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King Richard, by the setting on of William Courtney, archbishop of Canterbury, and his fellows, taking part with the pope and Romish prelates, waxed somewhat strait and hard to the poor Christians of the contrary side of Wickliff; albeit, during all the life of the said king I find of none expressly by name that suffered burning. Notwithstanding some there were, which by the aforesaid archbishop, William Courtney, and other bishops, had been condemned; and divers also abjured, and did penance, as well in other places, as chiefly about the town of Leicester, as followeth here to be declared out of the archbishop's register and records.

{Illustration; Leicester 72}

At what time the said archbishop, William Courtney, was in his visitation at the town of Leicester, certain there were, accused and detected to him, by the monks and other priests in the said town: the names of which persons there detected were, one Roger Dexter, Nicholas Taylor, Richard Wagstaff, Michael Scrivener, William Smith, John Henry, William Parchmeanar, and Roger Goldsmith, inhabitants of the same town of Leicester. These, with other more, were denounced to the archbishop for holding the opinion of the sacrament of the altar, of auricular confession, and other sacraments, contrary to that which the Church of Rome doth preach and observe. All which parties above named, and many other more, whose names are not known, did hold these heresies and errors here underwritten, and are of the Romish Church condemned.

"1. That in the sacrament of the altar, after the words of consecration, there remaineth the body of Christ with the material bread.

"2. That images ought not to be worshipped in any case, and that no man ought to set any candle before them.

"3. That no cross ought to be worshipped.

"4. The masses and matins ought not with a high and loud voice to be said in the church.

"5. Item, that no curate or priest, taken in any crime, can consecrate, hear confessions, or minister any of the sacraments of the church.

"6. That the pope and all prelates of the church cannot bind any man with the sentence of excommunication, unless they know him to be first excommunicated of God.

"7. That no prelate of the church can grant any pardons.

"8. That every layman may in every place preach and teach the gospel.

"9. That it is sin to give any alms or charity to the friars Preachers, Minorites, Augustines, or Carmelites.

"10. That no oblation ought to be used at the funerals of the dead.

"11. That it is not necessary to make confession of our sins to the priest.

"12. That every good man, although he be unlearned, is a priest."

These articles they taught, preached, and affirmed manifestly in the town of Leicester, and other places adjoining. Whereupon the said archbishop monished the said Roger and Nicholas, with the rest, on the next day to make answer unto him in the said monastery to the aforesaid articles. But the aforesaid Roger and Nicholas, with the rest, hid themselves out of the way, and appeared not. Whereupon the archbishop, upon All-hallow day, being the first day of November, celebrating the high mass, at the high altar in the said monastery, being attired in his pontificals, denounced the said parties, with all their adherents, abettors, favourers, and counsellors, as excommunicate and accursed, which either held, taught, or maintained the aforesaid conclusions heretical and erroneous; and that in solemn wise, by ringing the bells, lighting the candles, and putting out the same again, and throwing them down to the ground, with other circumstances thereunto belonging. Upon the morrow after (being All-souls' day) he sent for all the curates and other, laymen, of the town of Leicester, to inquire more diligently of the verity of such matter as they knew, and were able to say against any persons whatsoever, concerning the aforesaid articles, as also against the parties before named and specified upon their oaths, denouncing every one of them severally by their names to be excommunicate and accursed and caused them also in divers parish churches in Leicester also to be excommunicate. And further the said archbishop interdicted the whole town of Leicester, and all the churches in the same, so long as any of the aforesaid excommunicate persons should remain or be within the same; and till that all the Lollards of the town should return and amend from such heresies and errors, obtaining at the said archbishop's hands the benefit of absolution.

At length it was declared and showed to the said archbishop, that there was a certain anchoress, whose name was Matilda, enclosed within the churchyard of St. Peter's church of the said town of Leicester, infected, as they said, with the pestiferous contagion of the aforesaid heretics and Lollards: whereupon, after that the said archbishop had examined the aforesaid Matilda, touching the aforesaid conclusions, heresies, and errors, and found her not to answer plainly and directly to the same, but sophistically and subtilly; he gave and assigned unto her a day, peremptory, personally to appear before him in the monastery of St. James at Northampton, more fully to answer to the said articles, heresies, and errors: which was the sixth day of the said month of November; commanding the abbot of the monastery of Pratis aforesaid, that the door of the recluse, in which the said Matilda was, should be opened, and that till his return he should cause her to be put in safe custody. That done, he sent forth his mandate against the Lollards, under this form:

"William, by the permission of God, &c. To his well-beloved sons, the mayor and bailiffs of the town of Leicester diocese, greeting. We have lately received the king's letters, graciously granted us for the defence of catholic faith, in these words following, Richard, by the grace of God king of England and of France, &c. We, on the behalf of our holy mother the church, by the king's authority aforesaid, do require you, that you cause the same Richard, William, Roger, and the rest, to be arrested, and sent unto us; that they with their pernicious doctrine do not infect the people of God, &c. Given under our seal," &c.

By another instrument also in the same register is mention made of one Margaret Caily, nun, which, forsaking her order, was by the said archbishop constrained, against her will, again to enter the same, as by this instrument hereunder ensuing may appear.

"William, by the grace of God, &c. To our reverend brother in God, John, by the grace of God bishop of Ely, greeting, &c. In the visitation of our diocese of Lincoln according to our office, amongst other enormities worthy reformation, we found one sheep out of our fold strayed, and amongst the briers tangled; to wit, Margaret Caily, nun professed, in the monastery of St. Radegond within your diocese; who, casting off the habit of her religion, was found in secular attire, many years being an apostate, and leading a dissolute life. And lest her blood should be required at our hands, we have caused her to be taken and brought unto you, being her pastor: and straitly enjoining you, by these presents we do command, that you admit the same Margaret again into her aforesaid monastery, although returned against her will, or else into some other place, where for her soul's health you shall think most convenient; and that from henceforth she be safely kept, as in the strait examination of the same you will yield an account. Given under our seal," &c.

By sundry other instruments also in the same register recorded, I find, that the aforesaid Matilda, the anchoress, upon the strait examination and handling of the aforesaid archbishop, before whom peremptorily she was enjoined to appear, and till that day of appearance taken out of the recluse and committed to safe custody, as you heard, retracted and recanted her aforesaid articles and opinions. For the which she, being enjoined forty days' penance, was again admitted into her aforesaid recluse in Leicester.

Also by another letter of the aforesaid archbishop to the dean of the cathedral church of our Lady of Leicester being registered, I find, that of the number of those eight persons before recited, whom the archbishop himself at high mass did in his pontificals so solemnly curse with book, bell, and candle; after certain process being sent out against them, or else in the mean time they being apprehended and taken, two of them recanted their opinions; to wit, William Smith, and Roger Dexter. But in the mean time, Alice, the wife of the said Roger Dexter, taking hold of the aforesaid articles with her husband also, together with the said William Smith, abjured the same. Notwithstanding, whether they presented themselves willingly, or else were brought against their wills, as most like it was, hard penance was enjoined them before they were absolved. These be the words of the instrument.

