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633 [633]

K. Richard. 2. Notes of parliaments Deposing of K. Richard. Actes and Mon. of the church.

at that time tooke no great effecte.

MarginaliaTitu 43.Item, in the same Parliament was put vp by publike petition, þt the popes collector shuld be cōmaunded to auoyde the realme within xl. daies, or ells to be taken as the kinges enemie, & that euery such collector frō hence forth, may be an Englishman and sworne to execute the statutes made in this Parliament.

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MarginaliaEx titu 9.Moreouer, in the said parlament, the yeare aboue said of the king, the. xxvi. day of Ianuary, maister Iohn Mādour clarke, was charged openly in the parlament, that he should not passe, ne send ouer to Rome, ne attempt or do any thing there, touching the Archdeaconry of Durham in preiudice of the kyng, or of hys lawes, or of the party presented thereto by the kyng, on peril that might ensue.

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MarginaliaEx an. 14. regis Richardi. secundi tit. 6The next yeare folowyng, whiche was the 14. of thys kyngs reigne, it was enacted first touchyng the staplers, that after the feast of the Epiphany next ensuyng, the staple should be remoued from Calyce into Englād, in such places as are cōteined in the statute made in 27. Edow. 3 the whiche statute should be fully executed: and further, that euerye Alyen that bryngeth marchaundise into the realme, should find sufficient surety to bye and cary away commodities of the realme, to halfe the value of his sayd marchaundise.

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MarginaliaTitul. 24.
Against vsury.
Item in the same Parliament petition was made, that agaynste the horrible vice of vsurye them termed shiftes, practised aswell by the clergy as layty, the order made by Iohn Notte, late Maior of London, might be executed throughout the realme.

MarginaliaEx tit. 19.Moreouer in the xv. yeare of the reigne of the foresayd kyng, it was accorded: for that Syr William Briā knight had purchased from Rome, a Bull directed to the Archbishop of Canterbury and Yorke, to excommunicate suche as had broken vp his house, and had taken away diuers letters, priuilegies, and charters. The same Bull beyng read in þe Parliament, was adiudged preiudiciall to the kynges crowne and in derogation of the lawes, for the whiche he was by the kyng, and assent of the Lordes cōmitted to the Tower, there to remaine at the kyngs will and pleasure.

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MarginaliaVide Articulum. Tit. 29.In the sayd Parliament also, William Archbishop of Caunterburye maketh his protestation in open Parliament saying, that the pope ought not to excommunicate any bishop or to entermedle, for, or touching, any presentment, to any ecclesiasticall dignitie, recorded in any the kyngs courtes. He further protested, that the pope ought to make no translations, to any Bishopricke, within the realme agaynst the kynges will: for that the same was to the destruction of the realme and crowne of Englande, which hath alway ben so free, as the same hath had none earthly soueraine, but onely subiecte God in all thinges touchyng regalties, & to none other. The which protestation he prayde might be entred.

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MarginaliaEx An. 17. Reg. Rich. 2. Titul. 32.In the xvii. yeare of the reigne of the kyng aforesayd, it was desired, that remedy might be had, against such religious persons as caused their villaynes or vnderlyngs to marye free women inheritable, whereby the landes came to those religious mens handes by collusion.

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Marginalia43Item, that sufficient persones myght bee presented to benefices who may dwell on the same, so as theyr flocke for want therof do not perish.

Marginalia46Item, that remedye might be had agaynst the Abbots of Colchester and Abinton, who in their townes of Colchester and Colneham clayme to haue sanctuary.

MarginaliaEx an. 20. Reg. Rich. 2. tit. 22.To come to the parlament holden in the. xx. yeare of this kinges raygne, we finde moreouer in the said roles: how that the Aarchbishops of Canterburye and Yorke, for themselues, and the Clergy of their prouinces, declared to the king in open parlamēt: that forasmuch as they were sworen to the Pope and see of Rome, if any thyng were in þt parlament attempted in restraint of the same, they would in no wyse assent thereto, but vtterly wythstand the same, MarginaliaHere the Arch. of Cant goeth contrary to him selfe.the which their protestation they require to be enrolled.

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MarginaliaTitu. 35.Vpon the petition of the begging friars ther at large, it was enacted: that none of that order should passe ouer the seas, wythout lisence of his soueraigne, nor that he shuld take vpon him no order of M. of Diuinity, vnles hee were fyrste apposed in hys Chapiter prouinciall, on payne to be out of the kinges protection.

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MarginaliaTit 36Item, that the kinges officers for making arrestes or attachmentes in churchyardes, are therefore excommunicated, wherof remedye was required.

