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Title: A Supplication for the Beggars
Author: Fish, Simon
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Supplication for the Beggars" ***

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  The English Scholar's Library
  of Old and Modern Works.

  Edited by EDWARD ARBER, F.S.A., etc.,


  _of Gray's Inn, Gentleman_.



  Only to be obtained by _postal_ application to
  EDWARD ARBER, _at Southgate, London, N.; England_.
  No. 4. 15 August 1878.

  _UNWIN BROS., IMP._] Eighteen Pence. [_CHILWORTH & LONDON._

  _my Godfathers in English Literature_,




  Old Series
  with blended admiration and gratitude,

The English Scholar's Library etc.

No. 4.

_A Supplication for the Beggars._

[Spring of 1529.]

  The English Scholar's Library of
  Old and Modern Works.

  of Gray's Inn, Gentleman.]

  _A Supplication for the Beggars._

  [Spring of 1529.]

  Edited by EDWARD ARBER, F.S.A., etc.,


  15 August 1878.
  No. 4.
  (_All rights reserved._)



  Bibliography                                                          vi

  INTRODUCTION                                                   vii-xviii

  _A Supplicacyon for the Beggers_                                       1

  1. _The yearly exactions from the people taken by this greedy
     sort of sturdy idle holy thieves_                                   3

     They have a Tenth part of all produce, wages and profits            4

     What money pull they in by probates of testaments, privy
     tithes, men's offerings to their pilgrimages and at their
     first masses; by masses and _diriges_, by mortuaries, hearing
     of confessions (yet keeping thereof no secrecy), hallowing of
     churches, by cursing of men and absolving them for money; by
     extortion &c.; and by the quarterage from every household to
     each of the Five Orders of begging Friars, which equals
     £43,333 6s. 8d. [= _over £500,000 in present value_] a year         4

     400 years ago, of all this they had not a penny                     4

     These locusts own also one Third of the land                        5

     Or in all more than half of the substance of the realm              5

     Yet they are not in number, one to every hundred men, or one
     in every four hundred men women and children                        5

     Neither could the Danes or Saxons haue conquered this land, if
     they had left such a sort [_company_] of idle gluttons behind
     them; nor noble King ARTHUR have resisted the Emperor LUCIUS,
     if such yearly exactions had been taken of his people; nor the
     Greeks so long continued the siege of Troy, if they had had to
     find for such an idle sort of cormorants at home; nor the
     Romans conquered the world, if their people had been thus
     yearly oppressed; nor the Turk haue now so gained on
     Christendom, if he had in his empire such locusts to devour
     his substance                                                       5

  2. _What do they with these exactions?_                                6

     Nothing but to translate all rule, power &c. from your Grace
     to themselves, and to incite to disobedience and rebellion          6

  3. _Yea, and what do they more?_                                       7

     Truly nothing but to have to do with every man's wife, every
     man's daughter &c.                                                  7

  4. _Yea, who is able to number the great and broad bottomless
     ocean sea full of evils, that this mischievous and sinful
     generation is able to bring upon us? unpunished!_                   7

  5. _What remedy? Make laws against them?_ I am in doubt whether
     ye are able. Are they not stronger in your own parliament
     house than yourself                                                 8

     So captive are your laws unto them, that no man that they
     list to excommunicate may be admitted to sue any action in
     any of your Courts                                                  9

     Neither have they any coulour [_pretence_] to gather these
     yearly exactions but they say they pray to GOD to deliver
     our souls from purgatory. If that were true we should give
     a hundred times as much. But many men of great literature
     say there is no purgatory: and that if there were and that
     the Pope may deliver one soul for money, he may deliver him
     as well without money; if one, a thousand; if a thousand,
     all; and so destroy purgatory.                                     10

  6. _But what remedy? To make many hospitals for the relief of
     the poor people?_ Nay, truly! The more the worse. For ever
     the fat of the whole foundation hangeth on the priests'
     beards                                                             12

  7. Set these sturdy loobies abroad in the world to get
     themselves wives, to get their living with their labour
     in the sweat of their faces, according to the commandment
     of GOD                                                             13


A Supplication for the Beggers.


A. _As a separate publication._

1. [1529. Printed abroad.] 8vo. See title at _p._ 1. Wholly printed in a
clear italic type.

2. 1529. [Printed abroad.] 4to. Klagbrieff oder supplication der armen
dürfftigen in Engenlandt ¦ an den Konig daselb gestellet ¦ widder die
reychen geystlichen bettler. [A Letter of Complaint or Supplication of the
necessitous poor in England shewn to the King thereof against the rich
spiritual beggars] M.D.XXIX. [with a preface by SEBASTIAN FRANCK.] Black

3. 1530. [Printed abroad.] 8vo. Supplicatorius Libellus pauperum, et
egentium nomine, Henricho VIII. Serenissimo Angliæ regi etc. oblatus,
contra quotidianas religiosorum ibidem iniurias et impiam auariciam. Ex
Anglico in latinum versus. M.D.XXX.

In the same type and style as No. 1. and with an engraved framework on the
title page that may eventually lead to a knowledge of the foreign printer
of both the editions.

B. _With other Works._

None known.


A. _As a separate publication._

4. 1546. [London] Fol. A supplication of the poore Commons. Prov. 21 Chap.
¶ Whereunto is added the Supplication of Beggers, [In the same style and
type as No. 3. below, and therefore printed by WILLIAM HYLL.] In the
heading the "Supplicacyon of Beggers" is assigned to 1524, which is wrong
by five years.

5. 1845. London. 8vo. A Supplicacyon for the Beggers. [100 copies only

6. 1860. Fol. See Woods _Ath. Oxon._ i. 59. Ed. 1813.

7. 15. Aug. 1878 Southgate, London, N. 8vo. The present impression.

B. _With other Works._

8a 1563. London. Fol. This tract is reprinted, with notes by JOHN FOX in
his _Actes and Monumentes etc._

8b. 1570. London. Fol.}

8c. 1576. London. Fol.} And so in all later editions of the _Book of

8d. 1583. London. Fol.}

9. 1871. London. 8vo. _Early English Text Society. Extra Series. No. 13_,
1871. "Four Supplications. 1529-1553 A.D." The first of these is "A
Supplicacyon for the Beggers written about the year 1529, by SIMON FISH.
Now re-edited by FREDERICK J. FURNIVALL."

The Summe of the Scripture.


A. _As a separate publication._

1. [Winter of 1529-1530. Printed abroad.] 8vo. The only copy at present
known is in the British Museum. C. 37. 2/2. The title page is torn off,
apparently for the safety of the first possessors.

B. _With other Works._

None known.


A. _As a separate publication._

2. 1547. London, W. HERBERT, _Typ. Amt._ i. 616, _Ed._ 1785, quotes an
edition by JOHN DAY.

3. 11. Dec. 1548. [London.] 8vo. The summe of the holy Scripture, and
ordinarye of the Chrystian teachyng, the true christian fayth, by the
whiche we be all iustified. And of the vertu of Baptisme, after the
teachynge of the Gospell and of the Apostles, With an information howe all
estattes should lyue according to the Gospell very necessary for all
Christian people to knowe. ¶ Anno. M.d.xlviii.

