Critical Apparatus for this Page
Commentary on the TextCommentary on the Woodcuts
Names and Places on this Page
Unavailable for this Edition
716 [692]

K. Edward. 4. Troubles in K. Edwardes time. Iohn Goose Martyr.

no neede to byd them to styrre: for beggyng to them was worsse, thē hye heresie. Wherfore the holy father pope Paulus the 2. to represse the sparkles of this doctrine, which otherwise perhaps might haue set his whole kitchin on fire, taketh the matter in hand, & eftsoones directeth downe his Bull into England, insinuating to the prelates here, MarginaliaEx hist. Scala mundi fol. vlt. Hæresim illam pestifere asserentem, quod Christus publice mendicauit, esse antiquitus a Romanis pontificibus, cum suis Cōciliis damnatam, & eam pro damnata, vndique declarandam, & conculcandam, &c. MarginaliaThe Popes determined solutiō, that Christ was no beggar. That is, that this heresie which pestiferously doth affirme that Christ dyd openly begge, was condemned of old tyme by the Byshops of Rome, and his Coūcells, and that the same ought to be declared in all places for a damned doctrine, and worthy to be troden downe vnder all mens feete. &c. This was in the same yeare whē Prince Edward, kyng Edwardes sonne was borne in the sanctuarie at Westminster. an. 1465.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaK. Edward vanquished ix. battailes being himselfe present at them all. As touchyng the rest of the doinges and affaires of this king (which had vanquished hetherto. ix. battayles, himselfe beyng present) how afterward MarginaliaCharles Duke of Burgoyne failed his promyse with the kyng. he, through the incitement of Charles Duke of Burgoyne his brother in law, ventred into Fraunce with a puissaūt army, & how the Duke fayled him in his promise, MarginaliaPeace betwene the two kinges, bought wyth the French kynges money. also how peace betwene the two kynges was at length cōcluded in a solēne meetyng of both the sayd kynges together (which meetyng is notified in stories, by a white doue sittyng the same day of meeting, vpon the top of kyng Edwards tente) MarginaliaMariage betwene the Frēch kinges sonne & kyng Edwardes daughter, made and broken. also of the mariage promised betwen the yoūg Dolphin & Elisabeth K. Edwards eldest daughter, but afterward broken of the French kyngs part: moreouer as touchyng the death of the duke of Burgoyne slayne in warre, & of his daughter Mary, neece to kyng Edward, spoyled of her landes & possessions wrōgfully, by Lewes the French kyng, & maryed after to Maximilian: furthermore as touchyng the expedition of kyng Edward into Scotlād, MarginaliaKing Iames of Scotland goeth frē his promise of maryage. by reason of kyng Iames, breakyng promise in marying with Cecilie the ij. daughter of kyng Edward, & of driuyng out his brother, & how the matter was composed there, MarginaliaBarwicke recouered. & of the recouery agayne of Barwicke: of these (I say) & such other thyngs mo, partly because they are described sufficiētly in our cōmon English stories, partly also because they be matters not greatly perteyning to the Church, I omitte to speake, makyng of thē a supersedeas. Two thynges I finde here among many other, specially to be remembred. 

Commentary  *  Close
John Goose and George of Clarence

Foxe relates two incidents from Edward IV's reign before returning to deal with events on the Continent. The first of these incidents was the burning of John Goose, a Lollard, in London in 1473. Although Foxe states that he derived this account 'Ex Polychro' (i.e., from a continuation of Ranulph Higden's Polychronicon), this cannot be correct, as none of the continuations of the Polychronicon extend further than 1461. In actual fact, Foxe is drawing his account of Goose, on virtually a word-for-word, basis from Robert Fabyan's chronicle. Foxe's interest in Goose is obvious, any pre-Reformation martyr was another proof that the true church existed before Luther. At first glance, Foxe's reasons for including the execution of George, Duke of Clarence are less obvious. But the reason was that one explanation for Clarence's downfall - that Edward IV believed a prophecy that someone whose name began with the letter 'G' would reign after him , thus usurping his son's throne - provided a foundation for a moralizing lecture on discerning true from false prophecies. Foxe derived his account of Clarence's death from Polydore Vergil's Anglica Historia and, possibly, Thomas More's History of King Richard III.

