Thematic Divisions in Book 12
1. Exhumations of Bucer and Phagius along with Peter Martyr's Wife2. Pole's Visitation Articles for Kent3. Ten Martyrs Burnt at Canterbury4. The 'Bloody Commission'5. Twenty-two Prisoners from Colchester6. Five Burnt at Smithfield7. Stephen Gratwick and others8. Edmund Allen and other martyrs9. Alice Benden and other martyrs10. Examinations of Matthew Plaise11. Richard Woodman and nine other martyrs12. Ambrose13. Richard Lush14. Edmund Allen15. The Martyrdom of Simon Miller and Elizabeth Cooper16. Rose Allin and nine other Colchester Martyrs17. John Thurston18. George Eagles19. Richard Crashfield20. Fryer and George Eagles' sister21. Joyce Lewes22. Rafe Allerton and others23. Agnes Bongeor and Margaret Thurston24. John Kurde25. John Noyes26. Cicelye Ormes27. Persecution at Lichfield28. Persecution at Chichester29. Thomas Spurdance30. Hallingdale, Sparrow and Gibson31. John Rough and Margaret Mearing32. Cuthbert Simson33. William Nicholl34. Seaman, Carman and Hudson35. Three at Colchester36. A Royal Proclamation37. Roger Holland and other Islington martyrs38. Stephen Cotton and other martyrs39. Scourging of Thomas Hinshaw40. Scourging of John Milles41. Richard Yeoman42. John Alcocke43. Thomas Benbridge44. Four at St Edmondsbury45. Alexander Gouch and Alice Driver46. Three at Bury47. A Poor Woman of Exeter48. Priest's Wife of Exeter49. The Final Five Martyrs50. John Hunt and Richard White51. John Fetty52. Nicholas Burton53. John Fronton54. Another Martyrdom in Spain55. Baker and Burgate56. Burges and Hoker57. The Scourged: Introduction58. Richard Wilmot and Thomas Fairfax59. Thomas Greene60. Bartlett Greene and Cotton61. Steven Cotton's Letter62. James Harris63. Robert Williams64. Bonner's Beating of Boys65. A Beggar of Salisbury66. Providences: Introduction67. William Living68. The Miraculously Preserved69. Edward Grew70. William Browne71. Elizabeth Young72. Elizabeth Lawson73. Christenmas and Wattes74. John Glover75. Dabney76. Alexander Wimshurst77. Bosom's wife78. Lady Knevet79. John Davis80. Anne Lacy81. Crosman's wife82. Congregation at Stoke in Suffolk83. Congregation of London84. Englishmen at Calais85. Edward Benet86. Jeffrey Hurst87. William Wood88. Simon Grinaeus89. The Duchess of Suffolk90. Thomas Horton 91. Thomas Sprat92. John Cornet93. Thomas Bryce94. Gertrude Crockhey95. William Mauldon96. Robert Horneby97. Mistress Sandes98. Tome 6 Life and Preservation of the Lady Elizabeth99. The Unprosperous Queen Mary100. Punishments of Persecutors101. Foreign Examples102. A Letter to Henry II of France103. The Death of Henry II and others104. Admonition to the Reader
Critical Apparatus for this Page
Commentary on the Text
Names and Places on this Page
Unavailable for this Edition
2211 [2171]

Queene Mary. Examinatiō of Mat. Plaise. Persecutiō in Sußex. X. Martyrs. Rich. VVoodmā.

Marginalia1557. Iune.Auns. I sayd, I ought to hold hym accursed, if hee taught doctrine contrary to Christ and his Apostles.

Arch. Then he asked me, whether I did beleue that Christ did geue that he tooke, or not?

Auns. I said, I do beleue as much as can be proued by the scripture, and more I will not beleue.

Arch. Then he began with Moyses rod, how God cōmaunded hym to lay it downe, and it was turned into a serpent. Seyng that this was by Moyses being but a man, how much more Christ beyng both God and mā tooke one thing, and gaue to hys disciples an other?

Auns. I sayd, MarginaliaComparison betwen turning Moyses rod, & the bread into Christes body, not lyke.his comparison was nothing like, for Moyses rod when it was layd downe, he saw that it was turned into a very serpent in deede, but in thys sacrament no man can see neyther quality nor yet quantytie to be chaunged.

[Back to Top]

Bish. Then sayd the Byshop, that myne opinion and fayth was like vnto the Capernaites.

Auns. I sayd, MarginaliaThe opinion of the Papistes much lyke to the was more like their opinion thē mine.

Arch. The Archdeacō asked me, whether Christ tooke not one thing, and gaue an other?

Auns. I sayd, looke what he brake, he gaue vnto them, and bad them eate: and other aunswere I will make none contrary to the worde.

