H. D. (Henry Duff) Traill.

Social England; a record of the progress of the people in religion, laws, learning, arts, industry, commerce, science, literature and manners, from the earliest times to the present day (Volume 3) online

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(From a MS. at Corpus Clirlsti College, Cambridge.)

and so watchful as that of the earlier Stuarts. But at the time,
in the intensely embittered war between the Protestant or anti-
Papal world and the Catholic Reaction, there was little room for
any party of Anglican defenders. The Queen's life stood between
them and extermination or apostasy so believed the ordinary
ministers of the English reformed religion in 1560. The govern-


1 1558

11 icnt which saved their lives and gave them the means of
subsistence was a saviour many years before it was thought of as
a plunderer. And the supremacy of the lay power over the
ecclesiastical had been too completely achieved for a clerical
interest, in the England of Elizabeth's early years, to exist
apart. All who protested against the Pope's system were in
one boat together ; and the man who could light best had
the undisputed right to steer it.

This underlay the other fact : that the compromise on which
as a com- rested the religious establishment of the new reign was scarcely

o o /

se- supported by anyone for its own sake ; was as furiously attacked
by Calvin's men as by the Pope's ; was a sort of Laodicean mix-
ture to all the zealots who supplied the martyrs of Mary's
cruelty, and only won its way as a practical working evasion of
the spiritual tyranny both of Rome and Geneva, by slow degrees,
almost in spite of itself, by the fact of inherent reasonableness,
in times when passionate unreason guided the religious feeling of
most. For the Church of England survived the attacks of
Romanist and Puritan alike, because it suited the mass of
English lay people better than either of the two extremes which
threatened to crush it, and because it was, on the whole,
amenable to the Avill of that same people.

Between 1558 and 1584 two archbishops carried out the will
of the government in Church matters. Matthew Parker (1559-
1575) was the most faithful, as he was the earliest expression of
the distinctive Elizabethan settlement of religion. Grindal (1576-
83), who followed him, and Whitgift (1583-1604), who followed
Grindal, were either too Puritan or too Anglican for the exact
correspondence that was aimed at oetween Lambeth and West-
minster. But this was realised under Parker: he was less
troubled by Nonconformity, by court intrigue, by petty inter-
ference, than either of his successors though he enjoyed plenty
of worry from all these sources and he had the personal
confidence of the Queen and of Cecil beyond any ecclesiastic
of the time.

It is only possible here to give the briefest outline of
religious history during the years of these two Primates (1558-
1583) ; but we should miss the real character of that history
if we thought of either Parker or Grindal as having an inde-
pendent policy, or forgot to notice the place of Cecil in



Church as well as in State. In a very real sense, the reign of Tlie


Elizabeth is the reign of Cecil ; and whereas it is common p ncy
enough to get a recognition of the great personal share of the
Queen in the religious settlement, we are yet in want of an
adequate view of Cecil's control of and interference with the
same. But there is hardly a difficulty confronting Parker
about which he does not consult Mr. Secretary (the Lord
Treasurer Burghley of 1572 and onwards) ; and though Cecil
was apparently in favour of a more thoroughgoing " reduction
of the Church to its former purity," the practical outcome, in
doctrine as in ritual, of the Elizabethan settlement was so far
more Protestant than the letter of the Prayer Book and
its rubrics, that he had every reason to be satisfied with the
reduction. Thus the government of the Church is through
Parker, by Cecil, with occasional interference of the Queen
against the will of both. But the seasons were very few when
the calm wisdom of the minister could not, in the long run,
control the impetuous, ever-changing moods of the sovereign,
whose distrust of herself was her own salvation.

Unfortunately, the ultimate control of good sense was often
delayed long enough for a great deal of incidental trouble to
be felt. " Her Majesty told him once," Parker complained, at
the end of his life, 1 " that he had supreme government ecclesi-
astical, but what is it to govern cumbered with such subtilty ?
He charged the Lord Treasurer to use still such things as might
make to good judgment and help her Majesty's government
in princely constancy, whatever the policy of the world would
induce. To dance in a net in this world is but mere vanity."

The primacy of Parker was marked by a number of
legislative acts, re-establishing, though in a more moderate way,
the chief characteristics of the system of Henry VIII. and
Edward VI.

