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611 [587]

K. Hen. 5. The hanging and burning of certaine persons counted for Lollardes.

not to be true at that time, as Polydore Virgill. and Edward Hall in their histories doe affirme: which say that this conspiracie began after the burning of Iohn Husse and Hierome of Prage. Which could not be. And thereto tendeth my assertion. My wordes are playne, and are these. MarginaliaLib. Act. & Monu. 174.pag. 174. col. 2. line. 13. Wherefore it is euident that there was eyther no conspiracie at all agaynst the king: or els that it was at some other tyme, or done by other Captaynes. &c.

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These be my wordes with other moe, pag. col. and line aboue noted. In the which proposition disiunctiue, if eyther part be true, it is enough for me. His part it was to refell both, which he hath not done. But onely standing fast vpon the one part, dissimuleth the other. And this is Alanus Copus Anglus, who by that he shall come frō Rome (whether he is nowe gone as I heare say) I trust he will returne a better Logician home agayne in suam Angliam.

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But to the truth of our matter, as I sayde before, so I say agayne, whatsoeuer this worthy, noble and vertuous knight syr Roger Acton was otherwise, this is certaine þt he was alwaies of contrary minde, and opinion to the bishop of Rome, MarginaliaSir Roger Acton contrary to the Bish. of Rome. & to that kind of people, for the which cause he had great enuy and hatred at their hands: and could as litle beare it: neither do I greatly dissent from them, which do suspect or iudge that the Lord Cobham, by his friendly helpe escaped out of the Tower, and that peraduenture was the cause why he was apprehended and brought to trouble, and in the end came to his death. MarginaliaCauses coniecturall why Sir Roger Acton with the rest, were put to death for traytours & Lollardes.Other causes also theyr might be, that these good men percase did frequent among themselues, some cōuenticles (which conuenticles was made treason by the statute aforesayd) either in those Thickets or in some place els: for the hearing of Gods word, and for publique prayer, and therefore had they thys Beuerly theyr preacher with them.

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But to conclude whatsoeuer this Roger Acton was this is þe truth, which I may boldly record, as one writing the Actes and thinges done in the Church, that he was at length apprehended, condemned and put to death or matirdome. 3. yeares and more before the Lord Cobham died Likewise M. Iohn Browne, and Iohn Beuerly the preacher, suffered with him the same kinde of death (as some say) in the field of S. Giles with other moe, to the number of 36. if the storyes be true. Whiche was in the monthof Ianuary. an. 1413. after the computation of our English stories, counting the yeare from the annunciation, but after the Latine writers counting from Christes natiuitie. an. 1414. MarginaliaAnno. 1414. according as this picture is specified.

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These men as is said, suffered before the Lord Cobham aboot 3. yeares, of whose death diuers do write diuersly. MarginaliaDiuersitie in authors.Some say they were hanged and burnt in S. Gyles field, of whom is Fabian, with such as follow him. Other there be which say that some of them were hanged & burnt. Polydorus speaking onely of their burning maketh no mētiō of hanging. MarginaliaAn english story beginning thus. A table of all the kinges.An other certain english Chronicle I haue in my handes borowed of one M. Bowyer, who somewhat differing frō the rest, recordeth thus of sir Roger Acton, that hys iudgement before the iustice was thus, to be drawne through London to Tyborne, and there to be hanged, and so he was naked saue certayne partes of him couered with a clothe. &c. And when certayn dayes were past (sayth the author) a Trumpeter of the kinges called Thomas Cliffe gat graunt of the king to take hym downe, and to burye hym, and so he did &c. And thus haue you the storye of syr Roger Acton, and hys fellow brethren. As touching theyr cause whether it were true or els by error mistaken of the king, or by the fetch of the bishops surmised, I referre it to the iudgement of him which shal iudge both the quick and dead, & seculum per ignem. To whō also I commit you M. Cope, God speed your iorny well to Rome, MarginaliaM. Cope gone to Rome. whether I heare say you are going, and make you a good man.

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The death of Thomas Arun- Archb. of Cant- Ex hist. S. Alba.

Gods workes & punishmentes to be noted.

After the decease or martyrdome of these aboue mentioned, who are executed in the month of Ianuary an. 1414. in the next month following, and in the same yere, þe 20. day of February, God tooke away þe great enemy of his word, and rebell to his king Thom. Arundell Archb. of Cant 
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Deaths of Arundel and Henry V

