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182 [181]

K. Edgar. King Edward proued a bastard. K. Edward base borne.

MarginaliaKing Edward raigned but. iii. yeares crowned kyng.stane callyng together all the peeres of the Realme, wyth Bishops, Abbots, and other ecclesiasticall degrees of the clergy, in the publike sight of all the multitude set þe crowne vpon the kynges head at Bathe, which was the 31. yeare of hys age, and the 13. yeare of hys raigne, MarginaliaElflede proued a Nunne and Edward her sonne a that he reigned onely but 3. yeares crowned kyng. All the other yeares besides, Dunstane belyke ruled the land, as he listed. Furthermore as touchyng the sonne of the sayd Elfled, thus þe story writeth: Puerum quoq; ex peccatrice quondam progenitū, sacro fonte regeneratum lauauit, & aptato illi nomine Edwardo in filium sibi adoptauit. 1. The child also, which was gotten of the harlot, he baptised in the holy fountaine of regeneration, and so geuyng hys name to be called Edward, dyd adopt hym to be his sonne. &c. Ex Osberno.

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MarginaliaErrours in Malmesbery, & certayne other monkes stories.By the which narration of Osberne, agreeyng also with the story of the Saxon booke aboue mentioned, is conuinced a double vntruth or errour, eyther negligently ouersene, or of purpose dissembled in our later monkish story writers, as in Malmesbery, Math. Paris. Math Westm. and other mo. Who to conceale the fault of kyng Edgar, or to beare with Dunstans fact in settyng vp Edward for the maintenance of their monkish order, MarginaliaThe 1. errour. The kynges penaunce not enioyned for Edith, but for Edward.first do falsely affirme, that Editha the daughter of Ulfride was borne after Edward, & that for her this penaunce was enioyned to kyng Edgar, which neither is, nor can be so, as in processe hereafter (the Lorde willyng) shall appeare.

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MarginaliaThe 2 errour. Elfleda the mother of Edward proued to be a professed Nune.Secondly, they are deceiued in this, that they affirme kyng Edgar to haue two wyues, and that Elfleda the mother of Edward was not a professed Nunne in deede, but dissembled so to be, to auoyde the violence of the king: where as in deede the truth of the story both geueth her to bee a Nunne and her sonne to be base, and she her selfe neuer to be maried vnto the kyng.

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MarginaliaThe lying myracles of Elfleda, Dunstane and Editha reproued.Now, for as much as we haue hetherto entred mention of Elfleda and Editha, also of Wlfrede, and Dunstane, here would not be let passe to speake somethyng of their lying miracles 

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Foxe was anxious to demonstrate that the 'lying miracles' attributed to Elfleda, Dunstan and Edith were just that: 'idolatrous', 'idle phantasies' and 'forged miracles', 'falsely forged…by superstitious Monkes'. His approach was no doubt shaped, at least in part, by Bale's English Votaryes, pp. 64-5. Bale cited William of Malmesbury's Gesta Pontificium and John Capgrave's Nova Legenda Angliae. At first glance, Foxe simply repeated what Bale had to say, but closer inspection reveals that Foxe cites quite precisely that Capgrave reports that Dunstan's vision was first recorded thirteen years after his death. The detail does not appear in Bale. Foxe had therefore either consulted Capgrave independently (either in Wynkyn de Warde's printed edition of the work, published in 1516, or in Bale's manuscript of the Nova Legenda Angliae. The epitaph to King Edgar comes directly from Henry Huntingdon's Chronicle (T. Arnold, ed. Henry of Huntingdon. Henrici Huntendunensis Historia Anglorum, the History of the English, by Henry, Archdeacon of Huntingdon, from B. C. 55 to A. D. 1154 [London: Rolls Series, 1879], book 5, ch. 26. Foxe's telling detail about King Edgar's enforcement of Sabbath observance, an issue which protestant opinion in 1570 was beginning to focus upon, comes from John Brompton's Chronicle (J. Brompton, 'Chronicon Johannis Brompton Abbatis Jornalensis.' In Historiæ Anglicanæ Scriptores X. [....], ed. by Roger Twysden (London, 1652), col. 871. It cannot come from Lambarde's Archanomia since this edition of Anglo-Saxon laws stipulates quite precisely that King Edgar's law had the Sabbath beginning on 3pm on Saturday afternoon, whereas Foxe follows Brompton in saying that it was 'ix of the clocke'.

