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Thematic Divisions in Book 5
1. Preface to Rubric 2. The Rubric 3. Mary's First Moves 4. The Inhibition5. Bourne's Sermon 6. The True Report7. The Precept to Bonner 8. Anno 15549. From 'The Communication' to 'A Monition' 10. Bonner's Monition11. Mary's Articles for Bonner 12. The Articles 13. From Mary's Proclamation to the 'Stile'14. From the 'Stile' to the 'Communication' 15. The 'Communication' 16. How Thomas Cranmer ... 17. Cranmer18. Ridley 19. Latimer20. Harpsfield's Forme 21. 1563's Disputational Digest22. Political Events up to Suffolk's Death 23. Between Mantell and the Preacher's Declaration 24. The Declaration of Bradford et al 25. May 19 to August 1 26. August 1 - September 3 27. From Bonner's Mandate to Pole's Oration 28. Winchester's Sermon to Bonner's Visitation 29. Pole's Oration 30. From the Supplication to Gardiner's Sermon 31. From Gardiner's Sermon to 1555 32. From the Arrest of Rose to Hooper's Letter 33. Hooper's Answer and Letter 34. To the End of Book X 35. The Martyrdom of Rogers 36. The Martyrdom of Saunders 37. Saunders' Letters 38. Hooper's Martyrdom 39. Hooper's Letters 40. Rowland Taylor's Martyrdom 41. Becket's Image and other events 42. Miles Coverdale and the Denmark Letters 43. Bonner and Reconciliation 44. Robert Farrar's Martyrdom 45. The Martyrdom of Thomas Tomkins 46. The Martyrdom of Rawlins/Rowland White47. The Martyrdom of Higbed and Causton 48. The Martyrdom of William Hunter 49. The Martyrdom of Pigot, Knight and Laurence 50. Judge Hales 51. The Providential Death of the Parson of Arundel 52. The Martyrdom of John Awcocke 53. The Martyrdom of George Marsh 54. The Letters of George Marsh 55. The Martyrdom of William Flower 56. Mary's False Pregnancy57. The Martyrdom of Cardmaker and Warne 58. John Tooly 59. The Examination of Robert Bromley [nb This is part of the Tooly affair]60. Censorship Proclamation 61. The Martyrdom of Thomas Haukes 62. Letters of Haukes 63. The Martyrdom of Thomas Watts 64. Martyrdom of Osmund, Bamford, Osborne and Chamberlain65. The Martyrdom of Ardley and Simpson 66. The Martyrdom of John Bradford 67. Bradford's Letters 68. William Minge 69. The Martyrdom of John Bland 70. The Martyrdom of Frankesh, Middleton and Sheterden 71. Sheterden's Letters 72. Martyrdom of Carver and Launder 73. Martyrdom of Thomas Iveson 74. John Aleworth 75. Martyrdom of James Abbes 76. Martyrdom of Denley, Newman and Pacingham 77. Examinations of Hall, Wade and Polley 78. Richard Hooke 79. Martyrdom of William Coker, et al 80. Martyrdom of George Tankerfield, et al 81. Martyrdom and Letters of Robert Smith 82. Martyrdom of Harwood and Fust 83. Martyrdom of William Haile 84. Examination of John Newman 85. Martyrdom of Robert Samuel 86. George King, Thomas Leyes and John Wade 87. William Andrew 88. William Allen 89. Martyrdom of Thomas Cobb 90. Martyrdom of Roger Coo 91. Martyrdom of Catmer, Streater, Burwood, Brodbridge, Tutty 92. Martyrdom of Hayward and Goreway 93. Martyrdom and Letters of Robert Glover 94. John and William Glover 95. Cornelius Bungey 96. Martyrdom of Wolsey and Pigot 97. Life and Character of Nicholas Ridley 98. Ridley and Latimer's Conference 99. Ridley's Letters 100. Life of Hugh Latimer 101. Latimer's Letters 102. Ridley and Latimer Re-examined and Executed103. More Letters of Ridley 104. Life and Death of Stephen Gardiner 105. Martyrdom of Webb, Roper and Park 106. William Wiseman 107. Examinations and Martyrdom of John Philpot 108. John Went 109. Isobel Foster 110. Joan Lashford 111. Five Canterbury Martyrs 112. Life and Martyrdom of Cranmer 113. Letters of Cranmer 114. Martyrdom of Agnes Potten and Joan Trunchfield 115. Persecution in Salisbury Maundrell, Coberly and Spicer 116. William Tyms, et al 117. The Norfolk