Richard Baines to the Privy Council

Shortly before Marlowe's death, the informer Richard Baines made the following accusations against the playwright in a note to the Privy Council, the group of advisors who worked closely with Queen Elizabeth.

[One Christopher Marly]

A note containing the opinion of one Christopher Marly concerning his damnable judgment of religion, and scorn of God's word:

"That the Indians, and many authors of antiquity, have assuredly written of above 16 thousand years agone, whereas Adam >> note 1 is proved to have lived within six thousand years.

He affirmeth that Moses was but a juggler, >> note 2 and that one Hariot >> note 3 being Sir Walter Raleigh's man can do more than he.

That Moses made the Jews to travel 40 years in the wilderness (which journey might have been done in less than one year) ere they came to the promised land, to the intent that those who were privy to many of his subtleties might perish, and so an everlasting superstition reign in the hearts of the people.

That the beginning of religion was only to keep men in awe.

That it was an easy matter for Moses being brought up in all the arts of the Egyptians to abuse the Jews, being a rude and gross people.

That Christ was a bastard and his mother dishonest. >> note 4

That he was the son of a carpenter, and that if the Jews among whom he was born did crucify him, they best knew him and whence he came.

That Christ deserved better to die than Barabas, >> note 5 and that the Jews made a good choice, though Barabas were both a thief and a murderer.

That if there be any God or any good religion, then it is in the Papists, >> note 6 because the service of God is performed with more ceremonies, as elevation of the mass, organs, singing men, shaven crowns, etc. That all Protestants are hypocritical asses.

That if he were put to write a new religion, he would undertake both a more excellent and admirable method, and that all the New Testament is filthily written.

That the woman of Samaria >> note 7 and her sister were whores and that Christ knew them dishonestly.

That Saint John the Evangelist was bedfellow to Christ and leaned always in his bosom; that he used him as the sinners of Sodoma. >> note 8

That all they that love not tobacco and boys are fools.

That all the apostles were fishermen and base fellows, neither of wit nor worth; that Paul >> note 9 only had wit, but he was a timorous fellow in bidding men to be subject to magistrates against his conscience.

That he had as good a right to coin >> note 10 as the Queen of England, and that he was acquainted with one Poole, a prisoner in Newgate, who hath great skill in mixture of metals, and having learned some things of him, he meant through help of a cunning stamp-maker to coin French crowns, pistolets, and English shillings.

That if Christ would have instituted the sacrament with more ceremonial reverence, it would have been in more admiration; that it would have been better much better being administered in a tobacco pipe.

That the angel Gabriel was bawd >> note 11 to the Holy Ghost, because he brought the salutation to Mary.

That one Richard Cholmley hath confessed that he was persuaded by Marlowe's reasons to become an atheist."


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