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1198 [1198]

K. Henry. 8 Augustine Packington. A proclamatiō by the King agaynst the Gospellers.

sure, I must disbource money to paye for them, or els I can not haue them, and so I will assure you to haue euery booke of them that is printed and vnsolde. The Byshop thinking he had God by the too, sayd: do your diligēce gentle Maister Packington, get them for me, and I will pay what so euer they coste, for I entend to burne and destroy thē all at Paules Crosse. MarginaliaAugustine Packington, the Bishop of Lōdons marchaūt.This Augustine Packington, went vnto William Tyndal and declared the whole matter, and so vpon compact made betwene them, the Byshop of London had the bookes, Packington had the thankes, and Tyndall had the money. After this, Tyndall corrected the same new Testamentes agayne, and caused them to be newly imprinted, so that they came thicke and threefolde ouer into England. When the Byshop perceaued that, hee sent for Packington, and said to hym, how cometh this that there are so many new Testaments abroade? you promised me that you would bye thē all. Then aunswered Packington, surely I bought all that was to bee had, but I perceaue they haue printed more since. I see it will neuer be better, so long as they haue letters and stampes, wherfore you were best to bye þe stampes too, and so you shalbe sure. At which aunswere the Bishop smyled and so the matter ended.

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MarginaliaGeorge Constantine.In short space after, it fortuned that George Constantine was apprehended by Syr Thomas More, whiche was then Chauncellour of England, suspected of certaine heresies during the tyme that he was in the custodie of M. More. After diuers communications amongest other thyngs, M. More asked of hym, saying: Constantine I would haue thee plaine with me in one thyng that I will aske, and I promise thee I will show thee fauour in all other thynges, wherof thou art accused. There is beyonde the sea, Tyndall, Ioye, and a great many of you: I know they can not liue without helpe. There are some that helpe and succour them with money, and thou being one of them, haddest thy part therof, and therfore knowest frō whence it came. I pray thee tell me, who be they that helpe them thus? My Lord quoth Constātine, I will tell you truly: it is the Byshop of London that hath holpen vs, for he hath bestowed among vs a great deale of money vpon new Testamentes to burne them, & that hath bene & yet is our onely succour & comfort. Now by my truth, quoth More, I thinke euen the same, for so much I told the Byshop before he went about it.

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Of this George Constantine moreouer it is reported by Syr Tho. More, MarginaliaOut of Mores preface agaynst Tindall.that he being takē and in hold, semed well content to renounce hys former doctrine, and not onely to disclose certeine other of his felowes, but also studied and deuised, how those bookes, which him selfe and other of his fellowes had brought and shypped, might come to the Byshops handes to be burned, and shewed to the foresaid Syr Tho. More Chaūcellour, the shypmans name that had them, and the markes of the fardels, by the whiche the bookes afterward were taken and burned. MarginaliaGeorge Constantine, a discloser of his fellowes.Besides this he is reported also to haue disclosed diuers of his companions, of whom some were abiured after, some had abiured before, as Rich. Necton, who was committed to Newgate vpon the same, & is thought there to haue dyed in prison, or els had not escaped their handes, but should haue suffered burning, if the reporte of M. More be to be credited. More in hys preface agaynst Tindall.

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MarginaliaGeorge Constantine a troubler of Ferrar Byshop of S. Dauids.Notwithstāding the same Constantine afterward, by the helpe of some of his frendes, ascaped out of prison ouer the seas, and after that, in the tyme of kyng Edward, was one of them that troubled the good Byshop of S. Dauides, whiche after in Queene Maryes time, was burned. But of Constantine enough.

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Mention was made in þe leafe before. pag. 1157. how the Byshops had procured of the kyng a proclamation to be set forth in þe yeare of our Lord. 1529. for þe abolishyng of diuers bookes aforenamed, & also for withstādyng of all such as taught or preached any thing a-gaynst the dignitie and ordinaunces of the Church of Rome. Vpon this proclamation insued great persecution and trouble against the poore innocent flocke of Christ, as here following you may see, with the sayd proclamation also prefixed before the same, the tenor wherof is this.

