A critical edition of the Acts and Monuments by John Foxe

John Foxe’s famous ‘Book of Martyrs’ is a foundation text for the English Reformation. Its vision has profoundly influenced English culture. This project completes the task of making the whole of Foxe’s text available in an innovative on-line edition in which specialists and non-specialists alike can appreciate the ways in which Foxe sought to counter his critics, absorb new materials, and justify the protestant reformation to his contemporaries. In Books 1-9, Foxe put this reformation into its deeper historical, ecclesiastical and theological perspective. This project examines in detail how he did this. The edition enables the comparative study of Foxe’s editions to be undertaken alongside structured layers of commentary which explain the changes that Foxe made to his text, with facsimile pages for reference purposes.


Principal investigator
Mike Pidd
Principal project staff
Professor Mark Greengrass; Dr Freeman
Start date
Thursday, September 1, 2005
Completion date
Monday, September 1, 2008
Source material
The sources are the four English editions of Foxe's Acts and Monuments published in his own lifetime - those of 1563, 1570, 1576 and 1583. The base editions used have been from a variety of locations, indicated already in the online edition.

David Loades, "Foxe's Book of Martyrs and the Face of England" (History Today, 55:12 (2005), pp. 40-49.

Thomas S. Freeman, ‘The scribal culture of the Marian martyrs' in The Uses of Script and Print,eds., Julia Crick and Alexandra Walsham (Cambridge, CUP, 2004), pp. 235-54.

Thomas S. Freeman, ‘Offending God: John Foxe and English Protestant Reactions to the Cult of the Virgin Mary' in The Church and Mary, ed. Robert N. Swanson, Studies in Church History 39 (2004), pp. 228-38.

Thomas S. Freeman and Elizabeth Evenden, 'Print, profit and propaganda: The Elizabethan Privy Council and the 1570 edition of of Foxe's "Book of Martyrs"', English Historical Review 119 (2004), pp. 1288-1307.

David Loades (ed.), John Foxe at Home and Abroad (Aldershot, Ashgate, 2004)) - includes various contributions from the Foxe Project team.

Thomas S. Freeman, “Providence and prescription: The account of Elizabeth in Foxe’s “Book of Martyrs” in The Myth of Elizabeth, eds. Susan Doran and Thomas S. Freeman (Basingstoke, 2003), pp. 27-55.

Thomas S. Freeman, “The prison writings of the Marian martyrs” in Europa Sacra: Raccolte agiografiche e identità politiche in Europa fra Medioevo ed Età moderna, eds. Sofia Boesch Gajano and Raimundo
Michetti (Rome, 2002), pp. 295-318.

Thomas S. Freeman and Elizabeth Evenden, “John Foxe, John Day and the printing of the “Book of
Martyrs’” in Lives in Print: Biography and the Book Trade, eds. Robin Myers, Michael Harris and Giles Mandelbrote (New Castle, DE and London, 2002), pp. 23-54.

Thomas S. Freeman, “Dissenters from a dissenting Church: the challenge of the Freewillers, 1550-1558” in The Beginnings of English Protestantism, eds Peter Marshall and Alec Ryrie (Cambridge, 2002), pp. 129-56.

Thomas S. Freeman, ‘”As true a subiect being Prysoner”: John Foxe’s notes on the imprisonment of Princess
Elizabeth, 1554-5”, English Historical Review 117 (2002), pp. 104-116.

Thomas S. Freeman and Sarah Wall, ‘Racking the Body, Shaping the Text: The Account of Anne
Askew in Foxe’s “Book of Martyrs,”’ Renaissance Quarterly 54 (2001), pp. 1165-97.

Thomas S. Freeman, “Early modern martyrs”, Journal of Ecclesiastical History 52 (2001), pp. 696-701.

Thomas S. Freeman, “The Good Ministrye of Godlye and Vertuouse Women”: The Elizabethan Martyrologists
the Female Supporters of the Marian Martyrs,’ Journal of British Studies 39 (2000), pp. 8-33.

Thomas S. Freeman, “Fate, faction and fiction in Foxe’s “Book of Martyrs” Historical Journal 43 (2000), pp. 8-33.

Thomas S. Freeman, “Demons, deviance and defiance: John Darrell and the politics of exorcism in late Elizabethan England” in Conformity and Orthodoxy in the English Church, c. 1560-1660, eds. Peter Lake and
Michael Questier (Woodbridge, Suffolk, 2000), pp. 34-63.

Thomas S. Freeman, “Texts, Lies and Microfilm: Reading and Misreading Foxe’s “Book of Martyrs”, Sixteenth
Century Journal 30 (1999), pp. 23-46.

Thomas S. Freeman, “New perspectives on an old book: the creation and influence of Foxe’s “Book of Martyrs”, Journal of Ecclesiastical History 49 (1998), pp. 317-28.

Thomas S. Freeman, “John Bale’s Book of Martyrs?: The account of King John in Acts and Monuments”, Reformation 3 (1998), pp. 175-223.