Following Rogers on the February 4, and Saunders on the 8th, Taylor became Mary’s third Protestant to be burned at the stake. His execution took place on February 9, 1555, at Aldham Common just outside Hadleigh. His wife, two daughters, and his son Thomas, were present that day.
His final words to his son Thomas as reported by Foxe:
“Almighty God bless thee, and give you his Holy Spirit, to be a true servant of Christ, to learn his word, and constantly to stand by his truth all the life long. And my son, see that thou fear God always. Fly from all sin and wicked living. Be virtuous, serve God daily with prayer, and apply thy boke. In anywise see thou be obedient to thy mother, love her, and serve her. Be ruled by her now in thy youth, and follow her good counsel in all things. Beware of lewd company of young men, that fear not God, but followeth their lewd lusts and vain appetites. Flee from whoredom, and hate all filthy lying, remembering that I they father do die in the defense of holy marriage. And another day when God shall bless thee, love and cherish the poor people, and count that thy chief riches to be rich in alms. And when thy mother is waxed old, forsake her not, but provide for her to thy power, and see that she lacks nothing. For so will God bless thee, give thee long life upon earth, and prosperity, which I pray God to grant thee.”
Taylor‘s first examination by Stephen Gardiner and deprivation of his livings (1563, pp. 1068-71; 1570, pp. 1695-96; 1576, pp. 1447-48; 1583, pp. 1520-21). Actes and Monumentes of the church, pp. 1068-1071.Now when the Bishop Gardiner saw Doctor Taylor, he according to his common custom, Bishop Gardiner like Bishop Caiphas, all to revile him, calling him, knaue, traitor, heretic, with many other villainous reproaches: Doctor Talor’s patience and magnanimitye which al Doctor heard patiently, and at last said unto him:My Lord I am neither Traitor, nor heretic, but a true subject, and a faithful Christian man, and am come according to your commandment, to know what is the cause that your Lordship hath sent me.Then said the Bishop: art thou come, thou villain? How darest thou look me in the face for shame? Knowest thou not who I am?Yes, quote Doctor Taylor, I know who ye are.Ye are Doctor Stephan Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, and Lord Chancellor, and yet a mortal man I trust.But if I should be afraid of your Lord-like looks, why fear you not God, the Lord of all? How dare ye for shame look a Christian man in the face, saying, ye have forsaken truth, denied our Savior Christ and his Word, and done contrary to your own oath and writing?With that countenance will ye appear before the judgment seat of Christ, and answer to your oath made, first unto King Henry, VIII of famous memory, and afterward unto that blessed King, King Edward the VI, his son.
The Bishop answered: Tushe, tushe, that was Herod’s oath, unlawful, and therefore worthy to be broken. Here the Bishop’s confesseth unlawful oaths ought not to be kept. I have done well in breaking it: and (I thank God) I am come home again to our mother the Catholic Church of Rome, and so I would thou shouldest do.Doctor Taylor answered: Should I forsake the true
Christ, whereunto all men ought to turn?
Christ, which is founded upon the true foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, too approve those lies, errors, superstitions, and idolatries, that the Popes and their company at this day so blasphemously approveth? Nay God forbid.Let the Pope and his return to our Savior Christ and his Word, and thrust out of the churches such abominable idolatries, as he maintaineth, and then will Christian men turn to him. You wrote truly against him, and were sworn against him.I tell thee, quote the Bishop of Winchester) it was Herod’s oath, unlawful, and therefore ought to be broken and not kept, and our Holy Father the Pope hath discharged me of it.Then said Doctor Taylor: but you shall not so be discharged before Christ, Christ will require lawful oaths and promises. Who doubtless will require it at your hands, as a lawful oath made to your liege and sovereign Lord the King, from whose obedience no man can assail you, neither the Pope nor none of his.I see (quote the Bishop) thou art an arrogant knave and a very foe. My Lord (quote Doctor Taylor) leave your unseemly railing at me, which is not seemly for such a one in authority as you are. For I am a Christian man and you know that railing words become not magistrates. He that saith to his brother “Racca”, is in danger of a Council: and he that saith “Thou Fool”, is in danger of hell fire. The Bishop answered: ye are all false and liars, all the sort of you. Nay (quote Docotr Taylor) we are true men and know that it is written. “Os quod mentitur, occidit animam:” And again, “Perdes omnes qui loquuntur mendatium.” The mouth that lieth, slayeth the soul. And again, Lord God thou shalt destroy all that speak lies. And therefore we abide bythe truth of God’s Word, which ye contrary to your own conscience deny and forsake.Thou art married (quote the Bishop) Doctor
Taylor’s marriage. Yes (quote Doctor Taylor) that I thank God I am, and have had nine children, and all in lawful matrimony: and blessed be God that ordained matrimony, and commanded that every man that hath not the gift of continence, should marry a wife of his own, and not lie in adultery, or whoredom.Then said the Bishop, Thou hast resisted the Queen’s proceedings, and wouldest not suffer the person of Aldham, as good a Priest as can be. A very virtuous, and devout Priest, to say Mass in Hadleigh. Doctor Taylor answered, My Lord: I am person of Hadley, and it is against all Right, Conscience and Laws, that any man shall come into my charge, and presume to infect the flock, committed unto me with venom of the Popish idolatrous
Mass.With that the Bishop waxed very angry, and said: Thou art a blasphemous heretic indeed, that blasphemest the blessed Sacrament, (and put of his cap) and speakest against the Holy Mass, which is made a sacrifice for the quick and the dead.Doctor Taylour answered: No, I blaspheme not the blessed Sacrament, which Christ instituted, but I reverence it as a true Christian ought to do, and confess that Christ ordained the Holy Communion, The communion. In the remembrance of his Death and Passion: which when wee keep according to his ordinance, we, through Faith, eat the body of Christ, and drink his blood, giving thanks for our redemption: and this is our Sacrifice for the quick and the dead, to give God thanks for his merciful goodness Thou sayest well (quote the Bishop:) It is all, that thou hast said, and more too. For it is a propitiatory Sacrifice for the quick and the dead. Then answered Doctor Taylor: Christ gave himself to die for our redemption upon the Cross, whose body there offered was the propitiatory Sacrifice, full, perfect, and sufficient, unto salvation for all them that believe in him. And this sacrifice did our Savior Christ offer in his own person himself, once for all, neither can any Priest and more offer him, nor we need no more propitiatory Sacrifice: And therefore I say with Chrisystrom, and all the Doctors: Our Sacrifice is only In Memoriam, in the remembrance of Christ’s death, and Passion, a Sacrifice of thanks giving, and therefore the Fathers calleth it Eucharist. And other sacrifice hath the
God none.It is true (quote the Bishop:) the Sacrament is called Eucharist, a thanks giving, because we there give thanks for our redemption: and it is also a sacrifice propitiatory for the quick and the dead: which thou shalt confess, ere thou and I have done. Then called the Bishop his men, and said: A strong reason, this is his shoote anker. Have thy fellows hence, and carry him to the King’s bench, and charge the keeper he be straightly kept.
Then kneeled Doctor Taylor down, and held up both his hands and said: Good Lord, I thank thee. And from the Tyranny of the Bishop of Rome, and all his detestable errors, Idolatries, and abominations, good Lord deliver vs. And God be praised for good king Edward. So they carried him to prison to the Kings, where he lay prisoner almost two year.
This is the summary of that first talk, (as I saw it mentioned in a letter) that Doctor Taylor wrote to a friend of his, thanking GOD for his grace, that he had confessed his truth, and was found worthy for his truth to suffer prison, and bands, and beseech his friends to pray for him, that he might persevere constant unto the end.
Taylor‘s first examination by Stephen Gardiner and deprivation of his livings (1563, pp. 1068-71; 1570, pp. 1695-96; 1576, pp. 1447-48; 1583, pp. 1520-21). Actes and Monumentes of the church, pp. 1068-1071.Nowe when the Byshop Gardiner saw Doctor Taylor, he according to hys commune custome, Byshoppe Gardiner like Byshope Caiphas. all to reuiled hym, callinge him, knaue, traytor, Heritique, with many other villanous reproches: Doctoure Taylours patience and magnanimitye which al Doctor Taylour heard paciently, and at the last sayde vnto hym.My Lorde (quoth he) I am neyther Traytour, nor hereticke, but a true subiecte, and a faythfull Christian man, and am come according to your commaundement, to know what is the cause that your Lordshyp hathe sent for me.
Then sayde the Byshop: art thou come, thou vyllayne? Howe darest thou looke me in the face for shame? Knowest thou not who I am?
Yes (quod Doctour Taylour) I knowe who ye are.
Ye are Doctour Stephan Gardyner Byshoppe of Wynchester, and Lord Chauncelor, and yet but a mortall man I trowe.
