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. Mary's False Pregnancy32. Censorship Proclamation 33. Our Lady' Psalter 34. Martyrdom of Osmund, Bamford, Osborne and Chamberlain35. The Martyrdom of John Bradford 36. Bradford's Letters 37. William Minge 38. James Trevisam 39. The Martyrdom of John Bland 40. The Martyrdom of Frankesh, Middleton and Sheterden 41. Sheterden's Letters 42. Examinations of Hall, Wade and Polley 43. Martyrdom of Christopher Wade 44. Nicholas Hall45. Margery Polley46. Martyrdom of Carver and Launder 47. Martyrdom of Thomas Iveson 48. John Aleworth 49. Martyrdom of James Abbes 50. Martyrdom of Denley, Newman and Pacingham 51. Martyrdom of John Newman52. Richard Hooke 53. Martyrdom of William Coker, et al 54. Martyrdom of George Tankerfield, et al 55. Martyrdom and Letters of Robert Smith 56. Martyrdom of Harwood and Fust 57. Martyrdom of William Haile 58. George King, Thomas Leyes and John Wade 59. William Andrew 60. Martyrdom of Robert Samuel 61. Samuel's Letters 62. William Allen 63. Martyrdom of Thomas Cobb 64. Martyrdom of Catmer, Streater, Burwood, Brodbridge, Tutty 65. Martyrdom of Hayward and Goreway 66. Martyrdom and Letters of Robert Glover 67. Cornelius Bungey 68. John and William Glover 69. Martyrdom of Wolsey and Pigot 70. Life and Character of Nicholas Ridley 71. Ridley and Latimer's Conference 72. Ridley's Letters 73. Life of Hugh Latimer 74. Latimer's Letters 75. Ridley and Latimer Re-examined and Executed76. More Letters of Ridley 77. Life and Death of Stephen Gardiner 78. Martyrdom of Webb, Roper and Park 79. William Wiseman 80. James Gore 81. Examinations and Martyrdom of John Philpot 82. Philpot's Letters 83. Martyrdom of Thomas Whittle, Barlett Green, et al 84. Letters of Thomas Wittle 85. Life of Bartlett Green 86. Letters of Bartlett Green 87. Thomas Browne 88. John Tudson 89. John Went 90. Isobel Foster 91. Joan Lashford 92. Five Canterbury Martyrs 93. Life and Martyrdom of Cranmer 94. Letters of Cranmer 95. Martyrdom of Agnes Potten and Joan Trunchfield 96. Persecution in Salisbury Maundrell, Coberly and Spicer 97. William Tyms, et al 98. Letters of Tyms 99. The Norfolk Supplication 100. Martyrdom of John Harpole and Joan Beach 101. John Hullier 102. Hullier's Letters 103. Christopher Lister and five other martyrs 104. Hugh Lauerocke and John Apprice 105. Katherine Hut, Elizabeth Thacknell, et al 106. Thomas Drury and Thomas Croker 107. Thomas Spicer, John Deny and Edmund Poole 108. Persecution of Winson and Mendlesam 109. Gregory Crow 110. William Slech 111. Avington Read, et al 112. Wood and Miles 113. Adherall and Clement 114. A Merchant's Servant Executed at Leicester 115. Thirteen Burnt at Stratford-le-Bow116. Persecution in Lichfield 117. Hunt, Norrice, Parret 118. Martyrdom of Bernard, Lawson and Foster 119. Examinations of John Fortune120. John Careless 121. Letters of John Careless 122. Martyrdom of Julius Palmer 123. Agnes Wardall 124. Peter Moone and his wife 125. Guernsey Martyrdoms 126. Dungate, Foreman and Tree 127. Martyrdom of Thomas More128. Examination of John Jackson129. Examination of John Newman 130. Martyrdom of Joan Waste 131. Martyrdom of Edward Sharpe 132. Four Burnt at Mayfield at Sussex 133. John Horne and a woman 134. William Dangerfield 135. Northampton Shoemaker 136. Prisoners Starved at Canterbury 137. More Persecution at Lichfield
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Names and Places on this Page
Mrs Sheterden, SeniorThomas Thacker
Person and Place Index  *  Close
Mrs Sheterden, Senior

Mother of Nicholas and Walter Sheterden.

Mrs Sheterden received a letter from her son, Nicholas. 1563, p. 1235, 1570, pp. 1856-57, 1576, p. 1589, 1583, pp. 1676-77.

She received another letter from her son, Nicholas, dated 2 July 1555. 1563, p. 1237, 1570, p. 1858, 1576, p. 1590, 1583, p. 1678.

