Deacon. Freewiller. Of Godstone, Surrey.
Thomas Simson entered John Kemp's house during a meeting with the attention of betraying those present. From that time he sought the company of Kemp and was converted. 1576, pp. 1975-77.
Thomas Simson warned a London congregation away from Aldgate, as the authorities were looking for them. 1570, p. 2278, 1576, p. 1967, 1583, p. 2074.
MarginaliaAnno 1557. March.It is thought and sayd of some, that that arrowe, whiche was grated betwixt his fingers, being tyed together, was not in the tower, but in the Bishops house.
The day before the blessed Deacon and Martyr of god Cutbert Simson, after his paynfull racking should go to his cōdēnation before Boner, to be burned, being in the Bishops colehouse there in the stockes, MarginaliaA vision of Cutbert Simson.he had a certayne vision or apparition very straunge which he himself with hys owne mouthe declared to the Godly learned man M. Austen, to his owne wife, and Thomas Simson,
'Master Austen' is the ubiquitous Augustine Bernher, who, among other things, was de facto head of the underground London congregation. Thomas Simpson - apparently no relation to Cuthbert Simpson - was another of the congregation's deacons. On the important roles of Bernher and Thomas Simpson in the underground London congregation see Brett Usher, '"In a Time of Persecution": New Light on the Protestant Congregation in Marian London' in John Foxe and the English Reformation, ed., David Loades (Aldershot, 1997), pp. 233-51.[Back to Top]
Note Foxe's unease about the reliability of the story about Cuthbert Simpson's dream and Foxe's anticipating criticism of it (anticipations which proved correct). Foxe probably decided to include the account because it was verified by Augustine Bernher and Thomas Simpson.
Other will be perchaunce agreeued, thinking with thē selues, or els thus reasoning with me, that althoughe the matter were as is reported, yet for somuch as the common error of beleuing rash miracles, phantasied visions, dreames, and appparitions thereby may be confirmed, more expedient it were the same to be vnsetforth.[Back to Top]
?? ??? ?????? ???? ????????.
Not every dreame is strait waye a Prophecie.
First I write not this, binding any manne precisely to beleue the same, so as they do theyrs, but onely reporte it as it hath bene heard of persons knowne, naming also þe parties, who were the hearers thereof, leauing the iudgment therof notwithstanding free vnto the arbitremente of the reader. MarginaliaWhat Credite is to be geuen to visions, & how farre.Albeit, it is no good argument, proceedyng from the singular or particular, to the vniuersall, to saye that visions be not true in some, ergo they be true in none. And if any shall muse, or obiect agayne, why should suche visions be geuen to him, or a few other singular persons, more then to all the rest, seeing the other were in the same cause and quarrell, and dyed also martyrs as well as hee? To thys I say, concerning the Lordes tymes and doings I haue not to meddle nor make, who may woorke where and when it pleaseth him. And what if the Lorde thought chiefly aboue the other, with singular consolation to respecte him, who chiefly aboue the other, and singularly did suffer most exquisite tormentes for his sake? What greate maruell herein? but as I sayd, of the Lordes secrete tymes I haue not to reason. This onely whiche hathe out of the mans owne mouth bene receiued, so as I receiued it of the parties, I thought here to communicate to the Reader, for him to iudge thereof as God shall rule hys mynd. The matter is this.[Back to Top]
The day before thys Simson was condemned, he being in the stockes, Cloney his keeper commeth in with þe keies, about 9. of the clocke at night (after his vsuall maner) to view hys prison, and see whether all were present, who when he espyed the sayd Cutbert to be there, departed agayne, locking the dores after him. Within two houres after, about eleuen of the clocke, towarde midnighte, the sayd Cutbert (whether being in a slumber, or beyng awake I cannot say) heard one comming in, first openyng the outwarde dore, then the seconde, after the thyrd dore, and so looking into the sayd Cutbert, hauing no Candell or Torche that he could see, but geuing a brightnesse, and light most comfortable and ioyfull to hys hart, saying: Ha vnto him, and departed agayne. Who it was hee coulde not tell, neither I dare define. This that he saw, he hymselfe declared foure or fiue tymes to the sayd Mayster Austen, and to other. At the sight whereof hee receiued suche ioyfull comfort, that he also expressed no little solace, in telling and declaring the same.[Back to Top]
MarginaliaArticles seuerally ministred to Cutbert Simson.FIrst, that thou Cutbert Simson, art at this present abidinge within the Cittie and Dioces of London, and not out of the
iurisdiction of the bishop of Rome.