But if I shoulde be afrayde of your Lordlye lookes, why feare you not God, the Lorde of all? How dare yee for shame looke anye Christian man in the face, seynge ye haue forsaken the truthe, denyed our Sauiour Christe and hys woorde, and done contrarye to your owne othe and writyng?
Wyth what countenaunnce wyll ye appeare before the iudgement seate of Christe, and answere to your othe made, fyrste vnto kyng Henrye the eyght of famous memorye, and afterward vnto that blessed kyng, kyng Edward the syxt hys Sonne.The Byshoppe answered: Tushe, tushe, that was Herodes othe, vnlawful, and therfore woorthy to be broken. Here the Bishoppes confesseth vnlawefull othes oght not too bee kept. I haue done wel in breakyng it: and (I thanke God) I am come home agayne to our mother the Catholycke Churche of
Rome, and so I woulde thou shouldest doo.
Doctour Taylour answered: Shoulde I forsake the The true churche of Christ, whereunto all menne ought to turne. Churche of Christe, whyche is founded vppon the true foundacion of the Apostles aud Prophetes, too approue those lyes, errours, superstitions, and Idolatries, that the Popes and theyr companye at thys day so blasphemouslye approueth? Nay God forbyd.Let the Pope and hys retourne to oure Sauiour Christ and hys woorde, and thrust out of the Churches suche abhomynable Idolatries, as he mayntayueth, and then wyll Christen men tourne vnto him. You wrote truelye agaynste hym, and were sworen agaynste hym.
I tell thee (quod the Byshoppe of Wynchester) it was Herodes othe, vnlawfull, and therefore ought to be broken and not kept, and oure holye father the Pope hath discharged me of it.
Then sayde Doctour Taylour: but you shall not so be discharged before Christ, Christ will require laufull othes and promises. who doubtles will require it at your handes, as a lawfull othe made to your liege and soueraygne Lorde the Kinge, from whose obedience no man canne assoyle you, neyther the Pope nor none of hys.I see (quod the Byshoppe) thou arte an arrogant Knaue and a very fole.
My Lorde (quod Doctour Tayloure) leaue your vnsemely raylynge at me, which is not semely for such a one in authority as you are. For I am a christian man and you knowe that Raylyng wordes become not magistrates. he þt sayth to his brother Racha, is in daunger of a Councel: and he that sayeth thou foole, is in daunger of hel fyre.The Bishoppe aunswered: ye are all false and liars, all the sorte of you. Nay (quod Doctoure Tayloure) we are true menne, & know that it is written. Os quod mentitur, occidit animam: And agayne, Perdes omnes qui loquuntur mendatium. i. The mouthe that lieth, sleyeth the soule. And again. Lorde God thou shalt destroy all that speake lyes. And therefore we abyde by the truthe of Goddes woorde, whiche ye contrarye to youre owne conscience deny and forsake.
Thou arte maryed (quod the Byshoppe.) D. Taylours mariage. Yea (quod Doctour Taylour,) that I thanke God I am, and haue hadde nine children, and all in lawefull matrimonye: and blessed bee GOD that ordayned matrimonye, and commaunded that euerye manne that hathe not the gifte of continencye, shoulde mary a wife of his owne, and not liue in adulterye, or whoredome.Then sayde the Byshoppe. Thou haste resisted the Queenes proceadynges, and wouldest not suffer the person of Aldham, As good a papiste as can bee. a verye vertuous, and deuoute Prieste, to saye Masse in Hadleigh. Doctoure Tayloure aunswered. My Lorde: I am person of Hadley, and it is againste all Righte, Conscience, and Lawes, that anye manne shall come into my charge, and presume to infecte the flocke, commytted vnto me with venome of the Popishe idolatrous masse. The masse.With that the Bishoppe waxed very angry, and saide: Thou arte a blasphemous heretyke in dede, that blasphemest the blessed Sacramet, (and putte of his Cappe) and speakest agaynste the holy masse, whiche is made a sacrifice for the quicke and the dead. Doctoure Tayloure aunswered: Naye, I blaspheme not the blessed Sacramente, whiche Christe instytuted, but I reuerence it as a true Christian oughte to dooe, and confesse that Chryste ordayned the holye Communion, The communion. in the remembrance of hys Death and Passion: whiche when wee keepe accordynge to his ordynaunce, wee, throughe Faythe, eate the bodye of Chryste, and drinke his bloude, geuynge thankes for oure redemption: and this is oure Sacryfyce for the quicke and the deade, to geue GOD thankes for his mercifull goodnessThou sayest well (quod the Byshoppe:) it is all, that thou haste sayde, and more to. For it is a propitiatorye Sacrifyce for the quycke, and the dead. Then aunswered Doctor Tayloure: Christe gaue hymselfe to dye for oure redemption vppon the Crosse, whose bodye there offered was the propitiatorye Sacrifyce, full, perfecte, and sufficiente, vnto salua-uation for all them that beleue in hym. And thys Sacrifyce dyd oure Sauioure Christe offer in hys owne persone hymselfe, once for al, neyther can anye Prieste any more offer hym, nor we neede no more propitiatorye Sacrifice: And therefore I saye with Chrisostome, and all the Doctours: Oure Sacrifice is onelye Memoratiue, in the remembraunce of Christes death, and Passion, a Sacrifice of thankes geuynge, and therefore the Fathers calleth it Eucharistia. And other sacrifice hathe the Churche of GOD none.It is true (quod the Byshoppe:) the Sacramente is called Eucharistia, a thankes geuing, because we there geue thanks for our redemption: and it is also a sacrifice propitiatorye for the quicke, and the deade: whiche thou shalt confesse, ere thou and I haue done. The called the Byshoppe his menne, and sayde: A strog reson, this is his shoote anker. haue thys felowe hence, and carye him to the Kynges Benche, and charge the keper he be straytelye kepte.________________________________________________________
Then kneeled Doctoure Tayloure downe, and helde vp bothe his handes and sayd: Good Lorde, I thanke thee. And from the Tirannye of the Bishoppe of Rome, and al his detestable errours, Idolatries, and abhominations, good Lorde deliuer vs. And God be praised for good king Edward. So they caried him to prison to the kinges Benche, where he lay prisoner almoste two yeare.
? This is the summe of that firste talke, (as I sawe it mentioned in a letter) that Doctoure Tayloure wrote to a frende of his, thankynge GOD for hys grace, that hee hadde confessed his truthe, and was founde worthy for his truthe to suffer prison, and bandes, and besechynge hys frendes to praye for hym, that he myghte perseuer constante vnto the ende.Beynge in prisone, Doctoure Tayloure spente all hys tyme in prayer, readyng the holye Scryptures, and wrytynge, and preachynge, and exhortynge the prysoners, and suche as resorted to hym, to repentance, and amendemente of lyfe. And wythin a fewe dayes after, were diuerse other learned, and godlye menne, in all countreys of Englande committed to prison for religion, so that almoste all the prisones in Englande were become the ryghte Christian Scholes, and churches, Prisos turned into Churches, and churches into dennes of theues. so that there was no greater comforte for Christian heartes, then to come to the prisones, to beholde theyr vertuous conuersation, and to heare theyr prayers, preachinges, moste godlye exhortations, and comfortinges.Nowe were come into the Churches blynde and ignoraunt massemongers, with their Latine
DDD.i.tin bablinges and apyshe ceremonyes, who like cruell Wolues spared not to murther all suche, as any thyng at all, but once whispered against their Poperye. As for all the Godlye preachers whiche were in kinge Edwards tyme, they were eyther fledde the Realme, or elles, as the Prophetes dyd in kynge Achabs dayes, they were priuilye kepte in corners. As for as manye as the Papistes could laye holde on, they were sette into prison, ther as lambes waiting, when the butchers would call them to the slaughter.
