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Tract 6.


29 July 1589.

| Reproof | Martin Senr. |

| End |


The just censure and reproof
of Martin Junior.



Wherein the rash and indiscreet headiness of
the foolish youth is sharply met with, and the
boy has his lesson taught him, I warrant you,
by his reverend and elder brother, Martin Sen-
ior, son and heir unto the renowned Martin
Mar-prelate the Great.


Where also, lest the springall1 should
be utterly discouraged in his good
meaning, you shall find that he
is not bereaved of his due




| Top |


The Reproof of Martin Junior,


by his elder brother.



Whoa then! And boys will now be a 'Pistle-making, either without their father's leave, or their elder brother's advise; we shall have our father's art brought to a pretty pass within a while. I could have told this long ago, that my father would get him so many sons as John Canterbury would have no cause to sit quiet at dinner or supper, for looking to his young nephews. I thought boys would be a doing, but foolish stripling, can you tell what you have done? I ween2 not. If my father should be hurt, either at the Groine3 or at the suburbs of Lisbon, is this the way either to cure him or to comfort him, to publish his scrabbled and weather-beaten papers in this sort? What if he had in purpose to write no more, seeing the danger and trouble that comes of it? Will this be any means to work the old man's quietness, for a foolish and a heady springall to go set abroad his papers? You saw well enough, that Martin's doings were now almost forgotten and hushed. And the 4men of sin themselves, I mean the Canterbury Caiaphas, with the rest of his Antichristian beasts, who bear his abominable mark, were content in a manner to turn his purposes from a serious matter to a point of jesting, wherewith they would have only rhymers and stage-players (that is, plain rogues, as you have well noted) to (2) deal. So that had not your untimely folly bewrayed itself, it may be that the syllogisms whereby our father has cracked the crown of Canterbury should have had no other answer, or he himself no other punishment but this. In faith, let him go, Martin is a mad knave. Whereas now, upon this scrabbling and paltering of yours, mark whether John Canterbury will not send for all the knave pursuivants that belong unto his popedom, and set them at work with the confutation of Martin, using some such speech as this is, in the direction of them, for the choice of their arguments against him:

     5Now Sirs, is not her Majesty's High Commission, and myself also, being the chief thereof and one of her Majesty's privy council, well set up with a company of messengers, as long as we have you to go of our business? What think you? Have you been careful of us and our places, to find us out the press and letters, wherewith these seditious Martins are printed? Or, have you diligently sought me out Waldegrave the printer, Newman the cobbler, Sharpe the book binder of Northampton, and that seditious Welshman Penry, who you shall see will prove the Author of all these libels? I thank you Master Munday, you are a good Gentleman of your word. Ah you Judas, you that have already betrayed the Papists, I think mean to betray us also. Did you not assure me, without all doubt, that you would bring me in Penry, Newman, Waldegrave, press, letters, and all, before Saint Andrew's day last. And now you see we are as far to seek for them, as ever we were. Nay, unless we have (3) them now, they are like to trouble 6our Church more then ever they did. For here is a young Martin hatched out of some poisoned egg of that seditious libeller, Old Martin. Why truly, it grieves me at the heart, that I, by her Majesty's favour, having more authority in my hand to repress these Puritans than any bishop else has had in England these thirty years, yet should be more troubled and molested by them these six years than all my predecessors have been these six and twenty years. And all this comes by reason of your unfaithfulness and negligence, whom we send for them. Well, I give you warning, look better unto your offices, or else let me be damned7 body and soul, if I turn you not all out of your places. Therefore look to it, for now every one of you shall have warrants, both for himself and as many as you will substitute under you besides. Bring us whomsoever you suspect, your warrants shall serve you to do it. And if you can find us either young or Old Martin, Penry, or Waldegrave, so that you bring the press and letters, he shall have forty pounds for his labour, whosoever will bring them, his charges and all borne clear. But if you bring us neither Martin, the press, nor those forenamed, never look us in the face more. And methinks, for your own good you should be careful to get in these seditious men, for if we that are Lords of the Clergy go down once, then shall you be sure to fall, for, poor men, you have nothing but what you get in8 our service that are your Lords and Masters. And methinks, if these wayward men had any conscience in them, they would not seek our (4) overthrow with tooth and nail, as they do, seeing so many honest poor men, yea, and many a good Gentleman too, by my troth, live only by us and our places.

     Well, if ever you mean to do any good in this matter, take me this course, which we here in commission have thought meetest: Let a six or seven of you, or your substitutes that stay here in London, watch me Paul's Churchyard; especially have an eye to Boyle's shop at the Rose. And let some one or two of you that are unknown go in there, and if there be any strangers in the shop, fall in talk with them of Martin. Commend him, and especially his son’s last libel, (and here, he that will take that course, take me this, that if need be you may shew it) shewing that by great friendship you got one of them, saying also that you understood a man might there help his friend to some, if he were acquainted with Master Boyle, and offer largely for it. Now Sir, if any shall either enter with you unto any speeches against the state and in defence of these libels, or else, if any can procure you to the sight of the books, be sure to bring them before us. Though you learn not their names, yet your warrants shall serve your turns, inasmuch as you do suspect them. And thus I would have some of you bestowed.

