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535 [511]

K. Rich. 2. The kings letter to the P. Notes out of the parliament rolles against the Pope.

and in hope contrary to hope beleuing, by Gods grace will put our helping handes to easing of his misery, when a conuenient time shall serue, as much as our kingly power is able, although out wit doth not perceaue how these thinges afore rehearsed may be amended: yet we being encouraged to this by the hope of gods promise, will do our endeuour: lik as Abraham beleued his sonne being slaine of sacrifice, that the multitude of his seede should encrease to the number of the starres, according to Gods promise. MarginaliaA godly purpose if it had bene put in execution. Now therfore the time drawes near to make an end of this schism least a third election of a schismaticke agaynst the Apostles successour make a custome of the doyng, and so the Pope of Auinion shalbe double Romishe pope, and he shall say with hys partakers, as the Patriarch of Constantinople sayd vnto Christes vicar when he forsooke hym: The Lorde be with thee, for the Lorde is with vs. And is much to be feared of all Christen men. For that Pharisie beings now to be called the pope of Auinion among the pople. But peraduenture it would be thought of some men, that it belongeth not to secular princes to bridle outragies of the Pope: MarginaliaSeculare princes are to bridle the outragies of the pope. to whome we aunswere, that naturally the members put them selues in ieopardy for to saue the head, and the partes labour to saue the whole. Christ so decked his spouse, that her sides shold cleaue together, and should vphold themselues, but course of time and occasion of thinges, they should correcte one an other and cleaue together tunably. Did not Moses put down Aaron, because he was vnfaythfull? Salomon put downe Abiathar, who came by lineall dissent from Anatoth, and remoued hys priesthoode from his kindred to the stock of Eliazar in the person of Sadock which had his beginning from Ely the prest? 3. 2. Otho Emperour, deposed Pope Iohn the 12. because he was lecherous. Henry the Emperour put downe Gratianus, because he vsed Simony in buying & selling spirituall liuinges. And Otho deposed Pope Benner the first, because he thrust in himselfe. MarginaliaPopes put downe by princes. Therefore by like reason, why may not kings and Princes bridle the Romishe Pope in default of the Church: if the quallitie of his fault require it, or the necessitie of the Church by this compell to helpe the Churche oppressed by tyranny. In old time schismes which rose about making the Pope, were determined by the power of secular Princes: as the schisme betwixt Symachus and Laurence was ended in a Counsaile afore Theodoricus king of Italy. Henry the Emperour when two dyd striue to be Pope he deposed them both, and receaued the thyrd being chosen at Rome to be Pope, that is to say, Clement the second, which crowned him with the Imperiall crowne. And the Romaynes promised him that from thenceforth, they would promote none to be Pope without his consent. Alexander also ouercame 4. Popes schismatickes, all which Fredericke the Emperour corrected.

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Thus looke on the register of Popes and theyr deedes, and yet shall finde that schismes most commonly haue bene decised by the powers of secular princes, the schismatickes cast out, and sometimes new popes made, and sometime the olde ones cast out of their dignities, and restored to theyr old dignities again. If it were not lawfull for secular princes to bridle the outragies of such a Pope lawfully made, and afterward becōming a tyraunt: MarginaliaLawful that Princes shuld withstand the tyranny of the Pope. In such a case he might oppresse ouermuch the Church, he might chaunge Christendome into Heathens, and make the labour of Christ crucified to be in vayne, or else truely God should not haue prouided for his spouse in earth by all meanes as much as is possible by seruice of men to withstand daungers. Therefore we counsell you with such a louing affection as becomes Children, that ye consider in your hart well, least in working by this meanes ye prepare a way of Antichrist, through your desire to beare rule, and so by this meanes as we feare the one of these two shall chaunce: Either ye shall cause all the princes of the worlde to rise agaynst you to bring in a true follower of Christ to haue the state of the Apostolicall dignitie, or that is worse, the whole world despising the ruling of one shepheard shall leaue the Romish Church desolate. MarginaliaThe kyng seemeth here to prophesie of the desolation of the Romaine pope. But God keepe this from the worlde, that the desire of honour of two men should bring such a desolation into the Church of God: for then that departing away which the Apostle prophecied, shoulde come afore the comming of Antichrist, were at hand: which shold be the last disposition of the worlde, peaceably to receaue Antichrist with honour. Consider therefore the state of your most excellent holines, how ye receaued the power from God to the building of the Church and not to the destruction, that Christ hath geuen you wine and oyle to heale the wounded, and hath appoynted you his vicar in these thinges as pertayne to gentlenes, and hath geuen vs these thinges whiche serue to rigour. For we beare not the sword without a cause to the punishement of euill doers, the which power ordayned of God we haue receaued, our selues being witnes: beseeching you to receaue our counsel effectually, that in doing thus, the waters may returne to the places from whence they came, and so the waters may begin to be made sweete with salt: least the axe swimme on the water and the wood sincke, and least the fruitfull Oliue degender into a wilde Oliue, and the leprosie of Naaman that Nobleman, cleaue continually to the house of Giezy, and least the pope and the Phariseis crucify Christ agayne, Christ the spouse of the Churche whiche was wontto bring the chiefe Byshop into the holyest place, encrease your holines, or rather to restore it being lost. MarginaliaThe pope and Pharises, newe crucifiers of Christ. Written, &c. Ex Fragmento libri cuiusdam Dunelm.

