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. Edmund Allen10. Alice Benden and other martyrs11. Examinations of Matthew Plaise12. Richard Woodman and nine other martyrs13. Ambrose14. Richard Lush15. 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. The Final Five Martyrs49. John Hunt and Richard White50. John Fetty51. Nicholas Burton52. John Fronton53. Another Martyrdom in Spain54. Baker and Burgate55. Burges and Hoker56. The Scourged: Introduction57. Richard Wilmot and Thomas Fairfax58. Thomas Greene59. Bartlett Greene and Cotton60. Steven Cotton's Letter61. James Harris62. Robert Williams63. Bonner's Beating of Boys64. A Beggar of Salisbury65. Providences: Introduction66. The Miraculously Preserved67. William Living68. Edward Grew69. William Browne70. Elizabeth Young71. Elizabeth Lawson72. Christenmas and Wattes73. John Glover74. Dabney75. Alexander Wimshurst76. Bosom's wife77. Lady Knevet78. John Davis79. Mistress Roberts80. Anne Lacy81. Crosman's wife82. Congregation at Stoke in Suffolk83. Congregation of London84. Englishmen at Calais85. Edward Benet86. Jeffrey Hurst87. William Wood88. Simon Grinaeus89. The Duchess of Suffolk90. Thomas Horton 91. Thomas Sprat92. John Cornet93. Thomas Bryce94. Gertrude Crockhey95. William Mauldon96. Robert Horneby97. Mistress Sandes98. Thomas Rose99. Troubles of Sandes100. Complaint against the Ipswich Gospellers101. Tome 6 Life and Preservation of the Lady Elizabeth102. The Unprosperous Queen Mary103. Punishments of Persecutors104. Foreign Examples105. A Letter to Henry II of France106. The Death of Henry II and others107. Justice Nine-Holes108. John Whiteman109. Admonition to the Reader110. Hales' Oration111. The Westminster Conference112. Appendix notes113. Ridley's Treatise114. Back to the Appendix notes115. Thomas Hitton116. John Melvyn's Letter117. Alcocke's Epistles118. Cautions to the Reader119. Those Burnt at Bristol: extra material120. Priest's Wife of Exeter121. Snel122. Laremouth123. William Hunter's Letter124. Doctor Story125. The French Massacre
Critical Apparatus for this Page
View an Image of this PageCattley Pratt ReferencesCommentary on the TextCommentary on the Woodcuts
Person and Place Index  *  Close
Charity Bradbridge

Daughter of Widow Bradbridge.

Widow Bradbridge had two children, Patience and Charity. She asked Thornden to protect them after her death but he refused. 1570, p. 2169, 1576, p. 1873, 1583, p. 1981.

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John Banks

Of unknown occupation and origin.

At the stake Alice Benden gave her handkerchief to John Banks, asking him to remember her by it. 1570, p. 2168, 1576, p. 1873, 1583, p. 1981.

Person and Place Index  *  Close
Mrs Potkin

Wife of Potkin. Imprisoned with Alice Benden. Of unknown origin.

While in prison, Alice Benden and another prisoner, the wife of Potkin, devised to live on only 2 1/2 pence a day, to see how well they could sustain penury and hunger before they were forced to endure it. 1570, p. 2168, 1576, p. 1872, 1583, p. 1981.

Person and Place Index  *  Close
Patience Bradbridge

Daughter of Widow Bradbridge.

Widow Bradbridge had two children, Patience and Charity. She asked Thornden to protect them after her death but he refused. 1570, p. 2169, 1576, p. 1873, 1583, p. 1981.

Person and Place Index  *  Close
Roger Hall

Brother of Alice Benden. Of Kent.

Edward Benden told Thornden that his wife was being manipulated by her brother, Roger Hall, who gave her money, comforted her, and persuaded her not to attend mass. 1570, p. 2168, 1576, p. 1872, 1583, p. 1981.

[Brother-in-law of Edward Benden.]

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Sir John Guildford

(1508 - 1565)

Bailiff of Winchelsea and farmer of Higham, Sussex (1534 - 1565). JP Kent (1537 - 1538), sheriff (1552 - 1553). Chamberlain, household of Anne of Cleves (1546). (DNB and Bindoff)

Edward Benden talked with others of the parish of Staplehurst and then had his wife sent to Sir John Guildford, who sent her to back to prison. 1570, p. 2167, 1576, p. 1872, 1583, p. 1980.

Sir John Guilford tried to force Mrs Roberts to go to church. 1576, p. 1965, 1583, p. 2073.

Guildford sent his wife to persuade her to go to church. He later sent his servants and officers to hound her. 1576, p. 1965, 1583, p. 2073.

