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725 [669]

remembrance by this occasion, to speke of the like plage and punishment of the cardinall of s. andros in Scotland caled Dauid Beatō, who puttinge cruelly to death George Wizarde a little before mentioned in his castell of Saint Androse in the yeare of our Lorde. 1546. MarginaliaThe Cardinall of saint Andros slaine.was also him selfe slayne by the handes of certaine gentilmē of the country, about two moneths after the last day of May the yere aboue saide. Crieng alas alas sley me not I am a priest.

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And thus much concerninge matters and troubles in the towne of Callis, saue that we haue omitted the story of one William Crosbow maker 

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This incident must have happened before William Warham's death in August 1532.

, a souldier in the same towne of Callis who a little before was put to beare not a faggot through fauour (bycause he was the kinges seruant) but a billot, for that he asked vppon a time, whether if a manne were sodenlye take, and wanted another thinge, he might not with oute offence occupye one of the popes pardons, in steade of a broken paper MarginaliaHe meneth that the popes bules serueth wel for the Iackes.And the other question was, whither in the worlde might better be wantinge dogges or popishe priestes. And whan it was aunswered that dogs mighte rather be wantinge: Nay, you are disceued said hee, for if there were no dogges we could make no mo, but if we lacked popishe ignorant priestes we might sone and easely make to many of them. These heynous heresies wer punished as you haue hard with bearinge a billet.

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Here next foloweth the same yeare the true examinations of Anne Askew, which here thou shalt haue gentle reder according as she wrote thē with her own hande, at the instante desire of certaine faithfull men and women, by the which (if thou marke dilligently) the communications bothe of her, and of her examiners thou maist easelly perceiue the tre by the frute and the man by his worke.

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¶ The two examinations of the worthy seruant of God, Maistris An Askew 
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Little is known about Anne Askew (c. 1521-46) prior to her examination before a London Grand Jury (quest) in March, 1545. She was the daughter of a Lincolnshire knight, Sir William Askew (or Ayscough), and was married at a young age to another knight, Sir Thomas Kyme, apparently against her will. According to John Bale, the first editor of Askew's Examinations (John Bale, The Lattre Examinacyon of the worthye servaunt of God mastres Anne Askewe [Marburg, 1547]), Kyme had been previously betrothed to Askew's older sister, Martha, but she died before their wedding took place and Anne was offered as a substitute bride. Askew and Kyme had two children, but the couple became estranged due to her conversion to and proselytizing of the evangelical heresy and his subsequent decision to expel her from their marital home, seemingly in response to pressure from local priests whom she had antagonized (Bale, Lattre Examination [1547], 15r-v). After fruitlessly petitioning for a divorce in the ecclesiastical court in Lincoln, Askew travelled to London, where her sister Jane and brother Edward served at court. There she continued her unsuccessful pursuit of a divorce, this time in the Court of Chancery.

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In London, Askew came into contact with prominent evangelicals like Edward Crome, Nicholas Shaxton, Hugh Latimer, David Whitehead, and John Lascelles (with whom she was burned), and it seems she had some sort of contact with either Catherine Parr (Henry VIII's sixth queen) or some of the ladies of her court. It is also possible that she was in contact with the sometime Lollard executed for Anabaptism during Edward VI's reign, Joan Boucher (John Davis, 'Joan of Kent, Lollardy and the English Reformation', Journal of Ecclesiastical History 33 [1982], 231). She was arrested on suspicion of heresy in March 1545 (confirmed by the City of London Record Office Repertory 11, fol. 174v), but then released on bail without indictment after a preliminary hearing before a quest (Grand Jury) and a series of interrogations by the Lord Mayor of London and Edmund Bonner, Bishop of London. According to the Windsor Herald, Charles Wriothesley, she was arraigned in June of 1545, but this arrest and arraignment are not mentioned in the Examinations (Charles Wriothesley, A Chronicle of England during the Reigns of the Tudors: from AD 1485 to 1559, ed. William Douglas Hamilton, 2 vols [London, 1875], 1: 155-56). In June 1546, Askew was summoned before the king's Privy Council at Greenwich (Acts of the Privy Council of England, ed. John Roche Dasent, 46 vols (London, 1890), 1, p. 462), who condemned her under the Act of the Six Articles for denying the real presence of the body and blood of Christ in the bread and wine of the Sacrament of the Altar (article one in the Act of the Six Articles condemned any interpretation of the nature of the sacramental elements other than transubstantiation, and mandated death by burning for a first offense).

