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1198 [1197]

K. Henry. 8. Richard Mekins, Spenser, Ramsey, and Hewet, Martyrs.

MarginaliaRich. Mekins presented by Boner. were. And at the ende of hys charge he brought forth to the barre a boy, whose name was Mekins, declarynge how greuously he had offended by speaking of certayne wordes agaynst the state, and of the death of D. Barnes: and produced into the sayd court two witnesses, which were there sworne in the face of the court. So a day was assigned, vpō which the Iuries aforesayd should geue vp their verdicte: at which day both the Commissioners, & the sayde Iuries met at Guilde hall aforesayd. Then the Clarke of þe peace called on the Iuries by their names, and when their appearance was taken, Boner bad them put in their presentmentes. MarginaliaW. Robyns Iurer. Then sayd the foreman, whose name was W. Robins of that Iurie. My Lord (with a low curtesie) we haue found nothyng. At which wordes he fared as one in an agonie, and sayd: Nothing? haue ye found nothing? What nothyng? By the fayth I owe to God (quoth he) to the foreman, I would trust you vpon your obligation: but by your oth I will trust you nothing. Then sayd some of the Commissioners: My Lord, geue them a longer day. No (quoth he) in Lōdon they euer finde nothyng. I pray you, what say you to Mekins? My Lord, quoth the foreman, we can say nothing to him, for we finde the witnesses to disagree. One affirmeth that he should say the sacrament was nothing but a ceremonie, and the other nothyng but a significatiō. Why, quod Boner, did he not say, that Barnes died holy? Then pausing a while, he bad call þe other Iury. Put in your verdicte, quod he. My Lord said one, we haue found nothing. Iesus quoth he, is not this a straunge case.

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MarginaliaRafe Foxley Iurer. Then spake one of the same Iury, whose name was Raph Foxley, and sayd: My L. when you gaue vs charge, we desired to haue the Persons and Curates of euery parishe to geue vs instrucions, and it was denyed vs. Then stoode vp the Recorder MarginaliaThis Recorder was syr Rog. Chomley. and sayd, it was true in deede that he had spoken, and therwithall saide, this last yeare were charged two Iuries, which did many thinges naughtely and foolishly, and did, as much as in them lay, to make an vprore among the kinges people, & therefore it was thought not meete, that they should geue information to you. Nay, nay, quoth Boner, this was the cause: If the Person or Curate should geue information according to his knowledge, then what wil they say? MarginaliaAgainst Popishe Priestes of London. I must tell my confession to a knaue priest, and he shall go by and by and open it. What, sayd my Lord Maior, there is no man (I trow) that will say so. Yes by my trouth, quoth Boner, knaue Priest, knaue Priest. Then sayde the Lord Maior, somewhat smiling, there be some of them slipper fellowes, and as men finde them, so will they oft tymes report. Boner not well contēted with those wordes, sayd to the Iurie: My maisters, what say you to Mekins? They aunswered, the witnesses doe not agree, therefore we do not allow them. MarginaliaBoner calleth vpon the condemnation of Mekins. Why quod Boner, this court hath allowed them. Thē sayd one of the Iurie to the Recorder: Is it sufficient for our discharge, if this court do alow them? Yea sayde the Recorder, it is sufficiēt, & sayd: Go you aside together a while, & bring in your verdicte. After the Iury had talked together a litle while, they returned to the bar againe with their inditement, which at Boners hand was frendly receaued: so both they and the other Iurie were discharged, & bidden take their ease. Thus ended the court for that day. Shortly after they sat for life and death. MarginaliaMekins brought to the barre. Mekins beyng brought to the barre, and the inditement read, Boner sayde to hym: Mekins confesse the truth, and submit thy selfe vnto the kinges lawe, that thy death may be an example to all other.

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From here, the remainder of the account of Mekins is lifted almost verbatim from that in Hall and Grafton, The vnion of the two noble and illustrate famelies of Lancastre & Yorke, part II, fo. 244r. Foxe, however, omits a phrase claiming that Mekins' fear was such that 'he had not cared of whom he had named'.