Mrs Roberts fell ill after the hounding of Guildford and his assistants. 1576, p. 1965, 1583, p. 2073.

2005 [1981]

Queene Mary. Alice Benden Martyr. Three men and foure women burned at Canterbury.

MarginaliaAnno 1556. Iune.Priest that stoode by, sayd: shee sayeth, shee will my Lord. Wherefore he let her goe, and shee came foorthwith home.

On the Saterday following, her husbande willed her to goe to the Churche: which she both then and else when refused to do. Wherefore on the Sonday 14. daies after, he going to the church, came into the companie of diuers inhabitaunts of the same parish, among whome thoroughe his fonde talke and behauior, MarginaliaThe husband procureth the trouble and imprisonment of his wyfe. Syr Iohn Gilford commaundeth Alice Benden to the Castle of Canterbury.he procured her to be sent to Syr Iohn Gilforde, who commaunded her to prisone againe, yea and the more to vtter his owne shame, the said her husband tooke money of the Constable to carry her to prisone, the price of his wiues bloud, meaning in deede to carry her to prison him selfe. But she hauing muche more care of his honest and good report, then he had regard (as it is easie to see) of his owne infamie, and no lesse ashamed of his so rude and vnnatural doings, chose rather to commit her selfe willingly into the hands of her enemies, then that the world shoulde witnesse against her husband, of so facinorous 

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Cattley/Pratt, VIII, 327, fn 1

"Facinorous," wicked or villainous. - ED.

a fact. Wherfore she went to the Constable, desiring him to go with her. But he answered that he could not so doe, but graunted her his boy to go with her: with whom she went to prison, namely, the castle of Canterburie, according to the commaundement geuen.

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MarginaliaThe spare dyet of Alice Benden and Potkins wyfe in Canterbury Castle.Where this one thing is woorthy to be noted, þt while she was in this prison, she practised with a prison fellowe of hers, the wife of one Potkin, to liue bothe of them wt ij. pence halfpenie a day, 

Commentary  *  Close

This is Alice Potkin who died of starvation in Canterbury castle.

to trie therby how well they coulde sustaine penurie & hunger, before they were put to it. For they had heard that when they should be remooued from thence to the Bishops prison, their liuings should be but iij. farthings a peece a day, and did in dede both so liue for xiiij. daies ere shee were from thence remooued.

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The 22. day of Ianuarie folowing, her husband went againe to the bishop, desiring hym to deliuer his wife out of prison: but he saide shee was an obstinate hereticke and would not be reformed, and therefore sayde that he could not deliuer her.

MarginaliaThe husband complayneth of his wiues broher Roger Hall.Then said he: my Lord, she hath a brother whose name is Roger Hal, that resorteth vnto her. If your Lordship could keepe him from her, she would turne: for he comforteth her, geueth her money, and perswadeth her not to returne or relent.

This occasion was not so soone geuen, but it was as quickly taken, and as cruelly put in execution. MarginaliaAlice Benden remoued from the Byshops prison.For þe Bishop commaunding her vppon the same to a prison called Mondaies hole, there also he gaue strait charge, þt if at any time her brother came, he should be taken & apprehended.

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MarginaliaThe Byshops prison described.This prison was wtin a Court where the Prebendes chambers were, being a valt beneath the ground, & being before the window, inclosed with a pale of height, by estimation 4. foote & a halfe, and distant from the same 3. foote, so þt she looking from beneath, might only see such as stood at the pale. After this her Brother sought often for her, wt no les danger of life, then diligence. But for the vnknown situation of þe place, it being also, but rarely vsed for a prison, and the matter as closely kept as it was secretly don, he could neuer come to vnderstād of her being there, vntil through Gods merciful wil and vnsearchable prouidēce, MarginaliaExample of Gods mercyfull prouidence in relieuing his Saintes.he cōming thether very rathe 

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Cattley/Pratt, VIII, 327, fn 2

"Rathe," early. - ED.

in a morning, her keper being then gone to the church to ring (for he was a bell ringer) chaunced to heare her voyce, as she powred out vnto God her sorowful complaints, saying þe Psalmes of Dauid, and there could he none otherwise relieue her, but by putting money in a loaf of bread, and sticking the same on a pole, and so reached it vnto her: for neither wt meate nor drinke he could sustaine her. And this was 5. wekes after her comming thether. Al the which time no creature was knowen to come at her, more then her keeper.

