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622 [622]

K. Richard. 2. The popes letter and Bull to K. Richard.

gye, there was one appoynted to make a sermon. Who being much carefull in hys minde, and sollicitous what to say, the deuill came to hym, and asking why he was so carefull for hys matter, what he should preach to the clergy, say thus, quod he: MarginaliaThe deuil geaueth thankes to clergy menThe princes of hell salute you (Oh you princes of the church) & gladly geue you thāks, MarginaliaThe silence of priests for not preaching the Gospell dāneth many a soule.because through your default and negligence, it cōmeth to passe, that all soules go downe to hell. Adding moreouer, that he was also enforced by the commaundement of God to declare the same, yea and that a certayne token moreouer was geuen to the sayd clerke for a signe, wherby the sinode myght euidently see, that he dyd not lye. Ex catal. Illyr. Fol. 546.

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¶ The Bull of Pope Bonifacius the nynth against the Lolardes.

MarginaliaThe popes letter to the B. of Hereford.BOnifacius, Bishop, seruant of the seruaunts of God: To the reuerend brother Iohn, bishop of Hereford, sendeth greeting and Apostolicall benedictiō. 

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Foxe copied this bull of Boniface IX from Bishop John Trefnant's register; see Registrum Johannis Trefnant, Episcopi Herefordensis, ed. W. W. Capes, Canterbury and York Society (London, 1916), pp. 405-6.

We meane to wryte vnto our welbeloued sonne in Christ (Richard the renoumed king of England, in forme enclosed within these presentes. Therfore we will and cōmaund your brotherhood, that as much as ye may, ye studie and endeuour your selfe to exhort and induce the same king, to do those thinges which we haue written vnto him, as it is sayd before. And notwithstāding, þt now many a day you ought to haue done it of your self, and not to loke that we should perswade you to that effecte by vs written: you may procede as well by our authoritie, as by your own, for asmuch as it was geuen you before: that hereafter we may know effectually by your diligence, what zeale your deuotion beareth vnto the catholike faith, and to the conseruing of the ecclesiasticall honour, and also to the execution of the pastorall office. Geuen at Rome, at S. Peters the xv. Kalendes of October, the 6. yeare of our byshoplike dignitie. 
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I.e., 17 Sept. 1395.

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¶ The tenour of the Bull, to the renowmed prince Richard, by the grace of God, King of England and of Fraunce: whereof mention is made aboue, as foloweth, and is thus muche in effect.

MarginaliaThe popes wylde Bull let loose against the seruants of Christ.TO our welbeloued sonne in Christ, Richard the noble king of England, we send greeting. &c. 

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Foxe copied this bull of Boniface IX from Bishop John Tefnant's register; see Registrum Johannis Trefnant; Episcopi Herefordensis, ed. W. W. Capes, Canterbury and York Society (London, 1916), pp. 406-7.

