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17 [939]

ACTES and Monumentes touching things DONE AND PRACTISED BY THE Prelats of the Romishe Churche, specially in this Realme of England and Scotland, from the yeare of our Lord a thousand vnto the tyme nowe present. Wherin is liuely declared þe whole state of the Christian Church: with such persecutions, and horrible troubles, as haue haypened in these last and pearilous dayes. Faithfully gathered and collected according to the true copies and wrytings certificatory, aswell of them that suffered: as also of the others that were the doers and workers therof. by. I. F.


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Difference between early Church and Roman Church

The commentary on this block is at a preliminary stage. The project has not yet completed all its work on this portion of the text. Foxe's title to the first book of the 1563 martyrology foreshadowed that it was to concentrate on 'things DONE AND PRACTISED BY THE Prelats of the Romishe Churche, specially in this Realme of England and Scotland, from the yeare of our Lord a thousand vnto the tyme nowe present.' The revised title for the 1570 edition contained a much more ambitious agenda: 'the ful History of thinges done and practiced in the same, from the time of the first Christened King Lucius, King of this Realme of England, which is from the yeare of our Lord 180. vnto the tyme now present'. The shift of emphasis indicated in the title is a measure of the extent to which Foxe reorchestrated the whole underlying architecture for the martyrology between these two editions. The full measure of that change is reflected in this early section of the text. The first paragraph, however, remained unchanged. Like all the Renaissance humanist historians, Foxe aspired to follow the 'leges historiae' famously expounded in Cicero's De Oratore (books I-II). The first 'law' was the priority of truth. As Cicero put it: 'For who does not know history's know history's first law to be that an author must not dare to tell anything but the truth? And its second that he must make bold to tell the whole truth?' (De Oratore, II, xi). These 'laws' had frequently been adduced by humanist historians in precisely the way that Foxe already does in his opening paragraph: to scorn the credulity of medieval chroniclers. He takes the argument one step further, indicating that it was not mere credulity. The 'barbarousnes of those daies, and partly negligence in the learned sort' had contributed to creating a willful silence which had 'misshadowed & corrupted' the past. By recovering the truth, Foxe expected to 'profit the Church of Christ' and contribute to the 'sweete and mercyful reformation' of 'these reformed daies'.

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Mark Greengrass and Matthew Phillpott
University of Sheffield

IF theise later times of the Churche, which haue ben so horrible & perilous, according to the true forewarning of thapostls, had not wanted writers & historiciās more then writers mighte haue lacked matter copious to worke vpon: so many notable thynges worthy of knowledge, which haue hapned in þe time of these 500 yeres, since Sathan broke loose, had not so escaped and passed without memory, in the church of Christ. Wherof som yet not withstanding (praise to the Lorde therfore) haue ben reserued and remaine, Marginalia Cicer. 2. de orato.but yet the most thinges lost in silence, and som againe mishadowed & corrupted, either through obtrectatiō, or flatterie of writers, who not obseruing Legem historiæ  
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Difference between early Church and Roman Church: citation from Cicero, de Oratore 2.14.
Foxe text Latin

Legem historiæ

Foxe text translation

Not translated

Translation (Wade 2006)

the law of history

Original text of Cicero, de Oratore 2. 14

Nam quis nescit primam esse historiæ legem, ne quid falsi dicere audeat?


John Wade, University of Sheffield

For who does not know that the first law of history is that one should not dare to say anything that is untrue?


Accurate citation.

in Tully required, semed either not bold enough to tell truth, or not afraid enough to beare with vntruth and tyme. For as there came neuer greatter perturbatiōs, tumults, and dissencions, then within the space of these 500. yeares betwixte Popes, one Pope with an other, Popes and Emperours, for geuing and taking the imperiall crowen, and likewise betwixt Popes and other nations: Marginalia Parcialitie in popish writers cōmenly in taking partes either with one or other, as they inclined their affection, so framed their stile. And also hetherto the barbarousnes of those dayes, and partly negligence in the learned sort, whiche were no small causes, why we lack nowe so many thinges muche nedefull for these times to be knowne. Notwithstanding suche as yet remaine to be collected, especially of the more sincere and les suspected sort of writers, I haue here purposed (by the fauorable grace of Christe our Lorde) in this history to digest and compile, not so much to delite the eares of my countrey, as to the intente to profit the Church of Christ, that in these reformed dayes, we seing the prodigious deformities & calamities of those former times, may therfore power oute more aboundant thanks to þe Lord for thishis so swete and mercifull reformacion.

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Marginalia A comparyson betwixt the primatiue time and these latter times of ours.Although then the Churche and sea of Rome was not altogether voyde and clere from al corrupciō, during the whole time of the first thousand yeares after Christe our Sauiour, but eftsones before the full thousand was expired, certayne enormites and absurdites began to crepe in to the heades of the cleargie: As apperid both by the patriarche of Constantinople Marginalia Anno 600Anno 600 seking to be called oecumenicall or vniuersall Byshop, & especially by Romane Prelates vsurping afterward the same title, which before they disproued in others. Also appered by Marginalia Gregorius, 3Gregory the .3. rebelling against Leo thēperoure because Images wer abolished in his coūcel of Bizance of. 300. Bishops An. 730. Further by Marginalia Leo. 4Pope Leo 4, who gaue his feete to be kissed of the People An 850. Itē by Bishop Ioane a woman Pope and an harlot An. 854. Item by Marginalia Ioannes. 9Pope Iohn 9. who cōspiring with the French men, neuer ceased to sture up mortall war against Ludouicus the Emperoure & his children An 877. Also by Pope Martinus 2. and his successor Marginalia Adrianus. 3.Adrianus 3 who fyrst depriued themperour of his lawful cōsent and right in the Popes electiō. Marginalia Formosus attending Sergius the pope doFurther by Pope Formosus 8. & other Bishops succeding him, amongst whom such contencion, such diuicion, striuing & desposing one an other, so raged the space of 10. yeres in Rome, þt it were to long a processe to stand upon al, Marginalia Circa. An. 60.yet to geue sō knowledge herein, though it be partly out of our matter, it shall not be greatly out of the way.After this Formosus came Marginalia Steuen. 6.Steuen the 6. such a ruffler and tyrante, that when his predecessor Formosus was dead (who yet had geuen him a bisshoprick before, caused him to be digged oute of his graue, to be stripped out of his Papall vestures, a lay mans clothing to be put vpon him, his 2. formost fingers to be cut of, his body to be buryed amongst the lay people, and all that he had ordeined or decreed to be reuoked, repealed, and disanulled.

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Next vnto this Steuen succeded one Romanus, who forthwith repealed all that the same Steuē had dō, & yet liued him self but 3. mōthes after. Then came one Theodorus, who iustified