K. Richard. 2. Iohn Wickliffe. Ph. Repington. I. Asheton. N Herford.
tain and defend, in scholes or out of scholes, the sayd conclusions hereticall (as he called them) or erroneous, and afterward to geue certificate truly and plainly touching the premisses. And thus for that day the assemble brake vp to the next, and so to the next,
MarginaliaThe 24. day of Nouemb. an. 1382. and the third day beyng monday, the 24 day of Nouemb. Ex Regist. W. Courtney.[Back to Top]
On the which day, in the presence of the Prelates and the Clergy in the Chapter house of Saint Frideswyde, came in Phillip Repington (otherwise called of the brethren afterward Rampington) who their abiured the conclusions and assertions aforesayd, in this forme of wordes as followeth.
MarginaliaThe abiuration of Philip Repingtō. In Dei Nomine. Amen..
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I Phillip Repington, canon of the house of Leicester, acknowledging one Catholique and Apostolike fayth do curse and also abiure al heresy, namely these heresies and errours vnder written, condemned and reproued by the decrees canonicall, and by you most reuerēd father, touchyng which hitherto I haue bene diffamed: cōdemnyng moreouer and reprouyng both them and the authors of them, and do confesse the same to be catholically cōdemned: And sweare also by these holy Euaungelies, which here I hold in my hand, and do promise, neuer by any perswasions of men, nor by any way hereafter, to defend or hold as true, any of the sayd conclusions vnderwritten: but doe and will stand and adhere in all things, to the determination of the holy Catholike Church, and to yours, in this behalfe. Ouer and besides, all such as stand contrary to thys fayth, I do pronounce them with their doctrine & followers worthy of euerlasting curse. And if I my selfe shall presume at any tyme to hold or preach any thing contrary to the premisses, I shal be content to abide the seueritie of the canōs. Subscribed with mine owne hand, and with myne own accord. Phillip Repington.
MarginaliaPh. Repington after his abiuration became a terrible persecutor. And thus the sayd Rampington was discharged, who afterward was made bishop of Lincolne, and became at length the most bitter and extreme persecutor of this side, of all the other bishops within þe realme, as in proces hereafter may appeare.
Philip Repingdon's abjuration is copied from Lambeth Palace Library, Courtenay Register, fo. 34v.
After the abiuration of this Repington, immediately was brought in Iohn Ayshton, student of Diuinitie.
Foxe is drawing his account of John Aston's refusal to plead or abjure from Lambeth Palace Library, Courtenay Register, fo. 32v.
: who beyng examined of those conclusions, and willed to say hys mynde, aunswered: that he was to simple and ignoraunt, and therfore would not, and could not aunswer any thyng clearely or distinctly to those conclusions. Wherupon, the Archb. assigned to hym Doctor W. Rugge.
This is Robert Rygge, it is just that he is misidentified in Courtenay's register.
the Vicechauncelor, and other diuines such as he required himself to be instructed in the mystery of those conclusions agaynst the after noone:
MarginaliaA short time my Lord, for a mā in one forenoone to learne a fayth against his cōscience.
who then appearyng agayne after dinner before the Archbishop and the prelates,
MarginaliaThe abiuration of Iohn Asheton.
did in like sort and forme of wordes abiure as did Repington before.[Back to Top]
MarginaliaEx chron. Monast. D. Albani.
I. Asheton. Of this Iohn Ayshton we read, that afterward by Tho. Arundell Archb. of Cant. he was cited and condemned,.
This expression of uncertainty about John Aston's fate comes from a British Library, Harley MS 3634, a version of Thomas Walsingham's Chronica majora which Foxe obtained from Matthew Parker. This manuscript is printed as Chronicon Angliae, ed. E. M. Thompson, Rolls Series 64 (London, 1874); this material is on p. 350. This replaces Foxe's earlier account of Aston (on 1563, p. 102), which based largely on Bale's notes in the Fasciculi Zizaniorum (Bodley Library MS Musaeo e 86, fos. 80v-81r). For the record, Aston abjured in November 1382, but soon withdrew his recantation and resumed a career as a Lollard preacher. He died by 1407..[Back to Top]
but whether he dyed in prison, or was burned, we haue yet no certentye to shewe. This is certayne by the plaine wordes of the cronicle of S. Albans, that when the arch. with his doctors and fryers sate in examination vpon thys sayd Iohn Ashton, in London:
MarginaliaThe Londiners opē the dore where the Archb. sate agaynst I. Asheton.
the Londiners brake open the dore of the conclaue, ipsumq̀; Archiepiscopum in ciuitate sedentem impediuerō, cum processum fecisset contra Ioannem Ashton, &c.
That is and did let the Archbyshoppe himselfe sitting in the Citie of London. When hee woulde haue made processe agaynst Iohn Ayshton. an. 1382. And thus much of Iohn Ayshton.[Back to Top]
MarginaliaNic Herford would not appeare. As touching Nicholas Hereforde during the tyme of this conuocation, he dyd not appeare.
Actually Nicholas Hereford appealed his case to Rome, and, evading arrest, journeyed there in person. Urban VI had him imprisoned, but Hereford escaped in 1385. He returned to England and was imprisoned in January 1387, but he was free by the summer. He remained an important disseminator of Lollard ideas, but he made his peace with the authorities. He held various offices in the Church, including a stint as chancellor of St. Paul's cathedral and as chancellor of the diocese of Hereford.[Back to Top]
: and therefore had the sentence of excommunycation.
MarginaliaNic. Herford appealed frō the Archb.
