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1278 [1277]

K. Henry. 8. Appendix. A detestable fact of the Fryers of Orleance.

Holde your peace (quoth the kyng) I remembred hym wel inough, and of good purpose haue left hym out. Marginaliaking Henries opinion of the B. of Winchest. For surely, if he were in my testament, & one of you, hee woulde cumber you all, and you should neuer rule hym, he is of so troublesome a nature. Mary, quoth the kyng, I my selfe could vse him, and rule hym to all maner of purposes, as seemed good to me, but so shal you neuer do, and therfore talke no more of hym to me in this behalfe. Syr Anthony Browne perceiuyng the Kynge somewhat stiffe herein, gaue place to the Kynges woordes at that time. Howbeit seekyng farther occasion vppon more perswasions put into his head, tooke in hand once agayne to moue the kyng to haue þe byshop one of his Executors. When the kynge perceiued that this instant sute woulde not cease: haue you not yet done (quoth the Kyng) to molest me in this matter? If you wil not cease farther to trouble me, by the fayth that I owe vnto God, I wyll surely dispatch the out of my wyl also, and therfore let vs heare no more of this matter. MarginaliaWitnes. All this Syr Antony Deny was heard to reporte to the Archbyshop of Cant. Tho. Cranmer, of the sayd Archbyshops Secretary 

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This was Ralph Morrice and this is an important indication that he was Foxe's source for this anecedote as well as the other material on the end of Henry VIII's reign.

who is yet alyue, and wytnes to the same.

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MarginaliaThe purpose of the king if he had liued was to make a perfecte reformation of religion. And thus much touchyng the end of Kyng Henry, who if he had continued a few monethes longer (all those obites and Masses, whiche appeare in his will made before he went to Bulleyne notwithstandyng) most certaine it is, and to be signified to all posteritie, that his full purpose was to haue repurged the estate of the Church, and to haue gone through with the same, so that hee would not haue left one masse in all Englād. 

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Historians have questioned the degree to which Henry's religious policies were shifting in the closing months of his reign. For a discussion of this point and the argument that they were indeed moving in a direction favourable to the evangelicals see Diarmaid MacCulloch, Thomas Cranmer (New Haven, CT, 1996), pp. 356-60.

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For the more certaine intelligēce wherof, two thynges I haue to lead me. MarginaliaCredite of thys narration that it is true. The one is the assured reporte and testimonie of Thomas Cranmer Archbyshop of Caunterbury, hearyng the kyng declare the same out of his owne mouth, both to him selfe and to Monsieur de Annebault Lord Admirall the French Ambassador, in the moneth of August a litle before his death, as aboue may appeare more at large 
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See 1570, pp. 1425-6; 1576, pp. 1215-16 and 1583, pp. 1244-5.

pag. 1215. The other cause which leadeth me therunto, is also of equall credite, grounded vppon the declaration of the kynges owne mouth after that tyme, more neare to his death, vnto Bruno Ambassadour of Iohn Fridericke, Duke of Saxonie. Vnto the which Ambassadour of Saxonye, the K. gaue this aunswere openly, MarginaliaThe kings aunswere to the duke of Saxonyes Ambassadour a litle before his death. that if the quarell of the Duke of Saxonye were nothing els agaynst the Emperour but for Religion, he shoulde stand to it strongly and he would take his parte, willinge him not to doubt nor feare, and so with this aunswere dimissed the Ambassadour vnto the Duke openly in the hearing of these iiii. sufficient witnesses, the Lord Seymer, Earle of Harforde Lord Lisle then Admirall, the Earle of Bedforde Lorde Priuy Seale, and Lord Paget. But the secret workinge of Gods holy prouidence, which disposeth all thinges after his owne wisedome and purpose, thought it good rather by taking the king away, to reserue the accomplishment of this reformation of his church to the peaceable time of his sonne Edward, and Elizabeth his daughter, whose handes were yet vndefiled with any bloud, and life vnspotted with anye violence, or cruelty.

