but set your affection on heauenly things, wher Christ sitteth on the right hand of god: be meke, and long suffering, serue & edifie one another, with the gift that god hath geuen you: beware of strange doctrine, lay asyde the olde conuersation of gredye lustes, and walke in a new lyfe. Beware of all vncleannes, couetuousnes, foolish talking, false doctrine, and dronkennes: reioice and be thankefull towardes god, and submit your selues one to another: cease from sin, spend no more time in vyce, be sober and apt to pray, be pacient in trouble, loue eche other: and let the glory of god and profite of your neighbours be the onely marke ye shote at in al your doings. Repent ye of the life that is past, & take better heede to your doinges hereafter. And aboue all things cleaue ye fast to him, who was deliuered to death for our sinnes, & rose agayne for our iustification. To whom with the father and the holy ghost be all honor & rule for euermore. Amen. At Lancaster the 30. of Au. 1554.[Back to Top]
By me an vnprofitable seruaunt and pri-
soner of Christ George Marshe.
The ending of this letter varies in Letters of the Martyrs (p. 679) and in the second, third and fourth editions of the Acts and Monuments from the versions in Rerum (p. 441) and 1563. Probably Bull altered the text of the letter and Foxe reprinted his version of the letter. This provides an example of the influence of Henry Bull's editing on the Acts and Monuments.[Back to Top]
There is only a brief note on Flower in the Rerum (p. 431). This note merely states that William Flower, alias Branch, struck a priest at Westminster while he was celebrating mass. A month later on 24 April 1555, Flower had his hand cut and was then burned at the stake.
In the 1563 edition, Foxe had all of the materials on Flower's martyrdom which he would ever print. Most of this material came from Bishop Bonner's official records, but Foxe also printed an account of an interview the Marian martyr Robert Smith had with Flower. And in the appendix to the 1563 edition, Foxe printed an account of Flower's execution and a final prayer which he undoubtedlyobtained from an eyewitness while the first edition was being printed. Apart from moving the description of Flower's execution from the appendix into the main narrative of his martyrdom, Foxe made no substantial changes to his account of Flower in his second edition nor in any subsequent editions.[Back to Top]
FIrst, concerning þe life & bringing vp of this godly person w. Flower, otherwise named Branche: he was born at Snowhyl, in the countie of Cambridge, where he went to schole certain yeres, & then came to the Abbey of Ely, where after he had remained a while, he was professed Monke, accordyng to the order, and rule of the same house, wherein he remained vsyng and bearing the habite of a Monke, & obseruing the rules and orders of the same house vntyll he came to 21. yeres of age, or there aboute: And before he came to þt age, and beyng a professed Monke, he was made a priest also in þe same house, & there did celebrate & sing masse, a good space together. And after that by reason of a visitation, & certain iniunctions geuen in þe same by þe autority of king Henry the 8. he forsoke þe same house, & casting from him the said monkes habite & religion aforesaid, toke vpō him & vsed þe habite of a seculer priest, & returned to Snow hil wher he was born. and ther he did celebrate and sing masse, & taught children their Primer & accidence, about half a yere together. And thā[Back to Top]
wēt frō thence to Ludgate in Suffolke, & there serued as a secular prieste about a quarter of a yere: & frō thēce he thē went to Stony lād, wher he taried & serued as a seculer priest also, vntil þe cōming out of þe 6. articles: & thē he departed frō thence, & went into Gloucester shire, where after he had made his abode in þe coūtrey a while, at lēgth in Tewkesbury he maried a yong womā called Alice Pulton, wt whom he euer after faithfully & honestly continued. And after þt his mariage, he taried in Teuxbury about two yeres together: and then from thence he wēt vnto Borsley, where he taried 3. quarters of a yere, & practised phisicke & surgery, & frō thence remoued to Northāpton shire, where vnder a gentle mā he taught children their primers, & to write & read a good space. And so departing from these parties, came to Londō, at þe instance of one Iones a capper, dwelling in Barmondsey streate. And so after a while desirous to see his coūtrey, returned to Snohil where he was borne: from thence to Branckstrey in Essex, then to Coral, where he taught childrē a space: & so came to Lābeth beside Londō, where he hired a house, and placed his wife, where he & his wife haue euer sence dwelt together til this time: howbeit for þe most part he was alwais abroad, & very seldom at home, except once or twise in a month to visite & see his wife, where he being at home vpon Easter day about x. & xi. a clocke in þe forenoone of þt same day, he came ouer the water frō Lābeth into s. Margarets church at Westminster, where he finding & seing a prieste ministring & geuing þe sacrament of the aulter to the people, & therwt being greatly offended in his consciēce wt the priest for the same his doing (for þt he iudged hī not to be a catholike minister, neither his act to be catholike & laudable according to gods word, did strike & woūd him vpō þe head, & drawed bloude of him. In the whiche so doing as in dede he did not well, or euangelically,
Foxe is quite concerned to register his disapproval of Flower's assault on Cheltham.
VVherupon this foresaid W. Flower, being first apprehended & laid in the Gate house at Westminster (where he hadde geuen two grotes the daye before to the prisoners) wt as many yrons as he could beare: afterward was cōuented before Boner his Ordinary, April. 19. An. 1555. where the bishop examinyng him vpon a boke (after his ordinary manner) ministred articles & interrogatories to him. But before I speake of the articles, firste we haue here to set foorth what communicatiō passed betwixt him and Robert Smith being then also there prisoner with him in Newgate, concerning his facte done at Westminster, the tenour and effecte of which communication here foloweth.[Back to Top]