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¶ This Epistle of king Richard 2. written to Pope Boniface the 9. in the time of the schisme, about the yeare as appeareth 1397. As it contayned muche good matter of wholsome counsel to be followed: so how litle he wrought with the Pope, the sequell after warde declared. For the schisme notwithstanding continued long after, in whiche neyther of the popes would geue ouer theyr holde, or yelde any thing to good counsayle geuen them, for any respect of publique wealth. Such a stroke beareth ambition in thys Apostolicall see, whiche we are wont so greatly to magnifie. But of this inough, whiche I leaue and referre to the consideration of the Lorde, seeing men will not looke vpon it.

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Drawing now toward the latter end of king Richards raigne, it remaineth, that as we did before in the time of k. Edward the third, so here also we shewe forth a summary recapitulation of such parliamentall notes & proceedinges 

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Parliament Rolls for the reign of Richard II

Foxe concluded the accounts of the reigns of late medieval English monarchs with notes extracted from the Parliament Rolls. These were stored in the Tower and Foxe gained access to them through the co-operation of William Bowyer who was effectively Keeper of the Tower Records from 1563-1570. (See Rotuli Parlamentorum, ed. J. Strachey et al., 6 vols. [London, 1783], III, pp. 18-20, 96, 214, 246-7, 264, 270, 304 and 341) The Parliamentary legislation Foxe accurately records is concerned with the usual late medieval efforts to curtail papal jurisdiction over English benefices and to grant the revenues from papal taxation to the Crown. But Foxe also adds a more unusual note, one not drawn from Parliamentary records, which emphasizes that the kings of England, not the papacy, held the right to episcopal appointments in England. Foxe notes that this material was supplied to him by Matthew Parker and it is apparent that Parker was using Foxe's work to showcase his research and the conclusions it was intended to buttress.

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Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield

as then were practised by publique parliament in this kings time, against the iurisdiction of the Bysh. of Rome: MarginaliaThe Popes vsurped iurisdiction neuer receiued in England, before a late yeres.to the intent, that such (if any such be) that thinke, or haue thought the receailing of the popes double authoritie to be such an auncient thing within this realme, may diminishe theyr opiniou As euidently may appeare by diuers arguments heretofore touched, concerning the election and inuesting of byshops by the king. As where king Oswin cōmaunded Cedde to be ordayned Archbish. of Yorke. Also where king Egfride caused Cuthbert, was brought to K. Canute and at his commaundement was instituted Byshop of the same see. MarginaliaEx lib. Gulim. Malmesb. de gestis pontif. Anglorum.Ex lib. Malmesb. de gestis pontif. Anglorum. And likewise MarginaliaEx Mat. Paris. lib. de vita Hēr.Math. Parisiensis testifieth 
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As Foxe notes, the information on the royal appointment of bishops came from Matthew Paris and was almost certainly the product of research sponsored by the archbishop and not Foxe. Foxe cites William of Malmesbury and Matthew Paris as his sources, but he is almost certainly just quoting from Paris's notes. Moreover two of the examples cited are in neither work, but were probably taken from Bede and from Symeon of Durham.

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, that king Henry the 3. gaue the Archbishopricke of Caunterbury, to Radulphus then Bishop of London, and inuested him wyth staffe and ring. And the same king gaue the Bishopricke of Wint. to W. Gifford: and moreouer, following the steppes both of his father and brother before him, endued him with the possessions pertaining to the sayd Bishoprick (the contrary statute of pope Vrbane, forbidding that Clerkes should receaue any Ecclesiasticall dignitie at the hand of Princes, or of any lay person to the contrary notwithstanding &c.) Innumerable examples of like sort are to be seen in auncient historyes of this our realme. As also out of the parliament rolles in the time of king Edward hath sufficiently bene touched a little before. Whereunto also may be added the notes of such parliamentes, as haue bene holdē in the raygne of this present king Richard the second, the collation whereof in part here followeth.

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Notes of certayne Parliamentes holden in the the raigne of king Richard 2. making agaynst the Pope.

MarginaliaEx Archiuis parlamentarijs. An. 1. Reg. Rich. 2. tit. 66.IN the first yeare of King Richard 2. in the parliament holden at Westminster, it was requested and graunted: that the popes collector be willed no longer to gather the first fruites of benefices within this realme, being a verye noueltie, and that no person doe any longer pay them.

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MarginaliaTit. 67.Item, that no man doe procure any benefice by prouision from Rome, on payne to be out of othe kinges protection.

MarginaliaTit. 68.Item, that no Englishman do take to farme of any Alien, anye Ecclesiasticall benefice or Prebende, on the lyke payne. In which byll was rehearsed, that the French men had 6. thousand poundes yearely of such liuinges in England.

MarginaliaTit. 77.Item, that remedy might be had against the popes reseruations to dignities electiue, þe same being done against the treaty of the pope, taken with king Edward 3.

MarginaliaEx Anno. 2. Tit. 70In the second yeare of the sayd king Richard the secōd, it was by petitiō requested: that some order might be takē touchying Aliens, hauyng the greatest part of the Church dignities in their handes. Whereunto the kyng aūswered, that by aduise of the Lordes, he will prouide therfore.

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MarginaliaTit. 71.Item, it was enacted, that all the benefices of Cardinals and others rebels, to pope Vrbane that now is, shal be seased into the kynges handes.

MarginaliaTit. 78.An Acte that Pope Vrbane was true & lawfull Pope, and that the liuynges of all Cardinals and other rebels to the sayd Pope, should be seased into the kinges handes, and the kyng bee aunswered of the profites thereof: And that whosoeuer within this Realme, shall procure or obtayne any prouision or other instrument from any other Pope then the same Vrbane, shall be out of the kynges protection.

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