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II.

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especially. And now at this pinch he exhorted him to perform

of a man; and it should be a matter of Anno 1577.6 comfort and establishment to his heart. That he under

“ stood the matter was touching a conference, which had “ been abused, and being not established by authority, was “ therefore by authority abolished. This, he trusted, no

man did maintain. But yet he hoped that hereafter, the “thing being duly and considerately weighed, the queen,

seeking especially the glory of God, and the quiet and

edifying of her people, would be moved to further consi“ deration of the matter. And that when the great idle“ness and lewdness of a great number of poor and blind

priests should be duly weighed and considered of, it would “ be thought most necessary to call them, nay, to drive them “ to some travel and exercise of God's holy word: whereby

they might be the better able to discharge their bounden

duty towards their flock. And then he earnestly moved “ that lord to mitigate the queen’s displeasure and indigna“ tion against her archbishop: who also had written to the “ queen (on this subject, as it seems) in all humble manner. “ And in the conclusion, hints, how such an example in the “ church of England did but too much resemble the Ro

man tyranny against it.” But take this memorable letter No. VIII. verbatim, as it is transcribed in the Appendix.

In Hertfordshire these exercises were used. And notHertford- withstanding the queen's declaration to have them every

where cease, yet in some places in this county they were not The queen

yet laid aside. Wherefore the queen thought fit to write the bishop to the bishop of Lincoln, in whose diocese part of that

county was, to take order that they be not suffered, according as she had by word of mouth commanded him, and other bishops perhaps besides; and that no other exercises be used ; but such as were learned should preach sermons in fit time and place: and the Homilies, set forth by authority, to be read by other ministers less learned. Signifying by her said letter, " That he [the bishop) should effectually “ remember her speeches to him, to continue and increase “ his care over his charge in God's church, as the warning

The exercises still in

sbire.

writes to

about it.

VII.

“ she gave him of the presumption of some, who by singu- CHAP. “ lar exercises in public, after their own fancies, wrought “no good in the minds of the multitude, easy to be carried Anno 1577. “ away. And that notwithstanding she was, since that, in“ formed, that in sundry parts of his diocese, namely, in “ Hertfordshire, those exercises, or, as they termed them, prophesies, were yet continued, to the offence of other “her orderly subjects. And that therefore, for divers good “ respects, she thought it requisite they should be forborne. “ Letting him know, that she, desiring to have God's people “ under her government guided in an uniformity as near " as might be, charged and commanded him, as a person “whom by his function she looked should satisfy her in “this behalf, within his charge to have dutiful considera“ tion hereof. And to take order through the diocese, that

no other exercise should be suffered publicly than preach

ing, in fit time and place, by persons learned, discreet, “conformable, and sound in religion : and reading the Ho“ milies, set forth by authority, and the Injunctions ap"pointed, and the order of the Book of Common Prayer. " And to signify to her, or her council, the names of such “ gentlemen and others, that had been setters forth and “ maintainers of these exercises; and in what places; and 487 “ also such as should impugn this her order.” The whole letter may be found in the Appendix : which seems indeed No. IX. to be a form of a circular letter to all the bishops, besides the bishop of Lincoln. Curtes, bishop of Chichester, met with troubles now from Curtes, bi.

shop of Chicertain gentlemen in his diocese; who were stirred up against chester, his him, chiefly by means of a strict inquiry he had lately made troubles in his episcopal visitation, mentioned before, after such as tlemen in were upsound in religion: and administered divers articles his diocese, to them for that purpose. Having had information of divers, not only in his diocese, that came thither from Hampshire, Surrey, and Kent, not sound in religion ; and among the rest, divers of them justices: this had so provoked them, that they had combined together, and drew up articles against the bishop, and petitioned against him to the

Office.

BOOK court. Among these were sir Thomas Palmer, knt. RiII.

chard Ernely, Thomas Lewknor, esq. whose petition ran in Anno 1577. this tenor: “ That whereas they were of good fame and Their petica“ credit, according to their calling, they referred themselves him. Paper- 6 to the report of the country, and were called by her ma

“ jesty as justices of peace within Sussex; the bishop of “ Chichester had sought by many ways to defame, discre“ dit, and deface them, not only by private talk and speech “ had with divers persons, and matter gone forth in writing “ by his lordship to honourable personages, but also in pub“ lic and disordered manner; far differing from the virtu“ ous, charitable, and good consideration that should be in

one of his vocation; had imagined and surmised great “ matters against us; on purpose, as they had great cause “ to believe, to bring them undeservedly into discredit with “ her majesty and their lordships of the privy-council. There“ fore they thought it needful for themselves, and also for “others, to express their griefs herein; and to desire that “they might be admitted to their lordships, to purge them“ selves of the said undeserved infamy before their lord

ships, or other judges,” &c. And likewise to present their complaints in many articles against the bishop. For thus they proceeded in their petition :

