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K. Ric. 2. The history of I. Wic. The testimony of the Vniuersitie of Oxford & I. Hus, of I. Wic.

in the prison which amongst thē then was named Doliū. And lastly bringing them into the market place, wher euery man might behold them, & cutting of their goldē lockes from theyr heads: they caused them to be caryed about the streets, with bagpipes and trumpets blowne before them to the intent they should be the better knowne & their cōmpanyes auoyded: according to the maner then of certayne theeues that were named. Apellatores, (accusers or pechers of others that were guiltles) which were so serued. And wt other such like opprobrious and reprochfull contumelyes did they serue the men also that were taken with them in cōmitting the forenamed wickednesse and vices. Here the story recordeth how the sayd Londiners were incouraged hereunto by Iohn Wickeliffe and others that folowed hys doctrine to perpetrat this act, in the reproch of the Prelats being of þe clergy. MarginaliaThe fruites of good and true doctrine.For they sayd, that they did not so much abhorre to see the great negligence of those to whom that charge belonged, but also their filthye auarice they did asmuch detest: which for gredynes of money were choked wt bribes and winking at the penaltyes due to such persons by the lawes appoynted, suffered such fornicators and incestuous persons fauourably to continue in their wickednes. They sayd furthermore, that they greatly feared, least for such wickednes perpetrated within the city and so apparantly dissimuled: that God would take vengeance vpō thē & destroy their city. Wherfore they said, that they could do no lesse then to purge the same: least by the sufferaunce thereof, God would bring a plague vpon them 

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Foxe means a literal plague; when this passage was written, London was suffering from an epidemic.

, or destroy thē with the sword, or cause the earth to swallow vp both them and theyr City. Hæc ex Chron. Mon. D. Albani. MarginaliaEx Chron. Monast. D. Albani.

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This story (gentle Reader) albeit the author therof whom I folow, doth geue it out in reprochfull wise, to the great discōmendation of the Lōdyners for so doing. Yet I thought not to omitte, but to commit the same to memory, which semeth to me rather to tend vnto þe worthy cōmendation both of the Londiners that so did: & to the necessary example of all other Cityes to follow the same. After these things thus declared, let vs now adioyne the testimoniall of the Vniuersity of Oxford, of Iohn Wickliffe.

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The public testimony geuen out by the Vniuersity of Oxford, touching the commendation of the great learning and good life of Iohn Wicliffe 
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This document, dated in 1406, is not from Oxford University and it was written by followers of Wiclif. The interesting question is whether it was composed by English or Bohemian admirers of Wiclif. Although the document's Oxford provenance is spurious, Foxe printed it in good faith. He copied the document from Johannis Hus et Hieronymi Pragensis confesorum Christi historia et monumenta, 2 vols. (Nuremburg, 1558), II, fo. 367v. Foxe first printed this document in Rerum, p. 24.

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MarginaliaEx tomo operū. Ioan. Husse fol. vlt. VNto all and singular the Children of our holye Mother the Church, to whom this present Letter shall come: the Vice-chauncellor of the Vniuersity of Oxford with the whole congregation of the Maisters, with perpetuall health in the Lord. Forso much, as it is not commonly seene, that the Acts and Mmonumentes of valiaunt men, nor the prayse and merites of good men should be passed ouer and hidden with perpetuall silēce, but that true report and fame should continually spread abroad the same in straunge & farre distant places, both for the witnes of the same, and example of others: Forsomuch also as the prouident discretion of mans nature being recompensed with cruelty, hath deuised and ordayned this buckeler and defence, against such as do blaspheme and slaunder other mens doings, that whensoeuer witnes by word of mouth can not be present, the penne by writing may supply the same.

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Hereupon it followeth, that the speciall good will and care which we bare vnto I. Wickliffe, sometime childe of this our Vniuersity, and professor of Diuinity: mouing and stirring our minds (as his maners and conditions required no lesse) with one mind, voyce and testimony, we do witnesse all his conditions & doings throughout his whole life, to haue bene most sincere & commēdable: MarginaliaGreat learning ioyned with good life and godlines. whose honest maners and conditions, profoundnes of learning, and most redolent renowme and fame, we desire the more earnestly to be notified & known vnto all faithful, for that we vnderstand the maturity and ripenesse of his couuersation, his diligent labors and trauels to tend to the prayse of God, the helpe & sauegarde of others, and the profite of the Church.

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Wherefore we signify vnto you by these presents, that he cōuersatiō (euen frō his youth vpwards, vnto the time of his death) was so praise worthy and honest, that neuer at any time was there any note or spot of suspition noysed of him. But in his aunswering, reading, preaching and determining, he behaued himselfe laudably, and as a stout and valiaunt champion of the fayth: vanquishing by the force of the Scriptures, all such who by theyr wilfull beggery blasphemed and slaundered Christes Religion. Neither was this sayd Doctor conuict of any heresy, either burned by our Prelates after his buriall 

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This passage demonstrates that while the 1406 date of the letter may or may not be genuine, it was written before Wiclif's body was exhumed and burned in 1428. Further evidence will demonstrate that the 'testimony' was written before 1411.

. MarginaliaThe bones of Wickliffe were not yet commāded by the coūcel of Const. to be burned. Ex 2 tomo operum I. Hussi fol. vlt. God forbidde that our Prelates should haue condemned a man of such honesty, for an hereticke: who amongest all the rest of the vniversitye, had written in Logicke, Philosophye, Duinitye, Moralitye, and the Speculatiue art without peere. The knowledge of which all & singular things, we do desire to testify and deliuer forth: to the intent, that the fame and renowne of the sayd Doctor, may be the more euidentand had in reputation amongest them, vnto whose handes these present letters testimoniall shall come.

