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cardinals, with his pardons and indulgences, which so long had Henry clogged this realm of England, to the miserable slaughter of so many good men, and which never could be removed away before, were now
A.D. abolished, eradicated and exploded out of this land, and sent home 1534. again to their own country of Rome, from whence they came. God be everlastingly praised therefore. Amen!
*An old Prophecy of the Fall of the Pope.
Papa cito moritur, Cæsar regnabit ubique,
An Act concerning the King's Highness to be the supreme head of
the Church of England, and to have authority to reform and redress all Errors, Heresies, and Abuses, in the same. Cap. 1.
Albeit the king's majesty justly and rightly is and ought to be the supreme head of the church of England, and so is recognised by the clergy of this realm in their convocations; yet nevertheless, for corroboration and confirmation thereof, and for increase of virtue in Christ's religion within this realm of England, and to repress and extirp all errors, heresies, and other enormities and abuses heretofore used in the same: be it enacted by authority of this present parliament, that the king our sovereign lord, his heirs and successors, kings of this realm, shall be taken, accepted, and reputed the only supreme head in earth of the church of England, called ' Anglicana Ecclesia,' and shall have and enjoy, annexed and united to the imperial crown of this realm, as well the title and style thereof, as all honours, dignities, pre-eminences, jurisdictions, privileges, authorities, immunities, profits and commodities to the said dignity of supreme head of the same church belonging and appertaining. And that our said sovereign lord, his heirs and successors, kings of this realm, shall have full power and authority from time to time, to visit, repress, redress, reform, order, correct, restrain, and amend all such errors, abuses, offences, contempts, and enormities, whatsoever they be, which by any manner of spiritual authority or jurisdiction ought or may lawfully be reformed, repressed, ordered, redressed, corrected, restrained, or amended, most to the pleasure of Almighty God, the increase of virtue in Christ's religion, and for the conservation of the peace, unity, and tranquillity of this realm: any usage, custom, foreign laws, foreign authority, prescription, or any thing or things to the contrary hereof, notwithstanding The King's Proclamation for the abolishing of the usurped power of
the Pope. Trusty and well-beloved! we greet you well. And whereas not only upon good, and just, and virtuous grounds and respects, edified upon the laws of holy Scripture, by due consultation, deliberation, advisement, and consent, as well of all other our nobles and commons temporal, as also spiritual, assembled in our high court of parliament, and by authority of the same, we have, by good and wholesome laws and statutes made for this purpose, extirped, abolished, separated, and secluded out of this our realm, the abuses of the bishop of Rome, his authority and jurisdiction of long time usurped as well upon us and our realm, as upon all other kings and princes and their realms (like as they themselves have confessed and affirmed), but also, forasmuch as our said nobles and commons, both spiritual and temporal, assembled in our high court of parliament, have, upon good, lawful, and virtuous grounds, and for the public weal of this our realm, by one whole assent, granted, annexed, knit, and united to the crown imperial of the same, the title, dignity, and style of supreme head the style or governor in earth, immediately under God, of the church of England, as we
preme' be, and undoubtedly have hitherto been: which title and style, both the bishops annexed and clergy of this our realm have not only, in convocation assembled, consented, to the recognised, and approved lawfully and justly to appertain unto us, but also, by England.
(1) See Edition 1576, p. 1028.- ED.
Henry word, oath, profession, and writing under their signs and seals, have confessed, VIII. ratified, corroborated and confirmed the same, utterly renouncing all other A.D. oaths and obedience to any other foreign potentates, and all foreign jurisdictions 1534.
