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STARKEY'S LETTER TO POLE.

163

same, by their blind superstitious knowledge, to be to the salvation of man of necessity, and that this superiority of the Pope was a sure truth and manifest of the law of God, and instituted by Christ as necessary to the conservation of the spiritual unity of the mystical body of Christ. In this blindness their superstitious minds were stabled, lacking judgment to discern between the unity spiritual and the unity political, which they thought would run to ruin for lack of this head,' whom they made immediate under Christ, and on whose judgment, as the Vicar of Christ, all Christian men ought of necessity to hang. Reynolds, whom I have often heard praised by you, would admit no reason to the contrary, though divers were sent to them in prison by the king's commandment to instruct them. They were so blinded and sturdy that they could neither see the truth in the cause, nor give convenient obedience due to such persons as of themselves cannot see the truth. Therefore they have suffered death, according to the course of the law, as rebels to the same, and disobedient to the princely authority, and as persons who, as much as in them lay, have rooted sedition in the community. This is the truth; for by Mr. Secretary's license I was admitted to hear Reynolds' reason, and confer with

1 The subsequent history of religion in England has shown that they thought rightly, and that no kind of unity of faith or morals can be maintained without this head.

him. I found in him neither strong reason to maintain his purpose, nor great learning to defend it. I conferred with him gladly, for I was sorry to see a man of such virtue and learning die in such a blind and superstitious opinion. But nothing would avail. They themselves were the cause. It seemed that they sought their own deaths, of which no one can be justly accused. You may repeat this, as you think expedient, to those whom you perceive to be misinformed." It need hardly be observed that Dr. Starkey did not succeed in his attempt to make a Protestant of Reginald Pole; nor did he persuade him that the three Carthusian Priors and Dr. Reynolds were anything less than “martyred saints in England." 2

1 Letters and Papers, viii. 801.

An expression of Dr. Ortiz' in October, 1535.

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AND EXECUTION OF FATHERS WILLIAM EXMEW, HUMPHREY MIDDLEMORE, AND SEBASTIAN NEWDIGATE.

LET us return to the London Charterhouse. The daily round of prayer and praise had not ceased. The great bell was still heard ringing in the dead of night to call the monks to Matins, and with its wonted regularity it sounded at intervals throughout the day for Angelus, for Mass, for Office. The Prior's stall was empty, nor was it destined to be filled again by any but a man unworthy of the name of Prior. Yet for the present all went on quietly under the direction of Father Humphrey Middlemore, the Vicar, and Father William Exmew, the Procurator, aided by Father Sebastian Newdigate. There was no question of electing a Prior according to the Rule of the Order, for the Charterhouse was closely watched, and it was intended to bring the monks to acknowledge the king's new title, or else to let them feel the rigour of his cruel laws, the full

force of which had just been so startlingly brought home to them.

Bedyll visited the Charterhouse on the very day of the Prior's martyrdom; and two days later he wrote the following letter to Cromwell :

"Please it you to understand that on Tuesday, forthwith upon my departure from you, I repaired to the Charterhouse, and had with me divers books and annotations, both of my own and others, against the Primacy of the Bishop of Rome, and also of St. Peter, declaring evidently the equality of the Apostles by the Law of God. And after long communication, more than one hour and a half, with the Vicar and Procurator of the house, I left those books and annotations with them, that they should see the Holy Scriptures and doctors thereupon concerning the said matters, and thereupon reform themselves accordingly. And yesterday they sent me the said books and annotations again home to my house by a servant of theirs, without any word or writing. Wherefore I sent to the Procurator to come and speak with me, seeing I kept my bed by reason of sickness, and could not come to him. And at his coming I demanded of him whether he and the Vicar and other of the seniors had seen or heard the said annotations, or perused the titles of the books, making most for the said matters. And he answered that the Vicar and he and Newdigate had spent the time upon them until nine or ten of the clock at night, and that

A LETTER FROM BEDYLL.

167

they saw nothing in them whereby they were moved to alter their opinion. I then declared to him the danger of his opinion, which was like to be the destruction of them and their house for ever. And, as far as I could perceive by my communication with the Vicar and Procurator on Tuesday, and with the Procurator yesterday, they be obstinately determined to suffer all extremities rather than to alter their opinion, regarding no more the death of their Father in word or countenance than he were living and conversing among them. I also demanded of the Procurator whether the residue of his brethren were of like opinion, and he answered he was not sure, but he thought they were all of one mind. I showed him that I thought that the spirit which appeared afore God and said he would be a false spirit in the mouths of all the prophets of Achab, had inspired them and sowed this obstinacy in them." The remainder of the letter shows the cruelty and rashness of the writer. Finally," he says, "I

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suppose it to be the will of God, that as their religion had a simple beginning, so in this realm it shall have a strange end, procured by themselves, and by none others. And albeit they pretend holiness in their behalf, surely the ground of their said opinion is hypocrisy, vainglory, confederacy, obstinacy, to the intent they may be seen to the world, or specially to such as have confidence in them, more faithful and more constant than any other. From Alders

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