This man of God and faithfull seruant W. Flower, at his burnyng was cruelly handled. Firste, when he was brought to the stake, his right hand being held vp against the stake, was stroken of, his left hand beyng stayed behynde him. At the which strikyng of his hand, certain that were present beholders of the matter, and purposely obserued the same, credibly enfourmed vs, that he in no parte of his body did once shrinke at the striking thereof, but once a litle sturred his shoulders.
Once again, Foxe is concerned to emphasize the stoicism of his martyrs, even when they were undergoing excruciating physical pain. This is also the reason for Foxe's detailed, graphic, even disgusting, account of Flower's death. On the polemical importance of the stoicism of the martyrs see Collinson (1983) and Freeman (1997).[Back to Top]
All of the material Foxe ever printed on Mary's false pregnancy first appeared in the 1563 edition. In the 1570 edition Foxe deleted some material, most notably William Forest's poems. The account was printed without alteration in the 1576 and 1583 editions. The chief source for this material was London gossip; interestingly, gossip centred on the Aldersgate neighbourhood of John Day's printshop, where all four of the first editions of the Acts and Monuments were printed.[Back to Top]
MarginaliaMay 1LOnge persuasion had bene in Englande with greate expectation, for the space of halfe a yere or more, that the quene was conceyued with child. This reporte was made by the Queenes phisitians, and other nye about the court: so that
diuers were punished for sayinge the contrarye. And commaundement was geuen, that in all churches supplication and prayers should be made for the Quenes good deliuerye: the certificate wherof ye reade before in the letter of the councell sent to Boner, and so to other Bishops as aboue appeareth. pag. 1014. Col. 2.
The letter Foxe refers to was printed in Book X.
The poems of William Forrest were dropped from the 1570 edition, probably due to the need to save paper. Foxe, however, never reprinted these poems in later editions.
This is an obsolete form of the verb 'wrest'. In this case the meaning is to place a false construction on words (OED).
In this context, to pervert a text by misconstruing it (OED).
OVr father which in heauen doste sit,
We sanctifie thy name,