were slayne. Among whom the fyrst and chiefe was Albanus, then Iulius, Aaron, & Amphibalus. Of whō sufficiently hath bene sayde before. What were the other, or how many they were that suffered beside, stories make no rehearsal. And thus much therof.
Constantin the great borne & bred in BritaynNow as concerning the gouernment of these aboue named kinges of Brytaine, although I haue litle or nothing to note, which greatly appertaineth to the matter of this ecclesiasticall historye: yet this is not to be paste ouer: first how in the order of these kinges cōmeth Constantinus the great and worthye Emperour, not onely a Brytaine borne by hys mother Helina being Kyng Coilus doughter, but also by the helpe of
The cause how thys realme of Britaine was fyrst weakenedthe Brytaines armie (vnder the power of God) which the sayd Cōstantine tooke with him out of Brytaine to Rome: obtained with great victorye, peace and tranquilitie to the whole vniuersall church of Christ: hauing. iij. legions with him out of this Realm, of chosen and able souldiers. Wherby the strength of the land was not a litle empayred and indaungered, as afterward in this storye followeth. After him likewise Maximian following his steppes, tooke with him also (as storyes recorde) all the power and strength which was left: & what soeuer he could make, of able and fyghting men, to subdue Fraunce:
Britayn spoiled of soldiours.besides the Garisons which he had out with hym before, sending for moe to þe number of. C. M. souldiours at once, to be sent to hym out of Brytayne into Fraunce. At which tyme also Conanus hys partener being then in Fraunce, sent ouer for virgines from Brytaine to the number of. xi. M. who wyth
Vrsula with. xi. thousād virginsVrsula the prince Dionets daughter beyng shipped ouer, many perished in the sea: some were taken of the infidels, marchyng vpon þe borders, with whom because they would not be polluted, al were destroyed, beyng miserablye dispersed (some one way, some an other) so that none escaped. Thus poore Britanye beyng left naked and destitute on euery syde, as a maymed body wythout might or strength: was left open to his enemies, not able to succour it selfe, without helpe of forren frendes. To whom they were then constrayned to flye, especially to the Romaines to whom þe Britaynes sent this worde or message: Aetio ter consuligemitus Britannorum. Repellūt nos Barbari ad mare. Repellit nos mare ad barbaros. Hinc oriuntur duo funerum genera, quia aut iugulamur, aut submergimur. But þe Romaines then began to forsake them, wherby they were in neare daunger to be oppressed by Gwanus and Melga, had not
Gwetelinus Archbyshop of LondonGwetelinus the Archbishop of Londō made ouer to lesse Britayne, and obtayning their helpe, had brought Constantinus the kyngs brother, to rescue hys countrey against the infidels.
Ex Chronico. Momumetēsis
Vtepēdragō.This Constantinus was brother to Aldroenus kyng of litle Britayne, and father to Constans, Aurelius Ambrosius, and Vter, who raigned after kings in Britayne. Thus by the meanes of the good Archbishop and Constantinus, the state of the religion and realme of Britayne was in some meane quiet and safety, during the tyme of the sayd Constantyne and of the good Archbishop. But as the realme of Britayne almoste from the beginnyng was neuer wythout ciuil warre, at length came wycked Vortigerne, who cruelly causyng Constans his prince to be murdred, ambitiously inuaded the crown: who then fearing the other two bretherne of Constans, whiche were Aurelius and Vter, beyng then in litle Britayne: Marginalia The Saxons sent for to Britayne.
King Constās slayne by Vortigerne.
Hengist & Horsus captaynes of the Saxons.did send ouer for the ayde of the Saxones beyng then infidels, and not onelye that: but also maryed wyth an infidell, the daughter of Hengist called Rowen. Wherupon the sayd Vortigerne not long after, by the said Hengist and the Saxons was wyth like traitery dispossessed of his kyngdom, and thepeople of Britayne driuen out of their countrey, after that the Saxones had slayne of their chief nobles & Barons at one meetyng: ioyning together subtiltie wyth crueltie, to the number of CC. lxxi. some stories say cccc. lx. Marginalia A wycked murther of the SaxonsThis wycked acte of the Saxons, was done at Almsbury, or at a place called Stonehenge, by the monument of which stones there hangyng, it seemeth that the noble Britaynes there were buried. The fabulous story of the Welchmen, of bringyng these stones from Irelande by Merlyn I passe ouer. Some stories record that they wer slayne beyng bid to a banket, other do saye that it was done at a talke or assemble, where the Sacones came wt priuy knyues contrary to the promise made, wyth the which knyues they geuyng a priuy watchword, in their Saxons speach (neme your sexes) slewe the Britaynes vnarmed: and thus farre concernyng the historye of the Britaynes. As thys great plague could not come to the Britaynes wythout gods permission, so Gildas sheweth in his chronicle, the cause therof, writing thus: Quòd Britones propter auaritiam, & rapinam principum propter iniquitatem & iniustitiam iudicum, propter desidiam prædicationis Episcoporum: proptes luxuriā & malos mores populi, patriam perdidisse. &c.
