M. (Paul) Rapin de Thoyras.

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to many things purely Civil, under pretence there is no
Ca.e but where Religion may be concerned. This Com-
plaint chiefly regarded Matrimonial Caufes.

XIII. They faid further, that the Ecclefiafticks, in-
ftead of fupporting, on occafion, the Rights 2nd Prero-
gatives of the Crown, were always ready to join with the
Pope, as if he were their only Sovereign.

Thefe are the principal Grievances complained of by
the Englijh, and from which they endeavoured from time
No. 34. Vot, I,

to time to free themfelves, either by Acts of Parlia-
ment, or Orders of Council. But thefe Precautions to
fcreen themfelves from the Papal Ufurpations, afforded the
Popes at the fame time, occafion of complaining in
their turn, that the Englljl) were ftriving to rob the
Church of her Privileges. Herein they had a great Ad-
vantage, by loudly urging the Caufe of God, which they
always took care to confound with their own Intereft.
In a Bull of Pope Clement V, inferted in the Colleclion Aa - Pu ^-
of the Publick Acli, are fpecified the Complaints of the nL p- l8 **
Court of Rome againft the EngliJI). And fince I have re-
lated the Grievances of the Englijh, it is reafonable I
fhould likewife make known thofe of the Pope.

I. The Pope complained, that the Cardinals were bin- Crinamn
dered from enjoying the Prebends he conferred on them, <fibr P«pt
without any confideration of the Refpect due to Perfons "f""/ 1 ' 6 '
ordained by God, to bear their part of the Burden of go- " &
verning the Church.

II. He faid, though he had an inconteftable Right to
collate Benefices, as well in England as in all other States,
yet thofe on whom he had beftowed them were not per-
mitted to take pofl'eflion, neither were they that had the
boldnefs to oppofe it excommunicated.

III. That fuch as were fummoned upon that account,
were not fuffered to obey the Summons. That Nota-
ries were forbid to act, and the King's Subjects to appear
out of the Kingdom.

IV. That the Pope's Nuntio's were hindered from ex-
ercifing their Commiffion, without the King's Licence.
That fome of them had even been publickly imprifoned,
and not relcafed, without paying a large Fine.

V. That the Magiftrates would not fuffer the Excom-
municated to be imprifoned, after the forty days, which,
according to good and laudable cuftom, were allowed
them, to make the Church fatisfaction.

VI. That the King fent frequent Prohibitions to the
Ecclefiaftical Courts, not to try Caufes which were of
their Cognizance.

VII. That the fame Courts were abridged of their
Jurifdiiftion over the Clergy, without confidering, that
Ecclefiaftical Perfons are in no manner dependent upon
the Laity.

VIII. That the Civil Courts dared to condemn Eccle-
fiafticks, without the confent of their Superiours.

IX. That Clergymen were made to appear in their
Shirts in the Civil Courts, notwithftanding they pleaded
their Privileges. That indeed they were fent back to
the Ecclefiaftical Court when they were demanded ; but
it very often happened, if they were not found guilty,
the Civil Judges were fo bold, as fully to acquit them,
without fuffering the Ecclefiaftical Court to take any
cognizance of the matter.

X. That Clergymen were fubjedted to the Tryal of
twelve Lay-Perfons, and were acquitted or condemned by
the Verdict of thefe twelve incompetent Judges.

XI. That the great Men frequently lodged in the
Monafteries, and put them to a great Exper.cs, on the
frivolous pretence of their being founded by their An-

XII. That during the Vacancy of the Abbeys,
thofe who were entrufted with the Cuftody by the
King, wafted the Revenues, and committed great Da-

XIII. Laftly, that the Tribute of a thoufand Marks
due to the Holy See, was not regularly paid, and the
Arrears which were to be fent to Avignon, were put to
other ufes.

