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BOOK OF MARTYRS:
A COMPLETE AND AUTHENTIC ACCOUNT OF
THE LIVES, SUFFERINGS, AND TRIUMPHANT DEATHS OF THE
PRIMITIVE AND PROTESTANT MARTYRS.
BY JOHN FOXE.
THE value of sectional histories has long been recognized. The history of
martyrdom is a section of ecclesiastical history which, from its tragic character.
might seem at first sight calculated to repel rather than attract; but it has
often been proved in other departments of literature that it is a deeply-rooted
instinct of our nature to search out with eager curiosity all the trials to which
that nature has been subjected, and to pursue, both by speculation and ex-
periment, the enquiry as to how much it is able to bear.
Perhaps the secret spring of this curiosity is to be found in the fact that it
is the testimony of our conscience that a being possessed of intelligence ought
to be willing to suffer for truth. If so, here we reach the fountain-head of
the knowledge by which the curiosity so awakened is to be satisfied. It is of
the essence of martyrdom that it lights the sacred lamp which is to
guide the feet of the weary pilgrim to a purer and more blessed abode.
To this effect was what may be called the dying declaration of our Saviour
himself, when brought before Pilate-"To this end was I born, and for this
cause came I into the world, that I should BEAR WITNESS TO THE TRUTH."
It is this witness-bearing, and not mere suffering, which is the distinctive
characteristic of martyrdom. The endurance of the most heroic Christian
martyrs has probably been equalled, if not excelled, by the stoicism of savage
warriors, or the philosophy and devotion of pagan sages and patriots. But the
true test of fortitude in such cases is, not the amount of suffering endured,
but the degree of self-denial called for by the nature of the truth witnessed to.
To the Christian alone it is given to suffer with patience and humility combined,
because he alone has the faith in God which supports a true and equal virtue.
It is well to bear this in mind in studying any human history of martyrdom,
in which not only may the record of what is actually endured for truth be
defective, but much may be included which has been endured for other
causes. It is well, especially, that the record should first be studied of
the sufferings of HIM who, in all He did and suffered, had the will of His
Father only in view. The present history begins with an account of His
sufferings, but it is to the fuller and more perfect account of them contained in
the inspired records that this recommendation applies.
"Foxe's Book of Martyrs," the work to which it is the intention of this
preface to invite the attention of the reader, has long enjoyed a popularity,
which can only be explained by its conveying in an accessible form details not
easily to be met with elsewhere, on a subject which, as already remarked, is
one of absorbing interest. The original work would hardly suit a modern
reader. It is diffuse and indiscriminating in its enumeration of incidents,
which are described with a minuteness of detail and a pre-Raphaelite accuracy,
especially in the depicting of scenes of horror, which tend to cast over the
whole picture a character of gloom and monotony. Foxe's work is also in
part an ecclesiatical history and in part a history of martyrdom, while it is to
the latter characteristic alone that it owes its popularity.
Many modern editions of the work have appeared, in which generally the
more popular portions are selected, usually with additions, carrying down the
narrative to modern times. Even in the more pretentious editions such
additions are inserted in the text without warning or apology. The treatment
which Foxe's Martyrs has received from its editors has thus not been such as
strict criticism would justify.
The work, however, being such as I have represented, I should deem it
superfluous to attempt anything like a purist restoration, and, perhaps, I
have gone further astray than previous editors; but, at all events, it shall
not be without due notice to the reader of my purpose and mode of
I have not, on the one hand, followed previous editors in their modern
additions to the narrative. Finding the bulk of the original work too large
for a popular history, and its materials sufficient, and more than sufficient, to
produce a volume as large as the majority of readers will have time or inclina-
tion to study, I have thought it better to leave the continuation of the subject
to fresh enterprise, by which, if competently undertaken, it may be much more
perfectly executed, and to limit the present work to the times of which the
original author wrote.
On the other hand, I have not made this work a mere series of extracts
from Foxe's text. It seems to me the original work is rich in materials which
cannot so be utilised. I have endeavoured, by condensing the narrative, to
find room for a much fuller record of the leading facts than would have been
possible in the same space had every detail of each narrative been given; and
in the selection of details, by the avoidance of monotonous repetitions, to give
a greater appearance of breadth and harmony of colouring to the picture of
the sufferings of the church, with which the reader is presented.
The original work, as has been said, is partly ecclesiastical, and this feature
has been largely added to, not without details of general political history in
the modern edition,* whose text 1 have followed. I have deemed these details
both of ecclesiastical and general history for the most part irrelevant to the
plan of such an abridgment as I have proposed, and I have deemed it impos-
sible to condense in the spirit of the original, and according to the ideas of a
former age, the few historical notes necessary for the connection and elucida-
tion of the narrative.
At the risk, then, of committing an anachronism and violating the coherence
of the work, I have inserted in the text such historical facts and observations
as the narrative, from the point of view at which it may at present be regarded,
seems to me to demand, and I have likewise taken the same liberty in assigning
reasons for the selection of particular facts or incidents out of the multiplicity
of details from which I had to choose. These remarks refer mostly to the
history of English and Scottish martyrdoms, which form the bulk of the
original work, and of which a full though condensed account is given in the
Rev. J. Milner's.
The present work, though founded almost exclusively on Foxe's materials, is
thus to some extent a new one. It is an attempt to give to these superabundant
materials, without altering their arrangement, something more nearly approach-
ing the regular proportions of a history.
Such is my plan. As to the execution of it, it might have been more
perfect had time and other circumstances permitted. I am aware, however,
that apologies neither can nor ought to have any place between either author
or editor and the public, and to the judgment or forbearance of the reader I
GLASGOW, 2nd October, 1S71.
LIFE OF THE AUTHOR.
JOHN Fox, or FOXE, was born at Bristol, A.D. 1517. His father died of decline
a few years after his birth. His mother married again, and until his open
avowal of Protestant principles his stepfather showed him great partiality,
and bestowed great pains on his education.
At sixteen he was sent to Oxford, where he shared his college apartment
with Alexander Nowell, afterwards Dean of St. Paul's, an ardent Protestant,
who probably contributed to lay the foundation of Foxe's love of reforming
Foxe took his bachelor's degree in 1538, and his master's degree in 1543, in
which year he was chosen master of Magdalen College. Here he cultivated
poetry, read all the Greek and Latin fathers, and made himself acquainted
with Hebrew and Rabbinical literature. The Scriptures in the original
tongues also formed a chief subject of his study, and therewith he joined a
spirit of devotion so remarkable as to attract the attention of his fellow-
students, some of whom reported him to the heads of the university as a
follower of the new opinions. Although he seemed to avoid open demonstra-
tions of dissent, his conscience constrained him to cease from attendance at
the national worship, and, being openly accused of heresy, he was condemned
to leave the university.
His stepfather now withdrew his support, and even withheld any allowance
to him out of his mother's property. He, however, found a protector in Sir
Thomas Lucy, to whose sons he became tutor.
Soon after he married and left his occupation, going first to reside with his
wife's father at Coventry, and afterwards, when he was in danger of persecu-
tion for heresy, returning, with the leave of his stepfather, to his early home.
LIFE OF THE AUTHOR.
Little further is known regarding him till towards the end of King Henry's
reign. Being at this period in London, and in circumstances of great distress,
one day in St. Paul's a stranger put a sum of money into his hand, with an
encouraging address, promising him further assistance. Within three days
of this event he was waited upon by a messenger from the Duchess of Rich-
mond, to invite him to become tutor to the children of her brother the Earl
This preferment was about as remarkable an incident as could well have
happened in the life of a private individual. The Earl of Surrey was of a
family distinguished for the steadfastness of its adherence to the Catholic faith.
He, together with his father the Duke of Norfolk, had just been committed to
the Tower. The Earl of Surrey was soon after executed. The duke escaped
death only through the intervening death of the king. The Duchess of Rich-
mond, the earl's sister, to whom his children had been committed, and who
invited Foxe to be their tutor, was a Protestant, and the chief accuser of her
brother. It is therefore extremely unlikely that they should have been
committed by the earl himself to her care, especially as their mother was
"alive. It would, consequently, seem to have been by the intervention of the
government, and with the intention of educating them as Protestants, that
they were put under her charge. This would explain the employment of so
decided a Protestant as Foxe.
About this time Foxe's first work was published in Latin. The title,
"De non plectendis morte adulteris consultation does not indicate a very
Foxe remained at Ryegate, the seat of the Duchess of Richmond, during the
whole of King Edward's reign. In addition to his duties as the tutor of the
Norfolk family he undertook those of a public preacher in Ryegate. On the
accession of Mary, the Duke of Norfolk was liberated from prison, but died
soon after; and Gardiner being appointed Bishop of Winchester, Foxe considered
his position in Ryegate no longer safe, and intimated his intention to withdraw
to his pupil, now Duke of Norfolk, who provided a vessel to carry him to the
continent. He soon procured an engagement with a distinguished printer in
LIFE OF TIlE A T'IIOR.
Basle, John Oporinus, who produced another work of Foxe's, a sacred drama,
under the title, Christus Triumphaus, Comcedia Apocalyptica." Christ,
Paul, Mary, and Peter appear among the dramatic personce, which comprise
about twenty-five characters, including angels and devils. This comedy passed
through several editions both in Latin and English, and continued to be
published till 1672. Previous to this, the first volume of the work sub-
sequently known as "The Martyrs," was printed at Strasburg in 1554, under
the title, "Commentarii Rerum in Ecclesia gestarum mcnzximarumque per
totam Europam persecutionem a wiclevi Temporibus."
During his residence in Basle, Foxe relied for the subsistence of his family
on the remuneration derived from his labour as a reader of the press and
corrector of manuscripts to Oporinus. On the accession of Queen Elizabeth
he returned to England, having first completed the folio edition of his work,
bearing date 1569. His pupil, the Duke of Norfolk, received him into his
house, where he remained until the conspiracy of Norfolk in favour of Queen
SMary brought that nobleman to the scaffold, in 1572. Mr Foxe attended the
Duke in his last moments. During his residence with the Duke of ..t ..ii
Foxe was actively engaged in labours for the Protestant cause, to which he
materially contributed by the numerous publications he promoted, and on the
death of the Duke he resumed the occupation of a preacher. His popularity
would have led to his promotion if he would have conformed entirely to the
Church of England; but this, though frequently solicited, he refused to do.
He died in London on the 20th of April, 1587, and was buried in the church
FIRST CHRISTIAN MARTYR.
AN UNIVERSAL HISTORY
Persecutions under the Roman Empire, from the time of Christ to the accession of
CHRIST, in the gospel of St. Matthew, chap. xvi., hearing the confession of
Simon Peter, who first openly acknowledged him to be the Son of God, and
perceiving the secret hand of his Father therein, answered again, and alluding
to his name, called him a rock, upon which rock he would build his church
so strong, that the gates of hell should not prevail against it, etc. In these
words three things are to be noted. First, that Christ will have a church in
this world. Secondly, that the same church should be mightily impugned, not
only by the world, but also by the utmost strength and powers of all hell.
And, thirdly, that the same church, notwithstanding the efforts of the devil
and all his malice, should continue. This prophecy of Christ we see wonder-
fully verified, insomuch that the whole course of the church to this day seems
nothing else but a verification of it.
The dreadful martyrdoms we are now about to describe arose from the per-
secutions of the Christians by pagan fury, in the primitive ages of the church,
during the space of three hundred years, until the time of Constantine the great.
It is both wonderful and horrible to peruse the descriptions of the sufferings
of those godly martyrs, as they are described by ancient historians. Their
torments were as various as the ingenuity of man, excited by the devil, could
devise; and their numbers were truly incredible. "Some," says Robanus,
S"were slain with the sword; some burnt with fire; some scourged with whips;
some stabbed with forks of iron; some fastened to the cross or gibbet; some
-drowned in the sea; some had their skins plucked off; some their tongues cut
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
out; some were stoned to death; some frozen with cold; some starved with
hunger; some with their hands cut off, or otherwise dismembered, were left
naked to the open shame of the world." Augustine, speaking of these martyrs,
says, that though their punishments were various, yet the constancy in all was
the same. And notwithstanding the sharpness of so many torments, and the
cruelty of the tormentors, such was the number of these faithful saints, that
as Hierome, in his epistle to Cromatius and Heliodorus, observes, There is
no day in the whole year, unto which the number of five thousand martyrs
cannot be ascribed, except only the first day of January."
The first martyr to our holy religion was its Blessed Founder himself. His
history is sufficiently known, as it has been handed down to us in the New
Testament; nevertheless, it will be proper here to give an outline of his sufferings.
S On the celebration of the passover, Jesus supped with his disciples; he in-
formed them that one of them would betray him, and another deny him: in
short, he preached his farewell sermon. A multitude of armed men soon
afterwards surrounded him, and Judas kissed him, in order to point him out
to the soldiers, who were not acquainted with his person. In the conflict
occasioned by the apprehension of Jesus, Peter cut off the ear of Malchus, the
servant of the high-priest, for which Jesus reproved him, and, by touching the
wound healed it (A.D. 34.) Peter and John followed Jesus to the house of
Annas, who, refusing to judge him, sent him bound to Caiaphas, in whose
house Peter denied Christ, as he had predicted; but, on Christ reminding him
of his perfidy, the apostle went out and wept bitterly.
When the council had assembled in the morning, the Jews mocked Jesus,
and the elders suborned false witnesses against him: the principal accusation
being, that he had said, I will destroy this temple made with hands, and
"within three days I will build another made without hands." Caiaphas then
asked him if he was Christ the Son of God, or not; being answered in the
affirmative, he was accused of blasphemy, and condemned to death by Pontius
Pilate, the Roman governor, who, though conscious of his innocence, yielded
to the solicitations of the Jews, and condemned him to be crucified. His
remarkable expression at the time of passing sentence proved how much he
was convinced that the Lord was persecuted.
Previous to the crucifixion, the Jews, by way of derision, clothed Christ in
a regal robe, put a crown of thorns upon his head, and a reed, for a sceptre,
S in his hand; they then mocked him with ironical compliments, spat in his face,
smote his cheeks, and taking the reed out of his hand, they struck him with it
upon the head. Pilate would have released him, but the general cry was,
Crucify him, crucify him; which occasioned the governor to call for a basin
S of water, and having washed his hands, he declared himself innocent of the
blood of Christ, whom he termed a just person. But the Jews said, "Let his
blood be upon us, and our children:" and the governor found himself obliged
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
to comply with their wishes. Their imprecation, too, has manifestly taken
place, as they have ever since been a people scattered and cursed.
While they were leading Christ to the place of crucifixion, he was obliged
to bear the cross, which being unable long to sustain, his enemies compelled
one Simon, a native of Cyrene, to carry it the rest of the way. Mount Calvary
was fixed on for the place of execution, where, having arrived, the soldiers
offered Christ a mixture of gall and vinegar to drink, which he refused. Having
stripped him, they nailed him to the cross, and crucified him between two
malefactors. On being fastened to the cross, he uttered this benevolent prayer
for his enemies: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."
Four soldiers who crucified him now cut his mantle to pieces, and divided it
between them; but his coat being without seam, they cast lots for it. While
Christ remained in the agonies of death, the Jews mocked him, and said, If
thou art the son of God, come down from the cross." The chief priests and
scribes also reviled him, and said, He saved others, but cannot save himself."
One of the criminals who was crucified with him, also cried out, and said, "If
thou art the Messiah, save thyself and us;" but the other malefactor, having
great faith, exclaimed, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy king-
dom." To which Christ replied, "This day shalt thou be with me in paradise."
When Christ was upon the cross, the earth was covered with darkness, and
the stars appeared at noon-day, which struck the people and even the Jews
with terror. In the midst of his tortures, He cried out, My God, my God,
why hast thou forsaken me!" and then expressed a desire to drink, when one
of the soldiers gave him, upon the point of a reed, a sponge dipped in vinegar,
which, however, he refused. About three o'clock in the afternoon he gave up
the ghost, and at that moment a violent earthquake commenced, when the
rocks were rent, the mountains trembled, and the dead emerged from the graves.
These and other prodigies attended the death of Christ, and such was the mortal
end of the Redeemer of mankind. It is not a subject of wonder that the
heathens who lived so long after him, endeavoured by persecution and the
most horrid cruelties, to prevent the propagation of that source of comfort and
happiness in all affliction, which has resulted from the blessed system of faith
that our Saviour confirmed with his blood.
The first martyr after our Lord, was elected, with six others, as a deacon of
the first Christian church. He was also an able and successful preacher. The
principal persons belonging to five Jewish synagogues entered into dispute
with him; but he, by the soundness of his doctrine, and the strength of his
Arguments, overcame them all, which so much irritated them, that they bribed
false witnesses to accuse him of blaspheming God and Moses. On being
carried before the council, he made a noble defence; but this so much ex-
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
asperated his judges, that they resolved to condemn him. At the instant
Stephen saw a vision from heaven, representing Jesus, in his glorified state,
sitting at the right hand of God. This vision so enraptured him, that he
exclaimed, "Behold I see the heavens open, and the Son of Man standing on
the right hand of God." This caused him to be condemned, and having dragged
him out of the city they stoned him to death.
The death of Stephen was succeeded by a severe persecution in Jerusalem,
in which 2000 Christians, with Nicanor the deacon, were martyred, and many
others obliged to leave their country.
II.-ST. JAMES THE GREAT
Was a Galilean, and the son of Zebedee, a fisherman, the elder brother of St.
John, and related to Christ himself; for his mother Salome was cousin to the
When Herod Agrippa was made governor of Judea by the Emperor Caligula,
he raised a persecution against the Christians, and particularly selected James
as an object of his vengeance. This martyr, on being condemned to death,
showed such intrepidity and constancy of mind, that even his accuser was
struck with admiration, and became a convert to Christianity. This transition
so enraged the people in power, that they condemned him likewise to death;
when the apostle, and his penitent accuser, were both beheaded on the same
day and with the same sword. These events took place in the year of Christ
44. About the same period, Timon and Parmenas, two of the seven deacons,
suffered martyrdom, the former at Corinth, and the latter at Philippi, in
This apostle and martyr was born at Bethsaida, in Galilee, and was the first
called by the name of disciple. He was employed in several important missions
by Christ, and being deputed to preach in Upper Asia, laboured very diligently
in his apostleship. He then travelled into Phrygia, and arriving at Heliopolis,
found the inhabitants so sunk in idolatry, as to worship a large serpent. St.
Philip, however, was the means of converting many of them to Christianity,
and even procured the death of the serpent. This so enraged the magistrates,
that they committed him to prison, had him severely scourged, and afterwards
crucified. His friend, St. Bartholomew, found an opportunity of taking down
the body, and burying it; for which, however, he was very near suffering the
same fate. The martyrdom of Philip happened eight years after that of James
the Great, A.D. 52.
This evangelist and martyr was born of Jewish parents of the tribe of Levi.
It is supposed that he was converted to Christianity by St. Peter, whom he
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
served as an amanuensis, and whom he attended in all his travels. Being
entreated by the converts at Rome to commit to writing the admirable dis-
courses they had heard from St. Peter and himself, he complied with their
request, and composed his gospel in the Greek language. He then went to
Egypt, and constituted a bishopric at Alexandria: afterwards he proceeded to
Lybia, where he made many converts. On returning to Alexandria, some of
the Egyptians, exasperated at his success, determined on his death. They tied
his feet, dragged him through the streets, left him bruised in a dungeon all
night, and the next day burned his body. This took place on the 25th of
April, on which day the church commemorates his martyrdom. His bones were
carefully gathered up by the Christians, decently interred, and afterwards
removed to Venice, where he is honoured as the tutelar saint and patron of
V.-ST. JAMES THE LESS.
This apostle and martyr was so called to distinguish him from St. James
the Great. He was the son of Joseph, the reputed father of Christ: and after
the Lord's ascension was elected bishop of Jerusalem. He wrote his general
epistles to all Christians and converts whatever, to suppress a dangerous error
then propagating, viz., "That faith in Christ was alone sufficient for salvation,
without good'works." The Jews, being at this time greatly enraged that St.
Paul had escaped their fury by appealing to Rome, determined to wreak their
vengeance on James, who was now ninety-four years of age: they accordingly
threw him down, beat, bruised, and stoned him; and then dashed out his
brains with a club, such as was used by fullers in dressing cloths.
This apostle and martyr was the brother of St. Peter, and preached the
gospel to many Asiatic nations. On arriving at Edessa, the governor of the
country, named Egeas, threatened him for preaching" against the idols they
worshipped. St. Andrew, persisting in the propagation of his doctrines, was
ordered to be crucified, two ends of the cross being fixed transversely in the
ground. He boldly told his accusers, that he would not have preached the
glory of the cross, had he feared to die on it. And again, when they came to
crucify him, he said that he coveted the cross, and longed to embrace it. He
was fastened to the cross, not with nails, but cords; that his death might be
more slow. In this situation he continued two days, preaching the greatest
part of the time to the people; and expired on the 30th November, which is
commemorated as his festival.
This great apostle and martyr was born at Bethsaida in Galilee, being the
son of Jonas, a fisherman, which employment St. Peter himself followed. He
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
was persuaded by his brother to turn Christian, when U(nnst gave him the
name of Cephas, implying, in the Syriac language, a rock. He was called, at the
same time as his brother, to be an apostle, gave uncommon proofs of his zeal
for the service of Christ, and always appeared as the principal speaker among
the apostles. He had, however, the weakness to deny his Master after his
apprehension, though he defended him at the time; but the sincerity of his
repentance proved that he soon became deeply convinced of the greatness of
his crime. After the death of Christ, the Jews still continued to persecute the
Christians, and ordered several of the apostles, among whom was Peter, to be
scourged. This punishment'they bore with the greatest fortitude, and rejoiced
that they were thought worthy to suffer for the sake of their Redeemer.
When Herod Agrippa caused St. James the Great to be put to death, and
found that it pleased the Jews, he resolved, in order to ingratiate himself with
the people, that Peter should be the next sacrifice. He was accordingly
apprehended, and thrown into prison; but an angel of the Lord-released him,
which so enraged Herod, that he ordered the sentinels who guarded the
dungeon in which he had been confined, to be put to death. St. Peter, after
various miracles, retired to Rome, where he defeated the artifices, and con-
founded the magic of Simon Magus, a great favourite of the Emperor Nero; he
likewise converted to Christianity one of the concubines of that monarch, which
so exasperated the tyrant, that he ordered both St. Peter and St. Paul to be
apprehended. During the time of their confinement, they converted two of
the captains of the guard, and forty-seven other persons to Christianity.
Having been nine months in prison, Peter was brought from thence for
execution, when after being severely scourged, he was crucified with his head
downwards; which position, however, was at his own request. His festival is
observed on the 29th of June, on which day he as well as Paul suffered.
This apostle and martyr was a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin, born at Tarsus
in Cilicia. He was at first a great enemy to, and persecutor of the Christians;
but after his miraculous conversion, he became a strenuous supporter of
Christianity. At Iconium, St. Paul and St. Barnabas were near being stoned
to death by the enraged Jews; on which they fled to Lycaonia. At Lystra,
St. Paul was stoned, dragged out of the city, and left for dead. He, however,
happily revived, and escaped to Derbe. At Philippi, Paul and Silas were im-
prisoned and whipped; and both were again persecuted at Thessalonica.
Being afterwards taken at Jerusalem, he was sent to Cesarea, but appealed to
Caesar at Rome. Here he continued a prisoner at large for two years; and at
length being released, he visited the churches of Greece and Rome, and preached
in France and Spain. Returning to Rome, he was again apprehended, and by
the order of Nero, martyred, by beheading, on the 29th of June, A.D. 72.
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
Was distinguished as a prophet, an apostle, a divine, an evangelist, and a
martyr. He is called the beloved disciple, and was brother to James the Great.
He was previously a disciple of John the Baptist, and afterwards not only one
of the twelve apostles, but one of the three to whom Christ communicated the
most secret passages of his life. He founded churches at Smyrna, Pergamos,
Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea, and Thyatira, to which he directs his book of
Revelations. Being at Ephesus, he was ordered by the Emperor Domitian to
be sent bound to Rome, where he was condemned to be cast into a caldron of
boiling oil. But here a miracle was wrought in his favour; the oil did him no
injury; and Domitian, not being able to put him to death, banished him to
Patmos to labour in the mines, A.D. 73. He was, however, recalled by Nerva,
who succeeded Domitian, but was deemed a martyr on account of his having
undergone an execution, though it did not take effect. He was the only apostle
who escaped a violent death, and lived the longest of any, he being nearly 100
years of age at the time of his death.
THE FIRST PRIMITIVE PERSECUTION.
Beginning in the year 67, under the reign Jf the Emperor Nero.
The first persecution in the primitive ages of the church was under Nero
Domitius, the sixth Emperor of Rome, A.D. 67. This monarch reigned for the
space of five years with tolerable credit to himself; but then gave way to the
greatest extravagance of temper, and to the most atrocious barbarities. Among
other diabolical outrages, he ordered that the city of Rome should be set on
fire, which was done by his officers, guards, and servants. While the city was
in flames, he went up to the tower of Maecenas, played upon his harp, sung
the song of the burning of Troy, and declared That he wished the ruin of
all things before his death."
Finding that his conduct was greatly blamed, and a severe odium cast upon
him, he determined to charge the whole upon the Christians, at once to excuse
himself, and have an opportunity of fresh persecutions. The barbarities in-
flicted on the Christians, during the first persecution, excited the sympathy of
the Romans themselves. Nero nicely refined upon cruelty, and contrived all
manner of punishments for his victims. He had some sewed up in the skins
of wild beasts, and then worried by dogs till they expired; and others dressed
in shirts made stiff with wax, fixed to axletrees, and set on fire in his garden.
This persecution was general throughout the Roman empire; but it increased
rather than diminished the spirit of Christianity. Besides St. Paul and St.
Peter, many others, whose names have not been transmitted to posterity, and
who were mostly their converts and followers, suffered; the facts concerning
the principal of them we shall proceed to describe.
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
ERASTUS, the chamberlain of Corinth, converted by St. Paul, was tortured
to death by the pagans at Philippi.
ARISTARCHUS, the Macedonian, born in Thessalonica, being converted by
St. Paul, became his constant companion. He suffered the same fate as the
apostle; for being seized as a Christian, he was beheaded by the command of
STROPHIMUS, an Ephesian by birth, and a Gentile by religion, was converted
by St. Paul to the Christian faith. He was witness to the martyrdom of his
master, which was but the forerunner of his own; for being soon after seized
on account of his faith, he was beheaded by order of the Emperor Nero.
JOSEPH, commonly called BARSABAS, a primitive disciple, is usually deemed
one of the seventy. He was during his life a zealous preacher of the gospel;
and having received many insults from the Jews, at length obtained martyrdom,
being murdered by the pagans in Judea.
