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Arras (Atrecht: Dutch)

Nord-Pas de Calais, France

Coordinates: 50° 17' 23" N, 2° 46' 51" E

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Besançon [Bezanson]

capital of Franche-Comté

Coordinates: 47° 14' 35" N, 6° 1' 19" E

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Courbon [Couberon]

nr Meaux, Paris, France

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Fontenay-le-Comte [Fountaynes]

Vendée, Pays de la Loire, France

Coordinates: 46° 28' 4" N, 0° 48' 19" W

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La Rochelle [Rochell]

Charente-Maritime, France

Coordinates: 46° 3' 34" N, 1° 9' 5" W

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Meaux [Melden

Melda], Paris, France

Coordinates: 48° 57' 37" N, 2° 53' 18" E

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Pays de la Loire, France

Coordinates: 47° 13' 5" N, 1° 33' 10" W

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Coordinates: 48° 52' 0" N, 2° 19' 59" E

Capital of France; cathedral city; university town

921 [897]

K. Henr. 8. A Table of the French Martyrs.
¶ An other Table of them which suffered in Fraunce for the like witnesse of the Gospell.
The French Martyrs. 
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French martyrs

This tabulation of French martyrs was introduced by Foxe into the 1570 edition of the A&M. It must have required a considerable investment of energy and research to prepare, and it was a substantial contribution to the work. Through it, and the accompanying tables of Spanish and German (Dutch) martyrs, Foxe clearly laid claim to situate the events in England within a European perspective - a claim that has frequently been ignored by later commentators. The table remained unchanged thereafter for the 1576 and 1583 editions - although a further edition of his key source, Jean Crespin, had appeared in 1582. By then, however, Crespin was dead, and the work was being updated by others, and the changes were principally to the post-1559 material which did not substantially alter what Foxe had derived from Crespin for this table. How did Foxe construct the table? In a prefatory essay to this edition, we outline the complex relationship between Foxe and the early editions of Crespin, and the extent of their mutual borrowings. It is clear, however, that Foxe could not read French. His knowledge of the French editions of Crespin - those of 1564 and 1570 - had, therefore, to be at second-hand. We must imagine that there was someone, perhaps in John Day's print-shop, whose familiarity with the French language enabled them to transcribe, or perhaps read, the text to Foxe. What is still more impressive is that, from a detailed comparison of the material in the table, it is clear that he used, at least for some of the entries, the 1570 edition of Crespin. This had appeared in the early months of that year, just in time for Foxe to include the entries that were unique to it (e.g. Thomas Moutarde, who had not appeared in earlier versions of Crespin) in this table. In addition, Foxe indicates the other sources which he utilised in its compilation. He seems generally to have used them as confirming the veracity of Crespin, his origo princes. Heinrich Pantaleon's Martyrum historia [...] pars secunda (Basel, 1563) was an important source in this respect. Foxe's Rerum in Ecclesia Gestarum […] pars prima (Basel, 1559) had been envisaged as a complementary and companion volume to Pantaleon's (as the particular titles indicate). By 1570, however, Foxe harboured an ambition to broaden his geographical and chronological scope. He ended the 1570 edition (Bk 12, p. 2296) holding out the prospect of a further volume in store, one which would both take the story forward from the accession of Elizabeth I, and also place it more evidently in an international context: 'Touchyng whose florishyng state [that of Queen Elizabeth I], her Princely reigne, and peaceable gouernement, with other things diuers and sondry incident to the same, and especially touchyng the great styres and alterations which haue happened in other foreine nations, and also partly among our selues here at home, for so much as the tractation hereof requireth an other Volume by it selfe, I shall therfore differre the reader to the next booke or Section insuyng: wherein (if the Lord so please to susteine me with leaue and lyfe) I may haue to discourse of all and singular such matters done and achiued in these our latter dayes and memory, more at large'. That no doubt explains why the table of the French martyrs ends with an otherwise inexplicable 'list' of miscellaneous martyrs that he has not included elsewhere in the table. They were those whom Crespin had included in his martyrology in 1564/1570, but whose deaths had falled after 17 November 1558. This was to be his marker for the putative, future volume. His other sources included Pierre de La Place, Commentaires de l'état de la religion et de la république sous les rois Henri & François seconds & Charles neuvième (1565) which he was able to access in 1570 in a Latin translation of the first part (Rerum in Gallia ob religionem gestarum libri tres, regibus Henrico secundo, ad illius quidam regni Finem, Francisco secundo, et Carolo nono) which had been published at Amsterdam. In one instance, discussed in the biographical list under 'Civaux', Foxe also referenced a manuscript source - 'ex scripto testimonio Senatus Genev[ensis]' for the martyrdom of one François Civaux. How Foxe had come by this reference, and why Crespin had not mentioned him in his martyrology, are discussed further in that biographical list.

