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 57 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 57 of 83)
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conscience would certainly have proved over-scrupulous. So, as
the cardinal himself had been creditably firm on the matter of
Church property, it was managed that the whole ^^ convocation
should apply to the queen and her consort, with a request that
they would intercede with his eminence to waive that point.
Their majesties were consequently addressed by both houses
to this effect.

"We'' the bishops and clergy of the pro-

The address. . ^ ^ , ^ , , , . ^.

vmce 01 Canterbury assembled in convocation
according to custom during the sessions of parliament, with
all due humility and regard acquaint your majesties that not-
withstanding by our respective stations and ofiices the care
and protection of the rights and privileges of the Church are
intrusted with us, for which reason we ought to have recourse
to the remedies of law, and endeavour the recovering whatever
has been taken away in this kingdom, during the late schism, yet
we must freely confess that the restoring these estates is a very
difficult and in a manner an impracticable undertaking. And



Q. Mary.




IV. 9V

°> Art


n Art.




P Art. 4.

1 Art.


r Art.


s Art.


t Art.


" Art


V Art.


w Art


X Art


y Art.


^ Art.


a Art.

J 5.

b Art


bb Lingard,
Hist. Eng.
V. 454.

c Cone.
Mag. Brit.
iv. 101.
Hist. Ref.
pp. 213-14.
Mem. iii.
app. p. 60,
and Coll.
vi. 94.




A.D. 1554.

in prison,
Robert Hol-

<! Coll. vi.


*= Cone.

Ma-. Hiit.

iv. 10].

f Cone.
IM.ag. Brit,
iv. 94.

e Conn.
iMa-. liiit.
iv. <n.

"I llevlin's
Hist.' Hcf.
p. 214.

considering titles liave been so often transferred since the first
alienation, property would be strangely entangled by pursuing
an attempt of this nature, and over and above, the union with
the Catholic Church, so happily begun by your majesties, might
probably be checked in its progress. We therefore, who
value the public tranquillity more than our private advantage,
and the saving so many souls above all secular interest what-
ever (not seeking our own but those things which are Jesus
Chrisfs), humbly beseech your majesties to intimate our re-
quest to the Lord Cardinal Pole, legate to our Lord Pope
Julius in., and to intercede with his eminence that pursuant
to the powers granted by his holiness he would please to
prefer the benefit of the community to all private regards, and
give up the claim of those estates which might otherwise be
insisted on by the spiritualty or religious, and that the lord
cardinal legate would relax upon these points, either wholly or
in part, at his discretion. Only we desire his eminence would
shew himself easy and gentle on this occasion, declaring withal
that whatever shall be done by him in the premises shall be
taken as confirmed by our consent. And further, we humbly
entreat your majesties that those branches of ecclesiastical
jurisdiction without which we are in no condition to execute
our functions and assist our charge, and which have been
wrested from us by the injustice of the late times, may be re-
stored, and that all those laws which disable us in our busi-
ness and check our spiritual commission may be repealed, to
the honour of God and your majesties', and the common benefit
both temporal and eternal '^ of the whole realm. And finally we
desire ^ to express our firm conviction that your majesties,
according to your singular piety and gratitude to God for all
mercies, will never fail to consult and provide for the needs of
the churches of this your realm, more especially of those to
which the care of souls is attached."

This address ^ was agreed upon on the 7th of December,
the day after the absolution pronounced over the convocation
at Lambeth, and it was settled that Gardiner, bishop of
Winchester, now lord chancellor, together with the pro-
locutor and six members of the lower house, should present it
in the name^ of the whole convocation to their majesties.
The same persons seem to have themselves '' placed it in the




hands of the cardinal legate, and it may well be supposed to
have proved acceptable enough to him, as it gave him a pretext
for avoiding so harsh a strain as that of an application for the
restoration of the Church lands, which would inevitably have
proved little in harmony with the sentiments of the parliament.
Act of arlia- The cvcut was ' that ou New Year's Day, 1555
ment for tiie re- N.S., the act for restoring J the Pope's supremacy

storation of papal i • i i i n \- , i • i

supremacy in was passod iH both housos 01 padiament, which
ng an . |^ j^^^ heeii ^ remarked " could not but be enter-

tained for one of the most welcome new year's gifts which
had ever been given to a Pope of Rome." The Pope made a
handsome return by confirming in their respective sees such
few bishops as still remained of those who had been consecrated
during the reformation, by giving papal sanction to such new
bishoprics as had been erected in the reign of K. Henry VITL,
and by authorizing such marriages as in Roman Catholic
esteem might have otherwise become subjects of doubt.

