« PreviousContinue »
to be noted.
Henry tians', and duke of Ferrara's ambassadors, than of any Frenchmen in the court,
which, with his pride, caused them to disdain him, and to think that he favoured A. D.
not the French king, but was imperial.
I mislike in the bishop that there is so great familiarity and acquaintance, 1538.
yea, and such mutual confidence, between the said bishop and M., as naughty The fifth : a fellow, and as very a papist, as any that I know, where he dare express it.
The bishop, in his letters to Master Wyat, ever sendeth special commendations pected to to Mason, and yet refuseth to send any to Master Heynes and me, being with perial.
Master Wyat, as we perceived by the said letters. And Mason maketh such foundation of the bishop, that he thinketh there is none such ; and he told me
at Villa Franca, that the bishop, upon a time, when he had fallen out with Bonner,
Germain, so trusted him, that weeping and sobbing he came unto him, desirtrue gos. ing and praying him that he would speak with Germain, and reconcile him, so peller, complain
that no words were spoken of it: and what the matter was, he would not tell
me; that young fellow Germain knoweth all. And Preston, who is servant to papists. the bishop of Winchester, showed me one night in my chamber at Blois, after
supper, that Germain is ever busy in showing the king's letters to strangers, suspected and that he himself hath given him warning thereof. This thing Preston told
me the night before that the bishop departed hence, and when I would have dealing.
had more of him therein, he, considering how the bishop and I stood, kept him
more close, and would say no further. Things in
In this declaration of Dr. Edmund Bonner, above-prefixed, sent to the afore- the lord Cromwell, divers things we have to note: First, as touching claration Stephen Gardiner, bishop of Winchester ; here we have a plain de
monstration of his vile nature and pestilent pride, joined with malice and disdain intolerable: whereof worthily complaineth Dr. Bonner aforesaid, showing six special causes, why and wherefore he misliketh that person, according as he was willed before, by the king's commandment so to do.
Secondly, In the said Stephen Winchester, this we have also to
note and understand, that as he here declareth a secret inclination pistry. from the truth (which he defended before in his book · De Obedi
entia') to papistry, joining part and side with such as were known papists ; so he seemeth likewise to bear a like secret grudge against the lord Cromwell, and all such whomsoever he favoured.
Thirdly, As concerning the before-named Dr. Edmund Bonner, the author of this declaration, here is to be seen and noted, that he, all this while, appeared a good man, and a diligent friend to the truth; and that he was favoured of the lord Cromwell for the same.
Fourthly, That the said Dr. Bonner was not only favoured of the
lord Cromwell, but also by him was advanced first to the office of up, only
legation, then to the bishopric of Hereford, and lastly to the bishopric gospel.
of London; whom the said Dr. Bonner, in his letters, agniseth, and confesseth to be his only patron, and singular Mecænas.
