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

. (page 56 of 83)
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 56 of 83)
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X. The pariia- A new ^ parliament and a new convocation
Sno"f'Vreu" n^ct in the month of November. The parlia-
ber 1554 meet. j^^q^^ assembled ou the 12th at Westminster %
and the convocation on the 13tli of that month in'* S. PauPs

3 Att. Rights, pp. 58. 510. 5«8, 509. 574 [618, 619]. Some Proceedings in
the Convocation, a.d. 1705, faithfully represented, pp. 12 — 14. 21. i.ond. 1708.
Vox Cleri, p. 69. Lond. 1690.





His speech.

Cardinal Pole ^ now arrived '^ as papal legate ^
addresses the par- in England, and four days afterwards he ad-
dressed ^ the lords and commons assembled in
the great chamber at Whitehall, Q. JNIary her newly-mar-
ried husband K. Philip being present and sitting in great

The cardinal took occasion to thank them for
the repeal of his attainder ; then dilating on the
importance of his commission, being no less than that of recon-
ciling this kingdom, as he said, to the Catholic Church, he
hinted at the early ecclesiastical history of this country, in which
he fell into ^ some vulgar errors — referring the first planting
of Christianity here to the influence of the Roman see. Com-
mending s the former fidelity of England, and passing ^ some
compliments upon the learning of our countrymen, he re-
marked on the distinguishing respect with which the English
had been treated by the Roman pontiff, and gave a tragical
account of the calamities which overtook this and other nations
who had separated from what he took leave to call "the*
centre of unity and the head of the Christian communion."'''
He then referred to the notorious and scandalous conduct of
K. Henry VIII., and the penalties which had been annexed
by the legislature to the non-observance of certain forms in
religion, and expressing himself with some warmth J declared
that there were heavier restraints on conscience in England
than in Turkey. He reminded his audience that Rome
might have been supported by ample military force in
coercing England into obedience, but that she was willing
to apply softer expedients, and that the happy juncture of
the queen's accession, together with her marriage to a prince
who inherited from his father so high a regard for the true
faith, now gave promise of very blessed results. Next he
drew a distinction ^ between two separate independent powers,
the ecclesiastical and the civil ; a distinction plain enough
in itself, only that the cardinal mismanaged the topic, and
asserted without sufficient warrant that, while princes were
God's representatives^ in the second division, the Pope of
Rome was his representative in the first. Coming to the
particular purpose of his own mission, the cardinal claimed
the ™ authority of our Saviour Himself, of the Apostles, of

A. D. 1554.
Q. Mary.

>> Coll. vi.


c Nov. 24.

d Cone.

Mag. Brit.

iv. 91.

e Coll. vi.

f Coll. vi

g Coll. vi.


>' Coll. vi.


1 Coll. vi.




A.D. 1554.




in prison,

Robert Hoi-



P Ovid,
vi. 448.

t Hume,
c. xxxvi.
p. 37.9.

r Hevlin's
Hist: Ref.
p. 212.

" Heylin's
Hist. Ref.
p. 212.

' Warner,
ii. 358.

the lioly .scriptures, and of all the Fathers, for the special
prerogative of the Roman see, as charged with the power
of the keys ; and on the score of his legatine authority he
proposed himself to exercise that prerogative in England.
Still, notwithstanding his being armed with this remark-
able power, he declined to press it until some obstructions"
were removed on the part of his hearers ; and so he let them
know that it was necessary for them to repeal those statute
laws by which the connexion between Rome and England
had been severed. As his commission, he concluded, was
" not to ° pull down, but to build ;" not to censure, but
reconcile ; not to compel, but invite ; not to be over-severe
in retrospection, but to forgive and forget the past, he de-
sired them to put themselves in a position which would
qualify them for the perception of the signal advantages
suggested by him.

Parliament pe- Either submission to royal authority, or the
tition for the re- influence of Spanish gold, or the persuasive-

storation of papal .

authority in Eng- ncss of the cardiual's speech worked remark-
able effects on the Houses of Lords and Com-
mons. If their subsequent conduct was the result of the last-
mentioned cause, it may truly be said —

". . . . infausto committitur online sermoP,"

for considering them as the representatives of their country,
they proceeded to subject her to the last excesses of degrada-
tion in their own persons.