When Doctour Tailour was come into the prison, called the Kynges Benche, he found therin the most vertuous, and vigilat preacher of Goddes woorde, maister Iohn Bradforde, whiche manne, for his innocent and godly lyuing, his deuoute, and vertuous preachynge, was worthily counted a miracle of our tyme, (as euen his aduersaries must nedes confesse.) Finding this man in priso, he began to exhort him to faith, strength, and patience, and to perseuer constant vnto the end. Maister Bradford hearing this, thanked god that hadde prouided him suche a comfortable prison felow: & so they bothe together lauded god, and continued in prayer, reading, and exhorting one the other: Insomuche that Doctour Tailoure tolde hys frendes that came to visite him, that God had moste gratiously disposed for hym, to send him to that prison, where he founde suche an Angell of god, to be in his company to coumforte him.After that Doctoure had lien in prison a while, he was cited to appeare in the arches, at
Church, to aunswer vnto such matter, as there should be obiected against hym. At the day appointed, he was led thether, hys keper waytinge vppon him: Where, when he came, D. Taylor defendeth maryage of priestes. he stoutelye, and stronglye defended his mariage, affirminge by the Scriptures of god, by the Doctours of the
Church, by bothe Lawes, Ciuill, and Canon, that it is lawfull for Priestes to marye, and that suche as haue not the gifte of continencye, are bound in paine of damnation to marye. This dyd hee so plainely proue, that the iudge coulde geue no sentence of diuorce againste him, but gaue sentence he shoulde be depriued of his benefice because he was maried.You doe me wrong then (quod Doctor Tailour,) and alledged many lawes, and constitutions for himself: but all preuayled not. For he was againe caried into prison, and his liuings taken awaye, and geuen to other. As for Hadley benefice, it was geuen or solde, I wote not whether, to one mayster Newealle, Seldom cometh a better. whose greate vertues were altogether vnlyke to Doctoure Tayloure his predecessoure, as the poore parishioners full well haue proued. After a yeare and three quarters, or theraboute, in the whiche tyme The papistes rule and reigne the Papistes gotte certayne olde Tyrannous lawes, whiche were putte downe by King Henry the eighte, and by King Edwarde, to bee agayne reuyued by Parliamente: so that nowe they might ex officio cyte whome they woulde, vpon their owne suspicion, and charge hym with what articles they lusted: and excepte they in all thinges agreed to theyr purpose, burne them. When these lawes were once stablished, they sente for Doctour Tayloure, and others, to appeare afore the Lorde Chauncelloure, and diuers other Byshoppes. Where was profered vnto them, A pardon from thrift and al goodnes. that if they would returne to holye Churche, (for so termed they the receauyng agayne of the Popes vsurped power) the Queenes maiestye woulde of her clemencye pardone, and forgeue all that was paste, and the holye Father the Pope shoulde assoile them of all suche penalties, as they hadde incurred in the tyme of this Schisme vnder king Edwarde.At this Doctoure Taylour, not lyke a prysoner, but as one that boldely came to professe the truthe, D. Taylor boldly resisteth Antychrist. constantly denied to submitte hymself to the Romayne Byshoppe, affirming and prouing by Scriptures, Doctors, Lawes, and Decreees, that the Romaine Byshop hathe no ryghte to claime any suche autoritie ouer any Churche, but oughte to content himself wyth the office of a Bishop, which he oughte to execute with preaching, and not vsurpynge an office and dignitie, not belongyng to hym, persecute his brethren, and shed innocent bloud. For these are the woorkes of Antichriste, an enemye to goddes people, and not of a Bishop that shoulde fede the flockes of Christ. He alledged also his othe, The othe of supremacye. made vnto kinge Henrye the eight, and vnto king Edwarde, whiche he woulde with goddes grace kepe, for as muche as the same was a good, and lawfull othe, that no Christian man ought to breake, vnder pain of damnation: and stoutly he rebuked his aduersaries for the breaking of that othe, and betrayinge of the Realme into the power of the Romayne Byshoppe. When they sawe they could not bryng him to approue theyr turnyng from truthe to the Romayne Byshoppe, they committed him agayne to prison.The laste daye of Ianuary, Anno. 1555. Doctoure Tayloure, and maister Bradforde, and maister Saunders were agayne called to appeare afore the bishoppe of
Winchester, Gardiner. the bishoppe of Norwiche, Clopton the bishop of
London, Boner. the bishop of Salisburye, Capon. & the bishop of Duresme, Tunstal and there charged with heresie, and Schisme: and therfore a determinate answer was requyred, whether they would submit themselues to the Romaine bishop, and abiure their errours, or els they would according to their lawes procede to their condemnation.
When Doctour Taylour, and his felowes, maister Bradforde, & maister Saunders heard this, The constacy of these men. they aunswered stoutely, and bodlye, that they woulde not depart from the truthe, whiche they hadde preached in king Edwards dayes, neither would they submit themselues to the Romishe Antichrist: but they thanked God for so great mercy, that he would cal them to bee worthye to suffer for his woorde and truthe.
When the Bishops saw them so boldly, constantly, and vnmoueably fixed, in the truthe, they redde the sentence of death vppon them: Sentence of death geuen vppon innocentes. whiche when they hadde heard, they most ioyfully gaue God thankes, and stoutely said vnto the Bishoppes. We doubt not but God the rightwise Iudge wil require our bloud at your handes: and the proudest of you all shal repent this receiuing again of Antichrist, and your tiranny that ye nowe shew against the flocke of Christ. So was Doctoure Taylour nowe condemned, committed to the Clincke, and the kepers charged straitly to kepe him. For ye haue nowe another maner of charge (quod the Lord Chauncellour) then ye had before. Therefore looke ye take hede to it. When the keper brought Doctour Tailor towarde the prison, the people flocked aboute to gase vppon hym, vnto whom he sayde: God bee praysed (good people) I am come awaye from them vndefiled, and will confirme the truthe with my bloude. So was he bestowed in the Clincke till it was towarde nighte, and then was he remoued to the Counter by the pultry.
When Doctoure Tailour hadde lien in the sayde Counter in the Pultrye, a seuen nyghte, or thereaboutes prisoner, the fourth day of February. Anno. 1555. Edmond Boner Bishoppe of London, with others, came to the said Couter to disgrade him, bringing with them suche ornamentes, as dooe apperteine to theyr Massing Mommery. Nowe being come, he called for the saide Doctour Taylour to be brought vnto him. (For he the saide Bishoppe was in the chaumber where the keper of the Counter and his wyfe lay:) so Doctour Taylor was brought downe from the chaumber aboue that, to the said Boner. And at his commyng, the Bishop saide: Master Doctour, I would you would remember your self, & turne to your mother holy Churche: so may ye do well inough, and I wil sue for your pardon. Vnto which Doctor Tailor aunswered. I would you and your felowes would turne to Christe: as for me, I wyll not turne to Antichrist. Well (quod the Bishop) I am com to disgrade you: wherfore put on these vestures. No (quod Doctoure Tailour) I wyll not. Wilt thou not, (saieth the Bishop? I shal
make thee, or I go. Quod Doctour Tayloure, you shal not by the grace of god. Then he charged him vppon his obedience to dooe it: but he would not doe it for him. So he willed another to put them on his backe: and when he was thorowly furnished therwith, he set his handes by his side, walking vp and downe, and said: how say you my Lord: am I not a goodly foole? how say you my masters? if I were in Chepe, should I not haue boyes inough to laugh at these apishe toyes, and toying trumperie? So the Bishop scraped his fingers, thombes & the croune of his head, and did the rest of these Deuillishe obseruances. At the laste, when he should haue geuen Doctour Tailour a stroke on the brest, with his Crosierstaffe, the Bishops chapleine saide: my Lorde, strike him not: for he wyl sure strike againe. Yea by saictt Peter wil I, (quod Doctour Tailor. The cause is Christes: and I were no good christian, if I would not fyght in my maisters quarell. So the Bishoppe layd his curse vppon him, but stroke him not. Then Doctoure Tayloure saide: thoughe you dooe curse me, yet dooeth God blesse me. I haue the witnes of my conscience, that ye haue done me wrong, and violence: And yet I pray god (if it bee his will) forgeue you. But from the tirannye of the Bishop of Rome, and his detestable enormities, good Lorde deliuer vs. And in going vp to his chaumber, he stil said: god deliuer me from you, god deliuer me fro you. And whe he came vp, he told maister Bradford (for they bothe laye in one chaumber) that he had made the Bishop of London afearde: for (sayeth he) laughingly, his chaplein gaue him cousel not to strike me with his Crosierstaffe, for þt I would strike agayne: and by my trouth, saide he (rubbing his handes) I made him beleue I woulde do so in dede.
The reporte of the talke betwene Doctor Rowlande Tailor and the Lorde Chauncellour, as he himself wrote it to his frend.
