Navigate the 1563 Edition
PrefaceBook 1Book 2Book 3Book 4Book 5
Critical Apparatus for this Page
Commentary on the Text
Names and Places on this Page
Unavailable for this Edition
681 [625]

To be short, there was fewe in this tumulte, but that either throughe obliuion, lefte some thing behind them, or through negligence loste some thing.

Thus you haue hitherto heard the horrible storye of the fyre that did no hurte, whiche allbeit in all partes and actes it be not perfect, yet is it rudelye described. And althoughe it be not expressed accordinge to the dignitye of the matter, yet because it is not to be passed with silence, we haue as it were by a passage set forth a picture therof, wherby the wise and discrete reader maye sufficientlye consider the reast, whiche maye seeme to be wantynge in our narratiō. As touching the hereticke, he had done sufficient penaunce, and went his waies being holpen rather by the benefit of the time then throughe the mercye or pitye of the deuines. About this time also ther was xii. Germaines, Anabaptistes condemned by Stokesly and the other Bishoppes, of whiche noumber two, a man and a woman were burned at Lōdon in Smithfielde, the other were burned in other sondry townes and villages.

[Back to Top]

In this yeare the kinges maiesty vnderstanding that all Idolatry and vaine Pilgrimages war not vtterly abolyshed wyth in hys domynyons, directid his letters vnto tharchbishop of Canterbury for the spedye correction and amendment of the same. The copy of which letters here ensue.

☞ The king to the bishop of Caunterbury.

RIght reuerend father in God, right trusty & welbeloued, we grete you wel, letting you to wit, that wheras here to fore vpon the zeale & remembrance, which we had to our bounden duety towardes almighty God, preceiuing sōdry superstitiōs & abuses to be vsed and embrased by our people, wherby they greuously offēded him & his word, we did not onlye cause the Images & bones of such as they resorted & offred vnto, with thornaments of the same, & all such wrytings & monumentes of fained miracles, wherwith they wer illuded, to be taken away in al places of our realme, but also by our iniunctions cōmaunded that no offring or setting of lightes or candels shuld be suffred in any church, but only to the blessed sacrament of the altre. It is lately come to our knowledge þt this our good intēt & purpose, notwithstāding the shrines, couering of shrines, & monumēts of those things do yet remain in sondry places of this realme, much to the slaunder of our doinges, and to the great displeasure of almighty God, the same being meanes to allure oure subiectes to their former Ipocrisy and superstition, and also that our Iniunctiōs be not kept as apertaineth, for the due and spedy reformation wherof, we haue thought meete, by these our letters expresly to wil and commaūd you,that incontinently vpon the receit hereof, you shall not only cause due searche to be made in your cathedral church for those things. And if any shrine, couering of shrine, table, monumēt of miracles or other pilgrimages do there continue, to cause it so to be taken awaye as there remaine no memorye of it, but also that you shall take order, withall the curates and other hauinge charge within your diocesse to do the semblable, and to see that oure iniunctions be duelye kepte as appertaineth, without failing as we trust you, and as you will answeare for the contrary. Geuen vnder our signet at oure towne of Hull, the iiii. daye of October in the xxxiii. yere of our raigne.

[Back to Top]
¶ The history of iiii. 
Commentary  *  Close

This is a careless error, only three people were burned at Windsor. Foxe was repeating the number four from the heading of this account in the Rerum (p. 182); however, both the Rerum and 1563 accounts make it clear that only three people were burned.

men burned at Windsore. 
Commentary  *  Close
Testwood, Filmer, Marbeck and Person

In March 1543, William Simons, a Windsor lawyer and Dr. John London, the warden of New College, Oxford, and a prebendary of Windsor, accused five people of heresy: Anthony Pearson, a preacher and outspoken sacramentarian, Robert Bennet, a lawyer, Henry Filmer, a tailor, Robert Testwood, a chorister of St. George's Chapel and John Marbeck, the organist at the chapel. There were high stakes involved; these accusations were an attempt to eradicate heresy at the royal court (Philip (not William) Hoby and Sir Thomas Carden were gentlemen ushers of the Privy Chamber, with constant access to the king. Thomas Weldon was a master of the Royal Household and Snowball had the delicate and trusted position of yeoman chef for the king's mouth). As Foxe's account makes it clear, the five accused were pressured to reveal heretics at court. Simon Haynes, the dean of Windsor, and an evangelical sympathiser, was also arrested, as were other figures on the fringes of the court, notably Thomas Sternhold, the future co-author of the metrical psalms. At virtually the same time, a series of investigations into heresy in Kent were initiated, which targeted Archbishop Cranmer himself. (For the background to the troubles at Windsor, see Diarmaid MacCulloch, Thomas Cranmer [New Haven, 1996], pp. 297-322 and Glyn Redworth, In Defence of the Church Catholic: The Life of Stephen Gardiner [Oxford, 1990], pp. 184-207). In July, Pearson, Filmer, Testwood and Marbeck were brought to trial before a jury and justices at Windsor. (Bennet was too ill to be tried). All four sentenced to death under the Act of Six Articles. Marbeck, however, was pardoned and Bennet was released through the intervention of the Bishop of Salisbury on his behalf. Filmer, Pearson and Testwood were burned at Windsor on 28 July 1543.