Arch. Then he sayd, he meruayled why I woulde not beleue them, seyng thys learning had continued thys fiftene hundreth yeares: neyther yet did say as other had before, how Christ did call it his body.

Auns. Then I sayd, when Cranmer which was here Byshop, was in authority, he sayd, that he dyd holde the truth, and commaunded vs to beleue him, and he hath geuen his lyfe for hys opinion, and woulde you haue me to beleue you, because you say, that you holde the truth? and that which makes me beleue chiefly, is the Scripture, which I am sure is the truth in deede.

[Back to Top]

Bish. The Byshop sayd, he had spoken the truth, and that I would not beleue hym.

Auns. I sayd, if he dyd not now speake the truth, I was sure he had spoken the truth, MarginaliaOf thys preaching of Doct. Thornton, read before pag. 1848.for he had preached before, doctrine cleane contrary vnto this.

Then were the rest of my articles red: which I answered, & in euery article, we had vp this breadē God. And they sent for a candle light, & I thought they would haue condemned me, but God would not suffer their cruel hartes to haue their pleasure at that time: blessed be hys name for euermore, Amen.

Arch. Then the Archdeacon was angry and began to chyde wyth me because I would not desire a day of the Byshop, and sayd: I was a noughty stubborne felow, & sayd, it had ben my duty to haue desired him to haue bene good to me, that I might haue a day.

Auns. Then I said: I haue spoken the truth, and therfore I would aske him no day, except he would geue me a day of his owne mynd.

Commis. Then sayd the Commissary: doost thou not thinke that thou mayest be deceiued, seyng he may be deceaued that hath gone to study al the dayes of his life?

Auns. I sayd yes, I myght be deceaued in þt I was a mā: but I was sure Gods word could not be deceaued.

Commis. Then he prayed me to be content and confesse that I might learne, and sayd they would be glad to teach me.

Auns. And I sayd, I would be as glad to learne as any man. And thus they rose vp and went away saying nothing. What became of this Mathew Playse after, whether he died in prison, or was executed, or deliuered, I haue as yet no certeine knowledge.

The history of ten true godly Disciples and Martyrs of Christ, burnt together in one fire at Lewes. an. 1557. Iune 22. 
Commentary  *  Close
Richard Woodman

Almost all of Foxe's narrative of the seven martyrs burned on 22 June 1557 is devoted to Woodman and almost all of the account of Woodman is based on the martyr's own writings. In the 1563 edition, Foxe printed Woodman's accounts of his six exaninations (apparently written for the benefit of Woodman's fellow believers). He also printed Woodman's letter to Mrs Roberts. In the 1570 edition, Foxe rearranged the material he had printed in his first edition. He also added Woodman's account of his capture and second arrest on 15 March 1556. There were no changes made to this account in subsequent editions.

[Back to Top]

Foxe's account of Woodman does not make sense unless one understands the legal context of Woodman's two imprisonments. At the beginning of 1554, Woodman publicly 'admonished' the rector of Warbleton for backsliding from the protestant teachings he had professed during Edward VI's reign. Woodman was then arrested for violating a statute (1 Mary 2 c. 3) forbidding the harassment ofclergy while they were performing their duties (see 1563, p. 1599; 1570, pp. 2189-90, 1576, p. 1875 and 1583, pp. 1948-49). Woodman was brought before two quarter sessions and, in June 1554, sent to Bishop Bonner. This was a move of dubious legality, as Bonner had no conceivable jurisdiction over Woodman; nevertheless Woodman was imprisoned in the King's Bench until November 1555. Woodman was then imprisoned in Bonner's palace while the Bishop interrogated him. Woodman had been studying the law and he pointed out that the rector of Warbleton had been married and thus, under Marian law, he was not a legitimate clergyman when Woodman had publicly denounced him.

[Back to Top]

This technicality secured Woodman's release on 18 December 1555. Woodman then returned to his native Sussex where he became an itinerant lay preacher. Woodman's activities created a local uproar and warrants were issued for his arrest. Woodman went into hiding and then fled overseas. After his second arrest, described in Foxe, Woodman insisted that he be tried by his ordinary, the bishop of Chichester. Unfortunately for the authorities, the bishop-designate of Chichester, John Christopherson, had not been consecrated and thus could not preside over Woodman's trial. Finally, the authorities found a way around this by having the cardinal use his legatine authority to appoint Nicholas Harpsfield, the archdeacon of Canterbury, as Woodman's ordinary. Woodman was then duly tried and executed.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaIune. 22.IN the Towne of Lewes were tene faythfull seruaūtes of God put in one fire, the xxij. day of Iune, whose names here folow.

