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Translating (Anne) Askew: The Textual Remains of a Sixteenth-Century Heretic and Saint [*].

This essay explores how contemporary depictions of Anne Askew's examination and execution serve at textual sites of contested power between the Henrician conservatives and Protestant reformists who vied for control of English religion and politics during the mid-sixteenth century. Both the Anglo-Catholics who prosecute Askew as a heretic and the Protestants who vindicate her as a saint attempt to shape and exploit her identity as a woman who has been tortured and burned at the stake. Amid the inquisitional voice of the state officials and the reformist discourse of the Protestant hagiographers, Askew's own text provides yet a third version.

On 24 May 1546, Henry VIII's Privy Council sent two yeomen of the Chamber with "letters to oone [Thomas] Kyme and his wief for their apparance within x [i.e., ten] dayes after receipt." [1] Had the matter been settled simply when they appeared, we might have known little more about the identity of the nameless wife of Thomas Kyme. But this "wief" was already well known to the authorities -- it was at least her third encounter with the law, including a two-week long imprisonment during which time she was interrogated about her religious beliefs. [2] Because of her continuing confrontations with conservative ecclesiastic and state authorities connected with the late Henrician court, a particular and contradictory aspect of her identity survives in the various documents relating to her trials and execution by fire on 16 July 1546 at the age of twenty-five. [3] The picture that emerges in some materials produced by the Anglo-Catholics is that of a recalcitrant heretic who denied the central tenets of the establi shed faith, most especially the doctrine of transubstantiation. In texts and images created by reformist hagiographers, she appears as a Protestant martyr and saint. In keeping with the Protestant condemnation of relics, they do not focus devotion on Askew's body as a relic. Rather, in their translation of the woman into sainthood, they replace her bodily remains with textual ones, endowing her identity with more mundane qualities than those typically attributed to medieval saints, but nevertheless claiming for her story the miraculous ability to expose the wickedness of the enemies of reform and to convert the hearer to the right faith.

This essay looks at contemporary descriptions of Anne Askew's examination and execution as textual sites of contested power between the opposing religious factions that divided the court during the last years of Henry VIII's reign. [4] These several textual versions of Askew's ordeal provide an important locus in which both conservative and reformist factions shaped Askew's identity as they vied for control over English religion and politics during the years encompassing the end of Henry VIII's reign and the beginning of Edward VI's. On the one side are the more dominant conservatives who, although supportive of Henry's break with Rome, still maintain very Catholic-like doctrine. [5] On the other side are the slightly less powerful but religiously more radical Protestants. [6] In between the inquisitional voice of the state officials and the reformist discourse of the Protestant hagiographers, Askew's own account of the confrontation emerges to provide yet a third version. In the record of her experience -- the only relic of herself that will survive -- Askew negotiates the significant power of rumor and report. Askew's Examinations poignantly records her aggressive efforts to stave off interrogation, to demonstrate the error of her inferior inquisitors, and, above all, to make clear to her readers her own meaning and not that which her accusers would attribute to her. Although Askew works to promote an image of herself as faithful to Christ's teachings, it becomes imperative for her accusers to identify her as recalcitrant and obstinate in her heresy. The main point of contention between Askew and her interrogators centers on her sectarian beliefs (especially her denial of the doctrine of transubstantiation), and the authorities draft numerous statements of orthodox faith which she refuses to sign or insists on revising. In their ongoing struggle over the contents of several written confessions of faith, both Askew and her interrogators show a keen awareness of the conversion potential such documents have to sw ay popular religious beliefs. Moreover, after her death, Askew herself is transformed into a kind of similarly powerful text. By exploiting her identity as a heretic who has been tortured and burned at the stake, both the conservatives who prosecute her and the radical Protestants who vindicate her attempt to transform Askew into a sign that points to something other than herself. The religiously conservative Anglo-Catholic officials seek information to incriminate other women connected to the opposing radical factions within the court, and they represent her as a heretic who has tried their patience and mercy beyond the limits of reason. The Protestant side claims her as a saint whose martyrdom re-enacts nothing less than the crucifixion of Christ, with the Anglo-Catholic officials playing the role of the Roman executioners.

The initial details of Anne Askew's identity as a criminal and a heretic are inscribed in the Privy Council's report written following the couple's appearance after being summoned:

Thomas Keyme of Lyncolnshire, who had maryed oone Anne Ascue, [was] called hither and lykewise his wief, who refused him to be her husbonde without any honest allegacion. [Keyme] was appointed to returne to his countrey til he shulde be eftsones sent for, and for that she was very obstinate and heddye in reasoning of matiers of religion, wherin she shewed her self to be of a naughty opinion, seeing no perswasions of good reasons could take place, she was sent to Newgate to remayne there tanswere to the lawe. [7]

In this royally sanctioned document, the voice of Henry's administrative council transforms Askew's identity through a process of incrimination, thus anticipating the strategy to be used against her in the longer course of her trials and execution. Her denial of her husband is "without any honest allegacion." She goes from being the nameless "wief" of "oone Kyme" to having a name of her own, Anne Askew. Neither controlled nor protected by her husband's authority, she becomes a matter for the state which negatively constructs her as "very obstinate," "heddye in reasoning of matiers of religion," "of naughty opinion," and unpersuaded by "good reasons." [8] Having written Askew into its records as an incriminated woman, the state and ecclesiastic authorities then attempt to use her during her subsequent imprisonment and execution to speak for, and thus reinforce, the power and authority of Henry VIII's conservative government.

Her inquisitors seem motivated partly by a desire to get her to implicate other more powerful members of her sect, and she is specifically questioned whether the Duchess of Suffolk, the Countesses of Sussex and Hertford, Lady Denny, and Lady Fitzwilliams, important ladies of the court, share her religious convictions. [9] Although the sources from John Foxe onward typically claim that Askew's ordeal was part of a larger antireformist plot to bring down Henry's last queen and/or reformist members of the court, none of the immediately contemporary sources concerning Askew's case, including those written by Askew and Bale, specifically mention Queen Katherine Parr. [10] While it may be, as Foxe suggests, that the authorities' true target is Queen Katherine Parr because of her support of radical reformists at court, they also certainly are aiming at other serious threats to their position: Anthony Denny (a member of Henry VIII's Privy Council) was appointed an executor of the King's will and was named one of the counsellors to the future Edward VI; and Edward Seymour (Edward VI's maternal uncle) was named Edward VI's Protector. Both men were destined to play significant roles in the doctrinal shifts that took place during Edward's brief reign, while the Queen's power to foster a court atmosphere conducive to the reformist movement would dissipate with the death of Henry. Denny and Seymour would have been seen as more enduring threats to the conservative faction. Denny's wife, Joan, and Seymour's wife, Anne Stanhope (Lady Hertford), figure among the women about whom Askew is interrogated. [11] And Askew's interrogators also try to suggest that she is being supported in her beliefs by certain members of the privy council, an accusation which, along with the others, she denies. [12]

