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
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375 [352]

K. Edward. 1. K. Edward denieth first fruites to the P. The letter of Cassiodorus to Eng.

ny. And so by that meanes falling in barenes & pouertye, liued onely of such mony of Bishops, as came to him to be confirmed, and with such other shiftes and gifts. So that by this meanes, partly of Bishops & other religious men & persons, partly vnder the name of curtesy and beneuolence, partly vnder þe pretence of borowing: MarginaliaThe Popes getting in one yeare.he had within the first yeare 9500. markes of siluer, all his other charges and expenses, which he largely that yere bestowed, clearely borne. MarginaliaW. Testa the popes Legat sent into England.Besides this, he sent moreouer the foresayd Legate William Testa into England with his Bulles: in the which he reserued the first sruites of the first yeare of all Churches being vacant, at any time, or by any man within the realme of England, Scotland, Wales, and Irelād, and also the fruites of Abbayes and Priories within the sayd Kealmes. &c. MarginaliaFirst fruites first brought in by the Pope. Whereupon, the king with his nobles seing the inconuenience and harme thereof ensuing to the whole realme: MarginaliaKing Edw. withstādeth the Pope & his Legate.In the foresayd Parliamēt holden at Carliell withstood the sayd Legate, charging and commaunding him by the assent of the Earles & Barōs, that henceforth he should absteine from al such exactions. And as cōcerning his Lord the Pope, he would direct certayne hys messēgers vnto him, purposely for þe same matter appointed: by the which Ambassadours, MarginaliaFirst fruites of Abbeyes denyed to the Pope.the king wrote vnto the foresayd Pope declaring, & monishing the Pope, as right and reason was: that he should not exact the first fruits of Churches and Abbayes, by his predecessors & noble men of the land founded, for the honor & maintenance of Gods seruice, for almes & hospitalitye: which otherwise in so doing, should all be ouerthrown. And so by this meanes the Pope at that time changed his purpose as concerning Abbayes. MarginaliaFirst fruites for 2. yeares graunted to the kyng.But after that, the fruit of English churches was graunted to the king for 2. yeares: In which space he obteined the fruits of the foresayd Churches. &c.

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During the which Parliament afore specified, as men were talking many things of the popes oppressiōs, which he began in the English Church, in the full of the Parliament: sodenly fell downe, as sent from heauen, among thē a certaine paper, with this superscription. 

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Cassiodorous's letter

Much of Foxe's narrative for the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries isdevoted to detailing the financial burdens, real and imagined, which the papacy placed upon England. This section deals with the year 1307 when papal exactionsprovoked some protest, including an eloquent letter written under the (almost undoubtedly assumed) name of 'Petrus filius Cassidori' (i.e., Peter, the son of Cassiodorus). This was a polemical work distributed in the parliament of 1307; itattacks the collection of papal tithes, annates and papal claims on the property of those who died intestate; these were all grievances addressed in this parliament. Foxe's starting point for his research into this material was John Bale's version of Peter's letter, printed in Bale's Acta Romanorum Pontificum (Basel, 1558), pp. 388-44. Bale took this letter, according to his citation, from an old chronicle at St. Alban's Abbey. (Foxe simply repeats Bale's citation in his account). Whatever Bale's source for this letter was, it failed to describe the letter's background or connect it to the 1307 parliament. Another copy of the letter is in Walter of Guisborough's chronicle. (See The Chronicle of Walter of Guisborough, ed. Harry Rothwell, Camden Society, third series 89 [London, 1957], pp. 372-4). Foxe read Walter's chronicle and discerned that Bale's letter was essentially the one Walter printed. Foxe now had the background for Peter's letter. Foxe printed Bale's version of the letter, which was sharper in its denunciations of the papacy, but he went back to Guisborough (and rather garbled what he said) for the statements that the 1307 parliament was summoned to oppose the collection of annates. (This was a tax, paid to the papal curia, amounting to the first year's income from an ecclesiastical benefice. Since English benefice holders had to pay a similar tax to the Crown as well, this amounted to a real burden). The sentence introducing Peter's letter is taken word-for word from Guisborough. (See Chronicle of Guisborough, pp. 370-2). Foxe also drew on the annals of Nicholas Trevet for the date of the parliament and the coming of the papal legate William Testa to England. (See Nicholai Triveti Annales, ed. Thomas Hog [London, 1845], pp. 411-412.

