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542 [518]

K. Henry. 4. The burning of W. Sautre. Articles against K. Henry. 4.

be disgraded, & hath for the same cause really disgraded him frō al prerogatiue & priuilege of þe clergie, decreing to leaue him vnto the secular power: and hath really so left him, according to þe lawes & canonicall sanctions set forth in this behalfe, and also that our holy mother the Church hath no further to do in the premisses. MarginaliaPreposterous zeale without knowledge. We therfore being zelous in religion, and reuerent louers of þe catholike fayth, willing and minding to mainteine & defend the holy church, & the lawes & liberties of the same, to roote al such errours & heresies out of our kingdome of Englād, & with cōdigne punishmēt to correct & punish all heretiques or such as be cōuict: Prouided alwaies, that both according to the lawe of God & mā, and þe canonical institutions in this behalfe, accustomed, that such hereticks conuict & condēned in forme aforesaid, ought to be burned with fire. We command you as straigtly as we may or can, firmely enioyning you, that you do cause the said Williā being in your custody, in some publike or opē place within þe liberties of your citie aforesaid (the cause aforesaid being published vnto the people) to be put into the fire, and there in the same fire really to be burned, to the great horrour of his offence, and the manifest example of other Christians. Faile not in the execution hereof, vpon the perill that will fall thereupon , Teste rege, apud Westmonast. 26. Februar. an. regni sui.

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¶ The burning of William Sawtre.
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William Sawtry, a priest, was important for Foxe's narrative as the first Wycliffite martyr to be burned at the stake after the passage of the statute De heretico comburendo in 1401. He was accordingly given significant pictorial presence, but it proved problematical. The striking image of a youthful looking man chained to the stake in a ferociously flaming fire that encircles his torso, with flaring hair, outstretched hands, belonged to a small group of woodcuts used in the first edition that proved difficult to accommodate. (See introductory note on the format of the A&M) They shared certain features, including the winding bandaroles: Sawtry's reads 'Jesu have mercy'; words that were changed when this block was reused for Thomas of Rennes in 1563, but reinstated for illustrating Sawtry once more in 1570. The Sawtry block was twice cut down in an effort to make it fit better on the page. In the first edition it lost the left side of its frame but even so jutted awkwardly into the margin. In 1570 it was cut back on the right side, but still took too much space. So in 1576 the block was jettisoned and Sawtry was then and in 1583 represented by one of the small cuts that had been added in 1570, which in that edition illustrated the burning of Rawlins White. This might seem unsuitable, since Sawtry was unlikely to have been an 'old man' though the choice could perhaps have been a mark of respect. The striking earlier image of Sawtry lived on, and had an afterlife adorning an early seventeenth-century ballad. The words attributed to Sawtry in the bandarole cannot, given his resolute stand, signal a change of heart, as John Badby's similar call was taken to be (see following woodcut). CUL copy and WREN copy: A startling use of yellow and orange for the flames; a very vivid depiction. Note also the attention to shading of the stake and of Sawtre's body. The banderole is edged with a pinkish purple shading its tips. There are additional spatters of orange on his right arm and torso, which go beyond colouring in of the detail in the illustration.

MarginaliaAdmonition to Princes.Thus it may apperare how kinges and princes haue bin blinded and abused by the false Prelates of the Church, in so much that they haue bene their slaues and butchers, to slay Christes poore innocent members. See therefore what danger it is for Princes, not to haue knowledge and vnderstanding themselues, but to be led by other mens eies, & specially trusting to such guides, who through hipocrisie both deceiue them, & through crueltie deuour the people.

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MarginaliaK. Henry the first of English kinges that tormented the Christians with fire.As king Henry the fourth who was the deposer of king Richard, was the first of all English kings that began the vnmercifull burning of Christes saints, for standing against the Pope: so was this William Sawtre the true and faithfull martyr of Christ, the first of all them in Wickcliffes time, which I find to be burned in þe raigne of the foresaid king, which was in the yeare of our Lord. 1400.

