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Leo X (Giovanni de Medici)
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Leo X (Giovanni de Medici)

(1475 - 1521) [Kelly]

b. Florence, second son of Lorenzo the Magnificent; abbot of Font Douce, Passignano and Monte Cassino; cardinal 1489 (aged 13); studied theology and law at Pisa (1489 - 91)

Pope (1513 - 21)

Thomas Cromwell presented Leo X with English delicacies, and Leo immediately granted the pardons for Boston that Cromwell had requested. 1570, p. 1346; 1576, p. 1149; 1583, p. 1178.

Leo X sent legates to France, Germany and England in 1518 when he was preparing to fight the Turks. 1563, p. 418; 1570, p. 1120; 1576, p. 959; 1583, p. 986.

Leo X condemned writings and translations of Martin Luther. 1563, p. 462; 1570, p. 1135; 1576, p. 972; 1583, p. 999.

Leo issued a bull against Martin Luther, in which his teachings and his works were condemned. 1570, pp. 1459-65; 1576, pp. 1244-47; 1583, pp. 1280-84.

Luther produced an answer to the papal bull and sent an appeal to the pope. 1570, pp. 1465-76; 1576, pp. 1247-52; 1583, pp. 1284-89.

1023 [999]

K. Hen. 8. Articles obiected to M. Arthure, and Thomas Bilney.

tings, and bookes, set forth and translated by Martin Luther, 

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It had been illegal to preach or teach any of Martin Luther's doctrine any where in western Europe since mid 1520, when his books and sermons were banned by Pope Leo X in his Bull Exsurge Domine. When Luther continued to defy the pope by burning the Bull with books of canon law publicly in late 1520, Leo excommunicated him at the beginning of 1521. Heresy was illegal in England under the terms of both canon law and statute: the 1408 Constitutions of Archbishop Thomas Arundel, printed in William Lyndwood, Provinciale, (seu Constitvtiones Angliae) (Oxford, 1679; rpt. 1968), p. 286; 5 Ric. II, st. 2, c. 5 (1382); 2 Hen. IV, c. 15 (1401); 2 Hen. V., st. 1, c. 7 (1414). See also J. A. Guy, 'The Legal context of the controversy: the law of heresy', in The Debellation of Salem and Bizance in The Complete Works of St. Thomas More, vol. 10 (1987), pp. xlvii-lxvii.

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lately condemned by Pope Leo the tenth, and by all maner of probable meanes, to enquire and roote out their errors and opinions, and all such as were found culpable, to compell them to abiuration, according to the lawe, or if the matter so required, to deliuer them vnto the secular power, and to geue them full power and authoritie to determine vpon them.

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MarginaliaBilney and Arthure brought before Tūstall bishop of London.The xxviij. of Nouember, 

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28 November 1527. Tunstall, West and Fisher came to the house of Richard Nix, near Charing Cross, perhaps out of consideration for Nix's partial blindness. Nix was a member of Bilney's college, Trinity Hall.

in the yeare aforesayde, the Byshop of London, with the Byshop of Ely and Rochester, came vnto the Byshop of Norwiches house, whereas likewise Ex officio, they did sweare certayne witnesses against mayster Thomas Arthur, in lyke sorte as they had done before agaynst mayster Bilney, and so proceeded to the examination of mayster Arthur: whiche being ended vpon certayne interrogatories, the Byshop of London warned hym by vertue of hys othe, MarginaliaWorke they neuer so secretly, yet God bringeth their practises to light at length.that he should not reueale his examinations, nor his answeres, nor any parte or parcell thereof.

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The seconde day of December, 

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2 December 1527. Despite `the same place', this part of the proceedings resumed at the Chapter House of Westminster Abbey.

the Bishops assembled agayne in the same place, and sware more witnesse agaynst Mayster Bilney. That done, they called for Mayster Arthur, vnto whose charge they layde these Articles folowing.

