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 44 of 83)
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On the following day (July 8, 1540) this sub-committee
met^ at the royal palace, Westminster, and examined upon
oath some persons of high figure in the state. The witnesses
who appeared^ were the "pliant^" Audley, lord chancellor,
the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, Lord Southampton, Lord
High-admiral Russell, Antony Browne, knight and master of
the horse, Lord Cobhara, Thomas Heneage, knight, Thomas
Wryothesly, the king''s private secretary, Anthony Denny,
knight, and Dr. Butt, the king's physician ^. These noblemen
and gentlemen put in written depositions, swearing to the truth
of their contents, and those documents were filed as schedules
for the guidance of the synod in coming to judgment. Among
the papers produced was a deposition of the king himself,
with a declaration '^ of the whole matter under CromwelFs
hand. The principal contents of the depositions were, " ^ That
when the queen was brought to Greenwich, at her first arrival
the king desired to be informed whether the promises made
by the Duke of Cleves to clear the espousals between the

5 See Lord Chief Justice Campbell's judgment, Court of Queen's Bench, April
25, 1850.

A.D. 1540.
K. Henry

" Coll. V.
64. & Cone.
Mag. Brit.
iii. 831.
y Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iii. 852.

z Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iii. 852.

* Cone.
Mag. Brit.
iii. 852.

^ Strype's
Mem. Cran-
mer, p. 90.

<• Coll. V.


1 Coll. V.





A.D. 1540.






e Cone.
Mas. Brit.


e July .9.
'' Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iii. 852.

Mag. Brit,
iii. fe2.

queen and the Duke of Lorraine's eldest son were performed.
For satisfaction in this matter the king deferred the solemniz-
ing his marriage two days. That upon the king's laying this
affair before the council they found this matter not dis-
entangled. That no writing was brought over to satisfy this
question. That upon the score of this disappointment the
marriage had been declined, if the king's inclination had not
been overruled by the solicitation of the duke's agents. These
persons promised that their master would shortly send over
an authentic instrument, and put the matter out of all doubt.
But when the writing came to the kino-'s hands it rather
raised new scruples than removed old ones. So that now the
espousals between the queen and the Duke of Lorraine's
eldest son might be taken for a contract ' de prcesentV " The
king's disaffection to the queen's person were subjects which
mainly occupied the rest of the depositions : but even allow-
ing this to have existed, its value for the purpose in hand is
not altogether clear.

After these illustrious witnesses had concluded their evi-
dence, the sub-committee of the synod adjourned to the resi-
dence^ of Dr. John Chamber, a physician in "Chanon's Row,"
Westminster, and received from him a deposition on oath,
which was placed in the hands of Archdeacon Thirlby. One ^
of the arguments for the divorce was drawn from the alleged
fact that the marriage had never been consummated, which ac-
counts for the necessity of procuring this gentleman's evidence.

The next morning ^ a solitary witness,

Hoby '

first examined in the vestibule of the chapter-house, and sub-
sequently the national synod sat, and by its authority John
Tregonnell, John Oliver, William Pctre, and John Hughes,
doctors of law, were added to the original committee. Sche-
dules containing the depositions of the several witnesses
examined were then laid before that body, when the arch-
bishops and bishops with the committee thus augmented
entered into the nature of the proofs and the merits of the
case. After their deliberations were concluded, the lower
members of the synod were introduced, and by unanimous
consent the assembly was prorogued to three o'clock in the

At that hour all the members met, and it was decided ',




without a dissentient voice, after a mature investigation
of the matter in hand, that the king's marriage was not bind-
ing ; that both parties were at hberty, by the divine law, to
contract fresh nuptials, and that a certificate to that effect
should be transmitted to the king. The instrument J, sealed
with the seals of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York,
and subscribed by the other members of the national synod,
bears date 9th July, 1540.

On^ the following day^ the proceedings of this national
synod were reported to the House of Lords by Archbishop
Cranmer, and the formal instrument of divorce was presented
by the Bishop of Winchester, who dilated upon the grounds on
which it was founded. The lords were satisfied ; Cranmer and
Gardiner were empowered to acquaint the commons with the
proceedings, and on the 12th of July™ a bill, reciting the
judgment of the national synod, was read for annulling the
marriage. This passed both houses of parliament without
difficulty, and was enacted as a statute ".

