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229 [214]

K. Edward the Confessor. K. Edward the Confessor. Actes and Monum. of the Church.

such seculare actions, to be exercised, vnlesse vrgent necessitie compel therunto.

Let euery christen man prepare himself thrise a yere to approch to the receauyng of the Lords body: so to eat the same as not to hys iudgement but to his wholesome remedye.

If a minister of the altare do kyll any man, or haue intangled himselfe in any notorious cryme, let hym bee depriued both from his order & dignitie.

MarginaliaAdultresse wemen to lose their eares, and noses. If any maried woman (her husbande beyng alyue) haue committed adultery and be proued with the same: to her open shame in the world, let her haue her nose and eares cut of.

Let euery widow after the death of her husbande: so remayne sole xij. monethes: or of she marry, let her loose her ioynter.

And here an ende of the Danish kynges. Now to the Englishe kinges agayne, whose right lyne commeth in agayne in Edward here followyng.

¶ King Edward called the Confessor. 
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Foxe constructs his favourable picture of Edward the Confessor's character from a bricolage of Brompton's Chronicle (J. Brompton, 'Chronicon Johannis Brompton Abbatis Jornalensis.' In Historiæ Anglicanæ Scriptores X. [....], ed. by Roger Twysden [London, 1652], cols 936-7, Fabian's Chronicle (R. Fabyan, The Chronicle of Fabian [London, 1559], book 6, ch. 210, and Ranulph Higden's Polychronicon (J. R. Lumby, ed. Polychronicon Ranulphi Higden monachi Cestrensis: together with the English translations of John Trevisa and of an unknown writer of the fifteenth century [London: Rolls Series, 1879], book 6, ch. 23). For the early events of Edward's reign, Foxe relies heavily on Fabian, noting (without being able completely to resolve) the varying accounts of the death of Earl Godwin that he found in Fabian, William of Malmesbury, Brompton and Polydore Vergil. Thereafter, he tended to follow John Brompton's Chronicle (col. 945-9) through to the end of the reign. For the final prophecy and death of Edward, he took up the leads suggested in Bale's Catalogus, p. 64, also consulting John Brompton (col 954) and William of Malmesbury's Gesta Regum (book 2, ch. 228). We should note the marginal claim by Foxe also to have used the 'Historia Richardi 2', a fourteenth-century compilation also known as the 'Evesham Chronicle', a manuscript version of which (now BL Cotton Tiberius C ix) may possibly have been in Archbishop Matthew Parker's collection (for an edition of the work, collating the two surviving manuscript version of it, see George B. Stow (ed.), Historia Vitae et Regni Ricardi Secundi [Pennsylvania, 1977]). The laws of Edward the Confessor are taken largely from Brompton (col. 957), with the post-Conquest repudiation of most of them taken from Matthew Paris' Chronica Majora (H. R. Luard, ed. Matthaei Parisiensis, monachi Sancti Albani. Chronica majora. 7 vols [London: The Rolls Series, 1872-1884], 2, p. 43). For the fascinating passage on the 'office of a king', redolent of the duties of kingship under law, Foxe interestingly notes in the margin his use of a manuscript from the Guildhall, London ('Ex libro Reg. antiquorum in praetorio Londiniensis'). It is possible that this was a source that had been found by William Lambarde in the course of his research for his collection of Anglo-Saxon laws, published by John Day in 1568 (William Lambarde, Archaionomia). If so, Foxe presumably had access to the research that Lambarde had carried out in preparation for its publication.

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King Edward the confessour.
FOr somuch as God of his mercy and prouidēce, who is onely the maker of heyres: thought it so good, after the wofull captiuitie of this Englishe nation, to graunt nowe some respite of deliuerance, in takyng away the Danish kynges without any issue left behynd them: MarginaliaEngland afflicted by the Danes the space of. CClv. yeares.who reigning here in England, kept the English people in miserable subiectiō, about the space of xxviij. yeares, and þt frō their first lādyng in þe time of kyng Brightricus: wasting & vexing this land, the terme of yeares: Now their tyrannie here commyng to an end, the next electiō & right of the crowne fell (as apperteyned) to Edward the yonger sonne of kyng Egelred and Emma, a mere Englishman: who had bene now long banished in Normandy, as is aboue declared. A man of a gentle and soft spirite: more applyable to other mens counsailes, then able to trust to his own: of nature & condition so geuen from all warre and bloudshed: that beyng in his banishment, he wished rather so to continue all hys lyfe long in that priuate estate, then by warre or bloudshed to aspire to any kyngdome. This Edward, after the death of Canutus the second or hardecanute, being sent for of þe Lords into Normādy to take possessiō of the realme, although he something mistrusted the vnconstant and fekle heads of Englishemen (yet hauyng sufficient pledges layd for hym in Normandy) came ouer, with a few Normandes accōpanyed: MarginaliaKing Edwarde crowned.and not long after was crowned at Winchester an. 1043. by Edsius thē archbishop of Cant. And not lōg after that, he maried Godith, or Editha daughter of earle Godwyne: whō he entreated after such sort, that he neither put her frō hys bed, nor yet delt with her fleshly. Whether it were for hate of her kynne (as most lyke it was) or for loue of chastitie, it remayneth vncertaine. MarginaliaHoly K. Edward, a virgine in maryage.But most writers agree, that he continued hys life without offence with woman: for the whiche he is hyghly exalted emong our story writers and called holy king Edward. After he had thus taken vpon hym the gouernance of the realme, he guided the same with much wisedome and iustice, the space of xxiiij. yeares, lackyng two monethes: from whom issued (as out of a foūtaine) much godlynes, mercy, pitie, and liberalitie toward the poore: gentilnes and iustice toward all men: and in all honest lyfe he gaue a vertuous exāple to his people. He discharged the Englishmen of þe great tribute called Dane gelt, which before tyme was yearelye leuied to the great impouerishyng of the people. He subdued the Scottes and Welshmē, which in their borders begā to rebell against hym. In much peace he continued hys reigne, hauing no foren enemy to assault him: Albeit, as some chronicles do shew, certaine Danes & Norgwaines there were, which entēded to set vpon England: But as they were, takyng shipping, there was brought to them first one bowle, thē an other, of mede or methe, MarginaliaMethe in Greke signifyeth dronkēnesto drinke vpon a bon viage.Thus one cup cōmyng after an other: after drinke came dronkennes, after dronkennes folowed ianglyng, of ianglyng came strife: and strife turned into stripes, wherby many were slayne, and the other returned to their home agayne. And thus the mercyfull prouidence of the Lord dispatched that iourney.

