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213 [213]

King Edmund. Odo Archbi. K. Edm. Edrede protector. K. Edwine. Actes and Monum. of the Church.

that the sayd Odo in the raygne of king Edmund, had a synode commensed of the chiefe Prelates and men of the Clergye in his tyme, to whom he directed thys letter here folowing: the copy whereof I thought to expresse, for the reader to see what zealous care raygned in archbishops then toward the church of the Lord. The words of hys epistle procede in this tenour.

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¶ The letter or an Epistle of Odo, archbishop of Cant. sent to the other bishops and men of the clergy.

MarginaliaThe letter of Odo archb. to he prelates.MIrabili cunctipotentis polorum præsulis clementia opitulāte: Ego Odo, ecclesie Saluatoris Domini nostri Iesu Christi archiepiscopus Douerniensis ciuitatis metropolitanus, coepiscopis fidei catholicæ cōpagatoribus spiritali charitatis rigore cōfratribus. Præsentiū prosperitatē æthereiq̀ decoris beatitudinem. &c. The same in English.

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By the diuine grace of God, I Odo of þe church of our Lord and sauiour Iesus Christ archb. and metroplitan of the citie of Douer, to my felow bishops, & fellowe plāters of the catholike faith, and my sellow brethren in the spirituall bonde of charitie with gretyng wish prosperitie in this world present, and in the world to come felicitie. If it were so or by any meanes could be, that all the ritches of this world were layd before myne eyes, so that I being Emperour had all things vniuersally vnder my subiection, all those things gladly would I geue yea and my self also would offer willingly for the health of your soules: as whiche also do desire & trust lyke wise my selfe to be strengthened wt the feruency of your holines as appertainyng to those thynges wherin the Lord our God has set vs to be workemen. &c.

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And after a few other wordes of lyke effect wherin he doth declare the heauy burden of hys office, it foloweth after this maner.

Wherfore most humbly and one vnworthie but yet a deuout fellow brother of yours, I besech and exhorte your hollines: þt you will not shew your selues could and negligent in the cure and regiment of soules, so that in the tyme of the fearefull iudgement, the Lord do not cōplayne of you saying, my shepheardes did not fead my flocke but they fed them selues. And agayne they were princes of my flocke, and I knew not of it. But rather let vs take hede, and be diligent ouer the houshold of the Lord, ouer which he hath set vs to be the leaders: to geue them meat, and true measure of corne in tyme conuenient: that is to say: wholesome doctrine. And although vpō mine owne demerites or worthynes, I do not presume to comforte or exhort any man: But as one beyng vnworthy, and fautie in transgressions innumerable, am glad, and stand in nede, rather to be strēghtned by your brotherly admonitions: yet for the auncient auctoritie of my predecessorss, as of Augustine, of happy memorye, & also of other saintes by whose industrie the rule of christianitie did first florishe and spryng from this metropolitane see, vnto all quarters of Englād. Therfore I haue thought good to direct vnto you these my letters to the profit of you all: especially, for that our renowmed and princlye kyng Edmond, withall his people doth ioye to follow that which he heareth in you and of you: and also, for so much as al his subiectes which be vnder his emperiall dominion, do loue and delight to follow most ioyfully the same & report of your sincere conuersation. &c.

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MarginaliaElsinus archb. of Caunt. elect.This Odo continued byshop the space of xx. yeares. After whō Elsinus was elected and ordeined by the king to succede, through fauour and money: but in goyng to Rome for the popes palle in hys iourney through the Alpes, he decayed and died for could. Wherupon succeded Dunstane: as in tyme and place (by the leaue of Christ foloweth to be declared.

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MarginaliaS. Edmundesburye. 

Commentary  *  Close

Foxe's account of the death of King Edmund and the summary of the reign of King Edwin comes mainly from John Brompton's Chronicle (J. Brompton, 'Chronicon Johannis Brompton Abbatis Jornalensis.' In Historiæ Anglicanæ Scriptores X. [....], ed. by Roger Twysden [London, 1652], pp. 858; 862-3, with additions from Fabian's Chronicle (R. Fabyan, The Chronicle of Fabian [London, 1559], book 6, chs 189; 192).

