Critical Apparatus for this Page
Commentary on the Text
Names and Places on this Page
Unavailable for this Edition
879 [879]

K. Edward. 4. Fridericus. 2. John an heardman, Martyr. Wesalianus.

kynges, beyng relieued and defended by them from the sayd exactions, and the Germaines and states of þe Empire flying vnto their Emperour, be by him forsaken, or rather betrayed and depriued of thier owne lawes and decrees? The Emperour beyng moued and partly ouercome by their perswasions, promised that he would prouide no lesse for them, then the kyng of Fraunce had done for the Frenchmen, & to make decrees in that behalfe: but the graue authoritie of Æneas Syluius, as Platina writeth, in the history of Pius the seconde, brake of the matter, who by his subtile and pestiferous perswasions did so bewitch the Emperour, that he cōtemning the equall, iust, and necessary requestes of his subiectes, chose þe sayd Æneas to be his Ambassadour vnto Calixtus, then newly chosen Pope, to sweare vnto him in hys name, and to promise the absolute obedience of all Germanie, as the onely countrey (as they cal it) of obediēce, neglectyng the ordinaunces & decrees of their countrey, as before he had done vnto Eugenius the. iiij. beyng Ambassadour for the sayd Fredericke, promising that he & all the Germaines would bee obedient vnto hym from henceforth in all matters, as well spirituall as tēporall. MarginaliaFridericke made the Germaines twise subiecte vnto the pope.Thus twise Fridericke of Austriche contemned and derided þe Germaines, & frustratyng them of their natiue decrees and ordinaunces, brought them vnder subiection and bondage of the Pope: whiche partly was the cause that. 7. yeres before his death he caused his sonne Maximilian, not onely to be chosen, but also crowned king of Romaines, and did associate him to the ministration of the Empire, least after his death (as it came to passe) the Empire should be trāsported into another familye, suspecting the Germaines, whom he had twise, contrary to his lawes, made subiect and in bondage vnto the Popes exactions: first before hee was crowned, in the tyme of Eugenius the. 4. and agayne the second tyme after hys coronation, and death of Pope Nicolas the. 5. denyeng their requestes. Wherupon Germany, beyng in this miserable pouerty and greuous subiection vnder þe Popes tyranny and poling, with teares and sighes lamentyng their estate, continued so almost vnto Luthers tyme, as the historyes hereafter folowing do testifie.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaFrider. Albertus his brother, and Sigismundus striue for the dukedome of Austria.And here ceasing with þe storye of Fridericke, we will now procede to the reigne of Maximiliā his sonne, omittyng diuers thinges els incident in the tyme of this Emperour: as first touchyng the vnbrotherly contentiō and conflictes betwene this Fridericke, and Albertus his brother, and Sigismundus his vncle, for þe Dukedome of Austria, after the death of Mathias afore mentioned: Omittyng also to speake of the long & cruell warre betwene the Prussians, and Polonians, with the religious secte of them, whiche were called Tentones fratres sanctæ Mariæ, in the tyme of Vladislaus: MarginaliaWarre betwene Franciscus Sfortia, and the Venetians about MillainOmitting also the strife and variaunce for the Dukedome of Millian, betwene Fridericus the Emperour, Alphonsus, Carolus Duke of Orleance, and Fransiscus Sfortia: And how the sayd princedome beyng after geuen to Sfortia, MarginaliaWarre betwene Lewes the French kyng and the citie of Millain.greate warres were kyndled & longe continued betwene Sfortia, and the Milleners, then betwene the Milleners and Venetians, and after betwene the Frenchmen and the Milleners. All whiche tumultes and commotiōs, as not pertinent greatly to the purpose of this story, I referre to other writers, where they are to be founde more amplye discoursed.

[Back to Top]


Commentary  *  Close
John de Wesalia and Sixtus IV

Foxe first related the history of Johann Ruceruth of Wesel in the 1563 edition. This narrative was based on based on the documents of Ruceruth's trial, printed in Ortwin Gratius, Fasciculi rerum expetendarum et fugiendarum and the account of Ruceruth in Matthias Flacius, Catalogus testium veritatis. In the 1563 edition, Foxe also had a brief account of Sixtus IV, which was based on John Bale's Catalogus, pp. 602-3 and 625-5. This account briefly mentioned Sixtus's sponsorship of the Rosary of the Psalter of Our Lady, but largely emphasized the pope's alleged liscensing of brothels and his granting of indulgences for sodomy to his intimates. The account of Ruceruth was expanded in the 1570, with further material from Ortwin Gratius, in response to criticisms from Nicholas Harpsfield. Foxe also added a brief relation of a Franconian cowherd who was burned as a heretic in 1479; this was taken from Bale's Catalogus (p. 625). The account of Sixtus IV was greatly expanded in the 1570 edition with Foxe's denunciation of the devotions to the Vurgin Mary, which the pope had sponsored. None of this material was altered in subsequent editions. This section of the Acts and Monuments contains a number of what Foxe believed were features of the late medieval Church: the existence of a small remnant of members of the True Church in every region and from every background, their persecution by the False Church and the 'idolatry', sexual depravity, and 'superstition' which characterized it.

[Back to Top]

Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield

as more properly belongyng to the story of the churche, I though good not to passe ouer touching such as were condemned and suffered the paynes of fyre for testimonie of Christe and his truth: Of whom one was Iohn a pastor or a netheard 
Commentary  *  Close

A neatherd is a cowherd.

, whiche was a keper of cattell: The other was Ioannes de VVesalia, 
Commentary  *  Close

Johann Ruceruth von Wesel should not be confused with his similarly named contemporary, Wesel Gansfort. This mistake is particularly easy to make when reading the 1563 edition (p. 396)., where Foxe - repeating Matthias Flacius - calls the former 'Doctor Weselianus' and the latter 'Doctor Weselus' respectively.

[Back to Top]
although not burned, yet persecuted nere to death vnder the reigne of this Emperour Fridericus the third.

[Back to Top]

And first touchyng this Iohn the Neteheard, Thuswriteth Sebast. Munster9: MarginaliaIohn a Netheard of Franconia, Martyr.
That þe bishop of Herbipolis, condemned & burned for an heretique, one Iohn, which was a keper of cattell at a towne called Niclas Hausen in Franconia, because he taught and held that þe lyfe of the clergie was ignominious, and abhominable before God. an. 1476. Ex Munstero.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaIoan. de Wesalia, persecuted.
The other 

Commentary  *  Close

This narrative of Ruceruth's trial is derived from Ortwin Gratius, Fasciculi rerum expetendarum et fugiendarum (Cologne, 1535), fos. 163r-167r and Matthias Flacius, Catalogus testium veritatis (Strasbourg, 1562), p. 560.

was Doctour Ioannes de VVessalia, who was complayned vpon vnto Dietherus the archbishop of Mentz, by the Thomists, vpon certayne articles and opinions, gathered out of hys bookes. Wherefore the sayd Dietherus, fearyng elles to bee deposed agayne from hys Byshopricke, directeth forth commission to the vniuersities of Heidelberg and Colen, to haue the matter in examination, who conuenting together the yeare aboue mentioned, called thys doctour de VVesalia before them, making him to sweare that he shoulde present and geue vp all his treatises, workes and writynges, what soeuer he had made or preached: that being done, they deuided hys bookes amongest them selues, seuerally euery man to fynde out what heresies and errours they coulde. MarginaliaThe articles and opinions of Ioan. de Wesalia.Hys articles and opinions were these, that all men be saued freely, and through meere grace by fayth in Christ. MarginaliaFree will nothyng.Free will to be nothing. Onely that we should beleue the worde of God, and not the glose of any man, or fathers. That the worde of God is to be expounded by þe collation of one place with an other. MarginaliaPrelates haue no more power ouer scriptures, then other men.That Prelates haue no authoritie to make lawes, or to expounde the Scriptures by any peculiar right, geuen thē more then to an other. That mens traditions, as fastinges, pardons, feastes, longe prayers, peregrinations & such lyke are to be reiected. MarginaliaExtreme vnction reproued.Extreme vnction and confirmation to be reproued: confession and satisfaction to be reprehended. MarginaliaAgaynst the primacie of the pope.The primacie of the pope also he affirmed to be nothyng. Certayne other articles also were gathered out of him by his aduersaryes, but in such sorte, that they may seeme rather to followe their owne malicious gathering, then any true intelligence of hys mynde: wherof more is to be vnderstanded in thys proces hereafter. Thus when VVesalianus was cōmaunded to appeare, there cōuented together first the Archbishop, the Inquisitour, the doctours of Colen and the doctours of Heidelberge, with þe maisters of þe same, and the Rector of the vniuersitie of Mentz, the deane of faculties, Bachelers of diuinitie, and many other maisters of the same vniuersitie, canons, doctours, with the bishops chaunceller, & hys councellers, besides many religious prelates, scholers, with a doctour of Franckfort, the Sumner and bedelles, which all mette together in þe great hall of the minorites, for the examination of thys Ioannes de VVesalia.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaIoan. de Wesalia brought before the prelates.Frear Elton the Inquisitour first sitteth in the highest place, thē after hym others according to their degree. In þe beginning of the examinatiō, first þe Inquisitour beginneth with these wordes: MarginaliaThe Inquisitour speakes.Most reuerent father & honourable doctours, &c. Our reuerent father & prince Elector hath caused this present cōuocatiō to be called, to heare the examination of maister Iohn de VVesalia, in certain suspected articles concerning the catholique fayth. But something I will say before that may do hym good, and desire that two or three of thē that fauour him, or some other, will ryse vp & geue hym counsaile, to forsake and leaue hys errours, to recognise himself, and to aske pardon, which if he will do, he shall haue pardon: if he will not, we will procede agaynst hym without pardon. And thus VVesalianus being cited and brought in the midst betwixt two minorites, being very aged, and hauing a staffe in hys hand, was set before the Inquisitour. Who beginning to aunswere for hym selfe with a longe protestation, could not be suffred to prosecute hys oration, but was cut of & required brieflye, to make an end, and to tell them in fewe wordes whether he woulde stand to hys opinions, or to the determinations of the church. To

[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