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King's Lynn (Bishop's Lynn) [Lennam; Linne; Lynne]

Norfolk

OS grid ref: TF 615 205

 
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Kings Lynn, Lynn Regis
Linne, Lynn, Lynne
NGR: TF 615 200

A borough having exclusive jurisdiction, although locally in the Lynn division of the hundred of Freebridge, county of Norfolk. 44 miles west by north from Norwich. The town comprises the parishes of All Saints, Southgate, St. Edmund, North End, and St. Margaret's; all in the Archdeaconry and Diocese of Norwich. The living of All Saints is a vicarage; St. Edmund, North End is a sinecure rectory; and St. Margaret's is a perpetual curacy

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English information from Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England (S. Lewis & Co: London, 1831)

Scottish information from Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (S. Lewis & Co: London, 1846)

Welsh information taken from Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales(Lewis & Co: London, 1840)

The reason for the use of these works of reference is that they present the jurisdictional and ecclesiastical position as it was before the major Victorian changes. The descriptions therefore approximate to those applying in the sixteenth century, after the major changes of 1535-42. Except for the physical locations, which have not changed, the reader should not therefore take these references as being accurate in the twenty-first century.

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452 [428]

K. Edward. 3. The historie of Iohn Wickliffe. The B. of Norwitche. The death of K. Edw.

Peter (sayd he) is a false traytour to the king, and worthy long since to be hanged. At the hearing of these words, the furious people with a terrible shoute cryed out vpon him, that he was a traytour and one that tooke the Dukes part; and so falling vpon him with theyr weapons striued who might first strike at him. MarginaliaA priest in the Duke of Lancasters house cruelly killed. Who after they had wounded him very sore, so being wounded they had him into prison, where within few dayes vpon the sorenes of his wounds he dyed.

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Neither would the rage of the pople thus haue ceased had not the bishop of London leauing his dinner come to them at Sauoy, and putting them in remembraunce of the blessed tyme (as they terme it) of Lent, had perswaded them to cease and to be quyet.

MarginaliaThe villany of the Londiners against the Duke. The Londiners seeing that they could get no vantage against the Duke: who was without theyr reach: To bewreke theyr anger they tooke hys armes, whiche in most despitefull wise, they hanged vp in the open places of þe city in signe of reproch, as for a traitour. In so much that when one of his gentlemen came through the Citty with a plate conteyning the Dukes armes, hanging by a lace about his necke:the cittizens not abiding the sight therof, cast him frō his horse, and pluckt his scutchine from him, had were about to work the extremitie against him, and not the mayor rescued him out of theyr handes, and sent him home safe vnto the Duke his mayster. 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 thys, the princesse vnderstanding the hartes and broyle of the Londiners set against the foresaid Duke, sent vnto London 3. Knightes, syr 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 the honour of þe princesse, would obey and do with all reuerēce, what she would require. But this they required & enioyed the messēgers to say to the Duke, by word of mouth, that he should suffer the byshop of Winchester afore mentioned and also the Lord Peter de la Mare, to come to their aunswere, & to be iudged by theyr pieres. Wherby eyther they might be quite, if they were giltles: or otherwise, if they be found culpable, they might receaue occording to theyr desertes after the lawes of the realme. What griefe and displeasure the Duke conceiued and retoyned in his minde hereof: Agayne what meanes & sute the Londiners for their part made to the old king for their liberties: What rymes and songes in London, were made agaynst the Duke: Howe the Bishops at the Dukes request were mooued to excōmunicate those malicious slaunderers: MarginaliaThe Duke reuenged of the Londiners.And moreouer, howe the Duke at last was reuenged of those contumelies & iniuries. How he caused them to be brought before the king: How sharply they were rebuked for their misdemeanour, by the worthy oration of the Lord Chamberlayne, Robert Aston in the presence of the king, Archbishops, Byshops, with diuers other states, the Kinges 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, and publike charges of þe citty, to make a great taper of waxe, whiche with þe 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 beginning of the new king, with the kisse of peace, in the same reconcilement publikely denounced in the church of Westminster, and what ioy was in the whole citty therof: These because they are impertinent, and make to long a digressiō from the matter of Wickliffe, I cut off with breuitie, referring the reader to other historyes, namely of S. Albones, where they are to be found 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 Norwich, to þe intent that this posteritie now may see, to what pryde the clergy then of the Popes Church was growne to. The same time as this broyle was at Lōdon, the Bish. of Norwich a litle after the time af Easter comming to the towne of Lennam,, 
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I.e. Lynn.

belonging to his Lordship: MarginaliaExample of pride in the popes clergie.being not contented wt the olde accustomed honour due vnto him, & vsed of his predecessours before in the same town, required moreouer with a nue and vnused kind of magnificence to be exalted: In so much, that when he saw the chiefe Magistrate or Mayor of that towne to go in the streetes with his officer going before him, holding a certayne wand in his hand tipped at both endes with black horne, as the maner was: MarginaliaThe courtesie of the townesmen toward the Byshop.He reputing himselfe to be 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 & born before his Lordly personage: The Mayor or Bailiffe, withother the townesmen, courtuously answered to him again that they were right willing and contented with all theyr hartes to exhibite that reuerence vnto him, and woulde so do, if he first of the king and counsaile coulde obtayne þe iustome, and if the same might be induced after any peaceable way with the good willes of the commons and body of þe town: Other els, sayd they, as the matter was dangerous, so they durst not take in hand any such newe alteration of ancient customes and liberties, least the people (whiche is alwayes inclinable and prone to euill) do fall vpon them wt stones, & driue them out of the towne. Wherefore kneeling on theyr knees before hym, and humbly they besought him that he would require no such thing of them: that he would saue his owne honour and their liues, who otherwise if he intended that way, were in great daunger. MarginaliaThe stout answere of the Byshop to the township.But the 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 himselfe, answered that he woulde not be taught by their counsaile, but that he wold haue it done, though all the commons (whome he named Ribals) sayd nay. Also rebuked the Mayor and his brethrē for mecokes, 
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I.e. cowards.

