of theſe latter and perillous dayes,
touching matters of the Church, wherein
ar comprehended and deſcribed the great perſecutions
& horrible troubles, that have bene wrought
and practiſed by the Romiſhe Prelates, ſpeciallye
in this Realme of England and Scotlande
, from the yeare of our Lorde 1000a
thouſande, unto the tyme
Gathered and collected according to the
true copies & wrytinges certificatorie as wel
of the parties them ſelves that ſuffered, as
alſo out of the Biſhops Regiſters,
which wer the-doers therof,
by John Foxe.
Imprinted at London by
dwellyng over Alderſgate.
Here next foloweth the ſame yeare the true examinations of Anne Aſkew, which here thou ſhalt have gentle reder according as ſhe wrote thēem with her own hande, at the inſtante deſire of certaine faithfull men and women, by the which (if thou marke dilligently) the communications bothe of her, and of her examiners thou maiſt eaſelly perceive the tre by the frute and the man by his worke.
The two examinations of the worthy ſervant of God, Maiſtris An Aſkew, doughter of ſir William Aſkew knight of Lincolneſhire, martred in Smithfield for the Conſtante and faithfull teſtimonye of the truthe.
The firſt examination of An aſkew To ſatiſfy your expectatiōon, good people (ſaithe ſhee) this was my firſt examination in the yeare of our Lorde 1545-03M.D.xlv. and in the moneth of March, firſt Chriſtofer Dare examined me at Sadlers Hal, beyng one of the queſt, and aſked if I did not beleve that the ſacrament hanginge over the aultar was the very body of Chriſt really. Then I demaunded this queſtion of him.
Wherefore S. Steven was ſtoned to death And he ſayde, he coulde not tell. Then I aunſwered, that no more would I aſſoyle his vain queſtion. Secondly he ſaide that theire was a woman, which did teſtify, that I ſhould reade, how god was not in temples made with hāands Then I ſhewed him the, vii. and the .xvii. Cha of the actes of the Apoſtles, what Steven and Paule had ſaide therein. Wherupon he aſked me, how I tooke thoſe ſentences? I aunſwered that I woulde not throwe pearles amonge ſwine, for accornes were good inough.
Thirdelye he aſked me, wherefore I ſaide, that I had rather to reade five lines in the bible, than to heare five maſſes in the temple, I confeſſed, that I ſaid no leſſe. Not for the dyſpraiſe of either the Epiſtle or Goſpell, but bycauſe the one did greatly edify me, & the other nothinge at all. As ſaint Paule doth witneſſe in the .xiiii. Chapiter of his firſt Epiſtle to the Corinthians, where as he doth ſay. If the trūumpet geveth an uncertaine ſounde, who wil prepare him ſelfe to the battaile.
Fourthly he layed unto my charge, that I ſhuld ſay. If an il prieſt miniſtred, it was the devill and not God. My aunſwere was, that I never ſpake ſuch thinge. But this was my ſainge: That what ſoever he were which miniſtred unto me, his ill condicions could not hurt my faith but in ſpirite I received never the leſſe, the body and bloude of chriſt.
He aſked me, what I ſaide concerning confeſſion? I aunſwered him my meaninge, which was as ſainte James ſaieth, that every man ought to knowledg his fautes to other, and the one to praye for the other. Sixtly he aſked me what I ſaid to the kinges boke? And I anſwered him, that I coulde ſaye nothinge to it, by cauſe I never ſaw it. Seventhly he aſked me if I had the ſprite of God in me? I aunſwered if I had not, I was but reprobate or caſt away Then he ſaid, he had ſent for a prieſt, to examine me, which was there at hand. The prieſt aſked me, what I ſaide to the ſacrament of the aulter? And required much to knowe therein my meaninge. But I deſired him againe, to holde me excuſed concerninge that matter. None other aunſwere would I make him bycauſe I perceived him a papiſt. Eightly he aſked me, if I did not think that private maſſes did helpe ſoules departed: And ſaide, it was greate Idolatry to beleve more in them, than in the death which Chriſt died for us. Thēen they had me thence unto my Lorde Maire and hee examined me, as they had before, and I aunſwered him directly in al things as I anſwered the queſt afore. Beſides this my lord mair laide one thinge unto my charge which was never ſpoken of me but of thēem. And that was whether a mouſe eatinge the hoſte, received God or no? This queſtion did I never aſke, but in dede they aſked it of me, whereunto I made them no aunſwere but ſmiled. Then the biſhops chaunceller rebuked me, and ſayde, that I was much to blame for uttring the ſcripturs. For 670 OO5v 670 For S. Paul (he ſaid) forbode women to ſpeak or to talke of the worde of God, I anſwered hīim that I knew Paules meaninge as well as he, whiche is .i.Corinthians.xiiii. that a woman ought not to ſpeake in the cōongregatiōon by the way of teaching. And then I aſked him, how many women he had ſene, go into the pulpit & preach? He ſaide he never ſaw none. Then I ſayde, he ought to finde no faute in poore womēen, except they had offended the lawe. Then my Lorde maior cōommaūunded me to warde. I aſked him if ſuerties wold not ſerve me, & he made me ſhort āanſwer, that he wold take nōone. Thēen was I had to the coūunter, & ther remained xi. daies no frēend admitted to ſpeake with me. But in the meane time ther was a prieſt ſēent to me which ſaide that he was commaūunded of the biſhop to examine me, & to geve me good coūuncell, which he did not, but firſt he aſked me for what cauſe I was put in the coūunter? And I told him I could not tel. Thēen he ſaid, it was greate pity that I ſhuld be there without cauſe, & cōoncluded that he was very ſory for me. Secōondly he ſayd, it was told him, that I ſhould deny the ſacrament of the alter. And I āanſwered him agayne that, that I had ſaid, I had ſaid Thirdly he aſked me, if I were ſhrivēen, I tolde him ſo that I might have one of theſe .iii. that is to ſay, doctor Crome, ſir Gillam, or Hūuntington, I was contented, bycauſe I knew them to be men of wiſdome. As for you or any other I will not diſpraise, bycauſe I knowe ye not, Then hee ſaide I would not have you thinke but that I or another that ſhalbe brought you ſhalbe as honeſt as they. For if we were not, ye may be ſure, the kinge would not ſuffer us to