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Modernised spelling and punctuation by J.D.Lewis.

Tract 1.


October 1588

Oh read over Dr. John Bridges, for it is a worthy work:

§ Or an epitome of the

first Book of that right Worshipful vo-
lume written against the Puritans in the defence of
the noble clergy, by as worshipful a priest, John Bridges,
presbyter, priest or elder, doctor of Devility, and Dean of
Sarum. Wherein the arguments of the puritans are
wisely prevented, that when they come to an-
swer Mr. Doctor they must needs
say something that has
been spoken.

Compiled for the behoof and overthrow of
the Parsons, Vicars, and Curates that have learnt
their Catechisms and are past grace. By the reverend
and worthy Martin Marprelate, gentleman, and
dedicated to the Convocation House.

The Epitome is not yet published, but it shall be when
the Bishops are at convenient leisure to view the same.
In the meantime, let them be content with
this learned Epistle.

Printed overseas, in Europe, Within two fur-
longs of a Bouncing Priest, at the cost and charges
of Mr Marprelate, gentleman.





§ To the right puissant and terrible
Priests, my clergy masters of the Convocation
House, whether vicars general, worshipful Paltripo-
litans or any other of the holy league of subscription: this work I recom-
mend unto them with all my heart, with a desire to see them all so
provided for one day, as I would wish, which I promise them
shall not be at all to their hurt.


RIght poisoned, persecuting and terrible priests, the theme of my Epistle, unto your venerable masterdoms is of two parts (and the Epitome of our brother Bridges his book, shall come out speedily). First, most pitifully complaining, Martin Marprelate etc. Secondly, may it please your good worships etc.

     Most pitifully complaining therefore, you are to understand that Dr. Bridges has written in your defence a most senseless book and I cannot very often at one breath come to a full point when I read the same.

     Again, may it please you to give me leave to play the dunce for the nonce as well as he; otherwise, dealing with master doctor's book, I cannot keep decorum personæ. And may it please you, if I be too absurd in any place (either in this Epistle or that Epitome), to ride to Sarum and thank his Deanship for it, because I could not deal with his book commendably, according to order, unless I should be sometimes tediously dunsticall and absurd. For I have heard some clergymen say that Mr.Bridges was a very patch and a dunce when he was in Cambridge. And some say, saving your reverences that are bishops, that he is as very a knave and enemy unto the sincerity of religion as any popish prelate in Rome. But the patch can do the cause of sincerity no hurt. Nay, he has in this book wonderfully graced the same by writing against it. For I have heard some say that whosoever will read his book shall as evidently see the goodness of the cause of reformation, and the poor, poor, poor [2] nakedness of your government, as almost in reading all master Cartwright's works. This was a very great oversight in his grace of Canterbury, to suffer such a book to come out. For besides that an archbishop is very weakly defended by mass1  Dean, he has also by this means provoked many to write against his gracious fatherhood, who perhaps never meant to take pen in hand. And brother Bridges, mark what Martin tells you, you will shortly I hope have twenty fists about your ears more than your own. Take heed of writing against Puritans while you live. Yet they say that his grace would not have the book to be published, and if you mark you shall not find seen and allowed in the title of the book. Well fare old mother experience, yet the burnt child dreads the fire. His grace will carry to his grave, I warrant you, the blows which Mr.Cartwright gave him in this cause, and therefore no marvel, though he was loath to have any other so banged as he himself was, to his woe. Others say that John Canterbury oversaw every proof. If he did, then he oversaw many a foul solecism, many a senseless period, and far more slanders. Slanders my friends? I think so. For what will you say if our brother Bridges and our cousin Cosins, with many others, have had their grace of the bishop ad practicandum in Flanders? How could their government stand unless they should slander their brethren and make her Majesty believe that the Church government prescribed in the word would overthrow her regiment if it were received in our Church, and that the seekers of reformation are a sort of malcontents, and enemies unto the state.

     Item: may it please your worthy worships to receive this courteously to favour at my hand, without choler or laughing. For my Lord of Winchester is very choleric and peevish, so are his betters at Lambeth, and Dr.Cosins has a very good grace in jesting, and I would he had a little more grace and a handful or two more of learning, against [3] he answer the Abstract next. Nay, believe me, it is enough for him to answer the Counterpoison. And I am not one of the malicious sectaries whereof John of London spoke the last Lent, 1588, in his letters written to the Archdeacon of Essex, to forbid public fasts. Ha, ha, Dr.Copycat! Are you there? Why do not you answer the confutation of your sermon at Paul's Cross? It is a shame for your grace, John of Canterbury, that Cartwright's books have been now a dozen years almost unanswered. You first provoked him to write and you first have received the foil. If you can answer those books why do you suffer the puritans to insult and rejoice at your silence? If you cannot, why are you an archbishop. He has proved the calling to be unlawful and Antichristian. You dare not stand to the defence of it. Now, most pitifully complaining, Mr.Marprelate desires you either to answer what has been written against the gracelessness of your archbishopric, or to give over the same and to be a means that no bishop in the land be a Lord any more. I hope one day her Majesty will either see that the Lord bishops prove their calling lawful by the word, or as John of London prophesied saying, Come down you bishops from your thousands, and content you with your hundreds, let your diet be priestlike and not princelike, etc., quoth John Elmar in his Harborow of Faithful Subjects. But I pray you, Bishop John, dissolve this one question to your brother Martin: If this prophecy of yours came to pass in your days, who shall be Bishop of London? And will you not swear, as commonly you do, like a lewd swag, and say, By my faith, by my faith my masters, this gear2  goes hard with us. Now may it please your grace with the rest of your worships, to procure that the puritans may one day have a free disputation with you about the controversies of the Church, and if you be not set at a flat non plus, and quite overthrown, I'll be a Lord bishop myself! Look to yourselves, I think you have not long to reign, Amen. And take heed brethren, [4] of your reverend and learned brother Martin Marprelate. For he means in these reasons following, I can tell you, to prove that you ought not to be maintained by the authority of the Magistrate in any Christian commonwealth. Martin is a shrewd fellow, and reasons thus: Those that are petty popes and petty Antichrists ought not to be maintained in any Christian commonwealth. But every Lord bishop in England, as for example John of Canterbury, John of London, John Exeter, John Rochester, Thomas of Winchester, the Bishop of Lincoln, of Worcester, of Peterborough, and to be brief, all the bishops in England, Wales and Ireland, are petty popes and petty Antichrists. Therefore no Lord bishop *(now I pray you, good Martin, speak out if ever you did speak out, that her Majesty and the council may hear you3 ) is to be tolerated in any Christian commonwealth. And therefore neither John of Canterbury, John of London etc. are to be tolerated in any Christian commonwealth. What say you now brother Bridges, is it good writing against puritans. Can you deny any part of your learned brother Martin his syllogism. We deny your minor Mr. Marprelate say the bishops and their associates. Yea, my learned masters, are you good at that? What do you brethren? Say me that again? Do you deny my minor? And that be all you can say to deny Lord bishops to be petty popes.4  Turn me loose to the priests in that point, for I am old suersbie at the proof of such matters, I'll presently mar the fashion of their Lordships.

     They are petty popes and petty Antichrists whosoever usurp the authority of pastors over them, who by the ordinance of God are to be under no pastors. For none but Antichristian popes and popelings ever claimed this authority unto themselves, especially when it was gainsaid and accounted Antichristian generally by the most Churches in the world. But our Lord bishops usurp authority over those who, by the ordinance of God, are [5] to be under no pastors, and that in such an age as wherein this authority is gainsaid and accounted Antichristian generally by all the Churches in the world for the most part. Therefore our Lord bishops, what say you man? Our Lord bishops (I say), as John of Canterbury, Thomas of Winchester (I will spare John of London for this time for it may be he is at bowls and it is pity to trouble my good brother lest he should swear too bad)5 , my reverend prelate of Litchfield, with the rest of that swinish rabble, are petty Antichrists, petty popes, proud prelates, intolerable withstanders of reform- ation, enemies of the gospel and most covetous wretched priests. This is a pretty matter that standers by must be so busy in other men's games. Why, sauceboxes, must you be prattling? You are as mannerly as bishops in meddling with that you have nothing to do, as they do in taking upon them civil offices. I think for any manners either they or you have, that you were brought up in Bridewell. But it is well that since you last interrupted me (for now this is the second time), you seem to have learnt your Cato de moribus, in that you keep yourselves on the margin. Would you be answered? Then you must know that I have set down nothing but the truth in the conclusion, and the syllogisms are my own; I may do what I will with them, and thus hold you content. But what say you my horned masters of the Convocation House? You deny my minor again I know. And thus I prove it.        First:

That our Prelates usurp their authority

     They usurp their authority who violently and unlawfully retain those under their government that both would and ought (if they might) to shake off that yoke wherewith they are kept under. But our Lord bishops retain such (namely other pastors), and unlawfully under their yoke, who both would and ought to reject the same. For all the pastors in the land that deserve the names of pastors, are against their will under the bishops' [6] jurisdictions. And they are unlawfully detained by them because no pastor can be lawfully kept under the pastoral (I mean not the civil) authority of any one man. Therefore our bishops and proud, popish, presumptuous, profane, paltry, pestilent and pernicious prelates, Bishop of Hereford and all, are first usurpers, to begin the matter withal.        Secondly:

Our Prelates claim this authority over those who by the ordinance of God are to be under no pastors.

     That is, they claim pastoral authority over other ministers and pastors who by the ordinance of God are appointed to be pastors and shepherds to feed others, and not sheep or such as are to have shepherds by whom they are to be fed and overseen; which authority the bishops claim unto them-selves. For they say that they are pastors of all the pastors within their diocese. And take this of Mr. Marprelate's word, that there is no pastor of pastors but he is a pope. For who but a pope will claim this authority.


This authority of our Lord bishops. in England is accounted Antichristian of the most Churches in the world.

     As of the Helvetian6 , the Scottish, French, Bohemian, and the Churches of the Low Countries, the Churches of Polonia7 , Denmark, within the dominions of the Count Palatine, of the Churches in Saxony, and Swevia,8  etc., which you shall see evidently proved in the Harmony of the Confessions of all those Churches, section the eleventh. Which Harmony was translated and printed by that puritan Cambridge printer Thomas Thomas. And although the book came out by public authority yet, by your leave, the bishops have called them in as things against their state. And trust me, his grace will owe that puritan printer as good a turn as he paid unto Robert Waldegrave for his sauciness in printing my friend and dear brother Diotrephes his Dialogue. Well friend Thomas, I warn you before hand, look to yourself.

[7]   And now brethren bishops, if you will not believe me I will set down the very words of the French Confession, contained page 359 of the Harmony. We believe (says the confession, art 30) that all true pastors in what place soever they be placed, have the same and equal authority among themselves, given unto them under Jesus Christ the only head and the chief alone, universal bishop, and that therefore it is not lawful for any Church to challenge unto itself dominion or sovereignty over any other. What an horrible heresy is this, will some say. Why, gentle Martin, is it possible that these words of the French Confession should be true? Is it possible that there ought to be an equality between his Grace and the Dean of Sarum, or some other hedge priest? Martin says it ought be so. Why then Martin, if it should be so, how will the bishops satisfy the reader in this point?9  Alas, simple fellow, whatsoever you are, I perceive you do not mark the words of the confession. My good brethren have long since taken order for this gear. For the confession does not say that all pastors, but that all true pastors, and all pastors that are under Jesus Christ, are of equal authority. So that all men see that my brethren which are neither true pastors nor, I fear me, under Jesus Christ, are not to be of equal authority. And because this does not touch them I will end this whole learned discourse with the words of Pope Gregory unto John, Bishop of Constantinople (for I have read something in my days), which words you shall find in our own English Confession, written by a bishop, page 361 of the Harmony. The Pope's words be these, He is also the king of pride, he is Lucifer, which prefers himself before his brethren, he has forsaken the faith, and is the forerunner of Antichrist.10  And have not I quitted myself like a man and dealt very valiantly in proving that my learned brethren the Lord bishops ought not to be in any Christian commonwealth because they are petty popes and petty Antichrists. But what [8] do you say if, by this lusty syllogism of my own making, I prove them popes once more for recreation's sake.

