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 58 of 83)
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sity that rite may be administered by a deacon, a layman, a
woman, a heathen, or a heretic. In speaking of the holy
eucharist the docti'ine of transubstantiation is enforced in its
most exceptionable form. Extreme unction is not to be ap-
plied to a sick person unless the probability is that the patient
will die. The host is to be renewed every week, and a taper
kept burning before it. The 1st of October is appointed as
the festival of dedication for all churches, and the revcllings
customary at wakes are forbidden under Church censures ; and
moreover, if needful, the secular power is to be called in to
repress such disorders.

3. By the third constitution "J residence is enjoined, and
provisions are made against pluralities.

4. The fourth constitution "■ is directed against the neglect
of preaching by arclibishops and bishops. All parsons were
likewise ordered eitiicr to preach themselves or to appoint
some well-qualified deputy for that purpose on each Sunday
and holy day. That this duty might be the better discharged,
the bishops were enjoined to instruct the clergy in the manner
and matter of their sermons ; none was to preach without a



licence beyond the bounds of his own parish ; and because
some might have the charge of cures who were slenderly
qualified for this duty, homilies, sanctioned by the synod,
were proposed for speedy publication, which might be read in
the place of sermons. The outline of this last scheme never
appears to have been filled up. The cardinal's design, as
struck out, was to include four books of homilies, the first
settling controverted points, as a preservative against error ;
the second explaining the creed, the ten commandments, the
sacraments, and the salutation of the Virgin ; the third fur-
nishing discourses on the Epistles and Gospels for all Sundays
and holydays ; the fourth including dissuasives from vice and
persuasives to virtue, with a compendious instruction on the
rites and ceremonies of the Ohvu'ch.

5. The fifth constitution ^ relates to the lives of the clergy
of all grades. The bishops are enjoined to set a good exam-
ple, neither to afffect unnecessary pomp nor indulge in un-
seemly luxuries. It is suggested that what is thus saved in
personal expense may be devoted to education and works of
piety and public advantage. The same regulations for sobriety
and reservations for charity are recommended to the lower
clergy. Marriage is forbidden to all ecclesiastics, including
subdeacons, and separation enjoined in cases where any per-
sons whatsoever within the prohibited grades had been mar-
ried. Secular, mean, and unworthy employments are forbid-
den to all the clergy.

6. The sixth constitution* relates to ordination. Candi-
dates were to be examined by the bishops themselves, and not
ordained on the reports of other men. In the examination the
bishop might be assisted by the archdeacons and other of
character. Orthodoxy, learning, worth, birth, and age were
to be inquired into. For this purpose due notice w^as to be
given to the bishop, and the candidate was to confess before-
hand, and receive the holy communion at the time of ordina-

7. The seventh constitution " relates to collations and insti-
tutions, for the Apostle's caution of " laying hands suddenly on
no man," appears to extend to such functions. The same
examination was here to be made as in the case of ordination ;
inquiry was to be set on foot as to the probability of residence on

A. D. 1556.
Q. Mary.

* Cone.
Mag. Brit.
iv. 123.
Co'l. vi.

' Cone.
Mag. Brit.
iv. 124.
Coll. vi.

" Cone.
Mag. Br
iv. 124.
Coll. vi.




A.D. 1556.




in prison,

Robert Hol-


^ Cone.
Map. Brit,
iv. 124.
Coll. vi.
w Conr.
Nag. Brit,
iv. 124.
Coll. vi.

-^ Coll. vi.
y Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 125.
Coll. vi.

^ Cone.
Mag. Brit.
iv. 125.
Coll. vi.

» Cone.

Mag. Brit
iv. 126.

Coll. vi.


the part of the person to be promoted, and a testimonial from
the head of a college was to be required. The bishops are
also exhorted to supply clergy to all the vacant cures without
delay, and to take measures to prevent the people or the
benefice from suffering during vacancy.

8. The eighth constitution ^ is directed against the prospec-
tive disposal of benefices previously to a vacancy.

9. The ninth* regards simony, and is very stringent, the
oath which the presentee is obliged to take being remarkably
comprehensive and carefully ^ guarded.