As regards the decision of the synod on this question *', it is
supposed that their judgment was founded — many of the mem-
bers being canonists— on precedents of the canon law, which ^
in cases of pre-contract, required a divorce. But however that
may be, the praise or blame of the whole proceeding, which-
ever may be awarded, must be shared in due proportion by
the upper and lower houses of the imperial legislature. The
arguments urged at all events carried weight even in the judg-
ment of the person most interested ; for the queen herself, in a
letter to her brother reporting the proceedings of the synod,
owns the justice ^ of the process, acquaints him that her
honour was preserved, and, expressing a desire to remain in
this country, requests that he would not break with the English
court, or shew any signs of resentment.

This national synod was dissolved by a royal wrif, on the
28th July, 1540 ; writs for assembling and dissolving, in
accordance wath the provisions of the Submission Act, now
being universally executed ^

^ The convocations of the two provinces assem-
The two piovin- bled* respectively at S. Paul's and at York, on
ciai synods meet. ^^^^ ^Qth January 1542 N.S.

Canterbury. Theso wcro uewly-electcd convocations, and

A.D. 1540.
K. Henry

J Cone.
Mag. Brit.
iii. «5i.

k Coll. V.


1 July 10.

■n Col]. V.


n 32 Hen.
VIII. c. -25.
o Coll. V.

P Strype's
Mem. Cran-

q Coll. V.

>■ Cone.
I\Tag. Brit.
iii. 850.
s Cone.
Majr. Brit,
iii. 850. 863.
869. 871.
iv. 1—3.
A.D. 1542.
' Cone.
Mag. Brit.
iii. 860—





A.D ]542.






"Fuller, Ch.
Hist, book
V. p. 237.
V Ibid,
w Ibid.
X S. Matt.
V. 13.
yJan. 27.
^ Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iii. 860.
Fuller, Ch.
Hist, hook
V. p. 237.
a Ibid.

•> Biograph.


<: Strype's

Mem. Cran-

upon the first day of meeting in the southern province
the usual rehgious ceremonies were observed. Archbishop
Cranraer" landed from his barge at Paul's Wharf, and
thence proceeded on foot with his retinue, his cross being
carried before him, to the choir of S, PauTs cathedral. Bi.shop
Bonner^ officiated at the altar, and Dr. Richard Cox, arch-
deacon of Ely ^, preached the Latin sermon on this text, " Ye
are the salt of the earth ^."

In the second ^ session, after the presentation ^ and confirma-
tion of Mr. Gwent, archdeacon of London, as prolocutor, the
archbishop, according to custom, detailed the chief objects
proposed for sy nodical deliberation.

" It is^" he said, "the king's desire that the
bishops, prelates, and clergy should deliberate
on the decay of religion, and the proper reme-

speech — The sy-
nod desired to
promote tlie re-

Imrd'ti!; tran"*^ ^^^^ ^^ ^^® applied in that behalf— and also that

lationof the scrip

they should apply reformation to such matters
as seemed to require it." He also "declared
that in the translations both of the Old and New Testament
there were many points which required correction, and that it
was therefore his wish that the prolocutor and clergy should
retire to the lower house, and come to an agreement on the
proper method for examining the books mentioned, and should
also appoint some learned persons to make a draft of canons
for the suppression of simony.""
. ,. . Now as the question of the translations of the

A digression on , ^ .

the translations of scriptures occupicd the attention of this synod,
it may be acceptable here to make some remarks

on the progress which had been made in this matter before,

and for this purpose we must step backwards.

So early as the time of K. Edward III., there
were many copies of Wiekliffe's translation, but

these were all written, none of them ever having been printed,

until comparatively modern^ times, a.d. 1731.

The first ■= time Holy Scripture was printed
in English, and then only the New Testament,

was about the year 1526. It was translated by AN'illiam

Tindal, and printed abroad, cither at Antwerp or Hamburgh.

Much of this edition was burnt by order of Tunstal and Sir

Thomas More.




This translation Tindal ^ revised, and then printed several

editions in Holland, before and about the year 1530. Many

copies of these books were also burnt by the command of


^ , , , As the reformation proceeded, and after the

Coverdale s. '^

discharge oi the papal supremacy by the autho-
rity of the English Church, the Convocation ^ of Canterbury,
as we have seen, on the 19th of Dec. 1534, made an applica-
tion to the king, that the "scriptures^ should be translated
into the vulgar tongue;" and, in the following year, 1535,
Oct. 4, Miles Coverdale's translation appeared, dedicated to
the king ^. It was translated out of the Dutch and Latin, and
was the first translation of the whole Bible into our language.
This edition was allowed by authority, for in the following-
year, injunctions were issued that there should be provided
" one boke of the whole ^ Bible, of the largest volume in
Englyshe, and the same sette up in summe convenyent place
within the said churche that ye have care of, whereas your
parishners may most commodiouslye resort to the same and
rede yt.""