MarginaliaEx 21. an. Reg. Rich. 2. tit. 15In the yeare of the same kinges raigne. xxi. the parlament being holden at Westminster, we finde how the cōmons in full parlament, accused Thomas Arundel Archbishop of Canterbury, for that he as Chauncellour procured, & as chief doer executed the same commission, made traiterously, in the tenth yeare of the kyng. And also that he the sayd archbishop, procured the Duke of Glocester, and the Earles of Arundell and Warwyke, to encroche them selues royall power, and to iudge to death Symon de Burley, and syr Iohn Barners, without the kynges assente. Whereon, the commons required that the same archbishop might rest vnder safe keeping: wherunto, for that the same impeachmentes touched so great a person, they would be aduised

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MarginaliaEx tit. 16Item, the. xxv. day of September, the commons prayed the kyng to geue iudgement against the sayd Archbyshop, according to his desertes. The king answered, that priuately the sayd Archbishop had confessed to him, how he mistooke himselfe in the sayde commission, and therefore submitted him selfe to the kinges mercy. MarginaliaTho. Arundell Archb. of Cant. proued a traitour by parliamētWherefore the king, Lords, and syr Thomas Percy, proctor for the Clergy: adiudged the fatt of the sayde Archbishop to bee treason, and him selfe a traytour, and therfore it was ordered: that the sayd Archbishop shoulde be banished, hys temporalties seased, his landes and goods forfayted, as wel in vse as in possession.

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MarginaliaEx tit. 17The king further prescribed, that the sayd Archbishop should take hys passing on Friday within. 6. weekes of Michaelmas, at Douer, towardes the partes of France.

Thus hauing hetherto sufficiently touched and comprehended such thinges as haue happened in the reigne of this king, necessary for the church to know, by course of story: we come now to the xxij. yeare of K. Richardes reigne, Marginalia1399.which is the yeare of our Lord, 1399. 

Commentary  *  Close
Deposition of Richard II

Although the Acts and Monuments was an ecclesiastical history, Foxe devoted a great deal of space to the fall, deposition and death of Richard II. Foxe stated his reasons for this apparent disgression - to satisfy the curiosity of his readers and to provide a cautionary example for other monarchs to heed. (One can readily assume that the second reason was more pressing with Foxe than the first). Perhaps above all, Foxe wanted his readers (especially those of high rank) to remember the most fundamental lesson to be drawn from the fall of Richard: that it was caused by God's anger with Richard because the king did not sufficiently protect the Lollards. (The warning to Elizabeth, at a time when Foxe and other Protestants were urging her to protect Protestants in the Netherlands and France, and also to reform the English church thoroughly, is unspoken but unmistakeable). But Foxe pointed to other secondary reasons (often with strong didactic overtones) for Richard's downfall. One was Richard's reliance on evil counsellors and favourites, which led to quarrels with his nobles. Another was Richard's bad relations with the citizens of London, which Foxe attributed, in part, to their support for Wiclif and his followers. A third reason was the suspicion and fear that followed Richard's murder of his uncle Thomas of Woodstock. Foxe cites Fabyan's chonicle, the 'chronicle of S. Albans' and, rather airily, 'the kings records' and 'other histories at large'. In actual fact, apart from one item taken from Fabyan's chronicle (that Thomas Percy, earl of Worcester and other members of Richard's household deserted the king; see The chronicle of Fabian (London, 1559, STC 10664, p. 345), all of Foxe's account is taken from what he calls the chronicle of St. Albans. This is College of Arms Arundel MS 7 (see Thomas of Walsingham, Historia Anglicana, ed. H. T. Riley, 2 vols., Rolls Series 28 [London, 1863-4], II, pp. 140-1, 148-50, 152-3, 156, 160, 165-7, 172-4, 207-11, 213, 223-5,227-8, 232-5, 237 and 245-6).

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Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield

MarginaliaThe deposing of K. Richard the 2.
The story strange and lamentable
In the which yeare happened, the straunge and also lamentable deposing of thys kyng Richard the 2. aforesayd, frō hys kingly scepter. Straunge, for that the lyke example hath not often ben seene in seates royall. Lamētable, for that it can not be but greuous to any good mans hart, to see him eyther so to deserue, if he were iustly deposed: or if he were vniustlye depriued, to see the kinglye title there not able to holde hys ryght, where by force, it is compelled to geue place to myght.

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As concerning the order and proces of whose deposing, for that it neither is greatly pertinent to my argument, and is sufficiently contayned in Robert Fabian, and in the kings recordes, in the chronicle of S. Albans, and in other hystories at large, it were here tedious and superfluous to intermedle with repeting therof. What were the conditions and properties of thys king, partly before hath been touched. MarginaliaVices and vertues mixt in K. Richard.In whom as some good vertues may be noted: so also some vices may seeme to be mixed with all. But especially thys, that he starting out of the steppes of hys progenitours, ceased to take parte with them, which tooke part with the Gospell. Wherupon, it so fel not by the blinde wheele of fortune, but by the secret hand of him, which directeth all states: MarginaliaWhat it is to forsake the maintenāce of the Gospell.that as he beganne to forsake the maintayning of the Gospell of God, so the Lord God began to forsake hym. And where the protection of God beginneth to fayle, there can lacke no causes wherwithall to be charged, whō God once geueth ouer to mans punishmēt. So þt to me, considering the whole life and trade of thys prince, among all other causes alledged in stories agaynste hym: none seemeth so muche to bee weede of vs, or more hurtfull to him, thē this forsaking of the Lord and of his word. Although to such as liste more to be certifyed in other causes concurring with all, many and sondry defects, in that king may appeare in stories, MarginaliaArticles laid against K. Richard.to the number of xxxiij. articles alleaged or forced rather agaynst hym. In which, as I can not denie, but that he was worthye of much blame: so to be displaced therefore from his regall seate and rightfull state of þe crowne, it may be thought perhaps, the causes not to be so rare or so materiall in a prince, which eyther coulde or ells woulde haue serued: had not

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