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Following her condemnation, Askew was illegally tortured in the Tower of London at the hands of two members of King Henry's Privy Council, in an apparent attempt by conservative members of the council to gain information to implicate, as supporters of evangelical reform, female members of Catherine Parr's circle, with whom Askew was thought to be acquainted. According to the description of her torture in the Examinations, Askew was asked, on the rack, about her connections to the Countesses of Suffolk and Hertford, and Ladies Denny and Fitzwilliam; she confessed that two men who had brought her money in prison had told her they were sent by Lady Denny and Lady Hertford, but would say nothing more than that. Crippled from the rack, Askew was burned at Smithfield in London on 16 July 1546, along with three male Protestants, including John Lascelles. Nicholas Shaxton, who had been arrested for his part in counseling Crome against recantation, and who had been arraigned with Askew in June, preached his sermon of recantation at her execution.

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The story of Anne Askew is told through two sets of documents, first published by John Bale (along with his own lengthy 'elucidation') as the First Examinacyon and the Lattre Examinacyon of… Mastres Anne Askewe (in 1546 and 1547 respectively). Following the appearance of these first editions of these two texts, the popularity of Askew's story soon led to a demand for more editions. The two Examinations subsequently appeared bound together in three further editions, once with Bale's commentary, in 1547, and twice without it, in 1548 and 1550. Foxe reproduced the Examinations (translated into Latin and without Bale's commentary) in his 1559 Rerum in Ecclesia Gestarum. Another English edition of the two texts, again omitting Bale's elucidation, was produced early in Queen Elizabeth's reign (1560), and the Examinations appear again, shaped by Foxe's editing, in the several editions of the English Acts and Monuments.

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The original authorship of these documents is a thorny question. Bale claims that the texts describing Askew's series of examinations, along with various letters and statements of faith included in the Lattre Examination, were written by the woman herself and smuggled out of her prison to him in his exile on the continent, where he received them from merchants (both Examinations were first published from Marburg). But even if this is so, there is no reason to think that anyone but Bale ever saw the original manuscripts used by him, and this includes John Foxe. It has been convincingly argued that Foxe's base text for his Askew account is the 1550 edition of Bale's Examinations (published by William Copland), with both First and Lattre accounts bound into one book without Bale's commentary (See Thomas F. Freeman and Sarah Elizabeth Wall, 'Racking the Body, Shaping the Text: The Account of Anne Askew in Foxe's Book of Martyrs', Renaissance Quarterly 54 [2001], 1165-96).

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Foxe's use of the Askew account has been neglected in modern scholarship in favor of Bale's editing of it, primarily because Bale so explicitly imposed much of his agenda on the account, by virtue of his elucidation. But recently, Foxe's shaping of the account has also come under scrutiny, most significantly by Freeman and Wall. Taking careful note of the fact that it is impossible to determine to what extent Bale wrote or edited the actual text of the Askew Examinations prior to publishing them - and no autographed manuscript has been found of any of the texts attributed to Askew - Freeman and Wall argue that both Bale and Foxe must be considered collaborators in the production of the Askew narrative. They were both its mediators and shapers.

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In this respect, Foxe's Examinations of Anne Askew tell the reader as much about his agenda as they do about her experiences. Again, the base text used by Foxe is a 1550 edition of the Examinations in which the two sets of examinations and other texts appear together, without Bale's commentary. But Foxe does not simply reproduce his base text: he makes stylistic and substantive alterations to it (Freeman and Wall, 1176), in the process altering both rhythm and emphases, with a skilled eye to dramatic effect. But Foxe's own editing of the Examinations also changes from edition to edition of his martyrology, first between the Latin Rerum (1559) and his first English edition of the Acts and Monuments (1563), and then, significantly, between first and second (1570) editions of the English work. Perhaps most significant in terms of Foxe's broad framing of the Askew account is the shift of his placement of her account between the first (1563) and second (1570) editions of the English Acts and Monuments, which Freeman and Wall suggest reflect his growing impatience with the progress of the Elizabethan religious reform (Freeman and Wall, 1186-89). Whereas in the 1563 edition of his work Foxe places the Askew account as merely one of a number of stories relevant to the last years of Henry VIII's reign - arranged with 'no apparent order…at all' (Freeman and Wall, 1186) - the 1570 edition sees the development of Askew's account as a 'keystone' for a number of related incidents, reflecting linked themes: resistance to reform by some of Henry VIII's councilors; the responsibility of the monarch to pursue reform regardless of opposition; and the 'disastrous consequences' if the monarch fails to do so, as had Henry (1188). Thus, Askew's story in the 1570 edition, which also sees expanded accounts of her torture and execution, stands as a reminder to Queen Elizabeth of her responsibility to pursue further religious reform - to complete the reformation she had begun - in a context in which it seemed increasingly unlikely that she would do so.