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Foxe's account of the 1307 parliament and of Peter's letter first appeared inthe 1570 edition; it was reprinted, without change, in subsequent editions.

Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield

An Epistle of Cossiodorus to the Church of England, concerning the abuses of the Romish Church.

MarginaliaEx vetusto Chronico Albanensi.TO the noble church of England seruing in clay and bricke as the Iewes did in times past vnder the tyrannye of the Egiptians: Peter the sonne of Cassadore a Catholicke souldiour and deuout champion of Christ, sendeth greeting and wishing to cast of the yoke of bondage, and to receiue the reward of libertie.

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To whom shall I compare thee, or to whom shall I liken thee O daughter Ierusalem: to whome shall I match thee, O daughter of Syon? Great is thy perturbation, like vnto the sea. Thou sittest alone without comfort all the day long, thou art confounded & consumed with heauinesse. Thou art geuen vp into the handes of him from whence thou canst not rise without helpe of one to lift thee vp: for the Scribes and Pharisies sitting vpon the chayre of Moyses, the enemies of the Romaines are as thy heades and rulers: enlarging their garded philecteries, and seeking to be enriched with the marow of thy bones, laying heauye burdens, and not able to be borne, vpon thy shoulders and of thy ministers, and they set thee vnder tribute (which of old time hast bene free) beyond all honesty or measure. But maruell not thereat, for thy mother, which is the Lady of people, like a widow hauing maried and coupled her selfe to her subiect, hath appoynted him to be thy father, that is to say, the Byshoppe of Rome, who sheweth no poynt of any fatherly loue towardes thee. He magnifieth and extendeth to the vttermost his authority ouer thee: And by experience he declareth himselfe to be the husband of thy mother. He remembreth oft with himselfe the Propheticall saying of the Prophet, and well digested the same in the inwarde part of his brest. Take to thee a great booke, and write therein quickely with the penne of a man, take the spoyle, robbe quickely: But is this it, which the Apostle sayth, that he was appoynted for, where he writeth thus? Euery Byshop taken from among men, is appointed for men in those thinges that belong to the Lord: not to spoyle, not to lay on them yearely taxes, not to kill men, but to offer gifts and sacrifices for sinnes: and to sorrow wiith them, that be ignoraunt and doe erre. And so we read of Peter the Fisher (whose successour he boasteth himselfe to be) that after the resurrection of Christ he returned with other Apostles, to the office of fishing: who when he could take nothing of the left side of the shippe, at the bidding of Christ, turned to the right side, and drew to the land a nette full of fishes. Wherefore the profitable ministerye of the Church is to be exercised on the right side, by the which the Deuill is ouercome, and plenty of soules be lucrified and wonne to Christ. But certaynely, the Labourer on the left side of the shippe, is farre otherwise: for in it the fayth stumbleth, heauinesse beareth rule, when that thing that is desired by seeking, is notfound. For who is so foolish to thinkee that he canne both at one tyme serue God and man, and to satisfy his owne will, or to stick to the reuelations of flesh and bloud, and to offer worthy giftes to Christ? And doubtles, that shepheard that watcheth not for the edifying of the flocke, prepareth an other way to the roaring Lyon, and seeking whom he may deuour. And now beholde, I say, O daughter, the deedes of him that is called thy father, such as haue not bene heard of before: he driueth away the good shepheardes from the sheepefolde, and placeth in theyr stead Byshoppes, to rule, but not to profite (his Nephewes, Cosins, and Parentes) some that know no letters, and other some dumme and deafe, which vnderstand not the playne voyce of the sheepe, nor curing their woundes that be hurt of the Wolues: but lyke hirelinges plucking of the flieses a pase, and reaping that which other men haue sowen, whose handes moreouer be alwaies ready in their baskets and powches, but their backes are turned from their burdens. By which things it is manifest, that the Priesthood is cleane chaunged at these dayes, the seruice of God decayd, almes diminished and brought