The Acts and Monuments and the Protestant Continental Martyrologies
by Mark Greengrass and Thomas S. Freeman

Under the headline: Martyrs who showed the way to Little England, the London Times of 13 September 2003 ran a profile of this Project. In it, the director David Loades highlighted an important paradox. John Foxe began his great work while a refugee in Rhineland Europe and away from Queen Mary's persecution back in England. Its intellectual genesis therefore lay at the heart of the revolutionary changes inspired by the sixteenth-century protestant reformation - which is to say, on the continent of Europe. Yet, successively reworked and republished in English (as this Variorum Edition analyses), the cultural impact of Foxe's work was to sever England from the catholic roots of continental Europe. After his death, Foxe's work became a vehicle that sustained anti-catholic sentiment which, in turn, cloistered a fundamental suspicion of continental Europe - and never more so than in the nineteenth century. William Haller's influential book Foxe's Book of Martyrs and the Elect Nation (1963) rationalised a view that had been forged over a long period of time: that Foxe's Book of Martyrs had played an important part in creating a sense of English national identity.[1] Haller's emphasis now seems distinctly misplaced, not least because we are much more aware of the complex ways in which the broader currents of the protestant reformation cut across linguistic, ethnic and national identities, just as it divided families, friendships and neighbourhoods.[2] The identity with which Foxe was most concerned was the martyr, witnessing for the Gospel. It was an identity that was coexistent with the godly in the life of the church, as indelible as God's providential decree and far more important than transient empires and other man-made political formations. In the preface, entitled on the usefulness and profit ['fructu'] of this history, to the impressive Latin martyrology published in Basel in 1559 (the Rerum in Eccesiæ Gestarum […]) Foxe was explicit about his objectives as an historian. He was writing a counter-history, but using the language and models of Antiquity, just as Eusebius had done, in order to do so. The humble martyr, he said, deserved our respect more than all the valiant heroes of Antiquity and the empires they had framed.[3] We should not judge as the world judged, but as God would judge us. In His eyes, we could be sure that the martyrs were the true conquerors of the world, from whom we learn true fortitude, as long as we fight for Christ and not for the world.[4] This was the abiding lesson of the early church, where martyrs willingly followed Christ's example, their memory so exalted that neither a king nor an emperor in this world was able to obtain, with statues, columns, pyramids, triumphs, temples or proclamations.[5] Such an exaltation of the martyr as a witness for the Gospel can be found in the earliest years of the protestant Reformation.[6] By the time of Foxe's exile from England in the Spring of 1554, however, it had become particularly appropriated by the scholar networks and stranger churches of the refugee Reformation in the Rhineland.

John Foxe and the Refugee Reformation

Exile has a uniquely disorientating impact on those who experience it. If this is the case for the asylum-seekers and illegal immigrants that currently desperately seek admission to various European countries today, it must have been still more the case for sixteenth-century refugees, even those whom twenty-first century bureaucrats would want to classify as economic migrants. Identity was determined by family, friendship and place - delineated by a heritage of local roots and sustained by the affirmation of others. To lose that sense of identity was to be lost in a maze - the labyrinth of wandering, aimless humanity that Calvin would frequently evoke as the lot of human kind without the sure pillars - the Institutes - of the Christian religion. The exiles that made their way in the wake of the onset of persecution in the Netherlands, France, England and Scotland to the cities of the Rhineland - to Strassburg, Cologne, Wesel and Duisburg, Basel, Frankfurt, Worms and the Palatinate towns - established communities of strangers (die welchen or die fremden; étrangers). But they generally found themselves on the margins of the places which constituted their new homes.[7] Only in Geneva - away from the Rhineland but with a great deal of influence upon its stranger communities - did the refugees come to swamp their host community. There, under Calvin's influence, they transformed the city - its church, the relationship between church and state, and the way in which foreigners and natives reacted to one another. It no doubt helped that, in Geneva, the majority of the exiles happened to speak French, which was also the dominant language of the city itself (albeit spoken and written in a distinctive patois). Elsewhere, language was a dividing force, separating the refugees from the host community, and (equally importantly) the groups of refugees from one another. Geneva became the church the stranger communities of the Rhineland looked to for a model, for guidance, and for mediation in resolving their quarrels. The first Calvinist churches outside Geneva were the stranger churches of the Rhineland. If language was generally a dividing force among the exiles, it was nevertheless the case that the scholars and students among the exiles used their Latin lingua franca to establish networks of contacts, communication, news and opinions, a Rhineland refugee republic of letters which reflected their concerns, a Pléiade of exiled, tensile intelligence, united by shared experience and, to some degree, common sense of purpose.[8]

The shared experience emerges, as Brad Gregory has demonstrated, in the interesting parallels that emerge in the lives of the sixteenth-century.exiled martyrologies.[9] Comparing the implicit synchronies in the lives of the German Lutheran pastor, Ludwig Rabus, the French Calvinist publicist, Jean Crespin, the Flemish preacher and minister from Antwerp, Adrian van Haemstede, and the English exiled scholar and tutor, John Foxe, he notes their shared humanist learning and knowledge of the classics.[10] He explores their personal experience of persecution, an experience which their enforced unemployment in exile caused them to reflect on and write about. Above all, as Gregory points out, they had mutual friends in common around the stranger networks. Strassburg had been one of the most important exile foyers although, by the time John Foxe arrived there in July 1554, the French church and the English exiles were feeling the nervous after-shocks of the Schmalkaldic War (1547-8) and French Rhineland expedition (1552) on the city's polity. Foxe would have seen Ludwig Rabus' recent book on the shelves in the Strassburg bookshops. A resident in the city since 1549, Rabus was not a member of the refugee communities, but he knew the scholars and theologians in these circles well enough. In the Rhineland cities of the 1550s there were generally clutches of moderate humanist Lutherans, supporters of Philipp Melanchthon, who were willing to countenance discourse and engagement with the exiles and their ideas. In Strassburg, they were represented by Boniface Amerbach and Franciscus Dryander, the remnants of the circle of Martin Bucer's sustainers in the city, as well as by Rabus himself. In addition, Foxe became acquainted with the German Lutheran historian, Johannes Sleidan, whose famous De statu religionis et republicae […] [Commentaries on the State of Religion and the Republic under the Emperor Charles V] (1555) was one of the sources for Rabus' martyrology even before it had been published. Foxe knew Sleidan, both from his brief stay in Strassburg during the summer of 1554 (Mozley speculates that he may have lodged in his house there) and also subsequently through the correspondence of the fellow-exile and mutual contact, Edmund Grindal. Foxe dedicated his first essay in martyrology, the Latin Commentarii rerum in ecclesia gestarum, to the moderate Lutheran Duke Christoph von Wurttemberg (the dedicatory preface being dated 31 August 1554) - just two years after Rabus had dedicated the first volume of his martyrology to the same patron. Many years later, Archbishop Grindal would remind Elizabeth I's secretary of state, William Cecil, that the duke had donated a large sum (three to four hundred crowns) for the support of the English at Strassburg.[11] Foxe's dedication specifically alludes to the duke's generosity towards them, an acknowledgement for what had been received and an implicit request for more.

