and therfore had written a letter (to that effect) vnto certayne that were burned at Colchester. The copy whereof ensueth.
This letter was printed in all editions of the Acts and Monuments and also in Letters of the Martyrs, pp. 680-81.
MarginaliaA letter.O Deare brethren & sisters, how much haue you to reioyce in God, that he hath geuen you such faith to ouercom this bloudthirsty tirauntes thus farre. And no doubt he that hath begon that good worke in you, wyll fulfill it vnto thend. O deare hartes in Christ, what a crowne of glory shal ye receaue with Christ in the kingdom of God? Oh that it had bene the good wil of God, that I had bene redy to haue gone with you. for I lye in my lords litle ease in the daye, and in the night I lye in the Colehowse, from Raufe Allerton, or any other. And we loke euery day when we shalbe cōdemned. for he sayd that I should bee burned within. x. daies before Easter: but I lye stil at the pooles brinke, and euery man goeth in before me: but we abide paciently the Lordes laysure, with many bandes, in fetters and stockes: by the which we haue receaued greate ioye in God. And nowe fare you well, deare brethren and sisters in this world: but I trust to see you in the heauen, face to face. O brother Munt, with your wyfe & my deare sister Rose, oh how blessed are you in the Lord, that God hath found you worthy to suffer for his sake: with all the rest of my deare brethren and sisters knowen and vnknowen. O be ioyful euen vnto death: feare it not, sayth Christ. for I haue ouercomed death, saith he. Oh deare hartes, seing that Iesus Christ wilbe our healpe, oh tary you the Lordes laysure. Be strong, let your harts be of good comfort, and wayte you stil for the Lord. he is at hand. yea the angel of the lord pitcheth his tent rounde aboute them that feare him, and delyuereth them which way he seeth best. For our lyues are in the Lordes handes: and they can do nothing vnto vs before God suffer them. Therfore geue all thankes to God. Oh deare hartes, you shalbe clothed with longe white garmentes vpon the mount Sion, with the multytude of Saintes, and with Iesus Christ our sauior, which wil neuer forsake vs. Oh blessed Virgine, ye haue played the wyse virgines parte, in that you haue taken oyle in your lampes, that ye may go in with the bryde grome, when he commeth, into the euerlasting ioy with him. But as for the folish shalbe shut out, because they made not them selues redy to suffer with Christ, neither go about to take vp his crosse. O deare hartes, how precious shall your death be in the sight of the Lord? for deare is the death of his sayntes. O fare you well, & praye: the grace of our Lord Iesus Christ bee with you al, Amen, Amen. Pray, pray, pray.[Back to Top]
By me Richard Roth, written with myne
THis letter he confessed (vpon the sayd examinatiō) to haue written with his bloud and that he mente to haue sent the same vnto such as were condemned at Colchester for the gospell of Iesus Christ, and were after-
wardes burned ther, as ye haue alredy heard. The Byshop then farther asked him, what he thought his prison fellow Raufe Allerton to be. He answered that hee thought him to bee one of the elect children of God: and that if at any time herafter he happened to bee put to death for his faithe, and religion, he thoughte he should dye a true martyre. And moreouer fynding him selfe agreued with þe Byshops priuie and secreate condempnings of Gods people, sayd vnto him in this sorte: my Lord, because the people should not see and behold your doinges, ye cause mee and others to bee brought to our examinations by nighte, being afraid, belike, to do it by day. the B. not greatly caring for this talke, proceded to examine him of other matters, amongs which this high and waighty thinge was one, videlicet, How he did lyke the order & rites of the church then vsed here in England. To whome hee said, that he euer had and yet then did abhorre the same with all his harte. Then diuerse of the Byshops complices entreated and perswaded him to recant, and aske mercy of the Byshop. No (quod Roth) I wyl not aske mercy of him that cannot geue it. Wherupon hee was (as the rest before mencioned) condempned, & deliuered vnto the Shriue. And the. xvii. daye of September they al most ioyfull ended their lyues in one fyre at Islington, for the testimony of Christ, as before is declared.[Back to Top]
In 1563, Foxe printed an account of the martyrdoms of Bongeor and Thurston which was based on a letter to Bonner from the baliffs of Colchester and on testimony from individuals about Bongeor's readiness to die and about Thurston's temporary backsliding. In the 1570 edition, Foxe added Joan Cook's testimony about the postponement of Thurston's martyrdom. But in the same edition, Foxe deleted the letter to Bonner, which explained why Bongeor's execution was postponed; instead Foxe merely replaced it with a short explanation of Bongeor's temporary reprieve. The account remained unchanged in subsequent editions.[Back to Top]
MarginaliaSeptember 17. MarginaliaAgnes Bongeor, and Margaret Thurston.A Littell before (gentle reader) was mention made of tenne þt suffered martirdō at Colchester pag. 1610. at which time there were two other women also, one called Margaret Thurston,
Margaret Thurston was the wife of John Thurston, who died in prison (see 1563, p. 1611; 1570, p. 2202; 1576, p. 1900 and 1583, p. 2009.