Chapter IV – The English and Irish Reformation.



      In 1521 the English monarch forwarded to Rome a copy of the treatise he had just completed in refutation of “Martin Luther the heresiarch”:*  On this occasion, Clerk, the envoy** who presented the sumptuous manuscript to Leo X, expatiated on the perfect orthodoxy of his countrymen and their entire devotion to the Roman pontiff; – little dreaming that in the course of the next thirty years an era fatal to the old opinions would have dawned on every shire of England as on other parts of Western Christendom, and least of all anticipating that one of the prime movers in the changes then accomplished would be Henry VIII himself, who in return for his chivalrous vindication of the schoolmen had been dubbed “Defender of the Faith.”***

      *[Above: cf. Audin’s narrative in his Hist. de Henri VIII. I. 259 sq.  Paris, 1847.  The zeal of the monarch was inflamed and his arguments supported by the leading prelates of the day.  Thus Fisher bp. of Rochester preached at St Paul’s (May 12, 1521) “again ye pernicious doctryn of Martin Luther”; his sermon professing to have been “made by assyngnement of ye moost reuerend fader in God ye lord Thomas cardinal of York” [i.e. Wolsey].  Two years later appeared the same prelate’s more elaborate defense of Henry VIII entitled Adsertionis Lutheranae Confutatio, and also Powel’s Propugnaculum, the title of which characterizes Luther as an infamous friar and a notorious “Wicklifist”.  On subsequent passages between the two chief antagonists, Henry VIII and Luther, see Waddington, II. 107 sq.]

      **[In 1523 we find him made bishop of Bath and Wells (see Godwin, De Praesulibus Anglicae, p. 387, Cantab. 1743); and afterwards among the prelates who subscribed the English Articles of 1536.  His “Oratio” before the pope is prefixed to the original edition of the Libellus Regius.  For other proofs that England was supposed to be uncontaminated by heresy as late as 1528, see above.]

      ***[See the bull of Leo X by which this title was conferred (Oct. 11, 1521) in Wilkins, Concil. III. 693.  The title itself, however, was not new, having been applied to previous kings, e.g. to Henry IV (1411); Ibid. III. 334.]


      There is good reason* for concluding that throughout the dark and troublous period called the “wars of the Roses,” a few scattered seeds of Lollardism continued to bear fruit in the remoter parts of England; nor after the accession of Henry VII, when the authorities in Church and State obtained more leisure for pursuing their repressive policy, could the elements infused into society by Wycliffe and his colleagues be entirely trodden out.**  It is remarkable, however, that the rise, the progress, and the final triumphs of the English Reformation, were not sensibly affected by his principles.  They may have, doubtless, given birth to certain undercurrents of religious feeling which predisposed one fraction of the English people to accept the new opinions: the circulation also of the Wycliffite versions of Holy Scripture, and of tracts like those preserved in the “Poor Caitif”, [See Middle Age, p. 420.] may have shaken here and there the confidence which men had formerly reposed in the established errors and abuses: yet the impulses by which this county was aroused to vindicate its independence of all foreign jurisdictions, to assert the ancient faith, and to recast the liturgy and other forms of public worship, are not traceable to any of the feverish agitations which the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries produced.  The real causes of the change, however mixed and multiform they may have been, are all resolvable into three descriptions:

      *[The fullest, if not always the fairest and most critical, account is that of Foxe, Booke of Martyrs, pp. 658 sq.  Lond. 1583.  Many of his examples in the reign of Henry VI are taken from the diocese of Norwich.]

      **[Thus in 1485 several persons were burned at Coventry for holding Lollard doctrines (Ibid. pp. 777, 778): and in 1521 (to pass by other cases of persecution in the interval) a considerable number of what were termed “knowne-men,” or “just-fastmen” (Ibid. p. 820), were driven to recant or else put to death at the instigation of John Longland, bishop of Lincoln (Ibid. pp. 821–837).  The term “knowne-men” was applied by the Lollards to themselves from 1 Cor. 14:38: see Pecock’s Repressor of overmuch blaming of the Clergy, Part I. ch. xi. p. 53, ed. Babington, in Chronicles and Memorials, &c.  Among other grounds on which they suffered the following is very noticeable: “Some for reading the Scriptures or treatises of Scripture in English; some for hearing the same read.”  Foxe maintains that all these victims were uninfluenced by the writings of the Wittenberg reformer (p. 819).  See other evidence of the same purport in Burnet’s Hist. of the Reformation, I. 27 sq.  Lond. 1681.  Colet, in his famous Sermon, made to the Convocation at Paulis (Knight’s Life, p. 298, Lond. 1724), writes in 1511: “We are also now a dayes greued of heretykes, men mad with merueylous folysshenes: but the heresies of them are nat so pestilent and pernicious unto us and the people, as the euyll and wicked lyfe of prestes.”]


      First, the feelings of distrust, and ultimately of resentment, which had been awakened and exasperated by the follies, schisms and usurpations of the papacy, [See above, and Middle Age, pp. 321 sq.] – a class of feelings frequently appearing in transactions of the older English parliaments, [Numerous instances have been collected by Twysden, Hist. Vindication of the Church, pp. 79 sq.  Camb. 1847.] but never suffered to explode until the crown, on the humiliation and extinction, by the wars of the Roses, of the older nobility, had found itself in a position to withstand the judgments of the spiritual courts and fix a limit to the vast predominance obtained by the superior ecclesiastics.*

      *[See above.  In 1516 a sermon was preached by Kederminster, abbot of Winchcombe, in which he endeavoured to establish the exemption of the clergy from the punishment of the secular judicature, – an effort which after some controversy induced the king to reassert his own supremacy in most decided language: cf. the account in Burnet, I. 13 sq., who is mistaken, however, where he says that the abbot published a book (“mist avant un lieu d’nn décret” is the language of the Law Report to which the historian himself refers).  Another illustration of the way in which the jurisdiction of the temporal courts was reasserted may be seen in the case of Richard Hunne (1516); Burnet, Ibid.  The same tendency is still more manifest in a scarce tract (_ written at first in Latin by bishop Fox in 1534), which seems to have appeared just before the final act of separation from Rome, with the title A treatise concernynge the diuision bitweene the spirytualtie and temporaltie (Camb. Univ. Libr. AB, 13, 6): while the translator of the Constitutions Prouincialles and of Otho and Octhobone (1534) is under the necessity of declaring in his Preface that the document is “nat put forthe to bynde any of our most gracious soueraygne lorde the kynges subiectes.”  “For the clergy of this realme (whome comenly we have vsed to call the churche, or the spiritaltie) without thassent of ye kynges hyghnes, the nobilite and comens of this realme, haue newer had, ne yet ham, any iuste and lawful power to make any constitutions or lawes ouer any of our sayde soueraygne lorde the kynges subiectes.”  This translator nevertheless declares himself an adversary of the “new lerning lately sprongen”.]


      Secondly, the higher standards of intelligence and piety prevailing in the English universities,* especially among that class of students who imbibed the literary tastes, and with them the reformatory spirit, propagated by Erasmus.

      *[Erasmus himself visited Oxford as early as 1497, where he made the acquaintance of Colet, Linacre, Sir Thomas More and others.  He subsequently became the Lady Margaret professor of divinity and also professor of Greek at Cambridge, under the auspices of Fisher, president of Queens’ College (1505–1508), and bishop of Rochester (1504–1535).  Another Cambridge worthy was George Stafford, whose lectures in divinity had produced a mighty change in the course of study pursued by Latimer: see the account prefixed to Latimer’s Remains, p. xxvii. ed. P. S.]


      Thirdly, the direct influence which had been exerted by the circulation in England of Lutheran tracts* and other publications tending to produce analogous results.

      *[As early as 1520 Polydore Vergil mentions the importation of a great number of “Lutheran books” (Hist. Angl. Lib. XXVII. p. 57 : this part of the work is misplaced in the Leyden edition of 1651).  In 1521 Cardinal Wolsey issued a mandate ‘de extradendis M. Lutheri libris”; see Wilkins, Concil. III. 690 sq. and Audin, Hist. de Henri VIII. I. 275.  Other proceedings of the same kind were instituted in 1526, and one of Wolsey’s latest admonitions to his royal master was “on God’s name, that he have a vigilant eye to depresse this newe sorte of Lutherans”; Cavendish, Life of Wolsey, p. 272, new ed. Lond. 1852.]


      The first of these three causes would naturally operate most in the immediate atmosphere of the court.  It was, however, by no means restricted to that narrow circle: it affected also a large knot of bishops,* who, while they abandoned their belief in the papal supremacy almost without a scruple, could see nothing to amend in other dogmas authorized, or commonly advocated, in the whole of Western Christendom.  The second cause was felt especially among the thoughtful and more earnest class of academics,** whose extended knowledge of antiquity had strengthened their distaste for mere scholasticism, had widened the horizon of their theological studies, and impelled them to more sedulous investigation of the Bible and the Early Fathers.  Such pursuits, however, had not seriously weakened their attachment to the hierarchy, the service books, or ritual institutions of the English Church.  The third of these causes, harmonizing it would seem with trains of thought and feeling already generated by the Lollard movement, was more popular in its form and sometimes threatened to be democratic in its growth and operation.  It would act most beneficially indeed so long as it gave prominence to sacred truths which had been grievously displaced or half-forgotten during the inertness of the Middle Ages; but its balance was destroyed, and therefore it became the parent of disorder and confusion, when it afterwards endeavoured to effect the violent eradication of whatever had been associated in the public mind with superstitions and abuses.

      *[The bishops with the exception of Fisher acquiesced in all the earlier changes brought about under Henry VIII.  In the words of Pugin, Earnest Address on the Establishment of the Hierarchy (Lond. 1851), “the remonstrance” of Fisher was “unsupported by his colleagues” (p. 2), and “a catholic nation” was “betrayed by a corrupted catholic hierarchy.”  Some of them evinced no ordinary share of zeal and learning in defense of their new opinions.  See, for instance, Bp. Gardiner’s “oration” (1535) De Vera Obedientia (in Brown’s Fasciculus, II. 802 sq.: cf. Maitland’s Essays on the Reformation, No. xvii.  No. xviii. respecting the Preface), and Bp. Tunstall’s remarkable sermon against the papal supremacy (1539), reprinted in 1823.  The former of these prelates very stoutly defends the title “summum in terris caput Ecclesiae Anglicanae” as applied to Henry VIII, laying special stress, however (p. 810), on the phrase in terris, and also on the epithet Anglicanae.]

      **[Above.  At the close of the 15th century, Dean Colet, whose life by Knight presents an excellent picture of this class of minds, revived the practice of lecturing at Oxford on Holy Scripture instead of the Schoolmen (cf. Luther’s method, above).  He was also thoroughly Erasmian in his advocacy of the Greek language; and Henry VIII rendered valuable service to the same cause by a mandate which he transmitted to Oxford in 1519: see Warton, Engl. Poetry, III. 5, 6, Lond. 1840.]


      Out of these threefold agencies, combined as they have been and modified through combination, rose the complex structure known as the “Reformed Church of England,” whose eventful history has therefore ever since exhibited the operation of various elements, instinct with life and spirit, but imperfectly adapted and attempered to each other.  The Reformers based their work upon the principle that Christian nations, and consequently national churches, do not owe allegiance, as a matter of Divine right, to any foreign potentate whatever [See above.]; – thus recovering* on the one side the idea of royal supremacy as it was exercised of old by men like Constantine, Justinian or Charlemagne, and on the other side maintaining the competency of domestic synods to correct all deviations from the ancient faith which may exist within the limits of their own jurisdiction.  The Reformers, in the second place, secured the oneness of the Modern with the Mediaeval church of England by preserving the continuity of its organization, by unbroken ties of holy orders, by innumerable traditions of thought and sentiment, of faith, of feeling and of ritual, such especially as the Prayer Book has retained in common with the service books of other churches.  In the third place, the Reformers openly directed their appeal to the intelligence and reasoning powers no less than to the conscience of the individual churchman, affirming the necessity of personal faith in God and personal fellowship with Christ, the new Man from heaven, insisting on the right of each who has been gifted with the critical faculty to ascertain the real basis of his creed, and thus connecting a revival of religion with the growth of intellectual freedom and the onward march of man and of society.

      *[Gardiner in his De Vera Obedientia (Brown, II. 808) has many striking observations on this point: e.g. “Nam quemadmodum apud jurisconsultos, ut loquuntur ipsi, jurisdictiones interdum variae ab eodem manantes non se invicem perimunt, sed mutuis auxiliis consistentes concurrunt: sic quod Apostolis et iis, qui in eorum locum succedunt, regimen Ecclesiae committitur, nulla in parte id quod ante a Deo principibus commissum est, tollere, minuereve censeatur.  Neque minor sane est parochi cura parochianorum, quod curare etiam debet episcopus, nec episcopi jurisdictio ideo nulla putetur, quod superiorem agnoscat archiepiscopum. ... Quemadmodum itaque iis suo quisque munere fungens, non detrahere sibi invicem, sed auxiliari videtur, sic quod Apostolis, et qui in eorum locum succedunt, regimen Ecclesiae commissum reperitur, id quod antea a Deo principibus commissum est, haudquaquam tollitur.”  He afterwards asks (p. 811): “Quoties autem legimus causas haereseos apud Caesares et principes agitates, ipsorumque examine discussas fuisse?  Si antiques retro principum leges excutiemus, quam multas reperiemus ad religionem et Ecclesiam pertinentes ipsorum regnm jussu et autoritate latas, promulgatas, ac demandatas executioni?”]


      The Reformation in this country did not spring, like the analogous events of Germany and Switzerland, from any single leader, though it also was considerably affected in its earlier stages by the force of one great impulse.  To understand the proximate causes of the change, we must revert to a collision that commenced in 1527 between the English monarch and the pontiff touching the Romish doctrine of divorce.*  The eldest son of Henry VII, prince Arthur, was married Nov. 14, 1501, to Catharine, daughter of Ferdinand king of Aragon.  The prince,** however, died in the following April, and his thrifty father, unwilling to restore the dowry of so great an heiress, succeeded in procuring a bull of dispensation*** from pope Julius II (Dec. 26, 1503) for the sake of marrying Catharine to his other son, the future Henry VIII.  The parties were accordingly affianced, and their nuptials ultimately solemnized (June 3, 1509), soon after the accession of the royal bridegroom to the throne of his father (April 22).  One daughter, Mary, born on the 18th of Feb. 1516, was the sole surviving issue of the union; and for this cause either alone, or as combined with others,*4 it was rumoured in the summer of 1527 that Henry had become dissatisfied with his position, and intended to divulge his scruples to the pontiff in the hope of obtaining an immediate divorce.  The tedious negotiations that ensued were still further complicated by manoeuvres of cardinal Wolsey*5 on the one side and of Catharine’s imperial nephew Charles V upon the other.  But Henry had at length the satisfaction of ascertaining that his case would be adjudged in London, Wolsey and another legate, the cardinal Campeggio,*6 being the appointed arbitrators.  After fresh evasions and delays, both Catharine and himself appeared in open court*7 at the house of the Black Friars, June 21, 1529.  It was now currently reported that some regular sentence of divorce was on the eve of publication; but on the 23rd of July, Campeggio alleging the practice of the Roman consistory, adjourned the court for vacation until the following October, and in the mean time Catharine had received express permission from Clement VII*8 to carry her appeal to Rome.*9

      *[The following extract is taken from an Apology for king Henry VIII, written in 1547 by William Thomas: “For, incontinently after Campegio’s departure [Oct. 15291 the kynge assailed in conscience of his first divorced matrimonye, both by the law of God, and also by the publique consent of the whole church of England, and hys barons and hys commons, proceded unto his second matrymonye, without farther bribe or sute unto the pope, so that Clement seyng hys lyne broken, and the fish escaped with the hooke or bayte, like a mad ragyng dog vomited his fulminacions, and by consistorial sentence excommunicated both kynge and country; affirmyng that the kynge began to rebell against the Romayne see, for none other reason but because hys holy fatherhed woulde not graunte hym the licence of the new marage.”  Quoted in Cavendish, Life of Wolsey, p. 143, Lond. 1852.]

      **[That the marriage was never actually consummated is urged by Roman Catholic historians: e.g. Audin, Hist. de Henri VIII. I. 53.  It is so stated by King Ferdinand; Pocock, Records of the Reformation, II. 426.]

      ***[Reprinted in Audin, I. 543, 544.  The ostensible object of the pope was to cement a union between the kingdoms of Spain and England.  But for some cause or other Henry VII afterwards changed his mind, and before the prince was old enough to ratify the contract, forced him to declare against it.  The marriage was accordingly suspended till the death of Henry VII, which occurred April 21, 1509.]

      *4[Many persons, as Dodd remarks (Church Hist. ed. Tierney, I. 176, Lond. 1839), believed that Anne Boleyn, whom Henry afterwards married, “stood behind the curtain all the while”; but the same writer proceeds to state that in his opinion other motives had “concurred to carry on the divorce”.  Wolsey is very often charged with being the real instigator of it (see Turner, Modern Hist. of England, II. 146 sq. Lond. 1828, and the note in p. 118 of Cavendish, Life of Card. Wolsey, Lond. 1852); while Cardinal Pole unhesitatingly affirms that the idea was originally suggested to Henry by certain obscure divines whom Anne Boleyn sent to him for that purpose: cf. Audin, I. 387.  The spirit in which Henry commenced the process may perhaps be more truly gathered from the answer he addressed to Clerk, bishop of Bath: “The bull is good or it is naught.  If it be naught let it be so declared; and if it be good, it shall never be broken by no ways for me.”  Turner, Ibid. p. 162.]

      *5[Whatever may have been Wolsey’s first impressions, a long letter which he wrote Dec. 5, 1527, contains the strongest arguments that could be urged in favour of the divorce (see it in Burnet, “Records,” Vol. 1. No. III.  Lond. 1681).  Partly through his efforts and partly through those of Gardiner who went to Rome upon the same business, the pope was actually induced to admit the justice of Henry’s cause and thus to recognize the invalidity of the marriage (July 23, 1528); though his dread of the emperor soon afterwards constrained him to repudiate the admission: cf. Turner, I. 223, 257, on the one side, with Audin, I. 456, on the other.]

      *6[Henry had in 1524 conferred on him the bishopric of Salisbury (Godwin, De Praesulibus, p. 353, Cantab. 1743); and on other grounds it was expected by the courtiers that his judgment would be favourable.  He arrived in England at the close of September, 1528.]

      *7[See the full and interesting report in Stow’s Annales, pp. 540 sq. Lond. 1631.  The King’s principal advocate was Sampson, afterwards bishop of Chichester, and author in 1535 of a short treatise De Vera Obedientia Regi praestanda (in Brown’s Fascic. II. 820).  On the side of Catharine, the leaders were Fisher, bishop of Rochester, and doctors Standish and Ridley, the last being uncle of the great reformer (Cavendish, Life of Wolsey, p. 127, Lond. 1852).  The archbishop, Warham, who had originally objected to the marriage, yielded when the dispensation was issued, and afterwards inclined to the side of Catharine.]

      *8[Clement, during his struggle with Charles (above), earnestly implored the help of Henry VIII, but the latter excused himself upon the ground that the war between the emperor and the pope was “not for the faith, but for temporal possessions.”  Turner, II. 104, note.]

      *9[Dodd, I. 196, note.  In the same work will be found, “Appendix,” No. XIX. the bull of Clement (March 7, 1530), forbidding Henry to contract a second marriage, until the first shall have been judicially and properly annulled, as also No. XXXIV. the definitive bull (March 23, 1534) declaring the original marriage to be valid.  A large number of documents on the History of the Divorce are given in the Appendices to Burnet; by Mr. Pocock in his Records of the Reformation, Oxford, 1870; and by Theiner in his Vetera Monumenta Hibernorum et Scotorum, Rome, 1864.]


      The spirit of the English monarch was by nature vehement and boisterous, fiery and impatient of control.  He had preserved, however, a large amount of moderation [E.g. at the outset of the negotiations he declared that having had patience for eighteen years, he would “stay yet four or five more”.  Turner, II. 162.] during the years already wasted in the prosecution of his object, yet no sooner did he hear of the last formidable obstruction than the storm of his displeasure burst, and lighted irretrievably upon the head of the favourite, Wolsey.*  It is a remarkable symptom of the times that in disgracing his old minister, Henry VIII had the boldness to employ a weapon which had been provided to his hands among the ancient statutes of the realm, – one of the acts of Praemunire,** which required that no papal bull should be executed in England till the royal license was obtained; whereas the lawyers in conducting the impeachment most unscrupulously contended that the cardinal in exercising his legatine functions had omitted to obtain such license, and had therefore placed himself within the range of a tremendous penalty.

      *[See Cavendish, Life of Wolsey, pp. 158 sq, Lond. 1852.  Although his property was confiscated, he was left in possession of the sees of York and Winchester: see Herbert’s Life of Henry VIII. p. 67, Lond. 1672.]

      **[Stat. 16 Rich. II. c. 5, in Stephens’ Eccl. Statutes, I. 89 sq.  The effect of the enactment (Ibid. p. 94, n. 1) was to put the persons attainted in a writ of praemunire out of the King’s protection, thus disabling them from having any action or remedy by the King’s law or the King’s writs, and confiscating all their lands and tenements, goods and chattels to the Crown.  In the present case, however, Wolsey was provided with the King’s license under the great seal, and therefore one main charge of his accusers fell entirely to the ground (Cavendish, p. 196).  He was at last accused of a treasonable correspondence with foreign states (Turner, II. 297), and died on his way to London, Nov. 29, 1530.]


      A progress made by Henry at this juncture was the means of introducing to his notice the man who was to take the most prominent, if not the most influential, place in the earlier proceedings of the English Reformation.  Thomas Cranmer [See Strype’s Memorials of Archbp. Cranmer (ed. E. H. S.), Oil. 1848–1854, and Le Bas, Life of Archbp. Cranmer, Lond. 1833.] was born at Aslacton in Nottinghamshire, July 2, 1489.  At the age of fourteen he proceeded to Jesus College, Cambridge, where after passing through the ordinary course of study* he applied himself in 1519** to a closer examination of Holy Scripture, and advanced to the degree of doctor of divinity in 1523.  When Henry, five years later, had determined to consult the principal universities at home and on the continent*** in order that he might if possible be armed with verdicts in his favour, Cambridge was included in the list, and Cranmer’s name among the doctors chosen to discuss the problem.  He did not, however, join in the proceedings, [Le Bas, I. 32.  For documents relating to the decisions of the English Universities, see Burnet, “Records,” Vol. III. No. XVI. and Dodd, I. 369 sq.] owing to his absence from the university: but in 1529 on meeting Gardiner and others of the royal retinue at Waltham in Essex*4 he expressed himself so clearly on the subjects uppermost in the mind of all, both canonists and courtiers, that Henry was induced to send for him*5 and ultimately acted on his counsels.  These were that the final adjudication of the controversy should be guided by the verdicts of the universities, without submitting it afresh to the chicanery of pontiffs like Clement VII.  The Cambridge doctor then proceeded to develope his ideas on the papal supremacy, concluding that in cases like the present where the dispensation was believed to be at variance with the word of God, and the decisions of Councils and Fathers, it must be treated as completely null and void.  He next consented to appear as one of the advocates of this principle at Rome itself,*6 where he resided with the king’s ambassador in 1530 for the sake of mastering the repugnance, or of quieting the apprehensions of the pope.

      *[According to Strype, he was “nursled in the grossest kind of sophistry, logic, philosophy moral and natural: not in the text of the old philosophers, but chiefly in the dark riddles of Duns, and other subtile questionists.”  In 1511 he seems to have formed his great acquaintance with the writings of Erasmus (p. 3).]

      **[Long before this date (circ. 1514) he married, and forfeited his fellowship at Jesus College, to which he had been elected in 1512.  He was restored, however, on the death of his wife, which occurred within one year afterwards.  On graduating in divinity, he was made “praelector theologicus” of his college.  Some additional light is thrown upon Cranmer’s boyhood by the narrative of his secretary, Ralph Morice, used occasionally by Strype, and of which an extract is printed in the British Magazine, Vol. XXXVI. pp. 165–169.  Much of the archbishop’s diffidence and timidity is traceable to “a marvellous severe and cruell schoolmaster.”]

      ***[Cavendish, Life of Wolsey, pp. 119, 120; who adds that diverse commissioners were incontinent appointed to this matter, who were divided as some to Oxonforde, some to Cambridge, some to Lovaine, some to Paris, some to Orleaunce, some to Bononye, and some to Padway, and so forthe.’ Eight of these foreign determinations, bearing date 1529 and 1530, are printed in Burnet, Records,’ Vol. II. No. xxxxv.. cf. Dodd, I. 200 sq.’Turner, 11..174, note, on the question as to whether any of the universities were blinded by bribes.]

      *4[See the printed account of Morice, as above.  After informing us that “Dr. Stephens [Gardiner], the King’s secretary, and Dr. Fox, almosyner to the King,” were “the great and only chief doers of the King’s said cause at that time,” he adds that they and Cranmer were “of old acquaintance, and meeting together the first night at supper, had familiar talk concerning the University of Cambridge, and so entering into further communication, they debated among themselves that great and weighty cause of the King’s divorcement.”  It would seem, however, that the plan had been suggested to the king by Robert Wakefield and considered by the bishops as early as 1527.  See J. H. Blunt, Reformation of the Church of England, Oxford, 1869, pp. 129, 132.]

      *5[Strype, I. 6.  Cranmer was now consigned to the hospitality of Thomas Boleyn, earl of Wiltshire, a distinguished scholar and correspondent of Erasmus, and father of Anne Boleyn, the next queen of Henry.  He there composed his earliest treatise on the great question of the day, contending that marriage with a brother’s widow is contrary to the law of God.  The work, however, appears to be lost: see Dr. Jeukyns’ Pref. to his edition of Cranmer’s Remains, p. viii. Oxf. 1833.]

      *6[Strype, I. 17 sq.  In July, 1582, we find him at Nuremberg (Seckendorf, lib. III. p. 41, col. 1) labouring to win over the Lutheran princes who had hitherto been adverse to the project of his royal master (Le Bas, I. 40, 41).]


      The death of archbishop Warham, which occurred August 23, 1532, resulted in Cranmer’s elevation to the primacy of England.  At first indeed he hesitated,* owing partly to his constitutional diffidence and partly to his foresight of the dangers that were thickening on his path; but on the 30th of March, 1533, he was consecrated at St Stephen’s, Westminster.  Soon afterwards (May 23) he ventured to assert the independence of the English Church more plainly by pronouncing that the marriage of Henry with Catharine of Aragon had been invalid from the very first.**  These symptoms of hostility to Rome had been accompanied by a series of parliamentary enactments,*** which not only forbade the payment of annates to the pope, and all appeal to his tribunals, but in 1534 entirely extirpated his jurisdiction with regard to other matters.

