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546 [546]

K. Edw. 3. The history of John Wickleffe.

himself that thys matter shoulde be done by litle & litle. Wherefore hee taking his originall at small occasions, therby opened himselfe a way or meane to greater matters. And first he assayled his aduersaries in logicall and metaphisicall questiōs, disputing with them of the first forme and fashion of things, of the increase of time, and of the intelligible substaunce of a creature, with other such like sophemes of no great effecte: but yet notwithstanding, did not a litle helpe & furnish him, which minded to dispute of greater matters. So in these matters, first beganne Kegningham (a Carmelite) to dispute and argue agaynst Iohn Wickliffe. 

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Wiclif's debates with John Kenningham, a Carmelite friar at Oxford, took place sometime around 1372-3. Foxe knew about the debates from the partial record of them in Bodley MS e Museo 86, fos. 8v-34r and from Bale, Catalogus, pp. The description of Wiclif going on to attack the Sacrament is from Bodley MS e Museo 86, fo. 35v.

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By these originalls, the waye was made vnto greater poyntes, so that at the length he came to touche the matters of the sacramentes, & other abuses of þe church. Touching which thinges this holy man tooke greate paines, protesting (as they sayd) openly in þe scholes, that it was his chief and principall purpose and intent: to reuoke and call backe the church frō her idolatrie to some better amendment, especially in the matter of the sacrament of the bodye and bloud of Christ. But this byle or sore could not be touched without the greate griefe and payne of the whole worlde. For first of all, þe whole glut of Monkes and begging Fryers were set on a rage or madnes, which (euen as Hornets wt their sharpe stings) dyd assayle this good man on euery side: fighting (as is sayd) for their altars, paunches and bellies. MarginaliaWickliffe depriued of hys benefice at Oxford by S. Sudbery.After them the Priestes, and then after them the Archbyshop tooke the matter in hand beyng then Symon Sudbery: who for the same cause depriued him of his benefice, whiche then he had in Oxford.. 

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In 1376 Wiclif received the prebend of Caistor in Lincoln, but he was displaced by Philip Thornbury, the papal provisor in 1377. Wiclif's loss of this benefice appears to have been due to Thornbury having more influential supporters, not to Wiclif's religious beliefs. Foxe also fails to mention that Wiclif held the rectory of Lutterworth, Leicestershire, from 1374 until his death.

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Notwithstādyng, he being somewhat frinded and supported by the kyng, as appeareth, MarginaliaEx Chro. D. Albani continued and bare out the malice of the Friers, and of the archb. all this while of his first beginning, till about the yeare of our Lord. 1377. MarginaliaDuke of lancaster, & lord H. Percy great mainteners of I. Wiclyffe.After whiche tyme nowe to prosecute likewise of his troubles and cōflict, first I must fetch about a litle cōpasse, as requisite is, to inferre some mention of Ihon of Gaunt duke of Lancaster the kings sonne, and Lord Henry Percy, whiche were his speciall mayteiners.

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As yeares and tyme grewe on. 

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The account of of the twelve lords and knights appointed to oversee Edward III's heir - the future Richard II - during his minority comes from the Chronicon Angliae, pp. 69-70.

, kyng Edward the 3. whiche had reigned now about 51. yeares, after the decease of prince Edward his sonne, who departed þe yere before: was stroken in greate age,. 
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I.e., an ague or fever.

and in such feblenes withall, that he was vnweldye through lacke of strēgth to gouerne the affaires of the realm. Wherfore, a parlamēt beyng called the yeare before his death, it was there put vp by the knyghtes, and other the burgeses of the parlament (because of the misgouernement of þe realme by certeine gredy persons about the kyng, rakyng all to them selues, without seing any iustice done) that 12. sage and discrete Lordes and peeres, such as were free from note of all auarice, should be placed as tutors about the kyng, to haue the doyng and disposing vnder hym, (vi. at one tyme, and in their absence, vi. at an other) of matters pertinent to the publique regimēt. MarginaliaAlice Perris the kings concubine. The K. bewitched by a woman through the helpe of a Frier.Here by the way I omitte to speake of Alyce Perrys. 
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Foxe's account of Alice Perrers, Edward III's mistress, is taken from the Chronicon Angliae, pp. 98-99 and 143.

the wicked harlote, whiche (as the story geueth) had bewitched the kynges hart, & gouerned all & sat vpon causes her selfe through the deuilishe helpe of a Frier Dominicke: who by the duke of Lancaster was caused to be take, and was conuicted, and should haue suffred for the same, had not the Archb. of Canterbury and the Friers (more regardyng the libertie of their churche, then the punishyng of vice) reclaimed hym for their owne prisoner. This Alyce Perrys, notwithstandyng she was banished by thys parliament from the kyng, yet afterward she came agayne, and left him not: MarginaliaThe proper eye of an whore.till at his death, she tooke all his ringes vpon his fingers and other iewels from him, and so fled away like an harlot. But this of her by the way.