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And thus to finish this book I thought here to close vp king Henries raigne. But because a little vacante space of empty paper remayneth behinde needefull to be filled vp, 

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Persecution in Orleans in 1534

Foxe states here that he was adding the account of the fraudulent friars simply to fill up surplus sheets of paper. Yet we know that later in the 1570 edition, Day ran out of paper. (See Elizabeth Evenden and Thomas S. Freeman, 'John Foxe, John Day and the Printing of the "Book of Martyrs"' in Lives in Print: Biography and the Book Trade from the Middle Ages to the 21st Century [London and New Castle, DE, 2002], pp. 37-40). Why then was Foxe wasting paper here? The 'little vacant space of emptie paper' that Foxe said that he had to fill was actually the last two pages of a four page gathering. This was an extra gathering which was added because of a miscalculation: the printing of Exsurge Domini ran over its assigned gathering and it occupied almost half a column on the first page of the added gathering. The unusual length of the added gathering - almost invariably gatherings in the 1570 edition were eight pages long - is itself an indication that John Day wanted to keep it as brief as possble (a two page gathering would have been too fragile to be practical). At the same time, in order not to lose time, while these decisions were being made, printing on Book Nine had probably already started. As a result Day and Foxe now had eight pages which had to be filled or else there would be unsightly blank pages in the middle of the book, which would have been a bad reflection on Day's skill.

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Foxe and Day continued this extra gathering by adding Luther's appeal from Exsurge Domini to a general Council; a document that they probably did not originally to print. This was followed by an account of the death of Henry VIII and the king's putative plans to reform the Church, which Foxe had almost certainly intended to include and which he probably originally intended as the conclusion to Book Eight. Unfortunately Luther's appeal and the account of Henry's death only filled four of the eight pages that had to be filled. So Foxe went on to include a story taken from John Daus's translation of Johann Sleidan's Commentaries of a pious fraud committed by Franciscans in Orleans in 1534. (Johann Sleidan, A famouse cronicle of our time, called Sleidanes Commentaries…, trans. John Daus [London, 1560], STC 19848, fos. 114v-115v). This translation had been printed by Day and it was almost certainly scoured for a suitable anecdote, even one that had occurred back in 1534, because it was readily available in Day's printing house. Next Foxe included an account of of the martyrdom of John Browne, a Lollard who had been executed in Ashford in 1511. This was another transparent expedient as Foxe had already written an account of Browne's martyrdom and it eventually caused confusion (Foxe printed this account at the end of his account of the reign of Henry VIII, almost certainly because the account reached him while the 1570 edition was being printed. In the 1583 edition, Foxe moved this account to its proper chronological position in the volume, although through someone's negligence, this account was also reprinted, in its old position, at the end of Henry VIII's reign and as a result, this account was printed twice in the 1583 edition, and in all subsequent editions). However, it filled another page and with the addition of a pointless document - a letter from Bonner to his summoner written back in 1541 - the necessary pages were just filled. (For a detailed explanation of the technical problems which led to the awkward ending of Book Eight, see Elizabeth Evenden, 'Disorderly gatherings: an examination of the second edition of John Foxe's "Book of Martyrs"').

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Thomas S. Freeman

to employ therfore & to replenish the same with some matter or other, I thought to annexe hereunto one story which happened in this K Hēries raigne. Which albeit it serueth not to the purpose of this our matter now in hād, yet neuertheles to supply the rowme it may stand in some place, either to refresh the traueiled minde of the Reader wearyed with other stories, or els to disclose the detestable impiety of these counterfaite sectes of Monkes and Fryers, who vnder the hipocriticall visour of pretensed Religion, haue so long seduced and deceiued the world. Although the deceitfull partes and practises of these phantastical orders be so many, and in all places so notorious, that they are not able to be expressed yet amongest many one you shall here that chaunced in this kinges dayes in the Citie of Orleance in Fraunce, by the Gray fryers, about the yeare of our Lord. 1534. The story is this. 
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This is a word-for-word reprinting of A famouse cronicle of our time, called Sleidanes Commentaries, trans. John Daus (London, 1560), STC 19848, fos. 114v-115v.

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¶ A tragicall story of certain Fryers in Fraunce in the City of Orleance. An. 1534.