preach. then I anſwered by the ſayng of Salomon. By communing with the wiſe. I may lerne wiſdom: But by talking with a fole, I ſhal take ſkathe, Prover.i. Fourthly he aſked me, if the hoſt ſhould fall, and a beaſt did eate it whether the beaſt did receive God or no? I aūannſwered, Seinge ye have taken the paines to aſke this queſtion I deſire you alſo to aſſoile it your ſelfe. For I wil not do it, bycauſe I perceive ye come to tempt me. And he ſaid, it was againſt the order of ſcoles that he which aſked the queſtion ſhould aunſwere it. I told him I was but a woman and knew not the courſe of ſcoles. Fifthly he aſked me if I intended to receive the ſacrament at Eaſter or no? I aunſwered that els I were no Chriſten woman & there I did rejoiſe, that the time was ſo nere at hāand. And thāan he departed thence with many faire wordes. And the 1545-03-23.xxiii. day of March my coſine Britaigne came into the Coūunter to me, and aſked ther whether I might be put to baile or no. Thēen went he immediatly unto my Lord mayor, deſiring of him to be ſo good unto me that I might be bailed. My Lorde aunſwered him, and ſaid, that he would be glad to do the beſt that in him lay. Howe be it he could not baile me with out the conſent of a ſpirituall officer So requiringe him to go and ſpeake with the chauncellour of London. For he ſaide, like as he could not commit me to pryſon without the conſent of a ſpirituall officer, no more could he baile me with out conſent of the ſame. So upon that, he wēent to the chauncelour, requiring of him as he did a fore of my lorde maiore. He aunſwered him, that the matter was ſo haynouſe, that he durſt not of him ſelfe do it. with out my Lord of Londōon were made privy there unto. But hee ſaid he would ſpeake unto my Lord in it. And bad him repair unto him the next morowe and he ſhoulde well knowe my lordes pleaſure and upon the morow after, he came thither, and ſpake both with the chauncellor, and with my Lord Biſhopp of London my Lorde declared unto him, that he was very well cōontented that I ſhould come forth to a communication. And appointed me to apere before him the next day after, at .iii. of the clock at after none More over he ſaid unto him, that he would ther ſhould be at the examination, ſuch lerned men, as I was affectioned to, that they mighte ſee and allſo make reporte that I was handeled with no rigour. He aunſwered him, that he knew no man that I had mor affection, to than other. Than ſaid the biſhop Yes as I underſtand, ſhee is affectioned to Doctour Crome, Sir Gilliam Whiteheade, & Huntington; that they might heare the matter. For ſhe did knowe them to be lerned, and of a godly judgement. Alſo he required my coſine Britain, that he ſhould erneſtly perſwad me to utter, even the verye bottoms of my harte. And he ſware by his fidelitye that no man ſhould take any advantage of my words Neither yet would he lay ought to my charge for any thinge that I ſhould there ſpeake. But if I ſaid any manner of thinge amis. He with other more wold be glad to reform me therin, with moſte Godly counſell. On the morowe after my lord of London ſent for me, at one of the clock, his hour beinge apointed at thre. and as I came before him, he ſaide he was very ſory of my trouble and deſired to know my opinion in ſuch matters as were laid againſt me He required me alſo in any wiſe boldly to utter the ſecrets of my hart, biddinge me not to fear in any point. For what ſo ever I did ſay in his houſe no man ſhould hurt me for it. I āanſwered. For ſo much as your Lordſhip appointed .iii. of the clocke and my frendes ſhall not come in the hour, I deſire you to pardon me of gevinge aunſwere til they come. Then ſaid he, that he thought it mete to ſēend for thoſe iiii. mēen which were afore named and apointed Then I deſired him not to put them to that pain for it ſhould not nede, bycauſe that .ii. gentell men which were my frends were able inough to teſtifye that I ſhuld ſaie. Anon after he wēent into 671 OO6r 671 into his galery, with maiſter Spilman, and willed him in any wiſe, that he ſhould exhorte me to utter all that I thought. In the meane while he commaunded his archdeacon to common with me, who ſayde unto me: maiſtres wherefore are ye accuſed and thus troubled heare before the Byſhoppe? To whome I aunſwered agayne and ſayde. Syr, aſke I praye you my accuſers, for I knowe not as yet. Then tooke he my boke out of my hande, and ſaide. Suche bookes as this, hathe broughte you to the trouble ye are in. Beware (ſaith he) beware, for he that made thys boke and was the authour therof, was an heretike I warrant you, and burnte in Smithfielde. Then I aſked him if he were certain and ſure, that it was true that hee hadde ſpoken.
And he ſayed he knewe well the booke was of John frethes makinge. Than I aſked him, if he were not aſhamed for to judg of the boke before he ſaw it within, or yet knew the truth therof. I ſaid alſo that ſuch unadviſed & haſtye judgment is a token apparent of a very ſlender witte. Then I opened the booke and ſhewed Raſhe judgement reproved. it him. He ſayd he thought it had bene an other for he could find no fault therin. Then I deſyred him, no more to be ſo unadviſedlye, raſhe and ſwift in judgment, till he throughlye knewe the truthe, and ſo hee departed from me.
Immediatlye after came my coſen Bryttaine in with divers other as Maiſter Haule of Grayes Inne and ſuch other like. Thēen my lord of London perſwaded my coſen Brittain as he had done ofte before, which was that I ſhould utter the bottome of my harte in any wiſe. My Lord ſaid after that unto me that he would I ſhould creadite the counſell of ſuche as were my frendes and well wyllers in this behalfe, whiche was, that I ſhoulde utter all thinges that burdened my conſcience for he ensured me that I ſhoulde not nede to ſtande in doubt to ſay any thing. For like as he promyſed them (he ſaid) he promiſed me and woulde performe it. Which was, that neither he nor any man for him, ſhould take me at advantag of any word I ſhould ſpeake. And therfore he had me ſay my minde without feare. I anſwered him, that I had nought to ſay. For my cōonſcience (I thanked God) was burdned with nothing.