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In witnes wherof, we haue caused these our letters testimonial to be sealed with our cōmon seale. Dated at Oxford in our congregation house, the fift day of October in the yeare of our lord. 1406.

The testimony and wordes of Maister Iohn Hus, as touching maister Iohn Wickliffe 
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Foxe first printed this defence of Wiclif in the Rerum (pp. 24-25) and he derived it from Johannis Hus et Hieronymi Pragensis confessorum Christi historia et monumenta, 2 vols. (Nuremburg, 1558), I, fos. 108v-109v. It originally came from a work of Hus's, defending Wiclif against the 'calumnies' of 'John' (actually Peter) Stokes, an English Carmelite, written in 1411.

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MarginaliaThe testimony and iudgement of M. Iohn Hus concerning Iohn Wickliffe. VErely, as I do not beleue neither graūt that M. Iohn Wickliffe is an hereticke: so do I not deny, but firmly hope that he is no hereticke: For so much as in all matters of doubt I ought, as neare as I can, to chuse the best part. Wherfore I surely trust, that M. I. Wickliffe is one of the number of thē which are saued. The words of Christ moueth me therunto, saying Math. 7. Doe ye not iudge that ye be not iudged, & Luke the 6. Do not condemn, & ye shal not be condemned: and the wordes of the Apostle, 1. Cor. 4. Do ye not iudge before the Lord himselfe do come, þe which shall opē those things that are hid in darknes, to manifest the priuities of all hartes.

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Secondly, the loue and charity which I ought to bear vnto my neighbor (louing him as my selfe) doth moue me thereunto. Luk. 10.

Thirdly his good fame and report moueth me, the which he hath of the good Priests, of the vniuersity of Oxford, & not of the wicked, & commōly of the vulgar sort, although not of the couetous, proud, and luxurious Prelates.

Fourthly, his owne workes & writings doe stirre me therunto, by the which he goeth about wt his whole indeuor, to reduce all men vnto the law of Christ, & specially þe clergy: that they shoulde forsake the pompe & dominion of this world, and with the Apostles lead the life of Christ.

Fiftly, his owne protestations, which he doth oftentimes vse in his sentences, often repeating the same, doth not a litle moue me.

Sixtlye, his earnest desire and affection which he had vnto the law of Christ, doth not a litle allure me therunto, disputing the verity therof, the which cannot fayle in any one iote or title. MarginaliaLib. de sensu & veritate scripturæ per I. Wickleuū Whereupon he made a booke of the verity of the holy Scripture, approuing euen vnto the vtter most, the trueth of Gods law.

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Wherfore it were too foolish a consequēt to say, that because the number of the Prelates and clergy in England. Fraunce, and Boheme do coūt Iohn Wickeliffe for an hereticke, that therefore he is an heretick. &c. MarginaliaTrue iudgement standeth not vpon number and multitude. Like as the reason for burning of the bookes, for it is written in the first booke of Machabees first chapter: that they did burne the bookes of the Lord, tearing them in peeces, and whosoeur was founde to haue kept any bookes of the Testament or will of the Lord, or the whiche obserued and kept the lawe of the Lord, they were by the kinges commaundemen put to death. If then the burning of these bookes by wicked men did argue or proue the euilnesse of the bookes, thē was the law of God euill and nought.

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MarginaliaBurning of bookes proueth not by and by an hereticke. So likewise the burning of S. Gregories bookes, and diuers other sayntes and good men, should argue & proue that they were euill & naughty men. Wherupon as it doth not folow, that because the Bishops, Scribes, and Phariseis, with the elders of the people, condemned Christ Iesus as an heretick, that therfore he is an heretick: So likewise doth it not follow of any other man. The Byshops, maisters of diuity, monkes and other prelates condemned thys man as an hereticke. Ergo he is an hereticke. MarginaliaA false consequent reproued by I. Chrisostome.For this consequēt is reproued by Iohn Chrisostom, which was twise condemned as an hereticke by the Bishops and the whole clergy. Likewise S. Gregory in his bookes, was condemned by the Cardinals.

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By like proofe also as they affirme M. Iohn Wickliffe to be an hereticke: MarginaliaIohn Duke of Lancaster defender of I. Wickliffe. Iohn Duke of Lācaster (a man of worthy memory and progenitor of Henry king of Englande) should also be an hereticke. For the sayd Duke defēded, fauored, and greatly loued M. Iohn Wickliffe, Ergo, the sayd Duke is or was an hereticke, the consequent is good. The Minor is well knowne vnto the Englishmen. The Maior appeareth in the Canon, where it is sayd, he which defendeth an hereticke. &c.

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MarginaliaI. Wickliffe proued no heretick. But these thinges set apart, I demaund of the aduersary, whether M. Iohn Wickliff be damned for euer or no? If he say that he is damned because he is an hereticke: I propounde this vnto him, whether M. Iohn Wickeliffe whiles he liued held any false doctrine cōtrary to the holy Scripture: If he do affirme it, let him then shew what doctrine it is, and afterward declare that he held it obstinatly: And he shall finde, that in his bookes he alwayes wrote most commendable protestations agaynst obstinacye and

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