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1013 [1012]

K. Henry. 8. The supplication of Beggars.

tortion and incontinēcy the last yere in the Wardmote quest. MarginaliaOf Richard Hunne read before pag. 780. Had not Richard Hunne commenced action of Premunire agaynst a Priest, 

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This refers to the great cause célèbre of the 1510s, the so-called Hunne case. In essence, Hunne refused to pay a fee to the parish priest (the rector of St Mary Matfelon in Whitechapel) for the burial of his child (March 1511). The priest sued Hunne in the ecclesiastical court of Audience (April 1512) - which found in the priest's favour - and Hunne counter-sued in the civil courts (January 1513) accusing the priest of slander and praemunire (acting upon the orders of a foreign power without the king's license). The London clergy rallied and charged Hunne with heresy as a result, and he was imprisoned in the Lollards' Tower of St Paul's Cathedral (October 1514). He committed suicide (4 December 1514) and his body was burned for heresy (20 December). A coroner's jury concluded (February 1515) that Hunne had been murdered while in prison. See E Jeffries Davis, 'The Authorities for the Case of Richard Hunne (1514-15)' in The English Historical Review 30 (July 1915), pp. 477-88.

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he had ben yet aliue and no heretike at all, but an honest man. Did not diuers of your noble progenitours, seyng their crowne and dignitie runne into ruine, and to be thus craftily translated into the handes of thys mischieuous generation, make diuers statutes for the reformation thereof: MarginaliaThe statute of Mortmayne. among which the statute of Mortmayne 
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Mortmain is a legal condition in which land or property is possessed not by a person but by a non-personal legal entity (or corporation) like the church. The land or property, thereby, is not subject to inheritance fines. The two statutes (of 1279 and 1290) were attempts by Edward I to prevent too much land falling into the possession of the church (which limited the crown's revenues).

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was one, to the entent that after that tyme they should haue no more geuen vnto them? But what auayled it? haue they not gotten into their handes more landes since, then any Duke in England hath, the statute notwithstandyng? MarginaliaHalfe the profite of the realme in the clergies handes. Yea, haue they not for all that translated into theyr handes from your grace, halfe your kingdome throughly, the onely name remainyng to you for your aunceters sake? So you haue the name and they the profite. Yea I feare, if I should way all thinges to the vttermost, they would also take the name vnto them, and of one kyngdome make twayne: the spirituall kyngdome as they call it (for they wyll be named first) and your temporall kyngdome. And which of these ij. kyngdomes suppose you, is lyke to ouergrow the other, yea to put the other cleare out of memory? Truly the kingdome of the bloudsuppers, for to them is geuen daily out of your kingdome: and that that is once geuen them, commeth neuer from them agayne. Such lawes haue they, that none of them may neyther geue nor sell nothing. What law can be made so strong against them, that they either with mony, or els with other policie, will not breake and set at naught? what kyngdome can endure, that euer geueth thus frō him, and receiueth nothing agayne? Oh how all the substaunce of your realme, your sword, power, crowne, dignitie and obedience of your people, runneth headlong into the insaciable whirlepole of these gredy goulfes, to be swallowed and deuoured?

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MarginaliaThe most good that þe popes clergie doth in England is to pray mēs soules out of purgatory. Neyther haue 

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This is one of Fish's theological arguments, this one against the doctrine of purgatory very much along sola scriptura lines.

they any other colour to gather these yearely exactions into theyr handes, but that they say they pray for vs to God, to deliuer our soules out of the paynes of Purgatory, without whose prayer they say, or at least without the Popes pardon, we could neuer be deliuered thence. Which if it be true, then it is good reason that we geue thē all these thyngs, although it were a hūdred tymes as much. But there be many men of great literature and iudgement, that for the loue they haue vnto the truth and vnto the common wealth, haue not feared to put themselues into the greatest infamy that may be, in abiection of all the world, yea in perill of death, to declare their opinion in this matter: MarginaliaPurgatory denyed. which is, that there is no Purgatory, but that it is a thyng inuented by the couetousnes of the spiritualtie, only to translate all kyngdomes from other princes vnto thē, and that there is not one word spokē of it in all holy Scripture. They say also, that if there were a Purgatory, and also if that the Pope with hys pardons for money may deliuer one soule thence: 
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Fish here rejects the sale of indulgences, very much after the tenor of Luther's Ninety-five theses. The doctrine of purgatory was nonsensical in terms of scripture and, according to Fish, the sacrament of penance was more a financial expedient than anything else. Fish seems to (consciously?) misunderstand the doctrine of penance, however, insofar as it relates to indulgences. The indulgence derives from the donation of the penitent (considered to be his act of remorse or his necessary penalty for sin) and not from the action of the pope (who could not simply pardon all the souls without some evidence of genuine remorse).

