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out as victims. But, says Southey, in a touching and beautiful passage in his History of the Church,* "the married clergy were observed to suffer with most alacrity. They were bearing testimony to the validity and sanctity of their marriage; the honour of their wives and children was at stake; the desire of leaving them an unsullied name and a virtuous example, combined with a sense of religious duty; and thus the heart derived strength from the very ties which in other circumstances might have weakened it."
* II., 151. † Mackintosh, II., 321.
19. Increased severity of the persecution. These four executions excited such general horror, that Philip, desirous to make himself acceptable to the people, caused his confessor, Alfonso de Castro, to preach a sermon before the court against such odious proceedings. The consequence was, that the burnings were suspended, and the question was again debated in the council. The advocates of blood prevailed. But Gardiner, who was far less cruel than many, grew weary of presiding in the horrible court at St. Mary Overies, and the task of continuing the prosecution devolved on Bonner, a man who seems to have been of so detestable a nature, that if there had been no persecution he must have sought other means of venting his cruelty." The revived persecution soon became more active than the first. An order was Spies set issued to the justices of the peace (March 26th), enjoining reformers. them to "lay special weight" upon preachers and teachers of heresy, or procurers of secret meetings; and directing them to have in every parish, or part of the shire, one or more honest men secretly instructed to give information of the behaviour of the inhabitants about them. This attempt to introduce the spy system into every household recoiled with hatred and contempt upon the council; the bishops and the justices, for the most part, refused to obey the order, and the dioceses of York, Lincoln, and Durham were almost wholly exempt from the disgraces which were perpetrated by those who observed these directions. The council then tried another expedient. A commission was issued (February 8th, 1557) to the bishops of London and Ely, A kind of and others, empowering any three of them to search after established all heresies, and the sellers and readers of heretical books; to examine and punish all misbehaviour and negligences in church or chapel; to try all priests that did not preach of the sacrament of the altar, and all persons that did not hear mass, or did not go in procession, or did not take holy bread or holy water. They were to call before them what witnesses they pleased, and compel them to swear, so as to discover the heresies and offences thus to be hunted out; § by which everything was done that could be
Burnet's Reformation, vol. II., part II., 301-392. § Ibid, p. 428-432.
devised for extirpating heresy, except the setting up of the Inquisition.
But Mary's council was still dissatisfied with the slow progress made in the extirpation of the heretics, and even Bonner was frequently reprimanded for his want of zeal and diligence.* Conviction therefore followed conviction; the fate of one victim serving only to encourage others to imitate his constancy, and whet the appetite of his murderers. It is needless, however, to be particular in enumerating all the cruelties which were practised; and the narrative, little agreeable in itself, would never be relieved by any variety. But the sufferings of Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer, the founders of the English Church, we are bound to notice.
20. The Martyrdom of Ridley and Latimer.
The fate and fortunes of these three patriarchs form a common history. Of Cranmer's rise and advancement mention has been made already. Ridley was born of a good family, at Wilmontswich, in Tynedale; had studied at Cambridge, Paris, and Louvain; at the first of which he became master of Pembroke College. Henry promoted him to the see of Rochester; and Edward translated him to that of London. He was a man of vast reading, ready memory, wise of counsel, deep of wit, and very politic in all his proceedings; kind to his kinsfolk, but of the strictest integrity; and extremely regular in the conduct of his household.t
Latimer was of humbler birth; the son of a solid English yeoman of Thurcaster, in Leicestershire. His condition in life eminently qualified him for spreading the doctrines of the Reformation amongst the people, whose tastes and phraseology, as well as their failings and faults, he of all the leading reformers best understood. He was accordingly honoured with the title of the Apostle of England. Fastidious hearers would find much to shock them in the homely speech and extravagant jokes of Latimer; but his earnest sincerity overcame all difficulties, and recommended him to the court as well as to the people.‡ On one occasion (1525) he was preaching before the University of Cambridge, when the Bishop of Ely came in, curious to hear him. Latimer paused till the bishop was seated; and then, changing his subject, drew an ideal picture of a prelate, very unlike that of his auditor. The latter complained to Wolsey, who sent for Latimer; but seeing clearly the nature of the preacher, and that he was a true man, Wolsey gave him licence to preach in any church in England, saying-"If the bishop cannot abide such doctrine as you have here repeated, you shall preach it to his beard, let him say what he will." Thus fortified, Latimer made his way in Henry's court, befriended by Anne Boleyn, Cranmer, and Cromwell. Henry, pleased with his bluntness and humour, gave him the see of Worcester, which he resigned when the Bloody Statute was passed. The accession of Edward found him in prison on account of his opinions; but, being released and recalled to court, he soon renewed his preaching, and lashed with indifference the vices of all classes. He was well known on the streets of London; the people constantly greeted him with the title of lord, even when he had no bishopric; and the boys cheered him, as he approached his ever popular pulpit at St. Paul's Cross, with some hearty word of encouragement, "Have at them, father Latimer, have at them."
