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1001 [1000]

K. Henry. 8. Letters of Tho. Bilney to Tonstall Bysh. of London.
The submission of Maister Thomas Bilney.

MarginaliaBilney conuōted agayne before the Byshop of London. THe fourth day of December, the bishop of London with the other bishops his assistauntes, assembled againe in the Chapter house of Westminster, whether also M. Bilney was brought, and was exhorted and admonished to abiure and recant: who aunswered that he would stand to his conscience. Then the Bishop of London wyth the other Byshops, Ex officio, dyd publish the depositiōs of the witnesses, wyth hys Articles and aunswers, commaundyng that they should be read. That done, the bishop exhorted hym agayne to deliberate with hymselfe, whether he would returne to the Church, and renounce hys opinions or no, and bad hym to depart into a voyd place, and there to deliberate with him selfe. Which done, the byshop asked hym agayne if he would returne: MarginaliaBilney denieth to recāt. Who aunswered: Fiat iusticia & iudicium in nomine domini, and beyng dyuers tymes admonished to abiure, he would make no other aunswer, but Fiat iusticia. &c. And, hæc est dies quam fecit Dominus, exultemus & lætemur in ea. MarginaliaPsal. 118. Then the Byshop, after deliberation had, puttyng of his cap, sayd: In nomine patris & filij & spiritus sancti, Amen. MarginaliaIn nomine domini incipit omne malum. Exurgat Deus & dissipentur inimici eius: and makyng a crosse on hys forehead and hys brest, by the counsaile of the other Byshops, he gaue sentence agaynst M. Bilney beyng there present in thys maner.

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I by the consent and counsail of my brethren here present do pronounce thee Thomas Bilney, who hast bene accused of dyuers Articles, to be conuict of heresie, and for the rest of the sentence, we take deliberation till to morow.

MarginaliaBilney conuēted agayne before the Byshop. The v. day of December 

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5 December 1527. It should be noted that Bishop Tunstall was deliberately slow in passing an irrevocable sentence of death over Bilney, and may be taken as an indication that Tunstall would have preferred that Bilney submit and be spared.

the Bishops assembled there agayne, before whom Bilneywas brought: whom the byshop asked if he would returne to the vnitie of the Church, and reuoke hys heresies which he had preached. MarginaliaBilney refuseth againe to recant. Wherunto Bilney aunswered, that he would not be a slaunder to the Gospell, trustyng that he was not separate from þe Church, and that, if the multitude of witnesses myght be credited, he might haue 30. men 
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Among the thirty witnesses that Bilney now claimed that he could bring to support his case, we must number Dr. Robert Foreman of Queen's College, Cambridge, and rector of All Hallows, Honey Lane in London, who warned some thirty persons in Cambridge in 1526 that a search was about to be made for Luther's books at the university by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey and Cambridge Chancellor John Fisher, bishop of Rochester.

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of honest lyfe on hys part, against one to the contrary brought in against hym: which witnesses þe bishop sayd came to late, for after publication, they could not be receyued by the law. MarginaliaLike byshoppes like lawes. Then Bilney alleaging the story of Susan and Daniel, the bishop of London still exhorted hym to returne to the vnitie of the Church and to abiure his heresies, and permitted hym to go into some secret place, there to consult with hys friendes, till one of the clocke at after noone, of the same day.

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MarginaliaBilney conuented the third tyme. At after noone, the bishop of London agayne asked him whether he would returne to the church and acknowledge hys heresies. Bilney aunswered that he trusted he was not separate from the Church, MarginaliaBilneys witnesses refused. and required tyme and place to bryng in witnesses, which was refused. Then the Bishop once againe required of hym whether he would turne to the Catholicke Churche. Wherunto he aunswered, that if they coulde teach and proue sufficiently that he was conuict, he would yelde and submit hymselfe, and desired agayn to haue time and space to bring in againe his refused witnesses, and other answere he would geue none.

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Then the Byshop put M. Bilney a side, & tooke councell with his felowes, and afterward callyng in M. Bilney, asked him agayn whether he would abiure: but he woulde make no other aunswer then before. Then the Byshop wt the consent of þe rest, dyd decree and determine that it was not lawfull to heare a peticion which was agaynst the law and enquiring agayne whether he would abiure, MarginaliaBilney denieth the thyrd time to recant. he aūswered playnly no, and desired to haue time to consulte wyth hys frendes in whom his trust was: and beyng once agayne asked whether he would returne and instantly desired thereunto, or els the sentence must bee read: he required the Byshop to giue him licence to deliberate with him selfe vntill the next morow, whether hee might abiure the heresies wherwith he was defamed, or no. MarginaliaDancaster conferreth with Bilney The Byshop grōnted him, that he should haue a litle tyme to deliberate wyth M. Dancaster: but Bilney required space till the next morow to consult with M, Farmar 

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Dr. Robert Foreman of Queen's College, Cambridge, and rector of All Hallows, Honey Lane in London, warned some thirty persons in Cambridge in 1526 that a search was about to be made for Luther's books at the university by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey and Cambridge Chancellor John Fisher, bishop of Rochester.

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and Maister Dancaster But the Byshop would not graunt him hys request, for feare lest he should appeale. But at the last. the Byshop enclinyng vnto him, graunted him two nights respite to deliberate: þt is to say, til Saterday at ix of þe clocke afore noone, and then to geue a playne determinate aunswere, what he would do in the premisses.

