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 71 of 83)
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The business of this synod may be briefly

Sundry heads ^ -, n ■ ■, f. i i i i p i

of synodical busi- related. Some J chapters of the book *" formerly
brought into the synod by Archbishop Bancroft
in February, 1607 n.s., were now again introduced and read.
A^ conference was held between the two houses'" on the
present state of the Church, on the value and management of
benefices, on the smallness of some, on tithes received by lay-
men, and on the number of prebends and their values.

1. Canterbury

Dr. Morton

A.D. 1606.
K. James I.

Hist. b. ix.
p. 119, and
see above,
chap. xiii.
sec. 1 1.
' Rose's

a Nov. 1.9

and 29.

b Wake's

State, p.


<■ Friday,

Ap. 10,


■J July 10

and -20,


c Wake's

State, p.


A. D. 1610.

f Cone.
Mug. Brit,
iv. 437—

S Lathbury,

p. 237, note.

n Rose,


Diet, in


' Lathbury,

ut sup., cites

Life of

Morton, p.


J Strype's

Ann. iv.


k Vid. sup.

p. 642.

' Strype's

Ann. iv.


"■ Sess. 20,

May 9,


Tt 2










n Sess! 36.
o Strype's
Ann. iv.

P Lathbury,
p. 237, note.
•1 Card. Syn.
p. .5.'>1, note.

»■ Sir Simon
apud Cone.
Majr. Brit,
iv. 43ii.

» Ibid.

« Said to be
Mr. Turner
of the Tem-

" Cone.
Mag. Brit,

Crashaw eon- One Crashaw ", a clergyman, was convened
book. Some ac- before tliis" synod for the publication of an
count of It. erroneous book, but upon expression of sorrow

for his conduct, and retractation of the tenets contained in his
work, lie was dismissed by the archbishop. The title of this^
performance was '■'■ Neics from Italy of a second Moses, hy
William Crashavi, B.D^ This divine^ was preacher at the
Temple. His work, for which he happily appears to have
expressed his sorrow on this occasion, was a tran.slation of the
life of the Marchese Carraccioli, a nobleman who, having ab-
jured the Roman persuasion, subsequently cultivated the friend-
ship of Calvin, and not only adopted the singularities of that
teacher, but in order perhaps that his preceptor"'s instructions
might not lose by distance, sought an abode himself at Geneva
in 1556. Our translator, Mr. Crashaw, took occasion to pre-
fix to his work an epistle dedicatory, in which he was so free
as to run a parallel between his hero Caraccioli and the
Jewish lawgiver. But upon reflection a comparison between
the prophet INIoses and this Italian marquis will not hold
good, as indeed ]Mr. Crashaw must have himself discovered ;
that is, if his retractation was honest.

Draft of an act At this time there was laid before parliament
Uo^nofcfergyproc- ^^'^^ draft of an act devised for the remedy of
*"'■*• abuses connected with the election of proctors to

sit in convocation. The latter assembly is there "■ represented
to be warranted by the word of God and the example of the
primitive Church, "and to be of most worthy service for the
ordering of spiritual interests," for the regulation of " divine *
knowledge, for the reformation of conscience, the direction of
the clergy, and the administration of the word." In fine,
whoever * penned this draft had a correct idea of the origin of
our provincial synods, and took a primitive view of their
proper duties. Whether it received the sanction of the
present synod or not is uncertain, but at any rate its date
fixes it to this time. It was proposed in this draft that none
should be eligible as proctors who did " not reside upon their
cures, and apply themselves diligently to their pastoral duties;
and. moreover, all persons were to be disabled from voting at
the election of clergy proctors but such as wei-e performing their
weekly ministrations among their parishioners. And here we




Sundry heads
of synodical busi-
ness, and death of

2. York Synod.

may consider that these propositions seem reasonable enough,
for the common evils under which the Church at any time
labours, and the most suitable remedies to be applied, fall
especially within the observation of the labouring clergy.
And indeed one of the chief advantages to be derived from
the assembling of provincial synods is that the results of the
experience of that body of men, as derived from many localities,
may be collected and made available.

Besides the transmission " of some notes from
the lower house to the upper on the number
A7chbTsho"p Ban- and value of prebends, the grant "^ of a subsidy
"°^'' of six shillings, to be paid in two years, and the

commission given to George Abbot, now bishop of London,
to preside in the place of Archbishop Bancroft, who died ^
Nov. 2, 1610, there is nothing farther worthy of remark as
connected with this Canterbury provincial synod, which was ^
dissolved Feb. H, IGll n.s.