WHere as you would haue me to write the talke, betwene the Kynge and Queenes moste honourable Counsell and me, on Tuesdaye, the. xxii. of Ianuarye, so farre as I remember: Fyrste my Lorde Chauncelloure sayde: You, among other are at this presente tyme sente for, to enioye the Kynges and Queenes maiesties fauoure, and mercye, The pardo is profred. if you wyll nowe ryse agayne with vs from the fall, whiche we generallye haue receiued in this Realme, from the whiche (God be praised) we are nowe clerelye deliuered, miraculouslye. If you wyll not rise with vs nowe, and receyue mercye nowe offered: you shall haue iudgement accordyng to youre demerites. To this I aunswed: Note thys aunswer. that so to ryse, shoulde bee the greatest fall that euer I could receiue. For I shoulde so fall from my deare sauior Christ, to Antichrist.For I dooe beleue that the Religion sette foorth in Kinge Edwardes dayes, The religion set forth in king Edwards daies. was accordinge to the veine of the holy scripture, whiche conteineth fullye all the Rules of oure Christian Religion, from the whiche I do not intend to decline, so long as I liue, by Goddes grace. Then maister Secretary Bourne saide: which of the Religions meane ye of in kinge Edwardes daies? for ye knowe there were dyuers bokes of Religion set foorth in his daies. There was a Religion set foorth in a Cathechisme by my Lorde of Caunterbury Do you meane, that you will sticke to that? I aunswered: My Lorde of Caunterbury made a Cathechisme to be translated into Englishe, whiche booke was not of his owne makinge. Yet he set it foorth in his owne name. And truely that booke for the tyme did muche good: A testimonye of the boke of seruice set out in king Edwardes dayes. But there was after that set foorth, by the most innocent king Edwarde (for whom God be praysed euer lastinglye) the whole Churche Seruice, sette foorth with greate deliberation, and the aduise of the beste learned menne of the Realme, and authorised by the whole Parliament, and receiued, and published gladlye by the whole Realme, whiche booke was neuer refourmed but once: and yet by that one reformation, it was so fully perfited, accordyng to the rules of oure Christian Religion, in euerye behalfe, that no Christian conscyence coulde bee offended with any thing therin conteined: I meane of that booke refourmed.Then my Lord Chauncellour said: Diddest thou neuer read the booke that I set foorth of the sacrament?
I aunswered that I had red it.
Then he sayde. Howe lykest thou that Boke? With that one of the Councel (whose name I knowe not Hys ryght name might be Syr Iho Clawback ) sayde: My Lorde, that is a good Question: for I am sure, that boke stoppeth all theyr mouthes. Then sayde I: My Lorde I thinke manye thynges bee farre wide from the truthe of Goddes worde in that booke. Then my Lorde saide: Thou art a verye verlet. To that I aunswered: That is as yll as Racha, or (Fatue.) Then my Lord saide: Thou art an ignoraunt betil Browe.
Then he sayde. Howe lykest thou that Boke? With that one of the Councel (whose name I knowe not Hys ryght name might be Syr Iho Clawback ) sayde: My Lorde, that is a good Question: for I am sure, that boke stoppeth all theyr mouthes. Then sayde I: My Lorde I thinke manye thynges bee farre wide from the truthe of Goddes worde in that booke. Then my Lorde saide: Thou art a verye verlet. To that I aunswered: That is as yll as Racha, or (Fatue.) Then my Lord saide: Thou art an ignoraunt betil Browe.
To that I aunswered: I haue redde ouer and ouer agayne the holye Scryptures, D. Taylor learned in diuinitie. and Saincte Augustines woorkes throughe: and Sayncte Cyprian, Eusebius, Origene, Gregorye Nazianzen, with diuers other Bookes throughe once: Therefore I thanke GOD I am not vtterlye ignoraunte. Besides these, my Lorde, I professed the Ciuill Lawes, as youre Lordshippe dyd, and I haue redde ouer the Canon lawe also. Then my Lorde saide: with a corrupt iudgement thou readest al thinges. Touchinge my profession it is Diuinitie, in whiche I haue written diuerse Bookes. Then I saide: My Lorde ye did write one boke Gardiners Booke De vera obedientia De vera obedientia: I woulde you hadde beene constaunt in that. For in deede you neuer did declare a good conscyence, that I heard of, but in that one Booke.
Then my Lorde saide: toot, toot, toot. I wrote againste Bucer in Priestes maryages: but suche Bookes please not suche wretches as thou arte, whiche haste beene maryed manye yeares. Priest mariage confirmed by D. Taylor To that I aunswered: I am maried in deede, and I haue hadde nine chyldren, in holye matrimonye, I thanke GOD: and this I am sure of: that youre proceadynges nowe at this presente in this Realme, against Priestes maryages, is the mayntenaunce of the Doctrine of Deuilles: againste naturall Lawe, Ciuill Lawe, Canon Lawe, generall Councelles, Canons of the Apostles, auncient Doctours, and Goddes lawes. Then spake my Lorde of Duresme, saying: You haue professed the Ciuill lawe, as you saye. Then you knowe that Iustinian writeth, that Priestes shoulde at theyr takynge of Orders sweare, that they wer neuer maried: and he bringeth in to proue that, Canones Apostolorum. To that I answered: that I did not remember any suche lawe of Iustinian. Iustinians law approueth maryage and codemneth othes made agaynst it. But I am sure that Iustinian wryteth in Titulo de indicta viduitate, in cod. that if one woulde bequeathe to his wyfe in his testamente a Legacie, vnder a condition that she shoulde neuer marye againe, and take an othe of her for the accomplishinge of the same, yet she shall marye agayne if he dye, notwithstandynge the aforesaid condition, and othe taken, and made against maryage. And an othe is an other maner of obligation to God, then is a papisticall vowe. Moreouer in the Pandectes it is conteyned, that if a manne dooeth manumitte his handemayde vnder a condition, that shee shall neuer marye: yet she maye marye, and her Patrone shall loose ius patronatus, for hys addynge of the vnnaturall, and vnlawful condition against matrimony.Then my Lorde Chauncellour said. Thou sayest that Priestes maye bee maried by gods lawe. Howe prouest thou that? I aunswered. By the playne woordes and sentences of saint Paule, bothe to Timothye, and to Titus, Scrypture approueth Priestes maryage. where Saincte Paule dooeth speake most euidentelye of the maryage of Priestes, Deacons, and Bishoppes. And Saincte Chrisostome, wrytinge vppon the Epistle to Timothy, sayeth. It is an heresye to saye, that a Bishoppe maye not bee maryed. Then my Lorde Chauncelloure sayde: thou lyest of Chrysosstome. But thou dooest as all thy companions dooe, belye euer without all shame, bothe the Scriptures and the Doctours.Diddest thou not also saye, that by the Canon lawe Priestes may be maried? whiche is moste vntrue: and the contrarye is moste trew. I aunswered: We reade in the decrees: that the fower generall Councelles, Nicene, Constantinopolitane, Ephesine, and Calcedone haue the same autoritie that the foure Euangelistes haue. Cano law approueth priests mariages. And we read in the same decrees (whiche is one of the chiefe bookes of the Canon lawe,) that the Councell of Nicene, by the meanes of one Paphnutius, did allowe Priestes, and Bishoppes mariages. Therefore by the best part of the Canon law, Priests may be maried.Then my Lord Chauncellour said. Thou falsifiest the generall Councell. For there is expresse mention in the sayde decree, that Priestes should be diuorced fro their wiues, whiche be maried.
Then saide I: if those woordes be there, as you say, then am I content to lose this great head of myne. Let the booke be fetched. The booke was not fette. Then saide my Lorde of Duresme: Thoughe they be not there, yet they maye be in Ecclesiastica historia, whiche Eusebius wrote, out of which booke the decree was taken. Then sayde I: it is not lyke that the Pope woulde leaue oute any suche sentence, hauynge suche autoritye, and makinge so muche for his purpose. Then my Lorde Chauncelloure saide: Gardiner denieth his own Canonist, and calleth it a patched lawe. Gratian was but a Patcher, and thou arte glad to snathe vp suche a patche as maketh for thy purpose. I aunswered: my Lorde: I can not but marueyle that you dooe call one of the chiefe Papistes that euer was, but a patcher.Then my Lorde Chauncelloure sayde: Naye I call thee a snatcher and a patcher. To make an ende: Wilte thou not retourne agayne with vs to the Catholike Churche? and with that he rose. And I sayde: By goddes grace I wyll neuer departe from Chrystes Church. Then I required that I myght haue some of my frendes to come to me in prison. And my Lorde Chauncellour sayd: thou shalte haue iudgemente within this Weke. And so I was deliuered agayne vnto my keper. My Lorde of Duresme woulde that I shoulde beleue as my father, and my mother: I alledged Saynct Augustine: That we ought to preferre gods worde before al men. &c.The Copy of a wrytyng that Doctour Taylour sent to a faythul frende, concernyng the causes wherefore he was codemned.
¶ Doctour Taylours assertion concernynge mariage of Priestes.
