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183 [182]

K. Edward. Busines about placing Mōks, and displacing maried Priests.

MarginaliaEdward the bastard made king and the right heyre put backe.before the Lordes so perswaded thē, that in the end Edward by Dunstanes meanes was elected, consecrated, and annoynted for theyr kyng.

And thus hast thou (good Reader) the very truth of this story, accordyng to the writing of authors of most antiquitie which lyued nerest to that age, as Osberne and others: MarginaliaEx Osberno.
Nic. Trinet.
Ioan Paris.
Vincentio.
Antonino.
which Osberne liuyng in the dayes of Williā Conquerer, wrote thys story of Dūstane thorough the motion of Lancfrancus, and allegeth or rather translateth the same out of such Saxon stories as were written before his time. Besides which Osberne, we haue also for witnes hereof Nic. Trinet, in his english story writtē in French, & also Ioannes Paris in hys French story written in the latin tong, where he plainely calleth Edward, non legitimum filium, that is no lawful sonne. Wherunto adde moreouer the testimony of Vincentius and Antoninus, who in playn termes likewyse report the same.

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Now hauyng layd the foundation for the truth & ground of thys matter, let vs come to examine how truly our later writers do say, 

Commentary  *  Close

Foxe's critical treatment of the succession of King Edgar is taken from Bale's English Votaryes, pp. 60-65, supplemented with some signs of his independent confirmation of what Bale had said. So, although Bale cited William of Malmesbury's Gesta Pontificium, Foxe seems to have preferred his Gesta Regum for some of the details in this passage. For the small (but telling) detail that Edith refused to steal the crown, making her more wise than her brother Edward, Foxe must have referred directly back to John Capgrave's Nova Legenda Angliae, either in its printed edition or in the manuscript that belonged to Matthew Parker.

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MarginaliaEditha proued not to be the childe for whom kyng Edgar was enioyned penaunce.which wryte that Editha, and not Edward, was the chyld for whom Dunstane enioyned to the king 7. yeres penaunce, & also how truly they report Edward to be a lawful heyre, & Elflede to be the lawful wife to kyng Edgar.

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For first, touchyng Editha thys is confessed by the sayde wryters themselues, that she was of good yeares at what tyme Edgar her father was enioyned hys penanunce. After the whiche seven yeares of hys penaunce expired, he lyued at the most but 3. yeares and a halfe. Which 7. yeres and 3. yeares and a halfe, make in all but x. yeares & a halfe. But now the sayd authors themselues do graunt that she was made Abbas by her father, he beyng then alyue. And how can thys then stand with her Legend, which sayeth, that she was not lesse then 15. yeres of age? By which account it must nedes fall out, that she could not be so little as v. yeres old before the byrth of that chyld for whom the king dyd penaunce.

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And thus much touchyng Editha. Now in lyke manner to consider of the tyme of Edward: first this by all writers is graunted, that he was slayne in the xv. yeare of hys age. MarginaliaThe yeares of Editha & Edward cast by the supputation of legendes and stories. Which yeares do well agre to that chylde which king Edgar begate in bastardy, and for the which he dyd his penaunce. For the more euidēce wherof, let vs come to the supputation of yeares, in this sort.

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First the penaunce of the kyng, after the byrth of thys chyld, lasted 7. yeres. Then the kyng after the same liued 3. yeres, and a half. After whose death Edward reigned other 3. yeres & a half., which in all make the ful sūme of 14. yeres. About the coūt of which age, the said Edward going on his 15. yeres, by their owne rekenyng was slayne.

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And thus haue ye by manifest demonstration proued by the right castyng of the yeres, after theyr owne graunt and reckenyng, that Editha daughter of Wlfride in no case can be the chyld which was borne after Edward, & for whom þe kyng was enioyned penaunce: MarginaliaK. Edward called martir proued to be a bastard.but þt Edward rather was borne after Editha and was the child for whom the penāce was enioyned, contrary to the opinion commonly receaued in the church, which for ignorance of the story hath hetherto holden Edward to be an holy Martyr, and right heyre vnto the crowne. Which error and opinion, how it first sprāg and by whome, albeit it perteine not to my story to discusse, yet were it no hard matter to coniecture.

