he is apt and ready enough to doe it.
This as I sayd, wold not admonish George Reuet, but needes he must persiste in his wicked purpose: notwithstāding at the length, as many were offended with him in the paryshe, so honest weomen especially (being mightely greued at his vngodly doinges) came to him & said: neighbour Reuet, are ye not afrayd to let your sonne helpe the naughty priest say masse, and to serue that abominable idoll? and he said no. Then said she, we feare not to go to church and heare masse, seing you being a man, that so much professe christianitie, will let your son helpe the priest saye masse &c. At which wordes Riuet waxed angry, and in his rage immediatly made his praier vnto God after this maner or with such lyke woordes, saying: MarginaliaRiuet prayed for a strange token.O Lorde, if it be not thy will that my sonne should so doe, then I beseche thee sende some straunge token to let be vnderstande what thy good pleasure is therin &c. So according to his petition, with in short space after, his neighbours bull came into his pasture, and there he hauing a verye proper gelding whiche was his felicitie aboue any thing he had, the bull running vpon him, did so wound and gore him, that immediatlye therof his gelding died, and he thereby nothing amended. MarginaliaRiuet confessed the Lords hād against him and yet continued in his synne.For although he knewe and confessed, that it was the Lordes hand vpon him, for the sufferaunce of his sonne in that wicked vocation: yet would he not take him from it, but permitted him still to vse & frequent the same against his owne conscience. MarginaliaRiuet died of a strange sycknesse.At the last the Lorde iustly sent vpon him a great swelling in his legges, whiche did so greuously vexe and trouble him, by reason it swelled vpwarde, that at length hauing thereby brought vppon him a very straunge sicknesse, died most miserably in so impatiēt maner, þt it terrified al good hartes to here thereof. The Lorde graunt, for Christes sake that we may obserue his iudgements better, to his glory & our comfort, Amē.[Back to Top]
Lawson was executed on 30 June 1557, not 1556.
MarginaliaIune. 30. MarginaliaRobert Lawson.RObert Lawson was a single mā, of the age of xxx. yeares, and by vocation a linnen weauer, who was apprehended in the night by one Robert Kereth, at the commaundement of sir Iohn Tirrell of Gipping hall in Suffolke, knight, and so was immediatly carried to Ay Dungeon in Suffolke, where he remayned a certaine tyme, and after was led to Bery. The cause of his taking was, for that he wold not go to churche to heare masse, and receiue their Popish idoll.[Back to Top]
When these thre forsayd martyrs were caried to their deathes, vz: Roger Bernarde, Adam Foster, and Robert Lawson at Bery, after they hadde made their prayer, being at the stake, and the tormentors attending the fyre, they moste triumphantly ended their liues, in such happie & blessed condition, as did throwly[Back to Top]
set forth their constancie, and ioyfull ende, to their commendations in all worldes, and also incouraged others in the same quarell to doe the lyke. The Lorde geue strengthe in the like cause to vs all. Amen.
Although Careless was one of the most important of the Marian martyrs, he died in prison without a trial, leaving Foxe only an account of his examinations and some of his many letters to memorialize him. The examination of Careless, in fact the entire account of Careless, was first printed in the 1563 edition. Nothing was added to it, but a considerable amount was deleted from this examination. The reason for this was that the deleted sections of the examination revealed far too much about the doctrinal squabbling among protestant prisoners, particularly over the issues of free will and the liturgy. The charge that there was no doctrinal unity among protestants was one that was frequently levied by catholic polemicists and was especially used by Foxe's great critic Nicholas Harpsfield in attacking the credibility of Foxe's 1563 edition (see Nicholas Harpsfield, Dialogi sex contra summi pontificatus, monasticae vitae, sanctorum sacrarum imaginum oppugnatores et pseudomartyres [Antwerp, 1566], pp. 802-17). Once this compromising material had been deleted, there were no further changes made to this account.[Back to Top]
About this time, vz the first daye of Iulye there died in the pryson at þe kyngs Benche Ionn Careles of Couentrie, a Weauer. Who though he were by the secret iudgement of the almightie God preuented by death, so that he came not to þe full martyrdom of his body, yet is he no lesse worthy to be counted in honour and place of Christes martyres, then other that suffered their most cruell tormentes, both for that he was for the same truthes sake a lōg tyme imprisoned, as aso for his willing mynd and zelous affection he had thereunto, if the Lorde had so determined it. And therfore, as a testimonie of that same his good will and purpose, and as an entrie and first part of his preuented tragedy, I haue thought good to put forth vnto the Reader, this his examination had before D. Martin, then one of the maisters of the Chauncerie, and a iolye stirrer in those matters,
Note that abuse of Martin, 'a iolye stirer in these matters', was removed in the 1570 edition.
In the name of God Amen.
WHen I came into his chāber, maister D. called me to him, saying: come you hether syrra, what is your name? for soth quod I, my name is Iohn Careles.
D. Mar. Carles? by my faith I thinke þe same, and so I wene it wil appeare by thy conditiōs, by that tyme we haue done with thee.
Car. Though my name by Careles, yet perchance you shall not finde me so careles in my conditiōs as your maistership doth presuppose.
An allusion to the bitter controversy which broke out among protestant prisoners in the King's Bench prison in 1554-1555. (See Thomas S. Freeman, 'Dissenters from a Dissenting Church: The Challenge of the Freewillers, 1550-1558' in The Beginnings of English Protestantism, eds. Peter Marshall and Alec Ryrie [Cambridge: 2002], pp. 134-42).[Back to Top]
I.e., two confessions of faith which Careless had sent to protestant prisoners in Newgate. For a description of this episode see Thomas S. Freeman, 'Dissenters from a Dissenting Church: The Challenge of the Freewillers, 1550-1558' in The Beginnings of English Protestantism, eds. Peter Marshall and Alec Ryrie [Cambridge: 2002], pp. 140-41.[Back to Top]
Car. With that I came neare him, saying: if your maistership haue any thing of my hande wryting, shew it me and I wyll not denie it.
Mar. Nay mary, thou cāst not deny it. lo, here is thine own name at it: & so he began to reade it, but sodainly he stayed, saying: howe sayest