to saye their gospelles in Latine in her house, (as they did in others) on lesse they would say it in Englishe. Whereupon the Lorde Chaūcelour though he had discharged the man, yet leauing not his grudge towardes the wife the next morning sent his man for her to appeare before him. Who had it not bene for her yong daughter whiche then lay full of the plague, she had like to come to muche trouble. Of the whiche plague her husbande, the saide maister Fishe deceasyng within halfe a yeare.
Fish had been arrested in London on heresy charges, but died of plague before he could stand trial in 1531.
James Bainham was a lawyer of Middle Temple and member of the Christian Brethren. He was burned as a relapsed heretic (tried on 19 April 1531) for denying purgatory and auricular confession. See John F Davis, Heresy and reformation in the south east of England, 1520-1559 (London, 1983), pp. 55-6.
This booke so much displeased the whole Clergy, but especially the Cardinal, that whē as they wer strawed before the king as before you haue hard, he caused not only his seruantsdiligently to attende to gather them vp, that they should not come into the kinges handes but also when he vnderstoode, that the kinge had receaued one or two of them, he came vnto the kinges maiesty saing: If it shall plese your grace, here ar diuers seditious persones whiche haue scattered abrode bokes conteining manifest errors & heresies, desiring his grace to beware of thē, wherupō þe king putting his hand in his bosome toke out on of the books and deliuered it vnto the Cardinal. Then the Cardinall together with the bishoppes consulted, how they might prouide a spedy remedy for this mischiefe, and therupon determined to giue out a commission to forbid the redinge of all English bookes the which was done out of hande by Cutbert Tonstall bishop of London, who sent out his prohibitiō vnto his archdeacons, with all spede for the forbiddinge of that booke and diuers other more, the tenor of which brohibition her followeth.
It is difficult to pin down precisely which index of forbidden books Foxe is referring to here as there were many at the time. See Susan Brigden, London and the Reformation (Oxford, 1989), p. 179. If the list was produced after Fish's death, which seems to the tenor of Foxe's argument, than it could not have been Tunstal's list, but one of Stokesley's, of 3 December 1531 - see Andrew A Chibi, Henry VIII's Conservative Scholar (Berne, 1997), p. 122.[Back to Top]
In concentrating upon the prohibition of the circulation of the scriptures in English, issued by Cuhbert Tunstall on 23 October 1527 (not 24 October 1527, as Foxe states) were crystal-clear. It was a golden opportunity to emphasise the opposition to the spread of evangelical truth among the English ecclesiastical hierarchy on the eve of the events that Foxe will shortly describe, and which led to the reformation. Cuthbert Tunstal, bishop of London, had been consecrated there on 19 October 1522 (provided on 10 September and the temporalities assigned 7 October). He would be translated to the see of Durham on 21 February 1530. The archdeacon, to whom the prohibition was addressed, was Geoffrey Wharton, collated 29 March 1526 (see Tunstal's register at London Guildhall MS, 9531/10: Episcopal Register Tunstal: 1522-29/30, fol.14b). Wharton died two years later on c.30 October 1529 (fol.28). His vicar-general, also mentioned in the prohibition, was Richard Foxford. The translated and printed New Testament, whose circulation it sought to prevent was Tyndale's New Testament, completed by February 1526 at the Peter Schoeffer printer in Worms, the first to be printed in the English vernacular. It is interesting that, for all the trouble Chancellor Thomas More and Bishop Stokesley would put him through, the major influence upon Tyndale's translation had been Erasmus' own Greek New Testament, which was available to him in its third edition of 1524 (with its Latin translation and notes). Stokesley had defended an earlier edition of Erasmus before Henry VIII in 1521 (Collected Works of Erasmus, 67 vols. (Toronto, 1974-91), vi, p.63 (no.855), viii, pp.8ff, 19; L&P, ii/ii, 4340) while More's relationship with Erasmus is well known. Tyndale had also used Luther's 1521 September Testament (see, Brian Moynahan, William Tyndale [London, 2002], p.6). Tyndale would make much of the fact that Erasmus had been his major influence.[Back to Top]
