Critical Apparatus for this Page
Commentary on the Text
Names and Places on this Page
Unavailable for this Edition
779 [755]

K. Henry. 7. Ecclesiasticall lawes made by kynges of this Realme.

Marginaliakyng Aluredes lawes. 1. KIng Alured, after he had ordeined diuers iudiciall punishmentes for violatyng the holy preceptes of God commaunded by Moses, he also confirmed and enlarged the priuiledge of Sanctuary: he layd double payne vpon such as committed offences in the solemnities of certeine feasts: Also agaynst them that committed sacrilege.

[Back to Top]

2. He made a law agaynst Priestes committyng murder.

3. Also he made a law agaynst whoredome, adultery, and fornication.

4. He appointed dayes of fastyng & ceasing from labour.

5. Item, he set order for makyng and keepyng vowes.

¶ Ecclesiasticall lawes of kyng Edward the elder, and Gythrum the Dane kyng. 
Commentary  *  Close

These laws are abridged from William Lambarde, Archianomia sive de priscis anglorum legibus libri (London, 1568), STC 15142, fos. 52r-56r.

MarginaliaK. Edwards lawes. FIrst, they agreed vpon the Sanctuary: they forbad Gentilitie 

Commentary  *  Close

'Gentility' in this context means pagan (from the term 'Gentile'used in theVulgate for non-Jews).

and Paganisme: they layde punishment vppon the Clergy committyng theft, periury, or murther, fornication, or any capitall crime.

2. They punished Priestes, that pretermitted their office in pronouncyng festiuall, or fastyng dayes.

3. They made a law agaynst all labour, buying, and selling vpon the Sabbaoth: also for keepyng of feastes. Item, for no executiō to be done on the Sōday. Also agaynst witches and sorcerers. &c.

¶ Ecclesiasticall lawes of kyng Ethelstane. 
Commentary  *  Close

These laws are from William Lambarde, Archiaonomia sive depriscis anglorum legibus libri (London, 1568), STC 15142, fos. 57r-58r and 60r.

MarginaliaK. Ethelstanes lawes. 1. KIng Ethelstan, who reigned the yeare of our Lord DCCCCxxiiij. 

Commentary  *  Close

Athelstane reigned from 925-40, but Lambarde gives the dates of his reign as 924-940 (William Lambarde, Archiaonomia sive de priscis anglorum legibus libri [London, 1568], STC 15142, fo. 57r).

cōmaunded that euery village of his owne, should giue a monethly corrodie 
Commentary  *  Close

A pension or allowance; see sub 'corrody' in the OED.

to a poore person.

2. That fifty Psalmes should be sōg dayly in the Church, for the kyng &c.

3. He also ordeined punishmēt for witches, & sorcerers. &c.

¶ Ecclesiasticall lawes of king Edmund. 
Commentary  *  Close

William Lambarde, Archiaonomia sive de priscis anglorum legibuslibri (London, 1568), STC 15142, fos. 72r, 73r and 74r.

MarginaliaK. Edmundes lawes. 1. AFter kyng Ethelstan folowed kyng Edmund about the yeare of our Lord. 940. 

Commentary  *  Close

Edmund reigned 940-946. Foxe is getting his dates from WilliamLambarde, Archiaonomia sive de priscis anglorum legibus libri (London, 1568),STC 15142, fo. 72r

who established and prouided lawes agaynst the vnchast liuyng of Churchmen.

2. Item, he made lawes concernyng tythes, with first fruites of euery mans croppe, and almose money duely to be payd.

3. Item, he enacted that Byshops of their owne proper charges should repayre Churches, and should also admonish the kyng for the furnishyng of the same.

4. For periury also, and for fightyng within the Church, he set lawes and paynes.

¶ Ecclesiasticall lawes of kyng Edgar. 
Commentary  *  Close

William Lambarde, Archiaonomia sive de priscis anglorumlegibus libri (London, 1568), STC 15142, fos. 77r-78r.

MarginaliaK. Edgars lawes. KYng Edgar, who began his reigne about the yeare of our Lord. 959. 

Commentary  *  Close

Edgar reigned 959-975. Foxe is getting his details from William Lambarde, Archiaonomia sive de priscis anglorum legibus libri (London, 1568), STC 15142, fo. 72r.

amongest other constitutions Ecclesiasticall, ordeined, that the Sonday should be kept holy from Saterday at noone till Monday in the mornyng.

2. Item, he ordeined and decreed concerning liberties and fredomes of the Church, for tythes also, and first fruites of corne, and paying of Peterpence.

3. Item, for holy dayes and fastyng dayes.

4. Item, that assembles or Synodes should be kept twise euery yeare whereat as well the Byshop of the Diocesse should be present as the ciuill Magistrate.

¶ Kyng Æthelrede. Anno. 979. 
Commentary  *  Close

Ethelred II (the Unready) reigned from 978-1016. Foxe gets the date of 979 from William Lambarde, Archaionomia sive de priscis anglorum legibus libri(London, 1568), STC 15142, fo. 82r.

