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Leuven (Louvain)
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Leuven (Louvain)

[Louain; Louane; Louaine]

Flemish Brabant, Belgium

Coordinates: 50° 53' 0" N, 4° 42' 0" E

Capital of Flemish Brabant; university town

592 [568]

K. Henry. 5. The defence of the L. Cobham, with sentence condemnatory against him.

The name of Christ being called vpon setting him onely before our eyes. For so much as by actes enacted, signes exhibited, euidences and diuers tokens, besides sundry kinde of proofes, we find the said Sir Iohn to be, & haue ben an heretick, and a folower of heretickes in the fayth and obseruation of the sacred vniuersall Church of Rome, and specially as touching the sacraments of the Eucharist and of penaunce. And that as the sonne of iniquitye and darckenesse MarginaliaThey call light darknes, and darknes light. he hath so hardened his hart, that he will not vnderstand the voyce of his shepheard, neither will be allured with his monitions, or conuerted with any fayre speech. Hauing first of al searched and sought out, and diligently considering the merites of the cause aforesayd, and of the sayd Sir Iohn, his desertes and faultes aggrauated through his damnable obstinacy: Not willing that he that is wicked, should become more wicked, & infect other with his contagion, MarginaliaLike will to the counsell and consent of the reuerent men of profound wisedome and discretion, our brethren the Lordes Richard bishop of London, Henry Byshop of Winchester, and Benedict Bishop of Bangor, and also of many other doctours of Deuinity, the decretals and ciuill law, and of many other religious and learned persons our assistantes, we haue iudged & declared sententiallye, and definitiuely condemned the sayde Syr Iohn Oldecastle knight, Lord Cobham, being conuict in and vpon that most detestable guilt, not willing penitently to returne vnto the vnity of the Church, and in those things which the sacred vniuersall Church of Rome doth holde, teach, determine, & shew forth. And specially as one erring in the articles aboue written, MarginaliaSo did the Pharisies deliuer Christ vnto Pilate.leauing him from henceforth as an heretick vnto the secular iudgement.

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Moreouer we haue excommunicated, and by these writinges do pronounce and excommunicate him as an hereticke, and all other which from henceforth in fauour of his errour, shall receiue, defend, or geue him counsell or fauour, or helpe him in this behalfe, as fauourers, defenders, and receiuers of heretickes. And to the intent that these premises may be knowne vnto all faythfull Christians, we charge and commaund you, that by your sentence definitiue, you do cause the Curates which are vnder you, with a loud and audible voyce in their Churches, when as moste people is present, in theyr mother tongue, through all your Cittyes and dioces to publish and declare the sayd Sir Iohn Oldcastle as is before sayd, to be by vs condemned as an hereticke, schimaticke, & one erring in the articles aboue sayde: and all other which from henceforth in fauour of his errours shall receiue or defend hym, geuing him any counsell, comfort, or fauour in this behalfe, to be excommunicate as receiuers, fauorers, and defenders of heretiks. As is more effectually cōteined in the proces. That by such meanes the erroneous opinions of the people (which peraduenture hath otherwise conceiued the matter) by those declarations of the trueth, how the matter is, may be cut of. The which thing also we will and commaund to be written and signified by you, word for word, vnto all our fellow brethren: that they all may manifest, publish, and declare throughout all theyr cittyes and dioces, the maner and forme of this our proces, and also the sentence by vs geuen, and all other singular, the contentes in the same. And likewise cause it to be published by their Curates whiche are vnder them as touching the day of the receipt of these presents, & what you haue done in the premisses, how you and they haue executed this our commaundement. We will that you and they duely and distinctly certify vs the busines being done, by you and theyr letters patentes, according to this tenour. Dated in our Manor of Maidstone, the 10. of October. an. 1413. and in the 18. yeare of our translation.

