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568 [568]

K. Richard. 2. The history of Iohn Wickliffe and his fellowes.

From Grauenynge this warlyke Bishop set forward to Dunkyrke, where not long after the Frenchmē meetyng with him, ioyned with them in battaile: in whiche battell (if the story be true) xij. thousand of the Frenche men were slayne in the chase, and of our men but seuen onely myssing. Yt would require a long tractation here to discourse all thyng done in these popishe warres. Also it would bee no lesse ridiculous to vewe and beholde the glorious temeritie of this newe vpstart captaine. But certes, lamentable it is to see the pitiefull slaughter and murder of Christes people, by the meanes of these pitieles popes, duryng these warres in France: As when the byshop commyng from Dunkyrke to the siege of Ypres a great nomber of Englishemen there were lost, & much money consumed, and yet nothyng done in effecte, to the great shame and ignominie of the Bishop. Agayne after the siege of Ypres (thus with shame broke vp) the sayd byshop proceedyng with a small power, to fighte with the Frenche kynges campe, contrary to the counsell of his captaines, whiche counted him rash and vnskilfull in his attempt, was fayne to breake company with them, wherby part of the army went vnto Burburgh, and the Byshop with his parte returned to Grauelyng, whiche both townes shortly after were besieged by the Frenche army, to the great losse both of the Englishe and French men. In fine whē the Byshop could keepe Grauelyng no lenger, the sayd Byshop with his Crosies, crossyng the seas, came home agayne as wise as he went, and thus makyng an ende of thys Pontificall warre, we will returne againe from whence we digressed, to the story and matter of Ihon Wickleffe.

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MarginaliaThe deise of I. Wickliffe.
1384.
Whiche Ihon Wickleffe returnyng agayne 

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In the Commentarii (fo. 32r-v) and the Rerum (p. 15) Foxe wrote that Wiclif had probably been exiled, that he returned home and died in Lutterworth in 1387. Foxe repeated this in the 1563 edition (p. 98). Foxe was basing this on Bale - although significantly, Foxe was more tentative about the exile than Bale had been (See Bale, Summarium, fos. 155r and 157v). In fact, Wiclif had not been exiled and Foxe replaced this with an even more tentative passage in the 1570 edition. In the second edition, Foxe also corrected the date of Wiclif's death to 1384.

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within shorte space, either from his banishement, or from some other place where he was secretly kept, repayred to hys parishe of Lutterworth, whereof he was person, there quietly departyng this mortall lyfe, slept in peace in the Lord, in the begynnyng of the yeare. 1384. vpon Siluesters day.

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Here is to be noted the great prouidence of the Lorde in this man, as in diuers other: whom the Lord so long preserued in suche rages of so many enemies, from all their handes, euen to hys olde age. MarginaliaWaldenus de Sacra,emtos/For so it appeareth by Thomas VValden wryting agaynst hym in hys tomes, entituled: De Sacramentis contra VVicleuū, that he was well aged before he departed: by that, which the foresayd Walden wryteth of him in the Epiloge, speaking of Wickleffe, writeth these wordes 

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Foxe is quoting this passage from John Bale's The Image of Both Churches (see The Select Works of John Bale, ed. Henry Christmas, Parker Society [Cambridge, 1849], p. 394).

: Ita vt cano placeret, quod iuueni complacebat, &c. That is: so that the same thing pleased him in his old age, which did please hym being young. Wherby it seemeth that Wickleffe liued, till he was an olde mā, by this report. Such a lord is God, that whom he will haue kept, nothing cā hurte.

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Thys Wickleffe, had written diuers and sondrye workes, the which in the yeare of our Lord. 1410. were burnt at Oxford, the Abbot of Shrewsburye being then Commissarie, and sent to ouersee that matter. And not onely in England, but in Boheme, likewyse the bookes of the said Wickleffe were set on fire 

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Foxe is quoting Bale (Summarium, fo. 157v), not Aeneas Silvius Picclomini, for the archbishop of Prague burning Wiclif's books.

, by one Subincus archbishop of Prage, who made diligent inquisition for the same, and burned thē: MarginaliaThe nūber of Wickliffes bokes come to 200. volumes. Eneas Syluius.The number of the volumes, which he is sayd to haue burned moste excellently written, and richly odorned with bosses of gold, and rich coueringes (as Eneas Syluius wryteth) were aboue the number of two hundreth. MarginaliaThe bokes of Wickliff.

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MarginaliaEx Coclleus histo.Ioannes Cocleus in his booke De historia Hussitarum, speakyng of the bookes of Wickleffe, testifieth: that he wrote very many bookes, sermons, and tractacions. Moreouer the sayd Cocleus speakyng of him selfe, recordeth also: that there was a certayne Bishop in England which wrote vnto him, declaring, that he had yet remainyng in hys custody two huge and myghty volumes of Ihon Wickleffes workes, which for the quantitie thereof might seeme to be equall with the workes of S. Augustine. Hæc Cocleus.

