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Brussels (Bruxelles: French)

[Brusels]

Belgium

Coordinates: 50° 51' 0" N, 4° 21' 0" E

 
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Leuven (Louvain)

[Louain; Louane; Louaine]

Flemish Brabant, Belgium

Coordinates: 50° 53' 0" N, 4° 42' 0" E

Capital of Flemish Brabant; university town

898 [874]

K. Hen 8. Martyn Luther. Persecution in Germany. Henr. Voes. Io. Esch. martyrs.

so that the article of Christes descending into hell, importeth as much, as that his death redemed them, which were in hell. Wherunto S. Peter also seemeth to haue resepct, where he sayeth: * Marginalia* 1. Pet. 3. The Gospell also was preached to them which were deade: that is, that they also did feele the good tidings of the Gospell, their redemption by the sonne of God: and that they which rose againe wyth Christ in spirite, be nowe with him in heauen, who neuerthelesse in flesh shalbe iudged, what time the sonne of God and of man shal come to iudge both the quicke & dead. Returne to the places of Peter, the one in his first Epistle, the other in the latter: and so be you contented with this present answer rashed vp in haste. Fare ye hartily wel. And comfort my William, the good aged father, by the grace of God which is in you. Commende me to Iohn Eggenberge. From Zuricke the 1. day of September. An. 1527.

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FRom the first beginning of this whole booke and historie hitherto (good reader) thou hast hearde of many and sundry troubles, & much businesse in the church of Christe, concerning the reformation of diuers abuses and great errors crept into the same, namely in the Churche of Rome, as appeareth by the doings of them, in diuers and sundry places, wherof mention hath bene made heretofore in this said historie. MarginaliaThe corruption of the Sea of Rome, continually cryed out against.For what godly man hath there bene wythin the space of these 500. yeares, either vertuously disposed, or excellently learned, which hath not disprooued the misordred doings and corrupt examples of the See and Bishop of Rome, from time to time, vnto the cōming of this Luther? 

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German martyrs

In its first edition, Foxe's martyrology had been published alongside that of Heinrich Pantaleon, a second volume ('Pars Secunda') to which Foxe's was the first. Albeit published in London and Basel respectively, they appeared by what must have been by prior arrangement on the same day. Between them lay an implied division of labour, with Foxe concentrating on the 'Acts and Monuments' of the English martyrs, whilst Pantaleon offered a broader 'European' perspective ('per Europam persecvtionvm' ran his title) with the witnesses of the martyrs divided up by nationalities and political entities ('per Regna & Nationes distributarum'). The two parts of the martyrology had, however, overlapped even in 1563. Foxe took the opportunity even then to integrate some martyr narratives from continental Europe into the first edition, especially where their narratives were readily available to him, or had become particularly well-known. He did so for a particular and important reason. If, as Tertullian had famously said, 'in the blood of martyrs lay the seed of the true church', it was important to Foxe's purpose to demonstrate that martyrdoms had occurred in the immediate aftermath of Luther's reformation. So Foxe included five such stories relating to Germany in the 1520s in his 1563 edition. Rather than incorporate them into his table of German martyrs in 1570, he deliberately kept them apart from it in order to emphasise that important point:-

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In the case of the 'account of 'Henry Voz & Iohn Esch frier Augustines' [Hendrich Voes; Jan van Essen] (1563, pp. 421-2) he based his account (indirectly) on an undated and anonymous short pamphlet, published shortly after their martyrdom and reissued in various different editions, one of which was ascribed to Martin Luther himself (F. van der Haeghen, T. J. I. Arnold, and R. Vanden Berghe, Bibliographie des martyrologes protestants néerlandais 2 vols (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1890), 1, p. 473 et seq.). Crespin had provided a short summary of it in the earliest edition of his martyrology, but Foxe did not use that as his source (Crespin/Benoit, 1, pp. 238-40). Pantaleon provided a further summary, basing his account, however, on the same source (Pantaleon, pp. 38-9). Both Foxe and Pantaleon give their source as 'Ex 6 tomo M. Lutheri, fol. 397'. This does not, however, correspond to the relevant volume of the collected works of Luther, edited by Philip Melanchthon (M. Luther, Tomus primus [-septimus] omnium operum Reverendi Domini Martini Lutheri [...] 7 vols (Wiitenberg: Iohannes Lufft, 1545, etc). It is possible that both Pantaleon and Foxe had used another edition of Luther's works, or that they had both copied the reference from somewhere else.

