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Martyrs’ blood in the English Reformations

  • Anastasia Stylianou (a1)

Protestant and Catholic martyrologies evolved in dialogue; however, they did not articulate a common conception of martyrdom. Viewing Protestant and Catholic martyrologies and notions of martyrdom as essentially similar obscures highly significant confessional differences, which generated fiercely opposed constructions of martyrdom. This argument is examined through an analysis of the treatment of martyrs’ blood in English martyrological texts, since this encapsulated core confessional theologies.

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I am extremely grateful to: British Catholic History for kindly accepting this article, and the very helpful recommendations of their reviewers; my PhD supervisors, Peter Marshall and Rebecca Earle, for their invaluable guidance; the ESRC for my PhD funding; Anne Dillon for her extremely helpful advice on my research; the Catholic Records Society, which generously awarded me a graduate bursary to present an early version of this article at their conference in July 2015.

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1 The strongest proponent of this approach has been Thomas Freeman, beginning with his 2001 review of Brad Gregory’s Salvation at Stake: Christian Martyrdom in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge, Mass: London: Harvard University Press, 1999); Freeman, Thomas, ‘Early Modern Martyrs’, Journal of Ecclesiastical History (hereafter JEH), 52:4 (2001): 696701 , and explicated in greater depth in his introduction to Freeman, Thomas and Mayer, Thomas (eds.), Martyrs and Martyrdom in England, c. 1400–1700 (Woodbridge, UK; Rochester, NY: Boydell Press, 2007), 134 . Freeman’s position, which has influenced recent works, such as Susannah Brietz Monta’s Martyrdom and Literature in Early Modern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005),

2 For example, Alison Shell, whose work explores important differences between the confessions, nonetheless writes: ‘[there was] very little real difference... between Catholic and Protestant spirituality’, Catholicism, Controversy and the English Literary Imagination, 1558–1669 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, first ed. 1999, reprinted 2001), 16.

3 Freeman and Mayer (eds.), Martyrs and Martyrdom, 26–7.

4 It is true that Protestant and Catholic martyrs often appeared to die in similar fashions (dying for their faith, subjected to painful forms of execution, yet appearing peaceful, joyful, steadfast, and intending to imitate Christ), and this similarity of deaths posed a problem to contemporaries in attempting to distinguish true martyrs from pseudo-martyrs. (For discussion of the European context, see Gregory, Salvation at Stake, 315–341, and for the English context, see Brietz Monta, Martyrdom and Literature, e.g. 2–5.) However, the construction of martyrdom encompasses far more than the manner in which individuals behaved during their deaths; it concerns the vast theological and epistemological frameworks through which these deaths are understood, and here the confessions are more different than similar.

5 ‘By the late seventeenth century, the varied conceptions of martyrdom prevalent in late-medieval England had largely been replaced by a single dominant conception of the martyr’, Freeman and Mayer (eds.), Martyrs and Martyrdom, 27. ‘[In] the later half of the sixteenth century Foxe and Harpsfield between them defined and crystallised an idea of martyrdom, largely dormant through the later Middle Ages’, Ibid, 30.

6 This can perhaps be said of English Catholicism more widely. Recusant Catholicism could even be seen as a partial continuation of medievalism within early-modern English culture, in England and the English diaspora. Alison Shell has argued: ‘... a greater awareness of the Catholic contribution to English culture would result in some important modifications to received ideas of when medievalism ended in the British Isles. Medieval patterns of life, religious and social, were sustained on the Continent by English Catholic religious orders—in some cases to this day—and continued, as far as was practicable, within many Catholic households.’ Shell, Catholicism, Controversy, 12. This continuity was at least partly self-conscious, as Shell has demonstrated, looking at manuscript culture, imaginative writing, and antiquarianism among English Catholics. Ibid, 11–12, 169–193. See also Marotti, Arthur F., Religious Ideology and Cultural Fantasy (University of Notre Dame: Notre Dame, Indiana, 2005), 3, 203–4, for further discussion of some of the important continuities between medieval and early-modern English Catholicism which were not present in English Protestantism.

7 By examining the rhetoric of the Reformations, we gain invaluable insight into their essences. Cummings, Brian depicted the English Reformations as a ‘literary struggle for the soul of England’ in The Literary Culture of the Reformation: Grammar and Grace (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), 188 .

8 Biale, David, Blood and Belief: the Circulation of a Symbol Between Jews and Christians (Berkeley, California; London: University of California Press, 2007).