We can follow the refugee intellectual networks to Frankfurt, which was where Foxe headed in the autumn of 1554. He arrived in time for the annual book fair, and met various printers and booksellers there, including Hieronymus Froben from Basel who specialised (in partnership with his brother-in-law, Nicolaus Episcopius) in publishing editions of Erasmus and an impressive imprint of humanist editions.[12] The printers had their own networks of contacts among the humanists, scholars, publishers and printers of the Rhineland and, in time, Foxe would use them for his own purposes too. He had close encounters with John Knox, arriving from Geneva towards the end of October 1554, having been elected minister of the English stranger church in Frankfurt the previous month, and with the English exiles in Frankfurt, William Whittingham, Thomas Lever, Richard Cox and others, whose networks stretched outwards to Edmund Grindal in Strassburg and elsewhere. Foxe also came to know the Lillois minister, Valérand Poullain, who had also made his way to Frankfurt with a small group of 24 Walloon weavers from Glastonbury, taking up exile from England first in Wesel and then, in the Spring of 1554, in Frankfurt itself. Poullain was the epitome of the Rhineland émigré bush telegraph, an indefatigable letter-writer and knocker on doors, a drafter of liturgies, confessions and ecclesiastical constitutions, rootless and relentless. His efforts to establish a church along Genevan lines among the French exiles in Strassburg in 1540-5 would be a forerunner of the later Troubles of Frankfurt among the English exiles. Poullain's brief stay in Basel thereafter was overshadowed by the divisive affair of his disputed betrothal to Isabelle de Haméricourt, dame des Villercies, a lady in the entourage of Jacques de Bourgogne, sieur de Falais, Calvin's most aristocratic sustainer in the late 1540s and early 1550s. Their engagement, if such it had been, had come to pass during his trip to the Netherlands in 1546 as an agent of Jacques de Bourgogne, sent to recover part of the latter's wealth there. If it was a match made in heaven so far as Poullain was concerned, it defied most social norms on earth - a mésalliance, an abuse of the sieur de Falais' duty of care, and a matter of potential scandal. The case was brought before the matrimonial court in Basel by Jacques de Bourgogne, the most notorious and highly publicised matter that perhaps this institution would ever handle. Bucer, Calvin, Bullinger, Hooper and others were solicited by both Jacques de Bourgogne and Poullain for their support, but they generally found it all too distasteful, inclined against Poullain's side of the story, and the latter left, probably for Zürich, and then on to England. Once arrived in Frankfurt, Poullain made it his business to cultivate the acquaintance of Melchior Ambach and Johannes Lullius, two moderate Lutheran ministers of the city, former colleagues of Martin Bucer in Strassburg, and Johannes de Glauburg and his nephew Adolf, patrician patrons of the exiles. The etablishment of the French stranger church in Frankfurt in April 1554 was a noted achievement for this mover and shaker, whose recent experience conjoined English exiledom with that of the Low Countries and at least three of the stranger communities that Foxe would come to know. Poullain's subsequent efforts to convince the sceptical Lutheran authorities of the city as to the orthodoxy of the Walloon church, and the disputes that resulted, have to be read alongside those of the more notorious (to English ecclesiastical historians) and convoluted quarrels between the Knoxians and Coxians of 1554-5. As Foxe said in his famous letter to Peter Martyr, It would be an Iliad to describe the raging of the storm which divided even youths, nay boys of seven years […] and the most violent fighters were the aged theologians.[13] This fractious reality, redolent of the exiled communities in general, was a long way from Foxe's idealized picture of exiledom, painted in a letter to two fellow exiles in early 1555. Written whilst he was in Frankfurt he dreamt of the refugees as members of his [God's] mystical body delivered out of that miserable land, from the danger of idolatry and fearful company of Herodians.[14] To forsake your country, to despise your commodities at home, to contemn riches, and to set naught by honours which the whole world hath in great veneration, for the love of the sacred gospel of Christ, Foxe continued, are not works of the flesh, but the most assured fruits of the holy ghost, and undeceivable arguments of your regeneration or new birth […]. The despatch of this letter was itself, conceived Foxe, a precious gift from one exile to another. It was like the water from a well, presented by a poor Persian in the desert to his king, a gift of life-sustaining belonging and belief.

From Frankfurt, Foxe went to Basel in the Autumn of 1555, which is where his daughter Christiana was baptized on 22 September, her godfather being D. Benthemus - i.e. [Dominus] Thomas Bentham, later bishop of Lichfield. Three years later, his second daughter Dorcas, was baptised, this time with Boniface Amerbach, by then the rector of the university in Basel, acting as godfather. The choice of godparents hint at Foxe's circles of support and sustenance. He sought work as a proof-reader and editor in the print-shops of Froben and Johannes Oporinus [G: Hans Herbst]. The latter was the most prolific Basel printer of the day, whose surviving correspondence indicates that he was in touch with most of the humanist scholars of the Rhineland and further afield.[15] Foxe worked alongside John Bale and Lawrence Humphrey, both of whom had open doors to other parts of the English refugee world. Bale was the most precocious and erudite of English protestant ideologues. He had already glimpsed the potential of the publication of martyrs' accounts as instruments for God's greater glory and manifestations of the tyrannical cruelty of their opponents. His book on the trial of Anne Askew, published in Wesel in 1546, provided a prototype for the martyrdom separate, an exemplary case-study which would circulate in England in various abridgements. It was composed expressly, said its author, so that the glory and the great power of the Lord, so manifestly appearing in his elect vessels, may not now perish at all hands, and be unthankfully neglected, but be spread the world over, as well in Latin as English, to the perpetual infamy of so cruel and spiteful tyrants.[16] As Patrick Collinson has suggested, the Book of Martyrs owed part of its overarching historico-apocalyptic perspective to Foxe's association with John Bale in these years and it is during this period that its raw materials were begun to be collected from across the refugee networks. But perhaps we should allow something also to the influence of Matthias Flacius Illyricus, whose Catalogues of Witnesses to the Truth went through the Oporinus press in 1556, and also to the physician, Heinrich Pantaleon, one of Foxe's Basel friends, whose Latin collection of continental martyrs was apparently conceived in collaboration with Foxe as a complementary volume to his own Latin martyrology devoted to the English martyrs.

One of the most important of the exile networks in the conception and compilation of the latter was undoubtedly that managed by Thomas Becon and Miles Coverdale and stretching back to Edmund Grindal in Strassburg. Thanks to the later puritan-inspired edition of the Letters of the Martyrs, Grindal's correspondence sketches out the contours of a bigger collaborative martyrological venture in which Foxe was a collaborator, labouring in this business of gathering, analysing and memorialising the documents of the English martyrs in the possession of our friends, with the eventual grand conception of a simultaneous publication in English and Latin of a history of the martyrs in which Foxe would be responsible for the Latin edition, to be published in Basel with the help of his printing contacts.[17] Grindal collected materials and forwarded them to Foxe, the most striking example in the context of this edition being the account of the theological disputations involving Thomas Cranmer and Nicholas Ridley at Oxford that he promised to forward to him on 28 November 1557.[18] Grindal also sent him oddments of money - although a few riksdollars would hardly keep the wolf from the door if he and his family lodged at the Clarakloster, the former convent of the Sainte-Claires, where a good number of the English exiles apparently lived in collegio. It apparently cost 24 pounds a year to stay there.[19] Foxe supplemented his income where he could - from his writing, publishing, collating and editing.[20] The Grindal papers, invaluable as they are, should not, however, exclude from us the plurality of Foxe's contacts and his independence of approach. Through John Bale, also a resident in the 'college' in Basel, he was in touch with Lutherans elsewhere in Germany. He perhaps had links with the stranger churches in the region too. Someone, though it was not Foxe, used the proof cast-offs from the Oporinus press of Foxe's Latin play, Christus triumphans, published in 1556, to scribble down a German translation of the confession of the French stranger churches of the Lièpvre valley near Basel.[21] Foxe had his own contacts among the English exiles in Aarau through Thomas Lever and others, who may have sent on snippets of information too. He corresponded with Heinrich Bullinger, the chief minister in Zürich, sending him at one point a gift of beer (the water of a letter from the wellsprings of the desert would not suffice for an eminent Antistes) and with Froschover, the Zürich printer and publisher, as well as with the English exiles there. Some of his martyrological materials certainly made their way to him via Zürich. Foxe's letters to Bullinger in 1559 solicited material in a way that suggests that this was a well-established channel.[22] It was one that was perhaps more important than we appreciate. And for every telling piece that was added to the slowly emerging jigsaw puzzle picture of English protestant martyrs and their sustainers, there were apparently still more pieces unaccounted for. Like most projects, including this Variorum Edition, the martyrology (like Topsy) just grew and grew. There were those who advised Foxe against publishing his Latin Rerum in 1559 on the grounds that the documents hidden in the corridors of power and smuggled around the networks of sustainers of the persecuted under Mary had just been opened for view by Elizabeth I's accession.

The fact that Foxe went on and published his work in the Autumn of 1559 despite such advice is indicative of what he believed he was about. Our beliefs say something about us and about the state of affairs in which we find ourselves.[23] They are more than statements of fact; they describe the commitment we have towards the reality as we perceive it, how we engage with it, how we seek affirmation from others to see the world in the same way as ourselves. Belief is thus more than a mental state. It is a disposition to see reality in a certain way, extending as a commitment and engagement with the world, and with others, with the past and and the present. Foxe's Rerum was just such an engagement. Through technologies of observation, we situate our own actions with reference to others by means of how we, and others around us, behave and have behaved in the past, by their and our performance, and we express through various means of representation our commitment to certain truth claims that give rise to that reality and to the consequences of that reality. By these actions, we acknowledge to ourselves, and ask others to see, how we position ourselves in the world and in the context of its history. We seek a common identification with our truth claims and create communities whose shared beliefs express that commonality implicitly in their constitution and their actions. Foxe's Rerum was an impressive demonstration of martyrological technique, a compelling delineation of the ostentive powers of martyrs for the faith to represent the truth-claims of the exiles in general. For all the disappointments, disagreements and volatilities of the exile experience, the refugees contemplated a fundamental shift in their perception of the world. Among them were those who sensed that they had fulfilled the scriptural injunctions to follow Christ and shake off the corruption of the world, those who had few inhibitions in using the terms martyr, persecution, tyranny and faith - loaded words at the best of times, but ones invested with even more meaning in a refugee context. Some used the terms saint and miracle (though Foxe was relatively prudent, as a search of this edition will prove). There was a debate about tarrying for the magistrate and not having much truck with those who tried to have it both ways - the Nicodemites as Calvin would witheringly describe them. Foxe, it is true, never seriously discussed the problem of nicodemitism in the Rerum or, come to that, in the Acts and Monuments. And he was prudent in his treatment of magistracy, letting Wyclif's sermon (if it was his) expound on how God would require magistrates to geue a reckening of their Baliwyke, whether to profyt the people, to destroy falsheade, and further truth? or for desyre to oobtaine therby worldlye worshyp […].[24] But he could find harsh words for nobles who were persecutors. Nobility was a sister to humility and nobles should, like magistrates, compel men to Christ. The only engraving in the body of the text of the Rerum was that of Sir John Cobham, shown as a warrior knight-martyr (miles, eques, martyr), fighting and dying for Christ.[25] Foxe wove his sense of exiledom into his martyrological perspective. His memorialising imperative, linked into the building blocks of the martyr's story, was his crucial observational technique, one designed to capture the performativity and representation of truth claims at their purest and least ambiguous. The refugee experience remained a critical and formative influence on his subsequent life and later writings.

