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3dly. Whether they did take the queen to be the supreme governess of the church of England ?
4thly. Whether they were priests or no ?
To these questions, they both returned the same answers in substance, viz: to the first, That they were brought up from their infancy, in the catholic faith, and were never at the protestant church. To the second, That when such a case shall happen, which is not likely, they will answer it. To the third, That the pope is supreme head upon earth, of the catholic church throughout the world. To the fourth, they answered as before, That they were catholics, and further, they thought themselves not bound to answer.
Nevertheless, upon this last article they were immediately arraigned, it being the time of the summer assizes, before judge Glandvil ; and an indictment was drawn up against them, that they were seminary priests, and consequently trailors ; and though their being priests was neither proved nor confessed, nor any witnesses produced to avouch it, the judge directed the jury to find them guilty ; which they did : though, as it seems, with great repugnance of conscience, perfectly compelled to it by the sharp words of the judge, who was very positive in the matter, and told them, they must needs bring in their verdict so. Soon after, the judge gave sentence of death, according to the usual form as in cases of high treason ; which the servants of God joyfully heard, giving God thanks for so great a favour, and pardoning their persecutors. But both before and after their condemnation, they were attacked by some protestant preachers upon the articles of their religion, whom they so confuted and confounded, that the magistrates commanded the ministers to hold their peace. They made use of their own far stronger arguments of hurdles, halters, knives and fire, which these two servants of God courageously met, and gloriously conquered. They were executed at Lincoln, some time in July, 1600.
Not many days after,' says Dr. Worthington, in his relation printed and published in the beginning of the following year, p. 99, · Mr. Glandvil, their judge, received also his own judgment : for, riding abroad for his pleasure, near to his own house, with one man, suddenly, in the plain field, he fell from his horse to the ground, the horse not stumbling at all, but running away a great pace. The servant stept quickly to his master, and essaying to help him up, found him dead ; whereat being much astonished, he posted as fast as he could to the next village, crying, that his master was dead. The people, in haste, running to the place, found it so : and not knowing who else could be charged with it, they presently apprehended the same servant, upon suspicion that he had murdered his master; but, upon viewing the corpse, they saw evidently, that no man had done this act; for they found part of his brains strangely coming forth, both at his nose and mouth, not having any other hurt in his head, but towards the right side, behind, a great dimple or hole, wherein a child might have put his fist; yet neither his skin, nor his hat, broken at all, nor a hair of his head wanting, to any man's judgment. They found likewise, his right shoulder sore scorched, like burned leather, as black as pitch ; and from thence along upon his arm, a great gash, as if it had been
made with a knife, but not deep ; and in the calf of his leg, on the same side, they found another hole, about an inch broad, and three inches deep, and (which is most strange,) not so much as a thread of his hose, nor of his other apparel, could be found to be broken. The horse that run away, with much ado was taken, but could by no means be brought near to the place where his master fell down.' So far the printed relation.
The execution of Mr. Sprott and Mr. Hunt, is mentioned by Howes upon Stow, in his chronicle.
ROBERT NUTTER, AND EDWARD THWING, PRIESTS.*
ROBERT NUTTER, brother of Mr. John Nutter, who suffered in 1584, was born in Lancashire, and performed his higher studies in Douay col. lege, during its residence at Rhemes, where he was ordained priest, December 21, 1581, with Mr. George Haydock, and divers others; and, in the beginning of the following year, was sent upon the English mission. Here I find him prisoner, in the Tower, in February, 1583-4, where he was put down in a dungeon, for seven-and-forty days, loaded with chains for the greater part of the time, and twice tortured : and in the November following, was lodged again in the same hole, and remained there for two months and fourteen days. See the journal of things transacted in the Tower, from 1580 to 1585, published with Dr. Saunders, and Mr. Rishton's history of the schism. In 1585, he was sent into banishment, with many other priests, ' who being brought by their keepers from their several prisons to the Tower wharf,' says Dr. Worthington, (who was himself one of the number,) p. 91, and there cominanded to enter into a ship ready provided to carry them into banishment, declared publicly to the commissioners, that they did not accept of that banishment, as of any grace or mercy at all ; for they had not committed any fault, neither against their queen nor country, as this pretended mercy falsely supposed ; and therefore, in express terms, required rather to be tried, and to answer their accusers at Westminster, and at Tyburn, than to be thus carried against their wills out of their native country, from their friends and neighbours, whom they were to serve according to their priestly functions ; affirming, moreover, that though per force they were carried away, yet they would assuredly return to the same work, as soon as God and their spiritual superiors, would permit them so to do.'
