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164 [163]

The Epistle of Huldericke Bish. to Pope Nicol. Priestes mariage.

trary to truth: and what can be found more contrary to the truth then this? When as the truth hym selfe speakyng of continēcy, not of one onely, but of all mē together, (the nūber onely excepted of them which haue professed continēcie) sayth: He that can take, let him take: the whiche saying, these men moued, I cannot tell by what occasion, do turne and saythe that cannot take, let hym be accursed. And what can be more foolish amongest men, then when any Byshop or Archdeacon, runne them selues headlong into all kynde of lust, to adultery and incest, and also Sodomitry: yet shame not to say, that the chast mariage of Priestes do stincke before them. And as voyde of all compassion of true righteousnes do not desire or admonish their Clerkes, as their felow seruaūtes to abstaine, but commaūde them and enforce them as seruauntes, violently to abstayne? Vnto the whiche imperious commaundement of theirs or counsell (whether you will, call it) they adde also this foolish and filthy suggestion, saying: MarginaliaThe absurde saying and contrary duryng of Papistes.that it is more honest, priuily to haue to do with many women, then apertly in the sight and consciēces of many men, to be bounde to one wife. The whiche truly they would not say, if they were either of hym, or in hym, which sayth: wo to you Phariseis, which do all thynges before mē. And by the Psalmist: because they please men, they are confounded: for the Lord hath despised them. These be the men, who rather ought to perswade vs, that we should shame to sinne priuely in the sight of hym to whom all thynges be open, then to seeme in the sight of men for to be cleane. These men therefore, although through their sinfull wickednes, deserue no coūsell of godlynes to be geuen thē: yet we not forgettyng our humanitie, cease not to geue thē counsell by the authoritie of Gods word, which seeketh all mens saluatiō, desiryng them by the bowels of charitie, and saying with the wordes of Scripture: Cast out thou hypocrite first the beame out of thyne owne eye, and then thou shalt see to cast out the mote of the eye of thy brother.

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Moreouer, this also we desire them to attende what the Lord sayth of the aduouterous woman: whiche of you that is without sinne, let hym cast the first stone agaynst her. As though he would say: if Moses byd you, I also byd you. But yet I require you that be the competent ministers and executours of the law: Take heede what ye adde therunto, take heede also I pray you, what you are your selues: for if (as the Scripture sayth) thou shalt well consider thy selfe, thou wilt neuer defame or detract an other.

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Moreouer, it is signified vnto vs also, that some there be of them, whiche (when they ought lyke good shepheardes to giue their liues for the Lordes flocke) yet are puffed vp with such pride: that without all reason they presume to rēt and teare the Lordes flocke wyth whippynges and beatings, whose vnreasonable doynges Saint Gregory bewaylyng, thus sayth: Quid fiat de ouibus, quando pastores lupi fiunt? That is: what shall become of the sheepe, when the pastors them selues be Wolues? But who is ouercome, but he which exerciseth the cruelty? Or who shall iudge the persecutor, but he which gaue paciently his backe to stripes. And this is the fruite which commeth to the Church by such persecutors, also which commeth to the Clergy by such despitefull handlyng of their Byshops, or rather Infidels. For why may ye not call them infidels, of whom S. Paule thus speaketh and writeth to Timothie: that in the latter dayes there shall certaine depart from the fayth, geue heede to spirites of errour and doctrine of deuilles, of them that speake false through hypocrisie, and hauyng their cōsciēces marked with an hote yron, forbidding to marry, and commaundyng to abstaine from meates. &c. And this is if it be well marked, the whole handfull of the darnell and cockel growing amōgest the corne: this is the couent of all madnes: that whiles they of the Clergy be compelled to relinquish the company of their own lawfull wiues: they become afterward fornicators and adulterers with other women, and wicked ministers of other sinful filthines. These be they which bring into the Church of God this heresie (as blynd guides leadyng the blind) that it might be fulfilled which the Psalme speaketh of: as foreseyng the errours of such men, and accursing them after thys maner: let their eyes be blynded that they see not, and bow downe alwayes their backe. For as much then (O Apostolicall Syr) as no man which knoweth you is ignoraunt, that if you, through the light of your discretion had vnderstāded and seene, what poysoned pestilēce might haue come into the Churche through the sentence of this your decree: they would neuer haue consented to the suggestions of certaine wicked persons. Wherfore we coūsell you by the fidelitie of our due subiection, that with all diligēce you would put away so great slaunder from the Church of God: and through your discrete discipline, you will remouethis Pharisaicall doctrine frō the flocke of God: so that this onely Sunanite of the Lordes (vsing no more adulterous husanbdes) do not separate the holy people and the kyngly Priesthode from her spouse which is Christ, through an vnrecouerable diuorcement: seyng that no mā without chastitie (not onely in the virgines state, MarginaliaInuenitur hæc Epistola in vetustis membranaceis libris (testante Illyrico in Catalogo) Meminit eiusdem Epistolæ Aeneas Syluius, in sua peregrinatione, & Germaniæ descriptionebut also in the state of matrimony) shall see our Lord: who with the father and the holy ghost lyueth and raigneth for euer. Amen.

