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pouerty, that for worldly businesse and slouthe may not study it. Also the iiii. Euāgelists wrote the gospel in diuers languages, as Mathew in Iury, Marke in Italy, Luke in Achaie, & Ihon in Asie. And al these wrote in the languages of the same countries, also Toby sayeth. Cha. xiij. that God dispearsed, spread, or scattered abrode the Iewes among the heathen people, that they telling vnto them the marueylles of god: they should know that there were no other god, but God of Israel. And god ordained his people to beleue his lawe, wrytten among them in theyr mother tounge, vt pater. Ge. xvij. Exo. xiij. In so much the boke of Iudith is wrytten in Calde speach, vt patet per Hieronimum in prologo eiusdem. Also the bookes of Daniel, and of Esdras beene wrytten in Calde, vt patet per Hieronimum in Prologis eorundem. Also the boke of Iohel is in Arabike and Syre speach, vt patet per Hieronium in prologo eiusdem. Also Exechiel the prophet prophesied in Babylon, and left his prophesy vnder the mother tounge of Babilon, vt patet per Hieronimum in prologo eiusdem. Also the Prophesye of Isaye is translated into the tongue of Ethiope, as Hie. cōcludeth in primo prologo Genes. MarginaliaArgementum doctū &Then sythen the dark prophesyes were trāslated amonges the heathen people, that they myght haue knowledge of God, and of the Incarnatyon of Chryst. Much more it ought to be translated to Englyshe people that haue receyued the fayth, and bounden them selfe to kepe it vpon paine of dampnatyon, sythen Christ commaunded hys apostles to preach hys gospel vnto al the world, and excepted no people nor language. Also Orygen translated the Byble oute of Ebrewe into Greke, wyth healpe of other in the yeare of our Lord God. CCxxxiiij. Also Aquila translated it in the tyme of Adrian themperor in the yere of our Lord C.xxiiij. Also Theodosius translated it in tyme of themperor Comede. liiij. yere after Aquila. Also Simacus trāslated it in the tyme of the Emperoure Serene xxx. yere after Theodosion, Eight yere after Simacus it was trāslated, the author vnknown in the tyme of Alexāder themperor, & Ierom trāslated it into Latyn, vt in cronicis Cistercien. li. ij. ca. xxxij. And after that Ierom had translated it into Latyn, he translated, for ij. women. much of the Byble. And to the maydens Eustachia and Paula, he translated the bokes of Iosue, of Iudicum and Ruth, and Hester, and Ecclesyastes, Ieremy, Isay, and Daniel, and the xij. prophets, and the vij. canonyke Epystles, vt patet in prologo eorundem. And so al mē may se here by Ierome, that it was neuer hys entente to bynde the law of God vnder hys translatyon of Latin, but by his own dede geueth leaue to trāslate it into euery speach, for Ierom wryteth in hys lxxviij, Epystle to thys man Atleta, that he should enforme hys daughter in the bookes of the old law and the new. Also in his lxxv. Epystle he wryteth to the virgin Demetriadis, that she shuld for to encrese her self in vertue, to rede now vpon one boke, and now vpon another. And he specyfyeth vnto her that she also reade the Gospel, and the Epystles of the Apostles. And thus the Englyshe men desyre to haue the lawe of God in Englyshe, sythen it is called the law vndefyled, conuertyng soules into clennes lex domini immaculata conuertas animas, But Antychryst sayeth that it is corrupt wyth the litteral letter that slayeth soules, takynge hys au-toritye of Paule, that sayeth, litera accidit spiritus autem viuificat. That is the letter of the ceremonyes of the old law slayeth the Iewes, and them that now vsen them, but the spiryte of the new law quyckneth true Chrysten men, sythen Chryst sayeth my wdrdes bene spiryte and life. Also we take ensample of holy virgyns to loue to read the gospel as they dyden, as Katheryn, Cecyle, Lucye, Agnes, Margaret, whyche alledged the holy gospel to the infydels, that slue thē for the kepyng therof. Of these forsaid auctoryties it is proued lawful, that both men and women lawfully may rede and wryte Gods lawe in their mother tonge, and they that forfenden thys they shew them selues heyres and sonnes of the fyrste tormentoures, and worse, for they shewen them selues the very disciples of Antichrist, which hath and shal passe al the malice of tirauuts that haue bene before in stoppyng and peruerting of Gods law, which dede engendereth great vengeaunce to fal in this realme, but if it be amended. For Paule saieth. Rom i. The wrath of god is shewed frō heauen vpon cruelnes & vnrighteousnesse of those men that withhold the truth of god in vnrightwisenes. Reue latnr enim ira dei super omnem impietatem & iniustitia hominum eorum qui veritatem dei in iustitia detinent. Now god of his mercye geue vnto our kinge, and to our Lordes grace of true vnderstanding to amend this default principallye and al other, then shal we mowe easely to be amended. For vntil it be amended, there shal neuer be reast and peace in this realme. Who that findeth or readeth this letter, put it forth in examination, and suffer it not to be hid or destroyed, but multiplied, for no man knoweth what profite maye come therof. For he that compiled it, purposeth with Goddes helpe to maintaine it vnto the death, if nead be. And therfore al christen men and wemen pray that the word of god maye be vnbounde and deliuered from the power of Antichrist, and runne amonge hys people. Amen.

