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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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 52 of 68)
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ment as a Tetrarchy of Doctor, Pastor, Elders and Deacons :
but, according to this scheme, the deacons had no share in
the eldership. CJdall's process herein is that of rigid logic.
He asserts for the eldership a prescription in all times auu
places until the end of the world." This, indeed, is the con-
tention of the whole series of the " Martin Marprelate Tracts,"
to which these two pamphlets of Udall were in effect, though
apparently not in intention, an introduction.

Martin About Michaelmas, 158S, "The Epistle of Martin Mar-

late " te prelate " was secretly printed in a private house in East
Moulsey. It was followed by " The Epitome." In these two
works the thesis maintained is the unchangeable prescription
of Church government by presbyters, which is declared to be
laid down in the XeAv Testament. The distinctive feature,
however, of these writings is the unsparing use of personal
accusation. Every charge, from inconsistency, weakness,
ignorance, to grosser accusation of simony and evil living, is
brought against each of the episcopal bench in turn. The
Bishop of St. David's had, it is said, two wives, and " the
Devil is not better practised in bowling and swearing than
John of London be."

Violent as is his attack on Whitgift, Martin Marprelate
seems to have been even more enraged with Aylmer, the
Bishop of London, who in 155!) had written an answer to
John Ivnoxs "First Blast of the Trumpet," called "An
Harbour for Faithful and True Subjects," in which he had
taken up a position not far removed from that of the Puritans
whom he afterwards endeavoured to suppress. It cannot be
denied that the Marprelates did but carry out the rules that
had been given them in former days by those who had after-
wards accepted the full teaching of the ( 'hurch and enjoyed
preferment, and those whom many regarded as ornaments of
the Anglican communion. Tyndale, half a century before, had
declared " that bishops were antichrists, inasmuch as in their
doctrines and doings they are directly against the Word," and
that " it is not possible there should be any honest lord
bishops." Thus, with foes within and without, there was no
slight expectation that episcopacy would lie overthrown.




There was actual discussion, indeed, " how, when all the
Church revenues should be converted to maintain their
presbyteries, the Queen should be recompensed for her first-
fruits and tenths " ; and the " conditions of peace," which are
set forth in the " Epistle," give evidence of a strange con-
fidence of victory.

The ground was hotly contested in continuous literary Replies,
skirmishes. The Martinists were answered at first by Cooper,

Photo: W. G. I'niii', littci'iitry.

(Where some of the " Mar prelate Tracts" were printed.)

Bishop of Winchester, in a serious style. If allowance be
made for occasional eccentricities of argument and illustration,
it must be admitted that the reply is conclusive as far as the
personal accusations are concerned. It cannot, however, be
said to have been successful. The method had the weakness
which always attends any attempt to limit the legitimate
weapons of defence to those which are used in attack. All
appeal to antiquity was avoided, and the arguments were
drawn, in Puritan fashion, either from the Bible or from the
writings of Peter Martyr, Bucer, Calvin, and Beza in the



hope, no doubt, that the Sectaries would be hoist with their
own petard. Thus the dispute was narrowed to a ground
which the Puritans had already occupied; and it might seem
as if the foreign Protestant writers were accepted as the ablest
interpreters of the Holy Scriptures. In fact, Bishop Cooper's
"Admonition" made the Puritan tracts better known, and
gave a distinct advantage to the Martinists : while every one
of the innumerable personal accusations that had not been
specifically noticed was now proclaimed to be admitted. " Ha*
y' any work for a cooper ? " was Martin's reply to the Bishop.
The Queen issued a Proclamation against the tracts : many
suspected persons were arrested and examined. The secret
presses were seized in May and August (1589): but the activity
of the writers was not checked till a champion arose on the
part of the Church to meet them in their own style. " An
Almond for a Parrot," "Pap with a Hatchet," "The Counter-
cuffe," followed one another as quickly as the Martinists
replied. " The Return of Pasquil," " Plain Percival," " Anti-
Martinus," and many more came in the later months of the
controversy. The principle of the whole Martinist attack may
be summed up in a sentence from " Ha' y' any work for a
cooper ? " " Our church government is an unlawful govern-
ment, and not allowed in the sight of God." How far the
leaders of the Puritan party were responsible for the tracts
remains an open question. Cartwright, Paget, and Travers
were credited at the time with approving them, and there is
no repudiation of the charge to be found in their writings.
Results. Such was the attack. For the time at least it completely

