Critical Apparatus for this Page
View an Image of this PageCommentary on the Text
Names and Places on this Page
Brussels (Bruxelles: French)Rome
Person and Place Index  *  Close
Brussels (Bruxelles: French)



Coordinates: 50° 51' 0" N, 4° 21' 0" E

Person and Place Index  *  Close

Lazio, Italy

Capital of the Papal States

Coordinates: 41° 54' 0" N, 12° 30' 0" E

958 [934]

K. Henry. 8. A Table of the Italian Martyrs.
Persecutors.Martyrs.The causes.
MarginaliaAntonie Basor, an English man, enioyned penaunce.Last of all was pro-
duced Antony Basor,
who for that he was
an Englishe man, he
was iudged to beare
his mātle of yellow to
28.the towne house in pe-
Anthony Ba-nance for his crime, &
for, an Eng-incontinēt was thrust
lishman.into a cloyster for one
yeare, to the intent he
might there be instruc-
ted in þe catholick ordi-
nances of the church of
Rome as thei be called
After these sentences being thus pronounced,
they which were condemned to be burned with the
coffin of the dead Lady, & her picture vpon the same,
were committed to the secular magistrate, and theyr
executioners, which were commaunded to doe theyr
endeuour. Then were they all incontinent takē, and
euery one set vpon an Asse, theyr faces turned backe-
ward, with a great garison of armed souldiors, vnto
the place of punishment, which was without the
gate of the towne called Del Campo.
MarginaliaXiiij. Martyrs in Spayne, burned.When they were come to the place, there were 14.
stakes set vp of equall distaunce one from an other,
whereunto euery one seuerally being fastened accor-
ding to the fashion of Spayne, they were all firste
strangled, and then burned and turned to ashes, saue
onely Antony Huezuelo. Who for so much as he had
both within and without the prison, vehemently de-
tested the popes spiritualty, therfore he was burned
aliue, and his mouth stopped frō speaking. And thus
these faythfull Christians, for the verity & pure word
of God, were led to death, as sheep to the shambles:
who not onely most christianly did comfort one an o-
ther, but also did so exhort all them there present, that
all men maruelled greatly, both to heare theyr sin-
gular constancy, and to see theyr quiet and peaceable
It is reported that besides these aforesayd, there
remayned yet behinde 37. other prisoners, at þe sayd
towne of Valledolid, reserued to an other Tragedy &
Persecutors.Martyrs.The Causes.
spectacle of that bloudy Inquisition. Ex quinta parte
Martir. Gallic Impresse pag. 474.
¶ Furthermore, whereas the story of the sayde
Inquisition being set out in the Frenche tongue
doth recken the number of the martyrs aboue men-
tioned, to be thirty: and yet in particular declaration
of them, doth name no more but xxviij. here is there-
fore to be noted, that eyther this number lacked two
of thirty: or els that 2. of the sayde company were re-
turned backe without iudgement, into the prison a-
¶ And thus much for this present, touching the
proceeding of the church of Spayne, in theyr Inqui-
sition agaynst the Lutheranes, that is, agaynst the
true and faythfull seruauntes of Iesus Christ. Albeit
there be other countryes also besides Spayne, sub-
iect vnto the same Inquisition, as Neaples, and Si-
cily: in which kingdome of Sicilie, I heare it credi-
bly reported that euery thyrd yeare are brought forth
to iudgement and execution, a certeine number after
the like sort of christian martyrs, some times 12. some
times 6. some times more, and some times lesse. A-
mongest whome there was one, much about þe same
yere aboue mentioned. an. 1559. MarginaliaA Christian martyr burned in Sicilie.who comming from
Geneua, vnto Sicilie, vpon zeale to do good, was at
last layd hand of, and being condēned the same time,
to the fire, as he should take his death, was offered
there of the hangman to be strāgled, hauing the cord
ready about his necke: but he notwithstanding, re-
fused the same, and sayde that he would feele the fire:
and so endured he, singing with all his might vnto
the Lord, till he was beriued both of speach and life,
in the middest of the flame: such was the admirable
constancy and fortitude of that valiant souldiour of
Christ, as is witnessed to me by him, whiche beeing
there present the same tyme, did both then see that
which he doth testify, and also doth now testify that
he then saw.
¶ Now it remayneth further, according to my
promise, in like order of a compendious table, to cō-
prehend also such Martyrs, as suffered for the verity
and true testimony of the Gospell, in the places and
countryes of Italy: which Table consequently here
next ensueth to be declared.
¶ A Table of such Martyrs as suffered for the testimony of the Gospell in Italy. 
Commentary  *  Close
Italian martyrs

Foxe's knowledge of protestant martyrs from the Italian peninsula was as patchy as that for the Spanish peninsula. He indicated as much in the prelude to his table, where he admitted that his information for the kingdom of Naples and Sicily - then part of the patrimony of the Spanish Habsburgs - was almost completely deficient. He cites just one example of an unnamed Genevan who went to Sicily as a protestant missionary, only to end up being prosecuted and burned by the Inquisition, presumably at Palermo. The individual concerned here was probably Jacopo Bonello ('Jacobus Bovellus') whom he mentions later in the context of the Calabrian Waldensian repression. He does not seem to have made the connection.