Priests mariage confirmed. IT is heresie to defend any doctrine against the holye scripture. Therefore the Lord Chauncellour and Byshops cosenting to his setece against me, be Heretikes. For they haue geue setence against the mariage of Priestes, knowing that sainct Paule to Tymothe and Titus writeth plainlye, that Bishoppes, Priestes, and Deacons maye bee maried: knowinge also that by Saincte Paules Doctrine, it is the Doctrine of the Deuilles to inhibite Matrimonye. And Saincte Paule wylleth euerye faythfull mynyster to teache the people so, leaste they bee deceyued by the marked marchauntes. i. Timoth. iiii.These Bishoppes are not ignoraunt, that it is not onelye Saincte Paules counsaile and lawfull, but Goddes commaundement also to marye, for suche as cannot otherwyse lyue chaste, neither auoide fornication. i. Cor. vii They know that suche as dooe mary, dooe not sinne. They knowe that Genes. ii. GOD, before synne was, ordayned matrimony, and that in paradise, betwene twoo of his principall Creatures, Manne, and Woman. They know what Spirit thei haue, whiche saye it is euyll to marye, (seyng GOD sayde: it is not good for manne to bee alone withoute a wyfe, Genes. ii ) hauinge no speciall gyfte contrarye to the generall commaundemente, and ordinaunce, diuers times repeted in the Booke of Genesis, whiche is to encrease and multiplye. Genes. i They knowe that Abraham caried into the lande of Chanaan his olde and yet barraine wife, the vertuous woman Sara with him, Genes, xii leauinge Father, and Mother, and Countrey otherwyse at Goddes commaundement. For thoughe Father and Mother, and other frendes are deare, and neare, yet none are so dearelye nor nearelye ioyned together, as Manne and Wyfe in Matrimonie, whiche muste needes bee holye, for that it is a fygure and similitude of Christe and his Churche.They knowe that Saincte Paule giueth a great praise to Matrimonie, Ephes. v callinge it honourable, Hebru. xiii and that not onely to and among many, but to and among all men, without exception, whosoeuer haue nede of that Goddes remedy, for Mannes and Womans infirmitie. They knowe that if there were anye sinne in Matrymonye, it were chiefly to be thoughte to bee in the bedde company. But Saincte Paule sayeth: that the bedde companye is vndefyled. They knowe that the hauynge of a wife was not am impedimente for Abraham, Moses, Isaac, Iacob, Dauid. &c. Gene. xviii Exod. xviii Genes. xxv Genes. xxxi ii. Reg. vii to talke with God, neyther to the Leuites, Bishoppes, and Priestes office in the tyme of the olde Testamente, or the Newe.They knowe that Christe woulde not bee conceaued, or borne of the blessed Mother, the Virgine Marye, Math. 1 before shee was espoused in mariage, his owne ordinaunce. They knowe by Sayncte Cyprian, and Sayncte Austyne, that a vowe is not an impedymente suffycyente to lette Matrimonye, or to diuorce the same. They know that sainct Chrisostom saith: It is heresy to denye priestes mariage. it is heresy to affirme that a Bishop may not haue a wyfe. They know that saincte Ambrose wyll haue no commaundement but counsayle onely to bee geuen, touchyng the obseruyng of virginite. They knowe that Christe wyth hys blessed mother & Apostles were at a mariage, Ihon. ii. and beautified, and honoured the same wyth his presence, and first miracle. To be shorte: They know that all that I haue here wrytten touchyng the mariage of Priestes is true, and they know that the Papistes themselues dooe not obserue touching that matter, their owne Lawes & Canons: and yet they continue marked in coscyece with an hote iron, as detestable heretikes in this behalf. The Lorde geue them grace to repente, if it bee his good wyll. Amen.My second cause why I was condemned as an heretike is, that I denied the Transubstantiation and Concomitation. Transubstantiation and Concomitation, twoo iugglyng woordes of the Papistes, by the which they doe beleue and will compell al other to beleue that Christes naturall body is made of bread, and the Godhead by and by to be ioyned thereunto: so that immediately aftre the wordes (called the woordes of consecration) there is no more bread and wyne in the sacrament, but the substaunce onely of the body and bloud of Christ together with his Godhead: so that the same being now Christ, both god and manne, ought to be worshipped with godly honor, and to be offred to God, both for the quick and the dead, as a sacrifice propitiatory and satisfactory for the same. This matter was not long debated in words: but because I denyed the foresayd papisticall doctrine, (yea rather playne most wicked Idolatry, blasphemy and heresy) I was iudged an heretike.I dyd also affyrme the Pope to be Antychrist, and Popery Antichristianity: And I confessed the doctryne of The Byble. the Byble to be a suffycient Doctrine, touchyng all and syngular matters of Christian Religion, and of saluation. I also alledged that The othe. the othe agaynste the Supremacye of the Byshoppe of Rome, was a lawefull othe, and so was the othe made by vs all, touchynge the Kynges or Queenes prehemynence. For Chrisostomus sayeth: All menne muste obey kings. That Apostles, Euangelistes, and all men, in euery Realme wer euer, and ought to be euer, touchyng bothe bodye and goodes, in subiection to the Kyngly autoritye, who hath the sweard in his hande, as goddes pryncipall officer and gouernour in euery realme. I desyred the Byshoppes to repent for brynging the Realme from Christe to Antichriste, from light to darkenesse, from veritye to vanitie.Thus you knowe a summe of my laste examination, and condemnatio. Pray for me. and
I wil pray for you.God be praysed: since my condempnation, I was neuer affrayde to dye: Gods wyll be doone. If I shryncke from Goddes truth, I am sure of an other maner of death then had Iudge Hales. Iudge Hales was a terrible example. But GOD be praysed, euen from the bottome of my heart, I am vnmoueably setled vppon the Rocke, nothyng doubtyng, but that my deare god wyl perfourme, and finish the woorke, that he hath begonne in me, and other. To hym be all honor both now and euer through Christ oure onely and whole Sauior. Amen.Rowland Taylour.http://www.hrionline.ac.uk/foxe/single/book11/1074_1563_11.htmlAFter that Doctour Tayloure was remoued fro the Clink, & brought to the Counter by sainte Mildreds church in the pultrye, the night after that he was degraded, his wife and his sonne Thomas resorted to hym, and were by the gentlenes of the Kepers permytted to suppe with hym. For this difference was euer found betwene the Kepers of prysons. Keepers of the Bishops prysons, and the Kepers of the kings prysons: The bishops kepers were euer crue, blasphemouse, and tyrannouse, lyke their maisters, but the Kepers of the kinges prysons, shewed for the moost part, as muche fauoure, as they possible might. So came Doctor Tailours wyfe, his sonne, and Iohn Hull his seruaunt, to suppe with him: And at their comming in afore supper, they kneled downe, and prayed, saying the Letanie. After supper walking vp & down, he gaue God thankes for his grace, that had so called him, and geuen hym strengthe to abide by his holy worde: and tourning to his sonne Thomas: My deare sonne (sayde he), D. Taylor blessed his sonne. almightie God blisse thee, and geue the his holy spirite, to be a true seruaunt of Christ, to lerne his worde, and costantly to stand by his truth all thy lyfe long. And my sonne, see that thou feare God alwayes. Flye from all synne and wycked liuing: be vertuouse, serue God with dayly praier, and applie thy boke. In any wyse see thou be obedient to thy mother, loue her, & serue her: be ruled by her nowe in thy youth, and followe her good counsell in all thynges. Beware of lewde company of yong men, that feare not God, but followeth their lewde lusts and vayne appetites. Flie from whordom, and hate all filthy lyuing, remembring that I thy father doo die in the defence of holy mariage. And an other daye when God shall blysse thee, loue and cheryshe the poore people, and count that thy chief ryches to be ryche in almoyse. And when thy mother is waxed olde, forsake her not, but prouide for her to thy power, and see that she lacke nothynge. For so will God blisse thee, geue the long liue vpon earthe, and prosperitie, whiche I praie God to graut thee.Then turning to his wyfe: D. Taylor counselleth his wyfe. My deare wyfe (quod he) cotinue stedfast in the feare and loue of God, kepe your selfe vndefyled from theire Popishe idolatries, and superstitios: you haue bene vnto me a faithfull yoke fellowe, and so haue I beene to you, whiche I praye God to rewarde you for, & doubt you not deare wyfe, but God will rewarde it. Nowe the tyme is come, that I shall be taken from you, and you discharged of the wedlocke bonde towardes me, therefore I will geue you my counsell, what I thinke most expedient for you. You ar yet a childe bearyng woman, and therefore it will be most conuenient for you to marry. For doubtles, you shall neuer bee at a conuenient staye for your selfe, and our poore children, nor out of trouble, till you be maried. Therfore as sone as God will prouide it, marry with some honest faithfull man, that feareth God. Doubt ye not, God wil prouide an honest husband for you, and he will be a mercifull father to you and to my children: whome I pray you, bring vp in the feare of God, and in learninge to the vttermoste of your power, and kepe the from this Romyshe idolatrie. When he had thus sayde, they with weping teares prayed to gether, and kissed one the other: His last token to his wyfe & his sonne. and he gaue to his wyfe a booke of the churche seruice, set out by king Edwarde, which in the time of his imprysonment he dayly vsed, and with his owne hand, he had written his name in eche ende of it. And vnto his sonne Thomas, he gaue a latin booke, called Apophthegmata, conteining the notable sayinges of the olde Martyrs, gathered out of Ecclesiastica historia: and in the ende of that booke he wrote his testamet, and last vale, as hereafter followeth.
