«by JANE ELIZABETH KINGSLEY-SMITH A thesis submitted to the Faculty of Arts of the University of Birmingham for the degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY The ...»
travellers it is given 'to seek, to search, to learne, and to attaine to true pollicie, and wisedome, (which is traveling indeede)'. 59 In fact, the Stoic and Epicurean perspectives are frequently combined in exile consolations. Cardanus Comforte by Jerome Cardan (1576) makes the point that only man's imagination can make him miserable and advises that the exile re-imagine his fate as a voluntary journey. He goes on to list the advantages of travel in terms of pleasure and profit.60 Yet perhaps more important is the emphasis placed on self-fulfilment through travel.
According to Lipsius, a man's virtue and intelligence naturally dictate severance from his homeland. He lists Biblical travellers, Classical philosophers, mythical Greek heroes and
comparatively recent English kings who have travelled abroad:
These men thinke it a great staine and dishonour to the libertie which nature hath geven them (to be Cosmopolites, that is Cytizens of the whole world) and yet to bee restrained within the narrowe precincts of a little countrie, as poor prisoners kept in a close place, or sillie birds cooped up in a narrowe pen. 61 Lipsius fails here to distinguish between the voluntary traveller and the exile. He includes Noah, Hercules and Aeneas in a tract about travel rather than exile. A significant part of De Constantia is dedicated to the rejection of patriotism. Langius argues daringly that it is merely a custom. On building the first cities, men set up boundaries, laws and ceremonies in order to protect their property. Hence, man should be willing to die for his country but not to weep for 59 Epistola de Peregrinations italics tr. by Sir John Stradling as A Direction for Travailers (London, 1592), STC 15696, A4.
60 Cardanus Comforte tr. by the Earl of Oxford (London, 1576) (Amsterdam: Da Capo Press, 1969), 86.
61 Epistola, A3.
it. 62 To become a 'Cosmopolite' involves the destruction of national loyalties and restrictions.
This association between the loss of one's native land and the realisation of potential is also made by Cardan. In his consolation for exile he declares that all those who 'invented anye excellent knowledge' were travellers (85) and then that all excellent men have been banished including Demosthenes, Cicero, Alcibiades and Coriolanus. Cardan points out that a man's native country often won't appreciate him: 'Thus we see that exile is not onely good, but also glorious, chiefly to a wise and Learned man' (86).
That exile should facilitate the great man's work, in particular the writing of philosophy, exegesis, or literature is another convention. We must return once again to the Marian exiles and the definition of exile as not only a divine but as a literary vocation. One of the clearest examples of this may be found in John Bale's The Image of Both Churches, Being an Exposition of the most Wonderful Book of Revelation of St. John the Evangelist (Antwerp, 1545).63 Bale was brought up in a Carmelite priory and after receiving his degree of Bachelor in Divinity at Cambridge in 1529, began his career as an Orthodox Catholic prior. His conversion to Protestantism seems to have occurred around the time of the Act of Supremacy in 1534. In the years immediately following this, he was examined by Church officials twice and finally imprisoned at Greenwich for questioning certain doctrines. Bale attributed his release to Cromwell, the King's Secretary, whose reforming zeal he had come to share and 62 De Constantia, 28.
63 On the Apocalyptic writings produced in exile see Tudor Apocalypse by Richard Bauckham (Oxford: Sutton Courtenay Press, 1978), 63-4.
who may have been Bale's patron in an acting troupe that performed Protestant plays.64 Subsequently, when Cromwell fell from power in 1540, Bale was forced to flee the country with his family. He spent six years in exile at Antwerp where he wrote The Image of Both Churches and other works deemed subversive and banned by the Privy Council in 1542.
Under Edward's rule. Bale returned to England and became Bishop of Ossory but was again forced to leave for Germany upon Mary's accession.
Destined to endure not one but two periods of exile, Bale already felt himself qualified by his time at Antwerp to expound the meaning of the Apocalypse. As a subheading to The Image of Both Churches he writes, 'Compiled by John Bale an exile also hi this life for the faythfull testimonie of Jesu'. The Preface tells how St. John was banished to the isle of Patmos on account of his preaching and that here God revealed to him the 'mysteries of the whole
Trinity'. Bale writes:
Of such a nature is the message of this book with the other contents thereof, that from no place is it sent more freely, opened more clearly, nor told forth more boldly, than out of exile. And this should seem to be the cause thereof.
