Critical Apparatus for this Page
Commentary on the Text
Names and Places on this Page
Unavailable for this Edition
586 [586]

K. Richard. 2. The story of W. Swinderby.

and Mysaell, he sayes, wern deliueret thoore thrugh true belife out of the hot flame of fire. True, Daniell in hys simplenes was deliueret frō the Lions mouth. MarginaliaDaniel. 14.Bithinke ye therfore, he sais, by generation and generation, and thou shalt neuer finde that he failed that mā that truely trusted in hym. And therfore drede you nought, he saies, of the wordes of a sinfull man: his glory is, he saies, but wormes and tordes: he is to day, he sayth, y made hie, to morow he sais he is not foundē for he is turned, he sais, into hys earth againe, and the minde of him is perishet. Sonnes therfore, he saies, be ye confortet, and die manly in the law: for whē ye han done that þt God cōmaunds you to do, ye shulen be glorious in him. And Dauid the king sayes also on this wise in the Psalter booke: blesset be they (Lord) that kepē thy lawe, in worlds of worldes they shall prayse thee. MarginaliaPsal. 119.And in Leuiticus saies God thus, gif that ye wenden in myne hestes and kepen my commaundementes, and done hem, I shall bring forth their fruit, & trees shal be fulfilled with apples. And ye shallen eate your bread in fulnes, ye shouln dwell in your lande without drede, I shall geue peace in your costes, ye shall sleepe and no man shall feare you. Euill beastes I shall done awaye from you, and sworde shall not passe your termes, ye shuln pursue your enemies, & they shall fall before you, fiftie of yours shulne pursue an hundreth of heren, an hundret of yours, a thousād of theirs: your enemies, he saith, shulen fall through sword, and your sute. I shall he sayes beholde you and make you to waxe, and ye shalbe multipliet: And I shall strength with you my couenaunt, ye shall eate the aldest, & the new shull come in theron. And ye shuln caste forth the olde, I shall dwell in the middest of you. And I shall wende amonges you, and shalbe your God, and ye shuln be my people. If that ye heare me not, ne done noght all my hestes but dispise my law & my domes, & that ye done not tho things þt of me ben ordenet, and breken my commaundements and my couenaunt: I shall do these things to you. I shall visite you surely in nede and brenning, which shall dimme your eghenen, and shall waste your liues about noght: Ye shulne sowe your sede for hit shalbe deuouret of enemies, I shall put my face against you, and ye shall fall before your enemies. And ye shulen be vnderlinges to them that han hatet you, ye shall flee, no man pursuing. And if ye will not be buxome to me, I shal adde therunto thornes & seuen fold blame. And I shal all to brast the hardines of you, I shall geue the heauen aboue you as yron, and the earth as brasse. About nought shall your labour be, for the earth shall bring you forthe no fruite, ne tree shall geue none appels to you. If that ye wenden against me, and will not heare me, I shal ad hereto, seuen fold woundes for your sinnes, I shal send amōgst you beastes of the fielde that shal deuour you and your beastes, I shall bring you into a fielde, and waies shuln be desart. And if that ye will not receaue lore, but wenden against me, I wyll also wenden against you, and I shal smite you seuen sithes for your sinnes. I shall leade in vpon you, sword, venger of my couenant: and vpō the fleen into cities, I shal sende pestilence in the myddest of you. So that. x. women shoulde bake their breade in one furnace, and yeld them agayne by waight, and ye shall eate, and not be fillet. If that ye heare me not by these thinges, but wenden againste me, I shall wende in against you in a contrary woodnes, and blame you with seuen plages for your sinnes, so that they shoulen eate the flesh of your sonnes and of your daughters. And in so much my soule shall lothe you, that I shal bring your Cities into wyldernes, and your Sanctuaries I shall make desart, ne I shall not ouer that receiue swete oder of your mouth. And I shall disperple your land, and enemies shulen maruell thereon, when they shulen inhabite it, I shal disperpel you among Heathen, and drawe my sword after you. MarginaliaLeuit. 26. These vengeaunces & manye mo, Godsayd should fall on them that breaken his bidding, and despiseth hys lawes, and his domes. Than sithe Christ become man, and bought vs with hys hart bloode, and has shewed vs so great loue, and geuen vs an easy law, of the best that euer might be made, and to bring vs to the ioy of heauē, and we despise it and louen it nought: what vengeaunce will be taken here on, so long as he has suffered vs, and so mercifullye abidden, when he shall come that righteous iudge in the cloudes to deme this world? Therfore turne we vs to him, and leaue sin that he hates: and ouer all thing, maintain his law that he confirmed with his death. For other lawes that men had made, should be demed at that day by the iust lawe of Christ, and the maker that them made, and then we wonne that long lyfe and that ioy, that Paule speaketh of, that eye ne saw not, ne eare hearde not, ne into mans hart ascended not, the blysse and ioye that God hath ordained to them that louen him and hys lawes.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaThe faithfull request of W. Swinderby.Deare worshipfull sirs in this worlde I beseche you for Christes loue, as ye that I trowe louen Gods lawe and trouth (that in these daies is greatly borne a back) þt thei wolne vouchsafe these things that I send you written to Gods worship, to let them be shewed in the Parliament as your wittes can best conceaue, to most worship to our God, and to shewing of the trouth and amēding of holy church. My conclusions and myne appeale and other true matters of Gods law (gif any man can finde therin errour, falsenes, or default, prouet by þe law of Christ, clerely to christenmens knowledge) I shall reuoke my wronge conceit, and by gods law be amendet: euer ready to holde with Gods law openlye and priuely with Gods grace, and nothing to holde, teach, or maintaine that is contrary to his lawe.

