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Actes and Monumentes of the Churche.

of master Ierome, he dothe thus conclude. All these things saith he, I did behold, see, & heare to be done in this forme and manner. And if any man do tel you the contrary do not creadit him, for al those thinges which happened vnto him, when he came towarde Constance and also at his first comming vnto Cōstance of his owne free wil, and afterward when he was brought bound vnto Constance as is aforesaid, I my self did see and perfectly behold al those thinges whiche were then there, and at that present done. And for a perpetual memory therof to be had for euer, I haue directed it vnto you, not lying or falsifying any poynt therof, as he which is the searcher of al mens harts can beare me wytnesse, willing rather to suffer and beare the folly or ignoraunce of a rude and barberous stile to beare wytnesse vnto the truth, then I would by any meanes be compelled by tickling or flattring the ears of the hearers, with fained and cloked speach by any meanes to swarue or goo a side from the truth.

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Thus end the tragicall histories of maister Ihon Hus, and master Ierom of Prage, faithfully gathered and collected by a certain Bohemian being a present wytnes and beholder of the same, wrytten and compiled first in latin, and so sent by the said Bohemian into his countrye of Boheme. And againe translated out of the Latin with like fidelitye into oure English tounge.

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¶ Here after ensueth a memorable history of the Bohemiās, wherin is plainly and truly set forth what vexations and conflictes they hadde for the relygion of Ihon Hus and Ierome of Prage, and of their victories obtained and gotten bothe against the Papistes, as also agaynst the Emperour Sigismund. And finallye the death of their valiant captain Zisca. 
Commentary  *  Close
Hussite Wars

Those who continue to insist that one of the purposes of the Acts and Monuments was to present England as the elect nation, might do well to examine Foxe's glorification of the Hussites. With the possible exception of Thomas Cromwell, there is no magistrate or secular leader whom Foxe admired as much as the Hussite military commander, Jan Ziska. Foxe's account of the Hussites allowed him to stress two themes important to him: that the False Church, led by the Papacy, was unrelenting in its determination to eradicate the True Church and that God could be counted on to protect his people. With the exception of Zisca's epitaph, which was taken from Matthias Flacius, Catalogus testium veritatis [Strassburg, 1562], p. 499, all of Foxe's account of Zisca and of the Hussite wars in the 1563 edition is taken from Aeneas Sylvius Picclomini's Historia Bohemica (Basel, 1489), sigs. c8v-e2v. In the 1570 version, Foxe reprinted most of this material, although he deleted material which had been included in the first edition but was now considered too embarrassing: among them a description of the Adamites (radical sectarians who renunciation of worldly goods allegedly extended to nudity) and Picclomini's descriptions of massacres perpetrated by the Hussites. In the 1570 edition, Foxe added two documents. One was a bull of Martin V ordering prosecution of the followers of Wiclif and Hus. Foxe stated that he received a copy of this bull from Richard Hakluyt the elder, the cousin of the Richard Hakluyt who compiled The Principal Navigations. The other document was a manifesto sent by the Hussites to European rulers in an effort to garner support. Foxe states simply that this document came 'ex vetustissimo codice manuscripto'. The account of the Hussite wars in the 1570 edition was reprinted without change in subsequent editions of the Acts and Monuments.

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Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield

THus haue we here described vnto you at large the tragicall histories of the death and martirdome of Ihon Hus and Ierom of Prage: nowe remaineth in like order to prosecute such thinges as hapned after their death in the country of Bohemia. First, declaring a certain visiō which the said Ihon Hus had in his countrye of Boheme before his martirdom. He being the minister in the church of Bethleem had a vision by night that he had painted in the said church of Bethleem certain pictures of Christe and hys Apostles, the whiche pictures the bishop of Rome with certaine Cardinalles came and defaced: which beinge done wythin a while after, it semed vnto him þt other painters cam in place, renuing and repairing þe said pictures whichhe had painted before of Christe and hys Apostles, and muche more fairer then he had done before, the nōber of which was painters was so great that they gloried againste the Poope and all his Cardinals, bidding them nowe to come and put them out if they could, þe which thing wythal their power they were not able to do: This vision Ihon Hus him selfe in his boke of Epistles expoundeth a applyeth these pictures of Christe and his Apostles, vnto the preaching of Christ and of his Apostles. The which preaching and doctrin, though the pope and his Cardinals should extinguish in him, yet did he forsee & declare that the time shuld come that the same doctrin shoulde be renued again by other preachers so plenteouslye that the Pope wythall his power, should not be able to preuail against it. Thus muche as concerning the vision of Ihon Hus, where vnto doothe well accord the prophesye of the same Hus a litle before his death, and prynted in þe Coyne there in Boheme called Moneta Huslana hauinge this subscription. CENTVM REVOLVTIS ANNIS DEO RESPONDEBITIS ET MIHI. Anno. 1415. That is: One hundred yeares come and gone, you shal geue accompt to god and to me. An. 1516, For the exposytion of this Prophesy, if we count from this yere of Ihon Hus, which is 1415. vnto the yere of our Lord 1516. in the which yere Martin Luther first began to wryte against the Pope, we shall finde the nomber of an C. yeares fullye compleate. And now to proceade in our prefixed purpose wyth the Bohemian story, as touching suche thinges as happened after the deathe of Ihon Hus and Ierome of Prage.

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When as the newes of the barbarous crueltye exercised at Constance againste Ihon Hus, and Ierome of Prage, were reported in Boheme, such as were their disciples and adherentes assemblinge together, did celebrate a memoriall of their deathe: Decreinge it to bee holden and celebrate yearely. And afterwarde by meanes of their frendes, they obtayned certain churches of the king, wherin they might frely preach and minister the sacraments vnto the congregation. This done they suppressed diuers monasteries, Pharisaycal temples and idolatrus phanes, driuing away the wicked and vicious priestes and monkes oute of them, or compelling them vnto a better order wherby their nombre beinge augmented, vnder the conduict of a certain noble manne named Nicholas, they went again vnto þe king requiring to haue more and ampler churches graunted vnto them. The king seemed at the first willinglye and gentlye to geue eare vnto the said Nycholas intreatinge for the people. And commaunded them to come agayne the next daye.

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When