John Foxe and Jean Crespin

To analyse the affinities between the various sixteenth-century martyrologists would require a lifetime of scholarship, says Brad Gregory.[26] No doubt, and so, in order to illustrate the complexity of the relationship between Foxe and the continental martyrological texts in a way that is helpful to this edition, we have elected to look simply at one element of it - the complex relationship between Foxe and his French counterpart, Jean Crespin. There is logic in the choice, not least because Crespin's text evolved in at least as complex a fashion as that demonstrated in this edition for Foxe, and over an even longer time-frame. Crespin's martyrology was first published in 1554 and kept evolving in the hands of its editors - Crespin and his continuator Simon Goulart - until 1619. Our history of sixteenth-century French protestantism would be substantially transformed by a searchable edition on this scale of Crespin's work, for Crespin was at least as much the maker of mighty myths as Foxe himself.[27] And this is not withstanding the scholarship and empathy of the Liège school - Léon-E. Halkin, Georges Moreau and, above all, Jean-François Gilmont - which has transformed our perception of how Crespin worked as an editor and publisher.[28] We now understand that Crespin's priorities, like Foxe's, were to present, as Andrew Pettegree put it, a theological, rather than a simple, historical, truth.[29] And, as a printer and publisher of more than 250 editions, Crespin was one of Geneva's leading printers for over twenty years. He understood commercial truth as well. One of his early publication successes had been to publish the Reformed catechism, Psalter and liturgy together, an early example of bundling items together to make them a more saleable commodity. Nearly a quarter of Crespin's titles (though only eight per cent of his output in terms of numbers of pages) was in the form of polemical works by various authors.[30] They included Calvin's anti-Nicodemite pamphlet, with six editions printed by Crespin between 1550 and 1562. He maintained his links with the Rhineland cities of Strassburg, Frankfurt and Basel and often stopped off in Zürich on his way to, or from, the Frankfurt book fair. Heinrich Bullinger was a friend with whom he corresponded regularly and whose works he published in French translations from 1556 onwards. He also specialized in publishing French-language protestant histories. He secured a monopoly on French translations of the works of Johannes Sleidan, producing 15 editions of his works within the space of a decade.[31] Jean de Hainault's L'estat de l'Eglise, a chronology of Christian history, was also a sought-after Crespin publication that went through four editions between 1556 and 1562.[32] His own Livre des martyrs (1554) and Recueil de plusieurs personnes qui ont constamment enduré la mort pour le Nom de nostre Seigneur (1555) thus fitted into an emerging genre from his press and its first appearance in August 1554 complemented Rabus' publication and was precisely contemporary to the publication of Foxe's Commentarii.

Foxe's work was distinctive in that, with Bale's help, it situated the dramatic struggles for God's truth in his own day in a late-medieval context. John Wyclif, Jan Hus and the Hussite struggle, the Savonarola affair were not heretical hiccups in the systole and dystole of Christendom. They were harbingers, providential presages of the new age. Thomas Freeman has studied closely the borrowings from Foxe's Commentarii in the two succeeding editions of Crespin of 1555 and 1556. The first was a pirated edition of his Recueil de plusieurs personnes published by one of Crespin's rival publishing houses in Geneva, Adam and Jean Rivery, in 1555.[33] The second was the first Latin edition of Crespin's martyrology, translated and prepared by the Nîmes humanist, Claude Baduel, and published by Crespin in 1556.[34] As the following table indicates, Foxe's Commentarii formed the source for a good deal of unacknowledged borrowings [B], translations [T], and/or abridgements [A], especially as concerned the Wyclif story:

Table: Early Borrowings from Foxe's Commentarii by Jean Crespin/Claude Baduel

Content and Commentarii (1554)Recueil (1555)Acta Martyrum (1556)1563 edition of the A&M
Papal darkness into which Wyclif was born … fols 1r-8rsigs **1r-**2r [T and A from 1554]pp. 1-3 [A]p. 87 [T from 1554]
Wyclif's life … fols 8r-10rsigs **2r-**3r [T from 1554]pp. 3-8 [T from 1555: A]p. 88 [T from 1554]
Letter of Pope Gregory to Richard II … fols **3r-**4rsigs **3r-**4r [T from 1554]pp. 8-10 [B]p. 89 [T from 1554]
Foxe against anti-Christian persecution … fols 12r-15rsig **4r [T of first sentences from 1554]p. 10 [T from 1555]pp. 89-90 [T from 1554]
Bishops try to silence Wyclif … fols 15r-16rsigs **4r-**6r [T from 1554]pp. 10-12 [T from 1555]pp. 90-91 [T from 1554]
Wyclif's Protestation at Lambeth … fol 16rsigs **6r-v [T from 1554]pp. 12-13p. 91 [T from 1554]
Wyclif's conclusions … fols 17r-26rsigs **6r-**7r [T and A from 1554]pp. 13-14 [T from 1555]pp. 91-94 [T from 1554]
Death of Pope Gregory, election of William Courtenay and Wyclif's confession … fols 26r-27rsigs **7r-v [T from 1554]pp. 14-16 [T from 1555]p. 95 [T from 1554]
Earthquake during Wyclif's examination … fols 27r-28rsig **7v [T from 1554]pp. 16-17 [T from 1555]p. 95 [T from 1554]
Wyclif's condemnation at Oxford … fols 30r-31vsig **8r [T and A from 1554]pp. 17-18 [T from 1555]pp. 96-97 [T from 1554]
Lollard persecution; Wyclif's exile and return to Lutterworth … fols 31v-32rsig **8r [T from 1554]pp. 18-20 [T from 1555]p. 97 [T from 1554]
Wyclif's condemnation; his body and books burnt … fols 32r-vsig **8r-v [T from 1554]p. 20 [T from 1555]pp. 97-98 [T from 1554]f
Letter of Wyclif to Pope Urban VI … fols 33r-34vsig **8v-9r [T and A from 1554]p. 20 [T from 1555]pp. 98-99 [T from 1554]
Letter of Wyclif to Richard II … fols 34v-37rsig **9v-v [T and A from 1554]pp. 20-21 [T from 1555]pp. 99-100 [T from 1554]
Wyclif's adherents among the English laity … fols 37r-38rsig **9v-r [T and A from 1554]pp. 21-23 [T from 1555]pp. 100-01 [T from 1554]
Nicholas Hereford and Philip Repington at Oxford … fols 38r-42vsig **9v [T from 1554 with some A towards the end]pp. 23-28 [T from 1555]pp. 101-02 [T from 1554]
Martyrs of Narbonne and Paris; prince Armeric hanged … fols 58r and vsig **9v [T from 1554]p. 30pp. 135-36
Executions and burnings in Erfurt, Oxford and Cambrai, etc … fols 58v-59rsig **9v-10 [T from 1554]pp. 30-31 [T from 1555]p. 136
The imprisonment of John Aston … fols 42v-43rsig **10r [T from 1554]p. 31 [T from 1555]p. 102-03 [T with A, from 1554]
Persecution of Lollards and execution of a tailor [i.e. John Badby] in Smithfield … fols 60v-62rsig **v-11r [T from 1554]pp. 32-35 [T from 1555]pp 172-73
Martyrdoms of William Taylor, William White, Richard Howenden, Thomas Bagley, Paul Craw, Thomas of Rennes, Reginald Pecock, Mother Yonge, Roger Dole [i.e. Sir Roger Onley]sig **11v-12r [T from 1554]pp. 159-69 [T from 1555]pp. 347-69 and p 371

There is evidence of commercial imperatives and haste in the way Crespin and his editors went about their task. In 1555, for example, the Crespin text includes Foxe's statement to the effect that he will print Wyclif's conclusions, despite their length, but then goes on to abbreviate the following text (a mistake that was rectified in Baduel's Latin translation). Baduel's translations were all from the French version of 1555 rather than returning to Foxe's original. In the case of original documents in English, this meant that they were texts that had been translated three times over. Crespin's editors abbreviated or omitted Foxe's discourses on the anti-christian nature of persecution, the duties of the godly magistrate and the denunciation of cruelty in the Roman church. Some of the Lollard martyrs mentioned by Foxe are dropped entirely by Crespin's editors, perhaps for reasons of space. The account of Philip Repington's arrest and imprisonment glosses his subsequent appointment as bishop of Lincoln and persecution of the Lollards to become the vaguest of allusions. Most of the borrowing was without acknowledgement although, in one instance, the Latin text specifically mentions Foxe as a source for Wyclif's letter to Richard II which it had not printed in full.[35] These passages are a case-study in the sophisticated and knowing way in which one martyrology text was transfused, like a genetic implantation, from one to another.