9 Geller, Stephen, ‘Blood Cult: Towards a Literary Theology of the Priestly Works of the Pentateuch’, Prooftexts, 12:2 (1992): 97124 . Gilders, William, Blood Ritual in the Hebrew Bible: Meaning and Power (Bultimore and London: The John Hopkins University Press, 2004). Sachs, Gerard, ‘Blood Feud’, Jewish Bible Quarterly, 36, 4 (2008): 261262 .

10 Matthew 26:26; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 11:25; Hebrews 8:6–13. See also Dunnill, John, Covenant and Sacrifice in the Letter to the Hebrews (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, first ed. 1992, this ed. 2005).

11 E.g. Colossians 1:14; Hebrews 8:6–13, 9:12–14, 10:19–29, 12:24, 13:20; 1 John 1:7; Revelation 1:5.

12 Matthew 26:26; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 11:25.

13 Genesis 4:10.

14 1 Macabees 7:17; 2 Macabees 14:45–46.

15 Hebrews 12:4.

16 Revelation 6:9–10. Note the sacrificial and Eucharistic dimension implied by their souls being under the altar. For further discussion, see: Decock, Paul B., ‘The Symbol of Blood in the Apocalypse of John’, Neotestamentica, 38:2 (2004), 157182 .

17 Most famously expressed in Tertullian’s ‘the blood of Christians is seed’, Apologeticus 50.13.

18 Klawiter, Frederick C., “Living Water’ and Sanguinary Witness: John 19,34 and Martyrs of the Second and Early Third Century’, The Journal of Theological Studies, 66,2 (2015): 553573 . Leyerle, Blake, ‘Blood is Seed’, The Journal of Religion, 81,1 (2001): 2648 . Salisbury, Joyce E., The Blood of Martyrs: Unintended Consequences of Ancient Violence (New York and London: Routledge, 2004), 60, 137138 .

19 Salisbury, Blood of Martyrs, 59–60, 94.

20 See Bynum, Caroline, Wonderful Blood:Theology and Practice in Late Medieval Northern Germany and Beyond (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007) for a full account of the centrality of Christ’s blood to medieval Western Christianity. See also Merback, Mitchell B., The Thief, the Cross, and the Wheel: Pain and the Spectacle of Punishment in Medieval and Renaissance Europe (London: Reaktion, 2001), for depictions of Christ’s death and bleeding in medieval art, and the relationship between these and the perception that the executions of criminals reflected Christ’s Passion; and McCracken, Peggy, The Curse of Eve, the Wound of the Hero: Blood, Gender, and Medieval Literature (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003) and Bildhauer, Bettina, Medieval Blood (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2006) on rhetorics of blood in medieval literature.

21 Jacobus de Voragine, The Golden Legend, trans. William Granger Ryan, introduction by Eamon Duffy (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2012). Anon, Speculum Sacerdotale, ed. Edward Howell Weatherly (London: Oxford University Press, 1936).

22 E.g. the frequency of references to martyrs’ blood in de Voragine’s The Golden Legend is 0.01%; 0.2% in Simon Fish, A Supplicacyon for the Beggers, Antwerp, 1529, in Furnivall, Frederick J. and Meadows Cowper, J. (eds.), Four Supplications (London: Trübner, 1871); 0.08% in Askew, Anne and Bale, John, The First Examinacyon of Anne Askew (Marpurg [Wesel], 1546), in Beilin, Elaine V., ed. The Examinations of Anne Askew (New York; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996); 0.1% in Alfield, Thomas, A True Report of the Death & Martyrdome of M. Campion Iesuite and Prieste, & M. Sherwin, & M. Bryan Priestes (London, 1582), RSTC 4537; and 0.1% in John Mush’s A True Report of the Life and Martyrdom of Mrs Margaret Clitherow, in Morris, John, ed. The Troubles of our Catholic Forefathers (London, 1877).

23 John Bale, The Image of Both Churches (first edition c.1545,?Antwerp; this edition London, 1570), 125. Alfield, True Report, sig. E3v.