Thefe are the mutual Complaints of the Englijh and
the Popes, concerning which it may be obferved, that both
Parties were agreed as to Facts, and differed only as to
Right. To difcover on which fide the Right lay, it
would be neceffary to imagine, whether the Pope and
Clergy were originally poflefTed of the Rights they af-
fumed ; or, they were granted by fome Authority ; and
laftly whether that Authority could lawfully confer them.
But this would be entring into an old beaten Difpute,
on which nothing new can be expected. Leaving every
one therefore to his own Notions, I fhall only relate the
Means ufed by the Englijh, to do themfelves Juftice for
the Injuries they complained of, and the Endeavours of
the Popes, to fupport the Privileges they were poffefTed of.
But firft, it will be proper to take notice, that in thefe
Contefts, the Popes had great Advantages. Every Pope .j
conftantly adhered to the fame Maxims, without the s f ,b c /£",
leaft Variation. But it was not the fame with the Kings
of England, who, to pleafe their Humour, or gratify their
Paflions, fcrupled not, very often, to derogate from the
Prerogatives of the Crown. This is the true Caufe of the
flow Progrefs of the Englijh in their Defign of freeing
themfelves from the oppreffious of Rome, The leaft Re-
6 E laxation




Vol. I.

I ■ ms dif- laxation made them lofe a great deal of Ground, And it plaints, which were carried to Gregory XI, there was a

«w»"]W m *y be ' they WOuU nGVer have accom P liftled the redrefs fort of Agreement made between the King and the Pope,

of any one Grievance, if the Schifms in the Church but fo full of Equivocations and Refervations on the part

had not afforded them Opportunities, which they wifely of the Pope, that it was eafy to perceive he did not mean

improved. For the Popes, who, at fuch Junctures, to defifl from his pretended Rights. He was content with

promifing in general, that he would confider the Com-


For the Popes, who,
flood often in need of the Kings of England, found them-
felves many times obliged to Compliances, to which
doubtlefs they would never have fubmitted at any other
' As the Pope and Clergy mutually fupported each other,

'/' one of the moil effectual means pradtifed in England to
oppole the Papal Power, was to check the Growth of the
Clergy's Riches. To that end, in the Reign of Ed-
ward I, the Statute of Mortmain was enacted, as has
been related. This was a fatal Blow to the Clergy, who,
without this Statute, would have been mafters of all the
Lands in the Kingdom, fince they inceffantly acquired,
and never alienated. But this Statute was almoft as pre-
judicial to the Pope, fince bounds could not be fet to the
Clergy's Power, without leffening, at the fame time, that

of the Court of Rome. Edward I, ftruck likewife at the fons that were gone to Rome to follicite the Repeal of the
Papal Authority, at leaft with regard to the Collation of Statutes of Provifors and Presmunire, to return into Env-
the Bifhopricks, by obliging the Bifhops to renounce land within fuch a time.

tion r the

plaints of the Englijh, and behave with more Moderation
for the future. Gregory dying foon after, his Succeffors
regardlefs of his Engagements, frill continued to beftow
Englijh Benefices upon Foreigners. This Conduit ob- Tnjh Sf.
liged the Houfe of Commons to petition Richard II, &>/»'" ^
feize all the Effects of the Beneficed Agents, and ban- Ens '' m '
ifh them the Realm, which the King did accord-

In the fame Reign, the Statute of Provifors was con-
firmed [and enlarged.]

Two Years before, Richard forbid the Clergy under
great Penalties, to pay a Tax impofed by the Pope.

The next Year he iffued out a Proclamation command-
ing, upon pain of Death and forfeiture of Efrate, all Per-

of the


under Ed-
ward II.

77*' Statute

the Article of the Provifion-Bull, which gave them their
Temporalities, wherein he was followed by his Suc-
ceffors ( i ).

