eisq orandis, de imaginibus sanctorum venerãdis, de peregrinationibus, de præceptis et conciliis euangelicis. And likewise of al other artycles wherein controuersye or dissention hathe bene in the church before this daye. If he wyll not abiure for bying of the bokes, keping and conueyinge of them into my diocesse, I shall kepe him tyl I haue asked further councell. And therfore speake to Richarde Hill that he kepe him surely, and as a prisoner, for surelye he shal abiure or he depart from me. And thus fare ye wel at Horne the xvi. day of Iune. 1531[Back to Top]
By Gods mother I feare I haue burned Abel, and let Cayne goo.
This sentence is largely to recounting the ordeals of a number of evangelicals, who suffered during an extensive crackdown on heresy conducted in 1531-2 while Thomas More was Lord Chancellor. More was clearly acting in an unofficial partnership with John Stokesley, bishop of London, and he played a major role in the persecution of three of these martyrs: Richard Bayfield, John Tewkesbury and James Bainham. There are also a few other individuals whose sufferings are described here: an obscure and unnamed old man in Buckinghamshire; John Randall, a Cambridge student and evangelical who was allegedly murdered around 1531, and Edward Freese, who was arrested for heresy in 1534.[Back to Top]
Foxe's major source for these accounts, particularly those of Bayfield, Tewkesbury and Bainham, was now lost court books of Bishop Stokesley and Tunstall.. In one case, Foxe drew on Tunstall's register (Guildhall MS 9531/10, fo. 123r-v). He also drew on works by John Bale and Thomas More (see especially Bale, Catalogus; Bale, The epistle exhortatorye of an English Christiane [Antwerp, 1544?], STC 1291.5, fo. 13v; The Confutation of Tyndale's Answer, ed. L. A. Schuster, Richard C. Marius, James P. Lusardi and Richard J. Schoeck, CWTM 8[3 vols., New Haven, CT, 1973], I, p. 8). Foxe, however, also drew on information supplied by individual informants, particularly for the accounts of Tewkesbury, Randall, Freese and Bainham. One of these sources was Joan Fish, the widow of James Bainham (For Joan Bainham as a source for other accounts in Foxe see Thomas S. Freeman, 'The importance of dying earnestly: the metamorphosis of the account of James Bainham in "Foxe's Book of Martyrs" in The Church Retrospective, ed. R. N. Swanson, Studies in Church History 33 (Woodbridge, 1997), pp. 272-3). In the case of John Randall, Foxe's source was clearly his wife or his wife's family.[Back to Top]
These sources presented several problems for Foxe. The first was that of confusion, because Foxe was getting different information on the same people for different sources at different times. As a result, the material on Bayfield and Bainham, in particular, is badly organised. In fact, the description of a recantation, which is attributed to John Tewkesbury in the first edition, is attributed to James Bainham in subsequent editions. The second problem is that the material coming from individual informants was, occasionally, unreliable. The account of Randall's murder is almost certainly an exaggeration of a family tragedy (for instance, Nicholas Harpsfield questioned how a murderer could have killed Randall, place him in a noose, and then leave the room, with the door bolted from the inside?), while the account of Bainham's last words is probably a pious invention (Thomas S. Freeman, 'The importance of dying earnestly: the metamorphosis of the account of James Bainham in "Foxe's Book of Martyrs"' in The Church Retrospective, ed. R. N. Swanson, Sudies in Church History 33 (Woodbridge, 1997), pp. 278-81).[Back to Top]
Thomas S. Freeman
AFter the death of the godlye martir maister Bilney, next foloweth the storye of master Bayfeld, who suffered the same yere, as here followeth in order, in declaringe fyrst his life, then his suffrings to be sene.
This material on Bayfield's background comes from a knowledgeable informant (Robert Barnes attended the University of Louvain in the years 1517-21 (ODNB). Edmund Rougham matriculated there in 1520 (Emden A, p. 243). The knowledge of the activities of Maxwell and Stacy (see comment after next) and the account's greater detail on what happened to Bayfield in London suggest that this informant was based in the capital.[Back to Top]
On Laurence Maxwell see 1563, p. 418. On James Stacy also see 1563, p. 418 as well as 1570, p. 1161 and p.1185; 1576, p. 993 and 1014; 1583, p.1021 and pp. 1041-1042
Edmund Rougham. In 1545, now apparently more theologically conservative, Rougham would preach at the burning of John Kirby in Bury St. Edmunds. Edward Rougham had formerly been an evangelical sympathiser and a friend of Richard Bayfield and Robert Barnes.
