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210 [210]

King Ethelstane. King Ethelstane.

with the rage of wyndes and of the floudes, and nowe weary of his lyfe, cast himselfe ouer borde into the sea, and so was drowned. Notwithstanding the esquyre shifting for hym selfe as he could, and recouering the body of his mayster, brought it to Sandwych, where it was buryed. Which done, the king afterward commyng to the remembraunce of him selfe, was stroken with great repentaunce the space of. vij. yeares together. And at length was reuenged of hym that was the accuser of hys brother. This accuser (as is sayde) was the Kinges cupbearer, who (as god the righteous iudge of althings would haue it) vpon a certayne solemne feast bearyng the cuppe vnto the kyng, chaunced in the middle of the floure to stumble with one foote, helping & recoueryng himselfe with the other, saying in these woordes: Thus one brother (as ye see) helpeth an other. These words being thus spoken in the hearing of the kyng, so moued hys mynde, that forthwith he commaunded the false accuser of hys brother to be had out to execution. MarginaliaA note to warne not to sowe discorde betwixt brother & brother.Whose iust recompence I woulde wysh to be a warning to all mē, what it is to sow discord betwixt brother & brother.

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Foxe used Matthew Paris' Flores (H. R. Luard, ed. Matthew Paris. Flores Historiarum. 3 vols. (London: Rolls Series, 1890], 1, p. 396) for his account of the king's monastic construction; the marriage of his children is recounted from William of Malmesbury's Gesta Regum (J. S. Brewer, and C. T. Martin, 'William of Malmesbury: Gesta Regum.' In Reigistrum Malmesburiense. The Registor of Malmesbury Abbey, ed. by J.S. Brewer and C.T. Martin [London: Rolls Series, 1869-1880], book 2, ch. 134-5; 140). That same source is also used to describe the dowry gifts to King Athelstan.

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Kyng Ethelstane (besides his vij. yeares lamentation for this acte) buylded the ij. monasteries of Midletone, & of Michelenesse, for his brothers sake (or as the storyes say) for hys soule. MarginaliaThe cause of building abbayes examined.Whereby it may appeare, what was the cause most speciall in those dayes, of building monasteries: to wytte, for releasing the sinnes both of them departed, & them alyue, whiche cause how it standeth with the grace and veritie of Christes gospell, and of his passion: let the christen reader trye and examine with hym self. This cruell facte of the kyng toward Edwine caused him afterward, to be more tender & carefull toward his other brethren & sisters left in his handes vnmaryed. Whiche sisters, as is partly in the chapiter before declared, he richely bestowed, in great mariages: As one to þe kyng of Northūberland Sithericus: an other he gaue to Lewes kyng of Aquitania: the third to Hēricus duke of Almaine for his sonne MarginaliaOtho fyrst Emperour of the Germains.Otho: who was the first Emperour of þe Germanes. Wherby it is to be vnderstād, that the Empire at this tyme begane first to be trāslated frō Fraunce (where it remayned about C. yeares and half) vnto Germanie where it hath euer since continued.

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The iiij. of his sisters, beyng a virgine of singulare beuty Hugo the French kyng required to be geuē vnto hym: sendyng to kyng Ethelstane pretious and sumptuous presentes, such as were not before sene in England. MarginaliaPretious iewels sent to kyng Ethelstane from the Frēch king.Among þe which presentes & gifts, besides þe rare odores of sondry sauours and fine spices: and besides the pretious and costly gemmes, namely of Smaragdes of most redolent grene, besides also many & great coursers and palfreis richly trapet, especially of one iewel: as writers make mention: which was, a certayne vessell finely and subtily made of the pretious stone Onichinus so radiātly wrought, that in it appeared þe lyuely corne growing, and mens images walkyng. &c. Ouer and besides was sent also the swoord of Constantine the greate, with the name of the possessor writen in golden letters, wherein the hafte of the same all beaten in golde, was one of the yron nayles, wherewith our sauiour on the crosse was nayled. MarginaliaCōcerning one of the nayles wherwith our Saiour Christ was crucified.Of the veritie wherof I am not disposed at thys present much to say what I suspecte, but that this in the ecclesiastical story of Eusebius, is euident. The ij. of the foresayd nailes of Christ, were spent on the bridle of Cōstantine: the third he cast into the sea in a ragyng tempest. Wherfore, if Christ were nailed with iiij. nailes perhaps this naile might be one. Yf he wer nailed but with iij. I see not how this story cā stand wt truth. Emong the rest moreouer, was the speare (as is reported) wherwith the side of our sauiour was opened: which also the sayd Constantine was wont to cary in the field agaynst his enemies: with a portion likewise of the holy crosse inclosed in Cristall: Also a part of the crowne of throne inlyke maner inclosed. &c. Of the which reliques, part was geuen to Winchester. part to þe church of Malmesburye, where kyng Ethelstane was buried. As this kyng was indued & enlarged, by þe gift of God (þe setter vp & disposer of all kings) wt great victories of wordly renown: hauing vnder his subiection both the Scottes, & Britons, & the whole monarchie of the land: So he diuised diuers good & holesome lawes for the gouernment of the same, as well concerning the state of the orders ecclesiasticall, as also of þe secular or laye people. Wherby it is to be vnderstand, that the vsurped power of the bishop of Rome, did not thē extend it selfe so largely, nor so proudly to derogate frō the autoritie of kynges and princes: MarginaliaKings of England gouernors as well in causes ecclesiastical as temporal.but that euery one in his own dominiō, had (vnder God, & not vnder the pope) the doyng of all matters within the same his dominiō contained: whether they were causes temporall, or spirituall. As by the decrees and constitutions of this kyng (and also of other as well before him, as after hym) may euidently be testified: as where he emong other lawes, thus ordeyneth touchyng the byshop, in wordes as folow.

