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431 [395]

K. Edw. 3. The storie of Armachanus. Contention about Friers priuilegies.

to submit her selfe openly, cōfessing and acknowledging þt of her selfe she did nothing: but that her fethers, her honor and other ornamentes was their gifte: she came into the world all naked & bare, they clad her with comely fethers, and therefore of right may they receaue thē againe. Wherfore in most humble wise she desireth pardon, promising to amend all that is past, neither would she at any time hereafter commit, whereby through pride she might lose her fethers againe. The gentle byrdes that before had geuen their fethers, seing her so humble and lowly, being moued with pitie, restored againe the fethers whiche lately they had taken away; adding withall this admonition. We will gladly, say they, behold thy flying amōg vs, so long as thou wilt vse thine office with humblenes of minde, which is þe chiefest comelines of al the rest. But this haue thou for certainty, that if at any time hereafter thou extoll thy selfe in pride, we will straightwayes despriue thee of thy fethers, & reduce thee into thy former state wherin we found thee. Euen so oh you Cardinals (sayth Iohannes Rupescissanus) shal it happen vnto you. For þe Emperours of Romaines and Almayne, and other Christian kings, potentates, and princes of the earth, haue bestowed vpon you goods, lāds, and riches, that should serue God; but you haue poured it out and consumed it vpon pride, all kinde of wickednes, ryot and wantonnes 

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Foxe has dropped the ending of the story, as given by Flacius, in which Rupescissa warned the cardinals that nobles and princes would strip the Church of its possessions. Foxe may well have felt uncomfortable with this in view of the way in which prominent Elizabethans had enjoyed benefits from Church property themselves.

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MarginaliaThe life and story of Armachanus Archb. and primate of Ireland. IN the Catalogue of these learned and zelous defenders of Christ against Antichrist aboue rehearsed 

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Ralph Fitz-Ralph

Ralph Fitzralph was a conservative theologian, but his bitter enmity towards the mendicant orders made him an invaluable witness (from Foxe's point of view) to the alleged corruption of the medieval church. (Foxe makes this point emphatically in his notes following Fitzralph's 'Defensio curatorum'). The mendicant opposition to Fitzralph made him an even more valuable witness because it was possible to cast him in the role of a martyr (note the inaccurate claim that Fitzralph died in exile) although Foxe is careful not to call him one or to claim that Fitzralph's theology anticipated Protestants in any way. Foxe drew the biographical information on Fitzralph from Bale's Catalogus; the same work was the source for most of the details on the individual popes discussed. Foxe also drew a little material from Matthias Flacius' Catalogus testium veritatis. Foxe also exploited two medieval texts: Fitzralph's Defensio curatorum and Guillaume Saint-Amour's De periculis novissorum temporum.

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Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield

, whome the Lord about this time began to rayse vp for reformation of his Churche, being then farre out of frame, I cannot forget nor omit something to write of the reuerend Prelate, and famous Clerke Richard Armachanus 
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Armachanus is the Latin form of Fizralph's see, the archdiocese of Armagh.

, primate and Archb. of Ireland 
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The following account of Fitzralph's life - including the citations of Thomas Netter and other writers - is taken entirely from John Bale, Catalogus, pp. 443-5.

: A man for his life and learning so memorable, as the condition of those dayes then serued, that the same daies then as they had but fewe good, so had none almost his better. His name was Richard Fizraf, made primate and Archb, as is sayd, of Ireland. First brought vp in the vniuersitie of Oxford, in the study of all liberall knowledge, wherin he did exceedingly profite vnder John Bakenthorpe his tutor and instructor. In this time the begging Friers began greatly to multiply and spread, vnto whome this Bakenthorpe, was euer a great enemye. Whose steppes the scholler also following, began to do the like 
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Bale was a great admirer of John Baconthorpe and here he exaggerates Baconthorpe's influence on Fitzralph. Actually there was not much connection between the two men and when Fitzralph was a student at Oxford, Baconthorpe was in Paris.

. Such was the capacitie and dexteritie of this Fizraf, that he being commended MarginaliaThe cōmendation of king Edward the 3. was promoted to him, first to be Archdean [illegible text] of Lichfield, then to be the commissary of the vniuersitie of Oxford. At length to be Archbishop of Armach in Ireland. He being Archbishop, vppon a time had cause to come vp to London: At what time here in the said citty of London was coutention betweene the Friers and the clergie about preaching, and hearing confessions &c. Whereupon, this Armachanus being requested to preach, made 7. or 8. sermons. MarginaliaArmachanus cited by the Friers, to appeare before the P.Wherein he propounded 9. conclusions agaynst the Friers, for the which he was cited vp by the Friers before this pope Innocent the 6. to appeare, And so he did, who before the face of the pope valiantly defended, both in preaching & in writing the same conclusions, & therein stood constantly vnto the death, as the wordes of John Wickliffe in his Trialogo do well testifie in this wise: Ab Anglorum Episcopis conductus Armachanus, nouem in Auinione conclusiones coram Innocentio 6. & suorum C[illegible text]rdinalium cœtu, contra fratrum mendicitatem, audacter publicauit, verbóque ac scriptis ad mortem vsque defendit. The like also testfieth of him Waldenus in fascilo zizianniorum. Also Volateranus reporteth the same. Gulielmus Botenerus testifying of him in like maner, saith: that Armachanus first reproued begging Friers for hearing the confessions of professed nonnes, without licence of their superiours, and also of maryed women without knowledge of their husbandes. MarginaliaThe troubles & persecutions of Armachanus.What daungers and troubles he susteyned by his persecutors, and howe miraculously the Lord deliuered him from their handes: In so muche, that they meeting him in the open streetes and in cleare daylight, yet had no power to see him, nor to apprehend hym. In what perill of theeues and searchers he was in, and yet the Lord deliuered him; yea and caused his mony being take from him, to be restored againe to him by portions, in time of his necessitie and famine. Also from what dangers of the kinges officers, which comming with the kings letters layd all the hauens for him: yet howe the Lord Iesus deliuered him, shewing him by what wayes how to escape them. MarginaliaArmachanus preserued manifold wayes by the Lord.Moreouer, what appeales were layd agaynst hym, to the number of 16. and yet how the Lord gaue him to triumph ouer al his enemies. How the Lord also taught him & brought him out of the profound vanities of Aristotlessubtlety, to the study of the Scriptures of God. All this wt muche more, he himselfe expresseth in a certaine prayer or confession made to Christ Iesus our Lord, in which he describeth almost the whole history of his owne life. Whiche prayer I haue to shewe in old written hand, and hereafter (Christ willing) intēd as time serueth to publish the same 
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This prayer is not mentioned by Bale. It was appended to Fitzralph's Summa de questionibus Armenorum. Judging from Foxe's description he obtained a copy of the poem rather than a copy of the treatise.

