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1294 [1294]

K. Henry. 8. The storye of Iohn Lambert. His Articles.

MarginaliaThe ruine and dissolution of Abbeyes and monasteries in England.yeare, shortly after þe ouerthrowe of these Images and Pilgrimages, folowed also the ruine of the Abbayes & religious houses, which by þe speciall motion of þe Lord Cromwell (or rather and principally, by the singulare blessyng of almighty God) were suppressed, beyng gyuē a litle before, by acte Parlamēt, into þe kinges hand: wherupon, not onely the houses were rased, but theyr possessiōs also disparcled amōg þe nobilitie, in such sort, as all Friers, Monkes, Chanons, Nunnes, and other sectes of religion, were thē so rooted out of this realme from the very foundation, that there semeth by Gods grace, no possibilitie hereafter left for the generatiō of those straunge weedes to growe here any more, accordyng to þe true verdict of our Lord and sauiour Christ, in his Gospell, saying: Euery plantation beyng not planted of my father, shalbe pluckte vp by the rootes. &c. 

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What to modern readers was a perfectly natural physical reaction, almost a reflex, was to hostile commentators such as Foxe, a sign that Forest was dying without the calm stoicism that was a hallmark of the true martyr of God.

MarginaliaMath. 15.

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¶ The history of the worthy Martyr of God Iohn Lambert, otherwise named Nicolson, with his troubles, examinations and aūsweres, as well before the Archb. of Canterburye Warham, and other Byshops: as also before kyng Henry 8. by whom at length he was condemned to death and burned in Smithfield. Anno. 1538. 
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John Lambert

In the Rerum, Foxe presented a rather lengthy account of the martyrdom of John Lambert (Rerum, pp. 146-54). It began with a verbose description of Satan's unceasing efforts to stir up discord and of how, thanks to the devil, Henry VIII , after the dissolution of the monasteries, began to turn against the evangelicals. Foxe then related how Lambert got into a discussion of the sacrament with John Taylor and how this led to Lambert's arrest for heresy. This is followed by a detailed account of Lambert's trial before Henry VIII. (Foxe would reveal in the 1570 edition that his source for this narrative was one 'A. G'. This was very probably Anthon Gilby, who shared Lambert's theological beliefs and who shared a residence with Foxe in Frankfurt in 1554-55). This in turn is followed by an 'apostrophe' to Henry VIII, warning him (and all princes) that they would face divine judgement if they murdered God's saints. In the Rerum, Foxe also mentioned that Lambert had written a treatise defending his beliefs. Foxe summarised this treatise. (The work referred to was A treatyse made by Johan Lambert, was edited by John Bale and almost certainly he had informed Foxe of the treatise and its contents). Foxe concluded with a story of Thomas Cromwell having Lambert brought to him before his execution and begging the martyr's forgiveness. In the first edition of the Acts and Monumnts, Foxe reprinted the account from the Rerum, but also added some new material. He added the details that Thomas Bilney converted Lambert, that Lambert know both Latin and Greek, and that he was chaplain to the Merchant Adventurers in Antwerp. Most importantly, Foxe added the 45 articles charged against Lambert in 1532 and Lambert's responses to them. Foxe's source for these does not survive, but it was almost certainly a separate court book of the proceedings. Where Foxe found it is harder to answer; the natural place for it have been kept would have been Lambeth, but there is no other indication that Foxe consulted the records there before 1563.

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In the Dialogi sex Harpsfield made a number of pointed objections to the claims of Henry VIII and Elizabeth to being Supreme Heads of the English Church (Dialogi sex, pp. 989-91). Among other things, Harpsfield observed that Foxe had denounced Henry for executing Lambert and had even warned the king of his possible damnation (Dialogi sex, p. 991). Although he did not state it explicitly, Harpsfield had made a telling point: If Henry VIII was truly the Supreme Head of the Church, how could his judgement that Lambert was a heretic be questioned? Foxe saw the problem and, in the account of Lambert, he quietly dropped his 'apostrophe' to Henry VIII, although he replaced it with a general warning that even princes would have to account to God for their actions (This oration was dropped from the 1570 edition because Harpsfield had used it to question the validity of the title of Supreme Head of the English Church which had been claimed by Henry and Elizabeth). Foxe also added, for the first time, a note identifying 'A. G.' as the source for the account of Lambert's trial; this verification may also have been a response to Harpsfield.

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Foxe made other changes to the account of Lambert in 1570. He re-arranged the account to place it in a more coherent order. He also added more precise detail on the circumstances of Warham's examination of Lambert (concerning Frith's arrest and examination in 1538). He also added detail on the protracted agony of Lambert's execution, which he must have obtained from an eyewitness. Most importantly, Foxe finally obtained Bale's edition of A treatyse made by Johan Lambert…(Wesel, 1548?), STC 15180 and reprinted it. The 1570 account of Lambert was itself reprinted without change in subsequent editions of the Acts and Monuments.