The court's second, and more immediate, objective is to obtain Askew's recantation, thus making her a living emblem of their merciful and gently coercive powers to reform the individual away from a state of doctrinal error (such as became the case with Nicholas Shaxton). Early on during Askew's interrogation, they attempt to manipulate the power of rumor and report to disseminate a benevolent image of themselves. While her interrogators are obviously willing to use heinously violent means against Askew, I want to suggest that they do so with something akin to reluctance, probably because of fear that such harshness might work (as it indeed does) against the legitimacy of their authority. We need only look to our own government's handling of radical groups to see that negotiating compliant submission advantageously avoids the risk of creating martyrs and cult heroes. In the early stages of Askew's inquisition, then, the authorities attempt to present the council as gentle and compassionate by repeatedly urgin g her to submit to their reforming power and to name willingly her fellows in error. According to Askew, the Bishop of London (Edmund Bonner) arranges for the presence of men she "was affeccyoned to. That they myght se, and also make report, that [she] was handeled with no rygour." [13] By disavowing the potential for physical abuse in this way, they seek to create an image of themselves as gentle correctors of a rehabilitated Askew.

Nevertheless, the threat of torture lies ominously beneath the surface of their speech, veiled in language that merely alludes to the body and its potential to be inflicted with pain. [14] Again and again, she is entreated to open the contents of her heart or to utter the bottom of her heart. Even more graphically, they attempt to persuade her by means of what Askew terms "an unsavory similitude." According to the bishop, "if a man had a wounde, no wyse surgeon wolde mynystre helpe unto it, before he had seane it uncovered." [15] The bishop's similitude, as Askew rightly perceives, is unsavory. It perverts the medical process for, although uncovering a wound may lead to the restoration of bodily integrity, confession in court would lead to its opposite through the punishment meted out for the crime. Frustrated by Askew's refusal to become compliant and to name others or recant, her interrogators shift from the intimidating language of torture to literally torturing her on the rack.

When even this fails to extract her recantation or the names of other sect members, the council resolves to publicly execute her at Smithfield in a highly staged display of their power. As Michel Foucault has pointed out, such executions serve as a political ritual whereby power is manifested. [16] Here the body of the incriminated woman could be subjected to a disciplinary procedure that, unlike their apparently illegal and private use of torture in the Tower, is both legal and public. This spectacular display of civic and ecclesiastic power staged at Smithfield on 16 July 1546, moreover, presents two, not one, important focal points: In addition to Askew and her companions who are to be immolated that day, the orchestrators of the execution are also on view. Throughout the ritual of execution, the lord chamberlain and others of the king's counselors, the lord mayor, and the city's aldermen remain seated upon a "Substancyall Stage" that, according to city records, had been constructed expressly for this pur pose and at the City of London's expense. The City of London literally upholds the civic, court, and ecclesiastic officials. On 15 July 1546, the Corporation of London agreed to have built: a Substancyall Stage... ayenst to morowe in Smythfeld for the kynges Counsayll[or]s my lorde mayer & my masters the Aldermen to Sytt in att the execucon' of Anne Askue & thother heretyques whiche shalle then be burnyd att the costes of this Cytie/. [17]

Elevated above both the spectacle of martyrdom and the masses of onlookers below the stage, this group of officials visually exemplifies the government's power.

The chronicler of the Grey Friars of London confirms the staged effect of the authorities' presence. Focusing more on them than on the details of the execution itself, the chronicler simply lists the names of the four who were "burnyd in Smithfelde for grett herrysy" and notes the three who received pardon. The remainder of this brief account is given over to the presence of the church and state authorities:

And Schaxtone preched at their burnynge, and there satt on a scaffold that was made for the nonse the lorde chaunsler [i.e., Thomas Wriothesley] with the dewke of Norfoke and other of the cownsell, with the lorde mayer [i.e., Martin Bowes], dyvers aldermen and shreffes and the jugges. [18]

Ostensibly there to oversee the fulfillment of the execution they have engineered, Wriothesley, Norfolk, and the others become a part of the spectacle of power to be viewed by those present. The combined presence of royal, ecclesiastic, and civic officials is a visual reminder of the state's absolute control over individual bodies in its arbitrary ability to condemn and dispense punishment (as to the four heretics) or to pardon and measure out clemency (as to the three who recant). Juxtaposed against the officials' elevated position, the sermon preached below by Shaxton (one of the three who recanted and so escaped the fire) speaks the script of submission written by the court conservatives, thus reinforcing their image as truly all-powerful in their god-like ability to destroy and save those subject to them. Their staged presence also evokes the royally sanctioned power of the privy council over the civic authority of the city of London which customarily pays for the "Substancyall Stage" upon which they sit.

However, the court council's ceremonial display of power is not entirely seamless, and their carefully engineered execution proves to be a site where such power ironically can be contested. The council's use of torture and the horrible death meted out for heresy seems to have worked against the legitimacy of them. Askew was unable or unwilling to bear witness against the suspects named by her interrogators: as she replies to the council's claim that Anne Stanhope and Joan Denny sent her money, "Whether it were true or no, I can not tell. For I am not suer who sent it me, but as the men ded saye" (126). Furthermore, even before her execution, news of Askew's torture leaked out of the tower and, as the letter of Otwell Johnson, a London merchant, indicates, people were appalled. [19] As Johnson writes to his brother: "she [i.e., Askew] hath ben rakked sins her condempnacion (as men say) which is a straunge thing in my understanding. The Lord be mercifull to us all." [20]

Even more troubling to the Henrician officials than the gossip that made its way into private letters was the dramatic account of her imprisonment that Askew herself composed and managed to have smuggled out of prison before her death. [21] While Askew apparently had no success in obtaining the royal audience that she hoped would lead to her release from prison and death, her text made its way into the hands of the exiled reformer John Bale. Within months of the execution, Bale had edited Askew's text, inserting his own overwhelming intertextual commentary (what he calls his "elucidacion") and an account of her death. Soon after being printed in Wesel, the small volume even appeared on sale as a kind of rebuke in Winchester, the diocese of one of Askew's chief tormentors, Bishop Stephen Gardiner. In a letter dated 21 May 1547, Bishop Gardiner complained to Edward Seymour (at the time lord protector) about the circulation of Bale's edition of Askew's text, describing it as "very pernicious, sedicious, and sla undrous." (277). Another letter dated 6 June 1547 repeats the complaint against the continuing availability of Bale's edition. William Paget, however, seems to have been rewarded for his switch to the reformist side: circulators of some of the copies literally revised history by removing references to his participation in Askew's martyrdom by excising certain pages while gluing together others on which Paget appears. [22]

