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177 [176]

K. Edmund. Odo Archb. Edrede protector. King Edwine. King Edgar.

subiection, all those things gladly would I geue, yea & my self also would offer willingly for the health of your soules: as which also do desire and trust likewise my selfe to bee strengthened with the feruency of your holinesse as appertainyng to those thinges wherein the Lorde our God hath set vs to be workemen. &c.

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And after a few other wordes of like effect wherein he doth declare the heauy burden of hys office, it followeth after this maner.

Wherfore most humbly and one vnworthy but yet a deuout fellow brother of yours, I beseech and exhort your holinesse: that you will not shew your selues cold and negligent in the cure and regiment of soules, so that in the tyme of the fearefull iudgement, the Lord do not complain of you, saying, my shepeheardes did not fede my flocke, but they fed themselues. And agayne they were princes of my flocke, and I knew not of it. But rather let vs take hede, and be diligent ouer the household of the Lord, ouer which he hath set vs to be the leaders: to geue them meate, and true measure of corne in tyme conuenient: that is to say: wholsome doctrine. And although vpon myne owne demerites or worthines, I do not presume to comfort or exhorte any man: But as one beyng vnworthy and faultie in transgressions innumerable, am glad, and stand in neede, rather to be strenghtened by your brotherly admonitions: yet for the auncient aucthoritie of my predecessors, as of Augustine, of happy memory, and also of other saintes by whose industrie the rule of christianitie did first florish and spryng from this Metropolitane sea, vnto all quarters of England. Therfore I haue thought good to direct vnto you these my letters to the profite of you all: especially, for that our renowmed and princely king Edmond, withall his people doth ioy to follow that which he heareth in you and of you: and also, for so much as all his subiectes which be vnder his imperiall dominion, do loue and delight to follow most ioyfully the same and report of your sincere conuersation. &c.

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MarginaliaElsinus Archb. of Caunt. elect.Thys Odo continued byshop the space of xx. yeres. After whome Elsinus was elected and ordeyned by the kyng to succede, through fauour & mony: but in goyng to Rome for the popes palle in hys iourney through the Alpes, he decayed and dyed for colde. Whereupon succeded Dunstane: as in tyme and place (by the leaue of Christ) followeth to be declared.

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MarginaliaS. Edmūdesburye. 

Commentary  *  Close

Foxe's account of the death of King Edmund and the summary of the reign of King Edwin comes mainly from John Brompton's Chronicle (J. Brompton, 'Chronicon Johannis Brompton Abbatis Jornalensis.' In Historiæ Anglicanæ Scriptores X. [....], ed. by Roger Twysden [London, 1652], pp. 858; 862-3, with additions from Fabian's Chronicle (R. Fabyan, The Chronicle of Fabian [London, 1559], book 6, chs 189; 192).

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This Edmund gaue to S. Edmund the martyr before mentioned, the towne of Bredrichcehworth, which is now called S. Edmundesbury, with great reuenewes and landes apperteinyng to the same. But concernyng the friuolous miracles whiche our monkishe storywriters here fayne of thys good Edmund, by the way (or rather out of the way) I let them passe.

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And thus much concernyng the reigne of king Edmūd, who after he had reigned vi. yeares and halfe, was slaine as is sayd at Pulcherchurch, and buried at Glastenbury of Dunstane: MarginaliaThe children of king Edmund
Edrede gouernour of the Realme.
leauyng behynd hym two children Edwine, & Edgar, by his wyfe Elgina. But because the foresaid children were yet yong and vnder age, therfore Edrede brother to king Edmunde, and vncle to the children: gouerned as protector about the space of 9. yeares and halfe, til Edwine the eldest sonne came to age. This Edrede with great moderation, and fidelitie to the yong children, behaued hymselfe during the tyme of hys gouernement. MarginaliaDunstane made byshop of Witceter & after of London.In his tyme, Dunstane was promoted through the meanes of Odo the Archbishop, frō abbot of Glastēbury to be bishop of Wirceter: & after of Londō. By the counsell of this Dunstane Edrede was much ruled, and to much therto addicted: In so much that the sayd Edrede is reported in stories to submit hymselfe to much fond penance, and castigations inflicted to hym of the sayd Dunstane. Such zealous deuotion was then in princes, and more blynd superstitiō in bishops. And here agayne is an other miracle as fantasticall as the other before, forged of Dunstane. That when that Edrede beyng sicke sent for Dunstane to be hys confessor, by the way, Dunstane should heare a voyce declaryng to hym before, that Edrede was already departed: MarginaliaWith lye and the declaryng wherof Dunstanes horse fell immediatly dead vnder hym, with lye and all.

