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Full text of "Book of martyrs: or, A history of the lives, sufferings, and triumphant deaths of the primitive as well as Protestant martyrs: from the commencement of Christianity, to the latest periods of pagan and popish persecution. To which is added, an account of the Inquisition .."

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BR 1600 .F6 1851 
Foxe, John, 1516-1587 
Book of martyrs 

















" Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles."— Matt. vii. 18. 


REV. JOHN FOX, M. A. CTcA-^vaTo 






Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year, 1843. 

ill the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Conneci-cuc. 


Few works in the English language have been read with deeper 
interest, where it has been circulated, than Fox's " Martyrology." It 
was the production of a most laborious, benevolent, and pious man, 
who devoted eleven years to the preparation of it ; and who, in order 
that the enemies of Protestantism might be able neither to gainsay, 
nor contradict its statements, " weighed," as his biographer remarks, 
" with the most scrupulous attention, the certainty of the facts, which 
he recorded, and the validity of the authorities, from which he drew 
his information." On its appearance, the Papists were greatly alarmed, 
as well they might be, and resorted to every practicable expedient to 
injure the reputation of the work. Their artifices were, however, in 
vain. The facts they were unable to disprove, nor could they prevent 
the shock, which many a mind received, at the perusal of their cruel- 
ties. The work has always been an eyesore to Popery, and its cir- 
culation dreaded by its votaries. 

The present volume is an abridgment; but it contains the most 
interesting and important parts of the original work, which is too vo- 
luminous and expensive, for general circulation. The Editor has en- 
deavored to execute his task with fidelity, and to give to the public 
such a volume, as the true history of the times would justify. The 
attention of the reader is particularly requested to the Introduction, 
prepared by the Editor, designed to show, in contrariety to the prin- 
ciples and practices of Rome, that the Gospel does not allow of perse- 
cution in any form whatever ; and which, at the same time, may serve 
to display some of the causes, which have led Papists and Pagans to 
to show such a bitter hostility to the friends of a pure Christianity. 

No apology will be needed for the publication, and as wide dissemi- 
nation of the present volume as may be. Rome is at work — openly 
and secretly — laboriously — assiduously — by night and by day — both 
here, and in protestant Europe — especially in England. It may be her 
last struggle, but it is strong and determined. Within a short time, 
disclosures have been made of the prevalence — in one branch of the 
Church of Christ — both in England and in the United States — of some 
of the worst errors of Papacy, and which has justly alarmed the whole 
Protestant world. A spiritual controversy has begun which seems 
likely to involve the Episcopal Church in all countries, where it ex- 


ists ; and whicli, it is devoutly to be wished, may be so managed by 
her spiritual dignitaries, as to result in her wider and more perfect 
separation from Papal forms and influence. 

To the American people this subject presents itself with peculiar 
interest. For some years the Papal authorities have turned a longing 
eye toward the United States. Vast sums have been, and are yearly 
being, expended to extend the Papal power. Magnificent cathedrals 
have been erected, and Catholic priests by hundreds have been sent 
over to establish their corrupt system in every unoccupied portion of 
the country. Publications, very numerous, and conducted with no 
small ability, are pouring forth from the press, to aid the Jesuit in 
bringing the ignorant and incautious in subjection to the " Man of Sin." 

The question presents itself with great force to the American peo- 
ple : " Shall this system find encouragement in the land of the pil- 
grims ?" Who can wish to see such a root of bitterness planted here, 
to send forth branches, which may yield fruit full of spiritual poison ? 
The friends of truth should not, indeed, be needlessly alarmed ; but, 
on the other hand, they should not sleep. A holy vigilance should 
guard well the approaches of an enemy, whose triumphs here would 
be the ruin of that fair fabric, which cost our fathers so much toil to 
erect. What friend of Zion does not tremble at only the possibility, 
that Papal darkness and Papal thraldom may overspread even a por- 
tion of our country. 

The following work, it is believed, will present an antidote to the 
insidious poison attempted to be infused into the minds of the unestab- 
lished and ignorant, by the professors of Popery, and its self-styled 
" liberal abettors.''^ It is only necessary that the volume should be care- 
fully and candidly read, to convince every one that the Papal system 
is not that harmless, innocent thing, which some would represent. 
We wish not, indeed, that the Papists should be persecuted ; we would 
say, protect them in their private capacity, wherever they exist in the 
land ; but beware of so encouraging them, as to bring the American 
people under their temporal and spiritual domination. 

It may be said — indeed it is said, that the persecuting spirit of Po- 
pery has passed away. But let it be remembered, that persecution is 
inseparable from it — is its very essence. A church, which pretends to 
be infallible, will always seek the destruction of those who dissent from 
it ; and as a proof that its spirit is unchanged and vnchangeable, we 
may refer to the persecutions in the south of France some few years 
since, of which a particular account will be found in this volume. 
Until some further proof is given to the world, than has yet been 
given, of the more mild and pacific spirit of Popery, we shall believe 
that it is still as intolerant, as when it spread its desolating ravages 
through the unoffending valleys of Piedmont ; or, at a subsequent pe- 
riod, lighted up the consuming fires of Smithfield. 



John Fox was born at Boston, in Lincolnshire, in 1517, where, 
his parents are stated to have lived in respectable circumstances. He 
was deprived of his father at an early age ; and notwithstanding hi& 
mother soon married again, he still remained under the parental roof. 
From an early display of talents and inclination to learning, his friends 
were induced to send him to Oxford, in order to cultivate and brino- 
ihem to maturity. During his residence at this place, he was distin"^ 
guished for the excellence and acuteness of his intellect, which was 
improved by the emulation of his fellow-collegians, united to an inde- 
fatigable zeal and industry on his part. These qualities soon gained 
him the admiration of all ; and as a reward for his exertions and amia- 
ble conduct, he was chosen fellow of Magdalen college ; which was 
accounted a great honour in the university, and seldom bestowed un- 
less in cases of great distinction. It appears that the first display of 
his genius was in poetry; and that he composed some Latin come- 
dies, which are still extant. But he soon directed his thoughts to a 
more serious subject, the study of the sacred Scriptures : to divinity, 
indeed, he apphed himself with more fervency than circumspection, 
and discovered his partiulity to the reformation, which had then com- 
menced, before he was known to its supporters, or to those who pro- 
tected them ; a circumstance which proved to him the source of his 
lirst troubles. 

He is said to have often affirmed, that the first matter which occa- 
sioned his search into the popish doctrine, was, that he saw diver 
Things, most repugnant in their nature to one another, forced upon men 
at the same time ; upon this foundation his resolution and intended 
obedience to that church were somewhat shaken, and bv deo-rees a 
dislike to the rest took place. 

His first care was to look into both the ancient and modern history 
of the church ; to ascertain its beginning and progress ; to consider 
the causes of all those controversies which in the meantime had 
sprung up, and diligently to weigh their effects, solidity, infirmities, &c. 


Before he had attained his thirtieth year, he had studied the Crcrk 
and Latin fathers, and other learned authors, the transactions of the 
councils , and decrees of the consistories, and had acquired a very 
competent skill in the Hebrew language. In these occupations he 
frequently spent a considerable part, or eveu' the whole of the night ; 
and in order to unbend his mind after such incessant study, he would 
resort to a grove near the college, a place much frequented by the 
students in the evening, on account of its sequestered gloominess. In 
these solitary walks he has been heard to ejaculate heavy sobs and 
sighs, and with tears to pour forth his prayers to God. These nightly 
retirements, in the sequel, gave rise to the first suspicion of his alien 
ation from the church of Rome. Being pressed for an explanation 
of this altera-tion in his conduct, he scorned to call in fiction to his ex- 
cuse ; he stated his opinions ; and was, by the sentence of the col- 
lege, convicted, condemned as a heretic, and expelled. 

His friends, upon the report of this circumstance, were highly of- 
fended, and especially his father-in-law, who was now grown altoge- 
ther implacable, either through a real hatred conceived against him for 
this cause, or pretending himself aggrieved, that he might now, with 
more show of justice, or at least with more security, withhold from 
Mr. Fox his paternal estate ; for he knew it could not be safe for one 
publickly hated, and in danger of the law, to seek a remedy for his 

When he Avas thus forsaken by his own friends, a refuge ofiered 
itself in the house of Sir Thomas Lucy, of Warwickshire, by whom 
he was sent for, to instruct his children. In this house he afterwards 
married. But the fear of the popish inquisitors hastened his depart- 
ure thence ; as they were not contented to pursue public ofllsnces, 
but began also to due into the secrets of private families. He now 
began to consider what was best to be done to free himself from fur- 
ther inconvenience, and resolved either to go to his wife's father oi 
to his father-in-law. 

His wife's father was a citizen of Coventry, whose heart was not 
alienated from him, and he was more likely to be well entreated, for his 
daughter's sake. He resolved first to go to him ; and, in the mean- 
while, by letters, to try whether his father-in-law would receive him 
or not. This he accordingly did, and he received for answer, " that it 
seemed to him a hard condition to take one into his house whom he 
knew to be guilty, and condemned for a capital offence ; neither was 
he ignorant what hazard he should undergo in so doing ; he would, 
however show himself a kinsman, and neglect his own danger. If 
^ / lie would alter his mind, he might come, on condition to stay as long 
as he himself desired ; but if he could not be persuaded to that, he 
' , must content himself with a shorter stay, and not bring him and his 
- ^ mother into danger. 

No condition was to be refused ; besides, he was secretly advised 
by his mother to come, and not to fear his father-in-law's .severity ; 
" for that, perchance, it was needful to write as he did, but when oc- 
casion should be offered, he would make recompense for his worda 
with his actions." In fact he was better received by both of them 
than he had hoped for. 

By these means he kept himself concealed for sometime, and after- 


wards made a journey to London, in the latter part of the reign of 
Henry VIII. Here, being unknown, he was in much distress, and 
was even reduced to the danger of being starved to death, had not 
Providence interfered in his favour, in the following manner : 

One day as Mr. Fox was sitting in St. Paul's church, exhausted with 
long fasting, a stranger took a seat by his side, and courteously salu- 
ted him, thrust a sum of money into his hand, and bade him cheer 
up his spirits ; at the same time informing him, that in a few days 
new prospects would present themselves for his future subsistence. 
Who this stranger was, he could never learn ; but at the end of three 
days, he received an invitation from the dutchess of Richmond to un- 
dertake the tuition of the children of the earl of Surrey, who, together 
with his father the duke of Norfolk, was imprisoned in the Tower, 
by the jealousy and ingratitude of the king. The children thus con- 
fided to his care were, Thomas, who succeeded to the dukedom ; 
Henry, afterwards earl of Northampton ; and Jane, who became 
countess of Westmoreland. In the performance of his duties he 
fully satisfied the expectations of the dutchess, their aunt. 

These halcyon days continued during the latter part of the reign 
of Henry VIII. and the five years of the reign of Edward VI. till 
Mary came to the crown, who, soon after her accession, gave all 
power into the hands of the papists. 

At this time Mr. Fox, who was still under the protection of his 
noble pupil, the duke, began to excite the envy and hatred of many, 
particularly Dr. Gardiner, then bishop of Winchester, who, in the 
sequel, became his most violent enemy. 

Mr. Fox, aware of this, and seeing the dreadful persecutions then 
commencing, began to think of quitting the kingdom. As soon as 
the duke knew his intention, he endeavoured to persuade him to re- 
main ; and his arguments were so powerful, and given with so much 
sincerity, that he gave up the thought of abandoning his asylum for 
the present. 

At that time the bishop of Winchester was very intimate with the 
duke, (by the patronage of whose family he had risen to the dignity 
he then enjoyed,) and frequently waited on him to present his ser- 
vice ; when he several times requested that he might see his old tu- 
tor. At first the duke denied his request, at one time alleging his 
absence, at another, indisposition. At length it happened that Mr. 
Fox, not knowing the bishop was in the house, entered the room 
where the duke and he were in discourse; and seeing the bishop, 
withdrew. Gardiner asked who that was, the duke answered, " his 
physician, who was somewhat uncourtly, as being new come from 
the university." — " I like his countenance and aspect very well," 
replied the bishop, " and when occasion oflfers, I will send for him." 
The duke understood that speecli as the messenger of some approach- 
ing danger ; and now he himself thought it high time for Mr. Fox 
to quit the city, and even the country. He accordingly caused every 
thing necessary for his flight to be provided in silence, by sending 
one of his servants to Ipswich to hire a bark and prepare all the 
requisites for his departure. He also fixed on the house of one of 
his servants, who was a farmer, where he might lodge till the wind 
became favourable ; and every thing being in readiness, Mr. Fox 


took leave of his noble patron, and with his wife, who was pregnant 
at the time, secretly departed for the ship. 

The vessel was scarcely under sail, when a most violent storm 
came on, which lasted all day and night, and the next day drove them 
back to the port from which they had departed. During the time 
that the vessel had been at sea, an officer, dispatched by the bishop 
of Winchester, had broken open the house of the farmer with a war- 
rant to apprehend Mr. Fox wherever he might be found, and bring 
him back to the city. On hearing this news he hired a horse, under 
the pretence of leaving the town immediately ; but secretly returned 
the same night, and agreed with the captain of the vessel to sail for 
any place as soon as the wind should shift, only desiring him to pro- 
ceed, and not to doubt but that God would prosper his undertaking. 
The mariner suffered himself to be persuaded, and within two days 
landed his passengers in safety at Nieuport. 

After spending a few days at that place, Mr. Fox set out for Basle, 
where he found a number of English refugees, who had quitted their 
country to avoid the cruelty of the persecutors ; with these he asso- 
ciated, and began to write his " History of the Acts and Monuments 
of the Church," which -was first pubhshed in Latin at Basle, and 
shortly after in English. 

In the mean time the reformed religion began again to flourish in 
England, and the popish faction much to decline, by the death of 
Queen Mary; which induced the greater number of the protestant 
exiles to return to their native country. 

Among others, on the accession of Elizabeth to tise throne, Mr. 
Fox returned to England ; where, on his arrival, he found a faithful 
and active friend in his late pupil, the duke of Norfolk, till death de- 
prived him of his benefactor : after which event, Mr. Fox inherited 
a pension bequeathed to him by the duke, and ratified by his son, the 
earl of Suffolk. 

Nor did the good man's successes stop here. On being recom- 
mended to the queen by her secretary of state, the great Cecil, her 
majesty granted him the prebendary of Shipton, in the cathedral of 
Salisbury, Avhich was in a manner forced upon him ; for it Avas with 
difficulty that he could be persuaded to accept of it. 

On his re-settlement in England, he employed himself in revising 
and enlarging his admirable Martyrology. With prodigious pains 
and constant study he completed that celebrated work in eleven years- 
For the sake of greater correctness, he wrote every line of this vast 
book with his own hand, and transcribed all the records and papers 
himself. But, in consequence of such excessive toil, leaving no part 
of his time free from study, nor affording himself either the repose or 
recreation which nature required, his health was so reduced, and his 
person became so emaciated and altered, that such of his friends and 
relations as only conversed with him occasionally, could scarcely re- 
cognise his person. Yet, though he grew daily more exhausted, he 
proceeded in his studies as briskly as ever, noi would he be persua- 
ded to diminish his accustomed labours. — The papists, foreseeing how 
detrimental his history of their errors and cruelties would prove to 
their cause, had recourse to every artifice to lessen the reputation of 
his work; but their milice was of signal service, both to Mr. Fox 


himself, and to llie church of God at large, as it eventually made his 
book more intrinsically valuable, by inducing him to weigh, with the 
most scrupulous attention, the certainty of the facts which he record- 
ed, and the validity of the authorities from which he di-ew his infor- 

But while he was thus indefatigably employed in promoting the 
cause of truth, he did not neglect the other duties of his station ; he 
was charitable, humane, and attentive to the wants, both spiritual 
and temporal, of his neighbours. V/ith the view of being more ex- 
tensively useful, although he had no desire to cultivate the acquain- 
tance of the rich and great on his own account, he did not decline the 
friendship of those in a higher rank who proffered it, and never fail- 
ed to employ his influence with them in behalf of the poor and needy. 
In consequence of his well known probity and charity, he was fre- 
quently presented with sums of money by persons possessed of wealth, 
which he accepted and distributed among those who were distressed. 
He Avould also occasionally attend the table of his friends, not so 
much for the sake of pleasure, as from civility, and to convince them 
that his absence was not occasioned by a fear of being exposed to 
the temptations of the appetite. In short, his character as a man and 
as a Christian was without reproach. 

Of the esteem in which he was held, the names of the following 
respectable fi'iends and noble patrons, will afford ample proof. It 
has been already mentioned that the attachment of the duke of Nor- 
folk was so great to his tutor, that he granted him a pension for life ; 
he also enjoyed the patronage of the earls of Bedford and Warwick, 
and the intimate friendship of Sir Francis Walsingham, (secretary of 
state,) Sir Thomas and Mr. Michael Hennage, of whom he was fre- 
quently heard to observe, that Sir Thomas had every requisite for a 
complete courtier, but that Mr. Michael possessed all the merits ol 
his brother, besides his own, still untainted by the court. He was on 
very intimate and affectionate terms with Sir Drue Drury, Sir Fran- 
cis Drake, Dr. Grindal, archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Elmar, bishop 
of London, Dr. Pilkington, bishop of Durham, and Dr. Nowell, 
dean of St. Paul's. Others of his most intimate acquaintances 
and friends were. Doctors Humphrey, Whitaker and Fulk, Mr. 
John Crowly, and Mr. Baldwin Collins. Among the eminent citi- 
zens, we find he was much venerated by Sir Thomas Greshain, Sir 
Thomas Roe, Alderman Bacchus, Mr. Smith, Mr. Dale, Mr. Sher- 
rington, &c. &.C. 

At length, having long served both the church and the world by 
his ministry, by his pen, and by the unsullied lustre of a benevolent, 
useful, and holy life, he meekly resigned his soul to Christ, on the 
18th of April, 1587, being then in the seventieth y 3ar of his age. He 
was interred in the chancel of St. Giles', Crippljgate ; of which pa- 
rish he had been, in the beginning of Elizabeth's reign, for some time 

The Lord had given him a foresight of his departure ; and so ful- 
ly was he assured that the time was jusi at hand when his soul should 
quit the body, that (probably to enjoy unmolested communion with 
God, and to have no worldly interruptions in his last hours) he pur- 


posely sent his two sons from home, though he loved them with great 

IvnuwlTil '"''' ""trJ^'y ^^^"™^'^' ^"^ spirit, as he had foreS 
would be the case, had flown to heaven. 

His death occasioned great lamentations throughout the city, and 

whn^ «nn "'Z ^T""'"^ V'^ " ^^^^^ concoursc of people, eaib of 
whom appeared to bewail the losa of a father or a brothen 


That the introduction of Christianity into the world, cnnsiderinff 
the character of its Divine Founder, and the nature and tendency of 
its doctrines and precepts, should have ever given birth to persecution, 
may well appear surprising. The Son of God is described to us, as 
" meek and lowly," as *' holy and harmless ;" never did any other 
on earth give so illustrious an example of benevolence, patience, and 
kindness. So far from manifesting a persecuting spirit himself, he 
suffered reproaches and indignities without a murmur. "When re- 
viled, he reviled not again;" but gave a high and noble exhibition ol 
that self-denial, meekness, and fortitude, which he enjoined his fol- 
lowers to practise after him. Nay, so far from encouraging any 
methods of persecution, he rebuked and put a stop to every appear- 
ance of them. Thus, when his disciples would have called doAvn lire 
from Heaven, to consume the Samaritans, who refused to receive 
him, he rebuked them, saying, " Ye know not what manner of spirit 
ye are of; the Son of Man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to 
save them ;" and when one of those who were with Christ, cut off 
the ear of one of the high priest's servants, upon his laying his hands 
on him, he severly reproved him : " Put up again thy sword into its 
place ; for all they that take the sword, shall perish with the sword." 
And, in order to cure his apostles of their ambition and pride, and to 
prevent their claiming undue power, he gave them an example of 
great humility and condescension, in washing and wiping their feet ; 
and forbid them imitating the "Gentiles, by exercising dominion and 
authority; but whosoev^er will be great amongst you, let him be your 
minister; and whosoever will be chief amongst you, let him be your 
servant ; even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but 
to minister, and to give his life for many." And as the Jewish teach- 
ers took on them the name of Rabbi, to denote their power over the 
consciences of those they instructed, he commanded his disciples : 
" Be ye not called Rabbi, for one is your master, even Christ, and all 
ye are brethren ; and call no man father, for one is your father which 
is in Heaven ; but he that is greatest among you shall be your ser- 
vant." And it is, moreover, certain, that were Christ's doctrines and 
precepts regarded and practised as they should be, universal benevo- 
lence would be the certain effect, and eternal peace and union would 
reign amongst the members of the Christian Church. For if there be 


any commands of certain clearness, any precepts of evident obligation 
in the gospsl, they are such as refer to the exercise of love, and the 
maintenance of universal charity. " Blessed are the meeA," we hear 
the Saviour proclaiming, " for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed 
are the peace makers, for they shall be called the children of God." 
And in another place, describing the nature of religion in general, he 
tells us, that the love of God is the first commandment; and the se- 
cond like unto it — thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. This he 
enjoins upon his disciples, as his peculiar command : " This is my 
commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you." Nay, 
love was that by which his followers were to be distinguished from all 
others. " A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one 
another ; as I have loved you, that ye, also, love one another. By 
this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to 
another." Thus, it is evident, that there is nothing in the life of Jesus 
Christ, in his doctrines, or precepts, which gives any countenance to 
those wicked methods of propagating and supporting religion, that 
some of his pretended followers have made use of, but the strongest 
directions to the contrary. 

The governing design of Christ's examples, doctrines, and precepts, 
was to promote meekness and condescension, universal charity and 
love. In this respect, his Apostles were his careful imitators. " Let 
love," says Paul, " be without dissimulation ; be kindly aiFectioned 
one to another, with brotherly love, in honour preferring one another. 
If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men." 
And the love he recommended Avas such, " as worketh no ill to his 
ncig-hbour.^'' In another place, we find the apostle guarding his Chris- 
tian brethren against divisions on account of different sentiments, re- 
lating to matters of minor importance. " Receive," says he, " him 
that is weak in the faith, not to doubtful disputations, not to debates. 
or contentions about disputations, or disputable things." In relation 
to such matters, he directs that none should despise or judge others, 
because God had received them ; and because every man ought to be 
fully persuaded in his own mind, and because the kingdom of God was 
not meat and drink, but righteousness and peace in the Holy Ghost; 
aiiil because everyone was to give an account of himself to God, to 
whom aldne, as his master, he was to stand or fall. From these sub- 
stantial reasons, he infers : " We then that are strong," — we who 
iiai'o a (iiore comprehensive understanding of the nature of Christiani- 
IV", I'll our Christian liberty, " ought to bear the infirmities of the 
weak," instead of condemning them, and setting ourselves in opposi- 
tion to them. On the contrary, we should employ ourselves in prayer 
unto the God of patience and consolation, that he would grant, that 
there might be no schism among lieirs of the same glorious inherit- 
ance ; but that all, endeavouring to be like minded, one towards 
atiother, might preserve the unity of the spirit, thus glorifying God, 
even the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, with one mind and one spirit. 
Again, \vv find him exhorting u great lowliness and meekness, as an 
evidence of walking worthy of the Christian vocation, with long suffer- 
ing, forbearing one another, in love. The contrary vices of bitter- 
ness, and 'ivrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, and ma- 
lice, are to be put away, as things which grieve the Holy Spirit of God ; 
and we must be kind one to another, forgiving one another, even a 


(lod for Christ's sake hath forgiven us. To these precepts of the 
a])ostle Paul, which might be indefinitely extended, we shall only add 
the amiable description of the wisdom, that is from above, given by 
the apostle James. ' The wisdom that is from above,' is pure, and 
peaceable, and gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of good fruits, 
without partiality, and without hypocrisy. But if we have bitter en- 
vying and strife in our hearts, we have nothing to glory in, but we lie 
against the truth,' i. e. belie our Christian profession ; for whatever 
false judgment we may pass upon ourselves, this ' wisdom descend- 
eth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish ; for Avhere envy- 
ing and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.' 

" But to this it has been objected, that although the precepts of the 
Christian religion, as recorded both by Christ and his apostles, seem 
not to countenance persecution ; and nothing in favour of it can be 
urged from the conduct of Jesus Christ himself; yet that the conduct 
of his apostles, particularly that of Paul, may be fairly urged, as a 
warrant in certain cases. 

" The venerable Beza adduces two instances, as a vindication of 
iJie punishment of heretics. The first is that of Ananias and Sapphi- 
ra, struck dead by Peter ; and the other that of Elymas, the sorcerer, 
struck blind by Paul. But how impertinently are both these instances 
alleged ? Heresy was not the thing punished, in either of them. 
Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead, for hypocrisy and lying ; and 
for conspiring, if it were possible, to deceive God. Elymas was a 
Jewish sorcerer, and false prophet ; a subtle mischievous fellows an 
enemy to righteousness and virtue, who withstood the Apostolic au- 
thority, and endeavoured, by his frauds, to prevent the conversion of 
the deputy to the Christian faith. The two first of these persons 
were punished with death. By whom 1 What, by Peter ? No : by 
the immediate hand of God. Peter gave them a reproof suitable to 
their wickedness ; but as to the punishment, he w^as only the mouth of 
God in declaring it, even of that God who knew the hypocrisy of 
their hearts, and gave this signal instance of his abhorrence of it in 
the infancy of the Christian church, greatly to discourage, and, if pos- 
sible, for the future to prevent men thus dealing fraudulently and in- 
sincerely with him. And, I presume, if God hath a right to punish 
frauds and cheats in another world, he hath a right to do so in this ; 
especially in the instance before us, which seems to have something 
very peculiar in it. 

" Peter expressly says to Sapphira : ' How^ is it that ye have agreed 
together to tempt the spirit of the Lord V What can this tempting of 
the spirit of the Lord be, but an agreement between Ananias and his 
wife, to put this fraud on the apostle, to see whether or not he could 
discover it by the spirit he pretended to 1 This was a proper chal- 
lenge to the spirit of God, which the apostles were endued with, and 
a combination to put the apostolic character to the trial. Had not 
the cheat been discovered, the apostles' inspiration and mission would 
have been deservedly questioned ; and as the state of Christianity re- 
quired that this divine mission should be abundantly established, Peter 
lets them know that their hypocrisy was discovered ; and, to create 
the greater regard and attention to their persons and message, God 
saw fit to punish that hypocrisy with death. 

"As to Elymas, the sorcerer, this instance is as foreign and imperii- 


neni as the other. Sergius Paulus, proconsul of Cyprus, had enter- 
tained at Paphos, one Barjesus, a Jew, a sorcerer ; and hearino-, also, 
tliat Paul and Barnabas were in the city, he sent for them to hear the 
doctrine they preached. Accordingly, they endeavoured to instruct 
the deputy in the Christian faith, but were withstood by Elymas, v.ho 
by his subtleties and tricks endeavoured to hinder his conversion. 
St. Paul, therefore, in order to confirm his own divine mission, and to 
prevent the deputy's being deceived by the frauds and sorceries of 
Elymas, after severely rebuking him for his sin, and in opposition to 
Chris tianit)^, tells him not that the proconsul ought to put him in jail, 
and punish him with the civil sword ; but that God himself would de- 
cide the controversy, by striking the sorcerer himself immediately 
blind ; which accordingly came to pass, to the full conviction of the 

"Now what is there in all this to vindicate persecution ? God 
punishes wicked men for fraud and sorcery, who knew their hearts, 
and had a right to punish the iniquity of them. Therefore men may 
punish others for opinions they may think to be true, and are con- 
scientious in embracing, without knowing the heart, or being capable 
of discovering any insincerity in it. Or God may vindicate the cha- 
racter and mission of his own messengers, when wickedly opposed 
and denied, by immediate judgments inflicted by himself on their 
opposers. Therefore the magistrate may punish and put to death 
without any warrant from God, such who behe their^mission, and are 
ready to submit to it, as far as they understand the nature and design 
of it. Are these consequences just and rational ? or would any man 
have brought these instances as precedents for persecution, that was 
not resolved, at all hazards, to defend and practice it?"* 

To the candid and unprejudiced mind, the preceding view of the 
subject will be sufficient, it is believed, to justify the conclusion, that 
neither the doctrines, precepts, nor conduct of Christ, nor those of his 
apostles, can in the remotest degree give any sanction to the spirit, nor 
to any of the forms of persecution. But to the omniscient eye of 
Christ, it was not concealed, that the promulgation of Christianity 
would lead to persecutions of the most grievous kind, both from op- 
posers and pretended friends. To these approaching persecutions — 
to these most bitter and grievous days of trial and calamity to his faith- 
ful followers, Christ, as a true prophet of God, often alluded. He 
spoke of them as certain, as seasons which would try the faith, and 
sincerity, and patience of his followers ; at the same time, he bid 
them, " put a heavenly courage on ;" since, by an exhibition of faith, 
fortitude, and constancy, they would give proof of the sustaining power 
of his gospel, and through such abundant tribulations, would "be pre- 
pared for a more abundant weight of glory. To his disciples, who 
would lead in " the noble army of martyrs," he strongly represented 
the dangers which would come upon them. " They will dehver you," 
says he, " up to councils ; they will scourge you in the synagogues ; 
you shall be hated of all men for my sake ; nay, the time cometh, 
when they Avill think they are doing God a service, by putting you to 
death." And alluding to a consequence of the promulgation of tlie 
gospel, viz. the prevalence of persecution, the result of pride, envy, 

♦ Chandler's History of Persecution, p. 401, et alibi. 


inalice, and a love of power, he says, " Think not that I come to 
send peace, but a sword, for I am come to set a man at variance with 
his father, and the daughter against her mother," &c. And again, 
" I am come to send fire on the earth : and what will I, if it be al- 
ready kindled? Suppose ye that I am come to send peace on earth? 
I tell you nay, but rather division." How is it explained by Christ 
himself? Why in the very next words : " For from henceforth," i. e 
upon the publication of my religion and gospel, " there shall be five 
in one house divided, three against two, and two against three," «&c. 
Can any man need paraphrase and criticism to explain thefe passages 
of any thing but of that persecution, which should befal the preachers 
and believers of the gospel ? or imagine it to be a prophetic descrip- 
tion 01 a fire to be blown up by Christ to consume others, Avhen the 
whole connexion evidently refers it to a fire, that the opposers of his 
religion should blow up, to consume himself and followers ? Jesus 
knew It was such a fire, as would first consume himself. " I am come 
to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?" 
or, as the words should be translated, " How do I wish it was already 
kindled ? How do I wish it to break out on my own person, that I 
might glorify God by my sufferings and death ?" For as it follows, 
" I have a baptism to be baptized with," a baptism v>'ith my own blood : 
" and how am I straitened till it be accomplished !" After this ac- 
count of his own sufferings, he foretels the same should befal his fol- 
lowers : " Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth ? I tell 
you nay, but rather division ;" i. e. as I myself must suffer to bear 
witness to the truth, so after my decease, such shall be the unreason- 
able and furious opposition to my gospel, as shall occasion divisions 
among the nearest relations, some of whom shall hate and persecute 
the other for their embracing my religion.* 

Agreeably to these predictions of our Saviour, soon after he had 
himself ascended to Heaven, and while the apostles were yet publish- 
ing abroad the doctrine of Christianity, began those furious persecu- 
tions by the Romans, which for three hundred years, or to about the 
time of Constantine, carried thousands and tens of thousands by bar- 
barities the most shocking, and by tortures the most excruciating and 
terrific, to their graves ; thus rendering a profession of the gospel 
almost a sure passport to suffering and death. 

As an account of these perilous days — of the deep rooted malice 
and blood thirsty spirit of barbarians, urged on by the influence of the 
powers of darkness, will be found in the former part of the volume, 
they will not be noticed farther in this place. Yet a natural ciHosity 
may lead us to inquire by what means it happened that the Romans, 
who were troublesome to no nation, on account of their religion, and 
who suffered even the Jews to live under their own laws, and to fol- 
low their own method of worship, almost immediately, on the pro- 
mulgation of Christianity, began to persecute its professors. 

" One of the principal reasons," says Dj Mosheim, " of the seve- 
rity with which the Romans persecuted the Christians, seems to have 
been the abhorrence and contempt, with which the latter regarded 
the religion of the empire which was so intimately connected with 

• Chandler's History of Persecution, ut nipra. 


lie form, and indeed, with the very essence of its political constitii- 
xoii. I or though the Romans gave an unlimited toleration to all re- 
ligions, which had nothing in their tenets dangerous to the common- 
wea th, yet they ivould not permit that of their ancestors, which was 
established by the laws of the state, to be turned into derision, nor 
the people to be drawn away from their attachment to it. These 
however, were the two things which the Christians were charged with! 
and that_ justly though to their honour. They dared to ridkule the 
absurdities of the Pagan superstition, and they were ardent and assi- 
duous m_ gaining proselytes to the truth. Nor did thev only attack 
the religion of Rome, but also all the different shapes aiid forms, un- 
der which superstition appeared in the various countries, where thev 
exercised their ministry. From hence the Romans concluded, that 
ttie Christian sect was not only insupportably daring and arroo-ant, 
but moreover an enemy to the public tranquillity, and every wa>pro- 
per to excite civil wars and commotions in the empire. It is, pro- 
bably, on this account, that Tacitus reproaches them with the odious 
character oHiaters of mankind, and styles the reHgion of Jesus a de- 
structive superstition ; and that Suetonius speaks of the Christians 
and their doctrines in terms of the same kind. 

_ " Another circumstance that irritated the Romans against the Chris- 
tians, was the simpUcity of their worship, which resembled in nothino- 
the sacred rites of any other people. The Christians had neither 
sacrihces, nor temples, nor images, nor oracles, nor sacerdotal orders • 
and this was sufficient to bring upon them the reproaches of an io-- 
norant multitude, who imagined that there could be no relio-ion with- 
out these. Thus they were looked upon as a sort of atheists ; and 
by the Roman laws, those who were chargeable with atheism were 
declared the pesis of human society. But this was not all ; the sor- 
did interests of a multitude of lazy and selfish priests, were imme- 
diately connected with the ruin and oppression of the Christian cause. 
1 he public worship of such an immense number of deities was a source 
of subsistence, and even of riches, to the whole rabble of priests and 
augurs, and also to a multitude of merchants and artists. And as the 
progress of the gospel threatened the ruin of this religious traflic, 
and the profit it produced, this raised up new enemies to the Chris- 
tians, and armed the rage of mercenary superstition against their lives 
and their cause."* 

To this explanation given by Mosheim, may be added, in substance, 
the explanation of Bishop Warburton, which is still more lucid and 
satisfactory. Intercommunity of worship, according to the latter, 
was a principle which run through the whole pagan world. Every 
religion was tolerated, while its advocates claimed for it no exclusive 
superiority Hence it was not until after the return of the Jews from 
captivity, that they were treated by their neighbours, and afterwards 
by the (.Treeks and Romans, with hatred and contempt ; since they 
seem not so openly to have claimed that their religion was the only 
true one in the world. This pretension to superiority and to exclu- 
sive divine origin, was the ground cause of the general odium cast 
upoii the Jews by the Pagan world. 

• Mosheim, Vol. I, p. 72. 


When Christianity arose, though on the foundation of Judaism, it 
was at first received by Pagan nations with complacency. The gos- 
pel was favourably heard, and the superior evidence with which it Avas 
enforced, inclined men long habituated to pretended revelations, to 
receive it into the number of the established. Accordingly we find 
one Roman emperor introducing it among his closet religions ; and 
another proposing to the Senate to give it a more public entertain- 
ment. But when it was found to carry its pretensions higher, and 
like the Jewish, to claim the title of the only true one, then it was 
that it began to incur the same hatred and contempt with the Jewish. 
But when it went still further, and urged the necessity of all men 
forsaking their own national religions, and embracing the gospel, 
this so shocked the Pagans, that it soon brought upon itself the bloody 
storm which followed. Thus you have the true origin of persecution 
for religion; a persecution not committed, but undergone by the 
Christian church.* 

The Pagan persecutions appeared to have continued until about the 
time of Constantine, during whose reign the fall of Paganism began to 
take place, and was nearly consummated in that of Theodosius. This 
extraordinary revolution, one of the most extraordinary that ever took 
place on the theatre of this world, their own writers have described as 
" a dreadful and amazing pi'odigy, whicli covered the earth with dark- 
ness, and restored the ancient dominion of chaos and night." But 
the pen of inspiration has depicted the awful catastrophe in strains of 
much higher sublimity and grandeur, and doubtless upon very differ 
ent principles. " I beheld," says the writer of the Apocalypse, 
" when he had opened the sixth seal, and lo, there was a great earth- 
quake, and the sun becam.e black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon 
became as blood ; and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even 
as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is sliaken of a mighty 
wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll, when it is rolled toge- 
ther: and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 
And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men and 
the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman and every 
freeman, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the moun- 
tains — and said to the mountains and rocks. Fall on us, and hide us 
from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from, the wrath of 
the lamb, for the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be able 
to stand?" The same thing seems to be intended, when the same 
writer says, " There was war in heaven ; Michael and his angels 
fought against the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels, and 
prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven ; 
and the great dragon was cast out, that eld serpent, called the Devil 
and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world ; he was cast out into 
the earth, and his angels were cast out with him." In this highly 
wrought figurative language, we are taught to conceive of the dread- 
ful conflict, wliich subsisted between the Christian and the heathen 
professions ; the persecution which for three centuries had been in- 
flicted upon the former, with the issue of the whole, in the ultimate 
overthrow of the Pagan persecuting powers, and the subversion of 
that idolatrous system in the empire. 

• Divine Legation of Moses, Vol. II. 6, 2. § 6, &c. 


Having noticed the persecutions which occurred under the reiwn 
of Paganism, and assigned the causes which led those nations which 
were Pagan, so powerfully to enlist themselves against Christianity, 
we shall next notice the persecutions which were commenced and 
curried forward under the influence of the Roman Hierarchy. These 
persecutions, the reader will notice, occupied by far the greater part 
of the volume. As these persecutions are of a more recent date, as 
they were conducted by the pretended, friends of Christianity, and 
as the spirit of that system still prevails in nearly every country on 
the globe, no apology, it is thought, will be necessary, for occupying 
so large a space in the developement of the spirit and tendency of the 
papal system. 

The rise of such a power is clearly predicted in the scriptures. 
Even in the days of the apostles, there were not wanting symptoms 
of the approaching Avide spread corruption. 

" When the apostle Paul delivered to the elders of the church at 
Ephesus, a solemn warning to take heed to themselves, and to the 
flock over which the Holy Ghost had made them overseers, he adds, 
as the reason of It, ' for I know this, that after my departure shall 
grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock ; also of 
your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw 
away disciples after them.' Acts xx. 29, 30. The jealousy and fear 
wliich he entertained relative to the influence of false teachers, is 
manifest in the following passage. ' But I fear, lest by any means, 
as the serpent beguiled Eve, through his subtilty, so your minds 
should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ : For such 
are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the 
apostles of Christ : and no v/onder, for Satan himself is transformed 
into an angel of hght ; therefore it is no great thing if his ministers 
also be transformed into ministers of righteousness.' (2 Cor. xi. 3. 
13, 14, 15.) The same general caution against the eflects which 
should proceed from false teachers, is very plainly given by the 
apostle Peter. ' But there were folse prophets also among the peo- 
ple, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall 
bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, 
and bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall 
foUov/ their pernicious ways, by reason of whom the way of truth 
sh-ill be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with 
feigned words make merchandise of you, whose judgment now of a 
long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.' 2 Pet. 
ii. i — 3. To these passages, and many others that might be addu- 
ced, as calculated to awaken the attention of Christians to the dan 
gers they should be exposed to from corrupt teachers, we may par- 
iicularly add the following, as it not only foretels, but describes the 
nature of the apostacy ih^t should take place, and at a period remote 
from the lime when the predictions were delivered. ' Now the 
spirit speakctli expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart 
from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils : 
speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their consciences seared with 
a hot iron ; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from 
Tieats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of 
t^^m who believe and know the truth.' 1 Tim. iv. 1 — 3. Again, 
* This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come ; for 


men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, proud, blasphe- 
mers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural af- 
fection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, dcspisera 
of those that are good, traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of plea- 
sure more than lovers of God; — having a form of godliness, but de- 
nying the power thereof." 2 Tim. iii. 1 — 3. But of all the predic- 
tions contained in the New Testament, the most particular and ex- 
press description of the anti-christian power that should arise under 
the Christian name, is the following : " Now we beseech you, bre- 
thren, by the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering 
together unto him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be trou- 
bled ; neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that 
the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means : 
for that day shall not come except there be a falling away first, and 
that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and 
exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped ; 
so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that 
he is God. Remember ye not, that when I was yet with you, I told 
you these things ? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might 
be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already 
work ; only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the 
way; and then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall 
consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the 
brightness of his coming; even him, whose coming is after the work- 
ing of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders ; and with 
all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish ; because 
they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." 
2 Thess. ii. 1—10. 

" In this representation of the apostacy from the purity of the 
Christian faith and its influence, which terminated in the man of sin 
sitting in the temple of God, we may notice the following parti- 
culars : 

" 1 . That the apostle describes its origin as taking place in his 
own day, ' The mystery of iniquity doth already work,' verse 7. 
The seed was then sov/n ; idolatry was already stealing into thr 
churches. 1 Cor. x. 14. A voluntary humility and worshipping of 
angels. Col. ii. 18. Men of corrup-t minds, destitute of the truth, 
supposing that gain was godliness, and teaching things which they 
ought not, for filthy lucre sake. Men of this class appear to have 
early abounded, and, as acting not Avholly in direct opposition to 
Christianity, but corrupting it in the way of deceit and hypocrisy. 
During the whole progress toAvards the full revelation of the man of 
sin, there was no direct disavowal of the truth of Christianity ; it was 
a form of godliness Avithout the power of it. 

" 2. There is an evident intimation in this passage, of an obstacle 
or hinderance in the way of this power being fully revealed. ' And 
now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his timj. 
For the mystery of iniquity doth already work, only he Nvho now let- 
teth Avill let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that 
wicked be revealed,' &c. ver. 6, 7. "Without going into any minute 
and critical examination of these verses, it is obvious that the wicked 
power which is here the subject of the apostle's discourse, and deno- 


minated the man of sin, had not been fully displayed, and that there 
existed some obstacle to a complete revelation of the mystery of ini- 
quity. The apostle uses a particular caution when hinting at it; but 
the Thessalonians, he says, knew of it; probably from the explana- 
tion he had given them verbally, when he was with them. It can 
scarcely be questioned, that the hinderance or obstacle, referred to in 
these words, was the heathen or pagan Roman government, which 
acted as a restraint upon the pride and domination of the clergy, 
through whom the man of sin ultimately arrived at his power and au- 
thority, as will afterwards appear. The extreme caution which the 
apostle manifests in speaking of this restraint, renders it not impro- 
bable that it was something relating to the higher powers ; for we 
can easily conceive how improper it would have been, to declare in 
plain terms that the existing government of Rome should come to an 
end. There is a remarkable passage in Tertullian's Apology, thai 
may serve to justify the sense which Protestants put upon these 
verses ; and since it was written long before the accomplishment of 
the predictions, it deserves the more attention. ' Christians,' says 
he, ' are under a particular necessity of praying for the emperors, and 
for the continued state of the empire ; because we know that dreadful 
power which hangs over the world, and the conclusion of the age, 
which threatens the most horrible evils, is restrained by the conti- 
nuance of the time appointed for the Roman empire. This is what 
we would not experience ; and while we pray that it may be defer- 
red, we hereby show our good will to the perpetuity of the Roman 
state.' From this extract, it is very manifest, that the Christians, 
even in Tertullian's time, a hundred and twenty years before the pa- 
gan government of Rome came to an end, looked forward to that 
period as pregnant with calamity to the cause of Christ ; though it is 
probable they did not accurately understand the manner in which the 
evils should be brought on the church. And this, indeed, the event 
proved to be the case. For while the long and harassing persecu- 
tions, which were carried on by the pagan Roman emperors, con- 
tinued, and all secular advantages were on the side of paganism, there 
was little encouragement for any one to embrace Christianity, who 
did not discern somewhat of its truth and excellence. Many of the 
errors, indeed, of several centuries, the fruit of vain philosophy, paved 
the way for the events which followed ; but the hinderance was not 
effectually removed, until Constantine, the emperor, on professing 
himself a Christian, undertook to convert the kingdom of Christ into 
a kingdom of this world, by exalting the teachers of Christianity to 
the same state of affluence, grandeur, and influence in the empire, as 
had been enjoyed by pagan priests and secular officers in the state. 
The professed ministers of Jesus having now a wide field opened to 
them, for gratifying their lust of power, wealth, and dignity, the con- 
nexion between the Christian faith and the cross was at an end. 
Willi t followed was the kingdom of the clergy, supplanting the king- 
dom of Jesus Christ. 

" 3. It is worthy of observation, in what language the apostle de- 
scribes the revelation of the man of sin, when this hinderance, or let, 
should be removed. ' And then shall tl>at wicked be revealed ; — 
whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs. 


ttnd lying wonders, and with al! deceivableness of unrighteousness in 
them that perish.' He had before described this power, and personi- 
fied him as ' the son of perdition, Avho opposeth and exalteth himself 
above all that is called God, or that is worshipped ; so that he as God, 
sitleth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.' 

" Every feature in this description corresponds to that of a religiou'* 
power, in the assumption of divine authority, divine honours, and di • 
vine Avorship ; a power which should arrogate the prerogatives of the 
MOST HIGH, having its seat in the temple or house of God, and 
which should be carried on by Satan's 'influence, with all deceit, hy- 
pocrisy, and tyranny ; and with this corresponds the figurative repre- 
sentation given of the same power : Rev. xiii. 5 — 8,"* 

Thus clearly predicted in the scriptures is this mystery of iniquity, 
amd of which during the apostolic days there were indications of its 
having begun to work. From the time of Constantine, however, the 
great obstruction, viz. Paganism, which had hitherto operated against 
the full manifestation of the anti-christian power, being removed, the 
current of events brought matters to that state in Avhich the man of 
sin Avas fully revealed, sitting in the temple of God, and showing him- 
self to be God. 

The corruption of Christianity however, was not effected in a day. 
Under Constantine, Christianity became the religion of the state. In 
consequence of this, the power and wealth of the clergy were greatly 
augmented. Contests among bishops for pre-eminence became fre- 
quent, and were conducted with a spirit wholly at variance with the 
genius of the gospel. Power now became an engine of support to 
different factions, and the sword of persecution, which for three cen- 
turies had been drawn by the pagans against the followers of Christ, 
the besotted ecclesiastics employed against each other, in defence of 
what was now called the " Holy Catholic Church." 

After a long and violent contest between the bishops of Rome, Con- 
stantinople, Antioch, and Alexandria, particularly the former tv/o, the 
bishop of Rome, at length, succeeded in triumphing over all others, 
being in the year 606 invested with the proud title oi universal bishop. 
This may be considered as the date of the establishment of the papal 
power, although this was not the period of its full growth. 

The causes, which contributed to the growth of this gigantic power, 
must be sought in the pages of Ecclesiastical History. It may not be 
amiss, however, to notice some of the principal circumstances which 
contributed to the lordly sway and extended influence of the Roman 
pontiffs, and their clergy, viz : the pretended infallibility of the Pope — 
the decrees of councils — the preference given to human compositions 
over the Bible — the introduction of image worship — the passion for re- 
lics and saints — the sale of indulgences, and free absolution — the doc- 
trine of purgatory — the establishment of the order of Jesuits, and the In- 
quisition. By these and other means, the papal power continued for 
several centuries to gather strength, until, at length, it reached a 
point to which the annals of history furnish no parallel. Whoever 
ventured to lift his voice in opposition to the unwarrantable claims of 
the sovereign pontiffs, or to decry the authority of their clergy, were 
sure to bring down upon them a tide of papal wrath and vengeance. 

♦ Jones' History of the Christian Church, p. 154, &c. 


Previously to the reformation, many had been cruelly sacrificed for 
their honest opposition to papal usurpation ; but during the progress 
of that glorious revolution, and after its establishment, martyrs to the 
cause of truth and gospel simplicity were increased a hundred, if not 
a thousand fold. 

In the following pages, the reader will find a developement of some 
of the works of Popisli arrogance, cruelty, and superstition. When he 
has attentively gone through the volume, let him ask himself, whethei 
a system which authorizes and sanctions such cruelties can be thf 
offspring of, or compatible with, the gospel of Christ Jesus ? " Bj 
their fruits," says our Saviour, " shall we know them." It is no* 
their words, but their works, we should consider. What quarter ol 
the globe has escaped the ravages of their power? If v/elookto the 
East, China and Japan, where they once bore rule, exhibit the most 
cruel and bloody massacres ever heard of, because their satellites aim- 
ed at political power, to the overthrow of the lawful governrn.ents. If we 
look to America, where their power was supreme, we freez*^ with hor- 
ror at the wanton barbarities inflicted upon the heathen. If we cast 
our eyes over Europe, the seat of their authority, we again see the 
like tragedies exhibited ; witness in France the massacre of St. Bar- 
tholomew, the revocation of the edict of Nantz, the extermination of 
the Waldenses and Albigenses, the cruel expulsions in Spain, and 
above all, the cruel and bloody Inquisition, a court which they call 
holy, but surely the most accursed on earth. If we turn our eyes to 
England, we see the stakes in Smithfield, and the fires lighted to con- 
sume the bodies of those holy martyrs, who gave up their lives coura- 
geously in defence of their religion ; we sec the vile mysteries of ini- 
quity discovered at the suppression of the monasteries, and the shame- 
ful practices exposed, by Avhich the priests deluded the people. I 
will notrecur toother persecutions, but ask: "Is this the religion of the 
meek Jesus, or is it not rather the triumph of Satan over fallen man?" 

We cannot more appropriately close this part of our subject, than 
with the following extracts from Mr. Goring's "Thoughts on the Reve- 
lations," in which he contrasts the character of our blessed Saviour, 
and of those men who presume to call themselves his " substitutes on 

" Jesus Christ, as one of his last acts, left mankind this new law, 
'Love one another, as I have loved you; by this shall all men know 
that ye are my disciples.'' Popery hates all that are not of its commu 
nion, and condemns them soul and body to the pit. The blessed Sa- 
viour declared his kingdom was not of this world, being spiritual ; 
that he judged no man, but that the words he uttered should judge 
them in the last day. The Popes claim the dominion of the wliole 
earth, spiritual and temporal ; they wear a triple crown, and pretend 
to judge all men. The Saviour previous to his death, condescended 
to wash his disciples' feet, assuring them they should have no part in 
him unless they submitted to it. The Popes, so far from submitting 
to t'lis lesson of humility, arrogantly permit them to kiss their feel. 
Our blessed Lord claimed not a spot upon earth, nor had he a place 
where to lay his head ; to him, sufficient for the day was the evil 
thereof, both with respect to food and raiment — not so the Popes ; 
from their votaries they extort the scanty gains of the sweat of their 
brows, go gorgeously attirod, and feed sumptuously every day. Our 



Saviour freely pardoned the sins of his penitent creatures without 
fee or reward — the Popes presume to pardon sins ; nay, grant in- 
Qulgences for committing more ; but it is for money, and the sordid 
lucre of gain. 

" Can any man find a resemblance in these two characters ? Is not 
the counterfeit easily discovered ; and will not men blush with shame, 
when they see how grossly they have been deluded by this deceiver ? 
Let them but fairly read the gospel of Jesus Christ ; they will there 
find he delegated liis power to no man, in the way the Popes claim 
it, and thai lie alone is the intercessor between God and man, and no 
man can approach God but through him." 

We are convinced that there are no true Christians, who will not 
agree unequivocally in the justice of the above observations. They 
must be convinced that popery is absurd, superstitious, idolatrous, 
and cruel ; that it darkens the understanding, and enslaves the con- 
sciences of its votaries, and is as much an enemy to virtue as to 





The dreadful martyrdoms which we are now about to describe, 
arose from the persecutions of the Romans against the Christians, 
in the primitive ages of the church, during the space of three hundred 
years, or till the time of Constantine. 

It is both wonderful and horrible, to peruse the descriptions of the 
sufferings of these godly martyrs, as they are described by the ancient 
historians. Their torments were as various as the ingenuity of man, 
urged on by the malicious influence of Satan, could devise ; and their 
numbers were truly incredible. 

The first martyr to our holy religion was its blessed Founder him- 
self. His history is sufficiently known, as it has been handed down 
to us in the New Testament ; nevertheless, it will be proper here to 
give an outline of his sufferings, and more particularly as they will be 
followed by those of the apostles and evangelists. The persecutions 
by the emperors took place long after the death of our Saviour. 

Brief History of our Saviour. 

It is known that in the reign of Herod, the angel Gabriel was sent 
by divine command to the Virgin Mary. This maiden was betrothed 
to a carpenter named Joseph, who resided at Nazareth, a city of Ga 
lilee. The angel informed Mary how highly she was favoured of 
God, and that she should conceive a son by the Holy Spirit, which 
happened accordingly : for travelling to Bethlehem, to pay the capi- 
tation-tax then levied, the town was so crowded that they could only 
get lodgings in a stable, where Mary gave birth to our Blessed Re- 
deemer, which was announced to the world by a star and an angel; 
the wise men of the east saw the former, and the shepherds the latter. 

After Jesus had been circumcised, he was presented in the temple 
by his mother : upon which occasion Simeon exclaimed in the cele- 


brated words recorded by Luke : " Lord, now lettest thou ihy ser 
vant depart in peace, according to thy word, for mine eyes have seen 
thy salvation," Luke ii. 29, 30. 

Jesus, in his youth, disputed with the most learned doctors in the 
temple, and soon after was baptized by John in the river Jordan, 
when the Holy Ghost descended upon him in the form of a dove, and 
a voice was heard audibly to pronounce these words : *' This is my 
beloved son, in whom I am Avell pleased." 

After this Christ fasted forty days and nights in the wilderness, 
where he was tempted by the devil, but resisted all his allurements. 
He performed his lirst miracle at Cana, in Galilee ; he likewise con- 
versed with the good Samaritan, and restored to life a nobleman's dead 
child. While travelling through Galilee, he restored the blind to 
sight, and cured the lame, the lepers, &c. Among other bene^ olent 
actions, he cured, at the pool of Bethesda, a paralytic man, who had 
been lame thirty-eight years, bidding him take up his bed and walk ; 
and he afterwards cured a man whose right hand was shrunk up and 
withered ; with many acts of a similar nature. 

When he had chosen his twelve apostles, he preached the celebra- 
ted sermon upon the mount ; after which he performed several mira- 
cles, particularly the feeding of the multitude, and the walking on the 
surface of the sea. 

On the celebration of the passover, Jesus supped with his disci- 
ples : he informed them that one of them would betray him and ano- 
ther deny him, and preached his farewell sermon. A multitude of 
armed men soon afterwards surrounded him, and Judas kissed him, 
in order to point him out to the soldiers, who were not acquainted 
with his person. In the contention occasioned by the apprehension 
of Jesus, Peter cut off the ear of Malchus, the servant of the high 
priest, for which Jesus reproved him, and by touching the wound, 
healed it. Peter and John followed Jesus to the house of Annas, 
who, refusing to judge him, sent him bound to Caiaphas, where Pe- 
ter denied Christ, as the latter had predicted ; but on Christ remind- 
ing him of his perfidy, Peter went out and wepi bitterly. 

When the council had assembled in the morning, the Jews mocked 
Jesus, and the elders suborned false witnesses against him ; the prin- 
cipal accusation being, that he had said, " I will destroy this temple 
that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another 
made without hands." Caiaphas then asked him if he was the 
Christ, the son of God, or not ; being answered in the affirmative, he 
was accused of blasphemy, and condemned to death by Pontius Pilate, 
the Roman governor, who, though conscious of his innocence, yield- 
ed to the solicitations of the Jews, and condemned him to be cruci- 
fied. His remarkable expression at the time of passing sentence, 
proved how much he was convinced that the Lord was persecuted. 

Previous to the crucifixion, the Jews, by way of derision, clothed 
Christ in a regal robe, put a crown of thorns upon his head, and a 
reed, for a sceptre, in his hand ; they then mocked him with ironical 
compliments, spit in his face, slapped his cheek, and taking the reed 
out of his hand, they struck him with it upon the head. Pilate would 
fain have released him, but the general cry was. Crucify him, crucify 
him ; which occasioned the governor to call for a basin of water, and 
having washed his hands, he declared himself innocent of the blood of 


Christ, whom he termed a just person. But the Jews said, Lei his 
blood be upon us, and our children ; and the governor found himsell 
obliged to comply with their wishes, which wish has manifestly taken 
place, as they have never since been a collected people. 

While leading Christ to the place of crucifixion, they obliged him 
to bear the cross, which being afterwards unable to sustain, they com- 
pelled one Simon, a native of Cyrenia, to carry it the rest of the way. 
Mount Calvary was fixed on for the place of execution, where, having 
arrived, the soldiers offered him a mixture of gall and vinegar to 
drink, which he refused. Having stripped him, they nailed him tc» 
the cross, and crucified him between two malefactors. After being 
fastened to the cross, he uttered this benevolent prayer for his ene- 
mies: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." The 
soldiers who crucified him, being four in number, now cut his mantle 
to pieces, and divided it between them ; but his coat being without a 
seam, they cast lots for it. Whilst Christ remained in the agonies of 
death, the Jews mocked him, and said, " If thou art the Son of God, 
come down from the cross." The chief priests and scribes also re- 
viled him, and said, "He saved others, but cannot save himself." 
One of the criminals who was crucified with him, also cried out, and 
said, " If you are the Messiah, save yourself and us;" but the other 
malefactor, having great faith, exclaimed, " Lord, remember me when 
thou comest into thy kingdom." To which Christ replied, " This 
day shalt thou be with me in paradise." 

When Christ was upon the cross, the earth was covered with dark- 
ness, and the stars appeared at noon-day, which struck the people, 
and even the Jews, Avith terror. In the midst of his tortures, Christ 
cried out, " My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me ?" and 
then expressed a desire to drink ; when one of the soldiers gave him, 
upon the point of a reed, a sponge dipped in vinegar, which, however, 
he refused. About three o'clock in the afternoon he gave up the 
ghost, and at that time a violent earthquake happened, when the rocks 
were rent, the mountains trembled, and the dead were thrown up from 
their graves. These signal prodigies attended the death of Clirist, 
and such was the mortal end of the Redeemer of mankind. 


I. Stephen, 

Who was the first in the " noble company of martyrs," was elect- 
ed, with six others, as a deacon out of the Lord's seventy disciples. 
He was an able and successful preacher. The principal persons be 
longing to five Jewish synagogues entered into many altercations 
with him ; but he, by the soundness of his doctrine, and the strength 
of his arguments, overcame them all, which so much irritated them, 
that they bribed false witnesses to accuse him of blaspheming God 
and Moses. On being carried before the council, he made a noble 
defence : but that so much exasperated his judges, that they resolved 
to condemn him. At thi-s instant, Stephen saw a vision from heaven, 
which represented Jesus, in his glorified state, sitting at the right hend 


of God, This vision so greatly rejoiced him, that he exclaimed, ip 
raptures, " Behold, I see the heavens open, and the Son of Man 
standing on the right hand of God." This caused him to be con- 
demned, and, having dragged him out of the city, they stoned him to 
death. On the spot where he was martyred, Eudocia, the empress 
of the Emperor Theodosius, erected a superb church. 

The death of Stephen was succeeded by a severe persecution in Je- 
rusalem, in which 2000 Christians, with Nicanor the deacon, were 
martyred, and many others obliged to leave that country. 

II. James the Great, 

Was a Galilean, and the son oT Zebedee, a fisherman, the elder 
brother of John, and a relation to Christ himself; for his mother Sa- 
lome was cousin-german to the Virgin Mary. Being one day with 
his father fishing in the sea of Galilee, he and his brother John were 
called by our Saviour to become his disciples. They cheerfully 
obeyed the mandate, and leaving their father, followed Jesus. It is 
to be observed, that Christ placed a greater confidence in them than 
in any other of the apostles, Peter excepted. 

Christ called these brothers Boanerges, or the Sons of Thunder, on 
account of their vigorous minds, and impetuous tempers. 

When Herod Agrippa was made governor of Judea, by the Emperor 
Caligula, he raised a persecution against the Christians, and particu- 
larly singled out James as an object of his vengeance. This martyr, 
on being condemned to death, showed such an intrepidity of spirit, 
and constancy of mind, that even his accuser was struck with admi- 
ration, and iiecame a convert to Christianity. This transition so en- 
raged the people in power, that they condemned him likewise to death ; 
when James the apostle and his penitent accuser were both beheaded 
on the same day, and with the same sword. These events took place 
in the year of Christ 44, 

About the same period, Timon and Parmenas, two of the seven dea- 
cons, sufl^ered martyrdom, the former at Corinth, and the latter at 
Philippi, in Macedonia. 

III. Philip, 
The apostle and martyr, was born at Bethsaida, in Galilee, and 
was the first called by the name of Disciple. He was employed in 
several important commissions by Christ, and being deputed to preach 
m Upper Asia, laboured very diligently in his apostleship. He then 
travelled mto Phrygia, and arriving at Heliopolis, found thn inhabit- 
ants so sunk in idolatry as to worship a large serpent. Philip, how- 
ever, converted many of them to Christianity, and even procured the 
death of the serpent. This so enraged the magistrates, that they 
committed him to prison, had him severely scourged, and afterwards 
crucified. His friend, Bartholomew, found an opportunity of taking 
down the body and burying it; for which, however, he was very 
near suficring the same fate. His martyrdom happened eight years 
afterlhat of James the Great, A. D. 52. 

IV. Matthew, 
The evangelist, apostle, and martyr, was born at Nazareth, in Gali- 
lee, lait resided chiefly at Capernaum, on account of his business 
Which was that of a toll-gatherer, to collect tribute of such as had oc 



casion to pass the sea of Galilee. On being called as a discij)le, he 
immediately complied, and left every thing to follow Christ. After 
the ascension of his master, he continued preaching the gospel in Ju- 
dea about nine years. Intending to Iccve Judea, in order to go and 
preach among the Gentiles, he wrote his gospel in Hebrew, for the 
use of his Jewish converts ; but it was afterwards translated into 
Greek by James the Less. He then went to Ethiopia, ordained' 
preachers, settled churches, and made many converts. He after- 
wards proceeded to Parthia, where he had the same success ; but re- 
turning to Ethiopia, he was slain by a halberd, in the city of Nadabar, 
about the year of Christ 60. 

V. Mark, 
The evangelist and martyr, was born of Jewish parents, of the tribe 
of Levi. It is imagined, that he was converted to Christianity by Pe- 
ter, whom he served as an amanuensis, and whom he attended in all 
his travels. Being entreated by the converts at Rome, to commit to 
writing the admirable discourses they had heard from Peter and him- 
self, he com.plied with this request, and composed his gospel accord- 
ingly in the Greek language. He then went to Egypt, and after- 
wards proceeded to Lybia, where he made many converts. On re- 
turning to Alexandria, some of the Egyptians, exasperated at his suc- 
cess, determined on his death. They therefore tied his feet, dragged 
him through the streets, left him bruised in a dungeon all night, and 
the next day burned his body. 

VI. James the Less, 
The. apostle and martyr, was called so, to distinguish him from 
James the Great. He was the son, by a first wife, of Joseph, the re- 
puted father of Christ : he was, after the Lord's ascension, elected to 
the oversight of the church of Jerusalem : he wrote his general epis- 
tles to all Christians and converts whatever, to suppress a dangerous 
error then propagating, viz. " That a faith in Christ was alone suf- 
hcient for salvation, without good works." The Jews, beintr at this 
time greatly enraged that Paul had escaped their fury, by appealing 
to Kome, determined to wreak their vengeance on James, who was 
now ninety-four years of age : they accordingly threw him down, 
beat, bruised, and stoned him ; and then dashed out his brains with a 
club, such as was used by fullers in dressing cloth. 

VII. Matthias, 

The apostle and martyr, was called to the apostleship after the death 
of Christ, to supply the vacant place of Judas who had betrayed his 
master, and was likewise one of the seventy disciples. He was mar- 
tyred at Jerusalem, being first stoned and then beheaded. 

VIII. Andrew, 

The apostle and martyr, was the brother of Peter, and preached the 
gospel to many Asiatic nations. On arriving at Edessa, the governor 
of the country, named Egeas, threatened him for preaching against 
the idols there worshipped. Andrew persisting in the propagation of 
his doctrines, he was ordered to be crucified on a cross, two ends of 
which were transversely fixed in the ground. He boldly told his ac- 
cusers, that he would not have preached t'le glory of the cross, had he 


feared to die on it. And again, when they came to cnicify him, he 
said, that he coveted the cross, and longed to embrace it. He was 
fastened to the cross, not with nails, but cords, that his deatli might be 
more slow. In this situation he continued two days, preaching the 
greatest part of the time to the people, when he expired. 

IX. Peter, 

The great apostle and martyr, was born at Bethsaida, in Galilee, 
being the son of Jonah, a fisherman, which employment Peter himself 
followed. He was persuaded by his brother to turn Christian, when 
Christ gave him the name of Cephas, implying, in the Syriac lan- 
guage, a rock. He was called at the same time as his brother, to be 
an apostle ; gave uncommon proofs of his zeal for the service of 
Christ, and always appeared as the principal speaker among the apos- 
tles. He had, however, the weakness to deny his master, after his 
apprehension, though he defended him at the time. But after the 
death of Christ, the Jews still continued to persecute the Christians, 
and ordered several of the apostles, among whom was Peter, to be 
scourged. This punishment they bore with the greatest fortitude, 
and rejoiced that they were thought worthy to suffer for the sake of 
their Redeemer. 

When Herod Agrippa caused James the Great to be put to death, 
and found that it pleased the Jews, he resolved, in order to ingratiate 
himself with the people, that Peter should fall the next sacrifice. He 
was accordingly apprehended, and thrown into prison ; but an angel 
of the Lord released him, which so enraged Herod, that he ordered 
the sentinels who guarded the dungeon in which he had been confined, 
to be put to death. Peter, after various other miracles, retired to 
Rome, where he defeated all the artifices, and confounded the magic, 
of Simon, the magician, a great favourite of the emperor Nero ; he 
likewise converted to Christianity one of the concubines of that mon- 
arch, which so exasperated the tyrant, that he ordered both Peter and 
Paul to be apprehended. During the time of their confinement, they 
converted two of the captains of the guards, and forty-seven other 
persons, to Christianity. Having been nine months in prison, Peter 
was brought out from thence for execution, when, after being severely 
scourged, he was crucified with his head downwards ; which position, 
Tiowever, was at his own request. 

X. Paul, 

The apostle and martyr, was a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin, born a 
Tarsus in Cilicia, and, before his conversion, was called Saul. He 
was at first a great enemy to, and persecutor of the Christians ; and a 
principal promoter of the death of Stephen. While on his way to 
Damascus, the glory of the Lord came suddenly upon him, he was 
struck to the earth, and was alllicted with blindness during three days ; 
on his recovery from which, he immediately became a professor, an 
apostle, and ultimately a martyr for the religion which he had former- 
ly persecuted. Amongst his labours in spreading the doctrine of 
Christ, he converted to the failhSergius Paulus, the proconsul of Cy- 
prus, on wliich he took his name, and as some suppose, was from 
thence called Paulus instead of Saulus. After his many labours he 
took to hira Barnabas, and went up to Jerusalem, to Peter, James, 


and John, where he was ordained, and sent out with Barnabas U 
preach to the Gentiles. At Iconium, Paul and Barnabas were neai 
being stoned to death by the enraged Jews ; upon which they fled to 
Lycaonia. At Lystra, Paul was stoned, dragged out of the city, anc 
left for dead. He, however, happily revived, and escaped to Derbe 
At Philippi, Paul and Silas were imprisoned and whipped ; and botl 
were again persecuted at Thessalonica. Being afterwards taken at 
Jerusalem, he was sent to Ca^sarea, but appealed to Ctesar at Rome. 
Here he continued a prisoner at large for two years ; and, at length be- 
ing released, he visited the churches of Greece and Rome, and preach- 
ed in France and Spain. Returning to Rome, he was again appre- 
hended, and, by the order of Nero, martyred, by being beheaded. 

XI. Jude, 
The apostle and martyr, the brother of James, was commonly called 
Thaddeus. Being sent to Edessa, he wrought many miracles, and 
made many converts, which stirring up the resentment of the people 
'Ji power, he was crucified about the year 72. 

XII. Bartholomew, 

The apostle and martyr, preached in several countries, performed 
many miracles, and healed various diseases. He translated Mat- 
thew's gospel into the Indian language, and propagated it in that 
country ; but at length the idolaters growing impatient with his doc- 
trines, severely beat, crucified, and slew him, and then cut off his 

XIII. Thomas, 

Was called by this name in Syriac, but Didymus in Greek ; he was 
an apostle and martyr, and preached in Parthia and India, where, dis- 
pleasing the Pagan priests, he was martyred by being thrust through 
with a spear. 

XIV. Luke the Evangelist, 

Was the author of a most excellent gospel. He travelled with 
Paul to Rome, and preached to divers barbarous nations, till the priests 
in Greece hanged him on an olive tree. 

XV. Simon, 

The apostle and martyr, was distinguished, from his zeal, by the 
name of Zelotes. He preached with great success in Mauritania, 
and other parts of Africa, and even in Britain, where, though he made 
many converts, he was crucified, A. D. 74. 

XVI. Joh7i, 

Was distinguished for being a prophet, apostle, divine, evangelist, 
and martyr. He is called the beloved disciple, and was brother to 
James the Great. He was previously a disciple of John the Baptist, 
and afterwards not only one of the twelve apostles, but one of the 
three to whom Christ communicated the most secret passages of his 
life. He founded churches at Smyrna, Pergamus, Sardis, Philadel- 
phia, Laodicea, and Thyatira, to whom he directs his book of Revela- 
tion. Being at Ephesus, he was ordered by the Emperor Domitian to 
be sent bound to Rome, where he was condemned to be cast into a 
cauhlrnn of boiling oil But here a miracle appeared in his favour; 


the oil did him no injury, and Domitian, therefore, not being able to 
put him to death, banished him to Patmos, to work in the mines. He 
was, however, recalled by Nerva, who succeeded Domitian ; but was 
deemed a martyr, on account of his having undergone an execution, 
though it did not take effect. He wrote his epistles, gospel, and reve- 
lations, all in a different s'.yle ; but they are all equally admired. He 
was the only apostle who escaped a violent death, and lived the long- 
est of any of them, being nearly 100 years of age at the time of his 

XVII. Barndbas; 
Was a native of Cyprus, but of Jewish parents ; the time of his 
death ii uncertain, but it is supposed to be about the year of Christ 73. 


The first persecution, in the primitive ages of the church, was begun 
by that cruel tyrant Nero Domitius, the sixth emperor of Rome, A. D. 
67. This monarch reigned, for the space of five years, with tolerable 
credit to himself, but then gave way to the greatest extravagancy of 
temper, and to the most atrocious barbarities. Among other diabo- 
lical outrages, he ordered that the city of Rome shouldlje set on fire, 
which was done by his ofiicers, guards, and servants. While the city 
was in flames, he went up to the tower of Mfecenas, played upon his 
harp, sung the song of the burning of Troy, and declared, " That he 
wished the ruin of all things before his death." Among the noble 
buildings burnt was the circus, or place appropriated to horse-races. 
It was half a mile in length, of an oval form, with rows of seats rising 
above each other, and capable of receiving, with ease, upwards of 
100,000 spectators. Many other palaces and houses were consumed ; 
and several thousands of the people perished in the flames, were 
smothered, or buried beneath the ruins. 

This dreadful conflagration continued nine days ; Avhen Nero, find- 
ing that his conduct was greatly blamed, and a severe odium cast 
upon him, determined to lay the Avhole upon the Christians, at once 
to excuse himself, and have an opportunity of witnessing new cruel- 
ties. The barbarities exercised upon the Christians, during the first 
persecution, were such as excited the commiseration of the Romans 
themselves. Nero even refined upon cruelty, and contrived all man- 
ner of punishments for the Christians. In particular, he had some 
sewed up in the skins of wild beasts, and then worried by dogs till 
they expired ; and others dressed in shirts made stiff with wax, fixed 
to axle-trees, and set on fire in his gardens. Tliis persecution was 
general throughout the whole Roman empire; but it rather increased 
than diminished the spirit of Christianity. In the course of it, Paul 
and Peter were martyred ; and to their names may be added Erastus, 
chamberlain of Corinth, Aristarchus, the Macedonian, Trophimus, 
an Ephesian, converted by Paul, and fellow-labourer with him, Jo- 
seph, commonly called Barsabas, and Ananias, a preacher in Da- 

Ignatus given to Lions. Page 34. 

Perpetua and Felicitas. Page 40. 



Domitian came to the throne A. D. 81, having slain his brother Ti 
tus, the reigning emperor. In his temper he strongly resembled 
Nero ; yet he spared the Christians until the year 95, when he com 
menced the general persecution. His rage was such, that he even 
put to death many of the Roman senators ; some through malice, and 
others to confiscate their estates ; after which he commanded all the 
lineage of David to be extirpated. Two Christians were brought be- 
fore him, accused of being of the tribe of Judah, and line of David ; 
but from their answers he despised them as idiots, and dismissed them 
accordingly. He, however, was determined to be more secure upon 
other occasions ; for he took away the property of many Christians, 
put several to death, and banished others. 

Amongst the numerous martyrs that suffered during this persecu- 
tion, was Simeon, bishop of Jerusalem, who was crucified ; and the 
apostle John, who Avas boiled in oil, and afterwards banished to Pat- 
mos. Flavia, the daughter of a Roman senator, Avas likewise banish- 
ed to Pontus ; and a law Avas enacted, " That no Christian, once 
brought before an appropriate tribunal, should be exempted from 
punishment, without renouncing his religion." 

During this reign, there Avcre a variety of tales, composed in order 
to injure the Christians. Among other falsehoods, they were accused 
of indecent nightly meetings, of a rebellious turbulent spiiit; cf be- 
irg inimical to the Roman empire ; of murdering their children, and 
even of being cannibals ; and at this time, such was the infatuation of 
the pagans, that if famine, pestilence, or earthquakes, afflicted any of 
the Roman provinces, these calamities were said to be manifestations 
of the divine wrath, occasioned by their impieties. These persecu- 
tions increased the number of informers ; and many, for the sake of 
gain, swore away the lives of the innocent. When any Christians 
were brought before the magistrates, a test oath was proposed, when, 
if they refused it, death was pronounced against them; and if they 
confessed themselves Christians, the sentence was the same. The 
various kinds of punishments and inflicted cruelties w^ere, imprison- 
ment, racking, searing, broiUng, burning, scourging, stoning, hanging, 
and worrying. Many were torn piecemeal with red hot pincers, and 
others were thrown upon the horns of wild bulls. After having suf- 
fered these cruelties, the friends of the deceased were refused th* 
privilege of burning their remains. 

^ The following were the most remarkable of the numerous martyrs 
'.vho suffered during this persecution. 

Dionysius, the Areopagitc, an Athenian by birth, and educated in all 
the useful and ornamental literature of Greece. From Greece, he 
travelled into Egypt, where he devoted himself to the study of astro- 
nomy, and made very particular observations on the great and super- 
natural eclipse, which happened at the time of our Saviour's cruci- 
fixion. On his return to Athens, he became a convert to Christianity, 
and Avas appointed bishop of that city. This office he continued to 
discharge Avith great fidelity and acceptance, till Domitian's perso- 
cuting spirit brought him to the block. 

Timothy, the celebrated disciple of Paul, and bishop of Ephesu* 

so suffered during this persecution, about the year 97. During the 


celebration of a pagan festival, called Catagogion, this holy man, 
meeting a procession, composed of an idolatrous r«ultitude, severely 
reproved them, for ridiculous and wicked conduct ; upon which, un 
der a high wrought excitement, they fell upon him with clubs, and 
beat him in so cruel a manner, that he expired of the bruises two days 

Many other distinguished and piov5 men, under various tortures, 
were, during this persecution, brought to the grave, but brevity re- 
quires us to omit a particular mention of them. 


Between the second and third Roman persecution was but one year. 
Upon Nerva succeeding Domitian, he gave a respite to the Christians ; 
but reigning only thirteen months, his successor Trajan, in the tenth 
year of his reign, and in A. D. 108, began the third persecution against 
them. While the persecution raged, Plinius Secundus, a heathen 
philosopher, wrote to the emperor in favour of Christians, stating that 
he found nothing objectionable in their conduct; and that "the whole 
sum of their error consisted in this, that they were wont at certain 
times appointed, to meet before day, and to sing certain hymns to one 
Christ, their God ; and to confederate among themselves, to abstain 
from all theft, murder, and adultery ; to keep their faith, and to 
defraud no man ; which done, then to depart for that time, and 
afterwards to resort again to take meat in companies together, both 
men and women, one with another, and yet without any act of e^;^7," 
To this epistle Trajan returned this indecisive answer: "That Chris- 
tians ought not to be sought after, but when brought before the ma- 
gistracy they should be punished." This reply of the emperor, 
vague as it was, occasioned the persecution in some measure to abate, 
as his officers were uncertain, if they carried it on with severity, how 
he might choose to interpret his letter. Trajan, however, soon after 
wrote to Jerusalem, and gave orders to exterminate the stock of Da- 
vid ; in consequence of which, all that could be found of that race 
were put to death. 

Phocas, bishop of Pontus, refusing to sacrifice to Neptune, was, 
by the imm.ediate order of Trajan, cast first into a hot lime-kiln, and 
being drawn from thence, was thrown into a scalding bath till he ex- 

Trajan likewise commanded the martyrdom of Ignatius, bishop of 
Antioch. This holy man, it is snid, was the person whom, when an 
infant, Christ took into his arms and showed to his disciples, as one 
that would be a pattern of humility and innocence. He received the 
gospel afterwards from John the Evangelist, and was exceedingly 
zealous in his mission. He boldly vindicated the faith of Christ be- 
fore the emperor, for which he was cast into prison, and was torment- 
ed in a cruel manner ; for, after being dreadfully scourged, he was 
compelled to hold fire in his hands, and at the same time, papers dipped 
in oil were put to his sides, and set alight. His flesh was then torn 
with red-hot pincers, and ut last he was despatched by being torn to 
pieces b)'^ v/ild beasts. 


Symphorosa, a v/idow, and her seven sons, were commanded by 
Trajan to sacrifice to the heathen deities. Refusing to comply with 
the impious request, the emperor, greatly exasperated, ordered her to 
be carried to the temple of Hercules, Avhere she was scourged, and 
hung up for some time by the hair of the head : then a large stone 
was fastened to her neck, and she was thrown into the river. Her 
sons were fastened to seven posts, and being drawn up by the pulleys, 
their limbs were dislocated ; these tortures not affecting their resolu- 
tion, they were thus martyred. Crescentius, the eldest, was stabbed 
in the throat ; Julian, the second, in the breast ; Nemesius, the third, 
in the heart ; Primitius, the fourth, in the navel ; Justice, the fifth, in 
the back ; Stacteus, the sixth, in the side ; and Eugenius, the young- 
est, was sawed asunder. 

Trajan died in the year 117, and was succeeded by Adrian, during 
whose reign of 21 years, the condition of the church was, upon the 
whole, less distressing than during the reign of his predecessor. Yet, 
hi the first years of Adrian, the persecution went on, and many illus- 
trious men, and more still humbler disciples of Christ, fell victims to 
his cruel lav/s, which had been passed by Trajan, and which con- 
tinued unrepealed for several years. 

At length Quadratus, bishop of Athens, made a learned apology in 
favour of Christians before the emperor^ Adrian, who happened to be 
there ; and Aristides, a philosopher of the same city, wrote an elegant 
epistle, which caused Adrian to relax in his severities, and relent in 
their favour. He indeed went so far as to Eommand, that no Chris- 
tian should be punished on the score of religion or opinion only ; but 
this gave other pretexts to the Jews and pagans, to persecute them ; 
for then they began to employ and suborn false witnesses, to accuse 
them of crimes against the state or civil authority. 

Adrian died in the year 138, and Avas succeeded by Antoninus Pius, 
so amiable a monarch, that his people gave him the title of " The Fa- 
ther of Virtues." Immediately upon his accession to the throne, he 
published an edict concluding with these words : " If any hereafter 
shall vex or trouble the Christians, having no other cause but that 
they are such, let the accused be released and the accusers be pu- 
nished." This stopped the persecution, and the Christians enjoyed 
a respite from their sufferings during this emperor's reign, though 
their enemies took every occasion to do them what injuries they 
could. . The piety and goodness of Antoninus were so great, that he 
used to say, that he had rather save one citizen, than destroy a thou- 
sand of his adversaries. 


Antoninus Pius, was succeeded by Marcus Aurelius Antoninus 
Verus, who began the fourth persecution, in which many Cliristians 
were martyred, particularly in several parts of Asia, and in France. 
Such were the cruelties used in this persecution, that many of the 
spectators shuddered with horror at the sight, and were astonished at 
the intrepidity of the sufl'erers. Some of the martyrs were obliged to 


pass, with their already wounded feet, over thorns, nails, sharp shells 
&c. others were scourged till their sinews and veins lay bare ; and 
after suffering the most excruciating tortures, they were destroyed by 
the most terrible deaths. 

Germanicus, a young and true Christian, being delivered to the 
wild beasts on account of his faith, behaved with such astonishing 
courage, that several pagans became converts to a faith which inspi- 
red such fortitude. This enraged others so much, that they cried out, 
he merited death ; and many of the multitude Avondering at this be- 
loved martyr for his constancy and virtue, began suddenly to cry with 
a loud voice, saying, " Destroy the wicked men, let Polycarpus be 
sought for." And whilst a great uproar and tumult began to be raised 
upon those cries, a certain Phrygian, named Quintus, lately arrived 
from his country, was so afflicted at the sight of the wild beasts, that 
he rushed to the judgment-seat, and upbraided the judges, for which 
he was put to death. 

Polycarpus, bishop of Smyrna, the disciple and pupil of the apos- 
tle John, now in the 87th year of his age, and 27th of his ministry, hear- 
ing that he was sought after, escaped, but was discovered by a child. 
From this circumstance, and having dreamed that his bed suddenly 
became on fire, and was consumed in a moment, he concluded that it 
was God's will that he should suffer martyrdom. He therefore did 
not attempt to make a second escape when he had an opportunity of 
so doing. Those who apprehended him were amazed at his serene 
countenance and gravity. After feasting them, he desired an hour for 
prayer, which being allowed, he prayed with such fervency, that his 
guards repeated they had been instrumental in taking him. He was, 
however, carried before the pro-consul, condemned, and conducted 
to the market-place. Wood being provided, the holy man earnestly 
prayed to heaven, after being bound to the stake ; and as the flame's 
grew vehement, the executioners gave way on both sides, the heat 
DOW becoming intolerable. In the mean time, the bishop sung praises 
to God in the midst of the flames, but remained unconsumed therein, 
and the burning of the wood spreading a fragrance around, the guards 
were much surprised. Determined, however, to put an end to his 
life, they stuck spears into his body, when the quantity of blood that 
issued from the wounds extinguished the flames. After considerable 
attempts, however, they put him to death, and burnt his body when 
dead, not being able to consume it while alive. This extraordinary 
event had such an effect upon the people, that they began to adore the 
martyr ; and the pro-consul was admonished not to deliver his body, 
lest the people should leave Christ, and begin to worship him. 
Twelve other Christians, who had been intimate with Polycarpus, 
were soon after martyred. 

Felicitatas, an illustrious Roman lady, of a considerable family, 
and great virtues, was a devout Christian. She had seven sons, whom 
she had educated with tlie most exemplary piety. The empire hav- 
ing been about this time grievously troubled with earthquakes, famine, 
inundations, <fec. the Christians were accused as the cause, and Felici- 
tatas was included in the accusation. The lady and her family being 
seized, the emperor gave orders to Publius, the Roman governor, to 
proceed against her. Upon this Publius began with the mother, 
thinking that if he could prevail with her to change her religion, the 


example would have great influence with her sons. Finding her in- 
flexible, he turned his entreaties to menaces, and threatened her with 
destruction to herself and family. She despised his threats as she had 
done his promises ; he then caused her sons to be brought before him, 
whom he examined separately. They all, however, remained stead- 
fast in their faith, and unanimous in their opinions, on which the 
whole family were ordered for execution. Januarius, the eldest, was 
scourged and pressed to death with weights ; Felix and Philip, the 
two next, had their brains dashed out with clubs ; Sylvanus, the fourth, 
was murdered by being thrown from a precipice ; and the three young- 
er sons, viz. Alexander, Vitalis, and Martialis, were all beheaded. 
The mother was beheaded with the same sword as the three latter. 

Jus(in, the celebrated philosopher, fell a martyr in this persecu- 
tion. He was a native of Neapolis, in Samaria, and was born A. D. 
103. He had the best education those times could aflxjrd, and travel- 
led into Egypt, the country where the polite tour of that age was made 
for improvement. At Alexandria he was informed of every thing re- 
lative to the seventy interpreters of the sacred writings, and shewn the 
rooms, or rather cells, in which their work was performed. Justin 
was a great lover of truth, and an universal scholar; he investigated 
the Stoic and Peripatetic philosophy, and attempted the Pythagorean 
system ; but the behaviour of one of its professors disgusting him, he 
applied himself to the Platonic, in which he took great delight. About 
the year 133, when he was thirty years of age, he became a convert 
to Christianity. Justin wrote an elegant epistle to the Gentiles, to 
convert them to the faith he had newly acquired, and lived in so pure 
and innocent a manner, that he well deserved the title of a Christian 
philosopher. He likewise employed his talents in convincing the 
Jews of the truth of the Christian rites, and spent much time in tra- 
velling, till he took up his abode in Rome, and fixed his habitation on 
the Viminal mount. He kept a pubhc school, taught many who af- 
terwards became great men, and wrote a treatise to confute heresies 
of all kinds. As the pagans began to treat the Christians with great 
severity, Justin wrote his first apology in their favour, and addressed 
it to the Emperor Antoninus, to two princes whom he had adopted as 
his sons, and to the senate and people of Rome in general. This 
piece, which occasioned the emperor to publish an edict in favour of 
the Christians, displays great learning and genius. 

A short time after, he entered into frequent contests Avith Crescens, 
a person of vicious life, but a celebrated cynic philosopher ; and his 
arguments appeared so powerful, yet disgusting to the cynic, that he 
resolved on his destruction, which, in the sequel, he accomplished. 
The second apology of Justin was occasioned by the following cir- 
cumstances : a man and his wife, who were both bad livers, resided 
at Rome. The Avoman, however, becoming a convert to Christianity, 
attempted to reclaim her husband ; but not succeeding, she sued fi)r 
a divorce, which so exasperated him, that he accused her of being a 
Christian. Upon her petition, however, he dropped the prosecution, 
and levelled his malice at Ptolemeus, who had converted her. Ptole- 
meus was condemned to die ; and one Lucius, Avith another person, 
for expressing themselves too freely upon the occasion, met Avith the 
same fate. Justin's apology upon these severities gave Crescens an 
opportunity of prejudicing the ernneror against the Avriier of it; upon 


which Justin and six of his companions were apprehended. Being 
commanded, as usual, to deny their faith, and sacrifice to the pagan 
idols, they refused to do either ; they were, therefore, condemned to 
be first scourged and then beheaded. 

Some of the restless northern nations having risen in arms against 
Rome, the emperor marched to encounter them. He was, however, 
drawn into an ambuscade, and dreaded the loss of his whole army. 
Enveloped with mountains, surrounded by enemies, and perishing 
with thirst, the pagan deities were invoked in vain ; when the men 
belonging to the militine, or thundering legion, who were all Chris- 
tians, were commanded to call upon their God for succour. A mira- 
culous deliverance immediately ensued; a prodigious quantity of rain 
fell, Avhich, being caught by the men, and filling the dykes, alTorded 
a sudden and astonishing relief. It appears that the storm Avhich 
miraculously flashed in the faces of the enemy, so intimidated them, 
that part deserted to the Roman army ; the rest were defeated, and 
the revolted provinces entirely recovered. 

This affair occasioned the persecution to subside for some time, at 
least in those parts immediately under the inspection of the emperor; 
but we find that it soon after raged in France, particularly at Lyons, 
where the tortures to which many of the Christians were put, almost 
exceed the powers of description. 

The principal of these martyrs were Vetius Agathus, a young man , 
Blandinia, a Christian lady, of a weak constitution ; Sanctus, a dea- 
con of Vienna; red-hot plates of brass were placed upon the tenderest 
parts of his body ; Biblius, a weak woman, once an apostate ; Atta- 
ins, of Pergamus ; and Pothinus, the venerable bishop of Lyons, who 
was ninety years of age- 
When the Christians, upon these occasions, received martyrdom, 
they Avere ornamented, and crowned with garlands of flowers ; for 
which they, in heaven, received eternal crowns of glory. 

The torments were various ; and, exclusive of those already men- 
tioned, the martyrs of Lyons Avere compelled to sit in red-hot iron 
chairs till their flesh broiled. This was inflicted with peculiar seve- 
rity on Sanctus, already mentioned, and some others. Some were 
sewed up in nets, and thrown on the horns of wild bulls •, and the 
carcasses of those who died in prison, previous to the appointed time 
of execution, were thrown to dogs. Indeed, so far did the malice ol 
the pagans proceed, that they set guards over the bodies Avhile the 
beasts were devouring them, lest the friends of the dr* cased should 
get them away by stealth ; and the ofials left by the jiogs were or- 
dered to be burnt. 

The martyrs of Lyons, according to the best accounts we could ob- 
tain, who suflfered for the gospel, were forty-eight in number, and their 
executions happened in the year of Christ 177. 

Epipodius and Alexander were celebrated for their great friendship, 
and their Christian union with each other. The first was born at 
Lyons, the latter at Greece. Epipodius, being compassionated by 
the governor of Lyons, and exhorted to join in their festive pagan 
worship, replied, "Your pretended tenderness is actually cruelty ; 
and the agreeable life you describe is replete wifh everlasting death. 
Christ suflfered for us, that our pleasures should be immortal, and hath 
prepared for his followers an eternity of bliss. The frame of man be 


ing composed of two parts, body and soul, the first, as mean and pe- 
rishable, should be rendered subservient to the interests of the last. 
Your idolatrous feasts may gratify the mortal, but they injure the im- 
mortal part ; that cannot therefore be enjoying life which destroys 
the most valuable moiety of your frame. Your pleasures lead to eter- 
nal death, and our pains to perpetual happiness " Epipodius was se- 
verely beaten, and then put to the rack, upon which being stretched, 
his flesh was torn with iron hooks. Having borne his torments with 
incredible patience and unshaken fortitude, he was taken from the 
rack, and beheaded. 

Valerian and Marcellus, who were nearly related to each other, 
were imprisoned at Lyons, in the year 177, for being Christians. 
The father was fixed up to the waist in the giiound ; in which posi- 
tion, after remaining three days, he expired, A. D. 179. Valerian 
was beheaded. 

Apollonius, a Roman senator, an accomplished gentleman, and a 
sincere Christian, suffered under Commodus, because he would not 
worship him as Hercules. 

Eusebius, Vincentius, Potentianus, Peregrinus, and Julius, a Roman 
senator, were martyred on the same account. 


The Emperor Commodus, who had succeeded his father Antoninus 
in 180, dying in the year 191, was succeeded by Pertinax, and he by 
Julianus, both of whom reigned but a short time. On the death of 
the last, Severus became emperor in the year 192. When he had 
been recovered from a severe fit of sickness by a Christian, he be- 
came a great favourer of Christians in general ; and even permitted 
his son Caracalla to be nursed by a female of that persuasion. 
Hence, during the reigns of the emperors already mentioned, who 
successively succeeded Commodus, and some years of the latter's 
reign, the Christians had a respite for several years from persecution. 
But the prejudice and fury of the ignorant multitude again prevailed, 
and the obsolete laws were put in execution against the Christians. 
The pagans were alarmed at the progress of Christianity, and revived 
the calumny of placing accidental misfortunes to the account of its 
professors. Fire, sword, wild beasts, and imprisonments, v/ere re- 
sorted to ; and even the dead bodies of Christians were torn from 
their graves, and subjected to every insult; yet the gospel withstood 
the attacks of its boisterous enemies. Tertullian, who lived in this 
age, informs us, that if the Christians had collectively withdrawn 
themselves from the Roman territories, the empire would have been 
greatly depopulated. 

Victor, bishop of Rome, suffered martyrdom in the first year of 
the third century, viz. A. D. 201, though the circumstances are not 

Leonidas, the father of the celebrated Origen, was beheaded for 
being a Christian. Previous to the execution, the son, in order to 
sncoiH-age him, wrote to him in these remarkable words : " Beware 


Sir, that your care for us does not make you change your resolution." 
Many of Origen's hearers Ukewise suffered martyrdom. 

Among those who suffered during this persecution was also the 
venerable Irenaeus, bishop of Lyons, Avho Avas born in Greece, and 
received a Christian education. It is generally supposed that the ac- 
count of the persecutions at Lyons was written by himself. He suc- 
ceeded the martyr Pothynus as bishop of Lyons, and ruled his diocese 
with great propriety ; he was a zealous opposer of heresies in gene- 
ral, and wrote a celebrated tract against heresy about A. D. 187. 

Victor, the bishop of Rome, wanting to impose a particular mode 
of keeping Easter there, it occasioned some disorders among the 
Christians. In particular, Irenaeus wrote him a synodical epistle in 
the name of the Gallic churches. This zeal in favour of Christianity, 
pointed him out as an object of resentment to the emperor ; and he 
was accordingly beheaded in A. D. 202. 

Persecutions in Africa. 

The persecutions about this time extended to Africa, and many 
were martyred in that part of the globe ; but we must content our- 
selves with giving a particular account only of Perpetua, a married 
lady of about twenty-six years of age, with a young child at her breast ; 
she was seized for being a Christian. Her father, who tenderly loved 
her, went to console her during her confinement, and attempted to 
persuade her to renounce Christianity. Perpetua, however, resisted 
every entreaty. This resolution so much incensed her father, that 
he beat her severely, and did not visit her for some days after ; and, 
in the mean time, she, and some others who were confined, were 
baptized, as they were before only catechumens. 

On being carried before the pro-consul Minutius, she was command- 
ed to sacrifice to the idols ; but refusing, she was ordered to a dark 
dungeon, and was deprived of her child. Two deacons, however, 
Tertius and Pomponious, who had the care of persecuted Christians, 
allowed her some hours daily to inhale the fresh air, during which 
time she had the satisfaction of being allowed to nurse her child. 
Foreseeing, however, that she should not long be permitted to take 
care of it, she recommended it strongly to her mother's attention. Her 
father at length paid her a second visit, and again entreated her to 
renounce Christianity. His behaviour was now all tenderness and 
humanity ; but inflexible to all things but Christ, she knew she must 
leave every thing for his sake ; and she only said to him, " God's will 
must be done." He then, with an almost' bursting heart, h ft her. 

Perpetua gave the strongest proof of fortitude and strength of mind 
on her trial. Her judge entreated her to consider her father's tears, her 
infant's helplessness, and her own life ; but triumphing over the softer 
sentiments of nature, she forgot the ideas of both mental and corporeal 
pain, and determined to sacrifice all the feelings of human sensibility, 
to that immortality offered by Christ. In vain did they attempt to per- 
suade her that their offers were gentle, and her own religion otherwise, 
^ware that she must die, her father's parental tenderness returned, 
and in his anxiety he attempted to carry her off, on which he received 
a severe blow from one of the officers. Irritated at this, the daughter 
immediately declared, that she felt that blow more severely than if she 
had received it herself. Being conducted back to prison, she awaited 


her extjcution with several other persons, who were to be executed at 
the same time ; one of these, Felicitas, a married Christian lady, was 
big with child at the time of her trial. The procurator, when he ex- 
amined her, entreated her to have pity upon herself and her condition ; 
but she replied, that his compassion was useless, for no thought of 
self-preservation could induce her to submit to any idolatrous pro- 
position. She was delivered in prison of a girl, which was adopted 
by a Christian woman as her own. 

Revocatus was a catechumen of Carthage, and a slave. The 
names of the other prisoners, who Avere to suffer upon this occasion, 
were Satur, Saturnius, and Secundulus. When the day of execution 
arrived, they were led to the amphitheatre. Satur, Saturnius, and 
Revocatus, having the fortitude to denounce God's judgments upon 
their persecutors, were ordered to run the gauntelope between the 
huntei's, or such as had the care of the wild beasts. The hunters 
being drawn up in two ranks, they ran between, and as they passed 
were severely lashed. Felicitas and Perpetua were stripped, in order 
to be thrown to a mad bull ; but some of the spectators, through de- 
cency, desired that they might be permitted to put on their clothes, 
which request was granted. The bull made his first attack upon Per- 
petua, and stunned her : he then attacked Felicitas, and wounded her 
much ; but not killing them, the executioner did that office with a 
sword. Revocatus and Satur were destroyed by wild beasts ; Satur- 
nius was beheaded ; and Secundulus died in prison. These execu- 
tions took place on the 8th of March, A. D. 205 


The sixth general persecution occurred under Maximinus, the son 
of a herdsman of Thrace, who by means of thearmy was madeemperor 
A. D. 235. In Cappadocia, the president Semiramus made great ef- 
forts to exterminate the Christians from that kingdom. A Roman 
soldier who refused to wear a laurel crown bestowed on him by the 
emperor, and confessed himself a Christian, was scourged, imprison- 
ed, and put to death. Pontianus, bishop of Rome, for preaching 
against idolatry, was banished to Sardina, and there destroyed. An- 
teros, a Grecian, Avho succeeded this bishop in the see of Rome, gave 
so much offence to the government by collecting the acts of the mar- 
tyrs, that after having held his dignity only forty days, he suffered 
martyrdom himself. Pammachius, a Roman senator, with his family, 
and other Christians to the number of forty two, were, on account of 
their religion, all beheaded in one day, and their heads set up on the 
city gat(?s. Simplicius, another senator, suffered martyrdom in a simi- 
lar way. Calepodius, a Christian minister, after being inhumanly 
treated, and barbarously dragged about the streets, was thrown into 
the river Tiber Avith a mill-stone fastened about his neck. Quiritus, 
a Roman nobleman, with his family and domestics, Averc, on account 
of their Christian principles, put to most excruciating tortures, and 
painful deaths. Martina, a noble and beautiful virgin, suffered mar- 
tyrdom, being variously tortured and afterwards beheaded ; aad 


Hippolitur^, a Christian prelate, was tied to a v/ild horse, and dragged 
through fields, stony places, bushes, &c. till he died. 

While this persecution continued, niuiierous Christians were slain 
without trial, and buried indiscriminately in heaps ; sometimes fifty 
or sixty being cast into a pit together. Maximinus died in A. D. 238 ; 
he was succeeded by Gordian, during whose reign, and that of his 
successor Philip, the church was free from persecution for the space 
of more than ten ye^rs : but in the year 249, a violent persecution 
broke out in Alexandria. It is, however, worthy of remark, that thi? 
was done at the instigation of a pa.^fsn priest, without the emperor's 
privity. At this time the fury of tb;'^ people being great among the 
Christians, the mob broke open their ho*is;es, carried away the best ol 
their property, destroyed the rest, and jnifirdered the owners ; the 
universal cry being, " Burn taem, burn them ! kill them, kill them !" 
The names of the martyrs have not been recorded, Avilh the excep- 
tion of the three follovv^ing : Metrus, an aged and venerable Christian, 
who refusing to blaspheme his Saviour, was beaten with clubs, pricked 
with sharp reeds, and at length stoned to death. Quinta, a Christian 
women, being carried to the temple, and refusing to worship the idols 
there, was dragged by her feet over sharp flint stones, scourged with 
whips, and at last dispatched in the same manner as Metrus. And 
Appolonia, an ancient maiden lady, confessing herself a Christian, 
the mob dashed out her teeth with their fists, and threatened to burn 
her alive. A fire was accordingly prepared for the purpose, and she 
fastened to a stake ; but requesting to he unloosed, it was granted, on 
a supposition that she meant to recant, when, to their astonishment, 
she immediately threw herself into the flames, and was consumed. 


In the year 249, Decius being emperor of Rome, a dreadful perse- 
cution was began against the Christians. This was occasioned partly 
by the hatred he bore to his predecessor Philip, who was deemed a 
Christian, and partly to his jealousy concerning the amazing increase 
of Christianity ; for the heathen temples Avere almost forsaken, and 
the Christian churches crowded with proselytes. Decius, provoked 
at this, attempted, as it were, to extirpate the name of Christian ; and, 
unfortunately for the cause of the gospel, many errors had, about this 
time, crept into the church ; the Christians Avere at variance Avith each 
other; and a variety of contentions ensued amongst them. The 
heathens, in general, Avere ambitious to enforce the imperial decrees 
upon this occasion, and looked upon the murder of a Christian as a 
merit to themselves. The martyrs Avere, therefore, innumerable. 

Martyrdom of Fahian, and others. 

Fabian, bishop of Rome, Avas the first person of eminence Avho felt 
the severity of this persecution. The deceased emperor, Philip, 
had, on account of his integrity, committed his treasure to the care oi 
this good man ; but Decius, not finding as much as his avarice made 
him expect, determined to Avreak his venjreance on the good prelate. 


He was accordingly seized; and on the 20th of January, A. D. 250, 
sufFered martyrdom, by decapitation. 

Julian, a native of Cilicia, as we are informed by St. Chrysostom, 
was seized upon for being a Christian. He was frequently tortured, 
but still remained inflexible ; and though often brought from prison 
for execution, was again remanded, to sufler greater cruelties. He, 
at length, was obliged to travel for twelve months together, from 
town to town, in order to be exposed to the insults of the populace. 
When all endeavours to make him recant his religion were found 
ineffectual, he was brought before his judge, stripped, and whipped 
in a dreadful manner. He was then put into a leather bag, together 
with a number of serpents, scorpions, &c. and in that condition thrown 
into the sea. 

Peter, a young man, amiable for the superior qualities of his body 
and mind, was apprehended as a Christian, at Lampsacus, and carried 
before Optimus, pro-consul of Asia. On being commanded to sacri- 
fice to Venus, he said, " I am astonished that you should wish me to 
sacrifice to an infamous woman, whose debauches even your own his- 
torians record, and whose life consisted of such actions as your laws 
would punish. No ! I shall ofier to the true God the sacrifice of 
prayers and praise." 

Optimus, on hearing this, ordered him to be stretched upon a wheel, 
by Avhich all his bones were broken in a shocking manner ; but his 
torments only inspired him with fresh courage ; he smiled on his per- 
secutors, and seemed, by the serenity of his countenance, not to up- 
braid, but to applaud his tormentors. At length the pro-consul com- 
manded him to be beheaded ; which was immediately executed. 

Denisa, a young woman only sixteen years of age, who beheld this 
terrible judgment, suddenly exclaimed, " O, unhappy wretch, why 
would you buy a moment's ease, at the expense of a miserable eter- 
nity ?" Optimus hearing this, called to her, and asked if she was a 
Christian ? She replied in the affirmative ; and refused to sacrifice 
to the idols. Optimus, enraged at her resolution, gave her over to 
two libertines, who took her to their home, and made many attempts 
upon her chastity, but without efilcct. At midnight, however, they 
were deterred from their design by a frightful vision, which so amazed 
them, that they fell at the feet of Denisa, and implored her prayers, 
that they might not feel the eflfects of divine vengeance for their bru- 
tality. But this event did not diminish the cruelty of Optimus ; for 
the lady was beheaded soon after by his order. 