Indeed, the timing of the monarchical transition was fortuitous for the radical reformists, who seem to have been more successful than their conservative opponents in using Askew's ordeal to their advantage. Although on the opposing side of the religious debate, reformist hagiographers show themselves no less likely than court conservatives to appropriate representations of the executed woman to their own ends, rewriting Askew as a female saint of their movement and a compelling image of the power of faith over the secular government. [23] For these reformers, the case of Anne Askew provides a particularly important opportunity to stake their own claims of religious authority and to promote their reformist agenda against the conservative faction in power during the last few months of Henry's reign. In his conclusion to the second volume of the Examinations, Bale urges his readers to recognize in Askew's trials the clear signs of "the horryble madde furye of Antichrist and the devyll, how they worke in thys a ge by their tyrannouse members." [24] In particular, Bale rewrites the conservative court, ecclesiastic, and civic officials as modern day Romans, upholders of the Popish faith but also reincarnations of the Roman killers of Christ.

Bale's first move in translating Askew as a saint is to substitute for her body the text he has edited for his readers, to send forth her textual remains which bear witness to her newly sanctified status. Focusing on Askew's martyred body and the question of its fragmentation and integrity, Bale alerts his readers to the uncertainty regarding the final resting place of Askew's remains: "What was done with the Ashes of Anne Askewe and her companyons, I can not yet tell" (12). But even before he gains the opportunity to inquire (perhaps by writing to witnesses in London or to the Dutch merchants who also witnessed the burning and provided Bale with Askew's manuscript), he resolves the problem by fashioning her through his own editorial work:

And as touchynge Anne Askewe, these ii. examynacyons, with her other knowne handelynges [i.e., the manner in which she has been treated] in Englande, are wytnesses for her suffycyent. Thus hath not the fyre taken Anne Askewe all whole from the worlde, but left her here unto it more pure, perfyght, and precyouse than afore. (13)

In providing Protestant readers with the account of Askew's examinations, Bale claims to preserve her wholly by replacing her body with her text which remains in the world.

In order to transform Askew into a representative of the true Protestant saint (her text thus the relic), Bale must also negotiate her reputation for contentiousness, a reputation which is both useful and problematic in terms of his reformist project. He praises Askew for her confrontations with the Anglo-Catholic clergy; characterizing her as "scornefull and hygh stomaked to the enemyes of truthe." [25] Bale happily situates her within a history of true Christian saints, including John the Baptist, James the Apostle, John Fisher, and Thomas More, all martyrs who boldly opposed the tyranny of God's enemies (3-10). For his most extended comparison, he chooses a more suitably female model for sainthood, Blandina (a second-century martyr), "because I fynde them in so manye poyntes agree" (10). As John R. Knott points out, "Bale transforms the Blandina of Eusebius from someone who triumphs by her capacity to endure hideous torments with apparent tranquility to a combative accuser of her persecution" (57-58). Sig nificantly, in choosing a saint whose own reputation he must transform, Bale skips over a number of saints and holy women who provide ready-made patterns of feistiness, including not only such medieval saints as Christine and Catherine of Alexandria, who were known for their rhetorical skills, but also the more recent example of Elizabeth Barton (the "holy maid of Kent") whom he briefly mentions (7). Such women are potentially too controversial, and the choice of a refashioned Blandina helps to make Askew's feminine aggressiveness more palatable by merging the two reputations. However, not all readers of Bale's edition were convinced by the comparison. John R. Knott notes that the Marian polemicist Miles Hogarde pointed specifically at Askew's fractiousness with the Anglo-Catholic officials as proof she was no saint (58-59). While both Anglo-Catholics and reformists agree that Askew argued with -- and even reproached -- the clerical authorities, they debate whether the contentiousness of her dissent confirms her identity as a heretic or as an important saint and martyr.

Despite Bale's approval of Askew's disputatious reputation, his "elucidation" and his amplification of the details of her feminine frailty often overwhelm the strength of her feisty responses. Through his comparison of Askew to Blandina, Bale proceeds with a point by point, descriptive inventory of the attributes that make up the female version of the holy Christian saint and martyr. Over half of these attributes relate to Askew's body or to her death in all its physicality. She is, according to Bale, "a gentylwoman verye yonge, dayntye, and tender" (7) and, being a woman, "frayle of nature" (10) -- though Christ's grace strengthens this latter weakness. In rather startling contrast to what we will see later to be Askew's own self-presentation in the Examinations, the portrait of her that emerges from Bale's commentary is, as Elaine V. Beilin points out, that of "the stereotypical weak female made strong by God." [26] Bale's depiction of Askew as naturally frail in her femininity serves more than one purpose . She fulfills the reformist convention of the faithful as instruments or vessels of God. As John R. Knott explains, "By the very fact of her apparent vulnerability, Askew offered a compelling illustration of the Christian paradox, frequently invoked in accounts of martyrdom, that through Christ seeming weakness conquers worldly strength" (57). However, Bale's attribution of her courage and strength to God rather than to a natural feature of her sex also provides another way to alleviate the possible unseemliness of her propensity to dispute authorities. By attributing her strength to the power of God, the confrontation ceases to be between the Anglo-Catholic officials and Askew. Rather, Bale transforms Askew into a mere conduit for a battle between male figures, the Henrician conservatives and God.

Characterizing Askew as "dayntye," "yonge," and "tender" enables him to intensify by contrast the atrocity of her torture at the hands of her strong male inquisitors, and thus the atrocity of their assault on God. Whereas Askew briefly mentions the fact of her torture without much detail other than to say they racked her "tyll [she] was nygh dead" (127), Bale recreates the event in a scene fraught with the suggestion of a horrible violation of gender and office. Torture and the attendant issues of contested power converge in this scene which is redolent of unmanliness and, ultimately, blasphemy:

...and se how madlye in their ragynge furyes, men forget themselves and lose their ryght wittes now a dayes.... Without all dyscressyon, honestye, or manhode, [Wriothesley] casteth of hys gowne, and taketh here upon hym the most vyle offyce of an hangeman and pulleth at the racke most vyllanouslye .... lyke a lambe she laye styll without noyse of cryenge, and suffered [the] uttermost vyolence, tyll the synnowes of her armes were broken, and the strynges of her eys peryshed in her heade. Ryght farre doth it passe the strength of a yonge, tendre, weake, and sycke woman... to abyde so vyolent handelynge, yea, or yet of the strongest man that lyveth. Thynke not therfor but that Christ bath suffered in her, and so myghtelye shewed hys power, that in her weakenesse he hath laughed [their] madde enterpryses to scorne. [27]

