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1333 [1333]

K. Henry. 8. The kinges letter to the Emperour and Christen Princes.

refuse to come or sende any to this pretended Counsel. We wyll in no case make hym our arbiter, which not many yeares past, our cause not heard, gaue sentence agaynst vs. We wyll that such doctrine, as we folowing the scripture, doe professe, bee rightly examined, discussed, and brought to the Scripture, as to the only touchstone of true learnynge. MarginaliaRead before pag. 1200. col. 2.We will not suffer them to be abolyshed, ere euer they be discussed, ne to be oppressed, before they be knowen: much lesse we will suffer them to be troden downe being so clearely true. MarginaliaSpoken lyke a kyng.No, as there is no iote in scripture, but we wyll defende it, though it were with ieoperdie of our lyfe, and perill of thys our Realme: so is there nothing, that doth oppresse this doctrine, or obscure it, but we wyll be at continuall warre therwith. As we haue abrogated all olde popishe traditions in this our realme, which eyther dyd helpe his tyrannye, or increase his pride: so if the grace of God forsake vs not, we wyll well foresee, that no new naughtie traditions be made with our consent, to bynde vs or our realme. MarginaliaWoulde God the kyng here had kept promise, when he made the 6. articles.

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If men wyll not bee willynglye blynde, they shall easilye see euen by a due and euident proufe in reason, though grace doth not yet by the worde of Christ enter into them, howe small the authoritye of the Byshop of Rome is, by the lawfull denyall of the Duke of Mantua for the place. For if the Byshop of Rome did earnestlye intende to kepe a Councell at Mantua, and hath power by the law of God, to call princes to what place hym lyketh: why hath he not also authoritye, to choose what hym lysteth? The byshop chose Mantua: MarginaliaThe Duke of Mantua denieth the Pope hys Citie for hys Councell.the Duke kept hym out of it. If Paule the byshope of Romes authoritie be so great as he pretendeth, why could not he compel Federicus, Duke of Mantua, that the Councell myght be kept there? The Duke woulde not suffer it. No, he forbadde hym hys towne. How chaunceth it, that here excommunications flye not abroade? Why doth he not punishe this Duke? Why is hys power, that was wonte to be more then fulle, here emptie? wonte to be more then all, here nothyng? Doth he not call men in vayne to a Councell, if they that come at his callyng, be excluded the place, to þt which he calleth them? MarginaliaIf the Popes authoritie may be stopped by a Duke, what authoritie then hath he ouer kinges and Emperours?May not kynges iustelye refuse to come at hys call, when the Duke of Mantua may denye hym the place, that he chooseth? If other Princes order hym as the Duke of Mantua hath done, what place shall be lefte hym, where he maye keepe hys generall Councell? Agayn, if Princes haue geuen him this authoritye to call a Councell, is it not necessarye, that they geue hym also all those thyngs, without the which he can not exercise that hys power? Shall he call men, and will ye let him fynde no place to call them vnto? Truely he is not wonte to appoynte one of hys owne Cyties, a place to keepe the Councell in. No, the good man is so faythfull and frendly towarde other, that seldome he desireth Princes to be his gestes. And admit he should call vs to one of hys Cityes, should we safely walke within the walles of such our enemyes towne? Were it meete for vs there to discusse controuersies of Religion, or to keepe vs out of our enemyes trappes? meete to studie for the defence of such doctrine as we professe, or rather howe we myght in such a thronge of perylls be in sauegarde of our lyfe? MarginaliaExample that the Pope hath no power vpon places in other mens dominions.Well, in this one acte the Byshop of Rome hath declared, that he hath none authoritye vpon places in other mennes dominions, and therfore if he promyse a Councell in any of those, he promiseth that, that is in an other man to perfourme, and so may he deceyue vs agayne.