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The vij. day of December, in the yeare and place aforesayd, the Byshop of London, with the other Bishops beyng assembled, Bilneyalso personally appeared. Whom the Byshop of London asked, whether he would now returne to the vnitie of the Church, and reuoke the errours and heresies wherof he stode accused, detected: and conuicted. Who aunswered þt now he was persuaded by Maister Dancaster and other his frendes, 

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In after years, Latimer recommended that those accused should 'Abiure al your fryends' rather than listen to them and abjure as Bilney did in 1527. The seconde sermon of Maister Hughe Latimer, whych he preached before the Kynges Maiestie within his graces Palayce at Westminster, the xv. day of Marche M.ccccc.xlix (London: John Day and William Seres [1549], STC 15274.7), sigs. Bb3A-Bb3B; (reprinted in the Parker Society edition of Latimer's Sermons, ed. George Elwes Corrie (Cambridge, 1844), p. 222.

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hee woulde submit hym selfe, trustyng that they would deale gentillye with hym, both MarginaliaBilney through infirmitie rather then by cōuiction, his abiuration, and penaunce. Then he desired that hee might read his abiuration: whiche the Byshop graunted. When he had read the same secretly by hym selfe, and was returned, beyng demaunded what he would do in the premisses he aunswered that he would abiure and submitte him selfe, and there openly read hys MarginaliaEx Regist. Lond. abiuration, and subscribed it and deliuered it to the Byshop, whiche then dyd absolue hym: MarginaliaM. Bilney enioyned penaūce and for his penaunce enioyned him, þt he shoulde abyde in prison, appoynted by the Cardinall, till hee were by hym released: and moreouer, the next day hee shoulde goe before the procession, in thee Cathedrall Churche of S. Paule, bare headed, with a Fagot on his shoulder, and shoulde stand before the preacher at Pauls Crosse, all thee Sermon tyme. Ex Regist. Lond.

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Here for somuch as mention is made before, of v. letters or Epistles, 

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The actual number of letters that passed between Thomas Bilney and Bishop Cuthbert Tunstall is confused. What is clear is that Tunstall carefully saved Bilney's letters, and used them here in examining him in 1527.

which this good man wrote to Cutbert Tonstall Byshop of London, and by the sayd Byshop deliuered vnto the Registers, wee thought good to inserte certeine therof, suche as coulde come to our handes. The Copie of which letters, as they were written by hym in Latine, because they are in the former Edition to bee sene and read in the same Latin, wherein he wrote them, it shall suffice in this booke to to expresse the same onely in englishe: Cōcering the first Epistle, which conteineth the whole storye of his conuersion, and semeth more effectuall in the Latin, then in the Englishe, we haue exhibited in the second edition, pag. 1141. and therfore haue here onely made mention of the same briefly. The Copye whereof beginneth thus.

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¶ Reuerendo in Christo patri D. Cutb. Tonstallo, Lond. Episcopo, T. Bilneus Salutem in Christo, cum omni subiectione tanto præsuli debitam. 
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Bilney's attempt to persuade Bishop Cuthbert Tunstall to favour him may be compared with William Tyndale's efforts to gain Tunstall's patronage in the early 1520s.

MarginaliaQuæ sequintus vide superiore editione, pag. 1141. HOc nomine, pater in Christo obseruande, longe beatiorem me puto, quod ad tuæ Paternitatis examinationem vocari me contigit. Ea enim eruditione es, ea vitæ integritate (quod omnes fatentur) vt ipsemet non possis, &c.:

The same in English.
¶ To the reuerent father in Christ, Cuthbert Bishop of London, Thomas Bilney wisheth health in Christ, with all submission due vnto such a Prelate.

MarginaliaA letter of M. Bilney, to Tonstall Byshop of London. IN this behalfe (most reuerent father in Christ) I thinke my selfe most happy, that it is my chaunce to be called to examination before your Reuerence, Marginalia Commendaon of Tonstals learnyng. for that you are of such wisedome and learnyng, of such integritie of lyfe (which al men do confesse to bee in you) that euen you your selfe can not chuse (if ye doe not to lightly esteme Gods giftes in you) as often as you shall remember the great thinges whiche God hath done vnto you, but strayght wayes secretly in your hart, to his high praise, say: hee that is mighty hath done great thinges vnto me, and holy is his name. I reioyce, that I haue now happned vpon such a iudge, and with all my harte giue thankes vnto God, whiche ruleth all thynges.

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And albeit (God is my witnes) I know not my selfe gilty of any errour in my Sermons, neither of any heresie or sedition, whiche diuers do sclaunder me of, sekyng rather their owne luker and aduauntage, then the health of soules: notwithstādyng I do excedyngly reioyce: that it is so foresene by Gods diuine prouidence, that I shuld bee brought before the tribunall seate of Tonstall, who knoweth aswel as any other, that there will neuer bee wantyng Iannes and Iambres, MarginaliaYannes & Yambres were two of Pharaos priestes which resisted Moyses, but their names be not expressed in the 7. chap. of Exod. but onely in 2. Tim. 3. whiche will resiste the truth: MarginaliaGod neuer buildeth a church but the deuill hath some chappel by. that there shall neuer be lackyng some Marginalia* Elymas magus. Act. 13. * Elemates, whiche wil go about to subuert the straight wayes of the Lorde: and finally, that some Marginalia* Pithonissa. Act. 16. Demetrius, * Pithonesse, Balaames, Marginalia* Nicolaites of Nicolaus. Apoc. 2. * Nicolaites, Cayns, & Ismaels, will be alwayes at hand which will gredely hunte and seeke after that, whiche perteineth vnto them selues, and not that whiche perteineth to Iesus Christ. How can it then be, that they can suffer Christ to be truly and sincerely preached (For if the people begyn once wholy in euery place, to put their confidence in Christ, which was for them crucified, thē straight wayes that which they haue hetherto embrased in stede of Christe shall vtterly decaye in the hartes of the faythfull. Thē they shall vnderstand that Christ is not in this place, or in that place, but the kyngdome of God to be in them selues. Then shall they playnly see that þe father is not to be worshipped,

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