The account of Latimer's life appeared in the 1563 edition. (There is nothing on Latimer's life in the Rerum, which is a powerful indication of the pressure on Foxe to sacrifice material in order to complete the work on time). Foxe's sources for the 1563 account are largely Latimer's own sermons and letters, Latimer's own descriptions of his early life (it is worth remembering that Foxe knew Latimer personally) and Augustine Bernher's dedication to the collection of Latimer's sermons which he edited. Bernher also probably contributed his own memories of Latimer and this may well have also been true of Mary Glover, Latimer's niece.[Back to Top]
Even by the low standards of the 1563 edition, the account of Latimer was poorly organised, and one major difference between it and the 1570 account of Latimer was the rearranging of the materials in it into a logical and chronological order. Another major difference was the pruning back of documents: Latimer's 'card' sermons, the citation sent to him by the bishop of Salisbury, Latimer's letter to Archbishop Warham, the ban on his preaching and the articles imputed to him were all dropped from this edition. But if documents were deleted, information from individual informants was added on Latimer's disputes with various friars in Cambridge.[Back to Top]
The 1570 version of Latimer's life was printed without change in 1576. In the 1583 edition, with paper in abundant supply, all of the documentation removed from the account of Latimer's life in the 1570 edition was restored, although the second 'card' sermon was relegated to an appendix.
MarginaliaM. Latimer.NOw after the lyfe of þe Reuerend father in god D. Nicolas Ridley, & also his cōference with maister Latimer, with other his letters written in prison: foloweth like wise þe life & doings of this worthy & olde practised souldior of Christ, maister Hugh Latimer, who was the sonne of one Hugh Latimer, of Thirkesson, in the countye of Leycester, a husbandman, of a good and welthye estimation, where also he was borne and broughte vp, vntyll he was of the age of four yeres or therabout. At which tyme his parents, (hauyng hym as then left for theyr only sonne, with. 6. other daughters) seyng hys ready, prompt, and sharp wyt, purposed to trayne hym vp in erudition & knowlege of good literature, wherin he so profited in hys youth, at the common schooles of his owne Countrey, that at the age of fouretene yeares, he was sente to the vniuersitye of Cambridge. Where, after some continuance of exercises in other thynges, he gaue hymselfe to the studye of suche Diuinitye, as the ignoraunce of that age dyd suffer. Zealous he was then in the Popishe Religion, and therewith so scrupulous, (as hymselfe confesseth) that beynge a Prieste, and vsynge to saye Masse, he was so seruyle an obseruour of the Romishe decrees, that he had thoughte he had neuer sufficientlye mingled his Massynge wyne with water: and moreouer, þt he shoulde neuer bee dampned, yf he were once a professed Frier,
Foxe is basing this claim on a passage in Latimer's first letter to Sir Edward Baynton.
Latimers studye, & desired him to heare hym make his cōfessiō. Which thing he willynglye graūted, wt the hearing wherof he was (by the good spirit of god) so touched, þt hereupō he forsooke his former studying of þe schole Doctors, & other such foleries, & became a true scholer in þe true diuininity, as he himself cōfesseth, aswel in his cōference wt master Ridey, as also in his first sermō made vpō the Pater noster.
A somewhat different account of Latimer's conversion, which Foxe did not use, was sent to Foxe by Ralph Morrice, Cranmer's private secretary and a friend of Latimer's (BL, Harley MS 422, fos. 84r-87r).
'Two years' in 1563, corrected to three years in 1570.
This sermon has not survived.
The hādling of this mater was so apt for the time, & so plesātly applied of Latimer, þt not only it declared a singular towardnes of witte in him þt preched, but also wrought in the hearers much fruit, to the ouerthrow of popish superstytiō, & setting vp of perfect religion. For on the sōday before Christēmas day commyng to the church, & causing þe Bel to be tolled to a sermō, entreth into the Pulpit. Vpon the texte of the gospel red that day in the churche Tu quis es? &c. in delyueryng hys cardes as is abouesayd, he made the hearte to bee tryumphe, exhortyng and inuityng al men therby to serue the[Back to Top]