failed. The reasons for this failure are not far to seek. The
very violence of the writings, no less than the style in which
they were met by Nash and others, discredited them. The
legislation of 1593 placed the Puritans within the power of the
common-law judges, who had no scruples : and the High ( 'om-
mission took action in the imprisonment of the more vehement
of their champions, and the execution of Periry (p. 592). The
accusation of treason which had been brought against the
Presbyterians had received some countenance from their own
violence. The frenzied plot of Hacket, who was a ridiculous
caricature of John of Leiden, was also connected in the popular
mind with the views of the Sectaries. The stage, too (_cf. the




Proclamation of 1589), had pursued them with ridicule and
satire in every species of dramatic composition. But the
controversy turned to a nobler field when the great work of
Hooker appeared.

A new departure in controversy was the sermon of Dr.

Hay any wo Ac For Cooper i\

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Bancroft at Paul's Cross, on February 9th, 1589. Here the low
ground on which the tracts had been hitherto met was decisively
abandoned. Episcopacy was now formally asserted to be of
Divine right and of Scriptural origin. " There is no man living,
I suppose," said Bancroft boldly, " that is able to show where
there was any church planted ever since the apostles' time, but







the bishop had authority over the rest of the ministry." Bancroft
was the precursor of Laud ; but he was more immediately
followed by Richard Hooker.

Hooker, the greatest master of English prose whom the
great age of Elizabeth produced, was born in 1554. Through
the patronage of Jewell, of Sandys, and of Whitgift, he had risen
to preferment in the Church, and in 1585 he became Master of
the Temple. He at once came into controversy with the Reader,
Travers, an extreme Calvinist. " The forenoon sermon spake
Canterbury, the afternoon Geneva." The dispute begun in the
pulpit was continued (on Travers' suspension) in print. Travers
published an appeal to the Privy Council . Hooker replied.
From this time he gave himself to the vindication of the
Anglican position. In 1594 appeared the first four books of
his " Ecclesiastical Polity." The fifth book was published by
itself in 1597. The rest of the work was not issued until after
its author's death. Hooker's only aim and object seems to
be to inculcate a " sweet reasonableness " in the treatment of
ecclesiastical problems. As to the question of the necessity of
Episcopacy he will not decide. Like Burke in later times, lie
will not discuss whether you have not a riarht to govern your

i/ O O ^

people ill ho will declare only that it is your interest to rule
them well. There are great branches of religious life, he insists,
for which no fundamental rules are laid down in the New
Testament. There are laws of the Church, as there are laws of
man, which expediency dictates, but which have still a binding
force on all who would be governed by reason or constrained by
law at all. Much may become requisite which was not at first
ordained ; something, too, may be abandoned which was at first
required. The iixed rule of Rome and the fixed rule of Geneva
have overstepped the limits which the enlightened and reasonable
conscience allows. The ecclesiastical polity of England is that
which most nearly satisfies Scripture, reason, and the times.
Yet he will not insist that it is immutable, or declare that it is
of universal obligation. He is not so unhesitating as Bancroft,
yet in him a clear advance on others of his predecessors is to
be traced. The earlier opponents of the Puritans had con-
tented themselves with supporting the episcopal s} r stem by
natural reason and ecclesiastical history. Hooker is both
historical and reasonable but he says, " Let us not fear to be




herein bold and peremptory, that, if anything in the Church's
government, surely the first institution of Bishops was from
Heaven, was even of God ; the Holy Ghost was the author of it,"
In spite of his dislike of dogmatism, his own opinions are clear.
He gives a list of authorities from whose opinion of the equality
of bishops and presbyters he specifies his dissent. Each of
these stands for a school of thought, and they range from the
\Valdenses and Wycliffe to
Calvin and Jewell. He
thus takes his place on
the side of primitive or
Catholic Christianity,
opposed to medieval per-
versions or modern contra-