Then brought he fourth this unſavery ſimilitude. That if a man had a woūund, no wiſe ſurgion would miniſter help unto it before he had ſeene it uncovered. In like caſe (ſayeth he) can I geve you no good counſell, unleſſe I know where with your conſcience is burdened. I anſwered, that my conſcience was clere in all thinges. And for to lay a plaiſter unto the whole ſkinne, it might appere much folye. Then ye drive me (ſaith he) to lay to your charge, your owne report which is this. Ye did ſay he that doth receave the ſacrament by the handes of an ill prieſt or a ſinner, he receiveth the devil and not God. To that I aunſwered, that I never ſpake ſuch wordes.
But as I ſaid afore both to the queſt and to my Lord mayer, ſo ſay I now againe that the wickednes of the prieſt ſhoulde not hurte me, but in ſpirit and faith I received no les, thēen the body and bloud of Chriſt. Then ſaied the biſhop unto me, what ſaienge is this in Spirit? I will not take you at that advantage.
Then I aunſwered my lord without fayth and ſpirite, I cannot receyve him worthelye. Then he layed unto me, that I ſhuld ſay, that the ſacrament remayning in the pixe, was but bread. I aunſwered that I never ſayde ſo, but in dede the queſt aſked me ſuch a queſtiōon, wher unto I would not aunſwere (I ſayde) till ſuch time as they had aſſoyld me this queſtion of mine, wherfore Steven was ſtoned to death? They ſaid they knew not. Then ſaide I again no more would I tell them what it was. Thēen layde my lord unto me, that I had alleaged a certaine text of the ſcripture, I aunſwered that I alleged none other but Saint Paules owne ſaying to the Athenianes in the .xvii. chapter in the Apoſtles actes that god dwelleth not in temples made with hands. Then aſked he me what my fayth and beliefe was in that mater? I aunſwered him I beleve as the ſcriptur doth teach me. Then inquired he of me, what if, the ſcripture do ſay that it is the body of Chriſt? I beleve, ſaid I, as the ſcripture doth teache me. Then aſked he againe what if the ſcripture do ſay that it is not the body of Chriſt? My āanſwer was ſtil, I beleve as the ſcripture infourmeth me, And upon this argument he taried a great while to have driven me to make him an aunſwer to his mind. Howbeit I would not, but concluded this with him that I beleve therein and in all other thinges as chriſt and his holy Apoſtles did leave them. Then he aſked me, why I had ſo few wordes, And I aunſwered, God hath geven me the gift of knowledge, but not of utterance. And Salomon ſayeth that a woman of few wordes is a gift of God. Pro. xix.
Thirdlye my Lorde layed unto my charge that I ſhould ſay that the maſſe was ſuperſtitious, wicked, and no better then Idolatry.
I aunſwered him no, I ſayde not ſo. Howbeit I ſay the queſt did aſke me whether private maſſe did releve ſoules departed or ne? Unto whome then I anſwered.
O Lorde what Idolatry is this? That we ſhould rather beleve in private maſſes, than in the healthſome death of the dere ſon of god. Then ſaid my Lord againe: What 672 OO6v 672 What an anſwere was that? Though it were but meane (ſayed I): Yet it was good enough for the queſtion. Then I toulde my Lorde that there was a prieſt, which did here what I ſayd there, before my Lorde Mayer and them. With that the Chauncelor anſwered, which was the ſame prieſte. So ſhe ſpake it in verye dede ſaith he before my Lorde mayer and me: then were there certaine prieſtes, as Doctor D. Stāandiſh Standiſh & other which tēempēted me much to know my mind. And I āanſwered thēem alwayes thus. That I ſaid to my lord of Londōon, I have ſayde. And then Doctor Standiſh deſyred my Lord, to bid me ſay my mind, concerninge the ſame text of Saint Paules lerning, that I being a woman, ſhould enterprete the ſcriptures ſpecialy where ſo many wiſe lerned men wer. Then my lorde of London ſaid he was informed that one ſhould aſk of me if I would receive the ſacramente at Easter, and I made a mocke of it, then I deſired that mine accuſer might come forth, which my Lord would not. But he ſaid againe unto me I ſēent one to geve you good councell, and at the firſt word ye called him papiſt. That I denied not, for I perceaved he was no leſſe, yet made I him none anſwere unto it. Then he rebuked me, and ſaide that I ſhould reporte, that there were bente againſte me threſcore prieſtes at Lincolne. In dede (quod I) I ſayd ſo. For my frendes tolde me, if I did com to Lincoln, the prieſts wold aſſaulte me and put me to great trouble as ther of they had made their boaſt. And whēen I herd it I went thither in dede, not being afrayed, becauſe I knew my matter to be good. Moreover, I remained there .ix. dayes, to ſe what would be ſaid unto me. And as I was in the minſter, reading upon the bible, they reſorted unto me by .ii. and by, ii. by .v. and by, vi, minding to have ſpoken to me, yet wēent they their wayes againe with out wordes ſpeaking.
Then my Lord aſked, if there were not one that did ſpeake unto me. I told him yeas, that there was one of them at the laſte, whiche did ſpeake to me in dede. And my Lord than aſked me what he ſaid? And I told him, his wordes were of ſmal effect, that I did not now remembre them. Then ſaid my Lord there are many that read and know the ſcripture, and yet not follow it nor live therafter. I ſaid againe, my Lord I would wiſh that all men knew my cōonverſation and livinge in all poynts, for I am ſo ſure of my ſelfe this houre that there are none able to prove any diſhoneſtie by me. If you know any that can do it, I pray you bring thēem furth. Then my lorde went away and ſaid he would entitle ſumwhat of my meaning. And ſo he wrote a greate circumſtance. But what it was I have not all in memory For he wuld not ſuffer me to have the copy therof. Only do I remembre this ſmall porcion of it. Be it knowen (ſayeth he) of all men that I Anne Aſkew doo cōonfeſſe this to be my faith and beliefe, not withſtanding my reportes made afore to the contrary. I beleve that they which are houſeled at the handes of a prieſt whether his cōonverſation be good or not, do receive the body and bloud of Chriſt in ſubſtance really. Alſo I do beleve that after the conſecration whether it be received or reſerved, to be no leſſe than the very body and bloud of Chriſt, in ſubſtance. Finally I doo beleve in this and in all other ſacramentes of holly church in all poynts according to the old catholike faith of the ſame.
