fethers still they gaue vnto her, so that by this meanes she was passyng well penned and fethered, and began to flee.
MarginaliaThe pope compared to a bird, fethered wyth other byrdes fethers.The other byrdes that thus had adourned her with goodly fethers beholdyng her to flee abroade, were maruelously delighted therwith. In the end, this byrde seyng her selfe so gorgeously fethered, and of all the rest to be had in honour: began to waxe proude and hauty, in so much that she had no regarde at all vnto them, by whō she was aduaūced:
MarginaliaThe first rising of the pope.
The proud prosperitie of the pope.yea, she punged thē with her beacke, plucked thē by the skynne and fethers, and in all places hurted them. Wherupon, the birdes sitting in councel agayne, called the matter in question, demaundyng one of an other what was best to be done touchyng this vnkynd byrd, whom they louyngly with their own fethers had decked and adourned: Affirming, that thei gaue not theyr fethers to that entent that she therby puft vp with pride, should contemptuously despise them all. MarginaliaThe decay of the pope described.The Pecocke therfore aunswereth first. Truly, saith he, for that she is brauely set forth with my paynted fethers, I wyll agayn take them from her. Then sayth the Falcon, and I also will haue myne agayne. This sentence at length toke place amōg them all, so that euery one plucked frō her those fethers, whiche before they had geuen, chalengyng vnto them their owne agayne. Now this proude byrde seing her selfe this to be dealt withall, began forth with to abate her hauty stomacke, and humbly to submit her self openly, confessyng and acknowledging that of her selfe she had nothyng: but that her fethers, her honor, and other ornamentes was their gift: she came into the worlde all naked and bare, they cladde her with comely fethers, and therfore of right may they receaue them agayne. Wherfore in most humble wise she desireth pardon, promising ta amend all that is past, neither would she at any time hereafter cōmit, wherby through pryde she myght lose her fethers agayne. The gentle byrdes that before had geuen theyr fethers, seyng her so humble and lowly, beyng moued with pitie, restored agayne the fethers whiche lately they had taken away, addyng withall this admonition. We will gladly, say they, behold thy fleyng among vs, so long as thou wilt vse thine office with humblenes of minde, whiche is the chiefest comelynes of all the reast: But this haue thou for certaynty, that if at any tyme hereafter thou extoll thy selfe in pride, we will straight wayes depriue thee of thy fethers, and reduce thee into thy former state wheerin we founde thee. Euen so oh you Cardinals (sayth Iohannes Rupescissanus) shall it happen vnto you. For the Emperour of Romanes and Almayne, and other Christian kynges, potentates, and prynces of the yearth, haue bestowed vpon you goodes, landes, and riches, that you should serue God, but you haue poured it out and consumed it vpon pryde, all kynde of wickednes, ryot, and wantonnes
Foxe has dropped the ending of the story, as given by Flacius, in which Rupescissa warned the cardinals that nobles and princes would strip the Church of its possessions. Foxe may well have felt uncomfortable with this in view of the way in which prominent Elizabethans had enjoyed benefits from Church property themselves.[Back to Top]
MarginaliaThe lyfe and story of Armachanus, archb. and primate of Ireland.IN the Cataloge of these learned & zelous defenders of Christ against Antichrist aboue rehearsed
Ralph Fitzralph was a conservative theologian, but his bitter enmity towards the mendicant orders made him an invaluable witness (from Foxe's point of view) to the alleged corruption of the medieval church. (Foxe makes this point emphatically in his notes following Fitzralph's 'Defensio curatorum'). The mendicant opposition to Fitzralph made him an even more valuable witness because it was possible to cast him in the role of a martyr (note the inaccurate claim that Fitzralph died in exile) although Foxe is careful not to call him one or to claim that Fitzralph's theology anticipated Protestants in any way. Foxe drew the biographical information on Fitzralph from Bale's Catalogus; the same work was the source for most of the details on the individual popes discussed. Foxe also drew a little material from Matthias Flacius' Catalogus testium veritatis. Foxe also exploited two medieval texts: Fitzralph's Defensio curatorum and Guillaume Saint-Amour's De periculis novissorum temporum.[Back to Top]
Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield
Armachanus is the Latin form of Fizralph's see, the archdiocese of Armagh.