and dastardes, for so fearing the vulgar sort of people.

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The citizens perceauing the wilfull stoutnes of the bishop, meekly answering againe, sayd, they minded not to resist him, but to let him doe therin what he thought good; onely desired him that he would licēce them to depart, and hold them excused for not wayting vppon him, & conducting hym out of the town with that reuerence which he required. For if they should be seene in his company, all the suspicion thereof would be vpon them; and so should they be all in daunger, so much as theyr liues were worth. The Byshop not regarding their aduise and counsaile, commaunded one of hys men to take the rod borne before the Mayor, & to cary þe same before him. Which being done, & perceaued of the commons: the Byshop after that maner went not farre, MarginaliaThe towne of Lennam riseth against the Bishop.but the rude people rūning to shut þe gates came out with their bowes, some with clubbes and staues, some with other instrumentes, some wt stones, & let driue at the Bishop and his men, as fast as they might: in suche sort, that both the bishop & his horse vnder him, with most part of his men, were hurt & wounded. And thus the glorious pride of this iolly prelate, ruffling in hys new scepter, was receaued and welcomed there. That is, was so pelted wt battes and stones, so woūded with arrowes and other instrumentes, fit, for such a skirmishe, þt the most part of his men, with hys mace bearer, & all, running away frō him; the poore wounded bishop was there left alone, not able to keepe hys old power, which went about to vsurpe a new power more thē to hym belonged. Thus as is cōōly true in al, so isit wel exemplified here, which is commōly sayd, and as it is commonly seene, MarginaliaPride will haue a fall. Power vsurped will neuer stand.that pride will haue a fall, and power vsurped will neuer stand. In like maner if the Citizens of Rome, following the example of these Lēnam men, as they haue the like cause, and greater to doe by the vsurped power of theyr Byshop, would after the same sauce handle the pope, MarginaliaThe vsurped power of the pope would haue a bridle.and vnscepter him of hys mace and regalitie which nothing pertaineth to him: They in so doing both should recouer theyr owne liberties, with more honour at home, and also win muche more commendation abroad. Ex chron, mon. D. Albani.

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This tragedy with all the partes thereof, 

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End of Edward III's reign

Apart from some closing comments praising Edward III for thwarting papal claims to jurisdiction over and in the English Church, which appeared in all editions from 1570 onwards, the material in this section consisted of a writ sent by Edward III in 1374 ordering that a list be made of English benefices held by foreigners and a list, dated in 1379, of ecclesiastical benefices in England, which were held by the cardinals. These materials came to Foxe from the Tower records and were added to the 1583 edition. Foxe's purpose in presenting these materials was to show that papal authority over the English Church placed much of its revenues in foreign hands and materially weakened both the monarch and the kingdom.

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Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield

beyng thus ended at Lennam,, 
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I.e., Lynn.

whiche was little after Easter (as is said) about the month of April. an. 1377. MarginaliaAnno. 1377. The death of K. Edw. the same yeare vpon the 12. day of the moneth of Iune next after, dyed the worthy and victorious Price king Edward the 3. after he had raygned yeares 51. A prince no more aged in yeares thē renoumed, for many snguler & heroicall vertues, but principally noted and lauded for his singuler meekenes & clemency toward his subiects and inferiors, ruling them by gentlenes and mercy, without all rigour or austere seueritie. Among other noble and royall ornamentes of his nature, worthely & copiously set forth of many, thus he is described of some, which may briefly suffice for the comprehūsion of all the rest. 
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This quotation is from College of Arms MS Arundel 7, a transcript of Thomas of Walsingham's Chronica majora, covering the years 1377-82. (See Thomas Walsingham , quondam monachi S. Albani historia Anglicana, ed. H. T. Riley, 2 vols., Rolls Series 64 [1874], I, pp. 327-8).

Orphanis erat quasi pater, afflictis compatiens, miseris condolens, oppressos releuans, & cunctis indigentibus impendens auxilia opportuna. MarginaliaThe commēdation of K. Edward.That is, To the Ophans he was a father, compacient to the afflicted, mourning with the miserable, relieuing the oppressed, and to all them that wanted an helper in time of neede. &c. But chiefly aboue all other thinges, in this Prince to be commemorate in my mynde, is thys: 
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This is Foxe's opinion, not Walsingham's.

that he aboue all other Kinges of this Realme vnto the time of king Henry the eight was the greatest brideler of the popes vsurped power and outragious oppressions: during all the time of whiche king, neyther the Pope could greatly preuayle in thys Realme, and also Iohn Wickliffe was maintained with fauour and ayde sufficient.

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