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Foxe, John

Foxe, John (1516–87). Martyrologist. Born in Lincolnshire, educated at Oxford, he was fellow of Magdalen College (1539). Though, as an extreme protestant, he resigned in 1545, he was ordained deacon by Bishop Ridley of London (1550) and was tutor (1547–53) to the children of the recently executed catholic earl of Surrey. One of these, for whom as 4th duke of Norfolk he retained affection, he later attended on the scaffold (1572). After exile under Mary, he returned, was ordained priest in 1560, and, despite objecting to the surplice, became vicar of Shipton. Foxe's reputation rests principally on his Actes and Monuments (Latin 1554, English 1563) or Book of Martyrs, dedicated to Elizabeth, a best seller which reinforced the concept of England as God's elect nation. ‘A database for the justification of the Elizabethan ”godly” reformation’, it was based on massive, but unashamedly biased and often inaccurate protestant scholarship.

Revd Dr William M. Marshall

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Foxe, John

John Foxe, 1516–87, English clergyman, author of the noted Book of Martyrs. He early became a Protestant and, when Mary Tudor became queen, he fled from England to Strasbourg. There was printed (1554), in Latin, the first part of his history of the persecution of Protestant reformers. Foxe moved to Basel and had published (1559) the first complete edition, in Latin, of his history. After Elizabeth's accession, an expanded English edition appeared (1563) entitled The Actes and Monuments of These Latter and Perilous Dayes. The work was commonly known as the Book of Martyrs, and its chief purpose was to praise the heroism and piety of the Protestant martyrs of Mary's reign. The book was widely read, and its influence was extensive, although as history it is highly prejudiced and not altogether trustworthy.

See J. F. Mozley, John Foxe and His Book (1940).

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Foxe, John

Foxe, John (1516–87) English Anglican clergyman and historian, whose writings promoted Protestantism and influenced policy towards Roman Catholics. He returned from exile in France during Elizabeth I's reign and wrote Actes and Monuments of these latter and perillous Dayes, better known as Foxe's Book of Martyrs (1563).

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Foxe, John

Foxe, John (1516–87). Author of ‘Foxe's book of martyrs’. Foxe wrote the book, Acts and Monuments of matters happening in the Church, while in exile in Europe during the reign of Queen Mary. Its chief purpose was to draw attention to the sufferings and endurance of the Protestant martyrs of Mary's reign.

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