Thematic Divisions in Book 4
1. Lanfranc2. Gregory VII3. William the Conqueror4. William Rufus5. Henry I6. Stephen and Henry II7. Frederick Barbarossa8. Thomas Becket9. Becket's letters10. Becket's martyrdom and miracles11. Events of 1172-7812. Waldensians13. Other incidents of Henry II's reign14. First year of Richard I's reign15. Strife at Canterbury16. Richard I and Third Crusade17. William Longchamp18. King John19. Henry III's early reign20. Innocent III and mendicant orders21. Papal oppression of the English Church22. Albigensian Crusade23. Hubert de Burgh24. Gregory IX25. Schism between Greek and Latin Church26. Papal exactions from England27. Louis IX on Crusade28. Frederick II29. Opponents of Papacy30. Robert Grosseteste31. Aphorisms of Robert Grosseteste32. Persecution of Jews33. Papal oppression and Alexander IV34. Conflicts in universities and mendicant orders35. Henry III and the barons36. Battle of Lewes37. Battle of Evesham38. End of baronial war39. Ecclesiastical matters and Edward prince of Wales goes on crusade40. Foreign events in Henry III's reign41. First seven years of Edward I's reign42. War with Scotland43. Philip IV and Boniface VIII44. Events of 1305-745. Cassiodorous's letter46. Pierre de Cugniere47. Death of Edward I48. Piers Gaveston49. The Despensers and the death of Edward II50. John XXIII and Clement VI51. Rebellion in Bury St. Edmunds52. Edward III and Scotland53. Edward III and Philip VI54. Edward III and Archbishop Stratford55. Events of 1341-556. Outbreak of the Hundred Years War57. Anti-papal writers58. Quarrel among mendicants and universities59. Table of the Archbishops of Canterbury
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462 [441]

K. Edward. 1. Pope Clement. V. The letter of Caßiodore to Englād.

honour and place of buriall. The sonne of this Andronicus was Michael Paleologus aboue mētioned: who, as ye haue hard before, MarginaliaThe greke church denyeth subiection to the churche of Rome.bycause he was constrayned by the Grecians not to admitte any appellation to the Byshop of Rome: was accursed by the popes censures for an heretike. Wherby appeareth, that the Greciās recoueryng their state againe, refused all subiection at this time vnto the church of Rome, which was the yeare of our Lord 1327. &c. After this Clement the v. folowed Pope Ihon þe xxij. wt whom Ludouike þe Emperor had much trouble. After whom next in course succeded Pope Benedict the xij. Which Benedicte vpon a time being desired to make certein new cardinals to this aunswereth agayn: that he would gladly so do, if he also could make a new worlde. For this world (sayd he) is for these Cardinals that be made already. Ex scripto Engechusensis And thus much of the Popes, now to returne a litle backe to the kynges story agayne.