ANANIAS, bishop of Damascus, celebrated in the sacred writings as the
person who cured St. Paul of the blindness with which he was struck at his
conversion, was one of the seventy, and was martyred in the city of Damascus.
After his death a Christian church was built over the place of his burial, which
is now converted into a Turkish mosque.
THE SECOND PRIMITIVE PERSECUTION.
UNDER TIHE EMPEROR DOMITIAN.
The Emperor Domitian was naturally of a cruel disposition; he first slew
his brother, and then raised a second persecution against the Christians. His
rage was such that he even put to death several Roman senators; some through
malice, and others t' confiscate their estates. He then commanded all the
lineage of David to be sacrificed. Two Christians were brought before the
Emperor, and accused of being of the tribe of Judah and line of David; but
from their answers, he despised them as idiots, and dismissed them accordingly.
He, however, was determined to be more secure upon other occasions; and on
this plea he took away the property of many Christians, put several to death,
and banished others. Among the numerous martyrs that suffered during this
persecution was Simeon, bishop of Jerusalem, who was crucified; and St. John,
who was boiled in oil, and afterwards banished to Patmos. Flavia, the daughter
of a Roman senator, was likewise banished to Pontus; and a law was made,
"That no Christian, once brought before the tribunal, should be exempted
from punishment without renouncing his religion."
During this reign various tales were published in order to injure the
Christians. They were accused of indecent nightly meetings, of a rebellious
turbulent spirit, of being inimical to the Roman Empire, of murdering, their
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
children, and of being cannibals; and such was the infatuation of the Pagans,
that if famine, pestilence, or earthquakes, afflicted any of the Roman provinces,
it was charged on the Christians. These persecutions multiplied the number
of informers; and many, for the sake of gain, swore away the lives of the
innocent. When any Christians were brought before the magistrates, a test
was proposed, when, if they refused to take the oath, death was pronounced
against them; and if they confessed themselves Christians, the sentence was
the same. The various cruelties inflicted during this persecution were im-
prisonment, racking, searing, broiling, burning, scourging, stoning, hanging,
and worrying. Many were lacerated with red hot pincers, and others were
thrown upon the horns of wild bulls. When these cruelties ended with the
life of the sufferers, the friends of the deceased Christians were refused the
privilege of burying their remains.
The following individuals were the most remarkable of the martyrs who
suffered during this persecution.
DIONYSIUS the Areopagite, was an Athenian by birth, and educated in all
the useful and ornamental literature of Greece. After his conversion, the
sanctity of his conversation and the purity of his manners recommended him
so strongly to the Christians in general, that he was appointed bishop of Athens.
He discharged this duty with the utmost diligence till the second year of this
persecution, A.D. 69, when he was apprehended, and received the crown of
martyrdom, by being beheaded.
NICOMEDES, a Christian of distinction at Rome, during Domitian's persecu-
tion, made great efforts to serve the afflicted; comforting the poor, visiting
the imprisoned, exhorting the wavering, and confirming the faithful. For
those and other pious actions he was seized as a Christian, and was sentenced
and scourged to death.
PROTASIUS and GERVASIUS were martyred at Milan: the*particular circum-
stances attending their death are not recorded.
TIMOTHY, the celebrated disciple of St. Paul, and bishop of Ephesus, was
born at Lystra in the province of Lycaonia; his father was a Gentile, and
his mother a Jewess; but both his parents and his grandmother embraced
Christianity, by which means Timothy was taught from his infancy the pre-
cepts of the gospel. Upon St. Paul's reaching Lycaonia, he ordained Timothy,
and made him the companion of his labours. St. Paul mentions him with
peculiar esteem, and declares that he could find no one so truly united to him,
both in heart and mind.
St. Paul sent to Timothy to come to him in his last confinement at Rome;
and after that great apostle's martyrdom, he returned to Ephesus, where he
zealously governed the church till nearly the close of the century. At this
period the Pagans were about to celebrate a feast, the principal ceremonies of
which were, that the people should carry sticks in their hands, go masked, and
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
bear about the streets the images of their gods. When Timothy met the pro-
cession, he severely reproved them for their ridiculous idolatry, which so
exasperated the people, that they fell upon him with their clubs, and beat him
in so dreadful a manner, that he expired of the bruises two days after.
THE THIRD PRIMITIVE PERSECUTION.
Upon Nerva succeeding Domitian, he gave a respite to the Christians; but
reigning only thirteen months, his successor Trajan, in the year 108, the tenth
of his reign, began the third persecution against them. While this persecution
raged, Plinius Secundus, a heathen philosopher, wrote to the Emperor in favour
of the Christians, to whose epistle Trajan returned this indecisive answer:
" That Christians ought not to be sought after, but when brought before the
magistracy they should be punished." His officers were uncertain how to
interpret his decree.
Trajan soon after wrote to Jerusalem, and gave orders to exterminate the
stock of David; in consequence of which, all that could be found of that race
were put to death. Trajan likewise commanded the martyrdom of Ignatius,
bishop of Antioch. This holy man received the gospel from St. John the evan-
gelist, and was exceedingly zealous in his mission and ministry. He boldly
vindicated the faith of Christ before the Emperor, for which he was cast into
prison, and was tormented in a cruel manner; for, after being dreadfully
scourged, he was compelled to hold fire in his hands, and, at the same time,
papers dipped in oil were put to his sides and lighted! His flesh was then torn
with hot pincers, and at last he was despatched by the fury of wild beasts.
Ignatius, writing to Polycarp at Smyrna, says, "Now begin I to be a scholar;
I esteem no visible things, nor yet invisible things, so that I may get or obtain
Christ Jesus. Let the fire, the gallows, the wild beasts, the breaking of bones,
the pulling asunder of members, the bruising of my whole body, and the tor-
ments of the devil and hell itself come upon me, so that I may win Christ Jesus!"
Trajan was succeeded by Adrian, who continued the persecution with the
greatest rigour. Phocas, bishop of Pontus, refusing to sacrifice to Neptune,
was, by his immediate order, cast first into a hot lime-kiln, and being drawn
from thence, was thrown into a scalding bath till he expired.
SYMPHROSA, a widow and her seven sons, were commanded to sacrifice to
the heathen deities. Refusing to comply, the Emperor, in a rage, told her,
that for her obstinacy, herself and her sons should be slain. By his orders she
was carried to the temple of Hercules, where she was scourged while she hung
up by the hair of her head: then a large stone was fastened to her neck, and
she was thrown into a river. The sons were bound to seven posts, and being
drawn up by pulleys, their limbs were dislocated: these tortures, not affecting
their resolution, they were thus martyred-Cresentius, the eldest, was stabbed
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
in the throat; Julian, the second, in the breast; Nemesius, the third, in the
heart; Primitius, the fourth, in the navel; Justice, the fifth, in the back;
Stacteus, the sixth, in the side; and Eugenius, the youngest, was sawed asunder.
Alexander, bishop of Rome, with his two deacons, were likewise martyred;
as were Quirinus and Hermes, with their families; Zenon, a Roman nobleman,
and about ten thousand other Christians. Many were crucified on Mount
Ararat, crowned with thorns, and spears run into their sides, in imitation of
Christ's passion. Eustachius, a brave and successful Roman commander, was
ordered by the Emperor to join-an idolatrous sacrifice, in celebration of some
of his own victories; but his faith was so strong, that he nobly refused it.
Enraged at the denial, the ungrateful Emperor forgot the services of this skilful
commander, and ordered him and his whole family to be martyred.
. During the martyrdom of Faustines and Jovita, brothers and citizens of
Bressia, their torments were so many, and their patience so firm, that Calocerius,
a pagan, beholding them, was struck with admiration, and exclaimed, in ecstasy,
"Great is the God of the Christians!" for which he was apprehended and put
to death. Many other cruelties and rigours were exercised against the Chris-
tians, till Quodratus, bishop of Athens, made a learned apology in their favour
before the Emperor, who happened to be in that city; and Aristides, a philo-
sopher of the same city, wrote an elegant epistle, which caused Adrian to relax
in his severities, and relent in their favour. He went so far as to command
that no Christian should be punished on the score of religion or opinion only;
but this gave occasion to the Jews and Pagans to suborne false witnesses to
accuse them of crimes against the state.
Adrian died in the year 138, and was succeeded by Antoninus Pius, so
amiable a monarch, that his people gave him the title of "The Father of
Virtues." Immediately on his accession to the throne, he published an edict,
forbidding further persecution of the Christians, and concluded it in these
words:-"If any hereafter shall vex or trouble the Christians, having no other
cause but that they are such, let the accused be released, and the accusers be
punished." The Christians consequently enjoyed a respite from their sufferings
during this Emperor's reign, though their enemies took every occasion to do
them what injuries they could.
THE FOURTH PRIMITIVE PERSECUTION.
ANTONINUS PIUs was succeeded by Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Verus, who
began the fourth persecution, in which many Christians were martyred, par-
ticularly in several parts of Asia and France. Such were the cruelties used
in this persecution, that many of the spectators shuddered with horror at the
sight, and were astonished at the intrepidity of the sufferers. Some of the
martyrs were obliged to pass, with wounded feet, over thorns, nails, sharp
FOXES BOOK OF MARTYRS.
shells, etc.; others were scourged till their sinews and veins lay bare; and after
suffering excruciating tortures, were destroyed by the most terrible deaths.
GERMANICUS, a young and holy Christian, being delivered to the beasts on
account of his faith, behaved with such astonishing courage, that several pagans
became converts to a faith which inspired so much fortitude. But many of
the multitude wondering at his constancy and virtue, began to cry with a loud
voice, "Destroy the wicked men; let Polycarp be sought for." And whilst a
great uproar began to be raised upon these cries, a certain Phrygian, named
Quintus, lately arrived, rushed to the judgment seat, and abused the judges, for
which he was put to death without mercy or delay.
POLYCARPUS hearing that persons were seeking to apprehend him, escaped,
but was discovered by a child. Those who apprehended him were amazed at
his serene countenance and gravity. After feasting them, he desired an hour
for prayer, which being allowed, he prayed with such fervency, that his guards
repented they had been instrumental in taking him. He was, however, carried
before the pro-consul, condemned, and conducted to the market place. Wood
being provided, the holy man earnestly prayed to Heaven, after being bound to
the stake; and as the flames grew vehement, the executioners gave way on each
side, the heat becoming intolerable. In the meantime the bishop sung praises
to God in the midst of the flames, but remained unconsumed therein, and the
burning of the wood spreading a fragrance around, the guards were much
surprised. Determined, however, to put an end to his life, they struck spears
into his body, when the quantity of blood that issued from the wounds extin-
guished the flames. After considerable attempts, they put him to death, and
burnt his body when dead, not being able to consume it while living. Twelve
other Christians who had been intimate with Polycarp, were soon after martyred.
METRODORUS, a minister who preached boldly, and Pionius, who made some
excellent apologies for the Christian faith, were likewise burnt. Carpus and
Papilus, two worthy Christians, and Agathonica, a pious woman, suffered
martyrdom at Pergamopolis, in Asia, about the same period.
FELICITAS, a Roman lady of a considerable family, and great virtues, was a
devout Christian. She had seven sons, whom she had educated with the most
exemplary piety. The empire being about this time grievously troubled with
earthquakes, famine, and inundations, the Christians were accused as the cause,
and Felicitas was included in the accusation. The lady and her family being
seized, the Emperor gave orders to Publius, the Roman Governor, to proceed
against her. Upon this Publius began with the mother, thinking that if he
could prevail to change her religion, the example would have great influence
with her sons. Finding her inflexible, he changed his entreaties to menaces,
and threatened destruction to herself and family. She despised his threats as
she had done his promises; on which he began with the sons, whom he examined
separately. They all, however, remained steadfast in the faith, and unanimous
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
in their opinions, on which the whole family were ordered for execution.
Januarius, the eldest, was scourged and pressed to death with weights; Felix
and Philip, the two next, had their brains dashed out with clubs; Sylvanus,
the fourth, was murdered by being thrown from a precipice; and the three
younger sons, viz., Alexander, Vitalis, and Mertialis, were all beheaded. The
mother was beheaded with the same sword as the three latter.
JUSTIN, the philosopher, fell a martyr in this persecution. He was a native
of Neapolis, in Samaria, and was born A.D. 103. He had the best education
the times could afford, and travelled into Egypt, the country to which the
polite tour of that age was made for improvement. At Alexandria he was
informed of every thing relative to the seventy interpreters of the sacred writ-
ings, and shown the cells in which their work was performed. Justin was a
great lover of truth, and an universal scholar; he investigated the Stoic and
Peripatetic philosophy, and attempted the Pythagorean system; but the be-
haviour of one of its professors disgusting him, he applied himself to the
Platonic, in which he took great delight. About the year 133, when he was
thirty years of age, he became a convert to Christianity. He wrote an elegant
epistle to the Gentiles, to convert them to the faith he had newly acquired,
and lived in so pure and innocent a manner, that he well deserved the title of
a Christian philosopher. He likewise employed his talents in convincing the
Jews of the truth of the Christian rites, and spent much time in travelling,
till he took up his abode in Rome, and fixed his habitation on the Veminal
mount. He kept a public school, taught many who afterwards became great
men, and wrote a treatise to confute heresies of all kinds. As the Pagans
began to treat the Christians with great severity, Justin wrote his first apology
in their favour, and addressed it to the Emperor Antoninus, to two princes
whom he had adopted as his sons, and to the senate and people of Rome. This
piece, which occasioned the Emperor to publish an edict in favour of the
Christians, displays great learning and genius.
A short time after, he entered into frequent contests with Crescens, a cele-
brated cynic philosopher, but a person of a vicious life; and his arguments
appeared so powerful, yet so disgusting to the cynic, that he resolved on his
destruction, which in the end he accomplished. The second apology of Justin
was occasioned by the following circumstances: a man and his wife who were
both evil characters, resided at Rome. The woman becoming a convert to
Christianity, attempted to reclaim her husband; but not succeeding, she sued
for a divorce, which so exasperated him, that he accused her of being a
Christian. Upon her petition he dropped the prosecution, and levelled his
malice against Ptolemeus, who had converted her. Ptolemeus was condemned
to die; and one Lucius, with another person, for expressing themselves too
freely upon the occasion, met with the same fate. Justin's apology upon these
severities gave Crescens an opportunity of prejudicing the Emperor against
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
him; upon which he and six of his companions were apprehended. Being
commanded as usual to deny their faith, and sacrifice to the pagan idols, they
refused to do either; they were therefore condemned to be first scourged and
Only seven pieces of the writings of this celebrated martyr are now extant,
viz.: The Two Apologies; An Exhortation to the Gentiles; An Oration to the
Greeks; A Treatise on Divine Monarchy; A Dialogue with Trypho the Jew;
and An Epistle to Diagnetus.
About this time many were beheaded for refusing to sacrifice to the image
At Lyons, the torture to which many Christians were put almost exceeds
the powers of description. All manner of punishments were adopted-
such as banishment, plundering, hanging, burning, with other torments,
and painful deaths. Even the servants and slaves of opulent Christians
were racked and tortured, to make them accuse their masters and employers.
The following were the principal of these martyrs. Vetius Agathus, a
young man, having pleaded the Christian cause, was asked if he was a
Christian; when, answering in the affirmative, he was condemned to death.
Many, animated by this young man's intrepidity, boldly owned their faith
and suffered like him. Blandina, a Christian, but of weak constitution,
being seized and tortured on account of her religion, received so much
strength from Heaven, that her torturers became frequently tired; and
were surprised at her being able to bear her torments for so great a
length of time, and with such resolution. Sanctus, a deacon of Vienna,
was put to the torture, which he bore with.great fortitude, and only cried,
"I am a Christian." Red hot plates of brass were placed upon those
parts of the body that were tenderest, which contracted the sinews; but re-
maining inflexible, he was re-conducted to prison. Being brought from his
place of confinement a few days afterwards, his tormentors were astonished to
find his wounds healed, and his person perfect: however, they again proceeded
to torture him; but not being able at that time to take his life, they remanded
him to prison, where he remained for some time, and was at length beheaded.
Biblias, a timid woman, had been an apostate, but having returned to the faith,
was martyred, and bore her sufferings with great patience. Attalus, of Per-
gamus, was another sufferer; and Pothinus, the venerable bishop of Lyons,
who was ninety years of age, was so treated by the enraged mob, that he
expired two days after their outrage in the prison.
At Lyons, besides the cruelties already mentioned, the martyrs were compelled
to sit in hot iron chairs till their flesh broiled. This was inflicted with peculiar
severity on Sanctus, already mentioned, and some others. Some were sevwn
up in nets, and thrown on the horns of wild bulls; and the carcases of those
who died in prison, previous to the appointed time of execution, were thrown
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
to dogs. Indeed, so far did the malice of the pagans proceed, that they set
guards over the bodies while the beasts were devouring them, lest the friends
of the deceased should get them by stealth; and the offals left by the dogs
were ordered to be burnt. The martyrs of Lyons are said to have been forty-
eight in number, and their executions happened in the year of Christ, 177.
They all died with great fortitude, glorifying God and the Redeemer.
In the year 180 the Emperor Antoninus died, and was succeeded by his son
Commodus, who did not imitate his father in any respect. He was without
his learning and his morality, and at the same time without his prejudices
against Christianity. His principal weakness was pride, and to that may be
chiefly ascribed the errors of his reign; for having fancied himself Hercules, he
sacrificed those of every creed to his vanity who refused to subscribe to his
own absurd opinions.
In this reign Apollonius, a Roman senator, became a martyr. This eminent
person was skilled in all the polite literature of those times, and in all the pre-
cepts taught by the blessed Redeemer. He was accused by his own slave
Severus, upon an unjust and contradictory edict of the Emperor Trajan. This
law condemned the accused to die, unless he recanted; and at the same time
ordered the execution of the accuser for slander. Upon this ridiculous statute
Apollonius was accused; for his slave Severus courted death in order to involve
his master in destruction. As Apollonius refused to recant, he was, by order
of his peers the Roman senators, condemned to be beheaded. The sentence
was executed on the 18th day of April, A.D. 186, his accuser having previously
had his legs broken, and been put to death.
Eusebius, Vincentius, Potentianus, and Peregrinus, for refusing to worship
Commodus as Hercules, were likewise martyred.
Julius, a Roman senator, becoming a convert to Christianity, was also ordered
by the Emperor to sacrifice to him as Hercules. This Julius absolutely refused,
and publicly professed himself a Christian. After remaining in prison a con-
siderable time, he was, in the year 190, pursuant to his sentence, beat to death
with a club.
THE FIFTH GENERAL PERSECUTION.
UNDER THE ROMAN EMPERORS.
In the year 191, the Emperor Commodus was succeeded by Pertinax, and
he by Julianus, both of whom reigned but a short time. On the death of the
latter, Severus became Emperor in the year 192. When he had been recovered
from a severe fit of sickness by a Christian, he became a great favourer of
Christians generally, and even permitted his son Caracalla to be nursed by a
female of that persuasion. Hence, during some years of his reign, as well as
during those of his two predecessors, the Christians had a respite from persecu-
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
tion. But the prejudice and fury of the ignorant multitude again prevailed,
and the obsolete laws against the Christians were put in execution. The
pagans were alarmed at the progress of Christianity, and revived the calumny
of placing incidental misfortunes to the account of its professors. Although
fire, sword, wild beasts, and imprisonment were employed to destroy or intimidate
the Christians, and even their dead bodies were torn from the grave and
submitted to insult, the gospel continued to prevail, and Tertullian, who
lived in this age, informs us, that if the Christians had collectively with-
drawn themselves from the Roman territories, the empire would have been
Victor, bishop of Rome, suffered martyrdom in the first year of the third
century, viz., A.D. 201, though the circumstances are not ascertained.
Leonidas, the father of Origen, was beheaded for being a Christian. Previous
to the execution, his son, in order to encourage him, wrote to him in these
remarkable words: "Beware, sir, that your care for us does not make you
change your resolution." Many of Origen's hearers likewise suffered martyr-
dom; particularly two brothers, named Plutarchus and Serenus: another
Serenus, Heron, and Heraclides were beheaded. Rhais had boiling pitch
poured upon her head, and was then burnt. Marcella her mother, and
Potamiena her sister, were executed in the same manner as Rhais. Basilides,
an officer belonging to the army, who was ordered to attend their execution,
became a convert on witnessing their fortitude. When required to take a
certain oath, he refused, saying, that he could not swear by the Roman idols,
as he was a Christian. The people could not at first believe what they heard;
but he had no sooner confirmed his assertion, than he was dragged before the
judge, committed to prison, and beheaded immediately.
Irenaeus was born in Greece, and received a Christian education. It is
generally supposed, that the account of the persecution at Lyons was written
by him. He succeeded the martyr Pothinus as bishop of Lyons, and ruled his
diocese with great propriety; he was a zealous opposer of all heresies, and wrote
a celebrated tract against heresy, which had great influence. Victor, bishop of
Rome, wanting to impose a particular mode of keeping Easter, which occasioned
some disorder amongst the Christians, Ireneus wrote him a synodical epistle
in the name of the Gallic churches. This zeal, in favour of Christianity, pointed
him out as an object of resentment to the Emperor; and he was accordingly
beheaded in A.D. 202.
The persecutions about this time extended to Africa, and many were martyred
there. Perpetua, a married lady of about twenty-six years of\ age, with an
infant child at her breast, was seized for being a Christian. Her father, who
tenderly loved her, attempted to persuade her to renounce Christianity. Per-
petua, however, resisted every entreaty. This so incensed her father, that he
beat her severely, and did not visit her for some days after; and, in the mean-
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
time, she and some others who were confined were baptized, as they were before
only catechumens. On being carried before the pro-consul Minutius, she was
commanded to sacrifice to the idols: refusing, she was ordered to a dark
dungeon, and deprived of her child. Her father paid her a second visit, and
again entreated her to renounce Christianity. His behaviour was now all ten-
derness and humanity; but inflexible to all h aman influence, she knew she must
leave every thing for Christ's sake; and she only said to him, "God's will must
be done." He then, with an almost bursting heart, left her to her fate.
Perpetua gave the strongest proof of fortitude and strength of mind on her
trial. The judge entreated her to consider her father's tears, her infant's help-
lessness, and her own life; but triumphing over all the sentiments of nature, she
forgot the thought of both mental and corporeal pain, and determined to sacrifice
all the feelings of human sensibility, to that immortality offered by Christ.
Felicitas, a married Christian lady was with child at the time of her trial.
The procurator, when he examined her, entreated her to have pity upon herself
and her condition; but she replied that his compassion was useless, for no
thought of self-preservation could induce her to comply with any idolatrous
proposition. She was delivered in prison of a girl, which was adopted by a
Christian woman as her own.
Along with these women, several other persons were appointed to suffer. Their
names were Revocatus (who was a catechumen of Carthage), and a slave, Satur,
Saturninus, and Secundulus. When the day of execution arrived, they were
led to the amphitheatre. Satur, Saturninus, and Revocatus, having the forti-
tude to denounce God's judgments upon their persecutors, they were ordered
to run the gauntlet between the hunters who had the care of the wild beasts,
and as they passed they were severely lashed. Felicitas and Perpetua were
about to be stripped, in order to be thrown to a beast; but some of the spec-
tators, through decency, desired that they might remain clothed, which request
was granted. The beast made his first attack upon Perpetua, and stunned
her; he then attacked Felicitas, and wounded her much; but as he did not kill
them, the executioner did that office with a sword. Revocatus and Satur were
destroyed in the same manner; Saturninus was beheaded. Secundulus died
in prison. These executions took place in the month of March, A.D. 205.
The crimes laid against the Christians at this time were sedition and
rebellion, sacrilege, murder of infants, incest, eating raw flesh, libidinous con-
verse, by which the people called gnostict were disgraced. It was objected
against them that they worshipped the head of an ass, a report propagated
by the Jews. They were charged also with worshipping the sun, because
before the sun rose they met together, singing their morning hymns to the
Lord, and because they prayed together towards the east.
Separatus, and twelve others, were likewise beheaded; as was Androclus in
France. Asclepiades, bishop of Antioch, suffered many tortures, but was
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
spared his life. Cecilia, a young lady of a good family in Rome, was married
to a gentleman named Valerian. Being a Christian herself, she persuaded her
husband to embrace the same faith; and his conversion was speedily followed
by that of Tibertius his brother. This information drew upon them all the
vengeance of the laws; the two brothers were beheaded; and the officer who
led them to execution becoming their convert, suffered in a similar manner.
The lady was placed in a scalding bath, and after she had remained there a
considerable time, her head was struck off with a sword, A.D. 222.
Calistus, bishop of Rome, was martyred A.D. 224; but the manner of his
death is not recorded; and in A.D. 232, Urban, bishop of Rome, met the same
fate. Agapetus, a boy of Preeneste, in Italy, who was only fifteen years of
age, refusing to sacrifice to the idols, was severely scourged and then hanged
up by the feet, and boiling water poured over him.
THE SIXTH GENERAL PERSECUTION.
Maximus, who was Emperor in A.D. 235, raised a persecution against the
Christians; and in Cappadocia, the president Semiramus made great efforts to
exterminate the Christians from that kingdom. A Roman soldier, who refused
to wear a laurel crown bestowed on him by the Emperor, and confessed himself
a Christian, was scourged, imprisoned, and put to death. Pontianus, bishop
of Rome, for preaching against idolatry, was banished to Sardinia, and there
destroyed. Anteros, a Grecian, who succeeded this bishop in the see of Rome,
gave so much offence to the government by collecting the acts of the martyrs,
that he suffered martyrdom, after having held his dignity only forty days.
Pammachius, a Roman senator, with his family and other Christians, to the
number of forty-two, were, on account of their religion, all beheaded in one
day, and their heads fixed on 'the city gates. Simplicius, another senator,
suffered martyrdom in a similar way. Calepodius, a Christian minister, after
being inhumanly treated, and barbarously dragged about the streets, was
thrown into the river Tiber with a mill-stone fastened about-his neck. Quiritus,
a Roman nobleman, with his family and domestics, were, on account of their
Christian principles, put to most excruciating torture and the most painful
death. This nobleman suffered the confiscation of his effects, poverty, reviling,
imprisonment, scourging, torture, and loss of life, for the sake of his Redeemer.
Martina, a noble and beautiful virgin, suffered martyrdom for Christ, being
variously tortured, and afterwards beheaded, and Hippolitus, a Christian pre-
late, was tied to a wild horse, and dragged through fields, stony places, and
brambles, till he died.
