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Beare

of Willsborough, Kent

Chilten and Beare brought John Browne to Archbishop Warham in 1511. 1570, p. 1480; 1576, p. 1255; 1583, p. 1292.

 
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Chilten

of Wye, Kent; bailiff errant

Chilten and Beare brought John Browne to Archbishop Warham in 1511. 1570, p. 1480; 1576, p. 1255; 1583, p. 1292.

 
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Elizabeth Browne

Wife of John Browne of Ashford, Kent

John Browne was apprehended on the day his wife was churched following childbirth when they were entertaining guests. He was taken to Canterbury, but his whereabouts remained unknown to her. When he was returned to Ashford the day before his burning, Elizabeth only discovered this through the chance sighting of him in the stocks by their maid. She sat with him all night. After his death, she often repeated his story to their daughter Alice. 1570, p. 1480; 1576, p. 1255; 1583, pp. 1292-93.

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Fumeus

A 'senator' of Paris

When two friars and a novice were sent for trial to Paris for pretending to be the spirit of a deceased woman, the novice was lodged with Fumeus. He eventually confessed, and the friars were convicted. 1570, p. 1479; 1576, p. 1254-55; 1583, p. 1292.

 
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John Browne

(d. 1511) [N. P. Tanner,'Penances Imposed on Kentish Lollards by Archbishop Warham, 1511-12', Lollardy and the Gentry in the Later Middle Ages, M. Aston and C. Richmond (eds.) (New York, 1997), p. 233]

Burnt at Ashford; father of Richard Browne, near martyr; convicted of heresy in 1499, abjured

John Browne was sentenced to bear a faggot in 1504. 1570, p. 1480; 1576, p. 1255; 1583, p. 1293.

John Browne began debating with a priest in a barge going to Gravesend. The priest reported him to Archbishop Warham. He was apprehended on the day his wife was churched following childbirth when they were entertaining guests. He was taken to Canterbury, imprisoned and tortured. He was returned to Ashford the day before his burning and placed in the stocks. The following day he was burnt. 1570, p. 1480; 1576, p. 1255; 1583, pp. 1292-93.

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John Browne and Edward Walker were condemned to burn for heresy in 1511 in Kent. 1570, p. 1455; 1576, p. 1240; 1583, p. 1277.

 
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John Fisher

(c. 1469 - 1535) [ODNB]

Vice-chancellor of Cambridge University (1501 - 1504); chancellor of Cambridge University (1504); bishop of Rochester (1504 - 34); cardinal; martyr

John Fisher preached a sermon at the penance of Robert Barnes. 1563, p. 602; 1570, p. 1365; 1576, p. 1165; 1583, p. 1193.

Fisher preached a sermon against Luther in 1526. 1563, p. 436; 1570, p. 1129; 1576, p. 967; 1583, pp. 993-94.

Thomas Wolsey, William Warham, Cuthbert Tunstall, John Fisher, Nicholas West, John Veysey, John Longland, John Clerk and Henry Standish took part in the examination of Thomas Bilney and Thomas Arthur in 1527-28. 1563, pp. 461-78; 1570, pp. 1134-46; 1576, pp. 971-81; 1583, pp. 998-1008.

John Fisher was one of the chief advocates for Queen Catherine before the papal legates considering the matter of the divorce. 1563, p. 458; 1570, p. 1194; 1576, p. 1023; 1583, p. 1051.

Fisher protested in parliament in 1530 about the proposed bill relating to the probate of testaments, saying it would mean the ruin of the church. 1570, p. 1131; 1576, p. 968; 1583, p. 995.

Thomas Hitten was imprisoned by Archbishop Warham and Bishop Fisher, tortured and then burnt at Maidstone. 1570, p. 1134; 1576, p. 971; 1583, pp. 997-98.

The bishop of Rochester said that angels were ministers to the souls in purgatory. 1570, p. 1156; 1576, p. 990; 1583, p. 1017.

Fisher wrote against Johann Oecolampadius and Luther. He was a persecutor of John Frith. He and Sir Thomas More had Frith burnt. 1570, p. 1216; 1576, p. 1042; 1583, p. 1068.

Fisher was associated with Elizabeth Barton (Joan of Kent). He was convicted of misprision of treason, had his goods confiscated and was imprisoned. 1570, p. 1199; 1576, p. 1026; 1583, p. 1055.

