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800 [776]

K. Henry. 8. Persecution in Lond. Dioces. Examinations.

wyll was ready by all meanes possible to mainteyne their quarel and their estimation.

MarginaliaAn 1509. Whereupon it happened the same yeare of our Lorde. 1509. after this dissension betwene the Dominike Friers, and the Franciscans, that certaine of the Dominikes thinking by subtyl sleight to worke in the peoples heades, that which they durst not atchiue with open preaching deuysed a certaine Image of the Virgine, so artificially wrought, that the Fryers by priuie gyns made it to styrre, & to make gestures, to lament, to complayne, to weepe, to grone, and to geue aunsweares to them that asked: MarginaliaEx Casparo Peutero Chron. lib. 5.
Ex Sebast. Munster. Cosmog. Lib. 3.
4 Friers burned at Berne.
insomuch that the people therwith were brought in a merueylous persuasion, tyl at length the fraude beyng espied, the Friers were taken, condemned and burned at Berne, the yeare aboue mentioned. 1509. 

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In the first decade of the sixteenth century, one Jetzer, a novitiate atthe Dominican convent in Berne, began to have visions of the Virgin Mary andvarious saints. Encouraged by the prior of the convent, Jetzer publicly announcedhis visions, which were confirmed by a statue of the Virgin that miraculously moved,wept, groaned, etc. These visions appear to have been originally intended to glorify the convent, but they rapidly came to have been used to buttress the Dominican order.Ultimately Jetzer claimed that the Virgin Mary denounced the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception in his visions. After an investigation by the Church, fourDominicans, including the prior (but not including Jetzer) were found guilty of fraud, handed over to the secular authorities and burned at Berne on 31 May 1509. (For details of the case see R. Reuss, 'La procès des Dominicains de Berne en 1507-1509',Revue de l'histoire des religions 52 [1905], pp. 237-59 and Die Akten des Jetzerprozesses nebst dem Defensionnium, ed. Rudolf Steck, Quellen zur Scweitzergeschichte 21 [Basel, 1904]). The affair became an international scandal,discussed in Erasmus's colloguy Exequiae Seraphicae (1531).

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Ex Peucer. Sebast. Munstero. Carione, & alijs. In the Centuries of Ioh. Bale, I finde their names to be Ioannes Vetter, Franciscus Vliscus, Stephanus Bolizhorst, and Henricus Steinegger.

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In the storie of Ion. Stumfius, this story aforesayd doth partly appeare: but in the Registers and Records of the citie of Berne, the order and circumstance therof is more fully expressed and set forth both in meter and in prose, 

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From this note, it is clear that Foxe was drawing on Johann Stumpf's chronicle, which contained a detailed account of the Jetzer affair (Johann Stumpf, Gemeiner loblicher Eydgenossschaft…Chronikwirdiger [Zurich, 1548], fos 455r-459r) and on civic records of the affair. (These may, or may not, have also includedThomas Murner's account of the affair, De quattor heresiarchis…in civitate Bernensicombustus, which was printed in Berne in 1509). These materials were probably sent to Foxe by a contact in Switzerland. (Since there is no evidence that Foxe could readGerman, and since Stumpf's chronicle was not available in Latin, Foxe's contactprobably translated extracts from it for the martyrologist).

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& is thus declared.

Marginalia Ex Histor. Bernensi conscripta vulgari et latino sermone. In the citie of Berne there were certaine Dominike Friers, to the number chiefly of. iiij. principal doers, & chieftaynes of that Order, who had inueigled a certaine simple poore fryer, who had newly planted himselfe in the cloister: whom the foresaid Fryers had so infatuated with sundrye superstitions, & fayned apparitions of S. maria, S. Barbara, and S. Catherina, 

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Not the martyr St. Catherine, but St. Catherine of Siena, who was arguably the most famous Dominican mystic of the Middle Ages.

and with their inchauntmentes, and imprintyng moreouer in hym the woundes of S. Fraunces, that he beleued playnely, that the Virgine Mary had appeared to him, and had offered to hym a red hoost consecrated, with the bloud also of Christe myraculous: whiche blessed virgin also had sent him to the senatours of Berne, with instructions, declaryng vnto them, from the mouth of the virgin, that she was conceiued in sinne, & that the Franciscane friers were not to be creditied nor suffered in the citie, which were not yet reformed from that erroneous opinion of her conception. He added moreouer that they should resort to a certaine image there of the virgin Mary (which image the friers by engines had made to sweat) & should do their worship, and make their oblations to the same. &c.

