Critical Apparatus for this Page
View an Image of this PageCommentary on the Text
Names and Places on this Page
None
803 [779]

K. Henry. 7. Ecclesiasticall lawes made by the kinges of this realme before the conquest.

time, but hath ben rather directed by such kings and princes, as God here had placed vnder him to gouerne þe people of this Realme of England, as foloweth heere in this present table to be noted.

¶ A briefe recapitulation, of auncient Ecclesiasticall lawes by sondry Kinges of this Realme ordeyned, for gouernment of the Church, before the Conquest.
¶ Ecclesiasticall lawes of King Inas, or Ina. 
Commentary  *  Close

This is an accurate, if condensed, translation of William Lambarde,Archianomia sive de priscis anglorum legibus libri (London, 1568), STC 15142,fos. 1r-2r.

MarginaliaEcclesiastical lawes of king Ina.FIrst King Inas who reigned in this land the yeare of our Lord. DCCxij. commanded, that ministers should frame ther conuersation of life according to the forme in lawes prescribed.

2. That infants should be baptised within 30. dayes.

3. Item, that no mā lay or spirituall, free or bond, should labour vpon the Sonday.

4. Item, he established immunitie of Churches, & Sanctuarie. Also he tooke order for the true paiment of Church dueties, and of the first fruites of all that was sowen to be payd at the day of S. Martin.

¶ Ecclesiasticall lawes of King Alured, or Alfred. 
Commentary  *  Close

These laws are from William Lambarde, Archianomia sive de priscis anglorum legibus libri (London, 1568), STC 15142, fos. 19r, 29r-31r and 41r.

MarginaliaKing Aluredes lawes.1. KIng Alured, after he had ordeined diuers iudiciall punishments for violating þe holy precepts of God commanded by Moses, he also cōfirmed and enlarged the priuiledge of Sanctuarie: he laid double paine vpon such as committed offences in þe solemnities of certaine feasts: Also against them that committed sacrilege.

[Back to Top]

2. He made a law against Priests committing murther.

.3 Also he made a law against whoredome, adultery, and fornication.

4. He appointed daies of fasting and ceasing frō labour.

5. Item, he set order for making and keeping vowes.

¶ Ecclesiasticall lawes of kyng Edward the elder, and Gythrum the Dane kyng. 
Commentary  *  Close

These laws are abridged from William Lambarde, Archianomia sive de priscis anglorum legibus libri (London, 1568), STC 15142, fos. 52r-56r.

MarginaliaK. Edwards lawes.FIrst, they agreed vpon the Sāctuary: they forbad Gentilitie 

Commentary  *  Close

'Gentility' in this context means pagan (from the term 'Gentile'used in theVulgate for non-Jews).

and Paganisme: they layd punishment vpon the Clergy committing theft, periurie, or murther, fornicatiō, or any capital crime.

1. They punished Priestes, that pretermitted their office in pronouncyng fesituall, or fastyng dayes.

3. They made a law agaynst all labour, buying, and sellyng vpon the Sabbaoth: also for keepyng of feastes. Itē, for no execution to be done on the Sonday. Also agaynst witches and sorcerers. &c.

¶ Ecclesiasticall lawes of kyng Ethelstane. 
Commentary  *  Close

These laws are from William Lambarde, Archiaonomia sive depriscis anglorum legibus libri (London, 1568), STC 15142, fos. 57r-58r and 60r.

MarginaliaK. Ethelstanes lawes.1. KIng Ethelstan, who reigned the yeare of our Lord, 924. 

Commentary  *  Close

Athelstane reigned from 925-40, but Lambarde gives the dates of his reign as 924-940 (William Lambarde, Archiaonomia sive de priscis anglorum legibus libri [London, 1568], STC 15142, fo. 57r).

commaunded that euery Village of his owne, should geue a monethly corrodie 
Commentary  *  Close

A pension or allowance; see sub 'corrody' in the OED.

to a poore person.

2. That 50. Psalmes should be song dayly in the Church, for the kyng. &c.

3. He also ordeined punishmēt for witches, & sorcerers. &c.

¶ Ecclesiasticall lawes of kyng Edmund. 
Commentary  *  Close

William Lambarde, Archiaonomia sive de priscis anglorum legibuslibri (London, 1568), STC 15142, fos. 72r, 73r and 74r.

MarginaliaK. Edmūdes lawes.1. AFter kyng Ethelstan folowed kyng Edmund about the yeare of our Lord. 940. 

Commentary  *  Close

Edmund reigned 940-946. Foxe is getting his dates from WilliamLambarde, Archiaonomia sive de priscis anglorum legibus libri (London, 1568),STC 15142, fo. 72r

who established and prouided lawes agaynst the vnchast liuing of Churchmen.

2. Item, he made lawes concernyng tythes, with first fruites of euery mans croppe, and almose money duly to be payd.

3. Item, he enacted that Byshops of their owne proper charges should repayre Churches, and should also admonish the kyng for the furnishyng of the same.

4. For periury also, and for fighting within the Church,he set lawes and paynes.

¶ Ecclesiasticall lawes of kyng Edgar. 
Commentary  *  Close

William Lambarde, Archiaonomia sive de priscis anglorumlegibus libri (London, 1568), STC 15142, fos. 77r-78r.

MarginaliaK. Edgars lawes1. KIng Edgar, who begā his reigne about the yeare of our Lord. 959. 

Commentary  *  Close

Edgar reigned 959-975. Foxe is getting his details from William Lambarde, Archiaonomia sive de priscis anglorum legibus libri (London, 1568), STC 15142, fo. 72r.

amongest other cōstitutions Ecclesiasticall, ordeined, that the Sōday should be kept holy from Saterday at noone till Monday in the mornyng.

