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1522 [1522]

K. Edward. 6. The lyfe and vertues of King Edward.

MarginaliaAn. 1547.match more aptely, then with good Iosias. For as the one begā his reigne at 8. yeares of his age: so the other began at 9. Neither were their Actes and zelous procedynges in Gods cause much discrepant. MarginaliaComparison betwene K. Iosias and kyng Edward. 6.For, as milde Iosias pluckt downe the hill altars, cut downe the groues, and destroyed all monumentes of Idolatrie in the Temple 

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See 2 Kings 22-23. The comparison of Edward VI to Josiah seems to have been initiated by Archbishop Cranmer (Diarmaid MacCulloch, Thomas Cranmer (New Haven, CT and London), pp. 364-5.

: the like corruptions, drosse, and deformities of Popishe Idolatrie crept into the Church of Christ of long time, this Euangelicall Iosias kyng Edward remoued, & purged the true Temple of the Lord. Iosias restored the true worshyp of God in Ierusalem, and destroyed the Idolatrous Priestes: Kyng Edward in Englād likewise abolishing Idolatrous Masses and false inuocation, reduced agayne Religion to a right sinceritie, and more would haue brought to perfection if life and tyme had aunswered to his godly purpose. And though he killed not, as Iosias did, the idolatrous sacrificers, yet he put them to silence, and remoued them out of their places.

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Moreouer, in kyng Iosias dayes the holy Scripture and booke of Gods worde was vtterly neglected & cast aside, which he most graciously repayred and restored agayne. And did not K. Edward the lyke with the selfe same booke of Gods blessed word, & with other wholesome bookes of Christian doctrine, which before were decayed and extinguished in his faithers daies by sharpe lawes & seuere punishmētes here in England? MarginaliaK. Iosias and K. Edward onely differing in continuance of reigne.Briefly in all pointes and respectes, betwene hym & this our godly king no oddes is to be found but only in length of time & reigne. Who if he might haue reached (by the sufferance of God) to þe continuaunce of Iosias reigne, proceding in those beginninges, which in his youth appeared, no doubt but of his Actes & doinges some great perfectiō would haue ensued to this Church & Realme. But þe manifold iniquities of Englishmen deserued an other plague, as after fell amongest vs: as in sequele of this story hereafter (God willyng) shalbe declared. 

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The plague Foxe is referring to is the reign of Mary Tudor.

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In the meane tyme, to procede in the excellent vertures of this Christian yong Iosias (as we haue begon) although neither do we know, nor wil laysure serue vs to stand vpon a full description of all his Actes: yet will we (God willyng) giue a litle taste of the noble nature & Princely qualities of this king, wherby þe reader may esteme with hym selfe what is to be thought of the rest of his doinges, though they be not here all expressed.

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MarginaliaK. Edward beloued of hys subiectes.And first to begyn with that which is the chiefest propertie of all other externe thinges in a Prince to bee cōsidered, that is, to be loued of his subiectes: such were the hartes of all English people toward this kyng inclined, and so toward hym still continued, as neuer came prince in thys Realme more hyghly estemed, more amply magnified, or more dearely and tenderly beloued of all his subiectes, but especially of the good & the learned sorte, & yet not so much beloued, as also admirable by reason of his rare towardnes & hope both of vertue and learnyng which in hym appeared aboue the capacitie of his yeares. MarginaliaThe meeke nature of K. Edward.And as he was intierly of his subiectes beloued, so with no lesse good wil he loued them agayne: or nature and dispostion meeke, & much inclined to clemencie. He alwayes spared and fauoured the life of man, as in a certaine dissertation 

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I.e., conversation.

of his once appeared, had with M. Cheke in faruouryng the lyfe of heretickes: in somuch that whē Ioane Butcher should be burned 
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This is Joan Bocher, who was executed on 2 May 1550 for heresy regarding the divine and human natures.

, all the Counsell could not moue hym to put to hys hand, but were fayne to gette Doct. Cranmer to perswade with hym, and yet neyther could hee with much labour induce the kyng so to doe, saying: what my Lorde? will ye haue me to send her quicke to the deuill in her errour? so that Doct. Cranmer hym selfe cōfessed that he had neuer so much to do in all hys life, as to cause the kyng to put to hys hand, saying that hee would lay all þe charge therof vpō Crāmer, before God. 
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Foxe rewrote his earlier mention of the execution of Joan Bocher in order to exculpate Edward VI of involvement in her death. In doing so, he placed the blame for this squarely on Cranmer and a number of scholars have objected that this was inaccurate. In his magisterial biography of Cranmer, Diarmaid MacCulloch argues that this story may be an exaggeration but that, when Joan proved obdurate in her beliefs, Cranmer approved of her execution (Diarmaid MacCulloch, Thomas Cranmer (New Haven, CT, 1996), pp. 475-6). It should be remembered that, while Foxe anticipated modern sentiments in deploring Joan's death, the overwhelming majority of his contemporaries, Catholic and Protestant, would have approved of her burning as a deserved penalty for her egregious heresies. Foxe appears to be saying that this story came from Edward VI's tutor John Cheke. If so, it was transmitted to Foxe through intermediaries (since Cheke died in 1557), further undermining its credibility.

