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1225 [1225]

K. Henry. 8. A letter sent to Thomas Philippe. Tracyes testament.

Persons abiured,with their Articles.

ced hym for contumax and an excommuni-
cate person, chargyng all mē to haue no cō-
pany nor any thyng to do with hym.
After thys excommunication, what be-
came of him, whether he was holpen by his
appeale, or whether he was burned, or whe
ther he dyed in þe Tower, or whether he ab-
iured, I finde no mention made in the Re-
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Thomas Philip was a pointmaker of the parish of Micheal le Querne, London. John Hacker informed on him in 1528. He was imprisoned and later held in the house of Thomas More (then Lord Chancellor), who turned him back over to Bishop Stokesley (BL, Harley MS 421, fo. 13r; More, Apology, CWTM 9, p. 126). He abjured, but abjured his abjuration and was imprisoned in the Tower (1570, pp. 1185-6, 1576, p. 1014; 1583, p. 1042). He remained imprisoned in the Tower, but working as a gaoler. In this capacity he aided evangelical prisoners (BL, Harley MS 425, fo. 138v).

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¶ A Letter directed to Thomas Philippe in the name of the brethren, and gyuen hym by the waye goyng to the tower.

MarginaliaA letter sent by the congregation to Tho. Philip.THe fauour of hym that is able to kepe you that you fal not, and to confesse your name in the kyngdome of glory, & to geue you strength by hys spirite to cōfesse him before all his aduersaries, bee wt you euer, Amen.

Syr the brethren thinke that there bee diuers false brethren craftely crepte in among them, to seeke out theyr freedome in the Lorde, that they maye accuse them to the Lordes aduersaries, as they suppose they haue done you. Wherefore if so bee it, that the spirite of God moue you thereunto, they as counsellours, desire you aboue all thinges, to be stedfast in the Lordes veritie without feare, for hee shall and will bee your helpe accordyng to his promise, so that they shall not minishe the least heire of your head without hys will: vnto the whiche will, submitte your selfe, and reioyce: for the Lorde knoweth how to deliuer the godly out of temptation, and howe to reserue the vniuste vnto the daye of iudgement to bee punished 

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2 Peter 2: 9.

: Marginalia2. Pet. 2.and therefore, caste all your care on hym, for hee careth for you 
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1 Peter 5: 7.

. Marginalia1. Pet. 5.And in that you suffer as a Christen man, bee not ashamed, but rather glorifie God on that behalfe: Marginalia1. Pet. 4. looking vpon Christ the authour and finisher of our fayth: which for the ioye that was set before him, abode the Crosse and despised the shame 
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Hebrews 12: 2.

. MarginaliaHeb. 12.Notwithstandyng though we suffer the wrong, after the example of our maister Christ, yet we be not bounde to suffer the wrong cause, for Christ hym selfe suffred it not, but reproued him that smitte him wrongfully. And so likewise saith S. Paul also 
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See Acts 23: 3.

: So þt we must not suffer the wronge, but boldly reproue thē that sit as righteous iudges & doe cōtrary to righteousnes. MarginaliaAct. 23.Therfore accordyng both to Gods law & mannes, ye bee not boūd to make none aūswere in no cause, till your accusers come before you. Which if you require & theron do sticke, the false brethrē shall be knowen, to the great cōfort of those that nowe stand in doubt whō they may trust: & also it shal be a meane that they shal not craftely by questions take you in snares. And that you may this do lawfully, in the xx. Chapter of the Actes it is writtē. It is not the maner of the Romanes to deliuer any man that he should perishe before that hee whiche is accused, haue his accusers before him, and haue licence to aunswere for hym selfe, as perteinyng to the crime wherof he is accused 
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Actually this is a reference to Acts 23: 27-8.

. MarginaliaAct. 20.And also Christ will, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses all thynges shall stand 
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This is a somewhat unusual interpretation of Matthew 18: 20.

. MarginaliaMath. 18.And in the v. chap. to Timoth. the first Epistle, it is written: Agaynst a Seniour receaue none accusation but vnder two or three witnesses 
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I Timothy 5: 19.