[Back to Top]

For the main table of Italian martyrs, his sources were, as he himself explicitly states, Pantaleon (lib 6), Crespin 'and others'. Of the 'others', the most important source was undoubtedly Celio Secondo Curione (1503-1569). The latter was a distinguished Italian humanist who had cultivated Augustinian views among the evangelical circles of Turin in his youth. Like many of the Italian evangelisti, he found himself under threat of persecution and fled, first to Venice, then Ferrara (1541), briefly to Lucca, and then to Switzerland. He spent some years in Lausanne before finally moving to Basel to be the professor of rhetoric at the university there, where he published extensively. He maintained extensive literary contacts with the Italian evangelisti in the 1550s, when there seemed still much to play for in the evolution of Italian ecclesiastical reform. There is nothing in Foxe which had not already appeared in Heinrich Pantaleone, Martyrum historia (1563) and the Historia rerum in Ecclesia gestarum (1563). For Curione's biography, see the Dizionario biografico degli Italiani, (Rome: Istituto dell Encylopedia Italiana, 1960-), 31, pp. 443-449 and refs. In one further instance, Foxe had also picked up some information relating to the execution of two protestant former monks in Rome from Johann Manlius, Locorum communium collectanea (2 parts, Basel, 1563), a widely-consulted common-place book by protestant humanists.

[Back to Top]

Only at one point does Foxe break from the tabular presentation of information concerning the Italian martyrs to provide more detailed documentation. This was in respect of the story of Pomponio Algieri ('Pomponius Algerius'). He chose to translate the letter that Algieri wrote, reproduced in Pantaleon, fols 329A-332B, and the printers were instructed to offset it with elaborate border woodblocks to emphasise further the status Foxe accorded it (1570, pp. 1070-1072). Algieri had been arrested on suspicion of heresy by the Venetian authorities and imprisoned there in 1555. Crespin provided extensive documentation relating to his trial in the French editions (Crespin [1564], p. 674 et seq; Crespin [1570], fols 366 et seq) but Foxe concentrated uniquely on the material conveniently available to him in Latin from Pantaleon. The reasons that he cites for interrupting his table to furnish this letter are interesting, noting the impact of Plato's 'Phaedo' (the Socratic Dialogue on the Immortality of the Soul) upon 'Thebrotus' (it is not clear to whom Foxe is referring here) who was 'so moved and perswaded therewith, that he caste hym selfe down headlong from an high wall, to be rid out of thys present life'. Foxe's commitment to the humanist project of the power of rhetorical persuasion is fully evident here. Pomponio Agieri wrote his letter from what he described, with appropriate irony, as the 'agreeable orchard' ('ex delectabili pomario') of the Leonine prison in Venice, so-called because of its proximity to the bronze lion statue in the piazza San Marco, and renowned for its squalid and cramped conditions. The letter was addressed (apparently) to exiled protestants from the Venetian territories now north of the Alps. Foxe cites it in extenso. As Pantaleon explained, he (and possibly Foxe independently) had received a copy of it from Celio Secondo Curione, the professor of rhetoric at the university of Basel. It is dated 12 August 1555 in Pantaleon, which is misprinted as 12 July in Crespin (Crespin/Benoit, 2, p.276). The letter itself is infused with intense Biblical references, particularly to the Pauline epistles and Gospels.

[Back to Top]

M. Greengrass
University of Sheffield

The Italian Martyrs.
Persecutors.Martyrs.The causes.
MarginaliaEncenas, or Dryander, martyr.This Encenas, or
Dryander, a spani-
ard borne at Burges,
was brother to Fran-
ciscus Encenas þe lear-
ned man, so oft before
N. Encenas o-mentioned, & was also
therwise cal-þe teacher or instructor
led knowledge of religi
Certayneon, to Diazius the god
popish Spa-ly martyr aboue recor-
niardes.ded. He was sēt of his
at Rome.superstitious parents,
beinge younge vnto
rome. Who there after
long cōtinuance grow
ing vp in age & know-
ledge but especially be
ing instructed by the
At Rome.lord in the truth of his
woord, after hee was
An. 1546.knowne to mislike the
Popes doctrine, & the
impure doinges at Rome, as apprehended and ta-
ken of certayne of his owne country men, and some
of his owne householde frends at Rome at the same
time, when he was preparing to take his iourney to
his brother Fraūces Encenas in Germany. Thus
he being betrayed and taken by his coūtrymen, was
brought before the Cardinals, and there committed
straight to prison. Afterward he was brought forth
to geue testimonye of his doctrine, whiche he in the
Persecutors.Martyrs.The causes.
presence of the Cardinalles, and in the face of all the
Popes retinue, boldly and constantly defended. So
that not onely the Cardinals, but especially the spa-
niardes, being therewith offended, cryed out vppon
him that he should be burned. The Cardinalles, first
before the sentence of death should be geueu, came to
him, offering if he would take it (after the maner of
the Spaniardes) the badge of reconciliation, whiche
hath the name of Sanbenites cloth, made in forme of
a mantle, going both before him and behinde hym,
with signes of the redde Crosse. But Encenas styll
constant in the profession of trueth, denyed to receiue
any other condition or badge, but onely the badge of
the Lord: which was to seale the doctrine of his reli-
gion, with the testimony of his bloud. At last, the
matter was brought to that issue, that the faythfull
seruaunt and witnes of Christ was iudged and con-
demned to the fire, where he in the sight of the Car-
dinals, and in the face of the Apostolicall sea preten-
sed, gaue vp his life for testimony of the Gospell. Ex
Pantal. lib. 6. Ex Crisp. & alijs.
MarginaliaThe imprisonment and escape of Franciscus Encenas.☞ And for so much as mention hath bene made
both in this story, and many other before of Francis-
cus Encenas his brother: here is not to be preter-
mitted, how the sayd Franciscus being a man of no-
table learning as euer was any in Spayne being in
the Emperors Court at Bruxels, offered vnto the
Emperour Charles the fift the newe Testament of
Christ translated into Spanishe. For the whyche
he was cast into Prison, where he remayned in sor-
rowfull captiuity and calamitye, the space of fifteene
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