[COLOPHON]: Imprynted at London, at the signe of the Hyll, at the west
dore of Paules. By Wyllyam Hill. And there to be sold. Anno 1548. The 11
of Decembre. _Cum Gratia et Privilegio ad Imprimendum solum._ The press
mark of the British Museum copy is 4401. b. 2.

B. _With Other Works._

None known.


SIR THOMAS MORE, who at that time was but Chancellor of the Duchy of
Lancaster, was made Lord Chancellor in the room of Cardinal WOLSEY on
Sunday, the 24th of October 1529.

The following undated work--the second of his controversial ones--was
therefore written, printed and published prior to that day, and while as
yet he held the lower dignity of the ducal Chancellorship.

¶ The supplycacyon of soulys Made by syr Thomas More knyght councellour to
our souerayn lorde the Kynge and chauncellour of hys Duchy of Lancaster.

¶ Agaynst the supplycacyon of beggars.

At fol. xx. of this work occurs the following important passage, which,
while crediting the Reformers with a greater science in attack, and a more
far-reaching design in their writings than they actually possessed: fixes
with precision the year of the first distribution in England of SIMON
FISH's _Supplicacyon for the Beggers_, and with that its sequence in our
early Protestant printed literature--

For the techyng and prechyng of all whych thyngys / thys beggers proctour
or rather the dyuels proctour with other beggers that la[c]k grace and
nether beg nor lo[o]ke for none: bere all thys theyr malyce and wrathe to
the churche of C[h]ryste. And seynge there ys no way for attaynyng theyr
entent but one of the twayn / yat ys to wyt eyther playnly to wryte
agaynst the fayth and the sacramentys (wheryn yf they gat them credence
and obtaynyd / they then se[e] well the church must nedys fall therwyth)
or els to labour agaynst the church alone / and get the clergye dystroyd /
whereuppon they parceyue well that the fayth and sacramentes wo[u]ld not
fayle to decay: they parceyuyng thys / haue therfore furste assayd the
furst way all redy / sendyng forth Tyndals translacyon of the _new
testament_ in such wyse handled as yt shuld haue bene the fountayn and
well spryng of all theyr hole heresyes. For he had corrupted and purposely
changed in many placys the text / wyth such wordys as he myght make yt
seme to the vnlerned people / that the scripture affirmed theyr heresyes
it selfe. Then cam sone after out in prynt _the dyaloge_ of freere Roy and
frere Hyerome / _betwene ye father and ye sonne_ [_Preface dated
Argentine_ (Strasburg), _31 August, 1527_] agaynst ye sacrament of ye
aulter: and the blasphemouse boke entytled _the beryeng of the masse_
[i.e. _Rede me and be not wroth_ / printed at Strasburg early in 1528].
Then cam forth after Tyndals wykkyd boke of _Mammona_ [_Dated Marburg, 8
May 1528_] / and after that his more wykkyd boke of obydyence [_Dated
Marburg, 2 October 1528_]. In whych bokys afore specyfyed they go forth
playnly agaynst the fayth and holy sacramentis of Crystys church / and
most especyally agaynst the blyssed sacrament of ye aulter / wyth as
vylanous wordes as the wre[t]ches cou[l]d deuyse. But when they haue
perceuyd by experyence yat good people abhorred theyr abomynable bokes:
then they beyng therby lerned yat the furst way was not ye best for ye
furtherance of theyr purpose / haue now determined them selfe to assay the
secunde way / that ys to witte yat forberynge to wryte so openly and
dyrectly agaynste all the fayth and the sacramentys as good crysten men
coulde not abyde the redyng / they wolde / wyth lyttell towchyng of theyre
other heresyes / make one boke specially agaynst ye church and loke how
that wold proue.

The previous controversial work produced by Sir THOMAS MORE had but
recently appeared under the title of

¶ A dialoge of syr Thomas More knighte: one of the counsayll of oure
souerayne lorde the kyng and chauncellor of hys duchy of Lancaster. Wherin
be treatyd diuers matters / as of the veneration and worshyp of ymagys and
relyques / prayng to sayntys / and goyng on pylgrymage. Wyth many othere
thyngys touchyng the pestelent sect of Luther and Tyndale / by th[e] one
begone in Saxony / and by th[e] other laboryd to be brought in to Englond.

[COLOPHON]. Emprynted at London at the sygne of the meremayd at Powlys
gate next to chepe syde in the moneth of June the yere of our lord.
M.C.C.XXIX. _Cum priuilegio Regali._

Of this extraordinarily scarce first edition, there is a copy in the
Corporation Library, London.

As Sir THOMAS MORE felt it necessary to write this second work, of the
_Supplicacyon of Soulys, after_ he had composed his _Dialogue_ the
printing of which was finished in June 1529; and as his _Supplicacyon_
certainly was written and published prior to his advancement on the 24th
October following: it is conclusive that S. Fish's tract had not appeared
_before_ he was writing the _Dialogue_, and therefore that the date of its
distribution must by this internal evidence, be fixed as in the spring or
summer of 1529; however that date may conflict with early testimony, such
as incorrect lists of prohibited books, assigning it to 1524, 1526, etc.

Yet JOHN FOX in his _Actes and Monumentes_, [Third Edition] _fol._ 987,
_Ed._ 1576, states that was

     "Throwen and scattered at the procession in Westminster vpon
     Candlemas day [? _2nd February 1529_] before kyng Henry the viij, for
     him to read and peruse."

We have been unable to verify this procession at Westminster on this
particular date, and think that if it had been so, Sir THOMAS MORE would
have surely noticed to the _Supplicacyon_ while writing the _Dialogue_,
the printing of which was in progress during the next four months. He may,
however, have thought it necessary to write a special book against S.
FISH's tract, with its distinct line of attack as he has accurately stated

It will be seen from the Bibliography that this date of the Spring of 1529
quite harmonizes with those of the contemporary German and Latin
translations; which, naturally, would be prompt. It is also not
inconsistent with the following allusion at p. 30 to Cardinal WOLSEY's
still holding the Lord Chancellorship.

¶ And this is by the reason that the chief instrument of youre lawe ye[a]
the chief of your counsell and he whiche hath your swerde in his hond to
whome also all the other instrumentes are obedient is alweys a spirituell

So much, then, as to the certain approximate date of the publication. FOX
is quite wrong in assuming as he does in the following paragraph that this
work was the occasion of Bishop TONSTAL's _Prohibition_ of the 24th
October 1526, _i.e._ more than two years previously.

