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181 [181]

K. Iue, Aldemus. J. of Beuerlay obseruatiō of Easter. Shauē crownes Actes and Monum. of the Church.

theldred king of Mercia, after he had there raygned. 30. yeares, was made Monke: MarginaliaKing Etheldred made Abbot of Bardneyand after Abbot of Bardne

MarginaliaAldelmus,And about the xviij. yeare of the raygne of Iue, died the worthy and learned bishop Aldelmus, first Abbot of Malmesbery, afterward bishop of Schyrborn: of whom William Malmesberiensis writeth plenteously, MarginaliaG. Malmesberiensis. lib. 5. de pontifi.wyth great commendation: and that no vnworthely as I suppose: especially for the notable prayse of learning & vertue in hym aboue the rest of that time (next after Bede) as the great number of bookes and epistles and poemes by him set forth, will declare. MarginaliaLying miraclesAlthough concerning the miracles which the sayde autor ascribeth vnto him, as firste in causing an infant of. ix. dayes olde to speake at Rome, to cleare Pope Sergius, which was then suspected þe father of þe said child. Also in hanging his casule vpon the sunne beames. Item, in making whole the altar stone of marble, brought frō Rome. Item, in drawing alēgth one of the tymber peeces, which went to the building of the temple in Mamesberye. Item, in sauing the Mariners at Douer. &c. As concerning these and such other miracles, which W. Mamesberye to him attributeth, I cannot consent to him therein, but thinke rather the same to be Monkishe deuises, forged vpon their Patrons, to mayntayne the dignity of their houses. And as the autor was deceaued (no doubte) in beleuing such fables himselfe: so may he likewyse deceaue vs, throughe the dexteritie of his stile, MarginaliaMamesbery commended for his stile.and fine handlyng of the matter, MarginaliaLying miracles reproued.but that father experience hath taught the worlde now adaies more wysdom, in not beleuing such practises. MarginaliaAdelme bish. Svvythune, B. of Wint.This Aldelmus was bishop of Schirborne, whyche see after was vnited to the see of Winton. In whych church of Winchester the like miracles also are to bee red of bishop Adelwold, and S. Swithune, whome they haue canonized likewise for sainct.

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MarginaliaBede, lib. 5. cap. 23.
Ex historia Iornalensi di regibus Northumb.
S. Iohn of Beuerlay.
An. 717
Moreouer neare about the. xxv. yeare of Iue, by the report of Bede, S. Iohn of Beuerley, which was then bishop of Yorke died, and was buried at the portche of the Minster of Deyrwood or Beuerley. In the whych portch it is recorded in some chronicles, that as the said Iohn vpon a time was praying, being in the porche of S. Michael in Yorke: the holy ghost in the similitude of a Doue sat before him vpon the altar, in brightnes shyning aboue the sunne. This brightnes being seene of other, first commeth one of his Deacōs running into the porche: who beholding the bishop there standyng in hys prayers, and al the place replenished with the holy gost: was stroken with the light thereof, hauing all hys face burnt, as it were with hote burning fire. Notwithstanding the bishop by and by cured the face of his Deacon againe, charging him as the story saith, not to publishe what he had sene during his life time. &c. MarginaliaAn other lying fable of S. Egwyne.
Ranulphus in Polychr. lib. 5 cap. 23.
which tale seemeth as true, as that we read about the same time done of S, Egwyne, in Polychron. Abbot of Eusham, and B. of Worcester (then called Wyctes:) who vpō a tyme whē he had fettered both his fete in irons fast locked, for certain synnes done in his youth, & had cast the key therof in þe sea: afterward a fysh brought him the key again into the shyp, as he was sayling homeward frō Rome.

