The Rev Mr George Marsh

George Marsh, born in the parish of Deane, in the county of Lancaster,

received a good education and trade from his parents; about his 25th

year he married, and lived, blessed with several children, on his farm

till his wife died. He then went to study at Cambridge, and became the

curate of the Rev. Mr. Lawrence Saunders, in which duty he constantly

and zealously set forth the truth of God's word, and the false doctrines

> of the modern Antichrist.

Being confined by Dr. Coles, the bishop of Chester, within the precincts

of his own house, he was kept from any intercourse with his friends

during four months: his friends and mother, earnestly wished him to have

flown from "the wrath to come;" but Mr. Marsh thought that such a step

would ill agree with that profession he had during nine years openly

made. He, however, secreted himself, but he had much struggling, and in

secret prayer begged that God would direct him, through the advice of

his best friends, for his own glory and to what was best. At length,

determined, by a letter he received, boldly to confess the faith of

Christ, he took leave of his mother-in-law and other friends,

recommending his children to their care and departed for Smethehills,

whence he was, with others, conducted to Lathum, to undergo examination

before the Earl of Derby, Sir William Nores Mr. Sherburn, the parson of

Grapnal, and others. The various questions put to him he answered with a

good conscience, but when Mr. Sherburn interrogated him upon his belief

of the sacrament of the altar, Mr. Marsh answered like a true

Protestant, that the essence of the bread and wine was not at all

changed, hence, after receiving dreadful threats from some, and fair

words from others, for his opinions, he was remanded to ward, where he

lay two nights without any bed.--On Palm Sunday he underwent a second

examination, and Mr. Marsh much lamented that his fear should at all

have induced him to prevaricate, and to seek his safety, so long as he

did not openly deny Christ; and he again cried more earnestly to God for

strength that he might not be overcome by the subtleties of those who

strove to overrule the purity of his faith. He underwent three

examinations before Dr. Coles, who, finding him steadfast in the

Protestant faith, began to read his sentence; but he was interrupted by

the Chancellor, who prayed the bishop to stay before it was too late.

The priest then prayed for Mr. Marsh, but the latter, upon being again

solicited to recant, said he durst not deny his Saviour Christ, lest he

lose his everlasting mercy, and so obtain eternal death. The bishop then

proceeded in the sentence. He was committed to a dark dungeon, and lay

deprived of the consolation of any one, (for all were afraid to relieve

or communicate with him) till the day appointed came that he should

suffer. The sheriffs of the city, Amry and Couper, with their officers,

went to the north gate, and took out Mr. George Marsh, who walked all

the way with the book in his hand, looking upon the same, whence the

people said, This man does not go to his death as a thief, nor as one

that deserveth to die.

When he came to the place of execution without the city, near

Spittal-Boughton, Mr. Cawdry, deputy Chamberlain of Chester, showed Mr.

Marsh a writing under a great seal, saying, that it was a pardon for him

if he would recant. He answered, That he would gladly accept the same

did it not tend to pluck him from God.

After that, he began to speak to the people, showing the cause of his

death, and would have exhorted them to stick unto Christ, but one of the

sheriffs prevented him. Kneeling down, he then said his prayers, put off

his clothes unto his shirt, and was chained to the post, having a number

of fagots under him, and a thing made like a firkin, with pitch and tar

in it, over his head. The fire being unskilfully made, and the wind

driving it in eddies, he suffered great extremity, which notwithstanding

he bore with Christian fortitude.

When he had been a long time tormented in the fire without moving,

having his flesh so broiled and puffed up, that they who stood before

him could not see the chain wherewith he was fastened, and therefore

supposed that he had been dead, suddenly he spread abroad his arms,

saying. Father of heaven have mercy upon me! and so yielded his spirit

into the hands of the Lord. Upon this, many of the people said he was a

martyr and died gloriously patient. This caused the bishop shortly after

to make a sermon in the cathedral church, and therein he affirmed, that

the said Marsh was a heretic, burnt as such, and was a firebrand in

hell.--Mr. Marsh suffered April 24, 1555.