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1332 [1332]

K. Henry. 8. The kinges letter to the Emperour and Christen Princes.

bee celebrate in the moneth of Nouember folowyng, appoyntyng at the first no certeine place. At length hee named and determined the Citie of Vincence (lying within the dominion of the Venetians) to bee the place for the Coūcell. Wherunto when the kyng (the yeare next folowyng, which is this present yeare of the Lord. 1538) was requested by þe Emperour & other states, to resorte either hym selfe, or els to send: he agayne refusing (as he did before) sendeth this Protestation, in way of defense and aunswere for him selfe to the Emperour, and other Christē Princes: the copy and effect wherof here vnder foloweth, and is this. 

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Henry VIII's letter to Charles V

The burning of Cowbridge at Oxford may well have been witnessed by Foxe himself, because he was in Oxford at the time. It also appears in the Rerum (p. 139). The 'Cope….his Dialogues' is a reference to Nicolas Harpsfield, Dialogi Sex, written over the name of Alan Cope, and published at Louvain in 1566. The stories of Leyton, Puttedew and Peke appear to be taken from the Norwich diocese visitation records, which are no longer extant. Henry's letter to the Emperor had been published, both in Latin and in English, by Thomas Berthelet in 1538 - see Henrici octaui regis Angliae et Franciae, fidei defensoris, supremiq[ue] post Christum Anglicae Ecclesiae capitis, ad Carolum Caesarem Augustum, caeterosq[ue] orbis Christiani monarchas, populumq[ue] Christianum, epistola, qua rex facile causas ostendit & curis Vincentiam, ad concilium falso nomine generale appellatum non sit uenturus, & quám periculorum sit aliis, qui ueram Christi doctrinam profitentur, eo sese conferre additus est et libellus ille, quem superiori anno, rex sereniss. vniuersiq[ue] Brytanniae proceres, de mantuanensi concilio aediderunt [ - STC 13080] and An epistle of the moste myghty [and] redouted Prince Henry the .viii. by the grace of God Kyng of England and of Fraunce, lorde of Irelande, defender of the faithe, and supreme heed of the churche of England, nexte vnder Christe, writen to the Emperours maiestie, to all Christen princes, and to all those that trewly and syncerely professe Christes religion [ - STC 13081].

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David LoadesHonorary Research Fellow,
University of Sheffield

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¶ Henry the eight by the grace of God, kyng of Englād and Fraūce. &c. saluteth the Emperour, Christen Princes, and all true Christen men, desiryng peace and concorde amongest them.

Marginalia1538.
The kings letter to the Emperour.
WHere as not long sithens, a booke came forth in our and all our Counsailes names, MarginaliaOf this boke reade before pag. 1234.whiche conteyned many causes, why we refused the Councell, then by the Byshop of Romes vsurped power first indicted at Mantua, to be kept the. xxiij. day of May, after proroged to Nouember, no place appointed where it should bee kept, and where as the same booke doth sufficiently proue, þt our cause could take no hurt, neither with any thyng done or decreed in such a company of addict men to one Sect, nor in any other Coūcel called by his vsurped power: MarginaliaOf this reade before pag. 1236. col. 2.we thinke it nothyng necessary, so oft to make new Protestations, MarginaliaThe Pope doth but mocke the world with his pretensed Councels.as the Byshop of Rome and his Courtes by subtiltie and craft, do inuent wayes to mocke the world, by newe pretensed general Coūcels. Yet notwithstandyng, because that some thinges haue now occurred, either vppon occasion giuen vs by chaūge of the place, or els through other consideratiōs, whiche now beyng knowen to the world, may do much good, we thought we should doe but euen as that loue enforceth vs, whiche we owe vnto Christes fayth and Religiō, to adde this Epistle. And yet we Protest, that we neither put forth that booke, neither yet we would this Epistle to bee set afore it, that thereby we should seme lesse to desire a generall Councell, then any other Prince or potentate, MarginaliaGenerall Councels are to be wished so they might be free vniuersally for all partes.but rather to be more desirous of it, so it were free for all partes, & vniuersal. And further we desire all good Princes, potentates, and people, to esteeme and thinke, that no Prince woulde more willingly be present at such a Coūcel, then we: such a one, we meane, as we speake of in our Protestation made concernyng the Councell of Mantua.

