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942 [942]

K. Henry. 7. Princes punished for not defending the church frō the popes tyrāny.

Of all the kynges of England, from William conquerour, to this kyng Henry vij. were none whiche either longer continued, or more prosperously florished, MarginaliaExamples of kynges of Englād, whiche were blessed of God with long prosperitie, beyng enemies to the Byshops of Rome.then king Henry ij. K. Henry iij. K. Edward the first, K. Edward the iij. of whom the first, how stoute hee was in withstādyng Thomas Becket, and Pope Alexander iij. is sufficiently before comprehended, pag. 266.

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The second, whiche was þe sonne of kyng Iohn, albeit throughe the wretchednes of that tyme his power was not sufficient to repulse the Popes vsurped iurisdiction out of the realme: yet his will was good: at least he so defended and prouided for his subiectes, that they tooke no great wrong at the Popes handes: MarginaliaAugustus reygned lv. yeares.Who reigned one yeare longer, then Augustus Cæsar, whiche hath not cōmonly bene sene in any prince.

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The thyrd, which was kyng Edward the first, so vigilātly behaued him selfe for the publique commoditie and safetie of his people, þt he defended them from all foraine power and hostilitie both of the Scottes (then our enemyes, nowe our frendes) and also from the Byshop of Rome, taking part with thē against vs, MarginaliaVid. supra pag. 426.as may appeare aboue, pag. 426. Furthermore of the same kyng and of his worthie nobles and house of Parlament, how valiantly they stoode in deniall of the Popes subsidies, and also how the sayd kyng secluded out of his protection, the Byshops and especially the Archbishop Peccham for stādyng with the Pope, MarginaliaVid. supra pag. 438.read pag. 438.

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Now as touchyng kyng Edward iij. how litle he regarded, howe princely hee with his nobles lykewise resisted the Popes reseruations & prouisions, how he bridled the Archbyshop Iohn Stratford, and reiected the vayne authoritie of the Bishop of Rome, both in defēse of his subiectes, and also in defense of claymyng his right title in the realme of Fraunce, MarginaliaVid. supra pag. 477.read pag. 477.

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Not that I do here affirme or define, as in a generall rule, that worldly successe & prosperitie of lyfe alwayes foloweth the godly, whiche we see rather to bee geuen more often to the wicked sorte: but speakyng of the duetie of princes, I note and obserue by examples of hystories, MarginaliaWhat difference betwene moderate princes and thē that were persecutours.that such princes as haue most defēded the Churche of Christe committed to their gouernaunce, from iniurie and violence of the Byshop of Rome, haue not lacked at Gods hand great blessyng and felicitie: where as contrarywise, they whiche either them selues haue bene persecutours of Christes members, or haue not shylded them by their protection from foreine tyranny and iniuries, haue lacked at Gods hand that protection, whiche the other had, as may appeare by kyng Edwarde the ij. kyng Richard ij. K. Henry iiij. K. Henry v. kyng Henry vi. &c. Who because either negligently they haue suffered, or cruelly caused such persecutyng lawes to bee made, and so much Christen bloud iniuriously to bee deuoured: therfore haue they bene the lesse prospered of the Lord, so that either they were deposed, or if they florished for a whyle, yet they did not long continue: almost not halfe the tyme of the other kynges before named.

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And therfore, as the state of the common wealth doth cōmonly folow þe state of the Church, as ye heard before: so it had bene to be wished, that this kyng Henry the vij. beyng otherwise a prudent and temperant prince, had not permitted the vntemperant rage of the Popes clergie so much to haue their willes ouer the poore flocke of Christ, as then they had: accordyng as by these persecutions aboue mentioned, may appeare. The whiche kyng Henry vij. albeit he had a sufficient continuaunce, who had now reigned 24. yeares, yet notwithstādyng here cōmeth the same thyng to be noted, whereof I spake before: that when the Churche of Christ begynneth to be iniured with violence, and to go to wracke through misorder and negligence, the state of the common wealth can not there long endure without some alteration, & stroke of Gods correction. But how soeuer this marke is to be taken, thus lyeth the story: that after the burning and vexyng of these poore seruauntes of Christe aboue recited, when the persecution began nowe in the Churche to behoate, MarginaliaThe death of K. Henry vij.God called away þe kyng, þe same yeare aboue mētioned, whiche was. 1509. after he had reigned þeterme of yeares 24. Who if he had adioyned a litle more pitiful respect, in protectyng Christes poore mēbers, frō the fire of þe popes tyrāny, to his other great vertues of singular wisedome, excellent tēperance, & moderate frugalitie: so much had he ben cōparable wt the best of those princes aboue comprehended, as he had ben inferior but to a few: but this defect which lacked in him, was supplied most luckely (blessed be þe Lord) by his posteritie, succeding after hym. Of whom in the next volume folowyng (Christ therunto assistyng vs) we haue to specifie more at large.