Trypho and Respicius, two eminent men, were seized as Christians, 
and imprisoned at Nice. They were soon after put to the rack, which 
they bore with admirable patience for three hours, and uttered the 
praises of the Almighty the whole time. They were then exposed 
naked in the open air, which benumbed all their limbs. W^hen re- 
manded to prison, they remained there for a considerable time ; and 
then the cruelties of their persecutors were again evinced. Their 
feet were pierced with nails ; they were dragged through the streets, 
scourged, torn Avith iron hooks, scorched with lighted torches, and 
at length beheaded, on the 1st of February, A. D. 251. 

Agatha, a Cicilian lady, was remarkable for her beauty and endow- 
ments ; her beauty was indeed so great, that Quintain, governor of 
Sicily, became enamoured of her, and made many attempts upon her 


virtue. The governor being known as a great libertine, and a bigot* 
ted pagan, the lady thought proper to withdraw from the town, but 
was discovered in her retreat, apprehended, and brought to Catana ; 
when, finding herself in the power of an enemy, both to her soul and 
body, she recommended herself to the protection of the Almighty, and 
prayed for death. In order to gratify his passion with tlie greater 
conveniency, the governor transferred the virtuous lady to Aphrodica, 
an infamous and licentious woman, Avho tried every artifice to win 
her to the desired prostitution ; but all her efforts were in vain. 
When Aphrodica acquainted Quintain Avith the inefficacy of her en- 
deavours, he changed his desire into resentment ; and on her con- 
fessing that she was a Christian, he determined to gratify his revenge. 
He, therefore, ordered her to be scourged, burnt with red hot irons, 
and torn with sharp hooks. Having borne these torments with admi- 
i-able fortitude, she was next laid naked upon live coals, intermingled 
with glass, and being carried back to prison, she there expired on the 
5th of February, A. D. 251. 

Martyrdom of Cyril. 

Cyril, bishop of Gortyna, was seized by order of Lucius, the go- 
vernor of that place, v/ho first exhorted him to obey the imperial man- 
date, perform the sacrifices, and save his venerable person from de- 
struction ; for he was then eighty-four years of age. The good pre- 
late replied, that he could not agree to any such requisitions ; but as 
he had long taught others to save their soids, that now he should 
only think of his own salvation. When the governor found all his 
persuasion in vain, he pronounced sentence against the venerable 
Christian, in these words : " I order that Cyril, who has lost his 
senses, and is a declared enemy of our gods, shall be burnt alive." 
The good worthy prelate heard this sentence without emotion, walk- 
ed cheerfully to the place of execution, and underwent martyrdom 
with great resolution. 

Persecutions in Crete. 

At the island of Crete, the persecution raged with fury ; for the go- 
vernor being exceedingly active in executing the imperial decrees, 
that place streamed with the blood of many Christians. The princi- 
pal Cretan martyrs, whose names have been transmitted to us, are as 
follow : Theodulus, Saturnius, and Europus, were inhabitants of Gor- 
tyna, who had been grounded in their faith by Cyril, bishop of that 
city ; and Eunicianus, Zeticus, Cleomenes, Agathopas, Bastides, and 
Euaristus, were brought from different parts of the island on accusa- 
tions of professing Christianity. 

At the time of their trial, they were commanded to sacrifice to "Ju- 
piter, which declining, the judge threatened them with the severest tor- 
tures. To these menaces they unanimously answered, " That to suf- 
fer for the sake of the Supreme Being, would to them be the sublimes* 
of pleasures." The judge then attempted to gain their veneration for 
the heathen deities, by descanting on their merits, and recounting some 
of their mythological histories. This gave the prisoners an opportu- 
nity of remarking on the absurdity of such fictions, and of pointing out 
the folly of paying adoration to ideal deities, and real images. Pro- 
voked to hear his favourite idols ridiculed, the governor ordered them 
all to be put to the rack ; the tortures of which they sustained v.-ith sur- 


prising fortitude. They at length suffered martyrdom, A. D. 251 ; be- 
iig all beheaded at the same time. 

Martyrdom of Babylas, bishop of Antioch, and others. 

Babylas, a Christian of liberal education, became bishop of Anti- 
och, in A. D. 237, on the demise of Zebinus. He governed the church 
during tlioae tempestuous times with admirable zeal and prudence. 
The iirst misfortune that happened to Antioch, during his mission, was 
the siege of it by Sapor, king of Persia; who, having overrun all Sy- 
ria, took and plundered this city among others, and used the Christian 
inhabitants with greater severity than the rest. His cruelties, however, 
were not lasting, for Gordian, the emperor, appearing at the head of 
a powerful army, Antioch was retaken, the Persians driven entirely 
out of Syria, pursued into their own country, and several places in the 
Persian territories fell into the hands of the emperor. On Gordian's 
death, in the reign of Decius, that emperor came to Antioch, where, 
having a desire to visit an assembly of Christians, Babylas opposed 
him, and refused to let him come in. The emperor dissembled his 
anger at that time ; but soon sending for the bishop, he sharply re- 
proved him for his insolence, and then ordered him to sacrifice to the 
pagan deities as an expiation for his supposed crime. Having refused 
this, he was committed to prison, loaded with chains, treated with great 
severities, and then beheaded, together with three young men who had 
been his pupils. On going to the place of execution, the bishop ex- 
claimed, " Behold me and the children that the Lord hath given me." 
They were martyred, A. D. 251, and the chains worn by the bishop in 
prison were buried with him. 

The Emperor Decius having erected a pagan temple at Ephesus, in 
the year 251, he commanded all who were in that city to sacrifice to 
the idols. This order was nobly refused by seven of his own soldiers, 
viz. Maximianus, Martianus, Joannes, Malches, Dionysius, Constanti- 
nus, and Seraion. The emperor, wishing to prevail on the soldiers to 
prevent their fate by his entreaties and lenity, gave them a respite till 
iie returned from a journey. But in the absence of the emperor, they 
escaped, and hid themselves in a cavern; v/hich he being informed of 
at his return, the mouth of the cavern was closed up, and they were 
all starved to death. 

Theodora, a beautiful young lady of Antioch, on refusing to sacri- 
fice to the Roman idols, was condemned to the brothel, that her virtue 
might be sacrificed. Didymus, a Christian, then disguised himself in 
the habit of a Roman soldier, went to the house, informed Theodora 
who he was, and prevailed on her to make her escape in his dress. 
Thus being found in the brothel, instead of the lady, he was taken be- 
fore the president, to whom confessing the truth, sentence of death 
was immediately pronounced against him. In the mean time, Theo 
dora, hearing that her deliverer was likely to suffer, came to the judge, 
threw herself at his feet, and begged that the sentence might fall only 
on her, as the guilty person ; but the inflexible judge condemned both ; 
and they were executed accordingly, being first beheaded, and their 
bodies afterwards burnt. 

Account of Origen. 
Origen, the celebrated presbyter and catechist of Alexandria, at 
the age of sixty-four, was seized, thrown into a lopthsomc prison, load 


ed .with chains, his feet placed in the stocks, and his legs extended to 
the utmost for several days. He was threatened with fire, and tor- 
mented by every means that the most infernal imagination could sug- 
gest. But his Christian fortitude bore him through all ; indeed, such 
was the rigour of his judge, that his tortures were ordered to be lin- 
gering, that death might not too soon put a period to his miseriea. 
During this cruel temporising, the Emperor Decius died, and Gallus, 
who succeeded him, engaging in a war with the Goths, the Christians 
met with a respite. In this interim, Origen obtained his enlargement, 
and retiring to Tyre, remained there till his death, which happened 
when he was in the sixty -ninth year of his age. 


After the death of Gallus, jEmilian, the general, having many ene- 
mies in the army, was slain, and Valerian was elected to the empire. 
This emperor, for the space of four years, governed with moderation, 
and treated the Christians with pecuHar lenity and respect; but in 
the year 257, an Egyptian magician, named Macrianus, gained a great 
ascendancy over him, and persuaded him to persecute them. Edicts 
were accordingly published, and the persecution, which began in the 
month of April, continued for three years and six months. 

The martyrs that fell in this persecution were innumerable, and 
their tortures and deaths as various. The most eminent were the fol- 
lowing : 

Rufina and Secunda were two beautiful and accomplished ladies, 
daughters of Asterius, a gentleman of eminence in Rome. Rufina, 
the elder, was designed in marriage for Armentarius, a young noble- 
man ; and Secunda, the younger, for Verinus, a person of rank, and 
immense wealth. These suitors, at the time the persecution commen- 
ced, were both Christians ; but when danger appeared, to save their 
fortunes, they renounced their faith. They took great pains to per- 
suade the ladies to do the same, but failed in their purpose ; and as a 
method of safety, Rufina and Secunda left the kingdom. The lovers, 
finding themselves disappointed, informed against the ladies, who be- 
ing apprehended as Christians, were brought befoi'e Junius Donatus, 
governor of Rome. After many remonstrances, and having under- 
gone several tortures, they sealed their martyrdom with their blood, 
by being beheaded, in the year 257. 

In tlie same year, Stephen, bishop of Rome, was beheaded, and 
about that time Saturnius, bishop of Thoulouse, was attacked and 
seized by the rabble of that place, for preventing, as they alleged, their 
oracles from speaking. On refusing to sacrifice to the idols, he was 
treated with many barbarous indignities, and then fastened by the feet 
to the tail of a bull. On a certain signal the enraged animal was driven 
down the steps of the temple, by which the martyr's brains were dash- 
ed out ; and the small number of Christians in Thoulouse, had not, 
for some time, courage sufficient to carry off the dead body ; at length 
two women conveyed it away, and deposited it in a ditch. This mar- 
tyr was an orthodox and learned primitive Christian, and his doc 
trines are held in high estimation. 


Stephen was succeeded by Sextus as bishop of Rome. Ho is sup- 
posed to have been a Greek by birth or extraction, and had for some 
time served in the capacity of a deacon, under Stephen. His great 
fidelity, singular wisdom, and courage, distinguished him upon many 
occasions ; and the fortunate conclusion of a controversy with some 
heretics, is generally ascribed to his prudence. Macrianus, who had 
the management of the Roman government in the year 258, having 
procured an order from the Emperor Valerian, to put to death all the 
Christian clergy in Rome, and the Senate having testified their obe- 
dience to this mandate, Sextus was one of the first who felt its seve- 
rity. Cyprian tells us, that he was beheaded August 6, A. D. 258 ; 
and that six of his deacons sufiered with him. 

Martyrdom of St. Laurence. 

Laurentius, generally called St. Laurence, the principal of the dea 
cons, who taught and preached under Sextus, followed him to the 
place of execution ; when Sextus predicted that he should meet him 
in heaven three days after. Laurentius considering this as a certain 
indication of his own approaching martyrdom, at his return collected 
all the Christian poor, and distributed among them the treasures of 
the church, Avhich had been committed to his care, thinking the mo- 
ney could not be better disposed of, or less liable to fall into the 
liands of the heathens. His conduct alarmed the persecutors, who 
seized on him, and commanded him to give an immediate account to 
the emperor of the church treasures. 

Laurentius promised to satisfy them, but begged a short respite to 
put things in proper order ; when three days being granted him, he 
was suffered to depart ; whereupon with great diligence, he collected 
together a great number of aged, helpless, and impotent poor, and 
repairing to the magistrate, presenting them to him, saying, " These 
are the true treasures of the church." 

Provoked at the disappointment, and fancying the matter meant in 
ridicule, the governor ordered him to be immediately scourged. He 
v/as then beaten with iron rods, set upon a wooden horse, and had his 
limbs dislocated. He endured these tortures with such fortitude and 
perseverance, that he was ordered to be fastened to a large gridiron, 
with a slow fire under it, that his death might be the more tedious. 
But his astonishing constancy during these trials, and his serenity of 
countenance while under such excruciating torments, gave the spec- 
tators so exalted an idea of the dignity and truth of the Christian re- 
ligion, that many immediately became converts. 

Having lain for some time upon the gridiron, the martyr called out 
to the emperor, who was present, in a kind of jocose Latin distich, 
made extempore, which may be translated thus : 

" This side enough is toasted, 

Then turn me, tyrant, and eat ; 
And see, whether raw or roasted, 

I am the better meat." 

On this the executioner turned him, and after having Iain a consi- 
derable time longer, he had still stnength and spirit enough to triumph 
over the tyrant, by telling him, with great serenity, that he was roast- 
ed enough, and only wanted serving up. He then cheerfully lifted 


up his eyes to heaven, and with calmness yielded his spirit to the 
Almighty. This happened in August 10, A. D. 258. 

Persecutions in Africa — Account of Cyprian. 

Fourteen years previous to this period, the persecution raged in 
Africa with peculiar violence ; and many thousands received the 
crown of martyrdom, among whom the following were the most dis- 
tinguished characters : 

Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, was an eminent prelate, and a great 
ornament of the church. His doctrines were orthodox and pure ; his 
language easy and elegant ; and his manners graceful. He was said 
to be so perfect a master of rhetoric and logic, and so complete in the 
practice of elocution, and the principles of philosophy, that he was 
made professor of those sciences in his native city of Carthage, where 
he taught with great success. He Avas educated in the principles of 
Gentilism, and having a considerable fortune, he lived in great splen- 
dour and pomp. Gorgeous in attire, luxurious in feasting, vain of a 
numerous retinue, and fond of every kind of fashionable parade, he 
seemed to fancy that man was born to gratify all his appetites, and 
created for pleasure only. About the year 246, Ccecilius, a Christian 
minister of Carthage, became the instrument of Cyprian's conversion: 
on which account, and for the great love that he always afterwards 
bore for his adviser, he was termed Ccecilius Cyprian. 

Before his baptism he studied the scriptures with care, and being 
struck with the beauties of the truths they contained, he determined to 
practice the virtues they recommended. He sold his estate, distribu- 
ted the money among the poor, dressed himself in plain attire, and 
commenced a life of austerity and solitude. Soon after his baptism 
he was made a presbyter; and being greatly admired for his virtues 
and his works, on the death of Donatus. in A. D. 248, he was almost 
unanimously elected bishop of Carthage. The care of Cyprian not 
only extended over Carthage, but to Numidia and Mauritania. In all 
his transactions he took great care to ask the advice of his clergy, 
knowing that unanimity alone could be of service to the church : this 
being one of his maxims, " That the bishop was in the church, and 
the church in the bishop ; so that unity can only be preserved by a 
close connexion between the pastor and his flock." 

In the year 250, he was publicly proscribed by the Emperor De- 
cius, under the appellation of Ccecilius Cyprian, bishop of the Chris- 
tians ; and the universal cry of the pagans, was, " Cyprian to the 
lions ! Cyprian to the beasts !" 

The bishop, however, withdrew from the rage of the populace, and 
his effects were immediately confiscated. During his retirement he 
wrote thirty pious letters to his flock ; but several schisms that then 
crept into the church gave him great uneasiness. The rigour of the 
persecution abating, he returned, and did every thing in his power to 
expunge erroneous opinions and false doctrines. A terrible plague 
now breaking out at Carthage, it was, as usual, laid to the charge of 
the Christians ; and the magistrates began to persecute accordingly 
which occasioned an epistle from them to Cyprian, in ansv/er to which 
he vindicates the cause of Christianity. 

Cyprian was brought before the pro-consul Aspasius Paternus, A. D. 
257. when being commanded to conform to the religion of the em- 

Tortures of the early Christian Martyrs. 

Saturnius tied to a Bull. Page 46. 

Sebastian shot with Arrows. Page 54. 


pire, he boldly made a confession of his faith. This, however, did 
not occasion his death, but an order was made for his banishment, 
which exiled him to a little city on the Libyan sea. On the death of 
the pro-consul who banished him, he returned to Carthage, but was 
soon after seized, and carried before the new governor, who con- 
demned him to be beheaded : and on the 14th of September, A. D 
258, this sentence was executed. 

Fate of the Emperor Valerian. 

This tyrant, who had so long and so terribly persecuted the Chris- 
tians, was taken prisoner by Sapores, king of Persia, who carried 
him into his own country, and there treated him with the most unex- 
ampled indignity, making him kneel down as the meanest slave, and 
treading upon him as a footstool when he mounted his horse, saying, 
in a vaunting manner, " This posture is a greater proof which way the 
victory went, than all the pictures the Roman artists can draw." 

Having kept him, for the space of seven years, in this abject state 
of slavery, he at last caused his eyes to be put out, though he was 
then eighty-three years of age ; and his desire of revenge not being 
satisfied, he soon after ordered his body to be flayed alive, and rubbed 
with salt, under which torments he expired. 

Gallienus, the son of Valerian, succeeded him, A. D. 200, and durino 
his reign, the empire suffered many commotions, particularly earth" 
quakes, pestilence, inundations, intestine broils, and incursions of bar- 
barians. This emperor reflecting, that when his father favoured the 
Christians he prospered, and that when he persecuted them he was 
unsuccessful, determined to relax the persecution ; so that (a few mar- 
tyrs excepted) the church enjoyed peace for some years. 


In the year 274 the Emperor Aurelian commenced a persecution 
against the Christians : the principal of the sufferers was Felix, bishop 
of Rome. This prelate was advanced to the Roman see in 274, and 
was beheaded in the same year, on the 22d of December. Agape- 
tus, a young gentlemen, who sold his estate, and gave the money 
to the poor, was seized as a Christian, tortured, and then brought to 
Prajneste, a city within a day's journey of Rome, v/here he was be- 
headed. These are the only martyrs left upon record during this 
reign, as it was soon put a stop to by the emperor's being murdered by 
his own domestics, at Byzantium. Aurelian was succeeded by Taci- 
tus, who was followed by Probus, as was the latter by Carus : this 
emperor being killed by a thunder storm, his sons, Carinus and Nu- 
meriaw, succeeded him ; and durir.g all these reigns, the church en- 
|oyed rest. 

Diocletian mounting the imperial throne, A. D. 284, at first shewed 
great favour to the Christians. In the year 286, he associated Maxi- 
mian with him in the empire ; and the following Christians were put 
to death Jsefore any general persecution broke out — Felician and Pri- 
mus, two brothers. They wen^ seized by an order from the imperia. 
court; and owning tliemselves Christians, were accordingly scourged. 



tortured, and finally beheaded. Marcus and Marcellianus were twins, 
natives of Rome, and of noble descent. Their parents were heathens, 
but the tutors to whom the education of their children was intrusted, 
brought them up as Christians. Being apprehended on account of 
their faith, they were severely tortured, and then sentenced to be be- 
headed. A respite of a month was obtained for them by their friends, 
when their father, mother, and all their relations, attempted to. bring 
them back to paganism, but in vain. At last their constancy subdued 
their persuaders, and their parents and whole family became con- 
verts to a faith they had just before condemned. 

Tranquilinus, the father of the two young men, was sent for by the 
prefect, to give him an account of the success of his endeavours ; 
when he confessed, that so far from having persuaded his sons to for- 
sake the faith they had embraced, he was become a Christian himself. 
He then stopped till the magistrate had recovered from his surprise, 
and resuming his discourse, he used such powerful arguments, that he 
made a convert of him, who soon after sold his estate, resigned his 
command, and spent the remainder of his days in a pious retirement. 

The prefect who succeeded the above-mentioned convert, had no- 
thing of the disposition of his predecessor : he was morose and se- 
vere, and soon seized upon the whole of this Christian race, who were 
accordingly martyred, by being tied to posts, and having their feet 
pierced with nails. After remaining in this situation for a day and 
night, their sufferings were put an end to by thrusting lances through 
their bodies. 

Zoe, the wife of the gaoler, who had the care of the before-men- 
tioned martyrs, being greatly edified by their discourses, had a de- 
sire to become a Christian ; this, as she was dumb with a palsy, she 
could only express by gestures. They gave her instructions in the 
faith, and told her to pray in her heart to God to relieve her from her 
disorder. She did so, and was at length relieved ; for her paralytic 
disorder by degrees left her, and her speech returned again. This 
enforced her belief, and confirmed her a Christian; and her husband, 
finding her cured, became a convert himself. These conversions made 
a great noise, and the proselytes were apprehended. Zoe was com- 
manded to sacrifice to Mars, which refusing, she was hanged upon a 
tree, and a fire of straw lighted under her. When her body was ta- 
ken down, it was thrown into a river, with a large stone tied to it, in 
order to sink it. 

Massacre of a xchole Legion of Christian Soldiers. 
A very remarkable affair occurred in A. D. 280. A legion of sol- 
diers, consisting of 6666 men, contained none but Christians. This 
legion was called the Theban legion, because the men had been raised 
in Thebais ; .they were quartered in the East, till the Emperor Ma^'i- 
mian ordered them to march to Gaul, to assist him against the reoels 
of Burgundy ; when passing the Alps under the command of Mauri- 
tius, Candidus, and Exupernis, they at length joined the emperor. 
About this time, Maximian ordered a general sacrifice, at which the 
whole army were to assist ; and he commanded that they should take 
oaths of allegiance, and swear, at the same time, to assist him in the 
extirpation of Christianity in Gaul. 


Terrified at these orders, each individual of the Theban legion abso- 
lutely refused either to sacrifice, or take the oaths prescribed. This so 
greatly enraged Maximian, that he ordered the legion to be decimated, 
that is, every tenth man to be selected from the rest, and put to the 
sword. This cruel order having been put into execution, those who 
remained alive were still inflexible, when a second decimation took 
place, and again every tenth man of those living was put to the 

But this second severity made no more impression than the first ; 
the soldiers preserved their fortitude, and their principles ; but, by the 
advice of their ofiicers, drew up a remonstrance to the emperor, in 
which they told him, " that they were his subjects and his soldiers, 
but could not at the same time forget the Almighty ; that they receiv- 
ed their pay from him, and their existence from God. While your 
commands (said they) are not contradictory to those of our common 
master, Ave shall always be ready to obey, as we have been hitherto ; 
but when the orders of our prince and those of the Almighty differ, we 
must always obey the latter. Our arms are devoted to the emperor's 
use, and shall be directed against his enemies ; but we cannot submit 
to stain our hands with efiusion of Christian blood ; and how, indeed, 
could you, O emperor, be sure of our allegiance and fidelity, should 
we violate our obligation to our God, in whose service we were so- 
lemnly engaged before we entered the army ? You commanded us to 
search out, and to destroy the Christians : it is not necessary to look 
any farther for persons of that denomination ; we ourselves are such, 
and we glory in the name. We saw our companions fall without the 
least opposition or murmuring, and thought them happy in dying for 
the sake of Christ. Nothing shall make us lift up our hands against 
our sovereign ; we had rather die wrongfully, and by that means pre- 
serve our innocence, than live under a load of guilt : whatever you 
command, we are ready to suffer : we confess ourselves to be Chris- 
tians, and therefore cannot persecute Christians, nor sacrifice to 

Such a declaration, it might be presumed, w^ould have softened the 
emperor, but it had a contrary effect ; for, enraged at their perseve- 
rance and unanimity, he commanded that the whole legion should be 
put to death, which was accordingly executed by the other troops, 
vvho cut them to pieces with their swords. 

This barbarous transaction happened on the 22d of September, 
A. D. 286 ; and such was the inveterate malice of Maximian, that he 
sent to destroy every man of a few detachments, which had been 
drafted from the ThelDan legion, and dispatched to Italy. 

Alban, the first British Martyr. 

Alban, from whom St. Alban's, in Hertfordshire, received its name, 
was the first British martyr. He was originally a pagan, and being 
of a very humane disposition, he sheltered a Christian ecclesiastic, 
named Amphibalus, who was pursued on account of his religion. 
The pious example, and edifying discourses of the refugee, made a 
great impression on the mind of Alban; he longed to become a mem- 
ber of a religion which charmed him ; the fugitive minister, happy in 
the opportunity, took great pains to instruct him ; and, before liis 
discovery, perfected Alban's conversion. 


Alban now took a firm resolution to preserve the sentiments of a 
Christian, or to die the death of a martyr. The enemies of Amphibalus 
having iutelUgence of the place Avhere he was secreted, came to the 
house of Alban, in order to apprehend him. The noble host desi- 
rous of protecting his guest, changed clothes with him, in order to 
faciliate his escape ; and when the soldiers came, offered himself up 
as the person for whom they were seeking. Being accordingly car- 
ried before the governor, the deceit was immediately discovered ; and 
Amphibalus being absent, that officer determined to wreak his ven- 
geance upon Alban : with this view he commanded the prisoner to ad- 
vance to the altar, and sacrifice to the pagan deities. The brave Al- 
ban, however, refused to comply Avith the idolatrous injunction, and 
boldly professed himself to be a Christian. The governor therefore 
ordered him to be scourged, which punishment he bore with great 
fortitude, seeming to acquire new resolution from his sufferings ; he 
was then beheaded. 

The venerable Bede states, that upon this occasion, the execution- 
er suddenly became a convert to Christianity, and entreated permis- 
sion either to die for Alban or Avith him. Obtaining the latter re- 
quest, they Avere beheaded by a soldier, Avho voluntarily undertook 
the task. This happened on the 22d of June, A. D. 287, at Verulam, 
now St. Alban's, in Hertfordshire, AA'here a magnificent church Avas 
erected to his memory, about the time of Constantino the Great. 
This edifice Avas destroyed in the Saxon Avars, but Avas rebuilt by Of- 
fa, king of Mercia, and a monastery erected adjoining to it, some 
remains of Avhich are still visible. 

Martyrdom of St. Faith, and others. 

Faith, a Christian female, of Aquitaine, in France, being informed 
that there Avas a design to seize her, anticipated the intention, by sur- 
rendering herself a prisoner ; and being inflexible in her faith, Avas 
ordered to be broiled on a gridiron, and then beheaded, Avhich sentence 
Avas executed A. D. 287. Capacius, a Christian, concealed himself 
from the persecutors, but being informed of the fortitude of Faith, he 
openly avoAved his religion, and delivered himself up to the governor, 
Avho had him first tortured, and then beheaded. Quintin Avas a Chris- 
tian, and a native of Rome, but he determined to attempt the propa- 
gation of the gospel in Gaul. He accordingly went to Picardy, at- 
tended by one Lucian, and they preached together at Amiens ; after 
Avhich Lucian Avent to Beauvais, Avhere he suffered martyrdom. 
Quintin, hoAvever, remained in Picardy, and Avas very zealous in his 
ministry. His continual prayers to the Almighty Avere to increase 
his faith, and strengthen his faculties to propagate the gospel. Being 
seized upon as a Christian, he Avas stretched Avith pulleys till his joints 
were dislocated : his body Avas then torn Avith Avire scourges, and 
boiling oil and pitch poured on his naked flesh ; lighted torches Avere 
applied to his sides and arm pits ; and after he had been thus tortured 
he was remanded back to prison. Varus, the governor, being obliged 
to repair to Vermandois, ordered Quintin to be conducted thither 
under a strong guard ; and here he died of the barbarities he had 
suffered, on the 31st of October, A. D. 287; his body Avas sunk in 
the Somme. 



Notwithstanding the efforts of the heathens to exterminate the 
Christians, and abolish their mode of faith, yet they increased so 
greatly as to become formidable by their nmnbers. They, however, 
forgot the precepts of their meek prototype, and instead of adopting 
his humility, they gave themselves up to vanity, by dressing gaily, 
living sumptuously, building stately edifices for churches, »Slc. which 
created a general envy, and particularly excited the hatred of Gale- 
rius, the adopted son of Diocletian, who, stimulated by his mother, a 
bigoted pagan, persuaded the emperor to commence a persecution. 
It accordingly began on the 23d of February, A. D. 303, that being the 
day on which the Terminalia were celebrated, and on which, as the 
pagans boasted, they hoped to put a termination to Christianity. 

The persecution began in Nicomedia : the prefect of that city re- 
paired, with a great number of officers and assistants, to the church 
of the Christians, where, having forced open the doors, they seized 
upon all the sacred books, and committed them to the flames. This 
transaction took place in the presence of Diocletian and Galerius, who 
also caused the church to be levelled with the ground. It was follow- 
ed by a severe edict, commanding the destruction of all other Chris- 
tian churches and books ; and an order soon succeeded, the object 
of which was to render Christians of all denominations outlaws, and 
consequently to make them incapable of holding any place of trust, 
profit, or dignity ; or of receiving any protection from the l6gal insti- 
tutions of the realm. An immediate martyrdom was the result of the 
publication of this edict ; for a bold Christian not only tore it down 
from the place to Avhich it was affixed, but execrated the name of the 
emperor for his injustice and cruelty : he Avas in consequence seized, 
severely tortured, and then burnt alive. The Christian prelates were 
likewise apprehended and imprisoned ; and Galerius privately order- 
ed the imperial palace to be set on fire, that the Christians might be 
charged as the incendiaries, and a plausible pretext given for carry- 
ing on the persecution with the greatest severity. 

A general sacrifice of the Christians. 
A general sacrifice was then commanded, which occasioned vari- 
ous martyrdoms. Among others, a Chrisdan, named Peter, was tor- 
tured, broiled, and then burnt ; several deacons and presbyters were 
seized upon, and executed by various means ; and the bishop of Ni- 
comedia, named Anthimus, was beheaded. So great was the perse- 
cution, that there was no distinction made of age or sex, but all were 
indiscriminately massacred. Many houses were set on fire, and 
whole Christian families perished in the flames ; others had stones 
fastened about their necks, and were driven into the sea. The perse- 
cution became general in all the Roman provinces, but more particu- 
larly in the East ; and as it lasted ten years, it is impossible to ascer- 
tain the numbers martyred, or to enumerate the various modes of 
martyrdom : some were beheaded in Arabia ; many devoured by wild 
beasts in Phosnicia ; great numbers were broiled on gridirons in Sy- 
ria ; others had their bones broken, and in that manner were left to 
expire in Cappadocia ; and in Mesopotamia, several were hung with 


their heads downwards, over a slow fire, and sufTocated. In Ponius, 
a variety of tortures were used ; in particular, pins were thrust under 
the nails of the prisoners, melted lead was poured upon them ; but 
without effect. In Egypt, some Christians were buried alive in the 
earth, others were drowned in the Nile, many were hung in the air till 
they perished, and great numbers were thrown into large fires, &c. 
Scourges, racks, daggers, swords, poison, crosses, and famine, were 
made use of in various parts to despatch the Christians ; and invention 
was exhausted to devise tortures against them. 

A town of Phrygia, consisting entirely of Christians, was surround- 
ed by a number of pagan soldiers, to prevent any from escaping ; 
they then set the town on fire, and all the inhabitants perished in 
the flames. 

Provincial Governors address the Emperor to stop the Persecution. 

At last, several governors of provinces represented to the imperial 
court, that " it was unfit to pollute the cities with the blood of the in- 
habitants, or to defame the government of the emperors with the death 
of so many subjects." Hence many were respited from execution ; 
but though not put to death, they were subjected to every species or 
indignity. Many had their ears cut off", their noses slit, their righ > 
eyes put out, their limbs dislocated, and their flesh seared in conspi 
cuous places, with red-hot irons. 

Account of some who suffered. 

Amongst those who forfeited their lives during this bloody perse 
eution, was Sebastian, a celebrated holy man, who was born at Nar 
bonne in Gaul, instructed in the principles of Christianity at Milan 
and afterwards became an officer of the emperor's guard at Rome 
He remained a true Christian in the midst of idolatry ; unallured bj 
the splendours of a court, and untainted by evil examples : esteemed 
by the most eminent, beloved by his equals, and admired by his infe- 
riors, he lived happily, and kept his faith and place, till the rigour of 
the persecution deprived him of life. He was informed again&t, and 
betrayed to Fabian the Roman Prsetor, by Torquatus, a pretended 
Christian ; but being of a rank too considerable to be put to death 
without the emperor's express orders, Diocletian was made acquaint- 
ed with the circums-tance. 

The emperor, on hearing the accusation, sent for Sebastian, and 
charged him with ingratitude, in betraying the confidence reposed 
in him, and being an enemy to the gods of the empire and to himself: 
To this he ansv/ered, that his religion was of a good, not a pernicious 
tendency, and that it did not stimulate him to any thing against the 
welfare of the empire, or the emperor, and that the greatest proof he 
could give of his fidelity, was the praying to the only true God for 
the health and prosperity of his imperial person. Incensed at this 
reply, the emperor ordered him to be taken to a field near the city, 
termed the Campus Martius, and there to be shot to death with ar- 
rows ; which sentence was accordingly executed. A few Christians 
attended at the place of execution, in order to give his body burial, 
perceived signs of life in him, and moving him to a place of security, 
they in a short time efiected his recovery, and prepared him for a 
second martyrdom ; for as soon as he was able to walk, he placed 


himsell intentionally in the emperor's way as he was going to the 
temple. The unexpected appearance of a person supposed to be 
dead, greatly astonished the emperor, nor did the words of the mar- 
tyr less surprise him ; for he began Avith great severity to reprehend 
him for his various cruelties, and for his unreasonable prejudices 
against Christianity. 

When Diocletian had overcome his surprise, he ordered Sebastian 
to be seized, carried to a place near the palace, and beat to death; 
and that the Christians should not either use means again to recover, 
or bury his body, he ordered that it should be thrown into the common 
sewer. Nevertheless, a Christiar^ laJy, named Lucina, found means 
to remove it from the sewer, and bury it in the catacombs. 

A Pagan Father seeks to sacrifice his own Son. 

Vitus, a Sicilian of a considerable family, was brought up a Chris- 
tian ; his virtues increased with his years, his constancy supported 
him under all his afflictions, and his faith was superior to the most 
dangerous perils and misfortunes. Hylas, his father, who was a pa- 
gan, finding that he had been instructed in the principles of Chris- 
tianity by the nurse who brought him up, used all his endeavours to 
bring him back to paganism ; but finding his eflTorts in vain, he forgot 
all the feelings of a parent, and informed against his son to Valerian, 
governor of Sicily, who was very active in persecuting the Christians 
at this period. 

This youth, when apprehended upon the information of his father, 
was little more than twelve years of age ; Valerian, therefore, on ac- 
count of his tender age, thought to frighten him out of his faith : he 
was accordingly threatened, and ordered to be severely scourged. 

After this, the governor sent him back to his father, thinking that 
what he had suffered would make him change his principles ; but in 
this he was mistaken ; and Hylas, finding his son inflexible, suffered 
nature to sink under superstition, and determined to sacrifice his son 
to the idols. On being apprised of his design, Vitus escaped to Lu- 
cania, where, being seized, he was by order of Valerian put to death, 
June 14, A. D. 303. His nurse, Crescentia, who brought him up as 
a Christian, and Modestus, a person Avho escaped with him, were 
martyred at the same time ; but the manner is unknown. 

There was one Victor, a Christian, of a good family at Marseilles, 
m France, who spent a great part of the night in visiting the afflicted, 
and confirming the weak, which pious work he could not, consistently 
with his own safety, perform in the day-time ; and his fortune he 
spent in relieving the distrcs,scs of poor Christians. His actions be- 
coming knoAvn, he was seized by the emperor's orders, and being car- 
ried before two prefects, they advised him to embrace paganism, and 
not forfeit the favour of his prince, on account of a dead man, as they 
styled Christ : in answer to which he replied, " That he preferred the 
service of that dead man, who Avas in reality the Son of God, and had 
risen from the grave, to all the advantages he could receive from the 
emperor's favour : that lie Avas a soldier of Christ, and Avould therefore 
take care that tlie post he held under an earthly prince, should never 
interfere Avith his duty to the King of Heaven." For this reply, Vic- 
tor was loaded Avith reproaches, but being a man of rank, he Avas sent 
to the emperor to receive his final sentence. When brought before 



him, Maximian commanded him, under the severest penalties, to sa 
crifice to the Roman idols ; and on his refusal, ordered him to be bound, 
and dragged through the streets. During the execution of this order, 
he was treated by the enraged populace with all manner of indignities. 
Remaining, however, inflexible, his courage was deemed obstinacy : 
to which he replied, " Tliat the ready disposition of the disciples of 
Christ to undergo any sufferings on that score, and the joy with which 
they met the most ignominious and painful deaths, were suflicient 
proofs of their assurance of the object of that hope." He added, 
" That he was ready to give an example of what he had said in his 
own person." When stretched upon the rack, he turned his eyes to- 
wards heaven, and prayed to God to give him patience ; after which 
he underwent the tortures Avith admirable fortitude. The execution- 
ers being tired with inflicting the torments, he was taken from the 
rack, and conveyed to a dungeon. During his confinement, he con- 
verted the gaolers, named Alexander, Felician, and Longinus. This 
afiair coming to the knowledge of the emperor, he ordered them im- 
mediately to be put to death, and they were beheaded accordingly. 
Victor was afterwards again put to the rack, beaten with clubs, and 
then again sent to his dungeon. Being a third time examined con- 
cerning his religion, he persevered in his principles ; a small altar 
was then brought, and he was commanded to offer incense upon it 
immediately ; but at the request, he boldly stepped forward, and with 
his foot overthrew both altar and idol. The Emperor Maximian, who 
v/as present, was so enraged at this, that he ordered the foot with 
which he had kicked the altar, to be immediately cut off; and Victor 
to be thrown into a mill, and crushed to pieces with the stones. This 
horrid sentence was put into execution : but part of the apparatus 
breaking, he was drawn from tlie mill terribly bruised ; and the em- 
peror not having patience to stay till it was mended, ordered his head 
to be struck off", which was executed accordingly. 

Fortitude and noble conduct of three Christian friends. 

While Maximus, governor of Cilicia, was at Tarsus, three Chris- 
tians were brought before him by Demetrius, a military officer. Ta- 
rachus, the eldest, and first in rank, was addressed by Maximus, who 
asked him what he was? The prisoner replied, "A Cliristian." 
This reply offending the governor, he again made the same demand, 
and was answered in a similar manner. Hereupon the governor told 
him, that he ought to sacrifice to the gods, as that was the only Avay 
to promotion, riches, and honours ; and that the emperors tliemselves 
did what he recommended to him to perform : but Tarachus replied, 
that avarice was a sin, and gold itself an idol as abominable as any 
other ; for it promoted frauds, treacheries, robberies, and murders ; 
it induced men to deceive each other, by which in time they deceived 
themselves, and bribed the weak to their own eternal destri ction. 
As for promotion, he desired it not, as he could not in conscience ac- 
cept of any place which Avould subject him to pay adoration to idols; 
and with regard to honours, he desired none greater than the honour- 
able title of Christian. As to the emperors tlicmselves being pagans, 
he added with the same undaunted and determined spirit, that they 
were superstitiously deceived in adoring senseless idols, and evidently 
misled by the machinations of the devil himself. For the boldness 

^£:NTH general PERSECUTIOx^f. 57 

of this speech, his jaws were ordered to be broken. He was then 
stripped, scourged, loaded with chains, and thrown into a dismal 
dungeon, to remain there till the trials of' the other two prisoners. 
Probus Mas then brought before Maximiis, who, as usual, asked his 
name. Undauntedly the prisoner replied, the most valuable name he 
could boast of v/as that of a Christian. To this Maximus replied in 
the following words : " Your name of Christian will be of little ser- 
vice to j'ou ; be therefore guided by me ; sacrifice to the gods, engage 
my friendship, and the favour of the emperor." Probus nobly an- 
swered, " that as he had relinquished a considerable fortune to become 
a soldier of Christ, it might appear evident, that he neither cared for 
his friendship, nor the favour of the emperor." Probus was then 
scourged ; and Demetrius, the officer, observing to him how his blood 
flowed, advised him to comply ; but his only answer was, that those 
severities were agreeable to him. " What!" cried Maximus, "does 
he still persist in his madness ?" To which Probus rejoined, " that 
character is badly bestowed on one who refuses to worship idols, or 
what is worse, devils." After being scourged on the back, he was 
scourged on the belly, which he suffered with as much intrepidity as 
before, still repeating, " the more my body suffers and loses blood, 
the more my soul Avill grow vigorous, and be a gainer." He was 
then committed to goal, loaded Avith irons, and his hands and feet 
stretched upon the stocks. Andronicus was next brought up, when, 
being asked the usual questions, he said, " I am a Christian, a native 
of Ephesus, and descended from one of the first families in that city.'* 
He was ordered to undergo punishments similar to those of Tarachus 
and Probus, and then to be remanded to prison. 

Having been confined some days, the three prisoners were again 
brought before Maximus, who began first to reason with Tarachus, 
saying, that as old age was honoured, from the supposition of its be- 
ing accompanied by wisdom, he was in hopes that what had already 
past, must, upon deliberation, having caused a change in his sentiments. 
Finding himself, however, mistaken, he ordered him to be tortured by 
various means ; particularly, fire was placed in the palms of his 
hands ; he was hung up by his feet, and smoked with wet straw ; and 
a mixture of salt and vinegar was poured into his nostrils ; and he 
was then again remanded to his dungeon. Probus being again called, 
and asked if he would sacrifice, replied, " I come better prepared 
than before ; for what I have already suffered, has only confirmed 
and strengthened me in my resolution. Employ your whole power 
upon me, and you Avill find that neither you, nor your masters, the 
emperors, nor the gods whom you serve, nor the devil, Avho is your 
father, shall oblige me to adore gods whom I know not." The go- 
vernor, hov/ever, attempted to reason with him, paid the most extrava- 
gant praises to the pagan deities, and pressed him to sacrifice to .Ju- 
piter ; but Probus turned his casuistry into ridicule, and said, " shall I 
pay divine honours to .Tupiter ; to one who married his own sister ; 
to an infamous debauchee, as he is even acknowledged to have been 
by your own priests and poets ?" Provoked at this speech, the go- 
vernor ordered him to be struck upon the mouth, for uttering Avhat he 
called blasphemy : his body was then seared with hot irons ; he was 
put to the rack, and afterwards scourged ; his head was then shaved, 


and red hoi coals placed upon the crown ; and after all these tortures, 
ho was again sent to prison. 

When Andronicus was again brought before Maximus, the latter 
attempted to deceive him, by pretending that Tarachus and Probus 
had repented of their obstinacy, and owned the gods of the empire. 
To this the prisoner answered, " Lay not, O governor, such a weak 
ness to the charge of those who have appeared here before me in this 
cause, nor imagine it to be in your power to shake my fixed resolu- 
tion with artful speeches. I cannot believe that they have disobeyed 
the laAvs of their fathers, renounced their hopes in our God, and con- 
sented to your extravagant orders : nor will I ever fall short of them 
in faith and dependance upon our common Saviour : thus armed, I 
neither know your gods, nor fear your authority; fulfil your threats, 
execute your most sanguinary inventions, and employ every cruel art 
in your power on me ; I am prepared to bear it for the sake of Christ." 
For this answer he was cruelly scourged, and his wounds Avere after- 
wards rubbed with salt; but being well again in a short time, the go 
vernor reproached the gaoler for having suflered some physician to at- 
tend to him. The gaoler declared, that no person whatever had been 
near him, or the other prisoners, and that he \vould Avillingly forfeit 
his head if any allegation of the kind could be proved against him. 
Andronicus corroborated the testimony of the gaoler, and added, that 
the God whom he served was the most powerful of physicians. 

These three Christians were brought to a third examination, when 
they retained their constancy, were again tortured, and at length or- 
dered for execution. Being brought to the amphitheatre, several 
beasts were let loose upon them ; but none of the animals, though 
hungry-, would touch them. Maximus became so surprised and in- 
censed at this circumstance, that he severely reprehended the keeper, 
and ordered him to produce a beast that would execute the business 
for Avhich he was wanted. The keeper then brought out a large bear 
that had that day destroyed three men ; but this creature, and a fierce 
lioness, also refused to touch the Christians. Finding the design of 
destroying tliem by the means of wild beasts ineffectual, Maximus or- 
dered them to be slain by a sword, which was accordingly executed 
on the 11th of October, A. D. 303. They all declared, previous to 
their martyrdom, that as death was the common lot of all men, they 
wished to meet it for the sake of Christ ; and to resign that life to 
faith, which must otherwise be the prey of disease. 

Horrid Martyrdom of Roinanus. 

Romanus, a native of Palestine, was deacon of the church of Cajsa- 
rea, at the time of the commencement of Dioclesian's persecution. 
He was at Antioch when the imperial order arrived for sacrificing to 
idols, and was greatly afflicted to sec many Christians, through fear, 
submit to the idolatrous mandate, and deny their fixith to'preserve their 
existence. While censuring some of them for their conduct, he was 
informed against, and soon after apprehended. Being brought to the 
tribunal, he confessed himself a Christian, and said he v/as willing to 
suffer any thing which they might be pleased to inflict upon him for 
his confession. ' When condemned, he was scourged, put to the rack, 
his body torn with hooks, his flesh cut with knives, his face scarified, 
his teeth beat from their sockets, and his hair plucked up by the roots. 


Thus cruelly mangled, he turned to the governor, and very calmly 
thanked him for v/hat he had done, and for having opened for him so 
many mouths to preach the doctrines of Christianity ; "for," says he, 
" every wound is a mouth, to sing th£ praises of the Lord." He was 
soon after ordered to he strangled; which sentence was executed on 
the 17th of November, A. D. 303. 

Persecutions in Africa. 

It was in the year 304, the persecution of Diocletian again began to 
prevail, and many Christians were put to cruel tortures, and the most 
painful deaths ; the most eminent of these were, Saturninus, a priest 
of Albitina, a town of Africa : he used to preach and administer the 
sacrament to a society of Christians, who privately assembled at the 
house of Octavius Felix ; having been informed against, Saturninus, 
with four of his children, and several other persons, were apprehend- 
ed: and that their punishment might be the more exemplary and pub- 
lic, they were sent to Carthage, the capital of Africa, where they were 
examined before Anulinus, the proconsul of that quarter of the globe. 

Saturninus, on the examination, gave such spirited answers, and 
vindicated the Christian religion with such eloquence, as showed that 
he was worthy to preside over an assembly that possessed a faith of 
purity and truth. Anulinus, enraged at his arguments, ordered him 
to be stopped from saying any more, by being put to a variety of tor- 
tures, such as scourging, tearing his flesh with hooks, burning with hot 
irons, &c. Having been thus inhumanly tortured, he was remanded 
to prison, and there starved to death. His four children, notwithstand- 
ing they were variously tormented, remained steady in their faith ; on 
which they were sent back to the dungeon in which their father was 
confined, and were also starved to death in the same manner. 

Martyrdom of three Sisters. 

Three sisters, Chionia, Agape, and Irene, were seized upon at 
Thessalonica. They had been educated in the Christian faith, but 
had taken great precautions to remain unknown. They therefore re- 
tired to a solitary place, and spent their hours in performing religious 
duties. Being, however, discovered and seized, they renounced their 
former timidity, blamed themselves for being so fearful, and begged 
of God to strengthen them against the great trial they had to undergo. 

When Agape was examined before Dulcatius, the governor, and 
was asked whether she was disposed to comply with the laws of the 
land, and obey the mandates of the emperor ? she answered, " That 
being a Christian, she could not comply with any laws which recom- 
mended the Avorship of idols and devils ; that her resolution was fixed, 
and nothing should deter her from continuing in it." Her sister Chio- 
nia replied in the same manner ; when the governor, not being able to 
draw them from their faith, pronounced sentence of condemnation on 
them ; pursuant to which they were burnt, March 25, A. D. 304. 

Irene was then brought before the governor, who fancied that the 
death of her sisters would have an effect upon her fears, and that the 
dread of similar sufferings, would engage her to comply with his pro- 
posals. He therefore exhorted her to acknowledge the heathen dei 
ties, to sacrifice to them, to partake of the victims, and to deliver up 
her books relative to Christianity. But she positively refused to com- 
ply with any of them : the governor asked her, who it was that persua- 


ded her and her sisters to keep those books and writings? She answer- 
ed. It Avas that God who commanded them to love him to the last ; 
for which reason she was resolved to submit to be burned alive rather 
than give them up into the hands of his professed enemies. 

When the governor found that he could make no impression on her, 
he ordered her to be exposed naked in the streets ; which shameful or- 
der having been executed, she was burnt, April, A. D. 304, at the same 
place where her sisters had suffered before her. 

MartyrdGm of Theodotus and others. 

Theotecnus, the governor of Dalmatia, whose cruelty could be 
equalled by nothing but his bigotry, received the mandate for persecu- 
ting the Christians with great satisfaction, and wrote the emperor word 
that he would do his utmost endeavours to root out Christianity from 
every place under his jurisdiction. Thus encouraged by the gover- 
nor, the pagans began to inform against, abuse and persecute the Chris- 
tians. Great numbers were seized upon and imprisoned; their goods 
were destroyed, and their estates confiscated. Many fled into the 
woods, or retired to caves, where some supported themselves by feed- 
ing upon roots, and others perished by famine. Many were also 
staxwed in the city, by means of the following singular stratagem : The 
governor gave strict orders, that no provisions whatever should be ex- 
posed to sale in the markets without having been first consecrated to 
the idols; hence the Christians were compelled to eat what had been 
ofiered to the devil, or to refrain from food and perish. The latter 
dreadful alternative was chosen by many, who, to preserve the purity 
of their faith, heroically gave up their lives. 

In these dreadful times, Theodotus, a Christian innkeeper of Ancyra, 
did all that he could to comfort the imprisoned, and buried the bodies 
of several who had been martyred, though it wa3 forbidden on pain 
of death. He likewise privately assisted many with food; for having 
laid in a great stock of corn and wine, he sold it at prime cost. 

Polychronicus, a Christian, being seized, forfeited his faith, in order 
to preserve his life, and informed against his friend, Theodotus, who 
hearing of this treachery, surrendered himself to the governor, of his 
own accord. 

On his arrival in the court, he surveyed the instruments of torture 
with a smile, and seemed totally regardless of their effects. When 
placed at the bar, the governor informed him, that it was still in his 
power to save himself, by sacrificing to the gods of the empire ; " and," 
he continued, " if you renounce your faith in Christ, I promise you my 
friendship, and the emperor's protection, and will constitute you one 
of the magistrates of the town." 

Theodotus displayed great courage and eloquence in his answer: 
he absolutely refused to renounce his faith, declined the friendship of 
the governor and protection of the emperor, and treated the idols with 
the greatest contempt. The pagans, on this, were in general extremely 
clamorous against the prisoner, and demanded him to be immediately 
punished ; the priests, in particular, rent their clothes, and tore their 
chaplets, the badges of their offices, through rage. The governor 
complied with their desire, when Theodotus was scourged, torn with 
hooks, and then placed upon the rack. After this, vinegar wrs pour- 
ed into his wounds, his flesh was seared with burnino- torches, and liis 


teeth were knocked out of their sockets. He was then remanded to 
prison, and as he went, pointing to his mangled body, he said to the 
people, "It is butju^t that Christians should suffer for him who suf- 
fered for us all." Five days afterwards he was brought from prison, 
tortured, and then beheaded. 

There was one Victor, a native of Ancyra, accused by the priests of 
Diana of having abused their goddess. For this imputed crime, he 
was seized upon, and committed to prison, his house plundered, his 
family turned out of doors, and his estate forfeited. When put to the 
rack his resolution failed, and he began to waver in his faith, through 
the severity of his torments. Being carried back to prison, in order 
to make a full recantation, God punished him for his intended apos- 
tacy ; for his wounds mortified, and put an end to his life. 

Seven aged women of Ancyra were about this time apprehended for 
their faith ; they were examined before the governor, who reviled their 
belief, ridiculed their age, and ordered them to be delivered over to 
some young libertines : on this, one of the fellows, more bold than the 
rest, seized upon the eldest of the women, named Tccusa, Avho thus 
addressed him : " What designs, child, can you have on us, Avho are 
worn out with age and infirmities ? I am now more than threescore 
and ten years old, my companions are not much younger ; you may 
look on us as so many rotten carcasses, as we shall soon be, for the 
governor after death refuses us burial." Then lifting up her veil, she 
shewed him her grey hairs, and added : " You may, perhaps, have a 
mother of nearly the same age as myself; this should give you some 
respect for us." The young men were so affected with this speech, 
that they desisted, and immediately returned to their homes. 

The governor, on the failure of his design of having them prostitu- 
ted, determined to compel them to assist in the idolatrous rites of wash- 
ing the goddesses Minerva and Diana ; for in Ancyra it was the cus- 
tom, annually to wash the im.ages of those goddesses, and the wash- 
ing was considered as a material part of the adoration of the idols. 

Accordingly they were forced to the temple ; but absolutely refusing 
to wash the idols, the governor was so enraged, that he ardered them 
all to have stones tied about their necks, and to be pushed into the 
water intended for the washing, in which they were drowned. 

It now happened that, weary of the toils of state, Diocletian and 
Maximian resigned the imperial diadem, and were succeeded by 
Constantius and Galerius ; the former, a prince of the most mild 
and humane disposition ; and the latter, remarkable for his tyranny 
and cruelty. These divided the empire into two equal governments ; 
Galerius ruling in the East, and Constantius in the West ; and the 
people in the two governments felt the effects of the different dispo- 
sitions of the emperors ; for those in the West were governed in the 
mildest manner, but such as resided in the East felt all the miseries 
of cruelty and oppression. 

Dreadful Persecutions hy Galerius. 

As Galerius bore an implacable hatred towards the Christians, we 
are informed, that "he not only condemned them to tortures, but 
to be burnt, in slow fires, in this horrible manner : they were first 
chained to a post, then a gentle fire put to the soles of their feet, 
which contracted the callus till it fi^ll off from the bone ; then flam 


beaux just extinguished were put to all parts of their bodies, so that 
(hey inio-ht be tortured all over ; and care was taken to keep them 
alive, by° throwing cold water in their faces, and giving them some 
to wash their mouths, lest their throats should be dried up with thirst, 
and choke them. Thus their miseries were lengthened out whole 
days, till at last, their skins being consumed, and they just ready to 
expire, were thrown into a great fire, and had their bodies burned to 
ashes, after which their ashes were thrown into some river." 

Julitta, a Lycaonian of royal descent, was a Christian lady of 
great humility, constancy, and integrity. When the edict for sacri- 
licing to idols was published at Iconium, she withdrew from that city, 
taking with her only her young son Cyricus, and two female servants. 
She was however seized at Tarsus, and being carried before Alexan- 
der, the governor, she acknowledged she was a Christian. For this 
confession her son was taken from her, and she was immediately put 
to the rack, and tortured with great severity, which she bore with 
pious resignation. The child, however, cried bitterly to get at his 
mother ; when the governor, observing the beauty, and being melted 
at the tears of the infant, took him upon his knee, and endeavoured 
to pacify him. Nothing, however, could quiet Cyricus ; he still called 
upon his mother, and at length, in imitation of her words, lisped out, 
" I am a Christian." This innocent expression turned the governor's 
compassion into rage ; and throwing the child furiously against the 
pavement, he dashed out its brains. The mother, who from the rack 
beheld the transaction, thanked the Almighty that her child was 
gone before her : and she should have no anxiety concerning his fu- 
ture welfare. To complete the torture, boiling pitch was poured on 
her feet, her sides were torn with hooks, and she was finally beheaded, 
April 16, A. D. 305. 

Pantaleon, a native of Nicomedia, was instructed by his father in 
the learning of the pagans, and was taught the precepts of the gospel 
by his mother, who was a Christian. Applying to the study of medi- 
cine, he became eminent in that science, and was appointed physician 
to the Emperor Galerius. The name of Pantaleon in Greek signifies 
humane, and the appellation well suited his nature, for he was one of 
the most benevolent men of his time ; but his extraordinary reputation 
roused tlie jealousy of the pagan physicians, who accused him to the 
emperor. Galerius, on finding him a Christian, ordered him to be 
tortured, and then beheaded, which sentence was accordingly executed 
on July 27, A. D. 305. 

Hermolaus, an aged and pious Christian, and an intimate acquaint- 
ance cf Pantaleon, suffered martyrdom for his faith on the same day, 
and in the same manner. 

Juitta, of Cappadocia, was a lady of distinguished abilities, great 
virtue, and uncommon courage : she was put to death in consequence 
of the accusation of a heathen who had usurped her estates, and 
bribed the judges in his favour. Refusing to offer incense to the pa- 
gandeities, she was burnt to death. 

Eustratius, secretary to the governor of Armenia, was thrown into 
a furnace, for exhorting some Christians, who had been apprehended, 
to persevere in their faith. Auxentius and Eugenius, two of Eustra- 
tius's adherents, were burnt at Nicopolis ; Mardarius, another friend 
of his expired under torment ; and Orestes, a military officer, was 


broiled to death on a gridiron, for Avearmg a golden cross at his 
breast. Theodore, a Syrian by birth, a soldier and a Christian, set 
fire to the temple of Cybele, in Amasia, through indignation at the 
idolatrous worship practised in it, for which he was scourged, and on 
February 18, A. D. 306, burnt lo death. 

Dorothea, a Christian of Cappadocia, was, by the governor's order, 
placed under the care of two Avomen, who had become apostates to 
the faith, in order that she might be induced to follow their example. 
But her discourses had such an effect upon the two apostates, that they 
were reconverted, and put to death ; soon after which, Dorothea was 
tortured, and then beheaded. 

Pancratius was a native of Phrygia, but being made a Christian, 
and brought to Rome, by his \mcle, he there suffered martyrdom. 

Cyrinus, Nazarius, Nabor, and Basilides, four Christian officers at 
Rome, were thrown into prison for their faith, scourged with rods 
of wire, and then beheaded. 

Two Roman military officers, Nicander and Marcian, were appre- 
hended on the same account. As they were both men of great abili- 
ties, the utmost endeavours were made to induce them to renounce 
Christianity; but being without effect, they were ordered to be behead- 
ed. The execution was attended by vast crowds of the populace, 
among whom were the wives of the two sufferers. The consort of 
Nicander was a Christian, and encouraged her husband to meet his 
fate with fortitude ; but the wife of Marcian being a pagan, entreated 
her husband to save himself, for the sake of her and her child. Mar- 
cian, however, reproved her for her idolatry and folly, but tenderly 
embraced her and the infant. Nicander likewise took leave of his 
wife in the most affectionate manner, and then both, Avith great reso- 
lution, received the crown of martyrdom. Besides these, there were 
many others, Avhose names and sufferings are not recorded by the 
ancient historians. 

Martyrdoms in Naples. 

In the kingdom of Naples several martyrdoms took place : in par- 
ticular, Januarius, bishop of Beneventum ; Sosius, deacon of Misene ; 
Proculus, another deacon ; Eutyches and Acutius, two laymen ; Fes- 
tus, a deacon ; and Desiderius, a curate, were all condemned, by the 
governor of Campania, to be devoured by wild beasts for professing 
Christianity. The animals, however, not touching them, they were 

Marcellus, a centurion of the Trajan legion, Avas posted at Tangier, 
and being a Christian, suffered martyrdom, under the folloAving cir- 
cumstances : 

While he Avas there, the emperor's birth day Avas kept, and the sa- 
crifices to the pagan idols made a considerable part of that solemnity. 
All the subjects of the empire Avere expected, on that occasion, to con- 
form to the blind religion of their prince; but Marcellus, aa'Iio had been 
well instructed in the duties of his profession, expressed his detesta- 
tion of those profane practices, by throwing aAvay his belt, the badge 
of his military character, at the head of his company, declaring aloud 
that he Avas a soldier of Christ, the eternal king. He then quitted his 
arms, and added, that from that moment he ceased to serve the empe- 
ror ; and that he thus expressed his contempt of the gods of the em- 



pirc, which vvere no better than deaf and dumb idols. " If," conti- 
nued he, " their imperial majesties impose the obligation of sacrificing 
to them and their gods, as a necessary condition of their service, I 
here throw up my commission, and qait the army." This behaviour 
occasioned an order for his being beheaded. Cassian, secretary to 
the court which tried Marcellus, expressing his disapprobation of such 
proceedings, was ordered into custody ; when avowing himself a 
Christian, he met with the same fate. 

Martyrdom of Si. George. 
George was born in Cappadocia, of Christian parents ; by whom he 
was instructed in the tenets of the gospel. His father dying when he 
was young, he travelled with his mother into Palestine, which was her 
native country, where she inherited an estate, which afterwards de- 
scended to her son. George being active and spirited, became a sol- 
dier, and was made a tribune or colonel. In this post he exhibited 
great proofs of his courage, and was promoted in the army of Diocle- 
tian. During the persecution, he threw up his command, went boldly 
to the senate-house, and avowed his being a Christian, taking occa- 
sion at the same time to remonstrate against paganism. This conduct 
so greatly provoked the senate, that he was ordered to be tortured, 
which he undei-went with great constancy. He was afterwards, by 
the emperor's orders, dragged through the streets and beheaded. 

Constantine becomes the champion of the Christians. 

Constantine the Great at length determined to redress the grievances 
of the Christians, for which purpose he raised an army of 30,000 foot, 
and 8000 horse, with which he marched towards Rome, against Maxen- 
tius, the emperor. But reflecting on the fatal miscarriages of his pre- 
decessors, who had maintained a multiplicity of gods, and reposed an 
entire confidence in their assistance ; and considering that while his 
own father adored only one God he continually prospered ; Constan- 
tine rejected the adoration of idols, and implored the assistance of the 
Almighty ; who heard his prayers, and answered them in a manner so 
surprising and miraculous, that Eusebius acknowledges it would not 
have been credible, had lie not received it from the emperor's own 
mouth, who publicly and solemnly ratified the truth upon his oath. 

The vision of Constantine. 
This vision of Constantine appears, upon the whole, to be entitled 
to little credit. Some ecclesiastical historians, indeed, and among 
them Milner, seem to admit the reality of the miracle ; but the weight 
of evidence is certainly against it. Dr. Haweis gives up the miracle 
altogether, and pronounces it " an imposition." " The whole story," 
says the translator of Mosheim, " is attended with difficulties which 
render it, both as a miracle and a fact, extremely dubious." To this 
it may be added, that Eusebius, who has transmitted the account to us, 
and to whom Constantine related it, does not himself appear to have 
believed it. Neither the day, nor the year, the time, nor the place of 
the vision, is recorded. No evidence exists that any of the army sav,' 
the phenom.enon ; and more than all, why, if Constantine believed it 
himself, did he neglect to be baptized, till on his death bed, man- 
years after the occurrence is said to have happened ? In short, there 


contrivance to stimulate the army to greater zeal in the then ap- 
proaching contest. — Ed. 

The army being advanced near Rome, and the emperor employed 
n his devout ejaculations, on the 27th day of October, about three 
o'clock in the afternoon, when the sun was declining, there suddenly 
appeared to him a pillar of light in the heavens, in the form of a cross, 
with this plain inscription on or about it, " In this overcome." 
Constantino was greatly surprised at this strange sight, which was 
visible to the whole army, who equally wondered at it Vvith himself. 
The officers and commanders, prompted by the augurs and auspices, 
or sooth-sayers, looked upon it as an inauspicious omen, portending 
an unfortunate expedition ; the emperor himself did not understand it, 
till at length our Saviour appeared to him in a vision, with the cross in 
his hand, commanding him to make a royal standard, like that he had 
seen in the heavens, and cause it to be continually carried before his 
army, as an ensign both of victory and safety. Early the next morn- 
ing, Constantino informed his friends and officers of what he had seen 
in the night, and sending for proper workmen, sat down by them and 
described to them the form of the standard, which he then ordered 
them to make with the greatest art and magnificence ; and accordingly 
they made it thus : a long spear, plated with gold, with a transverse 
piece at the top, in the form of a cross, to which was 'fastened a four- 
square purple banner, embroidered with gold, and beset with precious 
stones, which reflected an amazing lustre ; towards the top was de- 
picted the emperor between his two sons ; on the top of the shaft, 
above the cross, stood a crown, overlaid with gold and jewels, within 
which was placed the sacred symbol, namely, the two first letters of 
Christ in Greek, X and P, struck one through the other : this device 
he afterwards bore not only upon his shields, but also upon his coins, 
many of which are still extant. 

Death of Maximus and Licinius. 

Afterwards engaging Maxentius, he defeated him, and entered the 
city of Rome in triumph. A law was now published in favour of the 
Christians, in which Licinius joined with Constantine, and a copy of 
it was sent to Maximus in the East. Maximus, who was a bigoted 
pagan, greatly disliked the edict, but being afraid of Constantine, did 
not, however, openly avow his disapprobation of it. At length, he 
invaded the territories of Licinius ; but being defeated, put an end to 
his life by poison. The death of Maxentius has already been de- 

Licinius was not really a Christian, but afiected to appear such, 
through dread of Constantino's power ; for even after publishing se- 
veral edicts in favour of the Cliristians, he put to death Blase, bishop 
of Sebaste, several bishops and priests of Egypt and Lybia, who were 
cut to pieces and thrown into the sea, and forty soldiers of the gar- 
rison of Sebaste, who suflercd martyrdom by fire. This cruelty and 
hypocrisy greatly incensed Constantine ; he marched against Licini- 
us, and defeated him, and that commander was afterwards slain by 
his own soldiers. 





We cannot close our account of the ten persecutions under the 
Roman emperors, without calling the attention of the Christian reader 
10 the manifestations of the great displeasure of the Almighty against 
the persecutors. History evidently proves, that no nation or indivi- 
dual can ultimately prosper, by whom Christ Jesus, the Son of <Jod, 
is contemned. During the persecutions of the holy martyrs which 
we have related above, the Roman people were the victims of the 
cruelty and tyranny of their rulers, and the empire was perpetually 
torn and distracted by civil Avars. In the reign of Tiberius, five 
thousand were crushed to death by the fall of a theatre, and on many 
other occasions the divine wrath was manifested against that cruel 
and merciless nation. 

Neither did the emperors themselves escape without their just re- 
ward. Tiberius was murdered ; as v/ere his three immediate succes- 
sors. Galba, after a reign of only seven months, was put to death by 
Otho, who being vanquished by Vitellius, killed himself. Vitellius, 
shortly after, was tortured, and his body thrown into the Tiber. Ti- 
tus is said to have been poisoned by his brother Domitian, who was 
afterwards slain by his wife. Commodus was strangled. Pertinax 
and Didius were put to death; Severus killed himself; Caraccalla 
slew his brother Geta, and was in his turn slain by Macrinus, who, 
with his son, was afterwards killed by his own soldiers. Heliogaba- 
lus was put to death by the people. Alexander Severus, a virtuous 
emperor, was murdered by Maximinus, who was afterwards slain by 
his own army. Pupienus and Balbinus were murdered by the Pra3- 
torian guards. Gordian and Phihp were slain. Decius was drowned, 
and his son killed in battle. Gallus and Volusianus were murdered 
by jEmilianus, who within three months afterwards was himself 
slain. Valerian was taken prisoner by the Persians, and at length 
flayed alive, and his son Gallienus was assassinated. Aurelian %yas 
murdered ; as" were Tacitus, Florianus, and Probus. Galerius died 
in a miserable manner, as did Maximinus of a horrible and loathsome 
disease. Maxentius, being conquered by Constantine, was drowned 
in his attempt to escape ; and Licinius was deposed, and slain by his 

The .Tews, also, for their obstinacy and wickedness in rejecting the 
gospel so graciously offered to them by Jesus Christ, were signally 
punished. Forty years had scarcely elapsed from the crucifixion of 
our Saviour, when Jerusalem was levelled with the ground, and more 
than a million of the Jews killed ; innumerable multitudes sold for 
slaves ; and many thousands torn to pieces by wild beasts, or other- 
wise cruelly slain. Indeed the nation may be said to have been an- 
nihilated — its political existence was terminated, and the descendants 
of that people, which was once peculiarly favoured of God, are now 
scattered over the face of the earth — a by-word and a reproach among 
the nations. 

Thus it is evident that wickedness and infidelity are certainly, 
though sometimes slowly, punished by Him who is just, although 
merciful; and if he has hitherto graciously refrained from visiting the 


sins of this nation with the punishment which they deserve, let us not 
be vain of that exemption : let us not attribute it to any merit of our 
own ; but rather let it afford an additional motive to our gratitude and 
praise ; let us unfeignedly thank him for his tender mercies daily 
vouchsafed to us ; and while we bow before him in humble adoration, 
let us earnestly endeavour to preserve our worship of him, free from 
all ungodliness and superstition. So shall Ave not only secure our hap- 
piness in this world, but, in the end, attain everlasting joy and felici- 
ty, through the merits of our blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, 
who gave up himself as a precious sacrifice for our transgressions. 





In consequence of the gospel having spread itself into Persia, the 
pagan priests became greatly alarmed, dreading the loss of their influ- 
ence over the minds of their people. Sapores II., the grandson of Sa- 
pores I., at this time swayed the sceptre of Persia, 4. D. 328. To him, 
therefore, the priests complained of the Christians, -epresenting them 
to be the enemies of Persia, and secretly carrying on a correspon- 
dence with the Roman government. Naturally averse to Christiani- 
ty, the jealousy and hatred of Sapores were greatly increased by the 
above representations of the priests, and orders were issued for the 
persecution of the Christians, throughout the Persian empire. Two 
other persecutions followed the above ; but the third, it is said, was 
more Cruel and destructive than either of the others. 

Martyrdom of Simeon and others. 

In consequence of the above mandate of Sapores, Simeon arch- 
bishop of Seleucia, with many other ecclesiastics, to the number of 128, 
were apprehended, and accused of having betrayed the affairs of Per- 
sia to the Romans. The emperor being greatly exasperated against 
them, ordered Simeon to be brought before him. The archbishop in 
his presence boldly acknowledged his faith, and defended the cause of 
Christianity. The emperor, offended at his freedom, ordered him to 
kneel before him as he had heretofore done. To this Simeon an- 
swered, " That being now brought before him a prisoner, for the truth 
of his religion, it was not lawful for him to kneel, lest he should be 
thought to worship a man, and betray his faith to his God." Where- 


upon the emperor told him, that if he did not kneel, he and all the 
Christians in his dominions should be put to death ; but Simeon 
still rejected the command with disdain. The emperor then ordered 
him to be sent to prison. 

A short time after, Simeon, with his fellow prisoners, was again 
examined, and commanded to worship the sun, agreeably to the Per- 
sian custom ; but this they unanimously refused. The emperor then 
sentenced them to be beheaded, which sentence was accordingly 

An aged eunuch, named Usthazares, who had been tutor to the em- 
peror, and was in great estimation at court, meeting Simeon as he was 
led to prison, saluted him. Simeon, however, (as Usthazares had for- 
merly been a Christian, and had apostatized to oblige the emperor,) 
would not return his salute, but reproved him for his apostacy. This 
so affected the eunuch, that he burst into tears,and exclaimed, " Ah ! 
how shall I hereafter look upon my God, whom I have denied, when 
Simeon, my old companion and familiar acquaintance, disdains to 
give me a gentle word, or to return my salute !" 

The emperor learning that his ancient tutor was greatly afflicted, 
sent for him, and asked him whether he desired any thing which could 
be procured for him ; to which the eunuch replied, " That there was 
nothing that he wanted, which this earth could afford ; but that his 
grief was of another kind, and for which he justly mourned, namely, 
that to oblige his sovereign he had denied his God, and had dissem- 
blingly worshipped the sun, against his own conscience ; for which," 
continued he, " I am deserving of a double death; first, for denying of 
Christ, and secondly, for dissembling with my king." 

The emperor, greatly offended at this speech, ordered Usthazares to 
be beheaded ; who therfore requested that it might be proclaimed, 
" That Usthazares did not die for any crime against the emperor oi 
state ; but only that being a Christian, he would not deny his God." 
This petition was granted and was a great satisfaction to Usthazares, 
whose chief reason for desiring it Avas, because his falling off from 
Christ had caused many others to follow his example ; who now hear- 
ing that he died for no crime but his religion, might, like him, return 
to Christ and the faith. Usthazares then cheerfully yielded his neck 
to the sword. 

Soon after the above execution, an edict was published, ordering 
that all who confessed themselves Christians, should be put to death ; 
which caused the destruction of multitudes. About this time the em- 
press of Persia falling sick, the sisters of Simeon, the archbishop, were 
accused by some of the magi of causing this calamity. This report 
being credited, they were by the emperor's orders, sawed in quarters, 
and their limbs fixed upon poles, between which the empress passed 
as a charm to effect the restoration of her health. 

Acepsimus, and many other ecclesiastics, were seized, and ordered 
to adore the sun ; which refusing, they Avere scourged, and then tor- 
mented to death, or kept in prison till they expired. Athalas, a priest 
though not put to death, was so miserably racked, that his arms were 
rendered useless ; and he was ever after obliged to be fed like a child. 
In short, by this edict, above 1G,000 persons either suffered horribly 
by torture, or lost their lives. 


Constantine writes to the king of Persia in favour of the Christians. 
When Constantine the Great was informed of the persecutions in 
Persia, he was much concerned, and began to reflect in what manner 
he should redress their grievances, when an ambassador arrived from 
the Persian emperor upon some political business. Constantine re- 
ceived him courteously, granted his demands, and wrote a letter to 
the Persian monarch in favour of the Christians, in which he alluded 
to the vengeance that had fallen on persecutors, and the success that 
had attended those who had refrained from the persecution; and then 
referring to the tyrants and persecuting emperors of his own time, he 
said, "I subdued those solely by faith in Christ; for which God was 
my helper, who gave me victory in battle, and made me triumph over 
my enemies, and hath so enlarged to me the bounds of the Roman 
empire, that it extends from the Western Ocean almost to the utter- 
most parts of the East : for which purpose I neither offered sacrifices 
to the ancient deities, nor made use of charm or divination ; but only 
offered up prayers to the Almighty God, and followed the cross of 
Christ : and how glad should I be to hear that the throne of Persia 
flourished, by embracing the Christians ! that so you with me, and 
they with you, may enjoy all the felicity your souls could desire ; as 
undoubtedly you would, God, the Almighty Creator of all things, be- 
coming your protector and defender. These men, therefore, I com- 
mend to your honour ; I commit them unto you, desiring you to em- 
brace them with humanity ; for in so doing, you wilf procure to 
yourelf grace through faith, and bestow on me a benefit worthy of mv 
thanks." ^ ' 

In consequence of this appeal, the persecution ended during the 
life of Sapores ; but it was renewed under his successors. 



The sect denominated the Arian heretics, had its origin from Arius,* 
a native of Lybia, and priest of Alexandria, who, in A. D. 318, began 
to publish his errors. He was condemned by a council of Lybian and 
Egyptian bishops, and the sentence was confirmed by the council of 
Nice, A. D. 325. After the death of Constantine the Great, the Arians 
found means to ingratiate themselves into the favour of Constantius, his 
son and successor in the East; and hence a persecution was raised 
agamst the orthodox bishops and clergy. The celebrated Athanasius, 
and other bishops, were banished at this period, and their sees tilled 
with Arians. 

In Egypt and Lybia, thirty bishops were martyred, and many other 
Christians cruelly tormented ; and A. D. 336, George, the Arian bishop 
of Alexandria, under the authority of the emperor, began a persecu- 
tion m that city and its environs, which was continued with the ut- 

* Arius, the founder of this sect of heretics, anJ the first cause of the persecutions 
which are related in this section, died miserably at Constantinople, just as he was about 
to enter the church in triumph. "^ 



most severity. He was assisted by Catophonius, governor of Egypt; 
Sebastian, general of the Egyptian forces, Faustinus, the treasurci, 
and a Roman officer, named Heraclius. Indeed, so fierce was this pei - 
secution, that the clergy were driven from Alexandria, their churches 
were shut, and the severities practised by the ArJan heretics were 
as great as those which had been exercised by the pagan idolaters. If 
a man accused of being a Christian made his escape, his Avhole fami- 
ly were massacred, and his effects forfeited. By this means, the or- 
thodox Christians, being deprived of all places of public worship in 
the city of Alexandria, used to perform their devotions in a desert at 
some distance from it. Having, one Lord's day, met for worship, 
George, the Arian bishop, engaged Sebastian, the general, to fall upon 
them with his soldiers, while they were at prayers : and many were 
sacrificed to the fury of the troops, while others were reser^ ed for 
more cruel and lingering deaths ; some were beaten on their faces till 
all their features Avere disfigured ; or were lashed with twigs of palm- 
trees, with such violence, that they expired under the blows, or by 
the mortification of their wounds. Several, Avhose lives had been 
spared, were, however, banished to the deserts of Africa, Avhere, amidst 
all their sufferings, they passed their time in prayer. 

Secundus, an orthodox priest, differing in point of doctrine from a 
prelate of the same name, the bishop, who had imbibed all the opi- 
nions of Arianism, determined to put Secundus to death, for rejecting 
opinions Avhich he himself had embraced. He therefore went with one 
Stephen, an Arian also, sought out Secundus privately, fell upon and 
murdered him ; the holy m^artyr, just before he expired, calling upon 
Christ to receive his soul, and to forgive his enemies. 

At this time, not satisfied with the cruelties exercised upon the or- 
thodox Christians in Alexandria, the principal persecutors applied to 
the emperor for an order to banish them from Egypt and Lybia, and 
to give up their churches to the Arians : they obtained their request, 
and an order was sent for that purpose to Sebastian, who signified the 
emperor's pleasure to all the sub-governors and officers. Hence a 
great number of the clergy were seized and imprisoned ; and it ap- 
pearing that they adopted the opinions of Athanasius, an order was 
signed for their banishment into the desert. While the orthodox cler- 
gy were thus used, many of the laity were condemned to the mines, or 
compelled to work in the quarries. Some few, indeed, escaped to 
other countries, and several were weak enough to renounce their faith, 
in order to avoid the severities of the persecutors. 

Persecution of Paul. 
Paul, the bishop of Constantinople, was a Macedonian, and had been 
designed, from his birth, for a clerical life. When Alexander, the pre- 
decessor of Paul, Avas on his death-bed, he Avas consulted by some of 
the clergy on the choice of a successor ; AA^hen he told them, "That if 
they were disposed to choose a person of exemplary life, and tho- 
roughly capable of instructing the people, Paul Avas the man ; but if 
they had rather have a man acquainted Avith Avorldly affairs, and fit for 
the conversation of a court, they might then choose Macedonius." 
This latter was a deacon in the church of Constantinople, in Avhich of- 
fice he had spent many years, and gained great experience ; and the 
d-^nng prelate did both him and Paul justice in their different charac- 


ters. Nevertheless, the Arians gave out, that Alexander had bestowed 
great commendations on Macedonius for sanctity, and had only given 
Paul the reputation of eloquence, and a capacity for business : after 
some struggle, the orthodox party carried their point, and Paul was 
consecrated. Macedonius, offended at this preference, did his utmost 
to calumniate the new bishop, but not gaining belief, he dropped the 
charge, and was reconciled to him. This, however, was not the case 
with Eusebius of Nicomedia, who accused Paul of having led a disor- 
derly life before his consecration ; and of having been placed in the 
see of Constantinople without the consent of the bishops of Nicomedia 
and Heraclea, two metropolitans, who ought to have been consulted 
upon that occasion. 

Eusebius, to support these accusations, procured the emperor's au- 
thority, by representing, that Paul having been chosen during the ab- 
sence of Constantius, the imperial dignity had been insulted. This 
artifice succeeded, and Paul being deposed, Eusebius succeeded 

Paul having thus lost all authority in the East, retired to the terri- 
tories of Constans, in the West, where he was well received by the 
orthodox prelates and clergy. At Rome he visited Athanasius, and 
assisted at a council held there, by Julius, the bishop of that see. Let- 
ters being written by this council to the eastern prelates, Paul return- 
ed to Constantinople, but Avas not restored to his bishopric till the 
death of Eusebius. The Arians, however, constituting Macedonius 
their bishop, by the title of bishop of Constantinople, a kind of civil 
war ensued, in which many were put to death. 

Constantius, the emperor, who was then at Antioch, hearing of 
this schisro; laid the whole blame upon Paul, and ordered that 'ie 
should be driyen from Constantinople. But Hermogenr*; the cnicer 
who had received the emperor's order, attempted in vain to put it inio 
execution ; being slain by the orthodox Christians, who had risen in 
defence of Paul. This event greatly exasperated the emperor, Avho 
left Antioch in the depth of winter, and returned to Constantinople, 
with a design to punish the Christians. Hc; however, contented him- 
self with banishing Paul, and suspending Macedonius. Paul then 
again retired to the territories of Constans, implored the protection of 
that emperor, and by his intercession, was again vested in his see. 
His re-establishment exasperated his enemies, who made many at- 
tempts against his life, against which the affections of hi? people 
were his only security ; and being convinced that the emperor had no 
other motive for allowing his stay at Constantinople, but the dread ot 
disobliging his brother, Paul could not think himself wholly restored 
to his bishopric ; and being very much concerned at what the ortho- 
dox bishops suffered from the power and malice of the Arian faction, 
he joined Athanasius, who was then in Italy, in soliciting a general 
council. This council was held at Sardica, in Illyrium, in the year 
347, at which were present one hundred bishops of the western, 
and seventy-three of the eastern empire. But disagreeing in many 
points, the Arian bishops of the East retired to Philipoppolis, in 
Thrace ; and forming a meeting there, they termed it the council ot 
Sardica, from which place they pretended to issue an excommunica- 
tion against Julius, bishop of Rome, Paul, bishop of Constantino- 
ple, Athanasius bishop of Alexandria, .and several other prelates. In- 


the year 350, the Emperor Constans died, Avhich gave the Arians fresh 
courage, and they applied to the Emperor Constantius, who, beuig in- 
clined towards the Arians, wrote an order to the prefect PhiHp, to re- 
move Paul from the bishopric of Constantinople, and to restore Ma- 
cedonius. Paul was then exiled to Ciicucus, confined in a dark dun- 
geon for six days, without food, and then strangled. He met death 
with uncommon fortitude. 

The Arian party now made Gregory of Cappadocia, a very obscure 
person, bishop of Alexandria, after having deposed Athanasius. In 
the accomplishment of this affair, they were assisted by Philagerius, 
the governor of Egypt, who was an apostate, and who authorized 
them to commit every outrage. Hence, arming themselves with 
swords, clubs, «fcc. they broke into one of the principal churches ol 
Alexandria, where great numbers of orthodox Christians were assem- 
bled at their devotions ; and falling upon them in a most barbarous 
manner, without the least respect to sex or age, butchered the greater 
number. Potamo, a venerable bishop of Heraclea, who had formerly 
lost one of his eyes in Diocletian's persecution, fell a martyr upon 
this occasion, being so cruelly scourged and beaten, that he died oi 
his wounds. The Arians also broke into many places, public and pri- 
vate, under a pretence of searching for Athanasius, and committed 
innumerable barbarities ; robbing orphans, plundering the houses oi 
widows, dragging virgins to private places to be the sacrifices of de- 
sire, imprisoning the clergy, burning churches and dwelling houses 
belonging to the orthodox Christians ; besides other enormous cru- 



Julian the Apostate was the son of Julius Constantius, and the ne 
phew of Constantino the Great. He studied the rudiments of gram- 
mar under the inspection of Mardonius, a eunuch and a heathen. His 
father sent him afterwards to Nicomedia, to be instructed in the 
Christian religion, by Eusebius, his kinsman ; but his principles were 
corrupted by the pernicious doctrines of Maximus the magician, and 
Ecebolius the professor of rhetoric. 

Constantius died in the year 361, when Julian succeeded him; but 
he had no sooner obtained the imperial dignity, than he renounced 
Christianity, and embraced paganism. He again restored idolatrous 
worship, by opening the several temples that had been shut up, re- 
building such as were destroyed, and ordering the magistrates and 
people to follow his example ; but he did not issue any edicts against 
Christianity. He recallecl all banished pagans, alloAved the free ex- 
ercise of religion to every sect, but deprived the Christians of all of- 
fices, civil and military, and the clergy of the privileges granted to 
them by Constantine the Great. He was chaste, temperate, vigilant, 
laborious, and apparently pious ; so that by his hypocrisy and pre- 
tended virtues, he for a time did more mischief to Christianity than 
\he most profligate of his predecessors. 


Accordingly, this persecution was more dangerous than anv of the 
former, as Julian, under the mask of clemency, practised the greatest 
cruelty, in seeking to delude the true believers ; and the Christian 
faith was now in more danger of being subverted than it ever had 
been, by means of a monarch at once witty and wicked, learned and 
hypocritical ; who, at first, made his attempts by flattering gifts and 
favours, bestowing offices and dignities ; and then, by prohibiting 
Christian schools, he compelled the children either to become idola- 
ters, or to remain illiterate. 

Julian ordered that Christians might be treated coldly upon all 
occasions, and in all parts of the empire, and employed witty persons 
to turn them and their principles into ridicule. Many were likewise 
martyred in his reign ; for though he did not publicly persecute them 
himself, he connived at their being murdered by his governors and 
officers ; and though he affected never to reward them for those cruel- 
ties, neither did he ever punish them. We might give a long cata- 
logue of persons who suffered during this reign, but our limits permit 
us to notice only the death of Basil. 

Martyrdom of Basil. 

By his opposition to Arianism, Basil made himself famous, which 
brought upon him the vengeance of the Arian bishop of Constantino- 
ple, who issued an order to prevent him from preaching. He conti- 
nued, however, to perform his duty at Ancyra, the capital of Galatia, 
till his enemies accused him of being an incendiary, and a disturber 
of the public peace ; Julian, however, was too intent on an expedi- 
tion to Persia, to take notice of the accusation, and the malice of his 
enemies at that time being wholly frustrated, he continued to preach 
against the idolatry of paganism on the one hand, and the errors of 
Arianism on the other ; earnestly exhorting the people to serve Christ 
in the purity of faith, and fervency of truth. 

One day meeting with a number of pagans going in procession to 
a sacrifice, he boldly expressed his abhorrence of such idolatrous 
proceedings, and inveighed against such absurd worship. This li- 
berty caused the people to seize him, and carry him before Saturninus, 
the governor, where they accused him of reviling the gods, abusing 
the emperor, and disturbing the peace of the city. Having heard 
these accusations, Saturninus desired to know his sentiments from 
his own mouth ; when finding him a strenuous Christian, he ordered 
him to be put to the rack, and then committed to prison. The gover- 
nor wrote an account of his proceedings to the emperor, who was at 
this time very busy in establishing the worship of Cybele, the fictitious 
mothef of the fabulous deities. Julian, on receiving the letter, sent 
Pagosus and Elpidius, two apostates, to Ancyra, the city where Basil 
was confined, to employ both promises and threats to engage him to 
renounce his faith, and in case of their failure, they had orders to 
give him up to the power of the governor. The emperor's agents 
tampered in vain with Basil by means of promises, threats, and tor- 
tures ; he was firm in the faith, and remained in prison till the empe- 
ror by accident came to Ancyra. As soon as the people knew of Ju- 
lian's approach, they met him in grand procession, and presented to 
him their idol, the goddess Hecate. The two agents then gave the 
emperor an account of what Basil had suffered, and of his firm resist- 



auce. Julian, on this, determined to examine Basil himself, when 
that holy man being brought before him, the emperor did every thing 
in his power to dissuade him from persevering in the faith ; but Ba- 
sil not only continued firm, but with a prophetic spirit foretold the 
death o£ the emperor, and that he should be tormented in the othei 
world. Julian on this lost his usual affectation of clemency, and told 
Basil, in great anger, that though he had an inclination to pardon him 
at first, yet he had now, by the insolence of his behaviour, put it out 
of his power to save his life. He then commanded that the body of 
Basil should be torn every day in seven different parts, till his skin 
and flesh were entirely mangled. The inhuman sentence was execu- 
ted with rigour, and the martyr expired under his severities on the 
28th of June, A. D. 362. 

Marcus, bishop of Arethusa, having destroyed a pagan temple in 
that city, erected a Christian church in its room, on which account 
he Avas accused to Julian. His persecutors, stripping him naked, 
cruelly beat him. He was then thrust into a filthy sewer, or sink, till 
he was almost suffocated ; afterwards he was goaded with sharp- 
pointed sticks : and lastly, he was hung up in a basket in the heat of 
the sun, after having been smeared over Avith honey, in order to be 
tormented to death by wasps. As soon as he was hung up, they asked 
him if he would rebuild their temple. To which he answered, that he 
would neither rebuild it, nor contribute in the smallest degree towards 
it3 being rebuilt ; upon which they left him, and he fell a martyr to 
the stings of the insects. 

About the end of the year 363, the persecution raged with more 
than usual violence. In Palestine many were burnt alive, others 
were dragged by their feet through the streets naked till they expired ; 
some were scalded to death, many stoned, and great numbers had 
their brains beaten out with clubs. In Alexandria innumerable mar- 
tyrs suffered by the sword, burning, crucifixion, and stoning. In 
Arethusa, several were ripped open, and corn being put into their 
belHes, swine were brought to feed thereon, who, in devouring the 
grain, likewise devoured the entrails of the victim. 

Christians fined for refusing to sacrifice to Idols. 

When Julian intended an expedition against the Persians, he im- 
posed a large fine upon every one who refused to sacrifice to the 
idols, and by that means got a great sum from the Christians towards 
defraying his expenses. Many of the officers, in collecting these 
fines, exacted more than their due, and some of them tortured the 
Christians to make them pay what they demanded, at the same time 
telling them in derision, " that when they were injured, they ought 
to take it patiently, for so their God hath commanded them." The 
mhabitants of Cxsarea were fined in an immense sum, and several 
.if the clergy obliged to serve in the wars, as a punishment for having 
overthrown the temples of Jupiter, Fortune, and Apollo. The gover- 
nor, at Meris, in Phrygia, having cleansed and opened a pagan tem- 
ple, the Christians in the night broke in, and demolished the idols. 
Next day the governor ordered all Christians that accidentally came 
in the way to be seized, that he might make examples of them, and 
by this means would have executed several innocent persons ; but 
those who really perpetrated the act, being too just to suffer such re 


taliation, voluntarily delivered themselves up ; when they were scour 
ged severely, and then put upon gridirons and broiled to death. 

Julian died of a wound which he received in liis Persian expe- 
dition, A. D. 363, and even while expiring, uttered the most horrible 
blasphemies. He was succeeded by Jovian, who restored peace to 
the church. After the decease of Jovian, Valentinian succeeded to 
the empire, and associated to himself Valens, who had the command 
in the East, and was an Arian of unrelenting and persecuting dispo- 



Many Scythian Goths having embraced Christianity about the 
time of Constantine the Great, the light of the gospel spread itself 
considerably in Scythia, though the two kings who ruled that country, 
and the majority of the people, continued pagans. Fritegern, king 
of the West Goths, was an ally to the Romans ; but Athanarick, king 
of the East Goths, was at war with them. The Christians, in the 
dominions of the former, lived unmolested, but the latter, having been 
defeated by the Romans, wreaked his vengeance on his Christian 
subjects, commencing his pagan injunctions in the year 370. 

Eusebius, bishop of Samosata, makes a most distinguished figure 
in the ecclesiastical history, and was one of the most eminent cham- 
pions of Christ against the Arian heresy. Eusebius, after being dri- 
ven from his church, and wandering about through Syria and Pales- 
tine, encouraging the orthodox, was restored with other orthodox 
prelates to his see, which, however, he did not long enjoy, for an 
Arian woman threw a tile at him from the top of a house, which frac- 
tured his skull, and terminated his life in the year 380. 

The Vandals, passing from Spain to Africa in the fifth century, un- 
der their leader, Genseric, committed the most unheard-of cruelties. 
They persecuted the Christians wherever they came, and even laid 
waste the coimtry as they passed, that the Christians left behind, 
who had escaped them, might not be able to subsist. Sometimes 
they freighted a vessel with martyrs, let it drift out to sea, or set fire 
to it, with the sufl'erers shackled on the decks. 

Having seized and plundered the city of Carthage, they put the 
bishop, and all the clergy, into a leaky ship, and committed it to the 
mercy of the waves, thinking that they must all perish of course ; but 
providentially the vessel arrived safe at Naples. Innumerable ortho- 
dox Christians were beaten, scourged, and banished to Capsur, where 
it pleased God to make them the means of converting many of the 
Moors to Christianity ; but this coming to the ears of Genseric, he 
sent orders that they and their new converts should be tied by the 
feet to chariots, and dragged about till they were dashed to pieces. 

Pampinian, the bishop of Mansuetes, was tortured to death with 
plates of hot iron ; the bishop of Urice was burnt; and the bishop of 
Habensa was banished, for refusing to deliver up the sacred books 
which were in his possession. 



The Vandalian tyrant Genseric, having made an expedition into 
Italy, and plundered the city of Rome, returned to Africa, flushed 
with the success of his arms. The Arians took this occasion to per- 
suade him to persecute the orthodox Christians, as they assured him 
ihat they were friends to the people of Rome. 

After the decease of Huneric, his successor recalled him, and the 
rest of the orthodox clergy ; the Arians, taking the alarm, persuaded 
him to banish them again, which he complied with, Avhen Eugenius 
exiled to Languedoc in France, died there of the hardships he under- 
went, on the sixth of September, A. D. 305. 





Proterius was made a priest by Cyril, bishop of Alexandria, wh* 
was well acquainted with his virtues, before he appointed him to 
preach. On the death of Cyril, the see of Alexandria was filled by 
Dioscorus, an inveterate enemy to the memory and family of his pre- 
decessor. Being condemned by the council of Chalcedon for having 
embraced the errors of Eutyches, he Avas deposed, and Proterius cho- 
sen to fill the vacant see, Avho was approved of by the emperor. This 
occasioned a dangerous insurrection, for the city of Alexandria was 
divided into two factions ; the one to espouse the cause of the old, 
and the other of the new prelate. In one of the commotions, the Eu- 
tychians determined to wreak their vengeance on Proterius, who fled 
to the church for sanctuary : but on Good Friday, A. D. 457, a large 
body of them rushed into the Church, and barbarously murdered the 
prelate ; after which they dragged the body through the streets, in- 
sulted it, cut it to pieces, burnt it, and scattered the ashes in the air. 

Hermenigildus, a Gothic prince, was the eldest son of Leovigildus, 
a king of the Goths, in Spain. This prince, who was originally an 
Arian, became a convert to the orthodox faith, by means of his wife 
Ingonda. When the king heard that his son had changed his religious 
sentiments, he stripped him of the command at Seville, where he was 
governor, and threatened to put him to death, unless he renounced the 
faith he had newly embraced. The prince, in order to prevent the 
execution of his father's menaces, began to put himself into a posture 
of defence ; and many of the orthodox persuasion in Spain declared 
for him. The king, exasperated at this act of rebellion, began to 


punish all the orthodox Christians who could be seized by his troops ; 
and thus a very severe persecution commenced : he likewise marched 
against his son at the head of a very powerful army. The prince 
took refuge at Seville, from which he fled, and was at length beseiged 
and taken at Asieta. Loaded with chains, he was sent to Seville, and 
at the feast of Easter refusing to receive the Eucharist from an Arian 
bishop, the enraged king ordered his guards to cut the prince to 
pieces, which they punctually performed, April 13, A. D. 586. 

Martin, bishop of Rome, was born at Todi, in Italy. He was na- 
turally inclined to virtue,'and his parents bestowed on him an admirable 
education. He opposed the heretics called Monothothelites, who 
were patronized by the Emperor Heraclius. Martin was condemned 
at Constantinople, where he was exposed in the most public places to 
the ridicule of the people, divested of all episcopal marks of distinc- 
tion, and treated with the greatest scorn and severity. After lying 
some months in prison, Martin was sent to an island at some distance, 
and there cut to pieces, A. D. 655. 

John, bishop of Bergamo, in Lombardy, was a learned man, and a 
good Christian. He did his utmost endeavours to clear the church 
from the errors ofArianism, and joining in this holy work with .John, 
bishop of Milan, he was very successful against the heretics, on which 
account he was assassinated on July 11, A. D. 683. 

Killien was born in Ireland, and received from his parents a pious 
and Christian education. He obtained the Roman pontiff"'s license to 
preach to the pagans in Franconia, in Germany. At Wurtzburg he 
converted Gozbert, the governor, whose example was followed by 
the greater part of the people in two years after. Persuading Goz- 
bert that his marriage with his brother's widow was sinful, the latter 
had him beheaded, A. D. 689. 



Boniface, archbishop of Mentz, and father of the German cliurch, 
was an Englishman, and is, in ecclesiastical history, looked upon as 
one of the brightest ornaments of this nation. Originally his name 
was Winfrid, or Winfrith, and he was born at Kirton, in Devonshire, 
then part of the West-Saxon kingdom. When he was only about six 
years of age, he began to discover a propensity to reflection, and 
seemed solicitous to gain information on religious subjects. Wolfrad, 
the abbot, finding that he possessed a bright genius, as well as a 
strong inclination to study, had him removed to Nutscelle, a seminary 
of learning in the diocess of Winchester, where he would have a 
much greater opportunity of attaining improvement than at Exeter. 

After due study, the abbot, seeing him qualified for the priesthood, 
obliged him to receive that holy order when he was about thirty years 
old. From which time he began to preach, and labour for the salva- 
tion of his fellow-creatures ; he was released to attend a synod of 
bishops in the kingdom of West-Saxons. Heafterward, in719, went 


to Rome, where Gregory II. who then sat in Peter's chair, received 
him with great friendship, and finding him full of all the virtues that 
compose the character of an apostolical missionary, dismissed him 
■with a commission at large to preach the gospel to the pagans where- 
ever he found them. Passing through Lombardy and Bavaria, he 
came to Thuringia, which country had before received the light of 
the gospel ; he next visited Utrecht, and then proceeded to Saxony, 
where he converted some thousands to Christianity. 

Pope Gregory III. succeeded to the papal chair in 731, upon whose 
accession Boniface sent proper persons to Rome to acquaint him with 
the success of his labours. The pope not only answered the mes- 
sage by assuring him of the communion and friendship of the see of 
Rome, but as a mark of his respect for our missionary, sent him the 
pallium, granted him the title of archbishop, or metropolitan of all 
Germany, and empowered him to erect new bishoprics. 

Bavaria had at this time only one bishop ; he therefore pursuant 
to his commission from Rome, erected three new bishoprics, one at 
Saltzbourg, a second at Freisingent, and a third atRatisbon, and thus 
all Bavaria was divided into four dioceses. 

Gregory III. was succeeded in the popedom by Zachary, A. D. 741, 
and the latter confirmed Boniface in his power ; and approved of all 
he had done in Germany, making him at the same time archbishop of 
Mentz, and metropolitan over thirteen bishoprics. 

During the ministry of this meek prelate, Pepin was declared king 
of France. It was that prince's ambition to be crowned by the most 
holy prelate he could find, and Boniface Avas pitched on to perform 
that ceremony, which he did at Soissons in 752. The next year his 
great age and many infirmities lay so heavily on him, that, with the 
consent of the new king, the bishops, &c. of his diocess, he consecra- 
ted Lullus, his countryman, and /aithful disciple, and placed him in 
the see of Mentz. When he had thus eased himself of his charge, he 
recommended the church of Mentz to the care of the new bishop in 
verv strong terms, desired he would finish the church at Fuld, and 
see'him buried in it, for his end was near. Having left these orders, 
he took boat to the Rhine, and went to Friesland, where he converted 
and baptized several thousands of the barbarous natives, demolished the 
temples, and raised churches on the ruins of those superstitious struc- 
tures. A day being appointed for confirming a great number of new 
converts, he ordered them to assemble in a new open plain, near the 
river Bourde. Thither he repaired the day before ; and, pitching a 
tent, determined to remain on the spot all night, in order to be ready 
early in the morning. 

Some pagans, who Avere his inveterate enemies, having intelligence 
of this, poured doAvn upon him and the companions of his mission in 
the night, and killed him and fifty-two of his companions and at- 
tendants on June 5, A. D. 755. Thus fell the great father of the 
Germanic church, the honour of England, and the glory of the age 
in which he lived. 

Forty-two persons of Armonian, in Upper Phrygia, were martyred 
in the year 845, by the Saracens, the circumstances of which trans- 
action are as follows : 

In the reign of Theophilus, the Saracens ravaged many parts of the 
eastern empire, gained several considerable advantages over the 


Christians, took the city of Armonian, and numbers suflered mar- 

Flora and Mary, two ladies of distinction, suffered martyrdom at 
the same time. 

Perfectus was born at Corduba, in Spain, and brought up in the 
Christian faith. Having a quick genius, he made himself master of 
all the useful and polite literature of that age ; and at the same time 
was not more celebrated for his abilities than admired for his piety. 
At length he took priest's orders, and performed the duties of his of- 
fice with great assiduity and punctuality. Publicly declaring Maho- 
met an impostor, he was sentenced to be beheaded, and was accord- 
ingly executed, A. D. 850 ; after which his body was honourably in- 
terred by the Christians. 

Adalbert, bishop of Prague, a Bohemian by birth, after being in- 
volved in many troubles, began to direct his thoughts to the conver- 
sion of the infidels, to which end he repaired to Dantzic, Avhere he 
converted and baptized many, which so enraged the pagan priests, 
that they fell upon him, and despatched him with darts, on the 23d 
of April, A. D. 997. 





Account of Archbishop Alphage. 

Alphage, archbishop of Canterbury, came from a considerable 
family in Gloucestei*shire, and received an education suitable to his 
birth. His parents were Christians, and Alphage inherited all their 
virtues. He was prudent, humble, pious, and chaste ; and made ra- 
pid progress both in polite literature and theological learning. In 
order to be more at leisure to contemplate the beauties of divine his- 
tory he determined to renounce his fortune, quit his home, and be- 
come a recluse. He accordingly retired to a monastery of Benedic- 
tines, at Beerhurst, in Gloucestershire, and soon after took the habit. 
Here he lived with the utmost temperance, and spent the greatest 
part of his time in prayer. But not thinking the austerities he under- 
went in this monastery sufficiently severe, he retired to a lonely cell, 
near Bath, and lived in a manner still more rigid ; but some devout 
persons finding out his retreat, his austere life soon became the sub- 
ject of conversation in the neighbouring villages, whence many flocked 


to him, and begged to be taken under his pastoral care. Consenting 
to their importunities, he raised a monastery near his cell, by contri- 
butions of several well-disposed persons ; formed his new pupils into 
a community, and placed a prior over them. Having prescribed 
rules for their regulation, he again retired to his cell, fervently wish- 
ing to pass the remainder of his days in religious security ; Avhen the 
following affair again drew him from his retreat. 

The see of Winchester being vacant by the death of Ethelwold, a 
dispute arose respecting a successor to that bishopric. The clergy 
had been driven out of the cathedral for their scandalous lives, but 
were admitted again by king Ethelred, upon certain terms- of refor- 
mation. The monks, who had been introduced upon their expulsion, 
looked upon themselves as the chapter of that church ; and hence 
arose a violent contest between them and the clergy who had been 
re-admitted, about the election of a bishop ; while both parties were 
vigorously determined upon supporting their own man. This dispute 
at last ran so high, that Dunstan, archbishop of Canterbury, as primate 
of all England, was obliged to interpose, and he consecrated Alphage 
to the vacant bishopric, to the general satisfaction of all concerned in 
the election. 

The behaviour of Alphage was a proof of his being equal to the 
dignity of his vocation. Piety flourished in his diocese ; unity was 
established among his clergy and people ; and the conduct of the 
church of Winchester made the bishop the admiration of the whole 
kingdom. Dunstan had an extraordinary veneration for Alphage, 
and when at the point of death, made it his ardent request to God, 
that he might succeed him in the see of Canterbury ; which accord- 
ingly happened, though not till about eighteen years after Dunstan's 
death. In the course of that period, the metropolitan church was go- 
verned by three successive prelates ; the last of Avhom was Alfric ; 
upon whose decease, in 1006, Alphage was raised to the see of Can- 
terbury. The people belonging to the diocese of Winchester, were 
too sensible of the loss they sustained by his translation, not to re- 
gret his removal to Canterbury. 

Soon after he Avas made archbishop, he went to Rome, and recei- 
ved the pall from Pope John XVIII. 

When Alphage had governed the see of Canterbury about four 
years with great reputation, the Danes made an incursion into Eng- 
land. Ethelred, who then reigned, was a prince of a very weak 
mind, and pusillanimous disposition. Being afraid to face the enemy 
himself, and too irresolute to furnish others with the means of acting, 
he suftered his country to be ravaged with impunity, and the greatest 
depredations to be committed by the enemy. 

