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464 [440]

K. Richard. 2. The history of Iohn Wickliffe and his fellowes.

notwithstandyng, if he had appeared. It is no reason if the Squirill climyng to the tree from the Lyons clawes, would not appeare, beyng sent for to be deuoured: that the Eagle therfore should seise vpon him without any iust cause, declared agaynst the partie. Wherefore accordyng to this, and to that aforesayd when he shall appere, and you be called, and the cause iustly wayed, due execution shal be ministred.

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And thus farre concernyng Nicholas Herford, and the other aforesayd, but all this meane while 

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Wiclif and Urban VI

In the Commentarii, Foxe wrote that Wiclif was banished (this is an error Foxe derived from John Bale), but that he returned to Lutterworth where he died.Forty years later, at the pope's command, Wiclif's bones were exhumed and burned and their ashes cast into a river (Commentarii, fos. 32r-v). This was based on information gleaned from Bale's writings (see Bale, Summarium, fos. 155r and 157v as well as Select Works of John Bale, ed. Henry Christmas, Parker Society (Cambridge, 1849), p. 394). In the Commentarii, Foxe also wrote praising Bale for his work in recovering Lollard documents and he produced Wiclif's letter to Urban VI which was copied from the Fasciculi Zizaniorum (cf. Bodley Library, Musaeo e 86, fo. 83r-v with Commentarii, fos. 33r-34v). Foxe also printed another document, copied from the Fasciculi Zizaniorum, Wiclif's public response to questions put to him by Richard II and the Privy Council (cf. Bodley Library, Musaeo e 86, fos. 66v-67v with Commentarii, fos. 34v-37r).

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This material was reprinted without change in the Rerum (pp. 15-17) except that Foxe added a reference to the archbishop of Prague burning Wiclif's books; this came from Bale, Summarium fo. 157v (cf. Rerum, p. 15). This material was translated into the 1563 edition without any change. In 1570, Foxe, however, made some corrections, conceding that Wiclif may not have gone into exile and correcting the date of his death. Foxe also added an account of the disastrous 'crusade' Henry Despenser, the bishop of Norwich, led against the French; this account was taken from College of Arms MS Arundel 7, a version of Thomas of Walsingham's Chronica majora. The version of all of these documents and events in the 1570 edition was reprinted without change in 1576 and 1583.

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Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield

what became of Iohn Wickleffe it is not certainely knowen. Albeit so farre as may be gathered out of Walden, it appeareth that he was banished, and driuen to exile 
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In the Commentarii (fo. 32r-v) and the Rerum (p. 15) Foxe wrote that Wiclif had probably been exiled, that he returned home and died in Lutterworth in 1387. Foxe repeated this in the 1563 edition (p. 98). Foxe was basing this on Bale - although significantly, Foxe was more tentative about the exile than Bale had been (See Bale, Summarium, fos. 155r and 157v). In fact, Wiclif had not been exiled and Foxe replaced this with an even more tentative passage in the 1570 edition. In the second edition, Foxe also corrected the date of Wiclif's death to 1384.

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. In the meane tyme it is not to be doubted, but he was alyue duryng all this while, wheresoeuer he was as by his letter may appeare, which he about this time wrote to Pope Vrbane the vj. In the which letter he doth purge himselfe, that beyng commaunded to appeare before the Pope at Rome, he came not: declaryng also in the same a brief confession of his faith. The copy of which Epistle here followeth. 
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This letter is Wiclif's response to Urban VI's demand that he appear before the pope. Wisely, Wiclif decined to appear. The letter is reprinted from Bodley Library, Musaeo e 86, fo. 83r-v.

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¶ The Epistle of Iohn Wickleffe sent vnto Pope Vrbane the 6. An. 1382.

MarginaliaThe Epistle of Iohn Wickliffe to pope Vrbane. VErely I do reioyce to open and declare the fayth which I do hold vnto euery mā. And specially vnto the Bish. of Rome, the which for so much as I do suppose to be sounde and true, he will most willyngly confirme my sayd fayth, or if it be erroneous amende the same.

