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150 [150]

Obseruation of Easter day. Shauen Crownes.

tyme. &c. MarginaliaAn other lying fable of S. Egwyne.
Ranulphus in Polychr. lib. 5 cap. 23.
which tale seemeth as true, as that we read about the same tyme done of S. Egwyne, in Polychron. Abbot of Eusham, and Byshop of Worcester (then called Wyctes:) who vpon a tyme when he had fettered both his feete in yrons fast locked, for certaine synnes done in his youth, and had cast the key therof in the Sea: afterward a fish brought him the key agayne into the shyp, as he was sayling homeward from Rome.

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But to leaue these Monkishe phantasies, and returne into the right course againe of the story. In the time of this foresayd Iue, began first the right obseruyng of the Easter day to be kept of the Pictes, and of the Britaines. MarginaliaBeda. lib. 5. de gestis Augl.
Polychron. lib. 5. cap. 17.
A generall rule seruing for the obseruation of Easter day.
In the obseruation of whiche day (as is largely set forth in Bede, and Polychron. Lib. 5. cap. 17. and. 22.) three thynges are necessary to be obserued: the full Moone of the first moneth, that is, of the moneth of March: Secōdly, the Dominicall Letter: Thirdly, the Equinoctiall day, which Equinoctiall was wont to be counted in the East Church, and especially among the Egyptians, to be about the. 17. day of Marche. So that the full Moone either vpon the Equinoctiall day, or after the Equinoctiall day being obserued: the next dominicall day following that full moone, is to be taken for Easter day. MarginaliaThis rule of Easter seemeth to be taken out of the booke of Numer.
And they going out of Ramesse the 15. day of the first moneth, the next day after held there Easter, &c.
Wherin is diligently to be noted two thinges. First, the fulnes of the moone, must be perfectly full, so that it be the beginning of the third weeke of þe moone which is the 14. or 15. day of the moone. Secondly, is to be noted, that the sayd perfect fulnes of the moone beginninge the third weeke, must happen either in the very euenyng of the Equinoctiall day, or after the Equinoctial day. For els if it happen either on the Equinoctiall day before the euenyng, or before the Equinoctial day: then it belongeth to the last moneth of the last yeare, and not to the first moneth of the first yeare, and so serueth not to be obserued.

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This rite and vsage in keepyng Easter day beyng receiued in the Latin Church, began now to take place amōg the Pictes & Britaines through the busie trauaile of Theodorus, Cuthlacus, but namely of Edbert the holy Monke, as they terme him: & of Colfrid Abbot of Sirwin in Northumberland, whiche wrote to Narcanus, or Naitonus the kyng of Pictes, concernyng the same: MarginaliaWhy priests crownes were shauen. who also among other thynges writeth of the shauen crownes of Priestes, saying: that it was as necessary for the vow of a Mōke, or degree of a Priest, to haue a shauen crowne for restraint of their lustes: as for any Christen man, to blesse him agaynst spirites when they come vpon him. Bede. Lib. 5. MarginaliaBede de gest. lib. 5. The copy of whiche letter, as it is in Bede: I haue here annexed, not for any great reason therein cōtained, but onely to delite the reader with some pastime, in seyng the fond ignoraunce of that Monkish age: the copy of the letter thus proceedeth.

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¶ Of the shauyng of Priestes, out of the fift booke of Beda the. xxi. Chapter. 
Commentary  *  Close
Priest's tonsures to end of kingdom of Northumbria

