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133 [133]

A description of England, as it was deuided in the Saxones tyme into vij. kyngdomes.
¶ The entryng and raignyng of the Saxones. 
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Coming of Saxons to Gregory the Great

Foxe's account of the early Saxon kingdoms was added to the 1570 edition, after which it remained in all the succeeding editions in precisely the same format. It is remarkable for its attempt to produce a clear regnal succession and structure to the Saxon heptarchy, first delineated by Henry of Huntingdon's Chronicle in the twelfth century. To this account, Foxe appends a somewhat perplexed narrative as to how we should assess the 'many noughty & wicked kings' of the period. It was true, he noted, that this was partly because the 'vulgar and rascal sorte' of nobles, left behind by the departure of the Romans, had descended 'into all maner of wickedness, wherto mans nature is inclined: and especiallye into that which is the overthrowe of all good estates'. They were responsible for the anointing as kings 'those who exceded all other in crueltie'. Although there were some notable examples of godly rule (Foxe carefully singles them out), there were 'none almost from the first to the last, which was not either slayne in warre, or murdered in peace, or els constrayned to make himself a Moonke'. On the latter, Foxe's views were understandably severe, aware that he was consciously departing from the judgments recorded in the 'Monkish histories' (on which he was compelled largely to depend for constructing this narrative). They misguidedly sought 'in that kinde of life to serue & please God better' but, in so doing, they abandoned their 'publique vocation' and jeopardised the public weal. At the end of the section, Foxe sought to bring the strands of his narrative together, linking the ten great persecutions of the church which had structured the narrative of book one and the first age of the church, with the 'foure persecutions in Britainie' under later Roman rule and the Saxon heptarchy. These persecutions frame the British context to the periodisation from the 'firste springing of christes gospel in this land' in AD180 and the coming of Augustine in 1596.Foxe clearly worked hard to resolve the various discrepancies in his sources and produce the regnal tables of the Saxon heptarchy. His account differs substantially from that which had appeared in the Breviat Chronicles, originally published by John Mychell in successive editions from 1551 (for further details see D.R. Woolf, Reading History in Early Modern England [Cambridge, 2000], pp. 39-47, 53). It also differs from the information furnished by John Stow in A Summary of English Chronicles (London, 1565). In some respects, Foxe built upon the attempt by William Lambarde in the Archaionomia (London: 1568) and it is conceivable that Lambarde (or Nowell, one of his associates) and Foxe may have collaborated in assembling some of this material.

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Matt Phillpott and Mark Greengrass
University of Sheffield

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This map of the kingdoms of the Saxon Heptarchy was a reuse of an illustration from an earlier book by Day. It first appeared in his edition of William Lambarde's Archaionomia in 1568. It is interesting to note that Day chose not to incorporate it into the 1570 edition.

MarginaliaAn. 469. THis was the commyng in first of the Angles or Saxones into this Realme, beyng yet vnchristened and infidelles: 
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For the earliest material on Hengist and Horsa, Foxe was inclined to draw on William of Malmesbury's Gesta Regum (J. S. Brewer, and C. T. Martin, 'William of Malmesbury: Gesta Regum.' In Reigistrum Malmesburiense. The Registor of Malmesbury Abbey, ed. by J.S. Brewer and C.T. Martin [London: Rolls Series, 1869-1880], book 1, chs 1 and 5), supplemented by 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 5, ch. 4, 302-317). Although Foxe mentions Geoffrey of Monmouth ('Ex Alfrido in suo Brittanico') the reference probably derives from Bale's Catalogus, p. 42.