     Whosoever therefore claim unto themselves pastoral authority over those Christians with whom they cannot possibly, at any time altogether, in the same congregation sanctify the Sabbath: they are usurping prelates, popes and petty Antichrists. For did you ever hear of any but of popes and dumb ministers that would challenge the authority of pastors over these Christians, unto whom they could not possibly on the Sabbath discharge the duty of pastors. But our Lord bishops challenge unto themselves pastoral authority over them unto whom they cannot possibly, on the Sabbath discharge the duty of pastors, viz. over people inhabiting divers shires distant asunder, with whom, gathered together on the Sabbath, they cannot by order of nature perform any duty of pastors.11  Therefore all the Lord bishops in England, Ireland and Wales (and for the goodwill I bear to the reverend brethren I will speak as loud as ever I can), all our Lord bishops I say, are petty popes and petty usurping Antichrists, and I think if they will still continue to be so, that they will breed young popes and Antichrists. Per consequens, neither they nor their brood are to be tolerated in any Christian commonwealth, quoth Martin Marprelate. There is my judgment of you, brethren, make the most of it. I hope it will never be worth a bishopric unto you. Reply when you dare, you shall have as good as you bring. And if you dare but dispute with my worship in these points, I doubt not but you should be sent home by weeping cross. I would with you, my venerable masters, for all that to answer my reasons, or out of doubt you will prove petty Antichrists. Your corner caps and tippets will do nothing in this point.

     Most pitifully complaining, Martin Marprelate unto your honourable masterships, that certain thieves, having stolen from dyers in Thames Street as much cloth [9] as came to 30 pound, did hide the said cloth in Fulham, which is a place within the territories of the Lord dumb John, who by occupation is Lord Bish. of London. The thieves were apprehended, the cloth came within your clutches, Don John of London, and all is fish that comes to the net with your good Honour. The thieves being taken, the dyers came to challenge their cloth. John London, the bishop, said it was his own, because it was taken within his own Lordship. But says he, if the cloth be yours, let the law go upon the thieves and then I'll talk farther with you. Well, one or two of the thieves were executed and at their deaths confessed that to be the cloth which the bishop had, but the dyers could not get their cloth, nor cannot unto this day; no, though one of their honours wrote unto him to restore the cloth unto the poor men. What reason were it he should give them their own, as though he could not tell how to put it unto good uses as well as the right owners. It is very good blue, and so would serve well for the liveries of his men, and it was good green, fit to make quishions12  and coverings for tables. Brother London, you were best to make restitution, it is plain theft and horrible oppression. Boner would have blushed to have been taken with the like fact. The popish sort, your brethren, will commend this unto posterity by writing, assure yourself. The dyers names are Baughin13 , Swan and Price; they dwell at the Old Swan in Thames Street. I warrant you Martin will be found no liar, he brings in nothing without testimony.14  And therefore I have set down the men's names and the places of their abode that you of this conspiration15  house may find out this slander of truth against the Lord of good London. It was not therefore for nothing (John of London, I perceive) that Mistress Lawson, the shrew at Paul's gate and enemy to all dumb dogs and tyrannical prelates in the land, bade you throw down yourself at her Majesty's feet, acknowledging yourself to be unsavoury [10] salt, and to crave pardon of her highness because you had so long deceived her and her people. You might well enough crave pardon for your theft, for Martin will stand to it that the detaining of the men's cloth is plain theft.

     Riddle me a riddle! What is that! His grace threatened to send Mistress Lawson to Bridewell because she shewed the good father, Dr. Perne, a way how to get his name out of the Book of Martyrs, where the turncoat is canonised for burning Bucer's bones. Dame Lawson answered that she was an honest citizen's wife, a man well known, and therefore bade his grace an he would send his uncle Shorie thither. Ha, ha, ha! Now good your grace, you shall have small gains in meddling with Margaret Lawson, I can tell you. For if she be cited before Tarquinius Superbus, Dr.Stanhope, she will desire him to deal as favourably with her in that cause as he would with Mistress Blackwell. Tse tse tse! Will it never be better with you, Mistress Lawson.

     Sohow, brother Bridges! When will you answer the book intituled, An Answer to Bridges his Slanders. Nay, I think you had more need to gather a benevolence among the clergy to pay Charde toward the printing of your book, or else labour to his grace to get him another protection. For men will give no money for your book unless it be to stop mustard pots, as your brother Cosin's answer to the Abstract did. You have been a worthy writer, as they say, of a long time. Your first book was a proper interlude, called Gammer Gurton's Needle16 . But I think that this trifle, which shews the author to have had some wit and invention in him, was none of your doing, because your books seem to proceed from the brains of a woodcock, as having neither wit nor learning. Secondly, you have, to your mediocrity, written against the Papists, and since that time you have written a sheet in rhyme, of all the names attributed unto the Lord in the Bible. A worthy monument. What! Has the [11] hedge priest, my brother, written any more? O yes, I cry him mercy, he has written this great volume which now I have in hand against his brethren. The qualities of this book are many, Mr.Dean shews himself to be very skilful in the learning of ob and Sol, if ever you read old Fa-Briccat upon Aristotle. Mr.Dean's manner of writing, and his, are not much unlike. Doctor Terence of Oxford, and this Doctor, may be near of kindred for their learning. There be periods in this learned book of great reason, though altogether without sense. I will give you a proof or two. Page 441: And although (says the Doctor) Paul afterward, 1.Cor.1.14 mentioning this Crispus, terms him not there, the archgovernor of the Jews' Synagogue, yet as it farther appears, Acts 18.17, by Sosthenes, who was long before a faithful Christian, and as some allege out of Eusebius lib. 1.cap.13, he was also one of the 72 Disciples chosen by Christ,17 

     Fleering, jeering, leering: there is at all no sense in this period. For the words (yet afterward) unto the end, Mr.Dean's mind was so set upon by a bishopric that he brought nothing concerning Crispus to answer the word (yet). Therefore I will help my reverend brother to make the sentence in this sort. And although, etc.. Yet afterward my learned brother, Dr.Young Bish. of Rochester, having the presentation of a benefice in his hand, presented himself thereunto, even of mere goodwill. I, John of Rochester, present John Young, quoth the bishop. Now judge you, good readers, whether Martin says not true, that there is too much cozenage18  nowadays among the clergymen.

     This sentence following of Mr.Dean's has as good sense as the former. Page 655. The D. cites these words out of the learned Discourse, God grant that instead of ordinary forms of prayer, we may have preaching in all places. And instead of Amen, God forbid, say I, quoth the Doctor, with another prayer to the contrary [12] (now mark my masters, whether you can find any sense in this contrary prayer, for I assure you reverend Martin can find none), If it be his good will not so much (good Lord) to punish us, that this our brethren's prayer should be granted.19  If this be a senseless kind of writing I would there were never a Lord bishop in England.

     And learned brother Bridges, a man might almost run himself out of breath before he could come to a full point in many places in your book. Page 69. line 3, speaking of the extraordinary gifts in the Apostles time, you have this sweet learning: Yea, some of them have for a great part of the time, continued even till our times, and yet continue, as the operation of great works, or if they mean miracles, which were not ordinary no not in that extraordinary time, and as the hypocrites had them, so might and had divers of the papists, and yet their cause never the better, and the like may we say of the gift of speaking with tongues which have not been with study before learned, as Anthony, etc.20  and divers also among the ancient fathers, and some among the papists, and some among us, have not been destitute of the gifts of prophesying, and much more may I say this of the gift of healing, for none of those gifts or graces given then or since, or yet to men infer the grace of God's election to be of necessity to salvation.

     Here is a good matter delivered in as good grammatical words. But what say you if Mr.Do. can prove that Peter was prince of the Apostles? That is popery (quoth Martin) to begin withal. Nay, but what say you if he proves that one priest among the residue may have a lawful superior authority over the universal body of the Church. Is not this plain treason? Is forsooth, if a puritan had written it. But Mass Dean of Sarum, that wrote these things21 , is a man that favours bishops, a nonresident one that will not stick to play a game at cards and swear by his troth22 , and therefore he may write against the puritans what he will. His grace of [13] Canterbury will give a very Catholic exposition thereof. This gear maintains the crown of Canterbury, and what matter is it though he write for the maintenance thereof all the treason in the world. It will never come unto her Majesty's ear, as my friend Tertullus in the poor Dialogue that the bishops lately burned has set down. His grace is able to salve the matter well enough. Yea, my brother Bridges himself can answer this point, for he has written otherwise, page 288 line 26, in these words: Neither is all government taken away from all, though a moderate superior government be given of all to some, and not yet of all in all the Church to one, but to one over some in several and particular Churches. The Dean will say that concerning the superiority of bishops, this is the meaning. As concerning the treason written page 448, it may be the fox, Dr.Perne, who helped him as they say, to make this worthy volume, was the author of it.

     Now brethren, if any of you that are of the Convocation House would know how I can prove Mr.Dean to have written flat treason, page 448, as I have before set down, draw near and with your patience I will prove it so that Mr.Dean will stand to his own words, which I care not if they be set down: page 448 line 3. Thus you shall read: Does S.Peter then forbid that any one elder should have and exercise any superior government over the clergy, understanding the clergy in this sense, if he does not but allow it, and himself practised it23 : then howsoever both the name, both of governing and clergy may be abused, the matter is clear, that one priest or elder among the residue, may have a superior authority over the clergy, that is, over all the universal body of the church, in every particular or several congregation, and so not only over the people, but also over the whole order of ministers.24 