Robert Barnes attended the University of Louvain in the years 1517-21 (ODNB). Edmund Rougham matriculated there in 1520 (Emden A, p. 243). This accurate detail helps to establish the general accuracy of this account.
I.e. in the abbey of Bury St. Edmunds.
This must have taken place before Christmas Day 1525, when Robert Barnes would preach a sermon that embroiled him in heresy charges (ODNB).
Foxe's account presents difficulties here. Bayfield apparently left Cambridge and went to London before Robert Barnes was convicted of heresy early in 1526. In 1528, he was tried for heresy by Bishop Cuthbert Tunstall of London. Bayfield abjured and various penances were imposed upon him: most notably, that he was to resume wearing his monastic habit, to return to the abbey of Bury St. Edmunds and never to re-enter the diocese of London without episcopal permission. After his abjuration, Bayfield definitely fled overseas. He then began importing heretical works into England, on a large scale. In 1531, Bayfield was again arrested (as Foxe describes) visiting a bookbinder. Either Bayfield went abroad twice, once before and once after, his first arrest for heresy or (more likely) Foxe was confused in dating Bayfield's flight.[Back to Top]
The coal house of the bishop of London's palace in the capital was frequently used as an ad-hoc detention centre for prisoners whom the bishop was examining.
Thomas Patmore, of Much Hadham. Susan Brigden has persuasively argued that the two Thomas Patmores mentioned by Foxe were, in fact, the same person and that Patmore while still vicar of Much Hadham, became free of the Drapers's Company (Susan Brigden, London and the Reformation [Oxford, 1989], p. 206). She suggests that the purpose of this was to remain incognito and that the Drapers were chosen because of a significant evangelical presence in their membership. But Patmore's purpose may simply have been to acquire London citizenship. And the Drapers's Company may have been chosen beecause his father had been a member of the company. He was arrested but released due to petitions from his supporters to Anne Boleyn and Thomas Cromwell (L&P VII, p. 348).[Back to Top]
This parson Patmore died in lollers tower, he was taken because he maried hys priest in those dais.
He had always corn plenty, and when the markettes were verye deare, he would send plentye of hys corne there to pluck doun the pryces therof.thē lying in lollers tower was in the doctrin, and in the kingdome of Christ there confirmed by him. So in the cole house was he worser hãdled, then he was before in the Lollers tower, for there he was tied both by the neck, middle and legges, standing vp right by the wals diuers times manicled to accuse other that had boughte his bookes, but he accused none but stode to his religion and cõfession of his faith vnto the very end, and was in the consistarye of Paules thrise put to his triall, whether he would abiure or no, he said he would dispute for his faith, and so did to their greate shame, Stokesley being his iudge, with thassistance of Winchester and other byshoppes, where of here foloweth now the circumstance in order to be sene.[Back to Top]
The articles charged against Bayfield, his answers to them, the sentence of degradation imposed on him and the letter to the mayor and sheriffs of London, are taken from a now lost court book of Bishop John Stokesley. Because Foxe does not mention Bayfield's first trial for heresy, the reader is likely to be confused by the references below to punishments already imposed on Bayfield. This was Bayfield's second trial for heresy.[Back to Top]
Marginalia1.FIrst þt you haue bene many yeres a monke professed of thorder of S. Benet, of S. Edmonds Bery, in the diocesse of Norwich.
Marginalia2.Item that you be a priest, & haue ministred and continued in the same order, the space of ix. or x. yeres.
Marginalia3.Item þt sithens the feast of Easter last, you being beyond the sea, bought and procured to haue diuers & many bokes, & treatises of sondry sorts, aswel of Martin Luthers own workes, as of diuers other of his dampnable sect, & of Oecolampadius the great heretike, and diuers other heretikes, both in laten and English, the names of which bookes are conteined in a litle bil wrytten with your own hand.[Back to Top]
Marginalia4.Item þt in the yere of our lord 1528. you wer detected & accused to Cuth. then bishop of London for affirming & holdinge certen articles, contrary to the holy church, and specially that all laud and praise should be geuen to God alone, and not to saintes or creatures.
Marginalia5.Item þt euery priest might preach the word of God by thautority of the gospel, & not to rū to the pope or cardinals for licence, as it appereth by your cõfession before the said bishop.
Item that ye iudicially abiured the said articles before the said bishop, and did renounce and forswere them and al other articles cõtrary to the determination of holy church, promising þt from thence forth you wold not fal into anyof them, nor any other errors.