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¶ King Edwine.

MarginaliaK. Edwine.
EDwine the eldest sonne of kyng Edmund afore mentioned, as hys vncle Edrede, began hys reigne about the yere of our lord, 955. beyng crowned at Kingston by Odo the Archbishop of Canterbury. Of this Edwine it is reported of diuers writers, that the first day of hys coronation, sittyng with hys Lordes, brake sodaynely frō them & entred a secret chamber, to the company of a certaine womā, whom he inordinatly reteyned (being as some say an other mās wife) whose husbād he had before slayne: as other say beyng of hys aliance: to the great mislikyng of hys Lordes, and especially of the Clergy. Dunstane was yet but Abbot of Glastēbury, who followyng the kyng into the chamber, brought hym out by the hand, and accused hym to Odo the archbyshop causing hym to be separate frō the company of the foresayd partie, MarginaliaThe kyng suspēded by the Archb.
K. Edwine an enemy to Monkes
by the which Odo, the kyng was for his fact suspēded out of the church. By reason wherof the king beyng with Dunstane displeased, banished hym hys land, and forced hym for a season to flee to Flaunders where he was in the monastery of S. Amandus. About the same season the monasticall order of Benedict monkes or blackmonkes (as they were called) began to multiply and encrease here in england. In so much, that where before tyme other priestes and cannons had ben placed, there monkes were in their rowmes set in, and the secular priestes (as they then were called) or cannōs put out. MarginaliaMonkes put out, secular priestes placed in their roumes.But kyng Edwin for the displeasure he bare to Dunstane, dyd so vexe all the order of the sayd monkes: þt in Malmesbury, Glastenbury and other places mo, he thrust out the monkes, and set in seculare priestes in their stede.

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Notwithstandyng it was not long, but these priestes and cannons were agayne remoued, and the sayd monckes in theyr steade restored, both in the foresayde houses, and in diuers other Churches cathedrall besides: as in the next story of kyng Edgar (Christ willyng) shall at more large appeare.

MarginaliaThe death of king Edwyn.In fine kyng Edwine beyng hated by reason of certain hys demeaners, of all hys subiectes (especially the Northumbrians, and Mercians) was by them remoued from hys kingly honour, and hys brother Edgar in his stead receaued: so that the riuer of Thamis deuided both theyr kyngdomes. Which Edwine after he had reigned about the terme of. 4. yeares departed, leauyng no heyre of hys body. Wherfore the rule of the land fell vnto Edgar his younger brother.

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¶ King Edgar. 
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Edgar and Edward the Martyr