If Edward II, had fhown more Refolution and Firm-
nefs, or had not been forced by the Circumftances of the
Times to keep fair with Rome, he might have greatly
promoted the Work of Liberty, which the EngHJl) had fo
long and fo paffionately defired. Never were they in a
better difpofition to fhake off the galling Yoke. This
appears in the King's Letters to the Pope, and in the vi-
gorous Refutations of feveral Parliaments in his Reign.
But Edward, expecting always to find in the Pope's Au-
thority, a Protection againft his Subjects, frequently loop-
ed to Condefcenfions for the Court of Rome, deftructive
of the Intereft of his Kingdom. This rendered the Par-
liament's Endeavours ineffectual during the Courfe of his

But under Edward III, more effectual meafures were

Tie Statx't

All thefe Precautions being infufHcient to check the
Popes, who pretended not to be bound by Acts of Par- f Pra-mu-
liament, the Statute of Praemunire was revived in 1392, nirc T
with Enlargements, which feemed to leave the Court of ""^
Rome no hopes of evading it. The Aft ran, That all
Perfons that fhould purfue, in the Court of Rome, Tran-
flations, Sentences of Excommunication, Bulls, Mandates,
or any other things whatfoever, contrary to the Rights
of the King and Crown, fhould be put out of the Pro-
tection of the Laws, and proceeded againft according to
the Statute of Praemunire. That all thofe who fhould
bring into the Kingdom thefe foreign Inftruments, or re-
ceive and publifh them, fhould be liable to the fame Pe-
nalties. Laftly, that they who purfued any Procefs in a
foreign Court, to the prejudice of the King's Right,
fhould be treated in the fame manner.

This rigid Act might well curb the Englijh who were the Pcfe
fubject to the Laws, but not the Pope, who was out of,?" 1 "•• "*■

it Provifus. 1 , 77 ' , — -» — "" *-»"•'> ""•■ ""i >■>"- » i'ijc, who was out ur£ J " ""> "-

taken to be delivered from the fo long complained of their reach; accordingly he defifled not from his Preten- ' w! '¥'"" i -

OpprefTions. I mean the two Statutes, which tended to
cut up by the Roots two of the moft coniiderable Grie-
vances, had they been punctually executed. The firft
was the Statute of Provifors, whereby it was enacted, that
in cafe the Pope collated any Archbifhoprick, Bifhoprick,
Dignity, or other Benefice, contrary to the Rights of

Jions. In 1398 hetranflated the Bifhop of Lincoln to the'
See of Chejler (2), and gave the Bifhoprick of Lincoln
to Henry Beaufort, a Son of the Duke of Lancajler. But
the Bifhop of Lincoln, who had not fued for this Tran-
flation, not daring to accept it, by reafon of the Statute
ol Praemunire, retired to a Monaftery, and the Pope tran-

che Kings, Chapters, or Patrons, the Collation was to Hated the Bifhop'of Ldndaff xo the See of Chejler. Ri

devolve to the King for one turn. And if any Perfon chard was extremely offended, that the Pope fhould take

fiied for, and procured, Refervations, or Provifions from the upon him, without being defired, to remove Bifhops from

Court of Rome, he fhould be imprifoned till he had made one See to another. He fummoned the "
Fine to the King at his Will,

Clergy upon
and found fufficient Se- .this occafion, and demanded their Opinion of thefe Tran-

flations contrary to his Will. This was a puzzling Quef
tion for the Clergy, who, fearing to difpleafe the King
or the Pope, avoided giving a pofitive Anfwer. Some
time after, the Pope fent a Nuntio into England, to try
to procure a Repeal of the forementioned Statutes. But

cunty not to profecute any Man in the Court of Rome,
on account of his Imprifonment.

Statue of The fecond Act was the Statute of Praemunire, by

Pnemur.:w which it was enacted, That in cafe any of the King's Sub-
jects fhould carry into a foreign Court, Caufes, the Cog-
nizance whereof belonged to the King's Court, they fhould though the Nunt'io met with an honourable Reception, he
be imprifoned, and their Lands, Goods, and Chattels be could not poffibly fucceed in his Commifuon. Richard be-
forfeited to the King. ing depofed the next Year, the Contefts with the Court
" Notwithstanding thefe two Acts, which feemed to take of Rome remained in this Situation.

" fr° m ^e Pope all hopes of difpofing for the future of any Certainly it was time for the Englijh Nation, as wbHd^™ of

Benefice, and ought to have made him apprehenfive, that as the reft of Emote, to ufe their utmoft Endeavours to^ P.plt,

the Parliament would proceed to redrefs other Grievances, flop the Growth of the PapalFower. They mud havc""f '.*"'

the Court of Rome ftill continued her Oppreffions. In voluntarily fhut their Eyes, not to fee that all theProcecd-^w

1376, that is, about a Year before the Death of Ed- ings of the Popes tended to render them Temporal So- />»«/*.

