Critical Apparatus for this Page
Commentary on the Text
Names and Places on this Page
Unavailable for this Edition
1203 [1202]

K. Henry. 8. Trouble for the vj. Articles. Tho. Bernard, Iames Morton, Martyrs.

yng on horse backe, MarginaliaM. Luthers bokes burnt in Chepeside rode formost thorow the streetes, tyll they came aboue the standard in Cheapeside, where a great fire was made to burne their bookes in, and a Pillery set vp there for 4. persons in token that they had deserued it.

In the meane tyme, by the way as they shoulde come it was appointed, that one should go before them with a bason. At the noyse wherof, M. Sommers horse beyng a loftye geldyng and fierce, was in such a rage, that he which ronge the bason beyng afeard of him selfe, was fayne to go alone a great space before that any horseman dyd folow after. At length whē they came to the fire, euery of them hauyng a booke in his hand, they were commaunded to caste their bookes into the fire. MarginaliaThe papistes burne the new Testament. But when M. Sommers saw that his new Testament shoulde be burned, he threwe it ouer the fire: whiche was seene by some of Gods enemyes. and brought to him agayne, commaundyng hym to cast it into the fire: which hee would not doe, but cast it thorow the fire. Whiche thyng was done iij. times. But at last a stander by tooke it vp, and saued it frō burnyng. But not long after, MarginaliaTho. Sommers dyed in the Tower. the sayde M. Sommers was caste agayne into the Tower by the Cardinall, thorow the crueltye of the Byshops, and their adherentes, who soone after dyed in þe sayd prison for the testimonie of his fayth.

[Back to Top]

What trouble and vexation happened amongest the godly brethren in London, for the vi. Articles, hetherto we haue discoursed. Albeit neither haue I cōprehended all, which were molested through all the Parishes of London: neyther agayne dyd thys rigorous Inquisition so cease within the precinctes of this Citie onelye, but also extended further to Salisburye, Northfolke. Lincolne, and through all other Shyres and quarters of the realme: so that where as any popishe Prelate most bare stroke, there most persecution encreased. The Byshop of Lyncolne the same tyme was Iohn Longland, and Doct. Dracotte his Chancellour, Of whose rigorous doynges ye haue hearde enough & to much before. His ready diligence in all popish quarrels as it neuer lacked before: so nowe in the execution of these vi. Articles, it was not farre behynde: in whose diocesse diuers good men and wemen, namely about Buckingham and Amershame, and quarters theraboutes, were greuously disquieted, appearyng yet in the same Register 

Commentary  *  Close

The six individuals following are not known from other sources, with one exception, but their offences have a distinctively Lollard flavour to them, and seem out of place here. Blunt denials of the Mass, couched in crude language and accompanied by mockery of the clergy, are far more characteristic of Lollardy than of mainstream Protestantism. Foxe's source can be presumed to be, as he says, Lincoln diocesan records. The suspicion that these cases are misplaced in Foxe is apparently confirmed by one trace of these individuals in other records. A William Hart was charged with heresy in Lincoln diocese on 4 October 1530: Lincoln Record Office, vj.11, fo. 144v, cited in John Fines, A biographical register of early English Protestants and others opposed to the Roman Catholic Church 1525-58, part II (unpublished typescript).

[Back to Top]
: MarginaliaEx Regist. Lincoln. as one

[Back to Top]


MarginaliaOf great Marlow.
For laughing & speaking certain wordes
against one Tho. Collerd, who like a pope-
holy hypocrite in the church of Merlowe, v-
sed at Masse tyme to crouche behynde the
children: and when the priest crossed his hed
with the saucer (as she termed it) he would
crosse his hed likewise. And for these words
she was conuented before the bishop, & miserably vexed.

MarginaliaOf great Bryckhill.W. Hart.

For saying these wordes: Thinkest thou
that God almighty will abide ouer a knaue
priestes hed?

Of Ryshborogh.Christoph.
Because he did no reuerence vnto the sa-
crament comming to the church, and for loo-
king vpon his boke at tyme of eleuation,
and that he would not come to see the eleuation.
&c. Item, as he was working vpon a piece
of Fustian on an holyday, and being asked
why he kept not the holyday, he aunswered,
that was no worke, and that it was better
to do that, then to sit at the Alehouse drin-
king dronke.

MarginaliaOf Wooborne.W. Fasten-

For speaking certaine wordes against the
sacrament of the alter, and beleued not, that
it was the very body of Christ.

