a maner all other kyngdomes of the worlde, haue oftentimes wauered, makinge of Scismes and Antipopes: our most Christian kingdome of Boheme, and moste noble Marquesdome of Morauia, synce the time they did receyue the Catholique faithe of our Lorde Iesus Christ as a moste perfecte quadrant they haue alwayes without reprofe stuck vnto the holy churche of Rome, and haue sincerelye done their true obediēce. Also with how great costes and charges and great trauaill, with what worshyp and due reuerence they haue reuerenced the holy mother churche and her pastors by their princes and faithful subiects, it is more manifest then day vnto the whole worlde. And your selues if you will confesse the truth, can witnes the same also. Wherfore that according to the mynd of the Apostle, we may procure honest and good thinges not only before God but before men also, MarginaliaRom. 12.and least by neglectinge the famous renowme of the kingdome and Marquesdome, we be founde cruell towardes our neyghbours, hauynge a stedfast hope, a pure and sincere conscience and intent, and a certaine true faith in Christe Iesu our Lord. By the tenor of these presents we signifie and declare vnto your fatherly reuerences, and to all faithfull christians openly professing both with heart & mouthe. That what so euer man of what estate, preeminēce, dignitie, condition, degree, or religion soeuer he be, whiche hath said or affirmed, either doth say or affirme, that in the sayde kyngdome of Boheme and Marquesdome of Morauia, heresies haue sprong vp whiche haue infected vs & other faithfull Christiās as aforesayd. (The only persone of our moste noble Prince and Lorde, Sygismund king of Romaines and of Hungarie &c. our Lorde and heyre successor, being set apart, whome we truste and beleue, not to be gilty in the premisses) all and enery suche man as is aforesayd, doth lye vprightly vpō his head as a wycked & naughty traytour and betrayer of the sayd kyngdome and Marquesdome, and moste traiterous vnto vs. And an only moste pernicious heretike, the sonne of all malice and wickednes, yea and of the deuell him selfe, who is a lyer and his father. Notwithstanding, we for this present committing the forsaid iniuries vnto God, vnto whō vengeaunce perteineth who will also aboundantly reward the workers of iniquitie, MarginaliaIhon. 8. Deut. 38. Psalm. 30.we will prosecute them more amply before hym whome God shall apointe in the Apostolyke Sea, to gouerne his holy churche as the only and vndoubted pastor: Vnto whome God willing, we exhibiting our due reuerence and obedience as faithfull chyldren in those thinges whiche are lawful and honest agreable to reason and the lawe of God we wil make our request & petitiō, that spedy remedy may be prouided for vs, our saide kyngdome and Marquesdom, vpon the premisses according to the lawe of our Lord Iesus Christ, and the institutions of the holy fathers. The premisses not withstanding, we setting apart all feare andmens ordinaunces prouided to the contrary, wyl maintein & defende the lawe of our Lord Iesu Christ, and the deuout humble and constant preachers thereof, eueu to the sheding of our bloud. Dated at Sternberg, in the yeare of our Lorde 1415. vpō S. Wencelates day Martyr of our Lord Iesu Christ.[Back to Top]
Round about the saide letters there were liiii. Seales pendent, and their names subscribed, whose seales they were. Albeit that thorowe the antiquitie they were so blotted that they could not be red.
Starting with Martin Luther and his followers, the Protestant Reformers had hailed Jan Hus as an important, arguably the most important, proto-Protestant of the entire Middle Ages. This it seems a little surprising that Foxe had only a relatively brief account of Hus and his teachings in the Commentarii (fos. 62v-78r). This account was based on John Bale's notes in the Fasciculi Zizaniorum (see Bodley Library MS Musaeo e 86, fos. 128r-135r); Bale, in turn drew them from the inquisitorial manual of Bernard of Luxemburg, which explains the emphasis on Hus's doctrines in this account. Foxe reprinted the account of Hus in the Rerum (pp. 61-67) without change. In the 1563 edition, however, Foxe rewrote this account with material from the Catholic polemicist Johannes Cochlaeus's history of the Hussite wars. This described how Hus was denounced as a heretic to the antipope John XXII, how he was summoned to Rome, and how Weceslaus IV of Bohemia prevented his going there - see Johannes Cochlaeus, Historia Hussitarum (Mainz, 1549), pp. 19-24). In the 1570 edition, Foxe drew further on Cochlaeus to describe the spread of Hus's teachings in Bohemia, the initiatives from the University of Prague to stop Hus and his followers, the division of Prague into pro-Hus and anti-Hus factions, Hus's objections to the a decree from the University of Prague against him and to reprint John XXIII's letter to Wenceslaus, urging the king to crack down on Hus (Cochlaeus, Historia Hussitarum, pp. 22-3, 25, 29-33, 38-50, 53-54 and 56-66). This account of Hus before the Council of Constance was unchanged in subsequent editions.[Back to Top]
Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield
ALbeit that in wryting of Histories, and the liues of men, it is accustomed and vsed, first to describe their elders, their stocke & linage, the day of their birthe, their chyldhode, and their yougth, with suche lyke thinges as appertayneth thereunto. Yet in this our present purpose in the whiche we haue enterprysed to declare and shewe forthe the history of Iohn Hus, it shkll not be loked for at our hande. albeit this man were worthy of whome nothing should be omittid or lefte out of wryting, but now I wil briefly and simply open vnto you those thinges whiche were done, about his ionrney to the councel of Cōstance and after. But first I will speake somewhat of those thinges whiche happened before his iourney as foretokens or pronostications.[Back to Top]
MarginaliaThe preaching of þe Gospell of heresie.At what tyme as Iohn Hus, executinge the office of a preacher at Prage, in the temple of Bethlehem, did chose rather to preache & teach the Gospell of Christ, then the humayne traditions of the Byshops. Sodenly there sprange vp certen the whichē accused hym as an Heretike vnto the byshop of Rome. Iohn the xxiii. of that name. The byshop cōmitted the whole matter vnto Cardinall de Collumna, who when he had heard the accusation, he appointed a daye to Iohn Hus, that he shuld appeare in the court of Rome. whiche thing once done, Wenceslaus kynge of the Romaines and of Boheme, at þe request specially of his wyfe Sophia, and of the whole Nobilitie of Boheme, as also at the earnest sute and desyre of the towne and vniuersitie of Prage. He sent his Ambassadours to Rome, to desire the byshop to quite and clerely delyuer Iohu Hus from that sentence and iudgement, and that if the byshop did suspect the kyngdome of Boheme[Back to Top]