The Reformation of the Church of England

Its History, Principles, and Results

By John Henry Blunt

Vol. II. – A.D. 1547–1662

Longmans, Green,  8th edition.  1882

[Spelling selectively modernized; Bible citations converted to all Arabic numerals; Footnotes moved into or near places of citation.]

 

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         The First Part of this History, dealing with the antecedents of the Reformation, and with the period from 1514 to 1547, was published in the year 1869, and has since passed through several editions.  During the twelve years which have intervened, the writer has been so constantly called to the fulfillment of other literary engagements that he has only recently found time for putting into shape the materials which he had long ago collected for this second volume.  The delay has, however, enabled him to go on adding to those materials, and he has thus been able to present the work to the reader in a more complete form, and as the result of more mature consideration.

Dec. 1, 1881.

 

Contents

NOTE: Page after Contents contains .jpg image of the line Chart of the Ministerial Succession of the Church of England.

 

Chapter  I – The Government of England During the Reign of Edward VI, 1547–1553: Henry VIII arranged for the Government after his death; His plans not carried out; Counter-plans of Lord Hertford, his brother-in-law; Hertford is appointed Protector; The Protector and his friends take Titles and Church Estates; His chief opponents disposed of; He is endowed with supreme authority; Lord Seymour’s fall end execution; The Duke of Somerset’s fall; The Duke of Northumberland becomes supreme; His plans for bringing the Crown into his family.

Chapter  II – The Privy Council, the Parliament, and the Church in the Beginning of Edward VI’s Reign, 1547–1548: Tendency to make the Church a department of the State; The Privy Council overstrained the authority of the Crown; Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction assumed for the Crown; Episcopal Jurisdiction not changed in principle; New mode of appointing Bishops; General Visitation of the Church by the Crown; The Commissioners and their proceedings; The Injunctions of Edward VI; Edwardian Confiscation of Church Property; Appropriation of Chantry Endowments; Spoliation of Churches; Illustrations of Privy Council Government.

Chapter  III – The Reformation of the Church Resumed by the Clergy, 1547–1558: Suppression and revival of Convocation; Silent changes in Medieval Devotional System; Protestant Innovations of the young Clergy; Cautious Conservatism of the authorities; The Injunctions as they affected Divine Service; Innovations strictly forbidden; The Order of Communion of 1548; The Prayer Book of 1549; The Prayer Book of 1552; The Forty-two Articles of Religion; Attempted codification of Ecclesiastical Law.

Chapter  IV – The Formation of a Reactionary Party: Severe treatment of Clergy by the Government; Bishops Tunstal, Heath, Day, and Bonner imprisoned till Queen Mary’s Accession; Bishop Gardiner at Edward’s Accession; His disapproval of changing during the King’s minority; He is sent to the Fleet Prison; After a short liberation, is again summoned before the Council; His Catholic Protestant Sermon; He is imprisoned in the Tower till Queen Mary’s Accession; Reaction caused by growing irreligion; Reaction mused by influence of foreign Protestants; Treatment of the Princess Mary; Her preference for the old rites; She disputes the authority of the Privy Council; She is brought before the King and Council; Her household meddled with; Commissioners sent to control her; Her contemptuous treatment of them and the Council; Her reconciliation with Edward VI.

Chapter  V – Five Years of Ultramontanism Under Queen Mary, 1553–1558: The Duke of Northumberland’s Rebellion; The Usurpation of Lady Jane Grey; The popularity of the Queen at her Accession; Mild beginning of her reign; The Fall of Archbishop Cranmer; Queen Mary’s earlier attitude towards Rome; Her later attitude towards Rome; The influence which changed her; The Reconciliation of England to the Pope; The Persecuting Statutes revived by Parliament; Form of Procedure against accused persons; Statistics of the Marian Persecution; The Centers and Chief Localities of the Persecution; Bishop Gardiner and the Persecution; Bishop Bonner and the Persecution; The Spaniards and the Persecution; Cardinal Pole and the Persecution; Queen Mary and the Persecution; The Spirit of the Times and the Persecution; The last days and death of John Rogers; The last days and death of Bishop Hooper; The last days and death of Rowland Taylor; The last days and death of Bishop Ferrar; The last days and death of John Bradford; The last days and death of Bishop Ridley; The last days and death of Bishop Latimer; The last days and death of Archdeacon Phllpot; The last days and death of Archbishop Cranmer; The end of the Marian Persecution.

Chapter  VI – The Revival of the Reformation Under Queen Elizabeth, 1558–1603: Different trainings of Queens Mary and Elizabeth; Queen Elizabeth’s early Ecclesiastical Policy; Restoration of the Royal Supremacy; Restoration of the Prayer Book; Establishment of the Coast of High Commission; The Injunctions of Queen Elizabeth; General Visitation of the Church by the Crown; The Canons compiled by Convocation; Attempt to reconcile the Marian Party; The statutory definition of Heresy; The Thirty-nine Articles of Religion; The Resettlement of the Episcopate.

Chapter  VII – The Puritans of the Reformation Age, 1547–1608: Growth of the Puritans in the reign of Edward VI; Their anti-Sacramentalism; The Puritan attack upon the Altar; The Puritan attack upon Episcopacy; Puritan “Prophesying”; Puritan Organization; Puritan “Discipline”; Relation of the Puritans to the Reformation.

Chapter  VIII – The Origin and Development of the Roman Catholic Sect, 1559–1606: The schismatic aggressiveness of Rome; The Papal Court and Queen Elizabeth; Attempts to recover Papal authority; Catena s account of the Papal plans; Separation of the Roman Party from the Church of England; Excommunication and Deposition of the Queen by the Pope; Formation of the Separatists into an Episcopal sect.

Chapter  IX – The Loss and Recovery of the Reformation Settlement, 1603–1662: The Accession of James I encouraged the Puritans; The Millenary Petition; The Hampton Court Conference; The Revision of the English Bible; The Primacy of Archbishop Abbott; Charles I and his disadvantages; The Laudian movement; Attempt to revive Episcopacy in Scotland; The Long Parliament and Lord Strafford; The Long Parliament and Archbishop Laud; The Long Parliament putting down Ritualism; The Lords’ Committee for reconciliation of religious parties; The Long Parliament putting down Episcopacy; The Prayer Book suppressed; The Restoration of Episcopacy; The Savoy Conference between the Bishops and the Puritans; The Revision of the Prayer Rook; The Secession of the Nonconformists.

Chapter  X – The Principles of the Reformed Church of England: The National Independence and Catholic Unity of the Church; The Organic Continuity of the Church; The Doctrine and Worship of the Church; The Relation between the Church and the State.


 

 

 

Chapter  I – The Government of England During

The Reign of Edward the Sixth, 1547–1553.

         The death of Henry VIII, on January 28, 1547, marks a definite epoch in the Reformation of the Church of England.  From the fall of Cardinal Wolsey until that moment, the whole governmental policy of England had, for about eighteen years, been coloured by the strong will of the King; and even his last hours were occupied in a vigorous endeavour to extend his personal influence far beyond his death, by making his testament the supreme authority under which government was to be carried on during the minority of his son Edward VI.  The great object which the King had in view appears to have been that of continuing for nine years longer, until Edward was of age, the order of affairs in Church and State which had been established on a comparatively settled footing during the last six years of his reign.  As to Church matters, the King had grown very conservative during his latter years, and he saw no necessity for any further changes; unless, indeed, they could be made useful for once more replenishing an exhausted treasury.  His own intellectual power was so much greater than that of his later ministers and agents, that he had been easily able to keep the reins of government under his own personal control.  It had become his habit to use his agents as mere secretaries for working out the details of measures which he himself had already traced in clear outline with a vigorous tongue or pen; and, making little allowance for the ambition and interests which he had so easily controlled, he evidently expected that his plans and wishes would be carried out as exactly after his death as they would have been if he had left the country for a few weeks on temporary business or pleasure.  What really happened was, that immediately after the death of the individual tyrant, an oligarchical tyranny took his place, and some of his most abject tools became the haughty governors of England.  For six and a half years from that time the government lapsed into the hands of a few working members of the Privy Council; two noblemen, best known in history as the Dukes of Somerset and Northumberland, exercising successively the authority and power recognized in later times as that of Regent.  [The Duke of Somerset belonged to an ancient but poor family of commoners, the St. Maurs, or Seymours, of no particular note until Jane, eldest daughter of Sir John Seymour, and maid-of-honour to Anne Boleyn, attracted (as her mistress had done) the attention of Henry VIII.  On her marriage to the King, her eldest brother was ennobled by the title of Viscount Beauchamp, and in the following year, 1537, he was created Earl of Hertford, holding that title at the death of Henry.  The Duke of Northumberland was the eldest son of Edmund Dudley, a barrister, who (after having attained some importance as Speaker, and as a financier, under Henry VII) was, with his colleague Sir Richard Empson, beheaded on Tower Hill for his alleged extortions in the beginning of the reign of Henry VIII.  The future Duke became a retainer of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, and after the death of Edward IV’s illegitimate son, Arthur Plantagenet, was created Viscount Lisle, by which title he was known until he was made Earl of Warwick at the beginning of Edward VI’s reign.  He received this title as a descendant of Sir John Sutton, fourth Baron Dudley of the Sutton line, whose second son by Elizabeth Berkeley of Beverston, John Sutton, assumed the name of Dudley, and was the grandfather of the Duke of Northumberland.]

         During those six and a half years the men who governed England were practically irresponsible, both as regarded the Sovereign and the Parliament.

 

§ 1. Under the Duke of Somerset and the Privy Council, Jan. 28, 1547–Oct. 13, 1549.

         Somerset, then Earl of Hertford, had been laying his plans during the last illness of Henry VIII, his object being to assume the supreme power, and to hold it during the nine years’ minority of the child-king by whom that strong-handed sovereign was to be succeeded.  He, as the King’s nearest connection, Sir William Paget, as Secretary of State, and Cranmer, as the King’s spiritual adviser, attended Henry in his latest hours; and, while the Archbishop was endeavouring to support the dying monarch in his terrible exit from this world, Hertford took Paget Hertford into the gallery out of which the death chamber opened, and began to unfold a plan for the future, of which the chief feature was that he should be “Protector” of the young King’s person and kingdom. [“Remember what you promised me in the gallery at Westminster, before the breath was out of the body of the King that dead is; remember what you promised immediately after, devising with me concerning the place which you now occupy, I trust, in the end to good purpose, howsoever things thwart now.  And that was, to follow mine advice in all your proceedings more than any other man’s.”  (Paget to Somerset, July 7, 1549.  Strype’s Eccl. Mem., II. ii. 430, ed. 1822.)]  The King died between two and three o’clock on the morning of Friday, January 28, 1546–7, [Letter of Privy Council ordering proclamation of Edward VI.  (Bodl. Tanner MS. 90, f. 143.)] and immediately afterwards Lord Hertford started for Hertford, in company with Sir Anthony Browne and a proper guard, to take charge of the young King.  A messenger from Sir William Paget followed him in the course of the next day, to enquire what steps should be taken as to making the death of Henry public, and proclaiming his successor.  Hertford replied assenting to the proclamation, but desiring that the contents of the Will (of the repository of which he sent the key) might not be made known until some further consideration had been given to it, evidently wishing to avoid any step which might lead to the thwarting of his plans.  [“This morning, between one and two, I received your letter.  The first part thereof I like very well; marry, that the Will should not be opened till a farther consultation, and that it might be well considered how much thereof were necessary to be published; for divers respects, I think it not convenient to satisfy the world.  In the meantime I think it sufficient, when ye publish the King’s death, in the places and times as ye have appointed, to have the Will presently with you, and to show that this is the Will, naming unto them severally who be executors that the King did specially trust, and who be councilors; the contents at the breaking up thereof, as before, shall be declared unto them on Wednesday, in the morning, at the Parliament House; and in the meantime, we to meet and agree therein, as there may be no controversy hereafter.  For the rest of your appointments, for the keeping of the Tower and this King’s person, it shall be well done ye be not too hasty therein; and so I bid you heartily farewell.  “From Hertford, the 29th Jan., between three and four in the morning. – Your assured loving friend, E. HERTFORD.”  “I have sent you the key of the Will.”  (Hertford to Paget.  MS. State Papers, Edw. VI, Dom. i.)]

         From Hertford the young King was taken to Enfield, where the Princess Elizabeth was then living, and there the death of their father was first made known to Edward and herself.  Leaving the two children to cry their trouble down, the King’s plotting uncle walked with Sir Anthony Browne into the garden, and, taking him into his confidence, won his consent to support him (as he had won that of Paget the night before) in assuming the post of Protector. [This is stated by William Wightman, the attendant of Sir Anthony Browne, in a letter which he wrote to Cecil on May 10, 1549.  (MS. State Papers, Edw. VI, Dom., and Tytler’s Edw. VI and Mary, i. 168.)]  He also wrote to the Privy Council, who had sent to consult him about the proclamation of a general pardon, expressing doubts as to the sufficiency of any authority at present existing, and thus preparing their minds for the suggestion to be offered them at their first meeting after the King’s arrival in London; and this time the communication was signed by his new ally as well as by himself.  [“Your Lordships shall understand that I, the Earl of Hertford, have received your letter concerning a pardon to be granted in such form as in the schedule ye have sent, and that ye desire to know our opinion therein.  For answer thereunto, ye shall understand we be in some doubt whether our power be sufficient to answer unto the King’s Majesty that now is, when it shall please him to call us to account for the same.  And in case we have authority so to do it, in our opinions the time will serve much better at the coronation than at this present.  For if it should now be granted, his Highness can show no such gratuity unto his subjects when the time is most proper for  the same; and his father, who we doubt not to be in heaven, having no need thereof, shall take the praise and thank from him that hath more need thereof than he.  We do very well like your devise for the matter; marry, we would wish it to be done when the time serveth most proper for the same.  “We intend the King’s Majesty shall be a-horseback tomorrow by xi. of the clock, so that by iii. we trust his Grace shall be at the Tower.  So, if ye have not already advertised my Lady Anne of Cleves of the King’s death, it shall be well done ye send some express person for the same.  And so, with our right hearty commendation, we bid you farewell.  From Enfield, this Sunday night, at xi. of the clock.  Your good Lordships’ assured loving friends, E. HERTFORD.  ANTHONY BROWNE.”  (MS. State Papers, Edw. VI, Dom.)]

         As soon as the young King and his uncle arrived at the Tower on the Monday afternoon, Hertford and twelve other Privy Councilors (including Paget and Browne) assembled in the Council Chamber, and took the Will of Henry VIII into consideration, passing a resolution that the whole of the Privy Council, whether present or absent, should be bound by its provisions.  The Will was, in fact, a very doubtful sort of document, for, instead of the King’s signature being affixed to it, his name had been first outlined by means of a dry stamp, and the outline then filled up with a pen.  This Lord Paget was said by Maitland, Secretary to Mary Queen of Scots, to have positively declared to have been done when the King was either dead or at the last extremity. [The stamp was also used for signing the Duke of Norfolk’s attainder, but Parliament ruled that the instrument was void.]  Doubtful or not, however, the Will of Henry VIII was to be made to serve the turn of his brother-in-law as far as it would go, and no further; and it had no sooner been accepted as a legal testament than it was at once thrust aside as regarded one of its most important provisions.  Sixteen executors had been appointed, to whom the Government of the kingdom and the control of the young King’s person were to be committed during the minority; and twelve Privy Councilors were also named, who might be added to the sixteen in consultation on any matter that required their advice.  Notwithstanding this provision of the Will, a resolution was immediately passed, stating that much inconvenience had been found in transacting business, especially foreign dispatches, on account of the number of the executors, and that it was consequently determined “that some special man of the number and company should be preferred in name and place before others, to whom, as to the State and Head of the rest, all strangers and others might have access.”  They [Those who were present when the Protectorship was thus resolved on, and who signed the minute, were Archbishop Cranmer, Lord Lisle, Sir W. Herbert, Sir Ed. Mountagne, Lord Chancellor Wriothesley, Bishop Tunstal, Sir Edward North, Sir John Russell, Sir W. St. John, Sir Anthony Browne, Sir Wm. Paget, and Sir Anthony Denny.  The Earl of Hertford signed his name by itself at the head of the rest.] therefore appoint the Earl of Hertford under the name of “Protector of all the realms and dominions of the King’s Majesty, with this special and express condition, that he shall not do any act but with the advice and consent of the rest of the executors,” according to the tenor of the Will.  “Which the said Earl of Hertford promised to perform accordingly.”  [The extracts given in the text are taken, when not otherwise noticed, from three large folio volumes in the British Museum (Add. MSS. 14,024, 14,025,14,026), which consist of a transcript made from the original Privy Council Register of Edward VI by Gregory King, Rouge Dragon in the time of Charles II, and the first volume is dated by him “1682-1”.  The first entry is dated at the Tower on January 31, 1546–7, the last on June 16, 1553, three weeks before the day of Edward’s death.  On April 19, 1550, there is an order respecting the keeping of this Register, W. Thomas being appointed as clerk, “to write, enter, and register all such decrees,” etc. etc.  On the next day he is discharged of all other business,” “that he may have nothing else to attend to” – to the end that “he may the better apply his charge to see what is worth registering, and what be left unwritten.”  These valuable volumes formerly belonged to Mr. George Chalmers, the Scottish Antiquary, and came into the possession of the British Museum at the dispersion of his library about the year 1840.  There are also three full-sized quarto pages in the Lambeth Library (MS. 582, fol. 122–124), which are entitled, “Large extracts from the original Register of the Acts of the Privy Council of K. Ed. VI. in the years 1550, 1551, 1552, 1553.”  Another volume consists of extracts from a Privy Council book made by Ralph Starkey in August 1620 (Br. Mus. Harl. MS. 352).  The extracts begin with an entry dated Feb. 6, 1546, and thence to folio 80, June 31, 1548, they are copied from a letter book.  Folio 89 begins with an entry dated May 1, 1550, at Baynard’s Castle; and thence to the end, June 15, 1553, the extracts are taken from a Privy Council Register.]

         On the following day the Council met again, confirmed the resolution which they had passed on the preceding day, and took the oaths.  The executors then went to the King, and asked his consent to the appointment of the Protector, which was at once given, but there is no sign whatever that the King, a child little more than nine years old, took any personal interest in the matter; and probably, on this and other occasions, he simply said and did as he was prompted.  So soon as the formal consent of Edward had been obtained, the Lord Chancellor declared it, first, to those of the Council who were not executors, and secondly, to the other Lords who were present at Court, and their consent was given unanimously.  It was then determined that the Temporal Lords should all take the oaths before the Lord Chancellor on the Thursday, and the Bishops on the Friday following, after which the letters to foreign Sovereigns announcing the death of Henry VIII were dispatched, “under the hand and subscription only of the Lord Protector.” [There is an amusing and characteristic memorandum in the Council Register of letters being sent to Calais, Boulogne, and Newhaven, informing them of “the sorrowful chance” of the late King’s death, and bidding them “have a good eye to their neighbours, and to such seditious persons as would attempt any business.”  So also to Ireland and Wales.]

         But although this was a great step gained towards the accomplishment of his plans, a limited authority, such as was now conferred upon Hertford, did not place him in the supreme position which he intended to occupy.  For the purpose of securing the more influential of the Privy Councilors to his side, therefore, Sir William Paget was put forward to make a declaration respecting a conversation which he once had with the late King, in which the latter expressed his determination of conferring titles and estates upon them.  There is a long account of this conversation in the Privy Council Register, but the substance of it all is that the King meant to divide the Duke of Norfolk’s lands (forfeited by his attainder) among some half-dozen of the courtiers, that the Earl of Hertford was to have had a deanery, a cathedral treasurer-ship, and four prebends, and that those who received the land were also to receive new titles.  Some doubt is thrown upon the authenticity of this alleged conversation, [Paget’s character did not stand high.  He turned on his old master and patron, Gardiner; and, some years after the transactions mentioned above, he was imprisoned, with a fine of £6000, for embezzling public money.  (Hayward’s Life of Edw. VI.)] by an odd excuse for disposing of land in this manner which is entered in the Register.  Money, it is said, could not always perhaps be found for the King’s service by these devoted nobles, but their lands could at any time be given.  Thus, Lord Hertford became Duke of Somerset; Essex was made Marquess of Northampton; Lisle, Earl of Warwick; Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton; Sir Thomas Seymour (the Protector’s brother), Sir Richard Rich, Sir William Willoughby, and Sir Edward Sheffield, all being made barons.  Strype says that the estates given to these, and to many others (whom he names to the number of more than thirty, and including Cranmer), were those of monasteries, religious foundations, and bishoprics. [Eccl. Mem., II. i. 123, ed. 1822.  This is confirmed by a speech of Lord Seymour, which is reported by Wightman in a letter to Cecil, previously referred to.  “‘Well, well,’ said he, ‘they are at this point now, that there can neither bishopric, deanery, nor prebend fall void, but one or other of them will have a fleece of it.’  Indeed I did, in this point, both grant his saying to be true, and aggravate the matter, to confirm his opinion, with naming the Deanery of Wells, the Bishopric of Lincoln and others, which I told him had been sore plucked at.”  There is a covetous letter of Warwick to Paget extant, dated in March, asking for a grant of more land than had been assigned to him.  (State Papers, MS., Ed. VI, Dom.)]  Thus the first act of the late King’s executors in executing their office was that of raining coronets upon their heads and wealth into their coffers.

         A formidable opponent to the Protector’s plans, however, arose in the person of the new Earl of Southampton, who was Lord Chancellor, and had the official custody of the late King’s Will.  He had been one of the two Secretaries of State during part of the time that Sir William Paget had held office as the other, and was also a friend of that shrewd and experienced politician Bishop Gardiner, under whose training Paget had learned his duties as a Secretary.  But the two coadjutors of a former day were now leaders of two opposite parties in the Privy Council, Paget committing himself unreservedly to the Protector’s interests – so long at least as the Protector would follow the Secretary’s advice – and the Chancellor endeavouring to maintain the status quo, in accordance with the Will which he had in his custody, and with the wishes of a large party in the nation.

         The Chancellor, however, made a singularly impolitic move at a very early period of this contest for power, which enabled the Protector and his allies in the Privy Council to checkmate their dangerous rival instantly, and with the greatest ease.  In order to gain more time for his political duties, Southampton appointed four Vice-Chancellors (Sir Robert Southwell, Master of the Rolls, John Tregonnel, John Oliver, and Anthony Bellasis, Masters of Chancery), who were commissioned, under Letters Patent dated February 18, 1547, to hear causes in the Court of Chancery and to grant decrees; which latter, however, had no force until (as in the case of ordinary decisions by the Master of the Rolls) they were countersigned by the Lord Chancellor himself. [The commission itself is copied into the Privy Council Register.  See also Burnet, v. 137, Pocock’s Ed.]  These Letters Patent were probably founded on precedent, the office of Vice-Chancellor having been known as long as from the time of Henry II, though it had fallen into disuse.  But in this case the Great Seal was affixed to the Letters Patent without the customary authority of a Royal Warrant under the Privy Seal, and therefore on the sole responsibility of the Chancellor.  Two days afterwards, certain “Students of the Common Law” presented a memorial to the Privy Council, “referring to the consideration of the Protector and Council what the granting out of the said commission without warrant did weigh.”  The Judges were required to give their opinion, and on March 6th they declared that the Chancellor had forfeited his office, and had also incurred danger of fine and imprisonment at the King’s pleasure.  On the same day Southampton was called before the Council, when, after contesting the point for some time, he acknowledged his act to be technically wrong, but claimed pardon on account of long service, and asked for dismissal from his office with as little scandal as possible.  The Council, “considering how great his misdeeds were, and how dangerous it was for the Seal to continue in the hands of so stout and arrogant a person,” ordered him to remain in his house at Ely Place, “as in prison,” during pleasure, and to pay such fine as should be determined.  The Will of Henry VIII was taken out of his custody and deposited in the Exchequer, while the Great Seal was placed temporarily in the charge of Lord St. John, Master of the Household, who was appointed Keeper for fourteen days, or for such less time as should be necessary. [On June 29, 1547, Lord Southampton prayed for an end of his fine and imprisonment, when the Council, “not having leisure to consider it, and yet wishing to deal gently with him,” took his own recognizance to appear when called for.  On January 28th following he was summoned for marrying Elizabeth Cobham while his first wife was living.  He pleaded the adultery of the latter, but the Council sent Elizabeth Cobham to the Queen until the case was decided.]  Instead of a fortnight, however, Lord St. John held the Seal for nine months.  He was that Marquess of Winchester who boasted that he had held the office of Lord High Treasurer during the reigns of Edward, Mary, and Elizabeth, by bending as a willow, instead of standing firm like an oak; and it was doubtless for his capacities as a willow-courtier that Somerset placed the important power attached to the possession of the Great Seal in his pliable hands, instead of appointing a proper Chancellor.  Certain it is that the Protector took immediate advantage of the situation to secure for himself a much less limited position than that which had been assigned to him under Wriothesley’s influence.

         This was done a week later, on March 12th, by means of a Commission, to which the Great Seal was affixed by Lord St. John, under a warrant signed by the King and the Privy Council.  The Commission was very carefully and comprehensively drawn up, so as to ratify all that the Protector had done hitherto since he had been “appointed and ordained by Word ... or otherwise any time before, since the death of our late father,” and also to endow him with plenary authority until the King should “accomplish the age of eighteen years.”  The sixteen executors who, by the late King’s Will, were to have governed the Kingdom during those nine years are not even mentioned as executors, but (with their twelve assistant Councilors) are entirely set aside and superseded by the appointment of the Protector.  They are, however, with ten others, formed into a Council of twenty-six, [The Council so named in the Protector’s Commission consisted of the following members: “The most Reverend Father in God, Thomas, Archbishop of Canterbury, and our right Trusty and well-beloved William, Lord St. John, Great Master of our Household, and President of our Council; John, Lord Russel, Keeper of our Privy Seal; and our Trusty and right well-beloved Cousins, William, Marquess of Northampton; John, Earl of Warwick, Great Chamberlain of England; Henry, Earl of Arundel, our Lord Chamberlain; Thomas, Lord Seymour of Sudley, High Admiral of England; the Reverend Father in God, Cuthbert, Bishop of Duresme, and our right Trusty and well-beloved Richard, Lord Rich; Sir Thomas Cheney, Knight of our Order, and Treasurer of our Household; Sir John Gage, Knight of our Order, and Comptroller of our Household; Sir Anthony Brown, Knight of our Order, Master of our Horse; Sir Anthony Wingfield, Knight of our Order, our Vice-chamberlain; Sir William Paget, Knight of our Order, our chief Secretary; Sir William Petre, Knight, one of our two principal Secretaries; Sir Ralph Sadler, Knight, Master of our Great Wardrobe; Sir John Baker, Knight; Dr. Wotton, Dean of Canterbury and York; Sir Anthony Denny, and Sir William Herbert, Kts., Gentlemen of our Privy Chamber; Sir Edward North, Kt., Chancellor of our Court of Augmentations and Revenues of our Crown; Sir Edward Montague, Kt., Chief Justice of our Common Pleas; Sir Edward Wotton, Kt.; Sir Edmund Pekham, Kt., Cofferer of our Household; Sir Thomas Bromley, Kt., one of the Justices for Pleas before us to be holden; and Sir Richard Southwell, Kt.”  Somerset himself and the discarded Lord Chancellor make up the twenty-eight appointed in the Will.] to which the Protector is to have the power of adding any persons whom he may at any time please, and from among whom he may “choose, name, appoint, use, and swear of Privy Council, such and so many as he from time to time shall think convenient.”  This Commission was countersigned by the Duke of Somerset, Archbishop Cranmer, Lord St. John, Lord Russel, the Marquess of Northampton, Sir Thomas Cheyne, Sir William Paget, and Sir Anthony Browne; the young King being, of course, a mere cypher in the business. [The Letters Patent are printed in Pocock’s Edition of Burnet’s History of the Reformation, v. 140.]  Thus these eight men, who had been so obsequious to Henry VIII during his lifetime, kicked aside the authority of the dead lion, without hesitation, before three weeks had passed since the day when they had deposited him out of sight in the royal tomb house at Windsor.  By taking shrewd advantage of the Lord Chancellor’s unlucky mistake, Somerset was thus enabled to accomplish what a later age calls a coup d’état, and became as absolutely Sovereign for a time as one with no royal blood in his veins could, in that age, hope to be – that is, Sovereign in all but the name.  Such he remained for two years and a half, when his extravagant haughtiness and tyranny brought about that first fall of 1549 from which he was never able to recover.

         During his Protectorate Somerset assumed a tone that was found utterly unbearable.  His own brother resented it bitterly.  The Queen, Katharine Parr, said it provoked her so much she thought she should have bitten him.  Some men he drove even to tears.  It became at last so outrageously haughty, that his friend and accomplice Paget wrote a long remonstrance, in the course of which he indicates his anticipation that such conduct would bring ruin upon the Protector.  “A King,” he writes, “who shall give men discouragement to say their opinions frankly, receiveth thereby great hurt and peril to his realm; but a subject in great authority, as your Grace is, using such fashion, is like to fall into great danger and peril of his own person, beside that to the Commonwealth, which, for the very love I bear to your Grace, I beseech you, and for God’s sake, consider and weigh well.”  [Strype’s Eccl. Mem., II. ii. 427.  In the Lansd. MS., 2022, fol. 228, is a copy (from the original MS.) of some similar advice sent to Somerset by Bishop Gardiner while in the Tower.  It seems to have been in a New Year’s letter, and is cast into nine “admonitions”.  These are wise rules about his position, without a trace of unfriendliness, and such as a shrewd-minded and pious old man  might well write.  The first is – “Take not all that you can, nor do all that you may: for there is no greater danger in a nobleman than to let slip the reins of his lust, and not to be able to refrain them with the strong bit of reason.”  There are warnings against false friends and flatterers, and of the danger of sudden fall.  One maxim is particularly pithy and good – “Be more careful of conscience than of honour.”]

         In the summer of 1547 Somerset was obliged, by the importunity of the Privy Council, to put himself at the head of an army which was sent to invade Scotland; and, for the purpose of checking any adverse influence on the part of the other Councilors, he appointed his brother, Lord Seymour, Lord Lieutenant of the South of England.  But, immediately after the battle of Pinkey or Musselburg, which was successfully fought on September 10, 1547, the Protector posted back to London under the apprehension that Seymour was plotting against him; and so quickly did he travel, that, by the 29th of the month, he was again at the head of the Council table.  This fear of his brother was henceforth continually in Somerset’s mind.  Seymour had become the fourth husband of Queen Katharine Parr within an indecently short time of the King’s death, [Under the month of May Edward VI enters in his journal, “The Lord Seymour of Sudeley married the Queen, whose name was Katharine, with which marriage the Lord Protector was much offended.” – (Burnet’s Hist. Ref., page 5, Pocock’s Ed.)  They were old lovers, and their wooing was doubtless a short one.  The Queen was living at the old palace by the waterside, in Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, where it is probable that they were secretly married within a few weeks after the King’s death.  For while the nights were yet long, the Queen wrote to Seymour, asking him to visit her early in the morning, that he might leave secretly before seven o’clock, she promising to be his “porteress” at the field gate, and signing herself “Her that is and shall be your humble, true, and loving wife during her life.” – (Ellis’ Orig. Lett., 1st ser., ii. 152.)] and, having charge of the Princess Elizabeth, he appears to have formed designs for marrying her, even before the death of the Queen, which occurred either in childbirth, or, as many thought, by poison, in September 1548.  He does not, however, seem to have had any wish to supplant his brother altogether, much less to have seized the Crown, but only to depress Somerset’s power by reducing him to the position of chief of the Privy Council, while he himself became governor of the young King. [Sir William Sherrington accused him of saying “that he thought it was not the King’s will, that dead is, that any one man should have both the government of the King, that now is, and also of the realm; and that in time past, if there were two males by the mother’s side, the one should have the one, the other the other.”  He had also said to Lord Dorset, “Marry, he thought it meet the Lord Protector might be chief of the Council..” – (Hayne’s State Papers, pages 90, 76.)]  No doubt Seymour tried to influence Edward in stolen interviews [Fowler writes to Seymour on July 19, 1548, giving messages from Edward, and says that the King would write himself, but that he is never “half a quarter of an hour alone”.  The correspondence was kept up with great secrecy, Fowler requesting that Seymour would burn his letters.] through John Fowler, one of the King’s attendants, and especially by gifts of money.  Edward confessed to much of this in a sharp cross-examination which he underwent while Seymour was on his trial, and the substance of which (reading like a child’s answers spoken in the midst of tears) still remains, signed with his own hand.

         “The Lord Admiral came to me,” he says, “in the time of the last Parliament at Westminster, and desired me to write a thing for him.  I asked him what.  He said it was none ill thing; it is for the Queen’s Majesty.  I said, if it were good, the Lords would allow it; if it were ill, I would not write in it.  Then he said they would take it in better part if I would write.  I desired him to let me alone in that matter.  Cheke said afterwards to me, Ye were not best to write.  At another time, within this two years at least (he said), ye must take upon you yourself to rule, for ye shall be able enough as well as other kings, and then ye may give your men somewhat; for your uncle is old, and I trust will not live long.  I answered, it were better that he should die.  Then he said, Ye are but even a very beggarly King now; ye have not to play, or to give to your servants.  I said, Mr. Stanhope had for me.  Then he said he would give Fowler money for me; and so he did, as Fowler told me.  And he gave Cheke money, as I bade him [Edward wrote to Seymour for money, through Fowler, on June 26, 1548, but would not say for whom be wanted it, though he said it was to give away.  (Haynes’ State Papers, page 75.)  For the remittance sent, he replied, “My Lord, I thank you, and pray you to have me recommended to the Queen. – EDWARD.”  (State Papers, Edw. VI, Dom. iv. 31.)  On another occasion he wrote on a torn scrap of paper, “My Lord, send me for Latimer as much as ye think good, and deliver it to Fowler. – EDWARD.  To my Lord Admiral.”];  and also to a bookbinder, as Belmayn can tell; and to divers others at that time, I remember not to whom.  The Lord Admiral told me these things before at divers times, twice or thrice.  Fowler oftentimes said to me, Ye must thank my Lord Admiral for gentleness that he shewed you, and for his money, and was always praising of him.  EDWARD.”  [Haynes State Papers, page 74.]

         The discovery of these secret dealings with the young King put Seymour completely into the power of his brother the Protector, and he was committed to the Tower on January 17, 1548–9, under charges which are given at length in the Register of the Privy Council.  The first is that “last year ... in the Parliament time, his Majesty being then but of the age of ten years, newly entered into his kingdom, being at open war with Scotland, at some grudge with France, not in the most certainty with the Emperor, the people at home in some contention for religion, the said Admiral, as appeared by information given to the Lord Protector,” had intended to get the King into his hands, and that he was prevented by God’s grace and wisdom.  He was charged, secondly, that he had induced the King, without the advice and knowledge of the Protector and the Privy Council, to write letters to the Parliament of his devising, intending to have set up sedition in the kingdom, and, according to his own words to his friends, “to have made the blackest Parliament that ever was in England.”  It was then charged against him, thirdly, that he meant to have deposed the Protector and the Council, and to have disposed of the King’s person at his will and pleasure, especially as to the appointment of a Council and the marriage of the King.  “And, finally, notwithstanding good advice given to the contrary, as well by the said Lord Protector as others his friends of the Council, he practiced to have in marriage the Lady Elizabeth, one of his Majesty’s sisters, and the second inheritor, after his Majesty, to the Crown.”

         These accusations were followed up on later days by others, such as that of endeavouring to secure the Mint at Bristol, and the encouragement of piracy, the examinations occupying many pages in the Council books.  Then follows a graphic narrative of the manner in which the young King’s consent to his uncle’s death was obtained.  There was a morning meeting of the Privy Council on February 24, 1549, at which it was determined to ask Edward, after dinner, if he would have the laws carried out, and especially if he would leave the Admiral’s case to the Parliament.  There was not much difficulty with the boy Tudor.  After he had dined, the Protector made a long speech, enumerating his brother’s crimes to his brother’s nephew; declaring himself very sorry, but the whole Council asked for condemnation, and he would not go against them.  If he did similar things, he should expect similar punishment.  “Upon all this the King’s Majesty answered these words – We do perceive that there is great things which be objected and laid to my Lord Admiral, mine uncle, and they tend to treason; and we perceive that you require but justice to be done; we think it reasonable, and we will well that you proceed according to your request.

         “With these words coming so suddenly from his Grace’s mouth of his own motion, as the Lords might well perceive, the said Lords and the rest of the Council were marvelously rejoiced, and gave his Highness most hearty praise and thanks.”

         The next day a Bill of Attainder against Seymour was submitted to Parliament, and passed on March 5th – “the Lord Protector only for natural pity’s sake,” the Council Book entry recording, “desiring license at the passing of the said bill to be away.”  In the Lower House there was much debate, the House being “marvelously full, almost to the number of 400 persons.”  Further proceedings took place in the Privy Council* on March 15th; the Bishop of Ely was ordered to go “to the Admiral, to prepare his soul for death,” and on March 17th “they condescended and agreed that the said Lord Admiral should be executed the Wednesday following,” Somerset and Cranmer both signing the Minute of Council in which this is recorded.**  On March 20th, therefore, Seymour was beheaded on Tower Hill.  “Whether he be saved or no,” said Latimer, when preaching before his royal nephew on the 29th, “I leave it to God; but surely he was a wicked man, and the realm is well rid of him” [Latimer’s Fourth Sermon before the King, 1st ed.  Strype’s Eccl. Mem., II. i. 199, ed. 1822.]: and perhaps the popular preacher was not far wrong in his judgment, whatever we may think of his tenderness and charity.

         *[On March 10th it was determined to present the Bill of Attainder to the King, with fresh statements of the Admiral’s misdoings, for the Royal assent, which was at once given, the young King being as ready to send his uncles to the block as his father was to send his wives thither.  But the Council thought it decent that the warrant for his uncle’s execution should not be signed by him, and the responsibility of putting the Act of Attainder in force was therefore accepted by the Privy Council.  The following is the entry on this subject: – “And forasmuch as they did perceive that the case was so heavy and lamentable to the Lord Protector, his Majesty’s uncle.  If his Highness were so pleased and so commanded them (although the thing itself (but only that for his Majesty’s surety it would not be omitted) were also to them sorrowful), yet they would further proceed to justice herein as appertained, without further troubling or molesting in this heavy case either his Highness or the Lord Protector.”  After dinner, therefore, the Lord Chancellor, “the Lord Protector being also there present,” put the matter before the King, “to the which his Highness answered, that he well perceived their proceedings herein, and gave them his hearty thanks for their pains and travails, and the great care his Highness perceived they had for his surety, willing and commanding them that they should proceed as they required without further molestation of his Highness or the Lord Protector.  And at the end said – And I pray you, my Lords, so do.  With the which answer they took their leave, and departed.”]

         **[A letter written by the Princess Elizabeth to her sister Mary represents that Somerset was unwilling for his brother to be executed.  This is not borne out by the official documents, but Elizabeth’s words may be added to the above extracts from the latter: “I have heard in my time of many cast away for want of coming to the presence of their Prince; and in late days I heard my Lord Somerset say that, if his brother had been suffered to speak with him, he had never suffered; but the persuasions were made to him so great that he was brought in belief that he could not live safely if the Admiral lived; and that made him give his consent to his death.”  (Ellis’ Orig. Lett., II. ii. 256).]

         From the time of his brother’s execution the shadow of a coming cloud fell upon Somerset’s own fortunes.  Having no open rival to fear, he became more and more arrogant, affecting a royal state only second to that of a sovereign, occupying a seat by himself, and using the style “by the grace of God” before his title.  He accumulated vast treasures into his hands, and began to build a magnificent palace in the Strand, between the Savoy and the Temple, just outside the city of London, probably with the ulterior purpose of dominating the city whose influence so often turned the scale in political or dynastic revolutions.  For this great palace he cleared an area considerably larger than that covered by the Somerset House of our day, taking from four bishops their London houses, Bath Inn, Strand Inn, Chester Inn, and Worcester Inn, with all the other houses on that side of the Strand, and demolishing the Church of St. Mary.  He appears also to have intended annexing the palace of the Savoy, then occupied as an hospital, since he removed all its beds and other furniture to the Bridewell in Blackfriars, and to St. Thomas’ Hospital.  For the building materials necessary to erect the palace which Somerset designed for this splendid site, he depended partly on the bishops’ palaces and the parish church which he had thus pulled down; but these not supplying nearly enough, he set to work upon St. Margaret’s Church, [He proposed to appropriate part of Westminster Abbey itself as the parish church in its place, as he had substituted the Royal Chapel of the Savoy, or part of it, for the Church of St. Mary.] by Westminster Abbey, where the sight of the scaffolding excited such vigorous opposition from the parishioners, that this part of his scheme had to be given up.  With more success he attacked the outlying buildings of St. Paul’s Cathedral, pulling down its stately cloisters, and two chapels which were enclosed within their area.  The great and magnificent Church of the Knights of St. John, near Smithfield, was also demolished by means of gunpowder; and, as in the case of all the other buildings named, the stone, timber, and lead were carted off to the Strand. [These particulars are recorded in Stowe’s Survey of London, and in Hayward’s Life of Edward VI.  In the Grey Friars’ Chronicles there is also an entry on April 10, 1549: “Was pulled down the cloister in Paul’s that was called the Pardon Churchyard, with the chapel that stood in the midst, to build the Protector’s place withal”  (Grey Friars’ Chron., page 58, Camd. Soc.)]  When a portion of the building was completed the Protector began to occupy it, [The Preface which he wrote for a Puritan book, entitled “The Spiritual Pearl,” is dated “From our house at Somerset Place.”] and to provide himself with a library he took possession of and removed a large collection of books belonging to the city of London, and forming the Guildhall Library of that day. [Notes and Queries: May 1869.]

         All the arrogance, high-handedness, and self-aggrandizement thus indicated alienated the new-made nobles of the Privy Council from the Protector, making them jealous of his position and afraid of his power.  To counterbalance this alienation of his own class he endeavoured to secure the support of the lower classes in the counties, by posing as their champion and benefactor in the matter of common lands, large tracts which had been allowed to be used as such when they were in the hands of the monastic bodies being now enclosed and let out as farms by those to whom the confiscated possessions of the monasteries had been granted.  The only result of this pretended anxiety for the welfare of the labouring classes was to make them discontented, no practical measures beyond the appointment of a Royal Commission being attempted.  There were consequently insurrectionary movements throughout the country, which had to be put down by force of arms.  A Royal Visitation of the land was then undertaken, which was somewhat similar in its character to that by means of which the Church had been despoiled in the beginning of Edward’s reign. [See chapter ii.]  This was naturally opposed by the landowners, class was set against class, and insurrections of a more organized character arose in Devonshire, Norfolk, and Yorkshire, which were only suppressed after much fighting and slaughter: the objects of the revolutionary party being now proclaimed in a number of articles, the substance of which was a demand for the restoration of the “old religion,” and for the imposition of sumptuary restrictions upon landowners.

         During these troubles, and others arising from a weak foreign policy, the Duke of Somerset endeavoured to keep the government of the country as much as possible in his own hands, Archbishop Crammer being his chief supporter, and being allowed that full exercise of power of which he was ever so ravenous in all ecclesiastical matters.  Meanwhile a strong party was being formed against the Protector, under the secret management of a man equally ambitious with himself, Dudley, Earl of Warwick, and afterwards Duke of Northumberland.  On October 6, 1549, open resistance to the Protector was declared, and within a week from that date he was deposed from his office, and imprisoned in the Tower.  The course of events which brought about this rapid fall may be gathered from the Privy Council Register.  On the day above mentioned an entry is made that the Council were about to repair to the King at Hampton Court, to represent to his Majesty the bad government of the Protector, and his habit of acting without them; but that, when booted and spurred, they received information that Somerset had collected together a force “to have destroyed them”.*  So they determined to stay in London.  They then summoned the Lord Mayor and Aldermen, and forbade them to obey any mandates sent them by the Lord Protector, unless they were subscribed by the Council.  They also issued a similar direction by letters to the principal nobility and gentry, certain of whom they enjoined to repair to London with some force to suppress any attempts that might be made by the Protector.  For further security they took the Tower out of the Protector’s hands into their own. [There were present on this occasion Lord St. John, the Earls of Warwick, Arundel, and Southampton, Secretary Petre, Sir Edward North, Sir Richard Southwell, Sir Edmund Peckham, Sir Edward Wooton, and Dr. Wooton, Dean of Canterbury.]

         *[That the apprehensions of the Privy Councilors were not without reason is shown by a broadside which Somerset prepared for circulation, and probably did actually circulate, the contents of which are as follows: – “Good people – In the name of God and King Edward, let us rise with all our power to defend him and the Lord Protector against certain lords and gentlemen and chief masters which would depose the Lord Protector, and so endanger the King’s royal person; because we, the poor commons, being injured by the extortions of gentlemen, had our pardon this year by the mercy of the King and the goodness of the Lord Protector; for whom let us fight, for he loveth all just and true gentlemen which do no extortion, and also the poor commonalty of England.  God save the King and my Lord Protector, and all true lords and gentlemen, and us, the poor commonalty.”  A copy of this paper which is preserved in the Record Office is endorsed “The copy of the bill sowed amongst the commons”; and in the twenty-first Article of the accusation against the Duke of Somerset it is said to have been prepared on October 6, 1519.  (Burnet’s Hist. Ref., v. 285, Pocock’s Ed.)]

         The letter of the Council was answered by one signed by Somerset and Cranmer, dated October 7, 1549, which was written from Windsor, whither the Protector had immediately removed the King, and by another on the following day.  In these the writers profess that they do not know what the London members of the Council seek, unless it be the life of the Protector; but there are becoming expressions of a desire that no blood of the King’s subjects may be shed, and that the contest may be brought to a peaceful end.  This was crossed by letters from the Council in London to the King, and to the Archbishop and Sir William Paget, the latter stating that if the Duke of Somerset will absent himself from the Council board, and be amenable to justice, they will gladly commune with the Archbishop about the custody of the King’s person.  But if the Archbishop and Comptroller care more for that one man, the Duke, than for the execution of his Majesty’s laws, “we must make other account of you than we trust we shall have cause.”  They add their assurance that the dangers which are imminent are known to the Archbishop and Sir William Paget.  It is probable that the dangers were known, as alleged; for the Archbishop, Paget, and Sir Thomas Smith wrote at once to the Councilors in London, desiring to know “whether the King’s Majesty shall come forthwith thither, or remain still here, and that some of your Lordships would take pain to come hither forthwith.” [Strype’s Life of Cranmer, ii. 567-577.  Eccl. Hist. Soc. Ed.  Ellis’ Orig. Lett., II. ii. 166.  Burnet’s Hist. Ref., v. 273–282, Pocock’s Ed.]  This resolution was doubtless hastened also by a letter which the Council wrote to the King himself from the “house of Mr. Yorke, Sheriff of London,” in which they declare that, with one or two exceptions, they are the whole Council to whom the Will of his father committed the care of himself and the kingdom; and that, if the Duke of Somerset has any regard to his duty as a subject and an executor, he will restore them to the King’s presence, submit himself to the Council and the laws, and dismiss his forces.  In another entry in their book the Council assert that they had received credible information of Somerset having said that, if the Lords intended his death, the King should die before him; and that, if they meant to famish him, they should famish his Majesty.  They thought it necessary, therefore, to communicate with the two Princesses, and to declare their proceedings to the whole nation.

         On October 11th the Council went to Windsor, having ordered the Duke, who had already been “sequestered from the King” by Cranmer and Paget, to await their coming.  The next day, being Sunday, they sent Sir Thomas Smith, Sir Michael Stanhope, Sir John Thynne, Edward Wolf, and William Gray to the Tower, as the chief abettors and adherents of Somerset.  On the 13th, the Duke himself, who had been proclaimed a traitor on the 7th, [Grey Friars’ Chron., Camd. Soc., page 14.  By his own desire he was taken by St. Giles’-in-the-Fields, says the chronicler, that he might not pass by the churches he had ruined in the Strand.] was sent for and committed to the Tower, and thus his Protectorate or Regency came to an end.  On December 28, 1549, an Act of Parliament was passed condemning him to imprisonment during the King’s pleasure. [A copy of this Act is inserted in the Harleian MS., 353, fol. 78; and, at the end, there is a “Memorandum that this Act was signed by the King, and subscribed by the whole Council,” the signatures, headed by “T. Cant.,” following.]  He was enlarged on his recognizance of £10,000, on February 6, 1550, a special condition of his release being that he should reside at Shene or at Syon, and not go more than four miles from either house. [The Grey Friars’ Chronicle (page 66) says that the Duke came out of the Tower on February 6th “to the Savoy,” from which it seems evident that at present his new house in the Strand was looked upon as an extension of the Savoy Palace.]  On April 10th he was restored in some degree to his position, there being an entry in the Council Book, “This day was the Duke of Somerset sworn and admitted one of the King’s Majesty’s Privy Council”; but by that time the power of the Earl of Warwick was firmly established, although he did not take the title of Duke of Northumberland until the autumn of the following year, when Somerset was again apprehended, and in three months afterwards sent to his doom.

         The Protectorate of Somerset was an eventful period in the history of the Reformation; for it was during the two years and a half of his power that Convocation and Parliament carried out and enforced the revision of the devotional system of the Church of England which had been contemplated and prepared for during the reign of Henry VIII.  Towards the close of his rule, in 1549, the “First Prayer Book of Edward VI,” that which may for convenience be called the High Church Prayer Book, was brought into use under the authority of the Act of Uniformity; and this is the great ecclesiastical monument of his Protectorate.  But it does not appear that the Duke of Somerset exercised any personal influence over the work of the Reformation, the chief direction of it at that time being in the hands of Archbishop Cranmer, who had not yet succumbed to the counsels of Presbyterian and Puritan foreigners.  No doubt the Archbishop received the authoritative support of the Protector, but, beyond this, the latter does not seem to have interfered in ecclesiastical affairs.  [A lengthy correspondence between Bishop Gardner and the Protector is preserved by Foxe but the style of the letters to which the name of Somerset is subscribed makes it all but certain that his replies to the Bishop were written by Cranmer.  Calvin wrote five letters to the Duke of Somerset between 1549 and 1551, in the first of which he exhorts the Protector to reform the new Prayer Book, by doing away with the Commemoration of the Departed at the Eucharist, with the Chrisom at Baptism, and with Extreme Unction.  But if the letters had any influence at all on Somerset, it was probably only in respect to the characteristically cruel admonition that he should “restrain by the sword” all, whether Papist reactionaries or Protestant fanatics, who should oppose the Protector in any plans that he might form for the reformation of religion.  (State Papers, Edw. VI., Dom. v.9. Gorham’s Ref. Glean., 55.)]

 

§ 2. Government Under the Duke of Northumberland, Oct. 13, 1549–July 6, 1555.

         Although the names of the Privy Councilors were subscribed to the documents connected with the deposition of the Duke of Somerset from the Protectorate, his fall was in reality brought about by Dudley, Earl of Warwick, best known in history as the Duke of Northumberland, and as the father-in-law of Lady Jane Grey, the “nine days’ Queen”.  He had been sent into Norfolk to suppress the rebellion raised there by Robert Kett; and, having defeated the insurrectionary forces at the end of August, he soon afterwards returned to London, where he drew the majority of the Privy Council to his side, and having taken possession of the Tower, and secured the City, was soon able, as has already been narrated, to bring Somerset and Cranmer to terms, and to obtain possession of the young King’s person.

         The conduct of this most ambitious and unscrupulous man leads to the inference that a deliberate plan for the seizure of the Crown, either on his own account,* or, if that could not be accomplished, on behalf of one of his family, occupied his mind from the moment when he had succeeded in overthrowing his rival.  With this object in view he secured the person of the young King, filled the great offices of State with his friends, gained complete authority over the members of the Privy Council by working on their fears, and thrust out of the way all who were likely to oppose his scheme.  Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, the uncompromising supporter of the young King’s rights, and of the dispositions made by Henry VIII for the government of the country during his minority, was kept safely in the Tower without pen, ink, or paper, during the whole of Northumberland’s reign. [See chapter v.]  The Duke of Somerset became harmless for a time by his captivity in the Tower, and the submission which accompanied his subsequent release.  But when he began again to become dangerous through his popularity, he was once more arrested – on October 16, 1551; accused of treason against the King, and of a felonious intention to imprison Northumberland; and having been condemned to be hanged as a felon, the high treason not being proved against him, was finally got rid of by decapitation on January 22, 1552.  The Princesses Mary and Elizabeth were only recognized as illegitimate daughters of Henry VIII, who had no claims to the Crown; but vigorous attempts were made to bring the former within reach of the law, that she might be destroyed, and the latter it was endeavoured to expatriate by arranging for her marriage with the Prince of Denmark.

         *[About the time of the Duke of Somerset’s second arrest and execution the Privy Council Register contains very frequent charges against persons who declared that they had seen coins with a bear and ragged staff, the badge of the Earl of Warwick, upon them.  One such case occurs the very day after Somerset’s death, when Thomas Long of Bath, baker, deposed that Matthew Colthurst had made bonfires, and caused the bells of the Abbey to be rung on December 3rd, for the Duke’s supposed acquittal.  “Further, that Thomas Holland showed him a shilling alleged to have a ragged staff on it, which this deponent could not perceive to be other than a lion, and so told him; whereupon Holland replied, “Tush, tush! hold thy peace, fool, thou shalt see another world ere Candlemas; the Duke of Somerset shall come forth of the Tower, and the Duke of Northumberland shall go in.”  On January 28, 1552, a few days later, there is a Council order, “Nicolas Route to be pilloried, and lose an ear for lewd words about a sixpence.”  The Grey Friars’ Chronicle also contains a note that, “Item, the xvi. day was a proclamation for the new gwyne, that no man should speak ill of it, for because that people said divers that there was the ragged staff.”  (Grey Friars’ Chron., page 72.)]

         At last the time came when the Duke of Northumberland saw his way to the final accomplishment of his plans, or at least of the first part of them. A great-granddaughter of Henry VII, Lady Jane Grey, who was fifth in the line of succession – coming in after the two Princesses, the Queen of Scots and her own mother, the Duchess of Suffolk – had now arrived at the age of sixteen; and, child as she was, her parents consented to her marriage.  On May 25, 1553, therefore, she was married to Lord Guildford Dudley, the fourth and only unmarried son of the Duke of Northumberland.  Pressure was brought to bear upon the young King, who was beginning to suffer from an unaccountable sickness, and, under a fanatical desire to forward the interests of Puritanism, Edward was made to insist on declaring Lady Jane his successor to

the Crown.  This act was accomplished on June 21st, within less than a month after her marriage to the Duke’s son.  In a fortnight, on July 6th, the King was dead [It was the general opinion of the time that he had been killed by a slow poison.  Thus the Grey Friars’ Chronicler enters, “Item, the vi. day of July died King Edward the vi. at Greenwich, as they say, and some say he was poisoned as it shall appear hereafter.”  (Grey Friars’ Chron., page 78.)  So also Machyn in his Diary, “The vi. day of July, as they say, deceased the noble King Edward the vi., and the vii. year of his reign and son and heir to the noble King Henry the viii., and he was poisoned, as everybody says, where now, thanks be to God, there be many of the false traitors brought to their end, and I trust in God that more shall follow, as they may be spied out.”  (Machyn’s Diary, page 35.)]; and Northumberland, who was not himself of royal blood, was so far nearer to the Crown that it was placed upon the head of his son’s wife, a child no older than the deceased King.  At this crisis of his fortunes, however, the conscience of the country turned against him; the Princess Mary was almost universally recognized as the true successor to her brother, and the downfall of Northumberland was so rapid, that, six weeks after the death of the young King, on August 22, 1553, he was executed as a traitor.

         During the time of the Duke of Northumberland’s government there was a very distinct alteration in the tone of the Reformation movement.  In the earlier part of Edward’s reign, probably on account of Cranmer’s great influence with the Protector, this movement had been carried on, as in Henry VIII’s time, with a careful regard to the preservation of old Catholic doctrines and customs: in the later part of the reign Cranmer’s influence was much lessened, there being no friendship between him and Northumberland, and the ecclesiastical movement of those years had a strong tendency to break away from the line hitherto taken, and run in the direction of Puritanism.  It was towards the close of this period, November 1, 1552, that the “Second Prayer Book of Edward VI” was brought into use, under the authority of the Second Act of Uniformity; and as the first book has for convenience been called the High Church, so this second may be called the Low Church Prayer Book.

 

Chapter  II – The Privy Council, the Parliament, and the Church in the

Beginning of Edward the Sixth’s Reign, 1547–1548.

         During the whole of Edward VI’s reign there was a great disposition on the part of the Government to make the Church as far as possible a department of the State.  The political and personal interests of the governing men stimulated this disposition; the developing opinions and inclinations of the young King leaned towards it in its most extreme form; Archbishop Cranmer and Bishop Ridley were willing to go great lengths in the same direction; while the Puritans among the clergy and laity looked to such a change as the great means for suppressing those sacerdotal claims of the Church which they so much abhorred, and for giving it Presbyterian constitution.

         It is possible that this unconstitutional tendency might have ended in more decided results than it did, if there had been a settled and strong Government.  A popular King, able Ministers of State, compliant Archbishops and Bishops, and a reforming Parliament might easily have combined together to destroy all the old landmarks, and to originate a new form of constitution and administration, in which the Church would only be a name for the State in its religious aspect, and its officers, from the highest to the lowest, only ecclesiastical servants of the Crown.  There was especial danger of this great constitutional innovation during the first nine months of Edward’s reign, when there was no Parliament or Convocation, when the government of the country was carried on entirely by the Privy Council, and when the poverty of the Exchequer made the remaining property of the Church a tempting source of revenue.

         But, arbitrary and tyrannical as the Privy Council Government was – and there was never any more so in England – it was never quite strong enough to accomplish this change, and the danger almost passed away on the meeting of Parliament and Convocation.  The course of affairs did indeed tend in that direction alike during the Protectorate of Somerset and the supremacy of Northumberland; but, happily, there were counterbalancing constitutional influences, and in the end the relations of the Church and the State were nearly the same at the end of Edward’s reign that they had been at the beginning.

         There were, however, several cases in which the Privy Council, acting in the name of the Crown, adopted a strong line of action in ecclesiastical matters which strained the functions of the Sovereign to their authority very utmost constitutional limits, and perhaps beyond them.  These cases form an important element in the history of the Reformation, and must be examined in detail.

 

§ 1.  Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Assumed for the Crown.

         The first ecclesiastical business which came before the Privy Council was closely associated with the reestablishment of the royal supremacy, in the form which it had assumed in the previous reign. [Arrangements were made by the Privy Council for the burial of Henry VIII, and for the coronation of his successor; but the religious portions of these ceremonials were put entirely into the hands of the Archbishop of Canterbury.  No doctrinal or ritual changes were thought of in either case, and a few modifications in the coronation ceremonies were made solely on account of the King’s youth, and his inability to bear much fatigue.  So also, on June 19, 1547, a solemn mass of requiem was sung in St. Paul’s for Francis I, the late King of France.  Cranmer and eight other bishops officiated in their richest pontifical habits, and Ridley preached the sermon.  At the same time a dirge was sung  in all the churches of London.  (Stow’s Ann., 594.)]

         In all subsequent reigns the enforcement of the supremacy was left entirely to the ordinary course of law, no special steps being taken to reassert it beyond the ordinary homage and oath of allegiance by which each bishop acknowledged the sovereign jurisdiction of the new King or Queen.  But after the Lord Chancellor had given up the seals, and received them again at Edward’s hands (which took place in the presence of all the late King’s executors on February 1, 1547), he was directed to make out new patents for all the judges as soon as possible; and this seems to have suggested the making out of new patents for the bishops also.  [It has been assumed by former writers, following Strype (Strype’s Mem. Cranmer, ii. 2, ed. 1848), that Crammer petitioned the Crown for his own Letters Patent.  There is no evidence whatever that he did so beyond the form of the document (dated, it must be remembered, on the day after the above determination of the Council), in which the expression is used, “nos tuis in hac parte supplicationibus humilibus inclinati.”  It is highly probable that this is a mere form; and the dates certainly go against the statement of Burnet that the idea of the “Commissions” originated with the Archbishop.]

         Thus, on February 6th, the Privy Council resolved that all the bishops “had authority of spiritual jurisdiction by force of instruments under the seal appointed ad res ecclesiasticas” in the last reign, and that the authority so given had determined by the death of the King.  They ordained, therefore, that these instruments should be renewed under the charge of Sir William Paget, who, as Chief Secretary to Henry Letters VIII, had the custody of that seal.  Paget was directed first, however, to give up this seal (at the same time that he and the other Secretary, Sir William Petre, gave up their other official seals) into the hands of the King, from whose hands he again received it. [Privy Council Register.  This seal is continually referred to in these minutes under the name of the seal ad res or ad causes ecclesiasticas.  In the time of Henry VIII it was used only for Letters Patent concerning ecclesiastical matters, the bishops still using their own seals, as of old, and as in all subsequent reigns, for documents issued under their authority.  Some beautiful engravings of Archbishop Cranmer’s seals in 1534, 1535, 1538, 1539, and 1540, of Archbishop Parker’s in 1560 and 1563, and of Bishop Jewel’s in 1560, will be found in Gorham’s Reformation Gleanings, 1857.]

         These Letters Patent were issued accordingly, that of Archbishop Cranmer being dated the 7th of February, although we find Gardiner complaining to Paget so late as March 1st of the delay which there had been in executing them. [MS. State Papers, Edw. VI, Dom. vol. i.]  The nature of the jurisdiction which they professed to confer may be seen by the granting contents of Cranmer’s, which is entitled “Commissio regia archiaepiscopo Cantuar. ad exercendam suam jurisdictionem.” [Wilkins’ Concil., iv. 2.  A document of a similar nature, authorizing the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul’s to exercise ecclesiastical jurisdiction within places to them appertaining, exists among the MS. State Papers of this reign in the Record Office, and is dated March 1st.]  It may be summarized under the following heads:–

         1.  All authority of jurisdiction, and all kinds of jurisdiction, as well ecclesiastical as secular, are stated to proceed from the King as supreme head of the Church.

         2.  With the consent of the Council, the King grants the prayer of Cranmer’s petition for the commission.        

         3.  The Archbishop is licensed to ordain within the diocese of Canterbury.

         4.  Also to institute to benefices.

         5.  Also to grant probates and administrations.

         6.  Also to hear such causes as belong to Ecclesiastical Courts.

         But the documents were mere surplusage, the bishops exercising jurisdiction without them, just as they exercised it after receiving them, and merely regarding them as instruments by which they were secured against intrusion and tyranny on the part of the ruling power.  They are often spoken of as if they indicated a vital change in the principles of the bishops and the civil power as to the source of episcopal authority.  But it is certain that there was no such change on the part of Gardiner, nor is it probable that men like him, who could spend their years in prison rather than give up their principles, or, like the Bishop of Chichester, who in another matter told the Privy Council they might do what they pleased with him, for it was “a less evil to suffer the body to perish than to corrupt the soul with that thing which his conscience would not bear,” would have accepted “commissions” from the Crown on such terms.  Bonnor might not have been scrupulous on such a point, but Tunstal of Durham, Day of Chichester, and Goodrich of Ely, were men of the highest honour, and theologians who would not for a moment have recognized the Crown as the source of episcopal authority.  Although, therefore, it may be alleged that Cranmer could do so ex animo (which is much to be doubted), that Gardiner would have done so as a matter of policy, and that Bonnor had no principles to speak of, it is still to be explained why the other “Popish” bishops conformed to the new practice, and received these Letters Patent without remonstrance, if they are to be taken as indicating a change of principle.

         The fact is, these instruments were a piece of clumsy and ill-considered machinery, by which it was endeavoured to replace the old usurpations of the Pope by the authority of the Crown.  It was not at once evident how far the Church had authority within itself, and in particular how far the bishops had spiritual jurisdiction without receiving it from some source external to their own body.  The false theory that all ecclesiastical authority flows from the Pope had been so long admitted that, when it came to be denied and repudiated, many hankered after some new fountain, and the statesmen of the day thought they had found it in the Crown.  When the principles of an independent Church came to be better defined, the functions of the Crown were restricted to the nomination of bishops (guarded by the congé d’élire) and to the control of their “temporalities” or endowments; while spiritual jurisdiction was understood to flow generally from Consecration, and particularly (that is, as to the diocese to which the bishop is appointed) by Confirmation.  The latter ceremony is performed under the authority of the Metropolitan, acting for the whole Province or Church, and in the course of the “definitive sentence” he commits to the elected and confirmed bishop “the care, government, and administration of the spirituals” of the diocese to which he is appointed, ordering at the same time that he shall be inducted into corporal possession of the see, and all rights, honours, and dignities, privileges, etc., belonging to it, by installation.  It may be added that, although Consecration gives to the consecrated person spiritual powers which are valid wherever they are exercised, it is also (by the English rite) Consecration to a particular see, as is shown by the oath of canonical obedience.  Where a bishop is translated from one see to another, a new jurisdiction is conferred by the new election and confirmation. [Bishop Gibson says that canonists were never agreed as to whether elections did or did not confer jurisdiction.  (Gibson’s Cod. Jur. Eccl. Ang., Tit. v. c. 2.)]

         No doubt there was a great want of clear-sightedness as to ecclesiastical questions among the statesmen and lawyers of this reign, but we must remember that it was no light mist which they had to look through in times when the atmosphere of the constitution was so disturbed by contending elements.  In discussing this question, many modern writers are, however, in as dense a fog as were the statesmen and lawyers of King Edward VI.  For they very commonly speak of spiritual “jurisdiction” as if it were a bestowal of some new power and authority.  In reality, it is the limitation and restriction within certain geographical bounds of spiritual powers which are exercisable in all parts of the world.  A bishop is by consecration a bishop wherever he may be, but his right to exercise his right is restricted to the diocese over which he is appointed.  It is practically a question of administration, depending ultimately on the supreme authority of the country, which can parcel out the land into dioceses and parishes as it will.  A missionary bishop is as much a bishop as the Archbishop of Canterbury or the Pope, and yet he has no “jurisdiction” whatever: exercising his spiritual gifts in partibus infidelium at his own discretion, and in a Christian land only by permission, given or implied, of the particular bishop in whose diocese he is ministering.

         Thus it will be seen that, however inexact the language may have been in which the Letters Patent of Edward VI’s bishops were expressed, they were in truth very innocuous documents, having no real importance except in the eyes of those who are of opinion that all spiritual authority in the Church flows from the See of Rome.  [Bishop Burnet says that the new bishops of Edward VI did not take out these “Commissions,” because, their duration being limited to the “King’s pleasure,” the yoke was found too heavy, and that they were appointed for life.  (Burnet, ii. 41 Pocock’s Ed.)  It is more probable that they were looked upon as being superseded by the Statute for the direct appointment of bishops by the Crown, of which an account is given in the subsequent pages.  But the following entry in the Privy Council Book, under the date August 18, 1547, shows that strict provision was made for granting these commissions:– “Where the seal appointed ad causes ecclesiasticas by special order of the Lord Protector’s Grace, committed to the custody of Sir William Petre, Knight, the King’s Majesty’s Principal Secretary, because some of the archbishops, bishops, cathedral churches, archdeacons, deans, prebendaries, and others having heretofore exercised spiritual jurisdiction, may be authorized to exercise the same by force of his Highness’ License under that seal.  It is ordered by the said Lord Protector’s Grace, and the rest of his Majesty’s Privy Council, that the said Sir William Petre shall and may, by virtue of this order and decree, and without any other or further warrant, set the same seal unto all such instruments as shall be brought to him in form accustomed, for the enabling of any archbishop, bishop, cathedral and collegiate church, archdeacon, dean, prebendary, or other having heretofore used spiritual jurisdiction.  The same instruments to be made in like form as they have been made to the same persons or others of like sort in the time of our late Sovereign Lord deceased.”  This is signed by “Somerset, Crammer, St. John, Northampton, Ant. Browne, Antony Wyngfield, Edward North.”]

 

§ 2.  The Act for Giving the Crown Absolute Power

In the Appointment of Bishops

         The line taken towards the existing bishops by the Privy Council on behalf of the Crown was followed up in Parliament by another very serious innovation, that of making the Crown absolute in the appointment of new bishops.  The Act which effected this (1 Edw. VI, ch. 2) begins with a ring of honest intention, as follows:–

         “Forasmuch as the elections of archbishops and bishops by the deans and chapters within the King’s Majesty’s realms of England and Ireland at the present time be as well to the long delay as to the great cost and charges of such persons as the King’s Majesty giveth any archbishopric or bishopric unto; and whereas the said elections be in very deed no elections, but only by a writ of congé d’élire have colours, shadows, or pretense of elections, serving, nevertheless, to no purpose, and seeming also derogatory and prejudicial to the King’s prerogative royal, to whom only appertaineth the collation and gift of all archbishoprics and bishoprics, and suffragan bishops within his Highness’ said realms of England and Ireland, Wales, and other his dominions and marches; for a due reformation thereof, be it therefore enacted by the King’s Highness, with the assent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and the Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same –

         “That from henceforth no congI d’Ilire be granted, nor election of any archbishop or bishop by the dean and chapter made, but that the King may, by his Letters Patent, at all times when any archbishopric or bishopric is void, confer the same to any person whom the King shall think meet.  The which collation so by the King’s Letters Patent made, and delivered to the person to whom the King shall confer the same archbishopric or bishopric, or to his sufficient proctor and attorney, shall stand to all intents, constructions, and purposes, to as much and the same effect as though congI d’Ilire had been given, the election duly made, and the same confirmed.  And thereupon the said person to whom the said archbishopric or bishopric, or suffraganship is so conferred, collated, or given, may be consecrated, and sue his livery or ouster le main, and do other things, as well as if the said ceremonies and elections had been done and made.”

         The third clause of this Act enacted that the bishops should no longer “make and send out summonses, citations, and other processes in their own names,” but that all such processes ecclesiastical, “in all suits and causes of instance betwixt party and party, and all causes of correction, and all causes of bastardy, or bigamy, or enquiry de jure patronatus, probates of testaments, and commissions of administrations of persons deceased,” shall be made in the name and with the style of the King as in Common Law writs, the Teste of the document being in the name of the bishop.  The fourth clause also enacted that the seals used in such processes should have the Royal Arms and the name of the diocese upon them; the Archbishop of Canterbury, however, being allowed to use a seal with his own name and arms for faculties and dispensations. [About a century ago one of the seals made under this Act was discovered in taking down an old house at Oxford.  It came into the possession of Sir William Blackstone, who presented it to the Royal Society of Antiquaries, and wrote an essay on it, which is printed (with an engraving) in the Archaeologia for 1775 (iii. 414).  The seal is the shape and size of such seals as are used by archdeacons for their instruments of induction, or by bishops for marriage licenses.  On the upper part of the oval are the Royal Arms of Edward VI, and on the lower third, the words “Pro: decanatu: de: Sonnyng.”  Around the margin is the inscription, “Sigillu: regiae: majestatis: ad: causas: ecclesiasticas.”  As the Deanery of Sunning, near Reading, was a peculiar and not under episcopal jurisdiction, this seal was doubtless that of the clergyman or other officer who exercised jurisdiction within the Deanery; and if so, it was also, doubtless, identical in character with those used by the bishops themselves for the purposes defined in the Act.]

         A most important proviso, however, formed the fourth clause of this Act, by which it was enacted that the bishops should issue in their own names, with their own seals, all documents connected with the appointment of their subordinate officers, all documents connected with collations, institutions, and inductions, and all letters of orders or letters dimissory, in the same manner as before the passing of the Act.

         The effect of this famous Act was therefore–

         1.  To do away with the congé d’élire, and substitute direct nomination of bishops by the Crown.

         2.  To make judicial processes in ecclesiastical causes, probates of wills, etc., to be carried on by the usual ecclesiastical judges, in the name of the King, instead of in their own names.

         It cannot be said that either of these innovations was calculated to do much or any practical harm, or really to infringe upon any rights of the Church.  The Statute was repealed by 1 Mary, stat. ii. cap. 2, and was never revived.  Consequently the constitutional form of the congé d’élire was in abeyance only for about five years; and although an attempt was made to get rid of it* in the reigns of James I and Charles I, it still remains in use, perhaps to become a useful survival, as many such survivals are useful, by becoming the basis of a reform in the present mode of appointing bishops.  The other changes made by the Act were also, of course, repealed, but recent legislation has taken an exactly similar course in the matter of wills.

         *[The history of these attempts may be just glanced at here.  The Statute of Edward was, as is stated above, wholly repealed by 1 Mary, stat. ii. cap. 2.  The latter Act, which also repealed the Act of Uniformity, was repealed as far as regarded the Act of Uniformity, but not in other particulars, by 1 Eliz., cap. 2.  Thus the Act of Edward still stood repealed, and the congé d’élire, etc. were revived.

            But in King James the First’s reign the Statute of Mary was declared to “stand repealed and void,” for the purpose of reviving some Acts of Edward; and although there was no intention of reviving this particular Act, it was thought by some lawyers that it was in effect revived, and that thus the bishops could again hold office only under Letters Patent.  In the Parliament of 1606 there was great agitation on the subject, and Sir Edward Coke, the Attorney General, declared that the bishops “were all at the King’s mercy.”  The judges gave their opinion that 1 Edw. VI, cap. 2, was not in force, having been virtually repealed by several Acts, and expressly by Stat. 1 Mary.  (Coke’s Reports, xii. 7.)  Thirty years later the question was revived by Prynne and his adherents, who maintained that it was contrary to law for bishops to use their own style and arms, instead of those of the King, in Ecclesiastical Courts.  Prynne urged that the Statute of Edward had been revived by that of James, and took no notice of the opinion of the judges which had been given in 1606.  (Breviate of Prelates’ Intolerable Usurpations, pp. 91–100, 115, etc.]  There was much bitter controversy on the subject, and Laud asked the King to require the judges to give their opinion, which they did, declaring that the King’s arms were not necessary on ecclesiastical seals, the Statute of Edw. VI being no longer in force.  The matter was revived by Pym, when presenting the articles against Laud to the peers on February 26, 1640.  But further details may be reserved for a future chapter.]

         The bishops nominated under this Act were Ferrar of St. David’s, Poynet, first of Rochester, and then of Winchester, Hooper of Gloucester and Worcester, Coverdale of Exeter, Scory of Rochester, Taylor of Lincoln, and Harley of Hereford.  Of these seven only two survived to the following reigns, viz. Coverdale and Scory.  It is singular to find that, although sixty-six bishops were consecrated between 1547 and 1585 (the latter being the date of Scory’s death), Coverdale assisted in the consecration of only one, viz. Parker; and Scory in the consecration of only four, viz. Grindal, Cox, Meyrick, and Sands.  Two other bishops joined with Coverdale and Scory in the consecration of Parker, and three other bishops joined with Scory in the consecration of the other four that have been named.  So little influence had the Episcopate peculiarly belonging to the reign of Edward VI in the future succession of the Church of England.

 

§ 3.  General Visitation of the Church by the Crown.

         One of the constitutional difficulties which had arisen from the repudiation of Papal authority was that of the jurisdiction under which abuses in the Church were to be enquired into and reformed, and which is known in ecclesiastical law by the name of “Visitation”.  Up to the time of the Reformation it was the received opinion that the authority of visitation, although it was ordinarily exercised over the secular clergy by the bishops, [See vol. i. page 55, for a Papal acknowledgment of the jurisdiction of the ordinaries over the secular clergy.] came, like all other ecclesiastical authority, from the Pope; and, accordingly, it was sometimes exercised by Papal legates, when that of the ordinaries or bishops was suspended and superseded.  There can be no doubt, however, that this was a mediaeval theory, and that when the power of visitation was vested in the Crown by Act of Parliament, the State was but reclaiming for the Crown that authority which earlier sovereigns had claimed and exercised on the principle asserted by King Edgar: “It appertaineth unto us to enquire into the lives” of the clergy. ... “I have the sword of Constantine, ye of Peter; ... the royal authority shall not fail you.  You, Dunstan, have with you the venerable fathers Ethelwald, Bishop of Winchester, and Oswald, Bishop of Worcester.  To you I commit the matter, that both by episcopal censure and royal authority evil livers may be cast out of the churches, and others living by rule brought in.” [Spelman’s Concil., i. 417.]  The first exercise of this revived authority was in the visitation of the monasteries.  The earliest visitation in the reign of Henry VIII had been made by Wolsey, under the authority of a bill which appointed him legate a latere; but the great general visitations, which ended in their confiscation and destruction, were accomplished under that of an Act of Parliament (25 Henry VIII, c. 21, § 20).  A subsequent Act of 1534 enacted that the Crown “shall have full power and authority from time to time to visit, repress, redress, reform, order, correct, restrain, and amend 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, repressed, ordered, redressed, corrected, restrained, or amended, most to the pleasure of Almighty God, the increase of virtue in Christ’s religion, and for the conservation of the peace, unity, and tranquility of this realm: any usage, custom, foreign laws, foreign authority, prescription, or any thing or things to the contrary hereof notwithstanding” (26 Henry VIII, c. 1).  This Act was repealed by 1 and 2 Phil. and Mary, c. 8, § 13, but the visitational portion of it was reenacted by 1 Eliz., c. 1, § 17, and has ever since been in force.     A general visitation of the Church had been intended to have been made immediately after the passing of this Act, and the ordinary visitations of the bishops had been suspended by an inhibition, dated September 18, 1535, [Wilkins’ Concil., iii. 797.  See also a letter of Dr. Legh and Ap Rice, written to Cromwell, respecting these inhibitions.  (Strype’s Eccl. Mem., I. ii. 216, ed. 1822.)] in preparation for it.  But it was not carried out, and the Privy Council Register records on October 12, 1535, that the King issued a commission to the Bishop of Lincoln, similar commissions being probably issued to other bishops at the same time, empowering him to exercise ecclesiastical jurisdiction within his diocese, “by reason that his Vicegerent and Vicar-General, Thomas Cromwell, was not yet able to perfect his intended visitation of all England in person.”  It does not appear that the intention was ever carried out; but two sets of royal Injunctions were issued in 1536 and 1538, [            Burnet’s Hist. Ref., iv. 308, 341, Pocock’s Ed.] and these were circulated in some other manner, probably through the bishops, into whose registers they were copied.