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Foxe's notion of the geographical boundaries of the kingdom of France was clearly somewhat defective. He includes some French-speaking martyrs from the Walloon provinces of Flanders (e.g. Thomas Calbergue; Nicolas Paul; Thomas Moutarde; Etienne de la Forge) and, at one point, acknowledged that this had been an error (1583, p. 912). More reasonably (since France had occupied most of Savoy in the years preceding the peace of Cateau-Cambrésis (1559)) he also includes some martyrs from the Haute-Savoie (Jean Pointet, Geoffroi Varagle). In one instance, he includes a martyr originating from the principality of Béarn (François Danville). Foxe's standard of accuracy is generally high, even though his transliteration of the place-names, personal-names and institutional affiliations occasionally gave him problems and there are some signs of occasional misunderstandings. These are noted in the individual biographical entries for those mentioned in the table, as relevant.

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Foxe's techniques for summarising the often lengthy and substantiated narratives of the French martyrs in Crespin are interesting. In comparison with Crespin (especially in the 1570 edition, which is the one which most single-mindedly focuses on the French reformation) he shows markedly less interest in what had become seen (through Genevan eyes) as its 'nicodemite' elements. Guillaume Briçonnet, Lefèvre d'Etaples, Marguerite de Navarre, Gérard Roussel hardly appear. Given its rationale, this is hardly surprising. More remarkable is that the role of the leading French magisterial reformers - Guillaume Farel and, more particularly, Jean Calvin - hardly signifies at all. In selecting his material from Crespin, Foxe removed all references to the letters exchanged between Calvin and the French martyrs. Instead, he focused most on the details of their interrogations and their execution narratives. Crespin's sources were undeniably patchy - at one point, Foxe passes an acidic comment on the lack of precision in the record-keeping - but, in some instances, he had managed to acquire first-person narratives of their interrogations, and in others he seems to have had access to transcripts of the process-verbaux, the court records. Foxe summarised this material selectively, often intelligently, albeit carefully eliding elements which might require elaborate glossing, or which departed from the collective and overall picture of the triumphant, suffering martyrdom that he sought to create through this table.

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Mark Greengrass
University of Sheffield