Thus, so far as statute law and papal encroachment could
go, this Church and realm was again laid prostrate at the feet
of Rome.

„ , On the 23rd of January all the bishops with

Papal supra- /. , • 'i i j.i

macy publicly ac- the rest of the convocation waited on the
now e gc . cardinal at Lambeth, who there desired the

respective' members to repair to their cures, recommended
lenity and moderation, and desired them to recover their
people by kindness and persuasion rather than by rough
expedients and coarse usage. For these ™ desired ends dis-
pensations were granted by his eminence, and two days after-
wards, on the festival of the conversion of S. Paul "*, as though
the Church of England had experienced a like gift of grace
with the apostle, there ° was a grand and solemn procession
throughout London, to give a thanksgiving to God for so
great a blessing p. To add pomp and circumstance to this
proceeding there were carried in the procession ninety crosses,
and there appeared one hundred and sixty priests and clerks,
each attired in a cope ; eight bishops richly habited ; Bonner,
who carried a pix under a canopy ; and the lord mayor,
attended by the companies in their several liveries i. After
the procession all repaired to S. Paul's cathedral, where mass
was said in the presence of the cardinal and K. Philip, and on

A.D. 1554.
q. Mary.

A.D. 1555.
i Heylin'a
Hist. Ref.
p. 214.
and jMar.
c. 8.

k Hcylin's
Hist. Ref.
p. -214.

I Coll. vi.

™ Coll.

" Heylin's
Hist. Ref.
p. 214.
P Ilevlin's
Hist.' Ref.
p. 214, and
Coll. vi. <i9.

I Heylin's
Hist.' Ref.
p. 214.



A.T>. 1555.




in prison.

Robert Hol-


"■ Heylin's
Hist.' Ref.
p. 214.
« Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 94.
« Hor. 0(1.
iii. 5. 7.
" Hume,
c. xxxvii.
p. 384.
* 2& 3 Phil,
and Mar.
r. 4.

" Hume,
c. xxxvii.
p. 384.

XI. Parliament
and convocation
meet in October


" Hume,
c. xxxvii.
p. 384.

>• Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 120.
■' Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 120.

» Heylin's
Hist. Ref.
p. 223.
>> Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. l20.

c Oct. 25.

^ Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 120.

the following "^ day, Jan. 26, the convocation^ and parliament*
were dissolved —

" Proh Curia, inversique mores ' ! "
In the autumn of the year 1555 the convoca-
tion and parliament were again convened.

The latter assembly" mot on Oct. 21, and
passed an act ", though not without some
clamorous opposition in the House of Commons,
for the restitution to the Church of the firstfruits and tenths,
together with such impropriations as remained in the hands
of the crown. This opposition in the lower house arose from
some suspicions that if the crown was divested of these
ungodly gains, the weight of just taxation might be somewhat
increased. So keen were our legislators of that day in pursuit
of the smallest game which might help to swell the bag.

Two other bills " were proposed relating to religion — one for
obliging exiles to return under penalties, the other for dis-
abling such justices of the peace as were not sufficiently
rigorous in the prosecution of those who declined the court
religion. But the extravagant excesses of persecution had so
much disgusted the nation that these bills were both rejected,
and the queen, finding the humour of the parliament thus
intractable, dissolved the assembly '^ on Dec. 9.

Along with this parliament according to
met Oct. 22 y, at
S. Paul's cathedral. The usual ^ religious cere-
monies were solemnized, but Archbishop Cranmer ' being still
in prison there was no metropolitan to preside, so Bonner
again assumed his place. Boxhall% warden of Winches-
ter, preached the sermon. Bonner then^ explained the
causes for the meeting of the assembly, and, desiring the
lower house to select their prolocutor, their choice fell upon
Dr. Christopherson, dean of Norwich.

In the second session."' this gentleman was presented by
Henry Cole, archdeacon of Ely, and prolocutor of the last
convocation, who took occasion in an ingenious speech ^ to re-

*" The Statutes at Large say this parliament was dissolved Jan. 1(5, but Hcyliii
is positive that the 2Gth was the day.

' He suffered martjrdom by fire at Oxford, Marcli 21, 1550 n.s. — Strype's
Cran. p. 383. Rose's Biograpli. Diet, in verb. Cran.

