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710 [686]

K. Henry. 6. Pope Pius, Paulus, Sixtus. The Duke of Yorke.

MarginaliaThe breath of this pestilent seat corrupteth all that sit in it, what soeuer they were before.this Pius was in þe tyme of the Councell of Basill, before he was made Pope. But as our common prouerbe saith, honours chaungeth maners, so it happeneth with this Pius, who after he came once to be Pope, was much altered from that he was before. For where as before hee preferred generall Councells before the pope, now being Pope, he did decree that no man shoulde appeale from the high bishop of Rome, to any generall Councel.

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MarginaliaÆneas Syluius now puffed vp with worldly pompe and glory impugneth the truth which he did before both know & professe. And likewise for priestes mariage, where as before he thought it best to haue their wiues restored, yet afterward he altered his mynd otherwise: In so much þt in his boke intreatyng of Germany, and there speaking of the noble Citie of August, by occasion he inueyed agaynst a certain Epistle of Hulderike once bishop of the sayd city, written agaynst the constitutiō of the single lyfe of priests. Wherby it appeareth how the mynde of this Pius was altered from that it was before. This Epistle of Huldericke is before expressed at large in the pag. 139.

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MarginaliaDiscord betwen Pope Pius and the Archb. of Mentz. Here also might I touche somethyng concerning the discord betwixt this Æneas Syluius and Diotherus, Archbishop of Mentz, and what discorde was styrred vp in Germany vpon the same, betwene Fredericke the Palatine, and duke of Wyttenberge, with others, by the occasion whereof, besides the slaughter of manye, the Citye of Mentz, which was free before, lost their freedome, and became seruile.

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The causes of the discorde betwixt Pope Pius and Diotherus, were these.

First, because that Diotherus would not consent vnto him in the imposition of certayne tallages and taxes, within his countrey.

Secondlye, for that Diotherus would not be bounde vnto him, requiring that the sayde Diotherus, beyng prince Elector, should not call the other Electors together, without hys licence: that is, without the licence of the B. of Rome.

And thirdly, because Diotherus would not permit to the popes Legates, to conuocate his Clergy together after their owne luste. MarginaliaAn. 1458.
Pope Paulus. 2
This Pope Pius began his sea, about the yere of our lord. 1458.

After thys Pius secundus, succeded Paulus secundus, a pope wholy set vpon his belly and ambition, and not so much voyde of all learning, as the hater of all learned mē. This Paulus had a daughter begotten in fornication, which because he saw her to be had in reproch, for that she was gotten infornication, began (as the stories reporte) to repent hym of the law of the single lyfe of priestes, and went about to reforme the same, had not death preuented hym. MarginaliaEx Stanislao Rutheno. Vide Cent. 8. Bal. Ex Stanislao Rutheno.

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After this Paulus, came Sixtus the fourth, which builded vp in Rome a stewes of both kyndes, gettyng thereby no small reuenues and rentes vnto the Church of Rome. This Pope amongest hys other actes, reduced the yeare of Iubely from the. 50. vnto the. 25. MarginaliaThe feast of the conception and presentation of our Lady. He also instituted the feast of the Conception, and of the presentation of Mary and of Anna her mother, and Ioseph, Also he canonised Bonauenture, and S. Fraunces for Sayntes.

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MarginaliaBeades brought in. By this Sixtus also, beades were brought in, and instituted to make our Ladyes Psalter, thorow the occasion of one Alanus and his order, whom Baptista maketh mention of in this verse. Hi filo insertis numerant sua murmura baccis. That is, these men puttyng theyr beades vpon a string number their prayers. This Sixtus the Pope made. xxxij. Cardinals in his tyme, of whom Petrus Ruerius, was the firste, who for the time that he was Cardinall, which was but. ij. yeares, spent luxurious riot, wasted and consumed. CC. M. Floreines, and was left lx. M. in debt. MarginaliaVVesellus Groningēsis. Wesellus Groningensis, in a certayne treatise of his, de Indulgentiis papalibus, writyng of this pope Sixtus, reporteth this, that at the request of the foresayd Peter Cardinal, and of Ierome his brother, MarginaliaThe pope licenseth the whole familie of a certayne Cardinall, to play the Sodomites three monethes in the yeare. the sayd Pope Sixtus permitted and graunted vnto the whole family of the Cardinall of S Lucy, in the. iij. hote monethes of sommer, Iune, Iuly, and August (a horrible thyng to be spokē) free leaue and liberty to vse Sodomitry, with this clause, Fiat vt petitur: That is, be it as it is asked.