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In some ways, the most surprising thing about Foxe's account of Lambert is that he included it in the Acts and Monuments at all. In several respects, it presented Foxe with severe embarassments. For one thing, as we have seen, Henry VIII's direct, and enthusiastic, involvement in Lambert's trial created problems for Foxe. Worse yet was the role of the future martyr Thomas Cranmer and of Foxe's ideal godly magistrate Thomas Cromwell, in condemning Lambert. Foxe did try to alleviate these embarrassments by unconvincingly attempting to blame Lambert's prosecution on Stephen Gardiner and other Henrician bishops (See A treatyse made by Johan Lambert…, ed. John Bale (Wesel, 1548?), STC 15180). Foxe also related an implausible tale of Cromwell asking Lambert for his forgiveness (It is highly unlikely that Cromwell would have had someone condemned by the king brought to his and that he would have sought the condemned man's forgiveness. This anecdote has to regarded as another attempt by Foxe to alleviate the embarrassment caused by Lambert's having been denounced by other evangelicals). Nevertheless the account of Lambert was of considerable use to Foxe for one basic reason: apart from John Frith, Lambert was the only Henrician martyr who articulated a Eucharistic theology with which Foxe was largely in agreement. Lambert, and his writings, were invaluable to Foxe in providing a Reformed ancestry for the theology of the Elizabethan church.

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Thomas S. Freeman

Marginalia1538.IMmediatly vpō the ruine and destruction of the Monasteries, the same yere, & in þe moneth of Nouemb. folowed the trouble and condemnation of Iohn Lambert the faithfull seruaunt of Iesus Christ, and Martyr of blessed memory 

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Lambert's trial before Henry VIII began on 16 November 1538; he was executed on 22 November 1538.

. This Lambert being borne and brought vp in Northfolke, was first conuerted by Bilney, and studyed in the Vniuersitie of Cambridge. Where, after that he had sufficiētly profited both in Latine & Greke, & had translated out of both tongues sondry thyngs into the English tongue, being forced at last by violence of the time, he departed from thence to the partes beyond the Seas, to Tyndall and Frith, MarginaliaLambert preacher to the English house at Antwarpe.& there remained the space of a yeare & more 
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Foxe does not mention that Lambert was summoned before Convocation on 27 March 1531 and then he returned to Antwerp.

, beyng preacher and chapleyn to the Englishe house at Antwerpe, till he was disturbed by Syr Thomas More, and by the accusation of one Barlow MarginaliaLambert brought from Antwarpe to London.
Lambert accused by one Barlow.
was caried frō Antwerpe, to London 
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This took place in 1532.

: where hee was brought to examination, first at Lambeth, then at the Byshops house at Otford, before Warham the Archbyshop of Caunterbury, and other aduersaries 
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The preceeding details about Frith's arrest and examination in 1538 were added in the 1570 edition.

, hauyng 45. articles ministred agaynst hym, whereunto he rendred aunswere agayn by writing. The whiche aūsweres for as much as they conteine great learnyng, and may gyue some light to the better vnderstandyng of the common causes of Religion now in controuersie, I thought here to exemplifie the same, as they came right happely to our handes. The Copie both of the Articles, and also of hys aunsweres, here in order foloweth. 
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Foxe is the only source for the articles, which follow, and for Lambert's responses to them. By Foxe's account, Lambert's replies were not only a very impressive performance, but also very advanced in their theology. In fact, Lambert's views, as presented by Foxe, are quite close to Foxe's views. And this underscores a problem: as the originals of the articles and the replies have not survived, there is no way to determine if Foxe revised either the articles or Lambert's answers.

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¶ Articles to the number of 45. layd to Lambert.

MarginaliaArticles agaynst Ioh. Lambert.IN primis, whether thou wast suspecte or infamed of heresie?

2. Whether euer thou hadst any of Luthers bookes, and namely syth they were condemned, and howe long thou kepst thē, and whether thou hast spent any study on them.

3. Whether thou wast constitute prieste, and in what diocesse, and of what Bishop?

4. Whether it be lawfull for a Priest to mary a wyfe, and whether a priest in some case, be bound by the law of god to marye a wyfe?

5. Whether thou beleuest, þt what soeuer is done of man, whether it be good or ill, cometh of necessitie.

6 Whether the Sacrament of the Altar be a Sacrament necessary vnto saluation, and whether after the consecration of the bread & wine done by the priest, as by the minister of God, there is the very bodye & bloud of Christ, in likenes of bread and wine?

