This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Nathan Burrows HIST 6371 March 29, 2012
2 Only recently are historians finally realizing the importance of Peter Martyr and his role in the English Reformation. and Martin Luther. Martyr’s significance was limited the later half of the Reformation. Although the Italian theologian Peter Martyr Vermigli bore the martyrdom name. Martin Bucer. but through persecution. “But if we were to identify one author and one book which represented the centre theological gravity of the Elizabethan Church it would not be Calvin’s Institues but the Common Places of Peter Martyr. Patrick Collinson wrote.”1 The events he partook in and the number of vital connections with martyrs and influential religious leaders held such a degree of significance that he is found in John Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. As the Anglican Church emerged at the end of the sixteenth century. she retained many of the old traditions of Catholicism mixed with . a martyr is someone who carries out extreme devotion to Christ and his teaching not only in life. said Peter Martyr was “worthily called Peter for the firmness of his stance and worthily called Martyr for the countless witnesses to the truth that he regularly produces. it is only just to do so. Richard Cox. The main issue that continues to restrict modern historians is the complexity of the English Reformation. they still fail to put Peter Martyr in a larger sphere of influence. vice chancellor of Oxford University. but also in death. but the availability of letters. but after an examination of the documents and events of the Reformation. Martyr impacted religious ideology in the same capacity as other well-known reformers.”3 Collinson argued. Death is not achieved through natural causes. Although their conclusions are leaning toward a more accurate portrayal of the English Reformation. Few historians have mentioned his significance and even fewer have elaborated on it. Prior historians have believed it was superfluous to name Martyr among men such as John Calvin.Burrows 1 In the Christian tradition. commentaries. and other primary documents reveal a different story. he lived out his life peacefully.
but crucial time spent with Thomas Cranmer and his 1549 Oxford Eucharist Disputation. Many of the reformed doctrinal issues—such as sola scriptura. The latter years deal with Martyr’s flight back to Strasbourg and his eventual rise to prominence in Zurich where he died in 1562.4 Unable to grasp the scope of the Reformation. and the vestments. historians have failed to portray the importance of this brief visit. sola gratia. He believed just as two natures . The ambiguity of the Elizabethan settlement resulted in a divided England just as when the Reformation began. His greatest influence is best evaluated in two timeframes: the former years and the latter years. stained glass. The former years pertain to his initial journey to England and the brief.5 Prior to this time in England. During the first few months of his arrival.Burrows 2 the reforms of Protestantism.6 Just before Cranmer asked him to England. Using the two distinctions will hopefully avoid common errors and misinterpretation into the significance of Martyr. and sola Christus were accepted. in the midst of the Catholic structures of government and worship—the hierarchy of bishops. he spent considerable time in Lambeth under the hospitality of the Archbishop. the preservation of images. they limit their evaluation to mainstream reformers and neglect the influence of other theologians such as Peter Martyr. They miss out on the opportunity to view the Reformation through the eyes of someone who actively pursued reform and left a legacy that followed in that pursuance. candlesticks. Unfortunately. His beliefs developed initially during his time as a young theologian in Lucca. his importance pertaining to the English Reformation is becoming more widely known. but still not the degree he deserves. Martyr began to formulate his view about the Eucharist. With the growing availability of Martyr’s works. sola fide. he solidified his position on transubstantiation. Martyr came to England under the acquisition of Thomas Cranmer in 1547.