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MarginaliaDilemma agaynst the Pope.Now, if he call vs to one of his own townes, we be afraid to be at such an hostes table. We say, better to rise a hūgred then to go thence wt our bellies full. But they say, the place is found, we neede no more to seeke where þe Coūcel shall be kepte. As who sayth, that, that chaunced at Mantua, maye not also chaunce at Vincence: MarginaliaVincence a citie vnder the dominiō of the Venetians. and as thoughe it were very lyke, that the Venecians, men of such wysedome, shoulde not both foresee, and feare also that the wyse Duke of Mantua semed to feare. Certes, when we thynke vpon the state that the Venetians be in now, it seemeth no verye lykely thing, that they will eyther leaue Vincence theyr Citye to so many nations, without some great garrison of souldyers, or elles that they being elles where so sore charged all redy, will nowe norishe an armye there. And if they would, doth not Paule hymselfe graunt, that it should bee an euyll president and an euyll example to haue an armed Councell? Howe soeuer it shall be, we most hartely desire you, that ye will vouchsafe to read those thinges that we wrote this last yeare, MarginaliaOf thys writing read before pag. 1234.touchynge the Mantuan Councell. For we nothing doubte, but you, of youre equitye, will stande on our syde agaynste their subtyltye and fraudes, and iudge (except we be deceyued) that we in this businesse, neyther gaue so much to our affections, neyther without greate and moste iuste causes, refused theyr Councells, their Censures, and Decrees. Whether these our writynges please all menne, or no, we thinke we ought not to passe muche. No, if that, which indifferently is written of vs, maye please indifferent readers, our desire is accomplished. The false and mistaking of thinges by men parciall, shall moue vs nothinge, or elles very litle. If we haue sayd ought agaynst the deceyts of the Bishop of Rome, that maye seme spoken to sharpely, we praye you, impute it to the hatred we beare vnto vyces, and not to any euill wil that we beare him. No, that he and all his maye perceyue, that we are rather at stryfe with hys vyces, then with him and hys: our prayer is, that it may please God, at the laste to open their eyes, to make softe their harde hartes, and that they once maye with vs (theyr owne glorie set aparte) study to set forth the euerlasting glorie, of the euerlasting God.

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Thus mightye Emperour, fare you moste hartelye well, and ye Christen Princes, the pillers and staye of Christendome, fare ye hartely well. Also all ye, what people so euer ye are, which do desire, that the Gospell and glory of Christ maye florishe, fare ye hartely well.

As the Lord of his goodnes had rased vp Thomas Cromwell to bee a frende and patrone to the Gospell: so on the contrary side Sathan (whiche is aduersarye, an enemye to all good thynges) had hys organe also, whiche was Ste. Gardiner, by all wyles and subtile meanes to empeache and to put backe the same 

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Destruction of Becket's shrine

Foxe drew the text of these injunctions from Bonner's register (Guildhall MS 9531/12, fos. 27r-28v). Foxe omits the preamble and condenses most of the articles, but otherwise his version is accurate. To explain the contents of these articles Foxe relies on the basic schema he employs to explain events of the 1530s: if it is 'good', it was the work of Thomas Cromwell, if it is 'bad', it was the work of Stephen Gardiner. (Compare Foxe's introductory words to these injunctions, with those he supplied to the Ten Articles; regarding penance as a sacrament was anathema to Foxe, and he rushes by his text on the Ten Articles as hurriedly as possible). Here, as elsewhere, this explanation is inadequate. Although Foxe blames these injunctions on Gardiner, there is material in them, such as the lengthy denunciation of Thomas Becket (which was a preparation for the total destruction of his shrine at Canterbury that followed almost immediately), which were hardly Gardiner's work. In truth, the text of the injunctions reflects Henry VIII's distinctive theology, with his loathing of sacramentarians and married priests, his wariness regarding vernacular Bibles, together with his distaste for 'superstition' and for the cult of the saints - most particularly Becket. But Foxe, with hindsight, was aware that the Act of the Six Articles and the fall of Cromwell, will take place shortly and he is reading these injunctions in light of the supposed ascendancy that Gardiner and the conservatives were gaining over the king.

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Thomas S. Freeman

. Who after hee had brought his purpose to passe, in burnyng good Iohn Lābert (as ye haue heard) proceding still in his craftes and wyles, and thinking vnder the name of heresies, Sectes, Anabaptistes, and Sacramentaries, to exterminate all good bookes, and faithfull professours of Gods worde out of England, so wrought with the kyng, that the next yeare folowyng, whiche was of our Lord. 1539. he gaue out these Iniunctions, the copie and contētes wherof I thought here also not to be permitted, and are these.

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¶ Certeine other Iniunctions set forth by the authoritie of the kyng agaynst, Englishe bookes, Sectes, and Sacramentaries also with puttyng downe the day of Tho. Becket.

Marginalia1539.FIrst, that none without speciall licence of the kyng, transporte or bryng from outwarde parties into England, any manner of Englishe bookes, neyther yet sell, geue, vtter, or publish any such, vpon payne to forfaite all their goodes and cattels, and their bodyes to be imprisoned, so long as it shall please the kings maiesty.

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Item, that none shall Print, or bryng ouer any English bookes with annotatiōs or Prologues, vnlesse such bookes before bee examined by the kynges preuy counsaile, or others appointed by his highnes, and yet not to put therto those woordes: Cum priuilegio regali, without addyng ad imprimendum solum, neither yet to Print it, without the kynges priuiledge bee Printed therwith in the Englishe tonge, that all men may read

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