Critical Apparatus for this Page
Commentary on the Text
Names and Places on this Page
Unavailable for this Edition
131 [131]

King Lucius. Actes and Monumentes of the Churche.

stans the Emperour. Likewise neither Reliques nor peregrinations were then in vse. Priestes Marriage was then as lawfull, and no lesse receiued as now: neither was it condemned before the dayes of Hildebrand, almost a thousand yeare after that. Their seruice was then in the vulgar toung, as iytnesseth Hierome. The Sacrament ministred in both kyndes, as well to lay men, as to Priestes, the witnes wherof is Cyprian. Marginalia[illegible text] 2. Yea, and that temporall men which would not then communicate at Easter, Whitsontyde, and Christenmasse: were not counted for Catholickes, the Popes owne Distinction can testifie. In funerals, Priestes thē flocked not together, sellyng trentals and diriges for sweepyng of Purgatory: but onely a funerall cōcion was vsed, with Psalmes of prayses, and songes of theyr worthy deedes: and Alleluya soundyng on hygh, which dyd shake the gilded seelynges of the temple, as witnesseth Nazianzenene, Ambrose, and Hierome. &c.

[Back to Top]

In the Supper of the Lord, & at Baptisme, no such ceremonies were vsed, as now of late haue been intruded, in so much that as in this story is shewed hereafter, both Austen and Paulinus Baptised then in Riuers not in halowed fountes, as witnesseth Fabianus. MarginaliaFabianus ca. 119. & 120. The Portuis of Sarum, of Yorke, of Bangor, with Mattens & Euensong of the day: agayne neither the orders and religions of Monkes & Friers, were not yet dreamed of, to the space almost of a thousand yeares after, &c. So that, as I sayd, if the Papistes would needes deriue the fayth and Religiō of this Realme, from Rome: then let them set vs and leaue vs there, where they had vs: that is, let them suffer vs to stand cōtent with that fayth and religion, which then was taught & brought from Rome by Eleutherius (as now we differ nothyng frō the same) and we will desire no better. And if they will not, then let the wise Reader iudge, where the fault is, in vs or them which neither themselues will persist in the antiquitie of the Romish Religion, which they so much bragge of, neither will they permit vs so to do.

[Back to Top]

And thus much by the way, to satisife the foresayd obiection: whereby we may haue now a more ready passage into the order and course of the history. Beyng therefore graunted vnto them, which they so earnestly sticke vpon, that the Christian fayth and Religion of this Realme was brought to vs from Rome, first by Eleutherius, MarginaliaElutherius bish. of Rome. then afterwarde by Austen: thus writeth the Chronicles of that matter.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaAusten. 2.
The fayth of Christ brought into this realme.
Lucius the firste christened king of the Britaynes.
About the tyme and yeare of the Lord. 180. 

Commentary  *  Close

Foxe is explicit about the difficulties of dating the letter from King Lucius to Pope Eleutherius to receive him into the Christian faith. Foxe primarily follows the details in Fabian's Chronicle (R. Fabyan, The Chronicle of Fabian [London, 1559], book 3, chs 58-59). Fabian himself notes that the sources differ, which is probably why Foxe had recourse to the Magdeburg Centuries, II ch. II, pp. 8-9 to pursue the issue, and also to Bale's English Votaries p. 14 for its mention of the evidence from Geoffrey of Monmouth and other authors. Interestingly, Fabian explicitly says that he disregards Monmouth's evidence. Foxe chose to disregard this, and thereby follow Bale's account. For the relevant passage in Geoffrey of Monmouth, albeit not directly used by Foxe, so far as one can judge, see The historia Regum Britannie of Geoffrey of Monmouth, edited and translated by Neil Wright, vol. 5 (Cambridge, 1991), ch. 72, pp. 125-6.