         Since 1538 little had been done by the Crown towards assisting Convocation in the Reformation of the Church, and when the power of the Crown passed into the hands of the Privy Council, the minds of leading men were divided as to the expediency of making any further progress during the minority of the young King.  Some, and not a few, thought with Bishop Gardiner that it would be highly imprudent to do so while the constitution was, in a manner, in abeyance.  Others thought, as Hooper did, that the minority of the King offered a good opportunity for introducing important innovations of doctrine and ritual which would bring the Church of England into keeping with the Calvinistic communities that had sprung up abroad.  Cranmer wished to hold a middle course, and to complete the work which had been left half finished by Convocation on account of his old master’s obstructiveness.  And as Somerset’s policy would not permit of Parliament sitting for some time to come, Convocation, of course, could not assemble; so that, under the circumstances, Cranmer may have acted prudently and in the interests of the Church in assenting to a visitation by the Crown.  Certainly men’s minds were in an extremely unsettled state as regarded the Church, and an official settlement of some kind seemed absolutely necessary.  [As early, for instance, as within a few days of Henry VIII’s death, some of the clergy and others began to deface the churches, under the notion that an entirely new order of things had set in; and on February 10th the matter came before the Privy Council.  On that day the Council sat at “the Lord Protector’s place by the Strand,” when the curate and churchwardens of St. Martin’s, Ironmonger Lane, were brought before them, on information of the Bishop and Lord Mayor of London, for taking down images, for substituting the King’s arms in the place of the altar cross, and for painting on the walls of their church texts of Holy Scripture from a perverse translation.  They made the characteristic excuses that the repairs of the church roof had caused the crucifix and other images to rot to powder, and that some committed idolatry to the images.  These offences were stated to be “partly mitigated” by such excuses, and the punishment of imprisonment was remitted; but they were bound over in recognizances of £20 each, gravely admonished, required to provide a new crucifix before the First Sunday in Lent, and to set up a picture of one within two days. (Privy Council Register.)  On May 24th a proclamation was issued against “divers lewd and light tales whispered and secretly spread abroad by uncertain authors, of innovations in the religion and ceremonies of the Church.”  (Lansdowne MS., 2022, fol. 216.)]

         On May 4, 1547, therefore, a Commission for a general visitation was issued under the “seal ad causas ecclesiasticas” [Privy Council Register; Cardw. Doc. Ann., i. 24.]; and at the same time a Privy Council mandate was sent to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, ordering them to inhibit their suffragans and themselves to abstain from exercising their ordinary jurisdiction until they should receive license from the Privy Council to resume it.  The same document also prohibited every clergyman from preaching except under a special license from the Crown. [Wilkins’ Concil., iv. 10.  Archbishop Cranmer suspended the Bishop of London’s jurisdiction on May 15th, and issued a “relaxatio” of the suspension on June 3rd. (Wilkins’ Concil., iv. 14.)  The confusion in which the question of ecclesiastical jurisdiction was involved is illustrated by the fact that although the archbishops had authority given to inhibit, and Archbishop Cranmer considered himself authorized to remove the inhibition, yet the Privy Council issued a special order of their own on the subject some months later.  The entry in the Council Register is dated Dec. 1, 1547, and is to the following effect: “Whereas during the last visitation the jurisdiction of the bishops did cease, it is this day ordered by the Lord Protector and the Council that the same jurisdiction be restored to them in so large and entire a manner as they had the same before the visitation began.”  And Sir Wm. Petre is ordered to seal all writings concerning such jurisdiction with the seal “ad causas ecclesiasticas.”  Yet there is no doubt that some of the bishops had been exercising their jurisdiction ever since Cranmer’s “relaxatio” or removal of the inhibition, without waiting for this long subsequent Order of Council.]  It was signed by the Protector, Lord Seymour his brother, Archbishop Cranmer, Paulet Marquess of Winchester, Secrets Sir William Petre, Lord Russel, Sir John Baker, and Sir John Gage; the last two being decided opponents of innovation.

         In the case of the visitation of the monasteries, it was shown that some at least of the visitors chosen were men of disreputable character, and that there was a strong presumption of all being selected as mere instruments of tyranny, persecution, and robbery.  There is no reason to think that the visitation of the Church in Edward VI’s reign was conducted by men of so evil a stamp, and the list of them can be reproduced without shame.  The following are the names, as given in a manuscript of Archbishop Parker, together with the dioceses which they respectively visited [Corpus Christi Coll. Camb. MS. cxxi. p. 448.]:–

 

York, Durham, Carlisle, Chester: Dean of Westminster.  Sir John Herseley.  Dr. Nicolas Ridley, preacher.  Edward Plankney, registrar.

Westminster, London, Norwich, Ely:  Sir Anthony Coke.  Sir John Godsalve.  Dr. Christopher Newinson (D.C.L).  John Gosnold, Esq.  Dr. Madewe (D.D.), preacher.  Peter Lylly, registrar.

Rochester, Canterbury, Chichester, Winchester: Sir John Hales.  Sir John Mason.  Sir Anthony Coke.  Dr. Cave.  Mr. Briggs, preacher.  Ralph Morice, registrar.

Salisbury, Exeter, Bath, Bristol, Gloucester. [The jurisdiction of these dioceses was inhibited to the respective bishops of them on August 30th.  (Wilkins’ Concil., iv. 17.)]: May, Dean of St. Paul’s.  Heynes, Dean of Exeter.  Sir Walter Buckler.  Mr. Cottesford, preacher.  John Redman, registrar.

Peterborough, Lincoln, Oxford, Coventry, Lichfield: Taylor, Dean of Lincoln.  Dr. Rowland Taylor.  Mr. John Joseph, preacher.  John Old, registrar.

Worcester, Hereford, Llandaff, St. David’s, Bangor, St. Asaph:  Mr. Morison.  Mr. Sydel.  Mr. Ferrar, preacher.  George Constantine, registrar.  Hugh Rawlins, Welsh preacher.

 

         Some of these – as, for instance, Ridley, Taylor, Ferrar, and Constantine – were strong party men, but the list is otherwise unimpeachable, and offers a favourable contrast to that selected in the previous reign for visiting the monasteries.

         Of the details of their proceedings very little is known, but the visitors may be considered, according to modern ideas, as a roving commission, armed with coercive authority as well as with powers of enquiry.  They appear to have sat for several weeks in each cathedral city, summoning to their presence the bishops, the deans and chapters, the archdeacons some of the parochial clergy and some of the laity, and examining them on the lines laid down in seventy-four “Articles of Enquiry” with which they were provided.  [These Articles of Enquiry consisted of thirteen for bishops, archdeacons, and ecclesiastical officers; thirty-five for parsons, vicars, and curates; twenty-one for lay people; and five for chantry priests.  (Strype’s Eccl. Mem., II. i. 75–83.)  Most of them related to the observance or neglect of the Injunctions which had been issued by Henry VIII, great stress being laid upon the due celebration of “Matin Mass” and Evensong, upon the singing or saying of the English Litany, upon preaching against “the usurped power of the Bishop of Rome,” and upon the morale of the clergy and laity.]  Whatever information they obtained has either been lost or has hitherto escaped the eyes of our industrious record searchers; and, excepting through a glimpse which we get here and there of the manner in which they were received by some of the bishops, we can judge of the character of their proceedings only by that of the Injunctions with which they were provided, and which they enforced upon the various persons indicated in the Articles of Enquiry.  They also added, as occasion called for them, supplementary Injunctions of their own, founded, it is to be presumed, on the circumstances disclosed during the enquiries which they made.

         The Injunctions given them to issue to the bishops were only five in number: (1) That they should enforce all the King’s Injunctions given, or to be given, throughout their dioceses.  (2) That each of them should preach once a year in the cathedral of his diocese, and three times in some other of his churches.  (3)  That they should have no chaplains but those who were learned and able to preach. (4)  That they should require candidates for Orders to be learned in Holy Scripture, and not refuse any who were so, if they were of honest conversation and living. (5)  That they should not preach or set forth any doctrine repugnant to the Homilies [These were twelve Homilies which had been prepared some years before by Cranmer, Bonnor, Harpsfield, and others, for Convocation, but had never been published.  They now form the first part or “former book” of the Homilies authorized by the 35th of the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion.  Some of them were republished by Bishop Bonnor for the use of the Diocese of London in 1555, and he then affixed his initials to that contributed by himself, the one on “Christian Love and Charity.”  On Sept. 23, 1548, the Council, issued a Proclamation forbidding all sermons “till one uniform order be made for preaching.”  Meantime the clergy and people are to betake themselves to prayer, “and patient hearing of the godly Homilies”!! (Lansdowne MS., 2022.)  The Paraphrase of Erasmus upon the books of the New Testament, partly translated by the Princess Mary, was also largely distributed by the visitors, being placed in the churches for the laity to read.] now issued, nor license others to preach unless they could be assured of their conformity; and if any of their clergy should preach to the contrary, they were at once to inhibit them from preaching any more. [The copy from which the above summary is made is that given to the Bishop of Westminster on August 29th, in the Chapter House of Westminster; it is printed in Wilkins’ Concilia, iv. 8.]

         The other injunctions given to bishops and deans and chapters, on the authority of the visitors, related to the details of preaching and Divine Service.  At Westminster, for instance, the bishop was required to order that the Divine Service should end in every parish church of that city before nine o’clock in the morning, “that the priests and laity of the city may resort to the sermon to be made in your cathedral church, except they have a sermon made and preached in your own parish churches”; also, that the clergy being too ignorant to gain the respect of the laity, they were to be made to attend “every lecture of Divinity to be made within the College of St. Stephen,” [Ibid., but dated September 3d.] unless lawfully hindered.  At York some injunctions were given by the visitors to the archbishop, dean, and chapter, which have much interest as indicating the first steps towards the changes which were to be made in the mode of conducting Divine Service.  They will be found printed at length in a note in the next chapter, and it is enough here to say that they forbade all masses except High Mass, which was to be celebrated at nine o’clock in the morning every day; that they reduced the number of Lessons at Mattins from nine to six; that they required Mattins and Evensong to be sung at six in the morning and three in the afternoon, the lesser hours of Tierce, Sexts, and Nones being to be said privately in future; and that they ordered all sermons or divinity lectures to be in English.  These rules were made to apply to all churches throughout the diocese, and were to be published for that purpose by the archbishop and his officials.

 

The Injunctions of Edward VI, 1547

         We now come to the general Injunctions which were issued to the clergy and laity as the basis of the Edwardian Visitation of the Church.  These were thirty-seven in number, the first twenty being a re-enforcement, with some modifications here and there, of Henry VIII’s eleven Injunctions of 1536, and seventeen Injunctions of 1538, and the remainder being new.  As these indicate the line taken by the Privy Council before Parliament and Convocation had met, a summary of these Injunctions will be useful.  Although not arranged in any order, they may be conveniently classified under five heads, relating to the Papal Supremacy, to Superstitious Practices, to matters connected with Divine Service, and to the Duties and Discipline of the Clergy and Laity.

         1.  The Papal Supremacy. – In the first Injunction the clergy are required faithfully to keep and observe all the laws made for abolishing the pretended and usurped power and jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome, and for the confirmation of “the King’s authority, jurisdiction, and supremacy of the Church of England and Ireland,” these being made the subjects of sermons at least four times a year (1).  Another Injunction requires the clergy to report to the King, the Council, or the Justice of the Peace next adjoining any “fautor of the Bishop of Rome’s pretended power” (13).  These two Injunctions are borrowed verbatim from those of 1536 and 1538, but with this important alteration in the first, that the words put in inverted commas above are substituted for “and jurisdiction within the same as of the supreme head of the Church of England.”

         2.  Superstitious Practices. – Five of the Injunctions relate to these, chiefly in connection with shrines and venerated images.  Those images to which pilgrimages have been made, or before which lights have been burned and offerings made, are to be taken down and destroyed by the authority of the clergy, “and none other private persons,” and the parishioners are to be warned by the clergy against such practices (2, 3, 4).  Shrines, sculptures, paintings on walls and in windows, “and all other monuments of feigned miracles, pilgrimages, idolatry, and superstition” are also to be destroyed, if in churches by the clergy, if in private houses by the owners (29).  Ceremonies are not to be superstitiously abused by anyone, “as in casting holy water upon his bed, upon images, and other dead things, or bearing about him holy bread or St. John’s Gospel, or making crosses of wood upon Palm Sunday in time of reading the Passion, or keeping of private holy days, as bakers, brewers, smiths, shoemakers, and such others do, or ringing of holy bells, or blessing with the holy candle to the intent thereby to be discharged of the burden of sin or to drive away devils, or in putting trust and confidence of health and salvation in the same ceremonies, when they be only ordained, instituted, and made to put us in remembrance of the benefits which we have received by Christ.  And if he use them for any other purpose, he grievously offendeth God” (28).

         3.  Matters Connected With Divine Service And Churches. – Instead of having many lights burning before images and pictures in the churches, the clergy are to have “only two lights upon the high altar before the Sacrament”; which, for the signification that Christ is the very true Light of the world, they shall suffer to remain still (4).  [See in chap. iii.]  The Bible of the largest volume in English, and the Paraphrase of Erasmus upon the Gospels, are to be set up in some convenient place in every church, so that the parishioners may resort thither and read them.  “And they shall discourage no man (authorized and licensed thereto) from the reading any part of the Bible, either in Latin or in English.”  This Injunction is one of those issued in 1536, but, strange to say, the words in the parenthesis were added in 1547, this addition being the only change made (8).  No person shall alter “the order and manner of any fasting day that is commanded, or of Common Prayer or Divine Service otherwise than is specified in these Injunctions, until such time as the same shall be otherwise ordered and transposed by the King’s authority” (20).  The Epistle and Gospel at High Mass shall be read in English by him that saith or singeth the same; and on every Sunday and Holy day a chapter of the New Testament shall be read at Matins, after the Latin Lessons, and a chapter of the Old Testament at Evensong, after the Magnificat.  Three of the Latin Lessons are also to be left out, with their responds, when the number is nine, and at Evensong the responds and memories shall be left off, so as to make room for the English Lesson.  This custom dated from 1542, or perhaps from 1536, as has been shown before (22). [See vol. i. p. 496.]  The English Litany is no longer to be said in procession, but by the priests and other of the quire kneeling in the midst of the church, and none are to depart out of the church during the singing of it, or during mass, or sermon, or the reading of Scripture, without a just and urgent cause (24).  A pulpit is to be set up by the churchwardens, at the charge of the parishioners, in every church for the preaching of God’s Word (29).  Priests are not to go to women lying in childbed, except in time of dangerous sickness, nor to fetch any corpse from the house, the proper services being to be said in church only, and the clergy left free for their duties there (31).  One of the homilies shall be read in every parish church on every Sunday (33); and when any homily is read, the Prime and lesser Hours are to be omitted (37).  The form of Bidding Prayers, set forth in the reign of Henry VIII, is also appended to the last Injunction, with such alterations in respect to the royal family as had become necessary.

         4.  The Duties and Discipline of the Clergy are made the subject of thirteen Injunctions, nine of which come from those of Henry VIII.  The clergy with cure of souls are to provide that the Sacraments – the earlier Injunction added, “and Sacramentals” – shall be duly and reverently ministered in their parishes; and if they are licensed for non-residence, “they shall leave their cure not to a rude and unlearned person, but to an honest, well-learned, and expert curate” (7).  They shall not, “for any other cause than for their honest necessity, haunt or resort to any taverns or ale houses,” nor spend their time idly after dinner or supper “at dice, cards, or tables, playing, or any other unlawful game,” but read somewhat of Holy Scripture, or occupy themselves with some other honest exercise (9).  When they hear confessions every Lent, they shall examine those who come to them whether they can recite the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Ten Commandments in English, and enjoin those who do not know them to learn them “before they should receive the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar” (10).· They are not to admit any man to preach within their cures except those who are licensed by proper authority (11).  They are to recant their errors openly if they have hitherto declared “anything to the extolling or setting forth of pilgrimages, relics, or images, or lighting of candles, kissing, kneeling, decking of the same images, or any such superstition” (12).  They are to “learn and have always in a readiness such comfortable places and sentences of Scripture” as may counteract the despair of God’s mercy with which persons in peril of death are often afflicted by the craft and subtilty of the devil (23).  Proper registers are to be provided, and weddings, christenings, and burials are to be registered: this Injunction being, like many others, identical with one issued ten years before (14).  Those non-resident clergy whose clerical incomes amount to forty pounds a year are to give away a fortieth part thereof to the poor, in the presence of the churchwardens, or some other honest men of the parish (15).  All clergy who have incomes of one hundred pounds or more shall give a competent exhibition to some poor scholar at Oxford or Cambridge for every hundred pounds (16).  And all impropriators, as well laity as clergy, shall expend yearly the fifth part of their benefices on the chancels and mansions of those benefices, until they are put in proper repair (17).  Deans, archdeacons, masters of collegiate churches and of hospitals, are required to preach at least twice every year (27).  Chantry priests are to employ themselves and in teaching youth to read and write, in bringing them up in good manners and other virtuous exercises (36).  All clergy under the degree of Bachelor of Divinity are to have the New Testament, both in Latin and English, with the Paraphrase of Erasmus, and are diligently to study the same, conferring the one with the other.  And the bishops and other ordinaries, by themselves or their officers, in their synods and visitations, shall examine the said ecclesiastical persons how they have profited in the study of Holy Scripture (21).  Those who “buy any benefices, or come to them by fraud or deceit, shall be deprived of such benefices, and be made unable at any time after to receive any other spiritual promotion” (32). [This Injunction and the corresponding one respecting patrons are still in force in the Fortieth Canon of the Church of England.]  Once every quarter these Injunctions are to be read aloud by the clergy, in the presence of their parishioners (18).

         5.  The Duties And Discipline of the Laity were the subject of nine Injunctions.  The laity are to learn by heart the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Ten Commandments, which they are also to teach to their children and servants (5), and they are not to receive the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar until they have learned them (10).  They are “to bestow their children and servants, even from their childhood, either to learning or to some honest exercise, occupation, or husbandry”; and to take care they do not grow up in idleness, which might drive them “to fall to begging, stealing, or some other unthriftiness” (6)].  They are not to wrong the clergy by neglecting to pay their tithes (19), nor are they to “contemn and abuse priests and ministers of the Church, because some of them (having small learning) have of long time favoured fancies rather than God’s truth,” but are to “use them charitably and reverently for their office and administration sake” (34).  Lay patrons are to be deprived of their patronage for one turn if they sell their benefices, or by any colour do bestow them for their own gain and profit, the patronage for that turn being vested in the Crown (32).  The laity are to keep the holy days “in hearing the Word of God read and taught, in private and public prayers, in acknowledging their offences to God, and amendment of the same, in reconciling themselves charitably to their neighbours, where displeasure hath been, in oftentimes receiving the Communion of the very Body and Blood of Christ, in visiting of the poor and sick, in using all soberness and godly conversation.”  But in time of harvest they may with safe and quiet consciences “labour upon the holy and festival days, and save that thing which God hath sent” (25).  None are to be admitted to receive the most blessed Communion of the Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ who have maliciously and openly contended with their neighbour, unless they are first reconciled to him (26).  All are to put “their oblation and alms for their poor neighbours” into the alms chest provided for the purpose “near unto the high altar”; and when men make their wills they are “to confer and give as they may well spare to the said chest,” instead of leaving their money for superstitious purposes.  “The money which riseth of fraternities, guilds, and other stocks of the church,” together with “the rents and lands, the profit of cattle, and money given or bequeathed to the finding of torches, lights, tapers, and lamps,” is also to be converted to the use of the poor, unless otherwise appointed by the Crown; but if the parish is very poor, some of it may be used in the repair of the church (30).  All those lay persons who do not understand the Latin of the services are to use the English Primer of Henry VIII; and none other shall be used by them.  Those who read Latin shall also use the Latin Primer set forth in the same reign.  Graces at dinner and supper shall always be said in English.  No other grammar shall be taught in any school but that which was set forth in the reign of Henry VIII, and only his English Primer shall be used for the teaching of youth (35).

         These Injunctions were embodied twelve years afterwards (1559) in those which were promulgated by Queen Elizabeth, and many of them were either reproduced in, or made the basis of, the Canons Ecclesiastical of 1604.  They are of great historical value in determining what was the course taken by the Crown in ecclesiastical matters at the beginning of the reign of Edward VI; but it is obvious that as they were only of force in the reign of Queen Elizabeth so far as they were incorporated into her own Injunctions, so they are now only of force so far as they are incorporated into the permanent law of the Church of England.

 

§ 4. The Confiscation of Church Property During the Reign of Edward VI.

         The expenses of government were so insufficiently provided for by Parliament during this reign, and the public property appropriated for their own use by the members of the Privy Council was so large, that recourse was had to the endowments and possessions of the Church as a source of supply.  The lands of the monasteries had long been made away with; the lead which had covered the roofs of their buildings, and the bells which had rung in their towers, had long been melted down; the gold and silver vessels which had been used in their services had been sent to the mint; and the jewels which had adorned vessels and books had found their way into and out of the King’s treasury; in short, the monasteries had been utterly spoiled of all that could be turned into money.  But there still remained the cathedrals and parish churches to despoil, and the ruling powers soon turned their eyes upon these, to see what could be made out of them.

 

The Appropriation of Chantry Endowments.

         The first attack was shrewdly made on what may be called an outlying portion of the endowments of the Church, the assault on which had been prepared for at the end of the preceding reign.  All large churches, especially town churches, gave shelter to a number of altars at which the Holy Eucharist was celebrated on behalf of the departed, or on behalf of guilds and brotherhoods.  Sometimes these altars were placed in chapels built around the choir, forming a beautiful chevet or radiating crown, such as still exists at Westminster and Tewkesbury Abbeys, but mostly, as is also the case at these two abbeys, the chapels were built up within the church, between the pillars and along the side walls.  If the church was a monastic foundation, these chantry altars were served by some of the clerical monks; but if it was not monastic, then one or more endowed curates were attached to it for this duty, who were called chantry priests.  When there were many of these they lived together in colleges, one of which still remains at Higham Ferrers, and the chantry priest was often required to act as grammar school master or to assist the parish priest in his duties.  The endowments of chantries ran alongside of those which had been made to monasteries, although not nearly so large, and, consisted, to quote the words of the Act for confiscating them, of “minors, mansions, houses, meases, lands, tenements, pastures, woods, waters, rents, reversions, services, possessions, and other hereditaments,” of which traces are to be found in the history of almost every parish in the kingdom; and it was these endowments which were now about to be confiscated.

         An Act had been passed for this purpose during the last Parliament of Henry VIII, and commissioners were appointed for the purpose of enquiring into and certifying the Crown respecting the tithes and value of the chantry lands and other possessions (37 Hen. VIII. cap. 4), but the King’s death prevented this Act from coming into operation.  The Privy Council of Edward VI, finding in this Act, however, an easy way of providing the funds necessary for carrying out their liberal plans of self-endowment, determined to disestablish the chantries by another Act (1 Edw. VI. cap. 14) of a sweeping character, in which the former one was recited; and this being introduced into the House of Lords on December 6, 1547, was pressed through with such rapidity that it was read a second and third time on the twelfth and thirteenth of the month, and passed on the fourteenth – Cranmer, Bonner, and other bishops opposing it strongly, but in vain.

         The ground taken in the preamble of this Act was that the chantries, guilds, brotherhoods, etc. were all foundations of a superstitious character; and those who covet the endowments of a religious system will soon find reasons for picking holes in its principles.  No doubt the system of masses for the departed had been greatly abused [See vol. i. pp. 29–32.]; but it was maintained by Cranmer that, however much abuse had been associated with these endowments, they were distinctly ecclesiastical funds, and ought not to be diverted from ecclesiastical purposes.  The clergy had been greatly impoverished by the alienation of tithes to laymen at the dissolution of the monasteries, and the numbers of the working clergy had also been greatly diminished at the same time, so that very many parishes were now left altogether without pastoral care.  It was only right that when the chantries were abolished their endowments should still be used for the maintenance of parochial clergy, and by the use of them the number of those clergy might be sufficiently increased.  But these arguments were not likely to prevail with the House of Lords, [There was also much, opposition in the House of Commons, but chiefly on behalf of the trade guilds.  In the Privy Council Register, under date of May 6, 1548, there is a long and curious entry showing how the burgesses of Coventry and Lynn had so opposed the bill, on account of the guild lands of those towns being included among those to be confiscated, that there was imminent danger of the bill being lost in the House of Commons.  It was determined, therefore, by the Privy Council to save the bill by buying off the opposition.  Consequently, the guild lands of the two churches at Coventry were granted “to them of the city” forever, and the same with those of Lynn.] so largely influenced as it was by the Protector and other peers who were members of the Privy Council, nor with the House of Commons, which simply saw in this Act of Disendowment a way of providing for “the King’s occasions,” without voting any supplies by means of taxation. [“The Protector and Council were now” (1548) “in much trouble.  The war with Scotland was like to grow chargeable, since they saw it was supported from France.  There was a rebellion also broken out in Ireland, and the King was much indebted; nor could they expect any subsidies from the Parliament, in which it had been said that they gave the chantry lands, that they might be delivered from all subsidies.  Therefore, the Parliament was prorogued till winter.  Upon thus the whole Council did, on the seventeenth of April, unanimously resolve that it was necessary to sell five thousand pounds a year of chantry lands, for raising such a sum as the King’s occasions required.”  (Burnet’s Ref., ii. 137, Pocock’s Ed.)]  The Act was therefore passed, the Commissioners were appointed, and very shortly all the endowments were placed at the disposal of the Crown.

         In the preamble to this Act it was pretended that the funds of the chantries were eventually to be applied “to good and godly uses,” but that this could not conveniently be done at present.  In fact, the convenient time never did come, and, with some small exception, the endowments of the chantries were dispersed and wasted, as those of the monasteries had been, and as all such confiscated endowments ever will be.

         “And further considering and understanding,” the Act says, “that the alteration, change, and amendment of the same, and converting to good and godly uses, as in erecting grammar schools to the education of youth in virtue and godliness, the further augmenting of the universities, and better provision for the poor and needy, cannot in this present Parliament be provided and conveniently done, nor cannot nor ought to any other manner person be committed than to the King’s Highness, whose Majesty, with and by the advice of his Highness’ most prudent Council, can and will most wisely and beneficially, both for the honour of God and the weal of this his Majesty’s realm, order, alter, convert, and dispose the same. ...”

         The number of grammar schools which were founded by Edward VI was, however, very small in proportion to the enormous capital value of the lands and other property thus placed in his hands.  Strype gives a list of eighteen, of which the most important are Shrewsbury School, endowed with a small quantity of tithes from three parishes and the Abbey of Haughmond, and Birmingham School, endowed with a “barn and four messuages lying in Dalend,” to the value of £21 a year. [Strype’s Eccl. Mem., II. ii. 278, 503, ed. 1822.]  But so many of the chantry endowments were associated with educational endowments, that it may be doubted whether the new schools more than compensated for those which were destroyed.  Fuller expresses an opinion very much to this effect in the following passage of his Church History.  A certain Thomasin Bonaventure, who had been “a keeper of sheep” in Cornwall, “came at last to be the wife of Sir John Percival, Lord Mayor of London.  In her widowhood she laid out her estate, which was very great, in charitable uses, and, among the rest, founded a chantry and a free school at St. Mary Week in Cornwall (the place of her nativity), with fair lodgings for the schoolmasters, scholars, and officers, and twenty pounds a year (beside their salaries) to support incident charges.  And here the best gentlemen’s sons in Devon and Cornwall were virtuously trained up under one Cholwell, a religious teacher, until the said school was suppressed in the reign of Edward VI only for a smack of Popery, the chantry being annexed thereto; and I suspect the like happened in other places. [Fuller’s Church Hist., ii. 272, ed. 1837.]

         What was the number of chantries, and what their value, cannot be ascertained.  In St. Paul’s Cathedral there were forty-seven, with average endowments of £25 a year, and with a vast quantity of gold and silver altar plate and vestments. [On Oct. 17, 1547, there was an Order of Council to make inquiry as to the sale of Church goods (Wilkins’ Concil., iv. 17); on Feb. 15, 1548, a similar Order to the Commissioners appointed to take inventories of all vestments, ornaments, plate, and other Church goods (Wharton’s Collectan., i. 74); and among the State Papers for January 1548 there is a letter from John Bird, Bishop of Chester, giving an account of the sale of Church ornaments, plate, jewels, bell; etc. within his diocese.  (Edw. VI, State Papers, Dom., p. 6.)]*  The modern [19th century] value of the forty-seven stipends would probably be about £12,000 a year, and the value of the “ornaments” would certainly amount to several thousand pounds.  In a parish church in Gloucestershire, to take the other extreme of the scale, there were four chantries, the annual value of three of which was £20 13s. 2d., a portion of which was given to the poor.  In 1546 the Commissioners valued the ornaments of two of these chantries at £3 16s. 8d., in 1548 at £1, and at the latter date the “plate and jewels” of these two alone weighed forty ounces, and was valued at £8 18s. 2d.  If the spoil obtained from the chantries of an inconsiderable parish church was of so much value, it may be concluded that what was obtained from the whole body of cathedrals, collegiate churches, and parish churches throughout England and Wales would amount to a sum which, in modern [19th century] money, would have to be reckoned by millions.  The way in which a great part of that spoil was dealt with may be described in the words of Fuller:–

         “How much the yearly revenue of all these chantries, free chapels, and colleges amounted to, God knows, for the King knew as little as some in our age.  Indeed, some of his officers did, but would not know, – as willfully concealing their knowledge herein.  Yea, some of these chantries may be said in a double sense to be suppressed, as not only put down, but also concealed, never coming into the exchequer, being silently pocketed by private (but potent) persons.  True it is, the courtiers were more rapacious to catch and voracious to swallow these chantries than abbey lands.  For, at the first, many were scrupulous in mind or modest in manners, doubting the acceptance of abbey land, though offered unto them, till profit and custom, two very able confessors, had by degrees satisfied their consciences, and absolved them from any fault therein.  Now, all scruples removed, chantry land went down without any regret.  Yea, such who mannerly expected till the King carved for them out of abbey lands, scrambled for themselves out of chantry revenues, as knowing this was the last dish of the last course, and after chantries, as after cheese, nothing to be expected.  As for those who fairly purchased them of the King, they had such good bargains therein, that thereby all enriched, and some ennobled, both themselves and posterity.” [Fuller’s Ch. Hist., ii. 275, ed. 1837.]

         But although the chantry lands were “the last dish of the course,” as far as grants of land were concerned, there was another very profitable dish which was yet to be served up at the hungry Tudor table, in the shape of plate and vestments.

 

The Spoliation of Churches.

         There is a memorandum of Sir Robert Cecil, who was now Clerk of the Council, which throws some instructive light upon the proceedings of that body in its financial operations upon Church property.  Among other arrangements which were in progress are these: “Item, to move the King’s contestation for the sale of certain Tenths and other Quillets, being no man’s. ... Item, to make some bargains about buying up lead at reasonable prices. [“Such was their thirst after lead,” says Sir John Harrington, “(I would they had drunk it scalding), that they took the dead bodies of bishops out of their leaden coffins, and cast abroad the carcasses, scarce throughly putrefied.  ”  (Harington’s Brief View, p. 110.)  He is speaking of Wells Cathedral.  He adds that a ship went down in the Bristol Channel with brass statues on board, and that the London alderman to whom they had been sold began thenceforth to decay.]  Item, to continue the Commission for the further sale of the chantries.  Item, to proceed for the collection of the church plate to the King’s use.” [Haynes’ State Papers, 127.]

         The work of spoliation began again, therefore, and constant entries are found on the subject in the Privy Council Register.  On January 16, 1550, there is an order “to the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury to deliver the silver table that stood upon their high altar, by indenture containing the weight of the same, to Sir Antony Archer”; and this was followed by another on January 29th, “to deliver up all the plate and the jewels that were left in the possession of the Dean and Chapter by the late King.”  Sometimes the custodians of these church goods tried to save them, and on August 11, 1550, the Privy Council received “intelligence from Sir R. Bowes and Sir T. Hilton, that there was a great quantity of treasure conveyed into the Dean of Durham’s chamber” [There is reason to think that this “treasure” never fell into the hands of the Crown, but is still concealed in some part of the Cathedral.]; and notwithstanding the care enjoined upon “the Commissioners for the church plate ... to be more diligent about their charge, and to send their certificates with speed,” and to be sure to “remove all superfluities,” the Council heard that much had been concealed, and issued a new and more stringent order not long before the King died, the Dean and Canons of Chester being even sent to the Fleet on February 14, 1553, for “disorderly doings” of this kind.

         Meanwhile, the spoliation went on with ruthless vigour.  On August 22, 1550, an order was sent to the Lord Treasurer “ to weigh and cause to be molten” down into wedges all such crosses, images, and church or chapel plate of gold as remain in the Tower, to be further employed as shall be thought good.”  On March 3, 1551, is the entry, “This day it was decreed that forasmuch as the King’s Majesty had need presently of a mass of money, therefore commissions should be addressed into all shires of England to take into the King’s hands such church plate as remaineth to be employed unto his Highness’ use.”  To sum up all, without giving any more of the great body of evidence which exists on the subject, the Privy Council, and those who were emboldened by their acts to enrich themselves without any regard to the needs of the Government, left little standing beyond the fabrics of the churches.  They tore off the lead from the roofs, and wrenched out the brasses from the floors.  The books they despoiled of their costly covers, and then sold them for waste paper.  The gold and silver plate they melted down with copper and lead, to make a coinage so shamefully debased as was never known before or since in England.  The vestments of altars and priests they turned into table covers, carpets, and hangings, when not very costly; and when worth more money than usual, they sold them to foreigners, not caring who used them for “superstitious” purposes, but caring to make the best “bargains” they could of their spoil.  [In Ford’s Handbook of Spain he refers to an altar frontal of St. Paul’s Cathedral which is still in use at Valencia, and a cope from the same church which is preserved at Zaragoza: “Inquire also particularly in the Sacristia to see the Terno and complete set of three frontales, or coverings for the altar which were purchased in London by two Valencian merchants, named Andrea and Pedro de Medina, at the sale by Henry VIII of the Romish decorations of St. Paul’s.  They are embroidered in gold and silver, are about 12 feet long by 4, and represent subjects from the life of the Saviour.  In one – Christ in Limbo – are introduced turrets, evidently taken from those of the Tower of London.  They are placed on the high altar from Saturday to Wednesday in the Holy Week.  Visit next the Sacristia, and observe the plateresque door.  Here are some fine Ternos – one a Pontifical, cost 14,000 dollars; also a delante di cena Capa, embroidered with Adam and Eve, which was bought at our Reformation from the old Cathedral of St. Paul’s, London.”  (Ford’s Handbook of Spain, i. 440, ii. 959.)]  Even the very surplices and altar linen would fetch something, and that too was seized by their covetous hands. [The Duke of Northumberland wrote to the “two principal Secretaries of State: ... I have also been oftentimes moved by sundry honest men to be a suitor to the King’s Majesty, that it might please his Highness to give the linen that appertained to the churches in London, as surplices and altar cloths, unto the help of the poor; but other matters have always put it out of my mind; praying you to be means to cause it to be moved to His Majesty.  From Chelsey, the 23d of November 1552.”  (Haynes’ State Papers, p. 136.)]  No thanks to these pseudo-reformers that the churches of England were not left utterly bare and naked; but there is a Providence that rules over all, and that Providence happily preserved to them some survivals at least of her ancient dignity, beauty, and grandeur, when the death of Edward VI brought the spoliation to an end.

 

§ 5.  Illustrations of Privy Council Government.

         It may interest the reader to conclude this chapter with a few illustrations of the manner in which the Privy Council exercised its authority in the reign of Edward VI.

         First, may be given a letter sent by the Council to Holgate, Archbishop of York, as showing how its arbitrary jurisdiction was extended far and wide over lions individual persons.

         “After right hearty commendations to your good Lordship, being desirous for certain purposes to speak with Wm. Craforth, a priest, we have thought good to require you on the King’s Highness’ behalf to make enquiry for him, and address him unto us with surety; whereof we pray you not to fail, for his Majesty’s affairs and the matter touching him doth so specially require.  Thus fare your good Lordship right heartily well.  From London, the 26 of May, 1547.  Your assured friends, E. SOMERSET, T. CANTUARIEN., etc. etc.

         “Postscript. – We require you to devise first to get the priest into your hands, and thereupon, and not before, prohibit the reading in churches of the book called Exornatorium Curatorum, and likewise to call in all the said books in places where the same be within your rule.” [Bodl. Lib., Tanner MS., xc. 150.  In the same library (Rawl. 276) is to be found a copy of the book referred to in the above letter, the “Exornatorium Curatorum,” a small quarto volume of thirty-two pages, printed in 1519.  It consists of two parts:  (1) A short exposition of the Creed, the Commandments, the vii. works of mercy, vii. deadly sins, vii. principal virtues, and vii. sacraments.  This occupies eighteen pages.  The exposition of the seven deadly sins is a preparation for daily and weekly self-examination, for special confession at any time, and for yearly confession.  (2)  An instruction how to prepare one’s self or one’s friend for death.  A very clear and beautiful treatise, occupying about ten pages.  The last page is the only one which contains anything like Romanism, except one explanation of “ghostly father,” which is, “The Pope, thy bishop, thy curate.”  But at the last is a direction always to trust in our Lord’s Passion, and to invoke the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Saints.]

         Secondly, an extract from the Privy Council Register will illustrate the manner in which subjects of private interest were solemnly dealt with and decided, as if they had been matters of State and of the highest importance.  This is a Minute of Council which occupies more than a folio page, and is dated October 18, 1550.  The Dowager Duchess of Somerset being dead, the Duke had written to the Council, asking their opinion about the “wearing of doole,” and other similar observances of respect for departed friends, he being very anxious to follow and apply himself to the King’s “most godly proceedings”.  The Council actually debated the subject, and eventually “weighed with themselves that the wearing of doole, and such outward demonstrations of mourning, not only did not any ways profit the dead, but rather (used as they be) served to induce the living to have a diffidence of the better life.  Yea, and divers other ways did move, cause, and scruple of coldness of faith unto the weak.”  Besides, “black cloth and other instruments of those funeral pomps” were very expensive, especially as the time of mourning is growing much shorter than formerly.  Moreover, the late King often dispensed with it in those about him, “and plucked off the black apparel from such mourners’ backs,” for private men should not bring their private sorrows into the royal presence.  So they dispense with the Duke for mourning, either for himself or any of his family; as also for the other funeral pomps which were not to edifying.  And to be entered in the Council book as a precedent.

         Thirdly, some few instances out of many may be given of the arbitrary severity with which the Privy Council punished persons for comparatively slight offences.  On January 26, 1550–1, Upchard of Bocking and many others were ordered to be sent to the Marshalsea for holding a conventicle in his house at Christmas.  Also orders were sent into Essex and Kent to apprehend others “that are accounted chief of that practice.”  A number of them were brought up on February 3d who had “refused the Communion for ii. years on superstitious grounds,” some of whom were sent to prison, and others liberated on recognizances of £40 each, about £500 of modern [19th century] money.  On January 28, 1551–2, letters are sent to the Mayor of Northampton, ordering him to put Francis Morgan in the pillory, and cut off both his ears, for singing a certain song of his own making.  On March 27, 1552, Henry Brabon is ordered to be set in the pillory, and otherwise further punished, for saying “poor child” of the King.  On April 5, 1552, Clerk, sometime servant and secretary to the Duke of Norfolk, is ordered to be sent to the Tower for lewd prophecies respecting the King and noblemen, and for necromancy.  On November 16, 1552, the Lieutenant of the Tower is ordered to examine Holland, putting him to the torment in Little-ease.  On January 7, 1552–3, Wilson and Warren are ordered “to be put to the tortures.”  On January 30, 1552–3, Allen Hudson is ordered to be pilloried, and have his ears cut off, and then to be set at liberty, “with a good lesson to beware of the like hereafter,” for speaking slanderous words against the Duke of Northumberland.  On May 5, 1553, a man and woman are sent to the Compter, because they had spread false reports of the King’s death, and they are to have their ears nailed to the pillory, “etc.”  On May 27, 1553, John Sanders’ ears are ordered to be cut off in the pillory for slanders against his Majesty.

         The government of the country by means of the Privy Council was indeed during this reign most dangerous to the liberty of the subject and to the principles of the Constitution.  Its duties and jurisdiction were in no way defined by law, its acts were under no control, and the result was that an irresponsible oligarchy usurped the power of the Crown, and often that of Parliament also.  With a combination of legislative and executive functions from which there was no appeal, it became, so long as a majority of its members could agree, a terrible engine of tyrannical government, both in Church and State: an engine for whose operations nothing was too great, nothing too small, and whose crushing power was irresistible.

 

Chapter  III – The Reformation of the Church

Resumed by the Clergy, 1547–1553.

         The work of reformation which the Convocation of the clergy had so effectively commenced, with the concurrence of the Crown, during the reign of Henry VIII, was summarily stopped by him in the year 1544; when, having previously contrived to shelve their attempts to provide a trustworthy “Authorized version” of the Bible, [Vol. i. p. 520.] he also compelled them to put an end to their labours in revising the Service Books. [Vol. i. .p. 499.]  For the rest of his reign Convocation was practically silenced, the King setting an example to later rulers in that trick of state-craft which consists in stopping the mouths of the clergy so soon as their zeal becomes inconvenient or distasteful.

         When, however, there seemed a prospect of greater freedom to act on the accession of Edward VI, an attempt was made by Convocation to take up the thread of its work exactly where it had been dropped three years before.  Parliament meeting nine months after the King’s accession, on November 9, 1547, Convocation met on the following day, and after two formal sessions, on the day of meeting and on the 18th, the two Houses met for business on November 22d.  By this time it was known that the Act of the Six Articles was about to be repealed, and that ecclesiastical reforms could thus be discussed without danger [When the archbishop in the Convocation had made a speech to the clergy, “exhorting them to give themselves to the study of the Scriptures, and to consider what things in the Church needed reformation, that so the Church might be discharged of all Popish trash not yet thrown out, some told him that as long as the Six Articles remained it was not safe for them to deliver their opinions.  This he reported to the Council, upon which they ordered this Act  of Repeal.”  (Strype’s Cranmer, ii. 40, ed. 1848.)  The Act of Six Articles was repealed by 1 Edw. VI. cap. 12.];  and the clergy of the Lower House had therefore no hesitation in sending up a petition to the Archbishop in the following terms, requesting that the work of the Reformation might be resumed [The Acts of Convocation of this period have been lost, but the words of the petition are given from a MS. in Archbishop Cranmer’s handwriting, and they are confirmed by a short Latin entry in his Register.  (Wilkins’ Concil., iv. 15; Stillingfleet’s Irenicon, p. 387; Cardwell’s Synodalia, ii. 420.)]:–

         “First, that ecclesiastical laws may be made and established in this realm by thirty-two persons, or so many as shall please the King’s Majesty to name or appoint, according to the effect of a late Statute made in the thirty-fifth year of the most noble King, and of the most famous memory, King Henry VIII; so that all judges ecclesiastical, proceeding after those laws, may be without danger or peril.

         “Also, that according to the ancient custom of this realm, and the tenor of the King’s writs for the summoning of the Parliament, which be now, and ever have been, directed to the bishops of every diocese, the clergy of the Lower House of Convocation may be adjoined and associated with the Lower House of Parliament; or else that all such statutes and ordinances as shall be made concerning all matters of religion and causes ecclesiastical may not pass without the sight and assent of the said clergy.

         “Also, that whereas by the commandment of King Henry VIII, certain prelates and other learned men were appointed to alter the Service in the Church, and to devise other convenient and uniform order therein; who, according to the same appointment, did make certain books, as they be informed: their request is, that the said books may be seen and perused by them, for a better expedition of Divine Service, to be set forth accordingly.

         “Also that men being called to spiritual promotions or benefices may have some allowance for their necessary living and other charges, to be sustained and borne concerning the said benefices in the first year, wherein they pay the first fruits.” [Cardwell’s Synodalia, ii. 420.  The “first fruits” were the whole of the first year’s income of a benefice, which was taken by the Crown.  They are still paid, but as they are computed by the value of the benefice in Henry VIII’s time, and as the benefices have risen in value, they are not generally more than about six or eight per cent, on the present value.]

         This petition was immediately acted upon, and the first steps taken towards the completion of the work which had been begun several years before.

 

§ 1.  The Development of the English Prayer Book.

         The reformation of the Anglican Rite was a subject which began to occupy the attention of ecclesiastical statesmen very soon after the cessation of civil war, the rise of commerce, and the intellectual development stimulated by the printing press, had opened out to the nation an epoch of transition.  The devotional system of the Church of England had, in mediaeval times, become like an old early English abbey over loaded with crocketted pinnacles, flying buttresses, and extravagant ornaments; and men who entered into the spirit of the transition age craved after a system in which these novelties should either be abolished or be made less conspicuous, and in which the true fabric should be restored to its proper preeminence.  The first movement in this direction took place under Archbishop Warham, and during the ministry of Cardinal Wolsey, when, in the year 1516, the Breviary of the old Sarum use underwent a considerable castigation.  The gradual introduction of the vernacular by means of English Primers, English Psalters, the English Litany, and tables by which the Gospels and Epistles could be found in English Bibles or New Testaments, all tended in the same direction; and in 1542 Henry VIII sent a message to Convocation to the effect that all the Service Books used “in the Church of England should be newly examined, corrected, reformed, ... and that the service should be made out of the Scripture and other authentic doctors,” a message which led to the construction of the Book of Common Prayer. [See vol. i. ch. ix.]

         The devotional customs of the country, moreover, underwent a silent but momentous change during the latter years of Henry VIII’s reign.  The full beauty and grandeur of Divine Service under the mediaeía1 system could only be developed by means of a large staff of clergy and assistants, much money, and a great array of ritual accessories.  While the monasteries existed, this grand system was carried out in many hundred great monastic churches in town and country.  When the monasteries were dissolved, Divine Service altogether ceased in ninety out of every hundred of these great churches, and the remaining ten were left, like St. Alban’s, Tewkesbury, and Tynemouth, without any provision whatever for Divine Service, except such as the people of the places in which they were situated chose to subscribe for.  The twenty-six cathedrals which existed in the latter part of Henry’s reign still retained some of the ancient grandeur which had belonged to them, but thirteen of them had been monastic churches, and when these were turned into “New Foundations,” with “Secular” canons in the place of monks, they were razed to the smallest possible dimensions as to numbers and endowments.  It must also be added that in some cathedrals one great source of that wealth which had ministered to the mediaeval grandeur of Divine Service was entirely cut off when such shrines as those of St. Thomas of Canterbury, St. Edward the Confessor at Westminster, and St. Cuthbert at Durham, were destroyed.  Thus Oxford, which had possessed large churches belonging to Oseney Abbey, St. Frideswide’s, Rewley Abbey, the Dominicans, the Franciscans, and the Bernardines, was left with St. Frideswide’s alone, and that not the largest of the six.  Bristol, where St. Austin’s Canons, the Austin Friars, the Carmelites, the Benedictines, the Dominicans, and the Franciscans each had a foundation, was in a similar manner reduced from seven large churches to two, that of St. Mary Redcliffe and that of the Austin Canons, which is the present cathedral.  Towns in which the services of the Church had been performed with much grandeur by six large staffs of monastic clergy and their assistants, must have had those services presented before them in a very much more meager aspect when only one small staff of impoverished canons and choir assistants performed them.

         But much as this vast change in the external aspect of the Church must have affected the minds of the people, especially of the rising generation, who were only children when its glories were eclipsed, there were other circumstances which had unsettled the old system of Divine Service.  For the changes which had been enforced by authority, chiefly the use of the Litany, Gospels, Epistles, and Lessons in English, were generally known to be only an instalment of a vernacular service, which was felt by the bishops and clergy generally to be an inevitable necessity for the times. [Archbishop Cranmer wrote to Queen Mary, in September 1555: “When a good number of the best learned men reputed in this realm, some favouring the old, some the new learning, ... were gathered together at Windsor for the reformation of the service of the Church, it was agreed by both, without controversy (not one saying contrary), that the service of the Church ought to be in the mother tongue.”  (Jenkyns’ Rem. Cranmer, i. 375.)  Bishop Ridley also wrote to his chaplain: “When I was in office, all that were esteemed learned in God’s Word agreed this to be a truth in God’s Word written, that the common prayer of the Church should be had in the common tongue.  You know I have conferred with many, and I ensure you I never found man (so far as I do remember), neither old nor new, gospeler nor papist, of what judgment soever he was, in this thing to be of a contrary opinion.”  (Ridley’s Works, 340.)]  Yet this service in the vulgar tongue was held back for several years; and, inevitable as it was felt to be, no one knew whether it would exactly represent the Latin Service then in use, or whether it would be one of a much altered character.  Thus it happened that the hold of the ancient Service Books was being weakened by the general acknowledgement of the fact that they were more or less obsolete, while no authorized substitute was provided in their place.

         Hence it was that, at the opening of Edward VI’s reign, if not before, many novelties were introduced into the services of the Church by those younger clergy who had known little of the old English system of devotion, and had received strong impressions from the new fashions of Germany and Switzerland. [In 1543 the Privy Council had complained to the King that the foreigners whom Cranmer kept at Lambeth Palace were spreading opinions which caused dissension in the Church.]  In the grave words of an Act of Parliament – “Where of long time there hath been had in this realm of England and in Wales divers forms of common prayer, commonly called the Service of the Church – that is to say, the use of Saram, of York, of Bangor, and of Lincoln; and besides the same, now of late much more diverse and sundry forms and fashions* have been used in the cathedral and parish churches of England and Wales, as well concerning the forms Mattins or Morning Prayer and the Evensong, as also concerning the Holy Communion, commonly called the Mass; and as the doers and executors of the said rites and ceremonies in other form than of late years they have been used were pleased therewith, so other, not using the same rites and ceremonies, were thereby greatly offended.”  (2 and 3 Edw. VI. ch. 1.)

         *[Three printed relics of these diverse and sundry forms and fashions are known.  The first is in the Bodleian Library, and is entitled “The Order Bok of Matrimony,” imprinted at London by Anthony Scoloker, dwelling in the Savoy Rentes.  Cum Privilegio, etc.  Imprinted at London.  It appears to have been intended for use as a supplement to the ordinary Latin Marriage Service, and was printed in 1547–8.  The second is a little volume, with the following title [spelling modernized]: A New book containing an exhortation to the sick, the sick man’s prayer, a prayer with thanks at the purification of women, a consolation at burial.  Col. 3.  Whatsoever ye, etc.  MDXLVIII  Imprinted et Ippeswiche by me, John Oswen.  Cum privilegio ad imprimendum solum.

            This volume was until 1855 in the possession of the late Mr. Fitch, postmaster at Ipswich; but his admirable collection of books has since been dispersed, and it has been lost sight of.  The third is in the British Museum Library (c. 25, b), and bears this title: “The Psalter on Book of the Psalms, whereunto is added the Litany and certain other devout Prayers, set forth with the King’s most gracious license.  Anno Domini 1548.  Mensis Julii.  Imprinted at London by me, Roger Car for Anthony Smith, dwelling in Paul’s Churchyard.”

            Strype says that Compline was said in English in the Royal Chapel in 1547, but gives no authority or reference.  (Strype’s Eccl. Mem., II. i.)]

         It must have appeared very evident to the leading men of the Church, as they looked around on this confusion, that it would grow worse and worse the longer it was allowed to continue; and as the preparation of an English Prayer Book on the lines of the ancient Latin ones had long ago been undertaken, it must have seemed the most obvious course to resume that undertaking at the point at which it had been laid down, through the change which took place in Henry VIII’s mind during his later years.  Their action was, however, slow and cautious during the early days of Edward VI.  On the one hand, there was a strong party represented by Gardiner, which was averse to any new legislation in Church or State while the King was a minor; on the other hand, there were those who felt with Archbishop Crammer that it was by no means sure that the nation at large would accept any great change.  Thus it also happened that, when an official movement was made, it was happily made not in a destructive but a conservative spirit.

         No change whatever was adopted in the first two public religious ceremonies of the reign.  The funeral of Henry VIII was performed with all the accustomed pomp, and with the ancient service of the Sarum use, Bishop Gardiner officiating.  At the coronation of Edward VI on Shrove Sunday, February 13, 1547, the young King was directed by the ceremonial, as it stands in the Privy Council Register, to “make a solemn oath upon the Sacrament laid upon the Altar”; to “put on a tabert of tarteron, white, shaped in manner of a dalmatic”; to say at the end of his coronation oath, “So help us God and all-hallows,” and then to “be led to the traverse to hear the High Mass,” the service being all in Latin.

         Again, on Ash Wednesday, three days afterwards, the usual ceremony of the day, the Benediction of the Ashes from which it derives its name was performed in the King’s presence, Ridley preaching, and the King having the blessed ashes placed upon his head. [The bearing of candles on Candlemas Day, the Benediction of Ashes on Ash Wednesday, and the Benediction of Palms on Palm Sunday were forbidden by “my Lord Protector’s grace, with advice of others of the King’s Majesty’s Council,” on January 27, 1548.  (Wilkins’ Concil., iv. 22.)]

         So also on February 24th, when the Protector and Archbishop Cranmer were both present, the Privy Council sat at Westminster to receive the opinions of the judges respecting the lawfulness of carrying out the King’s Will as to the Masses which the Dean and Canons of St. George’s, Windsor, were directed to say for his soul.  A long entry in the Privy Council Register recites the opinion of the judges, and gives all their names, and it is decided to carry out this part of the Will to the letter.

         Four months later, on June 20th, a Requiem Mass was celebrated with great pomp in St. Paul’s Cathedral for the late King of France, Francis I, who had died on March 31st.  Stow records that Archbishop Cranmer was the celebrant, and that he and the eight other bishops assisting him were in the full pontifical attire of the ancient rite, Ridley again preaching the sermon.

         This cautious line of conduct was so strictly observed that, during the whole of the first year of Edward VI’s reign, that is, until March 1548, only three variations from the order of Divine Service, established in the last years of Henry VIII’s reign, were recognized by authority.  These variations may be best seen by placing side by side the respective customs as established in the two reigns:–

 

1.  Altar Lights.

From the 7th of Henry VIII’s Injunctions of 1538.

         “Ye ... shall suffer from henceforth no candles, tapers, or images of wax to be set before any images or picture, but only the light that commonly goeth about the cross of the Church by the rood loft, the lights before the sacrament of the altar, and the light about the sepulcher, which, for the adorning of the Church and Divine Service, ye shall suffer to remain still.”

 

From the 4th of Edward VI’s Injunctions of 1547.

         “They ... shall suffer from henceforth no torches nor candles, tapers or images of wax, to be set afore any image or picture, but only two lights upon the high altar before the sacrament, [On December 27, 1549, Hooper wrote to Bullinger respecting the clergy in England, “They still retain their vestments and the candles before the altars.”  (Orig. Lett., Park. Soc., i. 72.)] which, for the signification that Christ is the very true light of the world, they shall suffer to remain still.”

 

2.  The Latin and English Lessons at Matins and Evensong.

Canon of Canterbury Convocation, Feb. 21, 1543.

         “Every Sunday and Holy Day throughout the year, the curate of every parish church, after the Te Deum and Magnificat, shall openly read unto the people one chapter of the New Testament in English, without exposition, and when the New Testament is read over, then to begin the Old.”

 

From the 22d of Edward VI’s Injunctions of 1547.

         “Every Sunday and Holy Day they shall plainly and distinctly read, or cause to be read, one chapter of the New Testament in English, in the said place at Mattins, immediately after the Lessons; and at Evensong, after Magnificat, one chapter of the Old Testament.  And to the intent the premises may be more conveniently done, the King’s Majesty’s pleasure is that, when ix. lessons should be read in the Church, three of them shall be omitted and left out with the responds; and at Evensong time the responds, with all the memories, shall be left off for that purpose.”*

         *[The 22d Injunction, as above given, was expanded by the visitors in the Diocese of York into five “Injunctions given by the King’s Majesty’s visitors in his Highness’ visitation to Robert Holdgate, Ld. A.B., the Dn., Chapter, and all other the ecclesiastical ministers of and in the Cathedral Church of York, 26 8bris An. 1547.”

            (1)  “Ye shall at all days and times when nine lessons ought or were accustomed to be sung, sing Mattins only of six Lessons and six Psalms with the song of Te Deum Laudamus or Miserere, as the time requireth, after the six Lessons: and that daily from the Annunciation of our Lady to the first day of October ye shall begin Mattins at six of the clock in the morning, and residue of the year at seven of the clock.

            (2)  “Item.  Ye shall sing and celebrate in note or song within the said Church but only one Mass, that is to say, High Mass only, and none other, and daily begin the same at nine of the clock before noon.

            (3)  “Item.  Ye shall daily from the said feast of the Annunciation to the said first day of October, sing the Evensong and Compline without any responds: and begin the same at three of the clock in the afternoon.  The residue of the year to begin at two of the clock, or half an hour after.

            (4)  “Item.  Ye shall hereafter omit and not use the singing of any hours, prime, dirige, or commendations; but every man to any the same as him sufficeth or he is disposed.

            (5)  “Item.  Ye shall sing, say, use, or suffer none other Anthems in the Church but these hereafter following, and such as by the King’s Majesty and his most Honourable Council hereafter shall be set forth.”

            The “Anthems” referred to in this last Injunction will be found at length in the Annotated Book of Common Prayer, p. 13.  They form a very short service with Collect and Vesicles, and were perhaps intended for use after a sermon, as the Bidding of Bedes was used before it.

            The visitors order these Injunctions, to be sent to every church, college, hospital, and other ecclesiastical places within the Diocese of York.]

 

3.  Processional Litanies.

From the 24th of Edward VI’s Injunctions of 1547.

         “Also to avoid all contention and strife which heretofore hath arisen among the King’s Majesty’s subjects in sundry places of his realms and dominions, by reason of fond courtesy, and challenging of places in procession, and also that they may the more quietly hear that which is said or sung to their edifying, they shall not from henceforth, in any parish church at any time, use any procession about the church or churchyard or other place; but immediately before the High Mass the priests with other of the quire shall kneel in the midst of the church and sing or say plainly and distinctly the Litany which is set forth in English, with all the suffrages following. ... And in the time of the Litany, of the Mass, of the Sermon, and when the priest readeth the Scripture to the parishioners, no manner of persons without a just and urgent cause shall depart out of the Church.”

         But although no other alterations in the mode of celebrating Divine Service were made by authority during the first twelve months of Edward’s reign, there were many among the younger clergy who were too impatient to wait for authority; and thus it was considered necessary to issue “a proclamation against those that do innovate, alter, or leave done any rite or ceremony in the Church of their private authority.”  This proclamation was dated February 6, 1548; and after stating that “certain private curates, preachers, and other laymen (1), contrary to their bounden duties of obedience, do rashly attempt of their own and singular wit and mind, in some parish churches and otherwise, not only to persuade the people from the old accustomed rites and ceremonies, but also themselves bring in new orders, everyone in their church according to their fantasies” in it, commands “that no manner of person, of what estate, order, or degree soever he be, of his private mind, will, or fantasy, do omit, leave done, change, alter, or innovate any order, rite, or ceremony commonly used and frequented in the Church of England, and not commanded to be left done at any time in the feign of our late sovereign lord, his highness; father,” other than such as have been already changed by the Injunctions, Statutes, or Proclamations set forth. [Wilkins’ Concil., iv. 21.]  Even after this the Privy council found it necessary to write to the licensed preachers on May 13th, “That in nowise you do stir and provoke the people to any alteration or innovation other than is already set forth by the King’s Majesty’s Injunctions, Homilies, and Proclamations,” and rebuked those “who, of an arrogancy and proud hastiness will take upon them to run before they be sent, to go before the rulers, to alter and change things in religion without authority.” [Ibid., 27.]  And on September 23d another proclamation was sent out, declaring that even the select and licensed preachers had so stirred up innovations, that his Majesty, “minding to see very shortly one uniform order throughout this his realm, and to put an end to all controversies in religion, so far as God should give grace (for which cause at this time certain bishops and notable learned men, by his Highness’ commandment, are congregate), hath” thought good to inhibit all preachers whatever until the forthcoming uniform order is brought out.

         Such was the strong-handed determination with which Archbishop Cranmer and the rest of the young King’s advisers and representatives maintained the old Sarum use, as it had been reformed in the preceding reign, until the Book of Common Prayer in English was

ready to be substituted in its place.  For two years and a quarter of Edward VI’s reign, Cranmer, not less than Gardiner, stood firmly to the ancient Mass, Mattins, and Evensong of the Church of England, supplemented by the English Litany, English Gospels and Epistles, and English Lessons, and, for part of the time, by an English “Order of Communion”.  However expedient and even necessary he may have considered the changes about to be made, he could not have had any opinion that the theology and customs of the old rite were seriously wrong.

         The first we hear of the coming Prayer Book, after its temporary suppression by Henry VIII in 1544, is in the Convocation which met on November 5, 1547, when the petition printed at the beginning of this section was sent up to the President of Convocation by the Lower House.  The portion of that petition which immediately concerns our present subject was that in which the clergy request that the books which had been prepared by the Committee of Convocation of 1543 “may be seen and perused by them for a better expedition of Divine Service, to be set forth accordingly.”  It was more than a year before the “perusal” or revision of these “books” ended in the publication of the Book of Common Prayer; but the clergy had already so far made up their minds about one great principle of that book – the restoration of Communion in both kinds – that the authorities were able to complete this act of reformation with great promptitude, by means of a Canon of Convocation and an Act of Parliament.

 

The Order of Communion of 1548.

         On November 20, 1547, the fifth session of this first Convocation of Edward VI, the Prolocutor of the Lower House of Convocation “exhibited, and caused to be read publicly, a form of a certain ordinance, delivered by the Most Reverend the Archbishop of Canterbury, for the receiving of the body of our Lord under both kinds, viz, of bread and wine.”  This canon did not raise any debate, but its adoption was postponed until the next session, December 2d, when the whole of those present, “in number sixty-four, by their mouths did approve the proposition made in the last session of taking the Lord’s body in both kinds, nullo reclamante.” [Strype’s Mem. Cranmer, ii. 37, Eccl. Hist. Soc. Ed.; Wilkins’ Concil., iv. 16.]

         Meanwhile, the Archbishop had introduced two Bills into the House of Lords “against such as shall unreverently speak against the Sacrament of the Altar, and of the receiving thereof under both kinds,” and during the session these Bills were consolidated into an Act, which, after repeal and revival, is still in force.  The first six clauses of this Act (1 Edw. VI. ch. i.) provide for the imprisonment of those who “contemn, despise, or revile the said most blessed Sacrament.”  The seventh clause, after reciting that it was in accordance with Christ’s institution, and with “the common use and practice both of the Apostles and of the Primitive Church, by the space of 500 years and more after Christ’s ascension, that the said blessed Sacrament should be ministered to all Christian people under loth the kinds of bread and wine, than under the form of bread only, and also it is more agreeable to the first institution of Christ, and to the usage of the Apostles and the Primitive Church, that the people being present should receive the same with the priest, than that the priest should receive it alone,” enacts that such shall be the custom of “the Church of England and Ireland, … not condemning hereby the usage of any church out of the King’s Majesty’s dominions.”  This Act was followed up on December 27th by a proclamation, setting forth in painful detail some of the irreverent controversy which was current respecting the presence of Christ in “the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of our Lord, commonly called ‘the Sacrament of the Altar’.”  It enjoins that such controversies should cease, and “that every of” the King’s “loving subjects shall devoutly and reverently affirm and take that holy Bread to be Christ’s Body, and that Cup to be the Cup of His holy Blood, according to the purport and effect of the Holy Scripture, contained in the Act before expressed, and accommodate himself rather to take the same Sacrament worthily, than rashly to enter into the discussing of the high mystery thereof.” [Cardw. Docum. Ann., i. 26.]

         This revival of a custom which had once been universal, and had never been entirely dropped in the Church of England, did not require any alteration in the old service of the Mass, for that service contains no recognition of Communion in one kind only; but it was soon found expedient that the principle of a vernacular service should be at once applied to the communion of the laity, and an “Order of Communion” was prepared in such a form that it could be used in connection with the unaltered Latin Service of the Missal.  This contained several of the hortatory and rubrical parts of our present Communion Service; and there is reason to think it was constructed or adopted as their own by the Episcopal and other Divines who were selected from the Convocation of Canterbury for the full review and reconstruction of the Service Books.”  [Foxe says, “The King, being no less desirous to have the form of administration of the Sacrament truly reduced to the right rule of the Scriptures and first use of the Primitive Church, than he was to establish the same by the authority of his own regal laws, appointed certain of the most grave and best learned bishops and others of his realm to assemble together at his Castle of Windsor, there to argue and entreat this matter, and conclude upon and set forth one perfect and uniform order, according to the rule and use aforesaid.”  (Foxe’s Acts and Mon., v. 716, ed. 1837.)  Edward VI, in his journal, says, “A Parliament was called, where an uniform order of prayer was institute before made by a number of bishops and learned men gathered together in Windsor ... and there was a notable disputation of the Sacrament in the Parliament House.”  (Burnet’s Ref. v. 7, Pocock’s ed.)  Strype alleges that in 1546, shortly before his death, Henry VIII commanded Archbishop Cranmer “to pen a form for the alteration of the Mass into a Communion.”  (Strype’s Mem. Cranmer, i. 311.)]  The new service, thus taking the form of a Canon of Convocation, was (according to the settlement of 1534) promulgated by the Crown, this being done by a proclamation dated March 8, 1548.  From that day, therefore, until the Prayer Book was brought into use on June 9, 1549, the authorized Communion Service of the Church of England was the ancient Latin Mass of the Salisbury Missal, supplemented by a short service in English (which was introduced after the Communion of the priest), for administration of the Sacrament to the laity.  Our attention is thus again drawn to the conservative character of the course taken by the authoritative Reformation of the Church of England.  We may also observe that, as it would be extremely unjust to charge Cranmer and his coadjutors with using forms of prayer solemnly before God which were at variance with their conscientious belief, we must conclude that, up to 1549 at least, they regarded the ancient Service of the Mass as one to which there could be no objection on the ground of reverence towards God, or as a means of grace for Christian people.

 

§ 2.  The Prayer Book of 1549.

         The Divines to whom was entrusted the “perusal,” or “revision,” as we should now say, of the “books made by the prelates and other learned men appointed to alter the service in the Church” during the previous reign, were thirteen in number, their names being as follows [This list of names is given from a contemporary entry of a “Parson of Petworth” in a Prayer Book of 1632, in the Bodleian Library, full of manuscript notes by Bishop Gandy and Bishop Andrewes.  (Rawl., 241.)  Heylin makes a quotation from “The Register book of the parish of Petworth,” which bears upon the subject of the change of service, in his History of the Reformation. (Heylin’s Reform., 64, fol. ed., i. 132; Eccl. Hist. Soc. Ed.)  No information can now be obtained respecting this register.  The same list, omitting the name of May, occurs on a printed broadside within the cover of MS. 44, in Cosin’s Library, Durham.  It is corrected in the hand of Bishop Cosin; who adds against Redmain’s name the word “dubito,” and before Cox’s, “Deest Decanus Sti Pauli quisquis erat max. opinor.”]:–

 

From the Upper House of Convocation.

Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury.

Thomas Goodrich, Bishop of Ely (afterwards Lord Chancellor).

Henry Holbech (or Randes), Bishop of Lincoln.

George Day, Bishop of Chichester.

John Skip, Bishop of Hereford.

Thomas Thirlby, Bishop of Westminster.

Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of Rochester (afterwards of London).

 

From the Lower House of Convocation.

William May, Dean of St. Paul’s.

Richard Cox, Dean of Christ Church and Chancellor of Oxford Univ. (afterwards Bishop of Ely).

John Taylor, Dean of Lincoln (afterwards Bishop of Lincoln), Prolocutor.

Simon Heynes, Dean of Exeter.

Thomas Robertson, Archdeacon of Leicester (afterwards Dean of Durham).

John Redmayne, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge.

 

         It is evident that these thirteen Divines formed a Committee of Convocation; and as they were probably the body “of bishops and learned men gathered together in Windsor” which is mentioned in the Journal of Edward VI, there is little doubt that they acted under a Royal Commission.  No records of their meetings remain, but they are found together on one occasion afterwards, Sunday, September 9, 1548, when Farrar was consecrated Bishop of St. David’s by Cranmer, Holbeach, and Ridley, at the Archbishop’s house at Chertsey.  On that occasion the Archbishop celebrated Mass by the old ritual, and used English words of administration; and the Archiepiscopal Register records that “there communicated the Reverend Fathers, Thomas, Bishop of Ely, Thomas, Bishop of Westminster, Henry, Bishop of Lincoln, Nicholas, Bishop of Rochester, and Farrar, the new Bishop; together with William May, Dean of St. Paul’s, Simon Hains, Dean of Exon., Thomas Robertson and John Redman, Professors of Divinity, and others.” [        Strype’s Cranmer, ii. 105.  Eccl. Hist. Soc.  In his Memorials Strype says that they met at Windsor in May.  (Strype’s Mem. Eccl., II. i. 133.)  Heylin says that they met at Windsor on September 1st.]  But, beyond these two slight glimpses of them, we know nothing whatever of their movements.  Nor have we any means of ascertaining to what extent they used the labours of their predecessors in the work of revision.

         Their work was completed in time to be presented to Convocation at the session which began on November 24, 1548.  Archbishop Abbott says that “the more material points were disputed and debated in the Convocation House by men of both parties,” and that “it was afterwards confirmed by the Upper and Lower Houses.”*  The work of its Committee being Co opera- thus adopted by the Convocation, was submitted to the clyf King in Council; and on December 9, 1548, it was aaP iia- laid on the table of the House of Lords for the purpose of being incorporated in the Act of Uniformity, as the standard to which uniformity was required. This Act [2d and 3d Edw. VI. ch. 1.1, the Prayer Book forming a part of it (or what is now called a schedule), was passed through the House of Lords on January 15th, and through the House of Commons on January 21st, in the year 1549; and it enacted that the Prayer Book should be taken into use throughout the Church of England on July 9, 1549, that day being Whitsunday.  But the Act provided that, in churches where it could be procured at an earlier date, it might be taken into use “within three weeks next after the said books so attained and gotten”; and as the first edition was published on March 7th, it was generally used in the churches of London at Easter, which was on April 21st, though not at St. Paul’s until Whitsunday. [Stow’s Chron., 1033; Bullinger in Orig. Lett., Park. Soc., 535.]

         *[Abbott against Hill, p. 104.  Archbishop Bancroft, who was for many years chaplain to Cox, Bishop of Ely, one of the Committee of Revision, writes that “the first liturgy set forth in the beginning of King Edward’s reign was carefully compiled, and confirmed by a synod. (Collier’s Eccl. Hist., vi. 277.)  Contemporary evidence respecting the confirmation of the book by Convocation is also found in letters of the Privy Council and the King.

            (1.)  The Privy Council of Edward VI instructed Dr. Hopton, the Princess Mary’s chaplain, to say to her, “The fault is great in any subject to disallow a law of the King; a law of the realm by long study, free disputation, and uniform determination of the whole clergy, consulted, debated concluded.” (Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vi. 8, ed. 1838.)

            (2.)  In the reply of the King to the demands of the Devonshire  rebels, he is made to say, “Whatsoever is contained in our book, either for Baptism, Sacrament, Mass, Confirmation, and service in the Church, is by our Parliament established, by the whole clergy agreed, yea by the Bishops of the realm devised, by God’s Word confirmed.” (Ibid., v. 734.)

            (3.)  The King and Council, writing to Bonner on July 23, 1549, say, “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 same Parliament, and of all other the learned men of this our realm in their Synods and Convocations provincial.” (Ibid., v. 728.)

            No doubt the Convocation of York cooperated in some way with that of Canterbury.]

         The Book of Common Prayer, thus set forth with the full authority of Church and State, may very fairly be called an expurgated and condensed English version of the ancient Missal, Breviary, and Manual, [The Ordination Services were not at first bound up with the Prayer Book, and were not perhaps ready when the Prayer Book was published.  On September 9, 1548, as stated above, Bishop Farrar was consecrated with the service of the old Pontifical in the presence of the Prayer Book Committee.  Some months afterwards Cranmer held an Ordination, at which he used the new Ordinal or Pontifical as it now stands.  (Strype’s Cranmer, ii. 130, Eccl. Hist. Soc.)  The early printed copies are dated 1549, with the title [spelling modernized], “The form and matter of making and consecrating of Archbishops, Bishops, Priests, and Deacons”; and doubts having arisen as to its legality, it was established by Act of Parliament (3 and 4 Edw. VI. ch. 12) in November of that year.] by which the services of the Church of England had been conducted during mediaeval times, and which were themselves elaborated forms of much more ancient Service Books.  Following the directions given to the Commission in 1542, the books had been “castigated from all ... feigned legends, superstitions, orations, collects, versicles, and responses,” the services provided for “all saints which be not mentioned in the Scripture or authentic doctors” were “abolished and put out of the same books,” and what was retained was “the service ... made out of the Scripture and other authentic doctors.” [See vol. i. p. 497.]  The seven daily offices were condensed into two; the system for the use of Psalms and Lessons was greatly simplified; and although the ritual system in general was retained, the rubrics were condensed throughout, and many details of ritual omitted. [For details of the relation between the modern vernacular services and the ancient Latin services of the Church of England, the reader is referred to the author’s Annotated Book of Common Prayer.  The Prayer Book of 1549, with the Order of Communion of 1548, and the Ordinal, were republished by Walton in 1869.]  When all the changes are taken into account, it may still be said that about nine-tenths of what is contained in the Prayer Book of 1542–1549 came from the old Latin Service Books of the Church of England; and that the principal change after the excision of mediaeval novelties was that of adapting the services to general use by the clergy and laity together, instead of leaving them in the complex form which was only suitable for the use of the clergy and of monastic communities. [The revival of religious communities in connection with the Church of England has naturally brought with it a revival of the seven “Hours” system of Divine Service for their use.  But devotional books containing them – books similar to the “Hours” of earlier times, and the “Primers” of Henry VIII and Edward VI – have been common enough always.  Bishop Cosin’s Devotions may be named as one of the best known of such modern books of “Hours”.  It was printed in 1627.]

         This “First Prayer Book of Edward the Sixth” was the book established by the law of the Church and of the State for the use of the Church of England for three years and a half, namely, from July 9, 1549, to November 1, 1552; but it need hardly be added that it is also substantially the book which has now been in use for three centuries and a quarter.

 

§ 3.  The Prayer Book of 1552.

         There is no reason to think that any general opposition was offered to the new English Services by the clergy or laity of the Church of England, although here and there the old Latin Services were still maintained until the Service Books were called in by an Order of Council, issued on the following Christmas Day in consequence of reports that the Duke of Somerset’s fall was the prelude to their restoration.*  But a virulent and persevering attack was soon commenced by a Protestant party which crystallized around the nucleus of anti-sacerdotalists whose advent into England is spoken of at large in another chapter.

         *[The chief opponents were the Devonshire and Cornish rebels.  Their objections were certainly not of a very reasonable character, as may be seen from their “demands,” and Archbishop Cranmer’s answer to them. (Strype’s Cranmer, ii. 502, Eccl. Hist. Soc.)  They, however, received on June 20, 1549, a promise of pardon for not accepting the Prayer Book, on condition of returning to their allegiance (State Papers, Edw. VI, Dom.); and the tradition of Cornwall is that the old Breviary and Missal were used there long after the Reformation.  On the other hand, Bishop Gardiner wrote to the Privy Council that “He had deliberately considered of all the offices contained in the Common Prayer Book, and all the several branches of it; that though he could not have made it in that manner, had the matter been referred unto him, yet that he found such things therein as did very well satisfy his conscience; and therefore, that he would not only execute it in his own person, but cause the same to be officiated by all those of his diocese.” [Heylin s Reformation, i. 209, Eccl. Hist. Soc.)  The Privy Council, however, had thought it necessary to disclaim any intention of reviving the “old religion,” as was reported, in the presence of the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Councilors, which they did on October 8, 1549.  (Privy Council Reg.)]

         The leader in this attack upon the Prayer Book was John Hooper, afterwards Bishop of Gloucester and Bishop Worcester.  Up to the time of the dissolution of the monasteries he had been a monk of the Cistercian order – a very austere order – at Cleeve, in Somersetshire; but when he was thrown upon the world, he was converted to the opinions of the anti-sacerdotalist school by the writings of Zwingli and Bullinger.*  About 1545 he left England, went to live at Strasburg, and married, being then about fifty years of age.  From March 1547 to March 1549 he lived at Zurich, in constant intercourse with Bullinger himself.  In May 1549 he arrived in England again, and was appointed chaplain, first to the Duke of Somerset, and then to the King.

