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969 [945]

K. Henry. 8. The Martyrdome of a Christian Iewe in Constantinople.

with his people, MarginaliaNote how the Lord blessed the Waldoys, standing to their owne defence.or rather for his people, they but turnyng almost their faces vnto their enemyes, no otherwise then he fought in tymes before, with Iosue agaynst the heathen, with the Israelites agaynst the Phelistians, with þe Macabees, agaynst Antiochus and the Sirians.

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Thys historye carying with it a true narration of things done in the sayd countrey of Piemont, and written (as it semeeth) by certaine of the Ministers, whiche were at thee doyng therof, with the like fayth and simplicitie we haue collected partly out of the Italian, partly out of the French tongue: for in both the languages it is written, althoughe in the French tongue, it is much more largely discoursed, which book moste principally herein we haue folowed. MarginaliaEx Histor. Gallica. & Italica. The title wherof thus begynneth. Histoire des persecutions & Guerres faites contre le people appelle Vaudois. &c.

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Now, that we haue finished these forreine histories, cōcernyng such matters as haue bene passed in other realmes and nations of Germanie, Italie, Spayne, Fraunce, and Sauoy: consequētly it remayneth after thys digresse, to returne and reduce our storye agayne, to our owne countrey matters, here done and passed at home, after that first wee shall haue added one forrein storye more, concernyng thee Martyrdome of a Christian Iewe, whiche suffered about these yeares, in Constantinople, among the Turkes, in this wise as foloweth.

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The story of a christian Iew in Constantinople martyred by the Turkes. 
Commentary  *  Close

This story first appeared in the 1563 edition of Foxe's martyrology (1563, p. 440). We have not located it in any of the common sources that Foxe used, and its origin is something of a mystery, but it was commonly repeated in English martyrologies after Foxe as a striking example of persecution being attributable to the Turks.

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Persecutors. Martyrs. The causes.

MarginaliaA Christian Iewe, Martyr.
The Turkes
of Constā-
A Iew chri-
stened and
At Con-
An. 1528.
TO these forreine
martyrs aforesayd
we wil also adione the
Historie of a certayne
Iew, who in the yere
our Lorde. 1528.
dwelling in the Citie
of Constantinople, and
there receiuyng þe sa-
crament of baptisme,
was conuerted, and
became a good Chri-
stian. Whē the turkes
vnderstode hereof, they
were vehemently ex-
asperated agaynst him
that he forsaking hys
Iewishnes, should be
regenerate to the faith
of Christ: and fearing
leaste hys conuersion
should be a detrimente
to their Mahometi-
call lawe, they sought
meanes howe to put
hym to death,
in short tyme after,

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they accōplished. And
for þe greater infamy to
be done vnto þe mā, thei
cast his dead corps in-
to the streetes, cōmaun
ding þt no [illegible text]ld
be so hardy as [illegible text]ry
the same.

MarginaliaThe Martyrdome of a Christian Iewe.

woodcut [View a larger version]

Commentary on the Woodcuts  *  Close
This example of a narrative small cut succeeds in conveying the text's narrative as well as local colour in the Turks' appearance in the confined space of the two scenes. CUL copy: additional flecks of blood are added in red to this image.

Wherin the meruelous glorye and power of Christe appeared. For the dead corps lying so by the space of ix. dayes in the middest of the streetes, reteined so his natiue colour, and was so freshe, without any kynd of filthines or corruption, and also not without a certeine pleasaunt and delectable sent or odour, as if it had bene lately slayne, or rather not slayne at all: which when the Turkes behelde they were thereat meruelously astonied, and beyng greatly afrayde they them selues tooke it vp, and caried it to a place nere, without the towne, and buryed it.

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H Auyng thus comprehendedthe troubles and persecutions of such godlye Saintes, and blessed Martyrs, whiche haue suffered in other foreine nations aboue mentioned, here now endyng with them, and beynnyng the viij. booke, wee haue (God wyllyng) to returne agayne to our owne matters, and to prosecute such Actes and recordes, as to our owne countrey of Englād do appertayne. MarginaliaThe cōtents of the booke folowyng. In the proces wherof among many other thynges, may appeare the meauelous worke of Gods power and mercy in suppressing and banishyng out of this realme, the long vsurped supremacie of the Pope: also in subuertyng and ouerthrowyng the houses of Monkes, and Friers, with diuers other matters perteining to the reformation of Christes true Church and religion. All which thinges as they haue bene long wished, and greatly groned for in tymes past, of many godly learned men: so much more ought we nowe to reioyse and geue God thankes, seyng these dayes of reformation, which God hath geuen vs. If Iohn Husse, or good Hierome of Prage, or Iohn Wickliffe before them both, or William Brute, Thorpe, Swynderby, or the Lord Cobham, if Zisca with all the company of the Bohemians, if the Earle Raymundus wyth all the Tholossians, if the Waldoys, or the Albingenses with infinite other, had bene either in these our tymes now, or els had sene then this ruine of the Pope, and reuealyng of Antichrist, which the Lorde now hath dispensed vnto vs, what ioye and triumphe woulde they haue made? Wherefore now beholdyng that thyng which they so long tyme haue wished for, let vs not thinke the benefite to be small, but render therefore most humble thankes to the Lord our God: MarginaliaAntichrist long hyd, and now reueled. Who by hys myghty power and brightnesse of hys worde, hath reuealed this great enemy of hys so manifestly to the eyes of all men, who before was hidde in the Church, so colourably, that almost few Christians coulde espye hym. For who would euer haue iudged or suspected in hys mynde, the Bishop of Rome (commonly receiued and beleued almost of all men, to be the Vicare and Vicegerent of Christ here in earth) to be Antichrist, and the great aduersary of God, whom S. Paule so expresly prophesieth of in these latter dayes to be reuealed by the brightnesse of the Lordes commyng, as all men now, for the most part may see is come to passe. Wherfore to the Lord and father of lightes, who reuealeth all thynges in hys due tyme, be prayse and glory for euer. Amen.

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¶ The ende of the seuenth Booke.
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