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939 [939]

as in their afflictions and troubles, these twoo Dukes seamed not muche vnlyke, MarginaliaA comparisō betwene the Duke of Somerset, & Humfrey Duke of glocester so in matters of religion and in discerning truthe from falshode, theire zeale semed not much to differ. Although the lyghte of the Gospell did not so fully then appeare, as in the time of this latter Duke (the Lorde be praysed therefore) yet the wysdome and towardnes of the other Duke also touchyng the same, was not vtterlye vnworthy of his commendation. As for the more manifest profe thereof, I thought here good amongest many other his godly doynges, to recite one example, reported as well by the penne of syr Thomas More, as also by maister William Tyndall, the true Apostle of these oure later dayes, to the entent to see and note, not onely the crafty workyng of false myracles in the clergie, but also that the prudent discretiō of this highe and mightie prince the foresayde Duke Humfrey may geue vs better to vnderstande what man he was. The story lieth thus.

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MarginaliaA false miracle espiedIn the dayes of kyng Henry the vi. beyng at that tyme young and vnder Tutors, this Duke being also then Protector, there came to Saynt Albones a certayne beggar with his wyfe, and there was walkynge aboute the towne begging a fiue or sixe dayes before the kynges comming thether, saying that he was borne blynde and neuer sawe in his lyfe, and was warned in his dreame, that he shold come out of Barwyke, where he sayde he bad euer dwelled, to seke saint Albon, and that he hadde bene at his shrine, and had not been holpen, and therefore he wold go and seke him at some other place. for he had harde some say, synce he came, that saint Albones body should be at Colon, and in dede suche a contention hathe there been. But of truthe as I am surely informed, he lieth here at saint Albones, sauing some reliques of him, whiche they there shewe shrined. But to tell you foorth, whan the kynge was comen, and the towne full, sodainly this blynd man, as saint Albones shryne had his syght againe, and a miracle solemply rongen, and Te Deum songen, so that nothing was talked of in all the towne, but this myracle. So happened it than, that Duke Humfrey of Glocester a very wyse man, and very wel learned, hauing great ioye to see such a miracle, called the pore man vnto him. And first shewing him selfe ioyous of Gods glorie, so shewed in the getting of his sight, and exhorting hym to mekenes, and to none ascribing of any part the worshippe to him self, nor to be proude of the peoples praise, whiche would call him a good and godly man thereby, at last he loked well vpon his eyen, & asked whether he could neuer see nothyng at all, in all his lyfe before. And whan as well his wife as him selfe affirmed fastly no, than he loked aduisedly vpon his eyen agayne, and sayd: I beleue you very wel. for me thinketh that yecan not see well yet. Yes syr, quod he, I thanke God and his holy martyr, I can see nowe as wel as any mā. Ye can (quod the Duke)?what colour is my gowne? Than anone the beggar tolde him. What colour, quod he, is this mans gowne? he tolde him also, and so forth without any sticking. he tolde him the names of all the colours that could be shewed him. And whan my lorde sawe that, he bad him walke faour, and made him be set openly in the stockes. For though he could haue seen sodenly by miracle the differēce betwene diuers colours, yet coulde he not by the sighte so sodenlye tell the names of al these colours: but if he had knowē them before, no mroe than the names of al the men that he should sodenly see.

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Marginalia Humfrey.By this may it be seen howe Duke Humfrey had not onely an head to discerne and disseuer truthe from forged and fained hypocrisie, but study also and diligence likewyse was in him to reforme that whiche was amisse. Wherfore he was the more hatefull to the spiritualtie then, and suche as Winchester was. Finally as this Lorde Protector, Duke of Somerset the kinges vncle, by certayne of the coūsell, was then accused, arreigned and condemned, for the trespas (as it was geuen foorth) of felonie, although I neuer hard he murdered or robbed any: so the other vncle of kynge Henry the vi. was made away, of whose discease thus wryteth Maister William Tyndal in his boke of practise. At the last they foūd the meanes to contriue a drift to bring their matters to passe, and made a parliament, farre from the citezins of London, where was slayne the sayde good Duke, and (as that autor sayeth) the onely wealth of the Realme, and the mightie shylde whiche so long had kept it from sorowe, which shortly after his death fell vpon thē by heapes. But the cronicles (saieth he) can not tel wherfore he died, nor by what meanes. Neuertheles this they testifiee, that he was a vertuous man, godly, and good to the common wealth. 

Commentary  *  Close

Tyndale, Expositions and Notes…with the Practice of Prelates, ed. Henry Walter. Parker Society (Cambridge, 1849), p. 297.

But to leaue Duke Humfrey, and to returne to the maners and properties of the Duke of Somerset, whiche before we were about to describe. Who as he was a gentle and courteous Duke at home, so was he no lesse as fortunate a capitaine in warfare abroade, whiche besyde other thynges is well declared in the expedition against Scotland, vnder his cōduict and guide, where as there were slayne and put to flighte almost x. thousand of the enemies, and as it was said, scarce vi. hundred of his own men lackyng. This one thing was greatly hurtful vnto him, that in condescending to the death of his brother, he followed to rashly the perswasion of certen. for that matter lacked not perchance some singuler fetch and pollicie of some whersoeuer they were, more craftely thē godly disposed persones, as sondrie persones haue

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