Foxe had scarcely done more in the 1563 edition of his martyrology than point to the period after the death of King Athelstan as the one in which 'shepheardes and watchmen became wicked Wolues, Christes frendes chaunged into ennemies. To be shorte here came in the time,that the reuelation speaketh of, whan Sathanas, the old serpent, beyng tied vp for a thousand yere, was losed for a certaine space' (1563, pp. 10-11). Foxe thus linked this, the 'third age' of the church, with the accomplishment of the first millennium of Christian history and the prediction contained in Revelation, 20: 6-8. By the 1570 edition, the history of Kings Edgar and Edward the Martyr were completely reworked in a lengthy passage which makes no mention of any underlying millennial interpretation. Instead, it concentrates on the coming of a new form of monasticism to England, associated in general terms with the 'middle age' of the church (Foxe had already used the term in the 1563 edition, although here he ascribes it to a broader period). He elaborates the development in ways that explicitly and intentionally reveal his protestant colours. Foxe was careful to distinguish between the Celtic and Augustinian monasticism of the 'second age' of the church - godly men (Foxe rarely mentions female monasticism at all) who were lay people, often married, who accepted monastic discipline - and the 'prodigious superstition' that accompanied the 'monkes of the middle & latter age of the church' - Cluniac monasticism and its successors. Foxe consciously restrained his urge to elaborate on that theme at greater length, not least because he was anxious to emphasize other, more insidious, elements in the development. These included the much greater social weight and presence of the new monasticism, its urban setting and competitive variety (Foxe makes a good deal of the latter, gently mocking the different colours and rituals of the monastic orders), and its growing political weight. The latter is emphasised in Foxe's narrative explicitly - in his account of the role of Dunstan, in his nuanced assessment of the achievements of King Edgar, and his interpretation of the the reaction of the Anglo-Saxon nobility to the growing power of the new monasticism after the death of King Edgar and the resulting turmoil of that of his successor, King Edward. The latter, 'called the Martyr' is treated by Foxe in a particularly negative fashion in order, at least by implication, to indicate that one of the Satanic elements of the new monasticism was to manufacture martyrdom to its own purposes, manipulating the historical record to further its own cause. Foxe is consistently aware, throughout this passage, of the potential bias of the monastic sources that he is often compelled to rely upon for his narrative, consciously revealing to his audience the critique that he is subjecting them to. This is particularly evident in the passage where he proves, at least to his satisfaction, that King Edward was, in reality, an illegitimate child of King Edgar, a secret consciously withheld in the 'Monkish stories' to sustain the credit of Dunstan and 'the reputation of the Churche of Rome'.

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Foxe's use of his sources in this passage is particularly wide-ranging and penetrating. As in previous passages of the 1570 edition of book 3, he consciously plays off the lay chronicles (particularly Roger of Howden (Hoveden) and Fabian's Chronicle against his monastic sources (William of Malmesbury, John of Brompton's Chronicle, Osbern's Life of Dunstan…). Some of his anti-monastic material comes from Bale's Catalogus and the Lives of the English Votaries. But, more interestingly, Foxe also in this passage cites (albeit probably indirectly) from the Church Fathers - the only time he does so outside Book One in the 1570 edition. This section seems to have come from various parts of the Magdeburg Centuries (Century V). As in the case of the other sources which Foxe cites (Eadmer's Life of Dunstan; Osbern of Canterbury's Life of Dunstan; Simeon of Durham's Chronicle; John Capgrave's Life of Saint Edith) there are strong indications that this section had been produced with the active collaboration of members of Archbishop Matthew Parker's household, particularly John Joscelyn. Dunstan's role in the archiepiscopal lineage at Canterbury made this section particularly sensitive from both Foxe's and Parker's point of view.

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Once presented in the 1570 edition, this section did not undergo further changes in the later editions during Foxe's lifetime.

Matthew Phillpott and Mark Greengrass
University of Sheffield

MarginaliaAn. 959.
K. Edgar called Pacificus.
EDgar the second sonne of Edmunde, and brother to Edwine, being of the age of xvi. yeares, began hys raygne ouer the realme of England, in the yeare of the Lord. 959. but was not crowned till. xiiij. yeares after: 

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The description of King Edgar's coronation and the election of Dunstan as Archbishop of Canterbury, were taken by Foxe from Roger Howden's Chronicle (W. Stubbs, ed. Chronica magistri Rogeri de Houdene 4 vols, Rolls Series [London, 1868], 1, pp. 61-2). His general approach, however, to the reign of King Edgar reflects the point of view taken by Bale in the Catalogus (pp. 137-41) and the English Votaryes (pp. 61-66) though Foxe does not directly borrow from either of these sources.