24 In discussion of martyrs’ blood, I include words derived etymologically from blood (e.g. bloodstained, bloodshed). This article focuses specifically on the English context; however, a rhetoric of martyrs’ blood also suffused some Continental martyrologies. Its role in Luther’s martyrological writings is discussed in LeRoux, Neil R., Martin Luther as Comforter: Writings on Death (Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2007), ch. 3, 81–131. Similarly, during the French Wars of Religion we find common and striking imagery of martyrs’ blood, such as Agrippa d’Aubigné’s depiction of the Protestant Robert–Jean-René Briquemaut, count of Villemongis, upon seeing the spilled blood of his fellow martyrs, lifting his face and bloodied hands to heaven and asserting that God would avenge them (Book V, lines 356–362): d’Aubigné, Agrippa, Les Tragiques, ed. Frank Lestringant (Paris: Gallimard, 1998), 239 .

25 Foxe, John, Eicasmi Sev Meditationes in Sacrum Apocalypsin (London, 1587). English Protestant writings from the late 1520s using martyrdom as an apologetic weapon include William Tyndale’s The Obedience of a Christian Man (Antwerp, 1528), Fish’s, A Supplicacyon, and William Roy and Jerome Barlowe’s Rede Me and Be Nott Wrothe (Strasburg, 1528).

26 More, Thomas, A Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation, ed. Monica Stevens (London: Sheen and Ward, 1979).

27 Dillon, Anne, The Construction of Martyrdom in the English Catholic Community, 1535–1603 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2002), 1826 . Duffy, Eamon, Fires of Faith: Catholic England under Mary Tudor (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009), 177 .

28 A rare example is found in John Gerard’s 1606 narrative of the Gunpowder Plot. In his account of the trial of Henry Garnett, Gerard depicts Edward Coke, Attorney General, as acknowledging that Catholics describe as a ‘bloody law’ the legislation which makes it treason for Englishmen who have been ordained Catholic priests abroad to set foot on English soil; but, Coke protests, this law was, in fact, not ‘made to spill their blood’ but ‘to save their blood by keeping them there which by coming hither would be spilt in bloody practices.’ In response, Gerard expostulates that the law was indeed made to spill the priests’ blood: ‘Yes, either to spill the Blood of Christ by the loss of souls, if the Priests came not in, or if they did, then theirs.’ Gerard, John, The Condition of Catholics under James I: Father Gerard’s Narrative of the Gunpowder Plot, ed. John Morris (London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1871), 230233 .

29 McCoog, Thomas M., ‘Constructing Martyrdom in the English Catholic Community, 1582–1692’, in Ethan Shagan, ed. Catholics and the ‘Protestant Nation’: Religious Politics and Identity in Early Modern England (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2005), 95127 .

30 For detailed discussion, see Dillon, Construction of Martyrdom, 116, 145–169.

31 John Foxe, Acts and Monuments of These Latter and Perilous Days, Touching Matters of the Church (hereafter A&M) (first ed. London, 1563; this ed. TAMO: Sheffield, 2011), 1126, accessed at: (accessed 26th January 2017). I reference the modern page numbers of TAMO’s edition. See also, for example: A&M (1583), 549, 634, 1116, 1140, 1143, 1211; Askew and Bale, The Lattre Examinacyon of Anne Askew (Marpurg [Wesel], 1547), in Beilin, ed. Examinations, 138.

32 Alfield, True Reporte, D3v. See also, for example: Ibid, F4v; Le Théâtre des Cruautés des Richard Verstegan (1587), ed. Frank Lestringant (Paris: Editions Chandeigne, 1995), 139; Mush True Report, 363–4, 395.

33 John Gerard, The Autobiography of a Hunted Priest, ed. and trans. Philip Caraman (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, first ed. 1952, this ed. 1988), 56. For another example of the supernatural power of martyrs’ blood over matter, see ‘Garnett’s straw’ in Gerard, Condition of Catholics, 301–7.

34 Gerard, Autobiography, 57–8.

35 The same passage relates how a Protestant, trying to prove the Catholic cult to be foolishness, jumped in: ‘Scarcely had he touched the water than he felt its super-natural powers which he had refused to believe in. There and then he was struck with paralysis’, demonstrating that these powers could also cause the impious bodily harm. Gerard, Autobiography, 57.

36 Gerard, Autobiography, 130. Walpole’s poem is probably ‘Why do I use paper, pen and ink’, which states ‘This martyr’s blood hath moistened all our hearts.’ Printed in Alfield, True Reporte, sig. Fr.

37 For a similar example, see Gerard on Henry Garnett’s blood in Condition of Catholics, 307-8.

38 See Dillon, Construction of Martyrdom, 137.

39 Allen, William, A Briefe Historie of the Gloriovs Martyrdom of XII. Reverend Priests (Rheims, 1582), RSTC 369.5, sig. e4v, sig. e7v. See Marotti, Religious Ideology, 84 for a discussion of how the priest martyrs at the scaffold, through their behaviour, evoked the celebration of the Eucharist.

