Critical Apparatus for this Page
View an Image of this PageCommentary on the Text
Person and Place Index  *  Close
Florence (Firenze)


Tuscany, Italy

Coordinates: 43° 46' 13" N, 11° 15' 17" EE

Historic republic; cathedral city

Person and Place Index  *  Close
Leuven (Louvain)

[Louain; Louane; Louaine]

Flemish Brabant, Belgium

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

Capital of Flemish Brabant; university town

Person and Place Index  *  Close

(Mediolanum) [Mediolanensis; Millan; Millaine; Miliane; Millayne; Millen]

Lombardy, Italy

Coordinates: 45° 28' 0" N, 9° 10' 0" E

Cathedral city

Person and Place Index  *  Close
Nürnberg (Nuremberg) [Nureburgh; Nurremberge; Noremberge; Norenberge]


Coordinates: 49° 27' 0" N, 11° 5' 0" E

Person and Place Index  *  Close

Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Cathedral city; university town

Coordinates: 44° 48' 0" N, 10° 20' 0" E

Person and Place Index  *  Close
Piacenza (Placentia)

Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Coordinates: 45° 2' 52" N, 9° 42' 2" E

878 [854]

K. Hen 8. K. Hen. writeth against Luther. The death of Pope Leo. P. Adrians letter.

Vniuersity of Wittenberge, MarginaliaThe Masse laide downe first at Wittenberge. to be asked in the matter, committing the doing thereof to foure, Iustus, Ionas, Philip Melancthō. Nic. Ambsdorffius, Ioh. Dulcius.

MarginaliaThe iudgement of the Vniuersitie of Wittenberge against the Masse.The mindes of the whole Vniuersity being searched it was shewed to the Duke, that he shoulde doe well and Godly, by the whole aduise of the learned there, to commaund the vse of Masse to be abrogate through his dominion: and though it could not be done without tumult, yet that was no let, why the course of true doctrine should be stayed, for the multitude, which commonly ouercommeth the better part. Neyther ought such disturbaunce to be imputed to the doctrine taught, but to the aduersaryes, which willingly and wickedly kicke agaynst the trueth: wherof Christ also geueth vs forewarning before. For feare of such tumults therefore we ought not to surcease frō that which we know is to be done, but constantly must go forward in defence of Gods truth, how so euer the world doth esteeme vs, or rage against it. Thus shewed they their iudgemēt to Duke Fridericke.

[Back to Top]

It happened moreouer about the same yeare MarginaliaAnno. 1521. and time, that king Henry also pretending an occasion to impugne the booke De Captiuitate Babylonica, wrote agaynst Luther. In which booke:

1. He reproueth Luthers opinion about the Popes pardons.

2. He defendeth the supremacy of the Byshop of Rome.

3. He laboreth to refell all his doctrine of the Sacramēts of the Church.

This booke, MarginaliaK. Henry wryteth agaynst M. Luther. albeit it carryed the kinges name in the title, yet it was an other that ministred the motion, an other that framed the stile. 

Commentary  *  Close

The assertion that someone other than Henry VIII wrote the book is Foxe's addition and it is a reference to the rumours that Thomas More was the work's real author.

But who so euer had the labor of this booke, the king had the thanke, and also the rewarde. MarginaliaK. Henry made defender of the fayth by the Pope.For consequently vpon the same, the bishop of Rome gaue to the sayd king Henry for the style agaynst Luther, þe style and title of Defender of the Christen fayth, and to his successors for euer.

[Back to Top]

Shortly after this, within 

Commentary  *  Close
Adrian VI

In the 1563 edition, Foxe printed a selection of the 100 articles presented by the German princes at Nuremberg in 1522, listing their grievances against the papacy. These articles were culled from the full list of grievances printed in Ortwin Gratius, Fasciculus rerum expetendarum ac fugiendarum (Cologne, 1535), fos. 177v-187r. Ortwin Gratius (or van Graes) was a German humanist and he edited the Fasciculum, a collection of documents relating to later medieval church history. Gratius ardently sought reform of clerical abuses and he believed that this could not be done by a corrupt papacy but only through general Councils. His collection was intended to provide historical examples of conciliar authority and clerical corruption and was thus very useful to Foxe, despite Gratius's detestation of Protestantism.

[Back to Top]

In fact, the section of the Acts and Monuments devoted to the pontificate of Adrian VI, is based almost entirely on documents reprinted from the Fasciculus, with background detail excerpted from John Bale's Catalogus, Caspar Hedio's continuation of the chronicle attributed to Burchard of Ursburg and Johannes Sleidan's Commentaries. The purpose of this section is unmistakeable: to demonstrate the economic and moral abuses of the Catholic church.

[Back to Top]

Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield

the compasse of the same yere, Pope Leo after he had warred agaynst the Frenche men, 
Commentary  *  Close

The account of Leo X's death, and some of the information about Adrian VI is drawn from John Bale, Scriptorum Illustrium maiorum Brytanniae Catalogus (Basel, 1557), pp. 637-8. Bale misdates the pestilence and the loss of Rhodes, however, to the pontificate of Leo X. Foxe corrects this, and gets his additional information on Adrian, with the aid of Capar Hedio, Paraleipomena rerum memorabilum ( Basel, 1569), p. 460.

