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624 [624]

K. Richard. 2. Men of Leicester troubled for the Gospell.

tion in the dioces and partes aforesayde, where ye shall thinke it most meete and conuenient: That no man be so hardy henceforth, of what estate or condition so euer he shall be, within the dioces and partes aforesaid, vpon paine of forfaiture of all that euer he hath, to make or leauie any conuenticles, assembles, or confederacies, by any coulour: or that they presume to attempt or procure any other thing, wherby our peace maye be hurt or broken, or that the same bishop and doctours aforesaid, may be by any meanes molested or let in the executiō of such correction as is to be done, according to the canonicall sanctions, and to arest all those which ye shall fynde or take offending in this behalfe, or that keepe them selues in any such conuēticles. And that they being committed to prison, be there kept, till you shall haue other cōmaundement frō vs and our counsell for their deliueraunce: And that ye distinctly and plainly certifye vs & our sayd counsell, of all your doing in this behalfe vnder your seales, or elles the seales of some of you. And therefore we straightly charge and commaund you, and euery of you: that ye diligentlye attende vpon the premisses, and that in your deedes ye execute the same wyth all diligence and carefull indeuour, in the forme and maner aforesaid. And further, we geue straight charge and commaundement to all and singular shirifes, Maiors, Bailiffes, Constables, and other our faythfull subiectes, by the tenour of these presentes: that they be attendant vpon you, counselling and ayding you and euerye of you, as is meete and conuenient in the doing and execution of the premisses. In wytnes whereof, we haue caused these our letters patentes to be made. Witnes my selfe at Westminster, the. xxij. day of September, in the. xvij. yeare of our raygne. 

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I.e., 1393.

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¶ By the same kyng and counsell.

MarginaliaK. Richard set against the Gospel lets by the Archb. and the prelates.Thus kyng Richard by the setting on of W. Courtney Archb. of Cant. and hys fellowes, taking part with the pope, and Romysh prelates: waxed somthing straite and hard to the poore Christians of the contrary side of Wickleffe, as by these letters aboue prefixed maye appeare. Albeit, during all the life of the sayd king, I finde of none expreslye by name that suffered burning. Notwithstāding, some there wer which by þe foresayd archb. W. Courtney, and other bishops, had been condemned, and diuers also abiured, and did pennance as well in other places, as chiefly about the towne of Leycester as followeth here to be declared, out of the archbishops regester and recordes.

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MarginaliaEx Regist. W. Courtney Arch. Cant.At what tyme 

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Archbishop Courtenay's visitation of Leicester commenced in late October 1389. Foxe based his account of this visitation on documents copied into Courtenay's register. The names of the accused Lollards, the articles with which they were charged and the excommunication of the Lollards are all taken from LPL, Courteney Register, fo. 139r-v.

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the sayde Archbishop W. Courtney was in his visitation at the town of Leycester, certaine there were accused and detected to him, by the monkes and other priests in the said towne. MarginaliaRoger Dexter, Nicholas Taylor, Rich. Wagstaffe, Mich. Scriuener, W. Smith, Ioh. Henry, W. Parchmenar, Roger Goldsmith, accused.The names of which personnes there detected, were one Roger Dexter, Nicholas Taylor, Richard Wagstaffe, Michael Scriuener, William Smith, Iohn Henry, William Parchmenar, and Roger Goldmith, inhabitantes of þe same town of Leycester: These with other moe, were denounced to the Archbishop for holding the opinion of the sacrament of the aulter, of auricular confession, & other sacramēts, contrary to that which the church of Rome doth preach and obserue. All which parties aboue named, & manye other moe whose names are not knowen, did hold these heresies & errours, here vnder writtē and are of the Romishe churche condemned.

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Marginalia1That in the Sacrament of the aultar, after the words of consecration, there remaineth the body of Christ with the materiall bread. 

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Foxe eliminated one of the articles charged against the Lollards: 'Quod decimae non debent solvi rectoribus vel vicariis quamdiu sunt in peccato mortali' [That tithes should not be paid to rectors or vicars while they are in mortal sin] (LPL, Courtenay Register, fo. 139r). Apart from his usual sensitivity to Lollard denunciations of tithes, Foxe was also concerned with the implications of parishioners judging whether or not their priests were in a state of mortal sin.

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Marginalia2That Images ought not to bee worshypped in any case, nor that no mā ought to set any candels before thē.

Marginalia3That no Crosse ought to be worshipped.

Marginalia4That Masses, and Mattens, ought not with an highe and loude voyce to be sayd in the churche.