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There wanted in hym no promptes of wytte, grauitie of sentence, rypenes of iudgement. Fauour and loue of religion was in him from his childehode: Suchan organe geuen of God to the Church of England hee was, as England had neuer better. MarginaliaKing Edward well skilled in the tounges.Ouer and besides these notable excellēcies, and other great vertues in him, adde moreouer skill and knowledge of tounges and other sciences, wherunto he seemed rather borne then brought vp.

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Moreouer there wanted not in him to this felicitie of wytte and dexteritie of nature, lyke happines of institution and good instructours. MarginaliaThe readines of K. Edward to his boke.Neither did there lacke agayne in hym any diligence to receiue that, which they would teach hym: in somuch that in the middest of all hys play and recreation, hee would alwayes obserue andkepe his houre appoynted to his study, vsing the same with much attention, till tyme called hym agayne from his booke to pastime. In this his study and keepyng of his houres he did so profite, that D. Cranmer the Archbyshop then of Caunterbury, beholdyng his towardnes, his readynes in both tounges, in translatyng from Greke to Latin, from Latine to Greke agayne, in declamyng with his scholefelowes without helpe of his teachers, & that ex tempore, would wepe for ioye, MarginaliaD. Cox K. Edwardes Scholemaister.declaryng to Doct. Coxe hys scholmaister, 

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Richard Cox, the first Elizabethan bishop of Ely, was Edward VI's tutor and almoner from 1543-48. This reference is one clear indication that he was one of Foxe's sources for these tales of Edward's gifts and virtues.

that he wouldneuer haue thought that to haue bene in hym, except he had seene it hym self. To recite here hys wryttie sentēces, his graue reasons, which many times did procede from hym, and how he would sometyme in a matter discoursed by his Counsell, adde therunto of his owne, moe reasons and causes touching the sayd matter then they them selues had or could deuise, it was almost incredible in that age to see, and tedious here to prosecute.

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This in him may seeme notorious and admirable, that he in these immature yeares, could tell & recite all the Portes, Hauens & Crekes, not within his owne Realme onely, but also in Scotland, and likewise in Fraūce, what cōming in there was, how þe tyde serued in euery Hauen or Creke: moreouer, what burden and what winde serued the commyng into the Hauen. 

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The obvious bellicose intentions behind this line of study - it is necessary preparatory knowledge for invading France and Scotland - is passed over by Foxe.

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MarginaliaKing Edward knew the names and religion of al his magistrates.Also of all his Iustices, Maiestrates, Gentlemen that bare any authority within hys Realme, he knew the names, their house keeping, their religion and conuersation what it was. Few Sermons or none in hys Court. especially in the Lord Protectours tyme 

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I.e., during the ascendancy of the Duke of Somerset, 1548-49.

, but he would be at them. Agayne, neuer was hee present at any commonly, but he would excerpe them or note them with his owne hand.

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Besides and aboue all other notes and examples of hys commendation, as touchyng the chiefest poynt which ought most to touch all men, for maintainyng, promotyng, preferryng, embrasing, zealyng and defendyng the true cause and quarell of Christes holy Gospell, what was hys study, hys zealous feruencie, hys admirable constancie therein, by this one example folowing, amongest many other, may notable appeare.

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In the dayes of this kyng Edward the sixt, Carolus the Emperour made request to the sayd Kyng and his Counsell to permit Lady Mary (who after succeded in the crowne) to haue Masse in her house without preiudice of the law. And the Counsell on a tyme sittyng vpon matters of policie, hauyng that in question, sent Cranmer then Archbishop of Canterbury, and Rydley then Byshop of London, to entreate the kyng for the same: who commyng to hys grace, alledged theyr reasons and persuasions for the accomplishyng therof. MarginaliaThe singular constācie of k. Edward in mainteining true religion.So the kyng hearyng what they could say, replyed his aunswere agayne out of the Scriptures, so groundedly, grauely, and fully, that they were enforced to geue place to his replication, & grautn the same to be true. Then they, after lōg debatyng in this maner with hys Maiestie, laboured politickly in an other sort, and alledged what daūgers the denying therof might bring to his grace, what breach of amitie of the Emperours part, what troubles, what vnkyndnes, and what occasions sondry wayes it would enforce. &c. Vnto whom the kyng aunswered, willyng thē to content thē selues,

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for