Foxe's Book of Martyrs -- 228. THE BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER


            Now, by the time that these things were thus determined, the learned men whom the king had appointed (as ye have heard before) to assemble together for the true and right manner of administering the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, according to the rule of the Scriptures of God, and first usage of the primitive church, after their long, learned, wise, and deliberate advices, did finally conclude and agree upon one godly and uniform order of receiving the same, not much differing from the manner at this present used and authorized within this realm and Church of England, commonly called, The Communion. Which agreement, being by them exhibited unto the king, and of him most gladly accepted, was thereupon publicly imprinted, and, by his Majesty's council, particularly divided and sent unto every bishop of the realm, requiring and commanding them, by their letters on the king's Majesty's behalf, that both they, in their own persons, should forthwith have diligent and careful respect to the due execution thereof, and also should, with all diligence, cause the books which they then sent them, to be delivered unto every parson, vicar, and curate within their diocese; that they, likewise, might well and sufficiently advise themselves for the better distribution of the same communion, (according to the tenor of the said book,) against the feast of Easter then next ensuing, as more fully appeareth by these their letters here following.


Letters missive from the council, to the bishops of the realm, concerning the communion to be ministered in both kinds.

            "After our most hearty commendations unto your Lordship: Whereas in the parliament late holden at Westminster, it was, amongst other things, most godly established, that, according to the first institution and use of the primitive church, the most holy sacrament of the body and blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ should be distributed to the people under the kinds of bread and wine: according to the effect whereof, the king's Majesty, minding, with the advice and consent of the lord protector's Grace, and the rest of the council, to have the said statute well executed in such sort, or like as is agreeable with the word of God, (so the same may be also faithfully and reverently received of his most loving subjects, to their comforts and wealth,) hath caused sundry of his Majesty's most grave and well-learned prelates, and other learned men in the Scriptures, to assemble themselves for this matter; who, after long conference together, have, with deliberate advice, finally agreed upon such an order to be used in all places of the king's Majesty's dominions, in the distribution of the said most holy sacrament, as may appear to you by the book thereof, which we send herewith unto you. Albeit, knowing your Lordship's knowledge in the Scriptures, and earnest good will and zeal to the setting forth of all things according to the truth thereof, we be well assured, you will, of your own good will, and upon respect to your duty, diligently set forth this most godly order here agreed upon, and commanded to be used by the authority of the king's Majesty: yet, remembering the crafty practice of the devil, who ceases not, by his members, to work by all ways and means the hinderance of all godliness; and considering furthermore, that a great number of the curates of the realm, either for lack of knowledge cannot, or for want of good mind will not, be so ready to set forth the same, as we would wish, and as the importance of the matter and their own bounden duties require -- we have thought good to pray and require your Lordship, and nevertheless, in the king's Majesty's, our most dread sovereign lord's name, to command you, to have an earnest diligence, and careful respect, both in your own person, and by all your officers and ministers also, to cause these books to be delivered to every parson, vicar, and curate within your diocese, with such diligence as they may have sufficient time well to instruct and advise themselves, for the distribution of the most holy communion, according to the order of this book, before this Easter time; and that they may, by your good means, be well directed to use such good, gentle, and charitable instruction of their simple and unlearned parishioners, as may be to all their good satisfactions as much as may be; praying you to consider, that this order is set forth, to the intent there should be, in all parts of the realm, and among all men, one uniform manner quietly used. The execution whereof, like as it shall stand very much in the diligence of you and others of your vocation, so do we eftsoons require you to have a diligent respect thereunto, as ye tender the king's Majesty's pleasure, and will answer for the contrary. And thus we bid your Lordship right heartily farewell.

            "From Westminster the 13th of March, 1548.
"Your Lordship's loving friends,
Thomas Canterbury,
Henry Arundel,
Richard Rich,
Anthony Wingfield,
William St. John,
William Peter,
John Russell,
Edward North,
Edward Wooton."

            By means as well of this letter, and the godly order of the learned, as also of the statute and act of parliament before mentioned, made for the establishing thereof, all private blasphemous masses were now, by just authority, fully abolished throughout this realm of England, and the right use of the sacrament of the most precious body and blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ truly restored instead of the same. But nevertheless, as at no time any thing can be so well done by the godly, but that the wicked will find some means subtlely to deface the same, so likewise, at this present, through the perverse obstinacy and dissembling frowardness of many of the inferior priests and ministers of the cathedrals, and other churches of this realm, there did arise a marvellous schism, and variety of fashions, in celebrating the common service and administration of the sacraments, and other rites and ceremonies of the church. For some, zealously allowing the king's proceedings, did gladly follow the order thereof; and others, though not so willingly admitting them, did yet dissemblingly and patchingly use some part of them; but many, carelessly contemning all, would still exercise their old wonted popery.

