M. (Paul) Rapin de Thoyras.

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(5) De geftis vel fepulchris ne verbum quidem. Malmjb. p. 236.

(6) Some fay he was baptized in the court of Elbelbert King of Kent. Rapir..

(7) Erptvald embraced Chriftianity at the perlualion of King Edtvm. Bcdc, 1. a. c. 15.

(8) And put mafters in them, as there was in thofe of Kent. Bedt, 1. 3. c. 18.

(9) Polydore Virgil, Leland, Bayle, lee. are of this opinion ; But their authority is much wcaken'd by the fllence of Bide, FltrenCC of rVoraJier,
Malm/bury and Huntingdon, who make no mention oi Cambridge.

(10) Now Burgb-Caftle in Suffolk.

(11) It is in Suffolk, and is faid to have had fifty Churches. Camden.

(12) Tbecdferd, i.e. tbe Ford of the People, in Norfolk.

(13) Norwich, i.e. tbe Nortb-Cajlle. Wit figniryinj among other things a Caftle,



Book III.

Tloe Councils of the Heptarchy.


Bede, I. 4.
o 13-


Bede, 1. 4.


C. Pontif.

I. 2. C.

the Church of SUSSEX. •

IT is no wonder the kingdom of Suffix continued fo
long after the reft in an idolatrous iiate, fince it was
in fubjection to Weffix, where the Gofpcl was not preach-
ed till forty years after the arrival of Aujlin. If we may
credit the author of the Life of Wilfrid Bifhop of York, the
converfion of the South Saxons about the year 686, was
owing to the difgrace of that Prelate, who fled for refuge
into their country. Adclwalch King of Sujfex, who re-
ceived him into his protection, had already attempted the
converfion of his Subjects, by founding a Monaftery in his
little kingdom (1); but his endeavours anfwered not ex-
pectation. Perhaps Wilfrid himfcif would have found it
a difficult matter to have made any imprcfiion upon them,
had not a favourable juncture unexpectedly paved the way
for him. Not long after his arrival, the country being
miferably diftrefled for want of provifions, he taught the
inhabitants the art of fifliing in the Sea, their skill before
going no farther than the catching of Eels. This im-
provement greatly relieving them, wrought fo upon their
minds, that they liftened with the fame attention to his
inftructions about their fpiritual, as they had before to
thofe about their bodily wants. But to compleat the mat-
ter, feafonable fhowers, after a three years drought, refto-
ring to the earth its former fruitfulnefs, they were tho-
roughly convinced that Wilfrid was an extraordinary per-
fon, and highly favoured by Heaven. At leaft this is
what the writer of his Life would fain make us believe.
Wilfrid perceiving the Chriftians daily to encreafe, efta-
blifhed his epifcopal See at Selfey (z), a fmall Peninjula gi-
ven him by Adclwalch. He founded there a Monaftery
alfo, which he furnifhed with the Monks he had brought
with him from Northumberland. Here he ufually refided
during the time of his banifhment. At length being re-
called into his own country, Selfey remained a long while
without a Bifhop, becaule the South-Saxons, after their
becoming fubject to the King of WeJJex, were put under
the jurisdiction of the Bifhop of the IP'eH-Saxons. Some
time after Weffex being divided into two Diocefes, SuJJ'ex
was annexed to the See of IPlnchcjler ; where it continued
till a Synod held in Wejfix, in the time of Daniel, decreed
Sujfex fhould be a diftinct Diocefe again, and the See fixed
at Selfey as formerly. Edbert was the firft Bifhop. His
fuccellbrs refided at the fame place, down to the year
1070, when the See was removed to Chichejler (3),
where it continues to this day.

As for the Ijle of Wight, after it was converted by the
furious zeal of Cedivalla, it remained all along under the
jurifdiction of the Bifhop of Wtnchejler.

After this account of the molt remarkable particulars re-
lating to the converfion of the Seven Kingdoms, it will be
neceifary to take a general view of the Councils held in
England, during thofe early times of the Church.