40 ‘Father Richard Holtby on persecution in the north’ (c. 1594), in Morris, ed. The Troubles, 103–219, 142–143.

41 Southwell, Robert, ‘Christ’s bloody sweat’, in James H. McDonald, ed. The Poems of Robert Southwell S.J. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1967), 1819 . For further discussion, see Lowe-Evans, Mary, ‘Christ’s bloody sweat’, Explicator, 54, 4 (1996): 199202 .

42 In Protestantism, martyrs’ blood draws God’s wrath upon their persecutors; in Catholicism, it pacifies Him and draws his mercy: ‘I beseech God to accept the innocent blood of his virtuous priests, for some part of pacification of his wrath towards us, and towards our persecutors, that they having the mist of error taken from their eyes, may see the truth of Christ’s Catholic religion…’ Robert Parsons, An Epistle of the Persecution of Catholickes in England (Douai, 1582), RSTC 19406, M4r-M4v.

43 Bynum, Wonderful Blood, 189–90.

44 Leyerle, ‘Blood is Seed’; Klawiter, ‘Living Water’.

45 Mayes, Robert J.H., ‘The Lord’s Supper in the Theology of Cyprian of Carthage’, Concordia Theological Quarterly, 74,3–4 (2010): 307324 , especially 310–313 on the real presence and 321–322 on martyrdom.

46 Koopmans, Rachel, ‘“Water mixed with the blood of Thomas”: Contact Relic Manufacture Pictured in Canterbury Cathedral’s Stained Glass’, Journal of Medieval History, 42, 5 (2016): 535558 , especially 537–8, 541–2, 545, 553.

47 Bynum, Wonderful Blood, 202.

48 Askew and Bale, Lattre Examinacyon, 80. A&M (1563), 100.

49 A&M (1563), 1381. Protestantism was also opposed to the idea that martyrs’ blood had salvific value because this would have undermined sola fide, being a form of salvation through works.

50 A&M (1563), 634.

51 Calvinism was cessationist, maintaining that miracles ceased with the end of the apostolic age. This has not always been sufficiently noted in recent scholarship, some of which has presented Foxe’s Acts and Monuments as containing miracles Dailey, Alice, ‘Typology and History in Foxe’s Acts and Monuments’, Prose Studies, 25:3 (2002), 129), or has elided miracles and wonders (Brietz Monta, Martyrdom and Literature, 53–75), thereby creating a false premise of similarity between the confessions.

52 See Goodich, Michael, Miracles and Wonders: the Development of the Concept of Miracle, 1150–1350 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007), 828 . Thomas Aquinas, Summa Contra Gentiles (1259–1265), 3.99.9-3.102.3, in Richard Swinburne, ed. Miracles (New York; London: Macmillan, 1989), 19–22.

53 See Goodich, Miracles and Wonders, 8. Aquinas, Summa Contra Gentiles, 8.

54 See Goodich, Miracles and Wonders, 21.

55 A&M (1563), 100. See, in contrast, Foxe’s acceptance of the possibility that St Paul bled milk instead of blood, A&M (1570), 68–9.

56 A&M (1563), 1424.

57 Ibid. This account is repeated verbatim in A&M (1570), 1498–1499.

58 A&M (1570), 1949.

59 Indeed, the rhetoric of ‘bloody enemies’ proliferated in English Protestant writings well before English Protestant depictions of bleeding martyrs appeared. See, for example, such language in: Roy & Barlowe, Rede Me, 20, 60, 97; Fish, A Supplicacyon, 5–6, 9; William Tyndale, The Obedience of a Christian Man (Cross Reach Publications, 2015), 28, 83, 93–4, 127, 161.

60 These features can be clearly seen in the martyrological accounts in Voragine’s The Golden Legend, the anonymous Speculum Sacerdotale, and the late fourteenth century Festial by John Mirk, see John Mirk, Festial, ed. Susan Powell (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009–2011).

61 Bale, Image, 73.

62 A&M (1563), 314; (1570), 685; (1563), 1092; (1576), 2031.

63 A&M (1570, 2039). Yet, the very fact that this is Philpot’s fourteenth examination before Bonner reminds the historian that the character ‘bloody Bonner’ is a reflection of Protestant perceptions of the Catholic clergy rather than an accurate representation of Bonner.