In exile was it first written, as a little before is mentioned. In exile are the powers thereof most earnestly proved of them that have faith.65 Bale reminds his readers that Jesus himself fled and advised his disciples to escape
persecution by moving from place to place. Yet exile is not merely a question of selfpreservation to perform the Lord's work; the work requires exile:
64 Peter Happe refers to evidence that Cromwell made two payments to 'Balle and his fellowes' in September 1538 and 1539, suggesting that Bale was the leader of an acting troupe and may have toured as part of Cromwell's propaganda effort, John Bale (New York: Twayne Publishers. 1996), 10.
55 The Image of Both Churches in The Select Works ofJohn Bale ed. by Rev. Henry Christmas (Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press. 1849), 249-640, 254.
Flattery, dwelling at home, and sucking there still his mother's breasts, may never tell out the truth; he sees so many dangers on every side, as displeasure of friends, decay of name, loss of goods, offence of great men, punishment of body, and jeopardy of life, with such other like. The forsaken wretched sort hath the Lord provided always to rebuke the world of sin for want of true faith, of hypocrisy for want of perfect righteousness, and of blindness for lack of godly judgement: for nought is it not therefore, that he hath exiled a certain number of believing brethren the realms of England; of the which afflicted family my faith is that I am one.66 In Bale's interpretation of exile therefore, it is not Henry, or later Mary, who is responsible for his flight but God. It would be easier to stay at home but God has banished him that he may be inspired with truth and proclaim it as St. John did.
It is clear from this extract that exile was not only a religious but a literary vocation. Exile and publication were associated on a purely practical level. Foxe's son describes the English community at Basle: 'Of these were many but of slender estate, who some one way and some another, but the most part gained their livelihood by reviewing and correcting the press.' 67 Clearly, the exiles were not all occupied writing controversial tracts or receiving God's truth but a large number of them were actively engaged in the dissemination of Protestant material.
Moreover, this association between religion and the printing-press remembers the origins of Protestantism itself. The dissemination of Luther's works across Europe by means of the newly invented press is part of what made Protestantism possible. 68 It became a Reformation 66 Ibid., 254-5.
67 Acts and Monuments, vol. 1, 16.
68 See in particular A. G. Dickens, Reformation and Society in Sixteenth-Century Europe (London: Thames & Hudson, 1966) and Elizabeth L. Eisenstein, The Printing Press as an Agent of Change: Communications and Cultural Transformations in Early-Modern Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980).
weapon. Foxe suggested that 'either the pope must abolish knowledge and printing, or printing at length will root him out'. 69 Exile produced some major literary triumphs at this time, whether the writer had chosen to relocate abroad to make use of the free press as Tyndale did, or been forced there. 70 The Geneva Bible, translated by William Whittingham and Anthony Gilby with assistance from Coverdale (April 1560), John Ponet's Shorte Treatise of Politicke Power (1556) and of course Foxe's Acts and Monuments were all produced in exile. John Hopkins wrote an elegy for Foxe which includes the lines, Thy tongue and pen the truth did still defend,/ Thou banishment for Christ didst gladly bide'. 71 Throughout the Acts and Monuments Foxe's passion for books and writing is part of his admiration for the martyrs whose lives and works he celebrates. He is careful to list the publications of each writer and to record the prohibition and book-burning that followed. Foxe describes a shipwreck, in which Tyndale lost his translation of Deuteronomy with the rest of his library as the work of Satan. 72 For Foxe, Frith, Bale, Ponet and others, exile was a state that allowed them to write whilst offering a heroic even tragic identity which gave further prestige to that writing. 73 Truth became words spoken 69 This is part of a longer quotation from Acts and Monuments which identifies printing, reading and writing as divinely-ordained weapons in the defence of the Church, vol. 3, 720. On the expulsion of ignorance and darkness through the press see vol. 4, 252-3.
70 Foxe describes how. on failing to secure a position in the Bishop of London's household, Tyndale 'understood, not only that there was no room in the bishop's house for him to translate the New Testament, but also that there was no place to do it in all England', Acts and Monuments, vol. 5, 118.
