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860 [860]

K. Henry. 6. Constantinople. The story of Reynold Pecocke.

bodies were found and taken vp.

MarginaliaConstātinople wonne of the Turkes.The Citye of Constantinople thus being gotte, the Turkes sacking and raūging about the streetes, houses, & corners, did put to the sword most vnmercifully, whōsoeuer they foūd, both aged and younge: matrons, virgins, children, and infants, sparing none: the noble matrons & virgins were horribly raueshed: the goods of the citie, the treasures in houses, þe ornamentes in churches were all sackt & spoyled, þe pictures of Christ opprobriously handled, in hatred of Christ. MarginaliaThe bloudye victorye of the Turkes.The spoyle & hauoke of the citye lasted three daies together, while the barbarous souldiours murdered & rifeled what them listed.

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These thynges thus being done, and the tumult ceased, MarginaliaThe horrible tyrannye of the Turkes.after three dayes, Mahometes the Turke, entreth into the City, and fyrst calling for the heades and auncientes of the citie, such as he founde to be left alyue, he commaunded to be mangled and cut in peeces. It is also (sayth my author) reported, that in the feastes of the Turkes, honest matrons & virgins, and suche os were of the kinges stocke, after other contumelies, were hewen and cut in peeces for their disport.

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And this was the end of that princelye and famous citye of Constantinople, beginning fyrst by Constantinus, and ending also with Constantinus: MarginaliaConstātinople called newe Rome.whyche for the princely royaltie therof, was named & euer honoured, from the time of the first Constantine, equally with the Citye of Rome, and called also by the name thereof new Rome, and so continued the space of. 1120. yeares. I pray God that olde Rome may learne of new Rome, to take heede and beware by time.

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Thys terrible destruction of the City of Constantinople, the Quene of Cities, I thought here to describe, not so much to set forth the barbarous crueltye of these fylthy rakehels and mercyles murtherers: MarginaliaA warning to all Christendome, by Constātinople.as especially for this, that we being admonished by þe dolefull ruine & misery of these our euenchristened, maye call to mynde the plages and miseries deserued, which seeme to hang no lesse ouer our own heades, & thereby may learne betime to inuocate & call more earnestlye vpō the name of our terrible and mercyfull God, that he for his sonnes sake, wyll keepe vs, and preserue his church among vs, and mitigate those plages and sorrowes, which wee no lesse haue deserued, then these aboue mynded, before vs, Christ graūt it. Amen. Ex hist. VVittenbergica Peuceri.

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¶ The history of Reynold Pecocke Bishop of Chichester, afflicted and imprisoned for the Gospell of Christ. 
Commentary  *  Close
Reginald Pecock

It is profoundly ironic that Bishop Reginald Pecock, who devoted a great deal of time and effort to combatting the Lollards in print, should have been enshrined by Foxe as a proto-Protestant. The reason for this, however, is clear: following Bale, Foxe assumed that anyone condemned for heresy during the Middle Ages must have been one of the numerous hidden members of the True Church that that existed before Luther. As a bishop and a university trained scholar, Pecock was a particularly valuable individual for Foxe to appropriate.

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Foxe's first account of Pecock was printed in his Commentarii. It began with long passages of Foxean rhetoric on the tyranny of the Roman Church, the existence of a godly remnant who did not bow their knees to Baal and the theology of the Eucharist (fos. 157r-168v). This was followed by copy of a letter from Thomas Bourchier, the archbishop of Canterbury, forbidding discussion of Pecock's case while it was still sub judice (fos. 169r-171r). There is no other surviving copy of this document, and how Foxe obtained it is a matter for speculation, but it gives every appearance of being genuine. This followed by a version of a recantation that Pecock made at Paul's Cross on 4 December 1457 (fos. 171r-172r). With one important exception, Foxe's version of this conforms to the other known versions of this document. No other surviving copy of the recantation contains Pecock's denial that it was necessary to believe that Christ's body was materially in the sacrament and it is safe to assume that this was Foxe's invention. The Commentarii account of Pecock then concludes with Foxe's declaration that Pecock's recantation must have been coerced and insincere, since he was imprisoned (fos. 172r-173r). However, over 50 pages later, Foxe printed a 'Collectanea quaedam ex Reginaldi Pecocki Episcopi opusculis exustis conservata, ex antiquo psegmate transcripta'(fos. 199r-203v). This was a series of articles, apparently - from Foxe's description - copied out of an 'ancient' manuscript fragment. Foxe identified the first article as coming from Pecock's The Book of Signs, a work now lost. The remaining eleven articles are all drawn from Pecock's Book of Faith; although they are abridgements, they do reflect fairly accurately what Pecock does say in portions of his text (cf. Reginald Pecock, Reginald Pecock's Book of Faith, ed. J. L. Morison [Glasgow, 1909], pp. 264-66, 287-91, 302-3, 283-6, 112-14, 222-9, 234-5, 161-2, 147-8, 148-9 and 149-50).

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In the Rerum, the account of Pecock was repeated (pp. 109-16), but the 'Collectanea' was dropped, never to be reprinted. In the 1563 edition, the Rerum account was faithfully translated and reprinted. In the 1570 edition Foxe retained Bourchier's letter and Pecock's recantation, but dropped the rest of his earlier account of Pecock. However, Foxe added a summary of the charges against Pecock which was entirely taken from Bale's Catalogus (p. 595), even the attack on Polydore Vergil at the conclusion. The 1570 account of Pecock was reprinted, without change, in the 1576 and 1583 editions.

