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 54 of 83)
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a learned author, "the queen cut down all that had been done
in the reformation in seven years before ; and then for want
of canonical ordination on the one side, and under colour of
uncanonical marriages on the other, there was presently such
a remove among the bishops and clergy as it is not any where
to be paralleled in so sliort a time."

The part which the ' parliament took was to repeal J tho.se

2 Fifty-one clergy were ejected within the jurisdiction of the dean and chai)ter
of York alone in the year 1554.— Cone. Mag. Brit. iv. 8H.

III. Tlic queen
and her parlia-
ment unite in
persecuting the
Church of Eng-




acts passed in K. Edward VI. 's time, which gave civil sanc-
tion to the reformed ^ liturgies and offices \ and which had
also ratified the syrrodical decisions respecting " the marriage
of the clergy. Thus having withdrawn the authority of the
state from the synodical acts of the Church, the parliament
itself appears to have usurped the functions and authority " of
a national synod, for without the consent of the Church it°
enacted that mass should be restored after the 20th day of
December, 1553 ; and that in place of the reformed liturgy
the old Roman services should be used. And not only were
the corrupt service books of Rome thus authorized by civil
enactment, but, further, the reformed offices which had been
canonically established by the synodical authority of the Church
of England were emphatically forbidden by statute °°.

The funeral, indeed, of K. Edward VI. had been solemnized
in accordance P with the reformed liturgy on August the 12th,
the comnnmion office being added ; but then we are to con-
sider that the parliament not having yet assembled, its
authority could not be interposed to forbid the use of the
authorized rites and ceremonies of the Church of England.
But in this respect matters were soon changed, for in the
month of October the parliament met, and forthwith the
rights and liberties of the Church fell prostrate.

Indeed at the opening i of parliament the service was per-
formed according to the Roman ritual, on which the ^ Bishops
of Lincoln and Hereford, Taylor and Harley, either withdrew
or, as some say, were violently expelled from the house. But
by what just authority this change was made in the service of
the Church of England is not altogether clear, considering that,
by the acts ^ of her synods and by the authority ' of the civil
legislature too, the English Prayer Book was at that time the
formulary of public offices ratified both by Church and State.
And when that act " of parliament was passed shortly after,
by which the English Prayer Book was abolished and the
Roman ritual introduced, the House of Lords, at least, must
have been guilty of some very scandalous prevarication. For
within two years before they had passed the act " for the esta-
blishment of the reformed ritual, only seven ^ or eight of their
lordships being opposed to such a measure, so that their present
conduct seems no ways excusable. To disentangle them from

A.D. 1553.
Q. INIaiy.

''2Ed. VI.
c. 1. 5 & 6
Ed. VI.
c. 1.

' 1 Ed. VI.
c. 1.

>» 2 & 3 Ed.
VI. c. 21.
5 & 6 Ed.
VI. c. 12.
n Sec Coll.
vi. 24.
o 1 Mar.
sess. 2, c. 2.

P W^anier,
ii. 323.

1 AVarner,
Ecc. Hist,
ii. 330.
r Fuller,
Ch. Hist.
b. viii. p. 11.

9 Art. 35
of 1552-3.
t 5 & 6 Ed.
VI. c. 1.

1 Mar.

V 5 & 6 Ed.
VI. c. 1.

™ Warner,
Ecc. Hist,
ii. 330.




A. D. 1553.




Robert Hol-


" Warner,
Ecf. Hist,
ii. 331.

y Strype's
p. 312.

* Strype'8
p. 304.

» Strypc's
p. 305.

b Conr.
Mag. Brit,
iv. i)0.
« Art. 10.

d Art. 10.

much blame would require arguments more ingeniou.s than
common. For on one occasion or the other they must liave
dissembled their sentiments, or, what is equally shocking,
they must have been on both absolutely indifferent on the
subject of religion. As for the lower house, since it did not
consist of the same members as before, but as artifice ^, fraud,
and even violence at the elections for the new parliament
were practised to fill that assembly with men whose senti-
ments concided with those of the court, some plea for the
sincerity of their acts may be put in.

The event at any rate was disastrous for the Church of
England. For the queen by an extravagant extent of the
regale struck down all ecclesiastical rights and liberties with
her sceptre, and then parliament followed up the assault, com-
pleting the demolition by a blow of the speaker's mace.

