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1481 [1481]

K. Henry. 8. Persecution in Scotland. Tho. Forret, with vij. other Martyrs.

nyng of Englishe bookes. Whiche proclamation bearyng the name of the kynges Maiestie, but beyng the very deede of the Bishoppes, no doubt had done much hurt in the Churche among the godly sorte, bryngyng them either in to great daunger, or els kepyng them in much blyndnes, had not the shortnes of the kynges dayes stopped the malignant purposes of the foresayd Prelates, causing the kyng to leaue that by death vnto the people, whiche by his life he would not graunt. MarginaliaThe death of K. Henry. 8.
An. 1547.
For within 4. monethes after, the proclamation commyng out in August, he deceased in the begynnyng of Ianuary in the xxxviij. yeare of his reigne. an. 1547. leauyng behynde hym three children, who succeded him in his kyngdome, Kyng Edward, Queene Mary, & Queene Elizabeth: of whom it remaineth now to prosecute (by the permission and sufferaunce of Christ our hye Lord and Prince) in the proces of this history, accordyng as the order of there succession, and Actes done by them in the Churche shall require, after that first I shall haue prosecuted certaine other matters by þe way, according to my promise, here to be inserted.

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¶ The history touching the persecutiō in Scotland 
Commentary  *  Close
Scottish martyrs

This is the second of two extended sections in the Acts and Monuments tackling Scottish affairs. Foxe's willingness to extend his scope to Scotland was partly a routine matter of Protestant internationalism, reflecting the cosmic scale of his enterprise. More importantly, it reflected a 'British' idealism common amongst English and Scottish Protestants in the second half of the sixteenth century, an idealism first forged in the shared Anglo-Scottish exile of the 1550s. The first edition of the Acts and Monuments proclaimed on its title page its focus on 'this Realme of England and Scotlande': strictly speaking, a meaningless statement before the union of the crowns in 1603, but an eloquent testimony to the aspiration to see a common British Protestant culture. (See Jane Dawson, 'Anglo-Scottish Protestant culture and integration in sixteenth-century Britain' in Steven G. Ellis and Sarah Barber (eds), Conquest and Union: fashioning a British state, 1485-1725 (New York, 1995).) Subsequent editions also retained Scotland on the title page, despite the relative paucity of Scottish material in the book. As Foxe's friend John Knox acknowledged, Scotland had produced relatively few martyrs.Aside from a short and imprecise account of the martyrdom of Patrick Hamilton, there was only two substantial items of Scottish material in 1563: the long account of Sir John Borthwick's examination (1563, pp. 574-86) and the account of George Wishart's trial (1563, pp. 648-54). In 1570, a flood of new material was introduced and the existing material was entirely reorganised in recognition of this. The Wishart narrative was integrated into this fresh material. The account of Borthwick was dropped entirely, but eventually reintroduced in 1583.The new material is detailed, circumstancial and strikingly accurate, including letters, transcripts of trials and extracts from registers, but (somewhat unusually) Foxe nowhere names his source. He does state (1570, p. 1109) that some at least of the new Scottish material introduced from that edition on was gathered in 1564, but he never went to Scotland in person. Thomas S. Freeman has argued persuasively that all of this material was provided to Foxe by John Winram, the superintendent of Fife who had (before his late but sincere conversion to Protestantism) been subprior of St. Andrews. See Thomas S. Freeman, '"The reik of Maister Patrik Hammyltoun": John Foxe, John Winram and the martyrs of the Scottish Reformation', in The Sixteenth Century Journal vol. 27 (1996), 43-60.Alec Ryrie

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, with the names and causes of such blessed Marytyrs, which in the same countrey suffred for the truth, after the tyme of Patricke Hamelton.

THus hauing finished the tyme and rase of K. Henry the. viij. it remaineth now according to my promise made before, pag. 1410. MarginaliaRead afore pag. 1410. col. to place and adioyne so much as hath come to our handes, touching the persectuion of Scotland, & of the blessed Martyrs of Christ, which in that countrey likewyse suffred for the true religion of Christ, and testimony of their fayth.

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To procede therfore in the history of these Scotland matters, next after the mention of Dauid Straton and M. Nich. Gurlay, MarginaliaRead before pag. 1117.wyth whom we ended before, pag. 1117. the order of time would require next to inferre the memory of Syr Iohn Borthwyke knight, cōmonly called Captaine Borthwyke. MarginaliaSyr iohn Berthwicke knight, cited and cōdemned of heresie being absent, and hys picture burned in Scotland. An. 1540.Who being accused of heresie (as the Papistes call it) and cited therefore an. 1540. and not appearing, and escaping out into other countries, was condemned for the same being absent, by the sentence of Dauid Beaton Archbishop of S. Andrews, and other Prelates of Scotland, and all hys goodes confiscate, and hys picture at last burned in the open market place. &c. But forsomuch as the story of hym, wyth hys articles obiected agaynst him, & hys cōfutatiō of þe same, is already expressed sufficiently in þe former edition of Actes & Monuments, and because he beyng happely deliuered out of their handes, had no more but onely hys picture burned, referryng the Reader to the booke aboue mentioned, we wyll nowe (the Lord wylling) prosecute such other as followed, begynning first in order wyth Thomas Forret and hys felowes. Their story is this.

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Persecuters.Martyrs.Their Causes.

Dauid Be-
ton Byshop
and Cardi-
nall of S. An
Byshop of Dunkelden.

