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941 [941]

K. Henry. 7. Princes punished for not defending the church frō the popes tyrāny.
¶ Verses touchyng the same. 
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Verses by Thomas Hatcher
Foxe text Latin

Mira legis, quicuǹ ... passibus illa venit.


J. Barrie Hall

You, reader, whoever you are, read wondrous portents of an evil end, with punishments atoned for by the imposing of punishment. You, whoever you are to whom the power of the Lord is known, read what is true, with the severity of anger pressing down on the delinquents. Often it happens that bloodshed is augmented by bloodshed, often it happens that anger is overwhelmed by new punishments. All things are subject to the potent right hand of the Lord, who moves men and brute beasts according to his will. The horned bull by struggling eluded the blows of the slaughterman, broke its halter and on a sudden escaped. It happened that the bull went along the road where a large crowd had previously gathered together to see the limbs of a woman perish in the fire, where a close-packed crowd was moving, but out of so large a crowd it single and alone perished. Single and alone it wretchedly scattered the small sheepfold of God and hurled it into the scorching fires. And, as if moving deliberately, it went past them all; this man it tossed on its horns, that one it trampled with its hooves. That one is brought down, his body befouled with oozing blood, while his dug-out innards lie scattered along the roads. Who would not think that these things are done by the Lord who controls the world with his nod, and not tremble at the recollection? Just vengeance attends terrible storms; though late, she comes with unerring step.

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Tho. Hatcherus. 
Commentary  *  Close

The author of these verses is almost certainly Thomas Hatcher, a notedantiquary and fellow of King's College, Cambridge (where he was one of the fellows who accused the provost of the college of being a Catholic sympathiser).

MIra legis, quicunq̀;, legis, protenta nefundi
Exitus, vt pœnas addita pœna luat.
Vera legis, Domini cuicunq̀; potentia nota est,
Vt delinquentes ira seuera premat.
Sæpè fit vt fusus cumuletur sanguine sanguis,
Sæpè fit vt pœnis abruat ira nouis.
Omnia sunt Domini dextræ subiecta potenti,
Qui ciet arbitrio bruta, homines q̀; suo.
Carnificis taurus luctando corniger ictus
Euitans, fracto fune repentè fugit.
Fortè viam quâ turba frequens confluxerat antè.
Fæminea vt cernat membra perire rogo,
Taurus ijt, fertur quâ confertißima turba,
Læsus at ex tanta solus & vnus erat:
Solus & vnus erat, rapidos qui misit in ignes.
Et miserè paruum sparsit ouile Dei.
Et quasi consultò ferretur, præterit omnes,
Cornibus hunc tollit, proterit hunc pedibus.
Ille iacet, madido fædatur sanguine corpus.
Eruta perq̀; vias viscera sparsa iacent.
Quis non a Domino, nutu qui temperat orbem,
Cogitet hæc fieri? non repetendo tremat?
Vltio terribiles comitatur iusta procellas,
Sera licet, certis paßibus illa venit.

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And thus much concernyng the state of the Churche. Wherin is to be vnderstād, what stormes and persecutions haue ben raysed vp in all quarters agaynst the flocke and congregation of Christ, not onely by the Turkes, but also at home within our selues, by the Bishop of Rome, and his retinue. Where also is to be noted in the dayes and reigne of this kyng Henry the vij. how mightely the workyng of Gods Gospell hath multiplied and encreased, and in what great nūbers of men & wemē haue suffered for the same, with vs in England, as by these stories aboue past, may be apparent.

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MarginaliaThe state of the common wealth, commonly foloweth the state of the church.Now these things declared, which to the churche matters bee appertenynyg, consequently it remaineth somethyng to entreate of þe state lykewise of þe cōmon wealth, which cōmonly doth folow þe state of the churche. Where the churche is quietly and moderately gouerned, and the flocke of Christ defēded by godly princes in peace & safetie, from deuouryng & violēce of bloudy wolues: the successe of ciuile estate, for the most part, there doth florishe, and the princes long continue throughe Gods preseruation, in prosperous rest and tranquillitie. Contrarywise where the Churche of Christ either throughe the negligence of princes, or throughe their settyng on, the poore members of Christ be persecuted and deuoured: MarginaliaThe dewtie of princes to defende their subiectes from the slaughter of the Churche of Rome.shortly after ensueth some iust recompense of þe Lord vpon those princes, that either their lyues do not long continue, or els they finde not that quiet in the cōmon wealth, whiche they looke for. Examples hereof, as in all other ages be aboundant: so in this present tyme be not lackyng, whether we consider the state & conditiō of other countreys farre of, or els of our owne countrey nere at home.

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And here not to wander in our story, farther then to Fraunce onely: let vs a litle behold the example of kyng Charles the viij: who lyuyng in thys kynges tyme, dyed also not long before him. This Charles is commended of Philippus Cominæus, to bee a moderate, valiaunt, and victorious prince, adourned with many speciall vertues to a prince apperteinyng. 

Commentary  *  Close

The following account of Savanorola's prophecies and their fulfillment comes from Phillipe de Commines, De Carlo Octavo… et bello Neapolitano Commentarii, trans. Johann Sleidan (Paris, 1561), pp. 105-7. Both John Bale (Scriptorum Illustrium maioris Brytanniae…Catalogus [Basel, 1557], p. 628) andMatthias Flacius (Catalogus testium veritatis [Basel, 1562], p. 565) referred to Commines's account of Savanorola. Although neither quoted or reprinted it, theyundoubtedly inspired Foxe to look up the account himself.