"Seeing our holy mother the church denieth not her lap to any penitent child returning to the unity of her, but rather proffereth to them the same; we therefore do receive again the said William, Roger, and Alice, to grace: and further have caused them to abjure all and singular the aforesaid articles and opinions, before they received of us the benefit of absolution, and were loosed from the sentence of excommunication, wherein they were snarled; enjoining unto them penance, according to the quantity of the crime, in form as followeth: that is to say, that the Sunday next after their returning to their proper goods, they, the said William, Roger, and Alice, holding every one of them an image of the crucifix in their hands, and in their left hands every one of them a taper of wax, weighing half a pound weight, in their shirts, having none other apparel upon them, do go before the cross three times during the procession of the cathedral church of our Lady of Leicester; that is to say, in the beginning of the procession, in the middle of the procession, and in the latter end of the procession; to the honour of Him that was crucified, in the memorial of his passion, and to the honour of the Virgin his mother: who also, devoutly bowing their knees and kneeling, shall kiss the same crucifix so held in their hands: and so, with the same procession, they entering again into the church, shall stand, during all the time of the holy mass, before the image of the cross, with their tapers and crosses in their hands; and when the mass is ended, the said William, Roger, and Alice shall offer to him that celebrated that day the mass.

"Then, upon the Saturday next ensuing, the said William, Roger, and Alice, shall, in the full and public market, within the town of Leicester, stand in like manner in their shirts, without any more clothes upon their bodies, holding the aforesaid crosses in their right hands; which crosses three times they shall, during the market, devoutly kiss, reverently kneeling upon their knees: that is, in the beginning of the market, in the middle of the market, and in the end of the market. And the said William, for that he somewhat understandeth the Latin tongue, shall say this anthem with the collect, Sancta Katharina, and the aforesaid Roger and Alice, being unlearned, shall say devoutly a Pater Noster, and an Ave Maria. And thirdly, the Sunday next immediately after the same, the said William, Roger, and Alice, in their parish church of the said town of Leicester, shall stand and do, as, upon the Sunday before they stood and did in the cathedral church of our Lady aforesaid in all things which done, the aforesaid William, Roger, and Alice, after mass, shall offer to the priest or chaplain that celebrated the same, with all humility and reverence, the wax tapers, which they shall carry in their hands. And because of the cold weather that now is, lest the aforesaid penitents might peradventure take some bodily hurt, standing so long naked, (being mindful to moderate partly the said our rigour,) we give leave, that after their entrance into the churches abovesaid, whilst they shall he in hearing the aforesaid masses, they may put on necessary garments to keep them from cold, so that their heads and feet notwithstanding be bare and uncovered. We, therefore, will and command you, together and apart, that you denounce the said William, Roger, and Alice, to be absolved and restored again to the unity of our holy mother the church, and that you call them forth to do their penance in manner and form aforesaid. Given at Dorchester, the seventeenth day of November, in theyear of our Lord God 1389, and the ninth year of our translation."

Unto the narration of these abovesaid, we will adjoin the story of one Peter Pateshul, an Austin friar, who, obtaining by the pope's privilege, through the means of Walter Dis, confessor to the duke of Lancaster, liberty to change his coat and religion, and hearing the doctrine of John Wickliff and other of the same sort, began at length to preach openly, and to detect the vices of his order, in such sort as all men wondered to hear the horrible reciting thereof. This being brought to the ears of his order, they, to the number of twelve, coming out of their houses to the place where he was preaching, thought to have withstood him by force: among whom one especially, for the zeal of his religion, stood up openly in his preaching, and contraried that which he said; who then was preaching in the church of St. Christopher in London. This when the faithful Londoners did see, taking grief hereat, they were moved with great ire against the said friar, thrusting him with his other brethren out of the church, whom they not only had beaten and sore wounded, but also followed them home to their house, minding to have destroyed their mansion with fire also; and so would have done, had not one of the sheriffs of London, with two of the friars of the said house, well known and reported amongst the Londoners, with gentle words mitigated their rage and violence. After this, Peter Pateshul thus disturbed, as is aforesaid, was desired by the Londoners, forasmuch as he could not well preach amongst them, to put in writing that which he had said before, and other things more that he knew of the friars; who then, at their request, writing the same, accused the friars of murder committed against divers of their brethren. And to make the matter more apparent and credible, he declared the names of them that were murdered, with the names also of their tormentors; and named, moreover, time and place, where and when they were murdered, and where they were buried. He affirmed further, that they were sodomites, and traitors both to the king and the realm; with many other crimes, which mine author for tediousness leaveth off to recite. And for the more confutation of the said friars, the Londoners caused the said bill to be openly set up at St. Paul's church-door in London, which was there read and copied out of very many. This was done in the year of our Lord 1387, and in the tenth year of King Richard the Second.

Thus it may appear, by this and other above recited, how the gospel of Christ, preached by John Wickliff and others, began to spread and fructify abroad in London, and other places of the realm; and more would have done, no doubt, had not William Courtney, the archbishop, and other prelates, with the king, set them so forcibly, with might and main, to gainstand the course thereof: albeit, as is said before, I find none which yet were put to death therefore, during the reign of this King Richard the Second; whereby it is to be thought of this king, that although he cannot utterly be excused for molesting the godly and innocent preachers of that time, (as by his briefs and letters aforementioned may appear,) yet neither was he so cruel against them, as other that came after him; and that which he did, seemed to proceed by the instigation of the pope and other bishops, rather than either by the consent of his parliament, or advice of his council about him, or else by his own nature. For, as the decrees of the parliament in all his time were constant in stopping out the pope's provisions, and in bridling his authority, as we shall see (Christ willing) anon; so the nature of the king was not altogether so fiercely set, if that he, following the guiding thereof, had not stood so much in fear of the bishop of Rome and his prelates, by whose importunate letters and calling on, he was continually urged to do contrary to that which both right required, and will, perhaps, in him desired. But howsoever the doings of this king are to be excused, or not, undoubted it is, that Queen Anne, his wife, most rightly deserveth singular commendation; who at the same time, living with the king, had the Gospels of Christ in English, with four doctors upon the same. This Anne was a Bohemian born, and sister to Wencislaus, king of Bohemia before; who was married to King Richard, about the fifth (some say the sixth) year of his reign, and continued with him the space of eleven years: by the occasion whereof it may seem not improbable, that the Bohemians coming in with her, or resorting into this realm after her, perused and received here the books of John Wickliff, which afterward they conveyed into Bohemia, whereof partly mention is made before.

The said virtuous Queen Anne, after she had lived with King Richard about eleven years, in the seventeenth year of his reign changed this mortal life, and was buried at Westminster; at whose funeral Thomas Arundel, then archbishop of York, and lord chancellor, made the sermon; in which sermon, as remaineth in the library of Worcester recorded, he, treating of the commendation of her, said these words, That it was more joy of her than of any woman that ever he knew; for, notwithstanding that she was an alien born, she had in English all the four Gospels, with the doctors upon them: affirming, moreover, and testifying, that she had sent the same unto him to examine; and he said, they were good and true. And, further, with many words of praise he did greatly commend her, in that she, being so great a lady, and also an alien, would study so lowly, so virtuous books; and he blamed in that sermon sharply the negligence of the prelates and other men: insomuch that some said, he would on the morrow leave up the office of chancellor, and forsake the world, and give him to fulfil his pastoral office, for what he had seen and read in those hooks; and then it had been the best sermon that ever they heard.