Concurrently ^ with the foregoing the York
Synod met Feb. 10, 1610 n.s. in the cathedral
of that province. John, Bishop of Sodor and Man, and
some others, were constituted as presidents of the assembly
in the place of Archbishop Matthews, who deemed himself
obliged to attend his place in parliament, which met on the ^
previous day. This excuse, however, for the absence of a
metropolitan from his post of duty to God and the Church, as
being chief ruler in spiritual matters within the province com-
mitted to his pastoral supervision, seems no way satisfactory.
The subsidy ^ is the only subject treated of which remains
on record, and this appears to have been granted with great
good will under the same form, conditions, and limitations as
had been agreed to in the sister synod. After sundry '' con-
tinuations the York Synod was dissolved on the same day
with that of Canterbury, viz. Feb. 11, 1611 n.s.*

Shortly after <* the death ^ of Archbishop
Bancroft a meeting of several bisliops was held
in London to consult about his successor.
The bishops recommended to the king Andrews,
bishop of Ely, so highly distinguished for his

* Wake asserts that this synod was dissolved Feb. 1!), 1611 N.s., but he gives
no authority. — State, p. 510.

A. D. 1610.
K. James I.

VIII. Acces-
sion of Arch-
bishop Geo. Ab-
bot to the see of
Canterbury, and
siiuiewhat of his

*■ Strype's
Ann. iv.

« Sess. 40,
July 16.

" Rose,
Diet, in loc.

y Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 438.

^ Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 444.

a Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 444.

b Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 444.
State, p.
« Cone.
Mag. Brit.
iv. 444.

■1 Coll. vii.


e Nov. 2,





A.D. 1611.


See of Cant.




f Secretary
Letter, apiid
Rose, Biog.

e Comp.
Hist. iii. 53.

'' Cvp. Ang.
p. 155.
• Comp.
Hist. iii. 54.

J Rose,
Diet, in loc.

•t Comp.
Hist. iii. 53,
and Cyp.
Ang. p. 155.
' Fuller,
Ch. Hist.
X. 87.
n' Fuller,
Ch. Hist.
X. 87.
n Coll. vii.

" Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 462.

P Warner,
I'-ccl Hist.
ii. 523.

1 Comp.
Hist, iii, 53.

piety, learning, eloquence, and indeed for every quality suitable
to the cliief office in the Church. Unhappily, however,
thinking that his majesty was disposed to a concurrence with
their wishes, they too soon desisted from their applications,
when the Earl of Dunbar stepping in used Scotch influences
in favour of George Abbot, bishop of London, who by "a
strong north wind^ coming out of Scotland," as was re-
marked, " was blown over the Thames to Lambeth." This
was an ill wind, at least to the English Church, and it was a
subject of considerable disappointment that to succeed Bancroft
neither Andrews ^ nor Overall were chosen — men beloved by all,
of much greater experience and endowed with far more learn-
ing than the person selected. Abbot had unhappily imbibed''
some of the indefensible notions ' of Calvin ; and partook more-
over of that foreigner's rigid austerity in prosecuting those
who declined the singular results of his metaphysical lucubra-
tions. For the exhibition of this last quality the high com-
mission court supplied Abbot with a conspicuous arena. The
king himself'J confessed that it was neither his respect for the
learning, wisdom, or sincerity of this prelate which caused
him to be preferred before his fellows, but only the recom-
mendation of the Earl of Dunbar. And some may be inclined
to think that this reason fell short of satisfaction for the pre-
ferment over such a man as Andrews of one who had been made
a bishop before ^ ever he had been called to a pastoral charge.
However Abbot was consecrated metropolitan of Canter-
bury on the 9th of April, 1611, and so was " mounted • to
command in the Clmrcli before he ever learned policy therein ;
and made a™ shepherd of shepherds before he was a shep-
iierd of sheep." The grievous" accident which occurred to
him in Jiramshill park when he missed a buck, and, unhappily,
killed Lord Z ouch's keeper, reasonably calls for our commise-
ration, not only in behalf of the sufferer, Peter ° Hawkins, but
of the archbishop himself, who was so deeply affected by this
mischance that he kept the anniversary p of the day with the
strictest fasting and humiliation ; and, moreover, settled an
annuity on the man's widow. But his want of sympathy with
his inferior clergy, his moroscness 'i, and his austerity towards
thoso who did not concur with his peculiar doctrinal views,
were very unpardonable. His predecessor, Archbishop Ban-