Marginalia5Item, that no curate or prieste taken in anye crimecan consecrate, here confessions, nor minister any of the Sacramentes of the churche.

Marginalia6That the Pope & all prelates of the Churche, cannot bynde any man with the sentence of excommunication, vnles they know him to be first excōmunicated of God.

Marginalia7That no prelate of þe churche, cā graunt any pardōs.

Marginalia8That euery lay man may in euery place, preache and teache the Gospell.

Marginalia9That it is sinne to giue any almes or charitie, to the friers preachers, Minorites, Augustines, or Carmelites.

Marginalia10That no oblation ought to be vsed at the funerals of the dead.

Marginalia11That it is not necessarie to make confession of our sinnes to the priest.

Marginalia12That euery good man although he bee vnlearned is a priest.

These Articles, taught, preached, and affirmed they, manifestly in the towne of Leycester and other places adioyning: whereupon, the sayde Archbishoppe monished the sayd Roger, and Nicholas with the rest, on the next day to make aunswere vnto him in the sayd monasterie 

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The convent of St. Mary Prè in Leicester.

to the foresayd articles. But the foresayd Roger & Nicholas with the rest, hid them selues out of the waye and appeared not. MarginaliaRoger, Nicholas, Richard, Michell, William, Iohn, William and Roger accursed with booke, bell, & candel.Wherupon, the Archbishop vpon all hallon day, beyng the first day of Nouēber, celebrating the high Masse at the high aulter in the sayd monastery, beyng attired in his pontificalibus: denounced the sayd parties, with all theyr adherents, fautors, fauourers, & coūsellers, excōmunicate and accursed which either held taught or maintained the foresaid conclusions hereticall & erroneous: and that in solempne wyse, by ryngyng the belles, lightyng the candels, and puttyng out the same agayn, and throwyng them downe to the grounde with other circumstaūces therunto belongyng. Vpon the morow after (being all soulne day) he sent for all the curates and other lay men of the towne of Leycester, to inquire more diligently of the veritie of suche matter as they knew, and were able to say agaynste any persons what soeuer, concernyng the foresayd articles, as also agaynst the parties before named and specified vpon theyr othes: denoūcyng euery one of them, seuerally by their names to be excommunicated and accursed, and caused thē also in diuers parishe churches in Leycester, also to be excommunicate. MarginaliaThe whole towne of Leycester inetrdictedAnd further the sayde Archbyshop interdicted the whole town of Lecester, & all the churches in þe same, so long as any of the foresayde excommunicate persons should remayne or be within the same, and till that all the Lolardes of the towne, shoulde returne and amende from such heresies and errours, obtaynyng at the sayd Archbyshop his handes the benefite of absolucion.

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MarginaliaMatild, an Anchores, cited to appeare.At length it was declared & shewed to the sayd Archb. that there was a certeyn anchores whose name was Matild, inclosed wtin 

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Foxe's account of Matilda, the anchoress, is a little unclear; I suspect that Foxe was confused by the Latin of the register, which is less than explicit. Matilda was literally kept in a sealed chamber (voluntarily, as a renunciation of the world). Archbishop Courtenay is ordering that Matilda be taken out of her sealed room and held in custody at the convent of St. Mary Prè until he would summon her.

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in the churchyard of S. Peters church of the sayde towne of Leycester, to bee infected (as they sayde) with the pestiferous contagion of the foresayd heretiques and Lolardes: wherupon, after that the sayd Archbishop had examined the foresayd Matild, touching the foresayd conclusions, heresies, and errours, and foūd her not to aūswere playnly and directly to the same, but sophistically and subtelly: gaue and assigned vnto her a day perēptory, personnally to appeare before hym in the monastery of S. Iames at Northampton, more fully to answere to the sayd articles, heresies, and errors, which was the 6. day of the sayde moneth of Nouember: commaundyng the Abbat of the monastery of Pratis aforesayd, that the dore of the recluse in whiche the sayd Matild was, should be opened, and that till his retourne he shuld cause her to be put in safe custody. That done, he sēt forth hys mādate, agaynst þe Lolardes vnder this forme. 
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This mandate is LPL, Courtenay Register, fo. 142r.

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MarginaliaThe kings proces sent by the B. to arest the 8. aforenamed ¶ William by the permission of God. &c. To his welbeloued sonnes, the Maior and Baylifs, of the towne of Leicester dioces, gretyng. We haue lately receiued, the kings

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Gg.ij.
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