MarginaliaThe words betwixt Boner & Iohn Fetty.God be here and peace, (quod Boner)? that is neither God speede, nor good morrowe. If ye kycke against this peace (sayde Fetty) then thys is not the place that I seeke for. A Chaplayne of the Byshoppes standynge by, turned the poore man about, and thynkynge to deface hym, sayde in a mocking wyse: what haue we here? a Player? Whylest thys Fettye was standynge in the Byshoppes chamber, he espyed hanging about the Byshoppes bedde a great payre of blacke beades, MarginaliaBoners beades. whereupon he sayde: my Lorde, I thynke the hangman is not farre of. for the halter (poyntynge to the beades) is here all readye. At whyche woordes the Byshoppe was in a marueilous rage. Then immediatelye after he espied also, standinge in the sayde Byshoppes chamber in the wyndowe, a lyttle Crucifix (before whiche belyke Boner vsed to kneele, in the tyme of hys hipocritical prayers). hee then asked the Byshoppe what it was, and he aunswered that it was Christ. Was hee handeled so cruelly as he is here pictured, quod Fettye? Yea that hee was, sayde the Byshoppe. And euen so cruellye wyll you handle suche as come before you, quod Fetty. MarginaliaBoner compared to Cayphas.For you are vnto Goddes people, as Cayphas was vnto Christe. Te Byshoppe beyng in a great fury, sayde: thou art a vyle hereticke, and I wyll burne thee, or els I wyll spende al that I haue vnto my gowne. Nay my Lord, sayd Fetty, ye were better to geue it to some poore body, þt he may pray for you. But yet Boner bethinking in him selfe of the daunger whyche the chylde was in by their whipping, and what peryl might insue thereupon, thought better to discharge him, which thing was accomplished. Whereupon after thys and suche talke, the Byshop at last discharged him, wyllynge him to go home and carye his chylde wyth hym, which he so dyd, and that with a heauye hart, to see hys poore boy in such extreme payne and greefe. But within fourtene daies after the chylde dyed, whether throughe thys cruell scourginge, or any other infirmitye, I know not, and therefore I referre the truthe thereof vnto the Lorde, who knoweth all secretes, and also to the discrete iudgement of the wyse Reader. But how so euer it was, the Lorde yet vsed this their cruel and detestable fact, as a meanes of his prouidence, for the deliuery of this good poore man, and faythful Christian. His name bee euer praysed therefore, Amen.[Back to Top]
In this society of the scourged professours of Christ, was also one Iames Harris, of Billerica in Essex, a strypling, of the age of. xvii. yeares. Who being apprehended and sent vp to Boner, in the company of Margaret Ellis by syr Iohn Mordaunt knight, and Edmund
Tirrel Iustices of peace (as appereth by their own letters before mencioned, pag. 1518) was by Boner diuers times straightly examined. In the which examinations hee was charged not to haue come to his parishe church by the space of one yeare or more. Whereunto hee graunted, confessing therwith all, that once for feare he had bene at the church, and there had receiued the popish sacrament of the aulter, for the which he was hartely sorye, detesting the same with all hys harte. After this and suche lyke answers, Boner (the better to trye him) perswaded him to go to shrift. The Ladde somewhat to fulfyl his request, consented to go, and dyd. But when he came to the Priest, he stoode styll and sayd nothing. Why quod the Priest, sayest thou nothing? What should I say, said Harris? Thou must confes thy synnes, said the priest. My synnes (saythe he) be so many, that they cannot be nombred. With that the Priest tolde Boner what hee had sayde, aud he of his accustomed deuotion tooke the poore Ladde in to hys gardein, and there with a rodde gathered out of a Cherye tree, dyd most cruelly whip him.[Back to Top]
For discussions of the importance of the providential judgements to Foxe and his contemporaries, and of the importance of these tales of divine protection of the faithful to Foxe's work see Alexandra Walsham, Providence in Early Modern England (Oxford: 1999), pp. 65-115 especially pages 108-09, and Thomas S. Freeman, 'Fate, Faction and Fiction in Foxe's Book of Martyrs', Historical Journal 43 (2000), pp. 601-23.[Back to Top]
Tales of the providential rescue of Alexander Wimshurst and of the protestant congregation at Stoke Nayland in Suffolk had already been printed in the Rerum (pp. 636-38) and were simply translated and reprinted in 1563 and all subsequent editions.
In the 1563 edition there was an important list of protestants who were non-lethally persecuted in Mary's reign (1563, pp. 1677-79). Most of this list was never reprinted because it contained the names of a number of protestant radicals - including freewillers and anabaptists - whom Foxe wished forgotten. Nevertheless a number of individual stories mixed in with these lists (the accounts of Edward Grew and William Browne) would be saved and reprinted in all editions.[Back to Top]
Beyond these cases, the stories of Simon Gryneaus, Thomas Christenmass and William Watts, John Glover, Dabney, Bosom's wife, John 'Moyse' (almost certainly John Noyse), the London congregation, the English at Calais, Thomas Horton, Robert Harrington, Nicholas Throgmorton and Thomas Musgrave all first appeared in the 1563 edition.[Back to Top]
In the next edition, some of these accounts were deleted for various reasons: the account of 'Moyse' was dropped almost certrainly because of the continuing influence of Francis Nunn, the Suffolk JP, whose persecution of 'Moyse' was graphically described, while Robert Cole's providential rescue was probably deleted because of Foxe's anger at Cole's prominent support of Archbishop Parker's vestments policy. The account of Throgmorton's successful defiance of the Marian government may have been politically sensitive by 1570. The accounts of Robert Harrington and Thomas Musgrave were also deleted for less clear reasons.[Back to Top]
On the other hand, numerous stories were added in the 1570 edition: the rescues of William and Julian Living, as well as that of John Lithall, and the deliverances of Elizabeth Young, John Davis, Anne Lacey, Edward Benet, Jeffrey Hurst, William Wood, Katherine Brandon (the dowager duchess of Suffolk), Thomas Sprat and William Porrege, John Cornet, Thomas Brice, Gertrude Crockhay, William Maldon, Robert Horneby and Elizabeth Sands. The account of Simon Grineaus was moved from the main body of the Acts and Monuments, where it had been in 1563 (pp. 441-42), and material was added to the story of Thomas Horton.[Back to Top]
In the 1576 edition, the story of Mrs Roberts was added and the account of John Davis deleted. This deletion was probably inadvertant and the account of Davis was re-inserted in the 1583 edition.
HAuing safely, deare beloued in Christ, by the power of God waded through the depth of a mightye Ocean, in collecting and discoursing the liues and endes, as well of suche which with constante courage moste valiantly and Stephenlyke suffered for Christ and his truth þe cruel and bitter death, as also of them which professinge the lighte of Christes Gospel, afterward, leauing their houses and countrey were constrained to flye from place to place, or els haue bene tryed wyth other punishments of roddes, rackes, handburnings, beard pluckinge, &c. I bethoughte my selfe of a thirde kind of people, no lesse in mine opinion worthye of cronicle and posteritye, I meane those which beinge in the very middest of all daunger, and inuironed rounde aboute wholy with ieoperdy, and no lesse constant in the truthe, by the singuler grace of God, Ihon & Daniellike, most miraculouslye and against all mens expectations in sauety were deliuered from the wicked and woluishe handes of theire enemies. In the whiche table and cataloge pleaseth the Quenes most excellent maiestye, and our redoubted Lady, amongest the chiefest to bee accompted and wrytten. For is it not more clere then the lighte, yea[Back to Top]