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132 [132]

Lucius. Constantine the great, The Britaynes slayne.

Prince or a Kyng is in a kyngdome) there to lacke succession, as especially in this case may appeare. For after the death of Lucius, when the Barons and Nobles of the land could not accord within themselues vpon succession of the crowne: stept in the Romaines, & gotte the crowne into their owne handes, whereupon followed great misery and ruine to the realme: for sometymes the Idolotrous Romaines, sometymes the Britaynes raigned and ruled, as violence and victory would serue, one kyng murderyng an other, till at length the Saxones came and depriued them both, as in processe hereafter followeth to be seene.

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In the meane season touching the story of king Lucius, here is to be reproued the fable of some writers falsely faynyng of hym, that he should after his Baptisme receaued, put of all his kyngly honour, & forsake the land and be made a preacher: who after lōg trauaile in preachyng & teachyng, in Fraunce, in Germany, in Augusta, and in Sueuia, at length was made Doctour and Rector of the Churche of Cureak: where (as this fable sayth) he suffered Martyrdome. But this phātasie of whomseouer it first did spring, disagreeth from all our English storyes: Who with a full consent do for the most part cōcord in this, that he sayd MarginaliaThe decease of K Lucius.
Ex Florilego.
Lucius, after he had founded many Churches, and geuen great riches and liberties to the same: deceased with great tranquillitie in his owne land, and was buried at Glocester, the xiiij. yeare after his Baptisme, as the booke of Flores Historiarum, doth counte, which was the yeare of our Lord (as he sayth) CC.i. and reckeneth his conuersion to be an. 87. In some I finde his decease to be the fourth, and in some the tenth yeare after his Baptisme, and hold that he raigned in all the space of. lxxvij. yeares, and thus much concernyng kyng Lucius.

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Now to proceede in order of the story, 

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This is the first in a series of tables running through the early books of Foxe's martyrology from the 1570 edition onwards, laying out the English regnal succession. Here Foxe provides that for the early British kingship. Foxe constructed it independently, and from a number of sources. It is a good example of his collating and critical skills. He certainly used Ranulph Higden's Polychronicon (J. R. Lumby, ed. Polychronicon Ranulphi Higden monachi Cestrensis: together with the English translations of John Trevisa and of an unknown writer of the fifteenth century [London: Rolls Series, 1879], book 4, ch.19-book 5, ch. 4) as well as Bede book 1. Geoffrey of Monmouth (ch. 79) might have been drawn on indirectly (through John Bale's Catalogus or the English Votaries, or even from Fabian's Chronicles (R. Fabyan, The Chronicle of Fabian [London, 1559], preface: table 3). He would almost certainly have consulted one of the editions of the sixteenth-century Breviat chronicles, with their lists of British King, and may even have worked with John Stow whilst he was preparing his A Summary of English Chronicles (London, 1565), which furnishes a similar genealogy, albeit Foxe here provides some telling additional details. Information may have also been taken from 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], book 8 ch. 8, pp. 575-77). The evidence suggests that Foxe prepared this material independently, and made up his own mind on the various issues relating to the sensitive issues of chronology which the table contains.

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briefly to touche the state of the foresayd land of Britayne, betwene the tyme of kyng Lucius, and the entryng of the Saxones, who were the kynges therof: and in what order they succeded, or rather inuaded one after an other, this Catalogue here vnder written will specifie.