IHave already fpoken of the two Synods convened upon
Aujlin's requeft, in order to endeavour to bring the
Britons to the obedience of the Pope. Though thefe were
not properly Englijh, but rather Britifi Councils, I fhall
not however pal's them over without making this one ob-
fervation. Bede, in his Ecclefuijlical Hiftory tells us, that
Aujlin required of the Britijh Bifhops thefe four things (+):
That they would celebrate the Pafchal Feajl the fame day
with the Romanifts : That they would conform to the
ceremonies practrled by the Church of Rome in adminiftring
Baptifm: That they would afiift the Roman Miffionaries
in converting the Saxons : That they would fubmit to the
Papal Autho . . Had Au/lin equally infifted on thefe
four Articles, Bedi would naturally have related the fenti-
ments of the Britijh, concerning the three firjl, and yet
we find he fpeaks only of the lajl. Hence we may con-
clude, that this was the main point, and what Aujlin
chiefly dwelt upon. For the fame reafon alfo the Abbot
of Bangor anfwered only to this point, being very fcnfi-
ble, that was the principal thing in dil'putc.

There is no occafion to add any thing to what has al-
ready been faid of the Council of Whitby or Strcanejhalh,
and tlitc other Synods that were held upon Wilfrid's ac-

In 673, Theodorus, Archbifhop of Canterbury, conve- The Council
ned a national Synod at Hertford, at which were prefent afHertford.
all the Englijh Bifhops, with a great number of other Ec- ^73-
clefiajlicks. The Archbifhop, who was prefident, put the §JjJ™J?j ,
queftion to the Bifhops, whether they were willing, the v °i^%.
Church of England fhould be governed by the Canons of
the ancient Councils. To which they all having agreed,
he produced a lift of the Canons, and pitching upon ten of
them, ordered them to be read before the Council, and
asked their confent to each of them.

I. That the Fejlival of Etjler might be uniformly kept Cede, 1.4.
in all the Englijh Churches, on the firft Sunday after the full c " 5-
Moon in March.

II. That no Bifhop fhould encroach upon thejurifdic-
tion of another.

III. That Bifhops fhould not meddle with the temporal
concerns of the Monafteries.

IV. That no Monk fhould have the liberty to quit his
monaftery, without leave from the Abbot.

V. That it fhould not be lawful for any of the Clergy to
abandon their Diocefe, without the Bifhop's leave, and that
they fhould not be received into another Diocefe, without
a recommendation under the Bifhop's own hand.

VI. That Bifhops and Clergy, who are out of their
Diocefe, ought not to execute any part of their fun-
ction, but fhould be contented with an hofpitable re-

VII. That a Synod fhould be convened twice a year.
This Canon was altered to once a year.

VIII. That the Bifhops fhould take their places at
Councils according to their feniority.

IX. That new Sees fhould be erected, as the number of
Chriftians increafed. This ivas throtvn out.

X. That no marriage fhould be annulled but on ac-
count of adultery. That if a Man put oft" his wife, he
ought not to marry another, but either be reconciled or
live fingle.

Nine of thefe Canons being agreed to, the Council de-
nounced Excommunication and Degradation upon all that
fhould infringe them, and then broke up.

Baronius pretends, This Council was convened by the
Pope's order, and that Theodorus prefided as Legate of the
Holy See. But when we examine the grounds of his aflerti-
on, we find he builds it only upon Theodorus's, faying in his
harangue, at the opening of the council, that he was confe-
cratcd by the Pope (5), as if that were equivalent to his be-
ing made Legate. Bede, Malmsbury, Florence of Worce-
Jlcr, who fpeak of this council, fay not a word to fupport
the Cardinal's notion.

Theodorus fummoned another Council or Synod at Hat- t, c Condi
field (6) in 680, at the requeft of the Pope, who wanted "/"Hatfield,
to know the fentiments of the Church of England with re- 680.
ference to the Hcrefy of the Monothelites (7), which then^f'^.^^
made a great noife in the world. The Pope had all the fa- s'pelman
tisfaction he defired, the Englijli being entirely free from Vol. 1.
that error. This Synod received the five firft general Coun- p ' '
cils (S), together with the Synod held juft before at Rome,
againft the Monothelites.