The pretended
provincial synod CUStOm the COUVOCatioU
of October, 1555. q t^, ,, .i i i r.-,, ,

c Ti„..i xK„,i..„i The usual


present to the members of the upper house that the present
was a favourable opportunity for promoting the honour of
God, for securing their own dignity and the prosperity of
the ecclesiastical and civil state, for recovering losses, and for
restoring the ancient glory of the Church. Bonner then
confirmed ^ the newly-elected prolocutor, bestowing many
commendations both on him and on those who had elected
him to his office.
c, , The clersry being remitted to the lower house

state secrets _ . .

imparted to the with a direction that they should choose ten of
their body besides their prolocutor to hear some
state secrets connected with the queen, her consort, and the
cardinal, retired for that purpose. Shortly after the persons '
chosen returned to the upper house to wait on their lordship's
pleasure. Upon their ^ arrival the Bishop of Ely imparted to
them the secrets ; which were no less than that the queen re-
quired from them a subsidy, recommending that it should
amount ® to eight shillings in the pound, and be extended over
three or four years ; and to induce them to hberality in their
vote the bishop took notice ^ that the queen had remitted the
tenths and firstfruits, restored the benefices attached to mo-
nastic and collegiate institutions, and had proved '^ herself,
when compared with preceding monarchs, most munificent
towards the Church. He added ^ that Cardinal Pole had pre-
pared a schedule for the due disposition of these benefits con-
ferred by the queen, and handed to the lower house a copy
for their consideration. The Bishop of Ely further moved J
the lower house to choose a committee for reviewing the
ancient canons, in order to accommodate them to the present
state of the Church, and to supply their defects in such a
manner that, upon due approval, they might be made obliga-
tory on the clergy and kingdom at large. Of this motion,
however, we hear nothing more.

Theiowerhouse ^^ *^^^ third ^ scssiou ' the Bishop of London
petition the upper. (Bonncr) introduced into the upper house some
questions relative to reforms necessary in the Church. In

* The committee were Dr. Christopherson, prolocutor, Hugh Weston, Will.
Pye, Fr. Mallett, Rich. Marshall, Henry Cole, Will. Jefiery, Jo. Harpsfield, Jo.
Cottrell, Jo. Blaxton, Jo. Rixman.

3 Heylin (Hist. Ref. p. 224) and Collier (Ecc. Hist. vi. 129) say six shillings.


A.D. 1555.
Q. Mary.

e Cone.
Mag. Brit.
iv. 120.

f Cone.
Mag. Brit.
iv. 120.

S Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 120.
^ Cone.
Mag. Brit.
iv. 120.
i Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 120.

J Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 120, and
Ret. p. 224.

k Cone.
Mag. Brit.
iv. 120.
1 Oct. 30.




A.D. 1555.

C ran 111 Cl-
in prison,
Kobert IIol-

n" Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. \2{), and
Ruf. p. 224.
n Wake's
State, p.

Hist.' Hcf.
p. 224.

P Hevlin's
Hist.' Ref.
p. 224.
Cone. Mag.
Brit. iv.

1 Hevlin's
Hist." Ref.
p. 224.
Cone. Mag.
Brit. iv.

r Ilevlin's
Hist'. Ref.
p. 224.

e Ilevlin's
Hist! Ref.
p. 224.

« Cone.
Mag. Br
iv. 120.

" Cone.

Mag. Brit.

iv. 122.

Vid. inf p.


*■ Strypc's

Crau. p.


" Cone.

Mag. Brit.

iv. 12(;.

Cran. a pp.
" Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 120.

the meanwhile the prolocutor and clergy appeared™ with the
schedule of subsidies granted as required, only excepting the
le.sser benefices under the value of eight pounds, together with
the colleges of Eton and Windsor and the two universities.
On the same day the lower house put up three ^ petitions to
the upper, requesting its good offices for obtaining them.

1. " That ° all such of the clergy as, building on the common
report that the tenths and firstfruits were to be released in the
following parliament, had made no composition, might be dis-
charged from the penalty inflicted by the law in that behalf."

2. " ThatP their lordships would intercede with the cardi-
nal legate for confirming the clergy in their present benefices
by some special bull."

S. " Thati by their lordships' means the statute might be
repealed by which tithe causes in London came under the
cognizance of the lord mayor ; and that these might be tried
before the ordinary."