In witnes wherof I the ſaid An have ſubſcribed my name. There was ſumwhat more in it, which becauſe I had not the copy I cannot now remembre. Then he redde it to me and aſked me if I did agre to it. And I ſaid againe I beleve ſo much therof as the holy ſcripture doth agre unto. wherfore I deſire you, that ye The tenor of Boners writing wherunto An Aſkew ſubſcrybed. will adde that therunto. Then he aunſwered that I ſhoulde not teach him what he ſhoulde write. With that, he went forth into his great chamber, and redde the ſame bill afore the audience, which enveygled & willed me to ſet to my hand ſaing alſo, that I had favour ſhewed me. Then ſaid the Biſhop I might thanke other and not my ſelfe, of the favour that I found at his hande. For he conſidered (he ſaide) that I had good frendes, and alſo that I was come of a worſhipfull ſtocke. Then aunſwered one Chriſtofer, a ſervaunt to maiſter Dennie, rather ought ye (my Lord) to have done it in ſuch caſe, for goddes ſake than for mannes. Then my Lord ſat downe and toke me the writings to ſet therto my hand: And I writte after this maner. I Anne Aſkew do beleve all manner thinges connteined in the faith of the Catholike church.
And for as much as mention here is made of the Writ īing of Boner, which this godly Ann ſayd before ſhe had not in memory, therfore I thought in this place to infer the ſame, both with the whol circumſtance of Boner, &c with the title therunto prefixed by the regiſter, & alſo with her owne ſubſcription: to the entent the reader ſeing the ſame ſubſcription nether to agre with the time of the title above prefixed, nor with the ſubſcription after the writing annexed, he might the better underſt āand therby what credit is to be gevēen hereafter to ſuch biſhops and to ſuch regeſters. The tenor of Boners wriwriting procedeth thus.
- Edmund biſhop of London.
- Jhon biſhop of Bedford.
- Owen Ogelthorpe doctor of divinity.
- Richard Smith doctor of divinity.
- Jhon Rudde bacheler of divinity.
- Wylliam Pie bacheler of devinity.
- Jhon Wymeſley Archdeacon of London.
- Jhon Cooke.
- Edward Halle.
- Robert Jhon
- Alexander Brette.
- Fraunces Spilman.
- Edmond Buttes.
Here maiſt thou note gentle reader in thys confeſſyon bothe in the biſhop and his regeſter Boner and his regeſter reproved much as untruth. a double ſleight of falſe conveyaunce. For although the cōonfeſſion purporteth the words of the biſhops wryting. Wherunto ſhe did ſet to her hand: yet by the title prefixed before maiſt thou ſee that both ſhe was araigned and cōondemned before this was regiſtred, and alſo that ſhe is falſly reported to have put to her hand whyche in dede by this her owne booke appeareth not ſo to be, but after this manner and condition. I Anne Aſkew do beleve al manner thinges contained in the faith of the Catholike church, and not otherwiſe.
Then becauſe I did adde unto it, the Catholike churche, he flonge into his Chambre in a great fury. With that my coſen Bryttaine folowed him: deſiring him for Goddes ſake to be good Lord unto me. He anſweared that I was a woman, and that he was nothinge deceived in me. Then my coſen Bryttaine deſired him to take me as a woman, and not to ſette my weake womans wit, to his Lordſhippes verye greate wiſdome. Then went in unto him Doctor Weſton, and ſaide, that the cauſe whye I did wryte there, the Catholicke churche, was, that I underſtode not the church wryttēen afore. So with much a do, they perſwaded my Lorde to come out againe, and to take my name with the names of my ſureties, which were my coſen Brittayne and maſter Spilman of Graies Inne. This being doone, we thoughte that I ſhuld have bene put to Bayle immediatlye, according to the order of the lawe. Howe be it he woulde not ſuffer it, but committed me from thence to priſon again until the next morowe. And than he willed me to appeare in the guild Hall, and ſo I did. Notwithſtāanding they wold not put me to Bayle there neither, but red the biſhops wryting unto me as before, and so cōommaunded me again to priſon. Then were my ſureties appoynted to come before them on the next morow in Paules church, which did ſo indede. Notwithſtanding they would once again have broken of with them, becauſe they wolde not be bound alſo for an other woman at theyr pleaſure, whome they knew not, nor yet what matter was layed unto her charge. Notwythſtanding at the laſt, after much a do and reaſoning to and fro, they toke a bond of them of recogniſance for my forthe comming. And thus I was at the laſte delivered.
The latter Examination of the worthy ſervant of God, maſtres Anne Aſkew, the yonger doughter of ſir williāam Aſkew knight of Lincoln ſhire, lately martired in Smithfeld, by the wicked ſinagoge of Antichrist.
I Do perceive (dere frend in the Lord) that thou art not yet perſwaded throughly in the truth 15461546. concerning the Lords ſupper, becauſe Chriſte ſaid unto his Apoſtles. Take eat this is my body which is geven for you. In geving forth the bread as an outward ſigne or token to be received at the mouth, he minded them in perfect beleve to receive the body of his whiche ſhould dye for the people, or to thinke the death therof, the only health and ſalvation of their ſoules.
