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 63 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 63 of 83)
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proceeding appears somewhat rigorous at first view ; but on
the other hand this prelate''s conduct certainly was in a very
high degree blameable, for though he was in Westminster
at this time, yet he absented himself, and moreover, departed
into the country without the archbishop's permission. On
account of this misbehaviour on the part of Dr. Cheyney,
Guy Eaton *, archdeacon of Gloucester, was ordered by the
upper house to take measures for publishing the excommuni-
cation of his diocesan in the cathedral of Gloucester, at the
time of sermon. For this purpose he was to be assisted by
the queen's pursuivant, and a certificate of the execution of
this command was to be returned with all speed. These
active measures brought the bishop to his senses, for soon
after Anthony Higgins, his chaplain, appeared, exhibiting ^ a
proxy for his lord, and petitioning for the benefit of absolu-
tion, which was granted by the direction of the archbishop.

The fifth ^ session, on account of the arch-
bishop's illness, was held at Lambeth. After
prayers and some private consultation among
the members of the upper house, it was unani-
mously agreed upon by the synod, — " ^ that when
the book of articles, touching doctrine, shall be fully agreed
upon, that then the same shall be put in print by the appoint-
ment of my lord of Sarum, and a price rated for the same to be
sold." " Item. That the same being printed, every bishop to
have a convenient number thereof to be published in their
synods, and to be read in every parish church four times every
year." This was, in fact, a second ratification of the thirty-nine
articles of religion, which =*'' were now subscribed afresh by botli

Thirty-nine ar-
ticles of religion
again published
by this synod un-
der Bishop Jew-
el's editorship.



houses of convocation. Bishop Jewel speedily discharged the
duty of editor here imposed upon him, and in the performance
some'' verbal corrections were made. He numbered the
whole, making them, with the ratification, forty ; but it was
not until a later period that the popular name of " The Thirty-
nine Articles''' was applied to them.
^ , ^ On this occasion also ^ a book of canons of

Book of canons

agi-eed on by the discipline was ^ agreed upon by the upper house,
'^ °^^' and it was subsequently subscribed also, in

person or by proxy, by Grindal, archbishop of York, and his
two suffragans ^ of Durham and Chester. These canons were
chiefly framed by the Bishops of Ely and Winchester, and ^
were digested under ten heads. They regulated wisely and
piously the duties, 1. of bishops; 2. of deans; 3. of arch-
deacons; 4. of chancellors, commissaries, and officials ; 5. of
churchwardens and other select persons; they gave direc-
tions respecting, 6. preachers ; 7. residence ; 8. pluralities ;
9. schoolmasters, and 10. patrons. To these canons was
added a form of ^ excommunication, which might be used in
the case of an adulterer or any other notorious sinner.
It is iiemarkable diat under the first head each archbishop
and bishop was bid to provide in his house, together with the
largest Bible, Foxe's JNIartyrology and other like religious
books ; and subsequently the deans, archdeacons, and others
are commanded to furnish themselves with the aforesaid
volumes. Collier^ seems somewhat shocked that synodical
sanction should thus seem to have been accorded to all Foxe''s
relations, as well as to his remarks and reasoning. But
then we are to consider that this book of canons was only
I sanctioned by the prelates, and never received the ' confirma-
tion of the lower house at all ; consequently, being possessed
of no synodical authority, we may take our leave of it at once.
Concurrently with the foreo^oino; provincial

VIII. York pro- , • , p ^r i » » ^

vinciai Synod of syuod, that^ also of York met on the Srd of
April '^, 1571. The assembly was continued to the
23rd of May \ when a schedule of disciphne (probably similar
to °^ that which had been introduced in the southern province ")
was brought in by IVIr. Buck "°. The document was read by
Matthew Hutton, one of the archbishop's commissioners, and
after a deliberation had taken place upon its contents the


A.D. ]57].
Q. Eliz.

^ See Card.
Sjn. 76, - -

c Strvpe's
Parker, 321.
<• Cone.
Ma?. Brit,
iv. 263.

e Strype's
Parker, 322.
f Sparrow's'^
p. 223.

S Sparrow'
Coll. 241.

h Coll.

' Strvpe's
Parker, 322.

J Cone.
Mas. Brit,
iv. 270.
k 1,571.
' 1571.
™ Vid. sup.
this chap,
ad an. 1563

N. .S.

n On Feb.
26, 1563N.S.
nil Trevor, -.^
p. S6, acta \
conv. Ebor, i
fo. 103. /




A.D. 1571.






