Critical Apparatus for this Page
Commentary on the Text
Names and Places on this Page
Unavailable for this Edition
1022 [1021]

K. Henry. 8. The death and Martyrdome of Iohn Tewkesbery. Edward Freese.
MarginaliaWe are not saue by other mens prayers.

we must put our neighbor in remembraunce of his duty, and that we trust not in his holynes. To this he aunswered: take ye it as ye will, I will take it well enough.

MarginaliaAlmes whom and how farre it profiteth. Item, now seest thou what almes meaneth and wherfore it serueth. He that seeketh with his almes, more then to be mercyfull: to be a neighbour, to succour his brothers neede: to do his duty to his brother: to geue his brother that he ought him: the same is blynd & seeth not Christes bloud. Here he aunswereth, that he findeth no fault throughout all the booke, but all the booke is good, and it hath geuen hym great comfort and light to his conscience.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaGod to be serued and worshipped only, as he commaundeth: otherwise not. Item, that ye do nothyng to please God, but that he cōmaunded. To that he aunswereth and thinketh it good, by his truth.

Item, so God is honored on all sides, in that we count him rightuous in all his lawes and ordinaunces. And to worshyp him otherwise then so, it is Idolatry. To that he aunswered that it pleaseth him well.

The examination of these Articles beyng done, the Byshop of London did exhort the sayd Iohn Tewkesbery to recant his errours abouesayd: and after some other communication had by the Byshop with hym, the sayd Byshop dyd exhort hym agayne to recant his errours, and appoynted him to determine with hymselfe agaynst the next Session, what he would do.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaIohn Tewkesberye submitteth himselfe. IN this nexte Session he submitted hymselfe and abiured his opinions and was enioyned penaunce, as followeth, which was the. viij. of May.

In primis, that he should keepe wel his abiuration vnder payne of relaps.

Secondly, that the next Sonday followyng in Paules Church in the open procession, he should cary a Fagot, and stand at Paules Crosse with the same.

That the Wednisday followyng, he should cary the same Fagot about Newgate market and Chepeside.

That on Friday after, he should take the same fagot agayne at S. Peters church in Cornehill, and cary 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 lyfe tyme, vnles he were otherwise dispensed withall.

That on Wytsonday euē he should enter into the Monastery of S. Barthelemew in Smithfield, and there to abyde, and not to come out vnles he were released by the byshop of London.

That he should not depart out of the citie or dioces of Lōdō, without the speciall licence of the B. or his successors. Which penaūce he entred into the. viij. day of May. An. 1529.

And thus much concernyng his first examinatiō, which was in the yeare. 1529. at what tyme he was inforced thorough infirmitie as is before expressed to retract and abiure his doctrine. MarginaliaTewkesbery returned againe to the truth. Notwithstādyng, the same Iohn Tewkesbery, afterward confirmed by the grace of God, and moued by the exāple of Bayfild aforesayd that was burned in Smithfield, did returne and constantly abyde in the testimony of the truth and suffred for the same. Who recoueryng more grace, & better strength at the hand of the Lord, two yeares after beyng apprehended agayne, was brought before Syr Thomas More, and the Bishop of London 

Commentary  *  Close

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 certain Articles were obiected to hym: the chief wherof we intend briefly to recite, for the matter is prolixe. 
Commentary  *  Close

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.

[Back to Top]

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaArticles agayne obiected to Tewkesbery. In primis, that he confesseth that he was baptised, and intendeth to keepe the Catholicke fayth.

Secondly, that he affirmeth that the abiuration, othe, & subscription that hee made before Cutbert late Byshop of London, was done by compulsion. 

Commentary  *  Close

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.

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

Commentary  *  Close

This is a work by William Tyndale.

, and of the wicked Mammon in his custody, and hath read them since his abiuration.

Fourthly, that he affirmeth that he suffered the two Fagots that were embrothered vpon his sleue, to be taken frō him for that he deserued not to weare them.

Fiftly, he sayth that fayth onely iustifieth, which lacketh not charitie.

Sixtly, he sayth that Christ is a sufficient mediatour for vs, and therfore no prayer is to be made vnto any Saintes. Whereupon they layd vnto him this verse of the Antheme, Salue Regina, aduocata nostra. &c. To the which he aūswered, that he knew none other Aduocate but Christ alone.

MarginaliaChrist is our Purgatorye. Seuenthly, he affirmeth that there is no Purgatory after this lyfe, but that Christ our Sauiour is a sufficiēt purgation for vs.

Eightly, he affirmeth that the soules of the faythfull departyng this life, rest with Christ.

Ninthly, he affirmeth þt a priest by receauyng of orders, receaueth more grace, if his fayth be increased, or els not.

