« VorigeDoorgaan »
ILLUSTRATIONS IN VOL. V.
THE BURNING OF John FRITH AND ANDREW Hewet.
page 18 The MARTYRDOM AND BURNING OF WILLIAM TYNDALE .
127 THE BURNING OF THE CONstant Martyr, John Lambert
236 THE BURNING OF BARNES, JEROME, AND GARRET .
438 THE MARTYRDOM OF Peerson, TESTWOOD, AND FILMER.
493 THE BURNING OF Anne Askew, John Lacets, John Adams, AND NICHOLAS BELENIAN
ACTS AND MONUMENTS.
CONTINUATION OF BOOK VIII.
THE LAST THREE HUNDRED YEARS FROM THE LOOSING OUT
CONTINUING THE HISTORY OF ENGLISH MATTERS APPERTAIN-
CIVIL AND TEMPORAL.'
The Storp, Eramination, Death, and Martyrdom of John Frith.
Amongst all other chances lamentable, there hath been none a Henry long time which seemed unto me more grievous, than the lamentable death and cruel handling of John Frith, so learned and excellent a A. D. young man; who had so profited in all kind of learning and know- 1533. ledge, that there was scarcely his equal amongst all his companions ; and who besides, withal, had such a godliness of life joined with his doctrine, that it was hard to judge in which of them he was more commendable, being greatly praiseworthy in them both : but as touching his doctrine, by the grace of Christ we will speak hereafter.
Of the great godliness which was in him, this may serve for experiment sufficient, for that notwithstanding his other manifold and singular gifts and ornaments of the mind, in him most pregnant, wherewithal he might have opened an easy way unto honour and dignity, notwithstanding he rather chose wholly to consecrate himself unto the church of Christ, excellently showing forth, and practising in himself, the precept so highly commended of the philosophers, touching the life of man: which life, they say, is given unto us in such sort, that how much the better the man is, so much the less he should live unto himself, but unto others, serving for the common utility; and that we should think a great part of our birth to be due unto our parents, a greater part unto our country, and the greatest part of all to be bestowed upon the church, if we will be counted good men. First of all he began his study at Cambridge; in whom
(1) Edition 1563, p. 497. Ed. 1570, p. 1178. Ed. 1576, p. 1004. "Ed. 1583, p. 1031. Ed. 1597, p.941. Ed. 1684, vol. ii. p. 250.-ED.
Henry nature had planted, being but a child, marvellous instinctions and
love unto learning, whereunto he was addicted. He had also a A. D. wonderful promptness of wit, and a ready capacity to receive and 1533. understand any thing, insomuch that he seemed not only to be sent
unto learning, but also born for the same purpose. Neither was there any diligence wanting in him, equal unto that towardness, or worthy of his disposition; whereby it came to pass, that he was not only a lover of learning, but also became an exquisite learned man; in which exercise when he had diligently laboured certain years, not without great profit both of Latin and Greek, at last he fell into knowledge and acquaintance with William Tyndale, through whose instructions he first received into his heart the seed of the gospel and sincere godliness.
At that time Thomas Wolsey, cardinal of York, prepared to build a college in Oxford, marvellously sumptuous, which had the name and title of Frideswide, but is now named Christ’s-church, not so much (as it is thought) for the love and zeal that he bare unto learning, as for an ambitious desire of glory and renown, and to leave a perpetual name unto posterity. But that building, he being cut off by the stroke of death (for he was sent for unto the king, accused of certain crimes, and in the way, by immoderate purgations, killed himself), was left partly begun, partly half ended and imperfect, and nothing else save only the kitchen was fully finished. Whereupon Rodulph Gualter, a learned man, being then in Oxford, and beholding the college, said these words in Latin : “ Egregium opus, cardinalis iste instituit collegium, et absolvit popinam." How large and ample those buildings should have been, what sumptuous cost should have been bestowed upon the same, may easily be perceived by that which is already builded, as the kitchen, the hall, and certain chambers, where there is such curious graving and workmanship of stonecutters, that all things on every side did glister for the excellency of the workmanship, for the fineness of the matter, with the gilt antics and embossings; insomuch that if all the rest had been finished to that determinate end as it was begun, it might well have excelled not only all colleges of students, but also palaces of princes. This ambitious cardinal gathered together into that college whatsoever excellent thing there was in the whole realm, either vestments, vessels, or other ornaments, beside provision of all kind of precious things. Besides that, he also appointed unto that company all such men as were found to excel in any kind of learning and knowledge ; to recite all whose names in order would be too long. The chief of those who were called from Cambridge were these : Master Clerk, master of arts, of thirty-four years of age; Master Frier, afterwards doctor of physic, and after that a strong papist; Master Sumner, master of arts; Master Harman, master of arts, afterwards fellow of Eton college, and after that a papist; Master Bettes, master of arts, a good man and zealous, and so remained ; Master Cox, master of arts, who conveyed himself away toward the north, and after was schoolmaster of Eton, and then chaplain to doctor Goodrich, bishop of Ely, and by him preferred to king Henry, and, of late, bishop of Ely; John Frith, bachelor of arts; Bayly, bachelor of arts ; Goodman, who being sick in the prison with the others, was had out, and died in