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BR 315 .M4 1882

Merle d'Aubign e, J. H. 17<

-1872.
D'Aubign e's Martyrs of th<

reformation



D'AUBIGNE'S



Martyrs of the Reformation



WITH AN



INTRODUCTION



BY THE



Rev. C. H. A. BULKLEY, D.D.

Professor of Rhetoric and Literature. in Howard University, Wash-
ington, D. C, AND Compiler of " Plato's Best Thoughts."



PHILADELPHIA
PRESBYTERIAN BOARD OF PUBLICATION

1334 CHESTNUT STREET



COPYRIGHT, 1882, BY

THE TRUSTEES OF THE

PRESBYTERIAN BOARD OF PUBLICATION.



ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.



Westcott & Thomson,
Stereotypers and Electrotypers,



J^^,



INDEX OF NAMES.



Page

ANTWERP, THREE MONKS OF 31

ASKEW, ANNE 49°

BAINHAM, JAMES 100

BAYFIELD, RICHARD 97

BENNET, THOMAS 66

BERQUIN, LOUIS 290

BILNEY, THOMAS 73

BROWN, JOHN 25

CHATELAIN 46

COBHAM, LORD 16

CURIONE, CELIO 142

DE CATURCE, JEAN . . . *. 332

DRACO, JOHN 30

FRYTH, JOHN 109

HAMILTON, PATRICK 363

HOTTINGER 34

HUN, RICHARD 20

KL^SSEN, WENDELMUTHA 360

LAURENT (ALEXANDER) 13>^



4 INDEX OF NAMES.

Page

LECLERC 46

LIVRY, THE HERMIT OF 58

LUTHER, MARTIN 503

NICHOLSON, JOHN (LAMBERT) 476

OLDCASTLE, SIR JOHN 16

PALEARIO, AONIO 160

PAVANNE, JAMES 55

PETIT, JOHN 71

SAWTRE, WILLIAM 15

SCHUCH, PASTOR 52

TIELMANS, GILES 449

TYNDALE, WILLIAM 184

VALERIO, RODRIGO DE 463

VAN BARKER, JOHN 352

VAN OUSBERGHEN, JUSTUS 455

WIRTH AND HIS TWO SONS 36

WISHART, GEORGE 418

WOLSEY'S VICTIMS 61



INTRODUCTION



The thirteen volumes of Merle D'Aubigne's
History of the Reformation, constituting the two
series, to the one of which Luther, and to the
other Calvin, is the central figure, present a
course of historical reading the power and
charm of which are not excelled even by that
of Macaulay.

The historico-poetic style of the latter has
not in it so much of the dramatic element as
D'Aubigne employs. His plan has been viv-
idly to portray personal characteristics, and to
present actual conversations in strict accord
with historic truth, and, as far as possible, in
the very language of the individuals whose
histories he records. His graphic delineations
of scenes and events, and his crystalline pres-
entations of principles, with his lifelike por-
traitures of priest, king. Reformer and martyr,
render his writings without their equal as his-
tories in their fascination. They have the real
ring of romance in them.



6 INTRODUCTION.

When the first series of five volumes ap-
peared, depicting the Reformation under Lu-
ther, they were sought with an avidity and
read with an interest most intense, such as
no other historical works had ever before se-
cured.

It is a strange fact, however, that the sec-
ond series, having Calvin for its central figure,
has not been hungered after and devoured by
earnest readers as had been the former.

Nevertheless, those who have perused the
latter found not merely an equal, but a supe-
rior, interest therein. For in many respects this
second series covers a wider field of history,
introduces more attractive characters and de-
velops grander results even than the first. It
gives the fuller harvest and the riper fruit of
self-sacrifice and devotedness in those whose
blood, as that of martyrs, was made the seed
of the Church. The first unfolds the destruc-
tive, and the second the creative, period of the
Reformation ; and as creation, progress and
development are more attractive than chaos,
conflict and confusion, so the latter period
attracts more than the former, especially when
brought into view by a style and method quite
as picturesque and dramatic as that of the
former.



INTR OD UC TION. f

The strange fact just alluded to may be ac-
counted for on several grounds : First, the
number of volumes in the second series, in-
creased to eight from the five of the first, may-
have deterred some from undertaking what
might seem to them a too formidable task of
perusal. But the reader, having once dipped
into its pages, is swept along upon a strong
wave of enthusiasm to the end, and, coming
to this, is filled with deep regret that no more
volumes are left for his attraction, and espe-
cially that the brilliant and renowned author
could not have painted the events preceding
the Reformation, and brought his history also
down through the final days of Latimer and
Cranmer, past the reign of Bloody Mary and
beyond the times of the Puritans, even to
those of Whitefield and Wesley. Such a com-
plete history of religious progress, presented
in pictures so graphic and realistic, would have
been an inestimable treasure to the Church.

