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 61 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 61 of 83)
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14. That public service should be read distinctly.

15. That clerks sliould use a hat and short gown for riding, and a long gown
with square cap and tippet wlicn they ajjpear before their ordinary.

1(J. That after the Epistle and Gospel have been read in the church in English,
they should forthwith be read also in Welsh. [ 1 7- Tliat




Much prudent judgment seems to have been exercised in
compihng the ordinances set forth in this diocesan synod, an
assembly which may well commend itself to imitation, not only
as having been foi'med on the model of those synods which
were' frequent in the very earliest ages of the Christian
Church, but as having been calculated to produce harmony
and maintain discipline within those limits to which its autho-
rity rightly extended.

We now come to one of the most important

I V. Canterbury .

provincial Synod syuods cvcr held by the English Church, inasmuch
as this assembly was the parent of the thirty-
nine articles still received among the authoritative standards
of our faith. This memorable provincial synod was summoned
to meet on the same day with the parliament J, Jan. 12, 1563
N.s. And it appears that the parliaments of that age had far
greater respect to the convocations than some members of
our present legislature are wont either to feel or express. For
we are told by the learned Sir Simon D'Ewes, when speaking on
the subject of the parliament, that the House of Lords some-
times abstained^ from sitting on convocation days, because
the spiritual lords were elsewhere engaged ; and in proof of this
assertion he quotes an original document in the journal of the
upper house ^

The meetings of the present synod ' were continued through
thirty-six^sessions, and were held sometimes in the chapter-
house of S. Paul's, and sometimes, according to the continua-
tion™, in K. Henry VIL's chapel at Westminster.

In order that the English provincial synods

Forms observed .,,111.11 , • ,• i

in assembling this might be held With duo Solemnity, and in accord-
provineiai synod. ^^^^ ^j^j^ anciont practice, Archbishop Parker,
or at least " some of his officers under his direction, drew up
at this time a directory for the purpose. The document is in

17. That no man, being known to be out of charity with his neighbour,
should be admitted to the holy communion, unless he be first openly recon-

18. That any stipend in a parish formerly paid to a "lady-priest" should be
transferred to a schoolmaster, to be selected by the bishop, with the assent of such

5 " Dominus cancellarius, propterea quod domini spirituales in convocatione
crastino die occupandi sunt, continuavit prsesens parlianientum in diem lunte." —
CoU. vol. vi. p. 358.

A.D. 1561.
Q. Eliz.

i Vid. c. ii.

A.D. 15G3.

J Strypc's
Ann. i. 280.

k Coll.

' Svn. Ang.



™ Strype's
Ann. 'i. 280.

" S try pa's
Paiker, p.




A.D. 1563.






" See Syn.
Ang. pt. ii.
p. 1.

P Svn. Ang.

Paiker, 121.
i. 280.
'I Jan. 12.
f Svn. Ang.

1 Pet. V. 2.

' Svn. Ang.

Latin". It is needless iiere to give its contents, because the
present convocation was held in accordance with them, so
that a due consideration of the proceedings of this synod
will give all necessary information on the subject.

On P the first day i of meeting Archbishop Parker was not
present, but Dr. Eob. Weston, official of the court of Canter-
bury, prorogued the assembly to the next day. In accordance
with such prorogation, the synod assembled on Wednesday,
Jan. 13, 1563 N. s. The archbishop on that day left Lambeth "
in his barge about eight o'clock a.m., and landed at Paul's
wharf, accompanied by the Bishop of Lincoln. These prelates
were met there by the advocates, proctors, and other officials
of the court of Canterbury, and thence proceeded on foot to
the south door of S. Paul's cathedral. At that spot the dean,
canons, and ministers of the church, vested in their surplices,
met the procession and conducted the archbishop to the
vestry. There he clad himself in the archiepiscopal habit,
and thence proceeded, together with the suffi-agan bishops of
his province, all habited in tlieir convocation robes, to the choir.
The archbishop having taken his seat in the dean's stall, and
the bi.shops being placed in the .stalls of the prebendaries on
either side, the litany of the reformed Prayer Book was
chanted by the choir, and the hymn " Veni Creator" was sung
in Engli.sh. Mr. \V'illiam Daye, B.D., provost of Eton, then
mounted the pulpit in the middle of the choir, and preached a
discourse composed in elegant Latin upon the text, " Feed the
flock of God^ which is among you," &c. After the sermon
the first psalm was chanted ; and then the holy communion was
administered by Ed. Grindal, bishop of London, in which the
archbishop and all the bishops present participated.