     Would your worships know how I can shew and convince my brother Bridges to have set down flat treason in the former words? Then have at you Dean:       1. It is [14] treason to affirm her Majesty to be an infidel or not to be contained in the body of the Church.        2. It is treason25  to say that one priest or elder may have a lawful superior authority over her Majesty. Take your spectacles then, and spell your own words and you shall find that you have affirmed either of these 2 points. For you affirm that a priest may have a lawful superior authority over the universal body of the Church. And you dare not deny her Majesty to be contained within the universal body of the Church. Therefore to help you to spell your conclusion you have written treason, if you will be as good as your writing. Your learned friend Martin (for no brother Mr.Dean, if you be a traitor) would not mistake you, and therefore say what you can for yourself. You mean not that this priest shall be over all the Church, do you? But how shall we know that? Forsooth, because you say that this superiority must be in every particular or several congregations. Is this your answer brother John? Why, what sense is there in these words? One priest may have a superior authority over the universal body of the Church in every particular or several congregations? The universal body of the Church is now become a particular or several congregations with you? And in good earnest Dean John, tell me how many orders of ministers be there in a particular congregation? For there must be orders of ministers in the congregation where you mean this bouncing priest should have his superiority; and because this cannot be in several and particular congregations, therefore you cannot mean by these words, 'over the universal body of the Church', any other thing than the whole Church militant. But you would mend your answer? And say that this superior must be an English priest and no foreigner. As for example, his grace of Canterbury is an English priest.26  Do you mean then, that his grace should be this superior priest, who by Sir Peter's allowance may have a lawful superior [15] authority over the universal body of the Church?27  Truly, I do not mean so. And good now, do not abuse his grace's worship in this sort by making him a pope. Be it you mean this high priest should be no stranger, yet your treason is as great or greater. For you will have her Majesty to be subject unto her own subject and servant. And if it be treason to say that the Pope, who has princes and cardinals for his servants, being far better than were John with his Canterburyness, may have a lawful superior authority over her Majesty, as one being contained within the universal body of the Church, is it not much more traitorous to say that an English vassal may have this authority over his Sovereign. And brother John, did Sir Peter himself indeed practise this authority?28  Why, what a priest was he? Did he allow others to have this authority. Truly this is more than ever I knew till now. Yet notwithstanding, I think he never wore corner cap and tippet in all his life, nor yet ever subscribed to my Lord of Canterbury his articles. Now the question is, whom Sir Peter himself now allows to be this bouncing priest? the Pope of Rome, yea or no? No, in no case, for that is against the statute. For will my brother Bridges say that the Pope may have a lawful superior authority over his grace of Canterbury? I'll never believe him though he say so. Neither will I say that his grace is an Infidel (nor yet swear that he is much better), and therefore Mr.Dean means not that the Pope should be this high Priest. No, brother Martin (quoth Mr.Dean), you say true. I mean not that the Pope is this priest of Sir Peter. And if I have many reasons why I should deny him this authority.29  First he is a massmonger, that is a professed idolater.     2. He wears a triple crown, so does not my Lord of Canterbury.     3. He has his seat in Romish Babylon, in Rome, within Italy. You know the number 666, in the Revelation, signifies Latenios, that is the man of Rome, or Ecclesia Italica, the Italian church. Lastly, [16] he must have men to kiss his toes and must be carried upon men's shoulders and must have princes and kings to attend upon him, which shews his horrible pride. Sir Peter's universal priest, and mine, shall be no such priest, I trow30 , ka Mass Doctor. No shall not Doctor John, I con you thank. Then your universal priest:    1. must be no idolater,    2. must be no proud priest, and have never a triple crown (and yet I hope he may wear as brave a satin gown as my Lord of Winchester wears, and be as choleric as he),    3. he must have his seat out of Italy, as for fashion sake at Lambeth, Hippo, etc., but at Rome in no case. If I should examine these properties I think some of them, if not all, have been accidents unto English priests. For how many bishops are there in England which have not either said mass or helped the priest to say mass or been present at it? As for the triple crown, Pope Joan the English harlot has won it. So did Urban the 5, an Englishman. And concerning pride, I hope that our bishops now living have, to their mediocrity, taken order that some popes may be inferior unto them, as for example, his Canterburyness, etc. And I cannot see how the planting of the chair in Rome, any more than Canterbury, can make a pope, seeing that Clement the 5, John 22, Benedict 12 and all other popes from the year 1306 unto 1375 sat not in Rome but for the most part at Avignon in France. But notwithstanding all this, out of your meaning mass Dr., such a simple ingram31  man as I am in these points of universal superior priests, I find three differences between my Lord of Peterborough, or any other our high priests in England, and the Pope's holiness, and 3 impediments to hinder the Pope from being Sir Peter's high priest and yours, viz. his idolatry, 2. his triple crown, 3. his seat at Rome. But if Hildebrand, Pope of Rome, had been a professor of the truth (as his grace Doctor turncoats (Perne I should say) scholar is), had worn no triple crown, had been Archbishop of [17] Canterbury (and I think we have had Hildebrands there ere now), then he might by the judgement of the learned Bridges and the allowance of that Peter which himself practised that authority, have a lawful superior authority over the universal body of the Church. And what a worthy Canterbury Pope had this been, to be called my Lord's grease? Thus you see brother Bridges, Mr.Marprelate an please him is able to make a younger brother of you. He has before proved that if ever you be Archb. of Canterbury (for you wrote this foul heap against the holy Discipline of Christ (as Whitgift did the like), in hope to be the next Pope of Lambeth that then you shall be a petty pope and a petty Antichrist. Nay, he has proved you to have deserved a caudle32  of hempseed and a plaster of neckweed33 , as well as some of your brethren the papists. And now brother Bridges, once again, is it good writing against the Puritans? Take me at my word, unless you answer the former point of Antichristianism and this of treason, I will never write again to my brethren bishops but as to usurpers and Antichrists, and I shall take you for no better than an enemy to her Majesty's supremacy. And because you have taken upon you to defend Lord bishops, though you be as very a sot as ever lived (outcept dumb John of London again) yet you shall answer my reasons, or else I will to course34  you as you were never coursed since you were a Simoniacal Dean. You shall not deal with my worship as John with his Canterburyness did with Thomas Cartwright, which John left the cause you defend in the plain field, and for shame threw down his weapons with a desperate purpose to run away and leave the cause, as he like a coward has done. For this dozen year we never saw anything of his in print for the defence of his cause, and poor Mr.Cartwright does content himself with the victory which the other will not (though indeed he has by his silence) seem to grant. But I will not be this used [18] at your hands, for unless you answer me, or confess (and that in print) that all Lord bishops in England, Wales, Ireland, yea, and Scotland too, are petty popes and plain usurpers and petty Antichrists, I'll kindle such a fire in the holes of these sores as shall never be quenched as long as there is a Lord bishop in England.35  And who but the worthy Martin can do so valiantly. Page 560, master Dean brings in Aretius to prove that kneeling at the communion is not offensive. And how is the argument concluded, think you? Forsooth, even thus: Aretius says that in Berne they receive the communion sitting or standing. Therefore, says my brother Bridges, kneeling at the communion is not unlawful. I marvel whether he was not hatched in a goose nest, that would thus conclude.      In another place,36  page 266 or thereabouts, he proves that one man may have two spiritual livings, because the puritans themselves say that one charge may have two ministers, to wit a pastor and a doctor. And these be some of the good proofs whereby our established government is upheld.

     It would make a man laugh to see how many tricks the Doctor has to cozen the silly puritans in his book. He can, now and then, without any noise, allege an author clean against himself, and I warrant you, wipe his mouth cleanly and look another way, as though it had not been he.37  I have laughed as though I had been tickled, to see with what sleight38  he can throw in a popish reason, and who saw him? And with what art he can convey himself from the question and go to another matter? It is wonderful to think, but what would not a Dean do to get a bishopric? In this one point, for sparing labour he is to be admired, that he has set down under his own name those things which (to speak as I think) he never wrote himself. So let the puritans answer when they will, he has so much of other men's helps, and such contrarieties in this book that when they bring one [19] thing against him out of his own writings he will bring another place out of the said book flat contrary to that, and say that the latter is his and not the former. For the former, it may be, was some other friend's, not so fully seen in the cause as presbyter John Bridges was. The reason of these contrarieties was very expedient. Because many had a hand in the work, every man wrote his own mind and mass doctor joined the whole together.

     Now, forasmuch as he has played the worthy workman, I will bestow an Epitaph upon his grave when he dies, which is thus:

Here lies John Bridges, a worthy Presbyter he was.

     But what if he be a Bishop before he die? What brethren? Do you not think that I have two strings to my bow, is us have I, and thus I sing, if he chance to be a bishop:

Here lies John Bridges, late Bishop, friend to the Papa.

     I care not an I now leave mass Dean's worship and be eloquent once in my days. Yet brother Bridges, a word or two more with you ere we depart. I pray you, where may a man buy such another gelding and borrow such another hundred pounds, as you bestowed upon your good patron, Sir Edward Horsey, for his good word in helping you to your deanery? Go to, go to! I perceive you will prove a goose. Deal closelier39  for shame, the next time. Must I needs come to the knowledge of these things? What if I should report abroad that clergymen come unto their promotions by Simony? Have not you given me just cause? I think Simony be the bishop's lackey. Tarleton took him not long since, in Don John of London's cellar.

     Well, now to my eloquence, for I can do it I tell you. Who made the porter of his gate a dumb minister? Dumb John of London. Who abuses her Majesty's subjects in urging them to subscribe contrary to law? John of London. Who abuses the High Commission as much as any? John London (and Dr.Stanhope too). Who [20] bound an Essex minister in 200.l to wear the surplice on Easter day last? John London. Who has cut down the elms at Fulham? John London. Who is a carnal defender of the breach of the Sabbath in all the places of his abode? John London. Who forbids men to humble themselves in fasting and prayer before the Lord, and then can say unto the preachers, now you were best to tell the people that we forbid fasts? John London.40  Who goes to bowls upon the Sabbath? Dumb dunsticall John of good London has done all this. I will for this time leave this figure and tell your venerable masterdoms a tale worth the hearing. I had it at the second hand. If he that told it me added anything I do not commend him, but I forgive him. The matter is this: A man dying in Fulham made one of the Bishop of London's men his executor. The man had bequeathed certain legacies unto a poor shepherd in the town. The shepherd could get nothing of the bishop's man and therefore made his move unto a gentleman of Fulham that belongs to the Court of Requests. The gentleman's name is Mr.Madox. The poor man's case came to be tried in the Court of Requests. The bishop's man desired his master's help. Dumb John wrote to the Masters of Requests to this effect, and I think these were his words:

     My Masters of the Requests, the bearer hereof being my man, has a cause before you. Inasmuch as I understand how the matter stands, I pray you let my man be discharged the court, and I will see an agreement made. Fare you well. The letter came to Mr.Dr.Dale; he answered it in this sort:

     My Lord of London, this man delivered your letter, I pray you give him his dinner on Christmas day for his labour, and fare you well.

     Dumb John, not speeding this way, sent for the said Mr.Madox. He came, some rough words passed on both sides, Presbyter John said master Madox was very [21] saucy, especially seeing he knew before whom he spoke, namely the Lord of Fulham41 . Whereunto the gentleman answered that he had been a poor freeholder in Fulham before Don John came to be Lord there, hoping also to be so when he and all his brood (my Lady his daughter and all) should be gone. At the hearing of this speech, the wasp got my brother by the nose, which made him in his rage to affirm that he would be Lord of Fulham as long as he lived, in despite of all England. Nay, softly there, quoth Mr.Madox, except her Majesty, I pray you that is my meaning, ka dumb John, and I tell you Madox that you are but a Jack to use me so. Master Madox replying, said that indeed his name was John, and if every John were a Jack, he was content to be a Jack (there he hit my Lord over the thumbs). The bishop, growing in choler, said that master Madox his name did shew what he was, for says he, your name is mad Ox, which declares you to an unruly and mad beast. Mr.Madox answered again that the bishop's name, if it were descanted upon, did most significantly shew his qualities. For said he, you are called Elmar, but you may be better called mar-elm, for you have marred all the elms in Fulham, having cut them all down. This far is my worthy story, as worthy to be printed as any part of Dean John's book, I am sure.