John Fisher, Sir Thomas More and Nicholas Wilson refused to swear an oath on the king's supremacy and were imprisoned in the Tower. Fisher and More were executed. 1570, pp. 1200, 1216; 1576, pp. 1028, 1042; 1583, pp. 1056, 1068.

The pope promoted John Fisher to cardinal, but Fisher was executed before he could be elevated. 1570, p. 1216; 1576, p. 1042; 1583, p. 1069.

Fisher is one of the Catholic martyrs written of by Nicholas Harpsfield. 1570, p. 1375; 1576, p. 1173; 1583, p. 1201.

 
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Walter More

Gentleman; brother to William

Walter and William More accompanied a priest who reported John Browne to Archbishop Warham in 1511. 1570, p. 1480; 1576, p. 1255; 1583, p. 1292.

 
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William More

Gentleman; brother to Walter

Walter and William More accompanied a priest who reported John Browne to Archbishop Warham in 1511. 1570, p. 1480; 1576, p. 1255; 1583, p. 1292.

 
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William Warham

(c. 1450 - 1532) [ODNB]

Studied at Oxford; lawyer in Oxford and London; diplomat

Bishop of London (1502 - 04); keeper of the great seal (1502 - 04); archbishop of Canterbury (1504 - 32); lord chancellor (1504 - 15); chancellor of the University of Oxford (1506 - 32)

William Carder, Agnes Grebill and Robert Harrison were tried for heresy in 1511 before William Warham, Cuthbert Tunstall, Gabriel Sylvester, Thomas Wells and Clement Browne. All three were condemned to burn. Warham had brought in witnesses who had already abjured and would therefore tell everything they knew lest they be found guilty of relapse. 1570, pp. 1454-55; 1576, p. 1240; 1583, pp. 1276-77.

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Thomas Wolsey caused his cardinal's hat, when it arrived, to be taken back to Dover so that the archbishop of Canterbury could greet it. 1570, p. 1124; 1576, p. 962; 1583, p. 989.

Warham was one of the supporters of Queen Catherine before the papal legates considering the matter of the divorce. 1563, p. 458; 1570, p. 1193; 1576, p. 1022; 1583, p. 1050.

In a letter to Juan de Vergara, Erasmus of Rotterdam described how, after the downfall of Thomas Wolsey, Warham was offered the chancellorship but declined due to his advanced years. 1570, p. 1130; 1576, p. 968; 1583, p. 994.

Thomas Hitten was imprisoned by Archbishop Warham and Bishop Fisher, tortured and then burnt at Maidstone. 1570, p. 1134; 1576, p. 971; 1583, pp. 997-98.

Thomas Wolsey, William Warham, Cuthbert Tunstall, John Fisher, Nicholas West, John Veysey, John Longland, John Clerk and Henry Standish took part in the examination of Thomas Bilney and Thomas Arthur in 1527-28. 1563, pp. 461-78; 1570, pp. 1134-46; 1576, pp. 971-81; 1583, pp. 998-1008.

William Tracy's will was sent to the Archbishop Warham to be proved. It contained reformed sentiments, and Warham brought it to the convocation. Tracy's body was exhumed and burnt. 1570, p. 1185; 1576, p. 1015; 1583, p. 1042.

John Lambert was brought from Antwerp to London, where he was examined before Archbishop Warham and others. Forty-five articles were put to him which he answered. Warham then died and Lambert was unbothered for a time. 1563, pp. 528, 533-69; 1570, pp. 1255-80; 1576, pp. 1075-1095; 1583, pp. 1101-21.

 
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Ashford
Ashford, Ashforde
NGR: TR 010 428

A parish in the hundred of Chart and Longbridge, lathe of Scray, county of Kent. 20 miles south-east by east from Maidstone. The living is a vicarage in the Archdeaconry and Diocese of Canterbury.

English information from Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England (S. Lewis & Co: London, 1831)

Scottish information from Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (S. Lewis & Co: London, 1846)

Welsh information taken from Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales(Lewis & Co: London, 1840)

The reason for the use of these works of reference is that they present the jurisdictional and ecclesiastical position as it was before the major Victorian changes. The descriptions therefore approximate to those applying in the sixteenth century, after the major changes of 1535-42. Except for the physical locations, which have not changed, the reader should not therefore take these references as being accurate in the twenty-first century.