2. Item, he ordeined and decreed concerning liberties & freedomes of the Church, for tythes also, and first fruites of corne, and paying of Peterpence.

3. Item, for holy dayes and fastyng dayes.

4. Itē, that assemblies or Synodes should be kept twise euery yeare, whereat as well the Byshop of the Diocesse should be present as the ciuill Magistrate.

¶ Kyng Æthelrede, Anno. 979. 
Commentary  *  Close

Ethelred II (the Unready) reigned from 978-1016. Foxe gets the date of 979 from William Lambarde, Archaionomia sive de priscis anglorum legibus libri(London, 1568), STC 15142, fo. 82r.

MarginaliaKing Ethelredes lawes.KIng Æthelrede also which succeeded after Edgar, and Edward appointed diuers lawes for publicke regiment, whereof we finde but few touching matters Ecclesiasticall, for tythes, lightes, feastes 

Commentary  *  Close

See William Lambarde, Archaionomia sive de priscis anglorumlegibus libri (London, 1568), STC 15142, fo. 84r.

and nothyng els, and therfore we passe further to the lawes of Canutus. 
Commentary  *  Close

This passage provides a clear statement of Foxe's purpose in printing these laws.

¶ Ecclesiasticall lawes of kyng Canutus. 
Commentary  *  Close

See William Lambarde, Archiaonomia sive de priscis anglorumlegibus libri (London, 1568), STC 15142, fos. 98r-104r.

MarginaliaKing Canutus lawes.CAnutus the Dane kyng began to reigne in this lād in the yeare of our Lord. 1016. The said Canutus (as Aethelrede had done before) diuided his lawes into Ecclesiasticall and temporall.

1. That Ecclesiasticall persons beyng accused of fightyng, murder, or any other offēce, should purge thēselues therof

2. That Priestes should be degraded for periury, and put in sureties of good behauiour.

3. He prayeth Priestes, that they will liue chast, and commaunded other Religious.

4. He limited the degrees of Mariage.

5. Item, he commaunded celebration of the Sabbaoth frō Saterday at noone till Monday mornyng, as Edgar had done before, forbiddyng markets, huntyngs, labours, and Court keepynges, duryng the sayd space.

6. He ordained eche Christen man to come to the housell thrise yearely at the least: That they search and enquire after Gods law, and his commaundementes.

7. That euery Christian man vnderstand the pointes of his fayth, & that at the least he learne perfectly the Lordes Prayer, and the Creede, and that whosoeuer can not the same, shall be excluded from the Eucharist, and shall not be receiued to vndertake for others in Baptisme.

8. That Byshops and Priestes should doe their dueties: that they cry out and warne their flockes when the Wolfe commeth.

9. That at the Court of euery Shire, the Bishop of the Dioces shal be present with the Sheriste, and that the one shall teach them Gods law, and the other mans law, as yet heard in King Edgars lawes before.

MarginaliaKinges of England before the Conguest gouernours as well in causes Ecclesiasticall as temporallMany other lawes both Ecclesiasticall and temporall besides these were enacted by these and other Kings heere in England before the Conquest, but these be sufficient to geue the vnderstanding Reader to consider, how the authority of the Bishops of Rome, all this while, extended not so farre to prescribe lawes for gouernement of the Church, but that Kings and Princes of the Realme, as they be now, so were then full gouernours heere vnder Christ, as well in causes Ecclesiasticall, as temporall, both in directing orders, instituting lawes, in calling of Synodes, and also in conferring Byshoprickes and benefices, without any leaue of the Romish Bishops. Thus Odo, Dunstane, Oswold, Ethelwold, Aldelmus, and Lancfrancus, although they fet their palles afterwarde from Rome, yet were they made Bishops and Archbishops by Kings only, not by Popes.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaWhē kinges of England came first vnder the Popes subiection.And thus stoode the gouernement of this Realme of England all the time before the Conquest, till Pope Hildebrand through the setting on of the Saxons, began first to bring the Emperour (which was Henry 4.) vnder foote. Then followed the subduing of other Emperours, Kings, and subiects after that, as namely heere in England, when Lancfrancus, Anselmus, and Becket, went to complayne of their Kings and gouernours, then brought they the Popes iudiciall authority first from Rome, ouer this land, both ouer Kings and subiects: which euer since hath continued, till these latter yeares. Albeit the sayd Kings of this Realme of England being prudent Princes, and seeing right well the ambitious presumption of those Romish Byshops, did what they could to shake off the yoke of their supremacie, as appeareth by the lawes and Actes of their Parliaments, both in king Edward the thirds time, King Richard the 2. and King Henry the 4. aboue in their Parliament notes specified: yet for feare of other foreine Princes, and the blind opinion of their subiectes, such was then the calamitie of that time, that neither they could nor durst compasse that, which faine they would: till at last, the time of their iniquitie being complete, through the Lords wonderfull working, theyr pride had a fall, as in the next Volume ensuing (the Lord so graunting) shall by proces of hystorie be declared.

[Back to Top]
¶ The
Go To Modern Page No:  
Click on this link to switch between the Modern pagination for this edition and Foxe's original pagination when searching for a page number. Note that the pagination displayed in the transcription is the modern pagination with Foxe's original pagination in square brackets.
Find:
Type a keyword and then restrict it to a particular edition using the dropdown menu. You can search for single words or phrases. When searching for single words, the search engine automatically imposes a wildcard at the end of the keyword in order to retrieve both whole and part words. For example, a search for "queen" will retrieve "queen", "queene" and "queenes" etc.
in:  
Humanities Research Institute  *  HRI Online  *  Feedback
Version 2.0 © 2011 The University of Sheffield