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Their lying in that prison was onely vpon a litle short straw, betwene a paire of stockes & a stone wall: being allowed iij. farthings a day, that is, a halfe penye bread, and a farthing drinke: neither could she gette any more for her mony. MarginaliaAlice Benden kept in the Byshops prison 9. weekes with bread and water.Wherefore she desired to haue her whole alowance in bread, and vsed water for her drinke. Thus did shee lye 9. weekes. During all which time she neuer changed her apparel: wherby she became at the last a most pitious and lothsome creature to beholde.

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MarginaliaThe affliction of Alice Benden at her first comming to prison.At her first comming into this place, she did greuously bewaile with great sorrowe & lamentation, and reasoned with her selfe: why her Lorde God did with his so heauy iustice suffer her to be sequestred from her louing fellowes into so extreeme miserie.

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In these dolorous mournings did shee continue til on a night as shee was in her sorrowful supplications in rehearsing thys verse of the Psalme: Why arte thou so heauie O my soule? And againe: The right hande of the most highest can chaunge all: MarginaliaAlice Benden receaueth comfort of the Lord in the middest of her miseryes.shee receiued comforte in the middest of her miseries: And after that continued very ioyfull vntill her

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deliuerie from the same.

About the 25. day of March, in the yeare of our Lorde 1557. MarginaliaAlice Benden called before the Bishop.shee was called before the Bishop: who demaunded of her, whether shee would nowe goe home, and go to the church or no, promising her great fauour if she woulde be reformed and doe as they did.

To whom she answered: MarginaliaThe aunsweres of Alice Benden to the Bishop.I am throughly perswaded by the great extremitie that you haue already shewed me, that you are not of God, neither can your doings be godly, and I see (sayeth she) þt you seeke my vtter destruction, shewing how lame she then was, of cold taken, & for lacke of foode, while she lay in that painful prison: whereby shee was not able to mooue her selfe without great paine.

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MarginaliaAlice Benden from the Byshops prison, sent to Westgate.Then did the bish. deliuer her frō that filthy hole, and sent her to Westgate, whereas after she had bene changed, and for a while ben cleane kept, her skin did wholy so pill & scale off, as if she had bene wt some mortal venome poysoned. Heere she continued till the latter end of Aprill. At which time they called her before them, and with others condemned her, committing her then to the prisone called the Castle. MarginaliaAlice Benden condēned, & sent to the Castle in Canterbury.Where shee continued till the slaughter daye, which was the 19. day of Iune, when by terrible fire they tooke away her life.

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When she was at the stake, she cast her handkerchiefe vnto one Iohn Bankes, requiring him to kepe the same in þe memorie of her, and from about her middle she tooke a white lace which she gaue to the keeper, desiring him to geue the same to her brother Roger Hall, and to tell hym that it was the last band that she was bound with, except the chaine. A shilling also of Phillip and Mary shee tooke foorth, which her father had bowed 

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Cattley/Pratt, VIII, Appendix: ref page 328, line 22

As this word is not now of very common occurrence, another instance may be given from the notes to the "Paston Letters" (vol. i. p. 174, edit. 1840):- "The same dager he slewe hym with, he kest (cast) it in a sege, whiche is founden and taken up al to bowyd (bent together)."

and sent her when shee was first sent to prison, desiring þt her said brother should with obedient salutations render the same to her father againe, & shew him that it was the first peece of mony that he sent her after her troubles begon, which (as shee protested) she had kept & now sent him to do him to vnderstand that shee neuer lacked money while shee was in prison.

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With this Alice Benden were burned also the residue of the other blessed Martyrs aboue named, being seuen in number. Who being brought to þe place where they shuld suffer for the Lordes cause at Canterbury, vndressed them selues ioyfully to the fire, and being ready thereto: they all (like the communion of Saints) kneled downe and made their humble praiers vnto the Lorde, with such zeale and affection, as euen þe enemies of the Crosse of Christ coulde not but like it. When they had made inuocation together, they roase and went to the stake, where being compassed with horrible flames of fire, they yeelded their soules and liues gloriously into the bandes of the Lord.

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This Bradbeges wife, when shee was condemned of the Bishop to be burned, had ij. children, named Pacience & Charitie. Who then said to the bishop, 

Commentary  *  Close

Presumably this bishop was Richard Thornden, suffragan bishop of Dover.

that if he woulde needes burne her, yet she trusted, that he woulde take and

MarginaliaThe Martyrdome of 3. men, and 4. women at Canterbury. Anno 1557. Iune. 19.The burning of seuen Martyrs at Caunterburie.
woodcut [View a larger version]
Commentary on the Woodcuts  *  Close
An example of a small cut (Type 1) which was a self-evident misfit, given the marginal note 'The Martyrdome of 3. men, and 4. women'. It was, however, accurate for the Colchester burning two months later, for which it was reused (1583, p. 2008).

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