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In the yeare of our Lord. 1307. Whiche was xxxiiij. of the reigne of this kyng, in the begynnyng of Hillary terme: the kyng kept a Parliament at Carliell, MarginaliaEx chron. Nic. Triu.where great complaintes were broughte in by the nobles and auncientes of the realme, concernyng the manifold and intolerable oppressiōs of churches & monasteries, and exactions of mony by þe popes legate Williā Testa (otherwise termed mala Testa) lately brought into the realme of England. MarginaliaThe popes exactions complained of in the parliament.The commyng of whiche William Testa was vpon this occasion, as foloweth. Pope Clemēt, who as ye hard before, had translated his court from Rome into Fraunce, where he had been archbyshop before, because he contemned to come & remaine at his owne sea: the princes of Rome thought him therfore vnworthie to enioye Peters patrimonie. MarginaliaEx hist. quæincipit ab Hērico tertio.And so by that meanes falling in barenes and pouertie, liued onely of such money of bishops, as came to him to be confirmed, & with such other shiftes and giftes. So that be this meanes, partly of bishops and other religious men and persons, partly vnder the name of courtesie and beneuolence, partly vnder þe pretense of borowing: MarginaliaThe popes getting in one yeare.he had within the first yeare ix. thousand and v. hūdreth markes of siluer, all his other charges and expenses, whiche he largely that yeare bestowed, clearely borne. Besides this, he sent moreouer þe foresayd legate William Testa into England with his bulles: MarginaliaFyrst fruites first broght in by the pope.in the which he reserued the first fruites of þe first yeare of all churches beyng vacant, at any tyme, or by any mā within þe realme of England, Scotlād, Wales, and Ireland, and also þe fruites of Abbayes and priories within the sayd realmes. &c. Wherupon, the kyng with his nobles seing the inconuenience and harme therof ensuyng to the whole realme: MarginaliaKing Edward withstandeth the pope and hys legate.In the foresayd Parliamēt holden at Carliell withstode the sayd legate, chargyng & commaundyng him by the assent of the Earles and barons, þt henceforth he should abstein frō all such exactiōs. And as concernyng his Lord the Pope, he would direct certain his messengers vnto him, purposely for the same matter appointed: by the which ambassadours, the king wrote vnto the foresayd pope declaryng, and monishing the Pope, as right and reasō was: MarginaliaFirst frutes of Abbais denyed to the pope.that he should not exacte the first fruites of churches and Abbayes, by his predecessours and noble men of the land founded for the honour and maintenaūce of Gods seruice, for almes and hospitalitie: whiche otherwise in so doyng, shoulde all be ouerthrowen. And so by this meanes, the pope at that tyme chaūged his purpose as concerning Abbayes. MarginaliaFirst frutes for ii. yeres graunted to the king.But after that, the fruite of English churches was graunted to the kyng for two yeares: In whiche space he obtained the fruites of the foresayd churches. &c.

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Duryng the whiche Parliament afore specified, as men were talkyng many thynges of the Popes oppressions, whiche he began in the English church, in the full of the Parliament: sodenly fell down, as sent frō heauē, among them a certaine paper, with this superscription. 

Commentary  *  Close
Cassiodorous's letter

Much of Foxe's narrative for the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries isdevoted to detailing the financial burdens, real and imagined, which the papacy placed upon England. This section deals with the year 1307 when papal exactionsprovoked some protest, including an eloquent letter written under the (almost undoubtedly assumed) name of 'Petrus filius Cassidori' (i.e., Peter, the son of Cassiodorus). This was a polemical work distributed in the parliament of 1307; itattacks the collection of papal tithes, annates and papal claims on the property of those who died intestate; these were all grievances addressed in this parliament. Foxe's starting point for his research into this material was John Bale's version of Peter's letter, printed in Bale's Acta Romanorum Pontificum (Basel, 1558), pp. 388-44. Bale took this letter, according to his citation, from an old chronicle at St. Alban's Abbey. (Foxe simply repeats Bale's citation in his account). Whatever Bale's source for this letter was, it failed to describe the letter's background or connect it to the 1307 parliament. Another copy of the letter is in Walter of Guisborough's chronicle. (See The Chronicle of Walter of Guisborough, ed. Harry Rothwell, Camden Society, third series 89 [London, 1957], pp. 372-4). Foxe read Walter's chronicle and discerned that Bale's letter was essentially the one Walter printed. Foxe now had the background for Peter's letter. Foxe printed Bale's version of the letter, which was sharper in its denunciations of the papacy, but he went back to Guisborough (and rather garbled what he said) for the statements that the 1307 parliament was summoned to oppose the collection of annates. (This was a tax, paid to the papal curia, amounting to the first year's income from an ecclesiastical benefice. Since English benefice holders had to pay a similar tax to the Crown as well, this amounted to a real burden). The sentence introducing Peter's letter is taken word-for word from Guisborough. (See Chronicle of Guisborough, pp. 370-2). Foxe also drew on the annals of Nicholas Trevet for the date of the parliament and the coming of the papal legate William Testa to England. (See Nicholai Triveti Annales, ed. Thomas Hog [London, 1845], pp. 411-412.