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This Edmund gaue to s. Edmund the martyr before mētioned, the town of Bredrichcehworth, which is now called s. Edmundesbury, with great reuenewes & lands apperteinyng to the same. But cōceryng the friuolousmiracles which our monkish storywriters here faine of this good Edmūd, by the way (or rather out of the way) I let them passe.

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And thus much concernyng the reygne of kyng Edmund, who after he had reigned vi. yeares, & halfe was slayne as is sayd at Pulcherchurche, and buried at Glacenbury of Dunstane: MarginaliaThe childrē of king Edmund
Edrede gouernour of the realme.
leauing behynd him two children Edwine, and Edgar, by his wife Elgina. But because the foresayd children were yet yong and vnder age, therfore Edrede brother to kyng Edmund, & vncle to the childrē: gouerned as protector about the space of ix. yeares, and halfe, till Edwine the eldest sonne came to age. This Edrede with great moderation, and fidelitie to the yong children, behaued him selfe duryng the tyme of his gouernemēt. MarginaliaDunstan made bishop of Wiceter & after of London.In his time, Dūstane was promoted through the meanes of Odo tharchbish. from abbat of Glacenbury to be bishop of Wiceter: and after of London. By the counsel of this Dunstane, Edrede was much ruled, and to much therto addicted: In somuch that þe sayd Edrede is reported in stories to submit himself to much found penaunce, and castigations inflicted to him of the sayd Dunstane. Such zealous deuotion was then in princes, and more blynd superstitiō in bishops. And here agayne is an other miracle as phantasticall as thother before, forged of Dunstane. That when þt Edrede being sicke sent for Dunstane to be hys confessor, by the way, Dunstan should heare a voyce declaring to him before, that Edrede already was departed: MarginaliaWith lye and the declaryng wherof Dūstanes horse fel immediatly dead vnder him, with lye and all.

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¶ King Edwine.

MarginaliaK. Edwine.
EDwine the eldest sonne of kyng Edmund afore mentioned, as his vncle Edrede, begā his reigne about the yeare of our Lord 955. being crowned at Kingstone by Odo the archbishop of Cant. Of this Edwine it is reported of diuers writers, that the fyrst day of his coronation, setting with his Lordes, brake sodēly from thē and entred a secret chamber, to the company of a certain woman, whom he inordinatly reteined (beyng as some say an other mans wife) whose housbād he had before slaine: as other say beyng of his aliance: to þe great misliking of his Lordes, and especially of the clergy. Dunstane was yet but abbat of Glacenbury, who folowyng the kyng into the chamber, brought hym out by the hand, and accused hym to Odo tharchbishop, causyng him to be separate frō the cōpanie of the foresayd partie, MarginaliaThe kyng suspended by the the whiche Odo, þe kyng was for his fact suspended out of þe church. Be reason wherof the kyng beyng with Dunstane displeased, banished hym from his land, and forced him for a season to flee to Flaunders where he was in the monastery of s. Amandus. About the same season the monasticall order of Benedict mōkes or blackmonkes (as they wer called) began to multiplie and encrease here in England. In somuch, that where before tyme, other priestes and canons had bene placed, ther mōkes wer in their rowmes set in, and the seculare priestes (as they then were called) or cannōs put out. Marginalia K. Edwine an enemy to Monkes
Monkes put out, secular priestes placed in their roumes.
But king Edwyn for the displeasure he bare to Dunstane, dyd so vexe all the order of the said monkes: that in Malmesbury, Glacēbury and other places mo, he thrust out the monkes, and set in seculare priestes in their stede.

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Notwithstandyng it was not long, but these priestes & cannons were agayne remoued, and the sayd monkes in their stede restored, both in the foresayd houses, and in diuers other churches cathedrall besides: as in the next story of king Edgar (Christ willyng) shall at more large appeare.

In fyne kyng Edwin beyng hated by reason of certaine his demaners, of all his subiectes (especially the Northumbrianes, and Mercianes) was by them remoued from his kyngly honour, and his brother Edgar in his steade receaued: MarginaliaThe death of king that the ryuer of Tamys diuided

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