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Megan L. HickersonHenderson State University

, doughter of sir William Askew knight of Lincolneshire, martred in Smithfield for the Constante and faithfull testimonye of the truthe.

MarginaliaThe first examination of An askewTO satisfy your expectatiō, good people (saithe shee) this was my first examination in the yeare of our Lorde M.D.xlv. and in the moneth of March, first Christopher Dare examined me at Sadlers Hal, beyng one of the quest 

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A 'quest' is a Grand Jury. The parliamentary act, De Haeretico Comburendo (1401), giving bishops the ability to condemn heretics on their own authority and turn them over to the secular power for burning, had been repealed in 1534 (25 Henry VIII, c. 14). But in 1544 (35 Henry VIII, c. 5) Parliament had further undermined ecclesiastical power (possibly in reaction to the harsh penal code attached to the Act of the Six Articles of 1539, which denied those falling foul of the first article on the Real Presence of the opportunity to recant), by requiring that bishops' proceedings against suspected heretics be preceded by Grand Jury indictment. For this reason Askew's imprisonment following her appearance before the Grand Jury (or 'quest') was technically illegal.

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Nevertheless, Common Law and Ecclesiastical courts were still in contention at the time of Askew's arrest over jurisdiction of heresy cases (see Paula McQuade, '"Except that they had offended the Lawe": Gender and Jurisprudence in the Examinations of Anne Askew', Literature & History 3 [1994], 4-6). Bonner, by continuing to hold and interrogate Askew following her appearance before the quest, showed a certain willingness to flout the letter of parliamentary law, but he could certainly have returned her to a second jury had he been so inclined.

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, and asked if I did not beleue that the sacrament hanginge ouer the aultar was the very body of Christ really. Then I demaunded this question of him.

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Wherefore S. Steuen was stoned to death And he sayde, he coulde not tell. Then I aunswered, that no more would I assoyle his vain question. Secondly he saide that theire was awoman, which did testify, that I should reade, how god was not in temples made with hāds Then I shewed him the, vii. and the. xvii. Cha of the actes of the Apostles, what Steuen and Paule had saide therein. Wherupon he asked me, how I tooke those sentences? I aunswered that I woulde not throw pearles amonge swine, for accornes were good inough 

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Askew's reference to St Stephen (Acts 7 and 17) - which she will repeat later under examination by Bonner - is a veiled criticism of the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ's body and blood in the bread and wine of the Sacrament of the Altar. Stephen was stoned to death in part for claiming that God would not be found in temples made with human hands, and Askew interprets this as precluding the possibility that a man (even a priest) could make any vessel or substance 'containing' God. In refusing to explain her position further (or 'throw pealres among swine'), she then draws on Matthew 7, both insulting her questioner but also showing her awareness of the danger she would be in if she answered directly to her belief regarding the Real Presence: according to Matthew 7, Christ teaches, 'Geve not that which is holy/ to doggs/ nether cast ye youre pearles before swyne/ lest they treade them under their fete/ and the other tourne agayne and all to rent you' (William Tyndale, The newe Testament [Antwerp, 1534], ix[v]).

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Thirdelye he asked me, wherefore I saide, that I had rather to reade fiue lines in the bible, than to heare fiue masses in the temple, I confessed, that I said no lesse. Not for the dyspraise of either the Epistle or Gospell, but bycause the one did greatly edify me, & the other nothinge at all. As saint Paule doth witnesse in the. xiiii. Chapiter of his first Epistle to the Corrinthians, where as he doth say. If the trūpet geueth an vncertaine sounde, who wil prepare him selfe to the battaile.

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Fourthly he layed vnto my charge. that I shuld say. If an il priest ministred, it was the deuill and not God. My aunswere was, that I neuer spake such thinge. But this was my sainge: That what soeuer he were which ministred vnto me, his ill condicions could not hurt my faith but in spirite I receiued neuer the lesse, the body and bloude of christ 

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Askew's answer here implies that her responsibility for properly 'receiving' the blood and body of Christ is her own - the efficacy of the sacrament, or rather her receipt of it - has nothing to do with the condition of the priest ministering to her, as she will reiterate later before Bonner. This was controversial, since according to orthodox doctrine the transformation of the bread and wine into Christ's body and blood depended not on the condition of the recipient of the elements, nor on the moral condition of the priest, but on the priest's ordination. Askew implies a view essentially undermining the position of the Church in standing as mediator between her and God.

