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Seventeenth Century

Eighteenth Century


Works of Sir Thomas More

Holbein's sketch of Thomas More

Excerpt from

Treatise on Blessed Sacrament
against the Masker

[End of the Fifth Book]

       ... Of whose false, wily folly to beware our Lord give us grace, and of all such other like, which with foolish arguments of their own blind reason, wresting the Scripture into a wrong sense against the very plain words of the text, against the exposition of all the old holy saints, against the determination of divers whole general councils, against the full consent of all true Christian nations this fifteen hundred years before their days, and against the plain declaration of Almighty God Himself made in every Christian country by so many plain, open miracles, labour now to make us so foolishly blind and mad as to forsake the very true Catholic faith, forsake the society of the true Catholic Church, and with sundry sects of heretics fallen out thereof to set both holy days and fasting days at naught, and for the devil's pleasure to forbear and abstain from all prayer to be made either for souls or to saints, jest on our Blessed Lady, the immaculate Mother of Christ, make mocks of all pilgrimages and creeping to Christ's Cross, the holy ceremonies of the Church and the sacraments too, turn them into trifling with likening them to wine garlands and ale poles; and, finally, by these ways, in the end and conclusion, forsake our Saviour in the blessed sacrament, and instead of His own blessed body and blood, ween there were nothing but bare bread and wine, and call it idolatry there to do Him honour.
       But woe may such wretches be! For this we may be sure, that whoso dishonour God in one place with occasion of a false faith,—standing that false belief and infidelity, all honour that he doeth Him anywhere beside is odious and despiteful and rejected of God, and never shall save that faithless soul from the fire of hell. From which, our Lord, give them grace truly to turn in time, so that we and they together in one Catholic Church knit unto God together in one Catholic faith—faith, I say, not faith alone as they do, but accompanied with good hope and with her chief sister well-working charity, may so receive Christ's blessed sacraments here, and specially that we may so receive Himself, His very blessed body, very flesh and blood, in the blessed sacrament, our holy blessed housel, that we may here be with Him incorporate so by grace, that after the short course of this transitory life, with His tender pity poured upon us in purgatory, at the prayer of good people and intercession of holy saints, we may be with them in their holy fellowship incorporate in Christ in His eternal glory.  Amen.


Bridgett, Thomas Edward. The Wisdom and Wit of Blessed Thomas More.
       London: Burns and Oates, Ltd., 1892.  153-154.

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Renaissance English Writers
Bishop John Fisher
William Tyndale
Sir Thomas More
John Heywood
Thomas Sackville
Nicholas Udall
John Skelton
Sir Thomas Wyatt
Henry Howard
Hugh Latimer
Thomas Cranmer
Roger Ascham
Sir Thomas Hoby
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John Lyly
Thomas Nashe
Sir Philip Sidney
Edmund Spenser
Richard Hooker
Robert Southwell
Robert Greene
George Peele
Thomas Kyd
Edward de Vere
Christopher Marlowe
Anthony Munday
Sir Walter Ralegh
Thomas Hariot
Thomas Campion
Mary Sidney Herbert
Sir John Davies
Samuel Daniel
Michael Drayton
Fulke Greville
Emilia Lanyer
William Shakespeare

Persons of Interest
Cardinal Thomas Wolsey
Archbishop Thomas Cranmer
Thomas Cromwell
John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester
Cardinal Lorenzo Campeggio
Cardinal Reginald Pole
Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester
William Tyndale
Pico della Mirandola
Desiderius Erasmus
Christopher Saint-German
Thomas Linacre
William Grocyn
Hugh Latimer
Elizabeth Barton, the Nun of Kent
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Historical Events
Field of the Cloth of Gold, 1520
Pilgrimage of Grace, 1536
The Babington Plot, 1586
The Spanish Armada, 1588

Oath of Supremacy
The Act of Supremacy, 1534
The First Act of Succession, 1534
The Third Act of Succession, 1544
The Ten Articles, 1536
The Six Articles, 1539
The Second Statute of Repeal, 1555

Images of London:
London in the time of Henry VII. MS. Roy. 16 F. ii.
London, 1510, earliest view in print
Map of England from Saxton's Descriptio Angliae, 1579
Location Map of Elizabethan London
Plan of the Bankside, Southwark, in Shakespeare's time
Detail of Norden's Map of the Bankside, 1593
Bull and Bear Baiting Rings from the Agas Map (1569-1590, pub. 1631)
Sketch of the Swan Theatre, c. 1596
Westminster in the Seventeenth Century, by Hollar
Visscher's Panoramic View of London, 1616. COLOR

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