Both houses ofi parliament agreed that a petition
should be addressed to the queen and her consort declaring
in the name of the kingdom how much the parliament re-
gretted that they had withdrawn ^ obedience from the Pope
and enacted statutes against his authority ; and they con-
cluded with a promise that such laws should be repealed, and
so beseeched Q. JNIary and K. Philip that they* would inter-
cede with the cardinal for pardon and absolution, and re-
quest him to place the kingdom again under the jurisdiction
of Rome. It is true that some *■ few of the members of the
House of Commons resisted this revival of papal authority,
and spoke as became Englishmen ; but the majority in favour
of Rome prevailed there, and as for the House of Lords it




Parliament pe-
tition the queen
and her consort
to intercede with
the cardinal for
the reconciliation
of England to

seems to have abandoned all sense of duty and religion. Their
former opposition to Roman doctrines and papal power,
when by such a course they secured the favour of their king
and the spoils of hospitals, churches, and abbeys, as contrasted
with their present forwardness to promote the extension of
those same doctrines and of that same power when such pro-
ceedings would please their queen and tend to secure their ill-
gotten gains, gives an ill aspect to their conduct. It is hard
to escape from the conclusion that they had but a slender
regard for religion, and set an unreasonably high value on
earthly treasure.

After the petition was duly prepared both
houses of parliament attended the court on S.
Andrew's " day, when Gardiner, bishop of Win-
chester, as lord chancellor asked the members
whether they were pleased " to address ' the car-
dinal for their pardon, to acknowledge the l-'ope's
supremacy, and to return to the unity of the Church." Some
of them cried " Yea ;" and "^ as the rest said nothing their
silence was taken for consent ; so the petition was presented
to Q. JNIary and her consort by both houses, the ^ members
falling upon their knees and praying their majesties, as they
had not been themselves involved in schism, to intercede with
the cardinal and use their good offices with him for the re-
concihation ^ of the kingdom to the Pope, and for the recep-
tion of its inhabitants into the pale of the Roman Church.

Pole declared ^ a ready willingness to grant
accedes to the re- the ^ parliament their desire ; and so having
thr^^iitmen't! causod his logatiue commission to be read pub-
, .... iioiy^ iiQ ^ook notice how acceptable a sinner's
repentance was in** the sight of God, and
i affirmed that the angels in heaven rejoiced at the recovery of
this kingdom. Upon this the members of both houses of
parliament kneeled down humbly upon their knees, and re-
ceived the cardinal legate's absolution, pronounced in the fol-
lowing words : —

Theformofhis "Our'= Lord Jesus Christ, which with his
absolution. j^Qg^ precious blood hath redeemed and washed

us from all our sins and iniquities, that He might purchase to
Himself a glorious spouse without spot or wrinkle, and whom

the members


A.D. 1554.
Q. Mary.

Nov. 30.

V Coll. vi.

" Heylin's

p. 212.

^- Warner,
ii. 358.

y Warner,
ii. 358.

^ Hevlin's
Hist.' Ref.
p. 212.
^ Hume,
c. x.xxvi. p.

b Hevlin's
Hist." Ref.
p. 212.

<■ Hevlin's
Hist.' Ref.
p. 212, and
Coll. vi. 90,
and Cone.
Mag. Brit.
iv. 111.


5] 4



A.D. 1554.




in prison,

Robert Hol-


d Heylin's
Hist. Ref.
p. 212.


f Nov. 30.

^ Heylin's
Hist. Ref.
p. 212.
Coll. vi. 91,
Vid. inf. p.

h Dec. 2.
Hist. Eng.
V. 453.

' Rom. xiii.

J Hevlin's
Hist! Ref.
p. 212.

k Dec. .3.
' Fuller,
Ch. Hist,
b. viii. p. 15.
" Coll. vi.

Dim Or
n Coll. vi.

the Father hath appointed head over all his Church, He by
his mercy absolve you. And we by Apostolic authority given
to us by the most holy Lord Pope Julius JIT., his vicegerent
here on earth, do absolve and deliver you and every of you
with the whole realm and dominions thereof, from all heresy
and schism, and from all and every judgment, censures, and
pains for that cause incurred ; and also we do restore you
again unto the unity of our mother the holy Church, as in our
letters more plainly it shall appear, in the name of the Father,
the Son, and the Holy Ghost." These words ^ were responded
to by a loud "Amen" on the part of those present, and the
solemnities of the day were concluded by ^ a grand proce.ssion
to the Chapel Koyal, where a " Te Deum " was sung, and
thanks were given to Almighty God.

