Critical Apparatus for this Page
Commentary on the Text
Names and Places on this Page
Unavailable for this Edition
1017 [1016]

K. Henry. 8 The story of Richard Bayfilde, Martyr.

MarginaliaBookes in Englishe forbidden.
Ex Regist. Lond.
A disputation betwene the father and the sonne.
A booke of the olde God and new.
Godly prayers.
The Christian state of Matrimony.
The burying of the Masse.
The summe of Scripture.
Mattens and Euensong, vij. Psalmes, and other heauenly
Psalmes, with the commendations, in Englishe.
An exposition vpon the vij. chapter of the first Epistle to
the Corinth.
The Chapters of Moses, called Genesis.
The Chapters of Moses, called Deuteronomos.
The Matrimonie of Tyndall.
Dauids Psalter in English.
The practise of Prelates.
Hotlulus animæ in English.
A. B. C. against the Clergie.
The examination of William Thorpe. &c.

[Back to Top]

Although these bookes withall other of the lyke sorte by the vertue of this proclamation 

Commentary  *  Close

Foxe could not resist exploiting the irony of the fact that Sir Thomas More was given a special permission to read and reply to heretical texts on 7 March 1528 (see Guildhall Library, MS 9531/10 Register Tunstal 1522-9/30, fol.138; David Wilkins, Concilia Magnae Britanniae et Hiberniae. 4 vols. (London, 1737), 3, pp.711-2). According to Richard Marius, the immediate result of this privilege was More's great treatise, A Dialogue Concerning Heresies (see Richard Marius, Thomas More [New York, 1985], p.339).

[Back to Top]
were inhibited to all english men to vse or to read: yet licence was graunted before, to sir Tho. More by Tonstall Bishop of London, an. 1527. that he notwithstandyng might haue and peruse them, with a letter also sent to hym from the sayd Byshop, or rather by þe aduise of other bishops, desiring hym that he would shew hys cunning and play the prety man, lyke a Demosthenes, in expugnyng the doctrine of these bookes and opiniōs: MarginaliaM. More the byshops agent in confuting the Lutherans. who albeit he was no great diuine, yet because he saw some towardnes in hym by hys boke of Vtopia, and other fine Poetry of hys, therfore he thought hym a meete man for theyr purpose, to withstand the procedings of the Gospell, eyther in makyng some apparance of reason agaynst it, or at least, to outface it and dash it out of countenaunce. Wherein there lacked on hys part, neither good wyll nor labour to serue the bishops turne, so farre forth as all hys Rhetoricke could reach: fillyng vp with finesse of wit, and scoffyng termes, where true knowledge and iudgement of Scripture dyd fayle: as by hys works and writings against Bilney, Tindall, Frith, Fish, Barnes, Luther. &c. may soone be discerned, if the reasons and maner of hys handling be wel wayd, and rightly examined with the touchstone of the Scriptures. But now to fall into our story agayne:

[Back to Top]

Vpon this fierce and terrible proclamation aforesayde, thus deuised and set out in the kynges name, an. 1529. the Bishops which were the procurers herof, had that now, which they would haue: neither dyd there lacke on theyr part any study vnapplied, any stone vnremoued, any corner vnsearched, for the diligent execution of the same. Whereupon ensued greuous persecution. and slaughter of the faithfull. Of whome the first that went to wracke was Thomas Bilney, of whome sufficiently afore hath bene sayde: and the next was Richard Bayfield, as in the storye here followeth.

[Back to Top]
Richard Bayfield Martyr.

MarginaliaRichard Bayfild, Martyr. FOllowyng the order 

Commentary  *  Close
London evangelical martyrs

This sentence is largely to recounting the ordeals of a number of evangelicals, who suffered during an extensive crackdown on heresy conducted in 1531-2 while Thomas More was Lord Chancellor. More was clearly acting in an unofficial partnership with John Stokesley, bishop of London, and he played a major role in the persecution of three of these martyrs: Richard Bayfield, John Tewkesbury and James Bainham. There are also a few other individuals whose sufferings are described here: an obscure and unnamed old man in Buckinghamshire; John Randall, a Cambridge student and evangelical who was allegedly murdered around 1531, and Edward Freese, who was arrested for heresy in 1534.