MarginaliaOf Westwycombe.W. Garland

W. Garland, talking of extreme vnction,
sayd that those thinges were godly signes,
but there were but two sacramentes. &c.
W. Webbe. Because he set the Image of a headlesse
Beare in the Tabernacle of S. Roke.
¶ Thomas Bernard and Iames Morton Martyrs. 
Commentary  *  Close

A particularly egregious example of Foxe's chronological confusion. This misplacing of this case is obvious - English texts of the Lord's Prayer and of the Bible were entirely legal in the latter part of Henry VIII's reign. To compound the confusion, in 1570 and subsequent editions, Thomas Barnard, husbandman, and James Mordon, labourer, are described (and, in 1576 and 1583, depicted) as being burned in one fire at Amersham, 'two or thre yeres' after the burning of William Tilsworth (aka Tylseley) in 1506 (1570, p. 117 recte 917). Yet a few pages later, they are described (1570 pp. 949-54) as Lollards arrested in 1521, with some details given of their offences and networks, and it is said that both were burned in the same year as relapsed heretics (1570, p. 964). In any event, they did not survive to be burned in the 1540s.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaTho. Bernard Iames Morton, Martyrs. ABout the same tyme Iohn Longland Byshop of Lyncolne, burned two vpon one day, the one named Thomas Bernard, and the other Iames Morton: The one for teaching the Lordes prayer in Englishe, and the other for kepyng the Epistle of S. Iames translated into Englishe.

MarginaliaThe recantation of M. Barber in Oxford. In Oxford 

Commentary  *  Close

This detail, one of many provided for Foxe by Cranmer's former secretary Ralph Morice during the 1560s, likely refers to a scholar named Laurence Barber, who died in or shortly before July 1539. A. B. Emden, A Biographical Register of the University of Oxford A.D. 1501 to 1540 (Oxford 1974), p. 24.

also the same tyme or much therabout, recāted one M. Barber Maister of Arte of that Vniuersitie, a man excellently learned. Who beyng called vp to Lambeth before the Archbyshop Thomas Cranmer, was in his examinatiō so stoute in the cause of the Sacrament, & so lear nedly defended himselfe therein, that (as it is credibly affirmed of them, whiche yet be aliue, and were present thereat) neither Cranmer hym selfe, nor al they could well aunswer to his allegations brought out of Austen. Wherein he was so prompt and rype of him selfe, that the Archbyshop with the residue of his company, were brought in great admiration of hym. Notwithstandyng by compulsion of the tyme, and daunger of the vi. Articles, at last he relented, and returnyng agayne to Oxford was their caused to recant. After whiche the good man long prospered not, but ware away. Ex testimonio Rad. Morys.

[Back to Top]
¶ A mery, and pleasaunt narration, touching a false fearefull imagination of fire 
Commentary  *  Close
Fire in Oxford

Foxe based his initial version of the panic - due to a false alarm of fire - at the penance of John Mallory, on his memory. (Foxe states in the Rerum that he witnessed the incident). There is, however, independent corroboration of Foxe's account, in a poem by John White, written in honour of John Claymund, who played a conspicuous - and according to White, heroic - role in the affair. (See John White, Diacosio-Martyrion {Louvain, 1553], STC 25388, fos 82r-83r). White also supplies a detail that Foxe omits, the date of the incident: the third Sunday of Advent, 1536. Foxe's first account of the panic appeared in the Rerum (pp. 139-44). This section was translated word-for-word in 1563. In 1570, Foxe added new details (the name of the person doing penance and the name of the person who started calling 'fire') which must have come, directly or indirectly, from others present at the incident. In the second edition, Foxe also deleted passages - originally in the Rerum - that explained to non-English readers how the English dealt with fires and that they roofed their churches with lead (this interesting passage, comparing methods of dealing with fire alarms in England and Germany first appears in the Rerum (p. 140) and was directly translated from that into the 1563 edition. It was dropped thereafter as Foxe no longer expected a large non-English audience for his martyrology). The version of the incident printed in 1570 was unchanged in subsequent editions. Foxe's purpose in printing this anecdote is not obvious. The story involves neither a martyrdom nor an important episode in the history of the Reformation. Foxe probably included the story precisely because it was not a martyrdom. As he descibes it, it is a 'merry and pleasant Interlude'which breaks up a grim narrative of persecutions following the Act of Six Articles. At the same time, it allowed Foxe to expostulate on the horror of burning people to death for heresy.

[Back to Top]

Thomas S. Freeman.

, raysed among the Doctors and Maisters of Oxford in S. Maries Churcheat the recantation of M. Mallary M. of Arte of Cambridge.

