Thematic Divisions in Book 11
1. The Martyrdom of Rogers 2. The Martyrdom of Saunders 3. Saunders' Letters 4. Hooper's Martyrdom 5. Hooper's Letters 6. Rowland Taylor's Martyrdom 7. Becket's Image and other events 8. Miles Coverdale and the Denmark Letters 9. Bonner and Reconciliation 10. Judge Hales 11. The Martyrdom of Thomas Tomkins 12. The Martyrdom of William Hunter 13. The Martyrdom of Higbed and Causton 14. The Martyrdom of Pigot, Knight and Laurence 15. Robert Farrar's Martyrdom 16. The Martyrdom of Rawlins/Rowland White17. The Restoration of Abbey Lands and other events in Spring 155518. The Providential Death of the Parson of Arundel 19. The Martyrdom of John Awcocke 20. The Martyrdom of George Marsh 21. The Letters of George Marsh 22. The Martyrdom of William Flower 23. The Martyrdom of Cardmaker and Warne 24. Letters of Warne and Cardmaker 25. The Martyrdom of Ardley and Simpson 26. John Tooly 27. The Examination of Robert Bromley [nb This is part of the Tooly affair]28. The Martyrdom of Thomas Haukes 29. Letters of Haukes 30. The Martyrdom of Thomas Watts 31. Censorship Proclamation 32. Our Lady' Psalter 33. Martyrdom of Osmund, Bamford, Osborne and Chamberlain34. The Martyrdom of John Bradford 35. Bradford's Letters 36. William Minge 37. James Trevisam 38. The Martyrdom of John Bland 39. The Martyrdom of Frankesh, Middleton and Sheterden 40. Sheterden's Letters 41. Examinations of Hall, Wade and Polley 42. Martyrdom of Christopher Wade 43. Nicholas Hall44. Margery Polley45. Martyrdom of Carver and Launder 46. Martyrdom of Thomas Iveson 47. John Aleworth 48. Martyrdom of James Abbes 49. Martyrdom of Denley, Newman and Pacingham 50. Richard Hooke 51. Martyrdom of William Coker, et al 52. Martyrdom of George Tankerfield, et al 53. Martyrdom and Letters of Robert Smith 54. Martyrdom of Harwood and Fust 55. Martyrdom of William Haile 56. George King, Thomas Leyes and John Wade 57. William Andrew 58. Martyrdom of Robert Samuel 59. Samuel's Letters 60. William Allen 61. Martyrdom of Roger Coo 62. Martyrdom of Thomas Cobb 63. Martyrdom of Catmer, Streater, Burwood, Brodbridge, Tutty 64. Martyrdom of Hayward and Goreway 65. Martyrdom and Letters of Robert Glover 66. Cornelius Bungey 67. John and William Glover 68. Martyrdom of Wolsey and Pigot 69. Life and Character of Nicholas Ridley 70. Ridley's Letters 71. Life of Hugh Latimer 72. Latimer's Letters 73. Ridley and Latimer Re-examined and Executed74. More Letters of Ridley 75. Life and Death of Stephen Gardiner 76. Martyrdom of Webb, Roper and Park 77. William Wiseman 78. James Gore 79. Examinations and Martyrdom of John Philpot 80. Philpot's Letters 81. Martyrdom of Thomas Whittle, Barlett Green, et al 82. Letters of Thomas Wittle 83. Life of Bartlett Green 84. Letters of Bartlett Green 85. Thomas Browne 86. John Tudson 87. John Went 88. Isobel Foster 89. Joan Lashford 90. Five Canterbury Martyrs 91. Life and Martyrdom of Cranmer 92. Letters of Cranmer 93. Martyrdom of Agnes Potten and Joan Trunchfield 94. Persecution in Salisbury Maundrell, Coberly and Spicer 95. William Tyms, et al 96. Letters of Tyms 97. The Norfolk Supplication 98. Martyrdom of John Harpole and Joan Beach 99. John Hullier 100. Hullier's Letters 101. Christopher Lister and five other martyrs 102. Hugh Lauerocke and John Apprice 103. Katherine Hut, Elizabeth Thacknell, et al 104. Thomas Drury and Thomas Croker 105. Thomas Spicer, John Deny and Edmund Poole 106. Persecution of Winson and Mendlesam 107. Gregory Crow 108. William Slech 109. Avington Read, et al 110. Wood and Miles 111. Adherall and Clement 112. A Merchant's Servant Executed at Leicester 113. Thirteen Burnt at Stratford-le-Bow114. Persecution in Lichfield 115. Hunt, Norrice, Parret 116. Martyrdom of Bernard, Lawson and Foster 117. Examinations of John Fortune118. John Careless 119. Letters of John Careless 120. Martyrdom of Julius Palmer 121. Agnes Wardall 122. Peter Moone and his wife 123. Guernsey Martyrdoms 124. Dungate, Foreman and Tree 125. Martyrdom of Thomas More126. Martyrdom of John Newman127. Examination of John Jackson128. Examination of John Newman 129. Martyrdom of Joan Waste 130. Martyrdom of Edward Sharpe 131. Four Burnt at Mayfield at Sussex 132. John Horne and a woman 133. William Dangerfield 134. Northampton Shoemaker 135. Prisoners Starved at Canterbury 136. More Persecution at Lichfield
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1510 [1484]