MarginaliaX. Godly Martyrs.1.
Richard Woodeman.
George Steuens.
W. Maynard.
Alexander Hosman.
his seruaunt.
Tomasin a Woode,
Maynardes mayde.
Margery Morys.
Iames Morys, her
Denys Burgys.
Ashdons wyfe.
Groues wyfe.

Of the which number Rich. Woodmā was þe first. Concerning whose apprehension first by his enemies, and of his deliueraunce out of B. Boners handes, then of his second taking agayne by the procurement of hys father, brother, kinsfolkes, and frendes, also of hys sundry examinations, and couragious aunsweres before the Byshops, and lastly of his condemnation, and of his letters sent to hys faithfull frendes, here followeth to be declared by his owne wordes, and relation reported. MarginaliaThe life and storye of Rich. Woodman.Which Rich. Woodman, by his occupation was an Irenmaker, dwelling in the parish of Warbleton, in the Countye of Sussex, and Dioces of Chichester, of the age of xxx. yeares, and somewhat more. The occasion of his first apprehension was this.

[Back to Top]

There was one Fayrebanke, MarginaliaFayrebanke preaching contrary to hym selfe. who sometymes had bene a maryed priest, and serued the cure of Warbleton, where he had often perswaded the people, not to credite any other doctrine but that, which he then preached, taught and set forth in K. Edwardes dayes. And afterwardes in the beginning of Q. Maryes raygne, the sayd Fayrebanke, turning head to tayle, praeched cleane contrary to that which he had before taught.

[Back to Top]

Whereupon Rich. Woodman hearing him in the church of Warbleton so to preach contrary to himselfe, admonished hym of his inconstancie, how before tyme he had taught them one thyng, and now an other, and desired hym to teach them the truth. For the which wordes he was apprehended, and brought before MarginaliaIustices of Sussex troublers of Richard Woodman, and what were their names.M. Iohn Ashbornham, M. Toston, M. Culpeper, and M. Robertes, iustices of peace in the Countye of Sussex: and by them committed to the kinges Bench, where he continued from Iune, the space almost of a yeare and halfe: and from thence was transferred by Doct. Story into Boners Colehouse, where he remained the space of a month, before he came to examination.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaRichard Woodman deliuered out of hys first trouble.At length the same day, when M. Philpot was burned, which was the 18. of December, he with 4. other prisoners was deliuered, and set at libertie by Boner himselfe. MarginaliaRichard Woodman agayne apprehended, and by whose meanes.Notwithstanding shortly after he was sought for agayne, and at last found out and taken by meanes of his father, brother, and certayne other his acquainted frendes, and so was sent vp agayne to London to B. Boner, where he remayned in the Colehouse viij. weekes. He was there vj. tymes examined, and xxvj. tymes before, MarginaliaXXXij. examinations of Richard that his examinations in all were xxxij. from his first apprehension to his condemnation. 

Commentary  *  Close

This is the total number of examinations for both of Woodman's imprisonments.

Touching the whole discourse wherof, forsomuch as the matter is something straunge, and wyll paraduenture scarse finde credite vpon my narration, with thē which deny all thinges, that like them not to beleue, ye shall heare himselfe speake, and testifie both of the maner of his troubles, & also his own examinations by himselfe recorded in order as followeth.

[Back to Top]
¶ A true certificate written by Richard Woodman, of his taking, and how he was brought to the Shrieffes the 15. day of March. 1556. and how long he was in prison, & how he was there vsed, til he was brought before the Byshop of Chichester, at Blacke Friers in London, with the order of his examinations folowyng after the same.

MarginaliaThe certificate of Richard Woodman concerning the truth of hys owne story and troubles.GEntle reader here you shal perceaue how the scriptures be partly fulfilled on me, being one of the least of his poore lambes. First you shall vnderstand, that since I was deliuered out of the bishop of Londōs handes, which was in the yeare of our Lord. 1555. and the same day that M. Philpot was burned (which was the 18. of December) I lay in his cole house 

Commentary  *  Close

I.e., in the coalhouse of Bonner's palace, which was used as an ad hoc prison for those being examined by Bonner.


[Back to Top]
Go To Modern Page No:  
Click on this link to switch between the Modern pagination for this edition and Foxe's original pagination when searching for a page number. Note that the pagination displayed in the transcription is the modern pagination with Foxe's original pagination in square brackets.
Type a keyword and then restrict it to a particular edition using the dropdown menu. You can search for single words or phrases. When searching for single words, the search engine automatically imposes a wildcard at the end of the keyword in order to retrieve both whole and part words. For example, a search for "queen" will retrieve "queen", "queene" and "queenes" etc.
Humanities Research Institute  *  HRI Online  *  Feedback
Version 2.0 © 2011 The University of Sheffield