Whilst referring to Foxe for a more detailed account of the proceedings the 1577 and 1587 editions of Holinsheds chronicles record the same information that on April 10thRidley and Latimer were taken to Windsor then the University of Oxford for dispute with the divines and learned men still remaining. Two days later they were taken to Convocation at St Paul’s Church (Holinshed, 1557: v. 4, p. 1719; 1587: v. 6, p.1102).
In the 1587 edition of Holinshed, Ridley and Latimer are referenced briefly soon after the account of Lady Jane and Northumberland’s failed plot (and their subsequent execution) and amid the account of Sir Thomas Wyatt’s trial and execution. The protestant prisoners are not again mentioned until after a discourse on the marriage of Mary to Philip of Spain and of the belief that the queen was with child:
‘about this season diverse learned men being apprehended, and in prison for matters of religion, were brought before the bishops of Winchester and London, and other the bishops and commissioners appointed therefore: who upon the constant standing of the said learned men in their opinions, which they had taken upon them to maintain, as grounded upon the true word of God, as they protested, proceeded in judgement against them, and so diverse of them were burned at London in Smithfield, and in diverse other places’ (Holinshed, 1577: v. 4, p. 1719; 1587, v. 6, p. 1125).
Interestingly in the 1587 edition was added:
‘Nay not only by fire but by other torments were the good Christians persecuted, whose zeal was hot in religion and defiance of the pope: insomuch that then he was counted Gods enemy, which took not the pope for the friend of Christ (whom he hated with hostility) as C.O. noted very truly in his Elizabetha, saying:
– nam creditor hostisEsse Dei, papa […] si quis pius asserit hostemEsse Dei, verso Christi qui tollit honores.’
(Holinshed, 1583: v. 4, p. 1719).
The reign of Mary in Holinshed is greatly enlarged between the two editions, however those elements taken from Foxe on the Marian martyrs remains largely unchanged (apart from what I have already mentioned). Latimer and Ridley eventually get their trial and execution on page 1129 of the 1587 edition: ‘they were condemned, and after burned in the town ditch at Oxford the sixteenth day of October. In the time of whose examinations, because the bishops aforesaid declared themselves to be the popes commissioners, neither Ridley nor Latimer would do them any reverence, but kept their caps on their heads.’ (Holinshed: 1577, v. 4, p. 1719; 1587, v. 6 p. 1129)
Thomas Cranmer is also afforded space in Holinshed being ‘burned in the same place where Ridley and Latimer before had suffered’ (Holinshed: 1587, v. 6, p. 1131). Cranmer, of course, was a propaganda disaster for both Mary’s government and the protestant memorialists in the Rhineland. Mary’s bishops had managed to gain a recantation from Cranmer only for him to later subside back to his old beliefs again. In the end Cranmer’s death could be used better by protestant propogandists as he did manage to die well:
‘His shirt was made long down to his feet; his feet were bare. Likewise his head, when both his caps were off, was so bare, that one hair could not be seen upon it. His beard was long and thick, covering his face with marvellous gravity. Such a contenance of gravity moved the hearts both of his friends and of his enemies. And as for the recantation aforesaid, with many tears he protested, that he had subscribed to the same against his conscience, only for fear of death, and hope of life. Which seemed true: for when he came to the stake, and the fire kindled, he put his right hand into the fire, and held it there a good space, saying: that the same hand should first burn, because it held the pen to subscribe against his Lord God.’ (Holinshed: 1587, v. 6, p. 1131).