Foxe's Book of Martyrs -- 96. NOTES OF CERTAIN PARLIAMENT MATTERS PASSED IN HENRY V'S KING'S DAYS.

96. NOTES OF CERTAIN PARLIAMENT MATTERS PASSED IN HENRY V'S KING'S DAYS.

To proceed now further in the reign of this king, and to treat also something of his parliaments as we have done of other before: first, we will begin with the parliament holden in the first year of his coming in.

Moreover, forasmuch as our catholic papists will not believe, yet the contrary, but that the jurisdiction of their father the pope hath ever extended throughout all the world, as well here in England, as in other places, here, therefore, speaking of the parliaments holden in this king's days concerning this matter, I refer them to the parliament of the said King Henry, in his first year holden, and to the twenty-seventh article of the same, where they may read, in the tenth objection laid against King Richard, in plain words, how that, "Forasmuch as the crown of this realm of England, and the jurisdiction belonging to the same, as also the whole realm itself, at all times lately past, hath been at such liberty, and enjoyed such prerogative, that neither the pope, nor any other out of the same kingdom, ought to intrude himself nor intermeddle therein: it was, therefore, objected unto the afore-named King Richard the Second, for procuring the letters apostolical from the pope, to the confirming and corroborating of certain statutes of his, and that his censures might be prosecuted against the breakers thereof, which seemed then to the parliament to tend against the crown and regal dignity, as also against the statutes and liberties of this the said our realm of England.

"Furthermore, in the second year of the said king, this was in the parliament required, that all such persons as shall be arrested by force of the statute made against the Lollards, in the second year of Henry the Fourth, may be bailed, and freely make their purgation; that they be arrested by none other than by the sheriffs, or such-like officers, neither that any havoc be made of their goods. The king granted to their advice therein.

"In the eighth year, moreover, of this king's reign, it was likewise propounded in the parliament, that all such persons as shall procure, or sue in the court of Rome, any process touching any benefice, collation, or presentation of the same, shall incur the pain of the statute of provisors, made in the thirteenth year of Richard the Second, whereunto the king granted, that the statutes heretofore provided should be observed.

"Item, in the said parliament there, it was put up by petition, that the king might enjoy half the profits of every parson's benefice who is not resident thereon. Thereunto the king answered, That the ordinaries should do their duties therein, or else he would provide further remedy to stay their pluralities.

"Item, in the said parliament it was required, that none do sue to the court of Rome for any benefice, but only to the king's courts."

In the next year following, which was the ninth of this king, another petition of the commons was put in parliament against the court of Rome, which I thought good here to express, as followeth:

"The commons do beseech, that forasmuch as divers provisors of the benefices of holy church, dwelling in the court of Rome, through their singular covetousness, now newly imagined to destroy those that have been long time incumbents in divers their benefices of holy church peaceably, some of them by the title of the king, some by title ordinary, and by the title of other true patrons thereof, by colour of provisions, relations, and other grants made to the same provisors by the apostoil, of the said benefices, do pursue processes in the said court by citation made beyond the sea, without any citations made within the realm, in deed, against the same incumbents, whereby many of the said incumbents, through such privy and crafty processes and sentences of privation and inabilitation, have lost their benefices, and others put in the places of the said incumbents, before the publication of the same sentences, they not knowing any thing; and many are in great hazard to lose their benefices through such processes, to their perpetual destruction and mischief: and forasmuch as this mischief cannot be holpen without an especial remedy be had by parliament: pleaseth it the king to consider the great mischief and danger that may so come unto divers his subjects without their knowledge, through such citations out of the realm, and thereupon to ordain, by the advice of the lords of this present parliament, that none presented be received by any ordinary unto any benefice of any such incumbent for any cause of privation or inabilitation, whereof the process is not founded upon citation made within the realm, and also that such incumbents may remain in all their benefices, until it be proved by due inquest in the court of the king, that the citations, whereupon such privations and inabilitations are granted, were made within the realm; and that if such ordinaries, or such presented, or others, do pursue the contrary, that then they and their procurators, supporters, and counsellors, do incur the pains contained in the statute made against provisors in the thirteenth year of the reign of the late Richard the Second, king of England, by processes to be made, as is declared in the statute made against such provisors in the twenty-seventh year of the reign of King Edward, predecessor to our lord the king that now is, any royal licences or grants in any manner to the contrary notwithstanding; and that all other statutes made against provisors, and not repealed before this present parliament, be in their full force, and be firmly kept in all points.

"That the king's council have power by authority of parliament, in case that any man find himself grieved in particular, that he may pursue; and that the said council, by the advice of the justices, do right unto the parties. This to endure until the next parliament, reserving always unto the king his prerogative and liberty.