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¶ By this Epistle of Byshop Huldericke aboue prefixed, the matter is playne (gētle Reader) to conceiue what was then the sentence of learned men, cōcernyng the mariage of ministers: but that here by the way þe reader is to be admonished that this Epistle, whiche by errour of the writer is referred to pope Nicolas the first, in my mynde is rather to be attributed to the name and tyme of Nicolas the 2. or 3.

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MarginaliaPope Hadrian. ij.
John, 9
Martine. ij.
Hadrian. iij.
Stephen. v.
After this Pope Nicolas succeded Hadrianus. ij. Ioannes ix. Martinus. ij. After these came Hadrian the third and Stephen the v. By this Hadrian it was first decreed, that no Emperour after that tyme should intermedle or haue any thyng to do, in the election of the Pope. And thus began the Emperours first to decay, and Papacie to swell and rise aloft. And thus much concernyng Romish matters for this tyme.

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Commentary  *  Close
The Danish Invasions to Alfred the Great

This section of Foxe's narrative was added in the 1570 edition, and then not subsequently altered in succeeding editions. It was a compendium from various sources, piecing together the history of the early invasions of the Danes from 852 onwards, through the reigns of the Saxon kings Ethelbald, Ethelbright and Ethelred I, to that of King Alfred. Foxe's brief excursion into the narrative of the early Danish invasions is evident from the lengthy quotation from a 'certain old written story, which hath no name', which the marginal gloss cites as 'ex vetusto exemplo histoiae Carianae W.C. 1', and which Foxe almost certainly gleaned from the Flores Historiarum, which had recently been published under the auspices of Matthew Parker (Elegans, illustris et facilis rerum, præsertim Britannicarum et aliarum obiter, notatu dignarum, a mundi exordio ad annum Domini, 1307 narratio, quam Matthæus Westmonasteriensis ... Flores Historiarum scripsit, [London, 1567]) - see H. R. Luard, ed. Matthew Paris. Flores Historiarum 3 vols (London: Rolls Series, 1890), 1, pp. 416-7. Foxe added a gloss of his own to the passage in order to make the point clear, emphasizing that the Danish invasions were God's vengeance for the 'wickedness' of the Britons in originally resisting Christianity, 'wherefore Gods just recompense falling vpon them, from that time neuer suffered them to be quiet from foreign enemies, till the commyng of William the Normand conqueror'. Thereafter, Foxe's account of Danish barbarity come 'ex histories Iornalens', i.e. from the chronicle attributed to John Brompton, abbot of Jervaulx (J. Brompton, 'Chronicon Johannis Brompton Abbatis Jornalensis.' In Historiæ Anglicanæ Scriptores X. [....], ed. by Roger Twysden [London, 1652], pp. 802-4. The account of the reign of Kinh Ethelbald comes largely from Fabian's Chronicle (R. Fabyan, The Chronicle of Fabian [London, 1559], book 6, chapters 169-70). Foxe elaborated somewhat on the persecution and martyrdom of St Edmund, 'underking' of the East Angles, an avatar of things to come in his narrative. Here, besides Fabian (lib. 6, cap. 169) he also used Roger of Howden (W. Stubbs, ed. Chronica magistri Rogeri de Houdene 2 vols, Rolls Series [London, 1868], 1, p. 39), John Brompton (op.cit., p. 805) and William of Malmesbury (R. A. B. Mynors, ed. William of Malmesbury. Gesta Regum Anglorum Vol. 1 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), lib. 2, cap. 112).