IV The clerey ^^^ ^^'® ^^'^ ^^ obscrvc that the clergy were
generally unwiii- generally Unwilling to recede from the prin-

ing to recede from °, *' " . . '

the principles of ciplcs of the reformation, and it was only by

the reformatiou. , , ,. , p ji i^ i

royal and parliamentary lorce that abuses
which had been discharged were now restored. Upon the
accession of Q. JNIary the reformed service of the Church
did not at once cease; still "the ministers ^ performed the
worship of God, and celebrated the holy sacrament, and used
the common prayer diligently and constantly." And, further,
after parliament had most unconstitutionally forbidden the
Church's reformed liturgy without consulting her lawful synods,
we are informed that when mass was set up in the motropolitan's
cathedral at Canterbury, and "the priests^ were forced to say it,
yet it was utterly contrary to their w^ills." Indeed one of them
made bold, after he had been forced into compliance, to mount
the pulpit and desire the people to forgive him. " For," said he,
" I have^ betrayed Christ, but not as Judas did, but Peter."

Indeed so difficult was it to provide the parishes with clergy
who would conform to the court views in religion, that special
provision was made by articles sent by the queen to both the
provinces of Canterbury and'' York in this emergency. It
was ordered "= by one of those documents, that the parish-
oners, " where priests do want," should repair to the next
parish for divine service ; and, moreover, that until provision
could be made one curate should serve "in divers parishes **."




^^ ^ . . And now not only was the decision of the

V . Deprivations ''

of the English Chui'ch of England in her lawful provincial
synods not taken upon matters which affected
her very existence, but most effectual care was taken that
she should not speak with her proper voice. For on the
14th day of September, Thomas Cranmer, archbishop^ of the
southern province, was committed ^ to the Tower. On the 4th s
day of October Robert Holgate ^ archbishop of the northern
province, was confined within the same walls. And so the
language of Gardiner, bishop of Winchester, in his sermon at
Paul's cross, appears to have been fully warranted when he
said before K. Philip and Cardinal Pole, " We had ' no head
at all."

But not only was the Church J thus deprived of a head, her
body ^ suffered the severest mutilations. Within a few
months John^ Taylor, bishop of Lincoln, John™ Hooper,
bishop of Worcester, John ° Harley, bishop of Hereford,
Robert ° Farrar, bishop of S. David's, John? Bird, bishop of
Chester, Miles ^ Coverdale, bishop of Exeter, Nicholas "^
Ridley, bishop of London, and John ^ Poynet, bishop of "Win-
chester, were deprived, and some of them imprisoned. William *
Barlow, bishop of Bath and Wells, Paul" Bush, bishop of
Bristol, and John Scory '', bishop of Chichester, were forced to
resignations^ ; and we are to consider that all these proceed-
ings took place upon the strength of the regale, and not under
any synodical or proper ecclesiastical authority.

Among '^ the lower clergy ^ a like havoc was made. Those ^
who * were married, a state of life which had been authorized
both by ecclesiastical and statute law, or who did not conform
to the royal views in religion, were ^ ejected in vast numbers ;
" upon •= which smiting of the shepherds it is not to be won-
dered at if their flocks were scattered."

" The sacred streams flow backwards ; Justice is no more ;
For all again is overthrown ^."

,,, ^, With Q. Mary's first parliament a convoca-

VI. The con- ,^ ^ -,, 7 .. ,.,

vocations now no tiou °^ was summouod ^ by royal writ^ in which
piovincia s)no s. jjQgyj^gjj|. j^ jg gomevvhat startling to observe,

s Godwyn's Life of Q. Mary. Comp. Hist. ii. 336. J Coll. vi. IS. Heylin s Hist. Ref. 191
Cranmer, p. 310. a Stfvpe's Mem. iii. 108, seq. & Coll. vi. 63. b Hevlin's Hist,
c Heylin's Hist. Ref. p. 195. d Warner, Ecc. Hist. ii. 335. « Heylin's Hist. Ref. p,

A.D. 1553.
Q. Maiy.

f Fuller,
Ch. Hist,
b. viii. p. 10.
f Stiype's
p. 307.
g Hevlin's
Hist.' Ref.

h Strype's,
p. 307.
Fuller, Ch.
Hist. b. viii.
p. 10.
' Strype's
p. 309.
J Strype's
Mem. iii. 50.
^ Fuller,
Ch. Hist,
b. viii. p. 10,
and see
Coll. vi.
64. 67.
' Strype's
p. 309.
"> Strype's
p. 309.
" Strype's
p. 309.
° Strype's
p. 309.
c Strype's
p. 309.
1 Strype's
p. 310.
r Strype's
p. 310.
* Strype's
p. 310.
' Strype's
p. 309.
" Strype's
p. 310.
" Hevlin's
Hist.' Ref.
p. 195.
"- Fuller,
Ch. Hist,
b. viii. p.