Foxe's account of the deaths of Archbishop Thomas Arundel and of Henry V served a surprising number of polemical purposes. Foremost among these was, of course, the death of a persecuting archbishop which Foxe contrived to construct as providential retribution. Foxe did this partly by noting that Arundel died before Sir John Oldcastle, whom he had condemned, and partly by depicting the archbishop's death as particularly nasty. To achieve the latter objective, Foxe quoted, via Bale's Catalogus (p. 557), Thomas Gascoigne's Theological Dictionary. (Foxe states elsewhere in the Acts and Monuments - in his account of Reginal Pecock - that he did not have access to Gascoigne's work). He also took the opportunity to take a swipe at Polydore Vergil for misdating the death of Thomas Arundel to 1415, rather than the correct date of February 1414. (See Polydore Vergil, Anglica historia [Basel, 1555], p. 441). Foxe's criticisms of any author for chronological inaccuracy may strike those familiar with the Acts and Monuments as breathtakingly brazen, but it was all a part of Foxe's continual attempts to erode the credibility of Vergil's history; a work that was both internationally respected and hostile to Lollardy and to the Reformation.. Foxe also notes the foundations of the Charterhouses at Sheen and Syon, along with the nunnery at Syon. His information is taken from Thomas of Walsingham (see Thomas of Walsingham, Historia Anglicana, ed. H. T. Riley, 2 vols., Rolls Series 28 [London, 1863-4], II, pp. 300-301) but the editorial comments are his own. Foxe's account of the revival of the bill, in the 1414 Parliament, to disendow the Church, comes from Fabyan's chronicle. (See Robert Fabyan, The chronicle of Fabian [London, 1559], STC 10664, p. 390). Foxe favours Fabyan's account, because Fabyan voiced a conspiracy theory, later repeated by William Tyndale and William Shakespeare, that the clergy urged Henry V to invade France in order to distact the king from the disendowment of the Church. The story of the French sending the king tennis balls is not in Fabyan; Foxe probably took this from Edward Hall's chronicle. (See Edward Hall, The union of the two noble and illustre families of Lancastre and York [London, 1560], STC 12723a, fo. 41v). Foxe cites both Fabyan and Hall as sources for his exceedingly brief summary of Henry V's campaigns and death; the account could be based on either or both of them. What is noteworthy about this is Foxe's lack of interest in Henry V's martial exploits. To most English chroniclers and historians these were a source of national pride. But to Foxe, they merely served to conceal Henry's ultimate failure as a king: he protected the False Church and persecuted the True Church. Foxe's account of the deaths of Arundel and Henry V was introduced in the 1570 edition and remained unchanged in subsequent editions.

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Thomas S. Freeman,
University of Sheffield

. Whose death following after the execution of these good men aboue recited, by the merueilous stroke of God so sodenly, may seeme somewhat to declare their innocēcy, and that he was also some great procurer of theyr death, in that God woulde not suffer him longer to liue, striking hym with death incontinently vppon the same. But as I dyd the other before, so this also I do refer, to the secret iudgement of the Lord, who once shal iudge all secrets openly.

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In the mean time this may seeme strange, that the same Tho. Arundell, who a litle before sitting vpon iudgement

¶ The picture of the burning and hanging of diuers persons counted for Lollardes, in the first yeare of the raigne of king Henry the fift.
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Given the intractable problems Foxe encountered in defending the religious integrity of those who were condemned of treason, it was defiant to include an illustration of twenty of so individuals suffering the double penalty of hanging and burning after the abortive plot attributed to Sir John Oldcastle in January 1414. The martyrologist was to provoke and himself expend many words in defence of these individuals, though it is to be noted how some of his remarks were hedged in 1563. Reports of these sentences varied, he wrote, citing divergences on the places of punishment, and the sentences of hanging and burning. The actions of the rebels and the reactions of the Leicester Parliament of 1414 made the pursuit of heresy a secular responsibility, and 'the hearing of God's word' potentially treasonable. But who was to know whether the Christians congregating in back fields, and thickets, bearing only their books, were not simply intent on hearing preaching and praying? As Foxe put it, now that 'the sincere worshipping of Christ is counted for heresy, and an heretic counted a traitor, what citizen can, in that commonwealth, live in savitie without sin and wickedness, or be godly without peril and danger?'. In fact Foxe's picture is quite misleading, since only a small proportion of those condemned after the rising were found guilty of heresy as well as treason, and these were burned after being hung. Of the thirty-eight drawn on hurdles from Newgate to St Giles's Fields on 13 February, where they were hanged in batches on four new pairs of gallows, only seven were afterwards burned. CUL copy: there is close attention to detail in the colouring in of this picture. Note the chains and chords used to hang the Lollards. The chords binding their arms are coloured black, the chains in a bluish grey. The flames are coloured a rich orange, with the tips of the largest flames reddened. There is considerable detail in the faces of those depicted also: a white undercoat, with a light brown for shading, a pinkish-red for their cheeks, lips and ears. WREN copy: this painting is not executed as well as the CUL copy. Note that details are provided crudely in black. This appears to be a different, less competent painter at work in this copy. Note that black ink and a quill have been used to put the detail back here. See in particular the faces and belts of the two men guarding the fire in the foreground and, especially, the detail added to the man on horseback at the front right corner of the illustration. The horse's eyeball and lid are detailed in black ink, as are the man's individual figures. The features of many of the hanged Lollards are likewise detailed, although those to the rear are not outlined, to emphasise perspective.

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