Matthew Sutcliffe, An Answere (1595)

A prolific polemicist, Matthew Sutcliffe (1549/50-1629), dean of Exeter (ODNB), was drawn into the later stages of the Marprelate controversy when he responded to a Presbyterian pamphlet entitled A petition directed to her most excellent majestie (Middelburg, 1592) with An answere to a certaine libel supplicatorie (1592), an extended denunciation of Presbyterian arguments and Martinist rhetoric. For most of this response he avoids the question of who wrote the Marprelate tracts and refers simply to “Martin.” But at one point he notes that “J. Penry, I. Ud. J. F. all Johns, and J. Thr.” all “concurred in making of Martin” (78), referring to John Penry, John Udall, John Field, and Job Throkmorton. Nearer the end of his book, Sutcliffe levels an even more specific charge, mentioning Throkmorton’s “Libels, and scoffes published under the name of Martin” (202). Sutcliffe’s willingness to make such a charge in print reveals the widespread acceptance in official circles by 1592 of the case against Throkmorton.

Sutcliffe’s accusation prompted Throkmorton to write The defence of Job Throkmorton against the slaunders of maister Sutcliffe (1594), the only work he published under his own name. Sutcliffe in turn responded with An answere unto a certaine calumnious letter published by M. J. Throkmorton (1595), in which he details the case against Throkmorton, summarizing for the reading public all the evidence generated up to that point by the investigation of the Marprelate project. Sutcliffe did his homework before writing his 1595 Answere: he read all the relevant texts, and examined all the reports and depositions generated by the investigation. Some of the evidence he cites is no longer extant, such as the records generated by the successful indictment of Throkmorton in October 1590 for writing the tracts, but most of it survives and confirms his reliability: by the standards of the time, Sutcliffe is unusually scrupulous. Writing six years after the discovery of the Marprelate press and drawing on evidence gathered over years of investigations, Sutcliffe concluded that Job Throkmorton was the “principall agent” in all the Martinist productions and “the man that principally deserveth the name of Martin” (fol. 73v). For a more detailed summary of Sutcliffe’s arguments here, see Authorship: Job Throkmorton, with John Penry.

Source: Matthew Sutcliffe, An answere unto a certaine calumnious letter published by M. J. Throkmorton (1595). The extract begins on l.3 of fol. 70v.


My words are most direct and plaine against him. John Penry, say I, John Udall, John Fielde, all Johns, and Job Throkmorton, all concurred in making Martin. Which words are so farre from clearing him, that they doe clearely convict him, even as these wordes cleare him, so let him, of those matters whereof he would purge himselfe be cleared. Nay he confesseth in the ende, that he is brought in for a candle holder. Untrue then it is, that hee is left out, or cleared. The trueth is, that he is brought in as a principall agent in all these libels. Next to Penry that was hanged for libelling against the state, M. Throkmorton deserveth the first place.

Secondly he saith, he may aswel be charged with Martins theses, protestations and dialogues, as with any one of Martins books. Wherein he greatly abuseth a good Lady [i.e., the Queen], and would abuse his reader also. For while he imagineth, that men doe not suppose him to be an actour in all Martins libels, by confessing, that he is actour in all aswell as one, he would avoyde the charge that is layde upon him, whereas in trueth he is guiltie of more, then is layd to his charge. Whatsoever his meaning was in these ambiguous terms, it is most apparent that he was authour of divers of these libels, and an actour in the printing and publishing of them all.

[Marginal note: That Master Throkmorton was either the authour, or one or the chiefe actors in all Martins libels, the which is proved first in Hay any worke for Cooper.] After that Hay any worke for Cooper was printed, which was Anno 1588, Walde-grave the printer went to Job Throkmortons house, thither also did Penry follow him, who was the corrector and part authour of that booke: all which Newman their agent deposeth. Now who may not hereof gather, that all mette together to take order for the distracting of the booke, which they had printed by common consent, and that Job Throkmorton was principall, for that nothing might be done without his privitie? Secondly, it is evident that the same men were actours in the libell called More worke, and in the libel called, Hay any worke. For he that wrote, Hay any worke, doeth promise More worke. But this More worke is written with J. Throkmortons owne hand, and in divers places with his hand it is interlined and corrected. [Marginal note: The booke is to be shewed him, if he mainteine the contrary.] Thirdly, the stile is so like to Job Throkmortons talking [fol. 71r] and writing, that as children do declare whose they are by the lineaments of their visage and proportion of parts, so these libels doe bewray their natural father, by the frame of the words and sentences, and such draughtes as can proceed from no other authour. Fourthly, it is to be prooved, that he both dealt with Walde-grave for the printing of it, and himselfe caused divers copies thereof to be distracted abroad. Fiftly, the authour of Martin senior and Martin junior, alloweth the libels called Martins epitome, and Hay any worke, which few doe publickly avow beside the authors.