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Lucius, a Britayne. MarginaliaEx Beda Polychro. monumetensi.
Seuerus, a Romaine.
Bassianus, a Romaine by the father.
Cerausius, a Britayne.
Alectus, a Romaine.
Asclepiodorus, a Britayne.
Kinges of Bri-
taine from the
tyme of Lucius
till the cōmyng
of the Saxons.
Coilus, a Britayne.
Constantius, a Romaine.
Constantinus, a Britayne by the mother side
and borne in Britayne.
Octauius, a Gewissian.
Maximinianus, a Romayne borne, but hys
mother a Britayne. MarginaliaAn. D. 290.
Gratianus, a Romayne. Marginaliasecund. fab. Bed.
Constantinus, a Britaine by the mother. MarginaliaAn. 433. fab.
Constans, a Romaine by the father. MarginaliaAn. 443.
Votigerus, a Gewissian or Bri. MarginaliaAn. 448.
Vortimerus, a Brit. MarginaliaAn. 464.
Vortigernus, agayne.
By this table may appeare a lamentable face of a common wealth so miserably rent and diuided into two sortes of people: differyng not so much in countrey, as in Religiō. For when the Romaines raigned: so were they gouerned by Infidels. Whē the Britaines ruled, so they were gouerned by Christiās. Thus what quietnesse was or could be in the Church, in so vnquyet and doubtful dayes, it may easely be considered.

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MarginaliaThe Britaynes neuer touched with any persecution before the time of Diocletian. Albeit, notwithstandyng all these foresayd Heathen rulers of the Romaines, 

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Foxe's account of the Roman government of Constantine in Britain and the eventual retreat of Rome from the British Isles made the important point, from Foxe's point of view, that it was religious persecution, rather than Christianity, which had been imported from Rome. He could have taken his material from a number of sources. He seems to have used Fabian's Chronicle as his base-text (R. Fabyan, The Chronicle of Fabian [London, 1559], book 5, chs 68-75) for most of the passage, although the brief reference to the rise of persecution in the British Isles under Diocletian seems most closely to correspond to 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], book 1, ch. 36). The source for the two Latin citations from Gildas at the end of the passage represents something of a puzzle. Neither of them appear in Fabian's Chronicle. The first one could have come from one of a number of sources, though the Joscelyn edition of Gildas, published in 1567, includes it in a version which accords most nearly to the form it appears in Foxe's text. The second quotation does not appear, however, in the Joscelyn edition - indeed it does not appear in Gildas at all, or in any of the sources Foxe habitually used. Its appearance here is something of a mystery.

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whiche here gouerned, yet (God be praysed) we read of no persecution, duryng all these. x. persecutiōs aboue mentioned, that touched the Christian Britaynes, before the last persecution onely of Dioclesian, and Maximianus Herculius, whiche here then exercised much cruelty. This persecution, as it was the last amōg the Romane Christians, so it was the first of many & diuers that followed after in this Churche and Realme of England: wherof we will here after intreate (Christ willyng) as order of the matter shall lead vs. In the meane tyme this rage of Dioclesian as it was vniuersally through all the churches in the world fierce and vehement: so in this realme of Britayne also it was so sore, that as all our English chronicles do testifie, and record, all Christianitie almost in the whole land was destroyed: Churches were subuerted, all bookes of the Scripture burned, many of the faythfull both men and women were slayne. Among whom the first and chiefe was Albanus, then Iulius, Aaron, and Amphibalus. Of whom sufficiently hath bene sayd before. What were the other, or how many they were that suffered beside, storyes make no rehearsall. And thus much therof.

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MarginaliaConstantine the great borne and bred in Britayne. Now as concernyng the gouernement of these aboue named kynges of Britayne, although I haue little or nothyng to note, which greatly appertayneth to the matter of this Ecclesiasticall history: yet this is not to be past ouer: first how in the order of these kyngs commeth Constantinus the great & worthy Emperour, not onely a Britayne borne by his mother Helina beyng kyng Coilus daughter, but also by the helpe of MarginaliaThe cause how this Realme of Britaine was first weakened. the Britaynes armye (vnder the power of God) whiche the sayd Constantine tooke with hym out of Britaine to Rome: obtayned with great victory, peace and tranquilitie to the whole vniuersall Church of Christ: hauing. iij. legiōs wt him out of this Realme, of chosen and able souldiours. Wherby þe strēgth of the land was not a litle impayred & indaungered, as afterward in this story followeth.

