Critical Apparatus for this Page
Commentary on the Text
Names and Places on this Page
Unavailable for this Edition
1466 [1466]

K. Henry. 8. Syr George Blage. A proclamation agaynst Scripture bookes.

treys and Seniories, or els to breake of from hym. And herein the kynges hyghnes willed me (quoth the Archbyshop) to penne a forme therof to bee sent to the French kyng to consider of. But the depe and most secrete prouidence of almightie God owyng to this Realme a sharpe scourge for our iniquities, preuēted (for a tyme) this their most godly deuise & intent, by taking to his mercy both these Princes.

[Back to Top]
¶ A brief narration of the trouble of Syr George Blage.

MarginaliaSyr George Blage falsely accused.HEre would also some thing be sayd of Sir George Blage, one of the kynges priuy chāber, who beyng falsely accused by Sir High Gauerley knyght, and Maister Litleton, was sent for by Wrisley Lord Chaūcelour the Sonday before Anne Askew suffered, MarginaliaSyr George Blage sent to Newgate, & condemned.and the next day was caryed to Newgate, and from thence to Guild hall, where he was condemned the same day, and appoynted the Wensday folowyng to bee burned. MarginaliaThe cause of hys condemnation.The wordes whiche his accusers layd vnto hym, were these: What if a Mouse should eate the bread? then by my consent they should hang vp the Mouse. Where as in dede these woordes hee neuer spake, as to hys lyues end hee protested. But the truth, as he sayd, was this, that they craftilye to vndermine hym, MarginaliaThe craftie vndermining of these false accusers.walkyng with him in Paules Church after a Sermon of D. Crome, asked if hee were at the Sermon, and he sayd yea. I heard say, sayth M. Litleton, that he sayd in his Sermon that the Masse profiteth neither for the quicke nor the dead. No sayd M. Blage? wherfore then? belike for a Gentleman when hee rydeth a huntyng to keepe hys horse frō stumblyng: ande so they departyng, immediatly after he was apprehended (as is shewed) and condēned to be burned. When this was heard amongest thē of the priuy chamber, the kyng hearyng them whispering together (whiche he could neuer abyde) commaūded them to tell him the matter. Wherupon the matter beyng opened, and sute made to the kyng, especially by the good Earle of Bedford then Lord priuy Seale, MarginaliaM. Blage pardoned by the kyng.the kyng beyng sore offended with their doinges, that they would come so nere him, and euen into his priuy chamber without his knowledge, sent for Wrisley, commaūdyng him eftsoones to drawe out his pardon hym selfe, and so was hee set at libertie. Who commyng after to the kynges presence: ah my pygge, sayth the kyng to hym (for so hee was wont to call hym). MarginaliaThe kynges pigge almost rosted.Yea sayd hee, if your Maiestie had not bene better to me then your Byshops were, your pygge had bene rosted ere this tyme.

[Back to Top]

But let thys matter of Syr George Blage passe, we will now reduce our storye agayne to Anne Askew and her fellowe Martyrs, who the same weeke were burned, and coulde finde no pardon.

Then the Catholicke fathers, whē they had brought thys Christiā woman with the residue (as aboue hath bene declared) vnto theyr rest, they being now in their ruffe and triumphe, lyke as the Phariseis when they had brought Christ to hys graue, deuised with them selues how to kepe hym downe still, and to ouer treade truth for euer. Wherupon consultyng with certaine of the Counsail, they made out a straight and hard proclamation, authorised by the kinges name, for the abolishyng of the Scripture, and all such Englishe bookes, which might geue any light to the setting forth of Gods true worde, and grace of the Gospell: the copye and tenour of which proclamation is thys as followeth. 