Gardiner Becausc this remarkable event took place on

luvi^r at" *s^ ^- Andrew's day*" the cardinal subsequently
Paul's Cross. prevailed ^ with his legatine synod to make a
canon that that festival should be kept in the Church as a
" majus duplex," i. e. that it should be brought up to the solem-
nity of the greater holidays. And that the fact of the par-
liamentary absolution might be more publicly made known,
on the Sunday following'' an account of the day's proceedings
was proclaimed by Gardiner, bishop of Winchester, in a ser-
mon at S. Paul's cross. Cardinal Pole himself proceeded thither
in great pomp from Lambeth by water, and in the company of
K. Philip, the lord mayor, the aldermen, and notables of the
city, listened to the discourse, which was upon this text,
" Knowing the time, that' now it is high time to awake out of
sleep." In treating his subject Gardiner found opportunity
to detail the events of the previous Friday, and suggesting
that this kingdom had then roused from slumber, he noticed
the submission of lords and commons made to the Pope, and
the consequent^ absolution which they had enjoyed the ad-
vantage of receiving from his legate.

The next'' day it was' resolved that an em-
bas.sy should bo sent to Rome to tender the
kingdom's™ obedience to Julius TIL For this
purpose Anthony Brown Viscount Montacute"™, Dr. Thirlby,
bishop of Ely, and Sir Edward Karne w ere chosen. The news
of these proceedings was so joyfully received in Italy, that "

An embassy
<iispatched to




solemn processions were there ordered. A jubilee" was pub
lislied and a p bull prepared for confirming the acts of
the cardinal legate : the Pope considering that i it was an
unusual instance of felicity to receive thanks from the English
for his permission of that which he was anxious by all means
in his power to bring about.

The foregoing events in English history are somewhat re-
markable ; and as we have seen before that the papal yoke was
forced on this Church and realm by acts of sovereign power in
the times of K. William I., K. John, and K. Henry III., so here
we may observe not only the authority of the monarch exerted
for this purpose, but the most abject acknowledgment of the
papal claims on the part of the two houses of the imperial
legislature. It requires under such circumstances an under-
standing more than ordinarily improved to perceive the justice
of charging an abandonment of the ancient liberties of this
Church of England upon her clergy, rather than upon the
civil powers.

Tiiis parliament We are, howevor, to observe while this par-
[ng^^tile'lay^Tm- hamcnt displayed such surprising zeal in favour
propriations. ^f ^j^g Pope, and hailed with such ready accept-

ance the imposition of a foreign yoke upon this Church and
nation, that the object which seems to have eclipsed all re-
ligious considerations was lands and money. The members of
this parliament "^ were above measure cautious to reserve their
concessions to Rome until they had been repeatedly assured,
both by the queen and the Pope's legate, that their sacrilegious
gains obtained by the plunder of the churches, monasteries, and
abbeys should not be inquired into. Not^ however content
with promises only, they took care to enact in the statute *
which restored the Pope's authority in England a clause "
securing to the present possessors all Church property, and
freeing them from the infliction ' of any ecclesiastical censures.
And even when the queen was herself desirous to restore to
the Church ^ the tenths and firstfruits, together with the im-
propriations which had been seized for the enrichment of the
crown, and when a bill "^ was brought in upon the subject, the
House of Commons raised a clamorous opposition against it.
So scrupulous and full of care were our legislators of that day
in respect of those treasures laid up where thieves may break

A.D. 1554.
Q. Mary.

0^1. vi. '


P Coll. vi.


1 Hume,

c. x,\xvi.

pp. 379-80.

f Hume,
c. xxxvi.

p. 380.


t 1 & 2 Phil.
and Mar.
c. 8.

" l&2Phil.
and Mar.
c. 8, s. 38.
V 1 & 2 Phil.
and Mar.
c. 8. s. 30.
" Hume,

C. XXXV. p.


and Mar.
c. 4.

LI 2




A.D. 1554.




in prison,

Robert IIol-


y Sup. p.
z Cone.
Mag. Brit.
iv. 94.
a Cone.
Maor. Brit,
iv. 94.

i> Dec. G.

<■ Hevlin's
Hist.' Hcf.
p. 213.

through and steal ; though they appear to have considered
that heavenly treasures not subject to like dangers did not
demand on their parts the like circumspection.

