Josiah Pratt.

The church historians of England : Reformation period (Volume 6) online

. (page 57 of 70)
Online LibraryJosiah PrattThe church historians of England : Reformation period (Volume 6) → online text (page 57 of 70)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

met with his father as he went to the stake, and also that there was a priest at

the stake, who went about to have him recant. To whom he said (as he thought

in his dream) how that he bade him, " Away, false prophet !" and how that he

exhorted the people to beware of him, and such as he was : which things came

to pass indeed. It happened that William made a noise to himself in his

dream, which caused master Higbed and the others to awake him out of his

sleep, to know what he lacked. When he awaked he told them his dream in

order, as is said.

Now when it was day, the sheriff, master Brocket, called on to set forward to
the burning of William Hunter. Then came the sheriffs son to William
Hunter, and embraced him in his right arm, saying, " William ! be not afraid
of these men which are here present with bows, bills, and weapons, ready pre-
pared to bring you to the place where you shall be burned." To whom William
answered, " I thank God I am not afraid ; for I have cast my count what it
eth him. will cost me already." Then the sheriff's son could speak no more to him for

Then William Hunter plucked up his gown, and stepped over the parlour
groundsel, and went forward cheerfully ; the sheriff's servant taking him by
one arm, and I his brother by another. And thus going in the way, he met with
his father according to his dream, and he spake to his son, weeping and saying,
" God be with thee, son ^Villiam!" And William said, " God be with you,
good father, and be of good comfort; for I hope we shall meet again when we
shall be merry." His father said, " I hope so, William ;" and so departed. So
William went to the place where the stake stood, even according to his dream,
where all things were very unready. Then William took a wet broom-faggot,
and kneeled down thereon, and read the fifty-first Psalm, till he came to these
words, " The sacrifice of God is a contrite spirit ; a contrite and a broken heart,
O God, thou wilt not despise."

Then said master Tyrill of the Beaches (called William Tyrill), " Thou liest,
said he, " thou readest false ; for the words are an humble spirit." But William
said, " The translation saitli, a contrite heart." " Yea," quoth master Tyrill,
" the translation is false : ye translate books as ye list yourselves, like heretics.'
" Well," quoth William, " there is no great difference in those words." Then
said the sheriff, " Here is a letter from the queen. If thou wilt recant thou
shalt live; if not, thou shalt be burned." " No," quoth William, " I will not
recant, God willing." Then William rose and went to the stake, and stood
upright to it. Then came one Richard Ponde, a bailiff, and made fast the chain
about William.

Then said master Brown, " Here is not wood enough to burn a leg of him."
Then said William, " Good people ! pray for me ; and make speed and despatch
quickly : and pray for me while you see me alive, good people ! and 1 will
pray for you likewise."

" Now," quoth master Brown, " pray for thee ! I will pray no more for
thee, than I will pray for a dog." To whom William answered, " Master
Brown, now you have that which you sought for, and I pray God it be not laid
to your charge in tlic last day:"howbeit I forgive you." Then said master
Brown, " 1 ask no forgiveness of thee." " Well," said William, " if God for-
give you, I sliall not require my blood at your hands."
nai snow • '^'^^" '^^'^ William, " Son of Ciod shine upon me ;" and immediately the sun
ofChriTt's i" ^'i^ element shone out of a dark cloud so full in his face, that he was con-
favour strained to look anotiier way : whereat the people mused, because it was so dark
a little time afore. Then William took up a faggot of broom, and embraced it
in his arms.

Then the priest, which William dreamed of, came to his brother Robert with
a popisli book to carry to William, that he might recant; which book his brother

led to
the place
of mar-
The she-
riff's son





to liis



of the



where he

hath no







A dogged
saying of

An exter-
nal show



would not meddle withal. Then William, seeing the priest, and perceiving Mary.
how he would have showed him the hook, said, " Away, thou false prophet !

Beware of them, good people, and come away from their abommations, lest -^-y-
that you be partakers of their plagues." " Then," quoth the priest, " look how ^^'"''^-
thou burnest here, so shalt thou bum in hell." William answered, " Thou
liest, thou false prophet ! Away, thou false prophet, away!"

Then was there a gentleman which said, " I pray God have mercy upon his
soul." The people said, "Amen, Amen." Immediately fire was made.

