ters MarginaliaThree doughters of the king noted.very vicious and of euill disposition: take good hede of them, and betymes prouide for them good husbands: least by vntimely bestowyng of the same, thou shalte not onely incurre great hurt & damage, but also vtter ruyne & destruction to thy self. To whom the Kyng in a rage sayd: Thou lying and mockyng hypocrite, thou knowest not where thou art, or what thou saiest: I think thou art mad or not well in thy wittes, for I haue neuer a daughter as all the world knoweth, and therfore thou opē lyer get thee out of our presence. To whō Fulco aūswered: no, & lyke your grace I lye not, but say truth: for you haue iij. daughters, which cōtinually frequent your court, and wholy possess your persō: and such iij. whores and noughty packes as neuer the like hath been hard of. I meane mischieuous pride, gredy couetousnes, and filthy luxurie. And therfore agayne I say, O King, beware of them, & out of hand prouide mariages for them, least in not so doyng, thou vtterly vndo both thy selfe and all the whole realme.[Back to Top]
The which his wordes, the King tooke in good part: with correction of him selfe, and confession of the same. Wherupon incontinently he called his Lordes and Barons before hym, vnto whom he declared the cōmonyng and monition of Fulco, who had willed hym to beware of his iij. daughters: pride, auarice, & luxury, with counsel out of hand to mary them: least further discommoditie should ensue both to him and þe whole realme, whose good counsel (my Lordes) I entend to follow, not doubting of all your consentes therunto. Wherefore here before you all, I geue my daughter swelling pride to wife, to þe proud Templars: my gredy daughter auarice to þe couetous order of Cicisterciā monks, & last of all, my filthy daughter luxury, to the riotous prelats of þe church, whō I think to be very mete mē for her: and so seuerally well agreing to al their natures that the like matches in this our realme are not to be founde for them. And thus much concernyng Fulco.[Back to Top]
Not long after this, it be fell that a certaine noble personage (Lord of Lemonice in litle Britaine, Widowmar9 by name) found a great substaunce of treasure both of gold and siluer hyd in the ground: wherof a great part he sent to Kyng Richard, as chief Lord and prince ouer the whole countrey. Which the Kyng refused saying he would either haue all or none,
MarginaliaHe that all would haue, shall all forgo.for that he was the principall chieftayne ouer the land. But the finder would not cōdescend to that. Wherfore the Kyng laid siege to a castel of his called Galuz, thinkyng þe treasure to lye there. But the kepers and warders of the castell seyng thē selues not sufficient to withstand the Kyng, offered to him the castell, desiring to depart with life and armour. To this the Kyng would no wise graunt, but bydde them to reenter the castell againe, and to defend it in all the forceable wise they could.
MarginaliaCouetous gredines plaged.It so be fel, that as the king with the duke of Brabant went about the castell, vewyng the places therof: a souldiour within, named Bertādus Cordoun, stroke the Kyng with an arrow in the arme,
MarginaliaThe death of king Richard the fyrst.wherupon the yron remainyng and festering in the wound, þe Kyng wtin ix. dayes after dyed: who because he was not content wt the halfe of þe treasure that an other mā foūd, lost all his own treasure þt he had. The king being thus wounded caused the man that stroke him, to be brought vnto him, and asked þe cause of him, why he so wounded him. Who aunswered agayne (as the story saith) that he thought to kill rather thē to be killed. And what punishment so euer he shoulde susteine, he was content, so þt he might kill him, which had before killed hys father & brethren.
MarginaliaK. Richard forgeueth hī that killed him.
Ex bibliothe. ca. Cartensi.
Ex Gualtero Hemyngford, monacho. Gisburnensi.The kyng hearing his words, frely forgaue him, & caused an hundreth shillings to be geuen him. Albeit (as the story addeth) after the death of the Kyng, the duke of Brabance, after great tormentes caused him to be hanged. Ex historia Regis Richardi 2. cui initiū. De patre istius bruti. &c. The story of Gisburne sayth, that the kyller of Kyng Richard, comming to the French kyng, thinkyngto haue a great reward, was commaunded to be drawē a sonder with horse, and his quarters to be hanged vp.