         *[Zwinglian Opinions. – “Zwingli was persuaded that the grace of God is always given to man immediately, without the intervention of church or priest or sacrament.  He therefore held that baptism was no means of grace, but merely the external badge of membership in a community, the sign that he was formally devoted to the service of Christ, or the certificate of spiritual life, which, if at all imparted, was imparted independently of the material element. ... The same conception of the sacraments was even more explicitly avowed when Zwingli turned to the examination of the Eucharist.  As he dissociated all idea of spiritual blessing from the act of baptism, so the consecrated Bread and Wine had, in his theory, no more than a mnemonic office, putting him in mind of Christ, and of his union with a Christian body, but inoperative altogether beyond the province of the intellect.  This theory, at first elaborated by the criticism of the sacred text, was afterwards supported by recondite speculations on the nature of the Saviour’s glorified humanity.  Like Carlstad, he contended that the Body of Christ being now locally in Heaven, cannot be ‘really’ distributed to faithful souls on earth, which drew from Luther, now become the furious enemy of both, the counter argument, that the humanity of Christ, in virtue of its union with the Godhead, is exalted far above all natural existences, and being thus no longer fettered by the sublunary conditions of time and space may be communicated in and by the Eucharistic elements.” (Hardwicke’s Church Hist. during Reform., 121.)  Zwingli, who was a priest, was killed in battle near Zurich in 1531, and his place there was taken by Henry Bullinger, who was the great authority of the English Puritanical school until the spread of Calvinism in the days of Queen Elizabeth.]

         Hooper at once became a very popular preacher, delivering his discourses with the energy of a Wesley as often as twice a day; and contemporaries said that the Londoners not only looked on him as a prophet, but even worshipped him as a deity. [The same curious statement is made respecting Foxe by his own son.  Many, he says in his life of his father, “believed that he could not be devoid of some Divine inspiration, and now some began, not as a good man, to honour him, but, as one sent from Heaven, even to adore him, through the folly of mankind, madly doting upon anything whatsoever their own will hath set to be worshipped.”  (Foxe’s Acts and Mon. Life, ed. 1684.)]  In these lectures he is reported to Bullinger to be “very busy in confuting the Lutherans and the Bucerians,” and to be “a constant defender and promoter of the true faith.” [Orig. Lett., Park. Soc., 659, 662.]  But Peter Martyr “cautioned him against his unseasonable and too bitter sermons.” [Hooper’s Works, II. xiv.]  His opposition was in fact raised against everything that countenanced the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and of grace given by the Sacrament of Baptism, and he thus necessarily set his face against the Prayer Book that had just been brought into use.  The tone which he took respecting it is illustrated by one of his letters to Bullinger, written as early as December 27, 1549, in which he says, “The public celebration of the Lord’s Supper is very far from the order and institution of our Lord.  Although it is administered in both kinds, yet in some places the Supper is celebrated three times a day. … They still retain their vestments [So also on February 16, 1550, John Butler writes to Thomas Blaurer that some blemishes in the Church of England, “such, for instance, as the splendour of the vestments, have not yet been done away with.” (Orig. Lett., 635.)] and the candles before the altars; in the churches they always chant the hours and other hymns relating to the Lord’s Supper, but in our own language.  And that Popery may not be lost, the mass priests, although they are compelled to discontinue the use of the Latin language, yet most carefully observe the same tone and manner of chanting to which they were heretofore accustomed in the Papacy.” [Orig. Lett., Park. Soc., 72.]  Preaching before Edward VI in Lent (the observance of which he deprecated except “as a civil policy” [Hooper’s Works, i. 554.]), he spoke of the Prayer Book which had just been brought into general use as containing “tolerable things, to be borne with for the weak’s sake awhile,” [Hooper’s Works, 479.  This phrase is curiously like Calvin’s, “In Anglicana Liturgia, qualem describitis, multas video fuisse tolerabiles ineptias.” (Calvin. Epp., p. 98.)] and urged immediate revision; the Ordinal he considered especially framed for the promotion of the kingdom of Antichrist [Orig. Lett., 81.]; and he told the King and Council that it was “great shame for a noble King, Emperor, or Magistrate, contrary unto God’s word, to detain and keep from the devil or his minister any of their goods or treasure, as the candles, vestments, crosses, altars.” [Works, i. 534.  Alasco, the superintendent of the foreign congregations in London, a great supporter of Hooper, and a friend of Edward VI, was a great agitator for the change from kneeling to sitting; and the Puritans of Elizabeth’s reign quoted “Johannes Alasco and M. Hooper” as their authorities for the custom. (Whitgift’s Works, iii. 94.)]  Further, he desired the King to do away with kneeling at the Holy Communion.  “The outward behaviour and gesture of the receiver,” was his argument, “should want all kind of suspicion, shew, or inclination of idolatry.  Wherefore, seeing kneeling is a shew and external sign of honouring and worshipping, and heretofore hath grievous and damnable idolatry been committed by the honouring of the Sacrament, I would wish it were commanded by the magistrate that the communicators and receivers should do it standing or sitting.  But sitting in mine opinion were best, for many considerations.” [Hooper’s Works, 536.]

         It was after the violent Lent sermons which were spiced with this abuse of the Prayer Book that Hooper was – by the interest of Somerset, and against the wish of the other bishops, who considered his teaching heretical, – nominated to the bishopric of Gloucester. [Orig. Lett., 81, 410, 675, 676.]  But when he was required by the Council to subscribe to certain articles proposed by them, he refused to accept three.  “One is, that the Sacraments confer grace.  He wished the word confer to be changed into seal or testify to.  The second is, that the book set forth by the bishops must be diligently observed in every particular, without any alteration whatever.  The last is, wherein he is required to approve the book of ordination of ministers of the Church.” [Orig. Lett., 563.]  Refusing also to be consecrated in the usual Episcopal vestments, and according to the form of the Ordinal, he was forbidden to preach; disregarding this order, he was committed to the charge of Cranmer; and the Archbishop reporting that he could make no impression upon him, he was at last committed to the Fleet on February 27, 1551.  Finding that he was thus prevented from preaching, he gave way, and was consecrated with the ceremonies he abhorred, and in the “Aaronic habits” which he loathed, on March 8, bishop, 1551, a week afterwards. [Foxe describes his dress when he preached before the King shortly afterwards.  “His upper garment was a long scarlet chimere down to the foot, and under that a white linen rochet that covered all his shoulders.  Upon his head he had a geometrical, that is, a four-squared cap, albeit that his head was round.”  (Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vi. 641.)]

         Hooper came in this manner to be looked upon by the foreign Zwinglians as the leader of the anti-sacerdotalist party in England.  Hence Bullinger was informed, on November 12, 1550, that “Master Hooper is planning great and noble designs, especially against the power and luxury and ceremonies of the priests and bishops, nor have his godly endeavours hitherto been without success, for you will soon hear from himself, perhaps, the great progress he has made.” [Orig. Lett., 468.]  Six weeks later, a further report is sent, “Hooper is striving to effect an entire purification of the Church from the very foundation.  Other bishops, on the contrary, who nevertheless are men of learning and professors of the truth, are ashamed of this, because they will not open their eyes to their own errors.” [Orig. Lett., 674.  Hooper was exceedingly distasteful to Cranmer (Ibid., 557), and also to Ridley (Ibid., 573, 675), who was only reconciled to him while they were both in prison waiting for death. (Ridley’s Works, 355.)]

         It was probably on account of this agitation against the Prayer Book that the two foreigners, Peter Martyr and Martin Bucer, who occupied respectively the position of Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford and Cambridge, were required by Archbishop Cranmer to give their opinions respecting it.  Neither of them could read a word of its contents, but Bucer had it translated into Latin viva voce, and Martyr used some sort of version of parts of it which was given to him by Sir John Cheke, the King’s tutor.  Eventually Martyr assented to Bucer’s review of the book, which was contained in a treatise of twenty-eight chapters, known as his “Censure,” and which was completed on January 5, 1551, two months before his death.  In this work Bucer expressed his disapproval of all ceremonies and customs that were derived from the ancient services of the Church of England.  In the Holy Communion he condemns the use of vestments, wafer bread, definite acts of consecration, the sign of the cross, prayers for the departed, the presence of non-communicants, and the kneeling of communicants.  The service for Baptism he would have pared down to a similar bald ideal as that of the Holy Communion.  The practice of anointing the sick, and that of commending the soul of the departed to God in burial, as also all forms of prayer for souls departed, he wished to see rejected.  And lastly, with the want of imagination and musical ear so common among the extreme Reformers, he expresses his utter abhorrence of the superstition of bell ringing, which he desired to see altogether discontinued. [On September 4, 1552, Cranmer sent an order to the Dean of St. Paul’s “to forbid playing of organs at Divine Service.”  (Grey Friars’ Chron., 75.)]

         Meanwhile the Prayer Book had been brought under discussion in Convocation towards the end of the year 1550.  Hooper’s arrogant and persevering attacks upon it had influenced the mind of the King, who, although only a little over twelve years of age, was already developing a large amount of Tudor confidence in himself; and as Cranmer and other courtiers pretended to pay great deference to the child’s opinions, [Cranmer’s own son was about the same age, so he must have known what such a child’s opinions on theological questions were worth.  The descendants of that son are still to be traced, and have all become Roman Catholics; some after taking orders in the Church of England.] there can be little doubt that the boy King had forced this discussion on Convocation with a view to the revision of the book in the direction indicated by Hooper.  The bishops in the Upper House were disposed, as bishops generally are, to swim with the tide, and to make many of the changes demanded; but the clergy of the Lower House desired more time for the consideration of them, and requested that the matter might be postponed until the next session. [Heylin’s Hist. Reform., i. 227.  Eccl. Hist. Soc.]  The young King, however, who had already, when Hooper was doing homage, dashed his pen excitedly through some words of the oath which referred to the saints [Orig. Lett., 416.] declared that, if Convocation would not make the changes, he would make them himself; and further resistance to revision thus seemed likely to be dangerous to the Church. [On January 10, 1551, Peter Martyr wrote from Lambeth Palace to Bucer as follows: “In all the particulars which you considered should be amended, I have supported your opinions, and I thank God for giving us an occasion of admonishing the Bishops.  It has been determined in this Convocation, so I am informed by the Archbishop, that many things shall be changed, though what things they are he did not tell me, nor did I venture to ask him.  But I have been not a little refreshed by what Sir John Cheke has acquainted me with, that if the Convocation refused to make these changes, the King would make them himself, using his royal authority in Parliament for the purpose.”  (Strype’s Cranmer, ii. 663, Eccl. Hist. Soc.)]

         No records remain to show how or by whom the revision was made, but the young King’s threat of breaking through precedent if his wishes were disregarded, pretty clearly indicates that precedent would not be thrown aside except under extreme circumstances.  It is contrary to all we know of the times to suppose that he would be opposed after such a threat, and we may therefore conclude that everything then went on smoothly according to precedent.  Thus there would be a Committee of Convocation, composed of bishops from the Upper House and clergy from the Lower, and special authority would be added to the Committee by its constitution as a Royal Commission.  These divines, most of them being perhaps members of the former committee, carried on their work during the year 1551, that it might be ready for Convocation and Parliament at the winter session.

         In whatever manner the revised Prayer Book passed through these several stages, it was finally scheduled on to a new Act of Uniformity (5 and 6 Edw. VI. ch. 1) on April 6, 1552, and the Feast of All Saints following, November 1st, was fixed as the day on which it was to be taken into use instead of the book of 1549.  Almost at the last moment, however, an attempt was made to carry the revision much further.  Three editions of the book had been printed, when, on September 27, 1552, an Order of Council was passed forbidding any further issue of them, ostensibly on the ground that many printer’s errors had crept in. [“A letter to Grafton, the printer, to stay in any wise from uttering any of the books of the New Service, and if he have distributed any of them amongst his company, that then he give straight commandment to every of them not to put any of them abroad until certain faults therein be corrected.”]  But the real reason for arresting the press is shown by the Privy Council Register.  For on the same day a letter was written to Archbishop Cranmer, requesting him to correct the printer’s errors, and directing him to call to him several divines to peruse the book again, his attention being specially drawn to the rubric on kneeling at Communion.  The letter of the Privy Council is not preserved, but only the order directing the secretary what to write.  The Archbishop’s indignant reply is, however, preserved among the State Papers, and throws so much light on the circumstances under which the second Prayer Book was issued that it is here given at length:–

         “After my right humble commendations unto your good Lordships.

         “Where I understand by your Lordships’ letters that the King’s Majesty his pleasure is that the Book of Common Service should be diligently perused, and therein the printers’ errors to be amended.  I shall travail therein to the uttermost of my power – albeit I had need first to have had the book written which was passed by Act of Parliament, and sealed with the great seal, which remaineth in the hands of Mr. Spilman, clerk of the Parliament, who is not in London, nor I cannot learn where he is.  Nevertheless, I have gotten the copy which Mr. Spilman delivered to the printers to print by, which I think shall serve well enough.  And where I understand further by your Lordships’ letters that some be offended with kneeling at the time of the receiving of the same Sacrament, and would that I (calling to me the Bishop of London, and some other learned men as Mr. Peter Martyr or such like), should with them expend, and weigh the said prescription of kneeling, whether it be fit to remain as a commandment, or to be left out of the book.  I shall accomplish the King’s Majesty his commandment herein albeit I trust that we with just balance weighed this at the making of the book, and not only we, but a great many Bishops and others of the best learned within this realm appointed for that purpose.  And now the book being read and approved by the whole State of the Realm, in the High Court of Parliament, with the King’s Majesty his royal assent – that this should be now altered again without Parliament – of what importance this matter is, I refer to your Lordships’ wisdom to consider.  I know your Lordships’ wisdom to be such, that I trust ye will not be moved with these glorious [This plainly refers to Bishop Hooper.  In the order for the Bishop of Gloucester’s execution, a similar expression is used, “forasmuch as the said Hooper is, as heretics be, a vainglorious person, and delighteth in his tongue,” etc.  (Hooper’s Works, II. xxvii.)] and unquiet spirits which can like nothing but that is after their own fancy; and cease not to make trouble when things be most quiet and in good order.  If such men should be heard – although the book were made every year anew, yet it should not lack faults in their opinion.  ‘But,’ say they, ‘it is not commanded in the Scripture to kneel, and whatsoever is not commanded in the Scripture is against the Scripture, and utterly unlawful and ungodly.’  But this saying is the chief foundation of the Anabaptists and of divers other sects.  This saying is a subversion of all order as well in religion as in common policy.  If this saying be true, take away the whole Book of Service; for what should men travail to set in order in the form of service, if no order can be got but that is already prescribed by Scripture?  And because I will not trouble your Lordships with reciting of many Scriptures or proof in this matter, whosoever teacheth any such doctrine (if your Lordships will give me leave) I will set my foot by his, to be tried by fire, that his doctrine is untrue; and not only untrue, but also seditious and perilous to be heard of any subjects, as a thing breaking their bridle of obedience and loosing from the bond of all Princes’ laws.

         “My good Lordships, I pray you to consider that there be two prayers which go before the receiving of the Sacrament, and two immediately follow – all which time the people praying and giving thanks do kneel.  And what inconvenience there is that it may not be thus ordered, I know not.  If the kneeling of the people should be discontinued for the time of the receiving of the Sacrament, so that at the receipt thereof they should rise up and stand or sit, and then immediately kneel down again – it should rather import a contemptuous than a reverent receiving of the Sacrament.  ‘But it is not expressly contained in the Scripture’ (say they) ‘that Christ ministered the Sacrament to his apostles kneeling.’  Nor they find it not expressly in Scripture that he ministered it standing or sitting.  But if we will follow the plain words of the Scripture we should rather receive it lying down on the ground – as the custom of the world at that time almost everywhere, and as the Tartars and Turks use yet at this day, to eat their meat lying upon the ground.  And the words of the Evangelist import the same, which be ανακειμαι and αναπίπτω, which signify, properly, to lie down upon the floor or ground, and not to sit upon a form or stool.  And the same speech use the Evangelists where they show that Christ fed five thousand with five loaves, where it is plainly expressed that they sat down upon the ground and not upon stools.

         “I beseech your Lordships take in good part this my long babbling, which I write as of myself only.  The Bishop of London is not yet come, and your Lordships required answer with speed, and therefore am I constrained to make some answer to your Lordships afore his coming.  And thus I pray God long to preserve your Lordships, and to increase the same in all prosperity and godliness.

“At Lambeth, this 7th of October, 1552,

“Your Lordships’ to command,

“T. Cantb.”

[State Papers, Domestic, Edw. VI, xv. 15.]

         What debates there may have been on this subject is not known, but the ultimate result is shown by an entry in the Privy Council Register, dated October 27, 1552, which orders “a letter to the Lord Chancellor to cause to be signed unto the Book of Common Prayer, lately set forth, a certain declaration signed by the King’s Majesty, and sent unto his Lordship, touching the kneeling at the receiving of the Communion.” [Burnet’s Hist. Reform., iii. 368; Pocock’s note, 76.]  The “Declaration,” which has been commonly known as the “Black Rubric,” was then printed on a flyleaf, and inserted in some of the printed copies of the Prayer Book, the intention being no doubt to insert it in all.  But this delay must have prevented the book from being circulated through the country in time for use on All Saints’ Day; and, as Edward VI died within a few months, on July 6, 1553, it may be doubted whether it ever superseded to any great extent the earlier Prayer Book of 1549.  It was, however, by law the Prayer Book of the Church of England from November 1, 1552, until October 1553, when the Act of Uniformity, under the authority of which it became so, was repealed by another Act of Parliament (1 Mary, sess. 2, ch. 2).  That it was used at once in London is shown by an entry in Stow’s Chronicle for the sixth year of Edward VI:–

         “The first of November being the feast of All Saints, the new Service Book, called of Common Prayer, begun in St. Paul’s Church, and the like through the whole city.  The Bishop of London, doctor Ridley, executing the service in his rochet only, without cope or vestment, preached in the quire, and at afternoon he preached at Paul’s Cross, the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Crafts, in their best liveries, being present, which sermon tending to the setting forth the late made Book of Common Prayer, continued till almost five of the clock at night, so that the Mayor, Aldermen, and Companies entered not into Paul’s Church, as had been accustomed, but departed home by torchlight.  By this Book of Common Prayer, all copes and vestments were forbidden throughout England, and Prebends of Paul’s left off their hoods, the Bishops left their crosses, etc., as by an Act of Parliament more at large is set out.” [“On All-hallow Day began the book of the new Service of Bread and Wine in Paul’s, with all London, and the Bishop did the service himself, and preached in the quire at the morning service, and did it in a rochet, an nothing else on him.  And the Dean, with all the residue of the prebends, went but in their surplices, and left off their habit of the University.” (Grey Friars’ Chron., 76.)  “After All-hallows Day was no more communion in no place but on the Sunday.” (Ibid.)]

         The results of the revision show considerable traces of the influences under which it had been put forward, and chiefly in the Communion Service.  The principal subject of attack by the anti-sacerdotalist party was the sacrificial character of the Service as framed in 1549; and in association with this, they had also agitated for the disuse of altars, vestments, and the kneeling of communicants.  They were so far successful, that in many churches the old altars were destroyed, nothing but boards on trestles being in many cases substituted for them; that the law for eight months forbade the use of the old vestments appointed for bishops, priests, and deacons; and that alterations were made in the Communion Service which went a good way towards destroying that family likeness to the Liturgies of the universal Church which had been so happy a feature in its first construction.  But a merciful Providence prevented the evil work of these self-willed and arrogant agitators from being carried out to its full extent; and the early close of Edward VI’s reign was the means of putting an end to that descent towards the negations of Zwinglianism, which would inevitably have taken place under the pressure of his influence had the boy survived much longer.

 

§ 4.  The Articles of Religion.

         In the general upheaval of doctrine which occurred at home and abroad during the Reformation cataclysm, attempts were made to put an end to controversy, and to secure uniformity of opinion, by means of formularies which defined one by one the theological questions at issue.  This was done by the Lutherans in 1530 in the “Confession of Augsburg,” by the Calvinists in 1530 and 1536 in the “Confession of Basle,” and by the Continental Churches in decrees which were passed during the twenty-three years, 1546–1563, that were occupied from first to last by the sessions of the Council of Trent.  The Church of England entered upon a similar course of definitions in the year 1536, and completed it in the year 1571.

         The first formulary of the kind adopted by the Church of England has been spoken of at large in the former volume of this history. [Vol. i. pp. 436–444.]  It consisted of Ten Articles, and was entitled, “Articles about Religion set out by the Convocation, and published by the King’s authority”; or “Articles devised by the King’s Highness’ Majesty, to establish Christian quietness and unity among us, and to avoid contentious opinions; which Articles be also approved by the consent and determination of the whole clergy of this realm.  Anno MDXXXVI.”  This was followed by the “Institution of a Christian Man” – a noble monument of Anglican theology, which was carefully compiled by a large commission of bishops and clergy similar to that which produced the Book of Common Prayer, and which was again issued in a revised form by the Convocation of 1543.  Of this work also a full account will be found in the former volume of the present history. [Vol. i. pp. 444–469.]

         In 1551 the subject of Articles “for the avoiding of controversy in opinions and the establishment of a godly concord in certain matters of religion,” was again revived, and its revival ended in the adoption of the “Forty-two Articles of Religion” of 1552–3, of which the “Thirty-nine Articles of Religion” of 1562–71 are a revised edition.  The first we hear of the matter is that a communication was made by “the King and his Privy Council” to Archbishop Cranmer, ordering him “to frame a book of Articles of Religion for the preserving and maintaining peace and unity of doctrine in this Church; that being finished, they might be set forth by public authority.” [Strype’s Cranmer, ii. 366, ed. 1848.]  This document does not appear to be now extant, but no doubt it was what is known as “Letters of Business” addressed to the Archbishop as President of the Convocation of Canterbury, and for which the Convocation had probably applied to the Crown through him.  It would be in the form of a license, based on the Act of Submission, granting leave to the clergy in their Convocations to “confer, treat, debate, consider, consult, and agree of and upon and concerning the making” of “a book of Articles of Religion for the preserving and maintaining peace and unity of doctrine in this Church; that being finished, the said book may be exhibited to us to be allowed, approved, ratified, and promulged.” [This is substantially the form in which such licenses are given by the Crown.]  A draft of this “Book of Articles” was laid before the bishops of the Upper House of Convocation by Archbishop Cranmer in the session of 1552, and were doubtless fully discussed by it and the Lower House also at the many meetings which are known to have taken place during that session, but of which no details are extant since the records of Convocation have perished.

         Three weeks after Parliament and Convocation had risen, the Privy Council Register contains an order, dated May 8, 1552, for a “Letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury to send hither the Articles that he delivered the last year,” that is, the preceding January, which was “last year” according to the Old Style, “to the bishops, and to signify whether the same were set forth by any public Authority or no, according to the Minutes.” Cranmer then placed the work of Convocation before the King in Council, but the book was returned to him in September for the purpose of being put “in a better order, and of having titles prefixed to the several Articles.  On October 21st directions were given by the King in Council for the King’s chaplains, Mr. Harley, Mr. Bill, Mr. Horne, Mr. Grindall, Mr. Perne, and Mr. Knox, “to consider certain Articles exhibited to the King’s Majesty, to be subscribed by all such as shall be admitted to be preachers or ministers in any part of the realm, and to make report of their opinions touching the same.”  And on November 20th there is an order for “a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, with the Articles heretofore drawn and delivered by him to the King’s Majesty, which, having been since considered by certain of his chaplains and others, are in some part altered, and therefore returned to him for further consideration, so as, after the perfecting of them, order may be given for putting the same in execution.”  The Archbishop returned them the next day, [See his letter in Strype’s Cranmer, ii. 669, ed. 1848.] and nothing further appears to have been done with them until the meeting of Convocation on March 2, 1553, or 1552 Old Style, when they were finally passed and subscribed by the bishops and the rest of the clergy assembled on that occasion.

         The Forty-two Articles thus carefully considered, revised, and accepted by the clergy were promulgated by the Crown shortly afterwards, being “published by the King’s Majesty’s commandment in the month of May, Anno Domini 1553,” under the title of “Articles agreed on by the bishops and other learned men in the Synod at London, [That is, in a Synod formed of the two Convocations of Canterbury and York, meeting in London.] in the year of our Lord God MDLII, for the avoiding of controversy in opinions and the establishment of a godly concord in certain matters of religion.”

         These Forty-two Articles, thus set forth by the authority of the Church and the Crown, were substantially identical with the Thirty-nine Articles so familiar to modern times.  But they were revised by the Convocations in 1562,* and again promulgated by the Crown in 1563.  They underwent another slight revision by Convocation, and were again promulgated by the Crown in 1571, and since that time no alterations have been made in them.

         *[The following seven were omitted at this revision:–

            X.  Of Grace.

            XVI.  Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost.

            XIX.  All men are bound to keep the moral commandments of the Law.

            XXXIX.  The resurrection of the dead is not yet brought to pass.

            XL.  The souls of them that depart this life do neither die with the bodies nor sleep idle.

            XLI.  Heretics called Millenarii.

            XLII.  All men shall not be saved at the length.

At the same time, four new ones were added to those which remained –

            V.  Of the Holy Ghost.

            XII.  Of good works.

            XXIX.  Of the wicked which do not eat the Body of Christ in the use of the Lord’s Supper.

            XXX.  Of both kinds.

Authentic copies of the Articles in their successive forms are to be found in Cardwell’s Synodalia, i. 1–107, and in Hardwicke’s History of the Thirty-nine Articles.]

 

§ 5.  Attempted Codification of Ecclesiastical Law.

         One of the grand schemes to which Wolsey looked forward was that of following up his foundations at Ipswich and Christ Church by establishing an University of London, in which the chief subject of study should be Law.  It was another sign of the tendency towards more exact methods of legislation which was then springing up, that there were projects for the codification of both the Common and Statute, and also the Ecclesiastical Laws of England.  The first fell through on account of its stupendous difficulty, [See Journals of House of Commons, February 15, 1549.] the second had been provided for in the “Act of Submission” (1533), and in two subsequent Acts of Parliament in 1535 (27 Hen. VIII. cap. 15) and 1544 (35 Hen. VIII. cap. 16), but nothing was done to carry out the provisions so made before the death of Henry VIII.

         Immediately on the meeting of Convocation, however, toward the end of Edward VI’s first year, a petition was sent up to the President by the Lower House, desiring, among other things, “that Ecclesiastical Laws may be made and established in this realm by thirty-two persons, or so many as shall please the King’s Majesty to name or appoint, according to the effect of a late Statute made in the thirty-fifth year of the most noble King, and of the most famous memory, King Henry VIII; so that all judges ecclesiastical, proceeding after these laws, may be without danger or peril.” [See also above; and the 1st of Queen Mary’s Injunctions, beyond.]  The meaning of the last words of this petition was that a considerable uncertainty had arisen as to what were and were not the ecclesiastical laws or canons which remained in force since the passing of the Act of Submission in 1533, there being a clause in that Act which enacted that all the old canons should continue in force until further legislation abolished them, provided they did not clash with the laws of the realm or with the Royal Prerogative. [See vol. i. p. 220.]

         The petition of the clergy was responded to slowly.  In November 1549 an Act was passed (3 and 4 Edw. VI. cap. 11) empowering the King to appoint a Commission, in the same manner as his father had been empowered; but it was nearly two years before any such Commission was nominated.  On October 6, 1551, the Privy Council Register contains an order for a “Letter to my Lord Chancellor to make out the King’s Letters of Commission to the thirty-two persons hereunder written, authorizing them to assemble together, and resolve upon the reformation of the Canon Laws, as by the minute of the said letter at better length appeareth:–

8 Bishops of: Canterbury; London; Winchester; Ely; Exeter; Gloucester; Bath; Rochester.

8 Divines: Mr. Taylor of Lincoln.  Mr. Cox, Almoner.  Mr. Parker of Cambridge.  Mr. Latimer.  Mr. Cooke.  Mr. Petrus Martyr.  Mr. Cheke.  Mr. Joannes Alasco.

8 Civilians: Mr. Petre.  Mr. Cecill.  Sir Thomas Smithe.  Taylour of Hadley.  Doctor May.  Mr. Traheron.  Doctor Lyell.  Mr. Skynner.

8 Lawyers:  Justice Hale.  Justice Broomley.  Goodrike.  Gosnald.  Stamford.  Carrell.  Lucas.  Brooke, Recorder of London.

viii. of these to rough-hew the Canon Law, the rest to conclude it afterwards.”  This Commission was never issued, however, being for some reason delayed, and being then superseded by another, which was ordered on November 9th, and issued on November 11th, and in which only eight persons were appointed, namely: – The Archbishop of Canterbury.  The Bishop of Ely.  Doctor Cox.  Peter Martyr.  Doctor Taylor of Hadley.  Doctor May.  John Lucas.  Richard Goodrick; their duties being defined as that of “the first drawing and ordering of the Canon Laws.”  Again, on February 2, 1552, there is an order for “a letter to the Lord Chancellor to make out a Commission to the Archbishop of Canterbury and other bishops, learned men, civilians, and lawyers of the realm, for the establishment of the Ecclesiastical Laws, according to the Act of Parliament made the last sessions.”

         The labours of this Commission, of which Peter Martyr was the most active member, are extant in a manuscript volume in Latin, which is preserved in the British Museum (Harl. MS., 426), and which has been twice printed, by Foxe in 1571, and by Cardwell in 1850, with additions made in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, under the title of “The Reformation of the Ecclesiastical Laws”.  But instead of being, as the title implies, and as the original intention was that it should be, a code of Canon Law as it existed before the Act of Submission, and so far as it still remained in force, the volume consisted of a brand new set of Ecclesiastical Laws, written in a most narrow and bigoted spirit, and enjoining such severe penalties, including death for obstinate heretics, as were worthy of the Inquisition.  The work had passed beyond the purview of Convocation, and the principles on which the Prayer Book had been constructed, those of Catholic conservation, had been recklessly departed from, and it became an utter failure.  Had Convocation, or a competent commission selected from that body and acting for it, been entrusted with that which had been originally intended, a real Digest or Codification of the ancient Canons of the Church of England, it would probably have accomplished a work which would have been as generally and as permanently accepted as the Book of Common Prayer has been.  As it was, the “Reformation of Ecclesiastical Laws” fell to the ground dead as soon as it was born, for the attempt to resuscitate it in 1571 was a total failure, and is unknown except to antiquaries.  The Church of England, by its representative body, had desired to reform and simplify its ancient laws, but was not permitted to do so; and the had statesmanship which thus distrusted the clergy in Convocation, and placed the work in the hands of a few court or ministerial favourites, resulted in a laborious fiasco, which stands out as an historical warning.

 

Chapter  IV – Formation of a Reactionary Party.

         At the opening of the reign of Edward VI there was a strong Church party, composed of those who had acquiesced in the Reformation movements which had been made under his father, and were ready to accept such further developments as the vernacular Prayer Book for which preparations had been made, but who objected to those movements being carried on any further while the authority of    Crown was put in commission.  They considered it due to the young King that no constitutional changes should be made until he could legally give his assent to them; and they foresaw that the temporary rulers of the country, the leading members of the Privy Council, would be much more open to the growing influence of the Puritan party during the time of their absolute power than the ordinary constitutional Government was likely to be.  Those who were thus opposed to immediate changes in the Church may fairly be called the Conservatives of the Reformation; but, being treated with the greatest tyranny and severity by the Government, they became reactionaries.

 

§ 1.  The Ecclesiastical Tyranny of the Government.

         It is surprising to see from the Privy Council Registers with what minute research and persevering hostility these clergy of the old school were hunted down, and brought to London for inquisitorial examination and punishment.  Soon after Edward VI had come to the Crown, on April 4, 1547, there is an order for the payment to Lord Wentworth of £2 6s. 8d. for bringing and sending back a priest of Suffolk who had been speaking certain lewd words.  On June 24th another order for forty shillings reward, to be paid to a servant of Sir William Godolphin who had the bringing up of a “lewd priest out of Cornwall” for the Privy Council and Protector to examine.  Later on, Dr Hugh Weston, Archdeacon of Colchester and Margaret Professor, was bound in £200 to appear when called for; and meanwhile he is ordered to remain with the Archbishop of Canterbury, and is not to preach without license from the Council.  Then the Chancellor of Winchester is brought up to recant certain words and acts against the King’s “proceedings,” and on his refusal, is sent to the Marshalsea, to be removed to the Tower in nine or ten days if he still refuses.  Dr. Chedsey, Archdeacon of Middlesex, was accused of preaching a seditious sermon in Oxford in the beginning of Lent 1550; and although he denied having done so, he was packed of to the Marshalsea, there to remain in prison for six months.  Dr. White, Warden of Winchester, was about the same time sent to the Tower for receiving books from abroad, especially from “one Marteni, a scholar there, who repugneth the King’s Majesty’s proceedings.”  With one short interval, in the summer of 1551, during which he was ordered into the custody of Cranmer, Dr. White remained in the Tower during the rest of the reign; and he was only one of many clergymen, simple parish priests, or deans and canons, and heads of colleges, who suffered imprisonment in that lordly fortress, or among the degraded criminals of the Fleet and the Marshalsea.

         In the Tower also lay the pious and venerable Tunstal, till recently Bishop of London, but now Bishop of Durham, who was sent into close confinement there that he might be no longer able to protect the lands and possessions of his see from the rapacious hands of the Duke of Northumberland.

         Heath, Bishop of Worcester, had been one of the bishops appointed to revise the Ordinal; but refusing to assent to all Cranmer’s dictatorial suggestions of change, or to subscribe to the book when it was completed, although he agreed to use it, he was sent to the Fleet on March 4, 1550, and remained there during the rest of Edward’s reign, Hooper being sent to Worcester to supplant him.

         Day, Bishop of Chichester, had been one of the Committee of Convocation for preparing the Prayer Book of 1549, but when an order was issued by the Council to take down all altars and substitute tables, he refused to impose this order upon the clergy of his diocese. “I sticked not at the alteration,” he afterwards wrote to Cecil, “either of the matter (as stone or wood) whereof the altar was made, but I then took, as I now take, those things to be indifferent, and to be ordered by them that have authority.  But the commandment which was given to me to take down all altars within my diocese, and in the lieu of them to set up a table, implying in itself (as I take it) a plain abolishment of the altar (both the name and the thing) from the use and administration of the Holy Communion, I could not with my conscience then execute.” [Ellis’ Orig. Lett., III. iii. 303.]  When before the Council he thanked them for their courtesy (the Minute says), but his conscience still prevented him from complying, “wherefore he prayed them to do with him what they thought requisite, for he would never obey to this thing, thinking it a less evil to suffer the body to perish than to corrupt the soul with that thing which his conscience would not bear.”  What the Lords of the Privy Council did was to deprive Day, as they had deprived other bishops, with all the authority of so many Popes, and to send him back to the Fleet, there to remain till the young King’s death.

         Bonner, Bishop of London, is a person upon whose memory so much contumely and objurgation, original and secondhand, have been cast, that it would perhaps be impossible to win any great sympathy for him in his similar troubles, nor was he a man of such high character as to make it worthwhile to attempt to do so.  Yet something may be said for justice at least even in his case, and a short account of the hard measure which he received from Cranmer, and the men of his school, may help to supply some explanation of the indifference with which he allowed himself to be made the instrument of their hard treatment in the next reign.

         When Edward VI came to the throne, Edmund Bonner – who had been employed for many years by Henry VIII on foreign affairs, and was generally known as Dr. Edmund – had been Bishop of London for seven years, and had frankly complied with the ecclesiastical changes which had been made during the later years of Henry VIII.  He also accepted the earlier measures of Edward VI’s reign, and only began to show any opposition to the proceedings of the Privy Council when they went beyond what he considered to be their constitutional authority, and when they usurped over the Church, in the name of the child who was on the throne, the full authority of the Crown, as it had been exercised by Henry VIII himself.  This was at the time when a Commission was issued to Sir Anthony Cook and other laymen for the visitation of the Diocese of London.  On September 12, 1547, he was brought before the Privy Council on the charge that, when these Commissioners presented his Highness’ Injunctions and Homilies, he had received them with “protestation in such words as follow, to the evil example of all such as should hear of it, and to the contempt of the authority which his Majesty hath justly in earth of this Church of England and Ireland.”  The Bishop only answers that his words were not exactly reported; but the Council find “in effect no variety in the same.”  When asked if he would stand to his protestation or refuse and revoke the same, he “was content to renounce, but began to couch it in such words as should have impaired the credit of the visitors, if his quiddities had not been found out and tried in the same.”  In the end he agreed “frankly” to set his hand to the following:–

“The Protestation of the Bishop of London, made to the Visitors when he received the King’s Majesty’s Injunctions and Homilies.

         “‘I do receive these Injunctions and Homilies with this protestation, that I will observe them if they be not contrary and repugnant to God’s laws and the statutes and ordinances of this Church.

         “‘The substantial part of the revocation of this is, I have thought it my bounden duty not only to declare before your Lordships that I do now, upon better consideration of my duty, renounce and revoke my said protestation, but also most humbly beseech your Lordships that this my revocation of the same may be likewise put in the same record for a perpetual memory of the truth. … Edmund London’”

         Bonner was committed to the Fleet, but remained there only for a few weeks, being set free under the general pardon, and appearing in the House of Lords in the Parliament of the same year.  During the next year, 1548, and part of 1549, he was engaged in his diocesan work, and complied with the changes that were made by Convocation and sanctioned by the Crown, opposing innovations until they became law, and then conforming to them “so obediently that it was not easy to find any matter against him.” [Burnet’s Reform., ii. 218, Pocock’s Ed.]  All this while, however, Cranmer and the other leading men of the Privy Council were endeavouring to “find matter against him.”  On July 23, 1549, a letter was at last sent to him, accusing him of remissness in enforcing the King’s laws and Injunctions, and ordering him to enforce them.  He at once delivered a charge, printing it on the 26th, in which this order was obeyed; but a week afterwards, on August 2d, he was remonstrated with on the same grounds by the King [Edw. VI, State Papers, Dom., p. 21.]; and on the 11th he was again called before the Council – the same charge was repeated against him, with the addition that adultery was practiced in the Diocese of London, which the Bishop of London ought to prevent: a curious accusation to bring against a bishop, in whose see lived the profligate courtiers of Henry VIII’s and Edward VI’s reigns, including some far from immaculate members of the body which was thus lecturing the Bishop.  But as no ground could be discovered for proceeding to deprive Bonnor, that Ridley might be placed in his see instead, a plan had to be devised for making him commit himself, cautious as he was, and thus furnish a ground.  Accordingly, he was ordered to preach a sermon at Paul’s Cross on September 1st, the heads of which were placed in his hands by this strangely overbearing body of Councilors, those heads being, it can hardly be doubted, written by Cranmer, their principal ecclesiastical adviser and agent.  On the Sunday appointed the sermon was preached, but it was beyond all probability that any bishop with a spark of independent feeling should slavishly clothe with his own words the “skeleton sermon” provided for him by the political theologians, or theological politicians, of whom the Privy Council was constituted, and accordingly the sermon proved unsatisfactory.  John Hooper, soon afterwards made Bishop of Gloucester and Worcester, sat at the foot of the pulpit stairs to catch every word that fell from the obnoxious preacher’s lips, and with him was William Latimer, late Provost of the College of St. Lawrence Pountney, and afterwards Dean of Peterborough. [In some editions of Foxe, and in later writers, the name given is that of Hugh Latimer, who had once been Bishop of Worcester; and so high an authority as Cooper, in his Athenae Cantabrigiensis, supposes that it was he, and not William Latimer, who thus acted as spy upon Bonner; but the nearly contemporary Grey Friars’ Chronicle distinctly says that the two persons were William Latimer, afterwards Dean of Peterborough, and then parson of Lawrence Pountney, and John Hooper, sometime a white monk.  (Grey Friars Chron., p. 63.)  The college had been dissolved, but Latimer was made rector of its church, which then became parochial.]  They had both been censured by Bonner for teaching erroneous doctrine respecting the Blessed Sacrament, and now they were about to have their revenge.  They informed against him to the Privy Council, having no doubt been sent as official spies.  A commission was appointed within the week, consisting of Cranmer, Shaxton, Sir William Petre, Sir Thomas Smith, and May, Dean of St. Paul’s, with authority to “suspend, excommunicate, commit to prison, and deprive” the Bishop of London.  This commission was originally dated September 8th [Rymer’s Coll., xv. 191, 192.]; the bishop’s trial before it taking place at Cranmer’s palace at Lambeth seven days between September 10th and October 1st.  He was of course condemned – the conclusion at which the commission was intended to arrive having been determined on before it met.  But for a time Bonner’s law proved too strong for the commissioners, and a new commission had to be issued, which should enable them to do the work more effectually.  The plainspoken Bishop did not use mincing words when standing on his defense, and was treated in a marvelously overbearing and insulting manner by Archbishop Cranmer.  In the end he said to them, “I have a few goods, my carcass, and my soul.  The two former you may take away, the last is out of your power.  And to let you see that I acknowledge the King’s power during his minority, I protest against the jurisdiction of your Court, and appeal immediately to his Majesty’s royal authority and person.”  The appeal came to nothing; and on October 1, 1549, Bonner was deprived of his bishopric, and sent to the Marshalsea “in his scarlet habit and his rochet upon it,” says the Grey Friars’ Chronicle, there to remain until he was liberated by Queen Mary.  It is astonishing to find that on January 7th it was ordered by the Privy Council that his bed should be taken away, and that he should be made to be taken lie on straw for eight days.  When men who were so wantonly insulted and so bitterly persecuted came into power again, after four or five years of such severe treatment, only the very highest Christian principles could prevent them from acting without prejudice in their dealings with their persecutors.

 

§ 2.  The Suppression of Bishop Gardiner.

         But the person who became most prominent in this struggle between the Churchmen of the old school and those who were introducing so many innovations was Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester.  No public man’s reputation ever suffered more from slipshod history than his.  The traditional idea respecting him is that he was a selfish, scheming, cruel, partisan – one who was ready to go all lengths in support of the Papal authority and of abuses in the Church, and one who was only a shade less repulsive in character than “bloody Bonnor” himself.  Poynet, who supplanted him in the see of Winchester during the reign of Edward VI, had the gracelessness to say of his predecessor, “This Doctor hath a swart colour.  He hath a hanging look, frowning brows, eyes an inch within his head, a nose hooked like a buzzard, nostrils like a horse, ever snuffing in the wind, a sparrow mouth, and great paws like the devil, talons on his feet like a gripe, two inches longer than the natural toes, and so tied to with sinews that he cannot abide to be touched, nor scarce suffer them to touch the stones.”  Foxe’s critico-historical acumen made him not quite sure about the latter peculiarity, but he more than half believed it.  “I will not speak,” he says, “of that which hath been constantly reported to me touching the monstrous making and mis-shaped fashion of his feet and toes, the nails whereof were said not to be like to other men’s feet, but to crook downwards, and to be sharp like the claws of ravenous beasts.” [Poynet’s Treat. of Polit. Power; Foxe, vii. 586, ed. 1838.]  It is true, he says, in another place, that we must number Gardiner “amongst good lawyers,” but then he is also “to be reckoned amongst ignorant and gross divines, proud prelates, and bloody persecutors, as both by his cruel life and pharisaical doctrine may appear, especially in the article of the Sacrament, and of our justification, and images, and also in crying out of the Paraphrase.” [Foxe, vi. 266.]  “What learning or cunning soever he had, so it fared in him, as it doth in butchers, which use to blow up their flesh; even so he with boldness and stoutness, and specially with authority, made those gifts that he had to appear much greater than they were in very deed. … If his doings and writings were according to his conscience, no man can rightly say whether he was a right Protestant or Papist.” [Ibid., vii., 586, ed. 1838.]  There is no corroboration of Poynet’s description in the portrait by Holbein, or in the monumental effigy at Winchester, and the writings of Gardiner give abundant evidence that he was a man of solid learning.  Sir John Harrington, writing in Queen Elizabeth’s days, says that he had heard much of Gardiner’s clemency; and Persons hands down the tradition that he was a mild and gentle man. [Persons’ Warning Word, pp. 34.  This is confirmed by the evidence given by many of the witnesses examined by the Commissioners.  Bishop Tunstal and several others say that Gardiner was “a true and just man” (Foxe, vi. 185, 189, 190, 202).  Dr. Weston “loveth him for his learning, virtue, and wit” (Ibid, 222).  Another says he is “a man of great learning, virtue, and wisdom” (Ibid., 224).  Another that he was “always a man of quietness, peace, and quiet behaviour” (Ibid., 244).  His attendants speak of him with affection, and say how gentle and courteous he was even to the two chaplains whom the Privy Council sent down to annoy him (Ibid., 253, 254], and that he “ever hath been counted and taken for a person of quietness” (Ibid., 253).  Another, who knew his life and his affairs intimately, testifies that “the said Bishop hath been always and is commonly taken and reputed for a man just of promise; and if he promiseth a little, he will perform that with more”; that he never was summoned in any suit, and would not permit any to be brought against any of his tenants, or against any who had done him wrong (Ibid., 230).]  Harrington speaks of his theology in the same tone as Foxe, saying that the Bishop was a “Catholic Protestant or protesting Catholic”.  But Foxe, whose evidence is often one way and his assertions the other, has given us a large body of documents respecting Gardiner, and in these we may find many traces of a keen and witty intellect, a genial disposition, and a distinctly “Anglican” theology.  Perhaps no two ecclesiastics were ever much more nearly alike than Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, in the sixteenth, and Henry Phillpotts, Bishop of Exeter, in the nineteenth century.

         When Edward VI came to the throne, the Bishop of Winchester was sixty-four years of age, and had been incumbent of that see for sixteen years, being, with the exception of Tunstal, the senior Bishop of the Church of England.  He had served a long apprenticeship in statesmanship and diplomacy – first under Wolsey, and then under Henry VIII himself; but the influence of Queen Katherine Parr and the Seymours had prejudiced the King against him in the later years of his reign, and Gardiner had for some time been living in comparative privacy, engaged on the administration of his diocese. [So late as October 6, 1546, Gardiner’s name appears in commissions for using the King’s stamp as a substitute for his signature; the Commission of that date being issued “until Easter next.”  (Rymer, xv. 102.)  The King’s Will was dated December 30, 1546, and was stamped then, or when the King was dying, under this very Commission.  But the lapse of this Commission put an end to his official influence; he was excluded from the executorship, and never appears as a Privy Councilor.]  But rumours of “innovations” soon reached him, and before the King had been dead a month he was in correspondence with his old friend and companion in embassies, Lord Hertford, now Duke of Somerset – at the Duke’s own desire – respecting them.

         The subject of this correspondence in the first instance was a sermon preached before the Court by Barlow, Bishop of St. David’s.  This sermon was evidently preached with the intention of persuading the Protector to take strong measures for promoting the Puritan view of the Reformation, for which he was well known to have an inclination.  “If my Lord of St. David’s,” wrote Gardiner on February 28th, “or such others, have their head incumbered with any new majority platform, I would wish they were commanded, between this and the King’s Majesty’s full age, to draw the plat, diligently to hew the stones, dig the sand, and chop the chalk in the unseasonable time of building; and, when the King’s Majesty cometh to full age, to present their labours to him; and, in the meantime, not to disturb the state of the realm whereof your grace is Protector, but that you may, in every part of religion, laws, lands, and decrees (which four contain the State), deliver the same unto our sovereign lord according unto the trust you be put in; which shall be much to your honour, and as all honest men wish and desire; to which desired effect there can be nothing so noisome and contrarious as trouble and disquiet.” [Foxe, vi. 25, ed. 1838.]  At the same time, he consistently deprecates the contemplated invasion of Scotland saying, “Let Scots be Scots,” until the King is of age, then, if invasion is determined on, let him have the honour of conquest.

         To this letter Somerset did not at once reply.  But on May 3d Gardiner wrote to the Mayor of Portsmouth and to Captain Vaughan, who was in command of the garrison, respecting some unauthorized destruction of images.  He afterwards visited the town, and found that an alabaster reredos had been broken down, “and in it an image of Christ crucified, so contemptuously handled as was in my heart terrible – to have the one eye bored out, and the side pierced, wherewith men were wondrously offended; for it is a very persecution beyond the sea used in that form where the person cannot be apprehended.” [Foxe, vi. 37.]  Gardiner pacified the people, but his letter, together with another written to Ridley on the subject of images and holy water, came to the hands of the Protector, who, or Cranmer for him, wrote a very able reply on the use and abuse of images. [Ibid., 28.]  Meanwhile Gardiner had again written to Somerset respecting the attacks which were being made on the observance of Lent, and also about some ribald tracts of Bale.  Somerset replied in a half bantering tone, telling the Bishop that he was too easily alarmed about reports of innovations, and that his own most hearty wish was to hand over the kingdom to the King when he came of age, “rather more flourishing in men, possessions, wealth, learning, wisdom, and God’s religion and doctrine, if it were possible, and God’s will, than we found it.” [Ibid., 36.]  The old Bishop replied that he cared little for Somerset’s scolding.  It reminded him of his old master, who, “when he gave me the Bishopric of Winchester, said he had often squared with me, but he loved me never the worse.”  And so, when the Protector enclosed in his scolding letter a copy of a Proclamation against lawless innovations, he could read his Grace’s letters with great composure.  As for his own style of writing, “in a good honest matter I follow rather mine own inclination than to take the pains to speak as if butter would not melt in my mouth.” [Ibid., 37.]

         Gardiner was, however, looked upon as so dangerous a rival by the extreme movement party, that every step he took was watched for the purpose of entrapping him into some mistake that would give them an advantage over him.

         The course which he followed respecting the visitation was one of which no one ought ever to have complained.  Before it took place he used his influence to prevent it from being carried out, remonstrating with the Protector, and with the Privy Council in his absence, against the haste with which they were pressing on innovations.  On the other hand, when he was summoned up to London by the Council, he left strict orders at Winchester that if the visitors arrived during his absence they were to be received with the greatest respect, directing his registrar to go to meet them at Chichester, and to conduct them honourably to Winchester.  There one of his chaplains was to act under his commission as his representative, his acts to be binding upon the Bishop himself.  All this was done, the Oath of the Royal Supremacy taken on his behalf, and also the Oath by which the Papal Supremacy was abjured; and no opposition whatever was offered to the visitors.  What more could Gardiner have done, since the Privy Council peremptorily required him to be in London himself while the visitation was going on?

         But the Protector, Archbishop Cranmer, and the majority of the Privy Councilors were determined to crush so formidable an opponent, and they followed him up with a most relentless persecution, till they had deprived him of his bishopric, and sent him to prison for nearly all the rest of his days.

         The visitation was to reach Winchester in October, and a report of some words which were alleged to have been used by Gardiner respecting it was laid hold of by the Privy Council as a reason for summoning him to London, and placing him under arrest.  On September 21, 1547, the Council Register records that Philip Paris, generosus, was brought before that dreaded tribunal, “for that, with certain others sitting before the door of Antony Bouvise, he said that the Bishop of Winchester had declared to him that there was both heresy and treason in the King’s Majesty’s Homilies.”  His answer was that, to the best of his recollection, these words were his own and not the Bishop’s.  It would appear as if he had been summoned as a witness against Gardiner, for on the same day, according to another Privy Council book, [That among the Harleian MSS., p. 352.] the Bishop was ordered to appear before the Council on the following “Sunday, in the morning, for such matters as shall be declared to him at his coming hither.”  On that day he appeared at Hampton Court with his “sleeves and bosom trussed full of books” [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vi. 44, ed. 1838.] to support the allegations of his letter against the orthodoxy of the Homilies, which he had been required to set forth as the standard of faith in his diocese.  But the Council would not listen to arguments, and gave him the option of either obeying their orders or going to the Fleet.  Of course Gardiner chose the latter, and the Register further records that on that day – Sunday, September 25, 1547 – “the Bishop of Winchester, having written to the Lords of his Majesty’s Council, and, besides that, having spoken to others impertinent things of the King’s Majesty’s visitation, and refused to set forth and receive the Injunctions and Homilies; for that, as he said, being examined by their Lordships thereupon, they contained things dissident with the Word of God, so as his conscience would not suffer him to accept them, was sent under the safe leading of Sir Antony Wingfield to the Fleet.”

         But when Gardiner was once safely lodged in jail, the Privy Council took no further trouble about him, and he remained there without any trial, and without any further communication respecting the charges against him, during the rest of that year.  In the middle of November he wrote to Somerset that he had spoken with no one but the prison warders since his committal, that he was not allowed the attendance of a barber or a tailor, and that, although he was in bad health, he was not permitted to see a physician.  But although he was in such miserable circumstances, and felt them bitterly, the genial old Bishop could not avoid a “merry word” about them.  He charged Archbishop Crammer with borrowing the Protector’s authority to use the Fleet, the Marshalsea, and the King’s Bench, “wherewith to cause men to agree to that it pleaseth him to call truth in religion.”  The time would come, he thought, when the Archbishop would “percase have some agree unto it, as poor men kneel at Rome when the Bishop there goeth by; that is to say, are knocked on the head with a halbert if they kneel not; for that is one piece of the office of the Bishop of Rome’s guard.” [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vi. 48, 50.]

         In the beginning of the year a general pardon was proclaimed, and as Gardiner could not be excepted from it, not being even accused of transgressing any law, he was set free – for a fortnight.  On Saturday, January 7, 1548, he was sent for from the Fleet to Hampton Court; and on the Sunday morning [There seem always to have been meetings of the Privy Council for business on Sundays during Edward VI’s reign.] he was called in before Somerset, Cranmer, and other members of the Privy Council, and told that he was included in the general pardon.  “Whereupon,” says the Register, “having ministered to him a good lesson and admonition, he was discharged of imprisonment.”  “Whereunto I answered,” says Gardiner himself, “that I was learned never to refuse the King’s Majesty’s pardon, and in strength as that was; and I would and did humbly thank his Majesty there-for.” [Foxe, vi. 65, ed. 1838.]  But he soon saw that he had not escaped altogether; for he was then asked whether he would conform himself to the Injunctions and Homilies, “and such other doctrine as should be set forth from time to time by the King’s Highness and clergy of the realm.  Articles of part whereof touching justification [This was probably the following, which is the eleventh of the Forty-two Articles afterwards published in 1552: “Justification by only faith in Jesus Christ, in that sense as it is declared in the homily of Justification, is a most certain and wholesome doctrine for Christian men.”  It is considerably modified in our present Articles of Religion by the twelfth, which was added in 1562.  It may be doubted whether one in a thousand of “Christian men” have any real notion as to what the doctrine here called “wholesome” to them means.] were then exhibited to him to declare in the same his opinion.  He made answer that he would conform himself accordingly as other bishops did; and touching the Article delivered to him, he desired respite of answer for four or five days, which was accorded him.”  On the following Thursday, January 12th, he went to the Duke of Somerset, at Sheen, and gave in his opinion in writing.  On the next Thursday he was actually committed by the Privy Council again, this time to be imprisoned in his own house, because he would not subscribe to this Article on Justification.  The popes of the Privy Council, with Cranmer for their leader, were “knocking him on the head to make him kneel” to them and their fanatical notions about “justification”; Ridley, nearly twenty years his junior, being sent to convert him to their creed, but in vain.

         When Lent began, Gardiner was permitted to go down to Winchester, and as he halted at Farnham on the way he preached a sermon in the parish church, at the request of the vicar, in whose house he was staying, on February 24th, in which he exhorted people to obedience, and to conformity in ceremonies to the orders of the authorities. [Foxe, vi. 206, 208, 211, 213, 214, ed. 1838.]  While at Winchester he lived perfectly quiet, carrying out himself the obedience he enjoined on others [Ibid., 208–210, 212, 216.]; but on April 1st the Council Letter Book shows that a message was sent to him from Greenwich, to say that there had been complaints of disturbances at Winchester, which had been chiefly caused by his Lordship’s dependents kindling up people’s minds at the things lately set forth by the King’s authority.  He is ordered to dismiss such stirrers up of tumults, and to come up himself to Greenwich within fourteen days, “there to remain”. [Harl. MS., 352.]  He was ill at the time, and unable to ride from Winchester to Greenwich – no strange thing for a man at sixty-five years of age; but pressing orders were sent down by the Council, and just before Whitsuntide Gardiner made the journey in a horse litter.  On his arrival he was charged by Somerset with disobedience in not coming up at the first, to which he replied that after the first order he had been “respited by other letters” on account of his sickness.  He was then charged with having kept up old ceremonies, to which he replied that he had kept up none but those which were ordered by the laws.  Then he was charged with having preached the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Sacrament, but he denied using the word “real,” declaring his dislike of it as not being scriptural, and the words of Scripture being amply enough to state the doctrine of Christ’s Presence.  Lastly, he was charged with obstructing two of the royal chaplains whom the Council had sent down to preach in the cathedral by preaching himself, to prevent them from using the pulpit; and it was true enough that he had done so.

         These charges were but colourable pretexts, however, for carrying out the determination of the Council to silence the most formidable opponent of innovation. [This is shown by the tone in which its leading members spoke of Gardiner.  Thus Warwick, afterwards the Duke of Northumberland and Regent, wrote to Cecil on June 14th, “Being desirous to hear whether my Lord hath proceeded with the arrogant Bishop according to his deserving, is the chief occasion of my writing to you at this time.  I did hear that his day to be before my Lords and the Council was appointed as yesterday; but if it had been so, I suppose it would have been more spoken of; but I rather fear that his accustomed wiliness, with the persuasions of some of his dear friends and assured brethren, shall be the cause that the Fox shall yet again deceive the Lion.”  (Cal. State Papers, Edw. VI, vol. iv.; Tytler, i. 108.)  Sir Thomas Smith also wrote on July 1st, “I long now to hear tell of my Lord of Winchester’s summons, and how he hath demeaned himself therein and after it.” (Ibid.)]  When they were found insufficient a new trap was laid, Somerset ordering the Bishop to preach a written sermon before the King on St. Peter’s Day, June 29th, and giving him written instructions as to the subjects of his sermon, and the mode in which he was to deal with them, a most marvelous piece of arrogance and tyranny.  Gardiner refused to write down his sermon, saying that to preach in that manner would be to proclaim himself “an offender,” which he was not; but though he would not preach from dictation, he was willing to deal with the subjects named in his own way.  Upon this, Somerset and the Council did their utmost to make him speak as they wished, and so give them his countenance and support for what they called “his Majesty’s proceedings”.  Somerset sent for him to a private interview, at which, says Gardiner, “I came in at a back door to himself alone, saving he took to him as witness (he said) the Lord, now of Wiltshire.  The Protector had in his hand the written opinion of lawyers as to how far a bishop should be bound by the King’s orders, and what punishment should be awarded to any bishop disobeying them.  These opinions, however, had little influence with Gardiner, who was probably a better lawyer than any of those who had written them.  The upshot of the interview was that “my Lord said I should speak with no man, and I should do as I was bidden, or do worse, and bade me advise me till dinner was done.  And then I was conveyed by the Lord Great Master to his chamber, and there left alone to dine, as was indeed honourably prepared.  But I took myself to be in the nature of a prisoner, and a restrained man.”  At two o’clock in the afternoon Sir Thomas Smith, the Secretary of the Council, was sent to him to see whether dinner had softened the “arrogant Bishop’s” determination, but all the concession to be got out of him was that he would speak of the matters suggested, and that he would speak only the truth, and if he spake the truth, then they would have their desire.  He did not wish to preach, but if they required him still to do so, he would preach according to his conscience.  Another interview with Somerset followed, and the Protector at last gave up the point of the written sermon, consenting to one preached extempore, if the required subjects were dealt with. [Foxe, vi. 67–70.]  But twice more was Cecil sent to him with fresh threats and persuasions, and at the last moment a peremptory letter was written by Somerset, much in the tone of Balak to Balaam, “Neither curse them at all, nor bless them at all,” forbidding the Bishop to say anything whatever about the Holy Sacrament. [Ibid., 86.]

         The following hours were passed by Gardiner in great agitation, and he had probably made up his mind that his death on the scaffold would be the end of the persecution which he was enduring.  He neither ate nor drank until he had ended his sermon the next day, and walked up and down his study in great trouble all the night. [Ibid., 197, 232.]  But no want of self-possession showed itself when the critical time had arrived, and he bravely mounted the pulpit in the King’s Privy Garden at New Hall, Westminster, now Whitehall, in the presence of his Majesty, his Grace, and their Lordships,” says the Privy Council Register, “and of such an audience as the like whereof hath not lightly been seen.”  What he said on the occasion has been preserved for us in the pages of Foxe, for Nicolas Udall, a late headmaster of Eton, and a man of very unsavoury reputation, [See vol. i. p. 541, n.] “was there in the pulpit, diligently noting and marking the said sermon,” as he himself tells us, “at the request of a noble personage of this realm.” [Foxe, vi. 157, ed. 1838.]

         That famous sermon, which led its author into five years’ of very dreary imprisonment, exactly confirms the character of a “Catholic Protestant,” given him by Sir John Harrington; and as Gardiner was taken to be the representative of the anti-Puritan party by his contemporaries, and has been so taken by most subsequent writers, it may be as well to reproduce some portions of it, for the purpose of showing how different the principles of that old Anglican party were from those of the Ultramontanes who subsequently sprang up under the influence of the Spanish advisers of Queen Mary, and the Jesuit “mission” of Queen Elizabeth’s time. [Foxe, vi. 87–93, ed. 1838.  In all other editions of Foxe, from 1563 till 1838, all but the first and the last, this important illustration of his History was part of the suppressed portions.]

         The Bishop took his text from the Gospel of the day, which was the same as that afterwards used in the English Prayer Book, and narrates the Confession of St. Peter.  In his Bidding Prayer he commenced, “To Almighty God, your most excellent Majesty, our sovereign Lord, King of England, France, and Ireland, and of the Church of England and Ireland, next and immediately under God, here on earth the Supreme Head.”  There was no shrinking here from a full declaration of the Royal Supremacy, and that on St. Peter’s Day, when, if at any time, the Papal Supremacy is usually flaunted before the world.  But in the body of the sermon he distinctly repudiated the Papal Supremacy in the following language – language which is that of a clear-headed and self-possessed theologian, and which offers a great contrast to the abusive and exaggerated tone taken by less learned and judicious men among his contemporaries:–

         “But now for a further declaration.  It is a marvelous thing that upon these words the Bishop of Rome should found his supremacy; for whether it be ‘super petram’ or ‘Petrum,’ all is one matter.  It maketh nothing at all for our purpose to make a foundation of any such supremacy.  For otherwise, when Peter spake carnally to Christ (as in the same chapter a little following), Satan was his name: where Christ said, ‘Go after Me, Satan.’  So that the name of Peter is no foundation for the supremacy; but, as it is said in Scripture, ‘Fundati estis super fundamentum apostolorum et prophetarum’; that is, by participation (for godly participation giveth names of things) he might be called ‘the head of the Church,’ as the head of the river is called the head; because he was the first that made this confession of Christ, which is not an argument for dignity, but for the quality that was in the man – for the first man is not evermore the best.  The head man of a quest is not always the best man in the quest, but is chosen to be the head man for some other quality that is in him.  Virtue may allure many, so that the inferior person in dignity may be the better in place, as the King sometimes chooseth a mean man to be of his Council, of whom he hath a good opinion; yet is the King the King still.  And in some case the King of England might send to Rome; and if the Bishop of Rome were a man of such wisdom, virtue, and learning, that he were able, in matters of controversy concerning religion, to set a unity in the Church of England, the King might well enough send unto him for his counsel and help; and yet should not in so doing give the Bishop of Rome any superiority over the King.  For if a King be sick he will have the best physician; if he hath war he will have the best captain; and yet are not these the superiors, but the inferiors.  A schoolmaster is a subject, a physician is a subject, a captain is a subject, councilors are subjects; yet do these order and direct the King.  Wherefore, leaving the Bishop of Rome, this I say, to declare of what opinion I am.  I do not now speak what I could say.  I have spoken beyond the seas; I have written; my books be abroad; but this is not the place here.  I say that this place maketh nothing for the Bishop of Rome, but for Christ only; for none can put ‘aliud fundamentum nisi id quod positum est, qui est Christus Jesus.’”

         Notwithstanding also the warnings he had received, Gardiner spoke at some length respecting the Holy Sacrament.  Having explained the words of St. Peter, he introduced the subject of the Sacrament by saying –

         “But now we must consider what Christ is.  Christ was a sacrifice.  He was sent from the Trinity to be our Mediator between God and us, and to reconcile us to the favour of God the Father.  He was the Bishop that offered for our sins, and the sacrifice that was offered.  And as He is our Bishop, so He is our mean to pacify God for us, for that was the office of a bishop ‘to sacrifice for the sins of the people, and to make intercession for the people.’  And as He was our sacrifice, so was He our reconciliation to God again.  But we must confess and believe Him thoroughly, I say, for as He was our Bishop then, so is it He that still keepeth us in favour with God.  And like as His sacrifice then made was sufficient for us to deliver us from our sins, and to bring us in favour with God, so, to continue us in the same favour of God, He ordained a perpetual remembrance of Himself.  He ordained Himself as a memory of Himself at His Last Supper, when He instituted the Sacrament of the Altar.  Not for another redemption, as though the first had not been sufficient, nor as though the world needed a new redemption from sin; but that ye might thoroughly remember His Passion, He instituted this Sacrament by His most Holy Word, saying, ‘This is My Body’; which word is sufficient to prove the Sacrament, and maketh sufficiently for the substance thereof.  And this daily sacrifice He instituted, to be continued amongst Christian men, not for need of another redemption or satisfaction for the sins of the world (for that was sufficiently performed by His sacrifice of His Body and Blood done upon the Cross), neither that He be now our Bishop, for need of any further sacrifice to be made for sin, but to continue us in the remembrance of His Passion suffered for us; to make us strong in believing the fruit of His Passion; to make us diligent in thanksgiving for the benefit of His Passion; to establish our faith, and to make it strong in acknowledging the efficacy of His Death and Passion suffered for us.  And this is the true understanding of the Mass; not for another redemption, but that we may be strong in believing the benefit of Christ’s Death and blood-shedding for us upon the Cross.”

         He then went on to speak very strongly respecting the restoration of the cup to the laity:–

         “The Parliament very well ordained Mass to be kept; and because we should be the more strong in faith and devotion towards God, it was well done of the Parliament for moving the people more and more with devotion, to ordain that this Sacrament should be received in both kinds.  Therefore I say that the Act of Parliament for receiving the Sacrament of the Altar in both kinds was well made. ... I have now declared what I think of the Act of Parliament made for the receiving of the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ in both kinds.  Ye have my mind and opinion concerning the proclamation that came forth for the same Act [This was the Proclamation prefixed to the “Order of Communion” of 1548.]; and I have shown my mind therein even as plainly as I think.  And I have ever been agreeable to this precinct.  I have oftentimes reasoned in it.  I have spoken and also written in it, both beyond the seas and on this side the seas.  My books be abroad, which I cannot unwrite again.  I was ever of this opinion, that it might be received in both kinds; and it was a constitution provincial scarce two hundred years ago, made by Peckham, the Archbishop of Canterbury, that it should be received in both kinds; at leastwise, ‘in ecclesiis majoribus’ – that is, in the greater churches, for in the smaller churches it was not thought to be so expedient.  This have I ever thought of this matter.  I have never been of other mind, nor I have not changed my conscience; but I have obeyed and followed the order of the realm; and I pray you to obey orders as I have obeyed, that we may all be the children of obedience. ... I like well the Communion, [That is, the “Order of Communion” of 1548.  The First Prayer Book of Edward VI was not yet compiled.] because it provoketh men more and more to devotion.  I like well the proclamation, because it stoppeth the mouths of all such as irreverently speak or rail against the Sacrament.  I like well the rest of the King’s Majesty’s proceedings concerning the Sacrament.”

         In another part of the sermon he says, respecting the Act for the Abolition of Chantries:–

         “If chantries were abused by applying the Mass for the satisfaction of sin, or to bring men to heaven, or to take away sin, or to make men of wicked just – I like the Act well; and they might well be dissolved, for the Mass was not instituted for any such purpose. ... When men add unto the Mass an opinion of satisfaction, or of a new redemption, then do they put it to another use than it was ordained for.  I, that allow Mass so well, and I, that allow praying for the dead (as indeed the dead are of Christian charity to be prayed for),* yet can agree with the realm in that matter of putting down chantries.”

         *[These words of Gardiner may be compared with some in one of Latimer’s Sermons.  “This, to pray for dead folks, this is not found, for it never was lost.  How can that be found that was not lost?” (Latimer’s Serm., i. 48, ed. 1824.)  In another he says, that where the “devil is resident,” there “down with Christ’s cross, up with purgatory pickpurse, up with him – the Popish purgatory, I mean” (Ibid., 66), evidently using the same cautious distinction as was afterwards used in the 22d Article of Religion, which condemns “the Romish doctrine concerning purgatory,” leaving other doctrine concerning it an “open question”.  In another sermon he indignantly contradicted the report that he had denied purgatory.]

         He ended his sermon by a personal appeal to the boy King:–

         “Thus have I showed my opinion in orders proceeding from the inferiors, and in orders proceeding from the higher powers; and thus I have, as I trust, plainly declared myself, without any covering or counterfeiting.  And I beseech your most excellent Majesty to esteem and take me as I am, and not to be slandered in me; for I have told you the plain truth as it is, and I have opened my conscience unto you.  I have not played the post with you, to carry truth in my letters and lies in my mouth; for I would not for all the world make a lie in this place; but I have disclosed the plain truth as it lieth in my mind.  And thus I commit your most excellent Majesty, and all your most honourable councilors, with the rest of the devout audience here present, unto God.  To Whom be all honour, laud, and glory, world without end.”

         This sermon of Bishop Gardiner, which might now be preached in any pulpit of England without being thought otherwise than “High Church,” is thus described in the records of the Privy Council in an entry dated the following day.  After alleging that the Bishop had promised to declare in a sermon how much he was pleased with the King’s proceedings, the entry goes on to state that when the time for doing so came “he did not only most arrogantly and disobediently, and that in the presence of his Majesty, their Grace and Lordships, and of such an audience as the like whereof hath not been seen, speak of certain matters contrary to an express commandment given to him on his Majesty’s behalf, both by mouth and by letters; but also in the rest of the articles whereunto he had agreed before used such a manner of utterance as was very likely, even there presently, to have stirred a great tumult”; although many witnesses afterwards declared that no sign of disturbance showed itself, and that the audience quietly dispersed. [This entry is signed by Somerset, Crammer, St. John, J. Russell, and T. Cheyne.]

         In the afternoon of that day – Saturday, June 30, 1548 – when Gardiner thought the danger of the crisis was over, Sir Anthony Wingfield and Sir Ralph Sadler, “accompanied by a great number of the guard,” arrested him, and carried him to the Tower.  There the old Bishop remained for more than five years – until he was past seventy years of age – without trial, and without any definite accusation being brought against him, except that of failing to preach the above sermon exactly according to the orders given him! [As Foxe puts it, “Among other divers and sundry crimes and accusations deduced against this bishop, the especial and chiefest matter wherewith he was charged depended upon his sermon made before the King’s Majesty in not satisfying and discharging his duty therein; partly in omitting that which he was required to do, partly in speaking of those things which he was forbid to entreat of” (Foxe, vi. 86, ed. 1838).  Burnet calmly suggests that the reason why the Privy Council dealt such hard measure to him was, “that they knew Gardiner’s haughty temper, and that it was necessary to mortify him a little, though the pretense on which they did it seemed too slight for such severities.” (Burnet’s Hist. of Ref., ii. 91, Pocock’s ed.)  In a later volume Burnet says more justly, “Here was severity upon severity, which as it raised him to be depended on as the head of the Popish party, so it must have recommended him to the compassion of all equitable people.”  (Barnet’s Hist. of Ref., iii. 346, Pocock’s ed.)]  At first he was confined very strictly in the Garden Tower, not being allowed to go outside the door of his chamber, and being treated with the same severity as if he had been charged with high treason – a charge the Council never dared even to hint at.  But a prisoner in that Tower having died of the plague, Gardiner was removed for a short time to the King’s lodgings, with similar strictness as to his seclusion [Foxe, vi. 194, ed. 1838.]; and though he was suffering from one of the complaints incident to old age, and of which he ultimately died, it was long before even his request to see a physician was granted.  He wrote respectful but manly letters to the Privy Council and to Somerset, complaining of the gross injustice with which, as an Englishman and as a Peer of Parliament, he was being treated, saying that month after month he was kept in that miserable prison “with want of air to relieve my body, want of books to relieve my mind, want of good company – the only solace in this world – and finally, want of a just cause why I should have come hither at all.” [Stow’s Annals, p. 600.  See also a similar letter, evidently from Gardiner, though it has no name attached, in the Egerton Papers, p. 25.]

         At last the general discontent, which Gardiner’s imprisonment without trial caused, made it necessary for the Privy Council to do something.  On June 8, 1550, when he had been two years all but a few days in the Tower, the Council resolved that the Bishop of Winchester, having been so long imprisoned, if he would repent and reform, he should be received into the King’s favour again.  If not, the King would proceed against him.  The event showed that there was no intention of allowing his energetic voice to be heard in Parliament, or of permitting him any longer to govern his see, and that this was only the first step in the formalities which were to end in his deprivation by Cranmer.  The following day Gardiner was visited by the Duke of Somerset (who had himself been recently released from imprisonment in the same place), the Lord Chancellor Rich, and several other members of the Privy Council, who required him to subscribe to the Act of Uniformity.  This he declined to do while he was kept in prison without trial or law.  Would he desire of the King to be his good Lord?  “Alas! my Lord, quoth I, do you think that I have so forgotten myself?  My duty, quoth I, requireth so; and I will on my knees desire him to be my good Lord, and my Lord Protector also, quoth I.  That is well said, quoth my Lord Chancellor.  And what will ye say further? quoth my Lord Chancellor.  In good faith, quoth I, this – That I thought when I had preached that I had not offended at all, and I think so still; and had it not been for the Article of the Supremacy, I would have rather feigned myself sick than be occasion of this that hath followed; but going to the pulpit, I must needs say as I said.  Well, quoth my Lord Chancellor, let us go to our purpose again.  Ye will, quoth he, desire the King’s Majesty to be your good.  Lord, and the Lord Protector also; and ye say, ye thought not to have offended.  All this I will say, quoth I.  And ye will, quoth my Lord Chancellor, submit yourself to be ordered by my Lord Protector.  Nay, quoth I, by the law; for my Lord Protector, quoth I, hath scourged me over sore this year to put my matter in his hands now.” [Foxe, vi. 73, ed. 1838.]  The Commission gave him hopes of immediate release, and on the strength of it the old man invited the Lieutenant of the Tower and his wife to a farewell supper.  But a month passed away, and the only favour shown him was permission to walk in the gallery when the Duke of Norfolk was not there.  On July 8th it was determined “that particular articles should be drawn, to see whether he would subscribe them or not,” and a letter sent to him from the King, requiring him to subscribe them “upon pain of incurring such punishment and penalties as by our laws may be put upon you for doing the same.”

         These “Articles” were six in number, and related to the Royal Supremacy, to the King’s authority in abrogating holy days, to the Book of Common Prayer, signature to the King’s authority during his minority, to the repeal of the Act of the Six Articles, and to the King’s authority in reforming ecclesiastical abuses.  Gardiner readily subscribed the whole of the Articles, but refused to subscribe the preamble, in which he was made to acknowledge the justice of his punishment, writing against this in the margin, “I cannot in my conscience confess the preface, knowing myself to be of that sort I am indeed, and ever have been.”*  But this preface was imperatively required by the Privy Council, who decided next day that, because “he sticketh upon the submission, which is the principal point,” it should be returned to him for his signature.  On the 13th the Commissioners reported that the Bishop “stood precisely in justification of himself, that he had never offended the King’s Majesty, wherefore he utterly refused to make any submission at all,” for the more surety of which denial it was agreed that a new book of articles should be sent to him, and that the Commissioners should have with them a divine, Bishop Ridley, and a temporal lawyer, Mr. Goderick.  The new articles [See Foxe vi. 82.] began with the old preamble, but were twenty in number instead of six, relating to every change that had taken place in ecclesiastical matters from the dissolution of the monasteries onward.  His answer on this occasion was that “to the Article of Submission he would in nowise consent, affirming, as he had done before, that he had never offended the King’s Majesty in any such sort as should give him cause thus to submit himself.”  As for the twenty articles, he would have nothing to say to them while he was in prison, it being unreasonable that he should subscribe them under such circumstances.

         *[The following is a copy of these articles as they appear in the Council Register.  Foxe has printed the first article relating to the King’s Supremacy before the preamble, and has omitted the Bishop’s marginal note.  They are called in the Council book “The Articles appointed unto all”: –

            (“The Bishop’s answer to this article – ‘I cannot confess the preface, knowing myself to be of that sort I am indeed, and ever have been.’”)

            “Whereas I, Stephen, Bishop of Winchester, have been suspected as one much favouring the Bishop of Rome’s authority, decrees, and adjunctions, and as one that did not approve of allow the King’s Majesty’s proceedings in alteration of certain rites in religion, and was convented before the King’s Council and admonished thereof; and having certain things appointed for me to do and preach for my declaration, have not done that as I ought to do, although I promised to do the same; whereby I have not only incurred the King’s Majesty’s indignation, but also divers of his Highness’s subjects have, by mine example, taken encouragement (as his Grace’s Council is certainly informed) to repine at his Majesty’s most godly proceedings, I am right sorry there-for, and acknowledge myself condignly to have been punished; and do most heartily thank his Majesty, that of his great clemency it hath pleased his Highness to deal with me, not according to rigour, but mercy.  And to the intent it may appear to the world how little I do repine at his Highness’s doings, which be in religion most godly, and to the commonwealth most profitable, I do affirm and say freely of mine own will, without any compulsion, as ensueth.

