MarginaliaAn. 1557. September.payre of writing tables to note both the names of the women that dranke of her cup (as before you heard) and also described her frendes by their apparell: for presently he could not learne theyr names, and afterwardes enquired for theyr names, and so immediately processe was sent out for them, both to Couentry and to other places:
See 1563, p. 1683; 1570, p. 2220; 1576, p. 1815 and 1583, pp. 2023-24.
Apart from a brief section, added in 1570, describing alleged attempts to intimidate Margery Austoo, this entire account first appeared in the 1563 edition. It is based partly on official documents - the articles and answers of Ralph Allerton - partly on the testimony of informants and largely on the writings of Allerton and Roth. Apart from the anecdotes added in 1570, this account remained unchanged in subsequent editions.[Back to Top]
The story of Rafe Allerton.IN searching out the certayne nomber of the faithfull martyrs of God that suffred within the time and raigne of Queene Mary: I finde that about the. xvij. day of September, were burned at Islington, nigh vnto London, these foure constant professours of Christ, Rafe Allerton, Iames Awstoo, Margery Awstoo his wife, & Richard Roth. Amongst the which: it first appeareth that this Rafe Allerton was more then a yeare before his condemnation, apprehended & brought before the Lord Darcy of Chich, and was there accused, aswell for that he would not consent and come vnto the idolatry and supersticion which then was vsed, as also that he had by preaching entised others to doo the like. Being then hereupon examined, he confessed that he comming into his parish church of Bentley, and seing the people sitting there, eyther gasing about, or els talking together, exhorted them that they would fall vnto prayer and meditacion of Gods most holy worde, and not sit still idely. Wherunto they willingly consented. Then after prayer ended, he red vnto them a chapter of the new testament, and so departed.
In which exercise he continued vntill Candlemas, and then being enformed that he might not so doo by the law (for that he was no priest or minister) he left of, and kept himselfe close in his house vntill Easter then next after. At what time, certayne sworne men for the inquiry of such matters, came vnto his house and MarginaliaRafe Allerton attached.attached him for reading in the parish of Welley. But whē they vnderstoode that he had red but once, & that it was of obedience (wherunto he earnestly moued þe people) they let him for that time depart. Notwithstanding for feare of theyr crueltie he was not long after constrained to forsake his owne house, and kepe himselfe in woods, barnes, and other solitary places, vntill the time of his apprehension. After this examination, the Lord Darcy sent him vp vnto the Counsell: but they (not minding to trouble them selues with him) sent him vnto Boner.
The privy council's letter of 17 November 1557, sending Allerton to Bonner is APC VI, pp. 18-19. There is a copy of this letter in Foxe's papers: BL, MS Harley 419, fo. 134r.
But the Lord, who neuer suffereth his elect children vtterly to fall, casting his pitifull eyes vpon this lost shepe, with his mercifull and fatherly chastisement, did (with Peter) rayse him vp againe, geuing vnto him not onely harty and vnfayned repentance, but also a most constant boldnes to professe agayne (euen vnto the death) his most holy name and glorious gospel. Wherfore at the procurement of one MarginaliaThomas Tye priest, persecutor and promotor.Thomas Tye priest, sometime an earnest professor of Christ, but now a fierce persecutour of the same (as apperaeth more at[Back to Top]
large before in the history of William Munt and hys wife, pag. 2198.) he was agayne apprehended, and sent vp agayne vnto Boner, before whom he was the eyght day of Aprill, and sondry other times els examined. The reporte of which examinations, written by his owne hand with bloud for lacke of other incke, hereafter followeth.[Back to Top]
MarginaliaThe examinations of Rafe Allerton.BOner. A syrrha, how chaunceth it that you are come hether againe on thys fashion: I dare say thou art accused wrongfully.
Rafe. Yea my Lord, so I am. For if I were giltie of such thinges as I am accused of, then I would be very sory.
Boner. By saint Mary that is not well done. But let me heare: art thou an honest man? for if I can proue no heresie by thee, then shall thine accusers doe thee no harme at all. Goe to, let me heare thee: For I did not beleue the tale to be true.
Rafe. My Lord, who doth accuse me? I pray you let me know, and what is mine accusation, that I may aunswere thereunto.
Boner. Ah, wilt thou so? Before God, if thou hast not dissembled, then thou needest not to be afrayde, nor ashamed to aunswere for thy selfe. But tell me in faith, hast thou not dissembled?
Rafe. If I can not haue mine accusers to accuse me before you, my conscience doth constraine me to accuse my selfe before you: For I confesse that I haue greuously offended God in my dissimulation at my last being before your Lordship, for the which I am right sory, as God knoweth.
Boner. Wherin I pray thee, diddest thou dissemble, when thou wast before me?
Rafe. Forsooth my Lorde, if your Lordship remember, I did set my hand vnto a certaine writing, the contentes wherof (as I remēber) were, that I did beleue in all thinges as the Catholicke Church teacheth. &c. In the which I did not disclose my minde, but shamefully dissembled, because I made no differēce betwene the true Church and the vntrue Church.[Back to Top]
Boner. Nay, but I pray thee let me heare more of thys geare. For I feare me thou wilt smell of an hereticke anone. Which is the true Church, as thou sayest? Doest thou not call the heretickes Church the true Church, or the Catholicke Church of Christ? Now which of these two are the true Church, sayest thou? Go to: for in fayth I will know of thee ere I leaue thee.[Back to Top]
Rafe. As concerning the Church of heretickes, I vtterly abhorre the same, as detestable and abominable before God, with all their enormities and heresies: and the Church Catholicke is it that I onely embrace, whose doctrine is sincere, pure, and true.
Boner. By S. Augustine, but that is wel sayd of thee. For by God almightie, if thou haddest allowed the Church of heretickes, I would haue burned thee with fire for thy labour.
Morton. Then sayd one Morton, a priest: My Lorde, you know not yet what Church it is that he calleth Catholike. I warrant you he meaneth naughtely enough.
Boner. Thinke you so? Now by our blessed Lady, if it bee so, he might haue deceaued me. How say you syrrha, which is the Catholicke Church.
Rafe. Euen that which hath receaued the wholesome sound, spoken of by Esay, Dauid, Malachie, and Paule, with many other moe. The which sound, as it is written, hath gone throughout all the earth in euery place, and vnto the endes of the world.
Boner. Yea, thou sayest true before God. For thys