     Item: may it please you that are Lord bishops, to shew your brother Martin how you can escape the danger of a praemunire, seeing you urge her Majesty's subjects to subscribe, clean contrary to the Statute 13 Elizabeth. What have you to shew for yourselves, for I tell you, I heard some say that for urging subscription you were all within the praemunire insomuch that you have been driven closely to buy your pardons. You have forfeited all that you have unto her Majesty and your persons are void of her Majesty's protection. You know the danger of a praemunire I trow? Well, but tell me what [22] you have to shew for yourselves? Her Majesty's prerogative? Have you? Then I hope you have it under seal. No, I warrant you, her Majesty is too wise for that. For it shall never be said that she ever authorised such ungodly proceedings to the dishonour of God and the wounding of the consciences of her best subjects. Seeing you have nothing to shew that it is her Majesty's will, why should any man subscribe contrary to statute? Forsooth, men must believe such honest creatures as you are on your words? Must they? As though you would not lie. Yes, yes, bishops will lie like dogs. They were never yet well beaten for their lying.

     May it please your honourable worships to let worthy Martin understand why your Canterburyness, and the rest of the Lord Bishops, favour papists and recusants rather than puritans. For if a puritan preacher, having a recusant in his parish and shall go about to deal with the recusant for not coming to Church, Sir, will the recusant say, you and I will answer the matter before his grace (or other the High Commissioners, as Lord bishops, civilians42  (I mean) popish doctors of the bawdy courts). And as soon as the matter is made known unto my Lord, the preacher is sure to go by the worst and the recusant to carry all the honesty. Yea, the preacher shall be a busy envious fellow, one that does not observe the book and conform himself according unto order, and perhaps go home by beggars bush for any benefice he has to live upon. For it may be the bishops will be so good unto him as to deprive him for not subscribing. As for the recusant, he is known to be a man that must have the liberty of his conscience. Is this good dealing brethren. And is it good dealing that poor men should be so troubled to the chancellor's court that they are even weary of their lives for such horrible oppression as there reigns. I tell you, Dr. Stanhope (for all you are so proud), a praemunire will take you by the back one day, for oppressing and tyrannising over [23] her Majesty's subjects as you do.

     Does your grace remember what the Jesuit at Newgate said of you, namely that my Lord of Canterbury should surely be a cardinal if ever popery did come again into England, (yea, and that a brave cardinal too). What a knave was this Jesuit? Believe me, I would not say thus much of my Lord of Canterbury for a thousand pound, lest a Scandalum magnatum should be had against me. But well fare him that said thought is free.

     Pitifully complaining, is there any reason (my Lord's grace) why knave Thackwell the printer, which printed popish and traitorous Welsh books in Wales, should have more favour at your graceless hands than poor Waldegrave, who never printed book against you that contains either treason or impiety. Thackwell is at liberty to walk where he will, and permitted to make the most he could of his press and letters, whereas Robert Waldegrave dares not shew his face for the bloodthirsty desire you have for his life, only for printing of books which touch the bishop's mitres. You know that Waldegrave's printing press and letters were taken away. His press, being timber, was sawn and hewed in pieces, the ironwork battered and made unserviceable, his letters melted, with cases and other tools defaced (by John Woolfe, alias Machiavelli, Beadle of the Stationers, and most tormenting executioner of Waldegrave's goods), and he himself utterly deprived for ever printing again, having a wife and six small children. Will this monstrous cruelty never be revenged, think you? When Waldegrave's goods was to be spoiled and defaced there were some printers that rather than all the goods should be spoiled offered money for it, towards the relief of the man's wife and children, but this could not be obtained, and yet popish Thackwell, though he printed popish and traitorous books, may have the favour to make money of his press and letters. And reason [24] too, for Waldegrave's profession overthrows the popedom of Lambeth, but Thackwel's popery maintains the same. And now that Waldegrave has neither press nor letters, his grace may dine and sup the quieter. But look to it brother Canterbury, certainly without your repentance, I fear me you shall be * Hildebrand43  indeed. Waldegrave has left house and home by reason of your unnatural tyranny, having left behind him a poor wife and six orphans, without anything to relieve them. (For the husband you have bereaved both of his trade and goods.) Be you assured that the cry of these will one day prevail against you unless you desist from persecuting. And good your grace, I do now remember myself of another printer44  that had press and letter in a place called Charterhouse, in London (in Anno 1587, near about the time of the Scottish Queen's death). Intelligence was given unto your good grace of the same, by some of the Stationers of London. It was made known unto you what work was in hand, what letter the book was on, what volume, viz. in 80 in half sheets, what workmen wrought on the same, namely I.C., the Earl of Arundel's man and three of his servants, with their several names, what liberality was bestowed on those workmen, and by whom, etc.. Your grace gave the Stationers the hearing of this matter, but to this day the parties were never called in coram45  for it. But yet, by your leave my Lord, upon this information unto your honourable worship, the Stationers had news that it was made known unto the printers what was done unto your good grace and presently, instead of the work which was in hand, there was other appointed, as they say, authorised by your Lordship.46  I will not say it was your own doing, but by your sleeve, thought is free. And my good Lord (nay, you shall be none of my Lord but Mr.Whitgift, and you will) are you partial or no in all your actions, tell me? Yes you are? I will stand to it?47  Did you get a decree in the High [25] Court of Starchamber only for Waldegrave? If it be in general (and you not partial) why fetch you not that printing press and letters out of Charterhouse and destroy them, as you did Waldegrave's? Why did you not apprehend the parties, why? Because it was popery at the least that was printed in Charterhouse, and that maintains the crown of Canterbury? And what is more tolerable than popery? Did not your grace of late erect a new printer, contrary to the foresaid decree? One Thomas Orwine (who sometimes wrought popish books in corners, namely Jesus Psalter, Our Lady's Psalter, etc.), with condition he should print no such seditious books as Waldegrave has done? Why my Lord? Waldegrave never printed anything against the state but only against the usurped state of your Paltripolitanship and your pope holy brethren, the Lord bishops and your Antichristian swinish rabble, being intolerable withstanders of reformation, enemies of the gospel and most covetous, wretched and popish priests.48 

     Now most pitifully complaining, Martin Marprelate: That the papists will needs make us believe that our good John of Canterbury, and they, are at no great jar in religion. For Reynolds the papist at Rheims, in his book against Mr.Whitaker's, commends the works written by his grace for the defence of the corruption in our Church, against T.Cartwright, and says that the said John Cant. has many things in him which evidently shew a catholic persuasion. Alas, my masters, shall we loose our metropolitan in this sort. Yet the note is a good note, that we may take heed the Spaniards steal him not away, it were not amiss if her Majesty knew of it. We need not fear (if we can keep him) the Spaniards and our other popish enemies, because our metropolitan's religion and theirs differ not much. In the article of Christ's descending into hell they jump in one right pat, and in the maintenance of the hierarchy of bishops, and ascribing the [26] name of priest unto them that are ministers of the gospel. I know not whether my next tale will be acceptable unto his grace or not, but have it among you my masters: Mr.Wiggington the pastor of Sidborough, is a man not altogether unknown unto you, and I think his worshipful grace got little or nothing by meddling with him, although he has deprived him. My tale is of his deprivation, which was after this sort. The good quiet people of Sidborough, being troubled for certain years with the said Wiggington, and many of them being infected by him with the true knowledge of the gospel by the word preached (which is an heresy that his grace does mortally abhor and persecute), at length grew in disliking with their pastor because the severe man did urge nothing but obedience unto the Gospel. Well, they came to his grace to find a remedy hereof, desiring him that Wiggington might be deprived. His grace could find no law to deprive him, no, although the pastor defied the Archb. to his face and would give him no better title than John Whitgift. Such bugs words being in these days accounted no less than high treason against a Paltripolitan, though since that time I think his grace has been well inured to bear the name of Pope of Lambeth, John Cant. the Prelate of Lambeth, with divers other titles agreeable to his function. Well, Sidborough men proceeded against their pastor. His grace would not deprive him because he could find no law to warrant him therein, and he will do little contrary to law for fear of a praemunire, unless it be at a dead lift to deprive a puritan preacher. Then indeed he will do against law, against God and against his own conscience, rather than that heresy of preaching should prevail. One man of Sidborough, whose name is Atkinson, was very eager among the rest to have his pastor deprived, and because his grace would not hear them but departed away, this Atkinson desired his grace to resolve him and his neighbours of one point which something troubled [27] them, and that was whether his grace or Wiggington were of the devil. For, quoth he, you are so contrary, the one from the other, that both of you cannot possibly be of God. If he be of God, it is certain you are of the devil, and so cannot long stand, for he will be your overthrow. Amen. If you are of God, then he is of the devil, as we think him to be, and so he being of the devil, will not you deprive him? Why should you suffer such a one to trouble the Church. Now if he be of God, why is your course so contrary to his? And rather, why do you not follow him, that we may do so too? Truly, if you do not deprive him we will think him to be of God and go home with him with gentler good will towards him than we came hither with hatred, and look you for a fall. His grace, hearing this northern logic, was moved on the sudden, you must think, promised to deprive Wiggington, and so he did. This Atkinson, this winter 1587, came up to London, being as it seemed afflicted in conscience for this fact, desired Wiggington to pardon him and offered to kneel before her Majesty that Wiggington might be restored again to his place, and to stand to the truth hereof to his grace's teeth. The man is yet alive, he may be sent for if you think that Mr.Martin has reported an untruth. No, I warrant you, you shall not take me to have fraught my book with lies and slanders, as John Whitgift and the Dean of Sarum did theirs. I speak not of things by hearsay, as of reports, but I bring my witnesses to prove my matters.

     May it please you to yield unto a suite that I have to your worships. I pray you send Wiggington home unto his charge again. I can tell you it was a foul oversight in his grace to send for him out of the North, to London, that he might outface him at his own door. He would do his Canterburyness less hurt if he were at his charge than now he does. Let the Templars have Mr.Travers, their preacher, restored again unto them, he is now at [28] leisure to work your priesthood a woe, I hope. If such another book as the Ecclesiast. Discipline was dropped out of his budget it were as good for the bishops to lie a day and a night in little ease in the Counter. He is an odd fellow in following an argument and you know he has a smooth tongue, either in Latin or English. And if my Lord of Winchester understood either Greek or Hebrew, as they say he has no great skill in neither, I would pray your priestdoms to tell me which is the better scholar, Walter Travers, or Thomas Cooper. Will you not send Mr.Wyborne to Northampton, that he may see some fruits of the seed he sowed there 16 or 18 years ago. That old man, Wyborne, has more good learning in him, and more fit gifts for the ministry in his little toe, than many braces49  of our Lord bishops. Restore him to preaching again for shame. Mr.Paget shall be welcome to Devonshire, he is more fit to teach men than boys. I marvel with what face a man that had done so much good in the Church as he did among a rude people, could be deprived.

     Briefly, may it please you to let the Gospel have a free course and restore unto their former liberty in preaching all the preachers that you have put to silence, and this far is my first suit.50 

     My 2 suit is a most earnest request unto you that are the hinderers of the publishing of the confutation of the Rheimish Testament51  by M.Cartwright. May it be published. A reasonable request, the granting whereof I dare assure you would be most acceptable unto all that fear God, and news of woeful sequel unto the papists. For shall I tell you what I heard once, from the mouth of a man of great learning and deep judgement, who saw some part of Master Cartwright's answer to the said Rheimish and traitorous Raffodie? His judgement was this, that Mr.Cartwright had dealt so soundly against the papists that for the answering and confuting of the adversary, that one work would be sufficient alone. He [29] farther added that the adversary was confuted by strange and unknown reasons that would set them at their wits end, when they see themselves assailed with such weapons, whereof they never once dreamt that they should be struck at. And will your grace, or any else that are the hinderers of the publishing of this work, still bereave the Church of so worthy a jewel, nay, so strong an armour against the enemy. If you deny me this request I will not threaten you, but my brother Bridges and John Whitgift's books shall smoke for this gear. I'll have my pennyworth's of them for it.

