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A Supplication for the Beggars   By:

A Supplication for the Beggars by Simon Fish

First Page:

The English Scholar's Library of Old and Modern Works.

Edited by EDWARD ARBER, F.S.A., etc.,

LECTURER IN ENGLISH LITERATURE ETC., UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, LONDON.

SIMON FISH, of Gray's Inn, Gentleman .

A SUPPLICATION FOR THE BEGGARS.

[1529.]

Only to be obtained by postal application to EDWARD ARBER, at Southgate, London, N.; England . No. 4. 15 August 1878.

UNWIN BROS., IMP. ] Eighteen Pence. [ CHILWORTH & LONDON.

To my Godfathers in English Literature ,

HENRY MORLEY, ESQ., PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH LITERATURE , UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, LONDON.

AND

HENRY PYNE, ESQ., Late ASSISTANT TITHE COMMISSIONER , ST. JAMES'S SQUARE, LONDON.

this Old Series is, with blended admiration and gratitude, filially Inscribed.

The English Scholar's Library etc.

No. 4.

A Supplication for the Beggars.

[Spring of 1529.]

The English Scholar's Library of Old and Modern Works.

[SIMON FISH, of Gray's Inn, Gentleman.]

A Supplication for the Beggars.

[Spring of 1529.]

Edited by EDWARD ARBER, F.S.A., etc.,

LECTURER IN ENGLISH LITERATURE ETC., UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, LONDON.

SOUTHGATE, LONDON, N. 15 August 1878. No. 4. ( All rights reserved. )

CONTENTS.

PAGE

Bibliography vi

INTRODUCTION vii xviii

A Supplicacyon for the Beggers 1

1. The yearly exactions from the people taken by this greedy sort of sturdy idle holy thieves 3

They have a Tenth part of all produce, wages and profits 4

What money pull they in by probates of testaments, privy tithes, men's offerings to their pilgrimages and at their first masses; by masses and diriges , by mortuaries, hearing of confessions (yet keeping thereof no secrecy), hallowing of churches, by cursing of men and absolving them for money; by extortion &c.; and by the quarterage from every household to each of the Five Orders of begging Friars, which equals £43,333 6s. 8d. [= over £500,000 in present value ] a year 4

400 years ago, of all this they had not a penny 4

These locusts own also one Third of the land 5

Or in all more than half of the substance of the realm 5

Yet they are not in number, one to every hundred men, or one in every four hundred men women and children 5

Neither could the Danes or Saxons haue conquered this land, if they had left such a sort [ company ] of idle gluttons behind them; nor noble King ARTHUR have resisted the Emperor LUCIUS, if such yearly exactions had been taken of his people; nor the Greeks so long continued the siege of Troy, if they had had to find for such an idle sort of cormorants at home; nor the Romans conquered the world, if their people had been thus yearly oppressed; nor the Turk haue now so gained on Christendom, if he had in his empire such locusts to devour his substance 5

2. What do they with these exactions? 6

Nothing but to translate all rule, power &c. from your Grace to themselves, and to incite to disobedience and rebellion 6

3. Yea, and what do they more? 7

Truly nothing but to have to do with every man's wife, every man's daughter &c. 7

4. Yea, who is able to number the great and broad bottomless ocean sea full of evils, that this mischievous and sinful generation is able to bring upon us? unpunished! 7

5... Continue reading book >>




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