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1255 [1255]

K. Henry. 8. The letter of Tonstall and Stokesley to Cardinall Poole.

and the auncient families of Israell, for the Iudgement and cause of the Lord tovvards all the inhabitantes of the earth: and he charged them, saying: thus shall ye do in the feare of the Lord, faythfully and in a perfect harte. MarginaliaChron. 31.Furthermore: Ezechias appoynted the Priestes and the Leuites in their order, to vvaite by course euery man accordyng to his office. And it followeth: Ezechias gaue commaundement to the people dvvellyng in Hierusalem 

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Commentary from the book of Ezekiel.

, that they should giue their portions to the Priestes and Leuites, that they might attende on the lavv of the Lord. Where it followeth also that by the precept of Ezechias the king, & of Azarias þe Byshop of þe house of the Lord, all thinges were done: to whom perteyned all the dispensation of the house of the Lord. And in the end it is sayd: Ezechias did all these thynges in all Iury: he vvrought that vvhich vvas good, right, and true before his Lorde God in all the furniture of the ministery of the house of the Lord, accordyng to the lavve and ceremonyes, desirous to seeke his Lord God vvith all his harte, as he did, and prospered therin. MarginaliaChron. 35. Iosias also 
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This refers to King Josias, who reigned in Judah between 639-08BC. His reign is discussed in largely parallel accounts found in II Kings 22-3 and II Chronicles 34-5.

did ordeine Priestes in theyr offices, and commaunded many thynges.

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By all whiche it may appeare, that Christian kynges be soueraignes ouer the Priestes, as ouer all other theyr subiectes, & may cōmaund þe priestes to do theyr offices, aswell as they do others: and ought by theyr Supreme office, to see that all men of all degrees doe theyr dutyes, wherunto they be called either by God, or by the kyng: and those kynges that so do, chiefly do execute well their office. So that the kyngs 

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This is the argument at Public Records Office, State Papers 1/113, fol.10r] which begins the final sections of the bishops arguments, looking at the temporal and spiritual spheres as distinct but interconnected societies.

hyghnes takyng vpon hym as supreme head of the Churche of England, to see that as well spirituall men, as temporall do theyr dueties, doth neither make innouation in the Church, nor yet trouble the order thereof: but doth as the chief and the best of the kynges of Israell dyd, and as all good Christian kyngs ought to do. MarginaliaGenerall Coūsells called by the Emperours.Whiche office good Christian Emperours alwaies toke vpon them, in callyng the vniuersall Coūsayles of all countreys, in one place and at one tyme, to assemble together, to the entent that all heresyes troublyng the Churche, might be there extyrped: callyng and commaundyng aswell the Byshop of Rome, as other Patriarckes and all Primates, as well of the East, as of the Weast, of þe South as of the North, to come to the sayd Councels. As Martianus the Emperour dyd in callyng the great Coūcell of Calcedon, 
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The council of Chalcedon was summoned in 451.

one of the foure chief and first generall Councels, commaundyng Leo then Byshop of Rome, to come vnto þe same. And albeit Leo neither lyked the time, whiche he would for a season should haue ben differred: nor yet þe place, for he would haue had it in Italy, where as the Emperour by his own cōmaundement had called it to Calchis in Asia: yet he aunswered the Emperour, that he would gladly obey hys commaūdement, and sent thether hys agentes to appeare there for hym, as doth appeare in the Epistles of Leo 
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There appears to be some confusion here. Although there were a series of epistles exchanged between Leo and Marcianus (and Pulcheria), these are numbers 77, 78, 83, 89 and 94 (to Marcianus) and numbers 45 and 84 (to Pulcheria) and not the numbers assigned by the bishops. Leo finds the summoning inconvenient in letter 83. [For the epistles, see 'Leo the Great: Letters, Sermons; Gregory the Great: Pastoral Rule, etc.', in Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers, second series, 14 vols., ed. by Henry R Percival (New York, 1890-1900), xii.