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In the narrative of the martyrdom of Henry Zutphen [Heinrich Mullers van Zutphen], recounted in the 1563 edition (pp. 422-428), Foxe was once again relying on a martyr account which had been widely diffused in the form of a contemporary pamphlet, and published in Latin (1524) and German (1525) - see F. van der Haeghen, T. J. I. Arnold, and R. Vanden Berghe, Bibliographie des martyrologes protestants néerlandais 2 vols (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1890), 1, p. 541 et seq. As Foxe said, the story had already been told, at least in outline, in Sleidan (book 4) and the earliest edition of Crespin (1554) - see Crespin/Benoit, 1, pp. 245-247. He clearly knew, and had probably read, Luther's own account of it, partly through a consolatory letter to the faithful of Bremen, and which had appeared in the earliest published collection of Luther's letters in 1525 (M. Luther, Martini Lutheri Epistolarum farrago, pietatis et eruditionis plena [...] [Haganoae [Haganau]: Iohan Secer, 1525]) - see W. M. L. de Wette, ed. Martin Luther. Briefe, Sendschreiben und Bedenken 5 vols (Berlin, 1825-1828), 3, p. 65 etc. Although Foxe also referred the reader to Ludwig Rabus' martyrology (L. Rabus, Historien der Heyligen auserwölten Gottes Zeugen 3 vols [Strasbourg, 1554-1558], there is no sign that he ever consulted it himself, or had the language skills to read it directly. Pantaleon had provided a similar narrative of this martyrdom (Pantaleon, pp. 35-8).

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The account of the martyrdom of 'Iohn Castellane' (Jean Chastelain), which Foxe published in the earliest edition of his martyrology (1563, pp. 428-431) seems to have come from that published in the earliest edition of Crespin (1554, fol. 175), which Foxe follows very closely here. Chastelain was a native of Tournai who went to Lorraine and actively proselytized at Bar-le-Duc ('Barleduc'), Vitry in Partois ('Vittery in Partoise'), Chalon and Vic ('Vike') before being arrested and imprisoned at Goze ('Gorze') and the castle at Nomény ('Nommeny'). Pantaleon provided a similar narrative in his edition too (Pantaleon, pp. 40-42), deriving it from the same source.

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The 'history of a good pastoure, murthered for the preaching of the Gospel, wrytten by Ihon Oecolampadius' which followed in his earliest edition (1563, pp. 431-432) was also taken directly from the earliest edition of Crespin (Crespin [1554], fol. 154). Crespin ascribed it (and Foxe follows him) to a written narrative prepared by Johann Oecolampadius, the preacher in Basel. Pantaleon had also provided a version of the same narrative (Pantaleon, pp. 46-8). See Crespin/Benoit, 1, pp. 250-1.

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The same is also true of the following 'history of the death of a certaine minister which was drowned in the yeare of our Lord 1525. collected by Oecolampadius', reproduced in the earliest edition of Crespin (Crespin [1554], fol 158) and repeated by Foxe in his earliest edition (1563, pp. 432-3). In 1563, Foxe knew only that he was a minister in the Breisgau ('Brisgois'). However, when he came to repeat the narrative in 1570, he added the pastor's name - Peter Spengler - which he had found in Pantaleon's account of the same narrative (Pantaleon, pp. 48-51). Living in Basel, Pantaleon doubtless had access to written and oral sources which were able to substantiate some of the details of the Oecolampadius narrative.

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The following account of a 'history of a certen man of the Country wrongfully put to deathe Collected by the saide Ihon Oecolampadius' was also published by Foxe in his earliest edition (1563, pp. 433-5). It was the closest he came to engaging the attention of his readers in the link between the early protestant reformation and social conflict - the reference-point for the narrative being the Peasants' War in Germany, which had taken early and divisive root in south-west Germany, the region to which it relates. It had been published by Crespin in his earliest edition (Crespin [1554], fol. 166) and in Pantaleon (pp. 51-54).