To these petitions " the upper house assented. As to the
two first it seems not to have been a difficult matter to obtain
the requests submitted by the interposition of the cardinal :
as regards the third nothing^ was done, and the statute re-
ferred to still remained in force, to the vexation and impo-
verishment of ecclesiastical persons in the city.

Subject of non- This convocation ' was continued from day to
residence treated. ^^^ j^ ^j^^ ^^^.j^ ^^^,^ ^f November; and during

those sessions the question of non-residence became the
subject of deliberation.

Cardinal Pole, as it appears from the third of his legatine
constitutions ", published after his legatine synod held at the
end of this year, was, and very rightly so, a determined
opponent ' of non-residence among clergy of all degrees ; and
the members of this convocation seem to have entered upon
the subject. For a^^ proposition was there made with a view
to secure more constant residence, suggesting also the reasons
existing for non-residence in some cases. It was admitted *
that the canons sanctioned, and that good men desired, per-
petual residence, but still that some difficulties could not be
overlooked which prevented its being enforced at that time.

The causes of non-residence were first assigned and then
remedies were proposed.




1. The first cause referred to cases of noblemen's chaplains.

2. The second to the cases of bishops'" chaplains and assist-

8. The third to the cases of bishops who were privy coun-

4. The fourth again to the cases of noblemen"'s chaplains.

5. The fifth to the cases of pluralities.

6. The sixth to the expenses of an university education, as
inconsistent with the hope of a single benefice only.

7. The seventh to cases where no glebe-houses existed ;
to the cases of persons going to the court of Rome, to a general
council, to a synod, or to a parliament ; and to cases of persons
who were restrained against their will.

The remedies y proposed were that there should be fewer
court favourites ; that those who == had several benefices
should reside a certain time on each ; that personal tithes
should be paid ; that bishops' chaplains should reside a cer-
tain time in their own parishes ; that the pensions heretofore
paid by rectors to monasteries should not be enforced by lay
impropriators; that tithe of underwood should accrue; and that
large parishes should be divided. How the last proposal would
prove a remedy for non- residence is not clear to an ordinary
comprehension. However this is not the only suggestion of
this convocation to which one might be inclined to demur.

The convocation was continued to Westminster, and
after ^ the 15th of November we hear no more of its proceed-
ings for the present ; being eclipsed by the darker passage
over the Church of Cardinal Pole's papal legatine synod.

,,,^ ^ ,. , In order to bind the papal and legatine

XII. Cardinal ^ . • /-i i

Pole's papal lega- powcrs Still moro straitly upon this Church
ine syno . ^^^ nation, it was determined between the

queen, her consort, and the cardinal that a legatine synod
should be held. We have seen before ^ how unpalatable these
assemblies proved in earlier times to the clergy of England,
and the rough remonstrances which they continually urged
against the proceedings of legates from Rome : but on this
occasion the ecclesiastical courtiers of Q. Mary appear to
have been less sensitive on the subject. Some fears, how-
ever, were entertained lest they should incur the penalties of
a praemunire *= if such an assembly was convened without the

A.D. 1555.
Q. Mary.

y Strype'a
Cran. app.
p. 205.
^ Cone.
Mas. Brit,
iv. 127.

* Cone.
Mai:. Br
iv. 120.

^ Vid. sup.
c. viii. pp.

c Warner,
ii. 385.




A.D 1555.

d Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 130-31.
Mem. iii.

e Cone.
Mag. Brit,

f Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 132.

B See ctiap.
xi. pp. 390-

•> Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 132.
i Dec. 16.

J Dee. 20.

royal authority. The ground of such fears it is somewhat per-
plexing to understand, for it is not clear upon what they could
have been based except uj)on 25 Hen. VIII. c. 19, s. 1. But that
act, even when in force, only restrains the assembly of convoca-
tions, and makes no mention of a national synod, or indeed of
any other ecclesiastical assembly ; and, being a penal statute,
can only injustice be construed according to the strict terms of
the letter, notwithstanding the mysterious capacities with which
some of the learned profession have endeavoured to invest it.
Besides, at this time it was repealed by 1 Phil, and ]\Iar.
c. 8, and therefore its terrors were dormant. However, to
silence all scruples and to set at rest all fears royal ^ letters
were issued on the 2nd of November empowering the cardinal
to hold a legatine synod, and absolving from all penalties those
who should attend it. Pole, thus empowered, summoned the
ordinary members^ of the two convocations to meet at the
king's chapel, AVestminster, on Dec. 2.
„ , , , ^ On the 13th of ' that month the prolocutor'"