The last wyll and testament of Doctor Rowland Tailour, parson of Hadley.
I Saye to my wife, and to my chyldre: Iob. 1. 2. The Lorde gaue you vnto me, and the Lorde hath taken me from you, and you fro me. Blessed be the name of the Lord. I beleue that they ar blissed which die in the Lorde. Apoc. 14. God careth for sparowes, and for the heares of our heades. Luke. 12. I haue euer found in him more faithfull and fauourable, then any father or husband. Trust ye therfore in him by the meanes of our deare Sauiour Christes merites: beleue, loue, feare, & obey him. Praye to him, for he hath promised to helpe. Counte me not dead. for I shall certainly liue, and neuer die. A sure faith & hope that wee shall know one another. I go before, & you shal followe after, to our longe home. I go to the rest of my childre, Susan, George, Nell, Robert, and Zacharie: I haue bequethed you to the only omnipotet.I saye to my deare frendes of Hadleye, and to all other whiche haue heard me preach: A pure conscience fully quieted. that I depart hence with a quiet conscience, as touching my doctrine: for the whiche I pray you, thanke God with me. For I haue after my lytle talent declared to other those lessons, that I gathered out of Gods booke, the blessed Bible. Therfore if I, or any Aungell from heauen, should preache to you any other Gospell, then that ye haue receiued, Gods great curse vpon that preacher.Beware for Gods sake, that ye denie not God, neither decline from the worde of faithe, lest God decline from you, and so ye doe euerlastinglie perishe. A graue warning against Popery. For gods sake beware of Poperie: for though it appeare to haue in it vnitie, yet the same is in vanitie, and Antichristianitie and not in Christes faith and veritie.Beware of the sinne against the holy ghost, nowe after suche a light opened, so plainly, & simply, truly, thoroughly, and generally to all Englande.
The Lorde graunt all men his good, & holy spirite, A goodlye prayer. encrease of his wisdome, encrease of cotempning the wicked world, encrease of desiring hartely to be with God, and the heauenly company, through Iesus Christ our only mediatour, aduocate, rightuousnes, life, sanctification, and hope. Amen, Amen. Pray, Pray.Rowland Taylour, departing hence, sure without all doubting of eternal saluation, I thanke God my heauely father, through Iesus Christ my certain sauiour. Amen.
5. February, An. 1555.
The Lorde is my lyght and my saluation: whome then shall I feare?
God is he that iustifieth: who is he that can condeme?
In thee O Lorde haue I trusted: let me neuer be confounded.ON the morowe morninge, after that Doctour Taylour had supped with his wyfe in the Counter, as is before sayde: the Sherife of London, with his officicers, came to the Counter, by two of the clock in the morning, and so brought forth Doctor Taylour, and without any light, led him to the Wolsack, an Inne without Algate. Doctor Taylors wife, suspecting that her husband should that night be caried awaye, watched all nyght within saint Botulphes church porche beside Algate, hauing with her two children, the one named Elizabeth, of. xiiii. yeares of age, whom being left without father or mother, D. Taylour had brought vp of almoise, from three yeares olde: the other named Marie, Doctour Taylours owne doughter.Nowe when the Sheriffe and his companie came against saint Botulphes churche, Elizabeth cried, saying: O my deare father: mother, mother, here is my father led away. The cried his wyfe: Rowlad, Rowland, where art thou? For it was a verie darke morninge, that the one could not well see the other. Doctor Taylour answered: deare wife, I am here, & staied: the Sherefes men would haue led him furth, but the Sherife said: stay a litle maisters I pray you, and let him speake with his wife, and so they staied: then came she to him, and he tooke his doughter Marie in his armes: and he his wife, and Elizabeth kneled downe, and sayde the Lordes praier. At whiche sight the Sherife wept apace, and so did diuerse other of the copanie. After they had praied, he rose vp, & kissed his wife, and shoke her by the hand, and sayde: Fare well my deare wife, be of good comfort: for I am quiet in my coscience. God shal stirre vp a father for my chidren: & then he kissed his daughter Marie, and said: God blisse thee, and make thee his seruaunt: and kissing Elizabeth, he saide: God blisse thee. I pray you all stande strong, and stedfast vnto Christ, and his word, and kepe you from idolatrie. Then saide his wyfe: God be with thee deare Rowlad. I will with Gods grace meate thee at Hadley. And so was he led forth to the Woll sack, and his wife followed him. As sone as they came to þe wolsack, he was put into a chaber, wherein he was kept with iiii. yeome of the garde, and the sherifes men. D. Taylour, as sone as he was come into the chaber, fell down on his knees, & gaue him selfe wholy to praier. The Sherifes are getill in their doynges. The Sherife then seing Doctor Taylours wife there, wold in no case graunt her to speake any more with her husband, but gentlie desired her to goe to his house, to take it as her owne, and promised her she should lacke nothing, and sent two officers to conduct her thether. Notwithstanding, she desired to go to her mothers, whether the officers led her, and charged her mother to kepe her there, till they came againe. Thus remained Doctor Tailour in the Wolsack, kept by the Sherife and his company, till. xi. of the clocke. At whiche time the Sherife of Essex was ready to receiue him: and so they set hym on horsebacke within the Inne, the gates being shut.At the coming out of the gates, Iohn Hull, before spoken of, stode at the rayles, with Thomas, Doctor Taylors sonne: when D. Taylor sawe them, he called the, saying: Come hether my sonne Thomas. And Iohn Hull lifted the childe vp, and set him on the horse before his father. D. Taylor taketh his leaue of his sonne Thomas, and Iohn Hul. And Doctor Taylour put of his hatt and saide to the people, that stode there looking on him. Good people: this is myne owne sonne, begotten of mine body in lawfull matrimony. And God be blessed for lawfull matrimonie. Then lift he his eyes towardes heauen, and praied for his sonne, laide his hatte vppon the childes head, and blissed him, and so deliuered the childe to Iohn Hull, whome he toke by the hand, and saide: A good testimony for all seruants to marke. fare well Iohn Hull, the faithfullest seruaut that euer man had. And so they rode forth, the Sherife of Essex with. iiii. yeomen of the Garde, and the Sherifes men leading him. When they were come almoste at Burntwood, one Arthure Faysie, a manne of Hadley, who before time had been Doctor Tailours seruaunt, met with them. Arthur Faysie. And he supposing him to haue been at libertie, saide: maister Doctor I am glad to see you againe at libertie, and came to him, and toke him by the hande. Soft syr (quod the Sherife) he is a prysoner: what hast thou to do with him? I crie you mercy (saide Arthur) I knewe not so muche: and I thought it none offence to talke to a true ma. The Sherife was very angry with this, and threatned to cary Arthur with him to pryson: notwithstanding, he bad him get him quickly away, and so they ridde forth to Burntwood A close hoode. where they caused to be made for Doctor Taylour a close hoode, with two holes for his eyes to loke out at, & a slit for his mouthe to breath at. This they did, that no man shoulde knowe http://www.hrionline.ac.uk/foxe/single/book11/1077_1563_11.htmlhim, nor he speake to any man: which practise they vsed also with others. Their owne consciences tolde them, that they ledde innocent lambes to the slaughter. Wherefore they feared, least if the people should haue heard them speake, or haue seene them, they myghte haue been muche more strengthened by their godly exhortations, to stande stedfast in Gods word, and to fle the superstitions, and the idolatries of the Papacie. D. Taylor is ioyfull in his waye. All the way Doctour Taylour was ioyfull, and mery, as one that accompted him selfe going to a most pleasaunt banquet, or bridall: he spake many notable thynges to the Sherife, and yeomen of the garde, that coducted him, and often moued them to weape with his most earnest calling vpon them to repent, and amed their euill, and wicked liuing. Oftentymes also he caused them to wonder, & reioyce, to see him so constant & stedfast, voyde of all feare, ioyful in heart, and glad to die. Of these yeomen of the garde, three vsed Doctour Taylour frendlie, but the fourth (whose name was Homes) vsed him very homely, vnkindly, and churlishelie.At Chelmesforde mett them the Sherife of Suffolke, there to receiue him, and to carie him forth into Suffolke. The Sherife laboureth Doctor Taylor to returne. And being at the supper, the sherife of Essex, very earnestly laboured him to returne to the popish religion, thinking with faire wordes to perswade him, and sayde: good maister Doctor, we are right sory for you, considering what losse is of suche one, as ye myght be, if ye woulde: God hath geuen you great learning and wysdome, wherfore ye haue been in great fauour, and reputation in tymes past, with the Counsell, and highest of this Realme. Besides this: ye are a man of goodly personage, in your best stregth, and by nature like to lyue many yeares. And without doubt, ye should in time to come be in as good reputation, as euer ye were, or rather better. For ye ar wel beloued of al me, as wel for your vertues as for your lerning. And me thinke it were great pitie you should cast away your self willingly, & so come to such a painfull & shamefull death. Ye