[Back to Top]

Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaAn. 1473.
Iohn Goose Martyr.
The first is concernyng a godly & constaunt seruaunt of Christ, named Iohn Goose 

Commentary  *  Close

Although Foxe did not kow this, Goose had already abjured and he was being burned as a relapsed heretic (J. A. F. Thomson, The Later Lollards, 1414-1520 [Oxford, 1965], pp. 72-3).

, whiche in the tyme of this kyng, was vniustly condemned & burnt at the tower hill. an. 1473. in the moneth of August. Thus had England also his Iohn Hus, as well as Boheme. MarginaliaIohn Goose in Englishe, is as much as Iohn Hus in the Bohemiau tounge. Wherin moreouer this
¶ The burnyng of Iohn Goose.

woodcut [View a larger version]

Commentary on the Woodcuts  *  Close
John Goose 'or John Huss' was burned at Tower Hill in 1473. Foxe says little of the charges against him, merely recounting how Goose was given a meal at the house of the sheriff, Robert Belisdon, prior to his death in the afternoon. It is unclear why this particular martyr warranted an illustration, unless on account of his name. 'Thus had England also its John Huss as well as Bohemia'. CUL copy: Goose is dressed in white and has light brown hair and beard. Note that the additional details added to those praying around Goose's pyre are rather clumsily executed, They appear as if they are wearing blusher and lipstick, since the colour is so startling. WREN: the same details and poor quality details appear in this copy also.

is to be noted, that since the tyme of kyng Richard 2. there is no reigne of any kyng to be assigned hetherto, wherein some good man or other hath not suffered the paynes of fire, for the Religion and true testimonie of Christ Iesus. Of this sayd Iohn Goose, or Iohn Hus 
Commentary  *  Close

'Hus' means goose in Czech and this enables Foxe to equate John Goose with Jan Hus.

, this moreouer I finde in an other English monument 
Commentary  *  Close

I.e. a written record, in this case, Robert Fabyan's chronicle (see Robert Fabyan, The Chronicle of Fabian [London, 1559], STC 10664, p. 507). Although Foxe declares that he is drawing his account from Ranulph Higden's Polychronicon, this is an error.

recorded, that the sayd Iohn being deliuered to Robert Belisdone, one of the Shriffes, to see him burnt the after noone: the Shriffe lyke a charitable man, had him home to his house, and there exhorted him to deny (sayth the story) his errors. But the godly man after long exhortation heard, desired the Shriffe to be content, for he was satisfied in his conscience. MarginaliaIohn Goose taketh hys dynner before he went to Martyrdome. Notwithstādyng this he desired of the Shriffe, for Gods sake to geue him some meate, saying that he was very sore hungered. Then the Shriffe commaūded him meate: wherof he tooke and did eate, as he had bene toward no maner of daunger: & sayd to such as stode about him: I eate now a good & a competent dynner: for I shall passe a litle sharpe shower, ere I go to supper 
Commentary  *  Close

This is a martyrological trope, but Foxe is not putting words into Goose's mouth. The London chronicler Robert Fabyan has Goose making the same comment (see The Chronicle of Fabian [London, 1559}, STC 10664, p. 507).

. And when he had dyned, he gaue thankes, & required that he might shortly be led to the place, where he should yeld vp his spirite vnto God. Ex Polychron.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaThe vnworthy death of the duke of Clarence. The second thyng herein to be noted, is the death of George Duke of Clarence, the kyngs second brother: Of whō relation was made before, how he assisted kyng Edward, his brother, agaynst þe Earle of Warwicke at Barnet field, and helped him to the crowne, and now after all these benefites, was at length thus required, that (for what cause it is vncertaine) he was apprehended & cast into the Tower, MarginaliaThe duke of Clarence drowned in a butte of Malmesey. where he beyng adiudged for a traytor, was priuely drowned in a but of Malmesey. What the true cause was of his death, it can not certeinely be affirmed. 