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This fained deuise was not so soone forged of the fryers, but it was as sone beleued of the people: so that a great while the red couloured host was taken vndoubtedly for the true body and bloud of Christ, and certaine coloured drops thereof sent abroad to diuers noble personages and estates for a great relique, and that not without great recompense. Thus the deceyued people in great number came flocking to the Image, and to the red host, and coloured bloud, with manifold gyftes and oblations. In briefe, the Dominicke fryers so had wrought the matter, and so had swept all the fatte to their owne beardes, from the order of the Franciscanes, that all the almes came to their boxe. The Franciscanes seing their estimation to decaye, and their kitchin to waxe colde, and theer paunches to be pinched, not able to abide that contumelie & being not ignoraunt nor vnaquainted with such counterfaited doynges) for as the prouerbe saith, It is yl haltyng before a creple) eftsoones espied their craftie iugglyng, and detected their fraudulent myracles. 

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In fact, the Franciscans played no part at all in unmasking the Dominicans. The fraud was exposed by an investigation initiated by the bishop of Lausanne and furthered by a papal commission.

Wherupon the. iiij. chief captaines aboue named were apprehended and put to the fire: of whom the Prouinciall of that order was one.

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And thus much touching the beginnyng and ende of this tumultuous and popish tragedie: MarginaliaFriers nether can agree with themselues nor yet do disagree but in vayne trifles. wherin euidently it may appeare to the reader, howe neither these turbulent fryers could agree among them selues, and yet in what friuolous trifles they wrangled together. 

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Foxe is using mendicant disagreements to support his claim that there is doctrinal disunity among Catholics.

But to let these ridiculous fryers passe, wt their trifling phantasies, most worthy to be derided of al wise men: MarginaliaThe miserable blindnes of the tyme considered. in the meane tyme this is to be lamented, to behold the miserable times of the church, in whiche the deuyl kept þe mynds of Christes people so attentiue and occupyed in such fryerly toyes, that nothing els almost was taught or heard in the church, but onely the commendation and exaltation of the Virgin Mary. But of our iustification by fayth, of grace and the promises of God in Christ, of the strength of the lawe, of the horrour of sinne, of difference betweene the lawe and the Gospel of the true libertie of conscience. &c. no mention or very litle was heard. 
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Foxe now uses both the debate over the Immaculate Conception and the Jetzer affair to denounce the 'superstition' of the Church before Luther.

Wherefore in this so blinde tyme of darknes, it was much needefull and requisite, that the Lorde of his mercy shoulde looke vpon his church, and send downe his gratious reformation, which also he dyd. For shortly vpon the same, thorow the gratious excitation of God, came Martine Luther, of whom the order of storie nowe requireth that we should and wyl intreate (Christ willingly) after the storye of Richard Hunne, and a fewe other thinges premised, for the better openyng of the storie to folowe.

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Marginalia1510. Mention was made sufficiently before of the doynges of Pope Iulius, and of his warlike affayres, for the which he was condemned, and not vniustly, in the Coūcel of Turone in Fraunce, an. 1510. MarginaliaPope Iulius playeth the warrior. and yet all this coulde not assuage the furious affection of this Pope, but the same yere he inuaded the citie of Mutina and Mirandula in Italie, and tooke them by force of warre. 

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This summary of the wars of Julius II is drawn entirely from Bale, Catalogus, pp. 636 and 643-44.

The pope ouercome Battaile.
Which Pope Iulius not long after, in the yeare of our Lorde. 1512. refusing peace offered by Maximilian the Emperour, was encountered by Lewes the French kyng about Rauenna, vpon Easter day, where he was vanquished, and had of his army slaine to the number of. xvi. thousand. Ex Chro. Carion. Marginalia1513.
The death of Pope Iulius
And the yeare next folowing, ann. 1513. this Apostolical warriour, whiche had resigned his keyes vnto the ryuer of Tybris before, made an ende together both of fighting, and lyuyng, after he had raigned and fought ten yeares. MarginaliaPope Leo. x. After whom succeeded next in the sea of Rome, Pope Leo the tenth. About the cōpasse of which tyme, great mutations & styrres began to worke as well in states temporall, as especially in the state of the Church.

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MarginaliaThe state and succession of Princes.

Pope Leo. x. in Rome.

Charles v.
Emperour in
Fraunces K. of Fraunce.
Iames. 5. K. of Scotland.
an. 1513.
an. 1519.
an. 1515.
an. 1509.
an. 1514.




In the tyme of which Pope, Emperour, and kinges of England, and of Fraunce, great alterations, troubles, and turnes of religion were wrought into the Churche, by the mightie operation of Gods hand in Italie, Fraunce, Germanie, Englande, and all Europe, such as haue not bene seene (although muche groned for) many hundreth yeares before: as in further discourse of this historie (Christ willyng) more manifestly shal appeare.