Secondly, the name of Calvin, being to some
a synonym for bigotry, ecclesiasticism, dry doc-
trine^ dogmatic discussion and timeworn form-
ulas of truth, may have repelled those who
found delight in readino- the five volumes of
the first series, in which Luther, its central
figure, looms up as the grandly heroic Re-



8 INTRODUCTION.

former around whose head a halo of romance
circles. But D'Aublgne presents to us in
his second series the character, teachings and
achievements of Calvin in a new light, which,
if not so strikingly brilliant as that of Luther,
is yet more steadily burning and widely ra-
diating.

The author does not here confine himself
to the dry details of doctrinal discussion within
a limited sphere of dogmatic theology. He
launches out into the broad sea of the civil,
secular and consentaneous histories of the na-
tions among which the principles of the Ref-
ormation spread so rapidly and widely.

Thus we have pictured to us here the in-
tense and heroic struggles of the Genevans
after civil liberty against the machinations of
the duke of Savoy, in complicity with the
bishop Pierre la Baume, and the tyrannies of
Charles V. We are carried into France, Spain,
Italy, Denmark, Norway and Sweden in fruit-
ful journeys of thought and lifelike portraitures
of devoted men and women. Especially are
we presented with the most interesting and
instructive phase of English history at the
time when the Eighth Henry broke from the
thraldom of the papal hierarchy, and in found-
ing the English Church alike opposed and re-



INTR on UC TION. 9

tarded the Reformation which such men as
Tyndale and Bilney were strenuously endeav-
oring- to advance.

No one who loves the principles of the Ref-
ormation, and rejoices in reading of its con-
flicts and its triumphs, can fail to find in D'Au-
bigne's second series an equal, and even a
superior, interest to what he may have found
in the first.

From both these series the personal sketches
contained in this volume have been carefully
culled and presented in the very language it-
self of D'Aubigne. These constitute a nota-
ble gallery of religious portraits, which, for
vivid coloring and personal verisimilitude, are
not surpassed in their charm. They cannot
but be read with the deepest interest.

In these days of materialism, of scientific
skepticism, of worldly aspiration and self-in-
dulgence, it is most essential that such por-
traitures should be presented and perused, as
displaying that noble heroism of faith and that
Chrisdike spirit of self-sacrifice which the
Church and the world need for the redemp-
tion of souls and ca^ triumph of Christianity.
Far more charming are these depictions of
devotion to truth and disreo^ard of life for its

o

sake than are the quaint and sometimes te-



I O INTR OD UC TION.

dious presentations of Fox in his Book of the
Martyrs, attractive even as that work indeed
has been to many.

It would truly have been most satisfying if
to these many illustrious instances of Christian
self-sacrifice there could have been added, in
the graphic language of D'Aubigne, those of
the preceding times of Huss and Wickliff or
of the succeeding ones of Cranmer, Latimer
and Ridley, with the many brave victims of
the Smithfield fires.

It was the design, originally, to include in
this compilation the intensely vivid sketches
of such men as Berthelier, Bonnivard, Baudi-
chon and Levrier, as those who, while not
being strictly evangelical or spiritual, never-
theless aided greatly by their sacrifices and
sufferings toward the establishment of relig-
ious liberty in their securing of that which was
civil. These men, and others like them, who
may not have lost their lives for truth and
freedom, should yet be regarded as martyrs in
the broadest signification of that term, they
having been "witnesses" bold and true for
the rights of man. The story of their wrongs
and sufferings, as graphically given by D'Au-
bigne, although too lengthy for this volume,
and therefore omitted, should yet be read



INTR OD UCTION, 1 1

by every lover of liberty. The results they
achieved for national life and individual free-
dom are so great and multiplied, and have
been gained at such immense cost, as to de-
mand a perusal of their histories and the re-
membrance of their names as the immortal
few " that were not born to die."