The archbishop and bishops then returned to the cliapter-
housc, where the former took his place in the middle, the * snffi-a-
gans sitting on each side. Sojne formal business having been
dispatched, such as the Bishop of London's return of the
mandate for convocation, and the ' protestation of privilege on

•5 Tlie suffragans were Edmund, bishop of London, Robert of Winchester,
William of Chichester, John of Hereford, Richard of Ely, Edwin of Worcester,
Rowland of Bangor, Nicholas of Lincoln, John of Sahsbury, Richard of S. David's,
Edmund of Rochester, Gilbert of Bath and Wells, Thomas of Lichfield and Coven-
try, William of E.xeter, John of Norwich, Edmund of Peterborough, Thomas of
S. Asaph, Ri(;hard of Gloucester and Commendatory of Bristol. 5




the part of the Dean of Westminster, the archbishop addressed
an eloquent speech to the bishops and clergy, in which he
took occasion to acquaint them that a fair opportunity was
now offered for completing the reformation of the English
Church, as the queen and other notabilities of the land were
well disposed to such an undertaking. He concluded by
desiring the clergy of the lower house to retire for the choice
of their prolocutor, and commended to their notice Dr. Alex-
ander No well, dean of S. Paul's, as fit to fill that honourable
office, with a direction that the person elected should be pre-
sented " for confirmation to himself or his representative on
the following^ Saturday in the chapter-house. The arch-
bishop then appointed Mr. Thomas Yale his chancellor, and
Mr. William Drurie, LL.D. his commissary, to receive the
certificates of the bishops, to inspect the proxies of absent
members, and to examine into the causes of such absence ;
and having pronounced absentees contumacious, penalties
being reserved to the next session, he prorogued the synod to
the following Saturday, with a direction that the assembly
should meet at one o"'clock p.m. in the same place.

On the day '^ appointed the members ^ assem-

Presentation or ^ _ *' ^ ^

the prolocutor, bled again in S. Paul's chapter-house. Prayers
were offered up by the archbishop himself. The
prayers consisted of the litany in Latin, together with the
accustomed collects newly arranged so as to suit the occasion,
the bishop, clergy, and such laity as were present joining in
the responses. After prayers the lower clergy retired, but
were soon ordered to return for the purpose of presenting
their prolocutor. For this purpose they appeared in large
numbers before the archbishop and his suffragans, Gabriel
Goodman, dean of Westminster, and Thomas Sampson, dean
of Exeter y, leading forward between them Dr. Alexander
Nowell as the person upon whom the clergy's choice had fallen.
Goodman made a short Latin speech, setting forth the excel-
lencies and qualifications of the elect, which the latter dis-
claimed, declining the panegyric, and declaring in a well-
conceived speech his insufficiency for the weighty office
proposed. However, that he might not appear to shrink
from so holy a duty, he pi'ofessed himself willing to under-
take the burden, and after a brief consultation between the

A.n. 1563.
Q. Eli/..

» Svn. Aiig.


V Jan. 16.

»- Sat. Jan.
16, 1563


'f Svn. Ang.

y Svn. Ang.


;ngi.ish synods.


A.D. 1563.






^.Tan. 19,
1.563 N.s.
» Syn. Ang.

aa r.injrard,



VI. p.


b J.an






archbishop and his suffragans, he was unanimously accepted
and confirmed. The clergy then retired, and the archbi.shop
having fir.st desired the bishops to consider severally what
reforms were needful in their respective dioceses, with a view
to propose them in the next session, continued the synod,
loith the consent of his suffi^agans^ to the following Tuesday ^,
at S. PeterX Westminster*. "

The forms then Sucli wcre the fomis obscrvcd at the opening
observed more sa- of this important provincial svnod ; and it has

tisfactory than ^ '^ . ; p n •

those of the pre- been thought right to give them thus fully in
'^^' detail, because from the surrounding circum-

stances it has been generally considered to afford a fit pattern
for the solemnization of subsequent assemblies of the same

It may reasonably be lamented that the present practice,
though in a great measure borrowed from the precedent of this
synod, is not exactly conformable to it, at least so far as re-
gards the sacred offices observed. In the first place the read-
ing of the litany by the single voice of the junior bishop in the
choir of S. PauFs, according to present custom, seems less suit-
able to the solemnity of the time than the chanting of that office
by the full cathedral choir, assisted as it would be on such an
occasion by the tongues of many devout worshippers. Again,
to speak softly, the omission of the holy communion on the
occasion of the opening of a provincial synod at the metropo-
litan cathedral can hardly commend itself as an improvement
on the practice observed on this occasion. And further, at
the time of the first meeting at Westminster upon continua-
tion, the reading of the litany and prayers by the metropolitan
himself would appear an exercise of his sacred office carrying
with it a holy and impressive significance, now somcwiiat marred
by the practice of deputing that duty to his junior suffragan.