Sundry heads of _ ^ "^ , ,

business' in the introduced the book entitled " The Institution

leeatiue svnod. ^ /-,i • ,■ n r ii i • i •. -ii i

0/ a Christian Man, which, it will be remem-
bered, was compiled ^ by a committee of bishops, and sanc-
tioned by the national synod of 1537. It was now brought
forward for the purpose of being examined, and to this end it
was broken into three divisions. A committee was also ap-
pointed on this day to prepare homilies ; and another for
making some arrangements with respect to the Apostle''s

On the following'^ Monday' an arrangement was made for
translating the New Testament, and a division of that book
was agreed to for this purpose.

On the following Friday J the prolocutor on the part of the
cardinal forbade all the members of the lower house, more
especially the deans, to confirm any leases which might have
been made of the incomes of benefices. He also introduced
a schedule containing some words in the translation of the
New Testament which required consideration.

On the 8th of Jan. the consideration of those words was
entered upon ; and by command of the cardinal a consultation

'0 I presume that Dr. Christopbcrson was prolocutor at this time of the Canter-
bury Convocation.




the best means for

was ordered in the lower house
estabhshing schools at cathedrals.

On the 20th of January this consultation was renewed, and
a committee of persons was selected from both provinces to
make arrangements for the support of scholars in such schools.

A fund was to be thus raised : —

1 . Those who were collated to a benefice were to pay a
tenth of the income for the first year.

2. A portion of the goods of persons dying intestate was
to be assigned for the same purpose by the ordinaries, which
the administrators were to be compelled to pay,

3. A contribution was to be made for the good of their
souls from the property of testators, which was to be de-
ducted from the legatees.

4. The foregoing payments were to be enforced for three

On the 21st of January ^ the synod removed from K. Henry
VIL's chapel at Westminster to a large upper room at Lam-
beth Palace, where, on the following Monday, a deliberation
was held on the subject of such clergy as absented themselves
from their ministrations.

After sundry continuations, on the 10th of February the pro-
locutor bid all the members meet on the following day in Lam-
beth parish church to hear the constitutions read, which
chiefly by the cardinal's means had been framed, and to
which the previous debates had in a great measure refer-
red. For Pole had observed™ how far the discipline of
the Church was relaxed ; and having drawn up his plan for
amendment, had it discussed in this synod, and then arranged
it under twelve heads for promulgation before the assembly.
The tenor of them was as follows : —

Cardinal Pole's 1 • A processiou " was Ordered annually on
SnJ'^bii'sredTn S. Andrew's" day in commemoration of the
his legatine synod, reconciliation of this kingdom by its representa-
tives, the Houses of Lords and Commons, to the see of Rome.
A festival sermon or homily was also to be preached intimat-
ing the solemnity of the occasion.

2. The second constitution p provides for the instruction of
parish priests. A Latin Bible, the constitutions of Otho
Othobon, and of the Archbishops of Canterbury, were to be

A.D. 1556.
Q. Mary.

' Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 132.

" Cone.
Mag. Brit.
iv. 121-26.

Coll. vi.


o Nov. 30.

P Cone.
Mag. Br
iii. 121.
Coll. vi.




A.D. 1556.

1 Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 122.
Coll. vi.
' Cone.
Mag. Ri-it.
iv. 123.
Coll. vi.

obtained by them. They are forbidden to keep any heretical
books without the Pope's licence. The doctrines of the
Roman Church are enforced, disagreeing tenets condemned,
and canons against heresy confirmed. A digest of faith pub-
I lished for the Armenians in the eighth Council of Florence is
inserted. It enforces the papal supremacy, affirms the Pope
to be primate of the universe, successor to S. Peter, prince
of the Apostles, Christ's vicar, and head of the whole Church,
the instructor of all Christians, with our Saviour's commission
both to teach and govern the whole body of believers.
This large inheritance is declared to be unquestionable, as
proved by the history of councils and canonical doctrine.
Then the seven sacraments are treated of. Three things are
assigned as necessary to a sacrament, — the matter, the form
of words, the minister. On the last head the minister's inten-
tion of " doing what the Church does " is reckoned essential.
Baptism, confirmation, and orders are said to confer an
impression of peculiar significance, imparting an "indelible
character," and therefore must not be repeated. Ordinarily
a priest is the proper person to baptize, but in cases of neces-

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 57 of 83)