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¶ A compendious discourse comprehending the whole summe and matter concerning the deuorcement of Quene Katherine. 
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Henry VIII's divorce

Foxe's treatment of Henry VIII's divorce from Queen Catherine of Aragon was clearly central to how he explained the coming of the protestant reformation to England. In the 1563 edition, his explanatory structure was clear and unadorned. He sought to provide 'the whole summe and matter' and to prove that it was a 'maruelous and moost gracious worke', a direct intervention of the 'holy prouidence of God', an event which would have been unthinkable for 'anye Prince within this realme' on his own, let alone any subject of it. That providence worked through the conscience of the king, by which God 'did kepe al princes and kinges so vnder him'. The problem for Foxe was that, if he were to provide the comprehensive account of the affair that he promised, it necessarily involved a complex narrative that concentrated more upon the secret and public affairs of men (and women) rather than the inner workings of divine providence. At all events, by 1570, this explicit explanatory structure, with its ringing introductory claims, was abandoned by Foxe in favour of a denser, but more circumstantiated account of the divorce, in which the point about God's providence became buried in the narrative. By concentrating on the events post-1529, Foxe conveniently ignores, of course, the longer history of the early fourteenth-century praemunire and provisor acts of the English parliament which were essential background to the parliamentary intervention in the 'King's Great Matter' in due course.

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In the 1563 edition, Foxe quickly asserts his view that the marriage of King Henry VIII to Catherine of Aragon in 1509 had been unlawful ab initio. His view was shared by many contemporaries, who thought that it contravened both divine law and human legal custom (so-called 'impediments'). It contravened divine law in that Catherine had been married to Henry's elder brother Arthur. When he died, it was considered imperative by all parties (Henry VII, Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile) that the marriage tie between England and Spain continue, but a papal dispensation was necessary as the subsequent marriage contravened divine law as spelled out in Leviticus (18.16 and 20.21). In other words, there was both an impediment of affinity and of a consanguinity relationship (within forbidden degrees) between Catherine and Henry. Affinity was understood in one of two ways, however, in either 'biblical' or 'canonical' forms. The former (as outlined in Leviticus) arose out of the 'sponsalia' only, that is the 'matrimonium ratum', for which consummation was irrelevant (unlike in the case of the latter and out of which consanguinity or the blood relationship developed). There was a contemporary opinion (e.g. that of William Warham) that even with a papal dispensation the subsequent marriage would be unlawful (see BL, Cott. MSS, Vit. B, xii, fol.123v; L&P, iv:iii, 5774) and certain complications over the dispensation itself, when it was granted by Pope Julius II, were raised. In the event, while the full dispensation was being considered, Queen Isabella of Castile, near death, demanded action and was sent a rather hastily written papal brief (subsequently known as the 'Spanish Brief') dated 26 December 1503 (actually despatched in the autumn of 1504). This was known in England [see, L&P, i, p.243] and the brief was believed to be an inexact version of the bull. Later legal difficulties arose over the Latin word 'forsan' ('perhaps') which appears in the bull but not in the brief with regard to the consummation of the earlier marriage. (For a view of the bull and the brief that reflects some of these contemporary perceptions, see Edward Lord Herbert of Cherbury, The Life and Raigne of King Henry the Eighth (London, 1649), pp. 264ff.) While the brief acknowledged consummation, the bull merely stated that it was probable. This question mark over the consummation, despite the definition of affinity, was a matter for heated opinions for which no definitive theological evidence existed, and over which opinion (among the divines, ancient Fathers and canonists) was divided well into the sixteenth-century (see Andrew A Chibi, Henry VIII's Conservative Scholar (Bern, 1997), pp.23ff; J. J. Scarisbrick, Henry VIII [Berkeley, 1968], pp.163ff). In 1504 there were also certain financial matters to be faced. King Henry VII had been slow in making treaty-related payments to King Ferdinand of Aragon as he and Queen Isabella had not completed their 'dowry' obligations. Henry VIII stalled the new marriage to put pressure on his ally, which raised rumours that Catherine was actually pregnant, rumours exacerbated by the delay in created prince Henry as 'Prince of Wales'. The king also had the prince record a formal protest against the marriage (he was fourteen, considered of age, while the marriage had been negotiated without his prior consent). When Henry became king in 1509, he married Catherine nine weeks after his accession, despite theological opinion. These other legalities and political tactics would be brought up again in due course. Human legal custom (not obligatory) had been contravened in that the impediment of 'public honesty', which arose from the apparent non-fulfilment of the original marriage contract (non-consummation), had not been officially addressed in any contemporary documents. For a difference of opinion, cf. Scarisbrick, Henry VIII, pp.184-97 and Jasper Ridley, Thomas Cranmer (London, 1962), pp.37ff. These were all delicate issues. In a quite remarkable revision of his presentation, Foxe is much less strident about the 'unlawfulness' of the marriage in 1570 and later editions. It was 'very straunge and hard, for one bother to mary the wife of an other'. This enabled him to place the emphasis elsewhere - on the advice that Henry VIII received from learned theologians on the matter in Europe's universities; and to heap blame on the papacy for its role in the affair.