1. The Act of Supremacy, brought into Parliament Feb-
ruary 27th, passed into law April 29th, 1559, restored to the church.
Crown the ancient jurisdiction " over the state ecclesiastical,"
over all spiritual courts and persons, and empowered the
Queen by letters patent to give commission 2 to such as were
thought fit to " visit, reform, redress, order, correct, and amend

1 1575. Strype. "Parker." ii. 423-5.

2 This was the real origin of the Hi^h Commission Court under Elizabeth.



all such errors, heresies, schisms, abuses and offences ....
which l>y any manner of spiritual jurisdiction can be law-
fully reformed, ordered, or amended." The same Act contained
clauses repealing all the Acts made for religion in Mary's
reign, and revising those of Henry VIII. and Edward VI.
For the title of Supreme Head was substituted that of Supreme
Governor : and the vast powers given to the Crown by this
statute were somewhat limited by a definition of the heresies
and errors that fell within its scope. Nothing was to be
punished as false doctrine unless it could be proved to be such
by Scripture, by one of the first four councils, by a national
or provincial synod " determining according to the Word of
God," or by Parliament in time to come, with the assent
of Convocation.

By the same Act the old method of nominating bishops
by Conge d'elire, instead of by letters patent, was restored :
penalties were denounced against all maintainers of the Papal
supremacy : and the oath acknowledging the Royal headship
in spirituals as well as temporals was imposed upon every
holder of office under the Crown, Avhich thus resumed the
absolute discretionary power of 1534 over the Church.
The 2. Matters of government being thus provided for, matters

Liturgy O f re ligion proper, of liturgical and ritual usage, were next
dealt with by the revised Prayer Book of 1559. First, until
the Committee of Eight appointed to revise could issue the
final text, a Royal proclamation of December 27th, 1558,
provided for the interim, commanding "all manner of persons
to forbear to teach or preach " or to use any public prayer,
other than what was already used.

The revision, in spite of Elizabeth's own preference for
formularies of a Catholic tone, took the second or more
Protestant book of Edward VI. (1552) as a basis, and simply
re-issued it Avith a few important though apparently slight
changes, intended to conciliate all the more moderate of the
old-fashioned party. Thus the form of administration of the
Communion was made up by the union of the two clauses,
which, separately used, had so sharply defined the difference
between the first two editions of the English Prayer Book.
" The body of our Lord Jesus Christ .... preserve thy
body and soul unto everlasting life." " Take and eat this in




remembrance that Christ died for thee, and feed on Him in
thy heart by faith with thanksgiving." Again, the declaration
on kneeling at the end of the Communion Office, commonly
called the Black Rubric, and originally printed in 1552, as a
concession to the extreme Protestant party, was omitted.
Thus the one explicit denial of the Real Presence disappeared
for good from the Anglican Liturgy, which no longer denied

I'holo: H'nU.-t'r & L'ocfanll, CH/onCs Inn, E.G.

(Sutioiial P'jftmit <_!alli'i-ii.)

" the real essential presence of Christ's flesh and blood " in
the Sacrament. The suffrage in the Litany which prayed for
deliverance " from the Bishop of Rome and all his detestable
enormities " was cut out : a Table of Sunday Lessons was
added, and the Ornaments Rubric, prescribing the vestments
and church ornaments of the second year of Edward VI.
(1548- 9), was inserted at the last moment, seemingly by
the Queen in council after the formal passing of the book
through Parliament. 1

1 The general effect of the alterations was to take away from the Prayer Book
the distinctly anti-medieval character which the revision of 1552 had given it.





The Su-
of the


3. The use of the revised Prayer Book was enforced, and
Act of uni- the new settlement of religion defined and affirmed in the

Act of Uniformity, which passed into law April 2<Sth, 155!),
by a majority of three in the House of Lords, and gave the
Crown a general power of publishing such further "ceremonies
and rites " as might bo thought fit. A tine of one shilling
was imposed for each case of absence from the reformed
church service, without reasonable excuse, after the day when
it should be generally taken into use namely, the feast of
S. John Baptist (June 24th), 155!).