When he came to write the later history of the Saxon heptarchy for the 1570 edition, Foxe chose to concentrate mainly on the history of three of them: Northumbria, Wessex and Mercia. In so doing, he followed the lead of Bale's Catalogus, which is his source for the unedifying history of the popes which concludes this section (Catalogus, pp. 104-6), including the 'donation of Pipinus', the 'great excommunications against Constantinus' and the 'veneration of images' and missel introduced by Pope Adrian. 'Images again maintained by the Pope to be men's Kalendars' and 'the order of the Romishe Massebooke when it came in' are Foxe's glosses to this material, thereby laying out more of the architecture for the Protestant reformation history which is to follow. At the beginning of this passage, however, Foxe chose to include an integral passage from Bede's Ecclesiastical History (book 5, ch. 21 - pp. 547-553) on 'the shauing of priestes'. Foxe accompanied it with critical marginal glosses ('much sayd nothing proued' and 'See how these shauelings would father their shauing vpon Peter, which is neither found in scripture nor in any approued story, but onelye in paynted clothes') and then followed it with 'a note to admonish the reader' in which he explained his purpose: 'By thys Monkishe letter aboue prefixed, voyde of all Scripture, of all probation and truth of historye, thou mayest note, gentle reader: how this vaine tradition of shauen crownes, hath come vp, and vpon how light and trifling occasion', the result of 'the dreaming phantasies of Monkes of that time'. The issue was one that had raised significant controversy at the time of the Dissolution, and was still in contention in reformation polemic. Foxe's decision to include a critical edition of the material is to be seen as a contribution to that debate.

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For the mainly secular narrative of the later Saxon heptarchy, Foxe returned to the preferred sources which he had used elsewhere in book 2 - Fabian's Chronicle, and that of John Brompton. They were not used uncritically, however. Foxe often supplemented them, or compared them with the other 'monkish' sources at his disposal. So, for the reign of Iue, king of the West Saxons, he used William of Malmesbury's Gesta Regum (J. S. Brewer, and C. T. Martin, 'William of Malmesbury: Gesta Regum.' In Reigistrum Malmesburiense. The Registor of Malmesbury Abbey, ed. by J.S. Brewer and C.T. Martin [London: Rolls Series, 1869-1880], book 1, ch. 36, and an additional choice detail on Peter's Pence added from Mathew Paris's Flores Historiarum (H. R. Luard, ed. Matthew Paris. Flores Historiarum 3 vols [London: Rolls Series, 1890], 1, p. 369). For Iue's law-code - which he returned to in book 6 (1570, p.923) - he used John Brompton's text (J. Brompton, 'Chronicon Johannis Brompton Abbatis Jornalensis.' In Historiæ Anglicanæ Scriptores X. [....], ed. by Roger Twysden [London, 1652], fols 759-761) rather than Lambard's Archaionomia (fols 1-18v).

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Foxe's generous assessment of Bede is interesting. Although Foxe often chose not to rely on Bede as his source, there was much he could readily admire in his Ecclesiastical History and in his commitment to scholarship in the pursuit of truth. He was 'a man of worthy and venerable memorie'. Foxe used Bede's own words (from the Ecclesiastical History, book 5, ch. 24) to prove that he was a native of the British Isles. He furnished the letter from Pope Sergius, citing it in the Latin original as he found it in William of Malmesbury's Gesta Regum (book 1, ch. 58) to prove 'in what price and estimation Bede was accepted, as well in the court of Rome as in other places besydes'. His summary of Bede's achievements is paraphrased from the same source. Foxe's subsequent summary of the decrees of the synod of Cuthbert in 747 came directly from William of Malmesbury's Gesta Pontificium (N. E. S. A. Hamilton, ed. William of Malmesbury. Willemesbiriensis Monachi De Gestis pontificium Anglorum [...] [London: Rolls Series, 1870], book 1, chs 5-6). For the later history of the kings of Mercia and Wessex, Foxe omitted a good deal 'because thei concern rather political affayres & do not grealy appertayne to the purpose of this Ecclesiastical History'. He relied here mainly on Brompton's Chronicle (cols 774-5) and Fabian (book 6, chs. 150-1), noting (however) at two points that Fabian's Chronicle contained errors. It was not Offa but Kenulphus that had imprisoned King Egbert of Kent. Foxe had returned here to William of Malmesbury's Gesta Regum (book 1, ch. 95) and preferred the latter's account of what happened. Again, when it came to Fabian's description of the imprisonment of King Egbert, Foxe doubted his veracity ('a place of Fabian doubted'). In this instance, he not only checked the account against William of Malmesbury's, but also probably against Ranulph Higden's Polychronicon (book 5, ch. 27).