Of all these, whose heroism and self-sacri-
fice D'Aubigne so graphically depicts, to which
we refer the reader in his volumes, he thus
thoughtfully and in full justice writes :

"The times of the Reformation abound in
martyrs ; and we might well ask whether primi-
tive Christianity, which came to an end when
the reign of Constantine began, had so great a
number of them as the renovated Christianity
of the sixteenth century ; especially if we take
into account the different lengths of the pe-
riods. The impulse which led the martyrs of
the Netherlands, of France, England, Hun-
gary, Italy, Spain and other lands, to give up
their lives calmly, and even joyfully, proceed-
ed from the depth of their convictions, the
holy and sovereign voice of conscience, en-
lightened, purified and strengthened by the
word of God. In the souls of these lowly he-
roes there was a secret and mighty testimony
to the truth of the gospel, which vividly man-



1 2 INTR OD UCTION.

ifested to them its grandeur, impelled them to
sacrifice all for its sake, and gave them cour-
age to obey, although it cost them not only
goods and worldly greatness, but also the good
opinion, the affection, and esteem even, of those
whom they most tenderly loved. Obedience,
indeed, was not always instantaneous. Some-
times there were hindrances, conflicts, hesita-
tion and delay. There were also some weak
consciences which were overcome. But wher-
ever the conscience was sound, it acquired in
the midst of difficulties more and more force,
and when once its voice was heard the victory
was won. It must be understood that we do
not mean here a conscience which a man has
made for himself: that of which we speak was
the highest expression of truth, justice and the
divine will, and it was found to be the same in
all regions. The souls of these martyrs were
exempt from all prejudices, pure as a cloudless
sky. They were conscientious men ; and here-
in we have the complete explanation of the
grand phenomenon presented to us in the
Reformation. Here was a force sufficient to
break through stubborn bonds, to surmount
passionate opposition, to brave torture and to
cro to the stake. No concessions were to be
made, no agreement with error. The noble



INTR OD UCTION. 1 3

martyrs of the first centuries and of the six-
teenth were the select spirits and the glory
of the human race."

No fitter ending to this volume could be
given — it being that also of D'Aubigne's whole
history — than the death-scene of Luther, who,
though not perishing at the stake, passed
through fires which, borne heroically and es-
caped divinely, entitle him to a place in the
portrait-gallery of the martyrs of the Refor-
mation — they who, whether meeting violent or
peaceful deaths, testified with equal courage
in conflict and with strength in achievement
to the truth as revealed in the glorious gospel
of the Son of God.

c. H. A. B.



Note. — These personal histories are not here presented in
their exact chronological order, that not having been done
even by D'Aubigne himself. Many of them so overlap each
other that a succession as to time was impracticable. They
are, however, so sufficiently arranged as to show severally their
chronological relation to each other.



Martyrs of the Reformation.



I.

WILLIAM SAWTRE,

The First Martyr to Protestantism in England,

A. D. 1401.

The son of Wickliffe's old defender was now
king: a reform of the Church seemed immi-
nent, but the primate Arundel had foreseen
the danger. This cunning priest and skillful
politician had observed which way the wind
blew, and deserted Richard in good time.
Taking Lancaster by the hand, he put the
crown on his head, saying to him, " To consol-
idate your throne, conciliate the clergy and
sacrifice the Lollards." — " I will be the protector
of the Church," replied Henry IV.; and from
that hour the power of the priests was greater
than the power of the nobility. Rome has
ever been adroit in profiting by revolutions.

Lancaster, in his eagerness to show his grat-
itude to the priests, ordered that every incorri-
gible heretic should be burnt alive to terrify

15



l6 MARTYRS OF THE REFORMATION.

his companions. Practice followed close upon
the theory. A pious priest named William
Sawtre had presumed to say, " Instead of ador-
ing the cross on which Christ suffered, I adore
Christ who suffered on it." He was dragged
to St. Paul's; his hair was shaved off; a lay-
man's cap was placed on his head ; and the
primate handed him over to the 77tercy of the
earl-marshal of England. This mercy was
shown him : he was burnt alive at Smithfield
in the beginning of March, 1401. Sawtre was
the first martyr to Protestantism.



II.

SIR JOHN OLDCASTLE, LORD COBHAM,

A. D. 1417.

A FEW miles from Rochester stood Cowline
Castle, in the midst of the fertile pastures wa-
tered by the Medway —

" The fair Medway that with wanton pride
Forms silver mazes with her crooked tide."

In the beginning of the fifteenth century it was
inhabited by Sir John Oldcastle, Lord Cobham,
a man in high favor with the king.

The "poor priests" thronged to Cowling in
quest of Wickliffe's writings, of which Cobham
had caused numerous copies to be made, and



S//^ JOHN OLDCASTLE, LORD COBHAM. I7

whence they were circulated through the dio-
ceses of Canterbury, Rochester, London and
Hertford. Cobham attended their preaching,
and if any enemies ventured to interrupt them
he threatened them with his sword. " I would
sooner risk my life," said he, " than submit to
such unjust decrees as dishonor the everlast-
ing Testament." The king would not permit
the clergy to lay hands on his favorite.