^ Strype's
Ref. p. 1.92.
, 199.

dvo) Troro/iwi/ Upuiv, K.r.X. — Eurip. Med. 411.




A. D. 1553.
Robert Hol-
gate in pri-

f Geeves'
Hist. Ch.
of Great
Britain, p.
e Ibid,
h Ibid.

J Strype's
p. 310.

^ Hevlin'a
p. 199.
1 Fuller's
Ch. Hist.
b. viii. p. 11.
" Warner,
ii. 335.
n Heylin's
Hist. Rcf.
p. 199, and
Geeves, p,

Rev. R. I.
on Supre-
macy, pp.

P Cone.
Mae. Brit,
iv. 88.
1 Strypc's
p. 307,

notwithstanding the complexion of the court views in religion,
that her majesty retained the title of " supreme ^ head on earth
of the Church of England." But to consider this assembly
as a provincial synod of the English Church would be by no
means reasonable. In the first place ^ the Archbishop of
Canterbury was in the Tower, deprived by no synodical de-
cision, but as a prisoner of state ; and was there detained
during the whole time of the sessions of this assembly, so that
he could '^ not perform his duty to God and the Church.
Bonner, a furious supporter of the papal cause, was intruded
into Cranmer's place ^ as president. The deans and arch-
deacons had been deprived for marriage ^, or for other reasons
which moved the court to such an extent, that but six of that
rank who maintained the reformed doctrines are found ^
among the members ^ And as for the proctors, such in-
fluences™ had been set at work, "and so partially" had the
elections been returned from the several dioceses, that we find
none of K. Edward's clergy" among them. All this not-
withstanding, endeavours have been made to assert for the
convocations in this reign the authority of provincial synods ;
and it has been said that there "is° not a shadow of proof"
for the assertion that the clergy were not now duly repre-
sented. Surely more caution in such a quarter and upon
such a subject might have been expected. For to call these
assemblies provincial synods of the English Church would be
to apply a name to them no way warrantable. If at this time
more than half of the ministers of the Scotch Kirk were
ejected, and Homan Catholic priests intruded into their places,
and a packed synod was then summoned, our northern neigh-
bours would be loth to allow to such a meeting the name or
authority appertaining to their " general assembly."

viT Pretended Some account, however, of this meeting,
provincial synod whicli uudcr the circumstanccs now affectinop

of 1553. , , , . ,,,,,.,.

the convocations must absolutely be denied the
name or authority of a provincial synod of the English Church,
may here be desirable.

On the 6th of October the pretended provincial Synods of
Canterbury p and York both met. As regards the latter it is
only necessary to remark that their metropolitan, Robert Hol-
gate, was imprisoned i with his brother archbishop, so that the



proper authority, in this respect, of the two convocations was
equally disabled.

Harpsfield'sser- The Canterbury Convocation^ met at S.
»>o"- Paul's. Bonner's chaplain ^ Harpsfield, preach-

ed in the cathedral upon the text " take * heed therefore unto
yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost
hath made you overseers."

From these words he took occasion to remark, 1st, how "
closely S. Paul's practice agreed to his doctrine on this head ;
2ndly, how " widely the English clergy had of late departed from
the apostolic exhortation ; and Srdly, he pointed out the ^
means by which he conceived the obligation imposed by the text
would best be discharged, inserting also a very tragical rela-
tion as to the state of the Church in K. Edward VI.'s days.
While speaking on his second division, Harpsfield became
exceedingly ^ rough in his language, making charges of a
scandalous character against the clergy. Epicurism, incon-
tinence, flattery, covetousness, vain glory, ignorance, were
faults imputed to them in unmeasured terms. He then
accused them of " tearing ^ the Lord's flock and sending souls
to hell," and finally, his language descending as his temper
rose, he carried his expressions to the ^ last degree of coarse-
ness and impropriety ; venting accusations ^ more railing
than Michael the archangel dared to bring even against the

Dr. Hugh Wes- The lowcr house ^ was fitted with a prolo-
ton prolocutor. cutor "= of like views with Bonner, the intruded
president. This was Dr. Hugh Weston"^, also intruded as
Dean of Westminster, in the place of Dr. Cox. This Dr.
Weston ^ is said to have had an impediment in his speech,
which one might suppose would have given him time, when
engaged in debate, to recollect himself and guard his language
with^ greater caution than was his wont. In the second
session he was presented to the bishops by William Pye, dean
of Chichester, and John Wimsley, archdeacon of London, who
both made speeches on the occasion.