Which being so, we have in this said Dr. Bonner greatly to marvel, what should be the cause that he, seeing all his setting-up, making, and preferring, came only by the Gospel, and by them of the Gospel's side, he, being then so hated of Stephen Gardiner, and such as he was; being also at that time such a furtherer and defender of the Gospel (as appeareth both by his preface before Gardiner's book
De Obedientia,' and by his writings to the lord Cromwell; also by helping forward the printed bibles at Paris), could ever be a man so ungrateful and unkind afterwards, to join part with the said Stephen Gardiner against the Gospel (without which Gospel he had never come to be bishop either of Hereford, or yet of London), and now to
abuse the same bishopric of London, to persecute that so vehemently Henry which before so openly he defended ? Wherein the same may well be said to him in this case, that he himself was reported once to say 1533
AD). to the French king in the cause of Grancetor; to wit, that he had done therein against *God, against * his honour, against justice, words reagainst honesty, against friendship, against his own promise and his torted oath so often made, against his own doctrine and judgment which him. then he professed, against all truth, against the treaties and leagues between him and his setters-up, and against all together; and, to conclude, against the salvation of his own soul, *whicho would God he would have mercy upon, although he had showed want of mercy unto others !*
But to refer this to the book of His accounts, who shall judge one Printing day all things uprightly, let us proceed further in the continuation of the New this
Dr. Bonner's legation; who, being now ambassador in the court mentin of France, as ye have heard, had given him in commission from the and the king to treat with the French king for sundry points, as for the print- Paris. ing of the New Testament in English, and the Bible at Paris ; also for slanderous preachers, and malicious speakers against the king; for goods of merchants taken and spoiled ; for the king's pension to be paid; for the matters of the duke of Suffolk; for certain prisoners in France. Item, for Grancetor the traitor, and certain other rebels to be sent into England, &c. Touching all these affairs, the said Dr. Diligence Bonner did employ his diligence and travail to the good satis- in legaa faction and contentment of the king's mind, and discharge of his tion. duty in such sort as no default could be found in him ; save only that the French king, one time, took displeasure with him, for that the said Bonner, being now made bishop of Hereford, and bearing himself somewhat more seriously and boldly before the king, in the cause of Grancetor the traitor (wherein he was willed, by the advertisement of the king's pleasure, to wade more deeply and instantly), used these words to the French king (as the French king himself did His words afterwards report them), saying, that he had done, in deliverance French of that aforesaid Grancetor, being an Englishman, against God, against king. his honour, against justice, against reason, against honesty, against friendship, against all law, against the treaties and leagues between him and his brother the king of England; yea, and against all together, &c. These words of bishop Bonner, although he denieth to have spoken them in that form and quality, yet howsoever they were spoken, did stir up the stomach of the French king to conceive high displeasure against him, insomuch that he, answering the lord bidden to ambassador again, bade him write these three things unto his master : the king.
First, Among other things, that his ambassador was a great fool.
Secondarily, That he caused to be done better justice there in his realm in one hour, than they did in England in a whole year.
Thirdly, That if it were not for the love of his master, he should have a hundred strokes with a halbert, &c.
And furthermore, the said French king beside this, sending a special messenger with his letters to the king of England, willed him to revoke and call this ambassador home, and to send him another. The cause why the French king took these words of bishop Bonner
(1 and 2) See Edition 1570, in loc.--ED.
Henry so to stomach (as the lord chancellor said), was this : For that the
kings of France, standing chiefly, and in manner only, upon their A. D. honour, can suffer that in no case to be touched. Otherwise, in 1538. those words (if they had been well taken) was not so much blame, Bishops, perchance, as boldness, being spoken somewhat vehemently in his princes" master's behalf. But this one thing seemeth to me much blamethan in worthy, both in this bishop, and many others, that they, in carthly the house matters, and to please terrene kings, will put forth themselves to such
a boldness and forwardness; and in Christ's cause, the King of all kings, whose cause they should only attend upon and tender, they are so remiss, cold, and cowardly.
To these letters of the French king, the king of England sent answer again by other letters, in which he revoked and called home again bishop Bonner, giving unto him, about the same time, the bishopric of London; and sent in supply of his place sir John Wallop, a great friend to Stephen Gardiner: which was in February, about the beginning of the year of our Lord 1540. Here now followeth the oath of Bonner to the king, when he was made bishop of London. The oath of Dr. Edmund Bonner, when he was made bishop of
London, against the pope of Rome. Ye shall never consent nor agree that the bishop of Rome shall practise, exercise, or have any manner of authority, jurisdiction, or power within this realm, or any other the king's dominion; but that you shall resist the same at all times, to the uttermost of your power: and that from henceforth ye shall accept, repute, and take the king's majesty to be the only supreme head in earth of the church of England; and that to your cunning, wit, and uttermost of your power, without guile, fraud, or other undue mean, ye shall observe, keep, maintain, and defend, the whole effects and contents of all and singular acts and statutes made, and to be made, within this realm, in derogation, extirpation, and extinguishment of the bishop of Rome, and his authority; and all other acts and statutes made, and to be made, in reformation and corroboration of the king's power of supreme head in the earth of the church of England, And this ye shall do against all manner of persons, of what estate, dignity, degree, or condition they be; and in no wise do, or attempt, or to your power suffer to be done or attempted, directly or indirectly, any thing or things, privily or apertly, to the let, hinderance, damage, or derogation thereof, or of any part thereof, by any manner of means, or for any manner of pretence. And in case any oath be made, or hath been made, by you to any pe
on or pe
ons in maintenance or favour of the bishop of Rome, or his authority, jurisdiction, or power, ye repute the same as vain and annihilated. So help you God, &c.