But Henry V. having succeeded his father
in 141 3, and passed from the houses of ill-fame
he had hitherto frequented to the foot of the
altars and the head of the armies, the arch-
bishop immediately denounced Cobham to him,
and he was summoned to appear before the
king. Sir John had understood Wickliffe's doc-
trine, and experienced in his own person the
might of the divine word. ''As touching the
pope and his spirituality," he said to the king,
"I owe them neither suit nor service, foras-
much as I know him by the Scriptures to be
the great Antichrist." Henry thrust aside Cob-
ham's hand as he presented his confession of
faith : " I will not receive this paper ; lay it be-
fore your judges." When he saw his profes-
sion refused, Cobham had recourse to the only
arm which he knew of out of the gospel. The
differences which we now settle by pamphlets
were then very commonly settled by the sword :
" I offer in defence of my faith to fight for life



1 8 MARTYRS OF THE REFORMATION.

or death with any man living, Christian or pa-
gan, always excepting Your Majesty." Cob-
ham was led to the Tower.

On the 23d of September, 141 3, he was taken
before the ecclesiastical tribunal then sitting at
St. Paul's. *' We must believe," said the pri-
mate to him, " what the holy Church of Rome
teaches, without demanding Christ's author-
ity." — " Believe !" shouted the priests, " be-
lieve !" — " I am willing to believe all that God
desires," said Sir John ; " but that the pope
should have authority to teach what is con-
trary to Scripture, that I can never believe."
He was led back to the Tower. The word of
God was to have its martyr.

On Monday, September 25th, a crowd of
priests, canons, friars, clerks and indulgence-
sellers thronged the large hall of the Domin-
ican convent and attacked Lord Cobham with
abusive language. These insults, the import-
ance of the moment for the Reformation of
England, the catastrophe that must needs close
the scene, — all agitated his soul to its very
depths. When the archbishop called upon
him to confess his offence, he fell on his knees,
and, lifting up his hands to heaven, exclaimed,
" I confess to thee, O God, and acknowledge
that in my frail youth I seriously offended thee
by my pride, anger, intemperance and impu-
rity: for these offences I implore thy mercy."



SIR JOHN OLDCASTLE, LORD COBHAM. I9

Then standing up, his face still wet with tears,
he said, " I ask not your absolution : it is God's
only that I need." The clergy did not despair,
however, of reducing this high-spirited gentle-
man : they knew that spiritual strength is not
always conjoined with bodily vigor, and they
hoped to vanquish by priestly sophisms the
man who dared challenge the papal champions
to single combat. ''Sir John," said the primate
at last, "you have said some very strange
things : we have spent much time in endeav-
ors to convince you, but all to no effect. The
day passeth away: you must either submit
yourself to the ordinance of the most holy
Church — " — " I will none otherwise believe
than what I told you. Do with me what you
will." — " Well, then, we must needs do the
law," the archbishop made answer.

Arundel stood up; all the priests and peo-
ple rose with him and uncovered their heads.
Then, holding the sentence of death in his hand,
he read it with a clear voice. " It is well," said
Sir John ; " though you condemn my body, you
can do no harm to my soul, by the grace of my
eternal God." He was again led back to the
Tower, whence he escaped one night and took
refuge In Wales. He was retaken in Decem-
ber, 141 7, carried to London, dragged on a
hurdle to St. Giles's Fields, and there sus-
pended by chains over a slow fire and cruelly



20 MARTYRS OF THE REFORMATION.

burned to death. Thus died a Christian illus-
trious after the fashion of his age — a champion
of the word of God.



III.
RICHARD HUN,

A. D. 1516.

There lived in London an honest trades-
man named Richard Hun, one of those wit-
nesses of the truth who, sincere though unen-
lightened, have been often found in the bosom
of Catholicism. It was his practice to retire to
his closet and spend a portion of each day in
the study of the Bible. At the death of one
of his children the priest required of him an
exorbitant fee, which Hun refused to pay, and
for which he was summoned before the legate's
court. Animated by that public spirit which
characterizes the people of England, he felt
indignant that an Englishmen should be cited
before a foreign tribunal, and laid an informa-
tion against the priest and his counsel under
the act of prcemunire. Such boldness — most
extraordinary at that time — exasperated the
clergy beyond all bounds. " If these proud cit-
izens are allowed to have their way," exclaimed
the monks, " every layman will dare to resist a
priest."



