Why (quod her frend) would ye not willingly haue gone with your company, if God shoulde so haue suff red it? Yes (saide she) with all my hart, & because I did not, is nowe my chief & greatest grief. Then saide her frend: my deare sister, I pray thee consider Abraham & thy selfe well, and thou shalt see thou doest nothing differ with him in will at all. Halas, nay (quod she) there is a farre greater matter in Abraham then in me: for Abrahā was tried with the offering of his own child, but so am not I, & therefore our cases are not like. good sister (quod her frend) way the matter but indifferently: Abraham I graunt, sayd he, would haue offered his sonne: and haue not you done the like in your litle sucking babe? But consider further then this, my good sister, said he: where Abrahā was cōmaunded but to offer his sonne, you are heuy & greued, because you offer not your self, which goeth somewhat more nere ye then Abrahams obedience did, & therfore before God assuredly, no lesse accepted & allowed in his holy presēce, which further the preparing of your shroude also doth argue ful wel &c. After which like talke betwene them, she began a litle to stay her self, & gaue her whole exercise to reading & prayer, wherein she found no litle cōfort. In the time that these foresaide ii. good weomen were prysoners, one in the castel, and the other in Mote hall: God, by a secret meane, called þe said Margaret Thurston vnto his truthe againe, who hauing her eyes opened by the working of his holy spirite, did greatly sorrow and lament her backsliding before, and promised faithfully to the Lord, in hope of his mercies, neuer more whyle she liued to do the lyke againe, but that she would constantly stand to the confession of the same, against all the aduersaries of þe crosse of Christ. After whiche promyse made, came in short time a wryt from Londō for the burning of them, which according to the effect thereof, was executed the xvii. daye of September, in the yeare aforesayde.[Back to Top]
Nowe when these foresaid good weomē wer brought to the place in Colchester, where they should suffer, the xvii. day of Septēber, in the yeare aforesayd, they fel downe both vpon their knees, and made their hūble prayers vnto the Lord: whiche thing beyng done, they rose and went to the stake ioyfully, and were immediatly therto chayned, and after the fire had cōpassed them about, they with great ioye and glorious triumphe, gaue vp their soules, spirites & liues into the handes of the Lord, vnder whose gouernement and protection, for Christes sake we beseche him, to graunt vs his holy defense and helpe for euer more. Amen.[Back to Top]
Thus (gentle Reader) God choseth the weake thynges of the worlde, to confounde myghtie thynges.
This account first appeared in the 1563 edition. It is based on material taken from the Coventry diocesan registers which now survives in Foxe's papers as BL, Harley MS 421, fos. 69r-71v and 73r-74r.
MarginaliaOctober. 27.AFter the death and martyrdome of maistres Ioyce Lewys, a litle aboue specified pag. 1619. diuers good men & weomē in the same towne of Lichfield, were vexed & in trouble before the byshop and his Chauncellor, MarginaliaGood men and weomē troubled in Lichefield. for kissinge mastres Lewes before her death.for kyssing the sayd Ioyce Lewes, and drinking with her about the tyme of her death, the names of whiche persones were these: Ioane Loue, Elysabeth Smyth, Margaret Byddell, Helene Bowryng, Margaret Cootesfoote, Nicholas Byrde, Iohn Hurlestone, Agrnes Glyn, Agnes Glouer,
Agnes was the wife of John Glover, the spiritual mentor of Joyce Lewes.
And thus muche concerning thinges done at Lychefield.
This brief narrative first appeared in the 1563 edition. It is based on material sent to Foxe from the Chichester diocesan archives.
MarginaliaPersecutiō amōge the godly men at Chichester.ANd nowe from Lychefielde to come to Chichester, although we haue. but litle to report ther of, for lacke of certen relation and recordes of that countrey, yet it semeth no litle trouble and persecution there also to haue raged as in other countries.
Foxe is correct; the persecution started late in the diocese of Chichester, but in the final years of Mary's reign it raged with great intensity.