[Marginal note: Throkmorton the authour of Martin senior, and Martin junior.] That Martin
, and Martin junior were of the devise of Job Throkmorton, and came from his forge, it cannot be denied. Newman deposeth, that he was dealt withall at Job Throkmortons house, to provide a Printer to supply Walde-graves place, that then was runne I know not whither, out of the countrey; and that going to London, he sent thither one Hodgskin (a Saltpeterman, and a good printer for such saltpeter and gunnepouder workes) who went to Throkmortons house, where, because all things were not ready for the printing of More work, he was agreed withall for the printing of Martin senior, and Martin junior. Hodgskin and Simmes his man say upon their oathes, that they were sent with a letter from Job Throkmorton to Mistresse Wigston, to intreat her to suffer them to print at her house. [Marginal note: All these depositions are extant to be shewed, testified with the deponents hands.] Whereby it may appeare that Throkmorton was the authour of these two libels, first because he provided the Printer, next, because he agreed with him, thirdly, because he commended them to the house, where they were to print, fourthly, for that the bookes came to Hodgskins handes by the appointment of Throkmorton, being layde in the way betwixt his and Mystresse Wigstons house, ready for Hodgskin to take up. [Marginal note: Deposed by Hodgskin.] Fiftly, for that comming to the place where the books were printed, he corrected certaine faults, and shewed Simmes how he should read certaine places interlined. This is deposed by Simmes; that, both by Tamlin and Simmes. They also depose, that both Martin senior and Martin junior was written with one hand. Sixtly, Simmes deposeth, that at the first the whole copy of Martin junior was not to be found, but that upon Throkmortons comming to the Printing place, it was found with the rest, so that he beleeveth he was both the authour of it, and brought it with him at his comming thither. Seventhly, both [fol. 71v] Martin senior, Martin junior were written with that very same hand, that wrote most of More worke for Cooper [marginal note: Deposed by Simmes], which is knowne to be M. Throckmortons. Lastly, doubting how these two bookes should be printed, he asked Hodgskin softly in his eare, whether his two men were able to serve the turn. Now if he had had no hand in those bookes, what reason had he to be so carefull for the printing of them?