Upon this occasion, the Archbishop Alphage acted with great reso- 
lution and humanity ; he went boldly to the Danes, purchased the 
freedom of several whom they had made captives ; found means to 
send food to others, whom he had not money enough to redeem, and 
even made converts of some of the Danes ; but the latter circumstance 
made the Danes, who still continued pagans, greater enemies to him 
than they would otherwise have been, and they were determined to 
be revenged on him. Edric, an English malcontent and traitor, gave 
the Danes every encouragement, and assisted them in laying siege to 
Canterbury. When the design of attacking that city was known, manv 

Procession of Criminals condemned by the Inquisition 
on the Auto defe. Page 106. 

Basil crually tortured to death by order of Julian the 
Ajjostate, A. D. 362. Page 74. 

Dreadful Sufferings of Primitive Martyrs. Page 74. 


of the principal people made a precipitous flight from it, and would 
have persuaded Alphage to follow their example ; but he would not 
listen to such a proposal ; assured them he could not think of abandon- 
mg his flock at a time when his presence was more necessary thar. 
ever, and was resolved to hazard his life in their defence. While he 
was employed in assisting his people, Canterbury was taken by storm ; 
the enemy poured into the town, and destroyed all that came in their 
way. The monks endeavoured to detain the archbishop in the church, 
where they hoped he might be safe. But his concern for his flock 
made him break from them, and run into the midst of the danger. On 
this occasion he addressed the enemy, begging the people might be 
saved, and that he alone might be their victim. The barbarians sei- 
zed him, tied his hands, insulted and abused him, and obliged him to 
remain on the spot till his church was burnt, and the monks massa- 
cred. They then decimated all the inhabitants, both ecclesiastics and 
laymen, leaving only every tenth person alive ; so that they put 7236 
persons to death, and left only four monks and 800 laymen alive ; af- 
ter which they confined the archbishop in a dungeon, where they kept 
him for several months. During his confinement, they proposed to 
him to purchase his liberty with the sum of 3000Z. and to persuade the 
king to procure their departure out of the kingdom with a farther sum 
of 10,000/. Alphage's circumstances not allowing him to satisfy the 
exorbitant demand, they bound him and put him to severe torments, 
t(. oblige him to discover the treasures of his church. But he remain- 
ing inflexible ; they remanded him to prison again, confined him six 
days longer, and then taking him with them to Greenwich, brought 
him to trial. Here he exhorted them to forsake their idolatry, and 
embrace Christianity. This so enraged them, that the soldiers drag- 
ged him out of the camp, and beat him unmercifully. Alphage bore 
this treatment patiently, and even prayed for his persecutors. One of 
the soldiers, who had been converted and baptized by him, was great- 
ly afilicted that his pains should be so lingering, as he knew his death 
was determined on : he, therefore, in a kind of barbarous compassion, 
cut oft' his head, and thus put the finishing stroke to his martyrdom. 
This happened on April 19, A. D. 1012, on the very spot where the 
church of Greenwich, which is dedicated to him, now stands. After 
his death, his body was thrown into the Thames, but being found the 
next day, it was buried in the cathedral of St. Paul's, by the bishops of 
London and Lincoln : from whence it was, in the year 1023, removed 
to Canterbury, by ^Ethelnoth, archbishop of that province. 

Stanislaus, bishop of Cracow, was of an illustrious family. The 
piety of his parents was equal to their opulence ; and they rendered 
their wealth subservient to all the purposes of benevolence. Stanis- 
laus was their only child ; he possessed a penetrating genius, reten- 
tive memory, and solid understanding ; hence study became his 
amusement. His disposition was not inferior to his abilities: and he 
voluntarily gave himself, in the dawn of youth, to such austerities as 
might have acquired reputation for a hermit. In process of time, he 
was sent to a seminary of learning in Poland, and afterwards to the 
university of Paris ; here he remained several years, and then re- 
turned to his own country, where, on the demise of his parents, he b«y 


came possessed of a large fortune, of wliich he devoted the greater 
part to charitable uses. His views were now solely directed to the 
ministry ; but he remained for some time undetermined whether he 
should eriibrace a monastic life, or engage among the secular clergy. 
He was at length persuaded to the latter, by Lambert Zula, bishop of 
Cracow, who gave him holy orders, and made him a canon of his ca- 
thedral. In this capacity he lived in a most exemplary manner, and 
performed his duties with unremitting assiduity. Lambert was charm- 
ed with the many virtues which so particularly distinguished Stanis- 
laus, and would fain have resigned his bishopric to him, alleging as a 
reason, his great age, but Stanislaus absolutely refused to accept of 
the see, for the contrary reason, viz. his want of years ; as being 
then only 36 years old, he deemed that too early a time of life for a 
man to undertake the important care of a diocese. Lambert, how- 
ever, made him his substitute upon various occasions, and dying on 
November 25, 1071, all concerned in the choice of a successor de- 
clared for Stanislaus ; but he declined the acceptance for the same 
reason as before. At length the king, clergy, and nobility, unani- 
mously joined in writing to Pope Alexander II. who, at their entrea- 
ty, sent an express order that Stanislaus should accept the bishopric. 
He then obeyed, and exerted himself to the utmost in improving his 
flock. He was equally careful with respect both to clergy and laity, 
kept a list of all the poor in his diocese, and by feeding the hungry, 
rJothing the naked, and administering remedies to the sick, he pro- 
ved himself not only the godly pastor, but the physician and benefac- 
tor of the people. 

Bolislaus the second, king of Poland, had many good qualities, but 
giving way too much to his passions, he committed many enormities, 
till from being deemed a good king, he at last acquired the appella- 
tion of CRtTEL. The nobility were shocked at his conduct, and the 
clergy saAv his proceedings with grief; but Stanislaus alone had the 
courage to tell him of his faults. The king was greatly exasperated 
at this freedom ; but awed by the virtues of the bishop, he dis-sembled 
his resentment, and appearing to be convinced of his errors, promised 
to reform his conduct. He, soon after, attempting the chastity of a 
married lady, who rejected his oflers with disdain, violated her by 
force. This iniquitous act greatly incensed the nobility ; they as- 
sembled, and, calling the clergy to their assistance, entreated Peter, 
archbishop of Gresne, to remonstrate to the king on the impropriety 
of his conduct. The archbishop, however, declined the task ; for 
though virtuous, he was timid. Several other prelates imitated his 
example, and Stanislaus was, as before, the only one who had cour- 
age and zeal sufficient to perform what he looked upon as an indispen- 
sable duty. He, therefore, put himself at the head of a number of 
ecclesiastics, noblemen, and gentlemen, and solemnly addressed the 
king on the heinousness of his crime. Bolislaus, violently irritated, 
threatened the prelate with his severest vengeance; but Stanislaus, 
unintimidated by his menaces, visited him twice more, and remon- 
strated with him in a similar manner, which increased his wrath. 

The nobility and clergy, finding that the admonitions of the bishop 
had not the desired effect upon the king, thought proper to interpose. 
The nobility entreated the bishop to refrain from any further exaspe- 
rating a monarch of so ferocious a temper ; and the clergy endea 


vourcd to persuade the king not to be offended with Stanislaus for his 
charitable remonstrances. But the haughty sovereign determined at 
any rate to get rid of a prelate, who, in his opinion, was too censo- 
rious ; and hearing that the bishop was alone, in the chapel of St. 
Michael, at a small distance from the town, he despatched some sol- 
diers to murder him. The men readily undertook the task ; but 
when they came into the presence of Stanislaus, the venerable aspect 
of the prelate struck them with such awe, that they could not per- 
form what they had promised. On their return, the king, finding they 
had not obeyed his orders, snatched a dagger from one of them, and 
ran furiously to the chapel, where, finding Stanislaus at the altar, he 
plunged the weapon into his lieart. This took place on the 8th of 
May, A. D. 1079. 



Before this time the church of Christ was tainted with many of the 
errors of popery, and superstition began to predominate ; but a few, 
who perceived the pernicious tendency of such errors, determined to 
show the light of the gospel in its real purity, and to disperse those 
clouds which artful priests had raised about it, in order to delude the 
people. The principal of these worthies was Berengarius, who, about 
the year 1000, boldly preached gospel truths according to their pri- 
mitive purity. Many, from conviction, went over to his doctrine, 
and were, on that account, called Berengarians. Berengarius was 
succeeded by Peter Bruis, who preached at Toulouse, under the pro- 
tection of an earl, named Hildephonsus ; and the whole tenets of the 
reformers, with the reasons of their separation from the church of 
Rome, were published in a book written by Bruis under the title of 

In the year 1140, the number of the reformed was very great, and 
the probability of their increasing alarmed the pope, who wrote to 
several princes to banish them from their dominions, and employed 
many learned men to write against them. 

In 1147, Henry of Toulouse, being deemed their most eminent 
preacher, they were called Henricians ; and as they would not admit 
of any proofs relative to religion but what could be deduced from the 
scriptures themselves, the popish party gave them the name of Apos- 
tolics. Peter Waldo, or Valdo, a native of Lyons, at this time be- 
came a strenuous opposer of popery ; and from him the reformed re- 
ceived the appellation of Waldoys, or Waldenses. Waldo was a man 
eminent for his learning and benevolence; and his doctrines were 
adopted by multitudes. The bishop of Lyons taking umbrage at the 
freedom with which he treated the pope and the Romish clergy, sent 
to admonish him to refrain in future from such discourses ; but Wal- 
do answered, " That he could not be silent in a cause of such im- 
portance as the salvation of men's souls ; wherein he must obey Go(1 
rather than man." 


Accusations of Peter Waldo against Popery. 
His principal accusations against the Roman Catholics were, that 
they affirm the church of Rome to be the only infallible church of 
Christ upon earth ; and that the pope is its head, and the vicar of 
Christ ; that they hold the absurd doctrine of transubstantiation, in- 
sisting that the bread and wine given in the sacrament is the very 
identical body and blood of Christ which was nailed to the cross ; that 
they believe there is a place called purgatory, where the souls of 
persons, after this life, are purged from the sins of mortality, and that 
the pains and penalties here inflicted may be abated according to the 
masses said by and the money paid to the priests ; that they teach, 
the communion of one kind, or the receiving the wafer only, is suffi- 
cient for the lay people, though the clergy must be indulged with 
both bread and Avine ; that they pray to the Virgin Mary and saints, 
though their prayers ought to be immediately to God ; that they pray 
for souls departed, though God decides their fate immediately on the 
decease of the person ; that they will not perform the service of the 
church in a language understood by the people in general ; that they 
place their devotion in the number of prayers, and not in the intent 
of the heart ; that they forbid marriage to the clergy, though God 
allowed it ; and that they use many things in baptism, though Christ 
used only water. When Pope Alexander the Third was informed of 
these transactions, he excommunicated Waldo and his adherents, and 
commanded the bishop of Lyons to exterminate them : thus began 
the papal persecutions against the Waldensea 

Tenets of the Waldenses. 

1. That holy oil is not to be mingled in baptism. 

2. That prayers used over things inanimate are superstitious. 

3. Flesh may be eaten in Lent ; the clergy may marry ; and auri- 
cular confession is unnecessary. 

4. Confirmation is no sacrament : we are not bound to pay obe- 
dience to the pope ; ministers should live upon tithes ; no dignity 
sets one clergyman above another, for their superiority can only be 
drawn from real worth. 

5. Images in churches are absurd ; image worship is idolatry ; the 
pope's indulgences ridiculous ; and the miracles pretended to be done 
by the church of Rome are false. 

6. Fornication and public stews ought not to be allowed ; purga- 
tory is a fiction -, and deceased persons, called saints, ought not to be 
prayed to. 

7. Extreme unction is not a sacrament ; and masses, indulgences, 
and prayers, are of no service to the dead. 

8. The Lord's prayer ought to be the rule of all other prayers. 
Waldo remained three years undiscovered in Lyons, though the 

utmost diligence was used to apprehend him ; but at length he found 
an opportunity of escaping from tlie place of his concealment to the 
mountains of Dauphiny. He soon after found means to propagate 
his doctrines in Dauphiny and Picardy, which so exasperated Philip, 
king of France, that he put the latter province, which contained most 
of the sectaries, under military execution ; d(^stroying above 300 gen 
tlemen's scats, erasing some walled towns, burning many of the re 
formed, and driving others into Flanders and Germany. 


Notwithstanding these persecutions, the reformed religion seemed 
to tlourish ; and the Waldenses, in various parts, became more nu- 
merous than ever. At length the pope accused them of heresy, and the 
monks of immorality. These slanders they, however, refuted ; but the 
pope, incensed at their increase, used all means for their extirpation; 
such as excommunications, anathemas, canons, constitutions, decrees, 
&c. by which they were rendered incapable of holding places of trust, 
honour, or profit ; their lands were seized, their goods confiscated, and 
they were not permitted to be buried in consecrated ground. Some of 
the Waldenses having taken refuge in Spain, Aldephonsus, king of Ar- 
ragon, at the instigation of the pope, publised an edict, strictly order- 
ing all Roman Catholics to persecute them wherever they could be 
found ; and decreeing that all who gave them the least assistance 
should be deemed traitors. 

The year after this edict, Aldephonsus was severely punished by 
the hand of Providence ; for his son was defeated in a great battle, 
and 50,000 of his men slain, by which a considerable portion of his 
kingdom fell into the hand of the Moors. 

The reformed ministers continued to preach boldly against the Ro- 
mish church ; and Peter Waldo, in particular, wherever he went, as- 
eerted, that the pope was antichrist, that mass was an abomination, 
that the host was an idol, and that purgatory was a fable. 
Origin of the Inquisition. 

These proceedings of Waldo, and his reformed companions, occa- 
sioned the origin of inquisitors ; for Pope Innocent III. authorized cer- 
tain monks inquisitors, to find and deliver over the reformed to the 
secular power. The monks, upon the least surmise or information, 
gave up the reformed to the magistrate, who delivered them to the 
executioner ; for the process was short, as accusation supplied the 
place of evidence, and a fair trial was never granted to the accused. 

Cruelties of the Pope, and artifices of Dominic. 
When the pope found that these cruel means had not the desired 
effect, he determined to try others of a milder nature ; he therefore 
sent several learned monks to preach amongst the Waldenses, and 
induce them to change their opinions. Among these monks was one 
Dominic, who appeared extremely zealous in the cause of popery. He 
instituted an order, which, from him, was called the order of Domini- 
can friars ; and the members of this order have ever since been the 
principal inquisitors in every country into which that horrible tribunal 
has been introduced. Their power was unlimited ; they proceeded 
against whom they pleased, without any consideration of age, sex, or 
rank. However infamous the accusers, the accusation was deemed 
valid ; and even anonymous informations were thought sufficient evi- 
dence. The dearest friends or kindred could not, without danger, serve 
anyone who was imprisoned on account of religion; to convey to those 
who were confined a little straw, or give them a cup of water, was 
called favouring the heretics ; no lawyer dared to plead even for his 
own brother or notary register any thing in favour of the reformed. 
The malice of the papists, indeed, went beyond the grave, and the 
bones of many Waldenses, who had been long dead, were dug up and 
burnt. If a man on his death-bed were accused of being a follower 
of Waldo, his estates were confiscated, and the heir defrauded of his 


inheritance ; and some were even obliged to make pilgrimages to tho 
Hoiy Land, while the Dominicans took possession of their houses 
and property, which they refused to surrender to the owners upon 
iheir return. 

Prisons filled with Christians. 
A knight named Enraudus, being accused of embracing the opinions 
of Waldo, was burnt at Paris A. D. 1201. About 1228, such numbers 
of the reformed were apprehended, that the archbishops of Aix, Aries, 
and Narbonne, took compassion on them, and thus expressed them- 
selves to the inquisitors : " We hear that you have appprehended such 
a number of Waldenses, that it is not only impossible to defray the 
charge of their food and confinement, but to provide lime and stone 
to build prisons for them." 

Avarice and Injustice of Boralli. 
In 1380, a monk inquisitor, named Francis Boralli, had a commis- 
sion granted him by Pope Clement VII. to search for, and punish the 
Waldenses in Aix, Ambrune, Geneva, Savoy, Orange, Aries, "Vienne, 
Avignon, <fcc. He went to Ambrune, and summoned all the inhabi- 
tants to appear before him ; when those who were found to be of the 
reformed rejigion, were delivered over to the secular power, and burnt; 
and those who did not appear, were excommunicated for contumacy, 
and had their eflects confiscated. In the distribution of the effects, 
the clergy had two thirds of the property of all who were condemned, 
and the secular power one third. All the reformed inhabitants of the 
other places, named in the commission of this ecclesiastic, were equal 

Persecutions in Dauphiny. 
In 1400, the Waldenses who resided in the valley of Pragela, were, 
at the instigation of some priests, suddenly attacked by a body of troops, 
who plundered their houses, murdered many, and drove others into 
the Alps, where great numbers were frozen to death, it being in the 
depth of winter. In 1460, a persecution was carried on in Dauphiny 
against the Waldenses, by the archbishop of Ambrune, who employed 
a monk, named John Vayleti, who proceeded with such violence, that 
not only the Waldenses, but even many papists, were suflerers : for if 
any of them expressed compassion or pity for the inoffensive people, 
they were accused of favouring the Waldenses, and punished. At length 
Vayleti's proceedings became so intolerable, that a great number of 
the papists themselves addressed a petition against him to Louis XI. 
king of France, who granted the request of the petitioners, and sent an 
order to the governor of Dauphiny to stop the persecution. Vayleti, 
however, by order of the archbishop, still continued it; for, taking ad- 
vantage of the last clause of the edict, he pretended that he did nothing 
contrary to the king's precept, who had ordered punishment to such as 
affirmed any thing against the holy catholic faith. This persecution 
at length concluded with the death of the archbishop, Avhich hap 
pened in 1487. 

Attempts of the Pope to exterminate the Waldenses. 
Pope Innocent VIII. in 1488, determined to persecute the Walden- 
ses. To this end he sent Albert de Capitaneis, archdeacon of Cremo- 
"a, to France ; who, on arriving in Dauphiny, craved the assistance of 


the king's lieutenant to exterminate the Waldenses from the valley of 
Loyse : the lieutenant readily granted his assistance, and marched a 
body of troops to the place ; but when they arrived at the valley, they 
found that it had been deserted by the inhabitants, who had retired to 
the mountains, and hid themselves in caverns, &c. The archdeacon 
and lieutenant immediately followed them with the troops, and appre- 
hending many, they cast them headlong from the precipices, by which 
they were dashed to pieces. Several, however, retired to the inner- 
most parts of the caverns, and knowing the intricacies, were able to 
conceal themselves. The archdeacon and lieutenant, not being able 
to come at thern, ordered the mouths of the caves to be filled with fag- 
gots, which being lighted, those within were snflbcated. On search- 
ing the caves, 400 infants were found smothered, either in their cra- 
dles or in their mother's arms ; and, upon the whole, about 3000 men, 
women, and children, were destroyed in this persecution. 

After this tragical work, the lieutenant and archdeacon proceeded 
Avith the troops to Pragela and Frassanier, in order to persecute the 
Waldenses in those parts. But these having heard of the fate of their 
brethren in the valley of Loyse, thought proper to arm themselves; 
and by fortifying the different passes, and bravely disputing the pas- 
sages through them, they so harrassed the troops, that the lieutenant 
was compelled to retire without effecting his purpose. 

7%e King of France favours the Waldenses. 

In 1494, Anthony Fabri and Christopher de Salence, havinga com- 
mission to persecute the Waldenses of Dauphiny, put some to death, 
sequestered the estates of others, and confiscated the goods of many; 
but Louis XIL coming to the crown in 1498, the Waldenses petition- 
ed him for a restitution of their property. The king determined to 
have the afiair impartially canvassed, and sent a commissioner of his 
own, together with a commissary from the Pope, to make proper in- 
quiries. The witnesses against the Waldenses having been exami- 
ned, the innocence of these poor people evidently appeared, and the 
king's commissioner declared, "That he only desired to be as good a 
Christian as the worst of them." When this favourable report Avas made 
to the king, he immediately gave orders that the Waldenses should 
have their property restored to them. The archbishop of Ambrune, 
having the greatest quantity of these poor people's goods, it was ge^ 
nerally imagined that he would set a laudable example to others, b}- 
being the first to restore them. The archbishop, however, declared 
that he would not restore any of the property, for it was incorporated 
with, and become part of his archbishopric. He, however, with an af- 
fectation of candour, offei'ed to relinquish several vineyards, of which 
he had dispossessed the Waldenses, provided the lords of Dauphiny 
would restore all they had taken from those poor people; but this the 
lords absolutely refused, being as desirous of keeping their plunder as 
the archbishop himself; 

The Waldenses finding that they were not likely to recover any ot 
their property, again appealed to the king; and the monarch having 
attended to their complaints, wrote to the archbishop ; but that artful 
and avaricious prelate replied, " That at the commencement of the 
persecution, the Waldenses had been excommunicated by the Pope, 
in consequence of which their goods were distrained ; therefore, till 


the .sentence of excommunication was taken off, which had occasioned 
them to be seized, they could not be restored with propriety." This 
plea was allowed to be reasonable ; and the application was ineffectu- 
ally made to the Pope to remove the sentence of excommunication ; 
for the archbishop, supposing this would be the case, had used all his 
interest at Rome to prevent the application from succeeding. 

Progress of the Waldenses. 

At length this sect, having spread from Dauphiny into several other 
provinces, became very numerous in Provence. At their first arrival, 
Provence was almost a desert, but by their great industry, it soon 
abounded with corn, wine, oil, fruit, &c. The pope, by being often 
near them, at his scat at Avignon, heard occasionally many things 
concerning their differing from the church of Rome, which greatly 
exasperated him, and he determined to persecute them. Proceeding 
to some extremities, under the sanction of his ecclesiastical authority 
only, without consulting the king of France, the latter became alarm- 
ed, and sent his master of requests and his confessor to examine into 
the affair. On their return they reported that the Waldenses were 
not such dangerous or bad people as they had been represented ; 
that they lived with perfect honesty, were friendly to all, caused their 
children to be baptised, had them taught the Lord's prayer, creed, 
and ten commandments ; expounded the sci-iptures with purity, kept 
the Lord's day sacred, feared God, honoured the king, and wished 
well to the state. " Then," said the king, " they are much better 
Christians than myself or my catholic subjects, and therefore they 
shall not be persecuted." He was as good as his word, and sent or- 
ders to stop the persecution. 



The Albigenses were people of the reformed religion, who inha- 
bited the country of Albi. They were condemned on account of reli- 
gion, in the council of the Lateran, by order of Pope Alexander HI, ; 
but they increased so prodigiously, that many cities were inhabited by 
persons only of their persuasion, and several eminent noblemen em- 
braced their doctrines. Among the latter Avere Raymond, earl of 
Toulouse, Raymond, earl of Foix, the earl of Bezieres, &C. The 
Pope, at length, pretended that he wished to draw them to the Romish 
faith by sound argument and clear reasoning, and for this end order- 
ed a general disputation ; in which, however, the popish doctors were 
entirely overcome by the arguments of Arnold, a reformed clergy- 
man, whose reasonings were so strong, that they were compelled to 
confess tJieir force. 

Persecution of the earl of Toulouse. 
A friar, named Peter, having been murdered in the dominions of 
the earl of Toulouse, the Pope made the murder a pretence to perse- 
cute that nobleman and his subjects. He sent persons throughout all 


Europe, in order to raise forces to act coercively against the Albigeu- 
ses, and promised paradise to all wlio would assist in this war, (which 
he termed holy,) and bear arms for forty days. The same indulgences 
were held out to all who entered for this purpose, as to such as enga- 
ged in crusades to the Holy Land. The pope likewise sent orders to 
all archbisliops, bishops, &c. to excommunicate the eaid of Toulouse 
every Sabbath and festival ; at the same time absolving all his sub- 
jects from their oaths of allegiance to him, and commanding them to 
pursue his person, possess his lands, destroy his property, and murder 
such of his subjects as continued faithful to him. The earl of Tou- 
louse, hearing of these mighty preparations against him, wrote to the 
pope in a very candid manner, desiring not to be condemned unheard, 
and assuring him that he had not the least hand in Peter's death : for 
that friar was killed by a gentleman, who, immediately after the mur- 
der, fled out of his territories. But the pope, being determined on his 
destruction, was resolved not to hear his defence ; and a formidable 
army, with several noblemen and prelates at the head of it, began its 
march against the Albigenses. The earl had only the alternative to 
oppose force by force, or submit : and as he despaired of success in 
attempting the former, he determined on the latter. The pope's le- 
gate being at Valence, the earl repaired thither, and said, " He was 
surprised that such a number of armed men should be sent against 
him, before the least proof of his guilt had been deduced. He there- 
fore came voluntarily to surrender himself, armed only with the testi- 
mony of a good conscience, and hoped that the troops would be pre- 
vented from plundering his innocent subjects, as he thought himself 
a sufficient pledge for any vengeance they chose to take on account of 
the death of the friar." The legate replied, that he was very glad 
the earl had voluntarily surrendered : but, with respect to the propo- 
sal, he could not pretend to countermand the orders to the troops, un- 
less he would consent to deliver up seven of his best fortified castles 
as securities for his future behaviour. At this demand the earl per- 
ceived his error in submitting, but it was too late ; he knew himself 
to be a prisoner, and therefore sent an order for the delivery of the 
castles. The pope's legate had no sooner gan-isoned these places, 
than he ordered the respective govei-nors to appear before him. 
When they came, he said, " That the earl of Toidouse having de- 
livered up his castles to the pope, they must consider that they were 
now the pope's subjects, and not the earl's ; and that they must there- 
fore act conformably to their new allegiance."' The governors were 
greatly astonished to see their lord thus in chains, and themselves 
compelled to act in a manner so contrary to their inclinations and con- 
sciences. But the subsequent treatment of the earl afflicted them 
still more ; for he was stripped nearly naked, led nine times round 
the grave of friar Peter, and severely scourged before all the people. 
Not content with this, the legate obliged him to swear that he would 
be obedient to the pope during the remainder of his life, conform to 
the church of Rome, and make irreconcilable war against the Albi- 
genses ; and even ordered him, by the oaths he had newly taken, to 
join the troops, and inspect the siege of Bezieres. But thinking this 
too hard an injunction, he took an opportunity privately to quit the 
army, and determined to go to the pope and relate the ill usage he had 


Siege of Beziercs. 

The army, however, proceeded lo besiege Bezieres ; and the earl 
of Bezieres, who was governor of that city, thinking it impossible to 
defend the place, came out, and presenting himself before the legate, 
implored mercy for the inhabitants ; intimating, that there were as 
many Roman catholics as Albigenses in that city. The legate replied, 
that all excuses were useless ; the place must be delivered up at dis- 
cretion, or the most dreadful consequences would ensue. 

The earl of Bezieres returning into the city, told the inhabitants he 
could obtain no mercy, unless the Albigenses would abjure their reli- 
gion, and conform to the Avorship of the church of Rome. The Roman 
catholics pressed the Albigenses to comply Avith his request; but the 
Albigenses nobly answered, that they would not forsake their religion 
for the base price of their frail life : that God was able, if he pleased, 
to defend them ; but if he would be glorified by the confession of their 
faith, it would be a great honour to them to die for his sake. They 
added, that they had rather displease the pope, who could but kill their 
bodies, than God, who could cast both body and soul into hell. On 
this the popish party, finding their importunities inefiectual, sent their 
bishop to the legate, beseeching him not to include them in the chas- 
tisement of the Albigenses ; and representing, that the best means to 
win the latter over to the Roman catholic persuasion, was by gentle- 
ness, and not by rigour. The legate, upon hearing this, flew into a 
violent passion with the bishop, and declared that, " If all the city 
did not acknowledge their fault, they should taste of one curse with- 
out distinction of religion, sex, or age." 

Horrid Cruelties on talcing- the Town. 
The inhabitants refusing to yield upon such terms, a general assault 
was made, and the place taken by storm, when every cruelty that bar- 
barous superstition could devise was practised ; nothing was to be 
heard, but the groans of men, who lay Aveltering in their blood, the 
lamentations of mothers, who, after being violated by the soldiery, 
had their children taken from them, and dashed to pieces before their 
faces. The city being fired in various parts, new scenes of confusion 
arose ; in several places the streets were streaming with blood. 
Those who hid themselves in their dwellings, had only the dreadful 
alternative to remain and perish in the flames, or rush out and fall by 
the swords of the soldiers. The bloody legate, during these infernal 
proceedings, enjoyed the carnage, and even cried out to the troops, 
" Kill them, kill them all ; kill man, woman, and child ; kill Roman 
Catholics as well as Albigenses, for when they are dead the Lord 
knows how to pick out his own." Thus the beautiful city of Bezieres 
was reduced to a heap of ruins ; and 60,000 persons were murdered. 

Courage of the Earl of Beziercs. 
The earl of Bezieres and a few others made their escape, and went 
to Carcasson, which they endeavoured to put in the best posture of 
defence. The legate, not wilHng to lose an opportunity of spilling 
blood during the forty days which the troops were to serve, led them 
immediately against "Carcasson. As soon as the place was invested, 
a fuiiovs assault was given, but the besiegers were repulsed with great 
slaughter ; and upon this occasion the earl of Bezieres gave the most 


distinguished proof of his courage, saying, to encourage the besieged, 
" We had better die fighting than fall into the hands of such bigotted 
and bloody enemies." 

Two miles from the city of Carcas&on there was a small town of 
the same name, which the Albigenses had likewise fortified. The 
legale, being enraged at the repulse he had received from the city of 
Carcasson, determined to wreak his vengeance upon the town : the 
next morning he made a general assault ; and, though the place was 
bravely defended, he took it by storm, put all within it to the sword, 
and then burnt the town. 

During these transactions the king of Arragon arrived at the camp, 
and, after paying his obedience to the legate, told him, he understood 
the earl of Bezieres, his kinsman, was in the city of Carcasson, and 
that, if he would grant him permission, he would go thither and en- 
deavour to make him sensible of the duty he owed to the pope and 
church : the legate acquiescing, the king repaired to the earl, and 
asked him from what motives he shut himself up in that city against 
so great an army. The earl answered, it Avas to defend his life, goods, 
and subjects ; that he knew the pope, under the pretence of religion, 
resolved to destroy his uncle, the earl of Toulouse, and himself; that 
he saw the cruelty which ihey had used at Bezieres, even against the 
priests ; and at the town of Carcasson ; and that they must look for 
no mercy from the legate, or his army ; he, therefore, rather chose 
to die, defending himself and his subjects, than fall into the hands of 
so inexorable an enemy as the legate ; that though he had in his city 
some that were of another religion, yet they were such as had not 
wronged any, were come to his succour in his greatest extremity, 
and for their good service he was resolved not to abandon them ; that 
his trust was in God, the defender of the oppressed ; and that he 
would assist them against those ill advised men who forsook their 
own homes, to burn, ravage, and murder, without reason, judgment, 
or mercy. 

Infamous Treachery of the Legate. 

The king reported to the legate what the earl had said : the legate, 
after considering for some time, replied, " For your sake, sir, 1 will 
receive the earl of Bezieres to mercy, and with him twelve others shall 
be safe, and be permitted to retire with their property ; but as for the 
rest, I am determined to have them at my discretion." This answer 
displeased the king ; and when the earl heard it, he absolutely refused 
to comply with such terms. The legate then commanded another 
assault, but his troops were again repulsed with great slaughter, and 
the dead bodies occasioned a stench that was exceedingly offensive 
both to the besieged and the besiegers. The legate, vexed and alarm- 
ed at this second disappointment, determined to iact by stratagem. 
He, therefore, sent a person, well skilled in dissimidation and artifice, 
to the earl of Bezieres, with a seeming friendly message. The de- 
sign was, by any means, to induce the earl to leave the city, in order 
to have an interview with the legate ; and to this end the messenger 
was to promise, or swear, whatever he thought proper ; for, said the 
legate, " swear to what falsehoods you will in such a cause, I will give 
you absolution." 

This infamous plot succeeded : for the earl, believing the promises 
made him of personal security, and crediting the solemn oaths thai 


the perjured agent swore upon the occasion, left the city, and went 
Avjth hiiri. The legate no sooner saw him, than he told him he was a 
prisoner, and must remain so till Carcasson Avas surrendered, and the 
inhabitants taught their duty to the pope. The earl, on hearing this, 
cried out that he was betrayed, and exclaimed against the treachery ot 
the legate, and the perjury of the person he had employed. But he 
was ordered into close confinement, and the place summoned to sur 
render immediately. 

The people, on hearing the captivity of the earl, Avere thrown into 
the utmost consternation, when one of the citizens informed the rest, 
that he had been formerly told by some old men, that there was a very 
capacious subterraneous passage, which led from thence to the castle 
of Camaret, at three leagues distance. " If," continued he, " we can 
find this passage, we may all escape before the legate can be ap- 
prized of our flight." This information Avas joyfully received ; all 
Avere employed to search for the passage ; and, at length, it Avas dis- 
covered. Early in the evening the inhabitants began their flight, 
taking Avith them their Avives, children, a few days' provisions, and 
such property as AA-as most valuable and portable. They reached the 
castle by the morning, and escaped to Arragon, Catalonia, and such 
other places as they thought Avould secure them from the poAver of the 
sanguinary legate. 

Next morning the troops Avere astonished, not hearing any noise, 
nor seeing any man stir in the city ; yet they approached the Avails 
with much fear, lest it should be but a stratagem to endanger them ; 
but finding no opposition, they mounted the Avails, crying out, that the 
Albigenses Avere fled ; and thus Avas the city, Avith all the spoils, taken, 
and the earl of Bezieres committed to prison in one of the strongest 
tOAvers of the castle, Avhere he soon after died. 

The legate noAV called all the prelates and great lords of his army 
together, telling them, that though it Avas requisite there should be 
always a legate in the army, yet it Avas likewise necessary that there 
should be always a secular general, wise and valiant, to command in 
all their affairs, &c. This charge Avas first offered to the Duke ot 
Burgogne, then to the earl of Ennevers, and, thirdly, to the earl ot 
St. Paul ; but they all refused it. At length it Avas offered to Simon, 
earl of Montfort, Avho, after some excuses, accepted of it. Four thou- 
sand men Avere left to garrison Carcasson, and the deceased earl ot 
Bezieres Avas succeeded, in title and dignity, by Earl Simon, a bigoted 
Roman Catholic, who threatened vengeance on the Albigenses, unless 
they conformed to the Avorship of the church of Rome. But the king 
of Arragon, Avho Avas in his heart of the reformed persuasion, secretly 
encouraged the Albigenses, and gave them hopes, that if they acted 
Avith prudence, they might cast off the yoke of the tyrannical Ear) 
Simon. They took his advice, and Avhile Simon Avas gone to Mont- 
pellier, they surprised some of his fortresses, and were successful in 
several expeditions against his officers. 

Conduct of Simon. 

These proceedings so enraged Simon, that, returning from Mont 

pellier, he collected together some forces, marched against the Alui- 

genses, and ordered every prisoner he took to be immediately burnt: 

butnot succeeding in some of his enterprises, he greAv disheartentu, 


and wrote to every Roman Catholic power in Europe to send him as- 
sistance, otherwise he should not be able to hold out against the Albi- 
genses. He soon received some succours, with which he attacked 
the castle of Beron, and making himself master of it, ordered the eyes 
to be put out, and the noses to be cut off, of all the garrison, one per- 
son alone excepted, who was deprived of one eye only, that he might 
conduct the rest to Cabaret. He then undertook the siege of Me- 
nerbc, which, on account of the want of water, Avas obliged to yield 
to him. The lord of Ternies, the governor, was put in prison, where 
he died ; his wife, sister, daughter, and 180 others, were committed 
to the flames. Many other castles surrendered to the forces of this 
monster, and the inhabitants were butchered in a manner equally bar- 

Earl of Toulouse excommunicated. 

In the mean time the earl of Toulouse, by means of letters of re- 
commendation from the king of France, was reconciled to the jiope : 
at least the pope pretended to give him remission for the death of 
Friar Peter, and to absolve him from all other crimes he had commit- 
ted. But the legate, by the connivance of the pope, did all he could 
to ruin the earl. Some altercations having passed between them, the 
legate excommunicated the earl ; and the bishop of Toulouse, upon 
this encouragement, sent this impudent message to the earl, " That as 
he was an excommunicated person, he commanded him to depart the 
city ; for an ecclesiastic could not say mass with propriety, while a 
person of such a description was so near him." 

Being greatly exasperated at the bishop's insolence, the earl sent 
him an order immediately to depart from the place on pain of death. 
This order was all the prelate wanted, as it would give him some rea- 
son to complain of his lord. The bishop, with the canons of the ca- 
thedral church, marched out of the city in solemn procession, bare- 
footed and barelieadcd, taking with them the cross, banner, host, &c. 
and proceeded in that manner to the legate's army, where they were 
received with great respect as persecuted saints ; and the legate 
thought tliis a sufficient excuse to proceed against the earl of Toulouse 
for having, as he termed it, relapsed from the truth. He attempted to 
get the earl into his power by stratagem, but the latter being apprized 
of his design, escaped. The legate, enraged at this disappointment, 
laid siege to the castle of Montferrand, which belonged to the earl, 
and was governed by Baldwin his brother. On the first summons, 
Baldwin not only surrendered, but abjured his religion, and turned 
papist. This event, which severely afflicted the earl, was followed 
by another that gave him still greater mortification ; for his old friend, 
the king of Arragon, forsook his interest; and agreed to give his 
daughter in marriage to Earl Simon's eldest son : — the legate's troops 
were then joined Ijy the forces of Arragon, and those belonging to 
Earl Simon, on which they jointly laid siege to Toulouse. 

Successes of the Alhigenses. 
Nevertheless, the earl determined to interrupt the besiegers by fre- 
quent sallies. In the first attempt he met Avith a severe repulse ; but 
ui the second he took Simon's son prisoner, and in the third he un- 
horsed Simon himself. After several furious assaults given by the 
popish army, and some successful salUes of the Alhigenses, the earl of 


Toulouse compelled his enemies to raise the siege. In their retreat 
they did much mischief in the countries through which they passed, 
and put many defenceless Albigenses to death. 

The earl of Toulouse now did all he could to recover the friend- 
ship of the king of Arragon ; and as the marriage ceremony between 
that monarch's daughter, and Simon's son, had not been performed, 
he entreated him to break off that match, and proposed another more 
proper, viz. that his own eldest son and heir should wed the princess 
of Arragon, and that by this match their friendship should be again 
united, and more fn mly cemented. His majesty was easily persuaded 
not only to agree to this proposal, but to form a league with the prin- 
cipal Albigenses, and to put himself as captain-general at the head of 
their united forces, consisting of his own people, and of the troops of 
the earls of Toulouse, Foix, and Comminges. The papists were greatly 
alarmed at these proceedings; Simon sent to all parts of Europe, to 
engage the assistance of the Roman Catholic powers, and the pope's 
legate began hostilities by entering the dominions of the earl of Foix, 
and committing the most cruel depredations. 

As soon as the army of Albigenses was ready, the king of Arragon 
began his operations by laying siege to Murat, a strongly fortified 
town near Toulouse, belonging to the Roman Catholics. Earl Si- 
mon, by forced marches, came to the assistance of the place, at a time 
when the king of Arragon, who kept very little discipline in his army, 
was feasting and revelling. Simon suddenly attacked the Albigenses, 
while they were in confusion, when the united forces of the reformed 
were defeated, and the king of Arragon was killed. The loss of this 
battle was imputed to the negligence of the king, who would have as 
much entertainment in a camp, as if he had been securely at peace in 
his capital. This victory made the popish commanders declare they 
would entirely extirpate the whole race of the Albigenses ; and Simon 
sent an insolent message to the earls of Toulouse, Foix, and Commin- 
ges, to deliver to him all the castles and fortresses of which they were 
possessed. Those noblemen, instead of answering the demand, re- 
tired to their respective territories, to out them into the best posture 
of resistance. 

Surrender of Toulouse. 

Soon after, Simon marched towards the city of Toulouse, when the 
earl of Toulouse, who had retired to Montalban, sent word to the citi- 
zens to make the best terms they could with the Roman Catholics, as 
he was confident they could not hold out a siege ; but he recommend- 
ed them to preserve their hearts for him, though they surrendered 
their persons to another. The citizens of Toulouse, upon receiving 
this intimation, sent deputies to Simon, with offers of immediate sur- 
render, provided the city itself, and the persons and properties of its 
inhabitants, should be protected from devastation. These conditions 
were agreed to, and Simon, in order to ingratiate himself at court, 
wrote a letter to Prince Louis, the son of Philip, king of France, in- 
forming him that the city of Toulouse had offered to surrender to him ; 
but being v/illing that the prince should have the honour of receiving 
the keys, and the homage of the people, he begged that he would re- 
pair to the camp for tliat purpose. The prince, pleased with the invi- 
tation, went directly to the army, and had the city of Toulouse surren- 


dered to him in form. The pope's legate, however, was greatly dis- 
pleased at the mild conditions granted to the people, and insisted, that 
though the prince might take upon him the sovereignty of the place, 
and receive the homage of the people, yet the plunder belonged to the 
hohj pilgrims, (for so the popish soldiers employed in these expeditions 
were called ;) and that the place, as a receptacle of heretics, ought 
to be dismantled. The prince and Earl Simon in vain remonstrated 
against proceedings so contrary to the conditions granted at the sur- 
render : the legate was peremptory, when Earl Simon and the prince, 
unwilling to come to an open rupture with him, gave up the point. 
The legate immediately set his holy pilgrims to work, when they pre- 
sently dismantled the city, and plundered the inhabitants of all their 
property, in defiance of the security granted to them by the articles 
of the surrender. 

Dispute between the Legate and the Prince. 

Now the legate finding that among the Albigenses were many lu- 
crative places which would fall to the disposal of the prince, determin- 
ed, by an artifice, to deprive him of any advantage which might ac- 
crue from them ; to this end, he gave absolution to the Albigenses, 
which, though they had not in the least changed their religious opi- 
nions, he called reconciling them to the church. The prince, not ap- 
prised of this stratagem, was about to give his officers possession of 
some places of profit; when, to his great astonishment, the legate in- 
formed him, that he had no power to dispose of those places. The 
prince demanded an explanation of his meaning. " My meaning," 
replied the legate, " is, that the people have received absolution, and 
being reconciled to, are consequently under the protection of the 
church ; therefore, all places among, or connected with them, are in 
the disposal of the church only." 

The prince, offended at this mode of reasoning, and highly dis 
pleased at the meanness of the subterfuge, nevertheless thought pro 
per to dissemble his resentment. But being determined to quit the 
legate, he put the troops that were under his command in motion, and 
marched to attack some other fortresses; but he found, wherever he 
came, that the legate had played the same trick, and plainly perceived, 
if he continued his military operations, that when unsuccessful, he 
should bear all the blame, and when successful, the legate would 
steal all the profit ; he therefore left the army in disgust, and return- 
ed to court. 

Defeat of Earl Simon. 

On this. Earl Simon, with his own forces, those the prince had just 
quitted, and some other auxiliaries, undertook the siege of Foix, being 
chiefly provoked to it by the death of his brother, who was slain by 
the earl of Foix. He lay before the castle of Foix for ten days, dur- 
ing which time he frequently assaulted it, but was as often repulsed. 
Hearing that an army of Arragonese were in full march towards him, 
in order to revenge the death of their king, he raised the siege, and 
went to meet them. The earl of Foix immediately sallied out and 
harrassed his rear, and the Arragonese attacking his front, gave him 
a total defeat, which compelled him to shut himself up in Carcasson. 

Soon afterwards, the pope's legate called a council at Montpellier 


for renewing the military operations against the Albigenses, and foi 
doing proper honour to Earl Simon, who was present ; for the Arra- 
gonese, not taking advantage of their victory, had neglected to block 
up Cai-casson, by which omission Simon had an opportunity of repair- 
ing to Montpellier. On meeting the council, the legate, in the pope's 
name, paid many compliments to Simon, and declared, that he should 
be prince of all the countries that might in future be taken from the 
Albigenses : at the same time, by order of the pontiff, he styled him 
" the active and dexterous soldier of Jesus Christ, and the invincible 
defender of the Catholic faith." But just as the earl was about to 
return thanks for these great honours and fine encomiums, a messen- 
ger brought word that the people having heard Earl Simon was in the 
council, had taken up arms, and were coming thither to destroy him 
as a common disturber. This intelligence threw the whole council 
into great confusion ; and Earl Simon, though a minute before styled 
an invincible defender of the faith, jumped out of the window, and stole 
away from the city. 

Council of Later an. 
The disputes becoming serious, according to the opinion of the pa 
pists, the pope himself soon after called a council, to be held at Late 
ran, in which great powers were granted to Roman Catholic inqusi- 
tors, and many Albigenses Avcre immediately put to death. This 
council of Lateran likewise confirmed to Earl Simon all the honours 
intended him by the council of Montpellier, and empowered him to 
raise another array against the Albigenses. Earl Simon inmiediately 
repaired to court, received his investiture from the French king, and 
began to levy forces. Having now a considerable number of troops, 
he determined, if possible, to exterminate the Albigenses, when he 
received advice, that his countess was besieged in Narbonne by the 
earl of Toulouse. He proceeded to the relief of his wife, when the 
Albigenses met him, gave him battle, and defeated him ; but he found 
means to escape and get into the castle of Narbonne. 

Recovery of Toulouse by the Albigenses. 
After this, Toulouse was recovered by the Albigenses ; but the 
pope espousing Earl Simon's cause, raised forces for him, and enabled 
him once more to undertake the siege of that city. The earl assault- 
ed the place furiously, but being repulsed with great loss, he seemed 
sunk in affliction: when the pope's legate said, to comfort him, " Fear 
nothing, my lord, make another vigorous attack ; let us by any means 
recover the city, and destroy the inhabitants ; and those of our men 
who are slain in the fight, 1 will assure you, shall immediately pass 
into paradise." One of the earl's principal officers, on hearing this, 
said with a sneer, "Monsieur cardinal, you talk with great assurance; 
but if the earl believes, you, he will, as heretofore, pay dearly for his 
confidence." Earl Simon, however, took the legate's advice, made 
another assault, and was again repulsed. To complete his misfor- 
tune, before the troops could recover from their confusion, the earl of 
Foix made his appearance at the head of a formidable body of forces, 
attacked the already dispirited army of Earl Simon, and easily put them 
to the route ; when the earl himself narroM'ly escaped drowning in 
the Garronne, into which he had hastily plunged, in order to avoid 
being captured. This miscarriage almost broke his heart; but the 

Siezure of a person hy order of the Inquisition 

P. 105. 


pope's legate continued to encourage him, and offered to raise another 
army, which promise, with some difficulty, and three years delay, h<' 
at length performed, and that bigoted nobleman was once more ena- 
bled to take the field. On this occasion he turned his whole force 
against Toulouse, which he besieged for the space of nine months, 
when in one of the sallies made by the besieged, his horse was wound- 
ed. The animal being in great anguisli, ran away with him, and bore 
him directly under the ramparts of the city, Avhen an archer shot him 
in the thigh with an arrow ; and a woman immediately after throAving 
a large stone from the wall, it struck him upon the head, and killed 
him ; thus were the Albigenses, like the Israelites, delivered by the 
hand of a woman ; and thus this atrocious monster, who had so long 
persecuted the people of God, was at length himself slain by one of 
those whom he had intended to have slaughtered if he had been suc- 
cessful. The siege was raised ; but the legate, enraged to be disap- 
pointed of his vengeance on the inhabitanlo, engaged the king of 
France in the cause, who sent his son to besiege it. The French 
prince, with some chosen troops, furiously assaulted Toulouse ; but 
meeting with a severe repulse, he abandoned that city to besiege Mi- 
romand. This place he soon took by storm, and put to the sword 
all the inhabitants, consisting of 5000 men, women, and children. 

The bloodthirsty legate, whose name was Betrand, being very old, 
grew weary of following the army ; but his passion for murder still 
remained, as appears by his epistle to the pope, in which he begs to 
be recalled on account of age and infirmities ; but entreats the pon- 
tiff to appoint a successor, who might carry on the war, as he had 
done, with spirit and perseverance. In consequence, the pope recalled 
Betrand, and appointed Conrade, bishop of Portua, to be legate in 
his room. The latter determined to follow tlie steps of his predeces- 
sor, and to persecute the Albigenses with the greatest severity. Gui- 
do, earl of Montfort, the son and heir of Earl Simon, undertook the 
command of the troops, and immediately laid siege to Toulouse, befoi e 
the walls of which he was killed. His brother Almeric succeeded to 
the command, but the bravery of the garrison soon obliged him to 
raise the siege. On this the legate prevailed upon the king of France 
to undertake the siege of Toulouse in person, and reduce to the obe- 
dience of the church those obstinate heretics, as he called the brave 
Albigenses. The earl of Toulouse, hearing of the great prepai-ations 
made by the king of France, sent the women, children, cattle, &c. 
into secret and secure places in the moimtains, plouglied up the land, 
that the king's forces should not obtain any forage, and did all that a 
skilful general could perform to distress the enemy. By these wise 
regulations, the French army, soon after entering the earldom of Tou- 
louse, suffered all the extremities of famine, which obliged the troops 
to feed on the carcasses of horses, dogs, cats, &c. which unwhole- 
some food produced the plague. The king died of grief; but his 
son, who succeeded him, determined to carry on the war; he wfs, 
however, defeated in three engagements, by the earl of Touloui e. 
The king, the queen-mother, and three archbishops, again raised a 
formidable army, and had the art to persuade the earl of Toulouse to 
come to a conference, when he was treacherously seized upon, made a 
prisoner, forced to appear barefooted and bareheaded before his ene- 
mies, and compelled to subscribe the following ignominious con'Ii- 


tion- : 1. That he should abjure the faith that he had hitherto defended 
2. I'hat he should be subject to the church of Rome. 3. That he 
should give his daughter Joan in marriage to one of the brothers of 
the king of France. 4. That he should maintain in Toulouse six 
popish professors of the liberal arts, and two grammarians. 5. That 
lie should take upon him the cross, and serve five years against the 
Saracens in the Holy Land. 6. That he should level the walls of 
Toulouse with the ground. 7. That he should destroy the walls and 
foi-tifications of thirty of his other cities and castles, as the legate 
should direct. 8. That he should remain prisoner at Paris till his 
daughter was delivered to the king's commissioners. After these 
cruel conditions, a severe persecution took place against the Albigen- 
ses, many of Avhom suffered for the faith : and express orders were 
issued, that the laity should not he permitted to read the sacred writings! 



In the year 1524, at a town in France called Melden, one John 
Clark affixed a bill on the church door, in which he called the pope An- 
tichrist: for this offence he was repeatedly whipped, and then branded 
in the forehead. His mother, who saw the chastisement, cried with 
a loud voice, " Blessed be Christ, and welcome these marks for his 
sake." He went afterwards to Metz, in Lorraine, and demolished 
some images, for which he had his right hand and nose cut off, and 
his arms and breast torn by pincers ; while suffering these cruelties, he 
sang the 115th psalm, which expressly forbids superstition. On con- 
cluding the psalm, he was thrown into the fire and burnt to ashes. 

About the same time several persons of the reformed persuasion 
were beaten, racked, scourged, and burnt to death, in several parts of 
France ; but particularly at Paris, LiiTiosin, and Malda. 

A native of Malda was burnt by a slow fire for saying that mass was 
a plain denial of the death and passion of Christ. At Limosin, 
John de Cadurco, a clergyman of the reformed religion, was appre- 
hended, degraded, and ordered to be burnt. When under examina- 
tion, a friar undertook to preach a sermon upon the occasion ; when 
opening the New Testament, he pitched upon this text, in the first epis- 
tle of St. Paul to Timothy, chap. iv. ver. 1. " Now the spirit speak- 
eth expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, 
giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils." The friai 
began to expound this verse in favour of the Roman Catholic persua- 
sion, and in condemnation of the reformed religion, when John de 
Cadurco begged, that before he proceeded in his sermon, he would 
read the two verses which followed his text : — the friar again opened 
the Testament, but on casting his eye on the passage, he appeared 
confounded. Cadurco then desired that the book might be handed to 
him ; this request being complied with, he read thus, " Speaking lies 
in hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with a hot iron, forbid- 
ding to marry, and commanding to abstain from*^ meats, which God 


hatli created to be received with thanksgiving of them Avhich behcvo 
and know the truth." The Roman Catholics, irritated at this expo- 
siiie, condemned him to the flames. 

At Paris, Alexander Kanus, a clerg3-man, was burnt in a slow fire, 
and four men were committed to the flames for distributing papers 
which ridiculed the saying of mass. One had his tongue bored through 
for ridiculing the Romish superstitions. Peter Gaudet, a Genoese, 
was burnt on the accusation of his own uncle, a bigoted Roman 
Catholic ; and John Pointer, a surgeon, had his tongue cut out, and 
was then burnt. 

Martyrdom at Arras, c^c. 

At Arras, Fontanis, and Rutiers, many were martyred for being of 
the reformed religion ; at the latter place, in particular, one Stephen 
Brune was condemned to be burnt for refusing to attend mass. When 
the fire was kindled, the flames were driven from him by a brisk wind, 
which occasioned the executioner to heap more faggots round him, 
and pour oil on them. Still, however, the Avind blew the flames in a 
contrary direction, when the executioner was absurdly enraged with 
Brune, and struck him on the head ; but Brune, very calmly said, 
"As I am condemned only to be burnt, why do you strike me like a 
dog ?" This expression so greatly enraged the executioner, that he 
ran him through \vith a pike, and then burnt the lifeless body. 

Aymond de Lavoy, a minister of Bonrdeaux, had a complaint lodged 
against him by the Romish clergy of that city. His friends advised 
him to abscond, but he refused. He remained nine months in prison. 
Being then brought to trial, he was ordered to be racked ; and when 
in the extremity of torture, he comforted himself with this expression : 
" This body must once die, but the soul shall live ; for the kingdom 
of God endureth for ever." At length he swooned ; but on recovering, 
he prayed for his persecutors. The question was then put to him, 
whether he would embrace the Roman Catholic persuasion ; which 
positively refusing, he was condemned to be burnt. At the place of 
execution he said, " O Lord, make haste to help me ; tarry not ; des- 
pise not the work of thy hands." And perceiving some who used to 
attend his sermons, he addressed them thus : " My friends, I exhort 
you to study and learn the gospel ; for the word of God abideth for- 
ever : — labour to know the will of God, and fear not them that kill 
the body, but have no power over the soul." The executioner then 
stringled him, and burnt his body afterwards. 

Husson, an apothecary of Blois, went to Rouen, and there privately 
distributed several small pamphlets, explaining the tenets of the re- 
formed church, and exposing the Romish superstitions. These books 
gave a general alarm, and a council being called, an order was issued 
for search to be made for the au.thar and distributor. It was disco- 
vered that Husson had brought them to Rouen, and that he had gone to 
Dieppe, and orders were given to pursue him. He was brought back 
to Rouen, wheije he confessed he was both author and distributor of 
the hooks. This occasioned his condemnation, and he was executed 
in the following manner : his tongue being cut out, his hands and feet 
were tied behind, and he was drawn up by a pulley to a gibbet, and 
then let down into a fire kindled beneath ; in which situation he 
called upon the Lord, and soon breathed his last. 


Francis Bribard, secretary to cardinal de Bellay, for speaking in fa 
voiir of the reformed, had his tongue cut out, and was burnt, A. D. 
1514. James Cobard, a schoolmaster in the city of St. Michael, was 
burnt, A. D. 1545, for saying the mass was useless and absurd ; and 
about the same time, fourteen men were burnt at Malda, their wives 
being compelled to behold their martyrdom. 

Peter Chapot brought a number of Bibles in the French tongue to 
France, and publicly sold them there in the year 1546, for which he 
was condemned to be burnt ; as, soon after, were a cripple of Meaux, 
a schoolmaster of Fera, named Stephen Polliot, and a man named 
John English. 

Numerous Martyrdoms. 

Michael Michelot being told either to recant and be beheaded, or 
to persevere and be burned, chose the latter, making use of these 
words : " God has given me grace not to deny the truth, and will give 
me strength to endure the fire." About the same time many were burnt 
at Paris, Bar, &lc. ; and at Langres five men and two women suffered 
for being of the reformed religion; when the youngest women encour- 
aged the other, saying, "This day shall we be married to Jesus Christ, 
and be with him for ever." 

Monsieur Blondel, a rich jeweller, was, in 1549, apprehended at 
Lyons, and sent to Paris, where he suffered dea'th for the faith. 
Hubert, a youth of nineteen years of age, was committed to the flames 
at Dijon ; as was Florent Venote, at the same time. 

A lady, named Ann Audebert,who designed, on account of her faith, 
to retire to Geneva, was seized and sent to Paris. She was led to 
execution by a rope placed round her waist. This rope she called her 
wedding girdle ; and said, "I was once married to a man on a Satur- 
day, and now I shall bo married to God on the same day of the week." 

Shortly after the coronation of Henry the Second, a tailor was ap- 
prehended for working on a saint's day ; being asked why he gave 
such an offence to religion, his reply was, " I am a poor man, and have 
nothing but my labour to depend upon ; necessity requires that I should 
be industrious, and my conscience tells me there is no day but the 
Sabbath which I ought to keep sacred from labour. Having expressed 
himself thus, he was committed to prison, and the affair being soon 
after rumoured at court, some of the nobles persuaded the king to be 
present at the ti^al. On the day appointed, the monarch appeared in 
a superb chair of state, and the bishop of Mascon was ordered to in- 
terrogate the prisoner. The tailor, on perceiving the king, paid his 
obedience to him in the most respectful manner. The king was much 
affected with his argiments, and seemed to muse ; on which the bishop 
exclaimed, " He is an obstinate and impudent heretic ; let him be 
taken back to prison and burnt to death." The prisoner was accord- 
ingly conveyed to prison ; and the bishop artfully insinuated, that the 
heretics, as he called the reformed, had many specious arguments, 
which at first hearing, appeared conclusive; but on exmmination, they 
were found to be false. He then endeavoured to persuade the king to 
be present at the execution, who at length consented, and repaired to 
a balcony which overlooked the place. On seeing the king, the tailor 
fixed liis eyes steadfastly upon him, and even while the flames were 
consuming him. kept gazing in such a manner, as threw the monarch 


into visible confusion, and obliged him to retire before the martyr was 
dead. He was so much shocked, that he could not recover his spirits 
for some time; and what added to his disquiet was, his continually 
drtjaming, for many nights, that he saw the tailor with his eyes fixed 
upon him, in the same manner as during the execution. 

A pious man, named Claudius, was burnt at Orleans ; a Genoese 
youth, called Thomas, having rebuked a Roman Catholic for profane- 
ly swearing, was informed against as a heretic, and burnt at Paris ; 
as were three men at Lyons, two of them with ropes about their necks ; 
but the third, having been an officer in the king's service, was ex- 
empted from that disgrace. He, however, begged to be treated in the 
same manner as his companions, in honour of the Lord : his request 
was complied with; and after having sung a psah" with great ferven- 
cy, they were all consumed. 

A citizen of Geneva, Simon Laloe, Matthew Dimonet, a converted 
libertine, and Nicholas Naile, a bookseller of Paris, were burnt for 
professing the reformed religion. Peter Serre was originally a priest, 
but reflecting on the errors of popery, he, at length, embraced the re- 
formed religion, and learned the trade of a shoemaker. Having a 
brother at Toulouse, who was a bigoted Roman Catholic, Serre, out 
of fraternal love, made a journey to that city, in order to dissuade him 
from his superstitions: the brother's wife not approving of his design, 
lodged a complaint against him, on which he was apprehended, and 
made a full declaration of his faith. The judge asked him concerning 
his occupation, to which he replied, "I have of late practised the trade 
of a shoemaker." " Of late !" said the .Tudge, " and what did you prac- 
tise formerly ?" " That I am almost ashamed to tell you," exclaimed 
Serre, "because it was the vilest and most wicked occupation imagi- 
nable." The judge, and all who were present, from these Avords, sup- 
posed he had been a murderer or thief, and that what he spoke was 
through contrition. He was, however, ordered to explain precisely 
what he meant; when, with tears in his eyes, he exclaimed, " O, I 
was formerly a Popish Priest !" This reply so much exasperated the 
judge, that he condemned Serre to be first degraded, then to have his 
tongue cut, and afterwards to be burnt. 

In 1554, two men of the reformed religion, with the son and daughter 
of one of them, were committed to the castle of Niverne. On exami- 
nation they confessed their faith, and were ordered for execution; they 
were first smeared with grease, brimstone, and gunpowder ; their 
tongues were then cut out, and they Avere afterwards committed to the 

Philip Hamlin, a priest, was apprehended for having renounced the 
errors of popery. Being brought to the stake, he began to exhort the 
people to quit the errors of the church of Rome ; on which the officer 
who presided at the execution ordered the faggots to be lighted, and 
that a trumpet should be blown Avhile Hamlin was burning, that the 
people might not hear his voice 







When the reformed religion began to diffuse the pure light of the 
gospel throughout Europe, the bigoted Roman Catholics, fearing the 
exposure of tlie frauds and abuses of their church, determined to leave 
nothing unattempted to crush the Reformation in its infancy ; Pope In- 
nocent III. therefore instituted a number odnquisitors, or persons who 
were to make inquiry after, apprehend, and punish the professors of 
the reformed faith. At the head of these inquisitors was one Domini^ , 
who was canonized by the pope, in order to render his authority tht 
more respectable. He and the other inquisitors visited the various 
Roman Catholic countries, and treated the protestants with the utmost 
severity : but at length the pope, not finding them so usefid as he had 
expected, resolved upon the establishment of fixed and regular courts 
of inquisition ; the first office of which was established in the city oi 
Toulouse, and Dominic became the first inquisitor. 

Courts of inquisition were also erected in several other countries ; 
but the Spanish inquisition became the most powerful, and the most 
dreadful of any. Even the kings of Spain themselves, though arbitra- 
ry in all other respects, were taught to dread its power; and the hor- 
rid cruelties exercised by the inquisition, compelled multitudes, who 
differed in opinion from the Catholics, carefully to conceal their sen- 
timents. The Dominicans and Franciscans were the m.ost zealous of 
all the monks : these, therefore, the pope invested with an exclusive 
right of presiding over, and managing the different courts of inquisi- 
tion. The friars of those two orders were always selected from the 
very dregs of the people, and therefore were not much troubled with 
?crup'es of co-science ; they were obliged, by the rules of their re- 
sp3ctivr orders, to lead very austere lives, which rendered their man- 
ners unsocial, and better qualified them for their barbarous employ 

The pope gave the inquisitors the most unlimited powers, as judges 
delegated by him, and immediately representing his person : they were 
permitted to excommunicate, or sentence to death, whom they thought 
proper, upon the slightest information of heresy : were allowed to pub- 
lish crusades against all whom they deemed heretics, and enter into 
leogues with sovereign princes, to join those crusades with their 
forces. About the year 1244, their power was further increased by the 
Emperor Frederic the Second, who declared himself the protector and 
friend of all inquisitors, and published two cruel edicts, viz. that all he- 
retics, who continued obstinate, should be burnt; and that all who re 
pented, should be imprisoned for life. This zeal in the emperor for 

THE mauisiTioN. - 103 

tne inquisitors, and the Roman Catholic persuasion, arose from a re- 
port which had been propagated throughout Europe, that he intended 
to turn Mahometan ; the emperor, therefore, judiciously determined, 
by the height of bigotry and cruelty, to show his attachment iopopery. 

The ofticers of the inquisition are, three inquisitors or judges, a proc- 
tor fiscal, two secretaries, a magistrate, a messenger, a receiver, a 
gaoler, an agent of confiscated possessions, and several assessors, 
counsellors, executioners, physicians, surgeons, door keepers, fami- 
liars, and visiters, who are all sworn to profound secrecy. The chief 
accusation against those who are subject to this tribunal is heresy, 
which comprises all that is spoken or written against any of the arti- 
cles of the creed, or the tradition of the Romish church. The other 
articles of accusation are, renouncing the Roman Catholic persuasion, 
and believing that persons of any other religion may be saved, or even 
admitting that the tenets of any but papists are in the least reasonable. 
There are two other things which incur the most severe punishments, 
viz. to disapprove of any action done by the inquisition, or disbelieve 
any thing said by an inquisitor. 

Heresy comprises many subdivisions; and upon a suspicion of any 
of these, the party is immediately apprehended. Advancing an 
offensive proposition ; failing to impeach others who may advance 
such ; contemning church ceremonies ; defacing idols ; reading 
books condemned by the inquisition ; lending such books to others 
to read ; deviating from the ordinary practices of the Romish 
church ; letting a year pass without going to confession ; eatino- meat 
on fast days; neglecting mass ; being present at a sermon preached 
by a heretic; not appearing when summoned by the inquisition: 
lodging in the house of, contracting a friendship with, or making 
a present to a heretic ; assisting a heretic to escape from confine- 
ment, or visiting one in confinement, are all matters of suspicion, 
and prosecuted accordingly. All Roman Catholics are commanded, 
under pain of excommunication, to give immediate information, even 
of their nearest and dearest friends, if they judge them to be here- 
tics, or inclining to heresy. All who give the least assistance to pro- 
lestants are called fautors, or abettors of heresy, and the accusations 
against these are for Comforting such as the inquisition have begun to 
prosecute ; assisting, or not informing against such, if they should 
happen to escape ; concealing, abetting, advising, or furnishing here- 
tics with money ; visiting, or writing to, or sending them subsistence; 
secreting, or burning books and papers which might serve to convict 
them. The inquisition also takes cognizance of such as are accused 
of being magicians, witches, blasphemers, soothsayers, wizards, com- 
mon swearers ; and of such wl;o read, or even possess the Bible in 
the vulgar tongues, the Talmud of the Jews, or the Alcoran of the 

Upon all occasions, the inquisitors carry on their processes with the 
utmost severity. They seldom show mercy to a Protestant; and a 
Jew, who turns Christian, is far from being secure; for if he is known 
to keep company with another new converted Jew, a suspicion arises 
that they privately practise together some Jewish ceremonies ; if he 
keep company with a person who was lately a Protestant, but now 
professes popery, they are accused of plotting together ; but if he as- 
sociate with a Roman Catholic, an accusation is often laid against 


him for only pretending to be a papist, and the consequence is, a con- 
fiscation of his effect?, and the loss of his life if he complain. 

A defence is of little use to the prisoner ; for a suspicion only is 
deemed sufficient cause of condemnation, and the greater his wealth 
the greater his danger. Most of the inquisitors' cruelties are owing 
to their rapacity; they destroy life to possess the property; and, 
under pretence of zeal, plunder individuals of their rights. A prisoner 
of the inquisitors is never allowed to see the face of his accuser, or 
any of the witnesses against him, but every method is taken, by 
threats and tortures, to oblige him to accuse himself. If the jurisdic- 
tion of the inquisition be not fully allowed, vengeance is denounced 
against such as call it in question; or if any of its officers are opposed, 
those who oppose them are almost certain to be sufferers for their 
temerity ; the maxim of the inquisition being to strike terror, and awe 
those who are the objects of its power into obedience. High birth, dis- 
tinguished rank, or eminent employments, are no protection from its 
severities; and its lowest officers can make the most exalted noble- 
man tremble at their authority. 

Such are the circumstances which subject a person to the rage ot 
the inquisition; and the modes of beginning the process are, 1. To 
proceed by imputation, or prosecute on common report ; 2. By the 
information of any indifferent person wno chooses to impeach ano- 
ther ; 3. On the information of spies who are retained by the inquisi- 
tion ; and, 4. On the confession of the prisoner himself. 

The inquisitors never forget or forgive ; length of time cannot 
efface their resentments ; nor can the humblest concessions, or most 
liberal presents, obtain a pardon ; they carry the desire of revenge to 
the grave, and Avish to have both the property and lives of those who 
have offended them. Hence, when a person once accused to the in- 
quisition, after escaping, is retaken, pardon is next to an impossibility. 
If a positive accusation be given, the inquisitors direct an order to the 
executioner, who takes a certain number of familiars with him to 
assist in the execution. Father, son, brother, sister, husband, or wife, 
must quietly submit ; none dare resist or even speak ; as either would 
subject them to the same punishment as the devoted victim. No re- 
spite is allowed, but the prisoner is instantaneously hurried away. 

This dreadful engine of tyranny may, at any time, be introduced 
into a country where the Catholics have the upper hand ; and hence, 
how careful ought we to be, who are not cursed with such an arbi- 
trary court, to prevent its introduction ! In treating of this subject, 
an elegant author pathetically says, " How horrid a scene of perfidy 
and inhumanity ! What kind of community must that be, whence gra- 
titude, love, and mutual forbearance, with regard to human frailties, are 
banished ! What must that tribunal be, which obliges parents not 
only to erase from their minds the remembrance of their own children. 
lo extinguish all those keen sensations of tenderness and affection 
wherewith nature inspires them, but even to extend their inhumanity 
so far as to force them to commence their accusers, and, consequently, 
to become the cause of the cruelties inflicted upon them ! What ideas 
ought we to form to ourselves of a tribunal, which obliges children not 
only to stifle every soft impulse of gratitude, love, and respect, due to 
those who gave them birth, but even forces them, and that under the 
most rigorous penalties, to be spies over their parents, and to discover 


to a set of merciless inquisitors the crimes, the errors, and even the 
.ittic lapses to which they are exposed by human frailty ! In a word, 
a tribunal which will not permit relations, when imprisoned in its hor- 
rid dungeons, to give each other the succours, or perform the duties 
which religion enjoins, must be of an infernal nature. What disor- 
der and confusion must such conduct give rise to, in a tenderly affec- 
lionate family ! An expression, innocent in itself, and, perhaps, but 
too true, shall, from an indiscreet zeal, or a panic of fear, give infinite 
uneasiness to a family ; shall ruin its peace entirely, and perhaps 
cause one or more of its members to be the unhappy victims of the 
most barbarous of all tribunals. What distractions must necessarily 
break forth in a house where the husband and wife are at variance, or 
the children loose and wicked ! Will such children scruple to sacri- 
fice a father, who endeavours to restrain them by his exhortations, by 
reproofs, or paternal corrections ? Will they not rather, after plun 
dering his house to support their extravagance and riot, readily deli- 
ver up their unhappy parent to all the horrors of a tribunal founded 
on the blackest injustice ? A riotous husband, or a loose wife has an 
easy opportunity, assisted by means of the persecution in question, to 
rid themselves of one who Is a check to their vices, by delivering him, 
or her, up to the rigours of the inquisition." 

When the inquisitors have taken umbrage against an innocent 
person, all expedients are used to facilitate his condemnation ; false 
oaths and testimonies are employed to prove the accused to be guilty ; 
and all laws and institutions are sacrificed to the bigoted revenge of 

When a person accused is taken, his treatment is deplorable. The 
goalers first begin by searching him for books and papers which might 
tend to his conviction, or for instruments which might be employed 
in self-murder or escape, and on this pretext they even rob him of 
his wearing apparel When he has been searched and robbed, he is 
committed to prison. Innocence, on such an occasion, is a weak 
reed ; nothing being easier than to ruin an innocent person. 

The mildest sentence is imprisonment for life ; yet the inquisitors 
proceed by degrees, at once subtle, slow, and cruel. The gaoler first 
of all insinuates himself into the prisoner's favour, by pretending to 
wish him well, and advise him well ; and among other pretended kind 
hints, tells him to petition for an audit. When he is brought before 
the consistory, the first demand is, " What is your request ?" To this 
the prisoner very naturally answers, that he would have a hearing. 
Hereupon one of the inquisitors replies, " Your hearing is this : con- 
fess the truth, conceal nothing, and rely on our mercy." Now, if the 
prisoner make a confession of any trifling affair, they immediately 
found an indictment on it ; if he is mute, they shut him up without 
light, or any food but a scanty allowance of bread and water, till his 
obstinacy is overcome ; and if he declare he is innocent, they torment 
him till he either die with the pain, or confess himself guilty. 

On the re-examination of such as confess, they continually say, 
" You have not been sincere ; you tell not all ; you keep many things 
concealed, and therefore must be remanded to your dungeon." When 
those who have stood mute are called for re-examination, if they con- 
tinue silent, such tortures are ordered as will either make them 
speak, or kill them ; and when those who proclaim their ijiuocence 


are re-e.vamined, a crucifix is held before them, and they are solerniily 
exhorted to take an oath of their confession of faith. This bungs 
them to the test; they must either swear they are Roman Catholics, 
or acknowledge they are not. If they acknowledge they are not, 
they are proceeded against as heretics. If they acknowledge they 
are Roman Catholics, a string of accusations is brought against them, 
to which they are obliged to answer extempore ; no time being given 
even to arrange their answers. On having verbally answered, pen, 
ink, and paper are given them, in order to produce a written answer, 
which must in every degree coincide with the verbal answer. If the 
verbal and written answers differ, the prisoners are charged with pre- 
varication ; if one contain more than the other, they are accused of 
wishing to conceal certain circumstances ; if they both agree, they 
are charged with premeditated artifice. 

After a person impeached is condemned, he is either severely 
whipped, violently tortured, sent to the galleys, or sentenced to death; 
and in either case his efi'ects are confiscated. After judgment, a pro- 
cession is formed to the place of execution, which ceremony is called 
an Auto da Fe, or Act of Faith. 

Auto da Fe, at Madrid. 

The following is an account of an Auto da Fe, at Madrid, in the 
year 1682. 

The officers of the inquisition, preceded by trumpets, kettle-drums, 
and their banner, marched on the 30th of May, in cavalcade, to the 
palace of the great square, where they declared by proclamation, that 
on the 30th of June the sentence of the prisoners would be put in 
execution. There had not been a spectacle of this kind at Madrid 
for several years, for which reason it was expected by the inhabi- 
tants with as much impatience as a day of the greatest festivity and 

When the day appointed arrived, a prodigious number of peopo 
appeared, dressed as splendidlj' as their circumstances would allow. 
In the great square was raised a high scaffold ; and thither, from 
seven in the morning till the evening, were brought criminals of both 
sexes ; all the inquisitions in the kingdom sending their prisoners to 
Madrid. Twenty men and women of these prisoners, with one rene- 
gado Mahometan, were ordered to be burnt ; fifty Jews and Jewesses, 
having never before been imprisoned, and repenting of their crime, 
were sentenced to a long confinement, and to wear a yellow cap ; 
and ten others, indicted for bigamy, witchcraft, and other crimes, 
were sentenced to be whipped, and then sent to the galleys : these 
last wore large pasteboard caps, with inscriptions on them, having a 
halter about their necks, and torches in their hands. 

On this solemn occasion the whole court of Spain was present. 
The grand inquisitor's chair was placed in a sort of tribunal far above 
that of the king. The nobles here acted the part of the sherifl''s offi- 
cers in England, leading such criminals as were to be burned, and 
holding them when fast bound with thick cords : the rest of the cri- 
minals were conducted by the familiars of the inquisition. 

Among those who were to suffer, was a young Jewess of exquisite 
beauty, only seventeen years of age. Being on the same side of the 
scaffold where the queen was seated, she addressed her, in hopes of 


obtaining a pardon, in the following pathetic speech : " Great queen ! 
will not your royal presence be of some service to me in my miserable 
condition ? Have regard to my youth ; and, oh ! consider that I am 
about to die for professing a religion imbibed from my earliest infancy!" 
Her majesty seemed greatly to pity her distress, but turned away her 
eyes, as she did not dare to speak a word in behalf of a person who 
had been declared a heretic by the inquisition. 

Mass now began, in the midst of which the priest came from the 
altar, placed near the scaffold, and seated himself in a chair prepared 
for that purpose. Then the chief inquisitor descended from the am- 
phitheatre, dressed in his cope, and having a mitre on his head. Af- 
ter bowing to the altar, he advanced towards the king's balcony, and 
went up to it, attended by some of his officers, carrying a cross and 
the gospels, with a book containing the oath by which the kings of 
Spain oblige themselves to protect the catholic faith, to extirpate here- 
tics, and support, with all their power, the prosecutions and decrees 
of the inquisition. On the approach of the inquisitor, and on his pre- 
senting this book to the king, his majesty rose up bareheaded, and 
swore to maintain the oath, which was read to him by one of his coun- 
sellors ; after which, the king continued standing till the inquisitor had 
returned to his place ; when the secretary of the holy office mounted 
a sort of pulpit, and administered a like oath to the counsellors and 
the whole assembly. The mass was begun about twelve at noon, and 
did not end till nine in the evening, being protracted by a proclama- 
tion of the sentences of the several criminals, which were all sepa- 
rately rehearsed aloud one after the other. Next followed the burn- 
ing of the twenty-one men and women, whose intrepidity in suffering 
that horrid death was truly astonishing : some thrust their hands and 
feet into the flames with the most dauntless fortitude ; and all of them 
yielded to their fate with such resolution, that many of the amazed 
spectators lamented that such heroic souls had not been more enlight- 
ened ! The situation of the king was so near to the criminals, that their 
dying groans were very audible to him : he could not, however, be ab- 
sent from this dreadful scene, as it is esteemed a religious one ; and 
his coronation oath obliges him to give a sanction by his presence to 
all the acts of the tribunal. 

Another Auto da Fe. 

Another Auto da Fe is thus described by Dr. Geddes : — " At the 
place of execution there are so many stakes set as there are prisoners 
to be burned, a large quantity of dry furze being set about them. — 
The stakes of the protestants, or, as the inquisitors call them, the pro- 
fessed, are about four yards high, and have each a small board, 
whereon the prisoner is seated within half a yard of the top. The 
professed then go up a ladder betwixt two priests, who attend the 
whole day of execution. When they come even with the foremen- 
tioned board, they turn about to the people, and the priests spend 
near a quarter of an hour in exhorting them to be reconciled to the 
see of Rome. On their refusing, the priests come down, and the exe- 
cutioner ascends, turns the professed from off the ladder upon the seat, 
chains their bodies close to the stakes, and leaves them. Then the 
priests go up a second time to renew their exhortations, and if taey 
find them ineffectual, usually tell them, at parting, that they leave 


them to the devil, who is standing at their elbow ready to receive their 
souls, and carry tliem with him into the flames of hell-fire, as soon as 
they are out of their bodies. 

" A general shout is then raised, and when the priests get off the 
ladder, the universal cry is, ' Let the dogs' beards be made," which 
implies, singe their beards; this is accordingly performed by means of 
flaming furzes thrust against their faces with long poles. This bar- 
barity is repeated till their faces are burnt, and is accompanied with 
loud acclamations. Fire is then set to the furzes, and the criminals 
are consumed." 

Inquisition of Portugal. 

The inquisition of Portugal is exactly upon a s-imilar plan to that ol 
Spain, having been instituted about the same time, and put under the 
same regulations, and the proceedings nearly resemble each other. 
The house, or rather palace, of the inquisition, is a noble edifice. It 
contains four courts, each about forty feet square, round which 
are about 300 dungeons or cells. The dungeons on the ground floor 
are for the lowest class of prisoners, and those on the second floor 
are for persons of superior rank. The galleries are built of free- 
stone, and hid from view both within and without by a double wall of 
about fifty feet high. So extensive is the whole prison, which con- 
tains so many turnings and windings, that none but those well ac- 
quainted with it can find the way through its various avenues. The 
apartments of the chief inquisitor are spacious and elegant ; the en- 
trance is through a large gave, which leads into a court-yard, round 
which are several chambers, and some large saloons for the king, 
royal family, and the rest of the court, to stand and observe the exe- 
cutions during an Auto da Fe. 

A testoon (sevenpence halfpenny English money) is allowed every 
prisoner daily ; and the principal gaoler, accompanied by two other 
ofiicers, monthly visits every prisoner to inquire how he would have 
his allowance laid out. This visit, however, is only a matter of form, 
for the gaoler usually lays out the money as he pleases, and commonly 
allows the prisoner daily a porringer of broth, half a pound of beef, a 
small piece of bread, and a trifling portion of cheese. 

Sentinels walk about continually to listen; if the least noise is heard, 
they call to, and threaten the prisoner ; if the noise is repeated, a se- 
vere beating ensues. The following is a fact ; a prisoner having a 
violent cough, one of the guards came and ordered him not to make a 
noise ; to which he replied, that it was not in his power to forbear. 
The cough increasing, the guard went into the cell, stripped the poor 
creature naked, and beat him so unmercifully that he soon after died 

Sometimes a prisoner passes months without knowing of what he 
is accused, or having the least idea of when he is to be tried. The 
gaoler at length informs him, that he must petition for a trial. This 
ceremony being gone through, he is taken for examination. "When 
they come to the door of the tribunal, the gaoler knocks three times, 
to give the judges notice of their approach. A bell is rung by one 
of the judges, when an attendant opens the door, admits the prisoner, 
and seats him on a stool. 

The prisoner is then ordered, by the president, to kneel down, and 
la/ his right hand upon a book, which is presented to him close shut 

THE mauisiTioN. 109 

This being complied with, the following question is put to him : 
" Will you promise to conceal the secrets of the holy office, and to 
speak the truth?" Should he answer in the negative, he is remanded 
to his cell, and cruelly treated. If he answer in the affirmative, he 
is ordered to be again seated, and the examination proceeds ; when 
the president asks a variety of questions, and the clerk minutes both 
them and the answers. 

When the examination is closed, the bell is again rung, the gaoler 
appears, and the prisoner is ordered to withdraw, with this exhorta- 
tion : " Tax your memory, recollect all the sins you have ever com- 
mitted, and when you are again brought here, communicate them 
to the holy office." The gaolers and attendants, Avhen apprised that 
the prisoner has made an ingenuous confession, and readily answered 
every question, make him a low bow, and treat him with an affected 
kindness, as a reward for his candour. 

He is brought in a few days to a second examination, with the same 
formalities as before. The inquisitors often deceive prisoners by 
promising the greatest lenity, and even to restore their liberty, if they 
will accuse themselves ; the unhappy persons, who are in their power, 
frequently fall into this snare, and are sacrificed to their own sim- 
plicity. Instances have occurred of some, who, relying on the faith 
of their judges, have accused themselves of what they were totally 
innocent of, in expectation of obtaining their liberty ; and thus became 
martyrs to their own folly. 

There is another artifice made use of by the inquisitors ; if a pri- 
soner has too much resolution to accuse himself, and too much sense to 
be ensnared by their sophistry, they proceed thus : a copy of an in- 
dictment against the prisoner is given him, in which, among many 
trivial accusations, he is charged with the most enormous crimes of 
which human nature is capable. This rouses his temper, and he ex- 
claims against such falsehoods. He is then asked which of the crimes 
he can deny. He naturally mentions the most atrocious, and begins 
to express his abhorrence of them, when the indictment being snatch- 
ed out of his hand, the president says, " By your denying only those 
crimes which you mention, you implicitly confess the rest, and we 
shall therefore proceed accordingly." Sometimes they maJce a ridicu- 
lous affectation of equity, by pretending that the prisoner may be in- 
dulged with a counsellor, if he chooses to demand one. Such a re- 
quest is sometimes made, and a counsellor appointed; but upon these 
occasions, as the trial itself is a mockery of justice, so the counsellor 
is a mere cipher : for he is not permitted to say any thing that might 
offend the inquisition, or to advance a syllable that might benefit the 

Though the inquisitors allow the torture to be used only three times, 
yet at those three it is so severely inflicted, that the prisoner either 
dies under it, or continues always after a cripple. The following is a 
description of the severe torments occasioned by the torture, from the 
account of one who suffered it the three respective times, but happily 
survived its cruelties. 

First time of torturing: 
The prisoner, on refusing to comply with the iniquitous demands of 
the inquisitors, by confessing all the crimes they charged him with 


was immediately conveyed to the torture-room, v/hicli, to prevent the 
''ries of the sufferers from being heard by the other prisoners, is lined 
with a kind of quilting, which covers all the crevices, and deadens the 
sound. The prisoner's horror was extreme on entering this infernal 
place, when suddenly he was surrounded by six wretches, who, after 
preparing the tortures, stripped him naked to his drawers. He was 
then laid upon his back on a kind of stand, elevated a few feet from 
the floor. They began by putting an iron collar round his neck, and 
a ring to each foot, which fastened him to the stand. His limbs being 
thus stretched out, they wound two ropes round each arm, and two 
round each thigh ; which ropes being passed under the scaffold, 
through holes made for that purpose, were all drawn tight at the same 
instant of time, by four of the men, on a given signal. The pains 
which immediately succeeded v/ere intolerable ; the ropes, which 
were of a small size, cut through the prisoner's flesh to the bone, mak- 
ing the blood gush out at eight different places. As he persisted in 
not making any confession of what the inquisitors required, the ropes 
were drawn in this manner four times successively. 

A physician and surgeon attended, and often felt his temples, in 
order to judge of the danger he might be in ; by which means his 
tortures were for a small time suspended, that he might have sufficient 
opportunity of recovering his spirits to sustain each ensuing torture. 
During this extremity of anguish, while the tender frame is being 
torn, as it were, in pieces, while at every pore it feels the sharpest 
pangs of death, and the agonized soul is just ready to burst forth, and 
quit its wretched mansion, the ministers of the inquisition have the 
obduracy to look on without em.otion, and calmly to advise the poor 
distracted creature to confess his imputed guilt, on doing M'hich, they 
tell him, he may obtain a free pardon, and receive absolution. All 
this, however, was ineffectual with the prisoner, whose mind was 
strengthened by a sweet consciousness of innocence, and the divinfi 
consolation of religion. 

While he was thus suffering, the physician and surgeon were so bar- 
barous as to declare, that if he died under the torture, he would be 
guilty, by his obstinacy, of self-murder. In short, at the last time of 
the ropes being drawn tight, he grew so exceedingly weak, by the 
stoppage of the circulation of his blood, and the pains he endured, 
that he fainted away ; upon which he was unloosed, and carried back 
to his dungeon. 

Second time of torturing. 
These inhuman wretches, finding that the torture inflicted, as above 
described, instead of extorting a discovery from the prisoner, only 
served the more fervently to excite his supplication to Heaven for pa- 
tience and power to persevere in truth and integrity, were so barba- 
rous, in six weeks after, as to expose him to anotlier kind of torture, 
more severe, if possible, than the former ; the manner of inflicting 
which was as follows : they forced his arms backwards, so that the 
palms of his hands were turned outward behind him ; w^hen, by means 
of a rope that fastened them together at the wrists, and which was 
turned by an engine, they drew them by degrees nearer each other, 
in such a manner that the back of each "hand touched and stood ex 
actly parallel to the other. In consequence of this violent contor 


tion, both his shoulders were dislocated, and a considerable quantity 
of blood issued from his mouth. This torture was repeated thrice ; 
after which he was again taken to the dungeon, and delivered to the 
physician and surgeon, who, in setting the dislocated bones, put him 
to the most exquisite torment. 

Third time of torturing. 

About two months after the second torture, the prisoner, being a 
little recovered, was again ordered to the torture room, and there 
made to undergo another kind of punishment. The executioners fas- 
tened a thick iron chain twice round his body, which, crossing upon 
his stomach, terminated at the wrists. They then placed him with 
his back against a thick board, at each extremity whereof was a pul- 
ley, through which there run a rope that caught the ends of the chain at 
his wrists. Then the executioner, stretching the end of this rope, by 
means of a roller placed at a distance behind him, pressed or bruised 
his stomach in proportion as the ends of the chain were drawn tighter. 
They tortured him in this manner to such a degree, that his wrists, as 
well as his shoulders, Avere quite dislocated. They were, however, 
soon set by the surgeons ; but the barbarians, not yet satisfied with 
this infernal cruelty, made him immediately undergo the like torture 
a second time ; which he sustained (though, if possible, attended with 
keener pains) with equal constancy and resolution. He was then 
again remanded to his dungeon, attended by the surgeon to dress his 
bruises, and adjust the parts dislocated ; and here he continued till 
their auto da fe, or gaol delivery, when he was happily discharged. 

It may be judged, from the before-mentioned relation, what dreadful 
agony the sufferer must have endured. Most of his limbs were dis- 
jointed ; so much was he bruised and exhausted, as to be unable, for 
some weeks, to lift his hand to his mouth ; and his body became 
greatly swelled from the inflamm.ations caused by such frequent dis- 
locations. After his discharge he felt the effects of this cruelty for 
the remainder of his life, being frequently seized with thrilling and 
excruciating pains, to which he had never been subject till after he 
had the misfortune to fall into the power of the merciless and bloody 

The unhappy females who fall into their hands, have not the least 
favour shown them on account of the softness of their sex, but are 
tortured with as much severity as the male prisoners, with the addi- 
tional mortification of having the most shocking indecencies added to 
the most savage barbarities. 

Should the above-mentioned modes of torturing force a confession 
from the prisoner, he is remanded to his horrid dungeon, and left a 
prey to the melancholy of his situation, to the anguish arising from 
what he has suffered, and to the dreadful ideas of future barbarities. 
Should he refuse to confess, he is, in the same manner, remanded to 
his dungeon ; but a stratagem is used to draw from him what the tor- 
ture fails to do. A companion is allowed to attend him, under the 
pretence of waiting upon, and comforting his mind till his wounds are 
healed : this person, who is always selected for his cunning, insinu- 
ates himself into the good graces of the prisoner, laments the anguish 
he feels, sympathizes with him, and, taking advantage of the hasty ex- 
pressions forced from him by pain, does all he can to dive into his se- 


ci ets. This companion sometimes pretends to be a prisoner like hin 
self, and imprisoned on similar charges. This is to draw the unhapp/ 
person into a mutual confidence, and persuade him, in unbosoming 
his grief, to betray his private sentiments. 

Frequently these snares succeed, as they are the more alluring by 
being glossed over with the appearance of friendship and sympathy. 
Finally, if the prisoner cannot be found guilty, he is either tortured or 
harras'sed to death, though a few have sometimes had the good for- 
tune to be discharged, but not without having suffered the most dread- 
ful cruelties. 

The inquisition also takes cognizance of all new books ; and tolerates 
or condemns with the same justice and impartiality by which all its 
proceedings are distinguished. 

When a book is published, it is carefully read by some of the fami- 
liars ; who, too ignorant and bigoted to distinguish truth, and too ma- 
licious to relish beauties, search not for the merits, but for the defects 
of an author, and pursue the slips of his pen with unremitting dili- 
gence. They read with prejudice, judge with partiality, pursue errors 
with avidity and strain that which is innocent into an offensive mean 
ing. They misapply, confound, and pervert the sense ; and when 
they have gratified the malignity of their disposition, charge theii 
blunders upon the author, that a prosecution may be founded upon 
their false conceptions, and designed misrepresentations. 

Any trivial charge causes the censure of a book ; but it is to be ob- 
served, that the censure is of a threefold nature, viz. 

1. When the book is wholly condemned. 

2. When it is partly condemned ; that is, when certain passages are 
pointed out as exceptionable, and ordered to be expunged. 

3. When it is deemed incorrect ; the. meaning of which is, that a 
few words or expressions displease the inquisitors. These, therefore, 
are ordered to be altered, and such alterations go under the name of 

There is a catalogue of condemned books annually published under 
the three different heads of censures, already mentioned, which being 
printed on a large sheet of paper, is hung up in the most public and 
conspicuous places. After which, people are obliged to destroy all 
such books as come under the first censure, and to keep none belong- 
ing to the other two censures, unless the exceptionable passages have 
been expunged, and the corrections made, as in either case disobedi- 
ence Avould be of the most fatal consequence ; for the possessing or 
rgading the proscribed books are deemed very atrocious crimes. 

The publisher of such books is usually ruined in his circumstances, 
and sometimes obliged to pass the remainder of his life in the inqui- 

Where such an absurd and detestable system exercises its deaden- 
ing influence over the literature of a nation, can we be surprised that 
the grossest ignorance and the most bigoted superstition prevail ? How 
can that people become enlightened, among whom the finest produc- 
tions of genius are prohibited, all discussion prevented, the most inno- 
cent inquiries liable to misconstruction and punishment, the materials 
for thinking proscribed, and even thought itself chained down, and 
checked by the fear of its escaping into expression, and thus bringing 
certain and cruel pimishment on him who has dared to exercise his 

Cruelties of the Inquisition. Page 110. 

Tortures of the Inquisition. Page 111. 

Tortures of tlie Inquisition. Page 110,, 


reason, tlie noblest gift of his Almighty Creator. Surely every well 
wisher to the human race, must rejoice in the downfall of this moat 
oarbarous and infernal of all tribunals. 



Francis Romanes, a native of Spain, was employed by the mer- 
chants of Antwerp, to transact some business for them at Bremen. He 
had been educated in the Romish persuasion, but going one day into 
a protestant church, he was struck with the truths which he heard, and 
begmning to perceive the errors of popery, he determined to search 
iarther mto the matter. Perusing the sacred scriptures, and the wri- 
tmgs of some protestant divines, he perceived how erroneous were the 
principles which he had formerly embraced ; and renounced the impo- 
sitions of popery for the doctrines of the reformed church, in which 
religion appeared in all its purity. Resolving to think only of his eter- 
nal salvation, he studied religious truths more than trade, and pur- 
chased books rather than merchandise, convinced that the riches of 
the body are trifling to those of the soul. He therefore resigned his 
agency to the merchants of Antwerp, giving them an account at the 
same time of his conversion ; and then resolving, if possible, to con- 
vert his parents, he went to Spain for that purpose. But the Antwerp 
merchants writing to the inquisitors, he was seized upon, imprisoned 
for some time, and then condemned to be burnt as a heretic. He 
was led to the place of execution in a garment painted over with devils 
and had a paper mitre put upon his head by way of derison. As 
he passed by a wooden cross, one of the priests bade him kneel to if 
but he absolutely refused so to do, saying, " It is not for Christians to 
worship wood." Having been placed upon a pile of wood, the fire 
quickly reached him, whereupon he lifted up his head suddenly • the 
priests thinking he meant to recant, ordered him to be taken down 
Finding, however, l!.at they were mistaken, and that he still retained 
his constancy, he was placed again upon the pile, where, as long as he 
had life and voice remaining, he kept repeating the seventh psalm. 

Horrid Treachery of an Inquisitor. 
-, A,1^^J' ^vithher two daughters and her niece, were apprehended at 
Seville for professing the protestant religion. They were all put to 
the torture ; and when that was over, one of the inquisitors sent for the 
voungest daughter, pretended to sympathise with her, and pity her 
suff-erings ; then binding himself with a solemn oath not to betray her 
he said, '' If you will disclose all to me, I promise vou I will procure 
the discharge of your mother, sister, cousin, and 'yourself." Made 
confident by his oath, and entrapped by his promises, she revealed the 
whole of the tenets they professed ; when the perjured wretch, instead 
of acting as he had sworn, immediately ordered her to be put to the 
rack, saying, ''Now you have revealed so much, I will make you re- 
veal more. Refusing, however, to say any thing farther, they were 


all ordered to be burnt, which sentence was executed at the next 
Aulo da Fe. 

The keeper of the castle of Triano, belonging to the inquisitors of 
Seville, happened to be of a disposition more mild and humane than 
is usual with ])ersons in his situation. He gave all the indulgence he 
could to the prisoners, and showed them every favour in his power, 
with as much secrecy as possible. At length, however, the inquisitors 
became acquainted with his kindness, and determined to punish him 
severely for it, that other gaolers might be deterred from showing the 
least traces of that compassion which ought to glow in the breast of 
every human being. With this view they immediately threw him into 
a dismal dungeon, and used him with dreadful barbarity, so that he lost 
his senses. His deplorable situation, however, procured him no fa- 
vour ; for, frantic as he was, they brought him from prison, at an Auto 
da Fe, to the usual place of punishment, with a sanbenito (or garment 
worn by criminals) on, and a rope about his neck. His sentence was 
then read, and ran thus: that he should be placed upon an ass, led 
through the city, receive 200 stripes, and then be condemned for six 
years to the galleys. This unhappy, frantic wretch, just as they were 
about to begin his punishment, suddenly sprang from the back of the 
ass, broke the cords that bound him, snatched a sword from one of 
the guards, and dangerously wounded an officer of the inquisition. 
Being overpowered by multitudes, he was prevented from doing fur- 
ther mischief, seized, bound more securely on the ass, and punished 
according to his sentence. But so inexorable were the inquisitors, 
that for the rash effects of his madness, four years were added to his 
slavery in the galleys. 

A young lady, named Maria de Coccicao, who resided with her 
brother at Lisbon, was taken up by the inquisitors, and ordered to be 
put to the rack. The torments she felt made her confess the charges 
against her. The cords were then slackened, and she was re-con- 
ducted to her cell, where she remained till she had recovered the use 
of her limbs ; she was then brought again before the tribunal, and order- 
ed to ratify her confession. This she absolutely refused to do, telling 
them, that what she had said was forced from her by the excessive 
pain she underwent. The inquisitors, incensed at this reply, ordered 
her again to be put to the rack, when the weakness of nature once 
more prevailed, and she repeated her former confession. She was 
immediately remanded to her cell: and being a third time brought be- 
fore the inquisitors, they ordered her to sign her first and second con- 
fessions. She answered as before, but added, " I have twice given 
way to the frailty of the flesh, and perhaps may, while on the rack, 
be weak enough to do so again ; but depend upon it, if you torture me 
an hundred times, as soon as I am released from the rack I shall deny 
what v/as extorted from me by pain." The inquisitors then ordered 
her to be racked a third time; and during this last trial, she bore the 
torments with the utmost fortitude, and could not be persuaded to an- 
swer any of the questions put to her. As her courage and constancy 
increased, the inquisitors, instead of putting her to death, condemned 
her to a severe whipping through the public streets, and banishment 
for ten years. 

A lady of a aoble family in Seville, named Jane Bohorquia, was ap- 
prehended on the information of her sister, who had been tortured 


and burnt for professing the protestant religion. Being pregnant, they 
let her remain tolerably quiet till she was delivered, when they imme- 
diately took away the child, and put it to nurse, that it might be brought 
up a Roman Catholic. Soon afterwards this unfortunate lady was or- 
dered to be racked, which was done with such severity, that she ex- 
pired a week after of the wounds and bruises. Upon this occasion, 
the inquisitors affected some remorse, and in one of the printed acts of 
the inquisition, which they always publish at an Auto da Fe, this young 
lady is thus mentioned : " Jane Bohorquia was found dead in prison ; 
after which, upon reviving the prosecution, the inquisitors discovered 
she was innocent. Be it therefore known, that no further prosecu- 
tions shall be carried on against her •, and that her effects, which were 
confiscated, shall be given to the heirs tt, law." One sentence in the 
above ridiculous passage, wants explanamn, viz. that no further pro- 
secutions shall be carried on against her. This alludes to the absurd 
custom of prosecuting and burning the bones of the dead : for when a 
prisoner dies in the inquisition, the process continues the same as if 
he was living ; the bones are deposited in a chest, and if sentence of 
guilt is passed, they are brought out at the next Auto da Fe ; the sen-, 
tence is read against them with as much solemnity as against a living 
prisoner, and they are committed to the flames. In a similar manner 
are prosecutions carried on against prisoners who escape ; and when 
their persons are far beyond the reach of the inquisitors, they are 
burnt in effigy. 

Isaac Orobio, a learned physician, having beaten a Moorish servant 
for stealing, was accused by him of professing Judaism, and the in- 
quisitors seized him upon the charge. He was kept three years in 
prison before he had the least information of Avhat he was to undergo, 
and then suffered the following six modes of torture : — 1. A coarse 
linen coat was put upon him, and then drawn so tight that the circu- 
lation of the blood was nearly stopped, and the breath almost pressed 
out of his body. After this the strings were suddenly loosened, when 
the air forcing its way hastily into his stomach, and the blood rushing 
into its channels, he suffered the most incredible pain. 2. His thumbs 
were tied with small cords so hard that the blood gushed from under 
the nails. 3. He was seated on a bench with his back against a wall, 
wherein small iron pulleys were fixed. Ropes being fastened to se- 
veral parts of his body and limbs, were passed through the pulleys, and 
being suddenly drawn with great violence, his whole frame was forced 
into a distorted mass. 4. After having suffered for a considerable 
time the pains of the last mentioned position, the seat was snatched 
away, and he was left suspended against the wall. 5. A little instru- 
ment with five knobs, and which went with springs, being placed near 
his face, he suddenly received five blows on the cheek, which put him 
to such pain as caused him to faint. 6. The executioners fastened 
ropes round his wrists, and then drew them about his body. Placing 
him on his back with his feet against the wall, they pulled with the 
utmost violence, till the cord had penetrated to the bone. He suf- 
fered the last torture three times, and then lay seventy days before 
his wounds were healed. He was afterwards banished, and in his 
exile wrote the account of his sufferings, from which the foregoing 
particulars are chiefly extracted. 




In the year 1714, about Lent, Mr. Martin arrived at Malaga, with 
his wife and four children. On the examination of his baggage, his 
Bible, and some other books, were seized. He was accused in about 
three months time of being a Jew, for these curious reasons, that his 
own name was Isaac, and one of his sons w^as named Abraham. 
The accusation was laid in the bishop's court, and he informed the 
English consul of it, who said it was nothing but the malice of some 
of the Irish papists, whom he advised him always to shun. The cler- 
gy sent to Mr. Martin's neighbours, to know their opinion concerning 
him : the result of which inquiry was this, " We believe him noi to 
be a Jew, but a heretic." After this, being continually pestered by 
priests, particularly those of the Irish nation, to change his religion, 
he determined to dispose of what he had, and retire from Malaga. 
But when his resolution became known, at about nine o'clock at night 
he heard a knocking at his door. He demanded who was there. 
The persons without said they wanted to enter. He desired they 
would come again the next morning ; but they replied, if he would 
not open the door they would break it open ; which they did. Then 
about fifteen persons entered, consisting of a commissioner, with se- 
veral priests and familiars belonging to the inquisition. Mr. Martin 
would fain have gone to the English consul ; but they told him the 
consul had nothing to do in the matter, and then said, " Where are 
your beads and fire arms ?" To which he answered, " I am an Eng- 
lish protestant, and as such carry no private arms, nor make use of 
beads." They took away his watch, money, and other things, car- 
ried him to the bishop's prison, and put on him a pair of heavy fet- 
ters. His distressed family was at the same time turned out of doors, 
till the house was stripped ; and when they had taken every thing 
away, they returned the key to his wife. 

About four days after his commitment, Mr. Martin Avas told he 
must be sent to Grenada to be tried ; he earnestly begged to see his 
wife and children before he went, but this was denied. Being doubly 
fettered, he was mounted on a mule, and set out towards Grenada. 
By the way, the mule threw him upon a rocky part of the road, and 
almost broke his back. 

On his arrival at Grenada, after a journey of three days, he was 
detained at an inn till it was dark, for they never put any one into 
the inquisition during day-light. At night he was taken to the pri- 
son, and led along a range of galleries till he arrived at a dungeon. 
The gaoler nailed up a box of books, belonging to him, which had 
oeen brought from Malaga, saying, they must remain in that stale till 
the lords of the inquisition chose to inspect them, for prisoners were 
not allowed to read books. He also took an inventory of every thing 
which Mr. Martin had about him, even to his very buttons ; and having 
asked him a great number of frivolous questions, he at length gave 
him tliese orders : " You must observe as great silence here, as if 
you v/cre dead ; you must not speak, nor whistle, nor sing, nor make 


any noise that can be heard ; and if you hear any body cry or make 
a noise, you must be still, and say nothing, upon pain of 200 lashes." 
Mr. Martin asked if he might have liberty to walk about the room ; 
the gaoler replied that he might, but it must be very softly. After 
giving him some wine, bread, and a few wall nuts, the gaoler left him 
till ihe morning. — It was frosty weather, the walls of the dungeon 
were between two and three feet thick, the floor was bricked, and a 
great deal of wind came through a hole of about a foot in length, and 
five inches in breadth, which served as a window. The next morning 
the gaoler came to light his lamp, and bade him light a fire in order to 
dress his dinner. He then took him to a turn, or such a wheel as is 
found at the doors of convents, where a person on the other side turns 
the provisions round. He had then given him half a pound of mut- 
ton, two pounds of bread, some kidney beans, a bunch of raisins, and 
a pint of wine, which was the allowance for three days. He had 
likewise two pounds of charcoal, an earthen stove, and a (eyv other 

In about a week he was ordered to an audience ; he followed the 
gaoler, and coming to a large room, saw a man sitting between two 
crucifixes ; and another with a pen in his hand, who was, as he after- 
wards learned, the secretary. The chief lord inquisitor was the per- 
son between the two crucifixes ; and appeared to be about sixty years 
of age. He ordered Mr. M. to sit down upon a little stool that front- 
ed him. A frivolous examination then took place; the questions re- 
lated to his family, their religion, &c. and his own tenets of faith. The 
prisoner admitted that he was a protestant, told the inquisitor that the 
religion of Christ admitted of no persecution, and concluded with say- 
ing that he hoped to remain in that religion. He underwent five ex- 
aminations, without any thing serious being alleged against him. 