[Back to Top]
and had gotten from them, through the Emperors ayd, the Citties of Parma, Placentia, and Millen. &c. he sitting at supper, & reioycing at three great giftes that God had bestowed vpō him. 1. That he being banished out of his coūtry, was restored to Florence agayn with glory. 2. That he had deserued to be called Apostolique. 3. That he had driuē the Frenchmen out of Italy: MarginaliaThe death of Pope Leo, in the midst of his tryumphe.after he had spokē these wordes, he was stroken with a sodayne feuer, and dyed shortly after, being of the age of 47. yeares: albeit some suspect that he dyed of poyson. MarginaliaPope Adrian the 6.Successour to whom was Pope Adrian the vi. scholemayster sometime to Charles the Emperour: who liued not much aboue one yeare and a halfe, in his Papacy. During whose small time, these three especiall thinges were incident: MarginaliaA great pestilence in Rome.A great pestilence in Rome, wherein aboue an hundreth thousande people were cousumed. The losse of Rhodes by the Turke. And thyrdly the captiall warre, which the sayd Pope Adrian, with the emperour, and the Venetians, and the king of Englande, dyd hold agaynst Fraunces the French king.

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaAdrian a Germaine Pope and not vnlearned.This pope Adrian was a Germane borne, brought vp at Louane, and as in learning he exceded the common sort of Popes: so in moderatiō of life and maners he semed not all together so intēperate as some other Popes haue bene, and yet like a right Pope, nothing degenerating from hys Sea, MarginaliaPope Adrian a great enemie to Luther.he was a mortall enemy against Martin Luther and his partakers. In his time, shortly after the Councell of Wormes was broken vppe, MarginaliaA dyet of the Princes kept at other meeting or assemble was appoynted by the Emperor at Norenberge of þe princes, nobles and states of Germany. an. 1522.

[Back to Top]

Vnto this assemble the sayde Adrian sent his letters in maner of a briefe, with an instruction also vnto his Legate Cheregatus, to informe him how to proceede, and what causes to alledge agaynst Luther, before the Princes there assembled. His letter with the instruction sent, because they are so hypocritically shadowed ouer with a fayre shew 

Commentary  *  Close

Foxe's description of Adrian VI's letter to the German is the martyrologist's own editorial comment. The layout of the page in the original editions is particularly significant at this point since the caustic marginal notes are actually embedded in the text.

and colour of paynted zeale and Religion, MarginaliaPaynted pretences ought to be examined. and beareth resemblaunce of great trueth and care of the Church, able to deceaue the outward eares of them, which are not inwardly in true Religion instructed: I thought therefore to geue to the Reader a sight therof to the intent that by the experiēce of them, he may learne hereafter in cases like, to be prudent & circumspect in no beleuing ouer rashly the smoth talke, or pretensed persuasions of men, especially in Church matters, vnelsse they carry with them the simplicity of playne truth, goyng not vpon termes, but groūded vpon þe word and reueled wil of God, with particular demonstrations, prouing that by the Scripture, which they pretend to perswade. First the letter of this Pope conceiued & directed agaynst Luther, proceedeth in this effect.

[Back to Top]
Adrian Pope vi. to the renowmed Princes of Germanye, and to the Piers of the Romayne Empyre, greeting, and Apostolique benediction.

MarginaliaThe example of Pope Adrians letter sent to the princes of Germany.RIght honourable brethren, 

Commentary  *  Close

This is an accurate and complete translation of Adrian VI's letter as it appears in Ortwin Gratius, Fasciculum rerum expetendarum ac fugiendarum (Cologne, 1535), fos. 171r-172r. But Foxe undermines the letter - of which Gratius approves - through his sardonic marginal notes, which are not from the Fasciculum.

[Back to Top]
and deare children, greeting and Apostolique benediction. After that we were first promoted (through Gods diuine prouidence) to the office of the see Apostolick, he which hath so aduanced vs, is our witness, how we both daye and night reuoluing in our mindes, did cogitate nothinge more, then how to satisfye the partes of a good Pastour, MarginaliaIf these pastors care any thing for the sheepe, it is onely for the attending the health and cure of the flock, both vniuersally & singularlye committed vnto vs: so that there is no one particular sheepe through the whole vniuersall flock, so infected, so sicke, or so farre gone astray, whome our desire is not to recouer, to seeke out, and to reduce into the Lordes folde agayne. And chiefely, from the first beginning of our pastorall function, our care hath alwayes bene, as well by our messengers, as our dayly letters, howe to reclayme the mindes of Christian Princes from the intestine wars and dissensions among themselues, to peace and concorde, or at least, if they woulde needes fight, that they woulde conuert theyr strēgth and armour agaynst the cōmō enemyes of our fayth. And to declare this not onely in worde, but rather in deede, God doth knowe with what charges and expences wee haue burdened our selues, to extend our subsidy and reliefe, to the souldiers of Rhodes for defence of themselues and of the Christian fayth, agaynst the Turkish tyranny, by whom they were besieged.

