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1253 [1252]

K. Henry. 8. Good bookes inhibited. Agrogation of holy dayes.

same for heresie. Whiche being so, (as they themselues will not deny) now iudge (good reader) who hath set the Citie of Rome on fire, Nero, or els the Christians.

But to returne agayne to the purpose of our former matter, whiche was to shew forth the proclamation of the Byshops for the abolishing of Englishe bookes aboue rehearsed, as beyng corrupt and full of heresie, whiche notwithstanding we haue declared to conteine no heresie, but sound and holesome doctrine, according to the perfect word and Scripture of God.

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Here now when the Prelates of the Popes side had procured this Edict and proclamation aforesayd, for the condemnation of all such English bookes Printed or vnprinted which made agaynst their aduauntage, they triumphed not a litle, wening they had made a great hand against the Gospel for euer to rise agayne, and that they had established their kingdome for euer, as in deede to al mans thinking, it might seme no les. MarginaliaGods mercifull helpe in time of need. For who would haue thought, after so straight so precise and so solemne a proclamation set forth and armed with the kinges terrible authoritie: also after the cruel execution of Anne Askewe, Lacels and the rest: Item after the busie searche moreouer and names taking of many other, of whom some were chased away, some apprehended and layde up, diuers in present peril, and expectation of their atachment: who would haue thought (I say) otherewise possible, but that the gospel must nedes haue an ouerthrow, seeing what sure worke the papistes here had made, in setting vp their side, and throwing downe the contrary.

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MarginaliaGods power commonly worketh agaynst mans presumption But it is no new thing in the Lord, to shew his power against mans presumption, that when he counteth hym self most sure, then he is furthest of, and whan he supposeth to haue done all, then is he newe to begyn againe. So was it in the primitiue Churche before Constantinus tyme, that when Nero, Domitianus, Maxentius, Decius, and other Emperours impugnyng the Gospel & profession of Christ, dyd not onely constitute lawes and Proclamations agaynst the Christians, but also dyd ingraue the same lawes in tables of brasse, myndyng to make all thynges firme for euer and a daye: yet we see, how with a litle turnyng of Gods hand, all their puissant deuises, and brasen lawes turned all to wynde and dust. So litle doth it auayle for man to wrastle against the Lord and his proceedynges. Howe soeuer mans buildyng is mortall and ruinous, of brickle bricke, and mouldryng stones, the Lorde neuer taketh in hande to builde, that either time can waste, or man can plucke downe. What God setteth vp, there is neyther power, nor striuyng to the contrary. What he entendeth, standeth: what he blesseth, that preuayleth. MarginaliaTowers of Babell agaynst the Lorde. And yet mans vnquiet presumption wyll not cease styl to erect vp towers of Babell against the Lorde, whiche the higher they are builded vp, fall with the greater ruine. For what can stand, that standeth not with the Lord? Which thyng as in example of all ages is to be sene: so in this late proclamation deuised by the Bishops, is in like maner exemplified.

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MarginaliaMans deuise agaynst the Lord ouerthrowen. The which proclamation, though it was sore & terrible for the tyme, yet not long after, by reason of the kings death (whō the Lord shortly therupon toke to his mercy) it made at length but a Castle come down. So that where the prelates thought to make thier Iubilie, it turned them to the Threnes of Ieremy. Such be the admirable workings of the Lord of hostes, whose name be sanctified for euer.

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This I do not inferre for any other purpose, but onely for the workes of the Lord to be seene: premonishyng thee (good Reader) wtal þt as touchyng þe kyng (who in this Proclamation had nothyng but the name onely) here is nothyng spoken but to his laude and prayse. MarginaliaThe prayse of K. Henry the 8. Who of his owne nature and disposition, was so inclinable and forward in all thynges vertuous and commendable, that the like enterprise of redresse of religion, hath not lightly ben seene in any other Prince Christned: As in abolishyng þe stoute and almost inuincible authoritie of the Pope, in suppressing Monasteries, in repressing custome of Idolatry and pilgrimage. &c. Which enterprises, as neuer kyng of Englande dyd accomplishe (though some beganne to attempt them) before hym: so yet to this day we see but fewe in other Realmes dare folowe the same.

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If Princes haue alwayes their Counsaile about them, that is but a common thyng. If some tyme they haue euyl counsel ministred that I take to be the fault rather of such as are about them, then of princes them selues. So long as Queene Anne, Tho. Cromwel bish. Cranmer, M. Denny, D. Buts, with such like were about hym, & could preuaile with hym, what organe of Christes glorye dyd more good in the church then he? as is apparant by such muniments, instrumentes and actes set forth by hym, in settyng vp the Bible in the church, in explodyng the pope with his vile pardons, MarginaliaMuch superstition purged by K. Henry. in remouyng diuers superstitious ceremonies in bringyng into order the inordinate orders of Fryers & sectes, in putting chantrie priestes to their pensions in permittyng whyte meate in Lent: in destroying pilgrimage worship: in abrogatyng idle & superfluous holy dayes, both by act publike, and also by priuate letters sent to Boner, tending after this effect.

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¶ By the kyng.