After that the Clergye of England, and especially the Cardinall,
vnderstoode these bookes of the _Beggars supplication_ aforesayd, to be
strawne abroade in the streetes of London, and also before the kyng. The
sayd Cardinall caused not onely his seruauntes diligently to attend to
gather them vp, that they should not come into the kynges handes, but also
when he vnderstode, that the king had receaued one or two of them, he came
vnto the kynges Maiesty saying: "If it shall please your grace, here are
diuers seditious persons which haue scattered abroad books conteyning
manifest errours and heresies" desiryng his grace to beware of them.
Whereupon the kyng putting his hand in his bosome, tooke out one of the
bookes and deliuered it vnto the Cardinall. Then the Cardinall, together
with the Byshops, consulted _&c._

                                   _Eccles. Hist. &c., p. 900. Ed. 1576._


We now come to the only authoritative account of our Author, as it is
recorded in the same Third Edition of the _Actes and Monumentes &c., p.
896. Ed. 1576_.

¶ _The story of M_[_aster_]. _Simon Fishe._

Before the tyme of M[aster]. Bilney, and the fall of the Cardinall, I
should haue placed the story of Symon Fish with the booke called the
_Supplication of Beggars_, declaryng how and by what meanes it came to the
kynges hand, and what effect therof followed after, in the reformation of
many thynges, especially of the Clergy. But the missyng of a few yeares in
this matter, breaketh no great square in our story, though it be now
entred here which should haue come in sixe yeares before.

FOX is writing of 1531, and therefore intends us to understand that the
present narrative begins in 1525.

The maner and circumstaunce of the matter is this:

After that the light of the Gospel workyng mightely in Germanie, began to
spread his beames here also in England, great styrre and alteration
followed in the harts of many: so that colored hypocrisie and false
doctrine, and painted holynes began to be espyed more and more by the
readyng of Gods word. The authoritie of the Bishop of Rome, and the glory
of his Cardinals was not so high, but such as had fresh wittes sparcled
with Gods grace, began to espy Christ from Antichrist, that is, true
sinceritie, from counterfait religion. In the number of whom, was the sayd
M[aster]. Symon Fish, a Gentleman of Grayes Inne.

[Sidenote: _Ex certa relatione, vivoque testimonio propriæ ipsius

It happened the first yeare that this Gentleman came to London to dwell,
which was about the yeare of our Lord 1525 [_i.e. between 25 Mar. 1525 and
24 Mar. 1526_] that there was a certaine play or interlude made by one
Master Roo of the same Inne Gentleman, in which play partly was matter
agaynst the Cardinal Wolsey. And where none durst take vpon them to play
that part, whiche touched the sayd Cardinall, this foresayd M. Fish tooke
upon him to do it, whereupon great displeasure ensued agaynst him, vpon
the Cardinals part: In so much as he beyng pursued by the sayd Cardinall,
the same night that this Tragedie was playd, was compelled of force to
voyde his owne house, and so fled ouer the Sea vnto Tyndall.

We will here interrupt the Martyrologist's account, with EDWARD HALLE's
description of this "goodly disguisyng." It occurs at _fol._ 155 of the
history of the eighteenth year of the reign of Henry VIII. [22 April 1526
to 21 April 1527] in his _Vnion of the two noble and illustrate families
of Lancastre and York &c._ 1548.

This Christmas [1526] was a goodly disguisyng plaied at Greis inne, whiche
was compiled for the moste part, by Master Jhon Roo, seriant at the law.
[some] xx. yere past, and long before the Cardinall had any aucthoritie,
the effecte of the plaie was, that lord Gouernaunce was ruled by
Dissipacion and Negligence, by whose misgouernance and euil order, lady
Publike Wele was put from gouernance: which caused _Rumor Populi_, Inward
Grudge and Disdain of Wanton Souereignetie, to rise with a greate
multitude, to expell Negligence and Dissipacion, and to restore Publike
Welth again to her estate, which was so doen.

This plaie was so set furth with riche and costly apparel, with straunge
diuises of Maskes and morrishes [_morris dancers_] that it was highly
praised of all menne, sauing of the Cardinall, whiche imagined that the
plaie had been diuised of hym, and in a great furie sent for the said
master Roo, and toke from hym his Coyfe, and sent hym to the Flete, and
after he sent for the yong gentlemen, that plaied in the plaie, and them
highley rebuked and thretened, and sent one of them called Thomas Moyle of
Kent to the Flete. But by the meanes of frendes Master Roo and he were
deliuered at last.

This plaie sore displeased the Cardinall, and yet it was neuer meante to
hym, as you haue harde, wherfore many wisemen grudged to see hym take it
so hartely, and euer the Cardinall saied that the kyng was highly
displeased with it, and spake nothyng of hymself.

There is no question as to the date of this "disguisyng." Archbishop
WARHAM on the 6th February 1527, wrote to his chaplain, HENRY GOLDE, from
Knolle that he "Has received his letters, dated London, 6 Feb., stating
that Mr. Roo is committed to the Tower for making a certain play. Is sorry
such a matter should be taken in earnest." _Letters &c. HENRY VIII._ Ed.
by J. S. BREWER, _p._ 1277. _Ed._ 1872.

It would seem however that FISH either did not go or did not stay long
abroad at this time. STRYPE (_Eccles. Mem. I. Part II, pp. 63-5. Ed.
1822_) has printed, from the Registers of the Bishops of LONDON, the
Confession in 1528 of ROBERT NECTON (a person of position, whose brother
became Sheriff of Norwich in 1530), by which it appears that during the
previous eighteen months, that is from about the beginning of 1527, our
Author was "dwellyng by the Wight Friars in London;" and was actively
engaged in the importation and circulation of TYNDALE's _New Testaments_,
a perfectly hazardous work at that time.

Possibly this Confession was the occasion of a first or a renewed flight
by FISH to the Continent, and therefore the ultimate cause of the present
little work in the following year.

We now resume FOX's account, which was evidently derived from FISH's wife,
when she was in old age.

Vpon occasion wherof the next yeare folowyng this booke was made (being
about the yeare 1527) and so not long after in the yeare (as I suppose)
1528 [_which by the old reckoning ended on the 24 Mar. 1529_]. was sent
ouer to the Lady Anne Bulleyne, who then lay at a place not farre from the
Court. Which booke her brother seyng in her hand, tooke it and read it,
and gaue it [to] her agayne, willyng her earnestly to giue it to the kyng,
which thyng she so dyd.

This was (as I gather) about the yeare of our Lord 1528 [-1529].

The kyng after he had receaued the booke, demaunded of her "who made it."
Whereunto she aunswered and sayd, "a certaine subiect of his, one Fish,
who was fled out of the Realme for feare of the Cardinall."

After the kyng had kept the booke in his bosome iij. or iiij. dayes, as is
credibly reported, such knowledge was giuen by the kynges seruauntes to
the wife of ye sayd Symon Fishe, yat she might boldly send for her
husband, without all perill or daunger. Whereupon she thereby beyng
incouraged, came first and made sute to the kyng for the safe returne of
her husband. Who vnderstandyng whose wife she was, shewed a maruelous
gentle and chearefull countenaunce towardes her, askyng "where her husband
was." She aunswered, "if it like your grace, not farre of[f]." Then sayth
he, "fetch him, and he shal come and go safe without perill, and no man
shal do him harme," saying moreouer, "that hee had [had] much wrong that
hee was from her so long:" who had bene absent now the space of two yeares
and a halfe,

     Which from Christmas 1526 would bring us to June 1529, which
     corroborates the internal evidence above quoted. FOX evidently now
     confuses together two different interviews with the King. The first
     at the Court in June 1529; the other on horseback with the King,
     followed afterwards by his Message to Sir T. MORE in the winter of
     1529-30, within six months after which S. FISH dies. His wife never
     would have been admitted to the Court, if she had had a daughter ill
     of the plague at home.

