Thematic Divisions in Book 12
1. Exhumations of Bucer and Phagius along with Peter Martyr's Wife2. Pole's Visitation Articles for Kent3. Ten Martyrs Burnt at Canterbury4. The 'Bloody Commission'5. Twenty-two Prisoners from Colchester6. Five Burnt at Smithfield7. Stephen Gratwick and others8. Edmund Allen and other martyrs9. Edmund Allen10. Alice Benden and other martyrs11. Examinations of Matthew Plaise12. Richard Woodman and nine other martyrs13. Ambrose14. Richard Lush15. The Martyrdom of Simon Miller and Elizabeth Cooper16. Rose Allin and nine other Colchester Martyrs17. John Thurston18. George Eagles19. Richard Crashfield20. Fryer and George Eagles' sister21. Joyce Lewes22. Rafe Allerton and others23. Agnes Bongeor and Margaret Thurston24. John Kurde25. John Noyes26. Cicelye Ormes27. Persecution at Lichfield28. Persecution at Chichester29. Thomas Spurdance30. Hallingdale, Sparrow and Gibson31. John Rough and Margaret Mearing32. Cuthbert Simson33. William Nicholl34. Seaman, Carman and Hudson35. Three at Colchester36. A Royal Proclamation37. Roger Holland and other Islington martyrs38. Stephen Cotton and other martyrs39. Scourging of Thomas Hinshaw40. Scourging of John Milles41. Richard Yeoman42. John Alcocke43. Thomas Benbridge44. Four at St Edmondsbury45. Alexander Gouch and Alice Driver46. Three at Bury47. A Poor Woman of Exeter48. The Final Five Martyrs49. John Hunt and Richard White50. John Fetty51. Nicholas Burton52. John Fronton53. Another Martyrdom in Spain54. Baker and Burgate55. Burges and Hoker56. The Scourged: Introduction57. Richard Wilmot and Thomas Fairfax58. Thomas Greene59. Bartlett Greene and Cotton60. Steven Cotton's Letter61. James Harris62. Robert Williams63. Bonner's Beating of Boys64. A Beggar of Salisbury65. Providences: Introduction66. The Miraculously Preserved67. William Living68. Edward Grew69. William Browne70. Elizabeth Young71. Elizabeth Lawson72. Christenmas and Wattes73. John Glover74. Dabney75. Alexander Wimshurst76. Bosom's wife77. Lady Knevet78. John Davis79. Mistress Roberts80. Anne Lacy81. Crosman's wife82. Congregation at Stoke in Suffolk83. Congregation of London84. Englishmen at Calais85. Edward Benet86. Jeffrey Hurst87. William Wood88. Simon Grinaeus89. The Duchess of Suffolk90. Thomas Horton 91. Thomas Sprat92. John Cornet93. Thomas Bryce94. Gertrude Crockhey95. William Mauldon96. Robert Horneby97. Mistress Sandes98. Thomas Rose99. Troubles of Sandes100. Complaint against the Ipswich Gospellers101. Tome 6 Life and Preservation of the Lady Elizabeth102. The Unprosperous Queen Mary103. Punishments of Persecutors104. Foreign Examples105. A Letter to Henry II of France106. The Death of Henry II and others107. Justice Nine-Holes108. John Whiteman109. Admonition to the Reader110. Hales' Oration111. The Westminster Conference112. Appendix notes113. Ridley's Treatise114. Back to the Appendix notes115. Thomas Hitton116. John Melvyn's Letter117. Alcocke's Epistles118. Cautions to the Reader119. Those Burnt at Bristol: extra material120. Priest's Wife of Exeter121. Snel122. Laremouth123. William Hunter's Letter124. Doctor Story125. The French Massacre
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William Roper
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William Roper

(1495/96 - 1578)

Of Lynsted. JP, MP (1529, 1545, 1547, 1553, 1554, 1555, 1558). Sheriff of Kent (1554 - 1555). Son-in-law to Sir Thomas More and author of a celebrated biographical sketch of More (DNB; Bindoff).

