Marginalia1555. February.dement that they should not bee suffered to speake one with an other, neither yet any other permitted to come at them that night.
MarginaliaThe thyrd and last examination of M. Hooper.Vpon the next day following, the. xxix. of Ianuary, at the houre appoynted they were brought again by the Sheriffes, before the said Bishop and Commissioners in the Church, where they were the day before. And after long and earnest talke, when they perceyued that maister Hooper would by no meanes condescend vnto them, they caused hym to be disgraded, MarginaliaM. Hooper condemned.and read vnto him his condemnation.
A record of Hooper's condemnation, copied from a now missing act book, is in Foxe's papers (BL, Harley 421, fos. 46r-48v).
When it was darke, maister Hooper was led by one of þe Sheriffes, with many Bylles & weapons, first through the Bishop of Winchesters house, and so ouer London Bridge, through the citie to Newgate. And by the way, some of the Sergeauntes were willed to goe before, and put out the Costerdmongers candels, who vse to sit wyth light in the streates: eyther fearing (of likelyhood) that the people would haue made some attempt to haue taken hym away from them by force, if they had seene hym go to that prison: or els beyng burdened wyth an euyll conscience: MarginaliaDarknes best for the Papistes.they thought darknes to be a most fit season for such a busines.[Back to Top]
But notwithstanding this deuise, the people hauyng some foreknowledge of his commyng, many of them came foorth of their doores with lightes and saluted hym, MarginaliaThe people reioycyng at the constancye of M. Hooper and M. Rogers.praysing God for his constancie in the true doctrine whiche he had taught them, and desiring God to strengthen hym in the same to the ende. Maister Hooper passed by, and required the people to make their earnest prayers to God for hym, and so went through Cheapeside to the place appoynted, and was deliuered as close prisoner, to the keeper of Newegate, MarginaliaM. Hooper sent to Newgate. where he remayned sixe dayes, no body being permitted to come to hym, or to talke with hym, sauyng his keepers and such as shoulde bee appoynted therto.[Back to Top]
During this tyme, MarginaliaB. Boner & his chaplaynes reason with M. Hooper in prison.Boner Bishop of London, and others at his appoyntment, as Fecknam, Chedsey, and Harpsfield. &c. resorted diuers tymes vnto hym to assaye if by any meanes they coulde perswade hym to relent and become a member of their Antichristian Church. Al the wayes they coulde deuise, they attempted. For besides disputations and allegations of testimonies of the Scriptures and of auncient writters wrasted to a wrong sense, according to their accustomed maner, they vsed also all outward gentlenes and significations of frendship, with many great profers and promises of worldly commodities, not omittyng also most greeuous threatnynges, if with gentlenes they could not preuaile: but they found him alwayes one man, stedfast and immoueable.[Back to Top]
When they perceyued that they could by no meanes reclame hym to their purpose, with such perswasions and offers as they vsed for his conuersion, then went they about by MarginaliaFalse rumors of M. Hoopers recantation.false rumors and reportes of recantations (for it is wel knowen that they and their seruauntes did spreade it first abroade) to bring hym and the doctrine of Christe which he professed, out of credite with the people. So the bruite being a litle spread abroade, and beleued of some of the weaker sort, by reason of the often resort of the Bishop of London and other, it encreased more, and at the last came to M. Hoopers eares. Wherewith he was not a litle greued, that the people should geue so light credite vnto false rumours, hauyng so simple a ground: as it may appeare by a letter which he wrote vpon that occasion, the copie wherof foloweth.[Back to Top]
Hooper wanted this letter to be widely circulated and, judging from the number of copies which survive, he succeeded. Copies of it among Foxe's papers are: BL, Lansdowne 389, fos. 4v-5r; ECL 260, fos. 225v-226r and BL, Add. 19400, fo. 28r. A copy of the letter came into Foxe's hands in exile and it was printed in Rerum, p. 290; 1563; Letters of the Martyrs, pp. 130-31 and subsequent editions of the Acts and Monuments.[Back to Top]
THe grace of our Lord Iesus Christe be with all them that vnfainedly looke for the commyng of our Saueour Christ. Amen.