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But before we come to these alterations, takyng the tyme as it lyeth before vs, we wyll first speake of Rich. Hunne, and certaine other godly mynded persons here in Englande afflicted 

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Persecution of Lollards

As Foxe's opening comments indicate, this section was intended as a preface for Foxe's account of the Hunne case which follows it. Foxe's purpose indescribing these late Lollard martyrs and confessors was, as always, to demonstrate the existence of the True Church before Luther (using the existence of the Lollards). Foxe also probably wished to make's Hunne's ordeal seem less exceptional and more part of a general pattern of persecution. With the exception of John Browne (see 1570 pp. 1453-1480; 1576, pp. 1239-41 and 1255; 1583, pp. 1276-1293), all of these Lollards are from the diocese of London. Foxe's source for these martyrs - except for his account of John Browne - is the register of Bishop Fitzjames or diocesan courtbooks that have not survived that Foxe drew upon.

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Both the records and the Lollards themselves gave Foxe a good deal of trouble. The records not only listed numerous abjurations by the Lollards, they alsolisted of opinions they held which were embarrassing to Foxe. Occasionally Foxe tried to explain these inconvenient facts, more frequently, however, Foxesimply excised the offending passages from the documents that he quoted (as in the accounts of Joan Baker and William Pottier).

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Thomas S. Freeman

for the woorde of Christes Gospell in great multitude, 
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In this case 'great multitudes' actually means around 40 people.

as they be found and taken out of the Registers of Fitziames Bishop of London, by the faythfull helpe and industrie of R. Carket citizen of London. 
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This is a very valuable (and rare) indication by Foxe of the assistancehe received in having official transcribed. It also indicates that, even for records in London, Foxe relied on transcriptions of archival documents, rather than examiningthe documents himself.

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The historie of diuers good men & women persecuted for religion in the citie and dioces of the Bishop of London, briefly extracted out of the registers of Richard Fitziames.

AMongest and besides the great number of the faythfull martyrs and professours of Christe, that constantly in the strength of the holy Ghost, gaue their lyues for the testimonie of his truth, I finde recorded in the Register of London, betwene the yeares of our Lord. 1509. and. 1527. Marginalia Ex Registro Fitziames. the names of diuers other persons both men and women: who in the fulnes of that darke and mistye tymes of ignoraunce, had also some portion of Gods good spirite whiche induced them to the knowledge of his trueth and Gospell. and were diuersly troubled, persecuted, and imprisoned for the same: 

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Here, and in the following passages, Foxe tries to justify both theoccasional 'erroneous' beliefs of the Lollards as well as their readiness to abjuretheir believes rather than die for them.

notwithstandyng by the proude, cruell and bloudy rage of the Catholique seate, and through the weakenes and frailtie of their owne nature (not then fully strengthned in God) it was agayne in them, for the tyme, suppressed and kept vnder, as appeareth by their seueral abiurations made before Richard Fitziames then Bishop of London (in his tyme a most cruell persecutour of Christes Church) or els before his vicar generall deputed for the same. MarginaliaThe profession of the Protestants no new doctrine. And for as muche as many of the aduersaries of Gods trueth, haue of late dayes disdainefully and braggingly cried out, and made demaundes in their publique assemblies and yet do, askyng where this our church and religion was within these 50. or. 60. yeares: 
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Foxe is stating here precisely why these Lollards were importantassets to his history, despite the their theological imperfections and 'weaknesses';they provided evidence that there was a church before Luther despite Catholicclaims to the contrary.

I haue thought it not altogether vayne, somewhat to stop suche lying crakers, both by mentionyng their names, and likewise openyng some of the chiefe and principal matters, for the which they were so vnmercyfully afflicted and molested, thereby to geue to vnderstand, as well the continuance and consent of the true church of Christ in that age, touching the chiefe pointes of our fayth, though not in like perfection of knowledge and constancie in all: as also by the way, somethyng to touch what fond and friuolous matters the ignorannt Prelates shamed not in that tyme of blindnes to obiect against the poore and simple people, accouptyng them as heynous and great offences, yea, such as deserued death both of body and soule. 
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Here, and in the following passages, Foxe tries to justify both theoccasional 'erroneous' beliefs of the Lollards as well as their readiness to abjuretheir believes rather than die for them.

But lest I should seeme too prolixe and tedious herein, I wyll nowe briefly proceede with the storye, and first begyn with their names, which are these. 
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Foxe asserts that these names came from Bishop Fitzjames's register.Some of these people are mentioned in Fitzjames's register; most are not. Instead,Foxe was almost certainly drawing on a courtbook, now lost, of heresy trials in thediocese during this period (There is corroboration for these heretical trials in notes made by James Ussher (Trinity College, Dublin, MS 775, fos. 122r-125r).

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