Thematic Divisions in Book 4
1. Lanfranc2. Gregory VII3. William the Conqueror4. William Rufus5. Henry I6. Stephen and Henry II7. Frederick Barbarossa8. Thomas Becket9. Becket's letters10. Becket's martyrdom and miracles11. Events of 1172-7812. Waldensians13. Other incidents of Henry II's reign14. First year of Richard I's reign15. Strife at Canterbury16. Richard I and Third Crusade17. William Longchamp18. King John19. Henry III's early reign20. Innocent III and mendicant orders21. Papal oppression of the English Church22. Albigensian Crusade23. Hubert de Burgh24. Gregory IX25. Schism between Greek and Latin Church26. Papal exactions from England27. Louis IX on Crusade28. Frederick II29. Opponents of Papacy30. Robert Grosseteste31. Aphorisms of Robert Grosseteste32. Persecution of Jews33. Papal oppression and Alexander IV34. Conflicts in universities and mendicant orders35. Henry III and the barons36. Battle of Lewes37. Battle of Evesham38. End of baronial war39. Ecclesiastical matters and Edward prince of Wales goes on crusade40. Foreign events in Henry III's reign41. First seven years of Edward I's reign42. War with Scotland43. Philip IV and Boniface VIII44. Events of 1305-745. Cassiodorous's letter46. Pierre de Cugniere47. Death of Edward I48. Piers Gaveston49. The Despensers and the death of Edward II50. John XXIII and Clement VI51. Rebellion in Bury St. Edmunds52. Edward III and Scotland53. Edward III and Philip VI54. Edward III and Archbishop Stratford55. Events of 1341-556. Outbreak of the Hundred Years War57. English ecclesiastical affairs 1330-6458. Anti-papal writers59. Quarrel among mendicants and universities60. Table of the Archbishops of Canterbury
Critical Apparatus for this Page
View an Image of this PageCommentary on the Text
Names and Places on this Page
197 [174]

The actes of the Counsayle of London. The tragicall history of Greg. 7. called Hildebrand.

MarginaliaDorobernia and Canterbury takē both for one.withstanding this I read in the epistle of Pope Bonifacius to king Ethelbert, as also to Iustinus Archbish. Item in the epistle of pope Honorius, to bishop Honorius. Itē, of Pope Vitalianus, to Theodorus: of Pope Sergius to king Ethelred, Alfred, and Adulphus, and to the Bishops of england. Likewise of pope Gregory the 3. to þe Bishops of England. Item of Pope Leo to Atherlard Archbyshop of Cant. Of Formosus to the bishops of England: and of Pope Iohn to Dunstane, that the name of Dorobernia & of Canterbury indifferently are taken for one matter.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaA councell holden at London, and what were the actes thereof.In this time (and by the procuring of this Lancfrancus) the 9. yere of this king: a councel was holden at London, where among the actes thereof, these were the principall things concluded.

1. For the order of sitting: that the Archbishop of Yorke should sit on the right hand, and the Byshop of London of the left hand: or in the absence of Yorke, London shoulde haue the right, and Winchester the left hand of the Archbyshop of Cant. sitting in counsell.

2. The seconde, that Bishops shoulde translate their sees from villages into cities: Wherupon those sees aboue named were translated.

3. That Monkes should haue nothing in proper. And if any so had, he dying vnconfessed, shoulde not be buried in the Churchyard.

4. That no Clerke or Monke of an other diocesse, should be admitted to orders, or retained without letters cōmendatorie or testimoniall.

5. That none should speake in the Coūcel except bishops and Abbots, without leaue of the Archmetropolitanes.

6. That none should marry within the 7. degree, with any either of his owne kinred, or of his wiues departed.

7. That none shoulde either buy or sell any office wythin the Church.

8. That no sorcerie nor any diuination, should be vsed or permitted in holy Church.

9. That no bishop nor abbot, nor any of the clergy: should be at the iudgement of any mans death or dismembring, neither should be any fautor of the sayd iudicantes.

MarginaliaBishops of England about to driue out Monkes and to place priestes agayne in their steede.Moreouer, in the dayes of this Lancfrancus, diuers good bishops of the realme, began to take part with priests against the monkes, in displacing these out of their Churches, and to restore the maried Priests againe: in so much that Walkelmus bishop of Wint. had placed aboue 40. canons in stede of monkes for his part: but this godly enterprise was stopped by stout Lancfranke the Italian Lombard. This lustie Prelate sate 19. yeares, but at latter end, he was not so fauored of William Rufus, and died for sorrowe. Although this Italian Franke being Archbishop: had litle leisure to write, yet something he thought to doe, to set out his famous learning, and wrote a Booke against Berengarius, intituling it: Opus Scintillarum. MarginaliaOpus Scintillarum Lanfranci. The olde church of Cant. he plucked downe & builded vp the new.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaAnno. 1074.After the death of Pope Alexander aboue mentioned, next to him folowed Hildebrād surnamed Gregory the 7. 

