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443 [443]

The beginning of this matter must be shewed for the followyng of the consequent: for this Hun had a chylde that died in his house being an infante, the Curate clamed the bearinge shete for a mortuary.  

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The details and background to Hunne's praemunire suit were unknown to other sixteenth-century writers, yet they have been corroborated in the twentieth century by the discovery of the record of Hunne's suit (S. C. F. Milsom, 'Richard Hunne's Praemunire', EHR 86 [1961], pp. 80-2). Foxe probably learned the background to the praemunire suit from Dunstan Whaplod, Hunne's grandson.

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Hun aunswered that the infant had no propertie in the shete, wherupō the priest 
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It is far more likely that Dryffeld was forced, as a matter of principle, not to overlook Hunne's challenge to the custom of collecting mortuary fees.

ascited him in the spirituall court, he taking to him good councell, sued the Curate in a preminire, and when the priestes heard of this, they did so muche of malice that they accused hym of heresie 
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This statement assumes that the clergy only charged Hunne with heresy because of the praemunire suit. The opposite could also be true: that Hunne initiated the suit, as pre-emptive strike, because he suspected that heresy charges might be brought against him.

, and brought hym to the Lollers tower and there was founde dead as you haue heard.

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This man was counted of honest reputatiō no man to the sight of people more vertuous, wherfore vpon this matter a great matter folowed, for the Byshop and his Chaunceller doctour Horsey, sayd that he hanged him self, and all the temporaltie sayd that he was murthered, and thereupon. xii. men were charged before the Coronour, whiche. xii. were elected by great discretion, and many tymes they wer with the kynges councell and hard their opinions, but in the meane season the Byshop of London brent the dead carcasse of the sayd Richard Hun in Smithfielde, to the abominatiō of the people: but after that the matter had ben hard by the iudges, and after by the kynges councell, his grace beyng present and hearyng the cause openly debated and muche borne by the spiritualtie, yet at the last he remitted it to the triall of the lawe, and so vpon good euidence doctour Horsey the Chaunceller, & Belringer with Charles, Ioseph the somner, were endited of the murther: but afterwarde by the meanes of the spiritualtie and money, doctour Horsey caused the kynges attorney to confesse on his arraynement hym not to be gyltie, and so he escaped and went to Exetre, and for very shame durst neuer come after to London. But yet for a further truthe to be declared in this abhominable & detestable murther, here shall folowe the whole inquyrie and verdict of thenquest, worde for worde. 

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A copy of the document (unknown to Foxe) survives as TNA 9/468, fo. 14r-v. This copy matches the version in STC 13970, reprinted by Hall and then by Foxe.

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The fifth and the sixt daye of December, in the sixt yeare of the reigne of our soueraigne lorde kyng Henry the eight. William Barnewell crowner of London, the daye and yeare aboue sayde, within the warde of Castelbaynerd of London assembled a quest, whose names afterwarde doo appeare, and hath sworne theim truly to enquire of the death of one Rychard Hun, whiche lately was founde dead in the Lollers tower within Paules churche of London, whereupon all we of the inquest together went vp into the sayd tower, where we founde the body of the sayde Hun, hangyng vpon a staple of iron in a gyrdell of sylke, with fayre countenaunce, his head fayre kemmed, & his bonet ryght sitting vpon his head, with his eyen and mouth fayre closed, without anystaryng, gaping, or frowning. Also without any dreueling or spurginge in any place of his body, whereupon by one assent all we agreed to take downe the body of the sayde Hun, and as sone as we begā to heue at the body it was loose, whereby by good aduisement we perceiued that the gyrdell had no knot aboue the staple, but it was double cast, and the linkes of an iron chayne whiche did hange on the same staple, were layde vpon the same gyrdle wherby he did hange: Also the knot of þe gyrdle that went about his necke stode vnder his left eare whiche caused his head to leane towarde his right shoulder. Notwithstanding there came out of þe nostrels two smale streames of bloud to the quantitie of foure drops, saue only these foure droppes of bloud, the face, lips, chinne, doublet, coler, and shyrt of the saide Hun, was cleane from any bloud. Also we fynde that the skyn both of his necke and throte beneath the gyrdell of sylke, was fret and fased away, with that thyng whiche the murtherers had brokē his necke withall. Also the handes of the sayde Hun were wrong in the wristes, wherby we perceiued that his handes had bene bounde.

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Moreouer we find that within the saide prysō was no meane wherby any mā might hang himselfe, but only a stole, which stole stode vpon a bolster of a bed, so tickle that any many or beast might not touch it so litle but it was redy to fal, wherby we perceued that it was not possible that Hun might hange him selfe the stole so standinge. Also all the girdell from the staple to his necke, as well as the part which went about his neck was to litle for his hed to come out therat. Also it was not possible that the soft silken girdell should breake his neck or skin beneth the girdel. Also we find in a corner somewhat beyonde the place wher he did hang, a great percel of bloud. Also we find that vpō the lift side of Huns Iacket from the brest downeward. ii. great streames of bloud. Also within the flappe of the left side of his Iacket, we find a great cluster of bloud and the Iacket folden done therupon, which thing the said Hun could neuer fold nor do after he was hanged. Wherby it appeareth plainly to vs all þt the neck of Hun was broken, and the great plenty of bloud was shed before he was hanged. Wherfore al we find by God and all our cōsciences that Richard Hun was murthered: also we acquite the saide Richard Hun of his one death.

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Also an ende of a wax candel which as Iohn Belringer saieth, he left in the prison burning with Hun that same Sonday at night that Hun was murthered, which wax candell we found sticking vpon the stockes fayre put out, about seuen or eight foote from the place wher Hun was hanged, which candle after our opinion was neuer put out by him, for many like

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