Person and Place Index  *  Close
Thomas Thacker

Thacker was imprisoned with John Bland. Thacker recanted. 1570, p. 1852, 1576, p. 1585, 1583, p. 1673.

1700 [1676]

Queene Mary. Bland, Frankesh, Sheterden, Middleton Martyrs.

MarginaliaAnno 1555. Iuly. boue mentioned, here first would be declared the Articles whiche publickely in their last examinations were iointly and seuerally ministred vnto them by the foresaid Thornton Byshop of Douer. But forasmuche as these articles being ordinary & of course, are already expressed in the story of M. Bland: as may appeare before. It shall not therfore be needefull, to make any new rehearsall thereof.

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To these seuen articles then being propounded to the fiue persons aboue named, to wit, Iohn Frankesh, Iohn Bland, Nicholas Shetterden, Vmfrey Middleton, and one Thacker, first aunswered Iohn Frankesh somewhat doubtfully, desiring further repite to be geuen him of 14. dayes to deliberate with himselfe. Whiche was graunted Maister Bland answered flattely and roundly, as before ye heard. Nicholas Sheterden, and Vmfrey Middleton answered to the first and second articles affirmatiuely. To the third concerning the Catholicke Churche after a sorte they graunted. To the fourth and fift and sixt touching the reall presence, and the sacramēt to be ministred in the Latin tongue, and in one kind, they refused vtterly to sweare Sheterden sayd he would not aunswere thereto before the cause were determined why he was imprisoned, and so stil remayned prisoners, before the lawes of Parliament receiued. &c. Middleton added moreouer and confesed, that he beleued in hys owne God, saying, my liuyng God, & no dead God. &c. MarginaliaThacker recanted.Thacker onely relented and was content to take penaunce. Thus the foresayd foure vpon these aunsweres were condemned by the Byshop of Douer, the 25. day of Iune. an. 1555. 

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Why did Foxe print only some of the answers of the accused? Without the original document we cannot be sure, but there is a good chance that some of their answers were, from Foxe's point of view, unsatisfactorily unorthodox.

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The burning of foure Martyrs. MarginaliaThe Martirdome of Iohn Bland, Iohn Frankesh, Ministers. Also of Nicholas Sheterden and Vmfrey Middleton burned at 2. seuerall stakes in Canterbury. Anno 1555. Iuly. 12.

woodcut [View a larger version]

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The small woodcut of two men in flames (Type 2) was drafted in here to illustrate the burning of four men, for which the producers had no block. This woodcut saw repeated service and in 1583 appeared again on pages 1716, 1940 (representing three martyrs) and page 2052. Unusually the two men in the pyre are shown wearing loin cloths.

And so being geuen to the seculer power, they were burned at Cant. the 12. of Iuly at two seuerall stakes, but all in one fire together, where they in the sight of God and of his Aungels, and before men, like true souldiours of Iesus Christ, gaue a constant testimony to the truth of his holy Gospell.

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The prayer of Nicholas Sheterden, before his death.

MarginaliaA Christian prayer of Nicholas Sheterden before his death.O Lord my God and Sauiour, whiche art Lord in heauen and earth, maker of all things visible and inuisible, I am the creature and worke of thy handes: Lord God looke vppon me, and other thy people, which at this time are oppressed of the worldly minded for thy lawes sake: Yea lord thy law it self is now trodē vnder foote, and mens inuentions exalted aboue it, and for that cause do I, and many thy creatures refuse the glory, prayse, and commoditie of this life, and do chuse to suffer aduersitie, and to be banished: yea to be burnt with the bookes of thy worde, for the hopes sake that it is layd vp in store. For Lorde thou knowest if we would but seeme to please men in thinges contrary to thy word, we might by thy permission enioy these commodities that other do, as wife children, goodes, and frendes which al I knowlege to be thy giftes, geuen to the end I should serue thee. And how Lord that the worlde will not suffer me to enioye them, ex-

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cept I offend thy lawes, behold I geue vnto thee my whole spirite soule and body, and loe, I leaue here all the pleasures of this life and doe nowe leaue the vse of them for the hope sake of eternall life purchased in Christes bloud, MarginaliaSacrifice of obedience to God.and promised to all them that fight on his side, and are content to suffer with hym for his truth when soeuer the world and the deuill shall persecute the same.