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to Martiane then the Emperour, xli. xlvij. xlviij. and in the. xlix. Epistle to Pulcheria þe Empresse. And likewise he desireth Theodosius the Emperour to commaunde a Councell of Byshops to be called in Italy, for takyng away such contenciōs and troubles, as at that time troubled the quietnes of the Churches. And in many moe Epistles of the same Leo it doth manifestly appeare, that the Emperors alwayes assembled generall Councels by their commaūdementes. And in the vi. Councell generall 
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The sixth great general council of the Church was the 3rd Council of Constantinople (680-1), under Pope Agatho and Emperor Constantine Pogonatus (wherein the two distinct natures of Christ was agreed).

, it appeareth very plainly, that at tyme the Bishops of Rome made no clayme nor vsed any title 
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This refers to the letter of Agatha 'To the Emperor', the full text of which can be found on line at http://www.monachos.net/library/Agatho_the_Wonderworker_Pope_of_Rome%2C_Letter_to_the_Emperor.

to call them selues heades vniuersall ouer all the Catholicke Churche, as there doth appeare in the superscription or salutation of the foresaid Sinodicall preamble, which is thus word for word:

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To the most godly Lordes & most noble victors and conquerours, the welbeloued childrē of God and of our Lord Iesu Christ, Constantine the great Emperour, & to Heraclius and Tiberius Cesars, Bishop Agatho the seruaūt of the seruauntes of God, withall the conuocations subiect to þe Councel of þe Sea Apostolicke, sendeth gretyng. And he expresseth what countreys he reckened and comprehended in that superscriptiō or salutation: For it followeth þt those were vnder hys assembly, which were in the North & East partes. So that at that tyme the Byshop of Rome made no such pretence to bee ouer and aboue all, as he now doth by vsurpation, vendicatyng to hym selfe the spirituall kyngdome of Christ, by which he raygneth in the heartes of all faythfull people, & then chaungeth it to a temporall kyngdome ouer and aboue all kynges, to depose them for hys pleasure, preachyng therby the fleshe for the spirite 

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I Peter 2.13-14.

, and an earthlye kyngdome for an heauenly, to hys owne dampnation, if he repente not. Where he ought to obey hys Prince by the doctrine of S. Peter, in hys first Epistle, saying: Marginalia1. Pet. 2.Be ye subiect to euery ordinaunce of mā for the Lordes sake, vvhether it be to the king as to the chief, or vnto gouerners as sent of hym to the punishment of the euill doers, and to the prayse of the good. Agayne S. Paul. 
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Romans 13.1.

Let euery soule be subiect to the hygher povvers: MarginaliaRom. 13.with other thynges before alledged. So that this hys pretensed vsurpation to be aboue all kynges, is directly agaynst the Scriptures, geuen to the Churche by the Apostles: whose doctrine whosoeuer ouerturneth, can be neither the head, nor yet the least member of the Churche.

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Wherfore, albeit ye haue heretofore sticked to the sayd wrongfully vsurped power, moued thereto, as ye write, by your conscience, yet sithens now ye see further, if ye lust to regarde the mere truth, & such auncient authours as haue bene written to you of in tymes past, we would exhort you for the wealth of your soule, to surrender into the Byshop of Romes handes, your red hat: by which he seduced you, trusting so to make you, being come of a noble bloud, an instrument to aduaunce his vayne glory, wherof, by þe sayd hatte, he made you participant, to allure you thereby the more to his purpose. In whiche doyng ye shall returne to the truth, from whiche ye haue erred: do your duetie to your soueraigne Lord, frō whō ye haue declined, & please therby almightie God, whose lawes ye haue transgressed: and in not so doyng, ye shall remaine in errour, offending both almightie God, and your naturall soueraigne Lord, whom chiefly ye ought to seeke to please. Whiche thing, for the good minde that we heretofore haue borne you, we pray almighty God of his infinite mercy, that you do not. Amen.

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Marginalia1535.When al other the kyngs subiectes, & the learned of þe realme had taken and accepted the othe of the kyngs supremacie, onely Fisher Bishop of Rochester 

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Cardinal Fisher was executed by beheading on 22 June 1535, whereas Sir Thomas More was executed by beheading on 6 July 1535.