While this persecution continued, numerous Christians were slain without
trial, and buried in indiscriminate heaps: sometimes fifty or sixty being cast
into a pit together. Maximus died in A.D. 238' he was succeeded by Gordian,
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
during whose reign, and that of his successor Philip, the church was free from
persecution for the space of more than ten years; but in the year 249 a violent
persecution broke out in Alexandria. It is, however, worthy of remark, that
this was done at the instigation of a pagan priest, without the Emperor's
knowledge. At this time the fury of the people being great against the
Christians, they broke open their houses, stole or destroyed their property,
and murdered the owners; the universal cry was, "Burn them, burn them!
kill them, kill them!" The names of three only of the martyrs in this affair
have been recorded. Metus, an aged and venerable Christian, refusing to
blaspheme his Saviour, was beaten with clubs, pierced with sharp reeds, and
stoned to death. Quinta, a Christian woman, refusing to worship the idols,
was dragged by her feet over sharp stones, scourged with whips, and killed in
the same manner as Metus. Appollonia, an ancient maiden lady, confessing
herself a Christian, was attacked by the mob, who dashed out her teeth with
their fists, and threatened to burn her alive. A fire was accordingly prepared
for the purpose, and she was fastened to a stake: when, requesting to be un-
loosed, it was done, on a supposition that she meant to recant, but, to their
astonishment, she immediately threw herself into the flames and was consumed.
THE SEVENTH GENERAL PERSECUTION.
In the year 249, Decius being Emperor of Rome, a dreadful persecution
was begun against the Christians. This was occasioned partly by the hatred
Decius bore to his predecessor Philip, who was deemed a Christian, and partly
by the jealousy which was excited by the amazing progress of Christianity;
for the heathen temples were almost forsaken, and the Christian churches
crowded with proselytes. Decius, provoked at this, attempted, as he said, to
extirpate the name of Christian; and, unfortunately for the cause of the gospel,
many errors had by this time crept into the church: the Christians were at
variance with each other, and a variety of contentions ensued among them.
The heathens in general were ambitious to enforce the imperial decrees, and
looked upon the murder of a Christian as a meritorious distinction. The
martyrs were, therefore, innumerable. Fabian, bishop of Rome, was the first
person of eminence who felt the severity of this persecution. The deceased
Emperor, Philip, had committed his treasure to the care of this good man, on
account of his integrity; but Decius, not finding so much as his avarice led
him to expect, determined to wreak his vengeance on the prelate. He was
accordingly seized, and on the 20th of January, A.D. 250, suffered martyrdom,
by decapitation. Abdon and Semen, two Persians, were apprehended as
strangers; but being found Christians, were put to death, on account of their
faith. Moyses, a priest, was beheaded for the same reason.
Julian, a native of Celicia, as we are informed by St. Chrysostom, was seized
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
for being a Christian. He was frequently tortured, but still remained inflexible;
and though often brought from prison for execution, was again remanded, to
suffer greater cruelties. He at length was obliged to travel for twelve months
together, from town to town, that he might be exposed to the insults of the
populace. When all endeavours to make him recant his religion were found
ineffectual, he was brought before a judge, stripped, and whipped in a dreadful
manner. He was then put into a leather bag, with a number of serpents
and scorpions, and in that condition thrown into the sea.
Peter, a young man, amiable for the superior qualities of his body and mind,
was apprehended for being a Christian, at Lampsacus, on the Hellespont, and
carried before Optimus, pro-consul of Asia. On being commanded to sacrifice
to Venus, he said, "I am astonished that you should wish me to sacrifice to
an infamous woman, whose debaucheries even your own historians record, and
whose life consisted of such actions as your laws would punish. No! I shall
offer the true God the sacrifice of praise and prayer." Optimus, on hearing
this, ordered the prisoner to be stretched upon a wheel, by which his bones
were broken in a shocking manner; but his torments only inspired him with
fresh courage; he smiled on his persecutors, and seemed, by the serenity of his
countenance, not to upbraid, but to applaud his tormentors. At length the pro-
consul ordered him to be beheaded, and the command was immediately executed.
Nichomnachus, being brought before the pro-consul as a Christian, was
ordered to sacrifice to the pagan idols. He answered, I cannot pay that
respect to devils which is due only to the Almighty." The speech so enraged
the pro-consul, that Nichomachus was put to the rack. He bore the torture
for some time with patience and great resolution; but at length, when ready
to expire with pain, he had the weakness to abjure his faith, and become
an apostate. He had no sooner given this proof of his frailty than he
'fell into the greatest agonies, dropped down, and expired immediately.
Denisa, a young woman, only sixteen years of age, who beheld this signal
judgment, suddenly exclaimed, "0, unhappy wretch, why would you buy a
moment's ease at the expense of a miserable eternity!" Optimus hearing this,
asked if she was a Christian. She replied in the affirmative; and being
commanded to sacrifice to the idols, refused. Optimus, enraged at her resolu-
tion, gave her over to two libertines, who took her to their own home, and
would have ruined her, but for her astonishing courage. At midnight they
were appalled by a frightful vision, when both of them fell at the feet of Denisa,
and implored her prayers that they might not feel the effects of divine ven-
geance for their brutality. But this event did not diminish the cruelty of
Optimus, for the lady was beheaded soon after by his command.
Andrew and Paul, two companions of Nichomachus the martyr, on confessing
themselves Christians, were condemned to die, and delivered to the multitude
to be stoned. Accordingly, A.D. 251, they suffered martyrdom by stoning, and
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
expired, calling on the blessed Redeemer. Alexander and Empimacus, of
Alexandria, were apprehended for being Christians, and on confessing the
accusation, were beat with staves, torn with hooks, and at length burnt.
We are informed by Eusebius, that four female martyrs suffered on the same
day, and at the same place, but not in the same manner; for these were
beheaded. Lucian and Marcian, two pagans and magicians, becoming con-
verts to Christianity, to make amends for their former errors, adopted the life
of hermits, and subsisted upon bread and water. After spending some time
in this manner, they reflected that their life was inefficacious, and determined
to leave their solitude to make converts to Christianity. With this pious and
laudable resolution they became zealous preachers. Persecution, however, raging
at the time, they were seized upon, and carried before Sabinus, governor of
Bithynia. On being asked by what authority they took upon themselves to
preach, Lucian answered "That the law of charity and humanity obliged all men
to endeavour to convert their neighbours, and to do everything in their power to
rescue them from the snares of the devil." Marcian said their conversion was
by the same grace which was given to St. Paul, who, from a zealous persecutor
of the church, became a preacher of the gospel. When the pro-consul found
that he could not prevail on them to renounce their faith, he condemned them
to be burnt alive, and the sentence was soon after executed.
"Trypho and Respicius, two eminent men, were seized as Christians, and im-
prisoned at Nice. They were soon after put to the rack, which they bore with
admirable patience for three hours, and uttered the praises of the Almighty the
whole time. They were then exposed naked in the open air, which benumbed
all their limbs. When remanded to prison, they remained there for a consider-
able time; and then the cruelties of their persecutors were again evinced.
Their feet were pierced with nails; they were dragged through the streets,
scourged, torn with hooks, scorched with lighted torches, and at length beheaded,
on the 1st of February, A.D. 251.
Agatha, a Sicilian lady of great beauty, attracted the unlawful regard of
Quintain, governor of the island, who endeavoured by unscrupulous means and
with the aid of Aphrodica, a woman of bad character, to overcome her virtue.
Failing in this, he ordered her as a Christian to be scourged, burnt with hot
irons, and torn with sharp hooks. Having borne these torments with admir-
able fortitude, she was next laid upon live coals, intermingled with glass, and
being carried back to prison, she there expired on the 5th of February, A.D. 251.
Cyril, bishop of Gortyna, seized by order of Lucius, governor of that place,
was exhorted to obey the imperial mandate to offer sacrifice to idols, and save
his venerable person, he being eighty-four years of age. The good prelate
replied, that as he had long taught others to save their souls, now he should
only think of his own salvation. When the governor found all his persuasion
in vain, he pronounced sentence in these words-" I order that Cyril, who has
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
lost his senses, and is a declared enemy of our gods, shall be burnt alive." The
good prelate underwent his martyrdom with a resolution which astonished all,
and converted some.
In the island of Crete persecution raged with great fury: the governor being
exceedingly active in executing the imperial decrees. The place streamed with
the blood of Christians. The principal Cretan martyrs whose names have been
transmitted to us, are these-Theodulus, Saturnius, and Europus, inhabitants
of Gortyna, who had been confirmed in their faith by Cyril, bishop of that city:
Eunicianus, Zeticus, Cleomenes, Agathopas, Bastides, and Euaristus, who were
brought from different parts of the island on accusations relating to their pro-
fession of Christianity.
Refusing to sacrifice to Jupiter, the judge threatened them with the severest
tortures. They unanimously answered, that to suffer for the sake of the
Supreme Being would, to them, be the sublimest of pleasures. The judge
attempted to gain their veneration for the heathen deities by descanting on
their merits, and recounting some of their mythological histories. This gave
the prisoners an opportunity of remarking on the absurdity of such fictions,
and of pointing out the folly of paying adoration to ideal deities and material
images. Provoked to hear his favourite idols ridiculed, the governor ordered
them to be put to the rack, the tortures of which they sustained with surprising
fortitude. They at length suffered martyrdom, A.D. 251, being all beheaded at *
the same time.
Babylas, a Christian of a liberal education, became bishop of Antioch in
A.D. 237, on the demise of Zebinus. He acted with inimitable zeal, and
governed the church during the most tempestuous times with admirable
prudence. During his mission Antioch was beseiged by Saphor, king of
Persia; who having over-run all Syria, took and plundered this city among
others, and used the Christian inhabitants with greater severity than the rest.
Decius afterwards came to Antioch, where he desired to visit an assembly of
Christians, but Babylas opposed him and refused to let him enter. The Emperor
dissembled his anger for the time; but soon sending for the bishop, he sharply
reproved him for his insolence, and ordered him to sacrifice to the pagan deities
as an expiation for his supposed crime. Having refused this, he was committed
to prison, loaded with chains, treated with great severity, and then beheaded,
together with three young men who had been his pupils. On going to the
place of execution, the bishop exclaimed, "Behold me and the children that the
Lord hath given me." They were martyred A.D. 251, and the chains worn by
the bishop in prison were buried with him.
Alexander, bishop of Jerusalem, about this time, on account of his religion
was cast into prison, where he died through the severity of his confinement.
Serapian, apprehended at Alexandria, had his bones broken, and was thrown
from a high loft, and killed by the fall. Julianus, an old man, lame with the
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
gout, and Cronion, another Christian, were bound on the backs of camels,
severely scourged, and then thrown into a fire and consumed. A spectator who
seemed to commiserate them, was ordered to be beheaded as a punishment for
his sympathy. Macar, a Lybian Christian, was burnt. Horonater and Isidorns,
Egyptians, with Dioschorus, a.boy of fifteen, after suffering many torments,
met with a similar fate; and Nemesion, another Egyptian, was first tried as a
thief; but being acquitted, was accused of Christianity, which confessing, he was
scourged, tortured, and finally burnt. Ischyrian, the Christian servant of an
Egyptian nobleman and magistrate, was run through with a pike by his own
master, for refusing to sacrifice to idols. Venatius, a youth of fifteen, was
martyred in Italy; and forty virgins, at Antioch, after being imprisoned and
scourged, were destroyed by fire.
The Emperor Decius having erected a pagan temple at Ephesus, in the year
251, commanded all who were in that city to sacrifice to the idols. This order
was nobly refused by seven of his own soldiers, viz., Maximianus, Martianus,
Joannes, Malchus, Dyonisius, Constantinus, and Seraion. The Emperor wishing
to prevail by lenity, gave them a respite till he returned from a journey. In
his absence they escaped, and hid themselves in a cavern; but on his return,
the mouth of the cavern was closed up, and they all were starved or smothered
Theodora, a beautiful young lady of Antioch, on refusing to sacrifice to the
Roman idols, was condemned to the brothel, that her virtue might be sacrificed.
Didymus, a Christian, disguised himself m the habit of a Roman soldier, went
to the house, informed Theodora who he was, and prevailed on her to make
her escape in his dress. Being found in the brothel instead of the lady, he was
taken before the president, to whom confessing the truth, sentence of death
was immediately pronounced against him. In the meantime, Theodora, hearing
that her deliverer was likely to suffer, came to the judge, threw herself at his
feet, and begged that the sentence might fall only on her as the guilty person;
but the inflexible judge condemned both; and they were executed accordingly,
being first beheaded, and their bodies afterwards urnt.
Secundianus having been accused as a Christian, was conveyed to prison by
some soldiers. On their way, Verianus and Marcellinus said, "Where are you
carrying the innocent?" This interrogatory occasioned them to be seized; and
all three, after having been tortured, were hanged, and their heads cut off when
they were dead.
Origen, the celebrated presbyter and catechist of Alexandria, at the age of
sixty-four, was seized, thrown into a loathsome prison, loaded with chains, his
feet placed in the stocks, and his legs extended to the utmost for several days.
He was threatened with fire, and tormented by every means that the most
infernal imagination could suggest. But his Christian fortitude sustained him.
Such was the rigour of the judge, that his tortures were ordered to be as
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
lingering as possible, that death might not too soon put a period to his miseries.
During this cruel interval, the Emperor Decius died, and Gallus, who succeeded
him, engaging in a war with the Goths, the Christians met with a respite.
Thus Origen obtained his enlargement, and retiring to Tyre, remained
there till his death, which happened when he was in the sixty-ninth year of
In the city of Antioch, Vincentius, lib. 11, speaks of forty virgins, martyrs,
who suffered in the persecution of Decius. In the country of Phrygia, and in
the town of Lampsar, Vincentius also speaks of one Peter, who was there
apprehended, and suffered bitter torments for Christ's name, under Optimus,
the pro-consul: and in Troada he also speaks of other martyrs that suffered,
whose names were Andrew, Paul, Nichomachus, and Dionysia, a virgin. He
adds, that in Babylon many Christian confessors were found who were led
away into Spain to be executed.
In the country of Cappadocia, and the city of Cesarea Germanus, Theophilus,
Cesarius, and Vitalis, suffered martyrdom for Christ; and in the same book
mention is also made of Polychronius, bishop of Babylon, and of Nestor, bishop
of Cesarea, who died martyrs.
At Perside, in the town of Cardalia, Olympiades and Maximus; in Tyrus,
Anatolia, a virgin, and Audax, a senator, gave their lives for a testimony to the
name of Christ.
Gallus having concluded his wars, a plague broke out in the empire; and
sacrifices to the pagan deities were ordered by the Emperor to appease their
wrath. On the Christians refusing to comply with these rites, they were
charged with being the authors of the calamity: thus the persecution spread
from the interior to the extreme parts of the empire, and many fell victims to
the impetuosity of the rabble, as well as to the prejudice of the magistrates.
Cornelius, the Christian bishop of Rome, was, among others, seized upon this
occasion. He was first banished to Centum-Cellae, now called Civita Vecchia,
and after having been cruelly scourged, was, on the 14th of September, A.D.
252, beheaded, having been bishop fifteen months and ten days. Lucius, who
succeeded Cornelius as bishop of Rome, was the son of Porphyrius, and a
Roman by birth. His vigilance as a pastor occasioned him to be banished;
but in a short time he was permitted to return from exile. Soon after, how-
ever, he was apprehended, and beheaded, March the 4th, A.D. 253. This
bishop was succeeded by Stephanus, a man of fiery temper, who held the
dignity few years, and might probably have fallen a martyr, had not the
Emperor been murdered by his general JEmilian, when a profound peace
succeeded throughout the empire, and persecution was suffered to subside.
FOXES BOOK OF MARTYRS.
THE EIGHTH GENERAL PERSECUTION.
After the death of Gallus, AEmilian, the general, having many enemies in
the army, was slain, and Valerian elected to the empire. This Emperor, for
the space of four years, governed with moderation, and treated the Christians
with lenity and respect; but in the year 257, an Egyptian magician, named
Macriamus, gained a great ascendency over him, and persuaded him to persecute
the Christians. Edicts were accordingly published, and the persecution, which
began in the month of April, continued for three years and six months.
The martyrs that fell in this persecution were innumerable, and their tortures
and deaths were various. Rufina and Secunda, two beautiful and accomplished
ladies, were daughters of Asterius, a gentleman of eminence in Rome. Rufina,
the elder, was designed in marriage for Armentarius, a young nobleman; and
Secunda, the younger, for Verinus, a person of rank and wealth. These suitors,
at the time the persecution commenced, were both Christians; but when
danger appeared, to save their fortunes, they renounced their faith. They took
great pains to persuade the ladies to do the same, but failed in their purpose;
and as a method of safety, Rufina and Secunda left the kingdom. The lovers
finding themselves disappointed, informed against the ladies, who being appre-
hended as Christians, were brought before Junius Donatus, governor of Rome.
After many remonstrances, and having undergone several tortures, they sealed
their martyrdom with their blood, by being beheaded in the year 257.
In the same year, Stephen, bishop of Rome, was beheaded, and about that
time Saturninus, bishop of Thoulouse, was attacked and seized by the rabble
of that place, for preventing, as they alleged, their oracles from speaking. On
refusing to sacrifice to the idols, he was treated with many barbarous indignities,
and then fastened by the feet to the tail of a bull. On a certain signal, the
enraged animal was driven down the steps of the temple, by which the martyr's
brains were dashed out. The small number of Christians in Thoulouse had
not for some time courage sufficient to carry off the dead body; at length two
women conveyed it away, and deposited it in a ditch. This martyr was an
orthodox and learned Christian, and his doctrines are held in high estimation.
Stephen was succeeded by Sextus as bishop of Rome. He is supposed to
have been a Greek by birth or extraction, and he had for some time served in
the capacity of a deacon under Stephen. His fidelity, wisdom, and courage,
distinguished him on many occasions; and the fortunate conclusion of a con-
troversy with some heretics is generally ascribed to his prudence. Marcianus,
who had the management of the Roman government in the year 258, procured
an order from the Emperor Valerian to put to death all the Christian clergy
The senate having testified their obedience to the imperial mandate, Sextus
FOXES BOOK OF MARTYRS.
was one of the first who felt the severity of the edict. Cyprian tells us that
he was beheaded August 6, A.D. 258, and that six of his deacons suffered
Laurentius, generally called St. Laurence, the principal of the deacons, who
taught and preached under Sextus, followed him to the place of execution;
when Sextus predicted that he should meet him in heaven three days after.
Laurentius considering this as a certain indication of his own approaching
martyrdom, at his return collected all the Christian poor, and distributed
amongst them the treasures of the church which had been committed to his
care, thinking the money could not be better disposed of, or less liable to fall
into the hands of the heathens. His conduct alarmed the persecutors, who
seized on him, and commanded him to give an immediate account to the
Emperor of the church treasures.
Laurentius promised to satisfy them, but begged a short respite to put things
in proper order; three days being granted him, he was suffered to depart.
Then with great diligence he collected together a great number of aged, help-
less, and impotent poor, and repaired to the magistrate, presenting them to
him, saying, These dre the true treasures of the church."
Provoked at the disappointment, and fancying the matter meant in ridicule,
the governor ordered him to be immediately scourged. He was beaten with
iron rods, set upon a wooden horse, and had his limbs dislocated. He endured
these tortures with such fortitude and perseverance, that he was ordered to be
fastened to a large gridiron, with a slow fire under it, that his death might
be more tedious. But his astonishing constancy during these trials, and his
serenity of countenance under such excruciating torments, gave the spectators
so exalted an idea of the dignity and truth of the Christian religion, that many
immediately became converts.
Among these was a soldier called Romanus, who attended the martyrdom.
He had taken the opportunity of the martyr's imprisonment to make some
inquiries concerning the Christian faith, and it was reported that he had
received baptism at the hands of his captive. Be this as it may, he declared
himself a Christian immediately after the death of Laurentius, and soon followed
him by a less lingering death to the world of blessed spirits. On his avowal
of the Christian faith, he was scourged and beheaded. He had a companion
in his faith and suffering, named Hypolitus, to whom he was much attached,
and who evinced no desire to escape the fate of his courageous friend.
Fourteen years before this period, persecution raged in Africa with peculiar
violence, and many thousands received the crown of martyrdom, among whom
the following were the most distinguished characters:-
Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, an eminent prelate, and a pious ornament of
the church. His doctrines were orthodox and pure; his language easy and
elegant; and his manners graceful. He was said to be so perfectly a master
FOXES BOOK OF MARTYRS.
of rhetoric and logic, and so complete in the practice of elocution and the
principles of philosophy, that he was made professor of those sciences in his
native city of Carthage, where he taught with such success, that many of his
students afterwards became shining ornaments of polite erudition. He was
educated in his youth in the maxims of the heathen, and having a considerable
fortune, he lived in great splendour and pomp. Gorgeous in attire, luxurious
in feasting, vain of a numerous retinue, and fond of every kind of fashionable
parade, he seemed to fancy that man was born to gratify all his appetites, and
created for pleasure alone. About the year 246, Coecilius, a Christian minister
of Carthage, became the instrument of Cyprian's conversion; on which account,
and for the great love that he always afterwards bore his adviser, he was termed
After baptism he sold his estate, dist-ibuted the money among the poor,
dressed himself in plain attire, and commenced a life of austerity and solitude.
Soon after he was made a presbyter; and being greatly admired for his virtues
and his works, on the death of Donatus, in A.D. 248, he was almost unani-
mously elected bishop of Carthage. The care of Cyprian extended not only
over Carthage, but to Numidia and Mauritania. In all his transactions he
took great care to ask the advice of his clergy, knowing that unanimity alone
could be of service to the church: this being one of his maxims, "That the
bishop was in the church, and the church in the bishop: so that unity
can only be preserved by a close connection between the pastor and his
In the year 250, Cyprian was publicly prescribed by the Emperor Decius,
under the appellation of Ocecilius Cyprian, bishop of the Cyprians; and the
universal cry of the pagans was, "Cyprian to the lions, Cyprian to the
beasts!" The bishop, however, withdrew from the rage of the populace, and
his effects were immediately confiscated. During his retirement, he wrote
thirty pious letters to his flock; several schisms having crept into the church,
which gave him great uneasiness. The rigour of the persecution abating, he
returned to Carthage, and did every thing in his power to expel erroneous
opinions and false doctrines. A terrible plague now breaking out at Carthage,
it was, as usual, laid to the charge of the Christians; and the magistrates began
to persecute them accordingly: this occasioned an epistle from them to Cyprian,
in answer to which he vindicates the cause of Christianity.
Cyprian was brought before the pro-consul Aspasius Paternus, A.D. 257,
when being commanded to conform to the religion of the empire, he boldly
made a confession of his faith. This did not occasion his death, but an order
was made for his banishment, and he was exiled toa little city on the Libyan
sea. On the death of the pro-consul who banished him, he returned to
Carthage, but was soon after seized, and carried before the new governor, who
condemned him to be beheaded; and on the 14th of September, A.D. 258, this
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
sentence was executed. This bishop was a pious Christian, an excellent
philosopher, and an accurate and eloquent preacher.
His disciples who were martyred in this persecution were Lucius Flavian,
Victoricus, Remus, Montanus, Donatian, Julian, and Primolus.
At Utica, 300 Christians were, by the orders of the pro-consul, placed
around a burning lime-kiln. A pan of coals and incense being prepared, they
were commanded either to sacrifice to Jupiter, or to be thrown into the kiln.
"Unanimously refusing, they bravely jumped into the pit, and were suffocated
FRUCTUOSus, bishop of Tarragon, in Spain, and his two deacons, Augarius
and Eulogius, for avowing themselves Christians, were consumed by fire.
Malchus, Alexander, and Priscius, three Christians of Palestine, together
with a woman of the same place, voluntarily avowing themselves to be
Christians, were sentenced to be devoured by tigers, which sentence was
accordingly executed. Donatilla, Maxima, and Secunda, three virgins of
Tuburga, had gall and vinegar given them to drink; they were'then severely
scourged, tormented on a gibbet, rubbed with lime, scorched on a gridiron,
worried by wild beasts, and at last beheaded. Before the last act of barbarity
took place they were, however, dead, and the headsman was said to admire
the singular serenity of their countenances.
Pontius, a native of the city of Simela, near the Alps, being apprehended as
a Christian, was tortured on the rack, worried by wild beasts, half burnt, then
beheaded, and his body thrown into the river. Protus and Hyacinthus likewise
suffered martyrdom about the same period.
Gallienus, the son of Valerian, succeeded him A.D. 260, and during his reign
(a few martyrs excepted) the church enjoyed peace for some years. The chief
of those few martyrs, was Marinus, a centurion, who being apprehended as a
Christian, had but three hours to deliberate whether he would sacrifice to the
pagan deities, or become a martyr; and wavering during this interval, a Christian
prelate placed the gospel and the sword before him, and demanded which he
would choose. Marinus took the sword without hesitation. On meeting again
with the governor, he made a bold confession of his faith, and was soon after
beheaded, in the year 262.
THE NINTH GENERAL PERSECUTION.
In the year 274, the Emperor Aurelian commenced a persecution against the
Christians: the principal sufferer was Felix, bishop of Rome. This prelate was
advanced to the Roman see in 274, and was beheaded in the same year on the
22d of December. Agapetus, a young gentleman, who sold his estate and
gave the money to the poor, was seized as a Christian, tortured, and then
brought to Praeneste, a city within a day's journey of Rome, where he was
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
beheaded. These are the only martyrs left upon record during this reign, as it
was soon ended, the Emperor being murdered by his own domestics, at
Diocletian mounting the imperial throne A.D. 2S4, at first showed great
favour to the Christians. In the year 286, he associated Maximian with him
in the empire; when Felician and Primus, two Christian brothers, were put to
death before any general persecution broke out. They were seized by an order
from the imperial court; and owning themselves Christians, were scourged,
tortured, and finally heheaded. Marcus and Marcellianus, twin natives of
Rome, of noble descent, were of heathen parents; but the tutors to whom
their education was entrusted having brought them up as Christians, they were
apprehended on account of their faith, severely tortured, and then condemned
to death. A respite of a month was obtained for them by their friends, when
their parents and other relations attempted to bring them back to paganism,
but in vain. At last their constancy subdued their persuaders, and the whole
family became converts to the faith they had before opposed.
TRANQUILLINUS, the father of the two young men, was sent for by the prefect
to give him an account of the success of his endeavours, when he confessed,
that so far from having persuaded his sons to forsake the faith they had em-
braced, he was become a Christian himself. He then stopped till the magistrate
had overcome his surprise, and resuming his discourse, he used such powerful
arguments that he made a convert of the prefect, who soon after sold his estate,
resigned his command, and spent the remainder of his days in a pious retirement.
The prefect who succeeded this singular convert seized upon the whole of
this Christian race, who were martyred by being tied to posts, and having their
feet pierced with nails. After remaining in this situation for a day and night,
their sufferings were put an end to by thrusting lances through their bodies.
