Thematic Divisions in Book 4
1. Lanfranc2. Gregory VII3. William the Conqueror4. William Rufus5. Henry I6. Stephen and Henry II7. Frederick Barbarossa8. Thomas Becket9. Becket's letters10. Becket's martyrdom and miracles11. Events of 1172-7812. Waldensians13. Other incidents of Henry II's reign14. First year of Richard I's reign15. Strife at Canterbury16. Richard I and Third Crusade17. William Longchamp18. King John19. Henry III's early reign20. Innocent III and mendicant orders21. Papal oppression of the English Church22. Albigensian Crusade23. Hubert de Burgh24. Gregory IX25. Schism between Greek and Latin Church26. Papal exactions from England27. Louis IX on Crusade28. Frederick II29. Opponents of Papacy30. Robert Grosseteste31. Aphorisms of Robert Grosseteste32. Persecution of Jews33. Papal oppression and Alexander IV34. Conflicts in universities and mendicant orders35. Henry III and the barons36. Battle of Lewes37. Battle of Evesham38. End of baronial war39. Ecclesiastical matters and Edward prince of Wales goes on crusade40. Foreign events in Henry III's reign41. First seven years of Edward I's reign42. War with Scotland43. Philip IV and Boniface VIII44. Events of 1305-745. Cassiodorous's letter46. Pierre de Cugniere47. Death of Edward I48. Piers Gaveston49. The Despensers and the death of Edward II50. John XXIII and Clement VI51. Rebellion in Bury St. Edmunds52. Edward III and Scotland53. Edward III and Philip VI54. Edward III and Archbishop Stratford55. Events of 1341-556. Outbreak of the Hundred Years War57. Anti-papal writers58. Quarrel among mendicants and universities59. Table of the Archbishops of Canterbury
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353 [352]

K. Henry.3. Articles of Rob. Grosted agaynst the Pope.

Then followeth it in the story both of Mathæus Parisiens. and of Florilogus, in these wordes: MarginaliaEx Matheo paris. ad verbū.That when this Epistle came to the knowledge of the Pope, he fumyng and fretting, with anger and indignation answered, with a fierce looke and proud mynde saying: what olde doting frantyke wretch is this so boldly, and rashly to iudge of my doynges? By swete S. Peter and Paule, MarginaliaWell sworne maister Pope.were it not but that vpon our owne clemency and good nature we are restrayned, we would hurle hym downe to such confusion, that we would make hym a fable, a gasing stocke, an example and wonderment to all the world. For is not the king of England our vassal? and to say more, our manciple or page (to vse the very wordes of myne author) which may at our pleasure & becke both hamper him, and inprison hym and put hym to vtter shame? This when the Pope in hys great fury and rage had vttered amongst his brethren the Cardinals, who were scarce able to appaise the furious violence of the Pope, with milde moderation of wordes, they sayd vnto him: that it was not expedient for them to procede agaynst that bishop in such rigorous maner. For sayd they to confesse the truth to your holinesse, it is but very truth that he affirmeth, neither can we condemne hym therfore. MarginaliaGiles Cardinall defendeth Robert Grosted to the pope.He is a catholike man, yea also a holy mā: more holy and also religious then we our selues: a man of excellent witte and excellent lyfe, so as it is thought among all the Prelates he hath not his better nor yet his like. This is not vnknowen both to þe Frēch & English clergy vniuersally, neither can our contradiction preuaile agaynst hym: The truth of this his epistle perhaps is knowen now to many and shall stirre vp many agaynst vs: for he hath the name to be a great Philosopher and singularly sene in all the tonges both Greke, Latine and Hebrue: zelous in iustice, a reader of diuinitie in the scholes, a preacher amongst the people, a louer of Chastitie, and a persecutor of Simony. These wordes spake L. Giles a Spanish Cardinall to the Pope and other mo moued by their conscience to speake. And this counsayle they gaue to the Pope, that he should dissumule and wincke at these thinges as one not seyng or regarding them: least otherwise perhappes, some tumult might rise and spring thereof: Especially seyng this is manifest and knowen to all men, that once must needes come a defection and partyng from the Churche of Rome.

