James Wayland Joyce.

England's sacred synods : a constitutional history of the convocations of the clergy, from the earliest records of Christianity in Britain to the date of the promulgation of the present Book of common prayer; including a list of all councils, ecclesiastical as well as civil, held in England, in whic online

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Online LibraryJames Wayland JoyceEngland's sacred synods : a constitutional history of the convocations of the clergy, from the earliest records of Christianity in Britain to the date of the promulgation of the present Book of common prayer; including a list of all councils, ecclesiastical as well as civil, held in England, in whic → online text (page 21 of 83)
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the British Museum, which are evident proofs that the Anglo-
Saxon Church possessed the word of God in the vulgar tongue.
Moreover, when Elfric translated the Scriptures from Latin
into the vernacular tongue, " for the edification of the simple
who only know this speech," he said himself in his preface to
the work, " We have therefore put it not into obscure words,
but into simple English, that it may easier reach the heart of
those who hear or read it y."

^ . , . But a still more important point in which the

On the subject , ^^ ^, , , . • t tpc i

of Holy Commu- Anglo-Saxon Church at this period ditiered
from the teaching ^ of Rome, at least and with-
out dispute from its modern teaching, is to be found in those
canons which are attributed to Elfric, and to which the date
A.D. 957 is commonly assigned. There the Roman doctrine of
transubstantiation is explicitly denied. The words ^ of the



A.D. 804—
1070.



" Sharon
Turner's
Hist. Anglo-
Saxons, vol.
iii. p. 431.
Pibid.
q Ibid.
■■ Ibid, note,
quoting
Alcuin, Op.
p. 1637.



s Ibid,
quoting Op.
p. 1635.
' Ibid,
quoting Op.
p. 1561.
" Ibid,
quoting Op.
p. 1583.
V Ibid,
quoting Op.
p. 1546.
" Sharon
Turner's
Hist. Anglo-
Saxons, vol.
iii. p. 431.
^ Ibid. note.



y Sharon
Turner's
Anglo-
Saxons, vol.
iii. p. 432,
note.

^ See Innett,
Orig. Ang.
p. 350.

» Innett,
Orig. Ang.
p. 353.



192



ANGLO-SAXON SYNODS AND COUNCILS,



[chap.



A. D. 804-
1U70.



b S. Matt.
xxvi. 26—
28.



<= Johns.
Can. vol.
p. 40,5.



d Coll. Ercl.
Hist. vol. i.
p. 441.



'Coll. Eccl.
Hist. i. 481.



8 Coll. Eccl.
Hist. i. 482.



last of those canons, the thirty-seventh, are as follow : —
" That houseV is Christ's body, not corporally, but spiritually;
not the body in which He suffered, but that body of which
He spake when He blessed bread and wine for housel one
night before his passion, and said of the bread blessed, ' This^
is my body,' and again of the wine blessed, ' This is my blood "■
that ' is shed for many for the remission of sins."" Know now
that the Lord who was able to change the bread into his body
before his passion, and the wine into his blood in a spiritual
manner, He Himself daily blesseth bread and wine by the
hands of his priests into his spiritual body and blood "=."
Let any unprejudiced reader say whether such a doctrine
held by the Anglo-Saxon Church corresponds with the modern
faith of the Roman Church, considered by her as necessary
to salvation, and as indispensable to terms of communion; or
whether it is not identical with the faith of the English
Church of the present day, handed down to us from our fore-
fathers, and duly, I hope, venerated by ourselves.

That the modern Roman doctrine of transubstantiation was
not the doctrine of the Anglo-Saxon Church, we may learn also
from another instance. About the year 957, among the eccle-
siastical canons published in the reign of K. Edgar, the thirty-
eighth enjoins that the priest should "have'* some of the
consecrated bread always by him, and should take care that
it did not grow stale," but that if such was the case it should
be burnt. Upon this Collier very justly remarks, " Had ^ the
English Church been of the same belief with the modern
Roman as to the point of transubstantiation — had they be-
lieved the same body that was born of the Blessed Virgin had
been present under the appearance of bread, and that there
had been flesh and bones, as the Trent Catechism words it,
under so foreign a representation — it is hard to imagine they
would have disposed of the Eucharist in this manner."