      *[Strype, I. 31 sq.  Le Bas, I. 51 sq.: cf. Dodd, I. 212 sq.  Before his consecration, where, according to the Mediaeval form, he had to take an oath of fidelity to the pontiff, he stated in the most public manner under what limitations he recognized the jurisdiction of the Roman Church.  See the documents in Strype, I. Append. No. V. sq.  One of the limitations stood as follows: “Et quod non intendo per hujusmodi juramentum aut juramenta, quovismodo me obligare, quominus libere loqui, consulere, et consentire valeam, in omnibus et singulis, reformationem religionis Christianae, gubernationem Ecclesiae Anglicanae, aut praerogativam coronae ejusdem, reipublicaeve commoditatem, quoquomodo concernentibus,” ete.: cf. Gardiner’s view of the same oath, De Vera Obedientia, p. 819.]

      **[See the sentence in Wilkins, III. 759.  Henry had been already married privately to Anne Boleyn (Jan. 25, 1533).  Cranmer was not present at the ceremony (see Strype, I. 35, but on the 28th of May he gave sentence in confirmation of the marriage.  The fact that the princess Elizabeth was born on the 7th of the following September has naturally created a presumption adverse to the character of the new queen.  For examples of the state of public feeling when the marriage was announced, see Original Letters, ed Ellis, II. 41 sq.  Lond. 1825.]

      ***[Stat. 23 Hen. VIII. c. 20 (A.D. 1531); 24 Hen. VIII. c. 12 (A.D. 1532); 25 Hen. VIII. c. 20, c. 21 (A.D. 1533).]


      We have seen that long before this rupture numerous indications had been given of Henry’s purpose to curtail as far as possible the privileges of the ecclesiastics, [Above.] and the stirring circumstances in which he had been placed would naturally suggest the thought of dealing a still heavier blow.  Accordingly we find him ready to maintain as early as 1531 and during the primacy of Warham, [On Warham’s opinion touching the royal supremacy, see Strype, I. 29, 30.] that all the members of the English priesthood in admitting the claims of Wolsey to the exercise of legatine functions had so acted as to have incurred the penalty of Praemunire.  This penalty, however, with his characteristic insincerity, the monarch now proposed to mitigate [See Burnet, I. 106 sq., Dodd, I. 232 sq.  The province of Canterbury paid £100,000, and that of York, £18,840.] on the payment of exorbitant fines and with the understanding that his ecclesiastical supremacy should in future be more plainly recognized by all orders and estates of Englishmen.  In furtherance of the latter object he assumed the title “sole protector and supreme head of the Church.”*  But members of Convocation who manifested very slight reluctance with regard to other changes would not tamely acquiesce at once in this exorbitant demand of Henry.  The subject was repeatedly discussed in the southern province (1531), and after a debate of three days, it was determined that the title “Supreme head on earth of the Church of England” could only be accepted with the limiting condition “so far as may be consistent with the Law of Christ”** (“quantum per Christi legem licet”).  The act of Parliament,*** however, by which this title was secured to Henry VIII, in 1533, materially determined the future conduct and complexion of the English Reformation.  It vested in the crown one class of rights and functions which the Roman pontiff and his agents had previously usurped, though not indeed without continual murmurs, expostulations, and rebuffs.  Ecclesiastics were constrained in future to acknowledge the ultimate jurisdiction of domestic courts:*4 they were to recognize no earthly sovereign, master, or superior, beyond the confines of the English monarchy: they were disabled from meeting in their convocations, or provincial synods, until the metropolitans who summoned them obtained a special license from the crown.*5

      *[Kings were in olden times not unfrequently spoken of as “patroni” of the Church.  The writers in behalf of the “Gallican Liberties” have especially drawn attention to such expressions, and have pointed out cases where the King was called “chef terrien de l’esglise,” “chef-protecteur,” and the like.  See Twysden, Vindication of the Church, pp. 125 sq.  Such titles were, however, open to objections on the score of profanity; and with regard to that of “supreme head,” queen Elizabeth formally disclaimed it, substituting for it “supreme governor”: cf. Article XXXVII. of 1562 with Article XXXVI. of 1552, and see Zurich Letters, ed. P. S. I. 24, 33.  Archbp. Parker (Correspondence, p. 479) still “feared the prerogative was not so great as Cecil’s pen had given it her.”]

      **[See Burnet, I. 112, 113, and Dodd, p. 234, with the editor’s note.  The acknowledgement of the title thus modified was made in the convocation of Canterbury, March 22, and in that of York, May 4, 1531.  Fitzherbert, Coke, and other lawyers maintain that the enactment passed at this juncture (1534: Stat. 26 Hen. VIII. c. 1) to confirm Henry’s view of the royal supremacy, was but declaratory of the old common law of England: see Bramhall, Just Vindication, Works, I. 151, 152, Oxf. 1842.  And that the subversion of all church authority was not contemplated is obvious from the fact that the oath of supremacy was now taken by Fisher of Rochester, and in all probability by Reginald Pole.]

      ***[This is the celebrated Act known as the “Submission of the Clergy,” (i.e. their submitting to be prosecuted under the praemunire): see Stat. 25 Hen. VIII. c. 19; in which it is observable that the limiting clause “quantum per Christi legem licet” had been fraudulently suppressed.]

      *4[Polydore Vergil, the Italian, who was then archdeacon of Wells (Angl. Hist. lib. XXVII. p. 86*, Lugd. Batav. 1651), refers to these changes in the following words: “Interea habetur concilium Londini, in quo Ecclesia Anglicans formam potestatis nullis ante temporibus visam induit.  Henricus enim rex caput ipsius Ecclesiae constituitur, eique ob id munus primi fructus omnium sacerdotiorum vacantium ac eorundem decimae quotannis perpetuae assignantur [26 Hen. VIII. c. 3].  Item causarum modus ponitur, ut reus primo provocare deberet ad episcopum, deinde ad archiepiscopum, et postremo ad ipsum regem [i.e. in Chancery, or to a Court of Delegates appointed by the King, Stat. 25 Hen. VIII. c. 19, § 4]; quo sic in ulla administratione rerum, quiae ad Ecclesiam pertinerent, Romani pontificis auctoritate minime opus foret.”]

      *5[On the early records of the Convocation, see Middle Age, p. 240, n. 1, and Lathbury’s Hist. of the Convocation, 2nd ed. Anterior to 1533 (i.e. to the passing of the Stat. 25 Hen. VIII. c. 19), the archbishop of each province could assemble his provincial synod at his pleasure, the sovereign also having the right to summon the clergy of both provinces by a royal writ to parliament; and likewise to direct the summoning of the convocations by the archbishops.  The latter was indeed thought by some to be an infringement of the liberty of the Church (see an example belonging to the fourteenth century in Carte, Hist. of England, II. 333), but still the mandates of the king were continually issued.  In 1533 it was determined (1) that convocation can only be assembled by the king’s writ; (2) that before proceeding to “attempt, alledge, claim, or put in ure, or enact, promulge or execute any new canons, constitutions, ordinance provincial or other,” an additional license must be obtained from the crown; (3) that such canons and constitutions must be formally sanctioned by the same authority.]


      It is indeed unquestionable that Henry VIII, although he fortified his chief positions by adducing precedents from Mediaeval history, was nevertheless outstripping all his English predecessors, and was bent on stretching the royal prerogative as far as ever he was able.*  The plainest indication of this tendency was given when he appointed Thomas Cromwell, a politician trained under the eye of Wolsey, to be his own vicegerent, or vicar-general, in ecclesiastical matters (1535).  Still in 1534 when the extravagant pretensions of the papacy were openly called in question and submitted to the test of Holy Scripture, Henry was inclined to pay more deference to the English convocations than to the English parliament; regarding the inquiry as ecclesiastical or spiritual, and therefore being anxious to secure the cooperation not only of the church legislature, but of all the other institutions which were thought to represent that branch of “the body politic” called “the spirituality”. [See the extract given above.]  Actuated by such feelings he consulted both the southern and northern convocation, the universities, the cathedral chapters, and the conventual establishments, all of which with only a few dissentient** voices answered, that the Roman pontiff was not authorized by Holy Scripture in putting forth his claim to jurisdiction within the realm of England.***  In 1534, however, the Reformation was still barely dawning on the country.  Those who led the anti-papal movement had no very clear intention of proceeding further, so as to remove the mass of errors and abuses handed down from the Middle Age.  The first act of Parliament “concerning restraint of payments” to the see of Rome, declares*4 that “our said sovereign the king and all his natural subjects, as well spiritual as temporal,” continued to be “as obedient, devout, catholic and humble children of God and holy Church as any people be within any realm christened”; and for several years after this enactment few and fitful are the auguries of reformation visible in that quarter.  The archbishop, it is true, had himself broken through the law enforcing clerical celibacy, and had married for his second wife (1532) the niece of Osiander, the distinguished Lutheran of Nuremberg; [See above, and Le Bas, I. 47.  In 1534 he privately sent for her to England, where she remained till 1539.] yet little or no evidence exists to prove that when the papal supremacy was abolished either he*5 or any of the king’s advisers were contemplating deeper changes in the ecclesiastical system of the realm.  The alienation of Erasmus [See above.] from the continental reformers must have also operated powerfully among his friends in England, counteracting numerous tendencies to reformation which he may have excited there, and more especially augmenting the distrust of Lutheran principles.

      *[Thus in the Stat. 26 Hen. VIII. c. 1, the parliament empowered him to visit, repress and reform “all such errors, heresies, abuses, offences, contempts, and enormities, whatsoever they be, which by any manner spiritual authority or jurisdiction ought or may lawfully be reformed,” &c.  Visitors (like the “Missi” of Charlemagne) were appointed under this act, and during their visitation the bishops were restrained from the exercise of ecclesiastical jurisdiction (see the document in Wilkins, III. 797).  At the same time Commissions were issued by the king to some of the bishops, possibly to all, empowering them to exercise jurisdiction within their dioceses: one of many illustrations of the temporary confusion produced in men’s minds respecting the nature, source and limits of spiritual and secular authority: cf. Cranmer’s Works, ed. Jenkyns, II. 101, 102.  Two years later (Stat. 28 Hen. VIII. c. 10) the “oath of supremacy” was drawn up, and all officers, civil and ecclesiastical, the clergy at their ordination, and members of the universities about to graduate, were compelled to take it, under pain of treason: cf. the expanded form of the oath in Stat. 35 Hen. VIII. c. 1. § xi.]

      **[One of these dissentients was the venerable Fisher, bp. of Rochester, who was beheaded soon afterwards (June 22, 1535) upon a charge of high treason.  His main crime was that he refused to be sworn to an oath in conformity with Stat. 25 Hen. VIII. c. 22, binding him to maintain the succession of Ann Boleyn’s children, and thereby declaring the absolute nullity of Henry’s marriage with Catharine of Aragon.  The next victim of that act was Sir Thomas More, beheaded July 6, 1535.  See Burnet, Ii. 155 sq., Audin, II. 126–180, Turner, II. 370 sq.  Both of them, as we know from one of Cranmer’s letters, written in their behalf (Strype, I. 339, 340), were willing to be sworn to the oath itself, but would not accept the preamble.]

      ***[See the documents in Wilkins, III. 748 sq.  Rymer’s Foedera, &c. XIV. 487 sq. ed. 1728.  Hall, the chronicler, in speaking of these enactments and decrees, gives utterance to a feeling which must have been very general: “By the which,” he says, “the pope, with all his college of cardinals, with all their pardons and indulgences, was utterly abolished out of this realm.  God be everlastingly praised therefore”: cf. Dodd’s method of accounting for the acquiescence of the English people, I. 243, 244.]

      *4[Stat. 23 Hen. VIII. c. 20: cf. 25 Hen. VIII. c. 21, § xix. where it is affirmed that the country had no intention ‘ to decline or vary from the congregation of Christ’s Church, in any things concerning the very articles of the Catholic faith of Christendom.’ The same feelings are more largely expressed in bp. Tunstall’s letter to Pole (dated July 13, 1536: Burnet, Vol. in. ‘ Records,’ No. mi.), with reference to the cardinal’s harsh and unscrupulous treatise, De Unitate Ecclesiastica (1535); on the history of which, see Scheihorn, Amcenitates Hist. Rect. 1. 11-190, Franoof. 1737.]

      *5[For example, Cranmer participated in the condemnation of John Frith, who was burnt at Smithfield, July 4, 1533.  “His said opynyon,” writes the archbishop (June 17), “ys of suche nature that he thoughte it not necessary to be beleved as an Article of our faythe, that ther ys the very corporall presence of Christe within the Oste and Sacramente of the Alter, and holdethe of this poynte muste [most] after the opynion of OEcolampadious” [above]: Original Letters, ed. Ellis, II. 40, Lond. 1825.  Many of Frith’s writings were published in Vol. III. of the Works of the English and Scotch Reformers, ed. Russell, Lond. 1829.  He also distinguished himself by his denunciations of the received doctrine of purgatory in reply to Sir Thomas More’s Supplication of the poor silly souls puling out of Purgatory, which in its turn was an answer to the lampoon entitled The Supplication of the Beggars by Simon Fish (reprinted, from Foxe, in Dodd’s Ch. Hist. II. 419 sq.).]


      A party favourable to such changes did, however, gradually emerge and rise into importance.  The same year that witnessed the commencement of Henry’s negotiations with the pontiff (1527) was marked by the appearance of a small cluster of students at Oxford,* fascinated by the German theology.  They seem to have been principally inmates of Corpus Christi College, which may therefore be regarded as the cradle of the new generation of reformers.  At Cambridge also men like Thomas Bilney,** who was charged with Lollardism and burnt in 1532, betrayed a growing predilection for the new opinions.  One characteristic of this party was their wish to see the study of the Bible generally revived: and on the appearance of Tyndale’s version [See above.  His translation, of which two Gospels appeared at Hamburg in 1524, is reprinted in Bagster’s English Hexapla, from the Worms edition of 1526.] of the New Testament, notwithstanding all attempts to put it down,*** the fermentation which had hitherto existed chiefly in the Universities was rapidly diffused through all classes of society.  It is remarkable that one of the first overtures made by Henry to the German princes, who upon the basis of the Confession of Augsburg had entered into an alliance known as the Schmalkaldic league, occurred in the eventful year 1534.  His main object was undoubtedly political [Strype, Eccl. Memor. I. 225–228. Lond. 1721.] yet, by inviting Melanchthon more than once to England,*4 he manifested a less warlike disposition than his previous fulminations would have led us to expect.  In the same year also Cranmer actually prevailed upon the convocation of Canterbury to join him in requesting that Henry would authorize an English version*5 of the Bible for general distribution, – one example where the various lines of thought, the Mediaeval and Reforming, promised to converge and harmonize more fully.

      *[The predilection for Lutheranism was nowhere shewn more strongly “than in the Cardinals College, and particularly by the members who had been received into it from Cambridge [cf. Le Bas, Life of Cranmer, I. 30].  Among these members, John Clark had a right of claiming the precedence”: Fiddes, Life of Cardinal Wolsey, p. 416, Lond. 1724.  They studied Luther’s own books.]

      **[The fullest account of him is by Foxe, pp. 998 sq. ed. 1583.  Bilney seems to have exerted great influence on the training of bishop Latimer, and also of archbishop Parker.  He was first prosecuted for heresy in 1527, before Tunstall, then bishop of London, but escaped by recanting.]

      ***[E.g. A royal proclamation was issued I 1530 “for dampning of erroneous bokes and heresies and prohibitinge the havinge of Holy Scripture translated into the vulgar tonges of Englische, Frenche or Dutche,” etc. (pinted in Notes and Queries, 1st S. VII. Pp. 422, 423.  Before this date, however, constant efforts had been made to suppress all copies of Tyndale’s translation (Foxe, p. 1077).  Of the first edition (1525), which contained 3000 copies, only one is at present known to exist.  But from that time until the year 1611, when our authorized version was put fort, no less than 278 editions of the Bible and New Testament in English issued from the press: Bible of Every Land, p. 163.]

      *4[“Ego jam alteris literis in Angliam vocor,” writes Melanchthon in March, 1534: Opp. ed. Bretsch. II. 708.  See other exemplifications of this friendly feeling in  Laurence, Bampt. Lect.  Serm. I. n. 3: and cf. Ratzeberger’s cotemporaneous Handschrift, Gesch über Luther &c. pp. 79, 80, Jena, 1850.]

      *5[Le Bas, I. 106: and, on later translations, see Anderson, Annals of the English Bible, Lond. 1845.  The archbishop divided Tyndale’s translation of the New Testament into nine or ten parts, distributing these among the bishops for correction, and receiving favourable answers from most of them, Gardiner in the number.  On the other hand, Stokesley, bishop of London, who had already shewn his anti-reformation bias, refused to make his contribution, on the ground that the reading of the Scriptures was injurious to the laity; it “doth nothing else but infect them with heresy.”  The court perhaps shared this feeling, since Cranmer’s design appears for the present to have miscarried.  The whole Bible in English was, however, privately published by Coverdale in the following year (1535).  In the June of 1536, the Convocation repeated their request to Henry, and in 1537 we find Cranmer presenting to the monarch with his approbation an English Bible “of a new translation and a new print,” usually entitled Matthew’s Bible, but in reality the work of Tyndale, Coverdale and Rogers.  Two years later (1539) the same version considerably revised was issued with an able Preface by Cranmer himself, and is therefore commonly known as “Cranmer’s,” or “The Great Bible”.  This publication was fully sanctioned by the crown, but in 1542, when the anti-reformation party obtained a fresh ascendancy at court, an act of Parliament was passed (34 and 35 Hen. VIII. c. 1), interdicting the perusal of the New Testament in English to women and artificers, ’prentices, journeymen, serving men of the degree of yeomen or under, husbandmen and labourers.]


      But in order that the future course of our inquiry may be cleared and simplified, it must be carefully remembered that in England, as in continental states, a revolutionary party had been fostered in the very shadow of the Reformation.  They are distinguished for the most part by their general name of Anabaptists.*  Many of their tenets coincide with extreme positions of the Lollards, and it is consequently hard to say, in the case of England, how far the startling eccentricities that meet us at the very outbreak of the Reformation were of native growth, or were imported by the Anabaptist refugees from Germany and the Netherlands.  As early as 1536 the southern convocation,** which assembled on the 9th of June, had found it necessary to deal with this class [See the list of “mala dogmata” in Wilkins, III. 804.] of questions among others.  The manifesto then authorized may be regarded as the starting point of the English Reformation, and is certainly a faithful index of the sentiments that actuated the more zealous and intelligent members of the Church.  It is entitled Articles to stablyshe Christen quietnes and unitie amonge us, and to avoyde contentious opinions. [Reprinted, with collations of the different texts, in Hardwick’s Hist. of the Articles, Appendix I.]  After much discussion;*** managed on the one side by the primate and on the other by Stokesley bishop of London, Henry himself through his vicegerent interposing not a few suggestions, [Hardwick, as above, pp. 39-41.] a compromise appears to have been effected between the two great parties in the house; for with the almost solitary exception of Gardiner, bishop of Winchester, the leading representatives in convocation eventually subscribed the formulary.*4  The names of Lee, archbishop of York, and Tunstall, bishop of Durham, are also included in the list as third and fifth subscribers.  It is, however, next to certain that the northern province, where the great majority of the people were averse to all dogmatic changes, and even to the abolition of the papal monarchy, [Wilkins, III. 812: Strype’s Eccl. Mem. I. 247, 248, Lond. 1721.] had not assented to the Articles of 1536.  On the contrary, some of the bolder malcontents, both priests and laymen, hearing that “several bishops had made a change in the fundamental doctrines,” laboured to excite an insurrection, which could only be appeased by announcing that such alterations were regularly effected, and by exhibiting the autograph subscriptions of the church authorities. *5

      *[Traces of them in England occur as early as 1536.  In 1538 a royal commission was directed against them (Oct. 1: Wilkins, III. 536), and Stow (p. 576) mentions the capture and execution (Nov. 27) of “Dutch Anabaptists”.  At a later period of the reign of Henry, and in that of Edward, swarms of them crossed the channel, “evil disposed people,” affirming “that England is at this day the harbour for all infidelity”: see a letter of Sir Thomas Chamberlayne, dated Brussels, June 7, 1551, in Tytler’s England under Edw. VI. &c. I. 379, 380.]

      **[Latimer, appointed to the see of Worcester (Aug. 1535), now appears among the leading prelates favourable to reformation (cf. above).  He preached the sermon at the opening of the Convocation (Sermons, pp. 33 sq. ed. P. S.), by the appointment of Cranmer.]

      ***[There is great uncertainty as to whether the debate reported in Foxe, pp. 1182 sq., took place on this occasion or in the following year (1537).  Baker, Notes on Burnet (of which extracts are printed in the British Magazine, XXXVI. 179), is of opinion that the meeting there alluded to was a mere “convention of bishops and divines,” entrusted with the preparation of the Institution of a Christian Man.  Ales or Alane (see above), who took part in the proceedings till silenced by Cranmer (Foxe, p. 1184), published an account of his discussion with Stokesley.  The title is On the auctorite of the Word of God, against the Bishop of London, said by the translator to have been the work of “Alexander Alane Scot” (there is a copy in the Bodleian Library).]

      *4[A facsimile of the signatures is prefixed to Vol. I. of Dodd’s Ch. Hist. ed. Tierney.  Cromwell, as the representative of Henry, is the first subscriber.]

      *5[Hardwick, as above, p. 50.  The agitation in Lincolnshire may have been exasperated by Bp. Longland’s mandate (Wilkins, III. 829) enjoining the clergy to avoid controversial topics, and to preach four times a year, “secundum Articulos, qui nuper per serenissimam regiam majestatem, ac totum hujus regni Angliae clerum in Convocatione sua sanoiti fuere.”  On earlier symptoms of rebellion in the North, see Turner, II, 296, 297.  The Yorkshire and Cumberland rebels, who were headed by Robert Aske and others, called their movement “an holy and blessed pilgrimage,” or “the pilgrimage of grace,” and were at one time so formidable as to make Henry think of reuniting himself with Rome (Ibid. p. 474, n. 21).  On their dispersion in the spring of 1537, very many of the leaders were put to death (Dodd, I. 266, 267), including the three abbots of Fountains, Jervaux, and Rievaux.]


      This document, if we consider it as a whole, retained  the animus of the Middle Ages.  Some indeed of the objectors noticed that allusion had been only made to three sacraments,* viz. baptism, penance, and the Eucharist:** yet these are all handled precisely in the Mediaeval fashion.  Touching the doctrine of justification,*** which appears to have been already made a subject of dispute, the synod has attempted to preserve a middle course, between the Lutheran hypothesis on one side, and those schoolmen who refused to sever the idea of remission of sins from that of Christian holiness or renovation.  In the second division of the formulary, consisting also of five articles, the judgment of the Church is added with respect to what are there entitled “laudable ceremonies”.  It includes a brief discussion of the reverence paid to images, of the invocation of saints, and also of the doctrine of purgatory, which was now beginning to encounter a determined opposition from the more advanced reformers.*4  The result however was, that these traditions were in substance and effect to be perpetuated, after the more flagrant and blasphemous abuses of them had been carefully pruned away.

      *[Hall’s Chron. fol. 228, ed. 1583.  On the probable reasons which made the Convocation abstain at this time from definitions respecting the four subordinate “sacraments,” see Jenkyns, Pref. to Cranmer’s Works, pp. XVI. XVII.]

      **[Cranmer’s “judgment of the Eucharist” was further indicated in 1537 by his strong disapprobation of a work on the subject presented to him by the Swiss scholar, Joachim Vadianus.  The doctrine it maintained was Zwinglian: see Cranmer’s letter to the author, Original Letters, ed. P. S. p. 13.  After praising Zwingli and OEcolampadius, so far as they had assisted in correcting “papistical and sophistical errors and abuses,” he adds: “I wish that they had confined themselves within these limits, and not trodden down the wheat together with the tares; that is, had not at the same time done violence to the authority of the ancient doctors and chief writers in the Church of Christ.”]

      ***[Nicholson, of Southwark, who printed “Lutheran” works, put forth, in 1536, a “Treatyse of Justification by faith only”.  In the same year Bucer’s Metaphrasis (on the Epistle to the Romans) was dedicated to archbp. Cranmer with a eulogistic preface (Argentorat. 1536).  Archbp. Laurence has pointed out (Bampt. Lect. p. 201, Oxf. 1838) that the definition in Art. V. of 1536 is borrowed from Melanchthon’s Loci Theologici; but he fails to observe how the following part of the sentence, “that is to say, our perfect renovation in Christ,” betrays the touch of another school of theologians.]

      *4[See above, respecting Frith.  Latimer also in his Convocation sermon, (p. 50) has some caustic sentences against those “that begot and brought forth our old ancient purgatory pick-purse”.  The sermon is indeed one of the best commentaries on the Articles put forth immediately afterwards, and it is manifest that the preacher if he had been permitted would have advanced far less cautiously than some of his brother prelates.  Very similar enormities were brought to light as far back as 1511 in the famous Convocation sermon of Dean Colet: see Knight’s Life of Colet, pp. 289 sq.]


      Among the signatures appended to these Ten Articles were found the names of certain abbots and priors, who may be regarded as the last examples of a race devoted to annihilation.  The work had been commenced by Wolsey,* who, under the protection of papal as well as royal licenses, dissolved no less than thirty religious foundations, chiefly for the purpose of endowing colleges at Oxford and at Ipswich.  The idea of a more extensive measure of confiscation, or rather diversion of monastic property to the general uses of the Church, which had been contemplated by Wolsey, seems to have been taken up by his master, with a, special reference to his own necessities.  Cromwell, in his capacity of vicar-general, undertook a visitation of all the monasteries in 1535: and, as many charges of shameless immorality were brought against the inmates, more especially of the smaller houses, an act of Parliament** was passed in 1536 transferring such of them to the crown as were not above the annual value of £200.  The larger houses were at this time mentioned honourably, as if they had continued to fulfill the purpose of their institution: yet in the brief interval of four years they also were discorporated and dissolved,*** their treasures thrown into the royal coffers, and their lands all parceled out among the friends of Cromwell, or the tools and favourites of the court.  A few voices, bishop Latimer’s*4 among the rest, were raised in deprecation of these sweeping measures, to secure, if possible, that some of the religious houses might be spared, and dedicated to pious uses.

