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gallyes; that afterwarde, as we were informed, wer, by the rygoare and force of the tempest, brosed and beaten agaynst the rockes of the see-bankes, and a great nombre of oure people caste vpon the same bankes, which, beyng destytute of all hope and comforte, commended them selfes to God, purposyng to go towarde the towne of Argiers, to ask mercy of our enemyes, and to put theim selfes vndre raunsome; but the Numidoys, oure enemyes, without any pitie or compassion, slewe them, and destroyed them, before they came nere the toune, Such was thende of the Affricane warre, that what, for the troublesomenes of the tymes, and the great laboure which we had endured, we were desyrous of reste ; notwithstand ynge we obteyned not, for the place would not suffre it ; forasmuche as the hauen of Buges had before it no maner of defence to kepe of the wynde and wether commyng from Europe, the which caused that we could not longe remayne there; for the see, beynge vexed and troubled with wynde, brake and brosed our shyppes, in such sorte that we were in no lesse perill then when we escaped at Argiers. Afterwarde, by good chaunce, ther was arryued a ship, lader with corne and other vytayles; the whiche, sone after she was come into the hauen, by the sore tempests and furye of the winde, euen before our cyes, was drouned and sonke; by the which tempeste, although we susteyned no hurte, yet I thought it mete to be spoken of, that ye may knowe what feare we were in. And, after that the see had thus tormented vs a great parte of the daye, at the laste came a myserable and cruel nyght, that vaxed us in such sorte, that we vtterly despayred; but, the day foloynge, the great rage and furye beinge a lytle assuaged and appeased, it began to be somewhat calme. And yer further, I had forgotten to tell you, thal, durynge this greate tempest, by a wonderfull vyolence of the winde, the captaynes shyppe of the gallyes was caryed, wbiche, in commyng to the hauen, had cast ouer boorde both mastes and sayles; whiche tempest vsed no lesse rygorousnes with the shippes of the Rhodyans ; for, by a wondrefull violence, it toke vp a bote onte of the shippes, lyftynge it so high, that it had lyke, in the commynge downe, to haue fallen into one of the gallyes ; so that it was none other lyke, but the saide tempest woolde haue executed his furye euen vpon all the rest of the shippes, as that dyd vpon theim that skaped from Argier.
And, after this great tempest, the see beyng some what appeased; on the which, because we durst not sayle, we were in daunger to haue perished for hungre; for, although Buges was oures, yet we had inuch adve to get enye succour of theim ; for the Mores (agaynst whome our people, dwellynge in the saide toune, haue alwayes warre) doe occupye, and holde all the countre and regions therabout; so that we coulde haue no maner of succoure ner aide of them, for lacke of corne and greyne, whiche alwayes was brought to theim out of Spayne, And for because that, a longe tyme before, ther cam no shippe out of Spayne that had brought theim enye grayne ; and also, for that we arryued there, being many in nombre, therefore we coulde not be much ayded by theim.
And, after that themperour bad consydered all these parylles and daungers, both he and all his people gaue them selues to prayer ynto God, and receaved the holye sacrament, to pacefye the yre and wrath of Almighty God; and, after the chaungyng of the mone, the rage and fury of the wynde ceased, and the see waxed calme. In the whiche tyme of feare, and that the good occasion and conuenyent tyme of our departure shoulde not be loste, the captayne of the knightes of the Rhodes, hauyng communicacyon with themperour, obteyned to haue a certayne companye with him, with whome Fernand Gonzaga goyng, I my selfe also departed from the sayde place, and we arryued at the towne of Tunes: but themperour, by the councell of Andridore, captayne of hys nauye, dyd remayne tyłl the tempest was more allayed. And, partyng from Tunes, we came to Dextran, which is in Sicyle; and anone after, we had made certayne oblacyons and offerynges to the Blessed Vyrgyne, we went to Pauoram; in the whiche place I bethought my self of certen business of myne owne, which I had put of tyll iny retourne from Affriqne; and yet, for all that, I made towarde Rome as fast as I coulde, where I was constreyned to tarye, for that my sores and woundes so sore vexed and tormented me; and to the entent that, in the meane tyine, I woolde not be found ydle, I was wyliynge to compile and gather this little treatyse of the iorneye made into Affrique; in the whiche, I make no mencion of the noble actes of the valyant capteynes, for that woolde conteygne to long a matre.
Cum priuilegio ad imprimendum solum.