In a few days after, he was called to his sixth audience, when after 
a [ew immaterial interrogatories, the inquisitor told him the charges 
against him should be read, and that he must give an immediate and 
prompt answer to each respective charge. 

The accusations against him were then read ; they amounted to 
twenty-six, but were principally of the most trivial nature, and the 
greater number wholly false, or, if founded on facts, so distorted and 
perverted by the malice of his accusers, as to bear little resemblance 
to the real occurrences to which they related. Mr. Martin answered 
the whole of them firmly and discreetly, exposing their weakness, 
and detecting their falsehood. 

He Mas then remanded to his dungeon ; was shaved on Whitsun- 
eve, (shaving being allowed only three times in the year ;) and the 
next day one of tlie gaolers gave him some frankincense to be put 
into the fire, as he was to receive a visit from the lords of the inqui- 
sition. Two of them accordingly came, asked many trivial questions, 
concluding them, as usual, with " We Avill do you all the service we 
can." Mr. Martin complained greatly of their having promised him 
a lawyer to plead his cause ; " when instead of a proper person," 
said he, " there \yas a person whom you called a lawyer, but he 
never spoke to me, nor I to him : if all your lawyers are so quiet in 
this country, they are the quietest in the world, for he hardly said any 
thing but yes and no, to what your lordship said." To which one of 
the inquisitors gravely replied, " Lav.yers are not allowed to speak 



here." At this the gaoler and secretary went out of the dungeon to 
laugh, and Mr. Martin could scarce refrain from smiling in their faces, 
to think that his cause was to be defended by a man who scarce 
dared to open his lips. Some time after he was ordered to dress 
himself very clean : as soon as he was ready, one of the gaolers 
came and told him, that he must go with him ; but that first he must 
have a handkerchief tied about his eyes. He now expected the 
torture ; but, after another examination, was remanded to his dun- 

About a month afterwards, he had a rope put round his neck, and 
was led by it to the altar of the great church. Here his sentence 
was pronounced, which was, that for the crimes of which he siood 
convicted, the lords of the holy office had ordered him to be banished 
out of the dominions of Spain, upon the penalty of 200 lashes, and 
being sent five years to the galleys ; and that he should at present 
receive 200 lashes through the streets of the city of Grenada. 

Mr. Martin was sent again to his dungeon that night, and the next 
morning the executioner came, stripped him, tied his hands together, 
put a rope about his neck, and led hhn out of the prison. He was 
then mounted on an ass, and received his 200 lashes, amidst the 
shouts and peltings of the people. He remained a fortnight after this 
in gaol, and at length was sent to Malaga. Here he was put in gaol 
for some days, till he could be sent on board an English ship: which 
had no sooner happened, than news was brought of a rupture between 
England and Spain, and that ship, with many others, was stopped. 
Mr. Martin, not being considered as a prisoner of war, was put on 
board of a Hamburgh trader, and his wife and children soon came to 
him ; but he was obliged to put up with the loss of his effects, which 
had been embezzled by the inquisition. 

His case was published by the desire of Secretary Craggs, the 
archbishops of Canterbury and York, the bishops of London, Win- 
chester, Ely, Norwich, Sarum, Chichester, St. Asaph, Lincoln, Bris- 
tol, Peterborough, Bangor, &c. 



William Lithgow was descended from a good family, and having a 
natural propensity to travelling, he rambled, when very young, over 
the Northern and Western Islands ; after which he visited France, 
Germany, Switzerland, and Spain. He set out on his travels in March, 
1609, and went to Paris, where he stayed for some time. He then 
prosecuted his travels through Germany and other parts, and at length 
arrived at Malaga, in Spain. 

While he resided here, he contracted with the master of a French 
ship for his passage to Alexandria, but was prevented from going by 
the following circumstances : on the evening of the 17th of October, 
1620, the English fleet, at that time on a cruise against the Algerine 
rovers, came to anchor before Malaga, which threw the people of the 


town into the greatest cons*ernation, as they imagined them to be 
Turks. The morning, however, discovered the mistake ; and the 
governor of Malaga perceiving that they bore the EngHsh flag, went 
on board the admiral's ship, and on his return, banished the fears of 
the people. 

Many persons from on board the fleet came ashore the next day. 
Among these were several friends of Mr. Lithgow, who invited him 
on board, which invitation he accepted, and was kindly received by 
the admiral. The fleet sailing for Algiers the next day, he returned 
on shore, and proceeded towards his lodgings by a private way (being 
to embark the same night for Alexandi-ia,) when, in passing through 
a narrow uninhabited street, he found himself suddenly surrounded 
by nine sergeants, or officers, who threw a black cloak over him, and 
forcibly conducted him to the governor's house. After some little 
time the governor appeared, when Mr. Lithgow earnestly begged he 
might be informed of the cause of such violent treatment. The go- 
vernor only shook his head, and gave orders that the prisoner should 
be strictly watched till he returned from his devotions ; directing, at 
the same time, that the captain of the town, the alcaid major, and town 
notary, should be summoned to appear at his examination, and that all 
this should be done with the greatest secrecy, to prevent its reaching 
the ears of the English merchants who resided in the town. 

These orders were strictly fulfilled ; and on the governor's return, 
Mr. Lithgow was brought before him for examination. The governor 
began by asking several questions, as to what co^imtry he was native 
of, whither he was going, how long he had been in Spain, &.c. The 
prisoner, after answering these questions, v/as conducted to a closet, 
where he was again examined by the town-captain, who inquired 
whether he had lately come from Seville : and, pretending great 
friendship, conjured him to tell the truth ; finding himself, however, 
unable to extort any thing from Mr. Lithgow, he left him. 

The governor then proceeded to enquire the quality of the English 
commander, and the prisoner's opinion of the motives that prevented 
his accepting an invitation from him to come on shore. He demand- 
ed, likewise, the names of the English captains in the squadron, and 
what knowledge he had of the embarkation, or preparation for it be- 
fore its departure from England. His answers were set down in wri- 
ting by the notary ; but the junto, particularly the governor, seemed 
surprised at his denying any knowledge of the fitting out of the fleet, 
and declared that he was a traitor and a spy, and came directly from 
England to favour and assist in the designs of that country against 
Spain ; and that he had been for that purpose nine months in Seville, 
in order to procure intelligence of the time the Spanish navy was ex- 
pected from the Indies. They exclaimed against his familiarity with 
the officers of the fleet, and many other English gentlemen, between 
whom, they said, unusual civilities had passed, but all these transac- 
tions had been noticed with pecidiar attention. In short, they said, 
he came from a council of war held that morning on board the admi- 
ral's ship, in order to put in execution the orders assigned him. They 
upbraided him with being accessary to the burning of the island of 
St. Thomas in the West Indies , " Wherefore," said they, " these 
Lutherans, and sons of the devil, ought to have no credit given to what 
they say or swear." 


Mr. Litho-ow in vain endeavoured to obviate every accusation laia 
against hiin", and, in order to prove his innocence, begged that ? s 
papers might be examined ; this request was complied with ; but 
although they consisted of passports and letters of recommendation 
from persons of quality, the prejudiced judges refused all belief to 
them, and their suspicions appeared to be confirmed rather than weak- 
ened by the perusal. A consultation was then held as to where the 
prisoner should be confined. The alcaid, or cliief judge, was for put- 
ting him in the town prison; but this was objected to particularly by the 
cor'i-egidore, who said, "In order to prevent the knowledge of his con- 
finement from reaching his countrymen, I will take the matter on my- 
self, and be answerable for the consequences ;" upon which it was 
agreed, that he should be confined in the governor's house, and the 
greatest secrecy observed. 

He was then stripped, searched, and robbed of a large sum which 
he had about him, by a sergeant, and confined in an apartment of the 
governor's house. At midnight the sergeant and two Turkish slaves 
released him from his confinement, but it was to introduce him to one 
much more horrible. They conducted him through several passages 
to a chamber in a remote part of the palace, towards the garden, 
where they loaded him with irons, and extended his legs by means of 
an iron bar above a yard long, the weight of which was so great that 
he could neither stand nor sit, but v/as obliged to lie down continually 
on his back. They left him in this condition for some time, when 
they returned, bringing him a pound of boiled mutton and a loaf, 
with a small quantity of wine ; after delivering which they again left 

He received a visit from the governor the next day, who promised 
him tiis liberty, with many other advantages if he would confess being 
a spy ; but on his protesting that he was entirely innocent, the go- 
vernor left him in a rage, saying, he should see him no more till further 
torments constrained him to confess ; commanding the keeper, to 
whose care he was committed, not to allow his sustenance to exceed 
three ounces of musty bread, and a pint of water every second day ; 
and that he should be allowed neither bed, pillow, nor coverlet. 
" Close up," said he, " this window in his room with lime and stone ; 
stop up the holes of the door with double mats ; let him have nothing 
that bears any likeness to comfort." The unfortunate Lithgow con- 
tinued in this melancholy state, without seeing any person, for several 
days, in which time the governor received an answer to a letter be 
had written, relative to the prisoner, from Madrid ; and pursuant to 
the instructions given him, began to put in practice the cruelties de- 
vised, which they hastened, because Christmas approached, it being 
then the 47th day since his confinement. 

About three o'clock in the morning, he heard the noise of a coach 
in the street, and some time after heard the opening of the prison 
doors, not having had any sleep for two nights. Immediately after 
the prison doors were opened, the nine sergeants, who had at first seized 
him, with the notary, entered the place where he lay, and without ut- 
tering a word conducted him in his irons into the street, where a 
Goach waited, in which they laid him at the bottom on his back, being 
unable to sit. Two of the sergeants rode with him, and the rest walk- 
ed by the coach side, but all observed the most profound silence 


They drove him to a vine-press house, about a league iroin the towJi, 
to which place a rack had been privately conveyed before ; and here 
they shut him up for that night. 

About day-break the next morning, the governor and the alcaid ar- 
rived, into whose presence Mr. Lithgow Avas immediately brought, to 
undergo another examination. The prisoner desired he might have 
an interpreter, but was refused ; nor would they permit him to appeal 
to the superior court of judicature, at Madrid. After a long examina- 
tion, which lasted the whole day, there appeared in all his answers so 
f,xact a conformity with Avhat he had before said, that they declared 
he had learned them by heart. They, however, pressed him again to 
make a full discovery ; that is, to accuse himself of crimes never ■ 
committed ; the governor adding, " You are still in my power ; I can 
set you free if you comply: if not, I must deliver you to the alcaid." 
Mr. Lithgow still persisting in his innocence, the governor ordered 
him to be tortured immediately. 

He was then conducted to the end of a stone gallery, where the 
rack was placed. The executioner immediately struck oft' his irons, 
which put him to very great pain, the bolts being so closely rivetted 
that the sledge hammer tore away about half an inch of his heel in 
forcing oft" the bolt ; the anguish of which, together with his weak 
condition (not having had the least sustenance for three days) occa- 
sioned him to groan bitterly ; upon which the merciless alcaid said, 
" Villain ! traitor ! This is but the beginning of what you shall en- 

As soon as his irons were off", he fell on his knees, uttering a short 
prayer, that God would be pleased to enable him to be steadfast, and 
undergo courageously the trial he had to encounter ; he was then 
stripped naked and fixed upon the rack. 

It is impossible to describe the various tortures inflicted upon him. 
He lay on the rack for above five hours, during which time he recei- 
ved above sixty difl>rent tortures of the most infernal nature ; and 
had they continued them longer, he must have expired. 

On being taken from the rack, and his irons again put on, he was 
conducted to his former dungeon, having received no other nourish- 
ment than a little warm wine, which was given him rather to reserve 
him for future punishments, than from any principle of pity. 

In this horrid situation he continued, almost starved, till Christmas- 
day, when he received some relief from Marianne, waiting-woman to 
the governor's lady. This woman having obtained leave to visit him, 
carried Avith her some refreshments, consisting of honey, sugar, 
raisins, and other articles. 

Mr. Lithgow was kept in this loathsome dungeon till he was almost 
devoured Avith vermin. They craAvled about his beard, lips, eye- 
broAvs, (fee. so that he could scarce open his eyes ; and his distress 
was increased by not having the use of his hands or legs to defend 

Mr. LithgoAv at length received information Avhich gave little hopes 
of being released. The substance of this information Avas, that an 
English seminary priest, and a Scotch cooper, had been for some time 
employed by the governor to translate from the English into the 
Spanish language, all his books and obserA-^ations ; and that it Avas 
commonly said in the governor's house, that he Avas an arch and dan 


fferous heretic. About two days after he had received the above in- 
formation, the governor, an inquisitor, and a canonical priest, accom- 
panied by two Jesuits, entered his dungeon, and, after several idle 
questions, the inquisitor asked Mr. Lithgow if he was a Roman Catho- 
lic, and acknowledged the pope's suj'remacy ? He answered, that 
he neither was the one, nor did the other. In the bitterness of his 
soul he made use of some warm expressions. " As you have almost 
murdered me," said he, *' for pretended treason, so now you intend 
to martyr me for my religion." 

After some time, the inquisitor addressed Mr. Lithgow in the fol- 
lowing words : " You have been taken up as a spy, accused of treache- 
ry, and tortured, as we acknowledge, innocently ; (which appears 
by the account lately received from Madrid of the intentions of the 
English ;) yet it was the divine power that brought those judgments 
upon you, for presumptuously treating the blessed miracle of Loretto 
with ridicule, and expressing yourself in your Avritings irreverently 
of his holiness, Christ's vicar upon earth ; therefore you are justly 
fallen into our hands by their special appointment : your books and 
papers are miraculously translated by the assistance of Providence 
hitiuencing your own countrymen." 

When this harangue was ended, they gave the prisoner eight days 
to consider and resolve whether he would become a convert to their 
religion ; during which time the inquisitor told him, he, with othei 
religious persons, would attend to give him assistance. One of the 
Jesuits said, first making the sign of the cross upon his breast, " My 
son, behold, you deserve to be burnt alive ; but by the grace of oui 
Lady Loretto, whom you have blasphemed, we will save both your 
soul and your body." 

The inquisitor, with the three ecclesiastics, returned the next morn- 
ing, when the former asked the prisoner what difficulties he had on 
his conscience that retarded his conversion ; to whicli he answered, 
" He had not any doubts in his mind, being confident in the promises 
of Christ, and assuredly believing his revealed Avill signified in the 
gospels, as professed in the reformed church, being confirmed by 
grace, and having infallible assurance thereby of the true Christian 
faith." To these words the inquisitor replied, " Thou art no Chris- 
tian, but an absurd heretic, and without conversion, a member of per- 
dition." The prisoner they told him, it was not consistent with the 
nature of religion and charity, to convince by opprobrious speeches, 
racks, and torments, but by arguments deduced from the scriptures ; 
and that all other methods would with him be totally fruitless. 

So enraged was the inquisitor at the replies made by the prisoner, 
that he struck him on the face, used many abusive speeches, and at- 
tempted to stab him, Avhich he had certainly done had he not been pre- 
vented by tlie Jesuits : and from this time he never visited the prison- 
er again. The two Jesuits returned the next day, and the superior 
asked him, what resolution he had taken. To which Mr. Lithgow 
replied, that he was already resolved, unless he could show substan- 
tial reasons to make him alter his opinion. The superior, after a pe- 
dantic display of their seven sacraments, the intercession of saints, 
transubstantiation, &c. boasted greatly of their church, her antiquity, 
universality, and uniformity ; all which Mr. Lithgow denied : " For," 
said he, " the profession of the faith I hold hath been ever since the 


first days of the apostles, and Christ had ever his own church, however 
obscure, in the greatest time of your darkness." 

The Jesuits finding their arguments had not the desired effect, and 
that torments could not shake his constancy, after severe menaces, left 
him. On the eighth day after, being the last of their inquisition, when 
sentence is pronounced, they returned again, but quite altered, both 
in their words and behaviour. After repeating much the same kind 
of arguments as before, they, with seeming grief, pretended they were 
sorry from their hearts he must be obliged to undergo a terrible death; 
but, above all, for the loss of his most precious soul; and falling on their 
knees, cried out, " Convert, convert, O dear brother, for our blessed 
lady's sake, convert !" To which he answered, " I fear neither death 
nor fire, being prepared for both." 

Lithgow received a sentence that night of eleven different tortures, 
and if he did not die in the execution of them, he was, after Easter ho- 
lidays, to be carried to Grenada, and there burnt to ashes. The first 
part of the sentence was executed Avith great barbarity that night ; and 
it pleased God to give him strength both of body and mind, to adhere 
to the truth, and to survive the horrid punishments. 

After these cruelties, they again put irons on, and conveyed him to 
his dungeon. The next morning he received some little comfort from 
a Turkish slave, who secretly brought him in his shirt sleeve some 
raisins and figs, which he licked up in the best manner his strength 
would permit with his tongue. It was to this slave Mr. Lithgow at- 
tributed his surviving so long in such a wretched situation ; for he 
found means to convey some of these truits to him twice every week. 
It is very extraordinary, and worthy of note, that this poor slave, bred 
up from his infancy, according to the maxims of his prophet, in the 
greatest detestation of the followers of Christ, should be so affected at 
the situation of Mr. Lithgow, while those who called themselves Chris- 
tians, not only beheld his sufferings with indifference, but even inflict- 
ed the most horrible tortures upon him. During this period, he was at- 
tended by a negro slave, who found means to furnish him with refresh- 
ments still more amply than the Tm-k, being conversant in the house 
and family. She brought him some victuals, and with it some wine 
in a bottle, every day. 

He now waited with anxious expectation for the day, which, by put- 
ting an end to his life, would also end his torments. But his melan- 
choly expectations were, by the interposition of Providence, rendered 
abortive, and his deliverance obtained, from the following circum- 

A Spanish gentleman of quality came from Grenada to Malaga ; 
who, being invited to an entertainment by the governor, he informed 
him of what had befallen Mr. Lithgow, from the time of his being ap- 
prehended as a spy, and described the vai'ious sufferings he had en- 
dured. He likewise told him, that after it was known the prisoner 
was innocent, it gave him great concern. That on this account he 
would gladly have released him, restored his money and papers, and 
made some atonement for the injuries he had received ; but that, upon 
an inspection into his writings, several were found of a blasphemoub 
nature. That on his refusing to abjure these heretical opinions, he 
was turned over to the inquisition, who finally condemned him. 

While the governor was relating this tale, a Flemish youth, servant 

124 BOOK Oj^^ martyrs. 

to the Spanish gentleman, Avho waited at table, was struck with amaze 
ment and pity at the description of the sufferings of the stranger. On 
his return to his master's lodging he began to revolve in his mind what 
he had heard, which made such an impression on him that he could not 
rest in his bed ; and when the morning came, without disclosing his 
intentions to any person, he went into the town, and inquired for an 
English factor. He was directed to the house of one Mr. Wild, to 
whom he related the whole of what he had heard the preceding even- 
ing, between his master and the governor; but could not tell Mr. 
Lithgow's name. Mr. Wild, however, conjectured it was he, by the 
servant remembering the circumstance of his being a traveller. 

Mr. Wild, therefore, on the departure of the servant, immediately 
sent for the other English factors, to whom he related all the particu- 
lars relative to their unfortunate countryman. After a short consulta- 
tion, it was agreed, that information of the whole affair should be sent 
by express to Sir Walter Aston, the English ambassador at Madrid, 
This was accordingly done, and the ambassador having presented a 
memorial to the king and council of Spain, obtained an order for Mr. 
Lithgow's enlargement, and his delivery to the English factory. This 
order was directed to the governor of Malaga ; and was received by 
the whole assembly of the bloody inquisition with the greatest sur- 

Mr. Lithgow was released from his confinement on the eve of Eas- 
ter-Sunday, when he was carried from his dungeon on the back of the 
slave that had attended him, lo the house of one Mr. Busbich, where 
all comforts were given him. It fortunately happened, that there was 
at this time a squadron of English ships in the road, commanded by 
Sir Richard Hawkins, who being informed of the past sufferings and 
present situation of Mr. Lithgow, came the next day ashore, with a 
proper guard, and received him from the merchants. He was instantly 
carried in blankets on board the Vanguard, and three days after was 
removed to another ship, by direction of the general. Sir Robert 
Mansel. The factory presented him with clothes, and all necessary 
provisions, besides which they gave him 200 reals in silver ; and- Sir 
Richard Hawkins sent him two double pistoles. Sir Richard also de- 
manded the delivery of his papers, money, books, &c. before his de- 
parture from the Spanish coast, but could not obtain any satisiiictory 
answer on that head. By such secondary means does Providence fre- 
quently interfere in behalf of the virtuous and oppressed. 

Having lain twelve days in the road, the ship weighed anchor, and 
in about two months arrived safe atDeptford. The next morning Mr. 
Lithgow was carried on a feather bed to Theobalds, in Hertfordshire, 
where, at that time, were the king and royal family. Mr. Lithgow 
was presented to him, and related the particulars of his sufferings, and 
his happy delivery ; which the king was so affected at, that he ex- 
pressed the deepest concern, and gave orders that he should be sent 
to Bath. By these means, under God, after some time, Mr. Lithgow 
was restored, from the most wretched spectacle, to a great share of 
health and strength ; but he lost the use of his left arm, several of the 
smaller bones being so crushed and broken, as to be rendered ever 
after unserviceable. 

Notwithstanding every effort, Mr. Lithgow could never obtain any 
part of his money or effects, though his majesty, and the ministers, in 


lerested themselves in his behalf. Gondamore, the Spanish ambassa 
dor, indeed promised that all his effects should be restored, with the 
addition of 1000/. English money, as some atonement for the tortures 
he had undergone, which last was to be paid him by the governor of 
Malaga. These engagements, however, were never kept ; and though 
the king was a kind of guarantee for the performance of them, the cun- 
ning Spaniard found means to elude the order. 



After a long series of troubles in France, the papists seeing no- 
thing could be done against the protestants by open force, began to de- 
vise how they should entrap them by subtlety, and that by two ways; 
first, by pretending that an army was to be sent into the lower coun- 
try, under the command of the admiral, prince of Navarre and Conde ; 
not that the king had any intention of so doing, but only with a view 
to ascertain what force the admiral had under him, who they were, 
and what Avere their names. The second was, a marriage suborned 
between the prince of Navarre and the sister of the king of France ; 
to which were to be invited all the chief protestants. Accordingly, 
they first began with the queen of Navarre ; she consented to come 
to Paris, where she was at length won over to the king's mind. Short- 
ly after, she fell sick, and died within five days, not without suspicion 
of poison ; but her body being opened, no sign thereof appeared. A 
certain apothecary, however, made his boast, that he had killed the 
queen with venomous odours and smells, prepared by himself. 

Notwithstanding this, the marriage still proceeded. The admiral, 
prince of Navarre and Conde, with divers other chief states of the 
protestants, induced by the king's letters and many fair promises, came 
to Paris, and were received with great solemnity. The marriage at 
length took place on the 18th of August, 1572, and was solemnized 
by the cardinal of Bourbon, upon a high stage set up on purpose 
without the church walls : the prince of Navarre and Conde came 
down, waiting for the king's sister, who was then at mass. This done, 
the company all went to the bishop's palace to dinner. In the even- 
ing they were condiicted to the king's palace to supper. Four days 
after this, the admiral, coming from the council table, on his way was 
shot at with a pistol, charged with three bullets, and wounded in both 
his arms. Notwithstanding which, he still remained in Paris, although 
the Vidam advised him to flee. 

Soldiers were appointed in various parts of the city to be ready at a 
watch-word, upon which they rushed out to the slaughter of the pro- 
testants, beginning with the admiral, who being dreadfully wounded, 
was cast out of the window into the street, Avhere his head being 
struck off, was embalmed with spices to be sent to the pope. The sa- 
vage people then cut off his arms and privy members, and drew him 
in that state through the streets of Paris, after which, they took him 


to the place of execution, out of the city, and there hanged him upby 
the heels, exposing his mutilated body to the scorn of the populace. 
The martyrdom of this virtuous man had no sooner taken place 
than the armed soldiers ran about slaying all the protestan'.s they 
could find within the city. This continued many days, but the great- 
est slaughter was in the three first days, in which were said to be 
murdered 10,000 men and women, old and young, of all sorts and con- 
ditions. The bodies of the dead were carried in carts and thrown 
into the river, which was all stained therewith; also whole streams in 
various parts of the city ran with the blood of the slain. In the num- 
ber that were slain of the more learned sort, were Petrus Ramus, 
Lambinus, Plateanus, Lomenius, Chapesius, and others. 

These brutal deeds Avere not confined within the walls of Paris, but 
extended into other cities and quarters of the realm, especially to Ly- 
ons, Orleans, Toulouse, and Rouen, where the cruelties Avere unpa- 
ralleled. Within the space of one month, thirty thousand protestants, 
at least, are said to have been slain, as is credibly reported by them 
who testify of the matter. 

When intelligence of the massacre was received at Rome, the great- 
est rejoicings were made. The pope and cardinals went in solemn 
procession To the church of St. Mark, to give thanks to God. A jubi- 
lee was also published, and the ordnance fired from the castle of St. 
Angelo. To the person who brought the news, the cardinal of Lor- 
raine gave 1000 crowns. Like rejoicings were also made all over 
France for this imagined overthrow of the faithful. 

The following are among the particulars recorded of the above enor- 
mities : 

The admiral, on being wounded in both his arms, said to Maure, 
preacher to the queen of Navarre, " O my brother, I now perceive 
that I am beloved of m.y God, seeing that for his most holy name's 
sake I do suffer these wounds." He was slain by Bemjus, who after- 
wards reported that he never saw man so constantly and confidently 
suffer death. 

Many honourable men, and great personages, were, at the same 
time, murdered, namely. Count Rochefoucalt, TeKnius, the admiral's 
son-in-law, Antonius Claromontus, marquis of Ravely, Lewis Bus- 
ems, Bandineus, Pleuvialius, Bernius, &c. 

Francis Nompar Caumontius, being in bed with his two sons, was 
slain with one of them: the other was strangely preserved, and after- 
wards came to great dignity. Stephen Cevaleric Prime, chief trea- 
surer to the king in Poictiers, a very good man, and careful of the 
commonwealth, after he had paid for his life a large sum of money, 
was cruelly and perfidiously murdered. 

Magdalen Brissonet, an excellent woman, and learned, the widow 
of Ivermus, niaster of requests to the king, flying out of the city in poor 
apparel, was taken, cruelly murdered, and cast into the river. 

Two thousand were murdered in one day ; and the same liberty of 
killing and spoiling continued several days after. 

At Meldis two hundred were cast into prison, and being brought 
out as sheep to the slaughter, were cruelly murdered. There also 
were twenty-five women slain. 

At Orleans, a thousand men, women, and children were murdered 
The citizens of Augustobona, hearing of the massacre at Paris 


shut the gates of their toAvn that no protestants might escape, and 
cast all they suspected into prison, who were afterwards brought 
forth and murdered. 

At Lyons there were 800 men, women, and children, most misera- 
bly and cruelly murdered. Three hundred were slain in the arch- 
bishop's house. The monks would not sutler their bodies to be 

At Toulouse 200 were murdered. 

At Rouen 500 were put to death ; and as Thuanus writes, " This 
e:«ample passed unto other cities, and from cities to towns and villa- 
ges, so that it is by many published, that in all the kingdoms above 
30,000 were in these tumults divers ways destroyed." 

A little before this massacre, a man, nurse, and infant carried to 
be baptized, Avere all three murdered. 

Bricamotius, a man of seventy years, and Cavagnius, were laid 
upon hurdles and drawn to execution ; and after being in the way re- 
viled and defiled with dirt cast upon them, they were hanged. The 
first might have been pardoned, if he would publicly confess that the 
admiral had conspired against the.king, which he refused to do. 

At Bourdeaux, by the instigation of a monk, named Enimund An- 
gerius, 264 persons were cruelly murdered, of whom some were 
senators. This monk continually provoked the people in his ser- 
mons to this slaughter. 

At Agendicum, in Maine, a cruel slaughter of the protestants was 
committed by the instigation of vEmarus, inquisitor of criminal causes. 
A rumour being spread abroad, that the protestants had taken secret 
counsel to invade and spoil the churches, above a hundred of every 
estate and sex were by the enraged people killed or drowned in the 
river f gomna, Avhich runs by the city. 

On entering Blois, the duke of Guise, (to Avhom the city had opened 
its gates) gave it up to rapine and slaughter ; houses were spoiled, 
many ])rotestants who had remained were slain, or drowned in the 
river ; neither were women spared, of whom some were ravished, 
and more murdered. From thence he went to Mere, a town two 
leagues from Blois, where the protestants frequently assembled at 
sermons ; which for many days together was spoiled, many of its 
inhabitants killed, and Cassebonius, the pastor, drowned in the next 

At Anjou, Albiacus, the pastor, Avas murdered, certain Avomen 
slain, and some ravished. 

John Bergeolus, president of Turin, an old man, being suspected 
to be a protestant, haAang bought Avith a great sum of money his life 
and safety, Avas, notAvithstanding, taken and beaten cruelly Avith clubs 
and staves, and being stripped of his clothes, Avas brought to the bank 
of the river Liger, and hanged Avith his head doAVUAvard in the Avater 
up to his breast ; then his entrails Avere torn out, Avhile he AA'as yet 
alive, and thrown into the river, and liis heart put upon a spear, and 
carried about the city. 

The toAvn of Barre, being taken by the papists, all kinds of cruelty 
Avere there used, children were cut to pieces, and their boAvels and 
hearts being torn out, some of the barbarians, in their blind rage, 
gnaAved them Avith their teeth. 

At Ali)ia of Cahors, upon the Lord's day, the 16th of December 


the papists, at the ringing of a bell, broke open the houses in whicn 
the protestants were assembled, and killed all they could find ; among 
whom was one Guacerius, a rich merchant, whom they drew into his 
house, &nd then murdered him, with his wife and children. 

In a town called Penna, 300 persons (notwithstanding their lives 
had been promised them) were murdered by Spaniards, who were 
newly come to serve the French king. 

The town of Nonne having capitulated to the papists, upon condi- 
tion that the foreign soldiers should depart safe with horse and ar- 
mour, leaving their ensigns, that the enemy's soldiers should not en- 
ter the town, and that no harm should be done to the inhabitants, who 
(if they chose) might go into the castle ; after the yielding of it, the 
gates were set open, when, without any regard to these conditions, 
the soldiers rushed in, and began murdering and spoiling all around 
them. Men and women Avithout distinction were killed ; the streets 
resounded with cries and groans, and flowed with blood. Many were 
thrown down headlong from on high. Among others, the folloAving 
monstrous act of cruelty was reported : a certain woman being drawn 
out of a private place, into which to avoid the rage of the soldiers 
slie had fled with her husband, was in his sight shamefully defiled : 
and then being commanded to draw a sword, not knowing to what 
end, was forced by others, who guided her hand, to give her husband 
a wound, whereof he died. 

Bordi?, a captain under the prince of Conde, at Mirabellum, was 
killed, and his naked body cast into the street, that, being unburied, 
the dogs might eat it. 

The prince of Conde being taken prisoner, and his life promised 
him, was shot in the neck by Montisquis, captain of the duke of 
Anjou's guard. Thuanus ^hus speaks of him : " This was the end 
of Lewis Bourbon, prince of Conde, of the king's blood, a man above 
fhe honour of his birth, most honourable in courage and virtue ; who 
in valour, constancy, wit, wisdom, experience, courtesy, eloquence, 
and liberality, all which virtues excelled in him, had few equals, and 
none, even by the confession of his enemies, superior to him." 

At Orleans 100 men and women being committed to prison, were, 
^y the furious people, most cruelly murdered. 

The enemies of truth now glutted with slaughter, began every 
^here to triumph in the fallacious opinion, that they were the sole 
lords of men's consciences ; and, truly, it might appear to human 
reason, that by the destruction of his people, God had abandoned the 
earth to the ravages of his enemy. But he had otherwise decreed, 
and thousands yet, who had not bowed the knee to Baal, were called 
forth to glorij and virtue. The inhabitants of Rochelle, hearing of 
the cruelties committed on their brethren, resolved to defend them- 
selves against the power of the king ; and their example was followed 
by various other towns, with which they entered into a confederacy, 
exhorting and inspiring one another in the common cause. To crush 
this, the king shortly after summoned the whole power of France, and 
the greatest of his nobility, among whom were his royal brothers ; he 
then iavested Rochelle by sea and land, and commenced a furious 
siege, which, but for tlse immediate hand of God, must have ended in 
its destruction. 

Seven assaults were made against the town, none of which sue 

J. Mmtm in the Inquisition Page 116. 


Persecution of the Waldenses. Page 156. 


ceeded. At one time a breach Avas made by the tremendous cannon- 
ade ; but, through the undaunted valour of the citizens, assisted even 
by their wives and daughters, the soldiers were driven back with 
great slaughter. 

The siege lasted seven months, when the duke of Anjou being pro- 
claimed king of Poland, he, in concert with the king of France, en- 
tered into a treaty with the people of Rochelle, which ended in a 
peace ; conditions containing 25 articles, having been drawn up by 
the latter, embracing many immunities both for themselves and other 
Protestants in France, were confirmed by the king, and proclaimed 
with great rejoicings at Rochelle and other cities. 

The year following died Charles IX. of France, the tyrant who 
had been so instrumental in the calamities above recorded. He was 
only in the 25th year of his age, and his death was remarkable and 
dreadful. When lying on his bed the blood gushed from various 
parts of his body, and, after lingering in horrible torments during 
many months, he at length expired. 





The severity exercised by the Roman Catholics over the reformed 
Bohemians, induced the latter to send two ministers and four laymen 
to Rome, in the year 977, to seek redress from the pope. After some 
delay their request was granted, and their grievances redressed. Two 
things in particular were permitted to them, viz. to have divine ser- 
vice in. their own language, and to give the cup in the sacrament to 
the laity. The disputes, however, soon broke out again, the succeed- 
ing popes exerting all their power to resume their tyranny over the 
minds of the Bohemians ; and the latter, with great spirit, aiming to 
preserve their religious liberties. 

Some zealous friends of the gospel applied to Charles, king of Bo- 
hemia, A. D. 1375, to call a council for an inquiry into the abuses that 
had crept into the church, and to make a thorough reformation. Charles, 
at a loss how to proceed, sent to the pope for advice ; the latter, in- 
censed at the affair, only replied, " Punish severely those presumptu 
ous and profane heretics." The king, accordingly, banished every 
one who had been concerned in the application ; and, to show his zeal 
for the pope, laid many additional restraints upon the reformed Chri* 
tians of the country. 



The martyrdofti of John Huss, and Jerome of Prague,* greatly 
increased the indignation of the believers, and gave animation to their 
cause. These two great and pious men were condemned by order of 
the council of Constance, when fifty-eight of the principal Bohemian 
nobility interposed in their favour. Nevertheless, they were burnt ; 
and the pope, in conjunction with the council of Constance, ordered 
the Romish clergy, every where, to excommunicate all who adopted 
their opinions, or murmured at their fate. In consequence of these 
orders, great contentions arose between the papists and reformed Bo- 
hemians, which produced a violent persecution against the latter. At 
Prague it was extremely severe, till, at length, the reformed, driven to 
desperation, armed themselves, attacked the senate house, and cast 
twelve of its members, with the speaker, out of the windows. The 
pope, hearing of this, went to Florence, and publicly excommunicated 
the reformed Bohemians, exciting the emperor of Germany, and all 
other kings, princes, dukes, &-c. to take up arms, in order to extirpate 
the whole race ; promising, by way of encouragement, full remission 
of all sins to the most wicked person who should kill one Bohemian 
Protestant. The result of this was a bloody war: for several popish 
princes undertook the extirpation, or at least expulsion, of the pro- 
scribed people ; while the Bohemians, arming themselves, prepared 
to repel them in the most vigorous manner. The popish army pre- 
vailing against the Protestant forces at the battle of Cuttenburgh, 
they conveyed their prisoners to three deep mines near that tow^n, 
and threw several hundreds into each, where they perished in a mise- 
rable manner. 

A bigoted popish magistrate, named Pichel, seized twenty-four pro- 
testants, among whom was his daughter's husband. On their all con- 
fessing themselves of the reformed religion, he sentenced them to be 
drowned in the river Abbis. On the day of the execution, a great 
concourse of people attended ; and Pichel's daughter threw herself 
at her father's feet, bedewed them with tears, and implored him to 
pardon her husband. The obdurate magistrate sternly replied, " In- 
tercede not for him, child : he is a heretic, a vile heretic." To which 
she nobly answered, " Whatever his faults may be, or however his 
opinions may differ from yours, he is still my husband, a thought which, 
at a time like this, should alone employ my whole consideration." 
Pichel flew into a violent passion, and said, " You are mad ! cannot 
you, after his death, have a much worthier husband ?" — " No, sir," 
replied she, " my affections are fixed upon him, and death itself shall 
not dissolve my marriage vow." Pichel, however, continued inflexi- 
ble, and ordered the prisoners to be tied with their hands and feet be- 
hind them, and in that manner thrown into the river. This being 
put into execution, the younglady watched her opportunity, leaped into 
the waves, and, embracing thebodyof her husband, both sunk together. 

Persecution by the Emperor Ferdinand. 
The Emperor Ferdinand, whose hatred to the protestants was unli- 
mited, not thinking he had sufficiently oppressed them, instituted a high 

♦ These two great men were first brought to the light of truth hy reading the doc- 
trines of our countryman, John Wickliffe, who, hke the morning star of reformation, 
first burst from the dark night of popish error, and illuminated the surroumUng 


court of reformers, upon the plan of the inquisition, with this differ 
ence, that the reformers were to remove from place to place. The 
greater part of this court consisted of Jesuits, and from its decisions 
there was no appeal. Attended by a body of troops, it made the tour 
of Bohemia, and seldom examined or saw a prisoner ; but suffered the 
soldiers to murder the protestants as ihey pleased, and then to make 
report of the matter afterwards. 

The first who fell a victim to their barbarity was an aged minister, 
whom they killed, as he lay sick in bed. Next day they robbed and 
murdered another, and soon after shot a third, while preaching in his 

They ravished the daughter of a protestant before his face, and then 
tortured her father to death. They tied a minister and his wife back 
to back, and burnt them. Another minister they hung upon a cross 
beam, and making a fire under him, broiled him to death. A gentle- 
man they hacked into small pieces ; and they filled a young man's 
mouth with gunpowder, and setting fire to it, blew his head to pieces 

But their principal rage being directed against the clergy, they 
seized a pious protestant minister, whom they tormented daily for a 
month in the following manner : they placed him amidst them, and de- 
rided and mocked him ; they spit in his face, and pinched him in va- 
rious parts of his body ; they hunted him like a wild beast, till ready 
to expire with fatigue ; they made him run the gauntlet, each striking 
him with a twig, their fists, or ropes ; they scourged him Avith wires ; 
they tied him up by the heels with his head downwards, till the blood 
started out of his nose, mouth, sfcc. ; they hung him up by the arms till 
they were dislocated, and then had them set again ; burning papers 
dipped in oil, were placed between his fingers and toes ; his flesh was 
torn with red-hot pincers ; he was put to the rack ; they pulled off the 
nails of his fingers and toes ; he was bastinadoed on his feet ; a slit 
was made in his ears and nose ; they set him upon an ass, and whip- 
ped him through the town; his teeth were pulled out; boiling lead was 
poured upon his fingers and toes ; and, lastly, a knotted cord was 
twisted about his forehead in such a manner as to force out his eyes. 
In the midst of these enormities, particular care was taken lest his 
wounds should mortify, and his sufferings be thus shortened, till the 
last day, when the forcing out of his eyes caused his death. 

The other acts of these monsters were various and diabolical. At 
length, the winter being far advanced, the high court of reformers, 
with their military ruffians, thought proper to return to Prague ; but 
on their way meeting with a protestant pastor, they could not resist 
the temptation of feasting their barbarous eyes with a new kind of 
cruelty. This was to strip him naked, and to cover him alternately 
with ice and burning coals. This novel mode of torture was imme- 
diately put in practice, and the unhappy victim expired beneath the 
torments, which delighted his inhuman persecutors. 

Some time after, a secret order was issued by the emperor, for ap- 
prehending all noblemen and gentlemen who had been principally 
concerned in supporting the protestant cause, and in nominating Fre- 
derick, elector palatine of the Rhine, to be the king of Bohemia. Fifty 
of these were suddenly seized in one night, and brought to the castle 
of Prague ; while the estates of those who were absent were confis 


cated, themselves made outlaws, and their names fixed upon a gal 
lows as a mark of public ignominy. 

The high court of reformers afterwards proceeded to try those who 
had been apprehended, and two apostate protestants were appointed 
to examine them. Their examiners asked many unnecessary and 
impertinent questions, which so exasperated one of the noblemen, 
that he exclaimed, opening his breast at the same time, " Cut here ; 
search my heart ; you shall find nothing but the love of religion and 
liberty : those were the motives for which I drew my sword, and foi 
those I am willing to die." 

As none of the prisoners would renounce their faith, or acknowledge 
themselves in error, they were all pronounced guilty ; the sentence 
was, however, referred to the emperor. When that monarch had read 
their names, and the accusations against them, he passed judgment on 
all, but in a different manner ; his sentences being of four kinds, viz. 
death, banishment, imprisonment for life, and imprisonment during 
pleasure. Twenty of them being ordered for execution, were inform- 
ed they might send for Jesuits, monks, or friars, to prepare for their 
awful change, but that no communication with protestants would be 
permitted them. This proposal they rejected, and strove all they 
could to comfort and cheer each other upon the solemn occasion. 
The morning of the execution being arrived, a cannon was fired as a 
signal to bring the prisoners from the castle to the principal market- 
place, in which scaffolds were erected, and a body of troops drawn 
up to attend. The prisoners left the castle, and passed with dignity 
composure, and cheerfulness, through soldiers, Jesuits, priests, exe- 
cutioners, attendants, and a prodigious concourse of people assem- 
bled to see the exit of these devoted martyrs. 



John Huss was born in the village of Hussenitz, in Bohemia, abou' 
the year 1380. His parents gave him the best education they coulo 
bestow, and having acquired a tolerable knowledge of the classics, ai 
a private school, he was sent to the university of Prague, where the 
powers of his mind, and his diligence in study, soon rendered him 

In 1408, he commenced bachelor of divinity, and Avas successively 
chosen pastor of the church of Bethlehem, in Prague, and dean and 
rector of the university. The duties of these stations he discharged 
with great fidelity, and became at length so conspicuous for the bold- 
ness and truth of his preaching, that he attracted the notice, and 
raised the malignity of the pope and his creatures. 

His influence in the university was very great, not only on account 
of his learning, eloquence, and exemplary life, but also on account of 
some valuable privileges he had obtained from the king in behalf oi 
that seminary. 

The English reformer, Wickliffe, had so kindled the light of refor 
mation, that it began to illumine the darkest corners of popery and ig 


Dorance. His doctrines were received in Bohemia with avidity and 
zeal, by great numbers of people, but by none so particularly as John 
Huss, and his friend and fellow martyr, Jerome of Prague. 

The reformists daily increasing, the archbishop of Prague issued a 
decree to prevent the farther spreading of Wickliffe's writings. This, 
however, had an effect quite the reverse to what he expected, for it 
stimulated the converts to greater zeal, and, at length, almost the whole 
university united in promoting them. 

Strongly attached to the doctrines of Wirkliffe, Huss strenuously 
opposed the decree of the archbishop, who, notwithstanding, obtained 
a bull from the pope, authorizing him to prevent the publishing of 
Wickliffe's writings in his province. By virtue of this bull, he pro- 
ceeded against four doctors, who had not delivered up some copies, 
and prohibited them to preach. Against these proceedings, Huss, 
with some other members of the university, protested, and entered 
an appeal from the sentences of the archbishop. The pope no sooner 
heard of this, than he granted a commission to Cardinal Colonna, to 
cite John Huss to appear at the court of Rome, to answer accusa- 
tions laid against him, of preaching heresies. From this appearance 
Huss desired to be excused, and so greatly was he favoured in Bo- 
hemia, that King Winceslaus, the queen, the nobility, and the uni- 
versity, desired the pope to dispense with such an appearance ; as 
also that he would not suffer the kingdom of Bohemia to lie under 
the accusation of heresy, but permit them to preach the gospel with 
freedom in their places of worship. 

Three proctors appeared for Huss before Cardinal Colonna. They 
made an excuse for his absence, and said, they were ready to answer 
in his behalf. But the cardinal declared him contumacious, and ac- 
cordingly excommunicated him. On this the proctors appealed to 
the pope, who appointed four cardinals to examine the process : these 
commissioners confirmed the sentence of the cardinal, and extended 
the excommunication, not only to Huss, but to all his friends and fol- 
lowers. Huss then appealed from this unjust sentence to a future 
council, but without success ; and, notwithstanding so severe a de- 
cree, and an expulsion from his church in Prague, he retired to Hus- 
senitz, his native place, where he continued to promulgate the truth, 
both from the pulpit, and with the pen. 

He here compiled a treatise, in which he maintained, that reading 
the books of protestants could not be absolutely forbidden. He wrote 
in defence of Wickliffe's book on the trinity, and boldly declared 
against the vices of the pope, and cardinals, and the clergy of those 
corrupt times. Besides these, he wrote many other books, all of which 
were penned with such strength of argument, as greatly facilitated 
the spreading of his doctrines. 

In England, the persecutions against the protestants had been car- 
ried on for some time with relentless cruelty. They now extended 
to Germany and Bohemia, where Huss, and Jerome of Prague, were 
particularly singled out to suffer in the cause of religion. 

In the month of November, 1414, a general council was assembled 
at Constance, in Germany, for the purpose of determining a dispute 
then existing between three persons who contended for the papal 

♦ These were, John, proposed and set up by the Italians; Gregory, by th« 


John Huss was summoned to appear at this council ; and to dispel 
any apprehensions of danger, the emperor seift him a safe conduct, 
giving: him permission freely to come to, and return from the coun- 
cil On receiving this information, he told the persons who deliver- 
ed it, " That he desired nothing more than to purge himself publicly 
of the imputation of heresy ; and that he esteemed himself happy in 
having so fair an opportunity of it, as at the council to which he was 
summoned to attend." 

In the latter end of November, he set out to Constance, accompa- 
nied by two Bohemian noblemen, who were among the most eminent 
of his disciples, and who followed him merely through respect and 
affection. He caused some placards to be fixed upon the gates of 
the churches of Prague, in which he declared, that he went to the 
council to answer all allegations that might be made against him. He 
also declared, in all the cities through which he passed, that he was 
going to vindicate himself at Constance, and invited all his adversa- 
ries to be present. 

On his way he met with every mark of affection and reverence 
from people of all descriptions. The streets, and even the roads, 
were thronged with people, whom respect, rather than curiosity, had 
brought together. He was ushered into the towns with great accla- 
mations, and he passed through Germany in a kind of triumph. " I 
thought," said he, " I had been an outcast. I now see my worst 
friends are in Bohemia." 

On his arrival at Constance, he immediately took lodgings in a re- 
mote part of the city. Soon after came one Stephen Paletz, who 
was engaged by the clergy of Prague to manage the intended prose- 
cution against him. Paletz was afterAvards joined by Michael de 
Cassis, on the part of the court of Rome. These two declared them- 
selves his accusers, and drew up articles against him, which they pre- 
sented to the pope, and the prelates of the council. 

Notwithstanding the promise of the emperor to give him a safe 
conduct to and from Constance, he regarded not his word ; but, ac- 
cording to the maxim of the council, that " Faith is not to be kept 
with heretics," when it was known he was in the city, he was imme- 
diately arrested, and committed prisoner to a chamber in the palace. 
This breach was particularly noticed by one of Huss's friends, who 
urged the imperial safe conduct ; but the pope replied, he never 
granted any such thing, nor was he bound by that of the emperor. 

"While Huss was under confinement, the council acted the part of 
inquisitors. They condemned the doctrines of Wickliffe, and, in 
their impotent malice, ordered his remains to be dug up, and burnt 
to ashes ; which orders were obeyed. 

In the mean time, the nobility of Bohemia and Poland used all their 
interest for Huss ; and so far prevailed as to prevent his being con- 
denmed unheard, which had been resolved on by the commissioners 
appointed to try him. 

French ; and Benedict, by the Spaniards. The council continued four years, in 
which the severerit laws were enacted to crush the protestants. Pope John was de- 
posed, and obliged to fly, the most heinous crimes being proved against him; among 
which were, his attempt to poison his predecessor, his being a Gamester, a liar, a mur- 
derer, an adulterer, and guiltv of unnatural offences. ° 


Before his trial took place, his enemies employed a Franciscan 
friar who might entangle him in his words, and then appear against 
him. This man, of great ingenuity and subtlety, came to him in the 
character of an idiot, and vviih seeming security and zeal, requested 
to be taught his doctrines. But Huss soon discovered him, and told 
him that his manners wore a great semblance of simplicity ; but that 
his questi-ons discovered a depth and design beyond the reach of an 
idiot. He afterwards found this pretended fool to be Didace, one of 
the deepest logicians in Lombardy. 

At length, he was brought before the council, when the articles ex- 
hibited against him were read : they were upwards of forty in num- 
ber, and chiefly extracted from his writings.* 

On his examination being finished, he was taken from the court, and 
a resolution was formed by the council, to burn him as a heretic, un- 
less he recanted. He was then committed to a filthy prison, where, 
in the day-time he was so laden with fetters on his legs, that he could 
hardly move ; and every night he was fastened by his hands to a ring 
against the walls of the prison. 

He continued some days in this situation, in which time many no- 
blemen of Bohemia interceded in his behalf. They drew up a petition 
for his release, which was presented to the council by several of the 
most illustrious nobles of Bohemia ; notwithstanding which, so many 
enemies had Huss in that court, that no attention was paid to it, and 
the persecuted reformer was compelled to bear with the punishment 
inflicted on him by that merciless tribunal. 

Shortly after the petition was presented, four bishops, and two 
lords, were sent by the emperor to the prison, in order to prevail on 
Huss to make a recar.tation. But he called God to witness, that he 
was not conscious of having preached, or written any thing against 
his truth, or the faith of his orthodox church. The deputies then re- 
presented the great wisdom and authority of the council : to which 
Huss replied, " Let them send the meanest person of that council, 
who can convince me by argument from the word of God, and I will 
submit my judgment to him." This pious answer had no effect, be- 
cause he would not take the authority of the council upon trust, with- 
out the least shadow of an argument offered. The deputies, therefore, 
finding they could make no impression on him, departed, greatly as- 
tonished at the strength of his resolution. 

On the 4th of July, he was, for the last time, brought before the 
council. After a long examination he was desired to abjure, which 
he refused, without the least hesitation. The bishop of Lodi then 
preached a sermon, the text of which was, " Let the body of sin be 
destroyed," (concerning the destruction of heretics,) the prologue to 
his intended punishment. After the close of the sermon his fate was 
dete.rmined, his vindication rejected, and judgment pronounced. The 
council censured him for being obstinate and incorrigible, and ordain- 
ed, " That he should be degraded from the priesthood, his books pub- 
licly burnt, and himself delivered to the secular power." 

He received the sentence without the least emotion : and at the 
close of it he kneeled down with his eyes lifted towards heaven, and, 

♦ That the reader may form a judgment cf his writings, we here give une of the ar - 
tides for which he was condeioned : " An evil and a wicked pope is not the successor 'jf 
Peter, but of Judas." 


with all the magnanimity of a primitive martyr, thus exclaimed 
" May thy infinite mercy, O my God ! pardon this injustice of mine 
enemies. Thou knowest the injustice of my accusations : how de- 
formed with crimes I have been represented : how I have been op- 
pressed with worthless witnesses, and a false condemnation : yet, O 
my God ! let that mercy of thine, which no tongue can express, pre- 
vail with thee not to avenge my wrongs." These excellent sentences 
were received as so many expressions of heresy, and only tended to 
inflame his adversaries. Accordingly, the bishops appointed by the 
council stripped him of his priestly garments, degraded him, and put 
a paper mitre on his head, on which were painted devils, with this 
inscription : " A ringleader of heretics." 

This mockery was received by the heroic martyr with an air of un- 
concern, which appeared to give him dignity rather than disgrace. 
A serenity appeared in his looks, which indicated that his soul had 
cut off many stages of a tedious journey in her way to the realms of 
everlasting happiness. 

The ceremony of degradation being over, the bishops delivered him 
to the emperor, who committed him to the care of the duke of Bava- 
ria. His books were burnt at the gate of the church ; and on the 6th 
of July he was led to the suburbs of Constance, to be burnt alive. 

When he had reached the place of execution, he fell on his knees, 
sung several portions of the Psalms, looked steadfastly towards hea 
ven, and repeated, " Into thy hands, O Lord ! do I commit my spirit , 
thou hast redeemed me, O most good and faithful God." 

As soon as the chain was put about him at the stake, he said, with 
a smiling countenance, " My Lord Jesus Christ was bound with a 
harder chain than this, for my sake ; why then should I be ashamed ol 
this old rusty one ?" 

When the faggots were piled around him, the duke of Bavaria de- 
sired him to abjure. " No," said he, "I never preached any doctrine 
of an evil tendency ; and what I taught with my lips, I now seal with 
my blood." He then said to the executioner, " You are now goino 
to burn a goose, {Huss signifying goose in the Bohemian language,*) 
but in a century you will have a swan whom you can neither roast or 
boil." If this were spoken in prophecy, he niust have meant Martin 
Luther, who flourished about a century after, and who had a swan for 
his arms. 

As soon as the faggots were lighted, the heroic martyr sung a hymn, 
with so loud and cheerful a voice, that he was heard through all the 
cracklings of the combustibles, and the noise of the multitude. At 
length his voice was interrupted by the flames, which soon put a pe- 
riod to his life. ^ ^ 



This hero in the cause of truth, was born at Prague, and educated 
I'l Its university, where he soon became distinguished for his learning 
and eloquence. Having completed his studies, he travelled ovei 


great part of Europe, and visited many of the seats of learning, par- 
ticularly the universities of Paris, Heidelburg, Cologne, and Oxford. 
At the latter he became acquainted with the works of WicklifFe, and 
translated many of them into his own language. 

On his return to Prague he openly professed the doctrines of "Wick 
liffe, and finding that they had made a considerable progress in Bo- 
hemia, from the industry and zeal of Huss, he became an assistant to 
him in the great work of reformation. 

On the 4th of April, 1415, Jerome went to Constance. This was 
about three months before the death of Huss. He entered the town 
privately, and consulting with some of the leaders of his party, was 
easily convinced that he could render his friend no service. 

Finding that his arrival at Constance was publicly known, and that 
the council intended to seize him, he retired, and went to Iberling, an 
imperial town, a short distance from Constance. While here, he 
wrote to the Emperor, and declared his readiness to appear before the 
council, if a safe-conduct were granted to him ; this, however, was 

After this, he caused papers to be put up in all the public places in 
Constance, particularly on the doors of the cardinal's houses. In 
these he professed his willingness to appear at Constance in the de- 
fence of his character and doctrine, both which, he said, had been 
greatly falsified. He farther declared, that if any error should be 
proved against him, he would retract it; desiring only that the faith 
of the council might be given for his security. 

Receiving no answer to these papers, he set out on his return to 
Bohemia, taking the precaution to carry with him a certificate, signed 
by several of the Bohemian nobility then at Constance, testifying that 
he had used every prudent means, in his power, to procure an au- 

He was, however, notwithstanding this, seized on his way, without 
any authority, at Hirsaw, by an officer belonging to the Duke of 
Sultzbach, who hoped thereby to receive commendations from the 
council for so acceptable a service. 

The duke of Sultzbach immediately wrote to the council, informing 
them what he had done, and asking directions how to proceed with 
Jerome. The council, after expressing their obligations to the duke, 
desired him to send the prisoner immediately to Constance. He was, 
accordingly, conveyed thither in irons, and, on his way, was met by 
the elector palatine, who caused a long chain to be fastened to him, 
by which he was dragged, like a wild beast, to the cloister, whence, 
after an examination, he was conveyed to a tower, and fastened to a 
block, with his legs in stocks. In this manner he remained eleven 
days and nights, till becoming dangerously ill in consequence, his per- 
secutors, in order to gratify their malice still farther, relieved him from 
that painful state. 

He remained confined till the martyrdom of his friend Huss ; after 
which, he was brought forth, and threatened with immediate torments 
and death if he remained obstinate. Terrified at the preparations 
which he beheld, he, in a moment of weakness, forgot his resolution, 
abjured his doctrines, and confessed that Huss merited his fate, and 
that both he and WickliflTe were heretics. In consequence of this, his 
chains were taken off, and he was treated more kindly ; he was, how 


evei, still confined, but in hopes of liberation. But his enemies, sus- 
pecting his sincerity, proposed another form of recantation to be 
drawn up and proposed to him. To this, hoAvever he refused to an- 
swer, except in public, and was, accordingly, brought before the coun- 
cil, when, to tfie astonishment of his auditors, and to the glory of truth, 
he renounced his recantation, and requested permission to plead his 
own cause, which was refused ; and the charges against him were 
read, in which he was accused of being a derider of the papal digni- 
ty, an opposer of the pope, an enemy to the cardinals, a persecutor 
of the prelates, and a hater of the Christian religion. 

To these charges Jerome answered with an amazing force of elocu- 
tion, and strength of argument. After which he was remanded to 
his prison. 

The third day from this, his trial was brought on, and witnesses 
were examined. He was prepared for his defence, although he had 
been nearly a year shut up in loathsome prisons, deprived of the light 
of day, and almost starved for want of common necessaries. But his 
spirit soared above these disadvantages. 

The most bigoted of the assembly were unwilling he should be 
heard, dreading the effect of eloquence in the cause of truth, on the 
minds of the most prejudiced. At length, however, it was carried by 
the majority, that he should have liberty to proceed in his defence ; 
which he began in such an exalted strain, and continued in such a 
torrent of elocution, that the most obdurate heart was melted, and the 
mind of superstition seemed to admit a ray of conviction. 

Bigotry, however, prevailed, and his trial being ended, he received 
the same sentence as had been passed upon his martyred country- 
man, and was, m the usual style of popish duplicity, delivered over to 
the civil power ; but, being a layman, he had not to undergo the cere- 
mony of degradation. 

Two days his execution was delayed, in hopes that he would recant ; 
in which time the cardinal of Florence used his utmost endeavours 
to bring him over. But they all proved ineffectual : Jerome was re- 
solved to seal his doctrine with his blood. 

On his way to the place of execution he sung several hymns ; and 
on arriving there, he knelt down, and prayed fervently. He embra- 
ced the stake with great cheerfulness and resolution ; and when the 
executioner went behind him to set fire to the faggots, he said, " Come 
here and kmdle it before my eyes ; for had I been afraid of it, I had 
notcome here, having had so many opportunities to escape." 

When the flames enveloped him, he sung a hymn; and the last 
words he was heard to say, were, 

This soul in flames I offer, Christ, to thee I"* 

tion whrhMM^/J v"',^"i ""^"'y ^•'.""' ^"^ possessed a strong and healthy constitu- 
tion, which rendered his death extremely hngering and painful. He, however sunff till 
his aspinng soul took its flight from its mortal habitatioL. ' ''°^^^"' '"°^ "^ 




Martin Luther, by unmasking popery, and by the vigour with 
which he prosecuted his doctrines, caused the papal throne to shake 
to its foundation. So terrified was tlic pope at his rapid success, 
that he determined, in order to stop his career, to engage the empe- 
ror, Charles V,, in his scheme of utterly extirpating all who had em- 
braced the reformation. To accomplish which, he gave the emperor 
200,000 crowns ; promised to maintain 12,000 foot, and 5000 horse, 
for six months, or during a campaign ; allowed the emperor to re- 
ceive one half of the revenues of the clergy in Germany during the 
war ; and permitted him to pledge the abbey lands for 500,000 crowns, 
to assist in carrying on hostilities. Thus prompted and supported, 
the emperor, with a heart eager, both from interest and prejudice, for 
'.he cause, undertook the extirpation of the protestants; and, for this 
purpose, raised a formidable army in Germany, Spain, and Italy. 

The protestant princes, in the mean time, were not idle ; but form- 
ed a povi^erful confederacy, in order to repel the impending blow. A 
great army was raised, and the command given to the elector of Sax- 
ony, and the landgrave of Hesse. The imperial forces were command- 
ed by the emperor in person, and all Europe waited in anxious sus- 
pense the event of the war. 

At length the armies met, and a desperate engagement ensued, in 
which the protestants were defeated, and the elector of Saxony, and 
landgrave of Hesse, both taken prisoners. This calamitous stroke 
was succeeded by a persecution, in which the most horrible cruelties 
were inflicted on the protestants, and suffered by them with a fortitude 
which only religion can impart. 

The persecutions in Germany having been suspended many years, 
again broke out in 1630, on account of a war between the emperor 
and the king of Sweden ; the latter being a protestant prince, the 
protestants of Germany, in consequence, espoused his cause, which 
greatly exasperated the emperor against them. 

The imperial army having laid siege to the town of Passewalk, 
(then defended by the Swedes,) took it by storm, and committed the 
most monstrous outrages on the occasion. They pulled down the 
churches, pillaged and burnt the houses, massacred the ministers, put 
the garrison to the sword, hanged the townsmen, ravished the women, 
smothered the children, &c. &c. 

In 1631, a most bloody scene took place at the protestant city of 
Magdeburg. The generals Tilly and Pappenheim, having taken il 
by storm, upwards of 20,000 persons, without distinction of rank, sex, 
or age, were slain during the carnage, and 6000 drowned in attempt- 
ing to escape over the river Elbe. After which, the remaining inha- 
bitants were stripped naked, severely scourged, had their ears crop- 
ped, and being yoked together like oxen, were turned adrift. 

On the popish army's taking the toAvn of Hoxter, all the inhabi- 
tants, with the garrison, were put to the sword. 

When the imperial forces prevailed at Griphenburgh, they shut up 


the senators in the senate chamber, and, surrounding it by lighted 
straw, suffocated them. 

Franhendal, notwithstanding it surrendered upon articles of capitu- 
lation, suffered as cruelly as other places ; and at Heidelburg, many 
were shut up in prison and starved. 

To enumerate the various species of cruelty practised by the im- 
perial troops, under Count Tilly, would excite disgust and horror. 
That sanguinary monster, in his progress through Saxony, not only 
permitted every excess in his soldiers, but actually commanded them 
to put all their enormities in practice. Some of these are so unpa- 
ralleled, that we feel ourselve& obliged to mention them. 

In Hesse Cassel some of the troops entered an hospital, in which 
were principally mad women, when stripping all the poor wretches 
naked, they made them run about the streets for their diversion, and 
then put them to death. 

In Pomerania, some of the imperial troops entering a small town, 
seized upon all the young women, and girls upwards of ten years, 
and then placing their parents in a circle, they ordered them to sing 
psalms, while they ravished their children, or else they swore they 
would cut them to pieces afterwards. They then took all the mar- 
ried women who had young children, and threatened, if they did not 
consent to the gratification of their lusts, to burn their children be- 
fore their faces, in a large fire which they had kindled for that 

A band of Tilly's soldiers met with a company of merchants be- 
longing to Basil, who were returning from the great market of Stras- 
bourg, and attempted to surround them ; all escaped, however, but 
ten, leaving their property behind. The ten who were taken begged 
hard for their lives ; but the soldiers murdered them, saying, " You 
jnust die because you are heretics, and have got no money." 

Wherever Tilly came, the most horrid barbarities and cruel depre- 
dations ensued : famine and conflagration marked his progress. He 
destroyed all the provisions he could not take with him, and burnt all 
the towns before he left them ; so that murder, poverty, and desola- 
tion, followed him. 

Peace, at length, chiefly through the mediation of England, was 
restqred to Germany, and the protestants, for several years, enjoyed 
the free exercise of their religion. 

Even as late as 1732, above 30,000 protestants were, contrary to 
the treaty of Westphalia, driven from the archbishopric of Saltz- 
burg, in the depth of winter, with scarce clothes to cover them, and 
without provisions. These joor people emigrated to various protes- 
tant countries, and settled in places where they could enjoy the free 
exercise of their religion, free from popish superstition, and papal 



The glorious light of the gospel spreading over every part of the 
continent, and chasing thence the dark night of ignorance, increaset' 


the alarm of the pope, who urged the emperor to commence a perse- 
cution against the protestants ; when many thousands fell martyrs to 
superstitious malice and barbarous bigotry : among whom were the 

A pious protestant widow, named Wendelinuta, was apprehended 
on account of her religion, when several monks unsuccessfully en- 
deavoured to persuade her to recant. Their attempts, however 
proving ineffectual, a Roman Catholic lady of her acquaintance de- 
sired to be admitted to the dungeon in m ich she was confined, 
promising to exert herself towards inducin^^ the prisoner to abjure 
her religion. On being admitted to the dungeon, she did her utmost 
to perform the task she had undertaken ; but finding her endeavours 
fruitless, she said, " Dear Windelinuta, if you will not embrace our 
faith, at least keep the things which you profess secret within your 
own bosom, and strive to prolong your life." To which the widow 
replied, " Madam, you know not what you say ; for with the heart 
we believe to righteousness, but with the tongue confession is made 
unto salvation." Still holding her faith against every effort of the 
powers of darkness, her goods were confiscated, and she was con- 
demned to be burnt. At the place of execution a monk presented a 
cross to her, and bade her kiss and worship God. To which she an- 
swered, " I worship no Avooden god, but the eternal God, who is in 
heaven." She was then executed, but at the intercession of the be- 
fore mentioned lady, it was granted, that she should be strangled be- 
fore the faggots were kindled. 

At Colen, two protestant clergymen were burnt : a tradesman of 
Antwerp, named Nicholas, was tied up in a sack, thrown into the 
river, and drowned : and Pistorius, an accomplished scholar and stu- 
dent, was carried to the market of a Dutch village, and burnt. 

A minister of the reformed church was ordered to attend the 
execution of sixteen protestants who were to be beheaded. This 
gentleman performed the melancholy office with great propriety, 
exhorted them to repentance, and gave them comfort in the mercies 
of their Redeemer. As soon as they were beheaded, the magistrate 
cried out to the executioner, " There is another remaining ; you must 
behead the minister : he can never die at a better time than with such 
excellent precepts in his mouth, and such laudable examples before 
him." He was accordingly beheaded, though many of the Roman 
Catholics themselves reprobated this piece of treacherous and unne- 
cessary barbarity. 

George Scherter, a minister of Saltzburg, was committed to prison 
for instructing his flock in the truth of the gospel. While in confine- 
ment he wrote a confession of his faith ; soon after Avhich he was 
condemned, first to be beheaded, and afterwards to be burnt to ashes, 
which sentence vv^as accordingly put in execution. 

Percival, a learned man of Louvinia, was murdered in prison ; and 
Justus Insprag was beheaded, for having Luther's sermons in his 

Giles Tolleman, a cutler of Brussels, was a man of singular hu- 
manity and piety. He was apprehended as a protestant, and many 
attempts were made by monks to persuade him to recant. Once, by 
accident, a fair opportunity of escaping from prison offered itself to 
him, but of which he did not avail himself. Being asked the reason. 


he replied, " I would not do the keepers so much injury ; as they 
must have answered for my absence had I got away." When he was 
sentenced to be burnt, he fervently thanked God for allowing him, by 
martyrdom, to glorify his name. Observing at the place of execu- 
tion a great quantity of faggots, he desired the principal part of them 
might be given to the poor, saying, " A small quantity will suffice to 
consume me." The executioner offered to strangle him before the 
fire was lighted, but he would not consent, telling him that he defied 
the flames ; and, indeed, he gave up the ghost with such composure 
amidst them, that he hardly seemed sensible of pain. 

In Flanders, about 1543 and 1544, the persecution raged with great 
violence. Many were doomed to perpetual imprisonment, others to 
perpetual banishment : but the greater number were put to death, 
either by hanging, drowning, burning, the rack, or burying alive. 

John de Boscane, a zealous protestant, was apprehended in the city 
of Antwerp. On his trial he undauntedly professed himself to be 
of the reformed religion, on which he was immediately condemned. 
The magistrate, however, was afraid to execute the sentence publicly, 
as he was popular through his great generosity, and almost univer- 
sally revered for his inoffensive life and exemplary piety. A pri 
vate execution was, therefore, determined on, for which an order was 
given to drown him in prison. The executioner, accordingly, forced 
him into a large tub ; but Boscane struggling, and getting his head 
above the water, the executioner stabbed him in several places w^ith 
a dagger till he expired. 

John de Buisons, on account of his religion, was, about the same 
time, secretly apprehended. In this city the number of protestants 
being great, and the prisoner much respected, the magistrates, fearful 
of an insurrection, ordered him to be beheaded in prison. 

In 1568 were apprehended at Antwerp, Scoblant, Hues, and Coo- 
mans. The first who was brought to trial was Scoblant, who, per- 
sisting in his faith, received sentence of death. On his return to 
prison, he requested the gaoler not to permit any friar to come near 
him ; saying, " They can do me no good, but may greatly disturb 
me. I hope my salvation is already sealed in heaven, and that the 
blood of Christ, in which I firmly put my trust, hath washed me 
from my iniquities. I am now going to throw off this mantle of clay, 
to be clad in robes of eternal glory. I hope I may be the last mar- 
tyr of papal tyranny, and that the blood already spilt will be sufficient 
to quench its thirst of cruelty ; that the church of Christ may have rest 
here, as his servants will hereafter." On the day of execution he 
took a pathetic leave of his fellow-prisoners. At the stake he uttered 
with great fervency the Lord's prayer, and sung the fortieth psalm ; 
then commending his soul to God, the flames soon terminated his 
mortal existence. 

A short time after. Hues died in prison : upon which occasion Coo- 
mans thus vents his mind to his friends : " I am now deprived of my 
friends and companions ; Scoblant is martyred, and Hues dead by 
the visitation of the Lord ; yet I am not alone : I have with me the 
God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob ; he is my comfort, and 
shall be my reward." When brought to trial, Coomans freely con- 
fessed himself of the reformed religion, and answered with a manly 
firmness to every charge brought against him, proving his doctrine 


from the gospel. " But," sjiid the judge, " will you die for the faith 
you profess ?" " I am not only willing to die," replied Coonians, 
" but also to sufler the utmost stretch of inventive cruelty for it ; 
after which my soul shall receive its confirmation from God himself, 
in the midst of eternal glory." Being condemned, he went cheer- 
fully to the place of execution, and died with Christian fortitude and 

Assassination of the Prince of Orange. 

Baltazar Gerard, a native of Franchc Compte, a bigoted and furi- 
ous Roman Catholic, thinking to advance his own fortune and the po- 
pish cause by one desperate act, resolved upon the assassination of 
the prince of Orange. Having provided himself with lire-arms, he 
watched the prince as he passed through the great hall of his palace 
to dinner, and demanded a passport. The princess of Orange, ob- 
serving in his tone of voice and manner something confused and sin- 
gular, asked who he was, saying, she did not like his countenance. 
The prince answered, it was one that demanded a passport, which 
he should have presently. Nothing further transpired until after 
dinner, when on the return of the prince and princess through the 
same hall, the assassin, from behind one of the pillars, fired at the 
prince ; the balls entering at the left side, and passing through the 
right, wounded in their passage the stomach and vital parts. The 
prince had only power to say, "Lord have mercy upon my soul, and 
upon this poor people," and immediately expired. 

The death of this virtuous prince, who was considered as the father 
of his people, spread universal sorrow throughout the United Pro- 
vinces. The assassin was immediately taken, and received sentence to 
be put to death in the most exemplary manner ; yet such was his en- 
thusiasm and blindness for his crime, that while suffering for it, he 
coolly said, " Were I at liberty, I would repeat the same." 

In different parts of Flanders, numbers fell victims to popish jealousy 
and cruelty. In the city of Valence, in particular, fifty-seven of the 
principal inhabitants were butchered in one day, for refusing to em- 
brace the Romish superstition ; besides whom, great numbers suflered 
in confinement, till they perished. 



The persecutions in Lithuania began in 1648, and were carried on 
with great severity by the Cossacks and Tartars. The cruelty of the 
former was such, that even the Tartars, at last, revolted from it, and 
rescued some of the intended victims from their hands. 

The Russians perceiving the devastations which had been made in 
the country, and its incapability of defence, entered it with a consi- 
derable army, and carried ruin wherever they went. Every thing 
they met with was devoted to destruction. The ministers of the gos- 
pel were peculiarly singled out as the objects of their hatred, while 
every Christian was liable to their barbarity. 


Lithuania no sooner recovered itself from one persecution, than 
succeeding enemies again reduced it. The Swedes, the Prussians, 
and the Courlanders, carried fire and sword through it, and continual 
calamities, for some years, attended that unhappy district. It was 
afterwards attacked by the prince of Transylvania, at the head of an 
army of barbarians, who wasted the country, destroyed the churches, 
burnt the houses, plundered the inhabitants, murdered the infirm, and 
enslaved the healthy. 

In no part of the world have the foHowers of Christ been exempt 
from the rage and bitterness of their enemies ; and well have they 
experienced the force of those scripture truths, that they who will live 
godly in Christ shall suffer persecution, and those who are born after 
the flesh have always been enemies to such as are born after the 
spirit ; accordingly, the protestants of Poland suffered in a dreadful 
manner. The ministers, in particular, were treated with the most un- 
exampled barbarity ; some having their tongues cut out, because they 
had preached the gospel truths ; others being deprived of their sight 
on account of having read the Bible ; and great numbers were cut to 
pieces for not recanting. Several private persons were put to death 
by the most cruel means. Women were murdered without the least 
regard to their sex ; and the persecutors even went so far as to cut 
off the heads of sucking babes, and fasten them to the breasts of their 
unfortunate mothers. 

Even the silent habitations of the dead escaped not the malice of 
these savages ; for they dug up the bodies of many eminent persons, 
and either cut them to pieces and exposed them to be devoured by 
birds and beasts, or hung them up in the most coiispicuous places. 
The city of Lesna, in this persecution, particularly suffered ; for be- 
ing taken, the inhabitants were totally extirpated. 



Persecutions in China. 

At the commencement of the 16th century, three Italian missiona- 
ries, namely, Roger the Neapolitan, Pasis of Bologna, and Matthew 
Ricci of Mazerata, entered China with a view of establishing Christia- 
nity there. In order to succeed in this important commission, they 
had previously made the Chinese language their constant study. 

The zeal displayed by these missionaries in the discharge of their 
duty was very great ; but Roger and Pasis in a few years returning 
to Europe, the whole labour devolved upon Ricci. The perseverance 
of Ricci was pro,)ortioned to the arduous task he had undertaken. 
Though disposed to indulge his converts as far as possible, he disliked 
many of their ceremonies which seemed idolatrous. At length, after 
eighteen years labour and reflection, he thought it most advisable to 
tolerate all those customs which were ordained by the laws of the em- 
pire, but strictly enjoined his converts to omit the rest; and thus, by 
not resisting too much the external ceremonies of the country, he sue- 

Persecutions in Bohemia and Crermany. Page 130. 

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Jerome of Prague m ^7ie Stocks. Page 137. 


ceeded in bringing over many to the truth. In 1630, however, this 
tranquilHty was disturbed by the arrival of some new missionaries , 
who, being unacquainted with the Chinese customs, manners, and lan- 
guage, and with the principles of Ricci's toleration, were astonished 
when they saw Christian converts fall prostrate before Confucius, and 
the tables of their ancestors, and loudly censured the proceeding as 
idolatrous. This occasioned a warm controversy; and not comino-to 
any agreement, the new missionaries wrote an account of the aflair to 
the pope, and the society for the propagation of the Christian faith. 
The society soon pronounced, that the ceremonies were idolatrous and 
intolerable, which sentence was confirmed by the pope. In this they 
were excusable, the matter having been misrepresented to them : for 
the enemies of Ricci had declared the halls, in which the ceremonies 
were performed, to be. temples, and the ceremonies themselves the 
sacrifices to idols. 

The sentence was sent over to China, M^here it was received with 
great contempt, and matters remained in the same state for some time. 
At length a true representation was sent over, explaining that the 
Chinese customs and ceremonies alluded to, were entirely free from 
idolatry, but merely political, and tending only to the peace and wel- 
fare of the empire. The pope, finding that he had not weighed the 
dflliir with due consideration, sought to extricate himself from the dif- 
ficulty in which he had been so precipitately entangled, and therefore 
referred the representation to the inquisition, which reversed the sen- 
tence immediately. 

The Christian church, notwithstanding these divisions, flourished in 
China till the death of the first Tartar emperor, whose successor, Cang- 
hi, was a minor. During his minority, the regents and nobles con- 
spired to crush the Christian religion. The execution of this design 
Avas accordingly begun with expedition, and carried on with severity, 
so that every Christian teacher in China, as well as those who professed 
the faith, was surprised at the suddenness of the event. John Adam 
Schall, a German ecclesiastic, and one of the principals of the mission, 
was thrown into a dungeon, and narrowly escaped with his Hfe, being 
tlien in the 74th year of his age. 

In 1665, the ensuing year, the ministers of state published the fol- 
lowing decree : 1. That the Christian doctrines were false. 2. That 
they were dangerous to the interests of the empire. 3. That they 
should not be practised under pain of death. 

The result of this was a most furious persecution, in which some 
were put to death, many ruined, and all in some measure oppressed. 
Previous to this, the Christians had suffered partially ; but the decree 
being general, the persecution now spread its ravages over the whole 
empire, wherever its objects were scattered. 

Four years after, the young emperor was declared of age ; and one 
of the first acts of his reign was to stop this persecution. 

Persecutions in Japan. 
The first introduction of Christianity into the empire of Japan took 
place in 1552, when some Portuguese missionaries commenced their 
endeavours to make converts to the Hght of the gospel, and met Avith 
such success as amply compensated their labours. They continued to 
augment the number of their converts till 1616, when being accused 



of having meddled in politics, and formed a plan to subvert the go- 
vernment, and dethrone the emperor, great jealousies arose, and sub- 
sisted till 1622, when the court commenced a dreadful persecution 
against both foreign and native Christians. Such was the rage of this 
persecution, that, during the first four years, 20,570 Christians were 
massacred. Death was the consequence of a public avowal of their 
faith, and their churches were shut up by order of government. Many, 
on a discovery of their religion by spies and informers, suffered mar- 
tyrdom with great heroism. The persecution continued many years, 
when the remnant of the innumerable Christians with which Japan 
abounded, to the number of 37,000 souls, retired to the town and castle 
of Siniabara, in the island of Xinio, where they determined to make a 
stand, to continue in their faith, and to defend themselves to the very 
last extremity. To this place the Japanese army followed them, anci 
laid siege to the place. The Christians defended themselves with 
great bravery, and held out against the besiegers three months, but 
were at length compelled to surrender, when men, women, and chil- 
dren, were indiscriminately murdered ; and Christianity from that time 
ceased in Japan. 

This event took place on the 12th of April, 1638, since which time 
no Christians but the Dutch have been allowed to land in the empire, 
and even they are obliged to conduct themselves with the greatest pre- 
caution, to submit to the most rigorous treatment, and to carry on their 
commerce with the utmost circumspection. 





About the end of the fifteenth century, some Portuguese missiona- 
ries made a voyage to Abyssinia, and began to propagate the Roman 
Catholic doctrines among the Abyssinians, who professed Christianity 
before the arrival of the missionaries. 

The priests gained such an influence at court, that the emperor con- 
sented to abolish the established rights of the Ethiopian church, and 
to admit those of Rome ; and soon after, consented to receive a pa- 
triarch from the pope, and to acknowledge the supremacy of the latter 
This innovation, however, did not take place without great opposition. 
Several of the most powerful lords, and a majority of the people, who 
professed the primitive Christianity established in Abyssinia, took up 
arms, in their defence, against the emperor. Thus, by the artifices of the 
court of Rome and its emissaries, the whole empire was thrown inte 


commotion, and a M^ar commenced, which was carried on through the 
reigns of many emperors, and which ceased not for above a century. 
All this time the Roman Catholics were strengthened by the power 
of the court, by means of Avhich conjunction, the primitive Chris- 
tians of Abyssinia Avere severely persecuted, and multitudes perished 
by the hands of their inhuman enemies. 

Persecutions in Turkey. — Account of Mahomet. 

Mahomet was born at Mecca, in Arabia, a. d. 571. His parents 
were poor, and his education mean ; but, by the force of his genius, 
and an uncommon subtlety, he raised himself to be the founder of a 
widely spread religion, and the sovereign of kingdoms. His Alcoran 
is a jumble of paganism, Judaism, and Christianity. In composing it, 
he is said to have been assisted by a Jew, and a Roman Catholic priest. 
It is adapted entirely to the sensual appetites and passions ; and the 
chief promises held out by it to its believers, are the joys of a para- 
dise of women and wine. Mahomet established his doctrine by the 
power of the sword. " The sword," says he, " is the key of heaven 
and of hell. Whoever falls in battle, his sins are forgiven him : his 
wounds shall be resplendent as vermilion, and odoriferous as musk ; 
the loss of his limbs shall be supplied with the wings of angels.'' 
He allowed that Chi-ist was a great prophet, and a holy man ; that 
he was born of a virgin, received up into glory, and shall come again 
to destroy Antichrist. 

He, therefore, in his early career, affected to respect the Christians. 
Put no sooner was his power established, than he displayed himself in 
his true colours, as their determined and sanguinary enemy. This 
he proved by his persecutions of them in his lifetime, and by com- 
manding those persecutions to be continued by his deluded followers, 
in his Alcoran, particularly in that part entitled, " The Chapter of 
the Sword." From him the Turks received their religion, which 
they still maintain. Mahomet and his descendants, in the space of 
thirty years, subdued Arabia, Palestine, Phosnicia, Syria, Egypt, and 
Persia. They soon, however, broke into divisions and wars amongst 
thenr.selves. But the princes of the Saracens, assuming the title of 
Sultan, continued their rule over Syria, Egypt, and Africa, for the 
space of about 400 years, when the Saracen king of Persia, commen- 
cing war against the Saracen sultan of Babylon, the latter brought to 
his aid the Turks. These Turks, feeling their own strength, in time 
turned their arms against their masters, and by the valour of Othman, 
from whom the family Avho now fill the Turkish throne are descend 
ed, they soon subdued them, and established their empire. 

Constantinople, after having been for many ages an imperial Chris- 
tian city, was invested, in 1453, by the Turks, under Mahomet tlie 
Second,* whose army consisted of 300,000 men, and, after a siege of 
six weeks, it fell into the hands of the infidels, and the Turks have, 
to this day, retained possession of it.j They no sooner found them- 

♦ He was the ninth of the Ottoman race, and subdued all Greece. 

t About fifteen years before this fatal event took place, the city h<td yielded the 
liberties of its church to the pope of Rome. A manifest vant of patriotism was 
evidenced in the inhabitants, who, instead of bringing forth their treasures to the 
public service and defence of the place, buried them in vast heaps; insomucli, that 


selves masters of it, than they began to exercise on the inhabitants 
the most unremitting barbarities, destroying them by every melhoa 
of ingenious cruelty. Some they roasted alive on spits, others they 
starved, some they flayed alive, and left them in that horrid manner 
to perish : many were sawn asunder, and others torn to pieces by 
Jiorses. Three days and nights was the city given to spoil, in which 
time the soldiers were licensed to commit every enormity. The body 
of the emperor being found among the slain, Mahomet commanded 
his head to be stuck on a spear, and carried round the town for the 
mockery of the soldiers. 

Attack on Rhodes. 

About the year 1521, Solyman the First took Belgrade from the 
Christians. Two years after, he, with a fleet of 450 ships, and an 
army of 300,000 men, attacked Rhodes, then defended by the knights 
of Jerusalem. These heroes resisted the infldels till all their fortifi- 
cations were levelled with the ground, their provisions exhausted, and 
their ammunition spent ; when, finding no succours from the Christian 
princes, they surrendered, the siege having lasted about six months, 
in which the Turks suflfered prodigiously, no less than 30,000 of them 
having died by the bloody flux. After this, Solyman retook Buda 
from the Christians, and treated those who were found there with 
great cruelty. Some had their eyes put out, others their liands, noses, 
and ears cut off*. Pregnant women were ripped open, and their fruit 
cast into the flames, while many children were buried up to their necks 
in the earth, and left to perish. 

Sie^e of Vienna. 

Mad with conquest, Solyman now proceeded westward to Vienna, 
glutting himself with slaughter on his march, and vainly hoping, in a 
short time, to lay all Europe at his feet, and to banish Christianity 
from the earth. 

Having pitched his tent before the walls of Vienna, he sent three 
Christian prisoners into the town, to terrify the citizens with an ac- 
count of the strength of his army, while a great many more, whom 
he had taken in his march, were torn asunder by horses. Happily 
for the Germans, three days only before the arrival of the Turks, the 
earl palatine Frederic, to whom was assigned the defence of Vienna, 
had entered the town with 14,000 chosen veterans, besides a body 
of horse. Solyman sent a summons for the city to surrender ; but the 
Germans defying him, he instantly commenced the siege. It has 
before been observed, that the religion of Mahomet promises to all 
soldiers who die in battle, whatever be their crimes, immediate ad 
mission to the joys of paradise. Hence arises that fury and teme- 
rity which they usually display in fighting. They began with a most 
tremendous cannonade, and made many attempts to take the city by 

when Mahomet, suspecting the case, commanded the earth to be dug up, and found 
immense, he exclaimed, " How was it that this place lacked ammunition and 
fortification, amiilst such abundance of riches?" The Turks found a crucifix in the 
great church of St. Sophia, on the head of which they wrote, " This is the God of the 
Christians," and then carried it with a trumpet around the city, and exposed it to the 
contempt of the soldiers, who were commanded to spit upon it. Thus did the super- 
stition t-f Rome aflford a triumph to the enemies of the cross. 


assault. But the steady valour of the Germans was superior to the 
enthusiasm of their enemies. Solyman, filled with indignation at 
this unusual check to his fortune, determined to exert every power 
to carry his project; to this end he planted his ordnance before the 
king's gate, and battered it Avith such violence, that a breach was soon 
made ; whereupon the Turks, under cover of the smoke, poured in 
torrents into the city, and the soldiers began to give up all for lost. 
But the officers, with admirable presence of mind, causing a great 
shouting to be made in the city, as if fresh troops had just arrived, 
their own soldiers Avere inspired with fresh courage, while the Turks, 
being seized with a panic, fled precipitously, and overthrew each 
other, by which means the city was freed from destruction. 

Victory of the Christians. 
Grown more desperate by resistance, Solyman resolved upon an- 
other attempt, and this was by undermining the Corinthian gate. 
Accordingly he set his Illyrians to Avork, who were expert at this 
mode of warfare. They succeeded in coming under ground to the 
foundations of the tower ; but being discovered by the wary citizens, 
they, with amazing activity and diligence, countermined them : and 
having prepared a train of gunpowder, even to the trenches of the 
enemy, they set fire to it, and by that means rendered abortive their 
attempts, and blew up about 8,000 of them. Foiled in every at- 
tempt, the courage of the Turkish chief degenerated into madness ; 
he ordered his men to scale the walls, in which attempt they were 
destroyed by thousands, their very numbers serving to their own 
defeat, till, at length, the valour of his troops relaxed ; and, dreading 
the hardihood of their European adversaries, they began to refuse 
obedience. Sickness also seized their camp, and numbers perished 
from famine ; for the Germans, by their vigilance, had found means 
to cut off their supplies. Foiled in ever} attempt, Solyman, at length, 
after having lost above 80,000 men, resolved to abandon his enter- 
prise. He accordingly put this resolve in execution, and, sending 
his baggage before him, proceeded homewards with the utmost expe- 
dition, thus freeing Europe from the impending terror of universal 

Persecutions in Georgia and Mingrelia. 

The Georgians are Christians, and being remarkable for their 
beauty, the Turks and Persians persecute them by the most cruel 
method. Instead of taking money for their taxes, they compel them 
to deliver up their children, the females for concubines in the se- 
raglios, maids of honour to sultanas, &c. or to be sold to merchants 
of different nations, who proportion their price to the beauty of the 
devoted fair. The boys are taken for mutes and eunuchs in the se- 
raglio, clerks in the offices of state, and soldiers in the army. 

Westward of Georgia is Mingrelia, a country likewise inhabited 
by Christians, who undergo the same persecutions and rigours as the 
Georgians by the Turks and Persians, their children being torn from 
them, or they murdered for refusing to consent to the sale. 

Persecutions in the States of Barhary. 
In no part of the globe are Christians so hated, or treated with 
such severity, as at Algiers. The conduct of the Algerines towards 



them is marked Avith perfidy and cruelty. By paying a most exor 
bitant fine, some Christians are allowed the title of Free Christians , 
these are permitted to dress in the fiishion of their respective coun- 
tries, but the Christian slaves are obliged to wear a coarse gray suit, 
and a seaman's cap. 

The following are the various punishments exercised towards them : 
1. If they join any of the natives in open rebellion, they are strang- 
led with a bow-string, or hanged on an iron hook. 2. If they speak 
against Mahomet, they must become Mahometans, or be impaled 
alive. 3. If they profess Christianity again, after having changed 
to the Mahometan persuasion, they are roasted alive, or thrown from 
the city walls, and caught upon large sharp hooks, on which they hang 
till they expire. 4. If they kill a Turk they are burnt. 5. If they 
attempt to escape, and are retaken, they suffer death in the following 
manner : they are hung naked on a high gallows by two hooks, the 
one fastened quite through the palm of one hand, and the other 
through the sole of the opposite foot, where they are left till death 
relieves them. Other punishments for crimes committed by Chris- 
tians are left to the discretion of the judges, who usually decree the 
most barbarous tortures. 

At Tunis, if a Christian is caught in attempting to escape, his limbs 
are all broken ; and if he slay his master, he is fastened to the tail of 
a horse, and dragged about the streets till he expires. 

Fez and Morocco conjointly form an empire, and are the most 
considerable of the Barbary states. The Christian slaves are treated 
with the greatest rigour ; the rich have exorbitant ransoms fixed upon 
them ; the poor are hard worked and half starved, and sometimes, bv 
the emperor, or their brutal masters, they are murdered. 



About the fourteenth century, a great many Waldenses of Pragela 
and Dauphiny emigrated to Calabria, where, having received permis- 
sion to settle in some waste lands, they soon, by the most industiious 
cultivation, converted those wild and barrei; spots into regions of 
beauty and fertility. 

The nobles of Calabria were highly pleased with their new sub- 
jects and tenants, finding them honest, quiet, and industrious ; but 
the priests, filled Avith jealousy, soon exhibited complaints against 
them, charging them wiih not being Roman Catholics, not making 
any of their boys priests, nor making any of their girls nuns, not 
going to mass, not giving wax tapers to their priests, as ofi^eriugs, not 
going on pilgrimages, and not bowing to images. 

To these the Calabrian lords replied, that these people were fjx 
tremely harmless, giving no offence to the Roman Catholics, but 
cheerfully paying the tithes to the priests, whose revenues were con- 
siderably increased by their coming into the country, and who, con- 
sequently, ought to be the last persons to make a complaint. 

Those enemies to truth being thus silenced, things went on in 


peace for a few years, during which the Waldenses formed them- 
selves into two corporate towns, annexing several villages to their 
jurisdiction. At length they sent to Geneva for two clergymen, one 
to preach in each town. This being known, intelligence was con- 
veyed to Pope Pius the Fourth, who determined to exterminate them 
from Calabria without further delay. To this end Cardinal Alexan- 
drino, a man of violent temper, and a furious bigot, was sent, together 
with two monks, to Calabria, where they were to act as inquisitors. 
These authorized persons came to St. Xist, one of the towns built by 
the Waldenses, where, having assembled the people, they told them 
that they should receive no injury if they would accept of preachers 
appointed by the pope ; but if they refused, they should be deprived 
both of their properties and lives ; and that to prove them, mass should 
be publicly said that afternoon, at which they must attend. 

But the people of St. Xist, instead of observing this, fled with their 
families into the woods, and thus disappointed the cardinal and his 
coadjutors. Then they proceeded to La Garde, the other town be- 
longing to the Waldenses, where, to avoid the like disappointment, 
they ordered the gates to be locked, and all avenues guarded. The 
same proposals were then made to the inhabitants as had been made 
to those of St. Xist, but with this artifice : the cardinal assured them 
that the inhabitants of St. Xist had immediately come into his propo- 
sals, and agreed that the pope should appoint them preachers. This 
falsehood succeeded : for the people of La Garde, thinking what 
the cardinal had told them to be truth, said they would exactly follow 
the example of their brethren of St. Xist. 

Having thus gained his point by a lie, he sent for two troops of sol- 
diers with a vic'v to massacre the people of St. Xist. He accordingly 
commanded the.n into the woods, to hunt them down like wild beasts, 
and gave them strict orders to spare neither age nor sex, but to kill 
all they came near. The troops accordingly entered the Avoods, and 
many fell a prey to their ferocity, before the Waldenses were appri- 
zed of their design. At length, however, they determined to sell 
their lives as dearly as possible, when several conflicts happened, in 
which the half-armed Waldenses performed prodigies of valour, and 
many were slain on both sides. At length, the greater part of the 
troops being killed in the difl'erent rencounters, the remainder were 
compelled to retreat ; which so enraged the cardinal, that he wrote 
to the viceroy of Naples for reinforcements. 

The viceroy, in obedience to this, proclaimed throughout the Nea- 
politan territories, that all outlaws, deserters, and other proscribed 
persons, should be freely pardoned for their several ofiences, on con- 
dition of making a campaign against the inhabitants of St. Xist, and 
f f continuing under arms till those people were destroyed. On this 
several persons of desperate fortunes came in, and being formed into 
ligh' companies, were sent to scour the woods, and put to death all 
• f.ey could meet with of the reformed religion. The viceroy himself 
also joined the cardinal at the head of a body of regular forces ; 
anJ, in conjunction, they strove to accomplish their bloody purpose. 
Some they caught, and, suspending them upon trees, cut down boughs 
and burnt them, or ripped them open, and left their bodies to be de- 
voured by wild beasts or birds of prey. Mar^y they shot at a dis- 
tance , but the greatest number they hunted down by way of sport. 


A few escaped into caves ; but famine destroyed them in their re 
treat; and the inhuman chase was continued till all these poor people 

The inhabitants of St. Xist being exterminated, those of La Garde 
engaged the attention of the cardinal and viceroy. The fullest pro- 
tection was offered to themselves, their families, and their children, 
if they would embrace the Roman Catholic persuasion ; but, on the 
contrary, if they refused this mercy, as it was insolently termed, the 
most cruel deaths would be the certain consequence. In spite of 
the promises on one side, and menaces on the other, the Waldenses 
unanimously refused to renounce their religion, or embrace the errors 
of popery. The cardinal and viceroy were so enraged at this, that 
they ordered thirty of them to be put immediately to the rack, as a 
terror to the others. Several of these died under the torture: one 
Charlin, in particular, was so cruelly used, that his belly burst, his 
bowels came out, and he expired in the greatest agonies. These 
barbarities, however, did not answer the end for which they were in- 
tended ; for those who survived the torments of the rack, and those 
who had not felt it, remained equally constant in their faith, and 
boldly declared, that nothing, either of pain or fear, should ever in- 
duce them to renounce their God, or bow down to idols. The inhu- 
man cardinal then ordered several of them to be stripped naked, and 
whipped to death with iron rods : some were hacked to pieces with 
large knives; others were thrown fi-om the top of a high tower ; and 
many were cased over with pitch and burnt alive. 

One of the monks who attended the cardinal, discovered a most 
inhuman and diabolical nature. He requested that he might shed 
«ome of the blood of these poor people with his own hands ; his 
request being granted, the monster took a large sharp knife, and cut 
the throats of fourscore men, women, and children. Their bodies 
were then quartered, the quarters placed upon stakes, and fixed in 
different parts of the country. 

The four principal men of La Garde were hanged, and the clergy- 
man was thrown from the top of his church steeple. He was dread- 
fully crushed, but not quite killed by the fall. The viceroy being 
present, said, " Is the dog yet living ? Take liim up, and cast him to 
the hogs ;" which brutal sentence was actually put in execution. 

The monsters, in their hellish thirst of cruelty, racked sixty of the 
women with such severity, that the cords pierced their limbs quite 
to the bone. They v/ere after this remanded to prison, where their 
wounds mortified, and they died in the most miserable manner. Many 
others were put to death by various means ; and so jealous and arbi- 
trary were those monsters, that if any Roman Catholics, more compas- 
sionate than the rest, interceded for any of the reformed, he was im- 
mediately apprehended, and sacrificed as a favourer of heretics. 

The viceroy being obliged to return to Naples, and the cardinal hav- 
•ng been recalled to Rome, the marquis of Butiane was commissioned 
to complete what they had begun ; which he at length effected by act- 
ing with such barbarous rigour, that there was not a single person of 
the reformed religion left in all Calabria. Thus were a great number 
of inoffensive and harmless people deprived of their possessions, 
robbed of their property, driven from their homes, and, at length, 
murdered, only because they would not sacrifice their consciences to 


the superstitions of others, embrace doctrines which they abnorred, 
and attend to teachers whom thev could not believe. 



The Waldenses, in consequence of the continued persecutions thiiy 
met with in France, fled for refuge to various parts of the world ; 
among other places, many of them sought an asylum in the valleys 
of Piedmont, where they increased and flourished exceedingly for a 
considerable time. 

Notwithstanding their harmless behaviour, inoflensive conversa- 
tion, and their paying tithes to the Romish clergy, the latter could not 
be contented, but sought to give, them disturbance, and accordingly 
complained to the archbishop of Turin, that the Waldenses were here- 
tics ; upon which he ordered a persecution to be commenced, in 
consequence of which many fell martyrs to the superstitious rage of 
the monks and priests. 

At Turin, one of the reformed had his bowels torn out and put into 
a bason before his face, where they remained, in his view, till he ex- 
pired. At Revel, Catelin Girard being at the stake, desired the exe- 
cutioner to give him up a stone, which he refused, thinking that he 
meant to throw it at somebody ; but Girard assuring him that he had 
no such design, the executioner complied ; when Girard, looking 
earnestly at the stone, said, " When it is in the power of a man to 
eat and digest this stone, the religion for which I am about to suffer 
shall have an end, and not before." He then threw the stone on the 
ground, and submitted cheerfully to the flames. A great many more 
were oppressed, or put to death, till, wearied Avith their sufferings, 
the Waldenses flew to arms in their defence, and formed themselves 
into regular bodies. Full of revenge at this, the archbishop of Turin 
sent troops against them ; but in most of the skirmishes the Wal- 
denses were victorious ; for they knew, if they were taken, they 
should not be considered as prisoners of war, but be tortured to death 
as heretics. 

Nohle Conduct of the Duke of Savoy. 

Philip the Seventh, who was at this time duke of Savoy, and su- 
preme lord of Piedmont, determined to interpose his authority, and 
stop these bloody wars, which so disturbed his dominions. Never- 
theless, unwilling to offend the pope, or the archbishop of Turin, he 
sent them both messages, importing, that he could not any longer 
tamely see his dominions overrun with troops, who were commanded 
by prelates in the place of generals ; nor would he suffer his country 
to be depopulated, while he himself had not been even consulted 
upon the occasion. 

The priests, perceiving the determination of the duke, had re- 
course to the usual artifice, and endeavoured to prejudice his mind 
against the Waldenses ; but he told them, that although he was unac- 
quainted with the religious tenets of these people, yet he had always 


found them quiet, faithful, and obedient, and was, therefore, determin- 
ed they should be persecuted no longer. The priests then %^ented 
the most palpable and absurd falsehoods ; they assured the duke that 
he was mistaken in the Waldenses, for they were a wicked set of 
people, and highly addicted to intemperance, uncleanness, blasphemy, 
adultery, incest, and many other abominable crimes ; and that they 
were even monsters in nature, for their children were born with 
black throats, with four rows of teeth, and bodies covered with hair. 
But the duke was not so to be imposed upon, notwithstanding the 
solemn affirmations of the priests. In order to come at the truth, he 
sent twelve gentlemen into the Piedmontese valleys, to examine into 
the real character of the people. 

These gentlemen, after travelling through all the towns and vil- 
lages, and conversing with the Waldenses of every rank, returned to 
the duke, and gave him the most favourable account of them ; affirm- 
ing, in contradiction to the priests, that they were harmless, inoffen- 
sive, loyal, friendly, industrious, and pious ; that they abhorred the 
crimes of which they were accused*; and that, should an individual, 
through his depravity, fall into any of those crimes, he would, by their 
laws, be punished in the most exemplary manner. With respect to 
the children, of whom the priests had told the most gross and ridicu- 
lous falsehoods, they were neither born with black throats, teeth in 
their mouth, nor hair on their bodies, but were as fine children as 
could be seen. " And to convince your highness of what we have 
said," continued one of the gentlemen, " we have brought twelve of 
the principal male inhabitants, who are come to ask pardon, in the 
name of the rest, for having taken up arms without your leave, 
though even in their own defence, and to preserve their lives from 
their merciless enemies. We have likewise brought several women, 
with children of various ages, that your highness may have an oppor- 
tunity of judging for yourself" His highness then accepted the apo- 
logy of the twelve delegates, conversed with the women, examined 
the children, and afterwards graciously dismissed them. He then 
commanded the priests, who had attempted to mislead him, immc 
diately to leave the court ; and gave strict orders, that the persecu- 
tion should cease throughout his dominions. 

During the remainder of the reign of this virtuous prince, the 
Waldenses enjoyed repose in their retreats ; but, on his death, this 
happy scene changed, for his successor was a bigoted papist. About 
the same time, some of the principal Waldenses proposed, that their 
clergy should preach in public, that every one might know the purity 
of their doctrines ; for hitherto they had preached only in private, 
and to such congregations as they well knew to consist of none but 
persons of the reformed religion. 

When this reached the ears of the new duke, he was greatly exas- 
perated, and sent a considerable body of troops into the valleys, 
swearing, that if the people would not conform to the Romish faith, he 
would have them flayed alive. The commander of the troops soon 
found the impracticability of conquering them with the number of men 
then under him ; he, therefore, sent word to the duke, that the idea 
of subjugating the Waldenses with so small a force was ridiculous ; 
that they were better acquainted with the country than any that were 
with him ; that they had secured all the passes, were well armed, and 


determined to defend themselves. Alarmed at this, the duke com- 
manded his troops to return, determining to act by stratagem. He, 
therefore, ordered rewards for taking any of the Waldenses, who 
might be found straying from their places of security ; and these, 
when taken, were either flayed alive or burnt. 

Pope Paul the Third, a furious bigot, ascending the pontifical chair 
immediately solicited the parliament of Turin to persecute the Wal- 
denses, as the most pernicious of all heretics. To this the parliament 
readily assented, when several were suddenly seized and burnt by 
their order. Among these was Bartholomew Hector, a bookseller 
of Turin. He had been brought up a Roman Catholic, but some trea- 
tises written by the reformed clergy having fallen into his hands, he 
was fully convinced of their -truth, and of the errors of the church of 
Rome ; yet his mind was, for some time, wavering between fear and 
duty, when, after serious consideration, he fully embraced the re- 
formed religion, and was apprehended, as we have already mention- 
ed, and burnt. 