4. The old Tudor privilege of Church spoliation, disguised
under well-sounding terms of law, was also restored to the
Crown by three minor Acts of Elizabeth's first Parliament,
one giving first-fruits and tenths, another the revenues of
Marv's religious foundations, and the third the manors of

/ o

vacant sees to the Supreme Governor of English religion.
The Queen also gained a special power of annexing the
coveted possessions of any bishopric or benefice in the
kingdom, giving in exchange impropriate tithes ; but, as
every one of her archbishops bewailed, the sovereign never
came off the loser by this conveyance.

5. To supplement the Prayer Book and the acts above
referred to, fifty-three Injunctions, 1 reprinted with important
changes from those of King Edward, were now issued for
the guidance of the Church, more especially in the troubled
interval between the deposition of the Marian hierarchy and
the establishment of their successors.

G. For, in striking contrast to the attitude of the main
body of the parish clergy, among whom only 189 out of
some 9,000 are said to have resigned, the bishops whom
Elizabeth found in office proved thoroughly intractable, and
had to be deprived and committed to custody. Only one,
Oglethorpe of Carlisle, would act at her coronation : only
one, Kitchen of Landaff, would subscribe the new Acts of
Supremacy and Uniformity : the ranks of the Episcopate
hud been terribly thinned by death, but of the survivors,
fourteen out of fifteen refused to yield (May 15th, 155!)), and

1 They dealt, e.ij. with : 1, Images; 2, Clerical celibacy; 3, Clerical dress;
4, Church ornaments ; o. Church song' ; 0, Royal supreinacj- ; 7, Holy tables ;
8, Sacramental bread.




of the twenty-six English sees of that time twenty-live were
now vacant.

If the rank and file of the Queen's party could have had
their way, they would never have been filled again, and the
line of English bishops would have closed with Pole and his
suffragans, but the Government had determined to maintain
the old methods of Church order, and Matthew Parker, Dean


^^==~^^^^-i I


(S. Bate-man, " A Chrystall GJasse of Christian Reformation," 1569.)

of Lincoln under King Edward, was forced into the Metro-
politan See after a long delay, and consecrated Archbishop of
Canterbury in Lambeth Chapel on Dec. 17th, 1559. The most
important of the other dioceses were all tilled by the end of
Jan., 1560, and the formal work of the Elizabethan settlement
of religion was complete, at least in outline.

7. In the next fifteen years, under Parker's direction, several The set-
efforts were made to define more clearly the Church's position siT^e*
in matters of doctrine, ritual, discipline and government. mented.

(a) As to doctrine, we have first the Eleven Articles of 1560,



Doctrine, the Thirty-Nine Articles of 1563. reduced from the forty-two
of Edward VI., and finally issued in 1571, the Completed
Homilies of 1563, in which Edwardian material was again used
as a basis, and Dean Nowell's abortive attempt t<> re-issue
Poynet's catechism as a summary of Church of England teaching,
llesides these, the Bishop's Bible of 1568 was an attempt,
to give a thoroughly Anglican version of the Scriptures, in
opposition to the popular Geneva Bible, with its Calvinistic
notes; and, lastly, though only the work of a single man,
Jewell's Apology of the Church of England was accepted on
all sides as the complete and satisfactory statement of lier
position in 1562.

Ritual. (l>) As to ritual, these years saw the opening of the endless

Yestiarian Controversy. The letter of the Prayer Book in the
Ornaments Rubric, and the personal predilections of the Queen,
required the use of all the chief medieval vestments, as ordered
in the first English Liturgy of 1549. In practice it was found
extremely difficult to enforce the use of the surplice only. The
compromise attempted by Parker in his Advertisements of 1566
(p. 587 ), which ordered the surplice in all parish churches, with
the addition of the cope at Communion in cathedrals and
collegiate foundations, was a failure, and from the year 1563
there is a continuous struggle with a more or less organised
Nonconformity within the Church.