      *[Herbert’s Life of Henry VIII. pp. 146, 147.  The best materials for a history of the series of confiscations that ensued are in Three chapters of Letters relating to the suppression of Monasteries, Lond. Camd. Soc. 1843: cf. Dodd, I. 251–294.  Wolsey in 1529 had obtained very large powers of dealing with the monastic property for the purpose of founding bishoprics.  In 1532 Henry had obtained a bull from the pope for the erection of six new bishoprics to be endowed by the suppression of religious houses (Burnet, I. 121), and ten years later five additional sees were founded at Chester, Gloucester, Peterborough, Bristol and Oxford: see Stat. 34 and 35 Hen. VIII. c. 17, § iii.  Westminster was to be added to the list, and Thomas Thirleby was actually consecrated bishop, Dec. 9, 1540; but the foundation was soon afterwards deemed unnecessary.  This, however, was a small fraction of Henry’s scheme, as we find from the draft of a bill preserved in the Letters just cited, pp. 263, 264, where he contemplated the erection of nine additional bishoprics.  He also converted fourteen abbeys and priories into cathedral and collegiate churches, placing a dean and chapter in each.  These were Canterbury, Rochester, Westminster, Winchester, Bristol, Gloucester, Worcester, Chester, Burton-on-Trent, Carlisle, Durham, Thornton, Peterborough and Ely, hence entitled “of the new foundation”.  Another of his projects (Ibid. p. 262) as corrected in his own handwriting was to devote the spoils of the monasteries to religious, charitable, and literary uses, that “Godes worde myght the better be sett forthe, chyldren broght up in lernying, clerces nuryshyd in the universities, olde servantes decayd to have lyfynges, allmeshousys for pour folke to be sustaynyd in, reders off Grece, Ebrew, and Latyne to have good stypende” &c. &c.  But the “great spoiler” was a “small restorer”; and it seems most probable that the larger measure for forming new sees was Wolsey’s, the smaller act of justice Henry’s own.]

      **[27 Hen. VIII. c. 28.  The number of religious houses now dissolved was 376, their annual revenue about £32,000.  In this case, however, the grantees, or purchasers of the suppressed convents, were bound to keep hospitality there as in former times.]

      ***[Stat. 31 Hen. VIII. c. 13.  By this enactment the total number of suppressed monasteries was augmented to 645, the yearly income of which, together with that of colleges, chantries and other establishments also dissolved, was not much less than £160,000, a sum exceeding the third part of all the ecclesiastical revenues of the kingdom.  Twenty-seven mitered abbots were by the same change excluded from the house of Lords, thus effecting an important alteration in the political constitution of England: see Miller, Hist. Phil. illus. III. 218.]

      *4[Remains, p. 411, ed. P. S.  So far from relenting in this particular, the English monarch by act of Parliament 37 Hen. VIII. c. 4 secured that the few remaining chantries and even the colleges for learning should be placed at his disposal.]


      In the meanwhile reformation, as distinguished from such wanton acts of demolition, had effected some measurable progress by the putting forth of the Bishops’ Book or “Institution of a Christen Man,” [Printed in Formularies of Faith put forth by authority during the reign of Henry VIII. Oxf. 1825.] drawn up by a committee of prelates and divines in 1537.  It comprises an exposition of the Apostles’ Creed, the Seven Sacraments, the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, the Ave Maria, and also of the much-contested doctrines of justification and purgatory.  The compilers at the same time felt themselves under the necessity of discussing other points to which the novel aspect and position of the English church imparted great significance.  They contended, for example, that the fabric of the papal monarchy was altogether human; that its growth was traceable partly to the favour and indulgence of the Roman emperors, and partly to ambitious artifices of the popes themselves; that just as men originally made and sanctioned it, so might they, if occasion should arise, withdraw from it their confidence, and thus reoccupy the ground on which all Christians must have stood anterior to the Middle Ages.  It was, nevertheless, admitted in this formulary, that the Roman church [See especially pp. 55, sq.  The moderation of this statement is remarkable as compared with the atrocious bull of excommunication launched by Paul III.  Aug. 30, 1535 (Wilkins, III. 792 sq.; cf. Turner, II. 469).] was not unchristian, but that in connection with other national and independent communities it entered into the formation of the universal brotherhood, which Holy Scripture terms the Church.

      Allusion has been made already [Above.] to the friendlier disposition manifested by Henry and the leading members of his council in reference to the progress of the Lutheran movement.  In the December of 1535 two envoys, [See Strype, Eccl. Mem. I. 225 sq.] bishop Fox and doctor Heath, whom he dispatched to Saxony, had interviews on matters of religion with some of the more influential of the Wittenbergers.*  This discussion was prolonged into the following April; and although the disputants were still unable to agree entirely, their negotiations were reopened under favourable auspices in 1538.  On the last occasion three German delegates were sent across to England (May 12). [Respecting them and the fruit of the negotiations that ensued, see Hardwick’s Hist. of the Articles, pp. 56 sq.]  Many conferences took place by order of Henry VIII himself, the doctrines of the English church being represented by a select committee of divines.  The most pacific member of this body was the primate, whose convictions with regard to many, if not most of the disputed points, approximated [See his letter of Aug. 23, 1538, written a short time before the return of the German “Orators,” in his Works, ed. Jenkyns, I. 263, 264.] to the views maintained by the disciples of Luther and Melanchthon.  In the end, however, he was unsupported by his episcopal colleagues, who, mainly owing to the influence of Gardiner [Gardiner had consistently opposed the negotiations throughout: Strype, Eccl. Mem. I. Append. No. LXV.] and Tunstall,** clung with great tenacity to some “abuses” which were most obnoxious to the German envoys.  It was indeed quite obvious that Henry for the present had resolved to countenance no further relaxations either in the ritual or in the dogmatic system of the Church.  A brief period of reaction*** was commencing.  The negotiations with the German envoys, to say nothing of the prejudices raised in many quarters by the dissolution of the monasteries and by other acts of violence, had thrown fresh light on the essential contrariety between some aspects of the “old” and “new learning”;*4 and bishop Gardiner was not the man to overlook the slightest reflux of the tide, or waste an opportunity that promised to advance the interests of his party.  This able ecclesiastic had invariably opposed the Wittenberg reformers, his antipathy increasing rather than abating after his return from diplomatic missions on the continent, by which he had obtained a clearer insight into the development of Protestantism.  Content with the extrusion of the Roman pontiff,*5 he adhered on other subjects to the dogmas of the stricter class of schoolmen; and accordingly, as soon as he beheld the growth in England of religious novelties that threatened to produce a revolution in the church establishment, his energies were all employed, [A good example of his controversial powers is furnished by his Declaration (against George Joye: cf. Maitland’s Essays on the Reformation, pp. 4 sq.), Lond. 1546.] and often unscrupulously misdirected*6 to evade, postpone or counterwork a movement which he dreaded.

      *[Two of these were Pontanus (see above) and Francis Burckart (Melanchthon’s Works, ed. Bretsch. II. 108), who insisted on subscription to the Confession of Augsburg as a preliminary to the admission of the English monarch into the Schmalkaldic League.  To this requirement Henry objected “unless certain things in their Confession and Apology should by their familiar conferences be mitigate.”  Luther and Melanchthon were both present at interviews held in Wittenberg during January 1536, Ibid. III. 26: cf. III. 104, n. 2.]

      **[See the “King’s Answer,” written with Tunstall’s help, to the German ambassadors on the taking away of the chalice, against private masses, on the celibacy of the clergy, &c., in the Addenda of Burnet, I. No. VIII. (pp. 347–360).]

      ***[This reaction may be said to have culminated (1543) in the Stat. 34 and 35 Hen. VIII. c. 1, enjoining that recourse must be had to the catholic and apostolic Church for the decision of controversies, denouncing Tyndale’s “false translation” of the Bible, restricting the use of the New Testament in English to one class of the community (above), and abolishing all books that comprised any matter of Christian religion, Articles of Faith, or Holy Scripture, contrary to the doctrine set forth sithence A.D. 1540, or to be set forth by the king.  The influence of the same reactionary school is visible in The Necessary Doctrine and Erudition for any Christian Man (also printed in Formularies of Faith, Oxf. 1825).  It is a revised edition of the Bishops’ Book, above, sanctioned by Convocation and enjoined by royal mandate.]

      *4[These became the recognized expressions for characterizing the “Mediaeval” and “Reforming” parties: e.g. Cranmer (Works, I. 375, ed. Jenkyns) speaks of “the best learned men reputed within this realm, some favouring the old, some the new learning, as they term it (where indeed that which they call the old is the new, and that which they call the new is indeed the old).”]

      *5[Above: to which may be added a vigorous sermon preached on the papal supremacy in the following reign (1548).  Gardiner became master of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, as early as 1525; and held the office till 1549.  In 1538, seven years after his elevation to the see of Winchester, he was elected chancellor of the University (see Godwin, De Praesulibus, p. 237, and notes).]

      *6[Gardiner is charged with taking part in the persecution of Ann Askew, who was tortured and burnt in 1545.  Foxe, pp. 1234 sq. ed. 1583.  On her case, however, see J. H. Blunt’s Reformation of the Church of England, p. 539; Hook, Lives of the Archbishops of Canterbury, VII. 63, 64; Fronde, Hist. of England, IV. 497.]


      It is probable* that the ascendancy at court of Gardiner and others like him led to the enactment of the statute of the “Six Articles”** (1539), for the abolishing of diversity of opinions;*** or, in different words, for punishing with death, and otherwise, all persons who might dare to call in question some of the more startling of the Medieval dogmas.  Cranmer [Herbert’s Life of Henry VIII. p. 512: see also Mr. Soudamore’s vindication of Cranmer on this subject: England and Rome, p. 255, Lond. 1855.] argued boldly, but in vain, against the passing of this brutal measure: still its operation seems to have been checked, [Maitland’s Essays, as above, No. III.] in part at least, as early as the following year.  Indeed the personal influence of the primate shewed itself in nothing more conspicuously than in the charm which he exerted on the boisterous and intractable nature of his sovereign.  Notwithstanding the ability and astuteness of Gardiner his rival, the archbishop never lost [See, for example, Strype’s Cranmer, I. 261 sq.] his hold on the affections of the English court; and to the influence that he wielded there we must ascribe the public traces of a Reformation spirit which occur at no distant intervals until the close of the present reign.  For instance, in 1541 and 1542 we find*4 him superintending a revision of the Service books and advocating the general use of Homilies for the instruction both of “ignorant preachers” and of their flocks.  In 1544 a Litany*5 appeared in English under the same auspices; and as it was expressly meant by the compilers to direct and elevate the public worship of the Church, they must have recognized in its establishment the triumph of one fundamental principle on which the Reformation was to be conducted, viz. the use of “such a tongue as the people understandeth.”  It is true that efforts of this kind were often neutralized in practice by the opposition or inertness of the anti-reformation school, yet all of them were clearly pointing onwards in the same direction, and were thus preparing the way for deeper changes, – changes that could only be effected when a kindlier spirit had begun to breathe in the immediate neighbourhood of the throne.

      *[Strype’s Cranmer, I. 160.  The king was displeased with Cranmer and others of his school (according to Strype) “because they could not be brought to give their consent in the parliament that the king should have all the monasteries suppressed to his own sole use.”  The charge recently brought against Cranmer to the effect that he among other courtiers sought to enrich his family by the spoils of the church, is fully examined in Mr. Massingberd’s English Reformation, Append. E, 2nd ed.]

      **[31 Hen. VIII. c. 14.  The Articles were first “resolved by the Convocation”.  They enforce a belief (1) in the physical change of the Eucharistic elements, (2) in the doctrine of concomitance, or the non-necessity of communion in both kinds, (3) the sinfulness of marriage after receiving the order of priesthood, (4) the absolute obligation of vows of chastity, &c., (5) the scripturalness and efficacy of private masses, (6) the necessity of auricular confession (i.e. compulsory).]

      ***[Strype, Eccl. Mem. Bk. I. ch. 50.  In a session of the southern convocation (March 3, 1541: Wilkins, III. 861, 862) it was decreed that the “Use” of Sarum should in future be observed by all clerics in the province of Canterbury.  Immediately afterwards (1541) appeared a new edition of the “Pars Estivalis” of the Sarum Breviary, entitled “Portiforium ... nouiter impressum et a plurimis purgatum mendis”‘ (Libr. Queens’ Coll. Camb. K, 17, 28).  In 1542 the archbishop notified the king’s pleasure (Feb. 21: Wilkins, III. 863) “that all mass books, antiphoners, portuises [breviaries] in the Church of England should be newly examined, corrected, reformed ...” and that after ejecting “superstitious orations, collects, versicles,” &c. their place should be supplied by services “made out of the Scriptures and other authentic doctors.”  Portions of the Bible in English were also ordered to be read.  And it is further manifest from the proceedings of Convocation in 1547 (Ibid. IV. 15, 16), that new Service books had been actually prepared by order of that body during the reign of Henry VIII.  Homilies of some kind or other appear to have been also drawn up and submitted to the Convocation of Canterbury.  Such perhaps were the Postils on the Epistles and Gospels, edited and in part composed by Richard Taverner (1540), clerk of the Signet to the king (ed. Cardwell, 1841).  Two of these Postils have reappeared in the authorized Homilies for the Passion and the Resurrection.  The Lutheran tendencies of the editor were shewn as early as 1536, when at Cromwell’s order he translated the “Augsburg Confession” and the “Apology” for it, “whiche booke,” he says (fol. 2) “after the judgement and censure of all indifferent, wyse and lerned men, is as fruitfull and as clerkly composed as euer booke was” &c.]

      *4[The basis of this formulary, which is almost identical with the present Litany, was furnished by a Mediaeval English Prymer (see Middle Age, p. 420), some additional hints being drawn apparently from Hermann’s “Consultation” (above, and cf. Procter, On the Prayer Book, pp. 253 sq.).  In the King’s Primer set forth (1545) by Henry “and his clergy to be taught, learned and read, and none other to be used throughout all his dominions,” the Litany was also incorporated.  See the Three Primers, ed. Burton, Oxf. 1834, and Maskell’s Dissertation, Prefixed to Vol. II. of the Monumenta Ritualia, Lond. 1846.]


      Edward VI, the child of Henry’s third wife, Jane Seymour, was acknowledged king of England, Jan. 28, 1547, when only nine years old.  Although his natural gifts* were such as to exalt him far above the ordinary conditions of childhood, he must always have been swayed in a considerable measure by his guardians and advisers.  Two of these were his maternal uncle Seymour, duke of Somerset** (“the Protector”), and Dudley, duke of Northumberland, whose struggles for ascendancy indeed are one great feature in the political annals of his reign.  By the mysterious fall*** of the Protector and his execution (Jan. 22, 1532), the youthful monarch was eventually transferred into the hands of Northumberland, a statesman who employed his talents chiefly in the aggrandizing of himself; and who, by the marriage of his son Guildford Dudley to Jane Grey [Ibid. pp. 230 sq.  Edward’s health had already begun to fail in the spring of 1552.] the great-granddaughter of Henry VII (May, 1553), obtained the sanction of his royal master to a visionary project for diverting the succession to the crown *4 in favour of his own connections.

      *[See the sketch in Lodge’s Portraits, I. 169 sq.  Lond. 1849.  Extracts are there given from the private Journal of Edward.  On the general character of his education, see Strype’s Life of Sir John Cheke (one of his first tutors), best edition, Oxford, 1820.  The council of regency included Cranmer, archbishop of Canterbury, and Tunstall, bishop of Durham, both of whom, like the other prelates, took out royal commissions, as in the reign of Henry VIII (above), empowering them to exercise coactive jurisdiction in all causes cognizable by the spiritual courts.  The practice was, however, immediately afterwards discontinued.]

      **[Seymour, then earl of Hertford, was declared “Protector of the king’s realms and governor of his person” on the 1st of Feb. 1547, and in the following month became “master of all the deliberations of the council, and in effect the sole director of the affairs of the kingdom”: Carte, III. 204.  It was owing chiefly to his influence that objections urged by the princess Mary, as well as by Gardiner, Bonner and Tunstall, in the hope of arresting all immediate change, were absolutely overruled.  See, for instance, the royal Injunctions of 1547, in Wilkins, IV. 3–8, by which, among other important regulations, a threat was suspended over all persons who “let (i.e. prevented) the reading of the Word of God in English.”]

      ***[See Turner, Modern Hist. III. 281 sq.  Somerset appears to have been a rapacious, unprincipled man, who was determined to hold power by pushing the Reformation, while Northumberland made use of religious war cries chiefly to subserve his private schemes, and ultimately avowed himself in favour of the Medieval system: see Strype’s Cranmer, Append. to Bk. III. No. LXXIII (III. 462), where he warns the people just before his execution (Aug. 22, 1553) against “thee sedycyouse and lewde preachers that have opened the booke and knowe not how to shutt yt.”]

      *4[A written agreement, determining Jane’s succession and displacing the two princesses, Mary and Elizabeth, was signed by nineteen lords of the council and five judges.  Cranmer, who at first objected, was eventually brought over and subscribed among the rest (cf. Strype’s Cranmer, Bk. III. ch. 1).  A legal deed was afterwards drawn up, to which the young king attached his signature (June 21) fourteen days before his death: Turner, Ibid. pp. 333, 334.  Queen Jane was accordingly proclaimed July 10, 1553: see the notes in Nicolas, Literary Remains of Lady Jane Grey, Lond. 1825.]


      But while projects of this kind were occupying the minds of English politicians, a far mightier agitation had begun to heave within the bosom of the Church.  At the accession of king Edward, it was manifest that the ecclesiastics, whom his father had in vain [See the remarkable speech addressed to them not long before his death, in Stow, Annales, p. 590.] attempted to unite by legislative pressure, consisted of two great parties, one of which (the Mediaeval) as represented by Gardiner,* bishop of Winchester, was adverse to all further changes; while the members of the other (the Reforming) party were as anxious to move freely onwards and complete the work they had inaugurated in the former reign.  This second class, however, must be carefully subdivided.  Laying out of the question a multitude of revolutionary spirits, Anabaptists and other sectaries who started up afresh at the beginning of the new reign, [Hardwick’s Hist. of the Articles, pp. 89 sq.  On the various shades of Anabaptism, and also on the “Family of Love,” see below, chap. V.] the party in the Church that favoured progress was composed of elements in some degree at variance with each other.  One active section of the church reformers, constituting what may be entitled the first race of Puritans, embraced opinions such as we have traced in those parts of Switzerland** in which the principles of Zwingli and OEcolampadius had taken root.  They bore the general name of “Sacramentaries”; and some of their brother reformers, both here and on the continent, did not scruple to place them in the same class with Anabaptists.***  On the other hand, the more conservative among the reforming theologians of this country manifested a growing bias for the Saxon as distinguished from the Swiss theology.  During the first two years of Edward VI, archbishop Cranmer may himself perhaps be termed the leader of this school.  He was never, it, is true, a servile follower of the Wittenberg divines.*4  The vigour of his reasoning faculties secured a large amount of independence to the measures he adopted: his exalted station in the Church and his profound respect for the decisions of antiquity had equal force in urging him to modify the wilder and more democratic tendencies of Lutheranism: yet, in so far as he had points of contact on doctrinal questions with the reformers out of England, Cranmer was at first disposed to side most cordially with it.  No better illustration of this leaning can be offered than a treatise published with his sanction in 1548, and commonly entitled Cranmer’s Catechism.*5  It is for the most part borrowed from a German catechism, and through the medium of a Latin version made in 1539 by Justus Jonas the elder, one of Luther’s bosom friends.  The sacred topics there discussed embrace the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, the Decalogue and the doctrine of the Sacraments, all of which are handled in the characteristic manner of the Wittenbergers.  For example, the first and second commandments are consolidated into one; penance or absolution is still regarded as an evangelical sacrament; while the expressions bearing on the nature of the Eucharistic presence leave no doubt that Cranmer and his friends were not unwilling to accept the Lutheran hypothesis.*6

      *[This prelate had fallen under the displeasure of Henry VIII, and his name was accordingly not included in the council of regency.  When the royal Injunctions of 1547 (above) appeared, Gardiner refused to promise obedience, and was committed to the Fleet, Sept. 25, where he remained till Jan. 7 of the following year (Carte, III. 214).  He was ultimately deposed for nonconformity, Feb. 14, 1551, Bonner bp. of London having already shared the same fate, Sept. 21, 1549 (cf. Turner’s remarks, III. 316, 317).  Another influential leader of the anti-reformation party was cardinal Pole, whose quarrel with his relative Henry VIII on the divorce question had compelled him to live on the continent.  Turner (III. 254 sq.) charges him with instigating a formidable insurrection that occurred in 1549; but cf. Dodd, II. 25, note.  Cranmer’s elaborate Answer to the Fifteen Articles of the Rebels is printed in Strype. Vol. II. App. No. XL.]

      **[See above.  Calvin does not appear to have been generally known in England until the close of Henry’s reign.  A list of books prohibited in 1542 as given by Burnet, Vol. I. “Records,” p. 257 (ed. 1681), is augmented by Baker (Brit. Mag. XXXVI. 395), and in the latter catalogue we find The Lytell Tretyse in Frensche of ye Soper of the Lorde made by Callwyn, and also The Works euery one of Callwyn.]

      ***[Thus in the Postils edited by Taverner (above) we have the following passage: “Beyng ones admonyshed of my errour, I wol not obstinately defend the same, but submyt my selfe to the iudgement of the churche which I wold hartely wyshe that other wold do the same.  Then these diuerse sectes of Anabaptistes, of Sacramentaries, and of other heretiques shulde not thus swarme abrode.  Then shuld the Christen church be in much more quiet then it is”: p. 229.  (Cf. the particulars furnished at this period by the letters of Richard Hilles to Ballinger, Original Letters, ed. P. S. pp. 208, 221, 266.)  In like manner the first statute of the new reign, 1 Edw. VI. c. 1, contains heavy censures of all persons who “unreverently speak against the blessed sacrament in sermons, preachings, ... rhimes, songs, plays or jests.”  (cf. Lamb’s Collection of Letters, &c. p. 85, Lond. 1838), proceeding at the same time to legalize communion under both kinds in conformity with a unanimous decree of convocation (Dec. 2, 1547: Strype’s Cranmer, II. 37).  Carte (III. 219) sees a further proof of the “moderation” of the English Church in a proviso there inserted, declaring that this change is “not to be construed to the condemning of the usage of any church in foreign countries.”]

      *4[Richard Hilles (a Zwinglian) in writing to Bullinger, June 4, 1549, was able to report that the prelates seemed, “for the present at least, to be acting rightly;’ and then adds, with a spice of sarcasm, “for the preservation of the public peace, they afford no offence to the Lutherans, pay attention to your very learned German divines, submit their judgment to them and also retain some popish ceremonies”: Original Letters, ed. P. S. p. 266.]

      *5[A short instruction into Christian Religion, Oxf. 1839.  The Latin form of the Catechism is also printed in the same volume: cf. Köcher’s Catech. Gesch. der Reform. Kirchen, pp. 61 sq., Jena, 1756.  The chief English variations in the work are an additional discourse against the worshipping of images (cf. the Mandatum in Wilkins, IV. 22), and an exhortation to prayer.  In Cranmer’s dedication of it to Edw. VI. (also printed in his Works, ed. Jenkyns, I. 326–329) he expresses his anxiety to have the youth of England “brought up and tended in the truth of God’s holy Word.”]

      *6[The only apparent symptom of misgiving is one that has been noticed by Le Bas (I. 312) where the English speaks of our “receiving” the Body and Blood of Christ, the Latin of the “presence”; but this variation might really have been accidental.]


      The same desire to cleave as far as might be to existing usages and other traditions of the past was shewn in the proceedings instituted, or more strictly recommenced, [Above.] on the accession of king Edward, for the authorizing of Homilies* to be read in churches every Sunday, and also for translating, expurgating and recasting the various Service books** of Sarum, Lincoln, York and Bangor, so as to compile one “Use” that should in future be the vehicle of worship to all members of the English Church.  The whole of these proceedings were conducted under the general direction of archbishop Cranmer; still, as he was only one of a select committee to whom the task of redistribution and revision was consigned, his influence may, or even must, have been considerably modified by the suggestions of the other members.***  Their first production was an English Order of the Communion,*4 which in 1548 was grafted on the Latin office for the Mass; and it is noticeable that some few elements of the additional service have been borrowed from the well-known “Consultation” of Hermann, archbishop of Cologne, compiled in 1543 with the assistance of Bucer and Melanchthon.  But this meager and incongruous form of service was only tentative, being ere long superseded and eclipsed by the appearance of the noblest monument of piety, of prudence and of learning, which the sixteenth century constructed, viz. the “Book of Common Prayer”.  Materials for some work like it which had been brought together during the reign of Henry VIII were reproduced*5 in 1547 at the request of the lower house of convocation (Nov. 22); and after a protracted conference held at Windsor in the summer of 1548, the arduous task of the committee seems to have been completed.  They agreed, with few exceptions,*6 in recommending the First Prayer Book of Edward VI, which was accordingly submitted for approval to the convocation and the parliament,*7 and ultimately used in almost every parish of the king’s dominions, [The “Act for Uniformity of Service,” &c. was passed Jan. 15, 1549 (not 1548): see Stat. 2 and 3 Edw. VI. c. 1.] “England, Wales, Calais and the marches of the same” (Whitsunday, June 9, 1549).  Before the date of its publication an important change had been effected in the views of Cranmer touching the vexed question of the Eucharist, – a question which, as we have seen, was underlying all the controversies of the Reformation period.  Hitherto the English primate had maintained in a most public and coercive form*8 that, after the consecration of the elements, the outward and inward parts of the sacrament are so identified, that all who receive the one are thereby made partakers of the other, yet with the invariable proviso that the faithless and impenitent receive a curse and not a blessing.  But as early as December, 1548, when a discussion was held upon the subject anterior to the passing of Edward’s Act of Uniformity (Jan. 15, 1549), he appears to have receded far from this position,*9 and to have adopted the hypothesis of a virtual as distinguished from a local presence of Christ’s glorified humanity, in close resemblance to that section of the Swiss reformers who had acquiesced in Calvin’s method of explaining the mysterious Presence.  In this view concurred the able and devoted Nicholas Ridley, who had acted for some time as chaplain to the archbishop, [See Gloucester Ridley’s Life of Ridley, Lond. 1763; and cf. the notes in Wordsworth’s Eccl. Biography, Vol. III. 1 sq.] and was now promoted to the see of Rochester (Sept. 4, 1547).  Yet neither of them, as we may conclude with certainty from their adoption of the First Prayer Book of Edward, was inclined to question that the Body and Blood of Christ were in some way or other communicated to the faithful in connection with the Eucharistic elements.*10  The animus of that Service book*11 was primitive and even Mediaeval; very much of the material was drawn directly from the older Offices, and in the portions where new elements of thought are visible, the sources which supplied them were the Breviary of cardinal Quignones,*12 recommended by pope Paul III, and still more the Consultation of archbishop Hermann of Cologne.  For instance, the Baptismal office was indebted very largely to this formulary, and through it to one of Luther’s compilations, [See Des Taufbüchlein verdeutscht durch D. Martin Luthern (1523) in Daniel’s Codex Liturg. Eccl. Luther. pp. 185–201.] made as early as 1523.

      *[The First Book of Homilies (twelve in number) appeared in 1547.  Three at least, including that Of the Salvation of Mankind, or Justification, appear to have been written by Cranmer himself, while those “Of the Misery of all Mankind,” and “Of Christian Love and Charity,” were the work of Bp. Bonner and his chaplain: see Pref. to the Cambridge edition, 1850, p. xi.  The same purposes would be subserved by the royal Injunctions of 1547 (Wilkins, IV. 4), directing the clergy to provide, “within three months after this visitation, one book of the whole Bible, of the largest volume in English; and within one twelve-months next after the said visitation, the Paraphrasis of Erasmus also in English upon the Gospels”; both of these being set up in churches for the use of the parishioners.]