A consultation was again held by the parliament of Turin, in which 
it was agreed that deputies should be sent to the valleys of Piedmont 
with the following propositions: — 1. That if the Waldenses would 
return to the bosom of the church of Rome, they should enjoy their 
houses, properties, and lands, and live with their families, without the 
least molestation. 2. That to prove their obedience, they should 
send twelve of their principal persons, Avith all their ministers and 
schoolmasters, to Turin, to be dealt with at discretion. 3. That the 
pope, the king of France, and the duke of Savoy, approved of, and 
authorized the proceedings of the parliament of Turin, upon this oc- 
casion. 4. That if the Waldenses of Piedmont rejected these pro- 
positions, persecution and death should be their reward. 

In answer to these hostile articles, the Waldenses made the follow- 
ing noble replies : — 1. That no consideration whatever should make 
thern renounce their religion. 2. That they would never consent to 
intrust their best friends to the custody and discretion of their worst 
enemies. 3. That they valued the approbation of the King of kings, 
who reigns in heaven, more than any temporal authority. 4. That 
their souls were more precious than their bodies. 

As may be conjectured, these spirited and pointed answers greatly 
exasperated the parliament of Turin ; in consequence of which, they 
continued, Avith more avidity than ever, to seize such Waldenses as 
unfortunately had strayed from their hiding-places, and put them to 
the most cruel deaths. 

They soon after solicited from the king of France a considerable 
body of troops, in order to exterminate the reformed from Piedmont ; 
but just as the troops were about to march, the protestant princes of 
Germany interposed, and threatened to send troops to assist the Wal- 
denses. On this, the king of France, not wishing to enter into a Avar, 
remanded the troops. This greatly disappointed the sanguinary 
members of the parliament, and for Avant of poAver the persecution 
gradually ceased, and they could only put to death such as they 
caught by chance, which, OAving to the caution of the Waldenses, 
were very fcAv. 

After a few years tranquillity, they were again disturbed in the fol- 
lowing manner : The pope's nuncio, coming to Turin, told the duke 


iie was astonished ihat he had not yet either rooted out the Walden 
ses from Piedmont entirely, or compelled them to return to the church 
of Rome. That such conduct in him awakened suspicion, and that 
he really thought him a favourer of those heretics, and should accord- 
ingly report the affair to the pope. Roused by this reflection, and 
fearful of being misrepresented to the pope, the duke determined to 
banish those suspicions ; and, to prove his zeal, resolved to persecute 
the unoffending Waldenses. He, accordingly, issued express orders 
for all to attend mass regularly, on pain of death. This they abso- 
lutely refused to do, on which he entered Piedmont with a great body 
of troops, and began a most furious persecution, in which great num- 
bers were hanged, drowned, ripped open, tied to trees, pierced with 
prongs, thrown from precipices, burnt, stabbed, racked to death, wor- 
ried by dogs, and crucified with their heads downwards. Those who 
fled had their goods plundered and their houses burnt. When they 
caught a minister or a schoolmaster, they put him to such exquisite 
tortures, as are scarcely credible. If any whom they took seemed 
wavering in their faith, they did not put them to death, but sent them 
to the galleys, to be made converts by dint of hardships. 

In this expedition, the duke was accompanied by three men who 
resembled devils, viz. 1. Thomas Incomel, an apostate, brought 
up in the reformed religion, but who had renounced his faith, embraced 
the errors of popery, and turned monk. He was a great libertine, 
given to unnatural crimes, and most particularly solicitous for the 
plunder of the "Waldenses. 2. Corbis, a man of a very ferocious and 
cruel nature, whose business was to examine the prisoners. 3. The 
provost of justice, an avaricious wretch, anxious for the execution of 
the Waldenses, as every execution added to his hoards. 

These three monsters were unmerciful to the last degree : wherever 
they came, the blood of the innocent was shed. But, besides the 
cruelties exercised by the duke with these three persons and the army 
in their different marches, many local barbarities took place. At 
Pignerol was a monastery, the monks of which finding they might 
injure the reformed with impunity, began to plunder their houses, 
and pull down their churches ; and not meeting with opposition, they 
next seized upon the persons of those unhappy people, murdering the 
men, confining the women, and putting the children to Roman Catho- 
lic nurses. 

In the same manner the Roman Catholic inhabitants of the valley 
of St. Martin did all they could to torment the neighbouring Walden- 
ses ; they destroyed their churches, burnt their houses, seized their 
property, carried away their cattle, converted their lands to their own 
use, committed their ministers to the flames, and drove the people to 
the woods, where they had nothing to subsist on but wild fruits, the 
bark of trees, roots, &lc. &c. 

Some Roman Catholic ruffians having seized a minister, as he was 
going to preach, determined to take him to a convenient place, and 
burn him. His parishoners hearing of this, armed themselves, pur- 
sued and attacked the villains ; who, finding they could not execute 
their first intent, stabbed the poor gentleman, and, leaving him wel- 
tering in his blood, made a precipitate retreat. His parishioners did 
all they could to recover him, but in vain ; for he expired as they were 
carrying him home. 


The monks of Pignerol having a great desire to get into their pos- 
session a minister of the town of St. Germain, hired a band of ruf- 
fians for the purpose of seizing him. These fellows were conducted 
by a treacherous servant to the clergyman, who knew a secret way 
to the house, by which he could lead them without alarming the 
neighbourhood. The guide knocked at the door, and being asked 
who was there, answered in his own name. The clergyman, expect- 
ing no injury from a person on whom he had heaped favours, imme- 
diately opened the door ; perceiving the ruffians, he fled, but they 
rushed in and seized him. They then murdered all his family ; 
after which they proceeded with their captive towards Pignerol, goad- 
ing him all the way. He was confined a considerable time in prison, 
and then burnt. 

The murderers continuing their assaults about the town of St. Ger- 
main, murdering and plundering many of the inhabitants, the reformed 
of Lucerne and Angrogne sent some armed men to the assistance of 
their brethren. These men frequently attacked and routed the ruf- 
fians, which so alarmed the monks, that they left their monastery of 
Pignerol, till they could procure regular troops for their protection. 

The duke of Savoy, not finding himself so successful as he at fii=t 
imagined he should be, augmented his forces, joined to them the ruf- 
fians, and commanded that a general delivery should take place in the 
prisons, provided the persons released would bear arms, and assist in 
the extermination of the Waldenses. 

No sooner were the Waldenses informed of these proceedings, than 
they secured as much of their property as they could, and, quitting 
the valleys, retired to the rocks and caves among the Alps. 

The army no sooner reached their destination than they began to 
plunder and burn the towns and villages ; but they could not force 
the passes of the Alps, gallantly defended by the Waldenses, who, in 
those attempts, always repulsed their enemies ; but if any fell into the 
hands of the troops, they were treated in the most barbarous manner. 
A soldier having caught one of them, bit his right ear off, saying, " I 
will carry this member of that wicked heretic with me into my own 
"country, and preserve it as a rarity." He then stabbed the man, and 
threw him into a ditch. 

At one time, a party of troops found a venerable man, upwards of 
an hundred years of age, accompanied by his grand-daughter, a maiden, 
of about eighteen, in a cave. They murdered the poor old man in a 
most inhuman manner, and then attempted to ravish the girl, when she 
started away, and being pursued, threw herself from a precipice and 
was dashed to pieces. 

Determined, if possible, to expel their invaders, the Waldenses en- 
tered into a league with the protestant powers in Germany, and with 
the reformed of Dauphiny and Pragela. These were respectively to 
furnish bodies of troops; and the Waldenses resolved, when thus re- 
inforced, to quit the mountains of the Alps, where they soon must have 
perished, as the winter was coming on, and to force the duke's army 
to evacuate their native valleys. 

But the duke of Savoy himself was tired of the war, it having cost 
him great fatigue and anxiety of mind, a vast number of men, and 
very considerable sums of money. It had been much more tedious 
and Woody than he expected, as well as more expensive than he at 


first imagined, for he thought the plunder would have discharged the 
expenses of the expedition : in this, however, he was mistaken ; for 
the pope's nuncio, the bishops, monks, and other ecclesiastics, who 
attended the army, and encouraged the war, sunk the greatest part of 
the wealth that was taken, under various pretences. For these rea- 
sons, and the death of his dutchess, of which he had just received in- 
telligence, and fearing that the Waldenses, by the treaties they had 
entered into, would become too powerful for him, he determined to 
return to Turin with his army, and to make peace with them. 

This resolution he put in practice, greatly against the wish of the 
ecclesiastics, who, by the war, gratified both their avarice and revenge. 
Before the articles of peace could be ratified, the duke himself died ; 
but, on his death bed, he strictly enjoined his son to perform what he 
had intended, and to be as favourable as possible to the Waldenses, 

Charles Emanuel, the duke's son, succeeded to the dominions of 
Savoy, and fully ratified the peace with the Waldenses, according to 
the last injunctions of his father, though the priests used all their arts 
to dissuade him from his purpose. 



Before the terrors of the inquisition were known at Venice, a great 
number of protestants fixed their residence there, and many converts 
were made by the purity of their doctrines, and the inofiensiveness 
of their conversation. 

The pope no sooner learned the great increase of protestantism, 
than he, in the year 1542, sent inquisitors to Venice, to apprehend 
such as they might deem obnoxious. Hence a severe persecution 
began, and many persons were martyred for serving God with since- 
rity, and scorning the trappings of superstition. 

Various were the modes by which the protestants were deprived of 
life ; but one in particular, being both new and singular, we shall de- 
scribe : as soon as sentence was passed, the prisoner had an iron 
chain, to which was suspended a great stone, fastened to his body ; 
he was then laid flat upon a plank, Avith his face upwards, and rowed 
between two boats to a certain distance at sea, when the boats sepa- 
rated, and, by the weight of the stone, he was sunk to the bottom. 

If any dared to deny the jurisdiction of the inquisitors at Venice, 
they were conveyed to Rome, where, being committed to damp and 
nauseous dungeons, their flesh mortified, and a most miserable death 

A citizen of Venice, named Anthony Ricetti, being apprehended as 
a protestant, was sentenced to be drowned in the manner above de- 
scribed. A few days previous to his execution, his son went to him, 
and entreated him to recant, that his life might be saved, and himself 
not left an orphan. To this the father replied, " A good Christian is 
bound to relinquish not only goods and children, but life itself, for the 
glory of his Redeemer." The nobles of Venice likewise sent him 
word, that if he would embrace the Roman Catholic religion, they 


would not only grant him life, but redeem a considerable estate whicli 
he had mortgaged, and freely present him with it. This, however, 
he absolutely refused to comply with, saying that he valued his soul 
beyond all other considerations. Finding all endeavours to persuade 
him inertectual, they ordered the execution of his sentence, which 
took place accordingly, and he died recommending his soul fervently 
to his Redeemer. 

Francis Sega, another Venetian, steadfastly persisting in his faith, 
M'as executed, a few days after Ricetti, in the same manner. 

Francis Spinola, a protestant gentleman of great learning, was ap- 
prehended by order of the inquisitors, and carried before their tribunal, 
A treatise on the Lord's Supper was then put into his hands, and he 
was asked if he knew the author of it. To which he replied, " I con- 
fess myself its author; and solemnly affii-m, that there is not a line in 
it but what is authorized by, and consonant to, the Holy Scriptures." 
On this confession he was committed close prisoner to a dungeon. 
After remaining there several days, he was brought to a second ex- 
amination, when he charged the pope's legate, and the inquisitors, 
with being merciless barbarians, and represented the superstition and 
idolatry of the church of Rome in so strong a light, that, unable to re- 
fute his arguments, they recommitted him to his dungeon. Being 
brought up a third time, they asked him if he would recant his errors, 
to which he answered, that the doctrines he maintained were not er- 
roneous, being purely the same as those which Christ and his apostles 
had taught, and which were handed down to us in the sacred scrip- 
tures. The inquisitors then sentenced him to be drowned, which was 
executed in the manner already described. He went to death -with 
joy, thinking it a happiness to be so soon ushered into the world of glory, 
to dwell with God and the spirits of just men made perfect. 



John Mollius was born at Rome, of a respectable family. At twelve 
years old his parents placed him in a monastery of gray friars, where 
he made so rapid a progress in his studies, that he was admitted to 
priest's orders at the early age of eighteen years. He was then sent 
to Ferrara, where, after six years further study, he was appointed theo- 
logical reader in the university of that city. Here he began to exer- 
cise his great talents to disguise the gospel truths, and to varnish over 
the errors of the church of Rome. Having passed some years here, he 
removed to the university of Benonia, where he became a professor. 
At length, happily reading some treatises written by ministers of the 
reformed religion, he was suddenly struck with the errors of popery, 
and became in his heart a zealous protestant. He now determined to 
expound, in truth and simplicity, St. Paul's epistle to the Romans, in 
a regular course of sermons ; at Cuch of which he was attended by a 
vast concourse of people. But when the priests learned his doctrines, 
they despatched an account thereof to Rome ; upon which the pope 
sent Cornelius, a monk, to Benonia, to expound the same epistle, ac 


cording to his own tenets, and lo controvert tlie doctrine of Mollius. 
The people, however, found such a disparity between the two preach- 
ers, that the audience of Molhus increased, while Cornelius preached 
to empty benches. The latter, on this, wrote of his bad success to the 
pope, who immediately ordered Mollius to be apprehended. He was 
seized accordingly, and kept in close confinement. The bishop of 
Benonia sent him word that he must recant or be burnt ; but he ap- 
pealed to Rome, and was in consequence removed thither. Here he 
begged to have a public trial ; but this the pope absolutely denied him, 
and commanded him to explain his opinions in writing, which accord 
ingly he did on scripture authority. The pope, for reasons of policy, 
spared him for the present; but, in 1553, had him hanged, and his 
body afterwards burnt to ashes. 

Francis Gamba, a Lombard, and a protestant, was apprehended, 
and condemned to death by the senate of Milan, in the year 1554. 
At the place of execution, he was presented by a monk M'ith a cross. 
" My mind," said Gamba, " is so full of the real merits and goodness 
of Christ, that I want not a piece of senseless stick to put me in mind 
of him." For this expression his tongue was bored through, after 
Mhich he was committed to the flames. 

About the same period Algerius, a learned and accomplished student 
in the university of Padua, embraced the reformed religion, and was 
zealous in the conversion of others. For these proceedings he was ac- 
cused of heresy to the pope, and being apprehended, was committed to 
the prison at Venice, whence he wrote to his converts at Padua the 
following celebrated and beautiful epistle. 

"Dear Friends, 

" I CANNOT omit this opportunity of letting you know the sincere 
pleasure I feel in my confinement : to suffer for Christ is delectable 
indeed ; to undergo a little transitory pain in this world, for his sake, 
is cheaply purchasing a reversion of eternal glory, in a life that is ever- 
lasting. Hence I have found honey in the entrails of a lion ; a para- 
dise in a prison ; tranquillity in the house of sorrow : where others 
weep, I rejoice ; where others tremble and faint, I find strength and 
courage. The Almighty alone confers these favours on me ; be his 
the glory and the praise. 

" How different do I find myself from what I was before I embraced 
the truth in its purity ! I was then dark, doubtful, and in dread ; I 
am now enlightened, certain, and full of joy. He that was far from 
me, is present with me ; he comforts my spirit, heals my grief, 
strengthens my mind, refreshes my heart, and fortifies my soul. 
Learn, therefore, how merciful and amiable the Lord is, who supports 
his^ servants under temptations, expels their sorrows, lightens their 
afflictions, and even visits them with his glorious presence in the gloom 
of a dismal dungeon. 

"Your sincere fiiend, 


The pope being informed of Algerius's great learning and abilities, 
sent for him to Rome, and tried, by every means, to win him to hi& 
purpose. But finding his endeavours hopeless, he ordered him to be 

Assassination of the Prince of Orange hy Baltazar 
Crerard. Page 143. 

Constantine XV. defending Constantinople. P. 147. 

Barbarities exercised by the Popish Persecutors on 
the Waldenses of Calabria. Page 151. 


In 1559, John Alloisius, a protestant teacher, having come from 
Geneva to preach in Calabria, was there apprehended, carried to 
Rome, and burnt, by order of tlie pope ; and at Messina, James Bo- 
velkis was burnt for the same offence. 

In the year 1560, Pope Pius the Fourth commenced a general per- 
secution of the protestants throughout the Italian states, when great 
numbers of every age, sex, condition, suffered martyrdom. Con- 
cerning the cruelties practised upon this occasion, a learned and hu- 
mane Roman Catholic thus speaks in a letter to a nobleman : 

" I cannot, rny lord, forbear disclosing my sentiments with respect 
to the persecution now carrying on. I think it cruel and unneces- 
sary; I tremble at the manner of putting to death, as it resembles 
more the slaughter of calves and sheep, than the execution of human 
beings. I will relate to your lordship a dreadful scene, of which I 
was myself an eye witness : seventy protestants were cooped up in 
one filthy dungeon together ; the executioner went in among them, 
picked out one from among the rest, blindfolded him, led him out to 
an open place before the prison, and cut his throat with the greatest 
composure. He then calmly walked into the prison again, bloody as 
he was, and, with the knife in his hand, selected another, and dis- 
patched him in the same manner; and this, my lord, he repeated, till 
the whole number were put to death. I leave it to your lordship's 
feelings to judge of my sensations upon the occasion ; my tears now 
wash the paper upon which I give you the recital. Another thing I 
must mention, the patience with which they met death ; they seemed 
all resignation and piety, fervently praying to God, and cheerfully 
encountering their fate. I cannot reflect without shuddering, how 
the executioner held the bloody knife between his teeth ; what a 
dreadful figure he appeared, all covered with blood, and with what 
unconcern he executed his barbarous office !" 



The marquisate of Saluces, or Saluzzo, is situated on the south side 
of the valleys of Piedmont, and, in the year 1561, was principally 
mhabited by protestants, when the marquis began a persecution 
against them at the instigation of the pope. He commenced by 
banishing the ministers; if any of whom refused to leave their flocks, 
they were imprisoned, and severely t' rtured ; he did not, however, 
put any to death. 

A little time after, the marquisate fell into the possession of the 
duke of Savoy, who sent circular letters to all the towns and villages, 
that he expected the people should all go to mass. Upon this the 
inhabitants of Saluces returned a submissive, yet manly answer, en- 
treating permission to continue in the practice of the religion of their 

This letter, for a time, seemed to pacify the duke, but, at length, he 
sent them word, that they must either conform to his former commands, 
or leave his dominions in fifteen days. The protestants, upon this 



unex]>ected edict, sent a deputy to the duke to obtain his revocation, 
or at least to have it moderated. Their petitions, however, were 
vain, and thev were given to understand that the edict was peremp- 

Some, under the impulse of fear, or worldly interest, were weak 
enough to go to mass, in order to avoid banishment, and preserve their 
property ; others removed, with all their effects, to different countries ; 
many neglected the time so long, that they were obliged to abandon 
all they were worth, and leave the marquisate in haste ; while some, 
who unhappily staid behind, were seized, plundered, and put to death 



Pope Clement the Eighth sent missionaries into the valleys of Pied 
mont, with a view to induce the protestants to renounce their reli- 
gion. These missionaries erected monasteries in several parts of the 
valleys, and soon became very troublesome to the reformed, to whom 
the monasteries appeared not only as fortresses to curb, but as sanc- 
tuaries for all such to fly to as had injured them in any degree. 

The insolence and tyranny of these missionaries increasing, the 
protestants petitioned the duke of Savoy for protection. But instead 
of granting any redress, the duke published a decree, in which he de- 
clared, that one witness should be sufficient in a court of law against 
a protestant ; and that any witness who convicted a protestant of any 
crime whatever, should be entitled to a hundred crowns as a reward. 

In consequence of this, as may be imagined, many protestants fell 
martyrs to the perjury and avarice of the papists, who would SAvear 
any thing against them for the sake of the reward, and then fly to 
their own pi-iests for absolution from their false oaths. 

These missionaries endeavoured to get the books of the protestants 
into their power, in order to burn them ; and on the owners conceal- 
ing them, wrote to the duke of Savoy, who, for the heinous crime of 
not surrendering their bibles, prayer books, and religious treatises, 
sent a number of troops to be quartered on them, which occasioned 
the ruin of many families. 

To encourage, as much as possible, the apostacy of the protestants, 
the diike published a proclamation, granting an exemption for five 
years from all taxes to every protestant Avho should become a catho- 
lic. He likewise established a court called the council for extirpa- 
ting the heretics; the object and nature of which are sufficiently evi- 
dent from its name. 

After this the duke published several edicts, prohibiting the protest- 
ants from acting as schoolmasters or tutors ; from teaching any art, 
science, or language; from holding any places of profit, trust, or ho- 
nour : and, finally, commanding them to attend mass. This last was 
the signal for a persecution, which, of course, soon followed. 

Before the persecution commenced, the missionaries employed kid- 
nappers to steal away the children of the protestants, that they might 
nrivately be brought up Roman Catholics ; but now they took away 


the children by open force, and if the wretched parents resisted, they 
were immediately murdered. 

The duke of Savoy, in order to give force to the persecution, called a 
general assembly of the Roman Catholic nobility and gentry, whence 
issued a solemn edict against the reformed, containing many heads, 
and including several reasons for extirpating them, among which the 
following were the principal : the preservation of the papal authority, 
that the church livings might be all under one mode of government, 
to make an union among all parties, in honour of all the saints and of 
the ceremonies of the church of Rome. 

This was followed by a most cruel order, published on January 25, 
1655, which decreed, that every family of the reformed religion, of 
whatever rank, residing in Lucerne, St. Giovanni, Bibiana, Campig- 
lione, St. Secondo, Lucernetta, La Torre, Fenile, or Bricherassio, 
should, Avithin three days after the publication thereof, depart from 
their habitations to such places as were appointed by the duke, on pain 
of death and confiscation. 

This order produced the greatest distress among the unhappy objects 
of it, as it was enforced with the greatest severity, in the depth of a 
very severe winter, and the people were driven from their habitations 
at the time appointed, without even sufficient clothes to cover them ; 
by which many perished in the mountains, through the severity of the 
weather, or for want of food. Those M'ho remained behind after the 
publication of the decree, were murdered by the popish inhabitants, or 
shot by the troops, and the most horrible barbarities were perpetrated 
by these ruffians, encouraged by the Roman Catholic priests and 
monks, of which the following may serve as a specimen. 

Martha Constantine, a beautiful young woman, was first ravished, 
and then killed, by cutting off her breasts. These some of the soldiers 
fried, and set before their comrades, who eat them without knowing 
what they were. When they had done eating, the others told them 
what they had made a meal of, in consequence of which, a quarrel en- 
sued, and a battle took place. Several were killed in the fray, the 
greater part of whom were those concerned m the horrid massacre of 
the woman, and the inhuman deception on their comrades. 

Peter Simonds, a protestant of about eighty years of age, was tied 
neck and heels, and then thrown down a precipice. In his fall the 
branch of a tree caught hold of the ropes that fastened him, and sus- 
pended him in the mid-way, so that he languished for several days, 
till he perished of hunger. 

Several men, women, and children were flung from the rocks, and 
dashed to pieces. Among others, Magdalen Bertino, a protestant 
woman of La Torre, was stripped naked, her head tied between her 
legs, and she was then thrown dc \vn a precipice. Mary Raymondet, of 
the same town, had her flesh sliced from her bones till she expired ; 
Magdalen Pilot, of Villaro, was cut to pieces in the cave of Castolus : 
Ann Charboniere had one end of a stake thrust up her body, and the 
other end being fixed in the ground, she was left in that manner to 
perish , and Jacob Perrin, the elder, of the church of Villaro, with 
David, his brother, was flayed alive. 

Giovanni Andrea Michialin, an inhabitant of La Torre, with four of 
his children, was apprehended ; three of them were hacked to pieces 
before him, the soldiers asking him at the death of every child, if he 


would recant, which he constantly refused. One of the soldiers then 
took up the last and youngest by the legs, and putting the same ques- 
tion to the father, he replied as before, when the inhuman brute dash- 
ed out the child's brains. The father, however, at the same moment 
started from them, and fled : the soldiers fired after him, but missed 
him ; and he escaped to the Alps, and there remained concealed. 

Giovanni Pelanchion, on refusing to abjure his faith, was tied by one 
leg to the tail of a mule, and dragged through the streets of Lucerne, 
amidst the acclamations of an inhuman mob, who kept stoning him, 
and crying out, " He is possessed of the devil." They then took him 
to the river side, chopped off his head, and left that and his body un- 
buried, upon the bank of the river. 

A beautiful child, ten years of age, named Magdalene Fontaine, was 
ravished and murdered by the soldiers. Another girl, of about the 
same age, they roasted alive at Villa Nova; and a poor woman, hear- 
ing the soldiers were coming toAvards her house, snatched up the cra- 
dle in which her infant son was asleep, and fled towards the woods. 
The soldiers, however, saw and pursued her, when she lightened her- 
self by putting down the cradle and child, which the soldiers no sooner 
came to, than they murdered the infant, and continuing the pursuit, 
found the mother in a cave, where they first ravished, and then cut her 
to atoms. 

Jacobo Michelino, chief elder of the church of Bobbio, and several 
Other protestants, were hung up by hooks fixed in their flesh, and left 
VOto expire. Giovanni Rostagnal, a venerable protestant, upwards of 
IbUTscore years of age, had his nose and ears cut off, and the flesh cut 
&om his body, till he bled to death. 

Jacob Birone, a schoolmaster of Rorata, was striped naked ; and 
after having been so exposed, had the nails of his toes and fingers torn 
off with red-hot pincers, and holes bored through his hands with the 
point of a dagger. He next had a cord tied round his n\iddle, and was 
led through the streets with a soldier on each side of him. At every 
turning, the soldier on his right-hand side cut a gash in his flesh, and 
the soldier on his left-hand side struck him with a bludgeon, both say- 
ing, at the same instant, "Will you go to mass? Will you go to mass?" 
He still replied in the negative, and being at length taken to the bridge, 
they cut off his head on the balustrades, and threw both that and his 
body into the river. 

Paul Gamier, a protestant, beloved for his piety, had his eyes put 
out, was then flayed alive, and being divided into four parts, his quar- 
ters were placed on four of the principal houses of Lucerne. He bore 
all his sufferings with the most exemplary patience, praised God as 
long as he could speak, and plainly evinced the courage arising from 
a confidence in God. 

Some of the Irish troops having taken eleven men of Garcigliani 
prisoners, they heated a furnace red hot, and forced them to push 
each other in, till they came to the last man, whom they themselves 
pushed in. 

Michael Gonet,a man about 90 years old, was burned to death; Bap- 
tista Oudri, another old man, was stabbed ; and Bartholomew Frasche 
had his heels pierced, through which ropes being put, he was dragged 
by them to the gaol, where, in consequence of his wounds mortifying, 
he soon died. 


Magdalene de la Peire, being pursued by some of the soldiers, and 
taken, was cast down a precipice, and dashed to pieces. Margaret 
Revella and Mary Pravillerin, two very old women, were burnt alive ; 
Michael Bellino, with Bochardno, were beheaded ; Joseph Chairet, 
and Paul Carniero, were flayed alive. 

Cipriana Bustia being asked if he would renounce his religion, and 
turn Roman Catholic, replied, " I would rather renounce life, and turn 
dog :" to which a priest answered, " For that expression you shall both 
renounce life and be given to the dogs." They, accordingly, dragged 
him to prison, where they confined him till he perished of hunger, af- 
ter which they threw his corpse into the street before the prison, and 
it was devoured by dogs. 

Lucy, the wife of Peter Besson, being in an advanced state of preg- 
nancy, determined, if possible, to escape from such dreadful scenes as 
every where surrounded her : she accordingly took two young chil- 
dren, one in each hand, and set oft" towards the Alps. But on the third 
day of the journey she was taken in labour among the mountains, and 
delivered of an infant, who perished through the inclemency of the 
weather, as did the other two children ; for all three were found dead 
by her side, and herself just expiring, by the person to whom she re- 
lated the above circumstances. 

Francis Gross had his flesh slowly cut from his body into small 
pieces, and put into a dish before him ; two of his children were 
minced before his sight, while his wife was fastened to post, to behold 
these cruelties practised on her husband and offspring. The tormen- 
tors, at length, tired of exercising their cruelties, decapitated both hus- 
band and wife. 

The Sieur Thomas Margher fled to a cave, where being discovered, 
the soldiers shut up the mouth, and he perished with famine. Judith 
Revelin, with seven children, were barbarously murdered in their beds. 

Jacob Roseno was commanded to pray to the saints, which he refu- 
sing, the soldiers beat him violently with bludgeons to make him com- 
ply, but he continuing steady to his faith, they fired at him. While in 
the agonies of death, they cried to him, " Will you pray to the saints ?" 
To which he answered, " No !" when one of the soldiers, with abroad 
sword, clove his head asunder, and put an end to his sufferings. 

A young woman, named Susanna Ciacquin, being attempted to be 
ravished by a soldier, made a stout resistance, and in the struggle, 
pushed him over a precipice, when he was dashed to pieces by the fall. 
His comrades immediately fell upon her with their swords, and cut 
her to atoms. 

Giovanni Pullius, being apprehended as a protestant by the soldiers, 
was ordered, by the Marquis Pianessa, to be executed in a place near 
the convent. When brought to the gallows, several monks attended, 
to persuade him to renounce his religion. But finding him inflexible, 
they commanded the executioner to perform his office, which he did, 
and so launched the martyr into the world of glory. 

Paul Clement, an elder of the church of Rossana, being apprehended 
by the monks of a neighbouring monastery, was carried to the mar- 
ket-place of that town, where some protesiants had just been executed. 
On beholding the dead bodies, he said calmly, '• You may kill the body, 
but you cannot prejudice ihe soul of a true believer: with respect to 
the dreadful sj.ectacles which you have here shown me, you may rest 



assured, that God's vengeance will overtake the murderers of those 
poor people, and punish them for the innocent blood they have spilt." 
The monks were so exasperated at this reply, that they ordered him to 
be hung up directly: and while he was hanging, the soldiers amused 
themselves by shooting at the body. 

Daniel Rambaut, of Villaro, the father of a numerous family, was 
seized, and, with several others, committed to the gaol of Paysana. 
Here he was visited by several priests, vrho, with continual importu- 
nities, strove to persuade him to turn papist; but this he peremptorily 
refused, and the priests finding his resolution, and enraged at his an- 
swers, determined to put him to the most horrible tortures, in the hope 
of overcoming his faith ; they therefore ordered one joint of his fingers 
to be cut off every day, till all his fingers were gone : they then pro- 
ceeded in the same manner Avith his toes ; afterwards they alternately 
cut off, daily, a hand and a foot ; but finding that he bore his suflerings 
with the most unconquerable fortitude, and maintained his faith with 
steadfast resolution, they stabbed him to the heart, and then gave his 
body to be devoured by dogs. 

Peter Gabriola, a protestant gentleman, of considerable eminence 
being seized by a troop of soldiers, and refusing to renounce his reli- 
gion, they hung several bags of gunpowder about his body, and then 
setting fire to them, blew him up. 

Anthony, the son of Samuel Catieris, a poor dumb lad, and extremely 
inoflfensive, was cut to pieces by a party of the troops ; and soon after 
the same ruffians entered the house of Peter Moniriat, and cut off the 
legs of the whole family, leaving them to bleed to death, they being 
unable to assist each other in that melancholy plight. 

Daniel Benech, being apprehended, had his nose slit, and his ears 
cut ofl'; after which he was divided into quarters, and each quarter 
hung upon a tree. Mary Monino had her jaw-bones broken, and was 
then left to languish till she was starved to death. 

A protestant lady, named Constantia Bellione, Was apprehended on 
account of her faith, and asked by a priest if she would renounce the 
devil, and go to mass ; to which she replied, " I was brought up in a 
religion by which I was always taught to renounce the devil ; but 
should I comply with your desire, and go to mass, I should be sure to 
meet him there, in a variety of shapes." The priest was highly in- 
censed at this, and told her to recant, or she should suffer cruelly. 
She, however, boldly answered, " That she valued not any sufferings 
he could inflict, and in spite of all the torments he could invent, she 
would keep her faith inviolate." The priest then ordered slices of 
her flesh to be cut off from several parts of her body. This she bore 
Avith the most singular patience, only saying to the priest, " What hor- 
rid and lasting torments you will sufler in hell, for the trifling and tem- 
porary pains which I now endure !" Exasperated at this expression, 
the priest ordered a file of musketeers to draw up and fire upon her, 
by which she was soon despatched. 

Judith Mandon was fastened to a stake, and sticks thrown at her 
from a distance. By this inhuman treatment, her limbs were beat and 
mangled in a most terrible manner. At last one of the bludgeons 
striking her head, she was at once freed from her pains and her life. 

Paul Genre and David Paglia, each with his son, attempting to es- 
cape to the Alps, were pursued, and overtaken by the soldiers in a 


large plain. Here they hunted them for their diversion, goading 
them with their swords, and making them run about till they dropped 
down with fatigue. When they found that their spirits were quite 
exhausted, the soldiers hacked them to pieces, and left their mangled 
boaies on the spot. 

Michael Greve, a young man of Bobbio, was apprehended in the 
town of La Torre, and being led to the bridge, was thrown over into 
the river. Being an expert swimmer, he swam down the stream, 
thinking to escape, but the soldiers and mob followed on both sides, 
and kept stoning him, till receiving a blow on one of his temples, he 
sunk and was drowned. 

David Armand was forced to lay his head down on a block, when a 
soldier, with a large hammer, beat out his brains. David Baridona 
was apprehended at Villaro, and carried to La Torre, where, refusing 
to renounce his religion, he was tormented by brimstone matches being 
tied between his fingers and toes, and set hre to, and afterwards, by 
having his flesh plucked off with red hot pincers, till he expired. 
Giovanni Barolina, with his wife, were thrown into a pool of stag- 
nant water, and compelled, by means of pitchforks and stones, to 
duck down their heads till they were sufibcated with the stench. 

A number of soldiers assaulted the house of Joseph Garniero, and 
before they entered, fired in at the window, and shot Mrs. Garniero, 
who was at that instant suckling her child. She begged them to spare 
the life of the infant, Avhich they promised to do, and sent it imme- 
diately to a Roman Catholic nurse. They then seized the husband, 
and hanged him up at his own door, and having shot the wife through 
the head, left her body weltering in its blood. 

Isaiah Mondon, an aged and pious protestant, fled from the merci- 
less persecutors to a cleft in a rock, where he sufiered the most dread- 
ful hardships ; for, in the midst of the winter, he was forced to lie on 
the bara stone without any covering ; his food was the roots he could 
scratch up near his mi-serable Habitation; and the only way by which 
he could procure drink, was to put snow in his mouth till it melted. 
Here, however, some of the soldiers found him, and after beating 
him immercifully, they drove him towards Lucerne, goading him all 
the way with the points of their swords. Being exceedingly weakened 
by his manner of living, and exhausted by the blows he had received, 
he fell down in the road. They again beat him to make him pro^ 
need ; till, on his knees, he implored them to put him out of his 
misery. This they at last agreed to do ; and one of them shot him 
through the head, saying, " There, heretic, take thy request." 

To screen themselves from danger, ?. number of men, women, and 
children, fled to a large cave,wliere they continued for some weeks in 
safety, two of the men going by stealth to procure provisions. These 
were, however, one day watched, by which the cave was discovered, 
and, soon after, a troop of Roman Catholics appeared before it. Many 
of these were neighbours, and intimate acquaintances, and some even 
relations to those in the cave. The protestants, therefore, came out, 
and implored them, b)'- the tics of hospitality, and of blood, not to 
murder them. But the bigoted wretches told them, they could not show 
any mercy to heretics, and, therefore, bade them all prepare to die. 
Hearing this, and knowing the obduracy of their enemies, the prot(;s- 
t<ints fell on their knees, lifted their hearts to heaven, and patiently 


EAvaited Iheir fate ; which the papists soon decided, by cutting them 
to pieces. 

Heroic Defence of the Protestants of Roras. 

The blood of the faithful being almost exhausted in all the towns 
and villages of Piedmont, there remained but one place that had been 
exempted from the general slaughter. This was the little common- 
alty of Roras, which stood upon an eminence. Of this, one of the 
duke of Savoy's officers determined, if possible, to make himself 
master ; with that view, he detached three hundred men to surprise it. 

The inhabitants, however, had intelligence o{ the approach of these 
troops, and Captain Joshua Gianavel, a brave protectant officer, put 
himself at the head of a small body of the citizens, and waited in 
ambuscade, to attack the enemy in a narrow passage, the only place 
by which the town could be approached. 

As soon as the troops appeared, and had entered the passage, the 
protestants commenced a Avell directed fire against them, and kept 
themselves concealed behind bushes. A great number of the soldiers 
were killed, and the rest, receiving a continual fire, and not seeing 
any to whom they might return it, made a precipitate retreat. 

The members of this little community immediately sent a memorial 
to the marquis of Pianessa, a general officer of the duke, stating, 
" That they were sorry to be under the necessity of taking up arms; 
but that the secret approach of a body of troops, without any previous 
notice sent of the purpose of their coming, had greatly alarmed them; 
that as it was their custom never to suffer any of the military to 
enter their little community, they had repelled force by force, and 
should do so again ; but, in all other respects, they professed them- 
selves dutiful, obedient, and loyal subjects, to their sovereign the 
duke of Savoy." 

The marquis, in order to delude and surprise them, answered, 
' That he was perfectly satisfied with their behaviour, for they had 
done right, and even rendered a service to their country, as the men 
who had attempted to pass the defile were not his troops, but a band 
of desperate robbers, who had, for some time, infested those parts, 
and been a terror to the neighbouring country." To give a greater 
colour to his treachery, he published a proclamation to the same pur- 
pose, expressive of thanks to the citizens of Roras. 

The very day after, however, he sent 500 men to take possession 
of the town, while the people, as he thought, were lulled into secu- 
rity by his artifice. 

Captain Gianavel, however, was not thus to be deceive:^ ; he, there- 
fore, laid a second ambuscade for these troops, and compelled them 
to retire with great loss. 

Foiled in these two attempts, the sanguinary marquis determined 
on a third, still more formidable ; but, with his usual duplicity, he 
published another proclamation, disowning any knoAvledge of the 
second attempt. 

He soon after sent 700 chosen men upon the expedition, who, in 
spite of the fire from the protestants, forced the defile, entered Roras, 
and began to murder every person they met with, Avithout distinction 
of sex or age. Captain Gianavel, at the head of his friends, though he 
had lost the defile, determined to dispute the passage through a for- 


tified pass, that led to the richest and best part of the town. Here he 
fiucceeded, by keeping up a continual fire, which did great execution, 
his men being all good marksmen. The Roman Catholic commander 
was astonished and dismayed at this opposition, as he imagined that 
he had surmounted all difficulties. He, however, strove to force the 
pass, but being unable to bring up only twelve men in front at a time, 
and the protestants being secured by a breast-work, he saw all his 
hopes frustrated. 

Enraged at the loss of so many of his troops, and fearful of dis- 
grace if he persisted in attempting what appeared so impracticable, he 
thought it wiser to retreat. Unwilling, however, to withdraw his 
men by the defile at which he had entered, on account of the danger, 
he designed to retreat towards Villaro, by another pass, called Piampra, 
which, though hard of access, was easy of descent. Here, however, 
he again felt the determined bravery of Captain Gianavel, who having 
posted his little band here, greatly annoyed the troops as they passed, 
and even pursued their rear till they entered the open country. 

The marquis of Pianessa, finding all his attempts baffled, and all his 
artifices discovered, resolved to throw off" the mask ; and therefore 
proclaimed, that ample rewards should be given to any who would 
bear arms against the obdurate heretics of Roras, and that any officer 
who would exterminate them, should be honoured accordingly. 

Captain Mario, a bigoted Roman Catholic, and a desperate ruffian, 
stimulated by this, resolved to undertake the enterprise. He, there- 
fore levied a regiment of 1000 men, and Avith these he resolved to 
attempt gaining the summit of a rock which commanded the town. 
But the protestants, aware of his design, suffered his troops to proceed 
without molestation, till they had nearly reached the summit of the 
rock, when they made a most furious attack upon them ; one party 
keeping up a well directed and constant fire, and others rolling down 
large stones. Thus were they suddenly stopped in their career. 
Many were killed by the musketry, and more by the stones, which 
beat them down the precipices. Several fell sacrifices to their own 
fears, for by attempting a precipitate retreat, they fell down and were 
dashed to pieces ; and Captain Mario himself, having fallen from a 
craggy place into a river at the foot of the rock, was taken up sense- 
less, and after lingering some time, expired. 

After this, another body of troops from the camp at Villaro, made 
an attempt upon Roras ; but were likewise defeated, and compelled 
to retreat to their camp. 

Captain Gianavel, for each of these signal victories, made a suitable 
discourse to his men, kneeling down with them to return thanks to 
the Almighty, for his providential protection; and concluding with the 
11th Psalm. 

The marquis of Pianessa, now enraged to the highest degree a 
being thus foiled by a handful of peasants, determined on their ex- 
pulsion or destruction. 

To this end he ordered all the Roman Catholic militia of Piedmont 
to be called out and disciplined. To these he joined eight thousand 
regular troops, and dividing the whole into three distinct bodies, he 
planned three formidable attacks to be made at once, unless the peo- 
ple of Roras, to whom he sent an accotmt of his great preparations, 
would comply with the following conditions : 


To ask pardon for taking up arms. To pay the expenses of all the 
expeditions sent against them. To acknowledge the infallibility of 
the pope. To go to mass. To pray to the saints. To deliver up 
tlieir ministers and schoolmasters. To go to confession. To pay 
loans for the delivery of souls from purgatory ; and to give up Captain 
Gianavel and the elders of their church at discretion. 

The brave inhabitants, indignant at these proposals, answered, 
" That sooner than comply with them, they Avould suffer their es- 
tates to be seized, their houses to be burnt, and themselves to be mur- 

Enraged at this, the marquis sent them the following laconic 

To the ohstinate Heretics of Roras. 
"You shall have your request, for the troops sent against you have 
strict injunctions to plunder, burn and kill. 


The three armies were accordingly put in motion, and the first at- 
tack ordered to be made by the rocks of Villaro ; the second by the 
pass of Bagnol; and the third by the defile of Lucerne. 

As might be expected from the superiority of numbers, the troops 
gained the rocks, pass, and defile, entered the town, and commenced 
the most horrid depredations. Men they hanged, burnt, racked to 
death, or cut to pieces ; women they ripped open, crucified, drowned, 
or threw from the precipices ; and children they tossed upon spears, 
minced, cut their throats, or dashed out their brains. On the first day 
of their gaining the town, one hundred and twenty-six sufl^ered in this 

Agreeably to the orders of the marquis, they likewise plundered the 
estates, and burnt the houses of the people. Several protestants, 
however, made their escape, under the conduct of the brave Giana- 
vel, whose wife and children were unfortunately made prisoners, and 
sent to Turin under a strong guard. 

The marquis, thinking to conquer at least the mind of Gianavel, 
wrote him a letter, and released a protestant prisoner, that he might 
carry it to him. The contents were, that if the captain would embrace 
the Roman Catholic religion, he should be indemnified for all his losses 
since the commencement of the war, his wife and children should be 
immediately released, and himself honourably promoted in the duke 
of Savoy's army ; but if he refused to accede to the proposals made 
to him, his wife and children should be put to death ; and so large a 
reward should be given to take him, dead or alive, that even some ol 
his own confidential friends should, from the greatness of the sum, 
be tempted to betray him. 

To this, Gianavel returned the following answer : 

" My Lord Marquis, 

"There is no torment so great, or death so cruel, that I would not 
prefer to the abjuration of my religion : so that promises lose their ef- 
fects, and menaces do b;.t strengthen me in my faith. 

"With respect to my wife and children, my lord, nothing can be 
more afilicting to me than the thoughts of their confinement, or more 


dreadful to my imagination, than their sufTcring a violent death. I 
lieenly feel all the tender sensations of a husband and parent ; I 
would sufl'er any torment to rescue them ; I would die to preserve 

" But having said thus much, my lord, I assure you that the pur- 
chase of their lives must not be the price of my salvation. You have 
them in your power it is true ; but my consolation is, that your power 
is only a temporary authority over their bodies : you may destroy the 
mortal part, but their immortal souls are out of your reach, and will 
live hereafter, to bear testimony against you for your cruellies. I 
therefore recommend them and myself to God, and pray for a refor- 
mation in your heart. 

** Joshua Gianavel." 

He then, with his followers, retired to the Alps, where, being after- 
wards joined by several protestant officers, with a considerable num- 
ber of fugitive protestants, they conjointly defended themselves, and 
made several successful attacks upon the Roman Catholic towns and 
forces ; carrying terror by the valour of their exploits, and the bold- 
ness of their enterprises. 

Nevertheless, the disproportion between their forces and those of 
tlieir enemies was so great, that no reasonable expectations could be 
entertained of their ultimate success ; which induced many protestant 
princes and states, in various parts of Europe, to interest themselves 
in favour of these courageous sufferers for religious and civil liberty. 

Among these intercessors, the protestant cantons of Switzerland 
early distinguished themselves ; and as their mediation was rejected 
by the duke of Savoy, they raised considerable sums of money, by 
private subscriptions, for the relief of the fugitives, and the assistance 
of the brave defenders of their native valleys. Nor did they limit 
their kindness to pecuniary relief; they despatched a messenger to 
the United Provinces, for the purpose of procuring subscriptions, and 
the interference of the Dutch government in favour of the Pied- 
montese, both of which they at length obtained. They then made 
another attempt to prevail on the duke of Savoy to grant his protest- 
ant subjects liberty of conscience, and to restore them to their ancient 
privileges ; but this, after much evasion on the part of the duke, also 

But that God, whom they worshipped in purity of spirit, now raised 
them up a more powerful champion in the person of Oliver Cromwell, 
Lord Protector of England. This extraordinary man, however cri- 
minal in the means by which he obtained power, certainly deserves 
the praise of having exercised it with dignity and firmness; and if his 
usurpation be censured, it must be acknowledged that he raised Eng- 
land to a station among the neighbouring powders, to which it had ne- 
ver before attained. From the throne which he had just seized, he 
dictated to the most potent monarchs of Europe ; and never was his 
influence more justly exercised, than in behalf of the persecuted pro- 
testants of Piedmont. He caused subscriptions to be set on foot 
throughout England in their favour ;* he sent an envoy to the court of 

* They amounted in England and Wales to forty thousand pounds ; a very large 
sum in those days, when the nation was exhausted and impoverished by a long ci^il 



France, and wrote to all tlie protestant powers of Europe, to interest 
them in the same good cause. He despatched an ambassador to the 
court of Turin, who was received with great respect by the duke, who 
pretended to justify his treatment of the Piedmontese, under the pre- 
tence of their being rebellious. 

But Cromwell would not suffer himself to be trifled with ; his am- 
bassador gave the duke to understand, that if negotiation failed, arms 
would be had recourse to ; and as the kings of Denmark and Sweden, 
the Dutch government, and many of the German states, encouraged 
by the example of the Protector, now came forward in the same cause, 
the duke found himself under the necessity of dismissing the English 
ambassador, with a very respectful message to his master, assuring 
him that " the persecutions had been much misrepresented and exag- 
gerated ; and that they had been occasioned by his rebellious subjects 
themselves : nevertheless, to show his great respect for his highness, 
he would pardon them, and restore them to iheir former privileges." 

This was accordingly done ; and the protestants returned to their 
homes, grateful for the kindness wich had been shown to them, and 
praising the name of the Lord, who is as a tower of strength to those 
who put their trust in him. 

During the lifetime of Cromwell, they lived in peace and security; 
but no sooner had his death relieved the papists from the terror of his 
vengeance, than they began anew to exercise that cruel and bigoted 
spirit which is inherent in popery : and although the persecutions were 
not avowedly countenanced by the court, they were connived at, and 
unpunished ; insomuch that whatever injury had been inflicted on a 
protestant, he could obtain no redress from the corrupted judges to 
whom he applied for that protection which the laws nominally granted 
to him. 

At length, in the year 1686, all the treaties in favour of the protes- 
tants were openly violated, by the publication of an edict, prohibiting 
the exercise of any religion but the Roman Catholic, on pain of death. 

The protestants petitioned for a repeal of this cruel edict : and their 
petitions were backed by their ancient friends, the protestant cantons 
of Switzerland, But the cries of his subjects, and the intercession of 
their allies were equally unavailing ; the duke replied that " his en- 
gagements with France obliged him to extirpate the heretics from 

Finding applications useless, the protestants flew to arms ; and be- 
ing attacked by the duke's army, and some French troops, on the 22d 
of April, 1686, they, after an obstinate engagement of several hours, 
obtained a complete victory, killing great numbers of the French and 

Exasperated by this defeat, the duke immediately collected a large 
army, which he augmented with a reinforcement of French and Swiss 
troops ; and was so successful in several engagements against the pro- 
testants, that the latter, despairing of success, consented to lay down 
their arms and quit the country, on his solemn promise of safety for 
themselves, their families, and property. 

No sooner were they disarmed, than the treacherous papists, acting 
upon their maxim, that no faith is to be kept with heretics, massacred 
a large body of them in cold blood, without distinction of age or sex: 
and burnt and ravaged the country in every direction. 


The horrors perpelrnted by these faithless and bigoted monsters, 
ahnost exceed belief. We will not weary and disgust our readers 
,vith the recital ; suffice it to say, that every variety of rapine, lust, 
and cruelty, were exliausted by these demons in human shape. Those 
protestants who were fortunate enough to escape, found an asylum in 
the Swiss cantons, and in Germany, where they were treated kindly, 
and lands granted to them for their residence. 

The natural consequence of these horrible proceedings was, that 
the fruitful valleys of Piedmont were depopulated and desolate; and 
the barbarous monster, who had caused this devastation, now feeling 
its ill effects, tried, by all means in his power, to draw Roman Catho- 
lic families from all parts of Europe, to re-people the valleys, and to 
cultivate the fields which had been blasted by the malignant breath 
of bigotry. 

Some of the exiles, in the meanwhile, animated by that love oj 
country vfh\c\i glows with peculiar warmth in their breasts, determined 
to make an attempt to regain a part of their native valleys, or to pe- 
rish in the attempt. Accordingly, nine hundred of them, who had re- 
sided, during their exile, near the lake of Geneva, crossing it in the 
night, entered Savoy without resistance, and, seizing two villages, ob- 
tained provisions, for whidi they paid, and immediately passed the 
river Arve, before the duke had notice of their arrival in the country. 

When he became acquainted with this, he was astonished at the 
boldness of the enterprise, and despatched troops to guard the defiles 
and passes ; which, however, were all forced by the protestants, and 
great numbers of the Savoyard troops defeated. 

Alarmed by this intellig.ence, and still more by a report that a great 
body of the exiles were advancing from Brandenburg to support those 
already in Savoy, and that many protestant states meant to assist them 
in their attempts to regain a footing in their native country, the duke 
published an edict, by which he restored them to all their former pri- 

This just and humane conduct was, hoAvever, so displeasing to that 
bigoted and ferocious tyrant, Louis XIV. of France, that he sent an 
order to the duke of Savoy to extirpate every protestant in his domi- 
nions ; and to afesist him in the execution of this horrible project, or to 
punish him if he were unwilling to engage in it, M. Catinat was des- 
patched at the head of an army of 10,000 men. This insolent dictation 
irritated the duke ; he determined no longer to be the slave of the French 
king, and solicited the aid of the emperor of Germany, and the king 
of Spain, who sent large bodies of troops to his assistance. Being 
also joined, at his own request, by the protestant army, he hesitated no 
longer to declare war against France ; and in the campaign which 
followed, his protestant subjects were of infinite service by their va- 
lour and resolution. The French troops were at length driven from 
Piedmont, and the heroic protestants were reinstated in their former 
possessions, their ancient privileges confirmed, and many new ones 
granted to them. The exiles now returned from Germany and Swit- 
zerland ; and were accompanied by many French refugees, Avhom 
the cruel persecutions of Louis had driven from their native land, in 
search of the toleration denied to them at home. But this infuriated 
bigot, not yet glutted with revenge, insisted on their being expelled 
from Piedmont ; and the Duke of Savoy, anxious for peace, was com 


pelled to comply with this meixiless demand, before the French king 
would sign the treaty. The wanderers, thus driven from the south of 
Europe, sought and found an asylum from the hospitality of the elec- 
tor of Brandenburg, and consoled themselves for the loss of a genial 
climate, and a delightful country, in the enjoyment of the more sub- 
stantial blessings of liberty of conscience, and security of property. 



Michael de Molinos, a Spaniard, of a rich and noble family, enter- 
ed, at an early age, into priest's orders, but would accept of no pre- 
ferment in the church. His talents were of a superior class, and he 
dedicated them to the service of his fellow creatures. His life was 
uniformly pious ; but he did not assume those austerities so com- 
mon among the religious orders of the Romish church. 

Being of a contemplative turn, he pursued the track of the mysti- 
cal divines, and having acquired great reputation in Spain, he became 
desirous of propagating his mode of devotion, and, acco-rdingly, left 
his own country, and settled in Rome. Here he soon connected him- 
self with some of the most distinguished among the literati, who, ap- 
proving of his religious maxims, assisted him in propagating them. 
His followers soon augmented to a considerable number, and, from 
the peculiarity of their doctrine, were distinguished by the name oi 

In 1675, he published a book, entitled, II Guida Spirituale, which 
soon became known, and was read, with great avidity, both in Italy 
and Spain. His fame was now blazed abroad, and friends flowed in 
upon him. Many letters were written to him, and a correspondence 
was settled between him and those who approved of his tenets, in dif- 
ferent parts of Europe. Some secular priests, both at Rome and 
Naples, declared themselves openly in his favour, and consulted him 
as a sort of oracle ; but those who attached themseh^es to him with 
the greatest sincerity, were some, of the fathers of the Oratory, the 
most eminent of whom were, Coloredi, Ciceri, and Petrucci. Many 
of the cardinals also courted his friendship. Among others, was the 
Cardinal d'Estrees, a man of great learning, to whom Molinos open- 
ed his mind without reserve. 

His reputation now began to alarm the Jesuits and Dominicans , 
they, therefore, exclaimed against him and his followers as heretics, 
and published several treatises in defence of their charge, Avhich 
Molinos answered with becoming spirit. 

These disputes occasioned such a disturbance in Rome, that the 
affair was noticed by the inquisition. Molinos and his book, and 
father Petrucci, who had written some treatises and letters on the 
same subject, were brought under a severe examination ; and the 
Jesuits were considered as the accusers. In the course of the exami- 
nation, both Molinos and Petrucci acquitted themselves so ably, that 
their books were again approved, and the answers which the Jesuits 
had wrtten, were censured as scandalous and unbecoming. 


Petrucci, on this occasion, was so highly applauded, that he was 
soon after made bishop of Jesis. Their books were now esteemed 
more than ever, and their method Avas more followed. 

Thus the great reputation acquired by Molinos and Petrucci, occa- 
sioned a daily increase of the Quietists. All who were thought sin- 
cerely devout, or at least affected to be so, were reckoned among the 
number. These persons, in proportion as their zeal increased in 
their mental devotions, appeared less careful as to the exterior parts 
of the church ceremonies. They were not so assiduous at masses, 
nor so earnest to procure them to be said for their friends ; nor were 
they so frequently either in processions or at confession. 

Notwithstanding the approbation expressed for Molinos' book by 
the inquisition had checked the open hostility of his enemies, they 
were still inveterate against him in their hearts, and determined, if 
possible, to ruin him. They therefore secretly insinuated that he 
had ill designs, and was an enemy to Christianity : that under pre- 
tence of raising men to a sublime strain of devotion, he intended to 
erase from their minds a sense of the mysteries of religion. And be- 
cause he was a Spaniard, they gave out that he Avas a descendant from 
a Jewish or Mahometan race, and that he might carry in his blood, 
or in his first education, some seeds of those doctrines he had since 
cultivated with no less art than zeal. * 

Molinos finding himself attacked with such unrelenting malice, took 
every necessary precaution to prevent its effect upon the public mind. 
He wrote a treatise entitled " Frequent and Daily Communion," 
which was likewise approved of by some of the most learned of the 
Romish clergy. This, with his Spiritual Guide, was printed in the 
year 1675 ; and in the preface to it, he declared, that he had not writ- 
ten it with any design to engage in matters of controversy, but by the 
earnest solicitations of many pious people. 

The Jesuits having again failed in their attempts to crush his influ- 
ence at Rome, applied to the court of France, when they so far suc- 
ceeded, that an order was sent to Cardinal d'Estrees, commanding him 
to prosecute Molinos with all possible rigour. The cardinal, notwith- 
standing his attachment to Mo'inos, resolved to sacrifice friendship 
to interest. Finding, however, there was not sufiicient matter for an 
accusation against him, he determined to supply that defect himself. 
He therefore wont to the inquisitors, and informed them of several 
particulars relative to Molinos and Petrucci, both of whom, with seve- 
ral of their friends, were put into the inquisition. 

On being brought before the inquisitors, (which Avas in the begin- 
ning of the year 1684,) Petrucci ansAvered the questions put to him 
Avith so much judgment and temper, that he Avas soon dismissed; but 
Avith regard to Molinos, though the inquisition had not any just accu- 
sation against him, yet they strained every nerve to find him guilty of 
heresy. They first objected to his holding a correspondence in dif- 
ferent parts of Europe ; but of this he Avas acquitted, as the matter of 
that correspondence could not be considered as criminal. They then 
directed their attention to some suspicious papers found in his cham- 
ber; but he so clearly explained their meaning, that nothing could be 
Avrested from them to his prejudice. At length, cardinal d'Estrees, 
after producing the order sent him by the king of France, fo: prose- 
cuting Molinos, said, he coul'l convince the court of his heresy. He 


then proceeded to pervert the meaning of some passages in Molinos s 
books and papers, and related many false and aggravating circum- 
stances relative to the prisoner. He acknowledged he had lived with 
him 1 nder the appearance of friendship, but that it was only to dis- 
cover his principles and intentions ; that he found them to be of a bad 
nature, and that dangerous consequences were likely to ensue ; but 
in order to niake a full discovery, he had assented to several things, 
which, in his heart, he detested ; and that, by these means, he be- 
came master of all his secrets. 

In consequence of this evidence, Molinos was closely confined in 
the inquisition, where he continued for some time, during which pe 
riod all was quiet, and his followers continued their mode of worship 
without interruption. But, at the instigation of the Jesuits, a storm 
suddenly broke out upon them with the most inveterate fury. 

Persecution of the Quictists. 

Count Vespiniani and his lady, Don Paulo Rocchi, and nearly se- 
venty other persons, among Avhom were many highly esteemed both 
for their learning and piety, were put into the inquisition. The accu- 
sation laid against the clergy was, their neglecting to say the brevia- 
ry ; the rest were accused of going to communion without first attend 
ing confession, and neglectiifg all the exterior parts of religion. 

The Countess Vespiniani, on her examination before the inquisitors 
said, that she had never revealed her method of devotion to any mor 
tal but her confessor, without whose treachery it was impossible they 
should knoAV it. That, therefore, it was time to give over going to 
confession, if priests thus abused it, betraying the most secret thoughts 
intrusted to them ; and that, for the future, she Avould only make^her 
confession to God. 

From that spirited speech, and the great noise made in consequence 
of the countess's situation, the inquisitors thought it most prudent to 
dismiss both her and her husband, lest the people might be incensed, 
and what she said might lessen the credit of confession. They were, 
therefore, both discharged ; but bound to appear whenever they 
should be called upon. 

Such Avas the inveteracy of the Jesuits against the Quietists, that 
within the space of a month upwards of 200 persons, besides those al- 
ready mentioned, were put into the inquisition ; and that method of 
devotion, which had passed into Italy as the most elevated to which 
mortals could aspire, was deemed heretical, and the chief promoters 
of it confined in dungeons. 

A circular letter, urging the extirpation of the Quietists, was sent, 
by the inquisitors, through Cardinal Cibo, the pope's chief minister, 
to the Italian bishops, but without much effect, as the greater number 
of them were inclined to Molinos's method. It was intended that this, 
as v/ell as all other orders from the inquisitors, should be kept secret; 
but not withstanding all their care, copies of it were printed, and dis- 
persed in most of the principal towns in Italy. This gave great un- 
easiness to the inquisitors, who use every method they can to conceal 
their proceedings from the knowledge of the world. They blamed the 
cardinal, and accused him of being the cause of it ; but he retorted 
on them, and his secretary laid the fault on both. 

Persecutions in Venice. Page 158. 

Seventy Protestants killed in coldhlood. Page 161. 

King John surrendering Us crown to the Pope. 
Page 189. ^ 




Sentence against Molinos. 
In the mean time, Molinos suffered greatly from the officers of the 
inquisition : and the only comfort he received was, being sometimes 
visited by father Petrucci. Yet although he had lived in'' the highest 
reputation in Rome for some years, he was now as much despised as 
he had been admired. Most of his followers, who had been placed in 
the mquisition, having abjured his mode, were dismissed ; but a harder 
fate awaited their leader. When he had laid a considerable time 
in prison, he was brought again before the inquisitors, to answer to a 
number of articles exhibited against him from his writings. As soon 
as he appeared in court, a chain was put around his body, and a wax- 
light in his hand, when two friars read aloud the articles of accusa- 
tion. Molinos answered each with great steadiness and resolution ; 
and notwithstanding his arguments totally defeated the force of all,' 
yet he was found guilty of heresy, and was condemned to imprison- 
ment for life. 

Having left the court, he was attended by a priest, who had borne 
him the greatest respect. On his arrival at the prison, he entered the 
cell with great tranquillity ; and on taking leave of the priest, thus 
addressed him: "Adieu, father; we shall meet again at the day of 
judgment and then it will appear on which side the truth is, whether 
on my side or on yours." 

While in confinement, he was several times tortured in the most 
cruel manner, till, at length, the severity of the punishments overpow- 
ered his strength, and death released him from his cruel persecutors. 
The followers of Molinos were so terrified by the sufferings of their 
leader, that the greater part of them soon abjured his mode ; and by 
the assiduity of the Jesuits, Quietism was totally extirpated. 



In our sixth chapter we gave a brief account of the horrible massa- 
cre in France, in 1572, in the reign of Charles IX. who has been well 
entitjed, " The bloody." This inhuman tyrant dying, was succeeded 
in lo74 by Henry HI. who, from political rather than religious mo- 
tives, favoured the protestants, which so greatly displeased the catho- 
lics, that he felt himself obliged to recal the privileges which he had 
granted them. Hence arose civil dissentions, which nearly ruined 
the kingdom. In 1589 Henry was assassinated by one James Cle- 
ment, a fanatical priest, and was succeeded by the kinff of Navarre, 
under i\ e title of Henry IV. -^ s 

This prince, after struggling with his numerous enemies during se- 
veral years, found it expedient to declare himself a Roman Catholic, 
and tl'us to obtain the suffrages of the majority of his subjects. This 
apos',acy was a severe afHiction to the faithful ; but although he aban- 
don^jd his religion, and sacrificed an heavenly for an eartlily crown, 
he Jid not, like many apostates, persecute the members of the church 


which he had quilted. He was, in all other respects, truly worthy of 
tlie appellation of Great; a title so frequently and so unjustly bestowed 
on men who sacrifice the lives and happiness of their fellow-creatures 
at the shrine of their own vanity and cruelty, and deserve rather to be 
execrated than admired, and regarded as demons than as demi-gods 

Upon the restoration of tranquillity in his dominions, Henry applied 
himself to the cultivation of the arts of peace, and by encouraging 
agriculture, manufactures, and trade, laboured successfully to recover 
France from the desolation and misery which thirty years of civil war 
and religious persecution had brought upon her. Nor was he unmind- 
ful of his ancient friends the protestant.s. By the edict of Nantes, is- 
sued in 1598, he granted them a full toleration and protection in the 
exercise of their religious opinions. In consequence of this, the true 
church of Christ abode in peace during many years, and flourished 

Henry was at length assassinated, in 1610, by Ravaillac, a Jesuit, 
filled with that frantic bigotry which the Roman Catholic religion has 
so peculiar a tendency to inspire and to cherish. 

Louis XIH. being a minor at the death of his father, the kingdom 
was nominally governed by the queen-mother, but really by her minion. 
Cardinal Richelieu, a man of great abilities, which were unhappily 
perverted to the worst purposes. He was cruel, bigoted, tyrannical, 
rapacious, and sensual ; he trampled on the civil and religious liberties 
of France ; and hesitated not to accomplish his intentions by the most 
barbarous and infamous methods. 

The protestants at length, unable longer to endure the injuries daily 
heaped upon them, resolved to take arms in defence of their religion 
and their liberty. But the vigour of the cardinal defeated all their en 
terprises, and Rochelle, the last fortress which remained in their pos 
session, was, in 1628, after a long siege, in which the defenders were 
reduced to the most horrible extremities of famine and suffering, sur- 
rendered to his victorious arms. He immediately caused the walls 
and fortifications to be destroyed ; and those of the garrison who sur- 
vived, were either put to death by the infuriated soldiery, or condemn- 
ed to the galleys for life. 

After this unhappy event, although the power of the protestants was 
too much broken to permit them to assert their rights in the field, and 
they therefore appeared to their enemies as if crushed and extinguish- 
ed, there yet remained many thousands who " refused to bow the knee 
to Baal ;" their God upheld them by his gracious promises ; they knew 
that He without whose orders " not even a sparrow shall perish," would 
not allow his faithful servants to fall unregarded ; and they consoled 
themselves with the reflection, that however they might be despised, 
contemned, and persecuted on earth, they would in the end arrive at 
those heavenly mansions prepared for them by their Father, where 
" all tears shall be wiped from all faces ;" and where an eternity of 
glorious and celestial happiness shall infinitely outweigh the tempora- 
ry and trival sufferings of mortality. 

During the fifty years which succeeded the reduction of Rochelle, 
the protestants suffered every indignity, injustice, and cruelty, which 
their barbarous persecutors could devise. They were at the mercy 
of every petty despot, who, " drest in a little brief authority," wished 
to gratify his malice, or signalize the season of his power by punish- 


ing the heretics, and evincing his attachment to tlie infallible church 
The consequences of this may easily be imagined ; every petty vexa- 
tion which can render private hfe miserable, every species of plun- 
der and extortion, and every m anton exertion of arbitrary power, were 
employed to harass and molest the protestants of all ranks, sexes, 
and ages. 

At length, in 1684, the impious and blasphemous tyrant, Louis 
XIV., who, in imitation of the worst Roman emperors, wished to re- 
ceive divine honours, and was flattered by his abject courtiers into 
the belief that he was more than human, determined to establish his 
claim to the title of Ic grand, which their fulsome adulation had be- 
stowed on him, by the extirpation of the heretics from his dominions. 
Pretending, however, to wish for their conversion to the trve faith, 
he gave them the alternative of voluntarily becoming papists, or be- 
ing compelled to it. 

On their refusal to apostatize, they were dragooned ; that is, the 
dragoons, the most ruffianly and barbarous of his Christian majesty's 
troops, were quartered upon them, with orders to live at discretion. 
Their ideas of discretion may easily be conceived, and accordingly the 
unhappy protestants were exposed to every species of sufi'ering, which 
lust, avarice, cruelty, bigotry, and brutality, can engender in the 
breasts of an ignorant, depraved, and infuriated soldiery, absolved 
from all restraint, and left to the diabolical promptings of their worst 
passions, whose flames Avere fanned by the assurances of the bishops, 
priests, and friars, that they were fulfilling a sacred duty, by punish- 
ing the enemies of God and religion ! 

An order was issued by the king, for the demolition of the protes- 
tant churches, and the banishment of the protestant ministers. Many 
other reformers were also ordered to leave the kingdom in a few days ; 
and we are told by Monsieur Claude, the celebrated author of " Les 
Plaintcs dcsProtestans,"' who was himself banished at this time, that 
the most frivolous pretexts were employed to detain those who were 
about to quit France, so that by remaining in that country beyond 
the time allowed by the edict, they might be sent to the galleys as a 
punishment for infringing an order which they were thus prevented 
from complying with. 

On the whole, more than five hundred thousand persons escaped or 
were banished. And these industrious citizens, whom the blind bigot- 
ry of a besotted tyrant had driven from their native land, found shelter 
and protection in England, Germany, and other countries, which they 
amply repaid by the introduction of many useful arts and processes: 
in particular, it is to them that the people of Great Britain are indebted 
for the commencement of the silk manufacture in that country. 

In tlie meanwhile, those who either were purposely detained, or 
were unable to escape, were condemned to the galleys ; and after be- 
ing imprisoned in the most horrible dungeons, and fed only on bread 
and water, and that very scantily, were marched ofi", in large bodies, 
handcufied, and chained together, from one extremity of the kingdom 
to another. Their sufferings during this dreadful journey were inde- 
scribable. They were exposed to every vicissitude of weather, almost 
without covering; and frequently, in the midst of winter, were obliged 
to pass the night on the bare earth, fainting from hunger and thirst, 
agonized by disease, and writhing from the lash of their merciless con- 



ductors. The consequence was, that scarcely half tlie original num- 
ber reached the place of their destination ; those who did, were im- 
mediately exposed to new suflerings and additional calamities. 

They were put on board the galleys, where they were subjected to 
the absolute control of the most inhuman and barbarous wretches who 
ever disgraced the human form. The labour of rowing, as performed 
in the galleys, is described as being the most excessive that can be 
imagined; and the sufferings of the poor slaves were increased many 
fold by the scourgings inflicted on them by their savage taskmasters. 
The recital of their miseries is too horrible to be dwelt upon : we shall 
therefore pass to that period when the Lord, of his infinite mercy, gave 
ear to the cries of his afflicted servants, and graciously raised them up 
a deliverer in Anne, queen of England, who, filled Avith compassion 
for the unhappy fate of so many of her fellovf protestants, ordered her 
ambassador at the court of France, to make a spirited remonstrance 
in their favour, which Louis, whose affairs were then in a very critical 
situation, was under the necessity of complying with ; and he accord- 
ingly dispatched orders to all the seaports for the immediate release 
of every galley slave condemned for his religion. 

When this order was received at Marseilles, where the majority of 
the protestants were detained, the priests, and most particularly the 
Jesuits, were much chagrined at the prospect of thus losing their 
victims, and determined to use all means in their power to prevent the 
order from being carried into effect. They prevailed on the intend- 
oat, a violent and cruel bigot, to delay its execution for eight days, 
ail they could receive an answer to an address which they imme 
diately dispatched to the king, exhorting him to abandon his inten- 
tion of releasing the heretics, and representing the dreadful judgments 
which, they asserted, might be expected to fall on himself and his 
kingdom, as the punishment of so great a dereliction from his duty as 
the eldest son of the church. At least, they desired, if his majesty 
were determined to release the protestants, that he would not allow 
them to remain in, or even pass through, France ; but would compel 
them to leave the ports by sea, and never again to enter his domi- 
nions, on pain of revisiting the galleys. 

Although Louis coidd not comply with the first part of the petition 
of these truly papistical bigots, the latter part Avas too congenial to his 
own inclinations, to be rejected. The protestants were ordered to 
sail from the ports at which they had been confined ; and the difficulty 
of obtaining vessels for their conveyance, which the malignant priests 
used all their arts to augment, occasioned a long delay, din-ing whicJi 
the poor prisoners Avere suffering all the agonies of uncertainty — that 
" hope deferred, Avhich maketh the heart sick," — and Avhich led them 
to fear that something might still intervene to prevent their so much 
desired emancipation. But their heavenly Father, ever mindful of 
those Avho sufier for his sake, at length removed every obstacle Avhich 
bigotry and malice could interpose, and delivered them from the hand 
of the oppressor. They Avent forth rejoicing, praising and blessing 
His holy name, Avho had Avrought for ihem this great deliverance. 

A deputation of those Avho had been released by the interposition of 
Queen Anne, Avaited upon her majesty in London, to return their most 
grateful thanks, on behalf of themselves and their brethren, for her 
Christian interference in their favour. She received them verA^ gra 


ciously, and assured them that she derived more pleasure from the con- 
sciousness of having lessened the miseries of her fellow protcstants, 
than from the most brilliant events of her reign. 

These exiles also established themselves in England, which by their 
industry and ingenuity acquired new riches every day, while France, 
bv expelling them, received a blow, from which her commercial and 
trading interests never recovered. Thus, even on earth, did the Al- 
mighty punish the bigoted and cruel, and reward the pious and benefi- 
cent. But how fearful shall be the judgment of the persecutors in that 
great day when every action shall be weighed in the balance of Eter- 
nal Justice ! How awful the denunciation — " Depart from me, ye 
cursed ! I know you not !" Will the plea of religions zeal be then al- 
lowed ? Will not the true motives of their barbarity be exposed to Him 
" from whom no secret is hid ?" Undoubtedly they will ; and lament- 
ably ignorant are they of the genuine spirit of Christianity, who ima- 
gine that cruelty and persecution form any part of it. Let them look 
to the conduct of its Divine Founder; to his meekness, his charity, his 
universal benevolence ; let them consider these, and blush to call 
themselves his followers ; and tremble at the doom which his justice 
will award to those who have perverted his maxims of mercy and of 
peace into denunciations of hostility and extirpation. 



By this interesting story, the truth of which is certified in historical 
records, we have ample proof, if any were i-equisite, that the spirit of 
persecution will always prevail where popery has the ascendancy. 
This shocking act took place in a polished age, and proves, that nei- 
ther experience nor improvement, can root out the inveterate preju- 
dices of the Roman Catholics ; or render them less cruel or inexorable 
to the protestants. 

John Calas was a merchant of the city of Toulouse, where he had 
settled, and lived in good repute ; and had married an English woman 
of French extraction. 

Calas and his wife were both protestants, and had five sons, whom 
they educated in the same religicm ; but Lewis, one of the sons, be- 
came a Roman Catholic, having been converted by a maid-servant, 
who had lived in the family above thirty years. The father, however, 
did not express any resentment or ill-will upon the occasion, but kept 
the maid in the family, and settled an annuity upon the son. In Octo- 
ber, 1761, the family consisted of John Calas and his wife, one woman 
servant, Mark Anthony Calas, the eldest son, and Peter Calas, the 
second son. Mark Anthony was bred to the law, but could not be 
admitted to practice, on account of his being a protestant: hence he 
grew melancholy, read all the books which he could procure relative 
to suicide, and seemed determined to destroy himself. To this may 
be added, that he led a very dissipated life, and was greatly addicted 
to gaming On this account his father frequently reprehended him. 



ami someiimes in terms of severity, which considerably added to the 
gloom that oppressed him. 

M. Gober La Vaisse, a young gentleman about nineteen years of 
age, the son of a celebrated advocate of Toulouse, having been some 
time at Bourdeaux, came back to Toulouse to see his father, on the 
13th of October, 1761 ; but finding that he was gone to his country- 
house, at some distance from the city, he went to several places, en- 
deavouring to hire a horse to carry him thither. No horse, however, 
was to be obtained ; and about five o'clock in the evening, he was met 
by John Calas the father, and the oldest son Mark Anthony, who was 
his friend. Calas, the father, invited him to supper, as he could not 
set out for his father's that night, and La Vaisse consented. All three, 
therefore, proceeded to Calas's house together, and when they came 
thither, finding that Mrs. Calas was still in her own room, which she 
had not quitted that day. La Vaisse went up to see her. After the first 
compliments, he told her he was to sup with her, by her husband's in- 
vitation, at which she expressed her satisfaction, and a few minutes 
after left him, to give some orders to her maid. When that was done, 
she went to look for her son Anthony, whom she found sitting alone 
in the shop, very pensive : she gave him some money, and desired him 
to go and buy some Roquefort cheese, as he was a better judge of the 
quality of cheese than any other person in the family. She then re- 
turned to her guest La Vaisse, who very soon after went again to the 
livery-stable, to see if any horse was come in, that he might secure it 
for the next morning. 

In a short time Anthony returned, having bought the cheese, and 
La Vaisse also coming back about the same time, the family and their 
guest sat down to supper, the whole company consisting of Calas and 
his wife, Anthony and Peter Calas, the sons, and La Vaisse, no other 
person being in the house, except the maid-servant, who has been 
mentioned already. This was about seven o'clock : the supper was 
not long; but before it was over, Anthony left the table, and went 
into the kitchen, (which was on the same floor) as he was accustomed 
to do. The maid asked him if he was cold ? He answered, " Quite 
the contrary, I burn :" and then left her. In the mean time his friend 
and family left the room they had supped in, and went into a bed- 
chamber ; the father and La Vaisse sat down together on a sofa ; the 
younger son Peter in an elbow chair; and the mother in another 
chair ; and without making any inquiry after Anthony, continued in 
conversation together, till between nine and ten o'clock, when La 
Vaisse took his leave, and Peter, who had fallen asleep, was awakened 
to attend him with a light. 

There was on the ground-floor of Calas's house, a shop and a ware- 
house ; the latter of which was divided from the shop by a pair of 
folding-doors. When Peter Calas and La Vaisse came down stairs 
into the shop, they were extremely shocked to see Anthony hanging in 
his shirt, from a bar which he had laid across the top of the two fold- 
ing-doors, having half opened them for that purpose. On discovering 
this horrid spectacle, they shrieked out, which brought down Calas 
the father, the mother being seized with such a terror as kept her 
trembling in the passage above. The unhappy old man rushed for- 
ward, and taking the body in his arms, the bar to which the rope was 
Jl-^siened, slipped off from the folding door of the ware house, and fell 


down. Having placed the body on the ground, he loosed and took 
off* the cord in an agony of grief and anguish not to be expressed, 
weeping, trembling, and deploring his loss. The two young men, 
who had not presence of mind to attempt taking down the body, were 
standing by, stupid with amazement and horror. In the mean time, 
tlie mother, hearing the confused cries and complaints of her husband, 
and finding no one come to her, found means to get down stairs. At 
the bottom she saw La Vaisse, and hastily demanded what was the 
matter. This question roused Galas in a moment, and instead of an- 
swering her, he urged her to go again up stairs, to which, with much 
reluctance, she consented ; but the conflict of her mind being such as 
could not be long borne, she sent down the maid to know what was 
the matter. When the maid discovered what had happened, she con- 
tinued below, either because she feared to carry an account of it to 
her mistress, or because she busied herself in doing some good office 
to her master, who was still embracing the body of his son, and bathing 
it in his tears. The mother, therefore, being thus left alone, went 
down, and mixed in the scene that has been already described, with 
such emotions as it must naturally produce. In the mean time, Peter 
had been sent for La Moire, a surgeon in the neighbourhood. La 
Moire was not at home, but his apprentice, named Grosse, came in- 
stantly. Upon examination, he found the body quite dead ; and upon 
taking off" the neckcloth, which was of black taffeta, he saw the mark 
of the cord, and immediately pronounced that the deceased had been 
strangled. This particular had not been told, for the poor old man, 
when Peter was going for La Moire, cried out, " Save at least the 
honour of my family ; do not go and spread a report that your brother 
has made away with himself." 

A crowd of people, by this time, were gathered about the house, 
and one Casing, with another friend or two of the family, had come 
in. Some of those who were in the street had heard the cries and 
exclamations within, but knew not the occasion ; and having, by some 
means, heard, that Anthony Calas was suddenly dead, and that the sur- 
geon, who had examined the body, declared he had been strangled, 
they took it into their heads he had been murdered ; and as the family 
were protestants, they presently supposed that the young man was 
about to change his religion, and had been put to death for that rea- 
son. The cries they had heard they fancied were those of the de- 
ceased, while he was resisting the violence done to him. The tumult 
in the street increased every moment ; some said that Anthony Calas 
was to have abjured the next day ; others, that protestants are bound, 
by their religion, to strangle, or cut the throats of their children, when 
they are incHned to become catholics. Others, who had found out 
that La Vaisse was in the house when the accident happened, very 
confidently affirmed, that the protestants, at their last assembly, ap- 
pointed a person to be their common executioner upon these occa- 
sions, and that La Vaisse was the man, who, in consequence of the 
office to Avhich he had been appointed, had come to Calas's house to 
hang his son. 

Now, the poor father, who was overwhelmed with grief for the loss 
of his child, was advised by his friends to send for the officers of jus- 
tice, to prevent his being torn to pieces by the ignorant and bigoted 
mob A messenger was accordingly despatched to the capitoul, or 


liist magistrate of the place ; and another to an inferior officer, called 
an assessor. The capitoul had ah-eady set out, having been alarmed 
by the rumour of a murder. He entered Calas's house with forty 
soldiers, took the father, Peter the son, the mother. La Vaisse, and the 
maid, all into custody, and set a guard over them. He sent for M. 
de la Tour, a physician, and M. la Marque and Perronet, surgeons, 
who examined the body for marks of violence, but found none except 
the mark of the ligature on the neck ; they found also the hair of the 
deceased done up in the usual manner, perfectly smooth, and without 
the least disorder ; his clothes were also regularly folded up, and laid 
upon the counter, nor was his shirt either unbuttoned or torn. 

The capitoul, notwithstanding these appearances, thought proper to 
agree with the opinion of the mob, and took it into his head that old 
Galas had sent for La Vaisse, telling him he had a son to be hano-ed ; 
that La Vaisse had come to perform the office of executioner ; and 
that he had received assistance from the father and brother. 

On account of these notions the capitoul ordered the body of the 
deceased to be carried to the town-house, with the clothes. The 
father and son were thrown into a dark dungeon ; and the mother. La 
Vaisse, the maid, and Casing, were imprisoned in one that admitted 
the light. The next day, what is called the verbal process was taken 
at the town-house instead of the spot where the body was found, as 
the law directs, and was dated at Calas's house, to conceal the irregu- 
larity. This verbal process is somewhat like the coroner's inquest in 
England ; witnesses are examined, and the magistrate makes his re- 
port similar to the verdict of a coroner's jury in England. The wit- 
nesses examined by the capitoul were, the physician and surgeon, 
who proved Anthony Calas to have been strangled. The surgeon 
having been ordered to examine the stomach of the deceased, de- 
})osed also, that the food Avhich was found there had been taken four 
hours before his death. Finding that no proof of the murder could 
be procured, the capitoul had recourse to a inonitory, or general in- 
formation, in which the crime was taken for granted, and all persons 
were required to give such testimony against it as they were able, 
particularizing the points to which they were to speak. This re- 
cites, that La Vaisse was commissioned by the protestants to be their 
executioner in ordinary, when any of their children were to be 
hanged for changing their religion ; it recites also, that when the 
protestants thus hang their children, they compel them to kneel, and 
one of the interrogatories was, whether any person had seen An- 
thony Calaf kneel before his father when he strangled him; it recites 
likewise, that Anthony died a Roman Catholic, and requires evidence 
of his Catholicism. 

These ridiculous opinions being adopted and published by the prin- 
cipal magistrate of a considerable city, the church of Geneva thought 
itself obliged to send an attestation of its abhorrence of opinions so 
abominable and absurd, and of its astonishment that they should be 
suspected of such opinions by persons whose rank and office re- 
quired them to have more knowledge, and better judgment. 

However, before this monitory was published, the mob had got a 
notion, that Anthony Calas was the next day to have entered into the 
fraternity of the White Penitents. The capitoul immediately adopt- 
ed this opinion also, without the least examination, and ordered An 


Ihony's buJy to be buried in the middle of St. Stepnen's cliurch, 
Avhich was accordingly done; forty priests, and all the white peni- 
tents, assisting in the funeral procession. 

A short time after the interment of the deceased, the white peni- 
tents performed a solemn service for him in their chapel ; the church 
was hung with white, and a tomb was raised in the middle of it, on 
the top of which was placed a human skeleton, holding in one hand 
a paper, on which was written, " Abjuration of heresy," and in the 
other a palm, the emblem of martyrdom. 

The Franciscans performed a service of the same kind for him the 
next day ; and it is easy to imagine how much the minds of the 
people were inflamed by this strange folly of their magistrates and 

Still the capitoul continued the prosecution with unrelenting seve- 
rity ; and though the grief and distraction of the family, when he 
first came to the house, were alone sufficient to have convinced any 
reasonable being that they were not the authors of the event which 
they deplored, yet having publicly attested that they were guilty, in 
his monitory, without proof, and no proof coming in, he thought fit 
to condemn the unhappy father, mother, brother, friend, and servant, 
to the torture, and put them all into irons, on the 18th of November. 
Casing was released, upon proof that he was not in Calas's house till 
after Anthony was dead. 

From these dreadful proceedings the sufferers appealed to the par- 
liam.ent, which immediately took cognizance of the aflair, and annull- 
ed t!ie sentence of the capitoul as irregular ; but the prosecution still 

As soon as the trial came on, the hangman, who had been taken to 
Calas's house, and shown the folding doors, and the bar, deposed, 
that it was impossible Anthony should hang himself, as was pre- 
tended. Another witness swore, that he looked through the key-hole 
of Calas's door into a room, where he saw men running hastily to and 
fro. A third swore, that his wife had told him, a woman named 
Mandrill had told her, that a certain woman unknown had declared, 
she heard the cries of Anthony Calas at the further end of the city. 
From this absurd evidence the majority of the parliament were of 
opinion, that the prisoners were guilty, and, therefore, ordered them 
to be tried by the criminal court of Toulouse. 

There was among those who presided at the trial, one La Borde, 
who h-ad zealously espoused the popular prejudices ; and though it 
,vas manifest to demonstration, that the prisoners were either all in- 
nocent, or all guilty, he voted that the father should first sufier the 
torture, ordinary and extraoidinary, to discover his accomplices, and 
be then broken alive upon the wheel ; to receive the last stroke when 
he had lain two hours, and then to be burnt to ashes. In this opi- 
nion he had the concurrence of six others ; three were for the 
torture alone ; two were of opinion, that they should endeavour to 
ascertain on the spot whether Anthony could hang himself or not ; 
and one voted to acquit the prisoner. After long debates the majo- 
rity was for the torture and wheel, and probably condemned the father 
bj way of experiment, whether he was guilty or not, hoping lie 
would, in the agony, confess the crime, and accuse the other prisoners, 
whose fate, therefore, they suspended. It is, however, certain, that 


if they had evidence against the father that would have justified the 
sentence they pronounced against him, that very evidence would 
have justified the same sentence against the rest ; and that they 
could not justly condemn him alone, they being all in the house 
together when Anthony died. 

However, poor Calas, who was 68 years of age, was condemned 
to this dreadful punishment. He suffered the torture with great con- 
stancy, and was led to execution in a frame of mind which excited 
respect and admiration. 

Father Bourges, and Father Coldagues, the two Dominicans, who 
attended him in his last moments, wished their latter end might be 
like his, and declared that they thought him not only wholly innocent 
of the crime laid to his charge, but an exemplary instance of true 
Christian patience, charity, and fortitude. 

He gave but one shriek Avhen he received the first stroke ; after 
which he uttered no complaint. Being at length placed on the wheel 
to wait for the moment which was to end his life and his misery 
together, he declared himself full of an humble hope of a glorious 
immortaUty, and a compassionate regard for the judges who had con- 
demned him. When he saw the executioner prepared to give him 
the last stroke, he made a fresh declaration of his innocence to 
Father Bourges ; but while the words were yet in his mouth, the capi- 
toul, the author of the catastrophe, and who came upon the scaffold 
merely to gratify his desire of being a witness of his punishment and 
death, ran up to him, and bawled out, " Wretch, there are the fagots 
which are to reduce your body to ashes ; speak the truth." M. Calas 
made no reply, but turned his head a little aside, and that moment 
the executioner did his office. 

Donat Calas, a boy of fifteen years of age, the youngest son of the 
unfortunate victim, was apprentice to a merchant at Nismes, when 
he heard of the dreadful punishment by which seven prejudiced 
judges of Toulouse had put his worthy father to death. 

So violent was the popular outcry against the family in Languedoc, 
that every body expected to see the children of Calas broke upon the 
wheel, and the mother burnt alive. So weak had been the defence 
made by this innocent family, oppressed by misfortunes, and terrified 
at the sight of lighted piles, racks, and wheels. Young Donat Calas, 
dreading to share the fate of the rest of his family, was advised to fly 
into Switzerland. He did so, and there found a gentleman, who, at 
first, could only pity and relieve him, without daring to judge ot 
the rigour exercised against his father, mother, and brothers. Shortly 
after, one of the brothers, who was only banished, likewise threw 
himself into the arms of the same person, who, for more than a month, 
took all possible means to be assured of the innocence of this family. 
But when he was once convinced, he thought himself obliged, in con- 
science, to employ his friends, his purse, his pen, and his credit, to 
repair the fatal mistake of the seven judges of Toulouse, and to 
have the proceedings revised by the king's council. This revision 
lasted three years, and, at the end of that time, fifty maeters of the 
Court of Requests unanimously declared the whole family of Calas 
innocent, and recommended them to the benevolent justice of his 
majesty. The Duke de Choiseul, who ne"er let slip an opportunity 
of signalizing the greatness of his character, not only assisted this 


unfortunate family with money from his own pur?-}, but obtained for 
them a gratuity of 36,000 livres from the king. 

The arret which justified the family of Calas, and changed their 
fate, was signed on the 9th of March, 1705. The 9th of March, 
1762, \vas the very day on which the innocent and virtuous father oi 
the family had been executed. All Paris ran in crowds to see them 
come out of the prison, and clapped their hands for joy, wkile the 
tears streamed down their cheeks. 





The year 606 marks the date of the supremacy of the Roman 
Pontiffs. From this period till the tenth century, the power and influ- . 
ence of the Roman hierarchy continued gradually to increase and 
extend ; but from this latter date, till the reformation which was at- 
tempted by WicklifTe, about the year A. D. 1350, that power and influ- 
ence extended with more rapid strides, till at length all the sovereigns 
of Europe were compelled to do homage to the lordly sway of his 

To relate the tyrannical innovations upon the religion of Christ from 
the tenth to the middle of the thirteenth century, would be incompati- 
ble with our limits. 

Suffice it to say, that scarcely a foreign war or civil broil convul- 
sed Europe during that period, which did not originate in the artifices 
of popes, monks, and friars. They frequently fell victims to their 
own machinations ; for, from the year 1004, many popes died violent 
deaths : several were poisoned ; Sylvester was cut to pieces by his 
own people; and the reigns of his successors were but short. Bene- 
dict, who succeeded John XXI. thought proper to resist the Emperor 
Henry III. and place in his room Peter, king of Hungary ; but af- 
terwards, being alarmed by the success of Henry, he sold his seat to 
Gratianus, called Gregory VI. At this time there were three popes 
in Rome, all striving against each other for the supreme power, viz. 
Benedict IX. Sylvester III. and Gregory VI. But the Emperor 
Henry coming to Rome, displaced these three monsters at once, and 
appointed Clement the Second, enacting that henceforth no bishop of 
Rome should be chosen but by the consent of the emperor. Though 
this law was necessary for public tranquillity, yet it interfered too 


much with the ambitious views of the cardinals, who accordingly ex- 
«u-ted themselves to get it repealed: and faiHng in this, on the depar- 
ture of the emperor for Germany, they poisoned Clement, and at 
once violated the law by choosing another pope, without the imperial 

This was Da/riasus II. who being also poisoned, within a few^ days 
from his appointment, much contention took place. Whereupon the 
Romans sent to the emperor, desiring him to give them a bisliop ; up- 
on which he selected Bruno, a German, called Leo IX. This pope 
was also poisoned, in the first year of his popedom. 

After his death, Theophylactus made an effort to be pope, but Hil- 
debrand, to defeat him, went to the emperor, and persuaded him to as- 
sign another bishop, a German, who ascended the papal chair under 
the title of Victor II. 

The second year of his papacy, this pope also followed his prede- 
cessors, like them being poisoned. 

On the death of Victor, the cardinals elected Stephen IX. for pope, 
contrary to their oath, and the emperor's assignment. From this pe- 
riod, indeed, their ascendancy was so great, that the most powerful 
sovereigns of Europe were obliged to do them homage: and Nicholas, 
Avho succeeded Stephen, established the council of the Lateran. 

In this council first was promulgated the terrible sentence of excom- 
munication against all such as " do creep into the seat of Peter, by 
money or favour, without the full consent of the cardinals;" cursing 
them and their children with the anger of Almighty God; and giving 
authority and power to cardinals, with the clergy and liity, to depose 
all such persons, and call a council general, wheresoever they will, 
against them. 

Pope Nicholas only reigned three years and a half, and then, like 
his predecessors, Avas poisoned. 

Submissio7i of the Emperor Henry IV. to the Pope. 
To such a height had papal insolence now attained, that, on the 
Emperor Henry IV. refusing to submit to some decrees of Pope Gre- 
gory VII. the latter excommunicated him, and absolved all his subjects 
from their oath of allegiance to him ; on this he was deserted by his 
nobility, and dreading the consequences, though a brave man, he 
found it necessary to make his submission. He accordingly repaired 
to the city of Canusium, where the pope then was, (A. D. 1077,) and 
went barefooted with his wife and child to the gate ; Avhere he re- 
mained from morning to night, fasting, humbly desiring absolution, 
and craving to be let in. But no ingress being given him, he continued 
thus three days together ; at length, answer came that his holiness 
had yet no leisure to talk with him. The emperor patiently waited 
without the walls, although in the depth of winter. At length his 
request was granted, through the entreaties of Matilda, the pope's 
paramour. On the fourth day, being let in, for a token of his true 
repentance, he yielded to the pope's hands his crown, and confessed 
himself unworthy of the empire, if he ever again offended against 
the pope, desiring for that time to be absolved and forgiven. The 
pope answered, he would neither forgive him, nor release the bond oi 
his excommunication, but upon condition that he would abide by his 
arbitrament in the council, and undergo such penance as lie should en- 


join him ; that he shoiihl answer to all objections and accusations laid 
against him, and that he should never seek revenge; that it should be 
at the pope's pleasure, whether his kingdom should be restored or 
not Finally, that before the trial of his cause, he should neither use 
his kingly ornaments, nor usurp the authority to govern, nor exact 
any oath of allegiance from his subjects, &c. These things being 
promised to the pope by an oath, the emperor only was released from 

King John surrenders his Crown to the Pope. 

The ascendancy of the popes was never more fully evinced than by 
a remarkable fact in the history of England. King John, havino- in- 
curred the hatred of his barons and people by his cruel and tyranni- 
cal measures, they took arms against him, and offered the crown to 
Louis, son of the French king. By seizing the possessions of the 
clergy, John had also fallen under the displeasure of the pope, who 
accordingly laid the kingdom under an interdict, and absolved his 
subjects from their allegiance. Alarmed at this, the tyrant earnestly 
sued for peace with his holiness, hoping, by his mediation, to obtain 
favourable terms from the barons, or, by his thunders, to terrify them 
into submission. He made the most abject supplications, and the 
pope, ever willing to increase the power of the church, sent cardinal 
Fandulf as legate to the king at Canterbury; to whom John resign- 
ed his crown and dominions ; and the cardinal, after retaining the 
crown five days, in token of possession, returned it to the king, on 
condition of his making a yearly payment of 1000 marks to the court 
of Rome, and holding the dominions of England and Ireland in farm 
from the pope. 

B Jt if John expected any benefit from this most disgraceful transac- 
tion, he was disappointed ; and instead of enjoying the crown which 
he had so basely surrendered and received again, the short remainder 
of his life was disturbed by continual insurrections, and heat last died, 
either of grief or by poison, administered to him by amonk of Swines- 
head in Lincolnshire. The latter cause is assigned by many historians, 
and we are told that the king, suspecting some fruit which was pre- 
sented to him at the above convent, to be poisoned, ordered the monk 
who brought it, to eat of it ; which he did, and died in a {ew hours after. 

An Emperor trodden on hy the Pope. 
The papal usurpations were extended to every part of Europe. In 
Germany, the Emperor Frederic was compelled to submit to be trod- 
den under the feet of Pope Alexander, and dared not make any resist- 
ance. In England, however, a spirit of resentment broke out in vari- 
ous reigns, in consequence of the oppressions and horrible conduct of 
those anti-christian blasphemers, which continued with more or less 
violence till the time of the great Wickliffe, of whom we shall speak 
more fully in the following pages. 




The first attempts made in England towards the reformation of 
the church, took place in the reign of Edward III. about A. D. 1350, 
when John Wickliffe appeared. This early star of the English church 
was public reader of divinity in the university of Oxford, and, by the 
learned of his day, was accounted deeply versed in theology, and all 
kinds of philosophy. At the time of his appearance, the greatest 
darkness pervaded the church. Scarcely any thing but the name of 
Christ remained ; his true doctrine being as far unknown to the most 
part, as his name was common to all. As to faith, consolation, the 
end and use of the law, the office of Christ, our impotency and weak- 
ness, the greatness and strength of sin, of true works, grace, and free 
justification by faith, wherein Christianity consists, they were either 
unknov/n or disregarded. Scripture learning, and divinity, were 
known but to a (ew, and that in the schools only, where they were 
turned and converted into sophistry. Instead of Peter and Paul, men 
occupied their time in studying Aquinas and Scotus ; and, forsaking 
the lively power of God's spiritual word and doctrine, were altoge- 
ther led and blinded with outward ceremonies and human traditions, 
insomuch that scarcely any other thing was seen in the churches, 
taught or spoken of in sermons, or intended or sought after in their 
whole lives, but the heaping up of ceremonies upon ceremonies ; and 
the people were taught to worship no other thing but that which they 
saw, and almost all they saw they worshipped. But Wickliffe was 
inspired with a purer sense of religion ; and knowing it to be his duty 
to impart the gracious blessing to others, he published his belief 
with regard to the several articles of religion, in which he differed 
from the common doctrine. Pope Gregory XI. hearing this, con- 
demned some of his tenets, and commanded the archbishop of Can- 
terbury, and the bishop of London, to oblige him to subscribe the con- 
demnation of them ; and in case of refusal, to summon him to Rome. 
This commission could not easily be executed, Wickliffe having pow- 
erful friends, the chief of whom was John of Gaunt, duke of Lancas- 
ter, son of Edward III. The archbishop holding a synod at St. Paul's, 
Wickliffe appeared, accompanied by the duke of Lancaster and Lord 
Percy, marshal of England, when a dispute arising Avhether Wickliffe 
should answer sitting or standing, the duke of Lancaster proceeded to 
threats, and treated the bishop with very little ceremony. The people 
present, thinking the bishop in danger, sided with him, so that the 
duke and the earl marshal thought it prudent to retire, and to take 
Wickliffe with them. After this an insurrection ensued, the clergy 
and their emissaries spreading a report that the duke of Lancaster 
had persuaded the king to take away the privileges of the city of Lon- 
don, &,c. which fired the people to such a degree, that they broke 
open the Marshalsea, and freed all the prisoners ; and not contented 
with this, a vast number of them went to the duke's palace in the Sa- 
voy, when, missing his person, they plundered his house. For this 
outrage the duke of Lancaster caused the lord mayor and aldermen 


to be removed from their offices, imagining they had not used theii 
authority to quell the mutineers. After this, the bishops meeting a 
second time, Wickliffe explained to them his sentiments with regard 
to the sacrament of the eucharist, in opposition to the belief of the pa- 
pists ; for which the bishops only enjoined him silence, not daring, 
at that time, to proceed to greater extremities against him. 
Great Schism in the Chiirch of Rome. 

A circumstance occurred at this period, by the providence of God, 
which greatly tended to faciliate the progress of truth. This was a 
great schism in the church of Rome, which originated as follows : Af 
ter the death of Gregory XI. who expired in the midst of his anxiety 
to crush Wicklifte and his doctrines. Urban the Sixth succeeded to 
the papal chair. This pope was so proud and insolent, and so intent 
on the advancement of his nephews and kindred, which he frequently 
accomplished by injuring other princes, that the greatest number of 
his cardinals and courtiers deserted him, and set up another pope 
against him, named Clement, who reigned eleven years. After him 
Benedict the Thirteenth, who reigned twenty-six years. Again, on 
the contrary side, after Urban the Sixth, succeeded Boniface the Ninth, 
Innocent the Eighth, Gregory the Twelfth, Alexander the Fifth, and 
John the Thirteenth. To relate all the particulars of this miserable 
schism, would require volumes ; we shall merely take notice of a few 
of the principal occurrences, from Avhich the reader may form an idea 
of the bloodshed and misery brought on the Christian world by the am- 
bition and wickedness of these pretended representatives of our 
blessed Saviour ; and may judge how widely they departed from his 
blessed maxims of peace and good will to all men. Otho, duke of 
Brunswick and prince of Tarentum, was taken and murdered. Joan, 
iiis wife, queen of Jerusalem and Sicily, who had sent to pope Urban, 
besides other gifts, 40,000 ducats in gold, was afterwards, by his 
order, committed to prison, and there strangled. Many cardinals 
were racked, and tortured to death ; battles were fought between the 
rival popes, in which great multitudes were slain. Five cardinals 
were beheaded together, after long torments. The bishop of Aqui- 
lonensis, being suspected by Pope Urban, for not riding faster when in 
his company, was slain on the spot by the pope's order. Thus did 
these demons in human form torment each other for the space of thir- 
ty-nine years, until the council of Constance. 

Wickliffe translates the Bible. 

Wickliffe, paying less regard to the injunctions of the bishops than 
to his duty to God, continued to promulgate his doctrines, and gradu- 
ally to unveil the truth to the eyes of men. He wrote several books, 
which, as may be supposed, gave great alarm and offence to the clergy. 
But God raising him up a protector in the duke of Lancaster, he was 
secure from their malice. He translated the Bible into English, which, 
amidst the ignorance of the times, may be compared to the sun break- 
ing forth in a dark night. To this Bible he prefixed a bold preface, 
wherein he reflected on the immoralities of the clergy, and condemn- 
ed the worship of saints, images, and the corporal presence of Christ 
in the sacrament ; but what gave the greatest offence to the priests, 
was his exhorting all people to read the scriptures, in which the tes- 
timonies against all those corruptions appeared so strongly. 



About the same time the common people, goaded to desperation by 
the oppressions of the nobility and clergy, rose in arms, and commit- 
ted great devastations ; and, among other persons of distinction, they 
put to death Simon of Sudbury, archbishop of Canterbury. He was 
succeeded by William Courtney, who was no less diligent than his 
predecessor had been, in attempting to root out heretics. Notwith- 
standing all opposition, however, Wickliffe's sect increased, and daily 
grew to greater force, until the time that William Barton, vice-chan- 
cellor of Oxford, Avho had the whole rule of that university, assisted 
by some monastic doctors, issued an edict, prohibiting all persons, 
under a heavy penalty, from associating themselves with any of 
Wickliffe's favourers ; and threatening Wicklifle himself with excom- 
munication and imprisonment, unless he, after three days canonical 
admonition or warning, did repent and amend. Upon this, Wicklifle 
wished to appeal to the king ; but the duke of Lancaster forbade him ; 
whereupon he was forced again to make confession of his doctrine ; 
in which confession, by qualifying his assertions, he mitigated the 
rigour of his enemies. 

Still his followers greatly multiplied. Many of them, indeed, were 
not men of learning ; but being wrought upon by the conviction of 
plain reason, they were the more steadfast in their persuasion. In a 
short time his doctrines made a great progress, being not only es- 
poused by vast numbers of the students of Oxford, but also by many 
of the nobility, particularly by the duke of Lancaster and Lord Percy, 
earl marshal, as before meniioned. 

