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129 [1141]

in domino Iesu Christo. Dum pro sponsa veri crucifixi vestrum cogimur auxilium implorare, potius cōpellimur lacerari singultibus & plorare. Ecce quod vidimus loquimur, et quod scimus testificamur. Ille homo perditus qui extollitur super omne quod colitur, aut dicitur deus, iam habet perfidiæ suæ præambulū hæresiarcham, quē hæretici Albingenss Papam suū nominant, habitantem in finibus Bugarorum et Croaticæ, et Dalmatiæ, iuxta Hungariorum nationem Ad eum confluunt hæretici Albingenses, vt ad eorū consulta respondeat. Etenim de Carcasona oriundus vices illius Antipapæ gerēs Bartholomœus, hæreticorum episcopus, funestam ei exhibendo reuerentiam, sedem et locum conceßit, in villa quæ Porlos appellatur, seipsum transtulit in partes Tholosanas. Iste Bartholomœus in literarum suarum vndique discurrentium tenore, se in primo salutationis alloquio, intitulat in hunc modum: Bartholomœus seruus seruorum. M. sanctæ fidei salutem. Ipse etiam inter alias enormitates creat episcopos, & ecclesias perfide ordinare contendit. Rogamus igitur attentius, & per aspersionem sanguinis Iesu Christi, & propensius obsecramus, autoritate domini Papæ qua fungimur, in hac parte districte prœcipiētes, quatenus veniatis Senonis in oct. Apostolorum Petri & Pauli proxime futuris, vbi alij prælati Franciæ, fauente domino congregabuntur, parati consilium dare in negotio prædicto, & cum alijs qui ibidem aderunt prouidere super negotio Albingensi. Alioqui inobedientiam vestram. D. Papæ curabimus significari. Datum apud Plauium. 6 Nonas Iulij.

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After these digressions, now to retourne to course of oure story agayne, kyng Iohn thus departyng,as is aboue sayde, left behinde hym foure sonnes and three doughters. First Henrye, who after succeded in the same kingdome. Second, Richarde, King after of Almanie. Thirde, William of Valentia. Fourth, Guido Disenay. He had also an other sonne, who was afterwarde made Bishoppe.

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Of his daughters, first was Isabell maryed afterwarde to Fredericke the Emperour. The seconde maryed to Wylliam Marshall, Earle. The thyrde to the Earle of Leycester &c. As Henrye succeaded Kyng Iohn, his father being but of the age of tenne yeares, so after Innocent the Pope, came Honorius, then Gregorius. &c. And after Otho the Emperour, whome the Pope had once sette vp and after depryued agayne, succeaded Fredericke the seconde, as is partlye before touched. In the daies of these Kynges, Popes, and Emperours, it were to longe to recyte all that happened in England, but especiallye in Germanye, betwyxte Pope Honorius, Gregorius, and Frederycke the Emperour, the horryble tragedye whereof wer inough to fill a whole booke by it selfe, but partly we touch somethyng thereof, & first wil beginne with England.

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After that kyng Iohn had thus subiected him selfe as obedienciary, and his whole realm vnder tribute to the Pope and the Romish churchit is incredible how the insatiable auarice and gredines of the Romanes did oppresse & wring the commons and all estates and degrees of the realme 

Commentary  *  Close
Papal oppression of the English Church

In this account Foxe stated that after the events of King John's reign England was now a tributary to Rome. This is the crucial point to how Foxe deals with the reign of Henry III. Through heavy taxation, neglect of royal authority and trickery the Pope consistently sends Legates to collect tithes and taxes and to trample on English sovereignty. First, Foxe has published a statement drawn up by the English Bishops explaining why they are unwilling to pay the Pope. Extracted from Matthew Paris, Chronica Majora, ed. Henry Richards Luard, Rolls Series (7 vols., London, 1872-1884), vol. 4, pp. 35, 37-8. The story then follows the events during the visitation of Legate Otto (Otho) to England and how he abused his position at the 1240 council of Bishops in London. This account is told entirely from Matthew Paris' Chronica Majora vol. 3, pp. 97, 102-3, 412, 414-7, 419-441, 473; vol. 4, pp. 6-10, 31-2. The account begins with Otto calming a contention between the Archbishops of York and Canterbury as a means to assert his own authority and act almost as if he were a 'god' overseeing his flock. The account then details the various monies that the Pope required from England to finance his war against the Emperor Frederick II. The Pope also demanded that room be made in England for 300 Romans to be beneficed. This was a result of a promise he had made the Roman Bishops in return for their support of his war. This is an excellent example of how Foxe used Matthew Paris. His translation remains true to the original manuscript Latin, but through the use of marginalia and a sentence of explanation here and there the basic facts are transformed from that of a disgruntled monk unhappy with papal interference into a powerful polemical attack against papal disregard for English authority and their abuse of taxation to fund a war which has nothing to do with England. It is interesting to note that Legate Otto's mission to England was one of church reforms and reasserting the peace after the events of King John's reign. However, Matthew Paris' suspicion of papal interference meant that his account recorded very little of the true nature of the mission. For Foxe this was a much more useful interpretation of the events than was available in other sources.

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The second half of the account describes how the Pope ignored the Bishops pleas at the Council of Lyons (1245) for non-payment of tithes. The complaint, Foxe explains, was in regard to the high burden of taxation from Rome that was impoverishing the realm and acting against England's best interests abroad. In retaliation the Pope threatened to interdict England and Henry III until the king relented. This account is again extracted from Matthew Paris, Chronica Majora, vol. 4, pp. 526-9, 440-444, 558, 560-1, 580. The characterisation of Legate Otto is completed when Foxe extracted a story from Matthew Paris Chronica Majora, vol. 3 pp. 481-5 of how the Legate caused a riot at the University of Oxford.