¶ Articles agaynst Thomas Arthur. 
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The records of Bilney's and Arthur's examinations are preserved in the Register of Cuthbert Tunstall, bishop of London, in Guildhall Library, MS 9531/10, fols. 130B-136A. Arthur's and Bilney's examinations have also been discussed by Susan Brigden, London and the Reformation, (Oxford, 1989), pp. 71, 111-113, 116, 119, 122-3, 127, 161, 195, 204, 260.

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MarginaliaArticles against Thomas Arthur.1 IN primis, that he exhorted the people in his prayers, to pray specially for those that nowe be in prison, which Article he denyed.

2 That he sayde, though men be restrayned to preache now adayes 

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All traveling preachers, whether friars, monks, or learned secular clergymen, were required under the terms of English statute (2 Henry IV, c. 15, printed in Statutes of the Realm, vol. 2, pp. 125-8) and canon law (William Lyndwood, Provinciale, (seu Constitvtiones Angliae) (Oxford, 1679; rpt. 1968), Lib. V, tit. 5, pp. 288-9) to hold a license, usually from the bishop in whose diocese they wanted to preach. John Fisher, bishop of Rochester and chancellor of Cambridge obtained new licensing powers for the university under the terms of a Bull issued by Pope Alexander VI in 1503. A Cambridge University preaching license permitted its holder to preach anywhere in England, Scotland, and Ireland. Damian Riehl Leader, A History of the University of Cambridge, vol. 1, The University to 1546 (Cambridge, 1988), pp. 246-7, 278-9; Susan Wabuda, Preaching during the English Reformation (Cambridge, 2002), pp. 117-119. Arthur was licensed to preach by Cambridge University in 1519-20 in the same group that included Nicholas Shaxton and Thomas Cranmer. Grace Book B, Part II: Containing the Accounts of the Proctors of the University of Cambridge, 1511-44, ed. Mary Bateson (Cambridge, 1905), p. 77. Bilney was issued a license to preach in the diocese of Ely in 1525, which Bishop West retracted after he was convicted of heresy. Cambridge University Library, MS EDR, G/1/7, fol. 33A.

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(which is agaynst Gods lawes) yet I may preache: First by the authoritie of my Lord Cardinall, for I haue his licence. Secondly, by the authoritie of the Vniuersitie. Thirdly, by the Pope. Fourthly, by the authoritie of God, where he sayeth: MarginaliaAuthoritye to preache.Euntes in mundum, prædicate Euangelium omni creaturæ. By whyche authoritie, euerye man may preach, 
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For Arthur to preach that `euerye man may preach' was unusual, and against canon law and statute. Here he may have been influenced by some of the writings of Erasmus, or the idea of the priesthood of all believers, found in Martin Luther's [Of the Babylonian Captivity of the Church] - De Captivitate Babylonica Ecclesiae (Basle: Adam Petri, 1520).

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and there is neyther Byshop nor Ordinary, not yet the Pope, that may make any lawe to let any man to preach the Gospell. This Article he confessed that he spake.

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3 When he spake of Lawes, he brought a similitude of Crosses, set vp againste the walles of London 

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For the crosses on the walls of London, see also Patrick Collinson, 'Truth and Legend: the Veracity of John Foxe's Book of Martyrs', in Elizabethan Essays (London, 1994), pp. 151-77 at p. 175, n. 88.

, that men should not pisse there. When there was but one Crosse or a fewe more, men did reuerence them, and pissed not there: but when there was in euery corner a Crosse set, then men of necessitie were compelled to pisse vpon the Crosses: So in lyke manner, when there was but a fewe holy and deuoute lawes in the Churche, then men were afrayde to offend them. MarginaliaThe multitude of lawes, make lawes to be contemned. Afterwarde, they made many lawes for their aduantage, and such as were pecuniall, those they do obserue, and such as are not pecuniall, those they call Palea, MarginaliaPalea in the Popes decrees. and regard them not: and so now adayes there are so many lawes, that whether a man do ill or well, he shall be taken in the lawe. He confessed that he spake the very same, or the like words.