Zoe, the wife of the gaoler who had the care of these martyrs, being greatly
edified by their discourse, had a desire to become a Christian: this, as she was
dumb with a palsy, she could only express by gestures. They gave her in-
struction in the faith, and told her to pray in her -heart to God to relieve her
from her disorder. She did so, and was at length relieved; for her paralytic
disorder by degrees left her, her speech returned, and, like Zacharias, she
This enforced her belief, and confirmed her a Christian: and her husband,
finding her cured, became a convert himself. These conversions made a great
noise, and the proselytes were apprehended. Zoe was commanded to sacrifice
to Mars, which refusing, she was hanged on a tree, and a fire of straw lighted
under her. When her body was taken down it was thrown into a river, a large
stone being fastened round her neck.
TIBERTIUS, a native of Rome, was of a family of rank and distinction. Being
accused as a Christian, he was commanded either to sacrifice to idols, or to
-FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
walk upon burning coals. He chose the latter, and is said to have walked
over them without damage, when Fabian passed sentence upon him that he
should be beheaded, which was executed in the month of August, A.D. 286,
and his body was afterwards buried by some pious Christians.
In A.D. 286, a legion of soldiers (consisting of 6666 men), called the Theban
legion, contained none but Christians Being ordered by the Emperor Maxi-
milian to march into Gaul, to assist him against the rebels of Burgundy, they
were on their arrival commanded to take the oath of allegiance, and to swear
to assist the Emperor to exterminate Christianity in Gaul. Refusing to do
so they were twice decimated, and this severity proving ineffectual, the whole
legion was, by order of the Emperor, cut to pieces by the other troops, on the
22d of September in the year above named. Orders were even sent to Italy
to destroy a few detachments of the legion which had been sent thither. A
soldier of another legion, named Victor, meeting the executioners in Italy, and
expressing his disapproval of this barbarity, was also despatched by them.
ALBAN, from whom St. Alban's received its name, was the first British
martyr. He was originally a pagan, but being of a humane disposition, he
sheltered a Christian ecclesiastic, named Amphibalus, whom some officers were
in pursuit of on account of his religion. The example and discourses of the
refugee made a great impression on the mind of Alban, while the fugitive
minister took great pains to instruct him, and before his discovery, he had
perfected Alban's conversion.
Alban now took a firm resolution to preserve the sentiments of a Christian,
or to die the death of a martyr. The enemies of Amphibalus having intelli-
gence of the place where he was secreted, came to the house of Alban, in order
to apprehend him. The noble host, desirous of protecting his guest, changed
clothes with him in order to facilitate his escape; and when the soldiers came,
offered himself up as the person for whom they were seeking. Being carried
before the governor, the deceit was immediately discovered; and that officer
determined to wreak his vengeance upon Alban: with this view he commanded
the prisoner to advance to the altar, and sacrifice to, the pagan deities. The
brave Alban, however, declared that he would not comply with the idolatrous
injunction, but boldly professed himself to be a Christian. The governor
ordered him to be scourged, but he bore the punishment with great fortitude,
and seemed to acquire new resolution from his sufferings: he was then be-
headed. The venerable Bede states, that upon this occasion the executioner
suddenly became a convert to Christianity, and entreated permission either to
die for Alban or with him. Obtaining the latter request, they were beheaded
by a soldier, who voluntarily undertook the task. This happened on the 22d
of June, A.D. 287, at Verulam, now St. Alban's, where a magnificent church
was erected to his memory about the time of Constantine the Great. This
edifice was destroyed in the Saxon wars, but was rebuilt by Offa, king of
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
Mercia, and a monastery erected adjoining to it, some remains of which are
FAITH, a Christian female, of Acquitain, in France, being informed that
there was a design to seize her, anticipated the intention by surrendering her-
self a prisoner; and being inflexible in her faith, was ordered to be broiled
upon a gridiron, and then beheaded, which sentence was executed A.D. 287.
Capacius, a Christian, concealed himself from the persecutors, but being informed
of the fortitude of Faith, he openly avowed his religion, and delivered himself
up to the governor, who had him first tortured, and then beheaded. Quintin,
a Christian, and a native of Rome, determined to attempt the propagation of
the gospel in Gaul. He accordingly went to Picardy, attended by one Lucian,
and they preached together at Amiens; after which Lucian went to Beauvais
where he suffered martyrdom. Quintin, however, remained in Picardy, and
was very zealous in his ministry. His continual prayers to the Almighty were
to increase his faith, and strengthen his faculties to propagate the gospel.
Being seized as a Christian, he was stretched with pullies till his joints
were dislocated: his body was then torn with wire scourges, and boiling oil and
pitch were poured on his naked flesh: lighted torches were applied to his sides
and arm-pits; and after he had been thus tortured, he was remanded to prison.
He died of his wounds and bruises at a village not far from Amiens, before
the year was closed, and his body was thrown, by order of Varus the governor,
into the river Somme.
THE TENTH GENERAL PERSECUTION.
Notwithstanding the efforts of the heathen to exterminate the Christians and
abolish their faith, they yet increased so greatly as to render themselves
formidable by their numbers. They, however, forgot the precepts of their
Redeemer, and instead of adopting his humility, they gave themselves up to
vain attire, living sumptuously, building stately edifices for churches, and thus
provoking envy and hatred. Galerius, the adopted son of Diocletian, stimulated
by his mother, a bigoted pagan, persuaded the Emperor to commence a new
persecution. It began on the 23d of February, A.D. 303, being the day on
which the Terminalia were celebrated, and on which, the pagans boasted, they
should put a termination to Christianity
The persecution opened in Nicomedia. The prefect of that city repaired on
a certain morning to the Christians' Church, which his officers were commanded
to break open, and commit the sacred books it contained to the flames.
Diocletian and Galerius, who were present, ordered their attendants to level
the church with the ground. This was followed by a severe edict, commanding
the destruction of all other Christian churches and books; and an order soon
succeeded, the object of which was to render Christians of all denominations
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
outlaws, so as to render them incapable of holding any place of trust,
profit, or dignity, or of receiving any protection from the legal institutions
of the realm. An immediate martyrdom was the result of this edict; for a
bold Christian not only tore it down from the place to which it was affixed, but
execrated the name of the Emperor for his injustice and cruelty: he was in
consequence seized, severely tortured, and then burnt alive. The Christian
prelates were likewise apprehended and imprisoned; and Galerids privately
ordered the imperial palace to be set on fire, that the Christians might be
charged as the incendiaries, and a plausible pretext given for carrying on the
persecution with the greatest severity. A general sacrifice was then commanded,
which occasioned various martyrdoms. Among others, a Christian named
Peter was tortured, broiled, and then burnt; several deacons and presbyters
were seized and executed by various means; and the bishop of Nicomedia
himself was beheaded. So great was the persecution that there was no dis-
tinction made of age or sex, but all fell indiscriminate sacrifices to their opinions.
Many houses were set on fire, and whole Christian families perished in the
flames; some persons had stones fastened about their necks, and were driven
into the sea. The persecution became general in all the Roman provinces, but
more particularly in the east; and as it lasted ten years, it is impossible to
ascertain the numbers martyred, or to enumerate the various modes of martyr-
dom: some were beheaded in Arabia; many devoured by wild beasts in
Phoenicia; great numbers were broiled on gridirons in Syria; others had their
bones broken, and in that manner were left to expire, in Cappadocia; and in
Mesopotamia several were hung with their heads downwards over slow fires,
and suffocated. In Pentus, a variety of tortures were used; pins were thrust
under the nails of the prisoners, melted lead was poured upon them, and other ex-
quisite tortures were inflicted, without, however, shaking their faith. In Egypt,
some Christians were buried alive in the earth, others were drowned in the Nile,
many were hung in the air till they perished, and great numbers were thrown
into large fires and suffocating kilns. Scourges, racks, daggers, swords, poison,
crosses, and famine, were made use of in various parts to destroy the Christians,
and invention was exhausted to devise new tortures against them.
A town of Phrygia, consisting entirely of Christians, was surrounded by a
number of pagan soldiers, who set it on fire, and all the inhabitants perished
in the flames.
At last, several governors of provinces represented to the imperial court
that it was unfit to pollute the cities with the blood of the inhabitants, or to
defame the government of the Emperors with the death of so many subjects.
Hence many were respited from execution; but though they were not put to
death, they were subjected to every species of indignity and suffering. Many
had their ears cut off, their noses slit, their right eyes put out, their limbs dis-
located, and their flesh seared in conspicuous places with red hot irons.
S' ._- -:- .---" -_- ___
TURKS CARRYING THE CRUCI FIX IN TRIUMPH
TURKS CARRYING THE CRUCIFIX INV TRIUMPH,
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
Among the distinguished persons who forfeited their lives during this bloody
persecution was Sebastian, an officer of the imperial guard at Rome. He was
born at Narbonne, in Gaul, and had been instructed in the precepts of
Christianity. His case was brought before the Emperor, who charged him
with ingratitude in becoming an enemy to the gods of the empire and to
himself; and sentenced him to be shot to death with arrows. The execution
having been imperfectly carried out, he recovered, and returning to the city and
charging the Emperor with his cruelties, he was again ordered to be put to
death. A Christian lady named Lucina recovered his body, and buried it
in the catacombs.
About this time the Christians began to consider it unlawful to enter the
Roman armies, and being obliged by law to serve, many were brought into
trouble on this account.
MAXIMILIAN, the son of Fabius Victor, was ordered by Dion, the pro-consul,
to be enlisted in the service. As he opposed the order, Dion applied to his
father to exercise his authority over him. Victor replied, "My son knows
best what he has to do." Dion again asked Maximilian if he was prepared to
receive the mark of service. He replied, "I have already received the mark
S of Christ." Have you!" replied the pro-consul, "I shall quickly send you to
Christ," and he sentenced him to be beheaded for disobedience in refusing
military service, and for being a Christian.
VITUS, a Sicilian of a considerable family, although Hylas, his father, was
a pagan, had been trained a Christian from infancy. When little more than
twelve years of age, he was apprehended on the information of his father, and
severely scourged. He was not thus to be intimidated, and his father, finding
him inflexible, resolved to sacrifice him. Vitus endeavoured to escape, but
being seized, was put to death by order of Valerien, June 14, 303. His
nurse Crescentia, and Modestus, a person who escaped with him, were martyred
at the same time.
VICTOR, a Christian of good family at Marseilles, spent a great part of his
time in nightly visiting the afflicted, and confirming the weak, and of his
fortune in relieving the distresses of poor Christians. His beneficence becoming
known, he was seized by the Emperor's orders, and carried before two prefects,
who advised him to embrace paganism, and not forfeit the favour of his prince
on account of a dead man, as they styled Christ. He replied, that he preferred
the service of that man, who was the Son of God, and had risen from the grave,
to all the advantages he could receive from the Emperor's favour: that he was
a soldier of Christ, and would therefore take care that the post he held under
an earthly prince, should never interfere with his duty to the King of heaven.
Being a man of rank, he was sent to the Emperor to receive his final sentence.
When brought before him, the Emperor, under the severest penalties, com-
manded him to sacrifice to the Roman idols; and on his refusal, Maximilian
FOXES BOOK OF MARTYRS.
ordered him to be bound, and dragged through the streets. During the exe-
cution of this order, he was treated by the enraged populace with all manner
of indignities. Remaining inflexible, his courage was deemed obstinacy: on
which he observed, "That the ready disposition of the disciples of Christ to
undergo any sufferings for his sake, and the joy with which they met the most
ignominious and painful death, were sufficient proofs of their assurance of the
object of their hope." When stretched on the rack, he turned his eyes towards
heaven, and prayed to God to give him patience; after which he underwent
the tortures with admirable fortitude. 'When the executioners were tired with
multiplying his tortures, he was taken from the rack to a dungeon. During
his confinement, he convinced his gaolers, named Alexander, Felician, and
Longinus. This affair coming to the knowledge of the Emperor, the gaolers
were immediately beheaded. Victor was afterwards again put to the rack,
beaten with clubs, and then sent to his dungeon. Being a third time examined,
and persevering in his principles, a small altar was brought, and he was com-
manded to offer incense upon it immediately; but instead of complying he
boldly stepped forward, and with his foot overthrew both altar and idol.
The Emperor, who was present, was so enraged at this, that he ordered the
foot which had kicked the altar to be immediately cut off; and Victor was
sentenced to be thrown into a mill, and crushed to pieces with the stones.
This horrid sentence was carried into execution: Victor was thrown into the
mill, but part of the apparatus breaking, he was drawn from it terribly bruised;
and the Emperor, not having patience to stay till the machinery was repaired,
ordered his head to be struck off.
While Maximus, governor of Sicilia, was at Tarsus, three Christians, named
Tarachus, Probus, and Andromachus, were brought before him. They were
examined three times. Tarachus, the eldest, being asked who he was, replied,
"a Christian." The governor repeated the question, but he gave the same
answer. He was exhorted to sacrifice to the gods as the only way to riches,
promotion, and honour. He said that he despised riches, desired not promotion,
and considered no honour greater than that of being a Christian. For his
boldness of speech, his jaws were ordered to be broken. He was then stripped,
scourged, loaded with chains, and thrown into a dismal dungeon, to wait the
trial of the two other prisoners. Probus and Andromachus gave answers
similar to Tarachus, and were treated in an equally cruel manner. On being
again summoned for examination, they were subjected to various tortures,
without their constancy being moved. Fire was placed in the palms of their
hands; they were hung up by the feet and smoked with wet straw; salt and
vinegar were put into their wounds, etc. At their third examination, remaining
still unshaken, they were ordered for execution. Being taken to the amphi-
upon which they were slain with the sword, the 11th of October, 303.
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
ROMANUS, a native of Palestine, was deacon of the church of Caesarea at the
commencement of Diocletian's persecution. "He was at Antioch when the
imperial order arrived for sacrificing to idols, and was greatly afflicted to see
many Christians, through fear, submit to the idolatrous mandate. While cen-
suring some for their conduct, he was informed against to the Emperor, and
apprehended. Being brought to the tribunal, he confessed himself a Christian.
When condemned for his faith, he was scourged, put to the rack, his body torn
with hooks, his flesh cut with knives, his face scarified, his teeth beat from their
sockets, and his hair plucked up by the roots. When thus cruelly mangled,
he turned to the governor and thanked him for having opened so many mouths
to preach the doctrines of Christianity; "for," said he, "every wound is a
mouth to sing the praises of the Lord." Prudentius, and other writers, relate
that Romanus offered to put the Christian faith to the test of the evidence of
a child whose age should be free from malice. This offer being accepted, a
child was selected of seven years of age, who bore witness to the unity of the
Godhead and the divinity of Christ. The child, after being barbarously used,
was executed along with Romanus on the 17th of November, 303.
MARCELLINUS, an ecclesiastic at Rome, being apprehended on account of his
religion, was ordered to be privately executed in the forest, and was accordingly
beheaded there. Peter, a Christian, apprehended for the same cause, was exe-
cuted at the same time and place. Also about this period, Smagardus, Largus,
and Cyracus, the last named a deacon of the Christian church, were martyred;
but the mode of their death is not specified.
SUSANNA, the niece of Cains, bishop of Rome, was enjoined by the Emperor
Diocletian to marry a noble pagan, nearly related to him: but on account of
being a Christian, she refused the honour, which so enraged the Emperor, that
she was immediately afterwards beheaded. Dorotheus, chamberlain of the
household of Diocletian, was a Christian, and took great pains to make converts.
He was assisted by Gorgonius, another Christian belonging to the palace: they
were both high in the Emperor's favour, but they proved that worldly honours
and temporary pleasures were nothing in competition with the joys of
immortality; for, being informed against, they were first tortured and then
strangled. Peter, an eunuch of the Emperor, was a Christian of singular
humility. He did any servile office to serve the afflicted, and gave whatever
he possessed to those who needed assistance. Having been informed against
as a Christian, and confessing the charge, he was scourged till his flesh was
torn in a terrible manner; salt and vinegar were then thrown upon the wounds,
and having suffered these tortures with the utmost tranquillity, he was laid on a
gridiron, and broiled over a slow fire till he expired in the greatest agony.
CYPRIAK, called the magician, to distinguish him from Cyprian, bishop of
Carthage, had received a liberal education, and studied astrology. After
travelling through India, Egypt, and Greece, he settled near Babylon. He
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
turned his talents to immoral purposes, until, by the agency of a Christian lady
named Justina, whom he had tried to seduce, he was converted. During
the persecution of Diocletian, Cyprian and Justina were seized as Christians
when the former was torn with pincers, and the latter chastised; and after
suffering other torments, both were beheaded.
SERGIUS, an officer in the Roman army, attended the Emperor Maximian into
Syria. Being accused as a Christian, he was ordered to sacrifice to Jupiter;
but refusing, he was stripped of his military habit, and, in derision, dressed in
woman's clothes. He was then compelled to walk a considerable way with
nails in his sandals, and had an end put to his sufferings by being beheaded.
Bacchius, an officer of the same rank with Sergius, being apprehended at the same
time, underwent similar sufferings, and was beheaded on the same day, A.D. 303.
A Spanish lady of a Christian family, named Eulalia, remarkable in her
youth for sweetness of temper and solidity of understanding, was apprehended
as a Christian. Her sides were torn with hooks, and her breasts burnt in the
most shocking manner, till the fire catching her head and face, she expired;
December, A.D. 303.
The Emperor Diocletian becoming ill, in the year 304, the persecution was
carried on by Galerius, and the governors of the several provinces, when many
fell victims to the zeal or malice of the persecutors: among whom the following
persons are enumerated:-
VINCENT, a Spanish Christian, was brought up by Valerius, bishop of Sara-
gossa, who ordained him a deacon. Being apprehended along with Valerius,
he took upon him to answer for both, which so enraged Dacian, the governor
of Tarragona, that, while he only banished Valerius, he subjected Vincent to
severe tortures, under which he sank in prison. He died on 22d of January, 304.
SATURNINUS, a priest of Albilina in Africa, used to preach and administer the
sacrament to a society of Christians, who privately assembled at the house of
Octavius Felix; for the severity of the times was such, that they could not
publicly observe their religious duties. Having been informed against,
Saturninus, with four of his children, and several other persons, were appre-
hended; and that their punishment might be the more exemplary and public,
they were sent to Carthage, the capital of Africa, where they were examined
before Anulinus, the pro-consul of that quarter. Saturninus vindicated the
Christian religion with an eloquence that shewed he was worthy to preside over
such an assembly. Anulinus ordered him to be put to a variety of tortures,
such as scourging, tearing his flesh with hooks, and burning with hot irons.
Having been thus inhumanly treated, he was remanded to prison and there
starved to death. His four children were variously tormented, but remained
steady in their faith. They were thereafter sent to the dungeon in which their
father was confined, where they calmly and cheerfully shared his fate.
There were eight other Christians tortured on the same day as Saturninus,
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
and much in the same manner. Two expired on the spot through the severity
of their sufferings, and the other six being remanded to prison, were suffocated
for want of pure air. Thelico, a pious Christian; Dativus, a noble Roman
senator; Victoria, a young lady of considerable family and fortune, with some
others of less consideration, who had been all auditors of Saturninus, were
seized at the time, tortured in a similar manner, and perished by the same
About the same time three sisters, Chionia, Agape, and Irene, were seized
at Thessalonica. They had been educated in the Christian faith, but had taken
great precautions to remain unknown. For this purpose they retired to a
solitary place, and spent their hours in performing religious duties. Being,
however, discovered and seized, they renounced their former timidity, blamed
themselves for being fearful, and begged of God to strengthen them against
the great trial they had to undergo. When examined before Dulcatius, the
governor, Agape told him that, being a Christian, she could not comply with
any law which commanded the worship of idols and devils; that her resolution
was fixed, and nothing should deter her from maintaining it. Her sister
Chionia answered in the same manner; when the governor, not being able to
draw them from their faith, pronounced sentence of condemnation on them, in
consequence of which they were burnt, March 25, A.D. 304.
IRENE was then brought before the governor, who fancied that the death of
her sisters would have an effect upon her fears. He therefore exhorted her to
acknowledge the heathen deities, to sacrifice to them, partake of the victims,
and deliver up her books relative to Christianity. As she firmly refused to
comply, the governor asked her who persuaded her and her sisters to keep
those books and writings. She answered, it was God, who commanded them
to love him to the last; for which reason she was resolved to submit to be
burned alive rather than give them up into the hands of His professed enemies.
"When the governor found that he could make no impression on her, he ordered
her to be exposed naked in the streets; which shameful order having been
executed, she was burnt April 1, A.D. 304, on the same spot where her sisters
had suffered before her.
AGATHO, a man of a pious turn of mind, with Cassice, Philippa, and Eutychia,
were martyred about the same time; as was Marcellinus, bishop of Rome, who
succeeded Caius in that' see. Having resisted paying divine honours to
Diocletian, who wished to exact them from the people, he was seized, committed
to a dungeon, and suffered martyrdom, by a variety of tortures, in the year 304.
THEODOTUS, a Dalmatian, kept an inn at Ancyra. Being a Christian, and of
a very humane disposition, he devoted a great part of his time to visit the
afflicted, and a great part of his property to relieve the poor. Theotecnus,
governor of these parts, received the mandate for persecuting the Christians
with great satisfaction, and wrote the Emperor that he would do his utmost
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
endeavours to root out Christianity from every place under his jurisdiction.
Encouraged by the governor, the pagans began to inform against and persecute
the Christians. Great numbers were seized and imprisoned; their goods were
destroyed, and their estates confiscated. Many fled to the woods, or retired to
caves, where some supported themselves by feeding upon roots, and others
perished by famine. Many were starved in the city, by means of the following
stratagem: the governor gave orders that no provisions whatever should be
exposed to sale in the markets, without having been first consecrated to the
idols; hence the Christians were compelled to eat idolatrous food, or to perish.
The latter dreadful alternative was chosen by most of them, who, to preserve
the purity of their faith, heroically gave up their lives.. In these dreadful
times, Theodotus did all that he could to comfort the imprisoned, and buried
the bodies of several who had been martyred, though it was forbidden on pain
of death to do so. He likewise privately assisted many with food; for having
laid in a great stock of corn and wine, he sold it a low price, and often gave
Being informed against by a Christian named Polychronious, who had
apostatized to save his life, he surrendered voluntarily. The governor offered
him rewards and friendship if he would renounce his faith. He refused to do so,
and spoke with such eloquence against idolatry that the priests rent their
clothes, and tore their chaplets, the badges of their office, through rage.
Theodotus was scourged, tortured, and afterwards beheaded.
VICTon, a native of Ancyra, was accused by the priests of Diana of having
abused their goddess. On this charge he was seized and committed to prison,
his house was plundered, his family turned out of doors, and his estate forfeited.
When put to the rack, his resolution failed through the variety and severity of
his torments. Being carried back to prison, that he might make a full recanta-
tion, his wounds mortified, and put an end to his life.
A Christian, of the name of Timothy, being carried before Urban, governor
of Palestine, was sentenced to be burned to death by a slow fire; which
sentence was executed at Gaza, on the 19th day of August, A.D. 104.
PHILIP, bishop of Heraclea, had, in every act of his life, appeared a devoted
Christian; the chief of his disciples were Severus a priest, afid Hermes a
deacon, who did much to promote the cause of Christianity. This worthy
bishop was advised to conceal himself, in order to avoid the storm of persecu-
tion; but he reproved those who so counselled him, telling them that their
courage would be enhanced by suffering, and that death has no terror for the
An officer named Aristomachus, being employed to shut up the Christian
church in Heraclea, Philip took pains tq convince him, that shutting up build-
ings made by hands could not destroy Christianity; for the true faith consisted
not in the places where God is adored, but in the hearts of those who adore
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
God. Being denied entrance into the church where he used to preach, Philip
took up his station at the door, and there exhorted people to patience,
perseverance, and godliness. For this he was seized and carried before the
governor, who severely reprimanded him, and continued to speak sternly in
these words-" Bring all the vessels used in your worship, and the Scriptures
which you read and teach the people, and surrender them to me, before you
are forced to do it by tortures." The bishop replied, The vessels you demand
shall be delivered up, for God is not honoured by gold and silver, but by fear
and love; but as to our sacred books, it is neither proper for me to part with
them, nor for you to receive them." This answer so much incensed the
governor, that he ordered him to torture. Hermes, expressing himself freely
against such barbarities, was ordered to be scourged at the same time.
The pagans having proceeded to the place where the Scriptures and the
church plate were kept, immediately seized them; they likewise unroofed the
church, walled up the doors, melted down the plate, and burnt the Scriptures.
When Philip was taken to the market-place, being ordered to sacrifice to the
Roman deities, and to a very handsome image of Hercules in particular, he
made an animated address on the nature of God, and concluded that the
heathens worshipped what might lawfully be trodden on, and made gods of
such things as Providence had designed for common use. The governor then
tried the constancy of Hermes, but finding him inflexible, he committed them
both to prison.
Soon after this, a new governor named Justin arrived. He was as cruel as
his predecessor. Philip was dragged by the feet through the streets, severely
scourged, and brought again to the governor, who charged him with obstinate
rashness in continuing disobedient to the imperial decrees; but he boldly
replied that he waS obliged to prefer heaven to earth, and to obey God rather
than man. On this the governor immediately sentenced him to be burnt,
which was executed accordingly, and he expired, singing praises to God in the
midst of the fire. Hermes, for behaving in a similar manner, and Severus, who
had surrendered himself resolutely to suffer with his friends, endured the
St. Ambrose states that Agricola was a Christian of so amiable a disposition
that he even gained the esteem and admiration of the pagans. Being appre-
hended as a Christian, he was crucified in imitation of the death of our Saviour;
and his body, together with the cross, were buried at Bologna in Italy, in one
grave. Vitalis, the servant and convert of Agricola, was seized on the same
charge as his master, and being put to the severity of the torture, died under
the hands of his tormentors. Carphorus, Victorius, Severus, and Severanus,
were brothers, and all employed in places of great trust and honour in the city
of Rome. Having exclaimed against worshipping idols, they were apprehend-
ed, and scourged with a whip, to the ends of which were fastened leaden balls.
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
This punishment was exercised with such rigour, that the pious brothers fell
martyrs to its severity.
A Christian of Aquileia, named Chrysogonus, was beheaded by order of
Diocletian, for having instructed Anastasia, a young lady of that city, in the
Christian faith. This lady was descended from an illustrious Roman family.
Her mother, named Flavia, was a Christian, and dying while her daughter was
an infant, she bequeathed her to the care of Chrysogonus, with a strict injunction
to instruct her in the principles of Christianity. This Chrysogonus punctually
performed; but the father of the lady, who was a pagan, gave her in marriage
to a person of his own persuasion, named Publius, of a good family but bad
morals, and having spent his wife's and his own patrimony, he had the base-
ness to inform against her as a Christian. Publius soon after dying, she was
released; but continuing to perform many charitable actions to Christians, she
was again apprehended, and delivered up to Florus, governor of Illyricum.