This process of transfusion reached its height in the early 1560s, by which time an even more complex genetic make-over was at work. The gene pool of potential martyrological sources in the Latin lingua franca were larger and it is more difficult to be precise as to the donator and donatee and the fashion in which the transfusion took place. In the case of Jean Crespin's expanded Latin edition of his martyrology of 1560, the Actiones et monimenta [sic] martyrum (Geneva, 1560) and the French additions to the martyrology, the Troisième Partie du recueil des martyrs (1556) and the Quatrième partie des Acts des martyrs (1561) there was an expanding number of texts to borrow from as well as recent martyrological events to include.[36] The imperative of a complete chronicling of the witnessing of truth in a new age had become infinitely more complex, especially if undertaken on an international scale. Deliberate choices had to be made for including some material and excluding others, and there were the subtle deployment of a technology of observation at work. Thomas Freeman has undertaken a similar collation of potential Foxe borrowings for the 1560 Latin edition of Crespin and the Quatrième Partie. The results are set out in the following two tables:

Table: Borrowings from Foxe in Crespin's Actiones et monimenta martyrum (1560)

[NB All the previous borrowings from the Commentarii, included in the Latin edition of Crespin of 1556, noted above, are also incorporated into this edition and have not been noted here]

References in the Actiones et monimenta martyrumPotential borrowings, and likely source
Martyrdom of John Firth … fols 61v-62r Crespin cites John Bale as his source (vt testatur Balæus centuria ocaua Scriptorum Britanniæ), and clearly depends on it rather than the longer account in the Rerum
Martyrdom of Robert Barnes … fols 67v-68rMostly drawn from Sleidan, De statu religionis […], or possibly Rabus. Crespin had printed an account of Barnes in the Troisième Partie and this account derives from this version. But the section relating to Anne Boleyn appears to have derived from Foxe, Rerum, pp. 144-45
The martyrdom of Anne Askew … fols 140v-150vThe examinations of Anne Askew are acknowledged to have been derived Foxe's Rerum [quæ Ioannes Foxus Anglus è vernculo latinè, optimè expressit vt sequitur.], although the prefatory comparison with Blandina probably came from Bale's The first examinacyon […] (1546)
The martyrdoms of John Lascelles, John Adams etc and the death of Henry VIII … fols 150v-151rFrom the Rerum, p. 199, substantiated by Crespin [ex Ian. Foxo]
The martyrdom of William Gardiner … fols 182r-5rFrom the Rerum, pp. 204-08, albeit omitting Foxe's introduction comparing William Gardiner to the early Christian martyrs and Foxe's narration of the providential impact of his death.
Lady Jane Grey's marriage, dialogue with William Feckenham, letter to her sister Katherine, and scaffold speech … fols 252v-57vFrom the Rerum pp. 232-38, including Foxe's marginal notes.

Table: Borrowings from Foxe in Crespin's Quatrième Partie […]

References in the Quatrième partieBorrowings, and source
Prefatory letter Iean Crespin, a tous ceux qui bataillent sous l'enseigne de nostre Seigneur IESVS CHRIST, […] … fols 1-3r Rerum, Proœmium, sigs a1r-a2r - mostly an integral T.
Martyrdom of John Lambert … . pp. 17-34 [NB the book changes from foliation to pagination at p. 17, possibly indicating the late arrival of additional material in the intervening section]Rerum, pp. 146-55 - but the material has carefully edited down by removing Foxe's introductory remarks on Satan's skill at sowing division among the congregation of Christ, his editorial intervention deploring the roles of John Taylor, Robert Barnes, Thomas Cranmer and Thomas Cromwell in Lambert's condemnation and most of Foxe's oration to Henry VIII, criticizing the king for condemning Lambert. Foxe's marginal notes are included in the T.
Life of Thomas Cromwell [Thomas Cromel] … pp. 34-54Rerum, pp. 154-64 - but the material has been edited down by removing the excursus by Foxe comparing Cromwell, the comparison of Gardiner and the Marian bishops to the Catiline conspirators, and by trimming down Foxe's defence of the suppression of the monasteries. Some of the marginal notes are reproduced in the T.
The martyrdom of William Gardiner … pp. 72-83Rerum, pp. 203-08 and Crespin, 1560 - but the material has been edited down by omitting Foxe's discussion of how Gardiner was the equal of the greatest martyrs of the early church and his conclusion describing the providential judgments wrought upon the Portuguese by his martyrdom.
The martyrdom of John Rogers … pp. 88-124Rerum, pp. 266-79.
The life and martyrdom of John Hooper [Iean Hoper] … pp. 124-CLXXVI (the pagination changes to Roman numerals at 161, following p. 176)Rerum, pp. 279-96. Crespin printed a translation of the account in the Rerum, concluding on p. 176: Il resteroit maintenant que ses escrits qu'il a laissez fussent mis en lumiere pour en faire participans ceux qui auroyent aussi desire de l'ouyr parler. Mais d'autant qu'iceux escrits sont fort amples, & ne pourroyent estre mis au volume de ce quatrieme Liure, nous les reseruerons pour vn autre lieu. However Crespin must have had a late change of mind since, although p. 176 concludes with the catch-word Roland, the subsequent page, where the pagination changes to Roman numerals, begins inconsequentially (in order to pick up the catch-word) ROLAND Taylor estoit au mesme temps detenu que Iean Hoper presenta ceste copie d'Appel au Parlement […] and proceeds to provide translations of the material from the Rerum.
Life and martyrdom of Rowand Taylor [Roland Tayler] … pp. 177-93Rerum, pp. 418-423. Crespin had provided an account of the life and martyrdom of Rowland Taylor in the Troisième partie [pp. 543-49] on material that may have come to him from Christopher Goodman. One element of that account - the erroneous date of Taylor's death - survives independently of the Rerum into Crespin's new text.
Life and martyrdom of Lawrence Saunders [Laurent Sander] … pp. 193-235Rerum, pp. 404-18
Life and martyrdom of Robert Ferrar [Robert Ferrare] … pp. 235-40Rerum, pp. 423-25
Martyrdom of Thomas Thompkin … pp. 240-42Rerum, p. 425
Martyrdom of Thomas Higbed and Thomas Causton [Thomas Hygbáe & Thomas Causon] … pp. 242-53Rerum, pp. 426 and 428-30; Crespin altered the order of the text in order to print their confession in the right place.
Martyrdom of Stephen Knight [Estienne Knyght] … pp. 253-55Rerum, p. 427.
Martyrdom of William Hunter [Guillaume Hunter] … pp. 255-56Rerum, pp. 427-28
Martyrdoms of John Laurence, Rawlins White and William Dighel [Iean Laurent, Raulin Whyght, Guillaume Digel] … pp. 256-57Rerum, p. 428.
Martyrdoms of John Alcock [Iean Alcock], George Marsh [George Marshé], John Cardmaker [Iean Cardmaker] and John Warne [Iean Warren] … pp. 256-86Rerum, pp. 428-43.
Martyrdoms of William Tooley [Guillaume Toulée], Thomas Hawkes [Thomas Haux], Thomas Wats [Thomas Watse], Nicholas Chambers [Nicolas Chamber], William Butler [Guillaume Bvtler], Thomas Osmond, John Simpson [Iean Simson] and John Ardley [Iean Erdle] … pp. 286-347Rerum, pp. 443-62 [recte: 463]
Life and martyrdom of John Bradford [Iean Bradford] … pp. 347-481Rerum, pp. 462-501, superceding the account of Bradford in the Troisième Partie [pp. 550-59].
Martyrdom of William Minge, John Frank, John Bland, Nicholas Stetterdon and Humphrey Middleton … pp. 481-99Rerum, pp. 503-09.
Martyrdom of John Wade, Dirick Carver, John Lawder, Thomas Iveson, Richard Hooke [Richard Harboiteux], Nicholas Hawle, John Polley, John Ailward and James Abbes, p. 499.Rerum, pp. 499 and 510.
Martyrdoms of John Dawley, John Newman and rest of martyrs from August 1555, pp. 499-508Rerum, pp. 499-509.
Examinations and Martyrdom of Robert Smith, pp. 509-40Rerum, pp. 513-23.
Martyrdoms of Stephen Harwood, Thomas Fast, John Newman and William Hales, p. 540Rerum, p. 523
Martyrdoms of Robert Samuel, Anne Potten and John Trunckfield, pp. 540-45Rerum, pp. 523-25
List of martyrs of September 1555, p. 546Rerum, p. 546
Martyrdom of Robert Glover, pp. 546-82Rerum, pp. 525-37
Burning of Cornelius Bungay, p. 582Rerum, p. 538
List of martyrs of October 1555, fol 608v-p. 609Rerum, p. 538
Martyrdom of John Hullier, pp. 609-23Rerum, pp. 540-42
Providential escapes from martytrdom in England, pp. 623-31Rerum, pp. 635-38
Martyrdom of Thomas Whittle, pp. 631-38Rerum, pp. 632-34
Martyrdom of James Abbes, pp. 639-42Rerum, pp. 634-35
Life and examination of Nicholas Ridley, pp. 642-73Rerum, pp. 659-69 [drawing on the Troisième Partie, pp. 457-59, rather than the Rerum for the life of Ridley on p. 642 and omitting the disputation itself, pp. 669-96]
The disputation of Thomas Cranmer, pp. 673-94Rerum, pp. 640-50 [omitting the detailed life and martyrdom of Cranmer to be found later on in the Rerum at pp. 708-25]
The life and disputation of Hugh Latimer, pp. 694-723Rerum, pp. 696-997 [recte 697] [drawing on the Troisième Partie, pp. 506-07 for the biographical preface.
The degradation of Cranmer, Latimer and Ridley, pp. 724-26Rerum, pp. 704-05
Examination and condemnation of Ridley and Latimer, pp. 726-36Rerum, pp. 705-08
Letter, putatively from Hugh Latimer (actually from John Bradford)Not in the Rerum. Crespin had published a version of it in the Troisième Partie, pp. 507-12; in this version his translation conforms more closely to surviving manuscript version which circulated contemporaneously of this letter, attributed to Latimer.
The martyrdom of Hugh Latimer, pp. 745-46Not in Rerum or Troisième Partie
Martyrdom of Bartlet Green and Thomas Whittle, pp. 746-47Not in Rerum. Crespin takes the account of Green's life from the Troisième Partie, pp. 538-40 and includes a letter from Green to a friend (Christopher Goodman?) and an account of his martyrdom (Ibid, pp. 540-42).[37]
List of martyrs, May-December 1556, pp. 750-54Rerum, pp. 729-30, with one omission and one addition[38]

