tyme most fitte and conuenient for many causes and albeit that these matters be here briefly noted & touched, yet notwithstanding they are more at large declared in an other booke with many other more in oure owne proper tongue, whiche we would should be common vnto all Christian people, wherefore we earnestly desire & beseche God for his great goodnes sake, þt he will wholy refourme our church now altogether out of frame vnto the perfection of his first beginning and originall.[Back to Top]
Plangunt anglorum gentes crimen Sodomorū,
Paulus fert horum sunt idola causa malorū,
Surgunt ingrati Gyerzite Simone nati,
Nomine prelati hoc defensare parati,
Qui reges estis populis quicunque preestis,
Qualiter his gestis gladios prohibere potestis?
[Back to Top]
The english natiõ doth lamēt of Sodomites their sinne
Which Paul doth plainly signifie by Idols to beginne
But Giersitis ful ingrate from sinful Simon sprong,
This to defend (though pristes in name) make bul-
warkes great and strong.
Ye Princes therfore whiche to rule the people God
With iustice sweard why se you not this
euell great defaced.
John Ball, the leader of the 1381 Peasant's Revolt, was charged by contemporary chroniclers such as Thomas Walsingham and Henry Knighton, who sought to link heresy with sedition, with being a Lollard. Inspired by such claims, John Bale wrote a biographical note in Bodley MS e Musaeo 86, fo. 61v, stating that Ball was a priest accused of heresy and imprisoned, only to be liberated by the common people storming the prison. (This is as close as Bale gets to mentioning the Peasant's Revolt). Bale concludes by noting that a justice named Robert Trevalyn had Ball hanged for treason and, afterwards, by divine providence, was hanged himself. In the Commentarii (fo. 175r-v), Foxe repeated Bale's note verbatim. (Significantly, Foxe ignored the material hostile to Ball in e Musaeo 86, fo. 70r-v). In the Rerum, Foxe noted cautiously that Polydore Vergil suspected that Ball was involved in the Peasant's Revolt, but added that this was unlikely since a man endowed with knowledge of the gospel would scarcely be involved in a rebellion. Foxe retained Bale's comment about the providential punishment of Trevalyn (Rerum, p. 117). Foxe translated this note exactly in the 1563 edition (p. 140). Yet this note was never reprinted subsequently, probably because as Foxe gained greater knowledge of late fourteenth-century sources, Ball's involvement in the rebellion became manifest.[Back to Top]
Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield
Marginalia1382.ABout the same time or rather somewhat afore. In the yeare of our Lord M.iiiC.lxxxii. as Polidore witnesseth, there was one Iohn Balle, whome Pollidorus calleth Walle, a priest & a preacher, but only that some men do suspect, he was in the commotion of Kent against kyng Richarde in the yeare of our Lord M. iii C.lxxx. But whether this suspition were true or false, it is vncertaine, albeit Pollidorus dooth not also thinke it to be true, neither doth it seme agreable to truthe, that suche a man as he endowed with suche knowledge and vnderstandinge of the Gospell, would entermedle him selfe in anye matter so farre disagreing with the Gospell. But this surely is worthy to be noted, that when he was deliuered out of prison, afterwarde being apprehended at Couentry by Robert Treuillian, and iudged to be hanged at S. Albons, in the year of our Lord M.iiic.lxxxii. shortly after the sayd Treuillian albeit that he was chief Iustice, suffered the like punishemen, and was hanged at Tiburne, as it is thought, not without iust cause being requited for the bloud that he had shed.[Back to Top]
In the Commentarii (fo. 43r-v), Foxe wrote a brief account of John Purvey, describing his persecution by the authorities, and summarised his writings. This was based on a brief biography of Purvey written by John Bale in Bodley Library MS e Musaeo 86, fo. 62v and notes on Purvey's wrings on fo. 91v. This material was reprinted in the Rerum (p. 20). In the 1563 edition, Foxe translated this material and added the articles that Purvey recanted (these were taken from e Musaeo 86. fos. 91v-95r). In the 1570 edition, Foxe reprinted all of the earlier material and added a fuller list of 'heretical' statements compiled from Purvey's writings by the Carmelite Richard Lavingham. This new material was taken from e Musaeo 86, fos.95r-96v. For the most part, Foxe reprinted this material accurately, although he surreptitiously omitted passages in which Lavingham maintained that Purvey had declared that lay people could legimately administer the sacraments. The 1570 account of Purvey was reprinted without change in subsequent editions of the Acts and Monuments. A note of caution should be added, however: Anne Hudson has pointed out how little is known of Purvey and has been persuasively sceptical about the attributions of anonymous Lollard writings to him (see Anne Hudson, 'John Purvey: A Reconsideration of the Evidence for his life and Writings' in Lollards and their Books [London, 1985], pp. 85-110).[Back to Top]
Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield
Marginalia1400.ABout the same tyme Iohn Purvey was accused of heresie at Oxforde, of whome Walden wryteth thus in his seconde tome. Iohn Puruey, saith he, was the liberarie of Lollardes, and gloser vpon Wicklieffe. He said that the worshipping of Abraham was but a salutacion. And in his thirde Tome, he saieth, this Iohn Puruey with Harford a doctour of Diuinitie, were greuouslye tormented, and punished in the prison of Saltwood, and at the length recanted at Paules crosse at London, Thomas Arundell beinge then Archebishop of Caunterbury, afterwarde againe he was enprysoned vnder Henry Chicheley Archebishop of Caunterbury. In the yeare of our Lorde M. iiii.C.xxi. Thus much writeth Walden. The workes of this man which he wrote, were gathered by Richard Lauingame his aduersary. I thinke worthy to be remembred. First, as touching the Sacrament of the last supper, the Sacramēt of penaunce, the Sacramēt of orders, the power of the keys, the preaching of the Gospell, of Mariages, of Vowes, of possessions, of the punishing & correcting of the Clergie, of the lawes & decrees of the churche, of the state and condicion of the Pope and the Clergie, of all these generally, he left diuers monumentes grauely and exactelie written, the whiche for so muche as they requyre a longer treatise, we will passe them ouer for this time, mynding to take an other oportunitie by Gods helpe.[Back to Top]
The Articles whiche he taught, and afterwarde was forsed to recant at Paules crosse, were these hereafter following.
Marginalia1.That in the Sacrament of the aultar after the consecration, there is not neither can be, any accident without the subiect, but there verely remaineth the same substaunce and the very visible and incorruptible bread, and lykewyse the very same wyne the whiche before the consecration, were set vpon the Aultar to be consecrate by the priest, likewyse as when a Pagan or infidele is baptised, he is spiritually conuerted into a member of Christe through grace, and yet remaineth the very same man which he before was in his proper nature and substaunce.[Back to Top]
Marginalia2.Auriculer confession or priuate penaunce, is a certain whispering, destroying the libertie of the Gospell, & newly brought in by the Pope and the Clergie, to intangle the consciences of men in sinne, & to drawe their soules into hel.
Marginalia3.Euery laie man being holy and predestinate vnto euerlasting life, Albeit he be a lay man, yet is he a true priest before God.
Marginalia4.That diuers Prelates & other of the Clergie, doo liue wickedly contrary to the doctine and example of Christ and his Apostles. Therfore they whiche so lyue, haue not the keyes.