* Lingard, VII., 194.
+ Blunt's Reformation, 278.
+ Ibid, 280. § Froude, II., 99.
All the three had favoured the usurpation of Lady Jane Grey, and were therefore sent to the Tower on the accession of Their trial Mary. The charge against them was commuted, and demnation. they were proceeded against as heretics; and in order to annoy them, conferences were held on the disputed doctrines, in which the audience was so carefully selected, that they always gave the honours and applauses of victory to the prevailing faction. After Wyatt's insurrection they were conducted to Oxford, where a series of memorable disputations was commenced (April 14th) at St. Mary's Church, upon the sacrament of the altar, transubstantiation, the adoration of the eucharist, and the reservation of the sacrament. The disputations were conducted amidst the hissings, clappings, and taunts of the opposing divines, with an inevitable result; they were, in fact, insolent triumphs. When Weston, the moderator, told the archbishop that his party was overcome, he denied it, and complained of the brawlings and interruptions; he and the other two refused to subscribe the articles offered to them, and they were then condemned as obstinate heretics. From that moment they lived in daily expectation of the fate which awaited them; but eighteen months were suffered to elapse before they were brought, according to the provisions of the canon law, before the papal court for their trial. The bishops of Gloucester, Lincoln, and Bristol, as papal commissioners, presided over this court, which was held at Oxford (September, 1555). The accused were not heard; they had only to hear the sentence pronounced; to be degraded; to be burnt. The place appointed for the execution was the ditch on the north side of the town, over against Baliol College. It is now distinguished by what is called Burning of 'the Martyr's Memorial." "But," observes a popular Latimer. writer, "no monument is necessary to commemorate an event which will be remembered, through the power of a few thrilling words, as long as the English language shall endure."* Stripped of his prison dress, the aged Latimer, the bent old man "stood bolt upright, as comely a father as one might lightly behold." He stood bolt upright, in his shroud; and, both being tied to the same stake, a lighted faggot was laid at Ridley's feet, at which instant Latimer exclaimed, "Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man! We shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as, I trust, shall never be put out." (October 16th, 1555.)
21. The Martyrdom of Cranmer. From the window of his cell the archbishop saw his two friends led to execution. He was * Knight's Pop. Hist., III., 90.
permitted to survive them for some months; for, being of greater eminence than they, it was deemed necessary to adhere more rigorously to the forms of law, and Cranmer was therefore cited to answer before the Pontiff in the course of eighty days. But there had been ample time to go through this process during the long imprisonment of the three bishops, and it is more probable that Cranmer was reserved because he had less constancy and animal courage than Ridley and Latimer, and was, therefore, likely to give way to the temptations of his persecutors. His courage was never very strong. He had made too many compromises in his life not to be tempted into compliance with firmer wills at this trying moment; and he signed papers of recantation, under false promises that his life should be spared. When the eighty days were ended, and he had taken no care to appear at Rome-as the papal instrument, in mockery, worded it—he was declared contumacious; and Bonner and Thirlby, bishops of London and Ely, were appointed to degrade him. His degradation being effected, with every aggravation of insult which the ruthless Bonner could devise, he was delivered over to the secular power. But one more attempt was to be made to shake his resolution-to make him die a cowardly apostate. He was entertained by the Catholic Dean of Christchurch with much courtesy and hospitality, while his hopes and fears were practised on by men who professed a wish to save his life. In an evil hour he signed his recantation; and, being then in the toils of his enemies, they exacted from him other recantations, each rising above the other in its demands. Some of these, no doubt, he drew up himself; but the longest and most abject, was probably the composition of Pole. But his persecutors were miserably deceived. "A better spirit-an inspiration came over the fallen man-to make his final glory even greater from his temporary abasement." On Saturday, the 22nd of March, 1556, he was, without warning, though not without expectation, brought forth to be burnt in front of Baliol College, after a sermon preached in St. Mary's, before the university, by Dr. Cole, provost of Eton. Having heard the sermon, in which he was reminded of his wretched state, Cranmer, who was placed on a platform in front of the pulpit, knelt down and prayed, and then addressed an exhortation to the people, to care not over much for the world; to obey the King and Queen; to love one another; to be good to the poor. He then declared that he believed in God; in every article of the Catholic faith; and every word and sentence taught by our Saviour, His apostles and prophets, in the Old and New Testament.