. Marginalia1. Tim. 5.
What is a Seniour by S. Paule.
A Senior in this place is any man that hath an house to gouerne. And also their owne lawe is agreable to this. Wherfore seing it is agreable to the worde of God that in accusations such witnesses should bee, you may with a good conscience require it. And this the God of grace whiche hath called you vnto his eternal glory by Christ Iesu, shal his own self, after a litle affliction, make you perfect, shall settle, strēgthen & stablish you, that to him may be glory and prayse for euer. Amen.

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Thus ye haue heared the letter deliuered to Tho. Philippe. Now followeth the Testament of William Tracye.

¶ Tracy his Testament.

A Litle before 

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The account which follows is word-for-word from Edward Hall'schronicle. (See Edward Hall, The union of the two noble and illustre famelies ofLancastre and York [London, 1548], STC 12721, fo. 211r-v).

this tyme, William Tracy a worshypfull Esquyre in Glocestershyre, & then dwellyng at Todington, made in his wil, þt he would haue no fune-

Persons abiured,with their Articles.

ral pompe at his burying, neither passed he vpō Masse: and farther sayd that hee trusted in God onely, and hoped by hym to bee saued, and not by any Saint. 

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William Tracy was a prominent member of a leading Gloucestershire family and he was a former sheriff of the county. His will aroused considerablecontroversy because of its outspoken declaration of justification nby faith without theassistance of works. Manuscript copies of the will circulated extensively. (See John Craig and Caroline Litzenberger, 'Wills as Religious Propaganda: The Testament of William Tracy', Journal of Ecclesiastical History 44 [1993], pp. 415-31). In 1535, a copy of the will, with commentaries by William Tyndale and John Frith, was printedin Antwerp: the testament of master William Tracie esquier (Antwerp, 1535), STC 24167.

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This Gentleman dyed, and hys sonne as executor, brought the will to the Bishop of Canterbury to proue, whiche he shewed to the conuocation, and there most cruellye they iudged that he should be taken out of the ground and be brent as an hereticke, an. 1532. 
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Foxe (following Hall's chronicle) is condensing extemely complex and protracted proceedings. Convocation debated Tracy's will in different sessions for fifteen months before Tracy was finally condemned (posthumously) as a heretic and the exhumation of his body ordered. (See John T. Day, 'William Tracy's Posthumous Legal Problems' in William Tyndale and the Law, ed. John A. R. Dick and Anne Richardson [Kirksville, MO, 1994], pp. 108-10).

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MarginaliaM. Tracye taken vp being dead and burnt.This commission was sent to Doct. Parker Chaūcellour of þe dioces of Worcester, to execute their wicked sentence, which accomplished the same. The kyng hearyng his subiect to be taken out of the grounde and brent without hys knowledge or order of his lawe, sent for the Chauncellour and layd hygh offence to hys charge: who excused him selfe by the Archbyshop of Cāterbury whiche was late dead 
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I.e., Parker, the chancellor of the diocese, claimed that he was acting on the orders of the archbishop of Canterbury.

, but in conclusion it cost him CCC. pound to to haue his pardon. 
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Matthew Parker, the chancellor of the diocese of Worcester (not to be confused with the Elizabethan archbishop of Canterbury of the same name) burned Tracy's body in addition to exhuming it. This burning - but not the exhumation - was a violation of the statute De heretico comburendo, which mandated the punishments for heresy. Under this statute, it was illegal to burn a heretic, livingor dead, without receipt of a writ from Chancery and, in any case, the burning wasto be managed by secular officials. Whether Tracy's body was burned on the orders of the Archbishop Warham or not (Parker, the chancellor of the diocese, claimed that he was acting on the orders of the archbishop of Canterbury), Parker did not have a writ and he conducted the burning himself. Richard Tracy, William's son, petitioned the king, asking that Parker be punished for this violation of the law. Ultimately Parker was fined £100. (See John T. Day, 'William Tracy's Posthumous Legal Problems' in William Tyndale and the Law, ed. John A. R. Dick and Anne Richardson [Kirksville, MO, 1994], pp. 110-11).