The following account of Fitzralph's life - including the citations of Thomas Netter and other writers - is taken entirely from John Bale, Catalogus, pp. 443-5.
Bale was a great admirer of John Baconthorpe and here he exaggerates Baconthorpe's influence on Fitzralph. Actually there was not much connection between the two men and when Fitzralph was a student at Oxford, Baconthorpe was in Paris.
Wherupō, this Armachanus being requested to preach, made 7. or 8. sermons. MarginaliaArmachanus cited by the Friers, to appear before the pope.Wherin he propounded ix. conclusions agaynst the friers, for the which he was cited vp by the friers before this Pope Innocent the vi. to appeare. And so he did, who before the face of the Pope valiantly defended, both in preachyng and writting, the same conclusions, and therin stoode constātly vnto the death, as the wordes of Ihon Wicleff in his Trialogo do well testifie in this wise: Ab Anglorum Episcopis conductus Armachanus, nouem in Auinione conclusiones coram Innocentio 6. & suorum Cardinalium cœtu, contra fratrum mēdicitatē, audacter publicauit, verboque ac scriptis ad mortem vsque defendit. Tlhe like also testifieth of him VValdenus in fascilo zizāniorum. Also Volateranus reporteth the same. Gulielmus Botonerus testifiyng of hym in lyke maner, sayth: that Armachanus first reproued the beggyng friers, for hearyng the confessions of professed nonnes without licence of their superiours, & also of maried womē without knowledge of their husbāds. MarginaliaThe troubles & persecutions of Armachanus.What daungers and troubles he sustened by his persecutours, and how miraculously the Lord deliuered him frō theyr handes: In so much, that they metyng hym in the open stretes and in cleare day lyght, yet had no power to see hym, nor to apprehend hym. In what perill of theeues & searchers he was in, and yet the Lord deliuered him, yea and caused his money beyng take from him, to be restored to him agayne by portions, in tyme of his necessitie and famine. Also frō what daungers of the kynges officers, whiche commyng with the kynges letters, layd all the hauens for hym: yet how the Lord Iesus deliuered him, shewyng him by what wayes how to escape them. Moreouer, what appeals were layd agaynst hym, to the number of xvi. and yet how the Lord gaue hym to triumphe ouer all his enemies. MarginaliaArmachanus preserued manifold ways, by the lord.How the Lord also taught him, and brought him out of the profoūd vanities of Aristotles subtiltie, to the study of the scriptures of God. All this with much more, he him self expresseth in a certaine prayer or confession made to Christ Iesus our Lord, in which he describeth almost the whole hystory of his own lyfe. Whiche prayer I haue to shew in old writen hand, and hereafter (Christ willyng) intend as tyme serueth to publishe the same
This prayer is not mentioned by Bale. It was appended to Fitzralph's Summa de questionibus Armenorum. Judging from Foxe's description he obtained a copy of the poem rather than a copy of the treatise.
Tibi Laus, tibi gloria, tibi gratiarum actio, Iesu pijssime, Iesu potentissime, Iesu dulcissime: qui dixisti, Ego sum via, veritas & vita. Via sine deuio: veritas sine nubilo: et Vita sine termino. Quod tu te viam mihi ostendisti. Tu te veritatē me docuisti. Et tu te vitam mihi promisisti: Via eras mihi in exilio. Veritas eras in consilio. Et vita eris mihi in præmio. With the rest þt foloweth in the foresayd prayer.[Back to Top]
Thus what wer the troubles of this good man, and how he was cited vp by the friers to the Pope, you haue partly heard: Nowe what were his reasons and argumentes wherewith he defended his cause in the Popes presence, followeth to be declared. For the tractation whereof, fyrst I must put the reader in remembraunce of the controuersy mentioned before in the story of Guliel. de sancto Amore. Pag. 397. Also in the storye of the vniuersitie of Paris contending againe the friers. pag. 488. For so long dyd thys controuersie continue in the church, from the yeare. 1240. when the Oxford men began fyrst to stand against the friers: to the time of thys Armachanus, that is, to the yeare. 1360. and after hys tyme yet more encreased. So it pleased the secrete prouidēce of God (for what cause he best knoweth) to suffer[Back to Top]