[Back to Top]

The evolution of Foxe's account of this episode was complicated and at times his narrative was confused. In the Rerum, Foxe had an account of five men who were burned at Windsor in 1544 (Rerum, pp. 182-3). Foxe drew much of the material for this episode from Hall's chronicle. (See Edward Hall, The union of the two noble and illustre famelies of Lancastre and York [London, 1560?], STC 12723a, fo. 256r-v). But Foxe had information that Hall did not: some of the articles alleged against Marbeck and the charges against Bennet. (In fact, Hall does not mention Bennet). Moreover, as Foxe, in his second edition, made it clear that he also consulted original documents from the case; including the writ authorizing the execution of the martyrs (Foxe probably based his account of the Windsor martyrs partly on documents that must have been sent to him during his exile). But in doing so, he got confused on an essential point: he stated that Marbeck, Testwood and Pearson were burned and that Filmer was pardoned.

[Back to Top]

Foxe translated the account in the Rerum, word-for-word, in the 1563 edition (pp. 626-7). However, as the printing of this edition progressed, Foxe learned of his mastake. On p. 1742 of the edition, Foxe included a list of errata, and this included a mention - in the middle of a column of errors listed in small type - that he had confused Marbeck with Filmer and that he had failed to mention that Bennet was never tried or condemned.

[Back to Top]

Nicholas Harpsfield noticed Foxe's mistake and either failed to notice, or disregarded, his correction. In a few caustic passages Harpsfield used Foxe's error as the platform for a pointed attack on the overall credibility of the Acts and Monuments. After quoting Foxe's assertion that Marbeck was burned, Harpsfield sarcastically observed that Marbeck 'still lives, singing and playing the organ most beautifully at Windsor, as he had been accustomed to do' (DS, pp. 962-3). Harpsfield's criticisms of Foxe's mistake were taken up by other Catholic writers and repeated as a 'proof' of Foxe's inaccuracy for centuries.

[Back to Top]

Harpsfield's criticisms also goaded into a massive response. The two pages devoted to the Windsor martyrs in the 1563 edition expanded to thirteen pages in the 1570 edition. Moreover, the account was completely rewritten as the material in the 1563 edition was discarded and replaced with a detailed narrative obtained from John Marbeck himself (This is an important indication that Marbeck himself was the source of this narrative). A manuscript copy of Marbeck's narrative, partially annotated by Foxe in preperation for printing, survives as BL, Lansdowne MS 389, fos. 240r-276r). After the Marbeck narrative, Foxe appended a heated riposte to Harpsfield (this was Foxe's response to the charge made by Nicholas Harpsfield that Foxe had erroneously identified Marbeck as a martyr, and to the implication, rapidly taken up by other Catholic writers, that this demonstrated Foxe's inaccuracy). Foxe's treatment of this incident provides an excellent example of the impact of Harpsfield's criticisms and the ways in which they forced Foxe to expand his text and improve his research.

[Back to Top]

Thomas S. Freeman

Marginalia1543.NOw we will passe ouer þe priest whiche was hanged in the porters lodge of the bishop of Winchester at that time beinge Steuen Gardener, and one Henrye with his seruaunt burned at Colchester in the yeare 1538. And a nother man one Kyrbye a tailer burned at London, because we haue no certentye of their time, and so proceade vnto þe yere of our Lord 1543. In whiche yeare in þe moneth of Iune there was foure accused and condempned of heresye and burned at Wyndsor, whose names were these, Anthony Peerson Priest, Robert Testwood singinge man, Henrye Finmore tailer, and Ihon Marbeke singing man.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaPierson.Fyrste there was obiected againste Pierson 

Commentary  *  Close

Anthony Pearson (or Parson, Parsons or Peerson) was vicar of All Hallows, Canterbury and his radical activities there had stirred up controversy (L&P 18 (2), pp. 310 and 318).

, these articles: That for two yeres before he had spoken these woordes in companye. Euen as Christ did once hange betwene two theues, euen so when he is holden vp betwene the priestes hands doth he as it were hang betwene ii. theues, except that priest do sincerelye preache the word of God.

[Back to Top]

Item that another time he taught in the pulpit, that Christ shuld not so be eaten of the people as he did hange vpon the crosse, wyth hys fleshe torne, and the bloude runninge aboute their mouths, but that he was so to be eaten this day, that we might also fede on him to morow and next day, and so cōtinually. And that Christe was of more manifest power after hys resurrection then he was before.

[Back to Top]

Item that Christ sittinge with his disciples commendinge the scriptures vnto them, meaning as it were the worde of God, spake these wordes. That is that word, This is þe breade, this is that body of Christ.

Also that he said more ouer, that Christ whē he brake breade with his Disciples, sayinge, take, deuide it amongste you, and eate, thys is my bodye, and likewise the cuppe sayinge, this is my bloude, what kinde of other thynge

woulde
LL.i.