Wicklifle may thus be considered as the great founder of the refor- 
mation in England. He was of Merton College in Oxford, where he 
took his doctor's degree, and became so eminent for his fine genius 
and great learning, that Simon Islip, archbishop of Canterbury, hav- 
ing founded Canterbury College, now Christ Church, in Oxford, ap- 
pointed him rector ; which employment he filled with universal ap 
probation, till the death of the archbishop. Langholm, successor to 
Islip, being desirous of favouring the monks, and introducing them 
into the college, attempted to re?^iove WickliflTe, and put Woodhall, a 
monk, in his place. But the fellows of the college, being attached to 
Wicklifle, would not consent to this. Nevertheless, the affair being 
carried to Rome, Wicklifle was deprived in favour of Woodhall. This 
did not at all lessen the reputation of the former, every one perceiving 
it was a general affair, and that the monks did not so much strike at 
Wickliffe's person, as at all the secular priests who were members of 
the college. And, indeed, they were all turned out, to make room for 
the monks. Shortly after, Wickliffe was presented to the living of 
Lutterworth, in the county of Leicester, where he remained unmo- 
lested till his death, which happened December 31, 1385. But after 
the body of this good man had lain in the grave forty-one years, his 
bones were taken up by the decree of the synod of Constance, pub- 
licly burnt, and his ashes thrown into a river. The condemnation of 
his doctrine did not prevent its spreading all over the kingdom, and 
with such success, that, according to Spelman, '• two men could not 
be found together, and one not a Lollard, or Wickliffite." 

Burning of the Wickliffiles. 
In the council of Lateran, a decree was made with regard to here 

IV. waiting for admission to Pope G-regory. 
Page 188. 

Pope Alexander treading on the neck of the Empe ■ 
ror Frederick. Page 189. 









Cursing a Heretic. Pa^e 253. 


tic9, which required all magistrates to extirpate them upon pain of 
Ibrleiture and deposition. The canons of this council being received 
m England, the prosecution of the heretics became a part of the com- 
mon law ; and a writ (styled de heretico comburendo) was issued under 
King Henry IV. for burning them upon their conviction ; and it was 
enacted, that all who presumed to preacli without the license of thr; 
bishops, should be imprisoned, and brought to trial within three 
months. If, upon conviction, they offered to abjure, and were not re- 
lapses, they were to be imprisoned, and fined at pleasure ; but if thev 
refused to abjure, or were relapses, they were to be delivered over to 
the secular arm, and the magistrates were to burn them in some pub- 
he place. About this time, William Sautre, parish priest of St. Osith, 
in London, being condemned as a relapse, and degraded by Arundel, 
archbishop of Canterbury, a writ was issued, wherein burning is call- 
ed the common punishment, and referring to the customs of other 
nations. This was the first example of that sort in England. 

The clergy, alarmed lest the doctrines of WicklifTe should ultimately 
become established, used every exertion in their power to check 
them. In the reign of Richard II. the bishops had obtained a general 
license to imprison heretics, without being obliged to procure a spe- 
cial order from court, which, however, the house of commons caused 
to be revoked. But as the fear of imprisonment coidd not check the 
pretended evil dreaded by the bishops, Henry IV. whose particular ob- 
ject was to secure the aftection of the clergy, earnestly recommended 
to the parliament the concerns of the church. How reluctant soever 
the house of commons might be to prosecute the Lollards, the credit 
of the court, and the cabals of the clergy, at last obtained a most de- 
testable act for the burning of obstinate heretics ; which bloody 
statute was not repealed till the year 1677. It was immediately after 
the passing of this statute, that the ecclesiastical court condemned 
William Sautre, abovementioned 

Increase of Wickliffe's Doctrine. 
Notwithstanding the opposition of the popish clergy, Wickliffe's- 
doctrine continued to spread greatly in Henry the IVth's reign, even 
to such a degree, that the majority of the house of commons were 
inclined to it ; whence they presented two petitions to the kino-, one 
against the clergy, the other in favour of the Lollards. The fi?st set 
forth, that the clergy made ill use of their wealth, and consumed their 
income. in a manner quite different from the intent of the donors. 
That their revenues were excessive, and, consequently, that it would 
be necessary to lessen them ; that so many estates might easily be 
seized as would provide for 150 earls at the rate of 3000 marks a year 
each, 1500 barons at 100 marks each, 6200 knights at 40 marks, and 
100 hospitals; that by this means the safety of the kingdom might be 
better provided for, the poor better maintained, and the clergy'more 
devoted to their duty. In the second petition the commons ''praved. 
that the statute passed against the Lollards, in the second year of 
this reign, might be repealed, or qualified with some restrictions. As 
It was the king's interest to please the clergy, he answered the com- 
mons very sharply, that he neither could nor would consent to their 
petitions. And with regard to the Lollards, he declared he wished 


the heretics were extirpated out of the land. To prove the truth of 
this, he signed a Avarrant for burning Thomas Badby. 

Martyrdom of Thomas Badby. 

Thomas Badby was a layman, and by trade a tailor. He was ar- 
raigned in the year 1409 before the bishop of Worcester, and convict- 
ed of heresy. On his examination he said, that it was impossible any 
priest could make the body of Christ sacramentally, nor would he be- 
lieve it, unless he saw, manifestly, the corporeal body of the Lord to 
be handled by the priest at the altar ; that it was ridiculous to imagine 
that at the supper Christ held in his own hand his own body, and 
divided it among his disciples, and yet remained whole. " I believe," 
said he, " the omnipotent God in trinity; but if every consecrated 
host at the altars be Christ's body, there must then be in England no 
less than 20,000 gods." After this he was brought before the arch- 
bishop of Canterbury at St. Paul's church, and again examined in 
presence of a great number of bishops, the duke of York, and several 
of the first nobility. Great pains were used to make him recant ; but 
he coiu'ageously answered, that he would still abide by his former 
opinions, which no power should force him to forego. On this the 
archbishop of Canterbury ratified the sentence given by the bishop of 
Worcester. When the king had signed the warrant for his death, he 
was brought to Smithfield, and there being put in an empty tun, was 
bound with iron chains fastened to a stake, and had dry wood piled 
around him. As he was thus standing in the tun, it happened that the 
prince of Wales, the king's eldest son, was there present ; who, being 
moved with compassion, endeavoured to save the life of him Avhom 
the hypocritical Levites and Pharisees sought to put to death. He 
admonished and counselled him, that having respect unto himself, he 
should speedily withdraw himself out of these dangerous labyrinths 
of opinions, adding oftentimes threatenings, which might have 
daunted any man not supported by the true faith. Also Courtney, 
at that time chancellor of Oxford, preached unto him, and informed 
him of the faith of the holy church. 

In the mean time, the prior of St. Bartholomew's, in Smithfield, 
brought with all solemnity the sacrament of God's body, with twelve 
torches borne before, and showed the sacrament to the poor man at 
the stake. And then they demanded of him how he believed in it; he 
answered, that he knew well it was hallowed bread, and not God's 
body. And then was the tun put over him, and fire put unto him. 
And when he felt the fire, he cried, " Mercy !" (calling upon the 
Lord,) when the prince immediately commanded to take away the tun, 
and quench the fire. He then asked him if he would forsake heresy, 
and take the faith of holy church, which, if he would do, he should 
have goods enough, promising him also a yearly pension out of the 
king's treasury. But this valiant champion of Christ, neglecting the 
prince's fair words, as also contemning all men's devices, refused the 
offer of worldly promises, being more inflamed by the spirit of God, 
than by any earthly desire. Wherefore, as he continued immoveable 
in his former mind, the prince commanded him straight to be put again 
into the tun, and that he should not afterwards look for any grace or 
favour. But as he could be allured by no rewards, he was not at all 
abashed at their torments,but, as a valiant soldier of Christ, persevered 


invincibly till liis body was reduced to ashes, and his soul rose trium- 
phant unto him who gave it. 

Martyrdom of Sir John Oldcastle. 

The persecutions of the Lollards in the reign of Henry V. were 
owing to the cruel instigations of the clergy, who thouglit that the. 
most effectual way to check the progress of Wicklifle's doctrine, would 
be to attack the then chief protector of it, viz. Sir John Oldcastle, ba 
ron of Cobham ; and to persuade the king that the Lollards were en- 
gaged in conspiracies to overturn the state. It was even reported, 
that they intended to murder the king, together with the princes, his 
brothers, and most of the lords spiritual and temporal, in hopes that 
the confusion which must necessarily arise in the kingdom, after such 
a massacre, would prove favourable to their religion. Upon this a 
false rumour was spread, that Sir John Oldcastlehad got together 20,000 
men in St. Giles's in the Fields., a place then overgrown with bushes. 
The king him.self went thither at midnight, and finding no more than 
fourscore or a hundred persons, who were privately met upon a reli- 
gious account, he fell upon them and killed many. Some of them be- 
ing afterwards examined, were prevailed upon, by promises or threats, 
to confess whatever their enemies desired \ and these accused Sir 
John Oldcastle. 

The king hereupon thought him guilty ; and in that belief set a thou- 
sand marks upon his head, with a promise of perpetual exemption 
liom taxes to any town which should secure him. Sir John was ap- 
prehended and imprisoned in the Tower ; but escaping from thence, 
he fled into Wales, where he long concealed himself. But being af- 
terwards seized in Powisland, in North Wales, by Lord Powis, he was 
brought to London, to the great joy of the clergy, who were highly 
incensed against him, and resolved to sacrifice him, to strike a terror 
into the rest of the Lollards. Sir John was of a very good family, had 
been sherifT of Hertfordshire under Henry IV. and summoned to par- 
liament among the barons of the realm in that reign. He had been 
sent beyond the sea, with the earl of Arundel, to assist the duke of 
Burgundy against the French. In a word, he was a man of extraor- 
dinary merit, notwithstanding wliich he was condemned to be hanged 
up by the waist with a chain, and burnt alive. This most barbaious 
sentence was executed amidst the curses and imprecations of the priests 
and monks, who used their utmost endeavours to prevent the people 
from praying for him. Such was the tragical end of Sir John Old- 
castle, who left the world with a resolution and constancy, that an- 
swered perfectly to the brave spirit with which he had ever maintained 
the cause of truth and of his God. 

Not satisfied with his single death, the clergy induced the parlia- 
ment to make fresh statutes against the Lollards. It was enacted, 
among other things, that whosoever read the scriptures in English, 
should forfeit lands, chattels, goods, and life, and be condemned as 
heretics to God, enemies to the crown, and traitors to the kingdom ; 
that they should not have the benefit of any sanctuary ; and that, if 
they continued obstinate, or relapsed after being pardoned, they should 
first be hanged for treason against the king, and then burned for he- 
resy against God. This act was no sooner passed, but a violent per- 
secution was raised against the Lollards ; several of them were burnt 


alivr, some fled the kingdom, and others were weak enough to abjure 
their religion, to escape the torments prepared for them. 



The reader will doubtless attend to the transactions recorded in this 
reign with peculiar interest. It was in this period that God, through 
the instrumentality of the king, liberated England from the papal 
yoke, and made this country, as it were, a religious world dependant 
on itself. 

The wars between the two houses of York and Lancaster, had pro- 
duced such fatal revolutions, and thrown England into such frequent 
convulsions, that the nation, with great joy, hailed the accession of 
Henry the Seventh to vhe throne, who being himself descended from 
the house of Lancaster, by his marriage with the heiress of the house 
of York, freed them from the fear of any farther civil wars. But the 
covetousness of his temper, the severity of his ministers, and his jea- 
lousy of the house of York, made him so generally odious to his peo- 
ple, that his death was little lamented. 

Henry the Eighth succeeded, A. D. 1509, Avith all the advantages he 
could have desired ; and his disgracing Empson and Dudley, the cruel 
ministers of his father's avaricious designs, his appointing restitution 
to be made of the sums that had been unjustly exacted of the people, 
and his ordering justice to be done on those rapacious ministers, gave 
all people hopes of happy times ; and when ministers by the king's 
orders, were condemned and executed for invading the liberties of the 
people, under the covert of the king's prerogative, it made the nation 
conclude, tha they should hereafter live secure, under the protection 
of such a prince, and that the violent remedies of parliamentary judg- 
ments should be no more necessary, except as in this case, to confirm 
what had been done before in the ordinary courts of justice. 

The king also, either from the munificence of his. own temper, or the 
observation he had made of the ill cflTects of his father's parsimony, 
distributed his rewards and largesses with an unmeasured bounty : so 
that he quickly expended those treasures which his father had left: 
but till the ill effects of this appeared, it raised in his court and subjects 
the greatest hopes possible of a prince, whose first actions showed an 
equal mixture of justice and generosity. 

Character of Cardinal Wolsey. 

One of the most remarkable men of this, or perhaps of any other 
age, was Cardinal Wolsey. He was of mean extraction, but possess- 
ed great abilities, and had a wonderful dexterity in insinuating him- 
self into men's favour. He had but a little time been introduced to 
the king before he obtained an entire ascendancy over him, and the di- 
rection of all his aflairs, and for fifteen years continued to be the most 
absolute favourite ever knoAvn in England. He saw the king was much 
set on his pleasures, and had a great aversion to business, and the othe' 
counsellors being imwilling to bear the load of afiairs, were trouble- 


some to him, by pressing him to govern by his own counsels ; but Wol 
sey knew the methods of favourites better, and so was not only easy, 
but assistant to the king in his pleasures, and undertook to free him 
from the trouble of government, and to give him leisure to follow his 

He was master of all the offices at home, and treaties abroad, so 
that all affairs went as he directed them. He soon became obnoxious 
to parliaments, and therefore tried but one during his ministry, where 
the supply was granted so scantily, that afterwards he chose rather to 
raise money by loans and benevolences, than by the free gift of the 
people in parliament. He in time became so scandalous for his ill 
life, that he grew to be a disgrace to his profession ; for he not only 
served the king, but also shared with him in his pleasures. He was 
first made bishop of Tournay in Flanders, then of Lincoln, after that 
he was promoted to the see of York, and had both the abbey of St. Al- 
bans, and the bishopric of Bath and Wells in commendam ; the last he 
afterwards exchanged for Duresm, and upon Fox's death, he quitted 
Duresm, that he might take Winchester ; and besides all this, the 
king, by a special grant, gave him power to dispose of all the ecclesi- 
astical preferments in England ; so that in effect he was the pope of 
the British world, and no doubt but he copied skilfully enough after 
those patterns that were set him at Rome. Being made a cardinal, 
and setting up a legatine court, he found it fit for his ambition to have 
the great seal likewise, that there might be no clashing between those 
two jurisdictions. He had, in one word, all the qualities necessary 
for a great minister, and all the vices usual in' a great favourite 

Persecution of the Lollards. 

In the beginning of this reign, several persons were brought into the 
bishops' courts for heresy, or Lollardism. Forty-eight were accused ; 
but of these, forty-three abjured, twenty-seven men, and sixteen wo- 
men, most of them being of Tenterden ; and five of them, four men 
and one woman, were condemned ; some as obstinate heretics, and 
others as relapses ; and, against the common laws of nature, the wo- 
man's husband, and her two sons, were brought as witnesses against 
her. Upon their conviction, a certificate was made by the archbishop 
to the chancery ; upon which, since there is no pardon upon record, 
the writs for burning them must have been issued in course, and the 
execution of them is little to be doubted. The articles objected to 
them were, that they believed, that in the euchari^t there was nothing 
but material bread; that the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, con- 
fession, matrimony, and extreme unction, were neither necessary nor 
profitable ; that priests had no more power than laymen ; that pilgri- 
mages were not meritorious, and that the money and labour spent in them 
were spent in vain ; that images ought not to be worshipped, and that 
they were only stocks and stones; that prayers ought not to be made 
to saints, but only to God ; that there was no virtue in holy water, or 
holy bread. By this it will appear, that many in this nation were pre- 
pared to receive those doctrines, which were afterwards preached by 
the reformers, even before Luther began first to oppose indulgences. 
Progress of Luther''s Doctrine. 

The rise and progress of the doctrines of Luther are well known; 
the scandalous sale of indulgences gave the first occasion to all that 


followed between him and the church of Rome ; in which, had not the 
corruptions and cruelties of the clergy been so visible and scandalous, 
so small a cause could never have produced so great a revolution. 

The bishops Avere grossly ignorant ; they seldom resided in their 
dioceses, except on great festivals ; and all the effect their residence 
at such times could have, was to corrupt others by their ill example. 
They attached themselves to princes, and aspired to the greatest 
offices. The abbots and monks were wholly given up to luxury and 
idleness; and their unmarried state gave infinite scandal to the world ; 
for it appeared, that the restraining them from having wives of their 
own, made them conclude, that they had a right to all other men's. The 
inferior clergy were no better; and not having places of retreat to con- 
ceal their vices in, as the monks had, they became more public. In 
short, all ranks of churchmen were so universally despised and hated, 
that the world was very easily possessed with prejudice against the 
doctrines of men whom they knew to be capable of every vice; and 
the worship of God was so defiled with gross superstition, that all men 
were easily convinced, that the church stood in great need of a refor- 
mation. This was much increased when the books of the fathers be- 
gan to be read, in which the difference between the former and latter 
ages of the church, did very evidently appear. It was found that a 
blind superstition came first in the room of true piety ; and when, by 
its means, the wealth and interest of the clergy were highly advanced, 
the popes had upon that established their tyranny ; under which all 
classes of people had long groaned. All these things concurred to 
make way for the advancement of the reformation ; and, the books of 
the German reformers being brought into England, and translated, 
many -were prevailed on by them. Upon this, a furious persecution 
was set on foot, to such a degree, that six men and women were 
burnt in Coventry in passion week, only for teaching their children 
the creed, the Lord's prayer, and the ten commandments, in Ensrlish. 
Great numbers were every where brought into the bishops' courts; 
of whom some were burnt, but the greater part abjured. 

The king laid hold, on this occasion, to become the champion of 
the church, and wrote against Luther. His book, besides the titlo oi 
" Defender of the Faith," drew upon him all that flattery could in- 
vent to extol it ; yet Luther, not daunted by such an antagonist, an- 
Kwerr d it, and treated him as much below the respect that was due 
to a king, as his flatterers had raised him above it. Tindal's transla- 
tion of the New Testament, with notes, drew a severe condemnation 
from the clergy, there being nothing in which they were more con- 
cerned, tl;an to keep the people unacquainted with that book. Thus 
much may serve to show the condition of aflairs in England both in 
church and state, when the process of the king's divorce was first set 
on foot. 

History of Henry^s Marriage with Catherine. 

As this incident is so replete with consequences, a particular re- 
lation of its cause will not, it is presumed, be unacceptable to the 

Henry the Seventh had entered into a firm alliance with Ferdinand 
of Spain, and agreed on a match between his son, Prince Arthur, and 
Catherine, the infanta of Spain. She came into England, and was 


married in November ; but on the second of April after, the prince 
died. They were not only bedded in ceremony the night of the 
marriage, but continued still to lodge together ; and the prince gave 
occasion to believe that the marriage was consummated. 

The king being unwilling to restore so great a portion as 200,000 
ducats, Avhich the princess brought as her dowry, proposed a second 
Jiiatch for her with his younger son Henry. Warham objected against 
the lawfulness of it; but Fox, bishop of Winchester, was for it, and 
the opinion of the pope's authority was then so Avell established, that 
it was thought a dispensation from Rome Avas sufllcient to remove all 
objections. Accordingly, one was obtained, grounded upon the desire 
of the two young persons to marry together, for the preservation of 
peace between the crowns of England and Spain. 

The pope was then at Avar with Louis the Twelfth of France, and 
so would refuse nothing to the king of England, being, perhaps, not 
uuAvilling that princes should contract such marriages, by Avhich the 
legitimation of their issue, depending on the pope's dispensation, 
they v.-ould be thereby obliged in interest to support that authority. 
Upon this a marriage followed, the prince being yet under age ; but 
the same day in which he came to be of age, he did, by his father's 
orders, make a protestation that he retracted and annulled his mar- 

Henry the Seventh, on his death-bed, charged his son to break it off 
entirely, being perhaps apprehensive of such a return of confusion 
upon a controverted succession to the crown, as had been during the 
wars of the houses of York a;.d Lancaster; but after his father's 
death, Henry the Eighth, being then eighteen years of age, married 
her : she bore him two sons, who died soon after they were born ; 
and a daughter, jMary, afterwards queen of England. After this the 
queen contracted some diseases that made her unacceptable to the 
king ; Avho, at the same time beginning to have some scruples of 
conscience with regard to the lawfulness of his marriage, determined 
to have the aflair investigated. 

The King^s Scruples concerning his Marriage. 

He seemed to lay the greatest weight on the prohibition in the le- 
vitical law, of marrying the brother's wife, and being conversant in 
Thomas Aquinas's writings, he found, that lie and the other school- 
men looked on those laws as moral, and forever binding ; and conse- 
quently the pope's dispensation was of no force, since his authority 
went not so far as to dispense with the lav/s of God. All the bishops 
of England, Fisher of Rochester only excepted, declared under their 
hands and seals, that they judged the marriage unlawful. The ill con- 
sequence of Avars that might follow upon a doubtful title to the croAvn, 
Avere also much considered. It is not certain that Henry's affection 
for any other lady Avas the origin of these proceedings ; but Avhatever 
be the determination of this point, it is certain that about this time he 
gave free scope to his affections toAA'ards Anne Boleyn. 

This lady Avas born in the year 1507, and at seven years of age 
Avas sent to France, Avhere she remained twelve years, and then re- 
turned to England. She Avas much admired in both courts, Avas more 
beautiful than graceful, and more cheerful than discreet. She AA'anted 
aone of the charms of Avit or person, and must have had extraordinary 


attraclions, since she could so long retain her place in such a king':* 

Knight, then secretary of state, was sent to Rome to prepare the 
pope to grant a dispensation from the former marriage. Knight 
made application in the most secret manner he could, and had a very 
favourable answer ; for the pope promised frankly to dissolve the 
marriage : but another promise being exacted of him by the emperor 
Charles V. nephew of Catherine, not to proceed in that affair, he was 
reduced to great straits, being then at his mercy, and yet unwilling to 
offend the king of England : he therefore studied to gain time, and 
promised that if the king would have a little patience, he should not 
only have that which he asked, but every thing that was in his power 
to grant. 

Some scruples were made concerning the bull that was demanded, 
till, by great presents, it was at length obtained, and then the pope 
signed a commission for Wolsey to try the cause, and judge in it, 
and also a dispensation, and put them in Knight's hands ; but with 
tears prayed him that there might be no proceedings upon them, till 
the emperor was put out of a capacity of executing his revenge upon 
him, and v/henever that was done, he would own this act of justice, 
which he did in the king's favour. 

The pope Avas at this time offended with Cardinal Wolsey ; for he 
understood, that during his captivity, Wolsey had been in an intrigue 
to get himself chosen vicar of the papacy, and was to have sate at 
Avignon, which might have produced a new schism. Staphileus, 
dean of the Rota, being then in Engl-^nd, Avas prcA^ailed on by the pro- 
mise of a bishopric, and a recommendation to a cardinal's hat, to pro- 
mote the king's affair ; and by him the cardinal wrote to the pope, in 
a most earnest strain, for a despatch of this business ; and he desired, 
that an indifferent and tractable cardinal might be sent over, Avith a 
full commission to join Avith him, and to judge the matter ; proposing 
to the king's ambassadors, Campegio, Avho Avas the fittest man. 

The cardinal, in his letters to Cassuli, who Avas in great favour with 
the pontiff, offered to take the blame on his OAvn soul, if the pope 
Avould grant this bull ; and Avith an earnestness, as hearty and Avarm 
as can be expressed in Avords, he pressed the thing, and added, thai 
if the pope continued inexorable, he perceived the king Avould pro- 
ceed another Avay. 

These entreaties had such an eflect, that Campegio Aras declared 
legate, and ordered to go to England, and join in commission Avith 
Wolsey for judging this matter. He accordingly set out from Rome, 
and carried with him a decretal bull, for annulling the marriage, Avhich 
he Avas authorized to shoAV to the king and Wolsey ; but was required 
not to give it out of his hands to either of them. 

Campegio comes into England. 

In October, he arrived in England, and advised the king to relin- 
quish the prosecution of his suit-; and then counselled the queen, in 
the pope's name, to enter into a religious community ; but both Avere 
in vain ; and he, by affecting an impartiality, almost lost both sides. 
But he in great measure pacified the king, when he shoAved him the 
bull he had brought over for annulling the marriage ; yet he Avould 
not part Avith it out of his hands neither to the king, nor the cardinal • 


upon which, great sohcilation was employed at Rome, that Cauipegio 
might be ordered to show it to some of the king's counsellors, and 
to go on and end the business, otherwise Wolsey would be ruined, 
and England lost ; yet all this did not prevail on the pope, who knew 
that the king intended to get the bull out of Campegio's hands, and 
then to leave the ponlifl' to the emperor's indignation ; but though 
he positively refused to grant that, yet, he said, he left the legates in 
England free to judge as they saw cause, and promised that he would 
confirm their sentence. 

The affair proceeding very slowly, ambassadors were dispatched 
to Rome with new propositions, for a speedy termination. On this, 
the pope gave new assurances, tliat though he would not grant a 
bull, by Avhich the divorce should be immediately his own act, yet 
he would confirm the legates' sentence.- 

About this time the pope was taken suddenly ill, upon which the 
imperialists began to prepare for a conclave ; but Farnese, and the 
cardinal of Mantua, opposed them, and seemed to favour Wolsey ; 
whom, as his correspondents wrote to him, " they reverenced as a 
deity." Upon this he dispatched a courier to Gardiner, then on his 
way to Rome, with large directions how to manage the election ; ii 
was reckoned, that on the ki-ng of France joining heartily with Henry, 
of Avhich he seemed confident, there were only six cardinals wanting 
to make the election sure, and besides sums of money, and other 
rewards, that were to be distributed among them, he was to give 
them assurance, that the cardinal's preferments should be divided 
among them. These were the secret methods of obtaining that chair; 
and, indeed, it would puzzle a man of an ordinary degree of credulity, 
to think, that one chosen by such means could presume to be 
Christ's vicar, and the infallible judge of controversies. Tl e re- 
covery, howevei*, of the pope, put an end to those intrigues. 

The Queen Appeals to the Pope. 

At length the legates began the process, when the queen protested 
against them as incompetent judges. They, however, proceeded ac- 
cording to the forms of law, although the queen had appealed from 
them to the pope, and objected both to the place, to the judges, and 
her lawyers ; yet they pronounced her contumacious, and went on to 
examine witnesses, chiefly as to the consummation of her marriage 
with Prince Arthur. But now, since the process was thus going on, 
the emperor's agents pressed the pope vehemently for an avocation; 
and all possible endeavours v^ere used by the king's agents to hinder 
it ; it was toH him, that there was a treaty on foot between the king 
and the Lutheran princes of Germany ; and that upon declaring him- 
self so partial as to grant the avocation, this would certainly be con- 
cluded. But the pope thought the king so far engaged in honour in 
the points of religion, that he would not be prevailed with to unite with 
Luther's followers ; he did not, therefore, imagine, that the effects of 
his granting the avocation would be so fatal as was represented. In 
conclusion, therefore, after the emperor had engaged to him to re- 
store his family to the government of Florence, the pope resolved to 
publish his treaty with him ; he told the English ambassadors, that he 
was forced to it; both because all the lawyers told him it could not 
be denied, and that he could not resist the emperor's forces, which 


surrounded him on all hands. Their endeavours to gain a little tine 
by delays were as fruitless as their other arts had been, for, on the 
15th of July, the pope signed it, and, on the 19th, sent it by an ex- 
press messenger to England. 

The legates, and among them Campegio in particular, drew out 
the matter, by all the delays they could contrive, and gained much 
lime. At last, sentence being to be pronounced, Campegio, instead 
of pronouncing it, adjourned the court till October, and said, that they 
being a part of the consistory, must observe their times of vacation. 
This gave the king and his court great offence, Avhen they saw what 
was like to be the issue of a process, on which his majesty was so 
much bent, and in Avhich he was so far engaged, both in honour and 
interest. The king governed himself upon this occasion with more 
temper than was expected ; lie dismissed Campegio civilly, only his 
officers searched his coffers when he went beyond sea, with design, as 
was thought, to see if the decretal bull could be found. Wolsey was 
now upon the point of being disgraced, though the king seemed to 
treat him with all his former confidence. 

Account of Cranmer. 

At this period. Dr. Cranmer, a fellow of .Tesus' College in Cam- 
bridge, meeting accidentally with Gardiner and Fox at Waltham, and 
entering into discourse upon the royal marriage, suggested, that the 
king should engage the chief universities and divines of Eurojje, to 
examine the lawfulness of his marriage ; and if they gave their reso- 
lutions against it, then it being certain that the pope's dispensation 
could not derogate from the law of God, the marriage must be de- 
clared null. This novel and reasonable scheme they proposed to the 
king, who was much pleased with it, as he saw this way was better in 
itself, and would mortify the pope. Cranmer was accordingly sent 
for, and on conversing with him, the king conceived an high opinion 
both of his learning and prudence, as well as of his probity and sin- 
cerity, which took such root in his mind, that no artifices, nor calum- 
nies, were ever able to remove it. 

Wolsey is Disgraced. 

From this moment began the decline of Wolsey. The great seal 
was taken from him, and given to Sir Thomas More ; and he was sued 
in a praemunire, for having held the legitimate courts by a foreign 
authority, contrary to the laws of England : he confessed the indict- 
ment, pleaded ignorance, and submitted himself to the king's mercy, 
so judgment passed on him ; then was his rich palace and royal f' r- 
niture seized on for the royal use ; yet the king received him af ain 
into his protection, and restored to him the temporalities of the sees 
of York and "Winchester, and above 6000Z. in plate, and other goods. 
Articles were, however, preferred against him in the liouse of lords, 
where he had but few friends ; but Cromwell, who had been his se- 
cretary, did so manage the matter in the house of commons, that it 
came to nothing. This failing, his enemies procured an order to be 
sent to him, to go into Yorkshire ; thither he went in great state, with 
ICO horses in his train, and 72 carts following him. There he lived 
some time ; but the king being informed that he was practising with 
the pope and the emperor, sent the earl of Northumberland to arrest 


him for high treason, and bring him up to London. On the way he 
sickened, and died at Leicester, making great protestations of his 
constant fidelity to the king, particularly in the matter of his ilivorce: 
and " wishing he had served God as faithfully as he had done the 
king; for then lie would not have cast him off in his gray hairs, as 
the king had done :" words that declining favourites are apt to reflect 
on, but seldom remember in the height of their fortune. 

The Universities declare against the King^s Marriage. 

The king now intending to proceed in the method proposed by 
Cranmer, sent to Oxford and Cambridge, to procure their conclu- 
sions. At Oxford, it was referred by the major part of the convoca- 
tion to thirty-three doctors and bachelors of divinity, whom that fa- 
culty was to name : they were empowered to determine the question, 
and put the seal of the university to their conclusion. And they gave 
their opinions, that the marriage of the brother's wife was contrary 
both to the laws of God and nature. At Cambridge the convocation 
referred the question to twenty-nine ; of which number, two thirds 
agreeing, they were empowered to put the seal of the university to 
their determination. These agreed in opinion with those of Oxford. 
The jealousy of Dr. Cranmer's favouring Lutheranism, caused the 
fierce popish party to oppose every thing in which he was engaged. 
They were also afraid of Anne Boleyn's advancement, who was be- 
lieved to be tinctured with these opinions. Crook, a learned man, 
was employed in Italy, to procure the resolution of divines there ; in 
which he was so successful, that besides the great discoveries he 
made in searching the manuscripts of the Greek fathers concerning 
their opinions in this point, he engaged several persons to write for 
ihe king's cause : and also got the Jews to give their opinions of the 
laws in Leviticus, that they were moral and obligatory ; yet, when a 
brother died without issue, his brother might marry his widow within 
Judea, for preserving their families and succession ; but they thought 
that might not be done out of Judea. The state of Venice would not 
declare themselves, but said they would be neutral, and it was not 
easy to persuade the divines of the republic to give their opinions, 
till a brief was obtained of the pope, permitting all divines and ca- 
nonists to deliver their opinions according to their consciences. The 
pope abhorred this way of proceeding, though he could not decently 
oppose it : but he said, in great scorn, that no friar should set limits 
to his power. Crook was ordered to give no money, nor make pro- 
mises to any, till they had freely delivered their opinion ; which he 
is said to have faithfully observed. 

He sent over to England a hundred several ' books, and papers, 
with many subscriptions ; all condemning the king's marriage as un- 
lawful in itself. At Paris, the Sorbonne made their determination 
with great solemnity ; after mass, all the doctors took an oath to 
study the question, and to give their judgment according to their 
consciences ; and after three weeks study the greater part agreed on 
this : " that the king's marriage was lawful, and that the pope could 
not dispense with it." At Orleans, Anglers, and Toulouse, they de- 
termined to the same purpose. 

Calvin thought the marriage null, and all agreed that the pope's 
dispensation was of no force. Osiander was employed to engage the 


Lutheran divines, but they Avere afraid of giving the emperor new 
grounds of displeasure. 

Meluucthon thought the law in Leviticus was dispensable, and thai 
the marriage might be lawful ; and that, in those matters, states and 
princes might make what laws they pleased ; and though the divines 
of Leipsic, after much disputing about it, did agree, that those laws 
were moral, yet they could never be brought to justify the divorce, 
with the subsequent marriage ; but the pope was more compliant, for 
he offered to Cassali, to grant the king dispensation for having ano- 
ther wife, with vvhich the imperialists seemed not dissatisfied. 

The king's cause being thus fortified, by so many resolutions in his 
favour, he made many members of the parliament, in a prorogation 
time, sign a letter to the pope, complaining, that notwithstanding the 
great merits of the king, the justice of his cause, and the importance 
of it to the safety of the kingdom, yet the pope made still new de- 
lays ; they therefore pressed him to despatch it speedily, otherwise 
they would be forced to seek other remedies, though they were not 
willing to drive things to extremities, till it was unavoidable. The 
letter was signed by the cardinal, the archbishop of Canterbury, four 
bishops, twenty-two abbots, forty-two peers, and eleven commoners. 

To this the pope wrote an answer : he took notice of the vehe- 
mence of their style : he freed himself from the imputations of ingra- 
titude and injustice : he acknowledged the king's great merits ; and 
said, he had done all he could in his favour ; he had granted a com- 
mission, but could not refuse to receive tlie queen's appeal ; all the 
cardinals with one consent judged, that an avocation was necessary. 
Since that time, the delays lay not with him, but with the king; that 
he was ready to proceed, and would bring it to as speedy an issue as 
the importance of it would admit of; and for their threatcnings, they 
were neither agreeable to their wisdom, nor their religion. 

The king, now disgusted at his dependance on the pope, issued a 
proclamation against any that should purchase, bring over, or publish 
any bull from Rome, contrary to his authority : and after that he 
made an abstract of all the reasons and authorities of the fathers, or 
modern writers, against his marriage, to be published both in Latin 
and English. 

Both sides having produced the strength of their cause, it evidently 
appeared, that, according to the authority given to the tradition in the 
church of Rome, the king had clearly the right on his side. 

Amidst these disputes, the queen continued firm to her resolution 
of leaving the matter in the pope's hands, and would not listen to any 
propositions for referring the matter to the arbitration of a number 
chosen on both sides. 

The King leaves the Queen. 

After the prorogation of parliament, new applications were made 
to the queen to persuade her to depart from her appeal ; but she re- 
mained fixed in her resolution, and said she Avas the king's lawful 
■wife, and would abide by it, till the court of Rome should declare to 
the contrary. Upon that, the king desired her to choose any of his 
houses in the country to live in, and resolved never to see her more 


The Pope writes to the King, and is answered. 

In January, 1532, the pope, upon tlie motion of tJie imperialists, 
wrote to the king, complaining, that nutwitlistamiing a suit was de 
pending concerning his marriage, yet he had ]n\t away his queen, and 
kept one Anne as his wife, contrary to a prohibition served on him ; 
he therefore exhorted him to live with his queen again, and to put 
away Anne. Upon this the king sent Dr. Bennet to Rome willi a 
large despatch, in which he com{)lained that the pope proceeded in 
that matter upon the suggestion of others, who were ignorant and rash 
men, and had carried himself inconstantly and deceitfully into it, and 
not as became Christ's vicar ; he had granted a commission, had pro- 
mised never to recal it, and had sent over a decretal bull defining the 
cause. Either these were unjustly granted, or unjustly recalled. It 
was plain that he acted more with regard to his interests tlian accord- 
ing to conscience ; and that, as the pope had often confessed his own 
ignorance in these matters, so he was not furnished with learned men 
to advise him, otherwise he would not defend a marriage which almost 
all the learned men and universities in England, France, and Italy, had 
condemned as unlawful. He would not question his authority unless 
ne were compelled to it, and would do nothing but reduce it to its first 
and ancient limits. 

This haughty letter made the i)ope resolve to proceed and end this 
matter, either by a sentence or a treaty. The king was cited to an- 
swer the queen's appeal at Rome in person, or by ])roxy ; accordingly, 
Sir Edward Karne was sent thither in the new character of the king's 
excusator, to excuse the king's appearance, upon such grounds as 
could be founded on the common law, and upon the privileges of the 
crown of England. The imperialists pressed the pope to give sen- 
tence, but the wiser cardinals, who observed that the nation would 
adhere to the king, if he should be provoked to shake off the pope's 
yoke, suggested milder counsels. 

In conclusion, the pope seemed to favour the king's excusatory plea, 
upon which the imperialists made great complaints. But this amounted 
to no more, than that the king Mas not bound to appear in person ; 
therefore, the cardinals, who were in his interest, advised the king to 
send over a proxy for answering to the merits of the cause. Bonner 
was also sent to England to assure the king that the pope was now so 
much in the French interest, that he might confidently refer his mat- 
ter to him. 

At that time the king sent for the speaker of the house of commons, 
and told him he found the prelates were but half subjects ; for they 
swore at their consecration an oath to the pope, inconsistent with their 
allegiance and oath to him. By their oath to the pope, they swore 
to be in no council against him, nor to disclose his secrets ; but to 
maintain the papacy, and the rights and authorities of the church of 
Rome, against all men. In their oath to the king, they renounced 
all clauses in their bulls contrary to the king's royal dignity, and 
swore to be faithful to him, and to live and die with him against all 
others, and to keep his counsel ; acknowledging that tliey held their 
bishoprics only of him. It was evident they could not keep both 
these oaths, in case of a breach between the king and the pope. 
But the plague broke off the consultations of parliament at this time. 


Soon aftor. Sir Thomas More, seeing a rupture with Rome coming on 
so last, desired leave to lay down his office, which was, upon that, con- 
ferred on Sir Thomas Audley. More was satisfied with the king's 
keeping up the laws formerly m.ade in opposition to the papal en- 
croachments, and so had concurred in a suit of the praemunire which 
had been issued against the clergy ; but now the matter went farther, 
and not being able to keep pace with the king's measures, he returned 
to a private life. 

Interview of the Kings of England and France. 

An interview soon followed between the kings of France and Eng- 
land ; in which Francis promised Henry to second him in his suit ; 
encouraged him to proceed to a second marriage without delay, and 
assured him of his assistance and sup|)ort ; meantime, the pope offered 
to the king to send a legate to any indifferent place out of England, to 
form the process, reserving only the giving sentence to himself, and 
proposed to him, and all princes, a general truce, to be followed by a 
general council 

The king answered, that such was the present state of the affairs of 
Europe, that it was not seasonable to call a general council ; and that 
it was contrary to his prerogative to send a proxy to appear at Rome ; 
that by the decrees of general councils, all causes ought to be judged 
on the place, and by a provincial council ; and that it was fitter to 
judge it in England, than any where else ; and that by his coronation 
oath he was bound to maintain the dignities of his crown, and the 
rights of his subjects ; and not to appear before any foreign court. 
Sir Thomas Elliot was, therefore, sent over with instructions, to move 
that the cause might be judged in England. 

The King marries Anne Boleyn. 

Soon after this, the king married Anne Boleyn ; Rowland Lee 
(afterwards bishop of Coventry and Litchfield) officiated, none being 
present but the duke of Norfolk, and her father, mother, brotlier, and 
Cranmer. It was thought that the former marriage being null, the 
king might proceed to another ; and perhaps they hoped, that as the 
pope had formerly proposed this method, so lie would now approve 
of it. But though the pope had joined himself to France, yet he was 
still so much in fear of the emperor, that he dared not provoke him. 
A new citation was, therefore, issued out, for the king to answer to the 
queen's complaints ; but Henry's agents protested, that their master 
'y&s a sovereign prince, and England a free church, over which the 
pope had no just authority ; and that the king could expect no justice 
at Rome, where the emperor's power was so great. 

The Parliament condemns Appeals to Rome. 

At this time, the parliament met again, and passed an act, condemn- 
ing all appeals to Rome ; and enacting, that thenceforth all causes 
should be judged within the kingdom, and that sentences given in 
England were to have full effect ; and all that executed any censures 
from Rome, were to incur the pain of praemunire. 

Cranmer made Archbishop of Canterhury 

Warham, archbishop of Canterbury, having died the preceding year, 
was succeeded by Cranmer, who Avas then in Germany, disputing in 
the lung's cause with some of the emperor's divines. The king re- 


solved to advance him to that dignity, and sent him word of it, that so 
he might make haste over : but a promotion so far above his thoughts, 
had not its common eflects on him ; he liad a true and primitive sense 
of so great a charge ; and instead of aspiring to it, feared it ; and, re- 
turning very slowly to England, used all his endeavours to be excused 
from that advancement. Bulls were sent for to Rome, in order to his 
consecration, which the pope granted, and on the 30lh of March, Cran- 
mer was consecrated by the bishops of Lincoln, Exeter, and St, Asaph. 
The oath to the pope was of hard digestion to him. He therefore made 
a protestation, before he took it, that he conceived himself not bound 
by it in any thing that Avas contrary to his duty to God, to his king, or 
to his country ; and this he repeated when he took it. 

The King''s Marriage condemned by the Convocation. 

The convocation had then two questions before them ; the first was, 
concerning the lawfulness of the king's marriage, and the validity of 
the pope's dispensation ; the other was, of a matter of fact, whether 
Prince Arthur had consummated the marriage. For the first, the 
judgments of nineteen universities were read ; and, after a long debate, 
there being twenty-three only in the lower house, fourteen were against 
the marriage, seven for it, and two voted dubiously. In the upper 
house, Stokesly, bishop of London, and Fisher, maintained the debate 
long; the one for the affirmative, and the other the negative : at last 
it was carnedne?nine contradicente, {the few that were of the other side 
it seems withdrawing) against the marriage, 216 being present. The 
other question was referred to the canonists ; and they all, except five 
or six, reported that the presumptions were violent ; and these, in a 
matter not capable of plain proof, were always received in law. 

The convocation having thus judged in the matter, the ceremony 
of pronouncing the divorce judicially was now only wanting. The new 
queen being pregnant, was a great evidence of her having preserved 
her chastity previously to her marriage. On Easter eve she was de- 
clared queen of England; and soon after, Cranmer, with Gardiner, 
who had been made, upon Wolsey's death, bishop of Winchester, n.nd 
the bishops of London, Lincoln, Bath, and Wells, with many divines 
and canonists, went to Dunstable; Queen Catherine living then near 
it, at Ampthill. The king and queen were cited : he appeared by 
proxy, but the queen refused to take any notice of the court: so after 
three citations she was declared contumacious, and the merits of the 
cause were examined. At last, on the 23d of May, sentence was 
given; declaring the marriage to have been null from the beginning. 
Coronation of Anne Boleyn. 

Some days after this, another judgment was given, confirming the 
king's marriage with Queen Anne, and on the first of June she was 
crowned. All people admired her conduct, who, during so many years, 
managed the spirit of so violent a king in such a manner, as neither 
to surfeit him with too many favours, nor to provoke him with too 
much rigour. They that loved the reformation, looked for better 
days under lier protection ; but many priests and friars, both in ser- 
mons and discourses, condemned the king's proceedings. Henry 
sent ambassadors to the various courts of Europe, to justify Avhat he 
had done : he sent also to Queen Catherine, charging her to assume 
no other title than that of princess dowager ; but to this she refused 


obedience, saying, she would not take that infamy on herself; and 
so resolved that none should serve about her who did not treat her 
as queen. 

At Rome the cardinals of the imperial faction complained much of 
the attempi made on the pope's power, and urged him to proceed to 
censures. But there was only sentence given, annulling all that the 
archbishop of Canterbury had done ; and the king was required, under 
pain of excommunication, to i)lace things again in the state in which 
they formerly were ; and this notification was affixed at Dunkirk. 
The king sent an embassy to the French monarch, who was then 
setting out to Marseilles, to meet the pope ; their errand was to dis- 
suade him from the journey, unless the pope promised Henry satis- 
faction : Francis said, lie Avas engaged in honour to go on ; but assu- 
red them, he would mind the king's concerns with as much zeal as 
if they were his own. 

Birth of the Princess Elizabeth. 

In September the queen brought forth a daughter, afterwards the 
renowned Queen Elizabeth ; and the king having before declared 
Lady Mary princess of Wales, did now the same for her : though, 
since a son might exclude her from it, she could not be heir appa- 
rent, but only heir presumptive to the crown. 

The eventful moment was now at hand, when the incident should 
take place that would cause the separation of England from the church 
of Rome. There was a secret agreement between the pope and 
Francis, that if King Henry would refer his cause to the consistory, ex- 
cepting only the cardinals of the imperial faction, as partial, and would 
in all other things return to his obedience to the see of Rome, the sen- 
tence should be given in his fovour. When Francis returned to Paris, 
he sent over the bishop of that city to the king, to tell what he had ob- 
tained of the pope in his favour, and the terms on which it was promi- 
sed ; this wrought so much on the king, that he presently consented to 
them ; upon Avhich, the bishop of Paris, though it Avas noAV in the mid- 
dle of winter, went to Rome in consequence. Upon his arrival there, 
the matter seemed agreed ; for it was promised, that upon the king's 
sending a ])romise under his hand, to place things in their former 
state, and his ordering a proxy to appear for him, judges should be 
sent to Cambray for making the process, and then sentence should be 
given. Upon the notice given of this, and of a day fixed for the re- 
turn of the courier, the king dispatched him with all possible haste : 
and now the business seemed at an end. But the courier had the sea 
and the Alps to pass, and in winter it was not easy to observe a limited 
day so exactly. The appointed day came, and no courier arrived ; 
upon which the imperialists gave out, that the king was abusing the 
pope's easiness; and pressed him vehemently to proceed to a sentence; 
the bishop of Paris requested only a delay of six days. But the de- 
sign of the imperialists was to hinder a reconciliation ; for if the king 
had been set right with the pope, there would have been so powerful 
a league formed against the emperor, as would have frustrated all his 
measures : and therefore it was necessary for his politics to embroil 
ihem. Seduced by the artifice of this intriguing prince, the pope, 
contrary to his ordinary prudence, brought the matter before the con- 
MStory ; and there the imperialists having the majority, it was driven 

The hones of Wickliffe taken U2? ayid burnt, and the 
ashes throw7i into the River . Page 192, 

Martyrdom of Thomas Badly . Page 194. 

John Lambert on his Trial. Pa<ye 234. 


on with so much precipitation, that they did, in one day, that which, 
according to form, should have occupied three. 

They gave the final sentence, declared the king's marriage Mith 
Queen Catherine good, and required him to live with her as his wife, 
otherwise they would proceed to censures. Two days after this, the 
courier came with the king's submission in due form ; he also brought 
earnest letters from Francis in the king's favour. This wrought on'all 
the indifferent cardinals, as well as those of the French faction, so 
much that they prayed the pope to recal what was done. A new 
consistory was called ; but the imperialists urged, with Greater vehe- 
mence than ever, that they would not give such scandal^o the world 
as to recal a definitive sentence passed on the validity of a marriage, 
and give the heretics such advantages by their unsteadiness in matters 
of that nature ; it was, therefore, carried, that the former sentence 
should take place, and the execution of it committed to the emperor. 
When this was known in England, it determined the king in his reso- 
lution of shaking off the papal yoke, in which he had made so great 
a progress, that the parliament had passed all the acts concerning it, 
before he received the news from Rome ; for he judged, that the best 
way to secure his cause was to let Rome see his power, and with what 
vigour he could make war. 

Arguments for rejecting the Pope's Power. 

In England, the foundations on which the papal authority was builr^ 
had been examined with extraordinary care of late years ; and several 
books were written on that subject. It was demonstrated that all the 
apostles were made equal in the powers that Christ gave them, and 
he often condemned their contests about superiority, but never de- 
clared in Peter's favour. Paul withstood him to his face, and reckon- 
ed himself not inferior to him. If the dignity of a person left any 
authority with the city in which he sat, then Antioch must carry it as 
well as Rome ; and Jerusalem, where Christ suffered, was to be pre- 
ferred to all the world, for it was truly the mother church. The other 
privileges ascribed to Peter, M'ere either only a precedence of order, 
or were occasioned by his fall, as that injunction, " Feed my sheep,'" 
it being a restoring him to the apostolical function. Peter had also a 
limited province, the circumcision, as Paul had the uncircumcision, ol 
far greater extent ; which showed that Peter was not considered as the 
universal pastor. 

Several sees, as Ravenna, Milan, and Aquileia, pretended exemp- 
tion from the papal authority. Many English bishops had asserted, 
that the popes had no authority against the canons, and to that day nii 
canon the pope made was binding till it was received ; which showed 
the pope's authority was not believed to be founded on a divine au- 
thority ; and the contests which the kings of England had had with 
the popes concerning investitures, bishops doing homage, appeals to 
Rome, and the authority of papal bulls and provisions, showed that 
the pope's power was believed to be subject to laws and custom, and 
so not derived from Christ and Peter ; and as laws had given them 
some power, and princes had been forced, in ignorant ages', to submit 
to their usurpations, so they might, as they saw cause, "change those 
laws, and resume their rights. 

The next point inquired into was, the authority that kings had in 


matters of religion and the church. In the New Testament, Christ 
was himself subject to the civil powers, and charged his disciples not 
lo affect temporal dominion. They also wrote to the churches to be 
subject to the higher powers, and call them supreme, and charge every 
soul to be subject to them ; so, in scripture, the king is called head 
and supreme, and every soul is said to be under him, which, joined 
together, makes up his conclusion, that he is the supreme head over 
all persons. In the primitive church the bishops only made rules or 
canons, but pretended to no compulsive authority but what came from 
ihe civil magistrate. Upon the whole matter, they concluded, that 
the pope had no power in England, and that the king had an entire do- 
minion over all his subjects, which extended even to the regulation of 
ecclesiastical matters. 

These questions being fully discussed in many disputes, and pub- 
lished in several books, all the bishops, abbots, and friars, of Eng- 
land, Fisher only excepted, were so far satisfied with them, that they 
resolved to comply with the changes the king was resolved to make. 

The Pope^s Power rejected by Parliament. 

At the next meeting of parliament, there were but seven bishops 
and twelve abbots present, the rest being unwilling to concur in making 
this change, though they complied with it when it was made. Every 
Sunday during the session a bishop preached at St. Paul's, and de- 
clared that the pope had no authority in England ; before this, they had 
only said that a general council was above th( m, and that the exactions 
of Lis court, and appeals to it, were unlawful ; but now they Avent a 
strain higher, to prepare the people for receiving the acts then in agi- 
tation. On the ninth of March, the commons began the bill for taking 
away the pope's power, and sent it to the lords on the 14th, who pass- 
ed it on the 20th without any dissent. In it they set forth the exac- 
tions of the court of Rome, grounded on the pope's power of dispens- 
ing ; and that as none could dispense with the laws of God, so the 
king and parliament only had the authority of dispensing with the laws 
of the land ; and that, therefore, such licenses or dispensations as were 
formerly in use, should be for the future granted by the two arch- 
bishops ; some of these were to be confirmed under the great seal ; 
and they appointed, that thereafter all intercourse Avith Rome, on those 
subjects, should cease. They also declared, that they did not intend 
to alter any article of the catholic faith of Christendom, or of that 
which was declared in the scripture necessary to salvation. They 
confirmed all the exemptions granted to monasteries by the popes, 
but subjected them to the king's visitation, and gave the king and his 
council power to examine and reform all indulgences and privileges 
granted by the pope. This act subjected the monasteries entirely to 
the king's authority, and put them in no small confusion. Those who 
loved the reformation rejoiced both to see the pope's power rooted 
out, and to find the scripture made the standard of religion. 

After this act, another passed in both houses in six days time without 
any opposition, settling the succession of the crown, confirming the 
sentence of divorce, and the king's marriage with Queen Anne, and de- 
claring all marriages within the degrees prohibited by Moses to be un- 
lawful ; all that had married within them were appointed to be divorced, 


and their issue illegitimated ; and the succession to the crown was 
settled upon the king's issue by the present queen, or, in default of 
that, to the king's right heirs forever. All were required to swear to 
maintain the contents of this act ; and if any refused to swear to it, or 
should say any thing to the slander of the king's marriage, he was to 
be judged guilty of misprision of treason, and to be punished accord- 

About this time one Phillips complained to the house of commons 
of the bishop of London for using him cruelly in prison upon suspicion 
of heresy ; the commons sent up his petition to the lords, but received 
no answer ; they therefore sent some of their members to the bishop, de- 
siring him to answer the complaints put in against him ; but he ac- 
quainted the house of lords with it ; and they with one consent voted 
that none of their house ought to appear or answer to any complaint 
at the bar of the house of commons. On which the commons let this 
particular case fall, and sent up a bill, to which the lords agreed, re- 
gulating the proceedings against heretics ; repealing the statute of 
Henry IV. ; and declaring that none were to be committed for heresy 
but upon a presentment made by two witnesses ; none were to be 
accused for speaking against things that were grounded onlj-- upon the 
pope's canons : bail was to be taken for heretics, and they were to be 
brought to trial in open court ; and if upon conviction they did not 
abjure, or were relapses, they were to be burnt ; the king's writ being 
first obtained. This was a great check to the bishops' tyranny and 
gave great satisfaction to the friends of the reformation. 

The convocation sent in a submission at the same time, by which 
they acknowledged, that all the convocations ought to be assembled by 
the king's writ ; and promised never to make nor execute any canons 
without the king's assent. They also desired, that since many of the 
received canons were found to be contrary to the king's prerogative 
and the laws of the land there might be a committee named by the 
king, of thirty-two, the one half out of both houses of parliament, and 
the other of the clergy, empowered to abrogate or regulate them, as 
they should see cause. This was confirmed in parliament ; the act 
. against appeals was renewed ; and an appeal was allowed from the 
archbishop to the king, upon which the lord chancellor was to grant 
a commission for a court of delegates. 

Another act passed for regulating the elections and consecrations of 
bishops, condemning all bulls from Rome, and appointing that upon a 
vacancy the king should grant a license for an election, and should by 
a missive letter signify the person's name whom he would have cho- 
sen ; and within twelve days after these were delivered, the dean and 
chapter, or prior and convent, were required to return an election of 
the person named by the king, under theiv seals. The bishop elect 
was upon that to swear fealty, and a writ was to be issued out for his 
consecration in the usual manner ; after that he was to do homage to 
the king, upon which both the temporalities and spiritualities were to 
be restored, and bishops were to exercise their jurisdictions as they 
had done before. All who transgressed this act were made guilty of 
a praemunire. 

A private act ])assed, depriving cardinal Campegio and Jerome de 
Gianuccii of the bishoprics of Salisbury and Worcester ; the reasons 
given for it were, because they did not reside in their dioceses, for 


preaching the laws of God, and keeping hospitality, while they lived 
at the court of Rome, and drew £3000 a year out of the kingdom. 

The last act of a j)ublic nature, though relating only to private per- 
sons, was concerning the nun of Kent and her accomplices. It was 
the first occasion of shedding any blood in this quarrel, and the im- 
posture was much cherished by all the superstitious clergy who ad- 
hered to the interests of the queen and the pope. The nun, and many 
of her accomplices, were brought to the bar of the house of lords, 
where they confessed the whole matter. 

Sir Thomas More and Bishop Fisher were charged with having con- 
cealed their knowledge of the affair ; the former wrote a long letter 
upon the subject to Cromwell, giving him a particular account of all 
the conversations he had had with the nun : he acknowledged that he 
had esteemed her highly, not so much out of any regard to her pro- 
phecies, as for the opinion he conceived of her holiness and humility. 
But he added, that " he was then convinced that she was the most 
false dissembling hypocrite that ever had been known, and guilty of 
the most detestable hypocrisy and devilish dissembled falsehood:" 
he also believed that she had communication Avith an evil spirit. 
More's justification of his conduct prevailed so far, that his name was 
struck out of the bill. 

Story of the Nun of Kent. 
Elizabeth Barton, of Kent, fell into hysterical fits, and spake such 
things as made those about her think she was inspired by God. The 
parson of the parish, named Master, hoping to draw advantages from 
this, informed Archbishop Warham of it, who ordered him to watch her 
carefully, and bring him an account of what he should observe. But 
it seems that she forgot* all she said in her fits when they were over. 
But the artful priest would not sufler his hopes thus to pass away, but 
persuaded her she was inspired, and taught her so to counterfeit those 
trances, that she became very expert at it, and could assume them at 
her pleasure. The matter was soon noised about ; and the priest in- 
tended to raise the credit of an image of the blessed virgin, which 
stood in his church, so that pilgrimages and ofierings might be made 
to it by her means. He accordingly associated to himself one Bock- 
ing, a monk of Canterbury, and they taught the nun to say, in her fits, 
that the blessed virgin appeared to her, and told her, she could not be 
well till she visited that image. She spake many good words against 
ill life, and also against heresy, and the king's suit of divorce then de- 
pending ; and by many strange motions of her bo<ly, she seemed, to 
the ignorant multitude of that age, to be inwardly possessed. 

Soon after this, a day Avas appointed for her cure ; and before an as- 
semblage of two thousand people, she was carried to the image ; and 
after she had acted over her fits, she seemed suddenly to recover, 
which was ascribed to the intercession of the virgin, and the virtue of 
her image. She then took the veil, and Bocking was her confessor. 

Her popularity increased daily, and many thought her a prophetess, 
among whom was Archbishop Warham himself. A book was also 
written of her revelations, and a letter was sheAvn, all in letters of gold, 
pretended to be written to her from heaven by Mary Magdalen ! She 
said, that when the king Avas last at Calais, she Avas carried invisibly 
beyond sea, and brought back again; and that an angel gave her the 


sacrament ; and that God revealed to her, that if the king went on in 
his divorce, and married another wife, he shoiihi fall from his crown, 
and not live a month longer, but should die a villain's deatli. 

Several monks of the Charter-house, and the observant friars, with 
many nuns, and Bishop Fisher, gave credit to this, set a great value on 
her, and grew very insolent upon it ; for Friar Peyto i)reaching in the 
king's chapel at Greenwich, denounced the judgments of God upon 
him ; and said, though others as lying prophets deceived him, yet he, 
in the name of God, told him, that dogs should lick his blood, as they 
had done Ahab's. The king bore this patiently, contenting himself 
with ordering Dr. Corren to preach next Sunday, and to answer all 
that he had said ; who railed against Peyto as a dog and a traitor. Pey- 
to had gone to Canterbury; but Elston, a Franciscan of the same 
house, interrupted him, and called him one of the lying prophets that 
went about to establish the succession of the crown by adultery ; 
and spoke with so much vehemence, that the king himself was forced 
to command silence. So unwilling was the king to go to extremities, 
that all that was done upon so high a provocation, was, that they were 
summoned before the council, and rebuked for their insolence. But 
the nun's confederates proceeding to publish her revelations in all parts 
of tlie kingdom, she and nine of her accomplices were apprehended, 
when they all, without any rack or torture, discovered the whole con- 
spiracy. Upon this confession they were appointed to go to St. Paul's, 
where, after a sermon preached by the bishop of Bangor, they repeated 
their confession in the hearing of the people, and were sent as prison- 
ers to the Tower. But it was given out that all was extorted from 
them by violence, and messages were sent to the nun, desiring her to 
deny all that she had confessed. The king, on this, judged it neces- 
sary to proceed to further extremities : accordingly, she and six of her 
chief accomplices were attainted of treason, and the bishop of Roches- 
ter and five more were attainted of misprision of treason. But at the 
intercession of Queen Anne, (as is expressed in the act,) all others that 
had been concerned with her were pardoned. 

After this, the nun and her coadjutors were executed at Tyburn. — 
There she voluntarily confessed herself to be an impojtor, and ac- 
knowledged the justice of her sentence, laying the blame on those who 
suffered with her, by whom she had been seduced into the crime; add- 
ing, that they had exalted her for no other cause than for her having 
been of great profit to them, and that they had presumed to say, that 
all she had done was through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, when 
they were sensible the whole was a trick. She then begged pardon of 
God and the king, and resigned herself to her fate. 

Had this fallen out in a darker age, the king might have lost his 
crown by it. But at the present era, the discovery of it disposed men 
to look on older stories of trances, &c. as contrivances to serve base 
ends, and made way for the ruin of the monastic order in England ; 
but all that followed at present upon it was, that the observants were 
put out of their houses, arid mixed with the other Franciscans, and 
the Austin friars were put in their room. 

Upon the discovery of the above imposture, Cromwell sent Fisher's 
brother to him to reprove him for his carriage in that business, and 
to aavise nmi to ask the king's pardon for the encouragement he had 
given to the nun, which he was confident the king would grant him. 


But Fisher excused himself, and said, he had only tried whether her 
revelations were true or not. He confessed, that upon the reports ho 
had heard, he was induced to have a high opinion of her, and that he 
had never discovered any falsehood in her. It was true she had said 
some things to him concerning the king's death which he had not re- 
vealed, but he thought it was not necessary to do it, because he knew 
she had told them to the king herself; she had named no person that 
should kill the king, but had only denounced it as a judgment of God 
upon him ; and he had reason to think that tlie king would have been 
oflended with him, if he had spoken of it to him; he therefore desired 
to be no more troubled with the matter. But, upon that, Cromwell 
wrote him a sharp letter, wherein he showed him that he had pro- 
ceeded rashly in that affair ; being so partial in the matter of the 
king's divorce, that he easily believed every thing that seemed to 
make agaii^st it ; he showed him how necessary it was to use great 
caution before extraordinary things should be received, or spread 
about as revelations, since otherwise the peace of the world would be 
in the hands of every bold or crafty impostor; yet, in conclusion, he 
advised him" again to ask the king's pardon for his rashness, and as- 
sured him that the king was ready to forgive him. But Fisher would 
make no submission, and was in consequence included in the act ; yet 
it was not executed till a new provocation drew him into farther trou- 
ble. The secular and regular clergy did every Avhere swear the oath 
of succession, which none more zealously promoted than Gardiner, 
who before the 6th of May prevailed on all his clergy to swear it: 
and the religious orders being apprehensive of the king's jealousies of 
them, took care to remove them by sending in declarations, under the 
seals of their houses, that in their opinion the king's present marriage 
was lawful, and that they would always acknowledge him head of the 
church of England. 

The council met at Lambeth, to which many were cited for the 
purpose of taking the oath, among whom was Sir Thomas More and 
Bishop Fisher. More was first called on to take it : he answered, that 
he neither blamed those that made the acts, nor those that swore the 
oath ; and that he was willing to swear to maintain the succession to 
the crown, but could not take the oath as it was conceived. Fisher 
made the same answer, but all the rest that were cited before them 
look it. More was pressed to give his reasons against it; but he re- 
fused, for it might be called disputing against law, yet he would put 
them into writing if the king would command him to do it. Cranmer 
said, if he did not blame those that took it, it seems he was not per- 
suaded it was a sin, and so was only doubtful of it ; but he was sure 
he ought to obey the law, if it was not sinful ; so there was a certainty 
on the one hand, and only a doubt on the other, and therefore the 
former ought to determine him : this he confessed did shake him a lit- 
tle, but he said he thought in his conscience that it woidd be a sin to 
comply. In conclusion, both he and Fisher declared that they 
thought it was in the power of the parliament to settle the succession 
to the crown, and so were ready to swear to that ; but they could not 
take the oath that was tendered to them, for by it they must swear 
that the king's former marriage was unlawful,- to which they could not 
assent ; so thoy were both committed to the tower, and denied the use 
of pen, ink, and paper. The old bishop was also har'"*' used both in 


liis clothes and diet ; he had only Tags to cover him, and fire was of- 
ten denied him ; a cruelty not capable of excuse, and as barbarous as 
it was unceserved. 

In the winter, parliament met again, and the first act that passed 
declared the king to be the supreme head on earth of the church of 
England, which M^as ordered to be prefixed to his other titles ; and it 
was enacted, that he and his successors should have full authority to 
reform all heresies and abuses in the spiritual jurisdiction. By ano- 
ther act the parliament confirmed the oath of succession, which had not 
been specified in the former act, though agreed to by the lords. They 
also gave the king the first fruits and tenths of ecclesiastical bene- 
fices, as being the supreme head of the church. Another act passed, 
declaring some things treason ; one of these was ihe denying the 
king any of hij titles, or the calling him heretic, schismatic, or usur- 
per of the crown. By another act, provision was made for setting up 
twenty-six suflragan bishops over England, for the more speedy ad- 
ministration of the sacraments, and the better service of God. The 
bishop of the diocese was to present two to the king, and upon the 
king's declaring his choice, the archbishop was to consecrate the per- 
sen, and then the bishop was to delegate such parts of his charge to 
his care as he thought fitting, during his pleasure. The great extent 
of the dioceses in England, made it hard for one bishop to govern 
them with that exactness that was necessary ; these were therefore 
appointed to assist in the discharge of the pastoral functions. 

Bishop Fisher and Sir Thomas More, by two special acts, were at- 
tainted of misprision of treason ; five other clerks were in like manner 
condemned, all for refusing to swear the oath of succession. The see 
of Rochester was declared void ; and continued vacant two years. 

But now a new scene commenced ; before we enter upon which, 
it will be necessary to state the progress that the new opinions had 
made in England during the king's suit of divorce. Under Wolsey's 
ministry, the reformed preachers were gently used ; and it is proba- 
ble the king ordered the bishops to cease inquiring after them, when 
the pope began to use him ill ; for the progress of heresy was always 
reckoned at Rome among the mischiefs that would follow upon tjie 
pope's rejecting the king's suit. But Sir Thomas More, coming into 
favour, ofllered new counsels, and thought the king's proceeding se- 
verely against heretics would be so meritorious at Rome, that it would 
work more effectually than all his threatenings had done. Upon this, 
a severe proclamation was issued out, both against their books and 
persons, ordering all the laws against them to be put in execution. 

Translation of the New Testament into English. 

Tindal and others at Antwerp were every year either translating 
or writing books against some of the received errors, and sending 
them over to England. But the translation of the New Testament, 
by Tindal, gave the greatest oflfence, and was much complained of 
by the clergy, as full of errors. Tonstall, then bishop of London, 
returning from Cambray, to which jdace More and he had been sent 
by the king, as he came through Antwerp, bargained with an English 
merchant, who was secretly a friend of Tindal, to procure him as 
many of his New Testaments as could be had for money. Tindal 
gladly received this ; for being about a more correct edition, he 


found he would be better enabled to proceed, if the copies of the old 
were sold off; he therefore gave the merchant all he had, and Ton- 
stall, paying for them, brought them over to England, and burnt them 
publicly in Cheapside. This was called a burning of the word ol 
God ; and it was said the clergy had reason to revenge themselves 
on it, for it had done them more mischief than all other books what- 
soever. But a year after this, the second edition being finished, great 
numbers Vv^ere sent over to England, when Constantine, one of Tin- 
dal's partners, happened to be taken: believing that some of the Lon- 
don merchants furnished them with money, he was promised his 
liberty if he would discover who they were ; upon this he said the 
bishop of London did more than all the world besides, for he bought 
up the greatest part of a faulty impression. The clergy, on their con- 
demning Tindal's translation, promised a new one : but a year after, 
they said, that it was not necessary to publish the scriptures in Eng- 
lish, and that the king did well not to set about it. 

About this time, a book, written by Fish, of Gray's Inn, was pub- 
lished. It was entitled, "The Supplication of the Beggars," and 
had a vast sale. In it, the beggars were made to complain, that the 
alms of the people were intercepted by mendicant friars, who were a 
viseless burden to the government ; and to tax the pope with cruelty 
for taking no pity on the poor, since none but those who could pay for 
it, were delivered out of purgatory. The king was so pleased with 
this, that he would not suffer any thing to be done against the author. 
Sir Thomas More answered it by another supplication in behalf of the 
souls in purgatory, setting forth the miseries they were in, and the 
relief which they received by the masses that were said for them ; 
and therefore they called upon their friends to support the religious 
orders, M'hich had now so many enemies. 

Frith published a serious answer to the last mentioned work, in 
which he showed that there was no mention made of purgatory iii 
scripture ; that it was inconsistent with the merits of Christ, b> 
which, upon sincere repentance, all sins were pardoned ; for if thej 
were pardoned, they could not be punished ; and though temporary 
judgments, either as medicinal corrections, or a warning to others, do 
sometimes fall even on true penitents, yet terrible punishments in ano- 
ther state cannot consist with a free pardon, and the remembering 
of our sins no more. In expounding many passages of the New 
Testament, he appealed to More's great friend Erasmus, and showed, 
that the fire which was spoken of by St. Paul, as that which 
would consume the wood, hay, and stubble, could only be meant 
of the fiery trial of persecution. He showed that the primitive 
church received it not ; Ambrose, Jerome, and Austin, did not believe 
it ; the last had plainly said, that no mention was made of it in scrip- 
ture. The monks alone brought it in ; and by many wonderful sto- 
ries, persuaded their ignorant followers of the truth of it, and so made 
a very profitable trade. This book so provoked the clergy, that they 
resolved to make the author feel a real fire, for endeavouring to ex- 
tinguish their imaginary one. Sir Thomas More objected poverty 
and want of learn'ng to the new preachers; but it was answered, the 
same was made use of to reproach Christ and his apostles ; but a 
plain simplicity of mind, without artificial improvements, was rathei 
thought a good disposition for men that were to bear a cross, and the 


glory of God appeared more eminently when tlie instruments seemec! 

But the pen being thought too feeble and gentle, the clergy betook 
themselves to persecution. Many were vexed with imprisonments 
for teaching their cliildren the Lord's prayer in English, for harbour- 
ing the reformed preachers, and for speaking against the corruptions 
and vices of the clergy. 

Hinton, formerly a curate, who had gone over to Tindal, was seized 
on his way back, with some books he was conveying to England, and 
was condemned by Archbishop Warham. He was kept long in pri- 
son ; but remaining firm in the truth, he was, at length, burned at 

Story and Martyrdom of Thomas Bilney. 

Thomas Bilney was brought up at Cambridge from a child. On 
leaving the university, he preached in sevei-al places ; and in his ser- 
mons spoke with great boldness against the pride and insolence of the 
clergy. This was during the ministry of Cardinal Wolaey, who, 
hearing of his attacks, caused him to be seized and imprisoned 
Overcome with fear, Bilney abjured, was pardoned, and returned to 
Cambridge, in the year 1530. Here he fell into great horror of 
mind, in consequence of his instability and denial of the truth. He 
became ashamed of himself, bitterly repented of his sin, and, growing 
strong in faith, resolved to make some atonement by a public avowal 
of his apostacy, and confession of his sentiments. To prepare him- 
self for his task, he studied the scriptures with deep attention for two 
years ; at the expiration of which he again quitted the university, went 
into Norfolk, where he was born, and preached up and down that county 
against idolatry and superstition ; exhorting the people to a good life, 
to give alms, to believe in Christ, and to offer up their souls to him in 
the sacrament. He openly confessed his own sin of denying the faith ; 
and using no precaution as he went about, was soon taken by the 
bishop's officers, condemned as a relapse, and degraded. Sir Thomas 
More sent down the writ to burn him. Parker, afterwards archbishop, 
was an eye witness of his sufferings, and affirms, that he bore all his 
hardships with great fortitude and resignation, and continued very 
cheerful after his sentence. He eat up the poor provision that was 
brought him heartily, saying, he must keep up a ruinous cottage till it 
fell. He had these words of Isaiah often in his mouth, " When thou 
walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burnt ;" and by burning his 
finger in the candle, he prepared himself for the stake; saying, the fire 
would only consume the stubble of his body, and would purify his soul. 

On the 10th of November he was brought to the stake, where he 
repeated the creed, prayed earnestly, and with the deepest sense re- 
peated these words, " Enter not into judgment with thy servant, oh 
Lord !" Dr. Warner, who attended, embraced him, shedding many 
tears, and wishing he might die in as good a frame of mind as Bilney 
then was. The friars requested him to inform the people, that they 
were not instrumental to his death, which he did ; so that the last act 
of his life was one of charity and forgiveness. 

The officers then put the reeds and faggots about his body, and set 
fire to the first, which made a great flame, and disfigured his face : he 


iield up his hands, and struck his breast, crying sometimes " Jesus ; 
sometimes " Credo !" but the flame was blown away from liim seve 
ral times, the wind being very high, till at length the wood taking fire, 
the flame was stronger, and so lie yielded up the ghost. 

His body being shrunk up, leaned down on the chain, till one of the 
ofiicers, with his halbert, struck out the staple of the chain behind 
him, on which it fell down into the bottom of the fire, when it was 
covered with wood, and consumed. 

The sufferings, the confession, and the heroic death of this martyr, 
inspirited and animated others to imitate his conduct. 

Byjicld and others burnt. 

Byfield, who had formerly abjured, was taken dispersing Tindal's 
books ; and he, with one Tewkesbury, was condemned by Stokesly, 
and burnt. Two men and a woman also suffered the same fate at 
York. Upon these proceedings, the parliament complained to the 
king ; but this did not check the sanguinary proceedings of the clergy. 
One Bainham, a counsellor of the temple, was taken on suspicion of 
heresy, whipped in the presence of Sir T. More, and afterwards 
racked in the tower, yet he could not be w^rought on to accuse any, 
but through fear he abjured. After this, however, being discharged, 
he was in great trouble of mind, and could find no quiet till he went 
publicly to church, where he openly confessed his sins, and declared 
the torments he felt in his conscience for what he had done. Upon 
this he was again seized on, and condemned for having said that Tho- 
mas Becket was a murderer, and was damned if he did not repent ; 
and that in the sacrament, Christ's body was received by faith, and not 
chewed with the teeth. Sentence was passed upon him, and he was 
burnt. Soon after this. More delivered up the great seal, in conse- 
quence of which the reformed preachers had a short respite. 

But the persecution was soon revived, and its rage stopped not at 
the living, but vented itself even on the dead. Lord Tracy made a 
will, by which he left his soul to God, in hopes of mercy through 
Christ, without the help of any saint; and, therefore, be declared, that 
he would leave nothing for soul-masses. This will being brought to 
the bishop of London's court to be proved, after his death, provoked 
the clergy so much,* that he was condemned as a heretic, and an 
order was sent to the chancellor of Worcester to raise his body ; but 
he went beyond his instructions, and burnt it, which could not be jus- 
tified, since the deceased was not a relapse. Tracy's heir sued Lim for 
it, and he was turned out of his place, and fined 400Z. 

The clergy proclaimed an indulgence of forty days pardon, to any 
that carried a faggot to the burning of a heretic, that so cruelty might 
seem the more meritorious. 

The reformed now enjoyed a respite of two years, when the crafty 
Gardiner represented to the king, that it would tend much to his ad- 
vantage, if he woidd take some occasion to show his hatred of heresy 

* We shall not be surprised at thef r anger, if we consiJer, that they foresaw, in the 
event of Lord Tracy's example bein ' followed, the abolition of the most profitable part 
of their traffic. They railed agaij,st him on the same grounds as Demetrius the sil- 
versmith did against Paul at Ephef os— they feared that " their craft was in danger ' 


Accordbgiy a young man named Frith was chosen as a sacrifice to 
this afl'ected zeal for religion. 

Story and Martyrdom of Frith. 

lie was a young man much famed for his learning, and was the 
first who M'rote in England against the corporeal presence in the sa- 
crament. He followed the doctrine of Zuinglius. 

For his opinions he was seized in May, 1533, and brought before 
Stokesly, Gardiner, and Longland. They charged him with not be- 
lieving in purgatory and transubstantiation. He gave the reasons 
that determined him to look on neither of these as articles of faith 
but thought that neither the affirming nor denying them ought to be 
determined positively. The bishops seemed unwilling to proceed to 
sentence ; but he continuing resolute, Stokesly pronounced it, and so 
delivered him to the secular arm, desiring that his punishment might 
be moderated. This request was thought a mockery, when all the 
world knew that it was intended to burn him. One Hewit, an ap- 
prentice of London, was also condemned with him on the same 

They were brought to the stake at Smithfield on the 5th of July, 
1533. On arriving there, Frith expressed great joy, and hugged the 
faggots with transport : a priest named Cook, who stood by, called to 
the people not to pray for them more than they would do for a dog ; 
at this Frith smiled, and prayed God to forgive him : after which the 
fire was kindled, which consumed them to ashes. 

This was the last instance of the cruelty of the clergy at that 
time ; for the act, formerly mentioned, regulating their proceedings, 
followed soon after. Phillips, at whose complaint that bill was be- 
gun, was committed on suspicion of heresy, a copy of Tracy's will 
being found about him ; but he being required to abjure, appealed to 
the king as supreme head, and upon that was set at liberty ; but 
whether he was tried by the king or not, is not upon record. 

The act gave the new preachers and their followers some respite. 
The king was also empowered to reform all heresies and idolatries : 
and his aflairs obliged him to unite himself to the princes of Ger- 
many, that, by their means, he might so embroil the emperor's aftairs, 
as not to give him leisure to turn his arms against England ; and 
this produced a slackening of all severities against them : for those 
princes, in the first fervour of the reformation, made it an article in 
all their treaties, that none should be persecuted for favouring their 
doctrine. The queen also openly protected the reformers ; she took 
Latimer and Shaxton to be her chaplains, and promoted them to the 
bishoprics of Worcester and Salisbury. 

Cranmer was fully convinced of the necessity of a reformation, 
and that he might cajry it on with true judgment, and justify it by 
good authorities, he .nade a good coll' action of the opinions of the 
ancient fathers, and 'ater doctors, in a'i the points of religion, com- 
prising six folio vrJumes. He was a man of great candour, and 
much patience and industry ; and sf / was on all accf unts well pre- 
pared for that worl , to which the prf/vidence of God 7/ow called him ; 
and though he was in some things too much subjf ct to the king's 
imperious tempei, yet in the ma'ter of the six ar',icles, he showed 
that he wanted not the courage thr.t became a bishf/p in so critical an. 


affair. Cromwell was his great and constant friend; a man of mean 
birth, but of excellent qualities, as appeared in his adhering to his 
master Wolsey, after his fall : a rare demonstration of gratitude in a 
courtier to a disgraced favourite. 

As Cranmer and Cromwell set themselves to carry on a reforma- 
tion, another party was formed who as vigorously opposed it. This 
was headed by the duke of Norfolk and Gardiner ; and almost all the 
clergy lent their strength to it. They persuaded the king that no- 
thing would give the pope or the emperor so much advantage, as his 
making any changes in religion ; and it would reflect much on him, 
if he, who had written so learnedly for the faith, should from spite to 
the pope, make any changes in it. Nothing would encourage other 
princes so much to follow his example, or keep his subjects so faith- 
ful to him, as his continuing steadfast in the ancient religion. 

These reasonings made great impressions on him. But, on the 
other hand, Cranmer represented to him that, if he rejected the pope's 
authority, it was very absurd to let such opinions or practices continue 
in the church, as had no other foundation but papal decrees : he ex- 
horted the king to depend on God, and hope for good success if he 
proceeded in this matter according to the duty of a Christian prince. 
England, he said, was a complete body within itself; and though in 
the Roman empire, when united under one prince, general councils 
were easily assembled, yet now many difficulties were in the way, for 
it was evident, that though both the emperor and the princes of Ger- 
many had for twenty years desired a general council, it could not be 
obtained of the pope ; he had indeed offered one at Mantua, but that 
was only an illusion. Every prince ought, therefore, to reform the 
church in his dominions by a national synod. 

Upon this, the king desired some of the bishops to give their opi- 
nion concerning the emperor's power of calling councils : so Cran- 
mer, Tonstal, Clark, and Goodrick, made answer, that though, an- 
ciently, councils were called by the Roman emperors, yet that was 
done by reason of the extent of their monarchy, which had now 
ceased, and other princes had an entire monarchy within their own 

The Reformers favoured by the Court. 

The nobility and gentry were generally well satisfied with the 
enange in ecclesiastical affairs : but the body of the people, being more 
under the power of the priests, were filled with great fears on the sub- 
ject. It was said, among them, that the king now joined himself to 
heretics; that the queen, Cranmer, and Cromwell, favoured them. It 
was left free to dispute what were articles of faith, and what were 
only the decrees of popes ; and the most important changes might be 
made, under the pretence, that they only rejected those opinions which 
were supported by the papal authority. 

The monks and friars saw themselves left at the king's mercy. 
Their bulls could be no longer useful to them. The trade of new 
saints, or indulgences, was now at an end ; they had also some intima- 
tions that Cromwell was forming a project for suppressing them ; as 
they thought it necessary far their own preservation to embroil the 
king's affairs as much as it was possible ; therefore, both in confessions 
and discourses, they laboured to infuse into the people a dislike of his 


proceedings : but these practices at home, and the intrigues of Cardi- 
nal Pole abroad, the libels that were published, and the rebellions that 
were raised in England, wro-ught so much on the king's temper, na- 
turally imperious and boisterous, that he became too prone to acts of 
severity, and his new title of head of the church seemed to have in- 
creased his former vanity, and made him fancy that ail his subjects 
were bound to regulate their belief by the measures he set them. The 
bishops and abbots did what they could to free the king of any jea- 
lousies he might have of them; and of their own accord, before any 
law was made about it, swore to maintain his supremacy. 
Cromwell made Vicar-General. 

The first act of his new power Avas the making Cromwell vicar-ge- 
neral, and visiter of all the monasteries and churches of England, with 
a delegation of the king's supremacy to him ; he was also empowered 
to give commissions subaltern to himself; and all wills, where the 
estate was in value above £200, were to be proved in his court. This 
was afterwards enlarged : he was made the king's vicegerent in eccle- 
siastical matters, had the precedence of all persons except the royal 
family ; and his authority was in all points the same as had been for- 
merly exercised by the pope's legates. 

Pains were taken to engage all the clergy to declare for the supre- 
macy. At Oxford a public determination was made, to which every 
member assented, that the pope had no more authority in England than 
any other foreign bishop. The Franciscans at Richmond made some 
opposition ; they said, by the rule of St. Francis, they were bound to 
obey the holy see. The bishop of Litchfield told them that all the 
bishops in England, all the heads of houses, and the most learned di- 
vines, had signed that proposition. St. Francis made his rule in Italy, 
where the bishop of Rome was metropolitan, but that ought not to 
extend to England : and it was shown that the chapter cited by them, 
was not written by him, but added since ; yet they continued positive 
in their refusal to sign it. 

General Visitation of the Monasteries. 

It was well known that the monks and friars, though they complied 
with the times, yet hated this new power of the king's ; the people were 
also startled at it : so one Dr. Leighton, who had been in Wolsey's 
service with Cromwell, proposed a general visitation of all the religious 
houses in England ; and thought that nothing would reconcile the na- 
tion so much to the king's supremacy, as to see some good effects flow 
from it. Others deemed this was too bold a step, and feared it would 
provoke the religious orders too much. Yet it was known that they 
were guilty of such disorders, as nothing could so efl^ectually check as 
inquiry. Cranmer led the way to this by a metropolitan visitation, 
for which he obtained the king's license ; he took care to see that the 
pope's name was struck out of all the offices of the church, and that 
the king's supremacy was generally acknowledged. 

In October the general visitation of the monasteries was begun ; and 
the visiters were instructed to inquire, whether the houses had the full 
number according to their foundation? If they performed divine wor- 
ship at the appointed hours ? What exemptions they had ? What were 
their statutes ? How their superiors Avere chosen ? Whether they lived 
according to the severities of their orders ? How their lands and reve- 


nues were managed ? What hospitality was kept ? What care was taken 
of the novices ? What benefices were in their gift, and how they dis- 
posed of them ? How the inclosures of the nunneries were kept? Whe- 
ther the nuns went abroad, or if men were admitted to come to them 1 
How they employed their time, and what priests they had as their 
confessors ? 

The visiters were also ordered to deliver some injunctions in the 
king's name, as to his supremacy, and the act of succession ; and were 
authorized to absolve every one from any rules or oaths of obedience 
to the pope. 

They were also ordered to take care that the abbots should not have 
choice dishes, but plain tables for hospitality ; and that the scriptures 
should be read at meals ; that they should have daily lectures of divi- 
nity ; and maintain some of every house at the university, and to re- 
quire that the abbot of each monastery should instruct the monks in 
true religion, and show them that it did not consist in outward cere- 
monies, but in clearness of heart, purity of life, and the worshipping of 
God in spirit and truth. Rules were given about their revenues, and 
against admitting any under twenty years of age ; and the visiters were 
empowered to punish offenders, or to bring them to answer before the 

The visiters went over England, and found in many places monstrous 
disorders. The most horrible and disgusting crimes were found to be 
practised in many of their houses ; and vice and cruelty were more fre- 
quently the inmates of these pretended sanctuaries than religion and 
piety. The report contained many abominable things, not fit to be 
mentioned : some of these were printed, but the greatest part was tost 

The first house that was surrendered to the king was Langden, in 
Kent ; the abbot of which was found in bed with a woman, who went in 
the habit of a lay brother. To prevent greater evil to himself, he and 
ten of his monks signed a resignation of their house to the king. Two 
other monasteries in the same county, Folkstone and Dover, followed 
their example. And in the following year, four others made the like 

Death of Queen Catherine. 

On January 8, 1536, Queen Catherine died. She had been resolute 
in maintaining her title and state, saying, that since the pope had judg- 
ed her marriage was good, she would die rather than do any thing to 
prejudice it. She desired to be buried among the Observant friars, who 
had most strongly supported her, and suffered for her cause. She or- 
dered 500 masses to be said for her soul ; and that one of her women 
should go a pilgrimage to our lady of Walsingham, and give two hun, 
dred nobles on her way to the poor. When she found death approach- 
ing, she wrote to the emperor, recommending her daughter to his care: 
also to the king, with this inscription, " My dear lord, king, and hus- 
band." She forgave him all the injuries he had done her ; and wish- 
ed him to have regard to his soul. She recommended her daughter 
to his protection, and desired him to be kind to her three maids, and 
to pay her servants a year's wages ; and concluded wilh, " Mine eyes 
desire you above all things." She expired at Kimbolton, in the fif- 
tieth year of her age, having been thirty-three years in England. She 
was devout and exemplary ; patient and charitable. Her virtues and 


her sufferings created an esteem for her in all ranks of people. The 
king ordered her to be buried in the abbey of Peterborough, and was 
somewhat affected at her death ; but the natural barbarity of his tem- 
per prevented him from feeling much remorse on the reflection that 
he had embittered the existence of a woman who loved and reve- 
renced him. 

The same year the parliament confirmed the act empowering thirty- 
two persons to revise the ecclesiastical laws ; but no time being limited 
for finishing it, it had no effect. The chief business of this session, 
was the suppressing of all monasteries whose revenues did not exceed 
200Z. a year. The act sets forth the great disorders of those houses, 
and the many unsuccessful attempts made to reform them. The reli- 
gious that were in them, were ordered to be placed in the greater 
houses, and the revenues given to the king. The king was also em 
powered to make new foundations of such of the suppressed houses 
as h-e pleased, which M'ere in all three hundred and seventy. This 
parUament, after six years' continuance, was now dissolved. 

A Translation of the Bible proposed. 

In a convocation which sat at this time, a motion was made for 
translating the Bible into English, Avhich had been promised when 
Tindal's translation was condemned, but was afterwards laid aside by 
the clergy, as neither necessary nor expedient. It was said, that 
those whose office it was to teach the people the word of God, did 
all they could to suppress it. Moses, the prophets, and the apostles, 
wrote in the vulgar tongue ; Christ directed the people to search the 
scriptures ; and as soon as any nation was converted to the Christian 
religion, the Bible was translated into their language ; nor was it ever 
taken out of the hands of the people, till the Christian religion was so 
corrupted, that it was deemed impolitic to trust them with a book 
which would so manifestly discover those errors ; and the legends, as 
agreeing better with those abuses, were read instead of the word of God. 

Cranmer thought, that putting the Bible into the people's hands, 
would be the most effectual means for promoting the reformation; 
and, therefore, moved, that the king might be prayed to order it. But 
Gardiner, and all the other party, opposed this vehemently. They 
said, that all the extravagant opinions lately broached in Germany, 
arose from the indiscreet use of the scriptures. Some of those o])i- 
nions were at this time disseminated in England, both against the 
divinity and incarnation of Christ, and the usefulness of the sacra- 
ments. They, therefore, argued, that during these distractions, the 
use of the scriptures would prove a great snare, and proposed that, 
instead of them, there might be some short exposition of the Chris- 
tian religion put into people's hands, which might keep them in a 
certain subjection to the king and the church. But, in spite of their 
arguments, the question of the translation was carried in the convo- 
cation in the affirmative. 

The courtiers were much divided on this point; some said, if the 
king gave way to it, he would never be able after that to govern his 
people, and that they would break into many divisions. But, on the 
other hand, it was maintained, that nothing would make the difference 
between the pope's power, and the king's supremacy, appear more 


eminently, than for the one to give the people the free use of the 
word of God ; while the other kept them in darkness, and ruled them 
by a blind obedience. It would do much also in extinguishing the 
interest that either the pope or the monks had among the people. 
The BibJe would teach them that they had been long deceived by 
impostures, which had no foundation in the scriptures. These rea- 
sons, strengthened by the queen's representations to the king, pre- 
vailed so far with him, that he gave order for setting about this im- 
portant affair with all possible haste, and within three years the im 
pression of it was finished. 

The popish party saw, with disappointment and concern, that the 
queen was the great obstacle to their designs. She grew not only in 
the king's esteem, but in the love of the nation. During the last nine 
months of her life she bestowed above 14,000L in alms to the poor, 
and seemed to delight in doing good. Soon after Catherine's death, 
Anne bore a dead son, which was believed to have made an unta- 
vourable impression on the king's mind. It was also considered, that 
now Queen Catherine was dead, the king might marry another, and 
regain the friendship of the pope and the emperor, and that the issue 
by any other marriage would never be questioned. "With these rea- 
sons of state the king's affections joined ; for he was noAV in love 
(if so heartless a monster was capable of feeling love) with Jane 
Seymour, whose disposition was tempered between the gravity of 
Catherine, and the gayety of Anne. The latter used all possible arts 
to re-inflame his dying affection ; but he was weary of her, and, there- 
fore, determined on her destruction ; to effect which he soon found a 
pretence. Lady Rochford, wife to the brother of Anne, basely ac- 
cused her husband of a criminal intercourse with his sister ; and Nor- 
ris, Weston, and Brereton, the king's servants, with Smcton, a musi- 
cian, were accused of the same crime. 

She was confined to her chamber, and the five persons before men- 
tioned, were sent to the tower, whither, the next day, she also was 
carried. On the river some privy counsellors came to examine her, 
but she made deep protestations of her innocence -, and, on landing at 
the tower, she fell on her knees, and prayed God to assist her, pro- 
testing her innocence of the crimes laid to her charge. Those who 
were imprisoned on her account denied every thing, except Smeton, 
who, from hopes of favour and acquittal, confessed that he had been 
criminally connected with her; but denied it when he was afterwards 
brought to execution. 

The queen was of a lively temper, and having resided long in the 
French court, had imbibed somewhat of the levities of that people. 
She was also free from pride, and hence, in her exterior, she might 
have condescended too much to her familiar servants. 

Every court sycophant was now her enemy ; and Cranmer formed 
the only, and honourable exception. An order was, therefore, procured, 
forbidding him to come to court ; yet he wrote the king a long letter 
upon this critical juncture, wherein he acknowledged, that " if the 
things reported of the queen were true, it was the greatest aflliction 
that ever befel the king, and, therefore, exhorted him to bear it with 
patience and submission to the will of God ; he confessed he never 
had a better opinion of any woman than of her ; and that, next the 
king, he was more bound to her than to all persons living, and there- 








Seizure of William TindalL Page 263. 







"'" -— 'lii i^^^^P 







Edward VI. signing Joan Bocher's Warrant. 

Martyrdom of aeorgeWisharL Page 269. 


lore lie begged the king's leave to pray that she might be found inno- 
cent, he loved her not a little, because of the love which she seemed 
to bear to God and his gospel ; but if she was guilty, all that loved the 
gospel must hate her, as having been the greatest slander possible to 
the gospel ; but he prayed the king not to entertain any prejudice to 
the gospel on her account, nor give the world to say, that his love to 
that was founded on the influence she had with him." But the king 
was inexorable. The prisoners were put on their trial ; when Smea- 
ton pleaded guilty, as before ; the rest pleaded not guilty ; but all 
were condemned. 

Trial and Execution of the Queen. 

On the 15th of May, the Queen and her brother. Lord Rochford, were 
tried before the duke of Norfolk, as high steward, and a court of twen- 
ty-seven peers. The crime charged on her was, that she had pro- 
cured her brother and four others to lie with her ; and had often said to 
them, that the king never had her heart ; and this was to the slander 
of the issue begotten between the king and her, which was treason by 
the act that confirmed her marriage, so that the act made for her mar- 
riage was now turned to her ruin. They would not now acknowledge 
her the king's lawful wife, and therefore did not found the treason on 
the statute 25tli Edward III. It does not appear what evidence was 
brought against her ; for Smeaton being already condemned, could not. 
be made use of; and his never being brought face to face with her,. 
gave just suspicion that he was persuaded to his confession by base 
practices. There was no other evidence than a declaration said to 
have been made by the Lady Wingfield, who died before the trial took 
place ; so that whether this declaration were real or a forgery, must 
be very doubtful. 

The earl of Northumberland was one c( the judges. He had for- 
merly been in love with the queen, and, either from a return of his pas- 
sion, or from some other cause, he became suddenly so ill, that he 
could not stay out the trial. It was remembered that this earl had 
said to Cardinal Wolsey, that he had engaged himself so far with her, 
that he could not go back, which was perhaps done by some promise 
conceived in words of the future tense ; but no promise, unless in 
the words of the present tense, could annul the subsequent marriage. 
Perhaps the queen did not understand that difference, or probably the 
fear of a terrible death Avrought so much on her, that she confessed the 
contract ; but the earl denied it positively, and took the sacrament 
upon it, wishing that it might turn to his damnation, if there was ever 
either contract or promise of marriage betv.een them. Upon her own 
confession, however, her marriage with the king was judged null from 
the beginning, and she Avas condemned, although nothing could be 
more contradictory ; for if she was never the king's Avife, she could 
not be guilty of adultery, there being no breach of the faith of Avedlock. 
if they Avere never truly married. But the king Avas resolved both 
to be rid of her, and to illegitimatizc his daughter by her. 

The day before her death, she sent her last message to the king, 
asserting her innocence, recommended her daughter to his care, ami 
thanking him for his advancing her first to be a marchioness, then a 
qu^en, and now, A\dien he could raise her no higher on earth, for send- 
ing her to be a saint in heaven. The lieutenant of the toAver Avrote 


to ('romwell, mat it was not fit to publish the time of her executicn. 
for the fewer that were present it would be the better, since he be- 
lieved she would declare her innocence at the hour of her death ; for 
that morning she had made great protestations of it when she receiv- 
ed the sacrament, and seemed to long for death Avith great joy and 
pleasure. On being told that the executioner, who had been sent for 
expressly from France, was very skilful, she expressed great happi- 
ness : for she said she had a very short neck, at which she laughed. 

A little before noon, she was brought to the place of execution ; 
there were present some of the chief officers and great men of the 
court. She was, it seems, prevailed on, out of regard to her daugh- 
ter, to make no reflections on the cruel treatment she met with, nor to 
say any thing touching the grounds on which sentence passed against 
her. She only desired that all would judge the best ; she highly com- 
mended the king, and then took her leave of the world. She remain- 
ed for some time in her private devotions, and concluded, " To Christ 
I commend my soul ;" upon which the executioner struck off her 
head : and so little respect was paid to he-r body, that it was with bru- 
tal insolence put in a chest of elm-tree, made to send arrows into Ire- 
land, and then buried in the chapel in the tower. Norris then 
had life promised him if he would accuse her. But this faithful and 
virtuous servant said he knew she was innocent, and would die a 
thousand deaths rather than defame her ; so he and the three others 
were beheaded, and all of them continued to the last to vindicate her. 
The day after Queen Anne's death, the king married Jane Seymour, 
who gained more upon him than all his wives ever did ; but she was 
fortunate that she did not outlive his love to her. 

The Pope proposec: a reconciliation with the King. 

Pope Clement the Seventh was now dead, and Cardinal Farnese 
succeeded him by the name of Paul the Third, who made an attempt 
to reconcile himself with the king ; but, when that was rejected, thun- 
dered out a most terrible sentence of deposition against him. Yet now, 
since the two queens upon whose account the breach was made were 
out of the way he thought it a fit time to attempt the recovery of the 
papal interest, and ordered Cassali to let the king know that he had 
been driven, very much against his mind, to pass sentence against 
him, and that now it would be easy for him to recover the favour of 
the apostolic see. 

But the king, instead of hearkening to the proposition, caused two 
acts to be passed, by one of which it was made a praemunire for any 
one to acknowledge the authority of the pope, or to persuade others 
to it ; and by the other, all bulls, and all privileges floAving from them, 
were declared null and void ; only marriages and consecrations made 
by virtue of them were excepted. All who enjoyed privileges by 
these bulls were required to bring them into the chancery, upon which 
th 3 archbishop was to make a new grant to them, which, being con- 
fi .Tiled under the great seal, was to be of full force in law. 
Debates of the Convocation. 

The convocation sat at the same time, and was much employed. 
Latimer preached a Latin sermon before them ; he was the most cele- 
brated preacher of that time ; the simplicity of his m.atter, and his 
zeal in expressing it, being preferred to more elaborate compositions 


The convocation first confirmed the sentence of divorce between the 
king and Queen Anne. Tlien the lower house made an address lo 
the upper house, complaining of sixty-seven opinions, which they 
feund were very much spread in the kingdom. These were either the 
tenets of the old Lollards, or of the new Reformers, or of the Anabap- 
tists ; and mnny of them were only indiscreet expressions, which 
might have flowed from the heat and folly of some rash zealots, who 
had endeavoured to disgrace both the received doctrines and rites. 
They also complained of some bishops who were wanting in their 
duty to suppress such abuses. This was understood as a reflection on 
Cranmer, Shaxton, and Latimer, the first of whom, it was thought, was 
now declining, in consequence of the fall of Queen Anne. 

But all these projects failed, for Cranmer was now fully establish- 
ed in the king's favour ; and Cromwell was sent to the convocation, 
with a message from his majesty, that they should reform the rites 
and ceremonies of the church, according to the rules set down in 
scripture, which ought to be preferred to all glosses or decrees of 

There was one Alesse, a Scotchman, whom Cromwell entertained 
in his house, who being appointed to deliver his opinion, showed that 
there were no sacraments instituted by Christ, but baptism and the 
Lord's supper. Stokesly answered him in a long discourse upon the 
principles of the school-divinity ; upon which Cranmer took occasion 
to show the vanity of that sort of learning, and the uncertainty of tra- 
dition; and that religion had been so corrupted in the latter ages, that 
there was no finding out the truth but by resting on the authority of 
the scriptures. Fox, bishop of Hereford, seconded him, and told 
them that the w^orld was now awake, and would be no longer imposed 
on by the niceties and dark terms of the schools ; for the laity now did 
not only read the scriptures in the vulgar tongues, but searched the 
originals themselves ; therefore they must not think to govern them 
as they had been governed, in the times of ignorance. Among the 
bishops, Cranmer, Goodrich, Shaxton, Latimer, Fox, Hilsey, and 
Barlow, pressed the reformation ; but Lee, archbishop of York, 
Stokesly, Tonstall, Gardiner, Longland, and several others, opposed 
it as much. The contest would have been much sharper, had not 
the king sent some articles to be considered of by them, when the fol- 
lowing mixture of truth and error was agreed upon. 

L That the bishops and preachers ought to instruct the people ac- 
cording to the scriptures, the three creeds, and the first four general 

2. That baptism was necessary to salvation, and that children 
ought to be baptized for the pardon of original sin, and obtaining the 
Holy Ghost. 

3. That penance was necessary to salvation, and that it consisted in 
confession, contrition, and amendment of life, with the external works 
of charity, to which a lively faith ought to be joined ; and that con- 
fession to a priest was necessary where it might be had. 

4. That in the eucharist, under the forms of bread and wine, the 
very flesh and blood of Christ was received. 

5. That justification was the remission of sins, and a perfect reno- 
vation in Christ ; and that not only outward good works, but inward 
holiness, was absolutely necessary. As for the outward ceremonies. 


the people were to be tanglit, 1. That it was meet to have images in 
churches, but they ought to avoid all such superstition as had been 
usual in times past, and not to worship t];e image, but only God. 2 
That they Vv-ere to honour the saints, but not to expect those things 
from, them which God only gives. 3. That they might pray to them 
for their intercession, but all superstitious abuses were to cease; and 
if the king should lessen the number of saint's days, they ought to obey 
him. 4. That the use of the ceremonies was good, and that they con- 
tained many mystical significations that tended to raise the mind to- 
wards God; such were vestments in divine worship, holy water, holy 
bread, the carrying of candles, and palms and ashes, and creeping to 
the cross, and hallowing the font, Avith other exorcisms. 5. That it 
was good to pray for departed souls, and to have masses and exequies 
said for them ; but the scriptures having neither declared in what 
place they were, nor what torments they suffered, that was uncertain, 
and to be left to God ; therefore all the abuses of the pope's pardons, 
or saying masses in such and such places, or before such images, 
were to be put away. 

These articles were signed by Cromwell, the two archbishops, six- 
teen bishops, forty abbots and priors, and fifty of the lower house. 
The king afterwards added a preface, declaring the pains that he and 
the clergy had been at for the removing the differences in religion 
which existed in the nation, and that he approved of these articles, and 
required all his subjects to accept them, and he would be thereby en- 
couraged to take further pains in the like matters for the future. 

On the publication of these things, the favourers of the reformation, 
though they did not approve of every particular, yet vrere well pleased 
to see things brought under examination : and since some things 
were at this time changed, they did not doubt but more changes 
would follow ; they were glad that the scriptures and the ancient 
creeds were made the standards of the faith, without adding tradition, 
and that the nature of justification and the gospel covenant was rightly 
stated; that the immediate worship of images and saints was con- 
demned, and that purgatory was left uncertain : but the necessity oJ 
auricular confession, and the corporeal presence, the doing reve- 
rence to images, and praying to the saints, were of hard digestion to 
them ; yet they rejoiced to see some grosser abuses removed, and a 
reformation once set on foot. The popish party, on the otlier hand, 
were sorry to see four sacraments passed over in silence, and the 
trade in masses for the dead put doAvn. 

At the same time other things were in consultation, though not 
finished. Cranmer oflered a paper to the king, exhorting him to pro- 
ceed to further reformation, and that nothing should be determined 
Avithout clear proofs from scripture, the departing from vA'hich had 
been the occasion of all the errors that had been in the church. 
Many things Avere now acknowledged to be erroneous, for Avhich 
some, not long before, had suftered death. He therefore proposed 
several points to be discussed, as. Whether there Avere a purgatory ? 
Whether departed saints ought to be invocatcd, or tradition to be be- 
lieved? Whether images ought to be considered only as representa- 
tions in history? and. Whether it was laAvful for the clergy to marry? 
He prayed the king not to give judgment on these points till he heard 


them well examined : but all this was carried no further at thai 

At this time visiters were appointed to survey all the lesser monas- 
teries : they Avere to examine the state of their revenues and goods, 
and take inventories of them, and to take their seals into tlieir keeping, 
they were to try how many of the religious would return to a secular 
course of life ; and these were to be sent to the archbishop of Canter» 
bury, or the lord chancellor, and an allowance was to be given them 
for their journey ; but those who intended to continue in that state, 
were to be removed to some of the great monasteries. A pension was 
also to be assigned to the abbot or prior during life ; and the visiters 
were particularly to examine what leases had been made during the 
last year. Ten thousand of the religious were by this means driven 
to seek for their livings, with forty shillings, and a gown a man. 
Their goods and plate were estimated at £100,000, and the valued 
rents of their houses was £32,000 ; but they were above ten times as 
much. The churches and cloisters were in most places pulled down, 
and the materials sold. 