RICHARD HUN. 21

Exertions were accordingly made to snare
the pretended rebel in the trap of heresy ; he
was thrown into the Lollards' Tower at St.
Paul's, and an iron collar was fastened round
his neck, attached to which was a chain so
heavy that neither man nor beast (says Fox)
would have been able to bear it long. When
taken before his judges they could not convict
him of heresy, and it was observed with aston-
ishment " that he had his beads in prison with
him." They would have set him at liberty,
after inflicting on him perhaps some trifling
penance, but then, what a bad axample it would
be ! and who could stop the Reformers if it
was so easy to resist the papacy? Unable to
triumph by justice, certain fanatics resolved to
triumph by crime.

At midnight on the 2d of December, the day
of his examination, three men stealthily as-
cended the stairs of the Lollards' Tower: the
bellringer went first, carrying a torch ; a ser-
geant named Charles Joseph followed ; and
last came the bishop's chancellor. Having en-
tered the cell, they went up to the bed on which
Hun was lying, and finding that he was asleep,
the chancellor said, '* Lay hands on the thief."
Charles Joseph and the bellringer fell upon the
prisoner, who, awaking with a start, saw at a
glance what this midnight visit meant. He re-
sisted the assassins at first, but was soon over-



22 MARTYRS OF THE REFORMATION.

powered and strangled. Charles Joseph then
fixed the dead man's belt round his neck, the
bellringer helped to raise his lifeless body, and
the chancellor slipped the other end of the belt
through a ring fixed in the wall. They then
placed his cap on his head and hastily quitted
the cell. Immediately after the conscience-
stricken Charles Joseph got on horseback and
rode from the city ; the bellringer left the
cathedral and hid himself: the crime dispersed
the criminals. The chancellor alone kept his
ground, and he was at prayers when the news
w^as brought him that the turnkey had found
Hun hanging. " He must have killed himself
in despair," said the hypocrite. But every one
knew poor Hun's Christian feelings. " It is the
priests who have murdered him," was the gen-
eral cry in London, and an inquest was order-
ed to be held on his body.

On Tuesday, the 5th of December, William
Barnwell, the city coroner, the two sheriffs and
twenty-four jurymen proceeded to the Lollards'
Tower. They remarked that the belt was so
short that the head could not be got out of it,
and that consequently it had never been placed
in it voluntarily; and hence the jury concluded
that the suspension was an after-thought of
some other persons. Moreover, they found
that the ring was too high for the poor victim
to reach it, that the body bore marks of vio-



RICHARD HUM. 23

lence, and that traces of blood were to be seen
in the cell. ''Wherefore all we find by God and
all our consciences," runs the verdict, " that
Richard Hun was murdered. Also, we acquit
the said Richard Hun of his own death."

It was but too true, and the criminals them-
selves confessed it. The miserable Charles
Joseph, having returned home on the evening
of the 6th of December, said to his maid-ser-
vant, '' If you will swear to keep my secret, I
will tell you all." — " Yes, master," she replied,
" if it is neither felony nor treason." — Joseph
took a book, swore the girl on it, and then said
to her, "I have killed Richard Hun." — "Oh,
master ! how ? he was called a worthy man." —
" I would liever [rather] than a hundred pounds
it were not done," he made answer ; '' but what
is done cannot be undone." He then rushed
out of the house.

The clergy foresaw what a serious blow this
unhappy affair would be to them, and to justify
themselves they examined Hun's Bible (it was
Wickliffe's version), and having read in the
preface that " poor men and idiots [simple
folks] have the truth of the Holy Scriptures
more than a thousand prelates and religious
men and clerks of the school," and further,
that " the pope ought to be called Antichrist,"
the bishop of London, assisted by the bishops of
Durham and Lincolm, declared Hun guilty of



24 MARTYRS OF THE REFORMATION.

heresy, and on the 20th of December his dead
body was burnt at Smithfield. " Hun's bones
have been burnt, and therefore he was a her-
etic," said the priests ; " he was a heretic, and
therefore he committed suicide."

The triumph of the clergy was of short du-
ration, for almost at the same time William
Horsey, the bishop's chancellor, Charles Jo-
seph, and John Spalding, the bellringer, were
convicted of the murder. A bill passed the
Commons restoring Hun's property to his fam-
ily and vindicating his character ; the Lords ac-
cepted the bill, and the king himself said to the
priests, " Restore to these wretched children
the property of their father, whom you so cru-
elly murdered, to our great and just horror." —
" If the clerical theocracy should gain the mas-



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