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TRIAL FOR HIGH TREASON.

173

our martyrs had the honour of being mentioned in the same indictment as Blessed Cardinal Fisher, though the prelate's trial was postponed for another week ; "... that John Fisher, late of Rochester, clerk, otherwise late Bishop of Rochester, did, 7 May, 27 Henry VIII., openly declare in England, The king our sovereign lord is not supreme head in earth of the Church of England.' Also that Humphrey Middlemore, William Exmew, and Sebastian Newdigate, late monks of the Charterhouse, London, under the obedience of John Houghton, Prior, now deceased, did at Stepney, in the county of Middlesex, 25 May, 27 Henry VIII., each of them say to several of the king's true subjects, 'I cannot nor will consent to be obedient to the king's highness as a true, lawful, and obedient subject, to take and repute him to be the supreme head in earth of the Church of England under Christ.'

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The three Carthusians were brought to the bar by Sir Edmund Walsingham, deputy of Sir William Kingston, Constable of the Tower. They pleaded not guilty. That is to say, not guilty of high treason; for they did not pretend they had not denied the king's spiritual supremacy. Chauncy tells how they argued with the judges, showing by many texts from Holy Scripture that the king could have no right to the title of head of the Church, since our Lord had conferred the Supreme Pontificate upon St. Peter and his successors in the See

of Rome.1 Hall says that "these men, when they were arraigned at Westminster, behaved themselves very stiffly and stubbornly; for, hearing their indictment read, how traitorously they had spoken against the king's majesty, his crown and dignity, they neither blushed nor bashed at it, but very foolishly and hypocritically acknowledged their treason, which maliciously they avouched, having no learning for their defence; but rather, being asked divers questions, they used a malicious silence, thinking as by their examinations afterward in the Tower of London it did appear, for so they said that they thought those men, which was the lord Cromwell and other that there sat upon them in judgment, to be heretics and not of the Church of God, and therefore not worthy to be either answered or spoken unto. And therefore, as they deserved, they received as you have heard before "—that is, “were hanged, drawen, and quartred at Tyborne, and their quarters set up about London, for denying the kyng to be supreme head of the Churche."2

From these words of one who was bitterly hostile to the Catholic religion and also to liberty of conscience, it may be gathered that the three

1 Historia, p. 108.

2 Hall's Chronicle (ed. 1809), p. 817. This chronicle was first published in 1548, under the title of The Union of the Two Noble and Illustrious Families of Lancaster and York. The writer must not be confounded with Dr. Hall, a Catholic, who wrote a Life of Blessed John Fisher.

EXECUTION AT TYBURN.

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martyrs neither blushed at nor were ashamed of having refused to acknowledge the king's spiritual supremacy. And after boldly confessing their faith and defending it, they kept silence, for they saw that their judges were not open to conviction. And, therefore, as they deserved, they received the martyr's palm, having willingly laid down their lives for the Catholic faith and the rights of the Sovereign Pontiff.

The execution took place on the 19th of June; when the martyrs were drawn on hurdles to Tyburn, and there hanged, cut down alive, mutilated, ripped up, disembowelled, beheaded, and quartered in the same brutal manner as their Prior, Father Houghton, a few weeks before. One account tells us that the executioner, in a fit of diabolical rage, forced the martyrs' hearts into their mouths.' The quarters were parboiled, and then placed in various parts of the City to frighten the people; and the souls of the martyrs entered into everlasting rest.

1 Preface to first edition of Chauncy's work. See ed. 1888,

P. 6.

CHAPTER VI.

SECULARS IN CHARGE-SEIZURE OF BOOKS-PREACHERS-A VISIT FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE-DEFECTIONS-ANDREW BORD AND THE SUPERIOR GENERAL-"CARELESS MEN AND WILLING TO DIE" THE COMMISSIONERS' "INSTRUCTIONS "-NEW RULES.

THE persecution of the remaining monks, which followed the imprisonment of the Vicar and his two companions, was less violent, but in some respects more trying and more dangerous. For two years nobody was tortured or put to death; nobody was even cast into prison, but all were made to feel that the Charterhouse was no longer the peaceful, prayerful, happy home it had been in the days of prosperity. Hitherto the monks had been aided by holy and enlightened Superiors; now every one was left to himself to bear the cruel treatment he received from the Royal Commissioners who took charge of the monastery, and to resist the constant. attacks made upon both his religious belief and the faithful keeping of his vows.

The chief business of the Commissioners in residence at the Charterhouse seems to have been the

A PLAN TO CONVERT THE MONKS. 177

conversion of the monks to the new religion, by persuasion, privation, and threat. An apparently willing submission on the part of the community would have been a great victory for the king's men, and every means was tried to bring the monks to make it. As time went on the cruelty of the Commissioners augmented, until at last the life of the poor religious became a burden almost too heavy to be borne. Yet, by God's grace, they bore it well. The first resident Commissioner appears to have "It is of no use,"

been a certain John Whalley. he says in a letter to Cromwell, "for one Mr. Rastall to come here. He pleads, indeed, that you wished him daily to resort hither, but the monks laugh and jest at all things he speaketh. No question of it, they be exceedingly superstitious, ceremonious, and pharisaical, and wonderfully addict to their old mumpsimus. Nevertheless, better and more charitable it were to convert them, than to put them to the extremity of the law." He suggests a plan to convert them. Cromwell is first to send some honest, learned, and loyal men to stay with the monks; and then to let the Vicar of Croydon, Dr. Buckmaster, Symonds, and others of the popish sort, preach before them against their superstitious and pharisaical ceremonies, and the Pope's usurped power. "And after all this to cause the Bishops of York, Winchester, Durham, Lincoln, Bath, and London, yea and divers other Bishops that be near

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