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812 [812]

K. Henry. 6. Thomas Rhedonensis, Grunfelder, Radtgeber, &c. Martyrs.

lyfe rewarded him with death: and wheras no rewards had bene worthy for his great labours & trauailes, they wt most extreme ignominy persecuted him euē vnto the fire. For whē as by continuall preaching he had gotten great enuie and hatred, the rulers began to consult together by what meanes they might circumuent this mans lyfe. Here they had recourse to their accustomed remedies: MarginaliaHeresie made, where none is.for it is a peculiar and cōtinual custome amongest the prelates of the church, that if any man displease thē, or that his talke be not accordyng to their minde, or by any meanes hurtfull or hinderaunce to their luker and gain, by and by they frame out Articles of some heresy, which they charge him withal. And like as euery liuing thyng hath hys peculiar and proper weapon to defende him selfe from harme, as nature hath armed the Bore with his tuskes, the hedge hogge with his prickels, the Lyon is feared for his clawes, the dogge for his biting, the Bull fighteth with his hornes, neither doth the Asse lacke his houes to strike withall: MarginaliaPoperye armed with policie and defended with tyrannye.euen so this is the onely armour of the bishops, to strangle a mā with heresy, if he once go about to mutter against their will and ambition: which thing may be easely perceiued and sene in this most holy mā, beside a great nūber of other. Who, when as now he began to waxe greuous vnto them, and could no lōger be suffred: what did they? straight wayes flee vnto their old policies, & as they had done with Hus & Hierome of Prage, euen so went they about to practise against this man. They ouerwhelme him with suspitiō, they seke to intangle him with questions, they examine him in iudgement, they compile Articles agaynst him & lay heresie vnto his charge, they condemne him as an hereticke, and beyng so condempned, they destroy and kill him. This was their godlines: this was the peaceable order of those Carmelites. Whose religion was to weare no sword nor shielde, notwithstanding they dyd beare in their heartes, malice, rancour vengeaūce, poyson, crafte and disceite, sharper then any sworde. With how great care & policie is it prouided by lawe, that none of these clergye men shoulde fight with sworde in the streates? when as in iudgement & accusations (where as it is not lawful for a mā to oppresse his brother) there is no murtherer which hath more ready vengeaunce, or that doth more vilye esteme his brothers soule thē they. They shed no bloud thē selues, they stricke not, nor killed, but they deliuered thē ouer vnto others to be slaine. What differēce is there I pray you, but that they are the authors, & the other are but þe ministers of the cruell facte? they kill no man as murtherers do. How then? Although not after the same sorte, yet they do it by another meane.

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The Articles whiche they falsly gathered agaynst this man, are affirmed by some to be these.

MarginaliaHys articles.That the church lacketh reformation, and that it shal be punished and reformed.

That Infidels, Iewes, Turkes and Mores shall be conuerted vnto Christ in the later dayes.

That abhominations are vsed at Rome.

That the vniust excommunication of the Pope, is not to bee feared: and those whiche do not obserue the same, do not sinne or offend.

MarginaliaEx Antonin. 3. part histo. fol. 165.
W. Cardinalis Rhotomagēsis, his persecutour.
But yet there lacked a minister for these Articles: albeit he could not long bee wantyng at Rome, where all thinges are to be solde, euen mens soules. For this office & ministery, there was no man thought more meete, then VVilliam of Rone, Cardinall of S. Martines in the Mount, vice Chauncelor of the court of Rome. Eugenius at that tyme was Pope, who had a litle before succeded Pope Martin aboue mentioned. MarginaliaTho. Rhedonensis brought before pope Eugenius.Before the whiche Eugenius, this godly Rhedonensis the Frencheman, was brought, and from thence sent vnto prison. And agayne after his imprisonment, and diuers and sondry greuous torments, he was brought before the iudges. The wolfe sate in iudgement: the Lambe was accused. Why? be-cause he had troubled the spryng. But here nede not many words. This good Thomas, not being able to resiste þe malice of these mighty potētates, had offēded inough, and was easily conuict & condempned to be burned: but in such sorte, as first of all hee should bee depriued of all such degrees as he had taken to priesthode: For it is coūted an vnlawfull thyng, that a priest should be punished with prophane punishmnet, when as notwithstandyng it is lawfull inough for priestes to put anye lay man to death, be he neuer so giltles.

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How religiously and earnestly do they forsee, that the maiestie of priestly dignitye should not in any case bee hurte? But how litle care haue they, that their cōsciēces be not hurte with false iudgementes, and oppressing the giltles? MarginaliaThomas degraded.Wherfore, before that he should come vnto punishment, this good man must be disgraded. The order and maner of this Popish degradyng, is partly before touched in the story of William Taylor. fol. 781.

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MarginaliaTho. Rhedonensis a French man burned at Rome.After that it had pleased the Bishops to disgrade this man from the degrees wherewith before they had consecrated him, and thought not that sufficient, by and by after they depriued him of his life also, & burned him. 4. yeres after þt he came to Rome, In þe yere of our L. 1436

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Commentary on the Woodcuts  *  Close
Foxe's account of the French Carmelite, Thomas of Rennes, who was burned in Rome in 1436, was taken from Crespin. In the first edition the woodcut used to illustrate his story was a repeat of that used for William Sawtry, with the words in the banderole changed to 'Lord help me'. When this block was used again for Sawtry in 1570, it had the original inscription ('Jesu have mercy') replaced at the same time that the woodblock was cut back on either side. Meanwhile from 1570 onwards one of the new single-column woodcuts was used for Thomas of Rennes. CUL copy: this martyr is dressed in white and his beard is coloured grey. His hair is brown but, on top, the thinning hair is grey. There is close attention to detail in his features, including liver spots in his bald patch. WREN: in this copy the martyr's hair and beard are greying also, although there is no additional detail of liver spots on his head.

And thus thorow the cruelty of these most tyrānous prelats, this blessed martyr died. Albeit it is not to bee thought that hee dyed, but made a losse of this body, for a greater gaine of saluati-on, before the iust iudgement of God: Neither is it to be doubted but þt he liueth eternally vnder the altar, with them whose bloud the Lord will reuenge, peraduenture to sone for some of them whom the earth hath here so long holden vnpunished.

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MarginaliaHenry Grunfelder priest.
Henry Radtgeber priest.
Iohn Draendorfe priest.
Pet. Thoraw.
Math. Hager.
As this Thomas aboue sayd suffered at Rome: so were diuers other in other places about Germany executed nere about þe same time, after þe burning of Iohn Hus: as Henry Grunfelder priest of Ratispone. an. 1420. also Henry Radtgeber priest, in the same citie. an. 1423. Iohn Draendorfe of noble byrth and a priest, was burned at VVormes. an. 1424. Peter Thorawe, at Spire. an. 1426. Math. Hager, also suffered at Berline in Germany, not long after. Ex balei Centur. sept.

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MarginaliaPope Eugenius. 4.After the death of Pope Martin, who reigned. 14. yeares, succeded Eugenius, the 4. of þt name, about the yeare of our Lord. 1431. Of whom Antonius thus writeth, þt he was much geuen to warres, as may well declare his conflictes & fightyng with the Romaines: also the batailes betwene the Venitians and the Florentians.

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This Pope began first to celebrate the Councell of Basill, whiche Councell Martin his predecessour had be

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