Critical Apparatus for this Page
View an Image of this PageCommentary on the Text
Names and Places on this Page
Person and Place Index  *  Close

[Wittenberge; Wyttenberge]

Saxony, Germany

Coordinates: 51° 52' 0" N, 12° 39' 0" E

Capital of the duchy of Saxe-Wittenberg; university town

886 [862]

K. Hen. 8. The greeuances of the Germaines exhibited to Campeius the Cardinall.

forbid vnlawful vsuries and gaines of mony, but also suffer and maintaine the same. Moreouer, they taking a yerely stipend and pension, do suffer the Clergy and other religious persons vnlawfully to dwel with their concubines and harlots, and to beget children by them. Bothe whych things, howe great pearil, offence and detriment they doe bring bothe vnto body and soule, euery man may plainely see (so that it neede not to be rehearsed) except he wil make himselfe as blinde as a mole.

[Back to Top]
Complaint of Officials permitting vnlawfull cohabitation with other, when the husband or wife are long absent.

FVuthermore, where it so happeneth (as it doeth oftentymes) that either the good manne or the good wife, by meanes of warre or some other vowe, hath taken in hande some long iourney, and so tarieth longer then serueth the appetite of the other, the Officiall taking a rewarde of the other, geueth licence to the party to dwell wyth any other person, not hauing first regard or making inquisitiō whether the husbād or wife being absent, be in health or dead: and because these their doings shoulde not be euill spoken of, they name it a tolleration or sufferaunce, not without greate offence vnto all men, and to the great contempte of holy matrimonie.

[Back to Top]
Complaint of Canons in Cathedrall Churches, which haue their B. sworne vnto them, before he be chosen.

MarginaliaThe practise in chapters of cathedral church-ches to make the byshop sworne vnto them.THis is also vnlawfull and plainly wicked, that the Canons of Cathedrall Churches, in whose hand the principal part of Ecclesiastical iudgements, Sinodes, and censures do consist, and the Canons of other collegiate churches, which haue power and authoritie to chuse theyr Superiour and Bishop, will chuse none to their Bishop, except he binde himself first with an oth, and plainly sweare, yet and oftentimes is bound by bond and instrumēts sealed wyth their seales to them and their Ecclesiasticall iudges, þt in no matter, be it neuer so greuous, intollerable, or dishonest, he shall not be against them: and if it happen at any time that they doe offend, they may do it also wythout punishment for him.

[Back to Top]
Complaint against incorporations or improperations and other pilling of the people, by Churchmen.

MarginaliaThe incōueniēce of improperations.MAny parish churches are subiect vnto monasteries, & to the persons of other churches, by meanes of incorporations (as they call them) or otherwise, whych they are bound also, according to the canon lawes, to foresee & looke vnto, by themselues, when as they do put them foorth vnto others to be gouerned, reseruing for the moste parte vnto themselues, the whole stipende of the benefices and tithes: and moreouer, aggrauate & charge the same wyth so great pensions, that the hireling priestes and other ministers of the Church, can not haue thereupon a decent or competent liuing: whereby it commeth to passe, that these hirelynge priestes (for that they must needes haue wherupon to liue) doe with vnlawfull exactions, miserably spoil and deuour the poore sheepe committed vnto them, & consume all theyr substaunce. For when as the Sacramentes of the aultare and of Baptisme are to be administred, or when the firste, the seuenth, the thirtie, and yeare day must be kept, when auricular confession cōmeth to be heard, the dead to be buried, or any other ceremony whatsoeuer, about the funerall is to be done: MarginaliaCruell exactiō. of the people by churchmen.they will not do it freely, but extort and exact so much mony, as the miserable communalty is scarse able to disbourse, and daily they do encrease and augment these their exactions, driuing the simple pouerty to the payment therof, by threatning them with excommunication, or by other waies, cōpelling them to be at charge: which otherwise through pouerty, are not able to maintein obsequies, yere mindes, and suche other like ceremonies, as to the funerals of the dead be appertaining.