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Although it is generally believed that Foxe did not have access to the Chronica Majora for the first edition (1563) the evidence in this section proves otherwise. Neither of the series of extracts that can be found in John Bale, Scriptorum Illustrium maioris Brytanniae …Catalogus (Basel, 1557) or Matthias Flacius Illyricius, Catalogus testium veritatis (Basil, 1556) can accommodate the detailed use of Matthew Paris in the first edition of the Acts and Monuments, especially in this section. Admittedly Foxe could have used Roger of Wendover for Legate Otto's arrival to England and the demand for two prebends from every cathedral church (Roger of Wendover, Liber qui dictiur Flores Historiarum, ed. Henry G. Hewlett, Rolls Series (3 vols., London, 1886-9), vol. 2, pp. 289,295-6) but the rest of this account falls outside of that chronicles chronological range. Matthew Paris, Historia Anglorum, ed. Frederick Madden, Rolls Series (3 vols., London, 1866-9), vol. 2, pp. 276-9 also covers those events, however, from that point on all of Foxe's text is more detailed than the summaries contained in the Historia Anglorum. These accounts do however conform perfectly to the Chronica Majora. For instance the Council at London in which Otto settled a dispute between the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and laid out a series of reforming statutes can be found only as short summaries in the Historia Anglorum, vol. 2, pp. 398, 400. Similarly the story of Otto causing a riot at Oxford can only be found in a summarised form in the Historia Anglorum, vol. 2, pp. 407-8. Both accounts are to be found in full in the Chronica Majora.

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A similar picture emerges from analysis of the account of King John (1563, fos. 71v-69v) by Thomas S. Freeman, 'John Bale's Book of Martyrs?: The Account of King John in Acts and Monuments', Reformation, vol. 3 (1998), pp. 175-223), in which it is shown that not all of the references to Matthew Paris in that account can be found elsewhere. It would appear, therefore, that a copy, section of a copy or detailed notes was obtained to compile the accounts of King John and Henry III.

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It is also interesting to note that Foxe has largely left the text from the first edition intact, when he appears to have had only limited access to Matthew Paris. For the second edition, where he had access to Matthew Parker's copies of the Chronica Majora (CCCC MS 16 and 26), Foxe produced an entirely new account which added to and repeated much of what is stated here.

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Matthew Phillpott
University of Sheffield

, especially beneficed men and suche as had any thing of the Churche. Marginalia1230.Who, what for theire domesticall charges within the Realm, what for the Pope, what for the Legates, what for contrybutynge to the holy lande, what for relaxatyons, and other subtyle sleights to get away theyr mony, were brought into such slauerye, captiuitye, and penury, that wheras þe king ether durst nor might not remedy their exclamatiōs, they wer almost driuē by force to remedy theire own wrongs and oppression. So greate were theyr greuāces and distresses which they were broght to by the Romans as by theyr writings sēt abroad to bishops and chapters, and other eclesiastical houses may appeare, in this forme and effecte of words.

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MarginaliaThe complaint to england agaynst the couetousness of Rome.N. Episcopo & Capitulo, vniuersitas eorum qui magis volunt mori quā a Romanis cofundi salutem. Qualiter circa nos & alias personas ecclesiasticas Angliæ hactenus se habuerint Romani & eorum legati vestram non dubitamus latere discretionem. Benefici a regni, suis secundum quod eis placet conferendo, in vestrum & omnium aliorum Regni intolerabile præiudicium & grauamen: in vos & coepiscopos vestros aliasque personas ecclesiasticas, ad quos collatio beneficiorum pertinere dignoscitur, suspensionis sententias fulminando: ne alicui de regno beneficia conferatis, donec quinque Romanis, in singulis ecclesiis vestris per totam diocæsim sit prouisum, vni cuique eorum in reditu centum librarum. Alia & grauanina quā plurima, tā laicis & magnatibus regni super aduocationibus suis & eleemosynis ab eis, et antecessoribus suis datis in pauperum regni sustentationem, quin etiam clericis et aliis viris religiosis regni super rebus & beneficiis inferēdo. Nec præmißis contenti, ad vltimum a clericis regni beneficia quæ obtinent, vt ea Romanis conferant, non secundum quod decet, se sicut eis placet auferre volētes. & mox Nos itaque seueritatem eorum aduertentes, qui ab initio tanquam aduenæ sunt ingressi, nunc vero nos non tātum iudicare, sed & condemnare intendunt, alligantes onera importabibilia, quæ nec in se nec in suos digito mouere volunt. de communi consilio magis eligimus, licet tarde resistere quam eorū oppreßionibus intolerabilibus amplius subiacere, vel maiori subiici seruituti. Hinc est ф vobis mādamus, districte inhibētes, quatenus cum nos ecclesiam, regem, simul & regnum nitamur a tā graui iugo seruitutis eripere, circa eos qui de romanis vel eorum redditibus se intromittunt, nullas partes vestras imponere præsumatis, pro certo seituri, quod si huius mandati, quod absit, extiteritis transgressores, quæ vestra sunt, incendio subiacebunt, & pœnā quam Romani incurrent in personis, vos incurretis. Valete.

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The same in English.

TO such and such a bishop, and such a chapter, all the vniuersitie and company of them, that had rather dye then to be confounded of the romanes wisheth health. how the Romanes and theyre Legates haue hetherto behaued them selues to

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