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448 [424]

K. Edward. 3. The history of Iohn Wickliffe.

he must nedes communicate the same to them. Who vnlesse they with spedy circumspection do occurre and preuent perils that may and are like to ensue, it would turne in þe end to their no smale incommoditie. And as there were many other things, which required their vigilant care and diligēce: so one thyng there was, which he could in no wise but admonish them of: which was this, necessary to be considered of them all, how the Lord Marshall Henry Percy in hys place within himself had one in ward and in custody, whither with the knowledge, or without the knowledge of them, he could not tell: this he could tell, that the sayd lord Marshall was not alowed any such ward or prison in his house, with in the liberties of the city. Which thyng if it be not sene to in tyme the example therof being suffered, would in fine bread to such a preiudice vnto their customs and liberties, as they should not hereafter, when they would reforme the iniurie therof.

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MarginaliaThe Citizens of London breake vp the L. Percies house at Sauoy. These wordes of the Lord Fizwalter were not so sone spoken, but they were as soone taken of the rashe citizens, who in all hasty fury running to their armour and weapōs, went incontinently to the house of the Lorde Percy, where breakyng vp the gates, by violence they toke out the prisoner, and burned the stockes wherin he sate, in the midst of London. Then was the Lord Percy sought for (whome sayth the story) they would doubtlesse haue slayne if they might haue found him. With their bils and iauelins, all corners and priuy chambers were searched, beds and hangings torne a sunder. MarginaliaGods prouision in sauing hys seruauntes. But the Lord Percy (as God would) was then with the Duke, whom one Iohn Yper the same day with great instance had desired to dinner. The Londiners not findyng hym at home, and supposing that he was wyth the Duke at Sauoy, in all hasty heate turned their power thither, runnyng as fast as they could to the Dukes house. Where also in lyke manner they were disappointed of theyr cruell purpose. MarginaliaThe house of the Duke of Lancaster searched of the Londiners. In the meane while as this was doyng, cōmeth one of the dukes men runnyng post hast, to the duke & to the Lord Percy, declaryng what was done. The Duke beyng then at his oysters, without any farther tarying, MarginaliaThe Duke and L. Percy flye to the Prince. and also breakyng both hys shinnes at the forme for haste, tooke boate with the Lorde Percy, and by water went to Kingston, where thē the princesse with Richard the young Prince did lye. Who there declared vnto the princesse all the whole matter, concerning the outrage of the Londiners as it was. To whom she promised agayne, such an order to be taken in the matter, as should be to his contentation. At what tyme the commons of London, thus, as is sayd, were about the dukes house at Sauoy, meeteth with them a certaine priest, who maruelyng at the sodain rage & concourse, asked what they sought. To whome aunswer was geuen agayne of some, that they sought for the Duke and Lorde Marshall, to haue of them the Lord Peter de la Mare, whō they wrongfully had deteined in prison. To this the Priest aunswered agayne more boldly then oportunely. That Peter, sayd he, is a false traytour to the Kyng, and woorthy long since to be hanged. MarginaliaA priest in the Duke of Lancasters house cruelly killed. At the hearing of these wordes, the furious people with a terrible shoute cryed out vpon hym, that he was a traytour and one that toke the Dukes part and so fallyng vppon hym with their weapons striued who might first strike at hym. Who after they had wounded hym very sore, so beyng wounded they had hym into prison, where within few dayes vpon the sorenes of his woundes he dyed.

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Neither would the rage of the people thus haue ceased had not the bishop of London leauing his diner come to thē at Sauoy, and putting them in remembrance of the blessed tyme (as they terme it) of Lent, had perswaded thē to cease and to be quiet. MarginaliaThe villany of the Londiners agaynst the Duke. The Londiners seyng that they could get no vauntage agaynst the Duke: who was without their reach: To bewreke their anger they toke his armes, which in most despitefull wise, they hanged vp in the open places of the citie, in signe of reproch, as for a traitour. In so much that when one of his gentlemen came through the citiy with a plate cōteining the dukes armes, hanging by a lace about his neck: the citizens not abiding the sight therof, cast him from hys horse, and pluckt his scutchine from hym, & were about to worke þe extremitie against him, had not the Mayor rescued him out of their handes, and sent him home safe vnto þe duke his maister. In such hatred was then the Duke among the vulgar people of London.

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MarginaliaThe message of the princesse to the Londiners. After this, the princesse vnderstanding the hartes and broyle of the Londiners set agaynst the foresayd duke, sent vnto London 3. Knightes, sir Albred Lewer, 

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This is Foxe's very garbled version of the name Sir Aubrey de Vere.