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Thus haue you here the iudiciall proces of the bishops agaynst this most noble christen knight, described by their owne letters and stile. After all this, the sentence of death being geuen, the Lord Cobham was sent away, Syr Robert Morley MarginaliaSyr Rob. Morley. carying him agayne vnto the Tower, MarginaliaThe L. Cobham returned againe to the Tower. where as after he had remayned a certaine space, in the night season, (it is not known by what meanes) he escaped out and fled into Wales, where as he continued by the space of 4. yeares.

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¶ A defence of the Lord Cobham, agaynst Nich. Harpsfield, set out vnder the name of Alanus Copus. 
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Defence of Oldcastle

In his influential attack on the Acts and Monuments, Nicholas Harpsfield repeatedly declared that Oldcastle was not a religious martyr, but was a traitor who raised a rebellion against the Crown and who deservedly met a traitor's death (Dialogi sex, pp. 747, 833, 837 and 953-4). Harpsfield supported these claims by citing the chronicles of Robert Fabyan and Edward Hall. In the 1570 edition, Foxe responded directly to these charges with a mixture of special pleading and incisive research. After a bitter diatribe against Alan Cope (Harpsfield's work was printed under Cope's name, and in 1570, Foxe believed that Cope was the author of the Dialogi sex) and rather improbable denials that there had been been a rebellion at all, Foxe gets down to the heart of his rebuttal. This falls into two parts. The first part consists of a printing and analysis of crucial documents: the statute 2 Henry cap. 7 (which deals with the rebellion), the commission against Oldcastle and his indictment. The second part of Foxe's rebuttal was an ingenious, if rather tendentious attack on the credibility of the chroniclers Fabyan and Hall, and on chronicles in general. Foxe also attacks the credibility of Polydore Vergil. It should be remembered that Foxe would, despite his professed doubts, make great use of all these sources when it suited his purposes. What appears to be impressive source criticism is merely sophisticated polemic. In fact, this section shows Foxe at both his best and his worst as a historian: on the one hand, his finding of documentary evidence to support his claims, and, on the other hand, his willingness to twist their contents and contexts to support his claims. Finally, Foxe also attacked the validity of De heretico comburendo, the statute mandating the death penalty for heresy. This was not directly germane to Foxe's rebuttal of Harpsfied, instead, it reflects his intense opposition to capital punishment in all heresy cases. This material remained unchanged in all subsequent editions.

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Thomas S. Freeman,
University of Sheffield

AS I was entring into this story of the Lord Cobham, after the tractation of all the former historyes, hetherto passed, hauing next to set vpon this present matter, luckely, and as God woulde, in such oportunity of season, as may seeme, God to worke himselfe for defence of his Sayntes: MarginaliaAlanus Copus Anglus, with his sixe Dialogues.commeth to my handes a certayne booke of new found dialogues, compiled in latine by Nich. Harpsfield, set out by Alanus Copus, an english man, a persō to me vnknown, & obscure hetherto vnto þe world, but now to purchase himselfe a name with Erostratus, MarginaliaErostratus to get him a fame set Dianas temple on fire. or with the sonnes of Enachim, commeth out not with his fiue egges, but with his sixerayling dialogues. In the which dialogues þe sayd Alanus Copus Anglus (whether he vnder the armour of other, or other vnder the title of his name, I knowe not, nor passe not) vncurteously behauing himselfe, MarginaliaAlanus Copus Anglus, intemperately abuseth hys penne.intemperately abusing his time, study, and pen, forgetting himself, neglecting all respect of honesty, and milde modesty, neither dreading the stroke of God, nor passing for shame, neither fauoring the liuing, nor sparing the dead, who being aliue as they neuer offended him, so now cannot aunswere for thēselues being gone: thus prouoking both God and man agaynst him, after an vnseemely sort, and with a foule mouth, and a stincking breath, MarginaliaCopus a barker agaynst dead men.rageth and fareth agaynst deade mens ashes, taking now þe spoyle of theyr good name, after theyr bodyes lye slayne in the field. His gall and choler being so bitter agaynst them, that he cannot abide any memory after them to remayne vpon the earth. In so much that for the hatred of them, he spurneth also agaynst me, and fleeth in my face, for that in my Actes and Monumentes, describing the history of the Churche, I would say any thing in the fauour of them, whome the Romish Catholickes haue so vnmercifully put to death. MarginaliaAnswere to Alanus Copus.The answere to whose book although it woulde require a seuerall tractation by it selfe (as if Christ graunt space and leysure, hereafter it shall not be forgotten) yet because such oportunity of the booke is offered to me at this present comming now to the matter of the Lord Cobham, Sir Roger Acton & other, with whom he first beginneth to quarell, it shall be requisite a little by the way to cope with this Cope, whatsoeuer he be, somuch as trueth shall geue me for theyr defence to say something. And here to cut of all the offalles of his raylinge talke and vnhonest rebukes, whiche I leaue to scoldes and men of his profession agaynst they liste to braule, let vs briefly and quietly consider the matter, for discussing of þe truth. MarginaliaIndifferency of the reader craued.Wherin first I shall desire the Reader with equality and indifferency to heare both the partes to speake, as well what the Martyrs hence gone and slayne could say for themselues, if they were present, as also what this man here doth obiect against them now being gone. And so according to the same to iudge both vpon them as they deserue, and of me as they shall please.

