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520 [496]

K. Henry. 4. Notes of Parliamentes. Deposing of K. Richard. 2.

MarginaliaEx titu 9. Moreouer, in the sayd parliament, the yeare abouesaid of the king, the 26. day of Ianuary, M. Iohn Mandour Clarke, was charged openly in the parliament, that he shoulde not passe, ne send ouer to Rome, ne attēpt or do any thing there touching the Archdeaconry of Durham in preiudice of the king or of hys lawes, or of the party presented thereto by the kyng, on perill that might ensue.

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MarginaliaEx an. 14. regis Richardi. secundi. tit. 6 The next yere folowing which was the 14. of this kings reigne, it was enacted first touchyng the staplers, that after the feast of the Epiphany next ensuing, þe staple should be remoued from Calice into England, in such places as are cōteined in the statute made in 27. Edw. 3. the which statute should be fully executed: and further, that euery Alien that bringeth merchandise into the realme, should finde sufficient suretie to buy and cary away commodities of the realme, to halfe the value of his sayd merchaundise.

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MarginaliaTitul. 24.
Agaynst vsury.
Item, in the same parliament petition was made, that agaynst the horrible vice of vsury then termed shiftes, practised as well by the clergy as laitie, the order made by Iohn Notte, late Mayor of London, might be executed throughout the realme.

MarginaliaEx tit. 29. Moreouer in the xv. yere of the raigne of the foresayd K. it was accorded: for that sir William Brian knight, had purchased from Rome a Bull directed to the Archb. of Cant. and Yorke, to excommunicate such as had broken vp his house, and had taken away diuers letters, priuiledgies, and charters. The same Bull beyng red in the parliament, was adiudged preiudiciall to the kings crowne, and in derogation of the laws, for the which he was by the king and assent of the Lordes committed to the Tower, there to remayne at the kinges will and pleasure.

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MarginaliaVide Articulum. Tit. 29. In the said parliament also, W. Archb. of Cant. maketh his protestation in open parliament saying, that the pope ought not to excommunicate any bishop, or to entermedle, for, or touching, any presentment to any ecclesiasticall dignity recorded in any the kings courtes. He further protested, that the pope ought to make no translations, to any bishopricke, within the realme agaynst the kinges will: for that þe same was to the destruction of the realme and crowne of Englād which hath alway bene so free, as the same hath had none earthly souerain, but onely subiect to god in all things touching regalties, and to none other. The which protestation he prayd might be entred.

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MarginaliaEx An. 17. Reg. Rich. 2. Titul. 33. In the 17. yere of the reigne of the king aforesayd, it was desired that remedy might be had, against such religious persons as caused their villaines or vnderlings to mary fre women inheritable, wherby the landes came to those religious mens hands by collusion.

Marginalia43. Item, that sufficient persons might be presented to benefices who may dwel on the same so as their flocke for want therof do not perish.

Marginalia46. Item, that remedy might be had agaynst the Abbotes of Colchester and Abinton, who in their townes of Colchester and Colnham claime to haue sanctuary.

MarginaliaEx an. 20. Reg. Rich. 2. tit. 22. To come to the parliament holden in the. xx. yeare of this kings raigne, we find moreouer in the sayd rolles: how that the Archb. of Cant. and Yorke, for themselues and the clergy of their prouinces, declared to the king in open parliamēt: that forasmuch as they were sworne to the Pope and see of Rome, if any thyng were in the parliament attempted in restraint of the same, they would in no wise assent therto, but verily withstand the same, MarginaliaHere the Arch. of Cant goeth contrary to himselfe. the which their protestation they require to be enrolled.

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MarginaliaTitu. 35. Vpon the petition of the begging Friers there at large, it was enacted: that none of that order should passe ouer the seas, without licence of hys soueraigne, nor that he shulde take vpon hym no order of M. of Diuinitie, vnlesse he were first apposed in his Chapter prouinciall, on paine to be out of the kings protection.

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MarginaliaTit. 36 Item, that the kinges officers for making arestes or attachments in churchyardes, are therfore excommunicated, wherof remedy was required.

MarginaliaEx 21. an. Reg. Rich. 2. tit. 15 In the yeare of the same Kinges raigne. xxj. the Parliament beyng holden at Westminster, we find how the commons in full Parliament, accused Thomas Arundell Archbishop of Caunterbury, for that he as Chauncellour procured, and as chiefe doer executed the same commission, made trayterously in the tenth yeare of the King. And also that he the sayde Archbishop procured the Duke of Gloucester and the Earles of Arūdell and Warwike, to encroch themselues royall power, and to iudge to death Symon de Burley, and Sir Iohn Barners without the Kynges assent. Whereon, the Commons required that the same Archebyshop might rest vnder safe kepyng: whereunto, for that the same impeachments touched so great a person, they woulde be aduised

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MarginaliaEx tit. 16 Item, the. xxv. day of September, the commons prayed the Kyng to geue iudgement agaynst the sayde Archbishop, accordyng to hys desertes. The kyng aunswered, that priuately the sayd Archbishop had confessed to hym, how he mistooke hymselfe in the sayde Commission, and therefore submitted hymselfe to the Kinges mercy. MarginaliaTho. Arundell Archb. of Cant. proued a traitour by Parliament Wherefore, the Kyng, Lordes and sir Thomas Percy, proctor for the clergy: adiudged the facte of the sayd Archbishop to be treason, and hymselfe a traytour, and therfore it was ordered: that the sayde Archbishop should be banished, his temporalties seased, hys landes and goods forfeyted, as well in vse as in possession.

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MarginaliaEx tit. 17 The king further prescribed, that the said Archb. should take hys passing on Friday within 6. weekes of Michaelmas, at Douer, towardes the partes of Fraunce.