[Back to Top]
Bying and selling of burials complained of.

MarginaliaGaine gotten by selling burials.IT is ordained by the Popes Canons, that buriall in the Church should be denied onely vnto them, whych being known to be manifest & notorious offenders, haue departed this life wtout receiuing of the sacrament. But the clergie not regarding those decrees, will not suffer suche as by chaunce drowned, killed, slaine with falles, or fire, or o-therwise by chance haue ended their liues (albeit it be not euident, that they were in deadly sinne) to be buryed in the churches, vntill such time, as the wiues, children, or frends of those men so dead, do with great summes of money purchase and buy the burial of them in the Churchyard.

[Back to Top]
Chaste and continent priestes compelled to pay tribute for concubines.

MarginaliaConcubines permitted for money and chast priestes cōpelled to pay tribute for concubines.ALso in many places, the bishops & their Officials do not only suffer Priestes to haue concubines, so that they paye certayne summes of money, but also compell continent and chast Priestes, which liue without concubines, to paye tribute for concubines, affirming that the B. hath neede of money, which being payde, it shalbe lawfull for them, either to liue chast or keepe concubines. Howe wicked a thing this is, euery man doeth well vnderstande and knowe.

[Back to Top]

These with many other 

Commentary  *  Close

Foxe drew this brief narrative of what happened after the complaints were presented to the papal legate at the Diet of Nuremburg (1522) and of Cardinal Campeggio's legation to Germany from Johannes Sleidan, A famouse cronicle of our time, called Sleidanes Commentaries, trans. John Daus (London, 1560), STC 19848, fos. 45r-46v.

[Back to Top]
burthens and greuances mo to the number of an hundreth, the secular states of Germanie deliuered to the Popes legate, hauing (as they sayd) many mo, and more greuous greuances beside these, which had likewise much nede of redresse: but because they would not exceed the limites of reasonable breuity, they wold cōtent themselues (said they) with these aforesaid hundreth, reseruing the rest to a more apt and more couuenient oportunitye, stedfastly trusting & hoping, that when those hundreth greuances, already by them declared, should be abolished, the other would also decay, & fall with them. Of the which foresaid greuances and complaints here is moreouer to be noted, that a great part was offered vp before, to þe Emperor, at the coūcel of Wormes: but because no redresse therof did folowe, therefore the seculare states of Germanie thought good to exhibite the same now againe, with diuers moe annexed therunto, to Cheregatus the Popes Legate, in this present assēble of Norenberge, desiring him to present the same to Pope Adrian. This was about the yere of our Lord 1523. Which being done, the assemble of Norenberge brake vp for a time, MarginaliaThe diet of Norenberge began an. 1522. and brake vp, an. 1523. and was proroged to the nexte yeare following.

[Back to Top]

In this meane time Pope Adrian died. MarginaliaThe death of Pope Adrian. After him succeded pope Clemēt 7. MarginaliaPope Clement 7. Who the next yere folowing, whych was An. 1524. sent downe his Legate Cardinall Campeius, MarginaliaCardinall Campeius the Popes Legate into Germanye. vnto the Councel of the Germane Princes assembled againe at Norenberge, about the moneth of March, with letters also to duke Friderick, full of many faire petitions, and sharp complaints. &c. But as touching the greuances aboue mentioned, no word nor message at al was sent, neither by Campeius, nor by any other. Thus, where anye thing was to be complained of againste Luther, eyther for suppression of the liberty of the Gospel, or for vpholding of the Popes dignity, the Pope was euer ready with al diligence, to cal vpō the Princes: MarginaliaThe Pope onely seeketh his own dignitie, but publicke reformation he neuer tendreth. but where any redresse was to be required, for the publicke wealth of Christen people, or touching the necessary reformation of the church, herein the Pope neither geueth eare, nor answere.