Burrows 3 exist in one person. Along with his own personal theology. By the end of 1547. Chrysostoms’s Ad Caesarium monachum. 9 Martyr entered the Archbishops home and immediately set out to sway his opinion on matters of the English Church. The introduction of the patriarchal texts. it is clear that Cranmer was open and prime for influence. Cranmer was developing his own beliefs concerning the Eucharist and the reformed English Church. only representations. In an effort to avoid the traps of the enemy. Martyr did not accept Cranmer’s request out of curiosity—he wanted to join and contribute to the reform. Cranmer hoped foreigners who were brought to England could provide him with the doctrines to create the foundations of the reformed Church.10 The fact that multiple sources allude to this new text affirms that Martyr’s presence in England brought with it new works for reformers to use. and excerpts from Theodoret’s first two Dialogues shifted the view of Cranmer. his position of power and authority in the church of Lucca made him a target for Catholic sympathizers. Two other mentions of this “secret copye” are found in the later Oxford Disputation and in Stephen Gardiner’s work against Cranmer. Among the reformers asked to join him was Peter Martyr in 1547. He needed a broader interpretation than what many English theologians could offer. . he fled to Strasbourg. As Martyr traveled to England.7 Although Martyr did not publically propagate his divergence from Catholic theology. and neither were the actual body and blood of Christ.8 In the meantime. Martyr brought along a personal collection of religious works. it played a large enough role to drastically shift the Reformation debate. Among those. Martyr had a firm grasp of his theology and he accepted the request of Cranmer. two “substances” existed in the Eucharist. And even if the “secret copye” was no other than Martyr himself. he brought a work Cranmer and other English Reformers did not have access to.
the Defense of 1550. The crucial factor behind Cranmer’s position was Martyr. Foxe purposely introduced Martyr and his attempt to defend the true and right religion. One of Martyr’s followers. The Oxford Disputation held great significance in the history of the Protestant Church.12 In the revision of the Book of Common Prayer. Somerset used the tract in the informal debate on the Prayer Book in the House of Lords between 14 December and 21 December. In preparation for the debate over the Act of Uniformity on 15 December 1548. Martyr’s views were pivotal in these legislative sessions. the Duke of Somerset. on this very day on which I write . The matters Martyr presented to Cranmer in 1547 and the brief tract for Somerset were the same issues that arose in his Oxford lectures of 1548 when he spoke on 1 Corinthians. “Peter Martyr has openly declared to us all. Before Martyr entered England. on 2 March 1549 in a correspondence with Henry Bullinger wrote.13 The three documents that emerged after the initial stay of Martyr can no longer be ignored.Burrows 4 Martyr’s position on the Eucharist was not unique or original. there were others who looked to his writings as authoritative works. The debate centered on the Eucharist and the idea of transubstantiation. Martyr composed the Sermon of Thanksgiving for Edward Seymour. he believed it was time to publically address the issues. but with the success and influence on Cranmer. Cranmer incorporated Martyr’s patristic sources and position of the ‘unio Christi’ in his debates of 1548.14 Cranmer was not the only official Martyr found favor in. They marked the first semi-official statement of what the Church of England believed. and the 1552 Book of Common Prayer.11 The difference was Martyr had direct contact with those that influenced religious legislation. John ab Ulmis. the Second Exhortation is ascribed exclusively to Peter Martyr. It followed the views both John Calvin and Henry Bullinger promoted and eventually agreed upon in the Consensus Tigurinus in 1549. his position on the Eucharist was not widely known.
Disputations were a common occurrence at Oxford. John Ab Ulmis addressed the event in his letter: “On Mondays and Wednesdays the masters [of arts] hold disputations. Martyr stressed three issues needed to be resolved before the debate initiated. they posted notices written in the English language in all the churches that the next day there would be a public disputation against the presence of Christ in the Sacred Supper. And third. he wished to debate the issue in a proper disputation. what was his opinion upon this subject…”15 The open declaration of the nontraditional views immediately resulted in a backlash from Martyr’s opponents.20 The Disputation took four days to complete and caused quite a stir among the English populace. The second. referees.19 The two parties with the aid of the vice chancellor of Oxford University agreed the disputation would take place on 4 May 1549. they could reference the Oxford Disputation of 1549. and debate questions needed to be prepared and set out before hand. his opponents stirred up the students and English populace in efforts to force Martyr to debate. and on Thursdays the students in divinity.21 Martyr’s opponents choose three issues from his lectures to debate on: the first was concerned with the sacrament of the Eucharist and the claim there was no transubstantiation of . In Josiah Simler’s biography of Martyr he wrote. “Then having made all the arrangements without informing him. Rather. Peter Martyr was the moderator for theological disputations. The first. the school should consult His Royal Majesty.”16 Led by Richard Smith. physic and law dispute among themselves in regular and alternate turns.Burrows 5 this letter.17 Martyr knew how sensitive the matter of the Eucharist was and chose not to combat those that approached him.”18 Every disputation had a moderator that presided over the debate and presented a summary and verdict on the debate. Widely familiar with the practice. there needed to be someone to record the debate in the event that if controversy arose elsewhere. judges. due to the nature of the debate.