            Whereof the king and his council having good intelligence, and fearing the great inconveniences and dangers that might happen through this division, and being therewithal loth, at first, to use any great severity towards his subjects, but rather desirous, by some quiet and godly order, to bring them to some conformity, did, by their prudent advices, again appoint the archbishop of Canterbury, with certain of the best learned and discreet bishops and other learned men, diligently to consider and ponder the premises; and thereupon, having as well an eye and respect unto the most sincere and pure Christian religion taught by the Holy Scriptures, as also to the usages of the primitive church, to draw and make one convenient and meet order, rite, and fashion of Common Prayer, and administration of the sacraments, to be had and used within this his realm of England, and the dominions of the same; who, after most godly and learned conferences, through the aid of the Holy Ghost, with one uniform agreement did conclude, set forth, and deliver unto the king's Highness, a book in English, entitled, A Book of the Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments, and other rites and ceremonies of the Church, after the use of the Church of England. Which his Highness receiving, with great comfort and quietness of mind, did forthwith exhibit unto the lords and commons of the parliament then assembled at Westminster, about the fourth of November, in the second year of his reign, and in the year of our Lord 1548, and continuing unto the fourteenth day of March, then next ensuing.

            Whereupon the lords spiritual and temporal, and the commons of the said parliament assembled, well and thoroughly considering, as well the most godly travail of the king's Highness, of the lord protector, and others of his Majesty's council, in gathering together the said archbishop, bishops, and other learned men, as the godly prayers, orders, rites, and ceremonies in the said book mentioned, with the consideration of altering those things which were altered, and retaining those things which were retained in the same book; as also the honour of God, and great quietness, which, by the grace of God, should ensue upon that one and uniform rite and order in such common prayer, rites, and extern ceremonies, to be used throughout England, Wales, Calais, and the marches of the same, did first give unto his Highness most lowly and hearty thanks for the same, and then most humbly prayed him that it might be ordained and enacted by his Majesty, with the assent of the lords and commons in that parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as followeth:

            "That not only all and singular person and persons that had hitherto offended concerning the premises (other than such as were then remaining in ward in the Tower of London, or in the Fleet) might be pardoned thereof; but also, that all and singular ministers in any cathedral or parish churches, or other places, within the realm of England, Wales, Calais, and the marches of the same, or other the king's dominions, should, from and after the feast of Pentecost next coming, be bound to say and use the matins, evensong, celebration of the Lord's supper, and administration of each of the sacraments, and all other common and open prayer, in such order and form as were mentioned in the said book, and none other or otherwise.

            "And, albeit that they were so godly and good that they gave occasion unto every honest and conformable man most willingly to embrace them, yet, lest any obstinate persons, who willingly would disturb so godly an order and quiet in this realm, should go unpunished, they further requested, that it might be ordained and enacted, by the authority aforesaid, that if any manner of parson, vicar, or whatsoever other minister that ought or should say or sing Common Prayer, (mentioned in the said book,) or minister the sacraments, should, after the said feast of Pentecost then next coming, refuse to use the said Common Prayer, or to minister the sacraments in such cathedral or parish churches, or other places, as he should use or minister the same, in such order and form as they were mentioned, and set forth in the said book; or should use wilfully, and obstinately standing in the same, any other rite, ceremony, form, or manner of mass, openly or privily, or matins, evensong, administration of the sacraments, or other open prayer than was mentioned and set forth in the said book; or should preach, declare, or speak, any thing in derogation or depraving of the said book, or any thing therein contained, or of any part thereof, and should be thereof lawfully convicted according to the laws of this realm by verdict of twelve men, or by his own confession, or by the notorious evidence of the fact, should lose and forfeit unto the king's Highness, his heirs and successors, for his first offence, one whole year's profit of such one of his benefices or spiritual promotions, as it should please the king's Highness to assign and appoint; and also, for the same offence, should suffer imprisonment by the space of six months, without bail or mainprize. But, if any such person, after his first conviction, should eftsoons offend again, and be thereof, in form aforesaid, lawfully convicted, then he should, for his second offence, suffer imprisonment by the space of one whole year; and should also be deprived, ipso facto, of all his spiritual promotions for ever, so that it should be lawful to the patrons and donors thereof, to give the same again unto any other learned man, in like manner as if the said party so offending were dead. And if any the said person or persons should again the third time offend, and he thereof, in form aforesaid, lawfully convicted, then he should, for the same third offence, suffer imprisonment during his life. If any such person or persons aforesaid, so offending, had not any benefice,

            For spiritual promotion, that then he should, for his first offence, suffer imprisonment by the space of six months without bail or mainprize, and, for his second offence, imprisonment during his life."