But Hooker was by no
means only a theologian.
He was a scientific student
of politics. As he met
Cart wright and Travers on
the battle-ground of
Church questions, so he
met Machiavelli and the
Renaissance school of state-
craft on the ground of the
organisation of the State.
Society as organised rested,
in his conception, upon

He looked at political
as well as religious ques-
tions from the point of
view of the scholar. He was the first of our writers who had
any considerable acquaintance with Greek philosophy. He
was deeply read in St. Thomas Aquinas. Thus his political
theories show the influence both of Aristotle and of the school-
men. The State and the Church were alike to him not ends,
but means to make man good. Government and positive law
find their sanction in the consent of the society subject to them.
Religion and politics touch at every turn. To Hooker in coin-






plete opposition to Machiavelli, whose views it was supposed that
Thomas Cromwell had endeavoured to put into practice in
England religion was the mainstay of states, and their eccle-
siastical polity was thus the most important of their institutions.
The supreme end of government is the benefit of the people :
and it is religion which inspires men to do good. In the wide
scope of his survey, and in his instinctive appreciation of the
unity of truth, he regarded mankind with the view at once of
the moral philosopher and the Christian priest.

But Hooker is famous not only as a theologian and a political
theorist : he is the first master of English prose whose style is
not only characteristic of his own age, but expressive of the
purest genius of the English tongue. The rich and dignified
vocabulary, the stately and majestic periods, which mark his
best passages, are instinct with the power and the enthusiasm
which made the greatness of Elizabeth's England. He does not
scorn any of the arts of the rhetorician : he does not, even avoid
an intentional quaintness of expression which might seem at
times out of keeping with the solemnity of his theme. As in
thought so in utterance, he aims at comprehensiveness rather
than clarity. There are passages of his which, it is not bold to
say, will live as models so long as the English language is
written or read.
His FOI- Hooker was the greatest of his school : but he had many

l ATp PT*C!

imitators. Indeed, the historical interest of his work chief! v
lies in the influence that it exercises 011 the succeeding genera-
tions. Hooker in his learning and his tolerance was the
forerunner of the school of Andrewes and Laud. And in his
own time Bishop Bilson's " Perpetual Government of Christ's
Church "stood side by side with the "Laws of Ecclesiastical
Polity " in winning a victory for the Church in the literary war.
Bilson's attitude was uncompromising; and to him more than
to any other writer of the time the Caroline divines were
indebted for the clearness and decision of their attitude on the
question of the historic episcopate.

The Re- The religious contests of the later years of Elizabeth's reign

were on different subjects, particularly on the observance of
Sunday and the doctrine of predestination. A reaction against
Puritanism marked the last years of the o - reat Oueen's life.


Heylin notices that by a strange irony Udall's son was as zealous

Drayton Beauchamp Rectory, Bucks.

Drayton Beauchamp Church.

Boscombe Church, Wilts.

Bishopsbourne Church, near Canterbury.


for the Church as his father had been against it, and suffered
many things in after years from the Long Parliament. But the
reaction was, no doubt, in a measure due to repression and to
the exercise of the enlarged powers of the Court of High
Commission : and there was in many quarters a feeling as
if men held their breath till the old Queen should die, and
the settlement which she seemed to personify, as well as to
enforce, should expire with her.

c. w. c. FROM the military point of view, the reign of Elizabeth is
The the period of the completion of that .transformation of the

Eliza- Avhole character and organisation of the armed forces of
Army. England which we have seen commencing under Henry VIII.
and developing in the times of Edward VI. and Mary.