It is evident that Crespin respected Foxe's Rerum both as a tour de force of humanist scholarship and as a unique source of information about the English martyrs. Under the banner headline IEAN CRESPIN, A tous ceux qui bataillent sous l'enseigne de nostre seigneur IESVS CHRIST he paraphrased Foxe's evocation of the educative force for the faithful to learn, mark and inwardly digest the lesson of the lives and deaths of the martyrs:

Quant aux Fideles, les passions des Martyrs leur seruent à apprendre de plus en plus de mespriser la vanité du monde, d'abbaiser toute fierté & orgueil au temps de prosperité, de creindre Dieu en humilité, & confermer la foy & esperance au temps d'aduersité.

The paraphrase then becomes a direct translation so that, by page three, we read:

Et n'y a Empereur ny Roy qui ait peu iamais au monde obtenir vn tel honneur, ne par statues, ne par colonnes ou pyramides, ou par triomphes ou temples edifiez, ou autrement.

The observant reader will spot that this is word for word the passage that was cited at the beginning of this article. Gilmont correctly estimates that 85 per cent of the material printed in the Quatrième Partie was translated from the Rerum - the largest, single printed piece in any vernacular language apart from English in the sixteenth century relating to the English protestant martyrs and a testimony to the influence that Foxe had on the continent before the publication of the English Acts and Monuments.[39] In general, Crespin followed Foxe's Rerum in preference to the material on the English martyrs that he had previously published in the Troisième Partie except in the few instance where he clearly felt he had good, independent sources for his information. Crespin's one coup was to have an account of Latimer's martyrdom that did not appear in the Rerum or in any other hitherto published source - one which must, presumably, have come from one of his Genevan or Zürich informants.

That said, Crespin's borrowings were also the adaptations of a shrewd editor who knew his market, and who was working within commercial constraints that included getting a saleable book to press in time for the Frankfurt book fair. He silently dropped Foxe's occasional classical calling-cards, the allusions of which he was proud. Crespin clearly did not think they struck the right note. Thomas Cromwell is no longer paired up with Jehu, Camillus and Cicero; the Marian bishops are no longer compared unfavourably to the Catiline conspirators. Robert Smith no longer tells Bishop Bonner You ressemble a Cyclops more than a man [Cyclopi quam homini similior] - Crespin preferring to keep with the image of the passions which are deranged by tyranny and persecution [Vous ressemblez plutot à une beste sauvage qu'a un homme].[40] Thomas Tomkins was no longer to be referred to in the same breath as Scaevola.[41] The awesome sight of an enraged Bishop Bonner was no longer compared to the insanity of Orestes and Ajax.[42] And Crespin evidently struggled with a choice of riches. What did tous ceux qui bataillent really need to know? Were Hooper's many writings to be included or not? At one stage, he clearly thought not, and then changed his mind, including his Appeal to Parliament immediately after his apology for not printing them. Was Ridley's long disputation to be translated, or not? Crespin clearly decided against doing so, perhaps for reasons of brevity, but also because, to have done so, would have meant including the objections of his antagonists. Crespin's editorial intervention is even clearer in the case of Cranmer's disputation, where he prints the first part of it - the section in which Cranmer presents his defence. The translation is then curtailed on the grounds that the material is trop prolixe and a brief summary is offered to the effect that Cranmer's opponents cited patristic authorities out of context and that Cranmer reproached them, their replying by slandering Cranmer for doing the same. Crespin concludes his account by saying that he will return to describe Cranmer's martyrdom (although he never does) and reminding his readers that many of Cranmer's works were widely known and had been translated into French and deserved to be read by everyone. The Quatrième Partie ends abruptly, and without explanation, in December 1556, thus ignores the lists of martyrs of 1557 and 1558, the martyrdom of Cranmer, and the martyrdom of George Eagles, all printed in the later pages of the Rerum.[43] Like many a student's essay, Crespin had run out of time, or space, or both.

But there would be plenty of further opportunities to make amends in later editions of Crespin's extraordinary and encyclopaedic efforts to publish a truly European martyrology. We shall only follow them here through to the handsome folio edition, the Histoire des vrays tesmoins de la vérité de l'Evangile, of 1570.[44] Mark Greengrass has undertaken a selective collation of the passages hitherto referred to in the Rerum, the Troisième and Quatrième Parties and the Actiones martyrum. There is no evidence that Crespin used the first edition of the Acts and Monuments. Indeed, there is no sign that a copy of it was available in Geneva by that date, or that he had individuals to hand with the necessary time and patience to translate the English materials. For English was a language that Crespin could not read. Crespin's knowledge of, and reference to, the English martyrs remained that presented in the already remarkable account of Foxe's martyrs with the exception of one amended response to Foxe's work, which he must, at soome stage, have seen, since he alters a passage in a silent allusion to one of its woodcut illustrations. One passage explicitly hints at his knowledge of its existence . Prefacing the list of English martyrs from 1558, drawn from the Rerum in a passage which had not been translated in the Quatrième Partie, he writes:[45]

On doit ceste louange aux Anglois, d'auoir esté diligens de conseruer la memoire de leurs Martyrs, non seulement de ceux de renom, & qui par leurs escrits ont consacré leur memoire à l'Eglise du Seigneur: mais aussi de garder les noms des autres qui par executions publiques, ou tourment des prisons ont heureusement fini leurs iours, à la poursuitte des ennemis de l'Euangile. Or les noms de ceux qui furent les derniers executez deuant la mort de la royne Marie (comme Iean Foxus & autres Historiens Anglois les ont nommez & mis par escrit) sont ceux-cy […]

The passage hints at Crespin's dilemma. Not only did he not have ready access to the material that Foxe had imprisoned in the English language edition of 1563. He also did not have the techniques - the technologies of representation - that could possibly do justice to the richness of the materials accumulated by Foxe's martyrology, a memorialization en masse if ever there was one. And, in Crespin's eyes, Elizabethan England was a haven of tranquillity. It could afford to look back with equanimity and the conforting perspectives of receding distance upon its martyrs. Closer to home, nearer to Geneva and the Rhineland, there were traumatism on a grand scale for tous ceux qui bataillent - three messy and bloody civil wars in France and a failed uprising, brutally suppressed, in the Netherlands. How were these events, and especially those who lost their lives for the cause, to be encompassed within a martyrology? Crespin's technologies of representation were in danger of failing in another critical respect. Not only could a martyrology on this encylopaedic scale not cope with memorialization en masse. It could not cope with martyrdom en masse - with massacre. What could the faithful learn that was in any way edifying from the miserable deaths of those who had died on the streets of French cities and on the battlefields of the civil war, their names and faces not recorded, their last words unrecovered, their testimonies of faith known only to God? It would require a different technology - that adopted by the Histoire ecclésiastique des églises de France (1580) - to begin to come to terms with that dilemma. It was one that Foxe was also to encounter in the closing pages of the massive 1583 edition of the Acts and Monuments.