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MarginaliaThe cause perpended why this story of k. Edward is so falsely corrupted in Monkishe stories.First after that Dunstane and Oswold, wyth other Byshops, Abbots, and certayne Lordes and dukes of that faction, for the mainteinaunce of Monkery, had aduaunced Edward to be kyng, against Quene Alfrith mother of Ethelred, & Alferus duke of Mercia and certeine other nobles, which held with the contrary side of the Priestes agaynst the Monkes, in processe of tyme the Monkes that came after to wryte stories, perceiuyng Dunstane to be reputed in the Church of Rome for an holy Saint, and the sayd kyng Edward for an holy Martyr, and partly also to bolster vp theyr owne Religion of Monkery so muche as they could: to the entent therfore they would saue the credite both of Dunstane and of the kyng, and especially bearing fauour to theyr owne Religion, and partly that the reputation of the Church of Rome should not be disteined by opening þe truth of thys matter, either did not see, or would not confesse herein what they knew, but rather thought best to blanche the story, & colorably to hide the simple truth thereof, makyng the people falsly beleue, that Elfleda þe mother of Edward was wyfe to king Edgar, and Edward to be lawfully borne, and also that Editha was borne after Edward, and to be the child for which the kyng was enioyned penaunce. All which is false and contrary both to the order of tyme aboue declared, and also to the plaine wordes of Malmesbury, which speaking of Kyng Edgars last con- MarginaliaMalmesb. in lib. de Regibus.cubine, sayth in playne wordes: Dilexit vnice, integram lecto vni deferens fidem, quoad legitimā vxorem accepit Elfrithidam filiam Ordgari. That is, he had a concubine whō he loued entirely, kepyng true fayth of his bed to her alone, vntill the tyme he maryed for his lawfull wife Elfride the daughter of Duke Ordgare. &c. Wherby we haue to vnderstand that whatsoeuer concubine this was which Malmesbery speaketh of, certayne it is, that Edgar liued in whoredome till tyme he maryed his lawfull wyfe. Furthermore, and finally to conclude, beside these argumentes and allegations aboue recited, let thys also be perpended, how the sayd Dunstane with hys complices, after þe killyng of king Edward, leauing the right heire of the crowne (which was Ethelred) MarginaliaDunstane suborneth Editha the bastard to take the crowne from the right heyre.
Ex Capgrauo in vitæ sanctæ Edithæ
went about, as Capgraue and their owne Legend confesseth, to set vp Editha the other bastarde to possesse the crowne, but that she more wise then her brother Edward, refused the same. Wherby what is to be thought of the doyngs of Dunstane, and what should be the cause why he preferred both Edward and Editha to the crowne rather then the lawfull heyre, I leaue to all indifferēt readers therof to iudge.

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After that Dunstane and hys fellowes had thus set vp Edward for their kyng, they were now where they would be, supposing all to be sure on theyr side, and that they had established the kyngdome of Monkery for euer, 

Commentary  *  Close

Foxe's account of the rise of the monks comes from John Brompton's Chronicle (J. Brompton, 'Chronicon Johannis Brompton Abbatis Jornalensis.' In Historiæ Anglicanæ Scriptores X. [....], ed. by Roger Twysden [London, 1652], col. 870, and his emphasis (understandable in the reformation context) on the fact that there was evidence for bishops having wives and children in Anglo-Saxon times also comes from the same source (p. 768). In addition, however, Foxe's marginal note very specifically singles out the Crowland Abbey chronicle ('Ex Chronico Ingulphi Abbatis de Crowland') as an additional source for the marriage of priests. Where had Foxe obtained this material, if this was indeed his source? Although Archbishop Matthew Parker did not own a copy of the Crowland Chronicle, the Earl of Arundel did. We know that Parker and Arundel not only shared a passion for collecting manuscripts, but also shared some of their collections for study and for the making of copies, it is possible that this is how Foxe had derived this information.