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These 12. gouernours. 

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The passage describing John of Gaunt dismissing the council of twelve is taken from the Chronicon Angliae, p. 103.

by the parlament aforesayd beyng appointed to haue the tuition of the kyng, and to Marginalia12. Gouernours assig Marginalianed about the kyng.attende to the publique affaires of the realme: remained for a certaine space about hym, till afterward it so fell out, that they beyng agayne remoued, all the regiment of the realme next vnder the kyng, was committed to duke of Lancaster the kyngs sonne. For as yet Richard the sonne of prince Edward lately departed, was very yong, and vnder age.

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MarginaliaEx Cronic. Monasterij Albani.This duke of Lancaster had in his hart of long tyme conceaued a certain displeasure agaynst the popish clergie: whether for corrupt & impure doctrine ioyned with lyke abhominable excesse of lyfe, or for what some other cause, it is not precisely expressed. Onely by story þe cause therof may bee gessed, to rise by William Wickhā bishop of Winchester.. 

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The account of William Wykeham's clash with John of Gaunt is taken from the Chronicon Angliae, pp. 106-7 and 114. Wykeham, who was the Lord Chancellor, was one of those seeking to dislodge John of Gaunt from power in the closing years of Edward III's reign.

The matter is this.

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The Bishop of Winchester (as the saying went thē) was reported to affirme, that the foresaid Ihon of Gaūt duke of Lancaster, was not the sonne of kyng Edward, nor of the queene. MarginaliaA practis of the prelats againste the duke of Lancaster.Who beyng in trauaile at Gaunt, had no sonne (as he sayd) but a daughter: which the same time by lyeng vpon of the mother in the bed, was there smodered. Wherupon, the quene fearyng the kyngs displeasure, caused a certaine manchild of a womā of Flaūders (borne the very same time) to be conueyd & brought vnto her in steade of her daughter aforesayd. And so broughte vp the childe whom she bare not, who nowe is called duke of Lancaster. And thys (sayd the Byshop) did the queene tell hym, lyeng in extremes on her deathbed vnder seale of confession: chargyng him if the sayd duke should euer aspire to get the crown, or if the kyngdome by any means should fall vnto hym, he then should manifest the same, and declare it to the worlde that the said duke of Lancaster was no part of the kynges bloud, but a false heyre of the king. This slaunderous report of the wicked byshop,. 

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The story that Wykeham told tales that John of Gaunt was not really the son of Edward IIII is from Walsingham's Chronicon Angliae (p. 107), but the claim that Wykeham slandered Gaunt because of the duke's support for Wiclif is Foxe's invention and insertion.

as it sauoreth of a contumelious lye, so semeth it to procede of a subtile zeale toward þe popes religion, meanyng falsehed. For that the foresayd duke by fauouryng of Wickleffe, declared hym selfe to be a professed enemie agaynst the popes profession. Which thing was then not vnknowen, neither vnmarked of the prelates and Bishops then in England. But the sequele of the story, thus folowed.

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The sclaunderous vilanye of the bishops reporte being blased abroad, and comming to the Dukes eare: he therewith beyng not a litle discontented (as no maruel was) sought agayne by what meanes he could, to be reuenged of thys forenamed Byshop. In conclusion, the Duke hauing now all the gouernment of the realm vnder the king his father, in his own hand: MarginaliaW. Wikham B. of Wint. depriued.so pursued the Byshop of Winchester, that by acte of parlament hee was condemned and depriued of all his temporal goods, which goods were assigned to prince Richard of Burdeux, the next inheritour of þe crowne after the kyng: and furthermore, inhibited the sayd bishop not to approche neare the court by. xx. myles. Further as thouching this bishop, the story thus proceedeth. Not long after in the yeare of our Lord. 1377. a parlament was called by the meanes of the Duke of Lancaster, vpon certayne causes and respectes: in which parlamēt great request, and sute was made by the clergy, for the deliuerance of the bishop of Winchester. At lēgth when a subsidy was asked in the kinges name of the Clergy, and request also made in the kinges behalfe for speedye expedition to be made for the dissoluing of the parlament: the Archbyshop therefore accordingly, conuēted the bishops for the tractation thereof. To whom the bishops with great lamentacion complayned for lacke of their felow and brother bishop of Wintchester. Whose iniurye sayd they, did derogate to the liberties of the whole churche: MarginaliaByshops holde together. Liberties of the church a great matterAnd therefore denyed to ioyne them selues in tractation of any such matters, before all the mēbers together were vnited with the heade: And (seeing the matter touched them altogether in common, as well hym as them) o-

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