10. The tenths has respect to the alienation of Churcli
property. Each incumbent was ordered to have a terrier and
inventory of all lands and goods belonging to his church.
Two copies were to be made. In ordinary cases one was to
be laid up in the parish church, the other to be deposited \vith
the diocesan ; if the church was metropolitical, the duplicate
was to be given to the chapter ; if a diocesan cathedral, to
the archbishop. At visitations the metropolitans and lesser
ordinaries were to inspect these documents and examine
whether they tallied with the possessions of the churches,
taking order for recovery of whatever might be found want-

n. The eleventh^ designs a school at every cathedral,
chiefly for the education of those intended for holy offices.
Youths were not to be admitted under eleven years of age,
not before they could read and write. They were also to be
examined as to their inclinations and general qualifications for
their proposed course of life. Their first education was to be
in grammar, and then they were to be instructed in such
matters and taught such behaviour as would become an eccle-
siastic. They were to appear in the tonsure and clerical
habit, to help in the choir, and live in accordance with the
rules of the other clerks. For their maintenance a fortieth
part of the bishop's net revenue was to be set aside, and
all prebendaries and other beneficed men, whose clerical
income realized twenty pounds per annum, exclusive of de-
ductions, were to help in like proportion. All schoolmasters
were to be licensed by the ordinary, who was to examine
their capability and prescribe the school books.

12. The twelfth constitution'"* regulates visitations. Churches,




schools, hospitals, and public libraries, were to be visited in
order to discover if any heretical books were there laid up.
The metropolitical visitations were to be managed in accord-
ance with the constitution of Pope Innocent IV. which begins
" Romana Ecclesia." In accordance with this the metropo-
litan was to inquire whether bishops resided, preached, lived
in accordance with their function, ordained, admitted to
benefices, assigned confessors, punished disorders, and dis-
charged all their other duties, whether spiritual or temporal,
in a fitting manner. If any disorder proved too obstinate for
cure by the metropoHtan, he was to report to a provincial
synod ; and if such an assembly could not remedy the evil,
application was to be made to the pope. Lastly, arch-
deacons were to be guided in their visitations by the eccle-
siastical canons, and if abuses were found beyond archi-
diaconal power, the bishop was to be acquainted with the
disorder. The archdeacons were also ordered to see that
episcopal mandates were observed, and for their assistance
in the performance of such duties, the constitutions of
Otho and Othobon on this head were ratified by the legatine

Such was the scheme for improved organization among
ecclesiastics devised by Cardinal Pole, accepted by his legatine
synod, and read before the assembly in Lambeth church, on
the 11th of February, 1556 n. s. ; and, however far one may
differ from the cardinal's doctrinal views, it cannot be denied
that this scheme did credit both to his head and heart. He
seems to have ^ desired a strict and active performance of duty
on the part of all who were charged with ecclesiastical func-
tions, to have set his face against the misappropriation of
church revenues to objects of private selfishness, and to
have contemplated a large application of them to the public

The legatine sy- After thcsc coustitutions had been read, the
nod prorogued. members of the legatine synod betook them-
selves*^ to the chapel in Lambeth palace, where mass was per-
formed in presence of the cardinal, bishops, and clergy, toge-
ther with a large assemblage of people. At the conclusion of
the office, and after the cardinal ^ had himself offered up some
prayers, Mr. Watson^ delivered a Latin sermon, in which,

A.D. 1556.
Q. Mary.

b Warner,
ii. 386.

•^ Cono.
Mag. Brit.
iv. ]32.
d Cone.
Mag. Brit.
iv. 132.
e Cone.
Mag. Brit.
iv. 132.

Mm 2



A. D. 15.i6.

g;'2^^ ^

f 1556.

g Cone.
Majf. Hrit.
iv. 151.
•• Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 151.
' Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 1.54.
J Via. sup.
c. X. ad an.

A.D. 1.558.
l* Wake's
State, p.
499. Hume,
c. xxxvn.
p. 389.
1 Wake's
State, p.
499. Hume,
c. xxxvii.
p. .389.
"■ Coll. vi.

" March 21.
1556. Coll.
vi. 139.
Hist. Eng.
V. 483.
o Fuller,
Ch. Hist,
b. viii. p.

P Matt. xxi.

<l Fuller,
Ch. Hist,
b. viii. p.

■■ Cone.
Ma-. Br
iv. 1.55.

among other matters, lie intimated tliat the synod was pro-
rogued " to Oct. 10 ^ However, the synod did not then
assemble, but was continued to^ May 10, 1557. Neither on
that day was it convened, but vvas further put off to ^ Nov. 1
ensuing. But before that time arrived, as may be learnt from
a letter' of Bonner's, the assembly was again prorogued
without any day being fixed for a future meeting.