In the highly charged language of this passage, Wriothesley performs his vile offense, significantly, in a state of partial undress. And while Wriothesley's lack of "dyscressyon" and "honestye" certainly refers to his capacity as an officer of the court, within the context of Bale's depiction of the chancellor as a being without "manhode," these terms connote gender impropriety as well. Both words had common applications to women: discretion referred to a "property of behaviour, especially of female conduct, as opposed to lightness or coquetry," and honesty to "chastity [or] the honour or virtue of a woman." [28]

Bale accuses Wriothesley of unmanliness, for the chancellor's assault is directed against what at first seems to be the body of Anne Askew, but which turns out to be a kind of corpse. Askew, who "laye styll without noyse," appears dead even before she has been consumed by the fire. And Bale describes her body as if it has already been destroyed: "the synnowes of her armes were broken, and the strynges of her eys peryshed," and later he again describes her "broken joyntes, and broused armes and eys" (13233). Like the severed heads, tongues, and breasts of the female saints martyred in medieval legends, Askew's broken body parts provide visual evidence to assuage any doubts about her constancy that may have emerged from her public confrontations with men. But unlike the medieval virgin saints who aggressively taunted their persecutors with the parts of their bodies (e.g., Saint Christine who blinds the judge Julyan by spitting a piece of her tongue into his eye), Bale depicts Askew as more like an anatomist's corpse, utterly compliant in her own destruction. [29] By obscuring the active resistance of Askew's silent suffering -- she is, after all, being tortured for refusing to name others -- Bale is able to attribute to her persecutors an even more cowardly and blasphemous perversion. As a "lamb" suffering this violence, Askew is of course being compared to Christ, typically passive in the scenes of his Passion. Moreover, Bale claims that "Christ hath suffered in her." Thus Bale transforms Askew's torture into an assault against Christ himself, which intensifies his claims that the Henrician authorities are instruments of the devil. [30]

Significantly, in his elaborate recreation of the events as a battle between the Anglo-Catholic officials and a Christ-like Askew, Bale fails to amplify Askew's claim that after being loosed from the rack, she swooned, was revived, and "after that... sate ii longe houres reasonynge with my lorde Chauncellour upon the bare floore" (130). Even though Saint Christine or Saint Catherine of Alexandria, who debated with their judges and torturers, could have provided him with hagiographic models, Bale passes over Askew's potential for skillful rhetorical battle, focusing instead on the more acceptably feminine tactic of silence. [31] By emphasizing her silence in juxtaposition to the severity of her torture, and thus her pain, Bale is able to tame her voice -- in all its heady obstinacy, naughtiness, and refusal to be persuaded [32] -- and use it for his own purposes. For him, the meaning that resides in Askew's text and life has less to do with her own doctrinal views on topics such as transubstantiation than wit h the evil of Henry VIII's administrators: "Marke in them [i.e., "the examynacyons and answers of... Anne Askewe"] the horryble madde furye of Antichrist and the devyll, how they worke in thys age by their tyrannouse members" (151). Juxtaposed to his portrayal of Askew as a passively silent, compliant victim, Bale's depiction of the Anglo-Catholic officials' frenetically villainous noise -- their "horryble madde furye" -- is a strikingly effective piece of Protestant propaganda.

The woodcut depicting the execution that John Day included in his printing of Robert Crowleys's Confutation of Nicolas Shaxton (1548) and which was reused in Foxe's Acts and Monuments gives a similarly prominent, visual substance to Bale's written portraits of the Anglo-Catholic officials who tried and executed Askew. [33] While highlighting the same double-sitedness of the execution scene noted without critique by the Grey Friar's chronicler, the Protestant woodcut emphasizes the martyr's ability to transcend her suffering and ridicule her monstrous persecutors. The viewer's attention is drawn first to the center of the illustration. Amidst the thronging crowd, the space cleared for the burning bustles with activity. An armed soldier holds back the crowd on one side behind the barricade surrounding the execution space; a second soldier oversees a group of laborers as they hoist the wood that will be piled around the condemned; on the left side of the cleared space, Nicholas Shaxton, who saved himself from t he flames by recanting, preaches his sermon from a free-standing pulpit. While Shaxton addresses those who have come to view the spectacle or perhaps the group of officials, Askew and her three fellow martyrs direct their attentions heavenward with clasped hands and faces upturned in prayer.

Above this grouping of martyrs, the assembled authorities loom over Askew in a way that exposes their arbitrariness and corruption. Situated above the space cleared for the fire, and nearly as visually commanding, is the "Substancyall Stage" erected by the City of London. The engraver has skewed the scale of the figures seated on the stage, making their presence a powerful element in the composition of the picture: although they are supposed to be at a distance from the viewer of the picture, they are sketched at about the same size as the martyrs who are, at the center of the picture, supposed to be nearer to the viewer, and they are twice as large as the spectators standing on the ground directly in front of the platform. Their elevated presence again serves to remind the crowd of the government's control over not only the bodies of the condemned and the pardoned but also the executioners and soldiers who are the busy administrators of justice and retribution.

Thus, the illustration accompanying the extremely popular Acts and Monuments transforms the written accounts of Askew's execution into a specifically hostile attack on the Anglo-Catholic church. It contests the legitimacy of the judgement executed against the reformers, and it undermines the authority of the officials by depicting them as if they were Roman nobles reclining on a dais at a feast or contest. Seated upon the platform, which is hung with draperies and raised above the heads of the tangled mass of spectators, the five robed figures hover disinterestedly above the commotion taking place below. In representing the Henrician officials as if they were Roman rather than English, the engraving charges them with the same offence that Askew's posthumous editor, John Bale, does on the title page and throughout his edition of her Examinations: they are "the Romysh Popes upholders." [34]

The physical and legal resources of the conservative faction of the late Henrician court rendered Anne Askew seemingly powerless. And we have seen how both Anglo-Catholics and the reformist polemicists appropriated her text and identity in the cause of religious controversy. In such representations Askew's own voice might seem impossible to retrieve and study, having been hopelessly expropriated by both hostile and friendly historians. It is possible, however, for a modern reader to reconstruct her responses in a very different way from either the conservative or radical apologists. If one deletes Bale's commentary and reads only the passages labelled as belonging to Askew, the remaining text seems to be a quite coherent and self-contained account on its own. [35] While Bale has an explicitly polemical agenda in presenting Askew's story, and while this may have affected the accuracy of his transcription of her manuscript, several factors argue that the text he attributes to her probably is close to what she wrote. For one thing, he chose to print what purports to be Askew's account rather than simply narrating her story in his own words, something he could have easily done. Moreover, as Leslie Fairfield has shown, a comparison of the tone and style of the passages attributed to Askew against those attributed to Bale reveals striking differences suggestive of "Bale's general faithfulness to the manuscript he received" (133). Elaine V. Beilin notes a similarly significant difference between Bale's tendency to incorporate a variety of sources and Askew's reliance on scripture as her primary source. [36]

