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254 [254]

Actes and Monuments of the Churche.

Ihon Hus were made as mocking stocks and derided of all men, yea euen of the slaues and base people. Wherfore they toke councel and concluded together to present their request in wryting vnto the hole councell, or at the least vnto the iiii. natiōs of Almain. Italy, France and Englande, this request was presented the 14. day of May. An. 1415. the tenor wherof here ensueth.

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¶ The fyrst scedule or byll, which the nobles of Boheme deliuered vp to the councell for the deliueraunce of Ihon Hus the xiiii. daye of May. An. 1415. 
Commentary  *  Close
Council of Constance

Foxe's account of the Council of Constance served two basic purposes. The first was to provide a background for the executions of Jan Hus and Jerome of Prague. Secondly the account allowed Foxe to provide more details of the Great Schism as well as of papal politics and scandals. One indication of Foxe's readiness to develop the latter theme was the inclusion, first in the 1563 edition, of a story of an owl appearing at a council in Rome and being regarded as an evil spirit by antipope John XXIII, who summoned this council and was to summon the Council of Constance. Foxe obtained this story from Ortwin Gratius, Fasciculus rerum expetendarum et fugiendarum [Cologne, 1535], fo. 201r. In the 1563 edition , the account of the Council of Constance itself was taken from Casper Hedio's continuation of the chronicle of Conrad of Lichtenau. (See Conrad of Lichtenau, Abbatis Uspergensis chronicum, ed. Conrad Hedio [Basel, 1569], pp. 373-4 and 379-81). The letter of the 54 Moravian nobles also came from Hedio (pp. 381-84). Also included in the 1563 edition was an account of Hus attending the Council on receipt of a safe-conduct from the Emperor Sigismund, the proceedings against Hus at the Council and Hus's condemnation. All of this material came from Johannis Hus et Hieronymi Pragensis confessorum Christi Historia et Monumenta, ed Matthias Flacius, 2 vols. (Nuremburg, 1558), I, fos. 1v-27v. In the 1570 edition, Foxe deleted some documents from this material: two testimonials as to Hus's good character, presented at the Council and a document concerning an earlier hearing on Hus's heresies held by the Archbishop of Prague. But Foxe also added a rebuttal of Catholic arguments justifying the execution of Hus despite the safe conduct. The 1570 account of the Council of Constance and Hus's trial there was repeated without change in the 1576 edition. In the 1583 edition, this account was repeated but the two testimonials on behalf were re-inserted.

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Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield

MOst reuerend fathers and Lords. The Nobles and Lordes of Boheme and Pole here present, by this their present wrytinges doo shewe and declare vnto your fatherly reuerences how that the most noble kinge and Lorde the Lorde Sigismund king of Romains alwaies Augustus king of Hungry Croatia Dalmatia &c. hearing of the great dissention that was in the kingdom of Boheme as heir kyng and Lord successor, willinge and mindinge to foresee and prouide for his owne honor, he sent these noble men, master Wenceslate de Duba, and Ihon de Clum here present, that they wold bring and assure master Ihon Hus vnder the king hys name and safe conduit. So that he would come to the sacred generall councell of Constans vnder the safe conducte of the said kyng and the protection of the sacred Emperye, openlye geuen and graunted vnto the saide master Ihon Hus, that he might purge him self and the kingdome of Boheme frō the slaunder that was raised vpon thē and there to make an open declaration of his faith to euerye man that wold lay any thing to his charge. The which the said nobles, with the forenamed master Ihon Hus haue performed and done, according to the kinges commaundement.

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When as the said master Ihon Hus was frelye of his owne accord come vnto Constance, vnder the sayde safe conduite and greuouslye imprisoned before he was hard and at this present is tormented both with fetters and also with hunger and thirst. All be it that in times paste at the councel holden at Pysā 1410. yeare of oure Lord the heretickes which were condemned were suffered to remain there at liberty and to depart home frely. Notwithstanding this maister Ihon Hus, neyther being conuicted nor condemned: no not so much as once hard is taken and imprisoned, when as nether any king or any Prince elector, eyther any ambassadoure of anye vniuersitie was yet come or present. And all be it the lord the king together with the nobles and Lords here present most instantly required and desired that as touching his safe conduict they would foresee and haue respect vnto his honoure. And that the said master Ihon Hus might be openly hard, forsomuch as he would render and shew a reason of his faith, and if he were found or conuicted obstinatly to affirme or maintain any thing against the truth or holye scripture that then he oughte to correct and amend the same, according to thinstruction and determination of the councel, yet coulde he neuer obtaine this. MarginaliaThe extremities Ihō Hus suffered in prysōBut the said master Ihon Hus, notwithstandinge all this is mooste greuouslye oppressed wyth fetters and yrons, and so weakened with thin and slender diet, that is to be feared leaste that hys power and strength beinge hereby consumed and wasted, he should be put in daunger of his wit or reason.