Supplication 118. Letters of Tyms 119. John Hullier's Execution120. John Hullier 121. Christopher Lister and five other martyrs 122. Hugh Lauerocke and John Apprice 123. Katherine Hut, Elizabeth Thacknell, et al 124. Martyrdom of John Harpole and Joan Beach 125. Thomas Drury and Thomas Croker 126. Thomas Spicer, John Deny and Edmund Poole 127. Thomas Rede128. Persecution of Winson and Mendlesam 129. William Slech 130. Avington Read, et al 131. Wood and Miles 132. Adherall and Clement 133. A Merchant's Servant Executed at Leicester 134. Thirteen Burnt at Stratford-le-Bow135. Persecution in Lichfield 136. Hunt, Norrice, Parret 137. Martyrdom of Bernard, Lawson and Foster 138. John Careless 139. Letters of John Careless 140. Martyrdom of Julius Palmer 141. Guernsey Martyrdoms 142. Dungate, Foreman and Tree 143. Martyrdom of Joan Waste 144. Three Men of Bristol145. Martyrdom of Edward Sharpe 146. Four Burnt at Mayfield at Sussex 147. John Horne and a woman 148. Northampton Shoemaker 149. Prisoners Starved at Canterbury 150. More Persecution at Lichfield 151. Exhumations of Bucer and Phagius along with Peter Martyr's Wife152. Pole's Visitation Articles for Kent153. Ten Martyrs Burnt at Canterbury154. The 'Bloody Commission'155. Twenty-two Prisoners from Colchester156. Five Burnt at Smithfield157. Stephen Gratwick and others158. Edmund Allen and other martyrs159. Edmund Allen160. Alice Benden and other martyrs161. Richard Woodman and nine other martyrs162. Ambrose163. The Martyrdom of Simon Miller and Elizabeth Cooper164. Rose Allin and nine other Colchester Martyrs165. John Thurston166. Thomas More167. George Eagles168. Richard Crashfield169. Fryer and George Eagles' sister170. John Kurde171. Cicelye Ormes172. Joyce Lewes173. Rafe Allerton and others174. Agnes Bongeor and Margaret Thurston175. Persecution at Lichfield176. Persecution at Chichester177. Thomas Spurdance178. Hallingdale, Sparrow and Gibson179. John Rough and Margaret Mearing180. Cuthbert Simson181. William Nicholl182. Seaman, Carman and Hudson183. Three at Colchester184. A Royal Proclamation185. Roger Holland and other Islington martyrs186. Richard Yeoman187. John Alcocke188. Alcocke's Epistles189. Thomas Benbridge190. Stephen Cotton and other martyrs191. Alexander Gouch and Alice Driver192. Three at Bury193. The Final Five Martyrs194. William Living195. The King's Brief196. William Browne197. Some Persecuted at Suffolk198. Elizabeth Lawson199. Edward Grew200. The Persecuted of Norfolk201. The Persecuted of Essex202. Thomas Bryce203. The Persecuted in Kent204. The Persecuted in Coventry and the Exiles205. Thomas Parkinson206. The Scourged: Introduction207. Richard Wilmot and Thomas Fairfax208. Thomas Greene209. Bartlett Greene and Cotton210. Steven Cotton's Letter211. Scourging of John Milles212. Scourging of Thomas Hinshaw213. Robert Williams214. Bonner's Beating of Boys215. A Beggar of Salisbury216. John Fetty217. James Harris218. Providences: Introduction219. The Miraculously Preserved220. Christenmas and Wattes221. Simon Grinaeus222. John Glover223. Dabney224. Alexander Wimshurst225. Bosom's wife226. The Delivery of Moyse227. Lady Knevet228. Crosman's wife229. Congregation at Stoke in Suffolk230. Congregation of London231. Robert Cole232. Englishmen at Calais233. John Hunt and Richard White234. Punishments of Persecutors235. Tome 6 Life and Preservation of the Lady Elizabeth236. The Westminster Conference237. Nicholas Burton238. Another Martyrdom in Spain239. Baker and Burgate240. Burges and Hoker241. Justice Nine-Holes242. Back to the Appendix notes243. A Poor Woman of Exeter244. Those Burnt at Bristol: extra material245. Priest's Wife of Exeter246. Gertrude Crockhey
Critical Apparatus for this Page
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1199 [1144]