Reading Askew's text as her own, in spite of Bale's praise of her silence, his attempt to overpower her text with his commentary, and Askew's own claim that "God hath geven me the gyfte of knowlege, but not of urteraunce" (51), we can see that she is, in her own right, an eloquent and skillful practitioner of Protestant discourse. John R. Knott, moreover, situates Askew within the context of what he calls the discourses of martyrdom, in which Protestant martyrs "often appear to be acting out a drama learned from the New Testament..." (7). Like the martyrs who suffered before her, Askew reenacts dramatic patterns drawn from scripture: she willingly resists the authorities and witnesses to the truth at all costs; she views herself as an instrument through which Christ may work; and she attributes her ability to persevere under persecution solely to the grace of God. [37] Inserting herself into a dramatic role shaped by Protestant discourses of martyrdom enables Askew to leave behind her testimony. In her readi ness to dispute interpretive points with the clergy, particularly regarding the sacrament of communion and the doctrine of transubstantiation, she enters as an active participant in, not merely a passive recipient of, theological discourse. While scholars such as Elaine V. Beilin, Cheryl Glenn, Elizabeth Mazzola, and others have demonstrated the complexity and eloquence of Askew's rhetorical strategies, it is important to note the extent to which these strategies are aimed at countering the power of rumor and report. In this, Askew frustrates the authorities' ability to transform her into a sign of their power. Her tactics thus respond directly to the government's strategies of inquisition and torture which exist as institutional practices designed to compel physically the subject's compliance through a seemingly willing confession. Composed during the time between her condemnation to death and execution, the account Askew leaves behind counters the official record of the events of 1546. The text she sends fo rth survives specifically to provide a clear statement of her beliefs and to contradict her enemies' misrepresentations of her. [38]

At the heart of Askew's confrontation with authority is a profoundly anti-institutional stance which derives from her sectarian beliefs and thus makes her a particularly eloquent opponent of the ever more powerful Henrician legal system and church hierarchy. Chief among her convictions is the right -- even the duty -- of every Christian capable of reading to study the Bible carefully without depending on clerical interpretation. It is on the authority of her own reading of scripture that she renounces her marriage to the conservative Catholic Thomas Kyme: "But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases" (I Corinthians 7:15). Her reformist convictions undermine not only the marital institution but also, and more dangerously, the ecclesiastical hierarchy. In denying transubstantiation, her sacramentarian beliefs render the priest unnecessary as mediator between the faithful and God during communion. By directly contradicting the first of the 1539 Act of Six Articles, her beliefs also contest royal and state power as well. [39] Significantly, her examination by both ecclesiastical authorities and members of the Privy Council enacts a battle over which voice will prevail -- whether she will maintain her Protestant/heretical identity or whether she will conform to the will of the church and state officials by recanting. [40]

Askew's ability to endure examination is made precarious by the fact that the entire process of religious inquisition is based on the same internal mechanisms as torture: the question and pain. Each attempt by Askew's inquisitors to get her to reveal or recant her anti-sacramental position is, of course, inextricably accompanied by the threat of painful and fiery death, since the punishment for refusing to adhere to the official eucharistic doctrine was "pain and the pains of death by way of burning." [41] The inquisitional process works from the presumption that the fear of death will be great enough to motivate the prisoner to betray herself spiritually by making an "orthodox" confession of faith, even if it is contrary to her existing doctrinal convictions. The need to elicit an orthodox confession of faith, moreover, is presented as being so great that it motivates and justifies the officials' threat of the stake. [42] But it is only by linking inquisition to the imminent threat of death by fire that the questions about Askew's eucharistic beliefs are infused with such a sense of urgency. As Elaine Scarry argues in her analysis of torture, "The connection between the physical act and the verbal act, between body and voice, is often misstated or misunderstood.... [For] the fact that something is asked as if the content of the answer matters does not mean that it matters." [43] Ultimately, as with the responses to torture, it does not really matter whether Askew makes an orthodox or heretical confession of faith. Either can be used to stage a compensatory drama of the Henrician regime's power. [44] If she recants, they will make her do so publicly (as they did, for example, Nicholas Shaxton) in a spectacle reaffirming their disciplinary power over subjects. And if she remains obdurate in her heretical convictions, the authorities will burn her (as they in fact do) in a public spectacle of their displeasure and retributive power.

Askew is acutely aware of the inquisitors' strategy to draw from her a statement of eucharistic beliefs that they can use to demonstrate either that she is a heretic or that she has recanted. Many of her rhetorical strategies can be seen as ways to avoid providing her opponents with anything they might use as material for propaganda. As she explains to a priest with whom she refuses to discuss her views on the sacrament, "I perceyve ye come to tempte me" (34). Thus, one of Askew's tactics is to refuse to answer, or to answer enigmatically in order to avoid -- or at least delay -- making the clearly self-incriminating statements her interrogators need. When asked, for example, "whether a mouse eatynge the hoste receyved God or no," she makes "them no answere, but smyled" (27). A smile is not only a way of not answering their query; it also serves as a commentary on the absurdity of their question which, as she twice insists, "Thys questyon ded I never aske, but in dede they asked it of me" (27). When unable t o avoid engaging them altogether, Askew often diverts her inquisitors' questions by responding with enigmatic, almost riddling, answers. Thus, in answer to the more direct question of whether she believes "that the sacrament hangynge over the aultre was the verye bodye of Christ realley," she responds with what seems to be a riddle: "Then I demaunded thys questyon of hym, wherfore S. Steven was stoned to deathe?" (20). The answer to her riddle is, of course, found in the seventh chapter of Acts, where Stephen is stoned to death for insisting that "God dwelleth not in temples made with hands." [45] The riddle enables her to maintain without lying her conviction that belief in transubstantiation amounts to idolatry and that Christ does nor reside in communion bread, a "temple made with hands."

In addition to responding with enigmatic allusions and riddles, Askew further staves off the authorities' efforts to extract a usable response by emending the accuracy of the statements they attribute to her in an attempt at incrimination. The two sides are engaged in a battle over material to be used as propaganda. Thus, for example, when Edmund Bonner claims that her obstinacy drives him "to laye to [her] charge, [her] owne report," she adamantly insists on correcting his version of what she has said (46). He claims she is reported to have said that one receives the devil and not God at the hands of a wicked priest.

