A Mirror of mans lyfe made by a modest virgine Fransisca Chauesia a Nonne of the cloyster of S. Elizabeth in Spaine burned for the profession of the gospell.


A Mirror of mans lyfe made by a modest virgine Fransisca Chauesia a Nonne of the cloyster of S. Elizabeth in Spaine burned for the profession of the gospell.


[with separate but related verse following]


Axon reports that Francesca de Chaves was a nun of the order of St. Francis of Assisi who belonged to the convent of Santa Isabel in Seville, whereas the title of the broadsheet declares her to be of the cloister of St. Elizabeth. With twelve other victims, she was burned by the Inquisition on 22 Dec 1560, at the auto-da-fe in Seville.

Digital Object

Image / Audio Credit

Chetam's Library - Halliwell-Phillipps, Shelfmark: H.P.469; EBBA 36173


THe onely God of Israell,
Be praysed evermore:
For that to gloryfie his name,
his sayntes he kepes in store.
And to declare his wonderous workes,
which past the witte of man:
How his most pure and sacred worde.
unto this virgine came.
Who closed was a cloyster Nonne,
and drownd in fylthy sinke:
By taking of the Romish cuppe,
and tasting of her drinke.
Through which both soule & body tread,
the beaten pathes to hell:
Be rent and torne in fylthy lake,
with Deviles ferce and fell.
But God in Christ our Saviour,
this Mayden toke to grace:
Who banisht quite all romish ragges,
and gods word dyd imbrace.
As in this mirrour you may see,
made by this martir bright:
Which is a lanterne to our steppes,
of pure and perfite light.
And to confirme the truth therof,
dyd seale it with her death:
With stedfast fayth in fiery flame,
dyd end her vitall breath.
O virgine pure thou art right sure,
with Christ to rayne, & grace obtaine:
Wherfore to pray, let us not staye,
our sinnes t'unfold, to God be bold.
Einis. quod. T.W.
This godly crosserowe, to christians I send with hartie desire there lives to amend.
ALl faythfull hartes that feareth God,
drawe neare behold and see:
What fiery torments I abode,
for Christes most veritie,
For true it is the wicked hate.
the godly and their wayes:
with cruell deathes they bragge and prate,
whose spite right sone decayes.

Beare not yourselves ye Papistes bold
In frutelesse hope to trust:
Thinking to mend whan ye ware olde,
that sinne is nert the worst.
Be rather wise and circumspecte,
repent while ye have space:
For those that be of God rejecte,
remayne in dolefull place.

Consider well and call to mind,
what counsell Christ doth geve:
Unto all such as sekes to fynde,
how by his word to lyve.
Commaunding us ech one, to love,
and in him fire our fayth:
Who spent his bloud for our behoulfe,
as holy Scripture sayth.

Disdayne not for to helpe the poore,
ye rich that may do so:
Who calles on you both day and night,
be wrapt in payne and woe.
For who so doth the poore despise,
and from their ayd refrayne:
From such the Lord wyll turne his eyes,
In their most nede and payne.

Employe yourselves to eche intent,
that gods word doth amitte:
Obey your Prince whom he hath sent,
In Judgement seate to sitte.
Envye not ye the lowest sorte,
Nor strive not with the bande:
So shall ye winne a good reporte,
where that ye dwell on lande.

Feare not those furious faythlesse sorte,
that dayly lye in wayte:
To shed your bloud they have a sporte,
and make your flesh their bayte.
For he, whose fayth you do profes,
hath promised you in dede:
For to destroye there cruelnes,
and be your helpe at nede

Gape not gredely goods to gette,
the rich mans goods doth rest:
Remember flesh to be wormes meate,
from it departe we must.
Then lyve we heare whyles we abyde,
to profite our soules health:
For death he tarieth not the tyde,
but crepts on us by stealth.

Hotnes of harte se that yee hate,
all ye that do love truth:
Which doth but move stryfe and debate,
eche where in age and youth.
Be poore in spirite, and meke withall,
In harte loke not aloft:
Who climmeth hyghe most lowe doth fall,
such sightes are sene full oft.

Incline your eares to heare their cause,
that are with wronge opprest:

Ye ministers of Christian lawes,
to you I make request.
Let not the poore man be debarde,
to serve the riche mans turne:
If ye so do your just reward,
shall be in hell to burne.

