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. The Miraculously Preserved68. William Living69. Edward Grew70. William Browne71. Elizabeth Young72. Elizabeth Lawson73. Christenmas and Wattes74. John Glover75. Dabney76. Alexander Wimshurst77. Bosom's wife78. Lady Knevet79. Mistress Roberts80. Anne Lacy81. Crosman's wife82. Congregation at Stoke in Suffolk83. Congregation of London84. Edward Benet85. Jeffrey Hurst86. William Wood87. Simon Grinaeus88. The Duchess of Suffolk89. Thomas Horton 90. Thomas Sprat91. John Cornet92. Thomas Bryce93. Gertrude Crockhey94. William Mauldon95. Robert Horneby96. Mistress Sandes97. John Kempe98. Thomas Rose99. Complaint against the Ipswich Gospellers100. Tome 6 Life and Preservation of the Lady Elizabeth101. The Unprosperous Queen Mary102. Punishments of Persecutors103. Foreign Examples104. A Letter to Henry II of France105. The Death of Henry II and others106. Justice Nine-Holes107. John Whiteman108. Admonition to the Reader109. Hales' Oration110. Cautions to the Reader111. Snel112. Laremouth113. William Hunter's Letter
Critical Apparatus for this Page
Commentary on the Text
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1971 [1944]

Q. Mary. Persecution in Exceter against a Poore woman, called Priestes wife.

Marginalia1558. Nouember.I (said shee) that hee is Antichrist and the deuyl.

Then al they laughed.

Nay (saide shee) you had more neede to weepe then to laugh, & to be sory that euer you were borne, to be the chapleynes of that whoore of Babylon. I defie hym and all his falshood: and get you away from me: you doo but trouble my conscience. You would haue me folow your doings: I wyl first loose my life. I pray you depart.

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Why, thou foolish woman (sayd they) we come to thee for thy profite and soules health.

O Lorde God (sayde shee) what profite riseth by you that teache nothyng but lyes for truth? howe saue you soules, when you preache nothyng but damnable lyes, and destroy soules?

How prouest thou that (said they?)

Doo you not damne soules (sayd shee) when you teach the people to worship Idolles, Stockes, and Stones, the worke of mens handes? and to worship a false GOD of your owne makyng, of a peece of bread, and teache that the Pope is Gods Vicar, and hath power to forgeue sinnes? and that there is a Purgatorie, when Gods sonne hath by his Passion purged all? and say, you make God and sacrifice hym, when Christes body was a Sacrifice once for all? MarginaliaFalse doctrine of the Papistes reproued.Doo you not teache the people to number their sinnes in your eares, and say they be damned, if they confesse not all: when Gods woorde saith: Who can number his sinnes? Doo you not promise them Trentalles and Diriges, and Masses for soules, and sell your prayers for money, and make them bye Pardons, and trust to such foolishe inuentions of your owne imaginations? Doo you not altogether agaynst God? Doo you not teache vs to pray vppon Beades, and to pray vnto Saintes, and say they can pray for vs? Doo you not make holy water and holy bread to fray deuyls? Doo you not a thousande more abominations? And yet you say, you come for my profit, & to saue my soule. No, no, one hath saued me. Farewell you with your saluation. Muche other talke there was between her and them, which here were too tedious to be expressed.

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In the meane tyme duryng this her monethes libertie graunted to her by the Bishop, whiche we spake of before, it happened that shee entryng in saint Peters Church, beheld a cunnyng Dutchman how he made newe noses to certayne fine Images whiche were disfigured in kyng Edwardes tyme: What a madde man art thou (said shee) to make them new noses, which within a few dayes shal al loose their heades. The Dutchman accused her, and layde it hard to her charge. And shee said to hym: Thou art accursed, and so are they Images. He called her whoore. Nay (said shee) thy Images are whoores, and thou art a whoore hunter: for doth not GOD say: You go a whoring after straunge Gods, figures of your owne making? and thou art one of them. Then was shee sent for, and clapped fast: and from that tyme shee had no more libertie.

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Duryng the tyme of her imprisonment, diuers resorted to her, to visit her, some sent of the Bishop, some of their owne voluntary wyll: amongest whō was one Daniell MarginaliaThe reuolting of one Daniell a minister, from the Gospell to Popery in Q. Maryes tyme. a great dooer and preacher sometymes of the Gospell, by the dayes of Kyng Edward, in those parties of Cornewall and Deuonshyre, whom after that shee perceyued by his owne confession, to haue reuolted from that whiche he preached before, through the greeuous imprisonmentes (as he sayde) and feare of persecution, which he partly had susteyned by the cruell Iustices in those parties, earnestly shee exhorted hym to repent with Peter, and to be more constant in his profession.

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Moreouer, there resorted to her a certaine worthy gentlewoman, the wyfe of one Walter Rauley, 

Commentary  *  Close

This was the mother of Sir Walter Raleigh, the Elizabethan courtier.

a woman of noble wyt, and of a good & godly opinion, came to the prison & talked with her: shee said her creede to the gentlewoman, & when shee came to the article: He ascended, there shee staied, and bade the Gentlewoman to seeke his blessed bodye in heauen, not in earth, and told her plainly that God dwelleth not in temples made with hands, & that sacrament to be nothing els but a remembraunce of his blessed passion, & yet (said shee) as they now vse it, it is but an Idol & farre wide from any remembrance of Christes body: which (said shee) wyl not long continue, & so take it, good maistresse. So that as soone as shee came home to her husband, shee declared to hym, that in her life shee neuer heard a woman (of such simplicitie to see to) talke so godly, so perfectly, so sincerely, & so earnestly: in so much that if God were not with her, shee could not speake such things: to the which I am not able to answeare her (said shee) who can reade, and shee can not.

