Collections’ Highlights

Actes and Monuments of the Christian Church

By: John Foxe

Collection ID



Printed Book








Printed on Paper


13 × 9.4 × 4 in. (33 × 24 × 10.2 cm)

Exhibit Location

On View in The Impact of the Bible, Bible in the World

John Foxe’s Actes and Monuments of the Christian Church, often simply called Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, was one of the most influential publications of the Reformation period. Foxe was an English minister and religious reformer. He began writing the book in the 1550s, shortly before Queen Mary, a devout Catholic, took the throne. The book surveys the history of Christian martyrdom, with special emphasis on the persecution of Protestants in England and Europe. Foxe was hardly an impartial writer, and the popularity of his work helped fan the flame of anti-Catholic sentiment in the English-speaking world for centuries. This is a rare copy of the first English edition, which expanded on the Latin edition published in 1559.

Printed in 1563 by John Day, London, England. Acquired around 1600 by William Blank, unknown owner.[1] Acquired by 1913 by James Ludovic Lindsay, 26th Earl of Crawford, Manchester, England.[2] Acquired by 2009 by Craig Lampe, private collector, Arizona; Privately purchased in 2009 by Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Donated in 2014 to Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.[3]

Notes: [1] Blank’s signature appears on the first page of text. His handwriting suggests he lived sometime in the late-16th and early 17th century. [2] James Lindsay and his father built their private collection over the course of decades. Their private library, called the Bibliotheca Lindesiana, was slowly broken up in the early decades of the 20th century following Linday’s death in 1913. See Bibliotheca Lindesiana: Catalogue of the Printed Books Preserved at Haigh Hall, vol. II (Aberdeen University Press, 1910), 3,485. [3] A search submitted to Art Loss Register did not match any items currently in their database (November 13, 2017; Ref: S00129776).

Select References:

Matthew Phillpott, The Reformation of England's Past: John Foxe and the Revision of History in Late Sixteenth Century (New York: Routledge, 2018).

Christopher Highley and John N. King, eds., John Foxe and His World (New York: Ashgate, 2002).

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