Actes and Monumentes of the Church.
The description of Smythfielde with the order and maner of certayne of the Councell, sytting there at the burnyng of Anne Askewe and Lacels with the others.
The order and maner of the burning of Anne Askew, Ihon Lacels, Ihon Adams, Nicholas Belenian, with certaiyne of the Councell sitting at Smithfield
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Commentary on the Woodcuts
This large woodcuts was reused from another book printed by or for John Day; it first appeared in Robert Crowley's The confutation of .xiii. articles, wherunto N. Shaxton...subscribed . A successful panoramic scene (which had to be folded to fit into the octavo book it was made for), it is in a style unlike other woodcuts in the Acts and Monuments. Its designer was faithfully following the description given by John Bale in the 1546-7 editions of Anne Askew's Examinations. The bolt of lightning coming from the cloud at the top over the church is explained by this textual fidelity. The vast crowd of onlookers forming a great circle round the execution is quite skilfully presented from an aerial viewpoint looking down on the throng of packed heads. Note the gable cross on east end of the church and the figures on the roof and tower. The notables present are seated on a specially erected scaffold that set them high above the standing spectators and the ring. Within the circle of action, Bishop Shaxton is raised up in his portable wooden pulpit, officials gather the bundles of faggots for the fire, and at the centre Anne Askewe and the companions with whom she was to die stand waiting.
¶ John Lasselles, Iohn Adams, and Nicolas Belenian.
THere was at the same tyme also burnt together with her one Nicolas Belenian priest of Shropshyre, Iohn Adams a tayler, and Iohn Lasselles Gentlemā of the Courte and housholde of kynge Henry. There is a certaine appologetical, or defensiue Epistle extant, whiche this man briefly wrote, beyng in pryson, touchyng the Sacrament of the body and bloud, wherein it doth bothe confute the errour of them whiche not beyng contented with the spyritual receauyng of the Sacrament wyll leaue no substaunce of bread therein, and also doth put of the synister interpretation of many thereupō. It happened well for them, that they died together with Anne Askewe. For albeit that of thē selues they were strong and stout menne, yet through the exāple & praier of her, thei being þemore boldned, receyued occasion of more greater comforte, in that so painfull and doolefull kynde of death, not only beholdyng her inuincible constancie, but also oftentimes stirred vp through her perswasions, they did set apart all kynde of feare. Thus they confyrming one another with mutuall exhortations, taried lookyng for the tormenter and fyre, whiche at the last flamyng round about them, cōsumed their blessed bodies in happie martyrdome, in the yeare of our saluatiō 1546. about the moneth of Iune.[Back to Top]
¶ Here foloweth the copy of the letter Apologeticall of Iohn Lasselles wrytten out of pryson
John Lascelles's letter is not included in the Bale editions of the Examinations.
SAint Paule because of sectes and dissention among the Corinthiās, wrote this Epistle, and in lyke case perteynyng to my conscience, I do proteste my whole harte in the blessed Supper of the