Q. Mary. The trouble and Martyrdome of George Marsh Martyr.

Marginalia1555. Aprill.a prison at the Northgate, where he was very straitly kept vntil the tyme he went to his death, duryng which tyme he had small comfort or reliefe of any worldly creature.

For beyng in the dōgeon or darke prison, MarginaliaThe strait keepyng of Marsh in prison.none that would hym good, could speake with him, or at least durst enterprise so to doe for feare of accusation: and some of the Citizens which loued hym in God for the Gospell sake (wherof there were but a fewe) although they were neuer acquainted with him, would sometyme in the euenyng at a hoale vppon the wall of the Citie (that went into the sayd darke prison) call to hym, and aske him how he dyd. MarginaliaThe brotherly zeale of good men in comforting G. Marsh. He would aunswere them most cherefully, that he did well, and thanked GOD most highly that hee would vouchsafe of hys mercy to appoint him to be a witnes of his truth, and to suffer for the same: wherein he did most reioyce, beseechyng him that he would geue hym grace not to faynt vnder the Crosse, but patiently beare the same to his glory and comfort of his Churche: with many other like godly sayinges at sondry tymes, as one that most desired to be with Christ. Once or twise hee had money cast him in at the same hole, about ten pence at one tyme, & ij. shillings at an other tyme: for which he gaue God thankes, and vsed the same to his necessitie.  

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Marsh used the money to buy food, bedding and other necessities from his gaolers.

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When the tyme and day appointed came that hee should suffer: the Shriffes of the Citie (whose names were MarginaliaAmry, and Couper Shiriffes of Chester.Amry & Couper) with their officers and a great number of poore simple Barbers, with rousty Billes & Polaxes, went to the Northgate, & there tooke out the sayd George Marsh, who came with them most humbly & meekely, with a locke vpon his feete. MarginaliaMarsh lead to his Martyrdome. And as he came vpon the way towardes the place of execution, some folkes profered him money, & looked that hee should haue gone with a litle purse in his hand (as the maner of felons was, MarginaliaThe old vse in Lancashyre to get money to bye Trentals. accustomed in that Citie in tymes past, at their goyng to execution) to the end to gather money to geue vnto a Priest to say Trentals of Masses for them after their death, whereby they might (as they thought) be saued: but Marsh said MarginaliaG. Marsh refuseth to receaue money going to his death.he would not as thē be troubled with medlyng with money, but willed some good mā to take the money, if the people were disposed to geue any, and to geue it vnto the prisoners or poore people. So he went all the way vnto his death, with his booke in his hand, lookyng vpō the same, and many of the people sayd: this man goeth not vnto his death as a theefe, or as one that deserueth to dye.

