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1206 [1206]

K. Henry. 8. The death and Martyrdome of Iohn Tewkesberie. Edward Freese.

cary a fagot, and stand at Paules crosse with the same.

That the Wednisdaye folowing, hee should cary the same fagot about Newgat market and Chepeside.

That on Friday after, he should take the same fagot again at S. Peters Church in Cornehil, & carie it about the market of Leden hall.

That he should haue. ij. signes of fagots embrothered, one on his left sleue, & the other on his right sleue, which he should weare all his life time, vnles he were otherwise dispensed withall.

That on Wytsonday euen he should enter into þe Monasterie of S. Barthelmewe in Smithfield, & there to abide, and not to come out vnles he were released by the Bishop of London.

That he should not depart out of the Citie or dioces of London, without the speciall licence of the Bishop or his successors. Which penance he entred into the. viii. day of May. An. 1529.

And thus much cõcerning his first examinatiõ, which was in the yeare. 1529. at what tyme he was enforced throughe infirmitye as is before expressed to retracte and abiure his doctrine. MarginaliaTewkesbery returned agayn to the truth.Notwithstãding, the same Ihon Teukesberie, afterward confirmed by the grace of God, and moued by the example of Bayfild aforesaid that was burned in Smithfield, did returne & constantly abyde in the testimonye of þe truth and suffred for the same. Who recouering more grace, and better strength at the hãde of the Lord, two yeares after beyng apprehended agayn, was brouht before Syr Thomas More, and the Bishop of Londõ, 

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Tewkesbury was, in fact, tried at More's house at Chelsea, which was unusual, but not illegal. This provided fuel for lurid rumours that More tortured accused heretics at his house.

where certein articles were obiected to hym: the chief wherof we intend briefly to recyte, for that the matter is prolixe. 
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Foxe's sudden desire for brevity is a little suspicious, especially since it contrasts with his diligence in printing documents from Tewkesbury's first heresy trial. Foxe clearly had access to the records of Tewkesbury's second trial, so why didn't he print those? Thomas More, who was present, claimed that Tewkesbury, at his second trial, denied that he had ever held the opinions that he had abjured at his first trial (Thomas More, The Confutation of Tyndale's Answer, ed. Louis A. Schuster, Richard C. Marius, James P. Lusardi and Richard J. Schoeck, CWTM 8 (3 vols, New Haven, CT, 1973), I, p. 21). If Tewkesbury had appeared to be disingenuous, evasive or even deceptive at his trial, then Foxe would have wanted to conceal this.

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MarginaliaArticles agayn obiected to Tewkesbery. In primis, that he confesseth that he was baptised, and intendeth to kepe the catholike faith.

Secondly, that he affirmeth that the abiuration, othe, and subscription that he made before Cutbert late Bishop of London, was done by conpulsion. 

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This is an indication that More was correct and that Tewkesbury had attempted to deny that he had held the beliefs he abjured at his first trial (see preceding comment). Tewkesbury's answer to this article, had Foxe printed it, would have been interesting.

Thyrdly, that he had the bookes of the obedience of a Christian man 

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This is a work by William Tyndale.

, and of the wycked Mammon in his custody, and hath read them synce his abiuration.

Fourthly, that hee affirmeth that he suffered þe two fagotes that were embrothered vpon his sleue, to be taken from him, for that he deserued not to weare them.

Fiftly, he sayeth that fayth onely iustifieth, whiche lacketh not charitie.

Syxtly, he sayth that Christe is a sufficient mediatour for vs, and therefore no prayer is to be made vnto anye Saintes. Wherupõ they laide vnto him this verse of the Antheme, Salue Regina, aduocata nostra. &c. To the which he aunswered, that he knew none other Aduocate but Christ alone.

MarginaliaChrist is our Purgatorye.Seuēthly, he affirmeth that there is no purgatory after this lyfe, but that Christ our Sauiour is a sufficient purgation for vs.

Eightly, he affirmeth that the soules of the faythfull departing this lyfe, reste with Christ.

Nynthly, he affirmeth that a priest by receauing of orders, receaueth more grace, if his faith be increased, or els not.