            “1.  First, That by the Law of God and authority of Scripture the King’s Majesty and his successors are the Supreme Heads of the Churches of England and Ireland.

            “2.  Item, That the appointing of Holy days and fasting days, as Lent, Ember days, or any such like, or to dispense therewith, is in the King’s Majesty’s authority and power; and his Highness, as Supreme Head of the said Churches of England and Ireland, and governor thereof, may appoint the manner and time of Holy days and fasting, or dispense therewith, as to his wisdom shall seem most convenient for the honour of God, and the wealth of this realm.

            “3.  Item, That the king’s Majesty hath most Christianly and godly set forth by and with the consent of the whole Parliament, a devout and Christian Book of Service of the Church, to be frequented in the Church, which book is so accepted and allowed of all Bishops, Pastors, Curates, and all Ministers Ecclesiastical of the realm of England, and so of them to be declared and commended in all places where they shall fortune to preach or speak to the people of it, that it is a godly and Christian book and order, and to be allowed accepted, and observed of all the King’s Majesty’s subjects.

            “4.  I do acknowledge the King’s Majesty that now is, whose life God long preserve, to be my Sovereign and Lord, and Supreme Head under Christ to me as a Bishop of his realm, and natural subject to his Majesty, and now in this his young and tender age to be my full and entire King; and that I, and all other his Highness’s subjects, are bound to obey all his Majesty’s Proclamations, Statutes, Laws, and Commandments, made, promulgated, and set forth in his Highness’s young age, as well as though his Highness were at this present 30 or 40 years old.

            5.  Item, I confess and acknowledge that the Statute commonly called the Statute of vi. Articles, for just causes and grounds, is by authority of Parliament repealed and disannulled.

            “6.  Item, That his Majesty and his Successors have authority in the said Churches of England, and also of Ireland, to alter, reform, correct, and amend all errors and abuses, and all rites and ceremonies ecclesiastical, as shall seem from time to time to his Highness and his Successors most convenient for the edification of his people; so that the same alteration be not contrary or repugnant to the Scripture and law of God.

            “Subscribed on this wise – Ste. Winton.

            Whereunto the Council also hath subscribed their hands – E. Somerset.  J. Bedford.  G. Cobham.  W. Petre.  W. Wiltshire.  W. Northt.  William Paget.  Edwarde Northe.  J. Warwick.  E. Clynton.  W. Herbert.”]

         The sturdy Bishop was taken to Westminster on the fourth day afterwards – July 19, 1550 – and persisting in his refusal to acknowledge himself guilty of offences which he had never committed, his bishopric was sequestrated for three months, with an intimation that if he still remained obstinate at the end of that time he would be deprived.  When the time had expired, a Commission was appointed, of which Archbishop Cranmer was president, Bishops Ridley of London, Goodrich of Ely, and Holbeach of Lincoln, with four laymen, being the other members, for the purpose of examining him, and, if he continued in his contempt, depriving him.  The principal sittings of this Commission were held at Lambeth, and much evidence was taken in writing respecting the Bishop’s obedience or disobedience to “the King’s Majesty’s proceedings.” [Gardiner’s own account of his conduct and repudiation of the charges, such as they were, which were brought against him, will be found in a valuable document of eighty-five paragraphs, called by Foxe “A Long Matter Justificatory proposed by the Bishop of Winchester.”  (Foxe, vi. 105–119, ed. 1838.)]  The Commissioners began their work on December 15, 1550, and ended it on February 14, 1551, when Cranmer pronounced the sentence of deprivation; and, if one may judge from his own words, he seems to have done this with great relish. [“The third thing to admonish the reader of is this, that when I name Doctor Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, I mean not that he is so now, but forasmuch as he was Bishop of Winchester at the time when he wrote his book against me, therefore I answer his book as written by the Bishop of Winchester, which else needed greatly none answer for any great learning or substance of matter that is in it.”  (Answer to Gardiner, Preface.)]  On the next day Cranmer was present at the Council Board, and the report of Gardiner’s conduct before the Commissioners led to a harsh and bitter Minute of Council.  “Upon debating of the Bishop of Winchester’s case,” it said, “forasmuch as it appeared he had at all times before the judges of his cause used himself irreverently to the King’s Majesty, and very sklaundfully towards his Counsel, and especially yesterday, being the day of his judgement given against him, he called his judges heretics and Sacramentaries,* they being there the King’s Commissioners, and of his Highness’s Counsel; it was therefore concluded by the whole board that he should be removed from the lodging he hath now in Tower to a meaner lodging, and now to wait upon him in prison but one, by the Lieutenant’s appointment, in such sort as by the resort of any man to him he have not the means to send out to any man, or to hear from any man.  And likewise that his books and papers be taken from him and seen; and that from henceforth he have neither pen, ink, nor paper to write his detestable purposes, but be sequestered from all conference and from all means that may serve him to practice any way.”  Under that order he remained until August 5, 1553, by which time the whole term of his imprisonment during the reign of Edward VI amounted to five years and nine months.

         *[In his appeal to the King against the sentence pronounced on him by the Commissioners, Gardiner had said, “Moreover, my Lord of Canterbury, my Lord of London, and my Lord of Lincoln, Commissioners as pretended aforesaid, do, contrary to the laws ecclesiastical of this realm, teach and set forth the manifest and condemned error against the very true Presence of Christ’s Body and Blood in the Sacrament of the Altar.”  (Foxe, vi. 263, ed. 1838.)  On January 26th Gardiner had presented to the Privy Council a book entitled “An explication and assertion of the true Catholic Faith, touching the most blessed Sacrament of the Altar, with confutation of a book written against the same; made by Steven, Bishop of Winchester, and exhibited by his own hand for his defense to the King’s Majesty’s Commissioners at Lambeth.”  This book was printed at Rouen.  It was answered by Cranmer (when he had effectually handcuffed his adversary) in a treatise published a few months afterwards, and the book contains much abusive language.  There is a copy of Cranmer’s answer in the Parish Library of Broughton, Hunts., which formerly belonged to “Tho. Baker, Coll. Jo. Socius ejectus,” and which contains a large number of annotations in the margin, said by Baker to be in the handwriting of Gardiner.  These annotations are written in a very reverent and gentle spirit, strongly contrasting with the reckless and rude language of Cranmer.  They show a thorough acquaintance with the subject and are much more logical than the portions of Cranmer’s treatise which they criticize.]

         The entries upon the subject in the Council Register close with a grant of £266, 13s. 4d. – upwards of £3000 in modern [19th century] money – to Archbishop Cranmer for his charges in Gardiner’s and other matters.

 

§ 3.  The Growing Irreligion of the Anti-Church Party.

         The tendency to a reaction was, moreover, influenced very strongly by the sight and sound of a terribly irreligious spirit which was growing up throughout the length and breadth of the land during the reign of Edward VI, and which claimed for itself the sanction and shelter of the Reformation movement.  The desecration of churches, the neglect of Divine Service, the contumely heaped upon the Sacraments, the lawlessness and the immorality which were becoming so conspicuous among those who opposed “the old learning” – these were making many doubt whether the Reformation had not already been carried too far, and whether the uprooting of old influences had been compensated by any sufficient planting of new ones.  “The irregular and immoral lives of many of the professors of the Gospel,” says Bishop Burnet, “gave their enemies great advantages to say they ran away from confession, penance, fasting, and prayers, only that they might be under no restraint, but indulge themselves in a licentious and dissolute course of life.  By these things, which were but too visible in some of the more eminent among them, the people were much alienated from them; and as much as they were formerly prejudiced against Popery, they grew to have kinder thoughts of it, and to look on all the changes that had been made as designs to enrich some vicious courtiers, and to let in an inundation of vice and wickedness upon the nation.  Some of the clergy that promoted the Reformation were not without very visible blemishes; some indiscretions, both in their marriages* and in their behaviour, contributed not a little to raise a general aversion to them.  It is true there were great and shining lights among them, ... but they were few in comparison with the many bad. ... That which was above all, was that God was highly dishonoured by men who pretended zeal for His glory, but with their works dishonoured Him.  They talked of the purity of the Gospel, while they were wallowing in all sensuality and uncleanness, pretending to put all their confidence in the merits and sufferings of Christ, while they were crucifying Him afresh, and putting Him to open shame.”

         *[Among several similar entries in the Privy Council Book, there is one on November 23, 1551, ordering “A letter to Sir Thomas Gargrave, Mr. Challonour, and Doctor Roukesbye, to examine and use such means to understand the circumstances and very truth of the matter between the Archbishop of York (Robert Holgate) and one Norman, who claimeth the same bishop’s wife to be his, as they shall think may best serve for the knowledge of the same; for the easier understanding of the matter, the supplication presented by the said Norman in this behalf is sent unto them, enclosed in the said letter, with the request to certify hither what they shall have learned in the case.”  Holgate was sent to the Tower, it being found that Norman had not made a mistake about his wife, and, having been deprived in the beginning of Queen Mary’s reign, died in 1556.

            Equally iniquitous was the case of Poynet, a favourite chaplain of Cranmer, who usurped the See of Winchester by Letters Patent from the Crown after Gardiner, the rightful Bishop, had been thrust out of it by the Privy Council.  On July 24, 1551, four months after his appointment, [spelling modernized] “the Bishop of Winchester that was then was divorced from his wife in Powlles; the which was a butcher’s wife in Nottingham; and gave her husband a certain money a year during his life, as it was judged by the law.”  (Grey Friars’ Chron., p. 70.)  On October 25th following, the Bishop married in the presence of Archbishop Cranmer (Machyn’s Diary, p. 320), a woman named Heymond, whom he left a widow, when he died an exile at Strasburg in 1556, at the early age of forty-two.

            These shocking facts respecting the bishops are supplemented by the evidence of a contemporary writer, who says of the clergy generally who married in Edward VI’s time, that they “cared not what women they married, common or other, so they might get them wives.  For true are St. Paul’s words: They enter into houses, bringing into bondage women laden with sin.  The women of these married priests were such, for the most part, that either they were kept of other before, or else as common as the cart way, … using their bodies with other men as well as with their supposed husbands. … Is it not seen now by experience that some of their women being divorced are married again to ruffians, and such other gallants, following the opinion of Sir John Hoper in his book of the ten commandments?”  (Huggard’s Displaying of Protestants, fol. 74.)  Archbishop Cranmer himself was twice married, and Mrs. Cranmer married two other husbands after losing the Archbishop.]

         All this was scarcely to be wondered at when private patrons appointed such men as they did to benefices.  “But what do you patrons?” says Latimer, preaching at Stamford in 1550.  “Sell your benefices, or give them to your servants for their service – for keeping of hounds or hawks, for making of your gardens.  These patrons regard no souls – neither their own nor other men’s.  What care they for souls, so they have money, though they perish, though they go to the devil?” [Latimer’s Serm., i. 266, ed. 1824.]  And again in 1552, “I would every man would go diligently about his business; the priests to go to their books, not to spend their times so shamefully in hawking, hunting, and keeping of ale-houses.” [Ibid., ii. 58.]  “Many will choose now such a curate for their souls as they may call fool, rather than one that shall rebuke their covetousness, ambition, unmercifulness, uncharitableness; that shall be sober, discreet, apt to reprove, and resist the gainsayers with the Word of God.” [Latimer’s Serm. i. 268.]  There is extant a petition to the Crown from one George Ainsworth, dated October 2, 1556, praying that he may be allowed to live as a layman, for that he would not have taken orders had he not been compelled to do so by Sir Thomas Griffin of Northampton, to whom he was serving man. [Harl. MS., 39, B. 6.]

         Nor could it escape the observation of those who began to doubt the expediency of the changes which had taken place that a great social degeneracy was coming over the nation at large.  “The ancient trade of this realm in education,” says a writer previously quoted, “was to yoke the same with the fear of God, in teaching the same to use prayer morning and evening, to be reverent in the Church; at their first entrance into the same, to make the sign of the cross in their foreheads, to make obeisance to the magistrates, to discover their heads when they met with men of ancient years and of hoar hairs. ... But now, clean contrary, nothing is less used than morning and evening prayer, more irreverence in the church never more frequented, nor disobedience to magistrates and aged men never more practiced.  And as for repairing to the church, it is counted a thing of no importance, for how can the child put that in practice which the parents themselves neglect ? … Here also were worthy of remembrance the correction which ought to be done to apprentices and other servants who, being noselled in liberty, are not only odious to the world, but also unthrifty towards their masters, and in manner become masters themselves.  Whose bringing up is so lewd that they be grown to such insolence that no good man or priest passing by them in the streets can escape without mocks. [This was so intolerable that, on November 12, 1547, a Proclamation was issued, of which there is a copy in the Council book, setting forth that the serving men, and other young and light persons and apprentices of London, had been of late grossly maltreating “priests, and those that go about in scholars’ gowns like priests, ... both in Westminster Hall and in other places of the city of London.”  This ill-treatment had been so gross that it had offended many men.  It was as much to be regretted that the priests had not used more discretion as that the others should commit sedition and murder.  Such “inconveniences cannot be suffered,” and the said serving men, etc. are ordered no more to use “such insolence and evil demeanour towards priests,” as reviling, tossing of them, taking their caps and tippets away violently “without just title or cause,” under pain of being punished according to their degree.  (Collier’s Eccl. Hist., v. 250, ed. 1852.)] ... Besides this, their dissolute lives are such that no regard they have at all to repair to the church upon the holy days, but flock in clusters upon stalls, either scorning the passers-by, or with their Testaments utter some wise stuff of their own device.  So that prayer is seldom seen to proceed out of their graceless mouths.” [Huggard’s Displ. of Prot., fol. 95; Latimer’s Serm., i. 208, ed. 1824.]

         To the same effect were some of the trenchant words which Latimer used when preaching before the King and Court.  “Alas!” he says, “where is this discipline in England now?  The people regard no discipline; they be without all order.  Where they should give place, they will not stir one inch; yea, where magistrates should determine matters, they will break into the place before they come, and, at their coming, not move a whit for them.  Is this discipline?  Is this good order?  If a man say anything unto them, they regard it not.  They that be called to answer will not answer directly, but scoff the matter out.  Then, the more they know the worse they be. ... Surely in Popery they had a reverence, but now we have none at all.  I never saw the like!”  Again, “consider all estates, and ye shall find all their doings furnished with lies.  Go first to men of occupations, consider their lives and conversations – there is in a manner nothing with them but lying.  Go to men of authority, go to lawyers – you shall find stuff enough.  For it is seen nowadays that children learn prettily of their parents to lie, for the parents are not ashamed to lie in presence of their children.  The craftsman or merchantman teacheth his prentice to lie, and to utter his wares with lying and forswearing.  In summa, there is almost nothing amongst us but lies,” etc. etc. [Latimer’s Serm., ii. 167.]

         According to the same writer, all classes were getting into habits of fraudulent dealing in matters of business.  One principal source of revenue at that time was a property tax.  “Then commissions come forth, and he that in sight of men, in his cattle, corn, sheep, and other goods, is worth an hundred marks or an hundred pound, will set himself at ten pound; he will be worth no more to the King but after ten pound. ... His cattle, corn, sheep, in every man’s eyes, shall be worth two hundred pound, besides other things as money and plate; and he will marry his daughter, and give with her four or five hundred marks, and yet at the valuation he will be a twenty pound man.  Doth he give to Caesar that which is due to Caesar?” [Ibid., i. 276; comp. ii. 178.]  The farmers are charged with fraud in selling cattle and corn, and “these fellows commonly which use such deceitfulness and guiles can speak so finely that a man would think butter should scant melt in their mouths.” [Ibid., ii. 75.]  As for the manufacturers, “How say you, were it no wonder to hear that cloth makers should become poticaries?  Yea, and as I hear say, in such a place, whereas they have professed the Gospel and the Word of God most earnestly of a long time.  See how busy the devil is to slander the Word of God.  Thus the poor Gospel goeth to wrack.  If his cloth be seventeen yards long, he will set him on a rack, and stretch him out with ropes, and rack him till all his sinews shrink again, while he hath brought him to eighteen yards.  When they have brought him to that perfection, they have a pretty feat to thick him again.  He makes me a powder for it, and plays the poticary; they call it flock powder.  They do so incorporate it to the cloth that is wonderful to consider – truly a good invention! ... They were wont to make beds of flocks, and it was a good bed too; now they have turned their flocks to powder to play the false thieves with.  O wicked devil! what can he not invent [We may here see, perhaps, the origin of the name “devil’s dust” for a “powder” which has not been altogether unknown in modern times.  Latimer spoke from his experiences as rector and bishop in Gloucestershire, then a great clothing and Puritan county.] to blaspheme God’s Word?  These mixtures come of covetousness.  They are plain theft.  Wo worth that these flocks should so slander the Word of God!  As He said to the Jews, ‘Thy wine is mingled with water,’ so might He have said to us of this land, ‘Thy cloth is mingled with flock powder.’” [Latimer’s Serm., i. 122, ed. 1824.]

         Very shocking also, to all who desired a true reformation of religion, was the desecration of the churches and cathedrals by the opponents of what was blindly stigmatized as “Popery”.  Much of this must certainly be traced back for its origin by the candid historian to the influence of Ridley, Bishop of London, and Hooper, Bishop of Worcester and Gloucester.

         Ridley was translated from Rochester to London (after Bonner’s deposition by the Privy Council) on April 12, 1550, and at once began the work of innovation in the diocese and cathedral of London, which he had already carried on in Rochester. [Ridley was not the first, however, to begin such innovations.  When Cranmer had got Bonner out of his way, it was his custom now and then to appear suddenly at St. Paul’s on a Sunday morning, “to preach against Popery and priests”.  If he could not go himself he sent a chaplain, sometimes Hooper.  (Grey Friars’ Chron., pp. 60, 61, 62.)  As early as St. Martin’s Day, in 1548, Ferrar had preached there without his Episcopal robes, speaking “against all manner of things of the Church and the Sacrament of the Altar, vestments, copes, altars, and all other things”  (Ibid., p. 56); and not long afterwards the canons left off wearing their grey amisses with the calober” (Ibid., p. 59).]  On the 19th he ordered the light in the quire to be put out before he came into it. [Ibid., p. 66.]  On St. Barnabas Day the high altar was pulled down, a curtain hung up for a reredos at the foot of the steps on which it had stood, and a table placed in front of the curtain. [Ibid., p. 67.]  At Christmas the “rulers of the choir” were dismissed from their office, and an order was at the same time given that copes should no longer be used in processions. [Ibid., p. 68.]  Shortly afterwards the parcloses on either side of the choir were blocked up to prevent people from looking in at communion time; and on Easter Eve, in 1551, the table which had been placed at the foot of the altar steps was removed still farther west, and set “beneath the veil which hung over the choir screen,” that is, in the nave in front of the screen, and was set with the sides north and south, instead of east and west, or “altarwise,” as it had been before. [Grey Friars’ Chron., p. 69.  This example was followed in many pariah churches.  For Ridley’s Injunction on the subject see chap. vii., where other details are also given.]  On October 25, 1552, Ridley completed his ruin of the choir of St. Paul’s by giving orders for the removal of all the altars and their beautiful screens, the sedilia, and the tombs.

         Hooper, who lectured two and three times a day in London for many months, argued fiercely against chancels, altars, vestments, and everything which tended to the recognition of the Eucharist as an offering to God; but his name is especially associated with the opposition which he offered to the use of the episcopal vestments.  When he was appointed Bishop of Gloucester in 1550, Hooper refused to present himself for consecration in these, but Cranmer and Ridley were equally resolute in refusing to consecrate him without them, although the Duke of Northumberland wrote to the Archbishop on July 23d (as is shown by the Privy Council Register), officially requesting him to give up such ceremonies as were “offensive to” Hooper’s “conscience”; and on August 5th the King and Privy Council sent a dispensation or pardon to Cranmer, to secure him against all penalties that he would incur, by giving Hooper his own way, contrary to the law.  But eventually the bishop-elect alienated the Privy Council as he offended everyone else, [Sergeant Morgan told Hooper “there was never such a tyrant as he was” in punishing men in Gloucester Diocese (Strype’s Cranmer, ii. 264, n.); and he so provoked Sir Anthony Kingston that in his passion the knight struck him, an indignity for which Hooper took care to get full revenge from the Privy Council.  Even his Calvinistic friends wished that Hooper might be exhorted to unite prudence and Christian lenity to the severity of discipline; and Peter Martyr cautioned him against the extreme bitterness which he used in preaching.] and he was committed to the custody of the Archbishop.  [On October 6, 1550, there is an entry in the Privy Council Register, which orders as follows: – “A letter to the Bishop of London, that whereas there hath been some difference betwixt him and the elect Bishop of Gloucester upon certain ceremonies belonging to the making of a bishop, wherein their Lordships desire is because they would in no wise the stirring up of controversies betwixt men of one profession, did send for him, willing to cease the occasions hereof, who humbly required that he might for declaration of his doings present in writing such arguments as moved him to be of the opinion he held, which thing was granted, and was by their Lordships’ commandment to be at the Court on Sunday next, bringing with him that he shall for answer have thought convenient, touching his old matter of denial to wear such apparel as other bishops wear.  He had been before ordered to keep his house, unless to go for advice to the Archbishop or the Bishop of Ely, London, or Lincoln, and not to preach or read without license from Court; but it appeared that he had not kept his house, and that he had printed a book with matter which he ought not to have written.  He was now committed to custody of the Archbishop, to be reformed or to be punished.”  Ridley wrote a rather elaborate treatise on “The use of the appointed vestments in the Church of England,” the MS. of which is preserved in the Phillipps Library at Cheltenham.  It was printed, oddly enough, at the end of Bradford’s Letters, etc. (pp. 375–395), by the Parker Society.]

         On January 27, 1551, Cranmer wrote to the Council that Hooper was still obstinate, and he was then sent for a few days to the Fleet, a course of treatment which immediately converted him.  On March 8, 1551, he was consecrated with the ceremonies which he abhorred, and in the “Aaronic habits” which he loathed.  He then went down to his diocese to unchurch the Gloucestershire clothiers, who were well prepared for stretching and adulterating their religion by those habits of racking their cloth, and “thicking him again” with flock powder, for which they had been so severely rebuked by their plain-spoken Bishop, things “Father Latimer”.  Under Hooper’s severe rule altars were destroyed, chancels wrecked, and Divine Service degraded in the dioceses of Gloucester and Worcester, [For, shortly after his consecration to Gloucester, this self-confident Presbyterian Bishop eagerly took upon himself the spiritual charge of Worcester diocese also, although Gloucestershire was at that time one of the most densely populated manufacturing counties in England.] as they had been in that of London, when he had influence with the King and Council.

         When churches were thus treated by those who should have been especially their guardians, it is not surprising that their sacred character was altogether lost sight of by the multitude.  “In many churches,” writes Strype, “cathedral as well as other, and especially in London, many frays, quarrels, riots, blood-sheddings were committed.  They used also commonly to bring horses and mules into and through churches, and shooting off handguns, ‘making the same, which were properly appointed to God’s Service and Common Prayer, like a stable or common inn, or rather a den, or sink of all unchristiness,’ as it was expressed in a proclamation which the King set forth about this time, as I suppose (for I am left to conjecture the date), by reason of insolence of great numbers using the said evil demeanors, and daily more and more increasing, ‘therein forbidding any such quarrelling, shooting, or bringing horses and mules into or through the churches, upon pain of his Majesty’s indignation and imprisonment.’” [Strype’s Cranmer, ii. 89, ed. 1848.  The Grey Friars’ Chronicle also notices that on June 14, 1550, there was a fray in the cathedral, and a man slain there; that in the same year were many frays in St. Paul’s; that a man broke his neck catching pigeons in the cathedral; and that another man was slain on February 19, 1552 (Grey Friars’ Chron., pp. 67, 73), no notice being taken of these desecrations.  Malcolm states that in Queen Elizabeth’s reign a large dunghill, which would have filled four carts, had accumulated within the cathedral; that men walked about it with their hats on their heads; that butchers and water carriers passed through it with their wares without reproof; and that drunkards and vagabonds might be found at all hours sleeping on the benches at the choir door. (Malcolm’s Londinium Redivivum, iii. 71.)]  In the twelfth of some Articles for carrying out Edward VI’s Injunctions, it was necessary to order “that the churchwardens suffer no buying nor selling, gaming, or unfitting demeanour in church or churchyards, especially during the Common Prayer, the Sermon, and reading of the Homily,” and “talking and jangling in church in time of Divine Service” is also very frequently referred to in similar documents.  “If there be a sermon at Paul’s Cross,” says a contemporary writer, “after they have tarried there awhile to hear some news and the preacher at the prayers, Lord! how they vanish away in clusters, repairing  into Paul’s, and either buy or sell some bargain in the body of the church, or else tell some tale of an ass’ shadow.” [Huggard’s Displaying of Prot., fol. 50.]  So gross, indeed, did the profanation of St. Paul’s become, that a few days after the spire – far the tallest ever built – had been destroyed by fire in 1561, Bishop Pilkington attributed the calamity to this cause, and says in his sermon respecting it, “God, and not man, will be glorified in God’s house.  God’s house must be a house of prayer, and not the proud tower of Babylon, nor the Pope’s marketplace, nor a stewer for bawds and ruffians, nor a horse fair for brokers, nor yet a house for merchants, nor a meeting place for walking and talking.  If a convenient place to meet for honest assemblies cannot be found nor had conveniently other where, a partition might be had to close up and shut the praters from pray-ers, the walkers and janglers from well-disposed persons, that they should not trouble the devout hearers of God’s Word, so that the one should not hear nor see the other. ... No place has been more abused than Paul’s has been, nor more against the receiving of Christ’s Gospel; wherefore it is more marvel that God spared it so long, rather than that He overthrew it now.”

         No wonder that in the Homily “On Repairing and Keeping Clean of Churches” the writer indignantly exclaims, “Churches were formerly defiled with sinful and superstitious filthiness, but although they are scoured and swept from that, they are now defiled with rain and weather, with dung of doves and owls, stares and choughs, and other filthiness, as it is foul and lamentable to behold in many places of this country”; while, instead of being regarded as the house of prayer, it is used as “the house of talking, of walking, of brawling, of minstrelsy, of hawks, of dogs.”  Nor can we wonder either that men who had grown into mature years under a religious system which knew none of these profanations should associate them with the changes which had taken place; and while they were filled with righteous indignation on the one hand, should also have a strong reactionary feeling on the other, under the conviction that “the old was better.”

 

§ 4.  The Influence of Foreigners.

         Another powerful cause of this reactionary tendency is to be found in the disgust which was felt by thoroughly English-minded men such as Gardiner, and there were many such, at the influential positions which were assigned to Lutheran and Calvinist foreigners, and at the slavish submission with which Cranmer and the Puritanizing party bowed to their opinions.  Refugees have never been a blessing to England either in Church or State; but at the epoch of the Reformation their conspiracies against the Church of England went near to overthrowing its principles and reducing it to a spiritual ruin.

         The first mention of these foreign religionists is in an official letter from Archbishop Cranmer to the Bishop of London – extant in the Register of the Bishop – in which he directs that Bernardine Ochinus, an Italian Lutheran, shall be permitted to preach in St. Paul’s Cathedral, and that forms shall be provided “for the Italians to sit, because their manner is not long to stand.”  Ochinus (1487–1564) had been a Capuchin monk, and confessor to Pope Paul III, but became a Lutheran when he was about sixty years of age, and at the beginning of Edward’s reign was invited to England by Cranmer, with whom he lived for some time at Lambeth, superintending the Italian Protestants in London.  But being superseded in this post, he was made Prebendary of Canterbury on May 9, 1548.  On the King’s death he left England, and became minister of an Italian congregation at Zurich.  But in 1563 he was driven from that city by the authorities because of his advocacy of polygamy, and, flying to Moravia, he joined the Socinians there.

         At this time it was said that there were as many as five thousand Germans in London, [Orig. Lett., Park. Soc., pp. 336, 352.] besides a large number of French Calvinists and Polish Zwinglians of Socinian tendencies.  The leader of the Polish refugees was John Laski or A’Lasco, a very intimate friend of Cranmer, and long his guest, who had considerable influence both with the Archbishop and with the Duke of Somerset.  After living at Lambeth Palace for many months he was, in 1550, appointed “superintendent,” or Presbyterian Bishop, of all foreign congregations in the metropolis, the beautiful monastic church of the Austin Friars in Broad Street being assigned to him.  Here he established a regular Presbyterian form of Church government, with a service book in which all the sacerdotal and sacramental principles of the Prayer Book of 1549 were carefully avoided, and in which the ritual forms, such as sitting at the Communion and the disuse of ecclesiastical vestments, were those afterwards adopted by the Puritans. [There is a good account of this book in the British Magazine, xv. 612, xvi. 127.]  To Bishop Hooper and his school this Alascan system was perfection, as it probably was to the young King also, with whom A’Lasco was admitted to some degree of intimacy.  His influence was very great, and had much weight in the agitation which led to the revision of the Prayer Book in 1552, though happily his substitute for it was not adopted.  He was also one of the Commissioners for the review of the Ecclesiastical Law of England.

         Similar congregations were established in the Cathedral of Canterbury and in the Monastery of Glastonbury – the former under the patronage of the Archbishop, the latter under that of the Duke of Somerset; and the Presbyterian form of worship which Cranmer thus established in his cathedral is still allowed to have a home there, although the Glastonbury congregation quickly migrated to Frankfort.  [The Glastonbury congregation was formed of French and Belgian cloth weavers, and Pullain, or Valerandus Pollanus, their leader, was appointed as their ecclesiastical “superintendent”.  In the Privy Council Register there is an entry on October 28, 1551, ordering that certain strangers brought to Glastonbury by the Duke of Somerset shall be gently used, and have an allowance made them.  On March 22, 1552, the Council sent a letter to the Bishop of Bath and others to arrange for the strangers to be accommodated in the void rooms of the monastery, which are to be furnished for them.  They are also to receive £500 out of the Duke of Somerset’s lands.  On November 29, 1552, another order granted them land for thirty-six families, each to have enough for keeping two kine.  See also Strype’s Cranmer, ii. 286, ed. 1848.]

         But the influence of these Presbyterian foreigners was brought to bear most effectually by appointing some of them to important posts in the universities.  Thus Martin Bucer was appointed Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge in 1548, and Paul Fagius first, and after his death John Emmanuel Tremellio or Tremellius, was made Regius Professor of Hebrew in the same university in 1550, Cavalier, a Frenchman, being licensed to assist Tremellius, while Peter Martyr was also appointed Canon of Christ Church and Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford in 1550.

         John Emmanuel Tremellio was an Italian Jew, born at Ferrara in 1510, converted to Christianity by Cardinal Pole, and afterwards persuaded to become a Calvinist by Peter Martyr.  In April 1549 he and his wife were living at Lambeth; shortly afterwards he was sent to Cambridge to lecture on Hebrew; in 1550 he was appointed Regius Professor of Hebrew, and in 1552 a Canonry at Carlisle was added to his emolument.  He seems to have kept aloof from controversy, but the tendency of his teaching must necessarily have been in the same direction as that of the other foreign Protestants.  Tremellius did not return to England after Queen Mary’s death, and died at Sedan, where he taught Hebrew, on October 9, 1580.

         Peter Martyr, so named after a Milanese saint, but whose real surname was Vermiglio, was born at Florence in the year 1500, and became an Augustinian monk in that city.  Afterwards he was successively Abbot of Spoleto, of the Augustinian Monastery of St. Peter ad Aram at Naples, and Prior of St. Fridian’s Monastery at Lucca.  About 1542 he left Italy in company with Ochinus, and joined Bucer at Strasburg.  There, in 1546, he married a nun and, coming to England on the death of Henry VIII, was made Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford in 1549.  This post he deserted on account of annoyances which he had to endure from the undergraduates, but consented to return to it on being also made Canon of Christ Church.  Queen Mary gave him a passport to return to Strasburg, and though invited to return to England on her death, he declined to do so, remaining at Zurich until his death in 1562.  The nun whom he had married died at Oxford, but a few years before his own death he married again.  The influence of Peter Martyr upon the anti-Catholic party among the Reformers was very considerable; and while at Oxford his pen was constantly employed against the doctrine of Christ’s Presence in the Holy Eucharist as set forth in the First Prayer Book of Edward VI.  He was also the principal working member of the Commission which produced the Reformatio Legum, [See above.] and appears to have used largely the hints given by Bucer in his work on the Kingdom of Christ.

         Martin Bucer, who tried to give dignity to his paternal name of Cowhorn by turning it into Greek, was born in 1491 at Schelestadt, in Lower Alsatia, and was a Dominican Friar at Strasburg until the age of thirty, when he became a friend and follower of Luther.  Ten years later he changed his theology again, and adopted the opinions of Zwingle.  In 1548 he was invited to England by Archbishop Cranmer and the Duke of Somerset, and after lecturing for some time at Cambridge, was appointed Regius Professor of Divinity there in 1550.  He was three times married, his first wife being a nun named Elizabeth Pallase, who bore him thirteen sons, only one of whom survived him, and that one being of weak intellect.  Bucer himself died at Cambridge on February 28, 1551.  His influence tended more than that of any other foreigner to turn the current of the English Reformation from the Catholic direction in which it naturally ran, into that which was taken by the Protestant communities abroad.  Something of the extravagance of his teaching is indicated in the outrageous theological proposition which he maintained before the University of Cambridge, namely, “That all good works which men seem to perform before justification are really sins, and merit the Divine displeasure; but after we are justified, good actions are necessarily done by us.”  He also maintained strongly the doctrine of the “Divine decrees,” by which one portion of mankind is supposed to be predestined and elected by God to salvation, and another portion to damnation, and opposed the doctrine of Christ’s Presence in the Holy Eucharist.  The use of chancels for Divine Service he declared to be anti-Christian; and that of vestments, including the surplice, highly objectionable, though not actually sinful.  He was also one of the party which endeavoured to forbid kneeling at prayers and the reception of the Holy Communion. [Like so many of the Puritans, Bucer had a special aversion to the use of church bells.]

         On New Year’s Day, March 25, 1550, Bucer presented Edward VI with the manuscript of a work which he had written in Latin, “Concerning the Kingdom of Christ.” [It was printed after the King’s death, under the title De Regno Christi libri duo.  Basle, 1557.]  In this work Bucer pressed the King to introduce a stern system of ecclesiastical discipline, under which punishments, especially excommunication and death, were to be dealt out broadcast.  Able-bodied men and women who would not work were, for example, to be excommunicated, men and women who committed adultery were to be put to death, and all the capital punishments ordered in the Mosaic Law were to be adopted into the law of England.  This book made a great impression upon the mind of the young King, and it seems to have been in consequence of studying it that he began to write “A Discourse about the Reformation of many Abuses,” in the first part of which occur the words, “The ecclesiastical” governance of this realm “consisteth in setting forth the Word of God, continuing the people in prayer, and the discipline. ... For discipline, it were very good that it went forth, and that those that did notably offend in swearing, rioting, neglecting of God’s Word, or such-like vices, were duly punished, so that those that should be executors of this discipline were men of tried honesty, wisdom, and judgment.” [Burnet’s Reform., v. 96, Pocock’s Ed.]  The place which this so-called “discipline” afterwards assumed in the ecclesiastical plans of the Puritans is shown hereafter. [See chap. vii.]  It was a system of religious tyranny which would have been intolerable to Englishmen, but it was supposed that Edward VI was resolved to introduce it, and that if he had lived to come of age he would, with Tudor determination, have imposed it on the nation.  Bucer’s book evidently influenced the Reformatio Legum, of which some account has been given in a previous chapter, [See above.] and was probably known to Peter Martyr, who had much to do with the latter.

         But the most permanent effect of Bucer’s influence was produced by his work on the First Prayer Book of Edward VI – that of 1549.  A’Lasco, Peter Martyr, Hooper, and Bucer appear to have been continually corresponding about the Prayer Book and the usages enjoined by it, and their bitter hatred of its principles at length resulted in the publication of Bucer’s “Censure,” [The full title is Censura Martini Buceri super libro Sacrorum, seu ordinationis ecclesiae atque ministerii ecclesiastici in regno Angliae, ad petitionem R. Archiepiscopi Cantuariensis, Thomae Cranmeri conscripta.] which was nominally a reply to Cranmer’s request for his opinion respecting the Prayer Book, but practically a criticism of its contents from an extreme anti-sacramental and anti-sacerdotalist point of view.  It can hardly be doubted that his many objections led to the review of the book, and that although a large number of them were disregarded, yet it was in deference to them that the Communion Service was so seriously altered, and especially that the Invocation of the Holy Ghost and the Commemoration of the Departed were dropped.  Under the same influence the office for baptism was altered by the disuse of exorcism, the chrisom or white robe, and the chrism, and that for the visitation of the sick by the disuse of anointing.  Happily his objections to kneeling at the Communion were vigorously opposed by Archbishop Cranmer and others, notwithstanding the support which they received from the Privy Council, and the tenacity with which they were urged by Bishop Hooper.  And upon the whole there is good reason to be thankful that the Prayer Book escaped so well from the severe trial to which it was subjected; the substantial principles to which Bucer and the other foreigners most objected having all survived those criticisms and assaults which good taste and feeling should have prevented such strangers to England and the Church of England from making.

         The last of these anti-Church foreigners who need be particularly named is the sturdy and uncompromising Presbyterian Scotchman John Knox; and of him nothing more need be said here than that he was a great favourite with Edward VI and the Privy Council during the whole of the reign; that he was appointed a general preacher in England in December 1547; was in the Commission for framing the Articles of Religion and for revising the Canon Law; that the Duke of Northumberland wished him to be made Bishop of Rochester, that he might “be a whetstone to the Archbishop of Canterbury”; and that he declined a London vicarage which was offered him by Crammer at the request of the Privy Council. [On February 2, 1553, the Privy Council Register contains an entry of “a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury in favour of Mr. Knoks to be presented to the Vicarage or Parsonage of All Hallows in Bread Street, in his disposition by the preferment of Thomas Sampson to the Deanery of Chichester.”  On June 2, 1553, is another of “a letter to Lord Russel, Lord Windsor, the Justices of the Peace, and the rest of the gentlemen of the county of Buckingham, in favour of Mr. Knocks the preacher.”]

         But in passing away from the subject, it should be added that the foreign influence was much strengthened by the circumstance that those here named, and many others, such as Paul Fagius, John Uttenhovius, Peter Alexander, and Francis Dryander, were intimate friends, associates, and literary assistants of Archbishop Crammer.  At the same time there was constant correspondence going on between some of them and Bullinger, Calvin, etc., on the affairs of the Church of England, and those attempts of Calvin to influence the Duke of Somerset which have already been mentioned. [See note in chap. i.]  Such a widespread conspiracy to overthrow the leading principles of the Church of England, and to mold it to those of the foreign non-episcopal communities, offers a very remarkable instance of Protestant Popery and Calvinistic Jesuitism.

 

§ 5.  The Princess Mary and the Government of Edward VI.

         From a statesman’s point of view the head of the reactionary party at this time would undoubtedly be the Princess Mary.  During the whole of her brother’s reign there was an apprehension in the minds of the ruling party that she would, either by marriage or by the persuasions of her mother’s relatives, bring England under subjection to Spain.  Among the Burleigh papers there is a copy of a circular letter to “divers Lords in the North, Wales,” etc., on this subject, of which the date is not given, but which probably was written in 1551.  It warns them that several strangers have lately visited the residence of the Princess by night, that she has been suddenly changing her residences, and laying in large stocks of provisions.  One passage is worth notice, though probably these suspicions were unfounded: “We shall always, as true and mere Englishmen, keep our country to be England, without putting our heads under Spainard’s or Fleming’s girdles as their slaves and vassals.” [Haynes’ State Papers, p. 118.]

         But the ostensible subject of contention between the Government of Edward VI and the Princess was a religious and not a political one; and the relations between her and the Privy Council form an important element in the history of the English Reformation, because they influenced the course of events during her subsequent reign.  The treatment which she received certainly established a deadly animosity between her and some of the reforming party, and filled her mind with prejudices against them as men whose religion was closely associated with treason towards herself.

         The life of the Princess had been spent under circumstances which were calculated to give her very unfavourable impressions of the Reformation.  For nearly ten years of that life, from the time when she was eleven years old until she had reached twenty, she was the daily witness of her mother’s sorrows and humiliations, and was in no small degree a partaker of them.  For another ten years of her life after Queen Catherine’s death she had her own bitter humiliations to bear, being branded with the stigma of illegitimacy, set aside from her rights of succession to the Crown, attached for some time to the household of her infant half-sister Elizabeth, and treated according to the style and rank which was assigned her, namely, as “the Lady Mary, the King’s natural daughter”.  These bitter wrongs were inflicted by a Sovereign who was regarded as the chief supporter of the Reformation; and the person who had been his principal instrument in inflicting them upon her was Cranmer, who was regarded as its ecclesiastical leader in England.  If the reader will endeavour to place himself abreast of these circumstances, he will not fail to understand how entirely the Princess Mary’s mind must have been fortified against any sympathy with a religious movement which was so mixed up with her mother’s wrongs and her own.  Women may sometimes love their enemies, but experience of human nature leads one to doubt whether any woman in the situation of Mary would have done otherwise than hate Cranmer and his allies from the very bottom of her heart.

         When her half-brother, Edward VI, succeeded to the throne at ten years of age, the Princess herself was thirty-one years old.  Some kindly and even affectionate letters had passed between them during the King’s childhood, [Halliwell’s Letters of the Kings of England.] but when the Duke of Northumberland came into power, Edward developed a precocious intolerance, and this – after having been thwarted by the determination of his sister – culminated in his attempt to substitute Lady Jane Grey, a girl twenty-one years younger than Mary, and four below her in the succession, as his immediate successor on the throne.

         The Princess is unlikely, from the Spanish influences under which she was brought up, to have looked favourably on the changes which had been made in the Church of England during her father’s reign, but these changes still left the old Salisbury Missal and Breviary in use, and in other respects interfered little with her devotional customs.  But when the use of the Missal and Breviary was forbidden, and she was required to adopt with others the customs of the English Prayer Book, the Princess resolutely refused to make any change in the services of her chapel, and was consequently brought into collision with the young King, and with those who governed in his name.  A week after the Act of Uniformity, with the Book of Common Prayer annexed, came into force – that is, on June 16, 1549 – we find an entry in the Privy Council Register to the following effect, several communications having already passed between her and the Council: “Upon information made to the Lord Protector’s Grace and Counsel that the Lady Mary’s Grace, contrary to the King’s Majesty’s proceedings and the laws of the realm established in that behalf by the last Act of Parliament, did use to have Mass said openly in her house, refusing to have there celebrated the Service of the Communion, ... their Lordships wrote to her Grace in that behalf, giving to her advice to be conformable and obedient to the observation of his Majesty’s laws, to give order that the Mass be no more used in her house, that she would embrace and cause to be celebrated in her said house the Communion and other Divine Services set forth by his Majesty.

         To the order thus given Mary replied in a letter to the Council, dated June 22, 1549, declaring that she had offended no law, unless the orders of the Privy Council were to be accounted laws, and she thought them not worthy such a name.  In her father’s time laws were not forced upon the country by Privy Councilors, but passed in Parliament, and so given to the people with their own consent.  As she had told the Duke of Somerset when she was last at court, she was quite ready to obey laws and to obey the King, but she would resist this assumption of all the authority of the Crown by the Privy Council.  The executors of her father’s Will were sworn to maintain the laws which were in existence when they were placed in office, but there was no authority to make new laws until the King came of age to give his free consent to them.

         This letter of the Princess was answered two days afterwards by the Council in a long and wordy communication sent to her chaplain, Dr. Hopton, and which he was ordered to read to her.  In this they claimed obedience to the boy King, acting under their advice, in exactly the same degree as obedience was required to a King of full age; and they tried to convince her by quoting “a saying of Solomon from the sixth chapter of the Book of Wisdom.” [Foxe, vi. 7–10; Ellis’ Orig. Lett., I. ii. 161, is a draft of Mary’s reply.]  Perhaps the question was really one that admitted of both views.  No regency had been appointed by Parliament, and therefore the action of the Privy Council which had been appointed Regent by the Will was not limited by Statute, as it would be in the present day.  On the other hand, it was clear that the intention of Henry VIII to leave everything as it stood at his death until the boy King was of age could not entirely be carried out without much inconvenience and perhaps danger to the nation.  The authority of the Crown could not be suspended to such an extent as Mary maintained that it ought to have been for eight or nine years; but it would have been much more in accordance with the principles of the constitution if the Council had abstained from heroic legislation while the King was in his minority, and had contented themselves with introducing only such new laws as were actually necessary for the safe administration of Government.  What they did was to use their accidental authority for furthering the progress of the Reformation in a direction which pleased the Puritan agitators, but which alienated for a time the great bulk of the people.

         A few weeks after this correspondence between Mary and the Privy Council – sometime in August, 1549 – the King himself wrote her a letter in which he remonstrated with his sister for her refusal to conform to the Book of Common Prayer, but at the same time gave her permission to hold a service according to the old form for herself and her household in her own apartments. [Cal. State Papers, Dom.  Mary, p. 22.]  Whether she dropped the service in her chapel and accepted this compromise does not appear, but nothing more seems to have been said about the matter for more than a twelvemonth. [Meanwhile there seems to have been some “tuning of the pulpits,” for on August 31, 1550, Stephen Caston preached against the Lady Mary in St. Paul’s.  (Grey Friars’ Chron., p. 67.)]  On December 2, 1550, it was again revived, the Princess being now attacked through her chaplains and other members of her household, against whom the Privy Council brought indictments for celebrating Mass, and whom they endeavoured to arrest.  Further correspondence took place between the Princess, the Privy Council, and the King, the letters being all very lengthy, and those of the Privy Council very rambling.  Edward’s own interest in the matter was very keen, as is shown by the entries in his journal.  On December 15, 1550, he notes that “there was letters sent for the taking of certain chaplains of the Lady Mary for saying Mass, which she denied.” [Edward VI. Journ.; Burnet’s Ref., v. 31.]  On March 15, 1551, the Princess came to St. John’s, Clerkenwell, her London house, for a few days, and on the 18th visited her brother at Westminster, [Machyn enters this visit in his Diary [spelling modernized]: “The 15th day the Lady Mary rode through London into St. John’s her place, with fifty knights and gentlemen in velvet coats and chains of gold afore her, and after her four score gentlemen and ladies, every one having a pair of bead of black.  She rode through Cheapside and through Smithfield.  The 17th. Day” – Edward says the 18th – “my lady Mary rode through from Saint John’s through Fleet Street unto the court to Westminster with many noble men of lords and knights and gentlemen and ladies and gentlewomen, and at the court got she alighted, and M. Wingfield, the controller of the king’s house, and many lords and knights, and so she was brought through the hall unto the chamber of presence; and so she tarried there and ate a goodly banquet two hours, and soon after she took her horse and rode unto Saint John’s; and there she lay all night, and on the morrow her Grace rode to New Hall in Essex, and there bid in grace with honor, thanks be God and the king her brother.”  (Machyn’s Diary, p. 5.)] nominally to have “a goodly banquet ii. hours,” but really to be examined and admonished by the Privy Council.  “The Lady Mary, my sister,” writes Edward, “came to me at Westminster, where after salutations she was called, with my Council, into a chamber, where 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.  She answered that her soul was God’s, and her faith she would not change, nor dissemble her opinion with contrary doings.  It was said, I constrained not her faith, but willed her not as a king to rule, but as a subject to obey; and that her example might breed much inconvenience.”  On the 19th “the Emperor’s ambassador came with short message from his master of war, if I would not suffer his cousin the Princess to use her Mass.  To this was no answer given at this time.”  On the 20th “the Bishops of Canterbury, London, Rochester, did consider to give license to sin, was sin; to suffer and wink at it for a time might be born, so all haste possible might be used.”  On the 23d “the Council having the Bishops’ answers,” and considering the danger to trade which war would bring, “decreed to send an ambassador to the Emperor, Mr. Wotton, to deny the matter wholly, and persuade the Emperor in it, thinking by his going to win some time for a preparation for a mart, conveyance of powder, harness, etc. for the surety of the realm.  In the mean season to punish the offenders, first of my servants that heard Mass, next of hers. [Edward VI’s Journal; Burnet’s Reform., v. 29, 32, Pocock’s Ed.]

         In accordance with the latter part of this resolution, Mary’s Serjeant Morgan was sent to the Fleet on the 19th for hearing Mass at St. John’s when the Princess was there, and Sir Anthony Browne also on the 22d.  On April 29th Dr. Mallet, one of her chaplains, was brought before the Council and committed to the Tower, and a correspondence immediately began again between the Princess and the Council, which lasted from May 2d to June 24th.  Edward notices this correspondence in entries dated June 22 and 24, 1551: “The Lady Mary letters to the Council, marveling at the imprisonment of Dr. Mallet, her chaplain, for saying of Mass before her household, seeing it was promised the Emperor’s ambassador she should not be molested in religion, but that she and her household should have the Mass said before them continually.”  The following entry is almost brutal, whether the Council or the Princess’ brother are responsible for the substance of it: “They answered, that because of their duties to King, country, and friends, they were compelled to give her answer that they would see not only him, but also all other Mass-sayers and breakers of order, straitly punished.  And that as for promise they had nor would give none to make her free from the punishment of the law in that behalf.” [Edward VI’s Journal, p. 39.]

         What was done in the meanwhile does not appear, but on August 9, 1551, the Privy Council Register begins again to be occupied with this business.  On that day there is an entry directing the issue of an Order of Council, setting forth how much his Majesty has travailed with the Lady Mary to bring her to conformity in religion, and how badly his goodness has been met.  Her head officers are therefore to be sent for, and charged that henceforth no other Divine Service is to be used in her house except that set forth by the laws of the realm.  The chaplains are also to be strictly so commanded.  At the return of these officers letters are to be sent to the same effect to the Lady Mary herself.  In obedience to this order Robert Rochester, her comptroller, Edward Walgrave, one of her counsel, and Sir Francis Englefield, her Grace’s servant, appeared on the 14th, and were admonished.  On suggesting that the Princess would dismiss them, they were ordered not to leave her service, but to see that the Order of Council was executed.  On the 22d they report that on the 15th they arrived at Copped-hall at night.  On Sunday they found her Grace was going to receive the Sacrament, and so would not trouble her before noon.  After dinner they delivered their letters, and offered to state what order the Council had given.  She told them it was unnecessary, as she knew that it was the same as in the letters, but at last heard them.  She was much offended, and charged them not to give the order to her chaplains and family.  If they did, they would cease to be her servants, and she should leave the house instantly.  “Upon this, the said Rochester, Inglefield, and Walgrave said to the Lords, that forasmuch as she oftentimes altered her colour, and seemed to be passioned and unquiet, they forbare to trouble her any further, fearing that the troubling of her might perchance bring her to her old disease.”  On the following Wednesday, the 20th, they went again to know her pleasure.  They found her steadfast in her resolve; and she utterly forbade them to disturb her and her household, who were in quiet, with their commission.  So they thought it better to return to the Council, bringing with them a letter from her Grace.  After making this report, each of the officers was spoken to alone and admonished; and each of them declared that they would rather endure any punishment or imprisonment than go through any more interviews with the Princess on this business, and Sir Francis Englefield added that “he could neither find it in his heart nor his conscience to do it.”

         A commission was then sent to the Princess, consisting of the Lord Chancellor, Secretary Petre, and “Sir Anthony Wingfield, Comptroller of the King’s Household, with a letter to her from the King, and with long instructions containing a summary of the previous transactions, and ordering that after their interview with the Princess they shall call together all the members of her household, and forbid them to celebrate the Mass, or to be present at its celebration.

         “Having thus proceeded with her Grace, as for the declarations of the causes of your coming, ye shall then cause to be called before you the chaplains and all the rest of the household there present; and in the King’s Majesty’s name most straitly forbid the chaplains either to say or use any mass or kind of service, other than by the law is authorized.  And likewise ye shall forbid all the rest of the company to be present at any such prohibited service, upon pain to be most straitly punished, as worthily falling into the danger of the King’s indignation; and a like charge to them all, that if any such offence shall be openly or secretly committed, they shall advertise some of his Majesty’s Council.  In the which clause ye shall use the reasons of their natural duty and allegiance that they owe as subjects to their sovereign lord, which derogateth all other earthly duties.” [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vi. 23, ed. 1837.]

         The Privy Council Register contains a graphic report, covering four pages, [See also Ellis’ Orig. Lett., II. i. 179.] of the interview between these commissioners and the Princess, that interview having taken place at Copthall on the day before – Friday, August 28, 1551, in the morning.  The Princess received the letters from the Lord Chancellor on her knees, and kissed them out of honour to the King’s signature, specially adding that it was not for the matter of them: “For the matter (said she) I take to proceed not from his Majesty, but from you of the Council.”  In the reading of the letter, which she did read secretly to herself, she said these words in our hearing, “Ah! good Mr. Cecill took much pain here.”  The Chancellor began a long speech, but she begged him to be short, for she was not well, and she would make them a short answer, although she had already written to the King.  “After this we told her at good length,” and then they offered to show her the names of the Council who were acting in the matter, but she declined, saying, “I know you to be all of one sort therein.”  After much more, she interrupted them again, told them she was a good subject, loved her brother, and would obey him in all reasonable things, even with her life; but rather than use any other service than that used at her father’s death, “she would lay her head on a block and suffer death.”  But she added, as if she thought the expression too boastful, “I am unworthy to suffer death in so good a quarrel.  When the King’s Majesty shall come to such years that he may be able to judge these things himself, his Majesty shall find me ready to obey his orders in religion”; but now, well informed as he is for his years, he is too young to understand these things.  If ships were to be sent out, or any other matter of national importance, would they trust the King’s judgement?  Much less in matters of divinity.  If her chaplains cannot say Mass, neither she nor her poor servants can have any.  If her chaplains were unwilling to incur the imprisonment, let them do as they like, “but none of your new service shall be used in my house, and if any be said in it, I will not tarry in the house.”

         Then the long-winded Lord Chancellor Goodrich, Bishop of Ely, scolded her for making her servants disobey the Council, and she retorted that it was not a very wise Council to appoint her servants to control her in her own house.  But they knew her, and she knew them, and she knew that if they had spoken to her as the Council wished, they would have spoken against their own consciences.

         They then “at good length” went into the Emperor’s business, and she told them the thing had once been promised; she had it under the Emperor’s hand, and she believed the Emperor more than all the counsellors put together – a set of men whom her father had made, most of them, out of almost nothing.  She should let the Emperor’s ambassador know how she was used at their hands.

         Then they presented their instructions to leave one of their number as comptroller instead of Rochester.  She replied that she was old enough to appoint her own servants, and if they did so she would leave the house.  “I am sickly (quoth she), and yet I would not die willingly, but will do the best I can to preserve my life; but if I shall chance to die, I will protest openly that you of the Council be the causes of my death; you give me fair words, but your deeds be always ill towards me.”  Then she left them, giving on her knees a ring to the Lord Chancellor for the King; and expressing her belief that they would not tell the King the message she sent him – so thoroughly did she mistrust the Council.

         As they were leaving she called them to a window, and made them stand in the courtyard while she sent a contemptuous message to the Council, requesting them to send back her comptroller.  “For since his departing I take the account myself of my expenses, and learn how many loaves of bread be made of a bushel of wheat.  And I wish my father and mother never brought me up with baking and brewing; and, to be plain with you, I am weary of my office, and, therefore, if my Lords will send mine officer home, they shall do me pleasure; otherwise, if they will send him to prison, I beshrew him if he go not to it merely and with a good will.  And I pray God to send you to do well in your souls and bodies, for some of you have but weak bodies.”  It was a woman’s postscript.

         After this determined reception and dismissal of the commissioners, the Princess seems to have been no more molested.  Her courage in maintaining her rights as a daughter of Henry VIII could not fail to win respect; her weak health possibly brought her some pity, and the possibility of her early succession to the Crown may have excited some apprehensions of danger to themselves in the minds of her persecutors.  The Privy Councilors took their revenge by sending Rochester, Englefield, and Walgrave to the Tower on the same day that the preceding report was made, and special orders were given that they should be confined separately, without the use of pens, ink, or paper, and that they were only to be allowed to hold communication with one attendant.  At the same time the coast was watched to prevent secret communication between the Princess and the Emperor, Edward entering in at he his journal that “certain pinnaces were prepared to see that there should be no conveyance over sea of the Lady Mary secretly done”; and for greater security it was ordered “that when I came from this progress to Hampton Court or Westminster, both my sisters should be with me till further orders were taken for this purpose.” [Edward VI’s Journal, p. 46.]

         Although the ambassador of the Emperor interceded on behalf of the Princess’s officers, they were kept in close confinement until March 18, 1552, when the Privy Council gave orders that they should be permitted to leave the Tower, “and go to their houses in the country for air, their health being so bad.”  A few weeks afterwards, on April 14, 1552, there is a final entry on the subject, directing that they should “go to the Princess Mary, according to her desire.”

         It would seem as if the final fall of the Duke of Somerset, and his execution on January 22, 1552, the King made some difference in the treatment of the Princess Mary, for she appears now to have been ostensibly on good terms with the King and the Council up to the end of the reign.  She paid a visit to her brother at Greenwich on June 13, 1552,* and at Westminster on February 10, 1553.**  She was on her way to visit him again on July 7, 1553, when a courier reached her with the information that the young King had died the night before.

         *[[Spelling modernized.]  “The 11th day of June came riding to London my lady Mary’s grace through London unto Saint John’s with a goodly company of gentlemen and gentle women.  The 13th day of June rode through London unto the Tower wharf my lady Mary grace, the King’s sister, and took her barge to Greenwich, the King’s court, and so came again at six a-clock at night, and so landed at the Tower, and so unto Saint John’s beyond Smithfield.”  (Machyn’s Diary, p. 20.)]

         **[[Spelling modernized.]  “The sixth day of February came to London and rode through London my lade Mary’s grace, the King’s sister, with a great number of lords and knights, and her grace a great number of ladies and gentlewomen and gentlemen to the number of two hundred horses, and through Chepe unto Saint John’s.  The tenth day of February rode my lady Mary’s grace from Saint John’s and through Fleet Street unto the King at Westminster with a great number of lords and knights, and all the great women ladies, the duchess of Suffolk and Northumberland, my lady marquess of Northampton, and lady marquess of Winchester, and the counts of Arundel, my lady Clinton, my lady Browne and Browne, and many more ladies and gentlewomen; and at the other gate there met her my lord of Suffolk and my lord of Northumberland, my lord of Winchester, my lord of Bedford, and the earl of Shrewsbury, the earl of Arundel, my lord Chamberlain, my lord Admiral, and a great number of knights and gentlemen, and so up unto the chamber of presence, and there the King’s grace met her and saluted her.”  (Machyn’s Diary, p. 30.)]

 

Chapter  V – Five Years of Ultramontanism Under Queen Mary,

1553–1558.

         As soon as it had become certain that the death of Edward VI was approaching, the party which had supported the Duke of Northumberland prepared their measures for setting his niece and daughter-in-law upon the throne, and for reconciling the nation to this substitution of a private subject of doubtful origin for the daughter and sister of kings. [Four days before the death of the King, on the Festival of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin, the sermon at St. Paul’s Cross was preached by Hodgkins, Suffragan Bishop of Bedford, who ostentatiously omitted the names of the Princesses Mary and Elizabeth from the Bidding Prayer.]  But although the conspirators were the most powerful personages in the kingdom, and were headed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, their well-laid plans proved utterly abortive, their treason recoiled on their own heads, and within a fortnight the nation ran wild with joy at the proclamation of the rightful heir to the Crown.

 

§ 1.  The Circumstances Attending Queen Mary’s Accession.

         At the time of her brother’s last illness the Princess Mary was residing at Kenninghall, a house which she had in Norfolk, not far from Thetford.  There she received a letter in the name of the King and Privy Council, requiring her attendance at Court during the King’s illness; and she at once started for London.  She had arrived so near the end of her journey as Hodderdon, near Hatfield, when, as she rode forward early on the morning of Friday, July 7, 1553, a courier reached her from the Earl of Arundel with intelligence that her Mother had died the previous evening, that he had arranged for the succession of Lady Jane Grey to the throne, and that the Council intended to conceal his death from Mary until they had her safely lodged in the Tower.  It was an escape of a few hours only, for the Tower was but seventeen miles off; but Mary was prompt in action, and turning her horse’s head at once, she and her friends reached Kenninghall again the next evening.  A few days afterwards she retired to Framlingham Castle, in Suffolk, which was nearer the coast, and thus offered better facilities for escape to the Emperor in Flanders if necessary.

         From Kenninghall the Queen instantly wrote a politic letter to the Privy Council, dated July 9, 1553, expressing surprise that she had not yet received any intelligence of her brother’s death from them, but not doubting that they had good reasons of state for acting as they had done.  At the same time she had heard that there was a plot to deprive her of her right to the Crown, and therefore she required them upon their allegiance to proclaim her Queen in London and elsewhere, as she had already caused proclamation to be made in Norfolk.  To this letter the Privy Council replied that their “Sovereign Lady Queen Jane is ... invested and possessed with the just and right title” to the Crown, not only by the old custom of the realm,* but by the deceased King’s Letters Patent under the Great Seal.  They must therefore give their allegiance to Queen Jane, and no other.  They add that Henry VIII, having been divorced from her mother, she herself was “justly made illegitimate and unheritable to the Crown Imperial of this realm.”  They Council therefore require her to surcease from vexing and molesting “any of our Sovereign Queen Jane’s subjects from their true faith and allegiance due unto her Grace,” and promise that if she will remain quiet and obedient they will be ready to show her any reasonable favour that their duty will allow them to do.  This letter, signed by twenty-three Privy Councilors, the name of Archbishop Cranmer standing first, because he was the chief of the Council,” [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., viii. 86, ed. 1837.] but no other bishop except the Lord Chancellor signing the document.

         *[The actual places of Queen Mary and Lady Jane Grey in the succession may be seen by the following table:–

 

Henry VII.

Elizabeth, daughter of Edward IV.

Henry VIII.

Margaret — James IV of Scotland.

Mary — Brandon, Duke of Suffolk.

Mary, b. 1515. (2)

Elizabeth, b. 1533. (3)

Edward VI, b. 1537. (1)

James V.

Frances (5) — Grey, Duke of Suffolk.

 

 

 

Mary, Queen of Scots, b. 1542. (4)

Lady Jane Grey, b. 1537. (6)

 

            The original intention of Edward VI was to prevent the Crown from falling to a woman, as is shown by a paper which exists in his own handwriting, entitled, “My devise for the succession”.  The first and most important paragraph of this is as follows: – “For lack of issue of my body to the Lady Frances’ heirs-male, if she have any such issue before my death.  To the Lady Jane’s and her (sic) heirs-male.  To the Lady Katharine’s heirs-male.  To the Lady Mary’s heirs-male.  To the heirs-male of the daughters which she shall have hereafter.  Then to the Lady Margaret’s heirs-male.  For lack of such issue to the heirs-male of the Lady Jane’s daughters.  To the heirs-male of the Lady Katharine’s daughters, and so forth till you come to the Lady Margaret’s heirs-male.”  (Strype’s Cranmer, iii. 447, ed. 1854.)  The erasure and inter-lineation connected with the name of Lady Jane indicate the change produced in the young King’s intentions by the influence of the Duke of Northumberland.]

         The Dukes of Suffolk and Northumberland were now sent to Durham House to announce to Lady Jane Grey that she was made Queen, and on the next day, July 10, 1553, when she had been safely carried to the Tower with great state, she was proclaimed,* but “few or none said God save her.” [Grey Friars’ Chron., p. 79.]  On the same day a letter was written in the name of “Queen” Jane to the Marquis of Northampton, as Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, to give his allegiance to her against the “feigned and untrue claim of the Lady Mary, bastard daughter to our great-uncle Henry VIII” [Lanad. MS., 1236, f. 24.]; and on the Sunday, the16th, Bishop Ridley preached at Paul’s Cross, “and there,” as the Bishop of the Metropolitan Diocese, “called both the said ladies,” Mary and Elizabeth, “bastards, that all the people was sore annoyed with his words so uncharitably spoken by him in so open an audience.” [Grey Friars’ Chron., p. 78; Wriothealey’s Chron., ii. 88.]

         *[[Spelling modernized.]  “The 9th day of July was sworn unto the Queen Jane all the head officers and the guard as Queen of England.”

            “The 10th day of July was received into the Tower the Queen Jane with a great company of lords and nobles of ... after the queen, and the duchess of Suffolk, her mother, bearing her train, with many ladies, and there was a shot of guns and chambers has not be seen oft between four and five of the clock; by six of the clock began the proclamation the same afternoon of Queen Jane, with two heralds and a trumpet blowing that my lady Mary was unlawfully begotten, and so went through Chepe to Fleetstreet, proclaiming Queen Jane; and there was a young man taken that time for speaking of certain words of Queen Mary, that she had the right title.”  (Machyn’s Diary, p. 35.)  The next day this young man was put in the pillory, and had his ears cut off.  (Ibid.)

            The original proclamation is reserved in the British Museum.  (Lanad. 198.)  It is dated from the Tower on July 10, 1553.  In it Queen Jane is styled “of the Church of England, and also of Ireland, under Christ, in earth the Supreme Head.”  She is made to claim the Crown by right of Letters Patent, dated June 21st, in the seventh of the reign of Edward VI, which had been signed “in the presence of the most part of his nobles, his counsellors, his judges, and divers other grave and sage personages, for the profit and surety of the whole realm, thereto assenting and subscribing their names to the same.”  It declares Lady Mary and Lady Elizabeth to be “illegitimate and not lawfully begotten,” because both Catharine and Anne had been divorced “according to the Word of God and ecclesiastical laws,” both divorces having been “ratified and confirmed by authority of Parliament,” and both still “remaining in force, strength, and effect.”  Also, that these two ladies were “of the half-blood” to King Edward, and therefore by the ancient laws “not inheritable unto our said late cousin, although they had been born in lawful matrimony.”]

         But the girl “Queen” – she was only sixteen years of age – who had thus for the moment taken the place of the deceased boy King, had not the slightest hold upon the hearts of the people.  Cranmer, Ridley, her relations, and a few fanatical Puritans, were her only real subjects, while the bulk of the nation rallied at once round the daughter of a King whose popularity had never waned, notwithstanding all his crimes and tyrannies.  So hopeless did the cause of Northumberland’s puppet queen become, that, although on Wednesday, July 19th, Cranmer and sixteen others of the Privy Council wrote to Lord Rich, the Lord Lieutenant of Essex, that come what would they should remain steadfast to their Sovereign Queen Jane’s service; yet, on Thursday, July 20th, they actually wrote to Queen Mary declaring that they were her true subjects, and implored her pardon; Cranmer and thirteen other Privy Councilors writing at the same time to the Duke of Northumberland, in Queen Mary’s name, directing him to disarm his troops. [Strype’s Cranmer, iii. 6, 7, 9, 449, 451, ed. 1854.]  Northumberland tried to escape from the consequences of his rebellion by proclaiming Queen Mary, which he did at Cambridge on July 20th; the rest of the Council trusted to Mary’s clemency.  Bishop Ridley, who had preached at Paul’s Cross the Sunday before that the Queen was a bastard, rushed off to Framlingham to obtain pardon as soon as ever he saw that the bubble had burst; but he was taken prisoner at Ipswich, and lodged in the Tower at two in the afternoon of July 26th, so quick was justice in overtaking the rebels – Northumberland having been sent there, not without danger of being lynched by the crowds in the streets, on the previous day. [Grey Friars’ Chron., p. 81.]

         The unfortunate, though by no means blameless girl, Lady Jane Grey, had been proclaimed Queen on July 10th amidst the silent contempt of the people. [Hollinshed’s Chron., p. 1087.]  Ten days afterwards, on July 20th, Queen Mary was proclaimed amidst demonstrations of the greatest joy.  “At Paul’s,” says a contemporary, “there was Te Deum Laudamus with song, and the organs playing, and all the bells ringing through London, and bonfires and tables in every street, and wine, and beer, and ale, and every street full of bonfires, and there was money cast away” in largess. [Machyn’s Diary, p. 37.]  “Almost the whole nation,” writes another contemporary, “rose to her assistance; first of all the people of Norfolk and Suffolk, and then those of Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, and Essex. ... In these things our Oxford folk lead the van, and respecting them I must tell you something further.  At the proclamation of Jane they displayed nothing but grief.  At the proclamation of Mary, even before she was proclaimed in London, and while the event was yet doubtful, they gave such demonstrations of joy as to spare nothing.  They first of all made so much noise all the day long with clapping their hands that it seems still to linger in my ears.  Then even the poorest of them made voluntary subscriptions, and mutually exhorted each other to maintain the cause of Mary.  Lastly, at night they made a public feast, and threatened flames, hanging, the gallows, and drowning to all the Gospellers.” [Orig. Lett., Park. Soc., 388, 389.]  “Great was the triumph here at London,” writes another, “for my time I never saw the like, and by the report of other’s the like was never seen.  The number of caps that were thrown up at the proclamation were not to be told.  The Earl of Pembroke threw away his cap full of angels.  I saw myself money was thrown out at windows for joy.  The bonfires were without number, and what with shouting and crying of the people, and ringing of bells, there could no one man hear almost what another said; besides banqueting and supping in the streets for joy.”  At Northampton “Sir Thomas Gresham proclaimed her with the help and aid of the town, being borne amongst them whether he would or not.  Sir Nicolas Throgmorton being present, withstanding him to his power, was driven for safety of his life to take a house, and so being borne amongst divers gentlemen, escaped with much ado, the inhabitants would have killed him very fain.” [Madden’s Privy Purse Expenses, p. cxv.; Wriothesley’s Chron., ii. 89.]

         When Queen Mary halted near Hertford for the second time in that eventful three weeks, on this occasion at Hunsdon, an army of 30,000 had rallied round her, all serving without pay, for love of their Queen, but the needy being assisted as if by their officers. [Haynes’ State Papers, p. 157.]  On August 3, 1553, she entered London with a splendid train of attendants, and a royal guard of 3000 horsemen [[Spelling modernized.]  “The third day of August the Queen came riding to London, and so to the Tower, making her entrance at Aldgate, and a great number of streamers hanging about the said gate, and all the street unto Leadenhall and unto the Tower were laid with gravel and all the crafts of London stool in a row with their banners and streamers hanged over their heads.  Her Grace came, and a-fore her a thousand velvet coats and cloaks in brodere, and the mayor of London bare the mace, and the earl of Arundel bare the sword, and all the trumpets blowing; and next her my lady Elisabeth, and next her the duchess of Norfolk, and next her the marques of Exeter, and other ladies; and after her the aldermen, and then the guard with bows and gaffelens, and all the reseden departed at Aldgate in green and white, and red and white, and blue and green, to the number of three thousand horse and spears and gaffelens.”  (Machyn’s Diary, p. 38; see also Wriothesley’s Chron., ii. 93.)]; her sister, the Princess Elizabeth, riding by her side.  Their entrance to the Tower was signaled by a dramatic and touching incident.  In anticipation of her clemency the governor had allowed the state prisoners of her brother’s time to come out of their dismal chambers, and there knelt upon the green where she would assuredly have been beheaded had Northumberland got her into his power; the young Lord Courtenay, who had been in prison for thirteen years, although he was only twenty-five years of age; the old Duke of Norfolk, who, more fortunate than his son, the great Earl of Surrey, had escaped death by the skin of his teeth through the death of Henry; the Duchess of Somerset, who had been kept in prison by Edward VI ever since the execution of her husband, his uncle; and Bishop Gardiner, emaciated and thoroughly broken in health by a very rigid confinement of five years without books, pens, ink, paper, or society.  Gardiner made a short address to the Queen, who was greatly affected at the sight, and as she gave each of them her hand to kiss, she granted them their liberty, an earnest of their immediate restoration to their honours.

         The Queen’s treatment of those who had endeavoured to deprive her of her Crown was exceedingly merciful.  A list of those who had been imprisoned on account of Lady Jane’s rebellion was put into her hands, and she at once struck off sixteen, leaving only eleven to be tried, namely, the Duke of Northumberland, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Marquess of Northampton, the Earl of Warwick, and his brothers the Lords Ambrose and Guildford Dudley, Lady Jane Dudley, Sir Andrew Dudley, Sir John Gates, Sir Henry Gates, and Sir Thomas Palmer. [Haynes’ State Papers, pp. 192,193.]  Of these eleven, only three – the Duke, Gates, and Palmer – were at that time tried and condemned to die, and they alone suffered the penalty of high treason, being executed on August 22d.  On November 13th Cranmer, Lords Ambrose, Henry, and Guildford Dudley, and Lady Jane, were arraigned at Guildhall under an Act of Attainder (1 Mar. sess. 3, cap. 16), and “they all five were cast for to die” [Machyn’s Diary, 48.]; but it was not until after the rebellion headed by her father, the Duke of Suffolk, and Sir Thomas Wyatt, that Lady Jane Grey and her husband were, on February 12, 1554, executed.

 

§ 2.  The Fall of Archbishop Crammer.

         The lead in ecclesiastical affairs necessarily dropped from Archbishop Cranmer’s hands when his partisanship had landed him in high treason.  For a few weeks he was allowed to remain a prisoner at large in his palace at Lambeth.  [He dates a letter to Cecil, “From Lambeth, this 14th day of this month of August,” and speaks of having seen Cecil at Court, but not daring to speak to him.  (Jenkyns’ Cranmer’s Rem., i. 360.)  On August 27th he was summoned to appear during the next week, in company with Sir Thomas Smith and the Dean of St. Paul’s, before Her Majesty’s Commissioners sitting in the Consistory of St. Paul’s.  These were the delegates who acted for the Crown in ecclesiastical pauses, and who were now appointed to hear Bonner’s appeal from the sentence of deprivation pronounced upon him by Crammer, Ridley, Smith, and May.  The Archbishop, Bishop Ridley, and Dean May appeared by their proctors, but Smith did not appear.  (Strype’s Mem. Eccl., III. i. 35, 36, ed. 1822.)]

         On the 7th of September, however, he was called before the Privy Council on account of a broadside published in his name, and really written by him, though printed without his knowledge.  This production was intended to contradict a report which had been spread that he had offered to say Mass at the funeral of Edward VI, and that he had said or restored Mass at his cathedral.  As he had said Mass some thousands of times during about twenty-seven of the thirty years which had elapsed since his ordination as priest, it might have been supposed that he could have answered the charge, if he answered it at all, with humility and temperance. [Cranmer’s temper was so irritable when he was opposed, that, when the Duke of Northumberland once spoke contemptuously of his reforming measures, he “ad duellum provocaret,” as his successor Parker (Parker’s Antiq. Brit., p. 341), or “offered to combat with the Duke,” as his secretary Morris puts it.  (Morris, in Strype’s Cranmer, iii. 360, ed. 1884.)]  Instead of doing so, he wrote a most arrogant and combative document, beginning, “As the devil, Christ’s ancient adversary, is a liar, and the father of lying, even so hath he stirred his servants and members to persecute Christ and His true word and religion, which he ceaseth not to do most earnestly at this present”; and offering that if the Queen will only give him the assistance of Peter Martyr, he will prove to everybody that she is in the wrong, and he in the right.  Some of the Privy Council endeavoured to bring him to a gentler mind, and so help him to escape from his false position, but the Archbishop grew more and more testy, declaring that he had intended to expand the document and put it on the doors of all the churches in London.  He was dismissed for the time, but told that he would hear more of the business.  It seems then to have been concluded that Cranmer’s personal dislike of the Queen, in association with the part which he had taken in setting up Lady Jane Grey, made it dangerous for him to be left free.  He was therefore committed to the Tower a week afterwards, [The Privy Council Register contains an entry on September 14, 1553, as follows: “This present day Thomas, Archbishop of Canterbury, appearing before the Lords (as he was the day before appointed), after long and serious debating of his offence by the whole Board, it was thought convenient that, as well for the treason committed by him against the Queen’s Highness as for the aggravating of the same his offence by spreading abroad seditious bills, moving tumults to the disquietness of the present State, he should be committed to the Tower, there to remain, and be referred to justice, or further ordered, as shall stand with the Queen’s pleasure.”  (Haynes’ State Papers, p. 184.)] and he never regained his liberty.  A month later, Parliament passed the Act of Attainder against him, as also against Lady Jane, her husband, and the other two Dudleys, and this Act was carried into effect on November 13th, when they were all five arraigned at Guildhall and condemned for high treason.  By this Act of Attainder Cranmer’s life was placed at the mercy of the Crown, like the life of any other traitor.  He also ceased to be Archbishop of Canterbury, and the affairs of the see were administered in the usual manner, “sede vacante,” by the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury from that time until the appointment of his successor, Cardinal Pole, in 1556. [During this time a separate register was kept, entitled, “Vacatio sedis Metropoliticae Christi Cantuariensis post depositionem Thomas Cranmer … sub annis 1553, 1554, et 1555,” etc.]  He did not, of course, cease to be a bishop, but he lost his jurisdiction, and ceased to be the bishop of any see.

         Soon after his condemnation as a traitor to the Crown, Cranmer earnestly entreated the Queen to grant him an interview; but she would not see him, having a personal repugnance towards the man who had divorced her beloved mother and pronounced herself to be an illegitimate daughter.  He was excepted from the general pardon issued at the coronation, and then he sent up a petition to the Crown for a separate pardon; but he petitioned for some time in vain, though his life was spared as a matter of policy – not as a matter of mercy – for two years and a half after his committal to the a Tower. [Strype’s Cranmer, iii. 19, note, ed. 1854.]