This was happily the last legatine synod held in England,
and it is devoutly to be hoped that so unmistakcable a badge
of subserviency to papal supremacy, which, as we have ^ seen,
had been legitimately and canonically discharged by the united !
decisions of our two provincial synods, may never again be
forced on our Church and nation.
,„„ „ , On Monday \ Jan. 20, 1558 n.s., Queen

Xin. Pretend- ., , , "^ .. , , p„

ed provincial sy- Mary s last parliament met, and on the follow-
ing day • the Convocation of Canterbury assem-
bled™, according to the usual practice, at S. PauTs cathedral.
Cardinal Pole had been put into the see of Canterbury on
March 22, 1556 n.s., the day following the martyrdom" of
Archbishop Cranmer, and now took his seat as president in this
pretended provincial synod. John Harpsfield, archdeacon of
London, afterwards chosen prolocutor of this convocation ",
preached the sermon on the text, "Go into theP village over
against you," where Christ sends His two disciples to fetch
Him the ass and the ass"'s colt. Fuller takes occasion to
remark ^ that the preacher must answer for the suitableness
of his text to the occasion. But whether that learned worthy
thought the passage selected unsuitable to the time, or, on the
other hand, closely applicable to the impending duty of the
clergy in choosing their prolocutor, is not altogether clear.

Sundry heads of O" ^'^^ 24th of January John Harpsfield was
business. presented as prolocutor of the lower house, and

admitted to that office .by Cardinal Pole at Lambeth. On
this occasion the cardinal suggested that some plan might ^
be devised for the recovery of Calais lately wrested from
England, for supplying deficiencies in the ecclesiastical state
of the province of Canterbury, and for the due disposition
of those gifts which the queen in her munificence had be-

" Oct. 10 is the day mentioned. From subsequent documents it would appear
that this must be a misprint for Nov. 10.— Cone. Mag. Brit. iv. 151.




stowed on ecclesiastical persons. This business was com-
mitted especially to the care of the Bishops of London,
Rochester, S. David's, Peterborough, and Gloucester. The
cardinal also referred to a committee ' the duty of review-
ing the statutes of the new foundations (which transferred
property from the regulars to the secular clergy ^) in order
that their funds might be brought to a more serviceable state.

The Bishop of London \ in another session ", presented
plans for reformation from himself and some of his brethren,
touching their respective dioceses ; and the lower house also
made suggestions for supplying the deficiency of clergy.

In the next session ^ Cardinal Polo represented the dangers
of the kingdom consequent on the hostilities of the Scotch
and French, exhorting the members to a liberal subsidy. To
this they willingly assented, and granted "" a benevolence of
eight shillings in the pound, upon which the cardinal took
opportunity to request Nicholas Heath, now filling the see of
York, to obtain the same levy throughout that province.

A discussion ^ subsequently took place in this convocation,
as to the facilities for supplying small benefices with curates,
and four'' articles were agreed on for presentation to his
eminence on this subject :

1. That no priest may be enlisted in the army.

2. That neighbouring benefices may be united.

3. That congregations of chapels of ease may be com-
pelled to resort to the mother church until curates can be

4. That bishops may be authorized by the pope to ordain
at other times besides the ember weeks.

From these three last provisions we again may infer how
difficult the Romanizing party found it to supply the churches
Avith priests of their own persuasion after the extensive depri-
vations and rigorous persecutions of the clergy of the Church
of England, which had taken place in this reign.

It is to be observed here that the subsidy of the clergy
above mentioned, was, according to custom, confirmed by act
of parliament, but that a burden ^ which they also imposed on

' Bishop of Lincoln, Bishop of Chichester, Bishop of Peterborough, Nicholas
Wotton, dean of Canterbury, Edmund Stuard, dean of Winchester, Seth Laud,
dean of Worcester.

A . D. 1558.
Q. Mary.

' Coll. vi.

' Cone.
Mag. Brit.
iv. 155-6.
^ Jan. 28.

y Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 156.
Coll. vi.

■'• Vid. Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 170,note.




A.D. 1558.







» Coll. vi.


^ Heylin'a

Hist. Ref.

p. 248.

c Fuller,

Ch. Hist.

b. viii. p.


<> Cone.

Mag. Brit.

iv. 156. 168.

e Cone.

