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Patrick Collinson

Chapter 7 . John Foxe and national consciousness W e all know what William Haller wrote about John Foxe and national consciousness in The Elect Nation, 36 years ago; and we can also rehearse the arguments deployed against his thesis by Katherine Firth, V. Norskov Olsen, and others.1 We know that Foxe was not a vulgar nationalist but a man of universal vision and ecumenical conviction, who believed himself to be living near the end of time. Reopening Haller after a few years, there is less about the elect nation than one remembered, and one suspects that ‘the

in This England
Elizabeth Evenden

This article explores the production of an edition of John Foxes Acts and Monuments (more popularly known as the ‘Book of Martyrs’), printed by Adam & Co. in 1873. The edition was prefaced by an Irish cleric, Rev. S.G. Potter, who, at the time of production, was vicar of St Lukes parish in Sheffield. This article investigates Potters career as a Protestant cleric and Orangeman, examining why he might have been chosen to preface a new edition of Foxes martyrology. Consideration is then given to the illustrations contained within the 1873 edition and what relation they bare to the woodcut illustrations in the editions of the Acts and Monuments printed during Foxes lifetime. This reveals a markedly different agenda behind the choice of illustration in the Elizabethan and Victorian editions.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Judith Richards

Although the reputation of Englands first queen regnant, Mary Tudor (died 1558) had remained substantially unchanged in the intervening centuries, there were always some defenders of that Catholic queen among the historians of Victorian England. It is worth noting, however, that such revisionism made little if any impact on the schoolroom history textbooks, where Marys reputation remained much as John Foxe had defined it. Such anxiety as there was about attempts to restore something of Marys reputation were made more problematic by the increasing number and increasingly visible presence of a comprehensive Catholic hierarchy in the nineteenth century, and by high-profile converts to the Catholic faith and papal authority. The pre-eminent historians of the later Victorian era consistently remained more favourable to the reign of Elizabeth, seen as the destroyer,of an effective Catholic church in England.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Peter Nockles

This article charts and discusses the reasons for various significant shifts and developments during the nineteenth century of the reception of the Reformation amongst different denominations and groups within British Protestantism. Attitudes towards Foxes ‘Book of Martyrs’ are explored as but one among several litmus tests of the breakdown of an earlier fragile consensus based on anti-Catholicism as a unifying principle, with the Oxford Movement and the intra-Protestant reaction to it identified as a crucial factor. The selfidentity of the various British Protestant,denominations, notably the various Nonconformist bodies as well as the established Church and evangelicalism per se was at stake in the process of ‘reception’. Moreover, the emergence of more secular Protestant understandings of the significance of the Reformation as an essential stage in the emergence of modernity and liberty, often at odds with nineteenth-century evangelical theological interpretations of its meaning and legacy, are also highlighted. The result is an attempt to transcend the traditional focus on Protestant-Catholic disputes over the Reformation in narrowly bipolar terms.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
History, radicalism, and John Foxe

This book addresses a perennial question of the English Reformation: to what extent, if any, the late medieval dissenters known as lollards influenced the Protestant Reformation in England. To answer this question, this book looks at the appropriation of the lollards by evangelicals such as William Tyndale, John Bale, and especially John Foxe, and through them by their seventeenth-century successors. Because Foxe included the lollards in his influential tome, Acts and Monuments (1563), he was the most important conduit for their individual stories, including that of John Wyclif (d. 1384), and lollard beliefs and ecclesiology. Foxe’s reorientation of the lollards from heretics and traitors to martyrs and model subjects portrayed them as Protestants’ spiritual forebears. Scholars have argued that to accomplish this, Foxe heavily edited radical lollard views on episcopacy, baptism, preaching, conventicles, tithes, and oaths, either omitting them from his book or moulding them into forms compatible with a magisterial Reformation. This book shows that Foxe in fact made no systematic attempt to downplay radical lollard beliefs, and that much non-mainstream material exists in the text. These views, legitimised by Foxe’s inclusion of them in his book, allowed for later dissenters to appropriate the lollards as historical validation of their theological and ecclesiological positions. The book traces the ensuing struggle for the lollard, and indeed the Foxean, legacy between conformists and nonconformists, arguing that the same lollards that Foxe used to bolster the English church in the sixteenth century would play a role in its fragmentation in the seventeenth.

Gareth Atkins

Ever since his violent death in 1556, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer had been used by rival groups to justify their views about the Church of England. Thanks chiefly to John Foxe his burning, in particular, became central to Protestant narratives. In the nineteenth century, however, confessional stories became hotly contested, and amid the ‘rage of history’ erstwhile heroes and martyrs were placed under intense scrutiny. This article uses Cranmers fluctuating reputation as a lens through which to explore changing understandings of the English past. As will become clear, uncertainties over how to place Cranmer bespoke a crisis of Anglican identity, one driven both by divisions within the Church of England and challenges to its political, cultural and intellectual authority from without. Despite and perhaps because of shifts in how he was seen, Cranmers liturgical writings - the Book of Common Prayer - came to be seen as his chief legacy.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Elisabeth Dutton

Redivivus , a Resurrection narrative that was performed at Brasenose College in 1541, and Archipropheta , the John the Baptist story, that was staged at Christ Church in 1548. 1 I will also allude to Andreas Höfele's study of the comedy Christus Triumphans , by another of Bale's friends, the historian and martyrologist John Foxe (1516/17–87): Foxe's play was performed at Magdalen College, Oxford in 1561–62, and Bale's Three Laws may also have been performed at Magdalen around the same time. 2

in Enacting the Bible in medieval and early modern drama
Susan Royal

works-based soteriology. 11 Another murky issue between the two reform movements was the priesthood of all believers. While many of the lollard trial transcripts recorded a belief to the effect that ‘every good man is a priest’, this unsophisticated epigram did little to convey the evangelical notion of a priesthood of all believers as articulated by Martin Luther. This is discussed in Chapter 5 . This book is not about the lollards, but who they were according to evangelicals, especially John Foxe. As shown, Foxe built on foundations laid

in Lollards in the English Reformation
Abstract only
Susan Royal

defending the established church that he had previously applied to the Quakers, embarking on a polemical career to discredit the Society which spanned more than forty years, and which effectively bankrupted him. Among his arguments, Bugg disputed the Quakers’ interpretation of their own history. Strikingly, Quakers claimed that their origins lay in the reforms of John Wyclif, the fourteenth-century Oxford theologian who was lauded in John Foxe’s Acts and Monuments (1563) as the progenitor of the Reformation. Prior to his apostasy, he had likely believed that he and his

in Lollards in the English Reformation
Rosemary O’Day

works of John Foxe. Such an exercise is important not simply because the interpretations offered are intrinsically interesting, nor even because we should be aware of contemporaries’ views of the Reformation as revelatory of their historical sense, but also because the Protestant view of the Reformation produced during its birth and infancy provided, in large measure, the parameters of the debate about the English Reformation from that day to this. Exiled reformers in the reign of Henry VIII Between 1525 and 1535 a number of English reformers were living in exile in

in The Debate on the English Reformation