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Marginalia* If the Pope may deliuer soules out of Purgatorye for money, he may then as wel deliuer them without money, if it pleased him.
Agayne, if he deliuer one, he can deliuer a thousand, if he can deliuer a thousand, he can deliuer all, and so make a gaile deliuerie, and a cleane dispatch of all Purgatorie, if he would. & if he will not whē he may, then is there no charitie in him.
he may deliuer hym as well without mony if he may deliuer one, he may deliuer a thousand: if he may deliuer a thousand, he may deliuer them all, and so destroy Purgatory, and then is he a cruell tyrant without all charitie, if he kepe them there in prison and in payne, tyl men will geue hym mony.

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Likewise say they of all the whole sorte of the spiritualtie, that if they wyll pray for no man but for them that geue them mony, they are tirantes and lacke charitie, and suffer those soules to be punished and payned vncharitably for lacke of their prayers. This sort of folkes they call heretickes, these they burne, these they rage against, put to open shame, and make them beare Fagots. But whether they be heretikes or no, well I wot, þt this Purgatory & the popes Pardons are all the cause of the translation of your kyngdome so fast into their handes: Wherfore it is manifest, it cā not be of Christ, MarginaliaChrist submitted himselfe vnder temporall gouernment. for he gaue more to the temporall kingdom, he hymselfe payd tribute to Cesar, he tooke nothyng from hym, but taught that the high powers should be alwayes obeyed, yea he himselfe (although he were most free, Lord of all, & innocēt) was obedient vnto þe high powers vnto death. 

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Matthew 22.21.

MarginaliaThe cause touched, why the popes clergie will not let the new Testament goe abroad in the mother tongue. This is the great scabbe, why they wil not let þe new testament go abroad in your mother tongue, least men should espie that they by theyr cloked hypocrisie do translate thus fast your kyngdome into their handes: that they are not obedient vnto your high power: that they are cruell, vncleane, vnmercifull and hypocrites: that they seeke not the honor of Christ but theyr owne: that remission of sinnes are not geuen by the Popes pardon, but by Christ, for the sure faith and trust that we haue in him.

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Here may your grace well perceiue, that except you suffer their hypocrisye to be disclosed, all is lyke to runne into theyr handes, and as long as it is couered, so long shall it seeme to euery man to be a great impietie, not to geue them. Marginalia* M. More here playeth the cauiller, noting the authour of this supplication to desire leaue to raile of the whole clergie, as though the hipocrisie of the Friers coulde not otherwise be disclosed wythout rayling of the whole clergie. For this I am sure your grace thinketh (as the truth is) I am as good a man as my father: why may I not as well geue them as much as my father did? And of this mynde I am sure, are all the Lordes, Knightes, Squiers, Gentlemen and Yeomen in England: yea and vntill it be disclosed, all your people wil thinke that your statute of Mortmaine was neuer made wyth no good conscience, seyng that it taketh away the libertie of your people, in þt they may not as lawfully buy their soules out of Purgatory by geuing to the spiritualtie, as their predecessours did in tymes past.

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Wherfore, if you will eschew the ruine of your crowne & dignitie, let theyr hypocrisie bee vttered, and þt shalbe more spedefull in this matter, then all the lawes that may bee made, be they neuer so strong. For to make a lawe for to punishe any offender, except it were more for to geue other men an ensample to beware how they commit such lyke, offence, what shoulde it auaile? Did not Doct. Alen 

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John Alen was very active in the cardinal's suppression of monasteries in the late 1520s.