to nought, the whole deuotion of kinges, princes, & christians is banished. May not this be thought wonderfull in the eyes of all men, that where as Christ commaunded tribute to bee payde to kinges for him and for Peter, he how goeth about dominiō of his stile, to subdue to him, both Realmes and princes of realmes (against his will, whose Vicar he sayth he is, and who refused the Realmes and iudgementes of the world) which this Bishop contrarywise chalengeth, clayming all that which he in his stile writeth to be his. Alacke, O daughter, what doth he yet more agaynst thee: marke, he draweth from thee what soeuer pleaseth him, and yet he thinketh not himself cōtent, to haue the tenth part onely of thy goodes from thee: except he haue also the first fruites of the benefices of the Ministers, wherby he may get a new patrimony aswell for himselfe as for his kinred, contrary to the godly willes of the first founders. Ouer & beside all this, he inferreth other execrable taxes and stipendes for his Legates and messengers, whom he sendeth into England, whiche not onely take away the feeding and clothing of thee and thine, but also teare in pieces like dogges your flesh and skinnes. May not this prince be cōpared to king Nabuchodonoser, which destroyed the temple of the Lord, and robbed away the siliuer and golden vesselles thereof? The very same doth this man also he robbed the ministers of God his house, and left destitute of due helpe. In like maner doth he: Truely they be better that are killed with the sword, thē they which be pined with hunger: for they are dead straight, but these are wasted with the barenesse of the earth. O daughter, al they that passe by the way, let thē haue pity & cōcōpassiō on thee, for there is no sorrow like thy sorrow. For now thy face is blacker then coales through much sorrow and weeping, and thou art no more knowne in the streetes: thy foresayd ruler hath placed thee in darckenesse, and hath geuen the worm wood and gall to drinke. O Lord heare the sorrow and sighinges of thy people beholde Lord, and descend, for the hart of this foresayd man is more indurate then the hart of Pharao. For he wyll not suffer the people to depart, except in the fortitude onelye of thy hand. For he scourgeth them not onely miserably vpon the earth, but also after their death he intēdeth to incroch the goods of all Christians vnder the name and title to dye intestate or making no will. Therefore let the chiualry of England well remember, how the Frenchmen in times past, directing their greedy eyes on the Realme of England, laboured with all theyr power how to bring the same vnder their subiectiō. But it is to be feared least the new deuises and practise of this new enemy, supply that which hetherto hath bene lacking in them. For in diminishing of the treasure of the Realme, and spoyling of the Churches goods: the Realme shall be brought into such inhability, that it shall not be able to helpe it selfe agaynst the enemy. Therefore O daughter and you the ministers thereof, suffer not your selues to be lead any more into such miserable bondage. Better it is for the wealth of thee and thine, that the Christian king aud the powers of the Realme which haue indued thee with great benefites, and you also which are indued with their benefites, doe labour with all your power how to resist the deuises, conspiracies, arrogancy, presumption, and pride of the foresayd person: who not for any zeale of God, but for the enriching of hys Parentes and for hys owne kinred (exalting himselfe like an Eagle) by these and suche other exactions goeth about after a newe kinde of extortion to scrape vppe and deuoure all the money and treasure of England. Now least the dissembled simplicity of the Realme in this behalfe doe bring vtter subuersion, and afterwarde be compelled to seeke remedy when it is to late: I beseech the Lord God of hoastes to turne away the vale from the hart of that man, and to geue him a contrite and an humble minde, in such sort as he may acknowledge the wayes of the true God, whereby he may bee brought out of darckenesse, and bee enforced to relinquishe his olde sinister attemptes: aud that the vineyard which the Lordes hand hath plāted, may be replenished continually with the preachers of the word. Let the wordes of the Lord prophesied by the mouth of Ieremy, stirre vp your mindes to withstand & resist the

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