The forty-rive years of Elizabeth's reign were full of wars,
and wars many of which were most important, politically.
Yet there are few salient features or points of interest in the
military details of the fighting. In the whole period we do
not find one first-class pitched battle. The war of 1559-60 in
Scotland, the expedition to Havre and HarHeur in 1563, the
campaign of Essex in the Netherlands in 1585, the " Journey
of Portugal " in 1589, the des2ent on Cadiz m 1596, Avere all
alike in this. We discover in their annals skirmishes and
sieges in plenty, but not a single important engagement. The
nearest approach to such a thing is to be found in the two
considerable tights in Ireland, the defeat of Bagenal on the
Blackwater in 1598, and the victory of Mountjoy at Kinsale
in 1601. But both these engagements were fought with a
savage foe, and throw comparatively little light on the changes
in English tactics and organisation which were in progress
at the time. The very considerable armies which were on
several occasions raised in the Queen's name for service both
within and beyond the four seas never had an opportunity of
trying their efficiency against any civilised enemy. There
were 20,000 men in arms in 15G9 to suppress the rising in
the North, and more than twice that number ready to receive
the Spaniards in 1588, when the great Armada was threatening
our southern coast. But these great armies had no opportunity
of showing their metal. The best tests which the English



had of trying their efficiency against a really formidable foe
were in comparatively small engagements such as the skir-
mishes at Zutphen, and elsewhere, when the English troops in
Holland tried their metal on Parma's veterans, the rout at Vigo
during the " Journey of Portugal," and some small fights during
the French wars of religion, where English auxiliaries were
serving in company with the Huguenots.

When Elizabeth came to the throne the military organ-
isation of England had just
been modified by the creation
of the Lords Lieutenant in
each county by the law of
Philip and Mary. This or-
dinance had relieved the
sheriffs from the duty of
taking command of the shire
levies, which had formed
part of their functions ever
since the times of William
the Conqueror. From 1557
onward the Lord Lieutenant
became the military autho-
rity in each county : it was
he who appointed the officers,
assessed the number of men
to be supplied from each
hundred and parish, and was
supposed to take command
of the whole in the case of
war. But the full force of
England was only called out
on the occasion of the

Armada. It was, as a rule, only a small proportion of the
levies of each county that was summoned under arms. When
the Queen wished to send out an army, it was now procured
by drawing on each shire for a definite contingent. The men
were procured by volunteering, so far as possible ; but as this
never sufficed, the full number had always to be filled up
by forcible impressment. When the men were mustered, they
were officered by local commanders chosen by the Lord









Lieutenant ot the shire, and approved by the Government.
No conception of any large military unit, having been yel
formed, the troops were divided into "bands" ot about 150
or 200 men under captains, each of whom was assisted by a
lieutenant and an ancient. It was only at a much later date
that the custom of forming four or five of these bands into a
regiment was introduced. In an army of 6,000 or s.OOO men,
comprising forty or fifty " bands," there was no unit of organi-
sation beyond the small band and the old triple divisions of
"vaward, main-battle, and rearward," into Avhich the bands

were told off.

On taking the field, these
select shire levies were sup
posed to pass into the charge
of the Government, and to
receive their food, pay, and
clothing from the royal
hands. But Elizabeth's
habitual parsimony made the
soldier's lot a hard one : the
pay was always in arrears,
the food was bad, the cloth-
ing scandalously neglected.
Whether the army was in
Scotland, Ireland, or Holland,
we find the same invariable
complaint that the men were

deserting on account of the privations they had to endure,
and that the captains, while trying to draw pay for their
whole " band," could generally show no more than two-thirds
of it when called to a muster.

