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A NOTABLE BLOODSHED.
think my master will take none. When he hath offered them to the master, then comes another servant and says, “ If you will bring them to the clerk of the kitchen, you shall be remembered the better." This is a friarly fashion, that will receive no money in their hands, but will have it put upon their sleeves; a goodly rag of popish religion! They be like Gray Friars, that will not be seen to receive bribes themselves, but have others to receive for them.
I heard of late of a notable bloodshed. “Audio," saith St. Paul; and so do I: I know it not, but I hear of it. There was a searcher* in London, which executing his office, displeased a merchantman, insomuch that when he was doing his office they were at words : the merchantman threatened him; the searcher said, the king should not lose his custom. The merchant goes me home, and sharpens his wood-knife, and comes again, and knocks him on the head, and kills him. They that told me the tale, say it is winked at; they look through their fingers and will not see it. Whether it be taken up with a pardon, or no, I cannot tell; but this I am sure, and if ye bear with such matters, the devil shall bear you away to hell.
* A Searcher is an officer in the customs.
Bloodshed and murder would have no bearing. It is a heinous thing, bloodshedding, and especially voluntary murder, and prepensed murder. For in Numbers, God saith, It polluteth the whole realm ; “ Polluitur illâ terra, &c., et non potest expiari sine sanguine,” The land cannot be purified nor cleansed again, till his blood be shed that shed it. It is the office of a king to see such murderers punished with death; for “Non frustra gestat gladium,” He is not to bear the sword in vain. What will you make of a king? He beareth a sword before him, not a peacock's feather. I go not about to stir you now to cruelty ; but I speak against the bearing of bloodshed : this bearing must be looked upon.
In certain cases of murder, such great circumstances may be, that the king may pardon a murder. But if I were worthy to be of counsel, or if I were asked mine advice, I would not have the king to pardon a voluntary murder, a prepensed murder.
I can tell where one man slew another in a township, and was attached upon the same. Twelve men were empanneled: the man had friends: the sheriff labored the bench : the twelve men stuck at it, and said, Except he would disburse twelve crowns, they would find him guilty. Means were found that the twelve crowns were paida The quest comes in, and
says, Not guilty. Here was a Not guilty for twelve crowns.
This is a bearing; and some of the bench were hanged, they were well served. This makes men bold to do murder and slaughter. We should reserve murdering till we come to our enemies, and the king bià us fight. He that would bestir him then, were a pretty fellow indeed. Crowns! If their crowns were shaven to the shoulders, they were served well enough.
There was a certain gentleman, a professor of the word of God, (he sped never the better for that, ye may be sure,) who was accused for murdering of a man, whereupon he was cast into prison; and by chance, as he was in prison, one of his friends came unto him for to visit him; and he declared to his friend that he was never guilty in the murdering of the man: so he went his ways. The gentleman was arraigned and condemned ; and as he went to his execution, he saw his friend's servant, and said unto him, Commend me to thy master, and I pray thee tell him, I am the same man still I was when he was with me : and if thou tarry a while, thou shalt see me die. There was suit made for this man's pardon, but it could not be gotten; belike the sheriffs or some other, bare him no good will. But he died for it. And afterward, I being in the Tower,
having leave to come to the lieutenant's table, I heard him say, that there was a man hanged afterward, that killed the same man for whom this gentleman was put to death. O Lord, what bearing, what bolstering of naughty matters is this in a Christian realm! I desire your majesty to remedy the matter, and God grant you to see redress in this realm in your own person ; although my lord protector, I doubt not, and the rest of the council do, in the mean while, all that lieth in them to redress things. I would such as be rulers, noblemen, and masters, should be at this point with their servants, to certify them on this sort: If any man go about to do you wrong, I will do my best to help you in your right: but if ye break the law, ye shall have justice. If ye will be manquellers, murderers, and transgressors, look for no bearing at my hands.
PREACHED 'BEFORE KING EDWARD,
APRIL 12th, 15 49.
ROMANS xv. 4.
Quæcunque scripta sunt, ad nostram doctrinam scripta sunt.
All things that are written, are written to be our doctrine.
I chanced to shew you, most honorable audience, this day sennight, what I heard of a man that was slain ; and I hear say it was not well taken. Forsooth, I intended not to impair any man's estimation or honesty, and they that enforce it to that, enforce it not to my meaning. I said I heard but of such a thing, and took occasion by that that I heard, to speak against the thing that I knew to be naught, that no man should bear with any man to the maintenance of voluntary and prepensed murder. And I hear say since, the man was otherwise an honest man, and they that spake for him,