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 73 of 83)
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certificate. After which the archbishop addressed a Latin
speech to the lower clergy, in which he desired them to retire
to their usual place, to choose their prolocutor, and to present
him on the 17th of April then next ensuing in K. Henry
YlL's chapel at Westminster.

The clergy having betaken themselves to the
Steward proio- cliapcl of S. Mary the Virgin at the eastern
end of the cathedral, chose'' as their prolocutor
Dr. Richard Steward, dean of Chichester ; Dr. Gilbert Shel-
don, warden of All Souls' College, Oxford, being at the same
time appointed to present. The dean of S. Paul's, Dr.
Thomas AVinniff, carried back to the archbishop and his
suffragans information of the business transacted by the clergy;
and then, absentees having been pronounced contumacious,
the first session of this synod broke up.

Confirmation of The ucxt y meeting took place in K. Henry
the prolocutor. VH.'s chapcl, Westminster, on Friday the 1 7th
of April. After prayers Dr. Robert Newell, subdean of West-
minster, attended by his brother prebendaries* and some
witnesses, presented the Westminster protestation of privi-
lege. This formal business concluded, the new prolocutor,

'■* Drs. Thomas Wilson, Peter Heylin, Jonathan Brown, Griffith Williams,
WilUam Haywood, George Aglionby, with Robert Cooke, a notary pubUc, and
other witnesses. — Syn. Ang. pt. ii. p. \ii.

A. D. 1640.
K. Chas. I.

" Fuller,
Ch. Hist,
b. .\i. p. 167.

Syn. Ang.

* Syn. Aug.

,i. 15.

Syn. Ang.
i. 16.

y Sess. 2,
April 17.
Syn. Ang.
ii. 17.




A.D. ]640.






a Fulkr,
Ch. Hist.


•> Vid. sup.
pp. 367-8.
ii. 20.
« Nalson's
i. 358.
•i Cyp. Ang.
ii. 111.
e Fuller,
Ch. Hist,
b. .\i. pp.

f Sess. 3,
I April 22.
K Cyp. Ang.
ii. 112.

I ' Syn. Ang.
I ii.'21.
i J Syn. Ang.
i ii.'i'l. ''

^ Syn. Aug.

II. 22.

' Syn. Ang.
I ii. 27.
I mScss. 5.

' " Syn. Ang.
i ii. S3.

Dr. Richard Steward, was presented by Dr. Sheldon, who
delivered an eloquent address on the occasion. After a Latin
speech equally worthy of commendation made by the pro-
locutor, who disabled his owti worth, but yet professed himself
willing to undertake the office conferred^ on him, the arch-
bishop, with the consent of his suffragans, confirmed and ap-
proved of that gentleman's election.

Archbishop Archbishop Laud then proceeded to address

Laud's speech in- the synod in a Latin oration. This discourse

troducing royal ^ n • i i

licence to enact lasted for well-nigh three quarters of an hour ;

it was gravely uttered, the speaker's eyes being-
scarce * restrained from weeping. The topics introduced he
treated for the most part in general terms, bemoaning the
distempers of the Church ; but towards the conclusion of his
address, the special subject of the king's^ licence, now granted
to treat ^^ of subsidies and frame canons " for the regulation
of the ecclesiastical state, was mentioned ^. And here ® the
archbishop put the synod in mind how deeply they were in-
debted to his majesty's confidence and favour, for trusting the
ability and integrity of the assembly so far as to give them a
commission for altering old canons and framing new ones, the
like whereof had not for many years before been granted.

g The clergy ^ so gratefully s acknowledged the

ofsynodical busi- Confidence thus placed in them, that "for'' the

support of his majesty's royal estate and the
effectual furtlierance of his most royal and extraordinary de-
signs abroad " they voted six subsidies ' of four shillings in
the pound, and, indeed, promised J more if they had power to
make a larger levy. For the promotion "^ of this business a
joint committee ' was now formed, and the matter ' appears to
have been unanimously decided upon at a subsequent session ™.
The archbishop also proposed that a form of prayer should
be provided, in order to intercede" with Heaven that the
parliament might be disposed to unite with the convocation in
promoting God's honour, the good of the Church, and the

' From the upper house, Joseph, bishop of E.xclcr, ilatthew, bishop of Ely,
Robert, bishop of Bristol ; from the lower, Isaac Bargrave, dean of Canterbury,
Thomas Wynniff, dean of S. Paul's, Thomas Paske and Thomas Wilson, arch-
deacons of London and Westniinster, John Lambe, proctor for the clergy of Lin-
coln, and Peter Ilcylin, proctor for the Westminster chapter.— Syn. Ang. pt. ii.
22, 23.




tranquillity of the realm. For preparing this fonn of prayer
his grace's chaplains, Drs. William Bray and John Oliver,
were selected by the lower house. These gentlemen soon ac-
complished their task, and at a subsequent ° session ? brought
in the form of prayer beginning " Oranipotens et sempiterne
Deus,*" which was approved of by the upper house, and after
one 1 verbal addition an order was made that it should be daily
read in convocation, immediately before the benediction.