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First I suppose, that the Gospell of Christ, is the whole body of Gods law, & that Christ which did geue that same law himselfe, I beleue him to be very mā, and in that point, to excede the law of the Gospel, and all other partes of the Scripture. Agayne I do geue and hold, that the Byshop of Rome, for so much as he is the Vicare of Christ here in earth, to be bound most of all other men vnto that law of the Gospell. For the greatnesse amongest Christes Disciples, did not consiste in worldly dignitie or honours, but in the neare and exact folowyng of Christ, in his life and maners: wherupon I do gather out of the hart of the law of the Lord, that Christ for the tyme of his pilgrimage here, was a most poore man, abiecting and castyng of all worldly rule and honour, as it appeareth by the Gospell of Math. the. 8. and the ij. Cor. 8. chapter.

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Hereby I do fully gather, that no faithfull man ought to folow, neither the Pope himselfe, neither any of the holy men, but in such pointes, as he hath folowed the Lord Iesus Christ. MarginaliaThe true disciples of Christ seeke no honour. For Peter and the sonnes of Zebede by desyring worldly honour, contrary to the folowyng of Christes steppes did offende, and therfore in those errours, they are not to be folowed.

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Hereof I do gather, as a Councell, that the Pope ought to leaue vnto the secular power, all temporall dominiō and rule, and thereunto effectually to moue and exhorte his whole Clergy: for so did Christ, and specially by his Apostles. Wherfore, if I haue erred in any of these points, I will most humbly submit my selfe vnto correction, euē by death if necessitie so require: And if I could labour accordyng to my will or desire in my own person, I would surely present my selfe before the Byshop of Rome: but the Lord hath otherwise visited me to the contrary, and hath taught me rather to obey God then men. For so much then, as God hath geuen vnto our Pope, iust and true Euangelicall instinctiōs, we ought to pray, that those motiōs be not extinguished by any subtle or crafty deuise.

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And that the Pope and Cardinals, be not moued to do any thyng, contrary vnto the law of the Lord. Wherfore let vs pray vnto our God, that he will so styrre vp our pope Vrbane the sixt as he began, that he with his Clergy may follow the Lord Iesus Christ, in lyfe and maners: & that they may teache the people effectually, and that they lykewise may faithfully follow them in the same. And let vs specially pray, that our Pope may be preserued from all maligne and euill counsell, as whiche do know that euill and enuious men of his houshold would geue him. And seyng the Lord will not suffer vs to be tēpted aboue our power, much lesse then will he require of any creature to do that thyng whiche they are not able: for somuch, as that is the playne condition and maner of Antichrist.

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MarginaliaThe pope occupyed so in schismaticall that he had no leysure to other matters. Thus much wrote Iohn Wickliffe vnto Pope Vrbane: but this pope Vrbane otherwise termed Turbanus, was so hote in his warres agaynst Clement the French Pope his aduersary, that he had no leasure, and lesse lyst, to attend vnto Wickliffes matters. By the occasion of which schisme, God so prouided for poore Wickleffe, that he was in some more rest & quietnes. Cōcerning which schismatical warres of these popes, for as much as we haue here entred into the mention thereof, it shall not be impertinent from the order of our story, disgressing a litle frō the matter of Iohn Wickleffe, to touch somethyng of the tragicall doynges of these two holy Popes striuyng for the triple crowne: to the intent that the Christian reader (iudgyng by their fruites and procedynges) may see and vnderstand what difference is betwene these Popes, and Christ and his Apostles. MarginaliaDifference betwene the Apostles and the Popes in striuing for preeminence. For though in the story of the Gospell it is read, that certaine of the disciples dyd striue which should be the greater, yet neither do we read that one of them tooke euer weapō agaynst the other: and moreouer in the sayd story of the Gospell it doth appeare, that they in so striuing as they did, were therfore sharply rebuked of our Sauiour Christ, & were taught by him an other lesson.

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Marginalia1383. About the begynning of the next yeare followyng, which was an. 1383 

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Henry Despenser, the bishop of Norwich, had proposed - possibly at the instigation of Urban VI, to lead a military expedition into Flanders. To the English, this was simply another campaign in the Hundred Years War, with the strategic objective of harassing the French from the north. However, since the French were the chief supporters of the anti-pope Clement VII the expedition was also declared to be a crusade by Urban VI, who granted Despenser sweeping privileges to facilitate his raising and maintaining the expedition. (And since it was a crusade, most of the costs were shifted onto the clergy, thus pleasing both the Crown and the Commons who were delighted at thought of an inexpensive war). Foxe drew his account of the 'crusade from the version of Thomas Walsingham's Chronica majora in College of Arms MS Arundel 7 (cf the printed version in Historia Anglicana, ed. H. T. Riley, Rolls Series 28, 2 vols. [London, 1863-4], II, pp. 76-80 and 88-100. Foxe is interested in the episode largely to demonstrate the bloodthirsty nature of the Papacy and its devotion to political, rather than spiritual, objectives. As a result, Foxe dramatically compresses Walsingham's narrative, rendering the account of military operations somewhat unclear.