]}ut that the doctrine of the Anglo-Saxons on the subject of
the Eucharist was identical with the present doctrine of the
English Church, and opposed to the modern doctrine of Rome,
we may learn also from an Easter homily of Elfric Putta^
archbishop of York. When speaking on this great mystery,
amonge other like arguments, these words occur, "Some things

' This word was commonly used to signify the consecrated cloments at that time.



VII.]



ANGLO-SAXON SYNODS AND COUNCILS,



193



are said of our Saviour by way of figure and some literally.
By the literal meaning we are informed that Christ was born
of a virgin, that He suffered a voluntary death, was buried,
and rose from the dead as upon this day. All these are mat-
ters of fact, and truths which lie upon the letter. But then
He is said to be bread, a lamb, and a lion, in a figurative and
emblematical sense. For instance, He is said to be bread
because He is the Hfe and support of men and angels ; He is
called a lamb for his innocence, a lion for his strength and
force by which He conquered the devil/"' In such a strain
this Anglo-Saxon archbishop proceeds, comparing the holy
Eucharist with the waters of baptism, which no Church ever
pretended was wont to lose its nature upon consecration ; and
it is therefore clear, not only by the words of the homily, but
by the reasoning and illustration upon the argument, that the
doctrine of the Anglo-Saxon Church, as set forth by this Elfric,
was not that of transubstantiation. And to shew what really
was the doctrine of the Anglo-Saxons on this point, the words
of the same Elfric Putta, in one of his letters to the clergy,
are of much value and plain significance : " This sacrifice of
the Eucharist is not our Saviour's body in which He suffered
for us, nor his blood which He shed upon our account ; but it
is made his body and blood in a spiritual way, as the manna
was which fell from the sky, and the water which flowed from
the rock in the wilderness ^"

Nor in the usual celebration of holy communion does the
present practice of the Roman Church at all coincide with
that enjoined by our Anglo-Saxon ^ forefathers. The "low
mass " is now celebrated by a single priest, but the seventh of
those called Theodulfs Capitula, which were translated' into
Anglo-Saxon by Elfric, archbishop of Canterbury, for the use
of this Church, is directly opposed to any such practice.
" Mass ^ priests," in the words of that canon, " ought by no
means to sing mass alone by themselves without other men,
that he may know whom he greets, and who answer him. He
ought to greet the bystanders, and they ought to make the

* " Non sit tamen hoc sacrificium corpus ejus in quo passus est pro nobis, nee
sanguis ejus quenn pro nobis effudit : sed spiritualiter corpus ejus efficitur, et san-
guis, sicut manna quod de coelo pluit, et aqua quae de petra fluxit." — Coll. Eccl.
Hist. vol. i. p. 485.



A.D. 804
1070.



'' Innett,
Oriff. Ang.
p. 355.

' .lohns.
Can. vol. i.
p. 450.



^ Johns.
Can. vol. :
p. 456.



194



AXGLO-SAXOX SYNODS AND COUNCILS.



.D.fiOJ
1070.



> S. Matt,
xviii. 20.



•" Johns.
Can. vol.
p. 401.



n Coll.
490.



oCo]
490.



P Spelm.
Cone. i. 627.
Cone. Mag.
Brit. i. 316.

n Innett,
Orig. Ang.



■■ Cone.
Mag. Brit,
vol. i. p.
316.



responses. He ought to remember the Lord*'s declaration in
his Gospel. He saith, ' Where ' two or three are gathered
together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.' "

On the subject -^^ regards the authority of synods, this
of synods. same Elfric of Canterbury has left a document,

which shews that the sense of the Anglo-Saxon Church was
far more agreeable to that of the present Church of England,
than to that of Kome. The thirty-third of his™ canons,
ascribed to the year 957, declares, in reference to the four
Councils of Nice, Constantinople, Ephesus, and Chalcedon,
that " these four synods are to be regarded as the four books
of Christ in his Church. Many synods have been holden since,
but yet these are of the greatest authority." Now as the
modern Church of Eome pays the same deference "to the
decrees " of the Council of Trent as she does to those of Nice,
and according to the doctrine of infallibility must do so," her
practice in this respect materially varies from the principle
here laid down by Elfric, who plainly distinguished between
the authority of the first four councils and those which came
after. But this Elfric " was° never charged with any tincture of
heterodoxy, neither have we any reason to suspect he delivered
any thing different from the doctrines of the English Church."
In such instances may we trace the doctrine and discipline
of the Anglo-Saxon Church agreeing with our own at this
day, and differing from that which is taught and practised in
the Church of Kome.