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Rich. Mekyns being a childe which passed not the age of xv. yeares (as Halle reporteth) MarginaliaEx. Edw. Hallo. as he had heard some other folkes talke, so chaunced he to speake agaynst þe sacrament of the altar. Which commyng to Boners eares, he neuer left him (as afore doth plainely appeare) before he had brought him to the fire. During the time of his imprisonment, neither his poore father nor mother for feare durst ayde him with any reliefe: wherby he there indured in great misery. At what time 
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Mekins was burned on 30 July 1541.

he was brought vnto the stake, he was taught to speake much good of the Byshop of Londō, and of the great charitie he shewed to him, and to defie and detest all heretickes and heresies, but specially Doct. Barnes, vnto whom he imputed the learning of that heresie, which was cause of his death. MarginaliaAnd how coulde he take that learning of D. Barnes, when Doct. Barnes was neuer of that opinion? The poore ladde woulde for sauegard of his life, haue gladly sayde that the xij. Apostles had taught it him: such was his childishe innocencie and feare. But for this deede many spake and sayd, it was great shame for the Byshop, whose part and dutie it had bene rather to haue laboured to saue his life, then to procure that terrible execution, seeing that he was such an ignoraunt soule that he knew not what the affirming of heresie was.

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¶ Richard Spenser, Ramsey, and one Hewet, suffred at Salisbury. 
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Foxe's source for this episode is unknown. However, Foxe's mentor John Bale had heard independently of the case, mentioning it briefly in his The Epistle exhortatorye of an Englyshe Christiane (STC 1291: Antwerp, 1544), fo. 13v and in his Scriptorum illustrium maioris Brytanniae ... Catalogus (Basel, 1557), vol. I p. 666. In Bale's account, Spenser was a player in interludes; the companion who died with him was named John Ramsey; and the execution took place in 1542. In 1570 and subsequent editions Foxe amalgamated this information with his own. He changed 1563's generic claim that Spenser was 'getting his liuing with þe sweate of hys browes and labours of hys handes' to the more specific statement that he 'became a player in interludes', and he added Ramsey to the list of those executed, although for some reason omitting his first name. He did not adopt Bale's dating, merely claiming with characteristic imprecision that the deaths took place 'about the same tyme' as Mekins' case (ie., 1541). The real confusion arose from the second figure mentioned in 1563, Andrew Hewyt. This appears to be a confusion with the Andrew Hewet burned in 1533, but Foxe, instead of correcting the name to Ramsey, instead declared from 1570 onwards that there were three individuals executed - although both his and Bale's sources agree that there were two. Cf. 1570, p. 1376, et seq.

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MarginaliaSpenser, Ramsey, and Hewes, Martirs. ABout the same tyme also a certeine Priest was burned at Salisbury, who leauing his Papistry, had maryed a wife, and became a player in interludes, with one Ramsey and Hewet, which three were all condemned and burned: Agaynst whom, and specially against Spenser, was layde matter concerning the Sacrament of the altar. He suffered at Salisbury.

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Although this Inquisitiō aboue mentioned was ment properly and specially concerning the vi. Articles 

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This statement is mere guesswork by Foxe, who had no direct evidence linking the list which follows to the 1541 London commission. The list itself no longer survives, and all we know of its provenance is the marginal statement that it is 'ex. regist. Lond.', that is, from the London diocesan records. Foxe is also drawing here on a discussion in Hall and Grafton, The vnion of the two noble and illustrate famelies of Lancastre & Yorke, part II, fo. 234r-v, describing a large-scale anti-heresy drive in London following the passage of the Act of Six Articles (and so, by implication, dating it to 1539). Grafton, who was the author of this part of the chronicle, and who according to Foxe (1570, p. 1377) was himself one of those arrested, claimed that this purge lasted for two weeks and some five hundred people were detained, only to be released without charge when Lord Chancellor Audley interceded with the king (a claim which Foxe took up: 1570, pp. 1380-1). Two other sources help us to date this episode more precisely (and confirm that there was, indeed, only one such purge). In a letter written early in 1541, the young Zwinglian Richard Hilles confirmed that before the general pardon of 15 July 1540, 'a number of people from everywhere in England were imprisoned' for heresy, and that this purge was halted by a plea to the king - although Hilles credited the preacher Edward Crome, rather than Audley, with this. Epistolae Tigurinae de rebus potissimum ad ecclesiae Anglicanae reformationem (Cambridge, 1848), p. 138 (Hastings Robinson (ed.), Original Letters relative to the English Reformation (Cambridge, 1846), p. 208). Most convincingly, a packet of twenty indictments dated 17 July 1540, and endorsed by the then Lord Mayor of London, lists eighteen of the individuals named by Foxe, giving the same details of their offences. National Archives, SP 1/243 fos. 61-80 (LP Addenda 1463).The arrests Foxe describes here can therefore confidently be dated to the first half of July 1540, that is, in the wake of Cromwell's arrest and condemnation, but before his execution. On this, see Ryrie, Gospel and Henry VIII, pp. 17, 40-1, 224-5; Susan Brigden, London and the Reformation (Oxford, 1989), p. 320 n. 127. However, some other arrests are appended to the latter part of this list, most but not necessarily all of which date from the early 1540s.The list remained substantially the same in 1570, 1576 and 1583, but in 1583 was presented much less clearly than in the earlier editions, and - perhaps partly as a result - the assignment of individuals to parishes was confused in several cases.