            Which request, or rather actual agreement, of the lords and commons of the parliament, being once understood by the king, was also soon ratified and confirmed by his regal consent and authority; and thereupon the said book of Common Prayer was presently imprinted, and commanded to be exercised throughout the whole realm and dominions thereof, according to the tenor and effect of the said statute. Moreover, in the same session of the said parliament it was enacted and established by the authority thereof, as followeth:

            "That forasmuch as great, horrible, and not to be rehearsed, inconveniences had, from time to time, risen amongst the priests, ministers, and other officers of the clergy, through their compelled chastity, and by such laws as prohibited them the godly and lawful use of marriage; that therefore all and every law and laws positive, canons, constitutions, and ordinances theretofore made by the authority of man only, which did prohibit or forbid marriage to any ecclesiastical or spiritual person or persons, of what estate, condition, or degree soever they were, or by what name or names they were called, who, by God's law, may lawfully marry; in all and every article, branch and sentence, concerning only the prohibition of the marriage of the persons aforesaid, should be utterly void and of none effect. And that all manner of forfeitures, pains, penalties, crimes, or actions, which were in the said laws contained, and of the same did follow, concerning the prohibition of the marriage of the said ecclesiastical persons, should also be thenceforth clearly and utterly void, frustrate, and of none effect."

            By occasion hereof, it was, thence after, right lawful for any ecclesiastical person, not having the gift of chastity, most godly to live in the pure and holy estate of matrimony, according to the laws and word of God.

            But, if the first injunctions, statutes, and decrees of the prince were, by many, but slenderly regarded, with much less good affection were these, especially the book of Common Prayer, by divers now received; yea, and that by some of them, who had always before, in outward show, willingly allowed the former doings, as appeareth most plainly, amongst others, by Bonner the bishop of London; who, although, by his former letters and other mandates, he seemed hitherto to favour all the king's proceedings, yet did lie, at that present, (notwithstanding both the first statute for the establishing of the communion and the abolishing of all private masses, and also this statute of the ratifying and confirming of the book of Common Prayer,) still suffer sundry idolatrous private masses of peculiar names, as the Apostles' Mass, the Lady's Mass, and such-like, to be daily solemnly sang within certain peculiar chapels of the cathedral church of Paul's, cloaking them with the names of the Apostles' Communion, and our Lady's Communion; not once finding any fault therewith, until such time as the lords of the council, having intelligence thereof, were fain, by their letters, to command and charge him to look better thereunto. And then, being therewith somewhat pricked forwards, (perhaps by fear,) he was content to direct his letters unto the dean and chapter of his cathedral church of Paul's, thereby requesting them forthwith to take such order therein, as the tenor of the council's said letters, therewithal sent unto them, did import; both which letters I have, for the more credit, here following inserted.


A letter directed from the King's council to Edmund Bonner, bishop of London, for abrogating of private masses; especially the Apostles' Mass, within the church of St. Paul, used under the name of the Apostles' Communion.

            "After hearty commendations; having very credible notice that within that your cathedral church there be as yet the Apostles' Mass, and our Lady's Mass, and other masses of such peculiar names, under the defence and nomination of our Lady's Communion, and the Apostles' Communion, used in private chapels, and other remote places of the same, and not in the chancel: contrary unto the king's Majesty's proceedings, the same being, for the misuse, displeasing to God; for the place, Paul's, in example not tolerable; for the fondness of the name, a scorn to the reverence of the communion of the Lord's body and blood: we, for the augmentation of God's honour and glory, and the consonance of his Majesty's laws, and the avoiding of murmur, have thought good to will and command you, that, from henceforth, no such masses in this manner be in your church any longer used; but that the holy blessed communion, according to the act of parliament, be ministered at the high altar of the church, and in no other places of the same; and only at such time as your high masses were wont to be used, except some number of people desire, for their necessary business, to have a communion in the morning; and yet the same to be executed in the chancel, at the high altar, as it is appointed in the book of the public service, without cautel or digression from the common order. And herein you shall not only satisfy our expectation of your conformity in all lawful things, but also avoid the murmur of sundry that be therewith justly offended. And so we bid your Lordship heartily farewell.

