Article in The Medieval Chronicle VII (2011)

Matthew_Paris_02Historians who defended the Elizabethan religious settlement for a Protestant England used medieval chronicles to reinterpret English ecclesiastical history. They perceived that the Catholic Church had deteriorated and fallen to the Antichrist over a period of some 1,000 years. This study examines how the chronicles written by Matthew Paris in the thirteenth century were recalled by sixteenth-century scholars as exempla to use against the papacy and its allies. It is argued that the use of these chronicles, especially by the historian and matyrologist John Foxe, help us to further understand the methodology and truth claims with which sixteenth-century historians examined their historical texts.