MarginaliaKing Ethelredes lawes. KYng Æthelrede also which succeeded after Edgar, and Edward appoynted diuers lawes for publicke regiment. Wherof we finde but few touching matters Ecclesiasticall, for tythes lightes, feastes 

Commentary  *  Close

See William Lambarde, Archaionomia sive de priscis anglorumlegibus libri (London, 1568), STC 15142, fo. 84r.

and nothyng els, and therfore we passe further to the lawes of Canutus. 
Commentary  *  Close

This passage provides a clear statement of Foxe's purpose in printing these laws.

¶ Ecclesiasticall lawes of kyng Canutus. 
Commentary  *  Close

See William Lambarde, Archiaonomia sive de priscis anglorumlegibus libri (London, 1568), STC 15142, fos. 98r-104r.

MarginaliaKing Canutus lawes. CAnutus the Dane kyng began to reigne in this land in the yeare of our Lord. 1016. The sayd Canutus (as Æthelrede had done before) diuided his lawes into Ecclesiasticall and temporall.

1. That Ecclesiasticall persons beyng accused of fighting, murder, or any other offence, should purge thēselues therof.

2. That Priestes should be degraded for periury, and put in sureties of good behauiour.

3. He prayeth Priestes, that they will lyue chast, and commaunded other Religious.

4. He limited the degrees of Mariage.

5. Item, he commaunded celebration of the Sabbaoth frō Saterday at noone till Monday morning, as Edgar had done before, forbidding markets, huntinges, laboures, and Court keepings, during the said space.

6. He ordayned eche Christen man to come to the housel thrise yearely at the least: That they search and enquire after Gods law, and his commaundementes.

7. That euery Christian man vnderstand the pointes of hys fayth, and that at the least he learne perfectly þe Lordes prayer, and the Creede, and that whosoeuer cā not þe same, shall be excluded from the Eucharist, and shall not be receiued to vndertake for others in Baptisme.

8. That Byshops and Priestes should doe their dueties: that they cry out and warne their flockes when the Wolfe commeth.

9. That at the Court of euery Shyre, the Byshop of the Dioces shall be present with the Shriefe, and that the one shall teach them Gods lawe, & the other mans, as ye heard in K. Edgars lawes before.

Many other lawes both Ecclesiasticall & temporall beside these were enacted by these & other kings here in England before the Conquest, but these be sufficient to geue the vnderstanding reader to consider, how the authoritie of the Byshops of Rome, all this while, extended not so farre to prescribe lawes for gouernement of the Church, but that Kinges and Princes of the realme, as they be now, so were then full MarginaliaKyngs of England before the Conquest gouernours as well in causes Ecclesiasticall as temporall. gouernors here vnder Christ, as well in causes Ecclesiasticall, as temporall, both in directing orders, instituting lawes, in calling of Synodes, and also in conferryng Byshopprickes and benefices, without any leaue of the Romishe Byshops. Thns Odo, Dunstane, Oswold, Ethelwold, Aldelmus, and Lancfrancus although they fet their palles afterward from Rome, yet were they made byshops and Archbyshops by kynges onely, not by Popes.

[Back to Top]

And thus stode the gouernement of thys Realme of England all the time before the Conquest, MarginaliaWhē kinges of England came first vnder the Popes subiection. tyll Pope Hildebrand through the settyng on of the Saxons, began first to bring the Emperour (which was Henry 4.) vnder foote. Then followed the subduing of other Emperours, Kinges, and subiectes after that, as namely here in England, when Lancfrancus, Anselmus, and Becket went to complayne of their kynges and gouernours, then brought they the Popes iudiciall authoritie first from Rome, ouer thys land, both ouer kynges and subiectes: which euer since hath continued, tyll these latter yeares. Albeit the sayd kynges of thys realme of England beyng prudent Princes, and seeing right well the ambitious presumption of those Romishe Byshops, dyd what they could to shake of the yoke of their supremacie, as appeareth by the lawes and Actes of theyr Parliamentes, both in kyng Edward the thyrdes tyme, Kyng Rychard the 2. and Kyng Henry 4. aboue in their Parliament notes specified: yet for feare of other foreine Princes, and the blynde opinion of their subiectes, such was then the calamitie of that tyme, that neither they coulde nor durst compasse that, which fayne they woulde: tyll at last, the tyme of their iniquitie beyng complete, through the Lordes wonderfull workyng, theyr pride had a fall, as in the nexte Volume ensuyng (the Lord so grauntyng) shall by proces of hystorye be declared.

[Back to Top]
Go To Modern Page No:  
Click on this link to switch between the Modern pagination for this edition and Foxe's original pagination when searching for a page number. Note that the pagination displayed in the transcription is the modern pagination with Foxe's original pagination in square brackets.
Type a keyword and then restrict it to a particular edition using the dropdown menu. You can search for single words or phrases. When searching for single words, the search engine automatically imposes a wildcard at the end of the keyword in order to retrieve both whole and part words. For example, a search for "queen" will retrieve "queen", "queene" and "queenes" etc.
Humanities Research Institute  *  HRI Online  *  Feedback
Version 2.0 © 2011 The University of Sheffield