     Now may it please you to examine, my worthiness, your brother Martin, and see whether I said not true in the story of Byles Wiggington, where I have set down that the preaching of the word is an heresy which his grace does mortally abhor and persecute. I can prove it without doubt. And first that he persecutes the preaching of the word (whether it be an heresy or not), both in the preacher and the hearer. The articles of subscription, the silencing of so many learned and worthy preachers, do evidently shew, and if you doubt hereof let my worship understand thereof and in my next treatise I shall prove the matter to be clear with a witness, and I hope to your final commendations, that will deny such a clear point. On the other side, that he accounts preaching to be an heresy, I am now to insist on the proof of that point. But first, you must know that he did not account simple preaching to be an heresy, but to hold that preaching is the only ordinary means to salvation, this he accounts as an heresy, this he mortally condemned. The case thus stood: John Penry the Welshman (I think his grace and my brother London would be better acquainted with him and they could tell how), about the beginning of Lent 1587, offered a supplication and a book to the Parliament, entreating that some order might be taken for calling his country unto the knowledge of God. For [30] his bold attempt he was called before his grace, with others of the High Commission, as Thomas of Winchester, John London, etc.. After that his grace had eased his stomach in calling him boy, knave, varlet, slanderer, libeller, lewd boy, lewd slanderer, etc. (this is true, for I have seen the notes of their conference), at the length a point of his book began to be examined, where nonresidents are thought intolerable. Here the Lord of good London asked Mr.Penry what he could say against that kind of cattle. Answer was made that they were odious in the sight of God and man because, as much as in them lie, they bereave the people over whom they thrust themselves of the ordinary means of salvation, which was the word preached. John London demanded whether preaching was the only means to salvation? Penry answered that it was the only ordinary means, although the Lord was not so tied unto it but that he could extraordinarily use other means. That preaching was the only ordinary means, he confirmed it by those places of scripture, Rom. 10:14, I.Cor. 1:21, Ephes.1:13. This point being a long time canvassed, at the length his worship of Winchester rose up and mildly after his manner, burst forth into these words: I assure you my Lords, it is an execrable heresy. An heresy (quoth John Penry), I thank God that ever I knew that heresy. It is such an heresy that I will, by the grace of God, sooner leave my life than I will leave it. What, Sir (quoth the Archb.), I tell you it is an heresy, and you shall recant it as an heresy? Nay, (quoth Penry), never so long as I live, God willing. I will leave this story for shame, I am weary to hear your grace so absurd. What say you to this gear, my masters of the Convocation House? We shall have shortly a good religion in England among the bishops, if Paul be said of them to write an heresy. I have heard some say that his grace will speak against his own conscience? It is true. The proof whereof shall be his [31] dealing, says another Welshman, one Mr.Evans. An honourable personage, Ambrose Dudley, now Earl of Warwick (and long may he be so, to the glory of God, the good of his Church and the comfort of all his), in the singular love he bore to the town of Warwick, would have placed Mr.Evans there. To the end that master Evans might be received with a favourable subscription, etc., he offered the subscription which the statute requires, whereunto men may subscribe with a good conscience. The Earl sent him with his letter to his gracelessness of Cant. thinking to obtain so small a courtesy at his hands. And I am sure, if he be Ambrose Dudley, the noble Earl of Warwick, (whose famous exploits, both in peace and war, this whole land has cause to remember with thankfulness), that he is able to requite your kindness, Mr.John Cant. O! Said his grace to Mr.Evans, I know you to be worthy a better place than Warwick is, and I would very gladly gratify my Lord, but surely there is a Lord in heaven whom I fear, and therefore I cannot admit you without subscription.52  Thus the man, with his poor patron, the Earl of Warwick, were rejected by your grace and the poor earl to this day knows not how to find the favour at your hands that the man may be placed there. I tell you true, John Canter., if I were a nobleman and a counsellor too, I should be sick of the spleen. Nay, I could not bear this at your hands, to be used of a priest thus, contrary to the law of God and this land. It is no marvel, though, his honour could not obtain this small suit at your graceless hands, for I have heard your own men say that you will not be beholden to never a nobleman in this land, for you were the 2 person, etc.. Nay, your own self spoke proudly, yea, and that like a pope, whenas a worthy knight was a suitor unto your holiness for one of God's dear children (whom you have kept and do keep in prison), for his liberty. You answered him he should lie there still, unless he would put in sureties upon such bonds [32] as never the like were heard of. And said further that you are the 2 person in the land, and never a nobleman nor counsellor in this land should release him. Only her Majesty may release him, and that you were sure she would not. Do you think this to be he (I pray you) that was sometime doctor Perne's boy and carried his cloakbag after him? Believe me he has leapt lustily.53  And do not you know that after it is full sea there follows an ebb? Remember your brother Haman? Do you think there is never a Mordecai to step to our gracious Hester for preserving the lives of her faithfullest and best subjects, whom you so mortally hate and bitterly persecute? I hope you have not long to reign. Amen. And you, Mr. Bishop of Worcester, how dealt you with master Evans in the same case? Do you think that I do not know your knavery? You could by law require no other subscription of master Evans than he offered, and yet forsooth, you would not receive it at his hands unless he would also enter into a bond to observe the Book of Common Prayer in every point. Will law permit you to play the tyrant in this sort, bishop? I shall see the praemunire on the bones of you one day for these pranks. And the massmonger, your neighbour the Bishop of Gloucester, thinks to go free because in his sermon at Paul's Cross, preached 1586, in the Parliament time, he affirmed that beef and brewis54  had made him a papist. But this will not serve his turn. Would you know what he did? Why, he convented an honest draper of Gloucester, one Singleton, and urged him, being a layman, to subscribe unto the book. The man, affirming that no such thing could be required of him by law, denied to subscribe. Upon his denial the bishop sent him to prison. Is it even so, you old popish priest? Dare you imprison laymen for not subscribing? It were not good for your corner cap that her Majesty knew her subjects to be thus dealt with. And if this be ever made known unto her, I hope to see you in for a bird55 . But brother Winchester, you of all [33] other men are most wretched, for you openly, in the audience of many hundreds at Sir Mary Overies56  church, the last lent, 1587, pronounced that men might find fault, if they were disposed to quarrel, as well with the Scripture as with the Book of Common Prayer. Who could hear this comparison without trembling.57  But lest you should think that he has not as good a gift in speaking against his conscience as my Lord of Cant. is endued with, you are to understand that both in that sermon of his and in another which he preached at the court the same Lent, he protested before God and the congregation where he stood that there was not in the world at this day, nay, there had not been since the Apostles time, such a flourishing estate of a Church as we have now in England.58  Is it any marvel that we have so many swine, dumb dogs, nonresidents with their journeymen the hedge priests, so many lewd livers, as thieves, murderers, adulterers, drunkards, cormorants, rascals, so many ignorant and atheistical dolts, so many covetous popish bishops in our ministry, and so many and so monstrous corruptions in our Church, and yet likely to have no redress. Seeing our impudent, shameless, and wainscot-faced bishops, like beasts, contrary to the knowledge of all men and against their own consciences dare, in the ears of her Majesty, affirm all to be well, where there is nothing but sores and blisters, yea, where the grief is even deadly at the heart. Nay, says my Lord of Winchester (like a monstrous hypocrite, for he is a very dunce, not able to defend an argument, but till he come to the pinch he will cog59  and face it out, for his face is made of seasoned wainscot and will lie as fast as a dog can trot). I have said it, I do say it, and I have said it. And, say I, you shall one day answer it (without repentance), for abusing the Church of God and her Majesty in this sort. I would wish you to leave this villainy, and the rest of your devilish practises against God his saints, lest you answer it where your peevish and choleric [34] simplicity will not excuse you. I am ashamed to think that the Church of England should have these wretches for the eyes thereof, that would have the people content themselves with bare reading only, and hold that they may be saved thereby ordinarily. But this is true of our bishops, and they are afraid that anything should be published abroad whereby the common people should learn that the only way to salvation is by the word preached. There was, the last summer, a little catechism, made by Mr.Davison and printed by Waldegrave, but before he could print it, it must be authorised by the bishops, either Cante. or London. He went to Cant. to have it licensed, his grace committed it to doctor Neverbegood (Wood), he read it over in half a year, the book is a great one of two sheets of paper. In one place of the book the means of salvation was attributed to the word preached, and what did he, think you? He blotted out the word (preached) and would not have that word printed, so ascribing the way to work men's salvation to the word read. Thus they do to suppress the truth and to keep men in ignorance. John Cant. was the first father of this horrible error in our Church, for he has defended it in print, and now, as you have heard, accounts the contrary to be heresy. And popish Goodman, Abbot of Westminster, preaching upon 12.Rom.1, said that so much preaching, as in some places we have, is an unreasonable service of God. Scribes, Pharisees and hypocrites that will neither enter in ourselves nor suffer those that will to enter into heaven.

     May it please your Priestdoms to understand that doctor Cottington, Archdeacon of Surrey, being belike bankrupt in his own country, comes to Kingston-upon-Thames of mere goodwill that he bears to the town (I should say, to userer Harvey's good cheer and money bags), being out at the heels with all other userers, and knowing him to be a professed adversary to Mr.Udall, (a notable preacher of the Gospel and vehement [35] reprover of sin), takes the advantage of their controversy, and hoping to borrow some of the userer's money, sets himself most vehemently against Mr.Udall, to do whatsoever Harvey the userer will have him, and takes the help of his journeyman, doctor Hone, the veriest coxcomb that ever wore velvet cap, and an ancient foe to Mr.Udall, because (indeed) he is popish dolt, and (to make up a mess) Steven Chatfield, the vicar of Kingston, as very a bankrupt and dunce as Doc. Cottington (although he have consumed all the money he gathered to build a College at Kingston), must come and be resident there that Mr.Udall may have his mouth stopped. And why? Forsooth, because your friend Mr.Harvey would have it so. For, says Harvey, he rails in his sermons. Is that true? Does he rail when he reproves you (and such notorious varlets as you are) for your usery, for your oppressing of the poor, for buying the houses over their heads that love the gospel, and the Lord his faithful minister? (Mr.Udall). And are not you a monstrous atheist, a belly God, a carnal, wicked wretch and what not. Mr.Chatfield, you think I see not your knavery? Is us do I. You cannot dance so cunningly in a net but I can spy you out. Shall I tell you why you sew pillows under Harvey's elbows? Why man, it is because you would borrow an 100 pound of him? Go to, you ass and take in Mr.Udall again, (for Harvey I can tell is as crafty a knave as you, he will not lend his money to such bankrupts as Duns Cottington and you are). And you do not restore M.Udall again to preach, I will so lay open your vileness that I will make the very stones in Kingston streets shall smell of your knaveries. Now, if a man ask Mr.Cottington why Mr.Udall is put to silence? Forsooth, says he, for not favouring the Church government present. Doc.Hone (Cottington's journeyman, a popish Dr. of the bawdy court), says by his troth, for making such variance in the town. Mr.Chatfield seems to sorry for it, etc., but what cause was alleged why [36] Mr.Udall must preach no longer? Surely this only, that he had not my Lord of Winchester's licence under seal to shew. And because this was thought not to be sufficient to satisfy the people, Hone, the bawdy Doctor, charged him to be a sectary, a schismatic, yea, he affirmed plainly that the Gospel out of his mouth was blasphemy. Popish Hone, do you say so? Do you? You are a knave I tell you. By the same token, your friend Chatfield spent thirteen score pounds in distributing briefs for a gathering towards the erecting of a College at Kingston upon Thames.