         And assuredly Cranmer had no special claim to mercy at that time, either as a man or a subject.  Whatever good qualities he may have had, he himself knew nothing of mercy.  His disposition was so harsh and unloving that he was himself unloved, and neither wife nor children nor acquaintances showed the slightest personal interest in him from the time that he was sent to the Tower to the time that he was burned in Oxford.  His life had been one of ambition and haughty self-willedness.  He had vaulted into the throne of Canterbury and the popedom of the English Church by assisting, with a perseverance that never hesitated, to crush the gentle and pious Queen Catharine.  He assisted also with the greatest readiness in bringing Anne Boleyn, her successor, to the block on Tower Green.  He backed all Cromwell’s most cruel policy.  He took an active part in sending Anne Askew, Lambert, Joan Butcher, and Van Parre to be burned for their religious opinions.  He persecuted his dangerous suffragan, Gardiner, with rancorous hatred, and insulted him when his hands were tied behind his back.  He showed no sign of forbearance when the Privy Council were hunting down Mary while she was Princess.  He was one of those who endeavoured to entrap her into the Tower after her brother’s death, who set up Jane as Queen instead of her, and who would undoubtedly have sent Mary to the block had she not been too quick for them.  Such a man was not amenable to mercy, and it does not appear that any one pleaded for his pardon except himself.

         But the character and previous conduct of Cranmer suggested that he might still be made useful.  Queen Mary had already fallen under the influence of those who desired to go much further than the reactionary party in matters of religion; and the life of Cranmer was spared out of policy.  It was hoped that since he had acknowledged his error as regarded the succession to the Crown, so also he would acknowledge that he had been mistaken in allowing himself to be made the chief instrument for the extinction of the Pope’s authority over England.  In a long address which was made to him by Brooks, Bishop of Gloucester, in St. Mary’s Church, Oxford, on September 12, 1555, the Bishop stated that he acted under a commission “partly from the Pope’s holiness, partly from the King and Queen’s most excellent Majesties,” and the tenor of the address shows how important an object this was considered even to the last.  After showing how all his errors and all his misfortunes had arisen from his rejection of the Papal Supremacy, Brooks exhorted him again to recognize it, and “it is ten to one,” he added, “that whereas you were Archbishop of Canterbury and Metropolitan of England – it is ten to one, I say, that ye shall be as well still, yea, and rather better.” [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., viii. 48, ed. 1838.]  Long affliction had now, however, brought out the better qualities of the man, the Bishop, and the Christian, and Cranmer was not to be seduced by the proffered bribe. [Although the Pope had appointed Cardinal Pole to the Archbishopric on December 11th in the preceding year, he was not consecrated until six months after Brooks made this half-promise – on March 22, 1556, the day after Cranmer had been burned – and thus the suggested restoration was actually possible at the time when it was thus insidiously put before Cranmer.]  But in the earlier days of his imprisonment there might have been more probability of his accepting it, and his life was undoubtedly spared in the hope that he would eventually agree to the policy of the Ultramontane party behind the throne, and facilitate the changes which they desired to make.

 

§ 3.  The Restoration of the Papal Power.

         But the course taken by the Queen and her Government did not for some time indicate any intention of restoring the jurisdiction and authority of the Pope, Gardiner, her principal adviser before her marriage, being decidedly opposed to such a restoration; and if the Queen herself had any inclination towards it, her private feelings were not suffered to influence her public policy until they had been worked upon by the agents of Cardinal Pole and of her future husband.  [Bishop Gardiner had been sworn in a Privy Councilor on August 5th.  On the following day orders were sent by the Privy Council to Lord Northampton’s officers to leave the Bishop of Winchester’s house in the Clink, and suffer the Bishop’s folks to enter immediately.  On August 23d he was appointed Lord Chancellor, and held that office until his death in 1556.  Gardiner Bonner, Tunstall, Heath, and Day were all restored to the bishoprics of which they had been deprived by suits of appeal before the Court of Delegates, which reversed the sentences of deprivation.]

         The association of the leading Reformers with the rebellion of the Duke of Northumberland did indeed tend at once to bring discredit on all that had been done under their influence in the preceding reign.  Their singularly impolitic short-sightedness in respect to that rebellion had also brought into power those who had regarded the legislation of Edward’s reign with great disfavour, and who had suffered the loss of office and liberty at the hands of the party by which it was originated and carried out.  Thus it happened that the course of government underwent one of those violent wrenches which are not altogether unknown even in modern times when one party is displaced by another.  As the policy of a Wellington was succeeded by that of a Grey in 1830, or that of a Beaconsfield by that of a Gladstone in 1880, so was the policy of Cranmer succeeded by that of Gardiner in 1553.

 

Earlier attitude towards Rome.

         But although there was a bouleversement of policy in some respects, there was no immediate intention of falling back upon the medievalism which had been discarded a quarter of a century before.  This retrogression was an afterthought, and resulted in the ultramontanism which gave so ghastly a colour to the reign of Queen Mary.  The first intention of the new sovereign and the new ministry was to obliterate as much as possible the reforming legislation of the previous reign, and to fall back upon that of Henry VIII, a course of action which was in exact agreement with the opinions uniformly expressed by the Queen, by Gardiner, and by the reactionary party in general, during the time of the young King.

         This characteristic of the ecclesiastical policy of Queen Mary’s early reign may be illustrated from three points of view.

         I.  The first of these is the maintenance of the Queen’s style for nearly ten months in the same form in which it had been used by Henry VIII after his restoration of the Royal Supremacy.  When a Parliament was called together three months after her accession, it was summoned in the name of “Mary, by the Grace of God, Queen of England, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith and of the Church of England, and also of Ireland, in earth Supreme Head”; and the same style was retained in the first nineteen Acts which were passed during her reign.  When her marriage with Philip of Spain had been arranged, the new policy which was about to be adopted was foreshadowed by a change of the style, and on April 2, 1554, it appeared in the form, “Mary, by the Grace of God, Queen of England, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith,” the Royal Supremacy being no longer recognized.  Even in this shortened form, however, there was a defiance of the Pope’s authority worthy of a Tudor.  Henry VIII had assumed the title of “King of Ireland” in the place of “Lord of Ireland” in the year 1542; but as the Pope claimed that he alone had authority to erect kingdoms, the title was considered unlawful at Rome.  When it appeared in the credentials of the English ambassadors who were sent to Paul IV to beg for the reconciliation of England to the Holy See, the Pope declined at first to receive them, but found a way out of the difficulty by privately going through the farce of erecting Ireland into a kingdom, and conferring on the Queen the title which she already held without his authority. [The Bull constituting Ireland a kingdom was placed before the Privy Council on September 16, 1555, and was ordered to be laid up in the Treasury there.]  Nor was the Royal Supremacy by any means given up by Queen Mary, although she dropped the title of “Supreme Head”.  For an Act of Parliament was passed in 1554 (1 Mar. sess. 3, cap. 9), by which she received authority to make statutes for all the cathedrals of the new foundation; and she also issued a set of Injunctions to the bishops, the supremacy being as distinctly and forcibly exercised in these two cases as in any which had occurred during the reigns of her father and her brother.

         II.  In a similar way the Queen and her advisers fell back upon the reforming policy of Henry VIII, and not on medievalism, as regards the devotional system of the Church.  A few weeks after her accession she issued a proclamation censuring, as Henry VIII and Edward VI had similarly done, the bitter controversial spirit which was abroad, and which led men to use “those new-found devilish terms of Papist and Heretic, and such-like,” instead of “applying their whole care, study, and travail to live in the fear of God.”  In the course of this proclamation the Queen declares that her own personal religion is that “which God and the world knoweth she hath ever professed from her infancy hitherto; which, as her Majesty is minded to observe and maintain for herself, by God’s grace, during her time, so doth her Highness much desire, and would be glad the same were of all her subjects quietly and charitably entertained.”  But, notwithstanding her own personal convictions, “her Highness mindeth not to compel any of her said subjects thereunto, until such time as further order, by common assent, may be taken therein.” [Wilkins’ Concil., iv. 86.]  This proclamation was issued on August 18, 1553, and there is no record extant which entitles us to suppose that it expresses anything else than the intention of the Queen and her ministers at that time, when there had been no talk of her marriage to Philip, when no communication had been received on behalf of the Pope, and when Mary was still acting under the influence of her own good instincts and the advice of a wise and politic counsellor trained in the tolerant school of Wolsey.

         III.  Even when “further order” was taken, as it was on the meeting of Parliament, the legislation which followed went upon the same principles.  The second Act passed was one to legitimate the Queen (1 Mar. sess. 2, cap. 1), declaring that she had been born in a most just and lawful matrimony, and annulling the sentence of divorce which had been pronounced between her father and mother by Archbishop Cranmer, as well as all Acts of Parliament which had been made contrary to her legitimacy.  In this Act there was no reference to the Pope’s authority, what was done being done solely by the authority of Parliament; and the omission was afterwards complained of with much bitterness by Cardinal Pole. [See his instructions to Dr. Goldwell, whom he sent to the Queen, in Strype’s Cranmer, iii. 477, 479, Eccl. Hist. Soc. Ed.]

         The next Act which was passed was one (Mar. sess. 2, cap. 2) repealing the Acts respecting Divine Service, the marriage of the clergy, and the appointment of bishops without election, which had been made in the reign of Edward VI.  [The nine Acts so repealed were the Act authorizing the Administration of the Holy Communion in both kinds (1 Edw. VI.), the two Acts of Uniformity, and that authorizing the Ordinal (2 Edw. VI. 1, 5 Edw. VI. 1, 3 Edw. VI. 12), the Act respecting the Election of Bishops (1 Edw. VI. 2), the Act for abolishing the old Service Books (2 Edw. VI. 10), the Act for the limitation of Holy Days (5 Edw. VI. 3), and the two Acts withdrawing the permission which had been given to priests to marry (2 Edw. VI. 21, 5 Edw. VI. 12).]  In this Act, however, there was no attempt to return to the customs of the Church as they existed before the Reformation began.  The “further order” which was taken was an express provision that, after December 20, 1553, Divine Service should be restored to the form in which it existed during the A.D. last year of Henry VIII, when the vernacular was largely used, and many modifications had taken place in the ancient ritual. [See vol. i. ch. ix, and vol. ii. above, for an account of these modifications.  It is interesting to find from the Privy Council Register that much care was taken to replace all that could be recovered of the Church goods which had been taken away by the Church robbers of King Edward’s days.  On November 3, 1553, for example, an account was rendered of 3367 ounces of Church plate which had been taken from the county of Somerset; and it was ordered that all which was uninjured should be returned.  Patens amounting in weight to 1078 ounces were sent to the churches and chapels whence they came, and the nineteen chalices were distributed to the nineteen largest parish churches within the county.  (Haynes’ State Papers, 195.)  Similar orders appear respecting Dorsetshire and Wiltshire, on November 23d and December 3d.  So also with what had been concealed (see above, chap. i.) as when on August 23, 1553, the Mayor and Aldermen of Canterbury were ordered to deliver up to the Dean and Chapter the keys of the places where their chief ornaments were locked up.]  The words of the Act are: “Be it further enacted that all such Divine Service and administration of the Sacraments as were most commonly used in this realm of England in the last year of the reign of our late Sovereign Lord, King Henry VIII, shall be, from and after the 20th day of December 1553, used throughout the whole realm of England, and all other the Queen Majesty’s dominions.”

         Similar words are found in the next Act which was passed, one made necessary by the murderous violence of some of the Puritans, in which penalties were enacted against any who should molest or hinder any priest “preparing, saying, doing, singing, ministering, or celebrating the Mass or other such Divine Service, Sacraments, or Sacramentals, as was most commonly frequented and used in the last year of the reign of the late Sovereign Lord, King Henry the Eighth, or that at any time hereafter shall be allowed, set last year forth, or authorized by the Queen’s Majesty” (1 Mar. sess. 2, cap. 3).  Very few Service Books of this reign exist of an earlier date than 1555 to show in what manner and to what extent this Act was carried out; but there is one striking proof of its loyal observance for a time in a volume which contains the English Litany, in use since 1545, with the clause, “That it may please Thee to keep and strengthen in the true worshipping of Thee, in righteousness and holiness of life, Thy Servants Philip and Mary, our most gracious King and Queen, and Governors.” [Brit. Mus. c 25 b/3.  The use of the English Litany was afterwards, however, forbidden, and those priests who used it were imprisoned by the Privy Council, as was the Vicar of St. Martin’s in the Fields.  (Nicholl’s Narr. of Reform., p. 290, Camd. Soc.)]

         It is the more important to observe the date given in this Act, as it emphasizes the fact that there were two very distinctly marked stages of legislation and governmental action respecting the Reformation in the reign of the Queen.  In this first stage the line of retrogression was drawn at “the last year of Henry the Eighth” [In the ecclesiastical legislation of Queen Elizabeth a similar line was drawn at the next year but one, the Elizabethan Act of Uniformity (1 Eliz. cap. 2) enacting that the ornaments of churches and ministers should be such as were in use “in this Church of England by authority of Parliament in the second year of the reign of King Edward the Sixth.” (Jan. 28, 1548–Jan. 27, 1549).] (April 22, 1546–Jan. 28, 1547), when the Papal authority had been ousted from England for eighteen years.  In the second stage the line of retrogression was drawn at “the twentieth year of King Henry the Eighth” [April 22, 1528–April 21, 1529], which was the year before the Royal Supremacy had been reasserted and that of the Pope abrogated, this year being adopted in the Act (1 and 2 Ph. and M. cap. 8) by which the third Parliament of this reign (Nov. 11, 1554–Jan. 16, 1555) obtained pardon from the Pope for the sins of its more patriotic predecessors.

 

Later attitude towards Rome.

         But at the very beginning of Queen Mary’s reign, with an alacrity that as a matter of clever policy must excite a grim kind of admiration, measures were taken by the Court of Rome to win her over to an ultramontane policy.  As soon as the news of King Edward’s death had reached Rome, the Pope, Julius III, called together a Council of the Cardinals, and announced his intention of sending Cardinal Pole as legate to the Queen of England; and communications were at once opened with Pole, who was then at his monastery at Magguzano on the Lake of Guarda, pressing him to undertake the mission, and sending him two thousand crowns towards the expense of his journey.  Although Pole had lived nearly all his life abroad, he knew more of the English character than the Italians at the Court of Rome, and was much less sanguine than the Pope respecting the return of England to the Roman obedience.  He obtained some delay, therefore, that he might send a secret messenger to the Queen, who stood to him in the relationship of second cousin once removed,* and who was supposed to have something more than a cousinly affection for him.

         *[Queen Mary and Reginald Pole were both descended from Edward III – the first through Edward IV, the second through his brother, George, Duke of Clarence, who was murdered in the Tower and buried at Tewkesbury.

Richard, Duke of York—Cicely Nevill.

Edward IV—Elizabeth

George, Duke of Clarence—Isabella Nevill.

Elizabeth—Henry VII.

 

Margaret, Countess of Salisbury—Sir R. Pole

Henry VIII.

 

Reginald, b. 1500.

 

Mary, b. 1516.

Elizabeth.

Edward

 

]

         The agent whom he thus dispatched was a gentleman of his household named Henry Penning, and he was joined at Brussels by an agent of the Pope’s nuncio at the Court of the Emperor Charles V, who was going on a similar errand.  Arriving in London in disguise on August 6, 1553, they were the first of a long train of foreigners or denationalized Englishmen who endeavoured during the next half century to reestablish the Papal power on a permanent footing, and they met with more success than attended those who followed in their footsteps in the next reign.  The Queen received them without the knowledge of her ministers, and having heard from them what was proposed, she eventually dispatched Commendore to Rome with a private message to the Pope, and Penning to Pole with an answer to the Cardinal’s letter.  Her reply to each was substantially that she wished to do what she could to restore the Church of England to its ancient condition, but that extreme caution was necessary in restoring its relations to the See of Rome.  All she could at present do was to request that Pole would come to Brussels, where she would be better able to communicate with him and get his advice.  The Lord Chancellor, Bishop Gardiner, heard, however, of this intrigue, and succeeded in persuading the Emperor to stop the Cardinal on his road, so that he retired with the Pope’s Bulls in his dispatch box to Dillinghen, on the Danube, and it was more than a year before he was able to pass over to England and execute his unworthy commission. [The correspondence between the Queen and the Cardinal as well as the Pope’s brieve to Pole, is printed in Cardinal Quirini’s collection of Pole’s letters.  It is also to be found in Tierney’s edition of Dodd’s Ch. Hist., ii. App.  Many letters and other documents on the subject are also printed in Burnet’s Reformation, vi. 312, 599, Pocock’s Ed.  Rogers charged Gardiner with moving the Queen by “his counsel” in this matter; but the Chancellor replied that “the Queen went before him, and it was her own motion,” an assertion which was corroborated by Bishop Aldrich and others.  (Foxe’s. Acts and Mon., vi. 598.)]  But he kept up his correspondence with the Queen, and continued to urge her strongly in respect to the restoration of the Pope’s authority.

         The strongest influence which was brought to bear upon the Queen was doubtless, however, the prospect of her marriage with Philip, Prince of Spain, and son of the great Emperor Charles V.  This was strongly opposed by Gardiner, who had not much support at Court, but was backed up by public opinion, the idea of a “Spanish match” being always unpopular, and, as events proved, justly so, in the times of the Tudors and the Stuarts.  The opposition that was offered to it is said by Campana, the biographer of Philip, to have been so great that the lives of the Spanish ambassadors sent to arrange the marriage treaty were in actual danger; and he also mentions that Philip himself – a widower under twenty-seven years of age, while his proposed bride had reached the mature age of thirty-eight – was highly averse to the sacrifice he was making.  [In a very profane and absurdly florid letter to the Pope, Cardinal Pole compared Philip to our Lord, Charles V to God the Father, and Queen Mary to the blessed Virgin and speaking of our Lord as the Spouse and Son of the Virgin, he says of Philip and Mary that the former “is become both the spouse and son of this virgin, for so he behaveth himself as though he were a son whereas he is indeed a husband, that he might, as he hath in effect already performed, show himself an aider and helper to reconcile this people to Christ, and to His body, which is the Church.”  (Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vi. 574.)]  Notwithstanding all the opposition that was offered, and notwithstanding the rebellion of Sir Thomas Wyatt and the Duke of Suffolk, [This second rebellion of her father led to the cruel necessity of executing the sentence passed six months before on Lady Jane Grey and her husband.  The Queen had probably intended to spare them, but they were at last executed on February 12, 1544.  In a letter to her father the unfortunate girl wrote, “It hath pleased God to hasten my death by you by whom my life should rather gave been lengthened.”  (Foxe’s Acts and Mon. vi. 417.)] which professed to have the prevention of the marriage for its object, the King of Spain and the Queen of England were made man and wife at Winchester Cathedral on July 25, 1554.

         As soon as this alliance with the most ultramontane sovereign of Europe had been arranged and accomplished, the retrogressive policy of the Queen became much more pronounced.  In March 1554 she exercised her Royal Supremacy for the last time by issuing a set of Royal Injunctions – eighteen in number – and in these the Supremacy was stretched as far as ever it had been in the days of her father and brother, but chiefly for the purpose of promoting the policy of the ultramontane party.  The Injunctions ordered that all bishops, and all others having ecclesiastical jurisdiction, should, “with all speed and diligence, and all manner and ways to them possible, put in execution all such Canon and Ecclesiastical Laws” which had been used in the time of King Henry VIII, and which were not “directly and expressly contrary to the laws and statutes of the realm” (1).  No ecclesiastical proceedings were henceforth to run in the name of the Sovereign with “this clause or sentence, regia auctoritate fulcitus,” nor was any “oath touching the primacy or succession” to be exacted from those who were admitted to benefices (2, 3).  Bishops and their officers were to “have a vigilant eye, and use special diligence and foresight, that no person be admitted to any ecclesiastical function, benefice, or office, being a Sacramentary, [The name of Sacramentaries or Sacramentarians was given by the Lutherans to those who held the Zwinglian opinion that the consecrated elements in the Holy Eucharist are merely sacramental symbols.  A Lutheran work on heresies by Schlusselburg has a whole volume, “De secta sacramentariorum qui Cingliani seu Calvinistae vocantur.”] infected or defamed with any notable kind of heresy or other great crime” (4); that all such bishops and their officers “do diligently travail for the repression of heresies and notable crimes, especially in the clergy, duly correcting and punishing the same” powers (5); and also for the suppression of “corrupt and naughty opinions, unlawful books, ballads, and other pernicious and hurtful devices, engendering hatred among the people and discord among the same”; and that if schoolmasters, preachers, or teachers spread such evil or corrupt doctrine, they are to be punished and removed by the bishop and his officers (6).  All married clergy are to be proceeded against summarily by the bishops and their officers, so that they may with all celerity and speed be deprived, or declared deprived, and removed, the profits of their benefices being sequestrated during the said process (7).  But those clergymen whose wives are dead, or who with the consent of their wives shall live as unmarried persons, are to be treated with “more lenity and clemency,” and may, after penance, be admitted to minister as clergy, though not in the parishes which they had held while married (8).  Those married clergy, however, who had married after having taken vows of chastity are now to be deprived of their benefices and divorced from their wives, “and due punishment otherwise taken for the offence therein” (9).  Where there is a scarcity of beneficed clergy scarcity of the bishops are to appoint temporary curates, or to order the parishioners “to repair to the next parish for Divine Service” (10), such scarcity being evidently contemplated as a result of the preceding Injunctions for the ejection of the married clergy.  The next four Injunctions order that all processions shall be “after the old order of the Church in the Latin tongue” (11), thus abolishing the use of the English Litany, which some had continued hitherto [See above.]; that such holy days and fasting days shall be “observed as were observed and kept in the latter time of King Henry the Eighth” (12); “that the laudable and honest ceremonies which were wont to be used, frequented, and observed in the Church be hereafter frequented, used, and observed” (13);  and “that children be christened by the priest and confirmed by the bishops as heretofore hath been accustomed and used” (14).  The remaining four Injunctions direct that the bishops “may supply that thing which wanted in them before” to those clergy who had been ordained by the Edwardian Ordinal, and “admit them to minister” (15); that they shall set forth homilies for the purpose of securing uniformity of doctrine, and shall compel the parishioners to come to their parish churches (16); that “all schoolmasters and teachers of children” shall be examined by the bishops, and replaced by “catholic men” if necessary, “with a special commandment to instruct their children so as they may be able to answer the priest at the Mass, and so help the priest to Mass, as hath been accustomed” (17); and lastly, that bishops and all the other persons aforesaid shall set such good examples that they “may be seen to favour the restitution of true religion” (18).

         But although Injunctions respecting matters of religion were still issued by the Crown, they were only put forth as a temporary measure.  As soon as ever the negotiations for the restoration of the Papal Supremacy would permit, a Parliament was summoned, that a “reconciliation” of the kingdom to Rome might be effected with solemn formalities, and that with one great stroke of legislation all Acts of Parliament which interfered with the exercise of that supremacy should be swept away.

         The opposition to Cardinal Pole’s mission having been crushed down, his attainder of 1536 was reversed by Parliament, and he entered London on November 24, 1554.  Parliament was then sitting, and on the 27th the two Houses waited upon him at Whitehall to hear an address on the subject of his mission – that of restoring the nation to the unity of the Catholic faith; a restoration, he had the audacity to say, which might have been effected by an invasion of England, but that the Pope wished to treat the nation as friends and not enemies.  On the 29th the two Houses petitioned the King and Queen that they would intercede with “the See Apostolic,” so that this most servile Parliament [It was generally asserted that the leading men among the Lords and Commons had received large bribes from Philip.] went on to say, “We may, as children repentant, be received into the bosom and unity of Christ’s Church, so as this noble realm, with all the members thereof, may, in unity and perfect obedience to the See Apostolic and Pope for the time being, serve God and your Majesties, to the furtherance and advancement of his honour and glory.  Amen.”

         This petition was graciously responded to by the Queen and her husband; they condescended to intercede with the Pope’s agent for the forgiveness of their own subjects; and the next day, November 30, 1554, being the Feast of St. Andrew, the Parliament, as representatives of the nation, groveled in the dust at the Cardinal’s feet while he absolved them for the loyalty of their predecessors to the Church and Crown of England, the great crime which they had committed against his master.  While this arrogant political ceremony, dressed up in the garb of religion, was being performed, did any of the abject Lords and Commons think of the words, “which have said to thy soul, bow down, that we may go over; and thou hast laid thy body as the ground and as the street to them that went over”?  [The following was the form of absolution used by Pole:– “Our Lord Jesus Christ, which with His most precious blood hath redeemed and washed us from all our sins and iniquities, that He might purchase unto Himself a glorious spouse without spot or wrinkle, and whom the Father hath appointed Head over all His Church, He by His mercy absolve you.  And we, by apostolic authority (given unto us by the Most Holy Lord Pope Julius the Third, His Vicegerent in earth), do absolve and deliver you, and every of you, with the whole realm and dominions thereof, from all heresy and schism, and from all and every judgment, censure, and pain, for that cause incurred; and also we do restore you again unto the unity of our Mother the Holy Church (as in our letters more plainly it shall appear), in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”  (Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vi. 572, ed. 1835.).  At this time Cardinal Pole was only in deacon’s orders; he was ordained priest a day or two only before he vaulted into the Archbishopric of Canterbury, and when he was fifty-five years of age.]

         But when the ceremony had been performed, the purified Parliament was considered competent to proceed with its privilege of ratifying and confirming the act of the Cardinal Deacon.  A comprehensive bill was therefore prepared, which was so drawn as to undo, so far as it could be undone, the whole work of Reformation which had been accomplished since 1527 – the twentieth year of Henry VIII.  This bill passed the Lords on December 26, 1554, and the Commons on January 4, 1555, and by the middle of the month it was placed on the Statute Book as “An Act repealing all Articles and Provisions made against the See Apostolic of Rome since the twentieth year of King Henry the Eighth, and for the establishment of all Spiritual and Ecclesiastical Possessions and Hereditaments conveyed to the Laity” (1 and 2 Ph. and Mar. cap. 8).  It repealed all the statutes of Henry VIII’s reign which interfered with the action of ultramontanism – eighteen in number – incorporated into itself an English Act of Parliament, a long Latin Dispensation, by which Pole formally reconciled the nation to “the See Apostolic”; and, as a compensation for the loss of spiritual liberty, secured the holders of abbey lands in the possession of their sacrilegious spoil.

         Having thus restored the authority and jurisdiction of the Pope, there was nothing more for the Crown and Parliament to do as regards ecclesiastical affairs but quietly to wear the fetters which they had forged.  One more Act of an ecclesiastical nature was indeed passed by this Parliament – the iniquitous Act which revived the persecuting statutes of the years 1381, 1400, and 1414; but the consideration of this and its consequences belongs to a subsequent page.

 

§ 4.  Persecution of the Protestants.

         The stern intolerance which characterized the reigns of Henry VIII and his three children [The reign of Edward VI was as prolific in severities as that of his father.  Apart from all State executions, those which took place in the ordinary process of law were exceedingly numerous, judging by such incidental notices of them as occur in contemporary writers.  Thus Machyn records that seven persons were hanged and two burned for the murder of a person named Arden in 1551; nine for felony on May 2, 1552; eight for theft on July 11, 1552; nine women and two men on September 12, 1552; four men on December 21, 1552; six men on April 25, 1553.  In Elizabeth’s reign a vast number of priests and others were executed for Popery by the halter and the butcher’s knife, and at least three persons were burned for Protestant heresies.] reached its climax in the later years of Queen Mary, when it was aggravated and stimulated by the influence of the Spaniards and Italians who surrounded her.  The earlier portion of her reign was not marked by any special severity.  She showed an unexampled leniency towards these who had wantonly endeavoured to deprive her of the Crown; and although a few persons were committed to prison for “seditious preaching” and “lewd and seditious behaviour,” [For example, on November 20, 1553, Baldwin Clerke, weaver, John Careless, weaver, Thomas Wylcocks, fishmonger, and Richard Astelyn, haberdasher, were sent to the Council by the Mayor of Coventry for their lewd and seditious behaviour on All-hallow Day.  Careless and Wylcocks were committed to the Gatehouse, Clerke and Astelyn to the Marshalsea till further order.  On the same day there was an order for the apprehension of a seditious preacher named Huntyngdon, somewhere about Lynn and Walsingham, who is said to have made a railing rhyme against Dr. Stokes and the Blessed Sacrament.  Similar orders respecting Essex appear in the Council Register on September 2d, November 27th, December 2d; and on January 11, 1554, there is an order to the Duke of Norfolk to call before him one Sir Robert, a deacon newly made of a shoemaker, who seditiously preacheth against the Queen’s Highness at Stoke Nayland, in Suffolk, and to take such order as to his wisdom shall seem convenient.  Many similar orders occur, and also others releasing some of the prisoners on their own recognizances.] there was no execution on account of religion during the first nineteen months (July 6, 1553–February 3, 1555) of her reign.  During the subsequent part of her reign, extending over three years and nine months, no fewer than two hundred and seventy-seven persons were burned for alleged heresy, or on the average seventy-four persons in a year.  [The narratives contained in Foxe’s Acts and Monuments of the Church are the principal authority on the subject, and from these it appears that the 277 were distributed through the four years as follows:– 1555, Feb. 4th–Dec. 31st, 74; 1556, Jan. 1st–Dec. 31st, 85; 1557, Jan. 1st–Dec. 31st, 77; 1558, Jan. 1st–Nov. 10th, 41.  [Total =] 277.]

 

A General Sketch of the Persecution.

         The beginning of the persecution may very properly be dated from the Queen’s marriage and the reconciliation of England to Rome by Cardinal Pole, although the first event took place on October 25, 1554, and no person was actually burned before February 4, 1555.  A fortnight after the marriage, on November 11th, Parliament was called together for the purpose of effecting the restoration of the Papal power; and while the Act for repealing Henry VIII’s reforming statutes was being passed through the two Houses, another Act was also being pushed on for the revival of the mediaeval statutes against heretics.  This Act (1 and 2 Ph. and M. 6) was introduced into the House of Commons on December 12, 1554, was passed in that House on the 15th, and in the House of Lords on the 18th.  It provided that –

         “For the eschewing and avoiding of errors and heresies, which of late have risen and grown and much increased within this realm, for that the ordinaries have wanted authority to proceed against those which were infected therewith: Be it therefore ordained and enacted by the authority of this present Parliament, that the statute made in the fifth year of the reign of King Richard the Second concerning the arresting and apprehension of erroneous and heretical preachers, and one other statute made in the second year of King Henry the Fourth concerning repressing of heresies and punishment of heretics, and also one other statute made in the second year of the reign of King Henry the Fifth concerning the suppression of heresy and Lollardy, and every article, branch, and sentence contained in the same three several Acts, and every of them, shall from the twentieth day of January next coming be revived, and be in full force, strength, and effect, to all intents, constructions, and purposes, forever.”  [Some particulars of these laws against heresy are given in vol. i. pp. 528–533.  It may be useful here to show what was the course of legislation respecting them: – 5 R. II. 5 (1381) confirmed by–, &: 2 H. IV. 15 (1400), repealed by– &: 2 H. V. 7 (1414), confirmed by 25 H. VIII. 14. A.D. 1533.  The first and third of these statutes were repealed by 1 Edw. VI. 12, § 3 (1547); all three were revived by 1 and 2 Ph. and M. 6, and were finally extinguished on the repeal of this last statute by l Eliz. 1, § 15.  Henry VIII’s Act of the Six Articles [31 H. VIII. 14, 1539) was also repealed by 1 Edw. VI. 12, § 3.]

         The object of this revival of the old statutes was that of simplifying procedure and doing away with the necessity for a writ de haeretico comburendo signed by the Sovereign.  What the former procedure was may be seen in the case of two heretics, Joan Butcher and George Van Parr, who were burned in the time of Edward VI.  Having been sent for trial to the King’s “Inquisitors, Judges, and Commissaries” – Archbishop Cranmer, Hugh Latimer, Sir Thomas Smyth, Dr. Cooke, the Dean of the Arches, and Dr. Lyall they were convicted of heresy, and sentence of excommunication was passed upon them.  Certificates were then prepared, by which the King was informed in each case that the excommunicated person was delivered over to the secular arm: “Et brachio vestro seculari dictum haereticam et relapsam relinquimus.” [These particulars are to be found in Cranmer’s Register, where copies of the documents were inserted.  Those relating to Joan Butcher are printed in Strype’s Cranmer, ii. 488–492, ed. 1848.]  The writ de haeretico comburendo was then signed by the King in Council, and under the authority of such writs Joan Butcher was burned at the stake on March 2, 1550, and Van Parr on April 24, 1551.

         Under the revived Statutes of Heresy the procedure was as follows: (1) An information was laid before a justice of the peace alleging that such a person was suspected of heresy, and a warrant for his apprehension was granted.  (2) The suspected person being arrested by the sheriff or his officers under this warrant, was lodged in one of the King’s prisons.  (3)  The sheriff certified the suspected heretic’s apprehension and imprisonment to the bishop of the diocese or one of his commissaries, when the bishop was bound to act as judge, and try the prisoner in his consistory court.  (4)  In case the suspected person was adjudged to be guilty of heresy, he was first excommunicated, and then delivered to the secular arm [The “definitive sentence” in which this was recorded by Gardiner in the case of John Rogers is given in English by Foxe, and is substantially the same form as that used by Cranmer in the case of Joan Butcher.  In a later page Foxe refers to this sentence as a regular form, “for the Papists in all their condemnations follow one manner of sentence of course, commonly against all that are condemned through their unmerciful tyranny.”  (Foxe’s Acts and Mon, vi. 601, vii. 341.)]; – that is, the bishop certified the fact to the sheriff.  (5)  Then, as a judge’s “suspendatur per collum” against a prisoner’s name in the calendar was the sheriff s warrant for hanging a person convicted of capital crime, so the bishop’s certificate of conviction now became the sheriff’s warrant for burning a person convicted of heresy, instead of the King’s writ ordering execution.

         But although the ordinary course of procedure was thus provided for by Act of Parliament, there was some reason – perhaps distrust of the bishops as too lenient – for the frequent appointment of commissioners, Privy Councilors and others, whose official position appears to have been that of assessors to the bishop of the diocese.  Such a commission sat with Bishop Gardiner on the only occasion when he presided at the trial of prisoners charged with heresy, which was on January 22d, 28th, 29th, and 30th, when Hooper, Rogers, Rowland Taylor, and eight others were examined in public before him and his “co-assessors”.  On this occasion the “definitive sentence,” declaring the prisoners guilty of heresy and excommunicating them, was pronounced by the bishop alone, and it was he also who delivered them into the hands of the sheriffs of London. [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vi. 587, 588, 598, 599, 649; Strype’s Mem. Eccl. III. i. 286–296.]  So also when some were being tried “in the Spiritual Court” at Canterbury, Archdeacon Harpsfield speaks of himself, sitting with others, as being placed there as judge by the Queen’s Highness [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vii. 293, 296, 297, 335, 340.]; and on other occasions the Suffragan Bishop of Dover, with Dr. Collins, Dr. Mills, and others, are mentioned as his fellow commissioners.  Such a commission is also mentioned in London.  For while Cardmaker, one of the early sufferers, was lying in Newgate about the end of May 1555, “one Beard, a promoter, [This Beard appears to have been an informer, like the “aggrieved parishioner” of modern  times, who in the language of ecclesiastical law “promoted the office of the judge.”  He is mentioned by Fore in other places.] came to him two or three days before he was burned, and said thus unto him: Beard. – ‘Sir, I am sent unto you by the Council, to know whether ye will recant or no?’  Cardmaker. – ‘From which Council are ye come?  I think ye are not come, nor yet sent, from the Queen’s Council, but rather from the Commissioners, unto whom (as I suppose) ye belong. … I know you are a tailor by occupation, and have endeavoured yourself to be a cunning workman, and thereby to get your living; so I have been a preacher these twenty years. …’” [Ibid., 85.]

         Before these Commissioners, then, or before the bishop or his commissary alone, the accused persons were brought up by the sheriff or his officers as prisoners, and were taken through the form of a trial.  This was often conducted with great patience and forbearance on the part of the ecclesiastical judge, and it mostly required a large stock of patience for a judge to listen quietly to the polemics and personalities which the accused persons used instead of arguments.  But soon it became the practice to place a series of propositions before the accused, which Foxe calls “general articles,” as being a common form used in all the diocesan courts.

         “First, that thou art of the Diocese of Canterbury, and so subject to the jurisdiction of the Archbishop there.

         “II.  Item, that thou art a Christian man, and dost profess the laws of God, and faith of Christ’s Catholic Church, and the determination of the same.

         “III.  Item, that all persons which teach, preach, believe, affirm, hold, maintain, or say, within the Diocese of Canterbury, otherwise than our Holy Mother the Church doth, are excommunicate persons, and heretics, and as excommunicate and heretics ought to be named, reputed, and taken.

         “IV.  Item, that thou, contrary to the Catholic faith, and determination of our Mother Holy Church, within the Diocese of Canterbury, hast openly spoken, maintained, holden, affirmed, and believed, and yet dust hold, maintain, affirm, and believe, that in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, under the forms of bread and wine, there is not the very Body and Blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ in substance, but only a token, sign, and remembrance thereof, and that the very Body and Blood of Christ is only in Heaven, and nowhere else.

         “V.  Item, that thou, contrary to the Catholic faith, and determination of our Mother Holy Church, hast within this Diocese of Canterbury openly spoken, said, maintained, holden, affirmed, and believed, and yet dost hold, maintain, affirm, and believe, that it is against God’s Word, that the Sacrament of Christ’s Church should be ministered in an unknown tongue; and that no man, safely and with a safe conscience, or without peril of sin, receiveth any sacrament ministered in any tongue that he understandeth not.

         “VI.  Item, that thou, contrary to the Catholic faith of our Mother Holy Church, hast, and yet dost hold opinion, and say, that it is against God’s Word that the Sacrament of the Altar should be ministered in one kind; and that no man may with a safe conscience so receive it.

         “VII.  Item, that the premises be true, and that there is a common fame upon them within the Diocese of Canterbury.” [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vii. 304, viii. 311.]

         But it is fair to the judges to say that in many cases, perhaps in most there was a far stronger taint of heresy in the accused persons than is represented by these articles; the favourite theological tenet of their school being that our Lord did not take His Human Nature of the Blessed Virgin, the same heretical denial of the Incarnation for which Joan Butcher was burned in the time of Edward VI.

         Whatever the legal formalities with which it was conducted, however, the persecution continued with unabated rigour, and with a singular uniformity as regards the annual average number of victims, from the time when the Papal authority was restored until the end of Queen Mary’s reign.

         Strange to say, the victims belonged almost entirely to the labouring classes, and a very large proportion of them were under thirty years of age.  The number of these victims was, as has been before stated, two hundred and seventy-seven, of whom fifty were women.  Of these Foxe mentions the condition of life in one hundred and thirty-five cases, there being five bishops, sixteen priests, nine gentlemen and ladies, four tradesmen, twenty-six weavers and clothworkers, and seventy-five agricultural labourers.  But at a particular portion of his history he begins to mention the condition in life of the sufferers less frequently; and having done so in one hundred and five cases out of one hundred and sixty-eight, he particularizes it afterwards in only thirty instances out of one hundred and nine.  Before making this change in the details of his narratives, he says, however, “The learned being at this time in a manner all dispatched in this furious rage of persecution, we now have little or small matter to write touching the other silly sheep and simple lambs of Christ’s flock yet remaining behind” [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., viii. 310.]; and as only three of the thirty “silly sheep” whose condition in life is defined belonged to any other walk of life, it may be fairly supposed that the remainder were all men and women of the labouring classes, whom Foxe habitually calls “simple persons”.

         The general conclusion arrived at, after a careful analysis of Foxe a narratives, is that about two hundred and forty out of the whole two hundred and seventy-seven who were burned belonged to the labouring classes.  Of the remaining thirty-seven there were seven tradesmen, nine village gentry of both sexes, sixteen priests, and five bishops.  It is a very conspicuous fact that the middle classes of the laity throughout England and Wales are only represented by sixteen persons, and that Foxe does not record the conviction or execution for religion of a single layman or laywoman from among the higher classes.  [How it comes to pass that weavers and agricultural labourers, born and brought up in the first half of the sixteenth century, are represented as holding long and sometimes learned controversies with bishops, archdeacons, and chancellors, cannot exactly be explained.  If they really did so, the theological and literary education of the labouring classes must have been in a very high condition indeed during the latter years of Henry VIII’s reign.  Modern shepherds, carters, and ploughmen and even modern weavers, would certainly not be so fluent of speech and so extremely ready with authorities, arguments, and stinging repartees.]

         Another remarkable feature in the persecution is that it was principally confined to an area north-east and south-east of London, and to the metropolis itself – an area about the size of Wales.  This circumstance is mentioned by Foxe, who says, “Although the rage and vehemence of this terrible persecution in Queen Mary’s days did chiefly light in London, Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, and Kent, as hath been partly already declared, yet notwithstanding, besides the same, we find but few parts of this realm free from this fatal storm, but some good martyrs or other there shed their blood.” [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vii. 383.]  The principal centers were London and Canterbury.  In London there were thirty-five burned in Smithfield, and thirty-two elsewhere, making sixty-seven in all; while in Canterbury the number reached the far higher proportion as regards population of fifty-two.  In the area previously mentioned, and which is shown in the diagram map [on p. 223, omitted here], the whole number burned was two hundred and thirty-four.  Of the remaining forty-three there were twenty-four burned in Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, and Staffordshire, and only nineteen in all the remaining counties of England and Wales.  Taking every case that is recorded by Foxe, and this probably includes every case that occurred, the distribution of the victims throughout England and Wales was as follows: –

 

Counties.

Persons.

Dioceses.

London

67

London

Middlesex

11

London

Essex

39

London

Kent, Canterbury,

52

Canterbury

Kent, Rochester

6

Rochester

Sussex

23

Chichester

Suffolk

18

Norwich

Norfolk

14

Norwich

Cambridgeshire

3

Ely

Hertfordshire

1

Lincoln

 

234

Lincoln

Leicestershire

2

Lincoln

Gloucestershire

10

Gloucester

Staffordshire

7

Lichfield and Coventry

Warwickshire

3

Lichfield and Coventry

Derbyshire

1

Lichfield and Coventry

Oxfordshire

7

Oxford

Northamptonshire

3

Peterborough

Wiltshire

3

Salisbury

Yorkshire

2

York

Cheshire

1

Chester

Devonshire

1

Exeter

Glamorganshire

1

Llandalff

Carmarthen

1

St. David’s

Pembrokeshire

1

St. David’s

 

43—

 

 

         The most notorious cities and towns were London (67), Canterbury (52), Colchester (23), Lewes (17), Bury St. Edmund’s (12), Norwich (7), Maidstone (7), Rochester (6), Bristol (6), Brentford (6), and Ipswich (5).  The remaining sixty-nine persons were burned in forty-five different places, and twenty-five of these places were within the area previously indicated.

         That this localization of the persecution was associated with circumstances which placed London, Kent, Sussex, and the eastern counties in a position more open to attack than other parts of England cannot be doubted; but what these circumstances were it is impossible, without further evidence, to determine with any certainty.  It is clear that nearly the whole of the places where the hundred and sixty-seven persons who suffered out of London in this district were burned, were places which lay on the direct road to seaports. [The maps in Bishop Gibson’s edition of Camden’s Britannia have been consulted for the course of the old roads.]  Thus, in Kent, Dartford, [and] Rochester, and Canterbury lay on the direct road to Deal and Dover; Maidstone and Ashford on the direct road to Hythe, Wye lying midway between Canterbury and Ashford.  In Sussex, Grinstead and Lewes were on the direct road to Seaford and Newhaven.  In the eastern counties, Brentwood, Chelmsford, Braintree, Bury, Thetford, and Norwich lay on one road to Yarmouth; while Brentwood, Chelmsford, Coggeshall, Colchester, Manningtree, Harwich, Ipswich, and Beckles lay on another; Ware, Cambridge, and Ely leading straight to Lynn; and Saffron, Walden, and Walsingham being not far distant from this last main road.  It can hardly be an accident that the course of the persecution should be capable of being thus curiously mapped out.

         But it is also to be remembered that the eastern counties were predisposed to extravagance in religious opinions by the presence of many German Anabaptists, who had emigrated from their native country to the most accessible parts of England, and carried on their trade as weavers and cloth workers in Norwich, Colchester, Braintree, Coggeshall, and other principal “clothing towns” of the England of that day.  The Anabaptists of Essex gave much trouble to the Government in the days of King Edward and of Queen Elizabeth; and Hooper, who was sent by the Privy Council to preach against them, writes respecting Kent and Essex: “That district is troubled with the frenzy of the Anabaptists more than any other part of the kingdom; ... they give me much trouble with their opinions respecting the Incarnation of the Lord, for they deny altogether that Christ was born of the Virgin Mary according to the flesh. ... How dangerously our England is afflicted by heresies of this kind, God only knows. ... Alas! not only are those heresies reviving among us, which were formerly dead and buried, but new ones are springing up every day.” [Orig. Lett., 65, 87.  For some account of the Anabaptists, see vol. i. p.551.]  Four or five years later Bishop Jewel wrote to Peter Martyr saying that the Anabaptists “sprung up like mushrooms in the darkness and unhappy night of the Marian times” [Jewel’s Works, iv. 1240, Parker Soc. ed.]; and in 1575 two who had been examined in the Consistory Court of London, and handed over to the secular arm by Bishop Sandys, were burned in Smithfield. [Neale’s Hist. Purit., i. 340, ed. 1732.]  It is more than probable that these foreign religionists had infected their English friends in the clothing towns and other places with their opinions; and that although Foxe’s one-sided narratives say little about such heresies, they were too often at the root of the wild anti-Sacramentalism of those who were sent up to the Marian bishops for examination.  This therefore may perhaps prove, if ever further evidence should come to light, the true reason why the Marian persecution was so distinctly localized as has been shown in the preceding pages.

 

Who was responsible for the Persecution?

         Notwithstanding the fact that persons were burned for heresy in the reigns of Edward VI, Elizabeth, and James I, as well as in that of Queen Mary, and the equally certain fact (as will be shown hereafter) that the execution of human beings by fire was looked upon with far less horror in the sixteenth century than in our own age, it still remains that the burning of so large a number of persons for alleged heresy during the short space of three years and seven months makes the reign of Queen Mary a phenomenal page in English history; and, apart from all the just indignation with which the subject has been treated, it is one of great interest to the patient reader of history as regards the question with which this section is headed, Who was responsible for the persecution?

         At first sight one is disposed to say it could not have been Englishmen who deliberately caused nearly three hundred persons to be burned to death in little more than three years.  When did Englishmen perpetrate such a kind of cruelty – whatever other forms of cruelty may lie at their door – before or since, and why should they for that short time act in such an exceptional manner?  Was there anything peculiar and unprecedented among the governing class or at the headquarters of Government that was likely to have caused this lurid phenomenon in our national history?  And were there any others than Englishmen to whom the original responsibility of its occurrence may be justly attributed?

         To answer this question satisfactorily we must first examine the ordinary tradition on the subject – that which lays the cruel slaughter at the door of “Wily Winchester” and “Bloody Bonner”.  This dates from the time when these tragical executions were going on, or were fresh in the memory of the generation which had witnessed them; for not only does Foxe give it a permanent place in his “Acts and Monuments of the Church,” but Bonner himself disclaimed in open court the epithet prefixed to his name, and Gardiner also denied the charge made against him by Rogers, that all which was taking place was done by his counsel.  Foxe’s account of the matter is that the persecution was begun by Gardiner, and then handed over to Bonner.  When a few had been condemned, and some also burned, Gardiner, he says, “supposed now all had been cock-sure, and that Christ had been conquered forever, so that the people, being terrified with example of these great learned men condemned, never would nor durst once rout against their violent religion. ... And thus condemned they these godly learned preachers and bishops aforesaid, supposing, as I said, that all the rest would soon be quailed by their example.”  “But,” he goes on to say, “Gardiner was deceived, for the people were not deterred from running the risk of martyrdom by maintaining the same principles which had brought others to the stake; and seeing thus his device disappointed, and that cruelty in this case would not serve to his expectation, gave over the matter as utterly discouraged, and from that day meddled no more in such kind of condemnations, but referred the whole doing thereof to Bonner, Bishop of London, who supplied that part right doughtily, as in the further process of this history hereafter evidently and too much may appear.” [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vi. 703, 704.]  Just a century after the events, Fuller, the Church historian, improved the tradition by writing, “I may say of Gardiner” – “this butcher,” as he calls him – “that he had a head, if not a hand, in the death of every eminent Protestant – plotting, though not acting, their destruction.”  “Cross we the Thames to come into Middlesex and Essex – the Diocese of London under Bishop Bonner, whom all generations shall call ‘bloody’.  St. Paul mentioneth his fighting with beasts at Ephesus after the manner of men, which some expound his encountering with people – men for their shape and sex, but beasts for their cruel minds and manners.  In the same sense we may say that lion, tiger, wolf, bear, yea, a whole forest of wild beasts, met in Bonner, killing two hundred in the compass of three years.  And as if his cruelty made him Metropolitan of all England, he stood not on distinction of dioceses, but martyred all wherever he met them.” [Fuller’s Church Hist., ii. 392, 393, ed. 1837.]  With such a statement to build on, it could hardly be called original poetical license for Cowper to write –

 

“When persecuting zeal made royal sport

With tortured innocence in Mary’s court,

And Bonner, blithe as shepherd at a wake,

Enjoyed the show, and danced about the stake”

                                    [Cowper’s Expostulation, ad fin.] –

 

except that Bonner was never present at the stake at all.

         Gardiner. – The charge against Bishop Gardiner may be soon dismissed.  So long as his influence lasted, which was until the marriage of the Queen and the arrival of Cardinal Pole in England, no person was executed on the ground of heresy.  During the year that he lived after these events – for he died on November 12, 1555 – Gardiner only sat on one trial of “heretics,” [On one other occasion Gardiner’s name was associated with such a trial, when he examined Nicholas Sheterden at Canterbury in the following June; but he seems then to have interposed unofficially with the object of persuading the prisoner to recant, that his life might be spared.  (Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vii. 310.)] that being the trial of Bishop Hooper, Rogers, and several others who were brought before a commission of which he, as Lord Chancellor, was head, on January 22–30, 1554.  This commission sat partly at his palace in Southwark, and partly in the adjoining Church of St. Mary Overie, and when it had found that the accused were guilty of heresy, Gardiner was called upon as bishop of the diocese to pronounce them excommunicated before they were delivered over to the sheriffs.  But although these prisoners were within Gardiner’s jurisdiction because they were imprisoned in Southwark, none of them belonged to his diocese.  No persons in his diocese were burnt for heresy until a year and a half after his death, when three suffered in St. George’s Fields, Southwark, in May 1557, the only sufferers for that cause in the diocese of Winchester during the whole time of the persecution.  It will thus be seen that Bishop Gardiner’s name has been most unjustly associated with the persecution.

         Bonner. – The conspicuous position which Bonner occupies in connection with the persecution arises solely from the fact that he was Bishop of London during the time that it was going on, and that in virtue of his office he was compelled to examine in his Consistory Court all who were sent before him under the accusation of heresy, provided they were resident in the cities of London or Westminster, or the counties of Middlesex or Essex.  During the three years and a half over which the persecution lasted, as many as one hundred and seventeen of those who suffered were thus sent before the Bishop of London by the civil authorities, and the three following documents relating to the Metropolis and to Essex will illustrate the manner in which his judicial office was put in action: –

         “A Letter sent unto Bonner, Bishop of London, by the Queen’s Council, dated the 11th day of November 1555, but not delivered until the 17th of the same month. [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vii. 733.]

         “After our right hearty commendations to your good Lordship, we send to the same herewith the body of one Bartlet Green, who hath of good time remained in the Tower for his obstinate standing in matters against the Catholic religion, whom the King’s and Queen’s Majesties’ pleasures are (because he is of your Lordship’s diocese) ye shall cause to be ordered according to the laws in such cases provided.  And thus we bid your Lordship heartily farewell.

         “From St. James’s, the 11th of November, 1555.

                  “Your good Lordship’s loving friends,

                           “Winchester.            Pembroke.       Thomas Ely.

                           William Haward.     John Bourne.   Thomas Wharton.”

         “Postscript. – I, Sir John Bourne, will wait upon your Lordship, and signify further the King’s and Queen’s Majesties’ pleasure herein.”

 

         “A Letter sent by the Commissioners to Bishop Bonner. [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vii. 342.]

         “After our hearty commendations to your good Lordship, we send you here John Wade, William Hale, George King, Thomas Leyes, of Thorpe in Essex; Thomas Fust, hosier; Robert Smith, painter; Stephen Harwood, brewer; George Tankerfield, cook; Elizabeth Warne, Joan Lashford of London, sacramentaries; all which we desire your Lordship to examine, and to order according to the ecclesiastical laws; praying your Lordship to appoint some of your officers to receive them at this bearer’s hand.  And thus most heartily fare your Lordship well. – From London this 2d of July.

         “Your Lordship’s loving friends,

                  “Nich. Hare.          Rich Rede.      Will. Roper.    Will. Cooke.”

 

         “A Letter sent by certain Justices in Essex to Bonner, Bishop of London. [Ibid., 118.  Documents of a similar character will be found in the same volume at pp. 92, 98, 139, 322, 347, 371.]

         “After our most hearty commendations to your good Lordship, these shall be to advertise you, that at our sessions of Oyer and Terminer holden at Chelmsford the 26th day of April last past, there came before us in open court one Thomas Wats of Billericay, within your diocese, by ordinary process; and then and there being examined why he refused to come to his parish church, and there to receive the Sacrament of the Altar, and hear Divine Service, according to the institution of Holy Church, he openly there answered generally, that like as the service of the Church set out in the days of the late King Edward VI was said by us now to be abominable, heretical, schismatic, and all naught; so he said, that all that is now used and done in that church is abominable, heretical, schismatic, and all naught, with divers other erroneous and arrogant words; and therefore we have thought good to send him to your Lordship, to be further examined by you of his particular opinions, as to your pastoral office shall seem convenient; certifying you further, that in our opinion he is one of the most arrogant heretics that hath been heard speak, or ever came before you, and not meet to be kept here in any jail, as well for fear of corrupting others as for divers and sundry other special causes hereafter to be more declared.  Thus leaving to molest your good Lordship, we commit you to the Holy Ghost. – Given at Chelmsford the 27th of April, anno 1555.

         “Your good Lordship’s most assured,

                  “R. Riche.             Thomas Mildmay.       Henry Tyrrel.

                  John Wiseman.      Anthony Brown.         Roger Appleton.

                  Edmund Tyrrel.     Richard Weston.”

 

         Instead, therefore, of seeking for prey like a wild beast thirsting for blood, Bonner simply received in his judicial capacity those who were sent to him as prisoners – those who had been apprehended and committed to prison by order of the Privy Council, or of Commissioners appointed by the Queen.  The Bishop of London, at least as the law then stood, had no more power or authority to refuse to exercise his office as ecclesiastical judge than a judge of assize has to refuse to try the prisoners brought before him at a jail delivery.  It is just the same in the present day; for although the “procedure” by which a person may be brought under the judicial cognizance of his bishop is different, yet if he is so brought according to the form laid down by the law, the bishop cannot escape from the duty of trying him.

         Nor had Bonner, or any other bishop, and there were several similarly situated, the option of choosing what opinions he would and what opinions he would not regard as heretical.  Just as in later times the “Test” of orthodoxy imposed by Act of Parliament consisted in the reception of the Holy Communion and the making of a declaration against Transubstantiation, [“I, A. B., do declare that I do believe there is not any Transubstantiation in the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, or in the elements of Bread and Wine, at or after the consecration thereof by any person whatsoever.”  (25 Car. II. 2, § 9.)] without which no one could hold office in the Church or under the Crown, so the Test of orthodoxy at this time was an acknowledgement of the doctrine of Transubstantiation and a reception of the Holy Communion in one kind.  But there was something more than this, for the “reconciliation” with Rome had brought the Canons of the Council of Trent into force in England, and one of these expressly declared those persons to be “Anathema,” or punishable with formal judicial excommunication, who held that the substance of bread and wine remained in the Holy Eucharist after consecration, instead of being wholly converted into the Body and Blood of Christ.*  All those who were brought before Bonner and the other bishops had “Articles” presented to them, which gave them the opportunity of assenting to or dissenting from the doctrine thus laid down [See above.]; if  they assented, a return was made to the civil authorities which exonerated them from punishment; if they dissented, a return was made declaring that they were guilty of heresy, and they were excommunicated. [See above.]  In the one case the sheriff would receive back his prisoners only to set them free, in the other he would receive them back to execute them by fire, according to the Act de haereticis comburendis, of the revival of which by Parliament an account has previously been given. [See instances of this in chap. vii.]

         *[This Canon had been passed in the year 1551 in the following words: “Si quis dixerit in sacrosancto Eucharistiae Sacramento remanere substantiam panis et vini una cum corpore et sanguine Domini nostri Jesu Christi; negaverit que mirabilem illam et singularem conversionem totius substantiae panis in corpus, et totius substantiae vini in sanguinem, manentibus dumtaxat speciebus panis et vini, quam quidem conversionem Catholica Ecclesia aptissime Transnbstantiationem appellat, Anathema sit.”  (Conc. Trident. De S.S. Euch. Sacr., Can. i.)  About the very same time the Sacred Synod of the English Church passed a Canon declaring that Transubstantiation was not to be proved by Holy Scripture: “Panis et vini Transubstantiatio in Eucharistia, ex sacris literis probari non potest, sed apertis Scripturae verbis adversatur et multarum superstitionem dedit occasionem.”  (Art. XXVIII, A.D. 1552.)  But unhappily the English version of this was published in an interpolated form, which seemed to justify the anti-Sacramentalists in denying the Real Presence itself for after the word “Transubstantiation” was added, instead of “in the Eucharist,” the definition “or the change of the substance of bread and wine into the substance of Christ’s body and blood.”  (Art. XXIX, 1552.)]

         Neither the ecclesiastical judges nor the sheriffs could evade such strict provisions as Parliament thus imposed upon them.  And when we observe the intensely polemical spirit which pervaded a large class of the people, and the violent irreverence with which the anti-Sacramentalist Puritans opposed, not only the over-defined Roman doctrine of Transubstantiation, but the Anglican doctrine of the Real Presence also, [See instances of this in chap. vii.] the wonder is less that so many were brought under the operation of the law than that so many escaped scot free.

         The only explanation which can be given of the latter fact is that most of those who had thrust upon them the administration of these cruel laws administered them with reluctance, and endeavoured so far as they could to avoid bringing persons under their operation.  There is also historical evidence that this was the case, as will be shown by the following important documents, which also throw a strong light upon the manner in which the persecution was carried on.

         (I)  To begin with, there is “An Order prescribed by the King and Queen’s Majesties unto the Justices of the Peace” in every county “for the good government of their Majesties’ loving subjects within the same shire,” which contains several injunctions respecting their administration of the laws relating to “erroneous and heretical opinions”.  These Letters Patent were issued on March 26, 1555, and the following paragraphs are those which immediately concern the subject under consideration:–

“Philip R., Mary The Queen.

         “Item.  The said justices of the peace shall not only be aiding and assisting unto such preachers as be, or shall be, sent into the said county, but shall also be themselves present at sermons, and use the preachers reverently, travailing soberly with such as by abstaining from coming to the church, or by any other open doings shall appear not persuaded to conform themselves; and to use such as be willful and obstinate more roundly, either by rebuking them or binding them to good bearing, or committing them to prison, as the quality of the persons and circumstances of their doings may seem to deserve.

         “Item.  Amongst all other things, they must lay special weight upon those which be preachers and teachers of heresy, or procurers of secret meetings for that purpose.

…     …     …

         “Item.  They shall procure to have in every parish, or part have of the shire, as near as may be, some one or more honest men, secretly instructed, to give information of the behaviour of the inhabitants amongst or about them.” [Burnet’s Reform., i. 427, Pocock’s Ed.]

         These Injunctions were, however, inoperative to a great extent through the conduct of the bishops, who either refused to examine the prisoners sent to them by the justices of the peace or refused to excommunicate them, and thus place them again in the hands of the civil power.  The bishops appear, in fact, to have temporized in the hope that something might occur to relieve them of duties which were in themselves distasteful to them; and both at this time and later on they appear to have been in the habit of keeping prisoners a long time in their own hands, endeavouring by kindness and management to get from them an actual recantation, or some “submission” which might be interpreted as such, and so enable them to dismiss the accused formally from the Consistory Courts without passing sentence of excommunication upon them.

         Foxe grudgingly records an instance of this mercifulness in the case of twenty-two persons who were sent up to Bonner by Lord Oxford and seven other magistrates from Colchester, which was within his diocese.  “The bishops,” he says, “afraid belike of the number, to put so many at once to death, sought means to deliver them; and so they did, drawing out a very easy submission for them, or rather suffering them to draw it out themselves: notwithstanding divers of them afterward were taken again and suffered, as hereafter ye shall hear (God willing) declared.”  The form of submission adopted was as follows:–

         “Because our Saviour Christ at His Last Supper took bread, and when He had given thanks, He brake it, and gave it unto His disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat, this is My Body which is given for you, this do in remembrance of Me’; therefore, according to the words of our Saviour Jesus Christ, we do believe in the Sacrament to be Christ’s Body.  And likewise He took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it to His disciples, and said, ‘This is My Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many.’  Therefore likewise we do believe that it is the Blood of Christ, according as Christ’s Church doth minister the same; unto the which Catholic Church of Christ we do in this like as in all other matters submit ourselves, promising therein to live as it becometh good Christian men, and here in this realm to use ourselves as it becometh faithful subjects unto our most gracious King and Queen, and to all other superiors, both spiritual and temporal, according to our bounden duties.” [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., viii. 303, 310; Machyn’s Diary, 118.]

         Upon this submission these twenty-two prisoners were all returned by Bonner as not guilty of heresy, and were sent home free.  Doubtless it was the same, as regards the humane attempt, in many other cases.

         Thus, Thomas Tomkins, a weaver of Shoreditch, was sent to the custody of Bishop Bonner some time before Midsummer 1554; in July he is found “haymaking with his other workfolks” at Fulham, while the bishop talked with him in a friendly way about his case, wishing that he was as good a Catholic as he was a labourer.  Such talk Bonner had with his prisoner on many other occasions, and once he tried to impress upon him what the pain of being burned alive was (for many of the fanatics believed there was no pain) by holding his hand over a taper that stood upon his library table [Of this incident Foxe adds, “In the time that his hand was in burning, the same Tomkins afterward reported to one James Hinse that his spirit was so rapt that he felt no pain.”]; but his excommunication was delayed until all persuasion had failed, and it was not until February 9, 1555, that it was pronounced by the bishop, sitting with eight assessors in his Consistory Court, and the prisoner handed over to the Sheriff of London. [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vi. 719–721.]

         In another case, that of William Hunter, an apprentice nineteen years old, Bonner is reported to have said as follows: “I understand, William Hunter,” quoth he, “by Master Brown’s letter, how that you have had certain communication with the Vicar of the Wield about the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, and how that ye could not agree: whereupon Master Brown sent for thee, to bring thee to the Catholic faith, from the which he saith that thou art gone.  Howbeit, if thou wilt be ruled by me, thou shalt have no harm for anything that thou hast said or done in this matter.”  The youth refusing to take the bishop’s advice, Bonner added, “I think thou art ashamed to bear a faggot and recant openly; but if thou wilt recant thy sayings, I will promise thee that thou shalt not be put to open shame: but speak the word here now between me and thee, and I will promise thee it shall go no further, and thou shalt go home again without any hurt.” [Ibid., 726.]

         Another case in illustration is that of a young student of the Temple, and previously of Oxford, named Bartlet Green.  When he was sent from the Fleet prison to Bonner for the purpose of being examined by his diocesan, the bishop thus treated his prisoner and the alleged heretic:–

         “Then,” writes Green to Archdeacon Philpot, “was I brought into my Lord’s inner chamber (where you were), and there was put in a chamber with Master Dee, who entreated me very friendly.  That night I supped at my Lord’s table, and lay with Master Dee in the chamber you did see.  On the morrow I was served at dinner from my Lord’s table, and at night did eat in the hall with his gentlemen; where I have been placed ever since, and fared wonderful well.  Yea, to say the truth, I had my liberty within the bounds of his Lordship’s house: for my lodging and fare, scarce have I been at any time abroad in better case so long together, and have found so much gentleness of my Lord, and his chaplains and other servants, that I should easily have forgotten that I was in prison, were it not that this great cheer was often powdered with unsavoury sauces of examinations, exhortations, posings, and disputations.

         “For, shortly after supper, the first Monday at night, I was had into my Lord’s bed chamber, and there he would know of me how I came first into these heresies.  I said I was persuaded thereto by the Scriptures, and authorities of the doctors, alleged by Peter Martyr in his lectures upon 1 Cor. 11, while he entreated there on that place, ‘De coena Domini,’ by the space of a month together.  But then my Lord enforced the plainness of Christ’s words, and His Almighty power, demanding of me what reason should move me from the literal sense of the words.  But I, having no lust to those matters, would have alleged that there were books sufficient of that matter, as Peter Martyr, Cranmer, and OEcolampadius; nevertheless, when this shift would not serve, but I was constrained to say somewhat, I said I was moved from the literal sense by the manner of speaking, by the circumstance, and by conference of other places of the Scriptures.”

         After several months of this kind treatment, Green was at last examined in the Consistory Court at St. Paul’s before Bonner and his assessors, and on January 15, 1556, he was excommunicated and delivered over to the Sheriff of London.

         It is a striking commentary on the traditional character given to Bonner that, before proceeding with Green’s case, he began with these or the like words: “Honourable audience, I think it best to open unto you the conversation of this man called Bartlet Green.  And because you shall not charge me that I go about to seek any man’s blood, here you shall hear the Council’s letters, which they sent with him unto me.  The effect whereof is that, whereas he had been of long time in the Tower of London for heresy, they have now sent him unto me to be ordered according to the laws therefor provided.” [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vii. 736–739.]  But this evident dislike to having his office as ecclesiastical judge promoted in this manner was shown on other occasions also.  In August 1555 a prisoner named Robert Smith was sent to him for examination, and for some reason the Lord Mayor was also present.  After he had been baited for some time by the very polemical prisoner, Bonner turned to the Lord Mayor and said, “Well, my Lord Mayor, your Lordship hath heard somewhat what a stout heretic this is, and that his articles have deserved death; yet, nevertheless, forsomuch as they report me to seek blood, and call me ‘Bloody Bonner,’ whereas God knoweth I never sought any man’s blood in all my life, I have stayed him from the Consistory this day, whither I might have brought him justly; and yet here, before your Lordship, I desire him to turn, and I will with all speed dispatch him out of trouble; and this I profess before your Lordship and all this audience.” [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vii. 349.]  Archdeacon Philpot also leaves on record that he used similar language when about to examine himself.  “I was brought into his presence,” he wrote respecting Bonner, “where he sat at a table alone, with three or four of his chaplains waiting upon him, and his registrar.  ‘Master Philpot, you are welcome; give me your hand.’  With that, because he so gently put forth his hand, I, to render courtesy for courtesy, kissed my hand, and gave him the same.  ‘I am right sorry for your trouble, and I promise you before it was within these two hours I knew not of your being here.  I pray you tell me what was the cause of your sending hither; for I promise you I know nothing thereof as yet, neither would I you should think that I was the cause thereof.  And I marvel that other men will trouble me with their matters; but I must be obedient to my betters; and I suppose men speak otherwise of me than I deserve.” [Ibid., 611.]

         (II.)  From these cases it may be very justly concluded that Bishop Bonner at least endeavoured vigorously, and at great risk to himself, to ameliorate the force of the persecution.  And so conspicuously was this the case, that the King and Queen and their advisers, finding how much their injunctions to the justices of the peace were being nullified by the conduct of the bishop and his episcopal brethren, addressed the following “letters” to them on May 24, 1555, the copy which follows being the one sent to the Bishop of London, and preserved in his register:–

 

“Phillipus.           Mary the Queen.

By the King and Queen.

         “Right Reverend Father in God, right trusty and well-beloved, we greet you well.  And where of late we addressed our letters unto the justices of peace within every of the counties of this our realm, whereby, amongst other instructions given them for the good order and quiet government of the country round about them, they are willed to have a special regard unto such disordered persons as, forgetting their duties towards God and us, do lean to any erroneous and heretical opinions, refusing to show themselves conformable to the Catholic religion of Christ’s Church; whom, if they cannot by good admonition and fair means reform them, they are willed to deliver unto the ordinary, to be by him charitably travailed withal, and removed (if it may be) from their naughty opinions; or else, if they continue obstinate, to be ordered according to the laws provided in that behalf: understanding now, to our no little marvel, that divers of the said disordered persons, being by the justices of peace, for their contempt and obstinacy, brought to the ordinaries to be used as is aforesaid, are either refused to be received at their hands, or, if they be received, are neither so travailed with as Christian charity requireth, nor yet proceeded withal according to the order of justice, but are suffered to continue in their errors, to the dishonour of Almighty God, and dangerous example of others.  Like as we find this matter very strange, so have we thought convenient both to signify this our knowledge, and therewith also to admonish you to have in this behalf such regard henceforth to the office of a good pastor and bishop, as when any such offenders shall be by the said officers or justices of peace brought unto you, ye do use your good wisdom and discretion in procuring to remove them from their errors, if it may be; or else in proceeding against them (if they shall continue obstinate) according to the order of the laws; so as through your good furtherance, both God’s glory may be better advanced, and the commonwealth more quietly governed.

“Given under our signet, at our honour of Hampton court, the 24th of May, the first and second years of our reign.” [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vii. 86.]

         This reprimand from the Crown was received with some indignation by Bonner.  He caused Chedsey, one of his chaplains, to make it known at Paul’s Cross on the following Sunday afternoon, and at the same time to declare on his behalf, that while he would readily endeavour to reclaim any of those whom the State charged with heresy, it was no wish of his that any of them should suffer for it; and no doubt the following portion of Dr. Chedsey’s address is in the words of Bonner himself:–

         “And whereas by these letters, coming from the King’s and Queen’s Majesties, it appeareth that their Majesties do charge my Lord Bishop of London and the rest of the bishops with remissness and negligence in instructing the people infected with heresy if they will be taught, and in punishing them if they will be obstinate and willful, ye shall understand that my Lord Bishop of London, for his part, offereth himself ready to do therein his duty to the uttermost, giving you knowledge that he hath sent to all the prisons of the city to know what persons are there for heresy, and by whose commandment; and that he will travail and take pains with all that be of his jurisdiction for their amendment; and sorry he is that any are in prison for any such matter.  And he willed me to tell you that he is not so cruel or hasty to send men to prison as some be slanderous and willful to do naught, and lay their faults on other men’s shoulders.”  [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vii. 286.  Either by design or by a very singular accident, Foxe has inserted this disclaimer at such a distance from the royal letter to which it refers, that in the edition of 1838 it is separated by 200 pages of matter, having no reference whatever to either document.]

         From this documentary evidence – and much more might be brought forward by way of confirmation and illustration – it is plain that Bishop Bonner no more sought out victims for the stake among the Puritans than Lord Penzance in later days sought out victims among the Ritualists for imprisonment.  Bonner simply acted as the judge of the Consistory Court of the Diocese of London, and acted as such only when persons were accused before him by the civil magistrate.  So far as it was possible for him to dismiss cases, he did dismiss them; and he persistently endeavoured, by persuasion, kind treatment, argument, and delay, to make it possible for him to do so.  In how many cases he succeeded in sending the accused persons home to their friends, as he sent the twenty-two from Colchester, cannot be told, for, as a rule, Foxe records only the narratives of those who were found guilty of heresy in open court; but they were probably very numerous.  To represent him as the mainspring of the persecution is utterly unhistorical; to represent him as actually condemning persons to be burned at the stake is equally so; and it would be scarcely less inconsistent with the narratives of the sufferers, even when recorded by his most bitter enemy, the venomous and unscrupulous Foxe, to represent him as using his court in an unjust manner for the purpose of forwarding the persecution.

         It is strange beyond measure, indeed, when examining the authoritative documents, to find how much popular tradition has gone astray in respect to the responsibility of Bishop Bonner; but the strangeness passes away when the careful reader of Foxe’s “Book of Martyrs” (on which Strype, Burnet, and later historians are entirely dependent) observes that his comments upon these documents are, of the most recklessly unjust character; that he couples the name of his enemy with opprobrious epithets, such as would catch the popular ear on every possible occasion; and that scarcely any trouble has ever been taken by historians to sift the real evidence which exists with respect to the duties which his office as bishop imposed upon him, and the way in which he carried them out.  Of his personal character little more is known than that he was a rather rough-speaking and good-natured man.  [When Bonner came out of the Marshalsea prison at the beginning of Queen Mary’s reign, he was so popular “that all the people by the way bade him welcome home, both men and women; and as many of the women as might kissed him and so” he “came to Paul’s, and knelt down on the steps, and said his prayers.” (Grey Friars’ Chron., 88.)  Sir John Harington just remembered the bishop, but says he was too young to know much about him.  “He was so hated,” he says, “that every ill-favoured fat fellow that went in the street they would say, That is Bonner. ... Having twice lost his bishopric, walking with his tippet in the street, one begged it of him (in scoff) to line a coat.  ‘No,’ saith he, ‘but thou shalt have a fool’s head to line thy cap.’  And so to another that bade him ‘Good morrow, Bishop quondam,’ he straight replied, ‘Farewell, knave semper.’  I have been told also that one showed him his own picture in the Book of Martyrs, in the first edition, on purpose to vex him, at which he laughed, saying, ‘A vengeance on the fool, how could he get my picture drawn so right?’  And when one asked him if he were not ashamed to whip a man with beard, he laughed and told him ‘his beard was grown since’; ‘but (saith he) if thou hadst been in his case, thou wouldest have thought it a good commutation of penance to have thy bum beaten to save thy body from burning.” (Harington’s Brief View of the Church of England, p. 16, ed. 1653.)  Among the Lansdowne MSS. there is a curious letter from Grindal, Bishop of London, dated September 9, 1569, saying that as Bonner had been under sentence of excommunication in the Court of Arches for eight or nine years without seeking absolution, he was not entitled to Christian burial; and that to avoid riot on account of the hatred borne to him by the people of the city, he was to be buried at night.  (Lansd. MS., xi. 144.)]

         The Spaniards. – But any historian who observes the course of this persecution from a philosophical and not a polemical point of view, must be struck at once by the coincidence between the time of its outbreak and the arrival in England of a prince and a train of followers who came from a country where persecution was carried on to an extent far beyond anything known in other Christian lands.  In Spain punishment of burning for heresy was first in vented.  In Spain the Inquisition had been a firmly established national institution for more than seventy years.  In Spain the great Act of Faith, in which large numbers of heretics were burnt to death in the midst of a gorgeous ceremonial, was a familiar holiday spectacle.  Need we go further than to this immigration of Spaniards for an answer to the question, Who was responsible for the Marian persecution?

         First there was Philip II, himself, the husband of Queen Mary, and the nominal King of England.  Although a young man of twenty-eight only, he took a very deep interest in Ultramontane politics and religion, and on the very day when Cardinal Pole reconciled the country to the Roman See, the King wrote a royal report of the reconciliation to the Pope, and ended his letter with the words, “And I trust your Holiness shall always understand that the Holy See hath not had a more obedient son than I, nor more desirous to preserve and increase the authority of the same.” [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vi. 573.]  With such devotion towards the Papal authority, he was sure to have a corresponding hatred of those who repudiated it, and who, in the language of Rome, were to be accounted heretics.  Moreover, he was the son of a sovereign, Charles V, who prided himself upon the care with which he had sought out heretics, and caused them to be burnt.  And so well assured was the father that his son would follow his example, as to write to him and to the Queen soon after their marriage in terms which indicated a certainty that heretics would now be burnt in England as they were in Spain.  “When I had been informed,” writes the Emperor in a document which is printed by Sandoval, his biographer, “that many persons had been arrested in some provinces, and that others were to be taken as accused of Lutheranism, I wrote to the Princess, my daughter, to inform her in what manner they should be punished and the evil remedied.  I also wrote afterwards to Louis Quixada, and authorized him to act in my name in the same affair; and although I am persuaded that the King, my son, the Princess, my daughter, and the ministers, have already, and will always, make every possible effort to destroy so great an evil with all the severity and promptitude which it requires, yet, considering what I owe to the service of our Lord, the triumph of His faith, the preservation of His Church and the Christian religion (in the defense of which I have performed such painful labours at the risk of my life, as everyone knows), and particularly desiring, above all, to inspire my son, whose catholic sentiments I know, with the wish of imitating my conduct, and which I hope he will do.  And I command him, moreover, in my quality of father, and by the obedience which he owes me, to labour with diligence as in a point which particularly interests him, that the heretics shall be prosecuted and chastised with all the severity which their crimes deserve, without permitting any criminal to be excepted, without any respect for the entreaties, or rank, or quality of the persons; and that my intentions may have their full and entire effect, I desire him to protect the holy office of the Inquisition, for the great numbers of crimes which it prevents or punishes, remembering that I have charged him to do so in my will, that he may fulfill his duty as a prince, and render himself worthy that the Lord should make his reign prosperous, conduct his affairs, and protect him against his enemies, to my consolation.” [Sandoval’s History of Charles V, vol. ii.; Llorentes’ Hist. of Inquisition, ch. xviii. p. 173, Eng. ed. 1826.]

