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540 [484]

Actes and Monumentes of the Church.

the of al ecclesiastical office & benefice, also we pronoūce & declare thee by this our sentēce or decre, the which we here prouulgate & declare in these wrytings, that thou art actually to be disgraded, deposed, and depriued, as foloweth. 

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As a former monk, Bayfield was in clerical orders and had to be formally degraded from them before he could be executed.

IN the name of God. Amen. We Ihon by the permyssyon of God, byshop of London, rightly & lawfully proceding in this behalf, do dimis thee Richard Baifeld, alias Somersam beyng pronoūced by vs a relapsed hereticke, & disgraded by vs frō al Ecclesiastical priueledge, out of the Ecclesiastical court, pronoūcing that the seculer power here present shuld receiue thee vnder their iurisdiction, earnestly requiring & desyring in the bowels of Iesu Christ, that the execution of this worthy punishment, to be done vpon thee & against thee in this behalf, may be so moderat, that there be nether ouermuch cruelty, neyther to much fauorable gentlenes, but that it may be to the helth and saluatyon of the soule, & to the extirpation, feare, terror, and conuersion of al other heritickes vnto the vnitye of the catholike faithe. This oure finall decree by this our sentence defynitiue, we haue caused to be published in forme aforesayd.

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Monday the xx. of Nouember 1531. In þe quier of the cathedral church of s. Paul before the said Ihon bishop of London, iudicially sytting being assisted with Ihon abbot of Westminster, & Robert Abbot of Walthā, Nicholas prior of Christchurch in London, tbese honorable Lordes being also present, Henry Erle of Essex, Richard Gray brother of the Marques of Somerset, Ihon Lābert Mayor of Lōdon, Richard Gresham & Edward Altā shryues, the which maior & shriues wer required to be ther presēt by the bishop of Londōs letters here after wrytten, & by the vertue of a statute of kynge Henry the iiii. 

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The statute referred to is 'De haeretico comburendo', which mandated the punishment for heresy and the process for trying and punishing heretics. It wasenacted under Henry IV in 1401.

somtime king of England, also in the presens of diuers chanōs, the chaūcelor official & archdecon of london, with þe bishops chaplains, & a great nōber both of the cleargy & laity. Mathew Grafton the register being also there presēt, master Richard Baifeld alias Somersame was broughte forthe by Thomas Turnor thaparator his keper, in whose presence the transumpt of the Apostolike bull of pope Leo the x. vpon the condempnation of Martin Luther & his adherents was brought forth & shewed, sealed with the seale of Thomas Wolsy late legate de latere, & subscribed wt the signe & name of master Robert Tūnes publike notary, & also the decre vpon the condēpnation of certen bokes brought in by him. sealed with the seale of tharchbishop of Cāterbury, & subscribed by iii. notaries. Thē the byshop of london, repeted in effect before him, his abiuration which he had before made, & other his demerites committed & done beside his abiuration: and the saide Baifeld, said, þt he was not culpable in tharticles that were obiected against him, & desired that the heresies contayned in þe bokes which he brought ouer, might be declared in open audience. Thē the byshopafter certen talk had with the said Baifeld, as touching the deserts of his cause, he asked him whether he could shew any cause why be shuld not be deliuered ouer vnto the seculer power, and be pronounced a relaps, and to suffer punishmēt as a relaps. the said Baifeld declared or propoūded no cause, but sayd that he brought ouer those bokes for lacke of mony, & not to sowe any herisies. And incontinēt the sayd Baifeld wyth a vehement spirite, as it appeared, saide vnto the bishop of London. your lyuing of the spiritualty is so euil, that ye be heretickes, and ye doo not only liue euil, but doo maintaine euil liuing. And also do let that the true liuing may not be knowen, and said that their liuing is against Christes Gospell, and that their beliefe was neuer taken of Christes Church. Then the said bishop after long deliberation had. Forsomuch as the said Richard Baifeld, could shewe no cause why he shoulde not be declared as a relaps, he red the decree and sentence against him, by the which amongest other thinges he condempned him as an hereticke, and pronounced him to be punished wy the punishment due vnto such as fall again into heresy, & by his wordes did disgrade him, and also declared that he should be actually disgraded, as is more at large contayned in the long sentence.

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The foresaid sentence being so red by the bishop of London, he proceaded immediatlye to the actual and solempne disgrading of the said Richard Baifeld alias Somersam, and there solempnely and actually disgraded him before the people, the which thing being done, he dismissed bim by the sentence aforesaid, from the Ecclesiastical court. whervpon the seculer power beinge there present, receiued hym vnto theyr iurisdiction, wythoute any wryt in that behalfe obtained but only by vertue of the letters of the statute of kinge Henrye the iiii. in that behalfe prouided and directed vnto them vnder the bishops seale. The tenor of whyche letters here after folow.

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¶ The letters of requirye 
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I.e. a letter of requirement or command.

directed to the Maior and Shriues of the citye of London, that they should be present that daye, when the sentence should be geuen to receiue the heretick (as they called him) that was condempned.

IHon by the permission of God, bishop of Lōdon vnto our dearly beloued in Christ, the honourable men, the Lord Maior of þe city of London, and the shriues of the same, helth, grace, and benediction, wheras we haue already by our vicare general proceaded in a certen cause of heresye and relaps into the same againe one Richard Baifelde, alias Somersam. And intend vpon mondaye

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