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K. Edward. Busines about placing Monkes, and displacing maried priestes.

first sprang & by whom, albeit it perteine not to my story to discusse, yet were it no hard matter to coniecture.

MarginaliaThe cause perpended why this story of king Edward is so falsely corrupted in Monkish stories.First, after that Dunstane and Oswold, with other Byshops, Abbats, and certeine Lordes and Dukes of that faction, for þe mainteynaunce of Monkery, had aduaunced Edward to be kyng, against Queene Alfrith mother of Æthelred, and Alferus Duke of Mercia & certeine other nobles, which held with the contrary side of the Priestes agaynst the Monkes, in proces of tyme, the Mōkes that came after to write storyes, perceauyng Dunstane to bee reputed in the Church of Rome for an holy Sainte, and the sayd kyng Edward for a holy Martyr, and partly also to bolster vp theyr owne Religion of Monkery so much as they could: to the entent therfore they would saue the credit both of Dunstane and of the kyng, and especially bearyng fauour to theyr owne Religion, and partly that the reputation of the Churche of Rome should not be disteyned by openyng the truth of this matter, either did not see or would not confesse herein what they knew, but rather thought best to blanch the story, and colorably to hyde the simple truth thereof, makyng the people falsly beleue, that was Elfleda the mother of Edward was wife to kyng Edgar, & Edward to bee lawfully borne, and also that Editha was borne after Edward, and to be the child for which the king was enioyned penaūce. All which is false and contrary both to the order of time aboue declared, and also to the playne wordes of Malmesbery, whiche speakyng of Kyng Edgars last concubine, saith in playne wordes: Dilexit vnice, integrā lecto vni deferens fidem, quoad legitimam vxorem accepit Elfrithidam filiam Ordgari. MarginaliaEx Malmesb. in lib. de regibus.That is, he had a concubine whom he loued intierely, keepyng true faith of his bed to her alone, vntill the tyme he maryed for his lawful wife Elfride þe daughter of Duke Ordgare. &c. Whereby we haue to vnderstand that what soeuer concubine this was whiche Malmesbery speaketh of, certeine it is, that Edgar lyued in whoredome till tyme he maryed his lawfull wife. Furthermore, and finally to conclude, besides these Argumentes and allegations aboue recited, let this also be perpended, how the sayd Dunstane with his complices, after the killing of king Edward, leauing the right heyre of the crowne (which was Æthelred MarginaliaDunstane suborneth Editha the bastard to take þe crowne from the right heyre.
Ex Capgrauo in vitæ sanctæ Edithæ
wēt about, as Capgraue & their owne Legend confesseth, to set vp Editha the other bastard to possesse the crowne, but that she more wise then her brother Edward, refused the same. Wherby what is to be thought of the doinges of Dunstane, & what should be the cause why he preferred both Edward & Editha to the crowne rather then the lawfull heyre, I leaue to all indifferent readers thereof to iudge.

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After that Dunstane and his felowes had thus set vp Edward for their kyng, they were not where they would be, supposing all to be sure on their side, and that they had established þe kingdome of Monkery for euer, 

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Foxe's account of the rise of the monks 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. 870, and his emphasis (understandable in the reformation context) on the fact that there was evidence for bishops having wives and children in Anglo-Saxon times also comes from the same source (p. 768). In addition, however, Foxe's marginal note very specifically singles out the Crowland Abbey chronicle ('Ex Chronico Ingulphi Abbatis de Crowland') as an additional source for the marriage of priests. Where had Foxe obtained this material, if this was indeed his source? Although Archbishop Matthew Parker did not own a copy of the Crowland Chronicle, the Earl of Arundel did. We know that Parker and Arundel not only shared a passion for collecting manuscripts, but also shared some of their collections for study and for the making of copies, it is possible that this is how Foxe had derived this information.

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through the helpe of the young kyng and the Duke of Eastangles, & certeine other nobles whom they had drawen to theyr part. Howbeit this matter passed not so well with them as they hoped. For shortly after the coronation of this young kyng, MarginaliaDuke Alpherus.Alferus Duke of Mercia, who followed much the dedes of the Queene, with other great men, stoutly standyng on the contrary side, droue out the Monkes from the Cathedrall Churches which kyng Edgar before had set in, MarginaliaPriestes with their wiues restored.& restored agayne the Priestes (as Ranulphus sayth) with their concubines: but in the history of the Librarie of Iornall, I find it plainly expressed: with their wiues. The wordes of the very author be these: Alferus princeps Merciorum, cæteriq; plures, eiectis monachis de magnis monasterijs, quos Rex Edgarus nuper instituerat, clericos cum vxoribus reduxerunt. MarginaliaHistoria Iornalensis in vitæ Edgari.That is, Alferus Duke of Mercia, with other great men moe, droue out the Monkes from the great monasteries, whom kyng Edgar had there set in before, and restored agayne the the Priestes with their wyues. &c.