Florus commanded that she should be put to the torture; when, finding her
constant in the faith, he ordered her to be burnt, which was executed on
December 25, A.D. 304, the event taking place about a month after the
martyrdom of Chrysogonus, her instructor.
In the same year, Mouris and Thea, two Christian women of Gaza, were
martyred in that city. The former died under the hands of her tormentors,
and the latter perished in prison of the wounds she had received.
TIMOTHY, a deacon of Mauritania, and Maura his wife, had not been married
above three weeks, when they were separated from each other by the persecution.
Timothy was carried before Arrianus, the governor of Thebais, who did all in
his power to induce him to embrace the pagan superstition. Perceiving his
endeavours vain, and knowing that Timothy had the keeping of the Holy
Scriptures, the governor commanded him to deliver them up, that they might
be burnt; to which Timothy answered, "Had I children, I would sooner deliver
them up to be sacrificed, than part from the Word of God." The governor
ordered his eyes to be put out with hot irons, saying, "The books shall at least
be useless to you, for you shall not see to read them." He endured the punishment
with such patience that the governor was exasperated, and ordered him to be.
hung up by the feet, with a weight tied about his neck, and a gag in his mouth.
This treatment he bore with the greatest courage, when some person acquainted
the governor that he had been but newly married. Arrianus accordingly
ordered Maura his wife to be sent for, and promised a handsome reward, with
the life of her husband, if she could prevail upon him to sacrifice to the idols.
Maura, wavering in her faith, undertook the impious task.
When conducted to her husband, she assailed his constancy with all the
persuasive language of affection. When the gag was taken out of his mouth
in order to give him an opportunity of replying, he blamed her mistaken love,
and declared his resolution of dying for the faith. Maura repeated her impcr-
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
tunities, till her husband reproved her so strongly for her weakness, that she
returned to his way of thinking, and resolved to imitate his courage and fidelity.
Timothy advised her to repair her fault by declaring her resolution to the
governor, by whose order she had undertaken the sinful commission. Being
strengthened by his exhortations, and the grace of God, she went to Arrianus
and told him that she was united to her husband in opinion as well as love,
and was ready to suffer anything to atone for her crime, in wishing to make
him an apostate. The governor immediately ordered her to be tortured, which
was executed with great severity; and after this Timothy and Maura were
crucified near each other, A.D. 304.
A bishop of Assisium, named Sabinus, refusing to sacrifice to Jupiter, and
pushing the idol from him, had his hands cut off by order of the governor
of Tuscany. After patiently suffering this barbarity, he was committed to
prison, where he remained a considerable time without any assistance or relief
but what she received from a Christian widow, whose blind grandson had been
restored by him to sight. The governor, who was himself afflicted in his sight,
on hearing this intelligence, sent for Sabinus, and entreated him to afford him
assistance and to undertake the cure of his body and soul. The fervour with
which he spoke convinced Sabinus of his sincerity; he was accordingly baptized,
and the disorder in his eyes immediately left them: this conversion of the
governor was followed by that of his whole family, and some of his friends.
When the tyrant Maximian was informed of these circumstances, he immediately
ordered the governor and all his family to be beheaded. Immediately after
their execution, Sabinus was scourged to death; and two ecclesiastics, named
Marcellus and Experantius, who officiated under Sabinus, were scourged in a
most dreadful manner; but remaining constant in their faith, their flesh was
torn with hooks till they expired. This took place in December, A.D. 304.
St. George, the tutelar saint and the patron of England, was born in Cap-
padocia, of Christian parents, who brought him up according to the tenets of
the gospel. His father dying when he was young, he travelled with his mother
into Palestine, which was her native country. Here she claimed a patrimonial
estate, which afterwards descended to her son. St. George being active and
of great spirit, became a soldier, and was made a tribune or colonel. In this
post he exhibited great proofs of his courage, and was promoted in the army
of the Emperor Diocletian. During the persecution, St. George threw up his
command, went boldly to the senate-house, and avowed -his being a Christian,
taking occasion at the same time to remonstrate against paganism. This so
greatly provoked the senate, that he was ordered to be tortured, which he
underwent with much constancy. He was afterwards, by the Emperor's com-
mand, dragged through the streets and beheaded. The calendar commemorates
his martyrdom on the 23d of April.
Diocletian and Maximian now resigned the imperial diadem, and were
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
succeeded in the east by Galerius, and in the west by Constantius. The
latter governed mildly, the former cruelly and tyrannically. Galerius was an
implacable enemy of the Christians We are informed that he not only
condemned them to tortures, but to be burnt in slow fires, in this horrible
manner: they were first chained to a post, then a gentle fire put to the soles
of their feet, which contracted the callus till it fell off from the bone; then
flambeaux just extinguished were put to all parts of their bodies, so that they
might be tortured all over; and care was taken to keep them alive, by throwing
cold water in their faces, and giving them some to wash their mouths, lest
their throats should be dried up with thirst, and choke them. Thus their
miseries were lengthened out, till at last their skins were consumed, and they
being ready to expire, were thrown into a great fire, and had their bodies burned
to ashes, after which their ashes were thrown into some river.
Of the Christians martyred by the order of Galerius, the most eminent are
these:-Amphianus was a gentleman of distinction in Lycia, and a scholar of
Eusebius; pressing through the crowd while the proclamation for sacrificing
to idols was read, he caught the governor Urbianus by the hand, and severely
reproved him for his wickedness. The governor, incensed at the freedom,
ordered him to be put to the torture, and then thrown into the sea. Edesius,
brother of Amphianus, was, about the same time, martyred at Alexandra.
Julitta, a Lyconian of royal descent, was a Christian lady of great humility,
constancy, and integrity. When the edict for sacrificing to idols was published
at Iconium, she withdrew from that city, taking with her only her young son
Cyricus, and two female servants. She was, however, seized at Tarsus, and
being carried before Alexander the governor, she acknowledged that she was
a Christian. For this confession her son was taken from her, and she was
immediately put to the rack, and tortured with great severity; but she bore
her sufferings with true Christian resignation. The child, however, cried
bitterly to get to his mother, when the governor observing the beauty, and
melted at the tears of the infant, took him upon his knee, and endeavoured to
pacify him. Nothing, however, could quiet Cyricus; he still called upon the
name of his mother, and at length, in imitation of her words, lisped out, "I
am a Christian." This innocent expression turned the governor's compassion
into rage; and throwing the child furiously against the pavement, he dashed
out its brains. The mother, who from the rack beheldjthe transaction, thanked
the Almighty that her child was gone before her, and she should have no
anxiety concerning his future welfare. To complete the torture, Julitta had
boiling pitch poured on her feet, her sides torn with hooks, and received the
end of her martyrdom by being beheaded, April 16, A.D. 305.
PANTALEON, a native of Nicomedia, received a polite education from his
father, who was a pagan, and was taught the precepts of the gospel by his mother,
who was a Christian. Applying to the study of medicine, he became eminent
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
in the knowledge of physic, and in process of time was appointed physician to
the Emperor Galerius. The name of this man in Greek signifies humane, and
the appellation well suited his nature, for he was one of the most benevolent
men of his time; but his extraordinary reputation roused the jealousy of the
pagan physicians, who accused him to the Emperor. Galerius, on finding him
a Christian, ordered him to be tortured, and then beheaded, which sentence
was executed on July 27, A.D. 305. Hermolaus, a venerable and pious
Christian of great age, and an intimate acquaintance of Pantaleon, suffered
martyrdom for his faith on the same day, and in the same manner.
JULITTA, of Cappadocia, a lady of distinguished capacity, great virtue, and
uncommon courage, was martyred on account of a law-suit, of which Basil,
bishop of Cmesarea, gives an account as follows:-" She had a troublesome suit
with one of the principal men in Caesarea, who was unjustly possessed of a
considerable part of her estate, and had seized both her servants and cattle.
This usurper had found means to bribe the judges in his favour, and hired
persons to swear that the land and goods in dispute were his property.
Julitta, supported by the justness of her cause, thought that she had nothing
more to do but to give the magistrates an ingenuous account of her title.
When the cause came to be tried, the defendant, instead of supporting his
claim, urged that the law would not suffer him to engage at that bar with one
of a different religion. The judge gave it as his opinion that what he insisted
upon was according to the laws of the empire. He ordered an altar to be
brought in, and some fire to be put on it, and incense to be prepared, and then
told the parties, that if they expected, either of them, to enjoy any benefit
from the laws, they must both of them offer incense to the gods. The usurper
immediately complied, but Julitta answered: 'My affection to what is un-
doubtedly my own shall never hinder me from sacrificing my all, and even
my life, if required, rather than violate my fidelity to my God and Saviour.'
For this declaration she was condemned to be burnt."
EUSTRATIUS, secretary to the governor of Armenia, was thrown into a
furnace, for exhorting some Christians,who had been apprehended, topersevere in
their faith. Auxentius and Eugenius, two of Eustratius's adherents, were burnt
at Nicopolis; Mardarius, another friend of his, expired under torment; and
Orestes, a military officer, was broiled to death on a gridiron for wearing a
golden cross at his breast. Theodore, a Syrian by birth, a soldier and a
Christian, set fire to the temple of Cybele, in Amasia, through indignation at
the idolatrous worship practised in it, for which he was scourged, and on
February 18, A.D. 306, burnt to death. Dorothea, a Christian of Cappadocia,
was, by the governor's order, placed under the care of two women, apostates
to the faith, in order that she might be induced to follow their example. But
her discourses had such an effect upon them that they were re-converted, and
suffered death for the failure of their enterprise. Dorothea was tortured, and
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
then beheaded. Pancratius was a native of Phrygia. Being made a Christian
and brought to Rome by his uncle, he there suffered martyrdom by being
beheaded. Cyrinus, Nazarius, Nabor, and Basilides, four worthy Christian
officers at Rome, were thrown into prison for their faith, scourged with rods
of wire, and then beheaded.
Two Roman military officers, Nicander and Marcian, were apprehended on
account of their faith. As they were both men of great abilities, the utmost
endeavours were made to induce them to renounce Christianity: but being
without effect, they were ordered to be beheaded. The execution was attended
by vast crowds of the populace, among whom were the wives of the two
sufferers. The cosdort of Nicander was a Christian, and encouraged
her husband to meet his fate with fortitude; but the wife of Marcian
being a pagan, entreated her husband to save himself, for the sake of
her and her child. Marcian reproved her for her idolatry and folly,
but before the stroke was given, he embraced her and the infant. Nicander
likewise took leave of his wife in the most affectionate manner; and then both,
with great resolution, received the crown of martyrdom. Besides these there
were several others, whose names and sufferings are not recorded by the
SIn the kingdom of Naples several martyrdoms took place: in particular,
Januarius, bishop of Beneventum; Sosius, deacon of Misene; Proculus,
another deacon; Eutyches and Acutius, two laymen; Festus, a deacon; and
Desiderius, a curate, were all condemned, by the governor of Campania, to be
devoured by wild beasts for professing Christianity. The animals, however,
not touching them, they were beheaded. Marcellus, a centurion, of the Trajan
legion, posted at Tangier, suffered martyrdom, under the following circum-
stances:-While he was there, the Emperor's birth-day was kept, and the
sacrifices to the pagan idols made a considerable part of the solemnity. All
the subjects of, the empire were expected on that occasion to conform to the
religion of their prince. Marcellus, who had been well instructed in the duties
of his profession, expressed his detestation of those profane practices, by
throwing away his belt, the badge of his military character, declaring aloud
that he was a soldier of Christ, the eternal king. If," continued he, their
imperial Majesties impose the obligation of sacrificing to them and their gods,
as a necessary condition of their service, I here throw up my commission and
quit the army." Marcellus's behaviour and speeches occasioned an order for
his being beheaded. Cassian, secretary to the court which tried Marcellus,
expressing his disapprobation of such proceedings, was ordered into custody;
when avowing himself a Christian, he met with the same fate.
QuIRINUs, bishop of Siscia, being carried before Matenius, the governor, was
ordered to sacrifice to the pagan deities, agreeably to the edicts of the Roman
emperors, but refusing, was ordered to be severely scourged. When under the
FOXES BOOK OF MARTYRS.
hand of the executioner, the governor was urgent with him to sacrifice, and
offered to make him a priest of Jupiter: to which Quirinus replied, that he
was already engaged in the priestly office, while he thus offered a sacrifice to
the true God. "I," continued he, scarce feel my torments, and am ready to
suffer still greater, that my example may show those whom God has committed
to my care, the way to the glory we wish for." The governor then sent him
to prison, and ordered him to be heavily ironed: after which he was sent to
Amantius, the governor of Parmonia, now Hungary, who loaded him with
chains, and carried him through the principal towns of the Danube, exposing
him to general ridicule. At length arriving at Sabaria, and finding that
Quirinus would not renounce his faith, he ordered him to be cast into a river,
with a stone fastened to his neck. This happened June 4, A.D. 308: his body
was afterwards taken up, and buried by some Christian brethren.
Five Egyptian Christians being on a visit to their afflicted brethren in
Caesarea, were apprehended and carried before Firmilian, the governor of
Palestine, who, on questioning them, was answered by one in the name of the
rest, that they were Christians, and belonged to the New Jerusalem, and had
their names recorded in the book of life. The governor was surprised at the
answer, as he knew Vespasian and his son Titus had destroyed the ancient
Jerusalem; and that the inconsiderable town erected by Adrian upon the spot,
was called iElia Capitolina: he therefore enquired more particularly concerning
it. The Christian who had spoken before again replied, and pursuing the
allegory, described, with great force of .imagination, the beauty, riches, and
strength of the place. Firmilian still mistaking the Christian's meaning, by
understanding his words in a literal sense, became much alarmed; for not
dreaming that a heavenly city was alluded to, he fancied that the Christians
were strengthening and fortifying some place, in order to revolt from their
allegiance to the Emperor. Prejudiced by this mistake, and enraged at the
supposed disloyalty, he condemned the five prisoners to be cruelly tormented and
then beheaded; which sentence was executed on the 16th of February, A.D. 309.
PAMPHILIUS, a native of Phoenicia, of a considerable family, was a man of
such extensive learning, that he was called a second Origen. He was received
among the clergy at Cesarea, where he spent his time in the practice of every
Christian virtue. He copied the greater part of the works of Origen with his
own hand, and, assisted by Eusebius, gave a correct copy of the Old Testament,
which had suffered greatly by the ignorance or negligence of former transcribers.
He likewise gave public lectures on religious and literary subjects, in an
academy which he had erected for that purpose, till the year 307, when he
was apprehended and carried before Urban, the governor of Palestine, who
exerted himself to induce him to embrace paganism. Finding his endeavours
vain, he began to threaten him; but Pamphilius maintained his resolution,
upon which he was severely tortured, and sent to prison.
FOXES BOOK OF MARTYRS.
Soon after, Urban, having displeased the Emperor, was beheaded; but
another governor was appointed, who was equally prejudiced against the
Christians. Pamphilius suffered martyrdom under the new governor, by being
beheaded, together with Valens, a deacon of the church of Jerusalem, and Paul,
a layman, of Jamnia, in Palestine. "Porphyrius, the servant of Pamphilius
was burnt by a straw fire, for requesting leave to bury the body of his master
and other martyrs. Theodolus, a venerable and faithful servant to Firmilian,
the governor, being accused of the Christian faith, was, by order of
his master, crucified on February 17, A.D. 309: on the same day, Julian,
a Cappadocian, was burnt. Marcellus, bishop of Rome, fell a martyr
to the miseries he suffered in exile, on the 16th of January, A.D. 310.
Peter, sixteenth bishop of Alexandria, was martyred by order of Maxi-
minus Caesar, who reigned in the East, November 25, A.D. 311. Lucian,
a learned Syrian, was a man of so benevolent a temper, that he disposed of the
greater part of his fortune in charity. He was apprehended as a Christian,
imprisoned for the space of nine years, put to the rack, rolled upon sharp flints,
and being tortured to death, his body was thrown into the sea; but it was
afterwards cast on shore, and received Christian interment.
VALENTINE, a priest, suffered the same fate at Rome; and Erasmus, a bishop,
S was martyred in Campania. Cosmus and Damian, Arabians and brothers,
were martyred in Cilicia; Adrian, an imperial officer, was beheaded in Rome;
Barbara, a young lady, was martyred at Nicomedia; Lucia, a Christian virgin,
was put to death at Syracuse; and Serena, the Empress of Diocletian, did not
escape martyrdom when she declared herself a Christian.
S GoRDIUS, a native of Coesarea, a centurion in the Roman army, was first tor-
tured, and then burnt; Menas, an Egyptian soldier, was beheaded; and Barlaam,
a noble martyr, having endured the utmost torments, his tormentors laid him
on a pagan altar, and put lighted frankincense into his hand, that the force of
the fire might oblige him to scatter the burning incense on the altar; but they
were disappointed, for, while the flame went round his hand, which appeared
covered with red hot embers, he only uttered this exclamation of the Psalmist:
"Blessed be the Lord, who teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight."
After this he surrendered his soul to the Redeemer. The pagans about this
time shut up the doors of a church in which a Christian congregation were
assembled, and having set fire to the building, every person perished.
In the catalogue of holy martyrs who suffered in the tenth persecution
many more are mentioned, particularly Philoromus, a man of noble birth, and
great possessions in Alexandria, who being urged by his friends to favour
himself, to respect his wife, to consider his children and family, rejected the
counsel, and also neglected the threats and torments of the judge, that he
might keep the confession of Christ inviolate to death. Of like estate and
dignity was Procopius in Palestina, who, after conversion, brake his images of
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
silver and gold, and distributed the value of them to the poor, and after all
kind of torments, at length had his head struck off. Georgius, a young man
of Cappadocia, boldly inveighing against the impious idolatry of the Emperors,
was apprehended and cast into prison, then torn with irons, burnt with lime,
stretched with cords; after that, his hands and feet being cut off, his tortures
were closed, and his crown of martyrdom was completed by beheading.
Soon aftert~jese things, Constantine the Great marched against Maxentius,
the son of Maximian, who had been proclaimed Emperor in Rome, and having
defeated him, established the Christian religion in the empire, and put an end
to the persecution.
Licinius, who had been appointed Caesar in the east by Galerian, affected to
embrace Christianity through fear of Constantine, but even after publishing
several edicts in favour of the Christians, he put to death Blase, Bishop of
Sebaste, several bishops and priests of Egypt and Lybia, who were cut to pieces,
and thrown into the sea, and forty soldiers of the garrison of Sebaste, who
suffered martyrdom by fire. These things offended Constantine the Great; and
he marched against Licinius, who was defeated by him, and afterwards slain
by his own soldiers.
Persecutions in Europe and Asia from the time of Constantine till the period of
PERSECUTION IN PERSIA.
DuRING the time of Constantine, a persecution was commenced against the
Christians by Sapores, Emperor of Persia. Simeon, archbishop of Selencia,
and other ecclesiastics to the number of one hundred and twenty-eight, were
apprehended, and accused of betraying the affairs of the Persians to the
Romans. Unanimously refusing, in test of their fidelity, to worship the sun,
according to the custom of the Persians, they were beheaded without exception.
An aged eunuch named Usthazares, tutor of the Emperor, had been a Christian,
but had renounced his faith out of complaisance for his royal pupil. He was
brought to repentance through the conduct of Simeon in refusing, while a
prisoner,to salute him. On declaring his faith, he was beheaded. At his
request the Emperor caused it to be proclaimed that he did not die for any
crime, but only for being a Christian, which gave great satisfaction to
Usthazares, as being a public renunciation of his apostacy, which he had
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
cause to fear had led many away from the faith. After this, a proclamation
was issued against the Christians. The sisters of Simeon were accused of
causing an illness of the Empress, and were ordered to be sawn in quarters,
and their limbs to be fixed on poles, between which the Empress should pass
to effect her restoration.
Acepsimus, Athalas, and many other clergymen, on refusing to worship the
sun, were tortured so that many of them expired. It is computed that altogether
in this persecution 16,000 persons either suffered from torture or were put to
death. At length Constantine the Great, having been informed of the persecu-
tion in Persia, wrote a conciliatory letter to the Emperor, informing him of the
futility of the persecutions inflicted by the Roman Emperors, of his own
prosperity since he had adopted Christianity, and of the triumph of his arms
against the pagan Emperors. In consequence of this interposition, the persecu-
tion ceased during the lifetime of Sapores, but was renewed by his successors.
The following were the principal sufferers after the death of Sapores:-
Hormisdas, a Persian nobleman, being convicted of Christianity, was ordered
to attend the Emperor's elephants naked. This task he performed for some
time, when the Emperor one day looking out of a window which commanded
the yard where the elephants were kept, saw Hormisdas performing his office.
Determining to try him once more, he gave orders that a shirt should be put
on him, and that he should be brought into his presence. The Emperor asked
him if he would now deny Christ. On which Hormisdas tore off his shirt, and
said, "If you think I will deny my faith for the sake of a shirt, take your gift
again." The Emperor then banished him from Persia, and he died in exile.
Theodoret, a deacon, was imprisoned for two years, and on being released,
was ordered not to preach the doctrine of Christ. He, however, did his utmost
to propagate the gospel, for which he was tormented, by having sharp reeds
thrust under his nails; and then a knotty branch of a tree was forced into his
body, and he expired in the most excruciating agony. Bademus, a Christian
of Mesopotamia, gave away his fortune to the poor, and devoted his life to
religious retirement. This Christian, with seven others, was seized and cruelly
tortured. The Christians, who were apprehended with Bademus, received
martyrdom, though the manner is not recorded; and Bademus, after having
been four months in prison, was beheaded by Narses, an apostate Christian,
who acted as the executioner, in order to convince the Emperor that he was
sincere in his renunciation of the Christian faith.
PERSECUTIONS UNDER THE ARIAN ASCENDANCY.
The sect denominated Arian, had its origin from Arius, a native-of Lybia,
and a priest of Alexandria, who, in A.D. 318, began to publish his errors. He
was condemned by a council of the Lybian and Egyptian bishops, and the
MURDER OF WINCESLAUS.
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
sentence was confirmed by the council of Nice in A.D. 325. After the death
of Constantine the Great, the Arians found means to ingratiate themselves into
the favour of Constantius, his son and successor in the East; and hence a per-
secution was raised against the orthodox bishops and clergy. The celebrated
Athanasius and other bishops were banished at this period, and their sees filled
In Egypt and Lybia, thirty bishops were martyred and many other Christians
cruelly tormented. George, the first Arian bishop of Alexandria, under the
authority of the Emperor, began a persecution in that city, and its environs,
which was continued some time with the utmost severity. He was assisted by
Catophonius, governor of Egypt; Sebastian, general of the Egyptian forces;
Faustinus, the treasurer; and a Roman officer, named Heraclius. So great was
this persecution, that the clergy were driven from Alexandria, their churches were
shut, and the severities practised by the Arian heretics became as great as those
that had been exercised by the pagan idolaters. If a man accused of being an
orthodox Christian made his escape, his whole family were massacred, and his
effects forfeited. Being deprived of all places of public worship in the city of
Alexandria, the persecuted used to perform their devotion in a desert at some
distance from it. On a Trinity Sunday, when they had met, George, the Arian
bishop, engaged Sebastian, the general, to fall upon them with his soldiers while
they were at prayers; and several fell a sacrifice to the fury of the troops. The
modes of cruelty were various, and the degrees equally diversified; for they
were beaten on their faces till their features were disfigured, or lashed with
twigs of palm-trees with such violence, that they expired under the blows, or
by the mortification of the wounds. Several whose lives had been spared
were banished to the deserts of Africa, where, amidst their sufferings, they
passed their time in prayer, and acts of piety and devotion.
SECUNDUs, an orthodox priest, differing in point of doctrine from a prelate
of the same name, who had imbibed the peculiarities of Arianism, the bishop
determined to put Secundus to death, for rejecting opinions which he himself
had thought proper to embrace. He went with one Stephen, an Arian, sought
out Secundusprivately, fell upon and murdered him: the holy martyr, just
before he expired, called upon Christ to receive his soul, and to forgive his
enemies. At this time the principal persecutors applied to the Emperor
for an order to banish the orthodox Christians from Egypt and Lybia, and to
put their churches into possession of the Arians. They obtained their request
and a great number of the clergy were seized and imprisoned for examination;
when it appearing that they adopted the opinions of Athanasius, an order was
signed for their banishment into uncultivated and mostly uninhabited regions.
While the orthodox clergy were thus used, many of the laity were condemned
to the mines, or compelled to work in the quarries. Some few indeed escaped
to other countries, and several were weak enough to renounce their faith, in
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
order to avoid the severity of the persecution. After these things a civil war
broke out in consequence of a dispute about the bishopric of Constantinople,
in which both parties appear to have committed excesses.
The orthodox party chose Paul,in compliance with the recommendation of
their late bishop; the Arians with the support of the Emperor deposed him,
and elected Eusebius, and on his death, Macedonius, to the same office; Paul
was at length exiled to Cucucus, confined in a dark dungeon for six days
without food, and finally strangled. He met death with fortitude.
The Arians likewise deposed Athanasius bishop of Alexandria, celebrated
for his strict adherence to the orthodox faith, and persecuted the Christians
of Alexandria with great violence. They broke into the principal churches
with swords and clubs, and massacred the worshippers indiscriminately, sparing
neither age nor sex.
THE PERSECUTION UNDER JULIAN THE APOSTATE.
Constantius died in the year 361 and was succeeded by Julian, the nephew
of Constantine, who renounced the Christian faith, and has in consequence
been called the apostate.
Julian restored the Pagan worship, re-opening the temples, re-calling the
priests and banishing the Christians from all public employment, but he allowed
the free exercise of religion, and made no public edicts against Christianity.
Many martyrdoms, however, took place during his reign, for though he himself
did not publicly persecute, and affected not to patronize the persecutors, he
never punished them for the violent deeds and murders which they committed.
Basil distinguished himself by-his opposition both to the Pagans and to the
Arians, who in consequence combined against him. He was accused before
Saturninus, governor of Galatia, of reviling the gods, abusing the Emperor,
and disturbing the peace of the city. Ancyra, the governor, wrote an account
of the proceedings against him to the Emperor, who sent two apostates named
Pagosus and Elipidius to Ancyra with instructions to induce Basil by means
of promises or threats to renounce his faith, and in the event of failure to
deliver him to the governor. The Emperor, who at the time of receiving the
governor's letter, had been busy establishing the worship of Cybele, came soon
afterwards to Ancyra, and Basil was brought before him. He tried in vain to
persuade him to renounce Christianity. Basil not only continued firm, but
predicted the death of the Emperor, and that he should be tormented in
another world. Thereupon, Julian, losing his usual affectation of clemency,
told Basil in great anger that he had put it out of his power to save his life
by the insolence of his behaviour. He then commanded that the body of
Basil should be torn every day in seven different parts, till his skin and flesh
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
were entirely mangled. The inhuman sentence was executed with rigour, and
the martyr expired under its severities on the 28th of June, A.D. 362.
