Edward Foxe

15 Dec 2017
8 May 1538
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Edward Foxe (c. 1496 – 8 May 1538) was an English churchman, Bishop of Hereford. He assisted in drafting the Ten Articles of 1536

He was born at Dursley in Gloucestershire, and may have been related to Richard Fox, Bishop of Exeter and Lord Privy Seal under King Henry VII.Foxe was educated at Eton College and at King’s College, Cambridge.After graduating in 1520, he was made secretary to Cardinal Wolsey in 1527. In 1528 he was sent with Bishop Stephen Gardiner to Rome to obtain from Pope Clement VII a decretal commission for the trial and decision of the case between King Henry VIII and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon

On his return Foxe was elected Provost of King’s College, and in August 1529 was the means of conveying to the king Thomas Cranmer’s historic advice that he should apply to the universities of Europe rather than to the pope. After a brief mission to Paris in October 1529, Foxe in January 1530 befriended Hugh Latimer at Cambridge and took an active part in persuading the English universities to decide in the king’s favour. He was sent to employ similar methods of persuasion at the French universities in 1530-1531, and was also engaged in negotiating a closer league between England and Franc

In April 1533 Foxe served as prolocutor of convocation when it decided against the validity of Henry’s marriage with Catherine. In 1534 he published his treatise De vera differentia regiae potestatis et ecclesiae, defending the Royal Supremacy by use of the documents collated in the Collectanea satis copiosa.Various ecclesiastical preferments were now granted him, including the archdeaconry of Leicester (1531–1535), the archdeaconry of Dorset (1533–1535), the deanery of Salisbury (1533) and the bishopric of Hereford (1535). In 1535-1536 he was sent to Germany to discuss the basis of a political and theological understanding with the Lutheran princes and divines, and had several interviews with Martin Luther, who could not be persuaded of the justice of Henry VIII’s divorce.Henry was unwilling to endorse the Augsburg Confession, and so in 1536 the Wittenberg articles were drafted by Foxe and Lutheran clergymen as a compromise. The articles met strong opposition within convocation in June of the same year, leading Henry to personally intervene to bring about an agreement. This led to the drafting and passing of the Ten Articles by convocation. In 1536, Martin Bucer dedicated his Commentaries on the Gospels to Foxe.

Foxe died on 8 March 1538 and was buried in the church of St Mary Mounthaw, London. Foxe is credited with the authorship of several proverbial sayings, such as “the surest way to peace is a constant preparedness for war” and “time and I will challenge any two in the world.” However, the former is a paraphrase of si vis pacem, para bellum, while the latter is more usually ascribed to Philip II of Spain

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