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MarginaliaBishops & priestes in those dayes, maried in England.Wherby it doth euidently appeare, that Priestes in those dayes were maryed and had their lawful wiues. The lyke before that in kyng Inas time is playne: that Byshops then had wiues and children, as appeareth by the wordes of the law then set forth, are extant in the hystory of the sayd Iornalensis, which be these: Si quis filiolum alterius occidat vel patrinum, sit simile cognationi, & crescat emendatio secundū Weram eius Regi, sicut cognationi. Si de parentela sit qui occidit eum, tunc excedat emendatio patrini, sicut manbota Domini. Si Episcopi filiolus sit, sit dimidium hoc. &c. MarginaliaIornalens. de Ineo Rege.And thus much by þe way for Priests wyues and theyr children. Now to the purpose agayn of our matter, which is to declare how the Duke and nobles of England expulsed þe monkes out of þe Monasteries after þe death of K. Edgar. 

Commentary  *  Close

Foxe's preferred source for the miracle of Dunstan's rood and the Council of Calne, and the murder of Edward by his step-mother, was John Brompton's Chronicle (J. Brompton, 'Chronicon Johannis Brompton Abbatis Jornalensis.' In Historiæ Anglicanæ Scriptores X. [....], ed. by Roger Twysden (London, 1652), cols. 870-873 although there is evidence for his having cross-checked his source with William of Malmesbury's Gesta Regum, Henry Huntingdon's Chronicle, Ranulph Higden's Polychronicon, and Fabian's Chronicle. At the end of the passage, Foxe adds a note about the 'three Edwards' who had been king before William the Conqueror, a radical rewriting of the English regnal succession commonly accepted by his day. We should keep in mind, however, Foxe's concern to discern some continuities between the reigns of earlier Edwards in English history, and that of Edward VI, so critical to the fortunes of English protestantism.

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Wherof let vs heare what þe Mōkish story of þe Abbay of Croulād recordeth. Monachis de quibusdam monasterijs eiectis, clerici sunt introducti, qui statim monasteriorum maneria ducibus terræ distribuebāt, vt sic in suas partes obligati eos contra monachos defensarent. Tunc de monasterio Eueshamensi, monachis expulsis, clerici fuerāt introducti: Terræq; tyrāni de terris Ecclesiæ præmiati sunt, quibus Regina nouercali nequitia stans cū clericis in regis opprobriū, fauebat. Cum monachis autem rex, & sancti Episcopi persistebāt. Sed tyranni fulti Reginæ fauoure & potentia, super monachos triumphabant. Multus inde tumultus in omni angulo Angliæ factus est. Ex Chronico Ingulphi Abbatis de Crouland. &c. MarginaliaEx Chronico Ingulphi Abbatis de Crowland.that is, the Monkes beyng expelled out of certeine monasteries, the Clerkes agayne were brought in, who distributed the maners or fermes of the sayd monasteries to the Dukes & Lordes of the land, that they beyng obliged to them, should defend them agaynst the Monkes. MarginaliaGreat busines in the land about placing Monkes, and displacing priestes.And so were the Monkes of Euesham thrust out, and the seculare Clerkes placed, and the landes of the Church gyuen to the Lordes, with whom the Queene, the kynges stepmother holdyng the same time, tooke part also with the sayd Clerkes agaynst the kyng. On the contrary part stode the kyng and the holy Byshops, takyng part with the Monkes. Howbeit the Lordes & peeres of þe Realme stayng vppon the fauour and power of the Queene, triumphed ouer the Monkes. &c.

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And thus as much ado there was through all quarters of the realme about the matter among þe Lordes: MarginaliaA controuersie betwene Priestes & Monkes.
Priestes marriage noted for an olde custome in England.
The obiection of priestes against the Monkes.
Guiliel. in Regib. li. 1.
so arose no lesse contention betwene the Priestes and Monkes of England. The Priests complainyng to the kyng & Dunstane layd for themselues, that it was vncomely, vncharitable, yea and vnnaturall, to put out an old knowen dweller for a new vnknowen: and that God was not pleased, þt to be taken from þe aūcient possessor which by God was geuen him: neither þt it could be to any good man accepted to suffer such iniury to be done: lest peraduēture the same thyng wherin he was preiudiciall to an other, might after reuert & redound vppon himselfe at length. MarginaliaThe aunswere of Monkes against the Priestes.The Monkes on the other side, layd for their part, that Christ alowed neither the old dweller not the new commer, nor yet looked vpon the person: but who so would take þe crosse of penaūce vpon him, & folow Christ in vertuous liuing, should be his disciple. &c. These & such other were the allegatiōs of þe Mōkes. But whether a Monkes coule or a wiueles life make a sufficient title to enter into other mens possessiōs or no, I referre it to the iudgemēt of the godly. MarginaliaMaried mens liues compared with the life of Monkes.The troublous cares in mariage: the necessary prouisiō for house keping: þe vertuous bringing vp of childrē: the dayly helpyng of pouertie and bearyng of publicke charges: with other manifold perturbations & cōbrances dayly incident to þe state of matrimony, might rather appeare to godly wise men, to come nearer to þe right crosse of penaunce, thē the easy and loytring idlenes of Mōkery. In the end, vpon this cōtrouersy was holden a Coūcell of Bishops & other of þe Clergy: First at Reding or at Winchester as Guliel. sayth: where þe

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