Commentary  *  Close
Proclamation of 1546

Henry VIII's 'streight & cruell proclamation…' had been issued on 8 July 1546 and printed by Berthelet as A proclamation deuised by the kinges hyghnes, with thaduise of his most honorable counsell, to auoide and abolish suche englishe bookes, as conteine pernicious and detestable errours and heresies made the .viii. daye of Iuly, the .xxxviii. yere of the kynges maiesties most gracious reigne (London, 1546) - STC 7809). The circular letter abolishing holy days was not notices by the editors of the Letters and Papers, and may well have been taken from one or other of the bishop's registers to which Foxe had access. Anne Askew's story is taken mainly from John Bale, The lattre examinacyon of Anne Askewe latelye martyred in Smythfelde, by the wycked Synagoge of Antichrist, with the Elucydacyon of Iohan Bale. ('Imprented at Marpurg in the lande of Hessen' - i.e. Wesel, n.d. [1546]) - STC 850. The source of the 'publicke instrument' issued in the name of William Warham is Warham's register (full publication details….p. 188 et seq), from whence it was printed by David Wilkins (Concilia Magnæ Britanniæ et Hiberniæ : a synodo verolamiensi A.D. CCCC XLVI. ad londinensem A.D. M DCCXVII. Accedunt constitutiones et alia [London, 1737], p. 727). The list of heresies gathered out of Tyndale's works appears to be Foxe's own composition from a variety of sources. William Tyndale, The parable of the wycked mammon Compiled in the yere of our lorde .M.d.xxxvi (London: John Daye, 1547) - STC 24457 had been published by the publisher of the Acts and Monuments itself. William Tyndale's The obedie[n]ce of a Christen man and how Christe[n] rulers ought to governe, where in also (if thou marke diligently) thou shalt fynde eyes to perceave the crafty conveyance of all iugglers ('At Marlborow in the la[n]de of Hesse' [i.e. Antwerp], n.d. [1528]) - STC 24446 is also readily identifiable. John Frith's A pistle to the Christen reader The revelation of Antichrist. Antithesis, wherin are compared to geder Christes actes and oure holye father the Popes ('At Marlborow in the lande of Hesse' [i.e. Antwerp]: 'Hans Luft' [i.e. Johannes Hoochstraten], n.d. [1529]) - STC 11394 was a literal and unsophisticated translation by John Frith of Martin Luther's tract Ad Librum Magistri Nostri Magistri Ambrosii Catharine…..Responsio…cum exposita Visione Danielis viii. De Antichristo of 1521, omitting Luther's address and valediction but introducing a commentary on Daniel 8 in the preface by Frith in which theantithesis of the ways of Antichrist and Christ (as indicated in the title) is a summary of the exegesis. Foxe's marginal note 'Ex Gil Genebrardo' is something of a mystery. For Foxe's sources for the history of the early reformation in Scotland, see Thomas S. Freeman, 'Foxe, Winram and the Martyrs of the Scottish Reformation' in Sixteenth Century Journal 27 (1996), pp. 23-46. King Henry VIII's brief to Bonner appears to be taken from his register, although there is also a copy of it in BL Add MS 38656 at fol 3b.

[Back to Top]

David LoadesHonorary Research Fellow,
University of Sheffield

[Back to Top]
¶ A Proclamation for the abolyshing of English bookes, after the death of Anne Askew, set forth by the kyng. an. 1546. the 8. day of Iuly