     Wohohow, brother London! Do you remember Thomas Allen and Richard Alworth, merchants of London, being executors to George Allen, sometimes your grocer, but now deceased, who came unto you on Easter Wednesday last, being at your masterdoms palace in London, having been often to speak with you before and could not, yet now they met with you. Who told you they were executors unto one George Allen (sometimes) your grocer, and among other his debts we find you indebted unto him in the sum of 19 pound and upward, desiring you to let them have the money, for that they were to dispose of it according to that trust he reposed in them. You answered them sweetly (after you had paused a while), in this manner: You are rascals, you are villains, you are arrant knaves. I owe you naught. I have a general quittance to shew.60  Sir (said they), shew us your discharge and we are satisfied. No (quoth he), I will shew you none. Go sue me, go sue me! Then, said one of the merchants, do you thus use us for asking our due? We would you should know we are no such vile persons. Don John of London (hearing their answer), cried out, saying: Hence, away! Citizens? Nay, you are rascals, you are worse than wicked mammon (so lifting up both his hands and flinging them down again, said), You are thieves, you are cozeners. Take that for a bishop's blessing, and so get you hence.61  But when they would have answered, his men [37] thrust them out of the doors. But shortly after, he perceived they went about to bring the matter to farther trial. He sent a messenger unto them confessing the debt, but they cannot get their money to this day. What reason is it they should have their money? Has he not bestowed his liberality already on them? Can they not be satisfied with the blessing of this brave bouncing priest? But brethren bishops, I pray you tell me? Has not your brother London a notable brazen face to use these men so for their own? I told you, Martin will be proved no liar in that he says that bishops are cogging and cozening knaves. This priest went to buffets with his son in law for a bloody nose, well fare all good tokens. The last Lent there came a commandment from his grace into Paul's Churchyard that no Bible should be bound without the Apocrypha. Monstrous and ungodly wretches, that to maintain their own outrageous proceedings thus mingle heaven and earth together, and would make the spirit of God to be the author of profane books. I am hardly drawn to a merry vein from such weighty matters.

     But you see my worshipful priests of this crew to whom I write, what a perilous fellow Mr.Marprelate is. He understands of all your knavery, and it maybe he keeps a register of them. Unless you amend, they shall all come into the light one day. And your brethren bishops, take this warning from me. If you do not leave your persecuting of godly Christians and good subjects that seek to live uprightly in the fear of God and the obedience of her Majesty, all your dealing shall be made known unto the world. And I'se be sure to make you an example to all posterity. You see, I have taken some pains with you already, and I will owe you a better turn and pay it you with advantage, at the least thirteen to the dozen, unless you observe these conditions of peace which I draw between me and you. For I assure you, I make not your doings known for any malice I bear [38] unto you, but the hurt that you do unto God's Church. Leave you your wickedness and I'll leave the revealing of your knaveries.



¶Conditions of Peace to be inviolably kept for
ever, between the reverend and worthy master Martin Marprelate, gentleman,
on the one party, and the reverend fathers his brethren, the Lord bishops of this land.

1    IN primis, the said Lord bishops must promise and observe, without fraud or collusion, and that as much as in them lies, they labour to promote the preaching of the word in every part of this land.

2    That hereafter they admit none unto the ministry but such as shall be known both for their godliness and learning to be fit for the ministry, and not these neither without cure, unless they be College ministers of either of the Universities, and in no case they suffer any to be nonresidents. And that they suffer Mr.Cartwright's answer to the Rheimish Testament to be published.

3    That neither they nor their servants, viz. their archdeacons, chancellors, nor any other of the High Commission which serve their vile affections, urge any to subscribe contrary to the statute 13 Eliza., and that they suspend or silence none but such as either for their false doctrine or evil life shall shew themselves to be unworthy the places of ministers, so that none be suspended or licensed either for speaking (when their text gives them occasion), against the corruptions of the Church, for refusing to wear the surplice, cap, tippet, etc., or omitting the corruptions of the Book of Common Prayer, as churching of women, the cross in baptism, the ring in marriage, etc.

4    That none be molested by them or any their aforesaid servants, for this my book, for not kneeling at the communion, or for resorting on the Sabbath (if they have not preachers of their own) to hear the word preached and [39] to receive the Sacraments.

5    Lastly, that never hereafter they profane excommunication, as they have done, by excommunicating alone in their chambers, and that for trifles, yea, before men's causes be heard. That they never forbid public fasts, molest either preacher or hearer for being present at such assemblies. Briefly, that they never slander the cause of reformation or the furtherers thereof in terming the cause by the name of Anabaptistry, schism, etc., and the men puritans and enemies to the state.

     These be the conditions which you, brethren bishops, shall be bound to keep inviolably on your behalf. And I, your brother Martin, on the other side, do faithfully promise, upon the performance of the premisses by you, never to make any more of your knavery known unto the world. And howbeit that I have before threatened my brother Bridges in the cause of his superior priest and your Antichristian callings. Notwithstanding, I will write no more of your dealings unless you violate the former conditions. The conditions, you see, are so reasonable. I might bind you to give over your places which are Antichristian, but I do not, lest men should think me to quarrel and seek occasions for the nonce to fall out with my brethren. Therefore I require no more but such things as all the world will think you unworthy to live if you grant them not. And this I do the rather because you should not, according to your old fashion, say that my worship does for malice lay open your infirmities. Nay, I have published not one of your secret faults, what you have not blushed to commit in the face of the sun, and in the justifying whereof you yet stand, these things only have I published. The best servants of God, I know, have their infirmities, but none of them will stand in the maintenance of their corruptions as you do, and that to the dishonour of God and the ruin of his Church. You must either amend or shortly you will bring our church to ruin. [40] Therefore, it is time that your dealings were better looked unto.

    You will go about, I know, to prove my book to be a libel, but I have prevented you of that advantage in law, both in bringing in nothing but matters of fact, which may easily be proved if you dare deny them, and also in setting my name to my book. Well, I offer you peace upon the former conditions, if you will keep them. But if you violate them either in whole or in part (for why should you break any one of them), then your learned brother Martin does proclaim open war against you, and intends to work your woe 2 manner of ways as follows: First, I will watch you at every half turn, and whatsoever you do amiss I will presently publish it. You shall not call one honest man before you but I will get his examination (and you think I shall know nothing of the oppression of your tenants by your bribery, etc.), and publish it, if you deal not according to the former conditions. To this purpose I will place a young Martin in every diocese, which may take notice of your practises. Do you think that you shall be suffered any longer to break the law of God and to tyrannise over his people, her Majesty's subjects, and no man tell you of it? No, I warrant you. And rather than I will be disappointed of my purpose, I will place a Martin in every parish. In part of Suffolk and Essex I think I were best to have 2 in a parish. I hope in time they shall be as worthy Martins as their father is, every one of them able to mar a prelate. Mark what will be the issue of these things, if you still keep your old bias. I know you would not have your dealings so known unto the world as I and my sons will blaze them. Secondly, all the books that I have in store already, of your doings, shall be published upon the breach of the former covenants, or any of them. Here I know, some will demand what these books are, because, says one, I warrant you there will be old sport. I hope old father Palinode,62  Dr.Perne, shall be in there by the week's. Why! My [41] masters of the clergy, did you never hear of my books indeed? So then, you never heard of good sport in your life. The catalogue of their names and the arguments of some are as follows As for my book named Epistomastix, I make no mention thereof at this time.63  First my Paradoxes, 2. my Dialogues, 3. my Miscelanea, 4. my Varia leciones, 5. Martins dream, 6. of the lives and doings of English popes, 7. my Itinerarium, or visitations, 8. my Lambethisms. In my Paradoxes shall be handled some points which the common sort have not greatly considered of, as 1. That our prelates, if they professed popery could not do so much hurt unto God's Church as now they do. 2. That the Devil is not better practised in bowling and swearing than John of London is, with other like points. What shall be handled in my 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, books you shall know when you read them.

     My Itinerarium shall be a book of no great profit, either to the Church or commonwealth, and yet had need to be in folio, or else judge you by this that follows. I mean to make a survey into all the dioceses in this land, that I may keep a visitation among my clergymen. I would with them to keep good rule and to amend their manners against I come. For I shall paint them in their colours if I find anything amiss. In this book I will note all their memorable pranks. As for example, if I find any priest to have done as Sir Geoffrey Jones of Warwickshire did, that must be set down in my visitations, and I think I had need to have many scribes and many reams of paper for this purpose. The said Sir Geoffrey Jones committed a part very well beseeming his priesthood, which was after this manner. Sir Geoffrey, once in an alehouse (I do desire the reader to bear with me, though according to Mr.Bridges his fashion, I write false English in this sentence), whereunto he resorted for his morning draught, either because his hostess would have him pay the old score before he should run any [42] further, or the new, or else because the gamesters, his companions, won all his money at trey trip64 , took such unkindness at the alehouse that he swore he would never go again into it. Although this rash vow of the good priest was made to the great loss of the alewife, who by means of Sir Geoffrey was wont to have good utterance for her ale, yet I think the tap had great quietness and ease thereby, which could not be quiet so much as an hour in the day as long as Sir Geoffrey resorted unto the house. How sweet it was, poor Sir Jones felt the discommodity of his rash vow. Then alas, he was in a woe case, as you know, for his stomach could not be at all strengthened with the drink he got abroad. But better were a man not to feel his discommodity than not to be able to redress the same. Therefore at length Sir Geoffrey bethought him of a feat whereby he might both visit the alestand and also keep his oath. And so he hired a man to carry him upon his back to the alehouse. By this means he did not go, but was carried thither, whereunto he made a vow never to go. I doubt not in my visitation but to get a hundred of these stratagems, especially if I travel near where any of the vicars of hell are, as in Surrey, Northampton, and Oxfordshires. And I would with the pursuivants65  and the Stationers, with the Woolfe their beadle, not to be so ready to molest honest men. And Stationers, I would with you not to be so frank with your bribes as you were to Thomas Draper. I can tell you, his grace had need to provide a bag full of items for you, if you he be so liberal. Were you so foolish (or so malicious against Waldegrave), to give that knave Draper five pounds to betray him into your wretched hands. He brought you to Kingston-upon-Thames, with pursuivants to take him, where he should be a printing books in a tinker's house, (yourselves being disguised, so that Waldegrave might not know you, for of citizens you were become ruffians). There you were to seek that could not be found, and many such journeys may you make. But when you came to [43] London, you laid Thomas Draper in the Counter for cozenage. O, well bowled! When John of London throws his bowl, he will run after it and cry, rub, rub, rub, and say the devil go with you. But what think you shall be handled in my Lambethisms? Truly this, I will there make a comparison of John Whitgift's Canterburyness with John Bridges his Lambethisms. To speak in plain English, I will there set down the flowers of errors, popish and others, wherewith those two worthy men have stuffed the books which they have written against the cause of reformation, in the defence of the government of bishops. I have in this book, as you shall see, gathered some flowers out of John of London's book, but my Lambethisms shall be done otherwise I trow.