When he came to the conclusion, he startled all his hearers by recalling all his former recantations, and rejecting the papal authority as anti-Christ. He was immediately interrupted by the murmurs and agitation of his audience, and carried away to the stake. Coming thither with a cheerful countenance and willing mind, he put off his garments with haste, and stood upright in his shirt. When the fire was kindled, he thrust his right hand into the flames, and held it there a good space, till it was seen of every man sensibly burning, and cried out with a loud voice, "this hand hath offended."
22. Extent of the persecution.
On the same day that Cranmer was thus cruelly put to death, Cardinal Pole was installed in his archiepiscopal throne. There seems to be no doubt that he was the constant advocate of toleration; "he never," says Burnet, "set on the clergy to persecute heretics, but to reform themselves;* yet, even in his own diocese of Canterbury, he allowed the heretics to be persecuted by the fiercer clergy. not do evil, but he did not withstand it.†
Of the fourteen bishoprics then contained in England, bloodshed was prevented in nine; and it is due to Gardiner's memory to state that his diocese was one of these. Bonner is charged with having burnt about one half the martyrs of the kingdom; but great numbers were brought from other places to the capital, and this swells the apparent account of Bonner beyond his desert. Christopherson, Bishop of Chichester, was another hard and bitter persecutor.
The total number of those who suffered, from the martyrdom of Rogers, in February, 1555, to September, 1558, when the persecution ceased, has been variously related; but in a manner sufficiently different to assure us, that the relaters were independent witnesses who did not borrow from each other, and yet sufficiently near to attest the general accuracy of their distinct statements. Lingard reckons them at almost 200, but intimates that he has deducted those martyrs who died as condemned felons or traitors.§ Cooper estimates them at 290; Burnet, at 284; and Speed at 274. The most accurate account, according to Mackintosh, is probably that of Lord Burleigh, who, in his treatise called "The Execution of Justice in England," reckons the number of those who died by imprisonment, torments, famine, and fire, to be near 400, of which those who were burnt alive, amounted to 290. Burnet gives a table of the martyrdoms, for each year. In 1555, there were burnt 72; in 1556, 94; in 1557, 79; and in 1558, 39; making a total of 284, or 71 a year. So that, had Mary's reign lasted as long as Elizabeth's, the whole number would have exceeded 3,500. There was a nice adjustment of the number of victims to the local demand. The "fires of Smithfield" were not the only sacrifices. During these four years, while London and Middlesex saw 58 executions, Kent had 54; Essex, 51; Sussex, 41; Suffolk and Norfolk, 31; Gloucester, 9; Warwick, 6; and 32 more were distributed over 13 other districts. Neither was the faggot confined to bishops and priests. Speed classifies them thus, and no selection could have been more impartial :-5 bishops, 21 divines, 8 gentlemen, 84 artificers, 100 husbandmen, servants, and labourers, 26 wives, 20 widows, 9 unmarried women, 2 boys, and 2 infants.
* Reformation, II., 589.
Besides those who had suffered, more than 800 persons of eminence and distinction fled to the continent, chiefly to Frankfort and Geneva. Among them
+ Mackintosh, II, 328. Ibid, II., 329. § History, VII., 207.