Thematic Divisions in Book 12
1. Exhumations of Bucer and Phagius along with Peter Martyr's Wife2. Pole's Visitation Articles for Kent3. Ten Martyrs Burnt at Canterbury4. The 'Bloody Commission'5. Twenty-two Prisoners from Colchester6. Five Burnt at Smithfield7. Stephen Gratwick and others8. Edmund Allen and other martyrs9. Alice Benden and other martyrs10. Examinations of Matthew Plaise11. Richard Woodman and nine other martyrs12. Ambrose13. Richard Lush14. Edmund Allen15. The Martyrdom of Simon Miller and Elizabeth Cooper16. Rose Allin and nine other Colchester Martyrs17. John Thurston18. George Eagles19. Richard Crashfield20. Fryer and George Eagles' sister21. Joyce Lewes22. Rafe Allerton and others23. Agnes Bongeor and Margaret Thurston24. John Kurde25. John Noyes26. Cicelye Ormes27. Persecution at Lichfield28. Persecution at Chichester29. Thomas Spurdance30. Hallingdale, Sparrow and Gibson31. John Rough and Margaret Mearing32. Cuthbert Simson33. William Nicholl34. Seaman, Carman and Hudson35. Three at Colchester36. A Royal Proclamation37. Roger Holland and other Islington martyrs38. Stephen Cotton and other martyrs39. Scourging of Thomas Hinshaw40. Scourging of John Milles41. Richard Yeoman42. John Alcocke43. Thomas Benbridge44. Four at St Edmondsbury45. Alexander Gouch and Alice Driver46. Three at Bury47. A Poor Woman of Exeter48. Priest's Wife of Exeter49. The Final Five Martyrs50. John Hunt and Richard White51. John Fetty52. Nicholas Burton53. John Fronton54. Another Martyrdom in Spain55. Baker and Burgate56. Burges and Hoker57. The Scourged: Introduction58. Richard Wilmot and Thomas Fairfax59. Thomas Greene60. Bartlett Greene and Cotton61. Steven Cotton's Letter62. James Harris63. Robert Williams64. Bonner's Beating of Boys65. A Beggar of Salisbury66. Providences: Introduction67. William Living68. The Miraculously Preserved69. Edward Grew70. William Browne71. Elizabeth Young72. Elizabeth Lawson73. Christenmas and Wattes74. John Glover75. Dabney76. Alexander Wimshurst77. Bosom's wife78. Lady Knevet79. John Davis80. Anne Lacy81. Crosman's wife82. Congregation at Stoke in Suffolk83. Congregation of London84. Englishmen at Calais85. Edward Benet86. Jeffrey Hurst87. William Wood88. Simon Grinaeus89. The Duchess of Suffolk90. Thomas Horton 91. Thomas Sprat92. John Cornet93. Thomas Bryce94. Gertrude Crockhey95. William Mauldon96. Robert Horneby97. Mistress Sandes98. Tome 6 Life and Preservation of the Lady Elizabeth99. The Unprosperous Queen Mary100. Punishments of Persecutors101. Foreign Examples102. A Letter to Henry II of France103. The Death of Henry II and others104. Admonition to the Reader
Critical Apparatus for this Page
Commentary on the TextCommentary on the Woodcuts
Names and Places on this Page
Unavailable for this Edition
2269 [2229]

Queene Mary. The cruell racking of Cutbert Simson, Martyr.

Marginalia1558. March.bert, ye are welcome, for I haue bene sore troubled with you this night, and so told hym hys dreame. After he had so done, he wylled hym to lay the booke away frō hym, and to cary it no more about hym. Vnto which Cutbert aunswered, he would not so do: for dreames he sayd, were but phantasies, and not to be credited. Then master Rough straightly charged hym in the name of the Lord to do it. Whereupon the sayd Cutbert tooke such notes out of the booke as he had wylled hym to do, and immediatly left the booke wyth Master Roughes wife.

[Back to Top]

The next day folowing, in the night, the sayd Master

Rowgh had an other dreame in his sleepe concerning his owne trouble. The maner wherof was this. Hee thought in his dreame that he was caried him selfe forceably to the Bishop, & that the Bishop pluckt of his beard, and cast it into the fire, saying these wordes: Now I may say I haue had a peece of an hereticke burnt in my house, and so according it came to passe.

[Back to Top]

Now to returne to Cutbert agayne, as we haue touched something cōcerning these visions, so now remaineth to story also of his paines and suffringes vpon the racke and otherwise like a good Laurence for the congregations sake, as he wrote it with his owne hād. 