Commentary  *  Close
Gregory VII

Although Gregory VII (1073-85) was only one of a number of reforming popes in the late eleventh century who sought to suppress clerical marriage and to end secular jurisdiction over the Church and its clergy, he was the one who most profoundly impressed contempories. Partly this was due to his dramatic conflict with Emperor Henry IV, but partly to his forceful personality and his complete inability to compromise. To Protestant reformers the causes for which Gregory had fought so hard were iniquitous and his spectacular, if ephemeral, triumph over Henry IV at Canossa made him the epitome of the antichristian pope inversing God's natural order. Their ability to demonize Gregory was enhanced by the emnities that Gregory had aroused in many of his contemporaries and the numerous hostile accounts they wrote about him.

[Back to Top]

Foxe's account of Gregory first appeared in the 1563 edition and most of it is based on two sources. From Platina's history of the popes Foxe obtained his general narrative background, including the account of Canossa and the events leading up to it as well as the events leading up to Gregory's second excommunication of Henry, the excommunication itself and Gregory's expulsion from Rome. (See Bartomoleo Sacchi Platina, Historia de vitis Pontificum Romanorum, ed. Onuphrio Panvinio [Venice, 1562], fos.131r-135v. Foxe may have drawn on Platina - a writer whom he felt to be biased in favour of the papacy and whom he did not utilize often - not only for his detailed account, but because this material was so controversial that Foxe felt safer relying on, and citing, an account by a Catholic author. This way, if criticized, Foxe could declare that he was merely repeating what an internationally respected Catholic writer had stated. As it was, however, Foxe felt free to insert his own opinions into Platina's text, as when he declared flatly - and baselessly - that Matilda of Tuscany was Gregory VII's lover).

[Back to Top]

Almost everything else in this account is drawn from Matthis Flacius's Catalogus testium veritatis (Strausburg, 1562], pp. 205-6, 211-212, 223-4 and 227-8. Because Flacius, while rich in anecdotal detail and documentation, did not providemuch in the way of background information, Foxe also drew on the annals of Lambert of Hersfeld for the synods at Mainz and Erfurt and clerical resistance to Gregory'sdrive for clerical celibacy. (See 'Lamberti Hersefeldenses annales a 1040-1077' inMonumenta Gemaniae Historiae, Scriptorum V [Hanover, 1845], pp. 217-18 and 30.This was an unusual source for Foxe to consult and he followed up references by Baleand Flacius to check it for himself. Again, this scrupulousness and care was probablydue to Foxe's concern about criticism, due to the controversial nature of the material.And Foxe could not resist including an unfounded account by Bale of Gregory VII, on his deathbed, repenting his wickedness; see Bale, Catalogus, p. 160.

[Back to Top]

In the 1570 edition, Foxe - who had already printed a letter by Cardinal Benno, a staunch opponent of Gregory VII, describing the pope as a sorcerer - addedfurther letters by the Cardinal, detailing Gregory's crimes, including sacrilege againstthe Host and attempts to assassinate Henry IV. These letters were reprinted fromFlacius, Catalogus testium veritatis, pp. 220-5. No further changes were made to this account in subsequent editions of the Acts and Monuments.

[Back to Top]

Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield

MarginaliaHildebrandus seu Gregor. 7. This Hildebrand as he was a sorcerer, so was he the first and principal cause of all this perturbation that is nowe & hath bene, since his time in the Church: by reason that through his example, all this ambition, stoutnes & pride, entred first into the church of Rome, & hath euer since continued. MarginaliaHildebrand the cause of all this stoutnes and pride in prelates. For before Hildebrandus came to Rome, working there his feates: setting vp and displacing what Byshops he listed: corrupting them with pernicious counsell, and setting them against Emperors: vnder pretence of chastitie destroying matrimonie: and vnder the title of libertie, breaking peace and resisting authoritie: before this (I say) the church of Rome was in some order, & bishops quietly gouerned vnder christen Emperors, and also were defended by the same. MarginaliaThe obedience of Bishops in auncient tyme to Emperours.As Marcellus, Meltiades, and Siluester were subdued, and vnder obedience to Constantinus. an. 340. Syricus to Theodosius. Anno. 388. Gregorius to Mauritius. An. 600. Hilarius to Iustinian. An. 528. Adrianus and Leo to Carolus Magnus: An. 801. Paschalis and Valentius to Ludouicus Pius. an. 830. Sergius 29. vnto Lotharius. An. 840. Benedictus the 3. and Ioannes the 9. vnto Ludouicus sonne of Lotharius. an. 856. But against this obedience and subiection Hildebrād first began to spurne, and by his example taught all other Bishops to do the like.

