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769 [769]

K. Henry. 5. John Hus. M. Hierome of Prage.

the priestes, go foreward, bee constaunt and strong. And if I shall knowe that you are oppressed in the cause, and if nede shal so require, of mine own accord, I wil folow after to helpe you, as much as I can.

¶ By the life, actes and letters of Iohn Hus hetherto rehearsed, it is euident and playne, MarginaliaIohn Hus condemned for no erroneous doctrine wherein he was culpable.þt he was condēned, not for any errour of doctrine, which they coulde well proue in him, who neither denied their popish transubstantiation, neyther spake agaynst the authority of the church of Rome, if it were well gouerned, nor yet the. 7 sacraments, & also sayd masse himself, and almost in all their popish opinions was a papist with them: but only of euyll will was accused of his malicious aduersaries, because he spake agaynst the pompe, pride and auarice, and other wicked enormities of the Pope, Cardinals, and prelates of the church, and because he coulde not abide the high dignities and liuings of the church, and thoughte the doinges of the Pope to be Antichristlike. For this cause he procured so manye enemies and false witnesses agaynst him. Who streyning & pickinge matter out of his bookes and writings, hauing no one iust article of doctrine to laye vnto hym, yet they made him an heretike, whether he would or no, and broughte him to his condemnation. Thys can hatred and malice do, wher the charity of Christ hath not place. Which being so, as thy charitie (good reader) maye easely vnderstand, in perusing the whole course of his story: I besech thee then, MarginaliaCochleus raleth against Iohn Hus without cause.what cause had Iohn Cochleus to wryte hys xii. bookes agaynst Iohn Hus and Hussites? In whych bokes how bitterly and intemperantly he misuseth hys penne, by these few woords in hys seconde booke thou mayst take a little taste: whych woordes I thought here briefely to place in english to the end that all english mē maye iudge thereby, with what spirite and truth these Catholickes be caried. Hys woordes be these. Lib. 2, Hist. Dico igitur Ioan. Huss, neque sanctum neque beatum habendū esse, sed impiū potius. &c. MarginaliaEx Cochleo. Lib. 2. Hist. Hußitaarum. pag. 98.That is, I say therfore þt Iohn Hus is neyther to be counted holy nor blessed: but rather wicked & eternally wretched: in so much that in the day of iudgement, it shalbe more easy, not onlye with the infidel Pagans, Turkes, Tartarians, and Iewes, but also with the most sinful Sodomits, and the abhominable Persians, which most filthely do lye wyth theyr daughters, sisters or mothers, yea and also wyth most impius Cayn killer of his own brother, with Thyestes killer of his owne mother, and the Lestrygones & other Andropophagi, which deuoure mans fleshe: yea more easy with those infamous murderers of infants, Pharao and Herode, then wyth hym, &c. These bee the words of Cochleus. Whose rayling bokes although they deserue neyther to be red, nor answered, yet if it plesed God, it were to be wished that the Lorde would styr vp some towardly yong mā, that had so much laysure, to defend the simplicitye of this Iohn Hus, whyche can not now answer for himself. In the meane time, somethynge to satisfy or stay the readers minde against this immoderate hyperbole of Cochleus, in like few wordes I wyl bring out Iohn Hus to speake & to cleare himself against thys slaunder: whose words in his boke de sacerdotum & monachorū abhominatione desolationis. pag. 84. I besech the reder to note. Nam et ista scribēs fateor, ф nihil aliud me in illis perurget, nisi dilectio D nostri Iesu crucifixi, &c. That is, For in wrytyng these thynges, I confesse nothing els to haue moued me hereunto, but only þe loue of our Lord Iesus crucified, whose prints and strypes, (according to the measure of my weakenes and vilenes) I couet to beare in my selfe, beseching him so to geue me grace, that I neuer seeke to glory in my self or in any thing els, but only in his crosse, & in the inestimable ignominy of his passion which he suffred for me. And therfore I wryte & speake these thinges, whych I do not doubt will like all such as vnfaynedly do loue the Lorde Christ crucified: and contrary will mislike not a litle, allsuch as be of Antichrist. Also agayne, I confesse before þe most mercifull Lord Iesus crucified, that these thinges which I do now wryte, and those þt I haue written before, neither I could haue written, nor knew howe, nor durste so haue writtē, vnlesse he by hys inward vnction had so commaunded me. Neyther yet do I wryte these things as of authority, to get me fame & name: For as S. Aust. and Hierome do say, that is only to be geuen to the Scriptures & writings of the Apostles, euangelistes & Prophets, and to the Canonicall scriptures, which do abound with þe fulnes of þe spirit of Iesus. And whatsoeuer is there said, is full of verity & wholsome vtilitie. &c. And here place also woulde require something to say to Æneas Syluius, to Antoninus, and to Laziardus, which falsely impute articles to him, which he neuer maintayned. But because tyme suffreth not, I will procede to the storye of Maister Hierome of Prage.

