The Acts and Monuments of the Church. Containing the History and Sufferings of the Martyrs. With a Memoir of the Author, by His Son.
A Puritan zealot, John Foxe became a fellow at Magdalen College, Oxford, but refused to take orders, go to chapel, or practice celibacy. He was eventually accused of heresy and forced to resign, after which he became tutor to the sons of the Earl of Surrey. Their father had died and their uncle, the Roman Catholic Duke of Norfolk, was in prison, leaving only their aunt. She was a Puritan sympathizer and hired Foxe to tutor the boys. The Duke was released, and Foxe was fired. He worked as a press reader, and when the Duke died and Foxe’s former pupil became Duke, he was ordained a priest. His major work of prose, Acts and Monuments, is a long and gory history of Protestant martyrs and their deaths at the hands of papists.