[Marginal note: That Throkmorton was part author of that infamous libel called More worke for Cooper.] The like and other reasons also may ascertaine us, that the same man was the author of that infamous & odious libel entituled More worke, which should have bin printed in Lancashire, had not the Presse bene taken by the Earle of Darby. First, that is proved by the testimony of J. Throkmortons owne hand writing, for the copy which every man may see that doubteth hereof, is half of it written with Job Throkmortons owne hand. A man would scarcely beleeve, that a man that is so slouthful when he should doe any service to his countrey, should take such paines in writing of libels. Yet his hand writing may assure us, that it is so. Besides this the phrase and maner of writing, which is a certain indice and signe of the authors affections, doth declare from whence the booke did come, so scurrilous, wicked, and railing stuffe could come from no other then Throkmorton. Thirdly, he that made Martin senior & Martin junior, made also More worke. Simmes and Tamlin do both depose, that both were written with one hand. And it is already proved that Throkmorton was author of Martin senior, and junior. Fourthly, the same booke is found in divers places corrected and enterlined with Job Throkmortons own hand, but no man useth or presumeth to adde, detract, or alter the originall, beside the authour. Fiftly, at Penryes and Throkmortons intreaty, Newman was content to goe from Throkmortons house to London, to provide a Printer for the printing of More worke for Cooper. [Marginal note: Deposed by Newman.] If he had not bene Author, what needed he to have cared for the printing of it? Sixtly, when Hodgskin was come to Throkmortons house, there the bargaine was made for the printing of the booke, as both Hodgskin and Newman doe testifie. Lastly it is deposed both by Hodgskin and Simmes, that Throkmorton while Martin senior and Martin junior were in printing, should say unto Hodgskin that More worke for Cooper should come to his handes shortly. And so it did, being [fol. 72r] dropped out of a chamber into a rome where then Hodgskin was. If he were not the author, or at least an actor in it, how could hee know how the booke should come to his handes? Could he prophesie that the booke would droppe out of the chamber, if he had not bene privie to the dropping it? An unhappy drop for poor Hodgskin, who if her Majestie had not bene gracious to him, had dropped off the gibet for it. The author in the meane time, he like a cocke on a perch croweth very lowd, and standeth on his innocencie, and defieth all those that say he is not an honest man.
[Marginal note: That Throkmorton is the counterfeit Martin Marprelate.] If then M. Throkmorton made that booke which is called More worke, then is he doubtless Martin Marprelate: for the author of that doeth in plaine termes confesse, that he is Martin Marprelate. Let him disguise the name as he will, and call himselfe now Martin, then Marprelate, or give to Penry the name of Martin, and to himselfe the name of Marprelate, as if Martin Marprelate were a monster compounded of divers persons, and much wicked scurrilitie and ribaldry: yet this is certaine that Job Throkmorton was author of More worke for Cooper, and that the author of that booke was Martin Marprelate; and to go one streine further, that the same is a most infamous wicked, prophane, and scurrilous libell, the author whereof deserveth not to live in any Christian common wealth.

[Marginal note: Throkmorton the author of Some in his colours.] The book called Some in his coulours [STC 12342] was likewise made by J. Throkmorton. That is proved first, by the deposition of Waldegrave that upon his oath testified so much, and at Rochel [i.e., La Rochelle] where he printed it, spoke it openly. Secondly, albeit Throkmorton in this place faintly doe deny Martins pamphlets to be his, yet he doeth not deny that treatise to be his, being charged with it. Thirdly, the saucinesse of the stile doeth declare who was the author. Fourthly, it appeareth by the depositions of Newman and Holmes, that he dispersed divers hundreds of those bookes, and that he corrected the said bookes, and was earnest with Holmes that he should not bewray him. [Marginal note: Do you think him innocent who stood in this feare?]

[Marginal note: Job Throkmorton the author of Martins Interim.] I have also seen a little pamphlet entituled Martins Interim. I neede not describe unto you the qualitie of the booke. By this you may ghesse at it, that Job Throkmorton was the authour of it: a book full of rayling and ribaldery, of cursing, slaunder, and impiety. The title [fol. 72v] doeth shew the humor of the author, for he calleth it Martin’s interim, or a briefe Pistle to the cursed Prelates and Clergy. In his preface he calleth them proud, Popish and tyrannical Rabbies. In the beginning of his letter, he calleth them an ungodly swarm of caterpillers, incarnate divels, and a hellish rabble. [Marginal note: All Throkmortons grace is in writing of Pistles and letters.] But of his kitchin rhetoricke I have given you a taste before, so that I neede not to stand upon it. That it came from Throkmorton, although the stile may teach you, yet the same is also argued by the hand wherein it was written, and for that it came into Scotland together with Job Throkmortons letters to Penryes handes. And finally, for that as he is reported to be the author of it, so there is no other, that is suspected for it, but he.

[Marginal note: Throkmorton the author of the Crops & flowers of Bridges garden.] And because he would have the name of a great writer of many bookes, he hath also written and published another litle book called, The crops and flowers of Bridges garden. Newman deposeth that in a certain chamber in one Master Harvye’s house, Throkmorton tolde him that he would give him a little booke to helpe him towards his charges. And the rather for that he had taken great paines and profited little. [Marginal note: He hath profited as much as they that have wonne to themselves trouble and discredit.] He told him also, as the said Newman affirmed, the name of the book, and that hee would goe foorth to walke in the evening, and that if he would follow him, he shoulde find it, which fell out accordingly. Hee walked like a proper man, Newman folowed, the booke dropped down, Newman tooke it up, and Throkmorton dealt earnestly with him to print it. Yet afterward he caused one Bowman to move Newman, that one James Meddowes might be partaker with him of the gaine of that book [marginal note: Is there such gain in selling of infamous libels?]: who at the last by the meanes of Bowman, had the booke, and went over to Middleborough to print it. Further it doth appear by a letter of Throkmortons to Bowman, that while the booke was in printing, he had a great longing to have some of the bookes that were now, as it seemeth, finished. Even as foolish parents long to see their children, so he was desirous to see that worke which he without any paine and great merriment had brought forth into the world.