In the which sermon of Thomas Arundel, three points are to be considered: First, the laudable use of those old times received, to have the Scripture and doctors in our vulgar English tongue. Secondly, the virtuous exercise and also example of this godly lady, who had these books not for a show hanging at her girdle; but also seemed, by this sermon, to be a studious occupier of the same. The third thing to be noted is, what fruit the said Thomas, archbishop, declared also himself to receive at the hearing and reading of the same books of hers in the English tongue. Notwithstanding, the same Thomas Arundel, after this sermon and promise made, became the most cruel enemy that might be against English books, and the authors thereof; as followeth after in his story to be seen. For shortly after the death of Queen Anne, the same year (the king being then in Ireland) this Thomas Arundel, archbishop of York, and Robert Braybrocke, bishop of London, (whether sent by the archbishop of Canterbury and the clergy, or whether going of their own accord,) crossed the seas to Ireland, to desire the king in all speedy wise to return and help the faith and church of Christ, against such as, holding of Wickliff's teaching, went about, as they said, to subvert all their proceedings, and to destroy the canonical sanctions of their holy mother church. At whose complaint, the king hearing the one part speak, and not advising the other, was in such sort incensed, that incontinently, leaving all his affairs uncomplete, he sped his return toward England, having kept his Christmas at Dublin; in the which mean time, in the beginning of the next year following, which was A. D. 1395, a parliament was called at Westminster by the commandment of the king. In which parliament certain articles or conclusions were put up by them of the Gospel's side, to the number of twelve; which conclusions, moreover, were fastened up upon the church-door of St. Paul in London, and also at Westminster: the copy of which conclusions, with the words and contents thereof, hereunder ensue.

"The first conclusion: -- When the Church of England began first to dote in temporalties after her stepmother the great Church of Rome, and the churches were authorized by appropriations; faith, hope, and charity began in divers places to vanish and fly away from our church, forasmuch as pride, with her most lamentable and dolorous genealogy of mortal and deadly sins, did challenge that place by title of heritage. And this conclusion is general, and approved by experience, custom, and manner, as ye shall after hear.

"The second conclusion, That our usual priesthood, which took its original at Rome, and is feigned to be a power higher than angels, is not that priesthood which Christ ordained unto his disciples. This conclusion is thus proved, forasmuch as the Romish priesthood is done with signs, and pontifical rites, and ceremonies, and benedictions, of no force and effect, neither having any ground in Scripture; forasmuch as the bishop's ordinal, and the New Testament, do nothing at all agree; neither do we sce that the Holy Ghost doth give any good gift through any such signs or ceremonies, because that he, together with all noble and good gifts, cannot consist and be in any person with deadly sin. The corollary or effect of this conclusion is, That it is a lamentable and dolorous mockery unto wise men, to see the bishops mock and play with the Holy Ghost in the giving of their orders; because they give crowns for their characters and marks, instead of white hearts; and this character is the mark of antichrist, brought into the holy church to cloak and colour their idleness.

"The third conclusion, -- That the law of chastity enjoined unto priesthood, the which was first ordained to the prejudice of women, induceth infamy into the church; but we do excuse us by the Bible, because the suspect decree doth say, that we should not name it. Both reason and experience prove this conclusion. Reason thus: forasmuch as the delicate feeding and fare of the clergy will have either a natural purgation, or some worse. Experience thus: forasmuch as the secret trial and proof of such men is, that they do delight in women; and whensoever thou dost prove or see such a man, mark him well, for he is one of that number. The corollary of this conclusion is, That these private religions, with the beginners thereof, ought most chiefly to be disannulled, as the original of that sin and offence: but God of his might doth, for privy sins, send open vengeance.

"The fourth conclusion, that most harmeth the innocent people, is this, That the famed miracle of the sacrament of bread induceth all men, except it be a very few, unto idolatry; forasmuch as they think that the body, which shall never be out ofheaven, is by the virtue of the priest's words essentially included in the little bread, the which they do show unto the people. But would to God they would believe that which the evangelical doctor teacheth us in his Trialogue, that the bread of the altar is the body of Christ accidentally: forasmuch as we suppose that by that means every faithful man and woman in the law of God may make the sacrament of that bread without any such miracle. The corollary of this conclusion is, That albeit the body of Christ be endowed with the eternal joy, the service of Corpus Christi, made by friar Thomas, is not true, but painted full of false miracles; neither is it any marvel, forasmuch as friar Thomas, at that time taking part with the pope, would have made a miracle of a hen's egg; and we know it very well, that every lie, openly preached and taught, doth turn to the rebuke and opprobrium of Him, which is always true without any lack.

"The fifth conclusion is this, That the exorcisms and hallowings, consecrations and blessings, over the wine, bread, wax, water, oil, salt, incense, the altar-stone, and about the church-walls, over the vestment, chalice, mitre, cross, and pilgrim-staves, are the very practices of necromancy, rather than of sacred divinity. This conclusion is thus proved: because that by such exorcisms the creatures are honoured to be of more force and power than by their own proper nature; for we do not see any alteration or change in any creature so exorcised, except it be by false faith, which is the principal point of devilish art. The corollary of this is, That if the book of exorcisation or conjuring of holy water, which is sprinkled in the church, were altogether faithful and true, we think certainly that holy water used in the church, were the best medicine for all kind of sickness and sores; the contrary whereof daily experience doth teach us.

"The sixth conclusion, which maintaineth much pride, is, That a king and bishop both in one person, a prelate and justice in temporal causes, a curate and officer in worldly office, doth make every kingdom out of good order. This conclusion is manifest, because the temporalty and spiritualty are two parts of the holy universal church; and therefore he which addicteth himself to the one part, let him not intermeddle with the other; wherefore to be called amphroditæ, which are men of both kinds, or ambodextri, which is such as can play with both hands, were good names for such men of double estates. The corollary of this conclusion is, That thereupon we, the procurators of God, in this case do sue unto the parliament, that it may be enacted, that all such as be of the clergy, as well of the highest degree as of the lowest, should be fully excused, and occupy themselves with their own cure and charge, and not with others.

"The seventh conclusion that we mightily affirm is, That spiritual prayers made in the church for the souls of the dead, preferring any one by name more than another, is a false foundation of alms, whereupon all the houses of alms in England are falsely founded. This conclusion is proved by two reasons: the one is, that a meritorious prayer (of any force or effect) ought to be a work proceeding from mere charity; and perfect charity accepteth no person, because thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Whereby it appeareth that the benefit of any temporal gift, bestowed and given unto priests and houses of alms, is the principal cause of any special prayers, the which is not far different from simony. The other reason is, that every special prayer, made for men condemned to eternal punishment, is very displeasant before God; and albeit it be doubtful, yet it is very likely unto the faithful Christian people, that the founders of every such house of alms, for their wicked endowing of the same, are, for the most part, passed by the broad way. The corollary is, that every prayer of force and effect, proceeding of perfect charity, would comprehend generally all such whom God would have saved, and to live. The merchandise of special prayers now used for the dead, maketh mendicant possessioners and other hireling priests; which, otherwise, were strong enough to work and to serve the whole realm; and maintaineth the same in idleness, to the great charge of the realm, because it was proved in a certain book which the king hath, that a hundred houses of alms are sufficient for the whole realm; and thereby might, peradventure, greater increase and profit come unto the temporalty.