sir Symon Burle, and sir Lewes Cliffort, to entreat the citizens to be reconciled with the Duke. The Londiners answered: that they for þe honor of the princesse, would obey and do with all reuerence, what she would require. But this they required and enioyned the messengers to say to the Duke, by worde of mouth, that he should suffer the bishop of Winchester afore mentioned and also the Lord Peter de la Mare, to come to their aunswer, and to be iudged by theyr pieres. Wherby either they might be quite if they were giltles: or otherwise, if they be found culpable, they might receyue accordyng to their desertes after the lawes of the realme. What grief and displeasure the Duke conceyued and reteyned in his mynde hereof: Agayne what meanes and sute the Londiners for theyr part made to the olde kyng for their liberties: What rymes and songes in London, were made against the duke: How the bishops at the dukes request were mooued to excommunicate those malitious slanderers: MarginaliaThe Duke reuenged of the Londiners. And moreouer, how the duke at last was reuenged of those contumelies & iniuries: How he caused them to be brought before þe king: How sharpely they were rebuked for theyr misdemeanour, by the worthy oration of the Lord Chamberlayne, Robert Aston in the presence of the kyng, Archbishops, Byshops, with diuers other states, the kings children, and other nobilities of the realme: MarginaliaThe Londiners caused to beare a taper of waxe in procession, in honour of the Duke. In conclusion, how the Londiners were compelled to this at length, by the common assent, & publike charges of the city, to make a great taper of waxe, which with the Dukes armes set vpon it, should be brought with solemne procession to the church of S. Paule, there to burne continually before the Image of our Lady: And at last, how both the sayd Duke and the Londiners were reconciled together in the beginnyng of the new kyng. wyth the kisse of peace, and the same reconcilement publikely denounced in the church of Westminster, and what ioy was in the whole city thereof: These because they are impertinent, & make to long a digression from the matter of Wickliffe, I cut of with breuitie, referryng the reader to other histories, namely of S. Albones, where they are to be founde at large.

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MarginaliaA story of the Byshop of Norwich. As these aforesayd, 

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Hugh Despenser, bishop of Norwich

Foxe drew this account of an altercation between Henry Despenser, the bishop of Norwich and the town of Bishop's Lynn (now King's Lynn) from BL, Harley 3634, a version of Thomas Walsingham's Chronica majora which covered the years 1376-82. (Foxe obtained this manuscript from Matthew Parker). Although Walsingham had little use for Despenser, whom Walsingham depicted as immature, ignorant, arrogant and headstrong, Foxe liberally strewed adjectives and editorial judgements through this account, denigrating Despenser further than Walsingham had done. Foxe's purpose in relating this episode was, as he declared, to portray the temporal pride and claims to secular jurisdiction of the medieval clergy.

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Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield

for breuitie sake I passe ouer, so will I not be long and yet cannot omitte that, which happened the same tyme and yeare, to the bishop of Norwige, to the intent that this posteritie now may see, to what pride the clergy then of the Popes church was grown to. MarginaliaExample of pride in the popes clergie. The same tyme as this broyle was at Londō, the bishop of Norwige a little after the tyme of Easter commyng to the towne of Lennam,, 
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I.e. Lynn.

belongyng to his Lordship: beyng not contented with the old accustomed honour due vnto hym, and vsed of hys predecessours before in the same towne, required moreouer with a new and vnused kynd of magnificēce to be exalted: In so much, that when he saw the chiefe Magistrate or Major of that town to go in the stretes with his officer goyng before hym, holding a certayne wande in hys hande tipped at both endes with blacke horne, as the maner was: He reputyng himself to be the Lord of that towne (as he was, 
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Foxe's syntax is unclear here, but what he is saying is that Despenser took offence that the mayor of Bishop's Lynn was acting as if he was the lord of the city, when, in fact, Despenser, as bishop of Norwich, was just that.

) and thinking to be higher then the highest, commaunded þe honour of that staffe due to the Mayor, to be yelded & borne before his lordly personage: MarginaliaThe courtesie of the townesmen toward the Byshop. The Mayor or Bayliffe, with other the townesmen, courteously aunswered to him again: that they were right willyng and contented with all theyr hartes to exhibite that reuerence vnto hym, and would so do, if he first of the kyng and counsail could obtayne that custome, and if the same might be induced after any peaceable way with the good wils of the commons and body of the towne: Other els, said they, as the matter was dangerous so they durst not take in hand any such new alteratiō of ancient customes and liberties, least the people (which is alwayes inclinable and prone to euill) do fall vpon thē wyth stones, and driue them out of the towne. Wherfore kneelyng on their knees before hym, humbly they besought him, that he would require no such thing of them: that he would saue hys owne honor and their lyues, who otherwise if he intended that way, were in great danger. MarginaliaThe stout answere of the bishop to the towneship. But þe Bishop youthfull and hauty,, 
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This is Foxe's characterization, and it is not from Walsingham.

taking occasion by their humblenes, to swell the more in himself, answered that he would not be taught by their counsaile, but that he would haue it done, though all the commons (whom he named Ribals) said nay. Also rebuked the Mayor and his brethren for mecockes, 
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I.e. cowards.

and dastards, for so fearyng the vulgar sort of people.

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The citizens perceiuing the wilfull stoutnes of the Bishop, meekly answering again, sayd, they minded not to resist him, but to let him do therin what he thought good, only desired him that he would licence them to departe, and holde them excused for not wayting vpon him, and conductyng hym out of the towne wyth that reuerence which hee requyred. For if they should be seene in his companye, all the suspicion thereof would be vpon them, and so should they be all in daunger, so much as their liues were worth. The bishop not regarding theyr aduise and counsaile, commaūded one of his men to take þe rod borne before þe Maior,

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