Finally albeit Penry joyned with Throkmorton in making most of these libels, and made divers others himself; yet was M. Throkmortons hand either in some part of them, or at the least in the dispersing of them. Let him take heed he have not the like issue [fol. 73r] with him. When Walde-grave had printed Penries Appellations, & Some in his colours, he came to Throkmorton to know what hee would have done with them. Penry found him there, as Newman deposeth.

[Marginal note: Deposed by Newman and Holmes.] He saieth also further, that when Godley his house at North-hampton was searched for such matters, of which one Garnet of that towne brought him word, he packed up 500 of Martins Protestations, 500 of Penries Appellations, & 600 of the bookes called Some in his colours, and sent them by him the sayd Newman & Garnet to Banbury. [Marginal note: Throckmorton a merchant, and distractor of libels.] Newman thinketh, that Martins Protestation was printed with inke sent by James Meddowes to Throk. house, & that not without his privitie. He was the man that provided Printers and merchants for the bookes set out under the name of Martin and Penry, as is evident by the depositions of Newman and Holmes, and Hodgeskin and his men. Upon him was the special care laied for the correct and orderly printing of all their devises. He sent about to London, yea into France and Scotland about all those matters. Hee was the special agent for John Penrie. Augustine Maicocke deposeth, that he collected money in London towards Penries reliefe, and the paiment of his debts. [Marginal note: Throk. a principall agent in printing and selling of seditious bookes, and directing, and helping those that were employed therin.] If any danger were toward the printers or sellers of his bookes, intelligence was given streight to J. Throkmorton. [Marginal note: Deposed by Newman.] Garnet of North-hampton brought him notice, how Godleis house was searched. Sharpe being examined concerning these matters, sent him a note of that he had confessed. Newman served as it were for a foote post to goe too and fro, to give intelligence how matters went. Good it was for him, that he was a cobler, for if he had not bin able to mend his shoes himself, he had never bene able to beare the charges. If there was any danger toward, Throkmorton first used to give his complices warning. In a certaine letter of his to Maicocke, he giveth him warning to look how he trusted Bowman. When John Penry lurked here and there like a foxe, yet was he never so closely hid, but that Throkmorton knew where he was, as doeth appeare by the deposition of Jenkin Jones, who by his meanes found him in a certain odde ale-house, 18 miles from Fawsley. When the sunne began to shine so hote in England that Penry could not abide it, but must seeke for a colder region to live in, Throkmorton was the man that set him in his way & furnished him with money. If any materiall occurrents fell out, he [fol. 73v] failed not thereof to advertise Penrie. In one letter having gibed at the state, he writeth thus in derision of her Maiestie, and of her government: O Sir (saith he) hath not her Majestie raigned prosperously, and is it a time, thinke you, to alter all these, and so many blessings bestowed upon us: to raise turmoiles, and innovations, and to pull the crowne off her head? Well, your Worship (saith he, meaning Penrie) will not meddle with any of these kind of seditious people. [Marginal note: Throk. letter to Penry into Scotland, under a counterfeit name.] He doth also certifie him of Udals, Cartwrights and others imprisonment, and of the taking of the presse and copie of More worke in Lancashire, by the noble earle of Darbie; for so he writeth in scorne of his lordship, as the circumstance of the place declareth. He signifieth unto him further, that the Printers then taken had confessed, that Martin was made by Penrie and one of the Throkmortons. In the latter ende he writeth, that her Majestie had lately bene in danger of poisoning, & that other shrewd plots had been laied against her, and all by Penry. Great pitie it is, seeing the man is so busie, that he is not called to render a reason of these sayings.