"The eighth conclusion, needful to tell to the people beguiled, is, That pilgrimages, prayers, and oblations made unto blind crosses or roods, or to deaf images made either of wood or stone, are very near of kin unto idolatry, and far different from alms: and, albeit that these things which are forbidden and imagined are the books of errors unto the common people, notwithstanding the usual and common image of the Trinity is most especially abominable. This conclusion God himself doth openly manifest, commanding alms to be given to the poor and needy man, for he is the image of God, in a more perfect similitude and likeness, than any block or stone. For God did not say, Let us make a block or stone unto our likeness and image, but, Let us make man; forasmuch as the supreme and highest honour, which the clergy call Latria, pertaineth only to the Godhead, and the inferior honour, which the clergy call Dulia, pertaineth unto men and angels, and to none other inferior creature. The corollary is, That the service of the cross, celebrated twice every year in our church, is full of idolatry: for if rood, tree, nails, and spear, ought so profoundly to be honoured and worshipped, then were Judas's lips, if any man could get them, a marvellous goodly relic. But thou, pilgrim, we pray thee tell us, when thou dost offer to the bones of the saints and holy men which are laid up in any place, whether dost thou relieve thereby the holy man which is already in joy, or that alms-house which is so well endowed, where they are canonized, the Lord knoweth how? and to speak more plainly, every faithful Christian may well judge and suppose that the strokes of that same man, whom they call St. Thomas, were no cause of martyrdom, nor yet be.

"The ninth conclusion, that keepeth the people low, is, That auricular confession, which is said to be so necessary for salvation, and the feigned power of absolution, exalteth and setteth up the pride of priests, and giveth them opportunity of other secret talks, which we will not at this time talk of; forasmuch as both lords and ladies do witness, that for fear of their confessors they dare not speak the truth: and in time of confession is good opportunity ministered of wooing, or to play the bawd, or to make other secret conventions to deadly sin. They affirm and say, that they are commissaries sent of God to judge and discern of all manner of sin, to pardon and cleanse whatsoever please them. They say also, that they have the keys of heaven and hell, and that they can excommunicate, curse and bless, bind and loose, at their own will and pleasure: insomuch, that for a small reward, or for twelve pence, they will sell the blessing of heaven by charter and clause of warranty, sealed by their common seal. This conclusion is so commonly in use, that it needeth not any probation. The corollary hereof is, That the pope of Rome which feigned himself to be the profound treasurer of the whole church, having that same worthy jewel, which is the treasure of the passion of Christ, in his own keeping and custody, together with the merits of all the saints in heaven, whereby he giveth feigned indulgences and pardons a pna et culpa, is a treasurer almost banished out of charity, whereby he may deliver all captives being in purgatory at his pleasure, and make them not to come there. But here every faithful Christian may easily perceive that there is much falsehood hid in our church.

"The tenth, That manslaughter, either by war or by any pretended law of justice, for any temporal cause or spiritual revelation, is expressly contrary unto the New Testament, which is the law of grace, full of mercy. This conclusion is evidently proved by the examples of the preaching of Christ here on earth, who chiefly teacheth every man to love his enemies, and to have compassion upon them, and not to kill and murder them. The reason is this, that for the most part when men do fight, after the first stroke, charity is broken; and whosoever dieth without charity, goeth the right way to hell. And beside that, we do well understand and know, that none of the clergy, by any lawful reason, can deliver any from the punishment of death for one deadly sin, and not for another: but the law of mercy, which is the New Testament, forbiddeth all manner of murder. For in the gospel it is spoken unto our forefathers, Thou shalt not kill. The corollary is, It is a very robbing of the people, when lords purchase indulgences and pardons a pna et culpa, unto such as do help their armies to kill and murder the Christian people in foreign countries, for temporal gain; as we do see certain soldiers which do run among the heathen people, to get themselves fame and renown by the murder and slaughter of men. Much more do they deserve evil thanks at the hands of the King of Peace, forasmuch as by humility and peace our faith is multiplied and increased; for murderers and man-quellers Christ doth hate, and menaceth, He that striketh with the sword, shall perish with the sword.

"The eleventh conclusion is, which is shame to tell, That the vow of chastity, made in our church by women that are frail and imperfect in nature, is the cause of bringing in many great and horrible offences and vices, incident unto the nature of man: for, albeit the murder of their children born before their time, and before they are christened, and the destruction of their nature by medicine, are filthy and foul sins; yet they, accompanying among themselves, do pass to such unseemliness, that they ought to be punished by infernal torments. The corollary is, That widows, and such as take the mantle and the ring, deliciously fed, we would that they were married, because that we cannot excuse them from private offence of sin.

"The twelfth, That the multitude of arts not necessary, used in this our church, causeth much sin and offence in waste, curiosity, and disguising in curious apparel: experience and reason partly doth show the same, forasmuch as nature, with a few arts, is sufficient for man's use and necessity.

"This is the whole tenor of our embassage, which Christ hath commanded us to prosecute at this time, most fit and convenient for many causes. And, albeit that these matters be here briefly noted and touched, yet, notwithstanding, they are more at large declared in another book, with many other more in our own proper tongue, which we would should be common to all Christian people. Wherefore, we earnestly desire and beseech God, for his great goodness' sake, that he will wholly reform our church, now altogether out of frame, unto the perfection of her first beginning and original."

Certain verses were annexed unto the conclusions, which are thus Englished:

"The English nation doth lament, of these vile men their sin,
Which Paul doth plainly signify, by idols to begin.
But Giersites, full ingrate, from sinful Simon sprung,
This to defend, though priests in name, make bulwarks great and strong.
Ye princes, therefore, which to rule the people God hath placed,
With justice' sword, why see ye not, this evil great defaced."

After these conclusions were thus proposed in the parliament, the king not long after returned home from Dublin into England, towards the latter end of the parliament. Who at his return called certain of his nobles unto him, Richard Stury, Lewis Clifford, Thomas Latimer, John Mountacute, &c., whom he did sharply rebuke, and did terribly threaten, for that he heard them to be favourers of that side; charging them straitly, never to hold, maintain, nor favour any more those opinions and conclusions: and namely of Richard Stury he took an oath, that he should never, from that day, favour or defend any such opinions, which oath being taken, the king then answered, "And I swear," saith he, "again to thee, that if thou dost ever break thine oath, thou shalt die for it a shameful death," &c.

