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623 [623]

K. Richard. 2. The kinges letter against Swinderby and Brute. Actes and Mon. of the church.

father William Archbishop of Canterbury, metropolitane of all Englād, and Legate of the Apostolicall seat: we for the redresse and amendement of all those whiche would obstinatly preache or mayntaine, publiquely, or priuely, any conclusions of the holy Scripture, repugnāt to the determination of our holy mother the church, and notoriously redoundyng to the subuersion of the catholique faith, or contayning any heresie or errour, within the prouince or bishopricke of Cāterbury: Haue, by our specially letters patentes, in the zeale of the fayth, giuen authoritie and licence vnto the foresayde Archbyshop & to all and singular his suffraganes, to arest all and euery of them that will preache or mayntayne any such cōclusions, where soeuer they may be founde, and to cōmit them either to their owne prisons or any others at their owne pleasure: and to kepe them in the same, vntill they repent them of þe errours and prauities of those heresies: or till that, of such maner of arestes, by vs or by our coūsell it should be otherwise determined, that is to say, to euery one of them and their ministers throughout theyr Cities and dioces. And nowe the reuerend father in God Iohn Bishop of Herford, MarginaliaThe hoat complaining charity of the bishop of Hereford.hath for a certeintie informed vs: that although the same Byshop hath according to iustice, MarginaliaW. Swinderby and Steuen Bell complayned of to the king.conuinced a certein felow named William Swynderby, pretendyng him selfe to be a chaplayne, and one Stephē Bell a learned man, and hath pronounced them heretiques, and excommunicate, and false informers amongest the common people, & hath declared the same by the definitie sentēce of þe aforesayd B. for that they haue presumed to affirme and preache openly in diuers places within the dioces of Herford, many conclusiōs or naughtie opinions notoriously redounding to the subuersion of the Catholicke sounde faythe, and tranquilitie of oure kyngdome. The same Byshop notwithstandyng, neither by the ecclesiasticall censures, neither yet by the force & strenketh of our commission was able, to reuoke the foresayd William and Stephen, nor yet to bridle the malice and indurate contumacie of them: For that they, after that they were vpon such hereticall prauitie conuicte by the same byshop (to þe intent they might delude his iudgement and iustice) conueyed them selues by and by, vnto the borders of Wales, with such as were their factours and acomplices, in kepyng them selues close, vnto whom the force of our sayd letters doth in no wise extēd. Wherupon, the sayd Byshop hath made supplication vnto vs, that we will vouchsafe to prouide a sufficient remedie in that behalfe. We therfore whiche alwayes (by the helpe of almighty God) are defendours of the fayth, willyng to withstand such presumptuous & peruerse enterprises by the moste safest way and meanes we maye: MarginaliaFurioso ne cōmittas gladium.gyue & commit full power and authoritie to the foresayde Byshop and to his ministers, by the tenour of these presētes, to arest or take, or cause to be arested or taken, the foresayd William and Steuen, in any place within the Citie and dioces of Herford and our dominion of Wales, withall the speede that may be, and to cōmit them either to our prison or els to the prison of the same Byshop, or any other prison at their pleasure, if such neede bee, and there to keepe them safe: And afterwardes, vnlesse they will obeye the commaundementes of the churche, with diligence to bryng them before vs and our counsell, or els cause thē to be brought. That we may determine for their further punishment, as we shall thinke it requisit & conuenient to bee done by the aduise of our counsell, MarginaliaPseudo catholica fides.for the defence and preseruation of the catholicke faith. And that the foresayd William and Stephen, beyng succoured by the ayde of their factours or fauorers, should not be able to flee or escape to their acustomed starting holes: and that the sharpnes of their paynes so agrauated, may giue them sufficient cause to returne to the lappe agayn of their holy mother the churche: we straightly charge & commaunde all and singular our shrifes, Baylifes, Ba-rones, and all other our officers, in the Citie and dioces of Herford, and in any other place beyng within our dominion of Wales, by the tenour of these presentes: that from tyme to time (where they thinke it most meete) they cause it openly to be proclaimed in our name, that none, of what state, degree, preeminence, kinde, or other condition he shalbe of, do cherishe openly or secretly, the foresayd William and Steuen, vntill the tyme that they repent them of their heresies and errours, and shalbe reconciled vnto the holy church of God: Neither that any person or persons, be beleuers, fauorers, or receauers, defendours, or in any case wytingly instructours, of the sayd William or Stephen, or any other of the residue of the heretikes þt are to be conuinced: vpon the forfaiture of all that euer they haue. And that also they giuing theyr attēdance, be obedient and aunswerable to the foresayd Byshop and hys deputies in this behalfe, for the executiō of the premisses: and that they certifie vs and our counsell distinctly, and playnly, from tyme to tyme, of the names of all and singular persons, whiche shall fortune to bee foūd culpable in this behalfe, vnder their seales. In witnes wherof, we haue caused these our letters patentes to be made. Witnes our selfe, at Westminster the ix. day of March, in the xv. yeare of our reigne. Farrington. 