From Martyr’s response and explanatory letter to Bullinger. Richard Cox ended the disputation with his judgment. he was prevented from taking over the bishopric until 1551. “deserves great thanks from us.. Hooper refused to wear the elaborate robes the Catholic Church promoted. In Cox’s conclusion. The letter is now lost but the controversy is further understood in conjunction with Martyr’s letter to Bullinger written on 28 January 1551 from Oxford.”24 The disputation brought respect and followers to Martyr and contributed to his success while at Oxford.” through great labors and hardships. John Hooper was appointed the bishop of Gloucester. Martyr believed the ideal reformed Church should do away with the vestments. Although the issue of liturgical garments was small in comparison to the issues concerning the Eucharist.. Under Edward VI.22 The three topics were some of the core doctrinal issues of the Reformation.26 He added. but the Church faced greater issues of immediacy. he could not “give an opinion on these controversies” but his emphasis on Martyr and the lack of mention of his opponents revealed the verdict on which he believed the Disputation should result in. On the final day the moderator. “We do indeed need to be careful not to impose too much severity on Christ’s church so that she can use nothing which . The third topic was Martyr’s claim of the body and blood of Christ were joined with the bread and wine sacramentally. but because of his rejection of the vestments.23 “Peter Martyr alone against all.25 To receive an authoritative decision John Hooper sent a statement of his position to Martyr 17 October 1550. it reaffirms the religious influence Martyr had during his time in England. Another area Martyr found himself highly influential in was the debate over the priestly vestments.” for “…he delivered to the university the doctrine of Christ out of those living fountains of God.Burrows 6 the bread and wine. The second issue they did not agree on was the body and blood of Christ were not carnally and corporeally in the bread and wine.
However. another one of Martyr’s followers. was tried and convicted to death a year earlier. strong links were created . Cranmer was the greatest target.”28Queen Mary and the new regime attempted to throw out the church reform and condemn all those who initiated it.”27Hooper’s position and outward distaste for the Catholic excess in robes and instruments of worship did not fair well when Edward VI died in 1553 and the Catholic regime regained control of the crown. Cranmer’s appeal to Queen Mary: I trust by God’s favor that with Peter Martyr and four or five others whom I will choose we will prove to everybody not only that the common prayers of the Church and the sacred administration with the other rites and ceremonies but also the whole doctrine and the order of religion set up by our supreme lord King Edward VI were more pure and more consonant with the word of God than anything we have known to have been used in England for the past thousand years—provided only that everything is judged by the word of God.Burrows 7 belonged to the pope. and all the best people cast into prisons. During the years of 1553 to 1558. Cranmer still held true to his doctrine and his admonition of Martyr. During the period of Marian exile. 1553 to 1558. While in the tower of London. The Marian exiles signify the second stage of Martyr’s influence in the English Reformation.29 Once again Cranmer put his faith in the work of Peter Martyr when it came to the reform of the English Church. Working with long time companion Henry Bullinger. Martyr provided an escape in Zurich. he entertained many exiles. The accession of Queen Mary postponed official religious reform in England. From his newly established position of authority in Stasbourg and then Zurich. “Pure religion was thrown out of churches.30John Hooper.31Martyr and many others chose to flee from Mary’s wrath to the continent where they received support. opponents to the reformed ideology were quick to administer revenge and Cranmer joined the list of Foxe’s martyrs on 21 March 1956. its laws were abrogated. the holy policy of the Church was destroyed.