Foxe's Continental Borrowings

Foxe concentrated his English-language Acts and Monuments on the English martyrological experience, although he placed it in an appropriately European context. To do so, he fished in the common gene-pool of Latin protestant martyrologies that had become available by the early 1560s. As with Crespin, it is often not easy (unless Foxe tells us) from which source he borrows for his materials. Fortunately, however, he makes considerable use of a relatively small number of sources, and his marginal annotations often refer to them. Thomas Freeman is in the process of identifying other sources used for the 1563 and 1570 editions of the Actes and Monuments. Until he has done so, this article must remain, to that degree, incomplete.[46] The one most commonly cited was that of Heinrich Pantaleon, the Basel physician who had befriended Foxe and who found an outlet for his talents for collecting things by assembling collections of worthies - local, national and martyrological.[47] His Martyrum Historia (1563) was generally bound alongside the Rerum of Foxe in English and continental libraries. This was only natural, since it was billed as the second part of the Rerum, its logical, European counterpart, focusing on (as the full title proclaimed) the German, French and Italian martyrs whereas Foxe had concentrated on the English. Thereafter, at least for the 1563 edition of the Acts and Monuments, he used the 1560 Latin edition of Crespin [Actiones et Monimenta] extensively as well. When it comes to his references to Spanish and Italian martyrs, Foxe's selection was heavily dependant on Pantaleon, although he may also have seen Francisco de Enzinas' De statu belgico whilst he was in Basel.[48] There are various references to the work, all of which could have come (in reality) second-hand from Pantaleon. One reference, that to the life and martyrdom of Francisco de San Roman, burned in Valladold in 1542, could have come from Crespin's 1560 Actiones et Martyrum,or from Pantaleon (1563).[49] These two version are carbon copies of one another, Pantaleon having copied it from Crespin (1560). But Foxe chooses to say that he took the story: Ex Franc. Encena. Hispano, teste occulato by which one imagines that Foxe no longer had access to a copy, but that he had once seen it, or read it. And Thomas Freeman's research on the texts used by Foxe for the various editions of the Acts and Monuments proves for the first time that Foxe made selective, but quite extensive, use of the French 1564 edition of Crespin (the Actes des Martyrs) in the revisions to the 1570 edition of the Acts and Monuments. Since it is evident that Foxe had no working knowledge of French (just as Crespin had no working knowledge of English), it must be assumed that someone, perhaps in Day's printing office, translated passages of that text for him, as well as part or all of Crespin's publication, the Histoire memorable de la persecution de Mérindol et Cabrières originally published as an early, perhaps even the first, massacre-separate pamphlet and included as an appendix to the 1555 edition of Crespin's Recueil.[50] . References to this work also feature in the 1570 edition of the Acts and Monuments.[51] It is always possible, however, that behind the references to Crespin and Pantaleon, Foxe was also consulting Sleidan, Rabus and, indeed, other works that they were also using, checking and verifying that their stories were correct. Foxe was, by sixteenth-century standards, unusually scrupulous in the use of his sources, and we should expect him to have undertaken what research he could, when he could. The familiar warning on French level-crossings is relevant to the degree to which we can follow him in his library work on continental sources: Un train peut toujours en cacher un autre.

What of more unusual sources? Did Foxe use Haemstede, for instance? It is possible that he had sight of the Geschiedenisse, even though we can be fairly sure that he could not read it. In one critical passage, studied in detail by Thomas Freeman, Foxe gives an account of the martyrdom of Arnoud Monier amd Jean de Cazes at Bordeaux in April 1556.[52] Neither story appears in Pantaleon or in Crespin's Actiones et Monimenta. They do, however, appeared in Crespin's 1564 Actes des Martyrs.[53] Foxe makes no mention of their trial and examination, recounted at length in Crespin. He does, however, note their executions and the panic which swept the crowd, details of which can be found in virtually the same words in the French version of Crespin. Foxe adds:

The story is testifed and to bee found both in the volume of the French martyrs printed by Iohn Crespine, lib 6. and also in the booke of Dutch martyrs written by Adrianus.

Since Crespin does not cite Haemstede directly, it must be presumed, therefore, that Foxe had direct sight of the account of the incident in Haemstede.[54] Occasionally, Foxe may have followed up other sources. In his account of the four protestants persecuted for their beliefs in the French expedition led by Villegaignon to Brazil in 1558, Foxe mentions in the 1570 edition of the Acts and Monuments that he had drawn on Crespin's account and also Ex Comment. Gallica de statu Religionis et Reipub.[55] This is undoubtedly a reference to the Latin edition of the Commentaires de l'estat de la religion, a work published originally in 1565 under the authorship of the Angoulême protestant minister, Pierre de la Place, but in reality, mainly the work of the continuator of its various parts, Jean de Serres. It was already available in an English translation by Timme of its first three parts in 1574. The Commentaries sought to provide a history for the French civil wars in the style of Sleidan. Gradually extended and reissued, they circulated widely and was well known and we should expect Foxe to have had ready access to it although, at least so far as the passage quoted is concerned, it added nothing to what he would have found in Crespin's Actes des Martyrs of 1564. But perhaps this was a passage that had not been translated for him, and he was therefore able to access it from this Latinised account. Just occasionally, however, Foxe refers the reader to non-printed sources for his continental material. So, for example, in the Acts and Monuments of 1570, Foxe concludes a brief passage on the Inquisition in Sicily with a reference that he heard credibly reported that the institution executed between half a dozen and a dozen or more people every third year. He reports the testimony of an unnamed witness to the burning of a man who had set out from Geneva to Sicily on a suicide mission uppon zeale to do good. The story was wytnessed to me by hym, whiche being there present the same tyme, did both then see that whiche he doth testifie, and also doth now testifie that he then saw.[56] Earlier in his text, he had referred to the martyrdom of one Frances Civaux, a former secretary to the French ambassador in England, who had converted and fled to Geneva, becoming the secretary to the Genevan council before eventually being martyred at Dijon in 1558. Where had Foxe picked up this small, but fascinating reference? The martyrdom had not been mentioned in any edition of Crespin, who must surely have known about it. But then, what a coup for the Genevan magistrates to have been handed on a plate by a defector some of the closest guarded secrets of French diplomacy. And perhaps it is not surprising, given the likely sensitivity of a defection like this, that Crespin stayed mum. For Foxe, though, it was iconic rather than sensitive, the linking of protestant England to Jean Calvin's Geneva and then on to Théodore de Bèze's Burgundy. And Foxe cites as his source: Ex scripto testimonio Senatus Geneve[n]sis - so presumably someone, somewhere, in Geneva had reckoned that, at least by the 1560s, the dossier on Civaux could be opened up after all.[57]