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And yet the same kyng, because he was slacke and remisse in defēce of Christes Churche, neither did vse his authoritie, nor tooke his occasion offered to hym of God, to amende and refourme the state of the Byshop and clergie of Rome when hee might, hee was therefore him selfe punished and cut of, of the Lorde, as by hys story ensuyng may ryght well appeare. For so it is of him recorded, that beyng meruelously excited and prouoked þt of hys owne mynde (contrary to the coūsaile of most of hys nobles) he tooke hys viage vnto Italie, neyther beyng furnyshed with money, nor the season of the yeare beyng conuenient thereunto. And that this may appeare the better to pro-cede of the Lordes doyng, to the entent he would haue the Churche and clergie of Rome reformed by the princes swoorde, whiche so vexed all Christendome at that tyme, we shall heare what is testified in the commentaries of the foresayd Philip. Cominæus lib. 3. De bello Neapolit. writyng in this wise:

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MarginaliaEx commentarijs Phil. Cominæi De bello Neapolitano lib. 3.
Vid. supra pag. 867.

There was (sayth hee) in the Citie of Florence the same tyme, a Dominicke Frier, named Hieronymus Sauonarola (of whom mention was made before, pag. 867.) a man of a ryght godly and approued life: who in the sayd Citie of Florence preached and prophecied long before,
MarginaliaThe prophecie of Hierome Sauonarola.
that the Frenche kyng should come with an armie into Italie, beyng styrred vp of God to suppresse the tyrauntes of Italie, and none should withstand him. He should also come to the Citie of Pisæ, and the state of Florence should be altered: all which happened true. He affirmed moreouer, to be signified to him of the Lord, that the ecclesiasticall state of the Church must be redressed Per vim armorum, I. by the sword, or force of armes. Many thynges also he prophesied of the Venetians, and of þe French kyng, saying that the kyng with some daunger and difficultie, should passe that iourney, yet notwithstandyng should ouercome it and escape, albeit his strength were neuer so slender: for God would safely conducte him in that iorney, and safely bryng hym home agayne.
But because he had not done his office, in amendyng the state of the Churche, and in defendyng his people from iniurie, and from deuouryng, therfore it should come to passe (sayd he) & that shortly, that some incommoditie or detriment should happen to the kyng: or if he should escape that daūger of his sickenes, and recouer health, then if he did resist the crueltie of the wicked, and procure the safetie of the poore and miserable, God would shew mercy vnto him. &c.
And this the sayd Hieronymus declared before to Cominæus one of þe; kyngs counsailours, whiche was the writer of the story, and required him to signifie the same vnto the kyng: which so did; and he moreouer him selfe commyng to the presence of the kyng, declared no lesse. All whiche thynges, as hee had foretold, came directly to effect. 
Commentary  *  Close

This account of Charles VIII's Italian campaign is a summary of Phillipe de Commines, De Carlo Octavo…et bello Neapolitano Commentarii,trans. Johann Sleidan (Paris, 1561).

For the kyng beyng but easely accompanyed with a small power, entred into Italie, where first he came to Asta, then to Genua, and to Pisæ, from thence proceded to Florence, whiche also he obteyned, displacing there Petrus Medices the Duke, who had vsed great tyrannie vpon the subiectes. MarginaliaVide. phil. Cominaū de bello Neopol. lib. 3.From thence he remoued toward Rome, where a great part of þe Citie wall at þe cōmyng of the French kyng, fell downe. Afterwarde when the kyng was intred into the Citie, and the Pope (who thē tooke part with Alphōsus kyng of Neaples agaynst the Frenche kyng) had immured him selfe within the mount of Adrian, the walle of the castle fell downe of it selfe: whereby, when the kyng was both occasioned, and exhorted also by his captaines to inuade the Pope, and to depose hym, and to reforme the Church of Rome (which he might then easely haue done, as it had pleased him) yet all these occasions offred so opportunely of God, moued not þe king to do his duetie, and to helpe the poore Churche of Christ: 
Commentary  *  Close

This account of Charles VIII's death and the belief that it was thefulfillment of Savanorola's prophecy is from Phillipe de Commines, De CarloOctavo…et bello Neapolitano Commentarii, trans. Johann Sleidan (Paris, 1561),pp. 205-12.

Wherfore shortly after, returnyng home into Fraunce frō Neapolis, either þe same yeare or þe next yeare folowyng he was stroocken with a sodeyne sicknes at Amboise, as he was lookyng on them that played at tennes, & that in the stynkyngest place in all the Castle, where he fell down & dyed within xij. houres, accordyng to the forewarnyng of Hieronymus, who wrote vnto him a litle before, both of his sonnes death and of his owne: Whiche was about the yeare of our Lord. 1498. MarginaliaDe bello Neopolit. lib. 5. Ex Philip. Cominæo. lib. 5.

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Lyke examples we haue many here also in this our realme of England. 

Commentary  *  Close

This lengthy digression, tying the prosperity of monarchs andtheir reigns to their resistance to 'papistry', is actually an attempt to goad Elizabeth and her councillors into further reforming the English Church.

So long as kyng Ihon kepte out of the realme, the Popes authoritie and power, hee continued safe and quiet with his nobles: but so soone as hee brought the realme vnder tribute and subiection to that foreine Byshop, God styrred vp his nobles against him, whereby hee had much disquiet and trouble and soone thereupon decayed.

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