An other story affirmeth, and Gisburne partly doth testify the same, that a litle before the death of Kyng Richard: three abbats of the order Cistercian came to him, to whom he was confessed. And when he saw them somewhat stay at his absolutiō, had these wordes: that he did willingly commit his body to the earth, to be eaten of wormes: MarginaliaVaine fear of purgatorye.and his soule to the fire of purgatory there to be tormented till the iudgement, in the hope of God his mercy. Ex Iornalensi. Gisburn. & alijs. MarginaliaEx Iornal. Gisburnēsi. & alijs[Back to Top]
About the reigne of this kyng, the sayd Iornalensis maketh mention of Roger archbyshop of Yorke, MarginaliaMonks put out, & secular prieses receaued.whiche put out of his churche the monkes and placed for them seculare priestes: saying that he would rather wyshe ecclesiasticall benefices to be geuen to wanton priestes then to abhominable monkes, and that Thurstinus did sinne neuer worse in all his life then in buildyng þt house for monkes &c. An other story I haue whiche sayth, that this was the bishop not of Yorke, but of Couentry.[Back to Top]
This passage reflects the remarkable English protestant reversal of the accepted historiography of the reign of King John, whom medieval chronicles had, almost without exception, vilified. The process had begun with William Tyndale's The Obedience of a Christian Man (1528), which presented John's reign as that of a good king battling heroically against papal tyranny and it reached its canonical limits with Bale's drama, King Johan (see Caroline Levin, Propaganda in the English Reformation: Heroic and Villainous Images of King John [Lewiston, NY, 1988), esp. pp. 55-104). These reassessments all had, however, the weakness that they were not based on newly-discovered evidence, but a skewed reading of the sources that were already common knowledge. Foxe's account, at the first read, seems to rectify that deficiency, supported a favourable account of John's reign with quiverfuls of new sources: Matthew Paris, Roger of Howden's Chronicle, the life of John by Ralph Niger, Caxton's edition of the Brut, and the fourteenth-century chronicle known as the Eulogium Historiarum. These are carefully enumerated in the marginalia to the 1563 account, which would become a commonplace for English protestant polemicists thereafter.[Back to Top]
The account of John's reign is surprisingly detailed and circumstantial. It begins with Arthur, John's nephew, challenging his uncle's rights to the crown, supported by Philip Augustus, King of France. It alludes to Philip's conquest of Normandy before concentrating at length on the dispute over the election of the archbishop of Canterbury and Pope Innocent III's rejection of the royal candidate and installation of his own nominee, Stephen Langton. The consequences (the papal interdict, the royal confiscation of ecclesiastical lands and revenues, the failures of mediation and the excommunication of John) are all given substantial coverage. Following a digression to describe (and denounce) the Fourth Lateran Council, Foxe's narrative picks up the continued scheming of the clergy against the king, the Dauphin Louis' invasion, John's reconciliation with some of the rebellious nobles (Magna Carta goes unmentioned) and the king's death (by poisoning). The account was the first, thorough 'post-medieval' narrative of John's reign to be based on such a wide range of sources.[Back to Top]
Yet, as this project has argued in extensor elsewhere (Tom Freeman, 'John Bales' Book of Martyrs?: The Account of King John in Acts and Monuments', Reformation 3 (1998), 175-223) this section was very unlikely to have been written by Foxe, and that it was very probably an account of the reign, prepared by John Bale after his return to England in 1559, as part of a long-projected continuation of his Acts of the English Votaries, originally published in its first two parts in 1551, and which had ended with the reign of Richard I. We surmised that, when Bale realised that his final illness would prevent his completing the work, he sent the account of King John to Foxe, who readily incorporated it into the first book of the Acts and Monuments, itself evidently (the tell-tale signs are its irregular pagination and the awkward transition to the next book) a late addition to the work. This circumstantial reassignation of authorship is advanced on the basis of a detailed discussion of the sources used for the narrative, and the way in which they are handled. The account relies, directly or indirectly, on the following:-a) Roger of Howden's chronicleb) Roger of Wendover's Flores Historiarumc) Matthew Paris' Cronica Majorad) Matthew Paris' Historia Anglorume) The Barnwell Chroniclef) The Eulogium Historiarum, also quoted in William Caxton's The chronicles of England (London, 1482)g) Ranulph Higden's Polychroniconh) The chronicle sometimes known as the 'Annals of Winchester'The article, cited above, examines these borrowings, and the ways in which the sources were more available to Bale than to Foxe in 1563. It also demonstrates how the ways in which they were used are much more consistent with Bale's handling of historical sources than Foxe's. Whilst Foxe was capable of the heavily partisan and selective citation of his sources to construct his narrative, he was generally not disposed to inventive elaboration of them, such as occurs in this passage.[Back to Top]