      **[Richard Hilles makes the following comment (June 4, 1549) with regard to the prevailing animus of those who arranged the new Communion Office: “We have an uniform celebration of the Eucharist throughout the whole kingdom, but after the manner of the Nuremberg churches and some of those in Saxony; for they do not yet feel inclined to adopt your rites [i.e. of the Swiss] respecting the administration of the sacraments”: Original Letters, ed. P. S. p. 266.]

      ***[Some of these “notable learned men” were Day bp. of Chichester, Goodryke bp. of Ely, Skyp bp. of Hereford, Holbeach bp. of Lincoln, Ridley bp. of Rochester, Thirleby bp. of Westminster [see above], May dean of St Paul’s, Taylor dean (afterwards bp.) of Lincoln, Haines dean of Exeter, Robertson afterwards dean of Durham, Redman master of Trinity College, Cambridge, and Cox afterwards bp. of Ely : see Procter On the Prayer Book, p. 23, n. 2.]

      *4[Printed in Wilkins, IV. 11 sq., together with a sober proclamation issued with the hope of checking some of the hotter spirits: cf. Procter, pp. 325 sq., where the parallel passages of Hermann will be found at length.]

      *5[See above.  While the work of revision was proceeding, it was found necessary to repress a number of liturgical innovations: see, for instance, “A proclamation against those that do innovate, alter, or leave done, any rite or ceremonie in the church of their private authority,” &c.  Wilkins, IV. 21.  Preachers in like manner were restrained or silenced : Ibid. p. 27.]

      *6[Dodd, whose list of commissioners is somewhat different from the one above quoted, contends (II. 28 sq.) that the minority of the bishops were opposed to the revision.  He seems to attribute its general adoption to the fact that the Prayer Book carried “a pretty good face and varied very little, only in certain omissions, from the Latin Liturgy.”]

      *7[Thus in rebuking Bonner, bishop of London, for his negligence, and charging him to “see to the better setting out of the Service Book within his diocese,” the king’s council remind him (July 23, 1549) that “after great and serious debating and long conference of the bishops and other grave and well-learned men in the Holy Scripture, one uniform Order for common prayers and administration of the sacraments hath been, and is most godly set forth, not only by the common agreement and full assent of the nobility and commons of the late session of our late parliament, but also by the like assent of the bishops in the said parliament, and of all other the learned men of this our realm in their synods and convocations provincial”: Wilkins, IV. 35.  After such testimony it is quite amazing to find a writer like Mr. R. J. Wilberforce (Principles of Church Authority, p. 264, 2nd ed.) declaring that the statements respecting the convocational authority of the Prayer Book “are so loose and vague as to prove nothing.”]

      *8[See, for instance, his opinion touching the proceedings against Lambert, “a Sacramentary,” and others, in Le Bas, I. 182 sq., and his strong censure of Zwingli, above.  One of the earliest proofs of his departure from the mediaeval tenets respecting the sacrificial character of the Eucharist, is found in the Queries concerning the Mass (at the beginning of 1548): Works, II. 178 sq., ed. Jenkyns.]

      *9[The following account of this important disputation is given by Bartholomew Traheron in a letter addressed to Bullinger and dated London, Dec. 31, 1548: “On the 14th of December, if I mistake not, a disputation was held at London concerning the Eucharist, in the presence (“in consessu”) of almost all the nobility of England.  The argument was sharply contested by the bishops.  The archbishop of Canterbury, contrary to general expectation, most openly, firmly, and learnedly maintained your opinions upon the subject” [i.e. the Swiss opinion in its modified form and as about to be restated in the Consensus Tigurinus of 1549].  The same writer goes on to mention that the bishop of Rochester (Ridley), who had rejected the dogma of transubstantiation as early as 1545, on reading the work of Ratramn (Middle Age, p. 167), defended the same position, and that the result was a “brilliant victory of the truth”.  But the bias of Traheron is discernible in the next sentence where he adds, that “it is all over with Lutheranism” (“video plane actum de Lutheranismo”); and it is even probable that he misunderstood some parts of the disputation, for in a hurried postscript appended to his letter by John ab Ulmis we read, “The foolish bishops have made a marvelous recantation.”]

      *10[E. g. Ridley states the matter thus (in his Brief Declaration of the Lord’s Supper, Works, ed. P. S. pp. 10, 11): “The controversy no doubt which at this day troubleth the Church (wherein any mean [i.e. moderately] learned man, either old or new, doth stand in) is not, whether the holy sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ is no better than a piece of common bread, or no; or whether the Lord’s table is no more to be regarded than the table of any earthly man; or whether it is but a bare sign or figure of Christ and nothing else, or no.  For all do grant that St Paul’s words do require that the bread which we break is the partaking of the Body of Christ,” &c.]

      *11[It is printed in parallel columns with the later versions of the Prayer Book, in Keeling’s Liturgiae Britannicae; Lond. 1842.  Cardwell’s Prayer Books of Edward VI.  Oxford, 1852.  It is also published by the Parker Society, and in a volume by itself by H. B. Walton, Oxford, 1870.]

      *12[His reformed Breviary was first printed in 1536.  In the title it professes among other things to be “ex sacra et canonica Scriptura ... accurate digestum.”]


      Such peculiarities, however, proved offensive to one party in the Church of England.  They manifested what was held to be unjustifiable tenderness for “Popery,” and countenanced, in some degree, those “Lutheran” rites and tenets,* which by the extreme reformers began to be esteemed of kindred origin.  The fall of Somerset, [Above.] at the same conjuncture, tending to revive the hopes of Gardiner and other Mediaevalists, conduced ere long to the advancement of the same party; for the vigorous measures taken by the Council** to defeat the machinations and reduce the power of the reactionary school gave courage to those ardent members of the Church who laboured to effect still deeper changes.  Fresh ideas on the nature of the Eucharist were also found to harmonize imperfectly with portions of the ancient ceremonial, and indeed with nearly all the genius of the church system.

      *[See above for the remarks of Hiller and Traheron, both of whom were opposed to “Lutheranism”.  Subsequently it was the fashion to class Lutherans with “semi-papists” and “Ecebolians”: e.g. Zurich Letters, I. 169, II. 261, 262.  The latter term was derived from a sophist of Constantinople (Socrat. Hist. Eccl. III. 13): _____ ____ _____ ___ ________ _Ļ______ _Ļ_ ___ ___________ ___Ļ____ _____________ _Ļ_________ _Ļ_ __ _________ ______ _____ _________ ___ _____ ____ _________ _____________ ______ _____ ___ ______ Ļ____ Ļ__ ___ Ļ____ ___ _________ _____, Ļ_______ __, ____, __ ____ __ ___________ ________ ___ ___ ______ ___ _______ _________.]

      **[E.g. A royal order was issued (Dec. 25, 1549) complaining that “dyvers unquyette and evill disposed persons sithence the apprehension of the duke of Sommersett, have noysed and bruted abrode, that they sholde have agayne theire olde Lattenne service, ther conjured bredde and water, with suche lyke vayne and superstitiouse ceremonies, as thoughe the settinge forthe of the saide boke [i.e. the 1st Prayer Book] had bene th’onlie acte of the saide duke.”  To prevent the fulfillment of this prophecy the king goes on to give directions for the surrender of “all antiphoners, missales, grayles, processionalles, manuelles, legendes, pies, portasies, jornalles, and ordinalles after the use of Sarum, Lincoln, Yorke or any other private use,” &c.  Wilkins, IV. 37, 38.  On the havoc that ensued, see Maskell, Monum. Ritual. I. pp. clxxiii sq.]


      One of the more prominent leaders of the school in which this spirit was fermenting, is John Hooper. [See the biographical notices prefixed to both his Early and Later Writings, ed. P. S. 1843 and 1852.]  On graduating at Merton College, Oxford, in 1518, he removed to Gloucester, where he seems to have entered a Cistercian convent, but revisited the theatre of his early studies at the outbreak of the Reformation.  He soon became addicted to the “new learning,” and his bold denunciation of abuses rendered him an object of suspicion to the heads of colleges.  On the passing of the Act of Six Articles (1539), he felt himself unable to maintain his ground at Oxford, and accordingly retired to Zürich, where the influence of Henry Bullinger was then predominant.  By friendly intercourse with this accomplished theologian, Hooper’s views of Christian doctrine had been brought into complete accordance with the Swiss theology;* and as be was animated by fervent piety and indefatigable zeal,** it followed that the principles he had imbibed were rapidly disseminated in his own country, when he ventured to return in 1549.  While Cranmer, whose irresolution had grown offensive to Northumberland, [See above.] appears to have remained in comparative seclusion, Hooper and his friends were loudly pressing on the court*** the absolute necessity of further and more sweeping changes.  It was owing in no small measure to his representations that the ardour shewn already in abolishing images*4 and other “monuments of idolatry,” was now directed to convert the altars into tables,*5 at the same time changing the position of these latter in such a way as to destroy “the false persuasion which the people had of sacrifices.”  Bishop Ridley, now translated to the see of London (April 1, 1550), had himself conspired with Hooper in the prosecution of this object;*6 but, a different class of controversies being opened*7 on the designation of Hooper to the bishopric of Gloucester, it was felt that some restraint must be imposed upon his revolutionary tendencies.  The bishop of London argued “most urgently and pertinaciously” in favour of the mediaeval vestments, while the bishop-designate as pertinaciously refused to wear them till he was eventually committed to the Fleet by the authority of the Privy Council*8 (Jan. 27, 1561).  The feud was, however, suspended for the present by Hooper’s nominal compliance,*9 and his consecration followed on the 4th of March, 1551.

      *[He was still at Zürich in 1547 when he published An answer unto my Lord of Winchester’s book, entitled A Detection of the Devil’s Sophistry [written by Gardiner in 1546], wherewith he robbeth the unlearned people of the true belief in the most blessed sacrament of the altar.]

      **[He shewed this immediately after his return from Switzerland, by preaching vigorously against the Anabaptists: see his letter to Bullinger (June 25, 1549, in Original Letters, ed. P. S. p. 65: cf. p. 87), and his treatise entitled A Lesson of the Incarnation of Christ, leveled at the same class of misbelievers (1549), in Later Writings, pp. 1 sq.]

      ***[His seven Sermons on Jonah, “made and uttered before the king’s Majesty and his most honourable Council,” were printed in 1550: Early Writings, pp. 431 sq.  At the same time Burcher, one of his admirers, wrote to Bullinger (Dec. 28, 1550): “Hooper is striving to effect an entire purification of the Church from the very foundation”: Original Letters, p. 674.]

      *4[One of Edward’s Injunctions in 1547 (Wilkins, IV. 7) required the removal and extinction of “all shrines, covering of shrines, all tables, candlesticks, trindles or rolls of wax, pictures, paintings, and all other monuments of feigned miracles, pilgrimages, idolatry and superstition; so that there remain no memory of the same in walls, glass windows,” &c.  This mandate was reiterated early in the next year, Feb. 21, 1547 (= 1548): (Ibid. 22).  Gardiner’s view of the matter may be seen in his Letter to Ridley (June 10, 1549); Ridley’s Works, Append. IV. ed. P. S.]

      *5[See his fourth Sermon, as above, p. 488.  “As long,” he contended, “as the altars remain, both the ignorant people and the ignorant and evil-persuaded priest will dream always of sacrifice.”]

      *6[Thus Hooper himself writes to Bullinger (March 27, 1550): “There has lately been appointed a new bishop of London, a pious and learned man, if only his new dignity do not change his conduct.  He will, I hope, destroy the altars of Baal, as he did heretofore in his church when he was bishop of Rochester.  I can scarcely express to you, my very dear friend, under what difficulties and dangers we are labouring and struggling that the idol of the mass may be thrown out”; Original Letters, p. 79: cf. a previous letter, p. 72.  For Ridley’s Injunctions (1550), see his Works, pp. 319 sq.  His great objects were to secure uniformity and to turn the simple “from the old superstitious opinions of the popish mass”.  He also published “reasons why the Lord’s Board should rather be after the form of a table than of an altar”; Ibid. pp. 321–324: cf. Heylin, Hist. of Reform. ed. Robertson, I. 201 sq.]

      *7[Strype has a long chapter (Memorials of Cranmer, Bk. II. ch. xvii.) on “Hoper’s troubles”: cf. the reformer’s own account in a letter to Bullinger (Aug. 1, 1551): Orig. Let. p. 91.]

      *8[“Upon a letter from the archbishop of Canterbury, that Mr. Hoper cannot be brought to any conformity, but rather persevering in his obstinacy coveteth to prescribe orders and necessary laws of his head; it was agreed that he should be committed to the Fleet”: MS. Council Book, quoted in Strype’s Cranmer (ed. E. H. S.), II. 217, n. b.  The archbishop had previously spoken against him (he writes, Orig. Let. p. 81) “with great severity on account of my having censured the form of the oath” (meaning the adjuration “by God, the saints and the holy Gospels”).]

      *9[His own expressions are remarkable: “As the Lord has put an end to this controversy, I do not think it worth while to violate the sepulchre of this unhappy tragedy.”  Orig. Let. p. 91.  Richard Hilles, in writing from London, March 22, 1551, informs Bullinger that Hooper had “yielded up his opinion and judgment” on certain “matters of indifference,” and had preached in the Lent of that year “habited in the scarlet episcopal gown” [i.e. chimere], some of the bystanders approving, others condemning the costume: Ibid. p. 271.]


      But this controversy on the number, shape and colour of the clerical vestments did not furnish the only source of bickering and recrimination.  It is now established* that before the close of 1549 a series of Articles of Religion had been drawn up and circulated by archbishop Cranmer for the purpose of testing the orthodoxy of all preachers and lecturers in divinity.  Three of these Hooper deemed exceptionable, when they were offered to him for subscription in the spring of 1550.**  He objected to the first because it made use of the expression “sacraments confer grace,”*** which he would fain have altered into “seal” or “testify to” the communication of grace; the second, because it exacted absolute conformity to the Book of Common Prayer;*4 and the third, because by it he was required to signify his approbation of the English Ordinal.*5

      *[See Hooper’s letter to Bullinger, Dec. 27, 1549, Orig. Let. p. 71.  This statement is repeated p. 76, where he also speaks of the archbishop and five bishops as “favourable to the cause of Christ,” and holding “right opinions” on the Eucharist.]

      **[He was nominated to the bishopric of Gloucester May 15, 1550, and on the 28th of the same month Micronius gives an account of his exceptions in writing to Bullinger from London.  He adds, “what will be the result, I do not know”: Orig. Let. p. 563.]

      ***[See above, which shew the source and nature of his scruples.  It is remarkable, that although the phrase “conferre gratiam” is not used in the present English Articles with reference to the sacraments, it does occur in the Heads of Religion (a series of twenty-four articles compiled by Parker and his friends in 1559: Strype’s Annals, I. 216, 217).  We there find “Baptisma et Eucharistiam, quibus confertur gratia rite sumentibus”.  And Hooper himself (singularly enough) in one of his Later Writings, p. 45, employs the same phraseology: “they (i.e. sacraments) are such signs as do exhibit and give the thing that they signify indeed.”]

      *4[Alluding, of course, to the First Book of Edward VI, which was peculiarly distasteful to him.  “I am so much offended with that Book, and that not without abundant reason,” are his words in writing to Bullinger, March 27, 1550, “that if it be not corrected, I neither can nor will communicate with the Church in the administration of the Supper”: Original Letters, p. 79.]

      *5[In the letter just quoted he declares that he had brought forward many objections against the form of Ordination, “on which account,” he adds, “I have incurred no small hostility”: p. 81.  The work had only just been completed (Feb. 28, 1549 = 1550) by a committee of bishops and others, and was not indeed appended to the Book of Common Prayer until 1552 (Stat. 5 and 6 Edw. VI. c. 1, § 5).]


      A different class of agencies meanwhile contributed to stimulate the feelings of dissatisfaction that gave birth to animadversions of this nature.  The Interim [Above.] of 1548 and other causes had driven from their homes a multitude of foreign Protestants, who after ascertaining the propitious turn that church affairs were taking in most parts of England, hastened to avail themselves of Cranmer’s hospitality.  Three of the more eminent* of these refugees were Laski, Bucer and Peter Martyr, all of whom, in various measures and in different connections, we have seen advancing the reformatory movements of the age.  While Laski** was permitted to officiate as the superintendent of the French, Belgian, Italian and German Protestants, who celebrated their religious worship*** in the metropolis (1550), Bucer was appointed to the theological chair at Cambridge (1549), and Peter Martyr to the corresponding post at Oxford (1549).  As might have been predicted, these three scholars now disseminated the peculiar modes of thought and feeling which they had imported from the continent, agreeing in their estimate of many subjects then contested, and in others manifesting all their characteristic varieties.  For instance, Bucer was a moderate “Lutheran,” and as such decided in his opposition to the school of Hooper,*4 and the advocate of loftier views respecting the Eucharist.*5  Peter Martyr, on the contrary, had always sided with the Swiss in their comparative depreciation of the sacraments,*6 and afterwards evinced his strong antipathy to the Confession of Augsburg: [Above.] while Laski, whose predilections and aversions, so far as we can gather, coincided on the whole with those of Peter Martyr and the Swiss divines, had shewn himself more tolerant of others, if not absolutely in favour of reunion with the moderate section of the Lutherans. [Above.]

      *[Other influential foreigners with “Swiss” leanings, were Dryander (above), and Ochino (above).  On the contrary Paul Fagius (Phagius), promoted to the Hebrew professorship at Cambridge, where he died (Nov. 15, 1549), and Peter Alexander, whom the primate employed as one of his secretaries, held “Lutheran” principles like those of Bucer: cf. Strype’s Cranmer, Bk. II. ch. xiii. and notes in the E. H. S. edition (II. 143, 144).]

      **[Above.  Laski’s first visit to England in September, 1548, lasted six months.  He returned in the spring of 1550 and commenced his ministerial labours in the following July.]

      ***[See the king’s letters patent (July 24, 1550) authorizing their assembly and appointing a “superintendens” and four “ministri,” who were to be allowed “suos libere et quiete frui, gaudere, uti, et exercere ritus et ceremonias suas proprias, et disciplinam ecclesiasticam propriam et peculiarem”: Wilkins, IV. 65; cf. Original Letters, pp. 567 sq., from which we learn that Ridley was a strong opponent of this scheme, while Cranmer favoured it.]

      *4[Thus Burcher writes to Bullinger, Dec. 28, 1550, while the controversy about the vestments and other topics was still pending: “Hooper has John ą Lasco and a few others on his side; but against him many adversaries, among whom is Bucer; who, if he possessed as much influence now as he formerly did among us, it would have been all over with Hooper’s preferment, for he would never have been made bishop”: Original Letters, p. 675.]

      *5[See above.  Burcher writing (May 30, 1549) soon after the arrival of Bucer and Fagius prays that they may not “pervert” the archbishop, “nor make him worse”.  Orig. Let. p. 652.  It is also worth noting that Bucer adhered to the expression “conferre gratiam” (cf. above), which he uses, Scripta Anglicana, p. 477.]

      *6[Strype, Cramer, Bk. II. ch. xiv. gives a full account of Peter Martyr’s disputation on the Eucharist at Oxford, May, 1549.  His own report, with an epistle to the reader, was published immediately afterwards, and in recounting the nature of the struggle to Bucer (June 15), he expressed his fear lest the German professor should condemn the positions he had there advanced (Ibid. Vol. II. p. 164).  The bishops, in 1550, would not allow his treatise on the Eucharist to be circulated in English (Orig. Let. p. 561).  In 1552 (June 14), he wrote an important letter to Bullinger informing his correspondent that the doctrine of the sacraments was then exciting great controversy in the Church of England, many persons hesitating “an gratia conferatur per sacramenta”: see remarks upon it, as edited in 1850, in a Letter to the Rev. W. Goode (the editor) by Mr. Massingberd, Lond. 1850.]


      Owing to these various causes, partly to the spirit which had been diffused by Hooper and his followers, partly to religious scruples ventilated in the writings and disputations of continental refugees, the Prayer Book had been scarcely put in circulation, when attempts were made to subject it to fresh examination and revision.  It is possible that some promoters of the scheme were influenced chiefly by the fact that here and there a non-reforming clergyman [Such appears to have been part of Gardiner’s policy: see Cranmer’s Works, ed. Jenkyns, III. 93, 99, and other places.] would seek to justify his preaching on the Eucharist, if not on other subjects, by adducing in his favour the authority of the Prayer Book.  They were anxious, therefore, to procure the introduction of such changes as would simplify their controversy with the Mediaevalist; and both the tone and wording of the Act* of Parliament, by which their criticism was ultimately sanctioned, harmonize with this construction of the motives then prevailing.  Still of those who welcomed the revision of the Prayer Book, many persons were unquestionably actuated by dislike of what was plainly stated in the older offices and rubrics.  In the southern convocation of 1550, [Heylin, I. 227, 228, ed. Robertson.  The acts of the Convocation, he observes, were in his time very imperfect.] doubts were uttered as to the propriety of retaining so many holy days;** indications were not wanting of antipathy to some of the mediaeval vestments, or the postures and the place of the officiating minister; while other representatives appear to have criticized the general structure of the Eucharistic office, and to have animadverted on the form of words employed in the distribution of the elements.  Unhappily the records of the English convocation at this crisis were found most meager and imperfect, even by those who had the opportunity of consulting them before the disastrous conflagration of St Paul’s in 1666; but the few scattered notices of what occurred in 1550 serve to throw some gleams of light upon the course adopted afterwards.  The lower house of convocation was reluctant*** to proceed with a revision of the Prayer Book.  On the contrary, the court and more especially the king himself,*4 were urgent in demanding it.  The fiery sermons of John Knox, [See above.] and the obtrusive letters of Calvin,*5 represented in the strongest colours that the Service Book, as it then stood, was so deeply penetrated by the taint of Popery, that the genuine worship of God was not only darkened, but well-nigh destroyed: while congregations of foreign Protestants*6 exhibiting a nuder and more simple ritual, where the practice of kneeling, for example, at the Eucharist was discontinued, [See Strype’s Cranmer, II. 279, 280; Heylin, I. 225.] must have generated a desire in sympathetic minds for corresponding usages.  The pressure of these feelings expedited the nomination of a committee of divines, with Cranmer at their head, to undertake the work in question.  Some of the proceedings opened in the autumn of 1550, and Bucer and Peter Martyr were desired to criticize the first Prayer Book.  They forwarded their “censures”*7 to the primate early in January, 1551; and throughout this year, especially towards its close, repeated traces of discussion on the doctrine of the Eucharist [Strype’s Cranmer, II. 354 sq.] continue to be visible: and even after the passing of the second Act of Uniformity (April 6, 1552), by which compliance with the regulations of the new Prayer Book was exacted from all clergymen, additional obstacles were thrown into the way of its publication.*8  It finally came into use Nov. 1, 1552, when Ridley officiated at St Paul’s cathedral.

      *[Stat. 5 and 6 Edw. VI. c. I.  The fifth section begins: “Because there hath arisen in the use and exercise of the aforesaid Common service in the Church heretofore set forth, divers doubts for the fashion and manner of the ministration of the same, rather by the curiosity of the minister and mistakers, than of any other worthy cause; therefore, as well for the more plain and manifest explanation hereof, as for the more perfection of the said order of Common Service, in some places where it is necessary to make the same prayers and fashion of service more earnest and fit to stir Christian people to the true honouring of Almighty God,” &c.]

      **[Some of these had been abrogated in 1536, on the ground that “the nomber was so excessyvely growen, and yet dayly more and more by mens devocyon, yea rather supersticyon, was like further to encrease.”  By the Stat. 5 and 6 Edw. VI. c. 3, where a special list was authorized, it is enacted that “none other day shall be kept and commanded to be kept holy day, or to abstain from lawful bodily labour.”  See the notes in Stephens, Eccl. Stat. I. 333 sq.]

      ***[“Answer was made that they had not yet sufficiently considered of the points proposed, but that they would give their lordships some account thereof in the following session.”  Heylin, Ibid. p. 228.]

      *4[The feelings of Edward or his chief advisers may be gathered from the following extract.  It occurs in a letter of Peter Martyr to Bucer (dated Jan. 10, 1551) in Strype’s Cranmer, Append. LXI. (II. 663): “Conclusum jam est in hoc eorum colloquio, quemadmodum mihi retulit reverendissimus [i.e. Cranmer] ut multa immutentur.  Sed quaenam illa sint, quae consenserint emendanda, neque ipse mihi exposuit, neque ego do illo quaerere ausus sum.  Verum hoc non me parum recreat, quod mihi D. Checus indicavit; si noluerint ipsi, ait, efficere, ut quae mutanda sint mutentur, rex per seipsum id faciet: et cum ad parliamentum ventum fuerit, ipse suae majestatis authoritatem interponet.”]

      *5[His first letter, written on the appearance of the Order of the Communion (1548), which Coverdale translated into both German and Latin, was addressed to Somerset Oct. 22, 1548 (Epist. pp. 39 sq. ad calc. Opp. IX. Amstelod. 1667: Henry, Leben Calvins, II. App. pp. 26 sq.).  After reflecting on the “oratio pro defunctis,” he adds: “Sed obstat invictum illud argumentum, nempe coenam Domini rem adeo sacrosanctam esse, ut ullis hominum additamentis eam conspurcare sit nefas.”  Calvin afterwards wrote to the king and council (April 10, 1551), urging them “to proceed,” and subsequently warned the primate against the corruptions still remaining in the Prayer Book (Ibid. p. 61).]

      *6[Some of these (in London) were under the supervision of Laski, see above.  About the close of 1550 appeared the Forma ac ratio tota ecclesiastici Ministerii which he made use of in public worship (cf. above).  Another congregation of foreigners was tolerated at Glastonbury, where many artisans who fled from Strasburg to escape the operation of the Interim had settled in 1550.  (Strype’s Cranmer, II. 286 sq.)  Their minister was Valerandus Pollanus (Pollen or Pullain), who published in self-defence a Liturgia Sacra, seu Ritus Ministerii in ecclesia Peregrinorum etc.  (London, Feb. 23, 1551 = 1552).  Both it and the Liturgia Peregrinorum Francofordiae (ed. 1555) appear to be cognate (if not identical) translations from the reformed services of Strasburg.]

      *7[Strype, II. 200 sq., 307 sq., 346 sq.  Bucer died in Cambridge, on the 28th of February, 1551: see Orig. Lett. pp. 490, 495: De Obitu M. Buceri epistolae duae, Lond. 1551: cf. Lamb’s Collection of Letters &c. p. 155.  His Censura super libro Sacrorum ... ad petitionem R. Archiepiscopi Cantuariensis ... conscripta, printed among his Scripta Anglicana (Basil. 1577), is dated Jan. 5, 1551.  On the Latin versions employed by these two reviewers, who did not understand English, see Procter, On the Prayer Book, pp. 65, 66.]