Marginalia[illegible text] RIght reuerent father in God, right trusty and welbeloued, we greete you well. And whereas [illegible text] manyfolde inconueniences whiche haue ensued and [illegible text] doo ensue to our subiectes by the great superfluitie of holy dayes, Marginalia[illegible text] we haue by the assentes and consentes of all you the bishops and other notable personages of the Clergy of this our Realme, in full congregation and assembly had for that purpose, abrogated and abolished suche as be neither Canonical, ne meete to be suffered in a cōmon wealth, for the manyfolde inconueniences which do ensue of the same, as is rehearsed: and to the intent our determination therein may be duely obserued and accomplished, we haue thought cōuenient to commaund you immediately vppon the receipte hereof, to addresse your commaundementes in our name to al the curates, religious houses, & colledges within your dioces, with a copy of the act made for the abrogation of the holy dayes aforesaide, a transumpt whereof ye shall receiue herewith, commaunding them and euery of them in no wise, eyther in the Church or otherwise, to indict or speake of any of the said dayes and feastes abolished, wherby the people might take occasion either to murmure, or to contemne the order takē therin, & to cōtinue in their accustomed idlenes, the same notwithstanding: but to passe ouer the same with such secret silence, as they may haue like abrogation by disuse, as they haue already by our authoritie in conuocatiō. And for as much as the tyme of haruest now approcheth, our pleasure is, ye shal with such diligence and dexteritie, put this matter in executiō, as it may immediatly take place, for the benefite of our subiectes, at this tyme accordingly without faylyng, as ye wyl answeare vnto vs for the contrarye. Geuen vnder our Signet, at our Monasterie of Chertesey, the 11. day of August.

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MarginaliaK. Henry according as hys Coūsell was about him, so was he lead. Thus while good Counsel was about hym, and could be heard, he dyd much good. So againe when sinister and wicked Counsell, vnder subtile and craftye pretences had gotten once the foot in, thrustyng truth & veritie out of the Princes eares, howe muche Religion and all good thinges went prosperously forward before, so much on the contrary side al reuolted backward agayne. Wherupon proceeded this Proclamation aboue mentioned, concernyng the abolishing and burnyng of English bookes. Which proclamation bearing the name of the kings maiesty, but being the very dede of the bishops, no doubt had done much hurt in the church among the godly sort, bringing thē eyther in to great daunger, or els keeping thē in much blindnes, had not the shortnes of the kinges dayes stopped the malignant purposes of the foresaid prelates, causing the king to leaue that by death vnto the people, which by his life he would not graunt. MarginaliaThe death of K. Henry 8.
An. 1547.
For within iiij. monethes after, the proclamation cōmyng out in August, he deceased in the begynnyng of Ianuarye, in the 38. yeare of his raigne. an. 1547. leauyng behinde hym three childrē, who succeded him in his kingdome, K. Edwarde, Queene Marye, and Queene Elizabeth: of whom it remaineth now to prosecute (by the permissiō and sufferaūce of Christ our high lord and prince) in the proces of this history, accordyng as the order of there succession, and Actes done by them in the church shall require, after that first I shall haue prosecuted certayne other matters by the waye, accordyng to my promise, here to be inserted.

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¶ The historie touching the persecution in Scotlande 
Commentary  *  Close
Scottish martyrs

This is the second of two extended sections in the Acts and Monuments tackling Scottish affairs. Foxe's willingness to extend his scope to Scotland was partly a routine matter of Protestant internationalism, reflecting the cosmic scale of his enterprise. More importantly, it reflected a 'British' idealism common amongst English and Scottish Protestants in the second half of the sixteenth century, an idealism first forged in the shared Anglo-Scottish exile of the 1550s. The first edition of the Acts and Monuments proclaimed on its title page its focus on 'this Realme of England and Scotlande': strictly speaking, a meaningless statement before the union of the crowns in 1603, but an eloquent testimony to the aspiration to see a common British Protestant culture. (See Jane Dawson, 'Anglo-Scottish Protestant culture and integration in sixteenth-century Britain' in Steven G. Ellis and Sarah Barber (eds), Conquest and Union: fashioning a British state, 1485-1725 (New York, 1995).) Subsequent editions also retained Scotland on the title page, despite the relative paucity of Scottish material in the book. As Foxe's friend John Knox acknowledged, Scotland had produced relatively few martyrs.Aside from a short and imprecise account of the martyrdom of Patrick Hamilton, there was only two substantial items of Scottish material in 1563: the long account of Sir John Borthwick's examination (1563, pp. 574-86) and the account of George Wishart's trial (1563, pp. 648-54). In 1570, a flood of new material was introduced and the existing material was entirely reorganised in recognition of this. The Wishart narrative was integrated into this fresh material. The account of Borthwick was dropped entirely, but eventually reintroduced in 1583.The new material is detailed, circumstancial and strikingly accurate, including letters, transcripts of trials and extracts from registers, but (somewhat unusually) Foxe nowhere names his source. He does state (1570, p. 1109) that some at least of the new Scottish material introduced from that edition on was gathered in 1564, but he never went to Scotland in person. Thomas S. Freeman has argued persuasively that all of this material was provided to Foxe by John Winram, the superintendent of Fife who had (before his late but sincere conversion to Protestantism) been subprior of St. Andrews. See Thomas S. Freeman, '"The reik of Maister Patrik Hammyltoun": John Foxe, John Winram and the martyrs of the Scottish Reformation', in The Sixteenth Century Journal vol. 27 (1996), 43-60.Alec Ryrie

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, with the names and causes of suche blessed Marytyrs, whiche in the same countrey suffered for the truth after the tyme of Patricke Hamelton.

THus hauing finished the tyme and rase of kyng Henry the eight, it remayneth nowe according to my promise made before here to place and adioyne so much as hath come to our handes, touchyng the persectuion of Scotland and of the blessed Martyrs of Christ, whiche in that countrey likewise suffred for the true religion of Christ & testimony of their fayth.

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To proceede therefore in the history of these Scotlande matters next after the mention of Dauid Straton and M. Nicholas Gurlay, MarginaliaRead [illegible text] pag. [illegible text] with whom we ended before, pag. 956. the order of tyme woulde require next to inferre the memorye of Syr Iohn Borthwike Knight, commonly called Captayne Borthwyke. Who beyng accused of heresie (as the Papistes call it) and cited therfore an. 1540. and not appearyng, and escaping out into other countreys,

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RRR. i.
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