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K. Edgar. Concubines of King Edgar. King Edward proued a bastard.

and virgines. Of which virgines iij. notoriously are expressed in authors, to wytte, Wlftrude or Wlfride: the second was þe Dukes mayd at Andouar, nye to Wynchester: the third was Elflede, mother of Edward. For the which Elflede he was stayd and kept backe frō hys coronation by Dunstane Archb. of Cant. the space of vij yeares: & so the sayd king beginnyng his reigne in the xvj. yeare of his age beyng the yeare of the Lord. 959. was crowned at his age. xxxj. an. D. 972. as is in the Saxon Chronicle of Worcester Church to be proued. MarginaliaEx Chronico Saxonico Ecclesiæ Wigornensis.For the more euident declaration of which matter concernyng the coronation of the kyng restrayned, and the presumptuous behauiour of Dunstane against þe king, & his penance by the sayd Dunstane enioyned, ye shall heare both Osberne, Malmesb. & other authors speake in their owne wordes as foloweth. MarginaliaEx osberno in vitæ Dunstani.Perpetrato itaq; in virginē velatā peccato. &c. After þt Dunstane had vnderstādyng of þe kyngs offence perpetrated with the professed Nunne, and that the same was blased amongest the people, with great ire and passiō of mynd he came to the king. Who seyng the Archb. comming. eftsoones of gētlenes arose frō his regall seat towards hym, to take hym by the hand, and to gyue hym place. MarginaliaDunstane refuseth to take the King by the hand.
The wordes of Dunstane to King Edgar.
But Dunstane refusing to take hym by the hand, and with stern countenaunce bendyng hys browes, spake after this effect of wordes (as storyes importe) vnto the kyng: You that haue not feared to corrupt a virgine mayd handfast to Christ, presume you to touch the consecrated hands of a Byshop? you haue defiled þe spouse of your maker, and thinke you by flatteryng seruice to pacifie the frende of the bridgrome? No Syr, his frend will not I be, which hath Christ to hys enemy &c. The kyng terrified with these thundryng wordes of Dunstane, and compuncted with inward repentaunce of his crime perpetrated, fel downe weping at the feete of Dunstane. Who, after he had raysed him vp frō þe groūd agayne, began to vtter to hym the horriblenes of hys fact, and findyng the kyng ready to receaue whatsoeuer satisfaction he would lay vpon hym, MarginaliaPenaunce enioyned to King Edgar by Dunstane.enioyned hym this penaunce for vij. yeares space, as foloweth: That he should weare no crowne all that space: that hee should fast twise in the weake: he should distribute hys treasure left to hym of his aunciters, liberally vnto the poore: hee should also build a monastery of Nunnes at Shaftesbury: that as he had robbed God of one virgine through hys transgression, so should he restore to hym many agayne in tymes to come: Moreouer he should expell Clerkes of euill lyfe (meanyng such Priestes as had wiues and childrē) out of Churches, and place Couentes of Monkes in their rowme. &c.

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It foloweth then in the story of Osberne, that whē this vij. yeares of the kynges penaunce were expired: Dunstane callyng together all the peeres of þe Realme, with Bishops, Abbats, and other Ecclesiastical degrees of the Clergy, in the publicke sight of all the multitude set the crowne vpon the kynges head at Bath, which was the xxxj. yeare of hys age, and the xiij. yeare of hys reigne, MarginaliaKing Edward raigned but. iii. yeares crowned King.
Elflede proued a nunne, and Edward her sonne a bastard.
so that he reigned onely but iij. yeares crowned king. All the other yeares besides, Dunstane belyke ruled the land, as he lysted. Furthermore as touchyng the sonne of þe sayd Elfled, thus the story writeth: Puerum quoq; ex peccatrice quondam progenitum, sacro fonte regeneratum lauauit, & aptato illi nomine Edwardo in filium sibi adoptauit. 1. The child also, which was gotten of the harlot, he Baptised in the holy fountaine of regeneration, and so giuyng his name to be called Edward, dyd adopt hym to be hys sonne. &c. Ex Osberno.

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MarginaliaErrours in Malmesbery, and certaine other monkes stories.By the which narration of Osberne, agreeyng also with the story of the Saxon booke aboue mentioned, is conuinced a double vntruth or error, either negligētly ouerseene, or of purpose dissembled in our later Monkysh story writers, as in Malmesbery, Math. Paris. Math Westmon. and other moe. Who to conceale the fault of kyng Edgar, or to beare with Dunstansfact in settyng vp Edward for the mayntenaunce of their Mōkish order, MarginaliaThe 1. errour. The Kings penaunce not enioyned for Edith, but for Edward.first do falsely affirme, that Editha the daughter of Wlfride was borne after Edward, and that for her this penaunce was enioyned to kyng Edgar, which neither is, nor can be so, as in proces hereafter (the Lord willyng) shall appeare.

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MarginaliaThe 2 errour. Elfleda the mother of Edward proued to be a nunne.Secondly they are deceaued in this, that they affirme kyng Edgar to haue two wyues, and that Elfleda the mother of Edward was not a professed Nunne in deede, but dissembled so to be to auoyde the violence of the kyng: where as in deede the truth of the story both gyueth her to be a Nunne and her sonne to be base, and she her selfe neuer to be maryed vnto the kyng.