      *8[Some of the ultra-reformers (e.g. Knox, above) were so vehemently opposed to the practice of kneeling at the reception of the Eucharistic elements, that nearly six months after the book was sanctioned in parliament the council stopped the publication of it for the purpose of appending an explanatory Declaration to the Communion Service.  On the after-history of this Declaration, see Procter, p. 57, II. 2; p. 140.]


      Many of the changes that resulted from the criticism of the revisers may be traced directly to the animadversions offered by that school in England who had sympathized with bishop Hooper and admired the worship of the French and German refugees.  The vestments, for example, were in future to be simplified; the formula of exorcism and other usages connected with the administration of baptism and the visitation of the sick were discontinued; and although some hints of great and lasting value were borrowed* from the service books then used in congregations of the foreigners, the committee do not seem to have been actuated in the choice of these by any servile deference [See the language of Peter Martyr, above, and cf. the extracts adduced by Laurence, Bampton Lect. pp. 246, 247, Oxf. 1838.] either to the Saxon or to the Swiss divines.  With reference to some indeed of the disputed questions** no concession could be drawn from the commissioners, because they felt that relaxation where the voice of Scripture and Antiquity was unequivocal would have involved a dereliction of their sacred trust.  The only office in which change of doctrine seems to be at all discernible is that which had peculiarly excited the displeasure of one section of the Church, – the office for the Holy Communion.  Nor is it probable that variations would have been there adopted, if the structure had not been repugnant to the new convictions of the principal revisers.  We have seen the primate gradually abandoning his former tenets with respect to the nature of the Eucharistic presence, even at the time when he was actively engaged in the construction of the First Prayer Book.  Frequent conversations with John Laski,*** and prolonged examination, under like influence, of Scriptural and patristic authorities, had ultimately induced him to look with favour on the “Calvinistic” hypothesis; and when, in 1550, he came down into the lists to wrestle with the champions*4 of the higher doctrine, it was obvious that his principles, in this particular at least, had reached their full development (1550).  As Cranmer had devoted long and patient study to the Eucharistic controversy, so he wrote upon it with no ordinary power and precision.  Still his treatises being from the nature of the case destructive and polemical,*5 it is easier to determine how much he had repudiated than how much he was prepared to welcome and retain.  He vigorously denounces four positions, [Works, ed. Jenkyns, II. 308 sq.] (1) that after the consecration of the elements there is no other substance remaining but the substance of Christ’s flesh and blood; (2) that the very natural flesh and blood of Christ, which suffered for us on the cross and ascended into heaven, is also really, substantially, corporally and naturally, in or under the accidents of bread and wine; (3) that evil and ungodly men receive the very body and blood of Christ; and (4) that Christ is offered daily in the mass for the remission of sins, and that the merits of His passion are thereby distributed to the communicants.  He argued [Works, ed. Jenkyns, II. p. 401.] that Christ is figuratively in the bread and wine, and spiritually in them that worthily eat and drink the bread and wine; but, on the other hand, contended that our blessed Lord is really, carnally and corporally in heaven alone, from whence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

      *[More especially, the idea of inserting the Introductory Sentences, the Exhortation, the Confession and Absolution at the beginning of the Daily Service, and of reciting the Decalogue in the Office for the Holy Communion: cf. Procter, pp. 45 sq.]

      **[It was during the eventful spring and summer of 1552 that doubts arose in some quarters whether grace be really communicated through the sacraments (see above), and whether infants are regenerated before baptism or not.  Peter Martyr himself was in favour of modifying the formularies so as to express the views he held in common with Calvin, viz. that baptism was no more than the visible seal of blessings already imparted to the children of believers, or in a still higher sense, to the elect; but he goes on to mention that no little displeasure was excited against him because in this view he “altogether dissented from Augustine.”]

      ***[See above, and Jenkyns’s Pref. to his edition of Cranmer, pp. lxxix. sq., where it is shewn that Cranmer’s abandonment of “Lutheranism” in this particular was completed at the beginning of 1550.  The very deep interest which the question was then exciting manifested itself not only in disputations such as those above mentioned, but in the closets of the principal scholars of the day.  Thus Dr. John Redman, master of Trinity College, Cambridge, who had taken part in compiling the First Prayer Book, stated on his deathbed (Nov. 1551), that “he had studied of that matter [i. e. transubstantiation] this xii. yeres, and did find that Tertullian, Irenaeus, and Origen did playnly write contrary to it, and in other ancient writers it was not taught nor maynteyned.”  Thomas Lever the author of this account (printed in British Magazine, xxxvi. 402, 403: cf. Strype’s Cranmer, II. 358 sq.) goes on to say that Mr. Yonge, distinguished by his zeal for Mediaevalism, and who “was aforetime as redy and willinge to have died for the Transub. of the sacrament as for Christ’s Incarnac_n,” now purposed “to take deliberac_n, and to studye after a more indifferent sort, to ground his judgment better then upon a common consent of manye, that have borne ye name of ye church.”]

      *4[His Defence of the true and catholic doctrine of the sacrament of the body and blood of our Saviour Christ is among his Works, ed. Jenkyns, II. 275 sq.  He had probably in his eye Bishop Fisher’s treatise De Eucharistia contra Johan. OEcolampadium, but still more Gardiner’s Detection of the Devil’s Sophistrie, published in 1546.  The archbishop’s work was answered (1) by Smythe, late regius professor of Divinity at Oxford, who had written two works on the controversy as early as 1546, and (2) by Gardiner himself in his Explication and Assertion of the true Catholic Faith touching the most blessed Sacrament of the Altar (1551).  Cranmer now replied, in his Answer unto a crafty and sophistical cavillation devised by Stephen Gardyner late bishop of Winchester, &c. (ed. Jenkyns, III. 25 sq.), which was followed by Gardiner’s rejoinder in Latin, Confutatio Cavillationum quibus sacrosanctum Eucharistia sacramentum ab Capharnaitis impeti solet, published at Paris in 1552, under the name of Marcus Antonius Constantius, a divine of Louvain.  Cranmer was preparing a second reply just before the death of Edward VI. (Jenkyns’s Pref. p. xcvii.).]

      *5[“What,” he asks in the preface to his Defence (II. 289), “what availeth it to take away beads, pardons, pilgrimages and such other like popery, so long as two chief roots remain unpulled up?”  These “roots of the weeds,” are the doctrine of transubstantiation and “the sacrifice and oblation of Christ made by the priest for the salvation of the quick and dead.”]


      Throughout these controversies Cranmer uniformly maintained that his belief* was grounded on the Word of God (“wherein can be no error”) [Answer to Richard Smythe’s Preface; Ibid. III. 3.], and confirmed by the unanimous testimony of the Primitive Church.  His reverence for the Holy Bible and the witness of Antiquity is visible indeed where some expressions which escaped him in the heat of controversy have departed from the language of the ancient standards.  Thus when he objected to the phrase “real presence,” [For example, in the Preface to his Defence, p. 289 and elsewhere.] it is obvious from the context that his animadversions were directed against the notion of a merely physical and organic presence;** when he speaks as though the elements were simply figures of an absent Saviour, quickening men’s belief in Him and symbolizing His flesh and blood, there is no lack of passages in which the Eucharist is also represented as the means by which some vast and supernatural blessing is communicated to the spirit*** of the faithful recipient.

      *[Thus in the very title of his Defence, he adds, “grounded and stablished upon God’s most holy Word and approved by the consent of the most ancient doctors of the Church.”  Towards the close of the same work he distinguishes between the verdict of the Apostles and Primitive Fathers and the “new devices” which the writers of the Middle Ages introduced, adding (p. 463) with respect to the Communion Office in the English Prayer Book (i.e. the First Book of Edward VI): “Thanks be to the eternal God, the manner of the Holy Communion, which is now set forth within this realm, is agreeable with the institution of Christ, with St Paul, and with the old primitive and apostolic Church.”  See also his remarkable appeal, with reference to his teaching on this and other subjects, uttered just before his death.  Ibid. IV. 126.]

      **[Perhaps Bp. Ridley, who had materially influenced the development of Cranmer ‘s ideas on this question, is one of the best expositors of his meaning.  In the “last examination before the commissioners” (Ridley’s Works, ed. P. S. p. 274), there is a debate respecting this use of the word “real”.  Ridley’s conclusion is as follows: “I answer, that in the sacrament of the altar is the natural Body and Blood of Christ vere et realiter, indeed and really, for spiritually, by grace and efficacy; for so every worthy receiver receiveth the very true Body of Christ.  But if you mean really and indeed, so that thereby you would include a lively and a moveable body under the forms of bread and wine, then, in that sense, is not Christ’s Body in the sacrament really and indeed.”]

      ***[Thus at the opening of his Defence he has in his mind the aberrations of a party by whom the Eucharist hath been very lightly esteemed, or rather contemned and despised, as a thing of small or of none effect” (p. 292), as well as of the opposite party by whom that holy institution was “abused”.  In p. 306, he asks: “What thing then can be more comfortable to us than to eat this meat and drink this drink?  Whereby Christ certifieth us, that we be spiritually and truly fed and nourished by Him, and that we dwell in Him, and He in us.  Can this be showed unto us more plainly than when He saith Himself, He that eateth Me, shall live by Me?  Wherefore whosoever doth not contemn the everlasting life, how can he but highly esteem this sacrament?”  In pp. 437, 488 it is affirmed, “Forasmuch as the bread and wine in the Lord’s Supper do represent unto us the very Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ, by His own institution and ordinance; therefore, although He sit in heaven at His Father’s right hand, yet should we come to this mystical bread and wine with faith, reverence, purity and fear, as we should do, if we should come to see and receive Christ Himself sensibly present.  For unto the faithful, Christ is at His own holy table present with His mighty Spirit and grace, and is of them more fruitfully received than if corporally they should receive Him bodily present. ... And they that come otherwise to this holy table, they come unworthily, and do not eat and think Christ’s flesh and blood, but eat and drink their own damnation; because they do not duly consider Christ’s very flesh and blood which be offered there spiritually to be eaten and drunken, but despising Christ’s most holy Supper, do come thereto as it were to other common meats and drinks, without regard to the Lord’s Body, which is the spiritual meat of that table.”]


      Such was probably the state of mind in which the archbishop and some of his more active coadjutors now resolved to modify the structure of the Eucharistic office in the first Edwardine Prayer Book.  They approached the task allotted to them under strong excitement, not indeed persuaded that the office then in use was absolutely [See Cranmer’s language just cited, n. above.] unjustifiable, but prompted by a gradual modification of their own feelings and ideas to alter some particulars which gave a handle to objections on the one side, and offended scruples on the other.  And the changes ultimately brought about are found to correspond with this construction.  To say nothing of the less material additions, substitutions and suppressions, the new office omitted the formal invocation (_Ļ_______) of the Holy Ghost upon the elements, converted the prayer of oblation into a thanksgiving, and replaced the ancient words made use of at the delivery of the elements, “The Body of our Lord Jesus Christ,” &c. by “Take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for thee.”  In the last example, the old formula was quite compatible with a belief in transubstantiation the new formula, on the contrary, was made consistent even with the lax hypothesis of Zwingli.  Yet the various modifications thus effected wrought no very serious changes in the character of the Prayer Book.  It was still, in all its leading features and in the great bulk of its materials, an accumulation of ancient wisdom, a bequest of ancient piety: it was the form of words and bond of faith uniting English worshippers with saints and martyrs of antiquity; it was the Primitive Church speaking to the generations of these latter days”. [Professor Blunt’s Four Sermons, pp. 95 sq. Camb. 1850.]


      Allusion has been made already to a series of Articles* which Cranmer had begun to use in his own province as early as 1549.  A test of this description had become more needful in proportion as the growth of the Reforming party excited deadlier opposition, and as members of it were themselves developing eccentric institutions and irregular modes of action.  The Prayer Book, it is true, supplied one valuable test of orthodoxy, and one powerful instrument for steadying the belief as well as guiding the devotions of the English people: but in order to secure an adequate amount of harmony in preachers, lecturers and others similarly occupied, the want of something more concise in shape and definite in phraseology was felt by many of the English prelates.  There is reason to believe that such a manifesto would have been regularly authorized soon after the accession of King Edward, had not Cranmer [The credit of the plan, however, seems to be Melanchthon’s: see Laurence, Bampt. Lectures, pp. 222 sq.] cherished an idea of drawing the continental Protestants together, and uniting them in we communion with the English Church.  This fusion was in truth attempted, [See above.] in some measure, as early as 1538, when certain Lutherans were invited to discuss the controversies of the day with a select committee of English prelates and divines, and on the subsequent revival** of the scheme the Articles drawn up on that occasion might have furnished a convenient basis for the conferences.  Melanchthon, who was then the medium of communication, was also requested*** to attend the congress of 1548.  He seems, however, to have treated the idea as visionary and impracticable, owing probably to the experience he had gathered after sharing in the failures of like projects on the continent.  For Cranmer did not limit his invitations to one school of theologians.*4 Bucer, Fagius, Peter Martyr, Laski, Dryander, Calvin and Bullinger were all solicited to aid in the adjustment of disputed questions, more especially of that which in the Reformation period was the source of many others, – the doctrine of the Eucharist.

      *[Above.  These were possibly the same as the string of Articles sent to Gardiner (July 8, 1550), from the Privy Council: see the royal order for subscription in Wilkins, IV. 63.]

      **[Melanchthon wrote in favour of it to Henry VIII March 26, 1539, and again in 1542, expressing himself as follows on this last occasion: “Quod autem saepe optavi, ut aliquando auctoritate seu regum, seu aliorum piorum principum, convocati viri docti de controversiis omnibus libere colloquerentur, et relinquerent posteris firmam et perspicuam doctrinam, idem adhuc opto.”  See other evidence to the same effect in Laurence, as above, pp. 224 sq.]

      ***[Cranmer in writing to John Laski (July 4, 1548: Works, ed. Jenkyns I. 330) urges him to bring Melanchthon with him (“si ullo modo fieri poterit”): and a letter written to Melanchthon himself (Feb. 10, 1549 = 1550: Ibid. I. 337) repeats the invitation: “Multi enim pii doctique viri partim ex Italia [e.g. Peter Martyr and Ochino], partim ex Germania [e.g. Bucer and Fagius] ad nos convenerunt et plures quotidie expectamus, cujus ecclesiae chorum si ipse tua praesentia ornare et augere non gravaberis, haud scio qua ratione gloriam Del magis illustrare poteris.”  As late as March 27, 1552, the same point is pressed in another letter of great interest (Ibid. x. 348), from which we learn that the “causa sacramentaria” was still agitated, and that Bullinger had been invited.]

      *4[See Laski’s letter to Hardenberg (July 19, 1548) of which an extract is printed in Jenkyns’s Cranmer, I. 330 n. a.  Cranmer himself, writing to Laski in the same month (as above), gives the following account of his motives in planning the conference, and of his wishes with respect to the management of it: “Cupimus nostris ecclesiis veram de Deo doctrinam proponere, nec volumus cothurnos facere aut ambiguitatibus ludere; sed semota omni prudentia carnis, veram, perspicuam, sacrarum literarum normae convenientem doctrinae formam ad posteros transmittere,” etc.]


      Occasional notices importing that such a conference, though postponed from time to time, had not entirely vanished from men’s thoughts are traceable [The last trace occurs in a letter from Cranmer to Calvin (dated March 20, 1552 = 1553): Works, I. 346.] until the spring of 1553.  Yet long before this date effectual measures had been taken by the English primate and his friends to remedy the inconvenience that resulted from the want of some authorized Confession.  It is also most remarkable that notwithstanding the decided bias of one party in favour of the Swiss divines, the model chosen for the guidance of the compilers was a Lutheran document, the celebrated Confession drawn up at Augsburg in 1530, or rather a string of Articles* derived from it, with sundry adaptations and expansions, during the visit of the Lutheran envoys in 1538.  Accordingly, the animus of the English series published in 1553 is found to be accordant in the main** with Saxon rather than with Swiss theology.

      *[The “Thirteen Articles’ of 1538 are reprinted in Hardwick’s Hist. of the Articles, Append. II.: cf. pp. 61 sq. of the same work.]

      **[The chief exception is in the 29th Article of the series (“Of the Lordes Supper”), where the idea of “a reall and bodilie presence (as thei terme it) of Christes fleshe and bloude” is rejected.  Still even here it is remarkable that the authorized series did not like Hooper’s (below) proceed to the formal rejection of “any maner of corporall, or local presence of Christ in, under, or with the bread and wine.”]


      The object of archbishop Cranmer, who had been formally instructed by the court in 1551 to undertake the framing, or at least recasting* of this manifesto, was to bring about, if possible, “a godly concord in certain matters of religion.”  The Church of England, we have seen already, was divided into angry factions.  Gardiner and his allies, exasperated by the quick development of reforming principles, no less than by the arbitrary deprivation of members of their party,** were devoted even more entirely to the Mediaeval doctrines.  Ridley, and some others like him, manifested their sobriety by counterworking this reaction on the one side, and allaying the immoderate vehemence*** of the extreme reformers; while a motley group of Anabaptists,*4 openly impugning the most central verities of Holy Scripture, and even substituting the distempered ravings of their own imagination for the oracles which it delivers, threatened to produce an utter revolution both in faith and worship.  Hence the order, form and colour of the Forty-two articles, which after they were made to undergo successive modifications*5 at the hands of Cranmer and his coadjutors, and also of some other scholars and divines, were finally remitted to the royal Council Nov. 24, 1552.  The work continued in their custody until the following March, when at the meeting of the southern convocation, it seems to have been formally submitted*6 to the upper, if not also to the lower house, and ordered to be generally circulated in the month of May.*7  But before the country clergymen could be induced to welcome this manifesto, its effect was nullified by the untimely death of Edward, who expired on the 6th of July, 1553, not having completed his sixteenth year.  Among his last “memorials” [Strype’s Cranmer, II. 435.] he charged the country to persist in its adherence to the principles of the Reformation, at the same time urging the importance of organizing the ecclesiastical system more efficiently, and enjoining for this purpose the completion of a new code of laws,*8 to which the industry of certain commissioners was devoted concurrently with the arrangement and revision of the Forty-two Articles.

      *[It is now almost certain that a series of Articles analogous to those compiled in 1551 and 1552, had been already circulated by individual bishops on their own authority.  Such may have been Cranmer’s series of which mention is made above.  Such were unquestionably the Articles used by Hooper in visiting his dioceses, as we know from the “Responsio venerabilium sacerdotum Henrici Joliffe et Roberti Jonson, sub protestatione facta, ad illos Articulos Joannis Hoperi, episcopi Vigorniae nomen gerentis” etc., published at Antwerp, 1564.  Out of nineteen Articles animadverted upon by the prebendaries in 1552, ten coincide with the Latin Articles authorized in the following year: cf. the English Articles in Hooper’s Later Writings, ed. P. S. pp. 120 sq.]

      **[Respecting Gardiner himself and Bonner, see above.  Day of Chichester and Heath of Worcester had also been imprisoned on the same charge of nonconformity: but the deprivation of Tunstall, bishop of Durham, not unfriendly to a moderate reformation, was both harsh and ill-advised.  It is ascribable to the rapacity of the duke of Northumberland, who hoped to profit by the spoils of the bishopric.  See Massingberd, English Reformation, pp. 393, 394, 2nd ed., and Robertson’s note on Heylin, I. 290.]

      ***[See, for instance, his remarks on Knox, above.  But one of the best means of ascertaining the degree of restraint exerted on the ultra-reformers is supplied by Hooper’s English Articles (above) as compared with the authorized series.  The same cautious spirit must have dictated the withdrawal of the phrase “prayers for them that are departed out of this world” from the list of scholastic figments reprobated by Hooper, and even from the Latin version of the Articles as they stood in Oct. 1552: see the collation in Hardwick’s Hist. p. 304.]

      *4[That these and other sectaries (of whom more will be said in Chap. V) continued to increase during the reign of Edward VI is obvious not only from such startling narratives as that of Martin Micronius (Aug. 14, 1551: Original Letters, p. 574), but the royal commission of Jan. 18, 1551 (Wilkins, IV. 66), and other evidence of the same kind.]

      *5[On the 2nd of May, 1552, we find the royal Council asking of the primate whether the Articles delivered to the bishops’ in the previous year had been set forth by any public authority’ (Strype’s Cranmer, 866), referring perhaps to a design of submitting them to the convocation which was dissolved just before (April 16). Having been returned by the Council to the archbishop, he sent a revised copy of them to Cheke and Cecil (Ibid. Append. lxvi.). In the following month six of the royal chaplains including Knox (above, p.186), reported on them to the Council : and the last corrections of Cranmer were made between Nov. 20 and 24 in the same year (Strype’s Cranmer, App. lxiv.).]

      *6[On this vexed question, see Hardwick’s Hist. pp. 106–112.  The convocation was actually summoned to meet March 19, 1552 = 1553, and its sessions continued until April 1.]

      *7[This is stated in the first edition (English and a separate work) printed by Grafton “mense Junii, 1553,” with the title Articles agreed on by the bishops and other learned men in the synod at London, &c.]

      *8[The Reformatio Legum Ecclesiasticarum (ed. Cardwell, Oxf. 1850) originated in the Stat. 3 and 4 Edw. VI. c. 11, which empowered the king to appoint thirty-two persons “to compile such ecclesiastical laws as should be thought by him, his council and them, convenient to be practiced in all the spiritual courts of the realm.”  No such body, however, seems to have existed until Nov. 11, 1551, when a smaller committee was nominated, consisting of Cranmer, Peter Martyr and six others: see Wilkins, IV. 69, and Cardwell’s Pref. pp. vii. viii.  Still, as their work was not completed within the years mentioned in the Act of 1549, the hope of gaining for it the sanction of the legislature was deferred and ultimately defeated.  Its present worth arises from the fact that “including within it matters of doctrine as well as of discipline, it may be considered as exhibiting the mature sentiments of archbishop Cranmer and the avowed constitution of the Church of England at that period.”  Cardwell, p. 10.]


      Yet after a brief interval, during which the sceptre had been forced into the pure and guileless hands of Lady Jane Grey, [Above.] the reformation party was exposed to a succession of calamities, and even ran the risk of perishing entirely.  The new queen, Mary, had inherited from Catharine of Aragon a cordial hatred of religious innovations.  She had also been harshly treated in the previous reign,* and consequently her accession was an augury of good to all the Mediaevalists, announcing that the triumph of their party was at hand.  On the meeting of parliament Oct. 5, 1553, four days after the queen’s coronation, the proceedings opened with high mass in Latin;** while the convocation of the southern province, with Weston as the prolocutor, lost no time in reaffirming the scholastic theory of transubstantiation.***  The facility with which the members of this body now reverted to their old position, or at least repudiated some of the more sweeping changes of the former reign, appears to prove that as those changes grew in number and in violence, a vigorous reaction had been working in the soul of the community.  It should be also borne in mind, that when the convocation met, the leading prelates*4 favourable to the Reformation had been arrested on the charge of treasonable practices, while others had absconded here and there in order to avoid the same treatment.  The reformers were accordingly paralyzed by fear and overwhelmed by dark forebodings.  But although the Mediaeval rites and doctrines were thus reintroduced by the dictation of the civil power,*5 without provoking any serious struggle, it was not so manifest that England would compose a quarrel with the papacy,*6 which had now lasted twenty years.  The queen on her accession felt herself obliged to use the title “head of the church,” and Gardiner, the life and mainspring of the anti-reformers, bad contributed as much as any other prelate to the independence of his country.  But a mediator whose religious principles and social position fitted him to smoothe away obstructions, and to reconcile conflicting interests, was then living at a monastery on the borders of the Lago di Garda.  This was Cardinal Pole,*7 who after corresponding with the queen and others on the prospect of their reabsorption in the Church of Rome, had ventured across the channel, November 20, 1554.  On his arrival, Gardiner and the rest had all determined to abandon their old convictions on the subject of the papal monarchy.  A formal reconciliation*8 was accordingly produced in parliament, and subsequently in both houses of convocation, Pole comparing England to the prodigal son, who having wasted all her substance, was at length returning to her Father’s house, – to what he deemed the center of ecclesiastical unity provided in the see of Rome.

      *[See Turner, Modern Hist. III. 318 sq. When she was examined before the Council (March 18, 1551 = 1552) and expressed her resolution to adhere to her convictions, Edward VI made the following entry in his journal: “Here was declared, how long I had suffered her mass in hope of her reconciliation; and how, now being no hope, which I perceived by her letters, except I saw some short amendment, I could not bear it.”]

      **[Dodd, II. 56.  In a contemporary Admonishion to the Bishoppes of Winchester, London and others (dated Oct. 1, 1553 and probably by Bale) we find a notice of similar restorations: “Boner hath set up agayne in Paules Salesburi latin portace [the Sarum Breviary], wherof the lai men vnderstandeth no word, and God knoeth no more do the greater parte of the portas-patterers”: sign. A iii (copy in Camb. Univ. Lib. AB, 13, 1).     ]

      ***[Wilkins, IV. 88.  Dodd, II. 58, note.  The five members of the lower house who dared to controvert the decision of the assembly were Haddon, dean of Exeter, Philpott, archdeacon of Winchester, Philips, dean of Rochester, Aylmer, archdeacon of Stow, and Cheney, archdeacon of Hereford.]

      *4[Coverdale of Exeter and Hooper of Gloucester were first silenced (in August) by the arbitrary fiat of the council, and then imprisoned.  Latimer, Cranmer, Ridley, Holgate of York, and Ferrer of St David’s shared the same fate, and as the rest of the prelates either absconded or conformed, Taylor of Lincoln and Harley of Hereford were the only members of the Reformation party in the House of Lords at the beginning of October, and they both were deprived and died soon afterwards.]

      *5[Mary’s absolutism in these particulars was certainly not less emphatic than that of her father and brother.  See, for example, her instructions to Bonner (March 4, 1554) in Wilkins, IV. 88 sq., where among other things she orders “that by the bishop of the diocese an uniform doctrine be set forth by Homilies, or otherwise, for the good instruction and teaching of all people; and that the said bishop, and other persons aforesaid, do compel the parishioners to come to their several churches and there devoutly to hear Divine Service, as of reason they ought.”]

      *6[Mary herself (whose letter to Pole of Oct. 28, 1553, is reprinted in Dodd, Append. XX) expresses her persuasion that the existing parliament would not assent to the recognition of the papal authority.  The following is a specimen of her reasoning: “Itaque veremur ne, pertinacius quam desideraremus, insistant et urgeant, ut titulum supremi capitis ecclesiae continuemus et assumamus quod si fiat, habeo quod respondeam et excussm, nempe, me semper professam veterem religionem, in ea fuisse edoctam et enutritam, in eo velle perseverare usque ad ultimum vita spatium; nos nihil contra conscientiam posse consentire; titulum illum non convenire regi” etc.  In a subsequent letter (Nov. 15, 1553) she hints that her subjects as then disposed would rather take the life of Pole than suffer him to enter the kingdom as papal legate, “tantum abest nt vel auctoritatem aut obedientiam debitam ecclesiae et sedi apostolicae sint approbaturi et recognituri,” etc.  Ibid. p. ciii.]