Commentary  *  Close

Note Foxe's insistence on the authenticity of his information. The phrase was added in the 1570 edition, perhaps to fend off attacks on the accuracy of his account of the torturing of Simpson.

A true description of the racking and cruell handling of Cutbert Simson in the Tower.
woodcut [View a larger version]
Commentary on the Woodcuts  *  Close
The very explicit detail of Cuthbert Simpson's 'cruel handling' in the Tower, shows conventional torture being used to test the accused. The woodcut, with its inset captions, is anxious to emphasise the veracity of what is presented. In the foreground two men are straining the ropes of the instrument which could dislocate joints, the rack, which had been used in the Tower over a century earlier (and which enjoyed various nicknames). The labelled insets of other kinds of torture make this illustration comparable to the huge woodcut the Ten Persecutions of the Primitive Church, whose varied annotated sufferings of early church martyrs were seen by Foxe as patterns for the martyrs of his own day. Foxe's text, putting praise for Simpson's endurance of his racking into the mouth of Bonner himself, indicates that the bishop had witnessed this 'patience' in person, through the 'sorrow' inflicted in his episcopal residence.

¶ A true report how I was vsed in the Tower of London, being sent thether by the Counsell the xiij. day of December. 
Commentary  *  Close

This letter was printed in all editions of the Acts and Monuments and in Letters of the Martyrs, pp. 686-87 as well. Note that the gloss accompanying the letter in the 1563 edition indicates that this letter was sent to English protestants on the Continent.

MarginaliaA Letter of Cutbert Simson to certayne of hys frendes.ON the thursday, after I was called vnto the warehouse, before the Constable of the Tower and the Recorder of Lōdon M. Cholmley, they commaunded me to tell them whom I did will to come to the english seruice. I answered I would declare nothing. Wherupon I was set in a racke of iron, the space of three howers, as I iudged. Then they asked me if I would tell them. I answered as before. Then was I losed & caried to my lodging agayne. On the sonday after, I was brought into the same place agayne before the Lieuetenaunt and the Recorder of London, and they examined me. As before I had sayd, I aunswered. Then the Lieutenant did sweare by God I should tel. Then did they binde my two forefingers together, and put a small arrow betwixt them, and drew it through so fast that the bloud followed, and the arrow brake. Then they racked me twise. Then I was caried to my lodging agayne: and x. dayes after the Lieutenaunt asked me if I would not confesse that which before they had asked me. I sayd I had sayd as much as I would. Then v. weekes after, he sent me vnto the high priest, where I was greatly assaulted, and at whose hand I receaued the Popes curse for bearing witnes of the resurrection of Iesus Christ. And thus I commend

[Back to Top]

you vnto God, and to the word of his grace, with all them that vnfaynedly call vpon the name of Iesus, desiring God of his endles mercy, through the merites of his deare sonne Iesus Christ, to bring vs all to his euerlasting kingdome, Amen. I prayse god for his great mercy shewed vpō vs. Sing Osanna vnto the highest with me Cutbert Simson. God forgeue me my sinnes. I aske all the world forgeuenes, and I doo forgeue all the world, and thus I leaue this world in hope of a ioyfull resurrection.

[Back to Top]

If any be disposed to see the depositions which the cruell Papistes did extort out of poore and ignoraunt people by force of theyr othe, to complayne of theyr innocent & harmeles neighbours, as here they do by tormentes, let him resort to our former booke, pag. 1632.

¶ A note for Cutbert Simsons pacience.

MarginaliaA note of Cutbert Simson.NOw as touching this Cutb. Simson, this further is to be noted, þt Boner in his Cōsistory speaking of Cutbert Simson, gaue this testimony of him there to the people, saying: ye see this man (sayth he) what a personable man he is: and after he had thus commended his person, added moreouer: MarginaliaThe paciēce of Cutbert Simson.And furthermore cōcerning his pacience, I say vnto you, that if he were not an hereticke, he is a man of the greatest pacience that yet euer came before me. For I tell you, he hath bene thrise racked vpon one day in the Tower: Also in

[Back to Top]
Go To Modern Page No:  
Click on this link to switch between the Modern pagination for this edition and Foxe's original pagination when searching for a page number. Note that the pagination displayed in the transcription is the modern pagination with Foxe's original pagination in square brackets.
Type a keyword and then restrict it to a particular edition using the dropdown menu. You can search for single words or phrases. When searching for single words, the search engine automatically imposes a wildcard at the end of the keyword in order to retrieve both whole and part words. For example, a search for "queen" will retrieve "queen", "queene" and "queenes" etc.
Humanities Research Institute  *  HRI Online  *  Feedback
Version 2.0 © 2011 The University of Sheffield