Then W^illiam cast his i)salter right into liis brother's hand, who said, " W^il- comfcit-
liam ! think on the holy passion of Christ, and be not afraid of death." edby his

And William answered, " I am not afraid." Then lift he up his hands to ^°^ ®'^'
heaven, and said, " Lord, Lord, Lord, receive my spirit ;" and, casting down
his head again into the smothering smoke, he yielded up his life for the truth,
sealing it with his blood to the praise of God.

Now by and by after, master Brown commanded one old Hunt, to take his Robert
brother Robert Hunter, and lay him in th.e stocks till he returned from the '*^'' ^' "'^
burning of Higbed at Horndon on the Hill, the same day. Which thing old
Hunt did. Then master Brown (when Robert Hunter came before him) asked
if he would do as his brother had done. But Robert Hunter answered, " If I
do as my brother hath done, I shall have as he hath had." " IMarry," quoth
master Brown, " thou mayest be sure of it."

Then master Brown said, " I marvel that thy brother stood so to his tack- Robert
ling :" and moreover, he asked Robert, if William's master of London were not ''y <^."'''s
at his burning. But Robert said, that he was not there ; but master Brown JJence
bare him in hand that his master was there, and how that he did see him there : delivered,
but Robert denied it. Then master Brown commanded the constable and
Robert Hunter to go their ways home, and so had no further talk with them.

Jl^cre follotoetl^ tije ti.t^torp of JBaiSter Caujtfton anD ^lia.ster 3l^igticd,




IN ESSEX, A.D. 1555.

Although tlie condenmation of master Causton and master Hie:bcd iJ'%,r
followed after the condemnation of those other martyrs who were
condemned with Tomkins and Hunter above mentioned, yet, because
the time of their execution was before the burning of the aforesaid
four martyrs, forsomuch that they suffered the same day that William
Hunter did, which was the 26th of March, I thought therefore, next
after the story of the said William Hunter, following the order of
time, here to place the same.

This master Causton and master Higbed, two worshipful gentlemen
in the county of Essex, the one at Horndon on the Hill, the other
of the parish of Thundersby, being zealous and religious in the true
service of God ; as they could not dissemble with the Lord their
God, nor flatter with the world, so in time of blind superstition and
wretched idolatry, they could not long lie hid and obscure in such a
number of malignant adversaries, accusers, and servants of this world,
but at length they were perceived and detected to the aforesaid
Edmund Bonner bishop of London ; peradventure not without the nibbed
same organ which sent up William Hunter, as is above declared, toifde-'"'
By reason whereof, by commandment they were committed to the *^'^''^f,l"
officers of Colchester to be safely kept, and with them also a servant
of Thomas Causton, who, in this praise of christian godliness, was
nothing inferior to his master.


Mary. Boiincr, thc foresaid bishop, perceiving these two gentlemen to be
^ £) of worshipful estate, and of great estimation in that country, lest any
1555. tumult should thereby arise, came thither himself, accom])anied with
master Fecknam and certain others, thinking to reclaim them to his

conioth faction and fashion : so that great labour and diligence was taken
c!)Tches-° therein, as well by ten-ors and threatenings, as by large promises and
^^^' flattering, and all fair means, to reduce them again to the unity (as
they termed it) of the mother church.

In fine, when nothing could prevail to make them assent to their
doings, at length they came to this point, that they required certain
respite to consult with themselves what Avas best to do. Which time
of deliberation being expired, and they remaining still constant and
unmovable in their professed doctrine, and setting out also their con-
fession in writing, the bishop seeing no good to be done in tarrying
Md c^aus- ^^^y loi^gcJ" there, departed thence, and carried them both with him to
ton car- London ; and with them certain other prisoners also, which about the
London, sauic time in those quarters were apprehended.


It was not long after this, but these prisoners, being at London
committed to strait prison, and there attempted sundry ways by the
bishop and his chaplains to revoke their opinions : at length, when
Ap^dis. 1^^ persuasions would serve, they w^ere brought forth to open exami-
nation at the consistory in PauFs, the 27th day of February,
A.D. 1555 ; where they were demanded as well by the said bishop, as
also by the bishop of Bath, and others, whether they would recant
their errors and perverse doctrine (as they termed it), and so come to
the unity of the popish church. Which when they refused to do, the
bishop assigned them likewise the next day to appear again, being the
28th of February.