     Let three or four more of you or your substitutes be every day at the Black Friars, Lincolns Inn, Whitechapel, Paul's Chain, as often as Clarke, Gardiner, Egerton, or Cooper do preach, (and truly, my Lord of London, I marvel 9you suffer these men all this while to trouble the state by their preachings. By the Mass! I had not thought (5) they should have stood half this time) and there see if you can draw by speech anything from any Martinist, and let us talk with them. Especially mark if you see any before the sermon begins, setting their heads together and whispering under their cloaks. If you do, be sure they are reading Martin, and have them forthwith to the prison until we send for them, or cause them to put in sufficient sureties to appear the next court day.

     You that stay here in London, must also be sure, if possibly you can, to have a watch at all common inns, to see what carriage of paper, and other stuff, either goes from or comes to London. Thereby you may happily learn something. And mark, if any Puritan receives anything, open his pack, that you may be sure he has no Martins sent him. We will direct our warrants so that you may search all packs10 at your discretion. We will take order also that the Court may be watched, who disperse or read these libels there. And in faith, I think they do my Lord of Essex great wrong that say he favours Martin. I do not think he will be so unwise as to favour these, who are enemies unto the state. For if he do, her Majesty, I can tell him, will withdraw her gracious favour from him. But take you no care for the court. Watch you London, and learn me where Newman and Waldegrave's haunt is, and there be sure to watch early and late. Have an eye also unto all the Puritans’ houses in London, especially my Lord Mayor’s, Alderman Martin’s, and the Preachers’ houses. Let none that you suspect be uncited.

     As for you that go into the country, I would have you especially go into Northampton and (6) Warwick shires, and command the Mayor and Constables of Northampton to keep watch and ward for Sharpe and Penry, and if they can take them, let them bring them up and we will be sure to content them well for their pains. Others must go into Essex, Suffolk, and Norfolk. And if you can bring us no Martinists from thence (at the least, that by that means your charges may be borne, I would you might starve for me). There is Moore, there is Aline, there is Knewstub, there is Wright, with many others, all very seditious men that is pity by my troth that so many worshipful and good nurtured knights and gentlemen are carried away with them and their waywardness, as in those parts are seduced. But I hope her Majesty will have an uniformity. To be brief, I have said enough unto you already, but my meaning is that you should give all the good her Majesty has, or find out Martin. Go me to Devonshire and to the North parts, where my Lord’s grace of York also will direct his warrants by you, to seek this traitor Martin. For I will have him, or else I will no longer be archbishop of Canterbury. He die at the Groine, as they say? Nay, he'll be hanged ere he'll die there. He is in some corner of England, lurking and doing mischief. I tell you true, I 11do think him and his brood to be worse than the Jesuits. These Martinists are all of 12them traitors and enemies unto her Majesty, they will overthrow the state, they are most rebellious and disobedient unto all good proceedings. No warning will serve them, they grow worse and worse. I persuaded myself that none ever durst attempt to write, besides this desperate wretch Martin (7) himself. If he still enjoy his liberty, his brood will become as desperate as himself, his impunity will make them presume to speak against the state. And therefore, either get him, or we shall never stay their course. And I think I shall grow stark 13mad with you unless you bring him. Therefore, my masters, as you have any care for the pacifying of the state, and your own preferment, some way or other compass me to find the first Martin himself, wheresoever he be. Spare no charges. Get him, and see what we'll do for you. For if we were not in hope to come by him through your means, we would cast about another way to suppress his libelling. For we would make friends to have him proclaimed traitor and have it felony, if we could, for any man to read his writings. And here an end with you.

     Lo, Sir boy! Have you not spun a fair thread for our father’s ease and quietness, and for the quietness of your brethren? If our uncle Canterbury should take this course, where shall the old man stay then? You see, England will be made too hot for him, if he be living. Why you simple and inexperienced lad, you! My father, my father I tell you, had been better, it may be, that you had never, I tell you truth, learned a word of Irish in your life, than to have in this heat of the year published his unperfect questions. Do you not see your uncle Canterbury abroad in his visitation? Do you not see with how many men Esau rides, that if he meet with his poor brother Jacob he may be sure to suck his blood? Is seven score horse nothing, think you, to be in the train of an English Priest, whereof also (8) there are thirty gold chains? Do you think that the kingdom of Christ, which your father seeks to build, shall be able to stand, seeing John Canterbury with so many men rides about the country to proclaim nothing else but fire and sword unto as many as profess themselves to be the true subjects thereof? Why! You see he goes a visiting, purposely for no other end but to make it known what an enmity and hatred he bears to the Gospel and kingdom of Christ Jesus, and to shew how careful he is that that heresy of preaching may not prevail. Do you then persuade yourself, silly stripling, that there is any good to be done in sending a 'Pistle unto him, seeing he has so many men in his train who will swear for him that he loves none of these hot preachers? Methinks my father himself should be afraid of him, being so well horsed as he is. And therefore folly for one of his young sons to think his strength sufficient to bear the encounter.