[Back to Top]

Of the proces, aunsweres, and condemnatiō of this worthy priest and true seruaunt of Christ Williā Swinderby, you haue hard. What afterward became vpon him, I haue not certeinly to say or affirme, whether he in prison died, or whether he escaped their hādes, or whether he was burned, ther is no certen relatiō made. This remaineth out of doubt, that during þe time of this kyng Richard 2. no great harme was done vnto him. Whiche was to þe yeare. 1401. at what tyme kyng Richard being wronfully deposed 

Commentary  *  Close

The equivalent passage in the 1563 edition is much more neutral; by 1570 Foxe was ready to denounce Henry IV as a usurper.

, Henry the 4. inuaded the kyngdome of England. About the begynning of whose reigne, we read of a certaine parliamente holden at London, mentioned also of Thomas Waldē, (as is aboue specified) in which parlamēt it was decreed: that who soeuer shewed them selues to be fauourers of Wickleffe, they should be apprehēded, who at that tyme were called Lollards, & if so be thei did obstinatly perseuer in þt doctrine, they shuld bee deliuered ouer vnto the B. of the dioces, & from him should be cōmitted to the correction of the secular magistrate. This law (saith þe story) 
Commentary  *  Close

This 'old storie' was College of Arms Arundel MS 7, a version of Thomas Walsingham's Chronica Majora. See Historia Anglicana, ed. H. T. Riley, 2 vols., Rolls Series 28 (London, 1863-4), II, p. 247. Foxe's speculation that this unnamed figure, burned at Smithfiels in 1401, was Swinderby was unfounded.

[Back to Top]
brought a certen priest vnto punishment þe same yeare, who was burned in Smithfield, in the presence of a greate nomber. This wee haue drawen out of a piece of an olde story, and it is most certayne that there such a priest was burned for the affirmation of þe true fayth, but it doth not apeare by þe story, what this priestes name was. Notwithstandyng, by diuers coniectures it appeareth vnto me, þt his name was this Swynderby, that was forced to recant before, by þe Bishop of Lincolne. Wherby what is to be coniectured by the premisses, let other men iudge what they thinke, I haue nothing hereof expresly to affirme. This is plain, for all men to iudge (whiche haue here seen and read hys story) that if he were burned, then the Byshops, Friers and priestes, which were the causers thereof, haue a great thyng to aunswere to the Lord, when he shall come to iudge the quicke and the dead, & seculum per ignem.

[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