should do much better to reuoke your opinions, and retourne to the catholyque churche of Rome, acknowledge the Popes holines to be the supreme head of the vniuersall churche, and reconcile your selfe to him. You may do well yet, if ye will: doubt ye not, but ye shal finde fauour at the Quenes handes. I and all these your frendes will be suters for your pardon: whiche no doubt ye shall obtain. This counsell I geue to you, good maister Doctour, of a good hart, and good will toward you: and thereupon I drinke to you. In like maner said all the yeomen of the garde: Vpon that condition maister Doctor we will all drinke to you. When they hadde all dronke to him, and the cup was come to him: he stayed a litle, as one studying what aunswere he might geue, and at the last, he aunswered and sayde: mayster Sherife, and my maisters al, I hartely thanke you of your good wil. I haue herkened to your wordes, and marked wel your counselles. D. Taylor maketh a iest of death And to be playne with you, I perceaue within my selfe, that I haue been deceaued my selfe, and am lyke to deceiue a great many of Hadley, of their expectation. With that worde they all reioyced. yea good maister Doctor (quod the Sherife) Gods blissing on your hart: hold you there still. it is the cofortablest worde, that we heard you speake yet. What? should ye caste awaye your selfe in vayne? Playe a wyse mans part: and I dare warrant it, ye shall finde fauoure. Thus they reioyced very muche of that word, and were very mery. At the last: good mayster Doctor (quod the Sherife) what ment ye by this, that ye sayde ye thinke ye haue been deceiued your selfe, and thinke ye shall deceiue many one in Hadley? Would you know my meaning plainely (quod he? Yea (quod the Sherife) good maister Doctor, tell it vs plainly. A notable saying. Then saide Doctor Taylour, I will tell you howe I haue been deceiued: and as I thinke I shal deceiue a great many. I am as you see, a man þt hath a very great carcasse, whiche I thought should haue beene buried in Hadley churche yarde, if I had died in my bedde, as I well hoped I should haue done: but herein I se I was deceiued: and ther are a great number of wormes in Hadley churche yarde, whiche shoulde haue had ioly feading vpon this carion, which they haue loked for many a daye. But nowe I knowe we be deceiued, both I and they. For this carcasse must be brent to ashes: and so shal they lose their bayte, and feading, that they loked to haue had of it. When the Sherife and his company heard him say so, they were amased, and loked one on an other, marueiling at the mans constaunt mynde, that thus without all feare made but a scoffe at the cruel tormet, and death, nowe at hande prepared for him. Thus was their expectation cleane disapointed. A good meditation. And in this appeareth what was his meditation in his chiefest wealth, and prosperitie: namely, that he should shortly die, & fede wormes in his graue: whiche meditation if all our byshops, and spirituall men had well studied, they had not for a litle worldly glory forsaken the worde of God, and truthe, whiche they in king Edwardes dayes had preached, and sette forth, nor yet to mainteine the byshop of Romes autoritie, haue committed so many to the fyre as they did.But let vs retourne to Doctour Taylour, who at Chelmesford was deliuered to the sherife of Suffolke, and by him conducted to Hadleigh, where he suffered. Whe thei were come to Lanham, Lanham is a towne. the Sherife staied ther two daies: and thether came to hym a great number of Gentilmen, and Iustices, vpon great horses, whiche all were apointed to ayde the Sherife. These Gentlemen, laboured Doctor Taylour very sore, to retourne to the Romysh religio, promysing him his pardon, whiche sayde they, we haue here for you. They promysed him great promotions, yea, a byshoprike if he wold take it: but al their labour & flattering wordes were in vayne. For he had not buylt his house vpon the sande, in perill of falling at euerye puffe of wynde, but vpon the sure and vnmouable rock Christ. Wherfore he abode constat, and vnmoueable vnto the ende. After twoo dayes, the Sherife and his company, ledde Doctor Taylour towardes Hadleye, and cominge within a twoo myle of Hadleye, he desired to lyght of his horse to make water, which done, D. Taylor reioyceth tha he is so nigh home. he leapt, and fet a fryske or twayne, as menne commonly do in daunsing. Why maister Doctor (quod the Sherife) howe doo you nowe? He aunswered. Wel God be praysed, good master Sherife. Neuer better: for nowe I knowe I am almoste at home. I lacke not past two styles to go ouer, and I am euen at my fathers house. But maister Sherife sayde he, shall not we go through Hadley? Yes sayde the Sherife, ye shal go through Hadleye. Then sayde he: O good Lorde, I thanke thee. D. Taylor desireth to se his flock. I shall yet once or I die see my flocke, whome thou Lorde knowest, I haue moste hartely loued, and truly taught. Good Lorde blisse them, and kepe them steadfast in thy worde and truthe.When they were nowe come to Hadleye, & came ryding ouer the bridge, at the brydges foote wayted a poore man, with fiue smal children: who when he sawe Doctor Taylour, he and his children fell downe vpon their knees, and held vp their handes, and cried with a loud voyce, and sayde: O deare father and good shepehearde, Doctor Taylour: God helpe, and succour thee, as thou hast many a tyme succoured me, and my poore chyldren: suche witnesse had the seruaunt of God of his vertuouse, and charitable almoyse, geuen in his life time. For God would now the poore should testifie his good deades, to his singular comfort, to the exaple of others, and confusion of his persecutors and tyranouse aduersaries. For the Sherife, & other that lead him to death, were woderfully astonied at this: and the Sherife sore rebuked the poore man, for so criyng. The streates of Hadley were besett on bothe sydes the waye with men, and wemen of the towne, and countrie, who wayted to see him, whom when they behelde, so lead to death, with weping eyes, & lamentable voyces they cried, saing one to another: The people lament doctor Tailor. ah good Lorde, there goeth our good shepeheard from vs, that so faithfully hath taught vs, so fatherly hath cared for vs, and so godlye hath gouerned vs. O mercifull God: what shal we poore scattered labes do? What shall come of this moste wicked woorlde? Good Lorde strength him, and cofort him, with such other moste lamentable, and piteous voyces. Wherfore the people were sore rebuked by the Sherife, and the Catchpoles his menne, that ledde him. And Doctor Taylour euermore sayde to the people: D. Taylor confesseth the truth. I haue preached to you Gods word and truthe, and am come this day to seale it with my bloud.Comminge against the Almoyse houses, whiche he wel knewe, he cast to the poore people mony, whiche remayned, of that good people had geuen hym in tyme of his imprysonment. As for his liuing, they toke it from him at his first going to pryson, D. Taylor liued of almoise, and gaue almois. so that he was susteined all the tyme of his imprysonment by the charitable almoyse of good people, that visited him. Therfore the mony that now remayned, he put in a gloue, ready for the same purpose, and as is sayde, gaue it to the poore almoyse men, standing at their doores to se him. And coming to the last of the almoyse houses, and not seing the poore that there dwelt, ready in their doores, as the other were, he asked: are the blynd man, & blinde woma, that dwelt here alyue? It was aunswered yea: they are there within. Then threwe he gloue and all in at the windowe, and so roade forth. Thus this good father, and prouider for the poore, nowe toke his leaue of those, for whome all his lyfe he had a singular care, and study. For this was his custome, Note this custome. once in a fourthnight at the least, to call vpon syr Henry Doyll, and others the ryche clothmakers, to goe with him to the almoyse houses, and there to see howe the poore lyued: what they lacked in meat, drynke, clothyng, bedding, or any other necessaries: The lyke dyd he also to other poore men, that hadde many chyldren, or that were with sickenesse oppressed. Then would he exhorte, and comfort them, and where he founde cause, rebuke the vnruly: and what they lacked, that gaue he after his power: and what he was not able, he caused the riche and welthy men to minister it vnto them. Thus shewed he hym selfe in all thynges an example to his flocke, worthy to be folowed: and taught by his deade, what greate treasure almoyse is to all suche, as cherefullye for Christes sake do it.At the last, comming to Aldham commen. Aldam comen, the place assigned wher he should suffer, and seing a great multitude of people gathered thether, he asked what place is this, and what meaneth it that so muche people are gathered hether? It was aunswered: Doctor taylor is come home. It is Aldam comen, the place where you must suffer: and the people ar come to loke vpon you. Then sayde he: thanked be God, I am euen at home. And so lyght fro his horse. And with both his handes rent the hode from his head. Byshop Boners cost. Nowe was his head notted euil fauourably, and clypped muche lyke as a man woulde clippe a fooles head, whiche cost the good byshop Boner had bestowed vpon him, when he disgraded him. But when the people sawe his reuerend, and auncient face, with a long whyte beard, they burst out with weping teares, and cried, saying: The people wisheth god to help him. God saue the good doctour Taylour. Iesus Christ strengthen thee, and helpe thee. The holy Ghost comfort thee, with such other like