. The beginning of the prayer in latin is this.

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MarginaliaThe prayer of Armachanus. Tibi laus, tibi gloria, tibi gratiarum actio, Iesu pijssime; Iesu potentissime, Iesu dulcissime: qui dixisti, Ego sum via, veritas & vita. Via sine deuio: veritas sine nubilo: & vita sine termino. Quod tute viam mihi ostendisti. Tute veritatem me docuiste Et tute vitā mihi promisisti: Via eras mihi in exilio. Veritas eras in consilio. Et vita eris mihi in premio. With the rest that followeth in the foresayd prayer.

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Thus what were the troubles of this good man, and how he was cited vp by the Friers to the P. you haue partly heard: Nowe what were his reasons and argumentes wherwith he defendeth his cause in the popes presence, followeth to be declared. For the tractation whereof firste I must put the reader in remēbrance of the controuersie mētioned before in the story of Guliel de sancto de Amore. Pag. 322. Also in the story of the vniuersitie of Paris contending against the Friers pag. 392. For so long did this controuersie continue in the Churche, from the yeare, 1240. whē þe Oxford men began first to stand against the Fryers to the time of this Armachanus, that is, to the year 1360. and after this time yet more encreased. So it pleased the secret prouidence of God (for what cause he best knoweth) to suffer his Churche to be entangled and exercised sometimes with matters and controuersies of no great importance. Eyther to keepe the vanitie of mens wits thus occupyed frō idlenes; or els to prepare their mindes by these smaller matters, to the consideration and searching out of other thinges more graue and weighty. Like as nowe in these our Queenes dayes, we see what tragidies be raysed vp in Englād about formes & fashions of ministers wearinges, what troubles grow, what placing and displacing there is about the same: Euen so at this time happened the like stirre about the liberties and priuilegies of the Friers, which not a little troubled, and occupied al the churches & Diuines almost through Chistendome. The whiche controuersie, to the intent it may better be vnderstanded (all þe circumstances therof being explayned) we will first begyn from the originall and foundation of the matter, to declare by order and course of yeres, vpon what occasion this variance first rising, in continuance of time increased & multiplide in gathering more matter, and brast out at length to this tumultuous contention among learned men.

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Concerning therfore this present matter, first it is to be vnderstand, 

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The material on Innocent III and Honorious III which follows is from Bale, Catalogus, p. 235. Bale cites 'Omnes utriusque sexus', but does not quote it verbatim.

that in the yeare of our Lord. 1215. vnder pope Innocent the 3. was called a generall coūcell at Laterane, mentioned before. Pag. 253. in the dayes of king Iohn. In the which counceill among many other thinges, was constituted a certaine law or Canon, MarginaliaCan. omnis vtriusque sexus. Sex. ex. de le & re. beginning Omnis vtriusq; sexus. &c. the tenour of which canon in English is thus.

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Be it decreed, the euery faythfull Christian, both man and woman comming to the yeares of discretion, shall confesse hymselfe alone of all his sinnes, to the priest of hys own proper parish, once in the yeare at least: and that he shall endeuour by hys owne self to fulfil the penance, whēsoeuer he receiueth the sacrament of Eucharistie, MarginaliaNote here he calleth not the sacrament of the altar. at least at the time of Easter. Vnlesse by the assent of his Minister, vpon some reasonable cause to abstayne for the time. Otherwise dooing, let him both lacke the communion of the Churche being aliue, and Christian buriall when he is dead. Wherefore be it decreed, that this wholesome constitution shalbe published accustomably in Churches, to the end that no man of ignorance or of blindnes make to himselfe a cloke of excuse. And if any shall confesse himselfe to any other priest then of his owne parishe vpon any iust cause, let him aske and obtayne first licence of his owne priest: Other els, the Priest to haue no power to binde him or to loose him. &c.

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In the time of this Innocentius, and of this Laterane councell, was Dominicke, MarginaliaFrier Dominike in the time of Pope Innocent the 3. obtained not the confirmation of his order. the first author and founder of the preaching Fryers: who laboured to the said Pope Innocent, for the confirmation of his order, but did not obteyne, in his life time.

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The next yeare after this Laterane councell, dyed pope Innocent. an. 1216. after whome came Honorius 3. who in the first yeare of his Popedome confirmed the MarginaliaThe order of Frier Dominike first confirmed by pope Innocent 3. order of the frier Dominicke, and gaue to him and his fryers authority to preach and to heare confessions, with diuers other priuilegies more. And vnder this Pope whiche gouerned 10. yeares, liued Dominick fiue yeares after þe confirmatiō of his order and dyed an. 1221. About which yeare, the order

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