croft, if he ruled strictly, yet censured mildly "■ ; he thought that
slight punishment would suffice to correct a serious fault, and
knew " that a pastoral staffs was made to reduce a wandering
sheep, and not to knock it down." Abbot, however, was
more inclined to use that instrument as a weapon of offence,
and so misapprehending its object misused its powers. In
fine, this Scotch management was far from being advanta-
geous to the Church of England, and this blast from the north,
if it did not raise that storm * which soon after wrecked the ship,
certainly was not calculated to lull to peace the winds and waves.
Still we must not forget that this prelate was personally
of unblemished conversation, and that, moreover, on one occa-
sion he discharged his duty under very trying circumstances
with great courage and constancy. In the year 1626 one Dr.
Sibthorp had preached an assize sermon at Northampton on a
text from S. Paul's epistle to the Romans, chap. xiii. ver. 7.
While treating his subject, that " gentleman unduly exalted
the regale, strangely disabled the rights of the subject, ran out
into some extravagant divinity, and, in fact, discovering too
much of the court divine, proved himself " very defective either
in honesty or understanding." The king being pleased with
the discourse desired that Archbishop Abbot would license it.
This he absolutely declined to do, as being himself shocked at
so exceptionable a performance ; and remaining firm in his
refusal was suspended " from his function for ^ a season. This
persecution ^, however, involving an unjust assumption of power
on the part of the crown, gave this archbishop an opportunity
of leaving to posterity an undeniable evidence of fearbss inte-
grity and constancy which is highly serviceable to his memory.
, , „ . , After the lapse of about three years from the

IX. Provincial r , • , * , i i

synods of April acccssiou of Arclibishop Abbot the two provm-
cialy synods met on the same day, April 6, 1614.
But meagre accounts remain of their transactions ; in fact,
the York records supply no information. Of the Canterbury
Synod it is only known that JNIorton % whose modesty induced
him to decline the office of prolocutor in 1610, now overcame
his scruples and accepted that honour; that'' one Griffin'', who
had been excommunicated on account of some horrid blas-
phemies, confessed his errors, recanted, and submitted himself;
and that in the ninth session the conversion *= of Dr. Alabaster

A.D. IGll.
K. James I.

r Rose,
Biog. Diet.
» Rose,
Biog. Diet.



" Coll.

^ Coll. viii.


w Coll. viii.


'< Coll. viii.


A.D. 1614.

y Cone.
Mas. Brit,
iv. 445.

^ Cone.
Mag. Brit.
iv. 445.
a Couc.
JMag. Brit.
iv. 445.
b Sess. 4.
c Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 445.




A.D. 1614.






<• Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 445.

e Brewer's
lllust. of
Court of
Jas. I. i.

A.D. i(;-2i.

f Conr.
Mapr. Brit,
iv. 4G1.
e Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 4G1.
'' Sess. 7.

i Fuller,
Ch. Hist,
b. ix. p. i)0.

J Fuller,
Ch. Hist,
b. ix. p. 91

from the errors of the Roman persuasion was signified. After
eleven sessions this synod was dissolved ^ on the 8th of June,
1614, the same course being taken with the northern synod on
the 15th of that month.

Liberality of It was upon the occasion of the dissolution of
il?es hi"aiinng''ti!^ thcso syuods that on account of the king s
^'"e- necessities, which the House of Commons had

refused to supply, Archbisliop Abbot and some of the bishops
determined to raise® a loan among themselves and offer it to
his majesty in testimony of their duty. These prelates also
volunteered to make the king a present of the best piece of
plate respectively in their several possessions. And those
who had not an article sufficiently valuable to express their
zeal, sent in such as they had filled with gold, in order
to bring up their gift to considerable dimensions. This
liberality on the part of the spiritualty, which by the way
the crown has never mis.sed in time of need, must have
proved peculiarly acceptable under the present somewhat
harsh refusal of the House of Commons to supply the royal

-,„.., Of the provincial synods ^ which assemljled

X. Provincial . ^ •' ^

synods of Jan. simultaneou.sly Jan. 1 7, 1 621 N. s., no rccords of
interest remain. In the southern ^ synod ^ the
lower house exhibited a schedule of such as had neglected the
canons of 1 603-4. But this assembly seems to have been turned
to no active account ; and the employment of the members,
if we may believe a contemporary ' writer, was confined to
joining in the litany on AVednesdays and Fridays, not being
otherwise directed to synodical affairs. Indeed, on account of
their inaction our author takes leave to be somewhat smart at
their expense, for he remarks that "sitting^ among the tombs
in Westminster Church, they were (as once one of their pro-
locutors said) 'viva cadavera inter mortuos," " as having no
motion or activity allowed them. But whether the members
of a provincial synod, even if unemployed, are not far more
seemly occupants of Westminster Abbey than its present
monuments at least, and whether, if this synod in question
had had more vitality imparted to it, some advantage might
not iiave been set to the account of posterity, these are ques-
tions which may be left to the reader. Tliis assembly was




XI. Provincial
synods of Feb.
1624 N.s.

dissolved by the Bishop of Worcester, as commissioner for
the archbishop, on the 9th '^ of February, 1622 n.s. The
northern ' synod ">, having granted a subsidy of four shiUings
in the pound, was prorogued through sundry continuations"
until the 27th of February, 1622 n.s., at which time that
assembly was also dissolved ".