■ward III, a Memorial was prefented to the Parliament, vereigns of Europe. Of this the Decretal Unam SanHam

fhowing, that by the Death and Tranflation of Bifhops, of Boniface VIII, which fhows, that Pope thought him-

the Pope exacted five times the yearly Revenue of the felf inverted with the Temporal as weJl as Spiritual Power,

vacant See, and by that means drew out of the Kingdom is a clear Evidence. But fince it mi°ht be faid, it is not

twenty thoufand Marks a Year. That the Pope's A- reafonable to afcribe the ambitious Defign of Boniface to

Manor ia

the Petri,
tneut agji
the Court if
Rot. Pari.

N. 94.

gents colleded the fame Sum, for the Neceffities of the
Holy See. That this very Year, the Pope had feized
the Firft-Fruits of all the Benefices in England. That
he had encreafed the Number of the Cardinals to thirty,
among whom there were not above two or three well-
affected to England. That the Pope's Avarice was worfe
than the Plague. That in fpite of the Statute of Prt-

all the Popes, this EviJence may be fupported by another,
which demonflrates that Boniface did but tread in the
Steps of his Predeceffors. I mean John XXII, who by
his fole Authority, publifhed a Truce between England
and Scotland, againft the Confent of one of the Parties,
and impowered his Legates to conclude a Peace between
'the two Kingdoms, upon what terms they plcafed ; with

i "ru-pn Zi-
n'.uil III,
tint Gre-
gory XI.

f'Wft, there were Perfons every day provided with Benefices Orders to compel the two Kings and their Subjects, punc
by the Court of Rom,; and there was no hindering it, tually to obferve the fame, under pain of Excommunica
but by banifhing all that fhould dare to accept of thefe
Provffions. In fhort, that it was abfokftely neceflary to
put a Hop to thefe Oppreiiions, in order to prevent Eng-
land from falling into a fatal Slavery. Upon thefe Com-

tion. Does not this proceeding fhow that the Popes all
acted with the fame Spirit, and if their Ambition had
been indulged, would have confidered Chriftian Princes
but as Subjects, or at lcafl, as Vaffals of the See of Rome ?

to ['2J~'" S ? d "T' d \ '?""* thC CU Cl 'v° m ' ,?~J k * : ,c thc CMqU.il, and % above eighty Years after, of bringing tbe » hole Body of the Clergy
T«r nationally ,n 'Parliament, as a part tHerfc,?, Which Vptrflj efteEled, by infertile into the Writ of Summons to the Archbilaops and Eilhops that re-
\j,v. ?.' r..ll ...-.1-.: .j ^ 1 . — '. ' . . u .... ,„. ._. r _.. e

D,iy : Whereby they were obliged to warn the Priors and Chapters of their Churches,

markable Claufe of Pl'aimnieitis, which is ftill continued to fllis

ntVroL ArCh - d kT£'- and i?" ''"J C ' er?y ° f ^WP^ite D'ocefe i the Archdeacons and Priors in their own Perfons, and the Chapters and'clerey by two
i«es and fw a'T tTI' ^V" ':'. be , pr?,e "i Wlth th = ¥"& thcre b * M n '«" to ttwi, oidain, and do, together wuh.hma, and other Pre-

{2; Of L1.A/SV.J 5 „a .(W*,ji, 5« above, p- 3S3'. N» le (i6j. -


Book X.

7%e State of the Church.



Cfih cm


T. Wikn,

p. 1 14.


Col. 2467.

C me. T. II
h- 347-

Let us proceed now to the Herefies, or rather the Opini-
ons branded with that Name, during the Interval we have
gone through.