Under the suggestion of Jewel and many other followers. Elizabeth I wrote to Martyr and asked him to return. In 1549. a reformed Church would soon follow. to England.33From these early years Martyr and Jewel developed a relationship that flourished until Martyr’s death in 1562. Jewel accepted a scholarship in 1539 to Corpus Christi where he then achieved a Bachelor of Arts.35Jewel’s influence was not only among religious individuals but also political leaders. Martyr’s arrival to Oxford in 1548 changed the trajectory of Jewel’s career. In 1558. . Jewel continued to hold important offices in the Marian regime.32 John Jewel was the chief English reformer that found refuge in Martyr and saw him as a source of divine inspiration. When Martyr left England. The amount of influence Martyr possessed in such a brief period of time in England fostered the idea that if he were to return. Of the twenty-three episcopal appointments made during the three years after Elizabeth took the crown. his influence continued to penetrate and guide the reform of the English Church. Two years later. Following the accession of Elizabeth I in 1558 and the return home by the exiles. Martyr continued his correspondence with the influential Elizabethan reformers. most notably Richard Hooker. he returned to England and was appointed the Bishop of Salibury.36 Although Martyr declined the offer. He was the notary of the trials of Thomas Cranmer and Nicholas Ridley. but after a while he joined others under Martyr in Zurich. he obtained a license to preach at a nearby rectory. six bishops were Bullinger’s and Martyr’s personal guests during the exile.34Jewel continued to pass on Martyr’s theology to other English influential reformers. the most powerful of the original English bishops. Jewel served as assistant and notary of Martyr’s at the Oxford Disputation.Burrows 8 between the English reformers and their Zurich hosts.
England may have been without the physical presence of Martyr. Martyr never learned to speak or read English. the Disputations against Richard Smith. While in Zurich. but his legacy continued to shape the English Reformation. authors used the works of Martyr to support their positions. Thomas Sampson wrote to Martyr in 1558 asking his opinion on “How ought we act with respect to allowing or disallowing the title of ‘after Christ supreme head of the Church of England…”37 John Whitgift relied heavily on the work of Martyr in defense of the royal headship of the church in the 1570s. and his Commentary on Judges. Richard Hooker published a defense of the Elizabethan constitution based on the same theology Martyr presented in his commentaries on the books of Judges.Burrows 9 During the Elizabethan settlement.38After 1553. Martyr’s stance on transubstantiation. two books on Kings. In addition to the individual reformers mentioned. and government institutions were crucial to the early years of the Elizabethan reforms. After his death his admirers published Martyr’s commentary on Aristotles’s Nicomachean Ethics. his works were used as textual foundations for later theologians. The authoritative longevity of Martyr’s works show his time at Oxford held a greater significance than many historians note. After Martyr’s death. and Kings. commentary on the books of Samuel. his Defensio against archrival of Cranmer (Stephen Gardiner). royal supremacy. the greatest amount were translated into English. Martyr’s death did not mark the end of his legacy and influence. he made use of his free time by publishing many of the works he began earlier in his life. his Preces sacae.39 These commentaries were used during . Samuel. both sides used Martyr to support their position. a commentary on Genesis. Towards the end of the century. These included his Commentary on the Epistle of Romans. The debate over vestments originated in Edward VI’s reign and was taken up again during Elizabeth’s. and finally in 1569. All of his works were published in Latin and then translated. From what is gathered.
fourteen editions of Martyr’s Loci communes were published: three in London. three in Heidelberg. The people and policies he influenced changed the course of the English Reformation and historians can no longer neglect a potentially invaluable source of this critical timeframe.40 In all more than one hundred editions of Martyr’s work were published during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century. There is no singular date that marked the beginning or end and no overarching definition of what it meant to be Catholic or Protestant. The English Reformation was much more than just a doctrinal change. the works of Peter Martyr can help bridge the gap in history. Historians have failed to create a concise consensus to his effectiveness in England and the years thereafter. Daily lives were impacted. two in Zurich. four in Geneva. Even though the end result created the Anglican Church. The works and life of Peter Martyr played a pivotal role in those changes. but the greatest contribution was completed almost fifteen years after his death. . families were broken. Robert Masson took commentaries and other works of Martyr’s and arranged them to a structure similar to Calvin’s Institutio and entitled it Loci Communes. and histories were re-written.42 Contemporary reformers used his works for justification and origination of many of the key topics of the reformed line of thought. and one in Basil and Amsterdam-Frankfurt. it had a much wider effect on society.Burrows 10 and after the life of Martyr in the Reformation.41 Martyr’s ability to portray clear theological positions helped distinguish him from the complex and confusing views of other theologians. Such dramatic and seemly unknown information concerning the Reformation. From 1576 to 1656.