A BREFE CHRONYCLE,
Of the blessed Martir of Christ, SIR IOHAN OLDCASTELL, THE LORD COBHAM,
Collected together by
JOHAN BAL E. *
In the latter time shall many he chosen, proued and purifyed by fyre, yet shall the ongodly lyue wickedly styll, and have no understanding. Dan. xii. 10. Imprinted at London, by Anthony Scoloker, and Wyllyam Seres, dwelling wythout
This is printed from the first edition in octavo, containing seven sheets, in a black old English letter. In the title-page is a curious frontis piece cut in wood, representing Sir John Oldcastle, in a warlike posture, with his armour,
See p. 202. Vol. I.
helmet, and shield, in his left hand, on which is engraven a crucifix, with a Virgin Mary on one side, and Sir Jobin on the other; and with a drawn sword flamed at the point, in his right hand; the whole being circumscribed with this inscription :
Sir. Iohan. Oldcastle the, worthy. +
If we would trace the grounds of this persecution and process against Sir John
Oldcastle, and other holy martyrs hereafter nientioned, it will be necessary to look back to the reign of Edward the Third, when, a great contest happening at Oxford between the monks and seculars, Dr. John Wickliff attacked the exorbitant jurisdiction of the Pope and bishops, and was supported by John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, and Henry Lord Piercy. This, of consequence, drew upon him the invectives of the clergy; but, though he was stimmoned and appeared to the Archbishop of Cauterbury's citation before a council held on purpose at London, he so defended himself, and was so well protected by the Duke of Lancaster, then in the chief management of the goverument, that he was acquitted ; yet the Pope, being informed of what had past, demands satisfaction of him; but all that followed, upon this occasion, was his second citation before a council at Lambeth, where he was prohibited to preach against the Church of Rome, which be no ways regarded: for, Edward being dead, and the realm much troubled, during the minority of Richard the Secoud, Wickliff spread his opinions openly, and gained many disciples. So that he was again summoned to appear before William Courtnay, Archbishop of Canterbury, eight other bishops, and several doctors at London, in May 1382; where they laid many heretical and erroneous doctrines to his charge, condemned them, and obtained a power from King Richard to seize upon and imprison such as taught or wrote the said doctrines with most warmth. I do not believe that Wickliff was so overawed with this acquisition of the Eccles siasticks, as to recant his just opposition of the abominations of the cburch of Rome, as the Popish writers preteud; but this I am certain of, that he died 600n after, upon his living at Lutterworth, on the thirty first of December, 1384, leaving many, writings in defence of bis doctrines, and many disciples to
teach and defend ther, even witlı their blood. Wickliff's death at first gave the Ecclesiasticks some hopes of suppressing his he
resy, as they called it. But, when Thomas Arundel succeeded Courtnay in the see of Canterbury, he found his works so much admired and defended, that, in a council held at London in 1396, he condemned eighteen more propositions collected from the said works, and became the greatest persecutor of all those that maintained his doctrines, amongst whom was this noble cban.
pion in Christ, Sir John Oldcastle. The Archbishop being extremely picensed against the Lollards, which was pow
become a general name for the followers of Wickliff, or any others that op. posed the exorbitancies of the Pope and prelates, priests or monks, had obtained of the late King an order to send commissioners to Oxford, to take iv for. mations concerning the doctrine of the Wickliffites; thereby to discover tbe chief iubettors of that beresy, and by what means it was spread so generally over the kingdom, and especially in the diocescs of London, Hereford, and Rochester. These comunissioners returned while the convocativu sat, during the time of Parliament, aud the Archbishop laid their informations befure it; where, after several debates, it was resolved necessary to inflict exemplary punishment on the principal favourers of the Lollard beresy, before it could be rooted out. T'hen it was concluded, that Sir John Oldcastle, Baron of Cobham, was their chief favourer and protector ; and therefore he ought and should be first attacked, and a process formed against him for heresy, as bere you will find, in terror to the whole sect.
In the prophane histories * of old oratours and poetes, both Grekes
and Latines, are they moch commended and thought worthy of æternall memory, whyche have eyther dyed for theyr naturall countrey, or daungered theyr liues for a commenwelthe. As we reade of Codrus, that was King of Athens, of Quintus Curcius, the Romane, of Ancurus, the Phrigiane, Vlysses, Hermas, Theseus, Menesius, Scipio Aphricanus, Mucius Sceuola, Valerius Cocles, the two bretheren of Carcago, which were both called Philenus, and the thre noble Decianes, with other diuerse. In the sacred scrypturest of the Byble, hath Moyses, Iosue, Gedeon, lepthe, Debora, Iudith, Dauid, Helias, losias, Zorobabel, Mathathias, Eleasarus, and the Machabces theyr just prayses for theyr mighty zele and manyfold enterpryses concerning the childeren of Israell. Among the Papistes. also, which are a moost prodigious kinde of men, are they moost hyghly auaunced by lyeng signes, false miracles, erroniouse writtinges, shrines, relykes, lyghtes, tabernacles, aulters, sensinges ll, songes and holydays, which haue bene slayne, for the lyberties, priuileges, aucthoritee, honour,