In fidem præmissorum ego Edmundus Bonner, electus et confirmatus
ECCLESIASTICAL MATTERS, A.D. 1538.
had need of reformation in many things; yet because he saw how Henry stubborn and untoward the hearts of many papists were, to be brought from their old persuasions and customs, and what business he had A.D. with them only about the matter of the pope's title, he durst not by and by reform all at once (which notwithstanding had been to be ane king wished), but leading them fair and softly, as he might, proceeded by council little and little, to bring greater purposes to perfection (which he with the no doubt would have done, if the lord Cromwell had lived); and are the therefore first he began with a little book of articles (partly above people. touched), bearing this title: “ Articles devised by the king's highness, to stable Christian quietness and unity among the people,” &c.
The Contents of a Book of Articles devised by the King. In the contents of this book, first he set forth the articles of our christian or three creed, which are necessarily and expressly to be believed by all men. Then, sacrawith the g's preface going before, followeth the declaration of three sacraments ; to wit, of baptism, of penance, and of the sacrament of the altar; in the tractation whereof, he altereth nothing from the old trade received heretofore from the church of Rome.
Further then, proceeding to the order and cause of our justification, he or justideclareth, that the only mercy and grace of the Father, promised freely unto us ficatio:i. for his Son's sake Jesus Christ, and the merits of his passion and blood, be the only sufficient and worthy causes of our justification; yet good works, with inward contrition, hope, and charity, and all other spiritual graces and motions, be necessarily required, and must needs concur also in remission of our sins; that is, our justification: and afterwards, we, being justified, must also have good works of charity, and obedience towards God, in the observing and fulfilling outwardly of his laws and commandments, &c.
As touching images, he willeth all bishops and preachers to teach the people or in such sort as they may know how they may use them safely in churches, and images. not abuse them to idolatry, as thus : that they be representers of virtue and good example, and also, by occasion, may be stirrers of men's minds, and make them to remember themselves, and to lament their sins; and so far he permitteth them to stand in churches. But otherwise, for avoiding of idolatry, he chargeth all bishops and preachers diligently to instruct the people, that they commit no idolatry unto them, in censing of them, in kneeling and offering to them, with other like worshippings, which ought not to be done, but only to God.
And likewise for honouring of saints, the bishops and preachers be commanded of to inform the people, how saints, hence departed, ought to be reverenced and
ing of honoured, and how not: that is, that they are to be praised and honoured as the saints. elect servants of Christ, or rather Christ to be praised in them for their excellent virtues planted in them, and for their good example left us, teaching us to live in virtue and in goodness, and not to fear to die for Christ, as they did. And also as advancers of our prayers in that they may; but yet no confidence, nor any such honour to be given unto them, which is only due to God; and so forth: charging the said spiritual persons to teach their flock, that all grace, and remission of sins, and salvation, can no otherwise be obtained but of God only, by the mediation of our Saviour Christ, who only is a sufficient mediator for Nomediour sins; that all grace and remission of sin must proceed only by the media- by Christ. tion of Christ and no other.
