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870 [870]

K. Edward. 4. Troubles in K. Edwardes time. John Goose Martyr.

MarginaliaA sore heresie preached at Paules crosse.the Archaungell preached at Paules in London, that our Lord Iesus Christ, beyng here in this presēt world, was in pouertie, and dyd begge. MarginaliaContention in the church whether Christ was a beggar, or not.To whose opinion and doctrine, the prouinciall of that order semed also to incline, defendyng the same both in his readyng and preachyng, with other doctours moe and brethrē of the same order: vnto whom also adioyned certaine of þe Iacobites, and stifly did take their partes. On the contrary syde, many doctours and also lawyers, both in their publicke lectures and preachyng, to the vttermost of their cunnyng, did withstand their assertion, as beyng a thyng most pestiferous in the churche to be heard. Such a bytter contention was among them, that the defendēt part was driuen for a while to keepe silence. MarginaliaTymes cōpared.Much lyke to those times I might well resemble these our dayes now present, with our tumultuous contētion of formes and fashions of garmentes. But I put me selfe here in Pythagoras schoole and kepe silence, with these Friers. In the story moreouer it foloweth, that this beggerly question of the beggyng Friers, whether Christ did begge, or no, went so far, þt at length it came to þe popes eares. Paulus 2. who was no beggar, ye may be sure, after that the fame of this doctrine, moūtyng ouer the Alpes, came flyeng to þe court of Rome, which was about þe Assumption of the virgyn Mary, the yeare next folowyng, an. 1465. it brought wt it such an euill smel to the fine noses there, that it was no nede to byd them to styrre: for begging to thē was worsse, thē hie heresie. Wherfore þe holy father pope Paulus. 2. to represse the sparkles of this doctrine, which otherwise perhaps might haue set his whole kytchin on fire, taketh the matter in hand, and eftsones directeth down his Bulle into England, insinuatyng to the prelates here, MarginaliaEx hist. Scala mundi fol. vlt.Hæresim illam pestifere asserentē, quod Christus publice mendicauit, esse antiquitus a Romanis pontificibus, cum suis Cōciliis damnatam, & eam pro dānata, vndique declarandam, & conculcandam, &c. MarginaliaThe popes determined solution, that Christ was no beggar.That is, that this heresie, whiche pestiferouslye doth affirme that Christ did openly begge, was condemned of olde tyme by the Byshops of Rome, and his Councels, and that the same ought to be declared in all places for a dāned doctrine, and worthy to bee troden downe vnder all mens feete. &c. Thys was in the same yeare when prince Edwarde, kyng Edwardes sonne was borne in the sanctuarie at Westminster. an. 1465.

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MarginaliaK. Edward vanquished ix. battailes, being him self present at them all.As touchyng the rest of the doynges and affaires of this kyng (which had vanquished hetherto. ix. battailes, him selfe beyng present) how afterward MarginaliaCharles Duke of Burgoyne fayled hys promyse with the king.he, through the incitement of Charles Duke of Burgoine his brother in law, ventred into Fraunce with a puissaunt armye, and how the duke fayled him in hys promise, MarginaliaPeace betwene the ii. kings, bought with the French kynges money.also how peace betwene the. ij. kynges was at length concluded in a solemne meeting of both the sayd kyngs together (whiche meetyng is notified in stories, by a white doue sittyng þe same day of meting, vpō the top of K. Edwardes tente) MarginaliaMariage betwene the French kinges sonne, and kyng Edwardes daughter, made and broken.also of þe mariage promised betwene þe yonge Dolphin and Elisabeth kyng Edwardes eldest daughter, but afterward broken of þe French kynges part: moreouer as touchyng the death of the Duke of Burgoyne slayne in warre, and of his daughter Mary, niece to K. Edward, spoyled of her landes & possessions wrōgfully, by Lewes the Frēch kyng, and maried after to Maximilian: furthermore as touchyng the expedition of kyng Edwarde into Scotland, MarginaliaK. Iames of Scotland goeth from hys promise of reason of kyng Iames, breakyng promise in marriyng with Cecilie the seconde daughter of king Edward, & of driuyng out his brother, & how the matter was composed there, MarginaliaBarwycke recouered.& of the recouery agayne of Barwicke: of these (I say) & such other thinges moe, partly because they are described sufficiently in our cōmon English storyes, partly also because they be matters not greatly perteinyng to the Churche, I omitte to speake, makyng of them a supersedeas. Two thynges I finde here among many other, specially to be remēbred. 

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John Goose and George of Clarence

Foxe relates two incidents from Edward IV's reign before returning to deal with events on the Continent. The first of these incidents was the burning of John Goose, a Lollard, in London in 1473. Although Foxe states that he derived this account 'Ex Polychro' (i.e., from a continuation of Ranulph Higden's Polychronicon), this cannot be correct, as none of the continuations of the Polychronicon extend further than 1461. In actual fact, Foxe is drawing his account of Goose, on virtually a word-for-word, basis from Robert Fabyan's chronicle. Foxe's interest in Goose is obvious, any pre-Reformation martyr was another proof that the true church existed before Luther. At first glance, Foxe's reasons for including the execution of George, Duke of Clarence are less obvious. But the reason was that one explanation for Clarence's downfall - that Edward IV believed a prophecy that someone whose name began with the letter 'G' would reign after him , thus usurping his son's throne - provided a foundation for a moralizing lecture on discerning true from false prophecies. Foxe derived his account of Clarence's death from Polydore Vergil's Anglica Historia and, possibly, Thomas More's History of King Richard III.

