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1218 [1218]

K. Henry. 8. The Martyrdome of John Fryth, and Andrewe Hewet.

such pacience, God geuyng hym strength, that euen as thoughe he had felt no payne in that long torment, hee seemed rather to reioyse for hys felowe, then to be carefull for hym selfe.

This truely is the power and strength of Christ, striuyng and vanquishyng in hys Saintes: who sanctifie vs together with them, and direct vs in all thynges to the glory of his holy name. Amen.

¶ The burnyng of Iohn Frith, and Andrew Hewet.
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John Frith, a highly educated evangelical, had made a significant mark through his writings by the time of his death, aged thirty in 1533. He may already have known Tyndale before he went to the colloquy between Luther and Zwingli at Marburg in 1529 and (as a married man) he took up residence in Antwerp. It was there that he published in 1531 the work that reveals his powers of exegesis and that made him a marked man; his Disputacion of purgatorye. Frith was arrested in England that year, and Foxe tells the tale of how his knowledge of Homer gained his release from the stocks in Reading. But he was arrested and sent to the Tower before he could take ship back to Antwerp. Sentenced for heresies on the eucharist and purgatory, he recorded in prison the articles for which he died at Smithfield on 4 July 1533. It seems to have been a matter of accident, as recounted by Foxe, that Frith shared his fate with a still younger man, Andrew Hewet, a London apprentice of twenty-four who denied transubstantiation, saying he shared Frith's view of the sacrament of the altar. Foxe's illustrator represented a crowded scene in Smithfield, the people being reined back as the fire is prepared, while a friar is giving an admonitory address on the left. Others look on from the windows of shops or houses. This is the instructive moment before the pyre is lit, and the two martyrs pray inside the piled faggots. The woodcut has taken a hint from what Foxe says of Frith's suffering being prolonged by the wind 'which bare away the flame from him unto his fellow that was tied to his back', which prompted him to 'rejoice' for his co-sufferer, rather than think about himself. CUL copy: note that the hats and reins are in a very rich black.

MarginaliaIohn Frith, and Andrew Hewet, Martyr.

The daye before the burning of these worthye men of God, the Byshop of London certified kinge Henrye the eyght of hys worthye, yea rather woluishe proceadyng against these menne: the tenour wherof forasmuch as it procedeth as the other do before, we therfore omitte it, referring the reader to the same.

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¶ Andrewe Hewet burned with Maister Frith.

MarginaliaAndrewe Hewet, Martyr.
ANdrew Hewet borne in Feuersham, in the countye of Kent, a yong man of the age of. xxiiij. yeres 

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These limited biographical details do not appear in the 1563 edition.

, was presentise with one M. Warrē, tailor in Watlingstreete. And as it happened that he went vpon a holye day into Fleetestreete towarde S. Dunstanes, hee met with one William Holt, which was foreman with the kinges tailor at that present, called M. Malte: and beyng suspected by the same Holt (whiche was a dissemblyng wretch) to be one that fauoured the gospell, after a litle talke had with hym, he wente into an honest house about Fleete bridge, whiche was a bokesellers house. MarginaliaAndrewe Hewet apprehended.Then Holt thinking hee had found a good occasion to shew forth some frute of his wickednes, sent for certain officers and searched the house, and finding the same Andrewe, apprehended hym and caryed hym to the Bishops house, where he was cast in irons, and beyng there a good space, by meanes of a certaine honest man he had a file conueied vnto hym, MarginaliaThe man that gaue hym this file, was Valentine Freese the Painters brother, who was afterward with hys wife burned in Yorke.wherwith hee filed of hys irons, and when he spied hys tyme, he got out of the gate. 
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Foxe is suggesting here that William Holt, one of the chancellor's spies, set up Andrew Huet (or Hewet) as part of a seemingly wider scheme to uncover a brethren cell. The story of the Freez family is an interesting side bar to Huet's release. Valentine Freez was the brother of Edward (an apprentice painter), the two sons of Frederick (a book printer of York). Foxe relates the story of Edward's arrest for heresy (c.1529) and his going insane while imprisoned in Lollard's Tower. Valentine evaded capture in London, but was taken by bishop Rowland Lee of Coventry and Lichfield after 1534 (L & P, vii, p.514) later to be executed as a sacramentarian in York, condemned not by the church courts but by the council in the North under the terms of the recent 'Act of Six Articles' - see 'Tudor York: Religion and the Reformation', in A History of the County of York: the City of York (London 1961), pp.142-155, which can be found on-line at