MarginaliaOf doctour Alen the Cardinalles Chauncellour, read before, pag. 960. most presumptiously now in your time, agaynst all his allegiaūce all that euer hee coulde, to pull from you the knowledge of such plees, as belong vnto your hyghe Courtes, vnto an other Court in derogatiō of your crowne and dignitie? Did not also Doct. Horsey MarginaliaOf this Doct. Horsey the bysh. of Londons Chauncellour, read before pag. 780. and hys complices most heynously (as all the worlde knoweth) murder in prison that honest Marchaunt Richard Hunne, for that he sued your writte of Premunire agaynst a Priest that wrongfully helde hym in plee in a spiritual Court, for a matter wherof the knowledge belonged vnto your hygh Courtes? And what punishmente was there done, that any man may take example of, to beware of lyke offence? Truly none, but that the one payd v. C. li. (as it is sayd) to the buildyng of your chāber, & when that payment was once passed, the Captaynes of his kyngdome (because hee faught so manfully agaynst your crown and dignitie) haue heaped to hym, benefice vpon benefice, so that hee is rewarded Marginalia* X. times, that is, x. times as much as he had in benefices before, and not as he payde to the kyng. And although these murderers of Hunne were not recompenced with x. tymes, or with iiij. tymes as much (which More denieth) yet can he neuer be able to denie the substaunce of the storie, that is, that Hunne by these was brought to his death, and that they being put to their fines, were afterward sufficiently recompenced with benefices vpon benefices. * x. tymes as much. The other (as it is sayde) payd vi.C.li. for him & his cēplices: which for because that he had likewise fought so manfully against your crowne and dignitie, was immediately as he had obteined your most gracious pardon, promoted by the captaines of his kingdom, with benefice vpon benefice, to the value of foure tymes as much. Who can take example of punishment, to beware of such lyke offence? Who is he of their kyngdome that wil not rather take courage to commit lyke offence, seyng the promotions that fell to these men for theyr so offendyng? so weake & blunt is your sword to strike at one of the offenders of thys croked & peruers generation.

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MarginaliaVnconuenient for a spirituall man to be Lord Chauncellour. And this is by the reason that the chiefe instrument of your law, yea the chief of your Councell, and he whiche hath your sword in his hand, to whom also all the other instrumentes are obedient, is alwayes a spirituall man, whiche hath euer such an inordinate loue vnto hys own kyngdome, that he will mayntayne that, though all the temporall kingdomes and common wealthes of the worlde, shoulde therfore vtterly be vndone. Here leaue we out the greatest matter of al, MarginaliaMore expoūdeth this to meane the abuse of the sacrament of the aultar. lest that we declaryng such an horrible caren of euill agaynst the ministers of iniquitie, shoulde seme to declare the one onely fault, or rather the ignoraunce of our best beloued minister of righteousnes, which is to be hyd till hee may be learned by these smal enormities that we haue spoken of, to know it playnly hym selfe.

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But what remedy to releue vs your poore, sicke, lame, and sore bedemen? To make many hospitals for the relief of the poore people? Nay truly. MarginaliaPriestes turne the Hospitals to their owne profite. The moe the worse, for euer the fat of the whole foundatiō hangeth on the Priestes beardes. Diuers of your noble predecessours, kynges of this realme, haue geuen landes to Monasteries, to gyue a certeyne summe of money yearely to the poore people, wherof for the auncientye of the tyme, they giue neuer one peny. They haue lykewise geuen to them, to haue a certayne of masses sayd dayly for them, wherof they say neuer one. If þe Abbot of Westminster should syng euery day as many Masses for hys founders, as he is bound to do by his foundatiō, a M. Monkes were to few. Wherfore, if your grace will builde a sure hospital that neuer shall fayle, to releue vs all your poore beademen, then take from them all these things. Set these sturdy loubies abroad in the world to gette them wyues of their owne, to get theyr liuyng with theyr labour in the sweate of theyr faces, accordyng to the commaundement of God, Gen. 1. to geue other idle people by theyr example, occasion to goe to labour.

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Tye these holy idle theues to the cartes, to be whipped naked about euery market towne, till they fall to laboure, that they by theyr importunate beggyng, take not away the

almes
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