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But to leaue these monkish phantasies, and returne into the right course agayne of the story. In the time of this foresaid Iue, began first the ryght obseruing of the Easter dai to be kept of the Pictes, and of the Britains. MarginaliaBeda. lib. 5. de gestis Augi.
Polychron. lib. 5. cap. 17.
A generall rule seruing for the obseruation of Easter day.
In the obseruation of which day (as is largely set foorth in Bede, and Polychron. lib. 5. cap. 17. &. 22.) thre things are necessary to be obserued: the ful Moone of the fyrst moneth, that is, of the moneth of March: Secondly, the dominical letter: Thirdlye, the equinoctiall daye, which equinocial was wont to be counted in the East church, and especially among the Egiptians, to be about the. 17 day of Marche. So that the full Moone either vpon the equinoctiall day, or after the equinoctial day being obserued: the next dominical day following that full moone,is to be taken for Easter day. MarginaliaThis rule of Easter semeth to be taken out of the booke of Numer. And they going out of Ramesse the 15. day of the firste month, the next day after held there, Easter, &c.Wherein is diligētly to be noted 2. thīgs. First, þe fulnes of þe moone, must be perfectly ful, so þt it be þe beginning of þe 3. weeke of the moone, which is þe. 14. or. 15. day of þe Moone. Secōdly, is to be noted, that the sayd perfect fulnes of the moone begynning the third weeke, must happen eyther in þe very euening of the equinoctial day, or after the equinoctial day. For els if it happen either on the equinoctial day before the euening, or before the equinoctial day: then it belongeth to the last moneth of the last yeare, and not to the first moneth of the first yeare, and so serueth not to be obserued.

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This rite and vsage in keeping Easter daye being receiued in the latine church, began nowe to take place among the Pictes and Britaines through the busye trauayle of Theodorus, Cuthlacus, but namely of Edbert the holy Monke, as they terme him: and of Colfrid Abbot of Sirwin in Northumberlād, which wrote to Narcanus, or Naitonus the king of Pictes, concerning the same: MarginaliaWhy priestes crownes wer shauē.And also among other thinges writeth of the shauen crownes of Priestes, saying: that it was as necessarye for the vow of a Mōke, or degree of a Priest, to haue a shauen crowne for restraint of their lustes: as for anye christen man, to blesse him againste spirites when they come vpon hym. Bede. lib. 5. MarginaliaBede de gest. lib. 5.The copy of which letter, as it is in Bede: I haue here annexed, not for any great reason therin contained, but onely to delite the reader with some pastime, in seing the fond ignoraunce of that monkish age: the copy of the letter thus procedeth.

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¶ Of the shauing of priestes, out of the fifte booke of Beda the. xxi. chapter. j.  
Commentary   *   Close
Priest's tonsures to end of kingdom of Northumbria

When he came to write the later history of the Saxon heptarchy for the 1570 edition, Foxe chose to concentrate mainly on the history of three of them: Northumbria, Wessex and Mercia. In so doing, he followed the lead of Bale's Catalogus, which is his source for the unedifying history of the popes which concludes this section (Catalogus, pp. 104-6), including the 'donation of Pipinus', the 'great excommunications against Constantinus' and the 'veneration of images' and missel introduced by Pope Adrian. 'Images again maintained by the Pope to be men's Kalendars' and 'the order of the Romishe Massebooke when it came in' are Foxe's glosses to this material, thereby laying out more of the architecture for the Protestant reformation history which is to follow. At the beginning of this passage, however, Foxe chose to include an integral passage from Bede's Ecclesiastical History (book 5, ch. 21 - pp. 547-553) on 'the shauing of priestes'. Foxe accompanied it with critical marginal glosses ('much sayd nothing proued' and 'See how these shauelings would father their shauing vpon Peter, which is neither found in scripture nor in any approued story, but onelye in paynted clothes') and then followed it with 'a note to admonish the reader' in which he explained his purpose: 'By thys Monkishe letter aboue prefixed, voyde of all Scripture, of all probation and truth of historye, thou mayest note, gentle reader: how this vaine tradition of shauen crownes, hath come vp, and vpon how light and trifling occasion', the result of 'the dreaming phantasies of Monkes of that time'. The issue was one that had raised significant controversy at the time of the Dissolution, and was still in contention in reformation polemic. Foxe's decision to include a critical edition of the material is to be seen as a contribution to that debate.

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For the mainly secular narrative of the later Saxon heptarchy, Foxe returned to the preferred sources which he had used elsewhere in book 2 - Fabian's Chronicle, and that of John Brompton. They were not used uncritically, however. Foxe often supplemented them, or compared them with the other 'monkish' sources at his disposal. So, for the reign of Iue, king of the West Saxons, he used 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. 36, and an additional choice detail on Peter's Pence added from Mathew Paris's Flores Historiarum (H. R. Luard, ed. Matthew Paris. Flores Historiarum 3 vols [London: Rolls Series, 1890], 1, p. 369). For Iue's law-code - which he returned to in book 6 (1570, p.923) - he used John Brompton's text (J. Brompton, 'Chronicon Johannis Brompton Abbatis Jornalensis.' In Historiæ Anglicanæ Scriptores X. [....], ed. by Roger Twysden [London, 1652], fols 759-761) rather than Lambard's Archaionomia (fols 1-18v).