All this while, William Courtney, archbishop of Canterbury, was yet alive, who was a great stirrer in these matters; but yet Pope Urban, the great master of the Romish sect, was dead and buried six years before, after whom succeeded in the schismatical see of Rome Pope Boniface the Ninth, who, nothing inferior to his predecessor in all kind of cruelties, left no diligence unattempted to set forward that which Urban had begun, in suppressing them that were setters-forth of the light of the gospel; and had written sundry times to King Richard, as well for the repealing of the acts of parliament against his provisions, as also that he should assist the prelates of England in the cause of God, as he pretended, against such, whom he falsely suggested to be Lollards, and traitors to the church, to the king, and the realm. Thus the courteous pope, whom he could not reach with his sword, at least, with cruel slander of his malicious tongue, would work his poison against them; which letter he wrote to the king in the year of our Lord 1396, which was the year before the death of William Courtney, archbishop of Canterbury; after whom succeeded in that see Thomas Arundel, brother to the earl of Arundel, being first bishop of Ely, afterward archbishop of York, and lord chancellor of England; and at last made archbishop of Canterbury about the year of our Lord 1397. The next year following, which was the year of our Lord 1398, and the ninth year of the pope, I find, in certain records of the bishop of Durham, a certain letter of King Richard the Second, written to the said Pope Boniface, which, because I judged not unworthy to be seen, I thought here to annex the same, proceeding in form as followeth:

"To the most holy father in Christ, and lord, Lord Boniface the Ninth, by the grace of God high pope of the most holy Romish and universal church, his humble and devout son Richard, by the grace of God, king of England and France, lord of Ireland, greeting, and desiring to help the miseries of the afflicted church, and kissing of those his blessed feet:

"Who will give my head water, and mine eyes streaming tears, that I may bewail the decay, and manifold troubles of our mother, which have chanced to her by her own children in the distresses of this present schism and division? For the sheep have forgotten the proper voice of their shepherds, and hirelings have thrust in themselves to feed the Lord's flock, who are clothed with the apparel of the true shepherd, challenging the name of honour and dignity; resembling so the true shepherd, that the poor sheep can scarce know whom they ought to follow; or what pastor, as a stranger, they ought to flee; and whom they should shun as an hireling. Wherefore, we are afraid lest the holy standard of the Lord be forsaken of his host, and so that city, being full of riches, become solitary and desolate, and lest the land or people which was wont to say, flourishing in her prosperities, I sat as a queen, and am not a widow, be destitute of the presence of her husband, and, as it were, so bewitched, that she shall not be able to discern his face, and so wrapped in mazes, that she shall not know where to turn her; that she might more easily find him, and that she shall with weeping speak that saying of the spouse, I sought him whom my soul loveth; I sought him and found him not. For now we are compelled so to wander, that if any man say, Behold, here is Christ, or there, we may not believe him so saying; and so many shepherds have destroyed the Lord's vineyard, and made his amiable portion a waste wilderness.

"This multitude of shepherds is become very burdensome to the Lord's flock: for when two strive to be chief, the state of both their dignities stands in doubt, and, in so doing, they give occasion to all the faithful of Christ for a schism and division of the church. And although both parties go about to subdue unto their power the whole church militant, yet, contrary to both their purposes, by working this way, there beginneth to rise now a division in the body of the church, like as when the division of the quick innocent body was asked, when the two harlots did strive before Solomon; like as the ten tribes of Israel followed Jeroboam the intruder, and were withdrawn from the kingdom for Solomon's sin: even so, of old time, the desire of ruling hath drawn the great power of the world from the unity of the church. Let yourselves remember, we beseech you, how that all Greece did fall from the obedience of the Romish Church, in the time of the faction of the patriarch of Constantinople; and how Mahomet, with his fellows, by occasion of supremacy in ecclesiastical dignity, deceived a great part of the Christians, and withdrew them from the empire and ruling of Christ; and now, in these days, where the same supremacy is, hath withdrawn itself from the obedience of it; insomuch that now, in very few realms the candle that burns before the Lord remaineth, and that for David's sake, his servant. And, although now remain few countries professing the obedience of Christ's true vicar, yet, peradventure, if every man were left to his own liberty, he would doubt of the preferring of your dignity, or, what is worse, would utterly refuse it by such doubtful evidence alleged on both sides: and this is the subtle craft of the crooked serpent, that is to say, under the pretence of unity, to procure schisms, as the spider of a wholesome flower gathers poison, and Judas learned of peace to make war.

"Wherefore it is lively believed of wise men, that except this pestilent schism be withstood, by and by, the keys of the church will be despised, and they shall bind the conscience but of a few: and when either none dare be bold to correct this fault, or to reform things contrary to God's law; so, by this means, at length temporal lords will take away the liberties of the church, and, peradventure, the Romans will come and take away their place, people, and lands: they will spoil their possessions, and bring the men of the church into bondage, and they shall be contemned, reviled, and despised, because the obedience of the people, and devotions towards them, will almost be taken away; when the greater part of the church, left to their own liberty, shall wax prouder than they be wont, leaving a wicked example to them that do see it. For when they see the prelates study more for covetousness than they were wont, to purse up money, to oppress the subjects, in their punishings to seek for gain, to confound laws, to stir up strife, to suppress truth, to vex poor subjects with wrong corrections, in meat and drink intemperate, in feastings past shame: what marvel is it if the people despise them as the foulest forsakers of God's law? But all these things do follow if the church should be left long in this doubtfulness of a schism, and then should that old saying be verified; In those days there was no king in Israel, but every one did that that seemed right and straight to himself. Micaiah did see the people of the Lord scattered in the mountains, as they had been sheep without a shepherd; for when the shepherd is smitten, the sheep of the flock shall be scattered: the great stroke of the shepherd is the minishing of his jurisdiction, by which the subjects are drawn from his obedience. When Jason had the office of the highest priest, he changed the ordinance of God, and brought in the customs of the heathen; the priests leaving the service of the holy altar, and applying themselves to wrestling, and other exercises of the Grecians, and despising those things that belonged to the priests, did labour with all their might to learn such things of the Grecians; and by that means the place, people, and holy anointing of priests, which, in times past, were had in great reverence of kings, were trodden under foot of all men, and robbed by the king's power, and was profaned by thrusting in for money. Therefore, let the highest vicar of Christ look unto this with a diligent eye, and let him be the follower of him by whom he hath gotten authority above others.

"If you mark well, most holy father! you shall find that Christ rebuked sharply two brethren, coveting the seat of honour: he taught them not to play the lords over the people, but the more grace they were prevented with, to be so much more humble than other, and more lowly to serve their brethren; to him that asked his coat, to give the cloak; to him that smote him on the one cheek, to turn the other to him. For the sheep that are given to his keeping he must forsake all earthly things, and to shed his own blood, yea, and if need required, to die. These things, I say, be those that adorn the highest bishop, if they be in him; not purple, not his white horse, not his imperial crown, because he, among all men, is most bound to all the sheep of Christ. For the fear of God, therefore, and for the love of the flock which ye guide, consider these things diligently, and do them wisely, and suffer us no longer to waver betwixt two: although not for your own cause, to whom peradventure the fulness of your own power is known, yet in pitying our weakness, if thou be he, tell us openly, and show thyself to the world, that all we may follow one. Be not to us a bloody bishop, lest,by your occasion, man's blood be shed; lest hell swallow such a number of souls, and lest the name of Christ be evil spoken of by infidels, through such a worthy personage. But, peradventure ye will say, for our righteousness it is manifest enough, and we will not put it to other men's disputation. If this bald answer should be admitted, the schism should continue still; seeing neither part is willing to agree to the other, and that where the world is, as it were, equally divided betwixt them, neither part can be compelled to give place to the other without much bloodshed. The incarnation of Christ and his resurrection was well enough known to himself and his disciples; yet he asked of his Father to be made known to the world. He made also the gospel to be written, and the doctrine of the apostles, and sent his apostles into all the world, to do the office of preaching, that the same thing might be known to all men. The foresaid reason is the subtlety of Mahomet, who, knowing himself guilty of his sect, utterly forbade disputations. If ye have so full trust of your righteousness, put it to the examinations of worthy persons in a general council, to the which it belongeth by right to define such doubts, or else commit it unto able persons, and give them full power to determine all things concerning that matter; or, at the least, by forsaking the office on both parties, leave the church of God free, speedily to provide for a new shepherd.

