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As far as I am personally concerned, it would be uncandid not to state the doubt which I feel whether this document was actually presented to the Queen and Parliament in its present form. Strype however is the authority; and he gives it, without the least expression or appearance of doubt, from the Foxian MSS. and remarks upon it, “This now is the second time a PUBLIC CHALLENGE was made to justify King Edward's reformation," and he then proceeds to speak of a “third public challenge” made by these prisoners which, as it is given by Fox, he does not think it necessary to transcribe. I confess that I cannot help feeling some suspicion that this third challenge which Fox calls a “Supplication of the persecuted preachers to the King and Queen," is only a modification of the document already mentioned. It is enough, however, for our purpose that its principal object is the same; and the prayer of it is that the petitioners might be called before the King, Queen, and Parliament, to answer before them, or “indifferent arbiters” to be appointed by their Majesties, to such charges of heresy as had been brought against them.-Fox, vi. 589.
The exact date of these documents I do not find; but it is enough to know that they are said to have been delivered during this session of parliament which (as we have already seen) began in November, and was clean dissolved on the 16th of January. It has also been stated, that on Friday the 18th the Council went to the Tower to clear it. On the following Tuesday the 22nd of January they addressed themselves to the business of the “persecuted preachers,” and a meeting at Gardiner's house, which has been already mentioned, took place.
In this month of January, a tribunal sat four times in Southwark, which in order to save trouble I follow many writers in calling a Commission'. The first session was on the 22nd of January, when “ALL the Preachers that were
9 It is not worth while to discuss the question whether it was the Council meeting at the Lord Chancellor's house the first time, and a Commission afterwards ; or whether it should uniformly be called by one of the names, or never by either. Its true nature and character will appear sufficiently from what follows; and that is all that is of real consequence. Writers have described it variously, but those only require contradiction who represent it as if Gardiner was sitting in his " ordinary jurisdiction,” and carrying matters out of his own head and with his own hand, in his own house or Church in Southwark.
' in prison were called before the bishop of Winchester Lord • Chancellor, and certain others, at the bishop's house at · St. Mary Overy's.”! Strype says that beside the Lord Chancellor, there were present the bishops of Durham, Ely, Worcester, Chichester, Carlisle, the Lord William Howard, Lord Paget, Sir Richard Southwell, Secretary Bourn.
While, according to Fox, the persons brought before this commission consisted of “all the preachers that were in prison,” Strype mentions Bishop Hooper, Dr. Crome, Harold Tomson, Rogers, beside “divers others, to the number of eleven persons besides two more that were not then sent for," as being "arraigned" on that occasion.
The object in view does not appear to have been a scholastic disputation with these preachers, as with persons whose tenets were unknown or doubtful, but solemnly to inquire, and obtain a definite answer, whether they meant to maintain the opinions which they had professed, and to repudiate the reconciliation with the Church of Rome which the King, Queen, and Parliament had just made. Dr. Rowland Taylor, in the letter containing and reporting “ The Talk had between him and the Lord Chancellor, and other Commissioners on this occasion, says :—“First, my * Lord Chancellor said, “You among others are at this present time sent for, to enjoy the King's and Queen's
Majestie's favour and mercy, if you will now rise again with us from the fall which we generally have received in this realm ; from the which (God be praised !) we are now clearly delivered miraculously. If you will not rise with us now, and receive mercy now offered, you shall have judgment according to your demerit.' To this I answered that so to rise, should be the greatest fall that ever I could receive: for I should so fall from my dear Saviour Christ to Antichrist."
Of course the men for the most part were well known and well tried. It was understood that their minds were made up. It was sinful and hateful to think of burning them, but it would have been absurd to propose disputing with them. They were, as they would have phrased it, " at a point;” and when the case stood as Taylor had pithily
i Fox, vi, 587. 3 lbid.
2 Mem. III. i. 330. 4 Fox, vi. 685,
stated it, what room was there for argument? The time seemed to be come in which, according to the ideas of all parties concerned in the matter, either the preachers or the parliament must "repent”-in which the prisoners must be either acknowledged to be injured innocents, and dismissed in triumph; or condemned as heretics, and put to execution. Yet as far as I can see (except receiving the submission of two of the party whose names are not specified") the Council did nothing but remand the prisoners until the following Monday.
January the 28th therefore the Commissioners sate again; not now however at the Bishop's Palace, but at the church of St. Saviour, or St. Mary Overy hard byť. Strype names as present the bishops of London, Worcester, Ely, Bath and Wells, Gloucester, Bristol, Durham, Carlisle, Lincoln, St. David's, Norwich, Coventry and Lichfield; and adds Anthony Hussey, Robert Johnson and William Say public notaries being appointed actuaries in this affair. “Besides “there were present also the Duke of Norfolk, Anthony 'Lord Montague, Thomas Lord Wharton, Richard Southwel, Francis Englefield, Christopher (perhaps mistaken for • Robert] Rochester, Thomas Wharton, John Hurleston, • John Tregonwell, Philip Draycot, and John Germyngham,
5 It seems probable that one of these was Harold Tomson abovementioned ; as I see nothing more about him in the subsequent sessions. Besides, I do not find any account of him except this single notice in Strype, which is a mere copy from Machyn, who says, “The xxii day of 'Januarii was raynyd (arraigned] at my lord Chansseler plasse by-syd sant Mare Overes ser John Hoper latt bysshope of Glosetur, doctur C[rome), as the parsun of Wyttyngtun colege, harold Tomson, Rogars parsun or veker of sant Pulkers, and dyvers odur.”—p. 80. Mr. Nichols refers to him in the Index as "Tomson, the herald," I dare say that is what is meant; though not finding any such herald mentioned in Noble, I applied to Sir Charles Young, Garter, who kindly informs me that he finds no trace of him at the College of Arms, but suggests the probability that he was not properly speaking a herald, but a herald-painter.