The bread and the wine were left us, for a ſacramental cōommunion, or a mutual participation, of the ineſtimable benefites of hys mooſte precious death and bloud ſheding, and that we ſhould in the end therof be thanckfull together for that moſt neceſſary grace of our redemptiōon. For in the cloſing up therof, he ſaid thus, thys do ye, in remembraunce of me. Yea, ſo oft as ye ſhal eat it or drinke it. Luk .xi. & .i. Corinth .xi. Els ſhuld we have bene forgetfull of that we oughte to have in dailye remembraunce, and alſo bene altogether unthankful for it. Therfore it is mete, that in our prayers we cal unto god to graft in our forheads, the true mening of the holy ghoſt concerninge this cōommunyon. PP.i. For 674 PP1v 683 For Sainct Paule doth ſay that the letter ſleieth: The ſprite is it onely that geveth life .ii. Corinthians .iii. Marke well the ſixt chapiter of Jhon, wherall is applied unto fayth. Note alſo the fourth chapiter of Saint Paules fyrſte Epiſtle to the Corinthians, and in the ende therof ye ſhall find that the thinges which are ſene are temporal, but they that are not ſene are everlaſtyng. Yea looke in the thirde chapter to the Hebrues, and ye ſhal find that Chriſt as a ſonne and no ſervaunte, ruleth over hys houſe (whoſe houſe are we, and not the deade temple) if we hold faſt the confidence and rejoyſing of that hope to that end. Wherfore as ſaithe the holy Ghoſt. To day if you ſhall heare hys voyce, harden not your hartes .&c. Pſal .cxiiii.
☞ The ſumme of my examination, before the kinges counſel at Grenewich.
Your requeſt, as concerning my priſon fellowes, I am not able to ſatiſfy: Becauſe I hard not their examinations: But the effect of mine, was this. I beinge before the Councell, was aſked of maſter Kyme. I anſweared, that my Lord Chauncellor knew already my mind in that matter. They with that anſwer were not contented: but ſaid, it was the kings pleaſure, that I ſhould open the matter to them. I anſwered them plainly that I wold not ſo do. But if it were the kings pleaſure to hear me, I would ſhew him the truth. Then they ſayed it was not mete for the kinge with me to be troubled. I anſwered, that Salomon was reckened the wiſeſt king, that ever lived: yet miſliked he not to heare two poore comon women: much more his grace a ſimple woman, and his faithful ſubject. So in concluſion I made them none other aunſwer in that matter. Thēen my Lord chauncelour aſked me of my opinion in the ſacrament. My anſwer was this: I beleve, that ſo oft as I in a chriſtian congregation, do receive the bread in remembraunce of Chriſtes death, and with thankes geving accordinge to his holye inſtitution, I receive there with the frutes alſo of his moſte glorious paſſyon. The biſhop of Wincheſter bad me make a direct anſwer. I ſaid, I wold not ſing a newe ſonge to the Lord in a ſtraunge land. Than the byſhop ſaid, I ſpake in parables, I anſweared it was beſt for him. For if I ſhewe the open truthe (quoth I) ye wil not accept it. Then he ſayd I was a Parate I told him again, I was ready to ſuffer all thinges at his hands not only hys rebukes, but all that ſhoulde folowe beſydes, yea and all that gladly. Then had I dyvers rebukes of the councel, becauſe I would not expreſſe my minde in al thinges as they woulde have me. But they wer not in the mean time unanſwered for all that, which now to rehers were to muche. For I was with them there about v. hours. Then the clarke of the counſell conveyed me from thence to my lady Garniſh. The next day I was brought again before the councel. Then would they nedes know of me, what I ſaide to the ſacrament. I anſweared, that I already had ſaid that I could ſay. Then after divers wordes, they bad me go by. Then came my Lord Liſle, my Lord of Eſſex, and the Biſhop of Wincheſter, requiringe me earneſtlye that I ſhould confeſſe the ſacrament to be fleſh bloud and bone. Then ſaid I to my lord Parr and my Lorde Liſle, that it was greate ſhame for them to councell contrarye to theyr knowledge. Wherunto in few words they did ſaye, that they would gladly all thinges were well. Then the biſhop ſaid, he wold ſpeake with me familierly. I ſayde, ſo did Judas whan he unfrendly betrayed Chriſt. Then deſyred the byſhop to ſpeake with me alone. But that I refuſed. He aſked me why? I ſaid: that in the mouthe of two or thre witneſſes, every matter ſhoulde ſtand, after Chriſtes and Paules doctryne.
Mathew xviii.ii. Corinth .xiii. Then my Lord Chauncelor began to examine me again of the Sacrament. Then I aſked him how longe he would hault on bothe ſides? Then woulde he neades know where I found that, I ſaid in the ſcripture .iii. Regum .xviii. Then he went hys way. Then the Biſhop ſaid I ſhould be brent: I anſwered that I had ſearched all the ſcryptures, yet coulde I never finde, that eyther Chriſte or his Apoſtles putte anye creature to death. Well well ſaid I, God will laugh your threatninges to ſkorne. Pſalme .ii. Then was I commaunded to ſtande aſide. Then came to me Doctor Cox, and Doctor Robinſon. In concluſion we coulde not agree. Then they made me a bil of the ſacrament: willing me to ſet my hand therunto but I would not. Then on the ſonday I was ſore ſicke, thinkinge no les then to die. Therfore I deſired to ſpeake with Latimer, it wold not be. Then was I ſent to Newgate in my extremity of ſicknes. For in al my life afore was I never in ſuch pain. Thus the lord ſtrēengthen you in the truth, pray, pray, pray.
☞The confeſsion of me Anne Aſkew for the time I was in Newgate concerning my beliefe.
I Find in the ſcriptures (ſayth ſhe) that chriſte toke the breade and gave it to his diſciples, ſaing, take, eate, this is my body which ſhal be broken for you, meaning in ſubſtance his own very body, the bread being therof an only ſign or ſacrament. For after like manner of ſpeaking he ſaid, he wold breake down the temple, and in iii. dayes build it up againe ſignifieng his owne body by the temple as Sainct Jhon declareth it .Jhon .ii. and not the ſtony temple it ſelfe. So that the breade is but a remēembraūunce of his death or a ſacrament of thankes geving for it, whereby we are knit unto him by a communion of chriſten love. Although ther be many that cāannot perceive the true meanīing therof, for the vale that Moſes put over his face befor the childrēen of 675 PP2r 675 children of Iſrael, that they ſhoulde not ſee the clereneſſe therof. Exo .xxiiii. and .ii. Corin .iii. I perceive the ſame vail remaineth to this day. But whan God ſhall take it away, then ſhall theſe blinde men ſee. For it is plainlye expreſſed in the hyſtory of Bel in the bible, that God dwelleth in no thinge materyall. O kynge (ſaith Daniel) be not deceived.Daniel .xiiii. for God wil be in nothing that is made with handes of men. Act .vii. Oh, what ſtifnecked people are theſe, that wil alwaies reſiſt the holye ghoſt? But as their fathers have done: ſo doo they, becauſe they have ſtony harts. Wrytten by me Anne Aſkew that neither wiſhe death, nor yet fear his might: and as wweary, as one that is bound towardes heaven. Truth is laide in priſon. Luk .xxi. The law is turned to Wormwood. Amos .vi. And there can no right judgement go forth. Eſay. lix. Oh forgeve us al our ſinnes, and receive us gratiouſlye. As for the works of our hands, we wil no more cal upon them. For it is thou Lord that art our God.