To that I answered, that I never spake soche words. But as I sayd afore both to the qwest and to my Lorde Mayre, so saye I now agayne, that the wyckednesse of the prest shuld not hurte me, but in sprete and faythe I receyved no lesse, the bodye and bloude of Christ. (46)

She denies the bishop's version of her position concerning the controversy about the relation between the efficacy of the sacrament and the moral quality of the priest. In reasserting what she has already said "both to the qwest and to my Lorde Mayre," she replaces their script with her own dialogue, one which reveals the inadequacy of the inquisitor's formulation. Although when being questioned earlier by Christopher Dare at Saddlers Hall she makes a similar answer which goes unremarked, the slyly heretical implication of her words does not pass over the bishop in this case (46). He is enraged by her statement which seems to deny transubstantiation ("in sprete and in faythe") even as it is presented in seemingly acceptable, orthodox eucharistic terms ("I receyved no lesse the bodye and bloude of Christ").

Such non-answers, riddling answers, and sly revisions mock the urgency of her inquisitors' questions and frustrate their attempts to extract from her an incriminating statement. Askew records the officials' frustration during her second examination as the Bishop of Winchester (Stephen Gardiner) bids her "make a dyrect answere" (93) and accuses her of speaking in parables (94). And she writes of the "dyverse rebukes of the counsell, bycause I wolde not expresse my mynde in all thynges as they wolde have me. But they were not in the meane tyme unanswered for all that" (94). As she recognizes, the difficulty is not that she is a woman of "so fewe wordes" as the Bishop of London claims, but that she is a woman of the wrong words; her interrogators in fact are "not... unanswered" (51). For while her responses frequently appear cryptic to herinquisitors, such riddling answers show her to be as clever as the famous male Protestant William Thorpe in devising witty ways of evading the inquisitors' questions. [46] Mor eover, in their heavy reliance on scriptural citation, such answers demonstrate Askew's skill at producing her own theological and scriptural interpretations.

Askew justifies her participation in religious discourse by creating several scenes in which she demonstrates simultaneously her own knowledge of scripture, the theological ineptitude of her Anglo-Catholic interrogators, and her own argumentative skill. She skillfully outargues the bishop's chancellor, for example, when he levels at her the common-place of Saint Paul's prohibition against women quoting scripture. Through the use of carefully crafted logic, she demonstrates that she can interpret scripture as well as -- if not better than -- a bishop:

I answered hym, that I knewe Paules meanynge so well as he, whych is, i Corinthiorum xiiii. that a woman ought not to speake in the congregacyon by the waye of teachynge. And then I asked hym, how manye women he had seane, go into the pulpett and preache. He sayde, he never sawe non. Then I sayd, he ought to fynde no faute in poore women, except [i.e., unless] they had offended the lawe. (30)

Her counter to the chancellor's rebuke, first of all, corrects his inaccurate citation of scripture: Paul did not, as the chancellor mistakenly claims, "forbode women to speake or to talke of the worde of God," but only forbade them "to speake in the congregacyon by the waye of teachynge," that is, to speak publicly (29-30). It also makes use of a powerful syllogism: obedient women do not "go into the pulpett and preache." Askew elliptically argues: Neither I or any other women have "offended the lawe" (as the chancellor himself attests). Therefore, I am a good and obedient woman. [47]

As the argument about women speaking in church indicates, the struggle between Askew and her interrogators is very much one over control of her voice and her reputation. Askew's insistence upon being a speaking subject -- and not merely a passive subject of inquiry or a parrot of Anglo-Catholic propaganda -- hinges most forcefully on her continued refusal to internalize and then ventriloquize the institutional script, and her resourceful re-scripting of their encounters. When Bonner fails to coerce her into making a statement that is either clearly orthodox or else sufficiendy heretical to confirm guilt, he actually scripts an orthodox confession of faith for her, drafting it in her voice (i.e., "I Anne Askew .... ."). She is commanded to sign her assent to the words, but she refuses unless he will add the following: "I beleve so moche therof, as the holye scripture doth agre to" (60). Angered, the bishop rebukes her for her effrontery, claiming that she "shuld not teache hym what he shuld write" (60). In sp ite of the bishop's rebuke, Askew insists on amending the text so that it more accurately reflects her own theological position and her own distinctive voice. When he gives her the confession "to sett therto [her] hande," she appends "I Anne Askew do beleve all thynges contayned in the faythe of the Catholyck churche" (62). At this, the enraged bishop, according to Askew, "flonge into hys chambre in a great furye. " [48]

That Askew dares to teach the bishop what he should write derives from her concern about the impact such documents and the information contained in verbal reports or rumors about her will have on people, especially reformist converts, who were not present at her trial. Askew is clearly writing for an audience beyond the interrogation cell of the prison. She opens her memoirs by addressing those who wish to know her story: "To satisfie your expectation, good people... this was my first examynacyon" (19). She is aware, moreover, of the potential that such reports of information have to stir the audience beyond the prison walls to support or oppose the judgments and claims made by the officials. Of the response to the rumor that she has been tortured, she writes:

I understande, the counsel1 is not a lyttle dyspleased, that it shulde be reported abroade, that I was racked in the towre. They [i.e., the members of the council] saye now, that [what] they ded there, was but to fear me. Wherby I perceyve, they are ashamed of their uncomelye doynges, and feare moch least the kynges magestey shulde have infourmacyon therof. (134)

News of what is happening to Askew is important because, as she recognizes here, events are open to interpretation. Although her interrogators excuse their actions with the claim that they only meant to frighten her, others, like the king and Otwell Johnson, can be persuaded to see their actions as "uncomelye."

But, as Askew knows so well, the power of reported news is double-edged in its ability to sway people, and she particularly fears being misquoted by her enemies. Here again we see her concern for expressing her views in her own voice: "There be some do saye, that I denye the Eucharysrye or sacrament of thankes gevynge. But those people do untrulye report of me" (144). In particular, she is distressed by the authorities' ability to ventriloquize her voice:

I have redde the processe, whych is reported of them that knowe not the truthe, to be my recantacyon. But as sure as the lorde lyveth. I never ment [any] thynge lesse, than to recant. Notwithstandynge thys I confesse, that in my first troubles, I was examyned of the Byshopp of London aboute the sacrament. Yet had they no graunte [i.e., permission, consent, or concession] of my mouth but thys. That I beleved then, as the worde of God ded bynde me to beleve. More had they never of me. (144)

Because she believes in the power of personal testimony to persuade others to conversion, it is particularly important to her that any statements attributed to her be reported correctly.