The next council was convened at Bccanccld in 694 (9), 7ic cmnd!
by Withred King of Kent, who prefided himfelf, the coun- o/"Becanceld.
cil being compofed of the Clergy and Nobility. The Con- 694.
ftitutions were all drawn up in the form of a Charter, u - P- l8 3"
v/herein the King granted feveral privileges to the Church,
particularly an exemption from the payment of taxes
and other Services and Incumbrances incident to a Lay-fee.
He declares moreover that the Church has pdlver to govern
her own body, the Prerogative Royal not reaching to reli-
gious matters. This article has given occafion to fome to
call in queftion the genuinenefs of this council ( 1 o). They
object, for inftance, that the five Abbefles, who fubferib'd
this charter, not only figned before all the Priefts, but alfj
before Botred a Bifhop, contrary to all precedent. On
the other hand, others (11) are as zealous in the defence of
it, as making for the independency of the Church. It

(1) At Bofcnham, where Bede fays, one Dicul a Scotchman with five or fix Monks liv'd, but could not prevail with the South Saxons to turn Chriftians.

(2) i.e. Stall. The ruins of tins City are ftill to be Icon at Low-water. It contained, when it was given to Wilfrid, eighty-ieven families. Bede,
I.4. c. 13.

(3) Ct[fan Ccjler, i.e. the City efCiffa, the Son of Ella, firft King of Suffix.

(4.) Bede mentions only the three firft : Eut that there was another requir'd of the Britijh Bilheps is evident from hence, that Bede relates only the An-
fwer that was given ta the fourth article, by thofe Bilhops. See Bcdc, 1.2. c. 2.

(5) Ego quidem Theodorus, guamvis indignus, ab Apoftolici fede deflinalui Dorovcrnenfis EcclefiK Epifcopus, are Btdes words, 1. 4- c-5-

(6) Now Bijhofs-Hat field in Hertford/hire.

(7) Thiy held that Chrijl had but me Will.

(8) TheCeuwr/of Nicein 32-5, of Cor.Jlaminofle in 381, of Ephefuz in 431, of Chalccdon in 451, and of Cor.jlantinople in 5-;.
(ij) S'ajrpoied to be Beckenham in Kent. See lytr. Vol.1, p. 209.

(iq) Dr. Wake, our prefent Archbiihep, has wrote againft it. Stete of the Church, Sec. p. 149.
(11) Collier defends .t, p. 114. Eccl. lltjt.

N'lV. Voi. I.





Vol. I.

6 97 .


Vol. I.

p. 194.

73 Synod

V I. I.

p. 242.

would carry me too far from my prefent dcfign to examine
the reafons pro and cert. It is fufficient to acquaint the
Reader there is fuch a difpute.
„„, ,7 The next year the Synod of Berghamjled ( 1 ) was held in
o/'B t rgham-the reign of the fame Kin;:. It was compofed, like the
foreaoing one, of Clergy and Laity. Its canons related
chiefly to the fin of adultery, and the privileges of the
Clergy. As for adultery, it was enacted, that the offen-
der ihould be put under penance ; and if he refufed to fub-
mit to that dil'cipline, he mould be excommunicated. It
he was a ftranger, he was to forfeit one hundred (hillings.
As for the Clergy, it was decreed, that the Church fhould
be free and enjoy all her privileges.

That the breach of the Church's peace {hould be punifh'd
with a fine of fifty millings (2).

That the bare affirmation of the King or a Bifhop fhould
be equivalent to their oath.

That if a Bifhop, Abbot, or Deacon, is charged with
any crime, and being brought to the altar he declares fo-
lemnly, he /peaks the truth : This declaration (hall be the
fame as his oath.

That if any Clergyman fhould be profecuted, the cog-
nifance of the caufe belongs to the Church.

Thus by degrees the" Clergy obtain'd their privileges,
which they have but too often abufed (3).

The two Councils that are pretended to be held at Lon-
don and Alne (4) in 714, being looked upon by the bell:
authorities as forged, it would be loft time to fay any
thing of them.

