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LutterworthOxford
 
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Lutterworth

Leicestershire

OS grid ref: SP 545 845

 
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Oxford

OS grid ref: SP 515 065

County town of Oxfordshire; university town

471 [447]

K. Rich. 2. Wickliffes bookes burned. Wick. answere to the K. Fauorers of Wickliffe.

where he was secretly kept, repayred to his parish of lutterworth, where he was parson, there quietly departing this mortall life, slept in peace in the Lord, in the begynning of the yeare 1384. vpon Siluersters day.

Here is to be noted the great prouidēce of the Lord in this man, as in diuers other: whom the Lord so long preserued in such rages of so many enemies, frō all their handes, euen to his olde age. For so it appeareth by Thomas Walden, writing agaynst him in his tomes entituled: MarginaliaWaldenus 2. tomo de Sacramentis. De Sacramentis contra Wicleuum, that he was well aged before he departed: by that which the foresayd Walden writeth of him in the Epiloge speaking of Wickliffe, in these wordes 

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Foxe is quoting this passage from John Bale's The Image of Both Churches (see The Select Works of John Bale, ed. Henry Christmas, Parker Society [Cambridge, 1849], p. 394).

: Ita vt cano placeret, quod iuueni complacebat. &c. That is: so þt the same thing plesed him in his old age, which dyd please him being young. Whereby seemeth that Wickliffe liued, till he was an olde man, by this report. Such a Lord is God, that who he will haue kept, nothing can hurt.

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This Wickliffe, had written diuers and sundry workes, the which in the yeare of our Lord 1410. were burnt at Oxford, the Abbot of Shrewsbury being then Commissary, and sent to ouersee that matter. And not onelye in England, but in Boheme, likewise the bookes of the sayde Wickliffe were set on fire 

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Foxe is quoting Bale (Summarium, fo. 157v), not Aeneas Silvius Picclomini, for the archbishop of Prague burning Wiclif's books.

, by one Subincus Archbishop of Prage, who made diligent inquisition for the same, and burned them: The number of the volumes, which he is sayd to haue burned most excellently written, and richly adorned with bosses of golde, and rich coueringes (as Eneas Siluius writeth) were aboue the number of two hundreth. MarginaliaThe number of Wicliffes bokes came to 200. volumes. Eneas Syluius.

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Ioannes Cocleus in his booke De historia Hussitarū, speaking of the bookes of Wickliffe, testifyeth: that he wrot very many bookes, sermons and tractations. Moreouer the said Cocleus speaking of himselfe, recordeth also: that there was a certaine Bishop in England which wrot vnto him declaring, that he had yet remayning in his custodye two huge and mighty volumes of Iohn Wickliffes workes, which for the quantity therof might seme to be equal with the workes of S. Augustine. Hæc Cocleus.

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Amongest other of his Treatises I my selfe also haue found out certayne 

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In 1563, Foxe wrote a passage praising Bale for his work in recovering the works of Wiclif. In 1570 - the first edition of the Acts and Monuments printed after Bale's death - Foxe replaced this with a passage stating that he had discovered certain lost works of Wiclif. Of these, De veritate Scripturae was known to Bale, who had consulted the copy in Queens' College Cambridge (the Carmelite house in Cambridge where Bale had resided was just across the Cam). De Eucharistia confessio was part of the Fasciculii Zizaniorum which had belonged to Bale. There is a work by Wiclif titled De Ecclesia but this only survives in copies in Prague and Vienna. Foxe is probably referring to De fide catholica, which Bale referred to as De ecclesia catholica. In other words, Foxe was appropriating Bale's work. Interestingly, Foxe never compiled this projected collection of Wiclif's works.

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, as de censu & veritate scripturæ. Item, De Ecclesia. Item, De Eucharistia confessio Wickleui, whiche I entend hereafter: the Lord so graunting, to publish abroad.

As concerning certayne aunsweres of Iohn Wickliffe which he wrote to king Richard the 2. touching the right and title of the king, and of the Pope: because they are but short, I thought here to annexe them. The effect whereof here foloweth.

¶ Iohn Wickliffes aunswere vnto K. Richard the second, as touching the right and title of the king and the Pope 
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Wiclif's response to questions put to him by Richard II and the Privy Council is taken from the Fasciculi Zizaniorum (see Bodley Library MS Musaeo e 86, fos. 66v-67v). Foxe omitted much of Wiclif's reply, largely because of Wiclif's insistence that he believed in purgatory (cf. Bodley Library MS Musaeo e 86, fos 67v-68r).

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.

IT was demaunded, whether the kingdom of England, may lawfully in case of necessity for his own defence, deteyne and kepe backe the treasure of the kingdome, that it be not caried away to forreine & straunge nations, þe pope himselfe demaunding and requiring the same vnder pain of censure, and by vertue of obedience.

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Wickliffe setting a part the minds of learned mē, what might be sayd in the matter, either by the canon law, or by the law of England or þe ciuil law, it resteth (saith he) now onely to perswade and proue, the affirmatiue part of this doubt, by the principles of Christes law. And first I proue it thus, Euery natural body hath power geuen of God to resist agaynst his contrary, and to preserue it selfe in due estate, as the Philosophers knew very well.

