All the information which Foxe had on these martyrs in the Rerum was acopy of Stephen Knight's prayers and the dates and places of the execution of the three martyrs, together with a brief but vivid account of Laurence being carried to the stake in a chair (Rerum, pp. 427 and 428). In the 1563 edition, Foxe added the articles put to the three and their answers, as well as accounts of the appearance before the Consistory Court of St Paul's. He also added the unforgettable story of children encouraging Laurence to remain constant, as he was burning alive, to his first edition. There were no significant changes made to the account of thesethree martyrs in subsequent editions of the Acts and Monuments.[Back to Top]
Narrative dominates the glosses in this section, along with an account of the issues discussed between the martyrs and their persecutors. As is usual, the day of death is given at the start (for two of the martyrs who died on the same day). The gloss 'Beliefe of the pretensed Catholicke church' qualifies the term 'catholic': the term was thus not always to be conceded to the other side without comment. The glosses remind the reader that Laurence was a priest and register the fact of his conversion from monastic life to protestantism ('Talke betweene Boner and Iohn Laurence Priest'; 'Iohn Laurence sometymes a Fryer'; 'The Martyrdome of Iohn Laurence Priest at Colchester. Anno. 1555'), illustrating that even those at the heart of the pope's church could see the truth if they wished.[Back to Top]
The accounts of the appearances of Pygot, Knight and Laurence before the Consistory Court of St Paul's as well as the articles put to them, together with their answers, are all taken from Bishop Bonner's records, probably from a court book which is now lost.
WHether do you thinke, and stedfastly beleue that it is a catholyke, faythfull, christian, and true doctrine, to teach, preach, and saye that in the sacrament of the altar, vnder the formes of bread, and wine, there is without any substaunce of bread and wine there remayninge, by the omnipotent power of almighty God, and his holy word, really, truely and in very dede the true, & natural body, and bloud of our sauior Iesus Christ, the self same in substaunce (though not in outward forme and appearance) which was born of the virgin Mary and suffred vpon the crosse, ye or nay?[Back to Top]
Whether do you thinke and stedfasty beleue that your parentes, kinsfolke, frends and acquaintaunce here in thys Realme of England, before your byrth, a great while, and also after your byrth, professing and beleuinge the sayd doctrine and fayth, concerninge the sayd sacrament of the aulter, had a true christen fayth, and were faythfull and true Christen people or no?[Back to Top]
Whether do you thinke and stedfastly beleue that your godfathers, and godmother, professing and beleuing the sayd doctrin, and fayth, concerning the sayd sacrament of the
aulter, had a trewe christen fayth, and were faythfull and true christen people, or no?
Whether do you thinke and stedfastly beleue that your owne selfe in times past, being of the age of. xiiii. yeares and aboue, did think and beleaue concerning the sayd sacramente of the aulter in all poyntes, as your sayd parentes, kinsfolke, frendes, acquaintaunce, god fathers, and godmother did then thinke, and beleue therin or no?[Back to Top]
Whether do you thinke, and stedfastly beleue, that our soueraignes the King, and the Quene of thys Realme of England, and all the Nobilyty, Clergy, & Layty of this Realme professing and beleuinge the sayd Doctrine and faith, as other christian Realmes do, concernyng the said sacrament of the aulter, haue a trew Christian fayth, and beleue as the catholike, and true church of Christ hath alwais beleued, preached, and taught, or no?[Back to Top]
Whether do you thinke, and stedfastly beleue that our sauiour Christ, and his hys holy spirit, hath bene, is and shalbe, with his catholyke Churche, euen to the worldes ende, gouerning, and ruling the same in al thinges, especially in the necessary poyntes of christian religion, not suffering the same to erre or to be deceyued therin?[Back to Top]
Whether it is true that you, being suspected, or infamed to bee culpable, and faultye in speaking agaynst the sacrament of the aulter, & against the very true presence of Christs naturall body, and the substance therof, in the said sacramēt, and therupon called before me vpō complaint made to me against you, haue not bene a good space in my house, hauing frelie meate and drinke, and also diuers times instructed and informed, aswell by one beynge your Ordinary, as also by my Chaplains and diuers other learned men, some wherof were Bishops, some Deanes, and some Archdeacones, & euery one of them learned in diuinitie, and minding wel vnto you, and desiringe the safegarde of your soule, & that you should follow and beleue the doctrine of the Catholike Churche as afore, concerning the saide sacrament of the aulter, and whether you dyd not at all times synce your sayd comminge to me vtterly refuse to follow and beleue the sayde doctrine, concerning the said sacrament?[Back to Top]
Whether can you now find in your harte and conscience, to conforme your selfe in all poyntes to the sayde fayth, and Catholyke church, concernyng the sayd sacrament of the aulter, faythfully, truly, and plainly, without any dissimulation, beleuing therin as our said soueraignes, with þe nobilyty, clergy, and layty of this Realme, and other christian Realms and other persons aforesayd, and also the said catholyke church haue, and do beleue in that behalfe?[Back to Top]