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Also there came to her one MarginaliaWilliam and Iohn Kede, two godly brethren.William Kede, and Iohn his brother, not onely brethren in the fleshe, but also in the truth, and men in that Countrey of great credite, whose father Robert Kede, all his lyfe suffered nothyng but trouble for the Gospell. These two good and faythfull brethren

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were present with her, both in the Hal and also at the Prison, & (as they reported) they neuer heard the like woman: of so godly talke, so faithfull, or so constant, and as godly exhortations shee gaue them.

Thus this good matrone, the very seruaunt and handmayd of Christe, MarginaliaThe constancie of this woman many wayes tryed.was by many wayes tryed, both by harde prisonment, threatnynges, tauntes, and scornes, called an Anabaptist, a madde woman, a drunkard, a whoore, a runnagate. Shee was proued by libertie to goe whyther shee woulde: shee was tryed by flatterie, with many fayre promises: shee was tryed with her husbande, her goodes and children, but nothyng could preuayle: her hart was fixed, shee had cast her anker, vtterly contemnyng this wicked world: A rare ensample of constancie to all professors of Christes holy Gospel.

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In þe Byll of my Information, it is so reported to me, that albeit shee was of suche simplicitie and without learnyng, yet you could declare no place of Scripture, but shee would tell you the Chapter: yea, shee woulde recite to you the names of all the bookes of the Bible. For which cause one Gregory Basset MarginaliaGregory Basset a rayling Papist. a rancke Papist, said, shee was out of her wyt, and talked of the Scripture, as a dogge rangeth farre of from his maister when he walketh in the fieldes, or as a stolen sheepe out of his maisters handes, shee wist not whereat, as all heretikes doo, with many other such taūts, whiche shee vtterly defied. Whereby as almighty God is highly to be praysed, working so mightily in such a weake vessel: MarginaliaThe constant pacience in this woman and Martyr to be men of stronger and stouter nature, haue also to take example how to stand in like case: when as we see this poore woman, how manfully shee went through with suche constancie and pacience.

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At the last, when they perceyued her to be past remedie, and had consumed al their threatnynges, that by neyther prisonmēt nor libertie, by manaces nor flattery, they coulde bring her to sing any other song, nor wynne her to their vanities and superstitious doynges, then they cryed out, An Anabaptist, an Anabaptist. MarginaliaThe woman brought from the Byshops prison to the Guild Hall.Then at a day they brought her from the Bishops prison to the Guildhal, and after that deliuered her to the temporall power, according to their custome, MarginaliaExhortations to haue her recant.where shee was by the Gentlemen of the countrey exhorted yet to cal for grace, and to leaue her fond opinions: And goe home to thy husbande (sayde they:) thou art an vnlearned woman, thou art not able to aunsweare to suche high matters.

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MarginaliaThe constant standing of this woman.I am not, said shee: yet with my death I am content to be a witnes of Christes death: and I praye you make no longer delay with me: my hart is fixed, I wyl neuer otherwise say, nor turne to their superstitious doings.

Then the bishop said, MarginaliaBlasphemy of the Byshop.the deuyl dyd leade her.

No, my Lord (said shee) it is the spirite of God which leadeth me, and which called me in my bed, MarginaliaHow God reueled hys truth vnto her.and at midnight opened his truth to me. Then was there a great shout and laughing among the priestes and other.

During þe tyme þt this good poore womā was thus vnder these priestes handes, amongest many other baytings & sore conflicts which shee susteyned by them, here is moreouer not to be forgotten, howe that M. Blaxton aforesaid, being treasurer of the Church, had a concubine which sundry tymes resorted to hym, with other of his gossips: so that alwayes when they came, this said good woman was called forth to his house, there to make his minion with the rest of the cōpany some myrth, he examinyng her with such mocking & gyring, deriding the truth, that it would haue vexed any Christian hart to haue seene it. Then when he had long vsed his foolishnes in this sort, and had sported hym selfe enough in deriding this Christen martyr: in the end he sent her to prison againe, and there kept her very miserably, sauyng that sometymes he would send for her, when his foresaid gest came to hym, to vse with her his accustomed folly aforesaid. But in fine, these vile wretches (after many combates and scoffing perswasions) when they had played the part of the cat with the mouse, at length condemned her, and deliuered her ouer to the secular power.

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MarginaliaIudgement geuen against this good woman.Then the Indictment beyng geuen and read, whiche was, that shee should go to the place whence shee came, and frō thence to be led to þe place of execution, then and there to be burned with flames tyl shee should be consumed: shee lifted vp her voyce, MarginaliaShee thanketh God for her iudgment geuen.and thanked God, saying: I thanke thee my lord my God, this day haue I found þt which I haue lōg sought. But such outcries as there were againe, & such mockinges were neuer seene vpon a poore seely woman: Al which shee most paciently tooke. And yet this fauour they pretended after her iudgement, that her lyfe should be spared, if shee would turne & recant. MarginaliaAgayne shee denyeth to recant.Nay, that wil I not (said shee:) God forbyd that I shoulde loose the lyfe eternall for this carnal and short lyfe. I wyl neuer turne from my heauenly husband, to my earthly husband: from the felowship of angels, to mortal chyldren: And if my husband and chyl-

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