MarginaliaA purgation of M. Hooper against false rumors spread of his recantation.Deare brethren and sisters in the Lord, and my felowe prisoners for the cause of Gods Gospell: I doo much reioyce and geue thankes vnto God for your constancie and perseueraunce in affliction, vnto whom I wishe continuance vnto the end. And as I doo reioyce in your fayth and constancie in afflictions that be in prison: euen so doo I mourne and lament to heare of our deare brethren that yet haue not fealt such daungers for Gods truth, as we haue, and doo feele, and be dayly like to suffer more, yea the very extreme and vile death of the fire: yet such is the report abroade (as I am credibly enfourmed) that I Iohn Hoo-[Back to Top]
per a condemned man for the cause of Christ, should nowe after sentence of death (being in Newgate prisoner, and looking dayly for execution) recant and abiure that which heretofore I haue preached. MarginaliaThe occasion of this rumor how it riseth.And this talke ariseth of this, that the Bishop of London and his Chapleynes resort vnto me. Doubtles if our brethren were as godly as I would wishe them, they would thinke, that in case I dyd refuse to talke with them, they might haue iust occasion to say, that I wer vnlearned, and durst not speake with learned men, or els proude and disdainfull to speake with them. Therfore to auoyde iust suspition of both, I haue and doo dayly speake with them when they come: not doubtyng but that they report that I am neyther proude, nor vnlearned. And I would wish al men to do as I do in this point. For I feare not their argumentes, neither is death terrible vnto me, praying you to make true report of the same, as occasion shall serue: and that I am more confirmed in the truth which I haue preached heretofore by their commyng.[Back to Top]
Therefore ye that may sende to the weake brethren, pray them that they trouble me not with such reportes of recantations as they doo. For I haue hytherto leaft all thinges of the world, and suffered great paines & imprisonment, and I thanke God I am as ready to suffer death, as a mortall man may be. It were better for them to pray for vs, then to credit or report such rumours that be vntrue. We haue enemies enough of such as know not God truely. But yet MarginaliaFalse reportes a greuous crosse.the false report of weake brethren is a double crosse. I wishe you eternall saluation in Iesus Christe, and also require your continuall prayer, that he which hath begonne in vs, may continue it to the ende.[Back to Top]
I haue taught the truth with my tongue and with my pen heretofore, and hereafter shortly wyl confirme the same by Gods grace, with my bloud. Forth of Newgate the 2. of February. An. 1554.
Your brother in Christ,
It may seem surprising that Foxe goes to the trouble of printing the formula for Hooper's degradation and describing the degradation in such detail; after all, they were intended to humiliate the martyr. But this enables Foxe to establish an unspoken but potent comparison between the humiliation of the martyr and the humiliation of Christ in his Passion.[Back to Top]
MarginaliaThe sentence of Degradation agaynst M. Hooper.IN nomine patris, & filij, & spiritus sancti. Amen. Quoniam per sententiam diffinitiuam à reuerendo in Christo patre et Domino Stephano permissione diuina, Winton. Episcopo in et contra te Iohannem Hooper præsbyterum, suæ iurisdictionis ratione hæresis et delicti infra illius diœcesin Winton. notoriè commissi existentem, nuper ritè & legitimè prolatam, cōstat sufficienter & legitimè nobis Edmundo London. Episcopo te præfatū Iohannem Hoper hæreticum manifestum & obstinatū, ac pertinacem fuisse & esse, ac constat similiter tanquam hæreticum huiusmodi per dictam sententiam pronunciatū et declaratū fuisse, maiorisq; excommunicationis sententia ob id innodatū et inuolutum similiter esse, ac ab ordine tuo deponendum et degradandum, curiæq; seculari ob demerita tua huiusmodi tradendum fore, prout ex tenore dictæ sentētiæ, ad quam nos in hac parte nos referimus, plenius, planius, et expressius liquet et apparet: Idcirco nos Edmundus Epis. London. antedictus, quia nostra et vniuersitatis etiam interest nostras hic partes interponere, et vicariam operam mutuamq; vicissitudinē impendere, in cuius etiam diœcesi tu Iohannes Hoper idem hæresis crimen tunc et sæpius, et ante et post commisisti, istis inquam et alijs prædictis attentis et exequendo omni meliori et efficatiori modo, quo possumus, sententiam prædictam, sic vt præmittitur, latam in te qui infra fines et limites diœcesis nostræ London. notoriè consistens, et in hac parte culpabilis et transgressor etiam notoriè existens, ad actualem degradationem tui præfati Iohannis Hooper (culpa tua exigente ac iustitia id poscente) duximus procedendū fore, ac sic etiam realiter procedimus, vt deinde iuxta iuris exigentiam et temporis retroacti morem laudabilem et normam consuetam, te in Arca Ecclesiæ manere nolentem, curiæ seculari ritè et legitimè ac effectualiter tradere possumus. Quod ipsum sic fieri debere, nos per hanc nostram sententiam siue decretum decernimus, pronuntiamus, et declaramus in hijs scriptis.[Back to Top]
After the sentence of degradatiō thus declared, now let vs see the forme and maner of their degrading, whiche here also foloweth. But first here is to be noted, that the disgrading of this blessed Bishop did not proceede against him as agaynst a Bishop, but as onely against a Priest, as they termed hym: for such as he was, these Baalamites accompted for no bishop.[Back to Top]