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In somuch, that bodyes without life, are indued with such kinde of power (as it is euidēt) vnto whom hardnes is geuen to resist those thinges that woulde breake it, and coldnes to withstād the heat that dissolueth it. Forsomuch then, as the kingdome of England (after the maner and phrase of the Scriptures) ought to be one body: & the clergy with the communalty, the members thereof, it seemeth that the same kingdome hath such power geuē him of god, and so much the more apparaunt: by how much the same body is more precious vnto God, adorned with vertue & knowledge. For somuch thē as there is no power geuē of god vnto any creature: for any end or purpose: but that he may lawfully vse the same to that end and purpose: It followeth that our kingdome may lawfully keep backe and deteyn theyr treasure, for the defence of it selfe, in what case soeuer necessity do require the same.

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MarginaliaThe bookes of Wicliffe. MarginaliaThe Popes riches is but the almes of good mē. Secondarily, the same is proued by þe law of þe gospell. For þe Pope cannot challenge þe treasure of this kingdom,but vnder the title of almes, & consequētly vnder the pretence of þe works of mercy, according to the rule of charity.

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But in case aforesayd, the title of almes ought vtterly to cease, Ergo, the right and title of chalenging the treasure of our Realme shall cease also in the presupposed necessitie. MarginaliaNecessitie taketh away the Popes almes. For so much as all charitie hath his beginning of himselfe, it were no worke of charitie, but of meere madness, to send away þe treasures of þe realme vnto forreine natiōs, wherby the Realme it selfe may fall into ruine, vnder þe pretence of such charitie.

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It appeareth also be this, that Christ the head of the Church, whom all Christen Priests ought to follow: liued by the almes of deuoute women. Luke 7.8. He hungred and thyrsted, he was a straunger, and many other miseries he sustained, not onely in his mēbers, but also in his owne body, as the Apostle witnesseth, Cor. viii. He was made poore for your sakes, that through his pouertie, you might be rich: wherby, in the first endowig of the Church, what soeuer he were of the Clergy that had any temporall possessiōs, he had the same by forme of a perpertuall almes, as both writinges and Chronicles do witnesse.

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MarginaliaNote well the saying here of Bernard. Whereupon S. Barnard, declaring in his 2. booke to Eugenius, that he could not chalenge any secular dominion by right of succession, as being the vicar of S. Peter, writeth thus: that if S. Iohn should speake vnto the pope himself, as Barnard doth vnto Eugenius, were it to be thought that he would take it patiently? But let it be so, that you do challenge it vnto you, by some other wayes or meanes: but truely by any right or title Apostolicall, you can not so doe. For how could he geue vnto you that, which he had not himselfe? That which he had he gaue you, that is to say, care ouer the Church, but did he geue you any Lordships or rule? Harke what he sayth: Not bearing rule (sayth he) as Lordes in the Clergy, but behauing your selues as examples to the flocke. And because thou shalt not thinke it to be spoken only in humility, and not in verity, marke the word of the Lord himselfe in the Gospell. The kinges of the people do rule ouer them; but you shall not do so.

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MarginaliaThe pope must leaue his lordship or els Apostleship, let him chuse whether. Here Lordship and dominion, is plainely forbidden to the Apostles: and darest thou then vsurpe the same? If thou will be a Lord, thou shalt lose thine Apostleship, of if thou wilt be an Apostle, thou shalt lose thy Lordship. For truely thou shalt depart from the one of them. If thou wilt haue both, thou shalt lose both, or els thinke thy selfe to be of that number, of whom God doth so greatly complayne, saying: They haue raigned, but not through me. They are become Princes, and I haue not knowne it. Now if it do suffice thee to rule with the Lord, thou hast thy glory, but not with God. But if we will keepe that which is forbidden vs, let vs heare what is sayd: he that is the greatest amongest you (sayth Christ) shalbe made as the least, and he which is the highest, shalbe as the minister: and for example, set a childe in the middlest of thē. So this then is the true forme and institution of the Apostles trade. MarginaliaThe maner of the Apostles. Lordship and rule is forbidden, ministration and seruice commaunded.

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MarginaliaHow the pope ought to occupy the Church goods. By these wordes of this blessed man whom the whole Church doth reuerence and worship, it doth appeare that the Pope hath not power to occupy the Church goodes as Lord therof, but as minister, and seruaunt, and proctor for the poore. And would to God that the same proud & greedy desire of rule & Lordship, which this seat doth chalenge vnto it, be not a preamble to prepare a way vnto Antechrist. MarginaliaThe way to obtaine the kingdome of Christ.For it is euident by the Gospell, that Christ through his pouerty, humility, & suffering of iniury, got vnto him the children of his kingdome.

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And moreouer, so farre as I remember, the same blessed mā Barnard 

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I.e., St. Bernard of Clairvaux in his De consideratione, which was written to Pope Eugenius III.

in his 3. booke writeth also thus vnto Eugenius: I feare no other greater poyson to happen vnto thee, then greedy desire of rule and dominion.