A consultation was also held between the primate "■ and the
clergy respecting the framing of some canons for the suppres-
sion of Jesuits, Roman priests, and others of that persuasion ;
and copies of those instruments were delivered in schedules
to the prolocutor for publication in the lower house, accom-
panied also with an order that they should not pass out of
the hands of that gentleman to whom they had been en-
trusted. These papers^ seem however to have been after-
wards withdrawn by the archbishop, who thinking that this
matter should specially proceed from himself, desired to give
the subject further thought, and then subsequently returned
the documents to the clergy, who passed them in the form
prescribed by his grace. They constituted perhaps the third
of those canons passed soon after, and which in due course we
shall have to consider. While this matter was under consider-
ation drafts of several other canons were prepared, one for
" * the keeping of the day of his majesty's inauguration ; one
against the Socinian heresy ; and one for the restraint of
sectaries, by which the penalties proposed in the canon against
popish recusants were to prevail, to some extent, against Ana-
baptists, Brownists, Separatists, Familists, and others who re-
fused to hear divine service, or partake of the holy communion
in their parish churches." These drafts referred to the seven-
teen canons " subsequently enacted.

The times were now so uneasy, and such deep prejudices
existed against the king himself and against the synods of the
Church, on account of their loyalty towards their sovereign,
that it was necessary to keep their debates secret from the
public, and orders were consequently issued to " restrain the
publication of any synodical acts, whether relating to subsidies
or ecclesiastical canons, until they had been finally ratified by
the convocation and approved by his majesty.

A. D. 1640.
K. C'nas. I.

" Sess. 5.
P Syn. Ang.
ii. 27.

1 Of the
word " An-


' Cyp. Ane.
ii. 113,114.
Coll. viii.

't Vi<l. inf.
pp. 669 et

" Sess. 5.
Syn. Ang.
ii. 26, 27.




A.D. 1640.






" Comp.
Hist. iii.
Card. Syn.
ii. 593, note.
« Coll. viii.

» Fuller,
Ch. Hist,
b. xi. p. 168.

y Cvp. Ang.
ii. 115. "

« Fuller,
Ch. Hist,
b. xi. p. 168.
bCvp. Ang.
u. 115.

c Coll. viii.

Question arises
whether, on a dis-
solution of parlia-
ment, the provin-
cial synods are
dissolved as a
matter of course.

The parliament sitting acourse with this
synod was ' suddenly dissolved, as was said, on
the 5th of May. The king had sent a message
to the commons reminding them of supplies, at
the same time taking notice of the intolerable
conduct of which the Scotch had been guilty. It " is said
that Sir Henry Vane, one of the principal secretaries of state,
being desired to propose six .sub.sidies asked for twelve. This
demand, being con.sidered excessive, surprised the commons
and disturbed their temper ; and, in consequence, as they pro-
ceeded to engage in some unserviceable debates, the parliament
was dissolved by the king, under the advice of his council.

And now a question arose whether by a dissolution of the
parliament the convocation also was dissolved as a matter of
course. On this subject a great difference of opinion existed ;
and ^ indeed some members of the synod itself appear to have
been jealous and suspicious of their own powers. They were
more willing to be censured for inactivity than to run the risk
of being charged with excess of zeal. Considering the dan-
gerous and discontented times on which they had fallen, they
entertained some fear lest, if life should be imparted to that
assembly which had now lain dormant for so many years, the
members themselves should be induced to overact their parts.
There was, indeed, a prevailing opinion that the convocation
would end with the parliament, and therefore when the synod
met on^ Wednesday, Way 6, some surprise was displayed
upon the assembly's being again continued, for one of the
clergy had acquainted ' the archbishop that there was a pre-
cedent in Q. Elizabeth''s time for pursuing such a course. And,
moreover, a motion ^ had been made that the present opi)or-
tunity should bo improved for perfecting the canons which had
been begun. To settle these doubts a good deal of pains ^ was
taken by some members who had studied the convocational
records in order to shew the difference between a writ for
summoning the parliament and that for calling together a con-
vocation. The variety in form and the independence of one
body upon the other was urged. The distinction between the
writ of summons and the commission to make canons was also
pressed, and it was argued that if tlie commission for making
canons"' expired with the parliament, yet tiiat the writ by