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I.e., 1392

¶ An other letter of the said K. against Walter Brute.
MarginaliaAn other letter of king Richard against Walter Brute.RYchard by the grace of God king of England and of Fraunce & Lord of Ireland: 
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Foxe copied this letter from Richard II to Sir John Chandos and other Hereford gentry from Bishop John Trefnant's register; see Registrum Johannis Trefnant, Episcopi Herefordensis, ed. W. W. Capes, Canterbury and York Society (London, 1916), pp. 410-11. Although this letter was written in 1393, Foxe presents it after the 1395 bulls from Boniface IX because that is the order in which these appear in the register.

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To hys beloued & faithfull Iohn Chaundos knight, Iohn Eynford knight, Renold de la Bere knight, Walter Deueros knight, Thomas de la Barre knight, William Lucie knight, Leonard Hakelute knight, and to the Maior of the citie of Hereford, to Thomas Oldcastell, Rychard Nashe, Roger Wygmore, Thomas Wayllwayne, Iohn Skydmore, Iohn Vp Harry, Henry Motton, and to þe Shriefe of Hereford, sendeth salutations. MarginaliaWalter Brute.For as much as it is aduertised vs, that one Walter Brute, and other such children of iniquitie, haue damnablie holden, affirmed, and preached, certayne articles and conclusions being notoriouslye repugnant against the holy Scripture (of the which, some of them as heresies, and the reast as errours, are finallye by the church condemned) and that in diuers places within the dioces of Hereford and partes neare adioyning, both priuely, openly, and obstinatelye: which thing we perceaue not onlelye to redound to the subuersion (in a maner) of the catholike faithe, whyche as well wee, as other catholicke princes ought of duetye to mayntayne, but also to forewarne vs of the subuersion of our faithfull diocesans. And that the sayd byshoppe, vpon the good deliberation and aduisement of a great number of Doctours in diuinitye, and other learned and skilfull men in the scriptures, of speciall deuotion, according to his bounden duty, purposed to beginne and make diuers and sundrye prosses by law to be sent vnto the foresayde Walter and his accomplices, to appeare personallye before him and other the Doctours aforesayde, in the cathedrall church of Hereford, the morrow after the translation of saint Thomas of Hereford next ensuing, and to proceede in the same place agaynst the same Walter, in the foresayd articles and conclusions, for the amendment of his soule. Nowe a freshe (because that the sayd Walter and others of their retinue, cleauing and confederating with him, might not suffer condigne paines according to their demerites) indeuour them selues to make voyde and frustrate the sayd godly purpose of the same bishop, in such correction and execution as should haue bene done: MarginaliaWhether the doctrine of Brute was euer against resistance how is this lyke to be true.and with force doo resist and let the same wyth all the power they maye, to the great comtempt of vs and of our crowne, & to the breaking and hurting of our peace, and pernicious example of others: Do apoint you and euery of you, immediatly as soone as this our commission shall be deliuered vnto you, in our behalfe and name, to make open proclama-

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