Critical Apparatus for this Page
Commentary on the TextCommentary on the Woodcuts
Names and Places on this Page
Unavailable for this Edition
1076 [1075]

K. Henry. 8. The storye and Martyrdome of W. Tyndall.

of his ayders and of hys religion. Out of the which examinations, the Procurer generall drewe 23. or 24. articles, and declared the same against the said Pointz: the copy wherof he deliuered to hym to make aunswer therunto, and permitted hym to haue an Aduocate and Procurour, that is, a doctour and Proctor in the law: and order was taken, that 8. dayes after, he should deliuer vnto them hys aunswer, and so from 8. dayes to 8. dayes, to procede til the processe were ended: Also that he should send no Messenger to Antwerpe, where as his house was, beyng 24. English myles from Bruxels, where he was prisoner, nor to any other place, but by the poste of the towne of Bruxels: nor to send any letters, nor any to be deliuered to him, but written in Dutche 

Commentary  *  Close

I.e., Flemish

, and the Procurour generall, who was partie against hym, to read them, to peruse and examine them thorowly, contrary to all right and equitie, before they were sent or deliuered: Neither might any be suffred to speake or talke with Pointz in any other tongue or language, except only in the Dutch tongue, so that hys kepers who were Dutchemen, myght vnderstand what the contentes of the letters or talk should be, sauyng that at one certaine tyme the Prouinciall of the white Friers came to dinner where Pointz was prisoner, and brought with hym a yong Nouice, beyng an englishman, whom the Prouinciall after dinner, of hys owne accord, did bid to talke with the sayd Pointz, and so wyth hym he was licenced to talke. The purpose and great polli cy therin was easie to be perceyued. MarginaliaTalke betwene Poyntz and a Nouice. Betwene Pointz & the Nouice was much prety talke, as of sir Tho. More, and of the bishop of Rochester, and of their putting to death: whose death he semed greatly to lament, especially dying in such a quarell, worthy (as he sayd) to be accounted for Martyrs, with other noble doctrine and deepe learnyng in Diuinitie, meete to fede swine withall. Such blyndnes then in those dayes raigned amongst them. After this Pointz deliuered vp hys aunswer to the Procurour generall, and then after, at the dayes appoynted, went forth with replication duplicke, with other aunswers eche to other in writyng what they could.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaPoyntz troubled for M. Tyndall. As the Commissioners came to Pointz, Philips the traytour accompanied them to the dore in followyng the processe agaynst hym,as he also did against M. Tyndall, for so they that had Pointz in keping, shewed him. Thus Pointz for M. Tyndall was sore troubled and long kept in pryson: but at length whē he saw no other remedy, by night he made hys escape, and auoyded their handes. But good Tyndall could not escape their handes, but remayned in prison styll, who beyng brought vnto his aunswer, was offered to haue an aduocate and a proctor: for in any criminall cause there, it shalbe permitted to haue counsaile, to make aunswer in the law. But he refused to haue any such, saying: that he would aunswer for himselfe: and so he did.

[Back to Top]
The Martyrdome and burnyng of Maister W. Tyndall, in Flaunders, by Filford Castle.

woodcut [View a larger version]

Commentary on the Woodcuts  *  Close
Tyndale occupies a pivotal position in Foxe's story and the picture of his martyrdom perhaps reflects this in aiming to represent the difference of a continental execution. The scene at Vilvorde shows the great castle wall rearing up behind the condemned man, and the crowd is composed mainly of officials and clergy (including friars) and armed guards, holding no potential sympathisers (or women) like those depicted at English burnings. The scaffold itself is a different feature, and appears in a comparable image, the woodcut representing the burning of John Hooper, in Foxe's 1559 Rerum in Ecclesia Gestarum, in which it and the martyr are being engulfed by flames. But though Tyndale (like Hooper) is shown chained to the stake standing on this platform, as if in preparation for burning alive, his death, by strangulation, was more merciful. His body was burned thereafter -- and the two bundles of faggots indicate its preparation -- but this followed on after an interval. It is the words in the bandarole that resonate for readers of the book: that famous prayer for England's salvation: 'Lord open the king of Englands eies'. Like other such celebrated last utterances, this sentence was reset, by changes in the drop-in typsettings in the different editions -- itself an act of faith ? a technical necessity? or perfectionism on the part of the printer? CUL copy: additional detail is provided in ink in this copy. WREN: this illustration is rather crudely coloured in the Wren copy.

MarginaliaThe condemnation of Mayster Tyndall. MarginaliaThe Martyrdome of W. Tyndall.
An. 1536.
At last, after much reasonyng, when no reason would serue, although he deserued no death, he was condemned by vertue of the Emperours decree made in the assemble at Ausbrough  
Commentary  *  Close

The decree, issued at Augsburg in 1530, gave the Regent's Council in the Low Countries final jurisdiction in heresy cases, unless the Emperor personally intervened.

(as is before signified) & vpon the same, brought forth to the place of execution. was there tyed to the stake, and then strangled first by the hangman, and afterwarde with fire consumed in the mornyng at the towne of Filford. an. 1536. crying thus at the stake with a feruent zeale, and a loud voyce: MarginaliaThe prayer of M. Tyndall. Lord open the king of Englands eyes.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaM. Tyndall conuerted his keeper. Such was the power of hys doctrine, and sinceritie of hys life, that during the tyme of hys imprisonment (which endured a yere and a halfe) it is sayd, he conuerted hys keper, his daughter, and other of his household 

Commentary  *  Close

Again, Foxe is again trying to establish a parallel between Tyndale and the Apostles.

. Also the rest that were with hym conuersaunt in the Castle, reported of hym, that if he were not a good christen man, they could not tell whom to trust.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaCommendation of M. Tyndall by them that were about hym. The Procuror generall the Emperours Attourney beyng there, left this testimony of him, that he was Homo doctus, pius, & bonus: that is, a learned, a good and a godly man.

The same mornyng in which he was had to the fire, he deliuered a letter to the keper of the castle, which the keeper himself brought to the house of the foresaid Pointz in Antwerpe, shortly after: which letter, with his examinations & other his disputations, I woulde might haue come to our hāds: al which I vnderstād did remaine, & yet perhaps do, in the hādes of þe keepers daughter. For so it is of him reported

[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