7. Item, what opinion thou holdest touching the sacrament of Baptisme, whether thou doost beleue that it is a sacrament of the Church, and a necessary sacrament vnto saluation, and that a priest maye baptise, and that the order of baptising ordayned by the Church, is necessarye and wholesome?

8. Item, whether you beleue that matrymonye be a sa-crament of the Church necessarye to bee obserued in the Church, and that the order appointed by the Churche for the solemnisyng therof, is allowable and to be holden?

MarginaliaSacrament of orders.9. Item, whether thou doest beleue orders to be a sacrament of the Church, and that saying of Masse ordeyned by the Church, is to be obserued of Priests: whether it be deadlye synne or not, if it be omitted or contemned, and whether the order of priesthode were inuented by mans imagination, or ordeyned by God?

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MarginaliaSacrament of penance.10. Item, whether penaunce be a sacramēt of the church, and necessary vnto saluation: and whether auricular confession is to be made vnto the priest, or is necessary vnto saluation: and whether thou beleuest that a Christian is bound, besydes contrition of heart, hauing the free vse of an apt or mete priest, vnder necessitye of saluation, to be confessed vnto a priest and not vnto any lay man, be he neuer so good and deuout, and whether thou beleuest, that a priest in cases permitted vnto hym, maye absolue a sinner (being contrite and confessed) from his sinnes, and enioyne hym holsome penaunce?

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MarginaliaSacrament of confession.11. Item, whether thou doest beleue and holde, that the Sacrament of confirmation and extreme vnction, be sacramentes of the Church, and whether that they do profite the soules of them which receyue them, and whether thou beleuest the foresayd seuen Sacramentes, to geue grace vnto them that do duely receyue them?

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MarginaliaVnwritten verities.12. Whether all thynges necessarye vnto saluation, are put in holy Scripture, and whether thinges onely there put be sufficient, and whether some thinges vpon necessitie of saluatiō, are to be beleued and obserued, which art not expressed in Scripture?

MarginaliaPurgatory.13. Whether thou beleuest, that purgatory is, and whether that soules departed be therin tormented & purged?

MarginaliaPraying to Saintes.14. Whether holy Martyrs, Apostles, and Cōfessours, departed from this worlde, ought to be honoured, called vpon, and prayed vnto?

15. Whether Saintes in heauē, as mediatours, pray for vs?

MarginaliaPilgrimage.16. Whether thou beleuest that oblations & pilgrimages may be deuoutely and meritoriouslye done to the sepulcres and reliques of Sainctes?

MarginaliaLent fast.27. Whether the faste in Lent and other appoynted by the Canon lawe, and receiued in common vsage of Christian people (vnlesse necessitye otherwyse requyreth) are to be obserued?

MarginaliaWorshipping of Images.18. Whether it be laudable and profitable, that worshipfull Images be set in Churches for the remembraunce of Christe and his Saintes?

MarginaliaPraying for soules departed.19. Whether thou beleuest that prayers of men lyuyng, do profite soules departed and beyng in Purgatorye?

MarginaliaMerites.20. Whether men may merite and deserue both by theyr fastinges, and also by other deedes of deuotion?

MarginaliaPreaching without lycense.21. Whether thou doost beleue that mē prohibited of byshops to preach, as suspect of heresie, ought to cease from preachyng and teachyng, vntyll they haue purged them selues of suspition afore an hygher iudge?

22. Whether thou beleuest, that it is lawfull for al priests freelye to preach the worde of God, or no?

MarginaliaLay men to preach.23. Whether thou beleuest, that it is lawfull for laye men of both kyndes, that is to wyt, both men & women, to sacrifice and preach the worde of God?

MarginaliaThe Popes excommunication.24. Whether excommunication donounced by the Pope against all heretickes, do oblyge and bynde them before God?

MarginaliaSaying of Mattens.25. Whether euerye Priest is bounde to saye daylye hys mattens and euensong, according as it is ordeined by the Church, or whether he may leaue them vnsayde without offence or deadly sinne?

MarginaliaScripture in the mother tongue.26. Whether thou beleuest, that the heades or rulers, by necessitie of saluation, are bound to giue vnto the people, holy scripture in theyr mother language?

27. Whether it is lawfull for the rulers for some cause, vpon theyr reasonable aduisement, to ordeyne, that the scripture should not be delyuered vnto the people in the vulgare language?

28. Whether thou beleuest, that consecrations, hallowinges and blessinges, vsed in the Church, are to be praysed?

MarginaliaMaking of lawes in the Church.29. Whether thou beleuest that the Pope may make lawes and statutes, to bynde all Christen men to the obseruaunce of the same, vnder paine of deadly sinne, so that such lawes and statutes be not contrarye to the lawe of God?

30. Whether thou beleuest, that the Pope and other Prelates, & theyr deputies in spirituall thinges, haue power to excommunicate Priestes, and lay people that are ino-

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