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861 [861]

K. Henry. 6. The trouble of byshop Pecocke.

done in the premisses at the day and place aforesayd, or that he whiche hath so excuted our commaundemēt, do so certifie vs by hys letters. Dated at our Manour of Lambeth the. xxij. daye of October. an. 1457. and in the fourth yeare of our translation.

MarginaliaPecocke apeareth at Lambeth before the Archbyshop.This citation being directed, þe bishop, vpō þe sommon therof, was brought, or rather came before the iudges & bishops, vnto Lambeth, where the foresayde Tho. the Archbishop, with his doctors and Lawyers, were gathered together in the Archbishops court. In which conuention also the duke of Buckingham was present, accompanied with the bishop of Rochester, and of Lyncolne. What were the opinions and articles agaynst hym obiected, after in hys reuocation shall be specified. In hys answering for him selfe in such a company of the popes friendes, albeit he could not preuayle, notwithstanding he stoutly defending himselfe declared many thynges worthy great commendation of learninge, if learnyng agaynst power could haue preuayled.

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MarginaliaGreat labuor, to reduce Pecocke from his opinions.But they on the contrarye part, with all labour and trauayle, extended them selues, either to reduce him, or els to confoūd him. As here lacked no blustering words of terrour and threatning: so also many fayre flattering wordes and gentle perswasions, were admixt with all. Briefly, to make a short narratiō of a long & busye trauers, here was no stone left vnturned, no wayes vnproued, either by fayre meanes to entreate him, or by terrible manasses to terrify his minde, til at þe lēgth, he being vanquished and ouercome by the bishops, began to faint and geue ouer. Whereupon, by and by a recantation was put vnto him by the bishops, which hee shoulde declare before the people. The copy of which hys recantation here followeth.

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¶ The forme and maner of the retractation of Reynold Pecocke.

MarginaliaThe retractation of Byshop Pecocke.
Ex Regist.
JN the name of God Amen. Before you, the most reuerend father in Christ and Lord, the lord Thomas, by þe grace of God, Archbishop of Canterbury, primate of England and Legate of the Apostolicke sea, I Raynold Pecocke, vnworthy bishop of Chichester, do purely, willingly, simply, and absolutely, confesse and acknowledge, that I in times past, that is to say, by the space of these. xx. yeares last past and more, haue otherwise conceiued, holden, taught and written, as touching the Sacramentes and the articles of the fayth, then the holye church of Rome and vniuersall church: and also that I haue made, written, published and set forth manye and diuers pernicious doctrines, bookes, workes, writinges, heresies, contrary and against the true catholike and Apostolike fayth, contayning in them, errors contrary to the catholike fayth, and especially these errours and heresies here vnder written.

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MarginaliaHis articles. Marginalia1.Fyrst of all, that we are not bound by the necessitye of fayth, to beleue that our Lord Iesus Christ after hys death, descended into hell.

Marginalia2.Item that it is not necessary to saluation to beleue in the holy catholike church.

Marginalia3.Item, that it is not necessary to saluation to beleue the communion of Sayntes.

Marginalia4.Item, that it is not necessary to saluation, to affirme the body materially in the sacrament.

Marginalia5.Item that the vniuersall church maye erre in matters which pertayne vnto fayth.

Marginalia6.Item, that it is not necessarye vnto saluation, to beleue, that that whych euery generall councell doth vniuersally ordayne, approue, or determine, should necessarily, for the helpe of our fayth, and the saluation of our soules, be approued & holdē of all faythfull Christians.

Wherefore I Reynold Pecocke wretched synner, which haue long walked in darkenes, and nowe by the mercifull disposition and ordinaunce of God, am reduced and brought again vnto the light and way of truth,& restored vnto the vnity of our holy mother the church: renounce & forsake all the errours & heresies aforesaid.

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Notwithstāding (godly Reader) it is not to be beleued that Pecocke did so geue ouer these opinions, how soeuer þe wordes of þe recantatiō pretend. For it is a policie & play of the bishops, that when they do subdue or ouercome any man, they carye hym whither they lyst, as it were a yong Stere by the nose, & frame out his wordes for him beforehande, as it were for a Parate, what hee should speake vnto the people: not according to his own wyll, but after their lust and fantasy. Neither is it to be doubted, but that this bishop repented him afterwarde of hys recantation: which may easely be iudged hereby, because he was committed againe into pryson, and deteyned captiue, where as it is vncertayne, whether hee was oppressed with priuye & secret tyranny, and there obtayned the crowne of martyrdome, or no.