In 1286 or 1287, Pcckam Archbifhop of Canterbury,
cenfured eight Propofitions, maintained bv one Richard
Knapiuell a Dominican Friar. Some of theie Propofitions,
which will ferve to fhow what Subjects were difculled in
the Schools, and wherein Knowledge was made to confift,
were as follows :

I. That the dead Body of Jefus Chrijl had not the
fame fubftantial Form, as when living.

III. That if the Euchaiiftical Bread had been confecra-
ted with thefe Words, This is my Body, during the three
Days Jefus Chrijl lay in his Grave, the Bread would
have been tranfubftantiated into the New P'orm, which
the Body of Chrijl took at the Separation of his Soul.

IV. That after the Refurrection of Jefus Chrijl, the
Euchariftical Bread is tranfubftantiated by virtue of thefe
Words, This is my Body, into the whole living Body of
Chrijl, that is, the Matter of the Bread is converted in-
to the Matter of his Body, and the fubftantial Form of
the Bread, into the Substantial Form of his Body, that is
to fay, into his intellectual Soul, fo far as it conftitutes the
Form of his Body.

VII. That in the Articles of Faith, a Man is not
bound to reft upon the Authority of the Pope, or of any
Prieft or Doctor (1), but that the Holy Scriptures and
evident Deductions from thence (2), are the only Foun-
dation of our AfTent.

VIII. That the rational Soul is the only Form by
which a Man is a Man (3).

I fhall only take notice, that Wlcklijfs bittereft Ene-
mies have never taxed him with any Immoralities. Thefe
are the chief Articles maintained by IVicklijf in his Wri-
tings and Sermons.

I. That the Eucharift, after Confecration, is not the w:I - : s
real Body of Chrift, but only its Emblem or Figure. ^

II. That the Church of Rome is no more the Head ?■ 192, 201.
of the Univerfal Church, than any other Church ; nor* cl3 3>
was there any greater Power given to St. Peter, than to ■ j d p
the reft of the Apoftles. 531.

III. That the Pope of Rome has no more Jurisdiction f ,

in the Exercife of the Keys, than any other Prieft. c ; _,'"'

IV. That in cafe the Church misbehaves, it is not
ohly lawful, but meritorious to difpofiefs her of her Tem-

V. That when a Prince, or Temporal Lord, is con-
vinced, that the Church makes an ill ufe of her Endow-
ments, he is bound, under pain of Damnation, to take
them away.

VI. That the Gofpel is fufficient to direct a Chriftian
in the Conduct of his Life.

VII. That all other Rules inftituted by Holy Men,
and practifed in the Monafteries, add no more Perfection
to Chriftianity, than whitenefs to a Wall.

VIII. That neither the l J ope nor any other Prelate,
ought to have Prifons for the punifhing Offenders acainft
the Difcipline of the Church, but that every Pcrfon
ought to be left at his Liberty in the Conduct of his Life.

It muft be obferved that Wickliff, In the laft Article,
did not pretend, as he explained himfelf afterwards, to

This laft Article was confidered as the Foundation of take from the Pope or the Prelates, the Power of Bind-

t/it hoolrinc.

the reft, and all together were condemned by the Arch-

In 1 3 14, In the Reign of Edward II, fome Students
of Oxford, maintained in their Difputations certain Opi-
nions, concerning the Trinity and Creation of the World,
which being brought before the Univerfity, were con-
demned as Heretical.

Thefe Opinions, being wholly founded on Scholaftick
Notions, were ftifled in the birth, becaufe the People un-
derftood nothing of fuch matters. But it was not the
fame with Wickliff 's Doctrine, publifhed towards the
clofe of the XIV th Century, in the fame Univerfity.
The Reafon is, his Doctrine was of another nature, and
tended to reform the Abufes crept into the Church. Ac-
cordingly his Opinions were embraced by great Numbers.
As this is the moft important Ecclefiaftical Affair of the
XlVth Century, it will be ncceffary fully to fhow thefe
Opinions, and the Zeal wherewith they were received by
fome, and condemned by others.

"John Wicklef, or rather Wickliff, was educated at Ox-

ing and Loofing, but only meant, that the Church had
no Right to inflict Temporal Punilhments on Sinners.