"Item, That no pope's collector thenceforth should levy any money within the realm for first-fruits of any ecclesiastical dignity, under pain of incurring the statute of provisions."

Besides, in the said parliament holden the eleventh year of this king, is to be noted, how the commons of the land put up a bill unto the king, to take the temporal lands out from spiritual men's hands or possession; the effect of which bill was, "That the temporalties disordinately wasted by men of the church, might suffice to find to the king fifteen earls, one thousand five hundred knights, six thousand two hundred esquires, and a hundred houses of almose, to the relief of the poor people, more than at those days within England. And over all these aforesaid charges, the king might put yearly in his coffers twenty thousand pounds.

"Provided, that every earl should have of yearly rent three thousand marks; and every knight a hundred marks and four plough lands; and every esquire forty marks by year, with two plough lands; and every house of almose a hundred marks, with oversight of two true seculars unto every house; and also with provision, that every township should keep all poor people of their own dwellers, which might not labour for their living: with condition, that if more fell in a town than the town might maintain, then the said alms-houses to relieve such townships.

"And to hear these charges, they alleged by their said bill, that the temporalties, being in possession of spiritual men, amounted to three hundred and twenty-two thousand marks by year, whereof they affirmed to be in the see of Canterbury, with the abbeys of Christ's-church, of St. Augustine's, Shrewsbury, Coggeshal, and St. Osus, twenty thousand marks by year; in the see of York, and abbeys there, twenty thousand marks; in the see of Winchester, and abbeys there, twenty thousand marks; in the see of London, with abbeys and other houses there, twenty thousand marks; in the see of Lincoln, with the abbeys of Peterborough, Ramsey, and others, twenty thousand marks; in the see of Norwich, with the abbeys of Bury and others, twenty thousand marks; in the see of Ely, Spalding, and others, twenty thousand marks; in the see of Bath, with the abbey of Okinborne, and others, twenty thousand marks; in the see of Worcester, with the abbeys of Evesham, Abingdon, and others, twenty thousand marks; in the see of Chester, with the precinct of the same, with the sees of St. David, of Salisbury, and Exeter, with the precincts, twenty thousand marks; the abbeys of Ravens or Revens, of Fountaines, of Gernons, and divers others, to the number of five more, twenty thousand marks; the abbeys of Leicester, Walthun, Gosborne, Merton, Ticeter, Osney, and others, unto the number of six more, twenty thousand marks; the abbeys of Dover, Battle, Lewes, Coventry, Daventry, and Tourney, twenty thousand marks; the abbeys of Northampton, Thornton, Bristol, Killingworth, Winchcomb, Hailes, Parchissor, Frideswide, Notly, and Grimsby, twenty thousand marks.

"The which aforesaid sums amount to the full of three hundred thousand marks. And for the odd twenty-two thousand marks, they appointed Hertford, Rochester, Huntingdon, Swinshed, Crowland, Malmesbury, Burton, Tewkesbury, Dunstable, Sher-borne, Taunton, and Biland.

"And over this, they alleged by the said bill, that over and above the said sum of three hundred and twenty-two thousand marks, divers houses of religion in England possessed as many temporalties as might suffice to find yearly fifteen thousand priests and clerks, every priest to be allowed for his stipend seven marks by the year.

"To the which bill no answer was made, but that the king of this matter would take deliberation and advisement, and with that answer ended, so that no further labour was made."

These things thus hitherto discoursed, touching such acts and matters as have been incident in the lifetime of this king, followeth next the thirteenth year of his reign. In the which year the said King Henry the Fourth, (after that he had sent a little before a certain company of captains and soldiers to aid the duke of Burgundy in France, among whom was the Lord Cobham,) keeping his Christmas at Eltham, fell grievously sick. From thence he was conveyed to London, where he began to call a parliament, but tarried not the end. In the mean time, the infirmity of the king more and more increasing, he was taken and brought into a bed in a fair chamber at Westminster; and as he lay in his bed, he asked how they called the same chamber; and they answered and said, Jerusalem. And then he said it was his prophecy, That he should make his end in Jerusalem. And so, disposing himself toward his end in the aforesaid chamber, he died; upon what sickness, whether of leprosy, or of some other sharp disease, I have not to affirm. The like prophecy we read of Pope Silvester the Second; to whom, being inquisitive for the time and place where he should die, it was answered, That he should die in Jerusalem. Who then saying mass in a chapel, called likewise Jerusalem, perceived his end there to be near, and died. And thus King Henry the Fourth, successor to the lawful King Richard the Second, finished his life at Westminster, and was buried at Canterbury by the tomb of Thomas Becket, A. D. 1413.

Previous Next