            "From Richmond, the 24th of June, anno 1519.
"Your loving friends,
Edward Somerset,
R. Rich, Chancellor,
William Saint John,
Francis Shrewsbury,
Edmund Montague,
William Cecil."


A letter of Edmund Bonner to the dean and chapter of Paul's, sent with the order in council.

            "To my right worshipful friends, and most loving good brethren, master dean of Paul's, with all the canons, residentiaries, prebendaries, sub-deans, and ministers of the same, and every of them, with speed:

            "Right worshipful, with most hearty commendations. So it is, this Wednesday, the 26th of June, going to dinner, I received letters from the king's council by a pursuivant, and the same I do send now herewith unto you, to the intent you may peruse them well, and proceed accordingly; praying you, in case all be not present, yet those that be now resident, and supplying the places, may, in their absence, call the company together of the church, and make declaration hereof unto them. Thus committing you to God, right well to fare.

            "Written with speed this 26th of June, at one of the clock.
"Your loving brother,

            What zealous care was in this young king, and in the lord protector his uncle, concerning reformation of Christ's church, and sincere religion, by these injunctions, letters, precepts, and exhortations, as well to the bishops, as to the justices of the realm above premised, it may right well appear. Whereby we have to note, not so much the careful diligence of the king and his learned council; as the lingering slackness, and drawing back, on the other side, of divers of the said justices and lawyers, but especially of bishops, and old popish curates, by whose cloaked contempt, wilful winking, and stubborn disobedience, the book of the Common Prayer was, long after the publishing thereof, either not known at all, or else very irreverently used, throughout many places of the realm. Which, when the king, by complaint of divers, perfectly understood, being not a little aggrieved to see the godly agreement of the learned, the willing consent of the parliament, and his Grace's own zealous desire, to take so small effect among his subjects, he decreed presently, with the advice of his whole council, again to write unto all the bishops of his realm, for speedy and diligent redress therein; willing and commanding them thereby, that as well they themselves should, thenceforth, have a more special regard to the due execution of the premises, as also that all others, within their several precincts and jurisdictions, should, by their good instructions and willing example, be the more often and with better devotion, moved to use and frequent the same: as further appeareth by the contents of this letter here ensuing.


Another letter, directed by the king and his council to Bonner, bishop of London, partly rebuking him of negligence, partly charging him to see to the better setting-out of the Service-Book within his diocese.

            "Right reverend father in God! right trusty and well-beloved! we greet you well: and whereas, after great and serious debating and long conference of the bishops and other grave and well learned men in the Holy Scriptures, one uniform order for Common Prayers and Administration of the Sacraments, hath been, and is, most godly set forth, not only by the common agreement and full assent of the nobility and commons of the late session of our late parliament, but also, by the like assent of the bishops in the same parliament, and of all other the learned men of this our realm, in their synods and convocations provincial: like as it was much to our comfort, to understand the godly travail then diligently and willingly taken for the true opening of things mentioned in the said book, whereby the true service and honour of Almighty God, and the right ministration of the sacraments being well and sincerely set forth, according to the Scriptures and use of the primitive church, much idolatry, vain superstition, and great and slanderous abuses be taken away: so it is no small occasion of sorrow unto us, to understand, by the complaints of many, that our said book, so much travailed for, and also sincerely set forth, (as is aforesaid,) remaineth, in many places of this our realm, either not known at all, or not used; or at least, if it be used, very seldom, and that in such light and irreverent sort, that the people, in many places, either have heard nothing, or, if they hear, they neither understand, nor have that spiritual delectation in the same, that to good Christians appertaineth. The fault whereof, like as we must of reason impute to you and other of your vocation, called by God, through our appointment, to have due respect to this and such-like matters; so, considering that, by these and such-like occasions, our loving subjects remain yet still in their blindness and superstitious errors, and, in some places, in an irreligious forgetfulness of God, whereby his wrath may be provoked upon us and them; and remembering withal, that amongst other cures committed to our princely charge, we think this the greatest, to see the glory and true service of Him maintained and extolled, by whose clemency we acknowledge ourselves to have all that we have; we could not but, by advice and consent of our dearest uncle, Edward, duke of Somerset, governor of our person, and protector of our realm, dominions, and subjects, and the rest of our privy council, admonish you of the premises. Wherein, as it had been your office to have used an earnest diligence, and to have preferred the same in all places within your diocese, as the case required; so have we thought good to pray and require you, and nevertheless straitly to charge and command you, that from henceforth ye have an earnest and special regard to the restoration of these things, so as the curates may do their duties more often, and in more reverent sort, and the people be occasioned, by the good advices and examples of yourself, your chancellor, archdeacons, and other inferior ministers, to come with oftener and more devotion to their said Common Prayers, to give thanks to God, and to be partakers of the most holy communion. Wherein showing yourself diligent, and giving good example in your own person, you shall both discharge your duty to the great Pastor, to whom we all have to account, and also do us good service: and, on the other side, if we shall hereafter (these our letters and commandment notwithstanding) have eftsoons complaint, and find the like faults in your diocese, we shall have just cause to impute the fault thereof, and of all that ensueth thereof, unto you; and, consequently, be occasioned thereby to see otherwise to the redress of these things; whereof we would be sorry. And, therefore, we do eftsoons charge and command you, upon your allegiance, to look well upon your duty herein, as ye tender our pleasure.

