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777 [753]

K. Hēr. 7. Persecution in Couentry.

MarginaliaExamples of kynges of England. which were blessed of God with long prosperitie, beyng enemyes to the Bishops of Rome. ry ij. kyng Henry iij. kyng Edward the first, kyng Edward the iij. of whom the first, how stoute he was in withstādyng Thomas Becket, & Pope Alexander iij. is sufficiently before comprehended, pag. 209.

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The second, whiche was the sonne of kyng Iohn, albeit through the wretchednes of that tyme his power was not sufficient to repulse the Popes vsurped iurisdiction out of the realme: yet his will was good: at least he so defended and prouided for his subiectes, that they tooke no great wrong at the Popes handes: MarginaliaAugustus reigned lv. yeares. Who reigned one yeare longer, then Augustus Cæsar, whiche hath not commonly bene sene in any Prince.

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The thyrd, which was kyng Edward the first, so vigilantly behaued himselfe for the publique cōmoditie and safetie of his people, that he defended thē from all foraine power and hostilitie both of the Scottes (then our enemyes, now our frendes) and also from the Byshop of Rome, takyng part with them agaynst vs, MarginaliaVide supra pag. 344. as may appeare aboue, pag. 344. Furthermore of the same king and of his worthy Nobles & house of Parlament, how valiaūtly they stode in deniall of the Popes subsidies, and also how the sayd kyng secluded out of hys protection, the Byshoppes and especially the Archbyshop Peccham for standyng with the Pope, MarginaliaVid supra pag. 354. read pag. 354.

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Now as touchyng kyng Edward iij. how litle he regarded, how princely he with his Nobles likewise resisted the Popes reseruations and prouisions, how he bridled the Archbyshop Iohn Stratford, and reiected the vayne authoritie of the Byshop of Rome, both in defense of his subiectes, and also in defense of claymyng his right title in the realme of Fraunce, MarginaliaVide supra pag. 386. read pag. 386.

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Not that I do here affirme or define, as in a generall rule, that worldly successe and prosperitie of life alwayes foloweth the godly, which we see rather to be geuen more often to the wicked sort: but speakyng of the duetty of Princes, I note and obserue by examples of hystories, MarginaliaWhat difference betwene moderate princes & them that were persecutors. that such Princes as haue most defended the Churche of Christe committed to their gouernaunce, from iniurie and violence of the Byshop of Rome, haue not lacked at Gods hād great blessing and felicitie: where as contrarywise, they whiche either themselues haue bene persecutours of Christes mēbers, or haue not shielded them by their protection from foreine tyranny and iniuries, haue lacked at Gods hand that protection, which the other had, as may appeare by kyng Edw. 2. Richard ij. kyng Henry iiij. kyng Henry v. kyng Henry vi. &c. Who because either negligētly they haue suffered or cruelly caused such persecutyng lawes to be made, & so much Christen bloud iniuriously to be deuoured: therefore haue they bene the lesse prospered of the Lord, so that either they were deposed, or if they florished for a while, yet they dyd not long continue: almost not halfe the tyme of the other kynges before named.

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And therfore, as the state of the common wealth doth commonly folow the state of the Church, as ye heard before: so it had bene to be wished, that this kyng Henry the vij. beyng otherwise a prudent and temperaunt Prince, had not permitted the vntemperaunt rage of the Popes Clergy so much to haue their willes ouer the poore flocke of Christ, as then they had: accordyng as by these persecutions aboue mentioned, may appeare. The which kyng Henry vij. albeit he had a sufficient continuaunce, who had now reigned 24. yeares, yet notwithstandyng here commeth the same thyng to be noted, wherof I spake before: that when the Church of Christ begynneth to be iniured with violence, and to go to wracke through misorder and negligence, the state of the commō wealth can not there long endure without some alteration, and stroke of Gods correction. But how soeuer this marke is to be taken, thus lyeth the story: that after the burnyng and vexyng of these poore seruaunts of Christ aboue recited, when the persecution begā now in the church to be hoate, MarginaliaThe death of K. Henry 7. God called away the kyng, the same yeare aboue mentioned, which was. 1509. after he had reigned the terme of yeares. 24. Who if he had adioyned a litle more pitifull respect, in protectyng Christes poore members, from the fire of the Popes tyranny, to his other great vertues of singular wisedome, excellent temperance, and moderate frugalitie: somuch had he bene comparable with the best of those Princes aboue comprehended, as he had bene inferiour but to a few: but this defect which lacked in hym, was supplied most luckely (blessed be the Lord) by his posterity succeding after hym. Of whom in the next volume folowyng (Christ thereunto assistyng vs) we haue to specifie more at large.

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MarginaliaCouentry men persecuted. Among many other things incident in the reigne of this kyng Henry vij. I haue ouerpassed the hystory of certaine godly persons persecuted in the Diocesse of Couentry and Lychfield, as we finde them in the Registers of the Dioces recorded, here folowyng.

The yeare of our Lord 1485. March. 9. amongest diuers and sundry other good men in Couentry these ix. here vnder named were examined before Iohn Byshop of Couentry and Lichfield, in S. Michaels Church, vpon these Articles, folowing in order. 

Commentary  *  Close

These articles were copied from the register of John Hales, bishopof Coventry and Lichfield (Lichfield Record Office, Register Hales, fo. 166r-v;printed, with a translation, in Lollards of Coventry, 1486-1522, ed. Shannon McSheffrey and Norman P. Tanner, Camden Society, Fifth series 23 [2003], 64-73). It is most likely that a transcript (or even translation) of these abjurations was sent to Foxe as the 1563 edition was nearing completion (see Lollards of Coventry, pp. 53-54 for a discussion of this point).