         Such instructions as these fell on a kindly soil; for Philip no sooner took possession of his Spanish dominions after his father’s abdication than they began to bear fruit.  “On his arrival in Spain,” says the historian Mezeray, “he caused a great multitude of those called Lutherans – men and women, laymen and clergy – to be burnt in his presence at Seville and at Valladolid.” [Mezeray’s Abrege Chron., 990, ed. Par. 1667; Fabre, Continu. of Fleury, cliv. 47, 49.]  “He would himself carry the faggots to burn his son, Don Carlos, if that son should become a Lutheran,” he said at Valladolid; and “he would rather be without subjects,” he replied, when remonstrated with about the persecutions of a later day, “than be a king of heretics”.  With what cruel instruments for the torture of English heretics he loaded the ships of the Armada is well known.  In short, there was never any Christian sovereign who surpassed Philip in calm, self-possessed cruelty, or in the extent of his persecutions; and it would be most unreasonable to suppose that the influence of so conscientious an extirpator of heretics was not vigorously exerted on the Queen, and on others, when he came into England.

         But King Philip did not come into England alone; and it is to be remembered especially that there accompanied him so many Spanish friars that it had been a matter of discussion whether they should not set aside their habits for fear of exciting opposition among the new subjects of King Philip [This is mentioned by Cardinal Pole in the letter that he wrote to Pope Julius III, giving him an account of the interview which he had with the Emperor Charles V before his voyage to England.  (Burnet’s Reform., vi. 348, Pocock’s Ed.)]; some of these friars being distinguished members of that Dominican order to which the Inquisition was indebted for its long and hateful vitality.  A few particulars respecting the best known of these Spanish friars may be acceptable to the reader.

         Bartholomew Carranza Di Miranda was a Spanish Dominican, who acted as confessor, first to King Philip, and afterwards to Queen Mary; and some particulars of his work in England may be gathered from a life of this eminent man which was written by Salazar di Mendoza soon after his death, as well as from a memoir contained in a church history of his own times which was published by Alonzo Fernandez in 1611.  “On the conclusion of the match between Philip and Mary,” says the memoir, “as it was the intention of the affianced parties to reduce the kingdom of England to the unity and bosom of the Catholic Church, the enterprise was begun by Carranza receiving orders to pass over into England, and to take with him great learned clerks, who should arrange the business dexterously, conquering the difficulties which might present themselves.  He accordingly set out in May 1554, some time before the Prince himself embarked.”  His earliest work was to smooth the way for Cardinal Pole’s return to England, and then to assist the Cardinal in recovering ecclesiastical property for the Church.  He was afterwards appointed one of the commissioners for the reform of the universities, and is represented as saying on his deathbed that, while he filled that office, he exhumed the bodies of the principal English heretics, and had them burned “with all the authority of the holy Inquisition”; these being the bodies of Martin Bucer and Paul Fagius.  “He caused many Bibles to be collected and burned,” says Fernandez, “which had been viciously turned by the heretics into the vulgar English tongue, these Bibles being found fastened with little chains to the benches in churches, in order that they might be easily read by all.”  Carranza is found meddling with the persecution so early as February 25, 1555, when he visited Bradford in company with Alphonsus A’Castro, to be presently mentioned, and endeavoured to persuade him into a recantation. [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vii. 179.]

         After the departure of Philip from England, Carranza remained as confessor and director to the Queen; and, by Philip’s orders, as he stated in his last illness, he continued to take an active part in the persecution, the Queen assenting to the measures suggested, in the hope of regaining her hold upon her absent husband.  If his biographer is to be believed, Carranza was the chief person employed in all the measures that were taken by the Ultramontane party respecting the degradation, condemnation, and execution of Cranmer.  “It was by order of Master Bartholomew de Carranza,” says Fernandez, “that, after his cause had been committed to the ecclesiastical tribunal, he was degraded by the Catholic bishops, and burnt alive in Oxford as an obstinate and impenitent heretic.”  “He had such strong supporters,” says the biographer, “that the execution of his sentence gave the Queen much anxiety; but it was done without scandal; and as soon as she knew of the sentence, she sent to Carranza to advise with about it.”  The same writer says that, by the contrivance of Carranza, “many were consigned to the flames, and among them was burned alive Thomas Cranmer, usurping Archbishop of Canterbury, who gave sentence against Catharine.” [Fernandez, Hist. Eccl. del nuestros tempos, lib. iii. c. 27, 28.]

         Carranza left England in July 1557 to become Archbishop of Toledo, a promotion for which he had been recommended to Philip by Queen Mary.  In his own see and province he gave a zealous support to the Inquisition by obtaining for its officers one canonry in every cathedral and collegiate church.  But in August 1559 he himself was charged with having taught heretical doctrine, and he lingered as a prisoner of the Inquisition for sixteen years, eventually dying in a Dominican monastery at Rome in April 1576.

         Garcina, or Juan di Villagarcia, was a Spanish Dominican, who was sent by Carranza, according to the statement of Fernandez, to read divinity lectures in Lincoln and Magdalen Colleges, Oxford, and he became Regius Professor of Divinity in 1556.  He remained in Oxford during the whole of Queen Mary’s reign, and is declared by Fernandez to have met with extraordinary success in eradicating the theology taught during the reign of Edward VI, and in establishing those ultramontane principles which led to the secession of so many young men to Rome in the next reign.  Villagarcia had much to do with the last days of Cranmer, especially with his recantations, and was one of the friars who were present when he was burned. [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., viii. 90.]

         Pedro Di Soto was also a Spanish Dominican, who had been confessor to the Emperor Charles V for many years.  He was sent to Oxford by Carranza, and appears to have acted as deputy to Bruerne, the Regius Professor of Hebrew during the reign of Queen Mary.  He was associated with Garcina in the attempts to secure a satisfactory recantation from Cranmer, and was with him at the time when Latimer and Ridley passed his prison on their way to execution, [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vii. 548.] and had laboured with them also to the same purpose. [Quirini’s Poli Epp., v. 47.]  “So excellent and abundant,” says Fernandez, “was the fruit which the religious and learned Peter de Soto and his companions, religious persons of his habit, obtained in Oxford, that the seed of the faith which has endured in England to this day is the fruit of their labour in sowing.”  So also Jewel wrote to Bullinger that Soto had overturned by the roots all which Peter Martyr had planted. [Burnet’s Hist. Ref., vi. 406, Pocock’s Ed.]

         Alphonsus A’Castro, a Spanish Franciscan of the Observant rule, was, however, the person who more than all others stimulated this cruel and fanatical persecution, having made himself the chief authority on the subject long before it broke out in England.  In 1534 he printed a folio volume containing an historical and theological account of all known heresies, [Adversus Omnes Haereses.] and in 1547 another work of much greater significance as regards the subject now under consideration, namely, a treatise on the righteous punishment of heretics. [The full title of the work is as follows: “Fratris Alfonsi A’Castro, Zamorrensis, regularis Observantiae, provinciae Sancti Jacobi: De justa Haereticorum punitione libri tres, opus nunc recens, et nunquam antea impressum, Salmantiae excudebat Joannes Giunta, A.D. 1547.”]  Both of these volumes were reprinted specially for the use of King Philip in the year 1556, the dedication of the first to the Archbishop of Toledo, and of the second to the Emperor Charles V, being replaced by a dedication to Philip, dated May 20, 1556, in which the author speaks of each work as having been enlarged while he was resident in England, serving the King in public sermons and in matters of business connected with the faith.  It is evident, therefore, that A’Castro had placed his book on the punishment of heretics in the hands of Philip at a time when the question of punishing English heretics was one lying immediately before the King, as a matter in which religious duty and public policy were concerned; and as there is no improbability in the supposition that A’Castro, who was confessor to the King, had brought his book to Philip’s knowledge long before the date given in the dedication, so it is certain that advice would be given by him in the beginning of the persecution which would be in accordance with the principles laid down in the book.

         There is probably no more thorough-going work on the subject of which it treats, and at the same time none more shocking, than this work of A’Castro’s on the punishment of heretics, and it is one which was eminently calculated to incite such a gloomy fanatic as Philip to pursue the English Protestants with extreme rigour by all the means, direct and indirect, which lay in his power.  The spirit in which it was originally written may be seen by its dedication to Charles V, which is dated October 28, 1547.  After a bitter complaint of the Protestants, whom he compares to mad and hungry dogs who are ready to swallow the offal of any filthy doctrine of old rejected by the Church, and enumerating the catholic and learned men who have written against them, he speaks of his own former work, “Adversus Haereses,” in which he had endeavoured at great length to put together an account of all the heresies which had infested the Church from the Ascension of our Lord to the present time.  But though he had thus well beaten the heretics with arguments, they had not yet returned to their senses.  Disagreeing among themselves more than from the Church, as their way has always been, they are yet all agreed in attacking the Pope, anti-Popery being their only bond of union.  “Since, therefore,” he goes on to say, “it is now well proved to my conviction that mild measures were of no profit to them, I thought it necessary to use sharper medicine, that we should now proceed against them, not with words, but with clubs and whips and swords; that punishment might teach wisdom to men who have abused the liberty allowed them, and persist in their folly; and that, since a too great lenity has failed to give them understanding, affliction may do so.  The heretics, however, fearing such affliction, and wishing to rescue themselves from it, have, with their serpentine cunning, taught that the punishment of heretics is unlawful, and have said that those who punish heretics are rather tyrants than kings, or even those who compel them by pains and tortures to keep the faith. ... For this cause I have determined, in a long treatise, to discuss the question as to what punishments are justly due to heretics, in order that Christian princes, being well persuaded concerning the lawfulness of punishing them, may not permit any of those penalties which the laws decree against heretics to be dispensed with, but order them to be inflicted on all stubborn and obstinate heretics whatsoever.”

         The subject is followed up through many chapters, and then, after long disquisitions on the duty of rulers to deprive heretics of their property and civil rights, there comes a chapter on the duty of further punishing them with death, either by the sword or by fire, or in some other manner. [The exact title of the chapter is “Quod Haeretici sunt mortis supplicio puniendi, sive talis mors gladio, aut igne, aut alio quovis modo illis inferatur.”  (A’Castro, De justa Haeret. punitione, ii. 12, fol. 116, col. 4, ed. 1547.)]  All countries are not alike, he remarks, in the mode of inflicting this last punishment; but he gives his .own experience.  Within the preceding ten years he has seen heretics in Flanders and Lower Germany beheaded; in Guelders they were tied hand and foot and thrown into the river by order of Charles, Duke of Guelders; and one was similarly treated by Margaret, the Emperor’s aunt, at Antwerp.  At Bruges, as he has heard from many credible eyewitnesses, it was the custom to throw them into boiling oil; but when he was there, there was nothing but simple beheading.  In other Christian kingdoms, as far as he knows, it is the constant and inviolable custom to burn heretics with fire.  He has seen it done so in France, particularly at Paris.  So also it is done in Spain; and he thinks in Italy this was always the way.  If anyone asks why heretics should be burned rather than put to death in any other manner, he can only say that it is the custom, for there is no specific law on the subject.  But he thinks that the custom of burning them is more consistent than any other with the teaching of Holy Scripture, for Korah and his company were destroyed by fire, etc. etc.

         But the edition prepared for King Philip [Of this edition the bibliographer Antonio writes, “Ex tertiaque auctoris ipsius recognitione, anno 1556,” but does not give any place of publication.  It was evidently printed privately, and not published until 1565.] is specially associated with the persecution of the Protestants in England by the words in which the author dedicates it to the husband of Queen Mary.  “No man is more bound than Philip,” he says, “to be an irreconcilable enemy to the opponents of the Catholic faith, since he is now, as King of England, Defender of the Faith; and he has well shown how he has deserved the title, by reconciling in four months a kingdom which for twenty years previously had revolted.  And there is now good ground to hope, from the temper of the Parliament and nation, that the whole kingdom will shortly be in a condition to be restored to that purity of Christian religion which it held before its apostasy.”  The date “four months” is an important one.  The marriage of Philip and Mary took place on July 25, 1554, the “reconciliation” to the Pope on November 30, 1554, and it may thus be concluded that the work of A’Castro was revised and ready for the perusal of Philip about the end of that year.  Now, it was in the last month of 1554 and the first of 1555, immediately after the completion of this new edition, that the old statutes respecting the burning of heretics were revived; and it is hardly possible to put aside the apparent connection between that, the revival, and the urgent exhortations and instructions respecting the punishment of heretics by sword or FIRE, but preferably the last, which had been given to the King by his chaplain and spiritual director.

         It is, moreover, astonishing to see the shameless duplicity which was shown by the Spanish party in this matter.  In the work which was privately submitted to Philip for his guidance, A’Castro had written that, “in proportion as any crime is more grievous and atrocious, the more just it is, by means of some greater and more bitter punishment, to inspire others with a horror of such a crime.  But there is no more grievous sin than heresy; there is therefore no crime with hatred of which a Christian ought to be more intensely inspired; whence it follows that there is no crime for which a man may be more justly put to death than for fixed and incurable heresy.” On February 4, 1555, the firstfruits of A’Castro’s work were gathered in by the burning of John Rogers; on February 9th Hooper was burned at Gloucester, and Taylor at Hadleigh; and on the very next day after these two latter executions, the man who had written what has been just quoted put on a mask of humanity; the man who had stimulated the King, and through him the Queen, to sanction such executions, preached a sermon before the Court, in which “he did earnestly inveigh against the” English “bishops for burning of men, saying plainly that they learned it not in Scripture to burn any for his conscience, but the contrary; that he should live and be converted, with many other things more to the same purport.” [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vi. 704.]  Hence, while A’Castro was secretly advising the persecution of heretics to the death, he was also preaching publicly against their persecution, thus serving the Spanish King, as he himself says in the dedication of his book, “in public sermons and in matters of business [A glimpse of A’Castro’s personal bearing in these “matters of business” is afforded us in the account of his visit, in company with Carranza, to Bradford, when the latter lay a prisoner in the Compter, on February 25, 1555.  “Here was the friar in a wonderful rage, and spake so high (as often he had done before) that the whole house rung again, chafing with om and cho.  He hath a great name for learning, but surely he hath little patience; for if Bradford had been anything hot, one house could not have held them.”  “Here the friar fumed marvelously, and said, ‘I came not to learn at thee; are not here witnesses?  Be not they sufficient?’  But the man was so chafed that, if Bradford had not passed over this matter of writing, the friar would have fallen to plain scolding.”  (Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vii. 180, 182.)] connected with the faith.”  The sermon was undoubtedly a trick of statecraft, the object of which was to throw the public mind off the scent – a suppressio veri by its concealment of the fact that the Spanish intruders were the real authors of the persecution, a suggestio falsi by its assumption that the English bishops were the persons to be blamed and execrated.  If we could see further into the secret history of the times, we should probably find that Alphonsus A’Castro was actively engaged in directing the course of the persecution during the whole of the time that he remained in England, as well as in giving to it its initial impetus.  But having been nominated to the Archbishopric of Compostella, he left England at the end of 1557, and died at Brussels on February 2, 1558.

         Cardinal Pole. – Opinions have varied much as to the share which Cardinal Pole had in the persecution; and although out of the whole number of persons who were burned as many as one-fifth suffered in the Diocese of Canterbury, it has been often alleged, on the authority of some weak evidence given by Foxe, [“Concerning the which Cardinal, although it cannot be denied by his acts and writings but that he was a professed enemy, and no otherwise to be reputed but for a Papist; yet, again, it is to be supposed that he was none of the bloody and cruel sort of Papists, as may appear, not only by staying the rage of this Bishop (i.e. Bonner), but also by the solicitous writing and long letters written to Cranmer, also by the complaints of certain Papists accusing him to the Pope to be a bearer with the heretics and by the Pope’s letters sent to him upon the same, calling him up to Rome, and setting Friar Peto had not Queen Mary, by special entreaty, kept him out of the Pope’s danger.  All which letters I have (if need be) to show; and besides, also, that it is thought of him that toward his latter end, a little before his coming from Rome to England, he began somewhat to favour the doctrine of Luther, and was no less suspected at Rome; yea, and furthermore, did there at Rome convert a certain learned Spaniard from Papism to Luther’s side; notwithstanding the pomp and glory of the world afterward carried him away to play the Papist thus as he did.  But of this Cardinal enough.”  (Foxe’s Acts and Mon., viii. 308.)] that Pole had nothing to do with the persecution.  It is certain, however, that the Archbishop’s deputies – Richard Thornden, the Suffragan Bishop of Dover, and Nicholas Harpsfield, the Archdeacon of Canterbury – were actively engaged in carrying out the persecution within the bounds of his diocese, and that they received wide powers from him in a secret commission issued to them as early as June 16, 1554, when the Cardinal was still at Brussels. [Foxe’s Arts and Mon., vii. 298.  Thornden had been suffragan to Archbishop Crammer, but, as a suffragan bishop’s authority expires with that of his superior, he was reappointed by Cardinal Pole, apparently at the date above mentioned, although Pole was not yet archbishop.]  Only a few months before his death, moreover, on March 28, 1558, Pole issued a fresh commission for proceedings to be taken against the heretics of his diocese, and formally delivered some of them over to the secular arm on July 7th of the same year. [Wilkins’ Concil., iv. 173, 174.]

         That Pole’s principles as to the punishment of heretics differed little or nothing from those of the Spanish party might be expected from his ultramontane training, but there is also evidence on the subject in his letters.  He did not disguise his opinion that heretics were worthy of, death, and ought to be cut off from the Church as rotten members [Quirini’s Poli Epp., iv. 156.]; and when writing to King Philip respecting the execution of Latimer and Ridley, he writes with evident approval, remarking that “no one can preserve him whom God has abandoned.” [Ibid., v. 47.]

         It was in the spirit of these latter words that he acted also towards Crammer.  The Cardinal seems at one time to have made some effort to save the Archbishop’s life, for he declared to him that, “if he could by any means rescue him from that dreadful sentence of death, not only of body, but of his soul, which was hanging over him, he would gladly prefer it, God knows, to all the riches and honours which this life could afford.” [Phillips’ Life of Pole, ii. 203.]  He also wrote several letters to him for the purpose of converting him, but they are couched in what can hardly be called otherwise than abusive terms; for, although he was only in deacon’s orders, he took upon himself to rebuke the Archbishop as a man devoid of learning, piety, and grace; one who was incapable of understanding the doctrine of the Church, since he was neither enlightened as a teacher nor tractable as a scholar; one who had fallen into grievous errors through his evil life; one who had committed perjury, sensuality, and other crimes, for which he had been delivered up to a reprobate mind. [Ibid., ii. 147.]  But as time went on Pole certainly gave up any desire that he might have had for showing mercy.  Archbishop Parker, who calls Pole “Ecclesiae Anglicanae carnifex et flagellum,” says that when Cranmer’s recantation had been obtained, his execution was assented to and hastened by Pole [Parker’s Antiq. Brit., 523, 533.]; and this statement of an adverse contemporary is confirmed by the language of a friendly contemporary, Dudith, who implies that Pole withdrew his petitions for the Archbishop’s pardon when he became aware of his dissimulation.  [Non minorem antea curam et studium Polus adhibuerat, ut saluti Thomae Cranmeri, qui ante se Archiepiscopus Cantuarensis fuerat, quique tunc Oxonii, quod oppidum bidui iter Londino distat, in custodia asservabatur, consuleret, ad eumque bis scripserat, si posset, pravis ejus opinionibus contra Sacramentum Altaris et Primatum Pontificis Romani confutatis, ad sanitatem illum perducere.  Cujus rei magnam quidem spem initio dederat, eique veniam Polus ab ipsa Regina impetraverat.  Verum postea, cogniti ejus simulatione, ad quam natus et factus esse videbatur, et qua omnibus in rebus tota vita usus semper fuerat, ea tandem poena est affectus, quae ejus regni legibus in haeresim constituta erat, vivusque crematus est.”  (Dudith’s pref. to Quirini, i. 43.)]  There is something terribly suggestive, moreover, in the entry of a contemporary chronicler, that Cranmer was burned at Oxford on March 21, 1556, and that “the same day the Lord Cardinal Pole was made priest at Lambeth, and the morrow, being Sunday, he was consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury at Greenwich in the Friars’ Church, and the Wednesday after, being the Feast of the Annunciation, he received the pall in his Church of St. Mary the Arches, alias Bow Church in Cheap.” [Wriothesley’s Chron., i. 134.]  But whereas Cranmer had been consecrated to the archbishopric twenty-three years before, Pole died in less than three years from his consecration, namely, on November 17, 1558.

         Queen Mary. – But whoever was originally responsible for the persecution, it is much to be feared that the deeply religious and once amiable Queen herself cannot be exculpated.  Her natural disposition was more gentle than that of any of the Tudors, and until her marriage with Philip was arranged she was a very popular sovereign; but when she came under the influence of her husband and Cardinal Pole she changed greatly.  Marrying so late in life, and when her physicians ought to have advised her against marrying at all, [See Madden’s Privy Purse Expenses of P. Mary, pp. cxxxiv., cxliii., for contemporary evidence respecting her malady.] she was soon overwhelmed with physical and mental misery, which soured her disposition and made royal lenity less easy to her than it was when she struck out so many names from the list of traitors presented to her at the beginning of her reign. [See above.]  She was then also brought under the influence of the Spanish Dominicans, one of whom was her confessor, and was thus imbued with extravagant opinions respecting the extirpation of heresy.

         To these influences from the persecuting side there must also be added others which were brought to bear upon the Queen from the side of those who were persecuted, some of whom made themselves peculiarly obnoxious to her as a Queen and a woman by the insulting language which they used towards her, and did their best to identify anti-sacerdotalism with treason.  John Knox, who was the leader of this extreme party, had fled into Germany with others at her secession, and from safe quarters sent into England great numbers of a bitter sermon which he had preached against her, and of a book entitled “The First Blast of the Trumpet against the monstrous Regiment of Women.”  Christopher Goodman, another of the fugitives, also wrote a book, showing “How superior powers ought to be obeyed of their subjects, and wherein they may lawfully by God’s Word be disobeyed and resisted; and wherein also is declared the cause of all this present misery in England, and the only way to remedy the same.”  Bishop Poynet again revenged himself for the loss of the See of Winchester by writing “A short Treatise of Politick Power, and of the true Obedience which subjects owe to Kings and other Civil Governors, with an Exhortation to all true natural Englishmen,” one chapter of which was headed, “Whether it be lawful to depose an evil governor and kill a tyrant.”  The publication of these works was commenced some time before the persecution began, [Foxe, writing of the year 1554, says, “About the 5th of October, and within a fortnight following, were divers, as well householders as servants and apprentices, apprehended and taken and committed to sundry prisons for the having and selling of certain books which were sent into England by the preachers that fled into Germany and other countries; which books nipped a great number so near, that within one fortnight there were little less than threescore imprisoned for this matter.”  (Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vi. 561.)] and their secret circulation in England was very extensive.  The object of these books was undoubtedly that of stirring up the subjects of the Queen to rebellion, and so getting rid of the Queen herself.  She was habitually spoken of as “Jezebel,” “Cursed Jezebel of England,” “That horrible monster Jezebel of England,” the people’s “Ungodly and unlawful governess, wicked Jezebel,” “That wicked woman whom you untruly make your Queen,” “This ungodly serpent Mary,” and so forth; and the substance of the arguments used by the writers was that – (1) Being a woman, she was a creature under the curse of God; that (2)] being an illegitimate daughter of Henry VIII, she had no right to the throne; and that (3) being a tyrant, she ought to be put to death.

         How this Presbyterian venom worked among those of the party who remained in England may be seen by the results, which must have been very bitter to a sovereign whose reign had begun with so wonderful a display of national loyalty.  It became so common among the Protestants to pray for the Queen’s death, that it was necessary to put down the custom by a penal statute (1 and 2 Ph. and M., cap. 9), in which it was enacted that “if any person should pray and desire that God will shorten the Queen’s days, or take her out of the way, or any such malicious prayer amounting to the same effect, he, his procurators and abettors, shall be adjudged traitors.”  But the disciples of Knox did not trust to prayer alone, for William Thomas, who had been clerk of the Privy Council under Edward VI, was involved in some actual plot for the assassination of the Queen, and suffered a traitor’s death on account of it on May 18, 1554. [On May 9, 1554, “William Thomas, Esquire, was arraigned at the Guildhall of High Treason for conspiracy of the Queen’s death, and there by a jury of the citizens of London condemned, and had his judgment to die.”  On May 18th he was hanged, beheaded and quartered at Tyburn, his head being set on London Bridge, and his quarters in four several places a mile out of the city of London.  (Wriothesley’s Chron., ii. 116.)]

         That these wicked and provocative writings also affected the course of events most unfavourably for the persecuted party is shown, too, by the strong opinion expressed in a letter written to Calvin by Whitehead, Cox, and others of the fugitives on September 20, 1555: “This we can assure you,” they say, “that that outrageous pamphlet of Knox’s added much oil to the flame of persecution in England.  For before the publication of that book not one of our brethren had suffered death; but as soon as it came forth, we doubt not but that you are well aware of the number of excellent men who have perished in the flames, to say nothing of how many other godly men besides have been exposed to the risk of all their property, and even life itself, upon the sole, ground of either having had this book in their possession or having read it, who were perhaps rescued from the sword at greater cost and danger of life than the others offered their necks to it.” [Orig. Lett., 761.  A commission of two bishops, a dean, and seventeen laymen was appointed with very full powers in respect to the writers, sellers, and possessors of heretical and slanderous books on Februarô 8, 1557.  (Foxe’s Acts and Moa., viii. 301.)]

         The first direct evidence of the effect produced upon Queen Mary by the influences which were thus pressing upon her from both sides is to be found in a paper which has come down to modern times, and which was written by her about November 1544, shortly before the arrival of Cardinal Pole.  This is entitled by some subsequent copyist, “Directions of Queen Mary to her Council touching the Reformation of the Church to the Roman religion out of her own original.”  After laying down some rules that are to be observed in conducting business with the Cardinal, the Queen goes on to say, “Touching punishment of heretics, methinketh it ought to be done without rashness, not leaving in the meanwhile to do justice to such as by learning would seem to deceive the simple, [That this instruction was not followed up is shown by a letter of Bonner’s secretary, dated October 24, 1556.  After mentioning that only three out of twelve accused persons were likely to prove obstinate and refuse to recant these heresies, he adds, “It may please your good Lordship to be advertised, that I do see by experience, that the sworn inquest for heresies do, most commonly, indict the simple, ignorant, and wretched heretics, and do let the arch-heretics go; which is one great cause that moveth the rude multitude to murmur, when they see the simple wretches (not knowing what heresy is) to burn.”  (Foxe’s Acts and Mon., viii. 388.)] and the rest so to be used that the people might well perceive them not to be condemned without just occasion, whereby they shall both understand the truth and beware to do the like.  And especially in London I would wish none to be burnt without some of the Council’s presence, and both there and everywhere good sermons at the same.” [Burnet’s Reform., v. 440, Pocock’s Ed.  Copies of this paper are in the British Museum Library, viz. Harl. MS., 444; add. MS., 1786.]

         Some further evidence is given by an entry in the Council Book on August 1, 1558, the tone of which seems to show that it expresses the personal wishes of the Queen. [If so, it must have been one of the last occasions on which she appeared at the Council, for a few days later she was seized with the fever of which she died in November.]  It orders a letter to be written “to Sir Robert Pexsall, Knight, Sheriff of the County of Hampshire, signifying that the Queen’s Majesty cannot but find it very strange that he hath stayed one Bembrigge from execution, being condemned for heresy; and therefore he is straightly commanded to cause him to be executed out of hand; and if he still continueth in the Catholic faith as he pretendeth, then to suffer him such discreet and learned men as the Bishop of Winchester shall appoint, who is written unto for this purpose, to have access unto him, and to confer with him, for the better confirmation of him in the Catholic faith, and to be present with him also at his death, for the better aiding of him to die God’s servant.  The said sheriff is also commanded to make his undelayed repair hither immediately after the execution, to answer his doings herein.” [Burnet’s Reform., iii. 454, Pocock’s note.]  This was a peculiarly cruel and piteous case, for the poor victim had been dragged from the midst of the flames on crying out, “I recant,” and after signing a recantation on the back of one of the standers-by, had been sent to prison again by the sheriff.  He was finally burned a week after his recantation, and the sheriff was imprisoned for some time in the Fleet. [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., viii. 492.]

         Lastly, there is a graphic letter of Noailles, the French ambassador, dated May 7, 1556, in which he gives to the King the particulars of an audience which he had with the Queen respecting the delivery to her officers of some of the refugees who were being protected in France.  “She felt herself much obliged to your Majesty that you had been pleased to promise to send her as prisoners some of her subjects who were in France, ‘abominable wretches, heretics, and traitors. [Probably Knox, who was then at Geneva, was the person specially aimed at.]  Well might she call them so,’ she said, ‘in regard to their crimes, which were so vile and execrable.’ ... When I made answer, speaking of these persons as exiles or refugees, she prayed me not to call them so, but abominable heretics and traitors, and even worse if possible, although she was very sorry to have occasion to call her own subjects by such bad names. ... These demands of the Queen were made with such vehemence, and so often repeated, that it was evident, though she forced herself to give me a good and gracious reception, the very little I had said to contradict her, and it was very little, had thrown her into an extreme passion. ... I must needs tell you, Sire, that this Princess lives constantly in two great extremes of anger and suspicion, for which we must excuse her, because she is in a continued madness of disappointment, not being able to enjoy either the presence of her husband or the love of her people; and she is also in great fear of losing her life by the treachery of some of her domestics, it having been lately found out that one of her chaplains had attempted to kill her, though they do not like to say much about it.” [Noailles, v. 352–354.]

         There seems no reason to doubt the truth of this narrative, and when taken with other scraps of evidence, it shows that disappointment, fear, and indignation gave Queen Mary an intense hatred of the Protestants, while the austere principles which she had learned from her Spanish husband, from Cardinal Pole, and from her Dominican chaplains, incited her to some acts, at least, of fanatic cruelty, which have in no small degree justified the odium associated with a name that is otherwise deserving of very great respect.

         The Spirit of the Times. – After all has been said also respecting the responsibility of particular persons, there still remains something to be said respecting the spirit of the times, which has sometimes been accused of being the true though impersonal criminal and under this head it will be convenient to gather together a few sayings and incidents which throw some light on the customs and principles by which both the persecutors and the persecuted were influenced.

         In the times of the Tudors, and down to a still later age, punishment for what was considered to be heresy was universally held to be right and necessary.  It was a principle of civil and ecclesiastical law that no one could separate themselves from the Church without incurring some penalty, which penalty varied in severity at different periods, and according to the degree of the offence, and was also inflicted with greater severity at some periods than at others.  The same principle was adopted by the Puritans when they at last became dominant in England after the suppression of the Monarchy and the Church in the middle of the seventeenth century, by the Presbyterians in Scotland from the time of their origin down to a very recent date, and by the emigrant sects which formed themselves into colonies in New England and other parts of the North American continent.  An impartial and philosophical inquiry would probably lead us to the conclusion also that, notwithstanding all which is said in favour of toleration in modern times, there is not a religious body in Christendom, from the Quakers to the Ultramontane Catholics, which has entirely repudiated the principle and practice of persecution; and that although we may entertain hopes that no religious body could now persecute with the same severity as was exercised in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, yet a certain amount of intolerance of supposed error will always accompany a warm zeal for supposed truth.

         Certain it is that the ideas embodied in the word “Toleration” were unknown at the period of the Reformation; that persons were put to death for heresy in the reigns of Edward VI, Queen Elizabeth, and James I, as well as in that of Queen Mary;* and that the punishment of death for heresy was still enjoined by the statute book until the year 1677, when it disappeared under the provisions of the “Act for taking away the Writ De Haeretico comburendo” (29 Ch. II, 9), which had not then been issued for sixty-five years.**

         *[Among those condemned under Edward VI’s commissions were a number of Unitarians – Champneys and Ashton, priests, Dutton, a tanner, and Thumb, a butcher; all of whom recanted, and were ordered to bear faggots at St. Paul’s in April 1549 (Grey Friars’ Chron., p. 58; Stove’s Ann., 596; Wilkins’ Concil., iv. 39–42; Rymer’s Foed. xv. 181, 250].  Others were Joan Butcher and Van Pam, a surgeon, who were both handed over to the secular arm by sentence of Archbishop Cranmer, and were both sent to the stake – Butcher being burned on May 2, 1550, Van Pane on April 2, 1551 (Stowe’s Ann., 605; Wilkins’ Concil., iv. 44, 45; Journal of Edw. VI; Cranmer’s Reg., fol. 74, 75).

            During Queen Elizabeth’s reign the cruel practice still continued notwithstanding the horror excited by the severities of the preceding reign.  On Easter Day, 1575, twenty-seven Anabaptists were arrested in the city by Bishop Sandys, of whom one woman and ten men were sentenced to be burned.  The woman abjured, and the men were sent out of the kingdom (Stowe’s Ann., 678, 679; Wright’s Queen Eliz., ii. 9).  Two named John Wielmacker and Hendrich Ter Woort were burned in Smithfield on July 22, 1575 (Stowe’s Ann., 679; Rymer’s Foed., xv. 740, 741; Strype’s Ann., iii. 564, ed. 1824).  A plough-wright named Matthew Hammond was burned at Norwich on May 20, 1579 (Stowe’s Ann., 685); John Lewis, in the same city, on September 17, 1583 [Stowe’s Ann., 697]; and a clergyman named Francis Kett was burned also in Norwich, in December 1587 (Stowe’s Ann., 697; Strype’s Ann., vi. 73; Archbishop Bancroft’s Sermon at Paul’s Cross, Feb. 9, 1588).

            In James I’s reign Bartholomew Legate was burned in Smithfield on March 18, 1612, and Edward Wightman at Lichfield on April 11, 1612.  Another was condemned, but died in Newgate (Fuller’s Ch. Hist., iii. 252–255, ed. 1837).  Wightman was the last person burned for heresy in England.]

         **[Other crimes for which men were punishable by burning were unnatural crimes and arson (Blackstone’s Comm., iv. 15, 4; 16, 1).  Women were, however, burned for all capital crimes down to a period within the lives of still living persons [19th century].  It is a curious fact that Spain finally abolished the cruel practice before England; for, while the last person burned by the Spanish Inquisition was a nun who was executed for infanticide in 1781, a woman was burned in the Old Bailey for coining on March 18, 1789.]

         Perhaps there would be few horrors more horrible to us of this age than to see men or women chained hand and foot to a post, and then deliberately burned to ashes.  The screams of the victims, the sight of their agonized struggles – such as we read of in the case of Bishop Ridley, whose half-consumed body is said to have sprung upward with a fearful convulsion, and then to have fallen back again into the flames – the eye, the ear, the very sense of smell choked with the odor of burning human flesh, would draw in such loathing for the mode of punishment as would fill us with utter pity for the victim, apart from any consideration of his innocence or his guilt that entered into the question.  But the generations of former days were much less sensitive.  Relatives often willingly chose to “see the last” of the sufferers – even such a last as this.  Those who were burned for being Protestants – as, for example, Bishop Latimer – had sometimes been present at the execution of those who were burned for being Papists, and those who were burned for being Papists had assisted at the execution of those who had been burned for being Protestants.  Whatever disgust and horror each may have felt at the misbelief of the other, it seems never to have been suggested that burning at the stake was an outrageously inhuman mode of punishing it for men to adopt of their own will.  We meet with words of compassion for the death of some, but not a word that indicates an extra grain of pity for the mode of that death.  This sort of pity was a development of later days, though there is no reason to suppose that the more humane ideas belong to an age of less physical courage.  How strange it would sound for a Low Church Bishop of modern times to entreat the Prime Minister, as Latimer did when the High Church Friar Forrest was roasted to death, that he might have a place assigned him as near as possible to the victim [The same request was made by the contemporary Bishop of Norwich when a friar was burned in his cathedral city.]; or for the Queen’s Privy Council to sit quietly by, witness the execution, and listen to a sermon, as the King’s did on the same occasion, May 22, 1538!

         This is partly explained by the fact that severe punishment was the custom of the times.  It was a enjoined by law, and countenanced by public opinion.  In 1531 an Act of Parliament was made against beggars, in which it was ordained, that if any person was taken begging, whether man or woman, they were “to be tied to the end of a cart, naked, and to be beaten with whips through the town till their body be bloody by reason of such whipping.”  Another provision of the same Act was that, for a second offence, beggars were to be scourged two days, and the third day to be put in the pillory from nine to eleven in the forenoon of the same day, and to have the right ear cut off; and for a third offence, more scourging, more pillory, and the loss of the other ear.  This statute was afterwards altered by Henry VIII himself, his Parliament agreeing to the alteration; and under its amended form the able-bodied beggar was punished with death for his third offence: the previous cat-o’-nine-tails, pillory, and mutilation being thought to have proved him irreclaimable.  But the Acts of Henry VIII were still further amended by one passed in the reign of his son.  By this Act (1 Edw. VI. 3), a runaway servant, or any other idle vagabond, was to be branded on the breast with the letter “V,” and to be adjudged “to be slave to the same person that brought and presented him” to two justices of the peace, “to have to him, his executors or assigns, for two years after, who shall take the said slave and give him bread, water, or small drink, and refuse meat; and cause him to work by beating, chaining, or otherwise, in such work as he shall put him to, be it never so vile.  And if such slave shall absent himself from his said master within the said term of two years by the space of fourteen days, then he shall be adjudged by two justices of the peace to be marked on the forehead or the ball of the cheek with an hot iron with the sign of an S, and further shall be adjudged to be slave to his master forever.  And if the said slave shall run away the second time he shall be adjudged a felon. ... It shall be lawful to every person to whom shall be adjudged a slave to put a ring of iron about his neck, arm, or leg.” [This dreadful Act was repealed by 3 and 4 Edw. VI. 16, so far as “tendeth to make vagabonds slaves,” but subsequent legislation was scarcely more humane.  So late as the year 1678, the Churchwarden’s Book of Dursley, in Gloucestershire, contains the copy of an order made on the subject of begging in a General Quarter Session of the county, putting in force the provisions of Acts passed in the reign of Elizabeth, James I,  and Charles I.  When a certain class of beggars have been apprehended, “without further delay the constable, head borough, or tithing man, being assisted with the minister, and some other of the p’ish shall cause them to be stripped naked, from their middle upward and to be openly whipped until1 their bodies be bloody.”  (Blunt’s Durslsy and its Neighbourhood. p. 46.)]  At the same period of our history a statute was passed by which gypsies were, on conviction of being gypsies, to be put to death; and another, as if the usual modes of punishment were too humane, by which poisoners were to be publicly boiled to death – a sentence actually carried into effect upon one Richard Rouse on April 5, 1532, and upon Margaret Davy on March 11, 1542.

         Thus, in times when mendicancy was accounted a capital crime, when lifelong slavery was provided for vagabonds by Act of Parliament, and when murder was punished with such atrocious circumstances, it is not surprising that heresy, or what was conscientiously thought to be heresy, [It must be remembered that “heresy” and “heretic” were words very recklessly bandied about by all parties at the time of the Reformation.  How freely they were used by Romanists as regards Protestants is well known, but it may not be so well known that the opposite side accused their opponents with equal freedom.  “It is heresy,” said Rowland Taylor, “to defend any doctrine against the Holy Scripture; therefore the Lord Chancellor and bishops consenting to his sentence against me be heretics, for they have given sentence against the marriage of priests,” etc.  (Coverdale’s Godly Letters, p. 133.)] should be punished with death, or that the kind of death adjudged to heretics should be one of so cruel and revolting a character.

         Another explanation is found in the conviction with which the age was thoroughly imbued, that heresy was a crime which entailed the most severe of all future punishment.  It was therefore in accordance with the principle of warning to the undetected, as well as of vengeance on the criminal, which lies at the root of all punishments for crime, that examples should be made so severe as to deter others by fear of such bodily punishment from falling into the same danger of infinitely greater pain for their souls.  Bullinger, the friend and adviser of Bishop Hooper, of Sir John Cheke, and of so many other English Protestants, wrote to Beza on August 30, 1553, before any had been executed for religion by Queen Mary, “What is your most honourable Senate of Geneva going to do with that blasphemous wretch Servetus?  If they are wise, and do their duty, they will put him to death, that all the world may perceive that Geneva desires the glory of Christ to be maintained inviolate”; and to Calvin he wrote on October 15th, twelve days before the latter sent Servetus to the stake, “I well know that my opinion against Servetus, and the assurance of my approval, have been laid before you.” [Orig. Lett., p. 742.]  When Archdeacon Philpot was himself being examined on November 5, 1555, preparatory to his execution by fire, he told his judges, “As for Joan of Kent, she was a vain woman (I knew her well), and a heretic indeed, well worthy to be burned, because she stood against one of the manifest articles of our faith, contrary to the Scriptures.” [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vii. 631.]  When Queen Elizabeth was signing the writ “De haeretico comburendo” for the burning of two Anabaptists, she called to mind “that she was the head of the Church, that it was her duty to extirpate error, and that heretics ought to be cut off from the flock of Christ, that they may not corrupt others.” [Rymer’s Foed., xv. 740, 741.]  It is really difficult, with this evidence before us, to understand what ground Bishop Hooper had for preaching, “Beware of this ungodly pity wherewith all men for the most part be very much nowadays encumbered withal. ... Foolish and preposterous pity,” he calls it, which “hath brought both King and the laws, not only of this realm, but also of God, into contempt; and daily will more and more, if it be not foreseen.” [In his Third Sermon upon Jonah, preached before Edward VI during the Lent of 1550.  (Hopper’s Works, i. 481, Parker Soc. Ed.)]  The spirit of the times was pitiless enough, one would have thought, when such laws could be enacted as those against vagabonds, and when men and women could be so freely burned to death for their religious opinions.

         Something of the spirit of the times is also to be observed in the sufferers themselves as regards the sufferings to be undergone at the stake.  Anti-Protestant lookers-on used to say that “the devil was so strong with such heretics that they could not feel any pain almost, nor yet be sorry for their sins.” [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vii. 347.]  The opinion that little or no pain would be felt was very widely spread among the victims themselves.  In his earliest edition, the Latin one of 1559, Foxe gives a striking anecdote respecting John Rogers, the first of all the sufferers, which strongly illustrates this fact.  After the condemnation of Joan of Kent, a familiar friend of Rogers entreated him to use his influence with Cranmer that her life might be spared.  “When Rogers, after this appeal, declared himself still of the opinion that she ought to suffer death, his friend renewed his entreaties, praying that, if her errors must be wrested from her only with her life, some other mode of death might be selected more in accordance with the gentleness and mercy taught in the Gospel, and protesting against the introduction into the Christian code of justice, in imitation of the Papists, the horrors of a death so tormenting.  But Rogers again declared this form of punishment by which men are burned alive to be the least agonizing of all, and sufficiently gentle.  The other, immediately on hearing this speech of the man, which savoured so little of care and regard for the agonies of the unfortunate wretch, in a great passion of spirit smote Rogers’ hand, which he had been grasping closely, and said, ‘Well, perchance you may yet find that you yourself shall have your hands full of this so gentle fire.’  And afterwards that very Rogers himself, the first of all those who perished under the persecutions of Mary, experienced a speedy retribution.” [Foxe’s Rev. in Eccl. gestarum, p 202, quoted in Chester’s Life of Rogers, p. 65.  The friend who thus remonstrated with Rogers was probably Foxe himself, who addressed a remonstrance to Queen Elizabeth respecting the sentence passed upon the Anabaptists who were burned by her warrant.  (Fuller’s Ch. Hist., ii. 506).]

         Similar language is found in use by others.  Bilney said, the night before his execution, “I feel by experience, and have long known by philosophy, that fire by God’s ordinance is naturally hot, but yet I am persuaded by God’s Holy Word, and by the experience of some spoken of in the same, that in the flames they may feel no heat, and in the fire no consumption”; and he quoted in support of his opinion the sacred words, “When thou walkest through the fire, I will be with thee.” [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., iv. 658.]  Bainham, too, exclaimed out of the midst of the flames, “O ye Papists, ye look for miracles and behold a miracle, for in this fire I feel no pain; ... it is to me as a bed of roses.” [Ibid., iv. 705.]  So, again, it is related of Barnes, Gerrard, and Jerome that “they remained in the fire without crying out, but were as quiet and patient as though they had felt no pain.” [Orig. Lett., p. 209.]  Of Rogers himself it is recorded, that “when it had taken hold both upon his legs and shoulders, he, as one feeling no smart, washed his hands in the flame as though it had been cold water.” [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vi. 611.]  Lastly, it is narrated of Thomas Hawkes, who suffered at Coggeshall on June 10, 1555, that he and his friends had arranged a kind of test on this point.  “A little before his death certain there were of his familiar acquaintance and friends, who frequented his company more familiarly, who seemed not a little to be confirmed both by the example of his constancy and by his talk; yet notwithstanding, the same again, being feared with the sharpness of the punishment which he was going to, privily desired that in the midst of the flame he would show them some token, if he could, whereby they might be the more certain whether the pain of such burning were so great that a man might not therein keep his mind quiet and patient.  Which thing he promised them to do; and so, secretly between them, it was agreed that if the rage of the pain were tolerable and might be suffered, then he should lift up his hands above his head towards heaven before he gave up the ghost.”  Just when his friends thought that Hawkes had died without making a sign, “suddenly, and contrary to all expectation, the blessed servant of God, being mindful of his promise afore made, reached up his hands burning on a light fire, which was marvelous to behold, over his head to the living God, and with great rejoicing, as it seemed, struck or clapped them three times together.  At the sight whereof there followed such applause and outcry of the people, and especially of them which understood the matter, that the like hath not commonly been heard, and you would have thought heaven and earth to have come together.” [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vii. 114.]

         That the sufferings of those who died by fire were so short was often owing, however, to the fact that they were killed by gunpowder, or by the swords or halberts of the surrounding guards, or stunned by blows of the heavy billets [Burchet, who stabbed Admiral Hawkins, killed one of the warders of the Tower with a billet of wood (Camden’s Hist. Q. Eliz., 199).] before the agony of burning had begun, or in its very beginning.  So a “train of gunpowder” is spoken of in the case of Bainham. [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., iv. 705.]  So also Taylor was apparently killed by the explosion of some gunpowder placed near him by Robert King, “one of them which went with his halbert to bring them to death which were burned at Bury,” although another, “Soyce, with a halbert, struck him on the head that the brains fell out, and the dead corpse fell down into the fire.” [Ibid., vi. 699.]  It is told also of Bishop Ferrar that “one Richard Gravell, with a staff, dashed him upon the head, and so struck him down” [Ibid., vi. 657.]: of Bishop Hooper, that he “trussed his shirt between his legs, where he had a pound of gunpowder in a bladder, and under each arm the like quantity, delivered him by the guard”; [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vii. 26.] of Latimer and Ridley, that bags of gunpowder were hung about their necks by Ridley’s brother-in-law, Shipside. [Ibid., vii. 550.  See below.]  The flames leaping upward must necessarily have exploded the gunpowder thus provided almost immediately, and the explosion of such large quantities about the neck or any other vital part must necessarily have caused instant death, thus shortening the pain of the sufferers and deadening the horror to the spectators.  It may be that these very circumstances helped to prolong the persecution by disguising the cruelty of the punishment which the custom of the times thus inflicted upon those who were accounted obstinate heretics.

 

The Ends of the Chief Sufferers.

         Among the two hundred and fifty-one laymen and twenty-six clergy who were put to death by fire during the Marian persecution, there were only nine, all clergymen, who had previously attained any distinction, or whose names have any historical interest.  These were Archbishop Cranmer, Bishops Ridley, Latimer, Hooper, and Ferrar, Archdeacon Philpot, Rogers, Prebendary of St. Paul’s, and Taylor, Rector of Hadleigh.  Some particulars respecting these distinguished sufferers may be given before closing this chapter.

         John Rogers. – The first on whom the full force of the storm fell was John Rogers, Prebendary of St. Pancras in the Cathedral of St. Paul, Rector of Chigwell in Essex, and Vicar of St. Sepulcher in London.

         Rogers was the son of John Rogers of Deritend, in Birmingham, [The family is still known, being represented by Lord Blachford of Blachford, in South Devon.] and after being educated at Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, where he took his degree in 1526, passed some years in the University of Oxford as a junior Canon of Wolsey’s new College, or, as we should now say, as a Student of Christ Church.  From 1532 to 1534 he appears to have been Rector of Holy Trinity the Less, in the city of London, and then went out to Antwerp as chaplain to the English merchants there.  He assumed abroad the name of Thomas Matthew, and was engaged by a merchant named Jacob van Meteren, the employer of Coverdale, to edit – for sale to Grafton, the English publisher – an English version of the Bible, that now known as “Matthew’s Bible,” which was made up of Tyndale’s Pentateuch and New Testament, Coverdale’s version from Ezra to the end of the Apocrypha, and a new translation, probably Rogers’ own, of the historical books from Joshua to the end of the Chronicles, and was published in England in 1537.  About the same time Rogers married and removed to Wittemberg, where he took charge of a Presbyterian congregation, until he was attracted to England by the accession of Edward VI.  In 1550 he was presented by the Crown to the Rectory of St. Margaret Moyses and the Vicarage of St. Sepulcher, and was made Prebendary of St. Paul’s by Bishop Ridley on August 24, 1551, when he resigned his London Rectory, and became Rector of Chigwell, in Essex.  Here Ridley speaks of him as “a preacher, the which for detecting and confuting of the Anabaptists and Papists in Essex, both by his preaching and by his writing, is enforced now” – July 23, 1551 – “to bear Christ’s cross”. [Ridley’s Works, 331, Park. Soc. ed.]  He was also summoned before the Privy Council for a sermon preached at Paul’s Cross, “Concerning the misuse of Abbeys and other Church goods,” [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vi. 605.] and seems to have been regarded as a controversial and pugnacious man.  Fuller describes Rogers and Hooper as the “ringleaders” of the Nonconformist party in the reign of Edward VI, and as being in opposition to Cranmer and Ridley, the heads of the Conformist party. [Fuller’s Ch. Hist., iii. 330.]

         When Queen Mary came to the Tower after her accession, Rogers preached, on August 6, 1553, “a godly and vehement sermon at Paul’s Cross, confirming such true doctrine as he and others had there taught in King Edward’s days, exhorting the people constantly to remain in the same, and to beware of all pestilent Popery, idolatry, and superstition.  The Council, being then over-matched with Popish and bloody bishops,” continues Foxe, “called him to account for his sermon, to whom he made a stout, witty, and godly answer, and yet in such sort handled himself  that at the time he was clearly dismissed.”  He was, however, called again before the Council, “for the bishops thirsted after his blood.” [Foxe’s Acts and Mon. vi. 592.]  The truth is that Rogers was called up again before the Privy Council, because a fresh importance had been given to his “vehement” sermon by a circumstance which occurred at Paul’s Cross on the following Sunday, and which seemed to be a natural consequence of his polemical discourse.  The preacher on that Sunday, August 13th, was Bourn, afterwards Bishop of Bath and Wells, but then, like Rogers, a Canon of St. Paul’s.  The Bishop, the Lord Mayor, and Aldermen were present; but while Bourn was preaching from the Gospel for the day part of the audience behaved in a tumultuous manner, and one of them threw a dagger at the preacher with so near an aim that it stuck into a pillar of the pulpit not far from his head.  Rogers and Bradford, another Canon of St. Paul’s, came forward to appease the tumult, and under their protection their brother Canon reached his house safely.  It was not unreasonably concluded that the two Canons were leaders of the discontented party, and both were called to account by the Privy Council, when, as is entered in the Council Register on August 16th, [“John Rogers, alias Matthewe, a seditious preacher, ordered by the Lords of the Council to keep himself as prisoner in his house at Powles, without conference of any person other than such as are daily with him in household, until such time as he hath contrary commandment.”  (Haynes’ State Papers, 170.)] “John Rogers, alias Matthewe,” was ordered to keep his house at St. Paul’s, and Bradford was sent to the Tower.

         No further notice seems to have been taken of Rogers until the breaking out of Wyatt’s rebellion on January 26, 1554; but on the very next day, January 27th, he was committed to Newgate.  There he remained for a whole year, there being apparently no distinct accusation against him upon which he could be brought to trial.  As soon, however, as the Acts for the punishment of heretics had been revived, it was determined that Rogers should be accused of heresy, and he was brought before the Commission which sat in Southwark, as previously mentioned, [See above.] on January 22, 1555.  Gardiner presided as Lord Chancellor, and endeavoured heartily to provide a way of escape, putting the question of conformity very widely to the prisoner, and entreating him to “condescend and agree to the Catholic Church” at once, and he would have “the Queen’s mercy”.  He further told Rogers, in almost as many words that, if he gave up this chance, there was no doubt the Queen would make it harder for him.  “If,” as Rogers himself reports the words, “thou wilt not receive the Bishop of Rome to be supreme head of the Catholic Church, then shalt thou never have her mercy, thou mayest be sure.” [Chester’s Life of Rogers, p. 299.]  The Bishop of Ely also, “very gently, truly told me much of the Queen’s Majesty’s pleasure and meaning, and set out that with large words, saying that she took them that would not receive the Bishop of Rome’s supremacy to be unworthy to have her mercy,” etc. [Ibid., 303.]  The only reason Rogers gave for not conforming was him that the Bishop of Rome could not be head of the Church, since he “and his Church say, sing, and read all that they do in Latin in the congregation, which is directly and plainly against the Word of God, that is, to wit, against the First to the Corinthians, the fourteenth chapter.”  He had, of course, many other objections to make, but this singularly weak one was that which he chose to put forward.  At a later examination on the 28th he talked most provocatively about “the Antichristian Church of Rome,” averring “that the Romish Church is the Church of Antichrist,” saying that his “adversaries, with their Antichristian head,” were “members of the devil’s church, as they undoubtedly are,” [Chester’s Life of Rogers, p. 330.] and challenging controversy in every possible way. [Ibid., 313.]  To the very last Gardiner gave him every opportunity of escaping by some easy acknowledgment of conformity.  “And the Lord Chancellor said unto me, Rogers, here thou wast yesterday, and we gave thee liberty to remember thyself this night whether that thou wouldest come to the Holy Catholic Church of Christ again or not.  Tell us now how thou hast determined, whether that thou wilt be repentant and sorry, and wilt return and take mercy again.” [Chester’s Life of Rogers, p. 313.]  In reply Rogers made a long controversial speech, which was at last stopped by his judges as irrelevant.  When all attempts to get him to make some acknowledgement which would enable them to dismiss him had failed, he was declared guilty of maintaining opinions “contrary to the doctrine and determination of the Holy Church, as, namely, these: That the Catholic Church of Rome is the Church of Antichrist: Item, That in the Sacrament of the Altar there is not substantially nor really the natural Body and Blood of heresy Christ.” [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vi. 601.]  He intended to have made a long speech, which he has left in writing, and which was adorned with such flowers of rhetoric as, “Think ye that this bloody butcherly Bishop of Winchester and his most bloody brethren shall escape? ... Some shall have their punishment here in this world and in the world to come; and they that do escape in this world shall not escape everlasting damnation.  This shall be your dance, O ye wicked Papists; make ye merry here as long as ye may.” [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vi. 608, 609.]

         Rogers was excommunicated after his last examination, and delivered to the Sheriffs of London.  On February 4, 1555, he was formally degraded from the priesthood, and the same day was burned in Smithfield, “in the presence of Master Rochester, Comptroller of the Queen’s Household, Sir Richard Southwell, both the Sheriffs, and a wonderful number of people. ... His wife and children, being eleven in number, and ten able to go, and one sucking on her breast, met him by the way as he went towards Smithfield”; and at the last moment a pardon was offered him if he would recant his errors and conform.  “This sorrowful sight of his own flesh and blood could nothing move him; but that he constantly and cheerfully took his death with wonderful patience in the defense and quarrel of Christ’s Gospel.”  In days when those who acknowledge the Pope’s supremacy and the Tridentine theory of Christ’s Sacramental Presence are not only tolerated, but honoured and regarded as pious Christians notwithstanding, there seems no sufficient reason why Rogers should have given up his life as the price of denying them.  As little was there reason why the denial of these doctrines should have caused a man to be put to death.  On the one side was an ill-informed obstinacy and opinionatedness, on the other an unreasonable, tyrannical, and cruel intolerance.

         Bishop Hooper. – In less than a week after John Rogers had been burned in Smithfield, his friend John Hooper, Bishop of Gloucester and Worcester, was burned in Gloucester, being the third who suffered at the beginning of the persecution.

         Hooper was born in Somersetshire in the year 1495, and having taken his degree at Merton College, Oxford, in 1518, became a monk of the Cistercian Order at Cleeve, or Cliffe, in his native county.  On the dissolution of the monasteries he appears to have gone to London, and to have held some office at Court, for he says that he had once lived “too much of a Court life in the palace of the King” [Zurich Lett., i. 33.]; but having adopted the opinions of Zwingle, he returned for a time to Oxford, and after being for a time chaplain and steward to Sir Thomas Arundel, he eventually went abroad, married, and resided at Zurich, until the accession of Edward VI.  In May 1549 he returned to London, was appointed chaplain to the Duke of Somerset, and became the very popular leader of the Puritan or Anti-Church party.  Being appointed Bishop of Gloucester and Worcester, he refused to wear the vestments of a bishop, and was only persuaded to do so after a short imprisonment in the Fleet. [See above.]  From all that is recorded of him, it may be gathered that Hooper was of a most austere disposition, exceedingly contentious in all his dealings, bitterly controversial in matters of religion, and an uncompromising foe to the Reformation in its Catholic aspect.

         On the accession of Queen Mary he naturally became a marked man.  A few days after Rogers and Bradford had been summoned before the Privy Council as leaders of the disaffected Puritans, Hooper also was summoned, and on September 1, 1553, he was committed to the Fleet.  Popular as he was with the multitude, who only saw him at a distance, he seems always to have been on bad terms with those who came into close contact with him, and quarrels between himself and the governor of the Fleet led to a closer and more rigorous confinement than he would otherwise have suffered, of which he has left an account in detail, written in a far from Christian spirit. [“Notwithstanding, while I came down thus to dinner and supper, the warden and his wife picked quarrels with me, and complained untruly of me to their great friend the Bishop of Winchester.  After one quarter of a year and somewhat more, Balington, the warden, and his wife fell out with me for the wicked mass; and thereupon the warden resorted to the Bishop of Winchester, and obtained to put me into the wards. … He hath used me worse than the veriest slave that ever came to the hall-commons. ... Stephen Gardiner, God’s enemy and mine,” etc.  (Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vi. 647.)]  He was deprived of his two sees on March 19, 1554, but was still kept in prison, partly on a charge that he owed money to the Crown, which he answered by alleging that the Crown owed eighty pounds to him.  On January 22, 1555, Hooper was brought before the Commissioners at Southwark, and examined as the other prisoners had been, repeated offers of pardon being made to him on condition of recanting his errors and acknowledging the Pope’s supremacy.  A week later he was, in company with Rogers, excommunicated and handed over to the Sheriffs, who removed him from the Fleet to Newgate.  There he remained for six days longer, during which Bishop Bonner made several visits to the prison, endeavouring to persuade him to recant and save his life: but Hooper was not afraid of death, and could not be persuaded by argument.  On Monday, February 4th, Rogers and Hooper were formally degraded from the order of priesthood by Bonner in the chapel of Newgate.  On the following day Hooper rode away from London in custody, on his way to Gloucester.  Arriving there in the evening of Thursday, he was handed over to the Sheriffs of the city, and about ten o’clock on Saturday, February 9, 1553, he was led to the place of execution on College Green.  He went bravely to his death.  “When he saw the multitude of bills, glaves, and weapons, ‘Master Sheriffs,’ said he, ‘I am no traitor, neither needed you to have made such a business to bring me to the place where I must suffer; for if ye had willed me, I would have gone alone to the stake, and have troubled none of you all.”  Three bladders, each containing a pound of gunpowder, were placed between his legs and under each arm, by himself and the guard, which would obviously shatter his body to pieces as soon as the flame reached them.  But, according to Foxe, he suffered for some time through the wind blowing the flames aside, until, as he cried, “Lord Jesus, have mercy upon me!  Lord Jesus, have mercy upon me!  Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” one of his arms was blown from his body, and the end came.  [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vi. 636–676.  While the narratives of Foxe may be taken as containing the truth in the main, there can be no doubt that they contain many things besides the truth.  It is impossible to believe, for instance, that on his way to execution on Saturday Hooper was obliged to take “a staff in his hand to stay himself withal; for the grief of the sciatica, which he had taken in prison, caused him somewhat to halt”; and that yet, on the Monday previous, he “leaped cheerfully on horseback without help.”  So also the statement that Hooper remained alive for three-quarters of an hour in the midst of the fire is quite inconsistent with the fact that three pounds of gunpowder was distributed about his naked body.]  It was the end of a good Christian; and if there is no sign that he had repented before man of his dreadful words respecting the Blessed Sacrament, who will doubt that his last prayer would be heard by the merciful Saviour on Whom he called?

         Rowland Taylor. – On the same day on which Hooper was put to death at Gloucester Dr. Taylor, Rector of Hadleigh, suffered in his own parish.  He was a native of Northumberland, having been born at Rothbury early in the sixteenth century, but was educated at Cambridge, and remained in the south for the rest of his life.  In the reign of Henry VIII he was domestic chaplain to Archbishop Cranmer, who presented him to the Rectory of Hadleigh in 1554, and was also Canon of Rochester, and one of the Six Preachers at Canterbury.  He was twice appointed a Commissioner for the examination of heretics by Edward VI, namely, on April 12, 1549, and on January 18, 1551; and was also one of the Commissioners for the reformation of Ecclesiastical Laws.  He must have been married several years before the death of Henry VIII, for at his own death his wife, who shortly afterwards married a Puritan minister named Wright, had borne him nine children.

         In the beginning of Queen Mary’s reign two parishioners of Hadleigh, who had been aggrieved by the destruction of the altar, rebuilt it, with the intention of restoring the ancient service.  It was pulled down again in the night, but being again rebuilt, the clergyman of a neighbouring parish was prevailed upon to come to Hadleigh for the purpose of celebrating Mass on the Monday in Holy Week.  Taylor heard the bells ringing for service as he “sat at his book studying the Word of God,” and hastening into the church to see what it meant, “saw a Popish sacrificer in his robes, with a broad new-shaven crown, ready to begin his Popish sacrifice, beset round about with drawn swords and bucklers, lest any man should approach to disturb him.  Then said Dr. Taylor, ‘Thou devil! who made thee so bold to enter into this Church of Christ to profane and defile it with this abominable idolatry?”  After much altercation Taylor was led out of the church by the armed men, who were evidently acting under authority, and never officiated there again.  Within a few days he was summoned before the Privy Council, and, rejecting all the persuasions of his friends to fly from the danger, took his journey to London.  He was committed to the Queen’s Bench prison on a charge of having “resisted the Queen’s proceedings,” and remained there until the Commission of 1555 sat in Southwark, being in the meantime formally deprived of his benefice by a process in the Court of Arches.

         On January 22, 1555, Taylor was carried before the Commissioners, and addressed by the Lord Chancellor in these words, so far as he could remember when writing down an account of his examinations: “You, among others, are at this present time sent for to enjoy the King’s and Queen’s Majesties’ favour and mercy if you will now rise again with us from the fall which we generally have received in this realm; from the which (God be praised!) we are now clearly delivered miraculously.  If you will not rise with us now, and receive mercy now offered, you shall have judgement according to your demerit.”  His final examination took place on January 31st, when he was excommunicated, and being given into the custody of the Sheriffs, was removed to the Compter in the Poultry.

         On February 4th Taylor was degraded from the priesthood by Bishop Bonner, offering resistance, and threatening violence to the bishop himself.  But while he was a man of this hot and uncontrollable temper, he was also a man of the tenderest affections, and, apart from polemics, a man of devotional mind.

         On the last night that he spent in the Compter his wife and son and his faithful manservant were permitted to sup with him, “and at their coming in afore supper, they kneeled down and prayed, saying the Litany.”  After supper he addressed wise words to his son and his wife, especially enjoining her for her own sake and that of their children to marry again.  “When he had thus said, they with weeping tears prayed together, and kissed one the other; and he gave to his wife a book of the Church Service set out by King Edward, which he in the time of his imprisonment daily used.”  The next morning he began his journey to Hadleigh as early as two o’clock, but his wife and some of his children had been watching all night in St. Botolph’s Church, beside Aldgate, and they were able to take a last farewell, all kneeling down in the road and saying the Lord’s Prayer.  “At which sight the Sheriff wept apace, and so did divers others of the company.  After they had prayed, he rose up and kissed his wife, and shook her by the hand, and said, ‘Farewell, my dear wife; be of good comfort, for I am quiet in my conscience.  God shall stir up a father for my children.’  And then he kissed his daughter Mary, and said, ‘God bless thee, and make thee His servant’; and kissing Elizabeth, he said, ‘God bless thee.  I pray you all stand strong and steadfast unto Christ and His Word, and keep you from idolatry.’  Then said his wife, ‘God be with thee, dear Rowland; I will, with God’s grace, meet thee at Hadleigh.’”

         On the way to Hadleigh, and on his arrival there, he was met by many friends and neighbours, all of whom had a good word for him, as also had the Sheriff and his guard, who made great efforts to get him to put himself in the way of receiving pardon.  During the journey his mind appears to have been somewhat unsettled by his troubles, as he made unseemly jokes about his “very great carcass” – being, as Foxe says, “a corpulent and big man” – and, lighting off his horse, “he leaped, and set a frisk or twain, as men commonly do in dancing.”  But the sight of his home brought him to his senses; and as the sad procession passed through Hadleigh on its way to Aldham Common, no words proceeded from him but those of a pious and genial pastor.  When he came opposite the almshouses he spoke kindly to the old alms-people who stood at their doors, and missing a blind man and woman, asked if they were still alive.  Being told that they were, he put all the money he had left into one of his gloves and threw it in at the window of the cottage where the old couple dwelt.  “Thus,” says Foxe, “this good father and provider for the poor now took his leave of those for whom all his life he had a singular care and study.”

         Some humane provisions were made for hastening his end.  He was placed in a pitch barrel, the smoke of which would have suffocated him almost instantly.  One Robert King had also brought some gunpowder.  [The cankered mind of Foxe is conspicuously shown in narrating this incident.  “Amongst whom also was one Robert King, a deviser of interludes, who albeit was there present, and had doing there with the gunpowder: what he meant and did therein (he himself saith he did it for the best, and for quick dispatch) the Lord knoweth, which shall judge all: more of this I have not to say.”  To this he appends a note: “This King was also one of them which went with his halbert to bring them to death which were burned at Bury.  He ceaseth not to be a common railer; God grant him a heart to reflect on what is past, and a tongue to play the part of a good Christian in a short while.”  (Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vi. 699.)]  But as he stood holding up both his hands, calling upon God, and saying, “Merciful Father of heaven, for Jesus Christ my Saviour’s sake receive my soul into Thy hands,” one of the standers-by, “with a halbert, struck him on the head, that the brains fell out, and the dead corpse fell down into the fire.”  The spot where he suffered was not forgotten by his parishioners, and is still marked by a memorial which they placed there – a stone with the inscription “1555. D. Taylor in Defending that was good At this Plas Left his Blode.”  This appears to be the only contemporary memorial of any of those who suffered in Queen Mary’s reign.

         Bishop Ferrar. – While the persecution was still only beginning, another bishop, Robert Ferrar of St. David’s, was numbered among its victims.  He was born near the town of Halifax, in Yorkshire, early in the sixteenth century, and going up to Cambridge became a canon-regular of the Order of St. Augustine.  In 1526 he migrated to Oxford, where he resided for several years at the Augustinian Monastery of St. Mary.  During his residence in Oxford he took up Lutheran opinions, but notwithstanding this change he became Prior of St. Oswald’s at Nostel, in his native county, and on surrendering that monastery to the Crown received a pension of eighty pounds a year.  Ferrar then became chaplain to Archbishop Cranmer and to the Duke of Somerset, and in 1548 was made Bishop of St. David’s, being the first who was nominated bishop by letters patent after the abolition of election and the congé d’élire.  He was but a few months in his diocese, yet the time was long enough for him to burn all its ancient records.  But he was received with wonderful disfavour; and being accused before the Privy Council with abuse of his authority, covetousness, secularity, and negligence of duty, he was summoned to London, and detained there as a prisoner during the last three years of Edward VI’s reign.  On the accession of Queen Mary it was desired to fill the See of St. David’s, and hence Ferrar was deprived by the same authority which had appointed him on the ground of his marriage.  Nothing further is known of him until he is found under examination before the Southwark Commission.  After these examinations he was sent down to Caermarthen, where he was accused of heresy before his successor, Henry Morgan, by whom he was excommunicated as a heretic and delivered over to the Sheriffs.  He was put to death at Caermarthen on Saturday, March 30, 1555, having been previously degraded from the priesthood.  After the fire had begun to burn, “one Richard Gravell with a staff dashed him upon the head, and so struck him down.” [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vii. 3–28.]

         John Bradford. – The association of Bradford with the Reformation, and his career as a clergyman, extended over a very few years, but he had considerable influence upon the public opinion of the three years immediately preceding Queen Mary’s accession.  Although he was about fifty years of age when he died, he had only been ordained deacon five years before, and two of the intervening years he had spent in prison; but he was a great favourite with Bishop Ridley, who had made him Canon of St. Paul’s as soon as ever he was qualified to hold the office, and by whose interest he was appointed one of the chaplains of Edward VI.

         Bradford was born at Manchester early in the sixteenth century, and was educated at the grammar school of that city.  Nothing is known of his life afterwards, until he is found in 1544 acting as clerk to Sir John Harrington, “Treasurer of the King’s camp beyond the seas” – that is, Paymaster to the forces at the siege of Boulogne.  While in this employment he was guilty of a heavy fraud upon the Crown, the fraud being described by his friend and biographer Dr. Sampson as “one dash with a pen, which he had made without the knowledge of his master (as full often I have heard him confess with plenty of tears), being clerk to the treasurer of the King’s camp beyond the seas, and was to the deceiving of the King.”*  From Latimer’s Sermons it appears that the sum of which the Crown was defrauded amounted to not less than £520 – a sum equal to more than £6000 of our present [19th century] money.  It was eventually refunded by Sir John Harrington, who was threatened with a charge of complicity by Bradford, and who, though he at first refused, saying he would not “have his head under his [Bradford’s] girdle” by committing himself, yet eventually supplied Bradford with the money, by whom it was sent to the Exchequer through Latimer.**

         *[Sampson’s Pref. to Bradford’s Serm. on Repentance; Bradford’s Works, i. 32, Park. Soc. ed.  In recording Bradford’s last examination before the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, Foxe narrates the following anecdote: “Here came forth Master Chamberlain of Woodstock, and spake to my Lord Chancellor how that Bradford had been a serving man, and was with Master Harrington.  L. Chan.  – ‘True, and did deceive his master of seven-score pounds: and because of this, he went to be a gospeler and a preacher, good people; and yet you see how he pretendeth conscience.’  Brad. – ‘My Lord, I set my foot by his, whosoever he be, that can come forth and justly vouch to my face that ever I deceived my master.  And as you are chief justicer by office in England, I desire justice upon them that so slander me, because they cannot prove it.’”  (Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vii. 162.)  It will be observed that Bradford denies having deceived his master, Sir John Harrington; but that what Sampson says that he acknowledged was deceiving the King.]

         **[The history of this transaction is to be traced in Bradford’s letters and in a sermon of Latimer.  “At my first preaching of restitution,” says the latter, “one good man took remorse of conscience, and acknowledged himself to me that he had deceived the King, and willing he was to make restitution; and so the first Lent came to my hands twenty pounds to be restored to the King’s use.  I was promised twenty pound more the same Lent, but it could not be made, so that it came not.  Well, the next Lent came three hundred and twenty pounds more.  I received it myself, and paid it to the King’s Council.  So I was asked what he was that thus made restitution.  But should I have named him?  Nay, they should as soon have this wesant of mine.  Well, now this Lent came one hundred and fourscore pounds ten shillings, which I have paid and delivered this present day to the King’s Council; and so this man hath made a godly restitution.”  (Latimer’s Serm., i. 239, ed. 1824.)  This sermon was preached in Lent 1550, and the dates of payment were 1548, 1549, 1550, as may be gathered from Bradford’s Letters.]

         On April 8, 1547, Bradford became a student of the Inner Temple, where Sampson, afterwards Dean of Christ Church and Canon of St. Paul’s, was also a student.  There “Sampson, ... being converted to the Protestant religion, did shortly after convert John Bradford” [Wood’s Athen., i. 548.] an event to which Sampson himself refers in the words, “I did know when and partly how it pleased God, by effectual calling, to turn his heart unto the true knowledge and obedience of the most Holy Gospel of Christ our Saviour.”  After this he forsook the study of the law, and employed his time on divinity, publishing in May 1548 translated portions of the works of St. Chrysostom and of Artopaeus, or Becker, a Protestant minister at Stettin.  He then went up to Cambridge, having “sold his chains, rings, broaches, and jewels of gold, which before he used to wear,” intending to read for three years, take his degree, and go into Holy Orders.  But when he had been settled about ten months at St. Catherine’s Hall, on October 19, 1549, he received his Master’s degree by a special grace of the Senate, on account of his mature age and good life, that Ridley, then Master of Pembroke Hall, might admit him to a fellowship there.  In the following year, on August 10, 1550, he was ordained deacon by Ridley, who made him one of his domestic chaplains, collated him to the Prebend of Cantlowes or Kentish town in St. Paul’s Cathedral, on August 14, 1551, and obtained his appointment as one of the King’s chaplains.  In the latter capacity he was sent to preach in many towns in Cheshire and Lancashire, and also amongst the Anabaptists in Essex.

         Bradford was in residence at St. Paul’s when Queen Mary arrived in London; and when the dagger was thrown at Dr. Bourn as he was preaching at Paul’s Cross, an incident narrated in the preceding notice of John Rogers, [See above.  “The thirteenth day of August,” writes Machyn, “did preach at Paul’s Cross Doctor Bourn, parson of High Ongar, Essex, the Queen’s chaplain, and there was a great uproar and shouting at his sermon, as it were like mad people, what young people and women as ever was heard, as hurly-burly, and casting up of caps: if my Lord Mayor and my Lord Courtenay had not been there, there had been great mischief done.”  (Machyn’s Diary, p. 41.)] he took a forward part in pacifying the mob, and in conveying Bourn to a place of safety.  On the following Wednesday, August 16, 1553, he to was summoned before the Privy Council, and there being an impression that he was secretly a leader of the malcontents, he was committed to the Tower in company with Veron and Thomas Becon, all three as seditious preachers.  Bonner, who was present, told the Council afterwards that Bradford “took upon him to rule and lead the people malapertly.”  Gardiner also spoke severely of his conduct while under examination in the Tower, and said that he was worthily kept in prison “as one that would have done more hurt than I will speak of.”  The Earl of Derby, moreover, declared in the House of Lords that Bradford was doing more harm by his letters while in prison than by his preaching when at liberty, a statement which was corroborated by several members of the Privy Council when it was quoted at his examination. [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vii. 150, 151.]

         Early in 1554 he was removed from the Tower to the King’s Bench, not being any longer regarded as a traitor, but as one accused of heresy.  With the other persons who were under confinement for a similar reason he was brought before the Ecclesiastical Commissioners at Southwark on January 22, 1555, and after several examinations was excommunicated and delivered to the custody of the Sheriffs on the 30th.  Unusual efforts were made, however, to obtain his recantation, and amongst many others who visited him for this purpose were Carranza and Alphonsus A’Castro.  For this or some other reason he was kept in the Compter in the Poultry for five months; and it was only when all hope of his recantation was over, that, on July 1, 1551, he was carried to Smithfield.  A young man of nineteen, named John Leaf, was burned at the same stake with him; and as the fire was being lighted, Bradford turned to him and said, “‘Be of good comfort, brother; for we shall have a merry supper with the Lord this night’: and so spake no more words that any man did hear, but, embracing the reeds, said thus, ‘Strait is the way and narrow is the gate that leadeth to eternal salvation, and few there be that find it.”  Probably these last words were uttered in the same spirit of recollection respecting his past life which made him say as he saw a man led to execution, “There goes John Bradford, but for the grace of God.” [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vii. 143–286.]

         Bishop Ridley. – As has been shown on a former page, [See above.] Ridley’s hasty endeavour to recover himself from the pitfall into which he had been precipitated by partisans of Lady Jane Grey proved of no avail.  He was sent back to London in custody, reached the Tower as a prisoner on July 26, 1553, and was superseded as Bishop of London by Bonner – whom he had displaced three years before – ten days afterwards, so rapid was his fall.  He remained in the State prison as a traitor until the spring of 1554, when he was sent to Oxford with Cranmer and Latimer; but the only record remaining of the eight months spent by him in the Tower is a memorandum which he made of a conversation on theological questions which he held with Feckenham, the Dean of his Cathedral, Bourn, one of the canons, and others at the Lieutenant’s table. [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vi. 434–438.]

