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LeicesterMarket BosworthTamworth [Tomworth]
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Lecester, Leycester
NGR: SK 590 045

A borough, having separate jurisdiction, in the county of Leicester, of which it is the capital. 97 miles north-north-west from London. The borough comprises the parishes of All Saints, St Leonard, St Martin, St Nicholas, and parts of St Margaret and St Mary. St Margaret is within the peculiar jurisdiction of the prebend of that stall in Lincoln cathedral. The rest are in the Archdeaconry of Leicester, Diocese of Lincoln

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English information from Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England (S. Lewis & Co: London, 1831)

Scottish information from Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (S. Lewis & Co: London, 1846)

Welsh information taken from Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales(Lewis & Co: London, 1840)

The reason for the use of these works of reference is that they present the jurisdictional and ecclesiastical position as it was before the major Victorian changes. The descriptions therefore approximate to those applying in the sixteenth century, after the major changes of 1535-42. Except for the physical locations, which have not changed, the reader should not therefore take these references as being accurate in the twenty-first century.

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Market Bosworth


OS grid ref: SK 405 035

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Tamworth [Tomworth]


OS grid ref: SK 225 035

753 [729]

K. Ric. 3. The battell at Boswarth. K. Kic. slaine. K. Hen. 7. Maximilianus.

tains and men of power adioyned themselues as Richard Griffith, Iohn Morgan. Rice ap Thomas, thē sir Georg Talbot, with the yong Erle of Shrewesbery his warde, Sir William Stanley, Sir Tho. Burchier, and Sir Walter Hungerford, knightes. At last the said Erle hearing of the kinges comming, conducted his whole army to Tamworth.

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MarginaliaK. Richard gathered his power to encounter with Earle Henry.King Richard first hearing of the arriuall of the Erle Henry in the partes of Wales after such a slender sort, did giue little or no regard vnto it. But after, vnderstanding that he was come to Lichfield, without resistaunce or incombraunce, he was sore moued, and exceedingly tooke on cursing and crying out against them whiche had so deceaued him, & in all post speed, sent for Iohn Duke of Northfolke, Hen. Erle of Northumberlād. Tho. Erle of Surrey with other his frendes of special trust. Robert Brakenbury also liefetenaunt of the tower was sent for, with Sir Tho. Burchier, and Sir Walter Hungerforde, with certaine other knightes and Esquiers, of whome he partlye misdoubted, or had some suspicious gelousy. Thus K. Richard, after most forceable maner well fortified and accompanied, leauing nothing vndone þt dilligence could require set forward toward his enemies. The Earle by this time was come to Tamworth, to whō secretly in the Euening resorted sir Iohn Sauage, sir Bryan Sanford, sir Simon Digby, and many other, forsaking the part of K. Richard, whome all good men hated, as he no otherwise deserued. The king hauing perfect knowledge the Earle to be encamped at Tamworth, embatled himselfe in a place neare to a village called Bosworth, MarginaliaK. Richard taketh the field of Bosworth. not farre from Leicester, appointing there to encounter with his aduersaries. Here þe matter lay in great doubt and suspense concerning þe Lord Stanley MarginaliaThis Lord Stanley was he, which was hurt at the Tower when the L. Hastings was arested. vide. pag. 727. (which was þe Erles father in law & had maryed his mother) to what part he would encline. For although his hart went (no doubt) with the Earle, & had secret conference with him the night before, yet because of his sonne and heyre George Lord Straunge, being then in the hāds of king Richard, least the king should attempt any preiudiciall thing against him, durst not be seene openly to goe that way, where in hart he fauoured, and therefore closely kept himselfe betweene both, till the push came that hys helpe might serue at a pinch.

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The number of the Erles part exceeded not to the one halfe of the side of king Richard. When the time and the place was appointed, where the two battailes should encounter and ioyne together, sore stripes and great blowes were geuen on both sides, and many slayne. MarginaliaBosworth field. If number & multitude might gouerne the successe of battaile, king Richard had double to the erle. But god is he, not man, that geueth victorye, by what meanes it seemeth to his diuine prouidence best. In what order and by what occason this field was wonne and lost, the certain intelligence we haue not certainly expressed, but onely by the historye of Polydore Vergile, whom sir Thomas More doth follow word for word. 

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This would seem to indicate that Foxe was using the Latin edition of Thomas More's works, which was printed at Louvain in 1565, as this edition supplemented More's history of Richard III - which ended, incomplete, in 1483 - with Polydore Vergil's account.