     It may be you will say that your father is every day in the week able to make as many men of his own charges. I would he were, else if he be, it is more than I know, I promise you, and I think more than you can prove. But howsoever it goes, you see what a credit it is for an English Priest to have so many men following of him, as in the day of judgement there may be enough of those that wear his livery to witness against him, that in this life he was a monstrous Antichristian pope, and a most bloody oppressor of God’s Saints.

     Be it my father were dead, as you seem to give out, and for my own part I will not gainsay (9) you, because I for my part may truly say that his eldest child never knew him, and therefore is ignorant whether he be living or dead. Yet, brother Martin, I do see in the publishing of these things by you, two great slips committed; the one of inconsideracy, the other of undutifulness. Your rashness, and want of wisdom. Other men, I see, are like to feel your undutifulness is only towards myself, which I cannot well put up, and because of your rashness.

     Mark whether those poor men before named, to wit, Penry, Sharpe, Waldegrave, Newman etc., with many other good men who I dare swear for them, did never meddle nor make at any time with the metropolitical writings of our renowned father, shall not be now as hotly pursued after as ever they were. And all this comes of your foolish and paltry meddling in matters too high for your capacity. And thus, other men are like to smart by your folly.

     As for myself, to omit the honourable mention that my father (my father, I say, Quem honoris causa nomino, quoties nomino, nomino autem sæpissime) made of me in his writings, whereas he did not once vouchsafe to speak a word of such a [sibl]ing as you are, I should have thought that the very name of an elder brother should have taught you that there had been one in the world to whom by right of inheritance the 'Pistling of bishops had belonged after the decease of reverend Martin himself. Why! Who should set out my fathers writings but I, Martin Senior, his son? At the least, who should publish them without my leave? So that herein your undutifulness is no less than your (10) heady and rash inconsideracy.

     To return again unto our reverend father. Of all other things, I would wish you not to come within his reach, if he be living, for an you do, I can tell you he'll give you such a lesson for your sauciness as I think you shall never be Lord bishop while you live. For it may be that the expectation which men have conceived of the proof of such points as you have laid down, will force him to alter his purpose in, More work for the Cooper, and fall a proving of these things, lest men should hold themselves deluded by you.14 And will this be no pain think you, sir boy? Will it be no labour for a man, having finished a book, to alter his course and make it wholly new? And this you know he must do, unless his wisdom has beforehand prevented the inconvenience. I deny not indeed but it is easier for him to alter his course than for any one writer that I know of, because he has chosen him such a method as no man else besides has done. Nay, his syllogisms, axioms, method, and all are of his own making, he will borrow none of these common school rules, no not so much as the common grammar, as it appears by that excellent point of poetry, written in Latin by him against Doctor Wingken de Werd.15 There you shalt see such grammar, such Art, such wit and conveyance of matter, as for the variety of the learning and the pleasantness of the style, the like is not elsewhere to be found.

     But lest I should utterly discourage you poor knave, I will before I touch the rest of your oversights, attribute unto you your deserved commendations. (11) I confess then, that you can do pretty well; you can enter reasonably into the sinews of your uncle Canterbury's popedom and make a tolerable anatomy thereof. I must needs also say for you, Jack, that you fear none of these popes. And I promise you, I think you have a pretty mother wit of your own; but, poor boy, you want wisdom withal to govern your wit. You want that which your uncka Bridges has not, that is, wisdom to direct you in the carriage of those pretty crochets that you have in your head. And the poor old Drone o' Sarum lacks that altogether, wherewith you are prettily furnished, viz. a natural wit. Neither do I deny, boy, but that you are Tom Tell-truth, even like your father, and that you cannot abide to speak unto your uncle Canterbury by circumlocutions and paraphrases, but simply and plainly you break your mind unto him, and tell him unto his face, without all these frivolous circumstances of, 'What is your name?' and, 'Who gave you that name?' of 'And please your worship', etc. You tell him plainly to his face, I say, that he is a very Antichristian beast, and an intolerable oppressor of God's Church. And methought, when I read that point in your Epilogue, then thought I, it will prove a vengeable16 boy in time. For methinks that already, patrizat sat bene cirte. And trust me Jack, I commend you for your plainness, and do so still, boy, for truth never shames the Master I warrant you, and take it o' my word. For indeed, your uncle Canterbury is no less than a most vile and cursed tyrant in the Church. And a plain Antichrist he is, even by the doctrine of the Church (12) of England. And so by the doctrine of our Church are the rest of our cursed bishops, in the proof of which point by-and-by I will a little insist. And because many take snuff, that my father should account them, yea, and prove them petty Antichrists, I will manifestly prove them to be so, even by the doctrine of the Church of England, maintained by statute and her Majesty's royal privilege. For my father now has taught us such a way to reason against these Caiaphases, in the Theses set down by you, as will anger all the veins in John Canterbury's heart. And that is, to shew that they are enemies unto the doctrine of our church. Unto the point I will come anon. But first, brother Martin, I will school you in a point or two for your learning, in these things wherein I find your Epilogue to be imperfect. First then, I trow, I would have had some other manner of accusations against our Puritans for their slackness than wherewith you have charged them, as presently I will declare. Secondly, I would have propounded some things of my own against our bishops, or else it should have cost me a fall. And that should have been after this, or the like sort:

I, Martin Senior, Gentleman, son and heir to the reverend and worthy Metropolitan Martin Mar-prelate the Great, do protest, affirm, say, propound, and object against John Canterbury and his brethren, in manner and form following:

     First I protest and affirm, that the foresaid John Whitgift, alias Canterbury, which (13) himself archbishop of Canterbury, is no minister at all in the church of God, but has and does wrongfully usurp and invade the name and seat of the ministry, unto the great detriment of the Church of God, the utter spoil of the souls of men and the likely ruin of this common-wealth, together with the great dishonour of her Majesty and the state. And in this case do I affirm all the Lord bishops in England to be.