Godlye wyshes. Then would he haue spoken to the people: but the yeomen of the garde were so busie about him, that as sone as he opened his mouthe, one or other thrust a typ staffe into his mouth, and would in no wyse permitte hym to speake. Then desired he licece of þe Sherife to speake: but the Sherife denied it to him, and bad hym remember his promise to the Councell. Well (quod Doctor Taylour) A promyse. promise must be kept. What this promise was, it is vnknowen: but the commo fame was, that after he and others were condempned, the Councel sent for them, and thretned them they wold cut their tonges out of their heads, except they would promise, that at their deathes they would kepe silence, and not speake to the people. Wherefore they desirouse to haue the vse of their tonges, to cal vpon God so long as they might liue, promised silence. For the Papistes feared muche, least this mutation of religion, from truthe to lyes from Christes ordinaunces to the Popishe traditions, should not so quietly haue bene receiued, as it was, especiallie this burninge of the preachers: but they measuring others myndes by their owne, feared least some tumult, or vprore might haue ben stirred, the people hauing so iust a cause, not to be contented with their doinges: or els, that they moste feared, the people should more haue been confirmed by their godlie exhortations, to stand steadfast against their vaine Popishe doctrine, and idolatrie. The gospellers are not seditious, as the Papistes commonly be. But thankes to God, whiche gaue to his wytnesses faithe, and patience, with stoute and manlie hartes to despise all tormentes: neyther was there so muche as any one man that once shewed any signe of disobedience toward the magistrates. They shed their bloud gladlie in the defence of the truthe, so leauing example vnto all men of true and perfecte obedience: whiche is to obeye God more then man, and if the neade require it, to shed their owne bloud, rather then to depart from Gods truthe.Doctor Taylour perceiuing that he coulde not be suffered to speake, he sat downe, and seing one named Soice, he called him, and saide: Soice pulleth of his botes. Soice, I pray thee come and pull of my botes, and take them for thy labour. Thou hast longe loked for them, now take them. Then rose he vp, & put of his clothes vnto his shirte, & gaue them away. Whiche done, he sayd with loude voyce: D. Taylor confesseth the truthe. Good people, I haue taught you nothing but Gods holy worde, and those lessons that I haue taken out of Gods blissed booke, the holy Bible: and I am come hether this day to seale it with my bloud. With that woorde one Homes a cruell tyraunt. Homes, a yeoman of the garde, who hadde vsed Doctor Taylour very cruelly al the way, gaue him a great stroke vpon the head with a waster, and sayde: Is that the keping of thy promise, thou heretique? Then he seinge they would not permitte him to speake, he kneled downe and praied. D. Taylor prayeth. And a poore woman A woman. that was among the people, stepped in, and prayed with him: but her they thrust away, and thretned to treade her downe with horses: not with stading she would not remoue, but abode and praied with him. When he had prayed, he wet to the stake, made a crosse thereon, and kissed it, and set himselfe into a pitche barell, whiche they had set for him to stande in, and so stoode with his back vpright against the stake, with his handes folded together, and his eyes toward heauen, and so he continually prayed. Then they bounde him with cheines: and the Sherife called one Richard Douingha Rychard Doningha, a Bocher, and commaunded him to set vp faggotts: bu he refused to do it, and sayde: I am lame sir, and not able to lifte a faggott. The Sherife thretned to sende him to pryson: notwithstanding he would not do it. The tormetours. Then appointed he one Mulleine of Carsey, a man for his vertues fit to be an hanged man, and Soice a very dronkarde, and Warwick, who in the commotion time, in king Edwardes dayes, lost one of his eares for his seditious talke, & one King, who before had been a plaier of Enterludes. These foure were appointed to set vp the fagottes, & to make the fyre, whiche they moste studiously did: and this Warwyck a cruel tormentour. Warwicke cruelly cast a fagot at him, whiche light vpo his head, and brake his face, that the bloud ran downe his visage: then sayde Doctor Taylour. D. Taylor is pacient. Oh frend, I haue harm enough, what neaded that? At the last they sett to fyre: and Doctor Taylour holding vp bothe his handes, called vpon God, and sayde: D. taylors last words. Mercifull father of heauen, for Iesus Christe my Sauiours sake, receiue my soule into thy handes. So stoode he still without other crying or mouinge, with his handes folded together, tyll Soice stryketh hym down with an holbard. Soice with an holbard stroake him on the head that the braynes fell out, and the dead corpes fell downe into the fyre. Thus rendred the man of God his blessed soule into the handes of his mercifull father, and to his moost deare and certayne Sauioure Iesus Christe, whome he moste entierly loued, faythfully and earnestly preached, obediently folowed in liuing, and constantly glorified in death. The description of the burnyng of this Godly and blessed Martyr Doctour Taylour, at Hadley, in the yeare of our Lorde. 1555. the 9. of February.
THey that were present and famyliarly conuersant with this Doctor Taylour, reported of hym, that they neuer did see in hym any feare of death, especially and aboue all the rest whiche besydes hym suffered at the same time, but alwayes shewed hym self mery and cherefull in tyme of his imprysonment: An exaple of singuler courage in D. Taylor as well before his condempnation, as after, he kepte one countenaunce and like behauiour. Wherunto he was the rather confirmed, by the company and presence of maister Iohn Bradforde, who then was in pryson and chamber with hym. The same morning, when he was called vp, by the Sherife to gooe to his burnynge, (about three of the clocke in the morning) being sodenly awaked out of his sound sleepe, he sat vp in his bedde, and putting on his shyrt, had these wordes (speaking somwhat thycke after his accustomed maner): Ah horson theues, ah horson theues: robbe God of his honour, robbe God of his honour? Afterwarde beyng rysen and tying his pointes, he cast his armes about a balke, whiche was in the chamber betwene maister Bradfordes bedde and his: and there hangyng by the handes, sayd to maister Bradforde. O maister Bradford (quod he) what a notable swaye should I geue if I were hanged, meanyng, for that he was a corpulent and bygge man. These thynges I thought good here to note: to sett foorth and declare to those that shall reade this history, what a notable and singuler gifte of pacience God had geuen to this godly and blessed martyr.The xiiii day of February the lord Chacelor and other his fellow byshops caused the image of Thomas Becker, that olde Romish traytor, to be set vp, ouer the mercers chapell dore in in cheape side in Londo, in the forme and shape of a bishop, with miter and crosier. Howe beit within two dayes after his erection, his two blessing fingers were first broken away, & on the next day (being the. 17. day of February) his hed was also striken of: whereupon arose greate trouble, and many were suspected, amog whome one maister Iho Barnes mercer, dwelling ouer against the same chapell was vehemetly (by the lord Chauncelor) charged withall as the doer therof: and the rather, for that he was a professor of the truth. Wherfore he and thre of his seruantes were committed to prison: and at his deliuery (although it could not be proued vpon him) he was bound in a gret some of mony, aswel to build it vp again, as often as it should be broke down, as also to watch & kepe þe same And therfore at this his compelled charges the image was agayne set vp, the seconde daye of March, then next insuing, but (for lack, belike of careful watching) the xiiii. day of the same moneth in the night, the hedde of that daungerous beast (ouer whome there was such a charge geuen) was againe the secod time broken of, which thing was so heynously taken, that the next day (being the xv. daye) there was a proclamation made in London: that who so euer woulde tell who did strike of this hed, (thoughe he were of counsell, and not the principall doer) he should haue not only his pardo, but also one hundreth crownes of gold, with harty thaks. But it was not knowen who did it.
February. 18. The xviii. day of February Quene Mary at length after long delay maketh full aunswere to the king of Denmarks letters, who had written before two letters to the said Quene, in the behalf of maister Couerdale, for his deliuerance who at that time went vnder suerties, and was in gret daunger, had he not bene hearde by the great suite and letters of the sayd king of Denmark.The matter and copy of which his suite and letters, as they came to our hads, we haue here set fourth and exprest, wherby the singuler loue of this good kinge towardes the truth of gods word, and the professors thereof might the better appeare to the world.
Fyrst this vertuous and godly king Christianus, hearing of the captiuity of Miles Coueruerdale, of whom he had had some knowlege before (being ther in Denmark in king Henry the eight his time) and lamenting his daungerous case, maketh intercession by letters to Quene Mary, desiring and requestinge the sayd Miles Couerdale to be sente vnto him. The date of which his first letters, was about the calendes of May. An. D. 1554. the copy wherof here followeth.See transcript