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176 [175]

King Edmund. Dunstane Abbot. K. Edmund. Odo. false miracles.

MarginaliaGuliel. lib. 3. de pontifi.ting of hys history, hath these wordes: Familiaris per id temporis Anglis consuetudo fuit, vt si quiboni afflati essent desiderio, in beatissimi Benedicti monasterio cænobialem susciperet habitum: a quo, religionis huiusce manauit exordium, &c. That is. It was a common custom at that tyme among english men, that if any good men were well affected or mynded toward religion, they went to the monastery of blessed S. Benedict in Fraunce, & there receiued the habite of a monke: MarginaliaThe origen of monkery, how it first began in England. 

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Foxe's account of Dunstan comes initially from Bale's Catalogus, p. 137, but it was supplemented with additional details from 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 2, ch. 145.

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Wherupon the first origine of this religion began, &c. But of this Oswald bishop of Yorke, and Dunstane bishop of Canterbury and Ethelwold, bishop of Winchester, how they replenished diuers Monasteries, and Cathedrall Churches with Monkes: and how they discharged maryed Priestes and Chanons out of their houses, to plant in Monkes in their celles: more shal be spoken (by the grace of Christ) hereafter. Now let vs returne agayne to the matter where we left, of kyng Edmund: who besides his noble victories agaynst his enemies, and recouering the Cities aboue expressed into his own handes: did also subdue the prouince of Cumberland. And after he had put out the eyes of the two sonnes of Dunmail kyng of Cumberland, he committed the gouernaunce therof to Malcolinus kyng of Scottes: vpon promise of his trusty seruice & obedience, when the kyng should stand in any neede of hym. In the time of this king, Dunstane was not yet Archbish. of Cāterbury, MarginaliaDunstane Abbot of Glastonburybut onely Abbot of Glastenbury: of whom many fabulous narrations passe among the writers, importyng more vanitie then veritie. Wherfore this is one of the first: what tyme MarginaliaThe sonnes of K. Edmund.Edgarus called Pacificus was borne, Dunstane beyng the same tyme abbot of Glastonbury (as the monkish fables dreame) heard a voyce in the ayre of certayne aungels singing after this tenor, and sayeng: Nowe peace commeth to the church of England in the time of this chyld and of our Dunstane, &c. This I thought to recite, that the christian reader might the better ponder with himselfe, the impudent and abhominable fictions of this Romish generation. MarginaliaThe impudent vanity of the Popes church in forging false myracles.Out of the same minte also haue they forged, how the sayd Dunstane should heare the aungels sing the Kyrieeleyson, vsed to be song at euensong in the church. Guliel. de pontifi. lib. 1. MarginaliaGuliel. lib. 1. de pont.Which is as true as that the harpe hangyng in a womans house, played by it selfe the tune of the Antheme, called Gaudent in cœlis, &c. What would not these deceiuers fayn in matters somethyng likely, whiche in thynges so absurde and so inconuenient, shame not to lye and to forge so impudently and also so manifestly. MarginaliaThe monastery of Glastonbury. Dunstane Abbot of Glastonbury
This Abbey of Glastonbury was first builded by kyng Iue, by the counsell of Adelmus after being destroyed by the Danes.
Guliel. lib 2. de Regib.
Through the motion of this Dunstane: kyng Edmund builded and furnished the monastery of Glastenbury, and made the sayd Dunstane Abbot therof.

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Concerning the ende and death of this king, sondry opinions there be. Alfridus and Marianus say: that while this kyng Edmund endeuored himselfe to saue hys sewer from the daunger of hys enemies which would haue slaine hym at Pulcherchurch: the king in parting of the fray was wounded, and died shortly after. But Guliel. de Regibus. lib. 2. sayth, that the king being at a feast at Pulcherchurch, vpon the day of S. Austen: espied a fellon sittyng in þe hall, named Leof, whom he before for his felony had exiled. And leaping ouer the table, did flie vppon hym, and plucked the theefe by the heare of the head to the ground. In which doyng, the fellon with a knife wounded the kyng to the deth, and also with the same knife wounded many other of the kynges seruantes, and at length was all to hewen, and died forthwith.

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MarginaliaThe lawes of K. Edmunde touching as well the state spirituall as temporall.By the lawes of kyng Edmund (ordeyned and set forth as well for the redresse of church matters, as also of ciuile regiment) it may appeare, that the state both of causes tēporall and likewyse spirituall, appertayned then to þe kings right (the false pretended vsurpatiō of the bishop of Rome notwithstandyng) as by these lawes is to be seene: where he by the aduice of hys lordes and bishops, did enact and determine concernyng the chastitie and pure lyfe of ecclesiasticall ministers, and such as were in the orders of the church with the penalties also for thē, which trāsgressed the same.

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Item for tithes to be payde of euery christian man, and for the church fees, and alme fees, &c.

Item for deflouryng of women professed, which we cal Nunnes. &c.

Item for euery bishop to see hys churches repaired, of his owne proper charge, and boldly to admonish the kyng, whether the houses of God were well maintayned. &c.

Item for flieng into the church for sanctuary, &c.

Item concerning cases and determinations spousall, or matrimoniall. &c.

All which constitutions declare, what interrest kings had in those dayes in matters as well ecclesiasticall as other within their dominion: and that not onely in disposing theordinances and rites, such as appertayned to the institution of the church: but also in placing and settyng bishoppes in their sees, &c.