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The will and Testament of this Gentleman thus condemned by the Clergie, was as here vnder foloweth.

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Marginalia The Testament of William Tracye.JN the name of God, Amen. I William Tracy of Todyngton in the Countye of Glocester Esquyre, make my Testamēt and last will, as here after foloweth. First & before all other thynges, I cōmit my selfe vnto God & to hys mercy, beleuyng without any doubt or mistrust, that by hys grace and the merites of Iesus Christ, & by the vertue of hys Passion and of hys resurrection, I haue & shall haue remission of all my sinnes and resurrection of body and soule, accordyng as it is written: I beleue that my redemer lyueth, and that in the last day I shall rise out of the earth, and in my fleshe shall see my Sauiour: thys my hope is layde vp in my bosome. 

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Job 19: 25.

MarginaliaIoh. 19.

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And touchyng the wealth 

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I.e., the health.

of my soule, the fayth that I haue taken & rehearsed is sufficient (as I suppose) without any other mans workes or merites. 
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It is this statement, declaring that faith, without works, was allthat was necessary salvation, which made this will hertetical.

My grounde & belefe is, that there is but one God and one Mediatour betwene God and man, whiche is Iesus Christ: so that I accepte none in heauen nor in earth to bee Mediatour betwen me & God, but only Iesus Christ: all other to be but as peticioners in receyuyng of grace, but none able to geue influence of grace: And therefore will I bestowe no part of my goodes for that entēt that any man should say or do, to helpe my soule, for therin I trust only to the promyses of Christ: He that beleueth and is Baptised shalbe saued, and he that beleueth not shalbe dampned. 
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Mark 16: 16.

MarginaliaMark. 16.

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As touchyng the burying of my body it auayleth me not what soeuer be done thereto, for S. Austen sayth De cura agenda pro mortuis, MarginaliaFunerall pompes serue onely for the liuing, and geue no helpe to the dead.that the funeral pompes are rather the solace of them that lyue, then the wealth and comfort of them that are dead, and therefore I remitte it onely to the discretion of myne executours. 

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Tracy's lack of concern over his burial arrangements was not heretical, but it was very unconventional.

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And touchyng the distribution of my tēporall goodes, my purpose is, by the grace of God, to bestowe them to be accepted as the frutes of fayth, so that I doo not suppose þt my merite shalbe by the good bestowyng of them, MarginaliaOur merites be onlye our fayth in Christ.but my merite is the fayth of Iesus Christe onely, by whom such workes are good accordyng to the woordes of our Lord: I was hungry and thou gauest me to eate. &c. 

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Matthew 25: 35.

and it foloweth: that ye haue done to the least of my brethrē, ye haue done it to me. &c. 
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Matthew 25: 45.

And euer we should cōsider that true saying: that a good worke maketh not a good man, but a good mā maketh a good worke: for fayth maketh þe man both good & righteous: for a righteous man lyueth by fayth: and what soeuer sprinketh not of fayth is sinne. &c. 
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This is a rather free reading of Romans 14: 17-23.

MarginaliaRom. 14.

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And all my temporall goodes that I haue not geuen or deliuered, or not geuen by writyng of myne owne hand, bearyng the date of this present writyng, I do leaue & geue to Margaret my wyfe, & to Richard my sonne whom I make myne Executors. Witnes hereof myne owne hād, the x. of October in the xxij. yeare of the reigne of kyng Henry the eight.

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This is the true copie of his will, for the whiche, as you heard before, after hee was almost ij. yeares dead, they tooke him vp and burned hym.

Iohn Peti-
man, Skin-
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Apparently Periman was also selling heretical books.


His Articles: were much lyke vnto the
others before: Addyng moreouer that all
the Preachers then at Paules Crosse, prea-
ched nothyng but lyes & flatterynges, and
þt there was neuer a true preacher but one:
namyng Edward Crome. 
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Although none of his sermons survive, Edward Crome was one of the most outspoken and popular evangelical preachers in London. Crome himself was charged with heresy in 1531 and escaped by recanting. He subsequently retracted his recantation.

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