     2 Item: I do protest, that the entering in of this cursed man John Whitgift, and of all others our bishops in England, is not an entering into the church of God by the door Christ Jesus. Wherefore I affirm all of them to be thieves, robbers, wolves, and worriers of the flock, and therefore no true shepherds.

     3 Item: I do proclaim the said John Canterbury, with the rest of our prelates, to be common simoniacs, such as make merchandise of church livings and benefices, by faculties, dispensations etc., and make as common a gain of Church censures by absolutions and commutations of penance etc., as any men in the land do of their lawful trades and occupations.

     4 Item: I do propound and affirm that the said John Canterbury and his brethren, do hinder and let17 with all their might, the true knowledge of God amongst her Majesty's loving subjects, the inhabitants of this kingdom, and thereby, besides their own fore-provided damnation, are guilty of the blood of infinite thousands.

     5 Item: I do proclaim that the said John Whitgift with the rest of his brethren, do spend and waste the patrimony of the Church (which (14) ought to be employed in the maintenance of true faithful ministers, and other church uses) in the persecuting the true members of Christ, her Majesty's most trusty and loving subjects, and also upon their own pomp and ambitious pride in maintaining a rude ungodly train of vile men and a company of lewd and graceless children.

     6 Item: I do propound, that the said Joh. Whitgift and his brethren do, as much as in them lies, sow sedition and discontentedness between her Majesty and her true loyal subjects, by pretending that their practises in avoiding subscription, and in depriving men contrary to law, as for the surplice, denying to subscribe, etc. is at her Majesty's commandment. As though her Highness would command that which were contrary unto the true doctrine of our church, and contrary unto her lawful statutes and privileges. Or, as though she would so delude her loving subjects as publicly to maintain that true doctrine and these godly statutes, which privately she would have violated and trodden under foot.

     7 Item: I, the said Martin Senior, do protest and affirm the said John Whitgift, with the rest of his brethren, to have incurred the statute of praemunire facies, for depriving of ministers for not subscribing, not wearing the surplice, and for other their manifold proceedings against law and equity.

     8 Item: I do propound all our bishops for their said practises to be, ipso facto deprivable, and that her Majesty, if she will do them but right, may by law deprive them all tonight before tomorrow.

     9 I do also propound and avouch the said John Whitgift, and the rest of his wicked fraternity, (15) though by outward profession they are in the church, yet to be none of the church but to have, until they repent and desire to be received into the church, cut themselves (by the persecuting of the truth, and other their heinous sins) from the church, and so, without their repentance, from the interest and inheritance of the kingdom of heaven.

     Item: I do protest and affirm that the true church of God ought to have no more to do with Jo. Canterbury, his brothers and their synagogue, namely with their Antichristian courts of faculties etc., with their officers of commissaries, archdeacons, chancellors, officials, dumb ministers etc., than with the synagogue of Satan. And that he, their head and pope, together with his foresaid rabble, are not to be accounted for that church whose censures we are to reverence and obey, and in the unity whereof we are to remain.

     Item: particularly concerning John Canterbury himself, I do affirm, but yet no further than quatenus probabile, that is, by great likelihood, that he is so finally hardened in his heinous sins against God and his church that as he cannot be reclaimed; for his mouth is full of cursing against God and his Saints, his feet are swift to shed the blood of the holy ones, he tears in pieces the churches which he ought to foster, wilfully pulling the shepherds from their sheep and so scattering them in a most lamentable sort, making much of wicked men that maintain his popedom, and smiting the righteous for gainsaying his ways, bringing in daily into the church, either by himself or his hanglons18, new errors not (16) heard of before. Blaspheming the way of truth, and being rooted in malice against the truth of Christ Jesus (who is blessed for ever), which he may see if he did not hoodwink himself, he with all his power contraiieth19 and strives against the going forward of the Gospel, lest by the light thereof his sins should be reproved. Finally, he has in him too many likely testimonies of an heir of the kingdom of darkness, where, without his true turning unto the Lord, he shall live in hell for ever.

