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Friday, 30th Nov.
Thursday, Dec. 6th. "St. Nicholas's day, all the whole convocation, both bishops and others, were sent for to Lambeth to the Cardinal, who the same day forgave them all their perjurations, schisms, and heresies, and they all there kneeled down and received his absolution; and after an exhortation and gratulation for their conversion to the catholic church made by the cardinal, they departed."-Fox, vi. 579.
Tuesday, Jan. 1. Thomas Rose and a Congregation of thirty were taken in Bow Churchyard. For "there was a Congregation of godly men at London, in the very mouth of danger, who met together for religious worship all the Queen's reign, from the beginning to the very end of it. . .:. Upon any cases of difficulty or emergencies, this congregation sent some of their members beyond sea, to some of the learned! exiles there, for their resolution, counsel and advice; and so they returned again to the flock. And some they had, whom they sent to the prisons, to visit, counsel, comfort, and relieve those that lay there for religion. Their meetings were at several places, as it was appointed by themselves ; for they often changed their places for more privacy and security. Sometimes it was at Black Friars, at Sir Tho. Cardine's house, who was of the privy chamber to King Henry VIII. Again sometimes the meeting was somewhere about Aldgate ; sometimes in a clothworkers loft, near the great conduit in Cheapside. Once or twice in a ship at Billingsgate, belonging to a good man of Lee in Essex. Other times at a Ship called Jesus Ship, lying between Ratcliff and Rotherhith; there twice or thrice, till it came to be known. Other times in a cooper's house in Pudden-lane. Sometimes in Thames street; sometimes in Boochurch-yard; and sometimes Islington, or in the fields thereabouts These meetings were often in the night times. There would be in these assemblies forty, and sometimes an hundred, or more met together; and toward the latter end of the Queen the number increased, though the malice of their enemies decreased not. At these meetings they had collections for Christ's prisoners, and would gather sometimes ten pounds at a night meeting. But they could not be so private, but that now and then they were discovered and taken."--Strype's Mem. III. pt. ii. p. 1477.
7 It seems be going so far back in history, that I must just remind the reader that it is not really farther than if we were now to speak of anything that happened about the time of the Battle of Navarino, if I say that this Thomas Rose is the person mentioned in “ Fox's story of the Rood of Dover Court." (See p. 194 of this volume.) He had even before that time become a person of note, and John Bale (then a zealous papist) had been sent to preach against him. This affair of Dover Court seems to have brought him into more potice, and trouble ; and he was Wednesday, Jan. 16. The Parliament was clean dissolved.
imprisoned in the Bishop of Lincoln's house in Holborn. In the first year of Cranmer's consecration, he was removed to Lambeth, and dealt with more courteously, and at length the Archbishop wrought his deliverance and set him at liberty. His zeal seems to have soon brought him into fresh difficulties. The Bishop of Norwich inhibited his preaching, and his adversaries 80 persecuted him that he was constrained to flee to London, and use the aid of the Lord Audley, the Lord Chancellor who removed the matter from them, and called it before him, set Rose free, and "did send him by a token to the Lord Cromwell, then Lord Privy Seal, for a licence from the King to preach." Cromwell not only got the licence for him, but made him his own chaplain. “In the mean time,” says Fox, "such complaint was made to the Duke of Norfolk" that Rose preached what was contrary to the Six Articles (see before, p. 209), that he "being lieutenant commanded that whosoever could take the said Thomas Rose, should hang him on the next tree.” However he got abroad, whence he afterwards returned, and obtained a benefice from King Edward. “But at the death of that vertuous and noble prince he was deprived of all, and so should have beene of his life, had not God appointed him friends who received him in London secretly, as their teacher in the congregation amongst whome for the poore prisoners at their assemblies x. li. a night oftentimes was gathered.” [The comic edition has turned the ten pounds into forty-one persons or things, of what nature or kind is not apparent from the odd device adopted to express them, and reads " assemblies, forty-one [*] a night oftentimes were gathered." viii. 584. I mention this, because I was copying from that edition when I was puzzled by this unintelligible statement. And as my motive for using and referring to that edition is, that I suppose it to be much more accessible to my readers than any other, I should be sorry that after reading what I now copy from the edition of 1597, they should turn to their own books and think me inaccurate. Fox goes on to say,) “And thus he continued
amongst them, with the Lady Vane almost a yeare in the raigne of •Q. Mary. But although he oftentimes escaped secretly whilst he read to the godly in sundry places of London, yet at length through a Judas that betrayed them, he with xxxv, that were with him were taken in Bow Churchyard at a sheermans house on New yeres day at night being • Tuesday."— Fox, Edit. 1597, p. 1889.
