Critical Apparatus for this Page
Commentary on the Text
Names and Places on this Page
Unavailable for this Edition
1356 [1356]

K. Henry. 8. Allegations agaynst the vj. Articles. Priestes mariage.

MarginaliaPriestes mariage first forbidden publiquely by Anselmus in Englā a doctrine of no auncient standyng here within this realme, but onely since the tyme of Anselmus, I will first alledge for me the wordes of Henr. Huntyngton. lib. 7. De historia Angloria Anglorū here folowyng. 

Commentary  *  Close

Foxe takes this quotation, not from Henry of Huntingdon, but from John Bale, Scriptorum Illustrium maioris Brytanniae Catalogus (Basel, 1557), p. 169.

Eodem anno ad festum Michaelis tenuit Anselmus Archiepiscopus Conciliū apud Londonias: In quo prohibuit sacerdotibus Anglorum, vxores antea non prohibitas. Quod quibusdam mundissimū visum est, quibusdam periculosum, ne dum mundicias viribus maiores appeterent, in immundicias horribiles ad Christiani nominis summum dedecus inciderent. &c. MarginaliaEx Henr. Huntingt. lib. 7. De historia Anglorū. That is. MarginaliaRead afore pag. 246.
The wordes of Huntington.
The same yeare at the feast of S. Michaell, Anselme the Archbishop of Canterbury held a Synode at London: MarginaliaPriestes not restrayned from their wyues before Anselmus tyme.In the whiche Synode hee forefended Priestes here in England to haue wyues, whiche they were not inhibited before to haue. Whiche constitution semed to some persons very pure and chaste. To other some agayne it semed very daungerous, lest while that men should take vpō them such chastitie more then they should bee able to beare, by that occasion they might happely fall into horrible filthines, which should redound to the excedyng sclaūder of Christian profeßion. &c.

[Back to Top]

Albeit I deny not but before the tyme also of Anselmus, both Odo, & after hym Dunstane Archb. of Canterbury, and Æthelwold Byshop of Winchester, and Oswold Bishop of Worceter in the dayes of kyng Edgar. an. 963. as they were all Monkes them selues, so were they great doers agaynst the Mariage of Priests, placyng in Monkes in Churches and Colledges, and putting out the maryed priestes, MarginaliaRead afore pag. 201as ye may read before pag. 201 

Commentary  *  Close

See 1570, p. 202; 1576, p. 154 and 1583, p. 153.

. Yet notwithstādyng neither was that in many Churches, and also the Priestes then maryed were not cōstrayned to leaue their wyues, nor their roumes, but onely at their own choyse. For so writeth Malmesbery 
Commentary  *  Close

There is no such passage in William of Malmesbury's life of Dunstan.

in Vita Dunstani: Itaq; clerici multarū Ecclesiarum, data optione, vt aut amictum mutarent, aut locis valedicerēt, cessere, &c.
MarginaliaMalmesb. in vita Dunstani.That is: Therefore diuers & sundry Clerkes of many churches, beyng put to their choise, whether to chaunge their weede, or to part from their places, went their wayes. &c. So also Ælfricus after them (of whō mentiō was made before) was somewhat busie in settyng forward the single lyfe of Priestes, and Lanfrancus lykewise. MarginaliaPriestes first restreined from theyr wiues, generally in England.But yet this restreynte of Priestes lawfull Mariage was neuer publickely established for a law here in the Churche of Englād, before the commyng of Anselme in the dayes of William Rufus, and king Henry. 1. writing in these wordes: Boldely I commaunde by the authoritie whiche I haue by my Archbyshoprike, not onely within my Archbishopricke, but also throughout Englād, that all Priestes that kepe wemen, shall be depriued of their Churches, and all ecclesiasticall benefices. &c. MarginaliaRead afore pag. 251.As ye may read more at large before, pag. 251 
Commentary  *  Close

See 1570, p. 251, 1576, p. 197 and 1583, p. 195.

. whiche was much about þe same time when as Hildebrand also at Rome began to attēpte þe same matter, as before hath bene shewed: and also besides hym were other Popes moe, as Innocent the 3. Pope Nicolas the 2. & Calixtus the 2. by whom the Acte agaynst Priestes Mariage was brought at length to hys full perfection, and so hath continued euer since.

[Back to Top]

Long it were and tedious to recite here all such constitutions of Councels prouinciall & generall, namely of þe Coūcell of Carthage, & of Toledo, which semed to worke somthing in that behalfe, agaynst þe matrimony of Priestes. Agayne, longer it were to number vp the names of all such Byshops and Priestes, whiche notwithstandyng haue bene maryed since that tyme, in diuers countreys, as more amply shall bee shewed (the Lord willyng) in the sequele hereof. In the meane season 

Commentary  *  Close

The following passages on Gregory VII moving against clerical marriage are taken from John Bale, Scriptorum Illustrium maioris Brytanniae Catalogus (Basel, 1557), pp. 156-7.

