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1156 [1156]

K. Henry. 8. Dauid Straton, Norman Gurlay, in Scotland. Thomas Hardyng, Martyrs.

PersecutersMartyrs.The Causes.

ticke equall with M. Patrike aforesayd: and so hee suffered
death for hys faythfull testimonie of the truth of Christ,
and of hys Gospell, at the Northchurch style of the
Abbaychurch of Saint Andrewe, to the entent that all the
people of Anguishe myght see the fyre, and so myght bee
the more feared from fallyng into the lyke doctrine,
whiche they terme by the name of heresie. Ex Scripto testi-

monio Scotorum.

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MarginaliaIames Hamelton, Katherin Hamelton hys sister.
A wife of Lyeth, persecuted.
Dauid Straton, Norman Gurlay, Martyrs.
Hay By-
shop of
Rose and
sioner of
Iames Be-
ton, Arch-
byshop of
Saint An-
M. Iohn

Iames Ha-
meltō, bro
ther to M.
A Wife of
M. Normā

Within a yeare after the mar-
tyrdome of Henry Forrest, or
there about, was called Iames
Hamelton of Kynlytgowe, his si-
ster Katherine Hamelton the
spouse of the Captaine of Dun-
bar, also an other honest wo-
man of Leith, Dauid Straton of
the house of Lawristonne, and
M. Norman Gurlay. These were
called to the Abbay churche of
Halyrowdhouse in Edenburgh,
by Iames Hay, Byshop of Rose,
Commissioner to Iames Beton
archbishop, in presence of king
Iames the v. of that name: who
vpon the day of their accusatiō
was altogether cladde in red
apparell. Iames Hamelton was
accused as one that mainteined
the opinions of M Patrike, hys
brother. To whom the kyng
gaue counsaile to departe, and
not to appeare: for in case hee
appeared, hee could not helpe
him, because the Byshops had
persuaded him, that the cause
of heresie did in no wise apper-
teine vnto him, and so Iames
fled, and was cōdemned as an
kereticke, and all hys goodes
and landes confiscate, and dis-
posed vnto others.

Katherine Hamelton hys Sister, appeared vppon the
schaffold, & beyng accused of an horrible heresie, to witte,
that her owne workes could not saue her, she graunted
the same, and after longe reasonyng betwene her
and M. Iohn Spens the Lawyer, she concluded in this
maner: worke here, worke there: what kinde of working
MarginaliaA great heresie in the Popes church, that no workes cā saue vs, but the workes of all this? I know perfectly þt no kynde of woorkes can
safe me, but onely the workes of Christ my Lord and Sa
uiour. The kyng hearyng these woordes, turned hym
about and laught, and called her vnto hym and caused
her to recant, because she was hys aunt, and she escaped.
The woman of Leith was detected hereof, that
when the mydwife in tyme of her labour, bad her
MarginaliaA great heresie to saye Christ helpe, and not our Ladye.say, our Lady helpe me: She cryed, Christ helpe me,
Christ helpe me, in whose helpe I trust. She also was
caused to recant, and so escaped, without confiscation of
her goodes, because she was maryed.
Maister Norman Gurlay, for that he said there was no
such thyng as Purgatory, & that the Pope was not a by-
shop, but Antichrist, & had no Iurisdiction in Scotland.
MarginaliaAgaynst Purgatorie.Also Dauid Straton, for that he sayd, there was no Pur
gatorie, but the Passion of Christ, and the tribulations of
this world, and because that, whē M. Robert Lowson Vi-
care of Eglesgrig asked his tieth fishe of him, he did cast
them to him out of the boate, so that some of them fell in-
to the Sea: therfore hee accused him, as one that should
haue sayd, that no tithes should be payed. These two, be-
cause after great sollicitation made by the kyng, they re-
fused to abiure and recant, were therefore condemned by
the Byshop of Rose as heretickes, and were burned vpō
the grene side, betwene Leith & Edenburgh, to the entent
that þe inhabitaūtes of Fiffe, seyng the fyre, might be stric-
kē with terrour and feare, not to fall into the lyke. Ex eo-
dem Scripto.