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. Pope Vrbane settyng all his study howe to represse and conquere the contrary Pope his aduersary, being then at Auinion (seyng all his other meanes to fayle, and that his crosse keyes could do no good) tooke to hym the sword of Romulus, & set vpon him with open warre. MarginaliaThe pope set to warre. And first deuising wt himselfe whom he might best chuse for his chief champion: thought none meeter for such affaires then Harry Spencer beyng then Byshop of Norwiche, a yoūg and a stoute Prelate, more fitter for the campyng cure, then for the peaceable church of Christ, as partly also might appeare before by his actes done at Lēnam in striuyng for the Mayres Mace, mentioned before, pag. 424. Vnto this bishop of Norwyche, the Pope had sent his bulles aboute thys tyme, to Croysie 
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I.e., to enlist on a crusade.

whosoeuer would go wt him into Fraūce, to destroy the Antipope which named himselfe Clement, & to make warre agaynst all those that toke his part. Which Bulles, for that they gaue vnto him so great authoritie, he caused to be published in the Parliament house, and caused the copies of the same to be sent all about, and to be set vp & fastened vpon all church doores & monastery gates that all men might read them. In the which Bulles these priuilegies were graunted, the copy wherof here followeth 
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This a papal bull granting Henry Despenser extraordinary powers to further his 'crusade'. It is taken from College of Arms MS Arundel 7 (see Thomas Walsingham, Historia Anglicana, ed. H. T. Riley, Rolls Series 28, 2 vols. [London, 1863-4], vol. II, pp. 76-8).

.

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MarginaliaThe very fruites of Antichrist. 1. In primis, that the sayd Byshop of Norwich may vse his sword agaynst the Antipope, & all his adherents, fauourers, and coūsellers, and with violence put them to death.

2. Item, that he hath ful power to inquire of all and singular such schismatikes and to put them in prison: and to confiscate all their goodes mouable and immouable.

3. Item, that he hath power and authoritie to depriue all lay men that are such schismatickes of all manner secular offices whatsoeuer, and to geue their offices to other fitte and conuenient persons.

4. Item, that he may depriue all such Clerkes, and declare them to be schismatikes, and in this behalfe to geue and bestow their benefices either with cure or without cure, their dignities, personages or offices, to other persons more meet for the same.

5. Item, he hath power & authoritie ouer lay persons that are exempt, and Clerkes both secular and reguler, yea although they be Friers mendicantes, or maisters and professours of other houses or hospitals of S. Iohnes of Ierusalem, or S. Mary of Flaunders, or professours of what orders soeuer els.

6. Item, he hath power to dispense with what secular Clerkes soeuer, beyng beneficed either with cure or without cure, and also with such as haue dignities, personages, or offices, beyng regulers either exempt or not exempt, that euery one of them may be absent with him from their dignities & benefices. &c. vnder the standerd of the crosse, without licence of any of their Prelates required, and yet to receaue and take the intire commodities of their benefices, as though they had bene personally resident vpon the same.

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7. Itē, there is graunted to all that passe the Seas in this quarell, either at their owne expenses, or at the expēses of any other, full remission of their sinnes: & as large priuilegies are graūted to all those that go ouer the sea with him, as to any that pay their money, or go to fight for the holy land.

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8. Also, all such as with their proper goods and substaūce shall geue sufficient stipend to able souldiours, at the discretion of the foresayd Lord Byshop mustered, or by any other his deputie, although he himselfe be not personally at this busines aforesayd: yet shal he haue like remission, and indulgence, as they which haue bene personally with him in this expedition.

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9. Itē, all they are partakers of this remission, which shall geue any part of their goods to the sayde Byshop to fight agaynst the sayd schismatikes.

10. Item,
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