Critical Apparatus for this Page
Commentary on the Text
Names and Places on this Page
Unavailable for this Edition
552 [552]

K. Richard. 2. The history of John Wickleffe.

earnestly desire your maiesty euē as your most noble predecessours haue alwayes been most earnest louers of the catholicke fayth (whose case or quarell in this matter, is chiefly handled,) that you would vouchesafe euen for the reuerence of God, and the fayth aforesayd, and also of the Apostolicke seat, & of our persō. that you will with your helpe and fauour, assist the sayd Archbishop and all other that shall go about to execute the sayd busines. Wherby besides the prayse of mē, you shal obtaine a heauenly rewarde and great fauour, and good will, at our hand, and of the see aforesayd. Dated at Rome at S. Mary the greater, the xi. kal. of Iune in the vii. yeare of our bishoprike. Anno. 1378.

[Back to Top]

The Articles included in the popes, letters whiche he sent to the bishops, to the kyng, against Wickleffe, were these as in order do folow.

¶ The conclusions of Ihon Wickleff, exhibited in the conuocation of certaine Bishops at Lamheth. 
Commentary  *  Close

These conclusions of Wiclif are taken from Arundel 7; see Historia Anglicana, ed. H. T. Riley, Rolls Society 28, 2 vols.(London, 1863-4), I, pp. 353-5. Foxe's version of them is accurate.

MarginaliaCertaine conclusions of Iohn Wickliffe.ALl the whole race of mankinde here on earth besydes Christ, hath no power symply, to ordayne that Peter and all hys ofspryng shoulde politicklye rule ouer the worlde for euer.

2 God cannot geue to any man for hym and his heires any ciuill dominion for euer.

3 All wrytinges inuented by men, as touchyng perpetuall heritage, are impossible. 

Commentary  *  Close

This conclusion is a slap at the notorious Donation of Constantine; it is not saying that it is a forgery, it is saying that it lacks legal or moral validity.

4 Euery man beyng in grace iustifieng, hath not onely right vnto the thing, but also for his time hath ryght in dede aboue all the good thinges of God.

5 A man can but onely ministratoriously geue any temporall or continuall gyft, eyther as well to hys naturall sonne, as to hys sonne by imitation.

6 If God be, the temporall Lordes may lawfully and meritoriouslye take awaye the riches from the churche, when they do offend. habitualiter.

7 We know that Christes Vicar cannot, neyther is able by hys Buls, neyther by hys own wyll and consent, neyther by the consent of hys Colledge, eyther make able or disable any man.

8 A man cannot be excommunicated to his hurt or vndoyng, except he be fyrst and principallye excommunicat by hym selfe.

9 No man ought, but in Gods cause alone, to excommunicate, suspend, or forbyd, or otherwyse to proceede to reuenge by any ecclesiasticall censure.

10 A curse or excommunication doth not symply bynde, but in case it be pronounced and geuen out agaynst the aduersary of Gods law.

11 There is no power geuen by any example, eyther by Christ or his Apostle, to excommunicate any subiect, specially for the denying of anye temporalities, but rather contrarywyse.

12 The disciples of Christ haue no power to exact by any ciuill autority, temporalities by censures,

13 It is not possible by the absolute power of God, that if the Pope, or any other Christian, do pretende by anye meanes to bynde or to lose, that thereby he doth so binde and lose.

14 We ought to beleue that the Vicar of Christ, doth at such times onely binde and lose, when as he worketh cōformably by the law and ordinance of Christ.

15 This ought vniuersallye to bee beleued, that euerye priest rightly and duly ordered, according vnto the lawe of grace, hath power according to hys vocation, wherby he may minister the sacramentes, and consequentlye absolue any man confessing hys fault, being contrite and penitent for the same.

16 It is lawful for kings (in causes licensed by the law) to take away the temporalties from the spiritualty, synnyng habitualiter that is, which continue in the custome of synne, and wyll not amend.

17 Whether they be temporall Lordes, or any other mē whatsoeuer they be, which haue endowed anye churche with temporalities: It is lawfull for them to take away the same temporalities, as it were by waye of medicine, for to auoyde synne, notwithstanding any excommunication, or other ecclesiasticall censure, forsomuch as they are not geuen, but vnder a condition.

[Back to Top]

18 An ecclesiasticall minister, and also the Byshoppe of Rome, may lawfullye bee rebuked of hys subiectes, and for the profyte of the church, be accused eyther of the clargie, or of the layetie.

These letters 

Commentary  *  Close

The following account, of Wiclif being summoned to Lambeth and of Sir Lewis Clifford's orders - Foxe does not say so, but Clifford was sent by Joan of Kent, the mother of the king - that Wiclif not be sentenced come from Arundel 7. (See Historia Anglicana, ed. H. T. Riley, Rolls Series 28, 2 vols. [London, 1863-4], I, p. 356).