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Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield

MarginaliaThe storye of Reynold Pecocke.AFter the death of Henry Chichesley before mēcioned, pag. 833. next succeded Iohn Stafford, an. 1445. who continued. 8. yeares. After him came Iohn Kempe, an. 1453. who sat but three yeares. Then succeded Thomas Burschere. In the tyme of whych Archbishop, fell the trouble of Raynold Pecocke, bishop of Chichester, afflicted by the Popes prelats for his fayth and profession of the Gospell. Of this bishop, Halle also in his Chronologie toucheth a little mention, declaring that an ouerthwart iudgement (as he termeth it) was geuen by the fathers of the spiritualtie agaynst him. This man (saith he) began to moue questions not priuatly, but openly in the Vniuersities, concerning the Annates, Peter pence, and other iurisdictions and autorities pertaining to the sea of Rome, and not onely put foorth the questions, but declared hys minde and opinion in the same: wherefore he was for this cause abiured at Paules Crosse. Thus much of him writeth Halle. Of whom also recordeth Polychronicon, but in few wordes. This bishop, fyrst of S. Assaphe, then of Chichester, so long as Duke Humfrey lyued (by whom he was promoted and muche made of) was quiet and safe, & also bold to dispute and to wryte hys mynde, & wrote (as Leland recordeth) diuers bookes and treatises. But after that good Duke was thus (as ye haue heard) made away, this good man lacking hysbackstaye, was open to his enemies, and matter soone found agaynst him. Whereupon he beyng complayned of, and accused by priuy and malignant promoters vnto the Archbishop, letters fyrst were directed down frō the Archbishoppe, to cite all men to appeare that coulde say any thyng agaynst hym. The forme of which citation here ensueth.

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¶ The Copy of the Citation sent by the Archbishop.

MarginaliaThe citation of the Archb. Tho. Bowcher, alias Bourscher.THomas by the permission of God, Archb. of Canterbury, primate of all Englande and Legate of the Apostolicke Sea, to all and singular Persons, Vicars, Chaplains, Curates, and not Curates, Clerkes & learned mē, whatsoeuer they be, constitute and ordeined in any place throughout our prouince of Cāterbury, health, grace and benediction. We haue receiued a greuous cōplaint of our reuerende felow brother, Reinold Pecocke Byshop of Chichester, conteynyng in it, that albeit our said reuerende felow brother, the bishop, deliuered vnto vs certaine bokes written by him in the English tōgue, by vs and our authoritie to bee examined, corrected reformed and allowed: notwithstādyng many (the examination and reformation of the sayd bookes dependyng and remainyng before vs vndiscussed) haue openly preached and taught at Paules crosse in London, and in diuers other places of our prouince of Canterbury, that our sayd felowe brother the Byshop, hath propounded, made and written, or caused to bee written in the sayd bokes, certain conclusions, repugnant to the true faith, and that he doth obstinatly hold and defende the same.

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By the pretence of whiche preachyng and teaching, the state and good name and fame of the sayd Lord Raynolde the Byshop, are greuously offended and hurt, and he and his opinion maruelously burdened. Wherefore we charge you all together, and seuerally apart do commaunde you, firmelye enioyning you, that openlye and generally you doo warne or cause to be warned, all and singular such persons, whiche will obiect any thing contrary and against the cōclusions of our sayd reuerende felow brother the Byshop, had or conteined in his bokes or writyngs: that the. xx. day after such monitiō or warning had, they do frely of their own accorde, appeare before vs and our commissaries in this behalfe appointed, whersoeuer we shall then be in our Citie, dioces, or prouince of Canterbury, to speake, propound, alledge, and affirme fully and sufficiētly in writing, what soeuer hereticall or erroneous matter they will speake, propoūd, or obiect agaynst the sayd conclusions conteined in hys said bookes: and both to satisfie and receiue, whatsoeuer shall seme mete and right in this behalfe by the holy institutions and ordinaūces. And for somuch as this matter dependyng yet vndetermined & vndiscussed, nothyng ought to be attempted or renewed: wee charge you that by this our authoritie, you inhibite and forbyd all and euery one so to preach and teache hereafter. Vnto whom also we by the tenure of these presentes, do likewyse forbid, that during the examination of the conclusions and bokes aforesayd, dependyng before vs & our commissaries vndiscussed, they doo not presume by any meanes, without good aduise and iudgement, to preach, iudge, & affirme, any thyng to the preiudice or offence of the said Lord Raynolde the Byshop: and if so be you do finde any in this behalfe gaynesaying or not obeying this our inhibition, that you do cite or cause them peremptorily to be cited, to appeare before vs or our commissaries, in this behalfe appointed, the tenth day after their citatiō, if it be a court day or els the next court day folowyng, where soeuer we shall then be, in our citie, dioces, or prouince of Canterbury, to make futher declaration by forme of lawe of the cause of their disobedience, and to receiue such punishment as iustice and equitie shall determine in that behalfe: and that by your letters, you do duely certifie vs or our cōmissaries, what you haue

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done
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