The last public assembly held during this
Anglo-Saxon period was the mixed Council of Westminster p,
A.D. 1065. And this may justly be termed
the last Anglo-Saxon council of which authentic records
remain. It was convened on Christmas day% 1065, exactly
one year before the coronation of K. William I., and eleven
days only before the death of Edward the Confessor, under
whose authority it met. The members of the council, as re-
corded at the beginning of the account of it, were the king ^,
his queen, Eadgitha (Edith, Harold's sister), the Archbishops
of Canterbury and York, the bishops of England, abbots,
king's chaplains, counts, royal thanes, and knights. The
whole number of those who subscribed the charter which was
granted to Westminster Abbey on this occasion is only forty-



VII.]



ANGLO-SAXON SYNODS AND COUNCILS.



195



one ; but it is by no means to be inferred that those signa-
tures embraced the names of all persons who were members
of the assembly ; on the contrary, it is affirmed that it was a
meeting of nearly all ® the nobility of England. The subscrip-
tion-list, however, only contains the names of the king and
queen, two archbishops, nine bishops, seven abbots, the king's
chancellor, two royal chaplains, one chaplain, one duke, four
counts, seven royal thanes, and five knights. From this last
recorded example we may gather some idea of the constituent
members of the mixed councils of this period ; and as being
the last of the Anglo-Saxon councils, it cannot fail, of being
considered an important one in our present inquiry. On the
day on which the council was convened, viz. Christmas day,
1065, Edward the Confessor was taken ill^; and finding
that his end was approaching, he determined that Westminster
Abbey, which he had already richly endowed, should * be conse-
crated forthwith with great pomp, so that nothing on his part
might be left undone for the fulfilment of his pious designs
towards that institution. This august ceremony took place
on Innocents"' day (Dec. 28, 1065) ; and so swiftly followed the
death of this king upon the accomplishment of his holy
work, that on the eve of the Epiphany " following (Jan. 5,
1066 N.s.) his spirit returned to God who gave it.

Subversion of Hitherto we have seen that a peculiar na-
Uo^laiTtyTrTecde- tionality attached to the councils held in this
siasticai matters, country, whether ecclesiastical or civil. We
have seen, too, that assertions of the independence of this
Church on foreign interference were from time to time made
and maintained.

We now, however, are about to pass on to a period of
her history when the most vigorous endeavours were made
to eiface the last traces of her independence and of her
nationality together. The victorious success of William of
Normandy at the battle of Hastings, not only changed the
dynasty of England, but the consequences of that event may
be traced in more sad effects upon the history of her Church.
Whatever of independent jurisdiction had remained to her
archbishops was well-nigh destroyed. Her synods were
sometimes subjected to the authority of foreign legates, a

' " General! totius fere Anglise nobilitatis conventu." — Cone. Mag. Brit. i. 322.



A. D. 804-
1070.



^ Cone.

Mag. Brit.

vol. i. p.

322.

' Innett,

Orig. Ang.

p. 389.



" Cone.
Mag. Br



196



AXGLO-SAXON SYNODS AND COUNCILS.



[chap.



A. D. 804-
1070.



'' Cone.
Mag. Brit.



Ibid.



« Ibid.



y Southey's
Book of the
Church,
p. 117.



most galling badge of slavery. Her doctrines were assimi-
lated to those of Rome ; and her whole constitution, both as
regarded discipline and doctrine, succumbed before the fatal
attacks of papal encroachment, no longer advancing with
slow and insidious influences, but openly and avowedly en-
couraged by the conqueror of our country. The means he
used for this end were certainly well calculated to effect it.
The Archbishop " of Canterbury was removed from his see.
His brother Agelmar, bishop of the East Angles, was degraded.
Bishops '' and abbots, condemned neither by ecclesiastical nor
civil laws, were deprived of their preferments. Thus K. AVilliam
endeavoured by all * means within his power, to eject as
many Englishmen as possible from their posts, in order
that he might supply their places with his own countrymen,
who would exert their influence to render his usurped
dominion the more secure. And when the Anglo-Saxon
ecclesiastics were deprived, Normans, thoroughly imbued with
Roman influences, were substituted in their places ; and so
extensively, not only as regarded the offices of the Church,
but also of the State, was this policy pursued, that it is said
"that^ in the course of the next generation, among all the
bishops, abbots, and earls of the kingdom, not one was to be
found of English birth." K. William perceived, after conquering
the Anglo-Saxon troops, that his usurped power would never
be firmly secured but by a conquest also over our whole con-
stitution in Church and State. In accomplishing the subver-
sion of the one he received willing assistance from the Roman
Pontiff"; for the destruction of the other he depended more
exclusively on his own resources ; and he certainly prosecuted
both purposes with uncommon determination, and no mean
success.