Thou ſheweſt ever mercy unto the fatherles. Oh if they would doo this (ſaithe the Lorde) I ſhoulde heale their ſores, yea withal my harte woulde I love them. O Ephraim, what have I to do with Idols any more? who ſo is wyſe, ſhal underſtāand this. And he that is rightly enſtructed, wil regard it. For the wais of the Lord are righteous. Such as are godly, wil walk in them. And as for the wicked, they wil ſtomble at them. Oſe .xiiii. Salomon (ſaith S. Steven) builded an houſe for the God of Jacob. Howbe it, the hieſt of al, dwelleth not in temples made with hands: As ſaith the prophet Eſaye .lxvi. Heaven is my ſeat, and the earth is my foteſtole What houſe wil ye build for me? ſaith the lord, or what place is it that I ſhal reſt in? hath not my hand made al things? Act .vii. Woman beleve me (ſaith Chriſte to the Samaritane) the time is at hand, that ye ſhall neither in thys moūuntain nor yet at Jeruſalēem worſhip the father. Ye worſhip ye wot not what, but we know what we worſhip. for ſalvation commeth of the Jewes. But the hour cometh, and is now, when the true worſhippers ſhal worſhip the father in ſprite & verity Jhon iii. Laboure not (ſaith Chriſt) for the meat that peariſheth, but for that that endureth into the life everlaſting which the ſonne of manne ſhal geve you. For him God the father hath ſealed. Jhon vii.
The ſumme of the condemnation of me Anne Aſkew at the Guild Hal.
They ſaid to me ther that I was an hereticke, and condempned by the law, if I would ſtande in mine opinyon. I anſweared that I was no hereticke, neyther yet deſerved I any death by the lawe of God. But as concerning the faith whiche I uttered and wrote to the counſel I would not (I ſaid) deny it, becauſe I knew it true. Then woulde they neades know if I wold deny the Sacrament to be Chriſtes body and bloude of Chriſt: yea. For the ſame ſonne of God, that was borne of the virgin Mary, is now glorious in heavēen, and wil come againe from thence at the latter day like as he went up. Act .i. And as for that ye cal youre God, it is a peace of breade. for a more profe therof (marke it whan ye liſt.) Let it lie in the boxe but iii. moneths, and it wil be mouldy, and ſo turn to nothinge that is good. Wherupon I am perſwaded, that it cāan not be god. After that they willed me to have a prieſt: And then I ſmiled. The belefs of Anne Aſkew concerning the ſacramēents. Then they aſked me, if it were not good? I ſaide, I woulde confeſſe my fautes unto god. For I was ſure that he wold heare me with favor. And ſo we were condēempned with a queſt. My belefe whiche I wrote to the councel was this. That the Sacramentall bread was left us to be received with thankes geving, in remembraunce of Chriſtes deathe, the onlye remeady of oure ſoules to recover. And that therby we alſo receive the whole benefytes and frutes of his moſt glorious paſſion. Then woulde they neades know whether the bread in the boxe were God or no. I ſayd: god is a ſpirit, and will be worſhipped in ſpirit and truthe. Jhon iiii. Then they demaunded. Wil you plainly deny Chriſt to be in the Sacrament? I anſweared that I beleve faythfully the eternal ſonne of God not to dwell there. In witnesse wherof I recited again the hiſtory of Bel, and the xix. chapiter of Daniell, the vii and xvii. of the Actes, and the xxiiii. of Mathew, concluding thus. I neither wiſh deathe, nor yet feare his might, God hathe the prayſe therof wyth thanckes.
My letter ſent to the Lord Chaunceler.
The Lord God, by whom al creatures have theyr beinge, bleſſe you with the lighte of his knowledge. Amen. My duty to your lordſhip remembred &c. It might pleaſe you to accept this my bold ſute, as the ſute of one, which upon due conſiderations is moved to the ſame and hopeth to obtain. My requeſt to your lordſhip is only, that it may pleaſe the ſame to be a meane for me to the kinges maieſtye, that hys grace may be certefied of these few lines whiche I have wrytten concerninge my belefe. Which whan it ſhalbe truly conferred with the hard judgement gevēen me for the ſame, I think his grace ſhall wel perceive me to be wayed in an uneven pair of balaunces. But I remit my matter and cauſe to almightye God, whyche rightlye judgeth all ſeacreates. And thus I cōommend your Lordſhippe to the governaunce of hym and felowſhip of al ſaintes. Amen.
My faith briefly wrytten to the kings grace.
I Anne Aſkew of good memorye, althoughe God hathe geven me the breade of adverſytye and the water of trouble, yet not ſo muche as my ſinnes have deſerved, deſire thys to be PP.ii. knowen 676 PP2v 676 known to your grace. that foraſmuch as I am by the law condempned for an evil doer: Here I take heaven and earth to record, that I ſhall die in my innocency. And accordinge to that I have ſaid firſt, and wil ſay laſt, I utterly abhor and deteſt al hereſies. And as concerninge the ſupper of the Lord, I beleve ſo much as Chriſt hath ſaid therin. Which he confirmed with his moſt bleſſed bloud. I beleve alſo ſo much as he willed me to follow and beleve, and ſo muche as the catholike church of him doth teach. For I wil not forſake the commaundement of hys holy lippes. But loke what God hath charged me with his mouth, that have I ſhut up in my hart,
The effect of my examination and handling, ſence my deqparture frōom Newgate.