6 Strype in one place tells us that “they sat in commission "—that is, under and by virtue of a Commission from Cardinal Pole dated that same 28th of January, and it is amusing to find him catching at this circumstance to expose the eagerness of the bloodthirsty persecutors—“the very same day (such haste they made) they sat in commission.” Cran. ï. 495. In another place giving an account of the same Session he says "the bishop of Winton, by his ordinary authority, sat judicially in St. Mary Overie's church.”' The reader will see that it is as absurd to talk about hasty proceedings, as it is to represent the Bishop of Winchester as merely sitting in his official capacity of Ordinary in bis diocese.
'Knights, William Coke, Thomas Martyn, Richard Dobbes, • Knights, besides a very great multitude more present."?
There seems indeed to have been not only a great multitude present, but another much greater multitude who wished to be present, but could not get into the Church. Rogers, who drew up an account of his own examination there says that “the thousandth man came not in,” and that when he and Hooper were remanded, they " had much to do to go in the streets.":
On this occasion the Commissioners “called before them ' these three, Master Hooper, Master Rogers, and Master • Cardmaker, who were brought thither by the sheriffs; from whence after communication they were committed to prison till the next day, but Cardmaker this day submitted • himself unto them." Bishop Hooper and Rogers were remanded till the next day.
Tuesday, January 29, the Commissioners sate again at the same place. Measures seem to have been adopted for keeping out any such crowd as had been collected the day before, and Rogers says “they kept the doors shut, and would let none in but the bishops adherents and servants in a manner." There must however have been a good many persons present if the assembly consisted (as Strype says it did) of “the bishops above named, together with George Bishop of Chichester," beside “those noblemen, and Knights and others before mentioned, and these moreover , Clement Higham, Richard Dobbes, Knight, Thomas · Hungate Esq., John Seton, Thomas Watson, professors of
Divinity, Nicholas Harpesfield, David Pole, Hugh Corens, doctors of the laws; Henry Jollif, Philip Morgan
bachelors of divinity; Francis Allen, William Smyth, and John Vaughan Esqrs, and many more." Fox tells us that on that occasion, “Hooper, Rogers, Dr. Taylor and • Bradford were brought before them; where sentence of excommunication and judgment ecclesiastical was pronounced upon Master Hooper and Master Rogers, by the bishop of Winchester, who sat as judge in Caiaphas's seat; who drave them out of the church according to their law
7 Mem. III. ii. 286.
Mem. III. i. p. 288.
8 Fox, vi. 598. 599. 649.
' and order. Dr. Taylor and Bradford were committed to prison till the next day."
On Wednesday the 30th of January was the fourth session; at which, according to Strype, the bishops of Durham, Worcester, Ely, Lincoln, Bath and Wells, Norwich, Lichfield, and Carlisle were co-assessors,"
" and there were also present, “the Duke of Norfolk, the Lord Whar'ton; the Lord Lumley; Leonard Chamberlayn and Robert Drury, Knights; Thomas Hussey, John Vaughan, Thomas Martyn, Esqrs. R. [it may be Edward] Wotton, and John Warner, doctors in physic; Hugh Coren, David Poole, Nicholas Harpesfield, doctors of law; Thomas Watson, * John Seton, doctors of divinity; Philip Morgan, John * Boxal, Seth Holland, bachelors in divinity; Richard • Chandler, archdeacon of Sarum and very many others."4
On this occasion, according to Fox, “ Dr. Taylor, Dr. Crome, Master Bradford, Master Saunders, and Dr. Ferrar, some time bishop of St. David's, were before the said . bishops; where three of them, that is to say Dr. Taylor, • Master Saunders, and Master Bradford were likewise excommunicated, and sentence pronounced upon them; and so committed to the sheriffs. Dr. Crome desired two months respite, and it was granted him; and Master • Ferrar was again committed to prison till another time.”5
Whatever may have been the precise constitution or composition of this Tribunal, the names which I have copied show that it was not in the nature of a secret Inquisition. I do not see that it ever met afterwards at Southwark, or elsewhere in the same form. It seems as if it had been formed for some special purpose which it either accomplished, or abandoned; which of the two, it is not our present business to inquire.
§ 4. WHAT HAD BONNER TO DO WITH THE MARTYRS
CONDEMNED BY THE COMMISSION. (1.) JOHN ROGERS is one of those who have been already mentioned as being before the Commissioners. The first
3 Fox vi. 588. Strype says of Taylor, “ The Bishop assigned him to appear there again between three and four in the afternoon. What was done then appears not."-Mem. III. pt. i. 4 Mem. III. i. 290.
5 Fox, vi. 588.