May' 1 1
and June 8.
(P Cone.
Mag. Brit,
pv. 270.
q May 11.
' Cone.
Mas. Brit.
iv. 270.
A. D. 1572.
s Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 270.
Coll. vi. 522.

" Strvpe's
Parker, 398.

Parker, Ap-
pendix, No.

" Coll. vi.
517, and
Card. Svn.
533. Cone.
Mag. Biit.
iv. 270 seq.

future consideration of them was deferred. This schedule
appears to have engaged the .subsequent" attention of the
synod, but the conchi.sions arrived at^ do not remain upon
record. A subsidy was also unanimously ^ granted by the
northern province on this occasion ^

In the following spring the provincial Synod
provincial Synod of Canterbury assembled * at S. PauFs on the
9 th of May, th e da y after the meeting of par-
liaitient. A paper * drawn up about this time by Lord Burleigh,
containing a draft for the reformation of certain points in
Church discipline and order, indicates the subjects which
appeared to require the attention of the synod, and there
seems to have been some earnest intention to enforce the need-
ful regulations on such matters. Archbishop Parker on this
occasion proceeded from Lambeth to PauPs wharf, as in 1563
N. s., and there landing made his way to the cathedral. After
the usual service Dr. Young, one of the " residentiaries, as the
preacher, addressed the assembly on this text, " I know thy
works ', and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst
not bear them which are evil." When the synod adjourned to
the chapter-house, the archbishop witli great gravity ^^ addressed
to the members a Latin oration to the following effect.
, , , . , „ He '^ began with a commendation of the

A reh bishop Far- ^

ker's opening scrmon. Froui tliencc he proceeded to take
^^^'^^ '■ notice of the zeal which had been shewn here for

the propagation of the truth and the defence of Christianity.
He said " that the circumstances of his station and character
obliged him to be more particularly vigilant and concerned ;
that if occasion should require he ought to hazard his repu-
tation and sacrifice his life and fortune in the service ; that
for exerting himself he had not only the examples of the
late martyrs, but of .saints of the earliest antiquity, some of
whom in the first century arrived in this island, and had left us
noble remains of their piety and success. And, notwithstand-
ing the instructions they left and the usages they settled were
partly worn out by time and superstition, yet many of these
had enjoyed a more happy conveyance, and reached down to
the present age, and thus it appeared our constitutions and
ceremonies were little diflFerent from what was then esta-
blished." He urged " that those remains of antiquity ought to



be the more valuable, because they were as it were the growth
of our own country ; however, had Providence been less favour-
able, and had they sunk in the current of time, we should not
have been unfurnished with the means of instruction, for the
fountains of divine knowledge were open, the Hebrew and
Greek originals of holy writ being all along preserved. And
thus when the stream was disturbed, we might go to the
spring-head and have every thing in its first purity. For as
that holy martyr S. Cyprian wrote," said the archbishop, "if
we have recourse to the oracles of Clod, and trace religion to
its divine original, all mistakes of frailty or design will be
discovered. The iiispired writings will disentangle the per-
plexity, dispel the mist of argument, and set the truth in a
clear light. If the channel which formerly flowed plentifully
happens to fail, the way is to examine the fountain, and then
we shall know what occasions the stoppage. By this method
the holy bishops ought to govern themselves. If the colours
are almost rubbed off, if we are at a loss in any pai't of belief
or practice, let us apply ourselves to the holy evajigelists, to
the writings and traditions of the Apostles, and thus let us
execute closely upon the first scheme, and form our conduct
upon the divine institution. The great S. Basil delivered
himself to the same purpose. ' It is not reasonable,' said
he, ' they should overrule the point by force of custom.
Ancient usage is not always the standard of orthodoxy. Let
the dispute between us be referred to the holy scriptures, and
whatever persuasion is best able to stand this test, let it be
received without further debate."' By the reasoning of these
fathers,"" continued the archbishop, " we are instructed to
examine the scriptures, to rest on the divine authority, and
make the most ancient records the rule to direct us. Thus
we may assure ourselves of continuing ^ in the true religion
and worship of God, whatever havoc the teeth of time may
have made among human monuments. For we thus have
perennial fountains to repair unto, and thence drawing, we
may clear away the dirt with which our enemies the Philistines
have defiled our sources of supply, and thus we may drink of
wholesome streams springing up to life eternal."'"' The arch-
bishop then " took notice of the darkness from which they
had emerged, and commended the brightness of the truth

A.D. 1572.
Q. Eliz.

y Strype's
Parker, 39




A. D. 1572.

Edmund 'V

May 14.

a Card. Syn.
537. Coll.
vi. 518.
b May 14.
c Strvpe's
Parker, 398.
<J Strype's
Parker, 398.