On Tueſdaye I was ſente from Newgate to the ſigne of the crown, wheras Maſter Rich & the biſhop of London withal their power and flattering words, went about to perſwade me frōom God. But I did not eſteme their gloſing pretences. Thēen came there to me Nicolas Shaxton, & councelled me to recante as he had done. Then I ſaid to him, that it had bene good for him, never to have ben born with many other like words. Then maſter Riche ſent me to the tower, where I remained til iii. a clock. Then came Rich and one of the counſell, charging me upon my obedience, to ſhew unto thēem, if I knew man or woman of my ſect. My aunſwer was, that I knew non. Then they aſked me of my lady of Suffolk, my lady Suſſex, my Lady of Hertford, my Lady Denny & my lady Fizwilliams. I ſaid, if I ſhould pronoūunce any thing againſt them, that I were not able to prove it. Then ſaid they unto me, that the king was infourmed, that I could name, if I would a great nombre of my sect. Then I anſwered, that the king was as wel deceived in that behalf, as diſembled within other matters. Then cōommaunded they me to ſhew howe I was maintained in the counter, and who willed me to ſticke by my opinion. I ſayd that there was no creatũre that therin did ſtrēenghthen me. And as for the helpe that I had in the counter, it was by the meanes of my maid. For as ſhe wēent abrode in the ſtreates, ſhe made mone to the prentiſes, & they by her did ſend me monye. But who they were I never knew. Then they ſaid, that ther wer divers gentle womēen, that gave me mony. But I knew not their names. Then they ſaid that there were divers Ladies, which had ſent me mony. I anſweared, that there was a man in a blew cote, which delivered me x. ſhillings, & ſaid that my lady of Hertford ſent it me. And another in a violet coat did geve me viii. ſhyllings, and ſaid that my lady Denny ſent it me. Whether it were true or no, I cannot tel. For I am not ſure who ſent it me, but as the maid did ſay. Then they ſaid, there were of the coūuncel that did maintain me. And I ſaid, no. Thēen they did put me on the racks, becauſe I cōonfeſſed no ladies or Gentle women to be of my opinion, and theron they kept me a longe time. And becauſe I lay ſtil & did not cry, my Lord chaūuncellour & maſter Rich, toke paines to racke me Wriſley & Rich racking Anne Aſkewe. with their owne handes, till I was nigh dead. Then the liefetenante cauſed me to be louſed from the rack. Incontinently I ſwounded, and then they recovered me again. After that I ſate ii. long hours reaſoning with my Lord chāancellor upon the bare flour, wheras he with many flattering wordes, perſwaded me to leave my opinion. But my lord God (I thanke his everlaſting goodneſſe) gave me grace to perſever & wil doo (I hope) to the very end. Then was I brought to an houſe, and laid in a bed with as weary and painfull bones, as ever had pacient Job I thanke my Lord God therof. Then my Lord Chancellor ſent me word if I wold leave my opinion, I ſhuld want nothing. If I wold not, I ſhuld forth to Newgate, & ſo be burned, I ſent him again word, that I wold rather die, than to breake my faith. Thus the Lord open the eies of their blinde hartes, that the truthe may take place. Farewel dere frend, and pray pray, pray.
Anne Aſkewes anſwer unto Jhon Laſſels letter.
Oh frend moſt dearly beloved in God I mervell not a little, what ſhoulde move you to judge in me ſo ſlender a faith, as to feare death, which is the end of al miſery. In the Lord I deſyre you, not to beleve of ſuche wickednes. For I doubt it not, but God wil perform his work in me, like as he hath begon: I underſtand the councel is not a little diſpleaſed: that it ſhould be reported abrode, that I was racked in the towre. They ſay nowe that they did there, was but to feare me, wherby I perceived, they are aſhamed of their uncomelye doinges, and feare much leaſt the kinges majeſty ſhuld have information there of. wherof they would no man to noyſe it. wel, their crueltye God forgeve them. Your hart in Christ Jeſu. Farewel and praie.
I have red the proceſſe, which is reported of them that know not the truth, to be my recantation. But as ſure as the Lorde lyveth. I never ment thing les than to recant. Not withſtāanding this I confeſſe, that in my firſt troubles. I was examined of the biſhoppe of London about the ſacrament, yet had they no graunt of my mouth, but this: that I beleved there in, as the word of God did binde me to beleve. More had they never of me. Then he made a copye which is now in print, and required me to ſet therunto my hand. But I refuſed it. Then my ii. ſureties did wil me in no wiſe to ſticke therat. For it was no great matter, they ſayde.
Then wyth much a doo, at the laſte I wrote thus: I Anne Aſkewe do beleve thys, if Gods word do agre to the ſame, and the true catholiquelique 676 PP3r 680 lique church. Then the byſhop, beyng in great diſpleaſure with me, becauſe I made doubtes in my writing, cōommaunded me to pryſon, wher I was a whyle. But afterwardes by the meanes of frendes, I came out againe. Here is the truth of that matter. And as concernynge the thyng that ye covet moſte to knowe, reſorte to the vi. of John, and be ruled alwayes therby. Thus fare ye well.
The confeſſion of the faith whiche Anne Aſkewe made in Newgate, before ſhe ſuffred.
I Anne Aſkewe, of good memory, although my mercifull father hath gevēen me the bread of adverſytie, and the water of trouble: yet not ſo muche as my ſynnes have deſerved: confeſſe my ſelfe here a ſynner before the throne of hys heavenly majeſtie, deſyryng his forgevenes & mercy. And for ſo muche as I am by the lawe unrightuouſly condēempned for an evyl doer, cōoncerning opinions, I take the ſame moſte mercifull God of myne, whiche hathe made bothe heaven and earth, to recorde, that I holde no opynions contrarie to his mooſte holye worde. And I truſt in my mercyfull Lorde, whiche is the gever of all grace, that he wyll graciouſly aſſiſte me againſt all evyll opinions, whiche are contrary to his bleſſed veritie. For I take hym to wytneſſe, that I have done and wyll doo unto my lyves ende, utterly abhorre them, to the uttermoſte of my power. The matter and cauſe why Anne Aſkewe ſuffered death. But this is the hereſye whiche they reporte me to holde, that after the prieſt hath ſpoken the wordes of conſecration, there remayneth bread ſtyll.