     And, wicked man! If you mean to be elsewhere received, that is, into Christ's kingdom, turn you from your wickedness and let men and Angels be witnesses of your conversion. Your high place cannot save you from his wrath, whose truth you suppress and whose members you do persecute and imprison. And I would not wish you to defer your repentance, lest you call with the foolish virgins when there is no opening. You see, even here upon earth, manifest tokens of God's anger towards you, for you seek for honour. But alas, I know no one more contemptible than yourself, the poorest faithful minister in the Lord has more true reverence in one day than you have had since the first time of your popedom. There are almost none of God's children but had as lieve20 see a serpent as meet you, not because they fear your face, but inasmuch as it grieves them that their eyes are forced to look upon so wicked an enemy of God and his church. Your own creatures themselves honour you, but as tyrants are commonly honoured of their parasites and sycophants. Your brother the pope (17) has the like honour unto yours, that is, an honour whose end will be shame and confusion of face for ever. The fearful and contemptible end that has been brought upon many of them, ought to terrify you. Nay, the message of death which the Lord sent lately even into your own house, ought to move you and face you to confess that your years also, yea, and days, are numbered. Doctor Perne, you know, was your joy and you his darling. He was the dragon from whose serpentine breasts you did first draw this poison wherewith now you infect the church of God, and feed yourself unto damnation. He lived a persecutor, an atheist, a hypocrite and a dissembler, whom the world pointed at, and he died, you know, the death due unto such a life as he led; you know he died suddenly, even at your own palace of Lambeth, when, in your own judgement he was likely, in regard of bodily strength, though not of age, to out-live you. And take you his death for a forewarning of your destruction, except you repent.

     And these, brother Martin, with such like points, or some of those positions wherewith I could have thwacked my uncles about the shoulders I ween, an I had been in your place. There is one question more which I would have propounded for my uncka Bridges his sake; O! I love him, you know. And therefore thus would I have set down my proposition on his behalf:

     I, Martin Senior, Gentleman, do here protest, affirm, propound, and defend, that if John Canterbury will needs have a fool in his house, wearing a wooden dagger and a cockscomb, that (18) none is so fit for that place as his brother John a' Bridges, Dean of Sarum. And that he, viz. John Bridges, is by right to displace the other with whom Lambeth now plays the ass, and is himself to be, after a solemn manner, according to the book of ordaining bishops and priests, invested unto that room. Having for his officers and daily attendants these gentlemen following. First and formost Dr.Robert Some for his confessor, who also, when his master John Sarum has no use of his service, may be at my Lord’s grace’s commandment, to read the starve-us book in his chapel at Lambeth. Secondly, if he were not something touched with a coinquination21 of the flesh, I would appoint none but Dr. Underhill to be his Almoner. Thirdly, Bancroft, and drunken Gravatt should be the yeomen of his Cellar. Anderson22 parson of Stepney, should make room before him with his two-hand staff, as he did once before the morris dance at a market town in the edge of Buckingham or Bedford shires, where he bore the Potter’s part. His two supporters, always to lead him by the arms, must be sir Leonard Wright, and sir Tom Blan o' Bedford, the one whereof also must carry his bable, and the other a looking glass for their master, to see whether his cattercap does every way reach over his ears and so stand according to his calling. As for Mar-Martin, and John Fregneuile, they alterius vicibus, shall be the grooms of his stool. The rest of his officers I refer to the discretion of my father, unto whose censure also I do humbly submit this conceit of mine. And it may be, I am bold to appoint these men their offices who happily are at my father’s direction, to (19) give their attendance where he has appointed them their places. But this I'll bide by, though my father should say nay, that John Bridges deserves to have his place that wears the wooden dagger, the cockscomb and the copper chain at Lambeth. I shall abide by it, come what will of the matter.

     The next thing that we are to consider, brother Martin, is a more just reprehension of the Puritans than that wherewith you blame them. For you find fault with the Preachers only, and that justly I confess, because they are no more forward in casting off these our popes. But I say that with more equity you might have blamed both the gentlemen and people together, with the Ministers, than the Ministers alone. For the Ministers, although they be faulty, yet notwithstanding you cannot deny but the Gentlemen and people are as deep in fault as they are. And I would wish them, both the one and the other, to take this or some such course as I here set down, which also for a great part of it, though not all, I saw in a Puritan’s hand, and so came by a copy of it, thinking if I could have heard of my father, to let him have the use of my copy. But now you see I publish it myself. I would then have all the Puritans in the land, both Lords, knights, gentlemen, ministers and people, to become joint suitors in one supplication unto her Majesty and the Lords of her honorable Privy Council in these petitions:

    1 First, that there may be a redress of the great ignorance wherewith our whole land is overgrown, by placing able and faithfull teachers over every congregation as near as may be.

(20)   2 Secondly, that all unlawful and sinful callings may be removed out of our ministry and church.

    3 Thirdly, that the church within her Majesty’s dominions may be governed by these offices and officers only, which the Lord Christ Jesus has set down in his word.

    4 Fourthly, that for the quiet and orderly taking up of these controversies which are risen in our church, concerning the government and ceremonies thereof, between our Prelates and those learned men which are contrary minded unto them, there might be had a quiet meeting of both the parties and the controversies determined on their side who shall be found to deal for (and not against) the truth. Or, if this fourth petition cannot take place, I would have this in the stead thereof, viz:

     That it may please her Majesty, and the Lords of her Majesty’s honourable Privy Council, to see that the true subjects of this crown may not be troubled, as now they are, for defending such points as being according unto the word of God, are also according to the priviledged doctrine of the Church of England, which is maintained by the statutes of this land, and that in case the Prelates do molest any man, as now they do, for maintaining the doctrine of our church, or otherwise contrary unto the laws of our land, it may be lawful for him or them thus injured, to have his remedy at the King’s bench, against the said Prelates.