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falsely forged to the great seduction of christē people by superstitious Monkes, who cared not what fables and lyes they brought into the church, so they might haue the vantage of poore mens purses and oblations. MarginaliaIdolatrous worshipping the tombe of Elfleda.And first here commeth in the fabulous myracles wrought at the tombe of Elfleda the kinges concubine, which W. Malmes. in these verses expresseth: Nam nōnullis passa annis morborum molestiam. Defecatam & excoctam Deo dedit animam. Functas ergo vitæ fato beatas exuuias, Infinitis clemens signis illustrauit Deitas. Inopes visus & auditus si adorāt tumulum, Sanitati restituti probant sanctæ meritum. Rectum gressum refert domum, qui accessit loripes. Mente captus redit sanus, boni sensus locuples. The English of which verses is nedeless here to be recited. Briefly the effect is this, that both the blynde, deafe, halt, and such as be mad receiue their health agayne, if they worship the tombe of this Elfleda. &c.

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MarginaliaThe idle phantasies & forged myracles of Dunstane.The lyke faneynges and monstrous miracles we read also in chronicles of doting Dunstane, drowned in all superstition, if he were not also a wicked sorcerer: First how be beyng yet a boy chased away the deuill, set aboute with a great company of dogges: and how the Aungels did open the Church dore for hym to enter. Then how the Lute or Harpe hangyng vpon the wall dyd sing or play without any finger, MarginaliaI doubt whether Dunstane was a sorcerer.these wordes: Gaudent in cœlis animæ sanctorū, qui Christi vestigia sunt sequuti, & qui pro eius amore sanguinem suum fuderunt: ideo cum Christo regnabunt in æternum. Item, where a certayne great beame or maisterpost was loosed out of the place: he wyth makyng þe signe of a Crosse, set it in right frame agayn. MarginaliaDunstane a post setter.Moreouer, how the sayd Dūstane beyng tēpted vpō a tyme of þe deuill with the cogitation of women, MarginaliaDunstane caught the deuill by the nose with an hoate payre of tongs.caught the deuill by the nose wyth a whote payre of tonges, and held hym fast. Item how ofte heauenly spirites appeared to hym, and vsed to talke wyth hym familiarly. Item, howe he prophecied of the byrth of kyng Edgar, of the death of kyng Egelred, of the death of Editha, and of Ethelwood bishop of Winchester. MarginaliaOur Lady appeareth to Dunstane.
What maruell if certaine bookes and epistles be falsely intituled to the Doctors when the Papistes shame not to ascribe other mens verses also to the virgine Mary her selfe.
Also how our Lady with her fellowes appeared visibly to hym, singyng this song: Cantemus Domino sociæ, cantemus honorem. Dulcis amor Christi personet ore pio. Againe, how the Aungels appeared to hym singyng the Hymne called Kyrie Rex splendens. &c. And yet these prodigious fantasies with other mo are written of hym in Chronicles, and haue bene beleued in Churches.

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Marginalia A foule filthy monkishe myracle in the story of Editha.Among many other false and lying miracles, forged in thys corrupt tyme of Monkery, the fabulous or rather filthy legend of Editha were not to be ouerpassed, if for shame and honesty it might well be recyted. But to cast the dyrteof these Popeholy monkes in theyr own face, which so impudently haue abused the church of Christ, and simplicitie of þe people with their vngratious vanities, let vs see what this myracle is, and how honestly it is told. Certain yeres after the death of Editha, sayth William of Malmes., which yeres, Capgraue in hys new Legend reckeneth to be thirtene, MarginaliaAn other dreame of Dunstane.the sayd Editha and also S. Denys holdyng her by þe hand, appeared to Dunstane in a vision, willyng and requiryng hym that the body of Editha in the church of Wilton, should be taken vp and shrined, to the entent it might be honored here in earth of her seruants, accordyng as it is worshypped of her spouse in heauen. Dunstane vpon this commyng from Salisbury to Wilton, where Editha was interred, commaunded her body to be taken vp wyth muche honor and solemnitie. Who there in openyng her tombe (as both Malmesbery and Capgraue wyth shame enough recordeth) founde all the whole body of thys Editha consumed to earth, saue onely her thumbe, her belly, and the part vnder the belly. Wherof the said Editha expounding þe meanyng, declared that her thumbe remayned sounde, for the much crossyng she vsed wyth the same. The other partes were incorrupted for a testimony of her abstinence, and integritie &c. Ex Malmesb. & Capgrauo. MarginaliaEx W. Malmesbeniensi & Capgrauo in legend. noua.What Sathan hath so enuied the true sinceritie of christian fayth and doctrine, so to contaminate the same wyth such impudent tales, suche filthy vanities, and Idolatrous fantasies as this? Suche Monkes, with their detestable houses, where christes people were so abhominably abused & seduced to worshyp dead carcases of men and women, whether they deserued not to be rased & pluckt downe to the ground, let all chast readers iudge. But of these matters enough and to much.