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MarginaliaThe lying miracles of Elfleda, Dunstane & Editha reproued.Now, for as much as we haue hetherto entred mention of Elfleda and Editha, also of Wlfrede,and Dunstane, here would not be let passe to speake somethyng of theyr lying miracles, 

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Foxe was anxious to demonstrate that the 'lying miracles' attributed to Elfleda, Dunstan and Edith were just that: 'idolatrous', 'idle phantasies' and 'forged miracles', 'falsely forged…by superstitious Monkes'. His approach was no doubt shaped, at least in part, by Bale's English Votaryes, pp. 64-5. Bale cited William of Malmesbury's Gesta Pontificium and John Capgrave's Nova Legenda Angliae. At first glance, Foxe simply repeated what Bale had to say, but closer inspection reveals that Foxe cites quite precisely that Capgrave reports that Dunstan's vision was first recorded thirteen years after his death. The detail does not appear in Bale. Foxe had therefore either consulted Capgrave independently (either in Wynkyn de Warde's printed edition of the work, published in 1516, or in Bale's manuscript of the Nova Legenda Angliae. The epitaph to King Edgar comes directly from Henry Huntingdon's Chronicle (T. Arnold, ed. Henry of Huntingdon. Henrici Huntendunensis Historia Anglorum, the History of the English, by Henry, Archdeacon of Huntingdon, from B. C. 55 to A. D. 1154 [London: Rolls Series, 1879], book 5, ch. 26. Foxe's telling detail about King Edgar's enforcement of Sabbath observance, an issue which protestant opinion in 1570 was beginning to focus upon, comes from John Brompton's Chronicle (J. Brompton, 'Chronicon Johannis Brompton Abbatis Jornalensis.' In Historiæ Anglicanæ Scriptores X. [....], ed. by Roger Twysden (London, 1652), col. 871. It cannot come from Lambarde's Archanomia since this edition of Anglo-Saxon laws stipulates quite precisely that King Edgar's law had the Sabbath beginning on 3pm on Saturday afternoon, whereas Foxe follows Brompton in saying that it was 'ix of the clocke'.

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falsely forged to the great seduction of Christen people by superstitious Monkes, who cared not what fables and lyes they brought into the Church, so they might haue the vantage of poore mens purses and oblations. MarginaliaIdolatrous worshipping the tumbe of Elfleda.And first here commeth in þe fabulous miracles wrought at the tumbe of Elfleda the kynges concubine, which W. Malmesbery in these verses expresseth: Nam non nullis passa annis morborū molestiam, Defecatam & excoctā Deo dedit animam. Functas ergo vitæ fata beatas exuuias, Infinitis Clemēs signis illustrauit Deitas. In opes visus & auditus si adorant tumulū, Sanitati restituti probant sanctæ meritum. Rectum gressum refert domum, qui accessit loripes. Mente captus redit sanus, boni sensus locuples. The English of which verses is nedles here to be recited. Briefly the effect is this, that both the blynd, deafe, halt, and such as bee madde receaue here health agayne, if they worshyp the tumbe of this Elfleda. &c.

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MarginaliaThe idle phātasies and forged miracles of Dunstane.The lyke feynynges and monstrous miracles we read also in Chronicles of dotyng Dunstane, drowned in all superstition, if he were not also a wicked sorcerer: First how be beyng yet a boy, chased away the deuill, set about with a great company of dogges: and how the Aungels dyd open the Church doore for hym to enter. Then how the Lute or Harpe hangyng vppon the wall, did sing or play without any finger, MarginaliaI doubt whether Dunstane was a sorcerer.these wordes: Gaudent in cœlis animæ sanctorum, qui Christi vestigia sunt sequuti, & qui pro eius amore sanguinem suum fuderunt: ideo cum Christo regnabunt in æternum. Item, where a certayne great beame or masterpost was losed out of þe place: he with makyng the signe of a Crosse, set it in right frame againe. MarginaliaDunstane a post setter.Moreouer, how the sayd Dunstane beyng tempted vppon a tyme of the deuill withe the cogitation of wemen, MarginaliaDunstane caught the deuill by the nose with an hoaate pair of tongs.caught þe deuill by þe nose with a hotte payre of tonges, and held hym fast. Item, how oft heauenly spirites appeared to hym, and vsed to talke with hym familiarely. Item, how hee prophecied of the byrth of kyng Edgar, of the death of kyng Egelred, of the death of Editha, & of Ethelwod Byshop of Winchester. MarginaliaOur Lady appeareth to Dunstane.
What maruell if certaine bookes and epistles be falsely intituled to the doctors when the Papistes shame not to ascribe other mēs verses also to the virgine Mary her selfe?
Also how our Lady with her fellowes appeared visibly to hym, singyng this song: Cantemus Domino, sociæ, cantemus honorem. Dulcis amor Christi personet ore pio. Agayne, how the Aūgels appeared to him singyng the Hymne called Kyrie Rex splendens. &c. And yet these prodigious fantasies with other moe are written of hym in Chronicles, and haue bene beleued in Churches.

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Marginalia A foule filthy Monkish miracle in the story of Editha.Among many other false & lying miracles, forged in this corrupt tyme of Monkery, the fabulous or rather filthy Legend of Editha were not to be ouerpassed, if for shame & honesty it might wel be recited. But to cast þe dyrt of these Popeholy Monkes in their owne face, which so impudētly haue abused the Church of Christ, and simplicitie of the people with their vngratious vanities, let vs fee what this miracle is, and how honestly

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