     Now Jack, what say you? I am sure you cannot deny but these petitions, in your judgement, would be an easy suite. I trow so too, and I think that now you find greater fault, or at (21) the least as great, with the Puritan noblemen, gentlemen, and people, as with the ministers, because this or the like course goes not on forward. And I can tell you there would be gotten an hundred thousand hands to this supplication, of known men in the land, all her Majesty’s most loyal and trusty loving subjects. You may then well think what a stroke so many would strike together, especially in so reasonable and just a suite. And hereby our bishops should be proved to be Lord bishops indeed, that is, 23ungodly and slanderous liars. When her Majesty saw that the Puritans seek not any intollerable course, (for if the foresaid petitions be not to be borne, I know not what is sufferable) as the bishops would pretend. And further it should appear that they are not a few and of small reputation, but in a manner the strength of our land and the sinew of her Majesty’s royal government, which our bishops do falsely note with the names of Puritans. The consideration whereof, I tell you, even in policy, would make that this their suite should not be hastily rejected, especially in such a time as wherein we now live in danger of our enemies abroad, and therefore had need of no causes of discouragement at home. Why man, this were also such a course as it would descry our bishop’s English to be plain slander and treachery against the truth, and the maintainers thereof, as indeed it is.

     The bishop’s English24 will you say? Now I pray you reverend brother, what is that? Why Jack do you not understand what our bishops English means? I do not greatly marvel, because (22) I myself came but lately unto the knowledge of it aright. But now that I have bestowed a little study that way, I do think there are but a few in England that see into it as far as I do, Semper excipio Platonem25 you know, I always give place to my father, for he made the first grammar and lexicon in our time for the understanding hereof. Your small experience then considered, I wonder not of your ignorance in this point. But to satisfy your demand, the bishop’s English is to wrest our language in such sort, as they will draw a meaning out of our English words which the nature of the tongue can by no means bear. As for example, Receive the Holy Ghost,26 in good bishop’s English is as much as, I pray God you may receive the Holy ghost. And again, My desire is that I may be baptised in this faith, to their understanding, and in their dialect is after this sort, My desire is not that I myself, but that this child whereunto I am a witness, may be baptised in this faith. Further, to entreat her Majesty and the Parliament that the miseries of the church may be redressed, in the Prelates language, is to seek the overthrow of the state, and the disquietness of her subjects. And if a man should go and ask your uncle Canterbury: (but stay boy, I mean not that you should go and demand the question of him) what it were in the tongue, which he and his brethren do commonly use, to put up such a dutiful supplication as before I have set down; Why! his answer would be presently, that to deal in such a suite were to rebel against her Majesty, to pull the crown off her head, to make a faction to wrest the sceptre out of her hand, and to shake off all authority. A (23) wonderful thing in your conceit I know it will be, to think that humbly and dutifully to entreat, should in the English tongue signify by unbridled force undutifully to compel, and that to seek the removing of unlawful callings out of the church should be to threaten that the lawful magistrate should be thrust out of the commonwealth. But simple boy, such English must you study to understand, or else you shall never be able to ‘Pistle your uncle Canterbury so learnedly as my father and I can do. And therefore I would wish that of the first money which you mean to bestow on books, you would buy you your father’s 27Grammar and his lexicon, with a brief thing called his capita concordantiarum, and study these well but one month, and without doubt you shall, with the pretty skill which you have already, be able to overturn any catercap of them all. I would you knew what great light to the understanding of all the bishop’s treacheries a little time bestowed in these volumes have afforded unto me.

     Well, by this time I think you perceive what a brave way this supplication which I speak of, were to prove our bishops to be treacherous and vile slanderers. For hereby her Majesty should perceive that the rumours which the bishops raise falsely, concerning the great danger that would ensue unto her crown by the reformation which the Puritans seek and labor for, are nothing else but in a cunning and mystical kind of unnatural English to translate, The Puritans by the establishing of the kingdom of Christ, seek the sure upholding of the crown and dignity of their dread sovereign lady (24) Elizabeth, into this handsome bishoplike mitre: The Puritans by their platform of reformation seek the utter ruin and subversion of Lady Elizabeth, her Crown and dignity. I am sure her Majesty would welfavouredly laugh at such a translation as this is, and yet behold, such she must be content with if she will vouchsafe to yield her ears unto a bishop’s persuasion. Yet thus much must I say of them, namely, that although they be not the best expounders of words that ever I read, yet do they never translate any thing e verbo ad verbum28, which by learned men is commended as an especial virtue in a translator. But Oh that I, as simple as I am, might read a lecture or two concerning this bishoplike translation, if not before her Majesty yet at the least before some of her nobles. I would not doubt but to unfold such a deal of strange English (and yet the very vernacula viz. the natural mother tongue of our unnatural Prelates) as was never heard of in this land since the Saxons’ time.

