The Acts and Monuments of John Foxe/Volume 3/Richard Wiche, Priest, Martyr
, Priest, Martyr
After the burning of Richard Hoveden, and Nicholas Canon, and Thomas Bagley, priest, above recorded, whom the bishops condemned to death, A.D. 1431, not long after, about the year of our Lord 1439, which was the eighteenth of the reign of king , they had another poor man by the back, named Richard Wiche, priest, mentioned both in Robert Fabian, and also in another old English chronicle borrowed of one Perminger. What his opinions were, they do not express. This they record, that this Richard Wiche was first degraded, then burnt at Tower-hill for heresy. Some do affirm, that he, before his death, revolted; but that seemeth, by his burning, not to be true.
It is also testified of him, that before his death he spake (as prophesying) that the postern of the Tower should sink; which, also, afterwards came, as he saith, to pass: wherefore of many of the people he was counted for a holy man; Wiche, after his death sainted.insomuch that, as it is affirmed, they came to the place where he was burnt, and there made their oblations and prayers, and upreared a great heap of stones, and set up a cross there by night; so that, by this means, a great clamour ran upon the churchmen, and especially upon such as put him to death. Then, to cease the rumour, the king gave commandment to punish such as went thither on pilgrimage: the copy whereof is here to be seen as followeth.
The King's Writ, prohibiting Pilgrimage to the Tomb of .
Witness the king at his manor of Easthampstead, the fifteenth day of July, in the eighteenth year of his reign.
Per ipsum Regem.
Like writs, and to the same effect, were directed to all the sheriffs through all the realm, bearing all one and the same date; by virtue of which letters, the mayor and sheriffs did use such diligence, that shortly after, that concourse and seeking of the people was left off.
After the burning of this man, which was about the month of June, in the same year, about November, a convocation was called by , archbishop of Canterbury, wherein was propounded among the clergy, The bishops consult to abolish the law of Præmuniri facias.to consult with themselves what way were best to be taken for the removing away the law of 'Præmuniri facias;' for so were the hearts then of the temporalty set against the ecclesiastical sort, that where any vantage might be given them by the law, they did nothing spare; by reason whereof the church-men at that time were greatly molested by the said law of 'Præmuniri,' and by the king's writs, and other indictments, to their no small annoyance. By long consultation and good advisement, at last this way was taken: that a petition or supplication should be drawn and presented to the king, for the abolishing of the aforesaid law of 'Præmuniri facias;' and, also, for the restraining of other briefs, writs, and indictments, which seemed then to lie heavy upon the clergy. This bill or supplication being contrived and exhibited, by the archbishops of Canterbury and of York, unto the king, standing in need at the same time of a subsidy to be collected of the clergy, this answer was given to their supplication, on the king's behalf: The king's answer to the bill.that, forasmuch as the time of Christmas then tbew near, whereby he had, as yet, no sufficient leisure to advise upon the matter, he would take therein a farther pause. In the mean time, as one tendering their quiet, he would send to all his officers and ministers within his realm, that no such brief of 'Præmuniri' should pass against them or any of them, from the said time of Christmas, till the next parliament, A. D.1439.
- Ex Fabia. par. 7. Ex antique alio Chronicho.
- Ex Regist. Henr. Chichesley.
- Ex Regist. Cant.