The Civaux affair is one small sign that Foxe neither ignored nor forgot the continental heritage. After all, the 1583 edition of the Acts and Monuments ends, not in England, but in France. Foxe's A briefe Note concerning the horrible Massaker in Fraunce. An. 1572 was an afterthought. But, as he said, how could he ignore the massacre of St Bartholomew? In no case could the tragicall and furious Massaker in Fraunce, wherein were murdered so many hundrethes, and thousands of Gods good Martyrs go unremembred.[58] The Paris Matins and its associated provincial pogroms had led to a wave of Huguenot refugees in their wake, lapping across the Channel to revive in Foxe the memory of his own, now distant, experience of exile. Yet, like Crespin, he was faced with a dilemma. How could he do justice to events on this scale? Was there not a ghastly incongruity in having spent 2,152 pages on the English martyrs, comfortably under a thousand by any of the conflicting arithmetic that contemporaries deployed to calculate Foxe's martyr totals, only to be told that there were hundreds and thousands more, 10. thousand slayne in 3 dayes in Paris alone?[59] True, these were events taking place on another shore, far away from the tranquillity of Elizabethan England, butchery such as I suppose was neuer heard of before in no ciuill dissention amongest the very heathen, says Foxe.[60] The phrase recalls the recorded reaction of the Earl of Leicester to the news of the massacre: that cruelltye that I think no Christian synce the heathen tyme hath hard of the lyke.[61] But perhaps Foxe was aware of a certain inappropriateness and sought to cover his tracks. Although events on this scale should really be treated at greater length, he would not do so because the true narration of this lamentable story is set forth in english at large, in a booke by it selfe, and extant in print already. To what work was he referring? Although there were various sources in English to which a contemporary might turn for an account of the Massacre of St Bartholomew, only one fits Foxe's description: François Hotman's De Furoribus Gallicis (1573), a book that Foxe would have known as published under the authorship of one Ernestus Varamundus.[62] He would have recognised that its Edinburgh imprint was an evident falsity and he might have suspected that the work came from the printshops where he had spent much of his exile: Basel. Within a year of its original appearance, it had been translated into English and published in London as A True and Plaine Report of the Furious Outrages of Fraunce.[63] It was the kind of history Foxe respected, written by another refugee of great humanist talent. It claimed to tell the inside story, one of a shocking, Machiavellian plot leading to the wounding and death of Coligny. And it was supported with a selection of documents to prove its case. When Foxe came to summarise the Massacre, he largely followed Hotman's lead. But, sticking by his strong instincts as an historian, it was not the only source he consulted. He substantiated his estimate of aboue x. thousand dead in Paris with a reference to Richard Dinothus, De bello civile gallico religionis causa suscepta, another Basel publication, and this time a very recent one (1582).[64] And for the subsequent failure of the siege of La Rochelle, a providential intervention on a grand scale, Gods helping hand at neede (including the miraculous worke of God in sending in fishe to sustain the starving city) Foxe turned to the latest part (part 4) of the Commentaries on the state of France, which was where he also found his final, grim, Eusebian reminder to the rich and powerful of this earth of what happens when they persecute God's brethren. The young Charles IX, whose image the Pléiade poet-propagandists at the later Valois court had carefully cultivated (Charles wore de Dieu le portrait sur le front said Ronsard), died a gruesome, miserable death in 1574:

his bloud gushing out by diuers partes of his body, he tossing in his bedde, and casting out many horrible blasphemies, layd upon pillowes with his heeles upward, and head downeward, voyded so much bloud at his mouth, that in few houres he dyed […].

This was, as Foxe tartly put it, a spectacle and example to all persecuting kinges and Princes polluted with the bloud of Christian Martyrs. Perhaps Philip II was uppermost in his mind in the early 1580s as he wrote that sentence. At all events, at the end of his Book of Martyrs Foxe pointed the way, not to Little England, but to remind his readers that martyrdom was integral to an ongoing providential drama on a cosmic scale, only one part of which had taken place on the smaller stage of England.

[f1]

William Haller, Foxe's Book of Martyrs and the Elect Nation. (London: Jonathan Cape, 1963).

[f2]

See, for example, various contributions to

Bruce Gordon, (ed.) Protestant History and Identity in Sixteenth-Century Europe. 2 vols. (Aldershot: Scolar Press, 1996).

[f3]

John Foxe, Rerum in ecclesiæ gestarum […] (Basel, Nicolaus Brylingerus and Ioannes Oporinus, 1559), sig. A1v:

'Necque paulo enim hoc mihi honore digniores vedentur isti, quàm sexcenti Alexandri, Hectores, Scipiones, ac Iullii bellatores. Nam utcunque de rebus præposterè hic mundus iudicet, verè hi quidem magni sunt apud Deum iudicem […]'.

[f4]

John Foxe, Rerum in ecclesiæ gestarum […] (Basel, Nicolaus Brylingerus and Ioannes Oporinus, 1559), sig. A1v:

'Atque hi demum verè mundi victores sunt, à quibus veram discimus fortitudinem, quotquot Christo, non mundo militamus'.

[f5]

John Foxe, Rerum in ecclesiæ gestarum […] (Basel, Nicolaus Brylingerus and Ioannes Oporinus, 1559), sig. A1v:

'Eadem sequuntur et cæteri eius martyres, quibus merito tantum honoris tribuit pia et religiosa Ecclesiaæ antiquitatas, quantum nullus unquam imperator aut rex, statuis, columnis, pyramidibus, triumphis, templis, indictisque honoribus impetrare etiam in hoc mundo potuit'.

[f6]

Brad S. Gregory, Salvation at Stake. Christian martyrdom in Early Modern Europe. (Cambridge, Massachusetts and London: Yale University Press, 1999), esp. pp. 141-42.

[f7]

Our knowledge of the refugee reformation has been progressively transformed by the scholarship of the last generation and it has gradually been possible to look beyond the fragmentary and episodic histories of individual groups of exiles, represented, for example, by

Christina Garrett, The Marian Exiles (Cambridge: Cambridge U.P., 1938)] to histories which, although they might concentrate upon particular groups of exiles, are aware of the comparative dimension.

The bibliographies in

Heinz Schilling, Niederländische Exulanten im 16. Jarhundert. Ihre Stellung im Sozialgefüge und im religiösen Leben deutscher und englischer Städte (Güterslohe, Verlaghaus Gerd Mohn, 1972) and

Philippe Denis, Les églises d'étrangers en pays rhénans (1538-1564). (Paris: Société d'Edition "les Belles Lettres", 1984)

provide a good conspectus of the important literature on Dutch-speaking and French-speaking exiles and their communities respectively.

[f8]

See Donald Kelley, 'Martyrs, Myths, and the Massacre: The Background of St Bartholomew' American Historical Review 77 (1972), esp. pp. 1324-325.

[f9]

Brad S. Gregory, Salvation at Stake. Christian martyrdom in Early Modern Europe. (Cambridge, Massachusetts and London: Yale University Press, 1999), pp. 165-71.

[f10]

Ludwig Rabus was the author of the eight volume compilation, begun in around 1548-9 following his self-imposed exile after the Interim to Strassburg, published there between 1552 and 1558 as

Historien der heyligen Asserwölten Gottes Zeügen, Bekennern und Martyren [The History of God's Chosen Witnesses, Confessors, and Martyrs].

Adriaen van Haemstede wrote his Geschiedenisse [History and Deaths of the Devout Martyrs] after his rapid flight from Antwerp to Aachen in 1559 and published it that same year from the exile publishing centre of Emden. Jean Crespin published the first edition of his Histoire des Martyrs in Geneva in 1554 at his own press, six years after his arrival in Geneva.

[f11]

Noted in

Patrick Collinson, Archbishop Grindal, 1519-1583. The Struggle for a Reformed Church. (London: Jonathan Cape, 1979), pp. 70-71.

[f12]

See C. W. Heckthorn, The Printers of Basle in the XV and XVI Centuries: their biographies, printed books and devices (London, 1897), pp. 91-111; 114 and 130 and, for the slightly later period.

[f13]

BL Harleian MS 417 fol 115; translated in part in

J. F. Mozley, John Foxe and his Book. (London: SPCK, 1940), pp. 46-47.

[f14]

BL Harleian MS 417 fol 144;

cited J. F. Mozley, John Foxe and his Book. (London: SPCK, 1940), pp. 48-49.

[f15]

See Martin Steinmann, Johannes Oporinus: Ein Basler Buchdrucker um die Mitte des 16. Jahrhunderts (Basel, 1967).

Steinmann lists and analyses the 807 surviving letters to and from Oporinus in surviving print and manuscript collections.

[f16]

John Bale, The first examinacyon of Anne Askewe, lately martyred in Smythfelde […] ([Wesel Dirik van der Straten]. 1546), preface, fol 5r-v.

[f17]

The Remains of William Grindal. (ed.) W. Nicholson (London. The Parker Society, 1843);

Original Letters Relative to the English Reformation. 2 vols. (ed) H. Robinson (London. The Parker Society, 1847-8).

[f18]

Original Letters Relative to the English Reformation. 2 vols. (ed) H. Robinson (London. The Parker Society, 1847-8), pp. 229-31;

Foxe acknowledged Grindal's assistance in an undated letter, perhaps sent in December 1557.

[f19]

C. H. Garrett, The Marian Exiles (Cambridge, Cambridge.U.P., 1938), pp. 55-57 and 361.

[f20]

BL MS Harleian 416 fol 112;

The Remains of William Grindal. (ed.) W. Nicholson (London. The Parker Society, 1843); p. 224

and cited

J. F. Mozley, John Foxe and his Book. (London: SPCK, 1940), p. 52.

[f21]

See Philippe Denis, Les églises d'étrangers en pays rhénans (1538-1564). (Paris: Société d'Edition "les Belles Lettres", 1984), p. 275 and note 3 for further details.

[f22]

The Zurich Letters, Comprising the Correspondence of Several English Bishops […] (ed.) Hastings Robinson (Cambridge, Cambridge U.P., 1847), pp. 35 [13 May 1559]; 47 [17 June 1559] and 57 [26 September 1559].