71 See 'In lo. Foxum theologum celeberrimum cum Christo exultantem', printed by G. A. Williamson as a preface to his abridged version, John Foxe's Book of Martyrs (London: Seeker and \Varburg, 1965), xli.
72 Acts and Monuments, vol. 5, 120.
73 Two useful collections of'exile biography' are Masters of the English Reformation (London: Church Book Room Press, 1954) and Pioneers of the Reformation in England (London: Church Book Room Press, 1964) both by Marcus L. Loane.
outside English society. 74 Richard Helgerson describes the vital role of print culture in the creation of an imagined community of English Protestants. The Acts and Monuments was a
Ralph Allerton, who for want of ink wrote an account of his interrogation with his own blood, is only the most dramatic example. Dozens of others wrote and then managed to smuggle out of prison the extraordinarily full records Foxe eventually printed. Given the number of these accounts and their length, one cannot help imagining the ecclesiastical prisons of England during the persecuting years of Henry and Mary as a vast penal scriptorium in which the incarcerated were condemned to write until they burned. But for these Protestant martyrs writing was no punishment. It was rather an expression of defiance and hope, an act of participation in an imagined community formed by the printed word and monumentalized in it. 75 The Elizabethan Catholic exile followed the Protestant example of commanding printingpresses. 76 But it is to some secular examples of exile creativity that I want now to turn. We are used to thinking of Sidney s Arcadia and Spenser's Faerie Oueene as works facilitated by exile from the court or from England.77 Sir Francis Bacon consciously reinvented his disgrace as a beneficial retirement for the sake of his art. Following his banishment from the court in 1621, Bacon appealed to the King for a pardon, for financial assistance and for a return to London and the court, whilst representing his state very differently to the Spanish
74 John Jewel wrote in An Apology of the Church of England (c. 1562): 'It hath been an old complaint, even from the first time of the patriarchs and prophets, and confirmed by the writings and testimonies of every age,
that the truth wandereth here and there as a stranger in the world...', ed. by J. E. Booty (Ithaca and New York:
Cornell University Press, 1963), 7.
75 Forms of Nationhood: The Elizabethan Writings of England (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1992), 267.
76 On the fear inspired by Catholic printing presses see Albert J. Loomie, The Spanish Elizabethans: The English Exiles at the Court of Philip 11 (New York: Fordham University Press, 1963), 6.
77 Katherine Duncan-Jones and J. Van Dorsten argue that Sidney's absence from court in 1580 was voluntary rather than enforced, based on ill-health, financial considerations and his quarrel with the Earl of Oxford, Miscellaneous Prose of Sir Philip Sidney (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1973), 34-5.
For myself, my age, my fortune, yea my Genius, to which 1 have hitherto done but scant justice, calls me now to retire from the stage of civil action and betake myself to letters, and to the instruction of the actors themselves, and the service of Posterity. In this it may be I shall find honour, and I shall pass my days as it were in the entrance halls [in atriis] of a better life. 78 Moreover, Bacon consciously located his own fate in the context of the banishments of Cicero, Seneca and Demosthenes. He perceived his future literary career in contrast with the kinds of writing they had produced in exile. 79 Another example of this rewriting appears quite a long time outside the period with which this study is concerned yet it is so remarkable as to demand commentary. In its entirety the exile of Sir Robert Dudley, the illegitimate son of the Earl of Leicester, is an extraordinary narrative, not least because it incorporates most of the redefinitions of exile traced so far.
Dudley was born in 1574 to the Queen's favourite, the Earl of Leicester, and Douglas, Lady Sheffield, who had married in a private, secret ceremony the previous year. 80 Both parents later denied that any marriage had taken place and Dudley was declared illegitimate. 81 Although brought up as the Earl's son, he was thus unable to inherit the Earldoms of Warwick and Leicester, with various other lordships and estates that he believed were rightfully his. Nevertheless, Dudley made some impact on the Elizabethan court. He studied and published books on the arts of navigation and shipbuilding. He commanded a man-of-war 78 See Bacon's letter of 6 June 1621 reprinted in Hostage to Fortune, 473.
79 See letters to James I and to Lancelot Andrewes, 16 July 1621 and 1622?, Hostage to Fortune, 474.
80 The following account of Dudley's life is drawn from a biography by Arthur Gould Lee, The Son of Leicester: