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1061 [1060]

K. Hen. 8. The Byshops booke agaynst the Pope.

and Lordes of the worlde, and that vnder the pretence of the authoritie committed vnto them by the Gospel. Wherin the sayde Bishoppes of Rome doo not onely abuse and peruert the true sense and meanyng of Christes woorde: but they doo also cleane contrarye to the vse and custome of the primitiue Churche: and also doo manifestly violate, as well the holy Canons made in the Churche immediately after the tyme of the Apostles, as also the decrees and constitutions made in that behalfe, by the holye Fathers of the Catholique church, assembled in the first general Coūcelles: 

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The first eight general councils were 1) the first council of Nicaea (325); 2) the first council of Constantinople (381); 3) the council of Ephesus (431); 4) the council of Chalcedon (451); 5) the second council of Constantinople (553); 6) the third council of Constantinople (680-1); 7) the second council of Nicaea (787); and 8) the fourth council of Constantinople (869).

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MarginaliaFirst the generall Councell of Nice decreed, that the Patriarkes of Alexandria, & Antiochia, should haue lyke power ouer the countries about those cities, as the Byshops of Rome had ouer the coūtries about Rome.
In the Councell of Mileuitane it was dereed, that if a clerke of Aphricke would appeale out of Aphricke, vnto any byshop beyond the sea, he should be taken as a person excommunicate.
In the generall Councell of Constantinople the first, it was likewise decreed, that euery cause betwene any persons, should be determined within the prouinces where the matters did lye: and that no byshop should exercise any power out of his owne dioces or prouince. And this was also the minde of holy S. Cyprian, and of other holy men of Aphrica.
To conclude therfore, the Pope hath no such primacye geuen hym, eyther by the wordes of Scripture, or by any generall Coūcell, nor by common consent of the holye catholicke Church.
And finally they do transgresse their owne profession, made in their creation. For al the Bishoppes of Rome alwayes when they be consecrated and made Bishoppes of that See, do make a solemne profession and vowe, that they shall inuiolably obserue and keepe all the ordinences made in the eight first general Councels: amōg the which it is specially prouided & enacted, that al causes shal be finished & determined within the prouince where þe same be begun, & that by þe bishops of þe same prouince: & þt no bishop shall exercyse any iurisdiction out of his own dioces or prouince. And diuers such other Canons were thē made & cōfirmed by the sayd councels, to represse & take away out of the church, al such primacie and iurisdiction ouer kyngs & bishops, as the bishops of Rome pretende nowe to haue ouer the same. And we finde that diuers good fathers bishops of Rome dyd greatly reproue, yea & abhorre (as a thyng cleane contrary to the Gospel, and the decrees of the church) MarginaliaConcilium tertium Carthaginense, cap. 26. that any bishop of Rome, or els where shoulde presume, vsurpe, or take vpon hym the title and name of the vniuersal bishop, or of the head of all priests, or of the highest priest, or any suche like title. MarginaliaGregorius lib. 4. epistolarum indictione 13. epist. 23. For confirmation whereof, it is out of al doubt, that there is no mētion made, neither in Scripture, nor in the writynges of any Autentical doctour or authour of the Church, beyng within the tyme of the apostles, that Christ did euer make or institute any distinction or difference to be in the preeminence of power, order, or iurisdiction, betweene the apostles thē selues, or betwene þe bishops them selues: but þt they were al equall in power, order, authoritie, & iurisdiction. And that there is now & sith the tyme of the apostles, any such diuersitie, or difference among the bishops, it was deuised by the anciēt fathers of þe primitiue church, for the cōseruation of good order and vnitie of the catholike church, & that eyther by the consent and authoritie, or els at the least by the permission & sufferaunce of the princes and ciuil powers for the tyme rulyng. &c.

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And shortly after foloweth: And for the better confirmatiō of this part, we thinke it also conuenient, that all byshops and preachers shal instruct and teach the people committed vnto theyr spirituall charge, that Christe dyd by expresse wordes prohibit, that none of his apostles or any of their successors, should vnder the pretense of the autoritie geuen vnto thē by Christ, take vpon thē the authoritie of þe sword: that is to say, the authoritie of kyngs, or of any ciuill power in this worlde, yea or any authoritie to make lawes or ordinances in causes appertaynyng vnto ciuil powers. Truth it is, þt priestes & byshops may execute al such temporal power and iurisdiction, as is committed vnto them by the ordinance & authoritie of kyngs or other ciuil powers, & by the consent of the people (as officers and ministers vnder the sayd kynges and powers) so long as it shall please the sayd kynges and people to permit and suffer them so to vse and execute the same. Notwithstaudyng if any Bishop of what estate or dignitie soeuer he be, be he bishop of Rome or of any other citie, prouince, or dioces, doo presume or take vppon hym authoritie or iurisdiction in causes or matters whiche appertayne vnto kynges and the ciuyll powers and their Courtes, and wyl mainteyne or thinke that he may so do by the authoritie of Christ and his Gospel, although the kynges and princes would not permyt and suffer hym so to doo: No doubt that Bishop is not woorthy to be called a Bishop, MarginaliaThe Byshop of Rome iudged to be a tyrant and vsurper. but rather a tyranne and an vsurper of other mens rightes, contrarye to the lawes of God, and is woorthy to be reputed none otherwise, than he that goeth about to subuert the kyndome of Christ. For the kyngdome of Christe in his Churche is a spirituall, and not a carnall kyngdome of the worlde, that is to say, the very kyngdome that Christ by hym selfe, or by his Apostles and Disciples sought here in this worlde, was to bryng all nations from the carnall kyngdōe of þe prince of darknes, vnto þe lyght of his spiritu al kyngdome, and so to raygne hym selfe in the hartes of people by grace, fayth, hope, and charitie. And therfore sith Christ dyd neuer seeke nor exercise any worldly kyngdome or dominion in this worlde, but rather refusing and fleeyng from the same, dyd leaue the sayde worldly gouernaunce of kyngdomes, realmes, & nations, to be gouerned by princes and potentates (in lyke maner as he dyd find them) & commaunded also his Apostles and Disciples to do the semblable, as it was sayde before: what soeuer priest or Bishop wyl arrogate or presume vpon hym any such authoritie, and wil pretend the authoritie of the gospel for his defence therin, he doth nothyng els, but (in maner as you would say) crowneth Christ agayne with a crowne of thorne, and traduceth and bryngeth him foorth agayne with his mantle of purpure vpon his backe, to be mocked and scorned of the world, as the Iewes dyd to their owne damnation.