64 A&M (1570), 2068.

65 This functions within the broader Protestant providential worldview, see: Walsham, Alexandra, Providence in Early Modern England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), especially, 65–115; Lake, Peter and Questier, Michael, The Antichrist’s Lewd Hat: Protestants, Papists, and Players in Post-Reformation England (New Haven and London: Yale University press, 2002), 2940 .

66 A&M (1583), 1093.

67 A&M (1583), 1231. See also Foxe’s descriptions of the persecuting French official Minerius’ death e.g. A&M (1570), 1125.

68 A&M (1563), 12.

69 As demonstrated by Alfield’s True Report, Parson’s Epistle, ‘Holtby on persecution’, Mush’s True Report, Anon. ‘A Yorkshire recusant’s relation’ in Morris, ed. Troubles, 61–102.

70 For example, see ‘Yorkshire recusant’s relation’, 65–66, 76–77, ‘Holtby on persecution’, 132, 139–40. On Henry Hastings, see Cross, Claire, The Puritan Earl, the Life of Henry Hastings, Third Earl of Huntingdon, 1563–1595 (London: Macmillan, 1966), 159195 .

71 Allen, William, An Apologie and True Declaration of the Institution and Endeuours of the Tvvo English Colleges (Mounts in Henault, 1581), RSTC 369, 86.

72 On Calvinist theology in execution narratives, see Lake and Questier, Antichrist’s Lewd Hat, especially 3–53. See Muller, Richard A., The Unaccommodated Calvin: Studies in the Foundation of a Theological Tradition (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2000), passim for Calvinist theology on this point. See also work by Philip Benedict, Jon Balserak and Max Engammare, among others.

73 E.g. the lengthy vita in Mush, True Report, 368–409.

74 Dolan, Francis, Whores of Babylon: Catholicism, Gender, and Seventeenth-Century Print Culture (first edition Ithaca; London: Cornell University Press, 1999 : this edition Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2005), xi. While Dolan’s ground-breaking Whores of Babylon offers an important analysis of the gendered dimensions of Protestant depictions of Catholicism, a similar full-length study remains to be done on the importance of gender in the construction of Catholic self-identity and Catholic constructions of Protestantism.

75 This is, somewhat paradoxically, exemplified by John Foxe’s play Christus Triumphans which features the Church (Ecclesia) as a persecuted mother. However, there is no rhetoric of martyrs’ blood in reference to Ecclesia, although the work uses a rhetoric of martyrs’ blood elsewhere, such as A5v, E7r, F5r: John Foxe, Christus Triumphans (first. ed. Basel, 1556; this ed. London, 1672).

76 Bale, Image, 125r.

77 Ibid.

78 Dolan, Whores of Babylon, 75.

79 Bale, Image, 125r.

80 For the association between female agency and violence, see Dolan, Whores of Babylon, 110.

81 Bale, Image, i. 125v.

82 Image, i. 127v.

83 From the martyr Robert Smith’s poem to his brother, printed in A&M (1563), 1334.

84 See Lake, Peter and Questier, Michael, ‘Margaret Clitherow, Catholic Nonconformity, Martyrology and the Politics of Religious Change in Elizabethan England’, Past & Present, 185 (2004): 4390 , for analysis of the local and national socio-political contexts of Clitherow’s life and death and Mush’s martyrology.

85 Mush, True Report, 427.

86 Mush, True Report, 362–363.

87 On the former, see Betteridge, Tom, ‘From Prophetic to Apocalyptic: John Foxe and the Writing of History’, in David Loades, ed. John Foxe and the English Reformation (Aldershot: Scolar: Ashgate), 1997, 210232 , and Olsen, Palle J., ‘Was John Foxe a Millenarian?’, JEH, 45,4 (1994): 600624 . On the latter, see Bauckham, Richard, Tudor Apocalypse: Sixteenth-Century Apocalypticism, Millennarianism and the English Reformation: from John Bale to John Foxe and Thomas Brightman (Appleford, Abingdon: The Sutton Courtenay Press, 1978), and Fudge, Thomas, ‘Jan Hus as the Apocalyptic Witness in John Foxe’s history’, Communio Viatorum, 56:2 (2014), 136168 .

88 Lázló Hubbes, ‘Apocalyptic as a New Mental Paradigm of the Middle Ages’, 144–176, and Boenig, Robert, ‘The Apocalypse in Medieval England’, 297330, in Michael A. Ryan, ed. A Companion to the Premodern Apocalypse (Leiden: Brill, 2016).