"We find kings have forsaken their temporal kingdoms, only upon respect of devotion, and have taken the apparel of monks' profession. Therefore let Christ's vicar (being a professor of most high holiness) be ashamed to continue in his seat of honour to the offence of all people, and the prejudice and hurt of the Romish Church, and the devotion of it, and cutting away kingdoms from it.

"But if you say, It is not requisite that the cause of God's church should be called in controversy, and, therefore, we cannot so easily go from it, seeing our conscience gainsayeth it: to this we answer, If it be the cause of God and the church, let the general council judge of it; but if it be a personal cause, (as almost all the world probably thinketh,) if ye were the followers of Christ, ye would rather choose a temporal death, than to suffer such a wavering, I say not, to the hurt of so many, but to the endless destruction of souls, to the offence of the whole world, and to an everlasting shame of the apostolical dignity. Did not Clement, named, or (that I may more truly speak) ordained of St. Peter to the apostolical dignity, and to be bishop, resign his right, that his deed might be taken of his successors for an example? Also Pope Siricius gave over his popedom to be a comfort of the eleven thousand virgins; therefore much more ought you (if need require) give over your popedom, that you might gather together the children of God which be scattered abroad. For, as it is thought a glorious thing to defend the common right, even to bloodshed; so is it sometimes necessary for a man to wink at his own cause, and to forsake it for a greater profit, and by that means better to procure peace. Should not he be thought a devil and Christ's enemy of all men, that would agree to an election made of him for the apostolical dignity and popedom, if it should be to the destruction of Christians, the division of the church, the offence and loss of all faithful people? If such mischiefs should be known to all the world by God's revelation to come to pass, by such receiving of the popedom and apostolical dignity: then, by the like reason, why shall he not be judged of all men an apostate, and forsaker of his faith, which chooseth dignity, or worldly honour, rather than the unity of the church? Christ died that he might gather together the children of God, which are scattered abroad: but such an enemy of God and the church wisheth his subjects bodily to die in battle, and the more part of the world to perish in soul, rather than, forsaking to be pope, to live in a lower state, although it were honourable. If the fear of God, the desire of the heavenly kingdom, and the earnest love of the unity of the church, do move your heart, show indeed that your works may bear record to the truth. Clement and Siricius, most holy popes, not only are not reproved, but rather are reverenced of all men, because they gave over their right for profitable causes, and for the same cause all the church of holy men show forth their praise. Likewise your name should live for ever and ever, if ye would do the like for necessary cause, that is to say, for the unity of God's church. Give no heed to the unmeasurable cryings of them that say, that the right choosing of popes is lost, except ye defend your part manfully: but be afraid, lest such stirrers up of mischief look for their own commodity or honour, that is to say, that under your wing they might be promoted to riches and honour. After this sort Ahithophel was joined with Absalom in persecuting his own father, and false usurping of his kingdom.

"Furthermore, there should be no jeopardy to that election, because both parties stick stiffly to the old fashion of election, and either of them covet the pre-eminence of the Romish Church, counselling all Christians to obey them. And although, through their giving over, the fashion of choosing the pope should be changed for a time, it were to be borne, rather than to suffer any longer this division in God's church. For that fashion in choosing is not so necessarily required to the state of a pope, but the successor of the apostle, as necessary cause required, might come in at the door by another fashion of choosing, and that canonical enough. And this we are taught manifestly by examples of the fathers; for Peter the apostle appointed after him Clement, and that not by false usurping of power, as we suppose; and it was thought that that fashion of appointing popes was lawful unto the time of Pope Hilary, which decreed that no pope should appoint his successor.

"Afterwards, the election of the pope went by the clergy and people of Rome, and the cmperor's council agreeing thereto, as it appeareth in the election of the blessed Gregory; but Pope Martin, with the consent of the holy synod, granted Charles the power to choose the pope: but of late, Nicholas the Second was the first whom Martin makes mention of in his councils to be chosen by the cardinals. But all the bishops of Lombardy, for the most part, withstood this election, and chose Cadulus to be pope, saying, that the pope ought not to be chosen but of the precinct of Italy. Wherefore we think it not a safe way so earnestly to stick to the traditions of men, in the fashion of choosing the pope, and so oft to change, lest we be thought to break God's traditions concerning the unity of the church: yea; rather, it were better yet to ordain a new fashion of his election, and meeter for him than as it hath been afore. But all things concerning the same election might be kept safe, if God's honour were looked for before your own, and the peace of the church were uprightly sought; for such a dishonouring should be most honour unto you, and that giving place should be the getting of a greater dignity, and the willing deposing of your honour should obtain you the entry of everlasting honour, and should procure the love of the whole world towards you, and you should deserve to be exalted continually, as David was in humbling himself.

"Oh how monstrous a sight, and how foul a monster, is a man's body disfigured with two heads! So, if it were possible, the spouse of Christ should be made so monstrous, if she were ruled with two such heads; but that is not possible: she is ever altogether fair, in whom no spot is found; therefore we must cast away that rotten member, and thruster-in of his second head. We cannot suffer any longer so great a wickedness in God's house, that we should suffer God's coat that wants a seam, by any means to be torn by the hands of two, that violently draw it in sunder; for if these two should be suffered to reign together, they would so betwixt them tear in pieces that little coat of the Lord, that scarce one piece would hang to another. They pass the wickedness of the soldiers that crucified Christ; for they, willing to have the coat whole, said, Let us not cut it, but let us cast lots for it whose it shall be: but these two popes, suffering their right and title to be tried by no lot nor way, although not in words yet in deeds, they pronounce this sentence, It shall neither be thine nor mine, but let it be divided; for they choose rather, as it appeareth, to be lords, though it be but in a little part, and that to the confusion of the unity of the church, than in leaving that lording, to seek for the peace of the church. We do not affirm this, but we show almost the whole judgment of the world of them; being moved so to think by likely conjectures. We looked for amendment of this intolerable confusion, by the space that these two inventors of this mischief lived. But we looked for peace, and behold trouble; for, neither in their lives nor in their deaths, they procured any comfort, but rather, dying as it were in a doubt betwixt two ways, left to their successors matter of contention continual. But now, for the space of seven years, whereas of their successors we desired and looked for that they should bear good grapes, and they bring forth wild grapes; in this matter we fall into a deep despair. But inasmuch as we hear the comfort of the Lord, which promised that miserably he would destroy those wicked men, and let his vineyard to other husbandmen which will bring him fruit at their times appointed, and hath promised faithfully that he will help his spouse in her need to the end of the world; we, leaning on the sure hope of this promise, and in hope contrary to hope believing, by God's grace will put our helping hands to the easing of this misery, when a convenient time shall serve, as much as our kingly power is able; and although our wit doth not perceive how these things afore rehearsed may be amended, yet we, being encouraged to this by the hope of God's promise, will do our endeavour; like as Abraham believed, his son being slain by sacrifice, that the multitude of his seed should increase to the number of the stars, according to God's promise.