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MarginaliaThe death of k. Edgar.¶ Here followeth the Epitaphe, written by Henricus Archdeacon of Huntington, vpon the prayse and commendation of kyng Edgar. 

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An Epitaph on King Edgar by Henry Archdeacon of Huntingdon
Foxe text Latin

Autor opum ... perpetuumque breui.


John Wade, University of Sheffield

Creator of wealth, avenger of crimes, dispenser of honours, sceptre-bearing Edgar makes for kingdoms on high. He was another Solomon, father of laws, the way of peace; he was the more famous because he did not have wars. He gave churches to God, monks to churches and land to monks; downfall to wickedness and a place for justice. For he knew how to seek out a true kingdom through a false one, a great through a small, an everlasting through a short-lived.

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MarginaliaAn Epitaph commendatorie of kyng Edgar, written by H. Huntingtō.Autor opum, vindex scelerum, largitor honorum,
Septager Edgarus regna superna petit.
Hic alter Salomon, legum pater, orbita pacis,
Quod caruit bellis, claruit inde magis.
Templa Deo, tēplis monachos, monachis dedit agros:
Nequitiæ lapsum, iustitiaæq̀ locum.
Nouit enim regno verum perquirere falso,
Immensum modico, perpetuumq̀ breui.

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MarginaliaSonday first halowed frō satterday at ix. of the clocke, to monday morning.Among hys other lawes, thys kyng ordayned that the Sonday should be solemnised from Saterday at ix. of the clocke, till Monday mornyng.

Kyng Edward called the Martyr. 
Commentary  *  Close

Foxe's account of the controversy over the royal succession following King Edgar's death is taken, Foxe's marginal note tells us, 'Ex Simeon Durham'. This source is not cited by any of Foxe's regular chronicle sources at this point, and it is therefore a matter of note that Foxe has chosen to highlight the source here. Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury, owned several copies of Simon of Durham's Historia Regum (T. Arnold, ed. Simeon of Durham. Symeonis Monarchi Opera Omnia 2 vols [London: The Rolls Series, 1882-1885], 2, pp. 94-5 and that is perhaps how Foxe acquired the material. Foxe's summary of the near contemporaries who wrote about Dunstan followed Bale's Catalogus, pp. 139-141 although it seems to have been additionally researched as well, using the resources of Matthew Parker's collection. 'Ioan Paris', for example, may well have been the manuscript now in Corpus College, Cambridge MS 60.

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The story of k. Edward.
Ex Simone Durham.
AFter the death of Edgar no small trouble arose amongst the Lordes and byshops for succession of the crowne: principall cause wherof rose vpon thys occasion as by the story of Symon of Durham, and Roger Houedē, is declared. Immediately after the decease of the kyng, Alferus Duke of Mercia, and many other nobles which helde wyth Egelrede or Ethelrede the onely right heyre and lawfull sonne of Edgar, MarginaliaContention amonge the Lords about the putting in of mōkes.mislikyng the placyng and intrudyng of Monkes into churches, and the thrustyng out of the secular Priestes with theyr wyues and chyldren out of their auncient possessions, expelled the Abbots and Monkes, and brought in agayne the foresayd priestes wyth theyr wyues. Agaynst whom, certeyne other there were on the contrary part, that made resistance, as Ethelwine Duke of Eastangles, Elfwoldus hys brother, and the erle Brithnothus saying in a councell together assembled, that they would neuer suffer the religious Monkes to be expulsed and driuen out of the Realme, which held vp all Religion in the land, and thereupon eftsoones leuied an army, whereby to defend by force the Monasteries, such as were within the precincte of Eastanglia.

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MarginaliaContention amonge the Lordes for chusing the kyng.In this hurly burly amongst the Lordes, about þe placyng of Monkes and puttyng out of Priestes, rose also the contention about the crowne, who should be theyr kyng: the Bishops and such Lordes as fauored the Monkes seking to aduance such a kyng as they knew would incline to their side: so that the Lordes thus diuided, some of them would haue Edward, and some consented vpon Egelred the lawfull sonne. Then Dunstane Arch. of Canterbury and Oswold Archbishop of Yorke, with other theyr fellowbishops, Abbots, and dyuers other Lordes and Dukes assembled in a councell together. In the which counsell Dunstane cōmyng in with his crosse in hys hand, & bringyng Edwarde

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