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194 [126]

Actes and Monuments Of Martyrs.

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Commentary on the Woodcuts  *  Close
William Sawtry, a priest, was important for Foxe's narrative as the first Wycliffite martyr to be burned at the stake after the passage of the statute De heretico comburendo in 1401. He was accordingly given significant pictorial presence, but it proved problematical. The striking image of a youthful looking man chained to the stake in a ferociously flaming fire that encircles his torso, with flaring hair, outstretched hands, belonged to a small group of woodcuts used in the first edition that proved difficult to accommodate. (See introductory note on the format of the A&M) They shared certain features, including the winding bandaroles: Sawtry's reads 'Jesu have mercy'; words that were changed when this block was reused for Thomas of Rennes in 1563, but reinstated for illustrating Sawtry once more in 1570. The Sawtry block was twice cut down in an effort to make it fit better on the page. In the first edition it lost the left side of its frame but even so jutted awkwardly into the margin. In 1570 it was cut back on the right side, but still took too much space. So in 1576 the block was jettisoned and Sawtry was then and in 1583 represented by one of the small cuts that had been added in 1570, which in that edition illustrated the burning of Rawlins White. This might seem unsuitable, since Sawtry was unlikely to have been an 'old man' though the choice could perhaps have been a mark of respect. The striking earlier image of Sawtry lived on, and had an afterlife adorning an early seventeenth-century ballad. The words attributed to Sawtry in the bandarole cannot, given his resolute stand, signal a change of heart, as John Badby's similar call was taken to be (see following woodcut). CUL copy and WREN copy: A startling use of yellow and orange for the flames; a very vivid depiction. Note also the attention to shading of the stake and of Sawtre's body. The banderole is edged with a pinkish purple shading its tips. There are additional spatters of orange on his right arm and torso, which go beyond colouring in of the detail in the illustration.

attached of Heresy condemned for seuen articles disgraded and burned by the commaundement of the kyng. Who gaue out a terrible decree against him, and sent it vnto the Mayre & Shiriffes of London, to be put in execution. The tenour whereof here ensueth.

The Latine Copy.

MarginaliaDecretum regis contra Sautreum.DEcretum Domini regis & eiusdem consilii in parliamēto contra quendam nouellū hereticum.

Maiori & vic. Lōdo. &c. Cum venerabilis pater Thomas Archiepiscopus Cantuariensis, totius Angliæ primas & Apostolicæ sedis legatus de cōsensu & assensu ac consilio coepiscoporū & confratrum suffraganiorum suorū, nec non & totius cleri prouinciæ suæ in concilio suo prouinciali cōgregati. Iuris ordine requisito in hac parte in omnibus obseruato, Gwilhelmum Sawtree, aliquādo capellanū in heresim dampnatum & per ipsum per antea in forma iuris abiuratū& ipsum Guilhelmum in heresim predictam relapsum per sententiam suam difinitiuam hereticum manifestum pronunciauerit ac degradandum fore decreuerit, ab omni prerogatiua & priuilegio clericali ea de causa realiter degradanerit, ipsum q; Giulhelmum foro seculari relinquendum esse decreuerit, & realiter relinquit inxta leges & canonicas sanctiones qitas in hac parte, ac sancta mater ecclesia non habeat vlterius quid facere in premissis. Nos igitur zelator religionis & fidei catholicæ cultor volēs ecclesiā sanctam & iura & libertates eiusdē manutenere & defendere, & huiusmodi hereses & errores de regno nostro Anglie radicitus quam in nobis est extirpare, ac hereticos seu conuictos animaduersione cōdigna puntre attēdente quod huiusmodi hereticos in forma predcta conuictos & damnatos iuxta legem diuinam & humanam canonica instituta, & in hac parte cōsuetudinaria iguis incendio comburi debere. Vobis districtius quo poterimus mandamus firmiter iniungētes quatenus prefatū Guilhelmū in custodia vestra existentē in aliquo loco publico & aperto iufra libertates ciuitatis pædictæ causa premissa, coram populo publicata igni comitti ac ipsum in eodem igne realiter comburi faciatis in huius criminis detestationē, aliorum christianorum exemplum manifestum, & hoc sub periculo incumbente nullatenus omittatis. Datū apud V Vest.

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¶ The copy of the same in Englishe.

MarginaliaThe cruel decre of the king agaīst Sautrey.THe decree of oure souerainge Lorde the king and his Counsell in the parliament, against a certen new sprong vp Heretike. To the Maiour and Sherifes of London &c. Where as the reuerent father Thomas Archebishop of Caunterbury, primate of all Englande, and Legate of the Apostolike sea, by the assent, consent, and counsell of other byshopes, & his brethren suffragātes, and also of all the whole Clergie within his prouince or dioces, gathered together in his prouinciall coūsel, the dewe order of the lawe being obserued, in all pointes in this behalfe, hath pronounceth and declared by his definitiue sentence, William Sautrey sometyme Chapplayne, to bee fallen againe into a moste damnable heresy, the whiche before tyme the said William had abiured, therupon to bee a

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