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MarginaliaExtractū ex legib. regis AdelstaniEpiscopo iure pertinet, omnem rectitudinem promouere dei videlicet: ac seculi. In primis, debet omnem ordinatum instruere, quid ei sit agendum iure, et quid hominibus secularibus iudicare debeant.

Debet etiam sedulo pacem et cōcordiam operari cum seculi iudicibus: qui rectum velle diligunt, & in compellationum allegationem edocere, nequis alii perperam agat, in iureiurando, vel in ordalio.

Nec pati debet aliquam circūuentionem iniustæ mensuræ, vel iniusti ponderis. Sed conuenit vt per consiliū & testimonium eius, omne legis rectum, & burgi mensura, et omne pondus sit secundum Marginalia* alias dictionem.* ditionem eius, institutum valde rectum: nequis proximum suum seducat, pro quo decidat in peccatum.

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Et semper debet Christianis prouidere contra omnia, quæ prædicta sunt, & ideo debet se de pluribus intromittere: vt sciat quomodo grex agat, quem ad dei manum custodire suscepit, ne diabolus eum dilaniet, nec malum aliquod superseminet. Numquā enim erit populo bene cōsultum, nec digne Deo cōuersabitur, vbi lucrum impium & magis falsum diligitur. Ideo debent omnes amici Dei quod iniquum est eneruare, et quod iustu est eleuare, nec pati vt propter falsum, et pecuniæ quæstum homines se forisfaciant erga verè sapientem Deum, cui displicet omnis iniusticia.

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Christianis autē omnibus necessarium est, vt rectū diligant, & iniqua condemnēt et saltem sacris ordinibus euecti iustum semper erigant, & praua deponant.

Hinc debent episcopi cum iudicibus, iudicia dictitare et interesse, ne permittant (si possint) vt illinc aliqua prauitatum gramina pullulent. Et sacerdotibus pertinet in sua diocesi, vt ad rectum sedulo quencumq; iuuent, nec patiantur (si possint) vt Christianus aliquis alij noceat, nō potens impotēti, non summus infirmo, nō prælatus Marginalia* alias minoribus.* subditis non Dominus hominibus suis, seruis, aut liberis. Et secundum Marginalia* alias scriftes dictionem.* ditionem, et per mensuram suam, conuenit per rectum, vt necessaria Marginalia* alias serui testimentales.* serui operentur super omnem scyram cui Marginalia* vel, cui insunt.* præ est.

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Et rectum est vt non sit aliqua mensurabilis virga longior quam alia. sed per Marginalia* alias scriftes mensuram.* episcopi mensuram omnes institutæ sint, et exequatæ per suam Marginalia* in sua scryft scyra. * diocesin. Et omne pondus constet secundum dictionem eius, et si aliquid controuersiarum intersit, discernat episcopus.

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MarginaliaA law how that maisters ought to cōdiscend and beare somtyme with their seruants.Vniuscuiusq; Domini propriū est necesse, vt seruis condescendat, et compatiatur, sicut indulgētius poterit: Quia domino Deo viuenti sunt æque chari seruus, et liber. Et oēs vno et eode precio redemit, et oēs sumus Deo necessario serui: Et sic iudicabit nos, sicut āte iudicauimus eos, in quos potestate iudicij in terris habebim9. Et ideo opus est vt eis parcamus, qui nobis parere debent, & tunc manute nebimur in Dei omnipotentis proprio iudicio. Amen.

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