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Matthew Phillpott and Mark Greengrass
University of Sheffield

MarginaliaThe copy of a Monkishe letter of Colfride to kyng Naiton for the shauing of Priestes crownes. COncernyng the shauyng of Priests (wherof you write also vnto me) I exhort you that it be decently obserued accordyng to the Christian faith. We are not ignoraunt that the Apostles were not all shauen after one manner, neither doth the Catholicke Churche at this day agree in one vniforme maner of shauyng, as they do in fayth, hope, and charitie. MarginaliaHow proueth he that the Apostles, Iob & Ioseph were shauē. Let vs consider the former tyme of the Patriarches, and we shall finde that Iob (an example of patience) euen in the very point of his afflictions, dyd shaue his head: and he proueth also, that in the tyme of his prosperitie, he vsed to let his heare grow. And Ioseph an excellēt Doctour and executour of chastity, humilitie, pietie, and other vertues: whē he was deliuered out of prison and seruitude, was shauen: MarginaliaMuch sayd nothing proued. wherby it appeareth that whilest he abode in prison he was vnshauen. Behold both these beyng men of God dyd vse an order in the habite of their body one contrary to the other, whose consciences notwithstādyng within did well agree in the like grace of vertues. MarginaliaDiuersitie of rites hurteth not the Church. But to speake truely and freely, the difference of shauing hurteth not such as haue a pure fayth in the Lord, & a sincere charitie towardes their neighbour: especially for that there was neuer any controuersie amongest the Catholike fathers about the diuersitie therof, as there hath been of the difference of the celebration of Easter, and of fayth. But of all these shauynges that we finde, either in the Churche or els where: there is none in mine opinion so much to be followed and imbraced, as that which he vsed on his head, to whom the Lord sayd: thou art Peter, and vpon this rocke I will builde my Churche and the gates of hell shall not preuaile agaynst it, & I will geue thee the keyes of the kyngdome of heauen. MarginaliaSee how these shauelings would father theyr shauing vpō Peter, which is neither founde in scripture, nor in any approued story, but onely in painted clothes. And contrarywise there is no shauyng so much to be abhorred and detested as that whiche he vsed to whom the same S. Peter sayd, thy money be with thee to thy destructiō, because thou thinkest to possesse the gift of God by thy money, therefore thy part nor lot is not in this worde. Neither ought we to be shauen on the crowne onely because Saint Peter was so shauen, but because Peter was so shauen, in the remembraunce of the Lordes Passion: MarginaliaWhy Priestes & Monkes be shauen in the crowne. therefore we that desire by the same Passion to be saued, must weare the signe of the same passion with him vpon the toppe of our head which is the highest part of our body. MarginaliaThe shauing of the crowne what it representeth. For as euery Church that is made a Church by the death of þe Sauiour, doth vse to beare the signe of the holy crosse in the front: that it may the better by the defence of that banner, be kept frō the inuasions of euill sprites: and by the often admonition therof, is taught to crucifie the flesh, with the concupiscēce of the same: MarginaliaHow doth the signe of the crosse defend Churches frō euill sprites when in cannot keep them from euill priestes? In like maner it behoueth such as haue the vowes of Monkes and degrees of the Clergy, to binde thē selues with a straiter bitte of continencie for the Lordes sake. And as the Lord bare a crowne of thorne on his head in his passiō, wherby he tooke and caried away from vs the thornes and prickes of our sinnes: so must euery one of vs by shauyng our heades, patiētly beare and willingly suffer, the mockes and scornes of the world for his sake: MarginaliaIf shauing of the crowne doth teach men patience in suffeering, how commeth it that we see none more waspishe & irefull then these shorn generations, of monkish vipers. That we may receaue the crowne of eternall lyfe, whiche God hath promised to