"Now, therefore, the times draw near to make an end of this schism, lest a third election of a schismatic against the apostles' successor make a custom of the doing, and so the pope of Avignon shall be double Romish pope, and he shall say with his partakers, as the patriarch of Constantinople said unto Christ's vicar when he forsook him: The Lord be with thee, for the Lord is with us; and is much to be feared of all Christian men, for that Pharisee begins now to be called the pope of Avignon among the people.

"But peradventure it would be thought of some men, that it belongeth not to secular princes to.bridle outrages of the pope. To whom we answer, that naturally the members put themselves in jeopardy to save the head, and the parts labour to save the whole. Christ so decked his spouse, that her sides should cleave together, and should uphold themselves, and by course of time and occasion of things they should correct one another, and cleave together tunably. Did not Moses put down Aaron, because he was unfaithful? Solomon put down Abiathar, who came by lineal descent from Anathoth, and removed his priesthood from his kindred to the stock of Eleazar in the person of Zadok, which had his beginning from Eli the priest? Otho also, the emperor, deposed Pope John the Twelfth, because he was lecherous. Henry the emperor put down Gratian, because he used simony in buying and selling spiritual livings. And Otho deposed Pope Benedict the First, because he thrust in himself. Therefore, by like reason, why may not kings and princes bridle the Romish pope in default of the church, if the quality of his fault require it, or the necessity of the church, by this means, compel to help the church oppressed by tyranny? In old time schisms, which rose about making the pope, were determined by the power of secular princes; as the schism betwixt Symmachus and Laurence was ended in a council before Theodoric, king of Italy. Henry the emperor, when two did strive to be pope, deposed them both, and received the third, being chosen at Rome to be pope, that is to say, Clement the Second, which crowned him with the imperial crown; and the Romans promised him that from thenceforth they would promote none to be pope without his consent. Alexander also overcame four popes, schismatics; all which Frederic the emperor corrected.

"Thus, look on the register of popes and their deeds, and ye shall find that schisms most commonly have been decided by the power of secular princes; the schismatics cast out, and sometimes new popes made, and sometimes the old ones cast out of their dignities, and restored to their old dignities again. If it were not lawful for secular princes to bridle the outrages of such a pope lawfully made, and afterward becoming a tyrant; in such a case he might oppress over-much the church, he might change Christendom into heathens, and make the labour of Christ crucified to be in vain: or else truly God should not have provided for his spouse in earth, by all means, as much as is possible, by service of men to withstand dangers. Therefore we counsel you, with such a loving affection as becomes children, that ye consider in your heart well, lest, in working by this means, ye prepare a way to antichrist through your desire to bear rule, and so by this means as we fear the one of these two shall chance, either ye shall cause all the princes of this world to rise against you to bring in a true follower of Christ to have the state of the apostolical dignity; or, that is worse, the whole world, despising the ruling of one shepherd, shall leave the Romish Church desolate. But God keep this from the world, that the desire of honour of two men should bring such a desolation into the church of God: for then, that departing away which the apostle prophesied, should come before the coming of antichrist were at hand, which should be the last disposition of the world, peaceably to receive antichrist with honour. Consider, therefore, the state of your most excellent Holiness, how ye received the power from God to the building of the church, and not to the destruction of it; that Christ hath given you wine and oil to heal the wounded, and hath appointed you his vicar in these things which pertain to gentleness, and hath given us those things which serve to rigour. For we bear not the sword without a cause to the punishment of evil-doers, the which power, ordained of God, we have received, ourselves being witness; beseeching you to receive our counsel effectually, that in doing thus, the waters may return to the places from whence they came, and so the waters may begin to be made sweet with salt; lest the axe swim on the water, and the wood sink, and lest the fruitful olive degenerate into a wild olive, and the leprosy of Naaman, that nobleman, cleave continually to the house of Gehazi, and lest the pope and the Pharisees crucify Christ again. Christ, the spouse of the church, which was wont to bring the chief bishop into the holiest place, increase your holiness, or rather restore it, being lost."

This epistle of King Richard the Second, written to Pope Boniface the Ninth, in the time of the schism, about the year, as appeared, 1397, as it contained much good matter of wholesome counsel to be followed, so how little it wrought with the pope the sequel afterward declared; for the schism, notwithstanding, continued long after, in which neither of the popes would give over their hold, or yield any thing to good counsel given them, for any respect of public weal. Such a stroke beareth ambition in this apostolical see, which we are wont so greatly to magnify: but of this enough, which I leave and refer to the consideration of the Lord, seeing men will not look upon it.

Drawing now toward the latter end of King Richard's reign, it remaineth that, as we did before in the time of King Edward the Third, so here also we show forth a summary recapitulation of such parliamentary notes and proceedings, as then were practised by public parliament in this king's time, against the jurisdiction of the bishop of Rome, to the intent that such, if any such be, that think, or have thought, the receiving of the pope's double authority to be such an ancient thing within this realm, may diminish their opinions; as evidently may appear by divers arguments heretofore touched, concerning the election and investing of bishops by the king; as where King Oswin commanded Cedde to be ordained archbishop of York; also where King Egfride caused Cuthbert to be brought to King Canute, and at his commandment was instituted bishop of the same see. And likewise Matthew Paris testifieth, that King Henry the Third gave the archbishopric of Canterbury to Radulph, then bishop of London, and invested him with staff and ring: and the same king gave the bishopric of Winchester to William Gifford; and, moreover, following the steps both of his father and brother before him, endowed him with the possessions pertaining to the said bishopric (the contrary statute of Pope Urban, forbidding that clerks should receive any ecclesiastical dignity at the hand of princes, or of any lay person, to the contrary notwithstanding). That innumerable examples of like sort are to be seen in ancient histories of this our realm, as also out of the parliament rolls in the time of King Edward the Third, hath sufficiently been touched a little before: whereunto also may be added the notes of such parliaments as have been holden in the reign of this present King Richard the Second, the collection whereof in part here followeth.

Notes of certain parliaments, holden in the reign of King Richard the Second, making against the pope.

"In the first year of King Richard the Second, in the parliament holden at Westminster, it was requested and granted, that the pope's collector be willed no longer to gather the first-fruits of benefices within this realm, being a very novelty, and that no person do any longer pay them.

"Item, That no man do procure any benefice by provision from Rome, on pain to be out of the king's protection.

"Item, That no Englishman do take to farm of any alien, any ecclesiastical benefice or prebend, on the like pain. In which bill was rehearsed, that the Frenchmen had six thousand pounds yearly of such livings in England.

"Item, That remedy might be had against the pope's reservations to dignities elective, the same being done against the treaty of the pope, taken with King Edward the Third.

"In the second year of the said King Richard the Second, it was by petition requested, that some order might be taken touching aliens, having the greatest part of the church dignities in their hands: whereunto the king answered, That by advice of the lords be would provide therefore.

Item, It was enacted, that all the benefices of cardinals, and other rebels to Pope Urban that now is, shall be seized into the king's hands.

