Fox's Book of Martyrs: Thomas Haukes, Thomas Watts, Thomas Osmond, William Bamford, and Nicholas Chamberlain.
|Martyrdom of Thomas Haukes (Wikipedia)|
Mr. Thomas Haukes, with six others, were condemned on the 9th of February, 1555. In education he was erudite; in person, comely and of good stature; in manners, a gentleman, and a sincere Christian. A little before death, several of Mr. H's. friends, terrified by the sharpness of the punishment he was going to suffer, privately desired that in the midst of the flames he would show them some token, whether the pains of burning were so great that a man might not collectedly endure it. This he promised to do; and it was agreed, that if the rage of the pain might he suffered, then he should lift up his hands above his head towards heaven, before he gave up the ghost.
Not long after, Mr. Haukes was led away to the place appointed for slaughter, by lord Rich, and being come to the stake, mildly and patiently prepared himself for the fire, having a strong chain cast about his middle, with a multitude of people on every side compassing him about. Unto whom after he had spoken many things, and poured out his soul unto God, the fire was kindled.
When he had continued long in it, and his speech was taken away by violence of the flame, his skin drawn together, and his fingers consumed with the fire, so that it was thought that he was gone, suddenly and contrary to all expectation, this good man being mindful of his promise, reached up his hands burning in flames over his head to the living God, and with great rejoicings as it seemed, struck or clapped them three times together. A great shout followed this wonderful circumstance, and then this blessed martyr of Christ, sinking down in the fire, gave up his spirit, June 10, 1555.
Thomas Watts, of Billericay, in Essex, of the diocess of London, was a linen draper. He had daily expected to be taken by God's adversaries, and this came to pass on the 5th of April, 1555, when he was brought before lord Rich, and other commissioners at Chelmsford, and accused for not coming to the church.
Being consigned over to the bloody bishop, who gave him several hearings, and, as usual, many arguments, with much entreaty, that he would be a disciple of antichrist, but his preaching availed not, and he resorted to his last revenge—that of condemnation.
At the stake, after he had kissed it, he spake to lord Rich, charging him to repent, for the Lord would revenge his death. Thus did this good martyr offer his body to the fire, in defence of the true gospel of the Saviour.
Thomas Osmond, William Bamford, and Nicholas Chamberlain, all of the town of Coxhall, being sent up to be examined, Bonner, after several hearings, pronounced them obstinate heretics, and delivered them to the sheriffs, in whose custody they remained till they were delivered to the sheriff of Essex county, and by him were executed. Chamberlain at Colchester, the 14th of June; Thomas Osmond at Maningtree, and William Bamford, alias Butler, at Harwich, the 15th of June, 1555; all dying full of the glorious hope of immortality.
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