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O father I doe not presume vnto thee: in mine owne righteousnes: no, but onely in the merites of thy deare sonne my sauiour MarginaliaSacrifice of thankes for redemption.For the whiche excellent gifte of saluation I cannot worthily prayse thee, neither is any sacrifice worthy, or to be accepted with thee, in comparison of oure bodyes mortified, and obedient vnto thy will, and now Lorde: what soeuer rebellion hathe bene, or is found in my members, agaynst thy will, yet do I here geue vnto thee my body to the death, MarginaliaSacrifice of the body.rather then I will vse anye straunge worshipping, whiche I beseech the accept at my hande for a pure sacrifice: let this torment be to me the last enemye destroyed, euen death, the ende of misery, and the beginning of all ioy, peace and solace: and when the tyme of resurrection commeth, then let me enioy agayne these members then glorified. which now be spoyled and consumed by the fire. O Lord Iesu receaue my spirite into thy handes, Amen.

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Letters of Nicholas Shetterden, and first a letter to his mother. 
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The Letters of Nicholas Sheterden

All of Sheterden's letters were first printed in the 1563 edition. Only one of these letters, Sheterden's final letter to his mother, was reprinted in the Letters of the Martyrs.

MarginaliaA letter of Nicholas Sheterden to his mother.AFter my humble and bounden duety remembred, welbeloued Mother, this shalbe to wishe you increase of grace and godly wisedome, that yee may see and perceiue the craftye bewitching of Sathan our mortal enemy, which as I haue diuers times declared vnto you, doth not openly shewe himselfe in hys owne likenes, MarginaliaSathan transformeth himselfe into an Angell of light.but vnder colour of deuotion deceiueth them that keep not a dilligent eye vpon him, but hauing confidence in mans traditions and customes of the worlde, leauing the commaundementes of God, and Testament of his Sonne Christ Iesus our Lord, doe grow more into superstition & hipocrise, then into wisedome and true holynesse. For this is most true, that Sathan the enemy of soules, dothe by his ministers make many beleue, that those thinges whiche they compell vs vnto for theyr bellyes sake, haue many godly significations, although they be most contrary to Gods will, as doubtlesse they be, euen as did the serpent in Paradise to our first mother Eue. What (sayd he) hath God commaunded yee shall not eate of all the trees in the Garden? The woman sayd of the fruites of the trees in the Garden we may eate: but of the tree in the middest of the Garden, sayd God, see ye eate not, least ye dye. MarginaliaAs the Serpent seduced Eue by an Aple: so Priestes seduce the people by Images.Euē so our Ministers now a dayes say: hath God commaunded ye shall not make you anye Image or likenes of any thing? Yea forsoothe. Tush say they, what harme can they doe? May we not remember God the better whē we see his Image or Picture? For they are good bookes for the lay men: but in deed they be better for the priestes, because they receiue the offeringes.

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And looke howe truely the promise of the serpent was kepte with Eue, so is the perswasion of our Priests found true to vs. MarginaliaImages more profitable bookes for Priests then for lay men.For as Adam and Eue did become like God in knowing good and euill, so are we in remembring God by hys Image. For Adams eyes were so open, that he lost both innocencye and righteousnes, and was become most miserable of all creatures: and euen so we remember Christ so well by Images, that we forget his commaundements, and count his Testament confirmed in his bloud for starke madnesse or heresie: so miserably haue wee remembred him, that of all people we are most blinde: and this doth followe vpon our presumption, when wee remember God by breking of hys law, and therefore surely except we repent shortly, God wil remember vs in his wrath, & reward vs with his plagues: MarginaliaSheterden prophesieth of Gods sure as there is a God it will come to passe.

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But I know the craftines of them herein (I thanke God) whiche wil say: Where went he to schoole? Is he wiser then our great Doctours that studyed all their life? 

Commentary  *  Close

Sheterden's defensiveness due to his lack of learning is a recurrent theme in his letters.

And loe, they say that it is good hay, although we smell it musty our selues, yet must we beleue it is sweete, and then pay them well for theyr so saying, and all is safe. But I might saye agayne: MarginaliaLearning against or without Gods word, is vayne and to no purpose.What sir, be ye wiser then Christ, and God hys father, or the holy Ghost? What wiser then the Prophetes , and the holy Apostles, and all the holye Martyrs? I pray you sir, where had you your high learning? It is higher thē God (being in heauen) is able to reache, or haue ye set it lower in Hell then euer Christ durst to venter? For it is some straunge learning belike, that Christ nor his Apostles could neuer attaine to the knowledge of it. But vayne men are neuer without some shift: For peraduenture they will not be ashamed to saye, that Christ cōming on his fathers message, did forget half his errād by the way. For I daresay, the greater halfe of theyr ceremonyes were neuer commaunded by Christ: Yea I doubt it would bee hard to finde one in the Church perfectly as hee lefte: so Romishly hath Antichrist turned the church vpsidedown for lukers sake. MarginaliaAntichrist hath turned the Church cleare vpside downe.

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Beloued Mother, as I oftentymes sayde vnto you, euen so now I beseeche you from my very hart roote in Christ, to con-

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