            "Given under our signet, at our manor of Richmond, the 23rd day of July, the third year of our reign, 1549."

            The bishop of London, amongst the rest of the bishops, receiving these letters, did (as always before) in outward show willingly accept the same; and, therefore, immediately with the said letters directed this his precept unto the dean and chapter of his cathedral church of Paul's, commanding them to look to the due accomplishing thereof accordingly.

            "Edmund, by the grace of God, &c.: to my well-beloved brethren the dean and chapter of the cathedral church of St. Paul in London, and to the other ministers there, and every of them, do send greeting. And whereas it is so, that of late I have received the said sovereign lord the king's Majesty's letters, of such tenor as is hereunto annexed, and, according to my most bounden duty, am right well willing and desiring, that the said letters should be in all points duly executed and observed, according to the tenor and purport of the same, as appertaineth: these therefore are to require, and also straitly to charge you, and every of you, on his Majesty's behalf, &c., that you do admonish and command, or cause to be admonished or commanded, all and singular parsons, vicars, and curates of your jurisdiction, to observe and accomplish the same from time to time accordingly: furthermore requiring and likewise charging you, and every of you, to make certificate herein to me, my chancellor, or others, my officers in this behalf, with such convenient celerity as appertaineth, both of your proceedings in the execution hereof, and also the persons and names of all such as, from henceforth, shall be found negligent in doing their duties in the premises, or any of them.

            "Given at my house at Fulham, the twenty-sixth of July, A. D. 1549, and in the third year of our said sovereign lord the king's Majesty's reign."

            Moreover, forasmuch as the king, at that instant, hearing the muttering of certain rebellion then stirring, (whereof more shall be said, the Lord willing, hereafter,) and also being credibly informed by divers, that, through the evil example, slackness of preaching and administering the sacraments, and careless contempt of Bonner, bishop of London, not only many of the people within the city of London, and other places of his diocese, were very negligent and forgetful of their duties to God, in frequenting the divine service then established and set forth by the authority of parliament, but also, that divers others, utterly despising the same, did, in secret places of his diocese, often frequent the popish mass, and other foreign rites not allowed by the laws of this realm, he thought it therefore good (having thereby just cause to suspect his former dissembling doubleness) to appoint the lord protector and the rest of his privy council to call the said bishop before them, and according to their wise and discreet judgments, to deal with him for the same.

            Whereupon, the eleventh day of August, A. D. 1549, they sent a messenger for him, and, upon his appearance, made first declaration of such informations and complaints as had been heretofore made against him. And then, after sharp admonitions and reproofs for his evil demeanours in the premises, they delivered unto him from the king (for his better reformation and amendment) certain private injunctions, to be necessarily followed and observed of himself. And whereas, in the first branch of the said injunctions, he was personally assigned to preach at Paul's Cross the Sunday three weeks then next ensuing, (because both the dangerous and fickle estate of the time, and also partly his own suspicious behaviour, so required,) they further delivered unto him, in writing, such articles to treat upon in his sermon, as they thought then most meet and necessary for the time and causes aforesaid.