With K. James I.'s last parliament the two

provincial synods met, assembling p on February

13, 1624 N.'s.

1 Canteiinir ^^ *^^® Opening of the Canterbury Synod Dr.
Synod. Dr. Hall Joseph Hall preached * the Latin sermon. The
Donne 'prolocu- prolocutor "^ was Dr. Donne, for an account of

whose life posterity is indebted to the pen of
Isaac Walton. A few words will again suffice to describe all
that took place in this assembly. The college of physicians,
either solicitous for the public health or fearful of missing
their fees, exhibited^ a complaint "against ' ministers exercis-
ing physic," upon which Archbishop Abbot desired both houses
to take notice that the clergy should be forbidden to prescribe
for bodily ailments except within their own parishes, and that
even there medicinal remedies were to be dispensed by them
upon motives of charity only. His grace " also made complaints
of irregularities among the clergy, and exhorted to amendment.
The granting of subsidies is the next business left on record.
It seems that parliament was at this conjuncture inclined to
practise more liberality towards his majesty than it had shewn
ten years " previously, for both houses ^, in the name of the
whole kingdom, now promised their assistance with their lives
and fortunes for the recovery of the Palatinate. In this libe-
rality the southern synod joined, for it voted four subsidies "^
to the king for aid in the present exigence. Another matter
connected with this synod, and worthy of note, was the suc-
cessful claim of convocational privilege of freedom from arrest
by JNIr. JNIurrell, archdeacon of Lincoln. But as this subject
has been considered above ^ once for all it may here be passed

Pro osalforin- Before the breaking up of the assembly in
vestigation of Mav a matter ^ of some importance was intro-

books and MSS. ■• ^ -r\ -tr i r» iir-

in cathedral and duced by Dr. Young, dean of Wmchester, now i
umyeisi y i la- pj.QjQg^^Qj. ^f {.j^g lower house ; though it does j

A. D. 1622.
, K. James I.

k Cone.
Ma?. Brit.
iv. 461.
' Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 461.
"' Jan. 31,
16-21 N.s.
A.D. 1624.
n Nov. 1.5—

° Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 461.
P Cone.
Mag. Brit.
iv. 467.
n Fuller,
Ch. Hist,
b. X. p. 112.
r Fuller,
Cb. Hist,
b. X. p. 112.

s Mar. 1 3,
1624 N.s.
Sess. 4.
' Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 467.

" Cone.
Mao-. Bi
iv. 467.

*■ Vid. sup.

« Fuller,
Ch. Hist,
b. X. p. 112.
" Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 467.

y Cha]
see. i.\


Mag. Brit.





A.D. 1624.






a May 28.
b Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 4Gy.

<= Vid. inf.
sec. xiii.

•1 1624.

e Cone.
Mag. Brit.

f Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 467.

B See cliap.
xiii. sec. ix.

not appear why Dr. Donne was not still discharging the duties
of the office. At this time * however Dr. Young proposed —
what it seems had before occupied '' the dehberations of the
assembly — that some of the most remarkable scholars from
each university should be selected by both houses of convo-
cation for the purpose of examining the MSS., together with
the Greek and Latin editions of the Fathers, councils, and
ecclesiastical writers preserved in Oxford and Cambridge, as
well as in public and private lil^raries generally. It was pro-
posed by this examination to collate various readings, to dis-
cover papal frauds, and, by comparing the "Indices Expurga-
torii" with the best MSS., to compile an index which might
clearly determine the true reading of passages where doubt had
existed. The prolocutor informed the house, moreover, that
this plan had been submitted to his majesty, who had signified
his approbation and promised to promote the scheme. The
j)roposition was unanimously acceded to ; on which Dr. Young
requested the deans and capitular proctors, as well as the
other members then present in the synod, to search the libra-
ries of their respective churches, and to prepare catalogues of
their MSS. and of their best editions for presentation to the
assembly at the earliest opportunity, with a view to carrying
out the object proposed. It was also agreed that synodical
letters should be transmitted to the Archbishop of York and
his suffi-agan bishops, requesting that they would forward this
business in their metropolitan and other cathedrals. This
was a noble project ; and was recurred to again, unhappily
without effect, in the next year ''. Even if carried out at this
day it would open vast treasures of learning now lying undis-
covered, which might prove of inestimable value to this Church
and nation.