Establishment As was bcforc remarked, the most important
aiSs^^orreii- ^usiuess of this syuod was the establishment-''* of
g'on- our present thirty-nine articles of religion. In

the fourth ^ session the business '' of a review <= of the articles of
1552-3 was commenced in the upper house, and on the same

' It is to be remarked that the pages of " Synodus Anglicana " are numbered
wrong in this part of the work ; the references here are given as they ought to
have been printed.




day a report ^ was brought up by the prolocutor, stating that
a committee had been appointed by the lower house, in
whose hands copies of the articles aforesaid had been placed,
with a view to their reconstruction and consideration by the
whole body. On ^ the following ^ day the upper house was
engaged s upon the copy submitted to them, and after three
intermediate^ sessions of secret discussion the body of articles
(viz. the thirty-nine now received) was agreed to ' unanimously,
and the episcopal signatures were attached on the 29th of
January J. The archiepiscopal and episcopal signature list con-
tains names ' from both provinces, which, as far as the upper
house was concerned, gives to this assembly the character of a
national synod. The document was then transmitted ^ to the
lower house, and on ^ the 5th of February following was re-
turned to the bishops *", bearing upward of one hundred signa-
tures of the lower clergy ; it " was, moreover, accompanied
with a request that all the members of the lower house should
be required to subscribe. A still larger list of subscribers"
was presented to their lordships by the prolocutor at^ the
ensuing session. The thirty-nine articles were thus synodi-
cally ratified pp and subsequently published with this title, —
'■'■Articles'^ wlierevpon it was agreed hy the archbishoppes and
bishops of both the prouinces, and the whole cleargie in the
convocation holden at London, in the yere of our Lorde God
MDLxii., according to the computation of the Churche of
Englande, for the auoydyng of the diverseties of opinions, and
for the stablishying of consent, touchyng true religio7i. Put
foorth by the queenes aucfhoritie.''''

Now, as connected with the thirty-nine arti-

Some remarks . , . . , "^

on their synodical clcs of religion Still received in the English
rived 'Vronf^oth Church, thcrc are two or three points which must

provinces. ^^^^ ^^ gkuccd at.

It is clear that these articles had the authority of both
provinces. In the first place their title, both in the Latin
and English editions, assures us of the fact. And the sub-

8 Matthseus Cantuar., Edmund. London., Robert. Winton., W. Cicestren., Jo.
Hereford., Richardus Elien., Edwinus Wigorn., Rolandus Bangor., Nicolaus
Lincoln., Jo, Sarisburien., R. Meneven., Edmundus RofFen., Gilb. Bathon. et
Wellen., Thomas Covent. et Lichfield., W. Exon., Johannes Norwicen., Edmund.
Petriburgen., Thomas Assaphen., Rich. Gloucestren., Thomas Ebor., Ja. Dui-esme.,
Willelmus Cestrensis.— Cone. Mag. Brit. iv. 237. .

A. D. 1563.
Q. Eliz.

'^ Syn. Ang.
201, and ,

Card. Syn. \/
i. 36, note.

•^ Sess. 5.

f Jan. 20,

lo63 N.s.

= Syn. Ang.


•• Syn. Ang.


' Svn. Aug.


J Sess. 9.

I* Syn. Ang.

iSess. 11.
™ Cone.
Mag. Brit.
iv. 237-8.
" Card. Syn.
i. 36.

o Syn. Ang. I
207. '

P Feb. 10,
1363 N.S.

PP Biblioth.
Script. Ecc.
Ang. p. 362.
q Card. Syn.
i. 53.




A.D. ]563.






f Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. -237.
6 Bennett's
Essay, p.

1«:J. ^

' Bennett's
Essay, p.
" Cone.
Mag. Brit.
iii. 698.
" Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 567-8.
" Cone.
Mag. Brit.
iv. 566.

" Bennett's
Essay, p.

>' Bennett's

P^ssav, p.

206. ■

^ Vid. notes.