<■ Card. Svn.

f Strvpe's
Parker, 398.

P Cone.
Map. Brit,
iv. 272.

'• Vid. su]),
p. 574. -


which now shone forth, exhorting his hearers to exert them-
selves in resisting evil and maintaining truth, and so to
defend the principles of the reformation." Then he came
to the practical point of his speech, and " reminded the as-
sembly that as he was to preside in the upper house, so it was
necessary for the management of matters of great weight and
moment that some person of singular gravity, prudence, piety,
and learning should be appointed in the lower house to mode-
rate the debates, bring down vehemence to a milder temper,
restrain prolixity, and be a means of communication between
the bishops and the clergy." Lastly he concluded l)y " com-
mending the general worth of their body, suggesting that
there were many among them capable of filling the important
office of prolocutor, and bid them retire and with all speed
make choice and present the person selected on the following
Wednesday '^.'^

TA iTM •. T. The choice of the clero-v fell on Dr. Whitgift,

Dr. ^A hitgift ^ »" » '

proiocu- dean of Lincoln, who was elected prolocutor^
and presented for confirmation at thc^ second
session by Dr. Perne *=, dean of Ely, and Dr. Humphrey, dean
of Gloucester, the latter'^ gentleman making a speech on the
occasion. This session being held at Westminster, the usual
protestation ^ of privilege was made by the dean and others,
upon which the ]Jishop of London, acting for the archbishop,
who was ill, fully admitted the immunities of the abbey. After
the confirmation of the prolocutor the Bishop of London
desired him \ together with the two gentlemen who had pre-
sented him, to select a committee of the lower house, whose
duty s it should be to prepare a written schedule, for presenta-
tion to the archbishop or his substitute, of such matters as
appeared to require reformation in the Church. This looks
like a step in the right direction, and it is believed that the
paper of reforms before ',' mentioned, as drawn up by Lord Bur-
leigh, was connected with this enterprise. However, these
good intentions were not now carried out, and for a while no
advance was made.

Convocation.nl Tt is worthy of reuiai'lc that on the occasion
liorn^ fmn°^ancst of this couvocation the archbishop granted the
sra-^^'^'i- constitutional protection from arrest on civil

process which belongs to members of convocation, tiicir fami-




liars, and servants, during the sessions of that assembly. The
person in whose favour this immunity ' was now granted was
one James Massam, the Dean of Gloucester's servant. The
protection was a formal •• document, directed to the mayor
and bailiffs of the city of Winchester, strictly commanding
them to permit the aforesaid JMassam during the convocation
to have free liberty, " without arrest or molestation," according
to the form of the statute (8 Hen. VI. c. 1). By that statute
it is enacted that " all the clergy hereafter to be called to the
convocation by the king's writ, and their servants and fami-
liars, shall for ever hereafter fully use and enjoy such liberty or
defence in coming, tarrying, and returning as the great men
and commonalty of the realm of England, called or to be
called to the king's parliament, do enjoy, and were wont to
enjoy, or in time to come ought to enjoy."

Other instances "'^^ ^^® ^^^ "*^^^ 0^ ^^^^ Subject of this COUVOCa-

of this privilege, tioual privilege of freedom from arrest, it may
be as well to glance at some other instances in which it was
claimed and allowed, and then the matter need not be further
mentioned in the chronological pursuit of our subject.

During the sessions of the Canterbury provincial Synod of
1603-4 the prolocutor ^ was served with a subpoena by Harring
ton and Walker. Upon this breach of privilege on the part of
these two persons a warrant was issued against the former, and
the latter was arrested by a sergeant-at-mace. Walker was
brought^ before the bishops, and sent down to beg pardon of
the prolocutor and the lower house, which he did, and was so
dismissed for that time. As for Harrington, he was brought
upon his knees for his offence before ^ the upper house.

During the sessions of the Canterbury provincial Synod
begun" Feb. 13, 1624 n.s., a subpoena served on Mr. Murrell,
archdeacon of Lincoln, was superseded" by reason of his
convocational privilege.