which convocation was summoned to deliberate remained in
force until the assembly was dissolved by another like docu-
ment. This last distinction \ one which seems above the com-
prehension of many gentlemen in the present day, disabled
opponents, and gave satisfaction to the majority present, though
the continuance of the synod was still warmly opposed by some
of its members. This ® party was composed of Drs. Brownrigg,
Hacket, Holesworth, and Mr. Warmistre, one of the proctors
for the Worcester diocese, with thirty- two others in the lower
house. These gentlemen pressed with great importunity for
the dissolution of the assembly, and thought that it would be an
ill omen for convocation to sit when parliament was defunct.
But as there attended at this time in the lower house about
one hundred and twenty members, this opposition, supported
only by less than a third of the whole body, was unavailing.

Thi uesdon Howevcr, to silciice ^ all doubt, his majesty
determined in the proposed the ciuestion ou May 10 to the chief

negative by mem- ' i-ii

bersoftheieanied lawyers then about hmi, upon which those
pio ession. learned persons subscribed an opinion which

knocked down the dispute. Its ran as follows : " The convo-
cation called by the king's writ under the great seal doth con-
tinue until it be dissolved by writ or commission under the
great seal, notwithstand the parliament be dissolved.
" Jo. Finch, C.S. " Edward Littleton

" H. Manchester "■ Ralph Whitfield

" John Bramston " Jo. Bankes

" Ro. Heath."
The first of these subscribers was lord keeper,

A second royal i , i . i i p i i • <>

licence to enact the second lord privy seal, the fourth chief-
canons issued. . , • /> ii 1 1 ii • ii
justice of the common pteas, and the sixth

attorney-general. Supported by such grave authority, the

continuance of the convocation under the original writ of

summons appeared to be justified by the constitution, and a

fresh royal licence to enact canons was prepared.

, Atthisconiuncture Archbishop Laud, who had

Riotous mob '' ' '

threaten in vain fallen Under the displeasuro of the mob, became
anTthe convoca- the Special objcct of their fury, for on ^ Monday,
tion-house. jyj^^ ^^^ j^j^ i^al^cB at Lambeth was attacked

for two hours by a rabble rout of Anabaptists, Brownists, and
other sectaries, to the number of more than five hundred ;

A.D. 1640.
K. Chas. I.

d Coll. viii.

e Fuller,
Ch. Hist,
b. xi. p. 1(
Coll. viii.

fCyp. Ang.
ii. 115.
Hist. Reb.
i. 205.

s Cone.
Mag. Brit,
iv. 540.
Syn. Ang.
ii. 33. Cvp.
Ang. ii. 115.

h Cyp. Ang.
ii. 115.
Coll. viii.




A.D. 1640.






Cyp. Ang.

> Cvp. .

ii. ik

J Sess. 10.
^ Claren-
don's Hist.
Reb. i. 148.
' Syn. Ang.
ii. 30.

"> Svn. Ang.
ii. 31.

" Comp.
Hist. iii.

o Comp.
Hist. iii.

P Svn, Ang.
ii. 31.

some of whom were by the way afterwards punished for their
share in this outrage. However, as these malcontents were
unable to carry that position, they determined to divert the
assault, and play off their battery on the convocation. But
that assembly was not only fortified by the new royal commis-
sion above mentioned ; more sensible means of defence were
provided in the shape of a guard ^ marched down to West-
minster under the king's sanction, and consisting of some
companies of the trained bands of the county of Middlesex,
commanded by Endymion Porter, one of the grooms of the
bedchamber, a man of honest purpose, and well affected to
the Church, his country, and his sovereign.
rj,, , . Supported J by such'' reinforcements, the

1 he synod again '■ '■ •' ' ^

settles to busi- syuod Settled down to its proper occupations
again on' Wednesday, May the ]3th, and pro-
ceeding under constitutional authority to enact canons thought
necessary for those times, the members dispatched their work
with speed and courage. The archbishop, having first ad-
dressed his suffragans on the subject of the tumultuous riots
which disturbed London and its suburbs, desired the attend-
ance of the lower house. Upon their appearance his grace
exhibited the new royal commission to enact canons "", which
was read aloud by Sackville Wade, the deputy-registrar.
This" new commission, dated May 12, was identical with the
former document introduced on April 17, with the exception of
a clause repealing the old commission, and specifying the dura-
tion of the new one. The previous commission was limited to
the time of " the present parliament ;" the present one was to
last "during our will and pleasure." And further", the opinion
of the learned gentlemen of the long robe above referred to, as
to the continuance of convocation after the dissolution of par-
liament, was communicated to the assembly. For arranging
the levy of the p extraordinary benevolence to the king, and for
transacting the business of framing canons, matters which could
not be managed conveniently by so large a body, a committee
of the lower house was appointed to prepare the forms and
mature the business for the ratification of the whole synod.
The members who were selected to form this connnittee appear
to have been those mentioned below ', in number fourteen.