About the same time, Donatus, bishop of Arezzo, and Hilarinus, a hermit,
suffered for the faith, the first being beheaded, and the latter scourged to
death. One Gordian, a Roman magistrate, having a Christian before him for
examination, was so charmed with the confession of his faith, that he not only
discharged the prisoner, but became himself a Christian. This so enraged the
Roman prefect, that he ordered him to be scourged and beheaded.
Two brothers, John and Paul, in high office under the Emperor, on being
accused of professing Christianity, were allowed ten days to consider whether
they would renounce their faith and be promoted, or retain their faith and be
martyred. Choosing the latter alternative, they were both beheaded.
ARTEMIUS, commander in chief of the Roman forces in Egypt, being a
Christian, had two charges exhibited against him by the pagans-That he had
demolished several idols in the reign of Constantine; and that he had assisted
the bishop of Alexandria in plundering the temples. Julian, who was then
at Antioch, on hearing these charges, ordered the general to repair thither to
answer them. On his arrival he boldly confessed the charges, when he was
deprived first of his commission, then of his estate, and finally of his head.
CASSIAN, a schoolmaster of Imola, in the province of Romagno, for refusing
to sacrifice to the idols, was taken before a judge; who being apprised of his
profession, and informed that many of the boys had an aversion to him on
account of the strictness with which he kept them to their studies, determined
they should have permission to murder him. His hands being tied behind
him, he was accordingly delivered to the boys, who fell upon him with rods,
whips, and steel pencils, which were then used in writing, and at length
murdered him. This happened on the 13th of August, A.D. 362.
MAXIMILIAN and BONOSUs, two officers of the Herculean guards, upon Julian
taking away Constantine the Great's standard of the cross of Christ, threw up
their commissions. The governor had them separately examined, and finding
them inflexible, he ordered Bonosus to be beaten with whips with leaden
bullets on the thongs, and Maximilian to be scourged with the usual weapon.
When remanded to prison, they were allowed nothing but bread and water,
and the bread being marked with the seal of the Emperor, the impression of
which was an idol, they refused to eat it. They were soon afterwards
BIBIANA was the daughter of Flavian and Dafrosa, two Christians. Flavian,
her father, held a considerable post under the government, but being banished
for his faith, died in exile. Dafrosa, her mother, for the same reason, was
beheaded. Bibiana and her sister Demetria, after the death of their parents,
were stripped of all their effects, and being brought before the governor, were
ordered to renounce their religion. Demetria suddenly died in the governor's
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
presence, and Bibiana resolutely refusing to renounce her faith, was scourged to
About the end of the year 363, persecution raged with more than usual
violence. In Palestine many were burned alive, others were dragged by their
feet through the streets till they expired; some were scalded to death, many
stoned, and great numbers had their brains beaten out with clubs. In
Alexandria innumerable martyrs suffered by the sword, burning, crucifixion,
In Thrace, Emilianus was burned at the stake, and Domitius murdered
in a cave, whither he had fled for concealment. Sozomenus speaks of the
rage of the Arethusians against Christian virgins, which he ascribes to the
efforts of Constantine, who had prevented their being exposed in the temple
of Venus at Heliopolis. Theodorus, for singing the praises of God, was
apprehended and put to the rack.
MARCUS, Bishop of Arethusa, having destroyed a pagan temple in that city,
erected a Christian church in its room, on which account he was accused to
Julian as a Christian. His persecutors stripped and cruelly beat him. He
was then thrust into a filthy sewer till he was almost suffocated; afterwards
goaded with sharp-pointed sticks; and lastly hung up in a basket in the heat
of the sun, after being smeared over with honey, in order to be tormented to
death by wasps.
MAXENTIUS and JUVENTIUS, two Christian officers, were put to death for
reproving the Emperor on account of his idolatries. Eusebius and Nestabus,
two brethren, and Nestor, for their Christianity, were dragged through the
streets and murdered by the idolatrous people of Gaza.
When Julian formed an expedition against the Persians, he imposed a large
fine upon every one who refused to sacrifice to the idols, and gained a great
sum from the Christians towards defraying the expense. Many of the officers
exacted more than was due, and some of them tortured the Christians to make
them pay what they demanded, telling them in derision, that when they were
injured they ought to take it patiently, for so their God commanded them."
The inhabitants of Caesarea were fined three hundred weight of gold, and
several of the clergy obliged to serve in the wars, as a punishment for having
overthrown the temples of Jupiter, Fortune, and Apollo. The governor at
Meris, in Phrygia, having opened a Pagan temple, the Christians in the night
broke in and demolished the idols. Next day the governor ordered all
Christians that accidentally came in the way to- be seized, that he might make
examples of them, and would have executed several innocent persons; but
"those who perpetrated the act, voluntarily delivered themselves up; when they
were scourged severely, and put to a cruel and lingering death.
Julian died of a wound which he received in his Persian expedition, A.D.
363. He was succeeded by Jovian, who restored peace to the church. After
FOXES BOOK OF MARTYRS.
the decease of Jovian, Valentinian succeeded to the empire, and associated
with himself Valens, who had the command in the East. The latter was a
favourer of Arianism, and so incensed against the Christians, that on a certainn
day he ordered all in Edessa to be slain while they were at their devotion in
the churches. The officers, being more compassionate than the Emperor, gave
notice to the Christians not to assemble on the day appointed, so that they
might escape death.
The Christians disregarded the advice rather than neglect their duty. They
repaired to the church, and the troops were put in motion to destroy them.
As they marched along, a woman, with a child in her arms, broke through the
ranks, when the officer ordered her to be brought before him, and asked her
where she was going. She replied to church. "Have you not heard," said
the officer, "of the Emperor's order?" "I have," said she, "and for that
reason I make the more haste." "And whither," said the officer, "do you
lead that child?" "I take him," replied she, "with me, that he may be
numbered among the martyrs." Upon this the humane officer returned to the
Emperor, and telling him that all the Christians were prepared to die in
defence of their faith, represented the rashness of murdering so great a
multitude, and entreated him to drop the design. With this advice the
Emperor reluctantly complied.
URBANUS, MENIDEMUS, THEODORUS, and other orthodox clergymen, to the
number of fourscore, at Constantinople, petitioned the Emperor to relieve
them from the oppressions and cruelties of the Arians. But the tyrant,
instead of redressing their grievances, ordered them all to be embarked in a
ship, and the vessel to be set on fire. This infernal order being executed,
they all perished in the flames.
PERSECUTIONS UNDER THE GOTHIC KINGS.
Athanaric, King of the Eastern Goths, having been at war with the
Romans, and having been defeated by them, resolved to wreak his vengeance
on his Christian subjects. In the year 370, in order that all his subjects
might sacrifice to the pagan deities, he gave orders that all who should refuse
to eat the meat offered to idols should be put to death. Those who had
Christian relatives endeavoured to save them by giving them unconsecrated
meat in private, and permitting the magistrates to believe that they had
conformed to the edict. Sabas, a humble and" modest but zealous Christian,
refusing to avail himself of this subterfuge, was apprehended and put to death
Athanaric likewise ordered an idol to be drawn on a chariot through all
places where the Christians lived, and that the houses of those who refused to
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
pay it adoration should be set on fire. Nicetas, a Christian of Gothic
extraction, had his house burnt, and himself consumed in it on this occasion.
Further disturbances at the same time took place in the Empire on account
of the differences between the orthodox Christians and the Arians. The
Emperor, who favoured the latter, banished Eusebius, Bishop of Samostatia, a
zealous supporter of the orthodox faith, to Thrace. Eusebius was afterwards
recalled; and in the year 380 an Arian woman threw a tile at him from the
top of a house and fractured his skull.
The Bishop of Apamea, supported by the prefect of that district, actively
exerted himself in destroying the temple of idols, and had demolished a great
number when he was privately seized and burned by some pagans, A.D. 393.
The Arian Vandals proceeding from Spain to Africa in the fifth century,
under their leader Genseric, committed many cruelties. They persecuted the
Christians wherever they went, and laid waste the country as they passed, in
order that those who had escaped might not be able to live. They also
plundered the churches and murdered the bishops and ministers by a variety
of cruel devices. When they had seized and plundered the city of Carthage,
they put the bishop and clergy into a leaky ship, and committed it to the
mercy of the waves, thinking that they must all perish; but the vessel, through
Divine Providence, arrived safe at Naples.
Several Christians were beaten, scourged, and banished to Capsur, where it
pleased God to make them the means of converting many of the Moors to
Christianity; but this coming to the knowledge of Genseric, he sent orders
that they and their converts should be tied by the feet to chariots, and dragged
till their life was extinct. Pempinian, Bishop of Mansuetes, was burnt to
death with plates of hot iron. The Bishop of Urice was also burnt. The
Bishop of Habensa was banished for refusing to deliver up the sacred books in
his possession; and a whole congregation, assembled in a church at their
devotions, together with the clergyman who was conducting the service, were
murdered by the barbarians who broke in upon them.
The Vandal tyrant, having made an expedition into Italy, and plundered
Rome, returned to Africa flushed with success, and the Arians took this
occasion to persuade him to persecute the Christians who differed from them.
Armogastus was tortured, sent to the mines, and afterwards employed in
tending cattle, in which occupation he soon after died.
ARcHINEMUs was banished and heard of no more, though it was suspected
he had been privately murdered by the king's order.
EUGENIUS, Bishop of Carthage, was eminent for his learning and piety, which
brought on him the hatred of the Arians. King Huneric, by their instigation,
sent him an order to be read in the cathedral on Ascension Day, A.D. 483,
appointing a disputation between the orthodox and the Arian bishops. After
the conference, which was unfairly conducted, artful means were used to divide
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
the orthodox party, and they were subjected, on various pretences, to imprison-
ment and exile. Eugenius was exiled to Tripoli and thrown into a dungeon.
On the death of Huneric, his successor recalled Eugenius, but afterwards
banished him to Languedoc in France, where he died of the hardships he
endured, on the 6th of September, 505.
A widow lady of fortune, named Dionysia, being apprehended as an
orthodox Christian, was stripped, exposed in a most indecent manner, and
severely scourged. Her son, a mere youth, was seized at the same time.
Afraid of the torture, he looked piteously at his mother, who ordered him not
to fear, but to be constant to the faith in which she had brought him up.
When he was upon the rack she again comforted him with her pious speeches.
On this the youth patiently persevered, and resigned his soul to his Creator.
The mother saw the death of her son, and soon after herself received the crown
CYRILLA, the Arian Bishop of Carthage, was a furious persecutor, and a
determined enemy to those Christians who professed the faith in purity. He
persuaded the king that he could never prosper in his undertakings, or enjoy
his kingdom in peace, while he suffered any of the orthodox Christians to
practise their principles: and the monarch, believing the assertion, sent for
several of the most eminent Christians, who were obnoxious to the prelate.
He at first attempted to draw them from their faith by flattery, and to bribe
them by the promise of worldly rewards; but they were firm and constant,
declaring resolutely against Arianism, and saying, We acknowledge but one
Lord, and one faith; you may, therefore, do whatever you please with our
bodies, for it is better that we should suffer a few temporary pains than
endure everlasting misery." The king being greatly exasperated, sent them
to a dungeon, and ordered them to be put in irons. The keeper, however,
suffered their friends to have access to them, by which they became daily more
confirmed in their resolution of dying for the sake of their Redeemer.
The King heard of the indulgence they received, and was exceedingly angry,
sending orders that they should be closely confined, and loaded with still
heavier fetters. He then began to consider by what means he should put
them to death, and at length determined to imitate the barbarity of the
Emperor Valens, who had caused fourscore clergymen to be burnt in a ship.
Resolving upon this infernal precedent, he ordered these Christians to be put
on board a vessel filled with combustible materials, and set on fire. The names
of those who suffered by this cruel expedient were, Rusticus, Severus, Liberatus,
Rogatus, Servus, Septimus, and Boniface.
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
PERSECUTIONS FROM THE MIDDLE OF THE FIFTH TO THE
END OF THE TENTH CENTURY.
On the death of Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria, fresh feuds arose between
different parties in the church. Dioscorus, who was chosen to succeed Cyril,
was condemned by the Council of Chalcedon for having embraced the errors
of Eutyches, and Proterius was chosen to fill the see. This occasioned a civil
war and other disorders which lasted for some years. At length Proterius
was seized by his opponents in church, dragged into the streets, and murdered
on Good Friday, A.D. 457. He was a man of integrity, and had been ordained
to the office of a priest by Cyril.
"When the Vandals sacked Carthage, a woman named Julia was sold for a
slave and became the property of a pagan named Eusebius. He took her in
course of a voyage to Corsica, where the governor was a pagan. This governor
finding that Julia could not be prevailed on to join in a pagan festival, had
her severely beaten, caused the hair of her head to be plucked out, and after-
wards hanged her. Although the Emperor was a Christian, and these severities
were inflicted without the consent of her master, yet Eusebius, being himself a
pagan, did not make any complaint against the governor.
ANASTASIUS, a Persian, was brought up a pagan, and having been converted
took to an ascetic life. Going to Csesarea, which was in the hands of the
Persians, he was apprehended as a spy, and confessing himself a Christian, he
MARTYN, Bishop of Rome, had occasion to oppose some errors which were
patronised by the Emperor Heraclius. The Emperor ordered his lieutenant
in Italy to seize the bishop, which after some delay was effected. He was
tried and condemned on some civil charges, and after lying some months in
prison, was sent to an island at a distance, where he was barbarously put
JoHN, Bishop of Bergamo, in Lombardy, a learned man and a good Christian,
exerted himself to prevent the spread of the errors of Arianism, on which
account he was assassinated, on the 11th of July, A.D. 683.
KILIEN, a native of Ireland, being desirous of converting the people of
Franconia, in Germany, to the Christian religion, went to obtain the authority
of Conon, the Roman pontiff, for his mission. Conon gave him his sanction,
and created him a bishop.
Kilien persuaded Gozbert, the governor of the country, to embrace
Christianity. Gozbert had married his brother's widow, and when Kilien
thought him fully confirmed in the faith, he advised him to leave her. In
consequence of this advice Geilana, the wife of Gozbert, had him and all his
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
BONIFACE, Archbishop of Mentz and first primate of Germany, was born in
England and educated in the monastery of Nutscelle in Winchester. He was
distinguished for learning, being able to teach grammar, poetry, rhetoric, and
philosophy, and to explain the Scriptures in literal, moral, and mystical senses.
When he was thirty years of age he was ordained a monk, and becoming
zealous for the propagation of the Gospel, resolved to go on a mission to the
Continent. He set out with this intent, and arrived in Friesland about the
year 716. He soon after returned to England, and in 719 he went to Rome,
were he was received by Gregory the Second, who gave him a commission to
preach the Gospel to the pagans wherever he found them. He continued his
missionary labours, travelling extensively in Germany and Holland for four
years, and returned to Rome in 723, when he was made a bishop and took the
name of Boniface, his original name having been Winfred.
On the accession of Pope Gregory Third in 731, Boniface was created
Archbishop and Primate of all Germany. He established bishoprics throughout
Germany, and in 741 received his title of Archbishop of Mentz from Pope
Zachary. In 752 he crowned Pepin, King of France, at Soissons. Next year
he consecrated, as his own successor, his countryman and disciple Lullus; and
going on a journey to Friesland, converted and baptized several thousand of
the natives. He had appointed a day for confirming a number of new converts,
when the pagans, having intelligence of it, assailed him in his tent, near the
river Bourde, in order to assassinate him. He forbade his attendants to make
resistance, and, together with fifty-two of his companions and attendants, was
killed on the 5th of June, 755.
Forty-two persons of Armorian, in Upper Phyrgia, were martyred by the
Saracens, in the year 845. That city had, some time previously, been taken
by the Saracens, and these Christians had been kept in prison for seven years,
during which time all efforts which had been made to induce them to embrace
the religion of their conquerors had been fruitless. As the reward of their
constancy they were beheaded.
MARY and FLORA, two ladies of distinction, were martyred at Corduba, in
the year 850, for the profession of Christianity, by the Saracens, who were then
masters of Spain.
PERFECTUS, a native of Corduba and a Christian priest, having in conversa-
tion been pressed by some Arabians to give his opinion of Mahomet, reluctantly,
but in hope of their conversion, told them he was considered by Christians as
one of the false prophets foretold in the Gospel. He was informed against,
and sentenced to be beheaded, A.D. 850.
WINCESLAUS, third duke of Bohemia, was educated in the faith of Christ.
His father, Wrattislaus, was a Christian; but Drahomira, his mother, was a
pagan; she consented, however, to entrust her mother, Ludmilla, with the
education of her eldest son. That lady had resided at Prague ever since the
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
death of Boriver, her husband, the first duke of Bohemia, who had embraced
the faith of Christ; and Winceslaus was sent to that city, to be brought up under
her. Ludmilla undertook to form his heart to devotion and the love of God,
and was assisted in the work by Paul, her chaplain, a man of great sanctity
and prudence, who likewise took upon him to educate Winceslaus in other
branches of knowledge. The young prince consented to their endeavours; and
the grace of God, which had prepared him for their instructions, caused him to
make astonishing progress. He was sent to a college at Budweis, about sixty
miles from Prague, where several young persons of the first rank were placed,
and studied under an excellent master, a native of Neisse in Silesia.
Wrattislaus dying while Winceslaus was very young, Drahomira declared
herself regent during the minority of her son. This princess now gave vent
to her rage against Christianity. She began her administration with an order
for shutting up the churches, repealed the laws in favour of the Christians, and
removed all magistrates of that profession, supplying their places with
pagans. Thus encouraged, the pagans upon every frivolous pretence, murdered
the Christians with impunity; and if a Christian in his own defence killed a
pagan, his life, with that of nine other Christians, was forfeited.
Ludmilla, afflicted at these proceedings, could not think of any expedient to
prevent the total extirpation of Christianity in Bohemia, except persuading
Winceslaus, young as he was, to assume the reins of government. Winceslaus
at first declined engaging in this task; but upon his grandmother promising to
assist him with her advice, he complied with her request; and, to prevent
disputes, divided the country between himself and his younger brother Bolislaw,
whose name is still retained by a town and a considerable district of that
country. Drahomira now attached herself to Bolislaw, who was a pagan, and
implicitly followed her maxims. The annals of Bohemia give the following
particulars of the behaviour of Winceslaus after his assuming the sovereignty,
and of the fate of the aged and worthy Ludmilla: Winceslaus, true to the
virtuous impressions which he had received in his education, was careful to
preserve the innocence of his morals, and to acquire some new degree of wisdom
and goodness every day. He was as humble, sober, and chaste, when in full
possession of sovereign authority, as when under the government of his
superiors. He spent great part of the night in prayer, and the whole day in
acts of piety; directing all his views to the establishment of peace, justice, and
religion in his dominions. He was assisted in his charitable and Christian
labours by able ministers; and nothing of consequence was done without the
advice of Ludmilla. This excellent princess being informed that Drahomira
had formed a design against her life, was so far from being disturbed at the
apprehension of death, or from desisting from what had made her odious to
that wicked woman, that she exerted herself more vigorously than ever for the
maintenance of religion, and confirming the prince in his resolutions. Being
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
assured that her death was near, and that several persons were employed to
despatch her the first convenient opportunity, she called her servants together,
rewarded their fidelity in her service with a liberal hand, and distributed her
goods and money among the poor. Thus divested of all she possessed in the
world, she went to her chapel, received the holy eucharist, and employing
herself in prayer, recommended her soul to God, and expected his will with
the utmost tranquillity and resignation. This was her situation, when two
ruffians entered the chapel, seized on her, and strangled her with her own veil.
The young duke severely felt the loss of his grandmother, yet he did not
punish the offenders, knowing that they had been instigated to what they did
by his mother. He therefore addressed himself to God only, entreating the
throne of grace for his mother's pardon and conversion, and patiently submitted
to the dispensations of Providence. As many factions were erected in his
dominions by means of his mother and brother, and as Winceslaus himself
seemed of an unwarlike disposition, a neighboring prince, Radislaus of
Gurima, determined to invade that part of Bohemia which belonged to him.
He accordingly entered Bohemia at the head of a considerable army, and
immediately commenced hostilities. Winceslaus put himself at the head of an
army in defence of himself and his people. When the two armies were ready
to engage, Winceslaus challenged Radislaus to settle the dispute by single
combat, and save the lives of the innocent. Radislaus accepted the proposal
with joy, thinking himself more expert in the use of arms than his antagonist.
They accordingly engaged in sight of the two armies, and the victory declared
in favour of Winceslaus; when his antagonist was obliged to retire into his
Winceslaus being thus freed from the fears of a foreign enemy, turned his
thoughts to domestic reformation. He removed corrupt judges and magistrates,
and filled their places with persons of integrity; he put an end to oppression,
punished such nobles as tyrannized over their vassals, and made other regu-
lations, which while they relieved the poor and helpless, gave offence to the
great and rich. Hence many became factious, censured his best actions, and
spoke contemptuously of his application to prayer, fasting, and other acts of
religion, which they insinuated were low employment for a prince, and incom-
patible with the courage and policy necessary for the government of a state.
His mother and brother were still the most inveterate of his enemies, and they
resolved to remove him by the first favourable expedient. While they were
concerting measures for this purpose, they understood that Winceslaus had
desired the pope to send some priests into his dominions, with whom he
proposed to spend the remainder of his days in a religious retreat. This
suspended the execution of their conspiracy for some time; but perceiving the
affair did not come to a conclusion, they resumed their cruel artifices against
him, and gained their ends in the following treacherous manner.
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
Bolislaw having been some time married, his princess brought him forth a
son. This circumstance, which should have diffused joy throughout the family,
was made the occasion of perpetrating a deed of unexampled cruelty. The
birth of the child furnished them with a pretence to get Winceslaus into their
power, and a polite message was despatched to the unsuspecting duke to
partake of an entertainment given upon the occasion. Winceslaus not having
the least suspicion of their purpose repaired to the court of Bolislaw, where he
was received with the greatest appearance of cordiality. He partook of the
entertainment, and was festive till it grew rather late, when he retired before
the rest of the company, as he was not fond of late hours, and never neglected
his devotions to the Almighty before he lay down to rest. When he had
withdrawn, Drahomira urged Bolislaw to follow his brother instantly, and
murder him. The prince took his mother's sanguinary advice, and repairing
to his brother's chamber, he found him kneeling, and in fervent prayer, when
he rushed upon him, and plunged a dagger to his heart.
ADALBERT, bishop of Prague, was a Bohemian by birth. His parents were
persons of rank, but more distinguished for virtue and piety than for opulence
and lineage. They had the highest expectations of their son, and gave him a
complete education; but their joy was in some measure damped by his falling
into a dropsy, from which he was with difficulty recovered. When cured, they
sent him to Madgeburg, and committed him to the care of the archbishop of
that city, who completed his education. The rapid progress which Adalbert
made in human and divine learning made him dear to the prelate, who, to the
authority of a teacher, joined all the tenderness of a parent. Having spent
nine years at Madgeburg, he retired to his own country upon the death of the
archbishop, and entered himself among the clergy at Prague. Dithmar, bishop
of Prague, died soon after the return of Adalbert to that city; and, in his last
moments, expressed great contrition for having been ambitious and solicitous
of worldly honours and riches. Adalbert, who was present, was so sensibly
affected at the bishop's dying sentiments, that he received them as an admo-
nition to the strict practice of virtue, which he afterwards exercised with the
greatest attention, spending his time in prayer, and relieving the poor with
Soon after the decease of Dithmar, an assembly was held for the choice of
a successor, which consisted of the clergy of Prague, and the chief men of
Bohemia. Adalbert's character determined them to raise him to the vacant
see, which they did on the 19th of February, 983, and immediately despatched
messengers to Verona to desire that Otho II. would confirm the election. The
ceremony was performed on the 29th of June the same year, and he was
received at Prague with great demonstrations of public joy. He divided the
revenue of his see into four parts, according to the direction of the canons
extant in the fifth century. The first was employed in building and ornaments
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
of the church; the second went to the maintenance of the clergy; the third
was laid out for the relief of the poor; and the fourth reserved for the support
of himself and family, which always comprehended twelve indigent persons,
to whom he allowed daily subsistence. He performed his duty with the
utmost assiduity, and spent a great portion of his time in preaching and
exhorting the people. His conduct was discreet and humane, and his manners
neither too severe nor too indulgent Yet some things which he could not
remedy gave him great uneasiness, particularly having a plurality of wives, and
selling Christians to the Jews for trivial offences. Hence he determined to
consult the pope, and made a journey to Rome. John, who then occupied the
papal chair, received him with cordiality, and advised him to give up his
bishopric rather than be witness of enormities which he could not remedy.
He determined to take the pope's advice, and to devote the remainder of his
days to mortification and silence; and began by giving all his treasures to the
poor. He was desirous, however, before he entirely secluded himself from
mankind, of seeing the Holy Land, and set off accordingly in company with
On their way they arrived at Mount Cassino, where the chiefs of the
monastery received them in a very friendly manner, and being apprised of
the cause of their journey, when they were about to depart, the superior
of the monastery addressed himself to Adalbert, observing, that the journey
he had undertaken would give him more trouble and uneasiness than he was
aware of; that the frequent desire of travelling often proceeded more from a
restless disposition than real religion. Therefore," said he, "if you will listen
to my advice, leave the world at once with sincerity, and settle in some religious
community, without desiring to see more than you have already seen." Adal-
bert adopted the sentiments of the superior, and took up his residence in that
monastery, where he then thought he might live entirely recluse: but he was
mistaken; for the priests by accident came to a knowledge of the rank and
dignity of their colleague, and began to treat him with that deference and
respect which occasioned him to leave the place. Nilus, a Grecian, being then
at the head of a community not far from Mount Cassino, Adalbert went to him
and begged to be received into his monastery. He assured him he would com-
ply with his request, if the practice of his religious family would be agreeable
to him: he told him that the house in which he and his people lived was given
to them by those of Mount Cassino; and therefore it might not be safe for
him to receive one that had left that community; but he advised him to return
to Rome, and apply to Leo, an abbot of his acquaintance there, to whom he
gave him a letter of recommendation. Adalbert went to Rome, where he
found Leo, who, after putting his virtue and courage to a proper test, con-
ducted him to the pope, and, with the consent of that pontiff, and the whole
college of cardinals, gave him the habit on Holy Thursday, in the year 990.
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
Of the three persons by whom he had been attended since he had had the
pope's advice for resigning his bishopric, two had now left him; but the third,
his brother Gaudentius, followed his example, and engaged in the same com-
munity. Adalbert, full of humility, took a particular pleasure in the lowest
employment of the house, and lived an excellent pattern of Christian sim-
plicity and obedience.