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¶ And thus much touchyng those Martyrs of Scot-
land, whiche suffered vnder Iames Beton, Archbishop
of S. Andrewes. After whom succeded Dauid Beton
in the same Archbishoprike, vnder whom diuers other
were also martyred as hereafter (God willyng) in
their order shall appeare.

PersecutersMartyrs.The Causes.

Iohn Lōg-
land By-
shop of
Vicare of
great Wic-
kam, the

an aged fa
ther, dwel
lyng at
in Buc-
At Ches-
sham in
in Buc-
an. 1532 
Commentary  *  Close
Lincolnshire martyrs

This section is a somewhat miscellaneous collection of the persecution of various Lollards and evangelicals in the years 1520-32 in the dioceses of Lincoln and London. One of these cases, that of Thomas Harding, a veteran Lollard with local influence (listed among those who had abjured in 1511), resulted in an execution for heresy. Alice Doyly or Cottismere was apparently neither forced to abjure nor punished despite being previously investigated for heresy in the previous decade; undoubtedly she was protected by her wealth and family connections. She had married three times; first to a John Wilmot, the second time to William Cottesmere, a member of an important gentry family and the third time to Thomas Doyly, the head of one of Oxfordshire's most ancient gentry families. By the time of her third marriage her moveable goods alone were estimated at £1000 (Andrew Hope, 'Lollardy: The Stone the Builders Rejected?' in Protestantism and the National Church in Sixteenth Century England, ed., Peter Lake and Maria Dowling [Beckenham, 1987], pp. 8-10).

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Many of the other cases described in this section concern a conventicle held in the house of John Taylor in Speen, Hertfordshire, in 1530. This conventicle was led by evangelicals who had travelled to Germany and met with Luther. Foxe's objectives in printing this material are rather different than those when he printed earlier descriptions of the persecution of heretics. Then he was trying to show that there was a True Church before Luther. Now his concern was to emphasize the innocuous, if not godly, nature of the offences for which people were persecuted, in particular, the reading of the Bible, or religious books, in English.

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Foxe's sources for this material vary. For Thomas Harding, Foxe apparently drew on material sent to him by an informant. For Robert West, Foxe relied on a now lost courtbook of Bishop Cuthbert Tunstal. There is, however, independent corroboration for these episodes (Lincolnshire Archives Office, Register 26, fos. 180v and 205v for Harding and London Metropolitan Archive, DL/C/330, fo. 175v for West). For other cases, Foxe was apparently drawing on a now lost courtbook of Bishop John Longland of Lincoln. As will be seen from various references it is fairly clear that Foxe did not consult Bishop Longaland's register.

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Thomas S. Freeman


Thomas Hardyng dwellyng
at Chesham in the Countie of
Buckyngham, with Alyce hys
wife, was first abiured by Wil-
liā Smith, Bishop of Lyncolne,
an. 1506. with diuers other mo, 
Commentary  *  Close

A Thomas Harding and his wife were listed among those who had abjured in 1511. In 1532, Thomas Harding will be burned for heresy

whiche the same time, for spea-
king against Idolatrie and su-
perstition, were taken and com
pelled, some to beare fagottes,
some were burned in the cheke
with hoate yrons, some condē-
MarginaliaVid. supra. pag. 947.ned to perpetuall prison, some
thrust into monasteries, & spoy
led cleane of all their goods,
some cōpelled to make pilgri-
mage to the great blocke, o-
therwise called, our Lady of
Lyncolne, some to Walsinghā,
some to S. Romulde of Buc-
kyngham, some to the roode of
Wendouer, some to S Iohn
Shorne, &c. of whom mention
is made in the Table before, be
gynnyng, pag. 949.
MarginaliaThomas Hardyng, Martyr.Of this Thomas Hardyng
much rehearsal hath ben made
before, as in the pag. 917. col. 2.
pag. 918. col. 2. lin. 31. pag. 948.
col. 2. lin. 47. pag. 950. col. 1. lin.
18. &c.