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Matthew Phillpott and Mark Greengrass
University of Sheffield

Then to returne where we left, touchyng the story of kyng Ethelwolfe. About the latter end of his reigne, the Danes, which before had inuaded the Realme, in the tyme of kyng Egbert, as is aboue declared: now made there reentre agayne, with 33. shyppes arriuyng about Hamshyre: through the barbarous tyrannie of whom much bloudshed and murther happened here among Englishmen, in Dorcetshyre, about Pourtchmouth in Kent, in Eastangle, in Lindesey, at Rochester, about London, and in Westsexe, where Ethelwolfe the kyng was ouercome: besides diuers other vnder Kynges and Dukes, whom the Danes dayly approchyng, in great multitudes in diuers victories had put to flight. At lēgth, king Ethelwulfe, with his sonne Ethelbaldus, warring against them in Southrey at Oclea, draue them to the Sea: where they houering a space, after a while brast in agayne with horrible rage and crueltie, as hereafter (Christ willyng) shalbe declared so much as to our purpose shall serue: professing in this history to write not of matters externe and politike, but onely pertainyng to the Church. MarginaliaEx vetusto exemplo historiæ Carianæ. W C. 1.The cause of this great affliction sent of God vnto this Realme thus I found expressed and collected in a certeine old writtē story, which hath no name: the wordes of whiche writer, for the same cause as he thought to recite thē, writyng as he sayth (ad Cautelā futurorū) I thought also for the same here not to be omitted, albeit in all partes of his commēdation I do not fully with him accorde. The wordes of the writer be these.

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MarginaliaThe cause of Gods wrath, wherby the Realme of England was scourged by the Danes.In Anglorum quidem Ecclesia primitiua religio, clarissime resplendit: ita vt Reges et Reginæ, Principes ac Duces, Consules, & Barones, &c. In English thus.

In the primitiue Church sayth he; of the Englishmen, Religion dyd most clearely shyne, in so much that Kynges, Queenes, Princes and Dukes, Consuls, and Barons, and rulers of Churches incensed with desire of the kyngdome of heauen: laboryng and striuyng among them selues, to enter into Monkery, into voluntarie exile and solitary lyfe: forsoke all, and folowed the Lord. Where in processe of tyme, all vertue so much decayed among them, that in fraude and trechery none seemed lyke vnto them: Neither was to thē any thyng odious or hatefull but pietie and iustice: Neither any thyng in price and honor, but ciuill warre, and shedyng of innocent bloud. Wherfore almighty God sent vpō them pagane and cruell nations lyke swarmes of bees, whiche neither spared wemen, nor children: as Danes, Norwagians, Gothes, Sueuians, Vandals, and Fresians. Who from the begynnyng of the reigne of kyng Ethelwolfe till the commyng of the Normandes, by the space neare of 230. yeares, destroyed this sinnefull land, from the one side of the Sea, to the other: from man also to beast: for why they inuading England oftymes of euery side, went not about to subdue and possesse it, but onely to spoyle and to destroy it. And if it had chaunced them at any tyme to be ouercome of Englishmen, it auayled nothyng, whē as other nauies still with greater power, in other places were ready vpon a sodeyne and vnwares to approche vpon them. &c. Historia Cariana.

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MarginaliaAn other cause rendred, why England was scourged of the Danes.Thus farre haue ye the wordes of myne author, declaryng the cause, whiche prouoked Gods anger: whereunto may be adioyned the wickednesse, not onely of them but of their forefathers also before them: who falsly breakyng the fayth & promise made with the Britaines, did cruelly murther their nobles: wickedly oppressed their commons: impi-

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