One element of this account of King John's reign became the target for Foxe's critics after 1563. It concerned the final account of a monk poisoning the king. In 1565, the Catholic apologist Thomas Harding (in A Counterblast to M. Hornes vayne blast [Louvain, 1567], fols 312B-314A) attacked the credibility of Foxe's narrative by enumerating those sources which unambiguously attributed John's death to natural causes. Two years later, Thomas Stapleton questioned the credibility of the Eulogium Historiarum in the version edited and printed by Caxton. Foxe's response in the 1570 edition did not specifically refer to Stapleton's criticism, but responded indirectly in two ways: firstly, by the addition of another account of John's poisoning, taken from Walter of Guisborough's chronicle, in which the monks murder John with a poisoned dish of pears (see Freeman, 'John Bales' Book of Martyrs', p. 207; and p. 223). His second response was the late addition to the 1570 text of two texts, the first on the 'Primacy of the Popes' and the second entitled 'The Image of Antichrist'. Foxe's other changes in 1570 were minor (thus indicating that, even if he had not composed the narrative himself, he certainly was in accord with its views), and reflect the tensions and fears of catholic conspiracy prevalent in 1569-70. He inserted 'another chronicle' account of John's inconclusive conference with two papal legates in 1211 (taken from the Eulogium) and designed to emphasise that the Pope sought to humiliate the English king. He also expanded on a passage in 1563 in which Pope Innocent III announced that any soldiers invading England were entitled to war the livery of Crusaders. The revised passage read that the Pope promised the French king and his soldiers remission of sins if they invaded England. Foxe probably had the rebellion of the Northern Earls of 1569 in mind when he wrote that John submitted to the Pope from fear of foreign invasion and 'his own people, especially his lords and barons being rebelliouslye incited against him, as by the popes curses and interdictions against such as tooke hys part' (1570, p. 331). The passage did not change in the editions following 1570.[Back to Top]
University of Sheffield
MarginaliaKing Iohn.AFter the death of Kyng Richard called cure de Lyon, reigned his brother Ihon Earle of Moreton. Afterward the Archbishop put the crowne on his head, and sware him to defēd the church, and to maintayne the same and hir good lawes, and to destroy the euill. And except he though not in his minde to do this, the archbishop charged him, not to presume to take on him this dignity. And on S. Iohn Baptistes day next followyng, Kyng Ihon sayled into Normandy and came to Roane: where he was royally receiued, & truce cōcluded betwen him & the French king for a time. And thether came to him the Erle of Flaunders, & all other Lordes of Fraunce that were of Kyng Richards band and frendship, and were sworne vnto him.[Back to Top]
MarginaliaArthur of Brityne.Not long after this, Philip the French kyng made Arthure knight, and tooke his homage for Normandy, Britaine, and all other his possessions beyōd the sea: and promised him helpe against Kyng Ihon. MarginaliaA communication betwene the K. of England & the Frēch kingAfter this king Ihon and the Frenche kyng talked together with theyr Lordes, about one houres space: And the French kyng asked so much land for hym self and Kyng Arthure, that K. Iohn would graūt him none, & so departed in wrath.[Back to Top]
The same yeare, a legate came into Fraunce & commaunded the Kyng in payne of interdiction, to deliuer one Peter out of prison, that was elect to a bishoprike, and therupon he was deliuered.
And after that, the Legate came into England, and commaunded Kyng Ihon vnder payne of interdictiō, to deliuer the Archbishop whiche he had kept as a prisoner ij. yeares: whiche the Kyng denyed to do, till he had payd him. 6000. markes. Because he tooke him in harnes in a field agaynst hym, and sware hym vpon hys deliueraunce, that he should neuer were harnes agaynst any Christen man.[Back to Top]
This tyme, diuorce was made betwene Kyng Ihon and his wife, daughter of the earle of Glocester, because they were in the third degree of kinred.
MarginaliaMariage in the thyrd degree forbidden by the pope.
1200.And after, by the counsel of the French kyng, King Ihon wedded Isabell daughter of the Earle of Anguilla, and thē Artur of Bri