In the whiche meane tyme, the Cardinall was deposed, as is aforeshewed,
and M[aster]. More set in his place of the Chauncellourshyp.

Thus Fishes wife beyng emboldened by the kynges wordes, went immediatly to
her husband beyng lately come ouer, and lying priuely within a myle of the
Court, and brought him to the kyng: which appeareth to be about the yeare
of our Lord. 1530.

When the kyng saw hym, and vnderstood he was the authour of the booke, he
came and embraced him with louing countenance: who after long talke: for
the space of iij. or iiij. houres, as they were ridyng together on
huntyng, at length dimitted him, and bad him "take home his wife, for she
had taken great paynes for him." Who answered the kyng agayne and sayd, he
"durst not so do, for fear of Syr Thomas More then Chauncellor, and
Stoksley then Bishop of London. This seemeth to be about the yeare of our
Lord. 1530.

This bringing in of STOKESLEY as Bishop is only making confusion worse
confounded. STOKESLEY was consecrated to the see of London on the 27th
Nov. 1530. By that time, S. FISH had died of the plague which occurred in
London and its suburbs in the summer of 1530; and which was so severe,
that on 22nd June of that year, the King prorogued the Parliament to the
following 1st October. _Letters &c. HENRY VIII._ Ed. by J. S. BREWER,
M.A., IV, Part 3, No. 6469. _Ed._ 1876.

The Martyrologist, throughout, seems to be right as to his facts, but
wrong as to his dates.

The kyng takyng his signet of[f] his finger, willed hym to haue hym
reommended to the Lord Chauncellour, chargyng him not to bee so hardy to
worke him any harme.

Master Fishe receiuyng the kynges signet, went and declared hys message to
the Lord Chauncellour, who tooke it as sufficient for his owne discharge,
but asked him "if he had any thynge for the discharge of his wife:" for
she a litle before had by chaunce displeased the Friers, for not sufferyng
them to say their Gospels in Latine in her house, as they did in others,
vnlesse they would say it in English. Whereupon the Lord Chauncellour,
though he had discharged the man, yet leauyng not his grudge towardes the
wife, the next morning sent his man for her to appeare before hym: who,
had it not bene for her young daughter, which then lay sicke of the
plague, had bene lyke to come to much trouble.

Of the which plague her husband, the said Master Fish deceasing with in
half a yeare, she afterward maryed to one Master James Baynham, Syr
Alexander Baynhams sonne, a worshypful Knight of Glo[uce]stershyre. The
which foresayd Master James Baynham, not long after, [1 May 1532] was
burned, as incontinently after in the processe of this story, shall

And thus much concernyng Symon Fishe the author of the _booke of beggars_,
who also translated a booke called _the Summe of the Scripture_ out of the
Dutch [_i.e. German_].

       *       *       *       *       *

Now commeth an other note of one Edmund Moddys the kynges footeman,
touchyng the same matter.

This M[aster]. Moddys beyng with the kyng in talke of religion, and of the
new bookes that were come from beyond the seas, sayde "if it might please
hys grace, he should see such a booke, as was maruell to heare of." The
kyng demaunded "what they were." He sayd, "two of your Merchauntes, George
Elyot, and George Robinson." The kyng [ap]poynted a tyme to speake with
them. When they came before his presence in a priuye [_private_] closet,
he demaunded "what they had to saye, or to shew him" One of them said "yat
there was a boke come to their hands, which they were there to shew his
grace." When he saw it, hee demaunded "if any of them could read it."
"Yea" sayd George Elyot, "if it please your grace to heare it," "I thought
so" sayd the kyng, "for if neede were thou canst say it without booke."

The whole booke beyng read out, the kyng made a long pause, and then sayd,
"if a man should pull downe an old stone wall and begyn at the lower part,
the vpper part thereof might chaunce to fall vpon his head:" and then he
tooke the booke and put it into his deske, and commaunded them vpon their
allegiance, that they should not tell to any man, that he had sene the


To this account we may add two notices. Sir T. MORE replying in his
_Apology_ to the "Pacifier" [CHRISTOPHER SAINT GERMAIN] in the spring of
1533, gives at _fol._ 124, the following account of our Author's death--

And these men in the iudgement of thys pytuouse pacyfyer be not dyscrete /
but yet they haue he sayth a good zele though. And thys good zele hadde,
ye wote well, Simon Fysshe when he made the supplycacyon of beggers. But
god gaue hym such grace afterwarde, that he was sory for that good zele,
and repented hym selfe and came into the chyrche agayne, and forsoke and
forsware all the whole hyll of those heresyes, out of whiche the fountayne
of that same good zele sprange. [Also at _p._ 881, _Workes. Ed. 1557_.]

This is contrary to the tenour of everything else that we know of the man:
but Sir T. MORE, possessing such excellent means of obtaining information,
may nevertheless be true.

Lastly. ANTHONY À WOOD in his _Ath. Oxon._ i. 59, _Ed._ 1813, while giving
us the wrong year of his death, tells us of his place of burial.

At length being overtaken by the pestilence, died of it in fifteen hundred
thirty and one, and was buried in the church of St. Dunstan (in the West).

TYNDALE had often preached in this church.


What a picture of the cruel, unclean and hypocritical monkery that was
eating at the heart's core of English society is given to us in this terse
and brave little book? Abate from its calculations whatever in fairness
Sir T. MORE would have wished us to deduct; we cannot but shudder as we
try to realize the then social condition of our country; and all the more,
when we remember that the fountain of all this unmercifulness, impurity
and ignorance was found in the very persons who professed to be, and who
should have been the Divine Teachers of our nation. It argues, too, much
for the virility of the English race, that it could have sustained, in
gradually increasing intensity, such a widespread mass of festering and
corroding blotches of vice, and could by and bye throw it off altogether;
so that in subsequent ages no other nation has surpassed us in manhood.

It is marvellous to us how the ecclesiastical fungus could have ever so
blotted out of sight both the royal prerogative and the people's
liberties. Was not HENRY VIII the man for this hour? A bold lusty and
masterful one, imperious and impatient of check, full of the animal
enjoyment of life; yet a remarkable Theologian, a crafty Statesman, a true
Englishman. Often referred to in the literature of this time as "our Lord
and Master." Had England ever had such a Master! ever such a Lord of life
and limb since? A character to the personal humouring and gratification of
whom, such an one as WOLSEY devoted his whole soul and directed all the
powers of the State.