and powers, as well of the said bishop of Rome, as of all others whatsoever they be, as by their said professions and writings corroborated with the subscription of their names, and appension of their seals more plainly appeareth: we let you to wit, that calling to our remembrance the power, charge, and commission given unto us of Almighty God, and upon a vehement love and affection toward our loving and faithful subjects, perceiving right well what great rest, quietness, and tranquillity of conscience, and manifold other commodities might insurge and arise unto them, if the said bishops and others of the clergy of this our realm should set forth, declare, and preach to them, the true and sincere word of God; and without all manner of colour, dissimulation, and hypocrisy, manifest and publish the great and innumerable enormities and abuses which the said bishop of Rome, as well in the title and style, as also in authority and jurisdiction, of long time unlawfully and unjustly hath usurped upon us and our progenitors, and also other christian princes; have therefore addressed our letters unto the bishop of the diocese, straightly charging and commanding him in the same, that not only he, in his own proper person, shall declare, teach, and preach unto the people, forth with upon the receipt of our said letters unto him directed, every Sunday and other high feasts through the year, the true, mere, and sincere word of God; and that the same title, style, and jurisdiction of supreme head appertaineth only to our crown and dignity royal ; likewise, as the said bishop and all other the bishops of our realm have by oath affirmed, and confirmed by subscription of their names, and setting-to their seals, but also have given warning, monition, and charge, to all manner of abbots, priors, deans, archdeacons, provosts, parsons, vicars, curates, and all other ecclesiastical persons, within his said diocese, as well to teach, preach, publish, and declare, in all manner of churches, our aforesaid just title, style, and jurisdiction, every Sunday and high feast through the year: and further to admonish and command all other schoolmasters within his said diocese, to instruct and teach the same unto the children committed unto them; as also to cause all manner or prayers, orisons, rubrics, canons of mass-books, and all other books in the churches, wherein the said bishop of Rome is named, or his presumptuous and proud pomp and authority preferred, utterly to be abolished, eradicated and rased out, and his name and memory to be never more (except to his con
tumely and reproach) remembered, but perpetually suppressed and obscured: pope's and finally, to desist and leave out all such articles as be in the general sen
tence which is usually accustomed to be read four times in the year, and do abolish tend to the glory and advancement of the bishop of Rome, his name, title, and
Whereupon we, seeing, esteeming, and reputing you to be of such singular and vehement zeal and affection towards the glory of Almighty God, and of so faithful, loving, and obedient heart towards us, as you will not only do and accomplish, with all power, wisdom, diligence, and labour, whatsoever should or might be to the preferment and setting forward of God's word, but also practise, study, and endeavour yourself, with all your policy, wit, power, and good-will, to amplify, defend, and maintain all such interest, right, title, style, jurisdiction, and authority, as is in any wise appertaining unto us, our dignity and prerogative, and the crown imperial of this our realm, have thought good and expedient, not only to signify unto you, by these our letters, the particulars of the charge, monition, and commandment given by us unto the said bishop, as before is specified; but also to require, and straightly charge and command you, upon pain of your allegiance, and as ye shall avoid our high indignation and displeasure, at your uttermost peril, laying apart all vain affections, respects, or other carnal considerations, and setting only before your eyes the mirror of truth, the glory of God, the dignity of your sovereign lord and king, and the great concord and unity, and inestimable profit and utility, that shall, by the due execution of the premises, ensue to yourself and all other faithful and loving subjects, ye make or cause to be made diligent search and wait," and especially in every place of your shirewick, whether the said bishop do truly, and sincerely, and without all manner of cloak, colour, or dissimulation, execute
(1) Wait,' or watch.-ED.
name and memory
and accomplish our will and commandment, as is afore said. And in case ye Henry shall hear, perceive, and approvably understand and know, that the said bishop, or any other ecclesiastical person within his diocese, doth omit and leave undone
A. D. any part or parcel of the premises; or else, in the execution and setting forth
1534. of the same, do coldly and feignedly use any manner of sinister addition, wrong interpretation, or painted colour : then we straightly charge and command you, that forthwith upon any such default, negligence, or dissimulation of the said bishop, or any other ecclesiastical person of his diocese, contrary to the true tenor, meaning, and effect of the said charge by us to him appointed aforesaid, ye do make indelayedly, and with all speed and diligence, declaration and advertisement to us and our council, of the said default, and of the behaviour, manner, and fashion of the same.
And forasmuch as we, upon singular trust and assured confidence which we have in you, and for the special love and zeal we suppose and think ye bear toward us, and the public and common wealth, unity and tranquillity of this our realm, have specially elected and chosen you among so many, for this purpose; and have reputed you such men as unto whose wisdom, discretion, truth, and fidelity, we might commit a matter of such great weight, moment, and importance, as whereupon the unity and tranquillity of our realm do consist: if ye should, contrary to our expectation and trust which we have in you, and against your duty and allegiance towards us, neglect or omit to do, with all your diligence and wisdom, whatsoever shall be in your power for the due performance of our mind and pleasure to you before declared in this behalf, or halt or stumble at any part or specialty of the same, be
assured that we, like a prince of justice, will so extremely punish you for the same, that all the world besides shall take by you example, and beware, contrary to their allegiance, to disobey the lawful commandment of their sovereign lord and prince in such things, as, by the faithful execution thereof, ye shall not only advance the honour of Almighty God, and set forth the majesty and imperial dignity of your sovereign lord, but also bring an inestimable weal
, profit, and commo dity, unity and tranquillity to all the common state of this our realm, whereunto, both by the laws of God, nature, and man, ye be utterly bound.