Thus hauyng hitherto sufficiently touched and comprehended such thinges as haue happened in the raigne of this King, necessary for the Churche to know, by course of story: we come now to the xxij. yeare of King Richardes raigne, Marginalia[illegible text]. which is the yere of our Lord, 1399. 

Commentary  *  Close
Deposition of Richard II

Although the Acts and Monuments was an ecclesiastical history, Foxe devoted a great deal of space to the fall, deposition and death of Richard II. Foxe stated his reasons for this apparent disgression - to satisfy the curiosity of his readers and to provide a cautionary example for other monarchs to heed. (One can readily assume that the second reason was more pressing with Foxe than the first). Perhaps above all, Foxe wanted his readers (especially those of high rank) to remember the most fundamental lesson to be drawn from the fall of Richard: that it was caused by God's anger with Richard because the king did not sufficiently protect the Lollards. (The warning to Elizabeth, at a time when Foxe and other Protestants were urging her to protect Protestants in the Netherlands and France, and also to reform the English church thoroughly, is unspoken but unmistakeable). But Foxe pointed to other secondary reasons (often with strong didactic overtones) for Richard's downfall. One was Richard's reliance on evil counsellors and favourites, which led to quarrels with his nobles. Another was Richard's bad relations with the citizens of London, which Foxe attributed, in part, to their support for Wiclif and his followers. A third reason was the suspicion and fear that followed Richard's murder of his uncle Thomas of Woodstock. Foxe cites Fabyan's chonicle, the 'chronicle of S. Albans' and, rather airily, 'the kings records' and 'other histories at large'. In actual fact, apart from one item taken from Fabyan's chronicle (that Thomas Percy, earl of Worcester and other members of Richard's household deserted the king; see The chronicle of Fabian (London, 1559, STC 10664, p. 345), all of Foxe's account is taken from what he calls the chronicle of St. Albans. This is College of Arms Arundel MS 7 (see Thomas of Walsingham, Historia Anglicana, ed. H. T. Riley, 2 vols., Rolls Series 28 [London, 1863-4], II, pp. 140-1, 148-50, 152-3, 156, 160, 165-7, 172-4, 207-11, 213, 223-5,227-8, 232-5, 237 and 245-6).

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Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield

Marginalia[illegible text] Rich. the 2.
The story [illegible text] & lamentable.
In the which yeare happened the straunge and also lamentable deposing of this Kyng Richard the second aforesayd, from his kingly scepter. Straunge, for that the lyke example hath not often bene sene in seates royall. Lamentable, for that it can not be but grieuous to any good mans hart, to see hym eyther so to deserue, if he were iustly deposed: or if he were vniustly depriued, to see the kingly title there not able to hold hys ryght, where by force, it is compelled to geue place to might.

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As concernyng the order and processe of whose deposing for that it neither is greatly pertinent to my argument, and is sufficiently conteyned in Robert Fabian, and in the kings recordes, in the Chronicle of S. Albans, and in other histories at large, it were here tedious and superfluous to intermedle with repetyng therof. What were the conditions and properties of this kyng, partly before hath bene touched. MarginaliaVices and vertues mixt in K. Richard. In whō as some good vertues may be noted: so also some vices may seeme to be mixed withal. But especially this, þt he starting out of þe steps of his progenitors, ceased to take part wt them, which tooke part with the Gospell. Whereupon, it so fel not by the blinde wheele of fortune, but by the secret hand of hym, which directeth all states: MarginaliaWhat it is to forsake the maintenaunce of the Gospell. that as he beganne to forsake the maintayning of the Gospell of God, so the Lord God began to forsake him. And where the protection of God beginneth to fayle, there can lack no causes to be charged with all, whom God once geueth ouer to mans punishment. So that to me, considering the whole life and trade of this Prince, among all other causes alledged in stories against hym: none seemeth so much to be wayed of vs, or more hurtfull to him, then this forsaking of the Lord and of his worde. Although to such as list more to be certified in other causes concurring withall, many and sondrye defectes in that king may appeare in stories MarginaliaArticles 33. layd against K. Richard. to the number of 33. articles alleged or forced rather agaynst hym.

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In which, as I cannot deny, but that he was worthy of much blame: so to be displaced therfore from his regall seat, and rightfull state of the crowne, it may be thought perhaps the causes not to be so rare or so materiall in a prince, which either could or ells would haue serued: had not he geuen ouer before to serue the Lorde and hys worde, chusing rather to serue the humour of the Pope and bloudy Prelates, then to further the Lordes proceedynges in preachyng of hys woorde. And then as I sayd, howe can enemies lacke where GOD standeth not to friende? or what cause can bee so little, which is not able enough to cast downe, where the Lordes arme is shortened to sustayne? MarginaliaGods speciall fauour necessary for princes. Wherfore, it is a poynte of principall wisedome in a Prince not to forget, that as he standeth alwayes in nede of God his helpyng hand: so alwayes he haue the discipline and feare of hym before his eyes, accordyng to the counsaile of the godly Kyng Dauid. MarginaliaPsal. 2. Psal. 2.

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And thus much touching the tyme and rase of this K. Richard, with the tragicall story of his deposing. The order and maner wherof purposely I pretermitte, onely contented briefly to laye together, a fewe speciall thinges done before his fall, suche as may be sufficient in a briefe somme, both to satisfie the Reader inquisitiue of such stories, and also to forwarne other princes to beware the lyke daungers. MarginaliaThe K. led with lewde counsayle. In such as write the lyfe and Actes of this prince, thus I read of him reported, þt he was much inclined to the fauoryng and aduauncing of certain persons about him, & ruled al by their counsaell, which were thē greatly abhorred & hated in the realme: The names of whom were Rob. Weer, whō the Kyng had made Duke of Ireland, Alexander Neuile

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