William Roper was one of the recipients of the proclamation from Philip and Mary authorising the persecution of protestants. 1563, p. 1561, 1570, p. 2155, 1576, p. 1862, 1583, p. 1974[incorrectly numbered 1970].

Roper was originally included in the Commission of the Peace for Middlesex in 1555, but his name was deleted. [SP11/5, no. 6]

On 1 April 1555, the Privy Council ordered Roper to arrest Thomas Woodgate and William Maynarde for clandestine preaching. 1583, p. 1561.

On 7 April Roper was ordered to arrest a man from Harwich, who went about with a boy, preaching from place to place. 1583, p. 1561. [NB: Foxe is mistaken in saying that the order was to arrest one Harwich; see APC V, p. 110].

After Master Roper of Lynsted talked with the judges, it was decided that John Bland should be returned to Maidstone until the Greenwich sessions of 18-19 February. 1563, p. 1223, 1570, p. 1847, 1576, p. 1581, 1583, p. 1668.

A letter was sent by the commissioners to Bonner requesting examination of the accused members of the London sacramentaries. It was dated 2 July 1555 and signed by Nicholas Hare, William Roper, Richard Rede, and William Cooke. 1563, p. 1250, 1570, p. 1868, 1576, p. 1599, 1583, p. 1689.

Roper escorted John Wade to his burning in July 1555. 1576, p. 1600, 1583, pp. 1679-80.

Philpot's first examination was before Cholmley, Roper, Story, and one of the scribes of the Arches at Newgate Hall, 2 October 1555. 1563, pp. 1388-90, 1570, pp. 1961-62, 1576, pp. 1688-89, 1583, pp. 1795-96.

Philpot's second examination was before Cholmley, Roper, Story and Cook and the scribe on 24 October 1555. 1563, pp. 1390-92, 1570, pp. 1962-64, 1576, pp. 1689-91, 1583, pp. 1797-98.

[In a letter that was never delivered] Green told Philpot of his presentment on 17 November before Bonner and two bishops, Master Dean, Roper, Welch, John Harpsfield, and two or three others. Dr Dale, Master George Mordant and Master Dee [not listed here as Dr] were also there. 1563, p. 1460, 1570, p. 2023, 1576, p. 1744, 1583, p. 1852.

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Roper took part in the examination of several prisoners in Colchester on 19 October 1557. 1563, p. 1610, 1570, p. 2202, 1576, p. 1900, 1583, p. 2008.

The sixth and last examination of Richard Woodman took place before Chichester, William Roper, Nicholas Harpsfield, the fat priest, Winchester and others. 1563, 1599-1601, 1570, p. 2192-94, 1576, p. 1892-93, 1583, pp. 2000-02.

Elizabeth Young's fourth examination was before Bonner, Roger Cholmley, Cooke, Dr Roper of Kent, and Dr Martin. 1570, pp. 2270-71, 1576, pp. 1959-60, 1583, pp. 2066-67.

2024 [2000]

Queene Mary. The examination and aunsweres of Richard Woodman Martyr.

MarginaliaAnno 1557. Iune.prooueth not that I wrote it there, nor I did not, I promise you truly.

The fat Priest. Where wrote you it then?

Wood. Nay, I owe you not so much seruice to tell you: find it out as well as you can: For I perceiue you go about to shed my bloud.

Winchester. It is no great matter where it was written: it is here, and he denyeth not but he wrote it. You shall heare more of it. Here the Commissioners asked you whether Iudas did eate any more thē bare bread, and you answered, that he eate more then bare bread.

Whereupon they sent you away backe to the Kynges Bench agayne, and asked you not what more, for þe whiche cause (as you haue written here) you had a hell burnyng in your conscience. MarginaliaWoodman in a great burning of conscience, for feare lest he had graunted to much to the Commissioners before, saying that Iudas did eate more then bare bread.For you had thought they would haue sent a discharge to the Kinges Benche, and so let me goe (sayd you) and Register my name in their bookes, that I had graunted that Iudas did eate the body of Christe, and so the Gospell should haue bene slaundered by me. For the which cause I was in such case, I could scantly eat, drink, or sleepe for that space, as all my prison fellowes can testifie. If al you (I say) that go to the Church of Sathan, and there heare the detestable doctrine, that they spit, and spue out in their Churches, and Pulpits to the great dishonor of God, if all you (I say) that come there, hadde such a hell burning in your conscience for the time, as I hadde till I came before thē agayne & had vttered my conscience, more playnely. I dare saye you woulde come there no more. All this is your writing is it not? how say you?