A proclamation for the abolishyng of Englishe bookes.
THe kynges most excellent Maiesty vnderstandyng how vnder pretence of expoundyng and declaryng the truth of Gods Scripture, diuers leude and euill disposed persons haue taken occasion to vtter & sow abroad by bookes imprinted in the English tongue, sondry pernicious and detestable errours and heresies, MarginaliaNay rather for the ignoraunce & lacke of Gods scripture, many haue taken occasion of errours and heresies intolerable.not only cōtrary to the lawes of this Realme, but also repugnant to the true sense of Gods law and his worde, by reason wherof certayne men of late, to the distruction of their owne bodyes and soules, and to the euill example of others, haue attēpted arrogantly and maliciously to impugne the truth, and therewith trouble the sober, quyet and godly Religion vnited and established vnder the kynges Maiestie in this hys Realme: hys highnes mindyng to foresee the daungers that might ensue of the said bookes, is enforced to vse hys generall prohibition, commaundement and proclamation, as followeth.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaThe new Testament of Tyndall. & of Couerdalls translatiō in English forbidden.First, that from henceforth no man, woman, or person, of what estate, condition, or degree, so euer hee or they bee, shall after the last day of August nexte ensuyng, receaue, haue, take, or keepe in hys or their possession, the text of the new Testament of Tyndals or Couerdals translation in Englishe, nor any other thē is permitted by the Acte of Parliament, made in the Session of the Parliament holden at Westminster in the xxxiiij. or. xxxv. yeare of hys Maiesties most noble reigne, nor after the sayd day, shall receyue, haue, take, or kepe in hys or their possession, MarginaliaEnglishe bookes of Scripture restrayned.any maner of bokes printed, or writtē in the Englishe tongue, whiche be or shall be set forth in the names of Frith, Tindall, Wicklefe, Ioy, Roy, Basile, Bale, Barnes, Couerdall, Tourner, Tracy or by any of them, or any other boke or bookes, conteining matter contrary to the sayd Acte made an. xxxiiij. or. xxxv. but shall before þe last day of August next commyng, deliuer the same Englishe booke or bookes to hys maister in that houshold, if he be a seruaunt or dwell vnder any other, and the maister or ruler of the house and such other as dwell at large, shall deliuer all such bookes of the sortes aforesayd as they haue, or shall come to their handes, deliuered as afore or other wyse, to the Maior, Baliefe or chief Constable of the Towne where they dwell, to be by them deliuered ouer openly with in forty dayes next folowyng after the sayd deliuery, to the Shriffe of the shyre, or to the Byshop, Chaūcellor, or Commissary of the same dioces, MarginaliaBurnyng of Scripture the entent the sayd Byshop, Chauncellour, Commissary and Shriffe, and euery of thē shall cause them incontinently to be openly burned: which thing the kynges Maiesties pleasure is, that euery of them shall see executed in most effectuall sorte, and of there doynges therof make certificat to the kynges Maiesties most honorable Counsell, before the fyrst of October next commyng.

[Back to Top]

And to the intent that no man shall mistrust any daūger of such penall statutes as he passed in this behalfe, for keeping of the sayd bookes, MarginaliaA haste to bryng in bookes.the kinges maiesty is most graciouslye contented by this proclamation, to pardon that offēce to the said time appointed, by this proclamation for the deliuery of the sayd bookes, and commaundeth that no Bishop, Chauncellor, Commissary, Maior, Bailiffe, Shriffe, or Constable, shall be curious to marke who bringeth forth such bookes, but onely order & burne them openly, as is in this proclamation ordered. And if any man, after the last day of August next comming, shal haue any of the sayd bokes in his keeping, or be proued, & conuinced by sufficient wytnes before iiij. of the kings most honorable Counsayle, to haue hidden them, or vsed them, or any copye of any of them, or anye part of them, whereby should appeare that he willingly hath offended the true meaning of this proclamation, MarginaliaThe penaltie limited.the same shal not onely suffer imprisonment and punishment of his body at the kings Maiesties will and pleasure, but also shall make such fine and raūsome to his highnes for the same, as by his Maiestie, or foure of hys Graces said Counsel shall be determined. &c.

[Back to Top]

Finallye, hys Maiestie straightlye chargeth and commaundeth, that no person or persons, of what estate, degree, or condition, so euer he or they be, from the day of this proclamation presume to bring any maner of English booke, concerning any maner of Christen religion, printed in the parties of beyond the seas into thys realme, or sel, geue, or distribute any English boke printed in outward parties, or the copy of any such booke or any part thereof to any person dwelling wythin this his Graces realme, or any other his Maiesties dominions, vnlesse the same shall be specially licenced so to do by hys highnes expresse graūt to be obtayned in writing for the same, vpon the paynes before limited, and therewythall to incurre his Maiesties extreame indignation.

[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