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MarginaliaThe godly talke of Rob. Grosted in time of hys sickenes.Not long after this (aboute the canicular dayes) this reuerend and godly Robert byshop of Lincolne lying at his maner place in Bugden, fel greuously sicke: and therupon within few dayes departed. In the tyme of his sicknesse he called to hym a certaine frier, of the preachyng order named M. Ihon Giles, a man expert & cunnyng both in Phisik and Diuinitie: partly to receaue of hym some comfort of his body, and partly to conferre with hym in spiritual matters. Thus vpon a certayne day, þe said B. cōferring wt the foresayd M. Ihon, & recityng to hym þe doinges & procedings of the Pope: did greuously rebuke & reprehend hys fellow brethren the preachyng friers, and the other order also of the Minorites. That for so much as their order beyng plāted in wilfull pouerty of the spirit, to the entent they should more frely carpe and reproue the vices of the mighty, & not to flatter or spare them, but sharply to rebuke and reprehend the same: The sayd friers contrary to their profession dyd not boldly enough cry out and inuay agaynst the abuses of their superiors and men of power, nor did vncouer nor detect their faultes and wickednes. And therfore sayd the bishop, I iudge them to be no better then manifest heretikes: And addeth moreouer (demaūdyng of maister Ihon) what is heresie? and that he should giue hym, the true definition therof. Whereat, when the frier did stay and pause, not remembryng the solemne definition of that matter: the Byshop therupon inferreth geuyng this difinition in Latine, by the true interpretation of the Greke word: MarginaliaHeresis quid.Heresis Græce, electio Latine, est sententia humano sensu electa, Scripturæ sacræ contraria, palam docta, pertinaciter desensa. That is. MarginaliaDefinition of heresie.Heresy is a sentence taken and chosen of mans owne brayne, contrary to holy Scripture, openly mainteyned, and stifly defended. And this definition geuen, consequently he inferred sharpely reprehending the Prelates of the church, but especially the Romaines: which commit the charge of soules vnto their kinsfolkes beyng both in age vnworthy, and in learning vnsufficient. MarginaliaThe pope proued here an heretike.To geue sayth he, the charge of soules to a boy is a sentence of a prelate chosen and taken of mans owne head, only for carnall and earthly respect: and also is contrary to holy scripture, the which forbiddeth any such to be made ministers or pastors, which are not sufficient to driue away the wolues. And moreouer it is also openly maintayned, because it is manifestly borne abroad and commaunded, with chartes imbulled both with waxe and lead. And finally, it is stifly defended: for if any man shall dare or presume to withstand the same, he is suspended and excommunicated and open warre cryed out agaynst hym: Therfore to whom the whole definition of an heretike doth agree, he is a very hereticke. But euery faithfull Christian man ought to set hymselfe agaynst an hereticke as much as he may: MarginaliaThe saying of GregoryWherfore he that can resist hym and doth not, he sinneth and semeth to be a fautour therof according to the saying of Gregory. He lacketh not conscience of secret societie which ceaseth to resist open impietie. But the friers both Franciscans & Dominikes, are most chiefly bound to withstand such, seyng both of them haue the gift of preaching committed to them by their office, and be more apt to the sayd office, by reason of their pouerty: And therfore, do not onely offend in not resisting such, but also are to be coūted mainteyners of the same, accordyng to the sentence of the Apostle to the Romanes saying: Not onely they which commit such things, but also they that consent are worthy of death. MarginaliaThe pope accused of heresie.Wherefore it may be concluded that as well the Pope (vnlesse he cease from that vice) as also the same friers, vnlesse they shew themselues more earnest and studious in repellyng the same, are both worthy of death, that is perpetuall damnation. Item sayth the Canon decretall, that vpon this vice of heresie the Pope both may and ought to be accused.

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After this, the vehemency of his disease more and more increasing and because the nightes were somethyng longer: the third night before his departure, the bishop feeling hys infirmity to grow vpon hym willed certaine of his clergy to be called vnto him, therby to be refreshed with some conference or communicatiō: Vnto whom the bishop mourning and lamenting in his mynd for the losse of soules through the auarice of the Popes court sayd on this wise, as by certaine Aphorismes. 

Commentary  *  Close
Aphorisms of Robert Grosseteste

The Aphorisms (or statements) of Grosseteste at the Council of Lyons remains the most important documents to illustrate Grosseteste's beliefs in how the church should act and reform itself. Grosseteste presented these documents in a series of rolls and by speeches to the Council. He placed the blame for the failures of the church on Antichrist's influence and that it was no good trying to ignore these problems. The arguments are described more fully in D. A. Callus, Robert Grosseteste: Scholar and Bishop (Oxford, 1955), pp. 209-215.