On the which day, among many other things there said and passed,
he read unto them severally certain articles, and gave them respite
until the next day to answer mito the same ; and so committed them
again to prison. The copy of which articles hereunder foUoweth.

Articles objected and ministered by Bonner, Bishop of London,
severally against Thomas Causton and Thomas Higbed of Essex.

First, That thou Thomas Causton (or Thomas Higbed) hast been and art of
the diocese of London, and also of the jurisdiction now of me, Edmund bishop
of London.

Item, Tliat thou wast in time past, according to the order of the cluuch of
Enghiiid, baptized and christened.

Item, That thou liadst godfathers and godmother, according to the said order.

Item, That the said godfatliers and godmother did then promise for thee, and
in thy name, thc faith and rcHgion that then was used in the reahn of England.

Item, That that faith and religion, which they did profess and make for thee,
was accounted and taken to be the faith and religion of the church, and of the
christian ])e()ple : and so was it in very deed.

Item, Thou coming to the age of discretion (that is to say, to the age of four-
teen years.) didst not mislike nor disallow that faith, that religion, or promise
then used and approved and promised by the said godfathers and godmother,


but for a time didst continue in it, as others (taking themselves for christian Mary.
people) did likewise.

Item, That at that time, and also before, it was taken for a doctrine of the A. D.
church, catholic and true, and everywhere in Christendom then allowed for 1555.
catholic and true, and to be the profession of a christian man, to believe, that in
the sacrament of the altar, under the forms of bread and wine, after the conse-
cration, there was, and is, by the omnipotent power and will of Almighty God,
and his word, without any substance of bread and wine there remaining, the
true and natural body and blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ in substance, which „.
was born of the Virgin Mary, and suffered upon the cross, really, truly, and in preseacii
very deed.

Item, That at that time thy father and mother, all thine ancestors, all thy
kindred, acquaintance, and friends, and thy said godfathers and godmother, did
then so believe, and think in all the same as the said church did therein believe.

Item, That thyself liast had no just cause or lawful ground to depart or swei-ve
from the said religion or faith, nor any occasion at all, except thou wilt follow
and believe the erroneous opinion or belief that hath been (against the com-
mon order of the church) brought in by certain disordered persons of late, at
the uttermost within these thirty or forty years last past.

Item, That thou dost know, or credibly liast heard, and dost believe, that Dr.
Robert Barnes, John Frith, Thomas Gerrard, Jerome, Lassels, Anne Askew,
John Hooper late bishop of Gloucester, sir Laurence Saunders priest, John
Bradford, sir John Rogers priest, sir Rowland Taylor priest, sir John Laurence
priest, William Pygot, Stephen Knight, William Hunter, Thomas Tomkins, and
Thomas Hawkes, have been heretofore reputed, taken, and accoimted as
heretics, and also condemned as heretics, and so pronounced openly and mani-
festly ; specially in holding and believing certain damnable opinions, against the
verity of Christ's body and blood in the sacrament of the altar,' and all the same
persons (saving John Bradford, sir John Laurence, William Pygot, Stephen
Knight, William Hunter, Thomas Tomkins, and Thomas Hawkes) have suffered
pains of death by fire, for the maintenance and defence of their said opinions
and misbelief.

Item, That thou dost know, or credibly hast heard, and dost believe, that
Thomas Cranmer, late archbishop of Canterbury ; and Nicholas Ridley, naming
himself bishop of London ; Robert Ferrar, late bishop of St. Davids ; and Hugh
Latimer-, some time bishop of Worcester ; have been, and are at this present,
reputed, accounted, and taken as heretics and misbelievers, in maintaining and
holding certain damnable opinions against the verity of Christ's body and blood
in the sacrament of the altar.

Item, That thou hast commended and praised all the said persons, so erring Verity ta-
and believing (or at the leastwise some of them), secretly, and also openly, l^en for
taking and believing them to be faithfid and catholic people, and their said misbT-"'
opinions to be good and true ; and the same, to the best and uttermost of thy lievint,'
power, thou hast allowed, maintained, and defended at sundry times. heretics.