all that loue him, and shall by shauyng their corporall crownes beare the aduersitie, and contemne the prosperitie of this world. MarginaliaSimon Magus shauen as hee saith. But the shauyng whiche Symon Magus vsed, what faythfull mau doth not detest together with his magicall arte? The which at the first apparaunce hath a shew of a shauen crown, but if you marke his necke you shall finde it curtalled in such wise as you will say it is rather meete to be vsed of the Symonistes then of the Christians. And such (of foolishe men) be thought worthy of the glory of the eternall crowne: whereas in deede for their ill liuyng they are worthy not onely to be depriued of the same, but also of eternall saluation. MarginaliaThe differēce betwene the shauing of Peter and of Simon Magus. I speake not this agaynst thē that vse this kynde of shauing, & liue Catholickely in fayth and good workes, but I surely beleue there be diuerse of them be very holy and godly men. Amongest the whiche is Adamnan the Abbot and worthy Priest of the Columbiās: who when he came Embassador from his countrey vnto kyng Alfride desired greatly to see our Monastery: where he declared a wonderful wisedome, humilitie and Religion, both in his māners and wordes: Amongest other talke I asked him why he, that did beleue to come to the crowne of life that should neuer haue end, did vse contrary to his belief a definite image of a crowne on his head. And if you seeke (quoth I) the folowshyp of S. Peter, why do you vse the fashion of his crowne whom S. Peter did accurse, and not of his rather with whom you desire to liue eternally. Adānā aūswered, saying: you know right well (brother) though I vse Symons maner of shauyng after the custome of my countrey: yet do I detest and with all my hart abhorre his infidelitie. MarginaliaIn outward habite christians ought not resemble wicked doers I desire notwithstandyng to imitate the footesteps of the holy Apostle as farre forth as my power will extend. Then sayd I: I beleue it is so. But then is it apparant you immitate those thynges whiche the Apostle Peter did (from the bottom of your hart) if you vse the same vpon your face that you know he did. For I suppose your wisdome vnderstandeth that it is right decent, to differ in the trimmyng your face or shauyng frō his, whom in your hart you abhorre. And contrarywise as you desire to imitate the doyngs of him whom you desire to haue a * mediator betwene God and you: so is it meete you imitate the maner of his aparell and shauyng. Marginalia* There is but one mediator betwene God and man Christ Iesus. MarginaliaThe Scottish monks and the english monkes differed in their shauing. Thus much sayd I, to Adamnu who seemed then well to like of our Churches: in so much that he returnyng into Scotland, reformed many of his Churches there after our celebration: albeit he could not do so amongst the Monkes with whom he had speciall authoritie. He endeuored also to haue reformed their maner of shauyng if he had bene able. And now (O Kyng) I exhort your maiestie to labour together with your people (ouer whom the Kyng of Kynges and Lord of Lordes hath made you gouernour) to immitate likewise in all these points the Catholike and Apostolicall Churches. So shall it come to passe that in the end of this your temporall kingdome the most blessed Prince of the Apostles shal open you the gates of þe heauēly kyngdome together with þe other elect of God. MarginaliaIf Peter shall let in the elect of God into heauen Christ then serueth in little sted. The grace of the eternall king preserue you moste dearely beloued sonne in Christ lōg time to reigne ouer vs to the great tranquilitie of vs all.

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When this letter was read before king Nayton with other of his learned men, and was diligently translated into his proper langage: he seemed to reioyce very much at the exhortatiō therof. Insomuch as rising vp from among his noble men, he kneeled on the ground, and gaue God thankes that he had deserued to receaue so worthy a present

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out
L.iiij.
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