     Here I know that you are ready to enquire two points of me for your instruction: the one, how our Prelates can be proved Antichrists by the church of England; the other, how you may come by those books of my father, before quoted. Well, thus I will briefly answer you in both.

     For the first, Master Tyndale in the Preface of his book called, The Obedience of a Christian Man, pag. 102, proves them to be Antichrists inasmuch as in their doctrine and their doings, concerning nonresidency, they are directly against Christ and his word. I charge you read the place, because at this time I am not at leisure (25) to set it down. I can tell you, the reading of it will be double worth your pains.

     My father’s books afore spoken of, are not in print, I confess. I would they were. Yet it may be I could direct you where to go to have mine. But because I mean yet further to punish you for your slips in your ‘Pistle, I will not do you that pleasure. For now indeed it comes into my mind that you have dealt foolishly in two points, besides all other your fore-reckoned oversights.

     First, you have hereby exasperated against your father and other poor men his well-willers, not only your uncle Caiphas, but have set on the most of your names, to give their advice how to entrap him and his favourers. For ten to one, but that Beelzebub of London will discharge the pursuivants to go to their business with this or the like madmonition:

     My Masters, you must not sleep in this matter. The maintenance of the peace of our church stands now in your faithfulness and care. They are desperately set to overthrow all. And by the mass, I will be a pursuivant myself rather than abide this tumult. And if I were, I trow I would watch about Travers his house in Milk street, who go in and out there, and I would know what they carried under their cloaks too, even any of them all. There is Paget at Hounslow, I beshrew my heart if I would shew him any such favour as my Lord’s Grace here does. They are naught, they are naught, all the pack of them. I'll trust none of them all. There is Cartwright too, at Warwick, he has got him such a company of disciples, both of the worshipful, and other of the poorer sort, as we (26) have no cause to thank him. Never tell me that he is too grave to trouble himself with Martin’s conceits. Tush! they will do anything to overthrow us, that they might have our livings any o’ them all. I know what a good living is able to do with the best of us all. Cartwright seeks the peace of our church no otherwise than his platform may stand. And you know, my Lord, that there is no biting to the old snake. And I do not see o’ my troth, but that Martin’s abetters may be worse than himself and do more mischief. Therefore, go me to all their houses, spare me none of them, knights, gentlemen, and all. For I trust the high commission may go to any knight, yea, or nobleman’s house in England. Therefore my Lords, I would wish that some continual spy may be in all those places which are most suspected. And let him learn to be wise, to creep into acquaintance with some of the preciser sort, and look smoothly for a time, until he can execute his commission.

     Lo, young man, do not you deserve stripes for fleshing on these blood-hounds in this sort? Let men look to keep them in as good temper as possibly they can, yet will they have 29a black tooth in their heads, do what we may. But yet I would have born with all this, if you had taken a little pains in rhyming with Mar-Martin that the cater-caps may know how the meanest of my father’s sons is able to answer them, both at blunt and sharp. And for your further instruction against another time, here is a sample for you of that which in such like cases you are to perform, if I or my father should set you a work.



¶ The first rising, generation, and origi-
nal of Mar-Martin.

From Sarum came a gooses egg,
with specks and spots bepatched,
A priest of Lambeth couch'd thereon:
thus was Mar-Martin hatched.30
Whence has Mar-Martin all his wit,
but from that egg of Sarum?
The rest comes all from great Sir John,
who rings us all this ‘larum.
What can the cockatrice hatch up,
but serpent like himself?
What sees the Ape within the glass,
but a deformed Elf?
Then must Mar-Martin have some smell
of forge or else of fire,
A sot in wit, a beast in mind:
for so was dam and sire.


Or else you might have requited him
in this Epitaph thus:

If that Mar-Martin die the death, that to the dog is due,
Upon his tomb engrave this verse, and you shall find it true:
He lies enditched
31 here that from the ladder top
Did once be-bless the people thus, but first he kiss'd the rope

Come near,32 quoth he, take heed by me,
I loved to lie by rhyming,
‘Tis just you see, and does agree,
that now I die by climbing:
What wretch but I, that vowed to lie,
all falsehood still defending?
Who may say fie? No beast but I,
lo here you see my ending.
(28) I lived a wretch, I die the stretch,
my days and death agree:
Whose life is blameful, his death is shameful,
be warned you rogues by me.
The justest I hated, the godliest I rated,
and thus I railed my fill:
The good I detested, the best things I wrested,
to serve my own beastly will.
Religion I loathed, myself I betrothed,
to all the lewd snares of sin.
‘Tis shame to say more, take heed of a whore,
her 33marks stick yet in my skin.
Ask you the cause? I spurned at God’s laws,
and hence comes all my wrack,
Where should he dwell, that fears not hell,
but with the furies black?
A beast that braves, a tongue that raves,
will God revenge in ire.
Then vengeance must (for God is just)
fall to Mar-Martin’s hire.


Take example then my clergy Chaplains, by this lamentable fall of your Mar-Martin.

My tongue in ribaldry,
My heart in villainy,
My life in treachery,
Has wrought me my fall.
I strove for the prelacy,
And so shook off honesty,
O vile indignity!
Yet would this were all.