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Foxe's generous assessment of Bede is interesting. Although Foxe often chose not to rely on Bede as his source, there was much he could readily admire in his Ecclesiastical History and in his commitment to scholarship in the pursuit of truth. He was 'a man of worthy and venerable memorie'. Foxe used Bede's own words (from the Ecclesiastical History, book 5, ch. 24) to prove that he was a native of the British Isles. He furnished the letter from Pope Sergius, citing it in the Latin original as he found it in William of Malmesbury's Gesta Regum (book 1, ch. 58) to prove 'in what price and estimation Bede was accepted, as well in the court of Rome as in other places besydes'. His summary of Bede's achievements is paraphrased from the same source. Foxe's subsequent summary of the decrees of the synod of Cuthbert in 747 came directly from William of Malmesbury's Gesta Pontificium (N. E. S. A. Hamilton, ed. William of Malmesbury. Willemesbiriensis Monachi De Gestis pontificium Anglorum [...] [London: Rolls Series, 1870], book 1, chs 5-6). For the later history of the kings of Mercia and Wessex, Foxe omitted a good deal 'because thei concern rather political affayres & do not grealy appertayne to the purpose of this Ecclesiastical History'. He relied here mainly on Brompton's Chronicle (cols 774-5) and Fabian (book 6, chs. 150-1), noting (however) at two points that Fabian's Chronicle contained errors. It was not Offa but Kenulphus that had imprisoned King Egbert of Kent. Foxe had returned here to William of Malmesbury's Gesta Regum (book 1, ch. 95) and preferred the latter's account of what happened. Again, when it came to Fabian's description of the imprisonment of King Egbert, Foxe doubted his veracity ('a place of Fabian doubted'). In this instance, he not only checked the account against William of Malmesbury's, but also probably against Ranulph Higden's Polychronicon (book 5, ch. 27).

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Matthew Phillpott and Mark Greengrass
University of Sheffield

MarginaliaThe copye of a Monkish letter of Colfride to king Naiton for the shauyng of priestes crownes.COncernyng the shauing of priestes (whereof you write also vnto me) I exhort you that it bee decentlye obserued according to þe Christian faythe. We are not ignoraunt that the Apostles were not all shauen after one manner, neither doth the catholike church at this day agree in one vniforme maner of shauing, as they do in fayth, hope, and charitie. MarginaliaHow proueth he that the Apostles, Iob & Ioseph were shauen.Let vs consider the former time of the Patriarches, and we shall finde that Iob (an example of pacience) euen in the verye poynt of hys afflictions, dyd shaue hys head: and he proueth also, that in the time of his prosperitie, he vsed to let his heare growe. And Ioseph an excellent doctor and executour of chastitie, humilitie, pietie, and other vertues: when he was deliuered out of prison and seruitude, was shauen: MarginaliaMuch sayd nothyng proued.wherby it appeareth that whilest he abode in prison he was vnshauen. Behold both these being men of God did vse an order in the habit of their bodye one contrarye to the other, whose consciences notwithstāding within dyd well agree in the like grace of vertues. MarginaliaDiuersitie of rites hurteth not the churchBut to speake truely and freely, the difference of shauing hurteth not such as haue a pure faith in the Lord, and a sincere charitie towardes their neighbour: especially for that there was neuer any controuersie amongst the catholike fathers about þe diuersitie therof, as there hath been of the difference of the celebration of Easter, & of faith. But of all these shauinges that we finde, eyther in the church or els where: there is none in myne opinion so much to be followed and imbraced, as that which he vsed on hys head, to whom the Lord sayd: thou art Peter, and vpon this rocke I will builde my church and the gates of hell shall not preuaile against it, & I will geue thee the keyes of the kingdome of heauen. MarginaliaSee how these shauelings would father their shauing vpon Peter, which is neither found in scripture, nor in any approued story, but onelye in paynted clothes.And contrarywyse there is no shauing so much to be abhorred and detested as that which he vsed to whom þe same S. Peter sayd, thy mony be with thee to thy destruction, because thou thinkest to possesse the gift of God by thy money, therfore thy parte nor lot is not in thys worde. Neyther ought we to be shauen on the crowne onely because S. Peter was so shauen, but because Peter was so shauen in the remembraunce of the Lordes passion: MarginaliaWhy priestes & Monks be shauen in the crowntherfore we that desire by the same passion to be saued, muste weare þe signe of the same passion with him vpō the toppe of our head which

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is the