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Anthony Browne

(1528 - 1592) [ODNB]

1st Viscount Montagu (1554 - 92)

MP Guildford (1545, 1547); KB 1547; sheriff of Surrey and Sussex (1552 - 53); MP Petersfield 1553; master of the horse to Philip of Spain 1554; privy councillor under Mary

Anthony Browne was a witness in 1551 to the sentence against Stephen Gardiner and his appellation. 1563, p. 867.

The appearance of Anthony Browne at the scaffold where Edward Seymour was about to be executed produced a cheer from the crowd. They thought, incorrectly, that Browne was bringing a pardon from the king. 1570, p. 1550; 1576, p. 1321; 1583, p. 1371.

 
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John Dudley

(1504 - 1553) [ODNB]

Viscount Lisle (1542 - 47); earl of Warwick (1547 - 51), lord great chamberlain

Duke of Northumberland 1551; lord president of the privy council (1550 - 52); led support for Lady Jane Grey; executed

Dudley, Lord Lisle, was one of the questioners at the second examination of Anne Askew in 1546. 1563, p. 683; 1570, p. 1417; 1576, p. 1208; 1583, p. 1237.

He was a signatory to a letter from the council to Nicholas Ridley, directing him to remove and destroy all altars within the churches of his diocese and install communion tables. 1563, p. 727; 1570, pp. 1519-20; 1576, p. 1288; 1583, p. 1331.

Dudley was a signatory to a letter of commission against Stephen Gardiner. 1563, p. 777.

Following the taking of the city of Norwich by the Norfolk rebels, John Dudley, earl of Warwick, was sent with an army. The rebels were defeated and their leaders executed. 1570, p. 1500; 1576, p. 1271; 1583, p. 1308.

After Dudley's return from Norfolk, he fell into dispute with Edward Seymour. He and other dissatisfied nobles met together to plan to remove the king from the Lord Protector. 1570, p. 1545; 1576, p. 1317; 1583, p. 1367.

Dudley was one of the signatories to the proclamation against Edward Seymour calling for his removal. 1570, p. 1547; 1576, p. 1318; 1583, p. 1368.

He was one of the signatories to the letter to the lord mayor and common council of London from the lords opposing Edward Seymour. 1570, p. 1547; 1576, p. 1319; 1583, p. 1369.

Seymour was imprisoned for the second time in 1551 and charged with treason and felony. He was acquitted of treason, but condemned for felony, intending the death of John Dudley, duke of Northumberland, and others. 1570, p. 1549; 1576, p. 1321; 1583, p. 1371.

After Stephen Gardiner had been in the Tower for nearly a year, Sir William Paulet and Sir William Petre, the earl of Warwick and Sir William Herbert delivered the king's letters to him. 1563, pp. 761-62; 1570, pp. 1529-30; 1576, p. 1304; 1583, p. 1354.

Edward Seymour, John Russell, John Dudley and Sir William Petre visited Stephen Gardiner in the Tower at various times to attempt to get him to accept the king's reforms. 1563, pp. 766; 1570, p. 1532; 1576, p. 1306; 1583, p. 1356.

Dudley was a deponent in the case of Stephen Gardiner. 1563, pp. 822-24

 
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Sir Michael Stanhope

(ante 1508 - 1552) [ODNB; Bindoff]

Courtier; groom of the stool (1547 - 49); chief gentleman of the privy chamber by 1549; JP Nottinghamshire (1537 - 52); JP Yorkshire {West Riding)(1543 - 52); MP Nottinghamshire (1545, 1547); beheaded for treason

Sir Michael Stanhope, Sir Ralph Fane and Sir Miles Partridge were committed to prison with Edward Seymour at his second imprisonment in 1551. 1570, p. 1549; 1576, p. 1321; 1583, p. 1371.

Sir Ralph Fane and Sir Miles Partridge were hanged, and Sir Michael Stanhope and Sir Thomas Arundell beheaded, all at Tower Hill on 26 February 1552 for conspiring with the Duke of Somerset. 1570, p. 1552; 1576, p. 1323; 1583, p. 1373.

 
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Sir Miles Partridge

(d. 1552) [ODNB]

Courtier and soldier; chief master of the king's games, pastimes, and sports; hanged for felony

Sir Michael Stanhope, Sir Ralph Fane and Sir Miles Partridge were committed to prison with Edward Seymour at his second imprisonment in 1551. 1570, p. 1549; 1576, p. 1321; 1583, p. 1371.

