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939 [939]

K. Henry. 7. Thomas Chase. Thomas Noryce, Martyrs.

Thys father Rogers was in the Byshops prison xiiij weekes together night and daye, where he was so cruellye handled, with colde, hunger, and yrons, that after his commyng out of the sayd prison, he was so lame in hys backe that hee could neuer go vpright as long as he lyued, as can testifie diuers honeste men that be nowe lyuyng. MarginaliaMen of Amarsham burnt in the cheeke for Gods worde. Also there was xxx. moe burned in the right cheeke and bare fagots the same tyme. The cause was, that they would talke against supersticion and Idolatry, and were desirous to here and read the holye Scriptures. The maner of their burnyng in the cheeke was this: Their neckes were tyde fast to a post or stay, with towels, and their handes holden that they might not styrre, and so the yron beyng hoate was put to their cheekes, and thus bare they the printes and markes of the Lord Iesus about them.

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¶ The cruell handlyng of Thomas Chase of Amersham wickedly strangled and martyred in the Byshops prison, at Wooborne, vnder William Smith Byshop of Lincolne. an. 1506.

Thomas Chase Martyr.
AMong these aforesayd, whiche were so cruelly persecuted for the Gospell & worde of Christ, one Thomas Chase of Amersham, was one of them that was thus cruelly handeled. 

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There is no surviving information on Thomas Chase apart from theaccount in Foxe. This account - as Foxe makes clear - is based on testimony from contemporaries to the events and the cruelty with which Chase was treated undoubtedly lost nothing in the telling. It seems reasonable to accept that Thomas Chase was arrested for heresy and committed suicide in prison. There is no way of telling what happened beyond that but claims that he was murdered seem far-fetched.

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Which Thomas Chase by the reporte of such as did know him, was a man of a godly, sober, and honest behauiour (whose vertuous doynges do yet remayne in memory) and could not abyde Idolatrie and superstition, but many tymes would speake agaynst it: Wherefore the vngodly and wicked did the more hate and despise him, and tooke him, MarginaliaThomas Chase brought before the Byshop.and brought him before the blynde Byshop, beyng at that tyme at Wooburne, in the countie of Buckyngham, and as it is written. Act. 12. 
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Acts 12:1-3.

that wicked Herode did vexe certaine of the congregation & kylled Iames the brother of Iohn with the sworde, and because he saw that it pleased the Iewes. &c. he proceded farther and had this same Thomas Chase before him, askyng him many questions touchyng the Romishe Religion, with many tauntes, checkes, and rebukes, but what aunswere this godly man Thomas Chase made them it is not knowne. Howbeit it is to be supposed, that his aunswere was most zelous and godly in professyng Christes true Religion and Gospell, and to the extirpation of Idolatry and superstition and hypocrisie, MarginaliaThomas Chase condemned to the byshops pryson at Wooburne called Littleease.for that the sayd Thomas Chase was commaunded to bee put in the Bishops prison called Litleease, in the bishops house at Wooburne, whiche prison had not bene ministred vnto him, had not his aunsweres bene sound and vpright. There Thomas Chase lay bound most paynefully with cheynes, gyues, manacles and yrōs oft tymes sore pined with hōger, where þe Byshops almes was dayly brought vnto him by hys chapleines: MarginaliaA worthy almes of a byshop.Whiche almes was nothyng els but checkes, tauntes, rebukes and threatnynges, floutynges and mockynges. All whiche crueltye the godly martyr tooke most quietly and paciently, remembryng and hauyng respect to Christes promises. Math. 5. 
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Matthew 5:7.

Blessed are they which suffer persecution for righteousnes sake: for theirs is the kyngdome of heauen, and as foloweth: Blessed are ye when men reuile you and persecute you. &c. MarginaliaThe perfecte pacience and constancie of Thom. Chase.When the Byshop with his bonde of shauelynges perceaued that by their dayly practises of crueltie they could not preuaile agaynst hym, but rather that hee was the more feruent and earnest in professyng Christes true Religion: and that he did tolerate and beare most paciently all their wickednes and crueltie ministred vnto him: they Imagined how and whiche way they might put hym to death, lest there should be a tumulte or an vprore among þe people. MarginaliaThomas Chase cruelly murthered in the bishops prison.And as Richard Hunne shortly after was hanged or strāgled in Lolardes tower, about the yeare of Lorde. 1514. euen so these bloudsuppers did most cruellye strangle and presse to death this sayd Thomas Chase in prison, which most hartely called vpō God to receiue his spirite: as witnesseth a certaine woman, that kept him in prison.