Item, That thou, having heard, known, and understood, all the premises thus
to be as is aforesaid, hast not regarded all or any part thereof, but, contrary to
the same and every part thereof, hast attempted and done ; condemning, trans-
gressing, and breaking the promise, faith, religion, order, and custom aforesaid :
and hast becomen and art a heretic and misbeliever in the premises, denying the
verity of Christ's body and blood in the sacrament of the altar, and obstinately
affirming, that the substance of the material bread and wine is there remaining,
and that the substance of Christ's body and blood, taken of the Virgin Mary, is
not there in the said sacrament really and truly being.

Item, That all the premises be true, notorious, famous, and manifest ; and
that u})on all the same, there have and be amongst the sad and good people of
the city of London, and diocese of the same, in great multitude, commonly and
publicly, a common and public fame and opinion, and also in all places where
thou hast been, within the said diocese of London.

These articles being given to them in writing by the bisliop, the
next day following was assigned to them to give up and exhibit their
answers unto the same.

(1) Also sir Eilmund Bonner, priest, before tlic dcatli of C'roinvvell, was of tliat opinion, and was
sworn twice against tlie pope.






Upon that day, being the first day of March, the said Thomas
Causton and Thomas Higbed, gentlemen, being brought before the
bishop in the consistory, there exhibited their answers to the articles
aforesaid : the tenor of which answers here folio weth.

The Answers of Thomas Causton and Thomas Higbed, severally
made to the foresaid articles objected as before.

To the first, they answer and confess the same to be true.

To the second, they answer and believe the same to be true.

To the third, they answer and beheve the same to be true.

To the fourth, they answer and think the same to be true.

To the fifth, unto this clause, " and so was it in very deed," they answer and
believe the same to be true. And unto that clause, " and so was it in vtrv
deed," they answer negatively, and believe that it was not in very deed.

To the sixth, seventh, and eighth, they answer and believe the same to be

To the ninth, they answer and say, that they think they have a just and
lawful cause and ground to swerve and go from the said faith and religion,
because they have now read more Scripture, than either themselves, or their
parents and kinsfolk, godfathers or godmothers, have read or seen heretofore in
that behalf

To the tenth, they answer, say, and believe, that the said persons articulate,
have been named, taken, and counted for heretics, and so condemned for here-
tics: yet about three years past, they were taken for good christian persons.
And forasmuch as these respondents did ever hear them preach concerning the
Tiansub- sacrament of the altar, they say that they preached v.'ell, in tJiat they said and
tion. preached that Christ is not present really and truly in the sacrament ; but that
denied, there is remaining the substance of bread and wine.

To the eleventh, they answer and say, that howsoever other folks do repute
and take the said persons articulate, yet these respondents themselves did never,
nor yet do, so account and take them. And further they say, that in case the
said persons articulate, named in this article, have preached that in the sacra-
ment of the altar is very nuiterial wine, and not the substance of Christ's body
and blood under the forms of bread and wine, then they preached well and
truly, and these respondents themselves do so believe.

To the twelftli, they answer and say, that whereas other folk have dispraised
the said persons articulate, and disallowed their opinions, these respondents (for
ought that they at any time have heard) did like and allow the said persons,
and their sayings.

To the thirteenth, they answer and say, that they have not broken or con-
demned any promise made by their godfathers and godmothers for them at their
baptism, and that they are no heretics or misbelievers, in that they believe that
there remaineth only bread and wine in the sacrament of the altar, and that
Christ's natural body is not there, but in heaven : for they say, that the Scrip-
tures so teach them.

To the fourteenth, they answer and believe, that the premises before by them
confessed be true, notorious, and manifest.

aeau.oiic ^^''^^ ^^^^^^ answcrs exhibited and perused, then the bishop,
';i.arit'y spcakiiig unto tlicin after this sort, beginneth first (as he did ever
showed. ]j^>fy^p) ^^,i^ij Thomas Causton. " Because ye shall not be suddenly
trapped, and that men shall not say that I go about to seek snares
to put you away ; I liave hitherto respited' you, that you should
weigh and consider with yourself your state and condition, and that
you should, while ye have time and space, acknowledge the truth.


and return to the unity of the catholic church." Then the bishop, ^f„r!J.

reading their former articles and answers to the same, asked them if , ..

they would recant : which when they denied, they were again dis- 1555,

missed and commanded to appear the Wednesday next after, at two

o'clock at afcernoon, there to receive their definitive sentence against
them : which thing (as it seemeth) was yet deferred.