Mr. Nutter, for his part, was as good as his word ; and, after having visited his old mother college, at Rhemes, and made some short stay
* From Dr. Worthington's relation of sixteen martyrs, printed in 1601, and Dr. Champney's manuscript, and the Douay diary.
there, he returned upon the mission. He fell again, not long after, into the hands of the persecutors, and was committed to Wisbich castle, where I find him prisoner, in 1587. Here he continued till about the beginning of 1600; when, with Mr. Hunt, and four others, he found means to escape. Then going into Lancashire, he was a third time apprehended, and, in the summer assizes, 1600, brought upon his trial, condemned, (barely upon account of his priestly character,) and executed at Lancaster, July 26.
Dr. Champney gives him this short eulogium, that he was a man of a strong body, but of a stronger soul; who rather despised than conquered death; and went before his companion." Mr. Thwing," to the gallows, with as much cheerfulness and joy, as if he had been going to a feast, to the astonishment of the spectators.
Edward Thwing was born of an ancient family at Hurst, near York. He was first an alumnus of the college of Rhemes ; from whence, he was sent to Rome, in 1587; but was obliged, for his health, to return again to Rhemes. Here he was presented to holy orders, and ordained priest at Laon, December 20, 1590, being at that time, it appears by the Douay diary, master of the Hebrew and Greek tongues, and professor of rhetoric in the college. He was sent upon the English mission from Douay, in 1597, after the college was returned to that university. Dr. Champney, who was personally acquainted with him, and his cotemporary at the college, gives him this character; that he was a man of admirable meekness, and of no less piety, religion, patience, and mortification; that his patience (amongst the rest of his virtues which rendered him amiable to all) was very remarkable in suffering, with wonderful tranquillity, a most painful and tedious infirmity, from an ulcer in the knee, which he had to struggle with for a long time, whilst he was at Rhemes and Douay; for which, the physicians could find no remedy. That, after his return to England, he was a most diligent labourer in the vineyard of his Lord, till his apprehension and commitment to Lancaster castle. From whence, he thus wrote to Dr. Worthington, at that time, president of Douay college.
• Myself am now prisoner for Christ, in Lancaster castle, expecting nothing but execution at the next assizes. I desire you to commend me to the devout prayers of my friends with you, that, by their help, I may consummate my course to God's glory, and the good of my country. I pray God prosper you, and all yours, for ever. From my prison and paradise, this last of May, 1600.
And in another letter, a few days before his death, he thus writes to the sumé.
This day the judges come to Lancaster, where I am in expectation of a happy death, if it so please God Almighty ; I pray you commend me most dearly to all your good priests and scholars, whose good endeavours God always prosper, to his own more glory. Ego autum jam delebor & tempus resolutionis meæ instat. Before this comes
unto you, I shall, if God makes me worthy, conclude an unhappy life with a most happy death. Omnia possum in eo qui me confortat. • From Lancaster castle, the 21st of July, this holy year, 1600,
•All your's in Christ, Edw. Thwing.' He was condemned barely on account of his pristhood, and suffered with great constancy, at the same time with Mr. Nutter, viz. July 26, 1600.
