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567 [567]

K. Richard. 2. B. of Norwiche the popes warriour. Actes and Mon. of the church.

Bulles, for that they gaue vnto hym so great autoritie, he caused to be published in the parliament house, and caused the copies of the same to be sent all about, and to be set vp and fastened vpon all church dores and Monastery gates that all men myght read them. In the which bulles these priuilegies were graūted, the copie wherof here followeth 

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This a papal bull granting Henry Despenser extraordinary powers to further his 'crusade'. It is taken from College of Arms MS Arundel 7 (see Thomas Walsingham, Historia Anglicana, ed. H. T. Riley, Rolls Series 28, 2 vols. [London, 1863-4], vol. II, pp. 76-8).


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MarginaliaThe very fruits of Antichrist.In primis, that the sayd bishop of Norwich may vse hys sword against the Antipope, and all his adherentes, fauourers, and counsellers, and with violence put them to death.

Marginalia2Itē, þt he hath full power to inquire of all & singuler such Scismatikes, and to put them in prison: and to confiscate all their goods mouable and immouable.

Marginalia3Item, that he hathe power and autoritie to depriue all lay men that are suche Schismatikes of all manner secular offices whatsoeuer, and to geue their offices to other fitte and conuenient persons.

Marginalia4Item, that he may depriue all such clarkes, & declare them to be Schismatikes, and in this behalfe to geue and bestow their benefices either with cure or without cure, their dignities, personages or offices, to other personnes more meet for the same.

Marginalia5Item, he hath power and autoritie ouer lay persons that are exempt, and clarkes bothe secular and reguler, ye although they be friers mendicants, or maisters and professours of other houses or hospitals of S. Iohnes of Ierusalem, or S. Mary of Flaunders or professours of what orders soeuer els.

Marginalia6Item, he hath power to dispence with what secular clarkes soeuer, being beneficed either with cure or without cure, and also with suche as haue dignities, personages, or offices, beeing regulers either exempte or not exempt, that euery one of them may be absent with him from their dignities and benefices. &c. vnder the stāderd of the crosse, without lisence of any of their prelates required, and yet to receaue and take the intire commodities of their benefices, as thoughe they had beene personally resident vpon the same.

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Marginalia7Item, there is graunted to all that passe the seas in this quarell, eyther at their owne expences, or at the expences of any other, ful remission of their sinnes: and as lardge priuiledgies are graūted to all those that go ouer the sea with him, as to any that pay their money, or go to fight for the holy land.

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Marginalia8Also, all suche as with their proper goods and substance shall geue sufficient stipend to able soldiours, at the discretion of þe foresayd Lord bishop mustered, or by any other his deputie, although he hym selfe be not personally at this busines aforesayd: yet shall he haue lyke remission, and indulgence, as they which haue bene personally with him in this expedition.

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Marginalia9Item, all they are partakers of this remission, which shall geue any parte of their goodes to the said bishop to fight against the said Schismatikes.

Marginalia10Item, if any shall chaunce to dye in the iourney, that are souldiors vnder the said standerd of the crosse, or els before the quarell by some meanes be finished: shall fully and wholy receiue the said grace, and shall be partakers of the foresayd remission and indulgence.

Marginalia11Itē, he hath power to excōmunicate, suspēd, & interdict what persons so euer be rebellious or disturbers of hym in the execution of his power and autoritie committed vnto him: of what dignitie, state, degree, preheminēce, order, place, or condition so euer they shal be: whether they shalbe eyther of regal, quenely, or imperial dignitie, or of what dignitie els so euer either ecclesiastical or mūdane.

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Marginalia12Item, he hath power and autoritie to compell and inforce what religious persōs so euer, to appoint them and send them ouer sea, if it seme good to him: yea although they be prfessours of the Friers mendicants, for the execution of the premisses.

¶ The Popes absolution by the bishop 
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This is a copy of a plenary indulgence granted by Urban II to those who took part in Despenser's 'crusade'. Foxe is copying this from College of Arms MS Arundel 7 (see Historia Anglicana, ed. H. T. Riley, Rolls Series 28, 2 vols. [London, 1863-4], II, pp. 79-80).