The next Friday, being the 8th of March, the said Thomas
Causton was first called to examination before the bishop, Fecknam,
and Dr. Stempe,' being in his palace, and there had read unto him
his foresaid articles with his answers thereunto ; and after certain
exhortations to recant his former profession, and to be conformable
to the unity of their church, they promised him, so doing, willingly
to receive him again thereunto. To whom he answered, " You go
about to catch us in snares and gins. But mark, by what measure
ye measure ns, look you to be measured with the same again at
God''s hands." The bishop still persuaded with him to recant. To
whom he answered, " No, I will not abjure. Ye said that the causton
bishops that were lately burned, be heretics : but I pray God make re"ant.
me such a heretic as they were."

The bishop then leaving master Causton, calleth for master Hig- Higted
bed; using with him the like persuasions that he did with the other: ^^llu'^jg.
hut he answered, " I will not abjure; for I have been of this mind nieth'to
and opinion that I am now, these sixteen years ; and do what ye ^ ^""^^^
can, ye shall do no more than God will permit you to do ; and with
what measure you measure us, look for the same again at God's

Then Fecknam asked him his opinion in the sacrament of the
altar. To whom he answered, " I do not believe that Christ is in
the sacrament as ye will have him, which is of man's making."

Both their answers thus severally made, they were again com-
manded to depart for that time, and to appear the next day in the
consistory at Paul's, beween the hours of one and three o'clock at


At which day and hour, being the 9th day of March, they were
both, brought thither ; where the bishop caused master Thomas
Causion's articles and answers first to be read openly, and after
persuaded with him to recant and abjure his heretical opinions, and
to come home now, at the last, to their mother the catholic church,
and save himself.

But master Thomas Causton answered again, and said, " No, I causton
will not abjure ; for I came not hither for that purpose :" and there- ^^^ ^^'g:_
withal did exhibit in writing unto the bishop (as well in his own tit a con-
name, as also in Thomas Higbed's name) a confession of their faith, fauh!"

(1) This Stempe is now warden of the college in Winchester, '


Mar,i. to tlic wliicli Uicy would stand ; and required leave to read the same :

. Q Avhich, after great suit, was obtained. And so he read it openly in

i555. the hearing of the people, as followeth.

The Confession of Faith of Thomas Causton and Thomas Higbed,

which they delivered to the Bishop of London, before the Mayor

and Shcriifs, and in the Presence of all the People there assembled,

the 9th of March, a.d. 1555 ; and were condemned for the same

in the said Consistory in Paul's Church, the Day and Year above


A re- First, we believe and profess in baptism, to forsake the devil and all his

iiouncins ^orks and pomps, and the vanities of the wicked world, with all the sinful lusts

world. of the flesh.

The 2. We believe all the articles of our christian faith.

creed. 3. We believe, that we are bound to keep God's holy will and command-

mand°"^ mcnts, and to walk in the same all the days of our life.

ineiits. 4. We believe, that there is contained in the Lord's prayer all things nece.s-

J"'''' sary both for body and soul ; and that we are taught thereby to pray to our

pr*ayer. heavenly Father, and no other saint or angel.

The ca- •''• We believe, that there is a catholic church, even the commimion of saints,
tholic "built upon the foundation of the prophets and apostles," as St. Ptuil saith,
church. I, (^^|-„.jg(. being the head corner-stone. " For the which church Christ gave him-
self, to make it to himself a glorious congregation, without fault in his sight.
The 6. We believe, that this church of herself, and by her own merits, is sinful.

|*"[^M^ and must needs say, "Father! forgive us our sins:" but, through Christ and
sinful; his merits, she is freely forgiven ; " for he in his own person," saith St. Paul,
by impu- u \^^i\^ purged her sins, and made her faultless in his sight:" " Besides whom,

Online LibraryJosiah PrattThe church historians of England : Reformation period (Volume 6) → online text (page 57 of 70)