     Lo, youth! Though I were loath to soil my fingers with such a brothel-beast as this Mar-Martin is, yet because you did let him go by you (methought) half unbranded, I was the willinger as you see, to give him a wipe or two, which I believe he will never claw off with honesty while he (29) lives. And I would wish him, with the rest of the rhymers, if they be wise, to take heed of my next 'Pistle. Indeed I deny not, but you have said prettily to him, neither would I have you discouraged in your good and honourable course against these prelates. Nevertheless, I muse you did let him go clear away with his popery of Sir Nicholas Priests. Also, where like a good Catholic he counsels us (we thank him) to say a round Pater noster for Queen Elizabeth, I muse you said nothing to that, considering how much her Majesty is beholden to him in that regard. And much more had she been, if he had added an Ave Maria to it. Those both together, with a piece of St. John's Gospel about ones loins, would have been a principal recipe for the colic. But sure, now I think on it, he brought it in only but to make up his rhyme. And if you scan it well, 'tis a pretty one, mark it well:

     O England now full often must you Pater noster say.

     How say you, have you any skill in Music? If you have, then I am sure you will confess with me that this bastard pentameter verse has a fine sweet loose at the latter end, with a draught of Derby ale. But what say you to it? Whether like you better of these Nicholas Priests that can so amble away with the Pater noster, or of that little priest of Surrey, who bade his maid in her extremity of sickness say Magnificat, say Magnificat?

     Well boy, to draw to an end, notwithstanding your small defects, persuade yourself that I love you; doubt not of that. And here before we part, take this one grave lesson of your elder brother: (30) Be silent and close, hear many, confer with few. And in this point do as I do; know not your father though you may. For I tell you, if I should meet him in the street, I would never ask him blessing. Walk smoothly and circumspectly, and if any offer to talk with you of Martin, talk you strait of the voyage into Portugal, or of the happy death of the Duke of Guise, or some such accident; but meddle not with your father. Only, if you have gathered anything in visitation for your father, and have a longing to acquaint him therewith, do no more but entreat him to signify in some secret printed 'Pistle where you will have it left, and that'll serve your turn as good

as the best. The reason why we must not know our father is that I fear least some of us should fall into John
Canterbury his hand, and then he'll threaten us with the rack unless we bewray all we know.
And what get we then, by our knowledge? For I had rather be ignorant of That’ll
do me no good, than know That’ll hurt me, ka Mr.Martin Senior.
Farewell boy, and learn to reverence
your elder brother.


Page 6, line 18: for, ‘give all the good’, read, ‘go all the ground’.

Page 14, line 12: for, ‘avoiding’, read, ‘urging’.


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1. springall: from ‘spring’, the season, hence ‘youngster’; or ‘springer’, the dog, hence ‘eager’? (ed.)

2. ween: think or suppose. (ed.)

3. Groine: poss. ‘Groningen’ Essex was conducting a campaign in the Netherlands to aid the Dutch Calvinists. Elizabeth also supported the pretender to the Portuguese throne, both actions were anrti-Spanish. ‘Groin’ was also Navy slang for Corunna, in Spain. The reference here could be to either. (ed.)

4. Bear witness, Reader, that I give my Lords their right titles

5. An Oration of John Canterbury to the pursuivants, when he directs his warrants unto them ex post after Martin.

6. But not the church of Christ, good uncle: you do not so greasily care though they did.

7. Never condition for the matter man, for except you repent, you are sure of that already.

8. And you have nothing neither yourselves, but what you get in the service of your Lord and Master the devil.

9. Surely nuncle I dare swear for him he is not in the fault: for they stand against his will.

10. I hope the pursuivants in time shall be able to make a good living, in taking toll of those packs which they do not open.

11. I'll believe you o your word.

12. Saving your reverence uncle Canterbury, you lie in your throat.

13. Amen, good John, if you do not belong to the lord, ka Mr. Martin Senior.

14. My father, I tell you, saving his worship, stands upon the credit o’ his children.

15. Dr. Prime.

16. vengeable: (inclined to take revenge), as an intensive: severe, intense. (ed.)

17. let: stop. (ed.)

18. hanglons: hangers on? (ed.)

19. contraiieth: contrives? (ed.)

20. had as lieve (lief): would rather. (ed.)

21. coinquination: pollution, soiling. – of the flesh: disfigurement or immorality? (ed.)

22. This chaplain robbed the poor men’s box at Northampton, played the Potter’s part in the morris dance, and begot his maid with child in Leicestershire: and these things he did since he was first Priest.

23. A pretty brief definition of a Lord bishop.

24. Bishops English.

25. always excepting Plato!

26. I am sure that they would not for forty pence, that, Receive a bishopric, should be expounded unto. I with you may receive a bishopric when they receive the Holy Ghost.

27. These books are not yet printed.

28. word for word. (ed.)

29. The manifest token of a mad dog.

30. Mar-Martin engendered of Canterbury and Sarum.

31. ie: en-ditched (ed.)

32. Mar-Martin’s auricular confession from the top of a gibbet.

33. Believe him then, but drink not with him.

This HTML edition and modernised spellings © John D. Lewis, 2001.

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