In 747 was held at Clovejhoo or Cliff ($) in theking-
o/X'lovcfhoo. dom of Kent a national Synod, at which Ethelbald King ot
747- Maria was prefent, with twelve Biihops, and a great
c'lvntlf "umber °f L° rds - Cuthbert Archbifhop of Canterbury,
1. "4, " who was prefident, read Pope Zachary's letter, wherein
Spclm.Conc. the Pope admonifhed the EngUJh to reform their lives, and
threatned thofe with excommunication that continued in
their wicked courfes. They drew up a body of twenty-
eight Canons, moil of them relating to Ecclefiajlical Difci-
pline, the Government of Monajlcries, the Duties of Bijhops,
and other Clergymen, the Publick Service, Singing Pjalms,
Keeping the Sabbath, and other Holidays. I fhall mention
the three following ones, as containing fomething particular.
The Xth orders the Priefts to be thoroughly acquainted
with the doctrines of Chriff ianity, and to teach the people
the Apojlles Creed, and the Lord's Prayer in EngUJh. A-
greeable to this was Bede's advice to Egbert Archbifhop of
York ; that it was abfolutely neceflary Chriftians fhould
know what they laid when they prayed to God ; and that
they fhould be inftructed in their own native tengue, and
therefore that he himfelf had tranflated the Creed and the
Lord's Prayer into EngUJh for the benefit of thofe that did
not underftand Latin.

The XXVIth warns Chriftians from vainly imagining
that by giving Alms they can compound for their fins, or
dilpenfe with the Difcipline of the Church.

The XXVIIth was made upon the account of a rich
Layman, who having been excommunicated, requefted to
be admitted again into the Church, upon his having pro-
cured feveral Perfons to fait in his ftead ; alledging that the
Penance they had undergone in his name, was more than
he could have done himfelf in three hundred years. The
Canon declares with great indignation againft this intolera-
ble prefumption, fince at that rate, the Rich might much
more eafily get to heaven than the Poor, contrary to the
exprefs declaration of our Saviour.

In this Canon we have the form of a Prayer for the
Dead, which runs thus : O Lord, we befeech thee, grant
that the Soul of fuch a Per/on may be fecured in ajlate of re-
pofe, and admitted, with the rejl of tliy Saints, iuto the re-
gions of Light and Blifs.

The Council of Calcuith or Calchite, held in 785, or ac-
cording to others in 787, on account of erecting Lichfield
into an Archbifhoprick, ratified the Canons of a Synod that
had been convened juft before in Northumberland. Gregory
and Theophylacl, who prefided as the Pope's Legates,' ac-
knowledged in their letter to the Pope, that they were the
firft that had been fent into England with that character.

BrJe, Ep.
2d Egb.

p. 253.

The Council

, 78 5.
Vol. I.
p. 291.

Thefe are fome of the Canons of the Synsd of Northumber-
land, ratified by the council of Calcuith.

I. That all in holy orders ftrietly adhere to the council
of Nice.

II. That Baptifm is only to be adminiftrcd at Eajhr and
Whitfontide, unlets in cafe of necefEty. That it is the duty
of Godfathers to teach their God-children the Creed and the
Lord's Prayer, both which all Chriftians are oblig'd to
have by heart.

VIII. The antient privileges of the Church are carefully
to be preferv'd.

This was a never-failing Canon in all the Councils.

IX. The Priefts are not to eat in private, unlefs indif-
pofed. By this one would think the Clergy were not dif-
perfed in Parifhes, but lived all in the Capital of the Dio-
cefe in common.

The Xth forbids the Clergy to perform the divine Ser-
vice without Stockings, and to ufe a Chalice or Pattin of

The Xlth exhorts Princes to govern their kingdoms by
the directions of the Bifhops, to whom the power of bind-
ing and locfing is delivered.

The Xllth excludes Bajlards from fucceeding to the

The XVth condemns marriages within the prohibited

The XVIth makes Bajlards, particularly the children
of Nuns, incapable of inheriting.

The XVIIth urges the payment of tithes from the au-
thority of the law of Mojes.

The XVIIIth pieties a ftrict performance of vows.

Some irregularities in the Subfcription Lijl in the feveral
copies of the Canons of this council (6), have caufed the
council itll'lf to be called in queftion. But I doubt whe-
ther thefe irregularities are fufHcient to render the whole
queftionable (7).