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MarginaliaIohn Blumstone. FIrst, Iohn Blumston was openly and publikely infamed, accused, reported and appeached that he was a very hereticke, because he had preached, taught, holden, and affirmed, MarginaliaThe power of Peter flitteth not to his successours. that the power attributed to S. Peter in the church of God, by our sauiour Iesus Christ, immediatly did not flit, or passe from him, to remaine with his successours.

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Item, that there was as much vertue in an herbe as in the Image of the Virgine Mary.

MarginaliaPurgatory denyed. Item that prayer and almes auayle not the dead, for incontinent after death, he goeth either to heauen or hell, wherupon he concludeth there is no Purgatory.

Item, that it was foolishnes to go on PilgrImage to the Images of our Lady of Dancaster, Walsingham or of the Tower of the Citie of Couentry: for a man might as well worship the blessed Virgin by the fire side in the kitchin, as in the foresayd places, and as well might a man worship the blessed Virgin, when he seeth his mother or sister, MarginaliaImages not to be worshipped. as in visityng the Images, because they be no more but dead stockes and stones.

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Item, that he sayd in English wyth a frowning countenaunce, as it appeared: a vengeance on all such horson Priestes, for they haue great enuy that a poore man should get his liuyng among them.

MarginaliaRicharde Hegham. RIchard Hegham of the same Citie was accused. &c. to be a very hereticke, because he did holde that MarginaliaMerites condemned. a Christē man beyng at the point of death, should renounce all hys owne workes good and ill, and sumbitte hym to the mercy of God.

Item, that it was fondnes to worship the Images of our Lady of Tower in the foresaid Citie, or of other saints, for they are but stockes and stones.

MarginaliaImages serue rather to be burned then to be worshipped. Item, that if the Image of our Lady of Tower were put into the fire, it would make a good fire.

Item, that it were better to deale money vnto poore folkes then to offer to the Images of Christe & other saintes, which are but dead stockes and stones.

MarginaliaRobert Crowther. RObert Crowther of the same Citie was accused, that he was an hereticke, because he did holde, that who so receiueth the Sacrament of the altar in deadly sinne, or out of charitie, receiueth nothing but bread and wine.

Item, that neither Byshop, nor priestes or curates of Churches, haue power in the market of penaunce to bynde and loose. 

Commentary  *  Close

Foxe omits one of the articles charged against Crowther. It follws this article and charges that Crowther wished the phrase describing Christ as conceived ofthe Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, removed from the Apostles' Creed (seeLollards of Coventry, 1486-1522, ed. Shannon McSheffrey and Norman P. Tanner,Camden Society, Fifth series 23 [2003], p. 67).

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MarginaliaAgaynst pilgrymage. Item, that pilgrimage to the Image of our Lady of Tower is foolishnes, for it is but a stocke or a stone.

MarginaliaIohn Smith. IOhn Smith was accused to be a very hereticke, MarginaliaThe Lordes prayer to be in Englishe. because he did holde that euery man is bounde to know the Lordes Prayer, and the Creede in Englishe, if he myght for these false Priestes.

Item, that who so beleued as the Church then did beleue, beleued ill: and that a man had neede to frequent the schooles a good while, 

Commentary  *  Close

Smith actually said that a man needed to attend school 'per unum annum' [for a year] (Lollards of Coventry, 1486-1522, ed. Shannon McSheffrey and Norman P. Tanner, Camden Society, Fifth series 23 [2003], pp. 67-8).

ere that he can attayne to the knowledge of the true and right fayth.

Item that no priest hath power to assoyle a man in the market of penaunce, 

Commentary  *  Close

The phrase 'in the market of pennance' is Foxe's insertion into the text(cf. Lollards of Coventry, 1486-1522, ed. Shannon McSheffrey and Norman P. Tanner, Camden Society, Fifth series 23 [2003], p. 68).

from hys sinnes.

MarginaliaRoger Browne. ROger Browne of the same Citie, was also accused to be an hereticke, because he did holde that MarginaliaAgaynst Pilgrimage. no man ought to worship the Image of our Lady of Walsingham, nor the bloud of Christ at Hailes, but rather God almighty, who would geue him whatsoeuer he would aske. 

Commentary  *  Close

Roger Brown went on to declare that the Lord never shed his blood onearth and that he did not have a mother (Lollards of Coventry, 1486-1527, ed. Shannon McSheffrey and Norman Tanner, Camden Society, Fifth series 23 [2003], p.69). Foxe omitted this statement.

Item, that he held not vp his handes, nor looked vp, at the eleuation of the Eucharist.

Item, that he promised one to shew him certaine bookes of heresie, if he would sweare that he would not vtter them, and if he would credite them.

MarginaliaFleshe eating in Lent. Item, that he did eate fleshe in Lent, and was taken wyth the maner.

MarginaliaAgainst purgatory and confession auricular. Item, if any man were not shriuen his whole lyfe long, and in the point of death would be confessed and could not, if he had no more but contrition onely, he should passe to ioye without Purgatory: And if he were confessed of any sinne, & were enioyned onely to say for penaūce one Pater noster, if he thought he should haue any punishment in Purgatory for that sinne, he would neuer be confessed for any sinne.

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MarginaliaAgaynst confessiō and satisfaction. Item, because he sayd all was lost that is geuē to priests.

Item, that there was no purgatory, and that God would

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