How necessary was so strong a ruler for our national disruption with Rome!
It is not easy for us to realize what an amazingly difficult thing that
wrench was. MODDYS' story witnesses to us of the King's great perplexity.
By what difficult disillusions, what slow and painful thoughtfulness did
HENRY's mind travel from the _Assertio_ of 1522 and the consequent
_Defensor fidei_, to the destruction of the monasteries in 1536. Truly, if
in this "passion" he vacillated or made mistakes; we may consider the
inherent difficulty of disbelief in what--despite its increasing
corruptions--had been the unbroken faith of this country for a thousand

We call the disillusionists, the Reformers; but FISH describes them as

     men of greate litterature and iudgement that for the love they haue
     vnto the trouth and vnto the comen welth haue not feared to put theim
     silf ynto the greatest infamie that may be, in abiection of all the
     world, ye[a] in perill of deth to declare theyre oppinion.... _p._

Undoubtedly HENRY personally was the secular Apostle of the first phase of
our Reformation. The section of doctrinal Protestants was politically
insignificant: and it may be fairly doubted whether the King could have
carried the nation with him, but that in the experience of every
intelligent Englishman, the cup of the iniquity of the priesthood was full
to overflowing. He was aided by the strong general reaction of our simple
humanity against the horrid sensuality, the scientific villany offered to
it by the supposed special agents of Almighty GOD in the name of, and
cloaked under the authority believed to have been given to them from the
ever blessed Trinity.

Morality is the lowest expression of religion, the forerunner of faith. No
religion can be of GOD which does not instinctively preassume in its
votaries the constant striving after the highest and purest moral
excellence. It is an intolerable matter, beyond all possible sufferance,
when religion is made to pander to sensuality and extortion. How bitter a
thing this was to this barrister of Gray's Inn, may be seen in the strange
terms of terror and ravin with which he characterizes these "strong,
puissant, counterfeit holy, and idle beggars." To the untravelled
Englishman of Henry VIII's reign, "cormorants" must have meant some like
devouring griffins, and "locusts" as a ruthless irremediable and fearful
plague without end. By such mental conceptions of utter desolation,
impoverishment and misery does our Author express the bitterness of the
then proved experience by Englishmen, of the combined hierarchy and
monkery of Rome.

All which is for our consideration in estimating the necessity and policy
of the subsequent suppression of the monasteries.

These representations are also some mitigation of what is sometimes
thought to be the Protestant frenzy of our great Martyrologist, whose
words of burning reprobation of the Papal system of his time seem often to
us to be extravagant; because, by the good providence of GOD, we are
hardly capable of realizing the widespread and scientific villany of the
delusions and enormities against which he protested.

¶ A Supplicacyon for the Beggers.

  souereygne lorde.

Most lamentably compleyneth theyre wofull mysery vnto youre highnes youre
poore daily bedemen the wretched hidous monstres (on whome scarcely for
horror any yie dare loke) the foule vnhappy sorte of lepres, and other
sore people, nedy, impotent, blinde, lame, and sike, that live onely by
almesse, howe that theyre nombre is daily so sore encreased that all the
almesse of all the weldisposed people of this youre realme is not halfe
ynough for to susteine theim, but that for verey constreint they die for
hunger. And this most pestilent mischief is comen vppon youre saide poore
beedmen by the reason that there is yn the tymes of youre noble
predecessours passed craftily crept ynto this your realme an other sort
(not of impotent but) of strong puissaunt and counterfeit holy, and ydell
beggers and vacabundes whiche syns the tyme of theyre first entre by all
the craft and wilinesse of Satan are nowe encreased vnder your sight not
onely into a great nombre, but also ynto a kingdome. These are (not the
herdes, but the rauinous wolues going in herdes clothing deuouring the
flocke) the Bisshoppes, Abbottes, Priours, Deacons, Archedeacons,
Suffraganes, Prestes, Monkes Chanons, Freres, Pardoners and Somners. And
who is abill to nombre this idell rauinous sort whiche (setting all
laboure a side) haue begged so importunatly that they haue gotten ynto
theyre hondes more then the therd part of all youre Realme. The goodliest
lordshippes, maners, londes, and territories, are theyrs. Besides this
they haue the tenth part of all the corne, medowe, pasture, grasse, wolle,
coltes, calues, lambes, pigges, gese, and chikens. Ouer and bisides the
tenth part of euery seruauntes wages the tenth part of the wolle, milke,
hony, waxe, chese, and butter. Ye[a] and they loke so narowly vppon theyre
proufittes that the poore wyues must be countable to theym of euery tenth
eg or elles she gettith not her ryghtes at ester shalbe taken as an
heretike. hereto haue they theire foure offering daies. whate money pull
they yn by probates of testamentes, priuy tithes, and by mennes offeringes
to theyre pilgremages, and at theyre first masses? Euery man and childe
that is buried must pay sumwhat for masses and diriges to be song for him
or elles they will accuse the de[a]des frendes and executours of heresie.
whate money get they by mortuaries, by hearing of confessions (and yet
they wil kepe therof no counceyle) by halowing of churches altares
superaltares chapelles and belles, by cursing of men and absoluing theim
agein for money? what a multitude of money gather the pardoners in a yere?
Howe moche money get the Somners by extorcion yn a yere, by assityng the
people to the commissaries court and afterward releasing th[e] apparaunce
for money? Finally, the infinite nombre of begging freres whate get they
yn a yere? Here if it please your grace to marke ye shall se a thing farre
out of ioynt. There are withyn youre realme of Englond. lij. thousand
parisshe churches. And this stonding that there be but tenne houshouldes
yn euery parisshe yet are there fiue hundreth thousand and twenty thousand
houshouldes. And of euery of these houshouldes hath euery of the fiue
ordres of freres a peny a quarter for euery ordre, that is for all the
fiue ordres fiue pens a quarter for every house. That is for all the fiue
ordres. xx.d. a yere of euery house. Summa fiue hundreth thousand and
twenty thousand quarters of angels.

That is. cclx. thousand half angels. Summa. cxxx. thousand angels. Summa
totalis. xliij. thousand poundes and. cccxxxiij. li. vi.s. viij.d.
sterling. wherof not foure hundreth yeres passed they had not one peny. Oh
greuous and peynfull exactions thus yerely to be paied. from the whiche
the people of your nobill predecessours the kinges of the auncient Britons
euer stode fre And this wil they haue or els they wil procure him that
will not giue it theim to be taken as an heretike. whate tiraunt euer
oppressed the people like this cruell and vengeable generacion? whate
subiectes shall be abill to helpe theire prince that be after this facion
yerely polled? whate good christen people can be abill to socoure vs pore
lepres blinde sore, and lame, that be thus yerely oppressed? Is it any
merueille that youre people so compleine of pouertie? Is it any merueile
that the taxes fiftenes and subsidies that your grace most tenderly of
great compassion hath taken emong your people to defend theim from the
thretened ruine of theire comon welth haue bin so sloughtfully, ye[a]
painfully leuied? Seing that almost the vtmost peny that mought haue bin
leuied hath ben gathered bifore yerely by this rauinous cruell and
insatiabill generacion The danes nether the saxons yn the time of the
auncient Britons shulde neuer haue ben abill to haue brought theire armies
from so farre hither ynto your lond to haue conquered it if they had had
at that time suche a sort of idell glotons to finde at home. The nobill
king Arthur had neuer ben abill to haue caried his armie to the fote of
the mountaines to resist the coming downe of lucius the Emperoure if suche
yerely exaction had ben taken of his people. The grekes had neuer ben
abill to haue so long continued at the siege of Troie if they had had at
home suche an idell sort of cormorauntes to finde. The auncient Romains
had neuer ben abil to haue put all the hole worlde vnder theyre obeisaunce
if theyre people had byn thus yerely oppressed. The Turke nowe yn youre
tyme shulde neuer be abill to get so moche grounde of cristendome if he
had yn his empire suche a sort of locustes to deuoure his substance. Ley
then these sommes to the forseid therd part of the possessions of the
realme that ye may se whether it drawe nighe vnto the half of the hole
substaunce of the realme or not, So shall ye finde that it draweth ferre
aboue. Nowe let vs then compare the nombre of this vnkind idell sort vnto
the nombre of the laye people and we shall se whether it be indifferently
shifted or not that they shuld haue half.