Mr. Pye's Mr. Pyc ^, in presenting the new prolocutor,

speech. bemoaned the overthrow of the papal doctrines,

and urged the necessity of zealous endeavours to restore them.
For this purpose he thought the present assembly would be

A. D. 1553.


•■ Foxe's

Acts and

Mon. ii.


^ Coll. vi.


' Acts XX.


" Strype's
p. 3-22. Coll.
vi. 37.

JMem. 111.


w Strype's

Mem. iii.


•'' Strype'
Meui. iii

y Strype's
p. 323.

^ Strype's
p. 323.
" Jude 9.

b Hevlin's
Rcf. LO!:*.
e Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 88.
d Geeves,
p. 186.
P Strype's
Mem. iii.

' Warner,
ii. 337.
Fuller's Ch.
Hist. b. viii.
p. 11. Coll.
vi. 46.

g Strype's
Mem. iii.
43. See also
Cranmer, p.

K k




•> Strj-pe's
Mem. iii.

* Strypc's
Mem. iii.

J Strype's
Mem. iii.

^ Strype's
Mem. iii.

' Strype's
Mem. iii.

"' Strj-pe's
Mem. iii.

useful, and reminded the members that to secure orderly
management one of them had happily been selected as modera-
tor. He then pointed out the person on whom the choice had
fallen, and whom he somewhat coarsely flattered, and so closed
his address with a clumsy metaphor drawn from a palm tree,
to which he compared the newly-elected prolocutor,

Wimsiey's -^s for Wimsley's speech, he^ paid an extra-

®P^"''- vagant compliment to the "witt," "learning,"

" eloquence," " experience," " dexterity," and universal virtues
of the lower house of convocation, from which he said there
arose some embarrassment as to the person fit to be selected
from the midst of so much worth. Then warming upon his
subject even to romance, he ^ compared the convocation house
to a field, the membei's to flowers, and the prolocutor to a
garland culled from among them with distinguishing care.
Finally, with a broad commendation of Weston, whose name
he said was " renowned through Britain," he presented him
for their lordships' approval.

The pioiocii- After the prolocutor J was confirmed, he in
torsspcecii. ^^^.^ made an harangue, wherein he preferred

others in the assembly before himself for ability to discharge
the duties to which he was appointed. He spoke of bring-
ing religion back to its state before the reformation, and
passed a compliment upon the few bishops present, by sug-
gesting that they were even more eager to reach this goal
than him.self. A still higher compliment he bestowed on her
majesty, who in this race, as he said, " outran " even the
bishops. He then proceeded to call the queen '' a " heaven-
sent dove," and with some exaggerated expressions of adula-
tion to liken her' to the Emperor Theodosius. Next he
compared this pretended provincial synod with the Council of
Nice ; and her majesty's respect for the bishops was likened
to that of Constantino, who, in the aforesaid council, was con-
tent to shew great revjerence towards the heads of the Church
by occupying a humbler place. Jovinianus in turn became the
subject of praise, who had required of Athanasius instruc-
tion in religion, and who on his entrance into the empire had
restored the ejected Catholic bishops ; and hero the prolocutor
drew a parallel between Q, Mary and that emperor, in that she
had called the Athanasiuses now addressed from "^ all corners of



the kingdom to define matters of religion. Dr. Weston then
quoted from S. Chrysostom, and ran out into some unwarrant-
able expressions with respect to the late imprisonment of
Gardiner and Bonner, now part of his audience, drawing a
comparison between them and that Father of the Church, and
saying also that their sufferings had been greater than those
of John the Baptist. After this he ended by beseeching
their lordships that its ancient authority might be vindicated
by the convocation, and added what was not in accordance
with the truth, that all things had been before done without
its counsel and consent.

When Weston had finished, Bonner, as pre-
sident, made a concluding speech. He " com-
plimented the convocation on their understanding, unanimity,
impartiality, and honesty. He told them that they deserved
the thanks of the bishops for having chosen an unexception-
able prolocutor, and that they might expect for so pious an
act the commendations of the clergy and people, and what
was better, a still higher reward from God. He assured them
that Dr. Weston would not only make wholesome sugges-
tions for their proceedings and handle all affairs with dexterity,
but would, from the great favour he was in with the queen, be
able to bring all to a successful issue. Lastly, the bishop
commended them to the guidance of their prolocutor, and the
dispatch of such business as should come before them, promis-
ing in his own name and in that of the rest of his brethren to
aid their endeavours for promoting the Christian religion and
advancing the best interests of the kingdom.
„ , , , Notwithstanding; these smooth words, it is said

Haughty belia- . ....

viour of the bi- that the bishops sitting in this convocation (who
^ °^'' on account of the imprisonments and deprivations

which had taken place among that order, amounted only to
seven or eight at most) carried themselves" with unwonted
loftiness towards the lower house. For whenever they were
present they kept the inferior clergy standing and uncovered,
how long soever it might be. In fact they were infected with
the spirit of Romanism, and so disregarded the models of the
ancient synods, where only the deacons stood, while the pres-
byters, those of the second thrones?, sat with the bishops.
One ^ who was probably a member of this convocation makes

A.D. 15.53.
Q. Maiy.

