Dirick Carver And John Launder
The 22d of July, 1555, Dirick Carver, brewer, of Brighthelmstone, aged
forty, was burnt at Lewes. And the day following John Launder,
husbandman, aged twenty-five, of Godstone, Surry, was burnt at Stening.
Dirick Carver was a man whom the Lord had blessed as well with temporal
riches as with his spiritual treasures. At his coming into the town of
Lewes to be burnt, the people called to him, beseeching God to
strengthen him in the faith of Jesus Christ; and, as he came to the
stake, he knelt down, and prayed earnestly. Then his book was thrown
into the barrel, and when he had stripped himself, he went into it. As
soon as he was in, he took the book, and threw it among the people, upon
which the sheriff commanded, in the name of the king and queen, on pain
of death, to throw in the book again.--And immediately the holy martyr
began to address the people. After he had prayed awhile, he said, "O
Lord my God, thou hast written, he that will not forsake wife, children,
house, and every thing that he hath, and take up thy cross and follow
thee, is not worthy of thee!--but thou, Lord, knowest that I have
forsaken all to come unto thee Lord have mercy upon me, for unto thee I
commend my spirit! and my soul doth rejoice in thee!" These were the
last words of this faithful servant of Christ before enduring the fire.
And when the fire came to him, he cried, "O Lord have mercy upon me!"
and sprang up in the fire, calling upon the name of Jesus, till he gave
up the ghost.
Thomas Iveson, of Godstone, in the county of Surry, carpenter, was burnt
about the same month at Chichester.
John Aleworth, who died in prison at Reading, July, 1555, had been
imprisoned for the sake of the truth of the gospel.
James Abbes. This young man wandered about to escape apprehension, but
was at last informed against, and brought before the bishop of Norwich,
who influenced him to recant; to secure him further in apostasy, the
bishop afterward gave him a piece of money; but the interference of
Providence is here remarkable. This bribe lay so heavily upon his
conscience, that he returned, threw back the money, and repented of his
conduct. Like Peter, he was contrite, steadfast in the faith, and sealed
it with his blood at Bury, August 2, 1555, praising and glorifying God.