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This doctrine was subscribed and allowed by the witnes and testimonie of these Bishops and other learned men, whose names hereunder folow, as appeareth in the bishops booke aforenamed.


MarginaliaTestimonies of byshopes of England agaynst the Pope. Thomas Cantuarien.
Edouardus Ebor.
Iohannes London.
Cuthbertus Dunel.
Stephanus Winton.
Robertus Carliolen.
Ioannes Exon.
Ioannes Lincoln.
Ioannes Bathonien.
Rolandus Couen. &
Thomas Elien.
Nicolaus Sarum.
Ioannes Bangor.
Edouardus Herefor.
Hugo Wigornien.
Ioannes Roffen.
Ricardus Cicestren.
Guliel. Norwicen.
Guilielmus Menenen.
Robertus Assauen.
Robertus Landauen.

Ricardus Wolman.
Archdiaco. Sudbur.
Guilielmus Knight.
Arch. Richmond.
Ioannes Bel. Arch.

Edmundus Boner,
Archdia. Leicester.
Guilielmus Skippe,
Archdiaco. Doset.
Nicolaus Heth. Archdi-
aco Stafford.
Cuthbertus Marshal.
Arch. Notingham.
Ricardus Curten.
Archdia. Oxon.
Gulielmus Glife.
Galfridus Dovnes.
Robertus Okyng.
Radulphus Bradford.
Richardus Smith.
Simon Mathewe.
Ioannes Prin.
Guiliel. Buckmaster.
Gulielmus May.
Nicolaus Wotton.
Ricardus Coxe.
Ioannes Edmundes.
Thomas Robertson.
Ioannes Baker.
Thomas Barret.
Ioannes Hase.
Ioannes Tyson.

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These were Doctours of Diuinitie,
and of both Lawes.

Iudge nowe thy selfe (louyng reader) per confessata & allegata: that is, by these thynges heretofore confessed, alleged, allowed, proued and confirmed, by penne set foorth, by wordes defended, and by othe subscribed by these Bishops and Doctours, if eyther Martin Luther hym selfe, or any Lutherane els coulde or dyd euer say more against þe proude vsurpation of the Bishop of Rome, then these men haue done. MarginaliaThe Byshops of England then good Lutherans. If they dissembled otherwise then they ment, who coulde euer dissemble so deepely, speakyng so pithyly? If they meāt as they spake, who could euer turne head to tayle so sodenly and so shortly as these men dyd? But because these thynges we write for edification of other, rather then for commendation of them, let vs marke therfore their reasons, and let the persons goe.

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And although the sayde proufes and argumentes heretofore alleged, might suffice to the full discussiō of this matter agaynst the Popes vsurped primacie: yet because many do yet remain, which wil not be satisfied, to refel therfore & confute this popishe article of the Popes vaine and proude primacie, with as much matter and furniture of reasons & allegations as the writynges and testimonies of these Bishops and others do minister vnto vs: we mynd (the Lord willyng) to annexe to these former confirmations of the bishops aforesayd, MarginaliaThe epistle of Tonstall and Stokesley, to Cardinall Poole. an other supplement also of a certayne Epistle sent by bishop Tonstal, and by Iohn Stokesley bishop of London, to Cardinal Poole, for a more ample confutation of the vsurped power.

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Concernyng the argument of whiche Epistle, here is first to be vnderstanded, that about this tyme or not muche ouer, Cardinall Poole brother to the Lorde Montagew, was attaynted of high treason, and fled away vnto Rome, where wtin a short tyme after, he was made Cardinall of S. Mary Cosmeden: 

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Pole was created cardinal-deacon (22 December 1536) of St Mary in Cosmedin. There are three official ranks of cardinal and Pole's rank of deacon indicates that he was considered a member of the pope's political household, working full-time in the curia. The other ranks are cardinal-bishop (who holds an actual Episcopal position in Rome) and cardinal-priest (who works in a diocese outside of Rome).

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of whom more is to be spoken here-

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