MarginaliaThe history of Sir Tho. More, word for word taken out of Polid. Virg. In the which history it doth appeare, þt as these 2. armies were coupling together, king Richard vnderstanding by his espials where the earle of Richmond was, and how he was but slenderly accompanied, and seeing him to approch more neare vnto him, he rather caryed with courage, then ruled with reason, set spurres to the horse and raunging out of the compasse of hys ranckes, pressed toward the Erle, setting vppon him so sharpely, that first he killed sir William Brandon, MarginaliaW. Brandon the Erles standard bearer, father to þe Lord Charles Brandon MarginaliaCharles Brandon. Duke of Suffolke, thē after ouerthrew sir Iohn Cheny, thinking likewise to oppresse the Erle. But as the Lorde by his secret prouidence disposeth the euent of all thinges, as the earle with his mē about him being ouermatched, began to dispayre of victory, sodeinly & oportunely came syr William Stanley with 3. thousand well appointed able men, MarginaliaThe death of king Richard.whereby king Richardes men were driuen backe & he himselfe cruelly fighting in the thick of his enemies, was there slain, & brought to his confusion and death, which he worthely deserued.

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In the meane time the Earle of Oxford, who had the guiding of the forewarde, discomfited the forefrunt of king Richards hoast, and put them to flight, in which chase many were slayne, of noble men especially aboue other, MarginaliaDuke of Northfolke slaine.Iohn Duke of Northfolke, Lord Ferrers, sir Richard Radcliffe and Robert Brakenbury Lieutenaunt of the Tower. &c. MarginaliaLord Tho. Haward Earle of Surrey aduaunced by K. Henry. 7.Lord Thomas Haward Earle of Surrey, there submitted himselfe, and although he was not receaued at first to grace, but long remayned in the Tower, yet at length for his fidelitie, was deliuered and aduanced to his recouered honour and dignitie againe.

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MarginaliaK. Richards sonne punished for the wickednes of his father.This king Richard had but one sonne, who shortly after the cruell murder of king Edwardes sonnes, was taken with sicknes and died. The wife of the sayd king Ri-chard (whether by poyson or by sickenes) dyed also a little before the field of Bosworth: MarginaliaK. Richard purposed to marry Elizabeth his brothers daughter.After whose decease, the storie of Polydore & of sir Tho. More affirmeth: that he intended himself to mary the Lady Elizabeth his own brothers daughter, and so to preuent the Earle of Richmond.

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MarginaliaL. Stanley husband to K. Henries mother forsooke k. RichardMoreouer as touching the Lord Stanley, thus reporeth the story, that king Richard being in Bosworth fielde, sent for the Lord Stanley by a purseuaunt, to auaunce forward with his company, and come to hys presence: otherwise he sware by Christes passion, that he would strike off his sonnes head before dinner. The L. Stanley sent word agayne, that if he did, he had more sonnes aliue. Whereupō the kyng immediately commaunded the Lord Strange to be beheaded: MarginaliaThe L. Strange meruelously preserued.which was the very time whē both þe armies were within sight, & were ready to ioyne together. Wherfore the kinges counsailers pondering the tyme and þe case perswaded the king, that it was now time to fight, & not to doe execution, aduising him to delay the matter tyll the battail were ended. And as (as God would) king Richard breaking hys othe, or rather keeping hys othe, for he hymselfe was slayne before dyner, the Lord Straunge was cōmitted to be kept prisoner within the kinges tente: who then after the victory gotten, was sought out and brought to his ioyfull father. And thus haue ye the tragicall life and end of this wretched king Richard.

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Henry the Erle of Richmond, after harty thankes geuen to almighty God, for hys glorious victorye obteined, proceeded to the towne of Leicester, where was brought to him by the Lord Straunge, the Crowne and put on the Earles head.

MarginaliaThe shamefull tossing of king Richardes dead Corpes.In the meane time the dead corpes of king Richarde was shamefully caried to the towne of Leicester, being naked and despoyled to the skinne, & being trussed behinde a purseuaunt of armes, was caryed like a hog or a dog, hauing his head & armes hanging on the one side of þe horse, and the legges on the other side, all sprincled with myre & bloud. And thus ended the vsurped reign of king Richard who reigned two yeares, and two monthes. MarginaliaAnno. 1485. Ex Polydo. & Thom. Moro.

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King Henry the vij.