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, MarginaliaEx Regist. Lond. yet so it fell out, that in short space doubtes beganne to rise and to be moued by the Quest, whether they might enquire as well of all other opinions, articles and cases of Lollardy, or for speaking against holy bread, holy water, or for fauoring the cause of Barnes, MarginaliaFryer Ward. of Frier Warde, MarginaliaSyr Tho. Rose. Syr Tho. Rose. &c. Wherupon great perturbation folowed in all Parishes almost through London in the yeare aforesayd, which was. 1541. as here ensueth in a brief summary Table to be sene.

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¶ A briefe Table of the troubles at London, in the vj. Articles time.

Persons presented. Their causes.
Iohn Dixe.
MarginaliaS. Albons parishe in London. THis Dixe was noted ne-
uer to be confessed in Lent
nor to receaue at Easter, & to
be a sacramentary.
Rich. Chepeman.
Chepeman for eatyng flesh in
Lent, and for working on ho-
lydayes and not commyng to
the church.
Mistres Cicely Marshall.
Cicely, for not bearyng her
Palme, & despising holy bread
and holy water.
Michaell Haukes.
Haukes, for not commyng to
the Church, & receauyng yong
men of the new learnyng.
M. Ioh. Browne.
Browne, for bearyng with
Annes, Bedikes wife.
Bedykes wife, for despising
our Lady, and not praying to

Andrew Kempe.
Wil. Pahen.
Rich. Manerd.

Kempe, Pahen, Manerd,
for disturbyng the seruice of þe
Churche with brablyng of the
new Testament,
MarginaliaThe parishe of Trinitie the little. Wil. Wyders.
Wyders denyed ij. yeares be
fore, þe sacrament to be Chri-
stes body, and said that it was
but onely a signe.
Wil. Stokesley.
Stokesley, for rebukyng his
wife at the Churche, for ta-
kyng holy water.
Roger Dauy.
Dauy, for speaking agaynst
worshipping of saintes.
M. Blage
M. Blage, for not cōmyng
to his parish church, not con-
fessing, nor receauing.
MarginaliaS. Iohn Baptist in Walbroke. William Clinch.
For saying, when he seeth a
priest preparyng to the masse,
ye shall see a priest nowe goe to
masking. Item, for calling the
B. of Winchester, false flatte-
ring knaue. Item, for burying
his wife without Dirige, and
causing the Scotte 
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John Willock, curate at St. Catherine Coleman, Fenchurch St.

of S. Ka-
therines to preach the next day
after the buriall.
Wil. Playne.
Playne, seyng a priest go to
Masse, said, now you shall see
one in masking. Itē, when he
came to the church with loude
reading the english bible, he di-
sturbed the diuine seruice.
MarginaliaS. Buttolphes at Billingsgate.
Herman Iohnson.
Hierome Akon.
Giles Hosteman.
Rich. Bonfeld.
Tho. Couper.
Humfrey Skynner
Ioh. Sneudnam.
Rich. Philips.
Iohn Celos.
These ix. persons were pre-
sented for that they were not
confessed in Lent, nor had re-
eaued at Easter.
MarginaliaS. Nicholas in the fleshe shambles.
Ioh. Iones.
Wil. Wright.
Peter Butcher.
Roger Butcher.

These4. were presented for
not keeping the diuine seruice
in the holydayes.
Brisleys wife.
Brisleys wife, for busie rea
soning on the new learning, & not keping the church.

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