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Amongst other of hys treatises I my selfe also haue found out certayn 

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In 1563, Foxe wrote a passage praising Bale for his work in recovering the works of Wiclif. In 1570 - the first edition of the Acts and Monuments printed after Bale's death - Foxe replaced this with a passage stating that he had discovered certain lost works of Wiclif. Of these, De veritate Scripturae was known to Bale, who had consulted the copy in Queens' College Cambridge (the Carmelite house in Cambridge where Bale had resided was just across the Cam). De Eucharistia confessio was part of the Fasciculii Zizaniorum which had belonged to Bale. There is a work by Wiclif titled De Ecclesia but this only survives in copies in Prague and Vienna. Foxe is probably referring to De fide catholica, which Bale referred to as De ecclesia catholica. In other words, Foxe was appropriating Bale's work. Interestingly, Foxe never compiled this projected collection of Wiclif's works.

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, as de Sensu & veritate scripturæ. Itē, De ecclesia. Itē, de Eucharistia cōfessio VVickleui, which I entend hereafter, the Lorde so graunting, to publishe abroade.

As concerning certain answers of Iohn Wickliffe whych he wrote to king Richard the 2. touching þe right and title of the king, and of the pope: because they are but short, I thought here to annex them. The effect wherof, here foloweth.

¶ Iohn Wickleffes aunswere, vnto K. Rychard the second, as touching the ryght and title of the kyng, and the pope 
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Wiclif's response to questions put to him by Richard II and the Privy Council is taken from the Fasciculi Zizaniorum (see Bodley Library MS Musaeo e 86, fos. 66v-67v). Foxe omitted much of Wiclif's reply, largely because of Wiclif's insistence that he believed in purgatory (cf. Bodley Library MS Musaeo e 86, fos 67v-68r).

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.

JT was demaunded, whether the kyngdome of England, may lawfully in case of necessitie, for hys owne defence, deteine & keepe backe the treasure of the kyngdome, that it be not caryed away to foren and straunge nacions, the pope hymselfe demaunding and requyring þe same vnder paine of censure, & by vertue of obedience.

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Wickleffe setting a part the mindes of learned mē, what myght be sayd in the matter, eyther by the canon law, or by the law of England or the ciuil law, it resteth (sayth he) now only to perswade and proue, the affirmatiue parte of thys doubt, by the principles of Christes lawe. And first I proue it thus. Euery naturall bodye hath power geuen of God to resiste agaynst hys contrarye, and to preserue it selfe in due estate, as the Philosophers knewe very well.

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Insomuch, that bodies without lyfe, are endued with such kinde of power (as it is euident) vnto whom hardnes is geuen to resiste those thinges that would breake it, and coldnes to withstand the heate that dissolueth it. For so much then, as the kingdom of England (after the maner and phrase of the scriptures ought to be one bodie: and the clergie with the commonaltie, the members therof, it semeth that the same kingdome hath such power geuen hym of God, and so much the more apparaunt: by how muche the same bodie is more precious vnto God, adorned with vertue and knowledge. Forsomuch then as there is no power geuen of God vnto any creature for any end or purpose, but that he may lawfully vse the same to that end and purpose: It foloweth, that our kingdome may lawfully keepe backe & deteine their treasure, for the defence of it self, in what case so euer necessitie do require the same.

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MarginaliaThe popes riches is but the almes of good men.Secondarely, the same is proued by the lawe of the Gospell. For the pope cannot chalenge the treasure of thys kyngdome, but vnder the title of almes, and consequently vnder the pretence of the workes of mercye, according to the rule of charitie.

But in case aforesaid, the title of almes ought vtterly to cease, Ergo, the ryght and title of chalenging the treasure of our realme, shall cease also in the presupposed necessitie. MarginaliaNecessity taketh away the popes almes.For so much as all charitie hath hys beginning of hym self, it were no worke of charitie, but of meere madnes, to send away the treasures of þe realme vnto forren nations, wherby the realme it self may fall into ruine, vnder the pretence of such charitie.

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It appeareth also by this, that Christ the head of the church, whom all christen priestes ought to follow: liued by the almes of deuoute wemen Luke. vij. viij. He hongred and thirsted, he was a straunger, and many other miseries he sustained, not only in hys members, but also in hys owne body, as the Aspostle witnesseth. Corin. 8. He was made poore for your sakes, that through his pouertie, you might be rich: wherby, in the first endowing of þe church, whatsoeuer he were of the clergie that had any temporall possessions, he had the same by forme of a perpetuall almes, as both wrytinges and Chronocles do witnesse.

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Where
Bb.iiij.
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