Kepe clene yourselves from fleshly deds
uncleanes put awaye:
For harlots breathes are stinking wedes
appeare they never so gaye.
Most poyson dartes they are iwysse,
that falles with such a breath:
Loke where they light they seldom misse
but strikes unto the death.

Let godly love in you remaine,
and first and principall:
Above all thinges love God certayne,
your neighbour next of all.
If you so lyve without all stryfe,
then are you of that sorte:
Of whom S. John hath written ryfe,
and made a just reporte.

Measure by truth your graine & corne
all ye that selles the same:
Be not at any tyme forsworne,
In earnest or in game.
Nor covet for to sell more dere,
but as you may aforth:
Small tyme we have to tary here,
this lyfe is lytle worth.

Note well the substance of this bill,
and what is herein pend:
Then shall ye not delite in yll,
nor yet therto attend.
Condemne it not though it be rude,
all doth not write lyke fyne:
With counsell good it is indued,
to it therfore incline.

Offer to God the sacrifice,
that his word doth allowe:
Obey the powers in humble wise,
unto them see you bowe.
Who strives with them resisteth God,
as Scripture doth expresse:
They are the very skourge and rodde,
for such as do transgresse,

Pitie the poore that faine would lyve
with labour of their handes:
With wrong do not your tenants greve,
you that be men of landes.
As Christian brethern ought to bee,
In fayth so to professe:
Leave of therfore your crueltie,
and practise gentlenes.

Quietly deale, quarell not yee,
that loves to lyve in rest:
This is most true to eche degree,
a quiet lyfe is best.
For quarells doth ingenger stryfe,
by stryfe oft tymes doth growe:
Such happe that some doth lose their life
they reape as they doe sowe,

Ryote refrayne let reason guide
for ryote bringeth wracke:
For reason doe thou sure provide
before the time of lack.

And if in wealth you happe to flowe,
spend not away to fast,
Lest you come home by ragmans rowe,
with nifles at the last.

Slaunder no weight therof beware,
evill tonges they are so vile,
That ofte they wrappe themselves in snare,
wherat their foe doth smile,
Commit your cause to god therfore,
vengeance saith he is myne.
His merry is also in store,
to those that trust in time.

Trust not the trifeling talkers tale,
till truth the same have tried:
Such bringeth men oft times in bale,
this cannot be denied.
Nedes must he lye that bableth much,
note this for your discharge:
Avoyd therfore from you all such,
whose tongues doth runne at large.

Vyle wanton wayes se you none use
at no tyme day nor night:
Thy fayth Christ may ne will refuse,
to speake the hartes delight.
The godly man from his good thought,
of godlines doth talke:
The wicked man in fancye nought,
his tongue doth ever walke.

Christe graunt us all that do professe,
his faythfull flocke to be:
That our good works may show no lesse
but with our fayth agree.
Dead is that fayth as James doth say,
where good dedes wanteth place:
That we may dwell in Christ alwaye,
he graunt us of his grace.

Yeld laude and prayse to god above,
whose most high majestie
Sent downe his sonne for our behouf:
our saviour for to be.
Whose death hath done our sinnes away
as scripture doth record.
Let us therfore both night and daye,
geve thankes unto the Lord.

Zeale to the truth hath moved me,
this dittie to set forth:
Most humbly praying ech degree,
to take it in good worth.
None other thing is ment therby,
to witnes God I take:
But that we should lyve Christianly,
and Sathans wayes forsake.

& for the same accomplishment,
with meekenes let us pray:
To God the Lord omnipotent,
that he with us alway.
Vouchsafe his holy spirite to dwel,
to guide our hartes aright:
That we may walke in his gospell,
as Children of his light.

Composer of Ballad

T. VV.

Method of Punishment






Execution Location


Printing Location

London, Fletestrete at the signe of the Faucon by Wylliam Griffith.




“A Mirror of mans lyfe made by a modest virgine Fransisca Chauesia a Nonne of the cloyster of S. Elizabeth in Spaine burned for the profession of the gospell.,” Execution Ballads, accessed April 13, 2024, https://omeka.cloud.unimelb.edu.au/execution-ballads/items/show/850.

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