is þe highest parte of our body. MarginaliaThe shauing of the crowne what it representeth.For as euery church that is made a church by the death of the Sauiour, doth vse to beare the signe of the holy crosse in the front: that it may the better by the defence of that banner, be kept frō the inuasions of euill sprites: and by the often admonition therof, is taught to crucifie the flesh, with the concupiscence of the same: MarginaliaHow doth the signe of the cros defēde churches from euil sprites when in cā not kepe them from euil priests?In like maner it behoueth such as haue the vowes of Monkes and degrees of the clergy, to binde themselues with a straiter bitte of continence for the Lordes sake. And as þe Lord bare a crowne of thorne on hys head in his passion, wherby he toke and caried away from vs the thornes and prickes of our sinnes: so must euery one of vs by shauing our heades, pacientlye beare and willingly suffer, the mockes & skornes of the world for his sake: MarginaliaIf shauyng of the crowne doth teach men patience in suffryng, how commeth it that we see none more waspish & ireful then these shorn generatiōs, of mōkish vipers.That we may receaue the crowne of eternall life, which God hath promised to all that loue him, and shal by shauing their corporall crownes beare the aduersitie, & contemne the prosperitie of this world. MarginaliaSimon Magus shauen as he saitthBut the shauing which Simō Magus vsed, what faithful mau doth not detest together with his magical arte? The which at the first apparance hath a shew of a shauē crown, but if you marke his neck you shall finde it curtalled in such wise as you will saye it is rather meete to be vsed of the Symonistes then of the Christians. And such (of folishe men) be thought worthye of the glorye of the eternall crowne: wheras in deede for their ill liuing they are worthye not onely to be depriued of the same, but also of eternall saluation. MarginaliaThe difference betwene the shauing of Peter & of Symon Magus.I speake not thys agaynst them that vse this kinde of shauing, and liue catholikely in fayth and good workes, but I surely beleue there be diuerse of them be very holy and godly men. Amongst the which is Adamnan the Abbot and worthye priest of the Columbians: who when he came embassador from his countrey vnto king Alfride desired greatly to see our monastery: where he declared a wonderfull wisedome, humilitie and religion, both in his maners and wordes: Amongst other talke I asked him why he, that did beleue to come to þe crowne of life that should neuer haue end, did vse contrarye to hys beliefe a definite image of a crowne on his head. And if you seeke (quoth I) the followship of S. Peter, why doe you vse the fashion of hys crowne whom S. Peter dyd accurse, and not of hys rather with whom you desire to liue eternallye. Adamnan answered, saying: you know right well (brother) though I vse Symons maner of shauing after the custome of my countrey: yet do I deteste and with all my hart abhorre his infidelitie. MarginaliaIn outward habite christiās ought not resemble wicked doers.I desire notwithstanding to imitate the footesteps of the holy Apostle as farre forth as my power will extend. Then sayd I: I beleue it is so. But then is it apparant you immitate those thinges which þe apostle Peter did (from the bottom of your hart) if you vse þe same vpō your face that you know he dyd. For I suppose your wisdome vnderstādeth þt it is right decēt, to differ in þe trimming your face or shauing from hys whō in your hart you abhor. And cōtrariwise as you desire to immitate þe doings of him whō you desire to haue a mediator betwene god & you: so is it mete you imitate þe maner of his aparel and shauyng. MarginaliaThe Scotish monks and the English mōks differed in their shauing.Thus much said I, to Adamnus who semed thē wel to like of our churches: in so much that he returnyng into Scotland, reformed many of his churches there after our celebration: albeit he could not do so amongst the Monkes wt whom he had speciall authoritie. He endeuored also to haue reformed their maner of shauing if he had bene able. And now (O King) I exhorte your maiestie to labour together with your people (ouer whom the king of kings and Lorde of lordes hath made you gouernour) to immitate likewise in all these poyntes the catholike & apostolical churches. So shall it come to passe that in þe end of this your temporall kingdome the most blessed prince of