First this Thomas Hardyng with Alyce his wife,
being abiured, and enioyned penaunce, with di-
uers other moe, by William Smith, Bishop of Lin-
colne, afterward by the sayd Bishop, was released again
in the yeare of our Lord. 1515. of all such penaūce as was
enioyned hym and his wife at their abiuration, excepte
these iij. Articles folowyng, and were discharged of their
badges or signes of their Fagottes. &c. Onely thys pe-
naunce folowyng þe Byshop cōtinued, Sub pœna relapsus.
First, that neither of them duryng their life, should dwell
out of the parishe of Amersham.
Item, that either of them duryng their lyfe, should fast
bread and ale euery Corpus Christi euen. MarginaliaIt was happy that they were not put to faste bread & water.
Itē, that either of thē should, during their lyues, vpō Cor-
pus Christi day, euery yeare, goe in pilgrimage to Asheryge,
and there make their offerynges, as other people did, but
not to do open penaunce. Also they were licenced by the
sayd Byshop, to do their pilgremage at Asheryge, vpon Cor-
pus Christi euen, or Corpus Christi day, or some other, vpon
any cause reasonable.
This penaunce beyng to them enioyned an. 1515. they
obserued to the yeare. 1522. saue onely in the last yeare,
the foresaid Alice his wife omitted her pilgrimage going
to Asheryge vpon Corpus Christi day. Also the sayd Tho-
mas Hardyng, beyng put to his othe, to detecte other, be-
cause he contrary to his othe dissembled, and did not dis-
close them, was therfore enioyned in penaunce, for his
periurie, to beare vpon his right sleue, both before and be
hynde, a badge or patche of grene cloth or silke embrode-
red like a fagot, duryng his whole lyfe, vnles he should
otherwise be dispensed withall. And thus continued hee
from the yeare. 1522. till the yeare. 1532.
At laste the sayd Hardyng, in the yeare aboue
sayd. 1232. about Easter holydayes, when the other peo-
ple went to the Churche, to commit their wonted Ido-
latrie, tooke his way into the woodes, there solitarily
to worshyp the true liuyng God, in spirite and truth.
MarginaliaThe taking of Thomas Hardyng.Where, as he was occupyed in a booke of English pray-
ers, leaning or sitting vpon a style by the woodes side, it
chaūced that one did espye hym where he was, and came
in great haste to the officers of the towne, declaryng that
he had sene Hardyng in the woodes 
Commentary  *  Close

The following account of Harding's arrest is too detailed and too discursive to have come from official records. It was probably sent to Foxe by an informant, probably by the same informant or informants who supplied with informa-tion on other heretics from the Chilterns (Robert Cosin, William Scrivener, Nicholas Collins, Thomas Man, William Tilesworth and Thomas Chase). Bishop Longland's register confirms that Thomas Harding was excommunicated and turned over to the secular authorities as a relapsed heretic (Lincolnshire Archives Office, Register 26, fos. 180v and 205v).

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lookyng on a booke.
Wherupon immediatlie a rude rable of them, like madde
men, ranne desperatly to his house, to search for bookes,
and in searchyng went so nighe, that vnder the bordes
of his store, they found certeine Englishe bookes
of holy Scripture. 
Commentary  *  Close

Foxe's account should be treated with caution at this point, particularly since there is no corroboration of the charges against Harding or of the circumstances that led to his arrest. Possession of the Bible in English was not a crime, although under certain circumstances it could arouse or confirm suspicion. It is possible that Harding's activities and/or books were less innocuous than his narrative describes.

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Wherupon this godly father with his
bookes, was brought before Iohn Longland, Byshop of
Lincolne, thē lying at Woobourne. Who with his Chap
lens, calling father Hardyng to examinatiō, begā to rea-
son with him, proceding rather with checkes & rebukes,
then with any sound argumētes. Thomas Hardyng seyng
their folly, & rude behauiour, gaue them but few wordes,

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