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430 [430]

Actes and Monumentes of the Churche.

with there deuout clergy, should be had in reuerēce wherfore most noble Emperor I could not chuse but shew my selfe obediēt vnto your highnes, which is so christienly affected in so good and honest a purpose hauing gathered to gether diuers things thorough labor and diligēce which I haue sene partly in diuers churches, and couentes of moste excellent men, & partly hard by the report of diuers credible persones, which thinges seme vnto me, if they wer taken away, would greatly helpe and preuail to the profit of Germany and increase of Gods honour, for the performaunce whereof, I haue ben alwayes the more prompt and ready to obey your maiestie in all thynges, specially for that I trust my neuewe Iames Spegill, your maiesties secretarie thorow my labour & trauayle, shall get your good wyll the more. Also for that I beyng borne and brought vp vnder the Romaine Empyre, as nature dothe bynde me beyng a subiect, I wyllingly obey your c�?maundementes. And finally that by this my labour I myght make my countrey the more dere and acceptable vnto you. Selestadium is the citie where I was borne, more acceptable vnto me then all other landes or countries, situate in the middes of Alsatia, and compassed in round about with the prouinces of Austrich howe farre are the Brisages distant? how far are the Songauians? how farre of is Albertes Valley in Vosego? Yet will I passe ouer the moste strong places. If then Selestadiū shuld happen to be oppressed either by the Frenche men or other enemies (which God forbid) who can better help or succour it, then the prynce of Austriche, for one neighbour vnto another is a God, & oftentymes it happeneth that a small good turne, done in time, is cause of a great benefite. From Strausborowe the calendes of Nouember. 1510.

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Besydes these greuances  

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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.

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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.

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Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield

before reherced, there was a great many of others to the nomber of one hundreth,  
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This is a sharply abridged translation of the document printed in Ortwin Gratius, Fasciculus rerum expetendarum ac fugiendarum (Cologne, 1535), fos. 177v-187v. Foxe only retained the complaints which were relevant to the English situation or touched on core theological issues.

afterwarde collected and complained vpon vnto the Popes legate, in an assemblie holden at Norrenberg, in the yeare of our Lorde. 1522. Vnder the raigne of the Emperour Charles the fift, whiche albeit they do not perteine vnto this present time, yet not withstanding we haue thought good, because that mention is made of the greuances before, nowe to annex the same, out of the whiche for auoyding of tediousnes, we haue only touched a certen of the principall whiche we haue thought to be most effectual, as herafter ensue.

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Of dispensations bought for Money.

AMonges other burthens and greuances, this is not leste to bee regarded. That many thinges are prohibited by mens constitutiōs, and many thingescommaunded whiche are not prohibited or cōmaunded by any precept or commaundement from God, of whiche sorte are the innumerable letts of matrimonies, whiche are inuented vpon a spirituall or lawfull kyndred of affinitie, taking their originall of so many degrees of consanguinitie. Also the vse of meates forbidden whiche God hath created for mans necessitie, the Apostle hathe taught vs that they are indifferently to be receiued with thankes geuing. By these and many other suche humayne constitutions, men are brought in bondage, vntill that by money they obteyne dispensation of those lawes, at their handes whiche made them, so that money shall make that lawfull for ryche men, whiche is frely prohibited vnto the poore. By these snares of mans lawes and constitutions, not only great sommes of money are gathered out of Germanie, and caried ouer the Alpes, but also great iniquitie is sprong vp amongs Christians, many offences and priuie hatredes, when as the poore mē do se them selues intangled with these snares, for none other cause, but that they do not possesse the thornes of the Gospell, for so Christe doth often call ryches.

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Of times forbidden.

IN lik maner also is it handled, as touching mariages which is by the heddes of the church of Rome, forbidden, from the Septuagesima sonday, somwhat before lent, when as notwithstanding both the clergie and the seculers in the meane time doo liue licenciously. But this interdict procedeth to this end, if any man would do it frely, but if there be any hope of mony, that which was before forbidden is lauful for euery man to doo frely. This also is a greuous net, wherby gret somes of mony are drawen out from the Germaines, neither is it any lesse greuance that þe state and condition of the poore and rich, shuld be so fare different in releasing these constitutions.

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How that the clergy should not be punished for no offence.

ITem whatsoeuer he be that receiueth any ecclesiasticall orders, either great or small, therby he doth contend to be free from all punishmēt of þe seculer magistrat howe great offence so euer he doo, neither do they vnaduisedly presume therupon, but are mainteined in that liberty to sin, by the principall estates of the clergy. For it hath often ben seene, that wheras by the canonicall lawes, priests are forbidden to mary, that afterwarde they diligently labor & go about day & night to atēpt & try þe chastity of matr�?es, virgines, & of þe wiues, daughters, & sisters of þe laymen.

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