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Alice Browne

of the parish of St Sepulchre's, London; daughter of John Browne, who was martyred at Ashford, Kent

Alice Browne was often told the story of her father, John Browne, by her mother. Alice was the source for John Foxe. 1570, p. 1480; 1576, p. 1255; 1583, p. 1293.

 
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Edmund Bonner

(d. 1569) [ODNB]

Archdeacon of Leicester 1535; bishop of Hereford 1538; bishop of London (1540 - 49, 1553 - 59)

Henry VIII sent injunctions to Bonner regarding the abolishing of images in churches. 1563, pp. 685-86.

Edmund Bonner wrote a preface to Stephen Gardiner's De vera obedientia, in which he expressed agreement with Gardiner's favouring of King Henry's marriage to Anne Boleyn and his position as head of the church. 1570, p. 1206; 1576, p. 1032; 1583, pp. 1059-60.

Stephen Gardiner was a resident ambassador to France in 1538, when Edmund Bonner, through the efforts of Thomas Cromwell, was brought in to replace him. There were great disagreements between the two, since Bonner at the time was in favour of reform. Bonner owed his main preferments to Cromwell. 1570, p. 1239; 1576, p. 1061; 1583, p. 1088.

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Bonner, when archdeacon of Leicester and ambassador in France, accused Gardiner of papistry. 1570, p. 1233; 1576, p. 1056; 1583, p. 1082.

Bonner sent a declaration to Thomas Cromwell of Stephen Gardiner's evil behaviour. 1570, pp. 1241-44; 1576, pp. 1063-66; 1583, pp. 1090-92.

King Henry wrote to Bonner in France, asking him to assist those printing English bibles in Paris. 1570, p. 1362; 1576, p. 1162; 1583, p. 1191.

Cromwell was instrumental in getting Edmund Bonner's nomination to the bishopric of London. 1570, p. 1362; 1576, p. 1162; 1583, p. 1191.

Although Bonner performed his duties well as far as Henry VIII was concerned, he displeased the king of France, who asked for him to be recalled. Henry recalled him, giving him the bishopric of London, and sent Sir John Wallop to replace him. 1570, p. 1245; 1576, p. 1066; 1583, p. 1093.

Henry VIII wrote to Bonner commanding that excess holy days be abolished. 1563, p. 682; 1570, p. 1441; 1576, p. 1229; 1583, p. 1259.

After Anne Askew had been examined by the quest and the mayor of London, she was imprisoned in the Counter and then examined by Bonner. 1563, p. 670; 1570, p. 1414; 1576, p. 1205; 1583, p. 1235.

Bonner witnessed Anne Askew's confession. 1563, p. 673; 1570, p. 1416; 1576, p. 1207; 1583, p. 1237.

Richard Rich and Edmund Bonner attempted to persuade Anne Askew to change her views after her condemnation. 1563, p. 676; 1570, p. 1418; 1576, p. 1209; 1583, p. 1238.

Edward Seymour stood against the bishops of Chichester, Norwich, Lincoln, London and others at the consultation at Windsor in the first year of Edward VI's reign. 1570, p. 1551; 1576, p. 1322; 1583, p. 1372.

Bonner was one of the subscribers to the Bishops' Book. 1570, p. 1212; 1576, p. 1037; 1583, p. 1064.

Bonner brought Richard Mekins to court, charged with heresy. Although the witnesses against him gave contradictory evidence, the jury were told to allow them. The jury brought an indictment and Mekins was executed. 1563, p. 613; 1570, p. 1376; 1576, p. 1174; 1583, p. 1202.

Edward VI's commissioners attempted to administer an oath to Bishop Bonner and the clergy of St Paul's and gave Bonner a list of injunctions. He made a protestation, which he subsequently repented and recanted. He was pardoned, but committed to the Fleet for a short period. 1570, pp. 1501-02; 1576, pp. 1272-73; 1583, pp. 1309-10.

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Edward VI's councillors and Edward Seymour wrote to Thomas Cranmer, directing that candles no longer be carried on Candlemas, nor palms on Palm Sunday, nor should ashes be used on Ash Wednesday. Cranmer immediately wrote to the other bishops, including Bonner, to inform them of the new directive. Bonner consented to the changes and wrote to Thomas Thirlby to inform him of them. 1563, p. 685; 1570, p. 1486; 1576, p. 1260; 1583, p. 1297.

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The council wrote further to Cranmer ordering the abolishing of images in all churches in the archdiocese. He wrote to Edmund Bonner, directing him to carry out the order in London, and Bonner in turn wrote to Thomas Thirlby. 1570, p. 1490; 1576, p. 1263; 1583, p. 1300.

Bonner continued to hold private masses in St Paul's, and the king's council ordered these to be stopped. Bonner then wrote to the dean and chapter to that effect. 1563, pp. 692-93; 1570, p. 1492; 1576, p. 1265; 1583, p. 1302.

Another letter was sent by the king and council to Bonner, rebuking him and urging him to use the Book of Common Prayer. Bonner again wrote to the dean and chapter. 1563, pp. 693-94; 1570, p. 1494; 1576, p. 1266; 1583, p. 1303.

Hearing of the death of Thomas Seymour and of the rebellions in the kingdom, Bonner began to slacken his pastoral diligence. 1570, p. 1502; 1576, p. 1273; 1583, p. 13103.

Having knowledge of rebellions stirring in the realm and of slackness in religious reform in the city of London, Edward VI called Edmund Bonner to come before his council. The council ordered him to preach a sermon at Paul's Cross in three weeks' time and provided him with the articles upon which he was to preach. 1563, p. 695; 1570, p. 1495; 1576, p. 1267; 1583, p. 1304.

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John Hooper and William Latymer, in a letter to the king, denounced Bonner for his sermon at St Paul's, which went contrary to the instructions given by the king's commissioners. 1563, pp. 696-97; 1570, p. 1503; 1576, p. 1274; 1583, p. 1311.

Thomas Cranmer, archbishop of Canterbury, Nicholas Ridley, bishop of Rochester, Sir William Petre, Sir Thomas Smith and William May, dean of St Paul's, were commissioned to examine Edmund Bonner. 1563, p. 697; 1570, p. 1504; 1576, p. 1275; 1583, p. 1312.

Bonner was summoned to appear before the commissioners. He behaved haughtily, ridiculing his accusers and the commissioners, and spoke in favour of the mass. He appeared first on 10 September 1549 before Thomas Cranmer, Nicholas Ridley, Sir William Petre and William May. Sir Thomas Smith was absent. 1563, pp. 698-99; 1570, pp. 1504-06; 1576, pp. 1275-77; 1583, pp. 1312-14.

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Bonner appeared for the second time on 13 September before Thomas Cranmer, Nicholas Ridley, Sir William Petre, Sir Thomas Smith and William May and was further examined. 1563, pp. 699-704; 1570, pp. 1506-08; 1576, pp. 1277-79; 1583, pp. 1314-17.

Bonner appeared for the third time on 16 September before Thomas Cranmer, Nicholas Ridley, Sir Thomas Smith and William May to answer the articles put to him at the previous session. John Hooper and William Latymer also appeared in order to purge themselves against the slanders of Bonner. 1563, pp. 704-709; 1570, pp. 1508-11; 1576, pp. 1279-80; 1583, pp. 1317-22.

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The commissioners, finding Bonner's answers to the articles put to him to be unsatisfactory, received witnesses against him: John Cheke, Henry Markham, John Joseph, John Douglas and Richard Chambers. Bonner submitted a set of questions the witnesses were to answer. 1563, p. 707; 1570, p. 1510; 1576, p. 1280; 1583, p. 1320.

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Bonner appeared before the commissioners for the fourth time on 18 September, at which session new articles were drawn up and new witnesses received: Sir John Mason, Sir Thomas Chaloner, William Cecil, Armygell Wade and William Hunnings. 1563, pp. 704-713; 1570, pp. 1508-13; 1576, pp. 1279-82; 1583, pp. 1317-23.

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On the following day, 19 September, Bonner's registrar appeared to report that Bonner was too ill to attend the session. 1563, p. 713; 1570, p. 1513; 1576, p. 1282; 1583, p. 1323.

Bonner appeared for the fifth time before the commissioners on 20 September. During an interval, he instructed Gilbert Bourne, his chaplain, Robert Warnington, his commissary, and Robert Johnson, his registrar, to tell the mayor and aldermen of London to avoid reformed preachers. Bonner made his first appellation to the king. As a result of his behaviour during the proceedings, he was committed to the Marshalsea. 1563, pp. 713-717; 1570, pp. 1513-16; 1576, pp. 1282-85; 1583, pp. 1324-26.

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Bonner appeared for the sixth time before the commissioners on 23 September, when he presented a general recusation against all the commissioners and a second appellation to the king. A letter was read from Bonner to the mayor of London, Henry Amcottes, and aldermen. 1563, pp. 717-18; 1570, p. 1516; 1576, p. 1285; 1583, pp. 1326-27.

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Bonner' seventh appearance before the commissioners took place on 1 October. He presented a declaration, an appellation and a supplication to the king. The commissioners pronounced their sentence definitive. 1563, pp. 718-26; 1570, pp. 1516-19; 1576, pp. 1285-88; 1583, pp. 1327-30.

Bonner was imprisoned in the Marshalsea and deprived of his bishopric under Edward VI and Edward Seymour. 1563, p. 685; 1570, p. 1486; 1576, p. 1260; 1583, p. 1296.

Bonner remained in prison until the death of Edward VI. 1563, pp. 717-18; 1570, p. 1518; 1576, p. 1287; 1583, p. 1329.

 
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Richard Browne

Son of John Browne, who was martyred at Ashford, Kent, in 1511 [Fines]

Richard Browne was imprisoned at Canterbury at the end of Queen Mary's reign. He had been condemned and was due to be burnt the day after Mary's death but was reprieved. 1570, p. 1481; 1576, p. 1255; 1583, p. 1293.

 
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Richard Cluney

Bonner's summoner; keeper of Lollards Tower

Bonner wrote to Richard Cluney on the abolishing of images from churches. 1563, p. 686; 1570, p. 1481; 1576, pp. 1255-56; 1583, p. 1293.