To fight against the forces of false rumor and report, Askew perpetuates her own testimony in the form of the manuscript she composes and which her maid smuggles out of the prison and into the hands of Dutch Protestant merchants. Most importantly, Askew's document explicates in bald terms the eucharistic beliefs for which she is willing to suffer martyrdom. The Examinations counters the official documents produced by her enemies by furnishing an extensively detailed confession of her faith and a rebuttal of the claims falsely attributed to her (138-48). In response to the claim that she denies the sacrament altogether, she carefully distinguishes for her readers the difference she makes between denying the mass "as it is now used in our dayes" and denying the sacrament altogether as her detractors falsely accuse her of doing.

For I both saye and beleve it, that if it were ordered lyke as Christ instrytuted it and left it, a most syngular confort it were unto us all. But as concernynge your Masse, as it is now used in our dayes, I do saye and beleve it, to be the most abhomynable ydoll that is in the worlde. For my God wyll not be eaten with tethe, neyther yet dyeth he agayne. And upon these wordes, that I have spoken, wyll I suffer deathe. [49]

Her desire here is to give testimony, to present simultaneously both what she says and what she believes, a record of the true "graunte of [her] mouthe." She concludes her confession by offering this prayer that God: "sett fourth thy veryte aryght, without all vayne fantasyes of synnefull men. So be it. O lorde, so be it. By me, Anne Askewe" (148). Her prayer most obviously seeks a triumph of the belief in the symbolic nature of communion ("thy veryte") over the prevailing doctrine of transubstantiation (the "vayne fantasyes of synnefull men"). By specifically signing her name, however, Askew seems to infuse the prayer with a second, related impulse: that her words, like the scriptural "veryte" of symbolic communion, be set forth aright and not falsely rewritten as they already have been in the untrue reports that she has recanted.

Anne Askew's rhetorical triumphs did not prevent her from succumbing to the coercive forces of the Henrician state, and she was executed on 16 July 1546 at the age of twenty-five. But while her body was consumed by the flames, her identity remains at least partially preserved. The Henrician Anglo-Catholics made Askew famous through the process of her trial and public execution. The Protestant reformers rhetorically retrieved Askew's broken, tortured, criminalized body from the stake and restyled it as a saint and symbol of their cause. Her identity thus paradoxically emerges in a variety of ways from the tensions between incrimination and dis-incrimination that we find in all the scraps of surviving archival material relating to her.


(*.) Versions of this paper were presented at the 1996 Renaissance Society of America meeting in Bloomington, and at the 1996 Sixteenth Century Studies Conference in St. Louis. In addition to John Knott and the anonymous reviewer at Renaissance Quarterly, I would especially like to thank the following for their thoughtful feedback on earlier drafts of this essay: Gail Cohee, Becky Krug, and the members of the University of Alabama (Birmingham and Tuscaloosa) Early Modern Study Group.

(1.) Dasent, 1:424.

(2.) On 11 March 1545, she had been arrested, imprisoned, and examined for two weeks about her faith (Askew, 19). On 13 June 1545, she was again arraigned on charges of heresy at the Guildhall with two others, but was released when no witnesses appeared to testify against her (Wriothesley, 1:155). For a discussion of the chronology of events, see Elaine V. Beilin's introduction in Askew, xx-xxii; and Wilson, 188.

(3.) Anne Askew was born in 1521 to a Lincolnshire family of the gentry class and, at the age of twenty-five, was burned at the stake on 16 July 1546. Askew was apparently well-educated and particularly well-read in scriptures. She frequently discussed (and later, as her conversion to Protestantism became more decisive, argued) religious doctrine with priests. Some time around 1540, Askew's father made arrangements for a marriage between his eldest daughter, Margaret, and Thomas Kyme, a wealthy Lincolnshire landowner. When Margaret died before the marriage could take place, Anne was designated to take her sister's place in the marriage so that the dowry and the lucrative alliance would not be lost. Her marriage to Kyme, however, proved an ill match, and she unsuccessfully petitioned for divorce. In 1545, when she was first examined for heresy, she seems to have been living in London, and may have been connected with the reformist circles of Queen Katherine Parr's court (Bale does not mention this, but later sources beginning with Foxe claim the connection). Details of her life can be found in Bale's commentary in his edition of the Examinations and in John Foxe's account of her trial in Acts and Monuments. See also Travirsky; Wilson, 159-67, 180-224, 229-34; and Wabuda.

(4.) For a historical overview of this turbulent period, see Brigden; Elton, 1977, especially 328-52; also, 1991, especially 193-223; Guy, especially 178-211; and Haigh, especially 152-67.

(5.) Those who figure as antagonists in Askew's ordeal include Edmund Bonner, Bishop of London; Stephen Gardner, Bishop of Winchester; Thomas Wriothesley, Henry VIII's lord chancellor; Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk; and Sir Richard Rich, a member of the king's council.

(6.) These include Edward Seymour (about whose wife Askew is questioned); John Dudley, Viscount Lisle; and eventually William Paget (ironic, because of his adversarial role during Askew's trials); and Anthony Denny (whose wife also figures among the women about whom Askew is questioned).

(7.) Dasent, 1:462. In its barest outline, the story of Askew's marriage to Kyme ironically parallels that of Henry VIII to Catherine of Aragon when he replaced his brother Arthur, Prince of Wales, in order to Continue the alliance the marriage would forge between Spain and England. That he apparently was unwilling to grant Askew's repeated requests to hear her petition for divorce, even after he had himself divorced Catherine of Aragon, demonstrates the extent to which contemporary fear regarding the precedent set by the king's divorce was unfounded. For a discussion of the material motivations underlying arranged marriages in this period, see Hogrefe, 16-22.

(8.) Even though by this time Henry had officially severed England's ties with Rome and had begun to dissolve the English monasteries, there remained a greater doctrinal distinction between the official religion under Henry and other Protestant sects than between the official religion of England and Catholicism. In 1546, the year of Askew's execution, for example, the denial of transubstantiation was still a matter of heresy according to the Act of Six Articles.

(9.) Askew, 121-22.

(10.) In his well-argued case linking Askew's ordeal to attacks on Catherine Parr, James McConica likewise relies on sources written well after the events took place (221-27). To what extent Henry was actually aware of or involved behind the scenes with Askew's ordeal remains impossible to determine. See, for example, Elton, 1977, 329-30.

(11.) Askew, 125-26.

(12.) Ibid., 127.

(13.) Ibid., 38-39; emphasis added.

(14.) For a more general discussion of the discursive links between anatomy and torture, see Kemp, especially 149-66.

(15.) Askew, 45.

(16.) See, for example, Foucault, 55.