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MarginaliaPope Innocentius. 8. Next after this Sixtus, came Innocentius the viij. as rude and as farre from all learnyng, as his predecessor was before hym. Amongest the noble factes of this Pope, thys was one, that in the town of Polus apud Æquicolos, he caused 8. men and 6. women, with the Lord of the place to be apprehended and taken, and iudged for heretikes, because they said that none of them was the vicar of Christ which came after Peter, but they whiche followed onely þe pouerty of Christ. MarginaliaGeorge king of Boheme cōdemned of heresie. Also he condemned of heresie, George the kyng of Boheme, and depriued hym of his dignity, and also of hys kyngdome, and procured his whole stocke to bee vtterly reiected and put downe, geuyng his kingdome to Mathias kyng of Panonia.

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Now from the Popes to descend to other estates, it remayneth lykewise somewhat to write of the Emperours incident to this tyme, with matters and greuances of the Germaynes, as also of other princes, first beginnyng with our troubles and mutations here at home, pertainyng to the ouerthrow of this King Henry and of his seate now folowyng, to be shewed. 

Commentary  *  Close
Richard of York

With two minor exceptions, Foxe's account of Richard of York's bid for the throne, death and his son Edward's seizure of it, is based on an anonymous chronicle in a manuscript that he owned, which is now College of Arms MS Arundel 5. The chronicle (Arundel 5, fos. 121r-172v) is entitled 'Compilatio brittanorum et anglorum' but Foxe refers to it as 'Scala mundi' (from a chronology at the beginning of the manuscript tracing the history of the world from Adam and Eve to 1469). The concluding section of the 'Compilatio' covering the reigns of Henry VI and Edward IV was printed as 'A Brief Latin Chronicle' in Three Fifteenth-Century Chronicles, ed. James Gardiner, Camden Society, Second series 28 (London, 1880), pp. 164-85. The unknown author of this chronicle almost certainly lived in London during the reigns of Henry VI and Edward IV and was probably a cleric. (Apart from the chronicle being written in Latin, it pays close attention to church affairs). There is no ready answer to the question of why Foxe used this chronicle when he had more detailed accounts at hand in the histories of Polydore Vergil and Edward Hall. Perhaps Foxe was demonstrating that he had other sources than the readily available Vergil and Hall; perhaps Foxe desired to be as independent as possible from these works, which he criticized in his account of Sir John Oldcastle.

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One of the two items in this section not contained in the 'Compilatio' is Parliament's rejection of papal bulls authorizing Louis of Luxembourg, the arch-bishop of Rouen, to hold the bishopric of Ely in commendam (This comes from Rotuli Parliamentorum, ed. J. Strachey et al., 6 vols. {London, 1783], IV, pp. 304-5 ). Both Foxe and Parliament were concerned to demonstrate that the Crown would not concede papal jurisdiction over English episcopal appointments. But in reality, the wealthy bishopric of Ely was Henry VI's reward to Louis, a key ally in the Hundred Year's War. The account of the Breton (the reader should not be confused by Foxe calling him a 'Briton') who murdered a widow is taken from Robert Fabian, Fabyan's cronicle (London, 1559), STC 10664, p. 418. Foxe's interest in the case comes from the fact that the culprit was able to claim sanctuary and abjure the realm without further punishment; to Foxe, these were clerical abuses.

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Finally, it is worth noting Foxe's emphasis throughout this account that the disasters which overwhelmed Henry VI came about because he no longer had the advice and protection of his uncle, Humphrey of Gloucester, to rely upon. (For Foxe's praise of Humphrey of Gloucester see 1570, pp. 832-7; 1576, pp. 678-81 and 1583, pp. 703-7. For the reasons for Foxe's favourable view of Duke Humphrey see the commentary to these pages).