[Back to Top]

In somuch, that at length they wrought and brought to passe, to be lawful for a fewe curtisans & Cardinals (cōtrary to auncient ordinance and statutes decretal) to chuse what Pope they list, without any consent of the Emperor at all. And where as before it stoode in the Emperors gift, to geue and graunt Byshoprikes, Archbishoprikes, benefices and other Ecclesiasticall prefermentes within theyr owne limites, to whom they list: MarginaliaWhat Popes haue the Popes throughmuch wrastling, warres, and contention, haue extorted al that into their owne hāds, and to their assignes: yea, haue pluckt in, all the riches & power of the whole worlde. MarginaliaPopes more then Princes.And not cōtent with that, haue vsurped and preuailed so much aboue Emperors: that, (as before) no Pope might be chosen wtout the cōfirmation of the Emperor: so now no Emperor may be elected wtout the confirmation of the Pope, taking vpon them more then Princes, to place or displace Emperours at their pleasure, for euery light cause: to put downe, or to set vp when, & whom they listed: as MarginaliaFridericus primus, shent for holding the Popes left stirrup.Fridericus Primus, for holding the left stirrup of the popes sadel, was persecuted almoste to excommunication. The which cause moueth me to straine more diligence here, in setting out the history, actes, and doings of this Hildebrand: from whom, as the first patron and founder, sprang al this ambition & contention, about the liberties & dominion of the Romane church: to the intent, that such as cā not read the Latine histories, may vnderstand in English, the original of euils: howe, and by what occasion they first began, and how long they haue continued.

[Back to Top]

And first howe this Hildebrand hetherto had behaued himselfe before he was Pope, I haue partly declared. For though he was not yet Pope in name, yet he was there Pope in deede, & ruled the Pope and all their doinges, as him listed. Item what waies and fetches he had attempted euer since his first comming to the Courte of Rome, to magnifie and maintaine false libertie, against true authorite: what practise he wrought by Coūcels, what factions and conspiracies he made, in stirring vp Popes against Emperours, striuing for superioritie: and what warres followed therof, I haue also expressed. Now let vs see further (by the helpe of Christe) the worthy vertues of this princely prelate, after he came to be Pope, as they remaine in histories of diuers and sondry writers described. MarginaliaEx Auentino & alijs.

[Back to Top]
The tragicall historie of Gregorie the vij. otherwise named Hildebrand.

MarginaliaGregory 7. Ex Auentino.THe words of the latine historie be these: Hactenus pontifices Rom. comitijs curiatis, calatis, a sacerdotibus, equitatu, plebe, Senatu. &c. In English: Hetherto the Byshoppes of Rome haue bene elected by voyces, and suffrages, of all sortes and degrees, as well of the Priests and the Clergy, as of the nobilitie, people, and Senate, all conuenting and assembling together. And this election so I finde to stande in force, if so be it were ratified and confirmed, by the consent of Romane Emperors: who had authoritie to call and to assemble all these, as well, as Byshops together, vnto councels, as case required. MarginaliaThe state and maner of the olde Church in tymes past. Vnder the authoritie and iurisdiction of these Emperours, were contained both in Germany, Fraunce, Italy, and through the whole dominion of Rome, all Patriarches, Bishops, masters of Churches and Monasteries, by the decree of Councels, according to the olde custome of our aunceters, as is declared in a certaine storie, in the life of Carolus Magnus. The holy and auncient fathers (like as Christ our Lorde with his disciples and Apostles both taught and did) honoured and esteemed their Emperours, as the supreame potestate next vnder God in earth, set vp, ordained, elected and crowned of God, aboue all other mortall men, and so counted them, and called them their Lords. MarginaliaReuerence and obedience in old time geuen to princes. To them they yelded tribute, and paide their subsidies. Also prayed euery day for their life. Such as rebelled against them, they tooke as rebelles and resisters against God his ordinance, and christian pietie. The name of the Emperor then was of great maiestie, and receiued as geuen from God. MarginaliaThe maners and vertue of the forefathers described.Then these fathers of the Church neuer intermedled, nor intangled themselues with politike affaires of the common weale: muche lesse they occupied Martiall armes, and matters of cheualrie. Onely in pouertie and modestie, was all their contention with other Christians, who shoulde be poorest, and most modest amōgst them. And the more humblenes appeared in any, the higher opiniō they cōceiued of him. The sharpe and two edged sworde they tooke, geuen to the Churche of Christ, to saue, and not to kill: to quicken, & not to destroy: and called it the sworde of the spirite, which is the word of God, the life and light of men, and reuoketh from death to life, making of men, Gods: of mortall, immortall. Farre were they from that, to thrust out any Prince or Kyng (though he were neuer so farre out of the way, yea an Arrian) from his kingdome: or to curse him, to release hys subiects from their oth and their allegeance, to change and translate kingdoms, to subuert empires, to pollute themselues with Christen bloude, or to warre with their Christian brethren for rule & principalitie. This was not their spirite & maner then, but rather they loued & obeyed their Princes. Again Princes loued them also, like fathers and fellow princes with them of the soules of men. Now this

[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