The convora- Thc Convocation of Cantcrl)ury, as we have seen
tiiT eti'dinaf ic'- a^o^c >', assembled acoursc with this parliament.
g"t^- The former assembly met on Nov. 13, in S.^

Paul's cathedral. Bonner again took the seat of president in
place of the uncanonically deprived archbishop ; and Dr. Henry*
Cole, archdeacon of Ely, was elected prolocutor. This was, like
its two immediate predecessors, an assembly packed with court
divines, and offensively cringing to the cardinal legate, having
no just claim to the appellation of an English provincial
synod. The course which the parliament had adopted of a
public humiliation before the legate's feet was followed by this
convocation ; and as though the Romanist clergy enmlated
the example set them by the lords and commons at White-
hall on Friday, the 30th of November, so they also betook
themselves on the following ^ Thursday to Lambeth Palace,
where '^, kneeling upon their knees, they sought and obtained
from the cardinal pardon, as was asserted, for all their per-
juries, schisms, and heresies. And in order that all the
people of this country might partake of a like advantage, and
testify their submission to the Pope, a general and formal
absolution was pronounced by his legate.

Proceedings of The qucen and her very exceptionable parlia-
that assembly. IJamcnt scom to havo kept this convocation
tightly in hand, and to have pressed the members somewhat
sharply, and that moreover up hill, to do the court work against
inclination. For this assenibly was by some means or other
induced to address their majesties in order that they should in-
tercede with the cardinal, and desire him not to be too nice in
exacting the restitution of Church lands. Now that men should
thus damage the interests of their own order, and, what is
worse, prove unjust stewards of that which they thought com-
mitted to them as a divine trust, is calculated to surprise ;
nor is such a course likely to have been pursued except under
the compulsion of some considerable external applications.
However, the repeal of all tlie statutes which had been made
against Home was a sweeping measure, and so to dispose the
members of the upper and lower houses of parliament towards



such a proceeding, it appears to have been necessary to supply
them with full assurance that their temporal advantages should
not suffer, though no guarantee seems to have been required
against consequences which might happen to their spiritual

To fortify this assurance the help of the convocation was se-
cured*^. But the lower house seems to have practised somewhat
more caution than the bishops at this conjuncture, and to have
felt some presentiment that undue advantages might be taken.
In order to provide against these the lower took occasion to
send an address^ to the upper house of convocation, of
which the design was to gain somewhat of an equivalent for
giving up all future claim to the Church lands which had
been seized by the lay impropriators.

The lower house The substaucc of the address of the lower
address the upper, housc ^ was digested iuto twenty-eight articles,
which were introduced by an application of the following cha-

The clergy beg that, in concurring s with the settlement of
the Church lands on the impropriators, the present legal
rights of ecclesiastical persons may not be prejudiced ; that
the schools promised by statute ^ may be established ; that
tithes and oblations lately alienated may be restored ; that
the lands and endowments lately taken from cathedrals
may be given back ; that the statutes of mortmain made in
the seventh year of K. Edward I. and fifteenth year of
K. Richard II. may be repealed, and that the false doctrine
which had been sown by evil teachers may be banished by
their lordships' zeal for truth. Having closed this prelimi-
nary address, the lower house appended the twenty-eight'
articles mentioned *.

* The most remarkable points were these : " They desire to be resolved whether
those who have preached heretical doctrines should be convened before their ordi-
naries or proceeded against by process according to ecclesiastical canons ^. They
desire that Archbishop Cranmer's book against the sacrament of the altar, that the
Common Prayer Book, the ordinal, and sundry translations of the Bible may be
burnt. That persons possessing such books may be compelled to deliver them
up ^. That no such books may be printed here or imported from abroad ^. That
the statutes against heretics may be revived, and the bishops and ordinaries re-
stored to the jurisdictions respectively exercised by them in the first year of
K. Henry VIII. il That statutes allowing pluralities and non-residence may be
repealed «, simoniacal contracts punished, and patrons lose their presentations if

A.D. ]o54.
Q. Mary.

d Warner,
ii. 359.

e Cone.
Mag. Brit.

iv. 96.

f Cone.
Majr. Brit.
iv. 96, 97.

g See Coll.
vi. 97.

h 1 Ed. VI.
c. 1-2, s. 11.

