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732 [676]

Actes and Monumentes Of the Churche.

known to your grace. that forasmuch as I am by the law condempned for an euil doer: Here I take heauen and earth to record, that I shall die in my innocency. And accordinge to that haue said first, and wil say last, I vtterly abhor and detest al heresies. And as concerninge the supper of the Lord, I beleue so much as Christ hath said therin. Which he confirmed with his most blessed bloud. I beleue also so much as he willed me to follow and beleue, and so muche as the catholike church of him doth teach. For I wil not forsake the commaundement of hys holy lippes. But like what God hath charged me with his mouth, that I haue shut vp in my hart, and thus briefly I ende, for lacke of learning Anne Askew.

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¶ The effect of my examination and handling, sence my deqarture frō Newgate.

ON Tuesdaye I was sente from Newgate to the signe of the crown, wheras Master Rich & the bishop of London withal their power and flattering words, went about to perswade me frō God. But I did not esteme their glosing pretences. Thē came there to me Nicolas Shaxton, & councelled me to recante as he had done. Then I said to him, that it had bene good for him, neuer to haue ben born wt many other like words. Them master Riche sent me to the tower, where I remained til iii. a clock 

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Askew is visited by (solicitor-general) Sir Richard Rich of the king's Privy Council and Bonner, the Bishop of London, both of whom try to persuade her to save herself through recantation, as does Nicholas Shaxton, former Bishop of Salisbury, who will preach a sermon of recantation at Askew's execution. Having failed in this effort, Rich sends Askew to the Tower of London, and the story of her infamous and illegal torture begins.

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. Then came Rich and one of the counsell, charging me vpon my obedience, to shew vnto thē, if I knew man or woman of my sect. My aunswer was, that I knew non. Then they asked me of my lady of Suffolk, my lady Sussex, my Lady of Hertford, my Lady Denny & my lady Fizwilliams. I said, if I should pronoūce any thing against them, þt I were not able to proue it. Then said they vnto me, that the king was infourmed, þt I could name, if I would a great nombre of my sect. Then I answered, that the king was as wel deceiued in that behalf, as disembled within other matters. Then cōmaunded they me to shew howe I was maintained in the counter, and who willed me to sticke by my opinion. I sayd that there was no creature that therin did strēghthen me. And as for the helpe that I had in the counter, it was by the meanes of my maid. For as she wēt abrode in the streates, she made mone to the prentises, & they by her did send me monye. But who they were I neuer knew. Then they said, that ther wer diuers gentle womē, that gaue me mony. But I knew not their names. Then they said that there were diuers Ladies, which had sent me mony. I answeared, that there was a man in a blew cote, which deliuered me x. shillings, & said that my lady of Hertford sent it me. And another in a violet coat did geue me viii. shyllings, and said that my lady Denny sent it me. Whether it were true or no, I cannot tel. For I am not sure who sent it me, but as the maiddid say. Then they said, there were of the coūcel that did maintain me. And I said, no. Thē they did put me on the racke, because I cōfessed no ladies or Gentle women to be of my opinion, and theron they kept me a longe time. And because I lay stil & did not cry, my Lord chaūcellour & master Rich, toke paines to racke me with their owne handes, MarginaliaWrisler & Rich racking Anne Askewe.till I was nigh dead. Then the liefetenante caused me to be loused from the rack. Incontinently I swounded, and then they recouered me again. After that I sate ii. long hours reasoning with my Lord chācellor vpon the bare flour, wheras he with many flattering wordes, perswaded me to leaue my opinion. But my lord God (I thanke his euerlasting goodnesse) gaue me grace to perseuer & wil doo (I hope) to the very end. Then was I brought to an house, and laid in a bed with as weary and painfull bones, as euer had pacient Iob I thanke my Lord God therof. Then my Lord Chancellor sent me word if I wold leaue my opinion, I shuld want nothing. If I wold not, I shuld forth to Newgate, & so be burned, I sent him again word, that I wold rather die, than to breake my faith. Thus the Lord open the eies of their blinde hartes, that the truthe may take place. Farewel dere frend, and pray pray, pray 
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Prior to putting Askew on the rack, Rich and 'one of the Counsell' - Thomas Wriothesley, Lord Chancellor of England - questioned Askew about the identity of fellow evangelicals, specifically a number of noblewomen of the queen's court. When Askew fails to provide them with incriminating information about 'Ladies or Gentlewomen' of her 'opinion', she is put on the rack, with Wriothesley and Rich eventually racking her with their own hands until, as she put it, she was 'nigh dead'. Following this ordeal, and more discussion with the Lord Chancellor, Askew confirms her faith and accepts death, concluding this part of her account with a farewell to her reader.

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Anne Askewes answer vnto Ihon Lassels letter.

OH frend most dearly beloued in God I meruell not a little, what shoulde moue you to iudge in me so slender a faith, as to feare death, which is thend of al misery. In the Lord I desyre you, not to beleue of suche wickednes. For I doubt it not, but God wil perform his work in me, like as he hath begon: I vnderstand the councel is not a little displeased: chat it should be reported abrode, that I was racked in the towre 

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It is clear that news of Askew's torture was 'reported abroad', as she claims. Otwell Johnson of London wrote, in a letter to his brother, that Askew had received her judgment of the Lord Chancellor, 'to be burned… the gentlewoman and the other man remain steadfast; and yet', he continues, 'she hath been racked since her condemnation (as men say), which is a strange thing in my understanding. The Lord be merciful to us all' (Otwell Johnson to his Brother John Johnson [London, 2 July 1546], Letters & Papers Foreign and Domestic, of the reign of Henry VIII, ed. James Gairdner and R.H. Brodie [London, 1862 1932], XXI, i, 1180).

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. They say nowe that they did there, was but to feare me, wherby I perceiued, they are ashamed of their vncomelye doinges, and feare much least the kinges maiesty shuld haue information there of. Wherof they would no man to noyse it. Wel, their crueltye God forgeue them. Your hart in Christ Iesu. Farewel and praie.

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I haue red the processe, which is reported of them that know not the truth, to be my recantation. But as sure as the Lorde lyueth. I neuer ment thing les than to recant. Notwithstāding this I confesse, that in my first troubles. I was examined of the bishoppe of London about the sacrament, yet had they no graunt of my mouth, but this: that I beleued there in, as the word of God did binde me to beleue. More had they neuer of me. Then he made a copye which is now in print, and required me to set thervnto my hand. But I refused it. Then my ii. sureties did wil me in no wise to sticke therat. For it was no great matter, they sayde.

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Then wyth much a doo, at the laste I wrote thus: I Anne Askewe do beleue thys, if Gods word do agre to the same, and the true catho-

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