      *7[See above; Phillips’ Life of Reginald Pole, 2nd ed. Lond. 1767, and Neve’s Animadversions upon it, Oxf. 1766.  Turner has also a good chapter (Bk. II. ch. xiii.) on Mary’s earlier ecclesiastical measures.]

      *8[Dodd, II. 62 sq.  The cardinal referred especially to the destruction of the religious houses and the confiscation of church property.  Yet, in order to secure the allegiance of the spoliators the pope was under the necessity of confirming them in their possession of the abbey and chantry lands.  See the bull of Julius III. (June 28, 1554) in Wilkins, IV. 102, and Stat. 1 and 2 Phil. and Mary, c. 8.]


      It is remarkable that one of the first petitions* in the lower house of the new convocation (1554) prayed for the destruction of the “pestilent book of Thomas Cranmer made against the most blessed sacrament of the altar,” and of other works composed in favour of the recent changes.  Gardiner was now indeed as eloquent in his eulogies of popery as he had once been vehement in the denunciation of the papacy.  Reestablished as the chancellor of the university of Cambridge, he insisted on the application of new tests** by which he might exclude those members who abetted the reforming principles.  Nor was the zeal of Gardiner and his faction limited to arguments and tests of doctrine.  At the very opening of the new reign, the foreign refugees were ordered to “avoid the realm” within twenty-four days “upon pain of most grievous punishment by imprisonment and forfeiture, and confiscation of all their goods and moveables”.***  The same determination to establish uniformity of faith and worship led to the extrusion of a multitude of Englishmen belonging to all ranks and orders of society, and numbering, it is said, as many as eight hundred souls.*4  One section of them fled to Switzerland, where they were hospitably entertained at Basel, Aarau, Zürich and Geneva, while the rest obtained a like asylum at Wessel, Emden, Strasburg and Frankfort.  Common sufferings failed, however, to unite these bands of exiles, or subdue the elements of jangling and repulsion which had threatened to dissever their community at home.  The more extreme reformers, liberated from episcopal jurisdiction, were resolved on their establishment at Frankfort*5 (1554) to modify, if not to supersede, the English Prayer Book, on the ground that even after the elaborate revision of it, made only two years before, it had remained “a huge volume of ceremonies,” and was still debased by frequent dregs and vestiges of popery.  The scruples of these disaffected spirits were increased by Calvin’s censure*6 of the Prayer Book.  Knox became their favourite minister; [Above.] and it is probable that he would have acquired still greater influence, had he not been forcibly restrained*7 on the arrival of dean Cox (March 13, 1555), an able champion of the English formularies.  The chief authors of the agitation now retreated to Geneva: yet the controversy they had opened, or at least exasperated, when they stigmatized the Liturgy as “superstitious, unpure and unperfect,” never ceased to rankle in men’s minds; until one party of the exiles whom they had infected, reproduced their accusations in this country.  But while minor troubles were perplexing many an earnest refugee at Frankfort and elsewhere, the leaders whom he left in England had been called to undergo a sharper trial, and to water their abundant labours with their blood.  The zeal of Mary in the cause of Rome was ere long fired into fanaticism by her marriage with a gloomy bigot, Philip II of Spain*8 (July 25, 1554).  She had moreover been provoked by the disloyal virulence of the extreme reformers,*9 and on one occasion had been made to tremble for her safety by an insurrection of the populace under Wyatt, whose chief war cries were destruction to the pontiff and confusion to the Spanish match. [Turner. III. 425 sq., Dodd, II. 88 sq., where the question as to Elizabeth’s implication in these movements is discussed.]  Yet provocations of this kind will never be allowed to palliate the dark atrocities*10 by which they were succeeded.  During the next four years as many as two hundred and eighty eight persons, of all ranks and orders, perished at the stake, the greater part for their abandonment of Mediaevalism and their adherence to the doctrine of the English Reformation.*11  Four of these were bishops, Hooper, Farrer, Ridley and Latimer, all of whom confronted the devouring flames with earnestness and heroism worthy of the noblest cause (1555).  Another of the leading victims his tormentors had determined to reserve until the spring of the following year.  But Cranmer did not emulate the constancy*12 which signalizes nearly all the English martyrs of that period.  From the day*13 when standing in his prison tower at Oxford, he witnessed the immolation of his chief companions, Ridley and Latimer (Oct. 16), we notice that his mental vigour had been almost paralyzed.  A series of disgraceful artifices on the part of his assailants finally extracted from him the most abject recantation of his principles, particularly of his writings on the Eucharist, in which he most of all departed from the Mediaeval Church; yet when he saw that nothing but his blood would satisfy the malice of the persecutor, all his manliness of soul appears to have returned.  His execution (March 21, 1556), which some had hoped, while it was consummating his own ignominy, might prove the deathblow of his party, had very different consequences.  It evinced that, notwithstanding his deplorable relapses, he had never entirely lost his hold upon the truths which he had lived to vindicate, and thus Cranmer’s memory was in part retrieved amid “the fires of his martyrdom”.  The morning after this tragedy was perpetrated at Oxford had been chosen for the consecration of Reginald Pole to the archbishopric of Canterbury.  Pole did not however long enjoy his dignities,*14 expiring on the 18th of November, 1558; and, what is still more noticed by the annalists of the time, his royal mistress also breathed her last not many hours before him (Nov. 17) [Stow, Annales, p. 634, says, “the same day”.]; and at the early age of forty-three.

      *[Wilkins, IV. 95 sq.  The petitioners urge this point and others on the ground that the bishops were manifesting a “godlie forwardness ... in the restitution of this noble church of England to her pristine state and unitie of Christ’s church, which now of late years hath been grievously infected with heresies, perverse and schismaticall doctrine sowne abroad in this realme by evil preachers, to the great loss and danger of many soules.”]

      **[See the list of Articles forwarded by him (April 1, 1555) in Wilkins, IV. 127, 128, and on the subscriptions of the Senate, cf. Lamb’s Collection of Letters, &c. pp. 172 sq.  Lond. 1838.]

      ***[Wilkins, IV. 93.  To this order the misfortunes of Laski and his friends are traceable (see above).  Utenhovius (above) in his Simplex et fidelis narratio de instituta ac demum dissipata Belgarum, aliorumque peregrinorum in Anglia, ecclesia, etc. (Basil. 1560), thus alludes to their extrusion: “Papismus per sororem suam Mariam ... reducitur, aut potius retrahitur, tanta celeritate et crudelitate, ut ministerium nostrum publice amplius cum salute ecclesiae obire integrum non esset,” p. 20.]

      *4[Heylin, II. 171, 175.  Mr. Massingberd (Engl. Reform. p. 423, 2nd ed.), relying on Spanish authorities, appears to make the total number of exiles far greater.  He speaks of “a cause for which three hundred persons gave their bodies to be burned, and no fewer than thirty thousand endured exile and the spoiling of their goods.”  Several Spanish writers, e.g. Ribadeneyra (Hist. Eccl. de Inghilterra, lib. II. c. 17) and Salazar de Mendoza (Vida de Bart. Carranza, p. 28) mention thirty thousand; but this number includes many foreigners, who had found refuge in England, and also those that were reconciled by penances.  The prodigious number of persons dealt with in different ways by the Inquisition, or by a system like the Inquisition, while the theories of persecution had influence, would be incredible, if it were not so well attested as it is.  Some of the principal English refugees were bishops Coverdale (rescued from the flames by the intercession of the king of Denmark), Poynet, Barlow, Scory and Bale, five deans, four archdeacons, together with a large number of the clergy who became distinguished in the following reign; e.g. Grindal, Sandys, Jewel, Pilkington, Nowell, Whittingham, Lawrence Humphrey and John Foxe: see the list in Strype’s Cranmer, III. 38, 39.]

      *5[The original authority is A brief Discourse of the Troubles at Frankfort (published in 1575, and reprinted in 1846 by Petheram).  The author was either Whitehead or Whittingham, more probably the latter: cf. Heylin, II. 176 sq., and Dyer’s Life of Calvin, pp. 421 sq.  Sandys, Grindal, Haddon and other exiles then at Strasburg remonstrated (Nov. 23, 1554) with the innovators (Troubles, p. xxii. ed. 1575), but in vain.]

      *6[A description of the Liturgy was drawn up in Latin by Knox, Whittingham and other ultra-reformers, and sent to Geneva at the close of 1554.  Calvin’s answer “somewhat resembling the Delphic oracles” (Twysden, Vindication. p. 156) is dated Jan. 18, 1555.  He writes (Epist. et Responsa, p. 98): “In Anglicana Liturgia, qualem describitis, multas video fuisse tolerabiles ineptias.  His duobus verbis exprimo, non fuisse eam puritatem quae optanda fuerat; quae tamen primo statim die corrigi non poterant vitia, quum nulla subesset manifests impietas, ferenda ad tempus fuisse. ...Quid sibi velint, nescio, quos faecis papisticae reliquiae tantopere delectant.”]

      *7[On the representations of Cox, the senate of Frankfort ordered all the English residents to conform to the Prayer Book: on which the malcontents retired, some, as John Foxe, to Basel, and the main body with John Knox to Geneva, where (as Heylin expresses it, II. 182), “they rejected the whole frame and fabric of the Reformation made in England.”]

      *8[See above.  The first intimation of a wish to exterminate the reformers appeared in the discussions of the Council in the following October: see Tierney’s note on Dodd, II. 101.  On May 24, 1555 (not 1554 as in Wilkins, IV. 102), the king and queen required Bonner to go forward with the persecutions, and even Pole, amiable as he was in private life, “authorized, encouraged and commanded them”.  See Turner, Modern Hist. III. 456 sq., and the constitutions drawn up in the Convocation of Canterbury (Jan. 1558: Wilkins, IV. 155 sq.) where the bishops of Lincoln and Ely were ordered to hold a yearly inquisition in the Universities and to execute the barbarous constitution of archbp. Arundel “De Haereticis”.  Pole moreover issued an express commission for the same purposes (March 28, 1558; Wilkins, IV. 173).  Gardiner’s death on the 12th Nov. 1555. prevented him from joining in the later atrocities: but his loss was more than supplied by the Spanish ecclesiastic, Carranza (above), whom Philip sent before him into England for the purpose of assisting in the work of extermination, and who became in fact soon afterwards confessor to the queen: Maasingberd, p. 430.]

      *9[On Knox’s Blast and other writings in favour of rebellion, see above.  Some “honest citizens,” so Foxe terms them, prayed in public that “God would either turn the queen’s heart from idolatry or shorten her days,” a form of prayer which was specially reprobated in Stat. 1 and 2 Phil and Mary, c. 9.  The laxity of principle that characterizes “Puritan politics” during the reign of Mary and the fresh ascendancy of “antichrist” is mercilessly exposed in Dr. Maitland’s Essays on the Reform. pp. 85–195.  The violence of the language employed in prayers, such for instance as a man like Becon addressed to the Almighty, has few parallels in the literature of any period: e.g. “That Thy blessed worde may haue the more free passag, take away from vs those Idolatrus Massmongers, those idle latyne Mumblers, those shauen Madianites, those Lordly loyterers, those Wolues, those Theues Robbers, and Murtherars, which do nothyng elles than poyson Thy flocke, whom Thy most dere Sonne purchased withe Hys most Precious dere hearte bloode” &c. Ibid. p. 194.  How different the spirit shewn by Ridley in a letter written just before his martyrdom!  He breathes the following prayer in passing for the happy delivery of the queen who was supposed to be near to her confinement, – “partum reginae quem Deus pro Sui nominis gloria dignetur bene illi fortunare” (Works, ed. P. S. p. 394).]

      *10[Tierney (note on Dodd, II. 103) is himself appalled by the recital of them.  “New commissions,” he says, “were issued, new barbarities were enacted, and a monument of infamy was erected, which, even at the distance of three centuries, cannot be regarded without horror.”  Still it must be borne in mind that these persecutions were confined to the Southern and Midland counties.  The North was almost entirely exempt, owing to the clemency of Heath, archbp. of York, and Tunstall, bishop of Durham.]

      *11[The numbers vary slightly, but 288 is the aggregate obtained by Cecil (Lord Burghley): Turner, III. 453, n. 16.  Foxe, whose list is analyzed by Dr. Maitland (pp. 576 sq.) makes the number 277.  The first victim was Rogers who was burnt as early as Feb. 4, 1555.  On the state of religious feeling that prevailed among these sufferers, see The Letters of the Martyrs, collected by Coverdale in 1564, and reprinted at London, 1837.  Compare, on the conduct of the persecution and behaviour of the victims, Maitland’s Essays on the Reformation, pp. 396–492.]

      *12[When urged to flee on the accession of Mary, he boldly answered that he would hold his ground: “Constantia usus Christiano praesule digna, vita constitui potius quam regno, hoc in tempore cedere”: Godwin, De Praesulibus, p. 141, Cantab. 1743.]

      *13[For the particulars of his first condemnation as a heretic (April 20, 1554), see Strype, Cranmer, III. 122 sq.  Nearly one year and a half elapsed anterior to his final trial before the commissioners of the pope and the queen (Sept. 12, 1555): see Strype, Ibid. pp. 209 sq.  On the 4th of Dec. sentence of deprivation was issued against him at Rome, and executed at Oxford Feb. 14, 1556.  Before parting with his crosier he appealed to a General Council.  One of the best narratives of what followed is in Le Bas, Life of Cranmer, II. 228 sq. See also Dean Hook’s account in the Lives of the Archbishops of Canterbury.]

      *14[One of these, the office of legatus ą latere, was taken from him by Paul IV, with whom he had been placed in competition for the popedom.  Another legate, cardinal Peyto, was appointed in his stead (June 20, 1557) to the annoyance and disgust of Mary, yet when Peyto died in the following spring, Pole was reinstated.  One of the reasons alleged for his suspension was, the firm determination of the pontiff to repress all quasi-Lutheran tendencies like those which had appeared in the “Oratory of Divine Love,” of which Pole was formerly a member: see above; Heylin, II. 195, 215, 216, and Turner, III. 475, 476.]


      Had Mary and her counsellors abstained from persecution it is not unlikely that their principles would have been permanently reestablished in all parts of England.  The impetuous zeal with which the Reformation was hurried on during the last years of her predecessor alienated the affections of one thoughtful class of Englishmen who concurred in many of the earlier changes.  And the conduct of the cardinal himself had on the whole been tending to reconcile this party to the older forms of worship and belief.  He understood their wants, and sympathized with many of their wishes.*  On the doctrine of man’s justification, for example, he was occupying ground analogous [See above.] to that which Luther endeavoured to reclaim from the encroachments of the schoolmen.  Yet the policy of Mary’s government, which seemed to grow more harsh and merciless in proportion to the number of its victims, [Thus at Canterbury itself five persons were burnt alive on the 10th of November, a week before the death of Pole.] had defeated the great objects of the counter-reformation party.  It was also currently believed that such despotic cruelty was largely owing to the readmission of the pontiff, or suggestions of the Spaniards who held office in the court; and therefore the whole nation seemed to breathe more freely when the news was circulated that the princess Elizabeth, whose former detention in the Tower** had excited their condolence, was securely placed upon the throne.

      *[For example, in the legatine synod which he held (Dec. 16, 1555) it was ordered that the New Testament should be translated into English (Wilkins, IV. 132): cf. his Reformatio Angliae (1556), Rom. 1562, passim.]

      **[Singularly enough, she seems to have owed her safety, in part at least, to the policy of Philip: Miller, Hist. phil. illust. III. 226, 230: Cf. Mr. Robertson’s note in his edition of Heylin, II. 260, with respect to Gardiner’s hostility.]


      Elizabeth, now twenty-five years of age, was the daughter of Anne Boleyn, and as such her fortunes had been long associated with victories and reverses of the great religious movement.  For some time, however, she delayed to manifest her predilections.  All the medieval rites* were celebrated on the day of her coronation (Jan. 12, 1559), and Cecil, who immediately became her principal adviser, had himself occasionally conformed to the established worship in the previous reign.  Their efforts were at first directed to the mitigation of religious acrimony.**  With this object all the pulpits of the kingdom were reduced to silence;*** party names were interdicted; warnings were addressed to those who on the one side favoured “superstition,” and to those who on the other were inclined to laxity, or disregarded holy things. [See Bacon’s speech at the meeting of parliament, Jan. 25, 1559, in D’Ewes, Journals, &c.  p. 12.]  But in the spring of 1559 it grew apparent that Elizabeth was determined at all risks*4 to brave the indignation of the pontiff,*5 even while foreseeing that the powers whom he had rallied in the hope of conquering the world afresh, might all be turned against her.  In resisting such a foe, she counted not only on her personal popularity, but on the deep repugnance felt by many of her subjects to reunion with the Roman see.

      *[On her own conformity during the reign of her sister, see Heylin, II. 261; Dodd, II. 119.  As early, however, as Christmas Day (1558) she had ordered Oglethorpe, bishop of Carlisle, not to elevate the Host in her presence: Heylin, II. 272, and note.  The same bishop officiated at her coronation, his brother prelates declining to recognize her title.]

      **[The new state council contained a mixture of reformed and unreformed, the latter preponderating: see Camden, Annales, pp. 2, 3, Lugd. Batav. 1623, and Turner, III. 507, n. 45.  Yet Cecil and Bacon were the most intimate advisers.]

      ***[The royal order is dated Dec. 27, 1558 (Wilkins, IV. 180).  It proves that the Reformers were again emerging from their concealment; and the same is visible in the records of the southern convocation, when the lower house (Feb. 1558–1559), by way of protest reaffirmed the old opinions.  Ibid. p. 179.]

      *4[An important “Device for Alteration of Religion, in the first year of Queen Elizabeth,” is printed in Burnet, “Records,” Part II. Bk. III. No. 1.  The dangers likely to ensue are stated and discussed with great calmness, apparently by Cecil and Sir Thomas Smith.  The first of them runs as follows: “The bishop of Rome, all that he may, will be incensed, he will excommunicate the Queen’s highness, interdict the realm, and give it in prey to all princes that will enter upon it; and stir them up to it by all manner of means.”  The sixth is more remarkable as shewing how thoroughly these statesmen realized the difficulties of the position: “Many such as would gladly have alteration from the Church of Rome, when they shall see peradventure that some old ceremonies be left still, for that [because] their doctrine, which they embrace, is not allowed and commanded only and all other abolished and disproved, shall be discontented and call the alteration a cloak’d Papistry, or a mingle-mangle” (p. 328, ed. 1683).  In the solution of this latter difficulty he foreshadows the whole course of their administration (p. 330), “Better it were that they [the ultra-reformers] did suffer, than her highness and commonwealth should shake or be in danger; and to this they must well take heed that draw the Book,” [meaning probably the revision of the Prayer Book].]

      *5[She announced the fact of her accession to the pope as well as to the other continental potentates.  But Paul IV replied that she was illegitimate, that by ascending the throne without his sanction she had insulted the authority of the apostolic see, &c.  Heylin, II. 268, Dodd, II. 120 with Tierney’s note.  The natural result was that she instantly ordered Carne, the English ambassador, to return from Rome: and when Pius IV manifested a more conciliatory spirit two years later, (see Ch. Butler’s Historical Memoirs of the Catholics, I. 152, 153) the golden opportunity had passed.]


      The first proceedings* of the legislature, though some were strongly adverse to the papal claims, provoked no formidable opposition, if we except the bill in which it was proposed to reinvest the crown with the ecclesiastical supremacy** enjoyed by Henry VIII and Edward.  The proposal was, however, finally accepted, in spite of numerous scruples,*** rising from a total misconception of its purport and effect.  The same measure made it lawful to the queen and her successors to constitute ecclesiastical commissions [Sect. xviii. and sect. xxxvi.] for correcting and repressing every kind of schism and misbelief, provided always that nothing should from henceforth be accounted heresy, but what had been so adjudged “by the authority of the canonical Scriptures, or by the first four general councils or any of them, or by any other general council wherein the same was declared heresy by the express and plain words of the said canonical Scriptures, or such as hereafter shall be ordered, judged or determined to be heresy by the high court of parliament of this realm, with the assent of the clergy in their convocation.”

      *1[E.g. Stat. 1 Eliz. c. 3, “for recognition of the Queen’s highness to the imperial crown of the realm,” and 1 Eliz. c. 4, “for the restitution of the first-fruits to the crown” (above): Mary having relinquished her claim to these latter.]

      **[Stat. 1 Eliz. c. 1.  The title is very remarkable: “An Act to restore to the crown the ancient jurisdiction over the estate ecclesiastical and spiritual, and abolishing all foreign powers repugnant to the same.”  In Caudrey’s case (Coke’s 5th Report, p. 8), it was contended that this was not a statute introductory of a new law, but declaratory of the old, “which,” as Mr. Stephen remarks (Eccl. Stat. I. 353), “is true with regard to a general right of jurisdiction in the crown over the state ecclesiastical: but it does not apply to the entire statute.”]

      ***[Elizabeth tried to soften these by laying aside the title “Supreme Head” (above), and still more pointedly in the Injunctions which she issued during the same year (Cardwell’s Documentary Annals, I. 200).  It was there declared that she did not challenge any more authority than “under God, to have the sovereignty and rule over all manner of persons born within these her realms,” which is still further explained in Art. XXXVII as modified in 1562.  The oath of supremacy, however, as enjoined in sect. xix. of this enactment was refused by all the Marian bishops, except Kitchen of Llandaff.  See Heylin, II. 293, 294 on their deprivation and subsequent treatment.  Bonner was the only prelate who experienced any thing like undue severity.]


      The next important measure was an act for legalizing the Book of Common Prayer, and for establishing religious uniformity* in all parts of England.  Changes** were, however, introduced into that formulary, partly for the sake of adding to the ceremonial [By Stat. 1 Eliz. I. c. 2, sect. xxv., the “ornaments of the church and of the ministers thereof” were restored as in 2nd year of Edw. VI.] which had been considerably reduced in the later years of Edward, and still more with the intention of correcting errors not unlikely to be prompted by his second Prayer Book, with respect to the specific nature of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist.***

      *[Stat. 1 Eliz. c. 2.  The Preamble refers to the act of Mary’s “parliament by which the Prayer Book had been taken away, to the great decay of the due honour of God, and discomfort to the professors of the truth of Christ’s religion.”  In sect. xiv all persons, “having no lawful or reasonable excuse to be absent” are enjoined “to resort to their parish church or chapel accustomed ... and then and there to abide orderly and soberly during the time of the common prayer, preaching, or other service of God,” under certain penalties.]

      **[See Procter, pp. 54 sq.  A disputation was held at Westminster March 30, 1559, in order to prepare the way for the introduction of the reformed service book, which was ordered to be used on “the feast of the nativity of St John Baptist” (June 24): see the particulars in Cardwell’s Conferences, ch. I. II.]

      ***[The sentences employed at the distribution of the elements (above) by the two Edwardine Prayer Books were now combined; “lest under the colour of rejecting a carnal, they might be thought also to deny such a real presence as was defended in the writings of the ancient Fathers”: Heylin, I. 287.  For the same reason the “Declaration on Kneeling” (above) was dropped, much to the discontent of some reformers: see Zurich Letters, I. 180, ed. P. S.: and cf. Ibid. p. 165.]


      The predilections of the court, as manifested in these changes, were still further shewn by nominating Matthew Parker for the new archbishop of Canterbury.  Elected by the chapter of that cathedral (Aug. 1, 1559), and regularly* consecrated at Lambeth on the 17th of the following December, he proceeded with a happy mixture** of prudence, gentleness and firmness to reorganize the body over which he had been summoned to preside.  He shewed himself the great conservative spirit of the English Reformation, [His opinion of men like Knox is cited above: cf. his Correspondence, p. 435.] sheltering many a treasure from the general wreck of ancient literature entailed by the destruction of the monasteries, and importing the same thoughts and feelings into his arrangements for securing the stability of religion.  Parker had remained in England during the reign of Mary.  He was, therefore, less addicted than some others whom he styles “Germanical natures” [Correspond. p. 125.], to the models of religious worship they had studied on the continent.  His enemies indeed have censured him as little better than a Lutheran,*** owing to the views he held on controverted subjects, more especially on the doctrine of the sacraments.  Yet be was Lutheran only in so far as Luther had revived the doctrine of the Early Church, and followed the examples of the ancient and worthy Fathers.*4

      *[On the “Nag’s Head” fable and other objections to the “succession” of the English bishops, see Le Courayer, Validity of the Ordinations of the English, new ed. Oxf. 1844. Haddan’s notes on Bramhall’s Works, Oxford, 1842–5; and Apostolical Succession, Oxford, 1869; also Bailey, Ordinum Anglicanorum defensio, London, 1870.  The consecrators of Parker were Barlow, Scory, Coverdale and Hodgkin (suffragan of Bedford).  On his biography in general, see Strype’s Life of Parker and his own Correspondence printed by the Parker Society.]

      **[It is curious to notice how the Romanist Dorman, in his Disproufe of M. Nowelles Reproufe (Antwerp, 1565) acknowledges that Parker, Guest (of Rochester), and Cheynie (of Gloucester) were men “in all respectes (heresye set aparte) worthy to beare the office off true bishoppes in Christes churche” (fol. 103 b).  He also adds that Parker was nicknamed “Matthewe mealmouthe,” a “Lincewolsy bishoppe,” &c.  The queen also thought him on some occasions “too soft and easy,” while divers of his brethren (Correspondence, p. 173) noted him too sharp and too earnest in moderation, which,” he adds, “toward them I have used and will still do, till mediocrity shall be received amongst us.”]

      ***[See Dorman, Disproufe, as above, where he says that this was the ease with respect to the Eucharist: fol. 52 a: and in Heads of Doctrine (above), he revived the expression “conferre gratiam” (so obnoxious to the Calvinists) in describing the efficacy of both the sacraments.  Together with Cox of Ely he defended the use of a crucifix or cross, in the Queen’s chapel: see Zurich Letters, I. 67, 68, II. 41, 43.]

      *4[See Parker’s Correspondence, p. 111: cf. his last will in Strype’s Life, Append. No. c.  Another scholar of like mind was Edmund Geste (Guest), who having remained in England during the Marian troubles, was promoted to the see of Rochester (Jan. 1559 = 1560), and afterwards to that of Salisbury.  On him devolved the principal burden of revising the Prayer Book, owing to Parker’s illness.  See his Life, by H. G. Dagdale, Lond. 1840, where his Treatise againste the prevee Masse in the behalfe and furtheraunce of the mooste holye Communyon (Lond. 1548), and other pieces, are reprinted.  Parker must have also found a zealous fellow worker in Alley, bp. of Exeter, who took an active part in the synod of 1563.  His opinions may be gathered from the Poore Man’s Librarie, a large collection of theological miscellanies, Lond. 1565.]