Discipline. (c) The struggle to enforce the discipline of the Church, the
right for the Godly discipline, was the struggle which Elizabeth's
death found as present as her early years had done : it was a
struggle to enforce a minimum of ritual upon the Puritans and
Precisians and a maximum of morality upon the scandalous
ministers who then troubled the Church in perhaps unusual
force. In spite of all the efforts of the Queen, Parker, and Cecil,
it would not be easy to exasperate the variety of usacre within

J o D /

the churches, the evasion of the most plain requirements of
the Prayer Book, or the disorder of spiritual interests as a whole,
more especially in the outlying districts. 1

1 For the low condition of the Church, i-.y. in li)7'2, rf. Strype's "Parker." ii..
20-1-"). '' The Church was neglected, occasioned, in measure, by controversies
about the Church's government, and other external matters . . . which so
employed the thoughts and zeal of Clergy and Laity that the better and more
substantial parts of it were very little regarded. The churchmen heaped up
many benefices upon themselves, and resided upon none ; many alienated their




The Puritan opposition found friends enough among the
great men at Court to be able to thwart Parker at every turn :
he declared again and again to Cecil that he was weary of his
life " some drew back while he drew forward." What was the
use of struggling with such a stone of Sisyphus ~i " I may not
work against Puritans," he cries in despair in the last year of
his life, " though the laws be against them."

(,. Batcman, "A Chrystall Glasse of Christian Reformation," 1569.)

(d) As to government, the standing difficulty of a dual con- Govern-
trol a nominal one by the bishops, a real one by the Council-
lands, made wastes of their woods, granted advowsons to their children.
Churches ran greatly into decays : were kept nasty and filthy, and undecent for
God's worship. Among the laity there was little devotion. The Lord's Day
greatly profaned and little observed. The common prayers not frequented.
Some lived without any service of G od at all. Many were mere heathens and athe-
ists. The Court an harbour for epicures and atheists, and a kind of lawless place,
because it stood in no parish." All which, Strype says, put Lord Burghley
iipon considering about effectual remedies. Besides this, the vexation of the
Concealment Commissions (Strype, "Parker," ii., 227) lasted all the Queen's
reign. For similar reports of the Church in South Wales later on, rf. Strype,
" Grindal." 401-2.




hampered the work of Parker and Grindal, and it was only with
the primacy of Whitgift, when the Ecclesiastical Commission was
put on a permanent footing, and both councillors and bishops were
enlisted in its service and joined in a single board which really
controlled the government of the Church of England, that any
improvement was reached in the practical working of ecclesi-
astical affairs. Unfortunately for the Church, this practical
improvement was associated with such an increase of dogmatic
clearness and " admired " severity, that dissent began to take a
much more serious shape. On another side, the attempt to give
the Church of England a code of reformed canon law fell to the
ground now and for ever (1571-2) in the failure to gain Parlia-
mentary sanction for the Reformatio Legum Ecclesiasticarum,
prepared and brought forward under Henry YIII. and Edward
VI. It was not the interest or wish of Court, Council, or
Commons to allow the Church they had " amended " to develop
its organisation or to gain a basis for independent action. Let it
remain as amorphous, as vague, as harmless as possible, con-
sistently with such decent conformity to the rules of State as
any branch of civil service would demand.

Grindal Grindal, who refused to be altogether guided by the royal

suspended SU p remaC y ne acknowledged, found himself sharply checked.
On his demur to the Queen's order (1577) for suppression of the
prophesyings or class meetings of the Puritans, where ministers
and laymen l met together to discuss theology and practise
debate in divinity, he was suspended, his see sequestered, and the
main part of his work delegated to other and more pliant
officials. The punishment was removed in 1582, just before his
death, when his spirit was " enough purged of his proud folly,"
and he had forgotten the words with which he had
once, in 1577, stood up against the State commands "That
in matters of faith bishops were wont to judge of Christian
emperors, not emperors of the bishops."

He, like the other Churchmen of the day, had to learn that
lesson that Jewell had learnt so well " That a Christian prince
hath the charge of both tables, temporal and spiritual, committed

1 Grindal was quite ready to be shocked at laymen thus presuming to talk
about spiritual matters on an equality with the clergy but as to the pro-
phesying^ themselves, apart from their abuses, he would not give way, ''choos
ing rather to offend her Majesty than the heavenly." Strype, " Grindul." SiTi-'-i.



to him by God, to the end he may understand that not temporal
matters only, but also religious and ecclesiastical causes pertain
to his office."

For to that view were doggedly pledged the mass of the
English people, the whole nation with the exception of three
small groups the Protestant Separatists of 1564 and later years,
the Roman Separatists of 1570, and a few, a very few, within the
Established Church, who sympathised with the unbending
theories, though not with the self-abnegation, of one or other, or
both, of these extremes.