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MarginaliaThe articles of Reynold Pecocke mentioned by Tho. Gascoigne.The Dictionarie of Thomas Gascoigne, I haue not in my handes present. But if credite be to bee geuen to such as haue to vs alledged þt boke, this we may finde in þe eyght Centurie of Ioh. Bale. cap. 19. that þe said Thomas Gascoigne in his. 3. part of the sayd Dictionary, writyng of Raynolde Pecocke, maketh declaratiō of his Articles, conteinyng in them matter of sore heresie. MarginaliaEx Tho. Gascoig. lib. D. Dictionario Theolog. part. 3.First (sayth he) Reynold Pecocke, at Paules crosse preached openly, that the office of a Christen prelate, chiefly aboue all other things is, to preach þe word of God. That mans reason is not to be preferred, before þe scriptures of the old & new Testament. That the vse of Sacramentes, as they be nowe handled, is worse, then the vse of the law of nature. That Byshops whiche bye their admissions of the Byshop of Rome, do sinne. That no mā is bound to beleue & obey þe determination of the church of Rome. Also that the riches of bishops, by enheritage, are the goodes of the poore. Item, that the Apostles them selues, personally were not the makers of the common Crede, and that in the same Crede, once was not the Article, he wēt downe to hell. Item, that of the. iiij. senses of the Scripture, none is to be taken, but the very first and proper sense. Also, that he gaue litle estimatiō in some poyntes, to the authoritie of the old doctours. Item, that he condemned the wilfull beggyng of the Friers, as a thyng idle and nedeles. This out of Thomas Gascoigne. Leland also addyng this moreouer, sayth: that he, not contented to folow the catholicke sentence of the Church in interpretyng of the Scripture, did not thinke soundly (as he iudged it) of the holy Euchariste.

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At length, for these and such other Articles, the sayd Reynolde Pecocke was condemned for an heretike by þe Archbyshops, and Byshops of Roff. Lincol. and VVint. with other diuines moe. MarginaliaB. Pecocke deteined in prison.Wherupō, he being driuē to his recantation, was notwithstādyng deteyned still in pryson. Where, some say, that he was priuely made awaye by death.

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Halle addeth that some say, his opinions to bee, that spirituall persons by Gods law, ought to haue no tēporall possessions. Other write that he sayd, that personall tithes were not due by Gods law. But what soeuer the cause was, hee was caused at Paules crosse to abiure, & all his bookes brent, and hee him selfe kept in hys owne house, during his natural life. MarginaliaPolydore noted.I marueill that Polidore, of this extremitie of the Byshops handlyng, and of hys articles, in his hystorye, maketh no memoriall. Belyke it made but litle for the honesty of hys great master the Pope.

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From persecutiō and burning in England, now out of the way, to digresse a litle, to speake of forein matters of the churche of Rome 

Commentary  *  Close
Eugenius IV to Sixtus IV

Between his account of Reginald Pecock and his narrative of the Wars of the Roses, Foxe digresses here to deal with church history during the pontificates of Nicholas V, Calixtus III, Pius II, Sixtus IV and Innocent VIII. The material on these pontificates was added to the 1570 edition and, as usual with papal history, Foxe drew heavily on John Bale's Catalogus for his information. Most unusually, however, Foxe drew on Bartomoleo Platina's series of papal biographies for the opinions (Foxe calls them 'sentences') of Pius II. (See Bartomoleo de Sacchi di Platina, Historia de vitis pontificum Romanorum, ed. Onophrio Panvinio [Venice, 1562], fos. 248v-249r). Normally, Foxe distrusted Panvinio's work (although it was considered authoritative by contemporaries) as being too partisan to the Papacy. However, Pius's opinions, written before he became pope, sounded reformist, and fitted in with Foxe's point that the evil inherent in the Papacy corrupted even those popes who were initially devout and wise. (Foxe probably took the quotation from the second book of Pius' commentaries, on the evils of clerical celibacy from Matthias Flacius - see Catalogus Testium Veritatis [Strassburg, 1562], p.550 - this quotation is not in Platina). Pius's letter, written before he was pope, to Caspar Schlick is taken from Aeneas Sylvius Picclomini,Opera quae extant omnia (Basel, 1561), pp. 538-41; the extract quoted is on p. 539. The material on Pius II's quarrel with the archbishop of Mainz is taken from Caspar Peucer's continuation of Carion's chronicle; see Chronicon Carionis, ed. Philip Melanchthon and Caspar Peucer (Wittenburg, 1580), pp. 672-3. The remainder of the material on these fifteenth-century popes is from John Bale, Catalogus, pp. 550, 602, 615 and 624-5.

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Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield

: you remember before, in the latter end of the Coūcell of Basill, how Eugenius was deposed. Of whose conditions, and martiall affaires, how he made warre against Sfortia a famous captain of Italie,

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