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Foxe's account of the 1307 parliament and of Peter's letter first appeared inthe 1570 edition; it was reprinted, without change, in subsequent editions.

Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield

¶ An Epistle of Caßiodorus to the church of England, concerning the abuses of the Romyshe church.

MarginaliaEx vetusio Chronico Albanensi.TO the noble church of England seruing in claye and bricke as þe Iewes did in times past vnder the tirannie of the Egiptians: Peter the sonne of Cassadore a catholike souldiour and deuoute champion of Christ, sendeth greting and wyshing to cast of the yoke of bōdage, and to receaue the reward of libertie.

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To whom shall I compare thee, or to whom shall I liken thee O daughter Ierusalem: to whom shall I matche thee, O daughter of Sion. Great is thy perturbation, lyke vnto the sea. Thou sittest alone without cōfort all the day long, thou art confoūded and consumed with heauines. Thou art geuē vp into the hands of him from whence thou cāst not ryse without helpe of one to lift thee vp: for the Scribes and Pharisies sitting vpon the chayre of Moyses, thy enemies the Romanes are as thy heades and rulers, enlarging their garded philacteries, & seeking to be enriched wt the marie of thy bones: laying heauie burdens, and not able to be borne, vppon thy shouldours and of thy ministers, and they set thee vnder tribute (which of olde tyme haste been free) beyond all honestie or measure. But maruell not therat, for thy mother, which is the ladie of people, lyke a wydowe hauing maryed and coupled her selfe to her subiecte, hath appoynted hym to be thy father, that is to saye, the byshop of Rome, who sheweth no poynt of any fatherlye loue towardes thee. He magnifieth and extendeth to the vttermost hys authoritie ouer thee: And by experience declareth hymselfe to be the husband of thy mother. He remembreth ofte with himselfe the propheticall saying of the Prophet, and well digesteth the same in þe inward part of hys brest. Take to thee a great booke, and write therin quickly with the penne of a man, take the spoyle, robbe quicklye: But is thys it, which the Apostles saith, that he was appoynted for, where he writeth thus? Euery bishop tackē from among men, is appointed for me in those thinges that belong to the Lorde: not to spoyle, not to lay on them yearely taxes, not to kill men, but to offer giftes and sacrifices for sinnes: and to sorowe with them, that be ignoraunt and do erre. And so we read of Peter the fisher (whose successor he boasteth himselfe to be) that after the resurrectiō of Christ he returned with other Apostles, to the office of fishing: who whē he could take nothing of the left syde of the ship, at the bidding of Christ, turned to the ryght side, and drewe to the land a net full of fishes. Wherfore the profitable ministerye of the church is to be exercised on the right side, by þe which the deuill is ouercome, and plentie of soules be lucrified and wonne to Christ. But certeinly, the labourer on the left side of the ship, is farre otherwyse: for in it the fayth stumbleth, heauines beareth rule, whan that thyng that is desired by seking, is not found. For who is so folyshe to thinke that he can both at one tyme serue God and man, and to satisfie hys owne will, or to sticke to the reuelations of fleshe and bloud, and to offer worthy giftes to Christ? And doubtles, that shepeheard that watcheth not for the edifyeng of þe flocke, prepareth an other way to the roring Lyon, and seking whom he may deuoure. And now beholde, I say, O daughter, the deedes of hym that is called thy father, such as haue not been heard of before: he driueth awaye the good shepeheard from the shepefolde, and placeth in their stead bishops, to rule, but not to profyte (his nephewes, cosines, and parents) seme that knowe no letters, and other some domme & deafe, which vnderstand not the plaine voyce of the sheepe, nor curyng their woundes that be hurt of the wolues: but lyke hyrelinges plucking of the fleeses a pase, and reaping that which other men haue sowen, whose handes moreuer be alwayes ready in their baskets and powches, but theyr backes are turned from their burdens. By which thinges it is manifest, that the priesthood is

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