The archbishop of Mentz, the metropolitan, being exceedingly afflicted at
the disorders in the Church of Prague, and wishing for the return of the
bishop, with whose retreat he was not for some time acquainted, after five
years' absence, heard that Adalbert was at Rome, whither he sent a deputation
to press his return to his diocese. The pope summoned a deputation to con-
sider of the deputation, and after a warm dispute between the monks and
deputies, the latter carried their point, and Adalbert was ordered to return to
his diocese; but at the same time had permission to quit his charge again if
he found his flock incorrigible as before. The inhabitants of Prague met him
on his arrival with great joy, and promised obedience to his directions; but
they soon forgot their promises, and relapsed into their former vices, which
obliged him a second time to leave them, and return to his monastery. Then
the archbishop of Mentz sent another deputation to Rome, and desired that
his suffragan might again be ordered back to his diocese. Gregory V., who
was then pope, commanded hun to return to Prague; and with great reluc-
tance he obeyed.
The Bohemians, however, did not look upon him as before, but deemed him
the censor of their faults, and the enemy of their pleasures, and threatened
him with death upon his arrival; but not having him yet in their power, con-
tented themselves with falling on his relations, several of whom they murdered,
plundered their estates, and set fire to their houses. Adalbert had intelligence
of these outrageous proceedings, and did not judge it prudent to proceed on
his journey. He therefore went to the Duke of Poland, who had a particular
respect for him, and engaged that prince to sound the Bohemians in regard to
his return; but could get no better answer from that wretched people than
" that they were sinners hardened in iniquity; and Adalbert a saint, and con-
sequently not fit to live among them; for which reason he was not to hope
for a tolerable reception at Prague." The bishop thought this message dis-
charged him from any further concern for that church, and began to direct
his thoughts to the conversion of infidels, for which purpose he repaired to
Dantzic, where he converted and baptized many, which so enraged the pagan
priests, that they fell upon him and despatched him with darts, on the 23rd of
April, A.D. 997.
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
PERSECUTIONS IN THE ELEVENTH CENTURY.
ALPHAGE, archbishop of Canterbury, was descended from a considerable
family in Gloucestershire. His piety made so great an impression on Dunstan,
the primate of England, that he conceived an earnest wish, and made it his
request to God, that Alphage should succeed him. This accordingly happened
eighteen years after Dunstan's death. Alphage was promoted from the diocese
of Winchester to the archbishopric in 1006.
Some years afterwards the Danes made an incursion into England, and
attacked Canterbury. Alphage might have escaped, but he would not abandon
his flock in the presence of an enemy. Canterbury being taken by storm, he
addressed the enemy, and exhorted them to spare the people. He was seized,
bound, insulted, and abused, and obliged to remain on the spot till his church
was burned and his monks massacred. He was afterwards confined in a
dungeon during several months, it being proposed to him to redeem his liberty
by a ransom of 3000. His circumstances not allowing him to meet their
demands, he was tortured to oblige him to discover the treasures of the church.
His captors also endeavoured to use him as a means to extort money from
King Ethelred to purchase their departure from his kingdom. In reply to their
endeavours to extort money from him, he exhorted them to embrace Christianity.
This so greatly incensed the Danes, that the soldiers dragged him out of the
camp, and beat him unmercifully. Alphage bore this treatment patiently, and
even prayed for his persecutors. One of the soldiers who had been converted
and baptized by him, was greatly afflicted that his pains should be so lingering,
as he knew his death was determined on: he, therefore, in a kind of barbarous
compassion, cut off his head, and thus completed his martyrdom. This
happened on April 19, A.D. 1012, on the very spot where the church at Green-
wich, which is dedicated to him, now stands. After death, his body was
thrown into the Thames, but being found the next day, it was buried in the
cathedral of St Paul's by the bishops of London and Lincoln; whence it was,
in the year 1023, removed to Canterbury by Ethelwoth, the archbishop of that
GERARD, a Venetian, devoted to the service of God, passing through Hungary
on a visit to the Holy Land, was persuaded by Stephen, king of that country,
to remain and accept the bishopric of Chonad. Gerard was assiduous in his
duties, and during the life of Stephen, who was so zealous for the religious
instruction of his people that he preached to them himself, he received every
encouragement, and prospered in his work, making many converts even beyond
the bounds of his own diocese.
After Stephen's death, the kingdom was involved in troubles; his nephew
Peter, who succeeded him, being of a very different temper. Peter was twice
deposed by his subjects. On the first occasion, Gerard refused to take part
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
in the coronation of Ouvo, his successor, whom he regarded as a usurper; an.l
instead of bestowing the crown on him, as he was expected to do, he predicted
the speedy end of his reign and life. On the second deposition of Peter, the crown
was offered to Andrew, son of Ladislaws, cousin-german of Stephen, on condi-
tion of his attempting to exterminate the Christian religion from Hungary.
Andrew being disposed to accept the offer, Gerard undertook, along with three
other prelates, to go to him and expostulate with him on the impiety of such
an undertaking. On the way they were attacked by a party of soldiers sent
by an enemy of the Christian religion, unmercifully beaten, and at length
despatched with lances. This happened in the year 1045.
STANISLAUS, bishop of Cracow, was of an illustrious family. His modesty
had made him twice decline the offer of the bishopric, to which he was after-
wards appointed. On the second occasion, the king, clergy, and nobility
united in writing to the pope to secure his appointment, and on the express
command of the pontiff, he yielded to their wishes. Bolislaus, the second king
of Poland, had become so ungovernable in his passions that he acquired the
name of the cruel. Stanislaus alone had courage to tell him of his faults,
which only procured him the enmity of the king, whom he could not reform.
At length, Bolislaus went so far as to carry off by force and violate a married
lady who had refused his addresses. This so alarmed the nobility that they
entreated the archbishop of Gresne to remonstrate with the king. The arch-
bishop, through timidity, declined the task, and several other prelates followed
his example. Stanislaus alone, regarding it as an indispensable duty, had
courage to perform it. This so enraged the king, that he determined to be rid
of him; and hearing that the bishop was by himself in the chapel of St
Michael, at a small distance from the town, he despatched some soldiers to
murder him. The men readily undertook the task; but when they came into
the presence of Stanislaus, the venerable aspect of the prelate struck them with
such awe that they could not effect what they had promised. On their return,
the king, finding they had not obeyed his orders, flew into a rage, snatched a
dagger from one of them, and ran furiously to the chapel, where, finding
Stanislaus at the altar, he plunged the weapon into his heart. This occurred
on the 8th of May, A.D. 1079.
THE PERSECUTIONS OF THE WALDENSES IN FRANCE.
Before this time the church of Christ was more than tainted with the errors
of Roman Catholicism and superstition; but a few, who perceived the pernicious
tendency of such errors, determined to preserve the light of the gospel in its
purity and splendour, and to disperse the clouds which artful priests had raised
about it in order to delude the people. The principal of these worthies was
Berengarius, who, about the year 1000, boldly preached evangelical truth
FOXE'S EOOK OF MARTYRS.
according to its primitive simplicity. Many from conviction embraced his
doctrine, and were on that account called Berengarians. Berengarius was
succeeded by Peter Bruis, who preached at Toulouse, under the protection of
the earl Hildephonsus; and the tenets of the reformers, with the reasons of
their separation from the Church of Rome, were published in a book written
by Bruis, under the title of ANTICHRIST.
In the year 1140, the number of the reformed was so great that their increase
alarmed the pope, who wrote to several princes to banish them from their
dominions, and employed many learned men to write against them. In 1147,
Henry of Toulouse, being their most eminent preacher, they were called
Henricans; and as they would not admit of any proofs relative to religion but
what could be deduced from the Scriptures, the popish party gave them the
name of Apostolics. Peter Waldo, a native of Lyons, at this time became a
strenuous opposer of popery; and from him the reformed received the appel-
lation of Waldoys, or Waldenses. Waldo was a man eminent for learning and
benevolence; his doctrines were very generally admired, and he was followed
by multitudes of all classes. The bishop of Lyons taking umbrage at the
freedom with which he treated the pope and the Romish clergy, sent to admonish
him to refrain in future from such discourses; but Waldo answered that he
could not be silent in a cause of such importance as the salvation of men's
souls, wherein he must obey God rather than man. His principal charges
against Roman Catholics were, that they affirm the Church of Rome to be the
infallible church of Christ upon earth, and the pope to be its head and the
vicar of Christ; that they hold the doctrine of transubstantiation, insisting
that the bread and wine given in the sacrament is the identical body and blood
of Christ who was nailed to the cross; that they believe there is a place called
purgatory where souls after this life are purged from the sins of mortality, and
that the pains and penalties here inflicted may be abated according to the
masses said by and the money paid to the priest; that they teach the communion
of one kind, and the receiving the bread only to be sufficient for the laity; that
they pray to the Virgin Mary and saints, though their prayers ought to be
immediately to God; that they pray for souls departed, though God decides
their'fate immediately on the decease of the person; that they will not perform
the service of the church in a language understood by the people in general;
that they place their devotion in the number of prayers, and not in the intent
of the heart; that they forbid marriage to the clergy, though Christ allowed
it; and that they use many things in -baptism, though HE used only water.
When pope Alexander the Third was informed of these transactions, he excom-
municated Waldo and his adherents, and commanded the bishop of Lyons to
exterminate them. Thus began the papal persecutions against the Waldenses.
Waldo remained three years undiscovered in Lyons, though the utmost
diligence was used to apprehend him, but at length he found an opportunity of
FOXE'S BOOK OF "MARTYRS.
escaping from the place of his concealment to the mountains of Dauphiny. He
soon after found means to propagate his doctrines in Dauphiny and Picardy,
which so exasperated Philip, king of France, that he put the latter province,
which contained most of his followers, under military execution, destroying
above three hundred gentlemen's seats, erasing some walled towns, burning
many of the reformed, and driving others into Normandy and Germany.
Notwithstanding these persecutions, the reformed religion continued to
flourish, and the Waldenses, in various parts, became more numerous than
ever. The pope, incensed at their increase, used all manner of arts for their
extirpation, such as excommunications, anathemas, canons, constitutions,
decrees, etc., by which they were rendered incapable of holding places of trust,
honour, or profit; their lands were seized, their goods confiscated, and they
were not permitted to be buried in consecrated ground. Some of the Waldenses
having taken refuge in Spain, Aldephonsus, king of Arragon, at the instigation
of the pope, published an edict, strictly ordering all Roman Catholics to
persecute them wherever they could be found, and decreeing that all who gave
them the least assistance should be deemed traitors.
The reformed ministers still continued to preach boldly against the Romish
church; and Peter Waldo, in particular, wherever he went, asserted that the
pope was antichrist, that mass was an abomination, that the host was an idol,
and that purgatory was a fable. These proceedings of Waldo and his com-
panions occasioned the origin of the Inquisition; for Pope Innocent III. elected
certain monks inquisitors, to find and deliver over the reformed to the secular
power. The monks, upon the least surmise or information, delivered them over
to the magistrate, and the magistrate to the executioner; an accusation was
deemed equivalent to guilt, and a fair trial was never granted to the accused.
When the pope found that these means had not the desired effect, he
determined to try others of a milder nature; he therefore sent several learned
monks to preach among the Waldenses, and induce them to change their
opinions. Among these was one Dominic, who was extremely zealous in the
cause of popery. He instituted an order, which from him was called the order
of Dominican friars; and the members of this order have ever since been
principal agents in the various inquisitions of the world. The power of the
inquisitors was unlimited; they proceeded against whom they pleased without
consideration of age, sex, or rank. If the accusers were ever so infamous, the
accusation was deemed valid; and even anonymous informations sent by letter
were thought sufficient evidence. To be rich was a crime equal to heresy;
therefore many who had money were accused of being favourers of heretics. The
dearest friends and kindred could not, without danger, serve any one who was
imprisoned on account of religion: to convey to those who were confined a little
straw, or give them a cup of water, was called favouring the heretics: no lawyer
dared to plead even for his own brother, or to note or register any thing in
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
favour of the reformed. The malice of the persecutors, indeed, went beyond
the grave, and the bones of many Waldenses, who had long been dead, were
dug up and burnt. If a man on his death-bed was accused of being a fol-
lower of Waldo, his estates were confiscated, and the heir defrauded of his
inheritance; and some were even obliged to make pilgrimages to the Holy
Land, while the Dominicans took possession of their houses and properties,
and when the owners returned would often pretend not to know them.
A knight named ENRAUDUS, being accused of embracing the opinions of
Waldo, was burnt at Paris, A.D. 1201, About twenty years after, such nunl-
bers of the reformed were apprehended, that the archbishops of Aix, Arles, and
Narbonne, took compassion on them, and thus expressed themselves to the
inquisitors--" We hear that you have apprehended such a number of Wal-
indenses, that it is not only impossible to defray the charge of their food and
confinement, but to provide lime and stone to build prisons for them."
In the year 1380, a monk inquisitor, named Francis Boralli, had a com-
mission granted him by Pope Clement VII. to search for and punish the Wal-
denses in Aix, Ambrone, Geneva, Savoy, Orange, Arles, Vienna, Venice, and
Avignon. He went to Ambrone, and summoned all the inhabitants to appear
before him; when those who were found to be of the reformed religion were
delivered over to the secular power, and burnt; and those who did not appear
were excommunicated for contumacy, and had their effects confiscated. In the
distribution of these effects, the clergy had more than two-thirds of every
man's property who was condemned, and the secular power less than one-third,
and sometimes next to nothing. All the reformed inhabitants of the other
places named in the commission of this ecclesiastic were equal sufferers.
In the year 1400, the Waldenses who resided in the valley of Pragela were,
at the instigation of some priests, suddenly attacked by a body of troops, who
plundered their houses, murdered the inhabitants, or drove them to the Alps,
where great numbers were frozen to death, it being in the depth of winter.
In 1460, a persecution was carried on in Dauphiny against the same people by
the archbishop of Ambrone, who employed a monk, named John Vayleti; and
this monk proceeded with such violence, that not only the Waldenses, but even
many catholics, were sufferers; for if any of them expressed compassion or pity
for the unoffending people, who were so cruelly treated, they were sure to be
accused of partiality to heretics, and to share their fate. At length Vayleti's
proceedings became so intolerable, that a great number of catholics signed a
petition against him to Louis XI., king of France, who, in consequence, sent
an order to the governor of Dauphiny to stop the persecution. Vayleti, how-
ever, by order of the archbishop, continued it, taking advantage of the last
clause of the edict, which ordered punishment to such as affirmed any thing
against the holy catholic faith. This persecution at length concluded with the
death of the archbishop, which happened in 1487.
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
Pope Innocent VIII., in 1488, determined to persecute the Waldenses. To
this end he sent Albert de Capitaneis, archdeacon of Cremona, to France, who,
on arriving in Dauphiny, craved the assistance of the king's lieutenant to
exterminate them from the valley of Loyse. The lieutenant readily granted
his assistance, and marched a body of troops to the place; but when they
arrived in the valley, they found that it had been deserted by the inhabitants,
who had retired to the mountains, and hid themselves in dens and caves of the
earth. The archdeacon and lieutenant immediately followed them with their
troops, and catching many, cast them headlong from precipices, by which they
were dashed to pieces. Several, however, retired to the innermost parts of the
caverns, and, knowing the intricacies, were able to conceal themselves. The
archdeacon and lieutenant not being able to find them, ordered the mouths of
the caves to be filled with faggots, which being lighted, those within were
suffocated. On searching the caves, numerous children were found smothered,
either in their cradles or in their mothers' arms; and, upon the whole, about
3000 men, women and children were destroyed in this persecution. After this
tragical work, the lieutenant and archdeacon proceeded with the troops of
Pragelo and Frassaniere to persecute the Waldenses in those parts. But these
having heard the fate of their brethren in the valley of Loyse, thought proper
to arm themselves; and by fortifying the different avenues, and disputing the
passages through them, so harassed the troops that the lieutenant was con-
pelled to retire without effecting his purpose.
At length this sect having spread from Dauphiny into several other parts,
became very numerous in Provence. At their first arrival, Provence was
almost a desert, but by their great industry it soon abounded with corn, wine,
oil, fruit, etc. The pope, being often at his seat in Avignon, heard many
things concerning their differences with the Church of Rome, which greatly
exasperated him, and he determined to persecute them with severity. Pro-
ceeding to extremities upon ecclesiastical authority only, he alarmed the king
of France, who sent his master of requests, and his confessor, to examine the
affair. On their return they reported that the Waldenses were not such
dangerous people as they had been represented; that they lived with perfect
honesty, were friendly to all, caused their children to be baptized, had them
taught the Lord's prayer, creed, and ten commandments; expounded the Scrip-
tures with purity, kept the Lord's day sacred, feared God, honoured the king,
and wished well to the State.
"Then," said the king, they are much better Christians than myself or
my catholic subjects, and they shall not be persecuted." The king was as
good as his word, and sent orders to stop the persecution.
i l -- --- .I~--~-
FOXES BOOK OF MARTYRS.
THE PERSECUTIONS OF THE ALBIGENSES.
The Albigenses were a people of the reformed religion, who inhabited the
country of Albi. They were condemned on account of religion in the council
of Lateran, by order of Pope Alexander III., but they increased so rapidly
that many cities were inhabited exclusively by persons of their persuasion, and
several eminent noblemen embraced their doctrines. Among the latter were
two distinguished noblemen of the name of Raymond, Earls of Toulouse and
Foix. The pope at length pretended that he wished to draw them to the
Romish faith by sound argument and clear reasoning, and for this end ordered
a general conference, in which, however, the popish doctors were entirely over-
come by the arguments of Arnold, a reformed clergyman, whose reasoning
were so strong that they were obliged to yield submission.
A friar, named Peter, having been murdered in the dominions of the Earl
of Toulouse, the pope made the murder a pretence to persecute that nobleman
and his subjects. He sent agents throughout Europe to raise forces to act
coercively against the Albigenses, and promised paradise to all that would enter
this war, which he termed a holy war, and bear arms for forty days. The
same indulgence was held out to all who entered for this purpose, as to such
as engaged in crusades to the Holy Land. He also sent orders to all arch-
bishops and bishops to excommunicate the Earl of Toulouse every Sabbath and
festival; at the same time absolving all his subjects from their oath of allegi-
ance, and commanding them to pursue his person, possess his land, destroy his
property, and murder such of his subjects as continued faithful. The earl,
hearing of these mighty preparations against him, wrote to the pope desiring
not to be condemned unheard, and assuring him that he had not the least hand
in Peter's death. But the pope, being determined on his destruction, was
resolved not to hear his defence; and a formidable army, with several noble-
men and prelates at the head of it, began its march against the Albigenses.
As the earl despaired of success in attempting to resist, he determined to sub-
mit. The pope's legate being at Valence, the earl repaired thither, and said he
was surprised that such a number of armed men should be sent against him
before the least proof of his guilt had been produced: he therefore came volun-
tarily to surrender himself, armed with the testimony of a good conscience,
and hoped that the troops would be prevented from plundering his innocent
subjects, as he thought himself a sufficient pledge for any vengeance they
chose to take on account of the friar's death. The legate replied, that he
was very glad the earl had voluntarily surrendered; but, with respect to his
proposal, he could not pretend to countermand the orders of the troops, unless
he would consent to deliver up seven fortified castles as security for his
future behaviour. The earl knew himself to be a prisoner, and therefore sent
authority for the surrender of the castles. The pope's legate having garrisoned
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
the places, summoned the governors, and commanded them to act in con-
formity with their new allegiance as subjects of the pope.
The earl, in keeping with the policy of the rulers of the Catholic Church
towards those whom they wish to humiliate, was soon subjected to fresh
indignities. He was led nine times round the grave of the friar Peter, and
severely scourged before all the people; he was obliged to swear conformity to
the Church of Rome, obedience to the pope, and irreconcilable war against the
Albigenses. To give effect to these oaths, he was required to join the troops
about to besiege Bezieres, but deeming this order oppressive, he fled to lay his
complaints before the pope.
Bezieres was now besieged. The Earl of Bezieres, who commanded in the
city, craved mercy of the legate, but this was refused unless the Albigenses
would renounce their religion. When entreated by their Catholic brethren to
comply with this condition, the Albigenses nobly refused. The Catholic
inhabitants still endeavoured to intercede with the legate for them, but he
flew into a violent passion with their bishop, whom they sent to him on this
mission, declaring that If all the city did not acknowledge their faults, they
should taste of one curse, without distinction of religion, sex, or age."
The inhabitants refusing to yield upon such terms, a general assault was made,
and the place taken by storm, when every cruelty that barbarous superstition
could devise was practised; nothing was to be heard but the groans of men,
who lay weltering in their blood, and the lamentations of mothers, who, after
being violated by the soldiery, had their children taken from them and dashed
to pieces before their faces. The city being fired in various parts, new scenes
of confusion arose: in several places the streets' were streaming with blood.
Those who hid themselves in their dwellings had only the dreadful alternative
to remain and perish in the flames, or rush out and fall by the swords of the
soldiers. The bloody legate, during these infernal proceedings, enjoyed the
carnage, and even cried out to the troops, Kill them, kill them all; kill man,
woman, and child; kill Roman Catholics as well as Albigenses, for when they
are dead, the Lord knows how to select his own." Thus the beautiful city of
Bezieres was reduced to a heap of ruins, and 60,000 persons of different ages
and both sexes were murdered.
The Earl of Bezieres and a few others fled to Carcasson,"which they had no
sooner put in a posture of defence than it was besieged by the legate. Being
repulsed in a first assault against this place, the legate moved against a
smaller town of the same name, about two miles distant, which had also been
fortified by the Albigenses, took it by storm, and put all within to the sword.
The King of Arragon, who was a kinsman of the Earl of Bezieres, having
now arrived in the legate's camp, offered to intercede between him and his
relative, but all the legate would yield to the king was to admit the earl
himself and twelve others to mercy. These terms being refused, Carcasson
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
was again assaulted, and the assailants were again repulsed with great
The legate had then recourse to stratagem, and having, by promises of
security, induced the earl to come out to negotiate, he detained him as a
prisoner, and summoned the city to surrender. The people, however, found a
subterranean passage leading to the castle of Camaret, three leagues distant, to
which they retired; and from thence dispersed to Arragon, Catalonia, or
wherever they thought they would be secure.
Next morning the legate entered Carcasson and committed the earl of
Bezieres to prison in one of the strongest towers, where he soon afterwards died.
Simon, Earl of Montfort, was now, by the legate's authority, appointed to
the command of the papal army, and succeeded to the title and estate of the
deceased Earl of Bezieres. The King of Arragon, who was secretly of the
reformed' religion, encouraged the Albigenses to resist him, and they were
successful in some enterprises during his absence.
On his return, Earl Simon marched against the Albigenses, and ordered
every prisoner he made to be burned; but not feeling himself strong enough
for the enterprise, he wrote to the Catholic princes for assistance. Having
taken the castle of Beron, he put out the eyes of all the garrison, leaving only
one man with a single eye, that he might conduct the rest to Cabaret. The
lord of Termes, governor of Menerbe, was put in prison, where he died; his
wife, sister, and daughter were burned, and one hundred and eighty persons
committed to the flames. The inhabitants of many other places which
surrendered to the earl were likewise butchered. The Earl of Toulouse had
received absolution from the pope, but whether from personal enmity, or
because he was the protector of the reformed, fresh grounds of complaint
were found against him.
The legate being joined by the King of Arragon and Earl Simon, between
whose families-in order to draw away the king from the interest of the Earl of
Toulouse-a matrimonial alliance had been projected, laid siege to Toulouse.
The earl succeeded in defending his capital, but the legate's army, though
compelled to retreat, did much mischief, and put many of the Albigenses to
The King of Arragon was now persuaded to break off the match between
his daughter and Earl Simon's son, to contract the princess to the son of the
Earl of Toulouse, and put himself at the head of the Albigenses.
This new league did not help the professors of the reformed religion. In
the first battle, the army of the Albigenses was defeated, and the King
of Arragon was killed. The Earls of Toulouse, Foix, and Cominges, his allies,
retired to their respective territories and put themselves in a position of defence.
Toulouse, being abandoned by the earl on the approach of Earl Simon,
speedily surrendered on favourable terms, which were not respected. The
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
pope's legate, holding himself free to set aside the conditions granted by Prince
Louis of France, whom Earl Simon had summoned to receive the surrender of
the place, gave the city up to pillage.
Earl Simon next proceeded to besiege Foix, but a new army from Arragon
marching to its relief, he was totally defeated. He soon, however, raised
another army, and went to relieve Narbonne, where his countess was besieged
by the Earl of Toulouse; but he was again defeated, and on this occasion
Toulouse was recovered by the Albigenses.
By the exertions of the pope, another army was raised to aid the persecuting
earl, and Toulouse was again besieged. No better success attended him on
this occasion. He was severely repulsed in two attacks on the city, and before
his troops had recovered from the confusion of their second disaster, the Earl
of Foix appeared with a powerful army, and put the dispirited forces to the rout.
Three years' delay took place before the pope could again put Earl Simon in
the field. Once more he besieged Toulouse, and on this occasion fatally for
himself. His horse, being wounded, bore him under the ramparts of the city,
when an archer shot him in the thigh, and a woman threw a stone on his head,
whereby he was killed. The legate engaged the French king's son to continue
the siege, but a further repulse taking place, he abandoned Toulouse, and hav-
ing stormed Moromand, put the inhabitants, numbering 5000 men, women,
and children, to the sword.
Bertrand, the legate, under whose auspices these proceedings had been con-
ducted, growing old, requested the pope to grant him a successor like-minded
in his zeal for the church, whereupon Conrade, bishop of Patna, was appointed
in his room. This prelate, determined to follow in the footsteps of his
predecessor, engaged the sons of Earl Simon to continue his work. The
elder was killed in besieging Toulouse, and his brother was compelled to
raise the siege. The legate now induced the King of France to undertake in
person the reduction of these obstinate heretics to the obedience of the church.
The French king found the difficulties of his enterprise greater than he had
anticipated, and died before he had accomplished it. His son, persevering with
it, was defeated by the Earl of Toulouse. Aided by the queen mother and
three archbishops, he raised another powerful army, and, persuading the Earl
of Toulouse to accept a conference, he treacherously made him prisoner.
The earl, after his long resistance, was compelled to appear before his
enemies bareheaded and barefooted, and subscribe to what conditions they
pleased. Among these were the abjuration of his faith, subjection to the
Church of Rome, and his undertaking to join the crusade, and serve five
years against the Saracens. That the severity with which the earl was treated
was directed by bigotry alone, is evident from another of the conditions im-
posed on him-namely, that he should give his daughter in marriage to one
of the brothers of the King of France.
i FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
After this a severe perfection took place against the Albigenses, many of
whom suffered for the faith; and express orders were issued that the laity
should not be permitted to read the sacred writings.
ORIGIN, PROGRESS, AND CRUELTIES OF THE INQUISITION.