Actes and Monumentes of the Churche
The communication betvvene Robert Smithe prisoner of Nevvgate, and VVilliam Branche, othervvise Flovver, vpon his facte committed against Iohn Shelton priest, in S. Margarets church so called at VVestminster. 
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Flower's assault posed problems for English protestants. Smith was clearly anxious to establish Flower's orthodoxy to his own satisfaction. Having done so, he then wrote an account of his interview with Flower presumably to reassure fellow protestants of Flower's orthodoxy (and perhaps sanity). Foxe printed the interview for the same reasons.

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R Smith


Commentary on the Glosses  *  Close
William Flower

Flower's mind does not seem to have been entirely balanced, and Foxe's notes seek to steer the reader away from this conclusion to the belief that he was a genuine, if somewhat confused martyr (with a penchant for physically attacking priests). Thus, the gloss which describes him leaving his monastic house says he 'turned his religion', but as the next gloss records that he went on to be a mass priest, one must doubt the assertion; the gloss plants the suggestion that Flower underwent a conversion to the truth when no solid evidence exists for when that occurred: the gloss supplies a generic necessity in a case where empirical proof is lacking. Several of the glosses show that Foxe was keen to play down the violent aspects of the story: Flower's regret at the violence is highlighted and distinguished from regret about his religious principles ('W. Flower repenteth his acte in striking'; 'W. Flower constant in his fayth'), while another gloss asks the reader to bear in mind that Flower later revised his opinion about the violence (with the implication that his regret increased) ('Note that the sayd W. Flower afterward in his next appearaunce, corrected & reformed this aunswere'). Foxe's difficulties with Flower can perhaps be seen most clearly at the gloss 'Extraordinary zeales are no generall rules to be followed': the text it is next to is Flower's slightly confused assertion that God sometimes acts through individuals (which would seem to be a justification for his violent actions) followed by the assertion that he had been willing to suffer before striking the priest; Foxe's gloss notes that extraordinary zeals should not be followed as general rules, which would seem to be a warning to his readers not to do likewise. As such, this gloss marks the limits of the imitation of the martyrs which Foxe makes so much of elsewhere. Indeed, it would seem that Flower's status as a martyr is all that stops the reader seeing him as an unbalanced ruffian with an iconoclastic bent. As often happens, Foxe greets a popish text with some adversarial glosses ('In the latter dayes certayne shall depart frō the fayth, forbidding mariage and eating of meates'; '1. Tim. 4'). Despite his somewhat unconventional route to the stake, the marginal glosses accord Flower the usual honour of emphasising his constancy ('W. Flower refuseth to reuoke his fayth and doctrine'; 'W. Flower standeth to his doctrine'; 'W. Flowers constancie'; 'Cōstancy' [1563]).

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MarginaliaThe talke betwene R. Smith and W. Flower.FRende, for as much as I doe vnderstand that you doe professe the gospell, and also haue so done a long season, I am bold to come vnto you & in the way of cōmunication to demaūd & learn a truth at your own mouth, of certain things by you cōmitted, to the astonishing not only of me but of diuers other that also professe the veritie.

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MarginaliaW.F.I praise god for great goodnes, in shewing me the light of his holy worde: & I geue you harty thankes for your visitatiō: intēding by gods grace to declare all the truth þt ye shall demaūde lawfully of me, in all thinges.

MarginaliaR.S.Then I desire you shew me the truth of your dede, committed on Iohn Shelton priest, in the church, as nere as ye can, that I maye heare of your owne mouth how it was.

MarginaliaW.F.I came from my house at Lambeth, ouer the water, & entring into s. Margarets churche, (so called) and there seyng the people falling down before a most shameful & detestable Idole, 

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I.e., the Host elevated by the priest.

being moued with extreme zealez for my god, whome I saw before my face dishonored, I drew foorth my hāger, 
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A dagger (OED).

& strake þe prieste which ministered the same vnto thē: wherupō I was immediatly apprehēded: & this is most true as þe act is manifest.

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MarginaliaR.S.Did ye not know the person that ye strake, or were ye not zelous vpon him for any euil will, or hatred betwene you at any tyme?

