An admonition to Doctor Story


An admonition to Doctor Story


beeing condemned of high Treason, sent to him before his death, but because it came to late to his hands; it is now put in print th[at it ma]y be a warning to all other papists whereby they may repent and c[all to God f]or mercy, cleue to his holy woord and liue ac[cording to the]Doctrine of the same.


John Story, a priest who had helped persecute Protestants is executed for high treason under Elizabeth I.
In the course of slurring papists and saints, this piece names many of the English Catholic martyrs, including Thomas More, John Felton, and the Nortons.

Digital Object

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Huntington Library - Britwell, Shelfmark: HEH18286; EBBA 32151


BEstur your stomps good Story now, the gallous [...]ore
I am sory you came so late, that you must hang alone.
If you had come but one yeer past, company you migh[t] [...]
John Felton & the Nortons bothe, of you would have been glad
Alas what luck had you good man, to bide from hence so long
And hang behinde your company, no dout you had gr[...]
But sith Dame Fortune so dooth frown, and your [...]
I see that weeping wil not help, it boots not to be [...]
Therfore I wish you to repent, while you have time [...]
Lay holde on Faith in Christes blood, and call to God [...]
And now prepare your self with speed, to sail up Holbou[rn] [...]
And drinck you of that deadly cup, that you to us did fil[...]
Gods woord must needs be prooved true, which you doo st[...] [...]ave
Such measure as your self did give, such measure shall you have.
Remember wel your crueltye, in killing of Gods Saints:
whose blood for vengeaunce stil dooth cry, & god hearth their complaint.
& you have now your just reward, which you have wel deserved:
Because from God & princes lawes, so tratorously you swarved.
As I hear say you doo appele, unto your God the Pope:
But his Pardons cannot prevaile, to save you from the rope.
Nor yet his Masses many folde, they cannot you defend:
From Tiburn neither yet from hel, except you doo amend.
but when these newes are brought to Rome, how that you are attainted
Of high treason and hangd therfore, no dout you shal be Sainted.
These names & titles shall you have, in Rome when you be dead:
The Pope no dout wil you inrole, under his bulles of lea[...]
A Doctor and a Confessor, thus shall you be extolde:
A Martyr and a Saint also, but yet a traitor bolde.
That day that you hanged shal be, it shall be holy day:
And so ordained by the Pope, that men to you may pray.
Thus shall you be canonized, as Saint as I have said:
Then to be hangd for high treason, what need you be afraid?
For you shall have Trentalls great store, of Masses said & sung:
And all the belles that be in Roome, for your soule shal be rung.
If some good popish catholike, of your hart could take holde:
And bring it to the Pope in Rome, it should be shrinde in golde.
Because that in the Popes defence, you dyed so bolde and stout:
If that your soule doo go to hel, the Pope wil Masse it out.
And place you by his owne white side, where all the saints doo dwel
In that heaven which him self hath made, not very far from hel.
Where you shall have such plesant joyes, Masse & mattens by note
Saint Pluto there sings Masse him self, in a red firye cote.
Saint Dunstone is one of his clarkes, Saint Hildebrand another
There shall you see Saint Dominick, and S. Francis his brother.
Saint Fryer Forest is the Preest, to hear the Saints confession:
Saint Fryer Bacon beres the Crosse, before them in p[roc]ession.
There shall you meete S. Thomas Becket, that had the g[...] [...]ine
And S. Thomas of Harefordshere, bothe costly brave [...]
There shall you meete S. Boniface, S. Remige and S. [...]
Saint Brigid and S. Clare the Nun, with the holy ma[...]
There shall you meete S. Cardinall Poole, & sw[...]
S. Thomas More a traitor stout, with the ho[...]
There shall you see that blessed Saint, Pope Ur[ban]
Who was the first that did invent, and make Corps Chri[sti]
These Saints and ye[...] [...]o, with all the Sleepers seve[n]
Shall meete you wit[...] [...]n, and welcome you to H[eaven]
And there you shall h[...] [...]ing stil, from morning v[...]
And meete with your familier freends, S. Edmond and S. S[...]
Saint Christopher that late was hangd, at Tiburn you b[...]
There shall you meete S. Felton to, with many [...]
All these Good Saints as I have said, wil meet [...]
And bid you welcome into Heaven, with joy whe [...]
Then al these Angels & these Saints, with great mirth [...]
Unto the high infernall seat, and set you next the kin[...]
You shall be made the cheefest Saint, and sit aboove th[...]
Higher then ever Dunstone was, or any Preest of Ba[...]
You shal be judge of all the Saints, and highest in C[...]stion:
Even as you heer upon Earth were, to maintain superstion.