Tenthly, and last of all, he beleueth that the Sacrament, of the flesh & bloud of Christ, is not the very body of Christ, in flesh and bloud as it was borne of þe virgin Mary. Wherupon the Byshops Chauncellour asked the sayd Tewkesbery, if he could shew any cause why he should not be taken for an hereticke fallyng into his heresie agayne, and receaue the punishment of an hereticke. Whereunto he answered, that he had wrong before, and if he be condemned now, he rekeneth that he hath wrong agayne.

[Back to Top]

Then the Chaūcellour caused the articles to be read opēly, with the aunsweres vnto the same, the which the sayd Tewkesbery confessed, & thereupon the Byshop pronounced sentence agaynst him, & deliuered him vnto the Shriffes of Lōdō for the tyme being, who were Rich. Greshā, & Edward Altam, who burned him in Smithfield vpō S. Thomas euē, beyng the xx. of December, in the yeare aforesayde the tenour of whose sentence pronounced agaynst hym by the Byshop, doth here ensue word for word.

[Back to Top]

IN the name of God, Amen. 

Commentary  *  Close

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

The deseruynges and circūstaunces of a certaine cause of heretical prauitie, & fallyng agayne thereunto by thee Iohn Tewkesbery of the Parishe of S. Michaels in the Querne, of the Citieof Lōdon, & of our iurisdiction, appearyng before vs sittyng in iudgement, being heard, sene, & vnderstand, & fully discussed by vs Iohn by the sufferaunce of God, Byshop of Lōdon, because we do finde by inquisitiōs manifestly inough, that thou diddest abiure freely & voluntarily before Cutbert, late Byshop of Lōdō thy ordinary, diuers & sondry heresies errours & dānable opinions, contrary to the determination of our mother holy Church, as well speciall, as generall, & that since and beside thy foresaid abiuration, thou art agayne fallen into the same damnable heresies, opiniōs, & errours, (which is greatly to be lamented) & the same doest hold, affirme & beleue: we therfore Iohn the Byshop aforesayd, the name of God first beyng called vpon, & the same only God set before oure eyes, & with the counsell of learned mē assistyng vs in this behalfe (with whō in this cause we haue cōmunicated of our definitiue sentence & finall decree, in this behalfe to be done) do intend to proceede & do procede in this maner. Because as it is aforesayd, we do finde thee, the foresayd Iohn Tewkesbery of our iurisdiction, to be a contēner of the first abiuration, & moreouer, before & after the foresaid first errours, and other damnable opinions, to haue fallen & to be an hereticke fallen, & to haue incurred the payne of such fallen heretickes: we do pronounce determine, declare, & condemne thee of the premisses, to haue incurred the daunger of the great excōmunication, & do pronounce thee to be excōmunicated, & also do declare thee the sayd Tewkesbery so damnably fallē agayne into heresie, to be in the secular power & in their iudgement, (as as the holy Canōs haue decreed) and here we do leaue thee to the foresayd secular power & to their iudgement, beseechyng them earnestly in the bowelles of Iesus Christ, that such seuere punishment and execution as in this behalfe is to be done agaynst thee, MarginaliaIn wordes they pretend moderation, but their doings be clean contrary. may be so moderated, that no rigorous rigour be vsed, but to the health and saluation of thy soule, and to the terrour feare and rootyng out of heretickes and their cōuersion to the Catholicke fayth & vnitie, by this our finall decree, which we declare in these our writynges.

[Back to Top]

This forsayd sentence definitiue agaynst Iohn Tewkesbery was read and pronounced by the Byshop of London, the xvj. day of the moneth of December, the yeare aforesayd, in the house of Syr Thomas More hygh Chauncellour of England, in the Parish of Chelsey. A MarginaliaThe death and Martirdome of Iohn Tewkesbery. fter the which sentence, the Shriffes receaued the foresayd Tewkesbery into their custody, and caryed him away with them, and afterwardes burned him in Smithfield, as is aforesayd, hauyng no writte of the kyng for their warrant. 

Commentary  *  Close

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.

[Back to Top]

[Back to Top]
¶ The apprehension of one Edward Frese, a Paynter. 
Commentary  *  Close

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).

[Back to Top]

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

Commentary  *  Close

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).

[Back to Top]
or by some such occasion, was knowen vnto the Abbot of the same house, for he was a boye of a pregnaunt wytte, and the Abbot fauoured him so much, that he bought his yeares of hys maister, and would haue made him a Monke. And the ladde not lyking that kynde of liuyng, and not knowyng how to get out, because he was a Nouice, ranne away after a lōg space, and came to Colchester in Essex, and remainyng there accordyng to his former vocation, was maryed and liued lyke an honest man. 
Commentary  *  Close

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.

[Back to Top]
After hee had bene there a good tyme, he was hyred to paynt certaine clothes for the newe Inne in Colchester, which is in the middle of the market place, and in the vpper border of the clothes, he wrote certaine sentēces of the Scripture, and by that he was playnly knowen to be one of them which they call heretickes. 
Commentary  *  Close

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).

[Back to Top]

[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