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The next account of Wolfgang Schuch, a protestant pastor from Alsace ('Lotharing.') had first appeared in Ludwig Rabus' Historien der Märtyrer (Strasbourg, 1554). It was repeated in Crespin (1560) and Pantaleon, pp. 54-57. Foxe's account here was closely based on the latter, which explains why it appeared for the first time in the 1570 edition of Foxe's martyrology.The following narrative of the death of Johann Hüglein in Merssburg (near Constance) in 1527 had already been widely circulated in the reformation. A contemporary narrative of his trial and death had been published in Nuremberg in c.1527. It is from that, either directly or indirectly, that Sleidan derived his account (Sleidan [book 6], 1, p. 331), and a brief account of his death had also been included in Rabus, vol 6, p. 599 and Pantaleon, p. 60. Foxe seems to have consulted both Sleidan and Pantaleon for his details of it and it appeared for the first time only in the 1570 edition of Foxe's martyrology.

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The next account was also of an early martyrdom from Bavaria. Georg Carpenter was a native of Emmendingen ('Emeryng') in Bavaria. He was burnt at Munich ('Munchen') on 8 February 1527. The account, with its circumstantiated details of his trial (including the debate with Conrad Schritter ['Scheitter'], the vicar of the cathedral church in Munich), had appeared for the first time in Crespin [1556], but Foxe acquired all his details of it from Pantaleon, pp. 61-3, and it appeared for the first time only in the 1570 edition of Foxe's martyrology.

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For the account of the martyrdom of Leonard Kayser, who may well have held Anabaptist beliefs, a contemporary pamphlet had provided the relevant details, published in Wittemberg in 1527. It was upon this account, either directly or indirectly, that the narrative of his martyrdom reached Pantaleon (pp. 63-4) which is where Foxe derived his own account. It appeared for the first time only in the 1570 edition of Foxe's martyrology.

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For the subsequent history of the martyrdom of Wendelmoet Claes [var: Classen], Foxe followed Crespin, Haemstede, Rabus and Pantaleon, deriving his account from the latter (p. 65). She was a native of Monnitendam ('Munchendam'), a small town in Holland. It is now evident, although it was perhaps difficult to discern this at the time, that she was a convinced Anabaptist. It appeared for the first time only in the 1570 edition of Foxe's martyrology.

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The final account from the first decade of the reformation concerned two martyrs from Cologne, Peter Fliested and Adolf Clarenbach, in September 1529. Foxe might have acquired the material here from Sleidan, but he more likely derived it from the account in Pantaleon, pp. 66-7. It appeared only for the first time in the 1570 edition of Foxe's martyrology.

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Mark Greengrass
University of Sheffield

Wherin this appeareth to me, & may also appeare no lesse to al godly disposed mē, to be noted, not without great admiration, that seeing this foresaid Romish Bishop hath had great ennemies and gainsaiers continually from time to time, both speaking & working, preaching and wryting against him, yet notwithstanding neuer any could preuail before the comming of this man. The cause whereof, although it be secretely knowen vnto God, and vnknowen vnto men: yet so farre as men by cōiectures may suppose, it may thus not vnlikely be thought: That whereas other men before him, speaking against the pomp, pride, whoredom, and auarice of the Bishop of Rome, charged him only or most specially with examples and maners of life: Luther went further with hym, charging him not wyth life, but with his learning: not with doings, but with his doctrine: not picking at the rine, but plucking vp the roote: not seeking the man, but shaking his seate, yea & charging him with plaine heresie, MarginaliaThe Pope charged with heresie by Luther. as preiudicial and resisting plainly against the bloud of Christ, cōtrary to the true sense and direct vnderstanding of the sacred testament of Gods holy woord. For whereas the foundation of our faith grounded vpon the holy scripture, teacheth & leadeth vs to be iustified onely by the worthines of Christ, & the onely price of his bloud: MarginaliaThe foundation of the Popes doctrine contrarye to Christen faith.the Pope proceeding with a contrary doctrine, teacheth vs otherwyse to seeke our saluation, not by Christ alone, but by the way of mennes meriting and deseruing by works: Wherupon rose diuers sorts of orders & religious sects amongst men, some professing one thing, and some an other, & euery man seeking his owne vnrighteousnes, but few seking the righteousnes of him which is set vp of God to be our righteousnes, redemption, and iustification.