     And now, if it may please you of the Convocation House to hear of any of the former books, then break the league which I offer to make with you. But if you would have my friendship, as I seek yours, then let me see that you persecute no more, and especially that you trouble none for this book of mine. For this must be an especial article of our agreement, as you know. And Dean John, for your part you must play the fool no more in the pulpit. We will end this matter with a pretty story of a certain mischance that befell a bishop's corner cap, as follows. Old doctor Turner (I mean not Dr.Perne, the old turner) had a dog full of good qualities. Dr.Turner, having invited a bishop to his table in dinner while, called his dog and told him that the bishop did sweat (you must think he laboured hard over his trencher). The dog flies at the bishop and took off his corner cap (he thought belike it had been a cheese cake), and so away goes the dog with it to his master. Truly, my masters of the clergy, I would never wear corner cap again, seeing dogs run away with them. And here ends the story.

     May it please you that are of this house to tell me the cause, when you have leisure, why so many opinions and [44] errors are risen in our Church concerning the ministry, and the joining with preaching and unpreaching ministers. To tell you my opinion in your ear, I think it to be want of preaching and I think your worships to have here the cause of all this stir. Some puritans hold readers for no ministers, some hold you, our worthy bishops, for little better then fair parchment readers, and say that you have no learning. Now whether readers be ministers or no, and whether our bishops be learned or no, I would with you brethren bishops and you brethren puritans, to make no great controversy, but rather labour that all evil ministers may be turned out of the Church, and so I hope there should be a speedy end of all those questions between you. For then I doubt not but that Lord bishops, whereat the puritans so repine66 , should be in a fair reckoning within short space, even the next to the door save the dog. And I see that you bishops are well towards this promotion already. And truly, though the puritans should never so much repine at the matter, yet I tell you true, I am glad that you are so esteemed amongst men. And for my own part I think, my masters, that many of you our Lord bishops and clergymen are men very notorious for their learning and preaching. And hereof, under bendicite67  between you and me, (the puritans may stand aside now), I will bring you some instances. First, his grace and my Lord of Winchester have been very notable clerks, ever since Mr. doctor Sparks set them at a non plus (some of their honours being present), in the conference between him and Mr.Travers on the puritans side, and the two Archbishops and the Bishop of Winchester on the other side. Dr.Sparks' argument was drawn from the corruption of the translation of the 28 verse of the 105 Psalm, in the Book of Common Prayer, and the contrariety of the translations allowed by the Bishops themselves. For in the book of Common Prayer you shall read thus: And they were not obedient unto his word, (which [45] is a plain corruption of the text). In other privileged English translations it is, And they were not disobedient unto his word, which is according to the verity of the original68 . By the way, ere I go any further, I would know with what conscience either my brother Cant. or any else of our bishops can urge men to allow such palpable corruption by subscribing unto things mere contrary to the word. Here also I would shew, by the way, and I would have all my sons to note, that their uncle Canterbury's drift in urging subscription is not the unity of the church (as he would pretend), but the maintenance of his own pride and corruption, which should soon come to the ground if the word had free passage. And therefore he proves the same by stopping the mouths of the sincere preachers thereof. For if the unity of the Church had been his end, why has not he amended this fault in all the books that have been printed since that time, which now is not so little as 3 years, in which time many thousand of Books of Common Prayer have been printed. If he had other business in hand than the amending of the Book of Common Prayer, why had he not, nay, why does he not, leave urging of subscription until that be amended? Can he and his hirelings have time to imprison and deprive men because they will not sin by approving lies upon the holy ghost (which things they cannot, nor could not choose but commit, whosoever will or have subscribed unto the book and Articles). And can he have no time in 3 or 4 years to correct most gross and ungodly faults in the print, whereof the putting out of one syllable, even three letters (dis) would have amended this place. But it lies not in his grace to amend the corruptions of the book. Belike it lies in him to do nothing but sin, and to compel men against their consciences to sin, or else to bring extreme misery upon them. If it lay not in him, yet he might have acquainted the Parliament (for there was a Parliament since the time he knew this fault) with the [46] corruptions of the book. And I will come nearer home to him than so, in the Article concerning the government, whereunto men are urged to subscribe. You must (say the Articles) protest that there is nothing in the ministry of the Church of England that is not according to the word, or to such like effect they speak. I say that I cannot subscribe unto this article because, contrary to the express commandment of our Saviour Christ and the examples of his Apostles, there be Lords in the ministry, or such as would be accounted ministers will also be called and accounted Lords, and bear civil offices. The words of Christ are those: The kings of the Gentiles reign over them, and they that bear rule over them are called gracious Lords, but you shall not be so, Luk. 22:25,26. I say that out of this place it is manifest that it is utterly unlawful for a minister to be a Lord, that for any Lord bishop to be in the ministry, and therefore I cannot subscribe unto that Article which would have me justify this to be lawful. Now I will cease this point because I doubt not but the Articles of subscription will be shortly so made out of fashion that the bishops will be ashamed of them themselves, and if no other will take them in hand, I'll turn one of my own breed unto them, either Martin senior, or some of his brethren.

     To go forward, his Lordship of Winchester is a great clerk, for he has translated his dictionary, called Coopers Dictionary, verbatim out of Robert Stephanus his Thesaurus, and ill favoured too, they say. But what do I speak of our bishops learning as long as Bishop Overton, Bishop Bickley, Bishop Middleton, the Dean of Westminster, doctor Cole, Dr.Bell, with many others, are living. I doubt me whether all the famous dunces be dead. And if you would have an example of an excellent pulpit man indeed, go no further than the Bishop of Gloucester, now living, and in him you shall find a plain instance of such a one as I mean. On a time he, preaching [47] at Worcester before he was bishop, upon Sir John's day, as he traversed his matter and discoursed upon many points, he came at the length unto the very pith of his whole sermon, contained in the distinction of the name of John, which he then, shewing all his learning at once, full learnedly handled after this manner: John, John, the grace of God, the grace of God, the grace of God. Gracious John, not graceless John, but gracious John. John, holy John, holy John, not John full of holes, but holy John. If he shewed not himself learned in this sermon then has he been a dunce all his life. In the same sermon, two several Johns, the father and the son, that had been both recusants, being brought publicly to confess their faults, this worthy doctor, by reason that the young man having been poisoned beyond the seas with popery was more obstinate than his father, and by all likelihood he was the cause of his father's perverseness. With a vehement exclamation, able to pierce a cobweb, called on the father aloud in this pathetical and persuading sort: Old John, old John, be not led away by the Siren sounds and enticements of young John. If young John will go to the devil, the devil go with him. The puritans, it may be, will here object that this worthy man was endued with these famous gifts before he was bishop, whereas since that time, say they, he is not able to say boo to a goose. You weigh this man belike my masters, according to the rest of our bishops. But I assure you, it is not so with him. For the last Lent in a sermon he made in Gloucester town, he shewed himself to be the man that he was before. For he did in open pulpit confirm the truth of his text to be authentical, being the prophesy of Isaiah, out of the Book of Common Prayer, which otherwise would (it is to be feared) have proved Apocrypha. His text was, A child is borne unto us, which after he sweetly repeated very often as before, to the great destruction and admiration of the hearers, saying: A child is borne, a child is borne, a child is born [48] unto us, this (says he) is proved you know, where in that worthy verse of the book of Common Prayer. Your honourable true and only son. Afterward, repeating the same words again: A child is borne unto us, a child is borne unto us. Here, says he, I might take occasion to commend that worthy verse in our Litany where this is made very manifest, that the prophet here speaks. By thy Nativity and circumcision! What, should I prosecute the condemnation of this man, as though other our bishops and pulpit men have not as commendable gifts as he.

     And once again to you brother Bridges, you have set down a slanting reason in the 75 page of your book, against the continuance of the government which the Puritans labour for, and I find the same syllogism concluded in no mood. Therefore, what if I was ashamed to put it down? But seeing it is your will to lay on the puritans with it as it is, put your corner cap a little near a toe side, that we may see your parti-coloured beard, and with what a manly countenance you give your brethren this scouring. And I hope this will please you, my clergy masters, as well as if I told you how our brother Bridges played my Lord of Winchester's fool in Sir Mary's pulpit in Cambridge, but no word of that. Now to my reason.

     Some kind of ministry ordained by the Lord was temporary (says he) as for example, the Mosaical priesthood and the ministry of apostles, prophets, etc. But the ministry of pastors, doctors, elders and deacons, was ordained by the Lord, therefore it was temporary.