[Back to Top]

Foxe's major source for these accounts, particularly those of Bayfield, Tewkesbury and Bainham, was now lost court books of Bishop Stokesley and Tunstall.. In one case, Foxe drew on Tunstall's register (Guildhall MS 9531/10, fo. 123r-v). He also drew on works by John Bale and Thomas More (see especially Bale, Catalogus; Bale, The epistle exhortatorye of an English Christiane [Antwerp, 1544?], STC 1291.5, fo. 13v; The Confutation of Tyndale's Answer, ed. L. A. Schuster, Richard C. Marius, James P. Lusardi and Richard J. Schoeck, CWTM 8[3 vols., New Haven, CT, 1973], I, p. 8). Foxe, however, also drew on information supplied by individual informants, particularly for the accounts of Tewkesbury, Randall, Freese and Bainham. One of these sources was Joan Fish, the widow of James Bainham (For Joan Bainham as a source for other accounts in Foxe see Thomas S. Freeman, 'The importance of dying earnestly: the metamorphosis of the account of James Bainham in "Foxe's Book of Martyrs" in The Church Retrospective, ed. R. N. Swanson, Studies in Church History 33 (Woodbridge, 1997), pp. 272-3). In the case of John Randall, Foxe's source was clearly his wife or his wife's family.

[Back to Top]

These sources presented several problems for Foxe. The first was that of confusion, because Foxe was getting different information on the same people for different sources at different times. As a result, the material on Bayfield and Bainham, in particular, is badly organised. In fact, the description of a recantation, which is attributed to John Tewkesbury in the first edition, is attributed to James Bainham in subsequent editions. The second problem is that the material coming from individual informants was, occasionally, unreliable. The account of Randall's murder is almost certainly an exaggeration of a family tragedy (for instance, Nicholas Harpsfield questioned how a murderer could have killed Randall, place him in a noose, and then leave the room, with the door bolted from the inside?), while the account of Bainham's last words is probably a pious invention (Thomas S. Freeman, 'The importance of dying earnestly: the metamorphosis of the account of James Bainham in "Foxe's Book of Martyrs"' in The Church Retrospective, ed. R. N. Swanson, Sudies in Church History 33 (Woodbridge, 1997), pp. 278-81).

[Back to Top]

Thomas S. Freeman

of yeres and of tymes, as the course of our history requireth, next after the consummation of Tho. Bilney, we haue to entreate of the Martyrdome of Rich. Bayfield, which in the month of Nouemb. 
Commentary  *  Close

According to one contemporary, Bayfield was burned on 4 December 1531. (See Charles Wriothesley, A Chronicle of England during the reigns of the Tudors, ed. W. D. Hamilton, Camden Society, new series, 11 and 20 {2 vols., London, 1875-77], I, p. 17).

the same yere, which was the yere of our Lord, 1531. was burned in Smithfield.

[Back to Top]


Commentary  *  Close

This material on Bayfield's background comes from a knowledgeable informant (Robert Barnes attended the University of Louvain in the years 1517-21 (ODNB). Edmund Rougham matriculated there in 1520 (Emden A, p. 243). The knowledge of the activities of Maxwell and Stacy (see comment after next) and the account's greater detail on what happened to Bayfield in London suggest that this informant was based in the capital.

[Back to Top]
Rich. Bayfild sometime a Monke of Bury 
Commentary  *  Close

I.e. a monk in the great Benedictine abbey at Bury St. Edmunds.

, was conuerted by D. Barnes, MarginaliaMaxwell and Stacie Lõdoners. and ij. godly men of London, Brickemakers, M. Maxwell. and M. Stacy Wardens of their company. 
Commentary  *  Close

On Laurence Maxwell see 1563, p. 418. On James Stacy also see 1563, p. 418 as well as 1570, p. 1161 and p.1185; 1576, p. 993 and 1014; 1583, p.1021 and pp. 1041-1042

Who were grafted in the doctrine of Iesus Christ, and through their godly conuersation of life, conuerted many men and wemen, both in London and in the countrey: and once a yeare of their own cost, went about to visite the brethren and sisterne scattered abroad. D. Barnes at that tyme much resorted to the Abbey of Bery, where Bayfild was to one D. Ruffam, who 
Commentary  *  Close

Edmund Rougham. In 1545, now apparently more theologically conservative, Rougham would preach at the burning of John Kirby in Bury St. Edmunds. Edward Rougham had formerly been an evangelical sympathiser and a friend of Richard Bayfield and Robert Barnes.

had ben at Louaine together studentes. 
Commentary  *  Close

Robert Barnes attended the University of Louvain in the years 1517-21 (ODNB). Edmund Rougham matriculated there in 1520 (Emden A, p. 243). This accurate detail helps to establish the general accuracy of this account.

