pp. 1021-22; 1570, pp. 1654-55; 1576, pp. 1411-12; 1583, p. 1482; cf. Apology, sigs. C8v-D3v; ECL MS 261, fols. 12v-14r and LM, pp. 121-23. ECL MS 260, fol. 225r-v and Lansdowne MS 389, fols. 3r-4v are copies of this letter).[Back to Top]
THe grace of God be with you, Amen. I perceaue by your letter, howe that vpon newe yeares day at night, there were taken a Godly company of Cristians, whilest they were praying. I do reioyce in that men can be so well occupied in this perilous time, and flie vnto God for remedy by prayer: as well for theyr owne lackes and necessities, as also charitablye to praye for them that persecute them. So dothe the worde of God commaunde all men, to pray charitably for them that hate vs, and not to reuyle any Magistrate with wordes, or to mean him euill by force or violence. They also may reioyce that in well doing, they were taken to the pryson. Wherfore I haue thought it good to sende them this litle wryting of consolatiō: praying God to send them pacience, charitie, & constancie in the truthe of his most holy word.[Back to Top]
Thus fare you well, and pray to God to send his true worde into this Realme agayne amongest vs, which the vngodly byshops haue now banished. 4. Ianuary. An. 1555.