As however Thomas Rose was neither a martyr, nor meddled with by Bonner (though captured in his diocese), we have no business with his history, which is very curious and may be found in Fox as cited, or vol. viii. p. 581, ed. 8vo, and Strype's Cranmer, vol. i. p. 395, where the author has occasion to notice him as one of the persons whom the Primate recommended to Cecil for the Archbishopric of Armagh. But, as we have had so much on the subject, I may just mention that having been thus taken (evidently in the view of its being a treasonable, rather than an heretical meeting) he was brought not before the bishop of the diocese, nor before his own ordinary, but to the Lord Chancellor Gardiner, who" would not speak with him that night, but committed him to the Clink till Tuesday after.” Fox then goes on to give as his first speech at his first examina
Tuesday, Jan. 22. "All the preachers that were in prison were called before the bishop of Winchester, Lord Chancellor, and certain others, at the bishop's house at St. Mary Overy's ; from whence (after communi. cation, being asked whether they would convert and enjoy the queen's pardon, or else stand to that they had taught; they all answering, that they would stand to that they had taught) they were committed to straiter prison than before they were, with charge that none should speak with them.”—Fox, vi. 587.
Wednesday, Jan. 23. “All the bishops with the rest of the Convocation-house were before the cardinal at Lambeth, where he willed them to repair every man where his cure and charge lay, exhorting them to entreat the people and their flock with all gentleness, and to endeavour themselves, to win the people rather by gentleness, than by extremity and rigour: and so let them depart.”-Fox, vi. 587.
tion ;—“It maketh me to marvel, my lord,' quoth he, that I should be 'thus troubled for that which by the word of God hath been established, and by the laws of this realm allowed, and by your own writing so
notably, in your book •De vera Obedientia' confirmed ;'” and in his reply to the interruption of the Chancellor, he so quoted the book that the indignant author replied, “Thou liest like a varlet ; there is no such thing 'in my book, but I shall handle thee and such as thou art well enough. "I have long looked for thee, and at length have caught thee. I will
know who be thy maintainers, or else I will make thee a foot longer." It does not appear that the threat was carried into execution. Thomas Rose was sent to the Tower and kept there nearly five months, during which time Gardiner came there twice and“ had no great talk” with him, “but spake friendly." He is his own historian and does not tell us what they talked about, or whether he gave the Chancellor the information which he had threatened to extort by the rack. But the issue was, that about the end of May he was sent from the Tower to his own diocesan at Norwicb, bis escape seems to have been rather grossly connived at, he tarried beyond sea during the rest of Queen Mary's days ; and was, when Fox wrote this history of him, " yet living, a preacher of the age of seventy-six years, of the town of Luton, and in the county of Bedford.”
The reason for saying so much about Thomas Rose and the Congrega. tion, may be found in the following extract from Fox, who is giving an account of this parliament :-“Also the doing of Master Rose, and the others that were with him, was communed of in this Parliament; and upon that occasion an act was made that certain evil prayers should be treason against the Queen's Highness. The prayers of these men were "thus: God turn the heart of Queen Mary from idolatry: or else shorten her days;
"" and he adds this note, “ Hereof read the statute an. 1 & 2. reg. Phil. et Mar. cap. 9."— Fox, vi. 581. The reader who does not take that trouble will probably imagine that there was something rather more important in this matter, than a glance at Fox's account of it would suggest to a careless reader.