Given under our signet, at our palace at Westminster, the 9th day of
June, A.D. 1534.
Furthermore, that no man shall cavil or surmise this fatal fall and ruin of the pope to have come rashly upon the king's own partial affection, or by any sensual temerity of a few, and not by the grave and advised judgment, approbation, and consent, generally and publicly, as well of the nobles and commons temporal, as also upon substantial grounds, and the very strength of truth, by the discussion and consultation of the spiritual and most learned persons in this realm: it shall be requisite, moreover, to these premises to adjoin the words and testimonies also of the bishops' own oaths and profession made to the king, yielding and rendering unto him only, the style of supreme head, next unto Christ, of the church of England; all other service, subjection, and obedience to be given to any other foreign potentate, which should be prejudicial to the king's highness in this behalf, being excluded; and that both frankly and freely, of their own voluntary motion, and also upon the faith and fidelity of their priesthood, as by their own words and hand-writing may appear, in form as hereunder followeth.
The Oath of Stephen Gardiner to the King.' I Stephen, bishop of Winchester, do purely, of mine own voluntary accord, and absolutely, on the word of a bishop, profess and promise to your princely
(1) • Ego Stephanus Wintonien. Episcopus, pure, sponte, et absolute, in verbo pontificio, profiteor ac spondeo illustrissimæ vestræ regiæ majestati, singulari ac summo domino ineo, et
Gardiner renounceth the pope.
Henry majesty, my singular and chief lord and patron, Henry the eighth, by the grace Vit. of God king of England and of France, defender of the faită, lord of Ireland,
and in earth of the church of England supreme head immediately under Christ, A.D.
that from this day forward I shall swear, promise, give, or cause to be given to 1534.
no foreign potentate, emperor, king, prince, or prelate, nor yet 10 the bishop of Rome, whom they call pope, any oath or fealty, directly or indirectly, either by word or writing ; but at all times, and in every case and condition I shall observe, hold, and maintain, to all effects and intents, the quarrel and cause of your royal majesty and your successors; and to the uttermost of my power shall defend the same against all manner of persons, whomsoever I shall know or suspect to be adversaries to your majesty, or to your successors; and shall
give my faith, truth, and obedience, sincerely, and with my very heart, only to Stephen, your royal majesty, as to my supreme prince. I profess the papacy of Rome
not to be ordained of God by holy Scripture, but constantly do affirm, and openly declare, and shall declare it, to be set up only by man, and shall cause diligently other men likewise to publish the same. Neither shall I enter any treaty with any person or persons either privily or apertly, or shall consent thereto, that the bishop of Rome shall have or exercise here any authority or jurisdiction, or is to be restored to any jurisdiction hereafter.
Furthermore, that the said bishop of Rome now being, or any that shall succeed him hereafter in the said see, is not to be called pope, nor supreme bishop or universal bishop, nor most holy lord; but only ought to be called bishop of Rome, and fellow brother (as the old manner of the most ancient bishops hath been): this I shall to my power openly maintain and defend.
And I shall firmly observe and cause to be observed by others, to the uttermost of my cunning, wit, and power, all such laws and acts of this realm, how and whatsoever, as have been enacted and established for the extirpation and suppression of the papacy, and of the authority and jurisdiction of the said bishop of Rome. Neither shall I appeal hereafter to the said bishop of Rome, nor ever consent to any person that shall appeal to him; neither shall i attempt, prosecute, nor follow any suit in the court of Rome, for any cause of right or justice to be had, or shall make answer to any plea or action, nor shall take upon me the person and office either of the plaintiff or defendant in the said court.