johnfoxe.A. The Visible Words of God: An Exposition of the Sacramental Theology of Peter Martyr Vermigli: A. Letters. Marvin Anderson.org/index. The job to which Martyr is referring is that of reform. 12 11 10 9 Anderson. 1975). 2012). MO: Thomas Jefferson University Press. ed. Marvin Anderson. no. 84-85.johnfoxe. (B. 7 8 6 5 4 3 2 1 Oxford Treatise and Disputation: On the Eucharist. Selwyn (Woodbridge: Boydell Press. Peter Martyr A Reformer in Exile (1542-1562): A Chronology of Biblical Writings in England and Europe. “Rhetoric and Reality: Peter Martyr and the English Reformation. 1988). Ibid. “Peter Martyr in England 1547-1553: An Alternative View. Patrick Collinson. John Foxe.Burrows 11 Oxford Treatise and Disputation: On the Eucharist.. B Eerdmans Publishing Company. 1 (Spring 1984): 87-104. The University of Sheffield (HRI Online Publications. International Calvinism 1541-1715 (Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1549. 2012). Both authors try to negate the significance of Peter Martyr Vermigli and his influence on Cranmer’s Eucharist theology. “Cranmer.” The Sixteenth Century Journal 15.php?realm=text&gototype=modern&edition=1570&pageid=1557 &anchor=peter%20martyr%23kw (accessed March 26. Simler makes a point to refer to this incident as the very first time. and Sermons. xxiii-xxiv.php?realm=text&gototype=modern&edition=1583&pageid=1621 &anchor=peter%20martyr#kw (accessed March 26. 1549. MI: Wm. 289. The Unabridged Acts and Monuments Online (1570 edition). 1999). Polly Ha and Patrick Collinson (Oxford: Oxford University Press. 181. 26. Peter Martyr Vermigli: Life. “England and International Calvinism 1558-1640. Sixteenth Century Essays and Studies (Kirksville. De Graf. Overell. 147. Cranmer’s hope of Church reform could only be partially accomplished through legal reform.org/index.” in Menna Prestwich. 1549. trans. . no. 3 (Autumn. 97.” 458. MO: Truman State University Press. and Sermons. “Rhetoric and Reality: Peter Martyr and the English Reformation.” in Thomas Cranmer: Churchman and Scholar. McLelland. Ayris and D.D. xxii. Joseph C. P. 1500-1562 (Grand Rapids. M. Peter Martyr Vermigli: Life. John Patrick Donnely (Kirksville. 1993). the Eucharist and the Foreign Divines in the Reign of Edward VI. Nieuwkoop. 1957). Letters. http://www. ed. ed. and ed. 2011). 457. and ed. http://www. 1985): 214. Oxford Treatise and Disputation: On the Eucharist. 113. Basil Hall. Sheffield. When Martyr fled Lucca he stopped in Pisa where he celebrated for the first time the reformed Eucharist. he needed a scholastic reform as well. trans. 2000). 2010).. The Reception of Continental Reformation in Britain.” The Sixteenth Century Journal 19. Joseph McLelland. Ibid.
