MAria dei gratia, Regina Angliæ, Franciæ, Neapolis, Hierusalem et Hiberniæ &c. Serenissimo Principi Christiano, eadem gratia, Noruegiæ, Gothorum, & Vandalorū Regi: Slesuici, Holsatiæ, Stormariæ & Ditmersiæ duci: Comiti in Oldenburgh & Delmenhorst &c. fratri et amico nostro chariß. salutē, prosperūq̀ rerū incrementū. Cū intellexerimus ex Serenitatis vestræ literis, quas hic nuntius nobis attulit, desideriū vestrum obtinendia nobis pro M. Couerdalo subdito nostro exeundis è regno nostro & ad vos proficiscendi facultatem, facile quidem in V. Serenitatis gratiā, hanc illi facultatē cōceßimus. Et quanquā ille natus subditus noster nōdū explicatus fuerat a debitione certæ cuiusdam pecuniæ quā nostro ærario soluere iure tenebatur, tamen maiorem vestri desiderij quam nostri debiti rationem habendā esse duximus. Quando animum et voluntatē gratificandi vestræ Serenitati pro nostra mutua amicitia, in qua alia etiam re possumus, cum oportunitas feret, libenter ostendemus. Deus V. Serenitatem diutißime seruet incolumem. Ex Regia nostra Westmonasterij, 18. Februarij. 1555.[Back to Top]
Vestra soror & consanguinea Maria.
Foxe's printing of the absolution and his description of its being issued first appear in the 1563 edition. The document was reprinted from Bishop Bonner's register (Guildhall MS 9531/12, fol. 372r-v), Foxe's major archival source for his first edition. This material was reprinted unchanged in subsequent editions of the Acts and Monuments.[Back to Top]
This document is fol. 372-v of Bishop Bonner's register (London Guildhall MS 9531/12). The form of the absolution, printed just below, is on fol. 372v.
EDmund by the permission of god B. London, vnto all & singuler the laye people of his dioces, doth sēd greting in our sauioure Iesu Christe.
Whereas this noble Realme of England, diuiding it selfe from the vnitye of the catholyke church, and from the agrement in religion with all other Christen realmes, hath beene, besides many other miseries and plages, which gods indignation hath powred vpon it, greouously also vexed, and sore infected with manye and sōdry sortes of sectes of heritikes, as Arrians, Anabaptistes, Libertines. zwinglians, Lutherans, and many other, all which sectes be moste repugnant, and contrary one against another, and all agaynst gods truth, and christes catholike fayth: wherupon hath growen such slaunder to the realme, such malice and disagremēt among oure selues, the inhabitants therof, such treasons, tumultes, and insurrections againste our prince, such blasphemy and dishonour vnto God, as no mans tongue or pen is hable to expresse: It hath pleased the goodnes of God to cast his eye of mercy and clemency vpon vs, and to moue the Popes holinesse, to sende hys most godly messenger, the most reuerend father in God, the Lord Cardinal Pole legate de latere, to bring vs the gladde tidinges of peace and reconciliation, and to reduce and bring home vnto the fold, the lost shepe that were gone astray, whose message as it hath bene honorably receaued of the king & Quenes maiesties, euē so the lords spirituall and tēporal, & commons at the last parliament hath receaued it, reuokinge all lawes (the which in the time of schisme wer promulgate against the autority of the Popes holines) and restoryng the same, and the church of Rome to all that power which they had in this realme before the said schisme, the which reconciliatiō was also most glad & ioyfully embraced aswel of all the clergie, & cōuocation of the prouince of Cant. as also of many other persons, & being so great & necessary, to be extended to euery person of the realme, it hath pleased the sayde Lord Legates grace to geue, & impart vnto me the said B. of London, for my said diocesse, & to al such as I shal appoint in that behalf power & autoritie to absolue & reconcile al & euery persō therof, aswel of the clergie as of the laytie, & as wel men as women, the whiche will renounce their errours, & (being penitent) wil humbly re[Back to Top]
quire to be restored to the vnitie of the catholik church, as by the letters of the said lord legates grace sent vnto me, & frō me sent vnto eueriche of the Archdeacons within my diocesse, more at large may, & doth appeare. And forasmuch as in mine own person, aswel for þe multitude of people, as distaunce of places, I can not minister this benefit vnto euery priuate person my self, & for that also the holy time of Lent is nowe at hand in whiche euery true christen mā ought to come vnto his owne pastour & Curate, to be of him confessed, & to receiue at his hande holsome counsel, penaunce & absolutiō: these are therfore aswell to geue knowlege hereof vnto euery one of you, as also to signifie & declare that for that purpose I haue by the said autoritie, chosen, named, & deputed, & so by these presents, do chose, name, & depute al & singuler pastors, & curates. hauing cure of soules within my diocesse, & being them selues reconciled herein, that they and euery of them, by autoritie hereof, shal haue ful power & autoritie to absolue all such as be laye persons of their parishes, from heresy & schisme, and from the censures of the churche, into the which they be fallē by occasion thereof, and also to recōcile to the church, al such which shal declare them selues penitent, and desirous to enioy the benefit of the sayde reconciliation. And whereas diuers pastours and curats in sondry parishes, peraduentur be not able to satisfy the mindes, & to appease the consciences of some of their parishners, in cases that shal trouble thē, I haue therfore geuē also autority to euery arch deacon of my diocesse, within his Archdeaconry, to name and appoynt certayn of the best lerned in euery deanry of theyr Archdeaconrye, to supply that lack, so that euery man so troubled, may repayr to any one of thē within the said deāry, whome he shall like best, to be instructed and appeased in that behalf. And also I haue appointed, that if this beinge done, there shall yet remain any scruple in the parties conscience, and hym selfe not satisfied, then the sayde partye to repair vnto one of mine Archdeacōs, or chapleines, vnto whome his mind shalbe moste inclined vnto, or els to repayr vnto mine owne self, to be resolued in his sayd scrupel or doubt, & to receaue & take such order therin as to one of the sayd Archdeacons or vnto me shal therin appere to be most expedient. Further certifieng & declaring vnto you, that I haue geuen commaundement herin to al my Archdeacons, that they monish & commaūd euery pastour, & curat within their Archdeaconries, that they hauing knowlege hereof do in the first holiday next thē folowing, at the masse time, whē the multitude of people is presente, declare all these thinges[Back to Top]