In 1537 the Bible called jNlatthews' Bible
appeared. This name was fictitious. The book
was printed in Germany, and chiefly taken* from Tindal's
and Coverdale's previous translations, under the auspices
of Archbishop Cranmer. It was superintended by John
Rogers, a learned man who subsequently suffered in Q. Mary's

In 1539, Hollybushe'sJ New Testament ap-
peared ; this work was executed by Coverdale,
but bore a feigned name.

In the same year, 1539, in April, came out,
printed by Grafton and ^vVhitehurch, Cranmer's
" Great Bible,"" so called because it contained a preface by
Cranmer, and also on account of its size. This was also
revised by Coverdale'^, and an injunction issued in 1541,
that it should be placed in every church.

In 1535 ^ also Taverner's Bible was published.
This was a correction of Matthews'' Bible.
T. , , . ,, To return to our subject. Such were the

Debate m the _ J

synod on the translations of the scriptures which had appeared



A. D. 1542.
K. Henry

■J Berens'
Hist. P. Bk.
p. 21.

« Att.
Riglits, p.
Rcf. Just.

Mae. Brit.
iii. TrO.
S Hartwell
Home, vol.
ii. App. p.

h Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iii. 815.

i Hartwell
Home, vol,
ii. App. p.

J Hartwell
Home, vol.
ii App. p.

^ Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iii. 85C.
1 Hartwell
Home, vol.
ii. App. p.




A. D. 1.542.






°> See Ful-
ler, Ch.
Hist, book
V. p. 237.
" Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iii. «C0, 861.
° Cone.
INIag. Brit,
iii. 800,861.
P Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iii. 861.
q Fuller.
Ch. Hist,
hook V. p.

r Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iii. 8G1.

translations of the before ® the debate in convocation which wo are

scriptures. ,

about to consider.

In the third session, held Friday, Feb. 3 (1542 x.s.) the
debate *" turned upon the several translations of the scriptures
then in existence. The archbishop " inquired of the members
of the upper house whether it would be possible ", without
scandal to the Church, to retain the Great Bible as at that time
translated. It was decided, by a majority of the bi.shops,
that the Great BihW should not be retained, but that it
should be examined and amended " according p to that Bible
ichich is usually read in the English Church ^"

p^.gj^^ For this purpose the translations ^ of the

pointed to eor- books of the Ncw Testament were committed

rect translations. „ ^ p ^ i i • i i -i i

tor perusal oi the several bishops, as detailed
in the note ®. The prolocutor "^ and clergy then attended in

« As regards translations of the scriptures subsequent to this period, in 15G0
a translation of the New Testament was published under the auspices of some of
the English reformers who had fled from the jNIarian persecutions to Geneva.
This is called the Genevan version. In that place also editions of the whole Bible
were printed, and again reprinted in London and other places, — Hart, llorne, vol.
ii. App. pp. Cb-G.

In 1562 the " Great Bible," viz. that of Coverdale's translation, was revised
by Archbishoj) Parker, and printed for the use of the Church, until one that was
projected should be complete. — Ibid. p. (Jo.

In 15G8 the Bible projected by Archbishop Parker was finished. It is called
" Archbishop Parker's " or the " Bishops' Bible." In the translation distinct
portions were allotted to fifteen persons, eight of whom were bishops, whence its
name. — Ibid. p. (>7.

In 1572 this Bible was reprinted with coiTections, and this edition is called
"Matthew Parker's Bible." — Ibid.

In IGll was published the present so-called authorized version, known by the
name of King James's Bible. Fifty- four learned persons were appointed to revise
the work. Their labours began in the sj)ring of I G07 and were concluded in 1 G 1 0. In
this translation the te.xt of the " Bishops' Bible " was chiefly followed. — Ibid. p. 68.

' By the " Great Bible " liere must be meant either Coverdale's edition of 1535,
or " jMatthews' Bible " of 1537. Portions of the latter were forbidden to be used
by Bishop Bonner this year. — Cone. Mag. Brit. iii. 8G7.

* By the phrase, " that Bible which is usually read in the English Church," I
presume must be meant " Cranmer's great Bible " of 1539. Vid. Cone. Mag Brit,
iii. 856, where it is ordered that copies should be provided.
'■* 1 . S. Matthew Archbishop Cranmcr.

2. S. Mark Jn. Longland Bp. of Lincoln.

3. S.Luke Step. Gardiner , Winchester.

4. S. John Thos. Goodrick „ Ely.

[5. Acts




the upper house, and the archbishop took opportunity, during ^
the remainder of the session, to point out to the united synod
errors in the translation of the Old Testament.