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. He asked me, what I saide concerning confession? I aunswered him my meaninge, which was as sainte Iames saieth, that euery man ought to knowledg his fautes to other, and þe one to praye for the other. Sixtly he asked me what I said to the kinges boke? And I answered him, that I coulde saye nothinge to it, bycause I neuer saw it 
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The King's Book, or A Necessary Doctrine and Erudition for Any Christian Man, published in 1543, is a comprehensive statement of English Church doctrine, called the King's Book due to Henry VIII's apparent enthusiasm for its contents. It is often considered part of a conservative "backlash" characterizing the Henrician 1540s, working hand in glove with the Act of the Six Articles (1539) and the Act for the Advancement of True Religion (1543) in this respect, and can be seen as an expression of Henrician religious conservatism. The notable exception to this is the King's Book's dismissive treatment of purgatory, although it nevertheless confirms the efficacy of Private Masses said for the dead. Despite Askew's claim never to have read the King's Book, that does not necessarily mean that she was unaware of its contents (see Megan L. Hickerson, 'Negotiating Heresy in Tudor England: Anne Askew and the Bishop of London', JBS 46 [October 2007], 784-86).

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. Seuenthly he asked me if I had the sprite of God in me? I aunswered if I had not, I was but reprobate or cast away Then he said, he had sent for a priest, to examine me, which was there at hand. The priest asked me, what I saide to the sacrament of the aulter? And required much to knowe therein my meaninge. But I desired him againe, to holde me excused concerninge that matter. None other aunswere would I make him bycause I perceiued him a papist 
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In refusing to speak to the priest sent to Askew by Christopher Dare, Askew's means of discrediting him is interesting. According to recent scholarship on the negotiation of the reformation between Henry VIII and his subjects, the appropriation of anti-papal language was at the heart of the complicity of the people of England in the break with Rome (including those both doctrinally orthodox and evangelical); indeed, anti-papism served as a conduit for the movement from Henrician Catholicism to acquiescence in the Edwardian reformation project (see Ethan Shagan, Popular Politics and the English Reformation [Cambridge, 2003]). In this instance, by calling the priest a papist, Askew was essentially drawing attention to herself as an obedient subject while refusing to speak with one of the king's priests, in the process both rhetorically aligning herself with the royal supremacy and casting doctrinal orthodoxy as itself subversive in being 'papist'.

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. Eightly he asked me, if I did not think that priuate masses did helpe soules departed: And saide, it was greate Idolatry to beleue more in them, than in the death which Christ died for vs 
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The issue of private masses (masses sung for the dead in Purgatory) was a fraught one in the 1540s. The fifth article of the Act of the Six Articles (1539) directs that private masses 'be contynued and admytted', and while the King's Book of 1543 all but dismisses the existence of Purgatory, it also advocates for the efficacy of Private Masses. However, Askew's answer to Dare's question here is of particular interest, because she addresses an issue not actually raised by her interrogator - the sacrificial nature of the mass itself. Dare asks Askew about the effect of private masses on the dead, but in her answer, Askew moves beyond his question, by contrasting private masses in efficacy to the 'deathe whych Christe dyed'. Thus she brings into question the dangerous issue of the nature of the Mass as an efficacious performance of Christ's propitiatory sacrifice on the Cross.

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. Thē they had me thence vnto my Lorde Maire and hee examined me, as they had before, and I aunswered him directly in al things as I answered the quest afore. Besides this my lord mair laide one thinge vnto my charge which was neuer spoken of me but of thē. And þt was whether a mouse eatinge the hoste, receiued God or no? This question did I neuer aske, but in dede they asked it of me, wherevnto I made them no aunswere but smiled 
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The identity of the lord mayor interviewing Askew is unclear. Archdeacon John Louth, in a letter to John Foxe written many years after Askew's death (British Library MS Harleian 425, 142r-143r), identified him as Martin Bowes, Lord Mayor from October 1545 to October 1546, but this identification brings into question the dating of Askew's first examination, which she states is March 1545. If Askew was using old-style dating (with the calendar year ending on March 25), then Louth's identification could be considered sound; however, as Elaine Beilin points out in her introduction to The Examinations of Anne Askew, Louth seems to confuse the events of the first and second examinations in other ways - by placing Askew's interview with Bowes in Tower of London rather than in the Guildhall, and by placing Bowes with the Privy Council. Thus, Beilin concludes, Bowes might have actually participated in the events of the Lattre Examination, rather than the First (Elaine Beilin (ed.), The Examinations of Anne Askew [Oxford, 1996], xxi-xxii).

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. Then the bishops chaunceller rebuked me, and sayde, that I was much to blame for vttring the scripturs.

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