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515 [515]

Actes and Mon. of the church. K. Edw. 3. The loosing out of Sathan complaint of the Ploughman.
MarginaliaThe ceasyng of persecution in the primitiue church.The ceasyng of the last persecution of the primitiue church by the death of Licinius the last persecutor, began an. 324. from the natuitie of Christ, 
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Licinius was deposed in AD 324, but he died a year later in AD 325.

which was from the thyrty yere of hys age, an.
MarginaliaThe byndyng vp of Satan.The byndyng vp of Satan, after peace geuen to the churche countyng from the thyrtye yeares of Christ, began, an.294.
MarginaliaThe tyme of loosing of Satan.And lasted a thousand yeares, that is, countyng from the thyrtye yeare of Christe, to the yeare,1294.
MarginaliaThe tyme of Antichrist, examined.About which yeare Pope Boniface the. viii was Pope, and made the syxt booke of the decretals: confyrmed the codexs of Friers, and priuileges thē wyth great fredoms, as appeareth by hys constitution: Super cathedram, an.1294.
Vnto the whiche count of yeares doth not much disagree, that I founde in a certeine old Chronicle prophesied & writtē in þe latter end of a boke, which boke was writtē, as it semeth, by a monk of Douer, & remaineth yet in the custody of Williā Cary 
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William Cary, a London clothworker, owned a number of manuscripts used as sources by Foxe. On Cary see Andrew G. Watson, 'Christopher and William Carye, Collectors of Monastic Manuscripts, and "John Carye"', The Library, 5th series, 20 (1965), pp. 145-42.

citizē of Londō: allegyng the prophesy of one Hayncardus a gray frier, grounded vpon the autoritie of Ioachim the Abbatt, 
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I.e., Joachim of Fiore (1130-c. 1201), the Cistercian mystic and commentator on Revelation. Fiore was regarded by many Protestants, including Foxe and Bale, as a proto-Protestant.

propheseing that Antichrist should be borne the yeare from the Natiuitie of Christ. 1260. Whiche is, countyng after the Lordes passion, the very same yeare and tyme, when the orders of friers both Dominickes and Franciscanes began first to be set vp by pope Honorius. 3. and by pope Gregorius ix. whiche was the yeare of our Lord countyng after hys passion.
And coutyng after the Natiuitie of þe Lord was the yeare.1260.

Wherof these verses in the autor are written.

MarginaliaVerses prophecieng the comming of Antichrist.
Cum suerint anni eompleti mille ducenti,
Et decies seni, post partum virginis almæ:
Tunc Antichristus nascetur dæmone plenus.

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Verses prophesying the coming of Antichrist
Foxe text Latin

Cum fuerint anni ... nascetur daemone plenus.


John Wade, University of Sheffield

When twelve hundred and sixty years have been completed since the Blessed Virgin gave birth, then Antichrist will be born filled with the Devil.

And these verses were written, as appeareth by the sayd autor. an. 1285.

These thynges thus premised for the lousyng out of Satan, according to the prophesie of the Apocal. now let vs enter (Christ willyng) to the declaration of these latter tymes, whiche folowed after the lettyng out of Satā into þe world. Describing the wonderous perturbations and cruell tyranny styrred vp by him agaynst Christes church. Also the valiaunt resistaunce of the Churche of Christ agaynst hym, & Antichrist, as in these other bokes here vnder folowyng may appear.

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MarginaliaThe argument of the bookes after folowingThe argumēt of which bookes consisteth in ii. partes, first to intreate of the ragyng fury of Satā now loused, and of Antichrist: Agaynst the saints of Christ fighting and trauailyng for the maintenance of the truth, and reformation of the churche: Secondly, to declare the decay and ruine of the sayd Antichrist, throughe the power of the word of God, beyng at length either in a great parte of the world ouerthrowen, or at least vniuersally in the whole world detected,

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Marginalia1360.Thus thē to begin with the yeare of our Lord. 1360. wherin I haue a litle, as is aforesayd, transgressed the stinte of the first lousing out of Satā: we are come nowe to the tyme, wherin the Lord, after long darkenes beginneth some reformation of his churche, by the diligent industry of sondry his faithfull and learned seruauntes: MarginaliaA briefe rehersal of faythfull learned men, which withstoode the procedings of the pope.of whom diuerse alreadye we haue foretouched in the former boke before, as namely Guliel. de Sācto Amore, Marsillus Patauinus: Ocam Robertus Gallus: Robertus Grosted: Petrus de Cuguerijs: Ioannes Rupescissanus: Conrad9Hagley. Ioannes de Polmeo: Cesepas. with other mo which withstood the corrupt errours, and intollerable enormities of the Bishop of Rome. Beside them whiche about these times were put to death by þe said bishop of Rome, as Castilion, and Franciscus de Arcatara in the booke before recorded: also the ii. Franciscanes, Martyrs, whiche were burned at Auinion, mentioned. pag. 487.

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MarginaliaAutor of the booke intituled. The prayer and complaint of the Ploughman.Nowe (the Lorde willyng) wee will adde suche other holy Martyrs and confessors, who folowing after in the course of yeares with lyke zeale and strēgth of gods word and also with lyke daunger of their liues, gaue the lyke resistance agaynst the enemie of Christes religion, and suffered at his handes the lyke persecutiōs. First begynnyng with that godly man, who soeuer he was the autor of the booke (is name I haue not) intituled the prayer and complaint of the ploughman: written at it appeareth, about this present tyme. 