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Martin Luther therefore vrging & reducing things to the foundation and touchstone of the Scripture, opened the eyes of many, which before were drowned in darknes. MarginaliaIustification by faith, reuiued by Luther.Whereupon it can not be expressed what ioy, comforte, and consolation came to the hearts of men, some lying in darknes and ignoraunce, some wallowing in sinne, some being in despaire, some macerating them selues by woorkes, and some presuming vppon their owne righteousnesse, to beholde that glorious benefite of the greate libertie and free iustification set vp in Christ Iesus. And briefly to speake, the more glorious the benefite of this doctrine appeared to the world after long ignoraunce, the greater persecution followed vppon the same. And where the elect of God tooke most occasion of comfort and of saluation, thereof the aduersaries tooke moste matter of vexation & disturbance: As commonly we see the true woord of God to bring with it euer dissention and perturbation, and therefore truely it was sayde of Christ, MarginaliaMath. 10.That he came not to send peace on earth, but the swoorde. And this was the cause, why that after the doctrine and preaching of Luther, MarginaliaGreat persecution after the doctrine of Luther.so great troubles and persecutions followed in all quarters of the world: wherby rose great disquietnesse among the Prelates, and many lawes and decrees were made, to ouerthrowe the same by cruell handling of many good and Christian men. Thus while authoritie armed wyth lawes and rigour, did striue againste simple veritie, lamentable it was to heare, howe many poore men were troubled and went to wracke, some tost from place to place, some exiled out of the land for feare, some caused to abiure, some driuen to caues in woodes,some racked wyth torment, and some pursued to deathe wyth fagot and fire. Of whom we haue nowe (Christ willing) in this hystorie following to entreat, first begynning with certaine that suffered in Germanie, & then to returne to our owne stories, and Martyrs here in England.

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Henry Voes and Iohn Esch, Friers Augustines:

MarginaliaTwo Fryers burned at Bruxelles.IN the yeare of our Lorde. 1523. two young menne were burnt at Bruxelles, the one named Henry Voes, being of the age of 24. yeares, and the other Iohn Esch, whych before had bene of the order of the Augustine Friers. They were disgraded the first day of Iulie, and spoiled of theyr friers weede, at the suite of Egmondanus the Popes Inquisitour, and the diuines of Louaine, for that they would not retracte and deny their doctrine of the Gospell, which the Papistes called Lutheranisme. MarginaliaEgmondanus, and Hochestratus, doctors of Louain, persecuters.Theyr examiners were Hochestratus and other, who demaunded of them, what they did beleeue? They sayde, the bookes of the olde Testament, and the newe, wherein were contained the Articles of the Creede. Then were they asked whether they beleued the decrees of the Councels and of the Fathers? They sayde, such as were agreeing to the Scripture, they beleeued. MarginaliaTheir examination.After thys they proceeded further, asking whether they thought it any deadly sinne, to transgresse the decrees of the fathers, and of the bishop of Rome? That (said they) is to be attributed onely to the precepts of God, to binde the conscience of man, or to loose it. Wherein when they cōstantly persisted, and would not turne, they were condemned and iudged to be burned. Then they beganne to geue thanks to God their heauenly father, which had deliuered them through his great goodnes, from the false and abhominable priesthoode, & had made of them priests of his holy order, receiuing thē vnto him as a sacrifice of sweete odor. Then there was a bill written, which was deliuered vnto them to read opēly before the people, to declare what faith and doctrine they helde. MarginaliaThe cause of their accusation & Martirdōe.The greatest error that they were accused of, was that men ought to trust only in God, for so much as men are liers and deceitful in all their words and deedes, and therefore there ought no trust or affiance to be put in them.

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As they were ledde vnto the place of execution, which was the first day of Iulie, they went ioyfully and merily, making continual protestation that they died for the glory of God, and the doctrine of the gospell, as true Christians, beleuing & following the holy church of the sonne of God, saying also that it was þe day which they had long desired. After they were come to the place where they shoulde bee burned, and were dispoyled of their garments, they taried a great space in their shirtes, & ioyfully embraced the stake that they should be bound to, paciently and ioyfully enduring what so euer was done vnto thē, praising God wyth Te Deum laudamus, and singing Psalmes, and rehearsing

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The burning of Henry Voes and Iohn Esch, Friers Augustines.
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CUL copy: considerable detail is added in ink to the face and hands.

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