Critical Apparatus for this Page
Commentary on the TextCommentary on the Woodcuts
Names and Places on this Page
Unavailable for this Edition
1268 [1268]

K. Henry. 8. The storye and Martyrdome of William Tyndall.

MarginaliaPointz attached by Philips.Thus vpon his informatiō and accusatiō, Pointz was attached by the Procurour generall, the Emperours attourney, and delyuered to the kepynge of two Sargeauntes of armes: and the same euenynge was sent to hym one of the Chauncery with the Procurour generall, who ministered vnto hym an othe, that he should truely make aunswere to all suche thynges as shoulde bee inquired of hym, thinking they would haue had no other examinations of hym but of hys message. MarginaliaPointz examined.The next daye likewyse they came agayne and had hym in examination, and so fyue or six dayes one after another, vpon not so fewe as an hūdreth articles, as well of þe kynges affaires as of þe message cōcerning Tyndall, of his ayders & of his religion. Out of the which examinations, the Procurour generall drewe xxiij. or xxiiij. articles, and declared the same against the said Pointz: the copie wherof he delyuered to hym to make aunswere therunto, and permitted hym to haue an Aduocate and Procurour, that is, a doctor and proctour in the lawe: and order was taken, that eyght dayes after, he shoulde delyuer vnto them hys aunswere, and so from viij. dayes to eyght dayes, to proceede till the processe were ended: Also that he should send no messenger to Antwerpe, where as hys house was, beyng xxiiij. Englishe myles from Bruxelles, where hee was prysoner, nor to any other place, but by the Poste of the towne of Bruxelles: nor to sende any letters, nor any to be delyuered to hym, but written in Dutche 

Commentary  *  Close

I.e., Flemish

, and the Procurour general, who was partie agaynst hym, to reade them, to peruse and examine thē thorowly, contrary to all ryght and equitie, before they were sent or delyuered: Neyther myght anye bee suffered to speake or talke with Pointz in anye other tongue or language, except onelye in the Dutche tongue, so that hys keepers who were Dutche men, myghte vnderstande what the contentes of the letters or talke should be, sauinge that at one certayn tyme the Prouinciall of the whyte fryers came to dynner where Poyntz was prisoner, and brought with hym a younge Nouies, beynge an Englishe man, whom the Prouinciall after dynner, of hys owne accorde, dyd bydde to talke with the sayd Pointz, and so with him he was licenced to talke. The purpose & great pollicye therin was easye to bee perceyued. MarginaliaTalke betwen Poyntz, and a Nouice.Betwene Pointz & the Nouice was much pretye talke, as of Syr Thomos More, and of the Byshop of Rochester, & of theyr puttynge to death: whose death he seemed greatly to lamente, especyally dying in such a quarell, worthy (as he sayde) to be accounted for Martyrs, with other noble doctrine and depe learnyng in diuinitie, meete to feede Swyne withall. Such blyndnes then in those dayes raygned amongst thē. After thys Pointz deliuered vp hys aunswere to the Procurour generall, & then after, at the daies appointed went forth with replicatiō duplicke, wt other aunsweres eche to other in writing what they could.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaPoyntz troubled for M. Tyndall.As the Commissioners came to Pointz, Philippes the traytor accompanied them to the doore in following the processe against him,as he also dyd against M. Tyndall, for so they that had Pointz in keping, shewed him. Thus Pointz for M. Tyndall was sore troubled & long kept in prison: but at length whē he saw no other remedy, by night he made his escape, & auoyded their hādes. But good Tyndall could not escape their hāds, but remained in prison styll, who being brought vnto his aūswere was offered to haue an aduocate, & a proctor: for in any criminall cause there, it shalbe permitted to haue counsaill, to make aunswere in þe law. But he refused to haue any such, sayinge: that he woulde aunswere for him self: and so he dyd.

[Back to Top]
The Martyrdome and burnyng of Maister W. Tyndall, in Flaunders, by filford Castle.

MarginaliaThe Martyrdome of VV. Tyndall.
An. 1536.

The Martyrdome and burnyng of Maister W. Tyndall, in Flaunders, by filford Castle.
woodcut [View a larger version]
Commentary on the Woodcuts  *  Close
Tyndale occupies a pivotal position in Foxe's story and the picture of his martyrdom perhaps reflects this in aiming to represent the difference of a continental execution. The scene at Vilvorde shows the great castle wall rearing up behind the condemned man, and the crowd is composed mainly of officials and clergy (including friars) and armed guards, holding no potential sympathisers (or women) like those depicted at English burnings. The scaffold itself is a different feature, and appears in a comparable image, the woodcut representing the burning of John Hooper, in Foxe's 1559 Rerum in Ecclesia Gestarum, in which it and the martyr are being engulfed by flames. But though Tyndale (like Hooper) is shown chained to the stake standing on this platform, as if in preparation for burning alive, his death, by strangulation, was more merciful. His body was burned thereafter -- and the two bundles of faggots indicate its preparation -- but this followed on after an interval. It is the words in the bandarole that resonate for readers of the book: that famous prayer for England's salvation: 'Lord open the king of Englands eies'. Like other such celebrated last utterances, this sentence was reset, by changes in the drop-in typsettings in the different editions -- itself an act of faith ? a technical necessity? or perfectionism on the part of the printer? CUL copy: additional detail is provided in ink in this copy. WREN: this illustration is rather crudely coloured in the Wren copy.

MarginaliaThe condemnation of Maister Tyndall.At last, after much reasonyng, when no reason would serue, although he deserued no death, hee was cōdemned by vertue of the Emperours decree made in the assemble at Ausbrough  

Commentary  *  Close

The decree, issued at Augsburg in 1530, gave the Regent's Council in the Low Countries final jurisdiction in heresy cases, unless the Emperor personally intervened.

(as is before signified) and vppon the same, brought forth to the place of exe-cution. was there tyed to the stake, and then strangled first by the hangman, and afterward with fire cōsumed in the mornyng at the towne of filford. an. 1536. crying thus at the stake with a feruent zeale, & a loude voyce: MarginaliaThe prayer of M. Tyndall.Lorde open the Kyng of Englandes eyes.

[Back to Top]
Such
DDD.iiij.