Compare theim to the nombre of men, so are they not the. C. person.
Compare theim to men wimen and children, then are they not the. CCCC.
parson yn nombre. One part therfore yn foure hundreth partes deuided were
to moche for theim except they did laboure. whate an vnequal burthen is it
that they haue half with the multitude and are not the. CCCC. parson of
theire nombre? whate tongue is abill to tell that euer there was eny comon
welth so sore oppressed sins the worlde first began?

¶ And whate do al these gredy sort of sturdy idell holy theues with these
yerely exactions that they take of the people? Truely nothing but exempt
theim silues from th[e] obedience of your grace. Nothing but translate all
rule power lordishippe auctorite obedience and dignite from your grace
vnto theim. Nothing but that all your subiectes shulde fall ynto
disobedience and rebellion ageinst your grace and be vnder theim. As they
did vnto your nobill predecessour king Iohn: whiche forbicause that he
wolde haue punisshed certeyn traytours that had conspired with the frenche
king to haue deposed him from his crowne and dignite (emong the whiche a
clerke called Stephen whome afterward ageinst the kinges will the Pope
made Bisshoppe of Caunterbury was one) enterdited his Lond. For the whiche
mater your most nobill realme wrongfully (alas for shame) hath stond
tributary (not vnto any kind temporall prince, but vnto a cruell
deuelisshe bloudsupper dronken in the bloude of the sayntes and marters of
christ) euersins. Here were an holy sort of prelates that thus cruelly
coude punisshe suche a rightuous kinge, all his realme, and succession for
doing right.

¶ Here were a charitable sort of holy men that coude thus enterdite an
hole realme, and plucke awey th[e] obedience of the people from theyre
naturall liege lorde and kinge, for none other cause but for his
rightuousnesse. Here were a blissed sort not of meke herdes but of
bloudsuppers that coude set the frenche king vppon suche a rightuous
prince to cause hym to lose his crowne and dignite to make effusion of the
bloude of his people, oneles this good and blissed king of greate
compassion, more fearing and lamenting the sheding of the bloude of his
people then the losse of his crowne and dignite agaynst all right and
conscience had submitted him silf vnto theym. O case most horrible that
euer so nobill a king Realme, and succession shulde thus be made to stoupe
to suche a sort of bloodsuppers. where was his swerde, power, crowne, and
dignitie become wherby he mought haue done iustice yn this maner? where
was their obedience become that shuld haue byn subiect vnder his highe
power yn this mater? Ye[a] where was the obedience of all his subiectes
become that for mainteinaunce of the comon welth shulde haue holpen him
manfully to haue resisted these bloudsuppers to the shedinge of theyre
bloude? was not all to gither by theyre polycy translated from this good
king vnto theim. Ye[a] and what do they more? Truely nothing but applie
theym silues by all the sleyghtes they may haue to do with euery mannes
wife, euery mannes doughter and euery mannes mayde that cukkoldrie and
baudrie shulde reigne ouer all emong your subiectes, that no man shulde
knowe his owne childe that theyre bastardes might enherite the possessions
of euery man to put the right begotten children clere beside theire
inheritaunce yn subuersion of all estates and godly ordre. These be they
that by theire absteyning from mariage do let the generation of the people
wher by all the realme at length if it shulde be continued shall be made
desert and inhabitable.

¶ These be they that haue made an hundreth thousand ydell hores yn your
realme whiche wolde haue gotten theyre lyuing honestly, yn the swete of
theyre faces had not theyre superfluous rychesse illected theym to vnclene
lust and ydelnesse. These be they that corrupt the hole generation of
mankind yn your realme, that catche the pokkes of one woman. and bere
theym to an other, that be brent wyth one woman, and bere it to an other,
that catche the lepry of one woman, and bere it to an other, ye[a] some
one of theym shall bo[a]st emong his felawes that he hath medled with an
hundreth wymen. These be they that when they haue ones drawen mennes wiues
to such incontinency spende awey theire husbondes goodes make the wimen to
runne awey from theire husbondes, ye[a], rynne awey them silues both with
wif and goods, bring both man wife and children to ydelnesse theft and

¶ Ye[a] who is abill to nombre the greate and brode botomles occean see
full of euilles that this mischeuous and sinful generacion may laufully
bring vppon vs vnponisshed. where is youre swerde, power, crowne, and
dignitie, become that shuld punisshe (by punisshement of deth euen as
other men are punisshed) the felonies, rapes, murdres, and treasons
committed by this sinfull generacion? where is theire obedience become
that shulde be vnder your hyghe power yn this mater? ys not all to gither
translated and exempt from your grace vnto theim? yes truely. whate an
infinite nombre of people might haue ben encreased to haue peopled the
realme if these sort of folke had ben maried like other men. what breche
of matrimonie is there brought yn by theim? suche truely as was neuer sins
the worlde began emong the hole multitude of the hethen.

¶ who is she that wil set her hondes to worke to get. iij.d. a day and may
haue at lest. xx.d. a day to slepe an houre with a frere, a monke, or a
prest? what is he that wolde laboure for a grote a day and may haue at
lest. xij.d. a day to be baude to a prest, a monke, or a frere? whate a
sort are there of theime that mari prestes souereigne ladies but to cloke
the prestes yncontinency and that they may haue a liuing of the prest
theime silues for theire laboure? Howe many thousandes doth suche
lubricite bring to beggery theft and idelnesse whiche shuld haue kept
theire good name and haue set theim silues to worke had not ben this
excesse treasure of the spiritualtie?? whate honest man dare take any man
or woman yn his seruice that hath ben at suche a scole with a spiritual
man? Oh the greuous shipwrak of the comon welth, whiche yn auncient time
bifore the coming yn of these rauinous wolues was so prosperous: that then
there were but fewe theues: ye[a] theft was at that tyme so rare that
Cesar was not compellid to make penalte of deth vppon felony as your grace
may well perceyue yn his institutes. There was also at that tyme but fewe
pore people and yet they did not begge but there was giuen theim ynough
vnaxed, for there was at that time none of these rauinous wolues to axe it
from theim as it apperith yn the actes of th[e] appostles. Is it any
merueill though there be nowe so many beggers, theues, and ydell people?
Nay truely.