[Back to Top]
wt the articles inclosed being thus receaued frō þe Pope, the bishops toke no litle hart, thinking & fully determining wt thēselues & that in open profession, before their prouinciall councell, that all maner respectes of feare or fauour set apart: no person neyther hygh nor low should let them, neyther woulde they be seduced by the entreaty of any man, nor by any threatninges or rewardes, but that in this cause they would execute most surely vpright iustice & equity: yea albeit present daūger of lyfe should folow therupō. MarginaliaThe stout brags of the bishops ouerthrowne.But these so fierce brags, and stout promise, with the subtile practises of these byshops, which thought them so sure before: the Lorde (agaynst whom no determination of mans counsaile can preuayle) by a small occasion, did lightly confounde and ouerthrow. MarginaliaWickliffe again called before the bishops. Lewes Clifford.For the day of examination beyng come: a certayne personage of the princes court, and yet of no great noble byrth, named Lewes Clifford, entring in among the bishops: commaunded them, that they should not procede with any diffinitiue sentence agaynst Iohn Wickleff. With which words all they were so amased, and their combes so cut, that (as in the storie is mentioned) they became so mute and speachles, as men hauing not one worde in their mouth to answere. MarginaliaIohn Wickliffe againe deliuered from the bishops.And thus by the wonderous worke of God his prouidence, escaped Iohn Wickleffe þe second tyme, out of þe bishops hands, and was by them clearely dismissed vpon his declaratiō made of his articles as anone shall folow.

[Back to Top]

Moreouer here is not to bee passed ouer, howe at the same tyme, and in the sayd chapell of the Archbyshop at Lamheth, where the Byshops were sittyng vpon Ihon Wickleffe, the story writing of the doyng therof, addeth these wordes, saying: Non dico ciues tantum Londinenses, sed viles ipsius ciuitatis se impudenter ingerere præsumpserunt in eandem capellam, & verba facere pro eodem, & istud negocium impedire, consisi, vt reor, de ipsorum præmissa negligentia prælatorum. &c. That is, I say 

Commentary  *  Close

This passage was added in 1570; it comes from Arundel 7 (see Historia Anglicana, ed. H. T. Riley, Rolls Series 28, 2 vols. [London, 1863-4], I, p. 356).

not onely, that the citizens of London, but also the vile abiectes of the citie, presumed to be so bold, in the same chapell at Lāheth, where the Bishops were setting vpon I Wickleffe: both to entreat for him, and also to let and stoppe þe same matter, trustyng as I suppose, vpon the negligēce which they saw before in the Bishops. &c.

[Back to Top]

Ouer and beside, here is not to be forgotten, how the said Ihon Wickleffe, the same time of his examination, offered & exhibited vnto the bishops, in writyng, a protestation, wt a declaratiō or expositiō of his own mind, vpō the said his articles, the effect wherof here foloweth.

¶ The protestation of Ihon Wickleffe.

MarginaliaThe protestation of Iohn Wickleffe.FIrst 

Commentary  *  Close

Wiclif's protestation is actually a preamble to his commentary on the articles attributed to him. Foxe had access to two sources that contained both the protestation and the commentary. These were Arundel 7 and the Fasciculi Zizaniorum. Foxe followed the longer version of the protestation in Arundel 7 (see Historia Anglicana, ed. H. T. Riley, Rolls Series 28, 2 vols. [London, 1863-4], I, p. 357), although he gave the version of the commentary found in the Fasciculi Zizaniorum.

[Back to Top]
I protest (as I haue often tofore done) that I do minde and intend with my whole harte (by the grace of God) to bee a true Christian, and as long as breath shall remayne in me, to professe and defende the lawe of Christe. And if it shall happen that thoroughe ignorance or otherwise, I shall faile therin. I desire my Lord God of pardon and forgeuenes. And now agayne as before also, I do reuoke and make retractation, most humbly submittyng my selfe, vnder the correction of our holy mother the church. And for so much as the sentence of my fayth, whiche I haue holden in the scholes and elles where is reported euen by children, and more ouer, it is caried by children euen vnto Rome: Therfore least my deare beloued brethren should take any offence by me, I will setforth in writing the sentence and Articles, for the whiche I am now accused and impeched: the whiche also, euē vnto the death I wil defend. As I beleue all Christians ought to do, and specially the bishop of Rome, and all other priestes and ministers of the churche. For I do vnderstand the conclusions after the sence and maner of speaking of the Scriptures and holy doctours, the which I am ready to expound: And if they shall be founde con-

[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