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your father's

not the same numerical volumes. Thanks be to your honour, who have bestowed on me (the treasure of a lord-treasurer) what remained of library. Your father, who was the greatest honourer, and disgracer of students, bred in learning. Honourer, giving due respect to all men of merit: disgracer, who by his mere natural parts and experience acquired that perfection of invention, expression and judgment, to which those who make learning their sole study do never arrive.

It was a gift I confess, better proportioned to your dignity than my deserts, too great, not for your honour to bestow, but for me to receive. And thus hath God by your bounty equivalently restored unto me what the locusts and the palmer worm, &c. have devoured ; so that now I envy not the pope's Vatican, for the numerousness of books, and variety of editions therein, enough for use, being as good, as store for state, or superfluity for magnificence. However, hereafter I shall behold myself under no other notion than as your lordship’s library keeper, and conceive it my duty, not only to see your books dried and rubbed, to rout those moths which would quarter therein, but also to peruse, study, and digest them, so that I may present your honour with some choice collections out of the same, as this ensuing history is for the main extracted thence, on which account I humbly request your acceptance thereof; whereby you shall engage my daily prayers for your happiness, and the happiness of your most noble consort.

I have read how a Roman orator, making a speech at the funeral of his deceased mother-in-law, affirmed, that he had never been reconciled unto her for many years: now whilst his ignorant auditors condemned their mutual vindicativeness, the wiser sort admired and commended their peaceable dispositions, because there never happened the least difference between them needing an agreement, as that bone cannot be set which was never broken. On which account, that never any reconciliation may be between yourself and other self, is the desire of

Your honour's most

Bounden beadsman,

THOMAS FULLER.

THE

CHURCH HISTORY

OF

BRITAIN.

BOOK V.

Poor pro

vidence.

OD hath always been ambitious to pre- A.D. 1501.
serve and prefer little things, the Jews"Menry
the least of all nations ; David their
king, least in his father's family; little fessors still

preservedby Benjamin the ruler ; little Hill of God's proHermon ; the Virgin Mary, the lowliness of thy handmaiden: God's children severally are styled his little ones, and collectively make up but a little flock. And surely it renders the work of grace more visible and conspicuous, when the object can claim nothing as due to itself. A pregnant proof hereof we have in divine Providence, at this time preserving the inconsiderable pittance of faithful professors against most powerful opposition. This handful of men were tied to very hard duty, being constantly to stand sentinels against an army of enemies, till God sent Luther to relieve them, and the work was

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VII.

A. D. 1501. made lighter, with more hands to do it, as in the 17 Henry

sequel of our story, God willing, will appear. Meantime we must remember, that Henry Deana succeeded in the place of archbishop Morton, lately deceased, and enjoyed his honour but two years, then leaving it to William Warham, one well qualified

with learning and discretion. Some burn- 2. Now it is no small praise to Buckinghamshire, ed, some branded, that being one of the lesser counties of England, it fession of had more martyrs and confessors in it, before the the truth. time of Luther, than all the kingdom besides : where

William Tylsworth was burnt at Amersham”, (the A.D. 1506. rendezvous of God's children in those days,) and

Joan his only daughter, and “a faithful woman, was

compelled with her own hands to set fire to her “ dear father.” At the same time sixty professors and above did bear faggots for their penance, and were enjoined to wear on their right sleeves, for some years after, a square piece of cloth, as a disgrace to themselves, and a difference from others. But what is most remarkable, a new punishment was now found out, of branding them in the cheek. The manner thus c: their necks were tied fast to a post with towels, and their hands holden that they might not stir; and so the hot iron was put to their cheeks. It is not certain whether branded with L for Lollard, or H for Heretic, or whether it was only a formless print of iron, (yet nevertheless painful,) this is sure, that they bare in their bodies the marks of the Lord Jesusd. And no doubt they had so well

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a (He died at Lambeth, 15 Angl. p. 132.] Feb. 1503, and was succeeded b [Fox, Acts, &c. I.p. 1010.) by Warham, who was installed c Fox, p. 1011. Varch 9, 1504. Parkeri An

d Gal. vi. 17. tiq. p. 450. Godwin De Pras.

learned our Saviour's precept, that rather than they A.D. 1506.

22 Henry would have revenged themselves by unlawful means, to them that smit them on the one cheek, they would hare turned the other alsoe. Surely ecclesiastical constitutions did not reach thus far, as to impose any corporal torture: and whether there be any statute of the land that enjoins (not to say permits) such punishments, let the learned in the laws decide. This I am sure, if this was the first time that they fell into this (supposed) heresy, by the law they were only to abjure their errors; and if it were the second time, upon relapse into the same again, their whole bodies were to be burnt. Except any will say, that such as by these bloody laws deserved death, were branded only by the favour of William Smith, bishop of Lincoln; and one may have charity enough to incline him to this belief, when considering the same William (founder of Brasenose-college in Oxford) was generally a lover of learning and goodness, and not cruelly disposed of himselff. However, some of God's children, though burnt, did not dread the fire. And father Rever, alias Reive, though branded at the time, did afterwards suffer at a stake 8; so that the brand at the first did but take livery and seisin

VII.

e Matt. v. 39.

minster, doctor of divinity, and f (Born at Farnworth in the incorporated in the same degree parish of Prescot in Lancashire; at Oxford. In 1492 he was educated either at Oriel or created bishop of Litchfield; Lincoln colleges, or perhaps in 1495 removed to Lincoln, successively in both. Retiring and died in 1513. The infrom Oxford for fear of the scription which was engraven plague, he became fellow, and on his tomb, with an account afterwards master of Pembroke of his benefactions, is printed hall in Cambridge. About the in Wood's Athenæ, I. p. 650. same time he was made arch. See also Godwin de Præsul. deacon of Surrey, dean of the p. 299. 323.] chapel, St. Stephen's, West- & Fox, p. 1011.

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