this act, to enquyre by the othes of xii. lawful menne, of all and syngular the heresies, felonies, contemptes, and other offences aboue wrytten, done perpetrate or cōmitted within the lymites of their commissions & autorities.
And it was further enacted by the authoritie aboue sayde, that the sayde commyssioners, or three of them at the leaste, as is aforesayde, by vertue of this acte and theyr commyssion, shall haue full power and authoritie, to mak lyke processe against euery persone or persones, indited, presented, or accused, in forme as is aboue remembred, as is vsed and accustomed in cases of felony, and that as well within the limittes of their commyssion, as into all other shyres and places of the Realme, Wales and other the kynges dominions, as well within lyberties as without: and the same processe to be good and effectuall in the lawe as in cases of felony: And vpō the apparance of any of the offendours, shall haue full power and authoritie, by vertue of this acte, and the sayde commission, to heare and determine the foresayde heresyes, felonies, contemptes and other offences, according to the lawes of this Realme, & theffectes of this acte.[Back to Top]
And it was further enacted, by the autoritie aboue sayde, that no persone nor persones, whiche at any tyme hereafter, shalbe accused indited or presented, as is aboue sayde, shalbe admitted to the chalenge of any persone or persones, whiche shalbe empanelled for the tryall of his or theyr offence for any matter or cause, other than for malice or enmitie, whiche chalenge shall forthwith be tried in lyke maner as other chalenges be vsed to be tried in cases of felony.[Back to Top]
And it was also enacted, that euery persone, whiche shalbe named to be commissioner in the saide commission, after that he hath knowledge thereof, shall effectually put his dilygēce and attendaunce in and about the execution of the sayde commission: And before that he shall take vpon hym the execution of the same commission, shall take a corporall othe before the Lorde Chauncelloure of Englande for the tyme beyng, or before hym or them, to whome the Lorde Chauncellour shall dyrecte the kynges wrytte of Dedimus potestatem, to take the same. The tenour of whiche othe hereafter enseweth.[Back to Top]
Ye shall sweare, that ye to your cunnynge wytte and power, shal truely and indifferently execute the authoritie to you geuen by the kynges commission, made for correction of heretykes and other offenders, mencioned in the same commission, without any fauor, affectiō, corruption dread of malyce, to be borne to any persone or persones, as God you helpe, and all saynctes.[Back to Top]
MarginaliaVowes aduised.And because disputatiōs and doubtes might perhappes ryse hereafter vpon these wordes in this acte, that is to saye, Aduisedly made to God, Be it therfore prouided and enacted, by authoritie aforesayde, that these wordes in the acte, that is to saye, Aduisedly made to God, for vowes of chastitie or wydowhead, shalbe all onely taken, expounded and interpreted, to bynde suche persone or persones, and none other (sauyng priestes) to & by the same, whiche at the tyme of any of their vowyng (beynge thereto admytted) were or shalbe of the age of xxi. yeares or aboue, and then dyd or doo consent, submitte theim selfe, or condiscende to the same, and continue or continued in obseruation of it any whyle after: Onles any suche persone or persones, doo or can duely proue any vnlawfull cohersion or compulsion done to them or any of them, for makynge of anye suche vowe.
The end of Foxe's quotation from the text of the Act.
And thus muche concernyng the originall of the sixe articles, whiche otherwyse for the bloudy crueltie thereof, are called the whyppe with syxe strynges, set foorth after the deathe of Quene Anne, and of good Iohn Lambert, deuysed by the crueltie of the byshoppes, but specially of the byshop of Wynchester, and at length also subscribed by kynge Henry. But therin as in many other thinges, the crafty policie of Winchester appered, who, if he had not watched his time, & taken the king cōming out where it was, it is thought he had not got the matter so easely to be subscribed. Now foloweth in proceading to the next yeare to story and intreate of the moste famous and worthy coūseler, the Lorde Cromwell.[Back to Top]
In the Rerum, Foxe has a rather large account of Cromwell consisting of praise of Cromwell, a comparison of Cromwell and Stephen Gardiner (greatly to the detriment of the latter), and a long diatribe on persecution as a hallmark of the Catholic Church (Rerum, pp. 154-8). This was followed by a denciation of the evils of monasticism and further praise of Cromwell for dissolving them (Rerum, pp. 158-9). This was followed by a lengthy extract from Alexander Alesius, Of the Auctoritie of the Word of God, recounting a debate between Alesius and Bishop John Stokesley of London, held in a synod in London in 1537 and of Cromwell's oration to the bishops assembled on this occasion. (Cf. Alexander Alesius, Of the auctoritie of the word of God ['Strausburg', 1548?], STC 292, sigs. A5r-B7v with Rerum, pp. 159-64). The Rerum account of Cromwell ends with a brief statement that Cromwell fell from royal favour because he arranged Henry VIII's marriage to Anne of Cleves and also because of the intrigues of Stephen Gardiner (Rerum, p. 164).[Back to Top]
All of the material was reprinted in the 1563 edition. Some additional material was added in this edition. One item was an account of Cromwell's execution and last words, which was reprinted word-for-word from Hall's chronicle (cf. Edward Hall, The union of the two noble and illustre famelies of Lancastre and Yorke [London, 1560], STC 12723a, fo. 242r-v with 1563, p. 598). Another was a contemporary ballad, 'The Fantasie of Idolatry', which attacked the 'superstition' and 'idolatry' in the monasteries (1563, pp. 590 [recte 599]-598 [recte 600]).[Back to Top]
Except for the material reprinted from Alesius and from Hall, the entire 1563 account of Cromwell was deleted from the 1570 edition. This material was replaced with stories of Cromwell drawn from individual informants. The most important of these was Ralph Morice, formerly Archbishop Cranmer's private secretary, who contributed an account of how Cromwell saved him when he lost an important document. The story of Lord Russell aiding Cromwell may very well have come from Francis Russell, the second earl of Bedford, who had close ties to Foxe. Foxe also derived a story of Cromwell's gratitude to an early benefactor from Matteo Bandello's famous Novelle; this was an account that Foxe had to have translated from Italian. Foxe's zeal in tracking these stories down, is an indication of how deeply he was committed to portraying Cromwell as an exemplar of the godly magistrate constantly prodding his king into further reformation of church and state. Foxe's account of Cromwell as printed in the 1570 edition remain unchanged in subsequent editions.[Back to Top]
Thomas S. Freeman
Marginalia1541.THomas Cromwel, beyng a man but of a base stock and house
In the Rerum, Cromwell is described as 'vir obscuro loco natus' (Rerum, p. 154). In the 1563 edition this was rendered as 'a man but of base stock' (1563, p. 598). Apparently this was too depracatory and it was changed to 'borne of a simple parentage and house obscure' (1570, p. 1346).
Howe great laude and prayse this manne