But they both ſaye, and alſo teache it for a neceſſarye artycle of faythe, that after thoſe wordes be once ſpoken, there remayneth noo bread, but even the ſelfe ſame body, that hong upōon the croſſe on good fryday, both fleſh, bloud and bone. To this belefe of theirs ſaye I naye: For then were our cōommon Crede falſe, which ſayeth that he ſytteth on the ryghte hande of God the father almyghtie: And from thence ſhall come to judge the quicke and dead. Lo, this is the hereſie that I holde. And for it muſt ſuffer the death. But as touchyng the holy and bleſſed ſupper of the Lorde, I beleve it to be a moſte neceſſary remembraūunce of his glorious ſufferynges and death. Moreover, I beleve as muche therin, as my eternall and onely redemer, Jeſus Chriſte would I ſhould beleve. Finally I beleve all thoſe ſcriptures to be true, whome he hath confyrmed with his moſte precious bloud. Yea, and as S. Paule ſayth, thoſe ſcriptures are ſufficient for our learning and Scripture ſufficient to our ſalvatiōon ſalvation, that Chriſte hath left here with us. So that I beleve, we nede no unwrytten verities to rule his churche with. Therfore looke what he hathe ſayde unto me with his owne mouthe, in his holy Goſpell, that have I with Gods grace cloſed up in my harte. And my full truſt is (as David ſayth) that it ſhalbe a lanterne to my footeſteppes. Pſalm .xxviii. Ther be ſome do ſaye, that I denie the Euchariſte or ſacrament of thankes geving. But thoſe people do untruely reporte of me. For I both ſaye and beleve it, that if it were ordered, lyke as Chriſte inſtituted it, and lefte it, a moſte ſyngular comfort it were unto us all. But as concerning your maſſe, as it is nowe uſed in our dayes, I do ſaye and beleve it, to be the mooſte abhominable ydoll that is in the worlde. The maſſe abhominable Idol. For my God wyll not bee eaten with teeth, neither yet dyeth he agayne. And upon theſe wordes, that I have nowe ſpoken, wyll I ſuffer death. O Lorde, I have mo enemies nowe then there be heares on my head. The praier of Anne Aſkewe. Yet Lorde, let thēem never overcome me with vayn words, but fyght thou Lorde in my ſtede, for on the caſt I my care with all the ſpight they can imagine, they fall upon me, whiche am thy poore creature. Yet ſwete Lorde, lett me not ſett by them whiche are againſt thee. For in thee is my whole delyght. And Lord I hartely deſyre of thee, that thou wylt of thy moſte mercifull goodnes forgeve them that violence, whiche they doo and have done unto me. Open alſo thou ther blynde hartes, that they may hereafter do that thyng in thy ſyght, whiche is only acceptable before thee. And to ſet fourth thy veritie aryght, without al vayne phantaſies of ſynfull men. So be it. O Lorde ſo be it.
Hetherto we have intreated of this good wom āan, now it remaineth that we touch ſomwhat as touching her end & martyrdom. She beyng borne of ſuch ſtock & kynred, that ſhe might have lyved in great wealth & proſperitie, if ſhe wold rather have folowed the world thēen Chriſt, but now ſhe was ſo tormented, that ſhe could neither live long in ſo great diſtres, neither yet by the adverſaries be ſuffred to die in ſecret. Wherfor the daie of her execution was appointed, & ſhe brought into Smithfielde in a chayre, becauſe ſhe could not go on her feete, by meanes of her great tormentes, when ſhe was brought unto Anne Aſkewe refuſed the kinges pardon the ſtake, ſhe was tied by the middle with a chaine, that helde up her body, when all thinges were thus prepared to the fire, the kinges letters of pardon were brought, wherby to offer her ſafe garde of her life if ſhe would recant, which ſhe would neither receave, neither yet vouchſafe once to loke upōon. Shaxton alſo was there preſent who openly that day recanting his opiniōons, went about with a long oration to cauſe her alſo to turne, againſt whome ſhe ſtoutly reſiſted. Thus ſhe being troubled ſo many maner of waies, & having paſſed through ſo many torm ēents, having now ended the lōong courſe of her agonies, being cōompaſſed in with flames of fire, as a bleſſed ſacrifice unto God, ſhe ſlept in the Lorde, in 1546An.anno Domini 1546. leaving behind her a ſingular example of Chriſten conſtancie for all men to folowe.
The deſcription of Smythfielde with the order and maner of certayne of the Councell, ſytting there at the burnyng of Anne Aſkewe and Lacels with the others.
John Laſſelles, John Adams, and Nicolas Belenian.
There was at the ſame tyme alſo burnt together with her one Nicolas Belenian prieſt of Shropſhyre, John Adams a tayler, and John Laſſelles Gentlemāan of the Courte and houſholde of kynge Henry. There is a certaine appologetical, or defenſive Epiſtle extant, whiche this man briefly wrote, beyng in pryſon, touchyng the Sacrament of the body and bloud, wherein it doth bothe confute the errour of them whiche not beyng contented with the ſpyritual receavyng of the Sacrament wyll leave no ſubſtaunce of bread therein, and alſo doth put of the ſyniſter interpretation of many thereupōon. It happened well for them, that they died together with Anne Aſkewe. Foralbeit that of thēemſelves they were ſtrong and ſtout menne, yet through the exāample & praier of her, thei being the more boldned, receyved occaſion of more greater comforte, in that ſo painfull and doolefull kynde of death, not only beholdyng her invincible conſtancie, but alſo oftentimes ſtirred up through her perſwaſions, they did ſet apart all kynde of feare. Thus they confyrming one another with mutuall exhortations, taried lookyng for the tormenter and fyre, whiche at the laſt flamyng round about them, cōonſumed their bleſſed bodies in happie martyrdome, in the yeare of our ſalvatiōon 1546-061546. about the moneth of June.