Wherefore albeit some doubt hath bene made heretofore, who was the author of those sedicious and impious pamphlets, that in front cary the name of Martin: yet these reasons grounded upon the depositions and othes of divers men, and kept in Records to be seene of as many as list to take copies of them, being well considered, I trust, there is none will deny, but that Throk. was a principall agent in them all, and the man that principally deserveth the name of Martin, nay, so litle doeth he repent him of his insolent misdemeanour formerly used, that hee calleth Udall and Penrie, two most factious persons, and which for defaming her majesties government, and railing and libelling against the state, were condemned by course of the common lawes, reverend men. A matter to be marvelled at, but that malcontents that raile against their governors, do ordinarily commend malefactors & sedicious persons. The Papists do register divers for Martyrs & Confessors, that in publike Records of this realme, are noted and registered for felons & traitors, and master Throk. if he continue this course long, wil not come farre behind them. For albeit he take them not, for ought I can learn, for consistoriall martyrs; yet he accounteth them reverend men: which [fol. 74r] is nothing else but a plain testimony of the consistorians cankred malice against the state, of their presumption in acquiting those whom the judges condemned of their proud disdaine against justice, & of their love & liking of felons and malefactors. How much better had it bene for M. Throk. to hold his peace, then by answering, to declare his misliking of judges, & malcontentment against lawes, like an absolute king acquiting those by his word whom lawes by the judges sentence had condemned? A king certes in his high throne of his owne fond conceit, and if matters might be brought about, a president of the consistory at the lest.

Now because his deniall against so many witnesses, & arguments, is but a weake defence, and no sufficient matter to cleare him of the suspicion of Martinisme; he saieth further, that hee is ready to take his othe, that he is not Martin, and yet her Majesties messengers say, he is not very ready. For as oft as he was sought for to that purpose, he hid his head and lay like Saturne in Latio, lurking, & would not come forth. He addeth therfore this condition, so it may be before the court of Parliament, or the lordes of her Majesties privie counsell, as if a court of parliament were to be summoned to try every odde libeller, or els as if Throkmorton were a consistorial king, whom all inferior judges were unworthy to examine, and sentence. But suppose the parliament had so litle to doe, as that the same would be pleased to tender this great magnifico an othe; yet I beleeve master Throkmorton hath not that credite in that high court, as that he should greatly desire his cause to be tried there. I thinke he may remember, when for railing against foraine princes, hee was glad to forsake that place where hee was a burgesse, and to hide his head a great part of the parliament time, at Hillington: and I thinke his dealing against his owne soveraigne ladies government will not more lightly bee censured. He flieth therefore at length to the lordes, but they be not his peeres by whome he must be tried; nor is he so great a man, that either the court of parliament, or her Majesties counsell must be assembled to give him an othe. Had Hacket bene Mahomet, and he great Bassa to Hacket; yet may he not claime a priveledge above Mahomet Hacket, who was tried by other judges, then the estates in parliament, or lordes of her Majesties counsell. [fol. 74v]