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MarginaliaG. Marsh refuseth the Queenes pardon.Now when he came to the place of executiō without the Citie, neare vnto Spittle boughton, one Vawdrey, being then deputie chāberlaine of Chester, shewed Marsh a writyng vnder a great seale, saying that it was a pardō for him if he would recant. Whereat Marsh aunswered, that he would gladly accept the same (and sayd farther, that he loued the Queene) but forasmuch as it tended to plucke him from God, he could not receaue it vpon that condition.

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MarginaliaThe Martyrdome of George Marsh, at Westchester. Anno. 1555. Aprill. 24.¶ The cruell burnyng of George Marshe, Martyr.

woodcut [View a larger version]

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The martyrdom of George Marsh (Type 1 of the small woodcuts) perhaps earned illustration by virtue of the unusual presence of the firkin containing pitch and tar attached to the stake. It is shown dripping onto the martyr's head as he stood enduring the additional suffering of a poorly made fire that burned uncertainly.

After that, hee began to speake to the people shewyng the cause of his death, and would haue exhorted them to sticke vnto Christ. Whereupon one of the Sheriffes sayd: MarginaliaG. Marsh not suffred to speake to the people.George Marshe, we must haue no sermonyng nowe. To whom hee sayd, Maister, I cry you mercy: and so kneelyng downe made his Prayers, and then put of hys clothes vnto his shyrt, and then was hee chayned vnto the post, hauyng a number of Fagottes vnder him, and a thyng made like a firkin, 

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A small cask for liquids (OED).

with pitche and tarre in the same ouer his head: and by reason that the fier was vnskilfully made, and that the wynde did driue the flame to and fro, he suffred great extremitie in his death, which notwithstandyng he abode very paciently.

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Wherein this in him is to be noted, that when as he had bene a long time tormented in the fire without mouing, hauyng his flesh so broyled and puft vp that they which stode before him vnneth could see the chayne wherewith hee was fastened, and therfore supposed no lesse but he had bene dead, notwythstandyng sodenly he spread abroad his armes, saying: father of heauen haue mercy vpon me, and so yelded his spirite into the handes of the Lord.

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Vpon this, many of the people sayd that he was a Martyr, and dyed MarginaliaThe pacience of G. Marsh the blessed Martyr.marueilous patiently and godly. Which thyng caused the Byshop shortly after to make a Sermon in the Cathedrall Churche, and therein affirmed, that the sayd Marsh was an hereticke, burnt like an hereticke, and was a firebrand in hell.

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In recompence of this his good and charitable Sermon, within short tyme after, the iust iudgement of GOD appeared vpon the sayd Byshop: recompensing him in such wise, MarginaliaGods iust reuenging hand vpon a persecuting Byshop.that not long after hee turned vp his heeles and dyed. 

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The difference between the account of the death of Bishop Cotes in the 1563 edition and the version in subsequent editions is striking. The account, while similar in its essentials in all four editions - that the bishop died of a venereal disease as divine punishment for executing Marsh - is considerably less graphic and detailed in the later editions of the Acts and Monuments. This is one indication that Foxe, possibly in response to Catholic attacks on his first edition, modified some of his rhetoric in later editions.

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Vpon what cause his death was gendred, I haue not here precisely to pronounce, because the rumour and voyce of the people is not alwayes to bee folowed. Notwithstandyng such a reporte went in all mens mouthes, that he was burned of an harlot. Whereupon whether he dyed or no, I am not certaine, neither dare leane to much vppon publicke speach. Albeit this is certain, that when he was afterward searched being dead, by some of his secret frendes & certaine Aldermen for stoppyng the rumour of the people, this maydenly Priest and Byshop was foūd not to be free from certaine appearaunce, whiche declared but small virginitie in him, and that the rumour was not raysed vp altogether vpō naught, amongest the people. But of this I will stay, & proceede no farther, not because more cā not be sayd, but because I will not be so vncharitable in defacing these men, as they are cruell in condemnyng Gods seruauntes to death.