It greeueth vs from the bottom of our hartes, & our holye mother the church in all places throughe Christendome lamenteth. We vnderstand, that there bee certayne heresies sproong, and doe without anye condigne restraynt raunge at their own liberty, to the seducing of the faythfull people, and do euery daye with ouermuche libertie enlarge their vndiscrite boundes. But howe muche the more carefullye we labour for the preseruation both of you, and your famous kyngdome, and also the sincerity of the fayth: and doo with more ardent desire couet, that the prosperous state of the same should be preserued and enlarged: the sting of greater sorrow doth so muche the more penetrate and molest vs, MarginaliaA lacke good harte what sorow the pope taketh.for as much as we see (alas the whyle) in our tyme, and vnder the regal presidēce of your most christian gouernment: a certayne craftye and harebrayne sect of false Christians in the same your kingdome to grow and increase, which call them selues the poore men of the treasurie of Christ and his disciples, and whom the common people by a more sounder name call Lolardes (as a man would say wythered darnell) according as their sinnes require: and perceaue, that they waxe strong, and as it were preuayle against the diocesanes of some places, & other gouernours as they mete together not courageouslye addressing them selues against them as they ought to do (wherof chiefly & not vndeseruedly I geue them admonition) for what they take thereby the more bolder presumption and stomacke among the vnlearned people: And for as muche as these whom we cannot call men, but the damnable shadowes or ghostes of men, doo rise vp agaynst the sounde fayth, and holy vniuersall church of Rome: and that very many of them being indifferently learned (which to the confusion and eternall dampnation of some of them) theygat sitting vpon their mothers lap the sayde churche of Rome: MarginaliaAs thoughe no learning were but in the churche of Rome.doe ryse vp or inuay agaynst the determination of the holy fathers, with to much presumptious boldnes, to the subuersion of the whole ecclesiasticall order and estate: Haue not bene afrayde, nor are not yet afrayde, publikely to preach, very manye erroneous, detestable, & hereticall articles, for that they are not put to silence, reproued, driuen out, rooted out, or otherwise punished, by any that hath authority and the feare & loue of God. MarginaliaThe dragon her spouteth out his floudes of water to drowne the Christian.And also they are not afrayde, openly to write the same articles, and so being wrytten, to delyuer them to your kingly parlament, and obstinately to affirme the same. The venemous and disdaynfull recitall of whych articles, vpon good aduisement at this present we passouer: lest the suffrance of such sensualitie, might fortune to renue the wound þt reason may heale. Yet notwithstāding, least so great and contagious an euill should escape vnpunished, and that without deserued vexation, and also that it mighte not get more harte and waxe stronger: we therefore (according to that our office and dutye is, where such negligence and sluggishnes of our prelates beyng presente, where this thing is) do commit & geue in commaundement to our reuerende brethren, Canterbury, and Yorke, archbishops, by other our letters: that they stand vp in the power of God against thys pestilent and contagious sect, and that they lyuelye persecute the same in forme of law: roote out and destroye those, that aduisedly and obstinatly refuse to withdraw their foote from the same stumblyng blocke, anye restraynt to the contrary notwithstanding. MarginaliaBehold the spirit of the popes meke holines.But because the assistaunce, counsell, fauor, and ayde of your kingly estate and highnes, are requisite to the execution of the premisses: we require, exhorte, and beseche the same your princely highnes, by the bowels of the mercy of Iesus Christ, MarginaliaThe bowels of Iesus Christ be full of mercy: the bowels of the pope full of fury and hys holy faith, by your own saluation, by the benefit that to all men is common, and by the prosperitie assured to euery man and woman: that not onely your kingly seueritie may redely shew and cause to bee shewed vnto our Archbishops and their Commissaries (in this behalfe requiring the foresayd due execution) conuenient ayd & fauour, as otherwyse also to cause them to be assisted: But that also you wyll enioyne your Magistrates and Iustices of assise, and peace more straightly, that of their own good wils, they execute the authoritye commited vnto them, with all seuerity against such damned men, according as they are bound by the office whych they are put in trust with: Against those I meane, which haue determined obstinately to defile them selues in their malice & sinnes, those to expell, banish, and imprison, and there so long to keepe them: till condigne sentence shall pronoūce them worthye to suffer punishment. For your kinglye wysdome seeth, that such as they be, doo not onelye deceaue poore simple soules (or at the least doo what they can to deceaue them) but also bring their bodyes to destruction, and further prepare cōfusion and ruinous fall vnto their temporall Lordes. Go to therefore my sweete sonne, and indeuour your selfe to worke so in thys matter, as vndoubtedly we trust you will: MarginaliaHelpe the pope at the pintch: or els he is like to take a fall.that as thys fyrebrād (burning and flaming ouer sore) began vnder your presidente or gouernment: so vnder your seuere iudgement and vertuous diligence, might, fauour, and ayde: that not one sparke remayne hyd vnder the ashes, but that it be vtterly extinguished and spedely put out.

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¶ Geuen at our palace of S. Peter at Rome,
the. xv. Calendes of October, in the syxte
yeare of our pontificality. 

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I.e., 17 Sept. 1395.

¶ The Kinges commission.

RIchard by the grace of God, kyng of England, and of Fraunce, and Lord of Ireland. To all those vnto whom these present letters shall come, 

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Foxe copied this royal order for the arrest of William Swinderby and, another Lollard, Stephen Bell from Bishop John Trefnant's register; see Registrum Johannis Trefnant, Episcopi Herefordensis, ed. W. W. Capes, Canterbury and York Society (London, 1916), pp. 408-9. Although the letter was written in 1392, Foxe presents it after the 1395 bulls from Boniface because that is the order in which these documents appear in Trefnant's register.

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greting. Know ye, that where as lately at the instaunce of the reuerend

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