Sir Ralph Fane and Sir Miles Partridge were hanged, and Sir Michael Stanhope and Sir Thomas Arundell beheaded, all at Tower Hill on 26 February 1552 for conspiring with the Duke of Somerset. 1570, p. 1552; 1576, p. 1323; 1583, p. 1373.

 
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Sir Ralph Fane

(ante 1510 - 1552) [ODNB]

Husband of Lady Elizabeth Fane; conspirator; hanged for treason. [Foxe calls him Vane.]

Sir Michael Stanhope, Sir Ralph Fane and Sir Miles Partridge were committed to prison with Edward Seymour at his second imprisonment in 1551. 1570, p. 1549; 1576, p. 1321; 1583, p. 1371.

Sir Ralph Fane and Sir Miles Partridge were hanged, and Sir Michael Stanhope and Sir Thomas Arundell beheaded, all at Tower Hill on 26 February 1552 for conspiring with the Duke of Somerset. 1570, p. 1552; 1576, p. 1323; 1583, p. 1373.

1395 [1371]

King Edw. 6. Troubles of the good Duke of Somerset, his condemnation and death.

MarginaliaAnno 1552.gaine restored, though not to his former office, yet vnto libertie: wherein he continued the space of two yeares and two dayes. 

Commentary  *  Close

Once again, Foxe's chronology is inaccurate. Somerset was released from the Tower on 6 February 1550; he was rearrested on 16 October 1551.

MarginaliaThe second trouble of the Duke of Somerset.After the which time of respite being expired, the sayde Duke of Somerset was apprehended & committed againe to the Tower, and wyth him also Sir Michaell Stanhop, sir Raufe Vane, sir Miles Partrige, & other. &c. At length the time being come of his arrainment, the foresayde good Duke being conueied from the Tower, MarginaliaThe Duke of Somerset agayne brought to the tower.was brought thorow London with the axe of the tower before him, & wyth great preparance of bils, halbardes, pikes, and polaxes, in most forcible wise: a watch also sette and appoynted before euery mans doore through the hie streat of London, and so was he brought into Westminster hal, where the Lords of the counsaile sitting as his iudges in the middle of the hal, vpon a new scaffolde, he was there before them arrayned and charged both with treason and felonie. 

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It appears as though Foxe was drawing this information from an eyewitness.

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MarginaliaThe vile tauntes of certayne Iustices and others sittting in iudgement against the good Duke of Somerset.In the whiche iudgement, I passe ouer the vnseemely speach, the vile taunts, and despiteful rebukes, without all modesty or honesty, vsed by certaine of the Sergeants and Iustices, and some other sitting there. MarginaliaThe great patiēce of the Duke of Somerset in taking rebukes.Al which notwythstanding he patiently & quietly did suffer, neither storming inwardly in stomacke, nor reuiling them with woordes againe: but like a lambe folowing the true lambe, & exampleof all meekenes, 

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Foxe is describing Somerset's trial in a manner that compares it to the Passion of Christ.

was contēted to take al things at their handes, and with no lesse patience to beare now theyr vngentle and cruell railings, then hee did before their glauering wordes and flatterings in time of his high estate and prosperitie. And as the patience of this good Duke was marueilous in forbearing his ennemies, MarginaliaThe discrete behauiour of the Duke in aunswering for himselfe.so also was his discretion and temperance no lesse seene in answearing for himself to the articles to him obiected: wherunto he wisely and substantially replied, putting himselfe in the ende to be tried by his Peeres. Who then at length after consultation had, did frame and temper their verdicte thus, that as concerning þe case of treason, wherewith he was charged, they discharged him, but they accounted him guiltie of fellonie. 
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Somerset was acquitted of treason but found guilty of felony under a statute forbidding the assembly of men for purposes of riot. (Allegedly, Somerset had been gathering his retainers together to assassinate Northumberland). Ironically, the law was a response to the 1549 rebellions.