Ma?. Brit.

iv. 156.

themselves of finding arms and horses for the defence of the
kingdom, though enforced under ecclesiastical penalties, was
uncorroborated* by the state, and depended wholly on the
authority'' of the convocation, and moreover •=, that the cap-
tains who were to take commands in the force were also to be
chosen by that assembly.

, . , Some articles "^ appear also to have been pro-

Articlcs pro- _ ^ ' _ '■

posed in this as- poscd if uot passed in this convocation. They
run to a great length, and are divided into
sundry heads, as given below ^

Such having been the performances of this convocation, it was
continued from JNIarch 8 to the ]ltli^ of November following.

2 1. Seven on doctrine.

2. Seven on prayers.

3. Nine on the ornaments of churches.

4. Eighteen on ecclesiastical discipline.

5. Six on cathedral and other churches.

6. Four on the ecclesiastical dress.

7. Twelve on seminaries and schools.

8. Two articles on schools.

9. An article on the duties of archbishops and bishops.

1 0. An article on the quality of candidates for orders.

11. All article on the qualification of those to be admitted to benefices.

12. An article on substitutes in benefices.

13. An article against admission by proxy to a benefice.

14. An article on the evidence necessary for convening before the oriUnary.

15. An article on non-residents for the sake of study.

1(». An article against non-residents taking duty elsewhere.

17- An article on preachers.

] 8. An article on heretics and their writings.

in. An article on clerks convicted.

20. An article on clerical dress.

21. An article on sporting clerks.

22. An article on incontinent clerks.

23. An article on simony.

24. An article on reserves made by patrons.

25. An article against idleness of clerks.

26. An article on schoolmasters and education.

27. An article on detection of heresy and on university studies.

28. An article on a due provision of religious persons in each monastery.

29. An article on the education of the religious.

30. An article on the reconciliation of apostates.

31. An article on dispensations granted to apostates.

32. An article on imi)ropriated churches and hospitals.

33. An article on the abuses of clandestine marriages in the chapels of S. John

of Jerusalem, the Tower of London, and in others.

34. An article on dilapidations.




,.,„ „ , About the same time with the precedino;

XIV. 1 orkpre- , ^ JO

tended provincial meeting, the coiivocatioii of the northern pro-
vince^ assembled under the presidency of the
intruded archbishop, Nicholas Heath. That assembly voted
a subsidy of like proportion with the one which had been
granted in the southern convocation, and it appears that it also
charged the clergy in the same manner with horses and instru-
ments of war, without any corroboration ^ from the civil power.

XV. Pretended The Canterbury Convocation, as we have
lir'^tLmber Seen, had been continued ^ to the llth^ of
^^^^- November. Thence it was again prorogued to
the I7th of the same month, when a dissolution ensued by
the death of the queen, which occurred on the latter day.

XVI. Death of C)n the 17th J of November, 1558, Q. Mary I.,
Q. Mary I. ^^ ^|-jg ggg ^f forty-two, departed this life, after
a reign of five years, four months, and eleven days ; a brief
space, but one long enough to be signally disastrous. By her
death the Church of England was freed from one of the most
rigorous persecutors appearing on the annals of our country.
Sincerity may be pleaded in extenuation of her acts, and it may
be said that she "valued her conscience ^ above her crown," and
the interests of the next world above those of this. Still we
are to consider that sincerity is a dangerous excuse for perse-
cuting other people. For, if the persecutor should happen to
be in error, the quality above mentioned may lead him to the
last excesses of wrong. Conscience has not in every case
proved an infallible guide. Moreover, it is observable that
the interests of heaven, if we are to comply with our blessed
Lord's instructions \ should be secured by some milder appli-
cations than invoking the aid of fire on earth.

XVII. Death of Within sixteen "^ hours after the death of the
Cardinal Pole. qjjeen Cardinal Pole breathed his last, in his
fifty-ninth year. He was a man of delicate frame, as we may
gather from the expressions of his well-wisher Flaminius,
when deprecating the ill eifects of pestilential atmosphere on
his health —

" Tempera et suavi rapidum calorem
Spiritu, circum volitans, nee sestus
Igneus frangat sine delicati
Corporis artus"."

Under such influences, however, he languished, and as he was

A. D. 1,558.
Q. Mary.

Mag. Brit.
iv. 170.

s Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 170, note.

■' Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 1,56.
i 1558.

J Hume, c.
xxxvii. p.

Hist. Eng.
V. 526.

" Coll. vi

' Luke i.Y.
54, 55.

m Coll. V
179. 182.