Against which hee put hys appeale from the Archb. to the king and his counsell. The Archb. would not admit it, but finding stayes and stoppes,
MarginaliaNic. Herford cast in prisō.
caused him to be apprehended and enclosed in pryson.
MarginaliaHerford escapeth out of pryson.
Notwithstandyng through the will of God, and good meanes, he escaped out of the pryson, returning agayne to his former exercise, and preaching as he did before, albeit in as couert and secrete maner as he could. Whereupon the Archbishop thundring out his boltes of excommunication against hym, sendeth to all pastors and ministers, willing thē in all churches, and all festiual dayes, to diuulge the sayd his excōmunycation agaynst him, to all men. Wryteth moreouer and sēdeth speciall chardge to all and singular of the laitye, to beware that their simplicitie be not deceaued by hys doctryne, but that they like catholick children wil auoyd him, & cause hym of all other to be auoyded.[Back to Top]
Furthermore, not contented with this, addresseth also hys letters vnto the king requiring also the ayde of his tēporall sword to chop of his necke, whom he had already cast downe. See and note reader, the seraphicall charitie of these priestly prelates towards the poore redemed flock of Christ. And yet these be they which washing their handes wyth Pylate, say and pretend: Nobis non licet interficere quenquam: i. It is not our partes to kill any man. The copy of þe letter written to the kyng is this.[Back to Top]
¶ The letter of the Archbishop to the Kyng.
MarginaliaThe cruell letter of the Archb. agaynst M. Herford to the king..
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TO the most excellent prince in Christ, &c. William. &c. gretyng in hym by whom kinges do reigne, and princes beare rule. Vnto your kingly celsitude by the tenor of these presentes we intimate, that one maister Nich. Herford D. of diuinitie, for his manifest contumacie and offence in not appearing before vs beyng called at the day and place assigned, therfore is inwrapped in the sentence of the greater curse, publikely by our ordinary autority. And in the same sentence hath cōtinued now forty dayes, & yet still cōtinueth with indurate hart, wickedly contemnyng the keyes of the church, to the great perill both of his soule, and to the pernitious example of other. For so much therfore, as the holy mother the Church hath not to do or to procede any further in this matter:
MarginaliaThis is not to seeke agayne that which is lost by the rule of Ezechiel. we humbly desire your kingly maiesty, to direct out your letters for the apprehendyng of the sayd excommunicate according to the custome of this realm of England, wholsomely obserued and kept hitherto: to the intent, that such whom the feare of God doth not restrayne from euill, the discipline of the secular arme may bridle and plucke backe from offendyng. Your princely celsitude the Lord long continue. From Lamheth the xv. of Ianuary.
This letter is copied from Lambeth Palace Library, Courtenay Register, fol. 69r.
To this letter of the Archb. might not the king (gentle reader) thus aunswere agayne, and aunswer well?
MarginaliaProsopopoia. What the kyng myght haue aunswered agayne. YOur letters.
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with your complaynt and requestes in the same conteyned, we haue receiued and well considered. For the accomplishing wherof, ye shall vnderstād that as we are redely bent to gratifie and satisfie your mynd in this behalfe on the one side: so we must beware agayne on the other, that our autoritie be not abused either to oppresse before we know, or to iudge before we haue tryed. Wherfore, for so much as you in your letters do excite and sharpen the seuere discipline of our secular sword, against one Nich. Herford, for his not appearing before you: & yet shewing in the said your letters no certayne cause to vs what you haue to charge him withall: we therfore following the example of Alexander Magnus, or rather the rule of equitie in opening both our eares indifferently, to heare as well the one part, as the other: do assigne both to him, when as he may be found, and to you whē you shalbe called a terme to appeare before vs. To the intent that the controuersie betwene you and him, standing vpon pointes of religion, beyng tried by the true touchstone of Gods holy word, due correction indifferently may be ministred according as the offence shall be found. In the meane tyme, this we cannot but something maruell at in your said letters: First, to see you men of the church, and aungels of peace to be so desirous of bloud. Secondly, to consider you agayne so fierce in prosecutyng the breache of your lawe: and yet so colde in pursuyng the breach of the expresse law of God and his cōmaundements. Thirdly, to behold the vnstable doublenes in your proceedings, who pretendyng in your publike sentence, to become as intreaters for them to vs in the bowels of Iesus Christ, that we will withdraw from them the rigour of our seuerity, & yet in your letters you be they which most set vs on. If not appearyng before you: be such a matter of contumacie in case of your law, that it is in no case to be spared: what should then our princely discipline haue done to men of your callyng: Henry Spencer B. of Norwich, being at Cant. was sent for by our speciall commaundement to come to our speach, denied to come, and yet we spared him.
MarginaliaBishops of Cāt. appeared not before their kinges. and yet they were not persecuted. Iohn Stratford Archb. your predecessour, beyng required of our progenitor kyng Edward the third to come to him at York, would not appeare: by the occasion wherof, Scotland the same time was lost, and vet was he suffred. The like myght be said of Robert Wynchelsey in the dayes of king Edward the first, and of Edmund Archb. of Cant. in the dayes of K. Henry 3. Steuen Langhton was sent for by K. Iohn to come, he came not. The like contumacie was in Becket toward K. Henry 2. Also in Anselme toward K. Henry 1. All these for their not appearing before their princes, ye do excuse, who notwithstanding might haue appeared without daunger of lyfe. This one man for not appearing before you, you thinke worthy of death: whose lyfe you would haue condemned
This is not actual letter Richard II wrote. It is instead a fictional composition - and described as such - which Foxe wrote and presents what he feels Richard II should have said.