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K. Henry. 5. The death and martyrdome of Lord Cobham.

hauing heard hys sayd conuictions, answered not therto in hys excuse. Vpon which recorde & processe, it was adiudged, that he shoulde bee taken as a traytour to the king and the realme: that he shuld be caried to the towerof London, and from thence drawen through London vnto the new gallowes in saint Giles without Temple barre, and there to be hanged, and burned hanging.

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The description of the cruell Martyrdome of syr Iohn Oldecastle Lord Cobham.
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As the most distinguished of all Lollard supporters, it is interesting to reflect on the different ways in which Oldcastle was pictorially celebrated by his posthumous admirers. He was one of those granted a larger woodcut in the 'Book of Martyrs' from 1563 on (one of the five for the period from Wyclif to Luther), but not in the guise in which he had appeared in some earlier publications. The visual 'description' presented to Foxe's readers showed him, unsparingly, suffering the final penalties of the law that condemned him, as guilty of both heresy and treason, to be hanged and burnt hanging at the place of his offence. He is suspended in chains from the new gallows in St Giles's Fields (scene of that earlier insurrectionary assembly), inside the wooden structure of which the exterminating fire, curiously and unconvincingly, is somehow contained and framed. Hemmed in by the pikemen this seems to be an awed and silent all-male throng (including a few religious). Oldcastle's death took place where his followers had gathered and died a few years before. If this was an indisputable martyrological image, it replaced a very different knightly martial image that had adorned both John Bale's Brefe Chronycle in 1544 and Foxe's own Rerum in Ecclesia Gestarum in 1559. Here the warrior of Christ advances into the fray with drawn sword, antique armour and a shield bearing the image of the crucifixion. By 1563 a 'description' of this kind was unthinkable. CUL copy: As with the Hus and Hierome cuts, the detailing is excessive, indeed, crude in places. The foliage in the distance is very bright green and smudged on the far right-hand side. WREN: there is little shading added to the outfits; indeed, the whole picture is coloured in rather a pale wash. There is, however, some bright green foliage in the distance.

MarginaliaTreason falsely surmysed.As touching the pretenced treason of this Lord Cobham falsely ascribed vnto hym in his inditement, rising vpon wrong suggestion and false surmise, and aggrauated by rigour of words, rather thē vpon any ground of dew probation, sufficientlye hath bene discoursed before in my defence of the sayd lord Cobham, against Alanus Copus, pag. 676. MarginaliaVide supra. pag. 676.where agayne is to be noted, as I said before, how by this appeareth, that the lord Cobham was neuer executed by force of the inditement or outlawrie, because, if he had, he shoulde then haue bene brought to the barre in the kinges bench, and there the Iudges should haue demaunded of hym, what he could haue sayd, why he should not haue dyed: & thē not shewing sufficient cause for the discharge or delaye of execution, the Iudges shoulde haue awarded and geuen the iudgement of treason: which being not so, it is cleare he was not executed vpō the inditement. Besides, to proue þt he was not executed vpō the Inditement, and the outlawry, the maner of the execution proueth it, because it was neither the executiō of a traitour, nor was þe whole punishment thereof pronounced by the iudge, as by due order of law was requisiite.

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Finally, as I sayd before, here I repeate agayn, that albeit the sayd lord Cobham was attaynted of treason by the Act, and that the King, the Lordes, and the commons assented to the Act: yet al that bindeth not in such sort (as if in dede he were no traytour) that any mā may not by search of the truth, vtter and set foorth sincerelye and iustly, the very true and certaine cause, whereupon hys execution did follow. Which seemeth by all circumstances and firme argumentes, to rise principally of his religion, which first brought hym in hatred of the byshops: the bishops brought him in hatred of the Kyng: the hatred of the king brought hym to hys death andmartirdome. And thus much for the death and execution of this worthy seruant of Christ, lord Cobham.

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Moreouer, in the recordes aboue mentioned it foloweth, how in the sayd Parlament, after the martyrdome of this valiant knight, motion then was made, MarginaliaIudas seeketh for his reward.þt the Lord Powes might be thanked & rewarded, accordyng to the proclamation made, for his great trauaile takē in the apprehēsion of Syr Iohn Oldcastle knight, hereticke. Thus stand the wordes of the record. Where ij. thynges are to be noted: First how Syr Iohn here in the recorde is called not traytour, but hereticke only. Secondly marke howe this brother of Iudas here craueth his reward for betraying the innocēt bloud. Wherin it is not to be doubted, but that his light fee, and quid multis mihi dare in this worlde, will haue an heuye reward hereafter in þe world to come, vnles he repēted. &c.

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MarginaliaAn. 5. Henr. 5. act. 17.Farthermore, in the sayd Parlament, act. 17. it was enacted that the churche and all estates should enioy all their liberties, which were not repealed, or repealeable by the cōmon law: meaning belike, þe excluding of þe iurisdiction of þe popes foreine power, which hath alwaies by þe common law bene excluded out of this realme.

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MarginaliaAn. 5. Henr. 5. act. 18.In the same Parlament also a greuous complainte was made (by the Bishops no doubt) agaynst insurrections. In the end they suspected that they were the Lollardes, heretickes, and traytours, with a request that commissions might at all tymes be graunted to enquire of them. Whereunto aunswere was made, that the statutes therfore made, should bee executed. &c. Thus the clergy Tanq̃ leones rugientes, ceased not to roare after Christian bloud: MarginaliaAll the blame layd to the Lollardes.And who soeuer was els in faulte, still the clergy cryed: Crucifie Christ, and deliuer vs Barrabas: For then all horrible factes and mischieues, if any were done, were imputed to the poore Lollardes.

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