It is not wonderful that the liberties of the Anglo-Saxon
Church should have been the object of K. William's peculiar
aversion, and that his best endeavours should have been
directed towards reducing her to entire subjection. For it is
plain that any remains of peculiar nationality would be unpa-
latable to him as a foreigner, and dangerous to him as a
usurper. But besides this, some of the principal churchmen,
and among them Archbishop Stigand, had resisted to the last
his victorious arms. For after the battle of Hastings this arch-



Vll.]



ANGLO-SAXON SYNODS AND COUNCILS.



]97



bishop, with the Kentish men, made a stand at Swanscombe,
near Dartford ; nor would they submit until terms were
granted somewhat more agreeable to the ancient liberties of
the nation than had at first been offered.

Not only had the archbishop thus marched in arms against
the usurper of his country's throne, but he also refused '^
to crown him king ; and these acts may reasonably be sup-
posed to have engaged the Conqueror against the interests of
that prelate, as well as against the national Church of which
he was the chief representative.

No readier means suggested themselves for her entire
subjugation than an attack upon her spiritual and civil
liberties, backed by all the assistance which Rome could
lend. Encroachment after encroachment had been made upon
her by the Popes throughout the Anglo-Saxon times ; often
had her liberties been imperilled, though never entirely over-
thrown ; her primitive doctrines, her nationality, her just
rights had from time to time been assailed, often with too
great, though not as yet with complete, success. But now
the time had arrived when he who wielded the civil power
was ready and willing to assist those papal encroachments.
The interests of the usurper and the Pope were capable of
being served by the same line of conduct towards the Church
of this land, and she fell as a helpless captive under the united
powers of that unholy alliance. Circumstances all combined
to forward such an event. Our last Saxon archbishop, Sti-
gand% had been interdicted by the Pope; but notwithstanding
this, in assertion of his just independence, he continued in his
see. This conduct of course rendered him obnoxious to papal
displeasure. The Conqueror, on the other hand, had taken
care before his attack upon England to engage his holiness
on his side. With this view he had sent emissaries to Rome,
who so far worked upon Alexander II. as to induce him not
only to espouse their master's cause, but to present him with
a standard ^ and a consecrated ring " of great value, as encou-
ragements to his undertaking. Under these circumstances it
was natural that the Pope and the Conqueror should heartily
unite.

K. William gladly availed himself of the spiritual weapons
of Rome in destroying the nationahty of the Anglo-Saxon



A. D. 804

1070.



' Thierry's
Norm. Coil,
vol.i. p. 245.



a Cone.
Mag. Brit,
vol. i. p.
315. &
Thierry's
Norm. Cou.
vol. i. p.
144.



b Coll. i.

552.

f Thierry's

Norm. Con

vol. i. p.

159.



19b



ANGLO-SAXON SYNODS AND COUNCILS.



CHAT'. VII.



A.D. 804-
1070.



^ Thierry's
Norm. Con.
vol. i. pp.
158-9.



Church and curtaihng the power of her prelates, both of which
would appear formidable obstacles to the quiet possession of
iiis usurped dominions. The Pope, on the other hand, readily
liailcd so favourable an opportunity of obtaining the aid of the
civil power in humbling an archbishop who had set Roman
authority at defiance, and in securing that long-desired object,
the complete subjugation to himself of the Church of this
nation.