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Woodman. I do not deny, but it was mine owne deed.

Winch.And I pray you, where is there such spitting and spuing out of false doctrine as you speake of?

Wood. In the sinagogue of Sathan, where God is dishonoured with false doctrine.

Winc. And I pray you, where is one of them?

Wood. Nay, that iudge your selfe: I came not hether to be a iudge.

Winc. Wel, here you haue affirmed that Iudas (your M.) eate more then bread: but yet he eate not the body of Christ as you haue declared by your wordes. For you had a hell burning in your conscience, because you were in doubt, þt the commissioners vnderstoode by your wordes þt Iudas had eaten the body of Chryst, because you sayd, he eat more then bread. Therefore thou haddest a great sorte of Deuils in thee, for in hell be many Deuils: and therefore þe Deuil, and Iudas is thy mayster, by thyne owne wordes.

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Wood. Nay, I defie Iudas, and the Deuill, and his seruauntes: for they bee youre maysters and you serue them, for any thing that I can see, I tell you truth.

Marginalia The Bishops Argument.
The deuill is maister in hel.
Woodman felt a burning hell in his conscience. Ergo, the deuill was Woodmans Maister.
Winchest. Nay, they bee thy maysters. For þe deuill is mayster wher hell is, and thou saydest thou hadst a hell burning in thee. I pray thee tell me howe thou canst auoyde it but that the Deuill was in thee by thine owne saying.

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Marginalia Aunswere.
Hell is takē in Scripture two wayes, eyther for the place where damned spirites and soules be tormented for euer out of this lyfe: or els for Gods correction and anguish of the soule in this life which somtime is felt so sharpe, that it is resembled to hell it selfe. As where we read: The Lord bringeth to hell and bringeth out agayne. &c. Tob. 13. The paynes of hell haue found me. &c. Psal. 114.
Wood. The hell that I hadde, was the louing correction of GOD toward me, to call me to repentance that I should not offend God and his people in leauing thinges so darke, as I left that. For þe whiche cause, my consciēce bare me record I had not done wel, as at al times I haue felte the sting of it when I haue broken the commaundemēts of God by any meanes, as al gods people do, I dare say, and it is the louing kindnes of god towardes them, to driue them to repentaunce. But it is to be thought that your conscience is neuer troubled, how wickedly soeuer you do. For if it were, it shoulde not be so straunge to you as you make it, which declareth playnely whose seruaunt you be.

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Winch. What a naughty fellow is this? This is such a peruerse villayne as I neuer talked with in all my lyfe. Hold him a booke, I will make him sweare, to aunswere dyrectly to such thinges, as I will demaund of him: and if he will not aunswere, I will condemne him.

Wood. Call you me a fellow? I am suche a fellowe, I tell you, that will driue you all to hell if you consent to the shedding of my bloud, and you shall haue bloud to drynke as sayd S. Iohn in his Reuelation the ix. chapter and being in hell, you shall be compelled to say for payne of conscience: MarginaliaSap. 5.this is the man that we had in derision, & thought his life madnes, and his ende to be without honour, but now we may see how he is counted among the sayntes of God, and wee are punished. This shall you see in hell, if you repent it not, if you do condemne me. This you shall

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finde in the fift chapter of the booke of wisedome, & therefore take heede what you doe, I geue you counsell.

Winchester. Wisdome? What speakest thou of wisdome? thou neuer haddest it: for thou art as very a foole as euer I heard speake.

Wood. Do you not know that the foolishe thinges of thys world must confound the wise thinges? Marginalia1. Cor. 1. Wherefore it greeueth me not to be called a foole at your hand.

Winchest. Nay thou art none of those fooles: thou art an obstinate foole, and an hereticke. Lay hand on the booke, and aunswere to suche thynges as I wyll laye agaynst thee.