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After the martyrdome of this godly man, the rest of the same company began to keepe themselues more closely, for feare of the king, who was altogether bent to hold with the Popes prelacy. Such was the raigne of this Prince, that to the godly he was euer terrible, in his actions immesurable, to few men hartely beloued, but Princes neuer lacke flatterers about them. Neither was the time of his raigne very quiet, but full of trouble, of bloud, and misery. Such was their desire of K. Richard againe, in the raigne of this king, that many yeares after he was rumored to be aliue (of them which desired belike that to be true, which they knew to be false) for the which, diuers were executed. MarginaliaMuch murder & beheading in K. Henryes time the 4. For the space of sixe of vij. yeares together, almost no yeare passed without some conspiracy against the king. Long it were here to recite the bloud of all such Nobles and other,which was spilt in the raigne of this king, as the Earle of Marginalia* It is to be doubted.* Kent, Earle of Salisbury, Earle of Huntington, named Iohn Holland. &c. as writeth the story of S. Albans. But the English writers differ something in their names, and make mention of 4. Earles of Surrey, of Excester, of Salisbury, and Lord Spenser Earle of Gloucester. Ex Lib. cui tit. Calendarium Bruti. MarginaliaEx calendario Bruti.

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And the next yeare following, Syr Ihon Clarendon knight, with two of his seruauntes, the Priour of Laund, with 8. friers, were hanged and quartered. And after these Henry Percy the younger, the Earle of Worcester, named Thomas Percy his vncle, Lord of Kinderton, and L. Richard de Vernoua. The Earle of Northumberland scarce escaped with his pardon, an. 1403. 

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Rebellion against Henry IV

Foxe had mixed feeling about Richard II, largely based on the king's treatment of the Lollards. Foxe saw Richard as more inclined to persecute the Lollards than was his predecessor Edward III (a good king, in Foxe's view), but coming well short of the lethal ferocity of Henry IV. Foxe regards Henry IV as a usurper and an evil king (largely because of the passage of De heretico comburendo in 1401 and the sharp prosecution of heresy in his reign). In Foxe's worldview, such wickedness cried out for providential chastisement and Foxe saw this reflected in the brevity and instability of Henry's reign. This, and the desire to convey the always timely lesson that persecutors of the True Church did not prosper, led Foxe to focus on the conspiracies and rebellions of Henry IV's reign.

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This account of the turmoils of Henry IV's reign was first printed in the 1570 edition and was unchanged in subsequent editions. Foxe cites two sources for two different lists of nobles executed for conspiring against Henry; the 'story of St. Albans', that is College of Arms MS Arundel 7, a version of Thomas of Walsingham's Chronica majora (see Thomas of Walsingham, Historia Anglicana, ed. H. T. Riley, 2 vols., Rolls Series 28, II, 244-45) and a 'lib. cui. tit. Calendarium Bruti', which must be one of the numerous continuations of the Brut in Latin. (The list of nobles in both versions is inaccurate and confusing. John Holland, the earl of Huntingdon and duke of Exeter, conspired with his nephew Thomas Holland, the earl of Kent, and with the earl of Salisbury against Henry IV in 1400. Kent and Salisbury were killed in battle; Exeter was executed). Foxe took his account of the 1403 conspiracy and 1405 rebellion from Arundel 7 (see Historia Anglicana, pp. 269-70 and 279). The libel against Henry IV posted on church doors was taken from a chronicle which Foxe called the 'Scala Mundi'. This actually a 'Compilatio de gestis brittanorum et anglorum' in College of Arms MS Arundel 5 (the libel is on fos. 163r-164v). Foxe called this chronicle the 'Scala Mundi' because Arundel 5 begins with a medieval chronological table entitled the 'Scala Mundi'.