(17.) Corporation of London Record Office, Repertory 11, fol. 298.

(18.) Nichols, 51.

(19.) Although people were shocked that Anne Askew had been tortured contrary to English law prohibiting its use on prisoners who had already been tried and convicted, her torture seems consistent with the treatment of others such as the Bristol counterfeiters (Dasent, 5: 93). Such torture parallels the category of what French law distinguished as the question prealable, or torture used to procure the names of accomplices (as opposed to the question preparatoire, or torture used to obtain a confession). See Peters, 66; Langbein, 3, 77; and Bellamy. Regardless of whether or not Askew's torture was legal, it was not unprecedented even in England.

(20.) Ellis, 2: 177-78. McQuade outlines the illegality of much of Askew's experience.

(21.) For information on the place of publication and the printer of Bale's editions of Askew's account, see McCusker. The two works were published together in four more editions between 1547 and 1550 (one of which omitted Bale's commentary) and again in 1585. John Foxe also published Askew's accounts of her examinations without Bale's commentary in his Acts and Monuments.

(22.) Gardiner, 293.

(23.) For a discussion of Foxe's and Bale's comparison of contemporary martyrs, including Askew, with those of the early Christian church, see Knott, 11-83.

(24.) Askew, 151. All subsequent references to Askew's journal and Bale's commentary are to the the Elaine V. Beilen edition.

(25.) Askew, 12. For a brief discussion of Bale's treatment of Askew's "toughness," see Knott, 57-58.

(26.) Bei1in, 1985, 79.

(27.) Askew, 128-29; emphasis added.

(28.) Compact Edition, 435 and 363.

(29.) See Jonathan Sawday's discussion of the "willing compliance of the corpse in the process of demonstration," exemplified in drawings of cadavers which are depicted as if assisting in their own dissection (123).

(30.) Bale cannot make an explicitly sexualized accusation against Askew's accusers here lest the attack inadvertently contaminate Askew's own sexual reputation as well. Elsewhere in his writings, however, Bale uses the conventional accusation of buggery against those he labels as religiously perverted. Echoing earlier attacks against religious opponents (for example, by the established clergy against the Lollards), Bale accuses Catholic clergy in general of seducing wives, keeping whores, and claiming "monstruouse buggery for a professed virginitie" (Bale, 1990, 48). See also ibid., 63, 73, 83; and 1985-1986, 23.

It is interesting to note that Askew's opponents seem not to have used her sexuality as a means of attack. Compare her treatment to that typically received by the female heretics/martyrs in Legenda Aurea, anti-Lollard and other anti-heresy tracts, and Foxe's Acts and Monuments. Women charged with heresy frequently face accusations of being sexually as well as doctrinally deviant. For a discussion of models of feminine behavior in Foxe, see Levin.

(31.) John King points our the link between the tradition of Saint Margaret as a dragon slayer and Bale's woodcut of Askew standing triumphantly over the Roman dragon (1989, 209). Significantly, however, the image is not particularly aggressive-looking: the dragon does not seem dead, nor does Askew seem to be subduing or restraining it (as she might do, for example, by placing her foot upon its neck).

(32.) I am drawing upon the Privy Council's description of her in June 1546 (Dasent, 1:462).

(33.) For a copy of the woodcut as it appears in Foxe's 1563 edition of Acts and Monuments, see Askew, 164. For evidence that Foxe used the Day woodcut, see King, 1982, 80, 439. A different woodcut accompanied Bale's text. For an insightful discussion of this woodcut of Askew and the Roman dragon, see King, 1989, 207-09.

(34.) As King points out, elsewhere Day used similar iconography associated with the Roman triumphal procession. In the sequence of woodcuts entitled "proud primacie of Popes" appended to the second edition of The Book of Martyrs, he used the image to trace the descent of the opponents of the Christian faith (1989, 138).

(35.) Here, I follow John Foxe as well as modern scholars such as Elaine V. Beilin, Leslie Fairfield, Betty Travitsky, and others in treating the sections attributed to Askew as hers.

(36.) Askew, xxxv.

(37.) Ibid., 56-57.

(38.) For a placement of Askew's writing in the tradition of similar accounts written by Lollards, see Kendall, 123-26. My reading of Askew's text as primarily a confession of her doctrinal beliefs which will speak for her after her death differs from Elizabeth Mazzola's reading of the Examinations as an autobiographical work -- "a project to know herself' -- in which the subject remains mysterious.

(39.) Interestingly, this act was officially titled "An Act abolishing diversity in opinions."

(40.) Knott points out that the examination in Reformation narratives "largely displaces torture as the site of combat between the individual Christian and the authorities who attempt to force submission" (50).

(41.) Act of the Six Articles, cited in Foxe, 5: 263.

(42.) As Scarry writes of the misleading connection between interrogation and pain in torture, "Although the information sought in an interrogation is almost never credited with being a just motive for torture, it is repeatedly credited with being the motive for torture... Pain and interrogation inevitably occur together in part because the torturer and the prisoner each experience them as opposites. The very question that, within the political pretense, matters so much to the torturer that it occasions his grotesque brutality will matter so little to the prisoner experiencing the brutality that he will give the answer" (28-29; emphasis in original).

(43.) Ibid., 28-29; emphasis in original.

(44.) Particularly useful here has been Scarry's distinction between the "real" physical power of an agent of the regime over a prisoner and the "fictional" power of the regime that is a result of what Scarry describes as the "translation of the attributes of pain into the cultural insignia of a regime" (33, n. 49; and 51-59).

(45.) The seventh and the seventeenth chapters of Acts figure repeatedly during Askew's trial. Both contain the "temples" reference, one which is resonant with importance in terms of the symbolic rather than material nature of the Eucharist, the priesthood of believers, and other issues central to Protestant doctrine.

(46.) See, for example, Thorpe.

(47.) For a discussion of Askew's rhetorical skill as exemplified by her use of understatement, disputatio, and logical argument, see Glenn, 228-38. Glenn examines the syllogism used by Askew here, but reads the logic in a slightly different order: Askew is a good woman. Good women do nor preach. Therefore, Askew does not preach.

(48.) Askew, 62. As Beilin, 1991, insightfully points out, Askew's choice of "[t]he verb 'flung' connotes childish temper tantrums, stripping the bishop of any episcopal dignity" (319). By portraying her accusers as lacking the decorum appropriate to their role as clerics, Askew authorizes as superior her own claims to scriptural interpretation.

(49.) Askew, 144; emphasis added. Earlier she has stated that "the holye "and belssyd supper of the lorde... [is] a most necessarye remembraunce of hys gloryouse sufferynges and deathe" (142).


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Publication:Renaissance Quarterly
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 22, 1999
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