Friday, Jan. 25. “The day of the conversion of St. Paul, there was a general and solemn procession through London, to give God thanks for their conversion to the catholic church : wherein (to set out their glorious pomp) there were fourscore and ten crosses, and one hundred and sixty priests and clerks, who had every one of them copes upon their backs singing very lustily. There followed also, for the better estimation of the sight, eight bishops; and, last of all, came Bonner, the bishop of London, carrying the popish pix under a canopy.
“Besides, there was also present the mayor, aldermen, and all the livery of every occupation. Moreover, the king also himself, and the cardinal, came to Paul's church the same day. From whence, after mass, they returned to Westminster again. As the king was entered the church at the steps going up to the choir, all the gentlemen that of late were set at liberty out of the Tower, kneeled before the king, and offered unto him themselves and their services.”—Fox, vi. 588.
Monday, Jan. 28. “The bishop of Winchester and the other bishops had commission from the cardinal to sit upon, and order, according to the ws, all such preachers and heretics (as they termed them) as were in prison; and according to this commission, the same day the bishop of Winchester and the other bishops, with certain of the council, sat in St. Mary Overy's church."— Fox, vi. 588.
§ 3. THE COMMISSION IN SOUTHWARK. Thus we have cursorily run over the first year and a half of Queen Mary's reign, noticing very little beside what relates to those persons with whose history we are more particularly concerned. The reader will have observed several committals for political and religious offences; and the number might have been much increased but that the mention of them would only have served to divert or encumber us in our present inquiry. The truth seems to be, that by the latter part of the year 1554, the government had got a great many prisoners on its hands, and was anxious to dispose of them as soon as it well could; which was not until the Parliament had completed the business of the reconciliation of the country and the revision of the laws.
On Friday, Jan. 18th, therefore (only two days after the parliament had been “clean dissolved") the “ Council went to the Tower, and discharged all or most part of the prisoners.” (Fox, vi. 587.) We may do the same; for with those state prisoners we have little, if anything, to do.
It is more to our purpose to observe that the attention of the Council was next turned to those who had been imprisoned on religious and ecclesiastical grounds.
I have already mentioned the Declaration which the imprisoned preachers put forth on the 8th of May. Whether there actually was a current report that they were to be sent to Cambridge, and this Declaration was really intended to meet it, or whether it was meant to remind those who seemed to have forgotten it, that they were in existence, I do not pretend to decide. That there is nothing either improbable, or uncharitable, in the latter supposition, is evident from the course which they after pursued. “They BOLDLY and BRAVELY," says Strype, “made a Declaration to the Queen and Parliament that sat this year;” and this “ remarkable Declaration,” as he justly calls it, he ascribes to the pen of John Bradford, and has “reposited in the Appendix” to his memorials of Cranmers. In this Declaration the imprisoned preachers went to the point at once by beginning; “ We poor prisoners for Christ's religion, require
your Honours, in our dear Saviour Christ's name, earnestly now to REPENT, for that you have consented of late to the "unplacing of so many godly lawes, set furth touching the
true religion of Christ before, by two most noble Kings," &c. They vouch for it, “that there was not one Parish in al England, that ever desired again to have the Romish 'Superstitions and vaine service, which is now by the Popish, 'proud, covetous clergy placed again in contempt not only
of God, al Heaven, and al the Holy Ghostes lessons in the 'blessed Bible: but also against the honors of the said two most noble Kings," &c. They declare that, “God's great plagues must needs follow," and desire the King, Queen, and Parliament in their assembly, " to seek some effectual REFORMATION for the aforewritten DEFORMATION in this Church of England." They request to be brought up before those authorities, and they add “if we be not able both to prove and approve by the catholic and canonical rules of
Christ's true religion, the church Homilies and Service set furth in the most innocent K. Edward's days; and also to disallow and reprove by the same authorities the Service
now set furth since his departing; then we offer our bodies to be immediately burned," &c.
8 No, LXXXIV. p. 950, referring to p. 506.