THE reigns of the son and elder daughter of Henry VIII. have REGINALD
little architectural significance. The Duke of Somerset, the Pro- Architectur
tector, was a great patron of the Italian John of Padua, an artist and Art.
who had been employed, in a more or less subordinate character,
in France, and who brought to his work, though with probably
less intelligence and invention, the same ideas which are exem-
plified abroad by the work of Vignola, Lescot, and De Lorme.
The Italian architecture Avas, in fact, about to close its grip on
the decadent Gothic and finally to strangle it ; but, during the
period of the agony a development of great interest took place,
largely in the reign of Elizabeth, which has left its traces all
over England.

It is commonly said that the Elizabethan architecture grew The
out of the attempt to reconcile the English Gothic with the
classical Italian. But if there was any such attempt, it would Architecture,
seem to have been made unconsciously. Classical details, no
doubt, were borrowed from the Italian monuments, which were
the real beginnings of the Renaissance in England. These date
back to the very first year of the century, while the Renaissance
architecture was three-quarters of a centuiy later. Elizabethan
is at first irregular in plan, Gothic in feeling, troubling itself
little about proportion, but delightfully picturesque. The
later, or more fully developed Elizabethan, is distinguished by
regularity, and by a feeling for proportion in mass and focade,
which is much more Italian, even Palladian in spirit, though
Palladio was not yet an influence. John of Padua, or at any
rate the architect of Longleat, is probably responsible, to a
large extent, for this change of feeling. But whoever may be



responsible, it is quite impossible to compare the two kinds of
work without seeing that a great change has been in progress.

Native. Knolr, IVnshurst and 11 addon Hall are, perhaps, the most

typical specimens of houses built in that earlier style of what we
call the indigenous Elizabethan the Elizabethan, that is, which is
the most English and leastltalian. All three were rebuilding*, with
additions, of fortified manor-houses of early date, and present all
sorts of conundrums for the inquirer who would discriminate be-
tween the old and the new. There is a great variety in arrangement
in all of them, though a few features may be described as
normal : but these were present long before, and are found long
after, the reign of Elizabeth. Such were the great hall where
dinner was served daily, the long gallery, usually giving access to
the garden, and the solar, or withdrawing-room. Usually, too,
there was a chapel or oratory, and this even in small houses, such
as Ightham Mote, though occasionally in large houses (Cobham,
for instance) it was omitted. These rambling buildings are, of
course, infinitely more picturesque than their Italianised con-
temporaries, which differ from them chiefly by their symmetry
and proportion, and, not unfrequently, their absolute regularity
of plan. The name of these, too, is legion, Longleat (Vol. I,
p. Ixxxi.), Hard wick, Audley End, the ruined Kenilworth, and
the famous Kingston House at Bradford-on-Avon, being the most

Italianised, famous. Longleat, perhaps, shows the Italian influences most
clearly, not only in details, such as the engaged column between
the windows and at the central doorway, but in its superb
proportions, and the stately uniformity of its mass. But
Kingston House, or " the Duke's house " at Bradford, though
smaller, is more beautiful indeed, perhaps the most beautiful
specimen that we possess. The following description by an
enthusiastic admirer of Elizabethan will serve to explain its
typical character :

" The front lias two storeys, topped by attics under three gables. The
central window projects squarely; the side windows are much wider, and
each projects in a small semi-circular bow. Over the windows is a beau-
tiful flat balustrading, not in the least Italian, yet not Gothic. This balus-
trading is typically Elizabethan ; aud on the terrace and steps into the
garden it is of the same character, but of a different pattern. Between
the projecting windows are others, flat, so that the whole front is taken
up with a series of lights, those on the ground-floor being interrupted
only by the entrance. These windows are formed by stone inullions, two



transoms, in each opening-, running 1 along the whole front. The chimneys
are plain and square, set cornerwise. There are two gables at the side of
the house, with four tall, plain, double-cross mullioued windows in two
storeys. The back is very like the front, but plainer. The entrance door-
way from the terrace is the only place where we see any Italian features,


(By permission of T. Colyer-Fergitsson, Esq.)

two graceful, but very plain, engaged columns standing on either side.

Online LibraryH. D. (Henry Duff) TraillSocial England; a record of the progress of the people in religion, laws, learning, arts, industry, commerce, science, literature and manners, from the earliest times to the present day (Volume 3) → online text (page 38 of 68)