MarginaliaKing Henry. 7.WHen king Henry, by the prouidence of God had obtayned this triumphant victory, & Diademe of the realme, first sending for Edward Plantaginet Earle of Warwicke, sonne to George Duke of Clarence, & committing him to safe custory wtin the tower, frō Leicester remoued to Lōdon, & not long after, according to his othe & promise made before, MarginaliaK. Henry marieth with Elizabeth.espoused to him the yong Ladye Elizabeth, heyre of þe house of Yorke: MarginaliaThe two houses of Yorke and Lancaster ioyned together.whereby both the houses of Yorke and Lancaster were conioyned together, to the no little reioysing of all English hartes, & no lesse quyet vnto the realme which was. an. 1485. This king reigned 23. yeares, and 8. monthes, and being a Prince of great pollicie, iustice and temperance, kept his realm in good tollerable rule & order. And here interrupting a little the course of our Englishe matters, we will now (the Lord willing) enter the story aboue promised, of Maximilian the Emperour, & matters of the Empire, especially such as pertayneth to þe Church. 

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Maximilian I and Julius II

Foxe's starting point for a great deal of the material in this section layin the work of John Bale. Joan Boughton and Philip Norris were both discussed in Bale's notes in Bodley Library MS e Musaeo 86, fo 63v; Foxe repeated these accounts in his Commentari, fos. 174v-175r and 176r-v. Foxe also printed a brief account of Savanorala in the Commentari, which was also drawn from Bale (see Commentari, fo 177r-v). However, while Foxe may have drawn on Bale for his accounts of these people in the Commentari, for the A&M, he was able to draw on other sources. Theaccount of Savanorola in the 1563 edition, was taken on Matthis Flacius's Catalogus testium veritatis, as was the account of Wesel Gansfort which also appeared in the 1563 edition. These accounts were reprinted without alteration in all subsequent unabridged editions of the A&M. Foxe also reprinted two letters of Maximilian I, also from Flacius's Catalogus, in his first editions. In the 1570 edition, edition Foxe added all of the other material in this section. The material on Maximian I was drawn from Casper Peucer's continuation of Carion's chronicle. Foxe took his account of thr persecution of Lollards around the year 1500 from the manuscript of what is now known as the Great Chronicle of London. And the accounts of Alexander VI and Julius II were drawn almost entirely from John Bale's Catalogus. Although there is no unifying theme for this section and it covers events inEngland, Italy and the Holy Roman Empire, it does make a number of pointsimportant to Foxe. It recounts the existence of proto-Protestants before Luther,including Lollards as well as Wesel Gansfort and Savanorola. (As a corollary ofthis, Foxe also associates Protestantism with both the invention of printing andhumanism). Foxe was also able to demonstrate the financial corruption of the Papacy, through the letters of Maximilian (complaining of ecclesiastical abuses) and its moral corruption, through the careers of Alexander VI and Julius II.

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Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield

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Maximilian Emperour.


Anno. 1486.

Maximilianus Emperour.

IN the yeare of our Lord. 1486. Fridericus waxing aged 
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The following account of Emperor Maximilian I is drawn fromCaspar Peucer's continuation of Carion's chronicle. (See Chronicon Carionis [Wittenburg, 1580], pp. 688-90). Foxe concentrates on the praise of Maximilian'svirtues and gives little of the political and military history in Peucer's account, particularly ignoring Peucer's fairly detailed account of Maximilan's Italian wars.

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and partly also mistrusting the hartes of the Germayns who had complained before of theyr greuances, and could not be heard, and therfore misdoubting that hys house after his decease, should haue the lesse fauour amonge them, for that cause in hys life tyme did associate hys sonne Maximilian to be ioyned Emperour with him: with whom he reigned the space of 7. yeares till the death of the sayd Fridericke hys father, who departed. an. 1494. Marginalia

The reigne and death of Fridericus Emperour.

Anno. 1494.

after he had reigned ouer the Empire. 53. yeares. lacking onely but iii. yeares of the reigne of Augustus Cæsar, vnder whome was the byrth of our Lord and Sauiour Christ.

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This Maximilian, as he was a valiaunt Emperoure, prudent and singularly learned: so was hys reigne intangled in many vnquiet and difficile warres: first in the lower Countryes of Flaunders and Brabant, where the saide Maximilian was taken captiue, but shortly after, reschued & deliuered agayne by hys father. an. 1487. MarginaliaMaximilian marieth the Duches of Burgoyne.It was signified before how this Maximilian by the aduise of þe Burgundians, had to wife MarginaliaThis Mary was neece to king Edward. 4.Mary þe onely daughter of Charles Duke of Burgundy afore mentioned, by whome he had 2. children, Phillip and Margarete. an. 1477. Whiche Mary not long after, about the yeare of our Lorde. 1481. 

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Actually Mary of Burgundy died in 1482.

by a fall

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