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MarginaliaThe preaching of the Gospell is to be left for no persecution.4 He said, Good people, if I should suffer persecution for the preaching of the Gospel of God, yet there is 7000. more that would preach þe Gospell of God, as I do now. Therfore good people, good people (whiche wordes be often rehearsed as it were lamenting) thinke not that if these tyrants and persecuters put a man to death, the preaching of the Gospell therefore is to be forsaken. This Article he confessed that he spake in like words and sense, sauing that he made no mention of tyrants.

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5 That euery man, yea euery lay man is a priest. 

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Luther argued in Of the Babylonian Captivity of the Church that every Christian, in some senses, can be a priest in the exercise of ministry. De Captivitate Babylonica Ecclesiae (Basle: Adam Petri, 1520).

He confessed that he spake such wordes, declaring in hys Sermon, that euery Christian man is a Priest, offering vp the sacrifice of prayer: and if they dyd murmure agaynst the order of Priesthoode, they dyd murmure agaynst themselues.

6 That men should praye to no Saintes in heauen, but onely to God, and they should vse no other Mediatour for them, but Christ Iesu our redeemer only. This Article he denyed.

MarginaliaAaginst Images.7 He preached that they shoulde worship no Images of Saintes, whiche were nothing but stockes and stones. This he also denied.

8 He did preache vpon Whitsonday last within the Vniuersitie of Cambridge, such or like wordes and sentences: That a Bacheler of Diuinitie admitted of the Vniuersitie, or any other person hauing or knowing the Gospell of God, shoulde go foorth and preache in euery place, 

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For Arthur to preach that 'euerye man may preach' was unusual, and against canon law and statute. Here he may have been influenced by some of the writings of Erasmus, or the idea of the priesthood of all believers, found in Martin Luther's De Captivitate Babylonica Ecclesiae (Basle: Adam Petri, 1520).

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and let for no man, of what estate or degree soeuer he were: and if any Byshop did accurse them for so doing, their curses should turne to the harme of themselues. He confessed this.

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MarginaliaArthur submitteth himselfe.Which aunsweres thus made and acknowledged, the sayd M. Arthur did reuoke and condemne the sayd Articles agaynst him ministred, and submitted him selfe to the punishment and iudgement of the Church.

The thyrd day of December, the Byshop of London, with the other Byshops, 

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Among the other examiners whom Foxe did not name was the bishop of Carlisle. They met in the octagonal chapter house of Westminster Abbey, which has remained relatively unchanged in the intervening centuries. It is reached from the Cloister and it retains its original tile floor and wall paintings.

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assemblyng in the place aforesayd, after that Bilney had denyed vtterly to returne to the Church of Rome, the Byshop of London in discharge of his cōscience (as he sayd) least he should hide any thyng that had come to his hands, he did really exhibite vnto the Notaries, in the presence of the sayd Maister Bilney, certaine letters, to witte, fiue letters or Epistles, Marginalia5. letters of Bylney to the Bysh. of London. with one Schedule in one of the Epistles, conteyning his Articles and aunsweres folded therein, and an other Epistle 
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The actual number of letters that passed between Thomas Bilney and Bishop Cuthbert Tunstall is confused here. What is clear is that Tunstall carefully saved Bilney's letters, and used them here in examining him in 1527.

folded in maner of a booke, with sixe leaues, which all and euery one he commaunded to be written out and registred, and the originals to be deliuered to him agayne.

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This was done in the presence of Maister Bilney, desiring a Copie of them, and he bounde the Notaries with an othe, for the safe keepyng of the Copies, and true Registryng of the same. Whiche Articles and aunsweres, with three of the same Epistles, with certaine depositions deposed by the foresayd witnesse, here followe truely drawen out partly of his owne hand writyng, MarginaliaEx Regist Londinensi.and partly out of the Register.

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Interrogatories whereupon Maister Thomas Arthur, and Maister Bilney were accused and examined. 
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The records of Bilney's and Arthur's examinations are preserved in the Register of Cuthbert Tunstall, bishop of London, in Guildhall Library, MS 9531/10, fols. 130B-136A. The bishop of Rochester was John Fisher, chancellor of Cambridge University, who was among the most implacable of Luther's adversaries, and he enjoyed an international reputation for learning and orthodoxy. Luther's 1520 book De Captivitate Babylonica Ecclesiae created a sensation because he attacked the doctrine of the seven sacraments and the hierarchy of the Catholic Church by calling into question the theology of the Mass. Fisher responded against him in Defensio Regie assertionis contra Babylonicam captiuitatem and Sacri sacerdotij defensiones contra Lutherum, (Cologne: Peter Quentell, June 1525).