¶ whate remedy: make lawes ageynst theim. I am yn doubt whether ye be
able: Are they not stronger in your owne parliament house then your silfe?
whate a nombre of Bisshopes, abbotes, and priours are lordes of your
parliament? are not all the lerned men in your realme in fee with theim to
speake yn your parliament house for theim ageinst your crowne, dignitie,
and comon welth of your realme a fewe of youre owne lerned counsell onely
excepted? whate lawe can be made ageinst theim that may be aduaylable? who
is he (though he be greued never so sore) for the murdre of his auncestre
rauisshement of his wyfe, of his doughter, robbery, trespas, maiheme,
dette, or eny other offence dare ley it theyre charge by any wey of
accion, and if he do then is he by and by by theyre wilynesse accused of
heresie. ye[a] they will so handle him or he passe that except he will
bere a fagot for theyre pleasure he shal be excommunicate and then be all
his accions dasshed. So captyue are your lawes vnto theym that no man that
they lyst to excommunicat may be admitted to sue any accion in any of your
courtes. If eny man yn your sessions dare be so hardy to endyte a prest of
eny suche cryme he hath or the yere [_ere he_] go out suche a yoke of
heresye leyd in his necke that it maketh him wisshe that he had not done
it. Your grace may se whate a worke there is in London, howe the bisshoppe
rageth for endyting of certayn curates of extorcion and incontinency the
last yere in the warmoll quest. Had not Richard hunne commenced accyon of
premunire ageinst a prest he had bin yet a lyue and none heretik at all
but an honest man.

¶ Dyd not dyuers of your noble progenitours seynge theyre crowne and
dignite runne ynto ruyne and to be thus craftely translated ynto the
hondes of this myscheuous generacyon make dyuers statutes for the
reformacyon therof, emong whiche the statute of mortmayne was one? to the
intent that after that tyme they shulde haue no more gyuen vnto theim. But
whate avayled it? haue they not gotten ynto theyre hondes more londes sins
then eny duke in ynglond hath, the statute notwithstonding? Ye[a] haue
they not for all that translated ynto theyre hondes from your grace half
your kyngdome thoroughly? The hole name as reason is for the auncientie of
your kingdome whiche was bifore theyrs and out of the whiche theyrs is
growen onely abiding with your grace? and of one kyngdome made tweyne: the
spirituall kyngdome (as they call it) for they wyll be named first, And
your temporall kingdome, And whiche of these, ij. kingdomes suppose ye is
like to ouergrowe the other, ye[a] to put the other clere out of memory?
Truely the kingdome of the bloudsuppers for to theym is giuen daily out of
your kingdome. And that that is ones gyuen theim comith neuer from theim
agein. Suche lawes haue they that none of theim may nether gyue nor sell

¶ whate lawe can be made so stronge ageinst theim that they other with
money or elles with other policy will not breake and set at nought? whate
kingdome can endure that euer gyuith thus from him and receyueth nothing
agein? O howe all the substaunce of your Realme forthwith your swerde,
power, crowne, dignite, and obedience of your people, rynneth hedlong ynto
the insaciabill whyrlepole of these gredi goulafres to be swalowed and

¶ Nether haue they eny other coloure to gather these yerely exaccions ynto
theyre hondes but that they sey they pray for vs to God to delyuer our
soules out of the paynes of purgatori without whose prayer they sey or at
lest without the popes pardon we coude neuer be deliuered thens whiche if
it be true then is it good reason that we gyue theim all these thinges all
were it C times as moche, But there be many men of greate litterature and
iudgement that for the love they haue vnto the trouth and vnto the comen
welth haue not feared to put theim silf ynto the greatest infamie that may
be, in abiection of all the world, ye[a] in perill of deth to declare
theyre oppinion in this mather whiche is that there is no purgatory but
that it is a thing inuented by the couitousnesse of the spiritualtie onely
to translate all kingdomes from other princes vnto theim and that there is
not one word spoken of hit is al holy scripture. They sey also that if
there were a purgatory And also if that the pope with his pardons for
money may deliuer one soule thens: he may deliuer him aswel without money,
if he may deliuer one, he may deliuer a thousand: yf he may deliuer a
thousand he may deliuer theim all, and so destroy purgatory. And then is
he a cruell tyraunt without all charite if he kepe theim there in pryson
and in paine till men will giue him money.

¶ Lyke wyse saie they of all the hole sort of the spiritueltie that if
they will not pray for no man but for theim that gyue theim money they are
tyrauntes and lakke charite, and suffer those soules to be punisshed and
payned vncheritably for lacke of theyre prayers. These sort of folkes they
call heretikes, these they burne, these they rage ageinst, put to open
shame and make theim bere fagottes. But whether they be heretikes or no,
well I wote that this purgatory and the Popes pardons is all the cause of
translacion of your kingdome so fast into their hondes wherfore it is
manifest it can not be of christ, for he gaue more to the temporall
kingdome, he hym silfe paid tribute to Cesar he toke nothing from hym but
taught that the highe powers shulde be alweys obei[e]d ye[a] he him silf
(although he were most fre lorde of all and innocent) was obedient vnto
the highe powers vnto deth. This is the great scabbe why they will not let
the newe testament go a brode yn your moder tong lest men shulde espie
that they by theyre cloked ypochrisi do translate thus fast your kingdome
into theyre hondes, that they are not obedient vnto your highe power, that
they are cruell, vnclene, vnmerciful, and ypochrites, that thei seke not
the honour of Christ but their owne, that remission of sinnes are not
giuen by the popes pardon, but by Christ, for the sure feith and trust
that we haue in him. Here may your grace well perceyue that except ye
suffer theyre ypocrisie to be disclosed all is like to runne ynto theire
hondes and as long as it is couered so long shall it seme to euery man to
be a greate ympiete not to gyue theim. For this I am sure your grace
thinketh (as the truth is) I am as good as my father, whye may I not
aswell gyue theim as moche as my father did. And of this mynd I am sure
are all the loordes knightes squir[e]s gentilmen and ye[o]men in englond
ye[a] and vntill it be disclosed all your peoole [_people_] will thinke
that your statute of mortmayne was neuer made with no good conscience
seing that it taketh awey the liberte of your people in that they may not
as laufully b[u]y theire soules out of purgatory by gyuing to the
spiritualte as their predecessours did in tymes passed.