[Back to Top]
Kyng Lucius sonne of Coilus, which builded Coilchester, kyng of the Britaines, who then were the inhabāiters and possessours of this land (which now we Englishmen cal Englād) hearyng of the miracles and wonders done by the Christians at that tyme in diuers places (as Monumetensis writeth) directed his letters to Eleutherius Byshop of Rome, to receaue of hym the Christian fayth. Although about the computation of the yeare and tyme: great difference there is in authours, when this should be. Nauclerus sayth it was, an. 156. but that cannot be, for somuch as Eleutherius was not yet Byshop by the space of. xx. yeares after that. Henricus de Erfordia sayth, it was an. 169. in the. xix. yeare of Verus Emperour, but that agreeth not with approued historyes: MarginaliaEx Monumetensi & [illegible text]. which all consent, that Verus raigned not. xix. yeares, and if he had, yet that yeare cōmeth not to the yeare of our Lord. 169. but to the yeare. 181. Some other say, that Eleutherius was made Byshop, in the. vj. yeare of Cōmodus, which was the yeare of our Lord. 186. but that seemeth to go too farre, but let the authours agree as they cā. Let vs returne to Eleutherius the good Byshop, who hearyng the request of this king, and glad to see the godly towardnes of his wel disposed mynde: sendeth him certaine teachers & preachers, MarginaliaFaganus, Damianus. called Fugatius, or by some Faganus, and Damianus, or Dimianus: whiche conuerted first the kyng and people of Britaine, and Baptised them with the Baptisme and Sacrament of Christes fayth. The Temples of Idolatrie and all other Monumentes of Gentilitie they subuerted, conuertyng the people from their diuers and many Gods to serue one liuyng God. Thus true Religiō with sincere fayth increasing, superstition decayed, with all other rites of Idolatry. Marginalia28. Byshops within this Realme.
3. Archb.
Ther were then in Britanye. 28. head Priestes, which they called Flamines, and iij. Archpriestes among them, which were called Archiflamines: hauyng the ouersight of their maners, and as Iudges ouer the rest. These 18. Flamines they turned to. 28. Byshops. And the three Archiflamines, to iij. Archbishops, hauing then their seates in iij. principall Cities of the Realme: that is, in London, in Yorke, and in Glamorgantia, videlicet, in Vrbe legionum, by Wales. Thus the countreys of the whole Realme, beyng deuided euery one vnder his owne Bishop, & all things setled in a good order: the foresayd kyng Lucius sent agayne to the sayd Eleutherius, for the Romane lawes: therby like wise to be gouerned as in Religion now they were framed accordyngly. Vnto whom Eleutherius agayne writeth, after the tenour of these wordes ensuyng.

[Back to Top]
¶ The Epistle of Elutherius Byshop of Rome, sent to king Lucius.

MarginaliaEx vetusto codice regum antiquorum
The epistle of Elutherius to kyng Lucius.
Nno. 169. a Passione Christi scripsit Dominus Elutherius Papa Lucio Regi Britanniæ, ad correctionem Regis & procerum regni Britanniæ, & so forth, as foloweth in English.

Ye require of vs the Romane lawes and the Emperors, to be sent ouer to you: whiche you may practise and put in vse within your Realme. The Romane lawes, and the Emperours, we may euer reproue, but the law of God we may not. Ye haue receaued of late through Gods mercy in the realme of Britayne, the law & faith of Christ: ye haue with you within the Realme both the parties of the Scriptures. Out of them by gods grace, with the Councell of your realme, take ye a law, and by that lawe (through Gods sufferaunce) rule your kyngdome of Britayne. MarginaliaThe kyng Gods vicare within hys owne kingdome. For you be Gods Vicare in your kyngdome, accordyng to the saying of the Psalme. Deus iudicium tuum Regi da, &c. That is. O God geue thy iudgemēt to the kyng, and thy righteousnes to the kynges sonne, &c. He sayd not the iudgement and righteousnes of the Emperour, but thy iudgement and iustice: that is to say, of God. The kynges sonnes be the Christian people and folke of the Realme, which be vnder your gouernemēt, and liue and continue in peace within your kyngdome, as the Gospell sayth: lyke as the henne gathereth her chickynges vnder her wynges, so doth the kyng his people. The people and folke of the Realme of Britayne be yours, whom if they be deuided ye ought to gather in concorde and peace: to call them to the faith and law of Christ, and to the holy church, to cherish and maintayne them, to rule and gouerne them, and to defende them alwayes from such as would do them wrong, from malicious men and enemyes. A kyng hath hys name of rulyng, and not of hauyng a Realme. You shall be a kyng while ye rule well, but if you do otherwise, the name of a kyng shall not remayne with you, and you shall lose it, which God forbid. The almighty God graunt you so to rule the Realme of Britayne, that you may raigne with hym for euer, whose Vicar ye be in the Realme.