" Poem.

Select. Ital.
p. 102.




A.D. 1558.


See of






o^. vi.

PP Lingard,
Hist. Eng.
V. 482-3.

n Coll. vi

>• Vid. Ful.
Ch. Hist.

A.D. 1559.

« Strype's
Ann. i. 5G.

' .Ian. -24,
1559 N.s.
Sess. 1.
" Jan. 25.
'■ Sec Cone.
Mac. Brit,
iv. 179. &
Stat, at
Large in

" Strvpe's
Ann.'l 54.
" Fuller,
Ch. Hist,
b. i.\. p. .54.

suffering under ° a double quartan ague, it is likely that the
news of the queens death hastened his own.

Somewhat of Considering his royal extraction' and high
his character. station, he was modest and unpretending. He
was inclined to study, kind, beneficent, and of sound judgment.
Having ample opportunities of enriching himself, he scorned
to make use of them for that purpose, but preferred turning all
he could into channels of charity and pious uses. When first
he came over as legate he gave his opinion p to the council,
that the proper plan for repressing heresy was not a persecu-
tion of the people, but a reformation of the clergy ; and such
a view seems to have guided his subsequent conduct pp. Not-
withstanding some instances of rigour, he managed for the
most part with great kindness and good temper, at one time
saving twenty-two persons <i who otherwise would have been
put to death for their faith. For he seems then to have
thought that it was carrying punishment too far to send men
headlong out of this world when they appeared imder an in-
capacity for finding mercy in another. It is not unlikely that
the excesses of some persons in making the purification of re-
ligion a pretext for robbing the Church, tended to overrule his
temper and withdraw him from his earlier inclinations'^ to-
wards a reformation. In fine, had his persuasion in matters
of faith been less exceptionable he would unquestionably have
secured the general good will of posterity in this country.

xviii. Pariia- About two mouths after the accession of
"Sn on5!^)Ts: Q- FAmiheth the Canterbury Convocation ^ and
"'^<^'- the parliament met. But on this occasion the

convocation * assembled on the day before the parliament ", at
variance^ with usual custom. The reason of this deviation
from the common practice appears to have arisen from the
queen"'s illness ^.

A learned writer " diverts his reader on this occasion by
comparing convocation and parliament to twins, of which he
represents the former as the younger brother. But, with all
due respect to our author's great arclnrological learning, it
seems that he must have had a slender acquaintance with the
registers of his mother country ''s domestic household ; for most

' He was son of JIargaret, daughter of George, duke of Clarcnct>, and so de-
scended from the family of K. Edward IV.— Fuller, Ch. Hist. b. viii. p. II.




certainly the convocations of the clergy saw light " some
hundreds of years ^ before the name of parliament had ever
been heard of." At least we must conclude that Mr. Fuller
on this point had not taken full advantage of Sir H. Spel-
man's industrious and curious researches *.

Edmund ^ Bonner, bishop of London, again

Pretended pro- .,-.,. . . n r^

vincial synod of presided ^ m this convocation, the see oi Lanter-
^■^' bury being vacant. After the mass had been

celebrated in S. PauFs, and the assembly ^ had retired to the
chapter-house "=, the bishop addressed the members to the follow-
ing effect. He said that ^ though, according to ancient and
laudable customs, such meetings were opened with a Latin
sermon, yet that this course would not be pursued on the present
occasion, partly because the archbishop was dead, whose office
it was to choose the preacher, and partly because a mandate had
been received from the privy council that no sermons should be
delivered in that church until further order should be taken.

Dr. Nicholas Harpsfield, dean ® of Canterbury, was elected ^
prolocutor, and was presented by Henry Cole, dean of S.
Paul's, and John Harpsfield, archdeacon of London s, on the
Srd of Feb. following. A somewhat doleful remark was at this
time made by some members of the lower house on ^ the subject
of the preservation of Roman doctrine ; for the party lately in
favour at court doubtless began to perceive that religion would
be restored to the state in which the provincial synods of
England had left it before the aggressions of the civil power
in the last reign, the wholesale deprivations of the prelates
and clergy, and the introduction of a papal legate. Hence
misgivings arose respecting the future.

A f 1 k t h d Consequently ' some articles were sketched
out by tiie lower out by the lower house for the " exoneration •> of
their consciences " and the " declaration of their
faith," to which the addition of the bishops'' authority '^ was
requested. This request seems to have been granted, for the

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 58 of 83)