¶ wherfore if ye will eschewe the ruyne of your crowne and dignitie let
their ypocrisye be vttered and that shalbe more spedfull in this mater
then all the lawes that may be made be they never so stronge. For to make
a lawe for to punisshe eny offender except it were more fit to giue other
men an ensample to beware to committe suche like offence, whate shuld yt
auayle. Did not doctour Alyn most presumptuously nowe yn your tyme ageynst
all this allegiaunce all that ever he coude to pull from you the knowledge
of suche plees as [be]long vnto your hyghe courtes vnto an other court in
derogacion of your crowne and dignite? Did not also doctor Horsey and his
complices most heynously as all the world knoweth murdre in pryson that
honest marchaunt Richard hunne? For that he sued your writ of premunire
against a prest that wrongfully held him in ple[a] in a spirituall court
for a mater wherof the knowlege belonged vnto your hyghe courtes. And
whate punisshement was there done that eny man may take example of to be
ware of lyke offence? truely none but that the one payd fiue hundreth
poundes (as it is said to the b[u]ildinge of your sterre chamber) and when
that payment was ones passed the capteyns of his kingdome (because he
faught so manfully ageynst your crowne and dignitie) haue heped to him
benefice vpon benefice so that he is rewarded tenne tymes as moche. The
other as it is seid payde sixe hundreth poundes for him and his complices
whiche forbicause that he had lyke wyse faught so manfully ageynst your
crowne and dignite was ymmediatly (as he had opteyned your most gracyous
pardon) promoted by the capiteynes of his kingdome with benefice vpon
benefice to the value of. iiij. tymes as moche. who can take example of
this punisshement to be ware of suche like offence? who is he of theyre
kingdome that will not rather take courage to committe lyke offence seying
the promocions that fill [_fell_] to this [_these_] men for theyre so
offending. So weke and blunt is your swerde to strike at one of the
offenders of this cro[o]ked and peruers generacyon.

¶ And this is by the reason that the chief instrument of youre lawe ye[a]
the chief of your counsell and he whiche hath youre swerde in his hond to
whome also all the other instrumentes are obedient is alweys a spirituell
man whiche hath euer suche an inordinate loue vnto his owne kingdome that
he will mainteyn that, though all the temporall kingdoms and comonwelth[s]
of the worlde shulde therfore vtterly be vndone, Here leue we out the
gretest mater of all lest that we declaring suche an horrible carayn of
euyll ageinst the ministres of iniquite shulde seme to declare the one
onely faute or rather the ignoraunce of oure best beloued ministre of
rightousnesse whiche is to be hid till he may be lerned by these small
enormitees that we haue spoken of to knowe it pleynly him silf. But whate
remedy to releue vs your poore sike lame and sore bedemen? To make many
hospitals for the relief of the poore people? Nay truely. The moo the
worse, for euer the fatte of the hole foundacion hangeth on the prestes
berdes. Dyuers of your noble predecessours kinges of this realme haue
gyuen londes to monasteries to giue a certein somme of money yerely to the
poore people wherof for the aunciente of the tyme they giue neuer one
peny, They haue lyke wyse giuen to them to haue a certeyn masses said
daily for theim wherof they sey neuer one. If the Abbot of westminster
shulde sing euery day as many masses for his founders as he is bounde to
do by his foundacion. M, monkes were to[o] fewe. wherfore if your grace
will bilde a sure hospitall that neuer shall faile to releue vs all your
poore bedemen, so take from theim all these thynges. Set these sturdy
lobies a brode in the world to get theim wiues of theire owne, to get
theire liuing with their laboure in the swete of theire faces according to
the commaundement of god. Gene. iij. to gyue other idell people by theire
example occasion to go to laboure. Tye these holy idell theues to the
cartes to be whipped naked about euery market towne til they will fall to
laboure that they by theyre importunate begging take not awey the almesse
that the good christen people wolde giue vnto vs sore impotent miserable
people your bedemen. Then shall aswell the nombre of oure forsaid
monstruous sort as of the baudes, hores, theues, and idell people
decreace. Then shall these great yerely exaccions cease. Then shall not
youre swerde, power, crowne, dignite, and obedience of your people, be
translated from you. Then shall you haue full obedience of your people.
Then shall the idell people be set to worke. Then shall matrimony be moche
better kept. Then shal the generation of your people be encreased, Then
shall your comons encrease in richnesse. Then shall the gospell be
preached. Then shall none begge oure almesse from vs. Then shal we haue
ynough and more then shall suffice vs, whiche shall be the best hospitall
that euer was founded for vs, Then shall we daily pray to god for your
most noble estate long to endure.

      Domine saluum fac regem.



Will represent the following classes of books:--

a Early printed translations from the Classics, as those by J. HEYWOOD, T.
PHAER, R. STANYHURST, A. GOLDING, T. MAY, and others: or from the
Continental literatures of their times.

b Romances, "histories," satires, epigrams, "love pamphlets," poems, and
ROWLANDS; J. TAYLOR, the "Water Poet;" W. WARNER; and others. Some of
these productions are the ground works of SHAKESPEARE's plays.

c Some quaint sermons or other characteristic books by Puritans: together
with some 20 or 25 tracts of the _Martin Marprelate Controversy_:
1588-1590 A.D. A complete set of the original editions of these "laughing
libels" now about to be reproduced would fetch from £200 to £250; as many
of them were secretly printed at JOHN PENRY's wandering press, and are now
of extraordinary scarcity.

d A brief Selection from the earlier and later Drama down to the time of
DRYDEN: not forgetting the annual pageants of the Lord Mayor on the 29th
of October, the Court Revels, and the Masks at the Inns of Court. Also
some books attacking or defending the Stage.

e Remarkable books like Sir T. ELYOT's _Governor_; Sir T. WILSON's
_Rhetoric and Logic: The Mirror for Magistrates_; J. HOWELL's _Epistolæ Ho
ELIANÆ_; Colonel S. ALLEN's _Killing no Murder_; W. BRADFORD's _Of New
Plimouth_; W. THOMAS' _Historie of Italie_; J. LAMBARD's _Perambulation of
Kent_; Bp. J. JEWELL's _Apologie_; Sir T. SMITH's _Commonwealth of
England_; and also books remarkable as being the first produced in any

f The Controversy with Rome in the first phase of the English Reformation;
as represented by the works of W. TYNDALE; Sir T. MORE; C. SAINT GERMAN;
R. BARNES; J. RASTELL; G. JOYE; and others. To be printed from the
_contemporary_ editions.

g "Characters," "Essays," and other pieces photographing the "humours" of
their time.

h The Quarrels of Authors; and notably that between Dr. GABRIEL HARVEY and

i Strange travels; like LITHGOW's _Peregrination_ and CORYAT's

j A few philosophical books: like Sir J. ELIOT's _Monarchie of Man_; J.
HALE's _Golden Remains_; T. HOBBE's _Leviathan_; and Bishop J. WILKIN's
_Real Character_.

k Some "Emblem" books; if their text and illustrations can by
_photogravure_ or any like process be reproduced with a satisfactory
definition and clearness.

II. Though not its main intention--this _OLD SERIES_ will comprise the
largest number of forbidden or "obnoxious" English books ever brought
together. Of which it will represent books burnt by the Romish hierarchy
under Henry VIII; Brownist, Puritan, and _MARTIN MARPRELATE_ tracts
confiscated by ELIZABETH's bishops; free-speech books obnoxious to the
ministers of the Stuarts; "Divine right" sermons and other works burnt by
the common hangman by order of Parliament; and lastly, works rewarded by
the High Commission in the Star Chamber with slit nose, branded face, or
cropped ears.

_For further particulars, including issues to date, see current List._




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