Commentary  *  Close

The reasons for Clarence's execution (on the orders of his brother, Edward IV) are obscure; for a discussion of these see Charles Ross, Edward IV (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1974), pp. 239-45. Foxe is taking his account almost entirely from Polydore Vergil, Anglica historia (Basel, 1555), p. 537. Vergil, however, does not blame Edward's queen, Elizabeth Woodville, for Clarence's death. Foxe probably took this suggestion from Thomas More's History of King Richard III, (See The History of King Richard III, ed. Richard S. Sylvester, in The Complete Works of St. Thomas More, vol. II [New Haven and London, 1962], p. 7).

[Back to Top]
Diuers coniectures and imaginations there be diuersly put forth. MarginaliaThe causes of his death expended. Some partly impute it to þe Queenes displeasure. Other suppose it came for takyng part in the cause of his seruaunt, which was accused and condemned for poysonyng, sorcery, or inchauntment. MarginaliaThe mischiefe that Sathan worketh by false prophesies. An other fame there is, whiche surmiseth the cause hereof to ryse vpon the vayne feare of a foolishe Prophecie, commyng no doubt (if it were true) by the crafty operation of Sathan, as it doth many tymes els happen among infidels and gentiles where Christ is not knowen: where among hygh Princes and in noble houses much mischief groweth, first murther and parricide, and thereby ruine of auncient families, and alteration of kyngdomes. The MarginaliaThe prophesie of G. effect of this Prophesie (as the fame goeth) was this, that after kyng Edward should one reigne, whose name should begin with G. 
Commentary  *  Close

This prophecy was almost certainly invented after Richard III usurped the the throne. Richard had been the duke of Gloucester, so his name also began with a 'G'.

And because the name of the Duke of Clarēce, beyng George, began with a G, therfore he began to be feared, & afterward priuely (as is aforesayd) was made away.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaPhophesies not rashly to be beleued. ¶ By these experimentes & mischieuous endes of such Prophecies, and also by the nature of them, it is soone to be sene, from what fountaine or author they procede: that is (no doubt) from Sathan, the auncient enemy of mankynd, and Prince of this world: agaynst whose deceitfull delusions, Christen men must be well instructed, neither to maruell greatly at them, though they seeme straunge, nor yet to beleue them, though they happen true. MarginaliaSathan can say truth for a wicked end. For Sathan being the prince of this world, in such thynges worldly can foresee what will follow, and can say truth for a mischeuous end, and yet for all that is but a Sathan. MarginaliaDeuilishe prophesies although they tell truth, yet are not to be folowed. So the dreame of Astiages, seyng a vyne to grow out of his daughter, whiche should couer all Asia, and fearyng thereby that by his nephewe he should lose his kyngdom, proued true in the sequele therof, and yet notwithstādyng of Sathan it came, and caused cruel murther to folow, first of the shepheardes child, thē of the sonne of Harpagus, whom he set before his owne father to eate. MarginaliaEx Iust. lib. 1. Ex Iust. lib. i. Likewise Cyrus was Prophetically admonished by his dreame, to take him for his guide, whom he first met the next morow. In that also his dreame fell true, and yet was not of God. In the same number are to be put all the blynd Oracles of the Idolatrous Gentiles, which although they procede of a lying spirit, yet sometime they hyt the truth, to a mischieuous purpose. MarginaliaMarlynes prophecies.
1. Reg. 18.
The like iudgement also is to be geuen of Merlynes Prophecies. The Sorceresse, mentioned 1. Reg. 28. raysing vp Samuell, told Saul the truth, yet was it not of God. MarginaliaAct. 16. In the. 16. chap. of the Actes, there was a Damosell hauyng the spirite of Marginalia* A spirite of diuination which could gesse & foredeme things past, present, and to come, which knowledge God many tymes permitteth to the deuill. * Pytho, who sayd truth of Paul and Sylas, callyng them the messengers of the hygh God, & yet it was a wrong spirite. The vncleane spirites in geuyng testimony of Christ, said the truth, yet because their testimony came not of God, Christ did not allow it.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaEx Paulo Diac. Paulus Diaconus recordeth of Valence the Emperour that he also had a blynd Prophecie, not much vnlyke to this of kyng Edward, whiche was, that one should succede him in the Empire, whose name should begyn with. xxx and. xxx. Whereupon one Theodorus, trustyng vpon the

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