MarginaliaEx Commentarijs Ioan. Sleid. Lib. 9.
A story of certain Friers in Orleance.
THe Maiors wife of the City of Orleance prouyded in her will to be buried without any pompe or solemnitie. For when any departeth there, in some places the Belmen are hyred to goe about the City, and in places most frequented to assemble the people with the sound of the bell, & there to declare the names and the titles of those parties deceased also where and whē they shall be buryed, exhorting the people to pray for them. And when the Coarse is caryed forth, the most part of the begging friers goe withall to þe church, with many torches and tapers caryed before them, and the more pompe and solemnity is vsed, the more is the cōcourse of people. But this woman (as I sayd) would haue none of all this geare done for her. Wherfore her husband which loued her well, followed her minde herein, & gaue vnto these greedy cormorants the fryers which waiting for their pray (in whose Church she was buryed besides her father and her grandfather) sixe crownes for a rewarde: where as they gaped for a great deale more. And afterwarde when hee cut downe a wood and solde it, the fryers crauing to haue parte therof freely and without money, he denyed them, this toke they wonderfull greeuously, and where as they loued him not before, they deuysed now a way to be reuenged, sayinge that his wife was damned euerlastingly.

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The workers of this Tragedy were Colyman, & Steuē of Arras both doctors of Diuinitie: and the first in deed was a Coniurer, and had all his trinketes and furniture concerning such matters, in a readines, and they vsed the matter thus. They set a young man which was a Nouice aboue ouer the vaute of the Church, and when they came to mumble vp their mattins at midnight after their accustomed maner, he made a wonderfull noyse and shriking aloft. Then went this Colyman to crossing and coniuringe but the other aboue would not speake. Beinge charged to make a signe to declare if he were a dumme spirite, hee russeled and made a noyse agayne, and that was the signe and token.

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When they had layd this foundation, they went to certayne of the chiefest in all the Citie, and such as fauoured them most, and told them what an heauy case was chaunced, yet did they not vtter what it was, but entreated them to take the paynes to come to their seruice at night. When they were come and the seruice was begon, he that was alofte made a great noyse. Being demaunded what he would and what he was, he signified that he might not speake. thē was he commaunded to answere to their interrogatories by signes and tokens. Now, there was a hole made for the purpose, where by laying to his care he might here and vnderstand what the Coniurer said vnto him. There was also a table at hand, and when any question was asked hee strooke and beat vpon the Table, so that he might be heard beneath. MarginaliaThe coniurer what he demaunded of the spirite Then first the Coniurer demaunded whether hee were any of them that had beene buryed there. After that reckning vp many of their names in order, whose bodyes had there bene buryed there, at the last he named the maiors wife. Here he made a signe that he was the spirite of that womā. Then he asked whether he were damned, and for what desert or offence? Whether it were for couetousnes, pride or lechery, or not doing the workes of charitie, or els for thys new sprong vp heresie & Lutheranisme? Moreouer what was the cause that he made such a noyse, and was so vnquiet? Whether it were that the body being buryed within holy ground should be digged vp agayne and caryed to some other place? To all these thinges he answered by signes in like case as he was commaunded: whereby he affirmed, or denyed euery thing, striking twise or thrise vpon the Table.

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MarginaliaLuthers heresie a greate bugge amōg the fryers. When he had thus signified that Luthers heresie was the cause of her damnation, and that her body must be takē vp, the Friers desired the Citizens that were present to beare witnes of such thinges as they had seen and heard, & set their handes to it in writing. But they takinge aduisement lest they should both offend the Maior and bring thēselues in trouble: refused to subscribe. Notwithstanding the Fryers tooke the pixe with the host, and the Lordes bodye, (as they call it) and all their Saintes Reliques, and caried them to an other place, and there they sayd theire Masses: which they are wont to doe by the Popes Lawe, when a church is suspended and must be hallowed agayn, and whē the Bishops Officiall heard of this, he came thether to vnderstand the matter better, and assocyating to hym certayne honest men, he commaunded the Fryer to coniure in his presence, and would haue appointed certain to go vp to þe vaut to see if any spirite did there appeare. But Steuen of Arras was sore agaynst it, and exhorted them earnestly þt they should not so doe, saying that the spirite ought not to be molested. And albeit the Officiall did earenstly vrge them to coniure before him, yet could they not bring them to it.

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MarginaliaThe Maior complayneth to the kinge of the Fryers. In the meane tyme, the Maior makyng his frendes priuy what he would doe, went to the kyng, and informed him of the whole matter. And because the Friers trustyng to their immunities and priuileges, refused to come in iudgement, the Kyng chose certayne out of the court of Parlament at Paris, to examine the matter, and gaue them full authoritie so to do. Whereupon they were caryed to Paris, and constrayned to make aunswere, but they would confesse nothyng. Then they were sent agayne to prison, and kept aparte one from an other: and the Nouice was kept in Fumeus house a Senatour, and beyng oftentimes examined,

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