Lower house In the fourtli sessiou no business of import-
uSfor'i?i!?spur- ance was transacted, but by the 13th February,
P°^^- session 5, the lower* house had provided them-

selves with a list of passages in the translation of the Old
Testament which they thought required consideration, and
these they submitted by the hands" of the prolocutor to the
judgment of the archbishops and bishops. The upper house
on the same day ^ consulted on the best means to be pursued
for a searching examination of the whole translation of scrip-
ture. For this purpose select joint committees of both
houses were appointed. The New Testament^ was com-
mitted to the Bishops of Durham, Winchester, Hereford,
Rochester, and the suffragan of Westminster, together with
Doctors Wotton, Day, Coren, Wilson, Leighton, JNIay, and
others of the lower house. The Old Testament was ^ com-
mitted to the Archbishop of York, the Bishop of Ely, with
Redman ^^, Taylor, Haynes, Robertson, Cocks y, and others who
were well versed in the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin languages.
In the same session the archbishop desired that drafts of
canons should be prepared against adultery, perjury, and

5. Acts of Apostles Nicli. Heath Bp. of Rochester.

C. Romans Rich. Sampson .... „ Chichester.

7- 1 & 2 Corinthians Jn. Capon ,, Sarum.

j Galatians ",

8. J' \'^^''!"^ Wm. Barlow .... „ S. David's.


I Colossians '

9. 1 & 2 Thessalonians . . . .John Bell ,, Worcester.

[-Timothy -j

10. Titus Robt. Parfew ,, S. Asaph.

LPhilemon J

11. 1&2 Peter Robt. Holgate „ LlandafF.

12. Hebrews John Skyp ,, Hereford.

rS. James "^

13. < 1, 2, fk. 3 S. John Thos. Thirlby Westminster yy.

Is. Jude '

„ , . rJn. Wakeman. . . .Bp. of Gloucester.

14. Revelation ^ t. * u i

I John Chambers . . „ Peterborough.

" Transcribed with my owne hand out of the Records of Canterbiu-y." — Fuller,
Ch. Hist. B. V. p. 23G.

A.D. 1542.
K. Henry

^ Cone.
Mag. Brit.
iii. 861.

' Cone.
Mag. Brit,
lii. 8J1.

" Cone.
Miig. Brit.
iii. 861.

^' Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iii. 861.

"■ Cone.
Mag. Brit.

" Cone.
Mag. Brit
iii. 861.

^^ ? Red-

y ? Cox.

y Suffragan




A.D. 1542.






^ Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iu. 861.

a Fuller,
Ch. Hist.
book V. p.

b Cone.
Mag. Brit.

•^ Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iii. aO'l.

Further pro
ceedings witli ;
view to reforma
tion in religion.

The synod met again on the 17th Feb. (1542
N.s,), session 6. A canon concerning simony,
a subject which had been specially commended
to notice in the archbishop's opening speech ^, was brought up
by the prolocutor, and delivered to a committee of the upper
house. A debate then ensued on some matters which might
tend to carry on the reformation of religion, such as teaching
the people to rehearse the Lord's Prayer, the salutation of
the angel, the Apostles' Creed, and the Ten Commandments.
This debate was concluded, and the continuation of the
assembly had been formally announced, when the prolocutor
again appeared. Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, took*
this occasion to read a list of words and phrases in Latin
requiring according to his view peculiar attention in revising
the translation of the scriptures, for which, as we have seen,
arrangements were made in a late session. He argued that
these words, on account of their ^ peculiar significancy and
high importance, should either be retained in Latin, or
translated into English with as little alteration as possible.
The number on his list amounted exactly to one hundred, and
from a perusal it must be confessed that, in rendering some
of them at least, great circumspection was necessary. ;^Jis-
translation might shock propriety, or, what is worse, incul-
cate false doctrine, both of which evils were carefully to be
avoided, when a provincial synod was undertaking to set forth
an authorized translation.

In the seventh session of this provincial*'
synod, held Feb. 24 ", Archbishop Cranmer
moved the bishops that candles, silk vestments,
and other ornaments, should be taken away, which were
placed on or in front of images, and that portuises \ missals,
and other books, should bo reformed. Hence we must date
the conunencement of those reforms which ended in the
establishment of the English Prayer ]Jook. The archl)isliop
also moved that the names of the several popes, and of Tliomas
a Becket, should be erased by all the clergy from their service

" In the records there is a misprint, Feb. 14 — for 24, I presume.