Foxe's account of the early Saxon kingdoms was added to the 1570 edition, after which it remained in all the succeeding editions in precisely the same format. It is remarkable for its attempt to produce a clear regnal succession and structure to the Saxon heptarchy, first delineated by Henry of Huntingdon's Chronicle in the twelfth century. To this account, Foxe appends a somewhat perplexed narrative as to how we should assess the 'many noughty & wicked kings' of the period. It was true, he noted, that this was partly because the 'vulgar and rascal sorte' of nobles, left behind by the departure of the Romans, had descended 'into all maner of wickedness, wherto mans nature is inclined: and especiallye into that which is the overthrowe of all good estates'. They were responsible for the anointing as kings 'those who exceded all other in crueltie'. Although there were some notable examples of godly rule (Foxe carefully singles them out), there were 'none almost from the first to the last, which was not either slayne in warre, or murdered in peace, or els constrayned to make himself a Moonke'. On the latter, Foxe's views were understandably severe, aware that he was consciously departing from the judgments recorded in the 'Monkish histories' (on which he was compelled largely to depend for constructing this narrative). They misguidedly sought 'in that kinde of life to serue & please God better' but, in so doing, they abandoned their 'publique vocation' and jeopardised the public weal. At the end of the section, Foxe sought to bring the strands of his narrative together, linking the ten great persecutions of the church which had structured the narrative of book one and the first age of the church, with the 'foure persecutions in Britainie' under later Roman rule and the Saxon heptarchy. These persecutions frame the British context to the periodisation from the 'firste springing of christes gospel in this land' in AD180 and the coming of Augustine in 1596.Foxe clearly worked hard to resolve the various discrepancies in his sources and produce the regnal tables of the Saxon heptarchy. His account differs substantially from that which had appeared in the Breviat Chronicles, originally published by John Mychell in successive editions from 1551 (for further details see D.R. Woolf, Reading History in Early Modern England [Cambridge, 2000], pp. 39-47, 53). It also differs from the information furnished by John Stow in A Summary of English Chronicles (London, 1565). In some respects, Foxe built upon the attempt by William Lambarde in the Archaionomia (London: 1568) and it is conceivable that Lambarde (or Nowell, one of his associates) and Foxe may have collaborated in assembling some of this material.[Back to Top]
Matt Phillpott and Mark Greengrass
University of Sheffield
Marginalia 469.THis was the comming in first of the Angles or Saxones into this realme, beyng yet vnchristened & infidels:
For the earliest material on Hengist and Horsa, Foxe was inclined to draw on William of Malmesbury's Gesta Regum (J. S. Brewer, and C. T. Martin, 'William of Malmesbury: Gesta Regum.' In Reigistrum Malmesburiense. The Registor of Malmesbury Abbey, ed. by J.S. Brewer and C.T. Martin [London: Rolls Series, 1869-1880], book 1, chs 1 and 5), supplemented by Ranulph Higden's Polychronicon (J. R. Lumby, ed. Polychronicon Ranulphi Higden monachi Cestrensis: together with the English translations of John Trevisa and of an unknown writer of the fifteenth century [London: Rolls Series, 1879], book 5, ch. 4, 302-317). Although Foxe mentions Geoffrey of Monmouth ('Ex Alfrido in suo Brittanico') the reference probably derives from Bale's Catalogus, p. 42.[Back to Top]
The sources used for this table may well have been numerous, and Foxe seems to have tried to collate his material from several different chronicles. His base-text was probably Henry of Huntingdon's Chronicle (T. Arnold, ed. Henry of Huntingdon. Henrici Huntendunensis Historia Anglorum, the History of the English, by Henry, Archdeacon of Huntingdon, from B. C. 55 to A. D. 1154 [London: Rolls Series, 1879], book 1, ch. 4; 2, ch. 40; 4, ch. 30) but he probably also consulted Bede's Ecclesiastical History, book 1, ch.5, William of Malmesbury's Gesta Regum (J. S. Brewer, and C. T. Martin, 'William of Malmesbury: Gesta Regum.' In Reigistrum Malmesburiense. The Registor of Malmesbury Abbey, ed. by J.S. Brewer and C.T. Martin [London: Rolls Series, 1869-1880], book 1, ch. 6; 8-15) and Fabian's Chronicle (R. Fabyan, The Chronicle of Fabian [London, 1559], book 5, chs 83 and 90). Foxe also mentions at various points drawing upon Roger of Howden's Chronicle (for the Wessex kings) - W. Stubbs, ed. Chronica magistri Rogeri de Houdene 4 vols, Rolls Series (London, 1868), 1, pp. 34-5. He discreetly used Matthew Paris' Flores Historiarum (H. R. Luard, ed. Matthew Paris. Flores Historiarum 3 vols [London: Rolls Series, 1890], 1, pp. 563-66) and the manuscript Historia Cariana belonging to William Carye as furnishing some additional information (on Bernard's character) as well as William of Malmesbury's Gesta Pontificum for Swæfred of the East Saxons. Neither the Breviat Chronicle nor Stow's account separated out the regnal succession in the heptarchy and, for Wessex, Stow missed out several of the early kings as well as Cuthbert, cited by Foxe. For Kent, Stow started with Hengist, but then did not mention Eosa, Ocha or Eormenric. He does mention Æthelbert but does not record the length of his reign nor that he was the first of the Saxon kings to receive the Christian faith and that he subdued all the six other kings except the king of Northumbria. Stow simply states that he battled with Ceolwulf, king of Wessex. Stow largely agreed with Foxe on the order of British Saxon kings, although Foxe separated Aurelius and Conanus whilst Stow listed just one king: Aurelius Conanus. Stow's account of the seven kingdoms is confused and disordered, compared to the account produced by Foxe.[Back to Top]
Of these vii. kyngdomes, although they continued not long, but at length ioyned all in one, commyng al into the possession and subiection of the Westsaxones: yet for the space they continued (which was with continual trouble and warres among themselues) this is the rase and order of them, as in this table particularly followeth to be sene.[Back to Top]