         On April 10, 1554, the Archbishop and the two bishops arrived in Oxford in the custody of Sir John Williams, and all three were at first imprisoned in Bocardo, the name given to a prison which formed the upper part of the North Gate, stretching across the Corn Market, close to the Tower of St. Michael’s Church.  While they lived together here, Ridley wittily called their prison the “College of Quondams,” the name of “Quondam” being given to bishops or noblemen who had lost office.  But before long they were separated, and Ridley was committed to the charge of Irish, one of the aldermen of the city, in whose house he remained until his death, a year and a half afterwards.  “We are, as ye know separated,” wrote Ridley to Bradford, “and one of us cannot in anything consult with another, and much strait watching of the bailiffs is about us, that there be no privy conference amongst us; and yet, as we hear, the scholars bear us more heavily than the townsmen.  A wonderful thing, among so many, never yet scholar offered any of us (so far as I know) any manner of favour, either for or in Christ’s cause. ... Yet hath God provided for every one of us, instead of our servants, faithful fellows, which will be content to hear and see, and to do for us whatsoever they can.”  They were also well entertained by their custodians, and Ridley adds, “As far as London is from Oxford, yet thence we have received of late both meat, money, and shirts, not only from such as are of our acquaintance, but of some (whom this bearer can tell) with whom I had never to my knowledge any acquaintance.  I know for whose sake they do it; to Him therefore be all honour, glory, and due thanks.”  [Some details of Ridley’s earlier imprisonment are given in a letter written by him to Grindal, then at Frankfort.  “Now, although I suppose you know a good part of our state here (for we are forthcoming, even as when ye departed, etc.), you shall understand that I was in the Tower about the space of two months close prisoner, and, after that, had granted to me, without my labour, the liberty of the Tower, and so continued about half a year; and then, because I refused to allow the Mass with my presence, I was shut up in prison again.  The last Lent save one, it chanced by reason of the tumult stirred up in Kent, there were so many prisoners in the Tower, that my Lord of Canterbury, Master Latimer, Master Bradford, and I, were put all together in one prison where we remained till almost the next Easter, and then we three, Canterbury, Master Latimer and I were suddenly sent a little before Easter to Oxford, and were suffered to have nothing with us but that we carried upon us.  About the Whitsuntide following were our disputations at Oxford, after the which all was taken from us, as pen, ink, etc.  Our own servants were taken from us before, and every one had put to him a strange man, and we each one appointed to be kept in several places, as we are unto this day.”  (Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vii. 434.)  But Ridley adds that he was kept more strictly than the other two, through the influence of Mrs. Irish, who, he says, ruled her husband.]

         The “disputation” for which the three bishops were taken to Oxford, and of which some particulars are given further on in the notice of Archbishop Cranmer’s last days, began in less than a week after their arrival, and Tuesday, April 17th, was the day assigned for Bishop Ridley to appear in the Divinity School.  The same three propositions respecting the Holy Eucharist which had been placed before Crammer were also given to him as the subject of discussion, and he maintained his opinions respecting them with ready learning, having also prepared his arguments upon paper in logical form.  But the result was, of course, the same as on the previous day.  The disputants had made up their minds, and if they were to be changed it would be by private study, not by logical wrangling in the presence of an excited crowd.  [Ridley describes the disputation as being carried on in a most tumultuous manner, with many interruptions, and with much hissing and clapping of hands.  His description of it winds up also with the following unworthy words: “And thus was ended this most glorious disputation of the most holy fathers, sacrificers, doctors, and masters, who fought most manfully, as ye may see, for their God and goods, for their faith and felicity, for their country and kitchen, for their beauty and belly, with triumphant applauses and favour of the whole university.”  (Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vi. 533.)]  Two o’clock arrived, and they were no nearer an agreement than when they began six hours before; nevertheless, the time for closing the “disputation” had arrived, and therefore the President Weston ended it with the words, “Here you see the stubborn, the glorious, the crafty, the inconstant mind of this man.  Here you see this day that the strength of the truth is without foil.  Therefore I beseech you all most earnestly to blow the note (and he began, and they followed), ‘Verity hath the victory,’ ‘Verity hath the victory.’”

         On Friday, April 20th, the Commissioners sat in St. Mary’s again, as on the preceding Saturday.  Each of the three bishops was asked in succession the same question, whether they still held the opinions which they had declared during the disputations.  When they answered in the affirmative, “they were all called together, and sentence read over them that they were no members of the Church; and therefore they, their fautors and patrons, were condemned as heretics.”  To which sentence of excommunication Ridley retorted, “Although I be not of your company, yet doubt I not but my name is written in another place, whither this sentence will send us sooner than we should by the course of nature have come.”  It was eighteen months, however, before his end arrived, all which time he lived a prisoner in the house of Alderman Irish, much engaged in writing and holding occasional intercourse with his brother bishops and with other friends.

         In the autumn of the following year, a fortnight after the trial of the Archbishop before Bishop Brooks, acting as the Pope’s subdelegate, Ridley and Latimer were again brought to trial, and this time before three judges, Bishops White of Lincoln, Brooks of Gloucester, and Holyman of Bristol, acting under a commission from Cardinal Pole, the Pope’s legate a latere.  As Pole did not at this time hold any office in the Church of England or any appointment under the Crown, the two bishops were thus brought to trial before an entirely foreign jurisdiction, Pole having no authority except from the Pope, and the Crown of England, the only true source of judicial jurisdiction in England, being entirely unrepresented.  When the Court was opened, therefore, in the Divinity School on September 30, 1555, Ridley refused to recognize its authority by declining to uncover his head in the presence of the judges; and although he was led by his love of argument to condescend too far in answering the theological charges brought against him, yet when he was required to make further answers to them on the next day, he formally protested against the jurisdiction of the court.  “Seeing,” he said, “you appoint me a time to answer tomorrow, and yet will take mine answers out of hand, first, I require the notaries to take and write my protestation, that in no point I acknowledge your authority, or admit you to be my judges, in that point that you are authorized from the Pope.  Therefore, whatsoever I shall say or do, I protest, I neither say it, neither do it willingly, thereby to admit the authority of the Pope; and, if your Lordship will give me leave, I will show the causes which move me thereunto.”  When he answered any questions afterwards, he sometimes prefaced his reply with some such words as “My protestation always saved that, by this mine answer, I do not condescend to your authority in that you are legate to the Pope: I answer thus ...”

         Before proceeding to carry out the last part of their commission, the bishops gave a final admonition to Ridley to submit himself to the determination of the Church in regard to the subjects in which he had refused to alter his opinions, and the Bishop of Gloucester used language which was justified to no small extent by Ridley’s tone of mind and his conduct while he was in power.  “If,” said the bishop, “you would once empty your stomach, captivate your senses, subdue your reason, and together with us consider what a feeble ground of your religion you have, I do not doubt but you might easily be induced to acknowledge one Church with us, to confess one faith with us, and to believe one religion with us.  For what a weak and feeble stay in religion is this, I pray you?  Latimer leaneth to Cranmer, Cranmer to Ridley, and Ridley to the singularity of his own wit; so that if you overthrew the singularity of Ridley’s wit, then must needs the religion of Cranmer and Latimer fall also.  You remember well, Master Ridley, that the prophet speaketh most truly, saying, ‘Vae, vae,’ ‘Woe be to them which are singular and wise in their own conceits.”  Ridley replied that the bishop “said most truly with the prophet, ‘Woe be to him that is wise in his own conceit’; but that he acknowledgeth no such singularity in himself, nor knew any cause why himself he should attribute so much to him.  And whereas he, the Bishop of Gloucester, said Master Cranmer leaned to him, that was most untrue, in that he was but a young scholar in comparison of Master Cranmer; for at what time he was a young scholar, then was Master Cranmer a doctor, so that he confessed that Master Cranmer might have been his schoolmaster these many years.  It seemed that he would have spoken more, but the Bishop of Gloucester interrupted him, saying, ‘Why, Master Ridley, it is your own confession, for Master Latimer, at the time of his disputation, confessed his learning to lie in Master Cranmer’s books, and Master Crammer also said that it was your doing.’”

         After this the Bishop of Lincoln, “with many words, and gently holding his cap in his hand, desired him to turn,” but Ridley had no thought of turning, and so there was nothing left for the judges to do but to close the case, to declare him guilty of heresy, to pass upon him the sentence of the greater excommunication, and to deliver him over to the secular arm, “to receive due punishment according to the tenor of the temporal laws.”

         A fortnight later, on October 15th, the Bishop of Gloucester, Dr. Marshall, the Vice-Chancellor, and others, proceeded to the house where Ridley was confined for the purpose of degrading him from the order of priesthood, for he was not recognized as a bishop, having been consecrated by the new Ordinal.  He showed much more temper than was becoming on this occasion, not only refusing to put on the surplice and other vestments, but while they were being put on by others, “Dr. Ridley,” who had been Hooper’s great opponent in this very matter of vestments, “did vehemently inveigh against the Romish bishop and all that foolish apparel, calling him Antichrist, and the apparel foolish and abominable, yea, too fond for a vice in a play, insomuch that Bishop Brooks was exceeding angry with him, and bade him hold his peace, for he did but rail Dr. Ridley answered him again, and said, so long as his tongue and breath would suffer him, he would speak against their abominable doings, whatsoever happened him for so doing.”

         The next day, October 16, 1555, Ridley was led to the place of execution, the town ditch opposite the south front of Balliol College.  On his way he looked up to the windows of Bocardo, in the hope of seeing Cranmer and taking leave of him; but the Archbishop was engaged in conversation with Friar Soto.  A little further on, as he looked back, he “espied Master Latimer coming after, unto whom he said, ‘Oh, be ye there?’  ‘Yea,’ said Master Latimer, ‘have after as fast as I can follow’”; and so both arrived at the stake.  The rest of the story is too well known to need repetition here.  Ridley, combative to the last, wished to reply to the sermon which Dr. Smith preached, and in which he had exhorted them to recant, but this was not permitted, and Ridley could do no more than say, “with a loud voice, ‘Well, then, I commit our cause to Almighty God, which shall indifferently judge all,’” and no one attempting to reply, he had what he wanted, the last word.  After a few words of prayer he was chained to the stake, saying to the smith, “‘Good fellow, knock it in hard, for the flesh will have his course.’  Then his brother  did bring him gunpowder in a bag, and would have tied the same about his neck.  Master Ridley asked what it was.  His brother said, ‘Gunpowder’.  ‘Then,’ said he, ‘I will take it to be sent of God; therefore I will receive it as sent of Him.  And have you any,’ said he, ‘for my brother,’ meaning Master Latimer.  ‘Yea, sir, that I have,’ quoth his brother.  ‘Then give it unto him,’ said he, ‘betime, lest ye come too late.’  So his brother went and carried of the same gunpowder unto Master Latimer.”  As the flames rose around him, “he cried with a wonderful loud voice, ‘In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum: Domine, recipe spiritum meum’; and after repeated this often in English, ‘Lord, Lord, receive my spirit!’ Master Latimer crying as vehemently on the other side, ‘O Father of heaven, receive my soul!’”  The scene which followed must have been very horrible, for through mismanagement the fire which burned at his feet had not draught enough to carry it higher.  “When the flame” at last “touched the gunpowder, he was seen to stir no more,” and his dead body fell down at the feet of his companion in suffering.

         Much feeling was excited among the crowd around by the cruel and humiliating end of the two bishops, although they had lately, as perhaps Ridley always had been, very unpopular.  “But,” says Foxe, in words that win our sympathy, “whoso considered their preferments in time past, the places of honour that they sometime occupied in this commonwealth, the favour they were in with their princes, and the opinion of learning they had in the university where they studied, could not choose but sorrow with tears to see so great dignity, honour, and estimation, so necessary members sometime accounted, so many godly virtues, the study of so many years, such excellent learning, to be put into the fire, and consumed in one moment.” [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vi. 469–500; vii. 519–552.]

         Bishop Latimer. – Tradition has commonly represented Latimer as an infirm and very aged man at the time of his death, but he seems in truth to have been about a year younger than Cranmer, having been born at Thurcaston, in Leicestershire, in the year 1490 or 1491, and being thus only sixty-five years old when his life was brought to an end. [This seems clear, for Foxe says that he went to Cambridge at the age of fourteen, and the university records show that he took his degree in 1511 being then a Fellow of Clare Hall.  Yet Foxe’s whole description of him in his last years gives the reader an impression that he was a very old man, with a very old man’s ways, wearing several night-caps under his ordinary cap, complaining of loss of memory, and being called “father” and “reverend father,” even by his judges, as he was commonly called a Father Latimer.”  At the last, however, Foxe says of him: “Whereas in his clothes he appeared a withered and crooked silly old man, he now stood bolt upright, as comely a father as one might lightly behold.”  (Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vii. 549.)]  He was the son of a small tenant farmer, who kept him to school, and at the age of fourteen sent him to Cambridge, where he became Fellow of Clare Hall, even while he was an undergraduate.  A few years later he was found among the “White House Divines,” [See vol. i. p. 527.] being then a university preacher; and, being charged with Lutheranism before Wolsey, was dismissed by that mildest of legates with a license to preach in any part of England.  About 1530 he was brought under the notice of Henry VIII in association with the divorce business, and preached before the King at Windsor, soon after becoming chaplain to Anne Boleyn, and being presented by the Crown to what he called his “little bishopric of West Kington,” in Wiltshire.  On September 26, 1535, he was consecrated to the larger Bishopric of Worcester, but was required to resign that see on July 1, 1539, because he would not assent to the Act of the Six Articles.  In the latter part of Henry VIII’s reign he was imprisoned in the Tower, and being released by the general pardon issued at the beginning of Edward’s reign, he went to reside at Lambeth with Archbishop Cranmer, but resolutely refused to resume his position as Bishop of Worcester.  During Edward’s reign he often preached before the Court, and was accustomed to deal pungently with political subjects, on which account he was often accused of sedition.  “There is a certain man,” he says, “that, shortly after my first sermon, being asked if he had been at the sermon that day, answered ‘Yea.’  ‘I pray you,’ said he, ‘how liked you him?’  ‘Marry,’ said he, ‘even as I liked him always – a seditious fellow.’  Oh, Lord! he pinched me there; nay, he had rather a full bite at me. ... In the King’s days that dead is, a many of us were called together before him to say our minds in certain matters.  In the end one kneeleth me down, and accuseth me of sedition, that I had preached seditious doctrine. ... Thus have I evermore been burdened with sedition. ... Thus they burdened me ever with sedition.”  At the time when he said this he was being accused of sedition for “speaking a merry word of the new shilling to refresh my auditory; how I was like to put away my new shilling for an old groat,” through the depreciation of the coinage.  He added with biting sarcasm that he had now “gotten one fellow more, a companion of sedition, and wot ye who is my fellow?  Isaiah the prophet.  I spake but of a little pretty shilling, but he speaketh to Jerusalem after another sort, and was bold to meddle with their coin.  ‘Thou proud, thou covetous, thou haughty city of Jerusalem: Argentum tuum versum est in scoriam.’  Thy silver is turned into what?  Into testoons?  ‘Scoriam: Into dross.’ ... Was not this a seditious varlet to tell them this to their beards, to their face?’” [Latimer’s Serm., i. 119–121.]

         It is no wonder if a preacher who used such bold language as this was accused of seditious preaching soon after the accession of Queen Mary.  On September 13, 1553, he was summoned before the Privy Council, and committed to the Tower, as is stated in the Council Register, “for his seditious demeanour”.  No record remains of the particular charges brought against him; but it is not improbable that he had been speaking against the proposals which were being made for the marriage of the Queen to a foreigner.  On March 8, 1549, he had used this language in a sermon before Edward VI: “Oh, what a plague were it that a strange King, of a strange land, and of a strange religion, should reign over us!  Where now we be governed in the true religion he should extirp and pluck away altogether, and then plant again all abomination and Popery.  God keep such a King from us.  Well, the King’s grace hath sisters, my Lady Mary and my Lady Elizabeth, which by succession and course are inheritors to the Crown; who, if they should marry strangers, what should ensue?  God knoweth.  But God grant if they so do, whereby strange religion cometh in, that they never come unto coursing nor succeeding.” [Ibid., i. 85.]  He was not likely to hear patiently and without remonstrance that his anticipations were about to be fulfilled by Mary’s marriage to Philip of Spain.

         For whatever reason he was originally sent to the Tower, however, Latimer was soon regarded as a heretic rather than a traitor, and shared the fortunes of Cranmer and Ridley.  At the Oxford “disputations” he was compelled to come forward and take some part in defending his opinions, but he did so very unwillingly.  When the Court of Commissioners sat in St. Mary’s on the Saturday, he came before them “with a kerchief and two or three caps on his head, his spectacles hanging by a string at his breast, and a staff in his hand, and was set in a chair; for so was he suffered by the prolocutor.  And after his denial of the Articles, when he had Wednesday appointed for disputation, he alleged age, sickness, disuse, and lack of books, saying that he was almost as meet to dispute as to be a captain of Calais; but he would, he said, declare his mind either by writing or word, and would stand to all they could lay upon his back; complaining, moreover, that he was permitted to have neither pen nor ink, nor yet any book, but only the New Testament there in his hand, which, he said, he had read over seven times deliberately, and yet could not find the Mass in it, neither the marrow-bones nor sinews of the same.” [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vi. 443.]  On the day assigned for his “disputation,” which was Wednesday, April 18, 1554, he pleaded faintness, and begged that he might not be kept long.  He also requested that he might be allowed to speak in English, not having used Latin much during the preceding twenty years, and that he understood no Greek.  He gave in an answer in writing to the three propositions respecting the Holy Eucharist which had been put before him and the other bishops on the preceding Saturday; but when Weston, the President, said to him, “Then refuse you to dispute?  Will you here then subscribe?” he replied, “No, good master; I pray be good to an old man.  You may, if it please God, be once old as I am, you may come to this age and this debility.”  When he was asked how long he had held his present opinion respecting the Sacrament, he said it was not long, not more than seven years, that is, since the early part of Edward VI’s reign, and that his opinion had been confirmed by Archbishop Cranmer’s book on the subject, which had been published in the year 1550.  Previously to this change of opinion he had, and he “cried God mercy heartily for it, said Mass,” to use the President’s words, “full devoutly”.  He denied ever having been a Lutheran or a Zwinglian in his opinions, and averred that until he had changed them seven years before he had been “a Papist”.  A desultory discussion was kept up for some time, but the Court adjourned three hours earlier than on the preceding days, Latimer telling them as his last word, “You shall have no hope in me to turn.  I pray for the Queen daily, even from the bottom of my heart, that she may turn from this religion.” [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vi. 500–511.]

         On the next day but one the Court reassembled in St. Mary’s Church, and Latimer declaring, as the other two bishops had done, that his mind was unchanged, he was found guilty of heresy and excommunicated, saying, after the sentence of excommunication had been passed, “I thank God most heartily that He hath prolonged my life to this end, that I may in this case glorify God by that kind of death.” [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vi. 534.]

         Latimer remained under restraint, however, in a private house in Oxford for seventeen months after he had been adjudged guilty of heresy, and little or nothing further is known of him until he and Ridley were brought before Cardinal Pole’s Commissioners on September 30, 1555.  On this occasion also he complained of old age; for having been kept waiting while Ridley was under examination, he said, “‘My Lords, if I appear again, I pray you not to send for me until you be ready; for I am an old man, and it is great hurt to mine old age to tarry so long gazing upon the cold walls.’  Then the Bishop of Lincoln, ‘Master Latimer, I am sorry you are brought so soon, although it is the bailiff’s fault, and not mine; but it shall be amended.’” [Ibid., vii. 529.  Latimer’s remonstrance sounds like that of a man much older than sixty-five.  It was early autumn only.]  At one point of his examination there was much laughter at his replies, and he remonstrated that it was no laughing matter, but one of life and death.  “Master Latimer,” said the Bishop of Lincoln, “if you had kept yourself within your bounds, if you had not used such scoffs and taunts, this had not been done”; but when the Bishop of Gloucester spoke with slight contempt of Latimer’s want of learning, the old bishop retorted with unbroken spirit and ready illustration: “Lo, you look for learning at my hands, which have gone so long to the school of Oblivion, making the bare walls my library, keeping me so long in prison without book or pen and ink; and now you let me loose to come and answer to Articles.  You deal with me as though two were appointed to fight for life and death, and overnight the one, through friends and favour, is cherished, and hath good counsel given him how to encounter with his enemy.  The other, for envy or lack of friends, all the whole night is set in the stocks.  In the morning, when they shall meet, the one is in strength and lusty, the other is stark of his limbs, and almost dead for feebleness.  Think you that to run through this man with a spear is not a goodly victory?”

         On the next day, October 1st, Latimer was formally declared to be guilty of heresy, was excommunicated with the greater excommunication, and was handed over to the secular power, but nothing is said by Foxe respecting his degradation, either from the order of the episcopate or the priesthood, although it is certain to have taken place.

         The day of execution was October 16, 1555.  Latimer went to the stake with the most unostentatious self-possession, and spoke only a few words.  But, as they were lighting the fire at his feet, he burst out with the memorable exclamation, full of his old witty eloquence, yet having almost the solemnity of prophecy: “Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man.  We shall this day light a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out.”  He prayed, “O Father of heaven, receive my soul!” stroking his face with his hands, and seemed to bathe them a little in the fire.  He soon died, apparently without pain, probably suffocated by the smoke, or shattered by the explosion of the gunpowder which Shipside, Ridley’s brother-in-law, had hung around his neck. [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vii. 550.]

         Archdeacon Philpot. – Two months after the execution of Bishops Ridley and Latimer – three other persons suffering in the meanwhile – John Philpot, Archdeacon of Winchester, was burned in Smithfield, the day of his execution being December 18, 1555.  He was a man of better social position than most of the sufferers, being the son of Sir Peter Philpot of Compton, in Hampshire, and of considerable learning, being familiar with Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, at a time when the first two languages were little cultivated.

         Philpot was born in 1511; went from Winchester to New College, where he became a Fellow in 1534; travelled much abroad, living for some time in Rome, and forfeited his Fellowship by his absence in 1541.  Towards the end of Henry VIII’s reign he took Holy Orders, and became Archdeacon of Winchester, while Gardiner was still exercising his office as Bishop of Winchester, though not perhaps until the reign of Edward VI [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vii. 607.]; but when he died, at the age of forty-four, he appears not to have been a clergyman for more than eight or nine years of his life.  He had been brought under Gardiner’s notice and censure for his preaching during the reign of Henry VIII, and had a serious quarrel with Gardiner’s successor, Poynet, during that of Edward VI, whence “intolerable troubles arose, and slanders in that diocese to them both.” [Strype’s Mem. Eccl., III. i. 439.]  He was as unsparing towards those whom he accounted, and justly, to be heretics, as his own persecutors were towards him.  On one occasion he heard a person using language which implied Arian doctrine.  Philpot spat in his face, “which he said he did for this end, to signify thereby that he was a person not fit to be accompanied withal for his horrid blasphemy, and to relieve the sorrow which he conceived for that blasphemy that was spoke against our Saviour.”  He afterwards wrote a book justifying his act, and warning people against “the Arians” and “other late sprung heresies.”  Not long before he himself suffered, he also spoke of Joan Butcher as “a vain woman (I knew her well) and a heretic indeed, well worthy to be burned, because she stood against one of the manifest articles of our faith, contrary to the Scriptures.” [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vii. 631.]

         On the accession of Queen Mary Archdeacon Philpot took a leading part in the debates which were carried on in Convocation during the last three months of 1553, when the chief subject discussed was that of the Holy Eucharist, the discussions being carried on in the Convocation House in St. Paul’s Cathedral, and “in the presence of many earls, lords, knights, gentlemen, and divers others of the Court and of the city also.” [The debates are reported in Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vi. 395–411.]  His arguments had much learning to support them, but his arrogance was most unsuitable for a priest so recently ordained, and his manner was so violent that it was repeatedly asserted he must be mad.  Early in 1554 he was apprehended, probably as a “suspect,” in connection with Wyatt’s rebellion; and after being imprisoned for a year and a half in the King’s Bench without trial, was charged with heresy at the Old Bailey before the Queen’s Commissioners – Cholmley, Roper, and Story – by whom he was sent for examination before the Bishop of London.  Great efforts were made by Bonner and other bishops to bring him to an agreement with their opinions respecting the Eucharist, and it is lamentable to see how the differences between them, which were scarcely more than verbal,* were exaggerated by Philpot’s self-sufficiency and intemperate mind, on which neither gentleness (and he was treated with singular gentleness by Bishop Bonner) nor severity could make any impression.  As in most of these discussions respecting the Eucharist, the divergences of opinion arose in a great degree from far too confident assertions on both sides respecting the manner of Christ’s Presence therein, and from an obstinate determination to admit of no compromise in respect to the terms used respecting it.

         *[That is, even as the examinations of Philpot – the report of which was written and published by himself – now appear in the pages of Foxe.  But in Strype’s Life of Archbishop Grindal there is evidence that they were altered here and there to suit the opinions of Foxe and Grindal before they were submitted to the world.  “Philpot, Archdeacon of Winchester, and Martyr, his examinations also were soon come over from England.  Which, when Fox had spoke somewhat concerning, and consulted with Grindal, whether they ought not to have a review, and some corrections of them made before they were exposed to the public; Grindal freely thus expressed himself in this matter, That there were some things in them that needed the file; that is, some prudent hand to usher them out into the world.  For that Philpot seemed to have somewhat ensnared himself in some words not so well approved; as that Christ is Really in the Supper, etc.  And, that if the English Book had not been divulged, some things might be mitigated in it.  And next, that he sometimes cited the Ancients memoriter, being void of the help of books, where one might easily slip. … Grindal also supposed that Foxe himself might in like manner espy some oversights, wherefore he bade him use his judgement.”  (Strype’s Life of Grindal, p. 20).  The meaning of this obviously is that Archbishop Grindal thought Foxe had better tamper with his original documents when he thought they made his martyrs appear too catholic in their opinions.]

         As many as thirteen examinations of Philpot took place, the Archbishop of York, several other bishops, and some Privy Councilors taking part in them, and there were also many private conferences with him.  But all was of no avail, and on December 16th he was finally brought into the Bishop of London’s Consistory Court, where he was declared to be guilty of heresy, excommunicated, and delivered over to the secular power, the Sheriffs of London removing him to Newgate.

         December 18, 1555, was the day on which he was to be burned.  “And so he went with the Sheriffs to the place of execution; and when he was entering into Smithfield, the way was foul, and two officers took him up to bear him to the stake.  Then he said, merrily, ‘What! will ye make me a Pope?  I am content to go to my journey’s end on foot.’  But first, coming into Smithfield, he kneeled down there, saying these words, ‘I will pay my vows in thee, O Smithfield!’

         “And when he was come to the place of suffering, he kissed the stake, and said, ‘Shall I disdain to suffer at this stake, seeing my Redeemer did not refuse to suffer a most vile death upon the Cross for me?’  And then with an obedient heart full meekly he said the 106th, the 107th, and the 108th Psalms.  And when he had made an end of all his prayers, he said to the officers, ‘What have you done for me?’ and every one of them declared what they had done; and he gave to every of them money.

         “Then they bound him to the stake, and set fire unto that constant martyr, who the 18th day of December, in the midst of the fiery flames, yielded his soul into the hands of Almighty God, and full like a lamb gave up his breath, his body being consumed into ashes.” [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vii. 685.]

         Archbishop Cranmer. – It is said by Coverdale, Foxe, and Strype that a pardon was eventually granted to Cranmer for his treason in the matter of Lady Jane Grey.  Gardiner proposed to the Queen that he should be pardoned, his license as Archbishop under Edward’s Act withdrawn, and that a pension should be allowed him during the rest of his life [Biogr. Britan., 2119.]; but instead of taking this merciful course, the Queen, under the advice of others, determined that the fallen Archbishop should be proceeded against for heresy. [Coverdale’s Lett. of Mart. p. 1, marg.; Foxe’s Acts and Mon., viii. 87; Strype’s Cranmer, iii. 68, 463, ed. 1854.  On the other hand, when Crammer was being tried before Brooks, at the last Dr. Martin said to him, “You refuse and deny him” – that is, the Pope – “by whose laws ye do remain in life; being otherwise attainted of high treason, and but a dead man by the laws of the realm.”  (Foxe’s Acts and Mon., viii. 51.)]  This resolve being taken, it was also determined that his forfeiture of the archbishopric should not be enforced, but that application should be made to the Pope for his deprivation.  The application was made to Julius III on March 8, 1554, the ground stated being the evil life of the Archbishop, – that is, his life as a married man instead him of as a celibate. [The document is preserved in the Magliabechiana at Florence.  It is in the handwriting of Roger Ascham, by whom it is also signed, the counter-signatures of Queen Mary and King Philip being added.  (Wriothesley’s Chron., ii. 133, n.)]  It appears not to have been granted, the ultramontane party having probably resolved that the Archbishop should not only be deprived but punished as a heretic, so soon as Gardiner’s influence with the Queen could be overpowered.

         Meanwhile it was thought expedient that the “heresies” of the Reformation should be as publicly condemned as possible, and the disputation in Convocation – that in which Archdeacon Philpot took so prominent a part – having come to nothing, it was determined, nominally at the request of Convocation, to take still higher ground, and have a disputation between the Reformation Archbishop of Canterbury, the Reformation Bishop of London, and the popular preacher of King Edward’s days, on the one hand, with representatives of Convocation and the two Universities on the other.  This disputation was arranged to take place at Oxford.  Nothing could, however, have been more unfairly arranged, for the three bishops were in fact put upon their trial, and the disputants on the opposite side became their judges, the latter acting under a Royal Commission which empowered them to declare the bishops guilty of heresy.

         Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer were removed from the Tower on March 7th, and arrived in Oxford on March 10, 1554, their imprisonment there being managed in the manner which has been mentioned in the preceding notice of Bishop Ridley.  There also the Commissioners assembled, consisting of Weston, the Prolocutor of the Convocation of Canterbury, who was President, eight members of the Lower House of that Convocation, the Vice-Chancellors of Oxford and Cambridge, and Doctors of Divinity elected by each University – the whole number being thirty-three.  The Commission was opened with much solemnity in the in the choir of the University, or St. Mary’s, Church, on Saturday, April 14th, the Doctors occupying the stalls, and a seat being erected for the President in front of the altar.  Each of the three bishops was called separately before the Commissioners, and addressed on the object of the Commission.  “First they sent to the Mayor that he should bring in Dr. Crammer, who, within a while, was brought to them with a great number of rusty bill-men,” the Mayor’s guard, armed with javelins.  The President, then, “sitting in the midst in a scarlet gown” – all were in their doctor’s gowns – “began with a short preface or oration in praise of unity, and especially in the Church of Christ,” and recapitulating the principal circumstances in the Archbishop’s career.  To bring him into that unity again he was now required to subscribe to three Articles which had been agreed upon by the Convocation of Canterbury, and had been subscribed not only by that Convocation, but also by the Convocation of the two Universities.  “The Archbishop answered to the preface very wittily, modestly, and learnedly, showing that he was very glad of a unity, forasmuch as it was ‘the preserver of all commonwealths, as well of the heathen as of the Christians’; and so he dilated the matter with one or two stories of the Romans’ commonwealth.  Which thing when he had done, he said that he was very glad to come to a unity, so that it were in Christ, and agreeable to His Holy Word.”  After these jesting stories, for they could hardly have been told seriously as bearing on the unity of Christ’s Church, the three Articles, which were as follows, were presented to the Archbishop for his subscription:–

         “First.  Whether the natural Body of Christ be really in the Sacrament, after the words spoken by the priest, or no?

         Secondly.  Whether in the Sacrament, after the words of consecration, any other substance do remain than the substance of the Body and Blood of Christ?

         Thirdly.  Whether in the Mass be a sacrifice propitiatory for the sins of the quick and the dead?”

         The Archbishop read them over two or three times, asked several questions about the meaning of the terms used, and refused utterly to subscribe to them, saying, “They were all false, and against God’s Holy Word”; and therefore, he said, he would not agree in that unity with them.  A copy of the Articles was then given to him, and he was required to produce his answer in writing on the following Monday.

         On Monday, April 16, 1554, the Commissioners sat in the Divinity School, and “Dr. Cranmer, with a rout of rusty bills, was brought thither and set in the answerer’s place, with the Mayor and Aldermen sitting by him.”  The Archbishop put in his answer in writing, as he had been required to do, but notwithstanding this, a long viva voce argument was carried on between him and his opponents for several hours, in which much temper was shown on both sides, and many theological statements made by Cranmer – such, for example, as that “infants, when they are baptized, do eat the flesh of Christ” – which much misrepresented the principles retained and maintained in the reformed formularies of the Church which he had so long ruled.  “This disordered disputation,” says Foxe, [Foxe’s condensed report of it occupies twenty-five octavo pages (vi. 444–469) of small print.  It was probably provided for his work by Bishop Jewell, who acted as one of the notaries or official reporters, and who assisted Foxe, some years afterwards, in compiling his Acts and Monuments of the Church.] “sometimes in Latin, sometimes in English, continued almost till two of the clock.  Which being finished, and the arguments,” – that is, the logical forms of them, [They are all printed in later pages of Foxe.] – “written and delivered to the hands of Master Say, the prisoner was led away by the Mayor, and the Doctors dined together at University College.”           On the Friday following, [The intervening day was occupied with a scholastic disputation on the same subject between Dr. Weston and Dr. Harps field, the latter “disputing” for his doctor’s degree.  Cranmer was present in the Divinity School at this Divinity exercise, and was allowed to take part in it when he chose to do so.  On this occasion Weston and the others treated the fallen Archbishop with great respect.  “Your wonderful gentle behaviour and modesty, good Master Doctor Cranmer,” said Weston, “is worthy much commendation; and that I may not deprive you of your right and just deserving, I give you most hearty thanks in my own name, and in the name of all my brethren.  At this saying, all the doctors gently put off their caps.” (Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vi. 511–520.)] April 20, 1554, the Commissioners again sat in St. Mary’s Church, when the three bishops were finally brought before them.  Cranmer was told that he had now been vanquished in argument before a very learned audience, and this being so, was he prepared to subscribe to the three Articles at first offered to him?  Cranmer replied that it was false to say his arguments were answered; “for he was not suffered to oppose as he would, nor could answer as he was required, unless he would have brawled with them: so thick their reasons came, one after another.  Ever four or five did interrupt him, that he could not speak.”  Being afterwards again called forward with Ridley and Latimer, he firmly refused to subscribe the Articles, and was then excommunicated.  This shameful act was met by his dignified reply: “From this your judgement and sentence I appeal to the judgement of God Almighty; trusting to be present with Him in Heaven, for Whose Presence in the Altar I am thus condemned.”

         Three days after his condemnation for heresy Cranmer wrote to the Privy Council, [Coverdale’s Lett. Mart., p. 13, ed. 1837.] begging them to intercede with the Queen for his pardon, supposing that sentence of death would at once follow; but the letter was returned to him by Weston, into whose hands he had delivered it, the Prolocutor refusing to have anything to do with a matter which lay beyond his commission, and which also reflected upon the manner in which that commission had been carried out.  Instead, however, of sentence of death being passed at once after Cranmer and the others had been convicted of heresy, they were let alone – prisoners, but not very strictly confined – for seventeen months.  Nothing is really known of the Archbishop during this long time,* except that he wrote a great deal, as did Ridley also.**

         *[There is one touching anecdote: “A Mrs. Hickman, whose husband had fled out of the country, was sent down to a gentleman’s house in Oxfordshire for her approaching confinement, as she was not able to bear the voyage to Germany.  But when her child was born, she was in a dilemma about the baptism, not liking to have it baptized by a ‘Romish Priest’ according to the ritual then of late restored.  So she contrived to send a message to the Bishops then in prison at Oxford, to know what she should do and their answer was, that she might safely employ the priest, for that ‘the Service for Holy Baptism was of all the Services that in which the Church of Rome had least departed from the truth of the Gospel and the primitive practice.’”  This anecdote is given in Massingberd’s Lectures on the Prayer Book, p. 123, from the leaves of a copy of Beza’s New Testament, belonging to a descendant of the family.]

         **[It is curious to find the Archbishop saying, with reference to his appeal from the Pope to a General Council, that the chief reason of that appeal is his wish to “gain time (if it shall so please God) to live until I have finished mine answer against Marcus Antonius Constantius, which I have now in hand.”  This was a treatise against Gardiner, who was now dead.  The Archbishop’s fame, at least, rests on other labours.]

         It is probable that there was much negotiation going on with the Pope in the course of these seventeen months, and correspondence on the subject of the Archbishop’s condemnation is very likely to exist in those archives of the Vatican which the Court of Rome dares not throw open to the examination of critical historians; for when the attack upon Cranmer was suddenly renewed, it took the form of a Commission from the Pope for the trial of the Archbishop.  The condemnation of the three bishops by a Commission holding its authority from the Crown was now held to be void, the Ultramontane party maintaining that the Pope only could lawfully exercise supreme authority in such a matter, and that the trial of bishops must be before his officers, and not before those of the Crown of England.  Ridley and Latimer were therefore to be tried before Commissioners appointed by Cardinal Pole, as the Pope’s legate; and Cranmer, whose case differed from the others, for he had received the pall direct from the Pope, was to be tried by a “subdelegate” of the Pope, specially appointed for the purpose.  But in the case of Cranmer there seems to have been a compromise, for a Court was constituted for his trial, over which Brooks, Bishop of Gloucester, subdelegate of the Pope, acted as judge, while Dr. Martin and Dr. Story, commissioners or proctors for the King and Queen, sat with him as assessors.

         The day appointed for the trial was September 12, 1555.  The place was the choir of St. Mary’s Church, Oxford, where a platform ten feet high was erected for the Pope’s representative in front of the altar, immediately under the reserved Sacrament, which hung immediately over his head; the two representatives of the Crown of England being appropriately relegated to more humble seats on the right and left, at a much lower elevation.  As soon as the subdelegate had taken his seat, Cranmer was summoned by the crier of the court in a manner which showed that no regard was paid either to his ipso facto degradation as a traitor or to the formal excommunication passed upon him as a heretic, the words used being, “Thomas, Archbishop of Canterbury, appear here and make answer to that shall be laid to thy charge, that is to say, for blasphemy, incontinency, and heresy; and make answer here to the Bishop of Gloucester, representing the Pope’s person.”  When he arrived before the platform Cranmer respectfully saluted the two doctors as representatives of his sovereign, but he would not salute the Bishop because he represented the Pope, whose jurisdiction he repudiated.  When the proceedings had been opened by long addresses from Brooks and Martin, the Archbishop more formally repudiated this jurisdiction by saying, “My Lord, I do not acknowledge this session of yours, nor yet you, my mislawful judge; neither would I have appeared here this day before you, but that I was brought hither as a prisoner.  And therefore I openly here renounce you as my judge, protesting that my meaning is not to make any answer, as in a lawful judgement (for then would I be silent), but only for that I am bound in conscience to answer every man of that hope which I have in Jesus Christ, by the counsel of St. Peter; and lest, by my silence, many of those who are weak, here present, might be offended.  And so I desire that my answers may be accepted as extra judicialia.”  Then, kneeling down “towards the west,” he said the Lord’s Prayer, and, standing up, he recited the Creed.  Much time was then taken with arguments on both sides respecting the authority of the Pope in England, but Foxe could give these only from the notes of a notary who reported on the Roman side, and he rightly says that they seem to be very imperfect as regards the Archbishop’s arguments.  Afterwards a series of sixteen written interrogatories were placed before the Archbishop, a long speech was made by Brooks on the subjects of the Papal Supremacy and Transubstantiation, eight of the Commissioners of 1554 were examined for the purpose of obtaining evidence as to Cranmer’s statement when he appeared before them, and then the Court adjourned until the next day.  On that day, which was September 13, 1555, the Court sat in New College Chapel, but nothing further seems to have been done at this time than to make a public citation of Cranmer to appear at Rome in eighty days, a citation which he had already received privately as early as September 7th, before the trial began. [Jenkyns’ Cranmer, i. 369.]

         The Archbishop now wrote a long letter to the Queen [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., viii. 91.] in defense of his conduct.  The substance of this letter is a repetition of his arguments against the Papal Supremacy and Transubstantiation, but the following noble burst of patriotic remonstrance occurs among its opening words: “But, alas! it cannot but grieve the heart of any natural subject to be accused of the King and Queen of his own realm, and specially before an outward judge, or by authority coming from any person out of this realm: where the King and Queen, as if they were subjects within their own realm, shall complain and require justice at a stranger’s hands against their own subject, being already condemned to death by their own laws.  As though the King and Queen could not do or have justice within their own realms against their own subjects, but they must seek it at a stranger’s hands in a strange land; the like whereof, I think, was never seen.  I would have wished to have had some meaner adversaries; and I think that death shall not grieve me much more, than to have my most dread and most gracious Sovereign Lord and Lady (to whom under God I do owe all obedience) to be mine accusers in judgement within their own realm, before any stranger and outward power.”

         This letter was answered on behalf of the Queen by Cardinal Pole, who wrote at great length, and he wrote also another very long letter to the Archbishop on the subject of the Eucharist, [Strype’s Cranmer, iii. 597–644.] but the correspondence wrought no change whatever in the situation of affairs.

         Meanwhile the formality of a trial was going on in the Consistory Court of the Pope, by which Cranmer was excommunicated on December 4, 1555, having first been pronounced contumacious for not appearing at the end of the eighty days.  On December 14th the Pope issued a Brief – having meanwhile, on the 11th, appointed Pole to the See of Canterbury [The recognition of the appointment in England was forbidden under penalty of Praemunire by the Statute of Provisors.  See vol. i. 263.] – addressed to the King and Queen, and the bishops of London and Ely, directing the Bishops to degrade the Archbishop, and the King and Queen to deprive him of his temporalities. [This Brief is printed at length in Foxe’s Acts and Mon., viii. 69.]  This Brief was acted upon by Bonner and Thirlby on February 14, 1556, when the Archbishop was degraded from his orders before the altar of St. Mary’s Church.  [“The 14 of February Thomas Cranmer, late Archbishop of Canterbury, was disgraded of all his orders and dignities of bishop and priesthood at Oxford by Dr. Bonner, Bishop of London, the Bishop of Ely and others being with him in commission, sent from the Pope; and after was committed to the laity as a layman, to suffer at the King and Queen’s pleasure.”  (Wriothesley’s Chron., ii. 133.)]  Foxe says that the vestments used for this ceremony were all made of “canvas and old clouts, with a miter and a pall of the same suit done upon him in mockery.”  But before any of them were removed from his person a striking scene took place.  “They began then,” says Foxe, in his very confused narrative, “to bustle toward his degrading, and first to take from him his crosier-staff out of his hands, which he held fast and refused to deliver, and withal, imitating the example of Martin Luther, pulled an appeal out of his left sleeve under the wrist, which he there and then delivered unto them, saying, ‘I appeal to the next General Council; and herein I have comprehended my cause and form of it, which I desire may be admitted’; and prayed divers of the standers by, by name, to be witnesses.” [This appeal is also in Foxe, viii. 73.]  The appeal was at first refused, but afterwards received by the bishops; but it was a mere formality, as Cranmer knew when he made it, his death having been determined on by the Ultramontane party, with, sad to say, Cardinal Pole, his successor, now at their head.

         Having thus been excommunicated and degraded by authority of the Pope, Cranmer was handed over to the secular power by the same authority.  A few days later, on February 24, 1556, King Philip and Queen Mary accepted the office of executioners to the Pope by issuing a Privy Seal [Printed in Burnet’s Reform., v. 452, Pocock’s Ed.] to the Lord Chancellor, Heath, Archbishop of York, directing him to affix the Great Seal to a writ to be issued to the Mayor and Bailiffs of Oxford, ordering the public execution of “Thomas Cranmer, a condemned heretic and heresiarch,” by fire, for a manifest example to all other Christian people.

         Nearly a month elapsed before the execution took place, and during that time strong efforts were made by the Ultramontane party to obtain from Cranmer such a recantation as might seem to the world a total renunciation of the principles and opinions for which he had suffered so long.  For a time he was removed to Christ Church Deanery, “where he lacked no delicate fare, played at the bowls, had his pleasure for walking, and all other things that might bring him from Christ.”  He was also visited by the Spanish Friars De Soto, De Villa Garcia, by Henry Sydal, and others, who endeavoured to work upon him by argument.  Under these influences he signed one recantation after another, to the number of six.  After signing the first, he had written to Cardinal Pole begging his intercession with the Queen for the grant of a few days’ reprieve, that he might make a recantation of a more complete kind, and this was granted him.  There can be no doubt that he expected by this means to escape the fearful death to which he was sentenced; but his persecutors had no intention of letting him slip from their hands.  On March 18th he signed his sixth recantation; on Saturday, March 21st, Villa Garcia came to him early with a document embodying this recantation, and intended to be read publicly at the stake.  Cranmer signed the document, but he had with a strange duplicity prepared another of exactly an opposite character, in which he disavowed all his previous recantations.  He slipped the two documents into his bosom, apparently intending to use the first in case he should receive pardon, and the second in case he should see that he must certainly die.

         At nine o’clock of that morning, March 21, 1556, five months and a few days after the execution of Ridley and Latimer, and more than four months after the death of Gardiner, the fallen Archbishop was led out of Bocardo, and escorted by a great crowd of county magistrates and the “posse comitatus,” for an attempt at rescue was expected, to the University Church, where a solemn service was sung as the Nunc Dimittis of the reclaimed heretic, and a funeral sermon preached by Dr. Cole, the Provost of Eton, who had several times visited him that morning and the day before, and had given him fifteen crowns to expend in alms.  “The lamentable case and sight of that man,” says Foxe, “gave a sorrowful spectacle to all Christian eyes that beheld him.  He that late was Archbishop, Metropolitan, and Primate of England, and the King’s Privy Councilor, being now in a bare and ragged gown, and ill-favouredly clothed, with an old square cap, exposed to the contempt of all men, did admonish men not only of his own calamity, but also of their state and fortune.  For who would not pity his case, and bewail his fortune, and might not fear his own chance, to see such a prelate, so grave a councilor, and of so long-continued honour, after so many dignities, in his old years to be deprived of his estate, adjudged to die, and in so painful a death to end his life, and now presently from such fresh ornaments to descend to such vile and ragged apparel?”

         Cranmer shed many tears, “one while lifting up his hands and eyes unto heaven, and then again for shame letting them down to the earth.”  When the sermon was ended, Dr. Cole called upon him to read his recantation, meaning that of which he had an hour or two before delivered a copy to Villa Garcia.  His last weakness was now gone, – he seems always to have been invigorated by the sight of a large audience, – and after solemn prayer and declaration of his belief in the Articles of the Creed, and in the Old and New Testaments, he recanted all his recantations, ending his speech with the words, “And forasmuch as my hand offended, writing contrary to my heart, my hand shall first be punished therefor; for, may I come to the fire, it shall be first burned.”  All sympathy with the doomed man seems now to have been extinguished, and amidst cries of contempt he was led by the Divinity School and along the glacis, since levelled, and forming one side of Broad Street, to that part of the wide dry ditch outside the city walls where Ridley and Latimer had been burned.

         The end is narrated by Foxe, and although the incident of burning the hand is obviously exaggerated, the narrative seems otherwise simple enough to be true.  “When the wood was kindled,” he writes, “and the fire began to burn near him, stretching out his arm, he put his right hand into the flame, which he held so steadfast and immovable (saving that once with the same hand he wiped his face), that all men might see his hand burned before his body was touched.  His body did so abide the burning of the flame with such constancy and steadfastness, that standing always in one place without moving his body, he seemed to move no more than the stake to which he was bound; his eyes were lifted up into heaven, and oftentimes he repeated, ‘This unworthy right hand,’ so long as his voice would suffer him; and using often the words of Stephen, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit,’ in the greatness of the flame he gave up the ghost.”

         It cannot be charitably doubted that, as has been before remarked, long affliction brought out the better qualities of Archbishop Cranmer, but a calm review of his character as a whole, a review free from party prejudice, must pronounce upon it a very unfavourable opinion.

         So far as his name is associated with the original conversion of the old Latin Breviary and Missal into an English Prayer Book, it is a name of which the Church of England might well be proud; so far as he gave way to foreign and English Presbyterianism, it is a name of which the Church of England may be thoroughly ashamed.  As regards his personal character, he was vain, weak, heartless, and arrogant; vain of his position as the great man of Lambeth and the friend of the sovereign; weak in servile submission to stronger wills than his own, as well as to flattering tongues and pens; heartless in the ruthless sacrifice of every man or woman, from Queen Catherine downwards, [And worse than heartless, for it is but too certain that when he sanctioned the marriage of Henry VIII with Anne Boleyn, and performed the rite, be knew well that the King had been associated in a licentious intimacy with her sister, Mary Boleyn.  (Saturday Rev., xxi. 290.)] who stood in his way; arrogant to the last degree of insult towards Gardiner, Bonner, Day, and others of his suffragans.  He was no great theologian, as is shown by his disputation at Oxford.  For his earlier and sounder controversial work he depended upon old English authorities and Latin translations of the Fathers; his later, such as the Catechism going by his name, which was written by Poynet, was done chiefly by his chaplains, and by the foreign Divines to whom he gave shelter at Lambeth.

         Happily for the Reformation, Archbishop Cranmer was not a Presbyterian by birth and country, and so was not so distinctly a foe to the Church of England as some of her later rulers have been; but his associations by marriage and friendship influenced him most mischievously in that direction, and in the last two years of his ecclesiastical rule he gave to the English Reformation an impetus towards Puritanism which endangered its Catholic character, alienated its Catholic supporters, and led to strifes and controversies that polluted the land with blood for a century.  It is hard to look upon such a man otherwise than as one at whose door must be laid the guilt of many a slain body and many a lost soul.

         Of the Archbishop’s latest days there is no need to speak harshly.  His weak will was no doubt still further weakened by his troubles, and to this, as well as to his passionate clinging to life, his six recantations may be attributed.  When he had actually to face death, beyond all hope of escape, his behaviour at the last was not unworthy of a brave man.

         Although about two hundred persons suffered at later times during the reign of Queen Mary, Cranmer was the last of those whose names are otherwise known to history.  The persecution did not end until two years after his death.  Five persons were burned at Canterbury on November 10, 1558, and these were the last of the sufferers.  The Queen died on November 17th, Cardinal Pole on the day following, and then the Spaniards and the Italians fled from the country, much to the country’s welfare and joy.  The short and sharp rule of Ultramontanism was at an end.

 

Chapter  VI – The Revival of the Reformation Under

Queen Elizabeth, 1558–1603.

         When Queen Elizabeth came to the throne, her relations towards the Reformation were already very different to those of her deceased sister.  Mary was born in 1516; she grew up to womanhood under the mediaeval system of the Church of England; she was trained in it by a mother, whose own training had been strictly ultramontane; she received her ideas of religious politics before there had been any breach with the Pope; she was thirty-three years of age before the English Prayer Book had seen the light, and she was much prejudiced against the leaders of the English Reformation by the wrongs which she and her mother had suffered at their hands.  Elizabeth, on the other hand, was born in 1533, her mother being the patroness of the Puritans; long before she grew up to womanhood the mediaeval system of English religion had completely passed out of sight; during all the period of her religious training she had lived under a government which regarded the doctrine of the Pope’s Supremacy as one that could be held only by traitors; she was only sixteen years of age when the Latin Services of the Church of England were superseded by the Book of Common Prayer, and she had no reason whatever for any adverse personal feeling towards the leading men among the English Reformers.  It may be added also that while Queen Mary was naturally and by reason of her training a person of severely devotional mind, Queen Elizabeth was a born politician, and inherited from her father the highest gifts of statecraft, religion holding a very subordinate place in her purview of life.

 

§ 1.  The Early Policy of Queen Elizabeth’s Reign.

         Queen Mary’s death took place between five and six o’clock [Machyn’s Diary, 178.] on the morning of Thursday, November 17, 1558; and before noon Elizabeth, who was then at Hatfield, had been proclaimed Queen, her accession being received with all the same signs of national goodwill which had been exhibited at that of her sister.  On the following Wednesday she took up her abode at the Tower, [“The 23d of November the queen Elizabeth’s grace took her journey from Hadley, beyond Barnett, toward London, unto my lord North’s place, with a thousand and more of lords, knights, and gentlemen, ladies, and gentlewomen; and there lay five days. ... The 28th day of November the Queen removed to the Tower from the lord North’s place, which was the Charter House. … And so her Grace lay in the tower unto the 5th day of December, that was Saint Nicolas even. ... The 5th day her Grace removed by water under the bridge unto Somerset place.” (Machyn’s Diary, 180.)] thus publicly assuming the sovereignty of the country, and for forty-five years afterwards she maintained her greatness and her popularity as Queen of England, as only one other sovereign, that one a Queen also, has done in all the succeeding ages.  For forty years of that time she had a wise counsellor and faithful friend in Sir Robert Cecil, afterwards Lord Burleigh, and it was probably by his advice that she was guided in her policy towards the Church at the beginning of her reign.

         This policy was much the same as that which had been used in the first year of Edward VI.  Her sister’s funeral at Westminster Abbey, occupying December 10th and the four following days, was conducted with the usual ceremonies of the Salisbury ritual, and so also was that of Cardinal Pole at Canterbury, his funeral being not only that of an Archbishop, but also that of a member of the royal family. [There is an entry in the Council Book, dated December 10, 1558 providing for the funeral of the Cardinal, and an earlier order directing the Bishops of Worcester and St. Asaph to attend it.  Machyn also says that he lay at Lambeth “till the counsel sett the time he should be beared, and when, and where,” and his funeral was a very sumptuous one.  (Machyn’s Diary, 178, 181.)]  On the 23d a solemn dirge and Requiem Mass were sung for Charles V at Westminster Abbey, [“The 23d day of December was the obseque at Westminster, with the same hearse that was for queen Mary, was for Charles the V, Emperor of Rome, was dirge, and the morow mass with ...  mourners, and … was the chief mourner.” [Machyn’s Diary, p. 184.)] and the Queen herself attending Mass, as she had been accustomed to do during the reign of her sister.  On January 20, 1559, she was crowned with the usual ceremonies and Mass at Westminster Abbey, an Order of Council having been sent to Bishop Bonner, on January 11th, “to supply the Bishop of Carlisle, who is appointed to see to the Queen’s coronation, with all pontifical apparatus customarily used by bishops for magnificent coronations of illustrious sovereigns.” [The quotations from the Privy Council Book are taken from the Lansdowne MS., 238, in the British Museum.  This contains Minutes of Council of Queen Elizabeth from November 20, 1558, to April 30, 1559.  On the first page is the entry, “Our Sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth beginneth her reign the 17th day of November 1558, her highness being then at her         in the county of Hertford.”  The first three days’ entries are dated “at Hatfield” but that for the 24th at the Carter House.]  On the 25th of the same month, when the Queen opened Parliament, a solemn Mass of the Holy Ghost was also celebrated in her presence, as had been the ancient custom, except that the Communion was administered in both kinds, and that some portions of the Service were said in English. [It had been before resolved by the Queen’s more immediate advisers, “That where there be more chaplains at the Mass, that they do always communicate with the executor in both kinds,” and that the Queen herself was “to receive the Communion as her Majesty pleaseth.”  (Strype’s Ann., ii. 397; Burnet’s Reform., v. 503, Pocock’s Ed.)  A proclamation soon afterwards ordered general reception in both kinds.]  Even in the middle of March so little change had been made, that Jewell wrote to Peter Martyr, “The Roman Pontiff was not yet cast out; no part of religion was yet restored; the country was still everywhere desecrated with the Mass; the pomp and insolence of the bishops was unabated.  All these things, however,” he added, “are at length beginning to shake, and almost to fall.” [Zurich Lett., i. 10.]

         It must, indeed, have been generally felt on the first accession of Queen Elizabeth to the throne that she would not continue the religious policy of her sister.  She gave no immediate sign on the subject, and the proclamation issued on the day of her accession enjoined her subjects “not to attempt, upon any pretense, the breach, alteration, or change of any order or usage presently established within this our realm.”  But she at once asked the advice of her most intimate counsellors, perhaps Sir Nicolas Bacon and Sir Robert Cecil, and a paper exists which contains answers to certain questions which seem to have been put to them by her. [This paper is given at length with various readings from several copies in Pocock’s Edition of Burnet’s Reformation, v. 497.  It is also in Strype’s Annals, ii. 392, ed. 1824.]  The first of these questions was, “When the Queen’s Highness may attempt to reduce the Church of England again to the former purity, and when to begin the alteration;” and the reply was, “At the next Parliament,” a statesmanlike reference of the question to the precedent set in the reigns of her father and brother, and suggesting on the face of it that no movement should be made without caution, nor without the consent of the nation.  The direction which the alteration was about to take is, however, shown by subsequent references to a Book of Common Prayer, and to some arrangements which were to be made for its preparation; and it is highly probable that these were being carried out for several weeks before the meeting of Parliament.  But the first public intimation of coming changes was given by the Queen herself, and in her own characteristic way.  While she was attending Mass on Christmas Day in her chapel at Westminster Palace, she sent a message to the celebrant, Bishop Oglethorpe, desiring him to omit the ceremony of the Elevation; and as he declined to do so, sending a reply that his body was at her Majesty’s command, but his soul was his own, she rose and left the chapel with her suite immediately after the Gospel.  Whether the Queen intended to assert an authority over the ceremonies of the Church, or whether she thoughtlessly considered the rite of Elevation to be one specially significant of Roman ritual, it is certain that she intended her act to be made public, and it was known far and wide the very next day.  [The incident is narrated in Camden’s Life of Elizabeth; but there is also an account of it in a contemporary letter, as follows: “And for news, you shall understand that yesterday being Christmas Day, the Queen’s Majesty repaired to her great closet with her nobles and ladies, as hath been accustomed at such high feasts. And she perceiving a bishop preparing himself to make all in the old form, she tarried there until the Gospel was done and when all the people looked for her to have offered according to the old fashion, she with her nobles returned again from the closet and the Mass unto her privy chamber.”  (Wright’s Queen Eliz., i. 3; Ellis’ Orig. Lett., ii. 262.)  Perhaps the Queen did the same thing on other occasions for on March 4, 1559, the Duchess of Suffolk wrote to Cecil regretting that there was so much halting between two opinions, and mentioning a report that her Majesty was in the habit of leaving church after the reading of the Gospel.  (State Papers, Dom. Eliz., i. 123.)]

         Two days after this incident, on December 27, 1558, a Proclamation was issued which ordered that no public prayers, rites, or ceremonies should be used except such as were already in use and by law received.  But it was directed that the Gospel and Epistle, the Lord’s Prayer and the Creed; should be said in English, that the Ten Commandments should be read without any exposition every Sunday, that sermons should not at present be preached, and that the English Litany should be again brought into use, as it was used in the Queen’s Chapel. [Strype’s Annals, ii. 389; Cardwell’s Docum. Ann., 176.]  And as the custom of the Chapel Royal was thus indicated as that which ought to be followed, so no doubt the royal example was also followed at once in many parish churches by the revival of Communion in both kinds.  On March 22, 1559, a Proclamation was issued, in anticipation of an Act of Parliament to the same effect, enforcing the statute (1 Edw. VI. cap. 1)] against irreverent speaking of the Sacrament of the Altar, and enjoining general reception of the Communion in both kinds. [Lanad. MS., 198.]  Further changes were left to be brought about by the Act of Uniformity and the Book of Common Prayer.

         Meanwhile a stop was at once put to the persecution of the Protestants.  If any had remained under sentence of execution at the death of the late Queen, that sentence was of course not carried out.  But the Council Book shows that Commissions were issued to sheriffs and magistrates, some dated within three weeks of the Queen’s accession, directing that inquiry should be made respecting persons who had been sent to prison “under suspicion for religion,” and if no good cause were found for their detention, to set them at liberty on their own recognizances to appear when called on. [On January 3, 1559, Bishop Bonner was ordered to bring before the Council “all such Commissions as were made to him and others for the examination and ordering of heresies and other misorders in the Church in the time of the late Queen”; and on a later day the fines imposed “for examination of heresies and other misdemeanors in the Church,” and still remaining in hand, are ordered to be paid over to Mr. Throgmorton of the Chamber.]  Thus many were released in London, Maidstone, and Colchester, three great centers of the persecution; and it is probable that all who had been left in prison for their religious opinions at the death of Queen Mary were thus set free within a few weeks afterwards. [Strype’s Annals, i. 54.]

         It being thus made evident that a change was about to take place in the religious policy of the Government, great hopes were entertained by the Puritans that the partial success which had attended their attacks upon the ancient principles of the Church of England in the end of King Edward’s reign would now reach its consummation under the rule of his sister Elizabeth.  Many of their self-exiled friends reluctantly [“O Zurich, Zurich!” wrote Jewell, “how much oftener do I now think of thee than ever I thought of England when I was in Zurich!” (Zur. Lett., i. 23.)  Perhaps he thought more frequently of England when he sat in his pleasant palace on the banks of the Wiltshire Avon.] forsook their pleasant retreats on the banks of the Rhine, or on the lakes of Geneva and Switzerland, in the hope home of rising on the wave of public opinion at home; and Calvin, the pope of the Puritans, wrote a patronizing admonition to Cecil, which, to his surprise and indignation, was not even acknowledged. [Gorham’s Reformation Gleanings, p. 407.]  All these sanguine expectations were far, however, from being fulfilled; and while they were at the highest, the Queen’s Government was quietly preparing for a Catholic restoration of the Church which had been so overshadowed by Ultramontanism.

 

§ 2.  The Constitutional System of the Reformation Restored.

         The first Parliament of Queen Elizabeth’s reign met on January 23d, and sat until May 8, 1559, and the first Act which it placed upon the statute book was one by which the independence of the Church of England was constitutionally reestablished.

         This Act was originally entitled “A Bill to avoid,” that is, to eject or annul, “the usurped power claimed by any Foreign Potentate in this Realm, and for the Oath to be taken for Spiritual and Temporal Offices”; but this title was eventually altered to that under which it now stands in the statute book, “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” (1 Eliz. cap. 1).  It was brought into the House of Commons very early in the session, and passed into the House of Lords on February 17, 1559, but it underwent such a thorough discussion in and between both Houses, that it did not finally pass until April 29th, when the session was just at the point of coming to an end.

         After a preamble setting forth the necessity of fresh legislation on account of the reintroduction into England of “usurped and foreign powers and authorities,” which had been extinguished by Henry VIII, the Act of Queen Mary’s reign by which this reintroduction was effected (1 Phil. and M. cap. 8) is repealed; and ten Acts of Henry VIII’s reign which relate to the same subject are revived.  [The revived Acts are 23 Hen. VIII. cap. 9; 24 Hen. VIII. cap. 12; 25 Hen. VIII. caps. 1, 8, 19, 21; 26 Hen. VIII. cap. 14; 28 Hen. VIII. cap. 16; 32 Hen. VIII. cap. 28; 37 Hen. VIII. cap. 17.  These Acts, and the bearing which each had on the Reformation, are noticed in the first volume of this work.]  A section follows repealing the persecuting statutes, which is noticed elsewhere, and then the Act goes on to corroborate the preceding repeal and revival sections by a positive enactment, “That no Foreign Prince, Person, Prelate, State, or Potentate, Spiritual or Temporal, shall at any time after the last day of this Session of Parliament use, enjoy, or exercise any manner of power, jurisdiction, superiority, authority, preeminence, or privilege, spiritual or ecclesiastical, within this Realm” (§ 16).  Thus the exercise of the Papal authority in England was again made illegal as effectually as it had been by the Acts of Henry VIII’s reign.

         But as in that reign so in this; the extinction of the Papal Supremacy made a void which it was absolutely necessary for the good government of the country to fill up.  Some portions of the jurisdiction assumed by the Pope must necessarily be reabsorbed into the Crown; such, for example, as the authority to punish, without further appeal, clergy who should be guilty of crimes punishable by secular law.  For other portions of that jurisdiction it is possible that an ecclesiastical authority might have been created by the ingenuity of legislators which would have been accepted by the country, but it is certain that none such was already in existence, nor was any such proposed at the time.  Hence the void made by the extinction of the Papal Supremacy was almost necessarily filled up by the revival of the Royal Supremacy.  The most simple way in which the legislature could have done this would have been by the revival of Henry VIII’s Act of Supremacy (26 Hen. VIII. cap. 1), but this was not done, that Act being one of those which, having been repealed in Queen Mary’s reign, were now “to remain and be repealed and void.”  The reasons for this were probably Queen Elizabeth’s aversion to the title “Supreme Head of the Church of England,” and the general feeling of Parliament that the powers conferred by the Act of Supremacy were too wide, turning the King into a Pope.  The course now taken, therefore, was to insert a section which reestablished the corrective jurisdiction of the Crown over “the ecclesiastical state and persons,” so far as it might be lawfully exercised, [This section has been already printed (vol. i. p. 234) in illustration of Henry VIII’s Act of Supremacy, but it will be convenient to the reader to have it placed here also.  It is, “That such jurisdictions, privileges, superiorities, and pre-eminences, spiritual and ecclesiastical, as by any spiritual or ecclesiastical power or authority hath heretofore been, or may lawfully be exercised or used, for the visitation of the ecclesiastical state and persons, and for reformation, order, and correction of the same, and of all manner of errors, heresies, schisms, abuses, offences, contempts, and enormities, shall forever by authority of this present Parliament, be united and annexed to the imperial crown of this realm.”  (1 Eliz. cap. 1,§17).] provision being made in a clause, which will be noticed further on, for the creation of a court by which this jurisdiction should be carried out.  Thus, as the preceding section of this Act had extinguished the Papal Supremacy, this section revived the Royal Supremacy.  But in the restoration of the latter no such extravagant claims were made for the Crown as had been made by Henry VIII, when he gave commissions to the bishops as he might have given them to his judges; when he sent his vicegerent, a layman, to preside over the Convocation of Canterbury; and when he took to himself the unjustifiable title of “Supreme Head of the Church of England.”  As the Royal Supremacy was established under Queen Elizabeth, the Crown is, through the judges, supreme over all its subjects, clergymen as well as laymen; it is the ultimate judge of appeal in all ecclesiastical causes as well as in civil causes; by a constitutional fiction, the congé d’élire, it appoints archbishops and bishops; it also empowers the two Convocations to pass canons, and gives legal force to them by its assent to them and its promulgation of them.  But if the legitimate exercise of this ecclesiastical jurisdiction by the Crown is an anomaly, it is one of those anomalies of which the English constitution is patient, as being a generally beneficial one; and if it is at all a burden to the clergy or the laity of the Church of England, it has certainly never yet been proved that the burden of a jurisdiction which is absolutely necessary for the good government of the Church could be made lighter if exercised by any other authority.

         To conclude the account of Elizabethan legislation respecting the Royal and the Papal Supremacy, practical force was given to it by imposing the following oath on the clergy, on all who held honours and offices under the Crown, on candidates for Holy Orders, and on those who took university degrees:–

         “I, A. B., do utterly testify and declare in my conscience, that the Queen’s Highness is the only supreme governor of this realm, and of all other her Highness’ dominions and countries, as well in all spiritual or ecclesiastical things or causes as temporal; and that no foreign prince, person, state, or potentate, hath or ought to have any jurisdiction, power, superiority, preeminence, or authority, ecclesiastical or spiritual, within this realm; and, therefore, I do utterly renounce and forsake all foreign jurisdictions, powers, superiorities, and authorities, and do promise that from henceforth I shall bear faith and true allegiance to the Queen’s Highness, her heirs and lawful successors, and to my power shall assist and defend all jurisdictions, privileges, pre-eminences, and authorities, granted or belonging to the Queen’s Highness, her heirs and successors, or united and annexed to the Imperial Crown of this realm.  So help me God, and by the contents of this book.”

         Refusal to take this oath incapacitated those who so refused from holding any benefice in the Church, or any office under the Crown; and those who already held preferments or offices and refused to take it were deprived of them (§§ 19–26).

         As regards the Papal Supremacy, further force still was given to its legislative repudiation by enacting heavy penalties on all who should “by writing, printing, teaching, preaching, express words, deed, or act, advisedly, maliciously, and directly affirm, hold, stand with, set forth, maintain or defend the authority,” etc. extinguished by this Act.  Persons so offending were, for the first offence, to forfeit all their property to the Crown, or if they had no property, to suffer imprisonment for a year; for the second offence they were to incur the penalties of praemunire under 16 Rich. II. cap. 5; and for the third offence they were to be accounted guilty of high treason, and be put to death as traitors (§§ 27–31).  Four years later, in 1563, this portion of the Act was supplemented by another (5 Eliz. cap. 1), rendered necessary by the “marvelous outrage and licentious boldness” with which the usurped power of the See of Rome had been asserted, and the penalties were then made more severe, praemunire being that awarded for the first offence, and death the punishment for the second, whether the offence were that of openly maintaining the authority of the Pope or that of refusing to take the Oath of Allegiance and Supremacy.  But more will be said respecting this later Act in a subsequent chapter. [See chap. viii.]  It is sufficient to say here that the Papal Court endeavoured to restore the authority of the Pope in England by excommunication of the Queen, by conspiracies against her throne and her life, and by foreign invasion; and that the plots of his supporters made it necessary for the Crown to enforce the Oath of Allegiance and Supremacy with the most stern severity, a severity that must have been considered cruel if it had not been justified by the duty of self-preservation.

 

§ 3.  The Devotional System of the Reformation Restored.

         While Parliament was thus reviving the independence of the Church of England by reestablishing the supremacy of the Crown, measures were also being taken for restoring her reformed devotional system.

         It has been shown in the beginning of this chapter that every endeavour was made to prevent hasty and unauthorized changes, but that in anticipation of actual legislation on the subject two proclamations were issued, one of which partially restored the use of the vernacular in Divine Service, while the other authorized and enjoined that return to Communion in both kinds which was already becoming general.  Meanwhile the first of these proclamations spoke of “consultation to be had by Parliament, by her Majesty, and her three estates of this realm, for the better conciliation and accord of such causes as at this present are moved in matters and ceremonies of religion”; [Strype’s Annals, ii. 392.] the consultation thus referred to ending in the reestablishment of the Book of Common Prayer under the authority of a new Act of Uniformity.

         In the paper of answers to questions respecting the reduction of “the Church of England again to the former purity,” by which the Queen and Privy Council were guided, and which has been previously referred to, there was a paragraph specially relating to the revision of the Prayer Book.  “What shall be the manner of the doing of it?” was the question, – that is, of restoring the purity of the Church of England, –the reply was, “This consultation is to be referred to such learned men as be meet to show their minds therein, and to bring a plat or book hereof ready drawn to her Highness; which being approved by her Majesty, may so be put in the Parliament House.  To the which for the time it is thought that these are apt men, Dr. Bill, Dr. Parker, Dr. May, Dr. Cox, Mr. Whitehead, Grindal, Pilkington, and Sir Thomas Smyth, to call them together, and to be amongst them.  And after the consultation with these, to draw in other men of learning, and grave and apt men for your purpose and credit, to have their assents.”  It was also decided that these persons should meet “at Sir Thomas Smyth’s lodging in Channon row.” [Burnet’s Reform., v. 602, Pocock’s Ed.; Strype’s Annals, ii. 397.]

         The plan contemplated appears to have been that of appointing the seven Divines and the Queen’s Secretary as a Royal Commission, whose duties would be that of drafting a Book of Common Prayer; and it is probable that, although Convocation is not mentioned by name, that body is intended by the cautious and reserved designation “other men of learning,” who were to give “their assents” before the draft book was sent by the Queen in Council to the House of Lords.  But when Convocation met, it proved to be thoroughly impracticable, as it so often has been at the time of an important crisis, and all the business it would do was to show its uncompromising hostility to the Reformation by passing five Articles, in which the Supremacy of the Pope and the doctrine of Transubstantiation were affirmed in the most ultramontane form.  By so doing it came into direct conflict with the Crown and with the two Houses of Parliament, and having thus effaced itself as a working part of the constitution, its functions with respect to the revision of the Prayer Book were suspended.

         The Royal Commission eventually consisted of the makes of following persons, none of whom were bishops at the time nor for some months afterward [Parker, Grindal, Cox, and Sandys were consecrated in December 1559, Guest in March 1560, and Pilkington in March 1561.  Sir Thomas Smith was Secretary to Edward VI and to Queen Elizabeth.  He is said to have been “at least in deacon’s orders,” but he had held preferments in the time of Henry VIII, which makes it all but certain he was a priest, though afterwards knighted.]:–

Matthew Parker, subsequently Archbishop of Canterbury.

Edmund Grindal, subsequently Bishop of London, Archbishop of York, and Archbishop of Canterbury.

James Pilkington, subsequently Bishop of Durham.

Richard Cox, subsequently Bishop of Ely.

William May, appointed Archbishop of York, but died before consecration.

William Bill, subsequently Dean of Westminster.

Sir Thomas Smith, subsequently Dean of Carlisle.

David Whitehead, [subsequently declined the Archbishopric of Canterbury]

Edwin Sandys, subsequently Bishop of Worcester and Archbishop of York.

Edmund Guest, subsequently Bishop of Rochester and of Salisbury.

         When they were appointed it seems to have been supposed that an almost new Book of Common Prayer was required by the circumstances of the times, although there is a tradition that both the Queen and her chief minister, Cecil, desired to revive the First or High Church Prayer Book of Edward VI.  But in the end it was determined neither to revive that Prayer Book nor to make a new one, but to adopt the Second or Low Church Prayer Book of Edward VI, with two significant alterations which at once raised it to a much higher level of doctrine and ritual.

         1.  One of these alterations was in the words with which the Holy Sacrament is administered to the communicants.  In the Book of 1549 these words were similar to those of the ancient Latin Service, being, “The Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for thee,” or “The Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for thee,” “preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life.”  But in the Book of 1552, in which the doctrine of our Lord’s Presence in the Eucharist was less distinctly recognized, these words were suppressed, and there were substituted for them the words, “Take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for thee, and feed on Him in thy heart by faith, with thanksgiving,” and “Drink this in remembrance that Christ’s Blood was shed for thee, and be thankful.”  The Elizabethan divines now united the earlier and ancient words of 1549 to the later and modern words of 1552, and by this skillful touch of revision restored the ancient and catholic idea, that of a commemorative act which derives its spiritual value originally from the mysterious Presence of Christ in the consecrated elements, and not from the mere faith of the person who receives them.

         2.  The other important alteration was that which restored, by means of the “Ornaments Rubric,” those vestments of the clergy and those utensils of the Church which were in use in the second year of Edward VI (Jan. 28, 1548–Jan. 27, 1549), when the ancient Latin Mass of the Salisbury Missal was still in use, with (for the ten latter months of that year) the supplementary addition of an English form for administering the Sacrament to the Laity.  [See above.  The “Ornaments Rubric” received a very special confirmation by being repeated in the last clause but one of the Act of Uniformity (1 Eliz. cap. 2, § 25).  In that place the words are added, “until other order shall be therein taken by the authority of the Queen’s Majesty, with the advice of her Commissioners appointed and authorized under the Great Seal of England for causes ecclesiastical, or of the Metropolitan of this realm.”  No “other order” was ever, however, taken by the authority here set forth, and the rubric, having been retained at the revision of the Prayer Book in 1661, is still in force.]

         When the Prayer Book had thus been prepared by the Commission of Divines, it was presented to the authority from which they had received their commission, – that is, to the Queen in Council.  In the meanwhile an Act of Uniformity similar to the two Acts of Edward VI was being discussed and put into shape in the House of Commons, and to this Act the revised Prayer Book was attached as a schedule.  It passed the Lower House on April 25th, and was read a first, second, and third time on the following three days in the House of Lords, finally passing on April 28, 1559, and receiving the Royal Assent about May 8th, when the Parliament was dissolved.  It was enacted that the Book should be taken into use on St. John the Baptist’s Day, June 24th, but it was used in the Royal Chapel on Sunday, May 12th, and in St. Paul’s Cathedral on Wednesday, May 15th, and was so generally adopted by the clergy throughout the country, that a few months afterwards it was found only 189 out of 9400 had refused to use it.  Since that time, with the short interval of the Cromwellian tyranny, the sweet Alleluias and the plaintive Misereres of the English Prayer Book have been heard without intermission in the minters and the parish churches of England for three centuries and a quarter; and the more the catholic principles and practices stamped upon it at the Reformation have been maintained, the dearer has their Prayer Book become to the hearts of the English people.

 

§ 4.  Provisions For the Discipline of the Church.

         The restoration of the Supremacy of the Crown over the clergy and laity of the Church of England was accompanied by a renewal of those high-handed efforts to govern the Church in detail which had been made by Henry VIII, by the Privy Council of Edward VI, and, in the earlier part of her reign, by Queen Mary.  And as in the reigns of the three preceding Tudors, so in that of Queen Elizabeth, the prerogative, which is the last refuge of even high-handed statesmen in modern times, was habitually used for a time in the discipline of the Church.  In being so used, it was often also strained to its utmost constitutional limits.  Thus, wherever ecclesiastical government was needed, or was supposed to be needed, which went beyond the ordinary jurisdiction of the bishops, it was for some years carried on by means of Royal Commissions, Proclamations, and Injunctions, instead of by Synodal Canons.  Happily the scepter of the Tudors and the Stuarts was not so severe a rod to the Church as that which came to be wielded by the ministers who controlled the Crown after the Revolution of 1688; and when the danger of the immediate crisis had passed away, the Convocations of the Church were again allowed to issue Canons for its government.

 

The Ecclesiastical Commissioners.

         When Henry VIII revived the Supremacy of the Crown he seems to have held the view that the rights and duties belonging to it differed little from those which belonged to the Supremacy of the Pope; and as the Pope frequently exercised his authority by means of legates, it was apparently in imitation of this custom that the King appointed a vicegerent or vicar-general, Thomas Cromwell as his deputy in the exercise of his visitational and reforming powers.  With the death of Cromwell, however, the office fell into abeyance, and was never revived.  During the remainder of Henry’s reign any special Acts of the Supremacy were exercised by means of commissions, and the same course was followed in that of his son.  Queen Mary also, notwithstanding her repudiation of the Royal Supremacy, issued at least two such commissions, one of a general nature on February 8, 1556, [Burnet’s Reform., v. 469, Pocock’s Ed.] and another of a special character on February 16, 1556. [Wilkins’ Concil., iv. 140.]