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Canterbury
Cant., Canterb., Canterbury, Caunterbury, Caunterburye,
NGR: TR 150 580

An ancient city and county of itself, having separate jurisdiction. Locally in the hundred of Bridge and Petham, lathe of St. Augustine, eastern division of the county of Kent. 26 miles south-east by east from Rochester. The city comprises the parishes of All Saints, St. Alphege, St. Andrew, St. George, The Holy Cross, St. Margaret, St. Martin, St. Mary Bredman, St. Mary Bredin, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Mary Northgate, St. Mildred, St. Peter and St. Paul, all in the Diocese of Canterbury, and with the exception of St. Alphege and St. Martin within the Archdeaconry of Canterbury. The living of All Saints is a rectory with St. Mary in the Castle and St. Mildred attached; St. Alphege is a rectory exempt, united with the vicarage of St. Mary Northgate; St. Andrew is a rectory with St. Mary Bredman annexed; St. George is a rectory with St. Mary Magdalene annexed; St. Martin's is a rectory exempt with St. Paul's annexed; St. Peter's is a rectory with Holy Cross annexed; St. Mary Bredin is a vicarage; and St. Margaret's is a donative in the patronage of the Archdeacon

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English information from Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England (S. Lewis & Co: London, 1831)

Scottish information from Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (S. Lewis & Co: London, 1846)

Welsh information taken from Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales(Lewis & Co: London, 1840)

The reason for the use of these works of reference is that they present the jurisdictional and ecclesiastical position as it was before the major Victorian changes. The descriptions therefore approximate to those applying in the sixteenth century, after the major changes of 1535-42. Except for the physical locations, which have not changed, the reader should not therefore take these references as being accurate in the twenty-first century.

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Gravesend
Grauesend
NGR: TQ 654 745

Not identified

English information from Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England (S. Lewis & Co: London, 1831)

Scottish information from Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (S. Lewis & Co: London, 1846)

Welsh information taken from Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales(Lewis & Co: London, 1840)

The reason for the use of these works of reference is that they present the jurisdictional and ecclesiastical position as it was before the major Victorian changes. The descriptions therefore approximate to those applying in the sixteenth century, after the major changes of 1535-42. Except for the physical locations, which have not changed, the reader should not therefore take these references as being accurate in the twenty-first century.

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Willesborough

[Wilborough; Wilseborough]

Kent

OS grid ref: TR 025 415

 
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Wroughton (Ellendun) [Elinden]

Swindon, Wiltshire

OS grid ref: SU 145 805

 
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Wye
NGR: TR 053 469

A parish and former market town in the hundred of Wye, lathe of Scray, county of Kent. 4 miles north-east from Ashford. The living is a perpetual curacy in the Archdeaconry and diocese of Canterbury.

English information from Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England (S. Lewis & Co: London, 1831)

Welsh information taken from Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales(Lewis & Co: London, 1840)

The reason for the use of these works of reference is that they present the jurisdictional and ecclesiastical position as it was before the major Victorian changes. The descriptions therefore approximate to those applying in the sixteenth century, after the major changes of 1535-42. Except for the physical locations, which have not changed, the reader should not therefore take these references as being accurate in the twenty-first century.

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1316 [1292]

K. Hen. 8. The iugling of the Fryers espyed. The story of John Browne Martyr.

works of charitie, or else for this new sproong vp heresie and Lutheranisme? Moreouer, what was the cause that he made suche a noise, and was so vnquiet? Whether it were that the body beeing buried within holy grounde shoulde be digged vp againe and carryed to some other place? To all these things he aunswered by signes in lyke case as he was commaunded: whereby he affirmed, or denyed euery thyng, striking twise or thrise vppon the Table.