MarginaliaRich. Bayfilde Mōke and chamberlein of the Abbey of Berye. At that time it happened that this Bayfild the Monke, was Chamberlaine of the house to prouide lodgyng for the straungers, and to see them well interteined: who delited much in D. Barnes talke, and in the other lay mens talke afore rehearsed, and at the last D. Barnes gaue him a new Testament in Latine, and the other ij. gaue hym Tyndals Testamant in Englishe, with a booke called the wicked Mammon, and the Obedience of a Christen man: wherein he prospered so mightely in ij. yeres space, MarginaliaRich. Bayfilde whypped & prisoned amūgest the Friers. that he was cast into the prisō of his house: 
Commentary  *  Close

I.e. in the abbey of Bury St. Edmunds.

there sore whipped, with a gagge in his mouth and then stocked, and so continued in the same torment, iij. quarters of a yeare before D. Barnes coulde get him out, whiche he brought to passe, by the meanes of M. Ruffam aforesayd, & so he was committed to D. Barnes to goe to Cambridge with hym. 
Commentary  *  Close

This must have taken place before Christmas Day 1525, when Robert Barnes would preach a sermon that embroiled him in heresy charges (ODNB).

By that time hee had bene there a good while, he tasted so well of good letters, that hee neuer returned home agayn to his Abbey, but went to London to Maxwell and Stacy, and they kept him secretly a while, & so conueyed hym beyond the Sea 
Commentary  *  Close

Foxe's account presents difficulties here. Bayfield apparently left Cambridge and went to London before Robert Barnes was convicted of heresy early in 1526. In 1528, he was tried for heresy by Bishop Cuthbert Tunstall of London. Bayfield abjured and various penances were imposed upon him: most notably, that he was to resume wearing his monastic habit, to return to the abbey of Bury St. Edmunds and never to re-enter the diocese of London without episcopal permission. After his abjuration, Bayfield definitely fled overseas. He then began importing heretical works into England, on a large scale. In 1531, Bayfield was again arrested (as Foxe describes) visiting a bookbinder. Either Bayfield went abroad twice, once before and once after, his first arrest for heresy or (more likely) Foxe was confused in dating Bayfield's flight.

[Back to Top]
, D. Barnes beyng then in the Fleete for Gods word. This Bayfeld mightely prospered in the knowledge of God, and was beneficiall to MarginaliaRich. Bayfilde a maintainer of Tyndall and Frith. M. Tyndall and M. Frith, for hee brought substance with hym, and was their own hande, and solde all their works and the Germaines woorkes both in Fraunce & in England, and at the last comming to London, to M. Smithes house in Bucklers Bury, there was he bewrayed, & dogged from that house to hys Bookebynders in Marke lane, and there taken and caryed to Lollardes Tower, and from thence to þe Colehouse 
Commentary  *  Close

The coal house of the bishop of London's palace in the capital was frequently used as an ad-hoc detention centre for prisoners whom the bishop was examining.

, by reason that one person Patmore, Parson of Much Haddam in Essex 
Commentary  *  Close

Thomas Patmore, of Much Hadham. Susan Brigden has persuasively argued that the two Thomas Patmores mentioned by Foxe were, in fact, the same person and that Patmore while still vicar of Much Hadham, became free of the Drapers's Company (Susan Brigden, London and the Reformation [Oxford, 1989], p. 206). She suggests that the purpose of this was to remain incognito and that the Drapers were chosen because of a significant evangelical presence in their membership. But Patmore's purpose may simply have been to acquire London citizenship. And the Drapers's Company may have been chosen beecause his father had been a member of the company. He was arrested but released due to petitions from his supporters to Anne Boleyn and Thomas Cromwell (L&P VII, p. 348).