We do not find this synod meeting after the 28th'' of May,
from which '^ day it was continued by three prorogations to
the 16th of March, 1625 n.s.

The records of the York Synod, which began
acourse with the last-mentioned assembly, Feb.
13, 1624 N.s.^, are taken up chiefly with the vindication of
the convocational freedom from arrest claimed by Thomas
Mallory, dean of Chester, but as this subject was before
treated ^ of, it is unnecessary here to dwell longer upon it.

2. YorkSvnod.




This synod, with the same liberality as the southern ^, granted
four subsidies ' to the king, and was continued by prorogations
to Feb. 17, 1625 N.s.J

XII. Death of The uGxt Canterbury Synod '^ was summoned
a^cceirr h't for the 16th of March, 1625 n.s., that of York
Charles I. fo^ the 21st of April following J. The former

assembly was dissolved by K. James I.'s death on the 27th of
March ; the latter of course did not meet at all. Upon the
death of this monarch "" his only son Charles was proclaimed
king of England. Our space will not allow of diversions on
any side among the numerous and large subjects of national
interest here forcing themselves upon notice, unless they are
specially connected with the object especially before us. It may
however be remarked that when the new monarch sent to
survey the regalia, the left " wing of the dove upon the sceptre
was found to have been broken off. Upon the king's sending
for Mr. Acton \ a goldsmith, and desiring that the casualty
should be repaired, and the very same wing set on again in
its place, that artificer replied that it was impossible to do it
so fairly but that some mark would remain. His majesty
replied, " if you will not do it another shall;" upon which the
goldsmith carried home the sceptre, and had another dove of
gold artificially set upon it, and with this, when returned, the
king was well pleased, as not discovering the change. The
mutilation of this emblem of peace was no good omen of the
future. It would seem as if that evil genius of discord was
already on the wing, which soon banished not only peace, but
all public virtue and honour from our country, and, moreover,
in due course goaded on some at least of its inhabitants to
deeds of barbarous wickedness and sanguinary atrocity, for
which, as aggravated by the guilt of enormous hypocrisy, all
honest and good men detest their names and execrate their

After the accession of K. Charles I. the York
Synod met first, assembling on the 18th of May,
] 625 ", but no business appears on the records.
It was followed by the Canterbury Synod,
which was convened on the 2()th of June en-
suing, at S. PauFs cathedral.

5 Mr. Acton's son attested the truth of this to Fuller.

XIII. Provin-
cial synods of
1 6-25.

Canterbury Sy

A. D. 1625.
K. James I.



i May 13.

Mag. Brit.
iv. 469.
•< Cone.
Mag. Brit.
iv. 468.
1 Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 469.
m Coll. viii.

" Fuller,
Ch. Hist.
b. X. p. 109.

" Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 470.




A.D. 1()2,5.

Arch lips.,





P Comp.
Hist. iii. 30.
q July 12.
■■ Fuller,
Ch. Hist,
b. ix. p. 108.
s Fuller,
Ch. Hist,
b. ix. p. 108.
' Cone.
Mag. Brit.
iv. 469.
" Aug. 5.
12, 13.
" Comp.
Hist. iii. G.
'^ Fuller,
Ch. Hist,
b. xi.p. 108.

y Lathbury.

^ Fuller,
Ch. Hist,
b. xi. p. 108.

* Colli]).

Hist. iii. 6,

•> Comp.
Hist. iii. 7,

<^ Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 4f)9.
•• Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 46').
e 1C24.
' Vid. sup.
I). 6.50.
e Fuller,
Ch. Hist.
h. xi. p. 108.
'• I'ulkr,
Ch. Hist,
b. xi. p. 108.

Dr. John Bowles

Dr. John Bowles, dean of Salisbury, after-
wards bishop of Rochester, was elected as pro-
locutor P ; and after six sessions i this assembly was discon-
tinued ■■, together with the parliament, on account of the
plague then raging in London.
r. ^ , c The ecclesiastical ^ and civil assemblies were

Canterbury Sy-
nod rcuiovcd to however both removed to Oxford. The Canter-
bury Synod assembled' at Christ Church on
the 2nd of August, and held its sessions " subsequently in 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 71 of 83)