Whether JFtciliffand his Followers ftretched thefe Ar-
ticles, by the Conlequences which may naturally be de-
duced from them, or his Adverfaries, from whom we
have all we know of him, made any Additions, in order
to render him odious, we find in the Hiftorians, many o-
ther Opinions afcribed to him. Among thefe additional
Opinions, there may be fome not to be maintained, and
there are others, which, being contrary to the Articles of
the Church of England, have made fome Englifn Writers
fpeak of Wickliff with contempt, and even call him He-
retick. But it would be too long, fully to examine here
all thefe Opinions. Let us therefore be contented with
thofe that firft appeared, which are really his, and have
ferved for Foundation to all the reft.

Thefe Opinions, maintained by Wickliff with Teat WiddHE
Vivacity, were immediately efpoufed by great Numbers, %™%
not only among the Students of Oxford, but the great Willing!
Men at Court ; particularly the Duke of Lancafter, and
the Lord Percy, Earl Marfhal, declared for him. It muft

ford in Merton College, where he took his Degree of be obferved, that this happened towards the End of the

Doctor of Divinity. He was fo eminent for his Learning,
Parts, and fine Genius, that Simon Iflip, Archbifhop of
Canterbury, having founded Canterbury College (4) in Ox-
ford, made him Rector. Wiciliffbebaved in his Poft with
univerfal Approbation till the Death of the Archbifhop,

Reign of Edward III, at a time when that Monarch,
old an infirm, left the Adminiftration of the Govern-
ment to the Duke of Lancajlcr his Son, as we have feen
in his Hiftory.

Gregory XI, being informed that thefe Articles were The Pope

who had a great Efteem for him. Langham, SuccelTor of publickly maintained at Oxford, difpatched an Order to '"*" ln f : "

Ifip (s)i willing to favour the Monks, and introduce them
into the College, attempted to turn out Wickliff, and put
one Woodhu/l a Monk in his room. But he could never
obtain the Confent of the Fellows of the College, who
were defirous to keep their old Rector. This Affair being
brought to Rome, the Monks of Canterbury follicited the
Pope fo earneftly in behalf of Woodhull, that Wickliff was
deprived of his Rectorfhip. However, this was no Injury
to the Doctor's Reputation. Every Body faw it was
a general Affair, and that the Monks did not fo much
ftrike at his Perfon, as at all the Seculars that were
Members of the College. And indeed, they were all
turned out as well as he, to make room for the Monks.

the Archbifhop of ■Canterbury, and the Bifhop of London, za
to apprehend and examine Wickliff, and fend the De- tutbeh '
pofitions to Rome. But it was difficult for thefe two^*"' J '.'
Prelates fully to execute thefe Orders, the Duke «*£„£&/
Lancajler, and the Earl Marfhal, having openly declared, and ii c Lord
they would not fuffer Wickliff to be imprifoned. Indeed, Pcr< ^'
there was yet no Act of Parliament, impowering the Bi-Iij m™.
fhops to imprifon Hereticks, without the King's Confent.
The two Prelates therefore were contented with fum-
moning Wickliff before them, in St. Paul's Church,
where there was a vaft Concourfe of People to hear the
Examination. The Duke of Lancajler, and the Lord
Percy accompanied the Doctor, alluring him, there was

Shortly after, Wickliff was prefented to the Living of no danger, and that he might make his Defence with

Lutterworth in the Diocefs of Lincoln, and then it was Courage, againft Men, who were but mere Ignoramufes

that he publifhed, in his Sermons and Writings, certain in comparifon to him. Here is a fhort Dialogue which

Opinions, which appeared to be Novel, becaufe contrary paffed between thefe two Lords, and the Bifhop of Lon -

to the received Doctrine of thofe Days. As he did not de- don,^upon Wicklff's account. The Lord Percy bidding

clare his Sentiments till after the lofs of his Rectorfhip,
his Enemies have taken occafion, to accufe him of acting
lrom a Spirit of Revenge, by reafon of the Injury done
him. I fhall not undertake to clear him from this
Charge. As there is none but God alone that fees into

the Doctor fit down, the Bifhop of London oppofed it, and
commanded him to ftand up, but the Earl Marfhal would
not let him.

Bifhop of London. LordPercy, if I could have guejfed.

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