This procedure gave great discontent : and the monks were now 
as much pitied as they were formerly hated. The nobility and gen- 
try, who provided for their younger children or friends by putting 
them in those sanctuaries, were sensible of their loss. The people, 
who as they travelled over the countxy found abbeys to be places of 
reception to strangers, saw what they were to lose. But the super- 
stitious, who thought their friends must now lie still in purgatory, 
without relief from the masses, were out of measure offended. But 
to remove this discontent, Cromwell advised the king to sell these 
lands at very easy rates to the nobility and gentry, and to oblige them 
to keep up the wonted hospitality. This would both be grateful to 
them, and would engage them to assist the crown in the maintenance 
of the changes that had i)een made, since their own interests would be 
interwoven with those of their sovereign. And, a clause in the act 
empowering the king to found anew such houses as he should think fit, 
there were fifteen monasteries and sixteen nunneries newly founded. 
These were bound to obey such rules as the king should send them, 
and to pay him tenths and first fruits. But all this did not pacify the 
people, for there was still a great outcry. The clergy studied much 
to inflame the nation, and urged, that an heretical prince, deposed by 
the pope, was no more to be acknowledged ; and that it was a part 
of the papal power to depose kings, and give away their dominions. 

There were some injunctions given out by Cromwell, which in- 
creased this discontent. All churchmen were required, every Sun- 
day for a quarter of a year, and twice every quarter after that, to 
preach against the pope's power, and to explain the six articles of 
the convocation. They were forbidden to extol images, relics, or 
pilgrimages ; but to exhort to works of charity. They were also 
required to teach the Lord's prayer, the creed, and the ten command- 
m(;nts in English, and to explain these carefully, and instruct the 
children well in them. They were to perform the divine ofllces re- 
verently, to study the scriptures much, and be exemplary in their 
lives. Those who did not reside were to give the fortieth part of 
their income to the poor, and for every hundred pounds a year they 
were to maintain a scholar at some grammar-school, or the univer- 


sity . and if the parsonage house was in decay, they were ordered to 
apply a fifth part of their benefice for repairing it. 

Rebellions in Lincolnshire and in Yorkshire. 

The people continued quiet until they had got in their harvest ; but 
in the beginning of October 20,000 rose in Lincolnshire, led by a 
priest in the disguise of a cobbler. They took an oath to be true to 
God, the king, and the commonwealth, and sent a statement of their 
grievances to the king. They complained of some acts of parlia- 
ment, of suppressing of many religious houses, of mean and ill coun- 
sellors, and bad bishops ; and prayed the king to redress their grie- 
vances by the advice of the nobility. The king sent the duke of Suf- 
folk to raise forces against them, and gave an answer to their peti- 
tion, in which he treated them with his usual haughtiness, saying, 
that " it belonged not to the rabble to direct princes what counsel- 
lors they should choose. The religious houses had been suppressed 
bv law, and the heads of them had under their hands confessed such 
horrid scandals, that they Avere a reproach to the nation ; and as they 
wasted their rents in riotous living, it was much better to apply them 
to the common good of tlie nation ;" finally, he required the insur- 
gents to submit to his mercy, and to deliver up two hundred of their 
leaders into the hands of his lieutenants. 

At the same time there was a more formidable rising in Yorkshire, 
which being not far from Scotland, it was feared the rebels would 
draw assistance from that kingdom : this inclined Henry to make 
more haste to settle matters in Lincolnshire. He sent them secret 
assurances of mercy, which wrought on the greatest part, so that they 
dispersed themselves, while the most obstinate went over to those in 
Yorkshire. The leader and some others were taken and executed. 
The distance of those in the North gave them time to rise, and form 
themselves into some method : one Aske commanded in chief, and 
performed his part with great dexterity ; their march was called 
" the Pilgrimage of Grace;'' they had in their banners and on their 
sleeves, a representation of the five wounds of Christ ; they took an 
oath that they would restore the church, suppress heretics, preserve 
the king and his issue, and drive base-born men and ill counsellors 
from him. They became forty thousand strong in a few days, and 
forced the archbishop of York and the Lord Darcy to swear to their 
covenant, and to go along with them. They besieged Skipton, but 
th*^ earl of Cumberland made it good against them : Sir Ralph Evers 
held out Scai borough castle, though for twenty days he and his men 
had no provisions but bread and water. 

There was also a rising in all the other northern counties, against 
whom the earl of Shrewsbury made head ; and the king sent several 
of the nobility to his assistance, and within a few days the duke of 
Norfolk marched with some troops, and joined them. They pos- 
sessed themselves of Doncaster, and resolved to keep that pass till 
the rest of the king's forces should join them ; for they were not in a 
condition to engage with such numbers of desperate men , and it 
v/as very likely that if they were beaten, the people who had not yet 
taken part with the rebels, might have been emboldened by their suc- 
cess t(i do so. The duke of Norfolk resolved, therefore, to kelep 
riose at Doncaster, and let the provision* and courage of his adversa- 


ries melt away in inaction. They were now reduced to 10,000, but 
the king's army Avas not above 5000. The duke of Norfolk proposed 
a treaty; the insurgents were persuaded to send their petitions to the 
court, and the king sent them a general pardon, excepting six persons 
by nanie, and reserving four to be afterwards named ; but this last de- 
mand, instead of satisfying them, made them more desperate. How- 
ever, they, in their turn, made demands, which were, that a general 
pardon should be granted them ; that a parliament should be held at 
York, and that courts of justice should be set up there ; that the 
Princess Mary might be restored to her right of succession, and the 
pope to his wonted jurisdiction ; that the monasteries might be again 
set up ; that Audley and Cromwell might be removed from the king, 
and that some of the visiters might be imprisoned for their bribery 
and extortion. 

These demands being rejected, the rebels resolved to fall upon the 
royal troops, and drive them from Doncaster ; but heavy rains made 
the river impassable. The king, at length, sent a long answer to their 
demands ; he assured them he would live ai:d die in the defence of the 
Christian faith ; but " the rabble ought not to prescribe to him, and 
to the convocation, in that matter." He answered that which con- 
cerned the monasteries as he had done to the men of Lincolnshire. If 
they had any just complaints to make of any about him, he was ready 
to hear them ; but he would not suffer them to direct him what coun- 
sellors he ought to employ ; nor could they judge of the bishops who 
had been promoted, they not being known to them ; he charged them 
not to believe lies, nor be led away by incendiaries, but to submit to 
his mercy. On the 9th of December he signed a proclamation of par- 
don without any restrictions. 

As soon as this rebellion was quelled, the king went on more reso- 
lutely in his design of suppressing the monasteries ; for his success in 
crushing so formidable a sedition made him less apprehensive of any 
new commotion. 

A new visitation was appointed, and many houses which had not 
been before dissolved, were now suppressed, and many of the greater 
abbots were induced to surrender by several motives. Some had 
been engaged in the late rebellion, and so, to prevent a storm, offered 
a resignation. Others liked the reformation, and did it on that ac- 
count; some were found guilty of great disorders in their lives, and 
to prevent a shameful discovery, offered their houses to the king; while 
others had made such wastes and dilapidations, that having taken care 
of themselves, they were less concerned for others. 

By these means one hundred and twenty-one houses were this year 
resigned to the king. In most houses the visiter made the monks sign 
a confession of their vices and disorders, in Avhich some of them ac- 
knowledged their idleness, gluttony, and sensuality ; and others, that 
they were sensible that the manner of their former pretended religion 
consisted in some dumb ceremonies, by which they were blindly led, 
having no true knowledge of God's laws. Some resigned in hopes 
that the king would found them anew; these favoured the reformation, 
and intended to convert their housp'^ lo better uses, for preaching, 
study, and prayer; and Linimer pressed Cromwell earnestly, that 
two or three houses might be reserved for such purposes in every 
county. But it was resolved to suppress all ; and although it was 



lliought that these resignations conld not be valid, since the mcum 
bents had not the property, but only the trust for life of those houses, 
the parliament afterwards declared them good in law. 

But some of the clergy escaped not Avilh the surrender of their 
houses ; the abbots of Whalley, Jervaux, SaAvley, and Glastonbury, 
with the priors of Woburn and Burlington, having been deeply impli- 
cated in the late commotions, were executed for treason ; and many 
of the Carthusians were put to death for denying tiie king's supre- 
macy ; others, suspected of favouring them, and of receiving boohs 
sent from beyond the sea, against the king's proceedings, were impri- 
soned, and many of them perished in their dungeons. 

Great complaints were made of the visiters; and it was said, that 
they had in many places embezzled much of the plate to their own 
u-se, and had been guilty of various enormities under the pretext of 
discharo-ino- their duty. They, on the other hand, published accounts 
of many of the vile' practices which they found in those houses, so 
that several books were printed upon this occasion. Yet all these ac- 
counts had not much weight with the people. They deemed it unrea- 
sonable to extinguish noble foundations for the fault of some indi 
viduals ; therefore another Avay was taken, which had a better effect. 

Impostures of Images and Relics discovered. 

They disclosed to the world many impostures about pretended re 
lies, and wonderful images, to which pilgrimages had been made. At 
Reading w^as preserved the wing of an angel, who, according to the 
monks, brought over the point of the spear that pierced our Saviour's 
side ; and as many pieces of the real cross were found, as, when join- 
ed together, would have made half a dozen. 

" The Rood of Grace," at Boxley, in Kent, had been much esteem- 
ed, and drav/n many pilgrims to it, on account of its possessing the 
wonderful powers of bowing its head, rolling its eyes, smihng, and 
frownincr, to the great astonishment and terror of the credulous mul- 
titude, who imputed it to a divine power ; but all this was now disco- 
vered to be a cheat, and it was brought up to St. Paul's cross ; where 
all the springs were' shown by which its motions were governed. 

At Hales, in Gloucestershire, some of the blood of Christ was 
shown in a vial ; and it was believed none could see it who were in 
mortal sin. Those who could bestow liberal presents were, of course, 
gratified, by being led to believe, that they were in a state of grace. 
This miracle consisted in the blood of a duck renewed every week, 
put in a vial very thick on one side, and thin on the other ; and either 
side turned tow^ards the pilgrim, as the priests were satisfied or not 
with his oblations. Several other similar impostures were discovered, 
which contributed much to the undeceiving of the people. 

The rich shrine of Thomas a Becket at Canterbury was destroyed, 
and an immense quantity of gold and precious stones, offered by the 
deluded victims of superstition in honour of that factious priest, and 
" saint after the pope's own heart," were confiscated and carried 

When these proceedings were known at Rome, the pope immedi- 
ately fulminated against the king all the thunders of his spiritual store- 
house : absolved his subjects from their allegiance, and his allies from 
their treaties with him ; and exhorted all Christians to iTiake war 


against and extirpate him from the face of the earth. But the age of 
crusades was past, and this display of impotent malice produced only 
contempt in the minds of the king and his advisers, who steadily pro- 
ceeded in the great work of reformation ; and, the translation of <he 
Bible into English being now completed, it was printed, and ordered 
to be read in all churches, with permission for every person to read 
it, who might be so disposed. 

But, notwithstanding the king's disagreement with the pope on many 
-ubjects, there was one point on which they were alike — they were 
both intolerant, furious bigots ; and while the former was excommu- 
nicated as an heretic, he was himself equally zealous in rooting out 
heresy, and burning all who presumed to depart from the standard of 
faith which he had established. 

Gardiner, bishop of Winchester, strengthened this disposition of the 
king, and persuaded him, under the pretext of a zeal for religion, to 
persecute the Sacramentarists, or those who denied the corporeal pre- 
sence in the sacrament. 

Martyrdom of John Lambert. 

In consequence of this determination, John Lambert, a teacher of 
languages in London, who had drawn up ten arguments against the 
tenets of Dr. Taylor, on the above subject, as delivered in a sermon 
at St. Peter's church, and presented them to the Doctor, was brought 
before the archbishops court to defend his writings : and, having a])- 
pealed to the king, the royal theologian, who was proud of every oc- 
casion of displaying his talents and learning, resolved to hear him in 
person. He therefore issued a commission, ordering all his nobility 
and bishops to repair to London, to assist him against heretics. 

A day was appointed for the disputation, when a great number of 
persons of all ranks assembled to witness the proceedings, and Lam- 
bert was brought from his prison by a guard, and placed directly op- 
posite to the king. 

Henry being seated on his throne, and surrounded by the p.. iS, 
bishops, and judges, regarded the prisoner with a stern countenance, 
and then commanded Day, bishop of Chichester, to state the occasion 
of the present assembly. 

The bishop made a long oration, stating that, although the king had 
abolished the papal authority in England, it was not to be supposed 
that he would allow heretics with impunity to disturb and trouble the 
church of which he was tlie head. He had therefore determined to 
punish all schismatics ; and being willing to have the advice of his 
bishops and counsellors on so great an occasion, had assembled them 
to hear the arguments in the present case. 

The oration being concluded, the king ordered Lambert to declare 
his opinion a^: to the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, which he did, by 
denying it to be the body of Christ. 

The kmg then commanded Cranmer to refute his assertion, which 
ihe latter attempted; but v, as interrupted by Gardiner, who vehe- 
mently interposed, and, being unable to bring argument to his aid, 
sought by abuse and virulence to overpower his antagonist, who was 
not allowed to answer the taunts and insults of the bishop. 

Tonstal and Stokesly followed in the same course, and I/amberl 
beginning to answer them, was silenced by the king. The other bis/mps 


then each made a speech in confutation of one of Lambert's arguments., 
tili the whole ten were answered, or rather, railed against : for he was 
not permitted to defend them, however misrepresented. 

At last, when the day was passed, and torches began to be lighted, 
the king desiring to break up this pretended disputation, said to Lam- 
bert, "What sayest thou now, after all these great labours which 
thou hast taken upon thee, aijd all the reasons and instructions of 
these learned men ? Art thou not yet satisfied ? Wilt thou live or die ? 
What sayest thou ? Thou hast yet free choice." , 

Lambert answered, " I yield and submit myself wholly unto the will 
of your majesty." " Then," said the king, " commit thyself unto ihe 
hands of God, and not unto mine." 

Lambert replied, " I commend my soul unto the hands of God, but 
my body I wholly yield and submit unto your clemency." To which 
the king answered, " If you do commit youi'self unto my judgment, 
you must die, for I will not be a patron unto heretics ;" and, turning 
to Cromwell, he said, " Read the sentence of condemnation against 
him," which he accordingly did. 

Upon tlie day appointed for this holy martyr to suffer, he was 
brought out of the prison at eight o'clock in the morning to the house 
of Cromwell, and carried into his inner chamber, where, it is said, 
Cromwell desired his forgiveness for what he had done. Lambert be- 
ing at last admonished that the hour of his death was at hand, and be- 
ing brought out of the chamber, into the hall, saluted the gentlemen 
present, and sat down to breakfast with them, showing neither sadness 
nor fear. When breakfast was ended, he was carried straight to the 
place of execution at Smithfield. 

The manner of his death was dreadful ; for after his legs were con- 
sumed and burned up to the stumps, and but a small fire was left un- 
der him, two of the inhuman monsters who stood on each side of him, 
pierced him with their halberts, and lifted him up as far as the chain 
would reach, while he, raising his half consumed hands, cried untc 
the people in these words : " None but Christ, none but Christ ;" ant" 
so being let down again from their halberts, fell into the fire and there 
ended his life. 

The popish party greatly triumphed at this event, and endeavoured 
to improve it. They persuaded the king of the good effects it would 
have on his people, who would in this see his zeal for the faith ; and 
they forgot not to magnify all that he had said, as if it had been utter 
ed by an oracle, which proved him to be both " Defender of the Faith, 
and Supreme Head of the Church." All this wrought so much on the 
king, that he resolved to call a parliament for the contradictory pur- 
poses of suppressing the still remaining monasteries, and extirpating 
the " new opinions." 

The Act of the Six Articles. 

The parliament accordingly met on the 28th of April, 1538 ; and 
after long debates, passed what was called " a bill of religion," con- 
taining six articles, by which it was declared, that the elements in the 
sacrament were the real body and blood of Christ; that communion 
was necessary only in one kind ; that priests ought not to marry ; that 
vows of chastity ought to be observed ; that private masses were lavi^- 
ful and useful ; and that auricular confession was necessary. 


This act gave great satisfaction to the popish party, And induced 
them to consent more readily to the act for suppressing the monaste- 
ries, which immediately followed ; by virtue of which, their total dis- 
solution soon after took place. The king foimded six new bishoprics 
from a small portion of their immense revenues, and lavished the re- 
mainder on his profligate courtiers and favourites. 

In 1540 a hill was passed for the suppression of the knights of St. 
John of Jerusalem, both in England and Ireland. 

Fall of Cromwell. 

In this year also, Cromwell, who had so long been a favourite of the 
king, and had held the highest offices, was suddenly disgraced, and 
committed to the tower. He had many enemies ; the nobility, from 
jealousy at beholding a man of obscure birth promoted to the peerage, 
and enjoying great power and influence ; and the popish clergy, from 
the belief that the suppression of the monasteries and the innovations 
on their religion were principally produced by his counsels. The 
uckle tyrant whom he had so long and faithfully served, was also dis- 
pleased with him as the adviser of his marriage with Anne of Cleves, 
vi'hom he Avas now anxious to get rid of, in order to obtain the hand 
of Catherine Howard, niece of the duke of Norfolk. He suspected 
him, likewise, of secretly encouraging an opposition to the six arti- 
cles, and hoped, by sacrificing a man who was obnoxious to the 
catholics, to regain their afl'ections, forfeited by his sanguinary and 
rapacious proceedings. 

' Cromwell expevienced the common fate of fallen ministers ; his pre- 
tended friends forsook him, and his enemies pursued their revenge 
against him without opposition, except from Cranmer, who, with a 
rare fidelity, dared to avow an attachment to him, even at this time, 
and wrote a very earnest letter to tlie king in his favour. But Henry 
was not easily turned from his purpose, and being resolved on the 
ruin of Cromwell, was not to be dissuaded from his design. 

In the house of lords a bill of attainder was passed with the most 
mdecent haste ; but in the commons it met with opposition, and after 
a delay of ten days, a new bill was framed, and sent up to Ihe lords, in 
which Cromwell was designated as " the most corrupt traitor ever 
known ;" his treasons, as afterwards specified, consisting in the coun- 
tenance and favour he had shown to the reformers. On these grounds 
he was attainted both for treason and heresy. 

The king now proceeded with his divorce ; and, although there was 
no reason to dispute the legality of his marriage with Anne of Cleves, 
still, as she was disagreeable to his royal taste, his sycophants were 
too well taught to offer the least opposition to his wishes. The con- 
vocation unanimously dissolved the marriage, and gave him liberty to 
marry again ; indeed it is probable that if he had desired to have two 
or more wives at once, the measure would have been sanctioned, so 
base and servile were the courtiers and priests by whom this mon- 
strous tyrant was surrounded. The queen continued to reside in 
England, being declared " the adopted sister" of the king, and having 
a pension of £4000 per annum. 

Cromwell was executed on the 28th of July, and his fall gave a great 
check to the reformation in England ; Cranmer being left almost alone 
to struggle against a host of enemies. 


The bishops now published a new "book of religion," in which they 
settled the standard of the national faith ; and although the reformers 
were justly dissatisfied with many parts of it, yet with other parts they 
saw more reason to be content: many superstitious practices were 
condemned in it, and the gospel covenant was rightly stated ; every 
national church was also declared to be a complete body in itself, 
with power to reform heresies, and do every thing necessary for the 
preservation of its purity, and the government of its members. 

The clergy now, elated by the victory which they had gained^ hy 
the death of Cromwell, persuaded the king to new severities against 
the reformers ; and several distinguished preacliers were called to 
suffer death in consequence of the violent animosities of the friends 
to the papal cause. 

Martyrdom of Dr. Robert Barnes. 

Dr. Barnes was educated in the univeraity of Louvain, in Brabant 
On his return to England he went to Cambridge, where he was made 
prior and master of the house of the Augustines. The darkest igno- 
rance pervaded the university, at the time of his arrival there ; but 
he, zealous to promote knowledge and truth, began to instruct the 
students in the classical languages, and Avith the assistance of Parnel, 
his scholar, whom he had brought from Louvain, soon caused learn- 
ing to flourish, and the university to bear a very different aspect. 

These foundations being laid, he began to read openly the epistles 
of St. Paul, and to teach in greater purity the doctrine of Christ. He 
preached and disputed with great warmth against the luxuries of the 
higher clergy, particvdarly against Cardinal Wolsey, and the lamenta- 
ble hypocrisy of the times. But still he remained ignorant of the 
great cause of these evils, namely, the idolatry and superstition of the 
church ; and while he declaimed against the stream, he himself drank 
at the spring, and bowed down to idols. At length, happily becoming 
acquainted with Bilney, he was by that martyr wholly converted unto 

The first sermon he preached of this truth was on the Sunday be- 
fore Christmas-day, at St. Edward's church, in Cambridge. His 
theme was the epistle of the same Sunday, " Gavdete in Domino" 
&.C. For this sermon he was immediately accused of heresy by two 
fellows of King's Hall, before the vice-chancellor. Then Dr. Notto- 
ris, a bitter enemy to Christ, moved Barnes to recant ; but he refused, 
as appears in his book, which he wrote to King Henry in English, 
confuting the judgment of Cardinal Wolsey, and the residue of the 
papistical bishops. 

After preaching some time, Barnes was arrested openly in the con- 
vocation-house ; brought to London, and the next morning carried 
to the palace of Cardinal Wolsey, at Westminster, where, after wait- 
ing the whole day, he was at night brought before the cardinal in his 
chamber of state. " Is this," said Wolsey, " Dr. Barnes, who is 
accused of heresy ?" — " Yes, and please your grace," replied the car- 
dinal's secretary, " and I trust you will find him reformable, for he 
is learned and wise." 

" What, Mr. Doctor," said Wolsey, " had you not a sufficient scope 
in the scriptures to teach the people, but that my golden shoes, my 
poll-axes, my pillars, my golden cushions, my crosses, did so sore of- 


fend you, that you must make us ridicnlur.i caput amongst the people, 
Avho that clay laughed us to scorn ? Verily it was a sermon fitter to 
be preached on a stage than in a pulpit ; for at last you said, ' I wear 
a pair of red gloves, I should sav bloody gloves,' quoth you, ' that I 
should not be cold in the midst of my ceremonies.' " 

Dr. Barnes answered, " I spake nothing but the truth, out of the 
scriptures, according to my conscience, and according to the old doc- 
tors." And then he delivered him six sheets of paper Mritten, to con- 
firm and corroborate his sentiments. 

The cardinal received them smiling, saying, " We perceive then 
that you intend to stand to your articles, and to show your learning.' 

" Yea," said Barnes, " that I do by God'S' grace, with your lord- 
ship's favour." 

He answered, " Such as you bear us little favour, and the catholic 
church. I will ask you a question ; whether do you think it more ne- 
cessary that I should have all this royalty, because I represent the 
king's majesty in all the high courts of this realm, to the terror and 
keeping down of all rebellious treasons, traitors, all the wicked and 
corrupt members of this commonwealth, or to be as simple as you 
would have us, to sell all these things, and to give thera to the poor, 
who shortly will cast them in the dirt; and to pull away this princely 
dignity, which is a terror to the wicked, and to follow your counsel?" 

" I think it necessary," said Barnes, " to be sold and given to the 
poor. For this is not becoming your calling, nor is the king's majesty 
maintained by your pomp and poll-boxes, but by God, who sailh, 
kings and their majesty reign and stand by ine." 

Then answered the cardinal, " Lo, master doctors, here is the 
learned wise man that you told me of." Then they kneeled down, 
and said, " We desire your grace to be good unto him, for he will be 

" Then," said he, " stand you up ; for your sakes and the univer- 
sity we will be good unto him. How say you, m.aster doctor, do you 
not know that I am able to dispense in all matters concerning religion 
within this realm, as much as the pope may?" He said, " 1 know it 
to be so." 

" Will you then be ruled by us ? and we will do all things for your 
honesty, and for the honesty of the university." 

He answered, " I thank your grace for your good will ; I will stick 
to the holy scriptures, and to God's book, according to the simple talent 
that God hath lent me." 

" Well," said he, " thou shalt have thy learning tried at the utter- 
most, and thou shalt have the law." 

He was then committed to the custody of the sergeant at arms who 
had brought him to London, and by whom he was the next morning 
brought before the bishops ; who, on examining the articles of his 
faith, which he had delivered to the cardinal, asked him if he would 
sign them, v/hich he did, and was thereupon committed to the Fleet. 

On the Saturday following he was again brought before the bishops, 
who called upon him to know whether he would abjure or burn. He 
was then greatly agitated, and felt inclined rather to burn than ab- 
jure ; but was persuaded by some persons to abjure, which he at 
length consented to do, and the abjuration being ])ut into his hand, he 
abjured as it was there written, and then he subscribed it with his own 


hand ; yel his judges would scarcely receive him into the b.osom ol 
the church, as they termed it. Then they put him to an oath, and 
charged him to do all that they commanded him, which he accord- 
ingly promised. 

He was then again committed to the Fleet, and the next morning 
was brought to St. Paul's church, with live others who had abjured. 
Here the cardinal, bishops, and clergy, being assembled in great pomp, 
the bishop of Rochester preached a sermon against the doctrines of 
liUther and Barnes, during which the latter was commanded to kneel 
down and ask forgiveness of God, and the catholic church, and the 
cardinal's grace; after which he was ordered, at the end of the ser- 
mon, to declare that hq was used more charitably than he deserved, 
his heresies being so horrible, and so detestable ; once more he kneel- 
ed, desiring of the people forgiveness, and to pray for him. This 
farce being ended, the cardinal departed under a canopy, with the 
bishops and mitred abbots, who accompanied him to the outer gate of 
the church, when they returned. Then Barnes, and the others who 
had abjured, were carried thrice about the fire, after which they were 
brought to the bishops, and kneeled down for absolution. The bishop 
of Rochester standing up, declared that Dr. Barnes, with the others, 
were received into the church again. After which they were recom- 
mitted to the Fleet during the cardinal's pleasure. 

Dr. Barnes having remained in the Fleet half a year, was placed 
in the custody of the Austin Friars in London ; from whence he was 
removed to the Austin Friars of Northampton, there to be burned ; 
of which intention, however, he was perfectly ignorant. Being in- 
formed of the base design of his enemies, however, he, by a strata- 
gem, escaped, and reached Antwerp, where he dwelt in safety, and 
was honoured with the friendship of the best, and most eminent re- 
formers of the time, as Luther, Melancthon, the duke of Saxony, and 
others. Indeed, so great was his reputation, that the king of Den- 
mark sent him as one of his ambassadors to England ; when Sir 
Thomas More, at that time lord chancellor, wished to have him ap- 
prehended on the former charge. Henry, however, would not allow 
of this, considering it as a breach of the most sacred laws, to offer 
violence to the person of an ambassador, under any pretence. Barnes, 
therefore, remained in England unmolested, and departed again with- 
out restraint. He returned to Wittemberg, where he remained to 
forward his works in print which he had begun, after which he re- 
turned again to England, and continued a faithful preacher in Lon- 
don, being well entertained and promoted during the ascendancy of 
Anne Boleyn. He was afterwards sent ambassador by Henry to the 
duke of Cleves, upon the business of the marriage between Anne of 
Cleves and the king ; and gave great satisfaction in every duty which 
was intrusted to him. 

Not long after the arrival of Gardiner from France, Dr. Barnes, 
and other reformed preachers, were apprehended, and carried before 
the king at Hampton Court, where Barnes was examined. The king 
being desirous to bring about an agreement between him and Gar- 
diner, granted him leave to go home with the bishop to confer with 
him. But they not agreeing, Gardiner and his party sought to en- 
tangle and entrap Barnes and his friends in further danger, which, 
not long after, was brought to pass. For, by certain complaints made 


to the king of them, they were enjoined to preach three sermons the 
following Easter at the Spittle ; at which sermons, besides other re- 
porters which were sent thither, Stephen Gardiner also was there pre- 
sent, sitting with the mayor, either to bear record of their recantation, 
or else, as the Pharisees came to Christ, to ensnare them in their talk, 
if they should speak any thing amiss. Barnes preached first ; and at 
the conclusion of his sermon, requested Gardiner, if he thought he 
had said nothing contradictory to truth, to hold up his hand in the 
face of all present ; upon which Gardiner immediately held up his 
finger. Notwithstanding this, they were all three sent for to Hamp- 
ton Court, whence they were conducted to the tower, where they re- 
mained till they were brought out to death. 

Execution of Queen Catherine Howard. 

The king was greatly delighted with the charms of Catherine 
Howard, his fifth wife, and even gave public thanks to God for the 
excellent choice he had made. But his opinion was soon altered, and 
not without reason ; for she was convicted on the clearest evidence, 
and by her own confession, of gross lewdness and debauchery, with 
several persons ; and was beheaded, with Lady Rochford, her principal 
accomplice and confidant, February 14th, 1541. The latter, it will 
be recollected, was the chief instrument in the destruction of Anne 
Boleyn, and her fate was considered as a divine judgment on her base- 
less and fa,lsehood to that injured queen. 

The king, exasperated by the disappointment of his hopes, pro- 
cured an attainder against the parents and relatives of Catherine, for 
not informing him of what they, perhaps, were themselves ignorant 
of; and it was made treason to conceal any matter of the kind from 
the king in future, as well on the part of relatives and other persons, 
as by the lady herself, whom he might intend to honour with his hand. 
The barbarous severity and injustice of these acts was felt, but durst 
not be murmured against, so absolute a tyranny had Henry establish- 
ed in his kingdom. After remaining a widower about two years, he 
contracted a sixth marriage with Catherine Parr, widow of Lord Lati- 
mer, who was in secret a friend to the reformation, but, dreading the 
fate of her predecessors, dissembled her partiality for the true faith. 

Attempts to Suppress the Bible. 

Great pains had been taken by the bishops to suppress the English 
Bible. The king refused to call it in, and they therefore complained 
much of the translation, which they wished to have condemned, and 
a new one promised, which might have been delayed during several 
years. Cranmer, perceiving that the Bible was the great eye-sore of 
the Popish party, and that they were resolved to oppose it by all the 
means they could think of, procured an order from the king, referring 
the correction of the translation to the two universities. The bishops 
look this very ill, and all of them, except those of Ely and St. David's 
protested against it. 

Method of Preaching 
In former times there had been few or no sermons, except in Lent; 
for on holy days the sermons v/ere panegyrics on the saints, and on 
llie virtues of their pretended relics. But in Lent there was a more 


solemn way of preaching; and the fiiai's maintained their credit much 
by tlie pathetic sermons they preached in that time, and by which 
they wrought much on the passions of the people ; yet even these 
for the most part tended to extol fasting, confession, and other auste- 
rities, with very little of the true simplicity of Christianity, or the 
Scriptures ; and were designed rather to raise a sudden heat, than to 
work a real change in their auditors. They had also mixed so much 
out of the legends with their sermons, that the people at length disbe- 
lieved all they said, on account of those fabulous things with which 
their sermons were debased. 

The reformers, on the other hand, took great care to instruct their 
hearers in the fundamentals of religion, of which they had known 
little formerly : this made the nation follow those teachers with a 
wonderful zeal ; but some of them mixed more sharpness against 
the friars in their sermons, than was consistent with the mild spirit of 
Christianity, although the hypocrisy and che;ats of their antagonists 
did in a great measure excuse those lieats ; and it was observed that 
our Saviour had exposed the Pharisees in so plain a manner, that il 
justified the treating them with some roughness. This made it seem 
necessary to suffer none to preach, at least out of their own parishes, 
Avithout license, and many were licensed to preach as itinerants. 
There was also a book of homilies on all the epistles and gospels in 
the year, published, which contained a plain paraphrase of those parts 
of scripture, together with some practical exhortations founded on 
them. Many complaints were made of those who were licensed to 
preach, and that they might be able to justify themselves, they began 
generally to write and read their sermons : and thus did this custom 

An Act concerning' Religion. 

In 1543, a bill was proposed by Cranmer, for the advancement of 
true religion, which was much opposed, and those who at first joined 
him afterwards forsook him ; so that it was much altered for the 
worse in its progress. By it Tindal's translation of the Bible was 
condemned, and also all other books contrary to the doctrine set forth 
bv the bishops. Bibles, of another translation, were still allowed to 
be kept, but all prefaces or annotations to them, were to be expunged; 
all the king's injunctions were confirmed ; no books of religion were 
to be printed without license ; there was to be no exposition of scrip- 
ture in plays or interludes ;* none of the laity might read the scrip 
tare, or explain it in any public assembly ; but a proviso was made 
for public speeches, which then began generally with a text of scrip- 

* It had been, during several centuries, a custom to drranatize certain portions of 
scripture, which were represented hy the mcnks themselves, as well as by other persons, 
under the title of Mi/stcries ; and many of these performances were highly profane 
and indecorous. But the "plays and interludes" alluded to in the above mentioned act, 
appear to have been burlesque representations of the mummeries of the church of Rome, 
ridiculous enough in themselves, but rendcreti more palpably so, by this method of 
treating them. As, however, the ridicule which was pointed at the abuses of religion, 
micfht, by malice or ignorance, be transferred to what is really sacred, these represen- 
tations were properly condemned, both by Catholics and Protestants, and the Re- 
formers trusted to the growing intellect of the age for the condemnation of what waj 
blameablc, and the preservation of what was praiseworthy, in the ritual of the church. 


/lire, and were like sermons. Noblemen, gentlemen, and their wives, 
or merchants, might have Bibles ; but no ordinary woman, trades- 
man, apprentice, or husbandman, was allowed to retain any.* Every 
person might have the book published by the bishops, the psalter, and 
other rudiments of religion, in English. All churchmen, who preach- 
ed contrary to that book, for the first offence, were reqifired to re- 
cant ; for the second, to abjure and carry a fagot; but, for the third, 
they were to be burnt. The laity, for the third offence, were to for- 
feit their goods and chattels, and to be liable to perpetual imprison- 
ment. The parties accused were not allowed witnesses for their pur- 
gation. The act of the six articles was confirmed, and it was left free 
to the king, to change this act, or any proviso in it. There was also 
a new act passed, giving authority to the king's proclamations, and 
any nine privy counsellors were empowered to proceed against of- 
fenders. Against this the Lord Mountjoy dissented, and is the only in- 
stance of any nobleman having the courage to protest against the in- 
numerable legislative iniquities of this reign. 

Attempts to ruin Cranmer 

The chief thing now aimed at, by the whole popish party, was 
Cranmer's ruin. Gardiner employed many to infuse the belief into 
the king, that he gave the chief encouragement to heresy in England,. 
and that it was in vain to lop off the branches, and leave the root still 
growing. The king, before this, would never hear the complaints thai 
were made of him : but now, to be informed of the depth of this de- 
sign, he was willing to make himself acquainted with all that was to 
be said against him. 

Gardiner reckoned, that this point being gained, all the rest would 
follow, and judging that the king was now alienated from him, more 
instruments and artifices than ever were made use of. A long paper, 
containing many particulars against both Cranmer and his chaplains, 
was put into the king's hands. Upon this the king sent for him; and 
after he had complained much of the heresy in England, he said, he 
resolved to find out the chief promoter of it, and to make him an ex- 

Cranmer advised him first to consider well what heresy was, that 
so he might not condemn those as heretics, who maintained the true 
wQjd of God against human inventions. Then the king told him 
frankly, that he was the man complained of, as most guilty ; and 
showed him all the informations that he had received against him. 

Cranmer avowed that he was still of the same mind as when he op- 
posed the six articles, and submitted himself to a trial ; he confessed 

* By this proviso, it would appear that these bigots wished reli^on to be confined 
to the " nobility, gentry, and merchants," to the exclusion of the poor and humble me- 
chanic and labourer. Did they imagine that tlie kingdom of heaven was the exclusive 
property of those favoured beings; and that, because they dwelt in earthly palaces, they 
must of necessity be received into heavenly mansions? Did they not know that our 
blessed Saviour selected his most eminent apostles and disciples from among tliose de- 
spised classes, whom they considered unworthy even to hear his gracious word ] Let 
us, of the present generation, praise our heavenly Fatlier, who has cast our lot in a pe- 
riod when the knowledge of his promises, and the possession of his scriptures, are not 
confined to the "mighty of this earth," but form the treasure of every cottage, and the 
solace and support of the lowliest of mankind. 



iDaiiy things to the king ; in particular, that he had a Avife ; but he 
said }ic had sent her out of England, when the act of the six articles 
Avas passed ; and expressed so great a sincerity, and put so entire a 
con.idence in the king, that instead of being ruined, he was now 
better established Avith him than ever. 

The king commanded him to appoint some persons to examine the 
contrivance that had been laid to destroy him ; he answered, that it 
Avas not decent for him to nominate any to judge in a cause in Avhich 
himself was concerned ; but the king being positive, he named some 
to go about it, ar^d the Avhole secret Avas discovered. It appeared that 
Gardiner and Dr. London had been the chief instruments, and had 
encouraged informers to appear against hirn. Cranmer did not press 
the king for any reparation ; for he Avas so noted for his readiness to 
forgive injuries, and to return good for evil, that it Avas commonly said, 
the best Avay to obtain his favour, Avas to do him an injury ; >of this he 
gave signal instances at this time, both in relation to the clergy and 
laity ; by Avhich it appeared that he Avas actuated by that meek and 
loAvly spirit, Avhich becomes all the folloAvers of Christ, but more par- 
ticularly one Avho Avas so great an instrument in reforming the Chris- 
tian religion ; and did, by such eminent acts of charity, show that he 
himself practised that Avhich he taught others to do. 

A parliament Avas now called, in Avhich an act providing for the 
succession of the croAvn Avas passed. By it Prince Edward and his 
heirs, or the heirs of the king's present marriage, Avere to succeed on 
the decease of the king ; after them, the Lady Mary and Lady Eliza- 
beth ; and in case they had no issuo, or did not observe such limita- 
tions or conditions as the king shou'd appoint, then it was to fall to any 
other whom the king should name, either by his letters patent, or by 
his last will signed Avith his hand. A a oath Avas appointed both 
against the pope's supremacy, and for the maintaining the succession 
according to this act, which all are required to take, under the pains 
of treason. It Avas made treason to say or Avrite any thing contrary 
to this act, or to the slander of any of the king's heirs named in it. 

Another bill Avas passed, qualifying the severity of the six articles ; 
by Avhich it Avas enacted, that none should be imprisoned but upon a 
legal presentment, except upon the king's Avarrant. None Avas to be 
challenged for Avords spoken, except the accusation Avere brought 
Avithin a year after the commission of the offence ; nor for a sermon, 
but Avithin forty days. This Avas made to prevent such conspiracies 
as had been discovered during the former year. 

Another act Avas passed, renCAving the authority given to thirty-tAvo 
commissioners to reform the ecclesiastical law, which Cranmer pro- 
moted much; and to advance so good a purpose, he dreAV out of the 
canon laAV a collection of many things against the regal and for the 
r*Apal authority, Avith several other very extravagant propositions, to 
show how improper it Avas, to let a book, in Avhich such things were, 
continue still in any credit in England : but he could not bring this 
to any good issue. A general pardon AAas also granted, out of which 
heresy was excepted. 

Audley, the chancellor, dying at this time, Wriothesly, Avho was of 
the popish party, Avas put in his place ; and Dr. Petre, Cranmer's 
friend, Avas made secretary of .state: so equally did the king keep the 
balance betAveen both parties. He gave orders also to translate the 


pra3'er?, and litanies, into the English tongue, which gave the reform- 
ers some hopes that he liad not quite cast ofl" his design of reform- 
ing such abuses as had crept into the worsliip of God. And they hoped 
that the reasons which prevailed with the king to order this, would 
also induce him to order a translation of all the other offices into the 
English tongue. 

Lee, archbishop of York, died about this time, and was succeeded 
by Holgate, bishop of LandafT, who, in his heart, favoured the refor- 
mation. Kitchin, who turned with every change, was made bishop of 
LandafT; Heath was removed from Rochester to Worcester ; Ilolbeck 
was promoted to the see of Rochester; and Day to that of Chiches- 
ter. All these were moderate men, and well disposed to a reforma- 
tion, or at least to comply with it. 

Story and Martyrdom of Anne Askew. 

This lady was descended from a good family, and had received an 
accomplished education ; she had embraced the doctrines of the re- 
formers with zeal, and was taken into custody for her opinions, in 
March, 1545. She underwent several examinations touching the 
points of diflerence between the papists and the protestants ; in which 
she answered the insidious questions of her examiners with boldness 
and discretion. After remaining some time in prison, application was 
made by her relatives for her enlargement, and nothing being satisfac- 
torily proved against her, she was for a time set at liberty; but during 
the following year she was again apprehended, and was at length 
brought to her trial at Guildhall. We transcribe her own account of 
what took place on this interesting occasion : 

" The sum of my Condemnation at Guildhall. 

" They said to me there, ' that I was a heretic, and condemned by 
the law, if I would stand in my opinion.' I ansv.'ered, ' That I was 
no heretic, neither vet deserved I any death by the law of God. But 
as concerning the faith which I uttered and wrote to the council, I 
would not deny it, because I knew it true.' Then would they needs 
know if I woidd deny the sacrament to be Christ's body and blood. I 
said, ' Yea; for the same Son of God, who was born cf the Virgin 
Mary, is now glorious in heaven, and will come again from thence at 
the latter day like as he went up — Acts i. And as foi' that ye call 
your God, it is a piece of bread. For a more proof thereof, mark it 
when you list, let it but lie in the box three months, and it will be 
mouldy, and so turn to nothing that is good. Whereupon I am per- 
suaded that it cannot be God.' 

" After that they willed me to have a priest ; at this I smiled. Then 
they asked me if it were not good ; I said, ' I would confess my 
faults unto God, for I was sure he would hear me with favour.' And 
so we were condemned. 

" My belief, which I wrote to the council, was this, that the sacra- 
mental bread was left us to be received with thanksgiving, in remem- 
brance of Christ's death, the only remedy of our souls' recovery; 
and that thereby we also receive the whole benefits and fruits of his 
most glorious passion. Then would they know whether the bread in 
the box were God or no ; I said, ' God is a spirit, and will be wor- 
shipped in spirit and in truth.' John iv. Then they demanded, 
' Will you plaiidy deny Christ to be in the sacrament V I answered, 


• tl»at I believe faithfully the eternal Son of God not to dwell there ; 
in witness whereof I recited the 19th chapter of Daniel, the 7th and 
nth of the Acts, and the 24th of Matthew, concluding thus — ' I nei- 
tlier wish death, nor yet fear his might ; God have the praise thereof 
with thanks.' 

" My faith briefly written to the king's grace., and sent by the hands of 
the Chancellor. 

" I, Anne Askew, of good memory, although God hath given me 
the bread of adversity, and the water of trouble, yet not so much as 
my sins hath deserved, desire this to be known unto your grace, that 
forasmuch as I am by the law condemned for an evil doer, here I 
take heaven and earth to record, that I shall die in my innocency ; 
and according to that I have said first, and will say last, I utterly abhor 
and detest all heresies. And. as concerning the supper of the Lord, 
I believe so much as Christ hath said therein, which he confirmed 
with his most blessed blood ; I believe so much as he willed me to 
follow ; and believe so much as the catholic church of him doth teach. 
For I will not forsake the commandment of his holy lips. But look 
what God bath charged me with his mouth, that have I shut up in my 
heart. And thus briefly I end, for lack of learning. Anne Askew. 
" My Examination and Treatment after my departure from Neiogatc. 

" On Tuesday I was sent from Newgate to the sign of the Crown, 
where Mr. Rich, and the bishop of London, with all their power, and 
flattering words, went about to persuade me from God ; but I did not 
esteem their glossing pretences. 

" Then came to me Nicholas Shaxton, and counselled me to recant, 
as he had done. I said to him, ' That it had been good for him never 
to have been born,' with many other like words. 

" Then Mr. Rich sent me to the tower, where I remained till three 
o'clock, when Rich came, and one of the council, charging me upon 
my obedience to show unto them if I knew any man or woman of my 
sect. My answer was, ' That I knew none.' Then they asked me 
of Lady Suflblk, Lady Sussex, Lady Hertford, Lady Denny, and Lady 
Fitzwilliams. To whom I answered, ' If I should pronounce any 
thing against them, that I were not able to prove it.' Then said they 
unto me, ' That the king was informed that I could name, if I would, 
a great number of my sect.' I answered, ' That the king was as well 
deceived in that behalf, as he was dissembled with by them in other 

" Then they commanded me to show how I was maintained in the 
Comptei, and who willed me to stick to my opinion. I said, ' that 
there was no creature that therein did strengthen me. And as for the 
help that I had in the Compter, it was by the means of my maid. For 
as she went abroad in the streets, she told my case to the apprentices, 
and they, by her, did send me money; but who they were I never 

" Then they said, ' That there were several ladies that had sent 
me money.' I answered, ' That there was a man in a blue coat 
who delivered me ten shillings, and said that my lady of Hertford 
sent it me ; and another in a violet coat gave me eight shillings, and 
said my Lady Denny sent it me. "Whether it were true or no I cannot 
tfc^" for I am not sure who sent it me, but as the maid did say. 


Then they said, ' There were some of the council who maintained 
me.' I said, ' No.' 

" Then did they put me on the rack, because I confessed no ladies 
or gentlewomen to be of my opinion, and thereon they kept ir.e a 
long time, and because I lay still and did not cry, my lord chancellor 
and Mr. Rich took pains to rack me with their own hands till I was 
nigh dead. 

" The lieutenant then caused me to be loosed from the rack, when 
I immediately swooned, and they recovered me again. After tliat I 
sat two hours reasoning with my lord chancellor upon the bare floor, 
where he with many flattering words persuaded me to leave my opi- 
nions ; but my Lord God, I thank his everlasting goodness, gave me 
grace to persevere, and will do, I hope, to the very end. 

" Then Avas I brought to an house and laid in a bed, with as weary 
and painful bones as ever had patient Job, I thank my Lord God 
therefore. Then my lord chancellor sent me word, if I would leave 
my opinion I should want for nothing ; if I would not, I should forth- 
with to Newgate, and so be burned. I sent him again word, that I 
would rather die than break my faith. 

" Thus the Lord open the eyes of their blind hearts, that the truth 
may take place. Farewell, dear friend, and pray, pray, pray." 

Her racking in the tower, mentioned above, is thus described. 
She was led down into a dungeon, where Sir Anthony Knevet, the 
lieutenant, commanded his gaoler to pinch her with the rack ; which 
being done, as much as he thought suflicient, he was about to take her 
down, supposing that he had done enough. But Wriothesley, the 
chancellor, not contented that she should be loosed so soon, having 
confessed nothing, com.manded the lieutenant to strain her on the rack 
again, which because he denied to do, he was threatened by the chan- 
cellor, " That he would signify his disobedience to the king ; but re- 
maining unmoved by their threats, Wriothesley and Rich, throwing 
ofi" their gowns, would needs play the tormentors themselves, first ask- 
ing her " If she were with child ?" to which she answered, " Ye shall 
not need to spare for that, but do your wills upon me ;" and so 
quietly and patiently praying to the Lord, she sustained their cruelty, 
till her bones and joints were almost torn asunder, so that she was 
obliged to be carried away in a chair. When the racking was past 
the chancellor and Mr. Rich rode off to the court. 

In the mean time, while they were making their way by land, the 
good lieutenant, taking boat, hastened to the court to speak with the 
king before the others, which he did ; and desiring his pardon, told 
him the whole matter respecting the racking of Mrs. Askew, and the 
threats of the lord chancellor, " because at his commandment, not 
knowing his highness's pleasure, he refused to rack her, which he for 
compassion could not find in his heart to do, and therefore desired his 
highness's pardon ;" which when the king had heard, he seemed not 
much to approve their severity ; and granted the lieutenant his pardon. 
While Mrs. Askew was confined in Newgate, she made the follow- 
ing confession of her faitli. " I, Anne Askew, of good memory, al- 
though my merciful Father hath given me the bread of adversity, and 
the water of trouble, yet not so much as my sins have deserved, do 
confess myself here a sinner before the throne of his heavenly majes- 
ty, desiring his forgiveness and mercy. And for so much as I am bv 


the law unrighteously condemned for an evil doer, concerning oj)i 
nions, I take the same most merciful God of mine, which hath made 
both heaven and earth, to record, that I hold no opinions contrary to 
his most holy word ; and I trust in my merciful Lord, which is the 
giver of all grace, that he will graciously assist me against all evil 
opinions which are contrary to his blessed verity ; for I take him to 
witness that I have done, and will, unto my life's end, utterly abhor 
them to the uttermost of my power. 

"But this is the heresy which they report me to hold, that after the 
priest hath spoken the words of consecration, there remaineth bread 
still. They both say, and also teach it for a necessary article of faith, 
that after these words be once spoken, there remaineth no bread, but 
even the self-same body that hung upon the cross on Good Friday, 
both flesh, blood, and bone. To this belief of their's say I, Nay. 
For then were our common creed false, which saith, that he sitteth on 
the right hand of God the Father Almighty, and from thence shall 
come to judge the quick and the dead. Lo, this is the heresy that I 
hold, and for it must suffer the death. But as touching the holy and 
blessed supper of ihe Lord, I believe it to be a most necessary re- 
membrance of his glorious sufferings and death. Moreover I believe 
as much therein as my eternal and only Redeemer Jesus Christ would 
I should believe. 

" Finally, I believe all those scriptures to be true, which he hath 
confirmed with his most precious blood ; yea, and as St. Paul saith, 
those scriptures are suflicient for our learning and salvation, that 
Christ hath left here with us ; so that, I believe, we need no unwritten 
verities to rule his church with. Therefore, look what he hath said 
unto me with his own mouth in his holy gospel, that I have with God's 
grace closed up in my heart, and my full trust is, (as David saith,) that 
it shall be a lantern to my footsteps, Psalm xxviii. 

" There be some that say I deny the eucharist, or sacrament of 
thanksgiving ; but those people untruly report of me ; for I both say 
and believe it, that if it were ordered as Christ instituted it and left it, 
a most singular comfort it were unto us all. But as concerning the 
mass as it is now used in our days, I say and believe it to be the most 
abominable idol that is in the world. For my God will not be eaten 
with teeth, neither yet dieth he again ; and upon these words that 1 
have now spoken, will I suffer death. 

"O Lord ! I have more enemies now than there be hairs on my head ; 
yet, Lord ! let them never overcome me with vdn words, but fight 
thou. Lord ! in my stead, for on thee cast I my care. With all the 
spite they can imagine, they fall upon me, who am thy poor creature. 
Yet, sweet Lord ! let me not set by them which are against me, for 
in thee is my whole delight ; and, Lord ! I heartily desire of thee, 
that thou wilt of thy most merciful goodness forgive them that violence 
which they do, and have done unto me. Open also thou their blind 
hearts, that they may hereafter do that thing in thy sight, Avhich is only 
acceptable before thee, and to set forth thy verity aright, without all 
vain fantasy of sinful men. So be it, O Lord ! so be it. 

"Anne Askew " 


We have thought it advisable to give so much of this lady's own 
writings, as they aflbrd very strong evidence of her faitli, and zeal for 
the cause of truth. To this sacred cause she was now about to give 
the last and highest proof of her attachment, by yielding up her life 
at the stake, as a token of her devotion to the pure religion of Jesus, 
and her abhorrence of the devices and inve.itions of the papists. 

On the day appointed for her execution, she was brought to Smith- 
field in a chair, being unable to walk, from the effects of the tortures 
which she had undergone. When she arrived at the stake, she was 
fastened to it by a chain round her body. Three other persons were 
brought to suffer with her, for the same offence. These were, Nicho- 
las Belenian, a priest of Shropshire ; John Adams, a tailor ; and John 
Lacels, a gentleman of the king's household. 

The martyrs being all chained to the stake, Dr. Shaxton, who was 
appointed to preach, began his sermon ; and as he proceeded, Anne 
Askew, with undiminished spirit, either confirmed or contradicted 
him, according to the truth or falsehood of his quotations and in- 

The sermon being concluded, the martyrs began their prayers. 
The concourse of spectators was immense, and on a bench near the 
stake sat the lord chancellor, the duke of Norfolk, the earl of Bedford, 
the lord mayor, and other persons of consideration. The chancellor 
sent to Anne Askew letters, offering to her the king's pardon if she 
would recant; but she, refusing ever to look upon them, made tills 
answer, " That she came not thither to deny her Lord and iVTaster " 
Then the letters were likewise offered to the others, who, imitating 
the constancy of the woman, refused not only to receive them, but 
also to look upon them, and continued to cheer and exhort each othei 
to be firm to the end of their sufferings, and so to deserve the glory 
they were about to enter ; whereupon the lord mayor, commanding 
fire to be put to them, cried, with a loud voice, '■'' fiat justitiay 

And thus these blessed martyrs were compassed in with flames of 
fire, and offered up as sacrifices unto God. 

Designs against Cranmer. 

These events were so many triumphs to the popish party, who, 
stimulated by fresh hopes, sought to complete their victory by effecting 
the ruin of Cranmer and the queen, whom they considered the great- 
est obstacles to their success. They persuaded the king that Cran- 
mer was the source of all the heresies in England ; but Henry's es- 
teem for him was such, that no one Avould appear to give evidence 
against him ; they therefore desired that he might be committed to 
the tower, and then it would appear how many would inform against 

The king seemed to approve this plan, and they resolved to exe- 
cute it the next day ; but in the night Henry sent for Cranmer, and 
told him what was resolved concerning him. Cranmer thanked the 
king for giving him notice of it, and submitted to it, only desiring that 
he might be heard in answer for himself; and that he might have im- 
partial judges, competent to decide. Henry was surprised to see him 
so little concerned in his own preservation : but told him, since he 
took so little care of himself, that he must take care of him. lie 
therefore gave him instructions to appear before the council, and to 


desire to see his accusers before he should be sent to the tower; and 
that he might be used by them, as they would desire to be used in a 
similar case ; and if he could not prevail by the force of reason, then 
he was to appeal to the king in person, and was to show the royal 
seal ring, which he took from his fmger, and gave him, which they 
would know so Avell that they v/ould do nothing after they once saw it. 

Accordingly, on being summoned next morning, he came over to 
Whitehall ; there he was detained, with great insolence, in the lobby 
of the council chamber before he was called in ; but when that was 
done, and he had acted as the king had ordered him, and at last 
showed the ring, his enemies rose in great confusion, and went to 
the king. He upbraided them severely for what they had done, and 
expressed his esteem and kindness for Cranmer in such terms, that 
they were glad to get off, by pretending that they had no other de- 
sign, but that of having his innocence declared by a public trial. 
From this vain attempt they were so convinced of the king's unalter- 
able favour to him, that they forbore any further designs against him. 

But what they could not effect against Cranmer, they thought 
might be more safely tried against the queen, who was known to love 
the " new learning !" as the reformation was then called. She used 
to have sermons in her privy chamber, which could not be so secretly 
carried, but that it came to the knowledge of her royal spouse ; yet 
her conduct in all other things was so exact, and she expressed such 
a tender care of the king's person, that it was observed she had gained 
much upon him ; but his peevishness growing with his distempers, 
made him sometimes impatient even to her. 

He used often to talkAvith her of matters of religion, and sometimes 
she sustained the argument for the reformers so strenuously, that he 
was offended at it ; yet as soon as that appeared she let it fall. But 
once the debate continuing long, the king expressed his displeasure 
at it to Gardiner, when she Avent away. The crafty bishop took hold 
of this opportunity to persuade the king that she was a great cherisher 
of heretics. Wriothesly joined with him in the same artifice : and 
filled the angry king's head with suspicions, insomuch that he signed 
the articles upon Avhich she was to be impeached. But the chancel- 
lor carelessly dropping the paper, it happened to be taken up by one 
?f *hc queen's friends, who carried it to her. 

The next night, after supoer. she went into the king's bedchamber, 
where she found him sitting and talking with certain gentlemen. He 
very courteously welcomed her, and breaking off his talk with the 
gentlemen, began of himself, contrary to his usual manner, to enter 
into talk of religion, seeming, as it were, desirous to hear the queen's 
opinion on certain matters which he mentioned. 

The queen, perceiving to what this tended, mildly, and with much 
apparent deference, answered him as follows : 

" Your majesty," says she, " doth right well know, neither am I 
myself ignorant, what great imperfection and weakness by our first 
creation is allotted unto us women, to be ordained and appointed as 
inferior, and subject unto man as our head, from which head all our 
direction ought to proceed ; and that as God made man to his own 
shape and likeness, whereby he, being endued with more special gifts 
of perfection, might rather be stirred to the contemplation of hea- 
venly things, and to the earnest endeavour to obev his commandments ; 


even so also made he Avoman of man, of whom, and by whom, she is 
to be governed, commanded, and directed ; whose womanly weai<- 
nesses and natural imperfection ought to be tolerated, aided, and 
borne withal, so that by his wisdom such things as be lacking in her 
ought to be supplied. 

" Since thence, therefore, that God hath appointed such a natural 
difference between man and woman, and your majesty being so ex- 
cellent in gifts and ornaments of wisdom, and I a silly poor woman, 
so much inferior in all respects of nature unto you, how then cometh 
it now to pass that your majesty, in such diffuse causes of religion, 
will seem to require my judgment ? which, when I have uttered and 
said what I can, yet must I, and will I, refer my judgment in this, and 
in all other cases, to your majesty's wisdom, as my only anchor, su- 
preme head and governor here on earth, next under God to lean 

" Not so, by Saint Mary," replied the king ; " you are become a 
doctor, Kate, to instruct us (as we take it) and not to be instructed or 
directed by us.' 

"If your majesty take it so," said the queen, "then hath your ma- 
jesty very much mistaken, who have ever been of the opinion, to 
think it very unseemly and preposterous for the woman to take upon 
her the office of an instructor, or teacher to her lord and husband, 
but rather to learn of her husband, and to be taught by him ; and where 
I have, with your majesty's leave, heretofore been bold to hold talk 
with your majesty, wherein sometimes in opinions there hath seemed 
some difference, I have not done it so much to maintain opinion, as 
I did it rather to minister talk, not only to the end your majesty might 
with less grief pass over this painful time of your infirmity, being in- 
tentive to your talk, and hoping that your majesty should reap some 
ease thereby ; but also that I, hearing your majesty's learned dis- 
course, might receive to myself some profit thereby; wherein, I as- 
sure your majesty, I have not missed any part of my desire in that 
behalf, always referring myself in all such matters unto your majesty, 
as by ordinance of nature it is convenient for me to do." 

" And is it even so, sweetheart ?" cried the king ; " and tended 
your arguments to no worse end ? Then perfect friends we are now 
again, as ever at any time heretofore." And as he sat in his chair, 
embracing her in his arms, and kissing her, he added, that " It did 
him more good at that time to hear those words of her own mouth, 
than if he had heard present news of an hundred thousand pounds in 
moi.ey fallen unto him ;" and with tokens of great joy, and promises 
and assurances never again to mistake her, he entered into very 
pleasant discourse with the queen, and the lords and gentlemen stand- 
ing by; and at last, (the night being far advanced,) he gave her leave 
to depart. And after she was gone, he greatly commended and 
praised her. 

The time formerly appointed for her being taken into custody, be- 
ing come, the king, wailed upon by two gentlemen only of his be' 
chamber, went into the garden, whither the queen also came, (being 
sent for by the king himself,) with three ladies attending her. Henry 
immediately entered into pleasant conversation with the queen and 
attendants; when, suddenly, in the midst of their mirth, the lord chan- 
cellor came into the garden with forty of t.Nc king's guards, intending 


to have taken the queen, together with the three ladies, to the tower 
The king, sternly beholding them, broke off" his mirth with the queen, 
and stepping a little aside, called the chancellor to him, who upon his 
knees spake to the king, but \vhat he said is not well known; it is, 
however, certain that the king's reply to him was, " Knave ! yea, ar- 
rant knave, beast, and fool !" and then he commanded him presently 
to be gone out of his presence ; which words, being vehemently spo* 
ken by the king, the queen and her ladies overheard them. 

The king, after the departure of the chancellor and his guards, 
immediately returned to the queen ; when she, perceiving him to be 
very much irritated, endeavoured to pacify him with kind words, in 
be-half of the lord chancellor, with whom he seemed to be offended, 
saying, " That albeit, she knew not what just cause his majesty had 
at that time to be offended with him; yet she thought that ignorance, 
not wilfulness, was the cause of his error." 

" Ah, poor soul," replied the king, "thou little knowest how ill he 
deserveth this grace at thy hands. On my word, sweetheart, he halii 
been towards thee an arrant knave, and so let him go." Thus the 
design against her was frustrated, and Gardiner, who had promoted 
it, lost the king's favour entirely. 

The King^s Sickness and Death. 

The king's distemper had been long growing upon him. He was 
become so corpulent, that 4ie could not go up and down stairs, but was 
let down and drawn up by an engine, when he intended to walk in 
his garden. He had an ulceration in his leg, which gave him much 
])ain, the humours of his body discharging themselves that way, till 
at last a dropsy came on. He had grown so fierce and cruel, that 
those about him were afraid to let him know that his death seemed 
near, lest they might have been adjudged guilty of treason, in fore- 
telling his death ! 

His Avill was made ready, and signed ' by him, on the 30th of De- 
cember. He ordered Gardiner's name to be struck out from the list 
of his executors. When Sir Anthony Brown endeavoured to persuade 
him not to put that disgrace on an old servant, he continued positive 
in it ; for he said, " he knew his temper, and could govern him; but it 
would not be in the power of others to do it, if he were put in so high 
a trust." The most material thing in the will, was the preferring the 
children of his second sister, by Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk, to 
the children of his eldest sister, the queen of Scotland, in the succes- 
sion to the crown. On his death-bed he finished the foundation ot 
Trinity college in Cambridge, and of Christ's hospital, near Newgate ; 
yet this last was not fully settled, till his son completed what he had 

On the 27th of January, 1547, his spirits sunk, and it was evident 
that he had not long to live. Sir Anthony Denny took the courage to 
tell him that death was approaching, and desired him to call on God 
for his mercy. He expressed in general his sorrow for his past sins, 
and his trust in the mercies of God in Christ .Tesus. He ordered 
Cranmer to be sent for, but was speechless before he arrived ; yet he 
gave a sign that he understood what he said to him, and soon after 
died, in the 56th year of his age, after he had reigned thirty-seven 
years and nine months. His death was concealed three days; and 


the parliament continued to «!it till the 31st of January, when his de- 
cease was made public. It is probable the Seymours, uncles to the 
young king, concealed it so long, till they made a party for securing 
the government in their own hands. 

The severities Henry used against many of his subjects, in matters 
of religion, made both sides write with great sharpness against him ; 
his temper was imperious and cruel ; he was sudden and violent in 
his passions, and hesitated at nothing by which he could gratify either 
his lust or his revenge. This was much provoked by the sentence 
of the pope against him, by the virulent books Cardinal Pole and 
others published, by the rebellions that were raised in England by the 
popish clergy, and the apprehensions he was in of the emperor's 
greatness, together w^ith his knowledge of the fate of those princes, 
against whom the popes had thundered in former times; all which 
made him think it necessary to keep his people under the terror of a 
severe government, and by some public examples to secure the peace 
of the nation, and thereby to prevent a more profuse efiusion of blood, 
which might have otherwise followed if he had been more gentle; 
and it was no ^t■onde^, if, after the pope deposed him, he proceeded 
to great severities against all who supported the papal authority. 

Almost the last act of his life was one of barbarous ingratitude and 
monstrous t\-ranny. This was the execution of the earl of Surry, a 
brave and accomj)lished nobleman, who had served him with zeal and 
fidelity, but was now sacrificed to the groundless suspicions of this 
gloomy tyrant, on the pretence of his having assumed the arms of Ed- 
ward the Confessor, which, from his being related to the royal family, 
he had a right to do, and w^hich he had done, during many years, with- 
out offence. Not satisfied with the death of this nobleman, the blood- 
thirsty despot, now tottering on the brink of the grave, determined 
to complete his worse than savage barbarity, by bringing to the block 
the aged duke of Norfolk, father of his foryier victim, who had spent 
a long life, and expended a princely fortune, in his service. There 
being no charge on which to found an impeachment against him, a 
parliament was summoned to attaint him ; and so well did these ser- 
vile wretches fulfil their inhuman mastei-'s expectations, that the bill 
of attainder was passed in both houses in the short space of seven 
days ; and the royal assent being given by commission, January 27, 
the duke was ordered for execution on the next morning; but in the 
course of the night the king was himself summoned before the tribu- 
nal of the eternal Judge. 

Persecution and Martyrdom of Thomas Benet. 

Thomas Benet was born in Cambridge ; became M. A. there ; and 
(as some think) was also a priest; he was a very learned man, and of 
a godly disposition, being intimately acquainted with Thomas Bilnc y, 
the glorious martyr of Christ. The more he grew and increased in 
the knowledge of God, and his holy work, the more he disliked the 
corrupt state of religion then j)revalent; and, therefore, being desi- 
rous to live in more freedom of conscience, he quitted the university 
and went into Devonshire, in the year 1524, and resided in Torring- 
ton, a market towm, where, for the maintenance of himself and his 
wife, he kept a school. But that town not answering his expectation, 
after remaining there one year, he went to Exeter, and resumed his 


teaching. He was of a quiet behaviour, of a godly conversation, and 
of a very courteous nature, humble to all men, and giving offence to 
none. His greatest delight was to attend sermons and preachings, 
whereof he was a diligent and attentive hearer, and he devoted all his 
leisure to the study of the scriptures, and the company of such as 
he found to be favourers of the gospel. Therefore, understanding 
that Mr. Strowd, of Newnham, was committed to the bishop's prison 
in Exeter upon suspicion of heresy, although unacquainted with him, 
yet he sent him letters of consolation; wherein, speaking of himself, 
he said, " Because I would not be a whoremonger, or an iniclean 
person, I married a wife, with whom I have hidden myself in Devon- 
shire from the tyranny of the antichristians, these six years." 

But although he had hitherto avoided any public expression of his 
sentiments, yet now, daily seeing the glory of God blasphemed, idola- 
trous religion embraced and maintained, and the usurped power ol 
the bishop of Rome extolled, he was so grieved in conscience, and 
troubled in spirit, that he could not rest till he gave utterance to his 
thoughts on these subjects. "Wherefore, speaking privately with his 
friends, he plainly told them how blasphemously and abominably God 
was dishonoured, his word contemned, and the people, by blind 
guides, carried headlong to everlasting damnation ; and, therefore, he 
said, " he could no longer endure, but must needs, and would utter 
their abominations ; and for his own part, for the testimony of his 
conscience, and for the defence of God's true religion, would yield 
himself most patiently (as near as God would give him grace) to die, 
and to shed his blood therein ; alleging that his death should be more 
profitable to the church of God, and for the edifying of his people, 
than his life should be." 

To these persuasions his friends at length yielded, and promised to 
pray to God for him, that he might be made strong in the cause, and 
continue a faithful soldier to the end. He then gave directions for 
the distribution of such books as he had ; and, shortly after, in the 
month of October, he wrote his mind on some scrolls of paper, which 
in the night he affixed upon the doors of the cathedral church of the 
city ; on these papers Avas written, " The pope is antichrist, and we 
ought to worship God only, and no saints." 

These bills being found, the clergy were all in alarm, and great 
search was made for the " heretic" who had set them up. Orders 
were given that sermons should be preached every day to confute this 
heresy. Nevertheless, Benet, keeping his own secret, went the Sun- 
day following to the cathedral, and by chance sate down by two men 
who had been the busiest in all the city in seeking and searching for 
heretics ; and they beholding Benet, said one to the other, " Surely 
this fellow is the heretic that hath set up the bills, and it were good 
to examine him." Nevertheless, when they had well beheld him, and 
saw the quiet and sober behaviour of the man, his attentiveness to the 
preacher, his godliness in the church, being always occupied in his 
book, which was a Testament in the Latin tongue, they were astonish- 
ed, and had no power to speak to him, but departed, and left him 
reading his book. 

The priests- being unable to discover the perpetrator of this horri' 
ble deed, at length determined, to make his damnation sure, to curse 
him, whoever he might be ; which was accordingly performed with 


much mummery ; and as the whole proceeding affords a just view of 
ihe piety, charity, and mercy, of the Romish church, we give it here, 
for the edification of our readers. 

One of the priests, apparelled all in white, ascended into the pulpit. 
The rahble, with some of the two orders of friars and monks, stand- 
ing round about, and the cross being holden up with holy candles of 
wax fixed to the same, he began his sermon with this text from the 
book of Joshua : Est blasphemia in castris : " there is blasphemy in 
the camp ;" and, after making a long, tedious, and superstitious 
preachment, concluded, tliat " that foul and abominable heretic which 
had put up such blasphemous bills, was for that, his blasphemy, dam- 
nably cursed ; and besought God, our lady, St. Peter, patron of that 
church, with all the holy company of martyrs, confessors, and vir- 
gins, that it might be known what heretic had put up such blasphe- 
mous bills." Then followed the curse, uttered by the pi-iest in these 
words : 

" By the authority of God the Father Almighty, and of the blessed 
Virgin Mary, of St. Peter and Paul, and of the holy saints, we ex- 
communicate, we utterly curse and ban, commit and deliver to the 
devil of hell, him or her, whatsoever he or she be, that have, in spite 
of God and of St. Peter, whose church this is, in spite of all holy 
saints, and in spite of our most holy father the pope, God's vicar here 
on earth, and in spite of the reverend father in God, John, our dioce- 
san, and the worshipful canons, masters and priests, and clerks, which 
serve God daily in this cathedral church, fixed up Avilh wax such 
cursed and heretical bills full of blasphemy, upon the doors of this, 
and other holy churches within this city. Excommunicate plainly 
b6 he or she plenally, or they, and delivered over to the devil, as per- 
petual malefactors and schismatics. Accursed might they be, and 
given body and soul to the devil. Cursed be they, he or she, in cities 
and towns, in fields, in ways, in paths, in houses, out of houses, and 
in all other places, standing, lying, or rising, walking, running, waking, 
sleeping, eating, drinking, and whatsoever thing they do besides. We 
separate them, him or her, from the threshold, and from all the good 
prayers of the church, from the participation of the holy mass, from 
all sacraments, chapels, and altars, from holy bread, and holy water, 
from all the merits of God's priests and religious men, and from all 
their cloisters, from all their pardons, privileges, grants, and immuni- 
ties, which all the holy fathers, popes of Rome, have granted to them; 
and we give them over utterly to the power of the fiend, and let us 
quench their souls, if they be dead, this night in the pains of hell fire, 
as this candle is now quenched and put out'"' — (and with that he put 
out one of the candles ;) — " and let us pray to God (if they be alive) 
that their eyes may be put out, as this candle light is" — (he then put 
out the other candle ;) " and let us pray to God, and to our lady, and 
10 St. Peter and Paul, and all holy saints, that all the senses of their 
bodies may fail them, and that they may have no feeling, as now the 
light of this candle is gone" — (he put out the third candle) — " except 
they, he, or she, come openly now and confess their blasphemy, and 
by repentance (as in them shall lie) make satisfaction unto God, our 
lady, St. Peter, and the worshipful company of thii cathedral church- 
and as this holy cross staff now falleth down, so might they, except 
they repent and show themselves." Then, the cross being first taken 


awav, the staff fell down. And the ignorant people were almost pctri 
tied with fear, at hearing this terrible denunciation. 

Now this foolish fantasy and mockery being ended, which was to a 
Christian heart utterly ridiculous, Benet could no longer restrain his 
laughter; upon which, those who were next to him, in great surprise, 
asked him, "For what cause he should so laugh?" — "My friends," 
said, " who can forbear, seeing such merry conceits and interludes ?" 
Immediately there was a cry, " Here is the heretic ! here is the here- 
tic ! hold him fast, hold him fast, hold him fast !" He was accordingly 
seized ; but his enemies, being uncertain of him, released him, and left 
him to go home to his house. 

However, being still more disgusted by the scene he had just wit- 
nessed, he renewed his former bills, and caused his boy, early in the 
following morning, to replace them upon the gates of the churchyard. 
As the boy was doing this, he was seen by a person going to early mass, 
who asking him, " whose boy he was," charged him as the heretic 
who had set up the bills upon the gates ; wherefore, pulling down the 
bill, he brought it, together with the boy, before the mayor ; and 
thereupon Benet being known and taken, was committed to prison. 

The next day, the canons of the cathedral and magistrates of the 
city jointly examined him. To them he confessed what he had done, say- 
ing, " It was even I that put up those bills, and if it were to do, I would 
do it again ; for in them I have written nothing but what is very truth." 
— "Couldest.not thou," asked they, "as well have declared thy mind 
by word of mouth, as by putting up bills of blasphemy ?" — " No," 
said he ; " I put up the bills, that many should read and hear what 
abominable blasphemers ye are, and that they might know your anti- 
christ, the pope, to be that boar out of the wood, which destroyeth 
and throweth down the hedges of God's church ; for if I had been 
heard to speak but one word, I should have been clapped fast in 
prison, and the matter of God hidden. But now I trust more of your 
blasphemous doings will thereby be opened and come to light ; for 
God will so have it, and no longer will suffer you." 

The next day he was sent to the bishop, Avho committed him to 
prison, where he was kept in the stocks and strong irons. Then the 
bishop, with Dr. Brewer, his chancellor, and others of his clergy and 
friars, began to examine him, and charge him, that, contrary to the 
catholic faith, he denied praying to saints, and the supremacy of the 
pope. To whom he answered in so correct a manner, and so learn- 
edly proved and defended his assertions, that he not only confounded 
an(l put to silence his adversaries, but also filled them with great ad- 
miration of his abilities, and pity and compassion for his situation 
The friars took great pains with him to persuade him to recant and 
acknowledge his fault, concerning the bills ; but it was in vain, for God 
had appointed him to be a witness of his holy name. 

His house was then searched for books and papers ; and his wifo 
much ill-treated by the officers employed ; but she, being like her hus 
band, a member of Christ's true church, bore all their insults patiently 
and " when they reviled her, answered them not again." 

Benet was now, during eight days, constantly beset by priests and 
friars, who tried all arts to induce him to be "reconciled" with the 
church of Rome ; but all their efforts were vain ; he remained firm in 
the faith, and would not relinquish the cross which he had taken up. 


The principal point between him and his opponents was touching 
the supremacy of the bishop of Rome, whom in his bills he had 
named, " Antichrist, the tliief, the mercenary, and murderer of Christ's 
flock." They who liad so/r.e learning persuaded him to believe the 
church, and shoAved by what tokens she is known. The unlearned 
railed, and said, "That the devil tempted him," and spit upon him, 
calling him heretic. He prayed God to give them a better mind, and 
to forgive them: "For," said he, "I will rather die, than worship 
such a beast, the very whore of Babylon, and a false usurper, as mani- 
festly doth appear by his doings." They asked, " What he did, that 
he had no power and authority to do, being God's vicar?" — "He 
doth," replied he, "sell the sacraments for money, he selleth remis- 
sion of sins daily for money, and so do you likewise : for there is no 
day but ye say divers masses for souls in purgatory : yea, and ye spare 
not to make lying sermons to the people, to maintain your false tra-. 
ditions, and foul gains. The whole world begins now to note your 
doings, to your utter confusion and shame." — " The shame," cried 
ihey, " shall be to thee, and such as thou, foul heretic. Wilt thou 
allow nothing done in holy church ?" — ." I am," said he, " no heretic; 
but a Christian, I thank Christ; and with all my heart will allow all 
things done and used in the church to the glory of God, and edifying 
of my soul ; but I see nothing in your church, but that maintdineth 
the devil." — "What is our church?" asked they. "It is not my 
church," replied Benet, "God give me grace to be of a better church; 
for verily your church is the church of antichrist, the malignant 
church, the second church, a den of thieves, and as far wide from the 
true xmiversal and apostolic church, as heaven is distant from the 

" Dost thou not think," said they, " that we pertain to the universal 
church ?" — " Yes," answered he, " but as dead members, unto whom 
the church is not beneficial: for your works are the devices of man, and 
your church a weak foundation ; for ye say and preach that the pope's 
word is equal with God's in every degree." — " Why," asked they, 
" did not Christ say to Peter, To thee I will give the keys of the king- 
dom of Heaven?" — "He said that," replied he, "to all as well as to 
Peter, and Peter had no more authority given him than they, or else 
the churches planted in every kingdom by their preaching are no 
churches. Doth not St. Paul say, ' Upon the foundations of the apos- 
tles and prophets ?' Therefore, I say plainly, that the church that is 
built upon a man, is the devil's church, or congregation, and not God's. 
And as every church this day is appointed to be ruled by a bishop or 
pastor, ordained by the word of God in preaching and administration 
of the sacraments under the prince, the supreme governor under God; 
so to say, that all the churches, with their princes and governors, be 
subject to one bishop, is detestable heresy ; and the pope, your god, 
challenging this power to himself, is the greatest schismatic that ever 

" O thou blind and unlearned fool !" cried they, " is not the con- 
Tession and consent of all the world as we confess and consent ; that 
the pope's holiness is the supreme head and vicar of Christ ?" — " That 
IS," said Isenet, " because they are blinded, and know not the scrip- 
tures ; but if God would of his meicy open the eyes of princes to 
know their office, his false supremacy would soon decay." — " We 


think," said they, " thou art so malicious, that thou wilt confess no 
cliurch." — " Look," said he, " where they are that confess the true 
iiarne of Jesus Christ, where only Christ is the head, and bishops, 
ninisters, and preachers, do their duties in setting forth the glorv of 
God by preaching his word ; and where it is preached, that Christ is 
our only advocate, mediator, and patron before his Father, making 
intercession for us ; and where the true faith and confidence in Christ's 
death and passion, and his only merits and deservings are extolled, 
and our own depressed; where the sacrament is duly, without super- 
stition or idolatry, administered in remembrance of his blessed passion, 
and only sacrifice upon the cross once for all, and where no supersti- 
tion reigneth ; of that church will 1 be." 

" Doth not the pope," asked they, " confess the tru,e gospel ? do 
not we all the same ?" — " Yes," said he, " but ye deny the fruits 
thereof in every point. Ye build upon the sands, not upon the rock." 
— "And wilt thou not believe indeed," said they, "that the pope is 
God's vicar ?" — " No," said he, " indeed !" — " And why ?" — " Because 
he usurpeth a power not given him of Christ, no more than to other 
apostles ; also, because by force of that usurped supremacy, he blinds 
the whole world, and doth contrary to all that ever Christ ordained or 
commanded." — " What," said they, "if he do all things after God's 
ordinance and commandment, should he then be his vicar ?" — " Then," 
said he, " would I believe him to be a good bishop at Rome, over his 
own diocese, and to have no further power. And if it pleased God, 
I would every bishop did this in their diocese : then should we live a 
peaceable life in the church of Christ, and there should be no sedi- 
tions therein. If every bishop would seek no further power, it were 
a goodly thing. But now, because all are subject to one, all must do 
and consent to all wickedness as he doth, or be none of his. This is 
the cause of great superstition in every kingdom; and what bishop 
soever he be that preacheth the gospel, and maintaineth the truth, is 
a true bishop of the church." — "And doth not," said they, " our holy 
father, the pope, maintain the gospel ?" — " Yea," said he, " I think 
he doth read it, and peradventure Ijelieve it, and so do you also ; but 
neither he nor you do fix the anchor of your salvation therein. Be- 
sides that, ye bear such a good will to it, that ye keep it close, that 
no man may read it but yourselves. And when you preach, God 
knows how you hand'e it : insomuch, that the people of Christ know 
no gospel but the pope's ; and so the blind lead the blind, and both 
fall into the pit." 

Then said a black friar to him, " Thou blockhead ! do we not 
preach the gospel daily ?" — " Yes," replied Benet, " but what preach- 
ing of the gospel is that, when you extol superstitious things, and 
make us believe that we have redemption through pardons and bulls 
from Rome, a posna et culpa, as ye term it? and by the merits of 
your orders ye make many brethren and sisters, ye take yearly money 
of them, ye bury them in your coats, and in shrift ye beguile them : 
yea, and do a thousand superstitious things more ; a man may be 
weary to speak of them." — " I see," cried the liberal friar, " thou art 
a damned wretch ! I will have no more talk with thee." 

After this, another of the same order addressed him, and endea- 
voured to shake Lis faith by representing to him the great dangers to 
which he exposed himself. " I take God to record," said Benet, "my 


life is not dear to me ; I am content to depart from it ; for I am weary 
of it, seeing your detestable doings, to the utter destruction of God's 
flock ; and, for my part, I can no longer forbear ; I had rather, by 
death, which I know is not far off, depart this life, that I may no lon- 
ger be partaker of your idolatries, or be subject to antichrist, youi 
pope." — "Our pope," said the friar, "is the vicar of God, and our 
ways are the ways of God." — " I pray you," cried Benet, " depart 
from me, and tell not me of your ways. He is only my way which 
saith, ' I am the way, the truth, and tlie life.' In this way will I walk, 
his doings shall be my example, not yours, nor your pope's. His truth 
will I embrace, not your falsehood. His everlasting life will I seek, 
the true reward of all faithful people. Vex my soul no longer ; ye 
will not prevail. There is no good example, in you, no truth in you, 
no life to be hoped for at your hands. Ye are more vain than vanity 
itself. If I should hear and follow you, everlasting death would hang 
over me, a just reward for all that love the life of this world." 

His enemies, at length, finding both their threats and their persua- 
sions equally useless, proceeded to judgment, and condemned him to 
the flames ; which being done, and the writ which they had procured 
being brought from London, they delivered him, on the 15th of Janu- 
ary, 1531, to Sir Thomas Dennis, knight, then sheriflf of Devonshire, 
to be burned. 

The holy martyr, rejoicing that his end approached so near, yielded 
himself, with all humbleness, to abide and suffer the cross of persecu- 
tion. And being brought to the place of execution, near Exeter, he 
made his humble confession and prayer unto Almighty God, and re- 
quested all the people present to pray for him ; exhorting them, at the 
same time, with such gravity, and sobriety, and with such force of lan- 
guage, to seek the true knowledge and honour of God, and to leave 
the vain imaginations of man's invention, that all the hearers were as- 
tonished, and in great admiration; and most of them confessed that 
he was God's servant, and a good man. 

Nevertheless, two gentlemen, named Thomas Carew and John 
Barnehouse, standing at the stake by him, first with promises and fair 
words, but at length with threatenings, urged him to revoke his errors, 
to call to our lady and the saints, and to say, " Precor sanctum Ma- 
riam, et omnes saiictos Dei," <fcc. To whom he, with all meekness, 
answered, saying, " No, no ; it is God only upon whose name we must 
call, and we have no other advocate to him but Jesus Christ, who 
died for us, and now sitteth at the right hand of the Father to be an ad- 
vocate for us, and by him must we offer and make our prayers to God, 
if we will have them to take place and be heard." With which answer 
Barnehouse was so enraged, that he took a furze-bush upon a pike, 
and setting it on fire, thrust it into his face, saying, " Heretic ! pray- 
to our lady, and say, Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis, or by God's wounds 
I will make thee do it." 

To whom the martyr meekly and patiently answered, " Alas, Sir, 
trouble me not ;" and holding up his hands, he said, " Pater ignoscc 
illis.''^ Whereupon the persecutors caused the wood and furze to be 
set on fire, and Benet, lifting up his eyes and hands to heaven, cried 
out, " Domine, recipe spiritum mcum.''^ And so continued in his 
prayers until his life was ended. 

To the martyrdoms which have already been recorded, many othei's 


might be added ; but our limits require us to conclude our account o5 
;he persecutions under Henry VIII, which wo shall do with the story 
and martyrdom of William Tindall ; who, although he did not suffer 
in England, deserves a conspicuous notice in these pages, for his great 
zeal and perseverance in the dissemination of truth. 

Life and Martyrdom of William Tindall. 

William Tindall was born about the borders '^f Wales, and brought 
up, from a child, in the University of Oxford, ^\ lere, by long continu- 
ance, he grew up, and increased, as well in the knowledge of tongues 
and other liberal arts, as in the knowledge of the scriptures, to the 
study of which he was much addicted ; insomuch, that being then in 
Magdalen hall, he read privately to some of the students and fellows 
of Magdalen college, in divinity ; instructing them in the knowledge 
and truth of the scriptures ; and all that knew him reputed and es- 
teemed him to be a man of most virtuous disposition, and of unspot 
ted life. 

Having remained some time at Oxford, he removed to the univer- 
sity of Cambridge, where, having made great progress in his studies, 
he quitted that place, and going to Gloucestershire, engaged himself 
to a knight named Welch, as tutor to his children. To this gentle- 
man's hospitable table used to resort several abbots, deans, and other 
beneficed clergymen, with whom Tindall used to converse on the sub- 
jects which at that time principally occupied the attention of all per- 
sons — viz. divinity, and the scriptures. 

Tindall, being learned, and well acquainted with the sacred wri- 
tings, would at first simply avow his opinions, and if those with whom 
'he discoursed objected to his reasonings, he would shoAV them the 
book, and lay plainly before them the open and manifest language 
of the scriptures, to confute their errors, and confirm his sayings. 
And thus they continued for a lime, reasoning and contending toge- 
ther, till at length his opponents became envious, and bore a secret 
grudge in their hearts against him. 

Not long after this, it happened that some of these doctors invited 
Mr. Welch and his wife to a banquet, where they spoke to them with- 
out the fear of contradiction, uttering their blindness and ignorance. 
Then Welch and his wife coming home, and calling for Mr. Tindall, 
began to reason with him about these matters ; when Tindall^ as 
usual, answered by scriptures, maintained the truth, and reproved 
their false opinions. Then said the Lady Welch, a worldly-wise 
woman, " Well, there was such a doctor, which may spend an hun- 
dred, another two hundred, and another three hundred pounds ; and 
were it reason, think you, that we should believe you before them?" 
Tindall gave no answer to this display of purse-proud ignorance at 
that time, and after that, as he saw it would not much avail, he talked 
but little of those matters. At that time he was about the translation 
of a book called Enchiridion militis Christiani, which being finished, 
he delivered to Mr. Welch and his lady ; and after they had well pe- 
rused the same, they were awakened, in some measure, and the pre- 
lates and abbots were not so often invited to their house, neither were 
they so heartily welcomed when they came, as before ; which they 
perceiving, and concluding that it came by means of Tindall, at last 
entirely absented themselves from the house 


Upon this, the priests of tlie country concerting together, began to 
rail against Tindall, in ale-liouses and other places. Tindall himself, 
in his prologue befire the first book of Moses, thus mentions their ill 
treatment of him. " I suffered much," says he, " in that country by 
a sort of unlearned priests, being rude and ignorant, God knoweth ; 
which have seen no more Latin than that only whfch they read in their 
portesses and missals ; which yet many of them can scarcely read, 
except it be Alhertus de secretis mnlicrvm, in which yet, though they 
be never so sorrily learned, they pore day and night, and make notes 
therein, and all to teach the midwives, as they say; and also another 
called Lindwood, a book of constitutions to gather tithes, mortuaries, 
oflerings, customs, and other pillage, which they call not theirs, but 
God's part, the duty of the holy church, to discharge their consciences 
withal. For they are bound that they shall not diminish bnt increase 
all things unto the uttermost of their powers, which pertain to holy 

But these blind priests did not only revile him ; but, by perverting 
what he really said, and adding many false and malicious lies of theii 
own, made out a charge of heresy against him, on which he was ac- 
cused, and summoned before the bishop's chancellor. 

When he appeared before the chancellor, that officer " threatened 
him grievously, reviling and rating at him as though he had been a 
dog, and laid to hlj chaige many things whereof no accuser yet could 
be brought forth, notwithstanding that the priests of the country were 
there present." As they were unable to substantiate their charges, 
Tindall returned home again. 

Not long after, Tindall happened to be in company with a certain 
divine, who was accounted a learned man, and in disputing with him, 
the doctor, overcome by passion, burst out with these blasphemous 
words, "We were better to be without God's laws than the pope's." 
Mr. Tindall, hearing this, full of godly zeal, and shocked by that blas- 
phemous saying, replied, "I defy the pope, and all his laws ;" and 
added, " If God spare my life, ere many years, I will cause a boy that 
driveth the plough to know more of the scripture than you do." 

After this, the grudge of the priests increasing more and more 
against Tindall, they never ceased railingat him, and laid many things 
to his charge, saying, " That he was a heretic in sophistry, in logic, 
and in divinity;" and, "That, although he conducted himself boldly 
to the gentlemen in that county, shortly he should be otherwise talk- 
ed withal." To whom Tindall replied, "That he was contented they 
should bring him into any county in England, giving him ten pounds 
a year to live with, and binding him to no more but to teach children 
and to preach." 

In short, being constantly molested and vexed by the priests, he 
was constrained to leave that part of the country, and to seek another 
residence ; and so coming to Mr. Welch, he requested his perniission 
to depart, saying, "Sir, I perceive that 1 shall not be suffered to tarry 
long here in this country, neither shall you be able, though you would, 
to keep me out of the ..ands of the spirituality ; and also what dis- 
])leasure might grow thereby to you by keeping me, God knoweth, 
for the which I should be sorry." He accordingly departed, and came 
up to London, and there preached awhile. At length, recollecting 
the great commendations bestowed by Erasmus on Tonstall, then 


bishop of London, he thought that it might be very advantageous for 
hiin, if he could obtain a situation in his service. He accordingly 
waited on Sir Henry Gilford, the king's comptroller, and bringing 
with him an oration of Isocrates, which he had translated out of Greek 
into English, he desired him to speak to the bishop for him ; which 
he did; and desired ^indall to write to Tonstall, who accordingly did 
so, and delivered his epistle to a servant. But God, who secretly dis- 
poses all things, saw that was not the best for Tindall's purpose, nor 
for the profit of his church, and therefore allowed him not to find fa- 
vour in the bishop's sight, who said, " That his house was full ; he 
had more than he could well maintain ; and advised him to seek else- 
where in London ; where," he said, " he could lack no service." 

Tindall, therefore, remained in London almost a year, during which 
time he remarked the demeanour of the preachers, how they boasted 
of themselves, and set up their authority and kingdom; also the pomp 
of the prelates, with many other things which greatly vexed him, and 
plainly convinced him that England was no place for him to translate 
the New Testament. Having, therefore, obtained some assistance 
from his friend, Humphrey Munmouth, and other good men, he de- 
parted to Germany ; where, being inflamed with zeal for his country, 
he studied, by all possible means, to bring his countrymen to the same 
understanding of God's holy word and verity, as he himself, by God's 
blessing, enjoyed. 

He perceived, that the principal cause of the people's blindness, 
and of the gross errors of the church, with all their evils, was the scrip- 
tures being concealed in an unknown tongue, by which the truth was 
kept out of sight, and the corruptions of the priests remained unde- 
tected ; and therefore all the labour of these men was to keep it 
down, so that either it should not be read at all, or if it were, they 
would darken the right sense with the mist of their sophistry, and so 
entangle those who rebuked or despised their abominations, worldly 
similitudes, and apparent reasons of natural wisdom, and by wresting 
the scripture to their own purpose, contrary to the meaning of the text, 
would so delude and amaze the unlearned people, that though they 
were sure that all were false, yet could they not solve those subtle 

By these and such other considerations this good man was moved 
and stirred up of God, to translate the scripture into his mother 
tongue, for the utility and profit of the simple people of the country. 
He began with the New Testament, which he translated about the 
year 1527. After that he took in hand the Old Testament, finishing 
the five books of Moses, with learned and godly prefaces to every 
book, as he had also done upon the New Testament. 

He also wrote various other works, amongst which was, " The 
Obedience of a Christian man," wherein with singular dexterity he in- 
structed all men in the office and duty of Christian obedience; another 
treatise was entitled, "The wicked Mammon, the practice of Prelates;" 
with expositions upon certain parts of scripture and other books, in an- 
swer to Sir Thomas More, and other adversaries of the truth. 

His books being published, and sent over to England, it cannot be 
imagined, what a door of light they opened to the eyes of the whole 
nation, which before had been during several centuries shut up in 


At his first departure, he had journeyed into Saxony, where he had 
a conference with Luther, and other learned men ; and after making 
a short stay there, he went into the Netherlands, and resided mostly 
in the town of Antwerp. 

An unfortunate accident occasioned a considerable delay in the 
publication of his Old Testament. Having finished the five books ol 
Moses, he set sail to Hamburgh, with the intention of printing them 
there. But on his voyage, he was shipwrecked, and lost all his manu- 
scripts, with almost all he possessed. He, however, in another ves- 
sel, pursued his voyage, and arriving at Hamburgh, Mr. Coverdale 
helped him in the re-translating what had been lost, which occupied 
them from Easter till December, 1529, in the house of a Miss Mar- 
garet Van Emmerson. Having despatched his business, he returned 
to Antwerp. 

When the New Testament was ready for publication, Tindall added 
at the end, a letter wherein he desired the learned to amend Avhatever 
they found in it amiss. But the bishops and other clergy, not v.illing 
to have that book prosper, cried out against it, asserting that there 
were a thousand heresies in it, and that it was not to be corrected, 
but utterly suppressed. Some said it was not possible to translate 
the scripture into English ; others, that it was not lawful for the laity 
to have it in theii mother tongue, as it would make them all heretics. 
And to induce the temporal rulers to assist them in their purpose, they 
said that it would make the people rebel, and rise against the king. 

The bishops and prelates of the realm, thus incensed and inflamed 
in their minds, and conspiring together, how to suppress the cause ot 
their alarm, never rested, till they had brought the king at last to issue 
a proclamation ordaining that the Testament of Tindall's translation, 
with his other works, and those of other reformed Avriters, should be 
suppressed and burnt. This was about the year 1527. But, not con- 
tented with this, the bloodythirstv crew proceeded further, and strove 
to entangle him in their nets, and to bereave him of his life. 

Whenever the bishops or Sir Thomas More had any poor man un- 
der examination before them, who had been at Antwerp, they most 
studiously would search and examine into every thing relating to 
Tindall ; as, where and with whom he lodged ; what was his stature; 
in what apparel he went ; what company he kept, &c. ; and when 
they had made themselves acquainted with all these things, they then 
began their work of darkness. 

Tindall being in the town of Antwerp, had lodged, about a year, in 
the house of Thomas Pointz, an Englishman, who kept there a house 
for English merchants, when Henry Philips, in appearance a gentle- 
man, and having a servant with him, arrived there ; but wherefore he 
came, or for what purpose he was sent thither, no man could tell. 

Tindall was frequently invited to dinner and supper among mer- 
chants, by which means, this Henry Philips became acquainted with 
him ; so that in a short tinje Tindall conceived a great friendship and 
confidence for him, brought him to his lodging in the house of Pointz, 
and had him also once or twice to dinner and supper, and further en- 
tered into such friendship with him, that he brought him to lodge in 
the house of Pointz. He also sliowed him his books and papers ; so 
Utile did he then mistrust this traitor. 

But Pointz having no great confidence in the fellow, asked Tindall 


how he became acquainted with him. Tindall answeised, that he was 
an honest man, tolerably learned, and very agreeable. Then Pointz, 
perceiving that he was so partial to him, said no more, thinking that 
he was brought acquainted with him by some friend of his. 

Philips being in the town three or four days, desired Pointz to walli 
out with him ; and in walking together without the town, they con- 
versed on various subjects, and on some of the king's affairs ; by 
which talk Pointz as yet suspected nothing, but, by the sequel, he 
perceived what had been intended. In the mean time he learned, 
that he bore no great good will to the reformation, or to the proceed- 
ings of the king of England, and perceived about him a deal of mys- 
tery and a sort of courting liim to make him subservient to his de- 
signs, by the hopes of reward, he always appearing very full of 
money. But Pointz kept at a distance. 

Philips, finding that he could not bring him over to his designs, 
went from Antwerp to the court at Brussels ; and, although the king 
had then no ambassador there, being at variance with the emperor, 
this traitor contrived to bring from thence with him to Antwerp, the 
procurator-general, (the emperor's attorney,) with other officers ; 
which was done at great expense. 

A short time after, Pointz sitting at his door, Philip's servant came 
to him, and asking whether Mr. Tindall were there, said, his master 
would come to him, and so departed. But whether Philips were then 
in the town or not, was not known ; for at that time Pointz saw no 
more either of the master or of the man. 

Within three or four days after, Pointz Avent on business to the 
town of Barrow, eighteen English miles from Antwerp, and in the 
time of his absence. Philips came again to the house of Pointz, and 
coming in, asked Mrs. Pointz for Mr. Tindall, and whether he woult' 
dine there with him, saying, " What good meat shall we have ?" She 
answered, " Such as the market will give." Then he went out again, 
and set the officers which he brought with him from Brussels, in the 
street, and about the door. About noon he returned, and went to 
Mr. Tindall, and desired him to lend him forty shillings ; " for," said 
he, "I lost my purse this morning, coming over at the passage be- 
tween this and Mechlin." So Tindall gave him forty shillings, being 
very easily imposed upon, and entirely unskilled in the wiles and 
subtleties of this world. 

Philips then said, " Mr. Tindall, you shall be my guest here to day." 
" No," said Tindall, " I am engaged this day to dinner, and you shall 
go with me, and be my guest, where you shall be welcome." So 
when it was dinner time they went. 

At the going out of Pointz's house, was a long narrow entry; so 
that two could not go in front. Tindall would have put Philips be- 
fore him. But Philips woald not go, but insisted on Tindall's going 
before. So Tindall, being a man of no great stature, went before, and 
Philips, a tall, comely person, followed him ; and having set officers 
on each side of the door on coming through, Philips pointed with his 
finger over Tindall's head down to him, that the officers might see 
that it was he whom they should take, as they afterwards told Pointz, 
and said, that when they had laid him in prison, " they pitied his sim- 
plicity when they took him." They accordingly seized him, and 
brought him to the emperor's procurator-general, where he dined. 


Then came the procurator-i;eneral to the house of Pointz, and sent 
away all that Avas there of Mr. Tindall's, as well his books as other 
things, and from thence Tindall Avas conveyed to the castle of Filford, 
eighteen miles from Antwerp, where he remained until he was put to 

Some English merchants hearing of his apprehension, sent letters 
in his favour to the court of Brussels. Also, not long after, letters 
were sent from England to the council at Brussels, and to the mer- 
chant adventurers at Antwerp, commanding them to see that those for 
the council were instantly delivered. Then such of the chief of the 
merch.-^.nts as were there at that time, being called together, required 
Pointz to deliver those letters, Avith letters also from them in favour 
"f Tindall, to the lord of BarroAV and others. 

The lord of BarroAV at that time had departed from Brussels, as the 
chief conductor of the eldest daughter of the king of Denmark, to be 
married to the palsgrave, Avhose mother Avas sister to the emperor. 
Pointz, Avhen he heard of his departure, rode after, and overtook him 
at Achon, Avhere he delivered to him his letters; to Avhich he made 
no direct ansAver, but somcAvhat objecting, said, " There Avere some of 
his countrymen Avho had been burned in England not long before;" 
as, indeed, there Avere anabaptists burned in Smithfield, Avhich Pointz 
acknoAvledged. " Howbeit," said he, " Avhatsoever the crime Avas, 
if your lordship, or any other nobleman had Avritten, requiring to have 
thein, I think they should not have been denied." " Well," said he, 
" 1 have no leisure to Avrite, for the princess is ready to ride." 

Then said Pointz, " If it please your lordship, I Avill attend upon 
you unto the next baiting place," Avhich Avas at Maestricht. " If you 
AAdll," replied he, " I Avill advise myself by the Avay Avhat to Avrite." 
Upon this, Pointz folloAved him from Achon to Maestricht, fifteen 
English miles, and there he received letters of him, one to the coun- 
cil at Brussels, another to the company of the merchant adventurers, 
and a third to the Lord CromAvell in England. 

Pointz then rode to Brusscl'', and there delivered to the council 
the letters from England, Avith the lord of BarroAv's letters also, and 
received answers for England, Avhich he brought to AntAverp to the 
English merchants, Avho required him to carry them into England. 
He, very desirous to haA^e Mr. Tindall out of prison, forbore no pains, 
nor regarded the loss of time in his OAvn business, but immediately 
sailed with the letters, Avhich he delivered to the council, and Avas 
commanded by them to Avait until he had answers, Avhich Avas not till 
a month after. At length receiving them, he returned again, and de- 
livered them to the emperor's council at Brussels, and there Avaited 
for their ansAver. 

When he had remained there three or four days, he was told by a 
person Avho belonged to the chancery, that Tindall should have been 
delivered to him according to the tenor of the letters ; but Philips 
being there, followed the, suit against Tindall, and hearing that he 
Avas to be delivered to Pointz, and doubting lest he should thus lose 
his victim, determined to accuse Pointz also, saying, " That he was 
a dweller in the toAvn of Antwerp, and there had been a succourer of 
Tindall, and Avas one of the same opinion : and that all this Avas 
only his oavu labour and suit, to have Tindall at liberty, and no man 


Thus, upon his information and accusation, Pointz was attached 
by the procurator-general, delivered to the custody of two Serjeants 
at arms, and the same evening was examined by a person belonging 
to the chancery, with the procurator-general, who put him to his oath, 
that he should truly make answer to all such things as should be in- 
quired of him. The next day likewise they came again, and further 
examined him ; and so five or six days one after another, upon more 
than a hundred articles, as well of the king's affairs, as of the mes- 
sages concerning Tindall, of his aiders, and of his religion. Out 
of which examinations the procurator-general drew up twenty-three 
or twenty-four articles against Pointz, the copy whereof he delivered 
to him to make answer to, and permitted him to have an advocate and 
proctor ; and it was ordered, that eight days after he should deliver 
to them his answer ; also, that he should send no messenger to Ant- 
werp, nor to any other place, but by the post of the town of Brus- 
sels ; nor send any letters, nor any to be delivered to him, but such as 
were written in Dutch, and the procurator-general, who was party 
against him, was to peruse and examine them thoroughly, contrary to 
all right and equity, before they were sent or delivered ; neither was 
any person sufi'ered to speak or talk with him in any other tongue or 
language, except the Dutch, so that his keepers, who were Dutch- 
men, might understand what was said. After this Pointz delivered 
his answer to the procurator-general, and afterwards, at intervals of 
eight days each, replications and answers were made by both 

When the commissioners came to Pointz, the traitor Philips* ac- 
companied them to the door, as following the process against him ; as 
he also did against Tindall. 

Thus Pointz was exposed to much trouble and suffering on account 
of his generous exertions in favour of Tindall. He was long kept 
in prison ; but, at length, when he saw no other remedy, by night he 
made his escape. But the pious Tindall could not so escape, but re- 
mained during a year and a half in prison ; and then being brought 
to his trial, was offered to have an advocate and a proctor. But he 
refused the offer, saying, " That he would answer for himself;" and 
so he did. 

At last, after much reasoning, where all reason was disregarded, he 
was condemned by virtue of the emperor's decree, made in the assem- 
bly at Augsburgh, and brought to the place of execution, where he 
was tied to the stake, and then strangled first by the hangman, and 
afterwards consumed with fire in the town of Filford, A. D. 1536; 
crying thus at the stake vv^ith a fervent zeal, and a loud voice, " Lord, 
open the king of England's eyes." 

Such was the power of the doctrine, and the sincerity of the life of 
this amiable man, and glorioys martyr, that during ^\s imprisonment 
he converted the keeper, his daughter, and others of his household. 
Also all that were conversant with him in the castle acknowledged, 
that " if he were not a good Christian, thev could not tell whom to 

» It is said that Philips, who betrayed Tindall and Pointz, died of a loathsoma 
disease, being consumed by vermin, who preyed upoil his living carcase. 