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To make the point that the marriage had been 'unlawful', Foxe somewhat exaggerates the point by saying that 'all universities' in the 1563 edition had found it to be so. He nuances the point in the editions after 1570. No university in Germany was found to give a positive determination, and many of the positive determinations were predicated upon the belief that Catherine's first marriage was consummated (over which there is a question mark). However, twelve positive determinations were sent, several of which were published as a preface to a book detailing the theological conclusions of the king's scholars, written by Stokesley, Fox and de Burgo and translated into English by Thomas Cranmer. The twelve positive determinations of 1530 come from Oxford (8 April) - gained by Fox, Longland and Bell; Cambridge (9 March) - gained by Fox and Gardiner; the canon law faculty of Paris (25 May) - gained by Stokesley, Fox and Reginald Pole; the divinity faculty of Paris (2 July) - gained by Stokesley, Fox and Pole; Angers (7 May); Bourges (10 June); Bologna (10 June); Orléans (5 April); Toulouse (1 October); Padua (1 July), Ferrara and Pavia (no dates mentioned). The text of some of these can be found in The Divorce Tracts of Henry VIII, ed. by Edward Surtz and Virginia Murphy (Angers, 1988), pp.5-27. There was a related problem of determining how valuable these university opinions were. Many modern scholars (e.g., Rex, Scarisbrick) have said that they had limited value in that they were bought and paid for (see, Rex Fisher, p. 163; Scarisbrick, Henry VIII, p. 256). Others (e.g., Chibi, Farge) have examined in more detail how the royal scholars solicited and interpreted the advice they received (see Andrew A Chibi, Henry VIII's Bishops [Cambridge, 2003], pp.110-2; James K Farge, 'The Divorce Consultation of Henry VIII', in Orthodoxy and Reform in Early Reformation France: The Faculty of Theology of Paris, 1500-1543 [Leiden, 1985], pp.135-43).

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Foxe was convinced in the 1563 that the pope's dispensation in respect of the marriage was unlawful - an early indication to those who had eyes to see of the fundamental flaws in the papal claims to authority in such matters. The question of whether the pope had sufficient authority to dispense with divine law in certain cases (that one the various faculties and doctors determined on) assumed that the previous marriage had been consummated. While it is interesting to go through the various evidences put forward one way or another, the fact of the matter is that the three central figures to the events, Catherine, Henry and Arthur, all had agendas to pursue, so anything they say is questionable in hindsight. For instance, when Henry first married Catherine, he said she was a virgin, a claim which assured the legitimacy of any premature births. Later, when he claimed she had not been a virgin, it suited the king's need for it to be nullified.

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Foxe was aware that a full account of the 'Great Matter' had to account for where the royal doubts about the validity of his marriage had come from. In 1563, Foxe formulates what still remain the three main avenues of scholarly investigation. Either Wolsey first suggested there was a problem, or the Spanish ambassador, or the king himself developed a scruple. In the 1570 edition and beyond, Foxe nuances his account, suggesting that it was a royal doubt, nurtured by the discussions over the possible marriage of Princess Mary, firstly to the Emperor Charles V (arranged through the so-called Treaty of Windsor, 1522) and then, when that fell through (the Infanta Isabel, or Isabella of Portugal being eventually married to Charles V, at Seville, 10 March 1526) by another potential marriage proposal to the French duke of Orléans, where there was a parallel problem, pointed out to him in the negotiations by a président of the Parlement of Paris. That said, Foxe is equally clear that Wolsey had a role in fomenting the king's doubts. In fact, we now know that Wolsey had already expressed them guardedly as early as 1518 (Calendar of State Papers, i (i & ii), i, p.1). What is undeniable is the issue that Foxe does not comment on, allowing the king's oration to do so for him (it would perhaps have been imprudent to dwell on it too much in 1570, or in subsequent editions): that after nine years of marriage, Henry did not have a male heir and this placed the Tudor dynasty on unsteady ground.

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Andrew ChibiUniversity of Leicester

AFter the declaratyon of these thinges gone before, next commeth to oure handes (by the order and processe of the time we are nowe aboute) to intreate of the maruelous and moost gracious worke, of the holy prouidence of God, beginnyng nowe here to worke about this time in Englande, that whych nether durste be attempted before of anye Prince wythin this realme, nor yet could euer be hoped for of anye subiect, concerninge the abolishinge and ouer throwe of the popes supremacy here in the English church. Who throughe the false pretensed title of hys vsurped authoritye, and throughe the vayne feare of his keies, and cursed cursynges or excommunications, dyd so depelye syt in the conscience of men, did kepe al princes and kinges so vnder him: briefly did so plant bym selfe in all churches, taking so depe rote in the harts

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