' Dr. Steward, prolocutor ; Isaac Bargrave, Thomas Wynniff, Richard Baily,



Before this session broke up, the archbishop i recommended
to the upper house that a book of articles for visitations
should be compiled, and also a form for the consecration of
churches, chapels, and cemeteries.

The king de- On "^ Friday, May the 15th, Sir Henry Vane,
to'^'^pioJe^ed'TOth Secretary of state, came down to the synod with
energy. ^ messagc from the king. The archbishop, with

the consent of his suffragans, determined that the honourable
messenger should be admitted into the assembly, and upon
the appearance of the prolocutor and the lower house Sir
Henry was graciously received by his grace, and * placed in
a seat on the archbishop's left hand. The secretary then
delivered his royal master's message, which was to the effect
that * as the king had granted his commission to the synod to
enact canons, so he desired that they would proceed quickly
in that business, and that no member would withdraw from
the synod until that object was completed. After" the
secretary's address was finished, he retired with the arch-
bishop to Whitehall, in order to hold a consultation with his
majesty on the matters now under hand.

, , The ^ next session, held on the followino; day.

Sundry heads . , , tt i />

of business trans- was taken up with divers busmess. Heads of
some of the canons "^ afterwards enacted were
brought up by the prolocutor*. Complaints of the lower
clergy were entertained relating to the substraction of their
fees for churchings, marriages, and burials, and also respect-
ing the ill conduct of churchwardens. For rectifying such
abuses the upper house determined that recourse should be
had to his majesty's attorney-general. The subsidies of four
shillings in the pound were also finally concluded on, and
ratified with^ provisions for levying them under ecclesiastical
censures. And here we are to observe that great offence was
given because this benevolence was granted by the clergy to
their sovereign in his need without any confirmation of the civil
legislature. It had indeed been usual, since the thirty-seventh

respectively deans of Canterbui-y, S. Paul's, and Sarum ; Thomas Paske, Andrew
Binge, Ralph Brownrigg, respectively archdeacons of London, Norwich, and
Coventry ; John Montfort and Gilbert Sheldon, respectively proctors for the
j chapters of S. Paul's and Gloucester ; John Lambe, Benjamin Laney, Thomas
Turner, Edward Franklin, and Gilbert Ironside, diocesan proctors.


A. D. 1640.
K. Chas. I.

? Syn.
\\ .HO

'Sess. 11.
Comp. Hist,
iii. 110.
Syn. Ang.
ii. 33, 34.
Cone. Mag.
Brit. iv. 540.

s Syn. Ang.
ii. 34.

' Comp.
Hist. iii.

" Svn. Ang.
ii. 35.

»• Saturday,
May 16.

" Svn. Ang.
ii. 35, 36".
* Cone.
Mag. Brit.
iv. 540.

> Comp.
Hist. iii.




A.D. 1640.






^Cdl. viii.

aCyp. Ang.
ii. 123.

b Comn.
Hist. ii. Ill,

"1 Syn. Ang.
ii. 46. Conip.
Hist. iii.
Ill, note.
J'' Vid. sup.
p. 0-67.
" Sess. 1 3.
fSyn. Anpr.
ii. 38.

e Syn. Ang.
ii. 45.

•> Cyp. Ang.
ii. 122.

11. 122, and
Coll. viii.
184. Fuller,
Ch. Hist,
b. xi. p. 170.

year of K. Henry VIII., for the parliament to pass ^ an act for
the ratification of the synodical subsidy, but still the clergy, by
the ancient^ constitution of this country, had certainly a right
to vote their own money, and to enforce the levy of it without
parliamentary sanction, a right which they had exercised so
lately as in (.}. Elizabeth's time. But perhaps the members of
this parliament felt now some reasonable shame that the clergy
had .shewn a mark of substantial respect for their sovereign,
which they themselves refused to pay : and hence the ill will.

It may ^ be remarked that in this synod it was intended to
provide an English pontifical which was to contain — 1. the
form and manner of royal coronation ; 2. a form for consecra-
tion of churches, churchyards, and chapels ; 3. a form for
reconciling penitents and apostates. These three '^, together
with the office " of confirmation " and that " of ordering
bishops, priests, and deacons " then in force, were to make up
one volume. But this design, which has never to this day
been carried out, and which would have supplied a sensible
defect in the English Church, unhappily came to nothing.