' " Portuis," a word said to be derived from " portez-vous," a manual breviary,
variously spelt " portuas," " portas," " portus," " porthose," "portuos," and
" porthuse."— See Collier, vol. v. p. 89, note.

Synodiral origin
of tiic revision of
tlie English ser-
vice books.




books; and he also urged on his brethren a subject which
had previously ^ occupied the attention of the synod, viz. that
the people should be taught to recite the Lord's Prayer,
the Apostles' Creed, and the Ten Commandments in the
vulgar tongue.

Thus far was this session employed in promoting the princi-
ples of the reformation. The remainder of it was engaged in
matters connected with general morality. Tiie upper house ^
agreed to address the king against the infamous profanity of
the stage, wliere plays were admitted tending to bring God's
word into contempt. The prolocutor moreover brought up
from the lower house drafts of canons against blasphemy,
perjury, and rash swearing, subjects to which attention had
been called by the archbishop at a previous ^ session.

New edition of I^ the following scssiou s an endeavour ^ was
the Sarum use. niado to sccurc uuity in the celebration of divine
service throughout the southern province. The archbishop and
the bishops decided that the use of Sarum ' should be observed
by all the clergy under the metropolitical jurisdiction of
Canterbury, and that an offence against this decree should be
visited with punishment by the respective ordinaries. In
furtherance of this decision respecting the general adoption
of the use of Sarum, and as connected also with the applica-
tion made in the upper house of convocation, on the 24th of
Feb. last, — that the names of several popes and of Thomas
a Becket should be erased from the service books, — it is
observable that a new^ edition of the Sarum use^ was at this
time published, cleared of sundry errors, and disfurnished of
those titular flom-ishes which had been aforetime appended to
the name of the lioman Pontiff.

Translation of ^^ ^^^^ ^^^^ sossiou ^ the question of the
the scriptures im- translation of the scriptures a^ain came upon

peded by K.Henry , , , -r, ^ . ^ , .

viii.'s interfe- the board. b or carrymg out the review
^^^^^' of the previous translations joint select com-

mittees, as we have seen, had been' appointed; and in the

2 " Portiforium secundum usum Sarum noviter impressum, et a plurimis purga-
tum menclis. In quo nomen Romano pontifici falso adscriptum omittitur, una
cum aliis quae Christianissimo nostri regis statute repugnant. Excusum Londini
per Edvardum Wliytchurch, 1541. Cum privilegio ad imprimendum solum." —
Biblioth. Cott. Cleop. E. 5. 259, apud Coll. 5. lOG. 1541 o.s. would be 1542 n.s.

A.D. 1542.
K. Henry

e Cone.
Matr. Brit.

iii. mi.

f Feb. 13.

S Mar. 3.
^ Cone.
Mag. Brit.
iii. 861.

i Cone.
Mag. Brit.

i See Coll.
V. 106'.

k Mar. 10.

1 Sess. Feb.
13, 1542 N.s.
Vid. sup. p.




A.D. 1.542.






" Vid. sup.
p. 40G.

"J Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iii. «62.
■»n. Mar. 10.

o Strvpe's
Meui. Cran-
mer, p. 94.

I' Cone.
Map. Brit,
iii. 862.

PP Cone.
Majz. Brit,
iii. 802. 3.
1 March 17,
24, 28.
April 3.

prosecution of this matter the perusal of the books of the
New Testament had been assigned respectively to members "
of the upper house. In order to promote the undertaking K.
Henry — wlio never allowed any thing to be concluded without
some troublesome interference, and especially in the matter of
translations of all kinds, whether of books or prelates, shewed
himself untiringly busy — had suggested that the two univer-
sities should be consulted, and that both the Old and New
Testaments should be by them examined.

AVith this royal '" wish Archbishop Cranmer took occasion
to acquaint the synod in this session "™. The members much
disliked the proposition, and with the exception of himself and
the Bishops of Ely and S. David's all dissented from it.
They argued that " such business belonged to an ecclesias-
tical synod rather than to the universities." They further
alleged "that" the universities were much sunk from their
former considerableness ; that matters were carried by a
majority of young men ; that without maturity of judgment
there was no relying upon the result, and, in short, that the
learning of the nation lay mostly in the convocation." Cran-
mer, however, desiring to bend to the king's wishes, or from
some .singularity in choice preferring the judgment of the
universities upon translations of scripture before that of the
convocation divines, opposed the wishes of the majority, and
roundly said, that " he would stick by his master's will and plea-

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 44 of 83)