Tenthly, and last of all, he beleueth that the sacramēt of the flesh and bloud of Christ, is not the verye body of Christ in fleshe and bloude as it was borne of the virgin Mary. Whereupon the Bishoppes chaūcelour asked the sayd Tewkesberie, if he could shewe anye cause why he should not be taken for an heretike falling into his heresie agayne, and receaue the punishement of an heretike. Wherunto he answered, þt he had wrong before, & if he be condemned nowe, he rekeneth þt he hath wrong agayne.

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Then the Chauncelour caused the articles to be read openly, with the aunswers vnto the same, the which the sayd Tewkesberie confessed, and thereupon the Bishop pronounced sentence against him, and deliuered him vnto the shryffes of London for the tyme being, who were Richard Gresham, and Edward Altam, who burned him in Smythfield vpon Saint Thomas euen, being the. xx. daye of December, in the yeare aforesayde, the tenor of whose sentence pronounced agaynst him by the Bishop, doth here ensewe worde for worde.

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IN the name 

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This document must have come from a now lost court book of Bishop John Stokesley of London.

of God, Amen. The deseruinges and circumstances of a certaine cause of heretical prauitie, and falling againe therunto by thee Iohn Tewkesberie of the parishe of S. Michaells in the Querne, of the City of London, and of our iurisdiction, appearing before vs sittyng in iudgement, being heard, seene, and vnderstande, and fullye discussed by vs Iohn by the suffraunce of God, Bishop of London, because we doe finde by inquisitions manifestly enough, that thou diddest abiure frely and voluntarilye before Cutbert, late Bishop of London thy Ordinary, diuerse and sondrye heresies, errours and dampnable opinions, contrary to the determination of oure mother holie Church, as well special, as generall, and that synce and besyde thy foresayd abiuration, thou art agayne fallen into the same dampnable heresies, opinions, and errors, (which is greatly to be lamented) and the same dost holde, affirme and beleue: we therfore Iohn the Bishop afore sayd, the name of God fyrst beyng called vpon, and the same onlye God set before oure eyes, and with the counsell of learned men assisting vs in this behalfe (with whõ in this cause we haue cõmunicated of our definitiue sentence & finall decree, in this behalfe to bee done) do intend to procede & do procede in this maner. Because as it is aforesaid, we do finde thee, the foresaid Iohn Tewkesberie of our iurisdiction, to be a contemner of the fyrst abiuration, and moreouer, before and after the foresayde fyrste errors, and other dampnable opinions, to haue fallen and to be an heretike fallen, & to haue incurred the paine of such fallen heretikes: we do pronounce, determine, declare, and condemne thee of the premisses, to haue incurred the daunger of the great excommunication, and do pronounce thee to be excommunicated, and also do declare thee the sayde Tewkesberie so dampnably fallen agayne into heresie, to be in the secular power and in theyr iudgement, (as as the holy Canons haue decreed) and here we doo leaue thee to the foresayd secular power and to theyr iudgement, besechyng them earnestlye in the bowelles of Iesus Christe, that suche seuere punyshment and execution as in this behalfe is to be done against thee, MarginaliaIn wordes they pretend moderation, but their doinges be clean contrary.maye be so moderated, that no rigorous rigour be vsed, but to the health & saluation of thy soule, and to the terrour feare and rooting oute of heretyckes and theyr conuersion to the catholicke faith and vnitie, by this our finall decree, which we declare in these our writinges.

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This forsayde sentence definitiue agaynste Iohn Tewkesberie was read and pronoūced by the Bishop of London, the. xvj. day of þe moneth of December, the yeare aforesaide, in the house of Syr Thomas More hyghe chauncelour of Englande, in the parish of Chelsey. A MarginaliaThe death and Martyrdome of Ihon Tewkesbery.fter the which sentence, the Shrieffes receaued the forsayde Tewkesberie in theyr custody, and caryed hym awaye with them, and afterwardes burned hym in Smithfielde, as is aforesayd, hauyng no writte of the king for theyr warrant. 