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Prayer of the Ploughman

In what follows Foxe is reprinting The prayer and complaynte of the Ploweman (STC 20036), a treatise which was printed in Antwerp in 1531. This work was originally an anonymous Lollard tract against clerical abuses dating from the early fifteenth century. The editor (probably William Tyndale) of this work stated on the title page that it dated from 1300. Foxe is claiming here that it first appeared around 1360. Notice that Foxe barely mentions that he is drawing on a sixteenth-century edition of the work. He is anxious to emphasize its medieval origins in order to show that there was a 'True Church' opposed to the Papacy, even in the period before Luther.

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Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield

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MarginaliaThe autor of the ploughmās prayer not known.Which booke as it was faithfully set forth by, William Tindall 

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Foxe is probably correct in attributing the 1531 edition of this work to Tyndale. Firstly, it was printed in Antwerp and Tyndale was residing there at the time. In addition, an address to the reader (Prayer…of the Ploweman, sigs. a2r-a3v) is signed by 'W. T.'.

, so I haue as truly distributed the same abroad to the readers handes: neyther chaunging anye thing of the matter, neither altering many words of the phrase therof. Although the oldnes and age of his speche & termes be almost grown now out of vse: yet thought I it so best, both for the vtilitie of the boke to reserue it frō obliuion, as also in his own language to let it go abroade, for the more credit and testimony of the true antiquitie of the same. Adding withall in the mergent for the better vnderstanding of the reader, some interpretation of certayne difficult termes and speeches, as otherwyse myght perhaps hinder or staye the Reader 
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The decision not to modernize the language of The prayer and complaynte of the Ploweman was made, as Foxe indicates, to reassure his readers - and his critics - that the document was genuine. However, it came at a price; it was a difficult read even in the sixteenth century. This may be why it was dropped from the 1576 edition, although it was restored in the 1583 edition.

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. The matter of thys complayning prayer of the ploughman, thus proceedeth.

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¶ An old auncient writing, intitled, The prayer and complaynt of the Ploughman.

MarginaliaAn olde booke intituled, the ploughmās prayer, writen as seemeth about Wickliffes tymeIEsu Christ that was ybore of the mayde Marye, haue on thy poore seruantes mercy and pitye, and helpe them in their great nede to fighte agaynst synne, and against the deuil that is autor of synne, and more nede nes ther neuer to cry to Christ for help, then it is right now. For it is fulfilled that God sayd by Isay the prophet: ye ryseth vp erlich to folow dronkennes, and to drinke tyll it be euen, the harpe and other minstrelsyes beeth in your feastes and wyne. MarginaliaThe complaint of Esai applyed to these times.But the worke of God ye ne beholdeth not: ne taketh no kepe to the works of hys handes: And therefore my people is take prisoner, for they ne had no cunynng. And the noble men of my people deyeden for hunger, and the multitude of my people weren drye for thyrst, and therefore hell hath drawen abroade their soule, and hath yopened hys mouth withouten any ende. And eftsones sayth Isay the prophet: The word is floten awaye, and the hyghnes of the people is ymade syck, and the earth is infect of hys wonnyers, for they haue broken my lawes, and ychaunged my ryght, and han destroyed myne euerlastyng bonde and * Marginalia* Forward, that is, couenant.forward betwene them and me. And therfore cursing shall deuour the earth, and they that wonneth on the erthly shullen don synne. And therefore the earth tilyars shullen waxe wood 

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i.e. 'grew mad'.

and few men shullen ben yleft vpon the erth. And yet sayth Isay the prophet, this sayth God, for as muche as thys people nigheth me with their mouth, and glorifieth me with their lyps, and their hart is farre from mee. And they han ydrad 
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i.e. 'feared'.

more mens commaundement, then myne, and more drawe to their doctrines, then myne. Therefore wyll I make a great wondring vnto this people, wysdome shall perishe awaye from wyse men, and vnderstanding of ready men shall be yhid. And so it seemeth that an other saying of Isay is fulfilled there as God bad him go teach the people, and sayd go forth and say to this people: eares haue ye, and vnderstand ye not, and eyes ye haue and sight ne know ye not. Make blynde the hart of this people, and make their eares heauy, and close their eyen, least he see with hys eyen, and yheare with his eares, and vnderstand wyth hys hart, and by yturned, and yeh heale hym of hys sycknes. And Isay sayd to God: how long Lorde shall this be? And God sayd: For to that the cities ben desolate withouten a wonnyer 
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i.e. 'inhabitant'.

, and an house wythouten a man.

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Here is mychell nede for to make sorow, and to cry to our Lord Iesu Christ hertilich for helpe and for succour, that hee wole forgeue vs our synnes, and geue vs grace and cōning to seruen hym better hereafter. And God of hys endles mercy geue vs grace and cōnyng trulish to tellen whych is Christes law in helping of mens soules, for we beth lewde men, and synnefull men, and vncomyng, and if he woll be our helpe and our succour, we shullen well perfourme our purpose. And yblessed be our Lorde God that hydeth hys wysdome from wyse men, and fro ready men, and teacheth it to small coudren, as Christ teacheth in the Gospell.

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MarginaliaThe law of Christ standeth on ii. partes.Christen men haue a law to keepe, the which law hath two perties. Beleue in Christ that is God, and is the soundment of theyr law, and vpon thys foundement, as he sayd to Peter and the gospell beareth wytnes, he woll byelden his churche, and this is the

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