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MarginaliaCouentry men persecuted.Among many other thynges incident in the reigne of this kyng Henry vij. I haue ouerpassed the hystory of certeine godly persons persecuted in the dioces of Couētry and Lychefield, as we finde them in the Registers of the dioces recorded, here folowing.

The yeare of our Lord. 1485. March. ix. amongest diuers and sondry other good men in Couētry, these ix. here vnder named were examined before Iohn, Byshop of Couentry and Lichfield, in S. Michaels Churche, vpon these Articles, folowyng in order. 

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These articles were copied from the register of John Hales, bishopof Coventry and Lichfield (Lichfield Record Office, Register Hales, fo. 166r-v;printed, with a translation, in Lollards of Coventry, 1486-1522, ed. Shannon McSheffrey and Norman P. Tanner, Camden Society, Fifth series 23 [2003], 64-73). It is most likely that a transcript (or even translation) of these abjurations was sent to Foxe as the 1563 edition was nearing completion (see Lollards of Coventry, pp. 53-54 for a discussion of this point).

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MarginaliaIohn Blumstone.FIrst, Iohn Blumston was openly and publikly infamed, accused, reported and appeached that hee was a very hereticke, because he had preached, taught, holdē, and affirmed, MarginaliaThe power of Peter flytteth not to his successours.that the power attributed to S. Peter in the church of God, by our sauiour Iesus Christ, immediatly did not flit, or passe frō him, to remain wt his successours.

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Item, that there was as much vertue in an herbe as in the Image of the Virgine Mary.

MarginaliaPurgatory denyed.Item, that prayer and almes auayle not the dead, for incontinent after death, he goeth either to heauen or hell, wherupon he concludeth there is no Purgatory.

Item, that it was folishnes to go on pilgrimage to the Images of our Lady of Dancaster, Walsingham or of þe Tower of the Citie of Couētry: for a man might as well worship the blessed Virgin by the fire side in the kitchin, as in the foresayd places, and as well might a man worship the blessed Virgin, whē he seeth his mother or sister, MarginaliaImages not to be worshipped.as in visityng the Images, because they be no more but dead stockes and stones.

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Item, that he sayd in English with a frownyng countenaunce, as it appeared: a vengeance on all such horson priestes, for they haue great enuie that a poore mā should get his liuyng among them.

MarginaliaRicharde Hegham.RIchard Hegham of the same Citie was accused. &c. to be a very hereticke, because he did holde that MarginaliaMerites condemned.a Christen man beyng at the point of death should renounce all his owne workes good and ill, and sumbit hym to the mercy of God.

Item, that it was fondnes to worshyp the Images of our Lady of Tower in the foresayd Citie, or of other saintes, for they are but stockes and stones.

MarginaliaImages seru rather to be burned then to be worshipped.Item, that if the Image of our Lady of Tower were put into the fire, it would make a good fire.

Item, that it were better to deale money vnto poore folkes then to offer to the Images of Christe and other saintes, whiche are but dead stockes and stones.

MarginaliaRobert Crowther.RObert Crowther of the same Citie was accused, that he was an hereticke because he did holde that who so receiueth the Sacrament of the altare in deadly sinne or out of charitie, receiueth nothyng but bread and wyne.

Item, that neither Bishop, nor priestes or curates of Churches, haue power in the market of penaunce to bynde and loose. 

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Foxe omits one of the articles charged against Crowther. It follws this article and charges that Crowther wished the phrase describing Christ as conceived ofthe Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, removed from the Apostles' Creed (seeLollards of Coventry, 1486-1522, ed. Shannon McSheffrey and Norman P. Tanner,Camden Society, Fifth series 23 [2003], p. 67).

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MarginaliaAgaynst pilgrymage.Item, that pilgrimage to the Image of our Lady of Tower is foolishnes, for it is but a stocke or a stone.

MarginaliaIohn Smith.IOhn Smith was accused to bee a very hereticke, MarginaliaThe Lords prayer to be in Englyshe.because he did hold that euery man is bounde to knowe the Lordes Prayer, and the Crede in Englishe, if he might for these false pristes.

Item, that who so beleued as the churche then did beleue, beleued ill: and that a man had nede to frequēt the scholes a good while, 

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Smith actually said that a man needed to attend school 'per unum annum' [for a year] (Lollards of Coventry, 1486-1522, ed. Shannon McSheffrey and Norman P. Tanner, Camden Society, Fifth series 23 [2003], pp. 67-8).

ere that he can attayne to the knowledge of the true and right fayth.

Item,
MM.i.
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