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According to English law, a heretic could only be burned after Chancery sent a writ authorizing the execution. Foxe claims that this did not happen in this case and, as a matter of fact, there is no surviving copy of the signification of excommunication for Tewkesbury. This is hardly conclusive. If, however, the dates Foxe gives for Tewkesbury's trial and execution are correct, then the authorities were certainly in a hurry to execute Tewkesbury; he was burned four days after he was condemned.

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¶ The apprehension of one Edward Frese, a Paynter. 
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It appears that Foxe's account of Edward Freeze and 'father' Bate is based on material sent to Foxe by an informant; very probably an informant in Colchester (this account contains quite a bit of detail on people from Essex and Colchester). But there is quite a bit of corroboration for Foxe's account. First of all, A. G. Dickens uncovered information on Edward Freese's family. Edward's father Frederick was a Dutch immigrant (the family name was probably Vries or de Vries), who settled in York and made a living as a bookbinder and stationer (A. G. Dickens, Lollards and Protestants in the diocese of York 1509-1558 [Oxford, 1959], p. 30). This Dutch background may explain the pronounced evangelical convictions of Valentine and Edward Freese. Another major piece of corroboration is a letter, almost certainly sent to Thomas Cromwell, which is now in the TNA. Although the signature has been cut off of the letter, the biographical details related in it fit Edward Freese so closely that is virtually certain that he wrote it. The author of the letter, detained in London for religious offences, admits that he had been a monk since the age of 13, but claims that he was 'sold' by his master to the abbot of Jervaulx (see next comment). The author of the letter declared that he attempted to flee the abbey several times but was recaptured. Finally he fled to Colchester and he got married (TNA SP 1/73, fos. 175r-176r).

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MarginaliaThe story of Edward Freese.EDward Freese was borne in Yorke, & was prentise to a Paynter in the same Citie, & by the reason of workyng for hys maister in Bearsie Abbay, 

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A. G. Dickens guessed that 'Bearsie Abbey' was Bermondsey (A.G. Dickens, Lollards and Protestants in the diocese of York 1509-1558 [Oxford, 1959], p, 30). But a letter, almost certainly by Edward Freese, refers to himself as having been 'sold' to Jervaulx Abbey by his master, when he was an apprentice. And on 30 July 1532, the abbot of Jervaulx wrote to Cromwell, regarding an 'Edw. Payntter' (remember that Freese was a painter) who had been arrested for heresy and was in the custody of London. In this letter, the abbot said that 'Edw. Payntter' had fled the abbey of Jervaulx but that Jervaulx did not him returned (L&P V, p. 527).

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or by some such occasion, was knowē vnto the Abbot of the same house, for he was a boye of a pregnant wytte, and the Abbot fauoured him so much, that he bought his yeres of hys maister, and woulde haue made hym a monke, And the ladde not lyking that kynde of liuinge, and not knowyng how to gette out, because he was a Nouice, ranne awaye after a longe space, and came to Colchester in Essex, and remayninge there accordinge to hys former vocation, was maryed and liued lyke an honest man. 
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It appears that Foxe's account of Edward Freeze and 'father' Bate is based on material sent to Foxe by an informant; very probably an informant in Colchester (this account contains quite a bit of detail on people from Essex and Colchester). But there is quite a bit of corroboration for Foxe's account.

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After hee had bene there a good tyme, hee was hyred to paynt certaine clothes for the newe Inne in Colchester, which is in the middle of the market place, & in the vpper border of the clothes, he wrote certaine sentences of the Scripture, and by that he was plainly knowen to be one of them whiche they call heretickes. 
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Unsurprisingly, there was probably more behind Freese's arrest than this. In a letter that he sent to Cromwell, he admitted having previously arrested for heresy, but released upon receipt of a royal pardon. Freese also denied the charge the he had led conventicles that met secretly at night (TNA SP 1/73, fo. 175r-v).

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MarginaliaChrist is our Purgatorye.And on a tyme he beyng at hys worke in þe same Inne, they of the towne, whē they had sene his worke, went aboute to take hym, and hee hauyng some inclyng therof, thought to shift for hym selfe, but yet hee was taken forcebly in the yarde of the same Inne, and after

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