[Back to Top]

And thus hauing discoursed such matters occurrēt betwene the Pope & Princes of Germany, at the Synode of Norenberge, let vs now proceede, returning againe to the story of Luther: 

Commentary  *  Close
Final years of Luther

In the 1563 edition, the conclusion of Foxe's account of Luther can be divided into three parts. The first is an account of Luther's death, translated from Melanchthon's funeral sermon, as translated by Henry Bennet (see A famous and godly history contayning the lyves a[nd] actes of three renowned reformers…, trans. Henry Bennet (London, 1561), STC 1881, sigs. F8v-G1r). The second was a long account of the pontificate of Leo X translated from Bale's Catalogus. And the third part is a brief summary, of Foxe's composition, on the increasing papal corruption of the Church during the Middle Ages and praising Luther for bringing light into the depths of this darkness.In the 1570 edition, the second and third parts of this initial account were dropped. Material from Sleidan's Commentaries and Caspar Hedio's continuation of Burchard of Ursburg's chronicle was added to the account to provide a narrative of Luthers's dispute with Karlstadt on iconoclasm and Luther's dispute with Zwingli over the Eucharist. Since Foxe sided with Luther on neither issue, he distanced himself from the Reformer, warning readers that Luther's opinion and example were not to be slavishly followed, such as his opposition to iconoclasm (Foxe endorsed iconoclasm). But Foxe also made clear his very considerable admiration for Luther, based especially on his regard for Luther as a spiritual physician to troubled souls, on Luther's courage in defying the papacy and for being the first person to articulate a theology of justification by faith. By the end of the account, Foxe despite his theological differences with Luther, ends up crediting him with quasi-miraculous powers.

[Back to Top]

Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield

of whō ye heard before, howe he was kept secret & solitarie for a time, by the aduise and conueiance of certain nobles in Saxonie, because of the Emperours Edict, aboue mentioned. 
Commentary  *  Close

I.e., the banning of Luther's works and the order for his arrest (after his safe conduct had expired) issued by Charles V at the Diet of Worms.

In the meane time, while Luther had thus absented hymselfe out of Wyttenberge, 
Commentary  *  Close

The account of Luther's quarrel with Carlstadt over images is drawn from Johannes Sleidan, A famouse cronicle of our time, called Sleidanes Commentaries, trans. John Daus (London, 1560), STC 19848, fos. 35v-36r and 45r-v.

MarginaliaCarolostadius casteth downe Images in Wittēberg.Andræas Carolostadius 
Commentary  *  Close

Andreas Bodenstein von Carlstadt (c. 1480-1541), often known simply as Carlstadt, became a leading and extreme Lutheran. In 1518, he had been an important and outspoken ally of Luther's but Carlstadt eventually fell out with him.

proceding more roughly and egerly in causes of Religion, had stirred vp the people, to throw downe Images in the temples, beside other thinges moe. For the which cause, Luther returning again into the city, greatly misliked the order of their doings, and reprooued the rashnesse of Carolostadius, declaring, that theyr proceedynges herein were not orderly: MarginaliaLuther misliketh casting out of Images by strong hand. but that pictures & images ought first to be throwen out of the harts and consciences of men & that the people ought first to be taught: that we are saued before God, and please him onely by faith, and that Images serue to no purpose: this done, and the people well instructed, there was no danger in Images, but they would fall of their owne accord. Not that he repugned to the contrary (he saide) as though he would mainteine Images to stand or to be suffered: but that this ought to be done by the magistrate, and not by force, vppon euery priuate mannes head, without order and authority. MarginaliaEx Ioan. Sled. lib. 3.Ex Ioan. Sled. lib. 3.

[Back to Top]

Furthermore, Luther wryting of Carolostadius, affirmeth that he also ioyned with the sentēce of them, which began to spread about certaine parts of Saxony, saying that they were taught of God, that al wickednes being vtterlye suppressed, and all the wicked doers slaine, a newe full perfection of all thyngs must be sette vp, and the innocent onely to enioy all things. &c.

[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