“ That hearing the lamentable cry and complaint of her

majesty's subjects against the said bishop, whose faults “ and disorders they hoped by their lordships' good means “ might be redressed, and in that behalf needful to be known 6 to their lordships; and so desired, by the consent also of “ many of the justices of the peace in that shire, for the bet“ ter service of God and her majesty, and for the better “quietness of her majesty's subjects, to shew unto them the “ disorders, injuries, and abuses done and committed by the

same bishop, by articles herewith ready to be delivered “ unto their lordships."

These articles were very large and long. Some related gainst the bishop. The to his hindering justice and the queen's service; others, to contents of injuries done to them, and other misdemeanours. Of the first

sort was his contending wilfully, and quarrelling with the

66

Articles a

them.

commissioners joined with his lordship (the said bishop) in CHAP. commission for ecclesiastical causes, and with the commis

VII. sioners of the peace : in abusing the authority and trust Anno 1577. committed unto him by the said commission, in bearing and maintaining disorderly riots and unlawful acts: in making without discretion fond and unlawful licences for keeping of May-games, &c.: in threatening divers persons that had 488 honestly done their duties in her majesty's service: in taking order for sparing the punishment of offenders: prohibiting without cause some honest persons from the communion, only for displeasure conceived by his lordship against them: in keeping benefices ecclesiastical without incumbents; employing the profits to his own purse, or at his pleasure: taking rewards simoniacally for ecclesiastical livings granted by him, &c.: openly citing them (the justices] to appear at his consistory, to be reformed in religion, without any just cause of suspicion, information, or presentment, upon untrue surmises of matter, on purpose to vex and trouble them, and to bring them into discredit. Also, they thought he wanted consideration in appointing so many men of such calling and credit (as they themselves were] to appear before his lordship (the bishop) in so open a place, one day, time, and instant, viz. one knight, eighteen squires, some of them justices of peace, and above thirty other persons, most whereof gentlemen. Also, that his lordship came that day with many more men than he was aceustomed to ride with, being well weaponed; who stood about the consistory during the time of his lordship's sitting: and the register being his lordship's servant, having his sword holden by him in the consistory by a sumner, during the time of his lordship's sitting. And that he caused two of the servants, upon a surmised warrant made to them, as special bailiffs of the same for that time, in a matter of an action upon

the cause, at his lordship's own suit, to arrest one Rand. Barlow in his said church near the consistory; and violently to have drawn and carried him away, without shewing any warrant, until a justice of peace within the city, seeing the

BOOK tumult, commanded them, in her majesty's name, to keep

II.

the peace.

Anno 1577. To all these articles the poor bishop was fain to come up,

and make answer. Imprimis, The said defendant com

plaineth unto your honourable good lordship, that almost “ all of the articles were ordered by the right honourable the “ earl of Leicester, about four years ago. And this defend“ ant did satisfy his lordship's order, as his lordship know“eth. That almost all of them be very old, and that no

subject ought by two statutes,” &c. But I shall add no more of this matter, to avoid prolixity. This is enough to shew the hard circumstances the bishops were often in these times put into by means of many gentlemen in their dioceses, whether popish or puritanically inclined, for the discharge of their duties, and of the commands they received

from court. The bisbop The bishop of Ely, mentioned above, being grown aged, of Ely mind- and wearied with cares and lawsuits, and desiring to retire ed to resign.

from the world, had thoughts of resigning his bishopric, and to spend the remainder of his days in peace. And in

order to the obtaining of this, he made use of his old friend, His letter the lord treasurer; to whom he thus brake his mind, (leavto the lord treasurer. ing further particulars to be opened to him by his son-in

law, Mr. Parker, son to the late archbishop of Canterbury.) Literæ E'- “My very good lord. Christus ad finem dilexit suos. pales penes « I doubt not but you will follow his steps,

et
usque

ad finem veros diliges amicos. Sir, I am now in fine ætatis; and I heartily pray you help me in fine ætatis. Nam libenter quæro donari rude ; et quod superest vita paulo tranquillius peragere. You are the only man to

“ relieve me of my desire. My function requireth a per489" fect man. I wax daily very unperfect. Ipsa senectus

morbus est, cum corporis et membrorum imbecillitate. I “ will commit no more to pen and ink, but will desire your “ honour to give credit to this bearer, my son-in-law, John “ Parker; with whom I have conferred : desiring your lord

ship to confer with him at such length as you may most

me.

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