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ledge, that divers persons at this present time, under the pretence of preaching to the people the word of God, which is the word of charity, unity, and concord, do minister unto their audience matter of contention, slander, debate, and murmur, as well concerning the true catholic doctrine of Christ's Church, as also other public matters, nothing meet ne convenient for their audience; and I therefore, calling unto me my right wellbeloved brothers in God, the Bishops of London 5, Winchestre h, and Lyncoln', have, for speedy remedy hereof, devised and agreed with my said brothers, that an inhibition should be incontinently sent forth from every one of us in our diocese, to forbid all such as have already licence to preach by any letter heretofore granted unto them, to preach from henceforth by virtue and authority of any such letters, but that they shall resort to every of us in our diocese to obtain new letters and licence concerning the same: And also all Curates authorized by the law to preach in their own parish churches, shall, if they be disposed to preach, first resort unto us in like manner; so as at such time as they shall repair to us or our officers for any such licence, injunction shall be made unto them to have regard and respect in their preaching to the Constitution Provincial, in the title there De Hæreticis, in the first chapter, that is to say, that they shall temper their matter, secundum subjectum auditorum; and in no wise to touch or intermeddle themselves to preach or teach any such thing that might slander or bring in doubt and opinion the catholic and received doctrine of Christ's Church, or speak of such matters as touch the Prince, his laws, or succession, considering that thereupon can ensue no edification in the people, but rather occasion of talking and rumour to their great hurt and damage, and the danger and perils of their bodies and souls: Wherefore, in consideration of the premises, I require you and pray you to follow the said order as well [in] sending forth speedy monition or inhibition, as also in giving instruction of such your Curates as intend to preach, and other such as ye shall afterward admit by yourself or by your
8 [John Stokesley.] [Stephen Gardyner.] i [John Longland.]
trusty officers, as is afore written, having such respect to the execution hereof, as will satisfy the duty of your office in the sight of God and mank Whereunto ye will, I doubt not, have such regard at all time as becometh you. Thus, my lord, most heartily fare you well. At my manor of Lameth.
CII. To the PRIORESS OF STANFELD. Sister Prioress, in my right hearty wise I commend me Harl. Mss.
6148. fol. unto you, and likewise to the other my sisters of your con
19. vent. And where, at my request and instance to you made my
other letters 1 in the favour of my friend Mr. N. R. for his preferment to the vicarage of Quadryng, ye, according to the effect and tenor thereof, have accomplished the same, as now in that behalf I am advertised by your letters dated the first day of April ; I give unto you most hearty and condign thanks therefore, trusting the said Mr. Roberts, according to my letters to him addressed for the same, will in such manner be conformable and agreeable to all ordinances and customs as hath been heretofore used by his predecessors for the quietness of you and your house, that ye shall have cause to be glad to have preferred him for my sake. The which, if I perceive to happen in him the contrary, surely he shall both lose my favour and be in danger of my displeasure therefore. And you notwithstanding to be sure of me to requite and recompense this your gratuity and gentle behaviour accordingly. From Lamehe.
To the Prioress of Stanfeld.
CIII. To N. ROBERTS. I commend me unto you. And where at my request Harl. MSS. and instance the Prioress and Convent of Stanfeld hath 6148. fol.
19. k (An order for the regulation of preaching was issued in June, 1534. See Appendix.] 1 (See Letter xciv.)
given to you the presentation of Quadryng, as according to their letters to me addressed in that behalf I am credibly informed, wherein they have desired me also to exhort you to be content with the same, observing such laudable customs as the late incumbent and other his predecessors hath done, without further trouble, vexation, or unquietness to them or their house; these shall be therefore likewise to admonish you herein, (as ye tender my favour and will avoid my displeasure, that according to this their reasonable request you do so endeavour yourself from time to time to accomplish the same, that they have not just cause to repent hereafter of this their benevolence declared unto you, which to happen would be unto me great displeasure, but much more your hinderance in so doing, &c.