To the provincial Synod p of York, begun contempora-
neously with the last mentioned, an application was made for
the convocational privilege in favour of Thomas Mallory,
dean of Chester. The object was to stay some legal pro-
ceedings then pending against that gentleman. The privilege
was granted, and a document for the purpose required executed
under "1 the archiepiscopal seal.

A.D. 1572.
Q. Eliz.

' Cone.
Mag. Brit.

(lag. J
V. 27-2

J See Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 272, and
p. 128, No.

k Cone.
Mag. Brit.
iv. ;^79.
Syn. Ang.

1 Cone.
Mag. Mag.
iv. 467.
o Cone.
Maff. Brit,
iv. 468.
P Cone.
-Mag. Brit,
iv. 407.

'I Cone.
Mag. Brit.
iv. 41)8.





A. D. 1572.






"• Lathbury,
p. 241, note.

« Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 476.

t Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 470".

" Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 538.

^ Cone.
Mag. Brit.
iv. 541.

w See Stat,
at Lai-ge in

"5 Hen. IV.
c. 6. Sec
also 11 Hen.
VI. c. 11.

In the year 1628 the sheriff of Hereford was compelled to
submit himself to the lower house of the Canterbury Synod, at
the command ■" of the House of Lords, for having illegally
arrested the servant of a member of convocation.

This privilege of freedom from arrest, again, seems to have
been obtained by several members during the sessions of the
York provincial Synod which assembled^ Feb. 10, 1629 n.s.
What peculiar circumstances had occurred to involve those
northern gentlemen in lawsuits does not appear, but certain it
is that no less than five of them claimed and obtained their
privilege, viz. Ferdinand Morecroft and W. James, preben-
daries, Gabriel Clerk, archdeacon, and Richard Hunt, dean of
Durham, and also John Co.sin, archdeacon' of the East-

We find also in the provincial Synod of Canterbury begun"
April 14, 1640, that a schedule of complaint was exhibited by
Dr. Burgess, archdeacon of Rochester, setting forth that a
subpoena had been served upon him from the Court of Ex-
chequer illegally, in contravention of his convocational ^

Thus it is plain that freedom from arrest in certain cases
is a con.stitutional privilege, as clearly pertaining to members
of convocation as to members of the imperial legislature.

A digression Tliis privilege appears first to have been con-
giTo" d,it%ivi- fi»™ed to the members of the imperial legislature
^'■'S<^- generally in the fifth year of K. Henry IV., and J/

to have been then grounded on somewhat slender considera-
tions, having arisen upon an individual case. At that period'^
Thomas Broke was knight of the shire for the county of
Somerset, and, on going to parliament, took along with him
Richard Chedder, Esq., as his attendant. During the time of
parliament one John Salvage assaulted this Chedder ; and
this conduct seems to have been so distasteful to the members
of the legislature, that a statute "^ was passed by which it was
enacted that Salvage was to appear in the King^s Bench, and
if found guilty of the assault charged, was to pay double
damages and make fine and ransom at the king's will. i\nd
further, that the same penalty might overtake others wiio
should at any future time molest a member of the legislature
or his attendants during a session of parliament, the statute




concludes with these words: " Moreover y it is accorded in
the same parhament that hkewise it be done in time to come
in hke case." Upon this footstone ^ rests the parhamentary
privilege of freedom from arrest ; and a like privilege was ex-
tended to the members of the convocations by a subsequent
act ^ in the express terms before recited ^. This convocational
privilege has in many instances, as we have seen above, been
claimed and allowed. But how the remarkable judicial^''
ingenuity which has been applied of late to the interpretation
of several statutes affecting the clergy would now deal with
the force of 8 Hen. VI. c. 1, is a question on which it would ill
become a member of my order to hazard an opinion ; for
this query might, indeed, prove difficult of solution even to
those gentlemen whose studies are specially directed to such
^ ^ , It will be observed, by reference to the tabular

X. Canterbury •' p i •

provincial Synod list of syuods at the Commencement oi this
chapter, that alLthe dates are given of the days
to which the two provincial synods respectively were con-
.tinued. Nothing however of importance took place, so far as
the records inform us, from the separation of the assembly of the
southern province in 1572 until Feb. 10, 1576 n. s. On that
day •= the Canterbury synod was convened at S. Paul's cathedral
under the presidency of the Bishop of London, the archi-
episcopal see of Canterbury having ^ now been vacant some-
what more than half a year by the death of M, Parker, an
event which occurred on the l7th^ of May^ preceding at