      The new primate was, however, scarcely seated on his throne at Canterbury, when the troubles that were destined to embarrass all the rest of his career began to peep above the surface.  The exiles who had hastened home on hearing that the storm of persecution was exhausted by the death of Mary, were in many cases* strongly tinctured by the characteristic doctrines of the Swiss.  The violence of ultra-Lutherans [On the persecution of Laski and his friends, see above: and the contemporary narrative of Utenhovius, as above, p. 218, n. 3.] in the north of Germany had driven many of them into the arms of Bullinger and Calvin.  Accordingly, when the earliest manifesto** of this party was drawn up in the spring of 1559, to answer the “vain bruits of the lying Papists,” they could boast that its compilers “had not departed in the slightest degree from the Confession of Zürich”. [So Jewel writes to Peter Martyr, April 28, 1559: Zurich Letters, I. 21.]  But although these Articles were mainly in accordance with the formulary of 1552, they do not appear to have been satisfactory either to the English primate or to the court; for in the same year a totally different list*** (eleven in number) was published by authority, and appointed to be “holden of all parsons, vicars and curates,” in attestation of their general agreement with each other.  The former series entered somewhat largely on a class of speculative topics*4 which had been discussed indeed by all successive ages of the Church remarkable for intellectual activity, viz. the truth of God’s foreknowledge and the ground of His predestination, as those doctrines bear upon the parallel truths of human freedom and of moral responsibility.  In the reign of Henry VIII such questions had been very warmly agitated*5 here as well as on the continent: they also taxed the spirit of the Marian martyr,*6 while in hourly expectation of his summons to the stake: but at the opening of the new reign, after many of the refugees had learned to systematize their tenets by continued intercourse with leading Swiss divines, the controversy on predestination and the points immediately connected with it had begun to occupy a central place in their theology, and even threatened here and there to swallow up all other Christian doctrines.*7

      *[The chief exceptions seem to have been those (like Young, after wards archbishop of York) who took refuge at Wesel: see Soames, Elizabethan Religious History, pp. 20, 21.  Lond. 1839.]

      **[Some account of it is given by Strype (Annals, I. 115, ed. 1725).  It professes to adhere very closely to the Edwardine Articles of 1552, and does so in discussing many of the principal topics.  The article on predestination (§ 3) is much fuller; that on justification is almost entirely new; while prefixed to the articles on “the civil magistrate” (§§ 20–22) is an earnest disavowal of any sympathy with books like that of Knox (above).  Sandys, in writing to Parker, April 30, 1559, mentions that the authors of this series intended to publish their work “so soon as the parliament is ended,” adding, “I wish that we had your hand unto it”: Burnet, “Records,” Part II. Book III. No. II.  The entire document is still among the MSS. of Corpus Chr. Coll. Comb. No. CXXI. § 20.  Parker alludes to it in his Correspondence, p. 66, and as late as 1566, applies to Cecil for the manuscript (Ibid. p. 290).]

      ***[Printed in Wilkins, IV. 195 sq., and Hardwick’s Hist. of the Articles, Append. No. IV.  It must have been published at the very end of 1559, since Parker was not consecrated till Dec. 17.]

      *4[Strype, Annals, I. 116, where, however, the whole of the Article on Predestination is not printed.  The compilers lay great stress upon this doctrine, adducing the authority of St Augustine to the same effect, yet freely admit the dangers which may follow from one-sided apprehension of it, and concede that “in this our corrupt age,” it ought to be handled “sparely and circumspectly”.]

      *5[See especially bp. Gardiner, Declaration (against George Joye), fol. xxxix. and passim.  In fol. lxxiiii. he writes: “The true teachynge of Christes Churche abhorreth necessitie, and yet worshyppeth for moost certayne truthes Goddes prouidence, election, and predestinacion, whereby we be taughte that God is auctor of al our helth, welth and saluacion, the cyrcumstaunce of which workyng in God in his election and predestinacion, althoughe it be as impossible for mans wit to frame with [i.e. make consistent with] our choyse and free wyll as to deuise how a camell shulde passe through the eye of an nedle without makyng the nedles eye bygger or the camell lesse; yet that is impossible for man is not impossible for God.”]

      *6[See Laurence, Authentic Documents relating to the Predestinarian Controversy, Oxf. 1819.  The prisoners in the King’s Bench disagreeing on the doctrine, one of them, Bradford, prepared a statement which he submitted to Cranmer, Ridley and Latimer, then imprisoned at Oxford.  Ridley alone seems to have replied to the inquirers, but his “godly and comfortable treatise,” as Coverdale terms it, is no longer extant.  Immediately afterwards he wrote to Bradford: “Sir, in those matters I am so fearful that I dare not speak farther, yea almost none otherwise than the text doth, as it were, lead me by the hand”: Works, ed. P. S. p. 368.]

      *7[In Haweis’ Sketches of the Reformation, p. 95, Lond. 1844, an account is given of a clergyman whom Parker charged not to preach controversial sermons on the Divine Counsels; whereupon the zealots rebuked him, arguing that predestination, “as the only doctrine of salvation,” ought to be preached everywhere, and before all audiences.  The excessive rigour of this school, and their doctrinal aberrations, have been exposed in an adverse spirit by Heylin in his Historia Quinqu-Articularis.]


      On the contrary, the Articles of 1559 abstained from such disputes, restricting their definitions to the fundamental verities embodied in the creeds, or to those controversies where the Church of England was completely at issue with the Romanists.  And when it was at length proposed to reconsider the Forty-two Articles of Edward VI, on the assembling of the first Elizabethan Convocation (Jan. 1562–3), the changes introduced bear witness to the presence of the same controlling spirit.*  Instead of drawing hints from the Helvetic Confessions, Parker had recourse to one of Saxon origin,** distinguished for its moderation, and actually presented by the state of Würtemberg to the assembled council of Trent (1552).  As finally remodeled at this time, and regularly sanctioned by the convocation of the southern province,*** the Articles had undergone important modifications. [See them detailed at length in Hardwick’s Hist of the Articles, pp. 125 sq.]  The statements of the Church were amplified on certain doctrines, more especially those in which her teaching had been misrepresented; other subjects were omitted altogether, owing partly to the disappearance of the forms of misbelief at which they had been levelled, and partly to a manifest anxiety of the compilers to abstain, as far as might be, from scholastic questions: while in reference to the Eucharist,*4 of which the statement may in every case be taken as one of the best criteria for deciding the special character of all confessions issued at this period, the Church of England occupied a more distinct and independent place than in the previous list of Articles.  The Romish theory of transubstantiation was repudiated quite as strongly as before: the theory, alike of Romanist and Lutheran, touching the manducation of our Lord’s Body by the wicked, was no less obnoxious to the majority of the synod [It is a remarkable symptom that this article was, notwithstanding, dropped in the printed copies, and not restored till 1571.]: yet in order to establish a position equally removed from Zwingli’s, they determined that the Body of Christ is after a heavenly manner given, taken and eaten in the Lord’s Supper, and at last withdrew a clause*5 which in the former Articles denied the possibility of “the reall and bodilie presence (as thei terme it) of Christes fleshe and bloude,” upon the ground that His humanity is locally restricted to the place of His glorification.

      *[This remark may be extended to the Second Book of Homilies, prepared perhaps during the reign of Edward VI, and published by authority in 1563: although a greater portion of the material out of which the book was framed is traceable to foreign sources.]

      **[Above.  Some light is thrown upon this question by the fact that immediately after the accession of Elizabeth, a party of the English reformers were anxious to adopt the Augsburg Confession (see Strype’s Annals, A.D. 1558, pp. 53, 174, Lond. 1725), and in the following year they had succeeded in persuading the Queen to make overtures for joining the Schmalkaldic League: see Jewel’s letter to Peter Martyr (Apri128, 1559): Zurich Letters, I. 21; cf. pp. 54, 55, and II. 48.]

      ***[Although the northern convocation does not appear to have exerted any direct influence on the compilation of these Articles, and may not have formally accepted them till 1605, the archbishop of York, and the bishops of Durham and Chester, subscribed in the synod of the southern province on this occasion.  See Lathbury, Hist. of Convoc. pp. 165, 166, 1st ed., and Bennet On the XXXIX. Articles, p. 206, who makes it very probable that the northern clergy were consulted by the archbishop at the beginning of Feb. 1562 (= 1563).]

      *4[The exiles, on presenting their Articles of Christian Doctrine in 1559 (above), expressed themselves at considerable length on the “Lordes Supper” (Art. XIV; MS. p. 155): “... in the due administracion of this holie supper we do not denye all maner of presence of Christes bodie and bloude, neither do we thinke or saie, that the holie sacrament is onely a nakid and a bare signe or figure in the which nothing elles is to be receyued of the faithfull but common bread and wyne ... yet we do not alow the corporall, carnall and real presence which they teache and maynteyne.”  Their position is, affirmatively speaking, that “to the beleuer and worthie receyuer is verily given and exhibited whole Christ, God and man, with the frutes of His passion.”  Some of them, however were dissatisfied with the changes made in 1563.  For example, Humphrey and Sampson writing to Bullinger (July, 1566), and pointing out the “blemishes that still attach to the Church of England,” complain: “Lastly, the Article composed in the time of Edward VI, respecting the spiritual eating, which expressly oppugned and took away the real presence in the Eucharist, and contained a most clear explanation of the truth, is now set forth among us mutilated and imperfect”: Zurich Letters, I. 165.  Cf. the analogous complaints on the withdrawal of the Declaration about kneeling, above.

      *5[Dorman, in his Disproufe of M. Nowelles Reproufe (1565), insists more than once on the divisions among the English prelates on this subject (fol. 53 a, fol. 103).  In 1571, however, Parker seems to think that no material difference had been perpetuated: Correspond. p. 379.  One of them, Cheynie, bp. of Gloucester, openly defended the doctrine of Luther (Zurich Letters, I. 185, 186) as late as 1567: of. Strype, Annals, I. 563.]


      The proceedings of the synod threw fresh light upon the tendency of public feeling and the relative strength of parties then existing in the Church of England.  For example, overtures* were made in order to effect, if possible, some sweeping changes in the ceremonial as enjoined by the Elizabethan Prayer Book, and the Act of Uniformity.  Many of the exiles, unaccustomed for some years to services which if consistently performed would bear frequent resemblance to the ritual of the Middle Ages, lost no time in circulating threats or murmurs or misgivings.  The administration of the sacraments was thought to “savour altogether of Lutheranism”:** the champions of the Prayer Book were reputed a “papistical”*** or at the least a “Lutherano-papistical ministry”.*4  The earliest censures of these disaffected churchmen contemplated more especially the use of the cross in baptism, “all curious singing and playing at the organs,” copes, surplices, saints’ days, caps and gowns, and most of all perhaps the practice of kneeling at the sacrament.  Nor was the disaffection limited to some of the more ignorant or clamorous members of the “Swiss” party.  It is painful to record that several*5 of the most able scholars and most energetic preachers, – men whose hearts were overflowing with affection for their parishes, whose name is still revered among the worthies of their generation, and whose writings still inform and edify the Church, – were victims of these petty scruples, and must therefore be in part responsible not only for the agitations of that age, but also for the mightier tempests which eventually broke upon their country, levelling alike the altar and the throne.  Yet Parker, on the other hand, how much soever he might sympathize with tender consciences, could not be forced from his position.  He saw at once the revolutionary nature of the movement,*6 and supported*7 by the Queen and Cecil (now lord Burghley) was resolved to offer it the most decided opposition.*8  What is generally known as the “vestment controversy” may be said to have reached its highest point in 1566, about which time the malcontents were branded with the name of Puritans, or Precisians.  Not a few of the church authorities, who heretofore had winked at nonconformity, avowing that they held their places chiefly for the sake of keeping out objectionable ministers,*9 were now resolved to execute the law.  They were convinced that Puritanism when fully grown would prove itself the natural enemy of episcopacy, and would destroy all kinds of organization, where the people were not virtually supreme.*10  This inference was supported by the fact that some of the more advanced leaders of the Puritans refused to countenance the public worship, and at last departed altogether from the communion of the Church (1567). [See Haweis’ Sketches of the Reformation, p. 189, and Zurich Letters, I.. 201.]

      *[See the account in Strype’s Annals, ch. XXIX. (I. 335 sq. ed. 1725).  Sandys, then bishop of Worcester, mooted the question respecting the sign of the cross: but the greater part of the objections issued from the lower house, where the paper of reformanda was subscribed by dean Nowell, the prolocutor, and thirty-two other members.  One of their proposals was to modify the thirty-third article, which had just been approved by the convocation.  And even after this project failed, another motion, aiming at nearly the same objects, was introduced into the lower house (Feb. 13), and lost by only one vote.  “Those that were for alterations,” writes Strype, “and for stripping the English Church of her ceremonies and usages then retained and used, were such (as I find by their names subscribed) as had lately lived abroad”: p. 337.]

      **[Zurich Letters, II. 159; the author of this expression being George Withers, who was then a great champion of the nonconforming. or disaffected churchmen: see Soames, Elizab. Hist. pp. 57 sq.]

      ***[Parker and Burghley were stigmatized as such: Parker’s Correspond. p. 479.  The archbishop remarks, however, “If I, you, or any other, named great papists, should so favour the pope, or his religion, that we should pinch Christ’s true Gospel, woe be unto us all.”]

      *4[Grindal and Horne, writing to Bullinger and Gualter (Feb. 6, 1567), declare that the adoption of the authorized vestments, contrary to their own wishes and convictions, was the only means of preserving the Church from “a papistical, or at least a Lutherano-papistical ministry”: Zurich Letters, I. 177, cf. Ibid. II. 143.  Gualter, in writing to Beza (July 23, 1566), speaks of the English clergy in general as “wolves, papists, Lutherans, Sadducees and Herodians” (Ibid. II. 125).]

      *5[E.g. Miles Coverdale, bishop of Exeter in the time of Edward, was not allowed to reenter his diocese on this account.  See the biographical notice prefixed to his Remains, ed. P. S. 1846.  Thomas Sampson, dean of Christ Church, and Lawrence Humphrey, president of Magdalene College, Oxford, Thomas Lever of Cambridge, and John Foxe the “martyrologist,” are other examples of the same inflexibility, and were fellow sufferers of Coverdale (see Soames, pp. 29 sq. pp. 74 sq.).  But besides these open adversaries of the ritual, a large proportion of the bishops taken from the refugees had similar objections.  Grindal bp. of London, Pilkington bp. of Durham, Horne bp. of Winchester, are some of the chief members of the class (Soames, pp. 21 sq.).  Even Jewel at first agreed with Peter Martyr in terming the vestments “relics of the Amorites”: see Le Bas, Life of Jewel, pp. 74 sq.  It is also obvious that of the clergy who had license to preach (about one-third of the whole body), very many were swayed by the same antipathies: Soames, p. 32.]

      *6[See his Correspondence as early as 1566, pp. 284, 285.  The mutual counteraction caused by these disputes was also painfully present to his mind: Ibid. pp. 61, 321.]

      *7[See the royal Advertisements (1564) in Wilkins, IV. 247 sq., and the Proclamation against the despisers or breakers of the orders prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer (1573).  Ibid. pp. 278, 279.]

      *8[E.g. in his Articles to be inquired of within the diocese of Canterbury (1569): Ibid. pp. 257 sq.  The lawlessness with which he had to struggle may be gathered from an official paper in Strype’s Life of Parker, p. 152.  The first specimen runs as follows: “Some say the service and prayers in the chancel, others in the body of the church; some say the same in a seat made in the church, some in the pulpit with their face to the people; some keep precisely the order of the Book, others intermeddle psalms in meter; some say with a surplice, others without a surplice.”  Yet these were only the beginnings of disorder: for even Mr. Marsden, Hist. of the Early Puritans, admits, pp. 54, 55 (Lond. 1850), that the extravagance afterwards displayed by some of the party, “almost defies exaggeration.  Every form of Church government, and every distortion of Christian doctrine, had for a while its boisterous advocates.”]

      *9[Such for instance was the plea of Grindal and Horne (Zurich Letters, I. 177).  When the latter of these prelates gives a living to Humphrey, after his liberation from the restraint in which he had been placed for nonconformity, Jewel refused to institute him (Le Bas, pp. 155 sq.), and subsequently made himself peculiarly obnoxious to the Puritans (Ibid. 198).  On Grindal’s further reasons for compliance see Strype’s Life of Grindal, p. 135.]

      *10[The rapidity of this development is seen in a joint communication of the two archbishops Parker and Sandys (1573), where they declare that in the platform set down by these new builders we evidently see the spoliation of the patrimony of Christ, a popular state to be sought.  The end will be ruin to religion and confusion to our country.”]


      Meanwhile the opposite (or “Romanizing”) party had been thrown into a similar agitation, and resolved to follow the example of the early Puritans.  A section of the Marian ecclesiastics, it is true, had already been deprived* on their declining to accept the oath of supremacy or sanction the new Prayer Book (1559); but the great body of them still adhered to their positions, either from self-interest or from higher motives, until 1570.  In that year originated the Anglo-Roman schism.  The pontiff (Pius V) had hitherto restrained his indignation in the hope of winning back the Queen and her advisers by a gentler process, but his patience was at length exhausted.  A bull of excommunication** was posted on the gates of London house, denouncing vengeance on Elizabeth, and commanding all her subjects to violate their oaths of allegiance, under pain of sharing in the like anathemas.  In connection with this wrathful manifesto, a rebellion [The best account is that of Stow, Annales, pp. 663 sq.] was again fomented in the northern shires of England: priests and Jesuits*** educated on the continent, especially at Douay,*4 were sent over in great numbers with the twofold object of exciting political troubles and disseminating the peculiar dogmas of Tridentine Romanism.  Accordingly the English statesmen were disposed henceforth to handle them more roughly.*5  Some indeed of those who cherished an affection for the old learning gradually accepted the principles of the Reformers, and their reabsorption would perhaps have been facilitated if the English Church had not been torn by scandalous divisions.*6  For the patience of the rulers in both Church and State continued to be largely taxed by the advances of refractory spirits, who, although they did not openly abandon the established worship nor reject the definitions of Christian doctrine promulgated in the Articles, were drifting more and more from their original position.

      *[On the bishops, see above: and Parker’s address to them (March 26, 1560): Corresp. p. 111.  The entire number who ceased to minister was one hundred and eighty-nine: Strype’s Annals, I.. 171, 172, Dodd, II. Append. No. XLIV: cf. Zurich Letters, I. 66.  Some withdrew to the continent, especially to Louvain, while others who nominally conformed appear to have read the services at church, and said mass in private houses: Rishton, the continuator of Sanders, De Origine ac progressu Schismatis Anglicani, p. 292, Colon. 1585.]

      **[Printed in Wilkins, IV. 260, 261, and Camden’s Annales, pp. 183 eq. Lngd. Batav. 1625; but differently dated in the two copies.  It was really issued April 27, 1570.  The following is among the charges brought against Elizabeth: “libros manifestam haeresim continentes toto regno proponi, impia mysteria et instituta ad Calvini praescriptum a se suscepta et observata etiam a subditis servari mandavit.”  Camden goes on to say (p. 186) that this bull was obnoxious to the more sober “Pontificii” “qui prius privatim sea sacra intra parietes satis secure coluerunt, vel recepta in Ecclesia Anglicana sacra sine conscientiae scrupulo adire non recusarant.”  On the general question of the schism produced in 1570, see Fulwood’s Roma Ruit, Append. pp. 314–318, Camb. 1847.]

      ***[As early as 1568 the members of this order had begun to infest the Church of England under the disguise of Puritanical ministers, their objects being to divide and so to conquer: see the case of Thomas Heath as taken from the register of the see of Rochester, in Dugdale’s Life of Edm. Geste, pp. 46, 47.]

      *4[On the Romish “Colleges founded abroad,” see Dodd, Part IV. Art. III.  From the continuator of Sanders we learn that before 1585 as many as 300 “seminary priests” had been supplied by the establishments at Douay and Rome for “missionary” work in England.  Many of these Anglo-Romanists had been distinguished members of the English universities, e.g. Harding (Jewel’s antagonist), Stapleton (author of the Promptuarium Catholicum), and cardinal Allen, the mainspring of the movement (Soames, pp. 92 sq.).]

      *5[Thus Burghley, writing soon after the horrid massacre of St Bartholomew (above), complains (Sept. 11, 1573) of being “bitten with a viperous generation of traitors, papists, and I fear of some domestic hidden scorpions.”  Executions were, however, almost unknown till after this date.  They became more frequent on the discovery of Babington’s plot for the assassination of queen Elizabeth (Carte, III. 600 sq.), which also led to the execution of her rival, Mary queen of Scots (1587).  In the following year a heavier blow was inflicted on the Romanists by the destruction of Philip’s grand Armada, which aimed at nothing less than the subjugation of England for the pope.]

      *6[Thus archbishop Parker, in deploring the Romeward tendencies of certain persons in 1572, was of opinion that the change was brought about in part at least, “by the disordered preachings and writings of some Puritans, who will never be at a point”: Correspond. p. 392.]


      Shielded, in some measure, by the profligate earl of Leicester, [See above.  His intense dislike of the archbishop is shown in Parker’s Correspond. p. 472.] and despairing, as they urged that reformation would originate in high quarters, they put forward a sarcastic Admonition, to the Parliament* (1572); in which among denunciations of the Prayer Book** and the hierarchy*** they proceeded to recommend the institution of a new church, whose “holy discipline” should copy the presbyterian models then exhibited in Scotland and Geneva.  Two great champions who had measured swords already in the pulpits, schools, and lecture rooms of Cambridge, now stood forward to assail and to defend the English Church, its government, its service books, and general organization.  These were Thomas Cartwright*4 and John Whitgift*5 the latter being urged to undertake the office, and assisted in discharging it, by Archbishop Parker*6, whom he ultimately succeeded in the primacy of England (1583).  Cartwright’s violence suggested similar attacks,*7 and Whitgift’s bold defense of his position was the means of rallying some of the dispirited ecclesiastics and opening the eyes of all to the insidious and volcanic agencies by which they were surrounded.*8

      *[The first Admonition, written chiefly by John Field and Thomas Wilcox, appeared in 1572, after the Parliament was prorogued.  In a letter of Beza’s appended to it, the Genevese reformer insisted on the importance of pure “discipline” as well as pure doctrine.]

      **[The ritual portion of it is denounced throughout, and even the body of the work is stigmatized as “that prescripte Order of seruice made out of the masse-booke,” sign. A. iiij. ed. 1572.  Hence the origin of Puritan substitutes for the Prayer Book, on which see Procter, pp. 83 sq.]

      ***[The bishops are declared to be the “cheefe cause of backewardnesse and of all breache and dissention,” sign. A.  They are also told that their “kingdom must downe, hold they neuer so hard.”]

      *4[Cartwright (the T. C. of Hooker) became fellow of St John’s College in 1560, and of Trinity College three years later.  In 1570 he was appointed to the Margaret professorship, but deprived in the following year when Whitgift was vice-chancellor.  In 1573 he wrote his Replie to Whitgift’s Answere to the Admonition, which is printed at length in Whitgift’s Defense (1574).  In 1575 and 1577 Cartwright proceeded with the controversy in his Second Replie.  He was now absent from England, at Geneva and elsewhere, till 1585, when on venturing home he experienced many acts of kindness from his former adversary, then archbishop of Canterbury.]

      *5[See Strype’s Life of Whitgift, which together with his Lives of Parker and Grindal is full of materials for the history of this critical period.]

      *6[Soames, p. 174.  Parker died soon afterwards, May 17, 1575, so hateful to the Puritans that, under the Commonwealth, colonel Scott one of the regicides converted the chapel at Lambeth where he was buried “into a hall or dancing room”.  His remains were also exhumed, the leaden coffin sold, and the bones buried in a dunghill: Ibid. p. 206, note.  They were recovered and reburied at the Restoration.]

      *7[E.g. the famous Book of Discipline (1589) by Walter Travers, who was for some time Hooker’s coadjutor at the Temple and his theological opponent.]

      *8[The great production on that side of the controversy is Bancroft’s sermon preached at St Paul’s cross in Feb. 1588 = 1589.  In it he maintained that bishops were as an order superior to priests and deacons, that they governed by Divine appointment, and that to deny these truths was to deny a portion of the Christian faith.  On the effect produced by it see Heylin’s Hist. of Presbyter. p. 284.]


      The principles involved in these disputes on church organization and church ritual were most clearly brought to light in what is called the “Martin Marprelate” controversy,* which originated in a series of scurrilous libels (1588), where the queen, the bishops, and the rest of the conforming clergy, were assailed with every kind of contumely.

      *[Several of the tracts produced by these discussions have been reprinted by Petheram.  Respecting others see Maskell’s History of the Martin Marprelate controversy, Lond. 1845.  The question as to the authorship of the tracts is still undetermined.  Penry, Throgmorton, Udal and Fenner are commonly said to have taken an active part.  That many of the Puritans sympathized with them is plain from the treatises themselves: Maskell, pp. 216 sq.; cf. Marsden, Early Puritans, pp. 198 sq. on the other side.  In Bishop Cooper’s Admonition to the People of England (a sober reply to the earlier pamphlets, which appeared in 1589) the wide diffusion of their principles is equally manifest: “Who seeth not in these dayes, that hee who can most bitterly inueigh against Bishops and Preachers, that can most boldely blaze their discredites, that can most vncharitably slaunder their liues and doings, thinketh of himselfe, and is esteemed of other, as the most zealous and earnest furtherer of the Gospel,” p. 2: cf. the Royal proclamation (Feb. 13. 1588 = 1589), in Wilkins, IV. 340, and Bacon’s Works, III. 135 sq. ed. 1765.]


      It was in the House of Commons that the advocates of sweeping changes found their principal supporters during the reign of Elizabeth.  There as early as 1570* bold attempts were made to modify the offices of the Church, and even to reject those Articles of Religion that sanctioned the Homilies, the Ordinal, and the ecclesiastical “traditions”.  The restraining of the Queen’s prerogative was commonly associated in men’s thoughts with the advancement of the Puritanic interest, and hence it is most probable that half compliance with their scruples was covertly intended by the framers of the celebrated act of Parliament requiring “ministers of the church to be of sound religion”.**  Under Grindal, who succeeded Parker in the primacy (1575), the relaxation of church discipline was most deplorable,*** owing to either his latent sympathy with Puritanism or the excessive gentleness of his disposition.  Whitgift was accordingly compelled to act with an amount of firmness that too often wore the aspect of severity.  He enforced subscription*4 to the Articles and also to the Prayer Book: he revived the court of High Commission [Martin Marprelate’s indignation at this step may be seen in Martell as above, pp. 143 sq.] as it had been instituted in the first year of queen Elizabeth: he carried out the mandates of the crown for checking the irregular action of ministers and other members of the Church who met together periodically “for the exercise called prophesying”.*5  By this vigorous course of policy, pursued for many years, he was enabled to rescue the Church of England from the yoke of “the pretended holy discipline”.  More than once indeed, the current both of theological literature and of popular feeling had been turned in the direction of Geneva; but when Bancroft was advanced to the archbishopric of Canterbury in 1604, the apprehensions caused by such a tendency were calmed and dissipated.  That important section of the Church who viewed episcopacy as Divinely ordered and as therefore absolutely binding on all Christians, had obtained a fresh predominance, which, notwithstanding many conflicts and reverses, they preserved throughout the following century.

