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667 [643]

K. Henry. 6. Persecution in Northfolke and Southfolke.

The burning of Rich. Houeden.

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Martyrdome. Which man, when as he could by no perswasions be withdrawen or plucked backe from the opinions of Wickliffe, he was by the Rulers of the Church condemned of heresie, and as Fabian writeth, burned hard by the tower of London

Nicholas Canon of Eye.

MarginaliaNicholas Canon of Eye
NOw to procede in our story of Norfolke and Suffolke, in followyng the order of yeres, we find that in the yeare of our Lord. 1431. one Nich. Canon of Eye was brought before the Bishop of Norwich for suspition of heresie, with certaine witnesses sworne to depose agaynst hym touchyng his maners and conuersation, which witnesses appoynting one William Christopher to speake in the name of them all, he deposed in maner and forme following.

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First that on Easter day when all the parishoners went about the church of Eye solemnely in procession as the maner was, the sayd Nicholas Canon as it wer mocking and derydyng the other parishoners, went about the Church the contrary way, and met the procession.

MarginaliaDepositiōs. This article he confessed and affirmed that he thought he dyd well in so doyng.

Item, the sayd Nicholas asked of maister Iohn Colman of Eye, this question. Maister Colman, what thinke you of the Sacrament of the aulter? To whome the sayd Colman aunswered: Nicholas, I thinke that the Sacrament of the aulter is very God and very man, the very flesh and very bloud of our Lord Iesus Christ vnder forme of bread and wyne. Vnto whome Nicholas in derision sayd: Truely if the Sacrament of the aulter be very God & very man, and the very body & bloud of our Lord Iesus Christ: then may very God and very man be put in a small roume: as when it is in the priests mouth, that receiueth it at masse MarginaliaIf the Sacrament be very fleshe, then the priestes eate fleshe on Friday. And why may not we simple men, as well eate flesh vppon Fridayes and all other prohibited days, as the priest to eate the flesh and the bloud of our Lord euery day indifferently? The which article, the sayd Nicolas denied that he spake vnto Maister Colman, but vnto a Moncke of Hockesney. And furthermore, hee thought he had spoken well in that behalfe.

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Item that on Corpus Christi day at the eleuation of high masse, when as all the parishners and other straungers kneled downe holding vp their handes, and doyng reuerence vnto the sacrament, the sayd Nicholas went behynd a piller of the church, and turning his face from the high aulter, mocked them that did reuerence vnto the sacrament.

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This article he also acknowledging, affirmed that he be leued hymself to do well in so doyng.

Item, when his mother would haue the said Nicholas to lift vp his right hand, and to crosse himselfe from þe craftes and assaults of the deuill, for so much as he deferred the doyng therof, his mother tooke vp his right hād & crossed hym saying: In nomine patris filij, & spiritus sancti, Amen. Which so ended, the sayd Nicholas immediately deriding hys mothers blessyng, tooke vp his right hand of his owne accord, and blessed hym otherwyse, as hys aduersaries reporte of hym. This Article the sayde Nicholas acknowledged to be true.

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Item, that vpon Alhallowen day in the tyme of eleuation of high masse, when as many of the parishoners of Eye lighted many torches and caried them vp to the high aulter, knelyng down there in reuerence and honour of the Sacrament, MarginaliaNicholas Canō turned his backe to the Sacramēt. the sayd Nicholas carying a torche, went vp hard to the hygh aulter, and standing behynd the priestes backe saying masse, at the tyme of the eleuation he stoode vpright vpō his feete, turning his backe to the priest, and his face toward the people, and would do no reuerence vnto the sacrament. This article he acknowledged, affirming that he thought he had done well in that behalf. All which articles the bishops commissary caused to be copied out word for worde, & to be sent vnto maister William Worsted, Prior of the cathedrall church ef Norwich and to other doctors of Diuinitie, of the order of beggyng Friers, that they might deliberate vpon them, and shew their myndes betwene that and Thursday next followyng. MarginaliaAn other examination of Nicholas Canon. Vpon which Thursday beyng the laste of Nouember, the yeare aforesayd, the sayd Nicholas was agayne examined before M. Barnam and diuers other vpō two other articles which he had confessed vnto I. Exetor notary, & Tho. Gerusten bacheler of Diuinitie and others. MarginaliaArticles obiected Wherof the first Article was this: that the sayd Nicholas Canon being of perfect mynd and remembraunce, confessed that he doubted whether in the sacrament of þe aulter, were the very body of Christ or no. This article he confessed before the Commissary to be true.

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Item, that he beyng of perfect mynd and remembrance, beleued that a man ought not to confesse his sins to a priest. This article he also confessed that he doubted vpon.

Now remayneth to declare what these doctors aforesayd concluded vpon the articles: whose aunswer vnto the same was this.

MarginaliaThe iudgement of the Prior and doctours vpon hys articles. First of all as touching the first Article, they sayd that the article in the same termes as it was propounded, is not simply an heresie but an errour.

Item, as touching the second article, the doctours agree as in the first.

Item, as touching the third Article, they affirme that it is an heresie.

Vnto the fourth Article they aunswered as vnto the first and second.

Item, the doctors affirme the v. Article to be an heresy.

MarginaliaAn heresie to doubt whether the sacrament be the perfect body of Christ or no. Item, as touching the vi. Article, the doctors conclude that if the sayd Nicholas beyng of perfect mynd and remembrance, did doubt whether the sacrament of the aulter were the very perfect body of Christ or no, then that Article is simply an heresie.

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MarginaliaNicholas Canō declared an hereticke. Wherupon the sayd Commissary declared and pronoūced the sayd Nicolas Canon vpon the determination of the foresayd doctors, to be an hereticke: and therupon forced the sayd Nicolas to abiure all the sayd Articles. MarginaliaPenaunce enioyned to Nicholas Canon. That done, he enioyned the sayd Nicholas penance for his offences, thre displinges about the cloyster of the Cathedrall Church of Norwich, before a solemn procession, bare headed and barefoote, carying a Taper of halfe a pound in his hande, goyng after the maner aforesayd, like a mere penitētiarie: þe which his penance, the iudge commaunded should be respited vntill the commyng of the Bishop into his diocesse, and that in the meane tyme he should be kept in prison, to the ende that he should not infect the flocke with his venome and poyson of errours and heresies.

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Thus haue we briefly discoursed vnto you, the great troubles and afflictions, which happened in Norfolke and Suffolke by the space of those 4. yeares before mentioned, hauyng drawen out briefly for euery yeare, certaine notable examples, sufficient for the declaration of al the rest, for so much as their opinions beyng nothing different, theyr penaunce and punishment did also nothyng differ, otherwyse then by those particuler examples may be plainly sene.

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Thomas Bagley priest.

MarginaliaTho Bageley priest, Martyr. ANd now to procede as we haue begon, with our former stories generally, we find in Fabians Chronicles that in the same yere of our Lord, 1431. Thomas Bagley a priest,

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