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¶ Letters of George Marsh.

This good man wrote diuers and sondry letters out of prison besides his examinations, as before ye haue heard. Touchyng the which his examinations, this letter first he sendeth to his frendes, the copie whereof here foloweth.

¶ A letter of George Marsh to the reader, touchyng the matter of his examinations. 
Commentary  *  Close

This letter first appears in the 1570 edition and it was almost certainly sent to Foxe along with Marsh's account of his examinations by the earl of Derby. In fact, it was probably the cover letter for Marsh's account of his examinations.


Commentary on the Glosses  *  Close
Letters of George Marsh

As is usual with the martyrs' letters, scriptural references dominate. There are also glosses which contrast worldly and outer things with godly and inner things ('The glory of the Church standeth not in outward shewes'; 'If worldly men ieopard so much for earthly thinges, how much more ought we to ieopard for euerlasting thinges?' ). There are glosses relating to the binary between truth and falsehood ('True salte discerned from the corrupt and vnsauory salt'; 'True receauers of the word, who they be'). The paradoxical characterisation 'Death is a dore to lyfe' is also highlighted. A section concerned with the proper conditions for godly fasting is quite heavily annotated ('Praying and fasting'; 'True fast what it is'; 'How to fast without hipocrisie'; 'Abuse of fasting among Christians'; 'The Iewish maner of fasting reproued'; 'The Christians in superstitious fasting exceede the Iewes'). Most of the non-scriptural glosses simply note the basic topics under discussion, but there are some examples of Foxe drawing out some of the theological issues implicit in Marsh's letters, as with the soteriological 'Workes of mercy doe not merite with God touching our saluation, any thing' and the glossing of the term 'we' as the 'elect' in 'Straite is the way which the elect must walke in' (there is a reversal of this in 'The Church is euer forewarned before afflictions', in which the 'the Church' is substituted for the 'elect' in the text). Marsh's warning against strange doctrine is taken by Foxe (without direct textual warrant) as a reference to 'Doctrine of good workes'. There are many examples of disagreement between editions among the large number of scriptural references.

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MarginaliaA letter of G. Marsh to the reader.HEre haue ye dearly beloued frendes in Christ, the chiefe and principall Articles of Christian doctrine briefly touched, which heretofore I haue both beleued, professed, and taught, and as yet do beleue, professe, and teach, and am surely purposed by Gods grace to continue in the same vntill the last day. I do want both tyme and opportunitie to write out at large the probations, causes, partes, effectes, and contraries or errours of these Articles, which who so desireth to know, let thē read ouer the cōmon places of the Godly learned men: Philippe Melancthon, and Erasmus Sarcerius, whose iudgements in these matters of Religion I do chiefly follow and leane vnto. The Lord geue vs vnderstandyng in all thynges, and deliuer vs from this present euill world, accordyng to his will and pleasure, and bring vs agayne out of this hell of affliction, into which it hath pleased the mercyfull Lorde to throw vs downe: and deliuer vs out of the mouth of the Lyon and from all euill doyng, and keepe vs vnto his heauenly and euerlastyng kingdome. Amen.

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Though Sathan bee suffred, as wheate to sift vs for a tyme, yet fayleth not our fayth through Christes ayde, but that we are at all times able and ready to cōfirme the fayth of our weake brethren, and alwayes ready to geue an answere to euery man that asketh vs a reason of the hope that is in vs, Marginalia1. Pet. 3. and that with mekenes and reuerence, hauing a good conscience, that when as they backebyte vs as euill doers, they may be ashamed, for as much as they haue falsely accused our good cōuersatiō in Christ. I thought my self now of late yeares, for the cares of this lyfe well settled with my louyng and faythfull wife and children, and also well quieted in the peaceable possession of that pleasaūt Euphrates, I

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