" Strype's
Mem. iii.

Mem. 111.


P Bing.
Eccl. Ant.
h. ii. c.
19, s. 5.
q Dr. Tur-
ner, dean of




A.D. 1553.




Robert Hol-

gate in


•■ Strype'8

Mem. iii.


» Cone.

Mag. Bnt.

iv. 88.

t Coll. vi. p.


" Cone.

Mag Brit.

iv. 88.

V Oct. 20.

w Heylin's


p. 199.

1 Vid. sup.

chap. xi.

p. 485.

y Coll. vi.

» Cone.
Mas. Brit.

a Coll. vi.


•> Stnpe's
p. 322.

c Strype's
p. 310.
d Hcvlin's
Ref. p. 199.

^ Foxe's
Act8& Mon.
™. 1340


a doleful complaint of the conduct of these few prelates. " As
long"^," he says, "as the clergy tarry in the bishops'" convoca-
tion-house, so long must they stand before their lords, though it
be two or three hours, yea and be the weather never so cold,
or the men never so sickly, bareheaded."
^ , , , On the ] 3th * of October it was signified ' to

Sundiy heads "^ ,

of business pro- the lowcr housc by the prolocutor that it was
''°^^ ■ the queen's pleasure that a debate should be

entered into on some controverted points, with a view to frame
at "^ the next meeting ^ canons for her majesty's ratification.
Dr. Weston also now introduced''^ the subject of K. Edward's
catechism before alluded to ^, which had been bound up with
the forty-two articles of 1552-3. He denied that the former
work had ever been authorized by convocation, and charged ^
the book with heresy. Moreover, he exhibited two schedules
for subscription by the meeting, one denying the synodical
authority of this catechism, the other asserting the doctrine
of transubstantiation. These papers were signed by the pre-
sent members, with the exception of five ^. Those who refused
were Philips % dean of Rochester, Haddon, dean of Exeter,
Philpot, archdeacon of Winchester, Cheyney, archdeacon of
Hereford, and Ailmer \ archdeacon of Stow ; and these, indeed,
together with ^ Young, the precentor of S. David's, were the
only members of this convocation who held the reformed
doctrines ; so numerous had been the deprivations *^ for
marriage, and so carefully had this assembly been packed by
undue influences ^.

Disputation on A disputation was now ordered on the sub-
!?anstfb"tantTation ject of trausubstantiation, and a request was
inthelowerhouse. niade On the part of those who maintained the
reformed doctrines that ]5ishop Ridley and some other divines
who held their views should assist ; but this advantage could
not be obtained, inasmuch as some of the persons proposed
were prisoners.

The* disputation'' was, nevertheless, fixed for Monday,
October 23. Whether the upper house took any part on
this occasion is not quite clear. Certainly the speakers all be-

* For their opinions see Collier's Hist. Records, No. 68 repeated.
'' A small printed copy of this disputation exists, which I have consulted, in the
British Museum.




longed *■ to the lower. Indeed it may be doubted whether any
upper house, at least rightly deserving the name ^, could be
constituted after such havoc as had been made among the
rulers of the Church. When the day for ^ the disputation
arrived a great number' of the nobility J and persons of figure
appeared to hear the debate. Haddon and Ailmer at first
refused to enter into controversy, unless those persons whose
aid they had requested were allowed to assist. But Cliey-
ney, archdeacon of Hereford, undertook himself to combat
the doctrine of transubstantiation. He argued from 1 Cor.
xi. 26, where the holy eucharist is called bread after conse-
cration ; and cited Origen, Hesychius, and Theodoret^ (who
speaks of the elements as continuing in their former nature and
substance) in order to confirm his view. The prolocutor ap-
pointed Dr. Moreman to oppose Cheyney. In respect of the
quotation from S. Paul Moreman's argument was feeble, and
in answering the testimony of Theodoret his reasoning was
still worse. Ailmer and Philpot ' on this reinforced Cheyney,
and striking with force and precision drove their arguments
home and silenced Moreman.

Next came Philips, dean ™ of Rochester, on the reformed
side. He cited a testimony " from S. Austin when speaking

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 54 of 83)