, and Syr Thomas More refused (as is aforesayd) to be sworne: who therfore fallyng in daunger of the law, were committed into the tower, and executed for the same. an. 1535. This Iohn Fisher aforesayd, had written before agaynst Oecolampadius, whose booke yet is extant 
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Foxe here refers to Fisher's treatise of 1527 entitled De Veritate Corporis et Sanguinis Christi in Eucharistia.

, and afterward agaynst Luther. 
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Foxe has his publication dates a little confused here. Fisher published three treatises against Luther, but all prior to 1527. These are Sermon ... agayn ye pernicyous doctrin of Martin Luther (1521); Defensio Regiæ Assertionis or A Defence of the Assertions of the King of England against Luthers "Babylonian Captivity") (1525); and Sacri Sacerdotii Defensio Contra Lutherum (1525).

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MarginaliaIohn Fysher Byshop of Rochester, enemye to Christes Gospell.Also amongst other his Actes he had bene a great enemy 
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Foxe is referring back to the polemic dispute over purgatory doctrine. Fisher had written Confutation of Lutheran Assertions (1523), presenting a series of patristic arguments in favour of purgatory doctrine. Frith, in part, answered this treatise, in 1531, with a work entitled A disputation of Purgatory.

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& persecutor of Iohn Frith the godly learned Martyr of Iesus Christ, whom he & Syr Thomas More caused to bee burned a yeare and halfe before, and shortly after, the said Fisher, to his confusion, was charged with Elizabeth Barton (called the holy mayde of Kent) and found giltie by Acte of Parlamēt, as is aboue recorded. For his learnyng and other vertues of lyfe this Byshop was well reputed and reported of many, and also much lamēted of some. But what so euer his learnyng was, pitie it was, that he beyng indued wt that knowledge, should be so farre drowned in such superstitiō: more pitie that he was so obstinate in his ignoraunce: but most pitie of all that he so abused þe learnyng he had, to such crueltie, as he dyd. But thus commonly we see come to passe, as the Lord sayth: that who so stryketh 
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A paraphrase of Matthew 26.52.

with the sworde, shall perishe with the sworde, MarginaliaBloud reuenged with bloud.and they that stayne their handes with bloud, seldom do bryng their bodyes drye to the graue: as cōmonly appeareth by the end of bloudy tyrannes, and especially such as be persecutors of Christes poore members. MarginaliaByshop Fysher and Syr Th. More, persecutours.In the number of whom was this Byshop and Syr Thomas More, by whom good Iohn Frith, 
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Frith was burned as a heretic on 4 July 1533.

Teukesbery, 
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John Tewkesbury was burned as a heretic on 20 December 1531.

Thomas Hytten, 
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Thomas Hitton was burned as a heretic about 16 February 1530.

Bayfild, 
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Richard Bayfield was burned as a heretic on 4 December 1531.

with diuers other good Saintes of God, wer brought to their death. It was sayd that the Pope, to recōpense Bishop Fisher for hys faithfull seruice, had elected him Cardinall 
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Pope Paul III created Fisher the cardinal-priest of St Vitalis in May 1535. Historical speculation is that this was done in an effort to force Henry VIII to think twice about having him executed.

, and sent him a Cardinals Hatte as farre as Calyce, but the head it should stād vpō, was as hye as Londō Bridge, ere euer the Popes hatte could come to him. MarginaliaByshop Fysher and Syr Th. More, beheaded.Thus bishop Fisher and Syr Thomas More, whiche a litle before had put Iohn Frith to death for heresie agaynst the Pope, were them selues executed and beheaded for treason agaynst the kyng, the one the 22. of Iune, the other the vj. of Iuly, an. 1534.

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Of Syr Thomas More some thyng hath bene touched before, who was also recompted a mā both wittie and learned, but what soeuer he was beside, a bytter persecutor he was of good men, and a wretched enemy agaynst the truth of the Gospell, MarginaliaThe lying bookes of Syr Tho. More.as by hys bookes left behynd hym may appeare, wherin most slaunderously,

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