In the matter of clothing there was now a fixed custom of
putting all the men belonging to the same band in a fixed
uniform. But each shire might select a different colour for
the men that it equipped, and we find no attempt on the part
of the Government to enforce any normal and regular costume.
The only feature common to the whole army was the red St.
George's cross worn on cassock or jerkin by the whole army.
The levies of different years and different shires are noted as
having worn very different equipment. In the early years of


(.s. lint- limn, " .1 I'ln-iittiill i:I/issc of Christian



the reign wo often hear of white coats with the ordinary cross
on them. A little later we read of a Lancashire levy in dark
blue. Red was not uncommon : an ordinance of 1584 for
raising troops for Ireland orders the men to be dressed in
"some motley or other sad green colour or russet" a suffi-
ciently vague definition. Over the coat the archer now wore,
for the most part, a buckskin jerkin. The pikemen had heavier
arms a back- and breast-plate, often fitted with short tassets
to cover the upper thighs. The harque-
busicrs also seem to have been wont
to wear a certain amount of plate
armour which one would think must
have tended to cumber them and render
the play of their arms in the musket
exercise less effective. On their heads
all foot-soldiers, almost without excep-
tion, wore the peaked and pointed
morion; very occasionally we hear of
the archers with felt caps instead of
the steel headpiece.

The cavalry was still very heavily
armed, though a tendency to lighten
the equipment was now becoming visible.
Not even the " pistol-proof ' mail, of
which we often hear, could really resist
the musket ball ; and as firearms grew
more and more usual, and the bow less
common, the longf contest between the


penetrative power of the missile and

the resisting strength of the armour

was practically settled in favour of the

former. By the end of Elizabeth's reign the leg-armour of the Armg and

heavy horseman below the knee had, for the most part, been Armour.

replaced by long leather boots. The thighs were still protected

by tassets, often curved out to a monstrous size to cover the

enormous breeches of the period. But these cumbrous devices

of riveted plate were not worn by everyone. Every reader

will remember that Sir Philip Sidney's lamentable death at

Zutphen was attributed to the fact that he had gone forth to

the skirmish only in breast- and back-plate, so that the shot


(Elizabetlum Ai'inmtr ; 1-J80.)






(Elizabethan .

that struck him below the hip met no resistance from armour.
The closed helmet and the brassarls for the arms were still,
however, worn by every fully equipped horseman, so that the
"lances" of Elizabeth's time still bore the general appearance
of their forefathers of the fifteenth century. The "demi-
lances," or light cavalry, contented them-
selves with less an open morion that did
not cover the face, and a plain breast- and
back-plate. Such was the appearance of
the many thousand Northern mos-s- troopers
who used to swarm to the royal standard
whenever trouble on the borders of Scotland
was afoot.

l)iit the great feature of the military
history of Elizabeth's reign is the gradual
disappearance of the long-bow the cherished
weapon of the English yeomanry for the
last 300 years. In the '60's it was still the
usual weapon of the bulk of the host ; in the '80's it was used
by only one man in three. By 1GOO it was almost obsolete.

The first indications of the fact that public opinion was at
last beginning to run in favour of the

O o

harquebus may be found as early as the

second year of Elizabeth. In a muster of

the select train-bands of London, held

before the Queen as early as 1559, we read

that there was probably for the first time

on record not a single archer in the array.

The men exercised before the Queen were

the picked corps of the city, not its whole

levy: in the total of 1,400 men there were

800 pikes in morions and plate, 400 " shot"

in shirts of mail with morions, and 200

halberdiers in almain rivets, i.e. riveted

plate-armour of German fashion. If the

whole of London's force had been out in arms we should have

found several thousand archers, but the choicest companies

included " shot," i.e. harquebusiers only. Outside London the

harquebus was still rare: there are several statutes of the early

times of Elizabeth promising municipal privileges to practised








, '> "jt'


T, *c^~



(lli'1-nlilx College. Jiii jn'i-m!.-<*iiiti nf the Chapter.)


marksmen in country towns, which show that they were still
scarce and much esteemed. In 1507 the Queen, in spite of her

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 52 of 68)