BY the autority Apostolicall to me in this behalf committed, we absolue thee A. B. from all thy synnes cōfessed wyth thy mouth, & being contrite wt thy hart, and wherof thou wouldest be confessed if they came vnto thy memory: MarginaliaChristes passion hath here no place.& we graunt vnto thee, plenary remission of all maner of sins, & we promyse vnto thee thy part of the reward of all iust men, and of euerlasting saluation. And as many priuiledgies as are graunted to them that go to fight for the holy land, we graunt vnto thee: and of all the prayers and benefites of the churche the vniuersall Synode, as also of the holy catholike churche, wee make thee partaker of.

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This couragious 

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This account of Despenser's crusade is taken from College of Arms MS Arundel 7 (see Historia Anglicana, ed. H. T. Riley, Rolls Series 28, 2 vols [London, 1863-4], II pp. 88-93. Foxe's concern throughout is to emphasize prelatical cruelty, not to supply a lucid narrative of military events. In a nutshell, in May 1383 Despenser won a victory over a French force near Dunkirk and he captured a number of towns in the area. During the summer he unsuccessfully besieged Ypres, losing a large number of his men. In August he rashly invaded Picardy but the arrival of a much larger French army under Charles VI forced him to surrender at Gravelines in mid September.

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or rather outragious Byshop, armed thus with the popes autoritie, and prompt with his priuilegies, in the yeare aforesayd. 1383. about the tyme of Lent, came to the parliament, where great consultation and contention, & almost no lesse schisme was about the viage of this popish Byshop in the parliament, then was betwene the popes them selues. In the whiche parliament many there were, whiche thought it not safe to commit the kinges people and subiectes, vnto a rude and vnskilfull priest. So great was the diuersitie of iudgementes in that behalf, that þe viage of þe sayd Bishop was protracted vnto the Saterday afore Passion Sōday. In the which Sonday was song the solemne Antheme Ecce crucem domini, fugite partes aduersæ, That is: Behold the crosse of the Lord: Fley away all you aduersaries. After whiche Sonday, the parties so agreed amongest thē selues by cōmon decree, that the byshop should set forward in his viage, hauing to him geuen the fiftene which was graunted to the kyng in the parliament before. Whiche thynges thus concluded in the parliament, this warlyke Byshop preparyng before all thinges in a readynes set forward in his pope holy iourney. Who about þe moneth of May, beyng come to Canterbury, and there tarying for the wynde, in the monastery of S. Augustine, receyued a write from the kyng that he should returne to the kyng, and to know further of his pleasure 
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John of Gaunt, the most powerful figure at court, opposed Despenser's expedition, preferring a campaign, to be led by himself, against French allies in Spain. Despenser was concerned that the king, under Gaunt's influence, was summoning him back to court to cancel his expedition.

. The Byshop fearing that if he turned agayn to the kyng, his iourney should be stayd, and so all his labour and preparāce lost with great derision and shame vnto him: thought better to commit hym selfe to fortune with that litle army he had, then by tarying to be made a ridicle to his aduersaries. Wherfore, he sent word backe agayne to the kyng, that he was now ready prepared, & well forward on his iourney. And that it was not expedient now to protracte the tyme, for any kynde of talke whiche peraduenture should be to no maner of purpose: and that it was more conueniente for him to hasten in his iourney to Gods glory, and also to the honour of the king. And thus he callyng his men vnto hym, entred forth with the seas, and went to Calys: where he wayting a few dayes for the rest of his army, after the receyt of thē, toke his iourney first to the towne of Grauenydge whiche he besieged, so desperatly without any preparance of engines of warre or counsel, or of politike men skilful in such affaires: that he semed rather to flye vpon them, then to inuade them. At length through the superstition of our men, trustyng vpon the Popes absolution, he so harerishly approched þe walles and inuaded the enemies, that a great nomber of them were pitiously slayne with shot and wilde fyre: till at the ende (the inhabiters beeyng oppressed and vanquished) our men entred the towne with their Byshop, where they at his commaundement destroyng both mā, woman and childe, left not one alyue of all them, which remayned in the whole towne. MarginaliaO bloodines of Antichrist. Sicq̀; crucis beneficio factū, vt crucis hostes ita delerētur, quod vnus ex eis non remansit: That is. And so it came to passe by the vertue of the crosse, that our men croysed so preuayled agaynst the enemyes of the crosse, that not one of thē remayned alyue. Ex Chron. Mon. D. Albani. MarginaliaEx Chron. Mon. D. Albani in vita Richard. 2.

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