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470 [446]

K. Richard. 2. The bones of I. Wickliffe burned.
¶ The order and maner of taking vp the body of Iohn Wickliffe and burning his bones xli. yeares after his death.

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The first of five large illustrations, which cover the period from Wyclif to Luther. The chance survival of 'proof sheets' from the 1563 edition indicate problems that arose with the printing of a picture of Wyclif's body being posthumously burned. The sheets were identified as 'proof sheets' (even though they are only printed on one side) in the revised STC (no.11222a). Wyclif, who died in his bed, exiled from Oxford where he had recruited a following that proved so challenging, did not make an easy martyr. His views were condemned but he was but by no means persecuted by the Church (though it was long believed by Foxe and others that he had gone into exile abroad for a time). It was the Council of Constance that made it possible to elevate the English heresiarch to new heights, by the judgement that condemned him as a notorious heretic and ordered his body and bones to tbe exhumed and -- providing they could be distinguished from those of others -- cast out of consecrated ground. That was in 1415, when the bishop of Lincoln, who would have had to act, was Philip Repingdon, who might well have found this a repugnant duty. Twelve years later, by which time English heresy seemed to be assuming new dimensions, Pope Martin V took up the case and ordered Bishop Fleming (Repingdon's successor and a man of different mettle) not only to exhume Wyclif's body and bones, but to have them publicly burned. It amounted to an accolade for some of his followers. In order to celebrate the English heresiarch in this posthumous martyrdom Foxe had to anticipate a later part of his narrative on the Council of Constance. The image of the event had no hesitation in portraying each stage of this gruesome process, labelling the church, coffin, and various episcopal officials, who unpacked the bones piece by piece to go into the fire which is already consuming the skull, while the bishop's commissary pours the ashes into the river to prevent any posthumous veneration of the heresiarch's remains. This vivid image might have informed Fuller's commemorative words about how 'this brook hath convey'd his ashes into Avon; Avon into Severn; Severn into the narrow seas; they, into the main Ocean. And thus the ashes of Wickliff are the emblem of his doctrine, which now, is dispersed the world over'. CUL copy: Note that the faces of those depicted are particularly well detailed, e.g., figure detailed 'Com[m]issari' has a flush of colour in his lips, cheeks and ear lobes, which are depicted in a pinkish red. There is also well defined shading of the hands, provided by a pale brown wash. WREN: same stock of colours but not so well executed.

These thinges thus finished and accomplished, which pertayne to the story and tyme of Wickliffe: let vs now (by the supportation of the Lord) proceede to entreat and write of the rest, which eyther in his tyme or after his tyme, springyng out of the same vniuersitie, and raysed vp (as ye wold say) out of hys ashes were pertakers of the same persecution. MarginaliaEx Th. Walden. lib. de sacrament. Of whom speaketh Thomas Walden in hys booke, De sacramentis & sacramentalibus. cap. 53. Where he sayth, that after Wickliff many suffred most cruell death, and many mo did forsake the realme.

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In the number of whome was William Swynderby, Walter Brutte: Iohn Puruey: Richard White: William Thorpe: Raynold Pecock B. of S. Assaph, and afterward of Chichester.

MarginaliaLaurence Redman, Dauid Sawtre, Iohn Aschwerbe, William Iames, Tho. Brightwel, Wiliā Hawlam, Rafe Grenhurst, I. Scut, Phillip Norice, Peter Payne, Lord Cobham. 

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This list of Wiclif's followers is taken from notes John Bale made in the Fasciculi Zizianorum (see Bodley Library MS Musaeo e 86, fos. 61v-63v). This list first appears in Commentarii, fo. 44r-v. It was reprinted in Rerum, pp. 20-21 and was subsequently in each edition of the Acts and Monuments.

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To this Catalogue also pertayneth, mentioned in auncient writers, Laurence Redman 
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Laurence Bedeman or Beadman, not Readman.

maister of Arte, Dauid Sawtre deuine, Iohn Aschwarby vicar as they call him of S. Mary Church at Oxford, William Iames an excellent yong man well learned, Thomas Brightwell, and William Haulam a ciuilian, Rafe Grenhurst, Iohn Scut: & Philip Norice: which beyng excommunicate by Pope Eugenius the 4. in the yeare of our Lord. 1446. appealed vnto a generall or œcumenicall Councell.

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Peter Paine, who flying from Oxford into Boheme, did stoutly contend agaynst the Sophisters, as touchyng both kyndes of the Sacrament of the last supper. Who afterward amongest the rest of the Oratours was one of the 14. that was sent vnto the Councell at Basill: where as by þe space of 3. dayes, he disputed vpon the 4. article, which was as touching the ciuill dominion of the clergy, an. 1438. Also the Lord Cobham. &c.