[f23]

I owe the thoughts in this paragraph to discussion with my colleague Professor John Barratt, Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield.

[f24]

Acts and Monuments (1563) p. 177 (a text not in the Rerum, although similar sentiments are echoed in it in various places).

[f25]

John Foxe, Rerum in ecclesiæ gestarum […] (Basel, Nicolaus Brylingerus and Ioannes Oporinus, 1559) p. 97.

[f26]

Brad S. Gregory, Salvation at Stake. Christian martyrdom in Early Modern Europe. (Cambridge, Massachusetts and London: Yale University Press, 1999), p. 171.

[f27]

The phrase comes from

Patrick Collinson, 'Truth and Legend': the Veracity of John Foxe's Book of Martyrs' in A. C. Duke and C. A. Tamse (eds), Clio's Mirror. Historiography in Britain and the Netherlands (Papers delivered to the eighth Anglo-Dutch Historical Conference) (Leiden, 1983), p. 33;

cf A. Piaget and G. Berthoud, Notes sur le livre des martyrs de Jean Crespin (Neuchâtel, 1930).

[f28]

i.e. the Centre Nationale de recherches d'histoire religieuse, directed by Paul Bonenfant. Representative examples of their formative research are:

Léon-E. Halkin, 'Les martyrologes et la critique. Contribution à l'étude du martyrologe protestant des Pays-Bas' in Mélanges historiques offerts à Monsieur Jean Meyhoffer, (ed.) Lausanne: Faculté de théologie de l'église évangélique libre du canton de Vaud, 1952), pp. 52-72;

Georges Moreau, 'Contribution à l'histoire du Livre des Martyrs' Bulletin de la société de l'histoire du protestantisme français 103 (1957), pp. 173-99;

Jean-François Gilmont, 'Un instrument de propagande religieuse: les martyrologes du XVIe siècle', in Sources de l'histoire religieuse de la Belgique: Moyen âge et temps modernes. Actes du colloque de Bruxelles (1967), ed. Louvain: Publications universitaires de Louvain, 1968), pp. 376-88;

Jean-François Gilmont, Jean Crespin. Un éditeur réformé du XVIe siècle. Vol. 186, Travaux d'humanisme et renaissance. (Geneva: Droz, 1981);

Jean-François Gilmont, Bibliographie des éditions de Jean Crespin. (Verviers, 1981).

[f29]

Andrew Pettegree, 'Haemstede and Foxe', in David Loades (ed.), John Foxe and the English Reformation (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1997), p. 294.

[f30]

Jean-François Gilmont, Jean Crespin. Un éditeur réformé du XVIe siècle. Vol. 186, Travaux d'humanisme et renaissance. (Geneva: Droz, 1981), p. 146.

[f31]

Jean-François Gilmont, Bibliographie des éditions de Jean Crespin. (Verviers, 1981), 1, 56/16-7. pp. 74-75; 57/14-16, pp. 85-89; 58/17-20, pp. 108-111; 59/10-12, pp. 119-122; 61/9, p. 145; 63/12, pp. 164-65; 66/11, pp. 190-91.

[f32]

Jean-François Gilmont, Bibliographie des éditions de Jean Crespin. (Verviers, 1981), 56/11, pp. 70-71; 57/8, p. 81; 58/11, p. 99; 62/3, pp. 148-49.

[f33]

For the publication of this edition, see

Jean-François Gilmont, Bibliographie des éditions de Jean Crespin. (Verviers, 1981), 1, pp. 56-59.

The copy used for this collation is BL 847.a.29.

[f34]

For the publication of this edition, see

Jean-François Gilmont, Bibliographie des éditions de Jean Crespin. (Verviers, 1981), 1.

The copy used for this collation is Cambridge U.L. I* 16.10.

[f35]

Acta martyrum, p. 21; 'scripta in historia Ioannis Foxi, Angli, qui ea quae ad Wiclevum pertinent, diligentissime collegit'.

[f36]

The copies used for this collation are as follows:

Jean Crespin, Actiones et monimenta martyrum ([Geneva], Jean Crespin, 1560), Cambridge U.L. Acton.b.4.11.

Jean Crespin, Quatrième partie des actes des martyrs ([Geneva; J. Crespin] 1561]) -Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal, Paris, 8H20736;

John Foxe, Rerum in ecclesiæ gestarum […] (Basel, Nicolaus Brylingerus and Ioannes Oporinus, 1559), Cambridge U.L., K*-9-12.

[f37]

This material eventually found its way into Foxe's martyrology in the 1570 edition.

[f38]

Crespin omitted, presumably in error, one of the martyrs who died in prison on 27 June 1556 and added that Robert Drakes was also called 'Gyen'.

[f39]

Jean-François Gilmont, Bibliographie des éditions de Jean Crespin. (Verviers, 1981), 1, p. 140.

[f40]

John Foxe, Rerum in ecclesiæ gestarum […] (Basel, Nicolaus Brylingerus and Ioannes Oporinus, 1559), p. 517;

Jean Crespin, Quatrième partie des actes des martyrs ([Geneva; J. Crespin] 1561]) -Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal, Paris, 8H20736; p. 519.

[f41]

John Foxe, Rerum in ecclesiæ gestarum […] (Basel, Nicolaus Brylingerus and Ioannes Oporinus, 1559) p. 425;

Jean Crespin, Quatrième partie des actes des martyrs ([Geneva; J. Crespin] 1561]) - Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal, Paris, 8H20736; p. 242.

[f42]

John Foxe, Rerum in ecclesiæ gestarum […] (Basel, Nicolaus Brylingerus and Ioannes Oporinus, 1559), p. 633;

Jean Crespin, Quatrième partie des actes des martyrs ([Geneva; J. Crespin] 1561]) -Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal, Paris, 8H20736; p. 636.

[f43]

John Foxe, Rerum in ecclesiæ gestarum […] (Basel, Nicolaus Brylingerus and Ioannes Oporinus, 1559), pp. 708-32.

[f44]

Jean Crespin, Histoire des vrays tesmoins de la verité de l'Evangile, qui de leur sans l'ont signés depuis Iean Hus iusques au temps present. (Liège: Centre national de recherches d'histoire religieuse, 1570 [1964 photographic reprint]).

[f45]

Jean Crespin, Histoire des vrays tesmoins de la verité de l'Evangile, qui de leur sans l'ont signés depuis Iean Hus iusques au temps present. (Liège: Centre national de recherches d'histoire religieuse, 1570 [1964 photographic reprint]), fol 472v.

[f46]

Thomas Freeman expects to publish the results of this research separately in due course.

[f47]

For his life and career, see

Hans Buschler, Der Basler Artz Heinrich Pantaleon, 1522-1595. [Separat-Abdruck aus der Dissertation: 'Heinrich Pantaleon und sich Heldebuch'] (Basel, 1947).

[f48]

See A. Gordon Kinder, 'Spanish protestants and Foxe's Book: sources' in Bibliothèque d'humanisme et de la renaissance 60 (1998), pp. 110-16.

[f49]

Pantaleon, Martyrum historica, pp. 151-56;

Jean Crespin, Actiones et monimenta martyrum ([Geneva], Jean Crespin, 1560), Cambridge U.L. Acton.b.4.11, fols 122r-125v.

[f50]

For the background and history of the text, a critically important proof of the 'continuities' between late-medieval heresy and early protestantism for Foxe and others, see

Gabriel Audisio (ed.), Histoire de l'exécution de Cabrières et de Mérindol, et d'autres lieux de Provence [texte de Jacques Aubéry] (Arles, Editions de Paris, diffusion 'Harmonia Mundi', 1995).

[f51]

Acts and Monuments (1570), p. 1060.

[f52]

Acts and Monuments (1570), p. 1047.

[f53]

Actes des Martyrs (Geneva, J. Crespin, 1564), pp. 832-37.

[f54]

Adrian von Haemstede, De Geschiedenisse … (1559), p. 416.

[f55]

Acts and Monuments (1570), p. 1056.

[f56]

Acts and Monuments (1570), p. 1065.

[f57]

Acts and Monuments (1570), p. 1059.

[f58]

Acts and Monuments (1583), p. 2152.

[f59]

Acts and Monuments (1583), p. 2153.

[f60]

Acts and Monuments (1583), p. 2153.

[f61]

Cited in Patrick Collinson, The English Captivity of Mary Queen of Scots (Sheffield: Sheffield History Pamphlets, 1987), p. 6.

[f62]

For the publication history of this work, see

Robert McCune Kingdon, Myths about the St Bartholomew's Day Massacres, 1572-1576 (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1988), pp. 19-20; 118-19.

[f63]

[London: Bynneman], 1573 - RSTC, no. 13487.

[f64]

Basel: Ex officina Petri Pernae, 1582.

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