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panied by ten children, one at the breast, contrived to throw herself in his way as he went towards Smithfield. This sorrowful sight, however, did not appear to make him shrink from his fate, for a pardon being offered him at the stake if he would recant, he utterly refused it, saying, “that who rad preached he would seal with his blood.” He was, therefore, in the presence of the sheriff and other authorities, burned to ashes; exhibiting wonderful patience in the midst of his sufferings.
The Rev. LAWRENCE SAUNDERS,
Burned at Coventry, Feb. 8., 1555,
Was the next Martyr. He was placed at Eton School, whence he removed to King's College Cambridge, where he continued three years, and made considerable progress in his studies; having quitted the University, his mother, who was a widow possessed of a liberal fortune, placed him with Sir Wm. Chester a merchant of London, who afterwards happened to be Sheriff the same year that Mr. Saunders suffered at Coventry. But preferring the Church he soon returned to Cambridge, where he studied the Scriptures in order to qualify himself for a preacher of the Gospel. His first preferment was that of Divinity reader in the College at Fotheringham in the early part of the reign of Edward ; to use the words of Fox :"He married about that time, and in the married state led a life unblameable before all men. The college of Fotheringham
being dissolved, he was placed to be a reader in the minster at Litchfield. After a certain time, he departed from Litchfield to a benefice in Leicestershire, called Church-Langton, where he held a residence, taught diligently, and kept a liberal house. Thence he was orderly called to take a benefice in the city of London, namely All-hallows in Bread-street. Then he was minded to give over his cure in the country; and therefore after he had taken possession of his benefice in London, he departed from thence into the country, clearly to discharge himself thereof; at which time began the contest about the claim that Queen Mary made to the crown, whence he could not ac. complish his purpose.
“In this trouble, and even among the beginners of it, (such as were for the Queen) he preached at Northampton, nothing meddling with the state, but boldly uttering his conscience against the popish doctrines which were likely to spring up again in England, as a just plague for the little love which the English nation then bore to the blessed word of God. Which had been so plentifully offered unto them."
This conduct having given offence, he was apprehended in the afternoon of Sunday, Oct. 15th., having preached in the church of Allhallows in the morning, and taken before Bonner, who committed him to prison where he lay fifteen months, during which time he kept up an edifying correspondence with his wife and friends, when he was again brought before the consistory court, and after being examined was excommunicated and condemned to death. On the 5th., of February the Sheriff of London, his former master, delivered him over to the Queen's guard, who were ordered to convey him to Coventry to be burned. On the 8th., he was led to the place of execution in the park without the city barefoot, and habited in an old gown and shirt ; having arrived at the spot he fell down and prayed, then rising up, kissed the stake to which he was about to be chained, exclaiming, “ Welcome the Cross of Christ ! welcome everlasting life !" Being fastened to the stake, and fire applied to the pile it was seen that his enemies had supplied green fuel and other matters which consumed slowly and thereby increased his agony and sufferings, which he bore with great fortitude, until relieved by death from his torments.
JOHN HOOPER, Bishop of Gloucester.
Burned at Gloucester, 9th Feb. 1555.
He was a learned divine of exemplary character, educated at Oxford, whence he became steward to the Earl of Arundel, but being compelled to leave England, to escape persecution for his religious opinions, he settled at Zurich in Germany, where he married. He returned to England in the reign of Edward, and by his eloquent preaching soon attracted much notice; being ordered to preach before the King, his Majesty was so much pleased with his doctrines, that he appointed him to the Bishoprick of Gloucester soon after, and at the end of two years he was translated to the see of Worcester. Fox says of this Bishop that “no father in his household, no gardener in his garden, nor husbandman in his vineyard, was more or better occupied than he in his diocese amongst his flock, in going about his towns and villages teaching and preaching to the people there."
Hooper was among the first that was ordered to London after the accession of Mary, and was deprived of his Bishoprick by the Queen's Commissioners on the 19th March 1554. He was committed to the Fleet where he remained three months and was treated with great cruelty. He was examined before the Bishop of Winchester and others, at St. Mary Overy's, on a charge of heresy, and was condemned to be degraded; which was performed with great ceremony on the 4th of February 1555, in the chapel of Newgate, to which prison he had been sent after his condemnation. He was then delivered to the Sheriffs with an order for his execution at Gloucester; the following day the Queen's guards accompanied him to Gloucester, and delivered him to the sheriffs of that county, who led him to execution on the morning of the 9th and there in the presence of 7000 people he declared " that he had ever preached unto them true and sincere doctrine, and that out of the Gospel, and that because he would not now account the same to be heresie and untruth, that kind of death was prepared for him, which he embraced with joy and gladness.” He then submitted himself with calmness to the executioners. The hoop of iron intended for his middle being found rather small, he assisted to place it round his body, but refused to have his legs bound, saying, “ I am well assured I shall not trouble you."
The fire being lighted, the wind had such an effect upon the flames that the lower part of his body was consumed before the upper. He continued to pray with a loud voice until he could no longer speak, and beat his breast with his hands till one of his arms fell off, when his strength failing the body fell forwards and was entirely consumed. Some very interesting letters, and other writings of his, which will not admit of abridgment will be found in Fox.
Doctor ROWLAND TAYLOR,
Rector of Hadley in Suffolk, burned 9th Feb. 1555.
The population of Hadley were strictly Protestant, and lived in perfect harmony with their pastor, (who had formerly resided in the household of Archbishop Cranmer,) during the whole of the reign of Edward VI. Dr. Taylor in the following reign continuing to preach against popery, one Foster a lawyer assisted by John Clerk and a number of armed men took possession of the church of Hadley, intending to perform mass therein, which being resisted by Dr. Taylor, he was violently thrust out of the church, and the service of the mass was performed with closed doors, for fear of the multitude without, who felt indignant at the treatment of their pastor. In a few days he was summoned before Gardiner at the complaint of the aforesaid Foster and Clerk. The Bishop abused him with great scurrility, calling him knave, traitor, and heretick, and committed him to the Queen's bench, he was soon after brought up to the Arches Court at Bow church, and deprived of his livings, his marriage being assigned as a reason for that proceeding. He was however again incarcerated for a year and nine months, and then brought before the commissioners and