And if the said bishop, by his messenger or by his letters, shall make any means or signification unto me of any matter, whatsoever it be, I shall, with all speed and diligence, make declaration and advertisement thereof, or cause the same to be signified either to your princely majesty, or to some of your secret council, or to your successors, or any of their privy council. Neither shall I send, or cause to be sent, at any time any writing or messenger to the said bishop or to his court, without the knowledge and consent of your majesty or your successors willing me to send writing or messenger unto him. Neither shall I procure, or give counsel to any person to procure, bulls, briefs, or rescripts whatsoever, either for me or any other, from the said bishop of Rome or his court. And if any such shall be procured against my will and knowledge, either in general or in special, or else howsoever they shall be granted unto them, I shall utter and disclose the same, and not consent thereunto, nor use them in any case, and shall cause them to be brought to your majesty, or your successors.
Furthermore, for the confirmation hereof I give my faith and truth by firm promise, and in the faith of a bishop, that against this my aforesaid profession and promise made, I shall defend myself by no dispensation, exception, nor by any remedy or cautel of law or example, during this my natural life. And if heretofore 'I have done or made any protestation in prejudice of this my profession and promise here made, the same I do revoke at this present, and for ever hereafter, and here utterly do renounce, by these presents. Whereunto I have subscribed and underwritten the name both of myself and of my bishopric, with my proper hand; and thereto also have put my seal, in perpetual and undoubted testimony of the premises. Given the tenth day of February, A.D. 1534, and in the twenty-sixth year of our sovereign lord king Henry the Eighth.
Stephen Winton. patrono, Henrico Dei gratia Angliæ et Franciæ regi, fidei defensori, domino Hiberniæ, atque in terris Ecclesiæ Anglicava Supremo immediatè sub Christo capiti, quod posthac nulli externo imperatori, regi, principi aut prælato, nec Romano pontifici (quem Papem vocant) fidelitatem et obedientiam,' &c
The like Oath of John Stokesly, Bishop of London. I John, bishop of London, do purely, and of mine own voluntary accord, and absolutely on the word of a bishop, profess and promise to your princely majesty, my singular and chief lord and patron, Henry the Eighth, by the grace of God, king of England and of France, defender of the faith, lord of Ireland, and in earth of the same church of England supreme head immediately under Christ, &c. [Like to the oath before.]
The like Oath and hand-writing of Edward Lee, Archbishop of
York. I Edward, by the permission of God, archbishop of York, do purely, of my own voluntary accord, and absolutely, on the word of a bishop, profess and promise to your royal majesty, my singular and chief lord and patron, &c. (In like form to the oath before.]
The like Oath and hand-writing of Cuthbert Tonstal, Bishop of
Durham. I Cuthbert, by the permission of God, bishop of Durbam, do purely, of mine own voluntary accord, and absolutely, on the word of a bishop, profess and promise to your royal majesty, my singular and chief lord and patron, &c. [As before.]
Per me Cuthbertum Dunelm.
And so likewise all the other bishops, after the same order and form of oath, were obliged and bound to the king, as to the supreme head of the church of England immediately under Christ; renouncing and abjuring utterly and voluntarily the pope's too long usurped jurisdiction in this realm ; testifying, moreover, the same both with their own hand, and also with their seal.
Besides these confirmations and testimonials of the bishops aforesaid, ye shall hear yet moreover the decree and public sentence of the university of Cambridge, written likewise and subscribed, and signed with the public seal of their university; the tenor of which their letter here followeth.
A Letter of the University of Cambridge against the usurped
Power of the Bishop of Rome. To all and singular children of the holy mother church, to whose hands these presents shall come, the whole society of regents and non-regents of the university of Cambridge, sendeth greeting in our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Whereas now of late it hath risen up in question among us, concerning the power of the bishop of Rome, which he doth both claim to himself by the holy Scripture over all provinces and nations in Christendom, and hath now of long time exercised in this realm of England; and forasmuch as our censure concerning the cause is required, to wit, Whether the bishop of Rome hath any power or authority in this kingdom of England, allotted to him by God in the Scripture, more than any other foreign bishop, or no: we thought it therefore good reason, and our duty for the searching out of the verity of the said question, that we should employ therein our whole endeavour and study, whereby we might render and publish to the world, what our reason and censure is, touching the premises. For therefore we suppose, that universities were first
(1) Universis sanctæ matris ecclesiæ filiis, ad quos præsentes literæ perventuræ sunt, cætus omnis regentium et non regentium academiæ Cantabrigiensis, salutem in omnium salvatore Jesu
Cum de Romani pontificis potestate,' &c.