The main topics in this section are the queen's decision to restore the abbey lands she held, and the response to the death of Julius III. The glosses concerning the pope are far more ribald than those relating to Mary. Julius III's prodigious appetite is recounted, as are the blasphemies linked to his greed; the glosses underline this at various points, using the phrase ' a Porkishe Pope' to describe his affection for pork. The glosses relating to Mary are more restrained but revealing. The use of 'conscience' in the gloss 'The Q. taketh a conscience in keeping Abbay landes' does not contain the sense of unanswerability that its invocation by protestants appears to carry. The gloss 'Note the nature of the Papistes where they can ouercome, they are Lions: where they are ouermatched, they play the Foxes' attacks the catholics for not living up to their principles and delaying the enforcement of the return of land for fear of rousing the nobility. The contrast between these two glosses perhaps hints that the queen was not devious, but was zealous in her pursuit of papal interests.[Back to Top]
There are examples of mistakes in the editions after 1570: a 'no' is lost from the 1570 gloss 'Here lacked no good will in the Bishops, but time as yet did not serue them'; the gloss 'Note here what an holy Catholicke Church this is' is out of place in 1583, and a date given correctly in 1570 and 1576 ('Aprill. 10') is incorrect in 1583 ('Aprill. 20').[Back to Top]
At an other tyme, he sitting at diner, pointing to a Peacock vpon his table, which he had not touched: kepe sayd he, this colde Peacock for me against supper, and let me sup in þe gardein: for I shall haue geastes. So when supper came, and amonges other hote Peacockes, he saw not his colde Peacock brought to hys table: the Pope after his wonted maner most horriblye blaspheming GOD, fel into an extreme rage. &c. Whereuppon one of his Cardynalles syttyng by, desyred hym, saying: let not youre holinesse (I pray you) bee so moued with a matter of so small weyght. Then this Iulius the Pope, aunsweryng agayne: what, sayde he, MarginaliaO vocem antichristiyf God was so angrye for one apple, that he cast out our first parentes, out of Paradise for the same: why maye not I, beyng hys Vicare, be angry then for a Peacock? sithens a Peacock is a greatter matter then an aple. Beholde here good Reader by this Pope, the goodnesse of that blasphemous Sea: and yet thou shalt see here, what affection was borne vnto this Pope here in Englande, by the Diriges, Hearses, and funerals commaunded to be hadde and celebrated in all churches, by the Quene and her counsell, as maye appeare by the coppy of their letters here folowing.[Back to Top]
Foxe copied this letter from Bishop Bonner's register; it is GL, 9531/12, fol. 358r.
AFter my heartye commendations to your good Lordship. The Kyng and Queenes Maiestyes hauyng certayne knowledge of the death of the Popes holiness, thoughte good there shoulde bee as well solemne obsequies saide for hym throughe out the Realme, as also these prayers (which I sende you herein enclosed) vsed at masse tymes in all places at this time of vacation, and therefore willed me to signifye their pleasures vnto you in this behalfe: that thereuppon ye might procede to the full accomplishmente therof, by puttyng the same in due execution within your owne dyocesse, and sendyng worde to the rest of the Byshoppes to dooe the lyke in theyrs.[Back to Top]
Thus doubting not but that youre Lordeshippe will vse suche diligence in this matter at this time, as shalbe necessary, I bid your Lordshyp heartily well to fare. From my house at Assher, the tenth of Aprill. 1555.
Your L. assured frend & brother
Stephanus VVinton Cancell.
These prayers were copied from Bishop Bonner's register; it is GL, 9531/12, fol. 358r.
SVpplici te domine humilitate deposcimus, vt tua immensa pietas Sacrosanctæ Romanæ Ecclesiæ concedat pontificem illum, qui et pro in nos studio semper tibi gratus, & tuo populo pro salubri regimine sit assidue ad gloriam tui nominis venerandus, per dominum nostrum.
TVæ nobis domine pietatis abundantia indulgeat, vt gratum Maiestati tuæ pontificem sanctæ matris Ecclesiæ regimini præesse gaudeamus per dominum nostrum.
PReciosi Corporis et sanguinis tui domine sacramēto refectos, mirifica tuæ maiestatis gratia de illius summi Põtificis assumptione lætificet, qui ad plebem tuam virtutibus instruat, et fidelium mentes, spiritualium aromatum odore perfundat per dominū nostrū.
Vppon this commaundement, on Wednisday in Easter Weke there were Herses set vp, and Diriges song for the sayde Iulius in diuers places; at whiche tyme it chaunced a woman to come into Sainct Magnus church, at the Bridge foote in London, and there seing a Herse and other preparation, asked what it mente: and other that stoode by, sayde that it was for the Pope, and that she must praye for hym. Nay (quod she) that I wyl not. For he needeth not my prayers: and seing he could forgeue vs al our sinnes, I am sure he is cleane hymselfe. Therefore I nede not pray for hym. She was hearde speake these woordes of certayne that stoode by: whiche by and by caried her vnto the cage at London Bridge, and bad her coole her self there.
In the 1563 edition (p. 905), Foxe reports that John Taylor, the Bishop of Lincoln, was sent to the Tower after refusing to attend mass at the opening of Parliament. In subsequent editions (1570, p. 1571; 1576, p. 1339 and 1583, p. 1410) Foxe corrected this to say that Taylor was commanded to attend and died soon afterwards at Ankerwicke (in Sir Thomas Smith's house, although Foxe does not say so). This is a good example of the detailed correction of the first edition from well informed oral sources.[Back to Top]
The information, and lack of information, on George Marsh in the Rerum is revealing. Foxe stated that Marsh was the curate of [Church] Langton and that he received the living from Laurence Saunders, the martyr, who was the rector of Church Langton. Foxe added that Marsh was burned on 24 April 1555 (Rerum, p. 432). He then stated that nothing else had reached him about Marsh apart from two letters, which are printed in Rerum, pp. 432-41. Once again, the Rerum was strong on documents but weak on oral sources and eyewitness accounts.[Back to Top]
In the 1563 edition, Foxe added the background on Marsh's early life, Marsh's own account of examinations by Bishop Cotes of Chester and an eyewitness account of Marsh's death and Cotes's sermon denouncing the martyr. In the second edition, Foxe added Marsh's account of his treatment and examinations by the earl of Derby and members of his household. (It is quite interesting that Marsh's accounts of his imprisonment and examinations by Derby first, and then by Bishop Cotes, came to Foxe at separate times and, presumably, from separate sources. The source for the information used in 1563 appears to have been in Chester. This is an important reminder of Foxe's dependence on informants, particularly informants who were able to send eyewitness accounts or material written by the martyrs themselves). Marsh's letter summarizing his examinations was also added to 1570, while Foxe shortened and modified his earlier account of Bishop Cotes's sermon against Marsh and its aftermath.[Back to Top]
The account of Marsh's martyrdom was unchanged in the third and fourth editions of the Acts and Monuments.
THe sayde George Marshe was borne in the parishe of Deane, in the Countie of Lancaster, & was well brought vp in learning, and honest trade of liuynge by hys parentes, who afterwardes about the xxv. yeare of his age, tooke to wyfe an honest mayden of the countrey, with whom he continued, earnyng theyr liuing vppon a farme, hauyng children betwene them lawfullye begotten: and then god takynge hys wife out of this worlde, he beyng moste desirous of godlye studyes, (leauing his householde and children in good order) wente vnto the vniuersitie of Cambridge, where he studyed, and muche encreased in learning and godly vertues, and was a minister of goddes holye woorde and Sacramentes.[Back to Top]