Even the procurator-general left this testimony of him, that " he 
was a learned, an excellent, and a godly man." 

To enumerate the virtues and actions of this blessed martyr, would 
require much time, and many pages. Suffice it to say, that he was 
one of those who, by his works, shone as a sun of light amidst a dark 
world, and gave evidence that he was a faithful servant of his master 
and saviour, Jesus Christ. 



Having brought our account of the sufferings and martyrdoms of 
the English reformers down to the death of Henry the Eighth, we 
shall now proceed to relate the cruel persecutions of God's faithful 
servants in Scotland, to the same period ; but it will previously be 
necessary to give a short sketch of the progress of the reformation in 
that country. 

The long alliance between Scotland and France, had rendered the 
two nations extremely attached to each other ; and Paris was the 
place where the learned of Scotland had their education. Yet early 
in the fifteenth century, learning was more encouraged in Scotland, 
and universities were founded in several of the episcopal sees. About 
the same time, some of Wickliffe's followers began to show themselves 
in Scotlctnd ; and an Englishman, named Resby, was burnt in HO'l'i, 
for teaching some opinions contrary to the pope's authority. 

Some years after that, Paul Craw, a Bohemian, who had beejs 
converted by Huss, was burnt for infusing the opinions of that mar- 
tyr into some persons at St. Andrew's. 

About the end of the fifteenth century, Lollardy, as it was then 
called, spread itself into many parts of the diocese of Glasgow, for 
which several persons of quality were accused ; but they answered 
the archbishop of that see with so much boldness and truth, that he 
dismissed them, having admonished them to content themselves with 
the faith of the church, and to beware of new doctrines. 

The same spirit of ignorance, immorality, and superstition, had 
over-run the church of Scotland that was so much complained of in 
other parts of Europe. The total neglect of the pastoral care, and 
the scandalous lives of the clergy, filled the people with such preju- 
dices against tliem, that they were easily disposed to hearken to new 
preachers, amongst the most conspicuous of whom was Patrick 

Story and Martyrdom of Patrick Hamilton. 

This noble martyr was nephew, by his father, to the earl of Arran, 
and by his mother, to the duke of Albany. He was educated for the 
church, and would have been highly preferred, having an abbey given 
him for prosecuting his studies. But going over to Germany, and 
studying at the university of Marpurg, he soon distinguished himself 
by his zeal, assiduity, and great progress, particularly in the scrip- 
tures, which were his grand object, and to which he made every thing 
else subservient. He also became acquainted with Luther and Me- 


lancthon ; and being convinced, from his own researches, of the 
trutli of their doctrines, he burned to impart the light of the gospel to 
his own countrymen, and to show them the errors and corruptions ol 
their church. For this great purpose he returned to Scotland. 

After preaching some time, and holding up the truth to his deludeu 
countrymen, he was, at length, invited to St. Andrew's to confer upon 
the points in question. But his enemies could not stand the light, 
and finding they could not defend themselves by argument, resolved 
upon revenge. Hamilton was accordingly imprisoned. Articles 
were exhibited against him, in which he was charged with having 
denied free-will ; advocated justification by faith alone ; and declared 
that faith, hope, and charity, are so linked together, that one cannot 
exist in the breast without the other. 

Upon his refusing to abjure these doctrines, Beaton, arclibishop of 
St. Andrew's, with the archbishop of Glasgow, three bishops, and five 
abbots, condemned him as an obstinate heretic, delivered him to the 
secular power, and ordered his execution to take place that very 
afternoon ; for the king had gone in pilgrimage to Ross, and they were 
afraid, lest, upon his return, Hamilton's fiiends might have interceded 
efiectually for him. When he was tied to the stake, he expressed 
great joy in his sufferings, since by these he was to enter into ever- 
lasting life. 

A train of powder being fired, it did not kindle the fuel, but only 
burnt his face, which occasioned a delay till more powder was 
bro\ight ; and in that time the friars continually urged him to recant, 
and pray to the Virgin, saying the Salve Res^ina. Among the rest, a 
friar named Campbell, who had been often with him in prison, was 
very officious. Hamilton answered him, that he knew he was not a 
heretic, and had confessed it to him in private, and charged him to 
answer for that at the throne of Almighty God.* By this time the 
gunpowder was brought, and the fire being kindled, he died, repeat- 
ing these words, " Lord Jesus, receive my spirit ! How long, oh 
Lord ; how long shall darkness overwhelm this kingdom ? and how 
long wilt thou suffer the tyranny of these men?" He suffered death 
in the year 1527. 

The views and doctrines of this glorious martyr were such as could 
not fail to excite the highest admiration of every real believer ; and 
they were expressed with such brevity, such clearness, and such pe- 
culiar vigou'* and beauty, (forming in themselves a complete summary 
of the gospel,) that they afforded instruction to all who sought to know 
more of God. 

The force of the truths preached by Hamilton, the firmness of his 
death, and the singular catastrophe of friar Campbell, made strong 
impressions on the people ; and many received the new opinions. 
Scaton, a Dominican, the king's confessor, preaching in Lent, set 
out the nature and method of true repentance, without mixing the di- 
rections which the friars commonly gave on that subject; and when 
another friar attempted to shew the defectiveness of what he had 
taught, Seaton defended himself in another sermon, and reflected on 
those bishops who did not preach, calling them dumb-dogs. But the 
clergy dared not meddle with him, till they had by secret insinuations 

* A short time after this, Campbell became mad, and died within a year. 


ruined bis credit with the king ; and the freedom he used in reproving 
him for his vices, quickly alienated James from Iwm ; upon which he 
withdrew into England, and wrote to the king, taxing the clergy for 
their cruelty, and praying him to restrain it. 

Martyrdom of six Persons. 

In 1543, the archbishop of St. Andrew's, making a visitation into 
various parts of his diocese, several persons wei-e accused at Perth of 
heresy. Among these the six following were condemned to die : Wil- 
liam Anderson, Robert Lamb, James Finlayson, James Hunter, James 
Raveleson, and Helen Stark. 

The accusations laid against them were to the following effect : 

The four first were accused of having hung up the image of St. 
Francis, nailing rams' horns on his head, and fastening a cow's tail 
to his rump ; but the principal matter on which they were condemned 
was, having regaled themselves with a goose on AUhallows eve, a fast 
day, according to the Romish superstition. 

James Raveleson was accused of having ornamented his house with 
the three crowned diadem of Peter, carved in wood, which the arch- 
bishop conceived to be done in mockery to his cardinal's hat. 

Helen Stark was accused of not having accustomed herself to pray 
to the Virgin Mary, more especially during the time she was in child- 

. On these accusations they were all found guilty, and immediately 
received sentence of death ; the four men for eating the goose to be 
hanged; James Raveleson to be burnt; and the woman, with her 
sucking infant, to be put into a sack, and drowned. 

The four men, with the woman and child, suffered at the same time ; 
but James Raveleson was not executed till some days after. 

On the day appointed for the execution of the former, they were all 
conducted, under a proper guard, to the place where they were to suf- 
fer, and were attended by a prodigious number of spectators. 

As soon as they arrived at the place of execution, they all fervently 
prayed for some time ; after which Robert Lamb addressed himself to 
the spectators, exhorting them to fear God, and to quit the practice of 
papistical abominations. 

The four men were all hanged on the same gibbet; and the woman, 
with her sucking child, were conducted to a river adjoining, when, 
being fastened in a large sack, they were thrown into it, and drowned. 

They all suffered their fate with becoming fortitude and resignation, 
committing their departing spirits to that Redeemer who was to be 
their final judge, and who, they had reason to hope, would usher 
them into the realms of everlasting bliss. 

When we reflect on the sufferings of these unhappy persons, we 
are naturally induced, both as men and Christians, to lament their fate, 
and to express our feelings by dropping the tear of commiseration. 
The putting to death four men, for little other reason than that of sa- 
tisfying nature with an article sent by Providence for that very pur- 
pose, merely because it was on a day prohibited by ridiculous bigotry 
and superstition, is shocking indeed ; but the fate of the innocent wo- 
man, and her still more harmless infant, makes human nature tremble 
at the contemplation of what mankind may become, when incited by 
bigotry to the gratification of the most diabolical cruelty. 


Uesides the above mentioned persons, many others were cruelly 
persecuted during the archbishop's stay at Perth, some being banished, 
and others confined in loathsome dungeons. In particular, John 
Rogers, a pious and learned man, was, by the archbishop's orders, 
murdered in prison, and his body thrown over the walls into the street ; 
after Avliich the archbishop caused a report to be spread, that he had 
met with his death in an attempt to make his escape. 

Within a few years after the death of Patrick Hamilton, several 
others suffered for preaching and maintaining the doctrines of that 
truly pious man ; among these, none were more distinguished than 
Mr. George Wishart. 

Life, Sufferings, and Martyrdom of George Wishart. 

Mr. George Wishart was born in Scotland, and after receiving a 
grammatical education at a private school, he left that place, and 
finished his studies at the university at Cambridge. 

The following character of him, during his residence at that univer- 
sity, was written by one of his scholars, and contains so just a picture 
of this excellent man, that we give it at length. 

"About the year of our Lord 1543, there was in the university of 
Cambridge one Mr. George Wishart, commonly called Mr. George of 
Bennet's college, who was a man of tall stature, bald-headed, and on 
the same wore a round French cap ; judged to be of melancholy com 
plexion by his physiognomy, black -haired, long-bearded, comely of 
personage, well spoken after his country of Scotland, courteous, lowly, 
lovely, glad to teach, desirous to lea n, and was well travelled : having 
on him for his habit of clothing, never but a mantle of frieze down to 
the shoes, a black millian fustian doublet, and plain black hose, coarse 
new canvass for his shirts, and white falHng bands and cuffs at his 
hands. All the which apparel he gave to the poor, some weekly, 
some monthly, some quarterly, as he liked, saving his French cap, 
which he kept the whole year of my being with him. 

"He was a man modest, temperate, fearing God, hating covetous- 
ness ; for his charity had never end, night, noon, nor day ; he forbear 
one meal in three, one day in four, for the most part, except some- 
thing to comfort nature. He lay hard, upon a puff of straw, and coarse 
new canvass sheets, which -when he changed he gave away. He had 
commonly by his bed-side a tub of water, in the which (his people 
being in bed, the candle put out and all quiet) he used to bathe him- 
p^'lf, as I being very young, being assured, often heard him, and in 
one light night discerned him. He loved me tenderly, and I him, for 
my age, as effectually. He taught with great modesty and gravity, 
so that some of his people thought him severe, and would have slain 
him, but the Lord was his defence. And he, after due correction for 
their malice, by good exhortation amended them and went his wa>. 
O that the Lord had left him to me his poor boy, that he might have; 
finished that he had begun ! for in his religion he was as you see heie 
in the rest of his life, when he went into Scotland with divers of the 
nobility, that came for a treaty to King Henry the Eighth. His learn 
ing was no less sufficient, than his desire ; always pressed and ready 
to do good in that he was able, both in the house privately, and in ihe 
school publicly, professing and reading divers authors. 

' If I should declare his love to me, and all men, his charity to the 


poor, in giving, relieving, caring, helping, providing, yea, infinitely 
studying how to do good unto all, and hurt to none, I should sooner 
want words than just cause to commend him. 

" All this I testify with my whole heart, and truth, of this godly man. 
He that made all, governeth all, and shall judge all, knoweth that 1 
speak the truth, that the simple may be satisfied, the arrogant con 
founded, the hypocrite disclosed. Emery Tylney." 

In order to improve himself as much as possible in the knowledge 
of literature, he travelled into various foreign countries, where he dis- 
tinguished himself for his great learning and abilities, both in philoso- 
phy and divinity. His desire to promote true knowledge and science 
among men, accompanied the profession of it himself. He was very 
ready to communicate what he knew to others, and frequently read 
various authors, both in his own chamber, and in the public schools. 

After being some time abroad, he returned to England, and took up 
his residence at Cambridge, where he was admitted a member of Ben- 
aet college. Having taken his degrees, he entered into holy orders, 
and expounded the gospel in so clear and intelligible a manner, as 
highly to delight his numerous auditors. 

Being desirous of propagating the true gospel in his OAvn country, he 
left Cambridge in 1544, and in his way to Scotland preached in most 
of the principal towns, to the great satisfaction of his hearers. 

On his arrival in his native land, he first preached at Montrose, and 
afterwards at Dundee. In this last place he made a public exposition 
of the epistle to the Romans, which he went through with so much 
grace, eloquence, and freedom, as delighted the reformers, and alarm- 
ed the papists. 

In consequence of this exposition, one Robert Miln, a principal 
man of Dundee, went, by command of Cardinal Beaton, to the church, 
where Wishart preached, and in the midst of his discourse, publicly 
told him " not to trouble the town any more, for he was determined 
not to sufier it." 

This treatment greatly surprised Wishart, who, after a short pause, 
looking sorrowfully on the speaker and audience, said, " God is my 
witness, that I never intended your trouble, but your comfort ; yea, 
your trouble is more grievous to me than it is to yourselves ; but I am 
assured, to refuse God's word, and to chase from you his messenger, 
shall not preserve you from trouble, but shall bring you into it ; for 
God shall send you ministers that shall neither fear burning nor ba- 
nishment. I have offered you the word of salvation. With the hazard 
of my life I have remained among you : now ye yourselves refuse 
me ; and I must leave my innocence to be declared by my God. If 
it be long prosperous with you, I am not led by the spirit of truth ; but 
if unlooked-for trouble come upon you, acknowledge the cause, and 
turn to God, who is gracious and merciful. But if you turn not at the 
first warning, he will visit you with fire and sword." At the close of 
this speech he left the pulpit and retired. 

After this he went into the west of Scotland, where he preached 
God's word, which was gladly received by many ; till the archbishop 
of Glasgow, at the instigation of Cardinal Beaton, came with his train 
to the town of Ayr, to suppress Wishart, and insisted on havingi- *' . 
church to preach in himself. Some opposed this ; but Wish.ul said, 
"Let him alone, his sermon will not do much hurt; let us go to the 


market-cross." This was agreed to, and Wishart preached a sermon 
that gave imiversal satisfaction to his hearers, and at the same time 
confounded his enemies. 

He continued to propagate the gospel with the greatest alacrity, 
preaching sometimes in one place, and sometimes in another; but 
coming to Macklene, he was, by force, kept out of the church. Some 
of his followers would have broken in ; upon which he said to one 
of them, " Brother, Jesus Christ is as mighty in the fields as in the 
church ; and himself often preached in the desert, at the seaside, and 
other places. The like word of peace God sends by me ; the blood 
of none shall be shed this day for preaching it." 

He then went into the fields, where he preached to the people for 
above three hours ; and such an impression did his sermon make on 
the minds of his hearers, that many of the most wicked men in the 
country became converts to the truth of the gospel. 

A short time after this, Mr. Wishart received intelligence that the 
plague had broken out in Dundee. It began four days after he was 
prohibited from preaching there, and raged so extremely, that incre- 
dible numbers died in the space of twenty-four hours. This being re- 
lated to him, he, notwithstanding the persuasions of his friends, de- 
termined to go thither, saying, " They are now in trouble, and need 
comfort. Perhaps this hand of God will make them now to magnify 
and reverence the word of God, which before they lightly esteemed." 

Here he was with joy received by the godly. He chose the East- 
gate for the place of his preaching ; so that the healthy were within, 
and the sick without the gate. He took his text from these Avords, 
" He sent his word and healed them," &-c. In this sermon he chiefly 
dwelt upon the advantage and comfort of God's word, the judgments 
that ensue upon the contempt or rejection of it, the freedom of God's 
grace to all his people, and the happiness of those of his elect, whom 
he takes to himself out of this miserable world. The hearts of his 
hearers were so raised by the divine force of this discourse, as not to 
regard death, but to judge them the more happy who should then be 
called, not knowing whether they might have such a comforter again 
with them. 

After this the plague abated ; though, in the midst of it, "Wishart 
constantly visited those that lay in the greatest extremity, and com 
forled them by his exhortations. 

When he took his leave of the people of Dundee, he said, " That 
God had almost put an end to that plague, and that he was now called 
to another place." 

He went from thence to Montrose, Avhere he sometimes preached, 
but spent most of his time in private meditation and prayer. 

It is said, that before he left Dundee, and while he was engaged in 
the labours of love to the bodies, as well as to the souls, of those poor 
afl^licted people, Caixlinal Beaton engaged a desperate popish priest, 
called John Weighton, to kill him ; the attempt to execute which was 
r.s follows : One day, after Wishart had finishf d his sermon, and the 
■people departed, the priest stood waiting at the bottom of the stairs, 
with a naked dagger in his hand under his gown. But Mr. Wishart, 
having a sharp, piercing eye, and seeing the priest as he came from 
the pulpit, said to him, " My friend, what would you have ?" And 
Tfimediately clapping his hand upon the dagger, took it from hini. 


The priest, being terrified, fell on his knees, confessed his intention, 
and craved pardon. A noise being hereupon raised, and it coming to 
the ears of those who were sick, they cried, " Deliver the traitor to 
us, we will take him by force ;" and they burst in at the gate. But 
Wishart, taking the priest in his arms, said, " Whatsoever hurts him, 
shall hurt me ; for he hath done me no mischief, but much good, b^ 
teaching me more heedfulness for the time to come." By this con- 
duct he appeased the people, and saved the life of the wicked priest. 

Soon after his return to Montrose, the cardinal again conspired his 
death, causing a letter to be sent to him as if it had been from his 
familiar friend, the laird of Kinnier, in which he was desired, with all 
possible speed, to come to him, because he was taken with a sudden 
sickness. In the mean time, the cardinal had provided sixty armed 
men, to lie in wait within a mile and a half of Montrose, in order to 
murder him as he passed that way. 

The letter coming to Wishart's hand by a boy, who also brought 
him a horse for the journey, Wishart, accompanied by some of his 
friends, set forward ; but something particular striking his mind by 
the way, he returned back, which they wondering at, asked him the 
cause ; to whom he said, " I will not go ; I am forbidden of God ; I 
am assured there is treason. Let some of you go to yonder place, 
and tell me what you find." They accordingly went, discovered the 
assassins, and, hastily returning, they told Mr. Wishart ; whereupon 
he said, " I know I shall end my life by that blood-thirsty man's 
hands, but it Avill not be in this manner." 

A short time after this he left Montrose, and proceeded to Edin- 
burgh, in order to propagate the gospel in that city. By the way he 
lodged with a faithful brother, called James Watson, of Inner Gouiy. 
In the middle of the night he got up, and went into the yard, which 
two men hearing, they privately followed him. 

While in the yard, he fell on his knees, and prayed for some time 
with the greatest fervency ; after which he arose, and returned to his 
bed. Those who attended him, appearing as though they were igno- 
rant of all, came and asked him where he had been ? But he would 
not answer them. The next day they importuned him to tell them, 
saying, " Be plain with us, for we heard your mourning, and saw 
your gestures." 

On this, he, with a dejected countenance, said, " I had rather you 
had been in your beds." But they still pressing upon him to know 
something, he said, " I will tell you ; I am assured that my warfare is 
near at an end, and therefore pray to God with me, that I shrink not 
Avhen the battle waxelh most hot." When they heard this they wept, 
saying, " This is small comfort to us." " Then," said he, " God 
.shall send you comfort after me. This realm shall be illuminated 
with the light of Christ's gospel, as clearly as any realm since the 
days of the apostles. The house of God shall be built in it; yea, it 
shall not lack, in despite of all enemies, the top stone ; neither will it 
be long before this be accomplished. Many shall not sufier after me, 
before the glory of God shall appear, and triumph in despite of Satan. 
But, alas, if the people afterwards shall prove unthankful, then fear- 
ful and terrible will be the plagues that shall follow." 

The next day he proceeded on his journey, and Avhen he arrived at 
Leith, not meeting with those he expected, he kept himself retired for 


a day or two. He then grew pensive, and being asked the reason, he 
answered, " What do I difler from a dead man? Hitherto God hath 
used my labours for the instruction of others, and to the disclosing oi 
darkness ; and now I kirk as a man ashamed to show his face." His 
friends perceived that his desire was to preach, whereupon they said 
to him, " It is most comfortable for us to hear you, but because we 
know the danger wherein you stand, we dare not desire it." He re 
plied, " If you dare hear, let God provide for me as best pleaseth 
him;" after which it was concluded, that the next day he should 
preach in Leith. His text was from the parable of the sower, Matt, 
xiii. The sermon ended, the gentlemen of Lothian, who were ear- 
nest professors of Jesus Christ, would not suffer him to stay at Leith, 
because the governor and cardinal were shortly to come to Edinburgh; 
but took him along with them; and he preached at Branstone, Long- 
niddry and Ormistone. He also preached at Inveresk, near Musel- 
burg : he had a great concourse of people, .and amongst them Sir 
George Douglas, who after sermon said publicly, " I know that the 
governor and cardinal will hear that I have been at this sermon; but 
let them know that I will avow it, and will maintain both the doctrine 
and the preacher, to the uttermost of my power." 

Among others that came to hear him preach, there were two gray- 
friars, who, standing at the church door, whispered to such as came in ; 
which Wishart observing, said to the people, " I pray you make 
room for these two men, it may be they come to learn ;" and turning 
to them, he said, "Come near, for I assure you, you shall hear the 
word of truth, which this day shall seal up to you either your salvation 
or damnation ;" after which he proceeded in his sermon, supposing 
that they would be quiet ; but when he perceived that they still con- 
tinued to disturb the people wiio stood near them, he said to them the 
second time, with an angry countenance, " O ministers of Satan, and 
deceivers of the souls of men, will ye neither hear God's truth your- 
selves, nor suffer others to hear it ? Depart, and take this for your 
portion ; God shaH shortly confound and disclose your hypocrisy 
within this kingdom ; ye shall be abominable to men, and your places 
and habitations shall be desolate." He spoke this with much vehe- 
mency ; then turning to the people, said, "These men have provoked 
the spirit of God to anger ;" after which he proceeded in his sermon, 
highly to the satisfaction of his hearers. 

From hence he went and preached at Branstone, Languedine, Or- 
mistone, and Inveresk, where he was followed by a great concourse 
of people. He preached also in inany other places, the people flock- 
ing after him ; and in all his sermons he foretold the shortness of the 
time he had to travel, and the near approach of his death. When he 
came to Haddington, his auditory began much to decrease, which 
Avas thought to happen through the influence of the earl of Bothwell, 
who was moved to oppose him at the instigation of the cardinal. 
Soon after this, as he was going to church, he received a letter from 
the west country gentlemen, which having read, he called John Knox, 
who had diligently waited on him since his arrival at Lothian ; to 
whom he said, " He was weary of the world, because he saw that 
men began to be weary of God : for," said he, " the gentlemen of 
the west have sent me word, that they cannot keep their meeting ai 

Knox, wonderinof he should enter into conference about thesf 


Slings, immediately before his sermon, contrary to his usual custom, 
said to him, " Sir, sermon time approaches; I will leave you for the 
present to your meditations." 

Wishart's sad countenance declared the grief of his mind. At 
length he went into the pulpit, and his auditory being very small, he 
introduced his sermon with the following exclamation : " O Lord ! 
how long shall it be, that thy holy word shall be despised, and men 
shall not regard their own salvation? I have heard of thee, O Had- 
dington, that in thee there used to be two or three thousand persons 
at a vain and wicked play ; and now, to hear the inessenger of the 
eternal God, of all the parish, can scarce be numbered one hundred 
present. Sore and fearful shall be the plagues that shall ensue upon 
this thy contempt. With lire and sword shalt thou be plagued; yea, 
thou Haddington in special, strangers shall possess thee ; and ye, the 
present inhabitants, shall either in bondage serve your enemies, or 
else ye shall be chased from your own habitations ; and that because 
ye have not known, nar will know, the time of your visitation." 

This prediction was, in a great measure, accomplished not long af- 
ter, when the English took Haddington, made it a garrison, and forced 
many of the inhabitants to flee. Soon after this, a dreadful plague 
broke out in the town, of which such numbers died, that the place be- 
came almost depopulated. 

Cardinal Beaton, being informed that Wishart was at the house of 
Mr. Cockburn of Ormiston, in East-Lothian, applied to the regent to 
cause him to be apprehended; with which, after great persuasion, 
and much against his will, he complied. 

The earl accordingly went, with proper attendants to the house of 
Mr. Cockburn, which he beset about midnight. The master of the 
house, being greatly alarmed, put himself in a posture of defence, 
when the earl told him that it was in vain to resist, for the governor 
and cardinal were within a mile, Avith a great power ; but if he wouhV 
deliver Wishart to him, he would promise, upon his honour, that n 
should be safe, and that the cardinal should not hurt him. Wishai 
said, "Open the gates, the will of God be done;" and Bothwell 
coming in, Wisha^-t said to him, "I praise my God, that so honourable 
a man as you, my lord, receive me this night; for I am persuaded that 
for your honour's sake you will sufl^er nothing be done to me but by 
order of law : I less fear to die openly, than secretly to be murdered." 
Bothwell replied, " I will not only preserve your body from all vio- 
lence that shall be intended against you without order of law; but I 
also promise, in the presence of these gentlemen, that neither the go- 
vernor nor cardinal shall have their will of you ; but I will keep you 
in my own house, till I either set you free, or restore you to the same 
place where I receive you." Then said Mr. Cockburn, " My lord, if 
you make good your promise, which we presume you will, we our- 
selves will not only serve you, but we will procure all the professors 
in Lothian to do the same." 

This agreement being made, Mr. Wishart was delivered into the 
hands of the earl, who immediately conducted him to Edinburgh. 

As soon as the earl arrived at that place, he was sent for by the 
queen, who being an inveterate enemy lo Wishart, prevailed on the 
earl (notwithstanding the promises he had made) to commit him a 
prisoner to the castle. 


Tlie cardinal being informed of Wishart's situation, went to Edin 
burgh, and immediately caused him to be removed from thence to the 
castle of St. Andrew's. 

Tlie inveterate ami persecuting prelate, having now got our martyi 
fully at his own disposal, resolved to proceed immediately to try him 
as a heretic: for which purpose he assembled the prelates at St. An- 
drew's church, on the 27th of February, 1546. 

At this meeting, the archbishop of Glasgow gave it as his opinion, 
that application should be made to the regent, to grant a commission 
to some noblemen to try the prisoner, that all the odium of putting so 
popular a man to death might not lie on the clergy. 

To this the cardinal readily agreed; but upon sending to the re- 
gent, he received the following answer : " that he would do well 
not to precipitate this man's trial, but delay it until his coming; foi 
as to himself, he would not consent to his death before the cause was 
very well examined ; and if the cardinal should do otherwise, he 
would make protestation, that the blood of this man should be re- 
quired at his liands." 

The cardinal was extremely chagrined at this message from the re- 
gent ; however, he determined to proceed in the bloody business he 
had undertaken ; and therefore sent the regent word, " That he had 
not written to him about this matter, as supposing himself to be any 
way dependant upon his authority, but from a desire that the prose- 
cution and conviction of heretics might have a show of public consent • 
which, since he could not this way obtain, he would proceed in thai 
way which to him appeared the most proper." 

In consequence of this, the cardinal immediately proceeded to the 
trial of Wishart, against whom no less than eighteen articles were 
exhibited, which were, in substance, as follows : 

Tliat he had despised the "holy mother-church;" had deceived 
the people ; had ridiculed the mass ; had preached against the sacra- 
ments, saying that there were not seven, but two only, viz. baptism 
and the supper of tlie Lord ; had preached against confession to a 
priest ; had denied transubstantiation and the necessity of extreme 
unction ; v/ould not admit the authority of the pope or the conncik ; 
allowed the eating of flesh on Friday ; condemned prayers to saints; 
spoke against the vows of monks, &c. saying, that " whoever was 
bound to such vows, had vowed themselves to the state of damnation, 
and that it was lawful for priests to marry ;" that he had said, " it 
was in vain to build costly churches to the honour of God, seeing that 
he remained not in churches made with men's hands : nor yet could 
God be in so small a space as between the priest's hands ;" — and, 
finally, that he had avowed his disbelief of purgatory, and had said, 
" the soul of man should sleep till the last day, and should not obtain 
immortal life till that time." 

Mr. Wishart answered these respective articles with great com- 
posure of mind, and in so learned and clear a manner, as greatly 
surprised most of those who were present. 

A bigoted priest, named Lauder, at the instigation of the arch- 
bishop, not only heaped a load of curses on him, but treated him with 
the most barbarous contempt, calling him " runagate, false heretic, 
traitor, and thief;" and not satisfied with that, spit in his face, and 
otherwise maltreated him. 


* 0», this, Mr. Wishart fell on his knees, and after making a prayer 
»i- Oocl, thus addressed his judges : 

" Many and horrible sayings unto me a Christian man, many words 
abominable to hear, have ye spoken here this day ; which not only 
to teach, but even to think, I ever thought a great abomination." 

After the examination was finished, the archbishop endeavoured 
to prevail on Mr. Wishart to recant; but he was too firmly fixed in 
his religious principles, and too much enliglitend with the truth of 
the gospel, to be in the least moved. 

In consequence of this, the archbishop pronounced on him the 
dreadful sentence of death, which he ordered should be put into exe- 
cution on the following day. 

As soon as this cruel and melancholy ceremony was finished, our 
martyr fell on his knees, and thus exclaimed : 

" O immortal God, how long wilt thou sufl!er the rage, and great 
cruelty of the imgodly, to exercise their fury upon thy servants, which 
do further thy word in this world ? Whereas they, on the contrary, 
seek to destroy the truth, whereby thou hast revealed thyself to the 
world. O Lord, we know certainly that thy true servants must needs 
sufler, for thy name's sake, persecutions, afflictions, and troubles, in 
this present world ; yet we desire, that thou wouldest preserve and 
defend thy church, which thou hast chosen before the foundation of 
the world, and give thy people grace to hear thy word, and to be thy 
true servants in this present life." 

Having said this, he arose, and was immediately conducted by the 
ofllicers to the prison from whence he had been brought, in the 

In the evening he was visited by two friars, who told him he must 
make his confession to them ; to whom he replied, " I will not make 
any confession to you ;" on which they immediately departed. 

Soon after this came the sub-prioi-, with whom Wishart conversed 
in so feeling a manner on religious matters, as to make him weep. 
When this man left Wishart, he went to the cardinal, and told him, he 
came not to intercede for the prisoner's life, but to make known his 
innocence to all men. At these words, the cardinal expressed great 
dissatisfaction, and forbid the sub-prior from again visiting Wishart. 

Towards the close of the evening, our martyr was visited by the 
captain of the castle, with several of his friends ; who bringing with 
them some bread and wine, asked him if he would eat and drink with 
them. "Yes," said Wishart, " very Avilhngly, for I know you are 
honest men." In the mean time he desired them to hear him a little, 
when he discoursed with them on the Lord's Supper, his sufferings, 
and death for us, exhorting them to love one another, and to lay aside 
all rancour and malice, as became the members of Jesus Christ, who 
continually interceded for them with his Father. After this he gave 
.hanks to God, and blessing the bread and wine, he took the bread 
and brake it, giving some to each, saying, at the same time, " Eat 
this, remember that Christ died for us, and feed on it spiritually." 
Then taking the cup, he drank, and bade them " remember that 
Christ's blood was shed for them." After this he gave thanks, prayed 
for some time, took leave of his visiters, and retired to his chamber. 

On the morning of his execution, there came to him two friars from 
the cardinal ; one of whom put on him a black linen coat, and the 


other brought several bags of gunpowder, which they tied about dif- 
ferent parts of his body. 

In this dress he was conducted from the room in which he had been 
confined, to the outer chamber of the governor's apartments, there 
to stay till the necessary preparations Avere made for his execution. 

The windows and balconies of the castle, opposite the place where 
he was to suffer, were all hung with tapestry and silk hangings, with 
cushions for the cardinal and his train, who were from thence to feast 
their eyes with the torments of this innocent man. There was also 
a large guard of soldiers, not so much to secure the execution, as to 
show a vain ostentation of power ; besides which, cannon were placed 
on different parts of the castle. 

All the preparations being completed,' Wishart, after having his 
hands tied behind him, was conducted to the fatal spot. In his way 
thither he was accosted by two friars, who desired him to pray to the 
Virgin Mary to intercede for him. To whom he meekly said, " cease ; 
tempt me not, I entreat you." 

As soon as he arrived at the stake, the executioner put a rope 
around his neck, and a chain about his middle ; upon which he fell on 
his knees, and thus exclaimed : 

" O thou Saviour of the world, have mercy upon me ! Father of 
heaven, I commend my spirit into thy holy hands." 

After repeating these words three times, he arose, and turning him- 
self to the spectators, addressed them as follows : 

" Christian brethren and sisters, I beseech you, be not offended at 
the word of God for the torments which you see prepared for me ; 
but I exhort you, that ye love the word of God for your salvation, 
and suffer patiently, and with a comfortable heart, for the word's 
sake, which is your undoubted salvation, and everlasting comfort. 
I pray you also, show my brethren and sisters, who have often heard 
me, that they cease not to learn the word of God, which I taught 
them according to the measure of grace given me, but to hold fast to 
it with the strictest attention ; and show them, that the doctrine was 
no old wives' fables, but the truth of God ; for if I had taught men's 
doctrine, I should have had greater thanks from men : but for the word 
of God's sake I now suffer, not sorrowfully, but with a glad heart 
and mind. For this cause I was sent, that I should suffer this fire 
for Christ's sake ; behold my face, you shall not see me change my 
countenance ; I fear not the fire ; and if persecution come to you for 
the word's sake, I pray you fear not them that can kill the body, and 
have no power to hurt the soul." 

After this, he prayed for his accusers, saying, " I beseech thee. 
Father of heaven, forgive them that have, from ignorance, or an evil 
mind, forged lies of me : I forgive them with all my heart. I beseech 
Christ to forgive them, that have ignorantly condemned me." 

Then, again turning himself to the spectators, he said, " I beseech 
you, brethren, exhort your prelates to learn the word of God, that 
they may be ashamed to do evil, and learn to do good ; or there will 
come upon them the wrath of God, which they shall not eschew." 

As soon as he had finished this speech, the executioner fell on his 
knee? before him, and said, " Sir, I pray you forgive me, for I am 
not th ^ cause of your death." 

In return to this, Wishart cordially took the man by the hand, and 


kissed him, saying, " Lo, here is a token that I forgive thee ; mv 
heart, do thine office." 

He was then fastened to the stake, and the faggots being lighted, 
immediately set fire to the powder that was tied about him, and which 
blew into a flame and smoke. 

The governor of the castle, who stood so near that he was singed 
with the flame, exhorted our martyr, in a few words, to be of good 
cheer, and to ask pardon of God for his oflences. To which he re 
plied, " This flame occasions trouble to my body, indeed, but it hath 
in no wise broken my spirit. But he who now so proudly looks aown 
upon me from yonder lofty place," pointing to the cardinal, " shall, 
ere long, be as ignominiously thrown down, as now he proudly lolls 
at his ease." 

When he had said this, the executioner pulled the rope which was 
tied about his neck with great violence, so that he was soon strangled ; 
and the fire getting strength burnt with such rapidity that in less than 
an hour his body was totally consumed. 

Thus died, in confirmation of the gospel of Christ, a sincere be- 
liever, whose fortitude and constancy, during his sufferings, can only 
be imputed to the support of divine aid, in order to fulfil that memo- 
rable promise, " As is thy day, so shall thy strength be also." 

Cardinal Beaton put to Death. 

The prediction of Mr. Wishart, concerning Cardinal Beaton, is re- 
lated by Buchanan, and others ; but it has been doubted, by some 
later writers, whether he really made such prediction or not. Be 
that as it may, it is certain, that the death of Wishart did, in a short 
time after, prove f;ital to the cardinal himself; the particulars of 
which we subjoin. 

Soon after the death of Mr. Wishart, the cardinal went to Finha- 
ven, the seat of the earl of Crawford, to solemnize a marriage be- 
tween the eldest son of that nobleman, and his ov/n natural daughter, 
Margaret. While he was thus employed, he received intelligence 
that an English squadron was upon the coast, and that consequently 
an invasion was to be feared. Upon this he immediately returned to 
St. Andrew's, and appointed a day for the nobility and gentry to meet, 
and consult what was proper to be done on this occasion. But as no 
farther news was heard of the English fleet, their apprehensions of 
an invasion soon subsided. 

In the mean time Norman Lesley, eldest son of the earl of Rothes, 
who had been treated by the cardinal with injustice and contempt, 
formed a design, in conjunction with his uncle John Lesley, who 
hated Beaton, and others who were inflamed against him on account 
of his persecution of the protestants, the death of Wishart, and otiier 
causes, to assassinate the prelate, though he now resided in the castle 
of St. Andrews, which he was fortifying at great expense, and had, 
in the opinion of that age, already rendered almost impregnable. 

The cardinal's retinue was numerous, the town was at his devotion, 
and the neighbouring country full of his dependants. However, the 
conspirators, who were in number only sixteen, having concerted 
their plan, met together early in the morning, on Saturday the 30th 
of May. The first thing they did, was to seize the porter of the 
castle, from whom they took the keys, and secured the gate. They 


then sent four of their party to watch the cardinal's chamber, that h(! 
might liave no notice given him of what was doing ; after which they 
went and called up the servants and attendants, to whom they were 
well known, and turned them out of the gate, to the number of fifty, 
as they did also upwards of a hundred workmen, who were employed 
in the fortifications and buildings of the castle ; but the eldest son of 
the regent, (whom the cardinal kept with him, under pretence of su- 
perintending his education, but in reality as a hostage,) they kept for 
their own security. 

All this was done with so little noise, that the cardinal was not 
waked till they knocked at nis chamber door ; upon Avhich he cried 
out, " Who is there ?" John Lesley answered, "My name is Les- 
ley." " Which Lesley ?" inquired tlie cardinal ; " is it Norman ?" It 
was answered, that he must open the door to those who were there ; 
but instead of this he barricaded it in the best manner he could. How- 
ever, finding that they had brought fire in order to force their way, 
and they having, as it is said by some, made him a promise of his life, 
he opened the door. They immediately entered with their swords 
drawn, and John Lesley smote him twice or thrice, as did also Peter 
Carmichael ; but James Melvil, (as Mr. Knox relates the affair,) per- 
ceiving them to be in choler, said, " This work, and judgment of 
God, although it be secret, ought to be done with greater gravity ;" 
and presenting the point of his sword to the cardinal, said to him, 
" Repent thee of thy wicked life, but especially of the shedding of the 
blood of that notable instrument of God, Mr. George Wishart, which 
albeit the flame of fire consumed before men, yet cries it for ven- 
geance upon thee ; and we from God are sent to revenge it. For here, 
before my God, I protest, that neither the hatred of thy person, the 
love of thy riches, nor the fear of any trouble thou couldst have done 
to me in particular, moved or moveth me to strike thee ; but only be- 
cause thou hast been, and remainest, an obstinate enemy of Christ 
Jesus, and his holy gospel." Having said this, he, with his sword, 
run the cardinal twice or thrice through the body ; who only said, "I 
am a priest! Fie! fie! all is gone?" and then expired, being about 
fifty-two years of age. 

Thus fell Cardinal Beaton, who had been as great a persecutor 
against the protestants in Scotland, as Bonner was in England ; and 
whose death was as little regretted by all true professors of Christ's 

The character of this distinguished tyrant is thus given by a cele- 
brated writer : 

" Cardinal Beaton had not used his power with moderation equal to 
the prudence by which he obtained it. Notwithstanding his great 
abilitie3, he had too many of the passions and prejudices of an angry 
leader of a faction, to govern a divided people with temper. His re- 
sentment against one part of the nobility, his insolence towards the 
rest, his severity to the reformers, and, above all, the barbarous and 
illegal execution of the famous George Wishart, a man of honourable 
birth, and of primitive sanctity, wore out the patience of a fierce age, 
and nothing but a bold hand was wanting, to gratify the public wish 
by his destruction." 

The death of Cardinal Beaton, for a short time, gave new spirits to 
the reformed in all parts of Scotland ; but their pleasing expectations 


were damped, when they discovered the disposition of his successor, 
John Painilton, who was no less a rigid papist, and violent persecutor 
of the protestants, than his predecessor. 

The history of this man's proceedings, our limits will not allow us 
to record. Many who favoured the reformed doctrine were imprison- 
ed by him ; others were banished, and some siifTcred death. We have 
room to notice only the history of "Walter Mille. 

Martyrdom of Walter Mille. 

The last person who suffered martyrdom in Scotland, for the cause 
of Christ, was one Walter Mille, who was burnt at Edinburgh in the 
year 1558. 

This person, in his younger years, had travelled into Germany, 
and on his return was installed a priest of the church of Lunan in 
Angus ; but, on an information of heresy against him, in the time of 
Cardinal Beaton, he was forced to abandon his charge, and abscond. 

After the death of that prelate he returned, not knowing the perse- 
cuting spirit of his successor. Being well known by several bigoted 
papists in the neighbourhood, they accused him of heresy ; in conse- 
quence of which he was apprehended, and committed to prison. 

A few days, after he was brought before the archbishop and his 
suffragans, in order to be examined relative to his religious opinions ; 
when Sir Andrew Oliphant, by order of the archbishop, interrogated 
him as follows : 

Oliphant. What think you of priest's marriage? 

Mille. I hold it a blessed band : for Clirist himself maintained it, 
artd approved the same, and also made it free to all men ; but you 
think it not free to you ; ye abhor it, and in the mean time take other 
men's wives and daughters, and will not keep the band God hath 
made. Ye vow chastity, and break the same. Tlie Apostle Paul 
had rather marry than burn ; the which I have done, for God never 
forbade marriage to any man, what state or degree soever he were. 

Oliphant. Thou sayest there be not seven sacraments. 

Mille. Give me the Lord's supper, and baptism, and take you the 
rest, and part them among you. For if there be seven, v hy have 
you omitted one of them, to wit, marriage, and given yourself to 
whoredom ? 

Oliphant. Thou art against the blessed sacrament of the altar, and 
sayest that the mass is wrong, and is idolatry. 

Mille. A lord or a king sendeth and calleth many to a dinner, and 
Avhen the dinner is in readiness, he causeth to ring a bell, and the men 
come to the hall, and sit down to be partakers of the dinner, but the 
lord, turning his back unto them, eateth all himself, and mocketh 
them ; so do ye. 

Oliphant. Thou deniest the sacrament of the altar to be the very 
body of Christ really in flesh and blood. 

Mille. The scripture of God is not to be taken carnally, but spi- 
ritually, and standeth in faith only; and as for the mass, it is wrong, 
for Christ was once offered on the cross for man's trespass, and will 
never be oflered again, for then he ended all sacrifices. 

Oliphant. Thou deniest the office of al)ishop. 

Mille. I affirm that they, whom ye call bishops, do no bishops' 
works ; nor use the office of bishop, as Paul biddeth, writing to Tiroo- 


ihy. but live after their own sensual pleasure, and take no care of the 
flock ; nor yet regard they the word of God, but desire to be honoured 
and called my lords. 

Oliphant. Thou spakcst against pilgrimage, and calledst it a pil 
grimage to whoredom. 

Mille. 1 affirm and say, that it is not commanded in the scripture, 
and that there is no greater whoredom in any place, than at your pil- 
grimages, except it be in common brothels. 

Oliphan* Thou preachedst secretly and privately in houses, and 
openly in the fields. 

Mille. Yea, man, and on the sea also, sailing in a ship. 

Oliphant. Wilt thou not recant thy erroneous opinions? and if thou 
wilt not, I will pronounce sentence against thee. 

Mille. I am accused of my life ; I know I must die once, and 
therefore, as Christ said to Judas, quod facis fac citius. Ye shall 
know that I will not recant the truth, for I am corn, I am no chaff; I 
will not be blown away with the wind, nor burst Avith the flail ; but I 
will abide both. 

In consequence of this, sentence of condemnation was immediately 
passed on him, and he was conducted to prison in order for execution 
the following day. 

This steadfast believer in Christ was eighty-two years of age, and 
very infirm ; from whence it was supposed, that he could scarcely be 
heard. However, when he was led to the place of execution, he ex- 
pressed his religious sentiments with such courage, and at the same 
time composure of mind, as astonished even his enemies. As soon 
as he was fastened to the stake, and the fagots lighted, he addressed 
the spectators as follows : 

" The cause why I suffer this day is not for any crime, (though I 
iicknowledge myself a miserable sinner,) but only for the defence of 
the truth as it is in Jesus Christ ; and I praise God who hath called 
me, by his mercy, to seal the truth with my life ; Avhich, as I received 
it from him, so 1 willingly offer it up to his glory. Therefore, as you 
would escape eternal death, be no longer seduced by the lies of the 
seat of antichrist ; but depend solely on Jesus Christ, and his mercy, 
that you may be delivered from condemnation." He then added, 
•' That he trusted he should be the last who would suffer death in 
Scotland upon a religious account." 

Thus did this pious Christian cheerfully give up his life, in defence 
of the truth of Christ's gospel, not doubting but he should be made a 
partaker of his heavenly kingdom. 

The people were so grieved at the death of this good man, that, as 
a monument of it to future ages, they raised a pile of stones on the 
spot where he suffered. This, however, was removed by order of the 
popish clergy, but replaced again by the people several times, till at 
length a guard was appointed to apprehend all persons who should 
carry stones to that place. 

It is remarkable that from the univerral esteem in Avhich this man 
was held by the people, a cord could not be found to tie him with after 
his condemnation ; and on that very account his execution was post- 
poned until the r-ext morning, when they were reduced to the neces- 
sity of using the cords belonging to the archbishop's paviHon. 

The death of Walter Mille proved the overthrow of popery in Scot 


land. The clergy were so sensible that their affairs were fulling to 
decay, that they, from that time, never dared to proceed to a capital 
punishment, on account of religion ; insomuch, that in the synod held 
in Edinburgh, in July this year, 1558, some persons who had been 
impeached of heresy were only condemned, upon their non-appear- 
ance, to make a public recantation at the market-cross of that city, on 
the 1st of September following, being St. Giles's day, the tutelar saint 
of that place. 

It was usual, at the feast of this saint, which now nearly approached, 
to carry his image in procession through the town, and the queen re- 
gent was to honour the solemnity with her presence. But when the 
time was come, the image was missing : it having been stolen from 
its station, by some who were too wise to pray to it. 

This caused a halt to be made, till another image was borrowed 
from the Gray-friars, with which they set forward ; and after the 
queen had accompanied them a considerable way, she withdrew into 
the castle, where she was to dine. But no sooner was she gone, than 
some persons who had been purposely appointed, tore the picture 
from off the shoulders of those who carried it, threw it into the dirt, 
and totally destroyed it. 

This gave such universal satisfaction to the people, that a general 
shout ensued, and a riot continued in the street during some hours ; 
which was at length suppressed by the vigilance of the magistrates. 

About the same time a great disturbance happened at Perth, the 
circumstances attending which were as follows ; a celebrated reformist 
minister having preached to a numerous congregation, after sermon 
Avas over, some godly persons remained in the church, Avhen a priest 
was so imprudent as to open a case, in which was curiously engraved 
the figures of many saints ; after which he made preparations for say- 
ing mass. A young man observing this, said aloud, " This is intole- 
rable ! As God plainly condemns, in scripture, idolatry, shall we stand 
and see such an insult?" The priest was so offended at this, that he 
struck the youth a violent blow on the head, on which he broke one 
of the figures in the case, when immediately all the people fell on the 
priest and destroyed every thing in the church that tended to idolatry. 
This being soon known abroad, the people assembled in large bodies, 
and proceeded to the monasteries of the Gray and Black Friars, both 
of which they stripped ; and then pulled down the house of the Car- 
thusians ; so that in the space of two days nothing remained of those 
noble buildings but the bare walls. The like kind of outrages were 
committed in many other towns in the kingdom. 

At this time there were many persons who made it their business 
to solicit subscriptions in order to carry on the work of reformation, 
and to abolish popery. Among these v.cre several of the nobility, 
particularly the earl of Argyle, the Lord James Stewart, the earl of 
G/encairn, &c. 

The endeavours of these noble reformists were attended with such 
success, that they at length effected a complete reformation in the 
kingdom ; though they met with many obstacles from their inveterate 
enemies the papists. 




Edward was the only son of King Henry, by his beloved wife. 
Jane Seymour, who died the day after his birth, which took place od 
the 12th of October, 1537, so that, when he came to the throne, in 
1547, he was but ten years old. 

At six years of age he was put into the hands of Dr. Cox and Mr. 
Chcke i the one was to form his mind, and teach him philosophy and 
divinity ; the other to teach him languages and mathematics ; other 
masters were also appointed for the various parts of his education. 
He discovered very early a good disposition to religion and virtue, 
and a particular reverence for the scriptures; and was once greatly 
offended with a person, who, in order to reach something hastily, laid 
a great Bible on the floor, and stood upon it. He made great progress 
in learning, and at the age of eight years, wrote Latin letters fre- 
quently both to the king, to Queen Catherine Parr, to the archbishop 
of Canterbuiy, and his uncle, the earl of Hertford. 

Upon his father's decease, the earl of Hertford and Sir Anthony 
Brown were sent to bring him to the tower of London ; and when 
Henry's death was published, he was proclaimed king. 

The education of Edward, having been entrusted to protestants, 
and Hertford, afterwards created duke of Somerset, being appointed 
protector, and favouring the reformation, that cause greatly advanced; 
notwithstanding the opposition of some in power, among whom were 
Gardiner, Bonner, Touslatt, and, above all, the Lady Mary, the next 
heir to the throne. 

Under the auspices of the young king, Cranmer determined to pro- 
ceed more vigorously in the work of reformation. Accordingly, as 
a beginning, a general visitation of all the churches in England was 
resolved upon. The visiters were accompanied by preachers, who 
were to justify their conduct, and to reason away existing supersti- 

The only thing by which the people could be universally instruct- 
ed, was a book of homilies : therefore the twelve first homilies in the 
book, still known by that name, were compiled. The chief design of 
these homilies was to instruct the people as to the nature of the gos- 
pel covenant. 

About the same time, orders were given to place a Bible in every 
church ; which, though it had been commanded by Henry, had not 
been generally complied with. This was accompanied by Erasmus' 
paraphrase of the New Testament. The great reputation of that 
learned man, and his dying in the communion of the Roman church, 
rendered his paraphrase preferable to any other work then extant. 

Injunctions, also, were added for removing images, and abolishing 
customs which engendered superstition. The scriptures were to be 
read more frequently in public, preacliing and cntcc.hising were also 
to be more frequent, and the clergy were to be exhorted to be more 
exemplary in their lives. 

Next, the Liturgy Avas revised, and the marriage of the priests 
agreed to. Acts were passed by parliament in aid of the views and 


proceedings of the reformers. The new liturgy was generally intro- 
duced, and to great numbers proved highly acceptable. The prin- 
cess Mary, however, steadfastly refused it, and continued to hear 
mass in her chapel. 

The greater number of the bishops were now friends of the re- 
formation. It was thought, therefore, to be a convenient time to 
settle the doctrine of the church. Accordingly, a body of articles was 
framed by the bishops and clergy. These articles were forty-tv»^o in 
number. In Elizabeth's reign they were reduced to thirty-nine, and 
have been continued from that day to the present to be the acknow- 
ledged creed of the church of England. 

The reformers next proceeded to revise anew the lately published 
book of common prayer. In the daily service they added the confes- 
sion and absolution ; " that so the worship of God might begin with 
a grave and humble confession ; after which a solemn declaration of 
the mercy of God, according to the terms of the gospel," was to be 
pronounced by the priest. At the same time all popish customs were 
finally abolished. The liturgy, as now established, with the excep- 
tion of a few trifling alterations, made under Elizabeth, assumed its 
present appearance. 

While the reformation was thus proceeding, and was likely, under 
providence, to terminate in an abandonment of every vestige of the 
Roman superstition, the pi-ospects of the reformers were suddenly 
overcast by the afflicting illness and death of the young king. 

He had contracted great colds by violent exercises, which, in Janu- 
ary, settled into so obstinate a cough that all the skill of physicians, 
and the aid of medicine, proved ineflectual. There was a suspicion 
over all Europe, that he was poisoned ; but no certain grounds ap- 
pear for justifying it. 

During his sickness, Riclley preached before him, and among other 
things spoke much on works of charity, and the duty of men of high 
condition, to be eminent in good works. The king was much touched 
with this ; and after the sermon, he sent for the bishop, and treated 
him with such respect that he made him sit down and be covered : he 
then told him what impression his exhortation had made^on him, and 
therefore he desired to be directed by him how to do his duty in that 

Ridley took a little time to consider of it, and after some consulta- 
tion with the lord mayor and aldermen of London, he brought the 
king a scheme of several foundations ; one for the sick and wounded , 
another for such as were wilfully idle, or were mad ; and a third for 
orphans. Edward, acting on this suggestion, endowed St. Bartholo- 
mew's hospital for the first. Bridewell for ihe second, and Christ's 
hospital, near Newgate, for the third ; and he enlarged the grant 
which he had made the year before, for St. Thomas's hospital, in 
Southwark. The statutes and warrants relating to these were not 
finished till the 26th of June, though he gave orders to make all the 
haste that was possible: and when he set his hand to them, he blessed 
God for having prolonged his life till he had finished his designs con- 
cerning them. These houses have, by the good government and the 
great charities of the city of London, continued to be so useful, and 
grown to be so well endowed, that now they may be reckoned among 
the noblest in Europe. 


The king bore his sickness with great submission to the will ol 
God, and seemed concerned in nothing somuchas the state that reli 
gion and the church would be in after his death. The duke of Nor- 
thumberland, who was at the head of aflairs, resolved to improve the 
fears the king Avas in concerning religion, to the advantage of Lady 
Jane Grey, who was married to his son, Lord Guilford Dudley. Ed- 
ward was easily persuaded by him to order the judges to put some 
articles, Avhich he had signed, for the succession of the crown, in the 
common form of law. They answered, that the succession being 
settled by act of parliament, could not be taken away, except by par- 
liament ; yet the king persisted in his orders. 

The judges then declared, before the council, that it had been made 
treason by an act passed in this reign, to change the succession; so 
that they could not meddle with it. Montague was chief justice, and 
spake in the name of the rest. 

On this, Northumberland fell into a violent passion, calling him 
traitor, for refusing to obey the king's commands. But the judges 
were not moved by his threats ; and they were again brought before 
the king, who sharply rebuked them for their delays. They replied, 
that all they could do would be of no force without a parliament; yet 
they were required to perform it in the best manner they could. 

At last Montague desired they might first have a pardon for what 
they were to do, which being granted, all the judges, except Cosnaid 
and Hales, agreed to the patent, and delivered their opinions, that the 
lord chancellor might put the seal to the articles, drawn up by the 
king, and that then they would be good in law. Cosnaid was at last 
prevailed on to join in the same opinion, so that Hales, who was a 
zealous protestant, was the only man who stood out to the last. 

The privy counsellors were next required to sign the paper. Cecil, 
in a relation he wrote of this transaction, says, that " hearing some 
of the judges declare so positively that it was against law, he refused 
to set his hand to it as a privy counsellor, but signed it only as a wit- 
ness to the king's subscription." 

Cranmer came to the council Avhen it was passed there, and refused 
to consent to it, when he was pressed to it ; saying, " he would never 
have a hand in disinheriting his late master's daughters." The dying 
king, at last, by his importunity, prevailed with him to do it ; upon 
which the great seal was put to the patents. 

The king's distemper continued to increase, so that the physicians 
despaired of his recovery. A confident woman undertook his cure, 
and he was put into her hands, but she left him worse than she found 
him ; and this heightened the jealousy against the duke of Northum 
berland, who had introduced her, and dismissed the physicians. A 
last, to crown his designs, he got the king to write to his sisters to 
come and divert him in his sickness ; and the exclusion had been 
conducted so secretly, that they, apprehending no danger, began their 

On the 6th of July the king felt the approach of death, and prepared 
himself for it in a most devout manner. He was often heard offer- 
ing up prayers and ejaculations to God ; particularly a few moments 
before he died he prayed earnestly that the Lord would take him 
out of this wretched life, and committed his spirit to him ; he inter- 
ceded very fervently for his subjects ihat God would preserve Eng- 


land from popery, and maintain his true religion them. Tlie 
last Avords he uttered were these, " I am faint ; Lord have mercy upon 
me, and take my spirit." 

The death of so pious a prince — of one who had the reformation of 
the church so much at heart, was, indeed, a mysterious Providence. 
But God saw fit so to order circumstances, as to show more fully the 
awful pride and intolerant spirit of the papacy. The cruel martyr- 
doms to which we now proceed, form a tremendous comment on the 
genius of popery. If it could give birth to such barbarities as the 
reader will notice in the subsequent pages of this volume, and could 
sanction them, and even to this day can justify them — can it have pro- 
ceeded from the gospel of Him who proclaimed " peace on earth, 
and good will to men ?" 



It has been asserted by the Roman Catholics, " That all those who 
suffered death, during the reign of Queen Mary, had been adjudged 
guilty of high treason, in consequence of their rising in defence of 
Lady Jane Grey's title to the crown." To disprove this, however, is 
no difficult matter, since every one conversant in English history 
must know, that those who are found guilty of high treason, are to be 
hanged and quartered. But how can even a papist affirm, that ever 
a man in England was burned for high treason ? We admit, that 
some few suffered death in the ordinary way of process at common 
law, for their adherence to Lady Jane ; but none of those were burned. 
Why, if traitors, were they taken before the bishops, who have no 
power to judge in criminal cases? Even allowing the bishops ' , have 
had power to judge, yet their own bloody statute did not empower 
them to execute. The proceedings against the martyrs are still ex- 
tant, and they are carried on directly according to the forms pre- 
scribed by their own statute. Not one of those who were burned in 
England, was ever accused of high treason, much less were they tried 
at common law. And this should teach the reader to value a history 
of transactions in his own country, particularly as it relates to the 
sufferings of the blessed martyrs in defence of the religion he pro- 
fesses, in order that he may be able to remove the veil which falsehood 
has cast over the face of truth. Having said thus much, by way of 
introduction, we shall proceed with the acts and monuments of the 
British martyrs. 

By the death of King Edward, the crown devolved, according to 
law, on his eldest sister Mary, who was within half a day's journey 
to the court, when she had notice given her by the earl of Arundel, of 
her brother's death, and of the patent for Lady Jane's succession. 
Upon this she retired to Framlingham, in Suffolk, to be near the sea, 
that she might escape to Flanders in case of necessity. Before she 
arrived there, she wrote, on the 9th of July, to the council, telling 


them, that " she understood that her brother was dead, by which she 
succeeded to the crown, but wondered that she heard not from them ; 
she well understood what consultations they had engaged in, but she 
would pardon all such as would return to their duty, and proclaim her 
title to the crown." 

It was now found, that the king's death could be no longer kept a 
secret ; accordingly some of the privy council Avent to Lady Jane, and 
acknowledged her as their queen.* The news of the king's death 
afflicted her much, and her being raised to the throne, rather increased 
than lessened her trouble. She was a person of extraordinary abili- 
ties, acquirements, and virtues. She was mistress both of the Greek 
and Latin tongues, and delighted much in study. As she was not 
tainted with the levities which usually accompany her age and sta- 
tion, so she seemed to have attained to the practice of the highest for- 
titude ; for in those sudden turns of her condition, as she was not ex- 
alted with the prospect of a crown, so she was little cast down, when 
her palace was made her prison. The only passion she showed, was 
that of the noblest kind, in the concern she expressed for her father 
and husband, who fell with her, and seemingly on her account ; 
though, in reality, Northumberland's ambition, and her fatJier's weak- 
ness, ruined her. 

She rejec<ed the crown, when it was first offered her ; she said, she 
knew that of right it belonged to the late king's sisters, and therefore 
could not with a good conscience assume it; but she was told, that 
both the judges and privy counsellors had declared, that it fell to her 
according to law. This, joined with the importunities of her hus- 
band, her father, and father-in-law, made her submit. — Upon this, 
twenty-one privy counsellors set their hands to a letter to Mary, telling 
her that Queen Jane was now their sovereign, and that as the mar- 
riage between her father and mother had been declared null, so she 
could not succeed to the crown ; ihey therefore required her to lay- 
down her pretensions, and to submit to the settlement now made; and 
if she gave a ready obedience, promised her much favour. The day 
after this they proclaimed Jane. 

Northumberland's known enmity to the late duke of Somerset, and 
the suspicions of his being the author of Eduard's untimely death, be- 
got a great aversion in the people to him and his family, and disposed 
them to Hvour Mary; who, in the mean time, was very active in rais- 
ing forces to support her claim. To attach the protestants to her 
cause, she promised not to make any change in the reformed worship, 
as established under her brother ; and on this assurance a large body 
of the men of Suffolk joined her standard. 

Northumberland was now perplexed between his wish to assume the 
command of an army raised to oppose Mary, and his fear of leaving 
London to the government of the council, of whose fidelity he enter- 
tained great doubts. He was, however, at length obliged to adopt the 
latter course, and before his departure from tlie metropolis, he adjured 
the members of the council, and all persons in authority, to be stead- 
fast in their attachment to the cause of Queen Jane, on whose suc- 

♦ The Lady Jane was (daughter to the duke of SufToIk, and grand-daughter to Mary, 
sister to FIcnry VIII. who, on- the death of her first husband, the king of France, mar- 
ried Charles Brandon, afterwards created duke of SuffolL 


cess, he assured them, depended the continuance of the protestant re- 
ligion i.i England. They promised all he required, and he departed, 
encouraged by their protestations and apparent zeal. 

Mary's party in the mean time continued daily to augment. Hast- 
ings went over to her with 4000 men out of Buckinghamshire, and 
she was proclaimed queen in many places. At length the privy 
council began to see their danger, and to think how to avoid it ; and 
besides fears for their personal safety, other motives operated with 
many of the members. To make their escape from the tower, where 
they were detained, ostensibly to give dignity to the court of Queen 
Jane, but really as prisoners, they pretended it was necessary to give 
an audience to the foreign ambassadors, who would not meet them in 
the tower; and the earl of Pembroke's house was appointed for the 

"When they met there they resolved to declare for Queen Mary, and 
rid themselves of Northumberland's yoke, which they knew they must 
bear, if he were victorious. They sent for the lord mayor and alder- 
men, and easily gained their concurrence ; and Mary was proclaimed 
queen on the 19th of July. They then sent to the tower, requiring 
the duke of Sufiblk to quit the governmiCnt of that place, and the Lady 
Jane to lay down the title of queen. To this she submitted with much 
greatness of mind, and her father with abjectness. 

The council next sent orders to Northumberland to dismiss his 
forces, and to obey the queen. When Northumberland heard this, 
he disbanded his forces, went to the market-place at Cambridge, Avhere 
he then was, and proclaimed Mary as queen. The earl of Arundel 
was sent to apprehend him, and when Northumberland was brought 
before him, he, in the most servile manner, fell at his feet to beg his 
favour. He, with three of his sons, and Sir Thomas Palmer, (his 
wicked tool in the destruction of the duke of Somerset,) were all sent 
to the tower. 

Every one now flocked to implore the queen's favour, and Ridley 
among the rest, but he was committed to the tower ; the queen be- 
ing resolved to put Bonner again in the see of London. Some of the 
judges, and several noblemen, were also sent thither, among the rest 
the duke of Suffolk ; who was, however, three days after set at liber- 
ty. He was a weak man, could do little harm, and was consequently 
selected as the first person towards whom the queen should exert ner 

Mary came to London on the 3d of August, and on the Avay was met 
by her sister, Lady Elizabeth, with a thousand horse, whom she had 
raised to assist the queen. On arriving at the tower, she liberated 
the duke of Norfolk, the dutchess of Somerset, and Gardiner; also the 
Lord Courtney, son to the marquis of Exeter, who had been kept there 
ever since his father's attainder, and whom she now made earl of 

Thus was seated on the throne of England the Lady Mary, who, to 
a disagreeable person and weak mind, united bigotry, superstition, and 
cruelty. She seems to have inherited more of her mother's than her 
father's qualities. Henry was impatient, rough, and ungovernable ; 
but Catherine, while she assumed the character of a saint, harboured 
inexorable rancour and hatred against the protestants. It was the 
same with her daugiiiei M2ry. as appears from a letter in her own 


handwriting, now in the British Museum. In this letter, which is a.l 
dressed to Bishop Gardiner, she declares her fixed intention of burn 
ing every protestant ; and there is an insinuation, that as soon as cir- 
cumstances would permit, she would restore back to the church the 
lands that had been taken from the convents. This was the greatest 
instance of her weakness that she could show : for, in the first place, 
the convents had been all demolished, except a few of their churches ; 
and the rents were in the hands of the first nobility, who, rather than 
part with them, Avould have overturned the government both in church 
and state. 

Mary was crowned at Westminster in the usual form ; but dreadful 
were the consequences that followed. The narrowness of spirit 
which always distinguishes a weak mind from one that has been en- 
larged by education, pervaded all the actions of this princess. Un- 
acquainted with the constitution of the country, and a slave to super 
stition, she thought to domineer over the rights of private judgment, 
and trample on the privileges of mankind. 

The first exertion of her regal power was to wreak her vengeance 
up(;n all those who had supported the title of Lady Jane Grey. 

The first of these was the duke of Northumberland, who was be- 
headed on Tower Hill, and who, in consequence of his crimes, arising 
from ambition, died unpitied ; nay, he was even taunted on the scaf- 
fold by the spectators, who knew in what manner he had acted to the 
good duke of Somerset. 

The other executions that followed were numerous indeed, but as 
they were all upon the statute of high treason, they cannot, with anv 
degree of propriety, be applied to protestants, or, as they were called, 
heretics. The parliament was pliant enough to comply with all the 
queen's requests, and an act passed to establish the popish religion. 
This was what the queen waited for, and power being now put into 
her hands, she was determined to exercise it in the most arbitrary 
manner. She was destitute of human compassion, and without the 
least reluctance could tyrannize over the consciences of men. 

This leads us to the conclusion of the first year of her reign ; and 
we consider it the more necessary to taJce notice of these transactions, 
although not, strictly speaking, martyrdoms, that our readers might be 
convinced of the great difl^erence there is between dying for religion, 
and for high treason. It is history alone that can teach them such 
things, and it is reflection only that can make history useful. We 
frequently read without reflection, and study without consideration ; 
hut the following portions of history, in particular, will furnish ample 
materials for serious thought to our readers, and we entreat their atten- 
tion to them. 



The queen having satiated her malice upon those persons who had 
adhered to Lady Jane Grey, she had next recourse to those old auxi- 
liaries of popery, fire, fagot, and the stake, i-n order to convert hef 
heretical subjects to the trjie catholic faith. 

Burning of Dr. B. Farrar. Page 315, 



tp-^M^M • " • • ■[ 







Burial of a Protestant during the time of Popish 
Persecution. Page 349. 

Archbishop Cranmer burnt. Page 390. 


Martyrdom of the Rev. John Rogers. 
^ ^Ir John Rogers, the aged minister of St. Sepulchre's church. 
>now llij], London, was the proto-martyr ; he was the first sacrifice, 
strictly speaking, offered up in this reign to popery, and led the wav 
Jor those sufferers, whose blood has been the foundation, honour, and 
glory of the church of England. 

This Mr. Rogers had been some time chaplain to the English fac- 
tory at Antwerp. There he became acquainted with Mr. Tindal and 
assisted him in his translation of the New Testament. There were 
several other worthy protestants there at that time, most of whom had 
been driven out of England, on account of the persecutions for the 
SIX articles in the latter end of the reign of Henry VIII. Mr. Rogers 
knowing that marriage was lawful, and even enjoined in scripture, 
entered into that state with a virtuous woman, and soon after set out 
for Saxony, in consequence of an invitation to that effect. 

When Edward ascended the throne of England, Mr. Rogers re- 
turned to his native country, and was promoted by Bishop Ridley to a 
prebendary of St. Paul's. He was also appointed reader of the divi- 
nity lecture in that cathedral, and vicar of St. Sepulchre's. 

In this situation he continued some years; and as Queen Mary wa* 
returning from the tower, where she had been imbibing Gardiner's 
pernicious counsels, Mr. Rogers was preaching at St. Paul's Cross. 
He inveighed much against popery, expatiated on the many virtues of 
the late King Edward, and exhorted the people to abide in the protcs^ 
tant religion. 

For this sermon he ^vas summoned before the council ; but he vin- 
dicated himself so well, that he was dismissed. 

This lenity shown by the council was rather displeasing to ths 
queen; and Mr. Rogers' zeal against popery being equal to his 
knowledge and integrity, he was considered as a person who would 
,^Ys ?vent the re-establishment of popery. 

For this reason it was, that he was summoned a second time before 
the council, and although there were many papists among the mem- 
bers, yet such was the respect almost universally felt for Mr. Roo-ers, 
that he was again dismissed, but was commanded not to go out of his 
own house. This order he complied with, although he mio-ht have 
made his escape if he would. He knew he could have had ? living in 
Germany, and he had a wife and ten children ; but all these things did 
not move him ; he did not court death, but met it with fortitude when 
it came. 

He remained confined in his own house several weeks, till Bonner, 
bishop of London, procured an order to have him committed to Nevv' 
gate, where he was lodged among thieves and murderers. 

He was afterwards brought a third time before the council, where 
Gardiner, bishop of Winchester, presided. It was not with any view 
of showing lenity to the prisoner ; it was not with a view of convin- 
cing him of error, supposing him to be guilty of any ; it was not to re- 
call him to the Romish church that he was brought there ; no, his de- 
struction was designed, and he was singled out to be an example to all 
those who should refuse to comply with Romish idolatry. 

When brought before the chancellor and council, he freely acknow 
ledged, that he had been fully convinced, in his own mind, that the 
pope was antichrist, and that his religion was contrary to the gospel 


Ho made a most elaborate defence, which, however, did not avail 
him m the minds of his persecutors. He showed them, that the sta- 
tute upon which he was prosecuted had never legally passed, and even 
if it had, it was in all respects contrary to the word of God : for what- 
ever emoluments might have been bestowed upon the clergy from 
time to time, they had no right to persecute those who differed from 
them in sentiment. 

After he had been examined several times before the council, which 
was a mere mockery of justice, he was turned over to Bonner, bishop 
of London, who caused him to go through a second mock examina- 
tion ; and, at last, declared him to be an obstinate heretic. A cer- 
tificate of this was, in the ordinary course, sent into chancery, and a 
writ was issued for the burning of Mr. Rogers in SmithfieJd. This 
sentence did not in the least frighten our martyr, who by iaith in the 
blood of Christ, was ready to go through with his attachment to the 
truth without paying any regard to the malice of his enemies. 

On the 4th of February, 1555, Mr. Rogers was taken out of New- 
gate, to be led to the place of execution, when the sheriff asked him 
if he would recant his opinions ? To this he answered, " Ihat what 
he had preached he would seal with his blood." " Then," said the 
sheriff, " thou art a heretic." To which Mr. Rogers answered, " That 
will be known when we meet at the judgment seat of Christ." 

As they were taking him to Smithfield, his wife and, eleven children 
went to take their last farewell of a tender husband, and an indulgent 
parent. Tlie sheriffs, however, would not permit them to speak to 
him ; so unfeeling is bigotry, so merciless is superstition ! When 
he was chained to the stake, he declared that God would in his ov/n 
good time vindicate the truth of Avhat he had taught, and appear in 
favour of the protestant religion. Fire was set to the pile, and he 
was consumed to ashes. 

He was a very pious and humane man, and his being singled * 
as the first victim of superstitious cruelty, can only entitle him to p 
higher crown of glory in heaven. 

Martyrdom of Laurence Saunders. 

The next person who suffered in this reign was the reverend Mr. 
Laurence Saunders, of whose former life we have collected the fol- 
lowing particulars: his father had a considerable' estate in Oxford- 
shire, but dying young, left a large family of children. Laurence 
was sent to Eaton school as one of the king's scholars. 

From Eaton he was, according to the rules of the foundation, sent 
to King's college in Cambridge, where he studied three years, and 
made great progress in the different sorts of ^earning- then taught in 
the schools. At the end of the three years he left the university, and 
returning to his mother, prevailed on her to place him with a 

He was accordingly articled to Sir William Chester, a rich mer- 
chant in London, who was afterwards sheriff of that city. He had 
not been long in this employment, when he became weary of a life 
of trade. He sunk into a deep melancholy, and afterwards went into 
a retired chamber, to mourn for his imprudence, and to beg of God 
that he would, in some manner or other, deliver him from a life so 


His master, who was a worthy man, took notice of this, and asked 
Saunders his reasons for being in that desponding condition ? The 
young gentleman candidly told him ; upon which he immediately 
gave him up his indentures, and sent him home to his relations. 

This Saunders considered as a happy event, and that no time might 
be lost, he returned to his studies at Cambridge ; and, what was very 
uncommon in that age, he learned the Greek and Hebrew languages. 
After this he devoted himself wholly to the study of the sacred scrip- 
tures, in order to qualify himself for preaching the gospel. 

In study he ^vas diligent, and practical in holiness of life : in doing 
good few equalled him, and he seemed to have nothing in view but 
the happiness of immortal souls. 

In the beginning of King Edward's reign, when the true religion 
began to be countenanced, he entered into orders, and preached with 
great success. His first appointment was at Fotheringham, where he 
read a divinity lecture; but that college having been dissolved, he 
was appointed a preacher in Litchfield. In that new station his 
conduct entitled him to great res])ect : for such was his sweetness of 
temper, his knowledge in his profession, his eloquent manner of ad- 
dress-ing his hearers, the purity of his manners, and his affectionate 
addresses to the heart, that he was universally respected, and his min- 
istry was very useful. 

After being some months in Litchfield, he removed to the living of 
Church-Langton, in Leicestershire : there he resided with his people, 
and instructed many who before were ignorant of the true principles 
of the Christian religion. He was the same to men's bodies as to 
their souls. All that he received, beside the small pittance that sup- 
ported his person, was given away to feed the hungry, and clothe 
the naked. Here was the Christian minister indeed : for no instuc- 
tions will make a lasting impression on the mind, while the example 
IS contrary. 

His next removal was to Alhallows, in Bread-street, London ; and 
when he had taken possession of it, he went down to the country, to 
part, in an affectionate manner, Avith his friends. 

While he was in the country King Edward died, and Mary succeed- 
ing, publislied a proclamation, commanding all her subjects to attend 
mass. Many pious ministers refused to obey the royal proclama- 
tion, and none was more forward in doing so than Mr. Saunders. He 
continued to preach whenever he had an opportunity, and read the 
■prayer-book, with the scriptures, to the people, till he was appre- 
hended in the following manner. 

Mr. Saunders was advised to leave the nation, as pious Dr. Jewel, 
and many others, did ; but he would not, declaring to his friends, that 
he was willing to die for the name of the Lord Jesus. Accordingly, 
he left his people in Leicestershire, and travelled towards London, on 
his arrival near which, he was met by Sir John Mordant, a privy 
counsellor to Queen Mary, who asked him where he was going ? Mr. 
Saunders said, to his living in Bread-streed, to instruct liis people. 
Mordant desired him not go : to which Mr. Saunders answered, 
" How shall I then be accountable to God ? If any be sick and die 
before consolation, then what a load of guilt will be upon my con- 
science, as an unfaithful shepherd, an unjust steward !" 

Mordant asked whether he did not frequently preach in Bread- 


street ; and being answered in the affirmative, he endeavoured to dis- 
suade him from doing so any more. Sauiiders, however, was reso 
iiite, and told him he would continue to preach as long as he lived 
and invited the other to come and hear him the next day ; adding, 
that he would confirm him in the truth of those sentiments which he 
taught. Upon this they parted, and Mordant went and gave infor- 
mation to Bishop Bonner, that Saunders would preach in his church 
the next Sunda/ 

In the mean time Saunders went to his lodgings, with a mind re- 
solved to do his duty ; when a person came to visit him, and took no- 
tice of him that he seemed to be troubled. He said he was ; adding, 
" I am, as it were, in prison, till I speak to my people." So earnest 
was his desire to discharge his duty, and so little did he regard the 
malice of his enemies. 

The next Sunday he preached in his church, and made a most 
elaborate discourse against the errors of popery ; he exhorted the 
people to remain steadfast in the truth ; not to fear those who can 
kill only the body, but to fear Him who can throw both body and soul 
into hell. He was attended by a great concourse of people, which 
gave much offence to the clergy, particularly to Bishop Bonner. 

Through this bishop's instrumentality he was apprehended and 
confined in prison for a year and three months, strict orders being 
given to the keepers, not to suffer any person to converse with him. 
His wife, however, came to the prison with her young child in her 
arms, and the keeper had so much compassion, that he took the child 
and carried it to its father. 

Mr. Saunders seeing the child, rejoiced greatly, saying, it was a 
peculiar happiness for him to have such a boy. And to the bystanders, 
who admired the beauty of the child, he said, " What man, fearing 
God, would not lose his life, sooner than have it said that the mother 
of this child was a harlot." 

He said these words, in order to point out the woful effects of po- 
pish celibacy ; for the priests, being denied the privilege of marriage, 
seduced the wives and daughters of many of the laity, and filled the 
nation with bastards, who were left exposed to all sorts of hardships. 

After all these afliictions and sufferings, Mr. Saunders was brought 
before the council, where the chancellor sat as president ; and there 
he was asked a great number of questions concerning his opinions. 
These questions were proposed in so artful and ensnaring a manner, 
that the prisoner, by telling the truth, must criminate himself; and 
to have stood mute would have subjected him to the torture. 

Under such circumstances God gave him fortitude to assert the 
truth, by declaring his abhorrence of all the doctrines of popery. 

The examination being ended, the officers led him out of the place, 
and then waited till some other prisoners were examined. While 
Mr. Saunders was standing among the officers, seeing a great number 
of people assembled, as is common on such occasions, he exhorted 
them to beware of falling off from Christ to Antichrist, as many were 
then returning to popery, because they had not fortitude to suffer. 

The chancellor ordered him to be excommunicated, and committed 
him to the Compter. This was a great comfort to him, because he 
was visited by many of his people, whom he exhorted to constancy 


and when they were denied admittance, he spoke to them through 
the grate. 

On the 4th of February the sheriff of London delivered him to the 
bishop, who degraded him ; and Mr. Saunders said, " Thank God, I 
am now out of your church." 

The day following, he was given up to some of the queen's offi- 
cers, who were appointed to convey him down to Coventry, there to 
be burned. The first night they lay at St. Albans, where Mr. Saun-, 
ders took an opportunity of rebuking a person who had ridiculed the 
Christian faith. 

After they arrived at Coventry, a poor shoemaker, who had for- 
merly worked for Mr. Saunders, came to him and said, " O, my good 
master, may God strengthen you." " Good shoemaker," answered 
Mr. Saunders, " I beg you will pray for me, for I am at present in a 
very weak condition ; but I hope, my gracious God, who hath ap- 
pointed me to it, will give me strength." 

The same night he spent in the common prison, praying for, and 
exhorting all those who went to hear him. 

The next day, which was the 8th of February, he was led to the 
place of execution, in the park without the gate of that city, going 
in an old gown and shirt, barefooted, and often fell on the ground and 
prayed. When he approached the place of execution, the under sheriff 
told him he was a heretic, and that he had led the people away from 
the true religion ; but yet, if he would recant, the queen Avould par- 
don him. To this Mr. Saunders answered, " That he had not filled 
the realm with heresy, for he had tauglit the people the pure truths 
of the gospel ; and in all his sermons, while he exhorted the people 
firmly, desired his hearers to be obedient to the queen." 

When brought to the stake he embraced it, and after being fastened 
to it, and the fagots lighted, he said, " Welcome the cross of Christ, 
welcome everlasting life ;" soon after which he resigned his soul into 
the hands of him who gave it. 

Well might the apostle say, that if we only in this life have hope, 
we are, of all men, the most miserable. This martyr was naturally of 
a timid disposition ; and yet here we see with what constancy he died. 
This is a strong proof that there must be an almighty poAver, working 
through faith in the hearts of those who are punished for the truth. 



We have seen, in our account of the pious Mr. Saunders, that a 
man by nature weak and timorous, could bear, with undaunted bold- 
ness, all those torments which were prepared for him by his enemies, 
and by the enemies of Christ Jesus : and we have seen that giacious 
Being, for whose name's sake he suffered, supported him under all 
his afflictions. 

We shall now bring forth another martyr, whose name will ever be 
esteemed for his sincere attachment to the protestant religion, and for 


the little regard he paid to ceremonies, about which there has been 
much unnecessary, and indeed angry contention. 

The person to whom we allude was Dr. John Hooper, a man of emi- 
nence in his profession. He was educated in Oxford, but in what col- 
lege does not appear; probably it was in Queen's College, because he 
was a north countryman, that seminary of learning being appropriated 
for those of the northern counties. 

He made great progress in his studies, and was remarkable for 
early piety. He studied the sacred scriptures with the most un- 
remitting assiduity, and was, fur some time, an ornament to the uni- 

His spirit was ferv^ent, and he hated every thing in religion that 
was not of an essential nature. When the six articles were published, 
Hooper did all he could to oppose them, as maintaining every thing 
in the popish system, except the supremacy. He preached fre- 
quently against them, which created him many enemies in Oxford ; 
but Henry VHI. had such an opinion of him, that he would not suffer 
him to be molested. Soon after this he was obliged to leave the uni- 
versity, and assuming a lay character, became Steward to Sir Thomas 
Arundel, who at first treated him with great kindness, till, having 
discovered his sentiments as to religion, he became his most implaca- 
ble enemy. 

Mr. Hooper having received intelligence that some mischief was 
intended against him, left the house of Sir Thomas A.rundel, and, bor- 
rowing a horse from a friend, whose life he had saved, rode off to- 
wards the sea-side, intending to go to France, sending back the horse 
by a servant. He resided some time at Paris, in as private a manner 
as possible. Returning again to England he was informed against, 
and obliged to leave his native country a second time. ' 

He went over again to France, but not being safe there, he travelled 
into Germany; from thence he went to Basil, where he married a 
pious woman, and afXrwards settled some time at Zurich, in Switzer- 
land ; there he applied closely to his studies, and made himself mas- 
ter of the Hebrew language. 

At length, when the true religion was set up after the death of king 
Henry VHI. amongst other exiles that returned was Mr. Hooper. In 
the most grateful manner he returned thanks to all his friends abroad, 
who had shown him so much compassion ; particularly to the learned 
Bullinger, who was a great friend to all those who were persecuted 
for the gospel. When he took an affectionate leave of Bullinger, he 
told him that he would write to him as often as he could find an op- 
portunity, but added, " probably I shall be burned to ashes, and then 
some friend will give you information." Another circumstance 
should not be omitted in this place, and that is, that when he was ap- 
pointed bishop of Gloucester and Worcester, the herald, who embla- 
zoned his arms, put the figure of a lamb in a fiery bush, with the rays 
of glory descending from heaven on the lamb, which had such an ef- 
fect on Dr. Hooper, that he said he knew he should dio for the truth; 
and this consideration inspired him with courage. But to return to 
our narrative. 

When Dr. Hooper arrived in London, he was so much filled with 
zeal to promote the gospel, that he preached every day to crowded 
congregations. In his sermons he reproved sinners in general, but 


particularly directed his discourse against the peculiar vices of the 

The abuses he complained of were owing to a variety of causes : 
the nobility had got the church lands, and the clergy were not only se- 
ditious in their conduct, but ignorant even to a proverb. This occa- 
sioned a scene of general immorality among all ranks and degrees of 
people, which furnished pious men with sufFjcient matter for reproof. 

In his doctrine, Hooper was clear, plain, eloquent, and persuasiv^e, 
and so much followed by all ranks of people, that the churches could 
not contain them. 

Although no man could labour more indefatigably in the Lord's 
vineyard, yet Hooper had a most excellent constitution, which he sup- 
ported by temperance, and was therefore enabled to do much good. 
In the whole of his conversation with those who waited on him in pri- 
vate, he spoke of the purity of the gospel, and of the great things of 
God, cautioning the people against returning to popery, if any change 
in the government should take place. This was the more necessary, 
as the people in general were but ill grounded, though Cranmer, Rid- 
ley, and many other pious men, were using every means in their power 
to make them acquainted with the principles of the Christian religion. 
In this pious undertaking, no one was more forward than Dr. Hooper; 
at all times, " in season, and out of season," he was ready to discharge 
his duty as a faithful minister of the gospel. 

After he had preached some time, with great success, in the city, 
he was sent for by Edward VI. who appointed him one of his chap- 
lains, and soon after K'.ade him bishop of Gloucester, by letters-patent 
under the great seal ; having at the same time the care of the bishopric 
of Worcester committed to him. 

As Dr. Hooper had been some time abroad, he had contracted an 
aversion to the popish ceremonies, and before he went to his bishop- 
ric, he requested of the king that he might not be obliged to give coun- 
tenance to them, which request the monarch complied with, though 
much against the inclinations of the other bishops. Dr. Hooper, and 
his brethren of the reformed church, had many disputes about the 
Romish tenets, which shows that there are some remains of corrup- 
tion in the best of men. Some persons seek honours with unwearivid 
zeal, and seem to take more pleasure in titles, than in considering that 
an elevated rank only increases the necessity of being more observant 
of our duty. 

Dr. Hooper differed from these men, for instead of seeking prefer- 
ments, he would never have accepted of any, had they not been pressed 
on him. Having the care of two dioceses, he held and guided them 
both together, as if they had been but one. His leisure time, which 
was but little, he spent in hearing causes, in private prayer, and read- 
ing the scriptures. He likewise visited the schools, and encouraged 
youth in the pursuits of learning. He had children of his own, whom 
he likewise instructed, and treated them with all the tenderness of a 
good parent, but without the indulgence of a weak one. 

He kept open house, with provisions for the poor, which was a very 
pious and necessary action in those times, because many persons who 
had been driven out of the convents roved up and down the country 
starving. He relieved a certain number of these every day, ana 


when they liad satisfied their hunger, he delivered a discourse to them 
on the principles of the Christian religion. 

After this manner, Bishop Hooper continued to discharge his duty as 
a faithful pastor, during the whole of King Edward's reign. But no 
sooner was Mary proclaimed, than a sergeant at arms wa's sent to ar- 
rest our bishop, in order to answer to two charges : 

First, to Dr. Heath, who had been deprived of the diocese of Glou- 
cester for his adherence to popery, but was now restored by the queen: 
secondly, to Dr. Bonner, bishop of London, for having given evidence 
to King Edward against that persecuting prelate. 

Bishop Hooper was desired, by some of his friends, to make his 
escape, but his .answer was, " I once fled for my life, but I am now 
determined, through the strength and grace of God, to witness the 
truth to the last." 

Being brought before the queen and council, Gardiner, sitting as 
president, accused Bishop Hooper of heresy, calling him the most op- 
probrious names. This was in September, 1553, and although he sa- 
tisfactorily answered the charges brought against him, he was com- 
mitted to prison on the pretence of being indebted to the queen in seve- 
ral sums of money. On the 19th of March, 1554, when he was called 
again to appear before Gardiner, the chancellor, and several other 
bishops, would not sufl'er him to plead his cause, but deprived him of 
his bishopric. 

Being asked whether he Avas a married man, he answered in the 
affirmative, and declared that he would not be unmarried, till death 
occasioned the separation ; because he looked upon the marriage of 
the clergy as necessary and legal. 

The more they attempted to brow-beat him, the more resolute he 
became, and the more pertinent in his answers. He produced the 
decrees of the council of Nice, Avhich first ascertained the canon of 
scripture, where it was ordained to be lawful, as well as expedient, 
for the clergy to marry. These arguments were to little purpose 
with men who had their instructions from the queen, and were previ- 
ously determined to punish him ; the good bishop was therefore com- 
mitted to the tower, but afterwards removed to the Fleet. 

As the determination for burning him was not agreed on, he was 
only considered as a debtor to the queen, for rents of his bishopric, 
which Avas the reason of his being sent to the Fleet. This, however, 
was a most unjust charge; for the protestant religion had been es- 
tablished in the first year of the reign of her brother Edward, by act 
of parliament; so that Dr. Hooper's acceptance of a bishopric, was in 
all respects legal and constitutional. 

As a debtor, he was to have the rules of the Fleet, whicli the war- 
den granted him for five pounds sterling ; but Avent immediately and 
informed Gardiner, who, notwithstanding he had paid the money, or- 
dered him to be closely confined. 

The following account of his cruel treatment while confined here, 
was written by himself, and afibrds a picture of popish barbarity, 
which cannot fail to make a ui;e impression on our readers. 

" The first of September, 1553, I was committed unto the Fleet, 
from Richmond, to have the liberty of the prison; and Avithin six days 
after I paid five pounds sterling to' the Avarden for fees, for my liberty ; 
who immediately upon payment thereof complained unto the bishop of 


Winchester, upon which I was committed to close prison one quarter 
of a year in the tower-chamber of the Fleet, and used extremely ill. 
Then by tlie means of a good gentlewoman, I had liberty to come 
down to dinner and supper, not suffered to speak with anj^ of my 
friends, but as soon as dinner and supper were done, to repair to my 
chamber again. Notwithstanding, whilst I came down thus to dinner 
and supper, the warden and his wife picked quarrels with mc, and com- 
plained untruly of me to their great friend, the bishop of AVinchester. 

"After one quarter of a year, Babington, the warden, and his wife, 
fell out with me, respecting the wicked mass; and thereupon the war- 
den resorted to the bishop of Winchester, and obtained to put me into 
the wards, where I have continued a long time, having nothing ap- 
pointed to me for my bed, but a little pad of straw and a rotten cover- 
ing, with a tick and a few feathers therein, the chamber being vile and 
stinking, until, by God's means, good people sent me bedding to lie on. 
On one side of the prison is the sink and filth of the house, and on the 
other the town ditch, so that the stench of the house hath infected me 
with sundry diseases. 

" During which time I have been sick, and the doors, bars, hasps, 
and chains, being all closed upon me, I have mourned, called, and 
cried for help ; but the Avarden, when he hath known me many times 
ready to die, and when the poor men of the wards have called to help 
me, hath commanded the doors to be kept fast, and charged that none 
of his men should come at me, saying ' Let him alone, it were a good 
riddance of him.' 

"I paid always like a baron to the said warden, as well in fees, as 
for my board, which was twenty shillings a week, besides my man's 
table, until I was wrongfully deprived of my bishoprics, and since that 
time, I have paid him as the best gentleman doth in his house ; yet 
hath he used me worse, and more vilely, than the veriest slave that 
ever came to the common side of the prison. 

" The warden hath also imprisoned my man, William Downton, 
and stripped him out of his clothes to search for letters, and could find 
none, but a little remembrance of good people's names who had given 
me their alms to relieve me in prison ; and to undo them also, the 
warden delivered the same bill unto the said Stephen Gardiner, God's 
enemy and mine. 

" I have suflered imprisonment almost eighteen months, my goods, 
livings, friends, and comfort, taken from me; the queen owing me, by 
just account, fourscore pounds or more. She hath put me in prison, 
and giveth nothing to keep me, neither is there suffered any one to 
come at me, whereby I might have relief. I am with a wicked man 
and woman, so that I see no remedy, (saving God's help,) but I shall 
be cast away in prison before I come to judgment. But I commit my 
just cause to God, whose will be done, whether it be by life or death.' 

After he had been eighteen months in prison, on the 22d of Janu- 
ary, 1555, the warden of the Fleet was ordered to bring him before the 
Chancellor Gardiner, who, with other bishops, were appointed to ex- 
amine him a second time, at Gardiner's palace in Southwark. 

When brought before these merciless persecutors, the chancellor 
made a long speech to him, desiring him to forsake the opinions he 
had embraced, and return to the bosom of the church ; adding, that 
as tlie pope was the head of the church, so it was breaking through 


iicr unity to separate from her. He promised to procure him tne 
pope's absolution if he would recant his opinions ; but this was merely 
an ostentatious pretence to mercy ; for Gardiner knew that Hooper 
was too well grounded in his religious opinions to comply with his 

To this Dr. Hooper answered, that as the pope's doctrine was con- 
trary to the sacred scriptures, and as he could not be the head of the 
church, because th'ere was no head of it but Christ, so he would live 
and die asserting the doctrines he had taught. 

Gardiner replied, that the queen would never show any mercy to 
the enemies of the pope ; whereupon, Babington, the warden, was 
commanded to take him back to the Fleet. It was likewise declared, 
that he should be shifted from his former chamber, which was done ; 
and he was searched, to find, if possible, whether he had any books 
concealed about him, but none were found. 

On the 25th of January he was again brought before the chancellor 
to be examhied, and was again asked whether or not he would re- 
cant; but nothing could shake his constancy. 

On Monday morning, February 4, the bishop of London went to 
the prison to degrade him, which was done in the usual form, by put- 
ting the different robes upon him worn by priests, and then taking 
them off. They did not put on him the bishop's robes, because they 
did not admit of the validity of his ordination. While they were 
stripping him of these Romish rags, he told them he was glad to part 
with them, because his mind had been always against them, and con- 
sidered them no better than heathenish relics ; as in fact they were, for 
the same kind of robes were worn by the priests before the time of 
Constantine the Great. 

A few hours after he was degraded, the keeper came to him, and 
told him he was to be sent down to Gloucester to suffer death. Upon 
this he lifted up his eyes and hands to heaven, praising God that he 
was to die among his people, as it would be the means of confirming 
them in the truth of what he had taught them. He immediately sent 
to his servant for his boots and cloak, that he might be in readiness to 
attend the officers whenever they should come for him. 

About four in the morning he was taken out of prison by the sheriff^, 
and conducted to the sign of the Angel, near St. Dunstan's church. 
Fleet-street. There he was received by the queen's officers, who had 
the warrant for his execution ; after which they permitted him to take 
some refreshment. 

About break of day he cheerfully mounted on horseback without 
help, having a hood on his head under his hat, that he should not be 
known ; and, thus equipped, with a serene and cheerful countenance, 
proceeded on the road to Gloucester, attended by his keepers. The 
guards asked him what houses he was accustomed to use on the road, 
and when they were informed, in order to perplex him, they took him 
to others. 

On the Thursday following they arrived at Cironcester, a town in 
his own diocese, and about eleven miles from Gloucester, where they 
dined at the house of a woman who had always hated the protestants, 
and traduced Bishop Hooper's character as much as possible. This 
woman, seeing his constancy, was so affected, that she lamented his 


\^a^K- Willi leais, anu oeggeu iiis pufuOii lOr mc maiinci 111 wiiicil she 
had spoken of him 

Dinner being over, they proceeded to Gloucester, where they ar- 
rived about five in the afternoon. A great crowd of people were as- 
sembled about a mile without the town ; so that one of the guard, 
fearing a rescue, rode up to the mayor's house, to demand aid and 
assistance. This being granted, the people dispersed. 

Hooper was that night lodged in the house of one Ingram, where 
he ate his supper with a good appetite, and slept very quietly, as the 
guard declared, for they continued in the chamber with him all the 
night. In the morning he got up, and having prayed most fervently, 
was visited by Sir Anthony Kingston, who was one of the persons 
appointed to see him executed. When Sir Anthony came into his 
chamber he found him at his prayers, and waiting till he had done, 
asked if he did not know him. To this Bishop Hooper answered, 
that he did know him, and was glad to see him in good health. He 
added, that he was come there to end his life, and blessed God that it 
was to be in the midst of his own diocese. He said he loved life as well 
as it ought to be loved, but he was not to enjoy it at the expense of 
his future welfare. He was not to blaspheme his Saviour by denying 
his name, through which alone he looked for salvation ; but trusted 
that he should be endowed with fortitude suflicient to bear all the tor- 
ments his enemies could inflict upon him. 

Sir Anthony Kingston had profited much from the preaching of 
Bishop Hooper, and taking his leave, told him, with tears, that he was 
extremely sorry to lose so worthy a person. Dr. Hooper answered, 
that it was his duty to persevere in the truth, and not to be ashamed 
of the gospel, lest Christ should refuse to acknowledge him before his 
Father in heaven. 

The same day, in the afternoon, a poor blind boy came to visit 
Bishop Hooper, and, falling on his knees before him, said, " Ah, my 
lord, I am blind in my eyes, but your pious instructions have removed 
a spiritual blindness from my heart. May God support you under all 
your sufferings, and bring you, even through flames, to heaven !" 

Several other persons visited the bishop, amongst whom was a very 
wicked man, a bigoted papist, who had known him formerly. This 
man upbraided him with what he called his heresy ; but Hooper bore 
all his insults with patience and meekness. 

The time appointed for the execution of this pious bishop drawing 
nigh, he was delivered to the sherifts of Gloucester, who, with the 
mayor and aldermen, repaired to his lodgings, and, at the first meet- 
ing, having saluted him, took him by the hand. The resigned martyr 
thanked the mayor, with the rest of the officers, for taking a condemn- 
ed man by the hand, and for all the friendship that had formerly sub- 
sisted between them, for he had lon^ been acquainted with them. He 
begged of the sheriffs that they wou/d make the fire as violent as pos- 
sible, that his pains might be of the shorter duration ; adding, that he 
might have had his life if he chose it, but could not, consistently with 
that duty he owed to God, and 1: is own conscience. He said, he 
knew the bishop of Rome was antichrist, and therefore he could not 
be obedient to him. He desired tbey would not deny his request, bu' 
let him suffer as soon as possible, v ithout exercising any unnecet- 8')' 
cruelty, which was unbecoming the dignity of men \>( honour. 


A consultation was held by the sheriffs, whether or not they should 
lodge him, the evening before his execution, in the common gaol over 
the north gate of the city ; but the guards who had brought him from 
London, interceded so earnestly in his favour, that he was permitted 
to remain in his former lodgings ; and he spent the evening in prayer, 
together with as much of the night as he could spare from his ordi- 
nary rest. The believer, who is to rest in Christ Jesus, throughout 
the endless ages of eternity, may well enjoy an hour's sleep, before 
the commencement of even the most excruciating tortures. 

When Bishop Hooper arose in the morning, he desired that no 
person whatever should disturb him in his devotion, till the officers 
came to lead him out to execution. 

About eight o'clock, the Lord Chandois, attended by several other 
noblemen and gentlemen, came to conduct him to the place of execu- 
tion ; and at nine Dr. Hooper was ready. Being brought down from 
his chamber, when he saw the guards, he told the sheriffs he was no 
traitor, but one who was willing to die for the truth ; and that if they 
would have permitted him, he would have willingly gone unguarded 
to the stake, without troubling any officers. Afterwards, looking 
upon the multitude of people that were assembled, above seven thou- 
sand in number, he said, " Alas ! why are so many people assembled ? 
I dare not speak to them as formerly." 

He was led forward between the two sheriffs, as a lamb to the 
slaughter, having on a gown which the man of the house, where he 
was confined, had lent him ; and being much afflicted with an illness 
he had contracted in prison, he was obliged to walk with a staff in his 
hand. The sheriffs having commanded him not to speak one word, 
he was not seen to open his mouth, but beholding the people, who 
mourned bitterly, he sometimes lifted his eyes towards heaven, and 
looked cheerfully upon such as he knew ; and, indeed, his counte- 
nance was more cheerful than it had been for a long time before. 

When he was brought to the stake, he embraced it, and looked 
smilingly to a place where he used formerly to preach. He then 
kneeled down to pray, and beckoned several limes to one whom he 
knew well, to come near to hear him, that he might give a faithful ac- 
count of what he said, after his death, as he was not permitted to 
speak aloud. When he had been some time at prayer, a pardon was 
brought, and offered to him, on condition that he would recant ; but 
neither promises of pardon, nor threatenings of punishment, had any 
effect on him ; so immoveable was he in the faith, and so well esta- 
blished in the principles of the gospel. 

Prayers being ended, he prepared himself for the stake, by taking 
off his landlord's gown, which he delivered to the sheriffs, requesting 
them to see it restored to the owner. He then took off the rest of 
his clothes, except his doublet and hose, in which he intended to be 
burned ; but the sheriffs not permitting that, he patiently submitted. 
After this, a pound of gunpowder was placed between his legs, and 
the same quantity under each arm ; three chains were then fixed 
round him, one to his neck, another to his middle, and a third to his 
legs ; and with these he was fastened to the slake. 

This being done, fire was put to the fagots ; but they being green, 
he suffered inexpressible torment. Soon after this, a load of drv 


fagots was brought, but still the wind blew away the flames ; so that 
he begged for more, that he might be put out of his misery. 

At length the fire took efTect, and the martyr triumphantly ascend- 
ed into heaven, after such a fiery trial as almost exceeds any thing 
we meet with in the primitive ages. His last Avords were, " Lord 
Jesus have mercy upon me ; enable me to bear my sufferings for thy 
name s sake, and receive my spirit." 

Such was the end of one of the most eminent fathers of the church 
of England ; and surely that religion which could support him under 
such dreadful tortures must be of God. Fanaticism and superstition 
may give resolution ; but it is only the divine influence of pure reli- 
gion which can bestow calmness in the hour of death. 



Dr. Rowland Taylor was born in the town of Hadleigh, in Suffolk, 
which was one of the first places in England that received the gos- 
pel ; and here he preached constantly during the reign of King Ed- 
ward. Archbishop Cranmer, who was a good judge of merit, and 
loved to reward it in learned men, took him into his family, and pre- 
sented him to the living of Hadleigh. Here he proved himself a 
most excellent preacher and a faithful pastor. He made himself ac- 
quainted with every individual in his parish ; he taught them like 
the apostles and primitive Christians, who went from house to house. 
The love of Christ wrought so strongly on his mind, that every Sun- 
day and holiday, he preached in the most fervent manner to his 

Nor did he restrict himself to preaching : his life was one con- 
tinued comment on his doctrine ; it wa.« a life of holiness : he studied 
nothing so much as to do good ; was a stranger to pride ; and was 
clothed Avith humility. He was particularly attentive to the poor, 
and his charity was bounded only by his ability. While he rebuked 
sinners for their enormities, he was ready to relieve their wants. 
This Avas a god-like disposition, and the characteristic of a true 

In the course of his ministerial labours he often met Avith opposi- 
tion, and even Avith abuse ; but he attended to the maxim laid doAvn 
by the apostle, that Ave must go through evil, as Avell as through good 
report. He Avas a married man, but never sat doAvn to dinner Avith 
his family, Avithout first inquiring Avhether the poor Avanted any thing. 
To those who Avere distressed, he gave relief before he ate any thing 
himself. He familiarized himself Avith all ranks of men, in order 
that he might Avin them to the knowledge and practice of the truth. 
He Avas an indulgent, tender, aflTectionate husband, and brought up 
his children in the fear of God, Avell knowing, that to lay a good 
foundation is the only Avay to secure a beautiful superstructure. 

In this excellent manner. Dr. Taylor continued to discharge his 
duty at Hadleigh, as long as King Edward lived ; but no sooner Avas 
that pious monarch dead, than affairs took a different turn. 


And here we may observe, that if a man be ever so pious, if he be 
ever so faithful in the discharge of his duty, yet he will meet with many 
enemies : this was the case with Dr. Taylor. In his parish, notwith- 
standing all his endeavours to suppress popery, yet some papists re- 
mained ; and their hatred of his doctrines extended to the preacher, 
and rendered them blind to his excellencies. 

Two of these persons, named Clarke and Foster, hired a Romish 
priest to come to Hadleigh to say mass. For this purpose, they or 
dered an altar to be built with all convenient speed, and appointed, 
that mass should be said on Palm Sunday. But the reformers met 
together in the evening, and pulled down the altar; it Avas, however, 
built up again, and a watch was appointed, lest it should be demolished 
a second time. 

The day following, Clarke and Foster came, bringing along with 
them their popish priest, who was to perform the service of mass. The 
priest was dressed in his robes for the occasion, and had a guard with 
him, lest he should be interrupted by the populace.