MarginaliaW.F.No verely: I neuer to my knowledge saw the person before þe presēt, nother ought him or any man aliue euill will, or malice: for if he had not had it, another shoulde, if I had any time come where the like occasiō had bene ministred, yf god had permitted me to do it.

MarginaliaR.S.Do ye thinke the thing to be wel done, and after the rule of the gospell?

MarginaliaW.F.I do confesse all flesh to be subiect to the power of almighty god, whom he maketh his ministers to do his wil, and pleasure: as in example Moses Aarō, Phinees, Iosua, Zimrie, Thobie, Iudith Mathathiah 

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These are all examples from the Old Testament of divinely approved violence. See Exodus 2: 11-15; Numbers 25: 6-8; Joshua 6-12; 1 Kings 16: 8-12; 2 Kings 10: 18-28; Judith 13: 4-20 and 1 Maccabees 2: 23-28.

wt many other, not only chaunging degrees, but also plantyng zeales to his honor, against all order and respect of flesh and bloud. For as saith S. Paule, his workes are past finding out,  
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See Romans 11:33.

by whose spirit I haue also geuen my flesh at this present vnto suche order, as it shall please the good will of god to appoint, in deth, which before the facte committed, I loked for.

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MarginaliaR.S.Thinke you it conueninent for me, or any other to do the like by your ensample?

MarginaliaW.F.No verely: neither do I know if it were to do again, whether I could do it againe or no: for I was vp very early at Paules churche (so called) on Christes day in the morning, to haue done it in my ielousie: but when I came in place, I was no more able to do it, thē now to vndo þt is done: and yet now being compelled by the spirit, not only to come ouer the water, & to enter þe church

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but beyng in mynd fully contented to die for the lord, gaue ouer my flesh willingly, without all feare, I praise god: wherfore I cannot learn you to do the like. First for because I know not what is in you. Secondly because the rules of the Gospell commaundeth to suffer with pacience all wronges, and iniuries: yet neuertheles, if he make you worthy that hath made me zelous, ye shall not be letted, iudged, nor condemned: for he doth in his people his vnspeakable workes, in all ages, which no man can comprehend: and I humbly beseche you to iudge the best of the spirite, and condemne not gods doinges: for I can not expresse with my mouth the greate mercies that god hath shewed on me in this thing, which I repent not.

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MarginaliaR.S.Are you not assured to haue death ministred vnto you for the same acte committed, and euen with extremitie?

MarginaliaW.F.I did before the deede committed, adiudge my body to dye for the same: wherupon I caryed about me in writing myne opinion of god, & the holy scriptures: that if it had pleased god to haue geuen them leaue to haue killed my body in the church, they might in the said writing haue sene my hope, which (I praise god) is laid vp safe wtin my brest, notwithstanding any death, þt may be ministred vnto my body in this worlde: being ascertayned of euerlasting life, thorough Iesus Christ our lord: being most hartely sorye for all mine offēses, committed in this flesh, & trusting shortly through his mercy, to cease frō þe same.

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MarginaliaR.S.It is no nede to examine or common wt you of the hope, that ye haue any farther: for I perceiue (god be praised) ye are in good estate, & therfore I beseche god for his mercies, spread his wings ouer you: that as for his loue you haue bene zelos, euē to þe losse of this life, so he may geue you his holy spirit to conducte you out of this deth, into a better life, which I thinke wilbe shortly.

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I hunger for the same (deare frend) being fully a:certained that they can kil but the body which I am assured shall receiue life again euerlasting and se e no more death, entierly desiring you, & al that feare the lord to pray with me to almighty god, to performe the same in me shortly. And thus we departed. I left him in the dongeō and went again to my warde: and this (gentle Reader) is the truth, as nere as I could write it.

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And thus much concerning the talke betwene him and R. S. in Newgate concerning his fact in striking the priest. Now to return again to þe matter of his examination, where we left. We shewed before how this w. Flower after his striking þe priest, first was laid in þe Gatehouse: thē beīg examined before Boner, had articles ministred against him, þe copy wherof here foloweth.

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Articles obiected and ministred by Bonner Bishop of London, against VV. Branche, alias Flovver late of Lambeth in the Countie of Surrie iointly and seuerally as folovveth. 
Commentary  *  Close

The articles alleged against Flower and his answers to them are taken from Bishop Bonner's records, very probably from a court book which is now lost.

FIrste that thou being of lawfull age and discretion, at the least of seuentene yere old, was

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