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¶ A Proclamation for resistyng and withstandyng of most dampnable heresies, sowen within this realme by the disciples of Luther, and other heretickes, peruerters of Christes Religion.

MarginaliaThys proclamation was made throughout all England, the yeare of our Lorde 1529. and the xxj. yeare of K. Henry. 8.THe kyng our souerayne Lord, of hys most vertuous and gratious disposition, consideryng that this noble realme of England, hath of long tyme continued in the true Catholicke fayth of Christes religion, and that his noble progenitours, kynges of this his sayd realme, haue before thys tyme, made and enacted, many deuout lawes, statutes, and ordinaunces, for the mainteinaunce and defence of the sayd fayth, agaynst the malicious and wicked sectes of heretickes and Lollardes, who by peruersion of holy Scripture, to enduce erroneous opiniōs, sowe sedition among Christen people, and finally do disturbe the peace and tranquillitie of Christen realmes, as late happened in some parties of Germany, where, by the procurement and sedition of Martin Luther and other heretickes, were slayne an infinite nomber of Christen people: consideryng also, that aswell by the corruption and malice of indiscrete preachers, fautours of the sayd erroneous sectes, as by certayne hereticall and blasphemous bookes lately made, and priuily sent into this realme, by the disciples, fautors, and adherentes of the said Martine Luther and other heretickes, the kynges subiectes are lyke to bee corrupted, vnlesse hys hyghnesse (as the defensor of the fayth) do put to hys most gratious helpe and authoritie royall, to the due and spedy reformation therof: hys hyghnes therfore, lyke a most gratious Prince, of hys blessed and vertuous dispositiō, for the imcomparable zeale, whiche he hath to Christes religion and fayth, & for the singular loue and affection that he beareth to all hys good subiectes of this hys realme, and specially to the saluation of theyr soules, accordyng to hys office and duety in that behalfe, willeth and intendeth to prouide withall conuenient expedition, that thys hys noble realme maye bee preserued from the sayd pestiferous, cursed, and seditious errours. And for as much as hys hyghnes is credibly informed, that some of the sayd errors be already sowen and spread within thys hys realme, partly by the corruption of indiscrete preachers, partly by erroneous bookes, compyled, prynted and written, as well in the Englishe tongue, as in latine & other languages, replete with most venemous heresies, blasphemies, & sclaunders, intolerable to the cleane eares of any good Christen man: hys hyghnes therefore, lyke a most gratious and Christiā Prince, onely entendyng the sauegard of thys his realme, the preseruation of hys subiectes, and saluation of theyr soules, willeth to put now in executiō, with all diligence possible, all good lawes, statutes, & ordinaunces concerning the premisses before thys tyme prouided, made, and ordeyned by hys most noble progenitours, kynges of England, for that pnrpose and entent. Whiche lawes and statutes by our souerayne Lord, and hys most honorable counsayle, by long and deliberate aduise for the extirpation suppressyng and withstandyng of the sayd heresyes, haue bene seene, examined, and by them in euery parte, thought good and necessary to be put in execution.

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Wherefore hys hyghnes chargeth and straytly commaundeth all and euery hys Lordes spirituall & temporall, Iudges, Iustices of peace, Shryues, Maiors, Bayliffes, Constables, & all other hys Officers, Ministers, and all his true and louyng subiectes, that all fauour, affectiō, and partialitie layd apart, they effectually with all diligence and study, endeuour them selues substantially, for, the executyng of all and euery of the Articles hereafter ensuyng, without dissimulatiō, intermissiō, or excuse, as they will auoyde his high indignation & displeasure.

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First, that no man within the kynges realme or other hys dominions subiecte to hys hyghnes, hereafter presume to preach, teache, or informe any thyng openly or priuely, or compile and write any booke, or hold, exercise, or kepe any assembles or scholes, in any maner of wise, contrary to the Catholicke fayth, or determination of holy Churche, nor that any person within this hys sayd realme and dominions, do presume to preache openly or secretly, without they haue first obtayned licence of

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