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After that these styngyng vipers beyng of the wicked broode of Antichrist, had thus moste cruellyeand impiouslye murthered this faithfull Christian, they were at their wittes ende, and could not tell what shift to make, to cloke their shamefull murther withall. At last to blynd the ignoraunt sely people, MarginaliaThomas Chase falsely slaundered to hange him selfe.these bloudy butchers most slaunderously caused by their ministers, to be bruted abroad, þt the foresaid Thomas Chase had hanged him selfe in prison: whiche was a most shamefull and abhominable lye, for the prison was such, that a man could not stand vpright nor lye at ease but stoupyng, as they do reporte that did know it. And besides that, this man had so many manacles and yrons vpon him, that he could not well moue neither hand nor foote, as the women did declare that sawe him dead, in somuch that they confessed that his bloudbolke was broken by reason they had so vilye beaten hym and brused hym: And yet these holy catholiques had not made an ende of their wicked acte in this both killyng & slaunderyng of this godly martyr, but to put out þe remēbraunce of hym, they caused hym to be buried in the woode called Norlandwoode, in the hye waye betwixt Wooburne and litle Marlow, to the entent he should not be taken vp agayne to be seene: And thus commonlye are innocent men layd vp by these clerklye clergye men. But he that is effectuallye true of hym selfe, hath promised at one tyme or at an other, to cleare his true seruauntes, not with lyes and fables, but by hys owne true worde. MarginaliaGod bringeth to light the secret murthers of the papistes.
Math. 10.
Luk. 12.
No secret 

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Matthew 10:26; Luke 12:2.

sayth he, is so close but once shalbe opened: neither is any thyng so hid, that shall not at the last be knowen clearely. Such a sweete Lord is God alwayes to those that are his true seruauntes. Blessed be hys holy name therfore, for euer & euer. Amen.

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Thomas Hardyng beyng one of this company, thus molested and troubled as is aforesayd, in the towne of Amersham, for the truth of the Gospell, after his abiuratiō and penaunce done, was agayne sought for, and brought to the fire, in the dayes of kyng Henry viij. and vnder D. Langlond thē bishop of Lyncolne, succeeding after Cardinall Wolsey. Of whose death & martyrdome, we shall likewise recorde (Christ willing and graunting) in order when wee shall come to the tyme and yeare of hys sufferyng.

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MarginaliaThomas Noryce, Martyr.
After the martyrdome of these ij. I read 

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Foxe's source for this is John Bale, Scriptorum Illustrium maiorisBrytanniae…Catalogus (Basel, 1557), p. 644. Bale has an additional detail not inFoxe: Noris was from Brockforth, Suffolk.

also of one Thomas Noryce, who lykewise for the same cause, that is, for the professiō of Christes Gospell, was condemned by the Byshop and burnt at Norwiche, the last daye of Marche. an. 1507.

MarginaliaElizabeth Sampson.
In the next yeare folowyng, whiche was. an. 1508. In the consistory of London was conuented Elizabeth Sampson, of the parishe of Aldermanberie, vpon certain Articles, 

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Foxe's source for these articles was the register of Bishop Fitzjamesof London (Guildhall MS 9531//9, fo. 4r-v). The register reveals that Elizabeth was was the wife of John Sampson, a carpenter of St. Mary Aldermanbury. Sampson's abjuration took place on 31 March 1510, not 1508 as Foxe declares. Foxe omits twoof the articles against her (the rest he prints accurately). One of the articles Foxedeleted charged that she had declared that 'moo soules than is in hevyn all ready shall come to hevyn'; the other charged that she denied the bodily resurrection of Christ.

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and specially for speakyng agaynste pilgrimage and adoration of Images, as the Image of our Lady at Wyllesdone, at Stanynges, at Crome, at Walsingham, and the Image of saint Sauiour, of Barmonseye, and agaynst the Sacrament of the altare, and for that she had spoken these or lyke wordes: that our Lady of Wyllesdone was but a burnt ars elfe, and a burnt ars stocke, & if she might haue holpen men and women which go to her on pylgrimage, she would not haue suffred her taile to haue bene burnt: & what should folke worship our Lady of Wyllesdone, or our Lady of Crome, for the one is but a burnt ars stocke, and the other is but a puppitte: and better it were for the people to geue their almes at home to poore people, then to go on pylgrimage. Also that she called the Image of saint Sauiour, Sym Sauiour, with kitte lyppes, and that she sayd that she could make as good bread, as that whiche the priest occupyed, and that it was not the body of Christ but bread, for that Christ could not be both in heauen and earth at one time. For these and certaine other Articles, she was compelled to abiure, before Maister William Horsye, Chaūcelour, the day and yeare aboue written. Ex Reg. Lond.

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¶ Laurence Ghest.

MarginaliaLaurence Ghest, Martyr.LAmentable it is to remember, and a thyng almost infinite to comprehende the names, tymes, and persons of all them whiche haue bene slayne by the rigour of the Popes clergie, for the true maynteinyng of

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