Have not you a Proverbe, whiche fortefieth my reasons, whiche saieth, that warre maketh Theves, and peace hangeth theim up?
In Anglican histories, you are assured that all this was a work of religious reform, and that after it the Church was the pure vehicle of God's grace. There were no more "holy idell theves", holding the land of England and plundering the poor.
This is what Mr. Hobbs read in Dick's letter: "DERE FREND: i got ure letter an Mr. Hobbs got his an we are sory u are down on ure luck an we say hold on as longs u kin an dont let no one git ahed of u. There is a lot of ole theves wil make al they kin of u ef u dont kepe ure i skined.
The Turke nowe, in your tyme, shulde never be abill to get so moche grounde of christendome . . . And whate do al these gredy sort of sturdy, idell, holy theves? These be they that have made an hundredth thousand idell hores in your realme. These be they that catche the pokkes of one woman, and here them to an other.
How Apuleius thinking to be turned into a Bird, was turned into an Asse, and how he was led away by Theves. The I though to blame Fotis, but being deprived as wel of language as of humane shape, I looked upon her with my hanging lips and watery eyes. Who as soon as shee espied me in such sort, cried out, Alas poore wretch that I am, I am utterly cast away.
“It is not pouerte that kepith Ffrenchmen ffro rysinge, but it is cowardisse and lakke off hartes and corage, wich no Ffrenchman hath like vnto a Englysh man. It hath been offten tymes sene in Englande, that iij or iiij, theves ffor pouerte haue sett apon vj or vij trewe men, and robbed hem all.
And that was the verray croys assayed: for thei founden 3 crosses; on of oure Lord, and 2 of the 2 theves: and Seynte Elyne preved hem on a ded body, that aros from dethe to lyve, whan it was leyed on it that oure Lord dyed on.
The petitioner suggests that the king shall "tie these holy idell theves to the cartes, to be whipped naked about every market towne till they will fall to laboure!" Church History