the Apostles shal open you the gates of the heauenly kingdome together with the other electe of God. MarginaliaIf Peter shal let in the elect of God into heauen, Christ thē serueth in little steede The grace of the eternall king preserue you moste dearlye beloued sonne inChrist long time to reigne ouer vs to the great tranquilitie of vs all. When thys letter was redde before king Nayton with other of hys learned men, and was diligentlye translated into hys proper langage: he semed to reioyce very much at the exhortation therof. Insomuch as rising vp from amonge hys noble men, he kneled on the ground, and gaue God thankes that he had deserued to receaue so worthy a present out of England: and caused it forthwith by publique proclamatiō to be written out, learned, and obserued throughout all the prouinces of the Pyctes: defacing þe errours that had bene vsed there by the space of. vij. C. and. iiij. yeares. For all the ministers of the altar and all Monkes were shauen on the crowne. And all the people reioyseed for the new discipline of the moste blessed prince of the Apostles S. Peter which they had receaued.[Back to Top]
MarginaliaA note to admouish the reader.¶ By thys Monkishe letter aboue prefixed, voyde of all Scripture, of all probatiō and truth of historye, thou mayest note, gentle reader: how this vaine tradition of shauen crownes, hath come vp, & vpō how light and trifling occasion: which in very dede was none other, but the dreaming phantasies of Monkes of that time, falselye grounding vpon the example of Peter: whom by no olde monument of any auncient recorde they can euer proue, eyther Peter or Symon Magus to haue beene shauen. Moreouer in the sayd letter also is to be noted, how the Scottish clergy at that seasō, did wear no such priestly crownes, as our english churchmen then dyd.[Back to Top]
But to cut of this matter of shauing, more worthye to be laught at, then to be storied, let vs now agayne returne, where as we left at king Iue, of whom W. Mamesbery, and Fabian in his chronicle doo recorde,
MarginaliaFabia. ca. 141
Guliel. Mamesb. de Reg.that when the foresaid Iue had ruled the Westsaxons by the terme of. 37. yeres, by the importunate perswasion, and subtile policie of his wyfe Ethelburga, was allured to go to Rome, and there to be made a Monke. MarginaliaAn. 724.Whych Ethelburga, after shee had a long time laboured hym to leaue the world, and could not bring about her purpose: vpon a season when the king and she had rested them in a fayre palace richly behanged, and were vpon the morrow thence departed: she by her commaundement caused the sayde palace to bee replenished with all kinde of filth and doung, And hogs and vile beastes therin to be layd, as wel in the chambers, as other houses of office. And in their own chamber where they did lye, ther was a Sow layd with her yong pygs. MarginaliaEthelburge the queene persvvadeth her husband to be a Monke.And when she knew þt this palace was thus deformed, being a certē space out of the towne, she besought the king to visit the sayd palace. And when she had brought him therunto, she sayde to him: MarginaliaThe crafty hed of a woman.I pray you, my Lord, behold nowe this house: where are now the rich tappets, and clothes of golde & silke, and other rich apparel, that we left here this other day? And where be the delicacies & pleasant seruitours, and costly dishes, that you and I latelye were serued with? Be not al these passed and gone? My Lord, (saith she) in like maner shal we vanish away as sodaynly, as ye see these worldly things been passed. And our bodies which now be delicately kept, shal fal & turn into þe filth of þe earth. Wherfore haue in mynd my wordes that before tyme to you I haue often shewed and told, and busy you to purchase that palace that euer shal endure in ioy without transmutation.
MarginaliaKyng Iue resigning hys kingdom, wēt to Rome & became a monke.By meane of these wordes and other, the Quene turned so the kinges minde, that shortlye after he resigned the gouernaunce of hys kingdome vnto Ethelardus his neuew: and for the loue of Christ tooke vpon him the habite of a poore man. And setting a part al the pompe and pride of this wycked world, associated himselfe in the felowship of poore men, and trauailed to Rome wt great deuotion, when he had bene king of Westsaxons, as before is sayd. 37. yeares. After whose departing, the foresayd Ethelburga his wife, wēt vnto Barking. 7. miles[Back to Top]