When the people (which were there present to the great nōber) hearde the Lordes say. Not guiltie, (meaning by the case of treason) supposing no lesse, but þt he had bene clearly acquited by these woordes, and especially seeing the Axe of the Tower to be carried away, MarginaliaThe harty affection of the people toward the Duke of Somerset.for great ioy and gladnesse made an outcrie, well declaring theyr louing affection and hearty fauour vnto the Duke, whose life they greatly desired. But thys opinion of the people was deceiued, and the innocent Duke condemned to die for fellonie. MarginaliaThe Duke of Somerset condemned of felony. Which act of fellonie had bene made a litle before against the rebels, and vnlawfull assembles, suche as shoulde seeke or procure the death of any Counsailour, so that euery suche attempt and procurement, according to the act, should be iudged felony. 
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3 & 4 Edward VI c.5

By the vertue of whych Act, MarginaliaStatut. an. 5. Reg. Edw 6. the Duke being accused, with certaine other hys complices, to intende and purpose the death of the Duke of Northumberlande, MarginaliaThe Duke of Somerset accused for seeking the death of the Duke of Northumberland. and of certayne beside, was therfore caste and condemned of felonie, and so was returned toward the Tower againe.

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At whose passage throughe the Citie, greate exclamations and outcries were made againe of the people, some reioycing þt hee was acquited, some bewayling that hee was condemned.

Thus the good Duke passing through a great parte of the Citie, landinge at the Crane of the Vinetrie, 

Commentary  *  Close

This was a quay in London. Somerset was conveyed through London by boat.

was coueyed vnto the Tower, where hee endured till the 22. of Ianuary. Vpon the which day at the comminge downe of the letter of execution from the Kinge and the Counsaile, the foresayde Duke and Vncle to the Kyng, beinge founde no traitour, onely being caste by the Acte of Fellonye, was deliuered vnto the Sheriffes, and so brought to the place of execution.

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Touching which execution, a few words here woulde be bestowed in describing the wonderful order and maner thereof, according as it hath faithfully ben suggested to vs vppon the credite of a certaine noble Personage, who not onely was there present at the deede doing, but also in a maner next vnto him vpon the scaffolde, beholding the order of all things with his eies, and with his penne also reporting the same in order and maner as here foloweth. 

Commentary  *  Close

This account was in Foxe's hands during his exile. The most likely candidate for an aristocrat likely to have been present at Somerset's death and to have sent an account of it to Foxe or his friends is Francis Russell, the second earl of Bedford.

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In the yeare of our Lorde 1552. the 22. day of Ianuary, in the sixte yeare of the raigne of king Edward the sixte, he being yet vnder age and gouernaunce of Tutours: the noble Duke of Somersette, vncle to kynge Edwarde, was brought out of the tower of London, and accordinge to the maner, deliuered to the Sheriffes of the Citie: and compassed round about wt a great number of armed men, both of the garde and others, he was brought vnto the scaffolde on Tower hill: where as hee nothing chaunging neyther voyce nor countenance, but in a maner with the same gesture whych he commonly vsed at home, kneeling downe vppon both his knees, and lifting vpp his handes, com-mended himselfe vnto God.

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After that he had ended a fewe short prayers, standing vp againe, and turning him selfe towarde the East side of the Scaffold, nothing at all abashed (as it seemed vnto me standing about the middest of the Scaffold, and diligently marking all things,) neither with the sight of the axe, neyther yet of the hangman, or of the present death: MarginaliaThe chearfull countenance of the Duke of Somerset at his death.but wyth the like alacritie and chearefulnesse of minde and countenance as before times he was accustomed to heare the causes and Supplication of other, and especially the poore (towardes whom, as it were with a certaine fatherly loue to his children, he alwaies shewed himselfe moste attentiue) he vttered these words to the people.

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MarginaliaThe wordes of the Duke of Somerset to the people at his death.Dearly beloued frendes, I am broughte hither to suffer death, albeit that I neuer offended against the king, nether by word nor dede, and haue bene alwaies as faithful & true vnto this Realme, as any man hath bene. But for somuch as I am by a lawe condemned to die, I do acknowledge my selfe as well as others to bee subiecte thereunto. Wherefore to testifie my obedience which I owe vnto the lawes, I am come hither to suffer death: wherunto I willingly offer my selfe, with most hearty thankes vnto God, that hath geuen me this time of repentaunce, who myght thorowe sodaine death haue taken away my life, that neyther I should haue acknowledged him nor my selfe.

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MarginaliaThe care of the Duke of Somerset in setting forth true religion.Moreouer (dearly beloued frendes) there is yet somewhat that I must put you in minde of as touchinge Christian religion: which so long as I was in authoritie, I alwayes diligently sette foorth and furthered to my power. Neither I repent me of my doinges, but reioyce therein, sith that now the state of Christian religion commeth most neare vnto the forme and order of the Primitiue Churche. Which thing I esteeme as a great benefite geuen of God, both vnto you and me: most hartily exhorting you all, that this which is most purely set forth vnto you, you wil with like thankfulnesse accept and embrace, and set out the same in your liuing. Which thing if you do not, wythout doubt, greater mischiefe and calamitie wil folow.

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MarginaliaA sodeine noyse and feare of the people at the death of the Duke of Somerset.When he had spoken these wordes, sodainely there was a terrible noise heard: whereupon there came a great feare on al men. This noise was as it had bene the noise of some great storm or tempest, which vnto some semed to be heard from aboue: like as if a great deale of gunpouder being inclosed in an armorie, and hauing caught fire, had violently broken out. But vnto some againe, it seemed as though it had ben a great multitude of horsemen running together, or comming vppon them. 

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John Stow, who was present at Somerset's execution, blamed the noise on the huge size of the crowd (John Stow, The Annales, ed. E. Howes (London, 1615), p. 607). Another contemporary account - independent of Foxe - also compared the noise to gunpowder set on fire (BL, Cotton Charters, IV.17). Henry Machyn, also present, thought that the noise sounded like gunfire or horseman riding in the distance. Machyn also observed that the soldiers on guard panicked at the commotion (Diary of Henry Machyn, ed. J. G. Nichols. Camden Society, original series 42 (1848), p. 14).

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Suche a noyse was then in the eares of all men, albeit they saw nothing. Whereby it banned, that all the people being amased wythout any euident cause, wythout any violence or stroke striken, or any man seene, they ran away, some into þe ditches and puddles, and some into the houses thereabout: other some being afraide with the horrour and noyse, fell downe groueling vnto the ground wt their polaxes and halbards, & most part of them cried oute: Iesus saue vs, Iesus saue vs. Those whyche tarried still in their places, for feare knewe not where they were. And I my selfe which was there present among the rest, being also afraid in this hurly burly, stoode stil altogether amased, looking when any man woulde knocke me in the head. It hapned heere, as the Euangelists write, it dyd vnto Christ, when as the officers of the high Priestes and Phariseis comming wyth weapons to take him, being astonied, ran backwardes, and fell to the ground. 
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This passage appeared in the Rerum and 1563. In the 1570 edition, Foxe introduced this caveat: 'this is not to be expounded as though I compared in any part the Duke of Somerset with Christ' (the last page of the prelims in the 1570 edition, 1576, p. 2008 and 1583, p. 2149).

MarginaliaThe lyke story you shall read of Caius Marius, in Valerius Maximus the 2. booke & 5. chapter.

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In the meane time, whilest these things were thus in doing, the people by chance spied one sir Anthony Broune riding vnto the scaffold: which was the occasion of a new noise. For when they saw him comming, they coniectured that which was not true, but notwithstanding which they all wished for, that the king by that messenger had sent hys vncle pardone: and therfore with great reioysing & casting vp their cappes, they cried out, Pardon, pardone is come: God saue the king. Thus this good Duke, although hee was destitute of all mans helpe, MarginaliaThe great fauour of the peopIe to the Duke of Somerset.yet he sawe before hys departure, in how great loue & fauour he was with all men. And truely I doe not thinke, that in so great slaughter of Dukes as hath bene in England within these few yeares, there was so many weeping eyes at one time: and not wtout cause. For all men did see in the decay of this Duke, the publike ruine of al england, except such as in dede did perceiue nothing. But now to returne from whence we haue strayed, the Duke in the meane time standing stil in þe same place, modestly and with a graue coūtenance, made a signe to the people wt his hand, that they would kepe themselues quiet. Which thing being done, & silence obtained, he spake vnto them in this maner.

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MarginaliaThe wordes of the Duke agayne to the people.Dearely beloued frendes, there is no such matter heere in hande, as you vainely hope or beleeue. It seemeth thus good vnto almighty God, whose ordinance it is meete and

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