The book ^ of articles ^'^ above mentioned proposed for the
use of all bishops and archdeacons in their visitations was con-
sidered, as were^ also the complaints made in parliament against
the sermons of some clergy, and ^ specially against that of Dr.
Beale, a member of convocation. A petition e ^vas put up by
one of the Welsh proctors for corrections of the press in the
Welsh liturgy, and for the translation into that language of
the form of prayer for the king's inauguration. A short form
of pi-ayer to ^ precede sermons was also offered to the synod ;
but this motion at the instance of the archbishop fell through,
his grace being satisfied with the canon » on the subject.
There was moreover a proposition J made by Dr. Gryffith, a
proctor for one of the AVclsh dioceses and a moderate man, that
a new edition of the Welsh church Bible might be put forth,
the one now in use, translated about sixty years before by the
help of Bishop Morgan, being, as was said, both corrupt and
defective ; and these charges were maintained by instances \

* In this Welsh translation verse 23 of E.xod. .\ii. (where it is said that the Lord
will pass over the doors where blood was sprinkled) was omitted, and this maimed
the sense of the whole chajiter. In llabakkuk ii. 5 the words " he is a proud
man" were omitted.— Coll. viii. 184. Fuller, Ch. Hist. xi. 1/0.




This motion proving acceptable to the synod the revision was
committed to the four Welsh bishops ; but their undertaking
on account of the ensuing troubles met with no success.
Petitions from certain inhabitants ^ of S. Clement Danes
and S. Mary in the Savoy were exhibited ; upon which one
John Crosse, a butcher, and William Stevenson of the same
craft, with Roger Barton's wife offered themselves as
witnesses to prove the allegations contained in the schedules,
which appear to have attributed some improper management
in their respective offices to Mr. John Allen, a notary public,
and one Arthur Coleman, an apparitor of the Archdeacon of
Middlesex. The unanimous^ consent of the whole synod was
further obtained to a proposition, that a petition should be put
up to the king for a reprint of the English liturgy in Latin.
This arose from a motion of the archbishop ™, who, it seems,
desired that in colleges and halls of the universities the Latin
form of prayers should be used ; and for this wish it is plain
that he had some grounds, as derived from the third head of
the preface to the Common Prayer Book, and from the ex-
ample of Christ Church, Oxford, where prayers had con-
stantly been offered in Latin, a custom which prevails there to
this day. Such were sundry heads of business brought before
the notice of this synod.

The seventeen ^^^^ most important worlc howcvcr of this
canons of i(j40. assembly was the ratification of seventeen canons,
popularly known as " T/ie Canons 0/1640."

Those canons were not ° passed without some

Some opposition i , . . , ,

to them in the slight clashmg m both houses ; m the upper
upper ouse. ^^^ ^-^^ ^^^^ ^^ Godfrey Goodman, bishop of

Gloucester, who it appears denied the legal constitution of °
this synod for the enactment of canons, though he admitted its
authority for the levy of subsidies. This fine distinction pro-
bably was suggested to that divine by his disgust at the sally
in the third canon now before the synod against popish recu-
sants, a party for which he had p a peculiar tenderness, not to
say regard.

Some heats in ^^^ the lower housc some little heat was ex-
the lower house, gj^g^j^ specially on the subject of the position of
the communion table ; a matter involved in the seventh of these
canons. The consideration of this question was then of extreme

A.D. 1640.
K. Chas. I.

k Svn. Ang.

ii. ho.

I Syn. Ang.
i. 52.

™ Cvp. Ang.
ii. Ii22, 123.

" Cyp. Ansr.
ii. 117, 118.

° Syn. Ang.
ii. 44.

P Com p.
Hist. iii.




A.D. 1640.






ii. 117.
r Fuller,
Ch. Hist,
b. xi. p. 169.
» Cvj). Ang.
ii. 117.

« Svn. Ang.
ii. 23.

Cyp. Ang.


" Nalson's
Coll. vol. i,
p. 352.

importance from the fact of the communion tables having been
moved, in some instances, into the bodies of the churches ;
but this canon required them to be replaced in their proper
position and railed in. For the better management of this
canon a committee of twenty-seven members ^ of the lower
house, including the prolocutor, was appointed. It was how-
ever ^ clearly understood that no decision should be considered
as final until it had been thrice voted by the whole assembly.
This committee met in K. Henry ^ VII.'s chapel, Westmin-

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 73 of 83)