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415 [415]

of his glory, gaue the vnderstandinge of thys Arte or science, for the abolishynge of ignorans and Idolatry. So as in these oure dayes, we may wel perceiue and see how that þe pope that great Antichriste of Rome coulde neuer haue ben suppressed, & being suppressed could not haue bene kept vnder, except this mooste excellent sciens of printing had bene maintained, wherby the shamefull hipocrisy of the papistes is detected and discouered vnto þe whole world, and Gods truthe and glory manifestly setforth and aduaunced.

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¶ The history of Rainold Pecocke bishop of Chichester, afflicted and tormented by the false bishops for his godlynes and professyon of the gospel, and after his recantation put to death in pryson. 
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Reginald Pecock

It is profoundly ironic that Bishop Reginald Pecock, who devoted a great deal of time and effort to combatting the Lollards in print, should have been enshrined by Foxe as a proto-Protestant. The reason for this, however, is clear: following Bale, Foxe assumed that anyone condemned for heresy during the Middle Ages must have been one of the numerous hidden members of the True Church that that existed before Luther. As a bishop and a university trained scholar, Pecock was a particularly valuable individual for Foxe to appropriate.

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Foxe's first account of Pecock was printed in his Commentarii. It began with long passages of Foxean rhetoric on the tyranny of the Roman Church, the existence of a godly remnant who did not bow their knees to Baal and the theology of the Eucharist (fos. 157r-168v). This was followed by copy of a letter from Thomas Bourchier, the archbishop of Canterbury, forbidding discussion of Pecock's case while it was still sub judice (fos. 169r-171r). There is no other surviving copy of this document, and how Foxe obtained it is a matter for speculation, but it gives every appearance of being genuine. This followed by a version of a recantation that Pecock made at Paul's Cross on 4 December 1457 (fos. 171r-172r). With one important exception, Foxe's version of this conforms to the other known versions of this document. No other surviving copy of the recantation contains Pecock's denial that it was necessary to believe that Christ's body was materially in the sacrament and it is safe to assume that this was Foxe's invention. The Commentarii account of Pecock then concludes with Foxe's declaration that Pecock's recantation must have been coerced and insincere, since he was imprisoned (fos. 172r-173r). However, over 50 pages later, Foxe printed a 'Collectanea quaedam ex Reginaldi Pecocki Episcopi opusculis exustis conservata, ex antiquo psegmate transcripta'(fos. 199r-203v). This was a series of articles, apparently - from Foxe's description - copied out of an 'ancient' manuscript fragment. Foxe identified the first article as coming from Pecock's The Book of Signs, a work now lost. The remaining eleven articles are all drawn from Pecock's Book of Faith; although they are abridgements, they do reflect fairly accurately what Pecock does say in portions of his text (cf. Reginald Pecock, Reginald Pecock's Book of Faith, ed. J. L. Morison [Glasgow, 1909], pp. 264-66, 287-91, 302-3, 283-6, 112-14, 222-9, 234-5, 161-2, 147-8, 148-9 and 149-50).

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In the Rerum, the account of Pecock was repeated (pp. 109-16), but the 'Collectanea' was dropped, never to be reprinted. In the 1563 edition, the Rerum account was faithfully translated and reprinted. In the 1570 edition Foxe retained Bourchier's letter and Pecock's recantation, but dropped the rest of his earlier account of Pecock. However, Foxe added a summary of the charges against Pecock which was entirely taken from Bale's Catalogus (p. 595), even the attack on Polydore Vergil at the conclusion. The 1570 account of Pecock was reprinted, without change, in the 1576 and 1583 editions.

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Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield

Marginalia1457IT is not to be maruailed at, if the tiranny of these men dyd so preuaile, and ouer run the laye Citezens, and common sorte of priestes, when as neither the miter not the annoynting could make the byshops them selnes to liue in safety. So is ther no kinde of degree or order, in the which some frute, as clusters of the vineyard, doo springe and growe vp vnto the Lorde: as amongest priestes, monkes, friers, lay men, souldiors & courtiers, of whome we haue some what spoken before, the only order of the bishops was behind, being yet slow and barren in bringing forth frute. How be it it is not to be doubted but that the Lord, euen amongest them hathe his remainder, which haue not bowed their knees vnto Baal, as in times past the Pharisaical people had their Nicodemus and Gamaliels: althoughe that these kinde of people are very rare and hard to be found, and few of thē either for feare of pearel, or los of substaunce dare openly profes that which they do think. Amongst the reast we will bring forth and alledge this one man Pecock, fyrst bishop of Chester, and afterward by the title of S. Asaphe if there were any such sainct.

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This manne after he had receiued into hys hart, some sparkes of the pure and syncere religion. All be it that he did not greatly attēpt any thing against þe bishops in this troublous time, for seing and prouiding for his own safegard as much as he might: Yet coulde he not so lurk or lie hidden, but that at the length he was perceiued. These menne haue so manye markes, so many eies, so many suspitions that there can be none so small a thing: the whyche may passe or scape them, no so hie estate or dignity, vnto the which these men thorowe theyrcruel and vnshamefast tiranny, will not geue assault, in so much that nowe they begin not only to be feared of the common people, but also to be a terroure vnto kinges and Princes. Pecocke was taken and caried straighte vnto Lambeth, Thomas Archbishoppe of Caunter-terbury then primate bearinge all the rule. Then the doctoures and Bishopeps gathered together into the Archbishoppes court, in the whyche conuocation the Duke of Buckingham was present, accompanied wyth the bishoppe of Rochester, and the bishop of Lincolne, where as besydes manye other articles the presens of the bread in the sacrament was layed vnto Pecocke. In so much that the knot of amitie and concord which was ordained by Christe, to the great comforte of the Churche, I know not by what meanes, thorow the enuye of Sathan, is tourned into a matter of moost greuous discord and dissentyon amōgst Christians. In so much that there hathe in a manner no matter continued so many yeares more pernitious or hurtfull vnto mennes saluation, then that from whence the chiefe sede and ofspringe of mutual consolation and comforte of mennes life, oughte to be taken and sought for.

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For what other thing dothe the communicating of the Lordes body and bloude declare vnto vs, but fyrst of all a testimonye and witnesse of his benefytes towardes vs, and of our amity and ioyning with him. For we doo vnderstand by the bread, which is communicate and geuen vnto euery manne, that his bodye once broken was geuen vnto all and euerye one of vs.

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So likewise the cuppe passing thorowe vs all in order, declareth that the bloud once shed for vs, not for hym selfe alone, was as it were bestowed for the saluation of all men. Therefore least any manne should thincke that hys passyon shuld be in vain, but that it alone shuld woorke in all men, as many as doo beleue or here after shall beleue, absolute and perfecte peace and quietnesse, and eternall refreshinge of the soule, now languishing with ouer long hunger: Therefore as a figure and remembraunce of that thinge, is the breade together wyth the cuppe sette before vs, the whiche being receyued into the outwarde manne, it is easye to be vnderstanded what the Sacrifyce of his bodye applied vnto vs by faythe, worcketh in oure inwarde soule. Marginaliawhy the bread and the wyne are ioyned together in the sacrament.For by faythe that Sacrifyse is to be applyed, if we wyll haue it profytte vs anye thinge at all. For except the meate be receyued, it ingendereth no nourishing, therfore we are commaunded to eat, euē so wheras faith doth not receiue christ there is no hope of life of quietnesse of soule,

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the
Ll.ii.