» Bennett'

Essay, p.

scriptions ' of the northern metropolitan and his two suffra-
gans ' of Durham and Chester is a plain indication that they
were assented to by the majority, at least, of the upper house
of York. Moreover, a record of the convocation in 1604
speaks' of these articles as agreed on by the archbishops,
bishops, and clergy of both provinces. But as to the manner
in which the lower clergy of the York province testified their
consent w^e are not so clearly informed. There is no evidence
to shew eitlier that the members of the lower house of York
removed to London, as in the year 1523", or that they sent duly
authorized proxies^, as on the occasion of ratifying the Prayer
Book ^, Dec. 20, a.d. 1661, or that they authorized the northern
bishops to exercise powers appurtenant only to themselves and
their presbyters conjointly. But though there is no known
document containing the subscriptions of the lower clergy of
the northern synod given under their own hands or by proxies,
yet it appears ^ that at this time they had in their house at York
important debates' concerning '•''certain articles'^,'''' which we
may fairly believe to have been these documents in question.
For from the records ^ of the York province it is clear that on
Feb. 5, 1563 x. s. some " weighty^ business" was on hand, that
this business respected articles "concerning the public good,
the order of the Church, and the glory of God ;■" and that the
synod "determined that their metropolitan"'s o])inion should
be taken" on the business. From his own subscription in
London it is plain how the matter was determined by him.
And the probability is (unless indeed the documents have been
lost, which is extremely likely) that the lower clergy of
York were acquainted that their metropolitan and his suf-
fragans having signed, there was no necessity under the cir-
cumstances for the addition of their own subscriptions. But
that the York clergy approved ^ of these articles is beyond a
doubt ; otherwise we should have heard more of the matter,
and the title of them would not have run, both in the
Enghsh and Latin copies, as it docs, declaring that they were

' " Ilabito tractatu i)cr dictos, &c. . . . super quibiisilam arduis negotiis statum,
bonum publicum ot condcccntom ordinem Eedesife ct Dei gloriam concerncntibus."
Cone. Mag. Brit. iv. 24."$, and Bennett's Essay, 20G.

2 " Concluserunt dictum reverendissimum . . . consulcndum fore super quibus-
dam articulis in quadam schedula apud registruni remancnte coriscriptis." — Cone.
Mag. Brit, iv, 243, and Bennett's Essay, 20C.



How far the
thirty-nine arti-
cles of religion
now authorized
differed from the
forty-two articles
of 1552-3.

" agreed upon hy the archbishops and bishops of both provinces,
and by the whole clergy T For in this form they were solemnly
recorded in the registry'' of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

It may also be interesting to observe how
far the thirty-nine articles now established dif:
fered from the forty-two articles of 1552-3.

In the first place '^ the number was reduced
from forty-two to thirty-nine. The tenth,
sixteenth, nineteenth, thirty-ninth, fortieth, forty-first, and
forty-second articles of 1552-3 were now omitted; and the
fifth, twelfth, twenty-ninth, and thirtieth of our present articles
were inserted '^'^. Thus by the subtraction of seven, and by
the addition of four, the original number having been forty-
two, the present amount of thirty-nine was obtained.
The other variations chiefly consisted in the alterations of
some of the titles, together with the slight changes here
following. In the third article some words' were now
omitted. In the twenty-second article ^^ verbis Dei''"' was
changed to " verba Dei.''"' In the twenty-ninth article a
clause which had been altered by tlie archbishop was
altogether omitted*. And in the thirty-third article, after
the words '■'■pro regionum,'''' there was added the word '•'■ tem-
porumr Such were the chief alterations now made ; and
the articles as amended having been authorized by the
sy nodical authority of the English Church, were subse-
quently ratified by royal authority ^ under the great seal of

Into the controversy® respecting the clause
in the twentieth article, — '■''the Church hath
power to decree rites and ceremonies and autho-
rity in controversies of faith,'"'' — it would be be-

3 The words omitted were these: — " For the bodie laie in the sepulchre untill
the resurrection, but his ghoste departing from him was with the ghostes that
were in prison or in helle, and didde preache to the same, as the place of St. Peter
dooeth testifie."

^ The clause in the copy of 1552-3 was this :— " Quum naturae humanee Veritas
requirat, ut unius ejusdemque hominis corpus in multis locis simul esse non posset,
sed in uno aliquo et definito loco esse oporteat, idcirco Christi corpus in multis et
diversis locis eodem tempore prsesens esse non potest. Et quoniam, ut tradunt
sacra liters, Christus incoelum fuit sublatus, et ibi usque ad finem saeculi est per-
mansurus, non debet quisquam fidelium carnis ejus et sanguinis realem et corpo-
ralem (ut loquuntur) prsesentiam in eucharistia vel credere vel profiteri."