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In the tyme of this Edward: Emma his mother, was accused to be familiare with Alwyn the bishop of Winchester: vpon whiche accusation (by counsaile of earle Godwin) he tooke from her many of her iewels, and caused her to be kept somdele more straitly, in the abbay of warwell: and the byshop committed to the examination of the clergy. Polydore saith, they were both in prison at Winchester: where she sorowyng the defame both of her selfe and of the bishop, and trusting vpon her conscience, desireth them of iustice, offeryng her selfe ready to abyde any lefull triall: ye, although it were with the sharpest.

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Then diuers of the bishops made labour to the kyng for them both, & had obteyned, had not Robert then archbishop of Cant. stopped the sute. Who not well cōtented with their labour sayd vnto thē: MarginaliaAccusation of the archbishop against Emma, the kings mother.My brethren, how dare ye defende her which is no woman but a beast? she hath defamed her owne sonne the kyng, and taken her lecherous leman the bishop. And if it be so, that the woman will purge the priest? who shall then purge the woman that is accused to be cōsentyng to the death of her sonne Alphred: and procured venym to the poysonyng of her sonne Edward? But whither she be gyltie or gyltles: yf she will will go barefooted for her selfe iiij. steppes, and for the bishop v. continually vpon ix. ploughe shares fier hote: then if she escape harmeles, he shalbe assoyled of this chalenge and she also.

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To this she graūted, the day was appointed: at which day, the king and a great part of his nobles were presēt, except onely Robert tharchbishop. This Robert had ben a monke of a house in Normandy, and an helper of the kyng in his exile: and so by the sendyng for of the kyng, came ouer and was made first bishop of London, after archbishop of Cant. MarginaliaFalse accusation purged by hote yron.Thē was she led blindfield vnto the place betwen ij. men, where the yrons lay brēnyng hote, and passed the ix. shares vnhurte. At last sayd she, good Lord whē shal I come to þe place of my purgatiō. Whē they thē opened her eyes, and she saw that she was past the payne, MarginaliaA straunge thyng, if it were true, & without false cōueyaunce.she kneled downe geuyng God thankes.

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Then the king repented (sayth the story) and restored vnto her, that he had before taken from her, and asked her forgeuenesse. But þe archbyshop fled into Normādy.

Nere about this time, about the x. yeare of his reygne: fell passyng great snow, from the begynning of Ianuary, to the xvij. day of March. MarginaliaGreat snow and mortalitie in England.After which insued a great mortalitie of mē, morrian of cattel and by lightning the corne was wonderfully blasted and wasted.

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Not lōg after this: a certaine earle of Bolōgne, who had maried kyng Edwardes sister, came into England: through the occasion of whom: when execution should be done vpon the citezins of Douer, for a fray betwene them, and the Earles men: MarginaliaVariaunce betwene the king & Godwyn.variance happened betwene kyng Edward and earle Godwyng. Who perceauyng that he could not withstand the kings malice, (although he gathered a great company to worke therin what he could) fled into Flaunders, MarginaliaGodwyn with hys v. sonnes outlawed. Godwyn reconciled to the king Vpon pledges geuen.and was outlawed with his v. sōnes. King Edward repudiated his wife þe daughter of the sayd Godwyn: but the second yeare after, by mediatours he was reconciled to the kyng agayne, and called frō banishment: And for his good a bearyng he gaue for pledges his ij. sonnes, Byornon, and Tostius, which were sent to the duke of Normandy there to be kept.

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MarginaliaWilliam Duke of Normandy came into England to K. Edward.Duryng the tyme of the outlarie of Godwyn: William Bastard duke of Normandy came with a goodly company into England to see kyng Edward, and was honorably receaued. To whom the kyng made great chere, And at his returne inriched him with great giftes

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