"An act that Pope Urban was true and lawful pope, and that the livings of all cardinals, and other rebels to the said pope, should be seized into the king's hands, and the king be answered of the profits thereof: and that whosoever within this realm shall procure or obtain any provision or other instrument from any other pope than the same Urban, shall be out of the king's protection.

"Moreover, in the third year of King Richard the Second, the prelates and clergy made their protestation, in this parliament, expressly against a certain new grant, to wit, their extortions: That the same never should pass with their assent and good will, to the blemishing of the liberties of the church, if, by that word extortion, they meant any thing largely to proceed against ordinaries and others of the church; but if they meant none otherwise to deal hereafter therein, than before that time had been done, then would they consent. Whereunto it was replied for the king, that neither for the same their said protestation, or other words in that behalf, the king would stay to grant to his justices in that case, and in all other cases, as was used to be done in times past, and he was bound to do by virtue of his oath taken at his coronation.

"Furthermore, in the fourth year of the said King Richard the Second, it was requested, That provision might be had against the pope's collectors, for levying of the first-fruits of ecclesiastical dignities within the realm.

"Item, That all priors, aliens, might be removed out of their houses, and licensed to depart, and never to revert; and that Englishmen may be placed in their livings, answering the king as they did.

"And in the ninth year of the aforesaid king, touching matter of the staple, the speaker of the parliament pronounced, that he thought best the same were planted within the realm, considering that Calais, Bruges, and other towns beyond the seas grew very rich thereby, and good towns here very much decayed; and so it was much for the common profit. Touching the king, he affirmed that the subsidy and custom of wool yielded more to the king when the staple was kept in England, by one thousand marks yearly, than it did now, being holden beyond the seas.

"Item, That inquisition and redress might be had against such religious persons, as under the licence to purchase 10 yearly, do purchase 80, or 100.

"Item, That all clerks, advanced to any ecclesiastical dignity or living by the king, will grant to the king the first-fruits of their livings, none otherwise than they would have done to the pope, being advanced by him.

"In the eleventh year of King Richard the Second, it was put up by the petitions of the commons, that such impositions as are gathered by the pope's bulls of Volumus and Imponimus of the translations of B. B. and such-like, might be employed on the king's wars against the schismatics of Scotland; and that such as bring unto the realm the like bulls and novelties may be reputed for traitors.

"In the thirteenth year of his reign followed another parliament, in which, although the archbishops of Canterbury and York, for them and the whole clergy of their provinccs, made their solemn protestations in open parliament, that they in no wise meant, or would assent to any statute or law made in restraint of the pope's authority, but utterly withstood the same; willing this protestation of theirs to be enrolled; yet the said protestation of theirs at that time took no great effect.

"Item, In the same parliament it was put up by public petition, that the pope's collector should be commanded to avoid the realm within forty days, or else to be taken as the king's enemy; and that every such collector, from henceforth, may be an Englishman, and sworn to execute the statutes made in this parliament.

"Moreover, in the said parliament, the year abovesaid of the king, the twenty-sixth of January, Master John Mandoure, clerk, was charged openly in the parliament, that he should not pass or send over to Rome, or attempt or do any thing there touching the archdeaconry of Durham, in prejudice of the king, or of his laws, or of the party presented thereto by the king, on peril that might ensue.

"The next year following, which was the fourteenth of this king's reign, it was enacted first touching the staples, that, after the feast of the Epiphany next ensuing, the staple should be removed from Calais into England, in such places as are contained in the statute made in the twenty-seventh of Edward the Third; the which statute should be fully executed: and further, that every alien that bringeth merchandise into the realm, should find sufficient surety to buy and carry away commodities of the realm, to half the value of the said merchandise.

"Item, In the same parliament petition was made, That against the horrible vice of usury, then termed shifts, practised as well by the clergy as laity, the order made by John Notte, late mayor of London, might be executed throughout the realm.

"Moreover, in the fifteenth year of the reign of the aforesaid king it was accorded: for that Sir William Brian, knight, had purchased from Rome a bull directed from the archbishops of Canterbury and York, to excommunicate such as had broken up his house, and had taken away divers letters, privileges, and charters; the same bull, being read in the parliament house, was adjudged prejudicial to the king's crown, and in derogation of the laws: for the which he was, by the king, and assent of the lords, committed to the Tower, there to remain at the king's will and pleasure.

"In the said parliament also, William, archbishop of Canterbury, maketh his protestation in the open parliament, saying, that the pope ought not to excommunicate any bishop, or to intermeddle for or touching any presentation to any ecclesiastical dignity recorded in any of the king's courts. He further protested, that the pope ought to make no translation to any bishopric within the realm against the king's will; for that the same was to the destruction of the realm and crown of England, which hath always been so free, as the same hath had none earthly sovereign, but hath been subject to God only, in all things touching regalities, and to none other: the which protestation he prayed might be entered.

"In the seventeenth year of the reign of the king aforesaid, it was desired that remedy might be had against such religious persons as caused their villains or underlings to marry free women inheritable, whereby the lands came to those religious mens' hands by collusion.

"Item, That sufficient persons might be presented to benefices, who may dwell on the same, so as their stock, for want thereof, do not perish.

"Item, That remedy might be had against the abbots of Colchester and Abingdon, who, in the towns of Colchester and Colnham, claim to have sanctuary.

"To come to the parliament holden in the twentieth year of this king's reign, we find, moreover, in the said rolls, how that the archbishops of Canterbury and York, for themselves and the clergy of their provinces, declared to the king in open parliament, that, forasmuch as they were sworn to the pope. and see of Rome, if any thing were in the parliament attempted in restraint of the same, they would in no wise assent thereto, but verily withstand the same: the which their protestation they require to be enrolled.

"Upon the petition of the Begging Friars, there at large it was enacted, that none of that order should pass over the seas without licence of his sovereign, nor that he should take upon him any order of master of divinity, unless he were first apposed in his chapter provincial; on pain to be put out of the king's protection.

"Item, That the king's officers, for making arrests or attachments in churchyards, are therefore excommunicated; whereof remedy was required.

"In the twenty-first year of the same king's reign, the parliament being holden at Westminster, we find how the commons, in full parliament, accused Thomas Arundel, archbishop of Canterbury, for that he as chancellor procured, and as chief doer executed, the same commission, made traitorously in the tenth year of the king: and also that he, the said archbishop, procured the duke of Gloucester, and the earls of Arundel and Warwick, to encroach to themselves royal power, and to judge to death Simon de Burley and Sir John Berners, without the king's assent: whereupon the commons required that the same archbishop might rest under safe keeping: whereunto, for that the same impeachments touched so great a person, they would be advised.

"Item, The twenty-fifth day of September, the commons prayed the king to give judgment against the said archbishop, according to his deserts. The king answered, that privately the said archbishop had confessed to him, how he mistook himself in the said commission, and therefore submitted himself to the king's mercy; wherefore the king, lords, and Sir Thomas Percy, proctor for the clergy, adjudged the fact of the said archbishop to be treason, and himself a traitor; and therefore it was ordered, that the said archbishop should be banished, his temporalties seized, his lands and goods forfeited, as well in use as in possession.

"The king further prescribed, that the said archbishop should take his passing on Friday, within six weeks of Michaelmas, at Dover, towards the parts of France."

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