THE ACTS AND MONUMENTS OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH
Commonly known as
FOXE'S BOOK OF MARTYRS
The Reign Of King Edward VII.
Published by the Ex-classics Project, 2009
Portrait of Edward VI
THE NINTH BOOK, CONTAINING THE ACTS AND THINGS DONE IN THE REIGN OF KING EDWARD THE SIXTH. 4
226. Character of Edward VI. 5
227. Religious Reforms under King Edward 12
228. The Book of Common Prayer 27
229. Papist Rebellions 37
230. Trial and Imprisonment of Edmund Bonner. 50
231. Further Religious Reforms under King Edward 103
232. The Trial Of Stephen Gardiner. 108
233. Doctor Redman Expounds the True Faith on his Deathbed 219
234. William Gardiner, Martyred on Portugal 229
235. The Downfall of Edward, Duke of Somerset 238
237. A Like Disputation in Cambridge 265
238. A Fruitful Dialogue Declaring these Words of Christ, This Is My Body. 304
239. The End and Death of King Edward the Sixth. 320
THE NINTH BOOK,
THE ACTS AND THINGS DONE IN THE REIGN OF KING EDWARD THE SIXTH.
226. Character of Edward VI.
NEXT after the death of King Henry, succeeded King Edward his son, being of the age of nine years. He began his reign the twenty-eighth day of January, A. D. 1547; and reigned six years, five months, and nine days; and deceased A. D. 1553, the sixth day of July.
Of the excellent virtues and singular graces of King Edward, wrought in him by the gift of God, although nothing can be said enough to his commendation, yet, because the renowned fame of such a worthy prince shall not utterly pass our story without some grateful remembrance, I thought, in few words, to touch some little portion of his praise, taken out of the great heaps of matter which might be inferred. For to stand upon all that might be said of him, it would be too long; and yet to say nothing, it were too much unkind. If kings and princes, who have wisely and virtuously governed, have found in all ages writers to solemnize and celebrate their acts and memory, such as never knew them, nor were subject unto them, how much then are we Englishmen bound not to forget our duty to King Edward: a prince, although but tender in years, yet for his sage and mature ripeness in wit and all princely ornaments, as I see but few to whom he may not be equal, so, again, I see not many to whom he may not justly be preferred.
And here, to use the example of Plutarch, in comparing kings and rulers, the Latins with the Greeks together, if I should seek with whom to match this noble Edward, I find not with whom to make my match more aptly, than with good Josias: for, as the one began his reign at eight years of his age, so the other began at nine. Neither were their acts and zealous proceedings in God's cause much discrepant: for as mild Josias plucked down the hill altars, cut down the groves, and destroyed all monuments of idolatry in the temple, the like corruptions, dross, and deformities of popish idolatry, (crept into the church of Christ of long time,) this evangelical Josias, King Edward, removed and purged out of the true temple of the Lord. Josias restored the true worship and service of God in Jerusalem, and destroyed the idolatrous priests! King Edward likewise, in England, abolishing idolatrous masses and false invocation, reduced again religion to a right sincerity; and more would have brought to perfection, if life and time had answered to his godly purpose. And though he killed not, as Josias did, the idolatrous sacrificers, yet he put them to silence, and removed them out of their places.
Moreover, in King Josias's days the Holy Scripture and book of God's word was utterly neglected and cast aside, which he most graciously repaired and restored again. And did not King Edward the like, with the selfsame book of God's blessed word, and with other wholesome books of Christian doctrine, which before were decayed and extinguished in his father's days, by sharp laws and severe punishments, here in England? Briefly, in all points and respects, between him and this our godly king no odds are to be found, but only in length of time and reign; who, if he might have reached (by the sufferance of God) to the continuance of Josias's reign, proceeding in those beginnings which in his youth appeared, no doubt but of his acts and doings some great perfection would have ensued to his church and realm. But the manifold iniquities of Englishmen deserved another plague, as after fell amongst us; as in sequel of the story hereafter (God willing) shall be declared.