Persecuters.Martyrs.The Causes.
MarginaliaIames Pauane, Martyr.This Iames fyrste
being taken by the
Byshop of Melden, or
DoctourIames PauaneMeaux, was compel-
Martiall ofscholemaisterled to recant by Doctor
Paris.Martiall. Afterwarde
At Paris.returning agayne to
his confession, he was
An. 1524.burnt at Paris. 1525.
Ex Ioan Crisp.
MarginaliaDionysius de Rieux Martyr.This Denys was
one of thē which were
first burne at Melda,
for sayinge, that the
Masse is a playne de-
Dionisiusnyall of the death and
de Rieux.Passion of Christ. He
was alwayes wont to
haue in his mouth the
woordes of Christ: He
At Melda, orthat denyeth mee before, hym wyll I denye
before my Father, and
An. muse vpon the same
earnestlye. He was
burnt with a slow fire,
and dyd abyde muche
torment. MarginaliaThis Denys hauing a wodden crosse put into his handes by the Friers, with hys teeth cast it into the ryuer, which made the Fryers mad. Ex Crisp. &
MarginaliaIoannes Cadurcus, Martyr.This Iohn, first for
makyng a Sermon or
exhortation to his coū-
treymen of Limosin
in Fraunce vpon Al-
hallow daye: and af-
ter, sitting at a feast
where it was propoū
ded, that euerye one
Ioannes deshoulde bryng foorth
Cadurco,some sentence, for that
Bacheler ofhe brought forth thys:
the CiuillChriste reygne in our
law.hartes, and dyd prose-
cute the same by the
Scryptures in muche
length of words, was
thereupon accused, ta-
ken, and disgraded and
after burned. At this
degradation one of the
black Friers of Paris
preached, taking for
his theame the wordes
An. 1533.of S. Paule. 1. Tim. 4.
The spirite speaketh, that
in the latter dayes menne
shall departe from fayth,
geuing heed to lying spi-
rites, and doctrine of er-
ror. &c. And in hand-
ling that place, either
be could not or woulde
not proceed further in
the text. Cadurcus cryed out to him to proceede, and
read further. The Frier stood dombe, and coulde not
speake a word.
Then Cadurcus taking the text, did prosecute the
same, as foloweth: Teaching false doctrine in hypocri-
sy, hauing theyr conscience marked with a hoate yron, for-
bidding to mary, and to eat meates created of God, to bee
eaten with thankesgeuing &c. Ex Ioan. Crispi.
Batthelmew Marginalia5. Martyrs burned.These fiue here
Mylē, a lamespecified, for certayne
creple.Billes cast abroad and
set vppe, soundyng a-
Iohn Burges,gaynst the abhomina-
Marchaunt.tion of the Masse, and
The receiuerother superstitious ab-
Promotersof Nantes.surdityes of the Pope,
of Paris.Henry Poillewere condemned and
of Couberon.burned in the City of
Cantella, aParis. Henry of Cou-
Scholemistres.beron had hys tongue
Stephen debored through, and
la Forge,wyth an yron wyer,
Marchaunt.tyed fast to one of hys
cheekes: Who lyke-
An. 1533.wise with the other,
was burned, as is a-
foresayde. Ex Ioanne
Alexander MarginaliaAlexander Canus, Martyr.For the sincere do-
Canus priest,ctrine and confession
otherwise cal-of Christes true reli-
led Laurenti-gion, hee was burned
us Crucensin Paris, hauing but
small fire, and abydde
At Paris.muche torment. Ex
An. 1534.Henr. Pantal.
MarginaliaIohn Poyntet, Martyr.Thys Surgeon be-
The Grayyng detected and accu-
Friers inIohn Poyn-sed by the Fryers, and
Paris.ster, a Surge-suche as he had cured
on.before of the Frenche
pockes, was first con-
demned to be strāgled,
DoctourAt Paris.and then burned: MarginaliaIn Fraunce the maner was, that the Martyrs comming by any Image as they went to burning, and would not worship the same, had their tongues cut out.but
Clerke, aafterwarde, because he
Sorbonist.An 1533.would not do homage
to a certayne Idole at
the commaundemente
of a Fryer that came to confesse hym,
his sentence was turned to haue hys
toung cutte of, and so to bee burned. Ex
A certayne MarginaliaPeter Gaudet, Martyr.This Peter being
Knight ofPeter Geneua with hys
Rhodes,Knight some-wyfe, was trayned out
Vncle totimes of Rho-from thence by his vn-
this Peter.des.cle, and put in prison
for defence of the Gos-
An. 1533.pel, and after long tor-
mentes then sustained,
was burned. vide Crisp.
MarginaliaQuoquillard, Martyr.At Bezanson, in the
countye of Burgun-
Quoquillard.dy, this Quoquillard
was burned for the
An. 1534.confession and testimo-
ny of Christes gospell.
Ex Ioan Crisp.
MarginaliaNicholas a Scriuener. Ioan. de Poix, Steuen Burlet, Martyrs.These three were
Nicolas aexecuted and burned
Scriuener.for the like cause of the
Iohn deGospell, in the Citty
Phoix.of Arras: namely, Ni-
Stephencholas a Scriuener,
Burlet.Iohn de Poix, Ste-
An. 1534.phen Burlet. Ex Ionne
Mary Becan- MarginaliaMary Becaudella, Martyr.This Mary beyng
A Graydella.vertuouslye instructed
Frier in theof her maister where
City ofAt Foun-she liued, and being af-
Rochell.taynesterward at a Sermon,
where a Frier prea-
ched, after the Sermō,
found faulte with hys
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