      *[See Strype’s Annals, II. 63 sq., Hardwick’s Hist. of the Articles, p. 151.  The Queen had in 1566 expressed her determination to resist such intermeddling (cf. Parker’s Correspond. p. 291); and in the slight modifications of the Articles made by Convocation in 1571, no reference was made to the proceedings in the House of Commons, nor to the act of the same year, 13 Eliz. c. 12, by which subscription to that formulary was exacted from all candidates for holy orders.]

      **[This is the act referred to in the previous note: cf. Hist. of the Articles, pp. 149, 226 sq.  The Puritans construed it in such a manner as to exempt themselves from one class of Articles, swearing to those “which only concern the confession of the true faith and the doctrine of the sacraments”: but the Convocation of the same date required subscription equally to the entire series.]

      ***[Fuller, who is certainly not inclined to press severely on Grindal, complains of his extreme laxity towards the close of his life: Ch. Hist. Bk. IX. p. 138.  Parkhurst, bishop of Norwich, was another illustration of the same spirit.  Cecil writes of him to Parker as early as Aug. 12, 1561: he “is blamed even of the best sort for his remissness in ordering his clergy.  He winketh at schismatics and Anabaptists, as I am informed.  Surely I see great variety in ministration.  A surplice may not be borne here.  And the ministers follow the folly of the people, calling it charity to feed their fond humour.  Oh, my lord, what shall become of this time?”  Parker’s Correspond. p. 149.  Yet similar complaints were still uttered in 1593 by Bancroft in his Survey of the pretended Holy Discipline, p. 249, Lond. 1593.]

      *4[See the Articles touching preachers, &c. (1584) in Wilkins, IV. 307, and, on the archbishop’s difficulties, his letter (May 9, 1584) to Sir Christopher Hatton, in Nicolas’s Life of Hatton, pp. 371, 372, Lond. 1847.]

      *5[Elizabeth’s prohibition of these preachings and prayer meetings is dated May 7, 1577: Wilkins, IV. 289.  Many of the bishops e.g. Grindal and Parkhurst) had formerly recommended such “‘exercises”.  But although they might in some instances lead to the edification and instruction of the audience, they were easily convertible into occasions for assailing the established usages of the church and for reflecting on the government: see Soames, pp. 160, 224, 226, Marsden, pp. 104 sq.]


      Amid the “disciplinarian” troubles which had led to this result, the special dogmas of the English Church were brought less frequently* on the arena of polemical discussion.  It is obvious that the type of the theology prevailing in the Universities and thence diffused into the country parishes was strongly Augustinian, owing either to the deference which the Latin Church had always yielded to the great doctor of Hippo, or in many cases to the influence exercised by continental theologians, who in spite of all their independence were deeply tinctured by the Augustinian spirit.  Bullinger [His “Augustinianism,” however, was in form much milder than that of Calvin: above.] and Calvin may be cited as examples of the latter class; and the one-sidedness [See above.] which characterizes some of their conceptions of Christian doctrine was betrayed by not a few of their disciples in this country.  That one-sidedness, indeed, although not entirely irreconcilable with our own Articles of Religion, was continually abated here by the unspeculative tone and unpolemical statements of the Liturgy, – a species of corrective which, if felt at all, was far less operative in other communities; and therefore as long as men embraced the Prayer Book cordially, their theological opinions were less likely to be marked by those extravagancies** of thought and feeling which had grown too general on the continent.  But, on the other hand, it should be recollected that many of the earliest race of Puritans abhorred the teaching of the Prayer Book.  In their Admonition it is said to be “full of abominations,” one passage of the Ordinal they branded as “ridiculous and ‘blasphemous,” and even that portion of the Church’s mind which is transmitted in the Articles, they did not think above suspicion.  Some, for instance, were considered “lame” or mutilated,*** others “eyther too sparely or else too darkely set downe”. [Cf. Whitgift’s remarks upon this passage in his Answere, pp. 298, 299, Lond. 1573.]  As in the Prayer Book they objected to the supplication that all men may be saved,” [See Whitgift’s Defense, p. 739, Lond. 1574.] so in the Articles they sighed for more distinct assertions of their favourite dogma, that all Christians added to the number of the elect, on falling into sin, must of necessity be rescued from the consequences of their fall.*4  In spite, however, of these scruples not unfrequently repeated, it is certain that the public formularies were thought by a majority of English churchmen to be reconcilable with the Institutio of Calvin,*5 which accordingly became a sort of oracle and textbook for the students in the Universities.  The same is true of Bullinger’s productions, more especially the Decades, which as late as 1586 were recommended*6 by the southern convocation with the hope of facilitating the preparation of young curates who were still unlicensed to preach.  Even Whitgift himself and his more active coadjutors, though sympathizing more with St Augustine than with any of the modern divines,*7 were strongly adverse to those views of Christianity which represented all mankind as equally embraced within the circle of God’s love and pity, which insisted on some kind of freedom in the human will as necessary to the constitution of a moral agent, and urged the possibility of spiritual suicide in those who had once become partakers of regenerating grace.

      *[Bp. Carleton in his Examination (cf. Bp. Montague’s Appeal), pp. 8, 121, Lond. 1626, and other writers of more recent times (e.g. Marsden pp. 205 sq.) have very much overstated their case when they maintain that no quarrel was moved “against the doctrine of our Church” during the Elizabethan period.]

      **[That such extravagancies did find their way into England is plain, however, from the passages collected in Heylin’s Hist. Quinqu-Articul. e.g. Part III. ch. xvii. § 4.  The sternest advocate of them was William Perkins, whose “Armilla Aurea, containing the order of the causes of salvation and damnation,” appeared in 1592.]

      ***[See above, on the feelings excited by the modification of the Article on the Lord’s Supper.  George Withers in writing to the prince elector Palatine (before 1567) remarks: “I will not touch upon the doctrine of our church, which, though sound in most respects, is however lame in others”: Zurich Letters, II. 162.]

      *4[The authors of the Seconde Admonition, p. 43, Lond. 1573, after denouncing some of the bishops for their tyranny and “flat heresie in the sacrament,” add that “some be suspected of the heresy of Pelagins.”  “For the first, that is, concerning the sacrament, the bishops are notoriously known which erre in it, and for free-will not onely they are suspected, but others also.  And indeede the booke of the Articles of Christian religion speaketh very daungerously of falling from grace,” etc.  This objection to the sixteenth Article frequently recurs.]

      *5[Hence the name “Calvino-papistae,” which the nonconforming Puritans applied to other churchmen: Stapleton, Promptuar. Cathol. Part I. p. 285, Part III. p. 116, Colon. 1594.  On the vast authority of Calvin see Hooker’s ironical note on A Christian Letter (Works, I. 139, n. 33, Oxf. 1841), where he ends by asking “Doe we not daily see that men are accused of heresie for holding that which the Fathers held, and that they neuer are cleere, if they find not somewhat in Calvin to justify themselues?”]

      *6[“Every minister having cure, and being under the degrees of master of arts, and bachelor of law, and not licensed to be a public preacher, shall before the second day of February next provide a Bible, and Bullinger’s Decads in Latin or English and a paper book,” etc.  Wilkins, IV. 321.]

      *7[That there was no disposition to accept everything that bore the name of either Calvin or Luther, is seen from Whitgift’s letter to the canons of Lincoln (June 29, 1590), where he blames the dean of that establishment (Griffin) for using language which appeared to attribute actual sinfulness to Christ, although the same language might be found in “Luther, Calvin and some others,” whom, the primate and his colleague add, “we also in our judgments do therefore mislike”: Nicolas’s Life of Hatton, p. 487.  Whitgift on a different occasion stated that “the doctrine of the Church of England did in no respect depend upon them.”  Strype’s Whitgift, p. 441, Lond. 1718.]


      The Lambeth Articles,* approved by the Archbishop on the 20th of November, 1595, are rigorous statements of the very opposite conclusions.  Yet the changes which this formulary underwent,** as well as the resistance it eventually encountered,*** furnish proofs that England was producing a new race of scholars and divines, who, in proportion as they disengaged themselves from foreign ties and modern influences, proceeded more directly to the source of sacred literature, and raised their “scheme of divinity upon the noble foundations of the Fathers, the Councils, and the ecclesiastical historians”.*4

      *[This manifesto is ultimately traceable to a controversy at Cambridge between Whitaker, the regius professor of divinity and Baron (Baro) the Lady Margaret professor: the latter of whom was compelled to withdraw for teaching among other things, that “Christ died sufficiently for all,” and maintaining that the denial of this doctrine is contrary to the Articles: see Hardwick’s Hist. ch. vii.  The ulterior question Cur fructus mortis Christi ad omnes Adami posteros non perveniat, is discussed by Baro in another tract (Camb. Univ. MSS. Gg. I. 29, fol. 46 b sq.).]

      **[See Hardwick as above, Append. V.  Expressions in the original draft which were “ad mentem Calvini” were changed into others “ad mentem Augustini”.  Hutton, archbishop of York, who suggested an alteration in Art. VI observed that as it stood it was opposed to St Augustine, who did not consider that the “regenerate” or “justified” were necessarily the “elect”: “Reprobi quidem vocati, justificati, per lavacrum regenerationis renovati sunt, et tamen exeunt.”  Strype’s Whitgift, p. 461.  Hooker’s view of the Lambeth Articles may be seen in his Works, I. p. cii. and elsewhere; Saravia’s in Strype’s Whitgift, Bk. IV. Append. xxiv; and Andrewes’, in his Minor Works, pp. 294 sq., Oxf. 1846.]

      ***[They never obtained a synodical sanction in this country, and even Whitgift instructed the university of Cambridge to regard them as “the private judgments” of the compilers: Strype, p. 462.]

      *4[The expression of Young, bishop of Rochester, in 1600, when he ordained the future archbishop Laud: see Le Bas, Life of Laud, p. 6, Lond. 1836.  Men were in truth becoming sick of those “compendiums and abbreviatures” which had been fashionable for a time in the universities, – a “course of sums and commentaries,” which in the words of Bacon (Works, I. 126, ed. 1765) is that which doth infallibly make the body of sciences more immense in quantity and more base in substance.”]


      Before the expiration of the sixteenth century, Hooker had completed his immortal treatise Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity in which the choice thoughts and language and the masterly arguments are scarcely more impressive than the spirit of humility and reverence which is breathed in every chapter.  Overal had now succeeded Whitaker at Cambridge, where without materially receding from the principles of St Augustine, or exposing himself to the reproach of semi-Pelagianism, he advocated doctrines virtually extruded from the Calvinistic system; while Andrewes, not inferior in the depth and area of his learning, nor the luster of his piety, to any worthies of the bygone generations, had become the champion of the English priesthood and the favourite preacher at the court.  The spirit of destruction which in the second quarter of the century effected wonders in condemning creature worship, in uprooting theories of human merit, and expelling popery, was now at length succeeded by a deeper, calmer, more constructive spirit, – one whose mission, while it counteracted errors on the right hand and the left, was more especially to vindicate and prove the catholicity of the Church. [This twofold aspect of the Church of England and the middle place which it has occupied between the Mediaeval and the merely Protestant systems, has occasioned some perplexity to our continental neighbours both Romanist and Reformed.  Thus Gieseler (III. ii. p. 26): “So bildete sich die Englische Episcopalkirche, welche sich von den Irrthümern der Römischen Kirche trennen, aber des Katholische Priesterthum nicht fahren lassen wollte, und welche in Folge davon in eine schwankende Mitte zwischen Katholicismus und Protestantismus gerieth, indem sie bald die heil.  Schrift als alleinige Quelle der Lehre anerkannte, bald auch der Tradition der ältern Kirche ein gesetzgebendes Ansehen zuzugestehen sich genöthigt sah”: cf. Möhler’s Symbolik, II. 132 (Eng. Trans.), where he speaks of “internal self-contradiction” as “carried to the extremest pitch.”]




      It is remarkable that a country which had been, ostensibly at least, deprived of its political independence by the force of papal instruments, should afterwards become extravagant in its devotion to the pontiffs.  At the expiration of nearly four centuries from the conquest under Henry II, English monarchs still continued to govern with the title “lords” of Ireland.  But in 1541 this title was exchanged for “King” in order to assert the plenary jurisdiction of the dominant country, and obliterate all traces of connection with the Church of Rome.  For after Henry VIII had consummated his quarrel with the pontiff in 1534, he lost no time in causing every part of his dominions to recognize his own ecclesiastical supremacy.  This recognition was formally completed by the Irish Parliament* in 1537, but one large section of the clergy, instigated by messages from the pope,** and headed by Archbishop Cromer of Armagh, determined to resist the operation of the measure.  On the other hand, Henry VIII secured to himself an energetic fellow worker, by the nomination of George Browne, [See the Reformation of the Church in Ireland ... set forthe in the life of George Browne, printed in The Phoenix, I. 120 sq., Lond. 1707.] provincial of the English Augustinian friars, to the see of Dublin (March, 1535).  Instead, however, of attempting the enlightenment of Ireland through the medium of the native language, it was now the obvious policy of the government to Anglicize the country, [Mant’s Hist. of the Church of Ireland, I. 123, Lond. 1841.] by directing that spiritual promotions should be given only to such as could speak English, and that English should be taught in all the parish schools.***  The ignorance of the people, which is said to have been extreme, would hardly be corrected by such projects, while on the other hand their nationality was wounded more and more.

      *[Stat. 28 Hen. VIII. c. 6 [Ireland].  The Preamble begins: “Where divers good and wholesome laws and statutes be made and established within the realm of England for the adnulling and utter taking away of appeales in cases spiritual from the Bishop of Rome and see apostolike,” &c.]

      **[The agents of the pontiff also stimulated some of the disaffected chieftains to recover the importance of their families by rising in behalf of the papal claims.]

      ***[Archbp. Browne’s Letter to Cromwell (Sept. 6, 1535), Ibid. p. 115.  The same animus is shewn in the phrase “Church of England and Ireland,” which began to be used in 1538: Ibid. p. 145.  Cf. Stat. 1 Edw. VI. c. 1, § 7, which enjoins that the communion shall be administered “under both kinds” to “the people within the Church of England and Ireland.”]


      Throughout the reign of Henry VIII the ecclesiastical affairs of Ireland observed the same general course which we have noticed in the sister country.  Certain images and relics [Ibid. I. 125, 141.] that ministered to superstition were banished from the churches.  Monasteries [The first onslaught was made in 1537.  Stat. 28 Hen. VIII. c. 16 [Ireland]: see the particulars in Mant, I. 155 sq.] were dissolved in spite of earnest representations pointing out the benefits which they conferred on almost every order of society.  But on the accession of Edward VI no progress in the way of spiritual and moral reformation is distinctly visible.  A new Irish primate, Dowdall,* who had been appointed in 1543, was secretly devoted to the papacy, and adverse to all changes both in dogma and in ritual.  His influence, it is true, was somewhat counteracted by the efforts of archbishop Browne, and when the viceroy, Antony St Leger, in a meeting of ecclesiastics held at Dublin (March 1, 1551), enjoined the use of the First Edwardine Prayer Book, on the ground** that it was “the Liturgy and prayers of the Church translated into our mother tongue,” one section of the bishops acquiesced in the arrangement.  The new service*** was accordingly celebrated for the first time at Dublin (Easter Day, 1551) in Christ Church cathedral.  During the same year instructions had been also given for rendering the whole Prayer Book into Irish;*4 but this reasonable plan, which might hereafter have produced a deeper change in the religious history of Ireland, was defeated for some cause or other.

      *[Primate Cromer died March 15, 1543.  For some account of his successor see James Ware, Hist. of the Irish Bishops, in Vol. I. of his Hist. and Antiq. pp. 91 sq., Dublin, 1764.  Dowdall, although professing to be somewhat in favour of the reformation, was afterwards deprived for nonconformity, Oct. 20, 1551, and the primatial jurisdiction transferred to the see of Dublin.  The new archbishop of Armagh was Hugh Good acre (consecrated Feb. 2, 1553); but he died six months after.]

      **[See the royal order in Mant, I. 195.  John ab Ulmis writing from England (May 29, 1551: Original Letters, p. 433, ed. P. S.) was probably influenced by the appearance of this order when he spoke as follows: “With respect to the Irish, Welsh, Manksmen, and those of Jersey and Holy Isle, you must have the same persuasion of them as of the English, namely, that all these islands entertain right opinions as to religion.”]

      ***[A copy of the Prayer Book as thus authorized for the use of the Irish Church is in the Library of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.  The second Prayer Book of Edward VI “does not appear to have been ordered for the observance of the Irish Church during the short period that the king survived its enactment.”  Mant, I. 258.]

      *4[Ibid. p. 204.  The difficulties in respect of language were felt to be so great that arrangements were made at the same time for translating the Prayer Book into Latin for the use of those ecclesiastics and others who did not understand English: see Original Letters and Papers (connected with the Irish Reformation), ed. Shirley, pp. 47, 48, Lond. 1851.  The same project was revived in the second year of Elizabeth, it being alleged that the Irish language was difficult to print and that few persons could read the Irish characters: Stat. 2 Eliz. c. 2, s. xv. [Ireland].]


      One of the foremost champions in the ranks of the reformers was John Bale, [See the biographical notice prefixed to his Select Works, ed. P. S. 1849.] originally a Carmelite friar, whom Edward VI promoted to the see of Ossory, and who was consecrated Feb. 2, 1553.  His bold and energetic operations [See his own account in the Vocacyon of John Bale to the bishoprick of Ossorie, printed in the Harleian Miscellany, VI. 437 sq.] were, however, speedily interrupted by the death of his royal patron, an event which, as we saw above, reversed the sweeping measures contemplated on both sides of the channel.  Mary’s policy in Ireland, as in England, was directed to the restoration of the papal monarchy;* and with it rose again the ritual and doctrinal system of the Middle Ages.  Where the progress made by the reformers had been slight and superficial, there was hardly any symptom of resistance to the counter-reformation: and in the reign of Elizabeth, while the commissioners whom she appointed to examine the spiritual condition of the English dioceses [See Jewel’s Works, ed. Jelf, VIII. 128 sq.] were enabled to report most hopefully, the news transmitted from the sister island** gave but little satisfaction to the government.  It is remarkable, however, that notwithstanding the general disaffection of the clergy, only two*** out of the whole number of the Irish prelates openly refused to acquiesce in the Elizabethan reformation.  By the influence of this body, the enactments of their English colleagues were synodically accepted [Elrington, Life of Ussher, p. 42, Lond. 1848, the reference being to the synodal recognition of the English Prayer Book.] in 1560, so that the connection which had been already formed between the two Churches was now rendered still more intimate.  For several years after the accession of Elizabeth it was the custom even of the Romish party [Mant, I. 159.] to frequent the services of the Church: but active emissaries of the pontiff soon endeavoured to reduce this number of conformists; and when Pius V had launched his damnatory bull [Above.] in 1570, secessions from the Church became more frequent, and the bias of the Irish more decidedly in favour of the “old” opinions.  Many of the ultra-papists did not scruple to negotiate a union with the king of Spain*4 in order to promote the reestablishment of Mediaeval tenets.  Their schism was thus promoted by the growth of principles that led to civil insubordination, and that ere long issued not unfrequently in acts of absolute rebellion.

      *[This restoration was effected in Ireland by the Stat. 3 and 4 Phil. and Mary, c. 8 [Ireland], “repealing statutes and provisions made against the see apostolick of Rome, sithence the twentieth year of king Henry the Eighth, and also for the establishment of spiritual and ecclesiastical possessions and hereditaments conveyed to the laity.”  Two years before (1554) the restored primate Dowdall, acting under a royal commission, deprived the archbishop of Dublin together with three other prelates favourable to the Reformation: Mant, I. 235, 236.]

      **[Thus the lord deputy, the Earl of Sussex, writes to Cecil, July 22, 1562: “Our relygyon is so abused, as the papysts rejoyce, the newters do not myslike changes, and the fewe zelouse professors lamente the lacke of pyete.  The pepell withowt dysciplyne, utterly voyde of relygyon, come to divine servyce as to a May game.  The mynysters for dishabylite and gredynes be had in contempt; and the wyse fere more the impieti of the licentiouse professers than the superstityon of the erronyouse papists”: Original Letters (relating to Ireland), edited by Shirley, pp. 117, 118, Lond. 1851.  The difficulties of the Irish problem had already been presented to Elizabeth’s advisers (“Ireland also will be very difficultly stayed in the obedience, by reason of the clergy that is so addicted to Rome”): Burnet, “Records,” Bk. III. No. I.]

      ***[Palmer, Treatise on the Church, I. 425, 3rd ed.; Mant, I. 278.  The question of the real adhesion of the majority of Irish prelates on this occasion has been debated recently by Dr. Maziere Brady and Dr. A. T. Lee; and it would certainly seem probable, the evidence being of an unsatisfactory character, that in those parts of Ireland which were less amenable to English Jurisdiction, the assent of the bishops was of the most “economical” description.  However on the vacancy of the sees the English ministers appointed men attached to the reformation; and as many of these vacancies did not occur until after 1570, the pope also nominated.  Hence although the deprivations on Elizabeth’s accession were very few, a double succession of prelates, in many of the sees, followed the creation of the schism.]

      *4[Thus in 1568 the titular bishops of Cashel and Emly were sent by certain confederated rebels to the pope and Philip II of Spain, imploring help against Elizabeth: Mant, I. 286.  Another of the chief agents of the Romish party was Richard Creagh, a native of Limerick, who is said to have returned from the continent “non sine liberalissima Pii Pont. Max. [i.e. Pius V] munificentia, ut et oves suas in Hybernia e truculentissimorum luporum ac leaenae faucibus everteret, atque eis officiose ae pie praeesset.”  Roth, Analecta, quoted in Palmer, as above, I. 428.  At the close of the sixteenth century O’Neal, earl of Tyrone, headed a most formidable rebellion in which he was supplied with funds by the court of Spain, and instigated by the indulgences and benedictions of the pontiff, who moreover sent him a consecrated plume composed of what was gravely termed the feathers of the Phoenix: Mant, I. 286.]


      The Irish Church had meanwhile been enfeebled like its English sister by domestic quarrels and perplexities.  The new primate, Adam Loftus (Lofthouse), consecrated in March, 1563, and transferred to Dublin in 1567, was actuated by the strong antipathies* which we have noticed in Elizabethan prelates of the dominant country: and the impulse thus communicated by him in the course of his long and active administration gave the Irish reformers the severe and somewhat Puritanic character, which they retained until the following century.  In one respect their system differed widely from the English: for while the latter had endeavoured to fence in the truths which had been vindicated, by compiling the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, and exacting subscription from all candidates for holy orders, the short series of eleven Articles [See Above.] drawn up by Parker in 1559 continued to pass current as a test of Irish orthodoxy, having been put in circulation for that purpose by the deputy and the bishops in 1566, when it was ordered to be read by all incumbents “at their possession-taking, and twice every year afterwards”. [The series has been reprinted from the original edition in Elrington’s Life of Ussher, App. pp. xxiii. sq.]  The want of some closer and more comprehensive test was never satisfied until the Dublin Convocation of 1615 put forth a longer series of Articles, [See Hardwick’s Hist. of the Articles, ch. viii.] although the formulary of the sister island may have been occasionally adopted by individual prelates.

      *[Thus he writes to Cecil (July 16, 1565) in the following urgent terms: “O what inconvenience were it to thrust owt of ther livings and ministery so many godly and learnid preacheres, only for this, that they will not be lyke the papistee, the professed ministers of Sathan and Antichrist, in supersticious and wicked order of apparell and outward sheawe.”  He then begs Cecil to “remove and quight take awaye all the monuments, tokens ,and leavings of papistrye; for as longe as any of them remaynes, there remaynes also occasion of relapes unto the abolishyd superstition of Antichrist”: Original Letters, ed. Shirley, pp. 214 sq.  Brady, bishop of Meath, appears to have taken the other side in the controversy.  He thus reflects on the primate in a letter addressed to Cecil (Sept. 14, 1566: Ibid. p. 272): “If he saie I have drawen backward, I onlie saie againe he hath drawen to fast forward.”]


      When efforts were eventually made to prosecute the Irish reformation more independently of England, it is obvious that the general theology of the Irish Church was very strongly Augustinian, if not absolutely Calvinistic in its character.  The Lambeth Articles, in which those tendencies had reached their highest point in England, were accepted by the Dublin Convocation of 1615, and engrafted on the new formulary.*  The most gifted advocate of such opinions [See Elrington’s Life of Ussher, accompanying the new edition of his Works.] was a nephew of the Irish primate, James Ussher, who in critical acumen and in general scholarship was second to no worthy of the times in which he flourished.  At the early age of nineteen he was deemed a match for one of the most learned Jesuits who assailed the doctrines of the Reformation, and when he was at length promoted to the chair of theology in the newly founded college at Dublin,** his fame went on increasing, and his principles were rapidly diffused among the clergymen of Ireland.

      *[Even the modifications introduced into the Lambeth series for the sake of preserving the Augustinian distinction between the grace of regeneration and the grace of perseverance are dropped in the Irish formulary.  Thus it is maintained (Art. XXXVIII.) that “a true liuely iustifying faith and the sanctifying spirit of God, is not extinguished, nor vanisheth away in the regenerate, either finally or totally,” while the corrected Lambeth proposition says, “non evanescit in electis.”]

      **[The building, after many obstacles, was commenced March 18, 1591 (=1592), and James Ussher was one of the first three scholars: Mant, I. 320.  The first provost after the honorary appointment of archbishop Loftus was Hooker’s antagonist, Walter Travers.]


      Nothing can however be more unsatisfactory than the pictures of religion and its ministers presented to us at the death of Queen Elizabeth.  Among the crowd of evils under which the country laboured, we may mention that the plan for printing the New Testament in the vernacular language was not realized* till 1602, while the translation of the Prayer Book, though completed at an earlier date, obtained no public sanction, and was therefore very seldom if ever used.  In such a state of maladministration it is scarcely matter of surprise that Bacon found the Irish people so degraded; “blood, incontinency, and theft” being “not the lapses of particular persons, but the very laws of the nation,” and presenting what he deemed insuperable barriers to the progress of “religion reformed”.

      *[Spenser, the author of the Faerie Queene, in his View of the State of Ireland, written about 1595, reflects in the strongest terms both on clergy and people: and Sir Francis Bacon, referring to the same period in his Considerations touching the Queen’s service in Ireland, gives the same verdict.]

      **[The translation was suggested as early as 1571, when queen Elizabeth provided a printing press and a fount of Irish types.  In 1585 Walsh, bishop of Ossory, was murdered in his own house, while engaged in the prosecution of the work (Mant, I. 294).  The prelate who eventually carried it through the press was Daniel or O’Donnell, archbishop of Tuam.  Among other hints given by Bacon for the advancement of piety he mentions “the reconfirming and replenishing the college begun at Dublin, the placing of good men to be bishops in the sees there, and the taking care of the versions of Bibles and catechisms and other books of instruction into the Irish language”: Works, III. 215, Lond. 1765.]