Math. 6.

The popes
Heaven next
house to

These are
the Popes

Loke in Le
gend aurea
and there
shall you
finde what
S Remege

Sir Tho-
mas More
once Lord
of England.

Loke in the
Festival for
the seven

Boner and


But yet I dout you shall not skape, the Purgatory flame.
[I]f Masses and Diriges doo not help, to save you from the same.
Of whiche I knowe you shall lack none, for many wilbe fain:
[T]o have a thousand for your sake, to fetch you out again.
[B]ut you shall Masses great store have, in the heaven where you go:
[T]hat wil keep you from Purgatory, if that the Pope say no.
[T]hus maister Doctor have I tolde, your joyes after this life:
Because with Gods woord & your Prince, you dye so far at strife.
These be the joyes that you shall have, in the Popes heaven to reign:
But in Gods heaven where true joyes be, no traitor shall remain
No Papist nor Idolater, that doo refuse gods woord:
No worshipper of Images, shall stand before the Lord,
Nor yet Rebellious Massemonger, that dooth his Prince despise:
Against all Popish blood suckers, the Lord wil turn his eyes.
No witch nor wicked whoremonger, which your pope dooth defend
No Conjurer nor yet such like, to Gods heaven shall ascend.
No Buggerers orels yet baudes, in Gods heaven shal have place:
No Briber nor Simoniack, nor Perjurer past grace.
No supersticious Hereticks, nor mainteners of whores:
No Sectaries nor Sodomits, shall come within heaven doores,
All wilful virgins with their vowes, professing to live chaste:
That godly mariage doo contemn, from Gods heaven shall be cast.
And such were all your popish Saints, that I before have named:
with all these sinnes moste horible, the moste of them were blamed
But in such filthy stincking Saints, the Lord hath no delight:
And from the joyes celestiall, he wil exclude them quite.
But these Saints that in Gods heaven, shall have their habitation:
Who by true faith in Christes blood, doo seek their whole salvation
And such as doo unfainedly, beleeve Gods holy woord:
Whose life and good profession, together doo accord.
And live like subjects to their prince, obeying godly lawes:
Not thus to hang like traitors stout, as doo you popish dawes.
Lo maister Doctor these be they, whom we good Saints doo call:
One of these Saints doo plese God more, then doo the popes saints all
And if you be unhangd as yet, God graunt you may repent:
That you may be one of these Saints, of Christe omnipotent.
But if you be all redy hangd, I leave you to your judge:
And let the Papists by you take heed, how they doo spurn & grudge
Against God and their lawful Queene, I would not wish them run
Lest that they drink of that same cup, as you before have doon.
God be thanked that our Queene, begins to look about:
To draw the sword out of the shethe, to weed such trators out.
Therfore you popish traitors all, forsake your Roomish sects:
Obey your Queene like subjects true, or els beware your necks.
Take heed how you provoke your Prince, at any time to wrath:
Whose angre is saith Salomon, the messanger of death.
The Kings displeasure is even as, the roaring Lions voice:
Then to provoke the Queene to wrath, papists doo not rejoice.
Abuse not the Queenes lenity, that shee to you dooth showe:
What small vantage is got therby, some papists late doo knowe.
Consider what great benefits, we have of her good grace,
Shee dooth maintain Gods holy woord, to shine in every place.
How godly hath she ruled us, by wise councels advice:
Of such a precious jewel you, papists knowe not the price.
Shee seeketh to doo harme to none, but to doo all men good:
Yea, to her foes that sought her death, she hath not sought their blood
Til now of late they did rebel, high treason to conspire:
Then was it time to cut them of, and hang them somewhat hier.
To end, God save her majestye, from bloody papists vain:
And Lord send her olde Nestors yeeres, w us to live and reigne.

It is time.

Pro. 20.

A tiborne

Composer of Ballad

Iohn. Cornet. Minister.

Method of Punishment

hanging, drawing and quartering


high treason



Execution Location


Printing Location

London, the long Shop adioyning vnto Saint Mildreds Chruche in the Pultrie, by Iohn Allde


John Story, a Catholic priest who had helped Bishop Bonner to persecute Protestants during the reign of Mary, and who subsequently worked as a censor for the Spanish Inquisition in Flanders, was kidnapped out of Flanders and returned to England in 1570. On 1 June 1571 he was executed for treason.

The spectacle of his trial moved St. Edmund Campion, who was present, to reconsider both his own position and his Catholic duty. In 1886, John Story was beatified by Pope Leo XIII owing to a papal decree originally approved by Pope Gregory XVI in 1859.




“An admonition to Doctor Story,” Execution Ballads, accessed June 15, 2024,

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