Thus in the public assemblies which met during the next
period of our history we shall observe a manifest change as
regards their constitution. In the very first great council held
under the Norman usurper, that of Winchester, a.d. 1070,
in the place of a native archbishop will be found a foreigner,
to whose title, as a Swiss bishop, the flourish of the term
" papal legate "'' was appended ; and as though this was not a
sufficient humihation for the Church of our country, the
names of two presbyter cardinals are added as members of
the assembly. So suddenly and so determinedly were the
counsels of Archdeacon Hildebrand ^, and the influences of
the palace of S. John of Lateran, brought to bear upon this
national Church, under the fostering care of the civil power at
home.



199



CHAPTEll YIII.



ANGLO-NORMAN SYNODS AND COUNCILS

FROM THE DEPRIVATION OF ARCHBISHOP STIGAND, A. D. 1070, TO THE RESIG-
NATION OF ARCHBISHOP ROBERT KILWARBY, A. D. 1279.



SUMMARY.



I. Introduction, II. Effects of the Conquest on the Anglo-Saxon Church.
III. These effects visible in the acts of the first great council held — Great Council
of Winchester held concurrently with a legatine synod— Anglo-Saxon ecclesiastics
deprived. IV. Work of deprivation carried on at the great Council of Windsor.

V. Changes effected in the constitution of English councils by the Conquest.

VI. Synods and great councils sometimes held concurrently. VII. Synods
sometimes held distinctly from great councils. VIII. Great councils sometimes
held distinctly from synods. IX. Anglo-Saxon arrangements generally imi-
tated in these points. X. Increase of papal power in England. XI. Resist-
ance of the Church of England. XII. Constitution of national and provincial
synods in this age. XIII. Ai-chbishops and bishops constituent members.
XIV. Deans constituent members. XV. Abbots constituent members.
XVI. Priors constituent members. XVII. Archdeacons constituent members.
XVIII. Chosen presbyters constituent members. XIX. Representative prin-
ciple introduced into England — A digression. XX. How chosen presbyters
came to be elected by the clergy. XXI. False statements respecting the con-
stitution of the convocations — An error of Lord Coke. XXII. Form of a
provincial synod of this period. XXIII. General remarks on the constitution
of national and provincial synods.

'Atto TToXifiov TivoQ Tuiv iTpocToiicojv (3ap(idp(i)V ifOapijffav, Kai Trjg Svvdfxtwe
Trig TToXX/Je i(STipi]Qr)(jav. — Thuctd. Hist. lib. i. c. 24.

OiiK oXotc TrevTJiKovra Kai rpiaiv ireaiv vnb n'lav apx'nveTnai rijv'PuiiaiujV
o TrpoTipov ovx ivpiaKfTUi yeyovog. — Polyb. Hist. lib. i. c. 1.

" Deterior donee paulatim ac decolor setas,
Et belh rabies, et amor successit habendi."

A'iRG. jSn. viii. 326-7-



I. Introduction.



The tabular list of synods and councils held
during this period is appended, and it is proper
to remark that after the Norman Conquest a difference will



A.D. 1070

—1279.



200



AKGLO-XORMAN SYNODS AND COUNCILS.



[chap.



A.D. 1070
—1279.



appear in the designation of the civil assemblies placed in the
last column \ The terms " Wittena-gemote" and "Mixed



LIST OF ANGLO-NORMAN SYNODS AND COUNCILS, a.d. 1070-1279.



Archbishop or
Bishop.



King.



Reference.



Nature of Assembly.



1070



1070



1070
I 1071

1072

Easter
1072



Stigand, de-
prived



William I.



Windsor



Pennenden . .
Petherton, So^

mersetshire
Winchester . .

Windsor . . . .



See Cant, va- William I.
cant



1075 Winchester . .

1075 jS. Paul's, Lon.

don

Winchester . .

I Westminster.

London . . . .



1076
1077
107)!



\Ofjo Gloucester



uncrt. Gloucester ..

1092 [Worcester . .

1093 Uncertain ..

1094 'Rockingham..

1100 Lambeth

1101 Windsor

1102 S. Peter's,
Westminster



1 lO.i
1107
1108
1109
1116
1122



London . ,
London . ,
London . ,
London , ,
Salisbury . ,
Gloucester



1120 j Westminster.

1127 j Westminster.
1129 London .. .
1129 [London ...
1 132 London . . .