Item, that thou within the Cittie and Diocesse of London hast vttered many times, and spoken deliberately these wordes and sentences following, videlicet: that though thy parentes, auncestours, kinsefolkes, and friendes, yea, and also thy selfe, before the time of the late schisme here in this realme of Englande haue thought and thoughtest, that the fayth and religion obserued in times past here in this Realme of Englande, was a true fayth and religion of Christ, in all poyntes and Articles, though in the Churche it was set foorthe in the Latine tongue, and not in Englishe, yet thou beleuest and sayest, that the faythe and religion, now vsed commonly in the Realme, not in the Englysh but in the Latine tongue, is not the true faythe and religion of Christ, but contrary and expressely agaynst it.[Back to Top]
MarginaliaCeremonies.Item, that thou within the sayde Cittie and Dioces of London, hast willingly, wittingly, and contemptuously done, & spoken agaynst the Rites and the Ceremonyes, commonlye vsed here tbrough the whole realme, and obserued generally in the Churche of England.
MarginaliaSeuen Sacramentes.Item, that thou hast thought, and beleued certaynlye, and so within the Dioces of London, hast affirmed, and spoken delyberately, that there bee not in the Catholicke Churche seuen Sacramentes, nor of that vertue and efficacie, as is commonly beleued in the churche of England them to be.[Back to Top]
MarginaliaSacrament of the Aultar.Item, thou hast likewise thought, and beleeued, yea and so within the Cittie and Dioces of London spoken, and deliberately affirmed, that in the sacrament of the aultar, there is not really, substantially, and truely, the very body and bloud of our sauiour Iesus Christ
Item that thou hast beene, and to thy power arte at this present, a fauourer of all those, that eyther haue beene here in this Realme, heretofore called heretickes, or els conuented, & condemned by the Ecclesiasticall Iudges for heretickes,
MarginaliaVsing of Englishe Seruice.Item that thou, contrary to the order of this Realme of Englande, and contrary to the vsage of the holy Churche of this Realme of England, hast at sundry tymes and places, within the Citye and Dioces of London, beene at assemblyes, and conuenticles, where there was a multitude of people gathered together, to heare the Englishe seruice sayed, which was set forth in the late yeares of King Edward the sixte, and also to heare, and haue the Communion booke reade, and the Communion ministred, both to the sayd multitude, and also to thy selfe, and thou hast thought, and so thinkest, and hast spoken that the sayd Englishe seruice, and Communion booke, and all thinges conteyned in eyther of them was good and laudable, and for such thou diddest, and doest allowe, and approue eyther of them at this present.[Back to Top]
MarginaliaHis aunswere to the articles.VNto all which articles the sayd Cutbert Simson aunswered thus, or the lyke in effecte.
To the 1 2 3. 4. 5. and 6. article he confessed them to be true in euery parte thereof.
To the 7 article he sayd, that he was bounde to aunswere vnto it, as he beleeueth.
This letter is printed in all editions of Acts and Monuments and in Letters of the Martyrs, pp. 659-60.
MarginaliaA letter of Cutbert Simson to his wyfe.DEarely beloued in the Lorde Iesus Christe, I can not write as I doe wishe vnto you.
I beseeche you with my soule, committe your selfe vnder the mighty hande of our God, trusting in his mercye, and hee will surely helpe vs, as shall be moste vnto his glory, and oure euerlasting comforte, being sure of this, that hee wyll suffer nothing to come vnto vs, but that whiche shall bee moste profitable for vs.[Back to Top]
For it is either a correction for our sinnes, or a tryall of oure faythe, or to set forthe his glorye, or for altogether, and therefore must needes be well done. For there is nothing that commeth vnto vs by fortune or chaunce, but by oure heauenlye Fathers prouidence, And therefore praye vnto oure heauenly Father that he will euer geue vs his grace for to consider it. Let vs geue hym moste hartye thankes, for these his fatherly corrections: for as many as hee loueth, hee correcteth. And I beseech you nowe bee of good cheare, and compte the Crosse of Chryste greater ryches, then all the vayne pleasures of Englande. I do not doubt (I prayse God for it) but that you haue supped wyth Chryste at his Maundie, I meane beleeue in hym, for that is the effecte, and then muste you drynke of hys cuppe, I meane hys Crosse (for that doth the cuppe signifie vnto vs.) Take the Cuppe wyth a good stomacke, in the name of GOD and then shall you be sure to haue the good wyne Chrystes bloude to thy poore thirstie soule. And when you haue the wyne you muste drinke it out of this cuppe. Learne this when you[Back to Top]