ryches and proude maintenance of theyr § holy whorysh church ** # As were Antidius, Bonifacius, Benno, Thomas Becket, Iohan the
Cardinall, Petrus de Castronouo, Peter of Millaine, Paganus, Stanislaus of Cracouia, Steuen Colyer of Tholose, Bonauenture of Padua, lulianus the Cardinall of S. Angell. And in our tyme Johan Fysher, Thomas More, Fryre Forest, Reynoldus, and the Charterhouse monkes, wbiche suffred here in Ingland, with an infinite nombre more. What is than to be thought of those tt godly and valyaunt warryours, which have not spared to bestow' their moost dear liucs for the veritee of Jesu Christ, against the malygnaunt mustre of that execrable Antichryst of Rome, the deuelsit own vicar? Of whose gratyous nombre, a very speciall membre and vessel of God's election, was that vertuous knight, Sir lohan Oldcastell, the good Lord Cobham, as wil plentuously appeare in this
processe following. He, that hath judgement in the spyrite, strall casely perceyue by this
treatise, what beastly blockhcades these blody bellygods were in theyr vnsauery interrogations; and again what influence of grace this man of God had from aboue concerning his answeres, specyally in that moost blind and ignoraunt tyme, wherein all was but darknesse, the sonne appearing sacke-clothe, as St. John Ill hath in the Apocalyps: most surely fulfilled Christs promes in him, which he mude to his Apostles, Cast not in your minde aforehande (saith he$) what answere ye shall make, whan these spiritual tyraunts shall examine you in theyr sinagoges, and so deliuer you vp ynto kinges
• Plutarch, Propert. Cicero. Catullus, Iloralius, Lucanus. + Exod. xiv. Eccles. iv. 5. Sudicum xi. Reg. xvij.2 Mach. vi. Sigebertus Bemblacensis. The offering of insense to the host and reliques and images, &c. as it is used in the church of Rome. Petrus Equilinus. • Wielenius, Vincentius, Leander, Voleteranus Æneas. Ioan. E. c. ++ Heb. xi, Act. v. Apoc. Icban. yiii 89 loban iil. Apoc. vi. 28 Luke xxi. Math. x. Mark xiii. Luke xii.
and debitecs. For I will geue you such vtteraunce and wisdom in that houre, as all your enemies shall neuer be able to resist. This onely sentence of Christ is ynough to proue him* his true disciple, and them, in their folyshe questions, the manifest members of Sathan. I remembre that, xiiij. yeares ago, the tru seruaunt of God, Wyllyam Tindale, put into the prent a certain brefe examination of the sayd Lord Cobham. The which examinacion was written in the tyme of the sayd Lordes trouble, by a certein frinde of his, and so reserued in copyes ynto this our age. But sens that tyme I have found it in theyr owne writtings (which were than his vttre ennemyes) in a moche more ample fourme than there. Speciallye in the great processe, which Thomas Arundell, the Archbisshop of Caunterbury, made than against him, written by his owne notaryes and clerkes, tokened also with his owne signe and seale, and so directed vnto Rychard Clyffort, than Bisshop of London, with a generall commaundement to haue it then publisshed by him, and by the other
bisshops, the whole realme ouer. Furthermore, I have seane it in a copye of the writtingt, whiche the
said Rychard Clyfforde sent unto Robert Mascall, a Carmelyte Fryer, and Bisshop of Herforde, vnder his signe and seale, and in a copye of his, also directed to the Archdeacons of Herforde and Shrewesbury. The yere, moneth, and daye of theyr date, with the beginninges of theyr writtinges, shall hereafter follow in the boke, as occasion shall require it. Besides all this, Thomas Walden, being in those daies the Kinges confessour, and present at his examinacion, condemnacion, and excreacion 1, registered it amonge other processes more in his boke, called Fasciculus Zizaniorum Wicleuij, He maketh mention of it also in his first Epistle to Pope Martyne the Fifth, and in his solempne sermon de Funere Regis. Onely such reasons haue I added thereunto, as the afore named Thomas Waldenil proponed to him in the tyme of the examinacion, as he mentioneth in his first and second bokes aduersus Wicleuistas, with the maner of his godly departing out of his frayle lyfe, which I found in other writtinges and chronycles. His youth was full of wanton wyldenes, before he knewe the scryptures, as he reporteth in his answere, and for the more part vnknowen vnto me; therefore I writ it not here. His father, the Lord Regnold of Cobham, loseph Frosyart nombreth alwaies amongest the moost worthy warri
ours of Ingland. In all aduenterous actes of worldely manhode was he euer bold,
strong, fortunate, doughty, noble, and valcaunt. But neuer so worthy a conquerour as in this his present conflyct with the cruell and furyous frantick kingdome of Antichryst. Farre is this Christen Knight more prays2-worthy, for that he had so noble a stomake in defence of Chrystos veritce agaynst those Romish supersticions, than for any temporall nobilities eyther of bloode, byrth, lands, or marciall
teates. For many thousandes hath had in that great corrage, which · in the other haue bene most faynt-harted cowards, and very desperate
: Sir John Oldcastle. + Thomas Walden in Fasciculo Zizanioruin Wicleuij. t al. Execracyog
Walden, Copt. Wicleuistas, id prologo doct. vii. lib. ij. cap. Ixyi,