[Back to Top]

After this maner, 

Commentary  *  Close

Foxe here elaborates briefly on several important and implied parallels between the Christian conversion of the British Isles and the contemporary experience of reformation. The conversion had occurred through the activity of preachers ('through whose ministery this realm & ileland of Britain was eftsones reduced to the faith & law of the Lord'. The British Isles were Christianised whilst the Roman emperors were still heathens. Foxe weaves in a prophecy from Isaiah ch. 42 and the passage is loosely based on Henry Huntingdon's Chronicle (T. Arnold, ed. Henry of Huntingdon. Henrici Huntendunensis Historia Anglorum, the History of the English, by Henry, Archdeacon of Huntingdon, from B. C. 55 to A. D. 1154 [London: Rolls Series, 1879], ch. 1, pp. 27-8). For the narrative of the death of King Lucius and events thereafter, Foxe relied on Matthew Paris' Flores Historiarum, which had been published in 1567 (H. R. Luard, ed. Matthew Paris. Flores Historiarum 3 vols [London: Rolls Series, 1890], 1, p. 149) and also on the Magdeburg Centuries, II, ch. 2, p. 9.

[Back to Top]
as you haue heard, was the Christiā fayth either first brought in, or els confirmed in this realme of Britayne, by the sendyng of Elutherius, not with any crosse or procession, but onely at the simple preachyng of Fagane and Damiā, through whose ministery this realme and Ileland of Britayne was eftsoones reduced to the fayth & law of the Lord, accordyng as was prophecied by Esay, as well of that, as other Ilandes mo, where he saith, chap. xlij. he shall not faynt, nor geue ouer till he hath set iudgement in earth, & Ilelandes shall wayte for hys law. &c. MarginaliaEsay. 42. The faith thus receiued of the Britaynes continued among them and florished the space of. 216. yeares, till the commyng of the Saxones: who then were Paganes: wherof more followeth hereafter to be sayd, the Lord Christ assistyng thereunto. In the meane tyme somethyng to speake of this space before, which was betwixt the tyme of Lucius, and the first commyng in of the Saxones: first is to be vnderstāded, that all this while as yet the Emperours of Rome had not receiued the fayth, what tyme the kynges of Britayne, & the subiectes therof, were conuerted now, as is sayd, to Christ: for the whiche cause much trouble and perturbation, was sought against thē, not onely here in Britayne, but through all partes of Christendome by the Heathen infidels. MarginaliaH. Huntendon. Lib. 1. In so much that in the persecution onely of Dioclesian and Maximinian raignyng both together within one moneth. xvii thousand Martyrs are numbred to haue suffered for the name of Christ, as hath bene hetherto in the booke before sufficiently discoursed.

[Back to Top]

Thus therfore although the foresayd Lucius, the Britayne kyng, through the mercifull prouidence of God, was then Christened and the Gospell receaued generally almost in all the land: yet the state therof as well of the Religiō, as of the common wealth, could not be quiet, for that the Emperours and nobles of Rome were yet infidels, & enemyes to the same: but especially for this cause, the case so happenyng, that Lucius the Christen kyng dyed without issue: MarginaliaWhat incommoditie commeth by lack of succession. for therby such trouble and variaūce fell among the Britaynes (as it happeneth in all other Realmes, namely in this our Realme of England when soeuer succession lacketh) that not onely they brought vpon them the Idolatrous Romaines, & at length the Saxones: but also inwrapped themselues in such misery and desolation, which yet to this day amongest them remaineth. Such a thyng it is (where a

[Back to Top]
Prince
Go To Modern Page No:  
Click on this link to switch between the Modern pagination for this edition and Foxe's original pagination when searching for a page number. Note that the pagination displayed in the transcription is the modern pagination with Foxe's original pagination in square brackets.
Find:
Type a keyword and then restrict it to a particular edition using the dropdown menu. You can search for single words or phrases. When searching for single words, the search engine automatically imposes a wildcard at the end of the keyword in order to retrieve both whole and part words. For example, a search for "queen" will retrieve "queen", "queene" and "queenes" etc.
in:  
Humanities Research Institute  *  HRI Online  *  Feedback
Version 2.0 © 2011 The University of Sheffield