not defyle themselues with vnclennesse, and with ydolatrie through the perswasion of their mother, casting themselues headlong into a riuer together with their mother, did fordo them selues, although not in the same water, yet after the same maner of drowning , as this maister Hales did. What shall I say of other twoo sisters, which for the selfe same quarell did violentlye throw themselues headlong into the sea, as Eusebius dooeth recorde? MarginaliaEuseb. hist. eccle. lib 8 Cap. 12 In whome though perchance there was lesse cōfidence to beare out al paines that should be ministred of the wicked vnto them: yet we perceyue þt theyr charinesse to kepe their fayth and religion vnspotted, was commended and praised.[Back to Top]
An other like exāple of death is mētioned by Nicephorus MarginaliaNicepho. li 7. Cap. 13. & that in another virgin likewise, whose name is expressed in Hierome to bee MarginaliaBrassila DyrrachinaBrassila Dyrrachina, who to kepe her virginity, fayned her selfe to be a witche, and so conuenting with the yong man which went about to deflowre her, that she wold geue him an herb, which shoulde preserue him from all kynde of weapons: and so to proue it in her selfe, layde the herbe vpon her owne throte, byddyng hym smite: whereby she was slayne, and so with þe losse of her life, her virginitie was saued.[Back to Top]
Herevnto may bee ioyned the lyke death of Sophronia a Matron of Rome, who when she was required of Marentius the tiraunt to bee defiled, and saw her husband more slack thē he ought to haue bene, in sauing her honesty, byddyng them þt wer sent for her, to tary a while, tyll she made her ready, went into her Chaumber, and with a weapon thrust her self through the brest and dyed. Now who is he that woulde reprehend that worthy man Aschetes, which biting of his owne tonge did spit it oute into the harlots face? But in these exaumples (you wyll saye) the cause was necessarye and honest. And who can tell, whether master Hales, meaning to auoid the pollutiō of the Masse, did likewise chuse the same kinde of death to kepe his faith vndefiled, wherof there ought to be as greate respect and greater to, then of the chastitye of the bodye? But you wyll saye he ought rather to haue suffered the tyrauntes. And why may not the same bee saide of the forenamed virgins.[Back to Top]
And finally although he did it of a certain desperation, yet how know you, whether he repēted euen in breathing out his life? Although I truely am so farre from allowing his fact, by any meanes, that I am wonderfull sory for hys rash and ouer hasty temeritie. And therfore although we doe not accompt hym amonge the Martirs. yet on the other side we do not recken him among the damned persones. Finally, let vs all wishe heartily, that the Lord impute not to him in iudgement, that whiche he offended in his own punishment. Amen.[Back to Top]
A version of this poem, probably written by Foxe himself (in the Rerum it is signed 'J. F.') first appeared in the Rerum (p. 265). In the 1563 edition, two lines were added to the poem, expressing the hope that Hales's soul might be cleansed andblessed through divine mercy. The last four lines of the poem were rewritten in the second edition, with a more pessimistic conclusion praying that, on the Day of Judgement, Hales's sins would not weigh too heavily against him.[Back to Top]
Si tua quanta fuit grauitas, prudentia, norma,
Iunctaque sincera cum pietate fides:
Tam caro firma tibi fortisque, Halise fuisset,
Sanctorum prima classe serendus eras:
Sed neque sanctorum rursus tam sancta videtur
Vita hæc, in fastis non referenda sacris.
Rebus in humanis quum sit nihil ergo beatum
Hæc retine quæ sint candida, nigra sinas.
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).
JN this moneth of April, the. 2. day of þe same moneth, died in prison Iohn Awcocke, who after was buried in the fields, as the maner of the Papists was to deny their christian buriall to such as died out of their popish Antichristiā Churche.
THis yere about the end of March, died Pope Iulius þe third, a mete prelate for that sort. The dedes and actes of which Pope here to set forth & declare, it were not so much tedious to the reader, as horrible to all good eares.
Foxe's account of Julius III and his vices is drawn from Bale, Catalogus, pp.681-82.