But were it granted unto him that he might chuse his owne judges, which in matters criminall is not usuall; yet what is it, that he would sweare? He saieth, he would sweare that hee is not Martin, nor knew not Martin, a goodly dish of googeons [i.e., gudgeon], as if any did say that his name is Martin, or that he knew a man called Martin, that made the bookes that go under the name of Martin. We know his name is Job, albeit he hath rather the botches, then the patience of Job: and are not ignorant that Martin was a counterfeit name, assumed not by counterfeit, but by plaine libellers. He presumed therefore too farre upon the patience of his lady, and tooke the lordes and estates to be very simple, if he imagined that they would suffer such an answere to passe for paiment, or discharge him that answered so simply. But if hee meane to discharge himselfe by his othe, he must sweare, and upon his othe answere first, that he never made nor published, nor yet holpe to make, print or publish any of those bookes, that goe under the name of Martin Marprelate, or Hay any worke, or More worke, pretended to be made by the said Martin: Secondly, that he never added any wordes or sentences toward the filling or furnishing of those bookes: Thirdly, that he now condemneth Martins epistles, and other bookes bearing that name, and that hee never commended nor allowed them heretofore: Fourthly, that hee was neither Martin, nor Marprelate, nor the whole, nor the part of that conie-catcher and libeller, called Martin Marprelate. Lastly, that himselfe neither had, nor ever dispersed any such bookes. If hee sweare not this, he sweareth nothing sufficient to cleare him: if he doe sweare it: yet will I rather beleeve the othes of the grand Jurie that endited him, and the witnesses that testified against him, and the plaine arguments that doe convince him, then his othe, albeit he were a man that had great conscience to declare a trueth. What then is to be expected of a man of that faction, that respect rather their profite, then their othe? When all is done, yet I beleeve, he will be advised how he sweare, and therefore doeth he sweare by protestation, or rather doeth promise to sweare, and that with such conditions, as I thinke, hee meaneth not to sweare at all. for how can he sweare that he is innocent, when so many witnesses testifie against him, and so [fol. 75r] many Jurors have sworne, that the bill of his enditement was true? Doeth he take libelling to bee no fault? Why, all lawes condemne it. The civill lawes of the Romanes punish both the authors and abetters of such practices very severely. Doeth he then imagine, that it is no unlawfull thing to set foorth such bookes as those are which goe under Martins name? Why then did he not set his name to them, and avowe them? That they are most wicked and villanous his owne conscience did teach him. That was the cause, that hee so oftentimes after the manner of Jesuites, that goe about disguised to worke mischiefe, used to change his name, calling himselfe sometime master Juell, sometime master Warner, sometime master Grivel, somtime master Stone, sometime master Robinson, sometime M. Gravener, sometime master Tomson. [Marginal note: Throkmorton often changed his name.] That also caused him to change the names of those to whom he wrote, calling Maicocke, May, and Boweman, Archer [marginal note: This appeareth by Bowmans and Maycocks depositions]: a practise much used by Hacket and Copinger, but seldome used by any honest men. [Marginal note: Few honest men have so many names, & use to counterfeit names.]

But had M. Throkmortons conscience bene seared, and past feeling, so that hee could not discerne the wickednesse of Martins writings: yet the writings themselves do testifie against the Author. At religion he maketh a jest, gibing and scoffing in most serious matters. The holy virgine and mother of God, that cursed seed of Cham calleth in derision, Sir Marie: and the holy Apostle S. Peter, he calleth Sir Peter, as if hee were but a common priest, and much unlike and inferior to the lordes of the consistorie. Forgetting the matter hee hath in hand, hee holoweth, shoutheth, and whoopeth like a man of Bedlem, and crieth, so, ho, ho. Forgetting himselfe, he falleth in scorning, with termes unwoorthie to be spoken, or written. What should I speake of his malicious railing against many honest men, that never thought him hurt? He spareth none. Both the Queene and the lordes, and the Judges, feele the smart of his stinging and malicious tongue. I neede not shew his wicked and spitefull railing against the minsterie of the church, for that was the purpose of all his discourses, and alreadie I thinke you are wearie to heare the injurious speaches hee hath uttered agaynst them. The Scriptures he abuseth, lawes and authoritie he contemneth; at the fathers of the church, like a most wicked impe, he raileth. [fol. 75v] The bookes then of Martin being so infamous and wicked, and the man so guiltie even in his owne conscience, the hee durst never abide triall, how can Throkmorton say without blushing, that he is as cleare of all the matter whereof he standeth endited, as the child unborne? Is it his meaning, that as the child unborne is uncleane, and teinted with originall sinne, so he is guiltie of the matters conteined in the enditement? If that be his meaning, I confesse he saieth true, but then his othe so taken, will not cleare him. If his meaning be otherwise, then no man that is wise wil either trust his word or othe, for the matter is clearly proved against him. His meaning therefore, I thinke, is to take exception against the forme of the enditement, and to sweare that hee taketh himselfe cleared, because in the enditement there wanteth formalitie. Yet so long as the same standeth unreversed, who will not rather beleeve the othes of many indifferent men, then of the partie himselfe in his owne discharge, especially they being led by divers witnesses, the partie speaking to save his honestie?

Wherefore seeing so many witnesses, and so many presumptions and proofes make against Throkmorton, and his own conscience and hand-writing doeth so charge him, that his owne tongue cannot discharge him, he must seeke us for some better argument then his own protestation and othe to clear him; or els all men will hencefoorth take him for the mazed fellow that was author of Martin, and judge him worthy the reward of his fellow Penry.

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