More and the others named in the said bill (except the bishop of Rochester, now very ill, whose answer is known through his letters) should be summoned before the lords to the Star chamber in order to say what they can for them- selves." It has been said that the parties attainted " were not able to disprove a single article of the act." For such a state- ment there is no warrant. It is by no means easy to say what they could have done had they been allowed. " They were all attainted of high treason, and condemned without any answer making for themselves," as an old writer asserts. 1 And in this statement, history bears him out. The nun and her companions were condemned by a tribunal which had not heard them in their defence. In the very bill reference is made for the truth of the facts to examinations not before the parliament, but before the king's council. The books and writings had been " seen and examined by the king's most honourable council," and the matters " confessed plainly before the king's most honour- able council," as the bill of attainder declared. The tribunal that decided the case was not that which had examined, and the attainted persons, though at hand, were not heard for themselves. On April 20, 1534, Elizabeth Barton and her compan- ions were executed under this act of attainder, at Tyburn. Father Thomas Bourchier, an English Franciscan Obser- vant, declares that the lives of his two brethren, Fathers Risby and Rich, were twice offered to them if they would accept Henry as supreme head of the English Church. 2 What was done to the Franciscans would in all probability have been done in the case of those who suffered with them, Dr. Bocking and Father Bering, the two monks of the Bene- dictine monastery of Christ Church, Canterbury, and the two secular priests, Richard Masters and Henry Gold. It is needless to say that the offer was rejected. The character of their deaths may be estimated accordingly.
B. Mus. Arund. MS., 152, f. 49. "Hist. Ecc. de Martyrio FF. Ord. Min.," 1583. Bourchier is an
authority. He took the Franciscan habit at Greenwich about 1557 upon the restoration of the order by queen Mary. He would thus have known some of the old Franciscan brethren of Fathers Rich and Risby.