The glosses in this section (1570, 1576, 1580) for the most part act as pointers to the narrative.
This account of the repeated iconoclasm against the statue of Becker first appears in the 1563 edition and was reprinted without alteration in all subsequent editions. Foxe was certainly drawing on oral sources for this, very probably John Barnes or a member of his family or household. Foxe presents Barnes's grievances in the matter sympathetically, and in some detail. The repeated attacks on the statue are widely reported in other sources (see Brigden, p. 593).[Back to Top]
who did strike of this hed, (thoughe he were of counsell, and not the principall doer) he should haue not only his pardō, but also one hundreth crownes of gold, with harty thāks. But it was not knowen who did it.
The glosses in this section (1570, 1576, 1580) are mainly functional, making clear the authorship of each letter.
This account of Miles Coverdale's release from prison and the correspondence between Christian III of Denmark and Mary on this matter first appear in the 1563 edition. All of this material was reprinted in the subsequent editions of the Acts and Monuments without significant alteration. This was not the first or last time that Foxe would have drawn on the official correspondence of Mary's reign. These documents were clearly procured through the good offices of someone at court, very probably William Cecil.[Back to Top]
Christian III was, as Foxe observes, acting at the behest of John MacBriar (or Johannes Machabeus), who was Coverdale's brother-in-law and Christian's chaplain. The Marian government, as is apparent from Foxe, was deeply reluctant to release Coverdale; he had been the bishop of Exeter in the previous reign and, along with Cranmer, Ridley, Latimer, Barlow, Hooper and Ferrar he was among the members of the Edwardian episcopate targeted by the new regime. But Christian was in a position to apply pressure and he clearly did so. Although he was a pious Lutheran, Christian was also a valued ally of Charles V, the father-in-law of the English queen, and, at this time, England's most important ally. Mary delayed as long as she could, but released Coverdale and gave him a passport in February 1555. Had Christian not intervened, Coverdale would almost certainly have been one of the Marian martyrs.[Back to Top]
The matter and copy of which his suite and letters, as they came to our hāds, we haue here set fourth and exprest, wherby the singuler loue of this good kinge towardes the truth of gods word, and the professors thereof might the better appeare to the world.
Fyrst this vertuous and godly king Christianus, hearing of the captiuity of Miles Coueruerdale, of whom he had had some knowlege before (being ther in Denmark in king Henry the eight his time) and lamenting his daungerous case, maketh intercession by letters to Quene Mary, desiring and requestinge the sayd Miles Couerdale to be sente vnto him. The date of which his first letters, was about the calendes of May. An. D. 1554. the copy wherof here followeth.[Back to Top]
SErenissima princeps consanguinea charissima, pro necessitudine mutua ac coniunctione, non solum regij nominis inter nos, sed etiam sanguinis, maxime vero vtrinq; inter hæc regna nostra a vetustissimis vsq̀ temporibus propagata ac seruata, non modo cōmerciorum, sed omniū officiorum vicissitudine & fide, facere non potuimus. quin pietatis & doctrinæ excellentis cōmendatione, vere reuerendi viri Ioannis Machabæi, sacræ Theologiæ doctoris & professoris præstantiss. subditi ac ministri nostri imprimis dilecti, supplicibus grauissimisq̀ precibus cōmoti, ad Sere. vestram has literas daremus. Exposuit is nobis, in hac recenti perturbatione ac motu regni Angliæ, quem ex animo euenisse dolemus, & nunc indies in melius verti speramus, quendā nomine Milonem Couerdalū, nuper diœcesis Exoniensis, piæ laudatissimæ que memoriæ proximi Regis Serenitatis vestræ fratris, consanguinei itidem nostri chariss. autoritate constitutū Episcopum, nunc in tristiß. calamitates, carcerem, ac periculum vitæ, nulla atrocioris delicti culpa, sed illa fatali temporum ruina incidisse. Quæ quidem hic Machabæus noster, quod ei affinitate, et quod grauius est, pietatis eruditionis ac morum similitudine, tanquam frater deuinctus sit, non minus ad se pertinere existimat. Itaq; nostrā opem implorat, vt quam ipse gratiam & fauorem apud nos meretur, hominis innocentis calamitati ac periculo (quod ipse non minus suum putat) accommodemus. Mouemur profecto non temere, illius viri cui suo merito imprimis bene volumus, cōmiseratione, eiusq; maxime testimonio de captiui Antistetis innocentia atque integritate, de qua quidem est, vt eo melius speremus, quod multis iam morte mulctatis sontibus, de ipso integrum adhuc Deus esse voluit. Proinde nō dubitauimus Sere. vest. quanta poßimus diligentia atq̀ animi propensione rogare, vt nostra causa, captiui illius D. Milonis rationē clementer habere dignetur, eumq̀ vt a sceleris ita a pœnæ etiam atrocitate alienū esse velit, & temporū offensam, qua ipsum quoq̀ affligi verisimile est, nobis nostræq̀ amicitiæ regiæ & precibus, præsertim hoc primo aditu, benigne condonare, saltem eatenus, vt si forte hoc rerum statu grauis eius præsentia sit, incolumis ad nos cū suis dimittatur. Id nobis summi benificij loco & Serenitati vestræ in florentiß. regni auspicijs (quæ augusta, fausta, ac fortunata Sere. ves. ex animo optamus) ad clementiæ laudem honorificum erit: & nos dabimus operam, vt cum amicitiæ nostræ habitam rationem intellexerimus, eo maiore studio in mutuā vicem gratitudinis omniumq̀ officiorum erga Serenitatē vestrā eiusq̀ vniuersum regnum & subditos incumbamus. Deum optimum maximum precamur, vt Serenitati vestræ ad gloriam sui nominis & publicam salutem fœlices omnium rerum successus & incolumitatem diuturnam largiatur. Datæ ex arce nostra Coldingeēsis septimo Calendas Maij. Anno. 1554.[Back to Top]
Vester consanguineus frater &
amicus Christianus Rex.
Mary was correct in maintaining that Coverdale was under sureties for being in arrears to the Crown over clerical taxes; in fact, Foxe's use of the word 'captivity' obscures the fact that Coverdale was not being held in prison, but was free and merely obliged to report weekly to the Court of First Fruits and Tenths (PRO E347/1, fo. 38r). However, this was a rather cynical device to hold him until laws against heresy, repealed under Edward VI, could be re-enacted.[Back to Top]
ly graunting, nor expresly deniyng his request, but vsing a colourable excuse for shifting of the matter, as appeareth by his seconde letter sent to the quene, dated the 24. of Sep. as foloweth.