1317 [1293]

K. Hen. 8. The story of of John Browne. Boners letter for the abolishing of Images.
The prayer of Browne at his death.
MarginaliaThe prayer of Iohn Browne at his death.


O Lord I yeeld me to thy grace,

Graunt me mercy for my trespace,

Let neuer the fiend my soule chace,

Lord I will bow and thou shalt beate:

Let neuer my soule come in hell heate.

Into thy handes I commend my spirit: thou hast redeemed
me O Lord of truth.

And so this blessed Martyr ended his life in peace, anno. 1511.

MarginaliaWitnes to thys story.This story the sayd Elizabeth Browne his wife did oft times repeate to Alice her daughter, who dwelling yet in the parish of S. Pulchers, testified the narration heereof vnto me and certayne other, vppon whose credible information I haue recorded the same. 

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It is clear from this note that other Londoners brought Alice Browne's sory of what her mother had told her to Foxe's attention. Foxe is revealing his source for the film to rebut potential critics who might claim that he invented it.

Furthermore, it is to be noted, that the sayde Iohn Browne bare a fagot seauen yeares before this, in the dayes of King Henry the seauenth. 

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At his trial in 1511, John Browne stated that he had previously abjured twelve years previously (Kent Heresy Proceedings, 1511-12, ed. Norman Tanner. Kent Records 26 (Maidstone, 1997), p. 48).

MarginaliaRich. Browne escaped burning by the comming in of the Queene Elizabeth.Whose sonne also named Richard Browne for the like cause of Religion, was imprisoned at Caunterbury, likewise in the latter tyme of Queene Mary, and should haue bene burned with two mo besides himselfe, the next day after the death of Queene Mary, but that by the proclaiming of Queene Elizabeth they escaped.

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Amongst other iniunctions and letters of king Henry the eight, written and set forth for reformation of religion, he wrate one letter to Edmund Bonner for abolishing of Images, pilgrimages, shrines, and other monuments of Idolatry. Which letter being before expressed 

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See 1570, p. 1385; 1576, pp. 1181-2 and 1583, p. 1210.

pag. 1229, we should also haue annexed to the same the letter or mandate of Bonner, directed in latin to Richard Cloney hys Somner, appertayning to the due execution therof. Which letter because we haue omitted before the defect thereof, I thought heere in this vacant space to supply. The letter written to Cloney in latin thus beginneth.

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Bonners letter to Cloney, keeper of the Colehouse, 
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Foxe is being sarcastic in calling Cluney the keeper of Bishop Bonner's coal-house. Cluney was actually Bonner's summoner. The bishop occasionally kept prisoners suspected of heresy detained in his coal house to have them ready to hand for examination.

for the abolishing of Images.

EDmundus permissione Diuina Lond. Episc. Dilecto nobis in Christo Richardo Cloney literato, Apparitori, nostro gene-rali salut. grat. & benedictionem. Cum nos 13. die mensis instantis Octob. circa noctem, literas serenissimi, &c. MarginaliaThis Cloney could neyther vnderstand the Latine nor yet scarse read in English, and yet here he is called literatus.

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The same in English.

MarginaliaHad Boner none to do these weighty thinges but Cloney the keeper of the Cole house.FOr asmuch as the 13. day of this present, we haue receyued the letters of our soueraigne Lord, by the grace of God King of England, &c. to vs directed and conteyning in them the commaundement of his Maiestie, by vs to be executed in tenour of words which heere I send vnto you: we therefore willing and desiring according as our duty bindeth vs, to put the same in execution with all diligence possible according to the effect and tenour thereof, do charge and straightly commaund you by the tenour heereof, in the Kings behalfe, and for the fidelitie whych we haue in you assuredly approued, that you incontinent vpon the receite heereof, do effectually warne all and singular Parsons and Vicars of this Citie of London, and of all our dioces, that they immediately vpon the sight and intimation of these present Articles and interrogatories heere vnder written, do cause diligent and effectuall inquisition thereof to be made, to witte:

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Whether there be vsed or continued any superstition, hypocrisie or abuse within any their parishes or Cures, contrary to anye ordinaunce, iniunction, or commaundement geuen or set foorth by the Kings Maiestie or by his authoritie.

Item, whether they haue in their Churches, or within theyr parishes, any shrines, couerings of shrines, tables of fayned myracles, pilgrimages, Images and bones resorted and offered vnto and other monuments and things wherewith the people haue bene illuded, or any offering or setting vp of lights, or candles, other then be permitted by the Kings Maiesties Iniunctions, or whether the said Iniunctions be duely obserued and kept in their Parishes or Cures, or else transgressed and broken, and in what part. And further, after the sayd Inquisition thus by them and euery of them respectiuely being made, that you do certifie vs, or our Vicare generall, what is done in the premisses, vpon the euen of Simon and Iude, or thereabout, vnder the perill thereof following. Dat. 14. die Octob. an. 1541. & nostræ translat. 2.

[Back to Top]The ende of the eyght booke.
¶ The