1 Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 95—97,
and Coll. vi.

b Art. 2.
c Art. 3.

J Art. 4.
e Art. 5.




A.D. 1554.

J Strype's
Cran. p.


' Art. 6.

B Art. 7.

h Art


' Art.


J Art.


k Art


' Art.


n> Art


n Art


o Art.


P Art




VI. 9.0






^ Art.


« Art.


» Art.


■' Art.


» Art.


w Art. 22.

t Art.


y Art.


» Art.


» Art.


•> Art.




It seems that tlii.s convocation, as may be gathered from
the second of these articles, was not only desirous to burn
obnoxious books, but one of the members at least was ready
to exercise the like rigour towards their authors. For as
some of the reformers had been imprisoned and put to death
without any legal process, but only by commissions from the
queen and chancellor, an objection was started in the convo-
cation J that they were condemned without warrant of law.
Whereon Weston \ sheltering under the legal maxim " con-
ditio defendentis est melior," submitted to the assembly his
counsel in these words : " It^ forceth not for a law ; we have
a commission to proceed with them, and when they be dis-
patched let their friends sue the law."

The lower clergy, in addition to the twenty-eight articles
above mentioned, signified a desire that bishops and their
officials should be empowered (any statutes and customs not-

they are guilty of abetting such mismanagements f. That the Church may be
restored to the privileges guaranteed by Magna Charta, or at least may be
replaced in the condition she enjoyed in the first year of K. Henry VIII. That
first-fruits, tenths, and subsidies may be remitted S. That no attachment of prae-
munire may be awarded against any ecclesiastical ordinary before a prohibition.
That the learned judges may be requii-ed to give a lucid explanation of the myste-
rious term ' praemunire l'.' That the statutes of ' provisors ' be not too rigorously
overstrained'. That 25 Hen. VIII. c. 1.0 may be repealed J. That the statute
for finding of great horses by ecclesiastical persons may be repealed ^. That
usurers may be punished by the canon law '. That those who assault ecclesiastics
may be punished by the canon law "i. That ecclesiastics may be compelled to
dress in their proper habits, according to their respective degrees ". That married
priests may be divorced °. That all schoolmasters who do not hold the doctrines
of Rome may be removed and their places supplied by those who do P. That
places exempt may be put under the jurisdiction q of their spiritual ordinaries'".
That the cognition of tithe cases in London may be withdrawn from the jurisdic-
tion of the lord mayor s. That tithes may be paid according to the canon law '.
That abbey lands, which at the time of the dissolution were tithe free, may now
be made tithcable ". That those who are legally bound to repair chancels may be
compelled to do their duty ^'. That the dues to priests pensioners may be duly
paid w. That payments of personal tithes in towns may be enforced ". That
some public animadversions may pass on married priests who decline to divorce
their wives V. That nuns who had married may be divorced '. That in cases
of divorce from bed and board, the husband may not, during separation, have any
lien upon the goods of his innocent wife ■''. That cluirchwardens may be compelled
to produce their accounts before the ordinaries ''. That all ecclesiastical persons
who had spoiled Church property may be compelled to make full restitution ^'."

* Sfrype has fallen into a mistake in calling Weston the prolocutor at tliis time.
The office now was held bv Dr. Ilenrv Cole.




withstanding) to hear causes and proceed to judgment in
sixteen specified cases \ which it is needless to transcribe at
length, but which affect church expenses'", vicarial dues",
church ornaments °, clerks' fees p, church lands '^, tithes of
woodland ■■, personal tithes ^, minor canons ', common tables,
marriage of the wives of priests lately divorced ", sermons ^,
simony "', money payments to lay impropriators ^, tippling of
priests y, letting of glebe houses % union of small parishes ^
and Sunday and holy day markets ^.

Such were the applications which the lower house of con-
vocation made to the upper on this occasion. The members
wished evidently, before renouncing all claim to a restitution
of Church property, to suggest some grievances for which they
thought they now perceived an opportunity of obtaining redress,
and to secure some immunities which they considered desirable.
The coiivoca- The bishops, however, all deep in the interest
queV^tnT her of the court, and willing enough to promote the
consort. vicws there held, were anxious to secure the par-

liament's entire submission to the legate ; and as episcopal in-
fluence was paramount, the consent of the whole convocation
was at last obtained to forego any claim to a restitution of the
Church lands, for without this concession the parliamentary

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 56 of 83)