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MarginaliaLuthers heresie a great bugge among the Fryers.When he had thus signified that Luthers heresie was the cause of her damnation, and that her body must be taken vp, the Friers desired the Citizens that were present, to beare witnes of such things as they had sene and heard, and set their hands to it in writing. But they taking aduisement least they shoulde both offende the Maior, and bring thēselues in trouble, refused to subscribe. Notwithstanding, the Friers tooke the pixe with the hoste and the Lords body (as they call it) and all their Saints reliques, and caried them to another place, and there they sayd theyr Masses: which they are wont to do by the Popes Lawe, when a Churche is suspended, and must be hallowed againe, and when the Bishops Officiall heard of thys, hee came thether to vnderstand the matter better, and associating to him certayne honest men, he commaunded the Frier to coniure in his presence, and woulde haue appoynted certaine to go vp to the vaut, to see if any spirite did there appeare. But Steuen of Arras was sore against it, and exhorted them earnestly that they should not so do, saying that the spirit ought not to be molested. And albeit the Officiall did earnestly vrge them to coniure before him, yet could they not bring them to it. MarginaliaThe Maior complayneth to the king of the Fryers.In the meane time, the Maior making his frends priuie what he would do, went to the King, and informed him of the whole matter. And because the Friers trusting to their immunities and priuileges, refused to come in iudgement, the King chose certaine out of the court of Parliament at Paris, to examine the matter, and gaue them full authoritie so to do. Whereupon they were caried to Paris, and constrayned to make aunswere, but they would confesse nothing. Then they were sent againe to prison, and kept apart one from another: and the Nouice was kept in Fumeus house a Senatour, and being oftentimes examined, he woulde confesse nothing, fearing least he should after be murthered of thē for slaundering theyr order. But when the iudges promised him that he should haue no harme: and should come no more in the Friers handes, he declared to them the whole matter in order, and being brought before the others, he auouched the same. But they, albeit they were conuicted, and in maner taken with the deede, yet refused they theyr iudges, and bragged of their priuiledges: but it was altogether in vayne, MarginaliaThe Fryers condemned to prison & to punishement.for they were condemned in open iudgement, that they should be caryed againe to Orleaunce, and committed to prison, and afterwardes brought openly to the Cathedrall Church, and so to the place of punishment where malefactours are executed, and there should make open confession of their wickednes.

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MarginaliaThe Fryers escaped, and the Lutheranes punished.But euen at the same tyme chaunced a persecution against the Lutheranes, which was the cause that this sentence, albeit it was too gentle for so great offence, was not put in execution. For, because the name of the Lutheranes was most odious, they feared least the punishment of these men should not haue bene so much thought to be due for their offence, as done in reproch of the order: and many thought that whatsoeuer should be done to them, it would be to the Lutheranes a pleasant spectacle, and cause them much to reioice.

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This order of the Franciscanes was esteemed of the common people very holy: so that what tyme they were carried out of Paris, certayne women mooued wyth pitie, followed them vnto the gate of the Vniuersitie wyth many teares and sighes.

After they came to Orleance, and were bestowed in seuerall prisons, they began to boast agayne of their liberties and priuiledges, and at length, after long imprisonment, they were discharged and set at libertie without anye further punishmente. Had not these persecutions before mentioned letted the matter, the King had determined, as it was certaynely reported, to plucke downe their house, and make it euen with the ground. Ex Io. Sleid. lib. 9.

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MarginaliaPersecution for the Gospell before M. Luthers tyme.But to leaue the memorye of thys Idolatrous generation, not worthy any further to be named, let vs occupy the tyme with some better matter, in remembring the story of a good and constant Martir of the Lorde before ouerpast, whiche suffered in Kent for the worde of God before Luthers time, about the second yeare of this kings raigne as heere in story followeth.

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Iohn Browne a blessed Martyr of Christ Iesus 
Commentary  *  Close
John Browne

Foxe had already printed a description, drawn from the registers of Archbishop William Warham of Canterbury, of the proccedings against John Browne for heresy (1570, pp. 1453-55). Foxe obtained this account, as he notes, from people who told him what John Browne's daughter told them her mother had told her. Foxe printed this account at the end of his account of the reign of Henry VIII, almost certainly because the account reached him while the 1570 edition was being printed. In the 1583 edition, Foxe moved this account to its proper chronological position in the volume, although through someone's negligence, this account was also reprinted, in its old position, at the end of Henry VIII's reign and as a result, this account was printed twice in the 1583 edition, and in all subsequent editions (Foxe added a shorter version of Alice Browne's narrative, without, however, removing the longer version. This probably happened because Foxe decided to move the account of John Browne to its proper chronological place and decided to shorten it in the process. But for some reason, he neglected to remove the long version and also, more understandably, overlooked the account derived from Warham's register. As a result, there are three separate accounts of John Browne scattered across the pages of the 1583 edition (1583, pp. 805, 1276-77 and 1292-3) and all subsequent unabridged editions).