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MarginaliaNothyng more pernicious to the church, then generall Councels, if they be abused.Truly as our forefathers inuēted nothyng more holier then generall Coūcels, vsed as they ought to be, so there is almost nothyng, that may do more hurt to the Christiā cōmon wealth, to þe faith, to our Religion, then generall Coūcels, if they be abused to luker, to gaynes, to the establishement of errours. They bee called generall, and euen by their name do admonishe vs, that all Christen men, whiche do dissent in any opinion, may in them openly, frankly, and without feare of punishemēt or displeasure, say their mynde. For seyng such thinges as are decreed in generall Councels, touche egally all men that giue assent thereunto, it is meete that euery man may boldely say there, that he thinketh. MarginaliaThe popes Councels, are no generall Councels.And verely we suppose, that it ought not to bee called a generall Councell, where alonely those men are heard, whiche are determined for euer, in all pointes, to defende the Popishe parte, and to arme them selues to fight in the Bishop of Romes quarell, though it were against God and his Scriptures. MarginaliaThe Pope in his Councels is the partie accused: and also the iudge.It is no general Councell, neither it ought to be called generall, where the same men bee onely Aduocates and aduersaries: the same accused, & iudges. No, it is agaynst the law of nature, either that we should condescende to so vnresonable a law against our selues, either that we shoulde suffer our selues to bee lefte without all defence, and beyng oppressed with greatest iniuries, to haue no refuge to succour our selues at. The Byshop of Rome and his, be our great enemyes, as we and all the world may well perceiue by his doynges. He desireth nothyng more then our hurt, and the destruction of our realme: MarginaliaAgaynst all reason that he which is our accuser should also be our iudge.do not we then violate the iudgement of nature, if we giue hym power & authoritie to bee our Iudge? MarginaliaThe Popes honor first gotten by superstition borne by ignoraunce, nourished by ambition, increased by violence, defended by false vnderstanding and wrasting of scriptures.His pretēded honour first gotten by superstition, after encreased by violence, and other wayes, as euill as that: his power set vp by pretense of Religion, in deede both agaynst Religion, and also contrary to the worde of God: his primacie borne by the ignorancie of the world, nourished by the ambition of Bishops of Rome, defended by places of Scripture falsely vnderstand: these three things (we say) whiche are fallen with vs, and are lyke to fall in other realmes shortly, shal they not be established again, if hee may decide our cause as him lusteth? if he may at his pleasure oppresse a cause most rightuous, & set vp his, most agaynst truth? Certainely he is very blynd, that seeth not, what ende we may looke for of our controuersies, if such our enemy may giue the sentence.

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We desire, if it were in any wise possible, a Councell, where some hope may bee, that those thinges shall bee restored, whiche nowe beyng deprauate, are like (if they bee not amended) to be the vtter ruine of Christen Religion. And as we do desire such a Councell, and thinke it meete, that all men in all theyr prayers, should craue and desire it of God: MarginaliaProuidion to be made agaynst popish subtilties.euen so we thinke it perteineth vnto our office, to prouide both that these Popish subtilties hurt none of our subiectes, and also to admonishe other Christen Princes, that the Byshop of Rome may not by their consent, abuse the authoritie of kynges, either by the extinguishyng of the true preachyng of Scripture (that now begynneth to spryng, to grow, and spread abroad) either to the troublyng of Princes liberties, to the diminishyng of kings authorities, and to the great blemishe of their princely maiestie. We doubt nothyng but a reader not partiall, will soone approue such thinges as we here write, not so much for our excuse, as that the world may perceiue both the sondry deceites, craftes, and subtilties of the Papistes, and also, how much we desire that controuersies in Religion may once be taken away.

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All that we sayd there of Mantua, MarginaliaThis Councell of Mantua which the Pope proroged, he afterward transferred to Vincence. This was the yeare. 1537.may here well bee spokē of Vincence. They do almost agree in al pointes. Neither it is lyke, that there will be any more at this Concell at Vincence, then were the last yeare at Mantua. Truly hee is woorthy to bee deceiued, that beyng twise mocked, will not beware the thyrd tyme. If any this last yeare made forth toward Mantua, and beyng halfe on their way, then perceiued that they had taken vpon them that iourney in vayne, we do not thinke thē so foolishe, þt they will hereafter ryde farre out of town to be mocked. The tyme also, and the state of thinges is such, that matters of Religion may rather now bee brought farther in trouble (as other thinges are) then be commodiously intreated of, and decided. MarginaliaThis time vnmeete for a generall Councell, and why?For where as, in maner, the whole world is after such sort troubled with warres, so incombred with the great preparations that the Turke maketh, can there be any man so agaynst the setlyng of Religion, that hee will thinke this tyme mete for a generall Councell? Vndoubtedly it is meete that such controuersies as we haue with the Byshop of Rome, bee taken as they are, that is, much greater then that they may either bee discussed in this so troublesome a tyme, or els be committed vnto Proctours, without our great ieoperdie, albeit the tyme were neuer so quiete.

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What other Princes will do, we can not tell: but we neither leaue our realme at this tyme, neither will we will trust any Proctour with our cause, wherein the whole stay and wealth of our realme standeth, but rather we will be at the handlyng therof our selfe. MarginaliaNeyther the iudge, nor the place conuenient for a generall Councell.For except both an other iudge be agreed vpon for those matters, and also a place more commodious bee prouided for the debatyng of our causes, albeit all other thinges were as we woulde haue them, yet may we lawfully

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refuse
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