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226 [226]

Actes and Monumentes of the church.

and Sir Roger Acton, of a conspiracie & comotion moued against the king, wryting in a maner in this sorte, for to reherse his own wordes it were to long. In the councell sayth he of Cōstance the doctrine of Iohn Wicklief was condēned, & two Bohemiās burned in þe same citie, the whiche thing when it was once notified vnto the residue of their complices here in England. First of all, they armed them selues and conspired against the priestes, and afterward against the kyng hym selfe. They helde many assembles, minding to defend their superstition with the sworde, and within a whyle after a great company of vacaboundes and desperate men, being gathered together vnder the conducte of Sir Iohn Oldecastell, a valiaunt man, but very wicked, and Sir Roger Actone, they ran together vnto London, myndyng if they myght obteyne the citie, to subdue the kyng also. MarginaliaPolidore Virgill reprouid of a lye.But nowe let vs discus howe true this is, and howe credible a wryter Polidorus semed to be: and first of all whether this comotion was begonne after that Hus was burned: and howe the nomber of yeares dothe agree, when as he was burned in the yeare of our Lorde. M.iiii.C.xv. In the moneth of Iuly, in the whiche yeare and moneth, the kynge was occupied in his warres in Fraunce. But in his setting forward towardes the hauen of South Hampton, he taried there in his expedition as Polidore hym selfe doth witnesse, & scarsly retourned vnto London before the Calendes of December, in the whiche moneth comotions and seditions are not accustomed to be moued, and all thinges were then passed with triumphe and supplications thorowout all Englande, as Pollydore him selfe dothe wytnesse. And truly after that expedition ther is no Historiographer whiche maketh mentiō of any conspiracie or comotion made at that tyme, and that it could not be done before, I will easely proue euen by Pollidore him selfe, who saieth that it happened after that Hus was burned. Moreouer where as he saith that this rebellion happened after the death of Hierome of Prage, when as he was burned, the next yeare after Iohn Hus, in the moneth of May. Let Pollidore then forsee by what meanes it could happen vpon the seconde yeare of kyng Henry the fift, whiche was the yeare of our Lorde. M.iiii.C.xv. But now let vs retourne agayne vnto the Captaines of this cōspiracie, Sir Iohn Olde Castell, and Sir Roger Actone, of whome the one he dothe vnworthely call wicked, and falsely imputeth to the other, to be a captaine of that tumulte. When as Sir Roger Actone was burned in the yeare M.iii.C.xiii. In the month of Ianuary, which was two yeare before the counsel was holden at Constance, as Walden and Fabian, in our Crounacles doo witnesse, and Iohn Maior inthe Crounacles of Scotland, by what meanes then could Sir Roger Actone be Captaine in this conspiracie, vnles that peraduenture we would call vp dead mē to put on armure. Furthermore as touching sir Iohn Olde Castell that he was taken in the same flyte and caste into the Tower of London, from whence he escaped agayne by night, it semeth to be of like vntruthe, wherfore it is moste certaine by the consent of all histories, that the Lorde Cobhā was by the space of those foure yeares amōgst the Welshemen out of all bondage and imprisonment. Wherfore it is euident that there was either no conspiracie at all againste the king, or els that it was at some other tyme, or done by other Captaines. And it may be that the greatest occasion of this errour may consist in the wryters of these our daies, the which either haue not exactely kept all thinges, or at the least not rightly distincte them in their tymes. Whereby it semeth the lesse maruell if Pollidorus being a learned man ouer muche fauouring the Popes parte, whose collectour he was sometyme in this Realme, seduced by other mens errours, did erre him selfe or peraduenture added some thing of his own head, as we doo see it often tymes come to passe in such, which bearing great affection vnto some partes, doo either extoll all thinges or abase them for the fauour and good wyll of suche whome they desire to please. But whatsoeuer faute or cause is alledged by the aduersaries, this is without al controuersie that this worthy Noble and vertuous knight Sir Roger Actone, was alwayes of a contrary mynde & opinion to the byshop of Rome, and that kind of people, for the which cause he had great enuie and hatred at their handes, and he coulde as little beare and suffre with them: neyther doo I greatly dissent from them whiche doo suspecte or iudge, that the Lorde Cobham by his frendlie meane and helpe escaped out of the Tower, and that peraduenture was the cause why he was apprehended and brought in trouble, and in the ende came vnto his death. Albeit that during that seueritie & crueltie it was no harde matter to finde out occasion of death, if the deuines or byshops did hate any man or went about to seke his destruction. for wheras it is so prouided by the lawes that the sincere worshipping of Christ is counted for heresie, & an Heretike counted a Traitour. What citezin can in that common wealth liue in sauitie without sinne & wickednes, or be godly without peril and daunger. This sir Roger Acton being thus apprehended, was condemned by the lawe whiche we spake of before, & crouned with the double martyrdom of hanging & burning, likewyse maister Iohn Browne & Iohn Beuerley the preacher, suffred with him the same kinde of death at S. Gyles in the field, in

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