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¶ The Tragicall and lamentable history of the famous learned man and godly Martyr of Christ, maister Hierome of Prage, burned at Constance for like cause and quarell as maister Iohn Hus was. 1416. 
Commentary  *  Close
Jerome of Prague

Apart from the martyrdom of Thomas Becket, it is arguable that no violent death in the Middle Ages caught the imagination of contemporaries as did that of Jerome of Prague. This was not due to Jerome's intrinsic importance, but to the remarkable fortitude he displayed at his execution. Poggio Braccioloini, the celebrated humanist, was an eyewitness to Jerome's execution, and although not sympathetic to Jerome's cause, he wrote a public letter, which circulated widely, comparing Jerome to Socrates. Therefore it is not surprising that Jerome was one of the relatively few non-British martyrs included in the Commentarii (fos. 78r-81v). Foxe cited Bernard of Luxembourg as his source, but he was an author whom Foxe did not use. It is probable that Foxe's source for this account was a short account by John Bale, who cited Bernard frequently. Foxe repeated this account in the Rerum (pp. 67-71). In the 1563 edition, Foxe replaced this material with an account of Jerome's martyrdom based on accounts of eyewitnesses contained in the two volume collection of documents relating to Jan Hus, the Johannis Hus et Hieronymi Pragensis confessorum Christi Historia et Monumenta, which was anonymously edited by Matthias Flacius, and printed in Nuremberg in 1558 (cf. Hus...Historia et Monumnenta, II, fos. 349r-354r). In the 1570 edition, Foxe reprinted this account, but he also added Poggio's more elegant, and famous, account of Jerome's death which was also printed in the Hus…Historia et Monumenta (fos. 358r-359r). The 1570 account of Jerome Prague was reprinted without change in the 1576 and 1583 editions of the Acts and Monuments.

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Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield

MarginaliaThe story of Hierom of Prage.THese thynges hetherto beyng discoursed touching the lyfe, Actes and constant Martyrdome of maister Iohn Hus, with part also of his letters adioyned to the same, whose death was on the vi. of Iuly, an. 1416: now remaineth consequētly to describe the lyke tragedye and cruell handlyng of his Christian companion and felowe in bandes maister Hierome of Prage: Who greuously sorowyng the slanderous reproche and diffamation of his countrey of Boheme, and also hearynge tell of the manifeste iniuries done vnto that man of worthy memory Mayster Iohn Hus: MarginaliaHierome commeth to Constance.frely & of his own accord he came vnto Cōstance, the iiij. day of Aprill. an. 1415. Who there perceauyng that Iohn Hus was denied to be heard, and that watch and wayte was layd for hym on euery side, he departed to Iberling a citie of the Empire, vntil the next day: the whiche Citie was a myle of from Constance, MarginaliaThe safeconducte was required but in vaine of the Emperour.and from thence hee wrote his letters by me vnto Sigismund kyng of Hungary and hys Barons, and also vnto the Councell, moste earnestlye requiryng that the kyng and the Councell woulde geue hym a safeconduicte frely to come and go, and that he would then come in open audience to aunswere vnto euery mā, if there were any of the councell that would lay any crime vnto him, as by the tenour of his intimation, shall more at large appeare.

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When as the sayd kyng of Hungary was required therunto, as is aforesaid, beyng in the house of the Lord Cardinall of Cambray, he denyed to geue maister Hierome any safecōduict, excusing him self for þe euill spede he had with the safeconduict of Iohn Hus before, and alledginge also certain other causes. The deputies also of the foure nacions of the Councell, being moued therunto by the Lordes of the kyngdome of Boheme, aunswered: we (sayd they) will geue him a safeconduict to come, but not to depart. Whose aunsweres, whē they were reported vnto maister Hierome, he þe next day after wrote certain intimations according to the tenour here vnder written, whiche he sent vnto Constance to be set vpon þe gates of the Citie, and vpon the gates of the Churches and monasteries, and of the houses of the cardinals, and other nobles and prelates. The tenour whereof here foloweth worde for worde in this maner.

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MarginaliaThe intimations of Hierome of Prage, set vp in places of the towne of Constance.Vnto the moste noble prince and Lorde, the Lorde Sigismund, by the grace of God kyng of the Romains, alwayes Augustus, and of Hungary. &c. I Hierome of Prage maister of Arte of þe generall vniuersities of Paris, Colleyn, Heldeberg and Prage, by these my present letters do notifie vnto the kyng, together with the whole reuerend Councell, and as much as in me lyeth, doo all men to vnderstand and know, that because of the crafty

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