, as touchyng the age and tyme of this deuilish prohibition for Priestes to haue their wyues, this is to be found by credible proues and conferryng of hystories, MarginaliaEx Actis Synodi Mediolanensis.that in the yeare of our Sauiour. 1067. at what tyme Pope Hildebrand 
Commentary  *  Close

Pope Gregory VII (born Hildebrand).

began first to occupye the Papall chayre 
Commentary  *  Close

Gregory VII did not become pope until 1073.

, this oth began first to be takē of Archbyshops and Byshops, that they shoulde suffer none to enter into the ministerie, or into any Ecclesiasticall function hauyng a wife: and lykewise the Clergy to be bound to promise the same.

[Back to Top]

And thys was (as I sayd) about the yeare of our Lord. 1067. wel approued and testified by course of hystories. MarginaliaS. Paule prophesieth of forbidding of mariage.Wherby appeareth the Prophesie of S. Paul truly to bee verified, speakyng of these latter tymes. 1. Timot. 4. Where he writeth in these wordes: 

Commentary  *  Close

1 Timothy 4: 1 and 3 (Foxe is conflating two verses).

The spirite speaketh plainly, that in the latter tymes, there shall some departe from the fayth, harkenyng vnto spirites of errour, and to doctrines of deuils, forbiddyng to marye, and commaundyng to absteyne from meates, whiche the Lord hath created to be taken with thankes giuyng. &c. Marginalia1. Tim. 4.

[Back to Top]

In this prophesie of S. Paul ij. thyngs are to be obserued: First the matter whiche he prophesieth of, that is the forbiddyng of Mariage, & forbiddyng of meates, whiche God generally hath left free to all men. MarginaliaS. Paules prophesie found true for the count of tymes.The second thyng in this prophesie to bee noted is the tyme whē this prophesie shall fall, that is, in the latter tymes of the world. So that this concurreth right well with these yeares of Pope Hildebrand aforesayd, beyng a thousand yeares cōplete after the Ascēsion of our Sauiour: so that they may well be called the latter tymes.

[Back to Top]

This prophesie of S. Paul thus standyng (as it doth) firme and certeine, that is, that forbiddyng of Mariage must happen in the latter tymes of the world, thē must it nedes consequently follow thereby, MarginaliaThe maryed life of priestes more auncient in the church, then the single life of priestes.that the maryed lyfe of Priestes is more auncient in the Churche, then is the single life, then the law I meane commaundyng the single lyfe of Priestes. Which may soone be proued to bee true, by the true count of tymes, and searche of hystories.

[Back to Top]

For first 

Commentary  *  Close

The material on Polycrates and on Paphnutius is drawn from Matthias Flacius, Catalogus testium veritatis (Basel, 1562), pp. 10 and 19.

at the Councel of Nice, it is notorious that this deuilish law of Mariage to be restrained, was stopped by Paphnutius.

2. Before this Councell of Nice, in the yeare of our Lord. 180. we read of Policrates Bishop of Ephesus, who dissentyng from Pope Victor about a certeyne controuersie of Easter day, alledgeth for hym selfe how his progenitours before him, vij. together, one after an other succeded in that seat, and he now the eight after them, was placed in the same: vsing this hys discent of hys parentes, not only as a defence of his cause, but also a glory to hym selfe. &c.

[Back to Top]

3. Pope Syricius, about the yeare of our Lord. 390. wrote 

Commentary  *  Close

This material on Pope Syriacus is from Matthias Flacius, Catalogus testium veritatis (Basel, 1562), pp. 58-60.

to the Priests of Spayne about the same matter of puttyng their wyues from them, if hys Epistle bee not coūterfeite. These Spanish priestes had then with them a Bishop of Terragon. Who aunsweryng to Syricius in this behalfe, alledged the testimonies of S. Paul, that Priests might lawfully reteine their wyues &c. MarginaliaSyricius enemye to Priestes.To thys, Syricius replyed agayne (if hys writyng bee not forged) moste arrogantlye and no lesse ignorantlye, reprouyng the Priestes that were maryed, and for the defense of his cause, alledged this sentence of S. Paul: 
Commentary  *  Close

Rom. 8: 15.

Si secundum carnem vixeritis, moriemini. MarginaliaRom. 8.That is: If ye shall lyue after the fleshe, ye shall dye. &c. Whereby may appeare not onely, how they in Spayne then had wyues, but also how blynd these men were in þe Scriptures, which shewed them selues such aduersaries agaynst Priestes Mariage.

[Back to Top]

4. To be short, the further we go and nearer to the aūcient tyme of þe Churche, þe lesse auncient we shall finde the depriuation of lawfull matrimony amongest Christian Ministers, MarginaliaDiuers of the Apostles were maryed.begynnyng, if we will, with the Apostles, theyr examples and Canons, who although were not all maryed, yet diuers of them were, and the rest had power and liberty to haue and kepe their wyues, witnessyng S. Paul, where he writeth of him self: Nō habemus potestatē sororem mulierē circūducendi sicut & reliqui Apostoli? That is to say, haue not we power to leade about a sister to wife, as also the other Apostles haue? Wherby is to bee sene, both what hee myght do, and what the other Apostles did. Albeit Clemens

[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