THOMAS PALASOR, PRIEST.*
THOMAS PALASOR, or Pallicer, was born at Ellerton, upon Swale, in the parish of Boulton, in the county of York; and performed his studies abroad, partly in the college or seminary, then residing at Rhemes ; from whence he was sent into Spain in 1592, and partly in the college of Valadolid, where he was made priest; and from whence, he was sent upon the English mission. Dr. Worthington gives him the character of a virtuous and learned priest. He was apprehended in the house of Mr. John Norton, (a gentleman of the family of the Nortons of Norton-coniers) near Raven's Hall, in the parish of Laymsley. Mr. Norton and his lady, were both, also, apprehended at the same time, for harbouring Mr. Palasor, and with them, Mr. John Talbot, another Yorkshire gentleman, (born at Thornton in Street,) for being found in his company, and for aiding and assisting him. They were all brought upon their trials at Durham, in the summer assizes, and all condemned to die ; Mr. Pallasor for being a seminary priest, and returning to England, contrary to the statute of Elizabeth 27; and the other three for relieving and assisting him. Another lay gentleman was condemned at the same time, and for the same cause ; but he, through frailty, consented to go to church, and so saved his life, as the others might have done, if they had yielded to the same condition ; which they generously refusing to do, where all executed at Durham, August the 9th, 1600" ; only Mrs. Norton, being supposed to be with child, was reprieved.
The Reverend Mr. Cuthbert Trollop, in a manuscript relation which I have in my hands, writes, that Mr. Pallicer, and his companions, being in prison, were like to be poisoned by the malice of the jailor's wife ; for an empoisoned broth was prepared for them, and first brought to Mr. Pallasor; who offering to taste of it, the mutton in the dish began to run blood, in form of crosses, and of O's, in the broth, which he wondering at, abstained from eating it. The maid who brought him the broth, noting this, carried it back to her mistress ; she, casting some spice over it, sent the broth again by the same maid to Mr. Talbot and Mr. Norton ; which they offering also to taste, the blood in like sort issued forth of the meat, as before, which caused them likewise to abstain. The servant seeing this again, was touched in conscience, and came
From Dr. Worthington's relation of sixteen martyrs; from the bishop of Chalcedon's catalogue, and from a Douay manuscript.
upon her knees to Mr. Pallasor, and asked him forgiveness ; and desired, for Jesus Christ's sake, that he would make her one of his faith, and instruct her what she had to do to be saved; which he did, resolving her in all points, and reconciling her to the catholic church. The aforesaid maid, whose name was Mary Day, at that time servant to the jailor, afterwards served a catholic gentlewoman, called Eleanor Forcer, who informed me of this. So far Mr. Trollop.
In the beginning of this same year, 1600, viz. upon the 19th of January, says Howes, in his chronicle, p. 789, sixteen priests, and four laymen, were removed out of divers prisons in and about London, and sent to the castle of Wisbich; whereof one was a bishop of Ireland, and another a Franciscan of the order of capuchins, who wore his friar's weed all the way he went, &c.'
This capuchin, was father Bennet Canfield, whose name in the world was William Fitch, a gentleman, born at Canfield, in Essex, and brought up to the law in Gray's-Inn; whose wonderful conversion to the catholic faith, and call to that religious order, of which, in his time, he was esteemed one of the brighest lights, together with his other virtues, may be seen in his life, translated from the French, and published in our language, anno 1623. After three years' imprisonment, he was banished, with divers other priests, and at length died in the odour of sanctity at Roan, anno 1611.
This year also, the catholic prisoners for their conscience in York castle, upwards of fifty in number, were, by orders of the lord Burleigh, then president of the north, once a week, dragged by force into the hall of the castle, and there forcibly detained to hear protestant sermons, preached by the archbishop, and the most eminent of the clergy of that city. This was continued for near twelve months. The behaviour and speeches of the prisoners, upon these occasions, and other remarkable passages that then happened, are set down at large, in a manuscript of about forty chapters, written by the Rev. Mr. W. Richmont. The issue was, that the preachers finding their eloquence nothing availed, and that the prisoners either stopped their ears, or contradicted their discourses, and could not be silenced, either by their chains or dungeons, at last concluded, after fifty sermons, to let them alone, and give them no further molestation of this kind,
The chief of these prisoners were, Mr. George Raines, priest, William Middleton, of Stockeld, William Stillington, of Kelfield, Richard Danby, of Cave, Richard Fenton, of Burnwallis, Thomas Gelstrop, of Burrowby, Esqrs.
Michael Jenison, of — James Rosse, of Igmanthorp, William Gascoign, of Thorp, gentlemen.