MarginaliaThomas Forret, Priest.Th. Forret,
Fryer Iohn
Fryer Be-
Foster a
vvith iij. or
foure other
men of Stri-

NOt lōg after the burning
of Dauid Straton, and
M. Gurlay aboue mentioned
in þe dayes of Dauid Beaton
Byshop and Cardinall of S.
Andrewes, and George
Treichton Byshop of Dun-
kelden, a cannon of Sainte
Colmes Inche and Vicare of
Dolone called Deane Tho-
mas Forret, preached euery
Sonday to his Parisheners
the Epistle or Gospell, as it
fell for the tyme: whiche then
was a great noueltie in Scot-
land, to see any man preache
excepte a Blacke Frier or a
Gray Frier: and therfore the

Friers enuied hym and accused hym to þe Byshop of Dunkelden (in whose Dioces he remained) as an hereticke and one that shewed the misteries of the Scriptures to the vulgare people in Englishe, to make the Clergie detestable in the sight of the people. MarginaliaGeorge Treichton Byshop of Dūkelden, a persecuter.The Byshop of Dunkelden moued by the Friers instigation, called the sayd Deane Thomas and sayd to hym: My Ioy Deane Thomas, I loue you well, and therefore I must geue you my Counsell howe you shall rule and guide your selfe. To whom Thomas sayd, I thanke your Lordshyp hartely. Then the Byshop began hys Counsaile on this maner:

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MarginaliaTho. Forret preacheth, & wil take no mortuary nor crisome of hys parishioners.
Ergo, he is an hereticke agaynst the Popes Catholicke Church.
My Ioy Deane Thomas, I am informed that you preache the Epistle or Gospell euery Sonday to your Parishners, and that you take not the kow, nor the vpmost cloth from your Parishners, whiche thyng is very preiudicall to the Church men: and therfore my Ioy Deane Thomas I would you toke your kow and your vpmost cloth as other Churche men do, or els it is to much to preache euery Sōday, for in so doyng you may make the people thincke that we should preache likewise. But it is enough for you, when you finde any good Epistle, or any good Gospell, that setteth foorth the libertie of the holy church, to preach that, & let þe rest be.

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Thomas aunswered: my Lord, I thincke that none of my parishners will cōplayne that I take not þe kow nor the vpermost cloth, but wil gladly giue me the same together with any other thyng that they haue, and I will geue and communicate with them any thyng that I haue, and so my Lord we agree right well, and there is no discorde among vs. MarginaliaIt is to much in the Popes Church to preach euery sonday.And where your Lordshyp sayth, it is to much to preach euery Sonday: in deede I thincke it to litle, and also would wishe that your Lordshyp did the like. MarginaliaThe Byshop of Dunkelden was not ordained to preach.Nay, nay, Deane Thomas (sayth my Lord) let that bee, for we are not ordayned to preache. Then sayd Thomas, when your Lordship byddeth me preach when I finde any good Epistle or a good Gospel, truly my Lord I haue read the new Testamēt and the old, and all the Epistles and the Gospels, and among thē all I could neuer finde any euill Epistle or any euil Gospell: but if your Lordshyp will shewe me the good Epistle and the good Gospell, and the euill Epistle and euill Gospell, then I shall preache the good and omitte the euill.

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Then spake my Lord stoutly and said, I thanke God that I neuer knew what the old and new Testament was (and of these wordes rose a Prouerbe whiche is common in Scotland: MarginaliaA prouerbe in are like the Bishop of Dunkelden that knew neither new nor old lawe): therfore Deane Thomas, I will knowe nothyng but my portous and my pontificall. Go your way and let bee all these fātasies: for if you perseuer in these erronious opinions, ye will repent it when you may not mende it.

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Thomas sayd, I trust my cause bee iust, in the presence of God, and therefore I passe not much what do folow thereupon, and so my Lord and he departed at that tyme. And soone after 

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According to different witnesses, the executions took place on 28 February or 1 March 1539.

, a summons was directed from the Cardinall of S. Andrewes and the sayd Byshop of Dunkelden MarginaliaThomas Forret, Fryer
Iohn Delow, Fryer
Duncane Sympson Priest,
Robert Foster gentleman, with iij. or iiij. other of Striueling, Martyrs.
vppon the sayd Deane Thomas Forret, vpō two blacke Friers called Frier Iohn Kelow, and an other called Benarage, and vpō one Priest of Striuelyng called Duncane Sympson, & one gentleman called Robert Foster in Striuelyng, with other iij. or iiij. 
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No other witness records the execution of anyone other than the five persons Foxe names. Cf. John Knox, The Works of John Knox, ed. David Laing, 6 vols (Edinburgh, 1846-64), vol. I pp. 62-3; David Calderwood, The History of the Kirk of Scotland, ed. Thomas Thomson (Edinburgh, 1842), vol. I p. 124.

with them of the Towne of Streuelyng: who at the day of their appearaūce after their summonyng were condemned to the death without any place of recantation, because (as was alledged) they were heresiarkes or chief heretickes and teachers of heresies, & especially because many of them were at the bridall and mariage of a Priest, who was Vicare of Twybodye beside Striuelyng, and did eate fleshe in Lent at the sayd brydall, & so they were altogether burnt vpō the Castle hill of Edenbrough, where they that were first bound to þe stake, godly and meruelously did comfort them that came behinde.

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