Page:Henry VIII and the English Monasteries.djvu/86

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Henry VIII and the English Monasteries

William Hadley, bachelor of divinity, to a place called Court of Street, to see this woman and to see what trances she had. They went there at the beginning, as I suppose, somewhat against their minds and also against my mind except the obedience that I do owe unto my lord of Canter- bury ; and (if) he had not been, I would not have sent them thither. After this he caused and gave license to the cellarer to be this woman's ghostly father." About the month of October Elizabeth Barton and her companions underwent a strict examination in the Star Chamber, and almost simultaneously it became noised abroad that she had confessed herself an impostor. On the i6th of November John Capon, abbot of Hyde, and at that time bishop-elect of Bangor, wrote to a friend that "our holy nun of Kent" had admitted "treason against God and the king;" that is, he explained, she is "not only a traitress but a heretic." She and her accomplices are "like to suffer death." 1 Lady Rutland, also writing the following day to Sir W. Paston, says she hears that the "holy woman of Kent" has been examined by the Council, "which is," she concludes, "one of the most abominablest matters that ever I heard of in my life, as shall be published to all people within three or four days at the furthest." 2 A singular spectacle was shortly afterwards witnessed in London. On Sunday, November 23, 1533, the nun and her companions, Dr. Edward Bocking and John Bering, both benedictine monks of Christ Church, Canterbury, Hugh Rich and Richard Risby, two friars Observant, with two secular priests, Richard Masters, parson of Aldington and Henry Gold, of Aldermary, London, together with a gentle- man named Edward Thwaites, were placed on a high scaffold at St. Paul's Cross to do public penance. The pulpit, over against them, was occupied by Dr. Capon, the bishop-elect of Bangor, who, as Chapuys relates, " for their vituperation repeated all the chancellor had said ag...;ist them, further affirming that the nun, by her feigned superstition, had pre- vented the cardinal of York from proceeding to give sentence for the divorce." 8 To the companions of the nun in this public humiliation the preacher attributed "levity and super- stition " in believing these revelations, and " disloyalty " for

Calendar, vi. No. 1433. a Ibid,, No. 1438. 
  • Ibid., No. 1460. Chapuys to Chas. V., Nov. 24.