         Queen Elizabeth and her Parliament neither revived the title of “Supreme Head of the Church of England,” which had been used by her father and brother, [Sandys wrote to Parker on April 30, 1559, “Mr. Lever wisely put such a scruple in the Queen’s head that she would not take the title of Supreme Head.”  (Parker’s Corresp., p. 66.)] nor the office of vicegerent.  The Act which restored its ancient jurisdiction to the Crown of England styled the sovereign “the only Supreme Governor of this realm, and of all other her Highness’ dominions countries, as well in all spiritual or ecclesiastical things or causes as temporal,” and enacted that she and her successors should from time to time appoint commissioners under the Great Seal for executing the jurisdiction of Supreme Governor in “ecclesiastical things or causes” (1 Eliz. cap. 1, §§ 17, 18)].  Shortly after the Act was passed, on July 19, 1559, nineteen Ecclesiastical Commissioners were thus appointed, with Parker and Grindal at their head, for enforcing the Act of Uniformity and the Act of Supremacy, very large powers being entrusted to them; and these first constituted the tribunal which was afterwards known as “The Court of High Commission in causes Ecclesiastical.” [The Commission is printed in Cardwell’s Documentary Annals, i. 223, and is very similar to the second of Queen Mary’s, named above.]

         These Commissioners, or any six of them, were empowered to summon juries and witnesses in any part of England for the trial of offenders against the two statutes named, “and also of all and singular heretical opinions, seditious books, contempts, conspiracies, false rumours, tales, seditious misbehaviors, slanderous words or showings, published, invented, or set forth by any person or persons against us, or contrary or against any the laws and statutes of this our realm, or against the quiet government and rule of our people and subjects.”  They were to try all offences committed against Divine Service or the clergy, and to put in force the laws made against those who obstinately absented themselves from church.  They were also to try all offences against morality, having authority to punish such offences with fine or imprisonment.  And, lastly, they were “to visit, reform, redress, order, correct, and amend,” in all parts of the kingdom, “all such errors, heresies, crimes, abuses, offences, contempts, and enormities, spiritual and ecclesiastical, wheresoever, which by any spiritual or ecclesiastical power, authority, or jurisdiction, can or may lawfully be reformed, ordered, redressed, corrected, restrained, or amended,” thus executing all that authority which had been declared to belong to the Crown in respect to its Supremacy in things and causes spiritual and ecclesiastical.

         This Court of High Commission existed for eighty years, the numbers of the Commissioners being increased to forty-four.  Its jurisdiction was frequently called in question by the judges at Westminster, who alleged that it encroached unconstitutionally upon the jurisdiction of the bishops in their Diocesan Courts, and that it inflicted great hardship upon the subject.  Its action was often restrained by prohibitions; and at length it became so obnoxious that, in the year 1640, it was abolished by Act of Parliament (16 Ch. grounds I. 11) on the ground that the powers exercised by the Commissioners did not belong “to the ecclesiastical jurisdiction restored by” the Act of Elizabeth, under which they were appointed.  Had the Court executed the Royal Supremacy only in the discipline of the clergy, no objection would probably have been raised against its unconstitutional character either by the Parliament or the nation at large; but as its yoke was laid upon the shoulders of the laity also, it was as much hated by them as the Episcopal Courts had been hated by their forefathers in the early part of the sixteenth century.  Spiritual discipline is never attractive to English laymen.

 

The Injunctions of Elizabeth, 1559.

         The Queen and her advisers followed the precedents of her father’s and brother’s reign more exactly by publishing a series of Injunctions preparatory to the General Visitation of the Church which was about to take place.  These were declared to be for “the advancement of the true honour of Almighty God, the suppression of superstition,” and the planting of “true religion, to the extirpation of all hypocrisy, enormities, and abuses,” and they were published about the middle of the year 1559, soon after Parliament had finished its sittings.

         The Elizabethan Injunctions were fifty-three in number, the principal portion of them, twenty-seven of the longest, being taken from those of Henry VIII and Edward VI, with a few verbal changes.  Some of the older Injunctions were, however, omitted, as being either obsolete or being superseded by the rubrics of the Prayer Book, and twenty-six new ones were given.  To estimate the amount and character of the changes thus introduced, a comparison may be made between the following summary and that which has previously been given of the Edwardian Injunctions. [See above.]

         1.  The Papal Supremacy. – The only alterations  made in the two Injunctions which deal with this subject are – (1) that instead of naming the Bishop of Rome a general expression is used, that of “all usurped and foreign power”; and (2) that instead of calling the Royal Supremacy “the King’s authority, jurisdiction, and supremacy of the Church of England and Ireland,” it is called “the ancient jurisdiction” of the Crown “over the State Ecclesiastical” (1, 9).  The first alteration is in character with all the proceedings in the first four years of the Queen’s reign, when care was always used to avoid forms of expression which might cause unnecessary offence to the Pope and the Papal party.  The second alteration shows a desire to have it understood that the claim made for the Crown was no novelty, and was considered to be nothing more than a claim to exercise such authority in ecclesiastical matters as it had always been the right of the Crown to exercise, however much that right had been allowed to lie dormant.

         2.  Superstitious Practices. – The Edwardian Injunctions respecting these were substantially incorporated into the Elizabethan, omitting part of one which referred to pilgrimages, and part of another which related to superstitions connected with ceremonies now abolished, both having become obsolete.  But a new one was added, enjoining “That no persons shall use charms, sorceries, enchantments, witchcraft, soothsaying, or any suchlike devilish device, nor shall resort at any time to the same for counsel or help” (32).  The strong belief in such superstitions which prevailed among the Puritans in England and elsewhere is well known to all students of “folklore”.

         3.  Matters Connected With Divine Service and Churches. – Several of the preceding Injunctions on these subjects were now omitted, and several new ones were added.  That respecting lights before the Sacrament was covered by the Ornaments Rubric, that respecting the use of Epistles, Gospels, and Lessons in English was fully provided for by the Prayer Book, and neither were now necessary.  The Injunction respecting Prime and the lesser Hours was obsolete, as these were no longer used in the form spoken of; and that relating to private Churchings and Offices for the Dead was also omitted, though for what reason is not clear, as these were long kept up by the Puritans in their own way.  It is also to be observed that the parenthesis so singularly added in the time of Edward VI to the Injunction of Henry VIII respecting the reading of the Bible, and which limited the permission to read it to those who were “authorized and licensed thereto,” was now expunged.  There is no evidence that such licenses were ever asked for or granted during Edward’s reign, and the verbal revival of this pre-Reformation restriction is quite unaccountable.

         The additions under this head were of considerable importance.  The Edwardian Injunction respecting the Litany, in which it was forbidden to say it in procession, was now modified by a clause which confirmed the ancient custom of “beating the bounds,” or “the perambulation of the circuits of parishes,” when it is enjoined that “they shall once in the year at the time accustomed, with the curate and substantial men of the parish, walk about the parishes, as they were accustomed, and at their return to the church make their Common Prayers” (18).  This obviously points to the use of the Litany in a processional form; and from the Visitation Articles of bishops at later periods it appears that the ordinary practice was to use the Litany and the Homily “for the days of Rogation Week,” with its appended “Exhortation”. [In the “Advertisements” issued by Archbishop Parker and the other Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1564, it was ordered as follows: “Item, That in the Rogation Days of procession they sing or say in English the two psalms beginning ‘Benedic anima mea,’ etc., with the Litany and Suffrages thereunto, with one homily of thanksgiving to God, already devised and divided into four parts, without any superstitious ceremony heretofore used.”]

         An Injunction was also added which directed that “the Litany and Prayers or Suffrages” should be said “at the accustomed hours of service upon Wednesdays and Fridays, not being Holy days” (48).  This was afterwards expanded into the fifteenth Canon, and was probably made necessary by the opposition which the Puritans offered to the responsive form of service.  Similar opposition to gestures of reverence made it necessary to enjoin “that in time of the Litany, and all other Collects and common supplications to Almighty God, all manner of people shall devoutly and humbly kneel and give ear thereunto; and that whensoever the Name of Jesus shall be in any lesson, sermon, or otherwise in the Church pronounced, due reverence be made of all persons, young and old, with lowness of courtesy, and uncovering of heads of the men-kind, as thereunto doth necessarily belong, and heretofore hath been accustomed” (52).  This was afterwards expanded into the eighteenth Canon.

         A rather remarkable Injunction was also added for the continuance of choral service in the Church of England.  Stating that endowments for the maintenance of singing men and boys have been made “in divers collegiate and in some parish churches,” it enjoins that “no alterations be made of such assignments of living, as heretofore hath been appointed to the use of singing or music in the Church, but that the same so remain.”  But just as Wolsey had forbidden the use of “prick song,” or elaborately scored music, and had ordered “plainsong” alone to be used, so this Elizabethan Injunction directs that the old plainsong of the Church is to be used in such collegiate or parish churches as are referred to, “a modest and distinct song so used in all parts of the Common Prayers in the Church, that the same may be as plainly understanded as if it were read without singing.”  Cathedrals and college chapels not being named, were left free to use the “prick song,” which has been heard in them from that time to the present.  It was also permitted, “for the comforting of such that delight in music, ... that in the beginning or in the end of the Common Prayers, either at morning or evening, there may be sung an hymn or suchlike song to the praise of Almighty God, in the best sort of melody and music that may be conveniently devised, having respect that the sentence,” or sense, “of the hymn may be understanded and perceived” (49).  The “hymn” in this case being, of course, that which we now know by the name of “anthem,” [“The 24th day of March” (1560), “was Mid Lent Sunday, Master Barlow, bishop of Saint David’s, did preach at the court, but the queen was not at it; but there was many people; and he was in his rochet and his chimere, and at five of the clock it ended; and contenentt [sic] her chapel went to evening song, and there the cross stood on the alter, and two candlesticks and two tapers burning, and after done a goodly anthem song.”  [Spelling modernized]  (Machyn’s Diary, 229.)] and the grand and solemn compositions of Tallis, Farrant, Bird, Purcell, Boyce, and other English masters of counterpoint or prick song, having arisen on the foundation of this Elizabethan Injunction.

         Lastly, the churchwardens were to deliver to the visitors “the inventories of vestments, copes, and other ornaments, plate, books, and specially of grails, croziers, legends, processionals, manuals, hymnals, portasses, and suchlike appertaining to the Church” (47).

         4.  The Duties and Discipline of the Clergy. – On this subject also there were several omissions and additions.  The provision respecting curates was withdrawn, perhaps from a feeling that it tended to encourage non-residence; and nothing was now said about chantry priests becoming schoolmasters, probably from a feeling that they might often be disloyal to the new order of things.  Preaching against pilgrimages and relics was no longer enjoined, as it had become unnecessary; nor was the preaching of the cathedral and collegiate clergy enforced, as the subject would be dealt with in the special statutes of those bodies.

         On the other hand, new Injunctions were added, ordering that none should be admitted to any cure or function who were “utterly unlearned,” however they might be able to read enough just “to say Mattins or Mass” (43); and they were charged “to read leisurely, plainly, and distinctly,” those who were “but mean readers” being enjoined to “peruse over before, once or twice, the chapters and homilies, to the intent they may read to the better understanding of the people, the more encouragement to godliness” (53).  They were also to catechize “the youth of the parish for half-an-hour at the least before Evening Prayer,” every Holy day and every other Sunday in the year (44).  No clergymen were to officiate out of their own parishes without license (8); none were to marry without the permission of the bishop of the diocese, of two justices of the peace, and of the parents or the master and mistress of the intended wife (29); and all clergy and members of universities were to “use and wear such seemly habits, garments, and such square caps as were most commonly and orderly received in the latter year of the reign of King Edward the Sixth.” (30).

         Lastly, the ordinaries were required to exhibit to the visitors “their books, or a true copy of the same, containing the causes why any person was imprisoned, famished, or put to death for religion” (45); this Injunction being apparently intended for some such purpose as that so industriously carried out by Foxe in his “Acts and Monuments of the Church,” often called “The Book of Martyrs”.

         5.  The Duties and Discipline of the Laity. – As regards lay persons there were also several changes in the Injunctions.  As the Catechism now appeared in the Prayer Book, and all persons were required to know it before being confirmed, the Injunction that they should learn the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Ten Commandments before being admitted to Communion was withdrawn.  So also was the provision that parents should teach their children some useful occupation, to prevent them from becoming thieves or beggars, the latter subject being scarcely a suitable one for an ecclesiastical injunction.

         It was, however, enjoined in new sections that none should “willfully and obstinately defend or maintain any heresies, errors, or false doctrine contrary to the faith of Christ and His Holy Spirit” (31); that none should interpret the Scriptures in a rash or contentious way, but “commune of the same, when occasion is given, reverently, humbly, and in the fear of God, for his comfort and better understanding” (37); that the Queen’s subjects should forbear all vain and contentious disputations in matters of religion,” and should not “use in despite or rebuke of any person these convicious words papist or papistical heretic, schismatic, or sacramentary, or any suchlike words of reproach” (50); and a strict rule was made forbidding the publication of any books or papers without license from some of the authorities named (51).  All schoolmasters also were required to have the license of the bishop of the diocese, they being first found qualified as to learning, dexterity in teaching, good life, and right understanding of God’s true religion” (40); they were enjoined to teach their scholars “to love and do reverence to God’s true religion now truly set forth by public authority” (41); and also to accustom them “to learn such sentences of Scriptures as shall be most expedient to induce them to all godliness” (42).  None were to be permitted to interrupt the clergy while engaged on their duties in church (36); nor to “be otherwise busied in the time of the service than in quiet attendance to hear, mark, and understand that is read, preached, or ministered” (38).  Persons were not to forsake their own parish churches, “except it be by the occasion of some extraordinary sermon in some parish of the same town” (33); and “in every parish three or four discreet men, which tender God’s glory and His true religion,” were to be appointed by the ordinaries to observe the attendance or non-attendance of the laity at church, to admonish the absentees, and, if necessary, to “denounce them to the ordinary” (46).  No “innholders or alehouse keepers were to sell meat or drink during church hours” (34).

         To these fifty-three Injunctions were appended three documents of an authoritative character, but which were not numbered with them.

         I.  The first was “An admonition to simple men deceived by malicious.”  It was a note explanatory of the sense in which the Oath of Allegiance, including the Queen’s style and title as “the only Supreme Governor of this realm in all spiritual or ecclesiastical things or causes, as temporal,” was to be interpreted.  After stating that a perverse construction had been put upon the oath, “which certainly never was meant, nor by any equity of words or good sense can be thereof gathered,” it goes on to declare “that nothing was, is, or shall be meant or intended by the same oath to have any other duty, allegiance, or bond required by the same oath than was acknowledged to be due to” her father and brother.  The Queen then forbids her subjects to give credit to those “perverse and malicious persons which most sinisterly and maliciously labour to notify to her loving subjects how by words of the said oath it may be collected that the kings or queens of this realm, possessors of the crown, may challenge authority and power of ministry of Divine Service in the Church; wherein her said subjects be much abused by such evil-disposed persons.”  All that the Queen claims is that which had been claimed by Henry VIII and Edward VI, “which is and was of ancient time due to the Imperial Crown of this realm, – that is, under God, to have the sovereignty and rule over all manner of persons born within these her realms, dominions, and countries, of what estate, either ecclesiastical or temporal, soever they be, so as no other foreign power shall or ought to have any superiority over them.”  In this sense alone the oath is required to be taken.

         II.  The next of these authoritative notes or proclamations is one “For Tables in the Church”.  It states that in some parts of the kingdom “the altars of the churches be removed, and tables placed for the administration of the Holy Sacrament according to the form of the law there-for provided; and in some other places the altars be not removed, upon opinion conceived by some other order therein to be taken by her Majesty’s visitors.”  The matter is of no great moment, it is added, except for the sake of uniformity, so that the Sacrament be duly and reverently ministered, but at the same time no altar is to be removed without the oversight of the clergyman and the churchwardens.  Then follows a direction “that the holy table in every church be decently made, and set in the place where the altars stood, and there commonly covered as thereto belongeth”; but that when the Holy Communion is to be celebrated, the holy table is to be so placed within the chancel, “as whereby the minister may be more conveniently heard of the communicants in his prayer and ministration, and the communicants also more conveniently and in more number communicate with the said minister.”  [Further “Orders” on the subject of chancels and altars were published by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners on October 10, 1561.  In these it is directed, among other things, that every rood loft is to be taken down as far as the beam crossing the chancel, and that the rood screen shall then be surmounted by “some convenient crest” instead of the loft; that where the chancel screen has been removed, “a comely partition betwixt the church and the chancel” is to be erected; that the chancel stalls are to remain in their old situation; that the altar steps are not to be removed; that the fonts are to remain in their accustomed place, and that “the curates take not upon them to confer Baptisms in basins, but in the font customably used.”  A printed copy of these Orders is preserved in the British Museum Library, where it is numbered 5155 aa.  It has also been printed in Parker’s Ornaments Rubric, p. 52.]

         A direction is then added, that “Where also it was, in the time of King Edward the Sixth, used to have the Sacramental Bread of common fine bread, it is ordered for the more reverence to be given to these holy mysteries, being the Sacraments of the Body and Blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ, that the said Sacramental Bread be made and formed plain, without any figure thereupon, of the same fineness and fashion round, though somewhat bigger in compass and thickness, as the usual bread and water heretofore named singing cakes, which served for the use of the private Mass.”  This order was in accordance with a rubric on the subject in the First Prayer Book of Edward VI., and was obeyed in many churches down to recent times; but common bread is also permitted by a rubric at the end of the Communion Service, which enacts that “to take away all occasion of dissension and superstition which any person hath or might have concerning the Bread and Wine, it shall suffice that the bread be such as is usual to be eaten, but the best and purest Wheat Bread that conveniently may be gotten.”  [When Archbishop Parker was appealed to as to the meaning of the rubric, he wrote, “It shall suffice, I expound, where either there wanteth such fine usual bread, or superstition be feared in the wafer bread, they may have the Communion in fine usual bread; which is rather a toleration in these two necessities, than is in plain ordering, as it is in the Injunction.”  (Parker’s Corresp., p 376.)  He also wrote to Sir Wm. Cecil, “As you desired, I send you here the form of the bread used, and was so appointed by order of my late Lord of London” (Grindal) “and myself, as we took it not disagreeable to the Injunction.  And how so many churches have of late varied I cannot tell; except it be the practice of the common adversary the devil to make variance and dissension in the Sacrament of Unity.”  (Ibid. 378.)  Parker was also consulted by Parkhurst, Bishop of Norwich, oil the subject.  He first referred him to the Rubric and Injunction, and in a subsequent letter wrote, “I trust that you mean not universally in your diocese to command or wink at the loaf bread, but, for peace and quietness, here and there to be contented therewith.”  (Parker’s Corresp., 460.)  In his Visitation Articles Parker also inquired, “And whether they do use to minister the Holy Communion in wafer bread, according to the Queen’s Majesty’s Injunctions?”]

         III.  The third note set forth “The form of bidding the Prayers to be used generally in this uniform sort.”  This is the form still in use and embodied in the fifty-fifth Canon.  But the royal style used in King Edward’s days, in the words, “Wherein I first commend to your devout prayers the King’s Most Excellent Majesty, Supreme Head, immediately under God, of the spirituality and temporality of the same Church,” was now altered to, “And herein I require you most specially to pray for the Queen’s Most Excellent Majesty, our Sovereign Lady Elizabeth, Queen of England, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, and Supreme Governor of this realm, as well in causes ecclesiastical as temporal.”

         The fifty-three Injunctions and the three additional notes thus published in 1559, and principally compiled from those previously set forth by Henry VIII and Edward VI, were in force during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, but were eventually superseded by Canons which were framed by Convocation and promulgated by the Crown, and in which many of the Injunctions were substantially incorporated.

 

The General Visitation of the Church.

         In exercising that function of the Royal Supremacy which was stated to consist in “the visitation of the ecclesiastical state and persons, for reformation, order, and correction of the same, and of all manner of errors, heresies, schisms, abuses, offences, contempts, and enormities” (1 Eliz. cap. 1, § 17), perhaps the principal object which the Queen and her advisers had in view was the administration of the Oath of Allegiance.  But this was not the only object, for the same Commissioners who were appointed to administer the oath were also authorized to impose the Book of Common Prayer upon the clergy, to see that obedience was given to the Injunctions by both the clergy and the laity, and to correct as far as they could such ecclesiastical abuses as they found among both clergy and laity.  As in the case of the Edwardian Visitation, several sets of Commissioners were appointed, each set having to visit four or five dioceses, but the number of the visitors was larger than before, and their names have not been preserved in a complete form. [Strype has preserved some of the names, with the dates of the Commissions, which were issued in June, July, and August 1559.  But his lists always speak of “divers others” in each Commission: they do not extend to every diocese; and in one case at least there is an important omission, the Archbishop of York having been added to the Commission for the Northern Dioceses, but not being named by the historian.  (Strype’s Annals, i. 245.)]  The powers which they received extended their authority over all ecclesiastical places, and over all persons in such matters as belong to the discipline of the Church.

         But as the authority of the visitors was derived from the Crown, and not from the Church, there were some things in which they could not act; and in such cases they were to use a similar authority to that used by the Crown in summoning the Convocations, calling synods together for the reformation of abuses which could only be reformed by spiritual authority. [One of these Commissions, that for the Northern Dioceses, has been preserved in the Record Office, and was printed by Bishop Burnet.  (Burnet’s Reform., v. 217, Pocock’s Ed.; Cardwell’s Doc. Ann., i. 217.)]

         In addition to the Injunctions issued by the Crown the visitors were also provided with a set of Articles of Enquiry, fifty-six in number, some applying to the clergy and others to the laity; these Articles pointing to the abuses which might most generally be expected, chiefly those connected with the devotional system of the Church and those connected with immorality.  Thirty-three of these were taken from those Visitation Articles of Edward VI which were intended for the parochial clergy and the laity, [See above.] and the remaining twenty-three were new.  There is nothing special in the character of these Enquiries, some relating only to temporary matters, and the large body forming the basis of the Visitation Articles subsequently used by the bishops in their triennial visitations of their particular dioceses.

         The Oath of Allegiance was tendered to the bishops by the visitors of the Diocese of London, and was refused by all except one; but Camden, Heylin, Burnet, and Strype all assert that the number of beneficed clergy, including cathedral dignitaries, who refused to take the oath at this time, fell short of two hundred.  But there is reason to think that many benefices had become vacant* through the flight of the Marian clergy, and out of the ten thousand clergy who occupied the benefices of the Church of England in Queen Mary’s days there were probably many more than two hundred who were unwilling to comply with the changes made in the opening of Queen Elizabeth’s reign.  Those who were willing to comply subscribed to the following document:–

         “We do confess and acknowledge the restoration again of the ancient jurisdiction over the State, Ecclesiastical and Temporal, of this realm of England, and abolishing of all foreign power repugnant to the same, according to an Act thereof made in the last Parliament, begun at Westminster, January the 23d, in the first year of our Sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth, and there continuing and kept to the 8th of May then next ensuing; the Administration of the Sacrament, the Use and Order of the Divine Service in manner and form as it is set forth in a book commonly called The Book of Common Prayer, etc., established by the same Act; and the orders and rules contained in the Injunctions given by the Queen’s Majesty, and exhibited in this present Visitation, to be according to the true Word of God, and agreeable with the doctrine and use of the Primitive and Apostolic Church. – In witness whereof, hereunto we have subscribed our names.”  [Strype’s Annals, i. 255.]

         *[One of the Articles of Enquiry was, “Whether the church of your parish be now vacant or no; who is the patron thereof; how long it hath been vacant; who doth receive the tithes, oblations, and other commodities during the time of the vacation, and by what authority; and in what estate the said church is at this time, and how long the parson or vicar hath had that benefice.”  No doubt there was a great deficiency of clergy during the reign of Queen Elizabeth.  In 1560 there is an entry in Bishop Grindal’s Register (fol. 7; Lansd. MS., 1031) which consists of a copy of a letter from Archbishop Parker to the Bishop of London, signifying that the latter had lately been ordaining artificers on account of the scarcity of clergy, and forbidding him to do so any more, as these persons had not behaved themselves to the credit of the Gospel.  Thirty years later, in 1592, Convocation argued in favour of pluralities on the ground that of 8800 and more benefices there were not 600 which were sufficient for learned men; and that if they were all sufficient there could not be found a third part of that number of men to supply them.  (Cardwell’s Synod., ii. 576.)]

         Whether or not the visitors dealt with the immorality of the laity there is nothing to show; but it is probable that the High Commission Court was left to execute this part of the duties assigned to them.

 

The Canons Ecclesiastical.

         In all these provisions for the discipline of the Church it must be acknowledged that if the Crown did not actually exceed its constitutional powers, it yet acted with a high-handedness characteristic of the Tudor sovereigns.  For this there was some justification in the circumstances of the period, for the persistent attempts of the Roman Court to regain its authority over the Church of England involved the Crown in a struggle for its own existence, especially in the earlier part of Queen Elizabeth’s reign; and it may have seemed sound, and even necessary, policy thus to use the authority of the Royal Supremacy in detail by means of Injunctions, General Visitations, and Ecclesiastical Commissions.  Gradually, however, though slowly, there arose a tendency to fall back upon the more ancient method of Church discipline, that in which the ordinary jurisdiction of Church officers was exercised in detail according to general rules laid down in Ecclesiastical Canons.

         The modus vivendi between Church and State in respect to such canons was settled by what is called “The Submission of the Clergy” in 1532–33, at which time it was agreed that – (1) First, The ancient Canons of the Church of England should remain in force where they did not clash with the laws of the realm or the Royal Supremacy; (2) Secondly, That Convocation should not discuss the enactment of any new canons without a license from the Crown; (3) Thirdly, That no new canons should have any force unless they were ratified by the Crown. [See vol. i. pp. 226–229.]  Subsequently an attempt was made to produce a set of canons which should effectually meet the wants of the Church in respect to the spiritual discipline of the clergy and laity, but this attempt entirely failed, [See above.] and at the accession of Queen Elizabeth the system of Royal Injunctions was again adopted.  So much freedom was afterwards allowed to Convocation, however, that the bishops at length ventured to compile what they called “A Book of Discipline,” that is –

         The Canons of 1571. [Cardwell’s Synod., i. 111.] – These canons were sixty in number, and were classed under ten heads, beginning with ten canons relating to the duties of bishops, – laws for whose government are often left out in episcopal legislation, – and twelve relating to deans and archdeacons.  The principal compilers of these canons were Archbishop Parker, Horne, Bishop of Winchester, and Coxe, Bishop of Ely, but they were subscribed by all the bishops of the province of Canterbury, as well as by the Archbishop of York and the bishops of the province of York, though it does not appear that they were subscribed by the clergy of the Lower House of Convocation in either province.  Nor did they ever receive that formal assent of the Crown, without which they could not have the full force of ecclesiastical law.

         The Canons of 1575. [Ibid., i. 133.] – These were passed by the Convocations of Canterbury and York, and were ratified and promulgated by the Crown, being thus numbered among the ecclesiastical laws of the land.  As they were originally presented to the Crown for its sanction, they were fifteen in number; eleven of them enforcing exactness in restricting the ministrations of the Church to an episcopally ordained and properly educated clergy; two relating to penance; one forbidding baptism to be administered by any but the clergy; and one permitting marriages to be solemnized in Lent and other seasons when they were formerly forbidden.  The two last-named canons were not ratified by the Crown, and thus the ancient rule respecting the validity of lay baptism and the ancient restrictions respecting marriage were still left in force.

         The Canons of 1585. [Cardwell’s Synod., i. 139.] – These were six in number, dealing again with the growing evil of an unauthorized and imperfectly educated ministry; with penance and excommunication; with abuses that had grown up in the substitution of marriage by license instead of by banns; with the evil of pluralities; and regulating the payment of fees to ecclesiastical officers.  The six canons thus added to the ecclesiastical laws were afterwards substantially incorporated into those which follow.

         The Canons of 1597. [Ibid., i. 147.] – Towards the close of the Queen’s reign an attempt was made to deal more fully with the subject of Church discipline, and twelve voluminous canons were promulgated for the purpose of meeting the principal complaints that were made respecting the condition of the Church.  These canons embodied the substance of most of those which had been enacted during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and dealt also with some others; and they were themselves, in substance, embodied in the far more voluminous and complete code which was published in the beginning of the next reign.

         The Canons of 1603. [Ibid. i. 165–329.  They are printed by Cardwell both in the Latin and the English form; but authentic copies in English have very frequently been printed, and they are also to be found at the end of most large Prayer Books.] – The sanction of the Crown, which had been given to three of the preceding sets of canons, did not extend beyond the reign of the sovereign who had granted it. [Gibson’s Codex, 994; Wake’s State of the Church, 507.]  The accession of James I made it necessary, therefore, to re-enact them; and the opportunity was taken of compiling a more comprehensive code, in which the discipline of the Church should be thoroughly dealt with on the principles of the Reformation.  The canons which were thus compiled were one hundred and forty in number, and were distributed into thirteen sections relating to the status of the Church of England (1–12); the Services of the Church (13–30); the Ministry of the Church (31–76); Schoolmasters (77–79); the Fabrics and Ornaments of Churches (80–88); Churchwardens and Sidemen (89, 90); Parish Clerks (91); the Ecclesiastical Courts, with their Judges and Officers (92–138); and Synods (139–141).  These canons remained unaltered for two hundred and sixty-two years; but in the year 1865 new ones were framed in the place of the 36th, 37th, 38th, and 40th, relating to the subscription of the clergy to the Thirty-nine Articles, and to their declaration against simony at their institution to benefices.

         In the publication of these canons, both in 1603 and in 1865, great care was taken to comply exactly with the conditions imposed by the “Act of the Submission of the Clergy” (25 Henry VIII. cap. 19); the license of the sovereign being given to both Convocations before the canons were brought before them, and the canons when passed by the two Convocations being ratified and confirmed by letters patent under the Great Seal, by James I and by Queen Victoria, for themselves, their heirs and successors; and by the same authority propounded, published, and commanded “to be diligently observed, executed, and equally kept by all our loving subjects* of this our kingdom, within the provinces of Canterbury and York, in all points wherein they do or may concern every or any of them.”

         *[It was ruled by Lord Hardwicke that these canons do not, proprio vigore, bind the laity.  But the great judge qualified this decision by adding, “I say proprio vigore, by their own force and authority; for there are many provisions contained in these canons which are declaratory of the ancient usage and law of the Church of England, received and allowed here, and which in that respect, and by virtue of such ancient allowance, will bind the laity.”  (Middleton v. Croft, Str. Rep., 1056; 2 Atkyn’s Rep., 650.)  The theory of the time was evidently that if they bound the clergy, they also bound the laity; and on this account the authority of the canons was much disputed.  A Bill was passed in the House of Commons which would have enacted that no canon or constitution ecclesiastical made within the preceding ten years, or to be made thereafter, should be of any force to impeach or hurt any person in his life, liberty, lands, or goods, unless it were first confirmed by Parliament.  This was considered as an invasion of the Supremacy of the Crown and of the constitutional rights of Convocation, and before it could pass Parliament was dissolved.  But the principle of the Bill is now fully admitted, so far as the laity are concerned.]

         The Canons of 1603 absorbed a very large proportion of the Injunctions of Henry VIII, Edward VI, and Queen Elizabeth, as also of the Canons of 1571, 1575, 1585, and 1597.  But they did not fulfill the purpose proposed by the Acts for the revision of the pre-Reformation Canon Law, [See above.] and that law is still in force, subject to the limitation imposed by the “Act of Submission” respecting the Supremacy of the Crown and Statute Law.

 

§ 5.  Provisions for Uniformity of Belief.

         It was much easier to state authoritatively what was to be regarded as the doctrine of the Reformed Church of England than to impose upon its members laws for their spiritual discipline.  In this case, as well as in that of the devotional system, the Convocation of Queen Elizabeth’s reign fell back at once upon the work which had already been done by their predecessors, reviving the Articles of Religion, but taking them carefully into consideration, and revising them before they were again published as an authoritative document.  Something has already been said by anticipation respecting this revised version of the Articles, [See above.] but it is necessary to show in this place by what steps it was led up to, and how it formed part of a great resettlement of the Reformation.

 

The Ultramontane Propositions of Convocation.

         When the first Parliament and the first Convocation of Queen Elizabeth’s reign met, in the beginning of the year 1559, the colour of the Parliament had been changed by Cecil’s management, under which the Sheriffs took measures to return candidates who had been nominated by the Crown; but Convocation could not be thus manipulated, and it remained of the same ultramontane colour as in the latter days of Queen Mary.  The Archbishopric of Canterbury being vacant, the Bishop of London, Bonner, became President of the Convocation of Canterbury, and the Prolocutor was Nicolas Harpsfield, Archdeacon of Canterbury, who had been one of Cardinal Pole’s principal agents during the reign of Queen Mary.  Under Harpsfield’s guidance the clergy of the Lower House endeavoured to make a stand for the maintenance of that ultramontane doctrine which had been introduced by the Spanish party and Pole.  They therefore drew up the following five Articles, [Wilkins’ Concil. iv. 179; Strype’s Annals, i. 79.] which they presented to the Upper House for ratification with an explanatory preface:–

         “Reverend Fathers, public report affirms that many doctrines of the Christian religion hitherto believed by Christians, and handed down to us from Apostolic times, are now called in question, more especially such as are contained in the subjoined Articles.  Thinking it our duty to provide not only for our own eternal salvation, but for that of those who are committed to our charge, and stirred to action by the examples of our forefathers who have lived in like times with ourselves, we deem it right to affirm our faith as contained in the following Articles:–

         “I.  That in the Sacrament of the Altar, by virtue of the words of Christ, duly spoken by the priest, is present realiter, under the kinds of Bread and Wine, the natural Body of Christ, conceived of the Virgin Mary, and also His natural Blood.

         “II.  That after the consecration there remains not the substance of bread and wine, nor any other substance, but the substance of God and Man.

         “III.  That in the Mass is offered the true Body of Christ and His true Blood, a propitiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead.

         “IV.  That to Peter the Apostle, and his lawful successors in the Apostolic See, as Christ’s vicars, is given the supreme power of feeding and ruling the Church of Christ militant, and confirming their brethren.

         “V.  That the authority of handling and defining concerning the things belonging to Faith, Sacraments, and Discipline Ecclesiastical hath hitherto ever belonged, and ought to belong, only to the pastors of the Church, whom the Holy Ghost for this purpose hath set in the Church, and not to laymen.”

         These Articles were sent by Convocation to the two universities, and the first four were subscribed by most of the university.  They were also presented to the Crown for ratification [Or perhaps to the House of Lords, as is said by Strype, though why this should be done is not evident.] through the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, Sir Nicolas Bacon, but no notice appears to have been taken of them, either by the Queen or by Parliament.  Although they fell to the ground, these five Articles are, however, historically useful, as showing in a clear and condensed form what were the two distinctive principles for which the Papal party now stood out: (1) First, Transubstantiation in its most extreme form; (2) Secondly, The Supremacy of the Pope.  But the Church of England had resolutely declined to accept the over-defined theory of Transubstantiation, and had firmly repudiated the Supremacy of the Pope.  Three hundred and twenty years have since passed, and no further attempt to restore Ultramontanism has been made by the official representatives of the clergy.

 

The Conference in Westminster Abbey

         It was in consequence probably of the publication of these five Articles by Convocation that the Queen and her advisers determined to invite some of the leaders of the Ultramontane party to hold a conference in Westminster Abbey with some of the leaders of the opposite side; and arrangements were made under the authority of the Crown for this conference to take place in the presence of the Privy Council and both Houses of Parliament.  The divines appointed on either side were as follows:–

 

Marian Divines.

         White, Bishop of Winchester.

         Watson, Bishop of Lincoln.

         Bayne, Bishop of Lichfield.

         Scott, Bishop of Chester.

         Cole, Dean of St. Paul’s.

         Harpsfield, Archdeacon of Canterbury.

         Chedsey, Archdeacon of Middlesex.

         Langdale, Archdeacon of Lewes.

 

Elizabethan Divines.

         Scory, Bishop of Chichester.

         Jewell, Bishop-Elect of Salisbury.

         Horne, Bishop-Elect of Winchester.

         Aylmer, afterwards Bishop of London.

         Grindal, Bishop-Elect of London.

         Guest, Bishop-Elect of Rochester.

         Cox, Bishop-Elect of Ely.

         Whitehead (declined the Archbishopric of Canterbury).

 

         The last four of the Elizabethan divines were all on the Commission for the revision of the Prayer Book.

         The Conference met on Friday, March 31st, [This is the date given by Foxe (Foxe’s Acts and Mon., viii. 679), and in a MS. of Archbishop Parker (Cardwell’s Conf., 25); but Machyn writes [spelling modernized], “The first day of April there was at Westminster a disputing should a bene be the bishops’ and the new preachers’, and there they put in a ... against Monday, after that the bishops should give an answer of the same.”  (Machyn’s Diary, 192.)] and Monday, April 3, 1559, the Lord Keeper Bacon presiding, and the following three propositions were laid before the sixteen divines as the subjects for immediate discussion:–

         “I.  It is against the Word of God, and the custom of the ancient Church, to use a tongue unknown to the people in common prayers and the administration of the Sacraments.

         “II.  Every church hath authority to appoint, take away, and change ceremonies and ecclesiastical rites, so the same be to edification.

         “III.  It cannot be proved by the Word of God that there is, in the Mass, offered up a sacrifice propitiatory for the quick and the dead.”

         It had been arranged, for the sake of more orderly discussion, that the arguments on both sides should be read from written papers, and not spoken extempore; but the Bishop of Winchester alleged that he and his colleagues had not understood this arrangement to have been made, and that although they had come ready to argue the questions viva voce, they had no written argument prepared.  Dean Cole was then permitted to speak for the rest on the first proposition, his colleagues declining to add anything to his arguments when the opportunity was given them by the President.  Horne then read a paper on behalf of the other side, which contained a learned argument, supported by many quotations from the Fathers, in favour of vernacular Common Prayer.  On its conclusion the Marian divines wished to reply, and they were required to do so in writing on the Monday following.  When Monday came they claimed the right of beginning their arguments de novo in writing, to correct the informality of their proceedings on the previous day.  The Lord Keeper ruled that this would be a fresh irregularity, that until the opposite side had been heard they were content that Dr. Cole’s arguments should be accepted as their own, and that if they were allowed to do as they proposed, a very unfair advantage would be given to them.  Much disputing arose out of this point; and as the Marian divines refused to give way, Bacon at last dissolved the Conference with the words, “My Lords, since that ye are not willing, but refuse to read your writing after the order taken, we will break up and depart; and for that ye will not that we should hear you, you may perhaps shortly hear of us.”  Before night the Bishops of Winchester and Lincoln were sent to the Tower, the other six divines being required to report themselves daily to the Privy Council; and thus the attempt to effect a compromise between the Ultramontane party and the Reforming party was brought abruptly to an end.

 

The Statutory Definition of Heresy.

         But while endeavours were thus being made to bring the two great religious parties to an understanding as to disputed matters of doctrine, a most important clause was inserted in an Act of Parliament which took the sting out of many a controversy, and which, by a most effective stroke, cut the ground from under the feet of the Ultramontane party.

         It will have been noticed in the account of the Marian sufferers that they were most generally condemned as “heretics” for denying the dogma of Transubstantiation; or, to state the case more exactly, for refusing to acknowledge that the natural substances of Bread and Wine cease to exist in the consecrated elements of the Holy Eucharist.  But although the mysterious change of the elements had been defined as a change of substance by the Fourth Lateran Council (1215), the definite dogma for the denial of which persons had been put to death in Queen Mary’s time was not authoritatively set forth until the Council of Trent, actually dating from 1551.  To exclude the denial of this and other mere Roman dogmas from the category of heresies, it was now enacted, in connection with the institution of the High Commission Court, as follows (1 Eliz. cap. 1, § 36): That those who compose that court “shall not in any wise have authority or power to order, determine, or adjudge any matter or cause to be heresy, but only such as heretofore have been determined, ordered, or adjudged to be heresy 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.”

         This enactment indicated very distinctly the lines upon which Convocation would have to proceed when it came to undertake any measures for promoting uniformity of belief.

 

The Bishops’ Eleven Articles of A.D. 1559.

         But nearly four years elapsed after this before Parliament and Convocation were again called together, and during that interval a pressing necessity arose for such definite statements of the leading principles of the Reformed Church as would bind at least the clergy, and such as would guide them in the instruction of their people.  About the end of April 1561, therefore, the archbishops and bishops published Eleven Articles, which they entitled “A declaration of certain principal Articles of Religion set out ... for the uniformity of doctrine, to be taught and holden of all parsons, vicars, and curates, as well in testification of their common consent in the said doctrine, to the stopping of the mouths of them that go about to slander the ministers of the Church for diversity of judgement as necessary for the instruction of their people …”

         These Articles contained a declaration of faith in the Holy Trinity (1); in the Canonical Scriptures and the three Creeds (2).  They also defined the Church as a body, “wherein the Word of God is truly taught, the Sacraments orderly administered according to Christ’s institution, and the authority of the Keys duly used”; and declared its authority to change ceremonies by putting some away and instituting others (3).  No man is to take upon him any office or ministry, ecclesiastical or secular, without lawfully called to it by the proper authorities (4).  The Queen’s Supremacy is acknowledged (5), and that of the Bishop of Rome repudiated (6).  The Book of Common Prayer is declared to be “agreeable to the Scriptures, ... Catholic and Apostolic, and most for the advancing of God’s glory, and the edifying of God’s people” (7).  The administration of Baptism is acknowledged to be full and perfect, even though the use of exorcism and other ancient ceremonies had been discontinued (8).  Private masses without communicants, and offered as a propitiatory sacrifice for quick and dead, are declared to be “neither agreeable to Christ’s ordinance nor grounded upon doctrine Apostolic” (9); and the Holy Communion ought to be administered in both kinds (10).  Lastly, there is a disavowal of all superstitions connected with images (11), which is taken substantially from the second and third of the Queen’s Injunctions.

         Very little is known about the history of these Articles, but no doubt they were intended to be for temporary use only, until those of Edward VI could be revived by Convocation.  The title states that they are to be read by the clergy at their “first entry into their cures,” and also after that “twice a year, on Low Sunday and Michaelmas Day, immediately after the Gospel.” [Burnet’s Reform., v. 263; Strype’s Annals, i. 325; Cardwell’s Doc. Ann., 231.]

         When Convocation was at last summoned again, on January 12, 1563, fifteen of the twenty-three Marian bishops who filled the English sees at the accession of Queen Elizabeth were dead, and the remaining eight were either living as private gentlemen or abroad.  And as divines of the Reformed school of thought had been placed at the heads of all the dioceses, so also a similar change had taken place in the cathedrals and among the parochial clergy.  Hence the Convocation which met in the fifth year of the Queen’s reign was of a very different colour from that which had been called together in 1559.  Ultramontanism was now unknown among its members, and if there was danger that any of them were alienated from the principles of the Reformation, the danger arose from Puritanism, which found its head at Geneva instead of Rome.  But the majority of those who were now returned to the Lower House of Convocation were, like the majority of the bishops, men of the same theological type as their President, Archbishop Parker, and as their Prolocutor, Dean Nowell, men who accepted loyally the Elizabethan form of the Second or Low Church Prayer Book, but whose principles and inclinations gravitated towards the First or High Church Book.

         When, therefore, the pressing Church question of the day came before Convocation, that of Articles of Religion which should represent the theology and ecclesiastical system of the Reformation, there was no difficulty in falling back upon the Forty-two Articles of Edward VI’s reign as the substance of those which should now be set forth.  These Articles were consequently placed in the hands of the two Houses simultaneously, on January 19, 1563, the first day on which they met, in Henry VII’s Chapel, for business, with a view to their consideration, and, if necessary, their reconstruction.  The work occupied committees of both Houses for ten days, though much preparation had doubtless been made for it beforehand; and the bishops and clergy having come to an agreement, the Articles, now thirty-nine in number, [The changes which were made are indicated in a note at page 111.  They are given in detail in Hardwicke’s History of the Thirty-nine Articles.] were subscribed by the former on January 29th, and by the latter on February 5th and subsequent days.  They were also subscribed by the Archbishop of York, and the Bishops of Durham and Chester, who were probably appointed to act for the whole of the northern Convocation. [Wilkins’ Concil., iv. 237; Gibson’s Synod. Anglic., 145, ed. 1854.]  Thus they were fully received by the constitutional representatives of the clergy, and were entitled, “Articles whereupon it was agreed by the archbishops and bishops of both the provinces and the whole clergy in the Convocation holden at London ... for the avoiding of the diversities of opinions, and for the Articles establishing of consent, touching true religion.”  They were then transmitted to the Crown for ratification, according to the law laid down in the Act of Submission; and having been so ratified under the Great Seal, [Coke’s Inst., iv. 74.] were published in Latin sometime after March 1563, with the Royal Assent appended in the words, “Quibus omnibus Articulis Serenissima Princeps Elizabeth Dei gratia Angliae Franciae et Hiberniae Regina, Fidei Defensor etc. per seipsam diligenter prius lectis et examinatis Regium suum assensum praebuit”; the English copy having the words “Put forth by the Queen’s authority” under the title.  The Thirty-nine Articles thus took the form of a Canon of the Church of England, constructed and passed by the two Convocations, and confirmed and promulgated by the Crown.  As they had been composed, passed, and ratified in Latin, there was some doubt as to the force of the English translation which was put into circulation.  In the next Convocation, therefore, that of 1571, both the Latin and the English versions were reviewed, and a new ratification was given by the Queen, which was appended in the following form:–

         “This Book of Articles, before rehearsed, is again approved, and allowed to be holden and executed within the realm, by the assent and consent of our Sovereign Lady Elizabeth, by the grace of God of England, France, and Ireland, Queen, Defender of the Faith, etc.  Which Articles were deliberately read, and confirmed again by the subscription of the hands of the Archbishops and Bishops of the Upper House, and by the subscription of the whole clergy in the Nether House in their Convocation in the year of our Lord God 1571.”

         In the same year an Act of Parliament (13 Eliz. cap. 12), entitled “An Act for the Ministers of the Church to be of sound Religion,” which enacted that every clergyman should subscribe to the Thirty-nine Articles at his ordination and at his admission to any benefice, and that he should also read them publicly in church on both occasions.  This Act has been confirmed by later ones, and both the subscription and public reading are still strictly enforced by law as a test of every clergyman’s conformity to the doctrines of the Church in which he ministers.

         The code of doctrinal canons thus settled as the standard of doctrine in the Church of England is a very comprehensive one, including the Bible (6, 7), the three Creeds (8), definite statements respecting the Sacraments (25, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31), and the chief principles of the Church.  If it is possible, as it is possible, to point out defects in them, and to suggest improvements, it is yet to be remembered that they have received the assent of many generations of the clergy, not a few of whom have been skilled theologians; and it is in their favour that amidst many controversies the Thirty-nine Articles have borne the wear and tear of more than three centuries, and are still assented to and subscribed by large numbers of divines whose age, learning, and piety qualify them and oblige them to assent and subscribe under the influence of deliberate and critical knowledge of the doctrine which those Articles contain.

 

§ 6.  The Resettlement of the Episcopate.

         A difficulty arose early in the reign of Queen Elizabeth which required the greatest care, patience, and self-possession on the part of those who had to deal with it, lest it should make shipwreck altogether of the Reformation of the Church of England as a catholic movement.  The Marian bishops refused to have anything to do with the Church on its present footing, and the difficulty arose – How, then, were bishops to be obtained?  Had it been impossible to obtain them, and it easily might have been, then the Reformers might have set up a Presbyterian ministry in the cathedrals and parish churches of the land, and the people might have been satisfied to accept their ministrations, and the Parliament might have endowed them with the ancient revenues of tithe and glebe, but the religious community thus established and endowed would no more have been the Church of England in the sense of the English Reformation than the Huguenots were the Church of France.  It was a sin in all who were responsible for the danger to allow it to become a danger; but, happily for England, an overruling Providence made a way of escape, and the danger passed off.  The circumstances which led up to this crisis, and the method taken to overcome the difficulty, form a very important episode in the history of the Church of England.  Although clouds of controversy have been raised around them by the absurd mistake or the wicked falsehood of an Anglo-Roman priest of the seventeenth century, they may really be narrated in a very short compass.

         1.  When Queen Elizabeth succeeded her sister on November 17, 1558, there were seven vacancies among the twenty-seven English bishoprics.  The next day the Archbishop of Canterbury died, and before the end of the year he was followed by the Bishops of Rochester and Bristol, increasing the number of vacancies to ten.

         2.  There were thus left only seventeen diocesan bishops, though there were several suffragans, in the Church of England; and of these seventeen, two, the Bishops of Worcester and St. Asaph, had deserted their posts and fled abroad

         3.  But the Act of Supremacy made it necessary for all the bishops either to take the Oath of Allegiance or to suffer the loss of their sees; and soon after the rising of Parliament, on May 8, 1559, when it had completed the machinery for the revival of the Reformation, the Commissioners to whom the Visitation of the Church was entrusted began to tender the oath to the bishops as well as to the other clergy.

         4.  The fifteen bishops who had not thrown up their sees, including the Bishop of Man, refused, with one exception, to take the oath, and it was taken for granted that the same refusal would be given by the two bishops who had fled from the country.  Thus, between May 29, 1559, when sentence of deprivation was passed upon Bonner, and September 28, 1559, when a similar sentence was passed upon Tunstal, Bishop of Durham, all seventeen of these remaining bishops [Of these seventeen surviving Marian bishops, seven in number, Tunstal, Morgan, White, Bayne, Oglethorpe, Turberville, and Pole, died before the end of 1660; two lived abroad, Goldwell and Pates; five, Heath, Thirlby, Bourn, Scott, and Man, lived as private gentlemen; and two were in prison, Bonner being in the Tower, and Watson, the last survivor of the Marian episcopate, being a prisoner in Wisbeach Castle until his death in 1584.] had been deprived of their sees, except Kitchin, Bishop of Llandaff.

         5.  It now became a question how the twenty-six vacant sees of the Church of England should be filled, three bishops at least being necessary for the full canonical consecration of new prelates, and there being only one diocesan bishop left.

         6.  Within less than a month after Cardinal Pole’s death, however, on December 9, 1558, it had been determined to appoint Parker, who had been Dean of Lincoln and Master of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, to the Archbishopric of Canterbury, and a delay of six months was caused by his hesitation in accepting the appointment. [Parker’s Corresp. pp. 49, 71.]  About June other nominations had been made, such as those of Grindal for London, Coxe for Norwich, Barlow for Chichester, and Scory for Hereford [Zurich Lett., p. 23.]; but as it is the custom for the election of bishops to be confirmed by the Archbishop of the Province, it was desirable that Parker should be consecrated before any of the others.  Hence, as soon as possible after Parker had been formally elected by the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury, the election taking place on August 1st, letters patent dated September 9, 1558, were sent to Tunstal, Bishop of Durham, Bourn, Bishop of Bath and Wells, Pole, the late Cardinal’s brother, Bishop of Peterborough, Kitchin, Bishop of Llandaff, Barlow, late Bishop of Bath and Wells, and Scory, late Bishop of Chichester, requiring them to confirm and consecrate him to the Metropolitan See.  Tunstal, Bourn, and Pole refused to obey this royal mandate, and were shortly afterwards deprived, being probably the last of the Marian bishops who were so dealt with.  A second mandate was then issued, dated December 6, 1559, directed to Kitchin, Barlow, Scory, Coverdale, late Bishop of Exeter, Hodgkins, Suffragan Bishop of Bedford, Salisbury, Suffragan Bishop of Thetford, and Bale, Bishop of Ossory, and commanding them, or any four of them, to proceed with the confirmation and consecration of the Archbishop.  The election was therefore confirmed in the church of St. Mary-le-Bow, Cheapside where such confirmations always take place, and Parker was consecrated by Barlow, Scory, Coverdale, and Hodgkins in the chapel of Lambeth Palace, on December 17, 1559, more than a year after he had been originally designated for his high office by the Queen.  On the 21st of the same month Parker, Barlow, Scory, and Hodgkins consecrated four other bishops; on January 21, 1560, four more were consecrated by Parker, Grindal, Cox, and Hodgkins, and three on March 21, 1560, by Parker, Bullingham, and Jewell; and the Archbishop took part in the consecration of all bishops of his province down to April 17, 1575, when he consecrated a Bishop of St. Asaph just a month before his own death.

         7.  The consecration of Parker brought him into a direct lineal succession with the mediaeval bishops, and therefore with the primitive bishops of the Church of England, and also, singular to say, with the bishops of Rome; for Hodgkins, Scory, and Coverdale had been consecrated by Cranmer, Hilsey, Stokesley, and others, while one of the bishops, Clerk of Bath and Wells, who took part with Cranmer and Voysey in the consecration of Barlow, had been consecrated at Rome by Roman bishops.  Thus Archbishop Parker, from whom all subsequent Archbishops of Canterbury and York are spiritually descended, was able to hand on the Episcopal succession without any break in its full integrity; and the Church of England suffered no loss, at least in that respect, by the long and culpable hindrance which he had offered to his consecration.

         8.  But as the Episcopal succession of the Reformed Church of England was thus made for a time to depend on a single link of the chain, a great temptation fell in the way of unscrupulous controversialists to show that this link did not really exist, and that consequently there was no continuity of Apostolic succession between the ancient and the Reformed Church.  A story was therefore trumped up in the year 1604 by a Roman Catholic priest named Holywood, or more sonorously, John de Sacrobosco, to the effect that Parker’s alleged consecration had been a mere burlesque ceremony, performed at a tavern in Cheapside known by the name of the Nag’s Head.  This story – repeated with varying details by multitudes of Roman Catholic writers, until it was repudiated by Dr. Lingard – alleged that those who were nominated to bishoprics by Queen Elizabeth all met at the Cheapside tavern, where Scory, having been inhibited by Bonner from performing any episcopal functions within the Diocese of London, hastily laid a Bible on Parker, bidding him rise up Archbishop of Canterbury, Parker then doing the same to Scory and the rest. [This lying parody is not worse than that to be seen on the cover of a Roman Catholic edition of Cobbett’s History of the Reformation of modern times, where Queen Elizabeth is portrayed in the act of “making a bishop” by laying her hands upon Parker as he kneels before her in a secular dress and ruff.]

         It is marvelous that any writers with the least sense of responsibility should have printed and reprinted so strange a story without adducing a scrap of contemporary evidence in support of it.  The fiction was never heard of until forty-five years after Parker became Archbishop of Canterbury, and was opposed to all the well-known and recorded circumstances of the case.  But when attention was drawn to this fiction, mass of documentary evidence was produced which placed the consecration at Lambeth beyond a doubt.  This, with some additions, has been collected together in a most authentic form in recent times. [In Bailey’s Ordinum Sacrorum in Ecclesia Anglicana Defensio, 1870.  In this work the original official record of the consecration is photozincographed by the Ordnance Survey, and its correctness certified by the Archbishop of Canterbury and others.]

         9.  The truth is that very elaborate care was taken by the Queen and her advisers to secure at every point the legal form of Archbishop Parker’s appointment, and that the consecrating bishops used all the words, acts, and ceremonies which were laid down in the Ordinal of the Church of England; and this example being followed in the case of the other Elizabethan bishops, the secession of so many of their predecessors caused no break in the historical and spiritual continuity of their dioceses.  The spiritual fabric of the Church had been originally laid on Apostolic foundations – had been built up on those foundations through many successive ages; and when some ruin had been caused by misunderstanding and willfulness, it was restored strictly upon the line of the old walls, and without any deviation from the plan of Apostolic succession.

 

Chapter  VII – The Puritans of the Reformation Age, 1547–1603.

         The strict administration of the Acts of Uniformity during the reigns of Edward VI and Queen Elizabeth prevented the formal organization of sects apart from the Church of England, but did not prevent the growth of sectarian principles within its pale.  The Wycliffite “Known Men” and “Just Fast Men” of Henry VIII’s day, expanded into the “Gospellers” of Edward VI’s reign, and these further expanded into the “Puritans” of the Elizabethan age.*  Even when a more lax administration of the law permitted the formation of religious bodies separate from the Church, as it did early in the seventeenth century, the great bulk of those who dissented from the episcopal and sacramental system of the Church still remained formally associated with it as its clergy and laity; and not only so, but they constantly endeavoured, with increasing boldness and improved organization, to force on such changes in the constitution and the laws of the Church as would adapt it to their own opinions.

         *[The name of “Puritan” was suggested by the frequent assertion of those who composed the party that the Church of England was corrupted with the remains of Popery, and that what they desired was a “pure” system of doctrine and discipline; but the English word “Puritans” happens accidentally to represent the Greek name “Cathari,” which had been assumed by the Novatians, and which had been adopted in Germany during the Middle Ages in the vernacular form “Ketzer” for the Albigenses and other opponents of the Church.  It first came into use as the designation of an English Church party about the year 1564 (Fuller’s Ch. Hist. ix. 66), but after a few years it got to be used also as inclusive of many who had separated from the Church of England.  It was gradually superseded as regards the latter by the names of their various sects, as Independents, Presbyterians, Baptists, etc., and as regards the former by the term “Nonconformists”.  At a still later time, towards the end of the seventeenth century, the Church Puritans were represented by “Low Churchmen,” and the Non-Church Puritans by “Dissenters.”  (Blunt’s Dict. Sects and Her.)  For the earlier history of the party, see vol. i. pp. 522–554.]

         The rapid growth of this aggressive anti-Church party within the Church is to be attributed partly to the ignorance which resulted from the abolition of the monastic schools, the depression of the universities, and the barbarous destruction of libraries, [The quantity of new books produced by the help of the printing press was so great that the carting off of the old ones en masse from the ancient libraries was less noticed on the revival of learning than it otherwise would have been.  Even the library of the City of London did not escape, for the Duke of Somerset sent carts to the Lord Mayor with a request for the loan of the books (see above, note in chap i.); and, like many other books, they have never been heard of by their owners since they were borrowed.  At Oxford every volume was removed from the University Library, and the shelves and benches were sold in 1556 as old lumber.  (Macray’s Annals of Bodl. Lib. p. 12.)] and partly to the hostile teaching of exotic doctrinaire preachers.  The old Church influences had been broken down, and such influences as arose in their place came from those whose interest and principles lay as far as possible away from the lines of the old ecclesiastical system and the old theology.  And thus it was that during the reign of Edward VI a generation had grown up which had no personal knowledge of, and no association with, the ecclesiastical traditions of the nation, and which was educated both to hate and to despise them.  French young men of the great middle class were not more anti-monarchical in 1792, when nearly everything monarchical had disappeared from France, than young Englishmen of the same class were anti-Catholic in 1552, when nearly everything Catholic had shared the same fate in England.

         That the higher class of minds among the Reformers looked most unfavourably upon the rising Puritans of Edward VI’s reign might be shown by many quotations from their writings.  It may suffice to make two such quotations, the one from a sermon of Bishop Latimer, the other from the writings of Archbishop Cranmer.  Latimer, preaching on Luke 12:13, about the appeal to our Lord that He would “divide the inheritance,” characterizes the brother who thus appealed as a “thorny brother, a Gospeller, a carnal Gospeller (as many be nowadays for a piece of an abbey, or for a portion of chantry lands), to get somewhat by it, and serve his commodity.  He was a Gospeller, one of the new brethren, somewhat worse than a rank Papist.” [Latimer’s Serm., i. 233, ed. 1824.]  Strong as this language is, it is not stronger than that of Cranmer. “It is reported that there be many among these unlawful assemblers that pretend knowledge of the Gospel, and will need be called Gospellers, as though the Gospel were the cause of disobedience, sedition, and carnal liberality, and the destruction of those policies, kingdoms, and common weals where it is received.”  They are men “whose wit and virtue is in their tongues, hot disputers, busy talkers, taunters, and faultfinders with others, rather than menders of themselves.”  [Cranmer’s Works, ii. 260, iv. 161, Parker Soc. Ed.  These severe words of Cranmer are strongly corroborated by the narratives given in the voluminous accounts which Foxe has preserved of the sufferers in Queen Mary’s time.  The discussions which they held with their judges show that most of them merited the same character which had been given to their predecessors, the Lollards of the fourteenth century, by their contemporary Knyghton.  “They were all,” he says, “like their master, too eloquent and too much for other people in all disputes and contentions by word of mouth: being powerful in words, strong in prating, exceeding all in making speeches, and out-talking everybody in litigious disputations. ... Though they were never so lately converted to this sect, they had all one manner of speech, or the same way of talking, and wonderful agreed in the same opinion.  Both men and women immediately commenced teachers of the Gospel in their mother tongue.”  They, or those who wrote the narratives which profess to record these discussions, must have been very pugnacious and provocative persons, and much given to word splitting.]

 

§ 1.  The Principles of Puritanism.

         The general theological principle on which the system of the Puritans was grounded may be conveniently designated as anti-Sacramentalism.  The Church was regarded as having two functions, those of teaching and discipline; and the ministers of the Church as persons selected and appointed by the whole body for the purpose of carrying out these two functions.  Bishops (if admitted at all into the system) were regarded only as ministers with enlarged powers of teaching and discipline, and not as possessors of any spiritual capacities of a higher capacity than those of other ministers.  No supernatural gift was considered to be lodged in the ministry, nor any in the ordinances which they administered, Baptism being simply a formal sign of admission to Church fellowship, the Holy Communion a sign that such Church fellowship was being maintained, and the ministerial function, the administration of each, simply a “preaching of the Word” by exhortation, prayer, and the reading of our Lord’s words of institution.

         The practical working of this anti-Sacramental principle in the Church of England involved the destruction of everything but the mere shell of the building.  The solemn ceremonies of Ordination represented far too much for such a theory respecting the ministerial office, and there was very little of the Ordinal that could be honestly used by those who looked on the ministry as a delegation from the members of the Church, and not from God.  The Puritan idea was, in fact, “Choose your ministers, charge them, lay your hands on them if you like, and then send them to their work”; and for this no Ordinal at all was necessary.  In the same manner they found the very lowest expressions of the ancient Sacramentalism that were retained or represented in the Prayer Book utterly at variance with their theories so long as they expressed any Sacramentalism at all.  The idea of a supernatural gift, or a change of spiritual condition as a result of Baptism, was intolerable – what a later generation called “a soul-destroying heresy”; and of course such ceremonies as implied it, the Benediction of the Water, the Sign of the Cross, and the White Robe, could not be thought of with patience.  Confirmation, at the best, was only a public declaration by the confirmed persons that they accepted their position as adult Christians, and for such a purpose the old ceremonies – the blow on the cheek, the anointing of the forehead, the imposition of hands – were entirely unnecessary, and worse than unnecessary, since they symbolized the conveyance of a gift of grace by the Bishop to the confirmed.  Marriage was a civil contract which ought to be associated with Prayer; but the intervention of a Priest, the Benedictions, the tokens of Espousal, and the Wedding Ring, were all superstitions belonging to corrupt times, and a “pure” system could not endure them.  The so-called Sacrament of Penance, with its formal confessions and absolutions, was a Popish invention, and must be superseded by the new “discipline”; while for Extreme Unction there was not one word to be said.  Lastly and chiefly, the Holy Communion was simply an ordinance in which Christ’s promises were preached by the minister of it, and in which the communicants expressed their fellowship with Him and with each other by passing round Bread and Wine as festal food and drink, to remind them of the Body and Blood that Christ offered upon the Cross.  If there was any Presence of Christ associated with the Holy Communion, it was only so associated in the hearts of the communicants, and had nothing whatever to do with the Bread and the Wine.  Nothing could, therefore, be more unfitting than a liturgy in which prayers, praise, words of consecration, and manual acts performed over the elements with symbolical reference to the Body and Blood of Christ, were all used as though Christ were actually present in some other sense than in that sense in which He is everywhere present by the Omnipresence of His Godhead.

         These anti-Sacramental principles had been current among the Lollards for about two centuries before the Reformation period, and were originally derived from the Manichaean sects which aggregated so mysteriously in Southern Europe during the Middle Ages.  But the rise of the Puritans marks a new point of departure for them, since they were then associated with the novel “Discipline,” a system for the supervision of morals which was intended to supersede the old ecclesiastical discipline of the Episcopal courts by substituting for them local or parochial courts in which a select vestry – such as has long been known in Scotland under the name of “Kirk-Session” – was to take cognizance of all offences against morality or religion, and administer “Church censures” to the offenders.*  The Puritans attached so much importance to this novel system of ecclesiastical police that they were sometimes called “Disciplinarians,” as if it were the main feature of their principles, and the terrible immorality of Edward VI’s reign gave the system an additional attractiveness in the eyes of those who desired to see a moral reformation.

         *[In his Brief and Clear Confession of the Christian Faith, Bishop Hooper writes his 73d Article as follows: “I believe that the power to bind and loose, to excommunicate and to absolve, that is commonly called the Keys of the Church, is given of God not to one or two, or to some particular person, but to the whole Church; that is to say, to all the faithful and believers in Christ, not for to destroy, undo, or cast away, but to edify and to advance all.  And, therefore, I say and confess that excommunication and absolution ought not, neither can it be given at the lust and pleasure of some particularly, but by the consent of all the Church, or at the least by the greater or most sound part of the same, when they be congregated and assembled together in the name of Christ, and the same to be done with prayer.”  (Hooper’s Works, ii. 52.)]

         In Edward VI’s reign, however, little progress was made by the Puritans towards the establishment of their “Discipline” in England, and the real backbone of their system was their anti-Sacramentalism, to which they gained a large number of adherents from among the elder Wycliffites, the rising generation, and, to a certain extent, even from among men of unsettled minds, such as Cranmer, in the ranks of the elder clergy.  It manifested itself especially against everything that tended to exalt the objective character of Divine Worship, and especially against the sacrificial aspect of the Holy Eucharist.

 

§ 2.  The Attack Upon the Altar.

         This opposition to the Eucharistic Sacrifice was the most painful characteristic of the Puritan movement during the Reformation period, and it began to show itself at the very outset of the reign of Edward VI.

         Evidence has been given in the third chapter of this volume to prove that the ancient Latin Mass of the Church of England was used during the whole of the first two years and a quarter of Edward’s reign, which was more than a third of the time that he was on the throne.  During those years Archbishop Cranmer and Bishop Ridley officiated with this service, and neither they nor the other leading Reformers are likely to have received the Holy Communion except as consecrated with this service.  The same must have been the case with great numbers of the laity, and with all the clergy, including among the latter the elder men, such as Rowland Taylor, Rector of Hadleigh, and John Philpot, Archdeacon of Winchester, of the sixteen clergy who were burned in the reign of Queen Mary.  Yet, by a strange intellectual twist, some of these very men persuaded themselves that the Mass which they had been celebrating and receiving nearly all their lives was not the Holy Eucharist at all, and the notion spread among the Puritans until it became a complete monomania, for which they were ready to give up their lives.  [The theological argument of learned men such as Philpot was that the Sacrament was invalidated because the priest alone received it in both kinds.  At one of his examinations Dr. Cosins brought the argument to a crucial test by asking, “What and if all things be done, even as you would have it, and whilst the minister is about to minister the Sacrament, before any have received it, there rise a certain hurly-burly, that the communicants are compelled to go away: is it not a sacrament for all that none hath communicated beside the priest?”  Philpot was obliged to reply, “In this case, where all thine are appointed to be done according to God’s Word, if incident necessity had not let, I cannot say but it is a sacrament, and that he which hath received hath received the true Sacrament.  (Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vii. 652.)]  They did not regard it as a rite in which the true Sacrament was associated with superstitious ceremonies, but looked on it as a rite the validity of which was altogether vitiated, so that it possessed neither sacred character nor spiritual value.  They lashed themselves into a belief that the splendid and solemn service which had been celebrated in the churches of England for at least a thousand years was an invention of Satan; they used language respecting it such as the Christian world had never heard before; and they dared acts towards it which they must have been quite certain would, in the existing state of the law, almost infallibly bring them to a painful death.

         The keynote of this particular form of hostility towards the Mass was struck by Calvin, whose general tone on the subject is fairly represented by the following passage from his treatise on “The unlawful rites of the ungodly”:–

         “In the Mass Christ is traduced, His death is mocked, an execrable idol is substituted for God: shall we hesitate then, to call it the table of demons? or shall we not rather, in order justly to designate its monstrous impiety, try, if possible, to devise some new term still more expressive of detestation?  Indeed, I exceedingly wonder how men, not utterly blind, can hesitate for a moment to apply the name ‘Table of Demons’ to the Mass, seeing they plainly behold in the erection and the arrangement of it the tricks, engines, and troops of devils all combined.” [Calvin’s Works, Tracts, iii. 387, Calv. Soc.]

         The same kind of language was used by the friends and allies of Calvin in England.  Bishop Hooper calls the Mass a “wicked idol,” [Hooper’s Works, Parker Soc., ii. 589.] an “idol honoured for God,” [Ibid., 610.] and tells the Parliament that it is not only “a profanation of the Holy Supper of the Lord, and a treading under foot of the Passion of Christ, but is even an impious and Satanic idol, ... not in any way permissible or tolerable in the Church of Christ.” [Hooper’s Works, Parker Spa, ii. 395.]  Bradford uses similar terms of abuse, speaking of “that abominable idol the Mass.” [Bradford’s Works, Parker Soc., i. 280.]  “It is no longer a Sacrament, but an idol” [Ibid., 88.]; “their abominable idol of bread” [Ibid., 281.]; “the Mass, ... being of all idols that ever was the most abominable and blasphemous to Christ,” [Ibid., 392.] his words being echoed by one of his feminine correspondents, who writes to him, “As for the Mass, it is the most abominable idol in the whole world,” [Bradford’s Works, Parker Soc., ii. 227.] thus showing what impressions his teaching left on his hearers.  And, in fact, how could they fail to use similar language if they trusted their teacher, when they heard him say, “Now, the Mass being known to be the device and invention of men, I will briefly show you that it is the most horrible and most detestable device that ever the devil brought out by man.” [Ibid., 312.]

         The dreadful language of the Edwardian Bishop of Gloucester and of Bradford was, however, surpassed by that of Becon.  His pages teem with most bitter and blasphemous ridicule of the whole service, and of everything connected with it, and if they are opened only at random the reader will find him calling it “the most wicked and devilish Mass,” [Becon’s Works, Parker Soc., iv. 253.] declaring that altars are ‘not of God, but of the devil, not of Christ, but of anti-Christ,” [Ibid., 259.] speaking of a private Mass as “most vile, most stinking, most pestiferous, most abominable, most wicked, most devilish, and most idolatrous,” [Ibid., 257.] and alleging that the clergy desire its continuance only because “they are afraid lest this common whore, their Mass, should be driven out of the game place, and by this means their kitchen should wax cold.” [Becon’s Works, Parker Soc., ii. 448.]

         Among less important persons speaking or writing in the same manner is the before-named Rowland Taylor, Rector of Hadleigh, who actually declared respecting the Mass that “the devil is rather present and received than our Saviour” [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vi. 701.]; Bland, Rector of Adisham, who spoke of the “devilishness of the Mass” [Ibid., 716.]; and a number of others of those who were burned for heresy in Queen Mary’s reign, who described it as “an idol, and no sacrament,” [Ibid., vii. 289.] a “naughty and abominable idol,” [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vii. 751.] “most blasphemous idol”. [Ibid., viii. 156.]  But it is sad to find that it was echoed at last even by Latimer and Cranmer.  For Latimer could use such language as “the sacrifice of the Mass, which was the most horrible blasphemy that could be devised”; “what an abomination is it, the foulest that ever was”; “oh! how heavy a sentence is this to all those that know the Mass to be an abominable idol, full of idolatry, blasphemy, sacrilege against God and the dear sacrifice of His Christ!”; “this pernicious blasphemy against the death of our Redeemer”; “masses and pilgrimages, and such fooleries.” [Latimer’s Serm., i. 445, 237; ii. 440, 58, Parker Soc. Ed.]  So also Cranmer, in his hasty and passionate “Declaration concerning the Mass,” [See above.] was so led away that he dared to write, “Now goeth the devil about, by lying, to overthrow the Lord’s Holy Supper again; and to restore his Latin satisfactory Mass, a thing of his own invention and device.”

         Quotations of the same character as these might be greatly multiplied, but it is hoped that the reader will take these few as sufficient evidence, when the evidence is of a kind so painful to bring forward, and when the assurance that what is given is only a small portion of what exists is made under a proper sense of responsibility.

         Yet it is still necessary, with however great reluctance, to show that the language of writers and preachers did actually and practically influence those who listened to them or read their writings.  The sermons and letters of these few leading men were typical of a class; and some acts of other men which are also typical of a class must be brought again to the light, since they show how terribly this epidemic monomania had spread among Englishmen of that generation.

         The first illustration at hand, showing the class of men that were thus produced, is that of Thomas Bickley, a Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford.  Early in the reign of Edward VI, while the college was in chapel one day at Evensong, Bickley, “before Oglethorpe, the President, and many others that were Chapel assembled, took the Wafer from the Altar out of the pyx, and broke it to pieces with his hand, and stamped it under his feet.” [Strype’s Mem. Eccl., III. i. 82.]  At that time this profane wretch was forty years of age; in later life he became for twenty years Warden of Merton College, and from 1586 until 1596 he was actually Bishop of Chichester.

         That the particular form of insult which this embryo bishop offered to the Blessed Sacrament was a typical one among the Gospellers is shown by two narratives given in the pages of Foxe.

         In the first of these he tells the story of “Bertrand le Blas, martyred at Dornick,” or Tournay, “A.D. 1555”.  This Bertrand “went upon Christmas Day to the High Church of Dornick, where he took the cake out of the priest’s hand as he would have lifted it over his head at Mass, and stamped it under his feet, saying that he did it to show the glory of that God, and what little power He hath.” [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., iv. 393.]  He was less fortunate than the Fellow of Magdalen, scarcely escaping with his life from the indignant congregation at the time, and being afterwards put to death with great cruelty by the authorities.

         Another martyr to this wicked fanaticism Foxe commemorates at much greater length.  This was William Gardiner, a young Bristol mariner, who settled down for a short time in some employment at Cathedral Lisbon.  On September 1, 1552, a marriage was being celebrated in the Cathedral of Lisbon between Prince John, the King of Portugal’s son, and the Princess Joanna, a daughter of the Emperor Charles V.  Gardiner was present to see the grand spectacle, and his Puritan feelings were so excited by it that he determined to do something by which “he might revoke that people from their impiety and superstition.”  On the following Sunday, therefore, when Mass was being celebrated in the presence of the King and his Court, this Bristol sailor “was present early in the morning, very cleanly appareled, even of purpose, that he might stand near the altar without repulse.  Within a while after cometh the King with all his nobles.  Then Gardiner setteth himself as near the altar as he might, having a Testament in his hand, which he diligently read upon, and prayed, until the time was come that he had appointed to work his feat.”  The “feat” was to rush upon the Cardinal who was consecrating the Blessed Sacrament, “and (which is incredible to be spoken), even in the presence of the King and all his nobles and citizens, with the one hand he snatched away the cake from the priest and trod it under his feet, and with the other overthrew the chalice.”  There was great excitement, as was to be expected, and in the tumult one of the standers-by wounded Gardiner with his dagger, and would have slain him but for the King’s interposition.  An impression got abroad that he was the agent of a conspiracy organized by the reforming party of Edward’s reign, and when torture elicited no proof of this, Gardiner was burned as a heretic. [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vi. 278.]

         The last of these miserable cases that will be cited is that of William Branch or Flower, successively a monk of Ely, a parish priest in Suffolk, with a wife and family, a surgeon at Tewkesbury, and a schoolmaster in London.  On Easter Day 1555, he went to “St. Margaret’s Church at Westminster, where he, finding and seeing a priest called John Cheltham ministering and giving the Sacrament of the Altar to the people, and therewith being greatly offended in his conscience with the priest for the same his doing (for that he judged him not to be a Catholic minister, neither his act to be Catholic and laudable according to God’s Word), did strike and wound him upon the head, and also upon the arm and hand, with his wood knife; the priest having the same time in his hand a chalice with certain consecrated hosts therein, which were sprinkled with the blood of the said priest.”  On the 24th of April he was burned in the sanctuary in front of St. Margaret’s Church, the hand with which he had endeavoured, for conscience’ sake, to murder his brother clergyman being first cut off. [Foxe’s Acts and Mon., vii. 69; Wriothesley’s Chron., ii. 127, 128.]

         The opinion of the growing Puritan party respecting these acts is shown by the pages of the popular Church historian, in which every one of the men who were guilty of them is called a “martyr,” and his act recorded as that of a faithful witness to the Gospel.  But those who were not “Gospellers” considered that to stamp upon the consecrated wafer bread was a grievous dishonour to God, and that one who did so had committed a dreadful sin against God, besides being guilty of a most serious transgression against the laws of the land, those relating to sacrilege.

         Nor is it necessary for us to throw ourselves back in thought and endeavour to realize the feelings of those who then retained all the old reverence for the Mass as it was celebrated in their own days and the days of their fathers.  The revival of theological studies, and the consideration of theological subjects from other standpoints than those of mere uneducated prejudice and passion, has much narrowed the circle of those who consider that the Mass is invalid as a sacrament.  Most educated people are aware that the “Canon of the Mass,” in the old English Missals, was handed down to us almost without alteration from the Conquest, that it represented a much more ancient liturgy which connected it with apostolic times, and that it contained all the essentials of a valid and holy rite for the celebration of the Eucharist.  Whether or not the more severe English Service of our own time is an improvement upon the elaborate Latin Service of our forefathers, it is quite certain that the elements were as effectually consecrated by the ancient service as by the modern one; and that the words and acts of the anti-Sacramentalists were used against truly consecrated elements which contained and gave then all that truly consecrated elements contain and give now.  The only plea that can screen those Puritans who used such words and acts from our righteous indignation is that they used t