Sermons. McLellend. His Catholic sentiment and vengeful thinking drove him to trick martyr into a disputation. Ibid. 39. Smyth. Tensions over the Eucharist would reach a boiling point in 1549 under the challenge of Richard Smith... Hastings Robinson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. As a result of his absence three others spoke: William Tresham. Young. . and Philip Morgan. Peter Martyr Vermigli: Life. vol. and Anderson. However. Original Letters Relative to the English Reformation: Chiefly from the Archives of Zurich. James. Foxe. 1 of Peter Martyr Library. Ibid. ed. vol. 22. 469. xxviii-xxix. 189.Burrows 12 Early Writings: Creed. 103. Sermons. Richard Smith was ousted from his position at Oxford to make room for Martyr. The decision was made that the disputation would take place in May because the royal legates would be present to preside over the debate. 289. 16 17 15 14 13 Peter Martyr Vermigli: Life Letters. 22 23 24 25 21 Oxford Treatise and Disputation: On the Eucharist. Sermons. The matter of the Eucharist was not just important to Cranmer and Martyr. 36. Scripture. Peter Martyr Vermigli: Life Letters. Original Letters Relative to the English Reformation: Chiefly from the Archives of Zurich. 106. 11. Peter Martyr Vermigli and Predestination: The Augustinian Inheritance of An Italian Reformer (Oxford: Claredon Press. Letters. 26 27 28 29 Ibid.. Sermons. The debate is noted by modern scholars as well as contemporaries of Martyr: Simler. 1.. 1549. 289. Ibid. Schmidt. Frank A. 112. xxv.. Letters. 419. 34. Ibid. Letters. Original Letters Relative to the English Reformation: Chiefly from the Archives of Zurich. Church. Smith was forced to flee prior to the disputation. 39. Joseph McLelland (Kirksville. 34. MO: Sixteenth Century Essays and Studies. Sermons. The controversy was with Nicholas Ridley of London.. 1998). 1994). William Chedsey. Oxford Treatise and Disputation: On the Eucharist. 19 20 18 Peter Martyr Vermigli: Life. ed. Oxford Treatise and Disputation: On the Eucharist. 1549. In a letter to Martin Bucer dated 26 December 1548 he alluded to a growing storm. 1846) 388. Scholosser. 35. Peter Martyr Vermigli: Life. Ibid.
2. MA: Koninklijke Brill NV. .Burrows 13 Queen Mary ordered Dr. ed. Marvin Anderson. 100-101. Sufferings and Triumphant Deaths of the Early Christian and the Protestant Martyrs. Sufferings and Triumphant Deaths of the Early Christian and the Protestant Martyrs. 212-215. 36 37 35 34 33 32 31 30 Overell. Joseph C. McLelland (Montreal. 1980). The Reception of Continental Reformation in Britain.” 104. Mary’s Church. 88. Fox's Book of Martyrs: A History of the Lives. The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation. Hans J. James Pilkington of Durham. Hastings Robinson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1. trans. Sermons. 1968). vol. and Frank A. Reformed Theologian (1542-1562): His Letters to Heinrich Bullinger and John Calvin. 2. Emidio Campi. 126. vol. Richard Cox of Ely. no. Quebec: Wilfrid Laurier University Press.” The Sixteenth Century Journal 4. James (Boston. The first four books became the foundation of the Anglican Church and even in the early seventeenth and by the nineteenth century—it was the constitutional text of the Anglican Church. and Winston. 251. Reinhart. 48. ed. John Jewel of Salisbury. John Parkhurst of Norwich. During the Reign of Queen Elizabeth. ed. 93. The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation. Letters between Martyr and Hooper portray Martyr as an authority figure in deciding the debate. 38 39 The Reception of Continental Reformation in Britain. Anderson. Pole to prepare a sermon to be preached on 21 March 1556 directly before Cranmer’s execution at St. John Hooper was the Bishop of Worcester and Gloucester and played a vital role in the Vestarian Controversy. 338. A Companion to Peter Martyr Vermigli. Richard Hooker would end up writing Of the Lawes of Ecclesiastical Politie. 1996). Torrance Kirby. Peter Martyr Vermigli: Life. Fox's Book of Martyrs: A History of the Lives. 247. Peter Martyr Vermigli and Italian Reform. 4142. Letters. 1954). Robert Horne of Winchester. 2009). Edwin Sandys of Worcester. 1 (April 1973). ed. “Peter Martyr. Peter Martyr a Reformer in Exile (1542-1562): A Chonology of Biblical Writings in England and Europe. William Forbush (New York: Holt. “Peter Martyr in England 1547-1553: An Alternative View. Hillerbrand (New York: Oxford University Press. The Zurich Letters: The Correspondence of Several English Bishops and Others. 86. and ed. 124. 42 41 40 Peter Martyr Vermigli and Italian Reform.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.