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The Prince of Wales Tries to Save Badby From the Fire

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   Thomas Badby was an Englishman by birth, and by trade a tailor. He was brought, in the year 1409, before the bishop of Worchester. During his examination he boldly denied his belief in Romish doctrines, and although much argument was used to bring him to a different way of thinking he still continued firm in his opinions.

    When the king had signed the warrant for Badby's execution, he was brought to a place called Smithfield, and there being put in an empty tun (or barrel), was bound with iron chains fastened to a stake, and had dry wood piled around him. As he was thus standing in the tun it happened that the prince of Wales, the king's eldest son, passed by: who being moved with compassion, endeavored to save the life of the poor man whom they sought to burn.

    The prince, therefore, called out, and counseled him to shun the dreadful fate of a heretic by turning from his errors. Also Courtney, at that time chancellor of Oxford, besought Badby to remember the saving grace of holy mother church.

    By this time the prior of St. Bartholomew's church, at Smithfield, had brought with solemn ceremony the sacrament, with twelve torches borne before, and showed the sacrament to the man at the stake. And when they asked of him whether he believed in it, he answered that he knew well it was hallowed bread, but not God's body.

    Then the tun was put over him, and fire put into him. And when he felt the fire, he cried, "Mercy!" (calling upon the Lord). then the prince hearing his cry, immediately commanded them to take away the tun, and quench the fire. He then asked the prisoner if he would forsake heresy, and take the faith of Rome, which if he would do, he should have goods enough, promising him also a yearly pension out of the king's treasury. But this valiant champion remained deaf to all the promises of the prince, being more possessed by the Spirit of God than by any earthly desire.ThomasBadby2.gif (51666 bytes)

    Therefore, as the prisoner continued unchanged in his mind, the prince commanded him straight to be put back again into the tun, and told him that he need not look for any further mercy or favor.

    But as he could be allured by no rewards, neither was he in any terror of their torments, but as a valiant soldier of Christ, continued steadfast until life had gone from him, standing quietly in the midst of the fierce flames they had kindled.









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