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These statements were obviously extremely useful to Foxe's argument and could be appropriated as both evidence that corruptions had crept into the church by the thirteenth century, that the Antichrist was a recognised presence and that, in the pope's disregard to Grosseteste, he was himself under the Devils spell. This interpretation was strengthened by the retelling of Innocent IV's (ruled 1243-1254) vision of Grosseteste striking the pope on the left side with a staff, which resulted in a real injury to his left side when he woke. This provided a rhetorically impressive tale of prophecy and retribution tied into the apocalyptic drama of Foxe's account. The Aphorisms were extracted from Matthew Paris, Chronica Majora, ed. Henry Richards Luard, Rolls Series (7 vols., London, 1872-1884), vol. 5, pp. 402-407 while the tale of Gregory IX's vision was almost certainly taken from John Bale, Scriptorum Illustrium maioris Brytanniae …Catalogus (Basel, 1557), p. 288 buffered with added details from Matthew Paris' Chronica Majora, vol. 5, pp. 429-430, 471-2, and the Matthew Paris, Flores Historiarum, ed. Henry Richards Luard, Rolls Series (3 vols., London, 1890), vol. 2, pp. 391-2, 404. The death and vexation of the pope one year after Grosseteste's death in 1253 and the contention for Grosseteste's bishopric that same year was taken from the same sources coupled with Nicholas Trivet, Annalium continuatio; ut et Adami Murimuthensis Chronicon (Oxford, 1722), pp. 243-4.

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Matthew Phillpott
University of Sheffield

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MarginaliaCertaine Aphorismes or articles layd of R. Grosted agaynst the B. of Rome.1. Christ came into the world to saue and win soules: Ergo, he that feareth not to destroy soules may he not worthely be counted Antichrist?

2. The Lord created the whole world in sixe dayes, but in restoring of man he laboured more then 30. yeres. Wherfore, he that is a destroyer of that, about which the Lord so long laboured, is not he worthy to be counted the enemy of God, and Antichrist?

MarginaliaThe pope accused for his wicked clause. (nō obstāte)3. The Pope shameth not impudently to adnihilate and disanull the priuilegies of his holy predecessours Romane Byshops, by this obstacle (Non obstante) which is not done without the preiudice and manifest iniurye of them: For is so doing, he doth reproue and destroy that which so many and so holy men haue builded vp before, and thus semeth he to be a contemner of the Saintes: Worthely therfore he that contemneth shalbe contemned, accoridng to the saying of Esay: Wo to thee that doest despise, for shalt not thou thy selfe be despised? And who shall keepe his priuilegies which so breaketh the priuilegies of others.

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MarginaliaThe pope accused for arrogatyng more then is due to him, & proued not to be equall but inferiour to his predecessours.4. The pope answering hereunto thus defēdeth perhaps hys errour. He that is equall, hath no superioritie ouer hys equall: Therefore no pope hath power to bynde me beyng pope as well as he. To thys I aunswer agayne (quod the Byshop) It seemeth to me, that he that now presently is sayling in the daūgerous seas of this world: and he that is safely ariued in the hauen hauing past all ieopardies, are not both like and equall. Graunt that some Popes be saued (God forbid any should say contrary.) Then sayth our sauiour: He that is least in the kyngdome of heauen, is greater then Ihon Baptist, a greater thē whom did neuer rise amongest the children of men. Is not therfore some pope greater being a giuer and cōfirmer of priuilegies then this that is aliue? Truely me thinkes he is greater. Therfore he hath dominion ouer his inferiour.

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MarginaliaThe pope accused for vndoing the actes & foundations of his predecessours.5. Doth not the Pope, thus say, speaking of all his predecessours for the most part: This our predecessour, and this our predecessour of most worthy memory. &c. And agayne we (sayth he) cleauing to, or folowyng the steppes of our predecessours. &c. And why then do such Popes as come after, destroy these foundations which their predecessours haue layd?

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MarginaliaProued that the pope aliue is inferiour to his predecessours before him. And therfore to haue no autoritie to infringe the priuilegies of other popes.6. Many Apostolicke men comming after, haue confirmed some priuilege beyng graunted by other before: And be not many Byshops being already saued by the grace of God, to be counted greater and better then one Byshop which hath not yet atteined, but standeth in daunger to obteine, that which the other haue got already?

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MarginaliaProued by example of Benet that men more auncient in time ought to be preferred in higher reuerence.7. Also, our former fathers byshops of the Apostolicall sea, in preferment of tyme go before the other, which in tyme come after. And those whom the estimation of ancient time doth aduaunce, such are we bound to esteeme and to haue in more reuerence. Thys did þe holy man Benedict wel cōsider: who in his rule preferreth such as came first in time, whatso

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euer
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