[Back to Top]
thē lying in Lollardes Tower, was in the doctrine and in the kingdome of Christ there confirmed by hym. MarginaliaParson Patmore dyed in Lollards Tower. This Parson Patmore bare a fagot at Paules crosse, & afterward dyed in Lollardes tower. He was taken because he maryed his priest in those dayes. He had alwayes corne plentye, and whē the markets were very deare, hee woulde send plentye of hys corne thether to plucke down the prices therof.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaThe cruell handling of Richard Bayfilde in the Colehouse. Thus Richard Bayfield beyng in the Colehouse, was worser handled then he was before in the Lollards tower, for there he was tyed both by the necke, middle and legges, standyng vpright by the walles, diuers tymes manicled, to accuse other that had bought hys bokes, but he accused none but stoode to his religion and confession of his fayth vnto the very end, and was in the consistory of Paules, thrise put to hys triall, whether he would abiure or no. He said he would dispute for his fayth, and so did, to theyr great shame, Stokesley then being his iudge, wyth the assistance of Winchester and other bishops, wherof here followeth now the circumstance in order to be sene.

[Back to Top]

The Articles layd to Rich. Bayfield, by the foresaid Bishops were these. an. 1531. Nouemb. x. 

Commentary  *  Close

The articles charged against Bayfield, his answers to them, the sentence of degradation imposed on him and the letter to the mayor and sheriffs of London, are taken from a now lost court book of Bishop John Stokesley. Because Foxe does not mention Bayfield's first trial for heresy, the reader is likely to be confused by the references below to punishments already imposed on Bayfield. This was Bayfield's second trial for heresy.

[Back to Top]

Articles layd to Rich.Bayfield.

MarginaliaArticles obiected agaynst Rich. Bayfilde. FIrst, that he had bene many yeres a Monke professed of tho rder of S. Benet, of S. Edmonds Bury in the dioces of Norwich.

2. That he was a priest and had ministred and continued in the same order, the space of 9. or 10. yeres.

3. That sithens the feast of Easter last, he being beyonde the sea, bought and procured to haue dyuers & many bookes and treatises of sondry sorts, as well of Martine Luthers owne workes, as of dyuers other of hys damnable sect, and of Oecolampadius the great heretike, and diuers other heretikes, both in Latine and English, the names of which bookes were conteyned in a little bill written with his own hande.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaA rancke heresie in the popes Church, to geue all laude & praise to God alone.4. That in the yere of our Lord, 1528. he was detected and accused to Cuthb. then B. of London, for affirming and holding certaine Articles contrary to the holy church, and specially that all laud and prayse should be geuen to God alone, and not to saintes or creatures.

[Back to Top]

5. That euery priest might preach the worde of God by the authoritie of the Gospell, and not to run to the Pope or Cardinals for licence, as it appeared (they sayd) by his confession before the sayd bishop.

6. That he iudicially abiured the sayd Articles before the sayd Bishop, and did renounce and forsweare them and all other articles contrary to the determination of holy church, promising that from thenceforth he would not fall into any of them, nor any other errors.

7. That he made a solemne othe vpon a booke, & the holy Euangelists, to fulfill such penaunce as should be enioyned him by the sayd Bishop.

8. After his abiuration, it was enioyned to hym for penance that he should go before the crosse in procession, in the parish church of S. Buttolphes at Billingsgate, and to beare a fagot of wood vpon hys shoulder.

9. It was enioyned hym in penaunce, that he should prouide an habite requisite and meete for hys order and profession, as shortly as he myght, and that he should come or goe no where wythout such an habite, the which he had not fulfilled.

10. That it was likewyse enioyned hym in penaunce, that sometyme before the feast of the ascensiō then next ensuyng, his abiuration, he should goe home vnto the Monastery of Bury, and there remayne accordyng to the vow of his profession, which he had not fulfilled.

11. That he was appoynted by the sayd Bishop of London to appeare before the sayd Bishop, the 25. day of Aprill, next after hys abiuration, to receyue the residue of hys penance, and after hys abiuration, he fled beyond the sea, and appeared not.

12. That the xx. daye of Iune, next folowing his abiuration, he did appeare before the sayd Bish. Tonstall in the Chap-

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