Conclusion

  • Megan L. Hickerson
Chapter

Abstract

In the Acts and Monuments, Foxe eulogized as martyrs a number of women who at first glance it would seem neither he nor his godly associates would have wanted as wives. Engaging in long, complex debate, resisting and mocking male authority, developing intimate, if presumably spiritual, extra-marital relationships, dominating, disobeying and even leaving their husbands, these women, as Protestant icons, defy historiographical expectations when it comes to early modern ideas about virtuous female behaviour. But Foxe did not design these women to serve as models of virtuous behaviour for living female members of a godly community; rather, as characters in an historical and cosmic drama described in Bale’s Image of Both Churches and Foxe’s Christus Triumphans, they are models for disobedience to authority, whether marital, ecclesiastical or royal. Such authority had in the past, and could still, demand idolatry in worship and thus, for the elect member of the true church, adultery. In such circumstances members of the true church had to choose between obedience to earthly authority and fidelity to Christ, to whom, in election, they were married.

Keywords

Burning Europe Assure Sine Defend 

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Notes

  1. 5.
    Timothy Bright, An Abridgement of the Booke of Acts and Monumentes of the Church: written by that Reuerend Father, Maister Iohn Fox: and now abridged by Timothe Bright, Doctour of Physicke, for such as either through Want of Leysure, or Abilitie have not the Use of so Necessary an History (London: I. Windet, 1589).Google Scholar
  2. 6.
    Clement Cotton, The Mirrour of Martyrs in a Short View Lively Expressing the Force of their Faith, the Fervency of their Love, the Wisedome of their Sayings, the Patience of their Suffrings, etc… (London: T.P., 1613).Google Scholar
  3. 7.
    Thomas Mason, Christs Victorie ouer Sathans Tyrannie. Wherin is contained a Catalogue of all Christs Faithfull Souldiers that the Divell either by his Grand Captaines the Emperours, or by his most Deerly Beloved Sonnes and Heyres the Popes, have most cruelly Martyred for the Truth (London: George Eld and Ralph Blower, 1615).Google Scholar
  4. 8.
    Thomas Mall, A Cloud of Witnesses, or, The Sufferers Mirrour made up of the Swanlike-songs (London: Robert Boulter, 1665); Martyrologia Alphabetike, or an Alphabetical Martyrology containing the Tryals and Dying Expressions of many Martyrs of note since Christ: extracted out of Foxe’s Acts and Monuments of the Church … (London: R. Butler, 1677);Google Scholar
  5. Samuel Clarke, General Martyrologie, containing a Collection of all the Greatest Persecutions which have befallen the Church of Christ, from the Creation to our Present Times wherein is given an exact Account of the Protestants Sufferings in Queen Maries Reign (London: William Birch, 1677)Google Scholar
  6. Ellis Hookes, The Spirit of the Martyrs Revived in a Brief Compendious Collection of the Most Remarkable Passages and Living Testimonies of the True Church, Seed of God, and Faithful Martyrs in all Ages (London, 1682).Google Scholar
  7. 9.
    Carole Levin, ‘Lady Jane Grey: Protestant Queen and Martyr’, in Silent but for the Word: Tudor Women as Patrons, Translators, and Writers of Religious Works, ed. Margaret Patterson Hannay (Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 1985), 92.Google Scholar
  8. 10.
    Gilbert Burnet, The History of the Church of England, of the Progess made in it during the Reign of K. Henry the VIII (London: TH, 1679), 341.Google Scholar
  9. 12.
    See Damian Nussbaum, ‘Whitgift’s Book of Martyrs: Archbishop Whitgift, Timothy Bright and the Elizabethan Struggle over John Foxe’s Legacy’, in John Foxe: an Historical Perspective, ed. David Loades (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1999).Google Scholar
  10. 27.
    In an interesting twist, Thomas Brice’s doggerel verse, A Briefe Register, fails to mention Dryver at all, instead pairing Gouch with Elizabeth Launson. See A Briefe Register in meter, containing the names and patient sufferings of the Martyrs & members of Jesus Christ, afflicted … in the time of Q. Marie (London: Simon Stafford, 1599), n.p. (November 1558).Google Scholar
  11. 37.
    Thomas Mall, A Cloud of Witnesses, or, The Sufferers Mirrour made up of the Swanlike-songs … the third part (London: Robert Boulter, 1665), 211.Google Scholar

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© Megan L. Hickerson 2005

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  • Megan L. Hickerson

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