1136 Westminster.

1137 H.Tcford ...
113'i Northampton.



Lanfranc
Lanfranc



Lanfranc
Lanfranc



Lanfranc
Lanfranc

Lanfranc
Lanfranc
Lanfranc
Lanfranc



Lanfranc . . . .
Bp.Wulstan. ,
Ansclm, con
secrated

Anselm ,

Anselm

Anselm ,

Anselm

Anselm

Anselm

Anselm

Anselm

Radulph . . . ,
Radulph . . . ,
Wm. Corbel.,



Wm. Corbel.

Wm. Corbel.

Wm. Corbel .

Wm. Corbel.

Wm. Corbel.

Robert, bp. .

Thurstan of
York, see of
Cant, vacant



William I.
William I.



WiUiam I.
William I.



WilHam I.
Wilham I.

William I.
William I.
William I.
WilUam I.



William I.
WUliam II.
William II.

WilUam II.
Henry 1. .,
Henry I. . ,
Henry I. . ,



Henry I.
Henry 1.
Henry I.
Henry I.
Henry I.
Henry I.
Henry I.

Henry I.
Henry I.
Henry I.
Henry I.

Stephen
Stephen
Stephen



Cone. M. B. i. 322. Great Council held
Ibid. 310. Att.Rights, concurrently with
Legatiue S\Tiod un-



Conc. M. B.



322.



bp.



der Hermanfred,
of Sion.
Great Council held



Kennett's Ecc. Syn.j concurrently with
2.52. Legatine Synod un-

der Hermanfred.

Cone. M. B. i. 323 . . Uncertain.

Ibid. 324 Great Council.



Ibid. 325 . .
Ibid. 324-5



Ibid. 362. 369 ..
Ibid. 36:!-4. 369



Ibid. 365.
Ibid. 367

Ibid. :{67

Ibid. 368



Ibid. 369 -
Ibid. 369
Ibid. 370

Ibid. .371 ,
Ibid. 375 ,
Ibid. -ASl
Ibid. 382-



.369



held
with



Ibid. 384
Ibid. 386
Ibi.l. 387
Ibid. 3!»0
Ibid. 393
Ibid. 404
Ibid. 406-

Ibid. 410
Ibid. 411
Ibid. 411
Ibid. 412
Ibid. 412
Ibid. 413
Ibid. 413



Synod held concur,
with Great Council.

Great Council held
concurrently with
Legatine Synod un-
der Hubert.

National Synod.

National Synod.

National Synod.
Great Council.
Synod.
National Synod

concurrently

Great Council.
National Synod.
Diocesan Synod.
National Synod of

Bishops only.
Great Council.
National Synod.
Great Council.
National Synod held

concurrently with

Great Council.
Uncertain.
Great Council.
Great Council.
Great Council.
Great Council.
Uncertain.
Legatine Synod. John

de Crema, legate.
National Synod.
Great Council.
National Synod.
Great Council.
Great Council.
Diocesan Synod.
Great Council.



[1138 Westminster



^]



AXGLO-NORMAN SYNODS AND COUNCILS.



201



Council " will no longer be used, but the civil assemblies, called
indifferently " Magna Concilia," " Placita," " Parliamenta,"



A.D. 1070
—1279.



LIST OF ANGLO-NORMAN SYNODS AND CODNCILS, A.D. 1070 1279 — Continued.



1139
1141
1142



1142



1143



1151
1154

lir.7

1157
1161
1162
1164
1164
1166*

1170
1173
1175
1175
1175
1175
1176
1170

1177
1177
1182

1183
1184

1186
1188



Westminster .

Winchester .
London . . .
Winchester .



Westminster..



Archbishop or
Bishop.



Theobald

Theobald

Theobald

Theobald



Theobald



London . . , ,
London . . . .
Northampton
Colchester . .
Newmarket . .
Westminster.
Clarendon . .
Northampton
Oxford



Theobald



Theobald
Theobald
Theobald
Theobald
See Cant.
Th.A'Becket.
Th. A'Becket.
Th. A'Becket .



Online LibraryJames Wayland JoyceEngland's sacred synods : a constitutional history of the convocations of the clergy, from the earliest records of Christianity in Britain to the date of the promulgation of the present Book of common prayer; including a list of all councils, ecclesiastical as well as civil, held in England, in whic → online text (page 21 of 83)