ers to God for him, & so went through Chepesyde, to the place appointed, & was delyuered as close prisoner to þe keper of Newgat, wher he remayned. 6. dayes, no body being permitted to com to him, or to talk with him, sauing his kepers, & such as should be appointed therto. During thys tyme, the bloudye Byshop of London Bonar, & others at his appointment, as Fecknam, Chedsey, & Harpsfield. &c. resorted diuers times vnto him to assay if by any meanes thei could perswade hym to relent, & to becom a mēber of their Antichristiā church. Al þe wayes they could deuise they attempted. For besides disputacions & allegacions of testimonies of the Scriptures, & of auncient writers, wrasted to a wronge sense, according to their accustomed maner, they vsed also al outward gentlenes & significations of frendship with many great profers & promises of worldly cōmodities, not omitting also most greuous threatnings, if the other coulde not preuayle: but they foūd him alwaies one mā, stedfast & immoueable. Whē þe Papistical sect perceiued that they could by no meanes attaine to theyr deuelish purpose, with suche perswasions & offers as they had vsed for the conuersion of maister Hoper: they went about by false rumors and reportes of Recantacions (for it is well knowen that they and theyr seruauntes did spread it first abroade) to bring hym and the doctrine of Christ, which he professed out of credite with the people. So the brute being a litle spread a broad, and beleaued of some of the weaker sorte: by reason of the often resorte of the Byshope of London, and other it encresed more, & at the last came to maister Hopers eares. Wherewith he was not a litle greued that the people should geue so light credite vnto false rumors, hauing so simple a grounde: as it maye appeare by a letter which he wrote vpō that occasion: the copy whereof foloweth.[Back to Top]
Hooper wanted this letter to be widely circulated and, judging from the number of copies which survive, he succeeded. Copies of it among Foxe's papers are: BL, Lansdowne 389, fos. 4v-5r; ECL 260, fos. 225v-226r and BL, Add. 19400, fo. 28r. A copy of the letter came into Foxe's hands in exile and it was printed in Rerum, p. 290; 1563; Letters of the Martyrs, pp. 130-31 and subsequent editions of the Acts and Monuments.[Back to Top]
THe grace of our Lord Iesus Christ be with all them that vnfaynedly looke for the cōming of our Sauiour Christ. Amen.
Deare brethren, and systers in the Lord, and my fellowe prisoners for the cause of Gods gospell: I do much reioyce and geue thankes vnto god for your constancy and perseueraunce in affliction, vnto whom I wishe
continaūce vnto the end. And as I do reioice in your faith and constancy in afflictions that be in prison: euen so do I mourne and lamēt to heare of our deare brethren, that yet haue not felte such daūgers for Gods truth as we haue and do fele, and be dayly like to suffer more, yea the very extreme and vile death of the fyre: yet such is the reporte abroade (as I am credibly enformed) that I Ihon Hoper a cōdempned man for the cause of christ should nowe after sentence of death (being in Newgate prisoner and lokyng dayly for execution) recant and abiure that heretofore I haue preached. And this talke ariseth of this that the Byshop of London and his chapleynes resort vnto me. Doubtles if our brethren were as godly as I would wysh thē, they would think that in case I dyd refuse to talke with them, they might haue iust occasion to saye that I were vnlearned, & durst not speake with learned men, or els proud and disdaynful to speak with them. Therfore to auoyd iust suspicions of both, I haue and do daily speake with them when they come: not doubting but that they will reporte that I am neyther proude, nor vnlearned. And I would wishe all men to do as I do in this poynt. For I feare not their argumētes, neither is death terrible vnto me, praying you to make true reporte of the same as occasion shal serue: & that I am more confirmed in the truthe I haue preached heretofore by their cōming. Therfor ye that mai sēd to the weake brethren, praye them that they trouble me not with such reportes of recantacions as they do. For I haue hitherto lefte all thinges of the world and suffred great paines & imprisonement. And I thanke God I am as readye to suffer deathe, as a mortall man maye be. It were better for them to praye for vs, then to credite or reporte suche rumors that be vntrue. We haue enemies enoughe of such as knowe not God truely. But yet the false reporte of weake breathren is a double crosse. I wysh you eternall saluation in Iesus Christe, and also require you continuall praier, that he whiche hath begonne in vs maye continue it to the ende. I haue taughte the truth wyth my tong, and with my pen hereto fore, and here after shortly wyll confirme the same by gods grace with my bloud. Fourth of Newgat. 2. of February. 1554.[Back to Top]
Your brother in Christ, Iohn Hoper.
It may seem surprising that Foxe goes to the trouble of printing the formula for Hooper's degradation and describing the degradation in such detail; after all, they were intended to humiliate the martyr. But this enables Foxe to establish an unspoken but potent comparison between the humiliation of the martyr and the humiliation of Christ in his Passion.[Back to Top]
JN nomine ✗ patris, ✗ et filij, ✗ et spiritus sancti. Amen. Quoniā per sententiam diffinitiuam a reuerendo in Christo patre, et domino Stephano permissione diuina Winton Epis. in, et contra te Iohannem Hoper præsbiterum, suæ iurisdictionis ratione hæresis, et delicti infra illius diœcesin Winton. notorie commissa existentem, nuper rite et legitime prolatam, constat sufficienter et legitime nobis Edmundo London. episcopo te præfatum Iohannē Hoper hæreticū manifestum, et obstinatū, ac pertinacē fnisse et esse, ac constat at similiter tanquā hæreticum huiusmodi per dictam sententiam pronunciatum, et declaratum, fuisse, maiorisque excommunicationis sententia ob id innodatum et inuolutum similiter esse, ac ab ordine tuo deponendum et degradādum, curiæque seculari ob demerita tua huiusmodi tradendū fore, prout ex tenore dictæ sententiæ, ad qvam nos in hac parte nos referrimus, plenius, planius, et expressius liquet et apparet: Idcirco nos Edmundus epis. London. antedictus, quia nostra et vniuersitatis etiam interest nostras hic partes interponere, et vicariam operam mutuamque vicitudinem inmpendere, in cuius etiam diœcesi tu Iohannes Hoper idem hæresis crimē[Back to Top]