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Thomas S. Freeman

burned at Ashford by Archbishop Warrham, and Doct. Fisher Bish. of Rochester, about the 2. yeare of king Henry the 8. An. 1511.
Persecuters.Martir.The cause.
W. Warrh. MarginaliaThe story of Iohn Browne Martyr.The first occasion of the
Archb. oftrouble of this I. Brown
Cant.the blessed seruaunt of God,
I. Brownewas by a certayne Prieste:
Fisher by-of Ashfordwho passing downe to Gra-
shop ofues end in the cōmon Barge
Rochester.(where the sayd Ioh. Brown
was amongest diuers other
A chaūtrypassingers moe) and disday-
priest.ning þt hee so saucely shoulde
Waltersit so neare vnto him in the
More Gen-Barge (who belyke seemed
tleman.not muche to passe vppon the
WilliamAt Ashe-Priest) began to swell in sto-
More hysford.macke agaynst him. At len-
brother.gth bursting forth in his prie-
Chiltenstly voyce and disdaynefull
of Wye,countenaunce, hee asked hym
Baily arrāt.in this maner: MarginaliaTalke betweene Iohn Browne & a proud Priest in Graues end Barge.Doest þu know
Beare of(sayd he) who I am? thou sit-
Wilbo-test to neare me and sittest on
rough.my clothes. No sir (sayde the
Ann. 1511.other) I know not what you
Two ser-are. I tell thee (quoth hee) I
uauntes ofam a priest. What sir, are you
Wil. War-a parson or vicar, or some la-
ham.dies chapleine? No (quoth he
agayne) I am a soule Priest:
I sing for a soule. 
Commentary  *  Close

The priest is saying that he is a chantry priest whose sole duty is to pray for a soul to reduce his or her time in purgatory. Browne does not believe in purgatory and ridicules the priest.

Doe you so
sir (quoth the other?) that is

well done, I pray you sir (sayd he) where find you the soule when you go to Masse? I cannot tel thee (sayd the Priest.) I pray you, where doe you leaue it sir when the Masse is done? I cannot tell thee (sayde the priest) Neither can you tell where to find it when you goe to Masse, nor where you leaue it when the Masse is done, howe can you then saue the soule, sayd he? Go thy wayes said the priest, I perceiue thou art an hereticke, and I will be euen with thee.

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MarginaliaWalter More, William More, Chilten and Beare persecuters.So at the landing, the priest taking with him Walter More and W. More two Gentlemen and brethren, rode straightwayes to the archbishop, who thē was Wil. Warham. Wherupon the sayd Iohn Browne, within 3. dayes after, was sēt for by the archbishop. His bringers vp were Chilten of Wye baily arraunt, and one Beare of Wilseborough, with two of the bishops seruantes. MarginaliaIohn Browne sodeinly taken and caryed away.Who with certayn other being appoynted for the same, came sodenly into his house vppon him, the same day when his wife was churched, as hee was bringing in a messe of pottage to the bourd seruing his gestes: and so laying hands vpon hym, set him vpon his owne horse, and binding his feete vnder the horses belly, caryed him away to Canterbury, neither he nor his wife, nor any of his friendes knowing whether he went, nor whether he should, and there continuing the space of 40. dayes, frō Lowsōday, 

Commentary  *  Close

Low Sunday is the Sunday following Easter Sunday.

till Friday before Whitsonday through the cruell handling of the sayd Archb. and þe B. of Rochest. D. Fisher, MarginaliaHis bare feete set vpon the hote coales to make him deny the truth.hee was so piteously intreated, that his bare feete were set vpon the hote burning coales, to make him deny his fayth, whiche notwithstanding hee wouldnot doe, but paciently abiding þe payne continued in the Lordes quarrell vnremoueable. 
Commentary  *  Close

If Browne was tortured, it was illegal. But it should be remembered that this story was transmitted to Foxe at third hand (at best), and the story lost nothing in the telling.

At length after al this crueltie susteined his wife yet not knowing where he was become, on Friday before Whitsonday he was sent to Ashford where he dwelt the next day there to be burned.

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MarginaliaBrown brought to Ashford to be burned.In the meane time, as he was brought to the town ouer night, MarginaliaBrowne set in the stockes at Ashford.there to be set in the stockes, it happened as God would, that a young mayde of his house comming by and seeing her mayster, ran home and told her mistres.

Then she comming to him, and finding him in þe stocks appoynted to be burned the next morow, sat by him all the night long. To whome then he declared the whole story or rather tragedy how he was hādled and how his feet were burned to the bones, that he could not set them vppon the ground, by the two Bishops aforesayde (he thanked God therfore) and all to make me (sayd hee) to deny my Lorde, which I will neuer doe, for if I should deny him sayde he in this world he would deny me hereafter. And therfore I pray thee (sayd he) good Elizabeth, continue as þu hast begon, & bring vp thy childrē vertuously in the feare of God.

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And so the next day which was on Whitson euen, thys godly martyr was burned, where he standing at the stake sayd this prayer holding vp his handes as followeth.

The