Andrew ChibiUniversity of Leicester
CVtbertus permissione diuina Lond. Episcopus dilecto nobis in Christo Archidiacono nostro Londo. seu eius officiali salutem gratiam & benedictionē, Ex pastoralis officii nostri debito ea quæ ad subiectorum nostrorum periculum et maxime ad internetionem animarum earundem tendere dinoscuntur, salubriter propellere & totis viribus extirpare astringimur, fane ex fide dignorum relatione ipsaque rei euidentia, ad nostram iamdudum peruenit noticiam, quod nonnulli iniquitatis filij ac Lutheriane factionis ministri quos summa excecauit malicia a via veritatis & orthodoxe fidei declinantes sanctum dei euangelium in vulgare nostrū Anglicanum subdola versutia transferentes ac nonnullos hereticæ prauitatis articulos & opiniones erroneas perniciosas pestiferas, scandalosas & simplicium mentium seductiuas intermiscentes, illibatam hactenus sacrescripture maiestatem, suis nepharijs & tortuosis interpretationibus prophanare, & verbo domini sacrosancto & recto sensu eiusdem callide et peruerse abuti ten tarint. Cuius quidem translationis nonnulli libri impressi quidam cum glosis, quidam sine glosis vt accepimus dictū pestiferum et perniciosum virus in vulgari idiomate in se cōtinentes in promiscuam nostrarū dioc. et iurisdictionis Lond. multitudine sunt dispersi, qui sane gregem nobis comissum nisi citius prouideatur tam pestifero veneno et mortifero prauitatis hereticæ morbo proculdubio inficient et cōtaminabunt inanimarum nobis cōmissarum graue periculum et diuine maiestatis grauissimam offensam. Vnde nos Curbertus episcopus ante dictus depredictis: magnopere dolentes et antiqui hostis calliditati ire, quā suis satellitibus ad animarum subditorum nostrorum interemptionē subministrat, obuiam curaque pastorali super grege nobis cōmisso diligēter inuigilare ac remedia oportuna premissis adhibere cupiētes, vobis cōiūctim et diuisim comittimus ac firmiter in virtute sancte obediencie qua nobis tenemini iniungendo, mādamus quatenus autoritate nostra moneatis moneri ve faciatis omnes et singulos tam exemptos quam non exemptos, infra vestrum Archidiaconatū vbi libet cōmorantes, quatenus infra xxx. dierum spaciū quorum quidem dierum decem pro primo, decem pro secundo, & decē pro tertio & perēptorio termino sub excōmunicationis poena ac criminis, hereseos suspitionis incurrēde eis assignamus omnes et singulos huiusmodi libros trāslationem noui testamenti in vulgarem linguā factam continentes ad nos seu nostram in spiritualibus vicarium generalem inferant et realiter tradant. Et quid in premissis feceritis nos aut vicarium nostrum huiusmodi infra duos menses a die data presentivm debite certificare personaliter vel per literas vestras patentes vna cum presentibus autentice sigillatas non omittatis sub poena cōtemptus, Dat. sub sigillo nostro 24. de mensis Octobris An. M. D. 26. nostræ cons. An. quinto.[Back to Top]
CVtbert by the permission of god, byshop of London, vnto our welbeloued in christ the Archdeacon of London, or to his officiall, helth grace and benedictiō. By the deuty of our pastorall office, we are bounde diligently with all our power to foresee, prouide for, roote out and put away all those things, whiche seme torende to the perill and daunger of our subiectes and specially þe destructiō of ther soules, wherfor we hauing vnderstāding by þe reporte of diuers credible persones, and also by the euident apparaunce of the matter, that many children of iniquitie mainteiners of Luthers sect, blinded through extreame wickednes, wan-[Back to Top]