In the second session s however Edmund
Grindal, whose translation^ from York to the
see of Canterbury was now perfected, came
to the convocation-house, took his place, and so put an
end to ' the presidency of the Bishop of London. At
this first appearance of the new metropolitan in the con-
vocation he desired Dr. A\'hitgift, still the prolocutor of
the lower house, to come before him, and then directed the
clergy to consider what reforms were needed in the state of
Ohrisfs religion and the affairs of the Church ; and further, he
requested that, having considered among themselves^, they
would reduce the results of their deliberations into a written

Edmund Grin-
dal translated
from York to

A. D. 1572.
Q. Eliz.

y 5 Hen. IV.,

c. 6 ad fin. ■
^ Confirmed
bv 11 Hen..
VI. c. 11.

a 8 Hen. VI.
c. 1.

b Vid.

I.. 577.
"^ Vid. sup.
pp. 370 —

A.D. 1576.

c Cone.
Mas. Brit,
iv. 280.
Card. Syn.
ii. 540.
J Coll. vi.
e 1575.
Parker, p.

'' Coll. vi.

> Strype's
Grindal, p.

J Srype's
Grindal, p.

Pp 2




A.D. 1576.






"« Sess. 3.
Feb. 24.
1 March 2.

"• Strypo's
Grindal, i).

I" Strvpe's
No. 4.

schedule, to be produced at the ensuing session. A subsidy
was also now proposed, which was shortly after ^ confirmed.

Articles of 157G The question of ecclesiastical reforms was
^■'*' again treated of in the seventh session', held at

S. Paul's chapter-house ; but on account of the thin attend-
,.ance of bishops on that day the matter was deferred to~the
17th of March, when, at the session held in K. Henry VIL's
chapel at Westminster, the archbishop introduced some
articles on the subject, which were assented to by his brethren
and subscribed under their hands. These articles after due
deliberation were agreed to by the lower house, and so ob-
tained the full authority of the whole synod™. They bore
this title: '■'■Articles^ whereupon it loas agreed ly the most
reverend Father in God Edmond^ archbishop of Canterbury^
and other the bishops and the whole clergy of the province of
Canterbury in the convocation or synod holden at Westminster
by prorogation in the year of our Lord God, after the computa-
tion of the Church of England, mdlxxv., touching the admission
of apt and fit persons to the ministry and tJie establishing of good
order in the Church ^^ AVhen the synod was prorogued the

• The articles to which the foregoing title was appended were fifteen in number.

First. No man was to be ordained deacon or priest unless he wen- known
to the diocesan, or recommended by testimonials ; in these his morals, orthodoxy,
and acceptance of the articles of 15(53 n. s, were to be vouched for. The candidate
was to subscribe the aforesaid standard of belief, and be competent to give an
account of his faith in Latin.

Secondly. No bishop was to confer orders on persons foreign to his diocese
(resident graduates in the universities excepted) without letters dimissory from
the bishop of the diocese to which the parties belonged ; and such letters from
chancellors or other officers were specially barred.

Thirdly. Unlearned ministers who had been ordained were not to be admitted
to cures ; and to secure this proviso bishops were to pass no curates without strict

Fourthly, Diligent inquiry was to be made after counterfeit letters of orders,
that offenders in such cases might be punished.

Fifthly. Bishops were to inform each other of the names of such pretended
clerks, with a view to prevent them from officiating.

Sixthly. None was to be ordained without exhibiting a presentation to a benefice,
or making proof of immediate prospect of employment, nor unless he had sufficient
private funds for his maintenance.

Seventlily. It was ordered that none should be admitted to any ecclesiastical
dignity unless qualified in accordance with the first article above written. For
holding any benefice valued at thirty pounds or upwards in the queen's books,
the person preferred naust be a doctor in some faculty, a bachelor of divinity, or a




archbishop, by a mandate issued April, 1576°, enjoined the
observation of the aforesaid articles on all the clergy in his
province ; and within such limits they were clearly binding,

preacher licensed by a bishop or one of the universities ; besides this the person
was to preach before the bishop or some learned person appointed by him to judge
of competency for the function sought. Somewhat, however, of abatement was
allowed in the cases of small stipends, in respect of which the ordinaries were to
bend to necessity, and fill them with the best persons they could obtain.

Eighthly. Licences for preaching granted within the province of Canterbury

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 63 of 83)