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whiche was aboute the yeare of our Lord as William Malmsbury testifieth. CCCC. lxix. the Captaines of whom were Hengistus and Horsus. Although the sayd Hengist and Saxones at their first commyng for all their subtile workyng and cruell attempt had no quyet setlyng in Britayne, but were driuen out diuers tymes by the valiauntnesse of MarginaliaAurelius and Vter, sonnes to Constantinus. Aurelius Ambrosius, and his brother Vter aboue mentioned, who raigned after that among the Britaynes: yet notwithstandyng they were not so driuen out, but that they returned agayne, and at length possessed all, driuyng the Britaynes such as remayned into Cambria, whiche we call now Wales. Hengistus, as some Chronicles recorde, reigned. 43. yeares, and dyed in Kent. Galfridus in suo Britannico sayth: MarginaliaEx Galfrido.
Ex Alfrido in suo Britannico.
that he was taken in warre by Aurelius Ambrosius, and beheaded at Conyngesburgh, after he had raigned xxxix. yeare.

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After the death of Hengist, his sonne Osca, raigned xxiiij. yeares leauyng his sonne Octa, to whose reigne with hys sonne Ymenricus, histories do attribute liij. yeares, who also were slayne at length by Vter Pendragon, Polichroni. Lib. 5. cap. 4. MarginaliaEx Polychron. lib. 5. cap. 4.

The Saxones after they were setled in the possession of England, 

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The sources used for this table may well have been numerous, and Foxe seems to have tried to collate his material from several different chronicles. His base-text was probably Henry of 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. 4; 2, ch. 40; 4, ch. 30) but he probably also consulted Bede's Ecclesiastical History, book 1, ch.5, William of Malmesbury's Gesta Regum (J. S. Brewer, and C. T. Martin, 'William of Malmesbury: Gesta Regum.' In Reigistrum Malmesburiense. The Registor of Malmesbury Abbey, ed. by J.S. Brewer and C.T. Martin [London: Rolls Series, 1869-1880], book 1, ch. 6; 8-15) and Fabian's Chronicle (R. Fabyan, The Chronicle of Fabian [London, 1559], book 5, chs 83 and 90). Foxe also mentions at various points drawing upon Roger of Howden's Chronicle (for the Wessex kings) - W. Stubbs, ed. Chronica magistri Rogeri de Houdene 4 vols, Rolls Series (London, 1868), 1, pp. 34-5. He discreetly used Matthew Paris' Flores Historiarum (H. R. Luard, ed. Matthew Paris. Flores Historiarum 3 vols [London: Rolls Series, 1890], 1, pp. 563-66) and the manuscript Historia Cariana belonging to William Carye as furnishing some additional information (on Bernard's character) as well as William of Malmesbury's Gesta Pontificum for Swæfred of the East Saxons. Neither the Breviat Chronicle nor Stow's account separated out the regnal succession in the heptarchy and, for Wessex, Stow missed out several of the early kings as well as Cuthbert, cited by Foxe. For Kent, Stow started with Hengist, but then did not mention Eosa, Ocha or Eormenric. He does mention Æthelbert but does not record the length of his reign nor that he was the first of the Saxon kings to receive the Christian faith and that he subdued all the six other kings except the king of Northumbria. Stow simply states that he battled with Ceolwulf, king of Wessex. Stow largely agreed with Foxe on the order of British Saxon kings, although Foxe separated Aurelius and Conanus whilst Stow listed just one king: Aurelius Conanus. Stow's account of the seven kingdoms is confused and disordered, compared to the account produced by Foxe.

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distributed the Realme among themselues, first in seuen partes: MarginaliaSeuē kinges ruling in England. euery part to haue his kyng, that is: The first to be the kyng of Kent. The second to be kyng of Sussex and Southerye, holdyng his Palace at Cicester. The third king was of Westsexe. The fourth kyng of Essex. The fift kyng was the Eastāgles, þt is of Cābridgeshire, Northfolke, & Southfolke. The vj. kyng of Marche, & in his kingdome were conteined the Countesses of Lyncolne, Leycester, Huntyngdō, Northāptō, Oxford, Darby, Warwike. &c. The vij. kyng had all the countryes beyond Humber, and was called kyng of Northhumberland.

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Of these seuen kyngdomes, although they continued not long, but at length ioyned all in one, commyng all into the possession and subiection of the Westsaxones: yet for the space they continued (whiche was with continuall trouble and warres among themselues) this is the race and order of them, as in this Table particularly followeth to be seene.

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