Controversy on
the clause for
Church power in
the twentieth ar-

A. D. 1563.
y. Eliz.

^ Bennett's
Essay, p.-

c Vid. Cone.
iv. 73. 77.
233. 237.

™ Biblioth.
Script. Rcc.
Ang. p. 3G4.

J Coke's
Inst. P. iv.
c. 74, p. 323.

e See that
" Priestcraft
in Perfec-
tion," Lond.
1710, said to
be by An-
thony Col-
lins. Esq. ;
also Bur-
ton's Letter
to Privy
apud Coll. ) /
vi. 374. /





A.D. 1563.






f Coll. vi.

Script. Ecc.
Aug. p. 363.

g Coll. vi.

h See also
Coll. vi.
375— 3!]6.

> Heylin's

pp. 144-5.

i Strype's
Ann. i. 313-

k Coll. vi.

1 Feb. 5.
™ Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 238.
n Mar. 3.
Syn. Ang.

o Strype's
Ann. i. 315.
P [,athbiiry,
'167, note.
q Lathbury,

A catechism.

yond our present purpose to enter at length. It is well
known how heavily puritanical and infidel ingenuity has been
taxed in endeavouring to shew that this clause was not
synodically authorized. Suffice it here to say that Archbishop
Laud maintained the genuineness of the clause in his speech '
made in the Star Chamber, by citing the editions ^ of the articles
printed in 1563, lo93, 1605, 1612, and also by producing an
authentic copy ^ of the original document under the hand of a
public notary, which then " knocked s down the dispute, ex-
posed the calumny, and was evidence beyond contradiction ^."
Moreover the learned Heylin, who had opportunities of con-
sulting the convocation registers before the disastrous fire of
1666, in which they were burnt, gives this unimpeachable
and unanswerable evidence : " Thus much I can say of mine
own knowledge, that having occasion to consult the records of
convocation, I found this controverted clause verbatim in
these following words, ' Hahet Ecclesia ritus statuendi jus et
in fidei controversiis authoritatem '.' "

Besides the establishment of the thirty-nine
articles of religion, this provincial synod was
engaged in some Qj^her buginggs of an important character.

'■'■The Catechism^'''' drawn "^ up by Alexander Nowell, and
founded upon the basis of that written by Poynet in K. Ed-
ward VL's reign, was now^ brought under ™ the considera-
tion of the upper house, and was authorized " in the lower.
This work probably received** the formal sanction of the
bishops at this time. But however this may be, at any rate
it had their approval ^ subsequently in 1571, so that its full
synodical authority, in the southern province at least, after
the latter period was complete. A shorter catechism, called
" The Middle Catechism^'''' being an abridgment "^ of the one
above mentioned, was drawn up by Nowell, and published in
the year 1570 for the use of schools. And a third, called
" The Smaller Catechism,'''' was also published by the same
author, differing but little from that now printed in our Book
of Common Prayer, Dean Overall having, it is believed,

5 The clause appears in the editions of 1563, 1571, 1581, 1586, 1593, 1612,
1624, 1628.— Card. Syn. vol. i. p. 40, note.

" This copy was in existence when Bennet published his essay on the articles in
1715, and was possessed by Col. Hale of Cottrells, Wilts. — Lathbury, p. 1/8.




abridged from it the questions and answers on the sacra-

Attempts in up- A project "^ also was set on foot in this pro-
ce'^monferof'ie- ^"^cial synod in Order to obtain_£[email protected] altera-
I'g'o"- tions in the rites and cei-emonies of tlie Church

as defined by the Book of Common Prayer. For the promo-
tion of this object ^Sand ys, bishop of Worcester, brought in a
paper consisting of three heads.

First, he proposed tliat by her majesty's autliority, with
the assistance of the archbishop, the rubric in the office of
private baptism, which gave women hberty^ to baptize in
cases* of necessity, should be altered. Grindal, bishop of
London, agreed with Sandys as to the desirableness of the
change, but altogether differed with him as to the manner of
making it, for Grindal thought a synod the proper authority
for regulating such a point. In this the latter prelate was
clearly right, for Sandys'" proposed method must assuredly
fall far short of satisfaction in the opinion of every person
whose judgment is worthy of consideration,

Secondly, Sandys " proposed that the sign of the cross
made upon thelchild's head in baptism should be dispensed
with, and this alteration he desired to be made by the secular
authority before mentioned. It seems that this significant so-
lemnity appeared to him superstitious and needless : but if it
really were so, it does not appear to have occurred to the
bishop that the authority he invoked for discharging it was
altogether insuflicient.

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 61 of 83)