In 798 a Synod was held at Finchale in Northumberland
(8), by Eanbald Archbifhop of York. The defign of this
meeting was to make fome regulations with regard to dif-
cipline : but here occafionally the Archbifhop ordered the
canons of the firft five General Councils to be read, which
were unanimoufly received.

The council held at Clovejhoo or Cliff in 800, under
Adelard Archbifhop of Canterbury, was convened fur the
recovery of certain Church-Lands ufurped by the Kings of

Three years after, another council was held at die fame
place, wherein, according to Pope Leo's conftitution, and
with the confent of Cenulph King of Mercia, the Arch-
bifhoprick of Lichfield was reduced to a Bifhoprick, as

In 8 16, JVilfnd Archbifhop of Canterbury, fummoned
a council at Calcuith, at which Cenulph King of Mercia
and Monarch, was prefent, with all the EngUJh Bifhops
except thofe of Northumberland. There are eleven ca-
nons drawn up by this Synod, whereof the lid and V'th
feem to be the moft remarkable.

The Hd orders all Churches to be confecrated by the
Bifhop of the Dioccfe, with the following Formalities.
The Bifhop fhall blefs the Holy IVater, and fprinkle the
Church with it, according to the directions of the Ritual.
Then having confecrated the Eucharijl, he fhall put it in a
Box with fome Relicks to be laid up in the Church. In
cafe there are no Relicks, the confecrated Elements, being
the Body and Blood of our Lord, fhall be fufficient. Eve-
ry Bifhop fhall be obliged to have drawn upon the Altar,
or upon the Wall, the Figure of the Saint to whom the
Church is dedicated.

The Vth declares againft allowing all Scotchmen to bap-
tize, or read the divine firvice in England.

There is mention of two Councils more convened in
Mercia in the reign of Bernulph, one in 822, and the o-
ther in 824. Probably the firft is a forgery ; but they are
both of fo little confequence, as not to be worth taking
notice of.

The Sync J tf
p. 3.4, 316.


t Sy ncd cf




p. 31S.

Ambit at

tie fame


p. 324.

c Council


p. 327.

P- 33*> 334-

(1) This was not BerkhamjUd in Birtfirdjbire, as fome have imagined, but Berghamjled, a Place in Kat. See Tyrr. Vol. I. p. 21c. ar.d Sfel-
mar. Cane. Vol. I. p. 194.

(2) The fame as the Kind's. See Spelman.

(3) The Xth, XXVth, and XXVlIIth Articles, having fomething particular in them, it will not be amifs to lay them before the Reader. The
Xth runs thus : If, on Saturday Evening, after Sun-fet ; or Sunday Evening after the fame time, a Servant or Slave (o«i*r) fhail do any ferv.le work,
let his Matter be fined eightv Shillings. , _ . . _. . . _ . „,,. ,, . .

XXVth. If a Lay-man till a Thief, let him lie without any Wing-Id, that is, without any fatisfaftion being made to he Thief s relations.
XXVlIIth. If a Stranger wanders about, and does neither hollow nor found a Horn, he is to be accounted as a Thief, and to be cither (lain 01 bamfh d.
Spelman Cone. Tom. I. p. 194 197.

(4) Suppofcd to be /4,v/.,y7.T in Wouefiofii-e. See Spelman Cone. Vol. I. p. 212. .. ...

(7) Cl.katlho, is a Town on a Rock near Rochefter. But the pretence of the King of Meraa tn Ax%, and fonae other Councils, held at Cl'mjkce,
makes itTuppos'd that it is the lame with Ab-ngton in Berkjhve, about the middle of the Nation, antiently written Sbratjlam bj n.illake fcl Li.ieji.am .r

(■') About the yeai n %•) the Monks of Lhdhfarn, who, rrcm the firft tjme of their initiation were allowed to dur.k noth.ng but Milk or V.-tcr,
obtained (through the means of King Cet-1-a.-ulfvho was become a Monk of that Houie) pcimiffxn to drink Win, or Bar. i. luulm. p. 139. SpJn.an
Cone. Vol. I. p. 289.