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MarginaliaVlstanus Archbish. of Yorke
Odo Archb. of Caunterb.
 

Commentary  *  Close

Foxe's account of Odo, Archbishop of Canterbury (including his epistle to the clergy), comes 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, ch. 14, p. 27). However, Foxe varied it with some alternative phrases on the battle from the Polychronicon (J. R. Lumby, ed. Polychronicon Ranulphi Higden monachi Cestrensis: together with the English translations of John Trevisa and of an unknown writer of the fifteenth century [London: Rolls Series, 1879], book 6, ch. 6).

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In the tyme of this Edmund, was Vlstanus Archb. of Yorke, and Odo Archbishop of Caunterbury, which Odo beyng a Dane borne (as is before touched) was promoted to that sea by king Ethelstane, for that (as they say) he beyng first bishop of Witone, and present with king Ethelstane in the fielde agaynst Analafus, before mentioned, what tyme the sayd Ethelstane had lost hys sword: he thorough his intercession vp to heauen, dyd see a sworde from heauen, come downe into the sheath of the kyng. Whereof relation beyng made to the kyng by the foresayd bishoppe, Ethelstane vpon the same was so affected towarde Odo: that not onely he counted hym for a patrone of his lyfe, but also made hym primate of Canterbury after the decease of Vlfelmus. MarginaliaGuliel. de pontifi. lib. 1.
Polychro. lib. 6. cap. 6.
This Odo was the first from the commyng of the Saxons till his tyme which was Archbishop of Canterbury beyng no monke. For all the other before him were of the profession of Monkes, of whom a great part had ben Italiās, vnto Berctualdus. MarginaliaOdo made monke at Floriake, after he was Archbish. of CaūterburyNotwithstanding this Odo, beyng also a stranger borne, after he was elected into the bishopricke, to aūswere to the olde custome of others before him, sayled ouer into Fraunce, and there at Floriake (after the vsuall maner aboue mentioned of english men) receiued the profession and habite of monkish religion, as sayth my foresayd author. MarginaliaGuliel. de pontifi. lib. 1.And lyke as the sayd Odo first beyng no Monke, was made Archbishop of Canterbury: So also Vlstanus the same tyme, beyng bishop of Yorke and of Worceter, differed from diuers hys predecessors before hym, in profession and in habite: of whome the forenamed author thus writeth in his. iij booke, MarginaliaGuliel. lib. 3. de pont. Ebor.speaking of Vlstanus, qui sanctitate discrepabat & habitu, that is: he differed in sanctimony and in habite. MarginaliaThe differēce of habite and garmentes amōg mē of the Church.Wherby is to be collected, that in those dayes was a difference in habite and garment: not onely betwene monkes and bishops, but also betwene one bishop and an other. Albeit what difference it was yet I do not finde. But I returne agayne to Odo: who by the description of his manners, myght seeme not to be the worst that occupied that place, were it not that our lying histories fayning false miracles vpō hym (as they do of other) make hym in deede to seme worse then he was. MarginaliaFalse & lying miracles noted vpō Odo.As where they imagine that he should see from heauen a sword fal into the scabberd of kyng Ethelstane. Item where he shoulde couer and defend the church of Caunterbury with his prayers from rayne. And also where he should turne the breade of the aultar (as the writer termeth it) into liuely fleshe, & from flesh into bread agayne: to confirme the people which before doubted in the same. MarginaliaA note to the reader.Where note againe (good reader) that albeit this myracle were true, as no doubt it is vntrue: yet it is to be be noted, þt in those dayes was a great doubt among englishmen of the popish sacrament, MarginaliaTrāsubstātiation not yet receiued.and that transubstantiation was not receiued into the christen crede. The lyke iudgement is to be geuen also of that, where our Englishe writers testifieng of the same Odo, saye that he should prophecie long before of Dunstan, to be hys successor in the church of Canterbury. But to let these fantasies and idle stories passe, this which we finde of Odo: his own writyng is certayne, that the said Odo in the raign of king Edmund, had a synode commensed of the chiefe Prelates and men of the clergy in his tyme, to whom he directed this letter here followyng: the copy whereof I thought to expresse, for þe reader to see what zelous care raigned in archbishops then toward the church of the Lord. The wordes of hys epistle procede in this tenour.

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¶ The letter or an Epistle of Odo, Archbishop of Caunterbury sent to the other bishops and men of the Clergy.

MarginaliaThe letter of Odo Archb. to the prelates.MIrabili cunctipotentis polorum præsulis clementia opitulante: Ego Odo, ecclesiæ Saluatoris Domini nostri Iesu Christi Archiepiscopus Douerniensis ciuitatis Metropolitanus, coepiscopis fidei catholicæ compagatoribus spiritali charitatis rigore confratribus. Præsentium prosperitatem æthereiq̀ decoris beatitudinem. &c. The same in english.

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By the diuine grace of God, I Odo of the church of our Lord and sauiour Iesus Christ, Archbishop and Metroplitane of the citie of Cāterbury, to my fellow bishops, & fellow planters of the Catholike fayth, and my fellowe brethren in the spirituall bond of charitie with greetyng wish prosperitie in this world present, and in the world to come felicitie. If it were so or by any meanes could be, that all the riches of this world were layd before mine eyes, so that I beyng Emperour had all thinges vniuersally vnder my

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