     Alack, alack! Dean John, what have you done now? The puritans will be O the bones of you too bad for this kind of arguing, and they will reason after this sort:      1 Some man in the land (say they) wears a wooden dagger and a coxcomb, as for example his grace of Canterbury's fool, doctor Perne's cousin and yours. You, presbyter John Catercap, are some man in the land. Therefore, by this reason, you wear a wooden dagger and a [49] coxcomb.      2 Some presbyter, priest or elder in the English ministry is called the vicar of Hell. As for example one about Oxford, another near Northampton, and the parson of Mickleham in Surrey. But the dean of Sarum, John Catercap, is some priest in the English ministry. Ergo, he is the vicar of Hell.      3 Some presbyter, priest or elder, preaching at Paul's Cross, 1587, told a tale of a leaden shoeinghorn, and spoke of Catechising. And preaching at the Court on another time, thrust his hand into his pocket and drew out a piece of sarcenet69, saying, Behold, a relique of Mary's smock; and thrusting his hand into the other pocket, drew out either a linen or a woollen rag, saying, behold a relique of Joseph's breeches. But, quoth he, there is no reason why Mary's smock should be of sarcenet, seeing Joseph's breeches were not of silk. This priest, being lately demanded whether he should be bishop of Ely, answered that he had now no great hope to Bishop of Ely, and therefore, quoth he, I may say well enough, Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani. Eli, Eli, why hast thou forsaken me, alluding very blasphemously unto the words which our Saviour Christ spoke in his greatest agony upon the cross. The same priest, calling before him one Mr.Benison, a preacher, and would have urged him to take his oath, to answer to such articles as he would propound against him, who answered saying, brother bishop, I will not swear, except I know to what? With that the priest fell sick of the spleen and began to swear by his faith. Quoth Benison, a bishop should preach faith and no not swear by it. This priest being in his melancholic mood, sent him to the Clink70, where he lay till her Majesty was made privy of his tyranny, and then released to the priests woe. As for example, the Bishop of London did all those things and more too. For lying at his house at Haddam in Essex, upon the Sabbath day (wanting his bowling mates), took his servants and went a haymaking, the godly ministers round about being exercised (though [50] against his commandment) in fasting and prayer. But you John Catercap, are some presbyter, priest or Elder. Therefore you profaned the word and ministry in this sort.      4 Some presbyter, priest or elder in the land is accused (and even now the matter is in trial before his grace and his brethren) to have two wives, and to marry his brother unto a woman upon her death bed, she being past recovery. As for example, the Bishop of Sir David's in Wales, is this priest, as they say. But you presbyter John are some priest. Therefore you have committed all these unnatural parts.      5 Some priest, preaching at the funeral of one who died, not only being condemned by the Law of God and of the land for attempting matters against her Majesty's person and the state, but also died an obstinate and professed papist and without any repentance for her enterprises against her Majesty and the state, prayed that his soul and the souls of all the rest there present, might be with the soul of the unrepentant papist departed. As for example, the Bishop of Lincoln did this at Peterborough, August.2, 1587. But you are some priest. Ergo, you made such a prayer.      6 Some priest in the land lately made, or very shortly means to make, as they say, an old acquaintance of his own, Richard Patrick, clothier of Worcester, of the reading ministry. As for example, his grace of Canterbury is this priest. But you brother Sarum are some priest, as well as he. Ergo, you have thrust a bankrupt clothier in the ministry.      7 Some priest, having given a man (whose wife had played the harlot) leave to marry another, desiring the man long after he had been married to another woman, to shew him his letters of divorcement, with promise to deliver them again. But having received them, they are retained of him most injuriously unto this day, and he troubles the man for having two wives. As for example, the Bishop of Sir Asaf is this priest. But you dean Catercap are some priest, Ergo you do men such open injury.      8 Some men that [51] break the law of God are traitors to her Majesty, as for example, the Jesuits. But all our bishops are some men that break the law of God, because they continue in unlawful callings. Ergo, by your reason they are traitors to her Majesty. But I deny your argument, for there may be many breaches of the law of God whereof they may be guilty and yet no traitors.      9 Some men that will not have their Lordships and their callings examined by the word, are limbs of Antichrist, as for example the Pope and his Cardinals. But our Lord bishops are some men which will not have their lordships and their callings tried by the word. Therefore they are limbs of Antichrist.      10 Some men would play the turncoat, with the Bishop of Gloucester, Dr.Kenold, Dr.Perne (I will let Dr.Goodman, Abbot of West. alone now). But all the Lord bishops, and you brother catercap are some men. Ergo, you would become papists again.      11 Some men dare not dispute with their adversaries lest their ungodly callings should be overthrown and they compelled to walk more orderly. But our bishops are some men. Ergo, they dare not dispute lest their ungodly callings and places should be overthrown.      12 Some men are thieves and foul murderers before God, as for example all nonresidents. Every Lord bishop is a nonresident. Ergo, he is a thief and a foul murderer before God.      13 Some men are become apostates from their ministry, sinners against their own consciences, persecutors of their brethren, sacrilegious Church robbers, withstanders of the known truth for their own filthy lucre's sake, and are afraid lest the gospel and the holy discipline thereof should be received in every place. But our bishops are some men. Therefore (by your reason Mr. doctor) they are become apostates from their ministry, sinners against their own consciences, persecutors of their brethren, sacrilegious Church robbers and withstanders of the known truth, etc.      14 Some priest is a pope, as for example, that priest which is Bishop of [52] Rome is a Pope. But his grace of Canterbury is some priest. Therefore Mr.Bridges, by your manner of reasoning, he is a pope. You may see what harm you have done by dealing so loosely. I know not what I shall say to these puritans reasons. They must needs be good if yours be sound. Admit their syllogisms offended in form, as yours do, yet the common people, and especially dame Lawson and the gentlewoman whose man demanded of her when she sat at the Bishop of London's fire, Why mistress, will you sit by Caiaphas his fire? will find an unhappy truth in many of these conclusions, whenas yours is most false. And many of their propositions are tried truths, having many eye and ear witnesses living.

     Men when commonly they dedicate books unto any, enter into commendations of those unto whom they write. But I care not an I owe you, my clergy masters, a commendations and pay you when you better deserve it. Instead thereof, I will give you some good counsel and advice which, if you follow, I assure you it will be the better for you.

     First I would advise you as before I have said, to set at liberty all the preachers that you have restrained from preaching, otherwise it shall be the worse for you. My reason is this: The people are altogether discontented for want of teachers. Some of them already run into corners and more are like, because you keep the means of knowledge from them. Running into corners will breed Anabaptistry, Anabaptistry will alienate the hearts of the subjects from their lawful governor, and you are the cause hereof. And will not her Majesty then, think you, require the hearts of her subjects at your hands, when she shall understand that they are alienated (as God forbid they should) from her by your means? Yes, I warrant you. And if they should put up a supplication unto her highness that their preachers might be restored unto them, I doubt not but they should be heard. I can tell [53] you, she tends the estate of her people and will not discourage their hearts in casting of their suits to maintain your pride and covetousness. You were then better to set the preachers at liberty than to suffer your cruelty and evil dealing to be made known unto her. For so they shall be sure, I doubt not, to prevail in their suit and you to go by the worse. And try if her Majesty be not shortly moved in this suit. To it my masters roundly, you that mean to deal herein, and on my life you set the prelates in such a quandary as they shall not know where to stand. Now Mr.Prelates, I will give you some more counsel, follow it. Repent, clergymen, and especially bishops, preach faith bishops, and swear no more by it, give over your Lordly callings, reform your families and your children. They are the pattern of looseness. Withstand not the known truth no longer. You have seduced her Majesty and her people. Pray her Majesty to forgive you, and the Lord first to put away your sins. Your government is Antichristian, deceive the Lord no longer thereby. You will grow from evil to worse unless betimes you return. You are now worse then you were 29 years ago. Write no more against the cause of reformation. Your ungodliness is made more manifest by your writings. And because you cannot answer what has been written against you, yield unto the truth. If you should write, deal syllogistically. For you shame yourselves when you use any continued speech, because your style is so rude and barbarous. Rail no more in the pulpit against good men, you do more hurt to yourselves and your own desperate cause in one of your railing sermons than you could in speaking for reformation. For every man that has any light of religion in him will examine your grounds, which being found ridiculous (as they are) will be decided and your cause made odious. Abuse not the High Commission as you do, against the best subjects. The commission itself was ordained for very good purposes, but it [54] is most horribly abused by you and turned clean contrary to the end wherefore it was ordained. Help the poor people to the means of their salvation that perish in their ignorance, make restitution unto your tenants and such as from whom you have wrongfully extorted anything. Usurp no longer the authority of making of ministers and excommunication. Let poor men be no more molested in your ungodly courts. Study more than you do and preach oftener. Favour nonresidents and papists no longer, labour to cleanse the ministry of the swarms of ignorant guides wherewith it has been defiled. Make conscience of breaking the Sabbath by bowling and tabling. Be ringleaders of profaneness no longer unto the people. Take no more bribes. Leave your Simony. Favour learning more than you do, and especially godly learning. Stretch your credit, if you have any, to the furtherance of the gospel. You have joined the profanation of the magistracy to the corruption of the ministry. Leave this sin. All in a word, become good Christians and so you shall become good subjects and leave your tyranny. And I would advise you, let me hear no more of your evil dealing.

Given at my Castle between two Wales, neither four days from penniless bench nor yet at the
West end of Shrovetide, but the fourteenth year at the least of the age of Charing
Cross, within a year of Midsummer, between twelve and twelve
of the clock. Anno pontificatus vestri Quinto,
and I hope ultimo of all
English Popes.

By your learned and worthy brother,
Martin Marprelate.



Note: Endnotes in italics are marginal notes from the original; all others are editors notes.


1. Master Dean, abbreviated to mass Dean, alluding to his ‘popish’ theology.

2. gear: a variety of meanings, as 'apparel', 'stuff', 'equipment'. In the present context it appears to mean 'argument'.

3. What malapart knaves are these that cannot be content to stand by and hear but they must teach a gentleman how to speak

4. Look the doctor's book, pag.107, line 20, and page 113 line 13.

5. Mr.Marprelate, you put more than the question in the conclusion of your syllogism.

6. Swiss.

7. Poland.

8. Sweden.

9 As a dead life well fare a good gloss.

10. Put the case that my Lord of Canterbury is such a one.

11. Why Martin, what do you mean? Certainly an* you take that course but a while you will set your good brethren at their wits end. *Note: ‘an’ = ‘and’, used as conj. means ‘if’.

12. quishions: cushions.

13. Baughin: poss. Vaughan?

14. My book shall come with a witness before the High Commission.

15. conspiration: a pun on Convocation.

16. Publ. 1575, attrib. to John Still, Bp of Bath and Wells.

17. Sosthenes, and not Crispus, was one of the 72 Disciples

18. cozenage: cheating, duping, defrauding, also: 'cozen', to cheat, dupe, defraud.

19. These be the Dean's own words.

20. Whoa, whoa! Dean, take your breath and then to it again.

21. Both these points are set down, page 448, line 3.

22. troth: faithfulness, loyalty, 'by his word'.

23. I commend you, you good Dr. for your good English tongue.

24. Clear, quoth he, yea, who will make any question thereof.

25. Look Stat.13 Elizabeth.

26. A good example

27. Sir Peter never allowed this

28. Here be those that can be barbarous as well as mass Dean

29. His grace shall never get me to swear against my conscience.

30. trow: to believe or think.

31. ingram: unlettered.

32. caudle: a warm spiced drink, with wine or ale, given to the sick. However, the following phrase suggeststhat 'a caudle of hempseed' refers to 'hanging', see Shkspre, Henry VI.

33. neckweed: hemp rope, hence 'hanging'

34. course: to pursue, to chase, (dogs chasing game by sight not smell, particularly hares).

35. Ha! Priest, I'll bang you, or I'll never trust me.

36. My brother Bridges Now reasons in good earnest for nonresidents.

37. What a crafty knave is mass Dean.

38. dexterity - 'sleight of hand'.

39. ie: more closely.

40. I'll make you weary of it dumb John, except you leave persecuting.

41. ie: the Bishop of London, whose residence is Fulham Palace.

42. seevillains: civilians, meaning practioners of the civil law, from the spelling possibly a play on ‘see’, ie diocese - a diocesan villain?

43. A firebrand indeed.

44. More knavery.

45. coram: Latin prep: before, ie: 'before a judge'

46. Is not he a very pope indeed that thus hides popery and knavery.

47. It may be you hindered her Majesty of many thousands of pounds.

48. This is no knavery my Lord.

49. brace, ie. pair.

50. Except persecuting Greenefielde.

51. the Douai Bible, publ. at Rheims, NT 1582, OT 1609-10, the standard RC bible in English to the 20th century.

52. A Monstrous hypocrite.

53. Is not this ambitious wretch at the highest, think you.

54. brewis: dial. broth.

55. 'in for a bird' - 'in prison for poaching a bird', ie: 'in prison'?

56. St, Mary Overy, a large Medieval curch by London Bridge, now Southwark Cathedral.

57. O blasphemous wretch.

58. A flattering hypocrite.

59. cog: deceive, trick, manipulate

60. Can Bishop face, cog, lie, and cozen or no, think you.

61. Dumb John of London's blessing.

62. palinode: a recantation, hence, 'one who recants'.

63. My Epitome is ready.

64. trey trip: a card game, named after a card with three pips (Fr: trez = three).

65. pursuivant: lit., 'a pursuer', a sort of police force, (In this context, not a herald.)

66. repine: 'to be fretfully discontented'.

67. benedicite: Latin: blessing, ie: peace.

68. The sense of Ps.105:28 requires the BCP version. All modern and many ancient versions agree. The Heb. is the opposite, but makes no sense. It is the Egyptians who are 'not obedient' and bring the plagues on themselves.

69. sarcenet: Saracen's net - a fine cloth, from the east.

70. Clink: a prison, in Southwark.

This HTML edition and modernised spellings © John D. Lewis, 2000.

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