From that he cometh further to speak of rites and ceremonies in Christ's of rites church; as in having vestments used in God's service, sprinkling of holy water, and ceregiving of holy bread, bearing of candles on Candlemas-day, taking of ashes, bearing of palms, creeping to the cross, setting up the sepulchre, hallowing of the font, with other like customs, rites, and ceremonies; all which old rites and customs the aforesaid book doth not by and by repeal, but so far admitteth them for good and laudable, as they put men in remembrance of spiritual things : but so that the people withal must be instructed, how the said ceremonies contain in them no such power to remit sin, but that to be referred unto God only, by whom only our sins be forgiven us.
And so, concluding with purgatory, he maketh an end of those articles, thus saying thereof, that because the book of Maccabees alloweth praying for souls
departed, he therefore disproveth not that so laudable a custom, so long conA.D.
tinued in the church. But because there is no certain place named, nor kind 1538.
of pains expressed in Scripture, he therefore thinketh necessary such abuses of purga- clearly to be put away, which under the name of purgatory have been advanced;
as to make men believe, that by the bishop of Rome's pardons, or by masses said at 'Scala Cæli,' or otherwhere, in any place, or before any image, souls might clearly be delivered out of purgatory, and from the pains thereof, to be sent straight to heaven; and such other like abuses, &c.
And these were the contents of that book of articles, devised and passed, by the king's authority, a little before the stir of Lincolnshire and Yorkshire; wherein, although there were many and great imperfections and untruths not to be permitted in any true reformed
church, yet notwithstanding, the king and his council, to bear with Milk for the weaklings which were newly weaned from their mother's milk of
Rome, thought it might serve somewhat for the time, instead of a
little beginning till better come. Injunc
And so consequently, not long after these articles thus set forward, tions for certain other injunctions were also given out about the same year
1536, whereby a number of holy-days were abrogated; and especially tain boly
such as fell in the harvest-time, the keeping of which redounded greatly to the hinderance of gathering in their corn, hay, fruit, and other such-like necessary commodities; the copy and tenor of which injunctions I have also hereunto annexed, as under followeth :
The King's Injunctions, restricting the Number of Holy-days.
Forasmuch as the number of holy-days is so excessively grown, and yet daily more and more, by men's devotion, yea, rather superstition, was like further to increase, that the same was, and should be, not only prejudicial to the common weal, by reason that it is occasion as well of much sloth and idleness, the very nurse of thieves, vagabonds, and of divers other unthriftiness and inconveniences, as of decay of good mysteries and arts profitable and necessary for the commonwealth, and loss of man's food (many times being clean destroyed through the superstitious observance of the said holy-days, in not taking the opportunity of good and serene weather offered upon the same in time of harvest), but also pernicious to the souls of many men, who, being enticed by the licentious vacation and liberty of those holy-days, do upon the same commonly use and practise more excess, riot, and superfluity, than upon any other days. And since the Sabbath-day was used and ordained but for man's use, and therefore ought to give place to the necessity and behoof of the same, whensoever that shall occur, much rather than any other holy-day instituted by man: it is therefore by the king's highness's authority, as supreme head in earth of the church of England, with the common assent and consent of the prelates and clergy of this his realm, in convocation lawfully assembled and congregated, amongst other things, decreed, ordained, and established :
First, that the feast of dedication of churches shall, in all places throughout this realm, be celebrated and kept on the first Sunday of the month of October,
upon none other day. Item, that the feast of the patron of every church within this realm, called
commonly the Church Holy-day, shall not from henceforth be kept and observed holy-days
as a holy-day, as heretofore hath been used ; but that it shall be lawful to all and singular persons resident or dwelling within this realm, to go to their work, occupation, or mystery; and the same truly to exercise and occupy upon the said feast, as upon any other work-day, except the said feast of Church Holyday be such as must be else universally observed and kept as a holy-day by this ordinance following.
Alsı), that all those feasts or holy-days which shall happen to fall or occur
Feasts of dedication kept all on one day. Church