MarginaliaRich. Woodman agayne refuseth to sweare or aunswere before the Bishop being not his Ordinary.Woodman. I will not laye hand on the booke for none of you all, You be not my Byshop, and therefore I wil haue nothing to do with you.

Winch. I wyll haue to doe with you. This man is with out law, he careth not for the king nor Queene, I dare say for he will not obey theyr lawes. Let me see the Kynges Commission. I will see whether hee will obeye that or not.

Wood. I would you loued the king and Queenes Maiesty, no worse then I do, if it pleased God: You would not do as you doe then.

Winch. Holde him a booke, he is a rancke hereticke. Thou shalt aunswere to suche thynges as I wyll demaund of thee.

Wood. I take heauen and earth to recorde I am no hereticke, neither can I tell wherfore I am brought to prison, no more then any man can here tel, and therwith I looked round about on the people, and sayde to the Bishoppe: If you haue any iust cause agaynst me, worthy of death lay it agaynst me, and let me haue it: for I refuse not to dye (I praise God) for the truthes sake, if I hadde x. liues. If you haue no cause let me goe home (I pray you) to my wife & children to see them kept, and other poore folk þt I would set a worke by the helpe of God. I haue set a worke a hundreth persons ere this, all the yeare together, and was vniustly taken from them: but God forgeue them that dyd it if it be his will.

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Winchester. Do you not see how he looketh about for help: But I would see any man shewe thee a cheereful countenaunce, and especially you that be of my Dioces. MarginaliaA charitable commaundemēt of a Catholicke Prelate vnder paine of excommunication, no man to say: God strengthen him.If any of you bid God strengthen him, or take him by the hand, or embrace him, or shew hym a chearefull countenaunce, you shall be excommunicated, and shall not bee receaued in agayne, till you haue done open penaunce, and therfore beware of it.

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Wood. I looke for no helpe of men, for God is on my side I prayse him therefore, and therefore I neede not not care who be agaynst me, neither do I care.

Then they cryed: away with him, and bring vs an other. So was I caryed agayne to þe Marshalsea, where I am now mery (I prayse God therfore) as a sheep appointed to be slayne. But for lack of time, I haue left out much of our talke, but this is the chiefest of it.

The 6. and last examinations of Richard Woodman written and copyed with his owne hand. 
Commentary  *  Close

Note that Foxe was apparently working from copies of Woodman's examinations, written in the martyr's own hand.

BE it knowne vnto all men by this present writing that I Richard Woodman, sometime of the parishe of Warbelton, in the County of Sussex: was condemned for gods euerlasting truth an. 1557. Iuly. 16. 

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This is a mistake; the correct date is 16 June.

by the byshop of Winchester, in the churche of S. Mary Oueries in Southwarke, there sitting with him the same time the byshop of Chichester, the Archdeacon of Caunterbury Doctor Langdale, M. Roper with a fatte headed Priest, I cannot tell his name. All these consented to the shedding of my bloud, vpon this occasion, as here after followeth.

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I affirmed that Iudas receaued the sacrament with a sop and the Deuill withall, and because I would not bee sworne vppon a booke to aunswere directly to suche Articles as hee woulde declare to me; and because I would not beleue that there remained neither bread nor wine after the words of consecration and that the body of Christ could not be receaued of any but of the faithfull. For these Articles I was condemned, as hereafter shal follow more at large, by the help of God.

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MarginaliaThe sixt examinatiō of Richard Woodman, before the Byshop of Winchester & diuers other in the Church of S. Mary Oueryes.RIrst, the Bishop sayd when I came before him.

Win. You were before vs on Monday last past: & there you affirmed certayne heresies. Howe say you now? Doe you hold them still, or will you reuoke them?

Wood. I held no heresyes then, neyther do I now, as the Lord knoweth.

Win. No? did you not affirme, that Iudas receiued bread? which is no heresy, vnlesse you tell what more then bread.

Wood. Is it heresy to say that Iudas receiued more then bread? I sayd he receaued more then bare bread: for he re-

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