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1281 [1280]

K. Edw. 6. Anno. 1547.

The ninth Booke containing the Actes and thyges done in the raigne of King Edward the sixt.
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Commentary on the Woodcuts  *  Close
Like the imposing image at the beginning of the reign of Henry VIII, the woodcut prefacing the reign of Edward VI at the start of Book IX presents pictorial witness to the reforming achievements of the young Josiah. This is a programmatic enactment of the most important 'actes and thinges done' in Edward's reign. It celebrates, in a neat tripartite formula, the most important reforms achieved by a prince 'tender in yeares' but mature in godliness. At the top of the page in a deft compression (helped by its inserted tags) we see how churches were cleared of 'popish trumpery' by burning images, while crosses, chalices, candlesticks, mass books and other discarded ceremonial objects are being transported to banishment in the the 'ship of the Romish Church' by Catholics fleeing into exile. In the lower portion of the woodcut the young king, seated in state before his lords spiritual and temporal, hands the holy book of the word to the divines on his right, as his father had before him. On the other side, in a masterpiece of compression, a reformed church is depicted, furnished for only the two sacraments of baptism and communion. The communion table (labelled as such) is free-standing and not placed against the wall. Meanwhile the preacher (with book) in his pulpit, and the crammed congregation listening below, tell us that the service of the word is the be all and end all. The seated woman with the book is present here, just as in the scene of Latimer preaching, and the role of women in this new world is also indicated by the mother and child mounting the step nearly offstage to the right.

MarginaliaK. Edward deliuering the Bible to the Prelats. Marginalia1547.
The raigne & tyme of K. Edward.
A Fter the death of K. Henry succeded King Edward hys sonnne, beyng of the age of 9. yeres. He began hyis raigne the 28. day of Ianuary, and raigned 6. yeres, 8. moneths, and 8. dais, and deceased. an. 1553 the 6. day of Iuly. Of whose excellente vertues and singular graces wroughte in hym by the gifte of God, althoughe no- thing can be sayd enough to hys commendation: yet because the renowmed fame of such a worthy prince shall not vtterly passe our story without some gratefull remembraunce, I thought in few wordes to touch some little portion of hys prayse, taken out of great heapes of matter, which might be inferred. For to stand vpon all that might be sayd of him, it would be to long: and yet to say nothyng, it were to much vnkynd. If Kynges and Princes which haue wisely and vertuously gouerned, haue found in all ages writers to solemnise and celebrate their Actes and memory, such as neuer knew them, nor were subiect vnto them, how much thē are we English men bound not to forget our duety to kng Edward, MarginaliaCommendation of K. Edward. a Prince although but tender in yeres, yet for his sage and mature rypenesse in witte and all princely ornamentes, as I see but few, to whom he may not be equall, so agayne I see not many, to whome he may not iustly bee preferred.

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