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Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield

And briefly to cōtract long processe of much tumult and busines, into a short narration, MarginaliaMischieues to England, after the death of the Duke of Glocester. here is it to be remembred, which partly before was signified, how after the death of the Duke of Gloucester, mischiefes came in by heapes vpon the kyng and his realme. For after the geuyng away of Angeow, and Mayne to the Frenchmen, by þe vnfortunate mariage of Queene Margaret aboue mentioned, the sayd Frenchmen perceiuyng now by the death of þe duke of Gloucester, the stay and piller of this common wealth to be decayed, and seyng moreouer the hartes of the nobilitie, among themselues to be deuided, forslacked no tyme, hauing such an open way into Normandy, MarginaliaAngeow, Mayne, Normādie, & Gascoyne, recouered of the Frenchmen. that in short tyme they recouered the same, and also gate Gascoigne, so that no more now remayned to Englād, of all the partes beyond þe sea, but onely Calice. Neyther yet dyd all the calamitie of the realm onely rest in this: For the king now hauyng lost his frendly vncle, as the stay and staffe of his age, which had brought hym vp so faythfully from his youth, was now thereby the more open to hys enemies, and they more enboldened so set vpon hym: MarginaliaIacke Cade. As appeared first by Iacke Cade, the Kentishe Captayne, who encampyng first in Blakeheath, afterward aspired to London, and had the spoyle therof, the kyng beyng driuen into Warwickeshyre. MarginaliaThe Duke of Yorke agaynst kyng Henry. After the supressing of Cade, ensued not long after the duke of Yorke, who beyng accompanied with 3. Earles, set vpon the kyng nere to S. Albons where the kyng was taken in the field captiue, & the Duke of Yorke was by Parliament declared protector, Marginalia1459. which was in the yere of our Lord. 1453. After this followed long diuision and mortall warre betwen the two houses of Lancaster and Yorke, continuyng many yeares. At length, about the yeare of our Lord 1459. the Duke of Yorke was slayne in battayle by the Queene, nere to the towne of Wakfielde, and with hym also his sonne Earle of Rutlande. By the which Queene also shortly after, in þe same yeare, were discomfited the Earle of Warwicke, and Duke of Northfolke, to whome the keepyng of the Kyng was committed by the Duke of Yorke, and so the Queene agayne delyuered her husband.

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MarginaliaThe Northren men intended the subuersion of London. After this victory obteined, the Northern men aduaunced not a litle in pride and courage, began to take vpon them great attemptes, not onely to spoyle and robbe Churches, and religious houses, and villages, but also were fully entēded, partly by them selues, partly by the inducement of their Lordes and Captaines, to sacke, waste, and vtterly to subuert the Citie of London, and to take the spoyle therof: and no doubt (sayth my history) MarginaliaEx historia manuscripta, cui titulus: Scala Mundi. would haue proceded in their cōceaued gredy intent, had not þe oportune fauour of God prouided a spedy remedy. MarginaliaLondon rescued by prince Edw. For as these mischieues were in bruing, sodenly commeth the noble Prince Edward vnto London, with a mighty army, the xxvij. day of February, who was the sonne and heyre to the duke of Yorke aboue mencioned, accompanied with the Earle of Warwicke, and diuers moe. King Henry in the meane time, with his victorie, went vp to Yorke: whē as Edward being at Londō, Marginalia1461. caused there to be proclaimed certaine articles concerning his title to the crowne of England, which was the. 2. day of March.

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Wherupon, the next day folowing, the Lordes both temporall & spirituall being assembled together, the sayd articles were propounded, and also well approued. The fourth day of the said moneth of March, after a solemne generall procession (according to the blinde superstition of those dayes) the Byshop of Exceter made a Sermon at Paules Crosse, MarginaliaThe title of Edward, to the crowne proued at Paules crosse. wherin he commended and prooued by manifold euidences, the title of Prince Edward to be iust and lawfull, aunswering in the same, to all obiections which myght be to the contrary.

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MarginaliaK. Edward taketh possession of the crowne. This matter being thus discussed, Prince Edward accompanied with the lordes spirituall and temporall, & with much concourse of people, rode the same day to Westminster Hall, and there by the full consent, as well of the Lordes, as also by the voyce of all the Commons, toke hys possession of the Crowne, and was called Kyng Edwarde the fourth.

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