[Back to Top]

And now to bend our care from these forreyne matters, and to consider our inwarde troubles at home, we heare, to the great griefe of our hart, that M. Luther a newe rayser vppe MarginaliaRather a new raser vp of the olde doctrine of the Patriarches, Prophets and Apostles. of olde and damnable heresyes: first after the fatherly aduertisemētes of the See Apostolique, then after the sentence also of condemnation awarded agaynst him, and that by the assent and consent of the best learned, and of sundry Vniuersityes also: and lastly after the Emperiall decree of our well beloued sonne Charles, elect Emperour of the Romaynes, and Catholique king of Spayne, beyng diuulged through the whole nation of Germanye, MarginaliaTermes without truth.yet hath neyther bene by order restrayned, nor of himselfe hath refrayned from hys madnesse begunne, but daily more and more forgetting and contemning all Christian Charity and Godlynesse, ceaseth not to disturbe and replenish the worlde with new bookes, fraught full of erronrs, heresyes, contumelyes, and sedition (whether vppon hys owne head, or by the healpe of other) and to infect the country of Germany, and other Regions about, with this pestilence, and endeuoureth still to corrupt simple soules, and maners of men, with the poyson of his pestiferous tongue: MarginaliaEuill called good, and good euil. and (which is worst of all) hath for his fautours and supporters, not of the vulgare sort onely, but also diuers personages of the Nobility: in so much that they haue begunne to inuade the goodes of priestes (whiche perhappes is the chiefe ground of this styrre begunne) contrarye to theyr obedience which they owe to ecclesiastical and temporall persons, and nowe also at last haue growen vnto ciuill warre and dissention among themselues, which thing how vnfortunately it falleth out now, at this present season, especially amongest vs Christians, you may soone repute with your selues and consider. For although the Apostle hath tolde vs before, Marginalia1. Cor. 11.that heresyes must needes be, that they which be tried, may be made manifest. 

Commentary  *  Close

1 Cor. 11:19.

&c. yet was there neuer time, either so vnconuenient to rayse vp heresyes, or so necessary for the repressing thereof, when any such are raysed, as now. For whereas the Deuill, the perpetuall enemy of mankinde, roaring in the shape of a Lyon, 
Commentary  *  Close

This is an allusion to 1 Peter 5:8.

by the power of the Turkes, doth continually inuade the flocke of Christ, how can we then resist the violent inuations of him, oppressing vs without, so long as we nourish at home the same Deuill, vnder the coulour of a wyly Dragon, MarginaliaWho soweth these heresies, but he which will not let the Scriptures take place.sowing such heresyes, discordes, and seditions among our selues: And albeit it were in our power easily to vanquish these forreigne aduersaryes, yet were that but labor lost,, seruing to no profite, to subdue our enemyes without, and at home with heresyes and schismes to be deuided.

[Back to Top]

We remember, before the time of our Papacy, when we were in Spayne, many thinges we heard then of Luther, and of his peruerse doctrine. Which rumours and tydinges, although of thē selues they were grieuous to be hearde, yet more gireuous they were for this, because they proceeded out of that countrey, where we our selfe, after the flesh, tooke our first beginning: 

Commentary  *  Close

Adrian VI was born in Utrecht, but before becoming pope, he had been bishop of Tortosa and inquisitor for Aragon and Navarre.

but yet thys comfort we had, supposing that either for the iniquity, or els for the foolishnesse thereof being so manifest, this doctrine woulde not long holde: reputing thus with our selfe, that such pestiferous * Marginalia* He meaneth the doctrine of Iohn Hus translated into Germany. plantes translated from other countryes into Germanye, would neuer grow vppe to any proofe in that ground, which was euer woont to be a weeder out of all heresyes and infidelity. But now, since this euill tree (whether by Gods iudgement, correcting the sinnes of the people, or by the negligence of suche as first should haue resisted such beginninges) hath so enlarged and spread his braunches so farre: you therefore, both Princes, and people of Germanye, must this consider and prouide, leaste you, which at the first springing vp of this euill, might peraduenture

[Back to Top]
Go To Modern Page No:  
Click on this link to switch between the Modern pagination for this edition and Foxe's original pagination when searching for a page number. Note that the pagination displayed in the transcription is the modern pagination with Foxe's original pagination in square brackets.
Type a keyword and then restrict it to a particular edition using the dropdown menu. You can search for single words or phrases. When searching for single words, the search engine automatically imposes a wildcard at the end of the keyword in order to retrieve both whole and part words. For example, a search for "queen" will retrieve "queen", "queene" and "queenes" etc.
Humanities Research Institute  *  HRI Online  *  Feedback
Version 2.0 © 2011 The University of Sheffield