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After hym likewise Maximian followyng his steppes, tooke with hym also (as storyes recorde) all the power and strength which was left: and whatsoeuer he could make, of able and fightyng men, to subdue Fraunce: MarginaliaBritaine spoyled of soldiours. besides the garrisons which he had out with hym before, sendyng for mo to the number of. C. M. souldiours at once, to be sent to hym out of Britayne into Fraunce. At whiche tyme also Conanus his partener beyng then in Fraunce, sent ouer for virgines from Bryiaine to the number of. xi. M. who with MarginaliaVrsula with. xi. thousād virgins. Vrsula the Prince Dionets daughter beyng shypped ouer, many perished in the sea: some were taken of the infidels, marchyng vpon the borders, with whom because they would not be polluted, all were destroyed, beyng miserably dispersed (some one way, some an other) so þt none escaped.

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Thus poore Britanye beyng left naked and destitute on euery syde, as a maymed body wythout might or strēgth: was left open to his enemyes, not able to succour it selfe, without helpe of forreine frends. To whom they were thō constrained to flye, especially to the Romaines to whom the Britaynes sent this word or message: Ætio ter Cōsuli gemitus Britannorum. Repellunt nos Barbari ad mare. Repellit nos mare ad Barbaros. Hinc oriuntur duo funerū genera, quia aut iugulamur, aut submergimur. But the Romaines then began to forsake them, whereby they were in nearer daunger to be oppressed by Gwanus & Melga, had not MarginaliaGwetelinus Archb. of London Gwetelinus the Archbyshop of Londō made ouer to lesser Britayne, and obtainyng their helpe, had brought Constantinus the kynges brother, to rescue his countrey agaynst the infidels. MarginaliaEx Chronico. Momumetensis
Constantinus:
Constans:
Aureli, Ambrosius.
Vte Pondragon.
This Constantinus was brother to Aldroenus kyng of litle Britayne, and father to Constans, Aurelius Ambrosius, and Vter, who after raigned after kynges in Britayne.

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Thus by the meanes of the good Archbyshop and Constantinus the state of the Religion and Realme of Britayne was in some meane quyet and safetye, duryng the tyme of the sayd Constantine and of the good Archbyshop. But as the realme of Britayne almost from the begynnyng was neuer without ciuill warre, at length came wicked Vortigerne, who cruelly causing Constans his Prince to be murdred, ambitiously inuaded the crowne: who then fearyng the other two brethren of Constans, which were Aurelius and Vter, beyng then in litle Britayne: MarginaliaThe Saxons sent for to Britayne.
Kyng Constans slayne by Vortigerne.
Hengist and Horsus captaynes of the Saxons.
did send ouer for the ayde of the Saxones beyng thē infidels, and not onely that: but also maryed with an infidell, the daughter of Hengist called Rowen. Wherupon the sayd Vortigerne not long after, by the sayd Hengist and the Saxones was with liyke traitery dispossessed of his kyngdome, and the people of Britayne driuen out of their countrey, after that the Saxons had slayne of their chief Nobles and Barons at one meetyng: ioynyng together subtiltie with crueltie, to the number of CC. lxxi. some storyes say CCCC. lx. MarginaliaA wicked murther of the Saxons This wicked act of the Saxones, was done at Almsoury, or at a place called Stonehenge, by the monument of which stones there hangyng, it seemeth that the noble Britaynes there were buried.

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The fabulous story of the Welshemen, of bryngyng these stones from Ireland by Merlyn I passe ouer. Some storyes recorde that they were slayne beyng byd to a banket, other do say that it was done at a talke or assemble, where the Saxones came with priuy Knyues contrary to the promise made, with the which Kniues they geuyng a priuy watchword, (in their Saxones speache neme your sexes) slew the Britaines vnarmed: and thus farre concernyng the history of the Britaynes. As this great plague could not come to the Britaynes without Gods permission, so Gildas sheweth in his Chronicle, the cause therof, writing thus: Quòd Britones propter auaritiam & rapinam Principum propter iniquitatem & iniustitiā Iudicum, propter desidiam prædicationis Episcoporum propter luxuriam & malos mores populi, patriam perdidisse. &c.

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A
K.i.
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