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But being a man vnskilfull to hide him selfe, for lacke of good acquaintaunce hee went into Smithfield, and there mette with one Wythers, which was an hypocrite as Holt was. Which Wythers vnderstanding howe he had eschaped, and that he knewe not whether to go, pretendyng a fayr contenance vnto hym, willed hym to go with hym, promisinge, that he should be prouided for, and so kepte hym in the Country wher he had to do, from low Sonday tyll Whitsontide, and then brought hym to London, to the house of one Ihon Chapmā in Hosier lane beside Smithfeld, and there lefte hym by the space of two dayes.

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MarginaliaIoh. Chapmā.Then he came to the sayde Chapmans house again, and brought Holt with hym. And when they mette with the sayde Andrew, they seemed as though they meant to do him very much good: and Holt for his part sayd, that if he should bring any man in trouble (as the voyce was that he had done the sayde Andrew) it were pitye but that the earthe shold open and swallowe him vp: in so much that they woulde neades sup there that night, and prepared meate of theyre owne charges. MarginaliaW. Holte playeth the Iudas.At night they came and brought certaine geastes with thē, because they would haue þe matter to seeme, as though it had come out by others. When they had supped, they went theyr way, and Holte tooke out of hys purse two groates, and gaue them to the saide Andrew, and embraced him in his armes. 

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Huet must have been rather naïve and Holt and his accomplice played him skilfully. John Chapman was a 'known man' (a member of the Christian Brethren or Lollards) and provided a safe-house/cell near Smithfield. 'Wythers' could be another tailor, Christopher Ravyns of Witham who had previously abjured his radical beliefs.

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MarginaliaIohn Tibauld v. tymes in bandes for Christ.As they were gone out, there came in one Ihon Tibaulde, which was banished from hys owne house by an Iniunction, for hee had bene foure tymes in prison for Christes cause. 
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John Tibald (Tybal) was a Lutheran sympathizer of Steeple Bumpstead in Essex, who had abjured his beliefs before Tunstal in 1528, had been in London since c.1526 when he and his Thomas Hills had come to purchase an English New Testament from Robert Barnes - see J E Oxley, The Reformation in Essex (Manchester, 1965), pp.10-14; Davis, pp.61-2.]. Tybal was not allowed to return to his home by virtue of injunction.

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And wythin an houre after that Holte and Wythers were gone, the Bishoppes Chaūcelour, and one called Sergeaunt Weuer came and brought with them the watch, and searched the house, MarginaliaAndr. Hewet againe taken.where they founde the saide Ihon Chapman and the forenamed Andrew and Ihon Tibaulde, whome they bound with ropes, which Sergeaunte Weuer had brought with him, and so caried them vnto the Bishops house: 
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Stokesley's chancellor and vicar-general was Richard Foxford 'the persecutor and common butcher of good families of God' (BL Lansdowne MS. 979, fols.90,92v & 98). Chapman, Huet and Tibald were captured in possession of heretical books but taken to separate locations.

but Andrew Hewet they sent vnto the Lollardes Tower 
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There were two prison-towers in London at this time, each known as Lollard's Tower. The old water tower at Lambeth Palace had been converted and was often used to hold accused heretics, often in stocks, and the bishop of London's prison within the precincts of St Paul's. Huet was probably taken to the latter.

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, and kepte Chapman and Tibaulde asonder, watched with two priestes seruauntes. The nexte day, Bishop Stokesley came from Fulhā, and after they were examined with a fewe threatning wordes, MarginaliaChapman in the stockes.Chapnam was committed to the stockes with this threat, that he should tell an other tale, or els he shold sytte tyll his heeles dyd droppe from hys arse, and Tibaulde was shutte vp in a close chamber, but by Gods prouision he was wel deliuered out of prison: albeit hee could not enioye his house and land, because of the Bishops Iniunction, but was fain

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to sell
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