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And although the Lordes of Boheme here present are greatly slandered because they seing the said master Ihon Hus so tormented and troubled contrarye to the kinges safe conduicte haue not by their letters, put the kynge in minde of his saide safe conduicte that the sayde Lord and king should not any more suffer any such matters for so muche as they tend to the contempt and disregarde of the kingdome of Boheme, whyche from the fyrst originall and beginnyng that it hathe receiued the catholike faithe, it neuer departed or went awaye fromthe obedience of the holy church of Rome. Yet notwithstanding they haue suffred and borne all these thinges patiently hetherto least by any meanes occasion of trouble or vexation of this sacred councell mighte aryse or spring therof.

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Wherfore most reuerend fathers and Lordes. The nobles and Lordes before named do wholye and mooste earnestlye desire and require your reuerences here present that both for the honoure of the safe conduict of our said Lord the king, and also for the preseruation and encrease of the worthye fame and renowme boothe of the forsaide kingdome of Boheme, and your owne also, that you will make a short end about the affayres of maister Ihon Hus for so much as by the meanes of his straite hādling he is in great danger by any longer delay, euen as they do most specially trust vppon the moost vpright consciences and iudgementes of your fatherly reuerences. MarginaliaThe confutatyon of certain slaunders.But for as muche as mooste reuerend fathers and Lordes it is now come to the knowledge and vnderstāding of the nobles and Lordes of Boheme here present, how that certain backbiters and slaunderers of the most famous kingdome of Boheme aforesaid haue declared & told vnto your reuerences, howe that the sacrament of the mooste precious bloud of our Lord is caried vp and downe thorowe Boheme in vessels not consecrated or halowed, and that Coblers do now here cōfessyons and minister the most blessed body of our Lord vnto others. The nobles therfore of Bohmem here present require & desire you that you wil geue no creadite vnto such false promoters and tale tellers, for that as most wicked and naughty slaunderers and backbiters of the kingdome afore said they do report and tel vntruthes, requiring also your reuerences that suche slaunderous persones of the kingdome aforesaid may be named and known. And the Lord the king together wyth your reuerences shall wel perceiue and se that the Lordes of Boheme wyl go about in such manner to refel and put away the fals and friuolous slaunders of those naughty persones that they shalbe ashamed to appeare hereafter before the Lord the king and your reuerences.

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MarginaliaThe byshop of Luthonis.Assone as this their supplicatiō was red, the bishop of Luthonis risinge vp, said. Most reuerent fathers I wel perceiue and vnderstand that the laste parte of thys wryting dothe touche me my familiers and frendes as thoughe the kingdome of Boheme were slaundered by vs. Wherfore I desire to haue time and space of deliberation that I may purge my self from this crime that is layed against me. The principal of the councell appoynted him the xvii. day of May at the which day the lordes of Boheme shoulde bee presente againe to heare bothe the answer of the councell, and also the excuse of the byshop of Luthonis the which thinge in dede was afterward performed, for the xvij. daye of May, whiche was the iiij. day before the Whitsontide they met ther again, where fyrste of all a certaine bishoppe in the name of the whole councel answered by word to the nobles of Boheme, the contentes of whose answer maye easelye be knowne by the second supplication, whiche the Bohemians put vp to the councel. But I haue here in these few wordes following, shewed howe the bishop of Luthonis defended him selfe againste that which is before wrytten.

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¶ The answer of the bishoppe of Luthonis, to the laste parte of the supplicatyon, whyche the nobles of Boheme presented vnto the councell.

MOste reuerend fathers and noble Lordes as Peter de Mladoneywitz bacheler of Arte, in the name of certayne of the nobles of the kingedome of Boheme in his wrytinges amonges other thynges did propound howe that certaine slaunderers and backbiters of the said kingdom haue broughte to the eares of your reuerences that the moste precyous bloud of Christ is caried vp and downe in Boheme in bottels, and that coblers do heare confessyons, and mynister the body of Christ vnto others, whervpon moost reuerend fathers and Lordes: Albeit that I together wyth the other Prelates, Doctoures, Masters, and other innumerable Catholickes of the saide kyngdome

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