This Wickliffe albeit in his life time, had many greeuous enemies, yet was there non so cruell vnto him, as þe Clergy it selfe. Yet notwithstanding he had many good frends, men not onely of the base and meanest sort, but also nobility 

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Wiclif's supporters

In the Commentarii, Foxe related that Wiclif had a number of supporters among the upper classes. These included six knights: John Clanvow, Lewis Clifford, Richard Stury, Thomas Latimer and William Neville, as well as John Montague, later the earl of Salisbury. Wiclif was also supported by the mayor of London, John Northampton, who was zealous in his prosecution of offenders against public morals. (See Commentarii, fos. 37v-38r). This material was reprinted without change in the Rerum (p. 18) and it was translated faithfully in the first edition of the Acts and Monuments. Foxe's source for these passages was the version of Thomas Walsingham's Chronica Maiora found in College of Arms MS Arundel 7. In the 1570 edition, Foxe added to this narrative by drawing on another version of Walsingham's Chronica Majora, this time in BL MS Harley 3634, for an account of the earl of Salisbury doing penance and for further details of Northampton's crack-down on vice. In the Rerum, Foxe also printed two documents, both drawn from the 1558 edition of Hus' writings which Matthias Flacius edited. These were a testimony putatively from Oxford University, attesting to Wiclif's learning and good character (Rerum, p. 24) and Hus's defence of Wiclif (Rerum, pp. 24-25). These documents were translated and reprinted in each edition of the Acts and Monuments.

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Foxe's purpose in printing this material was twofold. The first was to demonstrate that Wiclif's followers were drawn from the elite and were not seditious rabble as Catholic polemicists charged. The second was to burnish Wiclif's reputation by demonstrating that his contemporaries and even the great (in Protestant eyes) Jan Hus admired and supported him.

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Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield

, amongst whom these mē are to be nūbred 
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Foxe drew the names of these influential supporters of Lollardy from College of Arms MS Arundel 7, which was a version of Thomas of Walsingham's Chronica Majora. (See Historia Anglicana, ed. H. T. Riley, Rolls Series 28, 2 vols [London, 1863-4], II, pp. 65, 216 and 244). These figures were - with the exception of Montagu - knights, not nobles, but they were all figures of importance at the court of Richard II. They were also a remarkably cohesive group, appearing in the records as co-feoffees, fellow executors and in other associations. As for their Lollardy, it appears to have covered a spectrum of belief. Beyond his association with the others, there is no evidence supporting Walsingham's accusations against Stury. The evidence about Montagu's religious beliefs is contradictory, but contrary to Walsingham, he travelled with a portable altar and attended Mass daily. Lollard sentiments have been read into a religious treatise written by John Clanvow. Lewis Clifford was a close associate of John of Gaunt, so Clifford's unquestioned interventions on behalf of Wiclif may have been politically motivated. But Lewis was an executor of Thomas Latimer's outspokenly heretical will and Clifford chose as his executors Sir John Oldcastle and two other suspected Lollards. William Neville intervened on behalf of Wiclif's follower Nicholas Hereford when he was arrested. Thomas Latimer was a known protector of several Lollards and owned religiously suspect books.

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: MarginaliaI. Clenbon, Lewes Clifford, Rich. Sturius, Tho. Latimer, W. Neuell, Ioh. Mountegew.Iohn Clēbon, Lewes Clifford, Richard Sturius, Thomas Latimer, William Neuell, Bohn Mountegrew, who plucked downe all the Images in his Church 
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Foxe is confused here. Sir John Montagu was the earl of Salisbury in question; he inherited the title in 1397. Foxe added the account of Montagu's contempt for the sacrament to the 1570 edition; he obtained it from another version of Thomas Walsingham's Chronica Majora, BL Harley MS 3634. (See Chronicon Angliae, ed. E. M. Thompson, Rolls Series 64 [London, 1874], p. 283).

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. MarginaliaThe Earle of Salisbury. The penance of the Earle of Salisbury.Besides all these, there was the Earle of Salisbury, who for contēpt in him noted towardes the Sacrament, in carying it home to his house: was enioyned by Radulph Ergom Bishop of Salisbury, to make in Salisbury a crosse of stone, in which all the story of the matter should be writtē, and he euery Friday during his life to come to the crosse barefoot and barehead in his shyrt, & there kneling vpon his knees: to do penance for his fact. Ex Chron Mon. D. Albani in vita. Ric. 3.[illegible text]

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The Lōdiners at this time somewhat boldly trusting to the Maiors authority, who for that yeare was Ihon of Northamptō: Tooke vpō them the office of the Bishops, in punishing the vices (belonging to Ciuill law) of suche persons as they had found and apprehēded in committing both fornication and adultery 

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Foxe added the details of Northampton's activities as mayor to the 1570 edition, he drew them from BL Harley MS 3634, see Chronicon Angliae, ed. E. M. Thompson, Rolls Series 64 [London, 1874], pp. 349-52 and 377.

. For first they put the womē

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