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through þe helpe of the yong kyng, and the Duke of East angles, and certayne other nobles whom they had drawen to their part. Howbeit this matter passed not so well with them as they hoped. For shortly after the coronation of this young kyng, MarginaliaDuke Alpherus.Alferus duke of Mercia, who followed much the dedes of the Queene with other great men, stoutly standyng on the contrary side, droue out the Monkes from the Cathedrall churches which kyng Edgar before had set in, MarginaliaPriestes with their wyues restored.and restored againe þe Priestes (as Ranulphus sayth) with their concubines: but in the history of the Librarie of Iornall, I find it plainly expressed with their wyues. The wordes of the very author be these: Alferus princeps Merciorum, cæteriq; plures, eiectis monachis de magnis monasterijs, quos rex Edgarus nuper instituerat, clericos cum vxoribus reduxerunt. MarginaliaHistoria Iornalensis in vitæ Edgari.That is, Alferus duke of Mercia, with other great men mo, droue out the Monkes from the great Monasteries, whom kyng Edgar had there set in before, and restored agayne the priestes with their wiues.

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MarginaliaBishops and priestes in those dayes, maried in England.Wherby it doth euidently appeare, that priestes in those dayes were maried and had their lawfull wiues. The like before that in kyng Inas tyme is playne: that Byshops thē had wiues and children, as appeareth by the wordes of the law then set forth, extant in the history of the sayd Iornalensis, which be these: MarginaliaIornalens. de Ineo Rege.Si quis filiolum alterius occidat vel patrinum, sit simile cognationi, & crescat emendatio secundum Weram eius Regi, sicut cognationi. Si de parentela sit qui occidit eum, tunc excedat emendatio patrini, sicut manbota Domini. Si Episcopi filiolus sit, sit dimidium hoc. &c. And thus much by the way for priestes wiues & their children. Now to the purpose agayne of our matter, which is to declare how the Duke and nobles of England expulsed the monkes out of the monasteries after the death of king Edgar.Edgar. 

Commentary  *  Close

Foxe's preferred source for the miracle of Dunstan's rood and the Council of Calne, and the murder of Edward by his step-mother, was John Brompton's Chronicle (J. Brompton, 'Chronicon Johannis Brompton Abbatis Jornalensis.' In Historiæ Anglicanæ Scriptores X. [....], ed. by Roger Twysden (London, 1652), cols. 870-873 although there is evidence for his having cross-checked his source with William of Malmesbury's Gesta Regum, Henry Huntingdon's Chronicle, Ranulph Higden's Polychronicon, and Fabian's Chronicle. At the end of the passage, Foxe adds a note about the 'three Edwards' who had been king before William the Conqueror, a radical rewriting of the English regnal succession commonly accepted by his day. We should keep in mind, however, Foxe's concern to discern some continuities between the reigns of earlier Edwards in English history, and that of Edward VI, so critical to the fortunes of English protestantism.

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Wherof let vs heare what the mōkish story of the Abbay of Crouland recordeth. Monachis de quibusdam monasterijs eiectis, clerici sunt introducti, qui statim monasteriorū maneria ducibus terræ distribuebant, vt sic in suas partes obligati eos contra monachos defensarent. Tunc de monasterio Eueshamensi, monachis expulsis, clerici fuerant introducti: Terræq; tyranni de terri. Ecclesiæ præmiati sunt, quibus Regina nouercali nequitia stās cum clericis in regis opprobrium, fauebat. Cum monachis autem Rex, & sancti Episcopi persistebant. Sed tyranni fulti Reginæ fauoure & potētia, super monachos triumphabant. Multus inde tumultus in omni angulo Angliæ factus est. Ex Chronico Ingulphi Abbatis de Crouland. &c. MarginaliaEx Chronico Ingulphi Abbatis de Crowland.that is. The monkes being expelled out of certeine monasteries, the Clerkes agayne were brought in, who distributed the maners or fermes of the sayd monasteries to the Dukes & Lordes of the land, that they being obliged to them should defend them agaynst the Monkes. MarginaliaGreat busines in the land about placing Mōkes, and displacing priestes.And so were the Monkes of Euesham thrust out, and the seculare clerkes placed, and the landes of the church giuen to the Lordes, with whom the Queene, the Kynges stepmother holdyng the same tyme, tooke part also with the sayd Clerkes agaynst the kyng. On the contrary part stode the kyng & the holy bishops, takyng part with the monkes. Howbeit the Lordes and peeres of the Realme staying vpō the fauour and power of the Queene, triumphed ouer the monkes. &c.

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Thus as much ado there was through all quarters of the realme about the matter among the Lordes: so arose no lesse contention betwene the priestes and monkes of Eng-

land
D.ij.
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