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Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield

MarginaliaAnno 1403. In the which yeare, the prison in Cornhill called the tonne, was turned into the conduit, there now standing.

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To let passe other moe hanged and quartered the same time, as Blount knight, & Benet Kely knight, and Thomas Wintersel Esquier. Also the same yeare was taken and executed sir Bernard Brokes knight, sir Iohn Shilley knight, Syr Iohn Mandelyn, and William Frierby. After all these L. Henry Earle of Northumberland, and L. Bardolfe conspiring the kings death, were taken in the North and beheaded, which was in the 8. yere of this king Henry.

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This ciuil rebellion of so many nobles & other against the king, declared what grudging heartes the people then bare towarde this king Henry. MarginaliaArchb. of Yorke, and L. Moubray against King Henry 4. Among whome I cannot pretermit heere also the Archb. of Yorke named Richarde Scrope, who with the L. Moubrey Marshal of England, gathered a great company in the North countrey, against the foresaid king, to whom also was adioyned the helpe of L. Bardolfe, & Henry Percy Earle of Northumberland. MarginaliaL. Bardolfe, Henry Percy, Earle of Northumberland agaynst the king. Ex Chron. D. Albani. And to stirre vp the people more willingly to take their partes, they collected certaine Articles against the said king, to the numberof 10. and fastned them vpon the doores of Churches and Monasteries, to be read of all men in English. Which articles if any be disposed to vnderstand, & for somuch as the same also containe a great part of the doings betweene king Henry & king Richard aforesayd, I thought for the better opening of the matter heere vnder to inserte the same, in such forme as I founde them in the historie of Scala mundi expressed. MarginaliaEx histor. Scala mūdi.

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¶ Articles set vp on Church doores against king Henry the fourth.

MarginaliaArticles set vpon church dores against K. Hen. 4. MarginaliaAnn. 1405.IN the name of God. Amen. Before the Lord Iesus Christ, iudge of the quicke and dead. &c. We A. B. C. D. &c. not long sithens became bounde by othe vppon the sacred Euangelicall booke, vnto our soueraigne Lorde Richarde late king of England and France, in the presente of many prelates, potentates, and nobilitie of the realme: that wee so long as we liued, should beare true allegeance and fidelity towardes hym and his heires succeding hym in the kingdome by iust title, right, and line, accordyng to the statutes and custome of this realme of England: By vertue wherof, we are bound to foresee þt no vices or hainous offences arise in the common weale, do take effect or wyshed ende, but that we ought to geue our selues and our goodes to wtstand the same, without feare of sword or death whatsoeuer, vpon paine of periurie, which paine is euerlasting damnation. Wherfore, we seing & perceiuing diuers horrible crimes, and great enormities daily without ceasing to be committed, by the children of the deuill and sathans soldiours against the supremacie of the Church of Rome, the libertie of the church of England, and the lawes of the realme, against þe person of king Rich. and his heires against the prelates, noble men, religion, and comminaltie, and finally against the whole weale publike of þe realme of England, to the great offence of the maiesty of almighty God, and to the prouocation of his iust wrath and vēgeance towards the realme and people of the same. And fearing also the destruction both of the Churche of Rome and England, & the ruine of our coūtry to be at hand, hauing before our eyes the iustice & the kingdom of God, calling alwaies on the name of Iesus, hauing an assured confidence in his clemency, mercy and power: haue here taken vnto vs certain articles subscribed in forme folowing, to be proponed, tried, and heard before the iust iudge Iesus Christ, and the whole world, to his honour, the deliuery of the church, the cleargy and comminalty, and to the vtility & profite of the weale publick. But if (which God forbid) by force, feare or violence of wicked persons we shalbe cast in prison, or by violent death preuented, so as in this worlde we shall not be able to proue the saide articles as we would wish, then do we apeale to the high celestiall iudge, that he may iudge & discerne the same, in the day of his supreme iudgement.

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1. ¶ First,
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