89 Wakefield and Evans, eds. Heresies of the High Middle Ages (New York: Columbia University Press, 1969), 328 .

90 Wakefield and Evans, eds. Heresies, 432.

91 Fudge, ‘Jan Hus’, 150; Minton, Gretchen, ed. John Bale, the Image of Both Churches (New York: Springer, 2013), 13 .

92 Fish, Supplicacyon, 5, referencing Rev 17:6.

93 Fudge, ‘Jan Hus’, 150; Minton, ed. John Bale, 1–2, 36–7.

94 Fudge, ‘Jan Hus’, 155.

95 Bale, Image, L3r. For a similar sentiment, see John Foxe, Eicasmi, 55–6.

96 E.g. Askew and Bale, Lattre Examinacyon, 94, 138. A&M: (1570) 152, 508, 595, 929; (1576) 488, 765–6, 2031–2; (1583) 415, 506, 790.

97 Allen, Apologie, 112. For further discussion of the Catholic belief that the martyrdoms would be followed by England’s return to the Catholic fold, see Gregory, Salvation at Stake, 271, 284, 348.

98 Roland Betancourt, ‘Prolepsis and Anticipation: the Apocalyptic Futurity of The Now, East and West’, in Ryan, ed. A Companion, 177–205, 18.

99 Boenig, ‘Apocalypse in Medieval England’, 326–7.

100 Thomas Lond, ‘Revising the Revelation: Early Modern Appropriations of Medieval Apocalypticism’, in Ryan, ed. A Companion, 378–425, 390. Late-medieval Catholicism was, of course, highly diverse, and, thus, while this continuity between the mainstreams of medieval and early-modern Catholicism should be noted, it should not be forgotten that there were some medieval Catholic apocalyptical perspectives that were more future than present orientated. Moreover, Protestantism did, undoubtedly, evolve from and draw upon medieval orthodoxies as well as heresies. The intention of this article is not to suggest a simplistic binary equation between Protestantism and medieval heresies and Catholicism and medieval orthodoxies, but rather to point to the overall continuities and discontinuities in trends of emphasis and perception.

101 Wakefield and Evans, eds. Heresies, 328, 423–5.

102 Lond, ‘Revising the Revelation’, 390.

103 Ibid, 407. As Gregory has noted, this Protestant ‘apocalyptic horizon’ stands in striking contrast to the calendar of the Catholic Church. ‘By contrast, it would be difficult to find a less apocalyptic indicator in the period than the liturgical calendar of the Roman Martyrology (1584). It duly calculates the movable feasts to beyond the year 4000—confidence indeed that the gates of hell would not prevail against Christ’s church’: Gregory, Salvation at Stake, 254.

104 I am indebted to a reviewer of this article for the suggested phraseology ‘discrepancy-within-resemblance’.

105 Although Foxe produced a fourth edition of his Acts and Monuments in 1583, there were very few significant changes from the 1576 edition. He was writing his commentary on Revelation in the 1580s, which did discuss martyrdom, but the work was left unfinished upon his death in 1587. Between the Acts and Monuments and the English Civil War, production of ‘new’ mainstream English Protestant martyrological texts largely consisted of abbreviated editions of the Acts and Monuments.

106 Bale, Lattre Examinacyon, 79.

107 See Alfield, True Report, Dr for a passing criticism of Protestantism.

108 Bale, Lattre Examinacyon, 152–3.

109 Alfield, True Report, E3v-E4r. Bale does not appeal to Askew’s persecutors to repent, but rather assures them that ‘great vengeance’ will fall upon them ‘for the shedding of innocent blood.’ Bale, Lattre Examinacyon, 94.

110 Bale, Lattre Examinacyon, 79–80.

111 Alfield, True Report, C4v-Dr.

112 Ibid, A4v.

113 Bale, First Examinacyon, 5, Lattre Examinacyon, 79, 138.

114 Alfield, True Report, Ar.

115 Ibid, Gv.

* I am extremely grateful to: British Catholic History for kindly accepting this article, and the very helpful recommendations of their reviewers; my PhD supervisors, Peter Marshall and Rebecca Earle, for their invaluable guidance; the ESRC for my PhD funding; Anne Dillon for her extremely helpful advice on my research; the Catholic Records Society, which generously awarded me a graduate bursary to present an early version of this article at their conference in July 2015.

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