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Now to the scope of maister Copes matter, which is this, MarginaliaWhether the L. Cobham be to be iudged a traytor or a martyr.whether this foresayd sir Iohn Oldcastle, L. Cobham (first to beginne with him) is rather to be commēded for a Martyr, or to be reproued for a traytor. And whether that I in writing of him and of sir Roger Acton, wyth other moe in my former edition, haue delt fraudulently, and corruptly in cōmending thē in these Acts & Monumentes or no. Touching the discussion whereof, first I trust þt gētle M. Cope my frend, neither will, nor wel cā deny any part of all þt hetherto, touching þe story of þe L. Cobham hath ben premised. MarginaliaThe L. Cobham true and obedient to Kyng Henry 4.Who yet al this while was neither traitor to his country, nor rebell to his prince, as by the course of his hystory hetherto to the reader may well vnderstād. First in þe time of king Henry the fourth, he was sent ouer to Fraūce to the Duke of Orlyance, he did obey. MarginaliaThe Lorde Cobham in the begynning fauoured of kyng Henry the 5.Afterward K. Henry the fift, cōming to the crowne, he was of him likewise well liked and fauored, vntill the time that Tho. Arundel with his clergy, cōplayning to the king, MarginaliaThe kynges displeasure procured agaynst the L. Cobham by popish prelates.made bate betwene thē. Then the Lord Cobham being cited by the Archbyshoppe, at his citation, woulde not appeare. MarginaliaThe L. Cobham obedient to the kyng.But sent for by the king, he obeied and came. Being come, what lowly subiection he shewed there to the king the pag. 558. declareth. After he yelded an obedient cōfessiō of his fayth, it would not be receiued. Then did he appeale to the bishoppe of Rome, for the which king tooke great displeasure with him, & so was he repealed by the king to the Archb. and committed to the tower, which also he did obey. Frō thēce he was brought to his examination once or twise: MarginaliaThe L. Cobham constāt in his fayth, to the sentence of death.there like a constant martyr and witnesse of the trueth, he stood to his confession and that vnto the very sentence of death defined agaynst him. If this be not the effect of a true Martyr, let Alanus Copus say what he wil, or what he can. This I say, at least I doubt, whether the sayd Alanus Copus Anglus, put to the like triall himselfe, would venter so narrow a poynt of martirdome for his religion, as this christian knight did for his. Certes it hath not yet appeared.

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To proceed, after this deadly sentēce, was thus awarded agaynst him, the sayd Lord Cobhā was thē returneth agayne vnto the tower, which he with patience and meeknes did also obey: from the which tower if he afterward by the Lordes prouidēce did escape, whether hath Alanus Copus, herein more to prayse God for offring to him the benefite, or to blame the man for taking that which was offred. What Catholicke in all Louen hauing his house ouer hys head on fire, will not be glad to haue if he might, þe dore set open to flee the perill? or els why did Alanus Copus flye hys

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