CIV. TO THE PRIORESS OF SHEPPEY.
Harl. MSS. Sister Prioress, I greet you well. And forasmuch as I 6:48. fol. understand by my servant Thomas Abberforde, that the
farm of your parsonage of Gyllynhame is shortly like to be void, of which (as he reporteth) you aforetime promised him the next avoidance; I require you, that now, the rather of this mine instance, ye will let him have the preferment thereunto, he finding you sufficient sureties for the payment thereof. And what you intend to do in this behalf I require you to advertise me by my secretary, whom I send unto you for that intent. And if you will accomplish mine request herein, I will at all time be as good unto you in other matters, wherein
shall have to do with me.
CV. TO THE PRIORESS OF SHEPPEY. Harl. MSS. Sister Prioress, I commend me unto you. Where hereto6148. fol.
fore I wrote unto you my letters in the favour of my servant T. Abberforde, for the lease of your farm at Gyllyngham, whereof ye have aforetime (as I am credibly informed) made unto him a promise, as honest witness examined by mine officers in that matter have affirmed; I pray you that ye will now at his coming to you, not alonely finish and accomplish your said former promise, but also for my sake to show bim such other favour therein, as ye may show lawfully; whereby ye shall minister unto me right good cause and occasion to tender as much your desire another time, when ye shall any thing reasonably desire of me. And how ye shall be minded herein, I pray you that I may be ascertained by your letters at the return of my said servant. And where my said servant hath further informed me,
that his last being with you to know your mind to my former letters, answered him that ye would right gladly satisfy my request herein, if I would affirm and say that ye may thus do justly without any dishonesty; I assure you I do not see how ye may better save and conserve your honesty in this matter, than to accomplish your promise in the same made, whereof is good record and testimony. And if you will otherwise do, ye should by so doing cumber your conscience and dishonest yourself much. And albeit I do trust verily m..........
To the Prioress of Sheppey.
CVI. To CRUMWELL.
. commendations, &c. I doubt not but you do right well re-Cleop. E. member, that my Lord of Rochester and Master Moren vi. fol. 181.
Original. were contented to be sworn to the Act of the King's succes
Harl. MSS. sion, but not to the preamble of the same. What was the 283. fol. cause of their refusal thereof I am uncertain, and they
Strype, would by no means express the same. Nevertheless it must Crunm. needs be, either the diminution of the authority of the App.No.xi.
Weaver, [Nothing has been lost bere, the copy never having been finished.]
Мопи. [See an account of the appearance of Bishop Fisher and Sir Thomas More before the Commissioners at Lambeth on the 13th of April 1534, in Strype, Crunmer, p. 26; or Burnet, Ref. vol. i. p. 315.]
• [Stat. 25 Hen. VIII. c. 22. For the proceedings under it see Burnet; who gives the preamble and the oath at length, vol. i. p. 294.]
Bishop of Rome, or else the reprobation of the King's first pretensed matrimony. But if they do obstinately persist in their opinions of the preamble, yet meseemeth it should not be refused, if they will be sworn to the
Act of succession: so that they will be sworn to maintain the same against all powers and potentates. For hereby shall be a great occasion to satisfy the Princess Dowager and the Lady Mary, which do think they should damn their souls, if they should abandon and relinquish their estates. And not only it should stop the mouths of them, but also of the Emperor, and other their friends, if they give as much credence to my Lord of Rochester and Master More, speaking and doing against them, as they hitherto have done and thought that all other should have done, when they spake and did with them. And peradventure it should be a good quietation to many other within this realm, if such men should say, that the succession, comprised within the said Act, is good and according to God's laws. For then I think there is not one within this realm, that would once reclaim against it. And whereas divers persons, either of a wilfulness will not, or of an indurate and invertible conscience cannot alter from their opinions of the King's first pretensed marriage, (wherein they have once said their minds, and percase have a persuasion in their heads, that if they should now vary therefrom, their fame and estimation were distained for ever,) or else of the authority of the Bishop of Rome: yet if all the realm with one accord would apprehend the said succession, in my judgment it is a thing to be amplected and embraced. Which thing, although I trust surely in God that it shall be brought to pass, yet hereunto might not a little avail the consent and oaths of these two persons, the Bishop of Rochester and Master More, with their adherents, or rather confederates. And if the King's pleasure so were, their said oaths might be suppressed, but when and where his Highness might take some commodity by the publishing of
Thus our Lord have you ever in his conservation. From my manor at Croydon, the xvii. day of April.
Your own assured ever,