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MarginaliaInterrogatories against Bilney & Arthur.1 WHether they did beleue with their hartes, that the Assertions of Luther, which are impugned by the Byshop of Rochester, were iustly and godly condemned, and that Luther with his adherentes, was a wicked and detestable hereticke.

MarginaliaConstitutions.2. Whether they did beleue that the generall Coūcels and Ecclesiasticall Constitutions once receiued and not abrogat agayn, ought to be obserued of all men, euen for conscience sake, and not onely for feare.

3. Whether they did beleue that the Popes lawes were profitable and necessary to the preferrement of godlynesse, not repugnaunt to the holy Scriptures, neither by any meanes to be abrogate, but to be reuerenced of all men.

MarginaliaThe Church.4. Whether they did beleue that the Catholicke Churche may erre in the fayth or no, and whether they thinke that Catholicke Church to be a sensible Church, which may be demonstrate and poynted out as it were with a finger, or that it is onely a spirituall Church, intelligible, & knowen onely vnto God.

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MarginaliaImages.5. Whether they thinke that the Images of Saintes are Christenly set in the Churches, and ought to be worshypped of al true Christians.

MarginaliaWhether soules be already iudged.6. Whether that a man may beleue without hurt to his fayth, or note of heresie, the soules of Peter and Paule, and of our Ladye, either to bee, or not to bee in heauen, and that there is yet no iudgement geuen vpon the soules departed.

7. Whether that a man may beleue without spot of heresie, that our Lady remayned not alwayes a virgin.

MarginaliaBreaking of fasting dayes sinne.8. Whether holy dayes & fastyng dayes ordeined and receiued by the Church, may be broken by any priuate man, at his will and pleasure, without sinne or obstinacie.

9. Whether we are bound to be obedient vnto Prelates, Byshops, and Kynges, by Gods commaūdement, as we are vnto our parentes.

10. Whether they beleue that the Churche doth well and godly in praying to the Saintes.

MarginaliaChrist not onely to be prayed to.11. Whether they thinke that Christ onely should be prayd vnto, and that it is no heresie, if any man affirme that Saintes should not be prayed vnto.

12. Whether they doe thinke all true Christians to be by like right Priestes, and all those to haue receiued the keyes of bindyng and loosing, at the hands of Christ, which haue obteined the spirite of God, and onely such, whether they be lay men or Priestes.

13. Whether they beleue with their hart, that fayth may be without workes and charitie. 

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The target of the bishops' inquiry here was the Lutheran tenet of justification by faith alone, without the necessity of good works (including pilgrimages, the invocation of the saints, or almsdeeds).

MarginaliaPrayer in a learned tongue.14. Whether they beleue that it is more agreable to the fayth, that the people should pray in their owne tongue, thē in a learned vnknowen tongue, & whether they commende the prayer in a straunge tongue or no.

15. Whether they would haue the Masses and Gospels openly to be read in Churches in the vulgare tongue, rather then in the Latin tongue. 

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The reading of the Bible in the vernacular by the laity had been illegal in England ever since the medieval heresy laws against Lollardy had been passed by Parliament in 5 Ric. II, st. 2, c. 5 (1382); 2 Hen. IV, c. 15 (1401); 2 Hen. V., st. 1, c. 7 (1414), and also in the 1408 Constitutions of Archbishop Thomas Arundel, printed in William Lyndwood, Provinciale, (seu Constitvtiones Angliae) (Oxford, 1679; rpt. 1968), p. 286. Vernacular prayers and lessons were at issue once more since 1516 when Erasmus first issued his powerful call for everyone to read scripture in the Paraclesis.

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16. Whether they commend that children should onely be taught the Lordes prayer, and not the Salutation of the virgine, or Creede.

17 Whe-
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