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To these Oxford men aboue rehersed, and other fauourers of Wickliffe within this our countrey of England we may adde also the Bohemians: for so much as the propagation of the sayd doctrine of Wickliffe, in that countrey also toke roote, commyng from England to Boheme, by this occasion as in story here followeth.

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There chaunced at that tyme a certaine student of the country of Bohemia to be at Oxford, one of a welthy house MarginaliaThe occasion how the doctrine of Wickliffe came to Boheme. and also of a noble stocke. Who returnyng home from the vniuersitie of Oxford, to the vniuersitie of Prage: caried with hym certaine bookes of Wickliffe, De realibus vniuersalibus, De ciuili iure, & Diuino: De ecclesia, De quæstionibus, varijs contra clerum, &c. It chaunced the same tyme a certayn noble man in the City of Prage, had founded and builded a great Church of Mathias and Matheus, which Church was called Bethleem: geuyng to it great landes, & findyng in it two preachers euery day, to preach both holyday and workingday to the people. Of the which two preachers, this Iohn Hus was one, a man of great knowledge, of a pregnant wit, and excellently fauoured for his worthy life amongest them. MarginaliaVVicleuus vir bonus. sanctus cœlo dignus.
The great affection of I. Hus to I. Wickliffe.
This Iohn Hus hauyng familiarity wyth this yong man, in readyng and perusing these bookes of Wickliffe: toke such pleasure and fruite in reading therof, that not onely he began to defend this author openly in the schooles, but also in his sermons: commending him for a good man, an holy man, and heauenly man, wished himselfe when he should die, to be there placed where as the soule of Wickliffe should be. And this for the spreadyng of Wickliffes doctrine enough.

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And thus much briefly concernyng the fauourers & adherents of Iohn Wickliffe, in generall. Now particularly & in order let vs (by Christes grace) prosecute the stories and persecutions of the said parties aforenamed, as the course of theyr tymes shal require, first beginnyng with the valiaunt champions Wil. Swinderby, and Walter Brute.

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The history of William Swinderby. 
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William Swinderby

In the Commentarii (fos. 60v-61r), Foxe wrote that he had read an account in a 'vetustae historiae' [old history] of an elderly priest burned in Smithfield in 1401. (The 'vetustae historiae' was, in fact, College of Arms MS Arundel 7, a version of Thomas of Walsingham's Chronica Majora). Foxe speculated that this elderly priest was William Swinderby and reprinted the reference to the 'vetustae historiae' and his opinion that it referred to Swinderby in the Rerum (pp. 59-60) and in all of the editions of the Acts and Monuments. But in the 1570 edition, Foxe added a great deal more material about Swinderby. His account of Swinderby's trial and abjuration in Lincoln is taken from the Fasciculi Zizianniorum. The remaining material, concerning Swinderby's 1391 appearances before Bishop John Trefnant of Hereford come from Bishop Trefnant's register. Comments by Foxe indicate that he consulted the actual register and made a copy from it, and furthermore, that he had borrowed the register and had to return it. It seems likely that Bishop John Scory of Hereford, who had been bishop of Chichester under Edward VI, and who went into exile under Mary, procured the register for Foxe. The 1570 account of Swinderby was reprinted faithfully, without change, in all subsequent unabridged editions of the Acts and Monuments. Foxe concluded his account with his persistently held, but erroneous belief that Swinderby was executed. In fact, Swinderby was condemned by Trefnant in 1391, escaped from custody, appealed to Richard II, and by March 1392 was being sought in Wales. He eluded his pursuers and later researchers, and vanished from the historical record.

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Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield

Marginalia1389.
Ex Registro Epscopi Herfordensis.
W. Swinderby first examined. Denouncers of W. Swinderby 3. Friers. Fresby. Hinkby, Blaxton.
IN the yeare 1389. 

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Actually this trial took place in 1382. Foxe's account of it was entirely derived from the Fasciculi Zizanniorum (see Bodley Library MS Musaeo e 86, fos. 81v-82v).

William Swinderby priest within the diocesse of Lincolne beyng accused and detected vpon certayn opinions, was presented before Iohn 
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I.e., John Buckingham, bishop of Lincoln.

Bishop of Lincolne, and examined vpon certayne articles in the Church of Lincolne, after the forme and order of the Popes law, accordyng to theyr vsual rite obserued, hys denoūcers wer these: Frier Frisby obseruāt, Frier Hincley Augustine: & Tho. Blaxton Dominican. The Articles wherewith they charged hym, although in forme of wordes as they put them vp, myght seeme somethyng straunge here to bee recited:

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