In the time of Pope Innocent III. the reformed religion had occasioned such
a noise throughout Europe, that the Catholics began to fear their church was
in danger, and the pope was determined to impede as much as possible the
progress of the reformation: he accordingly instituted a number of inquisitors i
-persons who were to make inquiry after, apprehend, and punish the reformed
heretics. At the head of these was one Dominic, who had been canonised in
order to render his authority the more respectable. He and the other inquisi-
tors spread themselves into various Roman Catholic countries, and treated the
Protestants with the utmost severity. At length the pope, not finding them so
useful as he had imagined, resolved upon the establishment of fixed an I
regular courts of inquisition; the first office of which was established in the
city of Toulouse, and Dominic became the first inquisitor-general.
Courts of inquisition were soon erected in other countries; but the Spanish
inquisition became the most powerful and the most dreaded of any. Even the
kings of Spain themselves, though arbitrary in all other respects, were taught
th dread the power of the lords of the inquisition; and the horrid cruelties they
exercised compelled multitudes, who differed but slightly in opinion from the
Catholics, carefully to conceal their sentiments. The Dominicans and Francis-
cans were the most zealous of all the monks. These, therefore, the pope invested
with an exclusive right of presiding over and managing the different courts of
inquisition. The friars of those two orders were always selected from the very
dregs of the people, and therefore were not much troubled with scruples of
conscience: they were obliged, however, by the rules of their respective orders,
to lead very austere lives, which rendered their manners unsocial, and better
qualified them for their employment.
The pope gave the inquisitors the most unlimited powers, as judges delegated
by him, and immediately representing his person: they were permitted to ex-
communicate, or sentence to death, whom they thought proper upon the slight-
est information of heresy; they were allowed to publish crusades against all
whom they deemed heretics, and enter into leagues with sovereign princes to
join those crusades with their forces. About the year 1244 their power was
further increased by the Emperor Frederic the Second, who declared himself
the protector and friend of all inquisitors, and published two cruel edicts-
that heretics who continued obstinate should be burnt; and that those who
repented should be imprisoned for life. This zeal in the Emperor for the inqui-
sitors, and the Roman Catholic persuasion, arose from a report, which had been
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
propagated throughout Europe, that he intended to turn Mahometan; he there-
fore attempted, by the height of bigotry and cruelty, to establish beyond all
doubt his attachment to the Catholic Church.
The officers of the inquisition are three inquisitors or judges, a procurator
fiscal, two secretaries, a magistrate, a messenger, a receiver, a gaoler, an agent
of confiscated possessions, and several assessors, counsellors, executioners,
physicians, surgeons, door-keepers, familiars, and visitors, who are all sworn to
profound secrecy. Their chief accusation against those who are subject to this
tribunal is heresy, which comprises all that is spoken or written against the
creed, or the traditions of the Romish church. The other articles of accusation
are, renouncing the Roman Catholic Church, and believing that persons of any
other religion may be saved, or even admitting that the tenets of any but
Roman Catholics are either scriptural or rational. There are two other things
which incur the most severe punishments: to disapprove of any action done by
the inquisition, or to doubt the truth of anything asserted by inquisitors.
Heresy comprises many subdivisions, and, upon a suspicion of any of these,
the party is immediately apprehended. Advancing an offensive proposition,
failing to impeach others who may advance one, contemning church cere-
monies, defacing idols, reading books condemned by the inquisition, lending
such books to others, deviating from the ordinary practices of the Romish
church, letting a year pass without going to confession, eating meat on fast-
days, neglecting mass, being present at a sermon preached by a heretic, not
appearing when summoned by the inquisition, lodging in the house of, con-
tracting a friendship with, or making presents to a heretic, assisting a heretic
to escape from confinement, are all matters of suspicion, and prosecuted accord-
ingly. All Roman Catholics are even commanded, under pain of excommu-
nication, to give immediate information, even of their nearest and dearest
friends, if they judge them to be heretics, or any way inclining to heresy.
All who give the least assistance to Protestants are called fautors or abettors
of heresy, and the accusations against them are for comforting such as the
inquisition have begun to prosecute; assisting, or not informing against them,
if they should happen to escape; concealing, abetting, advising, or furnishing
heretics with money; visiting or writing to, or sending them subsistence;
secreting or burning books and papers which might serve to convict them. The
inquisition also takes cognizance of such as are accused of being magicians,
witches, blasphemers,soothsayers,wizards,common swearers; and of such as read
or possess the Bible in the common language, the Talmud of the Jews, or the Al-
coran of the Mahometans. Upon all occasions the inquisitors carry on their
process with the utmost severity. A Protestant is seldom shown any mercy; and
a Jew, who turns Christian, is far from being secure; for if he is known to keep
company with another converted Jew, suspicion arises that they privately practise
together some Jewish ceremonies; if he keep company with a person who was
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
lately a Protestant, but now professes popery, they are accused of plotting
together; but if he associate with a Roman Catholic, an accusation is often
laid against him, for only pretending to be a Christian, and the consequence is
a confiscation of his effects, and the loss of life if he complain of ill usage. A
defence is of little use to the prisoner, for suspicion only is deemed cause of
condemnation, and the greater his wealth the greater the danger. Most of the
inquisitors' cruelties are owing to their rapacity: they destroy life to possess
the property of their victims, and, under pretence of zeal, plunder individuals
of their rights. A prisoner of the inquisition is never allowed to see the face
of his accuser, or of the witnesses against him, but every method is taken, by
threats and tortures, to oblige him to criminate himself. If the jurisdiction of
the inquisition be not fully allowed, vengeance is denounced against such as
call it in question; or if any of its officers are opposed, those who oppose them
are almost certain of becoming sufferers for their temerity, the maxim of the
inquisition being to cause terror, and awe those who are the objects of its
power into obedience. High birth, distinguished rank, great dignity, or
eminent employment, are no protection from its severities; and the lowest
officer of the inquisition can make the highest characters tremble at their
authority. These are the circumstances which subject persons to the rage of
the inquisition; and the methods of beginning the process are, 1. To proceed
by an imputation, or prosecute on common report; 2. To proceed by the
information of an indifferent person who wishes to impeach another; 3. To
prosecute on the information of spies retained by the inquisition; and, 4. To
prosecute on the confession of the prisoner himself. The inquisitors never
forget or forgive; length of time cannot efface their resentments, nor can the
humblest concessions or most liberal presents obtain a pardon: they carry their
desire of revenge to the grave, and are gratified with nothing short of the
property and lives of those who have offended. Hence, when a person once
accused to the inquisition is retaken, after escaping, he ought seriously to prepare
himself for martyrdom, for pardon is next to an impossibility. If a positive
accusation be given, the inquisitors direct an order to the executioner, who
takes a certain number of familiars with him to assist in the execution.
Father, son, brother, sister, husband, or wife, must quietly submit; none dare
resist or even speak-as either would subject them to the punishment of the
devoted victim. No respite is allowed, but the prisoner is instantaneously
When the inquisitors have taken umbrage against an innocent person, all
expedients are used to facilitate condemnation; false oaths and testimonies are
employed to find the accused guilty; and all laws and institutions are sacrificed
to satiate the most bigoted vengeance. If a person accused be arrested and
imprisoned, his treatment is deplorable. The gaolers may begin by searching
him for books and papers which tend to his conviction, or for instruments
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
which might be employed in self-murder or escape, and on this pretext they
often rob him of valuables and even wearing apparel. When the prisoner has
been searched and robbed, he is committed to prison. Innocence on such an
occasion is a weak reed, nothing being easier than to ruin an innocent person.
The mildest sentence is imprisonment for life; yet the inquisitors proceed by
degrees at once subtle, slow, and cruel. The gaoler first insinuates himself
into the prisoner's favour, by pretending to wish and advise him well; and
among other hints of false kindness tells him to petition for an audit. When
he is brought before the consistory, the first demand is, What is your
request?" To this the prisoner very naturally answers, that he would have a
hearing. On this, one of the inquisitors replies, "Your hearing is-confess
the truth, conceal nothing, and rely on our mercy." If now the prisoner
make a confession of any trifling affair, they immediately found an indictment
upon it; if he is mute, they shut him up without light, or any food but a
scanty allowance of bread and water till they overcome his obstinacy, as they
call it; and if he declares his innocence, they torment him till he either dies
with the pain, or confesses himself guilty.
On the re-examination of such as confess, they continually say, "You have
not been sincere, you tell not all; you keep many things concealed, and,
therefore, must be remanded to your dungeon." When those who have been
silent are called for re-examination, if they continue mute, such tortures are
ordered as either make them speak, or kill them; and when those who
proclaim their innocence are re-examined, a crucifix is held before them, and
they are solemnly exhorted to take an oath of their confession of faith. This
brings them to the test; they must either swear they are Roman Catholics, or
acknowledge they are not. If they acknowledge they are not, they are
proceeded against as heretics: if they acknowledge they are, a string of
accusations is brought against them, to which they are obliged to answer
extempore, no time being given even to arrange their thoughts. On their having
verbally answered, pen, ink, and paper are brought them, in order to produce
a written answer, which must in every degree coincide with the verbal one.
If the verbal and written answers differ, the prisoners are charged with
prevarication; if one contain more than the other, they are accused of wishing
for concealment; if they both agree they are charged with premeditated.
After a person impeached is condemned, he is either severely whipped,
violently tortured, sent to the galleys, or sentenced to death; in either case
his effects are confiscated. After judgment, a procession is arranged to the
place of execution, and the ceremony is called an Auto da Fe, or act of Faith.
Though the inquisitors allow the torture to be used only three times, yet it
is so severely inflicted, that the prisoner either dies under it, or ever after
continues a cripple. The following is a description of the severe torments
FOXES BOOK OF MARTYRS.
occasioned by the torture, from the account of one who suffered it the three
usual times, but happily survived its cruelties.
THE FIRST TIME OF TORTURING.
The prisoner on refusing to comply with the iniquitous demand of the
inquisitors, by confessing all the crimes they thought proper to charge him
with, was immediately conveyed to the torture-room, where no light appeared
but what issued from two candles. That the cries of the sufferer might not
be heard by other prisoners, the room was lined with a kind of quilting,
covering all the crevices and deadening the sound. The prisoner's horror was
extreme on entering this infernal place, when suddenly he was surrounded by
six wretches, who, after preparing the tortures, stripped him naked to his
drawers. He was then laid upon his back on a kind of stand, elevated a few
feet from the floor. They began by putting an iron collar round his neck,
and a ring to each foot, which fastened him to the stand. His limbs being
thus stretched out, they wound two ropes round each arm and each thigh;
these being passed under the scaffold, were all drawn tight at the same
instant of time, by four of the men on a given signal. The pains which
immediately succeeded were intolerable; the ropes, which were of a small size,
cut through the prisoner's flesh to the bone, making the blood gush out at all
the different places bound at a time. As he persisted in not making any
confession of what the inquisitors required, the ropes were drawn in this
manner four times successively. A physician and surgeon attended, and often
felt his temples, to judge of the danger he might be in; by these means his
tortures were for a short time suspended; but only that he might have suffi-
cient opportunity of recovering his spirits to sustain further torture. During
this extremity of anguish, while the tender frame is tearing, as it were, in
pieces, while at every pore it feels the sharpest pangs of death, and the
agonized soul is just ready to burst forth and quit its wretched mansion, the
ministers of the inquisition have the obduracy to look on without emotion,
and calmly to advise the poor distracted creature to confess his imputed guilt,
that he may obtain pardon and receive absolution.
THE SECOND TIME OF TORTURING.
The inhuman wretches finding that all the torture they inflicted failed of
extorting a discovery from the prisoner, were so inhuman as to expose him
in six weeks after to another kind of torture, more severe, if possible, than the
former, the manner of inflicting which was as follows: they forced his arms
backwards, so that the palms of his hands were turned outward behind him;
when, by means of a rope that fastened them together at the wrists, and
which was turned by an engine, they drew them by degrees nearer each other,
in such a manner that the back of each hand touched, and stood parallel to
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
each other. In consequence of this violent contortion, both his shoulders
became dislocated, and a considerable quantity of blood issued from his
mouth. This torture was repeated thrice; after which he was again taken to
the dungeon, and delivered to the physician and surgeon, who, in setting the
dislocated bones, put him to the most exquisite torment.
THE THIRD TIME OF TORTURING.
About two months after the second torture, the prisoner being a little
recovered, was again ordered to the torture-room, and there, for the last
time, made to undergo another kind of punishment, which was inflicted twice
without intermission. The executioners fastened a thick iron chain twice
round his body, which, crossing upon his stomach, terminated at the wrists.
They then placed him with his back against a thick board, at each extremity
whereof was a pulley, through which there ran a rope that caught the ends
of the chain at his wrists. Then the executioner stretching the end of this
rope by means of a roller placed at a distance behind him, pressed or bruised
his stomach in proportion as the ends of the chain were drawn tighter. They
tortured him in this manner to such a degree, that his wrists as well as his
shoulders were quite dislocated. They were, however, soon set by the
surgeons; but the barbarians, not yet satisfied with this series of cruelties,
made him immediately undergo the torture a second time.
Should these modes of torturing force a confession from the prisoner, he is
remanded to his horrid dungeon, and left a prey to the melancholy of his
situation, to the anguish arising from what he has suffered, and to the dreadful
idea of future cruelties. Should he refuse to confess, he is still remanded to
his dungeon; but stratagem is used to draw from him what the torture fails
to do. A companion is allowed to attend him, under the pretence of com-
forting his mind till his wounds are healed: this person, who is always selected
for his cunning, insinuates himself into the good graces of the prisoner,
laments the anguish he feels, sympathises with him, and, taking advantage of
the hasty expressions forced from him by pain, does all he can to dive into his
secrets. This companion sometimes pretends to be a prisoner like himself,
and imprisoned for similar charges, to draw the unhappy person into un-
suspecting confidence, and persuade him, in unbosoming his grief, to betray his
Frequently these snares succeed, as they are the more alluring by being
glossed over with the appearance of friendship, sympathy, pity, and every tender
passion. In fine, if the prisoner cannot be found guilty, he is either tortured
or harassed to death; though a few have sometimes had the good fortune to be
discharged, but not without having first of all suffered the most dreadful cruelties.
If he is found guilty, all his effects are confiscated, and he is condemned to be
whipped, imprisoned for life, sent to the galleys, or put to death.
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
CRUELTIES EXERCISED BY THE INQUISITIONS OF SPAIN AND
PORTUGAL, FROM THE MOST AUTHENTIC RECORDS.
FRANCIS ROMANUS, a native of Spain, was employed by the merchants of
Antwerp to transact some business for them at Bremen. He had been
educated in the Romish persuasion, but going one day into a Protestant church,
he was struck with the truths which he heard, and beginning to discern the
errors of popery, he determined to search farther into the matter. Perusing
the sacred Scriptures, and the writings of some Protestant divines, he perceived
the falsehood of the principles he had formerly held, and soon embraced
the doctrines of the reformed church. Resolving to think only of his eternal
salvation, he studied religious truth more than earthly trade, and purchased
books rather than merchandise, convinced that the riches of the body are
trifling to those of the soul. He resigned his agency to the merchants of
Antwerp, giving them an account at the same time of his conversion; and then,
resolved on the conversion of his parents, he returned without delay to Spain
for that purpose. But the Antwerp merchants writing to the inquisitors, he
was seized, imprisoned for some time, and then condemned to the flames as a
heretic. He was led to the place of execution in a garment painted with
demon figures, and had a paper mitre put on his head by way of derision. As
he passed by a wooden cross, one of the priests bade him kneel to it; but he
absolutely refused to do so, saying, It is not for Christians to worship wood."
Having been placed on a pile of fagots, the fire quickly reached him, when he
suddenly lifted up his head: the priests thinking he meant to recant, ordered
him to be taken down. Finding, however, that they were mistaken, and that
he still retained his constancy, he was placed again upon the pile, where, as
long as he had life and voice remaining, he kept repeating these verses of the
seventh Pslam, 0 Lord, my God, in thee do I put my trust! 0 let the
wickedness of the wicked come to an end, but establish thou the just. My
defence is of God, who saveth the upright in heart. I will praise the Lord
according to his righteousness; and will sing praise to the name of the Lord
At St. Lucar, in Spain, resided a carver named Rochus, whose principal
business was to make images of saints and other popish idols. Becoming
convinced of the errors of the Romish persuasion, he embraced the Protestant
faith, left off carving images, and for subsistence followed the business of a
seal engraver only. But he had retained one image of the Virgin Mary for a
sign; when an inquisitor passing by, asked if he would sell it. Rochus
mentioned a price; the inquisitor objected to it, and offered half the money.
Rochus replied, I would rather break it in pieces than take such a trifle."
"Break it in pieces," said the inquisitor; "break it in pieces if you dare!"
Rochus being provoked at this expression, snatched up a chisel, and cut off
FOXE'S LOOK OF MARTYRS.
the nose of the image. The inquisitor went away in a rage, and soon after
sent to have him apprehended. In vain did he plead that what he defaced was
his own property; and that if it was not proper to do as he would with his
own, it was not proper for the inquisitor to bargain for the image in the way
of trade. Nothing, however, availed him: his fate was decided; he was
condemned to be burnt, and the sentence was executed without delay.
A doctor Cacalla, his brother Francis and sister Blanche, were burnt at Valla-
dolid for having spoken against the inquisitors. A gentlewoman, with her two
daughters and niece, were apprehended at Seville, profe.ssing the Protestant
religion. They were all put to the torture: and when that was over, one of the
inquisitors sent for the youngest daughter, pretended to sympathise with her, and
pity her sufferings; then binding himself with a solemn oath not to betray her, he
said, If you will disclose all to me, I promise you I will procure the discharge
of your mother, sister, cousin, and yourself." Rendered confident by this
oath, and ensnared by specious promises, she revealed all the tenets they
professed; when the perjured wretch, instead of acting as he had sworn,
immediately ordered her to be put to the rack, saying, "Now you have
revealed so much, I will make you reveal more." Refusing, however, to say
anything further, the whole family were condemned to the flames, and the
sentence was executed at the next Auto da Fe.
The keeper of the castle of Triano, belonging to the inquisitors of Seville,
happened to be of a more mild and humane temper than is usual with persons
in his situation. He gave all the indulgence he could to the prisoners, and
shewed them every favour in his power with as much secrecy as possible.
At length the inquisitors became acquainted with his kindness, and determined
to punish him severely for it, that the gaolers might be deterred from shewing
the least trace of that compassion which ought to glow in the breast of every
human being. With this view they superseded him, threw him into a dismal
dungeon, and used him with such barbarity that he lost his senses. His
deplorable situation, however, procured him no favour; for, frantic as he was,
they brought him from prison at an Auto da F6 to the usual place of punish-
ment, with a sanbenito (or garment worn by criminals) on him, and a rope
about his neck. His sentence was then read-that he should be placed upon
an ass, led through the city, receive 200 stripes, and then be condemned six
years to the galleys. The unhappy frantic wretch, just as they were about to
begin his- punishment, suddenly sprang from the back of the ass, broke the
cords that bound him, snatched a sword from one of the guards, and danger-
ously wounded an officer of the inquisition. Being overpowered, he was
prevented from doing further mischief, seized, bound more securely to the ass,
and treated according to his sentence. So inexorable were the inquisitors,
that for the rash effects of his madness, which they had caused, four years
were added to his slavery in the galleys.
ARREST OF MR, LITHGOW.
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
A maid-servant to another gaoler belonging to the inquisition was accused
of humanity, and detected in bidding the prisoners keep up their spirits. For
this heinous crime, as it was called, she was publicly whipped, banished her
native place for ten years, and had her forehead branded by red hot irons
with these words, "A favourer and aider of heretics."
JOHN PoNTIC, a Spanish gentleman and a Protestant, was, principally on
account of his great estate, apprehended by the inquisitors, and charged with
heresy. On this charge all his effects were confiscated to the use of the
inquisitors, and his body was burnt to ashes.
JOHN GONSALVO, originally a priest, but who had embraced the reformed
religion, was, with his mother, brother, and two sisters, seized by the inquisitors.
Being condemned, they were led to execution singing part of the 106th
Psalm. At the place of execution they were ordered to repeat the creed, which
they immediately complied with, but coming to these words, "the holy
catholic church," they were commanded to add the monosyllables "of Rome,"
which absolutely refusing, one of the inquisitors said, "Put an end to their
lives directly," when the executioners obeyed, and strangled them.
Four Protestant women were seized at Seville, tortured, and afterwards
ordered for execution. On the way they began to sing psalms; but the
officers thinking that the words of the psalms reflected on themselves, used
the most cruel means to silence them. They were then burnt, and the houses
they resided in ordered to be demolished.
A Protestant schoolmaster of the name of Fordinando, was apprehended
by order of the inquisition, for instructing his pupils in the principles of
IProtestantism; and after being severely tortured, was committed to the flames.
S A monk, who had abjured the errors of popery, was imprisoned at the
S same time as Ferdinando; but through the fear of death, he said he was willing
to return to his former communion. Ferdinando hearing of this, obtained an
opportunity to speak to him, reproached him with his weakness, and threatened
him with eternal perdition; when the monk, sensible of his error, re-embraced
and promised to continue in the Protestant faith, and declared to the
inquisitors that he solemnly renounced his intended recantation. Sentence
of death was therefore passed upon him, and he was burned at the same stake
with his friend.
A Spanish Roman Catholic, named Juliano, travelling into Germany, became
a convert to the Protestant religion, and undertook to convey to his own
country a great number of Bibles, concealed in casks, and packed up like
Rhenish wine. He succeeded so far as to distribute the books. A pretended
Protestant, however, who had purchased one of the Bibles, betrayed him, and
laid an account of the affair before the inquisition. Juliano was seized, and
means being used to find out the purchasers of the Bibles, 800 persons were
apprehended. They were indiscriminately tortured, and then most of them
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
were sentenced to various punishments. Juliano was burnt, twenty were
roasted upon spits, several imprisoned for life, some were publicly whipped,
many sent to the galleys, and a very small number were acquitted.
A Protestant tailor of Spain, named John Leon, travelled to Germany, and
from thence to Geneva, where hearing that a number of English Protestants
were returning to their native country, he and some other Spaniards deter-
mined to go with them. The Spanish inquisitors being apprised of their
intentions, sent a number of familiars in pursuit of them, who overtook them
at a sea-port in Zealand. The prisoners were heavily fettered, handcuffed,
had their heads and necks covered with a kind of iron net-work, and in this
miserable condition they were conveyed to Spain, thrown into a dungeon,
almost famished, barbarously tortured, and then burnt.
A young lady having been forced into a convent, absolutely refused to take
the veil; and on leaving the cloister she embraced the Protestant faith, on
which she was apprehended and condemned to the flames.
An eminent physician and philosopher of the name of Christopher Losada,
became obnoxious to the inquisitors, on account of exposing the errors of
popery, and professing the tenets of Protestantism. He was apprehended,
imprisoned, and racked; but these severities not making him confess the
Roman Catholic Church to be the only true one, he was sentenced to the fire,
which he bore with exemplary patience, and resigned his soul to his Creator.
Arias, a monk of St. Isidore's monastery at Seville, was a man of great
abilities, but of a vicious disposition. He sometimes pretended to forsake the
-errors of the Church of Rome, and become a Protestant, and soon after turned
Roman Catholic. Thus he continued a long time wavering between the two
persuasions, till God thought proper to touch his heart. He now became a
true Protestant; and the sincerity of his conversion soon after becoming known,
he was seized by the officers of the inquisition, severely tortured, and afterwards
burnt at an Auto da Fd.
A young lady named Maria de Coccicao, who resided with her brother at
Lisbon, was taken up by the inquisitors, and ordered to be put to the rack.
The torments she felt made her confess the charges against her. The cords
were then slackened, and she was re-conducted to her cell, where she remained
till she had recovered the use of her limbs; she was then brought again
before the tribunal, and ordered to ratify her confession. This she absolutely
refused to do, telling them that what she had said was forced from her by the
excessive pain she underwent. The inquisitors, incensed at this reply, ordered
her again to be put to the rack, when the weakness of nature once more
prevailed, and she repeated her former confession. She was immediately
remanded to her cell; and being a third time brought before the inquisitors,
they ordered her to sign her first and second confessions. She answered as
before, but added, "I have twice given way to the frailty of the flesh, and
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS.
perhaps may, while on the rack, be weak enough to do so again; but, depend
upon it, if you torture me a hundred times, as soon as I am released from the
rack I shall deny what was extorted from me by pain." The inquisitors then
ordered her to be racked a third time; and, during this last trial, she bore the
torments with the utmost fortitude, and could not be persuaded to answer
any of the questions put to her. As her courage and constancy increased, the
inquisitors, instead of putting her to death, condemned her to a severe whipping
through the public streets, and banishment for ten years.
A lady of a noble family of Seville, named Jane Bohorquia, was apprehended
on the information of her sister, who had been tortured and burnt for professing
the Protestant religion. While on the rack she confessed she had frequently
conversed with her sister concerning Protestantism; and upon this extorted
confession Jane was seized and ordered to be racked, which was done with
such severity, that she expired a week after of the wounds and bruises. Upon
this occasion the inquisitors affected some remorse, and in one of the printed
acts of the inquisition, which they always publish at an Auto da F4, this young
lady is thus mentioned: Jane Bohorquia was found dead in prison; after
which, upon reviving her prosecution, the inquisitors discovered she was
innocent. Be it therefore known, that no further prosecution shall be carried
on against her; and that her effects, which were confiscated, shall be given to
the heirs at law." The sentence in this passage, "that no further prosecution
shall be carried on against her," alludes to the absurd custom of prosecuting
and burning the bones of the dead; for when a prisoner dies in the inquisition,
the process continues the same as if he was living; the bones are deposited in-
a chest, and if sentence of guilt is passed they are brought out at the next
Auto da Fd; the sentence is read against them with as much solemnity as
against a living prisoner, and they are at length committed to the flames. In
a similar manner are prosecutions carried on against prisoners who escape; and
when their persons are far beyond the reach of the inquisitors, they are burnt
ISAAC OROBIO, a learned physician, having beaten a Moorish servant for
stealing, was accused by him of professing Judaism, and the inquisitor seized
the master upon the charge. He was kept three years in prison before he had
the least intimation of what he was to undergo, and then suffered the following
modes of torture:-A coarse coat was put upon him, and drawn so tight that
the circulation of the blood was nearly stopped, and the breath almost pressed
S out of his body. After this the strings were suddenly loosened, when the air
forcing its way hastily into his stomach, and the blood rushing into its channels,
he suffered the most incredible pain. He was seated on a bench with his back
against a wall to which iron pulleys were fixed. Ropes being fastened to
several parts of his body and limbs, were passed through the pulleys, and
being suddenly drawn with great violence, his whole frame was forced into a