These were dangerous Times to the Queen and State, by reason of Malecontents and
disaffected Persons to Religion, and the Pope's Creatures; who were sent over to
Disturbance in the Government, and had raised a dangerous Rebellion in the
so many innocent Persons, suspected to be of the Roman Religion, were brought
question. Which might be the Occasion of Stow's Troubles.
This very Thing our Antiquary seems to take notice of in his Chronicle of Queen
Reign, Anno 1556. relating the Punishment of a Man, that was brought from
with his Face to the Horses Tail, and with a Paper on his Head, unto the
Cheap; and there set on the Pillory; and then burnt on the Cheek with the
Letters F. A. for
False Accusing of one of the Court of Common Please of Treason.
said he, I once wished to the like Accuser of his Master and eldest Brother."
This false Accuser of Mr. Stow was, it seems, his younger Brother, and one that
him in his Trade.]
"But it was answered, that in such Case could be no
the Accuser himself were in the same Fact found the principal Offender. Where
followed, that the Accuser never shewed Sign of Shame, (the Way to Repentance)
terribly cursed, and blasphemously swore, he never commited any such Act, tho'
were registred before the Honourable the Queen's Majesty's high Commissioners.
what horrible Slanders by libelling, and otherwise, with Threats of Murder, he
bruiteth against me, the Knower of all Secrets (God, I mean) knoweth; unto whom
my Cause; being comforted with the Sentence of the Prophet David, Fret not they
these cursed harmful Men, neither envy angrily these Workers of Wickedness. For
Grass anon shall they be cut down, and like the green fresh Bent of the Flower
Such wicked Detractors did this innocent Man meet with; and with
Meditations from the Scripture did he stay himself.
His Brother becomes his false Accuser.
And again, in his Survey in Cordwainer street Ward, having mentioned one William
Osbert a Deceiver, a Murtherer, a filthy Fornicator, and among other Crimes, a
Accuser of his elder Brother; who had in his Youth brought him up to Learning,
many Things for him; And the sad End he deservedly came to at last, namely,
the Heels to the Elms in Smithfield, and there hanged: The Author seemed
think of his own Case, by the Note he set in the Margin; viz. A false Accuser of
Brother, in the End was hanged. God amend, or shortly send such an End, to such
Surv. First Edit. p. 199.
He hath also in another Place of his Survey, another Fling at this false Brother
of his; viz.
where he was mentioning a Fuller that dwelt at Shorditch, that had appeached
of Treason many honest Esquires
and Gentlemen in King Henry VI. his Days; but was hanged, drawn and quartered
Pains; and his Head set on Londonbridge: And then shewing how justly this
was inflicted on him, quoted a Place of Scripture for it, Deut. 16. That if the
making Inquisition, should find a Person giving false Witness against his
they should do unto him, as he had thought to do unto his Brother. And here in
Stow noteth, The Reward of a false Brother.
And once more having Occasion to relate a Passage that happened in Smithfield,
Challenges used to be fought) being of like Nature with the gross Wrong done to
one that was his Servant, as well as his Brother, he could not forbear to apply
it; viz. That
in King Henry the VIth's Time, Anno 1446. one John David had bore false Witness
against his own Master, one Cater, an honest Man and well-beloved, as tho' he
had been a
Traitor. And according to the Custom of those Times, the Accused challenged to
Accuser in Smithfield, to vindicate his own Innocency. But the Issue was that
slain by his Servant. Of which Misfortune, that none might conclude thence,
that he was
guilty, Stow giveth the Reason: Which was, that his Neighbours, to shew their
and Love to him, gave him too much Wine, before he engaged the Combat; and so
the less able to manage his Weapon.. But he addeth, that notwithstanding this
Servant lived not long unpunished, tho' he escaped at present; for he was after
Tyburn for Felony. And then Stow maketh this Corollary, Let all such false
this for Example, and look for no better End, without speedy Repentance. And in
Margin he takes Notice of a Proverb, taken from this treacherous David; If you
so, I will call you Davy.
Farringdon Ward without in Smithf.
To which I will add one Passage more, which I meet with in his Annals, under the
1576. That one Anne Averies, Widow, forswearing her self for a little Money,
should have paid for Six Pounds of Tow, at a Shop in Woodstreet, London,
fell down speechless, casting up at her Mouth, in great Abundance, and with
Stink, the same Matter, which by Nature's Course should have been voided
till she died. And then he adds, A terrible Example of God's just Judgment,
upon such as
make no Conscience of Swearing falsely against their Brother.
A Forswearer immediately falls down dead.
Annal, 4to. p. 1152.
But Stow could not be taken off from his Studies, but earnestly and
himself to the making Collections of Historical Remarks; to enable him to
History of England, under the several Kings thereof, and a Survey of the City of
his Native Place. And to furnish him with the former, he got into his
Possession as many
of the antient English Writers, both Prints and Manuscripts, as ever he could by
Favour; and seemed at length
Lays in Materials for his Chronicle and