(8) Now called finilry in the Bifhoprick of Durham. Sfelmfn Cone. Vol.1, p. 305.

R E-

Book III.




Primitive State of the English Church,

Ep. I.
'.. 58.


IS H A L L clofe my account of the Primitive State of
the Englijh Church, with a few remarks that may
ferve to give a juft notion of the thing. It is a great
miftake to imagine, the Primitive Churcli of the En-
glijh correfponded in all points with the Church founded
by the Apoftles immediately after our Saviour's death.
The Chrijiian Church-, in her infancy, was pcrfeft, -with-
out [pat or wrinkle; but in procefs of time, fhe loft by de-
grees fomcthing ol her primitive purity. From the days
of the Apjl/es to the Vllth century, errors and abufes
crept in, which ftrangely disfigured her, and which daily
increafed during the Vlllth and IXth centuries, fo that
true religion by little and little degenerated into fuperfti-
tion. Our idea therefore of the primitive Church of Eng-
land muft be conformable to the ftate of the Chrijiian
Church at that time. 1 (hall not here undertake to fhow
wherein thofe innovations in the doctrines and fervices of
the Church confifted; but content my felf with obferving
the Chrijiian Church, at the time of the converfion of the
Englijh, was far gone from its original purity. It can't,
for inffance, be denied, that the Monks, who were grown
exceeding numerous all over Otrijlendom, had introduced
feveral religious practices that were not of divine or apojlo-
lical inftitution, as if our Saviour and his Apoftles had for-
got or neglected to give mankind full iijtruclions in thefe
matters. Thefe voluntary acts of devotion, tho' introdu-
ced with a good intent, were now carried to fo great a
height, that the generality of Chriftians looked upon them
as the life and foul of religion. I fhall not infift any far-
ther on this fubjeet, fmce I have no defign to enter into
the controverfy, but only to make this obfervation, That
the Englijl) converted in the Vllth century, are to be con-
sidered as in the fame State with the relt of the Chriftian
World at that time, feeing it was not in their power to
know more than their matters taught them.

Aujlin and his companions were the firft that preached
the Go/pel to the Anglo-Saxons. However the honour of
their converfion ought not to be afcribed to them alone.
The Scotch Monks of St. Columba had at lead as great a
Ihare in it as the Italians. For after thefe laft had begun
to make Converts, the new Chriftians being funk again
into idolatry, the Scotch Monks were the perfons that let
them right again, or rather that convened them anew.
This was the cafe in the kingdoms of Effex, Northum-
berland, and Eajl-Anglia, as hath been related. As for
the converfion of the Mercians, the Italian Mijjionaries
had no hand in it at all. And yet Aujlin had run away
with the honour of converting the Englijh, when in the
main the progrefs he made was not very confiderable.
'Tis true he preached to the Saxons of Kent, as Mellitus
did to thofe of Effex, and that with good fuccefs. But
then very probably this work was already begun, and
even in great forwardnefs, when Aujlin arrived in England.
It is hard to conceive how thefe Monks, who were fore'd
^o make ufe of interpreters, could pofhbly have converted
fuch numbers of Pagans, even to the baptizing ten thou-
fand in one day, in a few months after their arrival, if
the Saxons had not been prepared before-hand. This con-
jecture is farther confirmed by the letters of Gregory I.
to Thcodoric King of Aujlrafia, to Theod'jbert his brother,
and to Queen Brunichild, to defire them to affift Aujlin
in his journey to England. The Pope tells them, he was
informed for certain that the Englijh earneftly defired to
turn Chrijlians. Now is it not evident, that, if they had
a ftrong defire to embrace the gofpel, they were as good
as half converted ? There is great reafon to piefume, King
Ethelbert had already Ibme liking to the Chrijiian Religion
infufed into him by his Queen, and efpecially by Luid-
hard, Biihop of Soijjhns, who had attended her into Eng-
land. This is what the author of The Hijlory of St. Au-

ftin'i Monajlery pofitively affirms ; and Malmsbury fays
little lefs, when he tells us, that Ethelbert was very defi-
rous to hear what Aujlin had to propofe. Befides, if the

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