            All the aforesaid injunctions and articles, for the further manifestation thereof, I have here inserted as followeth:

            "Forasmuch as we are advertised that, amongst other disorders of our subjects at this present, there be divers of our city of London, and other places within your diocese, which, being very negligent and forgetful of their duty to Almighty God, of whom all good things are to be looked for, do assemble themselves very seldom, and fewer times than they were heretofore accustomed, unto Common Prayer, and to the Holy Communion, being now a time when it were more needful, with heart and mind, to pray to our heavenly Father for his aid and succour; whereof as we be right sorry, so we do understand that, through your evil example, and the slackness of your preaching and instructing of our said people to do their duties, this offence to God is most generally committed. For whereas heretofore, upon all principal feasts, and such as were called majus duplex, you yourself were wont to execute in person, now, since the time that we, by the advice of our whole parliament, have set a most godly and devout order in our Church of England and Ireland, ye have very seldom or never executed upon such or other days; to the contempt of our proceedings and evil example of others. And, forasmuch as it is also brought to our knowledge, that divers, as well in London, as in other places of your diocese, do frequent and haunt foreign rites and masses, and such as be not allowed by the orders of our realm, and contemn and forbear to praise and laud God, and pray unto his Majesty, after such rites and ceremonies as, in this realm, are approved and set out by our authority; and further, that adultery and fornication are maintained and kept openly and commonly in the said city of London and other places of your diocese, whereby the wrath of God is provoked against our people; of the which things you, being heretofore admonished, yet hitherto have made no redress, as to the pastoral office, authority, and cure of a bishop doth appertain: we, therefore, to whom the supreme cure and charge of this church doth appertain, to avoid from us the high indignation of Almighty God, by the advice of our most entirely beloved uncle the lord protector, and the rest of our privy council, have thought it no less than our most bounden duty, now at this present, and eftsoons peremptorily, to admonish, charge, and warn you, that you do most straitly look upon the premises, and see them so reformed that there may appear no negligence on your behalf; upon such pain as, by our laws ecclesiastical and temporal, we may inflict upon you, unto deprivation or otherwise, as shall seem to us, for quality of the offence, reasonable. And to the intent you should the better see to the reformation of the said abuses, we have thought good to give you these injunctions following:

            "First, ye shall preach at Paul's Cross in London, in proper person, the Sunday after the date hereof three weeks, and in the same sermon declare and set forth the articles hereunto annexed; and ye shall preach hereafter once every quarter of the year there, exhorting, in your sermon, the people to obedience, prayer, and godly living; and ye shall be present at every sermon hereafter made at Paul's Cross, if sickness, or some other reasonable cause, do not let you.

            "Secondly, You yourself, in person, shall from henceforth every day which heretofore was accounted in this Church of England a principal feast, or majus duplex, and at all such times as the bishops of London, your predecessors, were wont to celebrate and sing high mass, now celebrate and execute the communion at the high altar in Paul's for the better example of all others; except sickness do let.

            "Thirdly, Ye shall yourself, according to your duty and the office of a bishop, call before you all such as do not come unto and frequent the common prayer and service in the church, or do not come unto God's board, and receive the communion at least once a year; or whosoever do frequent or go unto any other rite or service than is appointed by our book, either of matins, evensong, or mass, in any church, chapel, or other private places within your diocese; and ye shall see all such offenders convented before you, and punished according unto the ecclesiastical laws, with severe and strait punishment therefore. Likewise ye shall see one only order used in your diocese, according to our said book, and none other.

            "Fourthly, Ye shall, both by yourself and all your officers under you, search out and convent before you more diligently than heretofore ye have done (as appertaineth to your office) all adulterers, and see the same punished according to the ecclesiastical laws, and to the authority given you in that behalf.

            "Fifthly, We have heard also complaints, that the church of Paul's and other churches of London, are of late more neglected, as well in reparation of the glass, as other buildings and ornaments of the same, than they were heretofore wont; and that divers and many persons in the city, of malice deny the payment of their due tithe to their curates, whereby the curates are both injured, and made not so well able, and in manner discouraged, to do their duties: the which thing also, our will and commandment is, ye shall diligently look unto, and see redressed as appertaineth.

            "Sixthly, And forasmuch as all these complaints be made, as most done and committed in London, to the intent you may look more earnestly, better, and more diligently, to the reformation of them, our pleasure is, that you shall abide and keep residence in your house there, as in the city, see, and principal place, of your diocese, and none other where, for a certain time, until you shall be otherwise licensed by us."


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