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the causes wherof here vnder follow (Christ willyng) to be declared. In the beginnyng of hys raigne he called home Dunstane, whom kyng Edwine before had exiled. MarginaliaDunstane made B. of Worceter, and of London.
Ex hist. Rog. Houden.
Then was Dunstane, which before was Abbot of Glastenbury, made byshop of Worceter, and then of London. Not long after, this Odo the Archbyshop of Cant. deceaseth, after he had gouerned that Church. xxiiij. yeares. After whom Brithelinus Byshop of Wint. first was elected. But because he was thought not sufficient to furnish that roome, Dunstane was ordayned Archbyshop, and the other sent home agayne to hys olde Church. MarginaliaSpirituall lyuinges geuen by the king, and not by the PopeWhere note by the way, how in those dayes the donation and assigning of Ecclesiasticall dignities remayned in the kyngs hand: onely they fet their palle from Rome, as a token of the Popes confirmation. So Dunstane beyng by the king made Archbyshop, tooke his iourney to Rome for his palle of Pope Iohn the. xiij. which was about the beginning of the kynges raigne. Thus Dunstane obtayning his palle, shortly after his returne agayne from Rome, entreateth king Edgar: MarginaliaOswaldus bish. of Worcetor and after of Yorke.that Oswaldus (who, as is said, was made mōke at Floriake, & was nephew to Odo, late byshop of Cāt.) might be promoted to the bishopricke of Worceter: which thyng to hym was graūted. And not long after, through þe meanes of the sayd Dunstane, MarginaliaEthelwoldus bysh. of Wint. a great maintainer of monkery.Ethelwoldus (whom stories do faine to be the great patrone of Monkery) first Monke of Glastenbury, then Abbot of Abbendon, was also made Byshop of Winchester. MarginaliaAn. 963.
Ex Gulie. Malmesburiens. de gestis pontifi. Aug.
Of this Ethelwold, Gulielmus libro de gestis pontificum recordeth, that what tyme he was a monke in the house of Glastenbury: the Abbat had a vision of him, which was this. 
Commentary  *  Close

Foxe's elaboration on the dream which led King Edgar to patronize the new monasticism come from a variety of sources. The interesting reference to Emperor Charles V's dream, and 'how he was led by a thred to see the tormentes of hell' has not been identified. That of Furse comes from Bede, Book 3, ch. 19; The dream of Astyages, king of the Medes, came (directly or indirectly), from Herodotus' Histories, book 1 (second part). Ethelwold's dream sequence itself is taken from William of Malmesbury's Gesta Pontificium (N. E. S. A. Hamilton, ed. William of Malmesbury. Willemesbiriensis Monachi De Gestis pontificium Anglorum [...] [London: Rolls Series, 1870], book 2, ch. 75, p. 263). The remaining material on the monastic foundations of King Edgar ('Burga by Stanford' = Peterborough; 'Ramsey' might be Rumsey in Hampshire, which was founded by King Edgar, although it could equally be Ramsey Abbey in Huntingdonshire, which was refounded by him) is taken from Roger of Howden's Chronicle with a direct quotation (W. Stubbs, ed. Chronica magistri Rogeri de Houdene 4 vols, Rolls Series (London, 1868), 1, p. 62); Brompton's Chronicle (J. Brompton, 'Chronicon Johannis Brompton Abbatis Jornalensis.' In Historiæ Anglicanæ Scriptores X. [....], ed. by Roger Twysden [London, 1652], col. 867) and William of Malmesbury's Gesta Pontificium (Ibid., book 1, ch. 18.4, p. 34).

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How that there appeared to him in hys sleepe a certayne great tree, the braunches whereof extended throughout all the foure quarters of the Realme: whiche braunches were all couered with many little Monkes coules: where in the top of the tree was one great maister coule, which in spreding it selfe ouer the other coules, inclosed all the rest: which maister coule in the tree top, myne author in the interpretation applyeth to the life of this Ethelwold. Of such prodigious fantasies our Monkishe histories be full: and not onely our histories of England, but also the heathen histories of the Gentiles be stuffed with such kinde of dreames of much lyke effect.

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