MarginaliaThe recantation of M. Malary Graduate of Cambrige, who recanted at Oxforde. THis recantation of M. Barbar aforesayd in the Vniuersitie of Oxford, bryngeth me in remembraunce of an other recantation likewise happenyng not long before, in the sayd Vniuersitie, whiche I thought here not to ouer passe, and namely for that the same caryeth withall, a merye ridiculous spectacle, not vnworthy to be remembred, and here to be inserted, somewhat to recreate and refreshe by the way, the werye mynde of the reader, after so many bloudy and lamentable storyes executions, recantations, and tragedies aboue passed. The storye is this.

[Back to Top]

There was one M. Malary, maister of Arte of Cambridge, scholar of Christes Colledge 

Commentary  *  Close

The name of the person doing penance was added in the 1570 edition. Foxe's source was quite accurate: John Mallory had proceeded to take his MA degree at Christ's College in 1527 (Venn).

, who for the like opinions to those aboue rehearsed, holden contrary to the Catholicke determination of holy mother Church of Rome that is, for the right truth of Christes Gospell was conuented before the Byshops, and in the ende, sent to Oxford, there openly to recant, and to beare his fagot, to the terrour of the Studentes of that Vniuersitie. MarginaliaMallary brought into S. Maryes Church with his fagotte. The tyme and place was appointed, that he should be brought solemly into S. Maryes Church vpon a Sonday 
Commentary  *  Close

St Mary's was the University church at Oxford. In 1563, Foxe's wording for this passage is significant: 'upon a Sunday as I remember'. This is an indication that Foxe was present at the event.

: where a great number of the head Doctors and Diuines, and other of the Vniuersitie, were together assembled: beside a great multitude of Citisens and towne dwellers whiche came to behold the sight. Furthermore, because that solemnitie should not passe without some effectuall Sermon, for the holding vp of the mother Church of Rome, MarginaliaD. Smith preached at the recantatiō of Mallary D. Smith reader then of the Diuinitie lecture 
Commentary  *  Close

Richard Smith was appointed the first Regius Professor of Divinity in October 1536.

, was appointed, to make the Sermon at this recantation. Briefly at the preaching of this Sermō there was assembled a mightye audience of all sortes and degrees as well of Studentes as other. Few almost were absent, which loued to heare or see any newes: In so much þt there was no place almost in the whole Churche which was not fully replenished with concourse and throng of people.

[Back to Top]

All thinges thus beynge prepared and set in a readines, commeth foorth poore Mallarye with his fagotte vpō hys shoulder. Not long after also procedeth the Doctor into the pulpitte to make his Sermon: the purpose and argument wherof was wholy vppon the Sacrament. MarginaliaThe Sacrament of the altar brought into the pulpitte. The which Doctor for the more confirmation and credite to his wordes, had prouided the holy catholicke cake, and the Sacrament of the alter, there to hange by a stringe before hym in the pulpitte. Thus the Doctor with his God almighty 

Commentary  *  Close

I.e., the wafer. This derisive phrase was added in the 1570 edition.

entryng his godly Sermon had scarce proceded into þe middest therof (the people geuyng great silence with all reuerence vnto his doctrine) but sodenly was heard into the Church the voyce of one crying in the streete. fire. fire. The partie which first cryed thus in the streete, was called Heuster.  
Commentary  *  Close

The name of the person who started calling 'fire' was added in the 1570 edition.

The occasion was thys: for that he commyng from Alhallowes Parish, saw a Chimney on fire, and so passing in the streete by S. Maries Church, cryed fire, fire, as the fashion is, meanyng no hurte.

[Back to Top]

Thys sounde of fire beyng heard into the Churche, first of them whiche stoode vttermost next to the Church doore so encreased and went from one to an other, that at length it came vnto the eares of the Doctors, and at laste to þe preacher hym selfe. MarginaliaA maze amōg D. Smithes audience in Oxforde. Who as soone as they heard the matter, beyng amazed with sodeine feare., and maruelyng what the matter should meane, began to looke vp into the toppe of the Churche, and to beholde the walles. The residue seing them looke vp, looked vp also. Then began they in the middest of the audience to crye out with a loude voyce, fire, fire. Where sayth one? where sayth an other? In the Churche, sayth one. The mention of the Churche was scarslye pronounced, MarginaliaS. Maries church in Oxforde falsly supposed to be set on fire by heretickes. whē as in one moment there was a common crie amongest them, the Church is on fire, the Church is set on fire by heretickes. &c. And albeit no man dyd see any fire at all, yet for somuch as al mē cryed out so euery man thought it true that he heard. Then was there such feare, concourse, and tumult of people, through the whole churche, that it can not be declared in wordes, as it was in deede.

[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