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Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield

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Iohn Goose, Martyr.
The first is concernyng a godly and constaunt seruaunt of Christ, named Iohn Goose, 

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Although Foxe did not kow this, Goose had already abjured and he was being burned as a relapsed heretic (J. A. F. Thomson, The Later Lollards, 1414-1520 [Oxford, 1965], pp. 72-3).

whiche in the tyme of this king, was vniustly cōdemned & burnt at þe tower hill. an. 1473. in þe moneth of August. Thus had Englād also his Iohn Hus, as well as Boheme. MarginaliaIohn Goose in Englyshe is as much as Iohn Hus in the Boheme tounge.Wherin moreouer this is to be noted, that since the tyme of kyng Richard. 2. there is no reigne of any king to be asigned hetherto, wherein some good man or other hath not suffered the paynes of fire, for the religion and true testimonie of Christ Iesus. Of this sayd Iohn Goose, or Iohn Hus, 
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'Hus' means goose in Czech and this enables Foxe to equate John Goose with Jan Hus.

this moreouer I finde in an other Englishe monument 
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I.e. a written record, in this case, Robert Fabyan's chronicle (see Robert Fabyan, The Chronicle of Fabian [London, 1559], STC 10664, p. 507). Although Foxe declares that he is drawing his account from Ranulph Higden's Polychronicon, this is an error.

recorded, that the sayd Iohn beyng deliuered to Robert Belisdone, one of the Shreffes, to see hym burnt the afternoone: the Shrife lyke a charitable man, had hym home to his house, and there exhorted hym to renye (sayth the story) his errours. But the godly man after long exhortation heard, desired the Shrife to be content,

woodcut [View a larger version]

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John Goose 'or John Huss' was burned at Tower Hill in 1473. Foxe says little of the charges against him, merely recounting how Goose was given a meal at the house of the sheriff, Robert Belisdon, prior to his death in the afternoon. It is unclear why this particular martyr warranted an illustration, unless on account of his name. 'Thus had England also its John Huss as well as Bohemia'. CUL copy: Goose is dressed in white and has light brown hair and beard. Note that the additional details added to those praying around Goose's pyre are rather clumsily executed, They appear as if they are wearing blusher and lipstick, since the colour is so startling. WREN: the same details and poor quality details appear in this copy also.

for hee was satisfied in hys conscience. MarginaliaIohn Goose taketh hys dynner, before he went to Martyrdome.Notwtstanding thys hee desyred of the Shrife, for gods sake to geue hī some meate, saying that hee was very sore hōgered. Thē the Shrife cōmaunded hymmeate: whereof he tooke and did eate, as he had ben toward no maner of daunger: and sayd to such as stoode about him: I eate now a good and a competent dynner: for I shall passe a litle sharpe shower, ere I go to supper 
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This is a martyrological trope, but Foxe is not putting words into Goose's mouth. The London chronicler Robert Fabyan has Goose making the same comment (see The Chronicle of Fabian [London, 1559}, STC 10664, p. 507).

. And when he had dyned, he gaue thankes, and required that he might shortly be led to the place, where he should yelde vp hys spirite vnto God. Ex Polychro.

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MarginaliaThe vnworthy death of the duke of Clarence.The second thyng herein to be noted, is the death of George Duke of Clarence, the kynges second brother: Of whom relation was made before, how he assisted K. Edward, his brother, agaynst the Earle of Warwicke at Barnet field, and helped him to the crowne, and now after al these benefites, was at lēgth thus requited, that (for what cause it is vncertaine) he was apprehended & cast into þe Tower, MarginaliaThe duke of Clarence drowned in a butte of Malmesey.where he beyng adiudged for a traytor, was priuely drowned in a but of Malmesey. What the true cause was of his death, it can not certeinely bee affirmed. 

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The reasons for Clarence's execution (on the orders of his brother, Edward IV) are obscure; for a discussion of these see Charles Ross, Edward IV (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1974), pp. 239-45. Foxe is taking his account almost entirely from Polydore Vergil, Anglica historia (Basel, 1555), p. 537. Vergil, however, does not blame Edward's queen, Elizabeth Woodville, for Clarence's death. Foxe probably took this suggestion from Thomas More's History of King Richard III, (See The History of King Richard III, ed. Richard S. Sylvester, in The Complete Works of St. Thomas More, vol. II [New Haven and London, 1962], p. 7).

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Diuers coniectures and imaginations there bee diuersly put foorth. MarginaliaThe causes of hys death expended.Some partly impute it to the Quenes displeasure. Other suppose it came for takyng part in the cause of his seruaunt, whiche was accused & condemned for poysonyng, sorcery, or inchauntment. MarginaliaThe mischiefe that Sathan worketh by false prophesies.An other fame there is, which surmiseth the cause hereof to ryse vpon the vayne feare of a foolishe Prophecie, commyng no doubt (if it were true) by the crafty operation of Satan, as it doth many times els happen amōg infidels & gentiles where Christ is not knowen: where among hygh princes & in noble houses, much mischief groweth, first murder and parricide, and therby ruine of auncient families, and alteration of kingdomes. The

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