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Examinations and martyrdom of Dr. Rowland Taylor, A.D. 1555 online

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is Aldham Common, the place where you must suffer; and the
people are come to look upon you." Then said he, " Thanked
be God, I am even at home ; " and so he alighted from his horse,
and with both his hands rent the hood from his head. Now his
hair was knotted evil-favouredly, and clipped much like as a
man would clip a fool's head ; which cost Bishop Bonner had
bestowed upon him, when he degraded him. But when the
people saw his reverend and ancient face, with a long white
beard, they burst out with weeping tears, and cried, saying,
"God save thee, good Dr. Taylor; Jesus Christ strengthen
thee, and help thee ; the Holy Ghost comfort thee ; " with such
other like godly wishes. Then would he have spoken to the
people ; but the yeomen of the guard were so busy about him,
that as soon as he opened his mouth, one or other thrust a tip-
staff into his mouth, and would in no wise permit him to speak.
Then desired he licence of the Sheriff to speak ; but the Sheriff
denied it to him, and bade him remember his promise to the
Council. " Well," said Dr. Taylor, " promise must be kept."

What this promise was, it is unknown ; but the common fame
was, that after he and others were condemned, the Council sent
for them, and threatened them they would cut their tongues out
of their heads, except they would promise that at their deaths
they would keep silence and not speak to the people. Wherefore
they, desirous to have the use of their tongues, to call upon God
as long as thvy might live, promised silence.

Dr. Taylor, perceiving that he could not be suffered to speak,
sat down, and seeing one named Soyce, he called him, and said,
" Soyce, I pray thee come and pull oil' my boots, and take them


for thy labour. Thou hast long looked for them, now take
them." Then rose he up, and put off his clothes unto his shirt,
and gave them away. Which done, he said with a loud voice,
" Good people, I have taught you nothing but God's holy Word,
and those lessons that I have taken out of God's blessed book,
the holy Bible ; and I am come hither this day to seal it with
my blood." With that word, Holmes, yeoman of the guard
aforesaid, who had used Dr. Taylor very cruelly all the way,
gave him a great stroke upon the head with a cudgel, and said,
" Is that the keeping of thy promise, thou heretic ? " Then he,
seeing they would not permit him to speak, kneeled down and
prayed, and a poor woman, who was among the people, stepped
in and prayed with him ; but her they thrust away, and threat-
ened to tread her down with horses ; notwithstanding, she would
not remove, but abode and prayed with him. When he had
prayed, he went to the stake and kissed it, and set himself in a
pitch barrel, which they had set for him to stand in, and so he
stood with his back upright against the stake, with his hands
folded together, and his eyes toward heaven, and so he con-
tinually prayed.

Then they bound him with chains, and the Sheriff called one
Richard Doningham, a butcher, and commanded him to set up
fagots ; but he refused to do it, and said, " I am lame, Sir,
and not able to lift a fagot." The Sheriff threatened to send
him to prison ; notwithstanding he would not do it.

Then appointed he one Mulleine, of Kersey, a man fit to be a
hangman ; and Soyce, a very drunkard, and Warwick, who, in the
commotion time in King Edward's days, lost one of his ears for
his seditious talk ; also one Robert King, a deviser of interludes.
These four were appointed to set up the fagots and to make the
fire, which they most diligently did. And this Warwick cruelly
cast a fagot at him, which lighted upon his head, and brake
his face, that the blood ran down his visage. Then said Dr.
Taylor, " O friend, I have harm enough; what needed that ? "
Furthermore, Sir John Shelton there standing by, as Dr. Taylor
was speaking and saying the Psalm Miserere [being the 51st
Psalm], in English, struck him on the lips; " Ye knave," said
he, " speak Latin : I will make thee." At the last they set to
fire : and Dr. Taylor, holding up both his hands, called upon
God, and said, " Merciful Father of heaven, for Jesus Christ my
Saviour's sake, receive my soul into thy hands." So stood he
still, without either crying or moving, with his hands folded
together, till Soyce, with a halbert, struck him on the head, that
the brains fell out, and the dead corpse fell down into the fire.
Thus rendered the man of God his blessed soul into the


hands of his merciful Father, and to his most dear and certain
Saviour, Jesus Christ, whom he most entirely loved, faithfully
and earnestly preached, obediently followed in living, and con-
stantly glorified in death.

On Aldham Common, a stone yet marks the place where the
martyr suffered ; on it is rudely engraved, " 1555- D. Taylor
in defending that was good. At this plas left his blude." A
more finished monument was erected by its side in 1818.


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Online LibraryJohn FoxeExaminations and martyrdom of Dr. Rowland Taylor, A.D. 1555 → online text (page 3 of 3)